Wednesday, May 27, 2009

T.B.C Shopping Guide for the Girls Best Friend

Sorry not updating as much as I want to. I have been rather busy as I am trying to sort various things out in Hk, still suffering from jet leg meaning I find any excuse to stay home in the afternoon to sleep.

Another reason is to shop for the girl’s best friend –Diamond ring. We have formally asked the parents and so, in a typical Evie’s style, the first thing in mind was to shop for the signature ring.

If there’s any bride-to-be, and you are thinking of doing this shopping in Hong Kong. I hope my experience will serve as a reference.

Both of us have absolutely no knowledge on diamond, nor jewellery buying. We decided to go to the big reputable shops in Causeway Bay, and our first stop is in Times Square basement where around 5 jewellery shop based there. We learn a few basic knowledge, ready-made ring versus buying the diamond without frame. I finally narrow it down to – heart, pear and square shape to look it. Round diamonds are far too common so I decided for the sake of finding a ring in a short space of time, this can be skipped. Every shop we went to offered drinks.. and all diamond are categorised clearly on their 4C’s, which is very helpful. However with our budget, we can only stretch for ½ carat to maximum 0.71 carat. Thinking Hong Kong is a civilised society with no haggling, we were dismay and went home.

you pay for the price, an advert from one of the big reputable jeweler

I then did further research and found out, even buying from big reputable shop on the high street, you can at least haggle the price down for 20% as a minimum, and sometimes offer up to 40% as well. One thing is if you found anything and you really want a good bargain. Go to the shop first thing in the morning. It is a Chinese auspicious belief it brings good luck you make the business first thing in the morning (or shop opening), so they generally offer further discount if you are the first business of the day.

a 3 piece cluster heart ring, err without the frame please
I was split between the pear shape and a clustered heart, consist of 2 half-ciruclat diamond and 1 pricness cut diamond. And went to the internet for research. I found for my budget I can get the same thing in UK without the need to travel to Hong Kong. This is the biggest indication I’m being ripped off. I called my friend P, who’s father is in the diamond business for help. Her dad immediately return my calls and asked about my requirement, also giving me a lesson on what not to buy. He said I should not buy ‘pear’ shape as it is considered unlucky. Pear in Chinese has the same pronouciation as ‘separation’, so I asked if he can find me anything and he’ll return my call next.

exactly where my grandma's jeweler is, in the middle of a market

I then called the older generation, AKA grandmother for help. She offered to take me to her market jeweller, who only opens his little market stall (made of wooden board) in the morning. We missed our 1st appointment because it rained too heavily. Then we went again. Unfortunately, he said due to the bad economy, there’s very little demand and very little supply in the market. He told me the heart cluster ring only worth 10% as the resale value. But he has something in mind and he’ll come back to me in a week’s time.

Sheung Wan, hidden gem for jewelry buying

we then went to sheung wan as I remembered there’s a few jewellery shop around. This is a hidden gem, there’s around 10 shops offering cheaper diamond rings. The difference is that they are either second hand, or without certificate.

We walked in to a few shops and one of shops has 3 heart shape one-piece diamond ring over 1 carat on sale. We asked and enquire and it is within our budget. We went away knowing if anything happens, there’s something out there.

My friend’s dad called back, he said he found us 2 diamond within our budget and requirement, one in square and one in oval shape. My friend’s uncle will help with framing the diamond to our requirement. So I arrange to see the diamond on the same day as I see my grandma’s jeweler.

Lesson learnt:

Same money can get you:

Big reputable jewellery : 0.5 carat
A friend’s recommendation: 0.9 with certificate
Second hand jewellery: over 1 carat

Yet to confirm which one I'll choose I will let you all know very soon

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hong Kong Haul Part 2.1 – the brands and discount

May I first start to say a big big thank you to Jennifer (and she started beauty blogging after apparently inspired by me, and you can see her haul with me as well). A wonderful person who I know through swapping, and took me around in HK for shopping. (Jennifer: we yet to do the sasa/bonjour shopping)

Just want to talk about why I bought what I bought, mainly onto the brands and maybe it is something you want to check out if you are coming in HK/Taiwan/Japan.. These should all be available.


