So, I know I've been MIA for most of the last month, but I have the medical certificate to excuse this. Between the illness that lasted 3 weeks and setting up house, I've been unduly swamped at work. In short, I apologise for the lack of posts. Rest assured, however, that I am back, and what better way to return that with the US haul post I promised?
Naturally, the first instinct that shopping in the States brings is Sephora. This is incredibly odd since Sephora is a French brand. I would gladly visit Sephora over the Eiffel Tower any day! But that is an adventure for another time. I had to settle for the US counterpart as both my sisters-in-law were in the States a month after each other. So, let the haul commence!
[These bags make my heart beat wildly]
One of the best things about Sephora US is the fact that they put together kits all the time of deluxe sample sized items from various brands allowing you to explore a good selection. There was one in particular I couldn't wait to get my hands on!
[Sephora US Haul 1]
There's also not stingy with their samples the way Sephora is here, so I asked my SIL to get some Glamglow for me (Spoiler Alert: Video review of Glamglow's YouthMud & ThirstyMud will be up next week).
[All the Glamglow!!! (Except their newest variety, which wasn't out at the time)]
I'm not sure if I'm mentioned it prior to this, but I have a bit of a kabuki brush collection going on, and when I saw on the site that Sephora's in-house brand had a MASSIVE kabuki brush out for summer, I couldn't help myself.
[Sephora's Sunwashed Jumbo Kabuki Brush (Rio Collection)]
When I say massive, I mean it. This brush is the size of my palm!
[Get your whole face with one swipe!]
As mentioned, I was eyeing one of Sephora's kits, and it was their Sun Safety Kit. As mentioned in previous posts, I've recently acquired the realisation that I should probably wear sunblock on a regular basis, especially now that I'm experimenting, rather unsuccessfully, with retinols.
[Sephora's Sun Safety Kit]
The only issue I have with this kit is that it contains bronzing products as well. Just 2 deluxe samples and 2 sachets though, so even sans these additions, it's an absolute bargain!
[Sun Safety Goodies]
First up, the stuff I will never use, and have already given away!
[St. Tropez's Bronzing Mousse]
[Tarte's Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Bronzer]
[Dr Dennis Gross' Alpha Beta Daily Glow Moisture and Self-Tanner]
[Stila's Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Bronzing Beauty Balm]
Now, for the good stuff!
[Supergoop's Sunscreen Mist]
I've heard plenty of awesome things about this brand, but a sunscreen mist? Impressive! I like it already!
[Peter Thomas Roth's Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion]
I would never, ever buy this in its full size without trying it first. As with all Peter Thomas Roth products, they're up there in price, and I can't justify a purchase with the puny samples they depot in Sephora, all while making a face about it.This is so much less stressful. If you were inclined to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, as you should, this size would be perfect for carrying around. I don't do such things though. I'm not a very responsible adult!
And there's Shiseido! I've heard wonderful things, for so many years about this specific sunscreen, and I think they've now reformulated it to make it even better, so I couldn't help my heart from skipping a beat when I pulled it out of the packaging.
[Shiseido's Ultimate Protection Cream]
Next up, we have Algenist. They're in Sephora Malaysia now, but didn't pop up with much fanfare despite the accolades it has received from online reviews. It's what I'm currently using and it contains SPF 20. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it as yet, so stay tuned for a detailed review. The only definitive comment I have is that it smells like you're disinfecting your face!
[Algenist's Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer]
And some Clarins...
[Clarins' UV Plus HP Sunscreen Multi-Protection]
And some Murad!
[Murad's Oil-Control Mattifier]
I have multiple samples of this, mostly from Bag of Love, and I feel like I can never have too many! It's an awesome product, but I haven't decided whether it's my favourite as yet so I can't quite plunge into the purchase. Plus, it's SPF 15, which seems a little on the low side of the spectrum in this absurd weather.
[Ole Henriksen's Protect the Truth SPF 50+]
I don't know what truth I'm meant to be protecting with this one, but it's definitely something I'm curious about. I've used this use and it's pretty good. It smells like the similar range of makeup wipes, and while I'm not a fan of those, I can't say the same for this. It held itself well on the tightrope of moisture in that I could easily use this without a moisturiser and not have any discernible dehydration or discomfort, and yet using it with a moisturiser didn't make my oil-control issues any worse.
