Nov 27, 2016

Top 10 Must-Buy Beauty Products When in London

The thing I am most excited about traveling to London is the shopping. More specifically the beauty products I can get! I do not have any fashion items on my shopping lists, but the beauty shopping lists are definitely longer than the London Bridge. Here are the 10 beauty items/brands that I think you should check out when you're in London.

#1 - Rimmel

Rimmel is quintessentially British. With Union Jacks and a royal crown design on its palettes, this is on the top of my list for beauty shopping. Rimmel was a brand well-loved around the world, however, they didn't last long in Malaysia market. Their mascara was one of the best mascara I've tried. At a drugstore price, you can get really good quality products. And with Kate Moss as one of their team member, this brand is a great drugstore brand. It doesn't cost much, so it would be a great item for souvenirs for your girlfriends.

#2 - Max Factor

Max Factor face the similar fate as Rimmel. They landed Malaysia for a few years and then quiet down and disappeared. Max Factor has very good mascara and foundation. I remember trying the concealer and it is one of the best drugstore concealer.

#3 - Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin has the prettiest lipstick ever. The nail polish is really special as well. The bottle is so sharp you can stab your enemy's eyes with it. Anyway, I think you should at least get one of the lipstick because you will regret your entire life if you don't. There are a few different textures for you to choose. They also have lipglosses in a similar packaging, but transparent. You can get it from Selfridges.

#4 - Huda Beauty

I am mentioning Huda Beauty again because the lip contours received too many hypes that we can't ignore. From the swatches and review, you know that it is one of the best matte liquid lipstick in the market. With Huda's high expectation on product quality, you can be sure that the lipstick won't disappoint you. If you manage to see the Rose Gold palette, be sure to grab it. It is one of the highly sought after palette among makeup artists. If you're a falsy lovers, do check out the man options of eyelashes as well. Huda Beauty is available at Harrods.

#5 - Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury is a celebrity makeup artist with star-studded portfolio under her wings. She has launched her own beauty line under her name. The recommended products are the lipsticks, eyeshadows, blush and bronzer. The shades are very neutral and wearble for daily look. For those of you who aren't a makeup trend-goer and prefer classic look, this is the brand for you. Charlotte Tilbury is available at Harrods.

#6 - Tanya Burr Beauty

Of all the Youtube beauty guru, I personally feel that the Tanya Burr line is worth to try. The price point isn't high and it is in the drugstore selection. Compared to other beauty gurus that taking advantage of their fame to market their own brands, the Tanya Burr Beauty isn't like that. It is affordable and the packaging is very cute as well. The Tanya Burr Cosmetics is available at Superdrug.

#7 - No7

The No7 skincare brand is exclusively available at Boots, which is one of the leading pharmacy in UK. This brand has similar characteristic as Simple. It is suitable for sensitive skin and very mild. The price is around L'Oreal or Olay price range, so it isn't that expensive. If you have sensitive, do try out this brand.

#8 - Topshop Beauty

Yes, I know we have Topshop Beauty in Malaysia. But the Topshop Beauty in the UK isn't like the one we have here. They actually have variety of other beauty brands in their beauty section such as Lip Smacker, EOS, Tony & Guy, Tangle Teezer, etc. You can also find a other product range that aren't available in Malaysia such as Aircushion, Face mask, Contour palette, etc.

Photo from A Style Collector

#9 - H&M Beauty

H&M in the UK has one of the cheapest beauty brands in the UK. With just GBP7 you can get a bottle of perfume, GBP10 for an eyeshadow palette, GBP3 for eyeliner, and GBP5 for lip pencil, etc. You have really wide range and choices of shades as well, not to mention the packaging is as good as high end and luxury brands.

#10 - La Roche Posay

La Roche Posay is another well-loved skincare brand in the UK. For those of you who are sunscreen addict (like me), you should try the La Roche Posay sunscreen. They have different varieties of sunscreen. I have been following some London haul and it seems that most beauty gurus will stock up their La Roche Posay sunscreen when in UK. It is available at Boots.

