Thursday, November 29, 2012

4.116 This Isn't Forever + Sephora VIB 20% Sale

A few of my coworkers have left, off to the next chapter in their lives. Goodbyes have never been an easy thing for me to accept. I'm the type of person who likes to get to know people and as a result I typically attach myself a little to those I befriend. I get sad easily if I know that I won't be able to see them for a while or ever again, but even though I will miss them dearly, I am happy to see them go off to do better things.

I know I said I was going to share my Sephora purchase alongside my Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, but I thought I should share now before it becomes completely irrelevant.

When I received the email to inform me of the VIB sale, I was pleasantly surprised and extremely pleased to know that I qualified for it. This time, Sephora gifted us with a reusable Sephora bag with our purchase. How nice and useful!

Before heading into the sale, I made a balanced shopping list of what I needed and what I wanted. The things I needed were a few Fresh skincare products, namely the Soy Face Cleanser that I ran out of a long time ago and the Soy Face Exfoliant that I'm almost out of. The Rose Face Mask has been something I've been wanting forever, but seeing that it is pretty expensive, I had to wait patiently until Sephora had some sort of sale. The other Fresh item I got was a value gift set with a full-sized Sugar balm in "Berry". I'm excited to use it because I've been swooning over dark lips after seeing Severine in 007 Skyfall. I intended to buy a couple more Fresh skincare items but they were sold out at the time, so instead, I gladly opted for a couple YSL glossy balms.

They also gave me this VIB pamphlet with a 10% off discount card for my next purchase, a private 45-minute makeup session, and a new Sephora beauty insider card(??). It's silver and has VIB splashed across it. I think it's the new card but I didn't look inside the pamphlet before leaving the store so I didn't have the chance to ask a store associate. Okay I just checked online to see what the silver card is. Apparently it's given to customers with VIB status. If you eventually lose that status, it will be replaced with a normal beauty insider card the next time you visit. Gotcha.

Anyway, if and when I have time, I will go into more detail of what I got. For now, I bid you adieu. And you know how much I hate farewells.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal." -From a headstone in Ireland

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

4.115 Shopping

And as the title says, I have been shopping... a lot. I even participated in the Sephora VIB sale, Black Friday, and the Cyber Monday sale. But I'll share those when I get my online order shipped to me. I know it's not good to turn to shopping as any form of therapy... but as one of my friends say, "Money is meant to be spent." Although it's not the greatest thing to say to someone who is showing the beginning signs of a shopping addiction, I can't help but feel a little less guilty hearing them tell me that. And when I say I feel less guilty, know that I feel shoppers remorse almost every time after I've done the deed. It's a difficult balance between filling in what I "need" and what is absolutely unnecessary for me to have.

Lately it's all been about fashion and finding my own style. I don't want to spend a fortune on trendy pieces only to have them go out the next season. I'm picky when it comes to adding pieces to my closet because they have to be just right.

A couple of years ago when The Bay started to carry Free People, I did not have the slightest interest in the brand after having a glimpse at the price tags. They are expensive. Sometimes outrageously expensive for what the garment was.

Fast forward to 2012, something catches my eye and I can't help but walk over to have a look at pants in different colours that lay on a table. I immediately fall in love with how muted and understated the colours were. They're not bold or bright so it's perfect for Fall and the colder weather. $80 wasn't bad in my books for a pair of pants, but I didn't want to buy if it was possible to get them on sale.

So, after waiting patiently for them to go on sale, I get them separately on two occasion from two different sales. First I got the maroon colour even though I really wanted the orange (it was sold out at the location I went to). But afterwards I was lucky enough to find the orange pair, which I was willing to pay full price for, but was pleased to buy them on sale when I went to cash.

I got these two sheer tops at Dynamite. The store reminds me of Forever 21 but it's a bit more expensive (not that their clothing quality reflects this). I've been looking for this simple style of long sleeve everywhere for the longest time and only managed to find it here. They're not great quality but I forked over $29.90 each anyway since I can't find it anywhere. I know there's a ton of sheer tops out there, but I couldn't find any that were more simple like these.

This is a dress I bought from H&M. I consider it my "target outfit". It's simple but hugs to the body. I don't own many dresses so this addition is nice for me.

This cardigan was also from H&M. I wasn't looking for one with an elbow detail, but I thought it was a nice touch so I got it.

Lastly for today, you might have remembered me mentioning this H&M coat from last year... I bought it but then returned it because at the time I couldn't justify spending $80 when I didn't have any income. Plus I was a little more plump so it didn't exactly look that great on me. But when I saw it in stores again this year, I guess they were trying to sell the remaining fall items from last year's stock, I think it was meant to be. It was in my size and it was the last one in the store. Could I say more?

