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!

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


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

 

Review: Hada Labo Gokujyun Cream

Hada Labo is a pretty darn well-liked brand – they make amazing toners, milks, gels, and facial washes! Back when I first got my HGs, Hada Labo Goku-jyun Lotion and Shiro-jyun Milk, there was a buy two get one free! deal going on at Guardian. My mum chose the Goku-jyun Cream as the third product.

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From the Hada Labo Singapore website:

Super HA Hydrating Cream

Day & Night Application

Nutritious hydrating cream that feeds nourishment to your skin while protecting your skin with continuous moisture

  • Contains 3 types of Hyaluronic Acid that deeply penetrates into the skin to nourish and helps restore skin’s moisture barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Helps to soften skin, leaving skin smooth and hydrated.
  • Available in 2 formulas. Regular moisturizing cream helps soothes normal / dry skin, while Light moisturizing cream hydrates normal / combination skin with its lighter, fluffy texture.
  • Fragrance Free • Alcohol Free • Mineral Oil Free • Colorant Free • Skin pH balanced • Low irritation • Dermatologically tested

So it looked like a pretty good product…. Until I applied it to my face.

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This is what the cream looks like in the tub – it’s got this terribly thick and sticky consistency, completely unlike the typical cream texture. While it is scentless and supposedly suitable for sensitive skin, I can’t imagine anyone using this in the daytime in this Singapore weather.

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Sticky fingers! I have tried this cream multiple times at night, and what set off this review was the last time I tried this out a few days ago. My skin was super dry, and I wanted a quick fix – oil-based balms, or thick and sticky creams were my top pick for the day. While my HL Lotion + Mizon Snail + Laneige Sleeping Pack combo is my usual dry-skin solution, I decided to give this cream one last shot, and it was just A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT 😐 It sat like a layer of glue on my face throughout the night, and when I woke up in the morning, my skin was still equally dry. Not even slightly more moisturized, no, it was just… dull.

I think the cream just never absorbed into my skin – it sat on top and smeared itself all over my pillow as I tossed and turned in the middle of the night 😐

Really now. Look at this picture below – they look like they have the same consistency right? Looks like cream and gel right?

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YEAH NO the one on the right is just craft glue I really wanted to plaster on some white glue (but I couldn’t find any sigh so I had to pass off some normal glue as gel) to just give you guys an idea of how STICKY this cream is – IMO the glue spread almost as ‘well’ as the HL Cream.

I suppose if you wanted a ‘natural’ face glue for glueing glitter onto your face for a Halloween party this cream would work?? Sigh. I have noted that the Hada Labo products sold in Singapore are Made in China, unlike the ‘original’ Made in Japan ones – this might be a reason why the formulation is so different from what I’ve seen online.

I was going to consider my combination skin-type while writing this review, but my cheeks were so dry they’d pass as dry skin even – so why didn’t this work for me!? Sorry Hada Labo – as much as I love your lotion, this cream was an absolute disappointment – I definitely would not recommend this to anyone living in humid weather. Definitely go for the lotion though – that’s an actual skin-saver.

Hydration: 1/5
Benefits: 1/5
Fragrance: 4/5
Comfort: 0/5
Overall: 1.5/5

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!

Beauty Haul from GMarket Korea

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I’ve always wanted to order from Gmarket, and this month I finally bit the bullet. And no, I’m not referring to the Singaporean Gmarket which got rebranded to Qoo10 (even though it’s been like 3-4 years since the rebranding happened, my mother still refers to Qoo10 as Gmarket) – I’m talking about the one that ships directly from Korea! This is where I can find tons of products and brands I wouldn’t typically be able to find in Singapore – Espoir, Verite, and whatnot at amazing prices.

