Monday, 30 March 2015

Review: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

I'm no make up guru, and I don't have plenty of make up products compared to some other girls. But I invested in this Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow palette because it's so highly raved and I got really tempted to get one for myself.


Anyway, on a short note, I might want to start doing more beauty reviews as long as I have sufficient time. 

I bought the palette at Sephora for $82 (hole in my pocket already). But I still bought it without my usual long consideration because I just had to bring it to Japan with me so badly. 

But considering that the palette has 12 different colors, $6+ for each shade seems like a good deal. I'm not exactly adventurous for wild colors for my face, so I always stick to neutral shades like brown. Naked 2 has almost the perfect set I would love to keep, it could have been better if there is a more balanced mix of matte and glitter shades. 





Swatches:


I love how pigmented the colour is and it blends effortlessly onto my eyelids. I used to hate using eyeshadows because some colours look overly harsh and it was difficult to blend. Because the colours have a neutral tone, I can apply a light makeup or slowly build on with the darker shades to create a smoky eye effect.

Since there are so many colours, it's a bulky palette as well and I would not bring it out for touching up. But it is quite long lasting and smudge-proof, so I guess it's fine!

Most of the shades are in glitter except for maybe 2-3 which is in matte. So if you do not fancy glitter eyeshadows, Naked 2 palette might not be suitable for your liking. 

My favourite shades will be Chopper (which resembles like a Champagne pink), YDK, Busted and Blackout (The last 3 shades on the right). I use Blackout to replace eyeliner at times. I have not fully utilize all of the colours yet though. Oh, and sometimes I do use Tease to shade my eyebrows since it is in matte and has a light greyish brown tone.

Personally, I would rather get a smaller palette at a cheaper price as I don't really like all the colours. Thankfully, there are some really awesome shades that make me stay faithful to this palette!

Ratings

Colours: 8/10
Texture: 9.5/10
Long-lasting: 9.5/10
Value-for-money: 8/10
Overall:9/10

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Hard Rock Cafe @ RWS

Hard Rock Cafe, popular for its Rock & roll theme, had been established for a few decades. This red simple signature logo is in fact not hard to recognize. Although it has been around for such a long time, I cannot remember myself visiting this restaurant until I use my Entertainer App 1-for-1 deals!!! 

I visited the outlet at Resorts World Sentosa some time back, was contemplating if I should blog about this as the meal wasn't very fantastic. But here goes~




New York Strip Steak


While the portion is generously big (12oz),  I felt that the the dish was missing a little on the quality of the beef that day. And it does not really justify the expensive price. High quality beef is supposedly tender, moist and even better, has the melt-in-the-mouth feel. But the NY strip steak was slightly on the chunky and tough side. It's still acceptable to my liking but let's just say that there are better alternatives with a cheaper price tag. The mash potato, however, was highly addictive - creamy, soft and flavorful. 

Hickory-smoked Barbeque Combo (Trio)


This could be an option if you cannot decide between ribs, chicken, pork or beef. Easy, just pick all. A good dish to share among 2 small eaters as well. Perhaps even 3? 

Veggie Leggie


My parents were hosting 2 friends that day and 1 of them is a Vegetarian. While there are not many Vegetarian selections, the Veggie Leggie burger seems like an interesting pick as it contains many ingredients. It's a grilled Veggie Leggie patty topped with a grilled Portabello mushroom, zucchini, yellow squash and roasted red pepper, and served on a toasted bun with mayo, leaf lettuce, sliced tomato and grilled sweet onions. 

Salad


I cannot recall the name of this salad. But it was surprisingly delicious. It's unlikely I'll crave for vegetables when I have a plate of meat in front of me but this was divine. Most of us agreed. The salad was very well mixed and the sauce has a subtle sweet flavor to it. It's also not dry at all. (And I really dislike dry salads)

Famous Fajitas (Duo Combo)


Again, you can pick from a variety of meat choices. My brother chose the grilled chicken and beef. Somehow, this dish tend towards the Asian taste due to the sliced onions and red pepper beneath. I like Asian food, but we have expected a better representation of this plate in a Western restaurant. The taste was also quite mediocre. With the extra tapas, it's a little more interesting. After all, I'd prefer some variety in my meal. 


http://www.hardrock.com.sg/

Monday, 23 March 2015

[AD] Luxola and Review of Sunscreens (Exclusive Discount Code)

Sponsored Review:

As much as I love shopping, I can get busy at times, and I'll end up surfing the net to satisfy my shopping pleasure. Luxola is one of my top shopping sites (at least window-shopping) that I click into every week to check for new arrivals and sales items. And before I got the opportunity to collaborate with them, I have already bought several make up products from them. I must say I am truly satisfied and I'm saying this from my previous shopping experiences with my own money. 

