Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Hong Kong 2011 Part 1

There was a bit of a story for this trip. I have had a tough time at work for the past months and desperately needed some recharging. So, what would be an enjoyable but short trip, where I could de-stress a bit. (Mind you, my idea of de-stressing involves a lot of eating and sightseeing).

Groupon had an offer for a 5 night in Hong Kong for A$700 for 2 people, including 2 Disneyland tickets. I had a choice of this and another offer to Bali for 5 nights for slightly cheaper. Since neither me & my 1/2heart had ever been to Hong Kong, off we went to the land of good food, chaotic roads, and beckoning shops asking you to splurge your hard-earned money at.
(My father was slightly against us travelling all the time and would much prefer us popping out off-springs first, then travel later when we are done with our 'duties'. My brain and mental condition could not simply wait that long)

Day 1 - dinner

We arrived in Hong Kong noon time. I quickly booked for our first dinner at Peking Garden for some of their famous peking duck. May I just remind that this restaurant is really famous and it is highly recommended that you book for your table, especially on the weekends. Although we preferred an earlier meal time (we were very famished from airline food), they could only accommodate us for 8 p.m. booking, since they were full.

I forgot to snap a picture of the full duck when the waiter brought it to our table *facepalm*. But this was the cut, we received two full plates of these: (along with a stack of pancake rolls to eat the duck with)

May I just say, after devouring two full plates of that, we both swore we don't want to see another duck for at least 6 months. Nevertheless, it was one juicy duck with perfectly crisp skin. There was hardly chunky amount of fat underneath, so easy to eat with the pancakes provided. 

We also ordered shark fin's soup and some mix vegetable. Nothing to shout about them. After all, you would come here for the almighty duck.

Peking Garden
Star House 3rd floor.
3 Salisbury Rd. Tsim Sha Tsui
+852 2735 8211

Day 2 - Breakfast

We managed to wake up pretty early to get some money exchanged at Chung King Mansion. I do not really like the environment, neither does 1/2heart. If you are mainly staying in the kowloon peninsula, I guess there is not much choice. But if you manage to go to Hong Kong Island and ever need to get some foreign exchange, may I suggest to go here (their rate is as good if not better):

Berlin Company Exchange Ltd
Room 1703 Chinese Bank Bldg
61-65 Des Voeux Rd, Central

Then off we went to Yau Ma Tei for some breakfast at Ocean Empire. Beautiful congee, char leong (rice roll with fried dough), and loh ma kai (glutinous rice):

Ocean Empire (Yau Ma Tei branch)
G/F 497A Nathan Rd, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon
(they have a lot of branches throughout Hong Kong, check this out)

Day 2 - Disneyland

Please please please, do yourself a favor if you plan to go here and buy yourself a bottled water. The water sold in the theme park is at exorbitant value, and they don't taste any better than the ones you buy at 7/11.

Take MTR Tung Chung line, alight at Sunny Bay, and take the Disneyland Resort line.

We arrived at around 11.30 a.m. (they open at 10), and was gobsmacked at the amount of people at the theme park. I mean, it was Monday, for God's sake. I couldnot imagine what it would be like on the weekend.
Although I must say the Disney theme parks (the DisneyLand and DisneySea) in Japan are much bigger (and therefore, much more attractions and better in my opinion), Hong Kong Disneyland fares quite well. Their attractions and performances were all interesting and professional. 1/2heart was impressed with the Lion King live theatrical performance, and I simply adored Stitch encounter.

Not to mention, it was Christmas, so the vibrant red & green decorations were everywhere, and the Sleeping Beauty castle was illuminated gorgeously.

Being glutton that we are, we managed to squeeze in some NomsNoms:

Cheesecake combo @ Corner Cafe, Main Street USA, Disneyland


Sunday, 4 December 2011

GMarket Haul 05/12/11

My GMarket goodies arrived. Joy!

My T-Zone is always problematic if I don't take care of it properly - make up on or off. I haven't even found a better BB cream that can provide as good oil control as BRTC Blemish Recover Balm. Though I don't really like the color of it on my skin after a few hours (it spreads quite nicely and provide decent coverage when initially put on, but the color become quite dullish after a while), I still prefer it over a few other brands I have tried: Etude, Missha, Sulwhasoo, ... I digress.

One thing I like from Missha though, is their Chocolate Scrub. I always exfoliate at least once a week (max twice, as I don't really fancy scrubbing my face too often) under warm shower, and I looovvee their yummy smell. This actually helps a lot with clearing whiteheads and build up sebum over the T-zone area.

But anyway, since my tub has run out; and because by nature, I like to try new things, I decided to include Mizon's Sugar Scrub in my shopping list. The scrub is from this shop.

And oh look at those goodies given by the kind shop. I love free goodies when I shop at GMarket. I have actually been quite curious about the latest trend in Korean skincare: snail cream. And lo-and-behold, I got small samples of them as well (top right corner in a plastic sleeve). Will post a review for it in due course.

