Beauty Tools: Cotton and Blotting Paper

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This series will focus on various beauty tools that can be used to aid in applying makeup and beauty products. Cotton rounds, cotton squares such as the Acymer 2x Makeup Cotton Pads and cotton pads are beauty tools that are often underestimated.

Differences

  • Cotton rounds are often hypoallergenic, as well as ultra-soft, lint-free and quilted for strength and durability. They are made especially for both the application of toners, astringents and lotion and the removal of nail polish and eye makeup. Some brands also offer exfoliating cotton rounds, which maintain a micro-head exfoliating surface for extra deep cleansing, in addition to the same application and removal uses as standard cotton rounds.
  • Cotton squares are the ideal solution for manis and pedis. Their super-soft surface is lint-free for high-shine buffing, and is great for applying cuticle cream and for removing multiple layers of nail polish. Like cotton rounds, many brands offer exfoliating cotton squares, which use exfoliating micro beads to remove stubborn glitter or nail polish bits.
  • Cotton balls, like the other cotton products may be used with your favorite cleansers, astringents, and toners. They are best used for applying oil, lotion or powder, but can fall apart in the hands easily when wet and leave bits of cotton and fuzz on the face.

Uses

  • The lotion mask method. This method was made famous by Chizu Saeki, a world-famous Japanese beauty guru and skincare specialist. Simply soak cotton pads in lotion or toner and place on the face for 10 to 15 minutes as a cheap and inexpensive face mask. The theory is that the cotton pads will absorb the liquid and when applied to the face, the liquid will seep in like any other kind of facial mask.

Alternative – Aburatorigami Blotting Papers

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Another form of facial sheet is the Aburatorigami, a traditional Japanese facial oil blotting paper. The direct translation of the term is “oil removal paper”. Aburatorigami absorbs excess oil and eliminates shine from the face like a face powder would. Aburatorigami also works well to balance of water and oil in the skin and prevents skin problems.

Aburatorigami has traditionally been used by kabuki actors and geisha to keep makeup looking fresh throughout performances. In modern times it has been growing in popularity for everyday use amongst women for its various skincare benefits.

Aburatorigami was discovered for its oil-absorbing qualities several hundred years ago as a by-product of the gold leaf making process in Kyoto. Originally called hakuuchi-gami, gold leaf artisans in Kanazawa used this special paper to protect the gold during the vigorous goldbeating process.

Traditional Aburatorigami is made from the finest grade of the blotting paper abaca leaf, rather than pulp or rice paper. Aburatorigami is essentially a by-product from a traditional craft process that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, effectively using material that might otherwise be thrown away. An environmentally-friendly product, Aburatorigami can be composted after it is used, as it degrades naturally back into the earth. No oil-based chemicals, powders or fragrances are used in its production.

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