to pamper / spf update (mizon, eltamd, mentholatum, dr. wu)

Facial sunscreens (l to r, clockwise):

  • Mizon Ultra Wonder Power Jelly Sun SPF 35 PA++. 100 ml (3.38 fl oz) tube. Purchased from the Peach and Lily sample sale. The sale was chaotic and skincare sold out really fast. I managed to find 3 tubes of these after walking around and looking for cast-offs. After finding out that it was $10/per tube at the cashier, I left with 2 of the 3 since I was buying sight unseen with no reviews. Overall, I like it. It has a light gel consistency, is moisturizing (hyaluronic acid and trehalose), but you have to be careful not to use too much or it leaves your face super shiney and is harder to absorb fully. Despite it being a physical sunscreen (titanium dioxide), there is no white cast. I also use it on my neck, hands, and arms. The PA rating system is from Japan and addresses UVA only. The PA++ rating indicates that this has moderate UVA protection. I’m not sure if I would go out of my way to find this, but it’s a nice size/consistency for $10. Continue reading “to pamper / spf update (mizon, eltamd, mentholatum, dr. wu)”

to shop / costco beauty

I recently setup my account and noticed an impressive roster of brands in their beauty section with frequent updates. Don’t have a membership or know someone who does? There’s a 5% non-member surcharge to shop on Inventory comes and goes. Shipping and handling also varies. If an item is available in their warehouse, the price may be lower and selection may be different, e.g. SK-II was sighted in the warehouse.

I’ve been looking for a new daily sunscreen and even though I found a good one at the Peach and Lily sample sale a few days ago, the price on the EltaMD clear sunscreen and the fact that it is FSA eligible was too hard to pass up.

Highlights (retail in parentheses):

  • Various Kerastase 34 oz shampoo or conditioner $49.99 ($75)
  • Eyeko Black Magic mascara (2 pack) $29.99 ($48)
  • Dr. Jart + Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm SPF 25 $26.99 ($36)
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer $26.99 ($36)
  • Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream for Face SPF 35 $24.99 ($35)
  • Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 40 $24.99 ($32)
  • Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ $28.99 ($40)
  • Various Glamglow treatments $44-46.99 ($69)
  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Creme $59.99 ($87)
  • Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Total V Contouring Serum $49.99 ($80)
  • Sisley Ecological Compound $144.99 ($250)
  • Philosophy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer $24.99 ($44)
  • Eve Lom Cleanser 6.8oz $99.99 ($135)
  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 (2 pack) $39.99 ($64) (FSA eligible)
  • Egyptian Magic (4 oz & 2 oz) $39.99 ($65)
  • Clarisonic Mia 2 $119.99 ($149) (Costco’s return policy is a no brainer!)
  • SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel $59.99 ($78)

to pamper / nordstrom buy two, get one free mascara

It’s back, but not as good as before!

Nordstrom has a buy two, get (another) one free sale on mascara. This is a great deal for those who need to stock up on non-drugstore mascara, especially if your HG* is one of the freebies. You buy two mascaras from any brand and chose one mascara as a freebie from the list below. Reminder: bacteria grows on makeup; the recommended mascara shelf life is 3 months.

Image source:

Continue reading “to pamper / nordstrom buy two, get one free mascara”

to pamper / nordstrom buy two, get one free mascara

Every once in a while, Nordstrom has a buy two, get one free sale on mascara. This is a great deal for those who need to stock up on non-drugstore mascara, especially if your HG* is one of the freebies. You can buy mascara from any brand, but the freebies are limited to the ones below. Bacteria grows on makeup; the recommended mascara shelf life is 3 months.

Image source:
Dior Diorshow Mascara, $24.50 value
Clinique High Impact Mascara, $14.50 value
YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara, $30 value
MAC ‘Opulash’ Mascara, $14 value
Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara, $24 value
Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara, $25 value
Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, $23.50 value
Chanel Inimitable Mascara, $30 value

The fine print: Excludes primers and lash enhancers. Online and in store on May 28 only, ending at midnight Pacific. One per person, while supply lasts. Promotion code required at Checkout to qualify for gift plus $5 shipping.

As briefly mentioned in my other post, I stocked up on my HG in Taipei. Aside from Fiberwig, the Diorshow Iconic is a favorite when layered together. I get a lot of “are those fake eyelashes” comments. The MAC Opulash also looks interesting (I’m a huge fan of fiber-based mascaras) and has pretty good reviews on Makeupalley. Like Sephora, Nordstrom also has a great return policy.

Buy through Ebates and get 5% back. Nordstrom is also having their half-yearly sale for women’s and kids. Online shipping stinks unless you buy $200+. Best deal would be in-store.

*HG = Holy Grail, in online fashion/beauty forum speak.

to shop / shopping booty from taipei and seoul

I tinkered with the iPad settings (and even downloaded/setup an iPad user agent to see what it would look like), so iPad users, hopefully things are prettier and less pixelated.

This trip to Asia was a bit different. I would like to think I’ve grown a little wiser when it comes to shopping. Both Taiwan and Korea sell plenty of cheap junk which add no value to your life. I successfully avoided most of it and focused my attention on scouring the racks for nude/neutral toned and polka dotted tops for most of the trip. Just ask my friends :)


1) Alostyle – my friends arrived half a day ahead of me and scoped out this place to get glasses. Lightweight. Less than USD $90 (₩29,000 frames + ₩60,000 Carl Zeiss lenses). 45 minute turnaround time. There are multiple frame tiers and I went for the cheapest ones. We had to go for the highest tier for lenses since our prescription is high.

2) Some design museum shop in Hong Dae. The gingko post-it note display was beautiful, so I had to pick up a few. And I read about the leaf cord ties a while back before they started production. They have various colors, but I thought the green one looked the best.

Credit: designboom

3) Not pictured. Facial masks. On the last full day, we stopped by Myeong-dong to get glasses and check out the beauty shops. There are a few stores (including Skin Food, Face Shop, Ettusais, Tony Moly), which seem to dominate every other block. It was a bit ridiculous. I felt obligated and stocked up on lots of masks at Skin Food. It was nice that there are plenty of signs and packaging in Chinese. It helped with deciphering the facial mask packs.

That’s it for Korea, for now. Continue reading “to shop / shopping booty from taipei and seoul”