Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick

12:16:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick Review

I wasn't even looking to buy cleanser at the Peach & Lily sample sale. One whiff of the bar soaps spread across the table and my mind was wavering...kind of refreshing, definitely light and fruity. I had never heard of the brand Abib before and bar soaps are very far down on the cleanser wishlist; who knew scent could be such a big trigger?

I have faint memories of asking the person manning the area which of the four types (black, grey, pink, and ivory) she recommended and was told she only tried the black one but liked it. There wasn't much of a description at the time in-person or on the website because they had yet to release the brand officially. Somehow, against my typical shopping habits, found Abib's Facial Soap in Black Brick in my basket and with me at home.

Abib describes itself as a brand "dedicated to perfection and purity" whether in their products or as tools to help one achieve said traits. They seem to focus heavily on high performing ingredients.

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick packaging

Peach & Lily's description:

While minimalistic in its design, there's nothing basic about Abib's Facial Soap Black Brick. Chock full of charcoal, it provides a deep (yet gentle) cleanse eradicating dirt from pores and helping to curb excess sebum production. Hazelnut oil, lemongrass essential oil and witch hazel keep the soap balanced by helping to hydrate, purify, and calm skin. Unlike most soaps, Abib's Facial Soap Brick microfoams to better penetrate pores and helps keep skin healthy.

1. Unwrap soap.
2. Wet brick and gently work into a lather with your hands.
3. Massage foam over face, hands, and neck (careful to avoid eyes and mouth).
4. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
5. Follow with toner and the rest of your skincare routine.
6. Can be used both morning and evening.

Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laurate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Palmitate, Glycerine, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Palmitic Acid, Gevuina Avellana Seed Oil, Canola Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Peel Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Sapindus Trifoliatus Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Apium Graveolens (Celery) Extract, Charcoal Powder, Castanea Crenata (Chestnut) Shell Powder, Fragrance

Soap 100g / 3.53 oz.

Abib (Korean retail): ₩18,000
Peach & Lily: USD $19.00
StyleKorean: USD $18.00

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick opened


Their packaging is minimalistic. Their products itself also look minimal, as in cleansers are plain blocks of soap and creams come in prescription like tubes and are colorant-free. The same cannot be said for their ingredients list but they try to make it appear so by printing only a carefully select few on the packaging itself. I don't have a major problem with it as long as the full ingredient list is available elsewhere.

All of Abib's Facial Soaps come in a small pouch made of a fibrous, thick paper. There isn't any helpful information on the packaging to describe how the Black Brick would be helpful for a particular skin concern. The ingredients list is super condensed and uses mainly scientific names.

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick bare no packaging

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick lather suds swatch

Color, Texture, & Scent

The bar of soap is completely black. The edges of the fresh soap are surprisingly more sharp-feeling than expected. It is smaller than an average body soap in length and width but taller by height. (There doesn't seem to be a big difference quantity-/weight-wise.) Abib's soap feels waxy to the touch and has a fruity scent. The smell can sometimes be overwhelming, especially on days I feel extra sensitive. It generally isn't a big issue for me. The facial soap doesn't create a lot of foam. I only get a smaller lather and a bit of suds when rubbing the bare soap against damp hands.

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick foaming net lather swatch

How I Apply

I use the Black Brick in the PM only after removing my makeup/sunscreen with a cleansing balm or oil. I wet a foaming net and rub the Facial Soap back and forth a few times onto the net. Knead the net together to create foam (like in the above photo). Squeeze all the foam off the net and massage onto my face. Rinse off well with water.

Thoughts & Recommendations

Abib promises the Black Brick to cleanse and purify pores with the charcoal while calming with a bunch of other ingredients. I don't generally put much thought into these kinds of claims because I only need cleansers to remove excess makeup remover residue. With that said, I haven't noticed an improvement or worsening of my clogged pores and redness while using the cleanser either.

The Facial Soap is a nice basic cleanser. It does what a cleanser should do and isn't irritating to use. I did not get a squeaky clean feeling after rinsing nor did my face feel immediately dry. However, the waiting period between cleanser and toner is far shorter than other cleansers I have used in the past. My face starts to feel very parched if I don't apply something hydrating within a few minutes of cleansing. The soap also leaves an unpleasant sudsy/residue-like feel on my hands that I haven't experienced before with facial cleansers.

