Sunday, August 28, 2016

TRAVEL: 8 THINGS TO DO IN SINGAPORE


This post is WAY over due, I have been waiting to get photos off my partner's phone but that never happened, we kept forgetting and I ended up accidentally deleting half of my photos from my phone. Ah... Fail.

In April this year we went on a week's getaway to Singapore - a country that's been on my list for a very long time. Thanks to cheap air fare from Tiger air (no thanks to their 2am return flight) we booked everything after extensive research and off we went!

I must admit that I am a definite "Super Traveller", I don't travel a lot, but when I do I will schedule a billion activities and our itinerary will be jam packed. Our trip to Singapore was more tiring than a week at work. But we had fun and our bellies were so full!



MARINA BAY SANDS

Before I go onto the activities, I just want to quickly touch on accommodation.

We spent 6 days at Studio M, they had the perfect loft for 3 people, it ended up to be around $90 per person, per night with breakfast buffet inclusive and 24/7 gym access. Even though the shower was TINY, it was still a raw deal.

Our final evening was spent in the prestigious Marina Bay Sands. Service was beautiful, the room was spacious and the view was breath-taking. We also enjoyed our own beds. The infinity pool was pack out at night, unfortunately the pool water was dirty. We had a quick dip in the morning and decided not to put our heads under. A night at Marina Bay Sands set us back approximately $260 per person. Unless you have money to spend, I feel that a night at Marina Bay Sands is enough as the novelty wore off quickly.

You can still check out the pool by paying a pool fee and just go for a dip to enjoy the amazing view (night view is prettier).



S.E.A AQUARIUM

The Aquarium is located in Sentosa (alongside Universal Studio, the casino, trick eye and a variety of restaurants). With over 800 species and 100,000 marine life, it was fabulous! We spent approximately 3 hours at the aquarium, I recommend for you to bring your own food.




GARDENS BY THE BAY

Singapore is a concrete jungle, the city hosts a large amount of skyscrapers and mass units like I have never seen before. At the same time, Singapore is all about sustainability. Among ridiculously tall buildings they created a stunning fairy-tale like garden. 

If you are in Singapore, put this on your agenda. We spent about half a day here.

Despite the humid weather, make sure you have a cardigan when you go in there. It's FREEZING.








HAWKERS MARKETS

We were recommended to STAY AWAY from restaurants and shopping centre food courts.

I personally feel we experienced and ate the best of Singapore by eating at different Hawkers Markets everyday. Hawkers Markets was a unique cultural experience, Singaporeans and locals eat at these markets on a very regular basis because the food is so good and cheap!

I have posted up a guide to Singapore's Hawkers Markets here.




JURONG BIRD PARK

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat/watch my videos, you'll know that I'm a bird person.

They are super low maintenance!

It's no surprises we stopped by Jurong Bird Park and took photos with my favourite birds, Flamingos! I even wore my pink Pokémon x Mean Girls T-shirt.

If you don't like birds, I'd recommend for you to give this a miss, you mind find it boring!



UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

We really wanted to check out Universal Studios and see how it differs to the one in US (not that I've been there...).

We spent a full day here and had the most amazing time. I am a big fan of theme park even though I don't go on those dare devil rides anymore (I'm getting old and might sustain whiplash or a neck sprain).

Universal Studios made us feel young again, my partner walked out with two bags full of souvenir and I came out with an Elmo shirt.
 

With the crew from Waterworld

 SINGAPORE ZOO and NIGHT SAFARI
Singapore Zoo is probably one of the most recommended attractions and I can see why!
With an incredible amount of birds and animals, it's a day trip. We had a great work out walking around the zoo and when we got tired... tram stops to the rescue!

The Night Safari is something you don't want to miss. If you have to pick between Zoo or the Night Safari, I'd recommend the night safari (especially if you like lions and tigers etc). It's eerie, scary, dark and you are surrounded by big cats, bats, hyenas...

The Hyenas was probably the most scary part... even though everything was fenced off, they were following us like they wanted to eat us!





MERLION

You can't leave Singapore without visiting the Merlion.

