Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sephora and Sale Hauls

Recently, both Sephora (USA) and ran their 20% off sale events so I broke my no-buy to pick up some holiday sets. If you follow the MakeupAlley boards, you would have seen that the Sephora sale was a mess of poor communication and mismanagement, resulting in much unhappiness and board dramas. Rouge members got early access to the sale from 6-9 November, while VIB members could shop the sale from 13-16 November. Some Rouge members were unhappy that they could not shop the second sale for VIB members, so Sephora ended up making an exception on a case-by-case basis for those that complained.

I'm a Rouge member but sat out the first sale. On the last day of the VIB sale, I happened to drop in at my local Sephora and got drawn in by their wealth of Sephora Favourites sets. The Skin Wonderland (U.P.$68 with a value of $228) looked especially tempting with their array of 16 deluxe samples, mostly from high end brands. The SA readily agreed to give me the 20% off, so I ended up adding a few other items to my basket.

Some of these products are my tried-and-tested favourites like the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, SKII sheet mask, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate, Caudalie Divine Oil and Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Also included are some much newer products that I've been wanting to try sch as Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment, REN Keep Young and BeautifulInstant Firming Beauty Shot and Nude Skincare ProGenius Omega Treatment Rescue.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit palette (U.P. $80) gets a lot of flack for containing less product (0.294oz) than one full-size Ambient Lighting Powder (0.35oz, $35). However, for someone who hasen't hit pan on any powder product in a decade, having a variety of shades to play with makes more sense. $80 is certainly a tad overpriced, but at 20% off, it becomes more palatable.

The Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Trio (U.P. S$26 with a value of $44) contains deluxe mini sizes of the three illuminizers that she had earlier launched for Fall 2015. Again, it's a great way to sample the different formulas, and the generous sizes means that these can last even the most heavy-handed strobing devotee a long time.

From, I purchased several of Anna Sui's Holiday 2015 offerings as I loved this year's sets, especially the Makeup Box which is a relative steal at $22.

It's sturdy and well-made, with an embossed pattern on the lid. Anna Sui sold a black version some years ago, which had an additional inner tray that is lacking in this white box. That black case has held up very well over the years without any rusting or dents, so this white box leaped to the top of my holiday list.

The Moisturizing Care Kit (U.P. $20) is a nifty little set containing a tri-layered Nail Care Oil, Rose Hand Cream and lip balm.

Below is the Holiday Snow Collection 02 Thawed Heart (U.P. $59), which turned out to be much less orange toned than it looked online. The lipstick and blush usually retail for $30 and $36 individually. The box is surprisingly hefty and solidly constructed. This has sold out on

The Paul & Joe holiday makeup coffrets were an easy pass for me, so I settled on one of their Luxurious Bath & Body Collection 01 Columbine (U.P. $50), which has a sweet floral aroma composed of notes of citrus, black currant, rose, jasmine and amber. This has also sold out.

Finally, these are the free birthday gifts from Ulta (the Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipgloss) and Sephora (NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella and Rikugien, plus a Larger Than Life eyeliner pencil).

Ulta also gave me a $10 voucher which I used together with my points to redeem this Tarte Total Lip Service set.

My apologies to my regular readers for the long absence of review/haul posts aside from the updates on upcoming collections. Most of my days are taken up with my son, plus I have been blessed with the surprise of being pregnant with twins. Although I'm only 16 weeks along, I look more like I'm 6 months pregnant. My makeup purchases have drastically reduced as I hardly have the energy to put up makeup most days, so this is the first year in many that I've skipped getting the Suqqu and Addiction coffrets (which were much less impressive compared to previous years). There's a long, long road ahead, but I'll still try to post here whenever I find something worth sharing.

Thanks for reading!


kaying said...

Great purchases, thanks for sharing :)
and congratulations with your twins coming along! how exciting, i wish you and your babies a happy and healthy pregnancy!

Citrine said...

Wow, congratulations about the twins!

Anyway, thanks for all the timely updates. I guess I could always dig thing up in or weibo but I have been so used to being spoonfed lol. Maybe I need to be more self-sufficient.

Bellyhead said...

Oh wonderful news on the twins! Congratulations!!!

D. said...

Congratulations again! And twins!!!