Bar-style soaps may not be for everyone. There is some maintenance with them in the sense that it should ideally be put away or covered between uses. The bars should also be rinsed and placed on something elevated to help with drying and avoid collection of excess water. I personally think bars work best with a foaming net as the lather without is insufficient.

I think this small bar of soap would last me just as long as a tube of cleanser would. Given the option though, I would not repurchase a bar soap (unless the price was right) purely because of the convenience of other types of cleansers (whether it be a stick, foaming, gel, etc.). I could leave those on the counter and not have to worry about bacteria. If given the option, I probably would not repurchase this particular soap because the residue-issue and how quickly my face starts to dry out. Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick may work better for those with oilier skin or those who don't wait around after cleansing before moving onto the rest of their routines.


The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry

12:26:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry Review

This was my first foray into one of Deciem's other brands outside of The Ordinary. It sadly doesn't have the same attractive price tag. I was, instead, captivated by its promise to target the most unnoticeable yet biggest body issue I have: dry, calloused, and tough feet skin. The Chemistry Brand's Heel Chemistry claims to approach the issue without the removal of skin like the beloved foot peels does and in only 2 weeks time to boot. Something about a special active complex that hydrates deep layers of skin to put a stop to the skin hardening cycle?

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry packaging

Deciem's description:

pH 5.00-6.00, alcohol-free, nut-free, vegan, & cruelty-free

Unlike traditional heel creams which focus on removing the hard skin, our 19.5% active complex hydrates the cracked skin topically whilst supporting below surface hydration to avoid the traditional hard skin cycle. Contains a marine complex clinically proven to improve visible skin texture and hydration, while counteracting extreme dryness. This formula contains no urea and no acids.

Heel Chemistry contains an extraordinary 19.5% active ingredients. Our Antarctic Marine Complex increases skin health and moisturization, showing a significant increase of skin hydration of 90% in 14 days. Calendula provides a healing and regeneration effect for both immediate and long-lasting results. Our active complex includes: Pseudoalteromonas Complex, Tremella Fuciformis, Purified Calendula Extract, Hydracool and Maize Propanediol.

Apply twice a day to dehydrated areas for 14 days. Continue application as needed. Can be used on heels, hands, elbows and other areas suffering from extreme dryness.


Cream 100 ml / 3.3 fl oz

Deciem: USD $15.00

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry tube back front

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry security seal


Highly flexible, transparent squeeze tube with a flip-top cap—basic but gets the job done and I appreciate that the tube is see-through. A new lotion comes sealed with a security sticker.

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry swatch

Color, Texture, Finish, & Scent

Heel Chemistry is a lightweight cream with a strong minty scent that lingers for a very long time. It is white in color but spreads invisibly. The cream dries to a matte finish but leaves behind a silicone-slipperiness.

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry before after

lavlilacs The Chemistry Brand Heel Chemistry comparison

The Before and After photos were taken during a 2 week period where I only applied Heel Chemistry on both feet. The picture below that is of a period, maybe a month or so after that 2-week timeframe, where I applied Heel Chemistry to the right foot only and Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion on the left foot only for 2 weeks. Outside of those two 2-week sessions, I did not do anything extra to my soles other than wash with soap and water daily.

How I Apply

Squeeze a generous dollop onto my palms and smooth all over one foot, top and bottom. I apply more and focus on the heels where it is the driest. Repeat for the other foot. Immediately wear socks after to keep the lotion contained.

Repeat above steps twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, for 2 weeks.

Thoughts & Recommendations

I didn't know what to really expect with a "specialized" lotion. I kind of hoped it would work some kind of magic to make my heels look baby soft in 2 weeks. But that is usually a bit of a stretch unless it is an exfoliator. Anywho, I just knew I had a lot of trust in Deciem because of the success I had with a couple of their The Ordinary products. With all that said, I am a bit ambivalent about the Heel Chemistry.

Does it work as claimed in 2 weeks time? Sort of.
Did it make my feet softer? Sure did!
Did my heels look as smooth as the after photo on their packaging box? Not at all.
Does it work better than any other lotion? I am not so sure.

It is really difficult to notice a change in the images. The real difference has to be felt. The parts where my feet skin were thinner (everywhere but the heels) felt soft and showed the only noticeable changes—less ashy and wrinkly. Otherwise, the tough calloused skin barely budged.

I tried using a more accessible and affordable lotion for the same 2-week treatment period, just out of curiosity and found both to work more or less the same. Heck, I think the Cetaphil may have worked a little faster and better.