With hoards of tourists trying to capture the perfect Merlion photograph you may find yourself standing among a sea of people for your picture perfect moment.

Lion head with a fish body, this mythical creature represents Singapore. The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village while the lion head represents Singapore's original name "Singapura" which means lion city - even though it is unlikely that lions ever lived on the Island!




I am fairly pro environment and sustainability. But my time in Singapore (despite the short stay) strengthened my view. There was a time-lapse in Garden by the Bay, providing a prediction of what our world will turn into within our children and grand children's life time if we continue to live to harm our environment. With global warming, it is estimated that the last polar bear will die in 150 years.

Once the earth warms up by 2 degrees there will be an increase in natural disasters and diseases, by 3.5 degrees, 1 in 5 animal will be extinct, by 5 degrees the earth will becoming a dying rock. 2015 ranks to be the warmest year and I am sure 2016 will top it off. There has already been a 0.87 degree increase. Take some time and make yourself aware of these changes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rimmel Moisture Renew Sheer and Shine Lipstick Review + Swatches




As much as I love the hot chocolate aspect of Winter, it's still quite gloomy. I like to play around with different lipsticks during winter to lift my mood. However, I don't always feel comfortable wearing really bold and colourful lips at work or around my clients. Rimmel brought out their Moisture Renew Sheer and Shine Lipstick not long ago and these babies got a lot of use from me!



ABOUT RIMMEL MOISTURE RENEW SHEER AND SHINE LIPSTICKS

  • Available in 6 shades
  • Enriched with Vitamin A C and E
  • Provides a boost of moisture
  • Fresh juicy colours with a radiant shine
  • Ultra light-weight texture
  • Non sticky and comfortable to wear
  • 4g per lipstick
  • SPF 20

Price: $13.95 ea. from Priceline



MY VERDICT

  • This range quickly made it's way into my daily staples. I can pretty much grab any shade, slap it on and for it to be fairly appropriate for work. The lighter colours are very very sheer and the two bolder reds/oranges are quite pigmented.
  • These lipsticks are highly moisturising, I love the fact that they are sheer and locks in moisture. I never experience chapped lips with these.
  • Scent wise, these lipsticks smell like..... super sweet raspberry lollies...or minty coke bottles. This is consistent with a lot of Rimmel's lipsticks and I can't say I'm a big fan. Luckily, the scent of these lipsticks are relatively subtle and not overly pungent.
  • The finish is glossy, texture is lightweight as claimed and non-sticky/comfortable to wear.
  • Red-y. Set. Go and Pink Rules have a longer wear time (see video application below). Otherwise the colours would wear off in a an hour or two and requires re-application. However, since this is a sheer lipstick, it's not suppose to have a great colour pay off, so it's fine in my books.
  • If you want colour and you want longevity, give this a miss. If you like lip tints or low-key everyday lip colours like me, these are perfect.

LIP SWATCHES

Please ignore everyone walking in the background, they wanted a piece of this blogging action!

Disclaimer: Products featured in this post were provided for editorial purpose, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What's in My Travel Makeup Bag? - Umina Beach Edition



I am so happy to be taking a break from work.

Even if it's a short break.

My partner and I are heading up to Umina Beach for a wedding, I've been to the central coast once... and we both know people who commute to Sydney from Central Coast on a daily basis. But for us... it's a bit of a "road trip"... well more like train trip since my car is in service.

My makeup bag is packed with mainly deluxe, sample or travel size products. I did pack a few full size products I can't live without.


To cover my day to day skincare needs. Uni Organics have the perfect little kit!

This kit contains the whole shebang, cleanser, scrub, lip balm, serum and day cream ! This is a fantastic little travel kit -  I will post up a full review post on this kit so stay tuned!


Now for treatment products, hair, body, makeup removal... I've packed some samples.

And the Elucent day cream... well that's for my boyfriend. He loves that it's a non-greasy yet hydrating day cream with SPF.

So far, I have been impressed with Caolion's pore products I can't wait to try their pore pack sample!!


Since we are up for a wedding, I tried to take some of my more bold-ish makeup products. I received a small sample of Laura Mercier's Primer and Benefit's Hello Flawless Foundation it'll be my first time trying this primer and foundation, my skin certainly needs to be flawless!

