Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cupidrop, Tatcha-cha-cha, and Etsy extravaganza

I had three mini-hauls lately, one utilitarian, one frivolous indulgence, and one completely random. This is a quick overview of them all:


 I placed this order with Cupidrop for three reasons:

  1. I was running desperately low on oil cleanser and wanted to try something new
  2. Fan-b's review of the Cosrx low pH cleanser wooed me 
  3. Samples. Because every time I start browsing Cupidrop's website I start thinking about all the sweet sweet samples that came in my last order and crave moarrrrr!

So I actually didn't want the Cosrx cleanser as a face wash- I wanted it for a body wash! I have my Minon foaming cleanser for my face, but it is too hard to come by to justify using it on my acne-prone body areas. the Cosrx is a pretty large tube and a little goes a long way. I have to be careful to cleanse my back properly or else I get some nasty backne from wearing a sports bra, sweat, and general barn crud. Since some areas of my skin are especially acne prone, I decided to go with a gentle low-pH cleanser instead of a traditional body wash to help protect that skin barrier as well.

The oil cleanser is Ciracle Absolute Deep Cleansing Oil, and I had a bit of a dilemma when it came in. Looking closely at it, there seemed to be little floaty things in it! They looked almost like little bits of wispy dust floating around inside the bottle. I looked at the ingredients list and saw that Ciracle uses very good preservatives (methylparaben and phenoxyethanol, yes I am pro-paraben as all science shows they aren't bad unless you like bathe in a vat of pure parabens) and the manufacturing date was recent, so I didn't think it was something gone bad. I contacted Cupidrop to see if this was normal and they contacted Ciracle. Ciracle was very apologetic and when all was said and done: it was a totally safe and simple thing that happened to the cleansing oil. 
Apparently the Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil can separate slightly from the rest of the ingredients due to sudden (but even small) changes in temperature, and that is what the wispy floaty things are. Not surprisingly, the day my package arrived the temperature had gone from a nice 70F to a cold 40 degrees. So no fault on the part of Cupidrop or Ciracle, although both parties were extremely apologetic and offered to send me a replacement bottle (which I declined, because a tiny bit of separation doesn't bother me).

I got sample packets of Kicho and Primary Raw's Doyou products (very excited to try the Doyou stuff) with my order, which combined with some kickass customer service makes me a very happy lady. Now I just have to hope that my new cleansing oil doesn't break me out, as stupid acne-prone skin likes to ruin all my fun!


Tatcha has been getting a lot of lip service in the blogging world. My guess is that this is for two main reasons: Free promotional shit like woah, and pretty packaging. Bitches love pretty packaging (I should know, I'm one of them).

Tatcha is an American brand based on some concepts of Japanese aesthetics. Or really, Japanese aesthetics watered-down to appeal to a Western market. My feelings of it all are kinda similar to that of 2CatsinJapan over at her blog My Asian Skincare Story. Its times like this where I feel like her delightfully acerbic tone really gives a post that extra something special. If you haven't checked out 2Cat's blog before, you really should. I may not always agree with her, but I have found that I respect her reviews on products.

So why did I buy Tatcha if I feel like it is kinda over-hyped? Especially after I read Paula's Choice Beautypedia reviews effectively ripping the crap out of the products?


Just like BeautyDNA, they had a coupon for a discounted voucher. Discounted products in pretty packaging? I couldn't say no. Thankfully, Tatcha sells 'travel sized' products for prices that only kinda make my wallet cry.

Not Pictured: crap tons of pretty packaging
Starting from the upper left, we have the travel sizes of the Indigo cream and Luminous skin mist. The indigo cream has oatmeal in it and is supposed to be good for sensitive skin/eczema. I don't have eczema, but I am on tretinoin which can make your skin pretty sensitive. Spoiler: I actually like this cream. Not enough to pay the $100+ for a full tub of it, but as I only use it about 1 or 2 times a week I might buy myself another travel size one day. I have only used the Luminous skin mist once and I didn't see much results. I definitely need to play around with it to see if maybe I just didn't apply enough or look at my face in the right lighting.

The top right product is the Gold Camellia lip balm. I bought it because it was pretty, and its hard to screw up a lip balm. The old leaf on top is kinda gimmicky. If you apply it just right when the product hasn't been used very much, you can get a few gold droplets spread across your lips that look lovely. But as the gold leaf is only on the top of the lip balm (that I can see, I haven't gotten that far into it yet), once that aspect is gone you're left with just another lip balm. Its pretty, quite fragrant, and a good medium-strength lip balm for days when my lips aren't cracked and bleeding-level of dry. I would buy something like this for my sister, who loves fancy things and isn't super picky about her skin/lip care products.

The bottom picture is of the Combination Skin Ritual Discovery Kit. It contains the Camellia Cleansing Oil, Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, Deep Brightening Serum, and Moisture Rich Silk cream (all travel size). The only one of these products I've used so far is the cleansing oil, and its nice. Another one of those "I'd buy the travel size sometimes, but wouldn't spring for the full product" type of things. I feel like it takes of waterproof sunscreen well, but for really tough foundation I would use way too much of it to be cost effective. I haven't touched the enzyme powder yet because I've heard it has a high pH and I've been too lazy to doublecheck on that. My acne-areas just wouldn't be able to handle the high pH!

Not limiting that kind of alcohol, though.

Honestly, that combined with the high alcohol content in the serum and cream makes me wish I had skipped out on this Discovery Kit and gotten something else. Its my own fault that I didn't look at the ingredients before purchasing it, though. Some people can handle a lot of alcohol in their skincare products, but I try to limit which products of mine have it in them. I do sometimes use Biore Watery Gel sunscreen and Biore Perfect Bright Milk sunblock, which both have a lot of alcohol in them to create the desired elegant feeling, but since starting tretinoin my skin has been unhappy with any alcohol sometimes. So these products will either be gifted or back-burnered until my skin gets used to tretinoin.

{Etsy} A Breath of French Air

So about once or twice a year I like to search Etsy for basic keywords like "clearance", "mystery box", and "grab bag". You usually find some really interesting things for damn cheap prices! This time I purchased a $25 grab bag from the shop A Breath of French Air, which makes soaps, candles, and other bath products. High pH handmade bar soap is a bad habit of mine! I can't use it on my acne prone areas, but I can use it on my arms, legs, and feet!

I can't really price all these items, as some are leftovers from sale listings that no longer exist anymore. Basically these are the odds and ends left on the metaphorical shelf that the shop owner needed to get rid of. If there is a price on the item or a similar one still listed in the store, I will include it though.

Top Left:

  • Sweet Honey Lip Balm ($3.95)
  • Brown Sugar Fig candle melts (4-pack, $5)
  • Tea Tree Body wash (sample size, $2.50)
  • Cranberry Marmalade tea light candle (smells aaaamaaaazing)
Top Right:
  • Rosey Posey travel-sized body butter ($12)
  • Briar Rose bath salts (sample size, also smells wonderful)
  • Lily of the Valley body oil mist ($7, works very well)
Bottom: All bar soaps in her shop sell for around $5.50-6.50/bar
  • Tea Tree & Charcoal soap bar 
  • Lemongrass soap bar (x2)
  • Eucalyptus soap bar
  • Gingerbread soap bar
  • Pumpkin soap bar
  • decorate leaf-shaped soaps (x2)
So, just for the things I have a price for, I received around $63 worth of product for the $25 + shipping price I paid! Will have to keep this shop in mind for future splurges and gifts.

I paid for this stuff that I don't need and really shouldn't buy (okay, except the oil cleanser, I did need that) with my own money. Now I'm going to take a nap.

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