Holiday Haul

Hi my dearies, my darling bub is sleeping so I nabbed the chance to write up a post on my recent holiday haul. It’s funny how five weeks away and frequent contact with duty free shops can weasle its way into my wallet. I mean, who can resist 40% discounts at Singapore’s Changi Airport shops? Not me.

My haul has everything between high-end and budget, plus several things were gifts…

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Tom Ford Black Orchid has been on my wish list for a few years now. I loved it (a random stranger complimented the scent on me in a ladies toilet in NYC) then hated it and then loved it again recently – my little perfume sample from Sephora aeons ago lasted me that long. You only really need two or three spritzes for this strong sexy perfume.

What got me to buy it in the end was when I used up the last dregs for a wedding near Canberra — the chameleon-like way the notes change with the first few sniffs was simply magical. Notes: Bergamot, Citrus, Mandarin, Black Gardenia, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Lotus Wood, Orchid, Spicy Floral Accord, Orchid (Tom Ford Black Accord), Patchouli, Sandalwood, Incense, Vanilla.

Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Water Make-up Cleanser was an impulse buy after I used a travel-sized Bioderma – love the feel of my skin after cleansing but it’s so pricey in Japan. It’s also the type of product that gets used up very quickly so a cheaper alternative would be very welcome. I might do a comparison review soon.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and Moisturizing Lotion were essential during my trip because I had an allergic reaction to a new facial wash.

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philosophy Miracle Worker is an anti-aging night cream that I’ve been keen to try since I read about it in Liz’s post about it. She said it made her skin visibly better so I hope it has the same effect on me!

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray totally lives up to the hype and no regrets purchasing this. It truly kept my make up in place all day during my five-week tropical holiday.

Aden & Anais Mum + Bub Soothing Ointment was a gift from Tricia at Under Lock & Key and I can’t wait to try it because it has miracle skin saver paw paw in it.

Chanel Cream Blush in Revelation was a no-brainer once I swatched the cream to velvety powder finish on my hand. I struggled to make the decision between bold cool pink Chamade and Revelation but a pretty daily warm pink blush won out in the end. This has got to be one of my top buys in this haul.

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Urban Decay Naked 3 was irresistible — I am a huge fan of the first two Naked palettes and this one has so many warm rose gold neutrals that I had to get it!

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot and Sheer Lip Color Rosy have been on my wish list since I saw them in this Essiebutton video. They are so pretty – in combination, they give you a gorgeous fresh-faced flush with rose-bitten lips.

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Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Insidious was a gift and I cannot wait to slick this light peachy coral shade on my lips.

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil was given to me by a relative who works at Unilever. This nourishing hair oil hasn’t officially launched in Australia yet I don’t think — I love the rich pillowy scent and I like it that it has macadamia oil in it.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black is said to be a perfect dupe for Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Pencil – I haven’t tried the UD one but happy to try Rimmel first. I tend not to splurge on eyeliners since I’m spoiled by excellent ones at the Japanese drug store.

Estee Lauder Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Chrome Kimono was a present and I don’t usually reach for this brand to be honest but will experiment with this lip gloss anyway. The shade is like a slightly cool pink with subtle shimmer.

Which of these have you tried? If so, do let me know what you think!


  1. that is a big haul! A big fan for Cetaphil cos Sushi san has eczema that breaks out often but I change his bath products to this and it seems to be a little under control.

    As usual love your make up choices! ^_^

  2. @xuan: I should be sleeping but am replying comments haha… I have eczema toooooo! Yes the cleanser is seriously good for something that doesn’t foam up.

  3. So many fun things! I think TF Black Orchid wears me, haha, so I can’t quite wrap my head around it. I keep waffling on Naked 3, myself! I don’t have the other two, but the rose golds are so pretty!

  4. @Larie: I know what you mean about a perfume so strong that it wears you and not the other way around, but there’s a lightness to Black Orchid that’s not as intimidating (or mature) as say, Chanel no.5 or Guerlain’s Shamilar or YSL’s Opium. And a bold red lip would fix any confidence issues haha!! If you don’t have the two Naked palettes then I’ll say go for the Naked 3 because it really suits Asian skin tones. Naked 1 is the best all-rounder and Naked 2 leans quite cool or neutral.

