Pick-Ups & Deliveries: Haul No. 66

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
As you may know, I went to NYC last month. Remember the days when us Canadians could spend so freely south of the border because our dollars were on par (or close to it) and American retail prices were so much lower? Well, those days are long gone. Since the Canadian dollar is so low right now, it wasn't really worth shopping down there (especially when so many brands have opened up shop in Canada now), but I did pick up a few things that I got a corporate discount on or things that are hard to find here.

Le Labo Bergamote 22 Eau de Parfum (50 ml)

We have a Le Labo store here in Toronto, but I never go downtown to shop (I really only go down there for concerts, food, or IMATS) so I figured I would check out the boutique in Nolita while we were in NYC. If you've never heard of Le Labo, they are a niche fragrance brand from NYC that focuses on hand-blended formulations. And if you've ever looked them up, you'll know that their fragrances don't come cheap. I get a corporate discount but even then, they cost a pretty penny, so I really had to figure out if any of them were worth it for me to invest in. A lot of their scents are way too strong for me so I vetoed a lot of them before narrowing it down to two: Neroli 36 and Bergamote 22. I sprayed one on each of my wrists and walked around with them for an hour to see if I liked they way they smelled after they settled. We even went into Bloomingdale's to smell more some perfumes to see if there were better options (I wanted to check out Jo Malone's Basil & Neroli), but it was a unanimous decision after that: Bergamote 22 was the winner. I was looking for something that still had a fresh citrus note to it, but a little more well-rounded and less sweet than what I typically go for. Bergamote 22 starts off with juicy notes of grapefruit and bergamot and softens into a musky, woodsy scent with whiffs of vetiver and cedar; a truly unisex fragrance that's perfect for summer. The coolest part about Le Labo? Every perfume is made to order (they mix it right in front of you) so you're ensured a fresh bottle every time, and comes with a customized label so you know exactly who it's for.

Violet Voss Matte About You Eyeshadow Palette

The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer and Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray for Bridal

While we were in Soho, we stopped by Ricky's so I could take a little gander. I love Ricky's because they carry a ton of lesser known and indie brands that I can only find online on American sites (which means I have to pay the conversation rate, shipping fees, and sometimes duties as well). When I saw that they were carrying Violet Voss, I immediately snagged the Matte About You Eyeshadow Palette, which I had been contemplating getting for the last couple months. I originally wanted the Ride or Die, too, but they were sold out of it (which was really for the better, because I totally did not need a $75 neutral palette, no matter how damn pretty it is). I also saw that they were carrying Skindinavia, so I picked up a bottle of The Makeup Finishing Spray for Bridal. My friend Sam, a freelance makeup artist who does a ton of weddings and editorials, told me that this was her holy grail setting spray. She gets hers at IMATS every year, but I haven't had luck finding it in stores here, so when I saw it at Ricky's, I snatched one up. If Skindinavia sounds familiar, it's because they make all of Urban Decay's setting sprays. But none of UD's setting sprays (De-Slick or All Nighter) actually keep my makeup on longer nor matte. But I sprayed this one (the Bridal version, not the regular one) on top of my makeup during a heatwave while we were in NYC, and my makeup did not budge until I took it off at night.

On that note, y'all know that I spend my life finding my holy grail foundation primer. Most recently, I thought I had found it in Deciem's Hylamide Matte 12. It's definitely thicker than I like in a primer, but it kept me matte longer than other primers and made my skin look smoother than a baby's bottom. As I was getting ready to pay, I saw that Ricky's was carrying The Ordinary, which is another brand under the Deciem umbrella (and is actually Canadian!). I was immediately intrigued by a product called High-Spreadability Fluid Primer, described as "a lightweight serum-like formula that increases the spreadability of subsequent complexion makeup to help avoid the unnatural and uneven accumulation of pigments especially around the eyes and on dry skin." And guess how much it is? $7.90. Yeah, I thought it was a misprint. I mean, if it ended up sucking, at least I didn't pay a lot for it, you know? But it ended up being one of the best impulse purchases, ever. I typically don't like primers that have that slick, velvety silicone kind of feel, but this one is ultra lightweight so it doesn't feel like anything on my skin, and it doesn't leave any residue or ball up on top of my moisturizer. It looks flawless under both my liquid concealer and my powder foundation and the best part? It makes my makeup look fresh for over 10 hours. Even my friend Ronsee commented that my makeup looked smoother and "not melty" after a whole day of walking around NYC during that heatwave. I didn't start looking shiny until six hours in, which is a miracle in itself because I usually have to blot within half that time. Now, I use this primer in conjunction with the Skindinavia spray, and even my colleagues — all of them makeup artists — ask me, "How does your makeup look so perfect after a whole day at work?"

