Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Monthly Skincare Snippets: Shiseido AquaLabel Moisture (Red) for January 2014!

Before beauty blogging, I wasn't into any kind of skincare at all. I thought I could get away with it since I didn't have a blemish problem and dry patches are pretty easy to hide anyway. I felt like few hundred microscopic flakes were easier to get away with than a handful of dark spots and red volcanoes. I just take a step back and hope you don't have superhuman vision.

Or, I could just use BB cream when I'm feeling extra dry and I'm out the door, no problem.

Frankly, I still believe I can get away with not doing any skincare at all. My skin looks fine when I'm not putting anything on it. But I don't want to be a skincare bum and regret that decision when I'm irreversibly old and wrinkly. As with diet and exercise, skincare is a lifestyle choice that seems like a hassle while you're doing it, but turns out an even bigger hassle if one were to skip on it.

Previously, I made half-hearted attempts to empty my skincare sets before moving on, but there's just too much product to be used in so little time. My *rules* got stupid really fast, and I hadn't even finished one fricking set of skincare. Do trial sachets count?

So I thought I would take one skincare set each month and test it out. Whatever's left afterwards can be something for me to get back to when I'm feeling a little nostalgic, but at least I'll have made a dent in my skincare collection before it all expires.

I gather a month's worth of trial would be good enough.

Let's start with my January buddy: The Shiseido AquaLabel Moisture (red packaging.)

Shiseido AquaLabel Moisture (Red) in packaging
Shiseido AquaLabel Moisture (Red)


JPY 840, or at today's exchange rate, around Php 370. I got it from Japan's Duty Free Store, FaSoLa, located in Narita Airport. I picked it up on a whim on the connecting flight to Texas last year (haul post here.)

My Skincare Haul

I was initially ripping my tits off about the steal, because hello. At Php 370 I can probably only get half a smidge of Shiseido anti-aging cream or something. Liz of Project Vanity explained to me that Shiseido has a bunch of drugstore sub-brands, also helpfully named Shiseido, so I shouldn't be too enthusiastic about this.

Product Description:

The red Shiseido AquaLabel travel set is the Moisture variant. There's another variant, a blue set, which I'm told is the Whitening variant.

This set contains:

Shiseido AquaLabel Travel Set (Red) Dispensed
Shiseido AquaLabel Travel Set: Dispensed

Creamy Oil Cleanser (20g) - The name's pretty straightforward; it's an oil-based, creamy cleanser. If you have the Majolica Majorca Eyes Reset Gel, it's almost exactly like that. Majolica Majorca is by Shiseido, so go figure. AquaLabel COC and Majolica Majorca ERG are both like watery petroleum jelly. They are technically creams but they melt once you start rubbing them on your face. In the photo, you can see a liquidy streak in the swatch 'cause my body heat melted it.

I prefer these formulations over traditional petroleum jelly as the thickness of petroleum jelly irritates my eyes. Slight difference is that Shiseido's  COC has a minor floral scent.

Milky Mousse Foam (20g) - The Milky Mousse Foam is comparable to another Shiseido favorite, The Skincare Cleansing Foam (got it from my November 2012 BDJ Box and reviewed here). The AquaLabel MMF is airy yet thick; thicker than even mousse foundation. When lathered over the face, it has a soft bouncy texture which is one of my favorite traits from this cleanser. Afterwards, it leaves me feeling very clean and a little bit tight, but not irritated.

Moisturising Toner R (20ml) - With the last two items, AquaLabel has S, R and RR variants. S is for Refreshing, R is for Moisturising and RR is for Really Moisturising. Both Toner and Lotion in the set are the R variant.

This is alcohol-free, I believe. I didn't swatch it as it was too runny to leave on my skin.

Moisturising Lotion R (20ml) - This is the final step in the travel kit. It's a very watery lotion that leaves my face feeling wet and kind of icky 'til about twenty minutes after.

