Daiso Japan Beauty Haul

June 2014 Empties!

Priceline 2014 Skincare Goody Bag & Haul!

May 2014 Empties

February - April 2014 Empties

CoverGirl Nail Polish Haul!

Guilty Haul 2014

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Daiso Japan Beauty Haul

I've never really ventured into Asian cosmetics even though I'm quite Asian myself.
Perhaps, it could be the associated unfamiliarity and how there is a slight degree of difficulty to accessing such products.

Fortunately, ever since I became acquainted with Daiso Japan, I've proceeded a step forward in engaging with Asian beauty products.

For those who haven't heard of this amazing Japanese discount retailer,  Daiso Japan sells various items including stationary, beauty products, toys, personal care items, kitchenware, manchester, apparel and cleaning products - all for $2.80. Yes, under three dollars each.

Since the expansion of these stores throughout Sydney, I was able to visit one and produce a worthy haul!

 (The haulage)

I've been meaning to try their eyebrow pencils (more like eyebrows pens) after hearing my peers used them.
There are different varieties present but I settled on two "brands" based on their appeal.

Daiso Japan Eye Brow Pencils (various)
The shades came in black, dark brown and brown. I settled on dark brown and brown even though my  hair colour is black because through experience, I believed these shades would provide the most natural look on me.

Each of the eyebrow pencils selected had a spoolie brush attached at the end. Additionally, they all encompassed a twist mechanism, allowing the lead to surface out.

The first two eyebrow pencils (0.3 g) shown have a triangular shaped lead which allowed for more accurate and precise defining. These pencils had the brush side labelled so you don't get confused which side is which when they are both capped on.

The third eyebrow pencil (hot pink pen) (0.22 g) isn't labelled as the aforementioned pencils. However, the lead is of a circular-oval shape, allowing you to "make the inner corner thick and outer corner thin with this spin pencil lead" (quoted from packaging).

(swatches: dark brown, brown, dark brown (pink pen))

When swatched on my arm, these pens appeared to be hard and quite the opposite of creamy - I couldn't get much pigmentation from them. However when I applied them to my eyebrows, it was easier to work with; I really liked how naturally defined my eyebrows look. These Korean-made eyebrows pencils don't need to be sharpened as they encompass the twist up mechanism. 
For $2.80, these pens aren't too bad and I would probably repurchase these again, if I was on a budget. I would recommend these pens for those who already have full brows and want that minor touch of definition.

Daiso Japan Cotton Puffs (2 x 90 pieces)
I love these to death. I stopped buying the Aldi or Coles makeup rounds ever since I discovered these. Super-soft, lint-free square puffs that are effective for removing my makeup, at only $2.80 for 180 pieces (2 x 90 pieces), I don't think there's a better offer than that. Will forever repurchase!
(Made in China).

Daiso Japan Vitamin C Cleansing Tissue (35 sheets)
These have a citrus scent upon using them, but after a while, the scent fades away. I really liked the material the sheets are composed of, they're soft and durable - exactly what I look for in a cleansing wipe. The cleansing "tissues" perform adequately well in removing my makeup. I would definitely repurchase these considering the performance and how cheap they are compared to other brands. These are made in Korea.

Daiso Japan Detergent for Puff and Sponge (80 mL)
Finally a Japanese product to showcase. This is my HG brush cleaner girls! I've heard so much about this "brush cleaner" on the blogosphere and after scouring around, I finally found them! They're quite low in stock in the stores I visited; I'm sure word got around how effective they are! I only dispense a small amount in warm water and it gets my brushes clean after a good soak. I would forever repurchase this! The only complaint I would make is the amount of product in the bottle - the bottle doesn't appear to be completely filled up.

Daiso Japan Pore Care Pack (4 pieces)
My first experience with pore strips was with Biorè. Boy, that was quite a satisfying experience! I don't really need to use pore strips that often but I made a purchase because, c'mon, for $2.80 I would like to gain the sick pleasure of ripping my nose off. Jokes aside (a bad one indeed), these charcoal based strips work just as well as the Biorè ones, so if you're looking for a cheaper alternative, give these a shot! 
(Made in Korea).

There's a lot more going on at Daiso Japan in regards to beauty products. I'm definitely going back to have a look and purchase a few more items to play with. 
Once again, Daiso Japan sells "everything $2.80, everyday".

