Pick-Ups & Deliveries: May and June 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Hello! I've been crazy busy with work recently, so I apologize for this blog lacking in any real posts lately. The past several weeks have seemed to go by simultaneously fast and slow. I say fast because it seemed to whiz by as most months do in adult life. (Like, hi, it's already June.) But I mean slow in the sense that a lot happened and I accomplished quite a bit in a span of a month: taking trips to both Montreal and New York City, doing tons and tons of makeup appointments (prom and wedding season is upon us), interviewing for a higher position, getting promoted (!), etc. But I somehow found the time to do copious amounts of shopping in between.

Bella Pella Glycerine Soaps in Watermelon, Marula and Neroli, and Pear and Vanilla

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Caramello and Baci

Paul & Joe Limited Compact in 010 with Powder Blush in 01

Last month's haul started in Montreal, where I bought exactly six items. I didn't want to do any excessive shopping there partly because the retail tax rate is higher in Quebec than it is here in Ontario, but mostly because I was going to NYC literally one day after I came back from Montreal and I needed to save money for that trip. So aside from food, all I bought were three glycerine bar soaps from the Bella Pella boutique on Rue Mont-Royal, plus two Stila liquid lipsticks in Baci and Caramello (I'm not a fan of most liquid lipsticks, but I tried one of my friend's and actually liked the texture of this formula), and a super-cute Paul & Joe compact that I filled with a highlighting powder blush duo a sparkly warm ivory and a shimmering peachy beige) from Pharmaprix because they were having their 20x Optimum Points event. (Also, does anyone know if Shoppers Drug Mart carries Paul & Joe here?)

Rebecca Minkoff Regan Satchel

Marc by Marc Jacobs New Q Natasha Crossbody Bag

Uniqlo Cotton Stoles and Drape Pants

Uniqlo Drape Pants

Uniqlo Liberty of London and SPRZ NY Andy Warhol Slippers

That brings me to my trip to NYC, where I surprisingly didn't buy a single cosmetic item (!). I did, however, spend a good chunk of change on two new handbags. Bloomingdale's was having a Friends & Family sale, so when I saw that they had the Rebecca Minkoff Regan Satchel that I had been eyeing for months at 35% off, I snatched that baby right up. On a whim, I decided to take a look at their clearance section as well and ended up finding a Marc by Marc Jacobs New Q Natasha Crossbody Bag for 40% off, so I got that one, too. Needless to say, most of my budget went to those bags. The only other things I got were some favourite basics from Uniqlo: a couple of new lightweight scarves, a few more pairs of my favourite Drape Pants, and a couple pairs of new slippers (the floral print is a collaboration with Liberty of London, and the Andy Warhol print is a collaboration with MoMA).

Urban Decay Alice Through the Looking Glass Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Obsessed and Sheer Rapture and Revolution Lipstick in Lovelight and Native

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Insanity, Uptight, Weirdo, Criminal, Backtalk, and Violate

I didn't buy any cosmetics in NYC, but I totally made up for it when I got back. I ended up making not one, but two orders on Urban Decay's website this past month. Their collaboration with the Alice Through the Looking Glass movie came out in early May, and while the lipsticks didn't interest me in the least, the eyeshadow palette was just too gorgeous to pass up. It's like a piece of art: frivolous and whimsical and not particularly practical to use, but made with great care and attention to detail and is just plain nice to look at. The shadows themselves are beautiful, of course, as you would expect from Urban Decay; smooth, silky, and pigmented, with equal parts neutrals and brights, frosts and mattes, that reflect the fanciful world of Alice in Wonderland to a tee. A must-have for make-up collectors. I also snatched up four more Revolution Lipsticks in shades that I had wanted but didn't already have, because they were becoming discontinued and on sale for $12 a pop. Why were they being discontinued, you ask? To make way for the 100 shades of the new Vice Lipstick range, which was released on their website last week. They are $21 each, making them cheaper than the Revolution Lipsticks were, so I put an order in for my top six shades to start with (you'll notice that they are all in the nude family because that's what I tend to reach for the most these days, but I'll probably get a few brights in the near future and then a few darker shades for fall). A lot of the shades are actually the same ones that were released in the old Revolution formula but just with different packaging now, so I made sure to get brand-new shades that were released specially with this range.

MAC Vibe Tribe Gleamtones Powder in Dunes at Dusk

MAC Vibe Tribe Powder Blushes in Modern Mandarin, Painted Canyon, and Adobe Brick

MAC Vibe Tribe Eyeshadow Palettes in Wild Horses and Call of the Canyon

MAC Vibe Tribe Lipsticks in Hot Chocolate, Arrowhead, Pure Vanity, and Painted Sunset

MAC x Chris Chang Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder and Plum Princess Lipstick

MAC had their major summer launches in May, and I picked up the majority of the Vibe Tribe collection (which I have reviewed here, here, here, here, and here), and both the Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder (which I like for blotting and oil absorption) and the Plum Princess lipstick (a cool greyish mauve) from their collaboration with Chinese fashion designer Chris Chang. I actually really love the aesthetic of the Chris Chang collection, which features really fun bright shades of lipstick and eyeshadow in super-cute colourful packaging, but I just have too many similar colours that I don't get a lot of wear out of, so I just got my two must-haves.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks in Sake, Thistle, Honeycomb, and Meringue

