If you’re a follower of the r/asianbeauty subreddit you definitely won’t have been able to escape the hype surrounding the release of Pokémon themed products by Japanese brand Its’ Demo. I doubt I need to give much pre-amble to this review because we all know you’re interested in Pikachu and Pikachu alone. Who cares if the product is total rubbish? You want him on your face, and you want him now.
I wasn’t going to buy anything from the Its’ Demo X Pokémon release, as online the prices seemed a little steep for something I’m not altogether invested in. Sure, I like Pokémon, but seeing as we can’t get Pokemon Go here in Korea, I was having some serious Pokémon aversion due to extreme jealousy syndrome (that’s not a thing but when you can’t play something the whole world is talking about, it hurts, alright?). My inner grammar stickler is also very upset by the placing of the apostrophe in the brand name. JUST WHY? I realise Japanese people don’t care about the it’s/its debacle but this errant apostrophe doesn’t even fit into that category. It just doesn’t belong there, alright?
My summer holidays took me to Japan this year, and I did find an Its’ Demo (it hurts every time I type it) store in the underground shopping area in Tenjin, Fukuoka. I recently blogged a shopping guide for Fukuoka if you are ever interested in going there. Seeing as it was easily accessible, I popped in and decided to look at the Pokémon products. Sadly, it seems, they’re not selling many any more, and most of the products were stationery-related or sweeties, neither of which spoke to me enough to spend ridiculous amounts of yen on. It seems Disney Princesses and Alice in Wonderland are Its’ (insert expletive here) Demo’s new push. There were some nail polishes left, a few lip balms, and some pressed powder tins. That was all. I decided it wasn’t worth the money, and left.
I couldn’t get the Pokémon out of my mind though. I kept telling myself this was a great opportunity (when anything is Limited Edition this is how my brain convinces me that spending money is the right thing to do). I was able to get something in store that online was way more expensive, and I wouldn’t be able to look at it and check it to see if it was what I wanted. I conceded and head back to the store to test some pressed powders out.
When trying the powders in store, I was pleasantly surprised by the feel and look of the product. It was like a cake, and I hate loose powder because I just get it everywhere and am useless in general, so this was a really appealing product for me. It had a super soft feel (its name is Airy Touch, after all), and glided onto my skin easily. It seemed to be the right colour, but I couldn’t test any of the Pokémon powders out in store as they didn’t have any tester packages open. I figured the powders of the same brand name would be the same, so tried them out instead. The only one left was in shade 01. I walked away convinced, holding my new Pikachu tin in my hands.
A translation I found of the product gave me this information, so this is the look we’re going for people!
The SPF20 PA++ face powder offers a smooth, medium coverage, minimizing the appearance of blemishes and dark spots, and refining pores while controlling sebum and hydrating skin for a soft and dewy look.
So, I’ve just cracked open the powder to see what it’s like and if it really lives up to the explanation provide above. I don’t frequently wear powder as I’m forgetful and my current one isn’t the world’s greatest (Missha Fitting Wear Cashmere Powder). It doesn’t really finish my skin off how I want or keep my make-up on. It makes it clog together, if honest. I was hoping this new powder would be worlds apart, especially as the Airy Touch powder is supposed to be one of the best in Japan.
So, first things first: packaging.
The packaging is of course why most people are likely to buy this product. It’s a cute, fun design, with bright colours and a more artistically styled version of those oh-so-familiar Pokémon. It’s in a metal casing, and you twist open the lid to get to the powder, so that means it’s unlikely to fall off or become dislodged in your make-up bag. It comes with a big, round, soft puff with a ribbon tied on the back for application. Peel away the transparent plastic on the powder to start using.
The powder is like a cake and when you press into it, it turns into a finer powder. It feels somewhat inbetween textures though – it’s not the same as a loose powder, but that’s good as powder like that can go all over the place and I can’t count how many times I’ve spilt it over myself. It’s a little heavier than regular loose powder, which I imagine gives it extra staying power. The colour I bought seems a little dark, but because it was the only one left in the shop, I didn’t have much control over that.
Taking the puff and rubbing it into the powder, it easily comes away and sticks to the puff. Applying it on my skin, it does come away like loose powder and doesn’t feel as thick as it looks when rubbing the puff into the product. You barely press it onto your skin and it already comes away. Application is really easy and fast. Pat the puff onto your face to help your make-up stay in place and last longer. I applied it onto my arm, but as I have hair there it obviously clung to that. I then applied it onto my hand, and it didn’t show up well when I took pictures. I’ll include them here but the powder is barely visible. In real life the colour was a little stronger, but it wasn’t particularly noticeable on my skin. It does last well though and I can still see it here on my hand several hours later.
It also has a really nice smell to it. I can’t put my finger on what it is, but it’s just pleasant overall. It’s not overpowering but it’s slightly sweet and somewhat wine-ish in it’s smell (that kind of sweet, fermented smell, you know?). I’m not selling it well but the fragrance is a plus point.
