Japanese Skincare Review: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen SPF50

After my not too great experience with Shiseido’s Anessa BB Cream, I was really hesitant to try another Shiseido Anessa product.  BUT I was in a Japanese CVS-like store, and this was on sale.  So I bought it.  At the airport, they sell this for about $30+!  But I bought it on promo for about $12, so I figured what the heck.

Introducing: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen.

And here’s some product info:

  • A weightless daily sunscreen
  • Features a sweat- & water-resistant formula
  • Provides SPF 50 to block UVA / UVB to shield skin from harmful sunrays
  • Restrains melanin to prevent freckles & uneven skin tone
  • Can be used as a makeup base
  • Skin stays comfortable & youthful looking Perfect for all skin type except ultra-sensitive skin
  • To use: Apply to face as the final skincare step.
  • Dry skin & remove excess sebum before re-application.

From what I understand, the new design for the packaging is white, but it used to be a light blue.

After applying to my face, the first thing that I immediately thought was…that this product…

IS AWESOME.  Seriously, it’s that great.  The product might look a little weird/watery out of the bottle—it almost has no body (its almost entirely liquid, the opposite of a cream)—but it dries silky smooth.  It’s extremely light weight, I’m definitely impressed.  No greasiness at all and I could barely tell that I was wearing it!

Since it’s not a water-based product, you don’t get that ‘cooling’ feeling when you apply this product (you get that matte, dry-to-the-touch feel), but I don’t mind because I feel that this is a better product to wear for things like errands, shopping, etc.  The water-based products have a tendency to build up on the skin, after time (it looks almost clumpy, after multiple re-applications).

Also, upon application, it felt really hydrating.  I put on a really light moisturizer before hand, and my skin felt a little dry still.  After I applied the Anessa sunscreen, my skin felt perfect.

It does not smell like sunscreen at all (thank you, Japanese formulas!)—it smells almost like…powder.  Its a pleasant smell, not overpowering or irritating.  The lack of a sunscreen smell is one of my criterias when it comes to these high SPF sunscreens….I hope to only smell like sunscreen when I’m at the beach or doing something outdoorsy.  I’ve come to associate the smell with greasiness.  Meh.

The only thing I didn’t try was to apply makeup over it.  I think, since the finish is so dry/matte/smooth/amazing, it’ll be totally fine to apply my BB cream (with more SPF haha) over this.

So, Shiseido, you have definitely redeemed yourself in my eyes!  I thought your BB cream was rather disappointing but dang.  This sunscreen more then makes up for it.  I wish I bought two more!  Overall, 10/10.

PS: If you want to try a smaller (not full-size) version of this product, you can buy it on Amazon for $20  or $30 for the bigger version.

UPDATE!!!  There’s a new formula on the market!  I was in Japan in August 2014 and I noticed that I couldn’t buy this watery formula anymore—now it’s like a cream—the formula is thicker.  Honestly, I prefer the watery one better (it applied significantly lighter).

Here’s a link to my other Japanese Sunscreen reviews:
Biore Aqua Rich Water Essence SPF50
Kose Suncut UV Protect Spray SPF50
Shiseido Anessa BB Cream SPF50



A Beautiful Mess, Happy Mail December 2014

Now that the wedding is long over, I’m still left with a lingering love of envelopes and mailing pretty cards.  I absolutely LOVE beautiful stationary so I’m trying out a new subscription box (or envelope):  Happy Mail by A Beautiful Mess.

I picked the $18.00 a month for 6 month subscription (it’s $15 a month for 12 months or $20 monthly) and this is what I got for December:


wpid-photogrid_1418927048566.jpgThis month’s kit contents-

  • 7 Cards
  • 1 Postcard
  • 6 Standard Envelopes
  • Custom Print Envelope
  • 1 Print
  • 1 Texting Notepad
  • Set of 8 Gift Stickers
  • Set of 12 Tab Stickers

These cards are so cute!  I thought there was a really good mix of variety but I noticed that for a December subscription, there were no Christmas items?  Maybe they were in the November box, so people could send them out early.  Also, there were no thank you or birthday cards—I imagine those are the cards that people will send the most.

