Cosmetics shopping with a conscience

Last week, Sephora just announced that it’s going on sale for as high as 60% off, coinciding with The Great Jakarta Sale.

Sephora The Great Jakarta Sale

At the risk of sounding either preachy or party pooping, I’m using this time to update you on the 2017 list of cruelty-free cosmetics and brands.

2017 cruelty-free brandsTwo years ago, I started cleaning up my toiletry kit, vanity dresser and shower room to get rid of cosmetics, toiletries, bath and body products that are using animals for testing. At the same time, I researched on brands that are organic, vegetarian and those that do not use harmful chemicals.

Personally, I have a bias for the following brands:

  1. The Body Shop –  certified vegetarian and a fair trade supporter, The Body Shop remains to be on top of my list. I used to lead the brand’s marketing division some lightyears ago and until now, I have a strong affiliation with it. I use most of their product lines: face, fragrances, bath and body, essential oils and even candles.
  2. Josie Maran –  I am a fan of Josie Maran! I discovered this brand when I was in the US 3 years ago and I have been using the argan oil and moisturizer ever since. Sadly, Sephora stopped carrying it here in Southeast Asia and I’m still stumped where I can continue to get the products.
  3. Urban Decay – is my favorite when it comes to eye shadow palettes and prep spray. This brand also has a vegan line already with no animal-derived ingredients!
  4. Nyx – is my alternative brand for face powder, eye liner and prep spray when all my other brands are out. Although it started as an alternative for me, their soft matte lip creams, lip creams and whipped lip and cheek souffle are noteworthy.
Bella local brands

Local brands that I recently road-tested: Serambi Botani, Utama Spice and Indoganic

Very recently, I started testing out Indonesian brands and so far, I have not been disappointed. They are reasonably priced, too! I chanced upon Serambi Botani in Grand Indonesia and tested out their face powder-foundation in chocolate shade. I stuck to the face powder ever since.

For body and hair oil, Utama Spice, a Bali-based brand, is a favorite. A lot of their products are coconut-based, which I love. They have consignments in Grand Indonesia for Jakarta-based customers. Their customer service was quite fast in responding, too, which is a definite plus.

For wellness oils, essential oils and wellness sprays, I turn to Indoganic, which I discovered last Christmas. I buy it online from Milamili.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not expensive to convert to environmental and animal-friendly brands. If you will read my list above, there are cheap drugstore brands and mid-range brands that won’t break the bank. I stick to my mid-range brands because they are easier to maintain and more accessible, too.

So yes, Maybelline, L’Oreal, Revlon, Mac, Bobbi Brown and Kiehl’s are NOT welcome in my vanity kit. You won’t find these brands on my dresser table. I tossed them away a long time ago. For other brands who still mercilessly test on animals, see below.


This Great Jakarta Sale season, I hope more shoppers will and can shop with a conscience since there are more and more brands accessible to us in the market who are organic, vegan or vegetarian, environment-friendly and cruelty-free.

Happy cosmetics shopping, everyone!

OMG: The Great Jakarta Sale is here!

A public service announcement to shopaholics like moi in Jakartown: the much-awaited Great Jakarta Sale is here!

The 9th Great Jakarta Sale (GJS) kicked off last June 2 (Friday) throughout the city.  Scheduled to last until the 12th of July, we’ve got more than a month to shop ’til we drop. Take note that brands discount up to 70%!

One of the most exciting parts of the GJS is the midnight sale, which will be conducted alternately by malls. Here’s the schedule all over the city:

The Great Jakarta Sale map

Central Jakarta

  •     Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, June 16-17
  •     Plaza Atrium, June 17
  •     Senayan City, June 16-18
  •     Plaza Indonesia, June 16-17

South Jakarta

  •     Transmart Cilandak, June 10-11 and June 23-24
  •     Gandaria City, June 10
  •     Kalibata City Square, June 10
  •     Pejaten Village, June 10 and 17
  •     Lippo Mall Kemang, June 10
  •     Plaza Semanggi, June 16-17
  •     Plaza Blok M, June 17
  •     Kota Kasablanka, June 17
  •     Lotte Shopping Avenue, June 17-18

West Jakarta

  •     Central Park Neo Soho, June 10-11
  •     Mal Taman Anggrek, June 17
  •     Mal Taman Palem, June 17
  •     Lippo Mall Puri, June 10

North Jakarta

  •     Mall Kelapa Gading, June 10 and 17
  •     Baywalk Mall, Sabtu, June 10
  •     Mall Of Indonesia, June 10
  •     PIK Avenue, June 10 and 17
  •     Emporium Pluit Mall, June 17-18
  •     Mal Artha Gading, June 17

East Jakarta

  •     Lippo Plaza Kramat Jati, June 10 and 17
  •     Cibubur Junction, June 16-17
  •     Arion Mall, June 17
  •     Lippo Plaza Kramat Jati, June 17
  •     Mall Bassura, June 17

Aside from the malls, another one of my much-awaited event is the pre-loved luxury brands sale in Kemang. This year, Colony 6 Kemang is hosting it from the 13th until the 17th of June. Guaranteed authentic luxury bags including Hermes, Chanel, Goyard, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Christian Dior, Givenchy, YSL, etc. can be had during this event. I just saw that some of the reputable Instagram sellers selling mint to excellent condition bags that I follow and consign my bags to will be participating in this event. This is definitely in my to-do list this week.

Colony 6 Kemang Brand Sale

Aside from shopping, there is also a blood donation drive in the malls during this time. And while the shopaholics spend, they can also win shopping vouchers, motorbikes and TV sets totaling Rp400 million worth.

For more information, visit the official site The Great Jakarta Sale.

Haji Lane: Singapore’s glam street

After 3 weeks of hiatus, here are photos of my favorite stores in Haji Lane located within Singapore’s Kampong Glam. Whenever I go to Singapore for a quick weekend break, I never fail to visit Haji Lane to check out if my favorite quaint shops have something new to offer. And they always do!

This summer, I introduced my bestie to the joys and pleasant sensory assault of Haji Lane shopping. Trinkets, leather bags, vintage dresses, what have you. It’s a nice breakaway from Orchard Road’s usual brands.

Haji Lane_Bella2

Oh yes, I do my shopping here for Bohemian tops and skirts. This was where I also got my Jia Bamboo shades and it was a steal!

Some stores come and go though, so it may be tough to recommend specific stores, but I have been visiting regularly for 2 years now and there are several shops that have been around for quite some time now, including Moodswings Vintage, Spoil Market, Time After Time and Kolombiana. 


Aside from the shopping, I go to this street for the vibe. So if you like things Bohemian and vintage, Haji Lane is the place to be. And after shopping, Piedra Negra is the perfect stop for margaritas. That, for me, is the definition of a pleasant Saturday afternoon in Singapore.

Check out more photos of Haji Lane below.

Haji Lane 9_wmHaji Lane 7_wmHaji Lane 6_wmHaji Lane 5_wmHaji Lane 4_wmHaji Lane 3_wm

Haji Lane 2_wmHaji Lane 1_wm