For eyes, I decided on a fairly naturally looking classic kitten flick so Rimmel is in the bag alongside my Canmake Palette. For lashes, I'm bringing my Factorie Mascara, this is one of my favourite tubular mascaras because it actually hold curls... who knew this clothing brand mascara can turn into a HG mascara.

Since I'm going easy on the eyes, I'm gonna go bold with the lips. L'STAJ is my all time go-to liquid lipstick for special occasions I have Lady Sassy packed and ready to be worn!

I can't wait to share my itty bitty trip with you guys :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Winter Edit: Cold, Cough and Flu ft Brauer Natural Medicine


If you follow my Instagram (@lilynotlouise) you probably know that I was RIDICULOUSLY sick with an awful virus that lasted for over a week last month. Prior to that, my mum was sick with the flu. I blame the tightly packed peak hour trains where people freely sneeze/cough and spray their germs all over me.

I pretty much took the entire week off work and have never felt so awful and I haven't been sick for 2 years! A few months ago I was sent some Brauer products and  really wanted to test them out. Initially I was planning to write a very generic post introducing the product.. but then mum got sick and I got sick... it was bittersweet because I was able to put these natural medicines to the test.


Brauer is an Australian brand providing quality natural medicine solutions since 1929, their products are Australian made! The foundation of Brauer is Homeopathy, based on the principles by Hippocrates. If you don't know who that is, he's the more or less the first Physician who believed that people get sick from environmental factors rather than an act of punishment inflicted by gods. I learned about Hippocrates at Uni and he came out with some pretty bizarre theories in terms of the treatment and causes of Hysteria (Google it!).

Back in the days, Physicians and Psychiatrists were wacked out of their mind in terms of treatment, you may have read up on Lobotomy, Trepanation etc (favourite part of my Psych degree). Like every philosopher/physician's theory, you agree with some and disagree with others.
 

If you follow me on Snapchat (@lilynotlouise) you would have seen me talk about Brauer a couple of times!




Brauer Manuka Honey Cold and Flu Elixir & Brauer Manuka Honey Sore Throat Spray

These two are my must have combo during the initial stages of my cold/flu/virus. My first sign of symptoms is ALWAYS a sore throat, so sore that I can't talk and can barely swallow. Luckily I found relief with Brauer's Sore Throat Spray!!! It does have a bitter taste and it's not the most pleasant thing to consume and I got use it over time. I love this sore throat spray because it's effective and lasting. I would recommend this over Betadine any day, I gargled Betadine once and accidentally swallowed some, I was horrified because on the packaging it wrote "Do not Swallow".

I can't determine the effectiveness on the cold and flu elixir because I had a virus and it was more or less a waiting game. Mum was quite happy with the elixir as it did ease her body aches.


Brauer Manuka Honey Chesty Cough Elixir & Brauer Manuka Honey Dry Cough Elixir

I took the Dry Cough Elixir while I was ill and it did reduce my cough, usually I'd have a coughing fit every hour. If estimated, I'd say that my cough was reduced by 50% compared to my usual coughing manners.

It must be genetic that when mum and I get sick we always move onto a chesty cough at some point.While she was sick with a dry cough I accidentally gave her the chesty cough elixir. A few days later with half the bottle consumed, she told me how great the elixir was because she did not experience any phlegm or mucus while she was sick! So another effective product.

Because our flu and virus was quite serious, one thing I need to disclose is that I did take Nurofen whilst taking Brauer's natural medicine. Mum took a couple of Panadol and some herbal medicine while taking Brauer. From our experience, we feel Brauer is fantastic as a supplementary solution to assist with symptom relief, especially with symptoms that cold and flu tablets are unable to ease effectively.

What's your view on natural medicines?

 
Disclaimer: All products featured in this post were provided for editorial purposes. All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 12, 2016

HOW TO: Conceal Under Eye Circles ft Medik8


Unfortunately puffy under eye circles runs in the family, I can't escape it! If I don't sleep enough, over sleep, eat too much junk or dehydrated, my eye circles can be more prominent than usual.

