Tag Archives: Gosh Cosmetics

Beauty Spot: Cosmoprof Hong Kong 2011

I had heard of a mystical wonderland called Cosmoprof on other beauty blogs.

This mystical wonderland was a magical place where you could get sneak previews of new nail polish lines, discover secret cool cosmetics brands, get to try products so new they didn’t even have names, hob-nob with the great and the good of the make-up world and generally hang out with other beauty addicts. So I was extremely excited when an invitation to Cosmoprof landed in my letterbox!

Unfortunately, Cosmoprof turned out to be less a Wonderland and more a ‘Wonder what the hell I’m doing here’ land. Although at least I got this awesome visitor pass – yes, ‘Through The Looking Glass Blog’ is famous! Well, sort of.

Just for those not in know, Cosmoprof is a super-huge-massive-enormous beauty trade show that lands in the HKCEC once every year – with numerous other high-profile international destinations too. There are booths and exhibitors for every beauty product and machine you could think of (and probably a few you wish you couldn’t) but really, it’s for brands to find distributors/buyers and for businesses to find products. So quite how bloggers started coming along for the ride I’m not entirely sure!

Luckily, I went along with the gorgeous Georgie, who as a beauty salon owner actually had a valid reason for going. She was great company and her proper business credentials meant that I didn’t feel such a fraud!

Georgie ended up visiting Cosmoprof on all three days that it ran – and may I extend my deepest sympathies to her feet, which are probably bloodied stumps by now. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I walked so much! The booths were spread over three or four floors, jam-packing each huge stadium-sized room like sardines in a tin (where I saw Kylie a few months before and where my position remained relatively stationary!)… suffice to say, I won’t be doing a fun-run, let alone a marathon, anytime soon! After just a few hours, I was knackered – the things I’ll do for make-up!

I was actually invited to Cosmoprof by the gorgeous Clara of MOR Cosmetics, an Australian brand I had never previously heard of. And, despite everything, I’m SO glad Clara did invite me because MOR Cosmetics are a definite keeper!

I was totally wow-ed by this brand and it was by far the highlight of the day – which had I known when I set out to visit them first thing, I might have planned to end things on a high instead! All of MOR Cosmetics’ products look and smell totally deluxe-ly divine and I wanted them all! They specialise mainly in bath and body care, with a few cute lip products too, but encased in the most beautiful, classical ancient Greek and Roman-inspired packaging.

Just look at this packaging and tell me it isn’t irresistible?! I honestly don’t know if I’d ever be able to rip off that beautiful embossed wrapping paper to use the stuff inside! The scents were just utterly delicious too – Georgie and I really loved the Lychee Flower Soap, whose light fresh fruity scent was near enough edible!

Unfortunately, MOR Cosmetics aren’t yet available in Hong Kong – although that might be a good thing as I’m sure large chunks of my bank balance would disappear into an MOR shaped hole! I think these perfectly-packaged pretties would go down a storm here (they remind me a little of Fresh, which is sold in Lane Crawford) and if you do live somewhere where MOR is available, the gift sets would make absolutely wonderful Christmas presents *hint hint*.

The ladies at MOR were also really lovely and welcoming, which unfortunately cannot be said of most of the booths I visited. I encountered plenty of really interesting and gorgeous products but sadly, once vendors found out that I didn’t have a business to stock, the conversation was over. Could I take photos? No. Could I read the brochure? No. Could I look more closely at the products? Take a guess what the answer was.

I instead took to snapping ninja photos, so excuse the poor quality!

Gosh Cosmetics had a fabulous display of their range – and I was both excited and disappointed to see they had so much that wasn’t available in Hong Kong. They had SO much make-up, much of it looked fabulous and, when I swatched some, the quality seemed good too. They also had a much more extensive range of skincare and body products, which I hope they bring over as all my Gosh experiences have been pretty great so far.

Of course, I had to get a photo of these nail glitters. I’ve read about them somewhere before and think this is such a fun idea! Basically, it’s a pot of dazzle dust that you stick your freshly-painted fingernail into for a glitzy glamorous glittering look! I asked and these WILL be coming to Hong Kong, sometime in 2012, and the price (as with all Gosh stuff) sounded very reasonable indeed!

