Summer Haul 2015: Taipei!

I’ve just started school this Monday, so posts are gonna slow down… Not like it can get any slower anyway 😦 Anyway I know I just went to Taipei late last year, so I don’t need that many things… and I kept to my word alright! I just bought… Uhh… A lot of sheet masks. Hehe!

Long post ahead warning!

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So this is what I purchased:

  1. Sexylook All-In-One Mask Collection (36s)
  2. FaceQ Aloe Soothing Mask (10s)
  3. FaceQ Cucumber Deep Hydration Mask (10s)
  4. FaceQ Luffa Oil Control Mask (10s)
  5. FaceQ Sake Brightening Mask (10s)
  6. FaceQ Pearl Brightening Mask (10s)
  7. My Scheming Skin Astringent Clarifying Mask (10s)
  8. Lovemore Black Pearls True White Mask (5s)
  9. Lovemore Wine Yeast Whitening Mask (5s)
  10. Lovemore Rosa Hybrida Whitening Mask (5s)
  11. Lovemore Red Pearl Barley Whitening Mask (5s)
  12. Assorted Maskingdom Mask (5s)
  13. Biore Super UV Milk (7x)
  14. Biore Aqua Jelly Makeup Remover (2x)
  15. Koelf Ruby Bulgarian Rose Eye Patch
  16. Shara Shara Honey Bomb (2x)
  17. Shiseido Therapind Lip Balms (3x)

See that’s quite decent!! Less than last year’s haul heh. Lots of masks to give to friends and family this year as well!

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And here’s another top-view of everything unboxed. Let’s begin!


Dr Hsieh Mandelic Acid Botanical Body Lotion

500ml | 86 Shop | 320NT / SGD14 | RRP 800NT / SGD35

Guys this lotion smells sooooo good. I originally intended to buy some Mandelic Acid while I was in Taipei, as I really need some AHAs/BHAs for chemical exfoliation – but after I saw the un-discounted prices I was like WHOA what on earth ok then I just didn’t buy any there :p

I did however find that this lotion is fairly reasonably priced at only SGD14, and it’s a huge bottle of 500ml! It has really really mild brightening properties, but it’s perfect for my body – after I got back from Taipei, I got noticeably tanner even with all that sunscreen. I even have a foot tan-line…. Sigh. I’ve been trying to use this consistently, so I’ll let you guys know if there’re truly any brightening results!

First Impression: ★★★★☆

Shara Shara Honey Bomb

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 250ml | Watsons | 499NT / SGD22 | RRP 30,000KRW / SGD35

Everyone’s been raving about this on r/AB, and while I thought I’d held off buying it for the next year… Or not. This purchase just represents how greedy I was on the first day in Watsons :p I was practically sweeping things off the shelves, and once I saw this I was like w a t this price is really good for a brick-and-mortar-store so I BOUGHT IT I may or may not regret this oops. I actually bought two because of the good price, but then I realised it expires in mid 2016 – and there’s absolutely no way I’ll be able to finish both in time, so I sold off the second one. I opened it to smell, and it smells promising :>

First Impression: ★★★★☆

Koelf Ruby Bulgarian Rose Hydrogel Eye Patch

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60s | 86 Shop | 299NT / SGD13

Yes! This was one of the things actually on my wishlist I created before I went to Taipei. Have any of you heard of the brand Pure Heals? Sephora Singapore brought it onto our sunny shores a few months ago, and I’ve always been up for trying new AB products in Sephora – and I feel like their stuff is surprisingly nice! Albeit overpriced – it is Sephora after all. I fell in love with the Pure Heals Ginseng Berry Eye Lift Patch, but it’s like SGD50 in Sephora so no that’s really overpriced 😦

I did find Petitfee and Koelf (probably under Petitfee too tbh) eye patches at 86 Shop in Taipei, specifically the Taipei City Hall and Ximending ones, and I chose the Bulgarian Rose one because I’m an absolute sucker for rose products :> I have heard that Petitfee’s eye patches are excessively scented, so I chose to stay away from the original flavours. This Rose one however seems decent – it’s moderately rose scented, and so far hasn’t been overwhelming! Although I haven’t placed it on my face before – I seem to be suffering from a prolonged bout of sore eyes, so I’ve barely applied any eye makeup or eye skincare in the past week for that matter 😦

First Impression: ★★★★☆

Therapind Lip Balms

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Carrefour, Cosmed, Watsons | 111/128NT / SGD5-6

So my mother purchased one of each last year when we were in Taipei, and she found that this brand makes really good lip care products! Therapind is a Made in Taiwan, but is a subsidiary of Shiseido – no surprise there. Shiseido makes tons of great lip-care products, my other HG being the Shiseido MOILIP.