I love the cross-x detail in the back. The coat is very form fitting and looks expensive even though it's not.

I feel like I could do my own Friday Haul like LisaLisaD1 at the rate I'm going haha. Let's hope it doesn't get to that but oddly when you share things on blogger, the purchases seem a lot more than when you share on youtube. I think it has to do with the number of pictures.

"Don't make someone your priority when to them you're just an option." -Unknown

Monday, November 26, 2012

4.114 Never Stop Chasing Your Dreams

I currently find myself in a rut. Which probably explains why I've been shopping like a mad woman as of late. Shopping therapy though, however good it feels in the moment, is very short-lived. This boring daily routine has caused me to lose sight of everything that has inspired me. Can you tell how uninteresting my posts have been? If you haven't, I guess my dire efforts to cover it all up weren't a loss cause, but as the blogger, I have definitely felt the void. I need to re-find myself to be happy, be inspired, and to regain substance in my blog posts again. It is easy to lose sight of how beautiful the world is, when all day and all night I'm constantly surrounded by four walls. I need to go out and explore, pick a hobby, read, cook, or even watch inspirational videos to get me going.

Something, anything.

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” -Frederick Keonig

Thursday, November 22, 2012

4.113 Food Is Worth The Splurge

I dropped by T&T twice last week and this week to pick up a few things. Typically the things I would put in my basket aren't things my mom would pick up (unless they were on sale). Although I try to buy things on sale (as you know), I don't mind shelling out a few more bucks for good quality food that won't spoil over the next couple of days. Food is one of the things in life that you shouldn't cheap out on.

The first trip I mainly focused on buying ingredients I ran out of at home while the second trip mainly was for snacks/drinks I can bring along to work. I bought a lot of cans of the Gina Mango Nectar because they're so yummy.

If you love milk tea, you have to give Kirin Milk Tea a try. It's a bit on the expensive side but it's delicious so it's worth it. It was $2.49/can at T&T but it's also available in this huge plastic bottle that goes for around $10 I believe. It's imported from Japan and you can really tell the difference in the quality of the can itself. It seriously feels like I went to Japan and bought it lol.

I bought this Taro Coconut Milk Tea powder mix to try because I love drinking Taro bubble tea. If this powder milk worked out I would be able to drink some when I'm at work. Unfortunately it doesn't taste all that great. It also has tiny coconut bits which was interesting but the drink itself wasn't sweet as I'd like it to be.

If you remember, I bought some quality cheese for Thanksgiving to eat with crackers and loved it. I saw this Brie spread at Walmart and thought it would taste great too since Brie cheese is absolutely delicious. It wasn't until after that I noticed it said processed Brie cheese on the lid, and boy is that ever right. It tastes exactly like processed cheese- like the processed cheddar cheese slices you put in hamburgers. Not worth $5 in my opinion.

I've been visiting HMV quite often these days. I've been buying the seasons of Big Bang Theory and also a few dvds of my favourite movies.

Earlier this week I spotted this great find, The Mummy dvd trilogy set for only $15!! I really love watching The Mummy and I've been on the hunt to collect all 3 movies. Luckily I haven't bought any because this set was a great deal.

Speaking of deals, anyone heading to the shops for Black Friday? I know sales in the U.S. is probably so much better... but here in Canada I think it's starting to pick up a little. The deals I see are better than last year so hopefully in the years to come it'll only get better. I'll be heading out downtown to see if I can catch a few deals.

"Happiness, it is said, is seldom found by those who seek it, and never by those who seek it for themselves." -F. Emerson Andrews

Saturday, November 17, 2012

4.112 Beauty Obsessed

If you thought I was starting to fall off the beauty bandwagon, think again.

I know the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection launched in October, but I didn't get a chance to share what I got. The day it launched I ran to my nearest MAC counter in an attempt to get my hands on the one item I wanted from the collection, a blush called "Legendary".

I figured if I were to get my first MAC limited edition item with special packaging, it should be from a collection that was iconic.

Luckily I came just in time as it was the second last one they had at the counter I went to. If you know me, you'd know I'm a sucker for anything peachy-pink. It's a satin finish so it's not shimmery but not matte either. and looks very natural.

I also got my first official MAC brush! I say official because I've bought their Holiday set brushes years ago but those aren't full size. I give plenty of time to think before buying expensive brushes because I only want to buy ones that I think will be most useful to me. I decided on the 231 because Queenie uses it all the time in her tutorials to line her eyes. I think this brush will come to be very handy to me as I have nothing else like it.

I have not gone... scratch that, I'd be lying if I said I haven't walked into a Sephora. I have gone but I haven't bought anything from Sephora in a very long time (with the exception of the Juicy Couture perfume I bought back in the summer). If we discount the perfume, my last Sephora cosmetic purchase was made back in...  December 2010(?!). Wow, is that even right?

