Weekday Randomness: Testerkorea Haul, Physical Sunscreens, & Exploding Liptints

I have done a few mini-hauls so far this year but I've be busy with other things and haven't had a chance to post about any of them.  With the exception of the Avecko haul I posted last weekend, my orders have small, filled with necessities, or otherwise not deserving of their own post.

Still, this haul was quite the surprise when I opened it, for less-than-pleasant reasons.

If you are squinting at that picture and wondering "is that a ziploc bag?!" you would be correct.

In this post:
  • What I purchased, and why
  • What it cost me, and how long it took
  • What exploded en route
  • Physical sunscreens from my magical Sunscreen Fairy Godmother 

What I purchased, and why
Physical sunscreen.  As I've mentioned before, I am allergic/react badly to chemical sunscreens, so I can only use physical-only sunscreens.  I'm still searching for my HG phys only sunscreen, so I like to grab samples when I can find them.
Likewise, this is also a phys-only sunscreen.
I like lip tints and this was very cheap during the sale, plus the only tint I have at the moment is the Tonymoly Catchu Wink (reviewed here) and it's a few years old.
I purchased #5 last year and it was much too dark; I finally got around to picking up the lighter shade.  This is a contour powder.
Repurchase!  I bought this hoping it was a rich burgundy-purple like the promotional shots, but in reality it's a very subtle MLBB and has a strange consistency between a tint and a lipstick.  I wish Etude House made this in full sizes, but it seems that it's only made in this mini size. :(
I was super disappointed to discover that the Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powders had a whopping pH of 9 after they kindly contacted their lab in Japan to ask what the pH was.  Here's hoping Su:m37, of pH 5.5 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick fame, has formulated their powder wash at a reasonable pH.
Reviewed!  You can read it here.  I quite like it!
Unlike the Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask, this tinted lip balm is ... just a tinted lip balm.  Nothing exciting, not a strong colour payoff, not a remarkable lip balm.  Good to drop into the cavernous abyss of your purse in the event you want a serviceable lip balm with a hint of colour.
Apparently these smell like Prunus mume, 'nuff said.
I actually have a tiny tube of the Skin79 Green but I'm suspicious that it breaks me out, but I'm out of it and need to test further before I review/confirm it.
I have issues with hyperpigmentation and sun damage.  Whitening products are my friend.  Remember, whitening does not mean bleaching!
I ended up giving away most of my stash of these samples for Christmas, so I needed to restock.  You can read my review here; buying samples and decanting is cheaper than buying full size.
Um.  I think 'Blossom garden' is pretty much all you need to know here.  I've emptied 2 of this brand's Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick cleansers, have one more left, and purchased one for my mother.  Su:m37 knows its way around fermented flower pretty things.
Repurchase!  I quite like Innisfree's It's Real masks, and I find the Rice mask nicely nourishing and a little more rich than you average sheet mask for days my skin feels exceptionally dry.
Er.  It's  Hanbang-esque deluxe sample kit that includes a hydrogel mask.  I may have been lured in by the packaging.  Don't judge me.

What it cost me, and how long it took

Total cost of this haul: $0.00

Seriously.  This was part of TK's giant New Year's sale, so things were already at a 30% discount, and I had some "My Money" credit from a cash back new customer offer + refund from a leaked bottle of OST Vitamin C serum.  It completely covered my entire order including the shipping.

I placed my order on 12/30/2014, it shipped on 1/13/2014, and I received it on 1/29/2015.  Days Elapsed: 30

Testerkorea has really been struggling to ship out their products quickly; I am not sure if they're running into supply issues or what the cause is, but it seems like since November of last year, orders have regularly been on standby up to 3 weeks or more for some people.

TK has provided me some excellent customer service (more on that below) so I will continue to purchase from them, but I would caution anyone who is looking to make an order that there may be a delayed turn around time.

What exploded en route

So what's up that ziploc bag?

When I first opened my TK box, I spotted what looked like a hot pink makeup bag, and I wondered if it was some sort of free gift, or a fancy package, so I dug it out to take a closer look.

It immediately spewed bright pink all over my hand like liquid craft herpes glitter, and I realized with horror that one of my products had leaked in transit and coated the inside of the plastic bag (and the contents of that bag) which someone in TK had the foresight to place it in.  Considering the alternative was to roam free in the box, coating anything and everything (like my fancy deluxe sample Hanyul kit's white paper package) in its path, the casualties were pretty limited.

TK requested I send them a picture of the label + the tintpocalypse-in-a-bag.  I sent them this photo (uncropped to show the label of course) and they immediately responded with a very generous offer to either resend a replacement of each of the 3 red lip products I had bought, or refund each of said lip products.

I thought this was pretty remarkable considering that only one of them had exploded (at this point, we didn't know which one) so thumbs up for the stellar customer service.

As it turned out- once I had armed myself with nitrile gloves and a giant metal mixing bowl, gingerly placed the bag into the bowl, and marched into the bathroom to attempt to defuse this pigment powder keg (without coating myself, the sink of our rental, or anything in proximity with a violently pink stain)-  the culprit was The Saem Saemmul Real Tint.  Spoilers: this tint has impressive colour payoff and great staining power, as the persistent pink stain on my hand was going to prove over the next 24 hours.

Too bad about the packaging; it looks like the packaging does not tighten all the way closed so I would not recommend purchasing this online as it seems to be a design defect instead of just bad luck.