But anyway–the cards are beautiful!  They’re very interesting and the quality of the cardstock is pretty good (but the envelopes are just okay–I’m a bit spoiled, I was hoping they’d be thicker, at least like Hallmark quality).  One of my favorite items is that ‘Places We’ve Been’ print.  I taped it to our wall using washi tape and it’s a neat way to catalog where you and your family have been.

I’m definitely looking forward to next month’s offerings!  🙂

Influenster Frosty VoxBox 2014: Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Tea Review

Happy Aloha Monday, everyone!  If you didn’t know, there are only 3 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

One of my favorite ways of celebrating the holidays is by drinking holiday beverages–like tea!  I got this tea sample in my Influenster Frosty VoxBox (complimentary for testing reasons).



I really like Celestial Seasonings tea.  The bags are nice and they don’t include the metal staple (but they also don’t have strings).  And the boxes are so cute!

At first, I was kind of bummed.  Decaf tea??? (I NEED CAFFEINE!)  I was also very intrigued because whereas I like holiday beverages, that’s mostly in the realm of…coffee.

After brewing and tasting, I have decided that THIS TEA IS AWESOME!!!   The flavor is perfect–it’s a nice, smooth green tea the peppermint and slight vanilla tones in it give it a special sweetness (without sugar) that’s beautiful to drink.  I even appreciate the decaf aspect of it now—this tea might not be ideal for your morning pick-me-up but it’s PERFECT for something warm to drink at night.   Or when you’re at work and want to drink something warm without overdoing the caffeine buzz that you currently have…



Christmas Idea for your cubicle neighbors:  A box of Celestial Seasonings Holiday tea with a really cute mug!  🙂

Thanks for the great morning, Influenster!

Influenster Frosty VoxBox 2014

It’s Holiday Season, which means it’s Christmas VoxBox time! 😀   First, let’s start off with the basics: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes.

Now to the good stuff! Here’s what was in the Frosty VoxBox:





  1. NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum ($1.99)
  2. Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea (2 bags)
  3. EcoTools Hair Brush ($10.99)
  4. Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($7.49)
  5. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner ($4.49)
  6. McCormick Gourmet Thyme ($4.79)
  7. Fruit Vines Bites ($1.28-$1.79)
  8. No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED Sachet

I was really excited to see the Rimmel products–yes, it’s a drugstore item, but I’ve been seeing them (particularly the Kohl Eyeliner) pop up in all sorts of magazine beauty features lately. I still have a few products left over in my Sephora Draw the Line kit (eyeliners YES!) but I’m going to work this one into the rotation. I’m imagining that it smudges very beautifully (and probably sets really well too, with some powder).

The other beauty products were very welcome additions to my routine: This Eco Tools brush is perfect for my long, straight (and thin) hair, I will never turn down a serum (No7 is a Target brand, but it was weird because the sachet + coupon came in a Ziploc), and this Lip Color is supposed to last 6 hours–we’ll see!

The one item I was really surprised to see was the thyme. It’s so cute! Why is getting seasoning cute? I don’t know, I was just really happy to see it. It makes the box feel extra Christmas-ey, I don’t know why. I don’t particularly cook with Thyme, but now I get to experiment so that’s always good. I googled the McCormick recipes including thyme and there are TONS! If you have a favorite, let me know!

The Fruit Bites are okay–I normally don’t eat these because of the sugar content. These bites are made by Red Vines and I like the flavor of these better then the generic fruity variety. I’m also kind of wary about the tea–I love green tea but I’ve never tried it mixed with things like…peppermint? Haha. I’ll be open minded, I’m sure I’ll love it.

There you go! I’ll be doing some follow-up posts about this box later but woohoo, thank you for the Christmas present, Influenster! Are any of you Influenster members? They have all sorts of cool boxes!

Giant Pocky



One more that didn’t go through—I was wondering about this!!!  Wordpress was eating my drafts.


But anyway–sometimes, Kit Kat can be boring?  (Not really, it’s just sometimes, they only have the same 3 flavors, over and over again).  I try to mix it up with Pocky.  It’s fun!  Definitely different, but it hasn’t gotten the same ‘:3’ response that Kit Kat gets, when I give it to friends.

I don’t understand, look how big/cool it is!  *sigh*