Sample Queen – Part II

I received so many samples from Curél, so I thought they deserved yet another post of their own. Curél Singapore will actually send you samples if you’re interested in trying out their products. I tried two links: here’s one, and here’s the other.

Curél, Japan’s No.1 Brand for Sensitive Asian Skin is formulated from Kao’s extensive dermatological science research. From face and body to scalp and hair, Curél’s hydrating and moisture-retaining ceramide care targets the actual causes of sensitive Asian skin and provides highly effective solutions to improve skin condition.

My mum first introduced me to Curél a few years ago, when she purchased a trial kit (which includes the Foaming Wash, Makeup Cleansing Gel, Moisture Face Milk, and Moisture Lotion II; the larger-sized items pictured above). Admittedly, I wasn’t really into skincare when I was 16 – I never touched the Moisture Face Milk or Moisture Lotion! Although I still have them, they’re probably headed to the trash now :/

What I did like was their Makeup Cleansing Gel, and the Foaming Wash. The Makeup Cleansing Gel is packaged in a squeeze-out tube, and it comes out as a clear, sticky gel. It is amazing at getting eye makeup off; usually, water based removers don’t do a lot for my eye makeup. I just end up with a smokey eye from all the remaining eyeliner/mascara. Oil-based removers? Nooooope! Those get in my eyes (or even my contacts) and leave me with blurry vision for ages! But this… this Makeup Cleansing Gel gets every bit of makeup off my face without leaving me uncomfortable. While it is amazing, it’s not HG level as micellar cleansing water is for me.

Makeup Cleansing Gel: 4half

As for the Foaming Wash, I was in need of a new face wash after breaking up with Biore at the start of 2014. I purchased a full-sized 150ml bottle of it (mum had already finished the mini-sized 90ml one and recommended it!) and it’s lasted me almost the whole year! It thoroughly cleanses my face every day, but one issue I have with it is that I developed dry skin this year; foaming face washes are not that suitable for dry skin types. While my face feels clean after cleansing, it feels a little bit tight.

Foaming Wash: ★★★★☆ (for dry combi skin types)


Sebum Care Trial Kit

What’s included:

  • Curel Sebum Care Moisture Gel (7ml)
  • Curel Sebum Care Lotion (8ml)

About 3 days after I sent in my request, I received the Sebum Care set in the mail. They were really quite generous (most samples come in foil sachets – I don’t like foil sachets) – 2 products were provided! I used them on a particularly oily day – first impression: effective! My T-zone was definitely less oily than without using the lotion and gel. I keep the gel with me in my makeup pouch, and it’s been an absolute lifesaver in dry skin emergencies!

First impression: ★★★★☆

Then… 2 weeks later, I checked the mailbox and I’d received the second sample set from them!

Face Sample Pack

What’s included:

  1. Curél Makeup Cleansing Gel (6g)
  2. Curél Intensive Moisture Cream (4g)
  3. Curél Moisture Eye Zone Essence (2.6g)
  4. Curél Moisture Lotion III Enrich (8ml)
  5. Curél Moisture Lotion II (8ml)
  6. Curél Moisture Face Milk (8ml)

That’s 6 products for me to try!

I’ve been interested in finding the right eye cream/essence to help with my panda eyes, so sampling Curél’s is a must-do for now! Also, one thing I noticed – there are two different kinds of lotions, II and III Enrich. Basically, the only difference is that:

Contains Eucalyptus extract that penetrates deeply into the stratum corneum so skin becomes smooth, fully moisturized and resistant to external irritation. Helps to improve your skin’s natural barrier function, soothe and protect skin from dryness. Leaves a rich moist/thoroughly moist feel. Suitable for very dry skin.

First impression: ★★★★☆

After trying their products, it’s quite clear that their products aren’t gimmicky or anything – their products are effective due to the ceramide in them. From Curél:

“Ceramides are natural lipids and are a major component in surface skin structure. They serve as part of the “glue” that holds surface skin cells together. Dry, irritated, and sensitive skin often lacks ceramides. As a result, skin’s protective barrier is compromised and becomes more susceptible to environmental factors, changes of season, and other irritants.”

