Malaysian Travel & Beauty Blog

Nov 28, 2013

Dubai Shopping Haul

When speaking of Dubai, everyone go gaga over the shopping there. Since I had really limited time there, I choose to stay at Al-MuroojRotana Hotel, right opposite The Dubai Mall, which is the largest mall in the world. As a shopaholic, you really have to pay your pilgrimage there!


There are many fantastic malls in Dubai, but if you’re short of time to explore, just go to The Dubai Mall because it has anything and everything that the other malls have, maybe more.


I spent the entire day at Dubai Mall because I visited the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo which located inside the mall. Do drop by if you ever go there. Being the largest mall in the world, I thought it would be really difficult to look for the places I want to go. To my surprise, it is so convenient getting around inside. They have information kiosk at every escalator where you can look for direction. Admittedly, it is also quite tiring to walk around. Layouts of the shops are pretty much the same as Malaysian malls, where high end boutiques on the first floor, food and supermarkets on the lower ground, etc. I’m sure you’re very familiar with that. But there’s one thing special at The Dubai Mall is that, they have this section called The Souk where all the jeweleries shops are.



In traditional Arabic term, the souk is a market place where business people trade their goods. Anyway, I was searching for Thomas Sabo there. If you don’t know, Thomas Sabo has limited edition charms sold exclusively in each country. So, I was looking for the exclusive UAE charms there. The lady told me that the ones sold exclusively there was a palm tree charm where sold only in Arab countries and another one was the Turkish eye, sold only in the Middle East. I’m really not into Turkish eye because I think it’s too generic. So I got the palm tree one:


Sadly, when I came home, I found out from my Thomas Sabo UK catalogue that they have the palm tree charm. When I went to Thomas SaboPavilion, they have the palm tree charm as well. I feel like I’ve been cheated :(
I found Bath & Body Works there and was sooooo happy. I almost grab the entire shop but when I remember that I have luggage limit, I had to restrict myself. In the end, I only bought the candles. 


I really wanted to get the shower gel but to choose between candles and shower gel, I think it would be much better for me to get the candles. You know how hard it is to get room candles in Malaysia? Meanwhile shower gel we have plenty here. By the way, if you love home fragrance like me, do check out Voluspa luxury candles. They are the candle company which made the wedding favours for Kim Kardashian’s wedding and scented her wedding reception. I believe Zalora Malaysia is the only place where you can get it.
 
Next, I’ve bought the legendary Victoria’s Secret Bombshell bra!!!! This is the mother of all push up bras. I think it cost about RM280, but it’s all worth it.

The Victoria’s Secret in The Dubai Mall was huge! There are 5 sections in it. I think I spent the most time in there. Almost bought a VS robe but I thought I needed the cash later. This is one decision I regretted the most.

And of course I bought some souvenirs for my housemates.
 
 
I also bought a Starbucks tumbler for my housemate who collects the travel edition. A note to all of you who plans to buy the Starbucks tumbler in Dubai.... It doesn't come with a free coffee like every other country. This is something I hate about Dubai. They're really stingy with their services. Even free wifi is technically not free. You still need to register for a hotspot account which requires you need to pay. 

 
Things in Dubai are generally expensive, despite the shopping there is duty free, but it is still affordable. I think I wouldn’t travel there just for shopping because what they have there are mostly available here in Malaysia. In terms of retails, you will definitely find more US brands there.
Have you been to Dubai? What are the things that worth to purchase there?
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Nov 27, 2013

Benefit Advent Calendar Content - Show & Tell


So I heard, there were only 60 Benefit Advent Calendar available in Malaysia! Now I feel a little more exclusive. If you can find this anywhere, don't think twice. Buy it, if you love it! You'll love it even more when you pop the little window to reveal the Benefit products.


Here are the stuff that I've got from my Benefit Advent Calendar in sequence:


1. Coralista blusher
2. Stay Don't Stray eye primer
3. It's Potent Eye Cream
4. Ultra Plush Dandelion Lip Gloss
5. Benetint red tint
6. Bow Barrette
7. Ultra Plush Life On The A-List Lip Gloss
8. High Beam highlighter
9. "That Gal" face primer
10. The Porefessional face primer
11. Badgal Liner Waterproof eye liner
12. Total Moisture Face Cream
13.  Horse Shoe Charm Bracelet
14. Badgal Lash Mascara
15. Posietint pink tint
16. Hoola bronzer
17. Ultra Plush Sugarbomb Lip Gloss
18. Sunbeam highlighter
19. Girl Meets Pearl face primer
20. Ooh La Lift highlighter
21. Ultra Plush Coralista Lip Gloss
22. Star Charm Necklace
23. Chachatint orange tint
24. Dandelion


Blusher & Bronzer

Highlighters

Mascara & Eyeliner

Primers

Lipglosses

Tints

Skincare

Accessories

To be honest, I have tried 13 out of 21 products. Some I love them, some I had bad relationship with, particularly the eye cream and moisturizer. I think Benefit is better at making cosmetics rather than skincare. And I have never enjoy Benefit tints (in any color) although so many people love it.