Let’s start with Gmarket itself – can I just rave about how amazing their service is?? Seriously – I don’t even get my packages from Qoo10 (domestic delivery) this quickly. Let me just show you my timeline:

Sunday Afternoon, 5th April: Sent in order (auto EMS shipping)
Sunday Evening, 5th April: Request received for 50% of sellers
Monday Afternoon, 6th April: All packages on the way to Gmarket Korea’s warehouse
Tuesday Morning, 7th April: All packages received at Gmarket Korea; preparing for international shipment
Wednesday Evening, 8th April: International package posted
Thursday Afternoon, 9th April: Package on SQ609
Friday Midnight, 10th April: Package received by Singpost
Friday Noon, 10th April: Received package at doorstep

HAS ANYONE RECEIVED PACKAGES THIS QUICKLY BEFORE??? IN 5 DAYS??? NO!!!! Ok maybe I’m exaggerating, but seriously. I’ve never received service /this/ fast from Qoo10, TK or RRS before – as much as I still love them, Gmarket wins, hands down, in terms of delivery time. Judging from my previous experiences from Korean international shipping, I honestly expected this package to be delivered in May. Instead, I’m sitting here writing this post in May (terribly late, but I wanted to get a good sense of all my products before I included first impressions for all the products).

Moving on… This is the giant box my haul came in! It really surprised me – that’s my phone, a Note 3 mind you, sitting on top of the box. I had no idea why the box was so huge – did I really order so many things?? The memo noted that it was only 3.3kg!

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…And I figured out why once I tore open opened up the box. HAHAHAHA it turns out the Gmarket warehouse had literally just dumped in all the boxes they’d received – I guess the guy sorting my packages just decided to throw everything into the biggest (???) box he could find??? It was a hilarious sight opening this up though! However, one negative point here: AK-Plaza didn’t exactly package my VDL Eyeshadow palette very well in the small box, so it could have been flung around in the small box in the big box. Shame on you tsk if it’s an eyeshadow palette IT NEEDS BUBBLE WRAP!  (this is extremely reminiscent of the Lorac Mega Pro Amazon shipping issue.)

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One, two, three…. Six boxes! 6 boxes inside a giant box. Funny ah? Let’s start with the small samples!

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I ordered my products from individual sellers, which meant that I was unlikely to get any samples at all – ordering 1 item from a seller will sadly not warrant samples. I may attempt to include ‘please include samples!’ in English and Korean the next time I order! I received a sheet mask + OHUI foil sample from one seller (can’t quite remember which), and a small set of samples from VDL…. And if you scroll to the top and bottom, a giant pink Pantone VDL shopping bag!!!!!!! 😀 I guess the general lack of samples was wholly made up by the Pantone x VDL bag ❤ ❤ ❤

Okay, let’s start!

Note: my pricing brackets are formatted like this, if you’re curious: xxxKRW in Korean retail pricing / xxx SGD in Singapore retail pricing, or KRW to SGD if it’s unavailable in Singapore.


Hera CC Cream City Defense (SPF35 / PA++)

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Retail: 45,000KRW / ~SGD$50
Gmarket: SGD$40

While watching Meejmuse’s channel, she mentioned that her one CC Cream favourite was the Hera CC Cream! The original price was preeeetty high, so I didn’t manage to get one from TesterKorea the previous round – instead I got a small 10ml sample tube off Carousell. I would liken this CC Cream to the IOPE one, as it’s not a whitening base like the Laneige and Banila Co.

As I was scouring Gmarket, I noticed that Hera came up with a new and improved! version of the cc cream in 2015, with ‘City Defense‘ properties. One of the biggest trends I’ve noticed recently is ‘city defense’ products, with brands like Clarins coming up with Sunscreen products, and Etude House with Dust Cut products. These protecting properties typically leave a film on your face to protect against dust and pollutants we face every day in cities, and considering I live in Singapore… yes. Either way, the packaging is gooooorgeous! Maybe not as sleek as the original Black/Silver packaging, but this silvery packaging represents City Defense so well.