There are a lot more brands and products that I can recommend to you such as Anastasia (available at Sephora), but I think the above are the ones you should get if you have luggage weight concern. Another brand that I highly recommend you to get is the Jo Malone perfume. Since Jo Malone is based in London, you should check out some of their products there. 

Oct 10, 2016

How to own your first designer's bag

Owning a designer's bag is a personal experience. It gives you the same feeling as buying a new car or getting a new pet. It is a mood lifter and also spirit enhancer. Well, I am speaking from experience. I am not sure what is your take on buying designer's bag.

Some see it as a waste of money and unnecessary purchase. And some think that it is an avenue to show off a person's financial reputation. This is why I feel that buying a designer's handbag is a personal experience.

In my opinion, it is a way of rewarding yourself. And whoever said it is a reflection of a person's wealth has definitely never gone through the process of owning one. It takes a lot of sacrifices and saving plans to do. And these are my simple advise if you are going to purchase your very first designer's bag with your own money (keyword: "own money". If your husband is going to get you a bag, these rules don't apply).

#1 - Start with mid-range brand

Don't jump into super high-end brand such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci and alike. Start with mid-range brands such as Michael Kors, Coach, Kate Spade, etc. This allows a transition to test out if you're going to like the bag or not. Also it won't hurt your bank account so badly.

Michael Kors is probably the best option because the leather used to build the bag is the same saffiano leather used on Prada bags. The MK Jet Set Tote is similar to Louis Vuitton Neverfull and the Selma bag is similar to Givenchy Antigona.

#2 - Get a canvas type instead of a leather one

Leather bag is about 3 times more expensive than canvas type. Getting a canvas bag also one of the transition method to try out if you are suitable for the shape and size of the bag. Canvas bag is also easier to take care. You don't have to worry about it being scratched or tear. For leather bag, you need to take care of it, such as getting it rain coated (which means you need to spend more money to coat the surface of the leather), you also need to clean it from time to time (another cost here) and once scratched, there is no turning back.
#3 - Getting the usual shape of bag 

Understand the bag shape that you usually use. Take a look at the bags that you usually purchase and match against your day-to-day utility. Purchase a similar shape of bag when it comes to buying designer's bag. That way you wouldn't waste your money on a bag that you won't use.

My style is always bucket bag and medium sized cross body for my weekend outings. For traveling, I would go for tote bag because it holds a lot of stuff and very easy to carry around.

#4 - Avoid getting a big bag

Get a basic mid-sized daily bag that you can reach out more often instead of a big bag. The bigger the bag, the more expensive the price. Moreover, you will tend to add in more items in a bigger bag which will spoil the bag in a long run.

#5 - Get a natural tone color 

Avoid striking colors such as fuschia, purple, green, cobalt blue, yellow or orange. Go for classic black, white, brown or nude to be safe. Natural tones are easily match with any outfit.

#6 - Avoid trend

Any bag that falls under the seasonal trend, with prints or limited edition don't last. It does not fetch any value and goes outdated in a few years time. Do you remember the Louis Vuitton monogram with sakura print? The world already forgot about its existence. Instead, get a classic style that is a permanent design.

#7 - Invest on the value

Some bags come with a value. For example the Chanel 2.55, Hermes Birkin, and Lady Dior. The prices will appreciate according to the market value. Make sure you ask the sales person for the history of the bag. Bags like these are not for frequent use. It is for resale and investment purpose.

#8 - Purchase a pre-owned bag 

There are a lot of dealers that sell second hand bags that is in mint condition and comes with original tag and box. Some are unused. The prices are cheaper so you can save a lot. To make sure what you'e buying is original, buy from reliable third party seller such as Reebonz.

#9 - Purchase from independent sellers

There are a lot of independent sellers that selling designer bags at a cheaper price. Reebonz is usually the reliable seller (No, I swear this is not an ad). Femme Fatale is also another reliable seller which can be found at Avenue K. Never purchase directly from individual seller because you will never know if it is a fake or authentic one.

Now, tell me, do you have any bag in your list that you really want? I will be going to Paris soon. So, if you have any wishlist, do contact me at I will be there during Boxing Day, so I am really looking forward for the legendary sale that everyone mentioned to me before.