On the other hand, I can't wait to try out Hoola (bronzer), Dandelion (blusher), Ooh La Lift (highlight) and Coralista (lipgloss). These are the products that I've been wanting to try for a long time, particularly Hoola, but I just didn't want to jump into purchasing the full size. I really appreciate these deluxe size samples.


From a typical makeup addict point of view, I do suggest you to get this advent calendar. Not only it is fun to surprise yourself each day with a different beauty product, you also get to try so many different Benefit products before you purchase a full size. The sample size is adequate for you to determine if you really like it or not. If you are getting it as a gift for someone, I think it is a great gift. Any girl would be really excited to receive this as a Christmas present.


And if you are throwing a Christmas party, you can make this advent calendar into a lucky draw. Put in little cards from number 1 to 24 and then ask your girlfriends to draw the number. Reveal their prizes by popping the little window of the calendar. It will be a great highlight for your party. You can even retrieve all the products and make it into stocking stuffer for your friends.


But from a reasonable perspective, I would advise you to put your money somewhere you know you'll get the real benefit from. Technically there are only 21 products if you remove the accessories from the list. And these products are in deluxe size which are given free most of the time for trial. You are actually paying for the packaging instead of the real products.


I would appreciate it even more if they remove the three accessories and include more variety of products in it. I was looking forward for their concealer Erase Paste and They're Real mascara. Those are the products that I really want to try. Perhaps more blusher instead of lipglosses too. 


Now, it's your turn to tell me what you think of the Benefit Advent Calendar. Will you get it? Will you skip it? Do you think it is worth it?


Available at Sephora & Benefit counters for RM260. Very limited stock.
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Nov 25, 2013

Carlo Rino 2013/2014 Handbags Collection


Think of Alice in Wonderland, Marie Antoinette and Narnia, that's the vibe you'll get from the Carlo Rino Whimsical Wonderland 2013 Fashion Show. This season, Carlo Rino showcase their feminine, sexy, playful collection that has everything your heart (and wardrobe) could ever want to look perfect for any occasion.


The wide range of styles offered by Carlo Rino provides different styling combination for girls of different fashion personalities. Below are the previews of Carlo Rino's latest collection. The entire collection is now available at all Carlo Rino's boutique. If you see something you like, I urge that you check it out at the store.



BEAD THIS!
Get in the mood for celebration with the A to Z's of style, all emblazoned on this season's hottest bags! beaded alphabets featuring the colours of the rainbow on a black base and gold-coloured chain straps to turn heads, the latest "it" bags come in 3 styles: a rounded-edged shoulder bag for versatility, a rectangular, structured handbag for evening, and a roomy hand-held tote for the festivity-focused fashionista. Pair with a little black dress for maximum effect!


BLING BEAUTIES


In the mood for a party? Bling up your skinnies or strappy dress with these made-for-party totes! Bearing the Carlo Rino signature in bold, coloured leather that adorns each bag's edges for that added touch of sophistication, you won't run out of room to stash your keys, makeup, phone and other party-all-night essentials. Worn on your shoulder or slung across with a detachable strap, this limited edition arm candy in touches of blue, beige or salmon on stunning silver comes embellished with adorable Carlo Rino "love messages" on its side for a hint of romance.


MONOGRAM MUST-HAVES

Carlo Rino monogram fans, you won't want to miss out on these graffiti-inspired essentials. Whether paired with jeans, a sun dress or shorts, there's a style and shape for every occasion. Fire-engine red leather trimming adorns the collection's tote, sling, hand-held and travel bags, which feature orange, black, pink and red graffiti to fire up the imagination. Feel like something is missing? Complete your look with a matching wallet!

STYLE THAT'S SOPHISTICATED

Traveling? You'll love the around-the-world themed graphics on these totes. Made to complement the worldly, sophisticated traveller, each tote features subtle beige leather trimmings, a super-smooth satin body, handy detachable straps for hands-free ease, and a palette of silver, red, yellow and black to choose from. You'll feel right at home in your loose khakis and comfort-giving tee with these bags.


