小确幸: Her World May 2015 x Metro Samples

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I had so much fun! My mother says that her ‘小确幸/xiao que xing’ is eating snacks/good food, and her friend’s is buying 4D/Toto; I’m like a ‘xiǎo auntie’, as she calls me, but mine would be going around getting free samples :>

I initially dropped by Farrer Park MRT station’s Metro to pick up samples, but what I failed to realise was that….. it was an absolutely tiny branch. I only managed to get 1 Kose sample and half a Lancome sample! 😦 So when I dropped by Centrepoint Metro later that night, I managed to pick up most of the items – really exciting 🙂

For the rest of the items that I failed to pick up, the next day I headed to Metro Paragon with my EXCO (the 2 guys scuttled away when they discovered I was heading to the beauty floor)

Not much to say here – I’ll just share with you what I got 🙂 I split the samples between my mum and I; the first four are for her, and the last few are for me!

Elizabeth Arden: Anti-Aging + Intensive Repair Daily Serum

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Elizabeth Arden isn’t exactly a brand for my age, so I passed this to my mother!

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream

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Ooh the saleslady for La Prairie was so friendly!! She sat me down and demonstrated the cream to me and it smelled absolutely heavenly :> It has this light, citrus-y scent, I can definitely imagine someone in my mum’s age group using this as a night cream.

Lancome 7-day Trial Kit for the Genifique serum, cream, and UV filter

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Same goes for this – I have tried my mother’s Lancome Genifique serum, but it’s quite… useless for me right?? No need to use so much anti-aging so early, I have this paranoid fear that if I use too much now they won’t work so well in future?!?!?! So this goes to my mum too 😀

Clarins Body Shaping Cream + Body Lift Cellulite Control

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…Also for my mum… – She’s been using Clarins products for YEARS now – both my parents enjoy using the face scrub, as well as the sunscreen. I’ve finally managed to convince them to convert to Asian sunscreens though! 😀

Burberry + Issey Miyake + Kenzo

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And for me! 😀

Chloé: Chloé + Love, Chloé + Love Story + Roses de Chloé + L’eau de Chloé

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One set for my mother, and one set for me! Chloé is one of her favourite scents, and I can definitely see why – they’re fresh and girly, so she handed me her set to try as well. I can finally discover my scent (??)!!

Laneige Pore Control BB Cushion Samples in #13 and #21

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I recently gave my Yiyi the Laneige Pore Control Cushion #21 I won from Her World, as I thought it probably wasn’t the right shade for me. However, after extended use I kind of feel like the Laneige #13 is a smidge too light for me (I usually don’t like to have to take the extra step to match my neck..). I am however worried that #21 will be too dark 😦

Kose Clear Cleansing Oil

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Ooh when I got a sample of the Kose Sekkisei pressed powder a couple of years ago I was absolutely AMAZED by how smooth it was?? Ever since then I’ve had this… admiration for Kose products. Not exactly something I needed, but I just knew that they were always there and… good! 😀 Not to mention, as I was collecting this cleansing oil, I noticed that they have a Kose x Cinderella collection – soooo cute!


A pity that I forgot to go get the SK-II samples! But I guess it’s alright.

VDL

I also managed to get samples from VDL – I quoted YinaGoh for this, thank you! VDL is quickly becoming one of my favourite makeup brands right now – as I’ve mentioned in my April favourites, within a few uses, the Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation has become an absolute favourite to work. It gives this dewy, gorgeous finish, but I suspect that A201 might be a little bright for me – I was interested in sampling A203, so the mega-friendly saleslady selected A203 as part of my sample set 🙂 I only have a foil sachet of the Real Skin Foundation A02, so now I should be able to ascertain my shade pretty easily once I sample them all.

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The pack included: Lumilayer Primer, Perfect Skin Foundation, Almighty Ampoule Essence, and Almighty Cream.


On a side note, as I’ve been trying different foundations like every day over the past few weeks, I can probably say… I don’t really like the IOPE cushion 😦 Well, at least this brings me about 3 steps closer to reviewing all my cushions so I can publish my mega-review!

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Beauty 101: Depotting and Airless Pump Bottles

AIRLESS PUMP BOTTLES!!!!!

