Perfect Baby Pink Blush: Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush in 02 Chiyoko Review

Today I wanna chat you about Shiseido, a big Japanese cosmetic house that has several big brands under its umbrella: BareMinerals, NARS, Clé de Peau Beauté and tons of Japanese brands. Of course they’re also known for skincare and makeup under the name Shiseido. Today I have an interesting, unique *blush review for you. I also go down the memory lane when I lived in Japan and admired local cosmetic counters. Enjoy!

*Blush gifted for consideration. All thoughts are honest and my own.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Me, Shiseido and Love for Blush

You may have guessed, I love Japanese makeup. When living in Japan I remember strolling by the Shiseido counter for countless of times, swatching the smooth, pigmented eyeshadows. Those eyeshadow trios weren’t necessarily very expensive in Japan, but I was a poor exchange student and mostly used Shiseido’s Japan exclusive drug store brands. I also struggled to select which palette I wanted. These palettes have been discontinued a while ago, but I still hold on to my limited edition trio of purple, orange and pink (although no longer wear it).

What I don’t mention too often is my other obsession.. blush. Blush and foundation might be just my two favorite makeup items. I especially love pale, baby pink blushes with blue undertones and I am constantly on the hunt for the best one. I think I found the one from RMK some years ago, but of course they discontinued it.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

This blush formula is described as air-whipped cream blush that turns into a long-lasting, breathable powder matte finish. From what I understood the shades are named after inspiring Japanese women. The product comes in a square glass jar, black matte cap with the name ‘Shiseido’ and a protective cap in between. Available in 8 shades ranging from light peaches to reds and fuchsia. 5g for $29. Made in the USA.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Using Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

I’m partial to brush application when it comes to any makeup, maybe except cream highlighters. Usually I like to grab a stippling brush to buff and blend any creams after initial application, but Shiseido’s Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush has an airy, mousse-like texture that does feel powdery at the same time. I find the best way to apply this blush is to dab on with my ring finger; if I get it too close to my eye I use a clean finger to swipe. I’ve also used a damp BeautyBlender to smooth and blend any lines if I’ve gone too heavy with my application.

The Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush in 02 Chiyoko is quite pigmented and a little goes a long way. I’ve worn this blush a ton and I’ve still only touched what’s in the inner cap. I find the second cap with cream products always a bit annoying, but I guess it prevents the product from drying. Once the blush sets it feels creamy and soft on the cheeks, doesn’t slip or slide and has a lovely matte “powder” like finish.

The blush wears perfectly +8 hours. I usually do a couple of layers and finish with a touch of finishing powder (such as Hourglass Ambient or Lily Lolo).

02 Chiyoko swatches

Compared to ADDICTION, a perfect pale pink with almost purple hue, 02 Chiyoko has more warm undertones. There is no sheen or shimmer. Chiyoko’s finish is more powdery than Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Gracilis, which is a matte powder blush. I think that Chiyoko is more universally flattering as it has no icy undertones and should show up nicely on medium to dark skin tones.

Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush 02 Chiyoko Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts on Shiseido Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush

I think that nowadays only a self-applying blush would blow me away, but Shiseido’s Minimalist WhippedPowder blush in 02 Chiyoko is very nice - both in texture and color. If I didn’t have so many blushes I would sprint to get more from Shiseido. I am considering Momoko, as it looked lovely in Shireen’s post. The lasting power is excellent; I often experience problems with cream blushes as they smear, move or they sheer away very quickly. Not with Minimalist WhippedPowder Blush. Only thing that bothers me is the inner cap, I never have a place to put it.. Anyway, I can highly recommend you go swatch this product! x

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty

I’ve been meaning to write more articles on Japanese beauty, but there has been so many products I’ve wanted to review I easily forget to get back to basics. Today I’m doing an (updated) introduction post to Japanese beauty, makeup and skincare. Please notice that this is not from a viewpoint of a Japanese woman, but observations of a Finnish girl who used to live in Japan and travel there every ~2 years. I regularly get my updates from Japanese YouTube channels, ranking sites and magazines when I can get my hands on them. Anything you want to share, please leave them in comments!! x

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Origin of cuteness, or kawaii

Everyone and their Great Aunt knows about K-beauty, especially through quirky, even oddly packaged brands. But the “kawaii” (可愛い cute, loveable, adorable) trend originates from Japan. Kawaii could be a blog topic on its own, as it’s a big part of the Japanese DNA and aesthetic from popular culture to entertainment, clothing, mannerism etc. Today I’m talking about kawaii only briefly, from the viewpoint of beauty aesthetic.

