Pump it, Kawaii Style!

In a previous post, I reviewed a selection of Japanese charcoal soaps. I love the packaging and the innovation of Japanese products, especially skin care and beauty products. If it has a kawaii factor, it’s even better. So when I discovered a rave review for the Biore Marshmallow Whip cleanser on Nouveau Cheap, I just had to try it. Nouveau Cheap discovered it in reviews by Cosmetic Candy and Musings of a Muse. This word-of-blog following reminds me of that Faberge Organic Shampoo commercial from the Seventies, where one woman “told two friends, and then they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on…” The press release for the product, from January 27, 2006, reads in part: “Japan’s Kao has launched a new facial cleanser. Dispensed by pump, the Biore Marshmallow Whip facial cleanser has a fine lather with a texture which claims to be similar to that of the candy.”

CANDY? I’m all for anything that’s similar to candy! So why has this cleanser been out in Japan for 5-1/2 years and still hasn’t come to America? Doesn’t Biore realize that there’s a huge following in America and Europe for cute Japanese products? Biore already markets a selection of products in the United States, so why don’t they add the Marshmallow Whip cleanser? Maybe they think the Marshmallow Whip is too cute for America? What if they changed the packaging for the American market? Sure, it wouldn’t be as much fun as having a plump, pink and white girly pump bottle on my bathroom sink, but if the product is the same, I could learn to live with a little less super-cuteness.

As for the cleanser itself, the consistency isn’t really similar to that of marshmallow as the company claims, not even Marshmallow Fluff (which was invented just outside of Boston, in Lynn, Massachusetts. Just thought I’d mention that). It’s more like a light shaving cream. But it’s definitely richer than all of those other foam cleansers that I’ve tried. You know the ones that are liquid in the bottle and then magically turn to foam when they’re dispensed, only to return to liquid pretty much upon contact with skin? The Biore Marshmallow Whip remains a foam on the skin, making washing with it a real pleasure. It doesn’t really smell like marshmallow, the fragrance is more like that generic fruity/floral fragrance found in many cleanser. But it’s not offensive. And my skin doesn’t feel dry or tight after I use it. Like other reviewers have said, it doesn’t really remove eye makeup that well, but I’m okay with that. The sensory experience of washing with a rich, lightly scented foam pumped out of a cute little bottle more than makes up for the minor inconvenience of using a separate eye-makeup remover.

I found Biore Mashmallow Whip cleanser on Cosme Land for $13, but both Nouveau Cheap and Musings of a Muse live in cities with a large Asian population, and report that it can be found in Japanese dollar and specialty stores, sometimes at a cheaper price.

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