Sunday, 31 May 2015

May Favorites

In Hong Kong, personally, I don't think there's the season spring at all... so there isn't much transitional where I feel the change is quite drastic apart from the humid heat to the cold without snow. Even from that, it doesn't change my addiction to makeup. As always, going clockwise from the first product I mention. 

Since I wrote a review about Melvita's Nectar Bright Brightening Cream (last post click here) not too long ago and the fact that I'm still loving it. There's no reason why I wouldn't put it in this monthly favorites either. I can't wait to get a full bottle of it after finishing this little one. 

Not very often for me to include a fashion favorite because I can be plain old boring and wear the same things over and over again. The only difference is when I style the pieces differently. But this month, ever since I got these earrings, I could not stop wearing them. They are from Topshop (click here), the exact name is Semi Precious Front and Back Earrings. The second (bottom) layer is detachable, so I can wear the semi precious earring itself too. 

Tarte is hard to come by in Hong Kong, I got this while I was travelling in Canada last year. It is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer (Park Ave Princess). Since it's hot and humid in Hong Kong, knowing that it's waterproof, I'm already loving it. The other plus point for me is that it's a matte bronzer, so during the summer seasons, I wouldn't look like a disco ball with too much shimmery products on my face. Plus, I can still have my foundation looking dewy even looking bronzed up! 

Who doesn't love a bit of M.A.C? I was very lucky to get my hands on their Warm Neutral Palette. The shadows I've been using all month have been Creative Copper as a base colour, Unwind in my crease, and to wake my eyes up, Honey Lust for a bit of sparkle in the inner corner of my eyes. 

Ever since I finished using my Glam Glow Supermud a while back, I have been refraining myself from buying a new tub with the price that comes with it. Even though it has made it to my holy grail list, this is by far the best alternative with a friendlier price point. The Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. Does the same job in clearing out most of the gunk within my pores. I find that it's not as intensive as the Glam Glow, however, I can use it a few more times during the week generously. Especially the fact that I have been putting a lot of makeup on more than usual because of work. 

Who doesn't love a good beachy wavy hair during the summer either? I have slightly wavy hair and I  have been using this Bumble and bumble. BB Curl Conscious Defining Creme to not only texturise but also keep my curls longer too. I tend to use it after shower in the evenings, before drying my hair or even leaving my hair air-dried. When I have to style it in the morning, all I need is some heat protected spray into my hair and styling away! OR, doing the same procedure and doing a heatproof sleep-in curl for the morning. So when I wake up, all's needed will be a light combing to the hair and some good old hairspray to keep the curls intact. 

During this month, I have had the privilege to do a shooting with some makeup artists in Hong Kong, as well as some evening events. During that time, I don't think I have ever put so much makeup on myself for the longest time ever. So! a good cleansing oil was my best friend for this month for taking my makeup off my face. The Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Whitefficient was a life saver for my skin too. Even though I am not a fan in using whiting products in general, but because of the makeup shoot I had, it has definitely been a perk in brightening up my skin in a short period of time just like the Melvita Brightening Cream. Personally, cleansing oils are quick and easy to use to remove all the makeup but I'm one of those people who are very conscious about my skin, and I like to double cleanse with another eye makeup remover as well as using Bioderma Sensibio H2O for further cleaning. It is annoying to do an extra step, however, using the cleansing oil can prevent skin from drying too much from makeup removal waters. 

Last but not least, lips as always, my favorite of all things in makeup. The Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Miami Pink (36). Not new to the market but since it's the summer seasons, I love a nice rich coral pink. A soft brown eye or even barely down to just concealer, mascara and filling in the eye brows, a bright lip colour can brighten ones look like a wake me up. It's moisturizing and not too drying makes me love it even more, because the formula feels very light and creamy on the lips. 

Let me know what your favorites this month is too! 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Review : Melvita | Nectar Bright Brightening Cream

Even though this was a free gift when I did my last purchase at Melvita for some hair care, I wish I tried this product sooner! I've been using it for just a little under a month and there's still a lot left in this little bottle of wonder. Eye cream is one of the skin care products which I use everyday and try to find one which suits the season too. 

This Brightening Cream also has the COSMEBIO logo which is a plus point. Mainly contains a complex of five white flowers, hyaluronic acid that moisturizes the skin and lactic acid which improves on hyper-pigmentation, patches and dark spots on the skin. Give it some time, hopefully you'll gradually see a difference after a while (recommendation is 4 weeks). 

Normally, I really love using the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream for all seasons. However, I have recently been finding it a little too heavy with the  very humid weather in Hong Kong, and this Brightening Cream feels much lighter. Another great eye cream for day and night time as well as before applying makeup on (especially now that summer's just around the corner). 

A little more information about Hyaluronic Acid,

If you've tried this product, let me know your comments too. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Kyoto | Silver Pavilion

After lunch, we headed to Higashiyama Jisho-ji (Silver Pavilion) after we did discovered a inner artist at Marumasa-Nishimuraya. On the way to the pavilion itself, we stopped by a small cafe which serves traditional sweets as well as western cakes and coffee. I just couldn't resist a traditional green tea and a piping hot red bean soup with toasted mochi. Taking the chance to have as much sweet things now (reasonably) while traveling. 

Red bean soup with dumplings | Roasted Tea

Red bean soup with mochi | Green Tea 

Bought our tickets and in we went. 

As for dinner, we went back into the main streets of Kyoto near the shopping area and found this restaurant which also serves Kyoto's specialty, tofu. With any of the restaurants you really want to go and try, I highly recommend booking in advance. We walked into Mamehachi and the last three seats were taken by us. Any other customers who walked in, were said to have to wait until the next availability. 