These purchases were made before the Sephora VIB sale happened which I was pleasantly surprised I qualified for. I love shopping around the Holidays because companies tend to come out with special deals. Fresh has a bunch of them right now. One of the SAs told me that Fresh made the mistake of packaging the full sized "Passion" lip balm in the Sugar Perfection kit shown above. The balm was suppose to be a mini version which is why the box doesn't close all the way. Their mistake, my deal!

Here is my collection so far. I plan to collect all of the Sugar lip balms. I can't even remember now what made me try Fresh's lip balms in the first place. I think it might have been because I loved their cleanser so much after discovering it while browsing around in Sephora that I went ahead and checked out the other products they had. At the time they only had their one original lip balm (far left), but now they have quite a few!

And if those lippies weren't enough... on another day I got my hands on my first YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick (it's so fun to say).

The packaging is so divine and beautiful. I got it in 30 "Faubourg Peach", described as a pastel coral with red undertones.

I don't think I need to go into on how gorgeous the tube is. See for yourself.

Apologies for the lighting. It makes the colour a bit off. My fluorescent light is actually fixed now so I'll re-swatch and share in a later post.

In October Shoppers had this Fall Beauty Bonus promotion where if you spend over a certain amount you receive a collection of luxury samples. I made the deal even better by participating during a 20x the points event. So not only did I get a bunch of free samples, I got to collect a ton of points too!

It came in this ugly travel cosmetic bag. I really wish it was just plain black or some other colour. The metallic silver makes it look space-like in my opinion.

And this is what was in the bag. I'd say they gave out pretty good luxury samples. I actually wanted to buy the full version of the Coach perfume back in the summer but I chose Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy instead. I'll probably buy it in the summer of next year, but for now, I can just enjoy this adorable little mini bottle.

I purchased two fragrances to get the bonus. Lancome's Tresor Midnight Rose, has been on my wishlist since Fall of last year, and the other, is a new fragrance by Givenchy. I had received an eau de toilette sample in the mail of Givenchy's Dahlia Noir and immediately fell in love with the sophisticated smell. I decided I would buy the parfum since they're more potent and last longer, but when I tested it on myself, the smell was completely different! I don't like the parfum but I absolutely adore the eau de toilette.

The only thing is, I love how sophisticated the parfum bottle looks as opposed to the eau de toilette. The parfum has a little more colour and the bottle is capped of with a black lid with black lettering. The eau de toilette, on the other hand, has a soft pink lid with silver lettering on the bottle. The pink, in my opinion, does not match with the sophisticated smell of the fragrance. But aside from that, I love it.

Lancome's Midnight Rose. Last year when I was really into couponing, I signed up for a sample of Lancome's Tresor Midnight Rose and thought the scent was very lovely. I used that little sample throughout the Fall and have since then associated that scent with that time period. Are scents nostalgic to you as it is for me? Midnight Rose smells fruity and faintly sweet. The top notes I smell is a mixture of raspberry and rose. Very unique indeed.

Givenchy Dahlia Noir. This is my favourite fragrance at the moment. It's a powdery scent and smells deliciously sophisticated. It definitely shoots to the top alongside my beloved Chloe parfum.

And last but not least, I found another Bliss product at Winners! I've tried this before and although I wouldn't say it's a must-have as it's not a life-changing kind of product, I did like using it. I got it for $29.99 (retail price is $54.00).

Has anyone gone to see 007 Skyfall movie? I went to go see it opening weekend with the family and I actually liked it. I didn't know what to expect from it and I'm not a James Bond fan or anything, but I thought it was a good movie. On a beauty related note, I loved the Bond girl Severine's makeup. I think I need to drop by my local drugmart and pick up a dark lipstick of some kind!

"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him." -Malcolm S. Forbes.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

4.111 - Laneige + FINE

My first purchase from turned out to be so pleasant that I went ahead and ordered a couple more things. The great thing about is how often they have free worldwide shipping when you spend $29 or more- which is very easy to do if you're beauty obsessed. It takes about only a week for the packages to get to my door which is fast considering it's shipped from overseas.

Taken from the site: "Established in 1978, Sa Sa has grown from a 40 sq. ft. retail space to become today's regional "beauty" enterprise and is now the largest cosmetics retail chain in Asia and one of the top ten retail groups in Hong Kong.

Maintaining its position as the dominant and most preferred cosmetics retailing group in Asia is the Group's vision. Our four-fold mission is to offer quality and comprehensive beauty solutions to our customers; to share success with our staff; to become long-term partnership with our vendors; and to adhere to the principles of good corporate citizenship."