If you can read chinese, there's a forum called Beuatyexchange in Hong Kong. it loads quite slowly beaware). But you can find the latest promotions there.

If you are in HK, Sogo is promoting their 'Thankful week', meaning all counters offer special packages, DiorSnow.. Sofina Aube set etc all in discount price. I think the Beautyexchange forum also has the discount catalogue available. Most of the products are 10% or more (including skincare)

The other way to get discount is to collect VIP / point cards. Every single shop in Hong Kong has their own discount and point scheme allowing consumers to collect points and exchange gifts. My mom managed to buy enough beauty products she is a permanent VIP with Sasa, meaning she gets 10% discount on every single Sasa product she buys.

For the blogasphere, Meiling is really good in telling you and test drive the promotions in Hong Kong (sorry In chinese only). She also organised a website for HK beauty bloggers to join and offer event with Beauty companies on reviewing their products (of course, you get to try their products free as well)

The Brands


What is it famous for?

Metabolizer series

Base makeup (foundations, powder)

I first used this brand around 5 years ago, and I’m very happy with its products. I once bought some random skincare from Sasa and my skin became very dry and I could’t put concealer on my eye area. I managed to revive my skin with metabolizer and the time-rest series

However, very very expensive. I just think it is cheaper than SKII as I use the time-reset essence for eye area only, and the metabolizer is 125ml should last ½ year for me.

Damage done:

Time reset essence: 30ml for $600 (£52)

Metabolizer EX (for whitening and anti-aging): 125ml for $530 (£46.5)

Free gifts:

(stingy SA for me that day, only gave me time reset eye mask, essence, and 5ml x 2 Metabolizer)


What it is famous for?

Oil control, Acen problem

I first bought the ettusais products in Japan 2 years ago. The day-defense powder for oil control. I thought the name is ‘French’ (dunno why) and I like the powder a lot. I don’t like the idea of blotting in the day so the day defense powder sounds like a good idea.

I re-purchase the day defense powder this time, and want to try their skin care products. Apparently. The acne skin version up is their star product, it helps the prep the skin for serums and moisturizer to enhance the effectiveness.

I bought their eye zone essence as I’m addicted to any eye products that help to reduce my fine lines. I will use it after my IPSA essence has finished up


well over $1000

Free gifts:

too many.. basically I think I received a sample of everything they can give...

Kose Facial Mask, Evian Water Spray, Laneige Power Essential EX

You might think this is a weird combination, but I used this formula before to have facial mask when I was really skint. I think I was making my own facial mask for over 2 years before the craze of using toner with facial mask But to preserve the toner further, I wet the paper mask with water, I recommend using those water spray that says it is for facial purpose. Once you wet the paper mask, then pour in the toner or in this case Power Essential into the mask and wet it further.

I remember when I first bought the Power Essential, it comes with 4 paper mask in a bottle anyway.

I will definitely buy more paper mask, I’m just waiting to see how much it cost in Japan compare to HK


Kose Paper Mask: $29 (£2.5)

Laneige Power Essential: $89 (£7.8)

Evian Water Spray : $44 (£3.8)

For $162 / £14 you know have 14 paper masks. Nearly as good or better than My Beauty Dairies.

I’ll probably stop here for now. As there’s another 3 brands to talk about, and I’m way over my word limit for good blogging.

On the other hand, I am having internet access from mobile broadband courtesy to 3 from UK. Their 3 like home scheme allow me to use my data allowance for free in Hong Kong. Shame they’re cancelling the scheme and shame to say I’m leaving them after this trip.

Finally, this is the flower bouquet I received from my friend yesterday. It was her happy-ever after wedding yesterday and I came to Hong Kong to be her bridemaid. Hehe… everything in traditional Hong Kong style make me realised how lucky I am to be having my way (no interference from parents) for my big day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hello and Haul from Hong Kong (Part 1)

Hi everyone, did you miss me?

