haul

Kevyn Aucoin Lipsticks

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This is the small Beautybay haul I mentioned in this post. Two Kevyn Aucoin lipsticks and three small brushes from Louise Young.

The lipsticks are from the ‘Expert Lip Color’ range, I think they have a small matte lipstick range now as well. They are 3.5g each and are made in Italy. The shades I got are Bloodroses and Black Dahlia:

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L: Bloodroses, R: Black Dahlia

They have a magnetic closure (the base is magnetized) but the magnet isn’t very strong. I thought the bullet looked short/small when I twisted it all the way up but it’s actually in the standard size. To give you an idea, Chanel lipsticks are 3.5g (apart from Rouge Coco Shine which are 3g each), UD Vice are 3.11g, MAC and Tom Ford are 3g, NARS Audacious are 4.2g.

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Left: Bloodroses one swipe, built-up. Right: Black Dahlia one swipe, built-up

Sorry I didn’t want to ruin the pointy tips of the new lippies so they have this funny shape.
I’ve never tried KA lipsticks before. These didn’t disappoint – they are creamy and luxurious. Colour is rich and opaque. Very comfortable on the lips.

From what I’ve read Bloodroses is a universally flattering shade, a deep red created by Kevyn Aucoin and one which he counted as his favourite. I did some swatches but all my red lipsticks are in the traditional vein and none came close to being as deep as Bloodroses: (more…)

Addiction by Ayako Haul

*ahem* I’ve been away on holidays, hence the silence again but more importantly it’s also how I got my paws on some Addiction shadows!! To compensate this will be a really long post so get ready!

I am so excited about these cos I’ve been wanting to try them since forever and the brand finally opened a counter in Hong Kong where I happened to be 🙂 Too bad I missed out on the opening GWPs, I heard there were some nice things.

Addiction by Ayako is a beauty brand in the Kosé family. Ayako was NARS’ creative director before starting Addiction. I found an interview with Ayako here on Haru’s website, my source for all Japanese beauty news 😉 Addiction has changed the packaging of their eye shadows when they (re)launched their eye shadows – all 99 shades at once. Some shades were retired, but I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the formula. Perhaps someone can comment?

Before I get into the shadows I purchased, I want to mention the LE Christmas Winter White set:

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pic from official website

This set was going for HKD550 (or thereabouts, IIRC) which I feel is a good price. Inside the compact you get 4 shadows and a blush:

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pic from official website

I was there the first day on the launch but after some thoughts, I passed. My reasons? I don’t use nail polish, and am not a fan of lip glosses, even if this one is black and thus more interesting. So there goes two products. The compact is nice but the blush shade is really more of a highlighter as the colour wouldn’t show unless you’re really fair and pale. And I don’t need another highlighter. Once I eliminated the blush shade there’s little reason left for me to get the palette even if the four shades of shadows are beautiful and practical and work really well together. This set is really a good deal and if you’re someone who uses all the products I highly recommend it. I should have asked the ladies if you can pop the highlight out and replace it with a blush instead (especially if you already own a blush from them). That would make this more versatile. Actually the gloss and polish would make kick ass as stocking stuffers even if you don’t use them. Oh well!

I picked up a total of seven eye shadow shades, purchased separately on different occasions. They are HKD 140 each, with 1g of product. You can buy an empty compact separately that could hold 4 shadows or a bigger one to hold 6 shadows. Note that the size of 1 blush = 2 shadows so you can customize whichever way you want. I almost got a compact but didn’t in the end because for me out of sight is out of mind.

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  1. 085 Shanghai Breakfast (P) A mauve with a gold and red gloss
  2. 082 Taxi Driver (P) A smooth grayish mauve
  3. 069 Flash Back (P) A grayish brown with a smooth gloss
  4. 040 Dolly Bird (P) A steel gray with a wet luster and sparkle
  5. 039 Yesterday (P) A light lavender gray radiating pink
  6. 043 Dangerous Liason (P) A deep purple shimmering with red and silver
  7. 109 Red Lily – Gold orange tinged with red, like the lilies of Northern Europe (limited edition)

It’s a bit of a pain to get the English names. They are not printed on the display panels in Hong Kong, nor on the boxes/sticker on the back of the cases. I had to cross reference them on the Japanese website. Having English names would make it so much easier to remember what I’ve got and what I’d like to try.

Swatches: (more…)

Small Korean Skincare Haul

The Man was in Korea for work and I slipped him a very modest list of stuff I’d like. I did some research online and while originally I wanted to get super high-end stuff from Whoo (so much cheaper) I decided against it lest I give the Man a fright. These are best done on my own or with the gals. Korean beauty shops are known for giving out samples and I’ll include those as well. Here’s what he managed to pick up:

Banila Co.

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Read so much about these I wanted to give them a try. Purity is for sensitive skin.