I and my 1/2heart will be heading to Hong Kong for a short break in 2 weeks time, so what is a better excuse to buy some new passport wallets/sleeves for us:

The cases are from this shop. I originally thought they were a bit expensive... . The ones above costed about A$18 & A$10 respectively. (what, cheap you say? Well, I guess I am a cheapskate). However, I am actually quite satisfied with this purchase as the quality is good, and the cases actually have decent sleeves and space inside to hold your passport, boarding passes, tickets, monies, and other travel tidbits.

The last of my skincare haul this time are some goodies from Etude House. I love Etude House (and their free goodies... heheh)

From left to right:

1. AC Clinic Pink Powder Spot. I didn't expect it would come in a nice green pack like this, and they included a small tub of AC clinic Red Spot Balm in it.
4. Freebie. Now I have so many primers ( -__- ) including some free ones I got from Banilla & Co from my previous purchase... .

Monday, 7 November 2011

review - Sulwhasoo Deep Cleansing Oil

So I got my GMarket deliveries today. Yay! I feel like a kid opening her Christmas presents. I purchased quite a few things (have been purchasing quite a few things since more than a year ago - and my wardrobe and make up bags have been very fat ever since), but this time - apart from my returning purchases of BRTC BB cream  and Etude House goodies - I purchased a skin care brand that had got me curious for the past few weeks:

Behold: Sulwhasoo

I bought a few of their swatches from this shop:

Since Sulwashoo (along with Isa Knox, Hera, and some other high end products), are considered luxury items in the skincare and cosmetic world, I wanted to dip my feet first before parting with my dollars for their full packaged items.

Of the samples I received (and I even got some freebies from that shop. Bless them), I want to review Sulwhasoo Deep Cleansing Oil. Full retail package:

link (and source of above image): http://www.sulwhasoo.com/product/detail.jsp?prdtCd=213031002

As fellow BB cream and stubborn make up users know, cleansing oil is a very important addition to your skin care/ cleansing routine. I, myself, have been using DHC cleansing oil for the past few years, and though I don't hate it, I don't really like it either (it's just that I haven't found a better cleansing oil).

And Oh, for the love of God, Sulwhasoo, where have you been all my life!

Anyway, here is the item I received - 20 small packs of its kind:

I actually *cough* broke the all-too-well-known rule of test patch-ing skin care/ cosmetic items. Instead, I put it straight on my eight-hours-bb-creamed-and-not-washed face. And boy, I should have done the test patch, because it hit me like a brick:

The smell!!!! People, beware!! It has a strong strong herbal smell. I actually don't hate the smell since I love herbs, but it just gobsmacked me as soon as I slapped the oil on my face. It reminded me of the traditional herb medicine drinks my mom used to buy from the street vendor back in Indonesia, when she wanted extra vigor/ recover from illness.

I'm sure you are more interested in how well the cleansing oil works. Well, here's my arm as a test patch pallette:

A: lipstick
B: eyeshadows
C: waterproof mascara
D: gel eyeliner
C & D have always been a pain in the arse to clean up (D, btw, is a TonyMoly gel eyeliner which I absolutely love, though I don't use it often since I am so lazy to remove it). But not with this cleansing oil:
As you could see, the oil completely dissolved all the colors and smudge/waterproof eye makeup (I even quad-coated those lip & eye colors on my skin, and the mascara & eye liner too). The same as cleaning my face (provided that I have the same eye make up on), I rinsed the initial oil off my skin, and re-did it. By this time, the skin was pretty much clear already, this 2nd step was just to make sure I had all the residue completely off. Interestingly, when in contact with water, it did not emulsify as much as other brands of cleansing oils.

Rinse it off again, and..... tadaaahh:

Love it. This cleans much much better than DHC cleansing oil. Texture is actually more liquid-y than the cleansing oils I have tried, but this cleans like nobody business.

-Really gentle to use, not as 'oily feel' as most brands of cleansing oils
-Cleans lip colors - check. Cleans BB creams/foundations - check. Cleans eyeshadows - check. Cleans mascara & waterproof eyeliners - check.
-The herbal smell (not really a cons for me...). Some people may NOT like it.
-Price is higher than other brands of cleansing oil. Look out for discounts from major stores (sasa), and always try samples before investing in expensive products!

For people who are concerned with using cleansing oil and afraid that it will make their face feel 'oilier', I don't think this cleansing oil have that effect at all. It made my face look really smooth after rinsing it off. BUT, if you are still worried, you may want to try a sample of Sulwhasoo foam cleanser as well. I received one small package of the foam cleanser from the GMarket shop I bought this cleansing oil from, and used it after I used the cleansing oil.

After using that foam cleanser, I swear I ran my fingers on my cheek and it made a squeaky sound. Like a finger run on a freshly polished glass.... .... .... Ok, maybe I exaggerated a bit there,but it did leave my face feel really clean. Interestingly, it did not leave my face tight as some foam cleansers I have tried in the past did. People with dry skin type might want to be a bit careful using the foam cleanser.

Anyway, until next time...