I actually store this product upright, in a ziploc bag, because it gets everywhere the second you disturb it.  Like glitter.  You've been warned.

Physical sunscreens from my magical Sunscreen Fairy Godmother 

You can't go out like that,  you need some PA+++, my dear!
image source
I know a girl who knows her way around sunscreens.  Note: unlike this picture, my sunscreen benefactor is young, hot, and really knowledgeable about sunscreens.  Like, really, really knowledgeable about them- it's slightly terrifying how into sunscreens she is, but she looks a good 10 years younger than her age so clearly it's working!  Her sunscreen-fu is intense.

She apparently felt badly that my search for a physical-only sunscreen that was gentle enough for daily use was going so poorly; I have discovered many phys-only sunscreens are also designed to control oil, which is very drying to the skin.  Either that, or I'd order samples that would sell out before shipment and I'd get refunded.  So, she decided an intervention was needed and sent me a care package.

The package came with European chocolates, and ultra gentle physical-only sunscreens.  Score!  Did I mention European chocolate?  Because there totally was some- just none of it survived to picture taking time.

She received a care package in return, filled with goodies to keep her winter-abused hands and feet (and face) happy; I'm still very touched that she thought of me and my plight and cherry picked these for me. :3

I am currently using the one on the left, but you can find them on ratzillacosme's site, linked here from left to right:
If you'd like a full review of the one I am currently using, let me know.  Once I am done the bottle I have, I plan to test out some of the samples I received from TK before I work my way through the full size bottles.  Both are discontinued so it's better that I have an alternative lined up in case I fall in love with either of them.

And that's it for this week's Weekday Randomness!

Upcoming review for this weekend will be the Mizon Mela Defense Toner and Essence, which comes in absolutely gorgeous packaging.

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever.  This blog contains  both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.


  1. Ooh yes, I've love a review on the sunscreen, I need a different one. I fear the Hada Labo breaks me out ;( ;( ;(

  2. I am so sorry I've been so absent all the time recently; however, Nivea Japan still makes the Mild Milk (Now called Water Milk Mild!):

    Ingredients here:
    http://www.cosdna.com/eng/cosmetic_9ea9161608.html (the only sunscreen ingredients are still, you guessed it - Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide).

    1. <3

      I will have to try that one out when I finish the Baby Milk :D

  3. Hi Cat Cactus, I've started to take a liking on facial skincare since my honeymoon trip to Korea with my wife a month ago (I've never used any skincare products before in my whole life!! not even cleanser, only water).

    Since then I've come across and been reading your blog almost everyday. It's been a good and enjoyable reading I must say. I'd even copy and ordered most of the products from your base routine since I think i have the similar combination skin type as yours. I'd customized some product routines based on the availability in my country. I'm from Malaysia btw.

    The products I've ordered are as follows (ETA 21st October 2015):-
    1) Cleanser : Hada Labo Hydrating Foaming Wash 160ml
    2) Toner : COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner 150ml (No stock for MIZON toner)
    3) Active : C20 OST Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum 30ml
    4) Active : COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid 100ml
    5) Active : MIZON AHA Peeling Serum 8% (twice a week)
    6) Active : COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A Sol 100ml
    7) Hydrator : LJH TeaTree 90 Essence 50ml
    8) Hydrator : Malie Green Tea Ultra Hydrating Essence Facial Mask Sheet Pack (twice a week)
    9) Occlusive : LJH TeaTree 80 Cream 50ml (Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream N/A in my country)
    10) PM Treatment : 23YEARS OLD Badecasil Cream 7 in 1

    Well the problem I'm having right now is with the AM protection aka sunscreen. Since I'm a Muslim. It's not recommended for me to use any kind of sunscreen that is waterproof as waterproof sunscreen is very difficult to remove and creates a barrier against the skin which will invalidate my wudhu (a ritual washing performed by Muslims before prayer, there must not be a barrier that prevents water from reaching any part of the skin when doing wudhu, and we practices this basically 5 times a day, morning, afternoon, evening, sunset, and night).

    I would be gladly appreciate if you could recommend a sunscreen for me that best suits my lifestyle. I don't mind applying the sunscreen everytime after my prayer. I'm not an outdoor type of a guy. On working days, I will be staying in the office most of the time and I will only be exposed to the hot sun during lunch time and that is it. Thanks! :D

    1. Hi Muhammad,

      Congratulations on your recent marriage and honeymoon! I am afraid that I don't have a recommendation on a sunscreen that fits what you need, but I would recommend checking out Mizu's blog: http://marvelikalife.blogspot.com/ as she is a Malaysian K-Beauty blogger and may be familiar with some sunscreens that might fit!

      Please take care and congratulations again!

  4. Hi Cat, pretty impressive summary on the possibilities, so nice :)
    My latest from KoreaDepart though is that they list items with list prices which resulted my package to be stopped by customs service and pay 27% country tax (free of custom but not free of tax under 150$) within EU. I was not so happy... Now I am in correspondence with the CS to find out what to do with my next order if I do not want to pay like hell...

    Another time is that my box came almost empty, things were taken out (or not even packed there??), I never knew.

    Their Customer Service though is amazing and offered refund or re-orders, re-shipped the missing item. Even though, it's slow and complicated. However, as you have told, certain items are just not found anywhere else, so I will always re-order from them...

  5. You should try La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, SPF 50