Things I Bought Abroad – A Collective Makeup/Skincare Haul from All Over The Place

It’s been a while, huh? I noticed how full to the brim my bag of empty things was and then realised that I never got around to writing about the bits and pieces I picked up while I was travelling around different parts of Asia for three weeks. I am, as you might have noticed, a big nerd about skincare. It was nice to be able to pick up some of these things that are harder to get a hold of in Sydney for better prices, and there were also things I just wanted to try. Of course, the same points about consumerism stand as I made when I wrote about the things I bought in the US.

One of the many reasons I’ve posted so little recently is that I’ve been pretty satisfied with my makeup collection. I’m not fussed about adding things in because most of the time, things don’t excite me. I buy things that connect to experiences, largely, or spend money on food and fun and travel, so much travel. And sometimes, for me, skincare is a part of fun and travel! Sometimes makeup is an experience! But sometimes it is something I need less and less.

I also found it interesting to note the difference in attitude between how I packed my makeup for this three week trip as opposed to, say, that US trip or even to week long trips more recently. I condensed all I needed into a single, small makeup bag. I took two of the small Huda Beauty palettes but found myself, on a ship, often just pressing on single colours all over the lid with a finger. I brought plenty of lip options with me, but mostly just wanted to wear easy things with gloss, which wasn’t in my repertoire. When I bought makeup, it was out of enthusiasm for the dominant makeup trends or cool trend pieces. I wanted easy washes of eye colours to match my new purple hair! And I was, to boot, in the home of some great, gentle skincare. I can talk about it, because I’ve been back for a while now to try things out. Then we can get to talking about rubbish.

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Now, there are things here you can get in Australia. If I was going to pull the trigger on trying them, why not do it in their home countries without price inflation? I have tried all of these things! It’s an overwhelmingly successful bunch.

The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ is nice. It’s not something I feel I lack an alternative for – I’m okay with my L’aroche Posay SPF50+ – but it is a lot cheaper, and has a similar ultra light feeling. I do find that I break out if I use it too many days consecutively, but that’s not surprising.

I flat out love my two CosRX pickups – the BHA Skin Returning Emulsion and the AHA 7 Blackhead Power Liquid. CosRX can be ridiculously expensive from brick and mortar stores here, and I think I should have picked up some more things to experiment with! I’ve had really bad experiences with AHA before (notably the Paula’s Choice), but I use this one as a morning toner and I adore it. It’s lightweight and nonsticky and doesn’t leave my skin feeling all clogged up. The BHA Emulsion is somewhat thicker and I’ve been using it most nights in place of my Paula’s Choice 2% BHA which I think I must have started growing too adjusted to. I like the little bit of extra moisture it gives. They both also smell super palatable, which has never been my experience with acids.

I’m neither here nor there on the famous Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara – I have pretty naturally curly, long lashes and I was underwhelmed by the ability of this mascara to hold a curl. I know that I’m not the intended audience, though, so I can’t really kvetch. All that said, I have never tried a mascara that stays on the lashes like this. I am talking next day after oil cleansing and micellar water and even a wipe, I will still be near-fully wearing my mascara. So if I’m in need of something that will stay put, this is definitely a winner.

Hey, Maybelline? Why can’t I find anything about this amazing lilac shade of the Fashion Brow Ultra Fluffy online and why can’t I buy it in Australia? It’s such a nice grey purple colour that it manages to look natural but also match my weird purple ends and brown roots? I’ll be using this a lot while the purple is still hanging around my hair.

I went into a banila co. store in Busan (one of my favourite cities) to pick up the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm, something I’ve been meaning to compare to my usual body shop product, but got side tracked by their lipstick display. Even in the chilly South Korean and Japanese winters I’d been wandering through, there’s something about those glossy, kiss-of-colour lips. I limited myself to just one to try to remove myself from matte lips, the B. by Banila Lipdraw Melting Serum Stick was me sticking my toe into it. I went with a pretty pinky colour and look, I might need to dig in for some of the glossy shades in my collection. Once I picked this up, I wore it most days I was ashore. It doesn’t have great wear time, but it’s easy to apply on the go and it looked super cute.

Probably my favourite thing I bought, bar one alien themed t-shirt not pictured (it has a UFO patch that says “don’t hesitate to take me”), was the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry. This stuff is heavenly. It’s not too sticky or thick but it really stays locked on my lips so that when I wake up in the morning, my lips are soft and repaired and ready for lipstick. Maybe I should have tried the face mask version?

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Okay look, I went a bit wild with the Sailor Moon makeup. The blush is surprisingly lovely and I had a lot of fun trying out igari blush – maybe I should be wearing blush? The wand lipstick is even more of a novelty, but the colour and texture are lovely and I just goddamn love Sailor Mercury. And then some novelty sheet masks, because I’m a big nerd and I spent years of my life completely in love with this damn anime.

WakeMake Single Styler Eyeshadow in Purplista was what I picked up to get a soft wash of lilac glitter with my nothing sheen of lipstick, and it did the trick perfectly. It can be built right up or deployed with subtlety, and I really love the formula. It’s also a nice layering shade on top of a deeper purple or brown. I can really heartily endorse the shimmer shades in this line.

And then I lost it in it’s skinIt’s another brand that can be tracked down here, but the stores were everywhere I looked, and so colourful and fun. The colour coordinated range really spoke to me, because the whole experience of selection and curation was so streamlined. I’ve got no strong feelings on the Power 10 Formula One Shot VE Cream which has a nice consistency but isn’t anything spectacular (though doesn’t irritate my skin). I do, however, really love the emulsions. I guess I’m into emulsions now? The Power 10 Formula LI Effector is supposedly for sensitive skin, but it’s a great serum texture and gives moisture without greasiness; the Power 10 Formula PO Effector is a more cosmetic feeling formula with a slip to it, but it does feel nice to use in the morning if I want to take the extra step.