While it is true that Ceramide is an effective moisturizer, I’ve read that the skin lacks Ceramide in winter, and hence is more effective in winter weather, while Hyaluronic Acid is more effective in the summer? I will do some research on this soon.

Curél’s products are extremely gentle, and suitable for sensitive skin – so I’ve been recommending it to all my friends with sensitive skin 🙂 However, I’ve got pretty hardy skin, and am hunting for stronger products – for now, I’ll probably look elsewhere for acids instead! (although I must admit, I am re-considering re-purchasing the foaming facial wash after the Hada Labo was a mild disappointment. will update soon)

Haulidayin in Taipei and Hong Kong

It was a blast shopping in Taipei and Hong Kong! Sure, it may seem as though the same things are sold there as in Singapore, but… not really no. Prices are wildly different, I must say.

Combined haul between me and my mum! I’m actually surprised that my biggest haul product this time was… sheet masks :O

Products opened up! I actually purchased 4 more boxes of the usual MBD masks for friends but… that was before I remembered to take a picture. Also LoveMore masks for my mum.


1. Sheet Masks

Sheet masks have their own post because of how special these masks are there! I purchased them from a few brands: 1. L’Herboflore, 2. My Beauty Diary, 3. Lovemore, 4. FaceQ, 5. SexyLook. I forgot to include the Lovemore masks in the haul pic!

Here is the link to the general sheet masks (on the way!) post, and to my L’Herboflore experience.


2. Cosmetics

Maybe I haven’t looked closely enough, but I really haven’t seen brands like Banila Co in Singapore. I was about to buy Banila Co’s CC Cream on RRS, but then I saw it in Bonjour HK!

Banila Co: Whitening Moisturizing Color Control Base, i.e. it Radiant CC Cream (SPF 30 PA++)

This was purchased on sale from Bonjour HK, for 98HKD – which is about $17SGD, versus 22,000krw (~$28SGD). It was actually the cheapest I could find around Mongkok – I visited at least 5 of each (Bonjour, Colormix, and Sasa) and I found that Bonjour had the best prices more or less!

1. This handy pump dispenser provides for more hygienic access to the CC cream

IMG_47722. What the CC cream looks like, unblended

IMG_47763. What the CC cream looks like half blended

IMG_47774. Left side has no CC cream, right side has blended CC cream.
Do note that my hand is slightly tanner than my face!

First impression: ★★★★★ +++ HG LEVEL!!!!!

It’s no wonder that the Banila Co CC Cream came out as one of the top contenders on Get It Beauty – it certainly is moisturizing, provides basic sun protection, and brightens your face. Definitely dedicating a review post to this (and other CC creams) soon!


Banila Co: Prime Primer

The Classic and Hydrating primers were 96 and 104 HKD (~SGD$17) respectively. One is for my mother, one is for me – she hasn’t decided which one she likes more. The former is very much like a standard silicone primer – translucent, pore-covering, while the latter is more like an emulsion.

After trying on both products over the past couple of weeks, I’d say that for someone who doesn’t like the feeling of heavy products on her face, I prefer using the Classic one over my pore-y zone (nose, inner cheeks) only, due to its heavy silicone content. On the other hand, the hydrating one can easily be spread all over my face without any icky feeling, and holds my makeup in place throughout long days.

Note: These are quite heavily scented, as compared to the CC cream. While the initial application annoys my nose for a while, the scent eventually fades, which is fine if you ask me.

First impression: ★★★★☆


 Bite Beauty: Mix N’ Mingle Lip Minis (Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo)

Not exactly a part of my trip, but Judith got this for me in Sephora USA 🙂 It’s a beautiful Fig/Date combo, albeit really tiny.

First impression: 4half


3. Skincare

Kanebo Media UV Protect Milk (SPF50+, PA+++) and Biore UV Bright Face Milk (SPF50+, PA++++)

IMG_4617

These were purchased in Taipei and Hong Kong respectively. The latter was around $8SGD in Bonjour HK, while it retails for ~$15.70 in Watsons Singapore.


DHC Eyelash Tonic

To be honest, these were just backup purchases for me! I noticed that 3 months of religious usage left me with 50% of the tonic – so this should be one year’s supply. Prices varied from 310 – 379NT (~$15SGD), while my previous purchase from TesterKorea was about 14,000krw (~$20SGD) – and it retails for $27.50 in Watsons Singapore.