I have a couple of things from banila co. (the BB and CC primer) and while they didn’t wow me, they are budget-friendly decent products. I wanted to get the honey cream too but I have so many creams at home and (also on this list), plus I’m not 100% sure how I’ll react to honey, so I thought I’d wait another time. Luckily they threw a sample packet of it in:

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One packet of the Miss Flower & Mr. Honey cream (I don’t like this name) and a good handful of the V-V Vitalizing Serum. I haven’t looked into the serum but from the name I imagine this is supposed to help achieve that “V-shaped face”, the perfect oval shape. Generally a smaller and delicate face is the ideal.

Belief:

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I wrote about the sample I finished here. Samples given are:

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A packet of the same cream and the Hungarian water essence, which I think is supposed to be one of their best sellers too. I this is like a best-of sample set they give out to everyone, which they’ve prepared beforehand. I don’t mind getting the cream again, I can use this on the plane 🙂

SU:M 37:

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The Man commented that this is the priciest item on the list (lucky I didn’t put the Whoo stuff ). From what I’ve read the Secret Essence is a product that’s similar to the famous SK-II lotion, but it’s cheaper than SK-II (I’m not sure of the prices TBH maybe someone can confirm)? This is their star product and some reported results I’ve read include smaller pores, evening and brightening skin tone, moisturizing/plumping of the skin.
SU:M 37 is a skincare range that uses fermentation science, and is all natural with no preservatives, fragrance etc. Here’s the official website in English.

Samples:

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1 x Secret Essence
4 x Secret Repair Concentrate Cream
1 x Water Full Timeless Gel Cream
3 x Bright award Bubble De-Mask
1 x Signature essence D-Purifying (glass bottle!)

It’s Skin:

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I bought their award-winning star product Creme d’Escargot and the ginseng version. Claims include fading of dark spots and scars, brightening skin tone and moisturizing/plumping of the skin. It’s Skin is the most generous with samples. I was shocked:

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There were actually two of those Aloe masks but I’ve already used one (reviewed in March Empties post) before taking the photo 😛

And these:

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That’s two boxes of snail eye masks, each box containing five packs (hmmm odd number)? I haven’t opened them yet but if each sealed pack contains only one sheet then yes you’ll have to buy two boxes to get an even number of ten masks (five pairs) for five uses.
[updated 7th Apri] I’ve since opened and used one packet and there are indeed two sheets for both eyes (of course). So I got 10 pairs 🙂

Laneige:

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He picked this up at the Duty Free to get rid of some extra Won. No samples.
I’ve started using the Lip Sleeping Mask since my lips were in a terrible state. I don’t know why I expected this to deliver an overnight cure, that was unreasonable on my part. There was no miracle of course but even with continued use (1 week +) I still haven’t seen anything impressive. Maybe I’ll try to put a balm under this?

And that’s all! The last time the Man was in Korea he bought me some IOPE stuff from the airport duty free and there weren’t any samples at all. I don’t know what the conditions are to get tax refund in Korea (in France I think you have to spend something like 150 euros in one go, ie. on one receipt to qualify), what the sales tax are and if it’s a lot cheaper at the duty free. This time he had a little more time and someone helped him with finding the shops. I’m sure shops differ and the amount of samples given out depends on the part of the city you’re in and who’s on the roster that day so YMMV.

Random info: belif, SU:M37 and Whoo are all brands under LG!

Small Melvita Purchase

So this arrived today. I saw a promotion on the Melvita website last week and without thinking clicked the ‘buy’ button. Three items does not make a haul so I’ve adjusted the title to merely a ‘purchase’. Here’s what I got:

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They’re clearing their holiday stock. The stuff on the left are gifts. Here’s a closer look on what’s inside the box:

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It’s the Nectar Supreme range with La Creme for the face and an eye and lip cream. They threw in a  Rose Extraordinary water to make the set I think. These are all full-sized. The cream retails for 48 euros, eye cream 39 euros and the water is 15.50 euros. This set is 89 euros.

The gift:

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From left to right:
Pulpe de Rose plumping radiance cream (10ml)
Damask Rose floral water (28ml)
Rose Extraordinary water (25ml)
Extraordinary Oil (for face, body, hair) (17ml)
L’Argan Bio velvet hand cream (10ml)
Apicosma lip balm (3ml)
A mirror in its flocked pouch. This is almost impossible to open as there are no indents to help you grip.

And a tote bag:
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Recently a law was passed and shops are no longer allowed to give out plastic bags. They haven’t been free-to-give for a while, you usually have to pay for them but I believe now they can’t even supply plastic ones. Everyone has a small trolley in Paris (not just old ladies!) and I’ve been tugging mine to the supermarket for a while so I don’t really know the latest. But this bag has a button packs away nicely so good move from Melvita.

The gifts are all mini/travel sized, as you can see. I’ve tried and liked the Damask rose water and the mini spray will be handy and I can refill it with whatever after.

I got three little sample sachets as well but two are redundant products I already have in one form or another above.

Reviews when I start using them 😛  I’ve completely overwhelmed myself at this point.

