Sunday, 27 May 2012

Saturday at Sogo

SOGO is a Japanese department store with two locations in Hong Kong, and more pertinently for this blog, paradoxically bi-annual "anniversary" sales during which all the beauty counters offer cosmetics 'bundles' at hefty discounts. And all oddly delicious Japanese snacky things are 10% off. And of course every single department on each of of the twenty-something floors also had offers on. But I didn't get to witness those personally, because, well, here are some phone pics of what the ground floor beauty hall looked like:

Shiseido, Cosme Decorte and Lancôme counters -- the orderly sea of heads at the back in the upper left hand corner are lining up for the MAC store
Estee Lauder, Dior and Clarins -- this part of the beauty hall was particularly mad, as it was surrounded by various designer bag concessions, each with their own line (you can see Gucci there at the back). Also check out the scary ghostly blurs in the foreground, closing up the tiny gap that opened up just long enough for me to take this.

Sofina, Ipsa,  Kanebo, Burberry. Estee Lauder again.

Sofina may look abandoned but that's simply because it was by far the most popular sale (no-one left it without buying at least 6 full sets of skincare), and had a specially cordoned-off queue of military precision prepared:
This is less than halfway down the Sofina queue -- the tiny red+white sign in the distance is where the line starts.
These aren't even the most crowded scenes -- in those I was borne along by the wave o' humanity and couldn't even lift my arms to take pictures.

See those colourful pamphletty things people are studying?
Here's one full unfolded page out of eight:

It details the best weekly deals and the rotating daily specials for each brand in every sub-department; for further info on particular brands you'll have to contrive to be borne past the concession in question, all of which are womanned by ultra-efficient SA's handing out more detailed flyers:
flyers from YSL, Burberry, Shu Uemura, Sofina, Kanebo, Ipsa, SK-II, Shiseido and Helena Rubinstein

....yeah, I think I have PTSD.

I thought I was prepared! I'm a Londoner, ferchrissakes, not exactly unused to consumerist crowds. *sigh* Lesson learned (again): DO NOT MESS WITH ASIANS DURING A SALE.
The first entrants to last Christmas' Selfridges sale from The Grauniad. If you spotted non-Asians in this picture --  they're Selfridges staff XD

So what did I leave with? Sets from Lunasol, Burberry, Shu and Ipsa for friends. And for myself:
Burberry Earthy blush, Hibiscus lip cover, and a black canvas and leather makeup bag for HK$490, and Midnight Brown eyeshadow thrown in for an extra $178.

For the record (comparison swatches to come in review):
Earthy replaces MAC Strada
Hibiscus replaces Shu RD 178M
Midnight Brown is a legit breaking of the low-buy -- I'll be curious to see if I have any dupes lurking in my stash back home

I was also very tempted by (but womanfully resisted) another Burberry set containing an eyeshadow, eyeliner pencil, no.9 socket brush and a compact mirror for $440 (!), and the Lunasol 'starter kit' consisting of the decade-long bestseller Skin Modelling Eyes Beige Beige, a lipgloss, a cream blush and a choice of liquid or jelly single eyeshadow, in a makeup pouch for $620.

The best thing about this sale for me was the ability to make your own 'collection' by choosing the shades that go into your set. Don't think it'd be enough to tempt me back a second time, though. Overall the most therapeutic part of my haul (after a particularly draining week) was this:
Yakult soda ice cream float :D Aint nothing like brain freeze from friendly bacteria, sugar and fat. (That garnish totally counts as one of my five-a-day, right?)


  1. Wow, those crowds look very intimidating! I've never gone shopping in Hong Kong before and would love to some time. The Selfridges photo is hilarious.

  2. Hahaha! Love that picture!

  3. Love that Burberry set. I don't think I could stand the queueing though!

  4. Great pictures, you brave woman! I can't wait to see your Burberry reviews as Midnight Brown is next on my list.

  5. the selfridge pic is TDF :D I never have been to HK during a sale but would love to see that in person, lol. enjoy your yakult soda ice cream. I love hibiscus, I bet it will look great on you and huge yay on burberry blushers, so underrated <3

  6. I try to stay away from crowds so I do not fare well in sales. You bought Burberry, yay! Midnight Brown is so gorgeous. I am looking forward to your swatches of Earthy and Hibiscus. They look so nice too.

  7. I feel quite panicked just looking at your pictures - I find shopping in HK on a normal day fairly stressful! Fantastic Burberry set though... looks worth the queue, especially like that you could choose the contents yourself. I just bought the new Burberry Summer Glow, but will be v interested to see how Earthy turns out. I am struggling to resist Blossom at the moment so look forward to reading your thoughts on the blush formula.

  8. That is intense. Lovely goodies, though.


  9. Haha! I will be in Hong Kong next month. *can't wait.*
    I've been missing Hong Kong for the food, shopping.. *Teehee...

  10. I enjoyed reading this post! The crowds look crazy mad. I can't imagine wading through the store during sale time. Lovely haul - I like the colours you picked; will have to take a look myself! :)

  11. I miss HK!! Thank you for posting, and allowing me to live vicariously through your post.

  12. Rosy, I tell you it's put me off shopping-on-a-weekend in Hong Kong full stop! I had several Burberry blushes before: the formula is excellent (one of the best on the market today imo) but the shade selection is a bit tasteful for this clown...