I recently headed back over to Japan for my cousin’s wedding, and of course a little shopping on the way. This time I dropped by Hong Kong for my first visit. It’s such a beautiful city in harmony with nature, I’d highly recommend it and not just for the beauty shopping!
This time I went for quality and not quantity, as I already have a large stash. And I have been saving up for a few months for this trip. Hauling is fun, but it’s more important to be able to afford food and rent. Read my Hauling Responsibly Guide for my top tips on saving and beauty budgeting.
Shopping Experience in Hong Kong and Japan
I’ve already written an extensive guide for shopping in Japan, which you can read here. My top tip for the tourists is to always carry your passport with you. In the main stores, such as Donki and Matsukiyo, there’s a tax free counter. So if you’re spending over 5,000 yen, which is easy to do, you can essentially get an 8% discount. They do tape up your products in a bag though, and warn you not to open anything before you leave Japan.
Shibuya is still my favourite place to go as a one stop shop. There’s now a Mega-Donki there, which I spent 2 hours in just exploring. And nearby is Matsukiyo, Its’ Demo and a department store. So if you only have time for one place that is where I recommend going.
Hong Kong was a brand new experience for me! One of the advantages it had over Japan is that a lot of the assistants spoke good english. So I was able to ask them questions about the products and recommendations. One very kind sales lady saw my basket over flowing and came back with a trolley. The disadvantage was that the assistants spoke good english, so the over eager ones would follow me around the store.
Sasa and Colourmix were the two beauty stores that I saw everywhere in HK. Where I was staying in the Eaton, a good hotel which I’d recommend, there was a Sasa, a Colourmix and a Bonjour in walking distance! I could not have planned it before if I tried. All the stores were super packed with cosmetics/beauty items, so it did feel slightly overwhelming at first. But the prices were always clear. Sasa and Bonjour reminded me of the Sephora I visited in Barcelona, it had the same vibe to it.
I also hit a shopping mall, to find the coveted Sulwhasoo brand which I’ve had my eye on for a while. I was kindly attended to by the sales lady, who spent 25 minutes with me explaining the different products. And I got my butterfly cushion! There was also a spa in one of the malls, which I wish I had known about before so I could have made a booking.
Hong Kong and Japan Beauty Haul
So onto the main event, the haul! I’ve included my first impressions/reviews for the products I’ve already tried. I really did try to limit myself, but you can be the judge on that! So scroll below for a more detailed look at some of the products that I bought!
Starting with the sheetmasks that I purchased in HK. All of these are familiar brands for me, but the Papa Recipe and Oozoo Bears are more expensive in the UK, so I stocked up!
My Beauty Diary – Affordable masks drenched in essence, thin material and a good fit for my face. These are my go to masks for daily masking, and so of course I stocked up when I could! The Black Pearl is my favourite variation, as I also see brightening effects with it. But I wanted to try out the Aloe as well, seeing as how summer is coming.
Oozoo Bear Masks – I first picked these up in Sephora, because the packaging is adorable. But found that I also loved the brightening and hydrating effect of these masks. You squeeze the ear to inject extra essence into the sheetmask, before opening and applying. I got the Black Space and Aurora Illuminating versions.
Papa Recipe – These are my favourite discovery of 2017. These masks just can’t do no wrong in my eyes. Fit, hydration, soothing, no feel (as in I don’t feel I’m wearing a mask). I picked up the Cream, Rose Gold and Ginseng versions in HK, as I haven’t tried them before. The cream was very creamy, which means I am now stashing them away for my winter dry skin.
Shu Uemura Travel Kit
One of the great things about travelling is the duty free! A lot of brands will have “travel exclusives” such as mini’s and kits. Shu Uemura is a brand I’ve dabbled in and wanted to try more of!
Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil – I’ve tried, and still have a stub of, this eyebrow pencil and love it. The pigmentation pay off is great, and it lasts the whole day.
Lasting Soft Gel Pencil – Haven’t tried this out yet, as I have many black eyeliner pencils to go through. But when I swatched at the airport it had a strong pigmentation and a smooth application.
