It can be fun to pamper yourself in the name of beauty every once in a while but sometimes, it is even more exciting to uncover hidden gems.
If you look hard enough, you can find affordable products that perform just as well as - if not even better than their speciality or departmental store counterpart for a fraction of the price.
We took the thrill of the hunt to the next level by testing out cosmetics and skincare products not at the drugstore, but Daiso.
Read about the under eye concealer that will give its high-end counterpart a run for its money, K-beauty inspired beauty tool that can transform any gel cleanser into a whipped face foam, and more savvy steals.
And yes, every item listed is only $2.
Facial Cleansing Foam Maker
Foam cleansers are great, especially if you have sensitive skin. Foam type cleansers are gentler on the skin due to the reduced friction by micro-bubble. Unlike liquid cleansers, you don't have to tug on your skin (to get the product to foam up).
Unfortunately, not all skincare brands out there have facial cleansers that are foam-based. Thankfully, this interesting contraption can turn any gel or even powder type facial cleansers into a whipped foam.
To use, simply add the recommended amount of water and squeeze a dime-sized amount of any cleanser of your choice into the punch pad. After which, you can pump the mixture in up-down motions until you get a smooth, fluffy foam.
Definitely pick up this foam maker to stretch the quantity of your product to a maximum because you don't even need to pour too much cleanser for it foam up. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see if foam cleansers work for their skin type but don't want to invest in an expensive foam-based cleanser.
Square Tip Eyeliner
This crayon type eyeliner comes with a square tip that will supposedly give you a neat crisp line. When applied on the back of my hand, it was decently dark, but when applied to the waterline, it was there but quite faint.
Because it was so light, you end up with a very jagged cat-eye that has certainly seen better days. To its credit, this eyeliner is extremely easy to remove (because it is so faint).
I would recommend this liner for those want to slightly darken and define their bottom lash line. If you want the intensity of a kohl liner or liquid liner to create a strong cat eye, however, skip this altogether to avoid unnecessary frustration.
Soft Sponge Roller
Sponge rollers are great especially if you can't be bothered to curl your hair when you are awake. These sponge rollers come with metal bobby pins that are meant to hold the roller in place while you toss and turn at night.
Even though I really wanted this to work, it didn't. The metal bobby pins it came with wasn't able to secure my hair, even if I took a really small section of hair. I would see this working only if you secured the rollers with a bigger claw clip.
Eyebrow Gel (in brown)
This was another disappointing product. The consistency of this gel is way too heavy and clumpy. It was frustrating to even out the colour and some parts were definitely darker than others.
Even though it says brown on the packaging, it definitely left more of a reddish-orange tinge that can look quite unnatural if you don't have red hair.
If you want to fill the gaps in your brows without looking like an oil spill happened on your face, don't pick this one up.
Copeleur Concealer (in light beige)
This concealer performs just as well as specialty/departmental store concealers I've used. It has a peachy salmon tint that helps to counteract the grey and purple toned dark eye circles.
Also, the lightweight formula blended out easily and did not accentuate fine lines and creases.
Shine Colour Eyes
This eyeshadow quad is such a great buy for the price. You can mix and match the six neutral shades for natural soft looks. The finish is quite powdery but you do get a nice sheer wash of colour if you layer the product with your fingers.
My favourite shade in the palette is the camo green shade that is rarely seen in eyeshadow quads. Perfect for those with hazel eyes, this shade will bring out the colour in your eyes. If you want this to last, you need to pair it with an eyeshadow primer.
Bath Petals (Crabapple fragrance)
When you toss these petals into the bath, it breaks apart and releases the colorants and fragrances which turns your bath water into a psychedelic blend of colours and scents.
But as far as your skin concerned, they don't really do anything. If you are looking for skin benefits, add a splash of bath oil or bath salt instead.
And if you have sensitive skin that reacts badly to artificial fragrances, skip the petals altogether.
Aloe Moisture Lotion
Aloe vera has been used since ancient times for wound healing and is still a staple for those sweltering hot days when you've skimped on SPF.
Additionally, aloe is also said to help with healing acne, combating the signs of ageing, moisturising, and reducing redness.
I had high hopes for this aloe-infused product but was left sorely disappointed. It left my skin moisturised for the first 10 to 15 minutes of application and that's about it.
If you have normal to oily skin, consider soaking a paper mask into the lotion and use it as a mask instead for extra hydration. If you have dry skin, this product might not work for you.
If you are looking for a dupe for the coveted SK-II treatment essence, this is unfortunately not it.
Sake or rice wine is used in skincare because it is rich in enzymes that gently exfoliate the outer layers of the skin to slough off dead skin cells. The fermentation process also produces kojic acid, a type of antioxidant that limits the production of melanin and hence prevents the formation of dark spots.
When I tested the product on the back of my hand, I noticed an immediate brightening effect.
When I used it on my face, however, I started to notice a slight stinging sensation. Take heed, this lotion contains alcohol. In fact, it is the first ingredient listed on the ingredients list.
If you are going to try out this product or any skincare products for that matter, definitely do a patch test. For those with sensitive skin, steer clear of this lotion because it might irritate and dry out your skin due to the high alcohol content.
This article was first published in Her World Online