Spring 2016 Purchases – Part 2

As promised the second part to my Spring hauls. This is mainly Japanese drugstore skincare and random stuff. I don’t think I ever wrote about where I get my stuff. I bought most of these from alpha beauty (not affiliated), it’s actually my first time buying from them and everything went smoothly. I find their prices reasonable but best of all shipping is free. Adam beauty was my go-to before but shipping isn’t free (it used to be in waaaay back when) and I realised that unless you live in HK you don’t get much of the savings advertised. Prices are similar to Alpha beauty, perhaps a few dollars more expensive depending on the product. They have a different selection though and Adam beauty appears to have a bigger range of the latest popular/hyped/cult stuff. A third website I know of is Good dealer. They tend to stock department store brands and usually have the latest releases. I’ve had good experiences purchasing from all of them.

Onto the stuff!

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Spring 2016 Purchases – Part 1

Odd typing that cos it’s February and it’s still winter. But since everyone is playing the ‘First!!’ game and with LE items we’ve been conditioned to think that sometimes it pays to act fast and so you are reading this short post. I’ve really tried to limit my buys and I think if I really pushed myself I could have just got the eye shadow and nothing else. But oh well!

This is part one, on Spring collections. I’ll have a 2nd (other stuff) and 3rd (brushes) part coming 😛

From the new collections, I picked up three LE items: two blushes (what was I thinking … *looks at already big stash guiltily* – oh right I wasn’t) and an eye shadow palette.

Blush #1, from Chanel:

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finally a good photo of this taken on a sunny day

Incredibly this is the first time I caved and bought a special edition Chanel blush with fancy design and stuff.  It’s the first non-baked Chanel blush from Chanel since Tweed Sienna, which was light years ago. It’s been a while since I bought any Chanel makeup in general, so opening this and smelling the familiar scent Chanel perfumes their blushes with brings back some fond memories.

So this new blush is called Sunkiss Ribbon and is part of their LA Sunrise collection. It’s made in France and comes with 11g of product. The baked formula has 4g of product. A typical MAC blush has 6g. 11g is what you got with the XXL Wonder Woman blush from MAC. (more…)

Recent Haul

Japanese stuff first:

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1. Kosé Medicated Sekkisei Lotion Excellent – this one contains 2 more premium ingredients. I hear this has some anti-aging properties?
2. Kosé Medicated Sekkisei – this is the regular, classic version.
The Man was on a business trip to Korea, he was very busy. So I bought #1 on my own and surprise surprise he managed to get me #2. That’s why this is looks a little Sekkisei overkill. I’m using a new bottle of #2 (not photographed) so I’m good for a long time.
3. Kosé softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil – tried and loved. My budget choice.
4. Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ – “a lightweight, water-based, high protection sunscreen with hyaluronic acid + royal jelly essence + citrus mix to help moisturize the skin. Can be used with primer, under makeup. Doesn’t leave a white cast.” This was voted as one of the best in the Japanese @cosme awards. Japanese sunscreens tend to be very light yet efficient and I’ve always preferred them.
5. Hada Labo Skin Conditioner Medicated Gokujyun – in addition to the moisturizing goodness of the classic skin conditioners, this one soothes irritated skin and prevents spots (hence medicated).
6. Hada Labo Shiroshizuku – this is a brightening serum/moisturizer
7. suisai Beauty Clear Powder – an enzyme based powder cleanser with moisturizing properties that cleanses pores, helps remove blackheads. I’ve used up boxes of this before and really like how smooth it leaves the skin feeling. Convenient for travel too of course.
8. Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick – this is a small, handy hair styling product. The green one here is for strong hold. I think they have a pink one.
9. Rohto Lycée eye drops – for contact lens wearer. Lightly cooling.
10. Lunasol Full Glamour Lips in #36 – already featured in the Nude lipstick post. This is a really, really moisturizing formula. I’m going to pick up more of these lipsticks when I can. So impressed! #36 is a new colour.
11. Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX01 Chocolat Beige – cream to powder blush. Doesn’t smell like chocolate (I hear the eyeshadows and lipstick/glosses do). Beautiful colour that mimics perfectly your own flush. Very natural. It’s on the sheer side layers wonderfully.
12. Maybelline Lashionista mascara in black – this mascara adds fibres to your lashes, making them look longer/more volume.
13. Shiseido Integrate gel liner in black – bought to try having read good things about it.
14. Kosé Fasio Smart Curl Mascara V – volume
15. Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long
16. Visée Super Slim Gel Liner – curious to compare this with others
17. Kate eyebrow pencil in BR-5
18. Kate slim gel pencil in black  – staple
19. Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in RD425
Hidden between #15 & 16:
20. Kosé Fasio Quick Dry Gel Liner in black – again want to compare with liners

I can’t remember when I started reincorporating Japanese skincare products into my regime, but for the last (almost) 8 years I’ve relied on European brands (specifically French drugstore) which my skin seemed to have preferred. Perhaps it’s the drier/cooler climate here, who knows. Nonetheless I’ve been getting deluxe skincare samples steadily (cleansers and toners mostly, then moisturizers) and with my recent experience of Sekkisei, I’m once again ready to embrace Asian skincare products.

Iope skincare:

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Haven’t tried these yet. Will report in time …

European stuff:

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The small tube is Sephora Brow Thickener.

A close-up of the Bobbi Brown:

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Intense Pigment Liner in Midnight.

Reviews to come!