Sunday, 20 July 2014

June 2014 Empties!

June can be best described as a blur.
I finished my exams in the earlier half of the month and concluded it with friendly encounters and random episodes of work.

Unfortunately, due to the stress of my exams I did break out and additionally, my skin became irritated. I made a few purchases here and there and used quite some products in an attempt to control the crazy state my skin was in.

Behold, June 2014 empties!

1. Palmolive Body Butter Heavenly Vanilla Moisturising Body Wash (400 mL)
I love basically anything that is vanilla scented or infused! This was a lovely treat to use and I would probably repurchase later on in future, as I like to experiment with various body washes. Great for those winter nights!

2. Clearasil Daily Clear Vitamins & Extracts Daily Wash Cleanser (150 mL)
I had my first encounter with Clearasil back in the teenage years to control my combination skin. This cleanser is gentle albeit it does contain salicylic acid. It's a great every day cleanser to use but I wouldn't rely on this to help clear my problematic skin. I would probably repurchase it for general everyday use.

3. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (15 mL sample)
I finished this up in last month's empties (here) and overall it was a great moisturiser for dry skin types. However, I wouldn't purchase it as there are cheaper alternatives that do a similar job.

4. Clinique All About Eyes Eye Serum (7 mL sample)
This product aims to reduce dark circles & puffy under eye areas, which sounds like the perfect eye cream for me! I really liked how refreshing and cooling this product was. I do believe that this serum works well and I would probably purchase this in future.

5. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Body Balm (15 mL sample)
I received this in one of the beauty subscription boxes. It's a "lipid-replenishing body balm" designed for dry or irritated (itchy) skin. Aforementioned earlier, I did suffer from irritated skin due to the immense anxiety I had from exams. This product was a lifesaver and helped nourish my skin whilst I was recovering. I definitely recommend this product!

6. Pure Fuji Hydrating Body Lotion (coconut infusion) (15 mL sample)
This smelt really delicious but it wasn't as hydrating as I wanted it to be.

7. Rimmel Glam' Eyes Professional Liquid Liner in #001 Black Glamour (3.5 mL)
One of my HG liquid liners. I love how I can create a really thin yet pigmented line and it really lasts quite a while! I will definitely repurchase this in future. I actually use a couple of liquid liners on rotation.

8. No Brand Nail File
Wow, I've had this for quite a long time! This initially smelt of oranges and was really enjoyable to use. Over time, the nail file has worn out so it's time to bid farewell!

And that concludes June 2014 empties!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Priceline 2014 Skincare Goody Bag & Haul!

Deals like these gets me excited:

The timing couldn't have been more perfect.
I was curious in trying out Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening & Tone-Correcting serum, to address some pigmentation I've acquired during the summer months. It was difficult to convince myself to fork out over $50 to purchase 30 mL of  serum; so when this deal rolled around, I didn't think twice.
The deal was to spend a minimum of $65 on selected skincare products and receive the goody bag for free!

This year's bag came in a reflective silver tote, presumably a Model's Prefer one.

Here's what I got when I emptied my bag:

Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream (15 mL sample)

Avène Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water (50 mL)

Beauty Essentials Dry Skin Body Lotion (500 mL)

Biorè Steam Activated Cleanser (145 mL)

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (17 g)

Chapstick True Shimmer Lip Balm in Tropical (4 g)

Derma Sukin Daily Gentle Wash

Dr. LeWinn's  Firming Eye Cream (30 g)

Essenzza Fuss Free Naturals Natural Facial Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes)

Hope's Relief Goats Milk Sopa (with shea & cocoa butter) (125 mg)

Manuka Doctor (pack of 3 samples)
- apiclear skin serum (5 mL)
- apifine targeted wrinkle filler (3 mL)
- apinourish rejuvenating face mask (7 mL)

ModelCo Face Tan Hydrating Self-Tanning Gel (50 mL)

Models Prefer Cosmetic Bag

Models Prefer Kohl Pencil in Matte Black  (1.14 g)

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser (177 mL)

Nivea Pure & Natural Hand Cream (75 mL)

No brand - Dual Mirror Compact

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Intensive Relief Concentrated Cream Hand & Body (100 g)

People For Plants Mist Toner (rose otto, burdock, kakadu plum) (125 mL)

