Most of my real life friends/family know as a fact that I'm a beauty addict. Not all knows that I keep a blog or what not, but every now and then, they love to treat me with beauty bits and pieces to make me happy. Recently I have received some nice beauty gifts from three girl friends, hence this blog title! ;)
From Korea, by Air
One of my besties A went on a Korean Skiing/Foodie holiday. She didn't bring me along, but brought me back couple beauty souvenirs as compensation (kidding). Korea is the Asian beauty heaven. Not only are uncountable brands and products produced, but also they are sold at very reasonable, almost obscenely low price points! I did not request anything in particular, although I did want to get some concealers or brow stuff to try (raised brow). Turned out, I'm gifted with a galore of face masks and a little extra bit!
Etude House has recently opened two shops in Mongkok, here in Hong Kong. I visited one once to shop for a swap. The price here in HK is okay, but the shop seemed to be over-packed with tourists and local. Scary. Anyway, I got a Natural Mask in Pomegranate, a Vitamin E Essence Mask Sheet and two pieces of Ginkgo Lip Area Patch from A. From another brand called Aritaum, which is a Korean retailer similar to the HK Sasa (A says), Natural Fresh Mask in Honey, Tea Tree, Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid. Finally, I got an It's Skin Prestige Masque D'Escargot - it is a bio-cellulose type of jelly sheet mask, already used this! - and an A'Pieu Twinkle Nail Touch. This is supposed to be applied before nail polish, and when you want to remove the nail colour, simply peel off the whole thing at ease - the concept is not new, but I'm curious to see if this works or not!
Beauty Exchange at Causeway Bay
My cousin H, who's also a beauty fanatic like me, exchanged several face masks with me. She is more into East Asian style and brands, i.e. Korean, Japanese, Taiwan, while I'm more indiscriminate; she also keeps a beauty blog, but she doesn't write as regularly as I do. I am a little different, my taste varies from time to time, and I regard myself lack of brand loyalty. I like anything from European to American, Australian to Middle-Eastern. :P
Our recent meet-ups include touring and messing up around beauty counters at department stores (one can learn a lot about sales assistants with the company of another young girlfriend, and easily leave counters one dislikes), coffee and kimchi snack sessions, skin care samples price-comparing and hunting trips at Sasa and Bonjour, etc, etc. We can talk about beauty non-stop for hours. Marvellous. In between discussion about the newest foundations, or our all time favourite blush colours, we also make recommendations on good products, and discourage each other to try or buy crappy stuff. To our surprises (not really), we both realise we have quite a selection of face masks at home, so we brought some to exchange and try out, sweet.
Mask House is a Korean brand which makes a variety of masks sold at Mannings. I have used the other types before, e.g. the 潤 Nourishing Mask. H got me two 白。亮采 Brightening Korean Herbal Mask, and two 水。漾澤 Hydrating Korean Herbal Mask. The red/orange mask is from Kracie Hadabisei 肌美精, a mass-market brand of Kanebo group. This option is their Collagen Moisture Mask (- Sasa Link) which has Co-Q10, soy extract, and has a serum-lotion hybrid fluid running in the mask. I have other 'flavours' from this brand in this 'flavour' and that 'black' one, eager to try this one! SexyLook is a brand from Taiwan, you can also find my review of other masks from this line if you use the search box on the left of this blog. H gave me a piece of Ultra Whitening Mask (- Sasa Link) which has pearl, hyaluronic acid and rosewater in, sounds very whitening and moisturising! :)
Sasa VIP, Two is better than One
March is the cut-off mark for our annual accumulated VIP points at Sasa. So, Sasa let their VIP redeem quite a few items for free with 300 points each. Each VIP can only get one piece of each kind. As my sister Jen and I are both VIPs, so I made sure she went out and redeem her share, whether it is for me or herself! She is very generous to donate all of what she got to me. Yay!
In total, we got quite an assortment of products. First of all there are one each of the Hisamitsu masks: Arbutin + Marine Collagen Essence Mask (- shop link), Collagen Q10 + Squalane Essence Mask (- shop link), and Hyaluronic Acid Essence Mask (- shop link). Then, two pieces of Kanebo Kracie Hadabisei Moisturizing Facial Masks #Citrus (- shop link) - I have used this before and love it (review link)! A Belle Madame Konjac Washing Sponge (oval shape) (- shop link) which is new to me, and two Kuan Yuan Lian 廣源良Cucumber Water (- shop link) which I own and enjoy in the spray can form. Finally there is a Noblesse Color-longstay Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in Plum, a beautiful deep rose red colour, and two sachets of Collistar Thermoactive Talasso-Scrub, a reshaping exfoliating salts with phytoextracts and essential oils.
The fact that all of these were obtained for free with the points I have accumulated through-out the year makes me wonder, how could I have spent that much fortune at Sasa in twelve months? :O Time to execute something stricter to control my spending! *Plus, I have really no space left for more stuff - you will know what I have recently purchased in the coming few 'acquisition' posts!*
Have you recently got anything for free from retailers? Do you go department store playing testers with your friends and share tips and opinions?