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Eyeshadow Palette 

Of course, a month can't go by without doing a Sephora haul. I finally caved and bought four of the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipsticks (three of the original range that I'd been eyeing for months and a new one, Thistle, that was released about a month ago as part of their summer collection), plus two coveted eyeshadow palettes that finally came back in stock: the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette and the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Eyeshadow Palette. Sadly, the latter palette is no longer available as Becca decided to pull it after they discovered discrepancies with their batches; some people got the lovely smooth, pigmented, buttery ones, and others got dry and patchy ones. Luckily, I got the former, but it's a damn shame they had to pull it, because the colours are gorgeous and cohesive, and neutral but not boring or predictable (surprisingly, given Jaclyn's affinity for ultra-warm, almost orange-leaning shades, this palette includes a lovely rosy mauve and a deep plummy brown), making it a very ideal palette for daily use and travel. Both Jaclyn Hill and Becca are getting a lot of flak for this right now, but I respect them for being so upfront about the issue and for upholding the integrity of their brand. As it is, I've been wearing it for a couple weeks now and it goes on beautifully and blends like a dream, so no complaints here whatsoever.

NARS Pro Prime Pore Refining Primer, Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream, and Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Foaming 3-in-1 Cleansing Gel (x 2)

I have been on a hunt for a good silicone-free foundation primer that will keep my skin looking matte for longer, so I decided to pick up NARS' Pro Prime Pore Refining Primer. I am currently using Laura Mercier's Oil Free Foundation Primer, and it feels nice and lightweight, but isn't particularly mattifying or oil controlling, so I'm hoping the NARS one might be more effective. I'd also been looking for a good hydrating eye cream because wearing liquid eyeliner every day causes these dry patches on my lids and the inner corners of my eyes, so the girl at Sephora recommended Fresh's new Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream. I usually take recommendations by Sephora's salespeople with a grain of salt because I know that they have to sell a certain quota of new products from specific brands, but I'm very pleasantly surprised by how effective this eye cream is. The dry, flaky patches that were on my lids are now completely gone and I've only been using the cream for about two weeks (I had finished an entire jar of Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream and it did nothing for me). I definitely recommend the Fresh one for anyone looking for extreme hydration without feeling greasy or heavy. Finally, I picked up a couple of essentials: a new tube of Fresh's Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment because I finished up my old one (it's fucking expensive but it works really well, it smells really good, and it's in a twist-up tube so I don't have to get my fingers all sticky), and two tubes of Philosophy's Purity Made Simple Cleansing Gel, my holy grail makeup removing cleanser.

A England Russian Soul Collection: Katyusha, Kalinka, Waltz of the Flowers, Polovetsian Dances, and Natasha's Dance / War & Peace

Chanel Le Vernis in 536 Émeraude

In nail polish news, I picked up A England's latest collection, Russian Soul, which includes five holographic shades inspired by Russian music and dance, and one single shade from Chanel's summer collection, Émeraude — one of the more unique colours I've seen from Chanel in a while. It seems that summer nail shades aren't just about brights and neons anymore, and I don't mind it at all.

Tony Moly Egg Pore Deep Cleansing Foam, Aquaporin Watery Essence, The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Skin, and The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence

Tony Moly Butter Mellow Hand Butter and Pure Milk Hand Cream

On a trip to Pacific Mall with Chelsea to look for phone cases (I ended up getting this awesome watermelon one by Sonix), we made a pit stop at Tony Moly to get some skincare. Tony Moly has become my go-to brand for reasonably priced skincare; they make my skin look and feel smooth and soft, they smell good, they come in cute packaging, and most importantly, I haven't had any reactions to their products. I've been very into lightweight, super-hydrating formulas after this past winter of experimenting with much heavier creams (which made me break out or leave patches of red bumps), so I ended up getting another tube of their Egg Pore Deep Cleansing Foam, a bottle of Aquaporin Watery Essence, plus their new Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence and Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Skin "to become fully moisturized and healthy through its excellent anti-oxidizing and moisture-strong effects." I also picked up two tubes of hand cream: the Butter Mellow Hand Butter to replace my L'Occitane Shea Butter Handcreme at a third of the price, and the Pure Milk Hand Cream to keep in my purse because it absorbs fast and isn't greasy. Their fruit-themed hand creams are decent (and in the cutest packaging you'll ever see), but I've found these ones to be more effective, especially since I have hand eczema.

Bath & Body Works Shea & Vitamin E Shower Gel in Gardenia & Fresh Rain, Oahu Coconut Sunset, and Moonlight Path

Bath & Body Works Shea & Vitamin E Body Lotion in Gardenia & Fresh Rain, Oahu Coconut Sunset, and Moonlight Path

Finally, I went to Bath & Body Works to stock up on some new body products. They were doing their "Buy 3, Get 3 Free" promotion on their signature products, so I got their Shea & Vitamin E Shower Gels and matching Body Lotions in Gardenia & Fresh Rain (fresh and floral with a hint of apple), Oahu Coconut Sunset (sweet, tropical, and beachy, 'cause it's summertime and sometimes you wanna smell like a piña colada), and Moonlight Path (calming jasmine and violet with a hint of musk — smells exactly like The Body Shop's White Musk scent, which was my favourite). I also had a coupon for $20 off a $50 purchase, so I bought a bunch of hand soaps and anti-bacterial hand gels as well. I had stopped using their hand soaps for a while because whatever they had put in there before had made my hands break out in hand eczema, but they changed their formula entirely (their hand soaps are no longer anti-bacterial but called "deep cleansing" instead) so I can use them again (I've been using them for about a week and no reactions!). Of course, now they're having their goddamn Semi-Annual Sale, so I'm tempted to go back for some Cucumber Melon products...

What did you buy last month? Any good deals? What are your favourite K-beauty brands? What's your favourite B&BW scent? Do you know of any good silicone-free foundation primers?
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