I personally hate them, I feel that puffy or dark under eye circles can age a person significantly. So here's a little post going through my 4 simple steps to hide those circles!


STEP ONE: Eye Cream


Eye cream is always the first step. I like to apply an eye cream to clean skin to prep and hydrate the skin as concealer tend to dry out my under eye area.

I have gone past my gel eye cream period as my under eye area love rich eye creams. Medik8 Hydr8 Night Eye* is a fantastic rich and hydrating cream. I personally like to use this for day and night, it's high performing.


STEP TWO: DE-PUFF



I like to use a treatment product as a second step to assist with de-puffing the under eye area. Medik8 Dark Circle* has now been in my stash for about 4 months now. I have read a lot of reviews for this product online and it is a bit of a hit and miss, works miracles for some but not others. Luckily for me, this works quite well in terms of de-puffing. This can be used as a treatment product alone or under concealer/makeup.


STEP THREE: CORRECT


A salmony peach concealer is your key to rid any darkness under your eyes. I've seen a lot of tutorials with red lipsticks, but that's just TOO much for me! I find salmon/peach coloured concealers to work just fine! The salmon shade concealer I own is from Shiseido in No. 6 Honey.


STEP FOUR: CONCEAL



My last and final step is to conceal away that peachiness! I am using a beige concealer that is lighter than my skin tone, applying this over the peachy concealer for an instant brightness. Here I am using a concealer from Bloom's Secret Weapon Concealer Kit.


VIDEO DEMO


*These products were provided for editorial purposes, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

BOOKI BROW CO Brow Kit Review, Swatches and Video



Booki Brow Co is the new kid on the block, founded by Brooke Jesberg  who has a whooping 12 years of experience in the brow industry. Booki Brow Co is all about turning brow-confidence into self-confidence. Making everyday a good brow day.

Three key products were released Trio Compact (define, blend and highlight), duo brow brush and duo highlighting brush.

I have never been a brow person until I recently got my brows done for the first time ever, now I love doing my brows!!!



A solution for black brows...

There are two brow sets from Booki Brow Co, one for brunettes and one for those with black brows like myself. I don't dye my hair and its jet black, so are my brows. I had to buy brow products from Korea or use a greyish taupe colour in order for it to suit my brows. Is it me or is there really not a lot of mainstream brands that carries brow products for those with black hair and brows?

I don't know about you but, it was a struggle for me, the entire palette is always brown, dark brown and very deep brown. So you can probably envision my surprise when I saw the palette for darker hair YESSS finally a colour that suits me!!! Thank you Booki Brow Co!!!

Before we get into the review, since the brunette palette didn't suit me, I decided not to dip my fingers into the product and gave it to a friend who will put it to good use.

My Verdict..

I absolutely love Booki Brow Co's dual ended brushes and spoolie. The products are easy to apply and buildable. My brows stayed put all day long and the highlighter colour is amazing, I have been using it as a highlighter for my cheeks too!

There were small amounts of fall out but nothing significant as the shadows seem to be densely packed. To be honest, I don't have a lot of experience with brow products since I only recently started doing my brows, so I am quite satisfied. But I can tell you that you can achieve both a natural and a bold look with this kit. Once you use the spoolie all the harshness will disappear.

Swatches


Video Demonstration (Bold-ish Brows)
Since I am a bit of a newbie when it comes to brows, the below is just a product demonstrate of how I have been using the products. I like the inner half of my brows to look a little bit more natural so I don't look angry! Hence, using the deeper brown for inner half and black grey for the rest. But everything gets blended together eventually! Dont forget to join Ingrid's link up party here


Disclaimer: All products featured in this post were provided for editorial purposes. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Empties: June - July 2016



Can't believe we how fast this year is going, we are in AUGUST! How insane!
I have a small lot of collective empties from June to July, I always feel that the empties verdict is the most accurate because I spent a lot of time finishing (or partially finishing) the entire product. So if there's any product you are curious about, have a read!



Tony and Guy Dry Shampoo
I really can't tell the difference between dry shampoos this worked as well as my Batise ones. I tend to only use this when my hair feels disgusting and needs a wash. Now that I wash my hair every second day I haven't really found the need to repurchase.