Looking back towards Hotel Granvia from Isetan

Japan 604-8016

Friday, 22 May 2015

Kyoto | Kyo-Yuzen

Since the weather was nice, we took the bus with our IC cards with us and headed to Marumasu Nishimuraya. Kyoto is well known for Kyo-Yuzen, which is a technique of painting directly onto cloth. We made an early reservation at Marumasu- Nishimuraya before we headed to Kyoto. 

Using their traditional way of dying the colour onto the cloth. There are various types of products you can choose from to make your very own customized item, from a large place mat to a small pencil case or even a travelling up! I chose to do a small pouch since I can use it for various occasions. Friendly staff at the workshop will guide you through the procedures and there were so many stencils to choose! From traditional and seasonal flowers to leaves, architectural designs to a simple animal or a word of your choice. 

Large variety of stencils to choose from in files

To make the ombre effect, the quickest and easiest way was to pick the lightest base colour first and then gradually add on another darker colour, this also applies while you want to make a shading colour. They provide a few basic colours where you then mix the colours together while painting onto the cloth. Yellow, red, blue, pink, dark purple, light purple, brown, green, and black. 

I decided to do sakura and the autumn leaves. Giving that ombre effect does make it look a little more interesting with dimension. The best was, the owner of the shop was around to have a look at our work and guide us a little more with his expertise! 

My first ever sight, seeing my parents ever so concentrated like students doing their homework. 

Before leaving, the staff wrapped our customized goodies with instructions (in English) ensuring we knew what to do for the after care of our items. Off we went to lunch afterwards. 

Give it a try if you do travel to Kyoto!
Definitely a souvenir you will never see twice. 

What print would you choose to paint onto your cloth? 


Monday, 18 May 2015

Kyoto | Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Walking through the corridors of the hotel, the view of the Kyoto Tower is just as beautiful during the day as it is lit up during the evening. After getting ready for the morning, we headed off to the Japanese Cuisine Restaurant for a traditional breakfast. Believe me, we ended up coming here for breakfast for the rest of the trip. We didn't really wanted to have any western breakfast as we know we couldn't eat as much at the buffet.  

Traditional Japanese breakfast are always delicious to the eyes as well as to the stomach. Japanese culinary as always, thought through thoroughly (bit of a tongue twister there). Loads of vegetables and enough protein and carbohydrates to last the morning. 

After breakfast, we headed to a hotel lounge where they provided a mini concierge and coffee/tea station. It was a great service from the hotel because of the information and bookings they made for us during our trip. If you do end up staying at the Granvia Hotel, I do highly recommend going there for more tourist information instead of the main lobby where it's always busy. 

Waiting at the bus station with a view
One of the cheapest way to travel in Kyoto is by bus. If you visit Japan often, I do recommend getting their travel passes or even an IC Card (Click Here for more information). Which is equivalent to an Octopus in Hong Kong or an Oyster Card in London.  Within Kyoto, they call it the ICOCA, they differ in names depending on the city. Certain older buses DO NOT provide the IC Card service, so be sure to know which bus you're getting onto, or you'll be counting coins out from your pockets and paying more than you should without a ticket each when you entered the bus. There's always a first for everything too. The buses in Kyoto are definitely the first ones which I get on at where we normally would exit. Payment and exit would be where the bus driver is, strange at first, then after a few more rides, it just seemed normal. 

Since it was a glorious day to start the trip off, we decided to go to Kiyomizu-dera Temple first. Glad we did too because it was raining on and off during the rest of our travels. Even though it was a Sunday, I'm glad we did go on the weekend too! I would not have been able to take as many photos of some locals wearing the traditional kimonos comparing the weekdays. Don't be fooled by some of those who wear the kimino or yukata (depending on the season). Many are actually rented by tourists, most I've seen are from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

It was a shame that it was just a little too cold for the blossoms to bloom just yet but at least I managed to capture a few good shots!

It was a real shame the temple was in restoration with most parts of the architecture covered but since the cherry blossoms haven't bloomed yet, in a way, I don't feel like I've missed out too much. 

We actually made a reservation at the restaurant first thing before we went off touring around the temple area. We did that to ensure we had a table for lunch because it was the weekend after all, and there will be plenty of locals and tourists. Glad we did too! When we arrived at the restaurant, it was already packed! 

Bit of a shopping time 

Even though we've just had lunch not long ago, I just had to have some good old traditional dessert in Kyoto! I just had to go to Umezono! There are two cafes in Kyoto (Click Here to view on Google Map). For me, anything with mochi, green tea, sweetness and all things Japanese just makes it all so satisfying.

Bunny for my sister 

I couldn't resist a snack on the way

Kyoto Specialty : Preserved Vegetables

I had some street food on the way too...

After a long walk at the temple itself, we ended up at Gion for dinner at the old Junidanya Hanamikoji. Just around the corner at the new Junidanya which is more wallet friendly with set meals and prices that would suit many locals and tourists. I hear it is just as good however, we really wanted to try their older restaurant which is just around the corner from the main street. Personally, it was worth every penny. Click Here for the English website, there is a link where it leads you to the Japanese version with more details. 

Baby Bear | Papa Bear | Mama Bear 

Shabu Shabu Time 

When in Kyoto, you definitely have to try their preserved vegetables! It's definitely not the same in other cities in Japan. 

Dessert to round the meal up

What's your favorite Food from Japan? 

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