The Chemistry Brand makes the tube of cream sound like an end-all-be-all product that "stops the hard skin cycle" with just 14 days of use. Perhaps that is why there is so little product in the tube for a foot cream—they think it works so well and is that concentrated. A new tube is also only filled about 60% of the way. Why?! However, to be real here...no effect will last if it isn't consistently applied every day even after those promised 14 days. I know my skin started to feel less soft each day immediately after I stopped using the cream (regardless of the brand).

Then there was the issue I personally had with the scent. I am not a fan of mint and anyone that knows me well can attest to it. If it only lasted for a while like toothpaste, I could handle it. The strength of the minty "fresh" scent is too overbearingly strong and continues to linger long after application.

To no fault of Heel Chemistry, but just a matter of personal preference, I could not find myself getting into the routine of applying lotion on my feet. The two weeks felt like a dreaded chore than something I enjoyed doing to potentially get soft skin. I also hated the fact that I had to wear socks all the time because the lotion made it too slippery to walk on wood floors barefooted (and I imagine tiled flooring would be even worse).

For the results that I had and the active effort it required, I am not going to repurchase this particular product again.  Foot peels are messy but I can get better results with having done just one day of "work" (sitting in the exfoliating serum), the rest is a battle with time. Heel Chemistry may be good to help keep exfoliated skin baby soft; for me, it isn't a replacement product like I was hoping for.


Retractable Eyeliner Comparison - L'Oreal Matte-Matic versus Revlon Colorstay

12:12:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs Retractable Eyeliner Comparison Review - L'Oreal Matte-Matic versus Revlon Colorstay

Sharp, clean, and precise eyeliner looks are a wonder to see but require much skill and patience to master. While it is a makeup goal I would like to achieve some time in my lifetime, I am satisfied with my current liner skills for a day-to-day routine. Having the right formulated product, ideally long-wear & smudge-proof, and delivery mechanism, best if retractable, is definitely key to keeping the morning process concise and stress-free.

I don't typically keep multiple eyeliners open at once but since I happened to have two similar ones in hand I thought I would compare how L'Oreal's Matte-Matic in Deep Brown fairs against Revlon's Colorstay Eye Liner in Black Brown. Both have lofty claims, generally good reviews, and are affordable; what's to lose?

lavlilacs L'Oreal Matte-Matic in 513 Deep Brown packaging

lavlilacs Revlon Colorstay Eye Liner 202 Black Brown packaging


Rich matte intensity that lasts up to 24HR. Built-in sharpener for buidable precise lines. Waterproof. Smudge resistant. Gel cream formula for smooth application. Soft & easy application. Opthamologist tested. Do not use in eyelid.

Rich, intense color. Wears up to 16 hours. Use smudger to blend color. For a precise line, gently sharpen using pull-out sharpener at base of pencil. Glides on smoothly. Waterproof. Opthamologist tested.



L'Oreal eyeliner 0.01 oz / 0.28 g
Revlon eyeliner 0.01 oz / 0.28 g

(Retail prices vary greatly depending on the city/town)
CVS/Walgreens: USD ~$9-10.00
Target: USD ~$6-8.00

lavlilacs L'Oreal Matte-Matic in 513 Deep Brown opened

lavlilacs Revlon Colorstay Eye Liner 202 Black Brown opened


Both are retractable (twist-up-and-down) pens. I didn't show it in the photo but L'Oreal and Revlon both include a sharpener at the end of the eyeliner pen; just give the bottom a slight tug and the contraption will reveal itself. The only packaging difference between the two is Revlon has a sponge tip smudger.

lavlilacs lavlilacs Retractable Eyeliner Comparison Review - L'Oreal Matte-Matic versus Revlon Colorstay swatches

Color, Texture, Finish, & Scent

L'Oreal's Matte-Matic is drier and waxier, almost like that of a crayon. It is very crumbly and tends to tug at my eyelid skin when I go to draw a line. The liner has a tendency to snap off if I apply just a tiny bit too much pressure.

Revlon Colorstay Eye Liner is creamier. It glides easily without any drag.

Both have no scent and dry down to a matte finish. Both can appear similarly dark if drawn over a couple of times. If not, Matte-Matic's Deep Brown is slightly lighter in color and has more red undertones when compared to Colorstay's Black Brown.