I certainly miss the peace and quiet life I have in UK as my days in HK started with rain, swine flu and shoppings. I nearly spent all my shopping budget in one day because I rather shop now than random buy during this trip.

So.. do you want to see what I got?

Lucido Strawberry hairspray,
lucido hair styling gel and
lucido hair spray for heat curling hair

Shiseido Anessa Pearly Sunscreen SPF 50

Haul from the famous Loon Sing Pharmacy
Kose Paper Mask 14 x 2
Evian water spray

IPSA Metabolizer EX 4
Laneige Power Essential EX

Ettusais Day Defense Powder (new version) more samples from Ettusais

IPSA Samples + Ettusais Samples

Fashion and Beauty Magazines

Ettusais Haul, too many will talk next time
IPSA Time Reset Essence
Biore Cleansing Oil
(to anyone reading, pls avoid buying this item even it smeel really gd)

What are missing from these pic,
My Beauty Dairy Mask Q10
My Beauty Dairy Mask Platinum

Borghese blue mask mud

Borghese Whitening Eye Masque

There is a theme towards this haul: SKINCARE!!

I decided that lunasol is still out of the reach, so I am definitely getting the drugstore brand eye shadow (I might return to Lunasol after my Japan trip), lucky I brought everything with me so it is not a problem with make up during the day.

Also, the weather is sooo hot and humid that any makeup you put on will melt very quickly. I decided that it is not worth to put on eye shadow (to start with.. they just melt) and put on very basic makeup. Just for coverage and sun protection. That’s why the focus is on the skincare.

there is a lot more to this on part 2, as I will discuss why I buy those brands.. it might be of someone’s interest, also the way to buy in Hong Kong.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bye! Off to HK

I'm just typing this while I ate my last min breakfast before catching the minicab to the airport.
Weee!!! LHR shopping here I come.

Weee!!! onboard shopping here I come.

Weee!!! HK and Japan, here I come

I said a long goodbye to D.D., he's staying with a friend for anything between 2 weeks to 1 month (depending if S will pick him up when he comes back) He's settling at new place and already making a fuss with my friend.

I should be back in 2 days time

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hong Kong/Japan Shopping Guide (Part 2)

How to buy:
This is my little tips and research that kind of give people a guide on how and what to buy if you happen to be in two places at a time.

Logic1 :
Only buy at counters.


Some says the reason why Sasa or Bourjour (the two mega makeup-store) can sell makeup products cheaply is because the manufacturer tend to re-sell the products near expiry date to Sasa/Bonjour. If you will open and use your products within 1 year of purchase, then please buy from there as it saves you money. If you are going to do shopping like me, and tend to buy try then maybe leave the products somewhere for another 3 months before taking it out again. I’ll tend to buy from counter as I know they will last with a 3 years shelf life. Most of the products have a 12 months use by date (unless it is specific), think before you open.

Logic 2:

Buy High End Japanese cosmetics in Hong Kong

High End Japanese products tend to sell cheaper in Hong Kong compare to Japan
Take IPSA EX Metabolizer
for example:
HK sale price: $530/usd $68/ GBP 45
Japan sale price: 7875 /USD82 /GBP 54

Price difference: 10GBP/14 USD

Same applies to coffret, Lunasol etc.

Logic 3: Buy drug store brand in Japan
In Japan, brand like Ettusais and Shiseido Maquillage are sold in drugstore (at least from my last visit in Kobe), and there are discount drugstore that is selling the product less than the official price. (just correct me, Nic Nic and Yumeko).
In Hong Kong, they are sold in department store, so therefore these ‘drugstore/counter’ brand is more expensive in Hong Kong compare to Japan, for around 2-5 GBP at least. But because it is sold in counter in HK, they tend to come with very generous free gifts if you buy at the right time.