What my mum finds special about the squeezy-tube one is that it has little exfoliating beads inside, which we suspect is sugar because it melts so softly into your skin after a little while! However for the sake of convenience, I purchased the two twist-up lip balms for myself – one of them is for deep hydration (repairing broken lips), and the other is for daily lip care.

tQuality: 4half

Bioré Makeup Remover Cleansing Gel

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230ml | Watsons | 269NT, BOGO = 134.5NT / SGD6 | RRP $24.90

Guys would you believe me if I told you I purchased each bottle for SGD6 only??? This actually retails for SGD24.90 in Watsons Singapore I don’t believe this

But yes. I used to LOVE my DHC Oil Cleanser, and I preached it religiously – until I found this. Last year my mother purchased 2 bottles when we were in Taipei and she gave one to me – this is so amazingly gentle on my skin, and it removes all my makeup effortlessly. Plus, it’s not oil-based so it doesn’t run down my hands and neck and everywhere leaving me gross – I’d definitely classify this as a HG first-step cleanser!

First Impression: ★★★★

Biore Super UV Milk

30ml | Carrefour, Cosmed, Watsons | 88NT /  SGD4

This is so convenient! Biore sunscreen milks are really expensive in Singapore, at around SGD15-20. This one however… is 88NT because it’s made in Taipei :O While I’ve yet to use this on my face (wanna clear the open bottles first!), J has mentioned that this seems quite promising.

Dr Wu Intensive Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid 18%

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 30ml | Qoo10.sg | $32 | RTP $65

Okay I’ll admit once again – I didn’t buy this when I was in Taipei :p I eagerly hunted through shelves after shelves of Dr Wu, Dr Hsieh, and Dr Morita acids – and I realised just how expensive everything was. It never really occurred to me that acids might be so expensive, relative to other products. I saw it on the shelves at around 1200NT, and I went back to the apartment and spotted a $20 off >$40 coupon on Qoo10 + SG50 individual coupons, so I managed to get it for a great price instead online 🙂 I’ve been using it every 2 days since I got back from Taipei, and hopefully it’s helping me smoothen out my skin! One gripe I do have about this is that it smells quite strange, quite synthetic – it does smell even when it’s on your face.

First Impression: ★★★★☆

 


Sexylook Carefully Select All-In-One Mask Collection

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6*6s (36s) | Mirada | 499NT / SGD22 ($0.62/s)

I love this stuff! As you’ve probably seen on my mini-mask-reviews previously, I quite like their masks due to their one unique feature – the neck-lifting feature. Initially I was a little irked by the fact that you have to pull the wet straps over your ears (and in extension, your hair), but I eventually got over that and I realised how firming it is for my chin – bye bye double-chinny-chin!!

So this comes in 6 different flavours, namely Q10, Pearl, Red Wine, Bird’s Nest, Bulgarian Rose, and Tranexamic Acid! I have only tried the Red Wine and Bird’s Nest ones as of today, so I’m looking forward to trying the rest 🙂

First Impression: ★★★★☆

 


Maskingdom

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Maskingdom Boutique | BOGO, ~SGD4 per sheet

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Ridiculously expensive masks at about 200NT per mask – they’re supposedly dermatologist quality, so they’re really good… But still too expensive!! Until Jazell and I discovered that they were having a special 50% off discount haha which meant that each mask was 100NT. Still expensive, but alright for masks this beautiful 🙂 They are designed by Jimmy Liao 幾米, a phenomenal Taiwanese illustrator. I love his books, and I’ve got a collection of them at home – if you ever come across any of them, be sure to pick one up!