Now, we all know I love Origins, and I had no idea the APW reange had a sunblock. I'm rather excited to try it out.
[Origins' A Perfect World SPF 25]
On to other things you didn't know you needed: Lip sunscreen! Yes!
[fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment]
The majority of fresh's Sugar Lip Treatments have SPF in them, especially those which are tinted. I own the Rose variety, but I much prefer this. It's clear and smells wonderful. The Rose version has a barely discernible tint which looks more like your lips are inflamed than pretty. This smells lemon-y, and sugary, and it makes me very happy!
Of course, Sephora would be a lie without makeup, so we've finally come to that portion of it.
[Too Faced's Chocolate Soleil in Medium/Deep Matte Bronzer]
I've heard only good things about this bronzer and I certainly haven't been misled! I like that it's a deeper shade so that I'm not left with a product I never use in my drawer. The perks of this include wonderfully accurate bronzing colour, as well as the scent of chocolate. Yes, my love of chocolate extends to putting it on my face!
They even popped in some Bare Minerals!
[Bare Minerals' READY Touch Up Veil]
I've yet to review it, but Bare Minerals' READY foundation is one of my absolute favourites. It's so miraculous on all fronts that I would marry it if the law would let me!
Their mineral veil is excellent as well! Meant to be a product along the lines of Guerlain's Meteorites and Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powders,
So the fact that I have its counterpart in a compact made for touch-ups is a perk I could do with!
[Well, Hello to you too!]
For some reason, Clinique refuses to sell their eyeshadow palettes here. These are a permanent item, unlike the Clarins' palette that came out for Christmas which I missed out on. Sad times in my life.
[Clinique's Neutral Territory 2 Palette]
Really, look at it! Do you understand why they don't have this here? Because I still don't!
[4 Light Shades]
[4 Deeper Shades]
The colours are incredibly pigmented and pretty. Clinique is clearly holding back on us here!
Next up, an order (or two, or three) I had sent to my second SIL's place when she went back to visit her parents.
[A Box Full of Love]
As with all orders, you get 3 free samples.
[Marc Jacobs' Daisy eau So Fresh Sample]
[MUFE's HD Powder Sample]
[Sunday Riley's Good Genes Treatment Sample]
[Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau Sample]
[Nude's Treatment Oil]
[Hourglass' Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation Sample]
There is nothing in this world more mattifying than this foundation and I'm already angling to get hold of it in a future order. It's unbelievable!
[Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Sample]
[First Aid Beauty's Purifying Mask with Red Clay Sample]
It's no secret that I adore FAB, and there have been exciting things said about the Red Clay range. This is a peel off masque, and while I'm not quite a fan of peel off masques (which is the sole reason for my not purchasing it), it really is all it's cracked up to be. I'm now curious about the Red Clay cleanser and will be trying to get hold of a sample.
Next up, we have a brands that's been touted as the stuff of legends: Omorovicza. It's a brand best known for their Queen of Hungary Mist, and I wasn't about to plop down US$90 for a face mist without trying it first! At a decidedly lower price tag, I managed to get an array of their products to try out.
[Omorovicza's Discovery Kit]
[Omorovicza's Cleansing Foam]
[Omorovicza's Queen of Hungary Mist]
It's a really lovely smelling mist, but I can't say I'm regretting now getting the full size. I don't think it's worth that kind of money!
[Omorovicza's Balancing Moisturiser]
[Omorovicza's Deep Cleansing Mask]
[Omorovicza's Thermal Cleansing Balm]
Would you guys like a review on the full kit? Let me know and I'll be happy to do one!
And, at this juncture, it wouldn't be a Sephora order without Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Palette. When this sold out over Christmas, my soul died a little and I've been kicking myself for not buying it. However, it's now a permanent item, and I'm so stoked to have it in my possession!
[Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Palette]
If you're not sure as to what these are, or why you need them, and you don't think you need the Guerlain Meteorites, then you're fine without it in your collection.