Also, check out my travel blog for First Timer's Guide to Buying Luxury Bag in Europe

Oct 1, 2016

[Weekend Edition] DIY Galaxy Cookie

Happy weekend everyone! If you have a long weekend, put your hands up! Since I have a long weekend, I decided to try something fun at home. I've been obsessed with galaxy - galaxy nails, galaxy hair, galaxy donut, BUT NOT Samsung Galaxy Note! #PunIntended

Anyway, if you have some spare time for a fuss-free activity with your kids, or simply want to create something new, this is a great thing to try out.

You need to have:

Cookies (let me know if you need the recipe for this)
Icing sugar
Egg white
Food dye (red, blue and black)
Egg white
Small spoon to scoop the icing

Step 1 - Making the icing

Break an egg and separate the egg white and yolk. Put the egg white into a large bowl. Slowly add the icing sugar and whisk it until even. There is no measurement to this because the amount of egg white depends on the size of the egg and also how much egg white you manage to extract. You will know it is done when it is completely white and the texture is gooey. It should not be runny because it won't stick to the cookies. Keep on adding the icing sugar and whisk it until you get the texture.

Step 2 - Add the colours!

Scoop one table spoon of the white icing and add it onto a separate cup. Then add the food colour to make 4 different icing colors - white, black, blue and pink.

Step 3 - The fun stuff starts now!

It is hard to give instruction on  this part. But really, when you have all the icing colours ready, just let your creativity unleashed. You can put it on a plate and dip the top of the cookie on it. Or you can scoop a little bit of the black and blue icing and pop it onto the cookies. Use the toothpick to swirl or twirl until you get the galaxy pattern. Slowly add the white to create the milky way. Also, dots some stars on top of it. If you think you lost your track, just google the galaxy photo and add some more.

The beauty of the galaxy pattern is, you don't have to be precise. There is no right or wrong way to do it. And the result is so fascinating. With a small effort, you can impress the world!

The galaxy pattern is popularized by a Melbourne baker. Ever since he instagramed the photo of his galaxy donut, the world went crazy. You can find galaxy macarons, cupcakes, cakes and even cookies!

If you're going to make this, do tag me on your Instagram photo @queenjerine. I would love to see your creation!

P/S: If my words don't make sense, that's 'cos I'm watching Poh's Kitchen cooking show. Please excure me. 

Aug 31, 2016

[Recipe] Eight Treasures Tea Jelly

I'm going to leave another easy to make and healthy ancient Chinese recipe here. However, today's recipe involves more ingredients. As the name suggests, we are playing with 8 types of ingredients to make this mouth-watering after-meal dessert.

The eight treasures tea is a popular drink during the late Qing Dynasty and to be consumed by Empress Ci Xi. During long northern winter, Her Royal Highness have very little opportunity to leave the court and causing her skin to feel tired and lack of energy. The imperial doctor made this special blend of herbs for the empress. The tea is consumed for longevity and youthfulness.


  • 500ml water
  • 1/4 cup gelatin powder
  • 1 piece honey rock sugar
  • 4 red dates
  • 5 slices American ginseng
  • A dash of Longjing green tea
  • A dash of chrysanthemum flowers
  • 6 cloves of French roses
  • 6 pieces of dried longan 
  • A dash of wolfberries


  • Rinse the green tea leaf, red dates, chrysanthemum flower, French roses, dried longan and wolfberries until clean.
  • Boil water in sauce pan. Add honey rock sugar.
  • When the sugar diluted, add red dates and ginseng slices.
  • When the red dates and ginseng slices expand, add in green tea leaf, chrysanthemum, french roses, dried longan and wolfberries.
  • Turn off the stove and strain the ingredients to separate the tea.
  • Place the ingredients in the mould. 

  • Add gelatin powder into the tea while it is still hot and stir until the gelatin powder evenly mixed.
  • Pour the gelatin tea into the mould. Leave until cool and chill it in the fridge.
  • Serve on plate.

