October 30, 2012

First Impression: Lancome GÉNIFIQUE EYE Youth Activating Eye Concentrate

Next in my quest for the perfect eye cream, I tried out the Lancome GÉNIFIQUE EYE Youth Activating Eye Concentrate (that's a mouthful) sample that I got from some department store promo a few months back. 

[Side note: this is probably one of the most generous samples I've had. It's been a month and it's still going strong!]

Description from the Lancome website:
"See younger brighter eyes in just 7 days. This unique gel-cream leaves the eye contour velvety to the touch. Dark circles and signs of fatigue appear to diminish. The eye contour appears brighter and radiance, as if infused with life."

What I noticed after 3 weeks:
- product goes on velvety smooth, and moisture sinks into skin very quickly
- creamy but not greasy. I use this only at night but this should work fine under makeup too
- all in all very moisturizing. Even with the autumn dryness my eyes do not feel dry or tight thanks to this
- doesn't do anything for my dark circles or puffiness. In fact I feel like my dark circles (which improved previously thanks to my last eye sample) has gotten a bit darker.

Although I find this eye cream very moisturizing, I do not think I'll be repurchasing this. The full size product is on the pricey side ($60 in the US), plus the product is packaged in an open top jar - not the most sanitary ways to store eye cream. With this just being a moisturizing eye cream and nothing much else, I don't think it is worth the price. And so my search for the perfect eye cream continues. Recommendations, anyone?

More thoughts & reviews of this eye cream here

More Pink

Image from Pinterest, Font from abeautifulmess.com

More breast cancer awareness pink stuff! Pinning graphics, prints and paper goods this time. Plus a couple good-to-know facts every woman should know.

Did You Know?

- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.

- With early detection and treatment, most people continue a normal life.
- In recent years, the number of breast cancer cases and deaths have been on the decline (yay!)
[facts from the National Breast Cancer Foundation]

Few more days till end of October - don't forget to do the Think Pink tag, and enter the giveaway :)

October 28, 2012

Lazy Sunday

There are many ways weekends make me happy. Although I enjoy the usual friends & family gatherings, parties and events, I equally love weekends staying in. I love being able to play by my schedule, do things when I feel like, and check things off my to-do list that I never have time to during the week.

This weekend I did just that. While everyone was out dolled up in costumes for Halloween, I stayed in after a bestie of mine sprained her ankle last week and we called off Halloween plans (glad I hadn't spent any money on my costume yet!). I had a blast at home being lazy and taking my time with literally everything.

Here are some things I love about lazy Sundays at home.

Climbing out of bed feeling rested and satisfied, instead of having to peel my unwilling body out of the covers and drag my half-awake self into the shower.

Giving my skin and eyes a break. I spent today bare faced and in my glasses. No contacts + no makeup = super refreshing.

Spontaneous baking. I baked my 3rd banana cupcake batch this month because I had use up overly ripe bananas and nutella frosting from last time. I think I got my mom hooked on these.

Playing around with my new 1.5 inch curling iron without worrying I'll mess up (I'm not leaving my house - so no one will see!). Practice makes perfect.

Sipping coffee because I feel like it, not because I need the caffeine. Starbucks is great but nothing beats a simple mug of instant coffee at home with a good book.

Making tea. Lots and lots of tea.

Not having to frantically put on my work clothes after getting out of the shower. Instead I slip into my pink-as-a-marshmallow bath robe, let my hair dry naturally instead of blowdrying, and think of what to do for lunch.


Hope you all had a great weekend!

Linking up with Sami's Shenanigans!

October 27, 2012

The Best Part

 To me frosting is the best part of a cupcake, but also the hardest to perfect. I've had a few failed frosting attempts in the past, so for the longest time Betty Crocker had been my best friend. Hello ready-made frosting in a can.

This past Friday was a dear colleague's last day at work. He also happens to be a fellow baker which I blogged about before, when we collaboratively baked farewell cupcakes for our big boss man in June. I thought this would be the perfect time to bake up a storm as a farewell gift to him. Since one of his best recipes is banana bread, I baked banana muffin cupcakes again (same recipe as last time). But this time I took an extra step and made Nutella buttercream frosting to go with it.