Australian drugstore brand BYS also had a huge display of their cosmetics, which I pored over happily. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to take photos, but I’d already snapped a few so never mind! They had a massive range of nail polish, which I was salivating over, with some really innovative (and competitively-priced) products. There were tonnes of shatters, of course, but I was more interested in these Colour Change Polishes (which takes me back the days of my mood stone… and even further back to my childhood Barbie whose dress changed colour in different temperatures!) and UV Polishes that glow under UV lights in clubs, which is a totally awesome concept. [And you can just see to the left some very glittery and highly covetable Wonderland Polishes, no doubt inspired by OPI’s sell-out Alice In Wonderland collection.]

Meanwhile, these Animal Instincts palettes were just too pretty not to show you! I did learn that BYS do international shipping, so I’m currently sorting through their enormous online catalogue to sift through what I want!

I also spotted Barielle Nail Polish, which had a few standout colours (Georgie and I were obsessed with Falling Star, a lush sky blue with copper glitter), and Palladio Beauty, whose herbal lipsticks intrigued me – but again both aren’t sold here!

My other major lust moment of the day came with Golden Rose, who have some of their nail polishes in the Colormix vats here (and alas, none of their really cool stuff, like flakies and holos), but nothing else. Well, we are missing out BIG TIME. As you know, I’m obsessed with mineralised baked cosmically awesome eye shadows – and Golden Rose has a whole galaxy of these Terracotta Eyeshadows available! These were a huge range of stunning swirls of marbleised colour, glittery, shimmery, intensely-pigmented, multi-dimensional and super-soft to the touch. I bet they’re a hell of a lot more affordable than the MAC ones I keep being conned into buying!

I also really liked the gorgeous retro packaging of these Coca-Cola cosmetics. These were at the same booth as the Coca-Cola Lip Smackers that are currently available at Sasa/Watsons/Mannings so I’m hopeful these will be brought to HK. The line consisted of lip balms, glosses and body cream – the left is Vanilla Coke, the middle regular Coke and the right Cherry Coke. Vanilla was the one that smelt the most divine, whilst regular was my ultimate favourite packaging. [Note: I have a vested interest in these as my boyfriend is a Coca-Cola fiend and I bought him a framed vintage poster, very similar to these, last Christmas!]

And well, we all love Swarovksi-encrusted nail files and Hello Kitty cuteness, right?! I particularly love Geek Chic HK!

And finally, a few shots to show yow just how random Cosmoprof was. This is a poorly-attended yoga display, happening right in the middle of all the action with absolutely no-one but press paying attention!

And here is a man having a crazy-ass treatment done to his face. At the next stall, there was a woman with a dripping face-mask being (badly!) applied. Georgie and I pondered the purpose of an egg-shaped cocoon, only to walk round and discover a model wearing nothing but a bikini and glum expression slumped inside. No-one talking or interacting with her… too miserable a scene to take a picture of!

So there you have it! Cosmoprof – not quite the mystical wonderland of my wildest dreams but a mix of interesting and exhausting nonetheless! Even if non-one wanted to talk to me!

Cosmoprof Hong Kong 2011, 9-11 November, HKCEC.
Cosmoprof HK 2012 will be held on 14-16 November.

Gosh Gasoline nail polish review

After the various trials and tribulations involved in getting my mitts on Gosh’s Gasoline nail polish, it didn’t have much choice other than to be bloody brilliant. Thankfully, it was.

An amazing glittering true purple that manages to be bright but deep at the same time, I can honestly say it’s become one of my favourites. Partly because purple is lucky enough to be my favourite colour full-stop, but mostly on the grounds of Gasoline’s merits alone.

However, in addition to the hard slog that was getting the nail polish itself, application wasn’t exactly a breeze either. As a girl used to salon-quality nail varnish in the forms of OPI, Essie, China Glaze and Zoya, the ridiculously sheer first coat was a bit of a shock. On seeing the initial pale watery fuchsia colour, I wondered if I’d be building up coats quicker than mattresses in The Princess & The Pea in order to get the bottle colour. It took four coats and a long fraught drying time of tackiness, but I finally got there – and it was totally worth it.