BEAUTIFUL BRAIDS

Powering up your look for the day? Soften up the pant suit with feminine braids on your bag if wearing them in your hair isn't an option. A shoulder-slung duffel, back-pack, carry-all or cylinder bag will do the trick. All come with luxurious, blood-red leather trimmings, silver lining and metal key charms to offset neutral cream and brown. Complete your look with matching wallet that sport strategically-placed zippers and leather holders.


WHO LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG?

If you're a cat lover, you won't be able to do without this quirky collection. Cat eyes star on the body of each adorable masterpiece, matched with monogram-embellished 'ears' and straps for that feline allure. Remove the strap to turn this pint-sized creation into a hand-held kitty clutch. Heart-shaped charms complete the fun factor and complement the navy, red and beige-coloured 'cats'. Perfect for jazzing up jeans, shorts or a casual dress.


TOTES THAT TRAVEL

want an arm-friendly companion that will fit your essentials and more when you hit the road or take to the skies? You'll want this oversized tote, featuring plenty of room and compartments and a zip feature at the sides to make your space smaller or bigger at your whim. Not traveling? Take it as a shopping bag! Multi-coloured accents in red, black, pink, beige and yellow against a neutral cream palette make for a fun, head-turning addition to your bag collection.


BAG CANDY

Fun, feminine lines with lots of room in candy colours make for a practical addition to any wardrobe. totes that can be worn on your shoulder or arm, bearing removable straps and multiple compartments in shades of dark, beige, fire-engine red, sky blue, hot pink and sunshine yellow pair perfectly with denim, muted dresses and weekend khakis for a dash of vibrance.


HOT STUFF

Stand out in the crowd in the fashion season's hottest colour - red! A soft but structured handbag that will take you from day to night, you'll love its versatility, functionality and elegance rolled in one. Detachable straps take your look from formal to casual in an instant, while red on black piping will make sure you never go anywhere unnoticed. Wear this baby with a power suit or jeans for an equally powerful effect.


READY FOR TAKE OFF 


Get flight-ready with this airplane-loving carry-all. Mini airplanes embossed onto its shell, together with roomy straps and an even roomier interior complement its classic lines. The finishing touch is an airplane charm, all in shades of fire-engine red, navy or yellow. Match your look with a matching wallet featuring multi-shaped studs as well as card and cash-friendly wallet in (what else) the brightest red this season has to offer. Not planning to fly across the oceans? Pair this bag with a white shirt and dark blue jeans for the ultimate in sophistication.


About Carlo Rino:
1986 - Bonia group launched Carlo Rino, a contemporary brand featuring young, trendy and chic leather goods and footwear. Carlo Rino is a projection of fun, vibrant and an invigorating identity. Originated from Singapore, Carlo Rino has grown popularity both locally and internationally to various countries such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Oman, Finland, Saudi Arabia, and many more to come in near future.

Carlo Rino gives you the freedom to style for different individuals and personalities. Here we offer a wide range of bags and shoes for selection from casual day out to formal events. An ideal brand for the young working executives who look for trendy, casual and even classic designs to match their exciting lifestyles!

In 2010, Carlo Rino first launched ladies apparel due to customer's continuous demand in fashion for complete ONE stop centre. Carlo Rino ladies apparel are inspired by European styling and made perfect for Asian petite fittings. One can expect to feast her eyes with stylish, fashionable and quality ladies apparel available at Carlo Rino boutiques. Matching accessories such as bracelets, necklace and belts also available under one roof.

At Carlo Rino we priorities shopping comfort and convenience, inviting ambience, wide selection of product on colours, functionality and durability ideal match for the young and trendy lifestyle. New products development joined the original line of women handbags to provide a wider range of product for selection.

CR Exchange shoes, a new line of runway inspired designs made available for walkway to fulfill the desire of cosmopolitan ladies who seek for the latest trends of fashionable items - only available at Carlo Rino Boutiques.

Visit www.carlorino.net
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Nov 24, 2013

Benefit 2013 Advent Calendar

This is a quick post.... I finally got my hands on the Benefit Advent Calendar . What is an advent calendar? It is the calendar used to calculate the day for Christmas. The exact day when the calendar starts is the date one month before Christmas (technically there were only 25 days in a month in those days). The astronomical ways to calculate the calendar is ancient and obsolete. These days it is predetermined that the advent calendar should start on 1st December and ends on 25th December where it falls on Christmas. 

To keep the excitement of counting down to Christmas, many brands take advantage of the advent calendar spirit for commercial purposes. 