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Ah right back to my point – masks are beautifully designed, each part of a different ‘category’ to target different skins solutions, such as hydration, aging, and all-in-one!

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Ooh and we also got some sample masks and blotting paper from the shop since it was such a great promo – J took the blotting paper, while I kept the samples 🙂 How cute the drawings are!

First Impression: ★★★★☆

 


My Scheming

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Mirada | 299NT BOGO / SGD6.50 each ($0.65/s)

Thank you Binequeen for recommending these to me! Previously I thought that this brand was just another one of those run of the mill brands, but after I checked out their stuff it’s pretty legit. While I was originally interested in the Mandelic Acid Brightening Mask, I decided to go for the actual liquid instead (good choice Allison), so I went for the skin Clarifying Astringent Mask. This mask is absolutely amazing – my skin feels thoroughly hydrated immediately after and for a long time afterwards, plus, my skin just feels tightened and lifted. Extra plus point: the weather is pretty hot now, so throwing one of these on will most definitely cool your skin down!

First Impression: ★★★★

Lovemore

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Mirada | 299NT BOGO / SGD6.50 each ($1.33/s)

Bought these for my mum – these boxes include 5 masks each, and are priced at 2 for 299NT! The silk material has an amazing fit, and smooth out on your face as if there was nothing on your face! They are however fairly expensive to me – so I currently prefer the other brands which do, in my opinion, an equally powerful job.

First Impression: ★★★★

FaceQ

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Watsons/Cosmed | 299NT BOGO / SGD6.50 each ($0.65/s)

ooooooh when my friends and I first walked into Watsons on our first night there, I spotted FaceQ masks, 2 for 299NT, and uhh…. we swept the shelves. Quite literally.

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Because this is the sheer amount of sheet masks we hauled back that night. Guys you just have to understand that I really, really, really like FaceQ masks – they’re well-priced and they’re dripping with liquid, and they’ve never failed to amaze me! My skin always feels amazing after using them even after only a short while – I feel like this brand is tons better than My Beauty Diary to be honest. I know lots of skincare products don’t really demonstrate any actual changes on my hardy skin, so seriously – this stuff rocks!

First Impression: ★★★★


Alright I think that’s enough for today. Bottomline is, I had fun in Taipei – you should too 🙂

 

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Sample Store Singapore

Disclaimer: I was NOT sponsored for this post!

Early last year, when I was still really new to all my beauty products, I was desperately hunting for places where I could get samples to try – I mean, skincare ain’t cheap! I didn’t even have a proper toner, sunscreen, or whatnot…

I came across the Sample Store, where they’ll send you samples to try in Singapore! They’re actually partnered with Singpost. Here’s how it works: you either pick free samples to checkout, or you pick up to 4 samples as part of a $5.99 order (or what they call a ‘handling fee’).

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Pictured above:

  1. Biore UV AQUA Rich Watery Gel (15ml)
  2. Bioré’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Gel (20ml)
  3. Sunplay Superblock SPF130 PA+++ (6ml)
  4. White Formula Super Moist Toner (35ml)
  5. White Formula Super Moist Light Toner (35ml)
  6. My Beauty Diary Vanilla Moisturizing Aroma Mask x2 (23ml)

For instance, I’ve pictured 2 separate orders above: the two Bioré products on the left are free! While I do own the Bioré Watery Essence, and the old formula of Bioré’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Gel, I’ve never tried these new versions before – so this is a great way for me to try before I buy! 🙂 (plus, these sample sizes, 15ml and 20ml, are absolutely perfect for me to travel with!!!)

I picked Sunplay because I own the spray version, but I’ve never tried the ‘original’ – wanted to see how it compared to Bioré’s! The packaging for this sample is SO. CUTE.!!!!!! It’s basically a tiny version of the actual product, and it even includes a little ball bearing inside for you to shake it up :> I’ve yet to try this because I’ve got too many sunscreens open right now, so… yes!

I picked the White Formula Toners as I’ve heard lots of good things about them. I saw them all over the place when I was in Taiwan last year, and they’re supposedly the bestselling toners at their price range in Taiwan? If they’re somehow live up to my HG Hada Labo toners (they seem very similar!!), I’m all up for trying this!!

