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How To Be A Cheapskate: Christmas Edition

When I was younger, I used to scoff at people who’d go out of their way to get free samples.

“There’s shower gel at home, why on earth would anyone want to take that tiny little bottle that will probably only last for one use?” was basically my attitude to people who took amenities from the hotel after a stay. Spoken like a true spoilt brat lol.

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But as with everything in life, change is the only constant – and now that I’m at that age where the burger boy actually calls me ‘kak‘ instead of ‘cik‘, I can finally understand why.

I come from a middle class family, and growing up, I knew my parents weren’t rich so I’ve never asked for anything. But at the same time, I’ve never wanted for anything – I’ve always had quality clothes to wear, good food to eat, all the books I could ever read. I had a Digivice, a Walkman, a vid game console, and in my teens – a mobile phone – which was more than what most kids my age (at that time anyway) could say they had.

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After coming out to work, though, I’ve come to realise the value of money. Now if I wanted something, I had to work for it. And as you get older and have more commitments (family, household, etc.) you realise that every little thing adds up t – and if you can get something that would help you save, no matter how small, you’d jump on it in a flash.

2020 has, all in all, been a pretty shitty year for a lot of people. I count myself luckier than most (Haven’t been laid off. Yet.) but I’ve also been more cautious in spending.

Since it’s the festive season, though, I wanted to give myself a little treat after a long year of ‘fasting’. So I devised… a little plan.

THE PLAN

The ‘plan’ was actually accidental.

I’m not a girly girl, and I rarely buy makeup / clothes / accessories / bags. My only weakness is body products and fragrances. I love candles, scents, shower gels, lotions, face masks… that sort of thing. Because of this, I follow a lot of brands on social media like The Body Shop, Lush, L’Occitane, etc. It so happened that while scrolling through my feed recently, I happened across an online event by The Body Shop, which promised a free jute bag: all I had to do was RSVP to the event, take a screenshot to confirm that I was ‘going’, and redeem the bag when I next visit any of their physical stores.

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Who can resist a scented vanilla candle and a nice diffuser? Photo for illus only don’t actually put candles on your bed, folks. Via Pexels

So … you know how ad targeting works on the Internet ? Once you’ve clicked on one thing, the system records this ‘interest’ and will recommend (read: bombard) you with related ads. I was suddenly getting dozens of body/ beauty product ads – most of which were offering promos/sales for Christmas. Some were even gamifying their campaigns, to make them more fun and interactive.

With this in mind, I started looking up different brands, to see if I could get a similar ‘deal’ as the one from The Body Shop. My goal was to look for giveaways with no minimum purchase – so I could get stuff for free, with no strings attached.

My second goal was to look for brands that were all under one roof, so I wouldn’t have to go to and fro and waste gas money. Since 1 Utama Shopping Centre is close to my work place, and they have dozens of beauty brands, I used the place as a ‘benchmark’ for my search: by looking up all the possible beauty brands available in the mall’s directory. Yes I know I have too much time on my hands lol.

The first one I found was Kiehl’s. They had made this nice little interactive game, where players had to complete a few in-game tasks like answering questions about their product and playing some mini games, which would then entitle them to free samples. The next was L’Occitane, which had a similar campaign – register, play some games, get samples.

CASHING IN

I went to the office on Sunday to get some packing done, so I dropped by the mall. My first stop was L’Occitane. It was actually pretty fuss-free. I showed my screenshot of the voucher code from their mini game to their staff, and they gave me a packet containing the promised 12 sachets of hair and face care samples. They also invited me inside for a look, although I’m pretty sure they knew I wasn’t there to buy stuff lol. Gotta commend L’Occitane staff though. You know how some staff members treat you dismissively coz they know you’re just there for free samples? None of that here: service was still impeccable.

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will the day come where I’m so rich I can buy stuff without looking at the price tag? We may never know
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Next, Kiehl’s. I’ve never even set foot in a Kiehl’s store before because I know I could never afford their items lol. Still, the brand has a good reputation and it seems like their marketing campaign worked well – because there was a long line of customers waiting to go into the shop. I had nothing better to do so I spent 40 minutes lining up lol. Ask a 20-year-old-me and I’d probably tell you you’re dumb to spend that kinda time for free samples. but like I said, people change.

Again, the staff at Kiehl’s was very profesional – she even explained to me what each sachet is for and how to use them.

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Last but not least, The Body Shop. Unfortunately the 1U outlet had run out of jute bags. I got this from IOI MALLwhile I was out running errands.

