This post covers two Optimum Points redemption orders I placed in July and September 2017.
I’ve been racking up the points via the Shoppers app, and redeemed 95k points for $170 worth of product (all prices in CA$) in both July and September during two PLUS Bonus Events. Here’s July’s order:
ARTDECO Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Silver Willow (978)
Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules (60 Capsules)
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in 1N2 Ecru
Soap & Glory Flake Away Spa Body Polish
Free samples (I forgot to take pics of these):
Elie Saab Le Parfum EDT (sample)
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask (sample)
Vasanti Brighten Up! New Skin Amplifying Moisturizer (sample)
beautyBOUTIQUE actually made the first ever mistake I’ve ever had with them: they sent me the wrong shade of ARTDECO Nail Lacquer.
ARTDECO Art Couture Nail Lacquer in Rose Peony (953)
They only asked me to send a picture, which I did, and then they sent out Silver Willow right away. I got to keep Rose Peony, as well. I was really pleased with their excellent handling of an error. Plus, when they sent me the correct nail polish, they also included three free samples!
Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel (sample)
This Skin Softener is part of Mamonde’s Ceramide line, which also includes an Emulsion, a Light Cream, and an Intense Cream.
A skin softener in Korean skincare is basically a hydrating toner, a light, skin-balancing lotion that is meant to be applied after right cleansing. It’s not a toner in the Western sense. I’ve rarely ever used a Western-style toner, since my skin is dry and I’m not interested in the astringent properties that many toners seem to have. And, shouldn’t my cleansing step already ensure my face is clean? (Maybe I could have used one to balance the pH of my skin after cleansing, though.)
A hydrating toner, however? That sounds just like my cup of tea.
Living in Canada, the online beauty shopping options tend to be quite restricted compared with the US and, I think, even the UK. Here, I most often shop online with Sephora, beautyBOUTIQUE (Shoppers Drug Mart), and Well.ca—though I used to shop more with Hudson’s Bay—with the occasional order from Nail Polish Canada and, more recently, DECIEM. There are some international sites I’ll occasionally shop with, but generally I avoid those because I dislike having to pay high duties and customs fees, which are sometimes levied on incoming packages valued at CA$20 or more.
[Side note: Boy, do I miss ordering nail polish from the discount trifecta: 8ty8beauty (do not forget the “beauty”!!), Head2ToeBeauty, and TransDesign/NailSupplies! Shipping costs have just become too prohibitive over the years. I occasionally order from NailSupplies and have it delivered to my US relatives, but it’s happening less and less since my visitors don’t always have check-in luggage when they fly.]
I love shopping online. I love the convenience, the ability to easily research products before purchasing, and the online deals. We also don’t have a car, and anyway, driving/busing around to hunt down products is not my idea of a good time. All this is why I love shopping at Korean online beauty stores. They sell so many brands and products, making it way too easy to enjoy browsing, making a wishlist, filling up a shopping cart, and eventually placing an order. The hardest part is simply waiting for an order to arrive! (Not a problem for me: I enjoy the actual research and shopping, then I promptly forget about the order and get a lovely surprise in a few weeks when it finally arrives.)
Also, I’ve never been charged duties on my orders from South Korea! I used to try to keep the package values under $30, but it appears that Canada has a deal in place with South Korea (2014’s Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement) so that goods made in South Korea generally are no longer subject to duties.
I received this 7-use sample of Elizabeth Arden’s iconic facial serum back in 2015 in a subscription box, and promptly totally forgot about it. I think I’d gotten a few samples back in my younger days (early 20s) when I got some Elizabeth Arden GWPs, and I never used them, thinking they were not meant for the young. Ah, I was silly in my youth.
Anyway, I finally got around to trying out this facial serum earlier this year, so I hope it was still good!
Ceramide Capsules were first launched in 1990. The current product sold by Elizabeth Arden has the word “Advanced” tacked onto the front: Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum. The classic capsules have been revamped for 2017:
Janet Curmi, vice president of Elizabeth Arden global education and development tells Allure. “In the new formula, we fine-tuned the combination of these lipids with new and elevated levels of skin-identical ceramides, higher levels of fatty acids, and a new ingredient, cholesterol, to further help support the [the outer layer of the skin],” says Curmi.
So, bear in mind that the formula has changed from the sample I got, though Elizabeth Arden do not mention how the technology is now advanced.
This is the new full-sized packaging (60-capsule version):