I googled a couple recipes online and altered the portions of ingredients along the way. The final product came out really well - heavy on the Nutella flavor but still light enough to not overpower the banana cupcake. It was not too sweet, not too buttery. And my colleague loved it. I'm glad I was able to put a smile on his face on his last day... and also successfully make frosting from scratch - for the first time!

Now my recipe...
You'll need:
Butter - 1 cup
Powdered Sugar - 2 cups
Nutella - 1/5 cup
Milk - 1 Tablespoon

With an electric whisk, beat the butter till smooth. 
Sift in the powdered sugar, and add in both the Nutella and milk. 
Beat entire mixture till fluffy, or till you get your desired consistency. 
If you refrigerate your frosting for later, I suggest to beat once more right before use.

(that's me trying to sound all food network-y haha)

Little Letters

image via scotchandscones.tumblr.com

dear buttercream-frosting-made-from-scratch,
i'm so happy you turned out so well, on first attempt! i have a feeling i'll be seeing you a lot more in future baking endeavors from now on ;)

dear taylor swift,
i've been looping your new album all week since i picked it up on Tuesday. loveeee the tunes but i do miss your sweet/dreamy lyrics... all the toxic-relationship-ness is a bit much

dear stress,
i'm glad i'm learning to handle you better. bam!

dear weekend,
i have nothing planned this time round but i am so glad i don't. a weekend of reading and hot tea it is. it's going to be a good good weekend.

dear readers (that's you!),
thanks for all the sweet comments on all the pink-ness I've been blogging about this month. with a couple days left in October don't forget to give the think pink tag a go, and leave a comment here to enter the little giveaway too

dear eyelids,
i can feel you drooping. bed time. must sleep now.

Linking up with Adventures of Newlyweds

October 24, 2012

Pink Overload

A fun way I'm reminding myself to read about and spread the message about breast cancer awareness this month is by pinning pink on Pinterest (try saying that 5 times real quick). I was on a pink overload this past Sunday and spent hours on Pinterest awww-ing and ahhhh-ing over the most adorable things. Here are some of my favorites so far.

The Randoms:

 The Edibles:
[note to self: must recreate those rice krispies this week]

All the candy:

And finally, how cute is this old school Minnie Mouse t-shirt?

P.S. If you haven't already, check out my Think Pink Tag (& giveaway) going around this month, it's quick and easy and I promise you'll have fun pinning away pink things on Pinterest too :)

Blush and Brunch
Linking up with The Vintage Apple

October 23, 2012

New Stuff

Because I had to work on this beautiful Tuesday, which also happens to be a public holiday... I guess I deserve a couple treats right?

How I Met Your Mother Season 4
I'm rewarding myself with a full season DVD every now and then... till I'll finally own the entire series.
Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask
The next contender in my search for the perfect deep cleansing mask. I've been wanting to try this one for so long and heard a lot of good about it. Hopefully it won't disappoint!
RED - Taylor Swift
Finally!!! It's pretty amazing how I end up loving the entire album this girl puts out every time. 
Glamour Magazine
Impulse buy. Smart HMV, putting this right next to the Taylor Swift albums. But how pretty is Taylor Swift on the cover?
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
Again this has been on my wishlist for a while - I'm wondering how this will compare with my long time favorite Painterly paint pot. Blog post to come soon.

PS. If you're a new reader, welcome! I discovered some lovely blogs from the Monday Blues Blog Hop that I co-hosted this week, and met a couple new friends as well. Hope you enjoy my blog, I'm so happy to have you along for the ride :) Do let me know if you have any suggestions, questions, or ideas. Also if I missed your blog from the blog hop, please let me a comment and I'll make sure to check out your blog too!

October 22, 2012

Monday Blues Blog Hop!

Beat the Monday blues by joining in the Monday Blues Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Christa from ChrissyAi, Jayne from Cosmetic Proof and Traci from Drink Citra! I'm excited to be co-hosting this week. It's a great way to discover new (and lovely) blogs while sharing yours too. Sounds good? Full instructions below :) Now blog hop away!


October 21, 2012

Finally Fall

Spending Sunday morning with coffee & Pinterest / decked out for Halloween / fallen leaf / messy bun

Fall has finally arrived in Hong Kong this weekend. It's nice and cool, the sun is setting earlier, and I can finally walk around in jeans instead of shorts without ending up all sticky and sweaty. I spent the beautiful weekend teaching English at an elderly center (a volunteer project I'm running for my company), spending Saturday night out with the girls, enjoying a nice Sunday stroll with mom, and Instagramming all things autumn that caught my eye.