First impression: ★★★★☆


Luna Water Essence Founpact (SPF35 / PA++)

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Retail: ~SGD$40
Gmarket: SGD$27

I was actually most excited to try this product out of aaaallll the products I ordered. This was featured on Get It Beauty a while back, and supposedly it has a mega high water content! However… The first time I used this wasn’t very successful or anything 😦 It kind of sat on top of my skin like a film, and was pilling up on the surface. I will try this again with another foundation brush… Hopefully it’ll produce better results 😦

Edit: So I tried it with my beloved Shiseido 131, and while it did give me a very airbrushed, perfect finish, it’s really not the look that I’m going for. It still clung like a thick layer on my skin, unlike the CC Creams I’m so very used to – I just don’t think heavy coverage foundations are suitable for me 😦

First impression: ★★★☆☆


eSpoir Face Slip Nude Cushion (SPF 50+ / PA+++)

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Retail: 35,000KRW / ~SGD$44
Gmarket: ~SGD$26

I have too many cushions!! I first saw this cushion on a Singaporean YouTube channel, which is linked here – Shu An mentioned in the video that when they asked the air stewardesses how their skin looked so glowy and dewy, they pointed it out in the in-flight shopping magazine and were like, ‘eSpoir!’ I like how it supposedly gives a really light, natural finish, which is what I typically go for. Slowly, slowly – I’ll open this soon!

Note: This is also made by Amore Pacific.

First impression: ★★★★☆


Verite UV Multi Cushion DX (SPF 50 / PA+++)

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Retail: ~SGD$55
Gmarket: ~SGD$34.50

Actually… This cushion just represents me being greedy :p Once the rose gold/copper sides caught my eye, I was like YES. I NEED THIS. Same as the eSpoir – I’ll review this in due time.

Note: This is aaaaalso made by Amore Pacific. In fact, this technically even has Amore Pacific prepended to its name!

First impression: ★★★★☆


VDL Expert Colour Lip Cube (Guylian)

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Retail: SGD38
Gmarket: SGD$20

:’) This marbled chocolate (Guylian!) design was calling out to me, telling me ‘pick me! pick me!’ …so I did. I picked 3 of this (for me, my mum, and my aunt!). This is a great choice for me, as it’s really moisturizing, with a sheer pop of colour. The special cube shape of the lipstick allows for better application around cupid’s bow 🙂

First impression: 4half


VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation EX (Candy Bar) (SPF 50 / PA+++)

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Retail: 32,000KRW / SGD$40
Gmarket: 21,000KRW / SGD $26

You may have already seen this in my April Favourites post, but to be honest, I was a bit irked by the metal design initially – however, after seeing how versatile the metal surface is on Get It Beauty, it’s been my favourite foundation since I started using it (with my Shiseido 131 Foundation brush)! It wears decently in humid weather (can’t help it…), with minimal touchup required – I’m pretty darn satisfied with that 🙂

First impression: 4half


VDL Expert Colour Eye Book 6.4 (Pink)

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Retail: 48,000KRW / SGD$60
Gmarket: ~31,000KRW / SGD$40

This needs no words. Pantone x VDL = life

aghhhh that pastel pink

First impression: 4half


Mise en Scene Hello Bubble Foam Hair Color

7N Mocha Latte Brown, 7P Vintage Rose Pink

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Retail: ~15,000KRW / ~SGD$20
Gmarket: 2 f0r 12,900KRW / 1 for SGD$8

I’ve been looking to dye my hair for a while now, but I decided against it (last minute :() at the salon, as I wasn’t sure if my internship would allow my dyed hair. My friends have been recommending bubble foam hair dyes, so when I came across this on GMarket I was like yup this is it – Mise en Scene is one of the top haircare brands in Korea at the moment, and no surprise here – it’s owned by Amore Pacific as well. If I’m not wrong, scouring the shelves of Watsons only yielded pretty basic hair dyes like from Revlon and whatnot, which cost around $20 per pack – so I’m hoping that this is much better!

First impression: ★★★★☆


Son & Park Skin Fit Foundation (SPF45 / PA++)

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Retail: 35,000KRW / SGD$45
Qoo10: SGD$20

Son & Park are the two makeup artists who frequently appear on Get It Beauty, so in my eyes they’re fairly famous and trustworthy makeup artists. They are well-known for being the makeup artists who create the hottest trends in Korea – one of them was Cheon Song-Yi’s makeup artist on My Love From The Star! When they came up with their own makeup brand and I spotted it on Qoo10, I was all up for trying it out.

