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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Midweek Miscellany: Packing for Home

I'm off home! :D This has been my longest stint yet in Asia, and packing is proving a nightmare, so I'm taking a wee break and thought to share some quick snaps of the kinds of things I like to stock up on and bring back to the UK. Beauty-related things, anyway. The sack o' snacks being too gargantuan / bulgy to show...

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.


Moving onto makeup! Kinda. Three tubes each of my beloved Fasio Full Dynamic Volume mascara and of Kiss Me Heroine Make mascara remover to take it off, which has been saving my lashes and delicate eye-area skin for years.

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?

50 comments:

  1. Hey Kate, wow you stocked up! What do you mean the Fluid Sticks won't be out here till May??? It's monstrous for sure! No wonder I haven't heard anything about them. Ugh. Sad!

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    1. I don't get the logic behind these staggered releases! :( We haz internets now, companies!

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  2. YAY back to the UK with your awesome self! Just in time for more dreary grey skies masquerading as "spring". Also, OUCH @ the suicide of your precious Guerlain lipstick. D:

    It's tragically unfair that all the Japanese & Korean goodies are so much cheaper in Asia (well, not illogical, but still unfair). The last time I went home my mother was concerned at my seemingly wanton buying of ALL THE JAPANESE THINGS each time we went anywhere near a Watsons/ Guardians/ Sasa. Visions of her daughter frittering her life savings away on sunblock and essences...

    www.thislipsticklife.com

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    1. Faye, London air smells like NECTAR compared to the smog I've had percolating through my lungs! D:

      Haha, mum swap? I didn't take pics of all the Asian skincare/beauty crap she made me bring back for HER but it dwarfs my own stash!

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    2. One day, ONE DAY I will go to Japan in the flesh with one extra empty luggage...... and when I come back it will be FULL of all the japaneses goodies. * ___ *

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  3. I need that sunscreen!!! And all the HABA!! Why does HABA need to be sooooo marked up in Taiwan? It's like double the price or something, even through official distribution ;(
    But since you've mentioned Sogo's fair thingy, we've got the Hokkaido one on now, I need to stop stuffing my face with food tasters and feeling up all the Koyudos and double check whethet HABA is on display.

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    1. but you have THREE now! So *glares*
      Seriously, why is Haba so expensive? I thought Taiwanese prices usually were on par with HK ones or a little cheaper *scratches head* How is THREE priced relative to Japan, btw?

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    2. I have no idea why Haba TW choose to punish us so... Sadly, the current hiked prices are actually marked down. Apparently before, they more or less used the same numerals as the Yen pricing

      THREE is marked up, around about $300nt for the cleasing oil and $500nt for the 4Ds, it's not ideal, but it doesn't make me want to loose my lunch and dinner.

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  4. We are in agreement with many things on your list today, most notably with the Sunplay and Mandom products. I am soon to be adventuring to Japan so the Loreal sunscreen is on my shopping list. Thank you for the tips xx

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    1. <3 l'm looking forward greatly to the posts and pictures your latest trip will entail :)

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  5. I find the phrase "Fluid Sticks" hilarious for some reason. :D But I hope you review the ones you bought, because those colors look so beautifully, eye-searingly vivid. And never stop posting your favorite K-pop videos. (My SPICA obsession endures, btw, thanks to you.)

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    1. It is sort of a random cobbled-together-3-minutes-pre-deadline phrase :D
      Yes ma'am, both to the reviews and continued K-spam.

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  6. My you really have stocked up and then some ;) I'll just make grabby hands at your Dior Fluid Sticks if you don't mind, I can't believe they don't come out until May that is just rude ;)
    xx

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    1. There were a few shades (the more dramatic ones!) which weren't released in Asia, so I will get to share the pain of the wait with you all :) Solidarity, sister.

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  7. Hi Kate! Thank you for your always informative and amusing blog! Could you please give me some advice? I have the strangest skin tone. I am Caucasian, very fair, blonde hair and green eyes and I'm "of a certain age" as the french say. Everything turns orangey/yelow on me (foundation/blush/lip) and when you mentioned that you are combating sallowness under your eyes, it struck a chord. Although I have purpley-blue under eye circles, they tend to look sallow and darker than the rest of my skin when I use concealer. Could you please recommend a skin lightener and concealer that you have found helped? I am in the U.S. but could probably order Asian brands. Thank you!

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    1. Hi, Nina!

