Last November Husbo and I ran away for a few days and went to Japan.

Before kids, he and I loved to travel, but the flying really wore me out and I’d usually start my holidays looking tired and hagged.  I’m just so shit at sleeping on planes, that my eyes puff up and feel like they’re falling out of my head.  *insert ‘excess baggage’ joke here.  I needn’t have worried as we landed in Tokyo though, because as my friend and tour guide Lani informed me, eye bags are big in Japan.

We all want what we haven’t got, and while Caucasian women work their eyes into elongated, winged out looks to defy their roundness, Asian women are painting bags under theirs to create it.

Lani took me to a local drug store type thingy – I can’t really remember – you can buy whiskey on the rocks at the 7 Eleven over there and drink it anywhere – it was all a bit of a blur.  Anyway, wherever we were, she showed me the liners they sell for achieving such a look, and without mentioning any names, let’s just say, ‘Maybe she’s born with it?  Maybe it’s the three day bender she’s just been on’, had a product called (and I kid you not) Big Eyes, Love Bags Liner.  LOVE BAGS!!  I nearly spat out my drink!  I’ve called a few things ‘Love Bags’ over the years, but not my fluid retaining, lymphatic blocked, lack of sleep, too much alcohol, cried myself to sleep, puffy under eyes.

Lani demonstrated it on herself – she is a beautiful half Japanese, half Caucasian woman.  It’s like a frosty liquid eyeshadow that you apply to your lower eye lid, making it appear puffy, so your eyes look rounder? What?  There was no way in hell I was putting that crap on me.  Lani is young and gorgeous, and sleep deprivation is yet to ravage her, so she didn’t look too bad.  I however, was already rocking my own ‘couldn’t f*cking sleep on the plane’ love bags, so I passed.

Let this be a lesson in highlighting ladies.  Don’t put it anywhere that you don’t want looking puffy.  I’m talking about the upper eye lid – above the crease.  I don’t know who the sadistic arsehole was who started telling women to do this (back in the 80s I suspect) but unless your upper lids recede back into your head, and you really do need them to stick out, then steer clear.  It just makes your eyes look heavy and tired.  Opt instead for a neutral matte colour, one shade darker than your foundation, as this will recede a puffy lid and make the pretty part of your eyes stand out.  Or, just do whatever you want.

Back to the bags though.  Now that I knew this was a Japanese beauty trend and standard, I started seeing it everywhere.  Gorgeous young models on huge billboards with porcelain skin, and you guessed it, love bags.  Crazy.  I would kill, well maybe not kill, but I’d certainly prefer to have those bits of my face sit nice and smooth and flat, rather than hang down like fleshy reminders of a life void of relaxation.  But I’m a bit weird like that.

Needless to say, the obsession with perfection and unrealistic beauty standards is strong in Japan. Fortunately, the natural beauty market, which gives women a bit more flexibility with their looks and eases up on the pressure to be perfect, is alive and well.  Before I went to Tokyo, I did a bit of research into where I might find some kind beauty treats, and it was on Australian brand Zuii’s Instagram that I discovered Cosme Kitchen.  Sniffing about on their translated website, I found that along with Zuii they stock a whole bunch of other natural Australian brands, as well as organic and eco friendly beauty from around the globe.  Of course they carry a whole lotta Japanese stuff too, and it was here that I had a little shoppy shop.

My shopping list was as follows…

DO ORGANIC Cleansing Liquid.  I accidentally bought a foaming cleanser during a Lost In Translation moment, but it doesn’t seem to dry my skin out so I think I’ll be OK.
SHIGETA X COSME KITCHEN Blossom for Lovers Roll On with Organic Essential Oils.  I swear this roll on perfume oil was made for me.  I wish they’d had it in bucket size.
AMRITARA Damask Rose Moisture Gel. Super hydrating and beautifully perfumed gel that I wear like a serum or just sniff every now and then for fun.

And finally…

F ORGANICS Cleansing Cream, Moisture Lotion, Moisture Milk and Moisture Face Masks.  Holy incredible skincare Batman, this brand is aaaaaamazing. If you ever find yourself in Japan or you can get it online, just trust me when I say, “BUY ALL OF IT!”.  I think this is one of the most beautiful skincare brands, natural or otherwise, that I have ever tried.  Talk about happy, content and balanced skin.  It’s just so freaking good.  The cleanser, oh my god, the cleanser.  It’s a milk that massages on and feels like an oil.  It’s absolute cleansing perfection and I want to kiss it and marry it.  It’s totally worth the flight alone.

Aside from the love bags and the fun time I had in Cosme Kitchen, Japan, and Tokyo specifically, was one of my absolute favourite destinations to visit.  We were only there for five nights, but we managed to do so much without exhausting ourselves.  My highlight was seeing Shonen Knife play to no more than 100 people in a divey little bar down a back alley in the middle of I Have No Idea Where We Were.  It was so Rock’n’Roll.  They chatted to the croud in the cutest Japanese, none of which I understood, until one of them said “Australia”, and I woo hooed like a crazy person – not so Rock’n’Roll.  The Yoshitomo Nara cafe also scratched my art fan itch for all things cute and quirky.  I also loved the people and their politeness and consideration of others.  For a city with such a massive population, it never once felt crowded or hard to get around.  I loved the trains, and the taxis, and the cleanliness, and the food, and the whiskey, I loved the whiskey.  I mostly just really loved the whiskey…and the love bags… and the trains.  Choo Choo!

Kind Beauty Points : All brands featured are cruelty free, natural or organic and eco friendly.