A freshly drawn Matte-Matic line doesn't smudge too much. Colorstay, on the other hand, does smudge and quite a lot at that. When water and rubbing get thrown into the mix, both smear and lose their pigmentation. I would say both are water-resistant to a certain degree but not waterproof. Both liners wash off well with just cleansing oil/balm by the end of the day. However, fresh liner needs a bit of help from eye-lip makeup remover.

lavlilacs Retractable Eyeliner Comparison Review - L'Oreal Matte-Matic versus Revlon Colorstay applied

How I Apply

Draw a line as close to the lash line as possible. Slightly wing the outer edges.

Thoughts & Recommendations

My eyelid space is typically dry after cleansing. It gets oilier throughout the day. The biggest issues I have is with eyeliner and eyeshadow smudging from the upper lashline to the lower, especially on the outer corners because I tend to squint and close my eyes often. Plus, my eyelids are currently asymmetrical; one side has two folds while the other has only one, unfortunately causing the latter lashline to fold right into the crease which often causes creasing. 

When I first started using both these eyeliners, I thought I could confidently say I liked the Matte-Matic more purely due to its drier formula. It was a little difficult to draw a line but not impossible. The most important benefit was how little it transferred and smudged onto my lower lash line at the end of the day.

Then it seems the L'Oreal liner dried out more and more in the tube as the months went on. It started to snap and crumble as I tried to draw on eyeliner; had it happened once because I twisted the product too far I wouldn't have had such a big change of heart, but it occurred multiple times no matter the length of liner I twist out. While not very noticeable it does also dry and create specks/fall-out throughout the day which tend to end up under my eyes.

My feelings for the Colorstay liner has more or less been the same since I first started using it. I appreciate how smoothly it glides onto my lids. I like how pigmented the line is with just one stroke. But I absolutely hate how easily it transfers. If I don't set my eye area well with powder pre-eyeliner, the line would crease. If I didn't set the eyeliner with powder after drawing, the liner would crease. If I opened my eyelids too early before the eyeliner had a chance to set, the liner would also crease. After a long day of wear, surprise surprise, the liner would smudge onto my lower lashline.

That being said, Revlon actually isn't the worst eyeliner I have tried. Colorstay has fairly good staying power as long as I take those extra steps. It doesn't hold up all day because my eyelids do get oily and watery throughout the day but it doesn't give me panda eyes within the first hour of wear.

I cannot say if the L'Oreal liner would last up to 24 hours but I have had both on for close to 16-hour occasions before and they have held up well, granted my eyes didn't get watery or itchy at all. Matte-Matic and Colorstay lose their color intensity and both smudge onto my lower lash line to varying degrees depending on the day's conditions.

Between the two, I would only recommend Revlon's Colorstay Eye Liner and only to people with drier eyelids and/or doesn't mind completing a few extra steps to ensure it works well.


March Hauls - JSM Beauty Global

12:17:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Jungsaemmool JSM Beauty Global

This is the largest single-brand purchase I have ever made beauty-wise. While the act of buying from JUNGSAEMMOOL's newly launched Global e-commerce site was planned, the products I had in my cart fluctuated all month long until I couldn't think about it any longer. It seemed the longer I waited to finally place my order, the more interesting new releases the brand made.

Wants definitely won out in the battle between what I needed in my routine and what I wanted just to have in my collection. The ultimate justification was to pick what would be difficult to get elsewhere officially (i.e. Peach & Lily, Global Lotte, and Global Hyundai H-Mall). While the pricing on JSM Beauty's US site is a few dollars higher, it does have the entire range of products currently out and GWP (gift with purchases) bundles others don't carry.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Jungsaemmool JSM Beauty Global closeup

The finalists that made my cart:

  • Essential Star-cealer Foundation Illuminous - 21 Medium
  • Essential Skin Nuder Cushion (plus refill) - 21 Medium
  • Essential Skin Nuder Long Wear Cushion Refill only - 21 Medium
  • Artist Layer Concealing Base Limited Set (full-size plus mini) - Light
  • Refining Edge Eye Pencil - Soul Brown
  • Start Dtoxeed Oil Balm Set (headband plus cleansing mitt)
  • Pre-tect Sun Extrem Set (3 sheet masks + travel toner)
  • Pre-tect Sun Waterfull Set (3 sheet masks + travel toner)
  • GWP for spending at least $170 (various samples they specifically specify in promotion)

Getting one of all her foundations in a single order is 100% overkill but I was fueled by the uncertainty of when the "Grand Opening - Free Shipping over $100" offer would expire. I became especially curious about her other base products after trying the original Essential Star-cealer Foundation in 23 Medium-Deep. I liked the coverage and finish but felt it a tad too dark and dry for the less humid winter months. The Illuminous version in a lighter shade seems like the most obvious option to get as it looks just like the original yet promises a dewier and more hydrating finish. Cushions are great just because it is so fuss-free. I have decision issues...I know.