I am really excited to pop the calendar but to keep the rules, I will open each window daily starting from 1st December until Christmas. Follow me on Instagram to see what I receive daily. My username is @queenjerine with hashtag #benefitadventcalendar. So excited to reveal all these Benefit goodies! 

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Nov 22, 2013

Starting a Beauty Blog: Focus on Drugstore or High End Products?


One of the biggest problem when you start a beauty blog is to choose whether you want to blog all high end products, drugstore products or should you blog both? Some people started their beauty blog with no direction and just simply blog whatever that they feel like. Instead of wasting your time, why don't you focus on a specific direction and let it work out by itself. There are pros and cons for all the options, and it is up to you which one you which direction you want to take for your blog.


Drugstore focus
Pros: 
1. There are tonnes of products for you to blog about and it is much cheaper for you to purchase it in the beginning.
2. The market for drugstore products are much bigger. Some of the beauty products are listed under FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), which means that if you publish a post of a specific drugstore products, it will lead to conversion. This will also translate a high persuasion power of your blog. It will lead to you getting more sponsored post in future. (I hope I make sense because this is a bit technical).
3. The likelihood for you to receive products from brands is higher. This is not because the products are cheap, but because (back to point 2), the market is so big that if a post can bring at least 10 sales for their products. This is why they don't mind giving products for write-up.

Cons:
1. They are too many products for you to feature which can be quite exhaustive. 
2. Sometimes you might receive really cheap products to review on, which can be a turn off.


High end focus
Pros:
1. Your blog would be a great eye candy because every girl just love to read in detailed and check out photos of high end product. It is like our little dream to own something that is expensive and exclusive.
2. When you receive products to review, the product can cost up to few thousand bucks. It gets really exciting when it does.

Cons:
1. You might have to spend tonnes of money buying high end products to review before you even get noticed by the brands. Sometimes, it can take you years before you even get a sponsor.
2. The market for high end products is very niche. The amount of real buyer is also low. This will affect the persuasive level of your blog. If you post up 10 posts on a high end lipstick, but it doesn't convert to any sales, you will have a hard time getting sponsors in the future.


Both drugstore and high end
Pros:
1. Blogging both drugstore brand and high end brand will let you cover almost the entire beauty market. Because your sample size is so big, it will also bring you a lot of traffic.
2. You can cover the campaigns for both drugstore and high end which means likelihood of receiving products for review, jobs and sponsorship is much higher.

Cons:
1. You have to update at least once a day because there are too many things to cover. It can be really tiring.
2. Sometimes you have so many things to cover for the brands that you have no time to blog about your own stuff.


I hope this will get you the idea where your blog focus should be on. Beauty blogging might not be an easy thing to start up, but it is worth it if it is your interest. If you are a beauty blogger and would like to share your learning experience with all of us, feel free to leave a comment below.

Stick to this blog every Friday for more beauty blogging tips. Next, I will share some photography tips. It wouldn't be your typical photography tips on how to use your camera function. It is more specific for beauty blogging.

Previous week:
Market Research
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Nov 21, 2013

Product Comparison: Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX vs. Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask

Today I'm going to compare two products that highly comparable -  the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX and the Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask. Both the products have the same function, which is an overnight mask that provides hydration. They're quite comparable in terms of pricing, functionality and packaging.





Laneige Aupres

Texture

Gel based texture. Once applied on to the skin
it becomes matte
Gel based texture with aqua beads. The
aqua beads burst once applied on to
the skin. It appears to be wet and saturated
on the skin during application.


Scent

Has a strong after shower fragrance

Has a floral scent that leans towards jasmine

Efficacy
It is extremely moisturizing when you first
apply. The matte texture makes it perfect for
the night wear. However, the hydration and
moisture level didn't last until the next day.
And it doesn't provide enough hydration for
those who sleeps in the air-cond room.
Provides instant hydration. Very saturated
when applied on to the skin. It feels wet,
as if you put on a layer of mask when
applying. It can be a turn off to some people,
however it provides long lasting moisture
until the next day.

Packaging
Comes in blue plastic jar with a small plastic
spatula to scoop the product out.
The jar is made of glass with plastic cover.
Also comes with a small plastic spatula
to scoop out the product.

Price
RM100 for 80g RM95 for 80g

I actually missed out one point, which is the country of origin. Laneige products are made in Korea by giant cosmetic company Amore Pacific. Meanwhile, Aupres is made in China, its quality control is strictly monitored by sister company in Japan, Shiseido.








Because both the products are so similar, it is up to personal preference which one they prefer. For me, I like the Aupres one more because I believe it has higher hydration level and provides moisture until the next morning. Whereas, the Laneige one appears to be very dry on my skin in the morning.


