These are the products I’ve chosen to test between April 23, 2017 and September 9, 2017. This haul I am super excited about because I really expanded my search, checking out some indie brands as well as products from non-asian countries. The majority of it still comes from Korea, but I’ve got some stuff here from other places that I think is pretty cool. I also took the opportunity to focus on a single brand, Ato Classic, and try out their entire line of skincare this summer.
I decided to change things up a bit with this haul post and include some first impressions of the products in addition to my reasons for purchasing the product. I don’t like to comment too much on the experience or performance until I write a review post, but people seem to find first impressions useful so I thought I’d give it a try.
About half of this haul was ordered from http://www.testerkorea.com. The rest came from Amazon, eBay, or individual store websites. Since this block is 20 weeks long, there are also 2 bonus face products and 2 bonus ‘other’ products.
Here’s the breakdown (see this post for details on how I planned this haul):
- Active: COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
- Cleanser: Ato Classic Real Tonic Soothing Multi Cleanser
- Wash-Off: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
- Prep: Ato Classic Real Tonic Soothing Moist Mist
- Hydrator: Ato Classic Real Tonic Soothing Origin Essence
- Moisturizer: Ato Classic Real Tonic Calming Smart Lotion
- Finisher: COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask
- Sheet Masks: None, still using up that sheet mask stash. Promise, next haul will have sheet masks!
- Bonus 1: Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet
- Bonus 2: Ato Classic Real Tonic Calming Intensive Cream
- Makeup: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown
- Hair: Kracie Ichikami Volumizing Shampoo
- Nails: Set of 3 Mont Bleu Crystal Nail Files in Cayenne Red
- Lip/eye: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
- Hand/foot: Tony Moly Magic Food Mango Mild Sunblock
- Body: Solstice Scents Sample Pack in Corvin’s Apple Fest, Lemon Ginger Creams, Covered Bridge, Owl Creek Aleworks, Smokewood Apiary, Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Shower: Sabon Shower Oil in Rose Tea
- Oral: A’Pieu I Love Teeth Toothpaste in Applemint
- Wildcard: Kracie Ichikami Volumizing Conditioner
- Bonus 1: The Body Shop Mini Body Butters in Coconut, Strawberry, Mango
- Bonus 2: The Body Shop Body Sorbets in Strawberry, Mango, Satsuma
- NuFountain C20+ Ferulic Vitamin C Serum
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask
With a new testing block, I am looking to introduce a new type of active into my routine. BHA was the next item on my list, and the most popular asian BHA is this one from COSRX. It’s a very gentle BHA, which is important to me since my eventual goal is daily use. I’ve tried the Paula’s Choice BHA in the past and wasn’t in love with it, so we’ll see how this one works out. It has no smell that I notice, and it sinks in very well with no residue.
As for the rice mask, I’m slowly exploring COSRX’s lineup and the heavier of their two overnight masks was the next product I opted for. This cream also has no scent, and so far I love how nicely this moisturizes.
Ato Classic Real Tonic Soothing Multi Cleanser, Soothing Moist Mist, Soothing Origin Essence, Calming Smart Lotion, and Calming Intensive Cream
I’m a sucker for elegant packaging. I adore the aesthetic of the Ato Classic line, and I was extremely curious about their products. I haven’t seen too many reviews, though, so I took it upon myself to pick up the entire line and (eventually) review it myself. I was so excited when these arrived, the packaging is even more gorgeous in person and the bottles are actually a great size.
All products in the lineup have a lovely, sweet herbal hanbang-y scent. The lotion feels light and soft, and the cleanser and essence have a beautiful rose-amber color. These are gorgeous products and I can’t wait to review them!
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Since I’m introducing BHA this block, I thought it was the perfect time to start clay masking regularly as well. I’ve only tried the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque before, (which I hated), so I went to Innisfree to try another. I chose the regular version instead of the super version because the super version is more drying, and dries out quicker, which wasn’t ideal for my dry-leaning skin.
Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet
I’ve been very interested in cleansing balms for a while. I do travel relatively frequently, so having products in a solid format always makes things easier. The Botanic Farm Cleansing Sherbet has gotten great reviews, so it seemed like an ideal starting point.
In addition to the full size, I also received a tiny 10mL sample size of this balm, which I’ve used on a couple of weekend trips. It melts into an oil as you massage it into your skin, and it’s done a great job so far of removing makeup. No scent that I notice, and no issues with eye stinging or blurriness, which is great.
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown
I’ve been really struggling with getting excited about makeup these days. I want to get back to doing my makeup everyday, but nothing seems to catch my attention. I received a Sephora gift card for Christmas, so I figured it would be a good place to grab something without thinking too hard about the purchase. The rare times I do end up doing a makeup routine, I’ve been missing having a brow pencil, so I put the gift card towards a new one.
It’s a soft mechanical brow pencil, which I prefer, because traditional pencils lose a ton of product to sharpening. The other end also has a spoolie for brushing and arranging brow hairs. The shade is a perfect ashy brown, and the pencil delivers enough pigment without being too bold.
Kracie Ichikami Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner
I’ve been eyeing the entire line of Ichikami hair products in my quest to figure out what the hell I should be doing with my hair. I chose the Volumizing (or Revitalizing) shampoo and conditioner because my hair is extremely fine and I was concerned a more moisturizing line would weigh down my hair or make it look greasy.