Chock-a-block with flecks of multi-coloured glitter, Gasoline is a hypnotising mesmerising shade of purple that was just about everything I wanted but failed to get from Essie’s Sexy Divide. It’s that pitch-perfect purple smack bang in the middle of the spectrum between pastel and midnight. Neither too pink nor too blue, it’s basically the colour I’d conjure up in my head if you asked me to envisage my ideal purple. Eye-catching and still obviously purple in all types of lighting, it especially comes alive against black.

What with the vivid purple colour and the glittery sparkliness, it’s the kind of nail varnish I’d imagine my all-time favourite cosmetics company, Urban Decay, coming out with. In fact, it’s pretty much the polish equivalent of their brilliant shimmering 24/7 eyeliner in Lust. [Gasoline is such an Urban Decay name too.] Then again, it’s also the polish equivalent of the Purple One in a box of Quality Streets too.

A rocky vibrant shade with a gleaming cosmic depth provided by those swirls of glitter, Gasoline had me utterly spellbound. Thank God Treg’s Luck didn’t strike again!

Looks good with: black, love of purple, Urban Decay make-up
Drying time: +10 mins
Coats required: 3-4
Chips: +7 days

Gosh Gasoline nail polish, $78, selected Watsons

Elementary, my dear Watsons: my epic quest for Gosh Cosmetics

If you have been following my blog since its infancy (…poor you!), then you’ll be familiar with the term ‘Treg’s Luck’, introduced in my early post about the beautiful Waterfall Bay and the numerous misfortunes that occurred as we looked for it. Check out the post itself for a more detailed explanation (and some lovely photos), but it basically boils down to Sod’s Law – anything that can go wrong for me, generally will. Especially if until now, everything had previously been ticking along far too well.

My quest to find a certain shade of Gosh nail polish is a case in point. By now, you’re all well aware how my indifference to nail varnish has bubbled up into a full-on obsession, helped along by the multitude of nail blogs sprawled across the Interwebz. Having spotted a particularly lovely Gosh lacquer on such a blog, I remembered seeing the brand sold in Watsons (think Superdrug, but not as good) so set out to claim a pot of glittery goodness for my own. Alas, none of the colours in the Tin Hau branch took my fancy.

Having stopped off at every Watsons on the way back home from Tin Hau, it transpired that Gosh Cosmetics were only sold at selected Watsons stores. Specifically, absolutely none near me. Most people would shrug, sigh and move on to bigger and better things. Unfortunately, I decided that the most important thing in my life from that moment was getting hold of Gosh nail varnish.

So my quest got more professional. I found their Facebook Page, which helpfully listed all the Watsons stores that stocked their cosmetics line. In Chinese.

I can’t read Canto. God bless those Gosh folk, they’d tackled their task with gusto, listing at least one hundred stores and my auntie would probably have a breakdown if I presented her with such an essay to translate. But things were looking up – my boyfriend understands certain characters and was able to pinpoint the section sub-titled ‘Hong Kong Island’ i.e. area where I live (and obvious best area in HK, fyi). Once he’d gone to sleep and was oblivious to my raging obsession being put in action, I painstakingly copied and pasted each string of characters of around twenty locations into Google, who showed a map of each possible destination.

‘The ones with the star next to them’

I was thus able to narrow my quest down to Wan Chai, in order to disguise my mania with a trip to Marks & Spencers Food. Wanting to double-check the exact locations of the stores, I presented my auntie with this small section of Wan Chai stores, asking her to translate ‘the ones with the star next to them’ (the asterisk denoted Gosh Cosmetics were sold there, as opposed to Skincare). I even pointed for good measure. My auntie confidently told me one was at some China Insurance Centre that I couldn’t figure out her directions for, the other the Hopewell Centre.