But for those of you who prefer matte texture and don't want a "wet face" for your night routine, do go for the Laneige.


I hope this comparison gives you more info about the products and help you decide better which product to get. 
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Nov 20, 2013

Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask

Yesterday I posted review on the Laneige Sleeping Pack. Today I am going to share with you my experience on Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask, which is the product that people often compared to the Laneige Sleeping Pack.



What it is:
This dewy gel-type mask provides intensive skincare benefits overnight, so skin awakens to luminous clarity.
  • Provides optimal absorption of hydrating and effective ingredients - Formulated with Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE
  • Restores skin's smoothness and clarity. - Formulated with Skincare Capsule (Skin Smoothing Agent, Water-holding Oil and Humidity Sensing Hydrator)
  • Conditions skin for a healthy radiance. - Formulated with Safflower Extract, Royal Jelly and Water-soluble Collagen
  • Creates a moisture veil over skin to seal in the benefits of softener and moisturizer for hours.
  • Spreads over skin with a light and dewy texture, without a hint of stickiness.
  • Elegant white floral scent brings you a pleasantly relaxing feel.

Texture:
Gel based moisturizer type with water beads that burst once rub into the skin.


How to apply:
Apply after toner at night. It's a leave in mask, so no need to rinse off.


Pros:
1. Provides instant hydration and long lasting moisture.
2. You only need a little product for the whole face. I've been using this jar since February for about 5 days in a week, and I'm surprised there's still a quarter left!


Cons:
1. Product may contain fragrance. Those of you who are allergic to perfume might not benefit from this product.
2. Not easy to get. Aupres counter are limited. It is only available in Parkson KLCC, Pavilion and Sg Wang.

Suitable for:
Extremely dry skin to normal skin.

Comments:
This is by far my favorite skincare products for night. I honestly think I cannot live without it. If I forgotten to put this on, I would not turn on the aircond to sleep. I would recommend this to all of you who sleeps in aircond because it provides long lasting hydration until the next morning. It is a very basic night moisturizer (although they call it a mask) but it also the best in providing moisture.

Price: 
RM95

Tomorrow I'm going to compare the Laneige Sleeping Pack and this Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask. Do come back  to read the differences between the two products.
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Nov 19, 2013

Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX

This is one of the product which I have been wanting to try for the longest time because of all the raves and so many of my friends are using it. My friends praise this product and I really have to try it out myself.



What it is:
Water Sleeping Pack_EX with light gel-type texture gives intensive hydration, vitality and brightening effect while restoring skin with deep relaxation through aroma scent.
  • Night time skin transmissivity shows higher rate than that during the day. Applying it just before going to bed, the best state for skin transmission according to the skin circadian rhythm, maximizes the efficiency of overnight water supply.
  • The function of skin remarkably declines during the night time. Enriched with Beta-glucan, Water Sleeping Pack_EX deeply hydrates fatigue and dry skin while Ceramide formula strengthens the skin barrier.
  • Antioxidant effect of Hunza Apricot Extracts brings crystalclear and even skin tone by removing harmful oxygen and by purifying skin.
  • Recoverine from Chestnuts promotes turnovers of horny layers to remove dead cells for vigorous water supply and sleek skin texture.
  • An aromatic essence compound exclusively developed by AMOREPACIFIC, Sleepscent helps to relax your mind and body to promote good sleep. A good sleep with sufficient relaxation eventually strengthens skin revitalization. Essential oils from Orange Flower, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood etc. are contained in the Sleepscent.
  • Himalaya Snow Water helps to keep your skin to look more crystal clear and vitalized.
  • Light gel-type texture without stickiness allows comfortable sleep.



Texture:
The gel texture is smooth and light on the skin.



How to apply:
Use as moisturizer at night. Rinse off in the morning.

Pros:
1. Provides instant hydration.
2. Matte texture, so it doesn't feel greasy when applied.
3. Oil free.
4. Perfect for any skin types.
5. It gives a really cooling sensation once applied on to the skin. During warm nights, this is a perfect temporary solution on warm nights. 

Cons:
1. Very strong scent that I dislike. This is more of a personal preference. Do try out the product before purchasing to see if you can put up with the scent.
2. The hydration doesn't last til the next morning. Considering this is an overnight mask, I would expect the product to give me long lasting hydration.
3. It doesn't list the ingredients in English. If it doesn't bother you then it would be ok to ignore this point. 


Suitable for:
For those who wants hydration moisturizer and at the same time looking for matte texture products.

Price:
Retail at RM100 in Laneige counters. And RM85 on Hermo with free shipping.
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