The Small Things

As much as I’ve wanted to maintain Milliefeuille on a regular basis, it’s been really tough handling just school alone – I honestly thought that I’d have better time management and more free time now, but I guess not?

I’ve blogged about how samples are my ‘小确幸/xiao que xing’ they’re part of the little things that keep me sane and just bring me a disproportionately large amount of joy in tuff times! It’s so irrational that I’d give myself an extra half an hour to get home so I could drop by Raffles City or Capitol Piazza just to collect some samples… when I can’t even give myself that extra half an hour of sleep sometimes… but hey, whatever works right?

Given so, I’d just like to share with you guys some of the great stuff I’ve received in the past couple of months – and the story of how I collected them 🙂

SULWHASOO

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I remember being particularly down that day – I don’t quite remember why, maybe it was that I’d just received my midterms grades back and they weren’t that great? So I went to google for some free samples, and it just random occurred to me that I might want to look up Sulwhasoo – and I saw that they were offering a 5-day trial for their Snowise series.

I was treated to a warm experience by the saleslady, who sat me down and let me try and explained to me what the different products were. She was especially generous with me as well, actually offering me the full ‘5 day’ trial that included 5 packets each of the Snowise Brightening Serum, Spot Treatment, Water, Cream, and Fluid, and the First Care Activating Serum EX (I’m saying this as some brands offer a ‘5 day trial’ with 1 packet of serum? Wouldn’t that be like, a misrepresentation?); I know my skin isn’t that great, so I wasn’t offended or anything but I was quite pleased that she took the time to diagnose my skin type and offered some Brightening Exfoliating Gel to me. Usually, I’d just be in a rush to get my samples and go, but given the environment… mmm, it felt like a great temporary respite.

ORIGINS

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Actually, not much of a story here. After visiting Sulwhasoo, I dropped by the Origins outlet at Robinsons Raffles City to collect it – and I left with a Platscription set including an anti-aging cleanser, powerful lifting cream, and powerful lifting neck and décolleté treatment. Ha! I actually also dropped by Lancome for some samples, but I gave those to my mum already.

FRESH

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I was having lunch with J at Nam Nam – when I remembered that I had this SMS from like, February!!! A month had passed since I’d signed up for a sample of the Black Tea Age-Delay Firming Serum – but I decided to head up to the store to try my luck anyway. And luck it was! The sampling offer was ending in 4 days, and I managed to get my trial bottle; I’m amazed at how generous they were with the packaging this time, it’s almost the same as the real packaging – with the glass dropper and all. It smells great too!

KIEHL’S

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THE BODY SHOP

Hm. I was heading home from one of my finals papers and I needed to grab some food – I had extra time, so I dropped by the outlet at Junction 8 to pick up the Oils of Life Sleeping Cream and Facial Oil for my mum. She purchased the oil and toner (?) recently, and thought she’d like to try the new cream. I walked in, and asked whether or not I could redeem the sample – I mean I don’t expect anything, but without saying a word the saleslady turned around, grabbed the sample, turned back around and just stuck her hand out with it to me – all without saying a word? I said thanks and she continued to remain silent and I just left (???) what an odd sales experience… Extremely different from the warm and friendly service my mum and I experienced at Raffles City previously. I also collected some Drops of Light Serum and Cream.

Also I’ve spent the past few months taking a module that includes a case study on The Body Shop and Anita Roddick – did you know that Roddick was vehemently against advertising? Just food for thought.

BELIF

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My last finals paper was on Friday, and I was at Junction 8 with my mum again! Belif posted that they were offering samples of their new mask on Insta, so I dropped by with my mum to get a set. They’re offering quite a few products from 30-50% off now – fairly good deals but I don’t need anything right now 🙂

Altogether, I received varying amounts of First Aid Deep Pore Care Mask, Peat Miracle Revital Mask, Lavender Sky Hand Cream, First Aid Overnight Skin Regeneration Mask, First Aid Anti-Hangover Soothing Mask, Hungarian Water Essence, First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask, and First Aid Aqua Rush Mask. Each set came with 6 masks/samples, and my mum and I got a different assortment 🙂

PHYSIOGEL

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I signed up for samples online, and a few days later a package arrived in my mailbox! 🙂 Some Calming Relief Face Cream, and Calming Relief Gentle Cream Cleanser.

NEULII

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I’m sure you guys all know about this! Roseroseshop came up with their own brand, Neulii, and offered to send samples to anyone who messaged them on SNS 🙂 By chance, I got 5 packets each of the AHA Vita Brightening Serum, and the Teatree BHA Blemish Control Serum. I don’t quite fancy the AHA, but I’ve been using the BHA over the past couple of weeks and I’m quite happy using it 🙂

SAMPLESTORE

I love the way SampleStore works but…. man you really have to rush when the new samples are out haha. I was lucky enough to get a few things – Labo Labo Super Moist Gel, Dove Body Wash, Pond’s Flawless White BB Cream, and Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock!

MISCELLANEOUS

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Also I finally received the Histolab 72% Azulene Complex Ampoule samples from HKC Plaza… and did you know that Her World sometimes attaches free samples to the magazine? That’s a The History of Whoo Ja Saeng Essence.

And sometimes I win some stuff from contests 🙂 I received Bioderma micellar water travel bottles, including a Hydrabio H2O, Sensibio H2O, and a Sébium H2O. Super cute 🙂

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TFS/VDL/Belif Friends & Family Sale 2015 (Suntec City)

I received an email a couple of days ago the The Face Shop, VDL, and Belif would be holding a Friends & Family Sale this August!

TFS FNF

What my mum and I got (minus the extra free gifts)

 

Aqua Gel Oil (75ml, $68.00 -> $44.20); Numero 10 Essence (75ml, $46.00 -> $29.90)

 

The True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb (50ml, $54.00 -> $35.10); Delightful Body Bomb (150ml, $46 -> $23.00)

 

Essential Gel Mist Blue (100ml, $42.00 -> $21.00); De-wrinkle Treatment Spot Care (25ml, $71.00 -> $35.50)

 

Our free samples!!! This included a travel kit including Milky Moisturizer Hydra Balancing, Numero 10 Essence, and Creamy Cleansing Foam Moist, and samples for the Classic Essence Increment which we requested for. My aunt bought the full-sized version of this, and it was the last one… so my mum settled for samples for now (she has too many things to use now anyway!!) We also received 2 cute umbrellas, and a makeup organizer pouch!

 

Brow Contour Kit ($40.00 -> $24.00); Metal Cushion Foundation ($42.00 -> $25.20)

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We also received a ton of free gifts – the welcome member set included a Lumilayer Primer, Beauty Cleansing Foam, and Perfecting Last Foundation. I didn’t even take pics of the 1. Tumbler 2. Laptop Bag and 3. Lunch bag they gave us!!!

My aunt also purchased some stuff from The Face Shop – she gave us one of the free sample kits she received.

IMG_5636Raspberry Roots Special Set (Includes 2x Collagen Eye Patch, Depuffing Eye Gel, and Sleeping mask) (Free gift)

While the prices are quite amazing, I must warn you guys that the expiry dates are fairly near, with most of them expiring in mid-2016. I highly suggest against irresponsible hauling – if you’re not gonna be able to finish it by then, don’t buy it!! Or I mean like you could use it on your body, but still. Take note of the expiry dates before purchase!!!

The sale is held at Suntec City (where the 3 shops are side by side), from 27-30th August. Have fun guys!

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 🙂

 

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!

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: ★★☆☆☆