Origins Modern Friction and Make a Difference Plus+

Nature Republic AQUA Super Aqua Max Watery Essence and Fresh Watery Cream

Nature Republic Shea Butter and Apple Mango Hand Creams

Nature Republic Lime and Grapefruit Mini Hand Creams

Because I have the tendency to stock up on a lot skincare all at once, I like to get products that I can use all year round. We were walking through Grand Central and I decided to stop by the Origins store to see if there was anything exciting since I get a corporate discount there, too (there are no Origins stores in Toronto, so I never get to take advantage of it). Nothing new caught my eye, but I did pick up a tube of Modern Friction Nature's Gentle Dermabrasion (I haven't used it in a few years and have decided it's time to go back to it because I've always had great results) and a jar of their Make a Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment that I love as a night cream in warm weather or as a day cream in cold weather (and it smells like watermelons and oranges!). A couple days later, during a walk through Koreatown, a store called Nature Republic caught my eye. Despite Korean beauty brands getting really big here (The Face Shop, Laneige, Tony Moly, Holika Holika, etc.), I had never heard of Nature Republic, so I decided to go in and check it out. They were having a 30% off promotion on select skincare, so I ended up getting a bottle of Super Aqua Max Watery Essence and a jar of Super Aqua Max Fresh Watery Cream. Both are designed to give hydration to oily skin, so I thought they would be good as my day time skincare routine for summer. They were also having a hand cream sale (Buy 1, Get 1 Free) so I ended up getting two full size tubes in Shea Butter and Apple Mango, as well as two mini tubes in Lime and Grapefruit, because you know I go through hand cream like water. And in cute packaging as well? Just sell me everything.

Rituals Foaming Shower Gel in The Ritual of Sakura, The Ritual of Dao, and Express Your Soul

You might have noticed by now that sales are my kryptonite. I stopped by Rituals during one of our afternoon strolls because I hear a lot about the brand through UK YouTubers and we don't have it in Canada. I saw that their best-selling Shower Foams were on promotion for $10 each from $15, so I decided to check them out. Don't know if anyone remembers this, but Bath & Body Works used to carry a very similar product many, many years ago, and I was obsessed with it. They come out of the cans like shaving gel and they foam up like crazy, and they are freaking awesome. Anyway, I spent like, 15 minutes washing my hands with every single scent (and made Ronsee smell every single one, too, because I am that person) and finally ended up picking three: The Ritual of Sakura which has a rice milk and cherry blossom scent, The Ritual of Dao which has a white lotus and yi yi ren scent, and the limited edition Express Your Soul which has a verbena and petitgrain scent. I just wish Rituals would open up a store here because there are about 87 other things I wanna try. (Actually, it's probably better that they're not here.)

MAC Fruity Juicy Oh My, Passion! Pearlmatte Face Powder

MAC Fruity Juicy Eyeshadow x 6 Palettes in Oh My Banana, Love in the Glades, and Fruit a La La

MAC Fruity Juicy Lipstick in Calm Heat, Shy Girl, Love at First Bite, and Sí, Sí, Me!

MAC Fruity Juicy Prep + Prime Coconut Fix+

MAC Steve J & Yoni P Sugar or Syrup Powder Blush; Touch Me Baby Eyeshadow Duo; Midnight Fever Dazzleshadow Duo; and Lipstick in Spotlight Me, A Killing Smile, and Yoni Crush

Of course, MAC came out with their huge summer launch last month. I didn't care for the bronzers, glosses, Lustre Drops, or brushes, but I did buy the Pearlmatte Face Powder, the three eyeshadow palettes (reviews: Oh My Banana, Love in the Glades, and Fruit a La La), all four lipsticks, and luckily, the Coconut Fix+ (that sold out within a few hours). After their incredibly underwhelming spring collection, Work It Out (of which I did not buy a single item — a first for me in the 10 years I've been collecting MAC), I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased with Fruity Juicy, from the packaging to the colour scheme to the textures. As Fruity Juicy is the main focus for MAC right now, they didn't really come out with any other collections until the very limited launch of their collaboration with Korean designers, Steve J & Yoni P, which I just thought was too cute to resist. I ended up grabbing six limited edition items from the collection: the Sugar or Syrup Powder Blush, both the Touch Me Baby eyeshadow duo and the Midnight Fever Dazzleshadow duo, and the lipsticks. Now I'm waiting for the fall collections with bated breath.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (x 2), and Fresh Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum (30 ml)

I ran out of some staple products so I got my friend Chelsea to snag me some from Sephora for me, including my favourite NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, two tubes of Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, and a small bottle of Fresh Sugar Lychee Eau de Parfum. Not that exciting, but you know, holy grails are holy grails.