Puretopia Gentle Exfoliating Face Scrub (75 mL)

Sanctuary Spa Body Scrub (200 mL)

Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Corrector Pen

Suvana Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm (25 g)

Swisspers Naturals Aloe Gentle Eye Make-up Remover (100 mL)

Thursday Plantation Macademia Oil (125 mL)

Yes To Carrots Lip Butter in Berry (4.25 g)


Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Pac (Kelp & Seaweed) (6 g sample)

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Intensive Relief Moisturizing Lotion (5 mL)

Swisspers Naturals Cucumber Facial Cleansing Wipes (5 wipes)

There was also the inclusion of discount vouchers for some of the product brands included in the bag.

I ended up spending under $70 to qualify for the free bag.
The products I've purchased were also discounted; overall it was a great deal!

Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash (177 mL) $11.99

Biorè Pore Unclogging Scrub (135 mL) $8.79

Antipodes Apostle Skin-Brightening & Tone-Correcting serum (30 mL) $47.19

I can't wait to start using these products. I'm definitely stocked up in the winter skincare department.

To see what's in last year's skincare bag and my previous skincare haul, click here.

So, did you cave in for the skincare goody bag this year?!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

May 2014 Empties

Unexpectedly, May has been a pretty exciting month.

The blossoming of new relationships has really allowed me to view life in a new perspective. April marked the death of a relationship and the consequent month has brought a glimmer of happiness in my life.
During this month I found myself using a lot more moisturiser than I anticipated; "Winter is coming". Being deeply engrossed in the Game of Thrones show and fearing that I would develop the expected dry patches, I took extra measures to ensure my skin isn't depleted of hydration.

Looking back, May was all about taking care of myself, after April's tragic events.
You can evidently view this through the empties I've acquired.

1. L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary oil Treatment Oil (100 mL)
My friend got me this just last year. I really loved how luxurious the glass packaging is and the product was a pleasure to work with. There is an accompanying fragrance with the oil and I absolutely adore it. I would definitely repurchase this after I use up all of my other treatment oils.

2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (15 mL samples)
This is targeted towards very dry to dry combination skin types. Overall, a great moisturiser to use - kept my skin hydrated but other than that, nothing outstanding.

3. Frank Body Coconut & Grapeseed Coffee Scrub (200 g)
Thoroughly enjoyed using this. It did provide some minor improvements to my skin. I would consider repurchasing it in future but currently I'm quite interested in whipping up my own batch of coffee scrub. See my review here.

4. Australis Ready Set Go Finishing Powder in True Translucent (7.5 g)
A great cheap finishing powder that sets and mattifies my makeup. It doesn't leave a white cast despite being white in colour. I would repurchase this after trying out other powders.

5. Sukin Facial Moisturiser (50 mL sample)
This is a nice moisturiser that is light enough to be worn during the day and hydrating enough to be used at night for my combination skin. The inclusion of natural ingredients and oils are a bonus but I'm not a fan of the fragrance. I already have a full size bottle of this waiting to be used.

6. Hiruscar Skincare Gel (20 g)
I used this up in my earlier empties post. I won't be repurchasing it because it was quite expensive even though it did prove itself to be effective.

7. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Correcter (40 mL)
I really don't see any amazing results from using this. However I do repurchase from time to time because I feel like I need it in my skincare regime. It works to reduce the appearance of imperfections and unclogs sebum-blocked pores.

8. Essence Lipstick in 52 In the Nude (4 g)
I purchased this back when I was in the nude lips phase. Unfortunately, this shade washed me out and I barely use it. Verdict: I'm throwing it out.

9. Smartskin Facial Cleansing Wipes (25 wipes)
I usually pick these up for $1 at woolies. I don't always use them to remove my makeup; mostly for wiping my hands and dirty surfaces.

10. John Frieda Full Repair Full Body Shampoo and Conditioner (44 mL and 8.3mL samples)
I thought these worked well for my hair. No complaints coming from me! I would possibly repurchase these but I'm in no rush to grab these any sooner.

And there you have it! Last month's empties done and binned!

Monday, 23 June 2014

February - April 2014 Empties

Apologies for my prolonged absence.
I've recently endured the most stressful fortnight of my life.
Assessments after assessments, accompanied with other commitments, I admit it was quite a struggle.