When it comes to Japanese beauty ideals, the most popular is fresh, cute, youthful and conservative: big eyes, silky skin and flushed cheeks for example. Some may describe this as childlike, I’d say youthful or perhaps ageless trend. Where as Korean glass skin has trended recently, “mochi” (soft and silky sticky rice cake) skin has been popular in Japan for ages.

The cuteness trend is very prevalent in the packaging: the drugstore brands may feature anime characters, but even high end cosmetics like to make their appearance feminine, glowing and soft. This may be the use of custom decorative packaging (Paul&Joe, Anna Sui) or perhaps floral imprints in the pan. But don’t overlook the cute, cartoon items as a lot of drug store makeup is very nice quality and owned by bigger brands such as Shiseido or Kanebo.

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What is “whitening” in Japanese Skincare?

Bihaku (美白) or “beautifully white” is very prevalent in Japanese skincare. Where as in the history white skin free of blemishes was to display someone’s status, today I find this is mainly a word for evening out the skin tone. Obviously this depends on the person, but many Japanese tan or get sun spots very easily thanks to the hot sunshine. Clean pores, evening out age spots, melasma, acne marks etc. is very prominent in order to achieve the ideal, even complexion. Where as Europeans are very considered about wrinkles, I think in Japan “clear” skin is even more important.

The popular use of bihaku in skincare is to inhibit the production of melanin with ingredients like arbutin or kojic acid. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare may label functional skincare as ‘quasi drug’ (医薬部外品) if they use safe and effective ingredients for preventing or improving hyperpigmentation. When using “lightening” or “whitening” skincare, you don’t need to worry about using dangerous substances (bleach, lead, mercury etc) on your face. They do not whiten your skins appearance or turn you lighter than your natural skin tone.

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Bathing and Massage

If kawaii and bihaku are Japanese beauty ideals, then bathing and facial massage are essence when it comes to daily routines. Of course a busy Japanese woman (or man) doesn’t have the time for daily facial massages, but majority of Japanese people bathe every single day. In Japan there’s rarely a greater bliss than soaking in hot water after a long day at work or doing house chores.

If you don’t have a nice bath at home, you can visit public bath houses (銭湯, sentou) or even onsen (温泉, hot spring spa). Bathing is deeply rooted into Japanese culture. While Westerns like their bath bombs and bubbles, the Japanese most often enjoy plain very hot water. In sentou or a public bath house, and women have separate sides and you wash yourself before taking a dip into the hot water. You can bring a small towel to the bath to wipe off sweat from your forehead - as long as you don’t dip it into the water. There is no jumping, splashing or swimming in bath houses, only relaxation.

Facial massages are sometimes performed with massage tools such as face rollers, but usually just with your hands. During the massage session, pressure is applied with your fingers or your knuckles, usually starting from the centre of your face and finish draining your lymph nodes on your neck. When I’ve had a facial massage done in Japan they used quite a lot of pressure, which had some discomfort yet the final result was relaxing. This massage routine feels advanced to me, so I often perform the parts of it when my eyes or cheeks feel puffy or drooping.

Important Japanese Skincare Steps

In Japanese skincare routine, there are two very important steps in my opinion: double cleansing and applying a toner. The double cleansing is usually performed first with a cleansing oil (such as Shu Uemura, DHC, THREE, Hadalabo being popular brands for example), followed by a cleansing milk or a foam depending on your skin type. The Japanese are very particular about having their pores clean, so after removing makeup it’s essential to clean the skin.

Toner may also be called a lotion or an essence or some sort of combination. The word lotion/treatment lotion/first treatment essence is very often used instead of toner, but this is what you put on your skin first after cleansing: to soften the skin and prepare it for other products. Essences, milks, creams etc. are followed after. You start from the lightest in texture and move to heavier. Layering is key when it comes to skincare!

Here are two example routines. Skincare enthusiasts may also apply an essence while some might skip the milk or cream depending on the skin type.

