Asia Holiday Haul: Beauty
I'm a little bit ashamed by how much I bought on my holiday last month, but I'm a firm believer in going all out when travelling, especially when it comes to shopping. Living in Australia and particularly in Perth, I don't have access to quite a few of my favourite shops and brands, so when I get the chance, I like to make the most of it because I know I'll end up regretting it. I think part of the enjoyment of travelling is being able to indulge and do things you wouldn't normally do at home, plus I saved up my money and hadn't gone beauty shopping in quite a while as I knew it would be much more fun (and cheaper) to buy them overseas. Travelling is a luxury I'm sure most of us don't get the chance to do as often as we'd like, so when I'm on holiday, I really don't hold back. Money can be earned back, but who knows when we'll get the chance to visit a country again. I don't believe I need to justify my purchases because I can spend my money on what I want, but I just wanted to share with you my reasons for my frivolous spending and actually, I didn't even end up straying away that much from my wishlist. People are a bit sensitive when it comes to hauls, which I find a little weird, but I absolutely love them, so here's part one of my holiday haul. Yes, there's a part two, which will be my clothing and accessory purchases. Yikes!
On the first night we arrived in Hong Kong, we wandered around Times Square after dinner and as I'd done a bit of research on beauty shopping in Hong Kong, Sasa was on my list of shops to check out. They're practically everywhere in Hong Kong and to me, are the Asian equivalent of the French pharmacie (the French spelling of pharmacy is way cuter). There's just so much and it's so overwhelming, you don't even know where to start! When it comes to skincare, the Asians and the French sure know their stuff. I started out with a mini bottle of Caudalie Beauty Elixir as my current one is running low after travelling and then hit up the sheet mask section, which the Asians are quite well known for. I picked up three SNP Skin Essence Masks on sale - one in Vitamin C, a tea tree oil one, as well as a hyaluronic acid sheet mask for different skincare needs. In addition, I bought an Anti-Dark Circle Eye Mask too as I've never tried an eye mask before and I'm sure it'll be really nice and refreshing. While researching beauty shopping, I came across a Hong Kong haul on a blog and found out about these really cool hair things. I don't know the actual name, but let's just call them hair velcro slides. You just slide them into your hair and it holds it in place. I love these for getting my fringe out of my face and they're much gentler than bobby bins, which can sometimes leave unwanted kinks in my fringe. You look a little stupid, but I only wear them at home! On another trip to Sasa, I bought the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum to replace my Indeed Labs Hydraluron when it runs out. As much as I love shopping in big beauty departments, I think I had the most fun in Sasa because it was so different from anything back home.
As a high end beauty brand lover, Facesss was another great place to shop. I bought the Origins Make A Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion as it had been on my wishlist for quite a while and for some reason, isn't available in Australia. At the last minute, I threw in the Origins Spot Remover too because those little mini products at the counter just lured me in and I've heard good things about it too. Benefit's Rockateur Blush was snapped up there as well and another blush, NARS Douceur, from Lane Crawford at the IFC Mall. I had been contemplating buying Douceur for so long and after swatching it in store, I was in love. All my favourite blogger girls have this and how can I resist that French name? When my mum and I went shopping on our own in Times Square, I picked up yet another blush. I can't help it, blush is just my one true weakness! I've actually owned MAC's Powder Blush in Peaches before, but it broke while I was travelling to Sydney last year, so I decided to replace it as I just love peachy coloured cheeks with my complexion. I also bought the Pro Palette Refill Pan in Charcoal Brown as I'm really into matte brown eyeshadow colours and I'm slowly completing my second MAC eyeshadow palette.
Also from Times Square, I bought the Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist and the Le Jour de Chanel Morning Reactivating Face Care. I wanted to buy all three serums from the Chanel Resynchronising Skincare range, but apparently you have to buy them separately, which is a bummer. I've got my Myer One rewards card saved up for Le Weekend de Chanel! The Chanel mist smells so beautifully refreshing, it's going to be absolutely perfect for those upcoming sweltering hot summer days and while I haven't used the serum just yet, I've read such amazing reviews of it. Plus, just look at that sleek, minimal packaging. I die. They didn't have my newfound holy grail mascara at this particular standalone Chanel beauty store, so I got the Le Volume de Chanel Mascara from the IFC Mall as my current tube has dried out. On my first visit to Chanel, they gave me the brown waterproof version, so I made sure to double check before I left the store this time around and they did it again! Brown and waterproof? No, thank you.