The recipe is very versatile. You can substitute the ingredients below with the follow:

  • Honey rock sugar = sugar, honey, crystal rock sugar or brown sugar.
  • French rose = dried orange peel
  • Chrysanthemum = osmanthus

Some additional tips:
Always keep the fire low. Watch the tea closely so you can manage the brewing time. The jelly is best served a night after chilled in the fridge.

This recipe is good for females and can be consumed daily. If it is a food fit for an empress dowager, it is surely good for you.

Aug 22, 2016

[Recipe] Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake

That is a mouthful word for a simple jelly recipe. Let's put the fancy name aside, this recipe is actually goji seed & osmanthus flower jelly (in a layman term). Now, does it sound easier to make?

Osmanthus flower helps improve skin complexion if taken regularly. It also gets rid of excessive nitric oxide (a compound linked to formation of cancer cells, diabetes and renal diseases. Goji seeds contain Vitamin C, B2, A, and iron. It has been consumed for its antioxidant benefits for centuries in the East. 

You only need 5 ingredients:
  • Unsweetened jelly powder (80g)
  • Honey rock sugar* (Depending on how sweet you like it. If you use pre-mixed jelly powder, you can skip the sugar altogether.)
  • Goji seeds* (half cup)
  • Dried Osmanthus flower* (one and half table spoon)
  • 500ml of water (not in photo, I guess you already know how it looks like)
*You can buy the ingredients from Chinese medicine hall.

Making the jelly takes approximately 15 minutes, setting and chilling it takes about 2 hours. If you don't have a baking mould, you can use square tupperware and cut into cubes when it is ready to be served.

  • First thing first, soak the goji seeds and osmanthus flower for 5 minutes. Wash it under slow running tap water in a strainer until it is clean. 
  • Boil the water in a sauce pan and add the sugar. 
  • Once the sugar is melted, lower the fire and add in the goji seeds and osmanthus flower. Let the goodness of the ingredients seep into the water. 
  • When the water turns brownish yellow, turn off the fire. While the water is still hot (not boiling), add in the jelly powder. Make sure you stir it while adding the powder so that it will be evenly distributed. 
  • Pour the mixture into a mould or Tupperware. And let it cool under the fan. (Optional) Use a small spoon to stir the mixture until it is slightly thicken when it is in the mould. This will distribute the ingredients evenly so they don't flood or sink.
  • Chill it in the fridge until it is ready to be served. 

Some tips, be mild with osmanthus flowers. The more you put in, the bitter it gets. Adjust the sugar accordingly to suit your taste. For the jelly consistency, adjust the jelly powder.

The total cost for me to make a 500ml portion is approximately RM8. If you don't want to make it yourself, you can get the same thing from Tim Ho Wan, which cost RM6.90 for 3 small pieces.

This is not only a healthy option for your dessert, it can also be consumed as part of your beauty supplement since the goji seeds and osmanthus flowers have high antioxidant properties. If you're trying to cut down your kids' intake on ice-cream and cakes, consider this as a substitute.

If you are recreating this recipe, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @QueenJerine. I would love to see your work! Have fun trying!

Jul 17, 2016

10 Things Only Beauty Bloggers Can Relate To

The other day when I put on the black lipstick from Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, I was so afraid I might scare my neighbour. Sometimes, my friends and colleagues (or even my family) thinks that I'm weird. But to me, I think I'm very normal. Just that my hobby requires a little more effort to explore on beauty products. There are a lot of things beauty bloggers do that other people don't comprehend. If you're a beauty blogger, you probably understand these common problems that we all share.

#1 - Putting on makeups in the middle of the night

Your family doesn't understand why you put on makeup in the middle of the night. When you're just testing out some products, your family immediately assume you're going out somewhere.

#2 - People assume you're rich

Because you spend almost a quarter of your salary purchasing the latest SS16 collection from Dior and Chanel, you left with no money to eat at the end of the month. Your colleagues will also judge your financial status based on the haul photos you posted on Instagram, but not on the RM1 nasi lemak you pack for lunch. 

#3 - You're more excited to receive makeups than anything else

We welcome the gift of beauty products anytime. There's a different excitement no words can explain whenever we receive new beauty products. But because we already have a huge stock in our inventory, some gifts are quite redundant. 