I've been loving this military green t-shirt from Zara that I picked up a couple weeks ago. The mock pocket detailing adds just the right dose of leather while keeping it casual. For the weekend I paired it with my favorite boyfriend jeans (also seen here), Sam Edelman sandals, and envelope weave clutch from Forever 21.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, and don't forget to check out the Think Pink Tag & Giveaway!

Linking up with Sami's Shenanigans

October 20, 2012


It's pretty obvious that I've been very into Instgram lately - I don't think I've gone by a week without posting any Instagram photos on this blog for the past few months! I love the different Instagram photo printing services that have emerged from the Instagram-fever, and I think an Instagram phone case has to be my favorite of them all so far. I read about Casetagram from Lily Pebbles' blog "WhatIHeartToday" a while back and immediately knew I wanted one. Because what better place to display my favorite places, moments and faces, than the gadget that I have on me almost every moment of the day?

I placed my order Saturday evening and received my phone case Wednesday. Not sure where they're based but I've been used to waiting weeks for my shipments to arrive in Hong Kong, so this has to be the fastest shipping I've had so far (and it's free international shipping!). The case came out beautifully, and held up well despite me having dropped it twice already in the past 2 weeks (oopsies).

Also if you're wondering, they do iPhone 5 cases too. Together with all the iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Samsung Galaxy cases. Prices vary, the iPhone 4 case I got was USD$34.95. And to me it was the best $35 spent in a long time.

I know it's a bit early for holiday shopping, but this would make the perfect Christmas present for someone special don't ya think? :)

Happy weekend!

The Week, According to Instagram

taco night, finally / college pride in Hong Kong (trivia question: guess which school?)

quick shoe shopping / subway turkey sub, extra honey mustard

mom's new ceramic painting / end-of-work-week happy face

This week was a tough tough one. With the boyfriend back in Singapore, and a demanding 5 days at work juggling multiple things here and there, the week went back very very slowly for me. I'm very glad it's over and am grateful that Instagram has helped me document the simply joys I found amongst the whirlwind of stress and blues. 

Sometimes it's really the smallest things that make the biggest difference, like satisfying my craving for tacos finally, and getting my outgrown nails a much needed manicure. 

I also managed to squeeze in a blog post that I have planned for quite some time now - the Think Pink Tag for breast cancer awareness month! If you haven't checked it out yet, I invite you read about it here and do the tag too if you're up for it :)

October 17, 2012

Off Duty

me all smiles on the weekend / coco / savoring pasta bought from rome

If I had to live in 1 set of clothes, I think it would be this. My favorite Zara boyfriend jeans, paired with a baggy striped top from H&M and leopard sandals from Zara.

I've never been one to wear jeans. I love how they look (especially skinny jeans), but they never feel as comfy as my jeggings and leggings. I picked these boyfriend jeans up from Zara randomly this summer and have fallen in love. They're the most comfortable pair of jeans I've ever worn, yet still flattering and versatile.

If only I could wear these jeans to work!

October 16, 2012

The Think Pink Tag (& Giveaway) **CLOSED**

Ever since I started blogging, I've been wanting to use my blog as a platform to contribute to causes that are dear to me... a small blog means small efforts, but meaningful nonetheless! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and what better place to spread the word about a pink-themed month than among the female blogging community? I am in no way an expert at the disease or the themed month, but I thought it'd be fun for us all to learn about it, pitch in our part to the cause, and have some fun too along the way. 

Blush and Brunch
So here's what I thought we could do...

1) Pick out your favorite pink food, makeup, fashion, and random item.
2) Spread the message about breast cancer to a female friend/family in your life - the awareness, the symptoms, the checks, the healthy foods that helps prevent the disease... anything or everything! (I found this website that is a good place to start. Links to many helpful reads and resources)
3) Write a blog post about 1 & 2, linking back to this post (and/or grab the cute button above!)
4) Tag 3 of your blogger girlfriends to do the same

Leave a comment here to share your blog post on the tag.
For fun, I'll be giving away 2 bottles of nail polish - Passion by OPI. It's a beautiful pink, to stick with the theme!
I'll be using a random number generator to get 2 lucky winners. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and be a follower of this blog on GFC. 
Giveaway is open internationally. Enter by October 31st.