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Today I’ll be talking about depotting my products into my favourite containers – airless pump bottles!!!! 😀 Okay, and also spray bottles. I like using pump bottles – in my opinion, they’re cleaner and easier to use.

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Like most girls, I like to keep my nails slightly longer so they look better when they’re painted. However, this means that it’s absolute hell trying to dip my fingers into jars of cream!! The cream gets all under my nails, and it’s just… plain gross.

You might retort, why not use a spatula instead? It’s clean and umm… you scoop stuff out of the jar. But I find this problematic – your spatula has to be clean anyway, and for it to be clean you have to wash it every time you use it 😦

That’s why I turned to using airless pump bottles!!

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Woohoo!! Look at how clean and simple the pump design is.

What makes airless pump bottles different from normal pump bottles (as seen in the centre above)? There’s no ‘straw’ to suck up the product from the bottom of the bottle, and it just gets sucked up as it’s a vacuum – the bottom of the bottle moves up as you use up more product.

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I’ve got 2 different sizes of airless pump bottles: pictured below is the smaller one!

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I first got these 10ml pump bottles from Taobao, and my uncle shipped it to his house in Shanghai, passing them to me over Chinese New Year. I got one to sample from Qoo10 (for $2.50!?!?!), while these cost less than $1 each – even with shipping!

As you can see, practically everything works in these bottles. Gels, Creams, Liquids – everything works! Okay, I don’t really recommend this for liquids – a bit messy heh. What these bottles are great for:

  • Depotting samples – I hate using foil sachets, but sometimes it’s the best way to figure out whether or not a product is suitable for my skin. These bottles fit 10 x 1ml sample sachets (the typical sample size!) perfectly!
  • Depotting creams from tubs – as explained above, I don’t have to dip my fingers into jars of cream.
  • Depotting remaining essences from sheet masks – I’ll explain this below.
  • Depotting product from larger containers – when you’re travelling, you really don’t want to carry so much. These are great, as they don’t leak, are within the flight restriction of 100ml, and are really lightweight.

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Soon after, I discovered that it proooobably wasn’t quite practical to use creams in such small bottles. I’d already purchased a larger, 15ml airless pump bottle from Sephora (I highly recommend against this – they’ve marked it up insanely). I got my uncle to send me another package of 20ml airless pump bottles from Taobao, at about $1.50 each!

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What I like about these bottles is that they’re sleek, and I can easily control how much I’m using. The pump allows me to easily control how much comes out, and since it’s transparent, I can monitor when I need to refill the bottle. I picked 20ml as it’s the perfect capacity – jars of cream tend to come in around 40-100ml, so I don’t have to refill this too often, without carrying around a bulky bottle.

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You might wonder what all these strange products are… This…. is my toolkit for depotting! It’s not very easy to depot some products sometimes, as the pump bottles have a small mouth. For creams, I either use a spatula to scoop it into the bottles, or use a syringe to make a clean transfer. For liquidy-er things, I either use the dropper, or I pour it directly through a funnel.

The Sephora card and giap-giap thing…. I don’t know what it’s called I just use it to seal snacks. …Yes right they seem a little out of place! But it’s my old Sephora card, and these two are amazing for squeeeeeezing out every last drop of product in sample packets! Don’t ever waste any product in sample packets, when you have these two fantastic tools by your side 8) (yes, you can also cut your sample packet open and scrape it out. I don’t like that)


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Honorable mention for spray bottles – these are great for essences (like First Treatment Essences), and very, very thin toners – like the Hatomugi Skin Conditioner. I got the bottles below from Muji, as well as Daiso – I’ve found that the Muji ones are slightly better for misting your face. In the morning, when I’m reaaaally lazy to apply a full morning routine, I’ve taken to simply spraying my Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence over my face.


