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!

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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!

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! 🙂