The actual AquaLabel line has a few more face, eye and lip creams. There's also a mask, a couple of essences and pressed powder in there. Check the full line here.

How to Use:

Remove makeup using the Creamy Oil Cleanser. I use it all over the face, gently massaging all the dirt and dissolving all the makeup off. You're supposed to take off all excess cleanser with a tissue before using the foam, but I like to leave a bit of residue. Sometimes I feel like the MMF is too stripping, so I leave a thin film of COC beforehand to help buffer the harshness.

Next, I cleanse using the Milky Mousse Foam. I squeeze out about 1.5 pea-sized dollop and lather over a wet face.

I use 3-5 dots of the Moisturising Toner on a flat cotton round and lightly swish over all the face, avoiding the eye and lip area. It's a little watery and evaporates too easily so while I normally use three, I sometimes let myself go up to five.

Lastly, I smooth the runny Moisturising Lotion over the face and throat. It's very easy to spread even with light motions as it is really light and thin.

The items are arranged in order of recommended use when you purchase the product.


I thought I'd get a smashing dupe out of the more expensive Shiseido stuff, since this is from the same brand. Majolica Majorca and ZA, being the drugstore brands of Shiseido, have fantastic comparable items for a fraction of the price.

That said, the AquaLabel travel set is only half a win for me.

The Creamy Oil Cleanser is fantastic! It's gentle but effectively removes even my waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. The Milky Mousse Foam is also a great dupe for Shiseido The Skincare Cleansing Foam's unique texture.

The half that failed it for me is the Toner and Lotion. The Toner didn't really soften me like the higher-end, Holy Grail, Shiseido Benefiance Softener. In fact I didn't feel like it softened me any more than I normally am, but at least it helped control my flakes.

The Lotion wasn't a complete dud either. It got my skin smooth but not necessarily softer. That's why I've come to the conclusion that moisture is "shallow" and only acted on the surface layer. It wasn't deep-acting and didn't improve the deeper parts of my skin.

Please annoy yourselves with a picture of me fanning myself with the cardboard backing. This little freebie is perfect for drying my face in between layers. I felt like such a genius when I discovered I could use it as a fan. Thank you.

Cardboard backing / Fan


A taste of Shiseido for less than Php 500.


Though ultra-convenient with it's waterproof plastic zip-top and airplane-approved volumes, I don't think the Toner and Lotion would do me any actual good during travel since my skin goes extra dry when I'm not in our crazily humid Inang Bayan (Motherland.)

I would probably get the large version of the Creamy Oil Cleanser (110g, USD 20-30 online) and the Milky Mousse Foam (130g, USD 10-15 online). AquaLabel Foam at Php 670 vs. Shiseido The Skincare Foam at Php 1850 = WIN!

Shiseido AquaLabel Travel Set (Red) after one month
Shiseido AquaLabel Travel Set (Red) after approx. one month's use

Beauty by Tellie score: 3.5 / 5 = Good drugstore product, but not enough.

Overall, this is a pretty okay set. It's conveniently packaged and easily portable. I love the waterproof pouch and cardboard backing!

It has my standard, most basic fare for my makeup remover-cleanser-toner-moisturizer routine. I can live off this, this is exactly my default routine!

I want to love it soooo much but I just don't appreciate the fact that being the moisturizing variant, I felt like I only got very shallow moisture. I wasn't an ugly, flaky mess like I was pre-skincare (pre-beauty blogging) but I wasn't really all that hot either. My cheeks weren't extra bouncy and my skin seemed fine on the surface but thirsty from within.

It's merely okay. I consider it maintenance product. No next-level beauty to be had here.


Monthly Skincare Snippets is a year-long project of mine using one skincare set consistently for a month. I only have two rules: use it at night and don't allow more than seven days of non-usage.

I wanted to have a deadline for products instead of waiting for them to get used up, because I'm quite slow in emptying skincare products. This is my way of making a dent on the various skincare samples I've accumulated.

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