Friday, January 28, 2011

Confessional/Haul #3: Cheap Stuff

I was bad again... but not as bad as I could have been.

It was the skincare inventory that did me in.  As I went through the cleansers, toners and moisturizers, I realized that I didn't have a single anti-aging product in my lineup.  I have been noticing lately that my frown lines on the forehead were deeper, the lines around my eyes a bit more prominent... and the spaces between the eyes and the nose?  HOLY COW.  What was happening over there?!

Now whenever I chat about this stuff with girlfriends, they return with, "What lines?  What zit?  I don't see anything!"  And I say exactly the same kind of stuff back to them.  THEY CANNOT BE TRUSTED.  Therefore I blog, to get all this kind of stuff out to a wider audience who might be a bit more objective.  Also, the mirror before me every morning says, "Girl, you're not the resilient young thing you used to be. Let's get real."

So.  Instead of running into Sephora with my arms flailing, throwing down a hundred dollars for the best reviewed luxe brand I can get my grubby hands on, I trudged into Shoppers Drug Mart and found almost immediately what I was looking for.  Behold Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum and Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Night Cream:

The serum in particular was getting rave reviews from bloggers everywhere: in the UK, the US and finally Canada.  Apparently Shoppers stocks this on a mass scale when it's on sale because they literally go flying off the shelves.  I was impatient and felt like the lines on my face were not far from becoming something like cracks in cement, so I didn't wait for the sale.  I grabbed them at a rather steep price for drug store brands, at CDN$29.99 each.  But considering that what I really wanted was the Korres Quercetin & Oak Antiaging Serum from Sephora which hovers around CDN$80-90, I think I made a fair compromise.

The serum applies super smoothly, almost like a silicone-based primer.  It's kind of amazing how instantly soft and smooth my face feels after I put it on.  The night cream has a similar effect, though I have not tried it on its own.  Now, the particular claim with this Boots No. 7 stuff is that they claim a noticeable improvement or difference within 4 weeks.  I read a lot of reviews from women who said they thought it didn't do anything for them until they hit the 4th week period and suddenly found that their skin was much improved.  I take it with a grain of salt, naturally, but now that I know my face prefers the chemical-filled drugstore products better than the potent natural brands such as Ole Henriksen, I felt it couldn't be so bad and took the plunge with both.

It's been one week with the serum and the night cream, and I do think that there is a visible improvement.  Maybe it simply has to do with the fact that my face wasn't getting enough moisture from the super light gels that I had been using to combat my naturally oily skin.  I can't really explain why this works for me, but I do know that both the serum and the night cream are oil-free and don't make me break out.  I feel better with these products than without.  So, while I can't speak for other skin types, I can say that as a sufferer oily skin in her early 30s concerned with sudden appearance of lines, this stuff kind of rocks.  I'll try to come back to this and post a follow-up after the 4 weeks end.

So that was last week.  Today, which is Friday, which means work day (because I have classes from Mon-Thurs and only go to the office on Fridays), which means boredom, which means frequent coffee breaks, which means window-shopping in the many many stores which line the underground path connecting all the major bank towers together in the financial district (basically we're talking about a large underground mall), it meant that I succumbed to temptation and could not resist when today, in fact, turned out to be the day for a massive sidewalk sale for in the PATH.  O.M.G.

Usually when I try to be good, I turn my eyes away from the window and walk quickly looking directly ahead so as not to be tempted.  You have no idea how those large red SALE signs call to me.  Today was too much.  When salons put out super expensive stuff with signs that say $5 FOR EVERYTHING, I cannot resist.  I snagged this Kevin Murphy Motion Lotion Curl Enhancing Lotion (USD$19.99) and Phyto Universal Elixir Scalp Stimulant (USD$32) for $5 each!  That's crazy, you know!  I have crazy wavy hair for an Asian and suffer from dry scalp in the winter.  I'm fairly low maintenance when it comes to hair despite my love of trying new products, and aside from the Moroccan Hair Oil, almost all my haircare stuff comes from the drugstore.  So I felt I was okay in spending $10 for $52 worth of hair products.

Next and last, the lippies.  Ah, lippies.  I try so hard but I just can't get enough of them.  Lately I'm into sheer lips and looking for extra boost of moisture against the winter cold while I'm at it, so these three were rather appealing.  They were each $2, so again, really awesome deals here and I'm crazy about the NYC Lip Sliders Tinted Lip Balm!  The packaging is cute, the colour subtle (511A Sugar Angel) and the texture very emollient.  I had to stop myself from scooping up the entire line, so I do have some restraint. 

However, I showed less restraint at Bath & Body Works when I scooped up 3 of these Liplicious glosses.  They were in a huge bin marked 75% off, a thousand women were going nuts elbowing each other out of the way, so I guess I got caught up in the moment and grabbed whatever I could!  Now I wish I had just kept it to one.  I do really like it, though.  This "Spring Fling" one smells great and I love the soft sheen of the palest of pink it leaves on my lips.  It's just I don't know if I'll even finish this one, much less three of them.

The last is your good old Bonne Belle Lip Smacker in a revamped 100% Natural Pink Guava formula.  I'm not a huge fan of chapsticks, and I would classify this as a chapstick, so draw your own conclusions.  There is no colour and it's the same white balm with similar texture as most other chapsticks out there.  The smell isn't as sickly sweet as the old Lip Smackers, though, which is nice.  I actually bought this a few months ago when I left the house without a single lip product and I thought the chapping was going to kill me.  (I do get a little dramatic when I feel like I "need" something desperately.)  A revisit to the land of Lip Smackers was nice, if short-lived.  I much prefer my Burt's Bees Pomegranate chapstick to this.

In summary:

Total spent:  $81
Amount saved:  $67

Does this justify my shopping spree?  How do you guys justify your purchases?  Am I compromising the integrity of this blog by indulging from time to time the way I do?  Do spill in the comments below.


  1. Not to be a big enabler, but I feel a beauty purchase is fully justified if gotten at a great deal that will not be able to be gotten later. However, I am a big beauty addict, so I may not be the most reliable judge :/

    And lol, girlfriends CANNOT be trusted when it comes to giving any sort of negative feedback on appearance. However, the magnifying mirror does not lie!

  2. Ever since I began this blog, I passed up some really good deals. The past few weeks I started to doubt the "wisdom" of it and sort of broke. Ah well, I'll try to hold out for the remainder of the year and see what happens. :)

  3. I loved your telling of this story! It had me laughing... a lot! And I definately don't think you're hurting the integrity of the blog with such a "spree" because you documented it so well! Really, I think being real in a quest and learning along the way is much more important (and interesting!) than the end result.

  4. Great point! Thanks, you made me feel so much better. :D

  5. I'd say you did what you HAD TO DO ;) you got great deals on these products, that's what's important!


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