Introducing a new blog series titled “J-Beauty Spotlight,” where we interview key individuals based in Japan who are passionate about skincare and self-care as well as rituals and practices that are uniquely Japanese. Join us as they reveal their stories and secrets revolving around J-beauty.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Leina Bambino and I work in the entertainment industry as an MC, TV personality/host in Tokyo. I also teach English to kids and help shine light into their world. As an educator, I feel like I have been brought to Japan to inspire students and expand their hidden potential. I’m trying to be the person I needed when I was growing up.
2. What is a typical day like for you? Do you have a routine?
I usually create a to-do list the previous night for the following day. Every morning, I try to be consistent about waking up at 8:30 AM. Then I make breakfast and start my day. Since I don’t have a 9-5 job, it’s really up to me to manage my own time to stay productive.
Every day, I check for audition information from my managers, read over scripts for any upcoming gigs, edit videos for Instagram/YouTube, and depending on the day, I edit students’ essays and have lessons with them.
For leisure, I try to read self-help books at least 20-30 minutes a day. I usually resort to self-help books because they provide great advice that I can pass on to my students and my peers. It’s so easy to procrastinate during these times, especially working remotely, but having a set schedule every day really helps me stay productive.
3. Why is skincare/self-care so important to you?
Skincare is a way of life for me. I’ve always struggled with acne growing up, so finding products that worked for me was a long journey. But because I had many trials and errors, I feel like I’m able to help people who are going through a similar experience. Having healthy skin is not everything, but it will definitely help boost your confidence. Plus, it saves $$$ since I don’t have to rely on foundation to cover up my acne like I did before.
Being in the entertainment industry, you see so many people with beautiful skin. And...that’s when the little comparison devil comes out. It took a lot of regimes and positive self-talk to get to where I am right now, but I’m glad I went through it because it has shaped me to be who I am today.
4. What kind of beauty products are you currently using?
I used to suffer from acne breakouts, so I’m always on the lookout for skincare products that will tackle the problem, but in a gentle way. There are many J-beauty products that help with that, as well as irritation and itchiness, too.
With that being said, I am currently using a product that tackles a variety of skin issues, including scarring and uneven skin tone, to support the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid while brightening and moisturizing the skin. The La Vie Précieuse Moist A.P.G. Emulsion is a milky moisturizer with a gel-like consistency. It’s so luxurious yet lightweight so I consider it as a lighter version of a moisturizing cream, perfect for my morning skincare routine. I usually use this before my foundation application because I can count on it to leave my skin feeling non-greasy and my makeup lasting throughout the day. Trust me, using a different moisturizing product for day and night does matter!
For my nighttime routine, I use this emulsion as well as a thicker moisturizing cream on top since I have dry skin, but on days when I feel a little oilier or feel a breakout emerging, I will reach for this product. It plumps your skin and makes you feel rejuvenated.
5. What are some other things you do to be mindful of your overall health/well-being?
I try to keep my heart and mind healthy. As I approach my thirties, I’m more aware of what my soul needs and what truly makes me happy. I know I’m very late in the game but I’ve finally discovered the beauty of reading. Back in the day, I would only read if I had to, which I regret now. But now that I’m older and have more patience, I find myself devoting more time to sit down and read. I feel that the more educated I am, the less anxious and more confident I become. I feel that physical health and mental health are strongly connected, so I feel that if my mind is healthy, my body is healthy too.
6. What is something that you love about Japan or Japanese culture?
The 3Ps. People here are punctual, proper and polite (most of the time). Where else can I enroll to have the 3Ps this good?
Everything here is an experience; even going to the convenience store in your neighborhood. You can pay your utility bills, buy a variety of food ranging from pastas to bentos, beauty goods, and even emergency underwear in case something happens. They stock up on new sweets frequently so I cannot resist going there every other day.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Finding a skincare line and/or regime takes time, but remember, the process is a blessing. Don’t forget to have fun on the way!