      Everything turning orange/yellow sounds like oxidisation to me, which can be due to skin's oils interacting with pigments, or your skin's pH (either natural, or due to the skincare products you're using underneath makeup). Unfortunately I never experience this, and it's entirely different from the eye/chin sallowness I experience (which is due to poor circulation), so I can't recommend anything :(
      However, I do know that any products, however light/whatever the colour in the pan, may all still continue to oxidise until you address the underlying cause of it. I'd recommend asking on the makeupalley make-up board which has members who know far more about combating oxidisation than I do.

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    2. Thank you Kate! Oxidation is part of the problem, but I think I'm going to try your HABA regimen anyway. This wasn't quite as big a problem when I was younger and my skin was oilier, but I also needed a lot more coverage then due to breakouts. Now my skin is on the dry side (though quite prone to clogging) but the oxidation is worse. I think I need to step up my kin care as far as clarity "whitening" products and see what happens. Best wishes on your travels home!

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  8. WHY CAN'T I HAVE NICE THINGS. But seriously, US market, women here need some good sunscreens too! We're not all bronze goddesses, pale pale folk needs serious sun protection... Gosh, maybe Amazon at least turns up something *mutters a prayer to Amazon gods... but not of the Mayan kind* I'm writhing in envy for all the Asian beauty goodness you're hauling back to the UK.

    With regards to the video clip, could we glue circles of bright paper from a whole punch to some rather spiky lashes? Worth a try, maybe? Also, now I need SUSHI :)

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    1. egads. I snortled and swallowed my spit incorrectly reading Monika's comment. *coughcoughcough*

      Amazon gods require only a hefty credit limit on your credit card. Mayan gods require human sacrifice. CHOOSE HOOMIN!

      I choose good sunscreen. *looks around for hoomins to sacrifice to angry gods*

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    2. *chortles* at you both :D
      Monika, it really enrages me (well, 'enrages' is a bit strong... only if my blood sugar's low) when I see the amazing skincare AND makeup (usually beautifully packaged too) available in Japan from brands like L'Oreal, Revlon, Rimmel etc. Which we never get even a glimpse of despite those brands being French/American/British!

      Hehe, maybe this is the motivation I needed to finally master falsies :D

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    3. Belly, look elsewhere for your hoomins! Only uber geeks here :D
      PS I love that your reaction to that video was "....damn, that's some cheap sushi!" MY GIRL <3

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  9. Ah jet setting between the make up capitals of the world - London and HK, sounds wonderful!! ;) Also you must have a big suitcase.

    PLEASE review the dior lip thingys - I'm so curious!

    Welcome back to London (living here only 6 months I'm not sure i'm in a position to welcome anyone back but I will anyway). I'm enjoying all its make up excesses and trying to resist weekly trips to Selfridges. :)

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    1. *waves* :)
      Monstrous suitcase! And now I have the bruised foot to show for it D:

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  10. Loved this post! When I used to travel to HK (sadly, stable desk job = no more crazy work travel), my suitcases would bulge to the breaking point with skin care and makeup contraband and random DevilRobot tofu head toys & madness you can get from the toy shop vending machines.

    Also, can we discuss how I. CAN'T. EVEN. on the Dior Fluid Sticks. Maybe it's because I work in public health but, yuck! The name just skeeves me out.

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    1. I'm rather cautious these days after one particular episode trying to wangle some dodgy Chinese medicine through decidedly humourless Swedish customs. >.>

      LOL, that's some gauntlet you've thrown down :P I bet you'd still buy one :D I bloody love this formula.

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  11. Sad stump is so sad! I remember watching one of those Taiwanese beauty shows where Kevin did a UVA/UVB test with a L'Oreal sunscreen. I think I bought some right after that show!

    I'm seriously looking into HABA now to get rid of my acne pigmentation. Hmmm...

    Have a safe trip back!! I may be heading back for a bit too next month. Wouldn't even know what to pack. :D

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    1. Oooh, I miss Queen! Can't deal with the mag/show these days, with all the subpar 'artists' they feature and measly dollops of Kevin/Niu Er once in a blue moon!

      Eep! Let me know if we are in town at the same time :D You still need to show me your secret Sichuan place.

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    2. ......... London meet up? #shameless. #notacreeper

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  12. Aw, man!!! If only I was 0.5% as organized shopping-wise as you are, I would have been blessed with plenty of good SUNCREEN from Asia. Hmm.. do you think the Mayan Gods can be bribed with good fried chicken for sacrifice, instead?

    P.S. Have a save voyage!!
    PPS. My.. my.. the video had me when one of the sushi lady is marinading herself in the soy sauce!

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    1. I have no delicious mini-Lorps to distract me :) Only delicious Muji snacks. Hmm.

