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!

June 2015: Mask Empties

Thank you everyoneeee for being so patient with me for the past 3-4 months! I’ve finally got more time on my hands now that I’m preparing to start university, so I’ll be able to post more often now 🙂 A few weeks ago, I passed the 100 followers, AND the 10,000 total views milestones – so once again thank you guys for supporting my blog!

I’ll be doing a quick post today, since it’s my usual posting Sunday – I have quite a few more posts lined up for the next few weeks! I admittedly didn’t use (m)any new masks this month, so I’ve only included pictures of the ones that I haven’t previously tried before. Round 2 of mask empties, let’s go!

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FaceQ Sake Brightening Mask:
Hydration: 4.25/5
Benefits: 4.5/5
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.25/5

SexyLook Red Wine + Platinum Mask:
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (this has a chin lifting strip!!!)
Fragrance: 3.75/5 (funky smell, but bearable)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Lovemore Snow Lotus Mask:
Hydration: 4.5/5
Benefits: 3.75/5 (nothing too special tbh)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 5/5 (Perfect fit?)
Overall: 4.25/5

Etude House Green Tea Mask:
Hydration: 4.5/5
Benefits: 4.5/5
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4.25/5

Somehow, it seem as though every single Etude House Mask I’ve tried has been all I want in a mask – fits well, smells fine, is long-lasting (up to an hour++), feels good, hydrates my skin immediately, and lets me wake up with glowing skin!! No gimmicks, nothing – I’m very pleased to have gotten 40 of em during the EH sale last November 🙂

3W Clinic Fresh Snail Mask:
Hydration: ?/5
Benefits: ?/5
Fragrance: 1/5
Fit: 3/5
Overall: FAIL/5

Yeah seriously 3W Clinic. I first tried your Fresh Milk Mask Sheet a few months ago, but the smell was so overpowering I couldn’t stand to ever use it again. Now I’ve tried your Snail Mask Sheet – and it was just TERRIBLE to my skin!?!?!?!?!? As you guys know I have really hardy skin, and I’ve never reacted to anything…. until this. When I applied the mask to my face, my face began to sting like nobody’s business – I thought that it might be the initial application, but holy crap my face STUNG like mad even after a couple of minutes. My mum was like TEAR IT OFF HELLO so I thoroughly cleansed my face with Micellar Water and Hada Labo Foaming Wash, and even then my skin turned a little red 😦 It’s possible that it simply isn’t suitable for my skin, but damn that was bad.

 

May 2015: Sheet Mask Empties!

Since the start of May, I’ve been trying to sheet mask every single day 8) It’s a truly lazy solution, but my skin is baby soft now!! Since sheet masking every day is fairly expensive, I’ve discovered that the remaining essence (mixed with some Hada Labo Lotion, if it’s not enough), is enough for me to put in a second dry sheet mask.

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I’ll do a quick review of each mask below!

Baroness Collagen Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5
Benefits: 3.5/5 (soft skin)
Fragrance: 3/5
Fit: 3/5 (doesn’t fit very well)
Overall: 3.25/5

Lovemore Rosa Hybrida Mask
Hydration: 4.5/5
Benefits: 4/5 (brightening)
Fragrance: 4.5/5 (I love the scent of roses!!)
Fit: 5/5 (can barely feel it on)
Overall: 4.5/5

Etude House Pomegranate Mask:
Hydration: 4.5/5 (very moisturizing!!)
Benefits: 4/5 (brightening)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4/5 (decent fit!)
Overall: 4.125/5

Etude House Bamboo Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5 (very short term moisture up)
Benefits: 4.5/5 (skin cleansing; my skin definitely felt quite a bit cleaner afterwards)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Etude House Collagen Mask:
Hydration: 5/5 (SO MOISTURIZING!! the essence has this thick, cream-like texture and leaves skin baby soft til the next morning)
Benefits: 5/5
Fragrance: 4/5 (nothing special here though)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

FaceQ Pearl Brightening Mask:
Hydration: 4.25/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (definitely very brightening!!)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.25/5

(Bonus: FaceQ’s Luffa mask is fantastic, it definitely gets a rating of 4.25 as well!)

Mizon Moist King’s Berry Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5
Benefits: 3.5/5 (didn’t notice anything special)
Fragrance: 0/5 (smelled absolutely terrible; couldn’t tell if it was just alcohol or 药材的味道)
Fit: 3.5/5
Overall: 2/5

My Beauty Diary Tranexamic Acid Treatment Mask:
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (brightening!)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5 (multi-silk!!)
Overall: 4.25/5

My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Treatment Mask: 
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits 3.5 (not as long-term moisturizing as I would’ve expected from hyaluronic acid)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5 (multi-silk!!)
Overall: 4/5

My Beauty Diary Lemon + Vit C Mask:
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (brightening + clearing!!!)
Fragrance: 4.5/5 (lemony :>)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4.25/5

My Beauty Diary Rice Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5
Benefits: 3/5 (nothing at all?)
Fragrance: 1/5 (yux 😦 smelled terrible)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 3/5


IMG_5374(P.S. Here is a scary picture of angry me (with cats for eyes, because my panda eyes were terrible that day) with a crappy Innisfree dry sheet mask on my face. LOOK AT THE TERRIBLE FIT 😦

Innisfree why would you make such terrible dry sheet masks??? 0/10 would not recommend :()


What are your favourite sheet masks? Share them with me in the comments!

 

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!

IMG_530020ml, 15ml, and 10ml

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! 🙂