After I finished my Shiseido Bio-performance eye cream (which I loved), I wanted to try something new since it's a good idea to switch up the skincare routine once in a while so that the skin doesn't become immune to the product's effects. I decided to get Laneige's Perfect Renew Dual Touch Eyes- something I had been wanting to try for a long time now.

Laneige Perfect Renew Dual Touch Eyes: (Taken from "Laneige Perfect Renew Dual Touch Eyes is a set of eye cream that provides double care for the eye are during night and day. This set of eye care treatment could help anti-aging and providing bright and smooth eye area. The day cream used to protect your eyes area, avoid the UV rays and provide you a pair of moist eyes. Night cream is to provide you nutrition during sleeping time, and repair the damage suffered from the day."

Just from description alone it already had me convinced that I must try it. I love how it had two different eye creams for day and night because it makes sense to use eye cream that has SPF in the daytime. For $50 you get a collective eye cream amount of 30ml which is double the amount of what most other companies offer.

The day eye cream has a sun protection factor of 25 which is quite high for any eye cream I've seen. Protecting the eye area from the sun will help prevent sun damage which accelerates the signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots. Their night eye cream promises to repair and provide aging care but unfortunately I don't see nor experienced the results to those claims. The day eye cream has a thicker consistency than the night eye cream. Both are great for hydration and perhaps a step towards the prevention of aging, but I would not go as far as to recommend it as an anti-aging eye cream that would reverse and repair. I saw no difference in my fine lines (yes, oddly at my age I have fine lines).

The presentation looks impressive (like a little station) and I like that they include a little spatula to scoop the product out.

Although the packaging is rather bulky, you can actually make it travel friendly by easily popping out the individual capules. How convenient!

Here was my second order. As you can see, Sasa makes sure they package their products very well. What did I get you ask?

Collagen powder. 

Why collagen powder? After being fed up with little to no results from eye creams claiming anti-aging results, I figured it was probably best to cure from within. After all, we are what we eat. I've read about collagen powder before years ago but never took the leap to try it. But after some careful research and reading many good reviews and results, I decided to give Fine's collagen powder a go.

Fine Hyaluron and Collagen: (Taken from"Fine Hyaluron & Collagen replenishes skin with essential nutrients. After use, skin becomes elastic and lifted up. Prolonged use maintains healthy, radiant and youthful skin.
Unlike other collagen additives, Fine Hyaluron & Collagen adopts tasteless collagen extracted from fish. As it is decomposed into very fine molecules, it could be effectively absorbed. Blended with other beauty ingredients, it works to suppress the production of melanin, moisturize skin and reduce the appearance of imperfections such as spots, lines and dark circles."

Hyaluronic Acid - maintains watery and supple skin.
Collagen - helps vitalize skin.
Elastin - improves elasticity of skin.
Adlay Extract - detoxifies and whitens skin.
Vitamin C - accelerates metabolism.
Vitamin H - maintains healthy skin.

At $49 for a 210g can, it's definitely not cheap. But Sasa has these Buy 2 Get 1 Free promotions on Fine products (currently happening), so when you divide the difference, it's about $30 a can- which still isn't particularly cheap but taking care of my skin is important to me, so I don't mind the investment.

It's made in Japan which makes it even better in my own biased opinion. It seems to be a very popular item on Sasa's Japanese charts, which is how I stumbled upon it. It ranks top seller and best rated product sold from Japan. That must mean something right? It's set in a very cute sealed tin can.

Each can comes with it's own spoon. You're basically suppose to consume a full spoon each day. You can dilute it in warm water, milk, or coffee (like I do)... or you can even consume it with desserts supposedly like in ice cream or yogurt (though I've never tried). I've only tried it with my coffee since it has this milk taste to it. It does change the taste of your drink slightly so do keep that in mind. It dissolves just fine.

After some diligence, I'm almost finished with my first can. I have noticed drastic improvements in the fine lines underneath my eyes- more than any eye cream has ever done for me. I also gave my mom a can and she liked it so much she bought refills.

And yes, they do offer refills so keep those cans! It's slightly cheaper and you do get a tiny bit more than the can too. 

I've also read that Meiji also make a pretty good collagen powder. I might try that after I'm done with Fine just to compare.

Lastly I got this Shiseido drugstore gel sunscreen that I've been wanting to try out forever. I haven't even opened it yet but hopefully I will soon.

If you plan to order from Sasa, I highly recommend waiting for their free shipping worldwide offers when you spend $29+. They have them quite often so it's never that long of a wait. I've even seen promotions of spending as little as $15 for free worldwide shipping, so try to avoid shipping costs when you buy from Sasa.

And for a little update, good news! My light has been fixed and my laptop is working fine now after I downloaded all the necessary Window updates to make my laptop current as of today.

"Everybody wants happiness nobody wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain." -Unknown