As for the MBD masks…. These aren’t the actual masks I received in my order 😀 Yes, I did order MBD Vanilla Masks, butttttt that was last year when I hadn’t started my foray into sheet masking yet. After using these MBD mask samples, I was like w h o a this shit is good – and then I went to buy lots more when I was in Taiwan :p

I suspect that Bioré’s samples are free because Bioré holds their own promos to send out free samples as well, so they’re naturally free. Ok but I should warn you guys that you should probably google some of the ‘paid’ samples before you order them? I noticed that Acnes samples are available FOC on the SG website, but they’re ‘paid’ on SampleStore!

As for the $5.99 order, I might be a bit auntie in this sense but I usually only pick items that are ‘worth it’. Like some of the samples are a bit ‘ehhh’… like they only include a 1x1ml foil sachet for what’s basically $1.50!?! Yes I’ve actually come across samples like this on the site before. Okay like honestly if they only want to send me 1ml I might as well go to Watsons (where most of the products available for sampling are on sale) and just squeeze >1ml onto my hand and try it on the spot for free right?? If you really want me to buy your product, I feel like you should at least provide me with enough product to sample it on my whole face…

Word of warning though: their samples (be it free or paid) run out REALLY fast!!! For you to get the samples that you’re interested in, you have to be pretty diligent in ~stalking~ their site… or waiting for their EDMs heh.

Do any of you source your samples from other sampling websites? Share them with me in the comments!

Her World Beauty Club Beauty Bag

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As you guys may know, I signed up with Her World’s new Beauty Club a few months ago, when there was a pop-up store at ION in February. Everyone who signed up stood to win a Beauty Bag worth >$200, so when I received a letter in the mail from Her World, I was ecstatic!! It definitely made my day after getting home from work 🙂

What’s in the bag:

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  1. Fresh Sugar Rosé Tinted Lip Treatment, ~$20
  2. Bioré Marshmallow Whip Foaming Wash, $13.90
  3. Gatsby Oil Clear Sheet, $3.90
  4. Laneige BB Cushion (Pore Control), $59
  5. VDL Lumilayer Primer, ~$9.60
  6. Clio Kill Cover Pro Artist Liquid Concealer, $20.90
  7. Browhaus HD Mascara, $17.90
  8. Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, $36
  9. Asience Intensive Treatment Oil, $14.90
  10. Bioderma Sensibio H2O, ~$10.80
  11. The Body Shop Body Butter, ~$7.80

…Which adds up to a grand total of…

$214.80!!!!

Whoa!! That’s a lot :O I really love how the Her World editors curated this bag – this is truly filled with well-designed products, and tailored for the Singapore weather. I’m saying this because I /have/ tried a number of these products (or similar ones) beforehand, and they really are great for me.

  • I’ve tried the Fresh lip balm before – tinted lip balms are the best here. Because the weather is so hot, my lips get chapped really easily, so some colour and balm together is the best for fixing up dry lips!
  • The Bioré face wash was actually my HG foaming wash for years, before I discovered Asian Beauty. It’s not that I don’t like it anymore, but just that I’ve started to try the Hada Labo one instead now!
  • The Laneige Pore Control cushion is mattifying, and does a great job at oil control in our humid weather 🙂
  • As you guys already know, I have the Clio pot concealer and love it! It’s really a pity that they chose #05 Sand to distribute in the beauty bags though – it’s WAAAAY too dark for me (it’s like, NC30?), so I won’t be able to keep this 😦
  • I actually have a bottle of the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, and it really does live up to its hype – it does a very good job at hydrating my face, even with my leaning-to-dry skin! My only issue is that this line is quite… heavily scented.
  • Bioderma’s micellar cleansing water is, as I understand, fairly similar to the Bifesta one. Micellar water is much lighter on my skin as compared to typical oil-based makeup removers!

Thank you Her World Beauty Club team for the generous gift 🙂 You can sign up for the Beauty Club here: www.herworldplus.com/beautyclub

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++++)

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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

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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 :’)

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: ★★☆☆☆