I am not sure what possessed me to order another concealer when the Star-cealer compacts come with a large pan of cream concealer as well. My confidence in JSM's products must be through the roof because the Artist Layer Concealer found it's way into my cart. Hopefully, it is amazing and I won't regret my impulsiveness.

Finding a good retractable eyeliner is a struggle. I don't typically like to buy expensive liners, especially without testing, but reviews have said it is pretty budge-proof. Fingers crossed!

The cleansing balm and sunscreens are new releases. Price range nor ingredients in those products are what I would typically go for but the freebies included with those items, in particular, sucked me in. But hey, skincare will definitely get used up in the foreseeable future. No worries.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Jungsaemmool JSM Beauty Global account home

Account & Coupons

Accounts can be made via linking an existing Facebook or Google account or signing up with an e-mail address.

The homepage is well organized. There are a few foreign concepts for me as an American shopper.

Order Detail // Information for successfully placed orders is here.
*Coupon Detail // Lists expired and valid coupon details.
*Mileage Detail // Lists accrued "mileage" from previous orders.
*Deposit Detail // ???
*Your Wish List // ???
1:1 Inquiry // Forum-like section to communicate with customer service.
My Posts // Collection place for all the "posts" made anywhere on the website.

*Coupons are sometimes generated automatically (i.e. for signing-up during the promotional period). Other times, they have "Events" where you can qualify for a coupon by completing an action (i.e. follow and comment). There does seem to be a lot of fine print with the coupon system. Some expire quickly. Some do not. Only 1 coupon per order.

*There is no explanation on the website for what "Mileage" and "Deposit" are. I am going to assume Mileage is some sort of rewards system. Each product lists the mileage points, which seems to be 2% of the product price. JSM says the Mileage can be used toward a future purchase once you've reached a minimum of 20 USD; based on the 2% calculations it means having spent USD $1000 on past purchases. There is no indication of whether the "Mileage" ever expires. I have no idea what "Deposits" is.

*There has a wishlist page but no button to add things to the list.

**There are also Chinese and Japanese versions of JSM Beauty. The Chinese e-commerce seems to only be a translated version of the US site as the prices are listed in USD. The biggest difference is the option to log in via Weibo instead of Facebook/Google. The Japanese e-commerce seems to be the opposite where the description and text are in English but prices are in JPY. Log-in is available via Facebook, Google, and Yahoo for the Japanese site.

Shipping Options

I thought their "Grand Opening Free Shipping over USD $100" deal was only available from January 26 to March 31, 2018. But it seems to still be available right now and it is about a week into April already.

Otherwise, there is no indication on the website on what kind of shipping they use, what options there are, or a breakdown of how the cost is calculated. After playing around with various sized shopping carts, the shipping cost does seem to vary by weight. From order experience, JSM Beauty shipped via DHL Express to America.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Jungsaemmool JSM Beauty Global pop ups


The site accepts a bunch of different payments: Eximbay and PayPal.

The entire process is very smooth. Buttons lead to pop-up windows. Once everything in the pop-up completes, it auto-closes and refreshes the page.

Check Out Process

The most confusing part of the check out is with the addresses. Rather than the standard "Billing Info" and "Shipping Info," jsmbeauty.com asks for "User Information" and "Address Info." It seems that "User Information" would equate to "Billing Info" and "Address Info" to "Shipping Info". Do not think that choosing a different shipping address in PayPal will work because JSM only considers what went into their system via their form, not PayPal's.

Typical of most Korea-based e-commerce websites, there are a ton of pop-up windows. Applying coupons brought up a pop-up. Payment brought up a pop-up. GWP qualifications brought up a pop-up.

I thought it was a little strange that the site only asks about the "Gift Selection" after I went through the entire action of PayPal payments because that seemed like it would have been the end of the check out process. But it is neither here nor there.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Jungsaemmool JSM Beauty Global DHL packaging


Extremely fast for an international delivery and for a new company. I placed my order on 3/28 around midnight NYC time and the package arrived via DHL Express on 4/3 around noon.

I contacted customer service twice because of the shipping address issue that I thought I created and received responses within 24 hours.

Customer service said it normally would take 3-5 business days to prepare the package and another 3-5 for shipping to destination.