That Sephora skincare favorites looks so tempting!


missmickmatul said...

Long time lurker - but popping out of the shadows to say congratulations!

. : * justine * : . said...

Congratulations!! I hope this pregnancy goes well, and that you and the family are all healthy and happy heading into the holiday season!

2catsinjapan said...


galpal.hi said...

OMG! Twins!!! Congratulations on this blessing. Take care of yourself and the little ones that you are carrying, as well as your sweet and cute little son. I hope that there's at least one little girl in there.


Unknown said...

Hi Iris! You have always been my favourite beauty blogger and that will never change although you post less often now. Congrats on having twins (what a blessing!) and all the best in your pregnancy! <3

Jessy said...

Congrats on the great news! Don't worry about not posting happy that you still do post even though it's only on news and updates.
Take care and wish you all the best! :) :)

Christina said...

Congratulations on the twins! How exciting for you and your family!

On the beauty side, I love your hauls! I didn't even remember about Anna Sui's offering this year, so I'm super bummed!

visee said...

Dear Iris, congratulations on the twins! Am sure they will bring much joy and blessings to your family! Take care and have a smooth pregnancy and delivery! Don't worry about not updating often. Am a long time reader and you're still one of my favourite blogs after all these years. :)

P.S. Great haul! Also love to read about your beauty purchases and am really eyeing that Hourglass palette! Hope you enjoy all your purchases!

Di said...

Congratulations on the twins!

Unknown said...

Congrats and take care!

Kathi said...

Hey Sweetie,
it´s Kathi from Austria! Long time no see! Even though I stopped blogging and don´t really buy a lot of makeup these days (but still use and enjoy a lot of my Japanese makeup purchases incl. some you CPed for me back then and getting something new from time to time) I still read your blog regularly! I got married again to the man of my dreams and we have a 11-months old son and now I am preggo with a girl (I am 15 weeks now) so soon I am going to have 5 kids! =D It´s so interesting to see the surprises life can bring!
Wishing you all the best, honey!

Anonymous said...

congrats Haru! Twins are a handful, but double bliss!!!

Rest as much as u can~

Haru said...

Dearest Kathi,
Oh my goodness, that was such a wonderful surprise reading your comment! I just sent you an email to your old lotus palace address, hope you receive it! So happy to hear from you!

mudpievivi said...

Congrats Iris! You give me hope that one day I may have a baby of my own �� Take care abd best wishes!

j0s1e267 said...

Hi Iris!

Congratulations on your wonderful news! Do you know if you are expecting boy/girl? When are you due? I am currently in Tokyo with my 3 girls and it's fun yet tiring! I managed to bring my girls to Ichiran today, mega milestone, counter dining! My fave drugstore is still Ainz Tulpe, all Thanks to you fabulous recc. Take care and if you do come to the Bay Area, let me know!


Haru said...

Hi Michelle,
I was originally due in end Apr but twins usually come early so I'm expecting that they will be out by early Apr. They are identical boys :) Oh I miss Ainz Tulpe so much! I was supposed to visit Tokyo in Jul with my family but had to cancel at the last minute as my son fell sick. Hope your girls are loving it! Sadly, I doubt I will be getting on any planes for the next few years! I just can't imagine flying with three kids/babies!

j0s1e267 said...

Hi Iris,

Congratulations again!!! We sure balance each other out! Me with 3 girls and you with 3 boys!!! All my girls were early, with my first at 34 weeks and the twins at 33 weeks so I had a history of premature birth. I do know other twin moms who delivered after 36 weeks so I hope you can be one of them. Sending you lotsa good vibes for keeping them in as long as possible!!!

We held off on traveling until the twins were 18 months and their first trip was to Tokyo too!! Yeah we were crazy!!! But due to various circumstances, the twins have not visited Sg yet! We hope to change that next year. Since we are on the west coast, we do quite a few driving trips down to Disneyland, at least once a year, sometimes more.

My girls are loving Tokyo! We went to Hakone and they loved the onsen so much that they keep asking if we are going to the hotel with the hot tub! We also did two days of Disney, completely tiring! They are loving having ramen for breakfast, Tenya tempura rice bowls and Mos burger!

Take care Iris and keep in touch!!!