I don’t need to tell you the Sasa explosion that Hong Kong is currently experiencing. As much as I love this twinkling pink glittery heaven of cosmetics it’s still un-nerving to see them mushroom like 7/11s around every street corner. No one needs that much makeup.
I have been in HK a long time and I can safely conclude that this explosion is thanks to our neighbours from the North.
I remember it used to be the Japanese that went around HK in huge Chanel, LV and Prada shopping bags. Now it is our cousins from the North.
And they are equal opportunity shoppers. Not just Prada and Chanel, they love a bargain like any of us and at any given time can be seen in Sasa buying everything that can then be stuffed into gigantic shopping bags.
Sasa has probably never had it so good, resulting in rapidly multiplying Sasa stores, and off-shoots like the Sasa outlet and the never seen before mega Sasa. A shop goes out of business and a Sasa comes up in it’s place.
Thanks to Sasa’s success we have a me-too. Bonjour Cosmetics. Competition is always good. And in this case even better !
Bonjour is less classy than Sasa (oh Sasa I remember your humble beginnings) and especially now that Sasa has become too high and mighty for something things it’s great we have Bonjour.
Great because Bonjour is not too posh for ‘samples’.
Samples from Clinique, Guerlain, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder and the like. Tiny 3ml and 5 ml samples that all have “NOT FOR SALE” clearly written on their packaging. Not for Sale samples that we can ‘buy’ for a small price.
I don’t mind. HK is notoriously stingy, or rather has a ‘No we dont (wont)’ attitude when it comes to giving away samples in the actual stores. And selling them at these cosmetic shops is legal.
They are not out of date or expired. They are the very same samples that a Sephora, a House of Frasier or Macy’s would give away happily, even if you were merely loitering around their counters.
In HK nothing is free and I have learnt to live with that. So I don’t complain when I pay HKD 69 for a sample of Advanced Night Repair to try out before I go ahead and buy the full size for around HKD 900+.
These samples are the best way to try out products and brands. Buy them once, buy them twice. If it works buy then buy the full size.
In the past I purchased and re-purchased samples of Advanced Night Repair before I splurged for the full size one. Around the same time I also sampled the Estée Lauder Even Skintone Illuminator before deciding it was a load of rubbish !
My recent Bonjour haul was cleansers, especially for eye makeup, and eye creams.
I am disappointed with both the Body Shop eye makeup removers they offer and while I know I can always rely on Maybelline, I bought these samples to test out the high end brands without spending fat wads of cash.
Same with the eye creams. Thanks to Paula Begoun I know that any anti-aging formula can not be in a jar and yet most companies are still offering it in jars. So I am still on the look out for the perfect eye cream.
Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle corrector is my current favourite and I am on my second bottle, but because its tinted I don’t like wearing it at night before bed. So I bought the Clinique All About Eyes serum and cream samples to see if they are effective. Both are supposed to fight puffiness, so lets see.
While Clinique and MAC are my go to brands for skincare and makeup, I don’t believe in spending silly money for things like cleansers, make up removers and moisturisers. Drugstore brands like Maybelline, Garnier and Olay are good quality and equally effective.
Body Shop is proving to be pretty poor in some of its product pay off, so I have relegated it to the toiletries only department.
But sampling high end to work out just what the hype is all about is great fun.
Thanks to Bonjour’s samples I have discovered winners and duds.
I love the Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner and between Benefit’s Porefessional and Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector, Benefit wins hands down.
(Benefit was not a sample. It was a mini from a Christmas present )
Bonjour doesn’t sell mini samples of makeup. Its mainly around the skincare range.
The one in TST just before Granville is a good one.