La Mer Blue Heart Crème de la Mer and La Mer The Illuminating Eye Gel

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (x 2)

Estée Lauder Clear Difference Oil Control/Mattifying Hydrating Gel and NightWear Plus Anti-Oxidant Night Detox Creme

Finally, I went to an exclusive private Estée Lauder Companies warehouse sale last week. I have gone to many ELC warehouse sales in the past (they are invitation-only, but ELC sends out a lot of invites that people can give to their family and friends, so it seems like a public sale) but they usually don't have anything that exciting (they usually repeat products at every sale), and the discounts don't get higher than 50% off. But the one I went to, despite having less variety, had much more luxury products at significantly higher discounts. And it was far less busy because it was so private. It was there that I found the most "boujee" of all skincare brands: La Mer. They had their limited edition 100 ml Blue Heart Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Cream for $100 from $585. I had never even thought of trying La Mer because their prices are so exorbitant, and I'm not saying that $100 is cheap, but for 100 ml of product?! That's less than most moisturizers from non-drugstore brands. I didn't think twice about snagging one up (and others didn't either, because I saw dozens of people putting two in their shopping bags). I also snatched up La Mer's The Illuminating Eye Gel for $45 from $180, two massive 100 ml bottles of Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair for $25 each from $200, a jar of Estée Lauder's Clear Difference Oil Control/Mattifying Hydrating Gel for $10 from $58, and a jar of Estée Lauder's NightWear Plus Ant-Oxidant Night Detox Creme for $15 from $65. Um, yeah, I spent $220 and saved over $1,000, and there was no tax because every dollar was being donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. I think this might be the best sale I have ever encountered.
3 comments on "Pick-Ups & Deliveries: Haul No. 66"
  1. Ahh! You buy the nicest stuff. I'm a huge fan of Le Labo. We have a branch here in Berlin. I have Ambrette 9 and Santal 33. They are so distinctly different. I'm curious about your Bergamotte 22 now. Must smell it the next time I'm at Le Labo - hopefully not soon :)

    Hey if you want anything from Rituals, I can send them to you. There are so many stores here in Berlin. Feel free to send me a list.

    Have you tried the other Ordinary Primer? The High Adherence one? I use it everyday. Love it. It's almost as good as their more expensive Hylamide Blur Primer. Some days I can't tell the difference. But the Hylamide one is a bit more hydrating especially for Winter.

    I'm guessing you would recommend the UD Perversion Mascara? I've only tried Cannonball because I only wear waterproof mascara. I have this worry that it will rain and my mascara will run down my eyes and I will look like a 90s grunge chick :)

    Are you going to get the UD Naked Heat palette? I'd love to know your opinion :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Fieran! It's been a while! :)

      If you're looking for a crisp summer scent, definitely look into Bergamote 22! It's a nice citrus fragrance that's not too sweet. I like layering it, too! All the other fragrances I smelled are a bit too strong for my taste, but maybe I shall check them out more thoroughly. :)

      Thank you so much for the offer! That's so kind of you. But no worries, my brother lives in NYC so I can always get him to grab me some things. ;)

      I haven't tried the other Ordinary primer, but my cousin uses it and really likes it. What's the texture like? The reason I've fallen in love with the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer is because it's so lightweight. I haven't tried the Hylamide Blur but I have the Hylamide Matte and it's a bit too heavy for me to use everyday. It was alright in the winter (it felt like extra protection against the cold, lol) but now that it's summer, it feels too sticky and thick. And now that I've tried the High-Spreadability, the Matte also (ironically) doesn't keep me matte as long. I really should get myself to the Deciem store downtown to check out all their products in person...

      And yes, I LOVE the UD Perversion mascara. Been using it for a few years now and haven't found anything I like better. BUT if you like more natural mascaras, you probably won't like Perversion. It gives dramatic volume, which is what I love because I have very long but thin lashes. Also, they don't make it in waterproof yet. :P (Haha, nothing wrong with looking like a '90s grunge chick! But maybe the people at work will get scared, lol.)

      Annnnnd, I probably will end up getting the Naked Heat palette. I don't need it but the colours are totally up my alley and I do love the quality of UD's shadows. Plus, my friend works for UD so she gets 40% off. ;)

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    2. Hey Denise, the offer stands - if you want anything from Europe I'm happy to ship it to you. Yeah the other Ordinary Primer (High Adherence Silicone Primer) is actually quite good for day to day use. I use it everyday for work especially when the weather is warmer. On colder days I use the Hylamide Blur one as that's more hydrating. I still get a bit "glowy" but dabbing off the oil with an oil blotter keeps my makeup quite intact. It's amazing how much my skin has improved since I used to blog, but also how much the technology in makeup and skincare have improved.

      Ohh you're so lucky there's a Deciem store nearby. I only visited the store in London and it was nice. I like some of their products a lot. Like Hylamide C25 for reducing PiH scars as well as Hylamide Sub-q Anti-age which I have used almost everyday for the past year or so.

      I usually gravitate towards waterproof mascaras and since Perversion was not marked as Waterproof I never bought it. I ended up with Canonball which is great for separation. I have quite long lashes so I like volumizing and separating mascaras but most of them are okayish. I shall definitely try Perversion, for non-rainy days :)

      OK 40% discount on the Naked Palette is a good deal. Looking forward to your review. I only own Naked 1, so I do have the itch to get another. I was very tempted by Naked Smoky but I don't wear eyeshadow much nowadays as I have a longer commute to work. I need to get back to it more often :)

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