On a similar note, I’ve included how I store my sheet masks after 1 use – sheet masks typically contain 20-30ml of essence, and it’s always way too much for my face. I’m usually left with 5-10ml of liquid inside, and there are a few options for storage – I could pour the remaining essence into an airless pump bottle and use it over the next few days, or I could seal it. This is how I seal my sheet mask packets:

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With a flat iron!! I seal the top of the packet, and it’s basically airtight inside, ensuring that I can leave the essence to sit around for a week more or so. This is especially useful when I want to sheet mask-up again (i.e. drop a clean, plain sheet mask in to absorb the essence to use). While I’m at it, I’ve heard that some people re-use their sheet masks (YES, THE SAME PIECE OF COTTON), especially if they’re expensive. This is a big no-no – you’re basically re-introducing bacteria onto your face, negating any positive effects the essence might have on your skin.

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What it looks like after – nice and sealed!


I hope this post helped and enlightened any of you looking for alternative storage methods, especially if you’re travelling! 🙂

What’s New: Quarter One, 2015

Exciting times! I’ve decided to do a collective haul post instead, covering what I’ve purchased and received in January, February, and March. Also, it’s my birthday today, so I’ve got quite a few things in the past few weeks 🙂


January: TesterKorea

Okay, this is the earliest haul of all – I purchased these in late January and only received them in February! There was an issue with the sourcing of the Laneige Cushion – I originally ordered the PushButton LE cushion (super super cute. doggy spots all over the case), but they were out – so they replaced it with the Anti-Aging version instead. *shrugs* Early anti-aging for me then! I’ve always loved TK’s customer service – they’re really friendly, and reply super quickly 🙂 (80% of my big hauls are made at TK!)

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Anyway, this is my first ever ~expensive~ TesterKorea haul!!! Previously I’d been purchasing small items, averaging out at 6,000KRW per item – but this time round I went big and got a few small, expensive purchases haha. The Banila Co. Clean It Zero, and the TonyMoly Rabbit Bars aren’t mine though! TK was especially generous with samples this time around (considering the delay in sending the package out even with EMS!).

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I ordered a bunch of Laneige, IOPE, and Clio items! After using my mum’s MAC pot concealer, I thought I should get one for myself too – so I picked the Clio Kill Cover concealer (it’s a little dark on me though.), but it’s a good deal for $14. I’ve found that this is fairly high coverage, which is great for those stubborn blemishes my Shiseido concealer can’t hide.

I also got the IOPE Air Cushion XP (N21) ($38) and Laneige BB Cushion (Anti-Aging) (#13) ($35), vs $50-60 RRP).

…As well as the CC Creams ($33 and $28 respectively, vs $45-60 RRP). At present, I’m more into CC Creams – so you’ll see a review of all my CC Creams soon! I have yet to open the BB Cushions, so that review will come in say, June.

TesterKorea /had/ the most amazing discounts (with 30% off everything), but they’ve recently reduced their discounted selection heh. Either way, if I’d purchased these products from local stores, it’s likely that I would’ve spent twice as much :O

Since I’ll be leaving my my teens soon, I thought that it might be a good time to start getting lipsticks… so I got a beautiful IOPE Color Fit Lipstick ($25, RRP $34) after much time spent deciding what colour to get. I chose an IOPE lipstick because a few shades went absolutely famous after Cheon Song Yi wore them in My Love From The Stars… BUT I made a mistake 😦 I got #29 Metallic Rose, and while it does look very pretty, it’s metallic. It’s got glitter in it. I like matte lip colours, so I’ll be selling this away too…


February: Tom Ford

I’ve also received some fantabulous samples from Tangs – between my mum and I!

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Mum and I received one Tom Ford miniature Lip Color each – I chose Indian Rose, and she chose True Coral. These are way too beautiful to use…….. I’ve just taken them out occasionally to ogle (please don’t judge me omg)


March: Etude House

Yiyi kindly gifted me some Etude House products! I’ve not tried many of their products, so this is the time for me to see how effective their products are.

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Moistfull Super Collagen CC Cream SPF33 PA++ – W13

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This color controlling cream contained with magic color capsules modifies and adjusts to your natural skin tone on contact, creating a vibrant and healthy looking complexion. CC cream with rich essence for a more moisturized and firm skin with 30% of super collagen.
3 in 1 smart all in one cream – whitening – sun protection SPF33 PA++ – anti wrinkle

What a huge bottle of CC Cream!