Logic 4:
Do not buy Western imports brand

When you compare price, Western brands are a lot more expensive to buy in say HK/Japan to UK. For example: Chanel Tinted moisturiser (which I reviewed):
cost £29 compare to £44
in HK
Only buy western imports in Sasa/Bonjour

Logic 5:
Try only to buy Asia version of skincare if it suits you

Many of the brands produce Asia only line. They tend to be focus on whitening and oil control, so if you have oily or combination skin, or with acne scar, you might want to have a look. We all talked about DiorSnow, Lancome Whitening series, and if you want to buy them, buy them in HK. Again prices are cheaper in HK

Logic 6: 'Upstairs store' for Korean makeup
Korean makeup franchise in HK/Japan mark up their price so much to suit the markets. However with the depreciation of Korean Won, they are actually really cheap locally. The so-called ‘up-stairs’ shop allow you to buy and order these Korean makeup and can save up to 50% of marked price. These store will have poster on streets to lure you taking the flight of stairs or lift to go to the shop inside a building.
For example: Skin food Raspberry Eye cream
HK Franchise Price: $315

Upstair shop price: $185
You save: $130 ($17USD/£11GBP)

That’s all from me. I will take photos of some of the shops I go to and upload to update you all

Hnog Kong/Japan Shopping List (Part 1)

As requested by Mad Murderer Mud and Jamilla Camel, and my partner-in-crime Jennifer (oh darling.. I am sooo meeting you next week, super excited) I’m doing a special Hong Kong post.

Due to S nature, he basically moan about price price price, I developed a habit of comparing price (it is a good habit seriously), so this is must say I have tried to research over the past 2 months and this is kind of a conclusion.

Let me first introduce my partner-in-crime No.1: aka My luggage

Samsonite Black Label Pink made of Leather (32 inch, the biggest one in pic)

Isn’t it Gorgeous? I got it for 80% off the original price in Bicester Village, which is a outlet shopping village for all brand names like Chanel, and Prada and Dior and L’occitance and (it goes on and on)

If anyone is seriously coming to UK to shop, you MUST MUST MUST stop there! My suitcase is buy one get one free so I aquire this Alexander McQueen as well. (22inch)


(I’m probably selling this on ebay once I’m back from UK.. but I don’t really need this)

About Samsonite, I hesitate about it. Because my brother's suitcase was damaged first time it was used and Samsonite refused to repair it (even it is within warranty) This Black Label is top of the range, so rather than having 3years on the cheaper range or 10 years on the more expensive range, it is a Lifetime warranty, even if my wheels need replacement they will do it for free repair (I’ve asked for than 3 times about warranty and the SA said they will repair it because it is Black Label series)

Here’s the list I am planning to buy in Hong Kong: (Jennifer, make note! Lol)

IPSA Metabolizer – 125ml for $530

IPSA Time Reset extract – 15ml for $450

Neutrogena Fine Fairness New products range – (maybe $200)

Biore Cleansing Oil - $68

Neutrogena Deep Hydrating Mask – 5 pieces for around $70

My Beuaty Diary (Platinum version, not normal)- 6 pieces for $90

Borghese Blue Mud – 450ml for $500

Eye shadow palette from either Lunasol or Coffret

Borghese Eye Treatment or Shiseido White Lucent Eye Treatment

A super good eye concealer that don’t ‘highlight’ my fine lines

Translucent Powder (oil control use)

Paul & Joe Whitening Set ($350)

In Japan

Eye shadow palette from MM and Granesbon

Blush from Granesbon

Shiseido Maquillage –eyeliner and mascara (new summer collection)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hit the Pan (Photos Heavy)

Hiya. I’m back after I need to clear up with dao’s ‘present’.I thought I better do a proper post in beauty.

I have been reading a few blogs including URCosme about ‘hit the pan’. Basically you show off the makeup or skincare products that you have nearly use-up. Now.. it is rather difficult for makeup to be used up, and I managed to do with a few. If anyone wants a good review of any of the products I feature today, please feel free to leave a message and I shall write a good review about it.

1. Borghese Pink Fango mud
I have this for more than 2 years. My mom always use Borghese and of course I buy it for myself. This mud compare to the original fango mud features brightening and moisturising. Anyone who likes doing facial at home but can’t afford high prices (i.e. paper masks) should invest on this. Although the SA says it lasts 3 months, trust me, this last for years

2. Rose & Co Rose Petal Salve
Bought in Dec 07, and it is nearly hitting the pan. Compare to Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, it says it helps any dryness on any part of the body. I suffered from enzyme on legs and if in case I have no cream on me, this is my saviour.
Also, this has the lovely rose smell and not dominating.