I have skin that is slightly on the drier side, so I make sure to moisturise well to keep my skin hydrated. I use a moisturising cushion compact (Isa Knox Micro Foam) which gives my skin a slight dewy look. Therefore powder doesn’t work too well – it gets rid of any of the shiny look and mattifies the BB, which isn’t a great look. You would have to use a more matte-looking foundation, I imagine, to get the best of this powder. I tried it first on top of my regular make-up look, and later I will show you the finish sans make-up, to contrast the two looks and see what kind of application is better. Regular make-up below:
The face powder is actually a little yellow-toned, I noticed upon application. I have this weird kind of jaundiced look. My skin is more pink-toned so the colours clash somewhat and it doesn’t look natural. It does calm down after a while and blend a little better. I don’t find it so yellow-looking after an hour or so. I only wish I had got to try this a week ago when the humidity levels were off the charts here. That would have been a real test – but we’ll have to make do with a fairly normal slightly warm workday.
Four hours later and the powder is still there. Very noticeably so. It’s not in my pores, which sometimes happens when you have bigger ones, so my make-up isn’t resting there. It’s just there. On my skin. Looking like a powder. It’s not grainy but I suppose that’s the best way to describe how it looks to me. A light powder film just resting on top of my make-up. My skin doesn’t look flawless. I’ll show you natural light too.
It looks still a little yellow and like I don’t know how to apply my make-up. It makes my skin look really dry. Especially round the eyebrow edges and forehead, I have a touch of The Simpsons. I’m willing to accept that this is because it is not my colour, but that doesn’t really excuse the powder film and the fact that it clumps together under my eyes and on my forehead. Perhaps it’s my BB cream but let’s face it, powder should help set and work with your make-up, so I’m a little disappointed. It’s supposed to give me a ‘soft and dewy look’ but all it’s given me is a ‘smokes 500 a day look’. Please tell me you can see the horrific patchy powder clumping below, as I feel it doesn’t show up as much in pictures!
Without make-up it applies much better and doesn’t have the same clumping ‘I am DEFINITELY wearing powder guys’ look. I am still looking fairly like I’m suffering from scurvy but let’s just all accept that it’s not my colour and if you’re not my tone you should get along fine with it. It feels super soft on my skin and I can’t stop stroking my cheeks. However, I do feel a little irritated that it’s better without make-up as that’s hardly the point of powder. Is this supposed to replace your BB/foundation or something?
Left is no make-up at all (just primer), and right is with powder and scurvy.
|Talc, Squalane, Diisostearyl Malate (Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane) Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Hydrated Silica, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Tocopherol, Hydroxyapatite, Fragrance, Lauroyl Lysine, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Silica Dimethicone, Iron Oxides, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Methicone|
Oh dear. Not being able to read Japanese means I wasn’t really able to determine the ingredients in store. The first is talc, which is a controversial ingredient in skincare. It is widely accepted that talc containing asbestos is harmful to humans. Fret not regarding asbestos – no skincare products use this type of talc. The studies done on talc not containing asbestos range in results. While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared talc to be safe with reasonable use, studies continue but generally have not produced any type of conclusive data. Take a look at this evaluation from the IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans:
6. Evaluation and Rationale
6.1 Cancer in humans
There is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of titanium dioxide.
6.2 Cancer in experimental animals
There is sufficient evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of titanium dioxide.
6.3 Overall evaluation
Titanium dioxide is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
Well would you look at that? Titanium dioxide, the last mentioned in the study evaluation here, and listed as being ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’, is an ingredient in the Airy Touch Powder. Again, there is severe lack of data to prove this in humans, but when tested on animals, rats who breathed in the substance were at increased risk of developing lung tumours. Titanium dioxide is generally considered safe in small doses, so it can be found in a fair few cosmetics. I don’t want to scaremonger here – rather point out ingredients that are known to be a little controversial, so you can make your own decisions. Personally, growing up in a country where The Sun (terrible sensationalist newspaper in The UK) told the public of a new cancer-causing substance or product we used in our daily lives, it’s made me a little blasé when it comes to this kind of thing. Sure, I’ll not overuse, and I’ll apply with care and proceed with caution when seeing these ingredients in my beauty products, but I probably won’t give them up entirely.
If you are interested in reading the report on talc and titanium dioxide, you can find it here. Be warned though, it is several hundred pages long. I couldn’t read it all, but I sifted to find the data and information I wanted. I am in no way a scientist.
So how do I feel about this product? How did a cute picture of Pikachu turn into me reading in-depth about the effect of talc on our nether regions?
I really liked the product when I tested it in the shop from another tin. I’m slightly worried I got a different type and had no idea because it was all in Japanese, just because the application even feels a little different. This one feels much more powdery than the thicker substance I tried in the shop. If I liked the results more, I’d continue to use it, but as it makes my skin look like I’ve dusted myself in yellow icing sugar, I’ll probably not bother, especially now I know talc is in the mix. It’s not why I’d stop using it, though. I probably just won’t use it as it doesn’t do what it says on the tin (literally). I’m glad to have the packaging though, and paid 1600 yen ($15.60/€14/£12) for it, which is OK I suppose when we consider it as a limited edition item.
You can find Pokemon X Its’ (rage face) Demo Airy Touch Powder here for roughly $26. If you’re willing to pay that much for a tin, that is.