Japanese PM Skincare Routine

Oil cleanser
Gel or foam cleanser
Lotion (aka toner)
Sheet Mask
Serum
Moisturizing Milk
Cream/Moisturizer

Japanese AM Skincare Routine

Cleanse (milk, gel)
Lotion (aka toner)
Serum
Moisturizing Milk
Cream/moisturizer
Sunscreen or makeup base with SPF

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Key Points in Makeup

Japanese women tend to put a lot of effort in their makeup, but the end result should be like you’re not wearing anything. Conservative, natural, fresh. Base products are very popular in Japan because of the high humidity, also they often have added SPF protection. After a makeup base comes foundation and I think that powder foundations are pretty common while I rarely see them in Europe (except mineral eco foundations). Blush is applied sheer, eyeshadow often a gradient with glitter. Eyeliner is popular, but very natural and slim line along the lash line. Japanese lashes are often short and straight, so most mascaras add just length, definition and above all last long. Japanese waterproof mascaras are honestly waterproof!

I find that Japanese brands don’t advertise their products with “exotic Asian traditions” (such as Tatcha) as widely, but there are some that honor the traditions (say, Kyoto brand Yojiya). Brands that have Japanese ingredients (SK-II’s famous Pitera was found from sake making) often base their claims on science.

What's J-Beauty? - a Beginner's Guide to Japanese Beauty | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Japanese Brands To Check Out

There is a vast amount of Japanese beauty brands, many owned by same parent companies. Drug stores are filled with smaller brands that might be devoted to just mascaras or eye products. I’m listing here some brands to check out, perhaps in the future I’ll do another introduction post.

If you like kawaii brands you should check out Anna Sui, Paul and Joe, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE as they’re very famous and distinguishable with their over the top cute packaging. If you’re into more simplistic sleek look, check out SUQQU, ADDICTION and THREE for example. These high end brands have been featured on my blog several times. Their style and philosophy are different, but quality overall excellent.

For luxury lover there is brands like Cle de Peau, Cosme Decorte and Lunasol that offer excellent quality makeup. If skincare is your main focus, perhaps check out the legendary SK-II. Yojiya follows the trend of Kyoto geishas and maikos, their products are very simplistic, but make a great souvenir from Japan. Their aburatorigami (あぶらとり紙) aka blotting papers, hand creams, lip balms and paper soaps are very popular.

From the drug store I try any liners and mascaras with anime characters (Sailor Moon, Rose of Versailles) – so far everything has performed so well! I also like Visée’s shadows and a variety of products from KATE. If you struggle to choose from drug store products, check out the “Top1” or similar stickers by magazines (iVoce, MAQUIA) or online rating sites (Cosme). Often the popular items are worth the hype.

Final word

Thank you for reading, I have soo much to talk about when it comes to Japanese beauty! I didn’t even touch hair trends or go deep into traditions or routines. What would you like to read more about? Do you like J-beauty? Also, a huge thanks to my friend Iida from Iida in Translation blog for the beautiful pictures!! If you can read Finnish or simply love beautiful Japan travel photography, check her out!

xx Laura

Starter's guide to Japanese cosmetics: shopping

Being a beauty nerd, my friends tend to ask me for shopping recommendations when planning their Japan trips. I've repeated myself so many times I thought I'd share the same information with you and depending on your interest, I can make this subject a mini series, such as:

Part one: Shopping cosmetics in Japan (you're here)
Part two: Top beauty items to purchase in Japan
Part three: Brush shopping

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Looking into Japanese cosmetics can be overwhelming for the first timers, even if you can read the language, there is a lot of selection. Not only there are a lot of inexpensive drug store brands, but also very good quality high end ones - and Japan/Asia exclusives or re-formulations from Lancome, Dior, L'oreal etc. Since I've mostly done my shopping in Japan in person, most of this information is useful if you can be there youself or use a personal shopper. Here are some tips what to look for when you're starting to venture into Japanese beauty for the first time. Photos by my lovely friend Liisa, thank you!

Check out recommendations

Japan has a vast make up and skincare database site called Cosme, which has constantly updating rankings what are the best or most wanted items in Japanese beauty. It also has lots of user reviews - if you can't read or use Google translate you can still look at the star rankings to determine if the product is decent. Like at the Makeupalley, there are different categories in skincare and make up. Cosme's bi-annual awards are also very famous and the most popular products will promote themselves in stores with ranking stickers, look for those! There's also a couple of physical Cosme stores where you can buy best ranked cosmetics. Other rankings include magazines, such as iVoce, Biteki and Maquia, which you can check out for other popular or novelty items.