      I thought that video would appeal to many of you :D

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  13. Well, Fluid Sticks are already available for purchase in the US, except for Mona Lisette?! OUTRAGEOUS. As for the squalene, when does one apply this? My skin's been a bit dry (even though I'm still oily *sigh*) so I think I should reevaluate how I moisturize. For now, it's just globs of thick cream day and night, and maybe I should do thin layers of different stuff.

    Safe journey home, Kate! <3

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    1. Some of the most hoor-y Kateish shades were also NOT available in HK! >:C Stupid marketing folks.

      Squalane = very last step. So maybe over a thinner coat of your current thick cream, or mixed in with it to loosen.

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  14. oh man!! i want to try those sunscreens and that mascara. im so glad you posted about the HABA products. I"m so excited to finish up the stuff i'm using to give those a try!!

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    1. I hope the HABA work for you :D They're minimally irritating, anyway, so even if you don't see amazing results, hopefully they won't do anything traumatic to your pretty face.

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  15. One of the reason why I love this blog so much is that you own so much product but you are able to use them up~~~

    Hands up for Koyudo purchase as well! I bought the fu-pa13 recently! The most satisfactory brush purchase recently. Will you lightly address your Shu U. dupe BP036 in the future?

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    1. :) I tend to re-home anything I notice I'm not using regularly.

      The fu-pa's are soooo cute! I will definitely do a more thorough comparison between the brushes once I've used the BP034 some more.

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  16. safe travels homeward bound! Your posts makes me want to try it all!! Note to self: must search for L'oreal sunscreen in Asia and HABA products!!

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    1. Thank you, Linda! :) L'Oreal is pretty available in every drugstore ever, as in the US/UK, just with totally different products >:C

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  17. Also, have you heard of/tried Meme boxes??!!

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    1. Heard of, not tried :) I don't like the idea of beauty boxes -- prefer to pick out my own products to try. Weird, I know. I also hate most GWP's.

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  18. Too bad about the lip product. :/

    Love the packaging on all the Asian beauty products. Have a good trip home.

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    1. So much packaging. I had a giant bin bag of the discarded paper/plastic after taking things out of their boxes :(

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  19. OMGahhhh! I am lemming so hard for the L'oreal sunscreen but shame that it has no zinc! Am currently waiting on some combi physical and tinosorb sunscreens to arrive that won't make me look so shiny and ball up on me as Ducray did. :(

    Did you try Haba's Squa Cleansing? Unfortunately Fancl is pulling out of Singapore and I don't want to try something that I can't easily repurchase should I love it.

    Ooh you managed to get Fasio in its old packaging. Have you tried the new one? Or is it just a packaging revamp and not a reformulation?

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    1. I think (based on some late night research) that its combo of filters will pretty much cover as wide a spectrum as ZnO, so hopefully I won't acquire any more freckles :) I agree there's probably no point in trying it out if ZnO doesn't dry you out as it does me.

      I did try a tiny sample of the Squa C, but many cleansing oils only start irritating/drying my skin halfway through the bottle, so I thought I'd hedge my bets with Fancl for now.

      This is still the old one; the new white tubes are a different formula as well as different packaging and I haven't sampled them yet :)

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  20. You really stocked!!! I also find Asian SS the best -currently using Shiseido, what's available here lol. Teh brush looks lovely!!!

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    1. I don't know of any other market that entails annual reformulation of sunscreens, with the latest tech :) I know Shi sunscreens are popular (in Asia too!) but they've always had far too much alcohol for me.

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  21. I'm always amazed at how quickly you burn through products! I'm still working on a few blushers from two years ago with nary a pan to be seen in any of them. I hope you have a wonderful flight home!! :D

    ps I ADORE orange caramel :D :D :D Catallena is so cute and quirky and I'm always a sucker for fun dresses+makeup, especially when they're on the gorgeous Nana *___* If you haven't seen the dance practice video for Catallena, you should check it out, the beginning and ending clips are too adorable...

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  22. I wanted to thank you for sharing your skincare success story. I got backups of all the HABA products and sunscreen you use, I was floored by your amazing results and I'm hoping for the same for myself and since I don't order skincare online when the weather is hot I didn't want to run out before autumn rolled around. I think I would have a suitcase full of makeup and skincare goodies from Asia if I were lucky enough to travel there soon.

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  23. I wish I read this before I left Japan! :( Haha I noticed that a lot of products are SPF-focused and I wanted to get one (I did end up getting one) but the choices were so overwhelming that it was kind of like grasping around in the dark~ Next time, perhaps!

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  24. Running through your list of hoarded goods gave me the most vicarious makeuppy pleasure! Also said a little prayer for our dearly departed friends Canmake and Guerlain. May you be as happy with the new Dior fluids. LOL (Review soon???)

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