I know this post is long overdue, but regardless, I'd like to share it with you. I can't believe I had this in storage for quite sometime!

Hello to three months' worth of empties!

1. Avène Eau Thermale Spring Water (300 mL)
Spraying this on after a hot shower or workout - it's so refreshing! I already have backups of this mist. It's so soothing and not irritating like other facial mists. See my review here.

2. Dettol Healthy Touch Instant Hand Santitizer (200 mL)
I wouldn't consider this as a product related to beauty, but I do keep it on my vanity for those spontaneous moments. I think it's important to have clean hands when dealing with makeup products.  My friend got me this and I'm really grateful for it! Will definitely repurchase.

3. WOTNOT Facial Wipes (5 wipes sample)
Hands down the best facial wipes I've used. Love these so much. They're everything I'm looking for in a facial wipe - superior quality cloth wipes, natural and organic... I just wish they were available in the stores I regularly visit such as Priceline.

4. Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser (30 mL sample)
I thought this was a pretty mediocre cleanser. Adding on, I wasn't a fan of the herbal scent.

5. muk Spa Argan Oil Shampoo (300 mL)
I received this at my very first media launch. I really love how gentle yet effective the product was - free from sulfates, parabens and some other "nasties". However, I didn't enjoy the scent that much.

6. Barry M Intense Black Eyeliner Pen
This eyeliner was also featured in my first empties post on this blog - June 2013 Empties!
I will forever repurchase this unless I find a more superior product for lining my upper waterline.

7. Biorè Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser (200 mL)
Biorè and I go way back! I love how this is targeted towards combination skin (that's me!). It's a great everyday cleanser that doesn't disrupt my skin's natural moisture. I will probably repurchase.

8. Schwarzkopf Ultimate Oil Elixir Serum (80 mL)
I was first drawn to this product because it contained golden particles! Overall it was an alright finishing product but the fragrance was a bit overpowering. I wouldn't recommend this product for those with "overstressed, straw-like hair" (the target market) because of the product's high alcohol content.

9. Benefit It's Potent! Eye Cream (3 g sample)
Designed to fade dark circles and brighten up the area, the product didn't yield major improvements in my under eye area. However, I did enjoy applying this on every night. The thin consistency was just right and I liked how it tingled just a bit (am I weird?). I wouldn't repurchase this.

10. Hiruscar Skincare Gel (20 g)
I have already repurchased this a while back for my scar and finished the second one last month. It did prove to be effective against my scars. However, because it was quite a bit expensive for my taste, I wouldn't be repurchasing in future.

11. Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder (0.05 g sample)
I already have the full-sized boxed powder and it has become one of my favourite bronzers!

12. Re-Gen Re-Gen Oil (125 mL)
This is supposedly a cheaper dupe/alternative to Bio-Oil from ALDI. I do think this oil is on par with Bio-Oil; it was effective in reducing the appearance of my scars. I will repurchase once I finish up on using the other oil treatments.

13. e.l.f Shimmer Lip Gloss in Red
I'm throwing this out because it smelt funky when I first opened it.

14. Face of Australia Gentle Makeup Remover (125 mL)
This is my second bottle. It's a bi-phase type of makeup remover. I really enjoyed using this - it's cheap and works well. I won't be repurchasing because I've discovered micellar water and have been loving it!

15. Matrix Biolage Advanced Keratindose Shampoo and Conditioner (7 mL samples)
Loved the smell of this. It was nice for my hair but I won't be repurchasing it because there are cheaper alternatives.

16. Goldwell DualSenses Rich Repair Shampoo and Conditioner  (10 mL samples)
Wow this smelt so heavenly - a bit vanilla-like. I really enjoyed using it and would probably purchase the full sized products if there was a special going on.

And there we have it. Three months' worth of empties - February, March and April.
I hope you enjoyed this post.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

CoverGirl Nail Polish Haul!

Earlier this week, I made an appointment at the Genius Bar (Apple store, Broadway) to have the back of my iPhone replaced. Having finished my exams a bit earlier than expected, I visited Kmart, with only an hour to kill before my appointment.

Instead of heading straight to the cosmetics section, I had a browse around the store.
I couldn't find anything to my taste so I finally headed to the cosmetics section. I loved how Kmart revamped the cosmetics section. A lot of the products are now in cardboard packaging; a great security measure and it makes identification of products much easier!

