Q: Re: Ordering from Cosme-de.com
A: Shipping is free regardless of the amount of your purchase, however, I've noticed that they have slightly elevated prices compared to Sasa.com for the same products i.e. My Beauty Diary masks are US$17.99 a box of 10 compared to Sasa's US$11.90 for a box of 10.
From my personal experience, they mark all their packages as "gifts" and I have never been charged customs on my purchases...YET! This does not mean it will be the same for you, it all depends on if the customs person ate breakfast that morning, if he argued with his wife that morning, if his car broke down etc.
With respect to the authenticity of their products, I haven't found anything that looks suspicious and fellow bloggers have verified that their products are authentic.
They charge in US$, the price on your credit card will depend on what the exchange rate is that day. The local currency is only there to give you an approximate of what the equivalent price is in your currency. So far, I haven't found any charges outside of reasonable exchange rate.
You'll often get freebies in your order - I've received free sample bb creams, laundry bags, face masks and sample sachets before.
Some really good sales, I bought my vitacreme from them for $18 a tube during their half price sale!
Shipping time to Canada is usually 1 week. Their dispatch time is really fast, usually you'll receive your tracking number the day after your order.
No sales tax.
Q: Re: Ordering from Sasa.com
A: Shipping is a flat rate of US$18 if your order is below US$100 and free if your order is over US$100.
They will not mark your package as "gift" but in all the times that I've ordered from them, my order came to over US$100 and I was not charged by customs. Again, your results might vary.
Their prices are probably one of the most reasonable around.
They have a lot of variety, stock both Eastern and Western brands.
Once again, prices are charged in US$, local currency is only an approximate.
Shipping is about 2 weeks. Their dispatch time is really slow, they need to verify your payment, send your list to the warehouse, wait for someone to pack everything on the list, and only then do they send it off to the couriers.
Sasa is well known cosmetics retail chain in Hong Kong, and I haven't heard of any authenticity concerns.
No great freebies, in my order of over US$100, I got a box of house brand facial cotton >__>
Their sales stay more or less constant.
No sales tax.
Q: What is your skin colouring and type?
A: I have combination skin, meaning I have an oily T-zone and dry cheeks. I had rather bad breakouts from the time I hit puberty until my early 20s. My GP put me on a 6 month course of Diane which worked really well in controlling my breakouts. I am currently on Yaz and in addition to my usual skin care regime, I have managed to keep my skin relatively clear.
My skin is rather prone to redness and inflammation, but this has greatly improved with the use of sheet masks and Vitacreme.
I have hyper pigmentation around the top of my cheeks just under the outer corners of my eyes, I can blame living in Africa for these and nothing I've tried have had any effect on them. It doesn't really bother me much though.
In summer, I am around a NC25-30, in winter I am a ghostly NC15-20. Some of my foundation matches are Diorskin Nude 021, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum 52&53, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 4, Chanel Mat Lumiere fluid 20, and Addiction TM 04.
I am quite bad in the sunscreen department, I don't use a separate sunscreen other than whatever is in my foundation or face cream. Ironically, South Africans don't tend to put much importance on sunscreen *shrugs*
Q: Where do you buy your Beauty Diary Masks and which variety do you recommend?A: If you live in Canada, T&T Supermarket sells it. They go for $14.99 a box of 10, and $3.99 a box of 2. They often go on sale for $11.99 a box of 10 (it used to be $10.99 wtf?!) I go grocery shopping there quite often so I will stock up on them when I see them on sale. T&T also sell the premium line of MBD masks as well as their Asian and European Treasure boxes (these contain 32 masks and a 5ml bottle of serum and will go for $42.99 regular price and $36.99 sale price).
If you live outside of Canada, several online retailers sell them. Sasa.com has the best variety and price at US$11.90 a box of 10. Sasa.com does, however, charge shipping (see above). Cosme-de.com also stocks MBD masks, they sell for $17.99 a box of 10 and shipping is free. Imomoko and AdamBeauty also sell these masks but I don't know what their shipping charges are like nor can I vouch for the authenticity of their products because I've never ordered from them before.
My favourite variety is Black Pearl (click here for my review and results).
Q: Where can I buy (insert product name)?
A: I buy the majority of my Asian cosmetics from Sasa.com or Cosme-de.com. If you are in Vancouver, Crystal Mall, Metrotown, Aberdeen Centre, Parker Place and T&T Supermarkets all stock a variety of Asian cosmetics brands. I generally provide an unaffiliated link to where I purchased a particular product in my reviews.