SHOPS TO CHECK OUT

If loud and cramped drug stores intimidate you, one way to check out both drugstore, natural and midrange cosmetics is to check out Tokyu Hands or LoFt. They're both home goods department stores/store chains that have nice cosmetics selection, the stores are less cramped with helpful and knowledgeable staff. The testers are usually in a good shape. Great for unique finds and exploring beauty gadgets as well. The prices might have a little mark up, but not necessarily a lot. In some Loft stores you can also find fude (=brushes), such as Koyudo.

If you're more price savvy and don't care about noisy, cramped environment drug stores or Don Quijote (pronounced 'Donki' or 'Donki Hoote' in Japanese) are a your choice. Donki is especially great for buying fake eyelashes and nail stickers. Drugstores, such as Matsumoto Kiyoshi, can be found everywhere.

For your high end make up I love Isetan Mirror. It's a beauty store that stocks both selected Western and Japanese high end brands (Addiction, Shu Uemura, RMK, THREE etc). Although I like department stores, they can also be cramped and it's harder to compare products or prices between counters. I often like to browse a bit of everything and cherry pick my products. In Isetan Mirror you can shop freely, the staff is very nice and give you recommendations from different brands.

Fukubukuro, presents and specials

Japan loves exclusives and limited editions. Just like in Western make up, high end brands come out with seasonal collections which are available as long as there are stock or a new collection launches. Sometimes special items, gifts with purchase or sets are available only at a certain department store, city or at the flagship shop, for example. My best advice is: if you find something you like a lot, buy it right away. At a different counter your favorite popular item can be sold out.

Fukubukuro means a "lucky bag" when brands sell packages of special or past season items with a heavily discounted price. The trick is, you don't know what the bag keeps inside. Some brands let you know partially what you're getting, for example when I was shopping for Shu Uemura with my Mom, you were able to choose the cleansing oil according to your skin type, but the shades of color make up inside the bag were a mystery. Fukubukuros are sold every New Year from 1st to 3rd January (some drug store brands might be sold in advance). Most popular items tend to sell out on Jan 1st, be prepared for crowds and queueing.

Samples

Gifts with purchase aren't usually over the top, but sometimes when you spend a certain amount you may get a product mini or a cosmetic pouch free of charge. You can request a sample of a foundation, but instead of getting a mini pot with your matching shade you might be handed a sachet and a pamphlet. Unfortunately the sachets often come only in one shade, which is the most popular or a medium one. If you want to match and wear your shade for the whole day it's a good idea to head to the counter in the morning without make up.

Shopping etiquette in Dept. stores

When you approach a busy counter, you might be handed a waiting number. Play with samples and wait until your number is called (or keep the number visible). Sales associates might not speak English, so please be positive and patient if you don't speak Japanese. In bigger dept. stores you might be able to ask for English or Chinese assistance. The SAs are often very willing to apply the products on you, which is great if you want to test out a blush, a lipstick or match a foundation before purchasing. Sit on a chair at the testing area and place your bag and coat into a basket provided. Test the items you like, and don't be afraid to ask for a different color or product.

Some department stores give 5~10% discount coupon to tourists, so ask about it before paying. Once you're ready to purchase they often hand you a little tray for credit card or cash. Often the cosmetic counters don't have their own register, you need to wait for a moment as the SA goes to other side of the hall. When you're handed your make up products they check and show you there's no mistaken colors or damaged items. This is to avoid complaints. If you don't want your products be opened, please inform them. 

Notice the tax might be added to the price at the time of payment, often the prices listed on the counter/packaging/shelf are tax free. If you purchase tax free, you need to take the purchased items, passport and receipts to a different counter (often in downstairs). This is not the case in all shops, but often in department stores. They will check your purchase and return the tax to you as cash.

Questions?

I hope you found this post was helpful! I love talking about Japan, and there will be many more posts to come. If you're looking for reviews of a particular item, please check my tag cloud for the brand/product type or click Japanese make up. If you have any questions about shopping in Japan or requests regarding these series or a particular product(s), please leave me a comment! I hope you're having a wonderful day and talk to you soon. x

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