Precious Mineral BB Compact Bright Fit SPF30 PA+++ – N01

Just look at the packaging :’) so girly and princessy! The puff is mega soft as compared to the MAC puff, and there’s the Etude House logo embossed into the powder. I’ve heard that this BB Compact is not bad, so I’m definitely keeping this in my bag – imagine how cute it’d be to whip this out of my makeup pouch :>

Look At My Eyes Cafe – PK005

Smooth, Silky Eye shadow that supplies eyes with a profound, dramatic look.

SUCH a cute colour – I love how this is a basic shade that I can cover my entire lid with 🙂 Plus, this can double up as a cutsey blush colour in a pinch!

Pure Water Baobab Moist Cream

This is a highly moisturizing cream that daily absorbs Baobab’s pure moisture into skin for a clear and moist complexion, containing sufficiently moist Baobab Water and skin purifying Moringa seed extract. Like a burst of water drop, its light watery texture absorbs smoothly into skin with abundant moisture.

I saw this in-store with yiyi, and mentioned how cool Baobab trees are 😀 She definitely remembered it, and she got it for me because of that, and because…. of how much it looks like a baby food jar HAHAHA.


March: Carousell – Shiseido & Laneige

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Got a bunch of Shiseido and Laneige stuff off Carousell!

– High-concentration multiberry extract yogurt pack that nourishes skin from deep inside and leaves skin supple. Hydrates, nourishes and regenerates skin for supple and firming skin.
– Sogurty™, a specialized fermented yogurt, promotes collagen synthesis, and enhances defense ability of skin from harmful external causes to leave skin healthier and firmer. Its anti-inflammatory effects also soothes skin from skin troubles.
– Multiberry complex (various berry extracts from raspberries, blueberries, wolfberries, cranberries, and strawberries) delivers abundant nutrition and antioxidants to eliminate harmful free radicals.
– Exfoliation for smoother skin texture. NAG (N-acetyl-D-Glucosamine), one of the NMF(Natural Moisturizing Factor), and Niacinamide (a component of Vitamin B3) softens and clears micro size dead skin cells left after exfoliating for even denser and smoother skin texture.
– Richer plain yogurt texture: Fresh creamy texture of yogurt nourishes skin with soft touch.

Of all the things I got here, I was most excited about this Laneige Multiberry Yogurt Pack :> It smells absolutely divine – and no surprise here! The label says ‘DO NOT EAT’. This is probably going to be my second option for a night cream (instead of my Ettusais Premium Amino Caviar Cream) – I think I have an affinity for pink creams.

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And to be honest, these 4 were the main reasons why I got the Shiseido samples. L-R: Shiseido Ibuki serum, Lacquer Rouge, Perfect Rouge, and the Natural Finish Cream Concealer – the main reason! This is kinda my HG concealer – the one I’ve been using for >5 years haha. (Honestly, I think I’m going to sell away the Ibuki skincare kit :<)


March: Qoo10 – Wishtrend & 9Wishes

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I purchased the C20 Vitamin C serum from Wishtrend (via Qoo10) for my mum at SGD$12.99 (which is an amazing price by the way!!!), as I don’t think it’s very suitable for my skin – and Wishtrend was super generous by including a Klairs sheet mask, and a COSRX sample! Definitely surprising that Wishtrend treats Qoo10 customers similarly to their original site customers. I’ve been extremely excited to try Klairs and COSRX after finishing my current routine of products, so this is definitely a possibility, purchasing again from Wishtrend. (C’mon, they even threw in a 10% coupon – what’s there not to love about Wishtrend?)

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I also purchased the 9Wishes Vanishing Balm, because I saw preeeetty good reviews of it on Qoo10! This is my ???th CC Cream – and I have a love affair with CC Creams. You’ll see a comparison and swatches of this soon, in my upcoming post: Battle of the CC Creams! I got this for $19.90 for 50ml, which is definitely comparable (or just cheaper!) to the other CC Creams I’ve purchased so far.


Fun fun times 🙂 Gonna start work soon, so this is likely my last collective haul over the next 3 months! (More than enough new products for me to try (i.e. ogle) anyway woohoo)

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: ★★☆☆☆