It seemed like my order only took a day or two to prepare and was already in the air from Incheon to America on 3/30. If it had not been the weekend following, I probably could have received the package even earlier.


Kind of flimsy for an international delivery. The box was on the thinner side and only the top and bottom of the box was padded with bubble wrap—the contents weren't entirely wrapped by bubbles on all sides. My box was delivered partially wet and so were many of the items inside. Luckily it wasn't soaked enough to get through the individual product boxes.


Not specified on the site.


March Hauls

12:30:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs March 2018 hauls

March Madness has a completely different meaning to me. I am no sports girl or basketball fanatic. Madness in my case refers to the obscene amount of spending simply because of the words birthday and sales. The endless list of brands who's newsletters I subscribe to offer such enticing coupons and deals for that special month of the year that is supposed to be all about me. As it is also the corner of a new season, there is also a slew of sales and new releases dropping left and right.

I know, I know. That is how they get me and all my monies. But a good deal nonetheless.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Bloomingdale's Jo Malone

The luxury impulse purchase: Jo Malone's Poppy & Barley Cologne (USD $70) from their recent limited edition English Fields Collection. I am not one to get sucked into fragrances. The price tags of most scents keep me far far away. I've heard great things about Jo Malone though and felt this was a great excuse to finally dip my toes into the vast pool of perfumes they offer.

If money was no issue, I would have bought the entire English Fields range purely for the aesthetics. The mostly pastel bottles with touches of "stone" are a beauty. Good thing I took a whiff of all five scents at Bloomingdale's because I definitely favored Poppy & Barley, which was light and sweet, over the others. If I remember correctly...Oat & Cornflower gave me a bakery feel, Honey & Crocus had a deep sweetness, Green Wheat & Meadowsweet smelled of grass, and I have no recollection of Primrose & Rye.

Since the English Fields collection only comes in the 30ml bottles and is limited edition, I probably will be using my new perfume very sparingly.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Peach & Lily

The K-beauty birthday reward purchase: Olivarrier's Fluid Oil (USD $40) from Peach & Lily during their "Best of K-Beauty Awards" promotion. All orders with at least one item from their Best list would receive free shipping.

I ran out of The Ordinary's 100% Rosehip Oil months ago but never got around to trying anything else. Squalane is another facial oil that received a lot of attention in the beauty world the last winter season. Since I had purchased the entire Olivarrier range minus the oil during the Peach & Lily sample sale, I thought I'd give the brand's version a try.

Now, to be completely honest had it not been for the ability to buy just the one item whilst getting free shipping AND if I did not have 200 Peach points to redeem (i.e. USD $20 coupon, 50 points given purely for my birthday)...I most likely would have gone with a less expensive version of squalane.

The Peach & Lily brand masks came as GWP.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - Sephora

The Sephora birthday reward purchase: Sephora's Beauty Amplifier (USD $7) and BITE Lip Set.

Making a purchase isn't a requirement, when in-stores, to redeem Sephora's birthday gift. Yet that is a habit I can never seem to snap out of. I didn't particularly need anything full-sized and at full-price, but I didn't want to stand on their long lines with nothing to purchase just redeem a freebie. The mini Beauty Amplifier seemed to be a good compromise as I've missed the pearlescent base makeup look and it's a size I can see myself completing.

lavlilacs March 2018 haul - misc

The miscellaneous purchase and gifts: Tonymoly's Dr. LOGY Blemish Pair Mist (USD $21) from Urban Outfitters and Clinique Sculptwear Lift and Contour Serum for Face and Neck (USD $120), a present from my Aunt.

Urban Outfitters isn't the first place that comes to mind when I want to purchase skincare. But when given a $5 UO Rewards coupon to use and a will to only get something I would definitely use well, the skincare section was where I found myself circling. I'm glad that UO is curating Korean brands as well as indie American brands. There were a few things that caught my eye but I decided to play it safe with the Tonymoly mist. Plus, UO's website listed it on sale at $14.99. I ultimately paid 50% of the listed price after in-store price adjustments, coupons, and taxes.

I am not sure whether to be thankful to my Aunt or be offended by her (extremely generous) Clinique gift. On one hand, it is a step into anti-aging...prevention is always better than treatment. It is also the most expensive skincare product I have ever owned. On the other, do I have a lot of skin to lift at 25? She told me she used it as a moisturizer and it was too lightweight for her dry skin during the winter. I'm still debating on if I should at least give it a try and if so when.