These smell amazing. They both have a similar flowery/fruity scent that I think is meant to be cherry blossom. These are great in the shower as they both have pump dispensers. Do be warned that the scent will linger in your hair for a long time. I was still getting wafts of it hours after I used the conditioner for the first time.
Mont Bleu Crystal Nail Files in Cayenne Red
Proper nail files are pretty critical if you want to really take care of your nails. Mont Bleu is a highly trusted brand that makes crystal nail files, and I decided it was time to invest in a set for myself.
I say invest, but these actually weren’t that expensive. I grabbed this set of 3 off of Amazon for $20 CAD, which is a great price when you consider how long crystal files last. Assuming you don’t step on one, or anything.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
My lips are always dry and I have a terrible habit of picking and peeling them. I always have to have lip balm on me otherwise my lips start to get very irritated. This overnight lip mask is very popular, so I’m hoping it will be able to soothe my raging lip-beast.
It has a mild berry scent, and comes with the most adorable little rubber spatula inside a tiny pouch.
Tony Moly Magic Food Mango Mild Sunblock
The newest addition to my Tony Moly Fruit Bowl. This is marketed as a facial sunscreen, but I bought it for the purpose of using only on my hands. Smells absolutely delicious! It’s a very true fresh mango scent. The sunscreen isn’t greasy, and doesn’t leave a noticeable white cast.
Solstice Scents Samples in Corvin’s Apple Fest, Covered Bridge, Lemon Ginger Creams, Owl Creek Aleworks, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Smokewood Apiary
All of a sudden, I’ve developed such a hankering to try out indie perfumes. I’ve never been a habitual fragrance wearer. I’ve only every emptied a single perfume bottle in my life, and I didn’t even purchase it for myself. But when I read about fragrances that smell like flowers after a rain, a freshly baked cake, or salty sea air, I have to say I’m intrigued. There are quite a lot of indie companies to choose from these days, so I had a bit of a hard time picking one to start with. I settled on Solstice Scents because they get consistently great reviews, have reasonably priced sample packs, and don’t have outrageous shipping fees for Canada delivery.
So far my favorite has been Smokewood Apiary. It’s a sweet, sticky honey scent that is grounded with smoke. I can just about feel the honey in the back of my throat when I smell this one. Runner up is probably Owl Creek Aleworks, which smells like a cake shop and is super delicious.
Sabon Shower Oil in Rose Tea
Boy, do I love oil cleansing. What could be better than oil cleansing your face? Oil cleansing all the rest of you, obviously.
This was a tricky product to find because oil cleansers for the body are not something that is seen around very much in the west. The product that came up the most in my search was the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil. Personally, I didn’t find anything interesting about that product so I went off to look for other things. I came across the brand Sabon, which is based in Israel and carries a wide range of bath and body products. Their shower oils come in a variety of scents and are packaged in these beautiful 500mL glass bottles.
Getting my hands on this was also a bit tricky. Their home website does not ship worldwide. They have a webstore based in New York, but that only ships to locations within the United States. I had to turn to eBay to grab this product, and ended up paying about $40. I’m okay with that though, because per mL that turned out to cost about as much as the L’Occitane oil.
Now the unfortunate part is that it doesn’t appear to be a true cleansing oil type product that most Asian Beauty fans are familiar with. It is much more viscous, and it’s actually capable of emulsifying and foaming without any water added at all. So it’s more of a shower gel or body wash that is enhanced with added oils instead of a bunch of oils with added emulsifiers. Opinion is TBD, but the scent of this one is pretty great.
A’pieu I Love Teeth Toothpaste in Applemint
I’m almost done with all of my Marvis samples, so it was time to grab another crazy toothpaste flavor. A’pieu released a line of toothpastes not too long ago, and the Applemint flavor was the one that stood out to me. Interesting to note is that the paste is more of a gel than a paste, and initial taste is very strongly of mint. Apple flavor remains to be seen.
The Body Shop Mini Body Butters in Coconut, Mango, and Strawberry
I’ve always really loved The Body Shop products, but it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve used any and so I’m pretty unfamiliar with their scents nowadays. They generally have a buy-2-get-1 deal on their travel sized products, so I picked up the three scents on the top of my list.
Immediate favorite is the coconut. It smells exactly like these coconut cream cookies I had as a kid, which were amazing. Definitely the most delicious scent.
The Body Shop Body Sorbets in Mango, Strawberry, and Satsuma
Whilst I was a-browsin’ around The Body Shop website, I saw this line of moisturizers called Body Sorbets. Again, they had a buy-2-get-1 deal on these, so I picked up 3 scents out of the 5 or 6 they offer. These are meant to be very light moisturizers that sink in extremely quickly with a ‘frosty’ fresh feeling.
I don’t know anything about a frosty feeling, but yes they sink in like nothing. The texture is also interesting, it’s like a gel moisturizer but with a grainy or cloudy look that is very reminiscent of a sorbet. Favorite scent here is the mango.
NuFountain C20+ Ferulic Vitamin C Serum
Only repurchase in this haul was a few backups of my trusty NuFountain C20+ Ferulic (reviewed here).
Okay, that completes the summer haul! I’ve almost got plans in place for the final haul this year, so that post will be coming in a few months. Have thoughts about any of the products in this post? Let me know in the comments.