Anti-Oxi Pollutant and Dullness Clarifying Cleansing Oil – This is a much revered cleansing oil, which I hadn’t been able to justify paying the price for before! But this tiny travel version means I can now try it out!
Cleansing Research AHA Foam Wash – So I’ve tried the hard bar soap version of this for my body, and it really helped with my bacne. But I do prefer using foam washes in the shower, so opted to buy this instead! It can be drying so I only use it twice a week.
Suisai Beauty Clear Powder – This is a powder foam cleanser, which comes in easy to travel with capsules. I have heard good things about this powder, and when I saw the cute TsumTsum designs I knew I had to have it in my collection.
Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover – When I wear my waterproof mascara I always first cleanse with an eye make up remover, otherwise I wake up with little smudges of mascara on my face. This is a pretty affordable and decent brand, which has been effective for me in the past in the samples I’ve bought. I also use it to cleanse my make up brushes!
HadaLabo Hyaluronic Foam Cleanser –This is my staple foam cleanser I always go back to. I love it and you can read why here: Review.
Its’ Demo Pokemon Haul
I was super lucky to be in Japan when Its’ Demo released their Pokemon collaboration! As an avid pokemon fan I had to pick up a few items. I got the Lip Cream, Eyeshadow Palette, Hand Cream and Missha Magic Cushion.
Eyeshadow Palette – This has a decent colour selection, which you can see on my instagram, though it includes two blues which I have no clue how to use. The pigmentation is decent, not as good as Two Faced or Urban Decay, but not as sheer as most Asian shadows. I am in love with the design of the outside, and couldn’t be happier with that.
Cushions are a staple in my make up routine. The application gives me that smooth look, and somedays I don’t want heavy coverage. They’re also easy to pop into my handbag and lightly touch up during the work day.
Iope XP Air Cushion – This is my favourite cushion to use. It’s got great coverage, matches my skin tone and lasts for my work day with just one touch up.
Missha Magic Cushion – So I’ve never used this cushion before, but was captured by the Pokemon print. It’s also had good reviews online and I’m looking forward to trying it out.
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion – I’ve been on the hunt for the Butterfly print since it came out last year! This is a cushion I’ve been saving up for as it’s more expensive than my usual brands. Haven’t tried it out yet, just been admiring it.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence – My go to suncream as it dries fast and works well as a make up base. I haven’t suffered from sun burns so far while using this. So no complaints here!
Allie UV Mineral Moist Neo – This was being advertised everywhere in Japan, so I was curious to try it out. Haven’t seen it crop up on my instagram feeds either, so this will truly be an adventure.
Exfoliating Masks and Gels
Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Pudding Set – I love the Papa Recipe sheetmasks, so when I saw this in Hong Kong I immediately snapped it up. It’s a set which includes a peeling gel and a cream for applying afterwards. Yet to try, but they smell delicious. Similar scent to the masks.
Kouji Hime Face Pack – In contrast this is a brand I know nothing about. But it was ranked #1 in Cosme, and I was curious to try it out for myself. This is an exfoliating mask pack which contains sake and bran. I do love my exfoliators, so looking forward to trying this out for myself.
Bonus masks! These are just some general special masks I picked up in Japan! A couple of lip masks, my favourite steam eye masks which help me relax, and some heat patches for the feet. With all the walking that I did in Japan I really needed to pamper my feet and calves afterwards!
Sulwhasoo Balancing Set
I have to finish up the haul part of this post with my most expensive purchase. The Sulwhasoo Balancing set was bought as a real treat to myself, and is the first time I’ve owned Sulwhasoo skincare! I got all the little sample packets free, thanks to the generous sales lady. The candle smells gorgeous, and is a nice bonus non-beauty item in the collection.
First Care Activating Serum Ex – I love this serum, and it’s only been in my routine for three weeks. My complexion looks more even, my skin is hydated and it’s such a joy to put on. If it wasn’t for the price tag this would definitely be a permanent part of my routine. One day, one day I’ll have the budget I dream of.
And that’s it for my Summer haul! I’m already saving up for my next one 😉 Let me know if there are any products you’d like me to do a deeper review on.