What’s so special about this foundation stick is that: 1. Green primer base in the middle of the stick, which helps to neutralize redness, and 2. The micro-brush on the other end of the stick to help blend out the foundation! Typically, I don’t go for heavy coverage, but I think this stick is a great option for me to venture into that world 🙂

First impression: ★★★★☆


Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Hair Serum

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Retail: ~SGD$13
Qoo10: 2 for $12.90 = SGD$6.50

Mise en Scene yet again 😀 Actually, I purchased this serum (set of 2!) off Qoo10 before I made my GMarket haul. I do suffer from extremely wiry hair – it’s just poofy and messy, and gets oily easily in this humid weather. A while back, my hairstylist suggested I start using hair serums and oils more frequently. I don’t like handling oils – no matter how much I wash my hands, there’s still an icky sensation left, but when I tried this oil-based serum for the first time… whoa. My hair was glossy, and my hands were happy! (Sometimes, when I really don’t feel like dirtying my hands, I drip the serum on a wide-toothed comb and run it through my hair. Works just fine for me!)

First impression: ★★★★☆


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GMarket has quite a bunch of coupons available, including Paypal, Visa, and new member coupons – they can all be found on the homepage of GMarket Global. These will definitely help to offset the expensive fees for EMS – my shipping actually came close to $20-25 :O

I know that quite a number of these products can’t really be found on RoseRoseShop, or TesterKorea, the typical shopping sites… Given the low-low-low Korean prices, easy-to-use platform, and lightning-fast service, I’d definitely recommend anyone to try out GMarket. Lots of Singaporeans have reviewed GMarket online, and the typically haul breakdown includes cosmetics and clothing!

On a similar note, maybe I’ll try out KoreaDepart in a few months – it has a base rate of USD$5 for shipping to Singapore! I hope this post helps enlighten anyone who wants to order from Gmarket 🙂

♥ April Favourites ♥

April Faves

Let’s go! My top 5 April Favourites are: (in no particular order)

1. Kicho Pore Cleansing Brush
2. Curél Foaming Body Wash
3. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
4. VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation EX
5. Shiseido Foundation Brush 131

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1. Kicho Pore Cleansing Brush

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This pore brush technically isn’t a new buy, but I’ve only just started using it after deciding that I was too lazy to charge my Clarisonic Mia. I got this from Sasa late last year, and its finely-packed bristles are amazing for gentle cleansing. Paired with my Hada Labo foam cleanser, it makes sure that my face is always clean at the end of the day!

2. Curél Foaming Body Wash

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After we ran out of the usual body wash, we wanted to try something new – Curél, as you might already know, is a brand my family is pretty familiar with. While foaming face washes are typical, we’d never tried foaming body washes – and this is great! This is softly moisturizing and cleanses my skin gently. One issue is, it’s so gentle that it might not be strong enough for sweaty days out.

3. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
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An old purchase, but I’ve never noticed how effective this snail ampoule was until April. With my internship, I’ve barely had time to run through my full routine every night, so I’ve been experimenting with using 1-2 products per night to help combat the dry skin from the aircon >( After much experimenting, I discovered that this snail ampoule was the 1 product that made a huge difference when I woke up in the morning – paired with my Hada Labo Lotion, and Laneige Sleeping Pack, my face is baby soft when I wake up :’)

4. VDL Beauty Metal Cushion Foundation EX

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A new purchase!! This was part of my GMarket haul, which I will be uploading sometime soon 🙂 What caught my eye about this VDL Metal Cushion is its metal palette; I can mix the foundation with other products (including concealer and emulsions), and I can use a brush with this… which brings me to:

5. Shiseido Foundation Brush 131

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I’ve always been eyeing a brush like this; After I spotted the 1028 foundation brush in Watsons, I really wanted to get one (but somehow I never did). I decided to get the original, Japanese drugstore version off Carousell… and w o w is basically all I can say!??! This brush is the best applicator for liquid foundations I’ve tried (at the moment); it gives me this polished, natural finish that I’ve never been able to obtain, even with Rubycell puffs, the BeautyBlender, and the Zoeva Silk Finish brush. This… brush is absolutely golden, and I will likely be reviewing this separately one day.


Let me know if you’d like to find out more about any of my April Favourites! 🙂

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

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! 🙂