#4 - You're a beauty hoarder

You can find beauty products everywhere at home! On the table, on the couch, in the study room, and every inch of the house is filled with beauty products. You contemplate to do spring cleaning every month, but when you actually do it, you rather keep the products for "future reference". 

#5 - You can't get over any bushy eyebrow, unblended concealer, clumpy mascara, and the list goes on
Your perfection towards makeup skills have been raised after you became a beauty blogger. Putting on eye shadow without drawing your eyeliner is a sin. You can't hit the road with your clumpy mascara. Your day is imperfect if your makeup is imperfect.

#6 - Getting a perfect selfie 

Taking selfie requires a lot of takes because we often go #nofilter to bring out the original colour of the new lipstick. It can be a very frustrating to get that perfect selfie to the extend we had to touch up our makeups.

#7 - Waiting for parcel

Whenever the PR of your favourite brand contacted you, it's like striking a lottery. Sometimes you receive PR samples without notice, it's like receiving presents in the mail.

#8 - Attending events

Attending events where other beauty bloggers are invited is like a school reunion. Being with "your own kind" feels so welcomed because no one will judge you if you take a long time doing swatching, taking selfies with beauty products and other weird stuff only beauty bloggers understand.

#9 - Your spouse can't recite half of your possessions

"What is that thing you put on your eyes?" and "What's the lip thing you use?" are the usual comments you get from your spouse. Your possession takes up three quarter of the dressing table, while your spouse have a small corner for his hair gel and deodorant.

#10 - Getting out of beauty stores be like...

It is our natural response to swatch the beauty products that come with a label "Try Me". When the sales assistance offer you some cleansing wipes, you politely decline so that you can test out the staying power. When you step out of the beauty store, your hand is a work of art.

Are you a beauty blogger? Do you share the same problem? Or do you have other problems that you face as a beauty blogger?

Jul 3, 2016

[Weekend Edition] Meditation for Beginners

Meditation is a state of mind. It does not necessary need to be in a specific time, place or situation for you to meditate. Meditation can come in the smallest task you do daily, for example listening to music, getting a massage, perform your daily prayer, etc. If you have been wanting to meditate, here are some of the simple ways you can try as a beginner:

1. Focus
Focus on one sense while you are meditating. Connect that focus with your sensory touch. For example, listening to the sound of waves and focus just on the waves and ignoring other sounds. Starring at a mandala drawing while focus on one particular drawing in the photo. Light up some scented candle and just focus on the scent. Perform one focus at one time only. You will find yourself rejuvenate and be able to focus on your other tasks clearly.

2. Repetition
Another form of meditation comes from repeating activity that you do. When you repeat the motion, your body coordination will accept the pattern and your brain activity will slowly drift into the pattern of motion as well. This is why some people find washing dishes therapeutic. The synergy of your body action and brain activity will relax your mind. Some other activity that you can try is playing with Tibetan singing bowl, playing musical instrument, cleaning or colouring.

3. Imagine the life you want to be
Take 5 minutes daily to imagine yourself in the life you want to be. Sometimes our mind tangled and frustrated because we think and feel that we're living in a messy situation. Whether you wish to live in the forest, under water or living the life of rich and famous, you are able to achieve it in your imagination. 

4. Using technology
There are a couple of meditation apps available for Android & iOS for you to download. Follow the meditation plan or program catered for you and see the outcome. It is free, easy to use and no commitment will be imposed on you. Our recommendation is Headspace and Omnava.

Jun 27, 2016

Beginner Guide to Chinese Tea Art

Tea is more than just a drink. For the Chinese, it is a living art and culture. There are endless subjects to learning Chinese tea art, namely identifying the tea, brewing, tasting, ceremony, history, presentation, and the list goes on. 

Adapting tea art as part of your hobby and incorporate tea drinking into your daily meal is a positive and healthy approach in your lifestyle. Unlike the Japanese tea ceremony, the Chinese tea is an art that represents your style and it has no formalities. 