Look. I bought a bunch of stuff. I’m using a whole new cocktail of emulsions and essences and acids. My skin is looking and feeling phenomenal. Perhaps I just needed a shake up. I had an amazing time in Japan and South Korea and China and Vietnam and Thailand and Singapore and everywhere else I ventured. Now it’s time to write about my rubbish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basics of Bases – My Ride or Die Base Products

There is absolutely no reason for a post about bases, other than the fact that I’m super enthusiastic about a couple of things. Half of the lead up to the post was just debating whether or not to make the title a song reference – I decided “Totally addicted to base-s” was a little too on the nose. This isn’t an in-depth review, although I might come back and talk more about these products again later at greater length, but I wanted to give an overview on the products that have been my staples. Whether it’s been a couple of months or a couple of years, they’ve all wormed their way into my heart and I’ve formed pretty solid opinions on all of the products featured.

I’m a pimple-prone girl with bumpy mystery skin. In the summer, I get slick and sweaty, but right now I am normal to dry. I’ve got a lot of texture and redness and little bits of scarring and of course, the spots, so it’s pretty rare that I’ll leave the house without a concealer. I feel more comfortable, and more like myself. If I’m going out or feeling more energised, I’ll wear a foundation and powder, regardless of what I layer on top or beneath – that’s why these three categories were the ones that felt like the real essentials to me.

Concealers

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Concealer (This photo is of the Medium shade, which I use if I am miraculously tan; generally I use the Light) – Maybelline get a lot of praise for their FitMe concealer, and for that weird one with the sponge applicator, but those ones have never done it for me. I like my concealer full coverage, and though this is the lightest of the three, it is still more than enough to make any breakouts look better. If you’re oily it will definitely need setting, but I like the liquid consistency for how easily it blends out and how little I need to use. Cheap and cheerful, wish there were more shades.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer (Medium) – I was wary of this concealer, because most of its devotees tend to be quite dry skinned, but thankfully this was a match made in heaven. The coverage is out of this world and it is rich and creamy, perfect for the under-eye area (but also usable with the excess around the face). It needs setting, non-negotiable, but you also only need to use the tiniest bit imaginable to get your skin looking flawless.

Mac Prolongwear Concealer (NC20) – I, like everyone else who has tried this concealer, loathe the packaging. The pump is ridiculous and will inevitably pump out more product than you need, because you need hardly anything to get good coverage. It also sets nicely, far less transfer prone than the IT cosmetics offering, so it’s actually good for the face and the under eyes (I tend not to mess with my under eyes unless I’ve had a really rough night). It’s always the coverage that does it for me, and how much product you get – there’s loads in here, and it packs a punch.

Foundations

Rimmel Matte BB Cream (Light) – It’s rare that I’ll go for lighter coverage base, and this is another one that you don’t hear a lot about online or in the beauty community. The reason I love it is because I love having the ease of a BB cream without the greasy,  gross, glowy finish most alphabet creams will give you. I know a lot of people love that, but it just highlights the textural issues with my skin, and I end up feeling gross. This one isn’t the longest wearing, but paired with some good concealer, I’ve got a super easy lightweight base that evens me out without feeling heavy or dull or flat. It definitely runs dark – when I am the lightest shade of the three available, there are some issues there at both ends of the scale.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation (Light Medium Neutral) – I’m about halfway through my second tube of this foundation, and while I no longer reach for it every single day – I’m more often satisfied with something softer – I still harbour my love for it. For textured skin, there’s something magical about the mousse formula in the way it smooths over the surface without highlighting the places where lumps and bumps lurk. I love the coverage it gives – medium to full, and definitely buildable – and how easy it is for me to make my skin look close to flawless with this foundation.

The Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation (024 Hawaiian Macadamia) – When this foundation first launched, I was not a fan. I wasn’t used to seeing my skin without full coverage, and I didn’t like letting my skin be itself. As I’ve been wearing it every day to work for the past three months, I’ve developed a passionate love affair with it. This has become my most worn day-to-day, day off foundation. It’s light-medium coverage, nicely buildable, but what’s important to me is how nicely it wears. I can wear it for a twelve hour day, and as it wears down I’ll see a glow to my skin, but there isn’t patchiness or clinging. Instead, even oily gross me, just soft and fresh looking, and the coverage stays there, even if a few more things peek through than at the start of the day. It’s not the coverage I thought I wanted, but for something for everyday, it’s lovely.

Powder

The Body Shop All In One Face Base (05) – Basically, when I want something not totally matte, I go for either this or the Australis Fresh and Flawless powder (except the colour options in that are not great). I like the compact, because of ease of reapplication, and I like the natural finish, and it’s basically just simple and easy and done. I haven’t been going for matte finishing powder as often, because I find that it’s the biggest contributor to clinging around my dry patches/spots, so I’ve been reaching for this way more often to set.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (Sandstorm but I own most of them and see minimal difference) – If I am, perchance, feeling like I want to be matte, I am a cliche and go for the classic Stay Matte powder. I haven’t bought this is a long time, because I don’t reach for it like I used to – matte just isn’t as flattering as it used to be. The packaging is also, for what it’s worth, atrocious – this is the only one I have owned without a cracked lid. It’s still good stuff, and it’s cheap, and it does what it says it will do. I need to reapply it fairly frequently, but I know what to expect.

And now I have totally addicted to base stuck in my head. Great.