  5. You have so many great products! The setting spray looks so nice, and definitely like something I could use!

  6. Oh that Tom Ford perfume sounds intriguing and I love the way you described it. I have to check it out next time I’m at DJs. Also loving the look of the Bobbi Brown lippy. So pretty and fresh!

  7. euhm what an amazing haul! I am especially in love in the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and your Bobbi Brown products 😀 just gorgeous!!

  8. @Stephanie: I thought the UD setting spray might dry my skin out but it totally doesn’t in humid weather!

  9. @trishie: I also love the Black Orchid packaging – so elegant and sexy at the same time. It’s def a great vanity topper :)

  10. @Natasja: I thought that the Naked 3 could be too pink for my yellow toned skin but it’s not. Even the black shade has rose gold shimmer and just absolutely great for a smokey eye. As for Bobbi Brown, I cannot fault the brand – just love everything I buy from them.

  11. Hey Yuming, GREAT haul! I have wanted Revelation for a while now as well, but I have 5 opened cream shadows for the moment, and I want to wait a while because they don’t stay good forever! I’ve always wanted to try the Rimmel pencils as well, but I still don’t think we have got them here!

  12. @Sunny: Yeah I tend to get a bit grossed out by cream blushes after 1.5-2 years when you start to see bits of fiber or micro specks of dirt. Not healthy to keep them around for too long. Japan’s Rimmel is so different from what’s offered overseas – even the packaging looks different and they don’t have the Scandaleyes range of products either so was happy to nab this at an Aussie supermarket.

  13. Cetaphil products are great. I have really fair, sensitive skin and tend to have negative reactions to a lot of products (most products, actually). A good moisturizer at night (anti-aging is a plus) is vital for me!

  14. @Carol: I haven’t found a gentle affordable cleanser that isn’t stripping from Japan so it looks like I’ll be stocking up on Cetaphil every time I head overseas. My skin loves it!!

  15. Eeeeek, I should have been clearer but the Miracle Worker I referred to was the lactic facial cleanser and not the cream. SORRY!!! I hope the cream works for you regardless! I really need to review things more quickly, gah.

    I’ve also been testing the same Dove dry oil and it’s a great lightweight option for finer hair types. It’s a bit too dry on me but my hair is very coarse and curly and need a bit more weight to fight frizz. Still good though. :)

    And I envy your Changi shopping expedition! The one time I was there, I was stuck in the budget terminal overnight and had no time for duty-free shopping. :(

  16. @Liz: LOL!!! I didn’t look at the photo carefully. It looks distinctly different from the cleanser when I checked back just now. I just remembered “miracle worker” from your post! I saw it at Changi Airport for a very reasonable price so I nabbed it. I quite like the brand anyway so please don’t feel bad!! I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t like the ingredients. I just looked at what’s inside the Dove dry oil – sort of the same concept as the moroccan oil, i.e. dimethicone features heavily but then it’s what makes my hair look soft and shiny. It’s also got that rich heavy scent that has great sillage so when you walk past someone, they can actually smell your hair. Too bad about being in the budget terminal – the shopping at the other terminals are waaaaaay better and some shops are open 24/7 I think, esp at the arrival hall. They sure know how to get you shop anytime of the day!!

  17. Black Orchid IS DA BOMB. I bought it sight unseen, unsniffed and just simply based on the reviews on Sephora. It was my SIGNATURE hands down. LOVE IT!!

    Although most people around me find it too strong (people at my age), once my boss asked me if I’m wearing Dior ( i think he was just blind-guessing anything), when I told him it was TF BO, he said he really like the scent and would buy one for his mom =_=” there ya go, idk if i should feel happy or the opposite.

  18. @Jenni: OMG I’ve found a fellow Black Orchid lover – yay!!! Can I just say that ordinary folks won’t take to this scent…I cannot believe your boss said that! LOL! I guess some men are seriously clueless about how to tread over “women’s topics”. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that he was genuinely looking for something nice for his mum and he didn’t know how to get advice to go about it.

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