Shopping in HK part 2: the cosmetics edition / by Jessica Lee

I didn't want to write another shopping post so soon for fear it would alienate my male readers, but the deals today have been just too good!

Guess how much the retro sunglasses below (which happen to be in my favourite colour) cost!


I'll reveal the answer at the end of this post. It will surprise you! (Or I guess if you're really curious, you can just skip to the bottom of this post.)

I spent today mostly in cosmetic stores. There are just so many products to choose from, it's crazy. And of course, knowing me, I like to try everything, so being put in this situation was bad for my wallet. Fortunately, things are not as expensive here as in Canada.

This is the lip balm collection I have picked up here so far.



I found Burt's Bees with Mango Butter! And Maybelline lip chap! I also picked up random balms that sounded yummy like "strawberry yogurt lip balm" and "avocado milkshake balm". Also not too common in North America are lip balms which are lemon flavoured, so I bought a couple of those too. I can't wait to try them all out! I won't have to buy lip balm for the next couple of years it seems...

I also picked up BB cream, which is all the craze in Asia or has been the craze since 2005 (as I've been informed by a random article I googled on the interwebs).

This is what it looks like:


BB Cream stands for Blemish Balm Cream. A little history; basically it was created by German dermatologists and was intended for use by their patients after laser surgery since it has skin regenerating properties. It was popularized by Korean actresses who used it after their laser surgeries. And soon, cosmetic companies realized the business potential and started mass producing.

I was told by the salesgirl that it provides UV protection and gives light coverage like foundation. I just wanted to try it out and see what the hype was about. If you're curious as to whether it works or not, maybe I'll write a post on it. Let me know in the comments if this is what you want to read about! I don't want to bore my readers.

Another interesting thing about BB cream is that it whitens your complexion. In Asia, the beauty ideal tends to be whiter skin, whereas in North America, a healthy tan is what a majority of women aim for.

I'm not entirely sure if this is correct, but I would guess that these two ideals are strived for because in Asian countries, rich women don't have to labour in the sun so white, untanned skin is a sign of prosperity, while in North America, being able to afford tropical vacations or weekends in the Hamptons aka getting a nice healthy glow are signs of prosperity. Sociologists: would you agree or disagree?

Last but not least, I want to leave you with a picture of really cute mascara that I almost bought, but then decided that I didn't really need overpriced mascara.

It's Hello Kitty!


By the way, the turquoise sunglasses in the first picture were $5 HK. Which comes up to a staggering 64 cents in Canadian dollars! What a deal!

The price tag said $25, which would already be a good price, but when they rang it up on the cash register, it was reduced to $5.