3. IPSA eye shadow palette
Jesus, when did I buy this? 2003?
I think it is at the end of its life as you can see the ‘brown’ colour is hitting the pan, and the light cream colour has solidified. I’m keeping this as it is a very good colour combination and waiting to get to HK to find a replacement.

4. Lippies
Nude lips for me means dark red rose colour. On the left we have Ettusais lipsticks. Which I have repurchased once and used up.
One the right we have the IPSA lipgloss, and I will definitely repurchase as I tried more than 5 lipgloss and unable to match the same colour. It is a peachy-rose on me and it is really pigmented.

5. Gransenbon Blush
I love love love this. It is light, great brush included and great colour. Bought in July 2007 and definitely repurchasing.

6. Moisturiser and BB cream
Vichy Aqulia Thermal Light (which I reviewed) and this is actually my third tube.
Skinfood Mushroom BB cream Shade no.2 is my first ever bb cream and bought in March 2008 when the BB cream crazy only just started. I was told by the SA this is a tinted moisturiser (fair explanation). However I won’t repurchase because it is a little bit light on me.

7. Concealers
Laniege Concealer No.3 is really good on acne and spots. And I used the Benefit Erase Paste No.2 as well until I discovered Boi-ing. I probably won’t repurchase either of the items because I am getting old and they caked up during the day. I’m in HK for a good concealer lookout.

all the reasons that I can shop heavily in HK, haha....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dao Dao Beauty Special (with video)

Hi girls! My slave Eve decided that she’s taking time off to clean up my mess today (I gave her a half-dead baby pigeon as a present, I climbed all the way up the wall, and dropped it from 1 feet high to Eve just to make it a little bit special) so I think it is my turn.

I am a British Shorthair Blue Self. And my prefix is called Kinderpaws -> you can see my daddy and mommy on the website.

I start my day in bed with Eve and S. I like to do some exercise so I generally bite S toes every morning, and even plucked his hair on legs if I think it is a bit bushy. Who needs a razor when you have dao dao?

Then I play a ‘bang bang bang’ orchestra symphony on the door with some ‘bass’ meowing until Slave No.2 (Eve) gets up and let me out. I will then sun bathe just to make my hair a bit softer and warmer.

I drink lots and lots of water during the day. I’ll again ask Slave No.2 to switch on the tap and switch it off.

I eat healthy food such as cat food. I also like Whiskas temptations (please watch until the end) I also like milk, ham and KFC (but I’m not allowed to eat it, I know it is really tasty so I chased Slave no.1 around the flat)

Finally, I sleep all day everyday…


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My current makeup HG

I thought I’ll do a quick post of what I use generally.

I think I’m very basic on makeup.

So from Top to bottom, left to right

Top row from the left:
Shiseido Maquillage Face Creator No. 11 (Recommended by Fuz, bought from gooddealer)
Benefit Boi-ing No. 2 and Laneige concealer no.3
MM Lash Wing Expander
Eye curler – err. Can’t remember where I get it, some random ones from Sasa (around 2 GBP)
Ettusais Day Defense powder - great for oil control, no more blotting!
L’egere BB cream – soo long lasting, great stuff!
Vaseline Rosy Lips – give a little tint to my lips and keep it moisturised for a long time
MM Liquid Eyeliner – waterproof smudge proof. One of the best I ever tried
Body Shop Vitamin E SPF15 Lippies – do not go out without SPF…

Thanks for all the ladies who left a comment and message or email me about CP. It is a surprise coz I didn’t know there are more than 10 readers out there. Haha!

Dao dao is very naughty recently, he’s on a biting mode and he has bitten me on my bum, my thighs, hands and arms of course. Maybe he knows that I’m leaving him for 1.5 months so he is not very happy.

I only used the makeup I listed here on the same photo. If you remember this is the photo I did on the same day when Jamilla tagged me.


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