CoverGirl's cosmetics are currently discounted by $5 until the 20th (Sunday). To be honest, I wasn't really interested in purchasing any of their cosmetics, but I do remember that I loved their Outlast Stay Brilliant nail polishes.

I wasn't sure if the nail polishes were under the classification of "cosmetics" but luckily they were discounted as well! Who can say no to great quality nail polishes for only $1.75?! Not bad of a bargain, I'd say.

(nail polish haulage)

From left to right:

300 vio-last

165 ticked pink

023 golden opportunity

285 mint mojito

290 constant carribbean

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to pick these up! 
Even though they're quite summer shades, I can't wait to try them out.
I'm not sure if this offer (deal on the nail polishes) is applicable to other stores or if it was originally applicable to the nail polishes only. 

If anyone scored a similar deal, please let me know!

Guilty Haul 2014

I've recently had the displeasure of being belted tightly on a raging roller-coaster!
If you've been following my blog, you would've noticed my absence/neglect with the regular updates and posts. Sincerest apologies for that! 
I've been juggling, uni, work, social events and of course a good night's sleep!
Additionally, I've recently lost someone very dear to me and just needed some time off (currently on the road to recovery!). It's great to be back blogging away and catching up on blog posts in my feed.

Today's post reflects on my failure to adhere to the guidelines I've set out (previous Project Pan). The Project Pan/spending ban has finished now and due to the crazy schedule I've had, I didn't have the time to produce a post on that. Expect one soon (hopefully!). 

I am aware that I've fallen into the trap of purchasing a few bits and pieces along the way. Yes, I'm still unresistant to the sales beckoning me in, and of course the notion of "oh, I need that!". Behold, this is my guilty haul (unveiled during the Project Pan period).

The haul contents were purchased at Priceline and Target.


I have no reason to be here other than I wanted to check out some new beauty products (not a good idea!). I ended leaving the store with the following:

Beauty Essentials Nail Polish Remover (conditioning)
I think these were on sale; you can't go wrong with stocking up on nail polish!

Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in Natural
I definitely do not need any more blushes in my collection, but naturally, I was drawn by those cute love hearts and pink packaging! Super happy that I purchased this for more than half price. I've tried it out and I love how I don't even need a mirror to apply this on - you can't go wrong with this shade!

Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in 03 frosted apple
I just love the colour of this shadow. A bit out of my comfort zone but I'm quite interested in experimenting with shades other than neutrals.

Essence 3D Eyeshadow in 02 irresistible purr-ple
Again, something out of my comfort zone. When I saw this in person, I was just overwhelmed how gorgeous it looked! The name of the shade is quite fitting, I couldn't resist to not purchase it!

Essence Kajal Eye Pencils in 08 Teddy and 23 Love Me Lavender
At under $2 a pop in an array of gorgeous shades, I couldn't pass up.


I needed to pick up an under eye concealer that suited my skin tone and has a bit more coverage (didn't conflict with the rules of the ban I think...). I settled on Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circles Eraser in Medium earlier and found out that it was on sale at Target yay! Unfortunately or fortunately, Chi Chi was also on sale; I've always been curious in their eyeshadow palettes (reminiscent of the Urban Decay Naked palettes) so I decided to pick up their Bases palette because the shades look simply lovely, plus it's something I'll get a lot of use out of. "Ok, time to remove myself from the beauty section", I thought after picking up what I wanted. But sadly, you know how the rest of the story unfolds and my eyes quickly spotted the Chi Chi Social Butterfly Gift Set on special for under $5?! Let me repeat myself, "for under $5!". I loved the idea of a phone case inspired eyeshadow palette and the included phone cases, sporting the Chi Chi brand. Even though I'm not a fan of the iPhone 5 case with the colourful zebra print, the price I paid for the eye palette was a pretty good deal! Additionally, I can use the iPhone 4 case - what a cute nail polish pattern! Don't you agree this set is quite similar to Too Faced's Jingle All the Way Makeup Palette?!

And that concludes my guilty haul.
I hope you've enjoyed this post!
This haul is a perfect example that I cannot exercise inner control at times.
I admit, that there has been a subsequent haul to this one... I'll keep you posted on that one soon.

Have a beautiful day everyone!