So here are my answers to the tag:
via Pinterest, Clarins, Tiffany & Co

My favorite pink...
... food - marshmallows (preferrably heart shaped!)
... makeup item - Clarins Instant Lip Perfector (most moisturizing lipgloss ever)
... fashion item - Tiffany & Co pink sapphire necklace, a Valentines Day gift from my boyfriend 
... random - pink skies during sunset (one of the things I miss most about LA)

I will be blogging more about spreading the message among the ladies in my life in the coming next to week, and invite you to do the same too.

I know this is a bit late... it's already mid October! But let's spread the word around for the next 2 weeks. Regardless of how far and wide this goes, it's nice to know we helped raise awareness this month by at least a bit - every little message counts!

I tag...
Ellie from Ellalogy
Melissa from Forever and A Day
Traci from Drink Citra
Allison from Note to Self
TJ from His Little Lady
Lindsey from The Bargain Blonde
Jen from All Things Bright and Beautiful
and you!

Happy tagging :)

October 15, 2012

The Lineup

My lineup of beauty goodies on my desk which I always keep within arms reach... literally!

from left to right...
Laneige Sleep Mask
for nights when my skin needs extra TLC
Lush Grease Lightening
in case of any nasty spots
Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne
so sweet i could sniff this all day!
Makeup Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup
for special occasions. natural and sheer coverage
Melvita Argan Oil
adds moisture to any regular face cream
SK-II Facial Treatment UV Protection
so mild, it's good enough for the eye area too
Loccitaine Rose Hydrating Face Mist
so refreshing and perfect as a pre/post makeup spray
Origins Vitazing BB Cream
my go-to bb cream for every day
Urban Decay Naked Palette 1 & 2
all you'll ever need in the eyeshadow department

Also my trusty Clarisonic in the back, together with my jewelry box that holds my most worn jewelry.

Now that my desk is all organized, I'm ready to take on the big guy next... my closet!

October 14, 2012

The Good Kinda Muffin Top

I had 3 overly-ripe bananas about to rot in my kitchen this week, leftover from my Sunday baking. They were way to ripe to enjoy regularly as fruit (all mushy!), but perfect for making banana bread. Without a loaf-shaped baking tin, I used this banana bread recipe but baked them in my cupcake tray to make muffins instead.

The muffins came out fragrant, fluffy and not too sweet at all. They crumble beautifully and are slightly moist, just the way I like it. And because I baked them in a cupcake tray, the muffins are a bit smaller than usual which make them a good portion for snacking or tea time.

As a first time muffin baker, I found it hard to resist not decorating them like cupcakes. They seem a bit naked without nice slab of icing!

October 12, 2012

Little Letters

urth caffe, los angeles downtown. best soy lattes ever.

dear gym,
i did it! i finally stood up to your fancy poster plastered walls and free apples at the reception, and broke up with you today. you're just not for me, it never worked out and never will. saying "i want to quit the gym" at the reception counter felt uber liberating!

dear bananas-left-over-from-Sunday-baking,
you will rot no more, as i will make you into muffins tonight.

dear combat boots,
i know you're out there for me, you perfect pair. perfect texture, perfect height, perfect price. please tell me where i can find you.

dear bus,
you're way more awesome than the subway. the bus rides home have become one of my favorite moments of every day. why didn't i know that you were right outside my office for the past 2 years?

dear boyfriend,
i hope you're having fun on the plane ride home right now. 1 more hour till you land! i can't wait for our brunch bright and early(-ish) tomorrow :)

Linking up with Adventures of Newlyweds

October 11, 2012

It's OK!

image via Pinterest

It's okay...

... to get a new iPhone 4 case while everyone's all about the iPhone 5.
... to actually really enjoy Toddlers and Tiaras. I hate myself for it but I do.
... to want new boots for fall. Boots. Plural.
... to bake cupcakes on a lazy day using cake mix and be just as proud as if you made them from scratch.
... to break the no-snacking-before-bedtime rule.
... to totally not focus at work tomorrow. Because the boyfriend's coming home for the weekend!!!