Essentially, these are finishing powders. The difference between a finishing and setting powder? Plenty! A setting powder sets your base and keeps it in place. Finishing powders create a subtle veil which is almost imperceptible, but does wonders.
[Dim Light; Incandescent Light and Radiant Light]
My SIL also popped by CVS to pick up some stuff for me. Stuff I've been lusting after!
[Why can't we have this stuff in our pharmacies?!]
First off, a product I've personally asked Vaseline to bring in, to which they were non-committal!
[Vaseline's Spray & Go - Aloe Fresh]
If any place on Earth deserves this product, it's Southeast Asia! It's so light, and sinks in to an almost imperceptible layer or moisture. It's so, so much better than the regular stuff!
And some Physicians' Formula!
[Physicians' Formula Happy Booster Blush]
Initially, I wanted this because it would look so pretty in my collection, but after using it, I'm beyond pleased to have it!
It's just so pretty! It even comes with a little brush.
It's pretty enough but it's too flimsy to be useful.
It's absolutely gorgeous on since it provides a bit of a sheen, allowing you to look naturally flushed without the addition of a highlight.
I have every Color Tattoo available here, and I love them. I just wish they didn't try out so quickly. But I simply couldn't resist this shade!
[Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk]
Look how pretty! It's a gorgeous metallic plum shade and it works really well under browns, purples or even greens and blues. It just makes me so happy!
[L'Oreal's Miss Manga Mascara]
This mascara has some really mixed reviews. From what I can glean, it works well for those who have decent lashes and just want them to pop. I'm really excited to try this out!
This part of the haul may actually be what I'm most excited about: Makeup Geek eyeshadows! Marlena of MUG is one of the first people I started watching on YouTube long, LONG ago when I first got into makeup, and when I heard that she'd launched her own line, I was stoked. When I read the reviews and saw the swatches, I couldn't wait to get my hands on these, but I held back. They do ship to Malaysia for very reasonable rates, so after trying these, I'm not entirely sure why I didn't get them sooner!
[MUG Shadows in Pan Form]
These have been said to be comparable to MAC because they're of similar quality and size. Quite honestly though, these far surpass MAC shadows in all aspects, including price. They work out to a fraction of the price of MAC shadows, without compromising pigmentation or quality. I'm in love! You can buy these in little tubs, but since I have MAC palettes which are empty-ish, I decided to just get the pans and slot them in. I bought a pre-selected set of 9 of their bestsellers, and I have no regrets about any of them.
[Makeup Geek Loving!]
They come in a little envelope, and the name of the shade is printed on a sticker at the bottom of the shadow pan.
Let's see some swatches, shall we?
I didn't even swatch these well. They are so pigmented that you barely need to swirl your finger a whole round. I feel like MAC has been cheating me!
And look how beautifully they've filled my MAC palettes. You can't even tell the difference between them!
Few sights make me as happy!
And finally, brushes! I've been hearing tales of Sedona Lace being a better, more affordable, kit to have than Sigma, and I must say that I was mostly not disappointed by this set.
[Sedona Lace's Se7ven]
While they've recently released their Vortex collection, which is meant to be spectacular, I opted for their traditional variety just to see if they lived up to the hype.
[Loving the colour!]
[Can you spot the wonky brush?]
[Labelled for Convenience]
My only issue with it was something I didn't even notice myself. I didn't have a chance to wash these brushes before I had a meetup with the lovely ShopGirl, Samia and Laura where we had planned to gush about makeup all night. So I took these with me because they are so incredibly soft. So, SO soft! Coincidentally, the first brush ShopGirl picked up was the one brush that was subpar. The poor girl felt so bad because she thought she ruined my brush! Turns out I got a bad piece because the brush was shedding like it was going through chemotherapy. I'm so horrified by this! I've not had a problem with a single hair shedding on any of the other brushes, so I'm assuming I just got a bad piece. Terrible experience, and traumatising ShopGirl, aside, this set is fantastic. Be warned that these brushes run on the bigger side for multipurpose use so if you tend to favour more regular sized brushes, you can opt for the others in the collection. They do ship internationally, and I do love these brushes, so I highly recommend them!
And that is all the hauling for a while. Back to regular programming this week!