Unsurprisingly, sunscreens take up the biggest slice of the suitcase...pie? mmmsuitcasepie, as I run through them so quickly. Here, backups of my favourite body sunscreen (which I also use as a secondary physical layer on my face over Ducray Melascreen Emulsion) Sunplay Super Block SPF50+ PA++++, and two bottles (white and lavender) of L'Oreal's new, alcohol- and zinc-free PA++++ offering (ingredients here), which seems to have a stellar combination of filters that will hopefully obviate any need for layering :D Sadly, these L'Oreals are currently only available in Japan, but they're garnering such high ratings in magazines and on @cosme that I hope they'll be rolled out to the rest of Asia soon, as traditionally has been the case with the made-in-Japan L'Oreal ranges.
More skincare, testament to my ongoing affair with HABA:
A second bottle of White Lady as my current one looks like this:
And a backup too of Triple White Brightener -- three months is long enough for me to realise this really is making a difference, not only to skintone-evenness in the sometimes-sallow areas around my eyes and mouth where I apply it, but as a bonus, to the nasolabial folds and emerging tear duct hollow also in those areas, which appear plumped out :D Also, it was on sale at SOGO's Spring Beauty Fair for HK$458 (vs the usual $620) so how could I resist?
The clear bottle contains HABA's flagship moisturiser/sealant, Squalane (which is, as advertised, simply pure squalane oil) a clear winner from my stack of HABA samples, and it replaces The Organic Pharmacy Oil I've used up. Giant VC Lotion tub from original review still going strong, and may yet outlive me, so no need to back up :P
Other skincare essentials (only one of each shown): Mandom Beauty Barrier Repair Super Moist sheet masks and serum, Sisley Sisleÿa eye cream (actually purchased at duty free on my way out), Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil (they reformulated/repackaged again; here's hoping my luck holds and this 5th? incarnation of my holy grail also won't burn my face off), Dr Wu Mandelic Acid serum, and various dark shades of the Kao Liese bubble hair dye that's permanently tinting (but more importantly giving some body to my pathetically limp, fine) hair.
Are you stultified by these boring purchases yet? I kind of mentioned being on a no-buy, right? Hmm, well it lasted a full month. And then I broke it / celebrated my progress! with this Koyudo BP034 brush, a kolinsky paddle bearing many similarities to my go-to Shu Uemura Natural 10, at a fraction of (to be precise, less than half) the price. (Koyudo had a pop-up stall right next to the HABA one at the SOGO beauty fair and I was stressed and hormonal and doomed.)
Also, armed with gift-cards-which-would-expire-before-my-next-trip and accumulated store points. So, having been coloured loud by Sara, this also happened. Just-released-in-HK Dior Fluid Sticks in (T to B:) Wonderland, Pandore and Mona Lisette. Because I'd read that they're not out until May in the UK, which is frankly monstrous. And alliterative.
To salve my conscience, here are some of the things that won't be making the return trip with me: Canmake Clear blushes in CL01 Clear Red Heart and CL02 Clear Sunset, as since this picture was taken I've finished both (having run through CL04 Clear Pink Joy even earlier).
Less satisfactorily, my Guerlain Samsara made a bid for freedom one night by melting off its base and falling onto the unspeakably grimy (simultaneously grainy and gooey, people, and I'm not alliterating for alliteration's sake any more) floor of a delicious hotpot restaurant (which, like the best of them, probably relies a bit too much on the fact that boiling chilli oil will kill most things actually going into the customers' mouths and so skimps on the basic hygiene aspect) and rolling off into the depths under the table. It's awfully demoralising to activate the dinky Rouge Auto push mechanism, only to have this sad little stump emerge D:
To cheer us after that harrowing vision, K-pop video of the week (possibly K-pop video of the YEAR, for me) is Orange Caramel's latest, Catallena, which manages to be hilarious, wacky, inventive, fun and actually kinda surprisingly pointed a feminist statement. With polkadot lashes. I've attempted an OC look before, but declare myself baffled as to how to achieve these :P Any ideas?