Linking up with Neely here

October 10, 2012

Room Randoms

I cleaned up a bit around my room this week (finally!), so here are a few snaps of my favorite parts of my room to celebrate.

I love framed pictures, and hopefully the wall of frames in the first picture will grow as the year ends. I plan to print a couple more of my favorite 2012 pictures out and am on the hunt for more cute white frames.

The painting in the last photo was from a small street market in Rome, where I met a lady selling her husband's artwork. How romantic! The painting now sits on top of my TV, together with a trio of tiny Teddy Bears I got from the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo years ago.

Linking up with Jenni from the blog

October 9, 2012

First Impression: Melvita Fresh Eye-Contour Gel

When I bought my Melvita Argan Oil last month (which I mentioned here), I received a couple free samples to try out. I was particularly excited about their Fresh Eye-Contour Gel sample because I've been on the hunt for a good eye cream to add to my skincare routine... and this one being organic seemed extra appealing to me.

This Fresh Eye-Contour Gel is one of Melvita's newer products. For those beauty research junkies like myself, here's the product description on their website:
"A breeze of mountain freshness to de-puff the eye area. 
This fresh, light, fragrance-free gel helps diminish puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. It combines all the freshness and moisturizing benefits of mountain Roses with the draining and decongesting properties of cornflower water. Red seaweed extract, rich in polysaccharides and vitamins A and B12, invigorates and improves blood flow, to boost microcirculation and reduce the blue undertones of dark circles."

I really wasn't expecting much because it seemed quite ordinary - it's a light gel with a slight rose scent. It seemed like a nice moisturizing product, but after trying countless eye creams over the years, I knew not to expect any product to do much to my dark circles. Especially because my dark circles are hereditary - I sleep a lot, and have had my dark circles since I was a kid. 

But after a week or so, I was pleasantly surprised to see some improvement on my panda eyes. I'm giving this eye gel a thumbs up!

Things I've noticed so far:
- Although my dark circles are still far from completely gone, they clearly look lighter in color. 
- My under eye area looks less puffy too
- Right after I apply this I feel a boost of freshness and energy on my eyes. (odd description but something in it just gives my eyes a nice boost!)
- No milia/irritation at all so far
- Not the best formula for under makeup, doesn't blend well with my concealer. So I've only been using it at night  

I have a few more eye cream samples in my stash which I want to go through, but unless something better comes up, I think I'll very likely get the full size of this one. I've yet to see whether it'll be moisturizing enough for the drier winter months to come, but so far I really like this eye gel (and am sad that my sample has run out!).

October 8, 2012


Stress always brings out the bad things - restlessness, negativity, anxiety... boo! I'm determined to not let stress damage my health anymore, so I've been trying to set better habits to stay healthy and de-stressed in the long run:
Stay positive. We say this a lot but often it's easier said than done. Smile more, laugh more, take it easy.
Know your limits. It's always good to try your best at everything, but it's a fine balance to not push yourself to a point that you're stressing out your body.
Slow down. Especially those who live in a big city like me. Big urban cities tend to be so fast paced that everyone seems to want everything now. I'm going to try to stay efficient but at the same time slow it down a notch, take breathers in between things.

(It's been working well so far! It makes me feel silly how just a change in mindset has helped me so much... why have I been stressing myself that much before?)

On top of that, here are a few immediate stress relievers that I've found helpful. And no, the stress ball is not one of them. I say ditch the stress ball... It doesn't help at all.

[all images from Pinterest]

Slow hot showers. (pamper yourself with body scrubs and loofahs)
Healthy snacks, fruits in particular. (feel good from the inside out)
Chocolate and other sweet treats. (in moderation. No stress eating!)
Hot tea instead of coffee. (less caffeine)
Home cooked dinners. (take your time and savor in comfort)
Aroma candles and reading. (try lavender for better sleep)

And blogging has helped a lot too. Writing and photo editing is therapeutic!

And finally, the classic quote on stress that is silly yet so true. Treat yourself and actually enjoy it after a long day:

I hope this helps inspire you to make some changes to your life too if you're feeling stressed (or stressed and not aware of it like I was)
Now it's time for me to grab that pint of Dreyers Toasted Almond ice cream in my freezer for some d-e-s-s-e-r-t time.

Have a relaxing, stressless week!


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