This is a HG product for me, and will be reviewed in due time 🙂


4. Samples

Laneige: Perfect Renew Trial Kit

This gift set was purchased for my grandma, so I’m not too sure how it actually is! However, she said it wasn’t quite suitable for her sensitive skin – so I would recommend AGAINST it for people with sensitive skin.


Iope Gift Sets

IMG_4925

I purchased two Iope gift sets for my mum – the Plant Stem Cell Skin Perfection Special Gift Set, and the Moistgen Skin Hydration Special Gift Set! Here’s what’s inside:


Banila Co: The Best Collection

Perfect for me to try everything out! I love this entire set – the deluxe-sample-sized products are great for me to bring along in my makeup pouch, especially considering how much I love the CC Cream. This set came with an extra gift, the Lip Therapy Lip Treatment Stick. Surprisingly, I love it – it moisturizes my lips like butter, and it tastes yummy!


Edit: I ended up dumping all the pictures in this post!

P.S. I just tried pairing my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion with my Clio Kill Black Brush Liner.
O M G why have I never done this before!!! Previously I’d always have issues with smearing eyeliner due to my oily lids, and I just felt this twinge of disappointment about how my eyeliner wasn’t /pitch/ black – but now, with my HG duo, I have the smoothest, blackest, most long-lasting eyeliner :’)

“Haulidayin” – #2

While I was away at Grad Night, my most recent order finally arrived. I ordered some stuff off Qoo10 on 27th November, and both arrived on 2nd December – pretty fast, considering they came all the way from Seoul! My Testerkorea orders tend to take 2-3 weeks to arrive in Singapore – Qxpress is tons faster I must say.

I included my Asos swing earrings since Mary passed them to me during the sleepover. Pink faux pearl swing earrings!


1. Mizon 90% Toners (3 x 210ml for $15)

There was this great 1+1+1 deal for $15 on Qoo10, sold directly by Mizon themselves, and since I was in need of a toner I decided on this set. They’re actually ₩12,150.00 on Roseroseshop each – which would add up to around $45!! Mizon’s pricing schemes really confuse me, since their products are supposedly the cheapest on RRS… Anyway, thank goodness the toners were packaged in sealed plastic – the Bulg Rose toner leaked a little inside 😮

I’ve never tried these toners before, so I selected one of each:

  1. Witch Hazel, for ‘Pore Tightening’
  2. Camomile, for ‘Skin Soothing and Moisture’
  3. Bulg(arian) Rose, for ‘Deep Moisture and Sensitive’

From Mizon Korea

I was actually most excited for the Bulg Rose toner! I love anything remotely rose-scented – I think the only scented product I own is my rosewater spray. While they smell pretty good, I haven’t managed to try all of them yet, so I’ll post a review soon.

Mizon also packed in 2 free samples – No.1 Moist King’s Berry Mask Sheets! They actually retail for ₩2000 each.


2. Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence (3 x 50ml for $20)

I think this has been raved about more than enough online, so I won’t go into too much detail. This essence is usually compared to the SKII Facial Treatment Essence, and as such probably the Missha First Treatment Essence (I have a sample of this! I’ve yet to try it) as well. I’ll… also do a comparison of the 3 soon! Probably plus the Mizon dupe too.

My mum received a tiny 4ml sample (so cute!) of it a couple of months ago when we were shopping in the Innisfree flagship store in Ngee Ann City, and since she didn’t want it, I dumped some of it into my Missha Magic Cushion…. and then I realised I liked it. I slathered the remaining what, 1ml all over my face? and waited for results. Not sure what I expected with one use, but hey I liked it so I ordered more from Qoo10!

The essence cost me $20 for 50ml x 3, while it costs $53 for the same 150ml on innisfreeworld.com. I really love sample sized-items – they’re so much more portable, and I can keep most of the product fresh by keeping the rest away. I’d say there’s really little scent to it, as compared to many other heavily scented Innisfree products.

img_soybeanEssence_view1From Innisfree Global

Sample Queen – Part I

I don’t think samples really count as a part of your haul, but alright… Since I’ve got so many samples, I think they deserve their own post. I received/ordered quite a few items – some from free sources in Singapore, some from SampleStore, and some from Roseroseshop. First impressions included! I will come back to update this post once I’ve finished using the product.