Luxola is an online shopping platform for beauty products - makeup, skin care, hair care, manicure and beauty tools. Not just any beauty products, but some of the brands they offer are not easily found in retail outlets in Singapore. Besides, Luxola has regular sales up to 70% off for selected products. (Now you know why I always camp at their site..)

Scroll to the bottom of the post to get my Exclusive discount code




Luxola has kindly sent me 3 of the top picks from their site - Soleil Toujour's SPF 45, Lunamer's SPF 40 and Supergoop! SPF 30 sunscreens to review. 

Disclaimer: I'm not a very outdoor person so I hardly get under the sun. So it's quite difficult for me to test out the long term effects of the sunscreen. I'm just going to review on my overall impression of the different sunscreens and my thoughts about the application. 



Supergoop! SPF 30 (71ml)




Description:
Powered by potent antioxidant-rich Cellular Response Technology, this lotion preserves and protects skin’s youthful glow. Non-comedogenic, avobenzone based formula easily absorbs into the skin allowing skin to breathe and sweat. Replenishes moisture through a unique beta-glucan proven to deliver better long term moisturization than hyaluronic acid. Water-resistant for 80 minutes. 

Packaging:

It has a cute white and yellow packaging with a funky name, it actually feels so cheerful and shouts fun! Seem to me that this sunscreen is perfect to bring out to the beach! 

Texture: 

The texture is very light. Even though it's called Supergoop, the sunscreen doesn't feel goopy or sticky on my skin. Because of the more "watery" texture, it also absorbs into my skin really quickly and spreads very well. You can even see the "glow" on my hand after application! 

Smell: 

There is a particular sunscreen type of smell. 

With foundation: 

Applying foundation over the sunscreen layer has no issues because of it's watery texture that absorbs very well onto the skin. 


Price: $27.00

Lunamer's SPF 40 (30g)




Description:
Contains nano-nutrients that rebuilds the skin's moisture barrier and provide skin improving benefits. Crown Sugar filters harmful pollutants and microscopic debris from entering living cells, lessening the impact of the external environment

Packaging: 
The design is unlike the usual sunscreen packaging. Designed like a tube, it probably looks more like a facial cream. And it's more convenient to bring it around for re-application especially if you are exposed in the sun for the entire day. 

Texture: 
Lunamer's sunscreen feels light and creamy on my skin! And this is one of the most important factors I'm looking for in terms of texture. I can hardly feel any residue after the application and it doesn't feels dry due to the nano-nutrients. The product spreads on my skin fairly easily and it's quite evenly distributed.

Smell: 
There is no smell in the product, which is a pleasant thing in my opinion.


With foundation: It locks in my BB cream quite well and it doesn't feel greasy at all.

Price: $42.00

Soleil Toujour's SPF 45 (50ml)



Description:
Formulated specifically for the face for use during intense sun exposure. This non-chemical sunscreen provides superior high-level SPF protection against UV induced DNA damage. Hydrates. Smoothes fine lines. Power packed with anti-oxidants and anti-aging properties.

Packaging:
The black and gold exterior definitely makes the product more classy and luxurious. In fact, I was most attracted to this sunscreen before even trying. This speaks volume about first impression! 

Texture: 
The sunscreen has a slightly thicker consistency but it is still at the acceptable range to me (It might be due to the higher SPF I guess). It takes just a little more effort to spread evenly and ensure that there is no white residue seen. 

Smell: 
There is some smell that resembles sunscreen but not too overpowering to me. 

With foundation: 
You might have to wait for 15 minutes before applying a layer of foundation over. 

Price: $100.00




In case you are wondering, I have combination skin. I think all 3 sunscreen works well for me and didn't cause any unusual breakouts on my face. They each have their own benefit. If I really had to choose one for everyday use, I would choose Lunamer because the benefits are somehow more applicable to me. I like how it is fragrance-free and works really well on my skin. Besides, I don't do sports on a daily basis, and there is no need for a higher SPF. The Soleil Toujour's sunscreen would be a better choice if I am planning to go under intense sun exposure though. And Supergoop! would be great for water sports since it is water-resistant for 80 minutes - perhaps perfect for a beach vacation! 

