Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bisou Beauty Bar Haul and Product Reviews

Well, it's been quite awhile since I've done a hauls post! I've been getting them. . . but, I don't know. . . I guess I didn't think they were all that interesting? What do you think? Would you like more hauls? Are you interested in more skincare posts? Let me know what you think!

That out of the way, I decided I simply had to share this one with you because I am so incredibly impressed with this new source for asian / k-beauty products and I am excited to tell you all about it!

Bisou Beauty Bar is relatively new on the scene and operates out of Vancouver, BC (that's in Canada for those international readers).  They source their products directly from Korea and currently ship via Canada Post to Canadian addresses and via Canada Post / USPS to American ones.  The best thing about having a (reliable) source for my favourite beauty and skincare products in Canada is that they charge in Canadian funds! And offer free shipping on orders over $65! With our dollar the way it is, sourcing these products from the States or from Korea can get rather pricey. . . while BBB's pricing is not rock-bottom (like Rose Rose Shop or even Tester Korea), not paying for shipping or exchange definitely makes up for it, imo.  Plus shipping is so fast (like under a week during peak holiday season!), they have lots of items on sale and include plenty of free samples with your order.

The selection is not huge but they are adding new items regularly and I am so happy to see lots of items from CosRX, Re:cipe, LJH and SU:M37 (among other brands) since they make some of my favourite things (or things I really want to try) and can sometimes be difficult to find elsewhere.  Love!

While I have included lots of links in this post, they are not affiliate links.  All opinions are my own:  I have not been compensated for any of this and I purchased all of these products with my own money.

Here's what I picked up in my very first Bisou haul: 

a 5-pack of CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patches, CosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream and Re:cipe Rose Petal Cleansing Oil

CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch ($21 for 5, regularly $5 each - currently sold out)

Please excuse the lighting on the above shot - I had a few shots with flash but then you couldn't see the patches at all.  As you can see, each of these sheets (and I got five of them) include lots and lots of pimple patches in varying sizes (to suit varying sizes of pimples!).  Unfortunately, despite being over 30, I still haven't "grown out" of occasional hormonal breakouts.  I think that's a myth, by the way - either you are predisposed to getting pimples or you're not and age is not a huge factor, imo, at least not until you're much older.  But I digress, these little guys are miracle workers when a zit or two do crop up:  just peel and stick and leave on overnight.  They are made out the same stuff hospitals use for wound care which means they pull out and absorb any pus (sorry!) and liquid, leaving flatter, healing spots without popping.  I tried one package that I picked up through eBay and was sold:  these really do work.  They aren't super cheap so I was happy to see a discount available for picking up a fistful of packages :)

Wait - pimple treatment and an intensive moisture cream? What? Well, let me tell you - I used to be terrified to put any sort of moisturizer on my face.  I thought it would make me an oil slick and break me out.  And the types that I would use (when my skin got overly dry and peely from overly strong acne treatments) would do just that.  But not because I didn't need to moisturize - because I was using the wrong stuff! Seriously, since I started taking care of my skin better (and that means packing in the moisture), I have significantly fewer breakouts and they are much less severe.

Which brings me to this product:  CosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream is intended for all skin types but claims to work especially well for dry, dehydrated skin.  That means it is a bit too much for me to use as a day cream but it's perfect for night (I have combination-leaning-oily skin, usually).  And this is why I did this haul to begin with - because I found myself without a night cream.  The lighter gel creams and lotions I use for day just were not cutting it.  This is still pretty lightweight and has a fresh clean scent that is not overly strong.  It absorbs pretty quickly so I can still layer a sleeping pack over it if my skin is feeling extra thirsty (which, over the winter, it definitely will).

How can it be so moisturizing and awesome if it's so lightweight? Well, because of two main ingredients:  hyaluronic acid and sea buckthorn.  Here's Paula's Choice on why hyaluronic acid is awesome but, in short, it can hold extreme amounts of moisture in just a small amount of acid (1g of HA can hold up to 6L of water!).  Talk about a moisture bomb!  Plus, since it's a component of skin, it can help to strengthen your moisture barrier (the outer layer of your skin), preventing (and repairing) damage.  If you've never heard of this ingredient, you likely will since it seems to all the rage at the moment and the praise is well-earned.  As for sea buckthorn, it is another "new" and exciting ingredient in the skincare world and appears to help with healing when applied to wounds, and to act as an antioxidant (Paula's Choice article).  So, in short, this cream is a moisture bomb that is lightweight enough not to break me out and will help with healing wounds (ie. acne).  This might be my HG night cream!

Re:cipe Rose Petal Cleansing Oil ($25 - but the Green Tea one is currently on sale for $23)

Pimple patches, a moisturizer - okay. . . but oil? For your face? What are you on about?!?

Okay, don't freak out - I started using cleansing oils almost a year ago and actually have had less, and less severe, breakouts.  Oil doesn't always mean bad things - even for acne-prone skin.  That said, I only use cleansing oils as part of a two-step cleansing process.  Basically, it works like this:  add cleansing oil to dry hands and rub all over a dry face (getting it wet defeats the purpose).  This will remove the day's gunk and grime and, especially, makeup - seriously, my current oil cleanser (I haven't tried this one yet, to be honest) can remove even my most stubborn stay-put lip stains and eyeliners! Then rinse it off, as best you can, with water.  Follow up by washing as usual with a cream or foaming cleanser to remove any traces of the oil.  See? I'm not leaving oil all over my face.

As for this particular oil cleanser - I haven't tried it yet, as I said, since I have one on the go but this is next in line.  Look how pretty it is with all those rose petals floating around in there! And it smells heavenly too! FYI, the Green Tea version of this product is on sale and has green tea leaves in it.  Re:cipe makes one of my favourite cleansers:  Re:cipe Slowganic Cleanser in Lemon (there are other varieties - green tea and adlay) - it feels like a marshmallow and foams up when you rub a pinch of it to gently cleanse.  So, of course, I had to try one of their other products :)

The Freebies:

Most of my k-beauty sources tend to include some extras (usually free samples) with every order, and Bisou Beauty Bar is no exception.  What is exceptional, however, is how many samples they included:

 That's 4 samples each of CosRX Snail 96 Mucin Power Essance and CosRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, 3 samples of LJH Tea Tree 80 Cream, 2 samples of LJH Tea Tree 30 Cleansing Foam and a full size Benton Snail Bee Sheet Mask!

 While I ordinarily don't ascribe value to these types of things, I must point out that this is, by far, the largest bunch of freebies I have ever received with any order from anyone! That sheet mask usually sells for over $1 on its own (although not through Bisou, interestingly).  And, not pictured, is the best perk of them all:  a handwritten thank you note with a coupon code for 10% off my next purchase!  There will definitely be a next purchase!

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