SkinB5 Acne Control Caplets*
A full review was written a while back. I did take this in short bursts when I break out in the past few months, this stuff is effective however, now that I have been using it for almost a year, I found that it's not as effective for pimples arising during "that time of the month". Still a form of treatment that I would recommend for acne sufferers.


Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean Perfume
The second full size perfume I have ever finished! I did spray this like a mad woman though, it took forever to finish. The scent was a little fruity and island like - does that even make sense?

Rosehip Plus Daily Organic Cream Cleanser*
This is a gentle cleanser and great to use around the eyes. Now that I have finished the entire product, I feel that it's great for removing light makeup (which is what I wear on a daily basis), but if you are wearing heavier makeup, you might want to double cleanse.

See my full review for Rosehip Plus Cream Cleanser here.


Goldwell Ultra Volume Conditioner
This conditioner did not work for me. It turned my hair into dread locks (not quite but  you know what I mean, all bunched up together). I kept giving it the benefit of doubt but the result always ended up the same.

Swisse Hand Cream
This little tube took me forever to use, it's very light weight and hydrating. I don't mind the scent either. This was a sample size so great for my handbag but I had to clean the lid all the time as the product would clog around the lid.

Sunsense Daily Face Invisible Tint Finish*
I have heard a lot of negative reviews for this product but I really like it! Since my skin can get quite dry I love that it gives me a little bit of a shine. I can see why oily skinned gals wouldn't like this as it does not have a matte finish. But for me, two thumbs up.


And some small samples that I finished, all were "meh" nothing worth mentioning a part from the Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream - which I loved.


I had the courage to throw the above out. They had either gone off, too old or just didn't work for me.

  • Revlon palette - I have had this since I was 21, time to part.
  • Maybelline Color Molten- Another product that just did not work for me, there was barely any colour pay off and the texture was a bit.. strange?! Cushion-y and difficult to use..
  • Sugar Baby Lipstick - Another product I loved but had for years..
  • Minxx Lip Gloss* - Not having a lot of luck with this brand, the lipstick was off when I received it and now the gloss is off .. sigh... (Here's the full review)
  • Oil of Morocco Lip Gloss- I strangely liked this peppermint scented gloss. It was a bit sticky but did my lips well and I got some use out of it. However had it for years.
  • Rimmel Radiance BB Cream* - Oh how I loved this product. Unfortunately the texture has gone funny so I suspected it's time for the bin.(See full review here).

*These products were provided for editorial purposes, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

EVENT: Shu Uemura Grand Opening at Queen Victoria Building


Shu Uemura recently opened their first Boutique in Sydney, this is such an exciting milestone for the brand. I was lucky to be able to celebrate the grand opening at their spanking new boutique. I am a sucker for Japanese beauty products, when I went to Japan I purchased more than I can chew. During University I could never afford Shu Uemura, luckily, my close friend returned from her travels and gifted me the infamous Shu Uemura eye lash curler. That's where my relationship began with this amazing brand.

Shu Uemura's Boutique is located on the Lower Ground of Queen Victoria Building. It's a bit further down from Doughnut Time's stall, you can't miss it.



Let's take a moment to admire the gorgeous colourful lashes on shu bear in the photo above. They are so fluffy!!!!!

If you are not aware already, Wengie (Youtuber) is more or less the face of Shu Uemura Australia. I started watching Wengie's channel earlier this year and she is adorable! It's not a grand opening if there's no ribbon cutting, right?



Following the ribbon cut, we headed into the store to have a look at their wide range of skincare and makeup, you can see more photos of the beauty products below!
 








To fuel my undying passion for food. Above I have included some photos of the catering from the event. Healthy and delicious sushi alongside some pretty naughty doughnuts from Doughnut Time!!!

 
Closing off this post with a photo of myself with the beautiful Wengie! This is the second time I have met her and she actually remembered me from Benefit's Launch! Tickled pink ^_^

Find out more about Shu Uemura here.

*Lily not Louise attended this event as a guest of Shu Uemura.