WAS IT WORTH IT?

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This might seem funny but I did feel a sense of accomplishment at getting all these samples. While I doubt I’d see much effect from one use, it’s still nice to get what is essentially a treat, and would have cost money to buy under normal circumstances.

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Also, I managed to do a fair bit of Christmas shopping (gifts for friends) while I was at the mall. If it had been solely to get samples, I think I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to do so.

And that is How to be A Cheapskate: Christmas Edition! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it ! And if you have any tips on saving during the festive season, I’d be delighted to hear about it in the comments below.

Seasons Greetings, and have a good one!

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Pamper Dad with These Father’s Day Gifts from Lush Malaysia

With Father’s Day just around the corner (June 21), ditch the usual ties and socks and get something a little special for dad this year. Men deserve a spot of pampering as well, and Lush has a come up with an exclusive selection for Father’s Day, so you can gift them to dads, dads-in-law, grandpas or just anyone whom you feel deserves it ! The new range will launch on lush.my in the 1st week of June 2020.

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DIRTY BATH BOMB
It’s time to get cool with invigorating spearmint, tarragon and sandalwood.Turn the bath into a
refreshing lagoon of crisp, muscle -soothing mint and soak away all your worries.

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DIRTY SHOWER SCRUB
For soft and tingly freshness, use this naked (packaging-free) body scrub in the shower. Spearmint and menthol crystals cools skin, leaving you feeling fresh and clean.

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SUPERDAD BATH BOMB
From deep, blue waters emerge the sweet and smoky powers of guaiacwood and sandalwood. Superdad is here to save the day!

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DIRTY DEODORANT POWDER
A quick pit stop with this deodorant powder will have you feeling as fresh as a daisy. Pop some of this
powder under the arms and breathe in the crisp, clean scent to keep them feeling in mint condition.

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DIRTY SHAMPOO BAR
Perfect for scalps that need a little stimulation, and hair that needs a deep clean, pick up this reusable solid shampoo bar for a refreshing, invigorating wash.

 

Photos courtesy of Lush PR Malaysia 

LUSH’s New Bubble Bar Collection Is Perfect for DIY Home Pampering

I love bubble baths. Although I don’t get to enjoy them very often since we don’t have a bathtub at home, they’re always something I look forward to whenever I get to stay in a nice hotel.

For those of you who do have bathtubs in your home (lucky you!), LUSH recently released their biggest bubble bar collection to date, featuring 24 new bubble bars that were previously only available at the Lush Labs shop in Harajuku, Tokyo. You can now order them online or for Malaysians, buy them at the LUSH stores at Pavilion KL and Sunway Pyramid (after the quarantine has been lifted, of course!)

I’ve always loved LUSH for its innovative offerings and colourful creations, and the bubble bars are no exception. Just take a look at these amazing bars (some of which are too pretty to even think of crumbling up):

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A French Kiss – This one’s for the lavender lovers. Soak into the bath with this just before bedtime and let the soothing herbal scent lull you to dreamland.

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Abracadabra – Cast a magic spell and wave away bad vibes with spicy scents of olibanum and bergamot.

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Akaname –  This bubble bar is inspired by an urban legend of the akaname, a Japanese bathroom spirit with a long tongue that is said to lick up the filth in public bathrooms and toilets (trust Japan to have the most peculiar tales…). Fret not though; this akaname slurps around the bath to leave it squeaky clean and smelling fresh and lemony.

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Big Bottle of Calm – I definitely need this in my life, lol. Sink into bubbly purple waters and drift away to the beautiful lavender fields of France, while a chamomile tide washes your worries away. Run this into the bath with running water, let dry and set aside for another use.

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Relax… Take A Bath – Hunched over a computer all day? Take a dip in this relaxing teal-coloured muscle soak and dissipate the tension in your very own hot spring of lavender oil and Sicilian lemon oil.

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Peach Crumble – This cheeky pink bath-roon releases juicy grapefruit, fresh peach juice and sweet Davana to gently cleanse and refresh. Swoon over blueh coloured bubbles and an elevating fragrance – the perfect sweet treat after a long day.

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Nana – Climb into a softening bath of sunshine yellow, banana and creme brulee scented foam, for a dessert-inspired bath that smells good enough to eat.

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Milky Bar – Despite the name, the milky bar is actually dairy-free, featuring oat milk, sweet orange oil fragrance and a hint of patchouli.