Thank you Luxola for sending me these 3 sunscreens to do a review! Now I have 2 years supply of sunscreen to use! 

You can now pick your favourite sunscreen from Luxola! (CLICK)


Exclusive Discount For My Readers

Enter <BLX-MONS> during check out to enjoy 15% off on all first time orders made before 17th April. This offer is not valid on non-discountable brands such as: 

Dercos by Vichy 
Dr. Wu Clinical Skincare 
Koh Gen Doh 
Laneige 
Origins 
Rahua 
Real Techniques 
Sachajuan 
Sigma Beauty 
SkinCeuticals 
Skin Inc Optimiser Voyage (only) 
Vichy 
ZOEVA


Happy shopping! 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Kyushu Japan Trip Day 2 | Beppu Jigoku Meguri (8 "Hells")

I'm back with my Day 2 Japan travelogue! (After 3 months...)

My dad painstakingly planned out a detailed itinerary for a perfect trip and I can't be anymore thankful. Our first attraction was a visit to the 8 hells of Beppu. Sounds pretty interesting just from the name itself. And I initially thought that we were gonna visit an attraction of Japanese culture and maybe they have some kind of hells for the after death. But actually, the 8 "hells" (地獄, jigoku) are hot springs, you might be tempted to jump in in such cold weather like any normal hot springs but they're meant for viewing, not bathing unfortunately.

Each "hell" also has a specific origin and purpose. I didn't keep track of the different names, you can view them here if you're keen to find out though: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4702.html


Although it was only a few degrees Celsius, the weather was terribly cold. Even with few layers of clothing, we were all shivering and almost unwilling to walk much. I had 1 layer of thin long sleeve, long john, my winter top plus a winter jacket. For the bottom, I was wearing stockings, long john pants and winter pants. Plus probably 2 socks and a furry boots. 

I'll think I'll just freeze to death if I'm placed in a cold place without these protection layers :x

How can someone wear sneakers and feel sufficiently warm??



Just as we were trying to tolerate the cold, the onsen boiled eggs saved us! In such cold places, holding a very hot boiled egg is no problem. In fact, it's very comforting and warm, all of us couldn't bear to crack the egg for our consumption. It's like, can we just buy a few and use it as heaters? Hahaha. 


Anyway the eggs taste not bad, especially when you're feeling cold and hungry. Here's some instructions teaching how to eat an onsen boiled egg.



And after feeling very satisfied with the eggs, we began our little adventure around the "hells". Every hotspring has different colors and texture. But this particular mud-looking one is bubbling. It actually looks unsightly while intriguing at the same time. 

Most of the "hells" are at a temperature of at least 90C. So unless you want to commit a painful and majesty suicide in a popular tourist spot, don't try to do anything funny. 




This hot spring looks normal as compared to the rest. Anyway, walking past these "hells" make me feel like I'm enjoying a facial treatment because of the steam. Who knows, there might be some health benefits! 

Somehow, these hot springs produce a particular smell which is kinda weird and addictive at the same time. If you get what the smell is like. Yes I think I'm quite weird too.





This looks like some "blood pool"..





I was surprised that there were crocodiles in this area, because the last thing that I'd expect to see is animals. Turns out that it's because of the force of steam that creates an ideal condition for breeding crocodiles! Just a fun fact: The force is so strong that about one and a half train cars can be pulled by its pressure. Wow! 













Halfway through, it snowed really heavily so we had to take shelter at some perfume museum nearby. It wasn't very appealing to me though. Not sure if it's good or bad that it snowed because it became really cold. But the after effects of the snow really made the backdrop really beautiful for photo-taking. It totally added dimensions to the boring plain greens. 




And like usual, I like stepping on thick layers of snow! And leaving my shoe prints on the clean white spread. 









The 8 "hells" of Beppu is quite an interesting tourist attraction. I guess it may get a little boring towards the end because all you see are different colors of hot springs. But after all, you just have to experience new things when you are overseas right? It's quite a nice place to take scenic photos as well but don't expect anything thrilling or exciting about this place. 

Price range: About 2100 yen per adult, 1,350 yen for high school, 1000 yen for secondary, 900 yen for prinary

Estimated required time: About 3-4 hours if you don't plan to linger for long at each "hell", some "hells" have hardly anything to see 


Do stay tuned for the day 3 post because it's my favorite part of the trip, and it might also interest especially animal lovers! And it's also a blessing in disguise when one of our plans almost got ruined!