First, to M&S, which, true to form, had barely any of the items I wanted to buy (I should have spotted the Treg’s Luck warning signs from here). We then plodded from Gloucester Road all the way to Hopewell Centre on Queen’s Road East, where pots of glittery goodness would be waiting to be snapped up by yours truly. On arrival… no sign of Gosh Comsetics. Argh.

My boyfriend has 3G on his iPhone so I brought up the Facebook Page to show him. Even his limited grasp of Canto was enough to tell me that my auntie, in her infinite wisdom, had wonderfully managed to translate every location listed UNDER each asterisk. ARGH!

Not wanting a wasted trip, I picked up some other toiletries at Hopewell instead. On reaching the check-out, I was presented with a plastic bag bulging with random stuff as a free gift. Normally, people use the word random when they mean anything but. No really, this bag was random. I presume it was a clear-out of Christmas stock they couldn’t flog anymore. Then the saleslady decided my bag of free crap wasn’t quite complete… she wanted to include some cereal bars too. Alas, this involved authorisation from the manager, eating up a further five minutes. I eventually emerged from Hopewell Centre with: three packs of my pill (sadly, not free), box of yoghurt berry flavour CelebritySlim snack bars (impressively not even past their sell-by date), mini bottle of Listerine, red Garnier mobile phone case/purse, Olay sample, overnight CracKare moisturising patch (no… me neither), strange but cute fruit/alien shaped shower pouff and masses of pent-up annoyance at auntie.

Initially, my plan had been to catch a bus home from outside Hopewell. But now my determination to get Gosh nail polish had intensified further. Another location was Johnston Road, merely a street away. Off we went.

Bizarrely, the folk at Gosh aren’t too keen on divulging actual shop numbers on their list. Luckily, I used to work in Wan Chai so had some vague recollection of which Watsons they meant, or else we could have trotted down the wrong side of Johnston for who knows how long. On arrival at Johnston Road Watsons… a Gosh concession! Hurrah!

By now I wasn’t even bothered about the original colour I’d set out for and just wanted any nice nail polish to show for my efforts. I had a few back-up choices courtesy of those damned nail blogs… my boyfriend immediately noted that the space labelled with shade number ‘541’ was empty. I felt a familiar sinking feeling in my stomach as I used his 3G to Google it… yes, 541 was the very number of my next best back-up choice, Gasoline. Treg’s Luck strikes again.

I was weary, frustrated and all tregged-out, ready to admit defeat and head home. But my boyfriend knew that if we left now, I’d no doubt be horrifically annoying for hours/days/weeks on end, wondering if the other location (Hennessy Road) had my shades in stock. So on we marched, continuing to walk further back on ourselves and our ill-fated trip to Hopewell, including passing where we had started off in the first place.

This time, Gosh had given us a shop number: 205-207. Do I need to tell you that we found ourselves at the single-digit end of Hennessy?! We plodded on and got to the place we really should have gone to in the first place, where an amply-stocked display of Gosh Cosmetics awaited us… and, what’s this, plastered in red stickers offering 25% off!

Gasoline was there… so was Golden Dragon (another back-up favourite)… so I grabbed my booty. Horrors! A sales assistant starting removed the 25% off signs but, after some badgering, she reassured me I’d still receive my discount. By now, I was fielding calls from my auntie asking when I’d be home since some friends had arrived and would like to see me. So, of course, it was destined that I’d be served by an assistant who looked like Tubbs from The League Of Gentlemen and was mystified by the workings of her till and how to do 25% discounts. Fifteen minutes and three failed attempts later, I’d finally paid for my haul (receiving some no doubt erroneous further discounts along the way) and my lip-biting, hand-quivering mania was quelled. By now, I was so exhausted, flustered and late that I cancelled out all savings made by hailing a taxi home.

My hard-fought Gosh haul is pictured above and thank God, they are worth it (even more so at discount, reviews to follow). My auntie is using the phone case, I managed a fleeting hello to the friends as they left and Tubbs learnt how to use the till. Needless to say, I have since discovered that the original shade of polish I wanted has been discontinued and was probably never available in Hong Kong anyway. Treg’s Luck strikes again!

[Banner photo: Tim Ellis’ Flickr]