1. Benton Snail Bee Essence & Steam Cream

Woo I hope this is good! Snails and Bees on my face – I’ve patch-tested this on my neck and it seems fine so far. First impression: the essence is really thick, and has to be swabbed out of the bottle by a cotton tip. The steam cream is scentless, and was very helpful when I was in the dry and dusty Taipei and Hong Kong.

First impression: ★★★★☆


2. Missha Super Aqua Ultra Water-full Clear Cream

I received 1 sachet of this in a previous TesterKorea order and I managed to get 3-4 uses on my full face out of one sachet! It was really good at hydrating my face and feels really light on my skin – so I got a 10-pack. I purchased a small airless pump bottle to store this in, and it’s held well for the past couple of months. However, this cost around SGD$4… Which is pricier than the Mizon Snail Recovery Gel.

First impression: 4half


3. Missha First Treatment Essence

Everyone raves about this, so I obviously had to get a 10-pack of samples. I transferred everything out of the foil samples into a small 18ml Muji bottle… Even though there’s supposedly 1ml in each packet, I’d say there’s slightly less – maybe about 0.8ml. Not a big deal, but just FYI.

First impression: ★★★★☆

4. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule (i.e. Missha Long Name Ampoule)

I also transferred 8/10 sample packets into a 5ml bottle. I finished a Q10 serum from Skin Inc a couple of weeks ago, so the empty bottle came in pretty handy for this serum sample! I expect this to last me a good few weeks, since I use serums quite sparingly. (i.e. it’ll last long enough until I get my other serums from RRS :o) I’ve used this ampoule for a week now, and the consistency is quite thick.

First impression: ★★★★☆


5. Cetaphil Set

Of all the free samples I received, Cetaphil was the only one who provided 3 different products! Wenxin recommended the Gentle Skin Cleanser anyway, and yes it does what it says – it’s extremely gentle on my face, so it’s perfect after using a wipe-off, oil-based makeup cleanser. I’m definitely considering purchasing this!

First impression: ★★★★☆


6. Acnes Set 

I suppose this will be helpful every month…? Mum suggested I try this anyway… How… do I use the Sealing Jell though?

First impression: 3half


7. Hada Labo Samples

L-R: Whitening Perfect Gel, Gokujyun Lotion, Shirojyun Lotion

Perfect for travel! I currently own the big bottles anyway, I can always pour more in if the travel bottles run out. Maybe I’ll review the Hada Labo products I have in another post.

First impression: ★★★★★


8. Biore Micellar Cleansing Water

Err… Maybe the picture isn’t that relevant but this is AMAZING. Okay maybe just as amazing as my Bifesta Cleansing water but w o w one swab of this across eyeshadow and it’s clean!!!!! Maybe I’m overreacting? I received 2 x 7ml samples from all over the place, and depotted it into an 18ml Muji bottle – I’ve already finished half of it in 3 days. Diz stuff is gooood.

First impression: ★★★★★


9. Innisfree

I got this with my previous TK order. I couldn’t find a lot of reviews online, but it was only 300krw… What a disappointment though 😦 The lotion is brown in colour, and heavily scented, very herbal-y or lavender-y. Seemed like just another standard emulsion anyway.

First impression: ★★☆☆☆

Innisfree: Green Christmas Jelly Tint Set

Innisfree’s Green Christmas Holiday Collection this year looked amazing! I purchased the Green Christmas Jelly Tint Set (3 x 3ml).

Purchased from: Testerkorea, ₩10,500 / ~SGD$13 (or SGD$22.75 on Innisfreeworld.com)

Colours #1 Warm Cotton Candy Pink, #2 Sweet Orange Cookie, and #3 Refreshing Red Berry. Very christmassy!

Swatched R-L, as you can see, it’s a darker red, an orange, and a candy pink.

Blended swatch R-L. While it gives a fairly thick and sticky consistency, it doesn’t stain as well as I’d like. I’d probably say it stains less than the Eco Flower Tint.

Removal with DHC’s cleansing oil; if un-blotted, it comes off fairly easily, but there’s a mild stain left.

Will update with long-wear on lips soon!