For a beginner, these are the bits and pieces of items you need to get your hobby started:

1. Tea leaf
Start your tea collection with green tea leaf. It has the highest consumption in the world due to its flavour that is widely accepted by everyone. For a variety of aroma, go for oolong tea. However, oolong requires a meticulous way of brewing to bring out the best of the tea. Consult your tea supplier for more info.

2. Teapot
Not all teapots are suitable for the different types of tea. Invest in purple clay teapot or glass teapot for a more general option. Gunmetal teapot are usually used for flavoured tea such as jasmine green tea or brown rice tea.

3. Fair cup
The fair cup purpose is to hold the brewed tea. Transport the tea from teapot into the fair cup so that the tea don't over-steep. 

4. Teacup
Porcelain or glass teacup are easier to pair with different types of tea. Alternatively, you can purchase tea set which consists of teapot and tea cup that made from the same clay. The generally accepted teacups are also made from purple clay. 

5. Tea tray (optional)
For a better presentation, you require a tea tray to hold the tea remains and also to display your arrangement. Depending on the tea setting that you like, there are a lot of sizes and styles for you to choose from. 

6. The Six Gentlemens (六君子)
This unique name represents the 6 utensils needed for your tea preparation. It is consists of a spoon (to scoop tea leaf from the canister), a funnel (to facilitate tea pouring), a tweezer (for assistance when the tea cup is too hot to handle), a scrapper (for cleaning), a poker (to poke through tea leaves that stuck on the sprout of the teapot) and a needle (for cleaning).

 7. Tea pet
Lastly, tea pet (decoration) may be added to your tea setting depending on the end results that you want to achieve. The tea pet figurines are usually made of purple clay or porcelain. Alternatively, you can opt for a plant or crystals. 

There is no rules to the tea setting. Due to the popular minimalist approach, a lot of tea follower have adopted the style into their tea art by eliminating some of the tools. 

Jun 26, 2016

Cooking Basic: How to cook with onions

If you are on your first step to becoming a domestic goddess but don't know where to start, fret' not. We have a handful tips for you. To start off, we have the ultimate guide to onions!

Onion is one of the main ingredient to add flavor in your cooking. Once you master the use of it, you have traveled half the journey to be a domestic goddess. Let us put all the jokes aside and get to the point.

1. Yellow onion
The yellow onion is one of the best onion to use. It can be cooked in anyway and with anything you wish. It adds sweetness and crunchy texture into your cooking. Best way to cook: stir fry.

2. Shallots
Shallots are another versatile onion that you can cooked with any dish. It is more flavorful that the yellow onion and brings out the richness of your cooking. Deep fried shallots can be served as garnish on top of your cooking. Best way to cook: fry.

3. White onion
The white onions are the younger sister of the yellow onions. It has lighter taste and less in flavor compared to the yellow onions. It is more often used in stir-fried vegetable dishes and lesser in meat dishes. Best way to cook: stir fry.

4. Garlic
Garlic is another multipurpose type of onion. Compared to all the onions, it has the most pungent taste. It can be eaten by itself and added into cooking. It can also served as garnish when deep fried. Best way to cook: fry.

5. Pearl onion
It has a raw sweetness and often made into pickles or added into salads. Best way to cook: none... eat it raw!

6. Red onion
Probably the zestiest onion of all kinds. It can be eaten raw, often added into salads, burger, sandwiches, etc.. Sometimes you find it on top of your pizza as well. Best way to cook: none... eat it raw!

7. Sweet onions
As the name suggested, it is sweet by itself. Best to be eaten by itself - make it into onion rings, add it in your kebab or make it into sweet onion sauce. Best way to cook: fry, stew and soup.

8. Spring onion
Not to be mistaken with green onion, the spring onion has a little purple on its stick. Spring onions are not meant to be cooked due to the lost of taste. However, its mild flavor makes it good to be used as garnish. Best way to cook: none... eat it raw!

9. Green onion
The green onions are also known as scallion. It can be cooked with anything as herbs. Chop it finely and add into your dish before cooking. Best way to cook: anyway.

10. Cippolinis
Cippolinis come from the family of white onion, thus sharing the same sweet taste. Grilling, roasting and baking will bring the best of taste of cipplinis. It is a better onion to use in stew as well. Best way to cook: roast.