While my dad was having the time of his life at the Temple Street Night Markets, I found another beauty department store and dragged my mum and sister in with me. From there, I bought the Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum, which I've used in the past and absolutely loved to prime and lengthen my lashes, and also the YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks in #9 Rose Epicuren, which is a beautiful blue-toned pink colour.
From my various purchases, I managed to pick up a few free samples, which is always nice. From Sasa, I got two packets (packet samples are the worst!) of the Nuxe 1st Wrinkles Rich Smoothing Cream and a mini tube of the Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream. In two other mini tubes, I got a sample of the Origins Drink Up 10 Minute Mask from Origins at Facesss and from Chanel, the Le Volume de Chanel Mascara.
On the way to China at the train station, I stopped in at a chemist to buy some medicine for my cough and naturally, found myself wandering the skincare aisle too. I was super intrigued by the Bioderma White Objective H20 Micelle Solution, a skin brightening micellar water. I'll start using this once my current bottle of regular Bioderma runs out and let you know how this goes. I'm hoping it'll help clear those pesky blemish scars. Once in China, I didn't buy much as I was pretty shopped out from Hong Kong, plus I was saving the rest of my money for Sephora in Singapore. The Sephora stores in China were pretty underwhelming as they mostly stocked brands easily available at home, so I just bought two of the Sephora Express Nail Polish Remover bottles as I fell in love with it after first purchasing them in Sephora in Paris two years ago. I also bought the Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream as I love the smell of this and needed a new handbag hand cream. Lastly from China, I bought the Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips in Mannings. Katrina had asked me to pick up some for her, so I thought I'd get some for myself too as they're actually illegal in Australia! I've never tried teeth whitening before and I've been contemplating it for a while now, actually.
I was expecting to buy a lot more from Sephora in Singapore, but with the amount of shopping I'd already done and with Australia's first Sephora store opening in Sydney in December, I'm glad I didn't! I was in a real rush, so I didn't get a lot of time to look around, but I managed to get all that I wanted from my wishlist, which is the important thing. First and foremost is the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, which is just so stunning, I don't know why I didn't buy this when I travelled Europe! I wasn't interested in much from Tarte, but their Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed was just as beautiful swatched in real life as online, though I skipped out on Tipsy as I wasn't very impressed by the pigmentation nor the colour itself. Plus, I think I had already bought my fair share of blush! As with Urban Decay and Tarte, Fresh is another brand not available in Australia and I fell in love with the lemon cake smell of the Sugar Lip Treatment. I bought the shade Sugar Honey, which is a beautiful sheer nude, making it an easy lip colour to just lazily slap on. These contain an SPF of 15 too, which is a bonus. It was stupidly hot and humid in Singapore and with my sweaty makeup-less face, I made one of the assistants at Sephora colour match the Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen on me. This is a gorgeous, gorgeous product and from application to packaging, everything is so luxe. Next time, I want to try out the Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks - that name is just so cute! With my mum complaining about my OPI base coat not being smooth enough, I decided to try out another. I bought the Ciaté Underwear Base Coat as I love their top coat and again, such a cute name. I'm really impressed with myself that this was the only nail polish I bought!
The mini sample selection wasn't as great as the US Sephora stores apparently have, so I only ended up with two, them being the Living Proof Prime Style Extender and the Soap & Glory Daily Smooth Body Butter. I actually haven't read any reviews on the Style Extender, but Brodie says she loves this, so I trust her! Plus, they had pretty pictures of Jennifer Aniston next to the Living Proof stand (she co-owns the brand) and if there's anything that the '90s established, it's that she has nice hair. I probably didn't need more body butter in my life, but these cute little tubes are perfect for travelling and no doubt I'll be flying to Sydney soon when Sephora opens! You'd think I'd be over Sephora by now, but no.