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Mermaid Tail – Splash into a tub full of bubbles with this adorable bar, which combines silky-smooth bath oil and zesty, fruity scents.

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Lucky Cat – Cats are a symbol of good fortune in Japan, and this fuschia feline brings a plastic-free shimmer to your water along with a flurry of bubbles and a fresh, floral scent.

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Keep It Fluffy – The Doris Day of bubble baths. Lie back and dream of old school glamour. Powdery vanilla and uplifting lemongrass pair perfectly to create perfect pink bubbles.

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Goldfinger –  Luxuriate in dazzling gold plastic-free glitter and a heady mix of juicy Brazilian orange oil, bergamot, and delectable honey-scented waters. You don’t need a license to bathe for this one.

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Golden Pear – A fruit-shaped bubble bar to lift the spirits, smoothe and soften skin. Its pear-drop scent is reminiscent of spiced cakes and pastries.

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Figs in Honey – Another fruity number ripe for the picking. Benzoin resinoid offers a rich, balsamic sweetness, while myrrh offers a spiced undertone. A deeply moisturising cocoa-butter centre melts with the water, filling your bath with a dessert-like creaminess.

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Dirty – On the contrary, this bubble bottle provides a refreshing pink bath of spearmint and warming sandalwood, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed.

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Crayon – Write your own bathtime story with uplifting grapefruit and bergamot waters, surrounded by blackcurrant-mint foam.

Order online at lush.my.

 

*photos courtesy of Lush Malaysia. 

 

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Lush’s Cheeky Valentine’s Day Series Includes Peach and Aubergine Soaps / Naked Shower Gels

‘Tis the season for love !

Even if you find Valentine’s Day overrated, there’s no harm in indulging in something nice for the occasion, whether it’s for yourself or as a gift for a s/o / loved one (hintcough*hint). Skip the flowers and chocolates, and go for these lovely bath time treats from Lush. If nothing else, they’re fun and pretty cheeky!

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Love Boat bath bomb

Set sail with the Love Boat, which promises something for everyone with the tangy sherbet scent of orange and Sicilian lemon. The bath bomb releases waves of vibrant colour and swathes of glittering hearts, taking you down the river on a scent-sational cruise.

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Peachy bath bomb

A slow-fizzling cheeky number that releases bursts of juicy grapefruit and sweet davana. Swoon over pink swirls of colour as you relax in the water: the perfect sweet treat after a fruity session.

Aubergine bath bomb

This steamy bath bomb emits scents of uplifting bergamot and fruity ho wood. Created with tongues planted firmly in cheeks, Aubergine will shoot green and blue foam from both ends. Give someone the gift of a fast fizzing tip filled with tonka and litsea.

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Unicorn Horn bubble bar

The rare Unicorn Horn bubble bar will make you believe in magic again with its enchanted pink waters, infused with relaxing lavender and sparkling with lustre – just like the magical lakes on the Isle of Lushland where unicorns bathe.

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Prince Charming shower gel

Once upon a time, a soapy saviour emerged to enchant the shower routine. This smooth operator packs a punch, but still manages to charm with a soft marshmallow root and vanilla pod decoction smile.

Prince Charming naked shower gel

What’s better than Prince Charming? Prince Charming, but naked. Take a peek beneath the coat of shining armour to discover sweet and juicy suds of fresh pomegranate and rich vanilla. A happy ever after is guaranteed with this nude noble.

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Love Locket amaze ball bath bomb

Unlock your heart’s true potential and release it in a spectacle of strawberry-scented swirls. Full to the brim with tiny bath bomb hearts, feel all aflutter in the bath, thanks to uplifting orange and cosy tonka.

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Aubergine soap

Bulging with fruity bergamot, zingy litsea cubeba and sweet tonka, this scent has stamina, lasting on the skin long into the night. For suds worthy of a swipe right, take a firm grip and lather up.

Peachy soap

Ripe and plump, this is soap you can get behind. Brand spanking new and dripping in peach, grapefruit and davana, a lather with this soap with leave you feeling sweet and cheeky.

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Naked Attractive massage bar

Get up close and personal with this massage bar, which promises a sensual scent of jasmine that surrounds you as you glide it over your (or someone else’s) skin for a seductively soft finish.

It’s what on the inside that counts, but you can also impress your recipient with a nice package, as Lush offers several quirky knot wraps:

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The Karmasutra

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Let’s Get Physical

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BRB gonna go get an aubergine soap from the nearest Lush. 😉 

 

*Photos courtesy of Lush PR Malaysia