Monday, 24 October 2011

Review : Guerlain's Blanc de Perle UV Shield Brightening Pearl Perfection SPF 50 - PA +++

Firstly, thank you for all your opinions in the last post. I really appreciate it. Everyone has given me some wonderful advice and I'm going to think things over just a little bit more!

So in line with 'Project Get Old Body Back', I went to the gym a few days ago! I can't actually remember the last time I went but I know it's been a really, really long time. When I handed my card to the receptionist, she checked the computer screen and said something along the lines of, 'It's been 38 days since you last came. Where have you been?!'

AHAH. Has it really been 38 days?!

I don't know how I lived without the gym for that long because I spent an hour on cardio and I feel so much better about myself. I feel happier, I feel energised and I feel empowered. Never mind the weight loss or toning, this is what exercise should be about. Making you mentally and emotionally fit.
Okay, enough talking about me! Onto a review!

Product : Guerlain's Blanc de Perle UV Shield Brightening Pearl Perfection SPF 50 - PA +++
Made In : France
Purchased From :  Sample
Quantity : 3ml -
Sample Size

Summer is just around the corner for us Aussies and I can't wait! I'm sick of wearing massive coats and lugging around an umbrella 'just in case'. And you know what? I'm sick of bad, temperamental skin!

Bring on the sun! Bring on the good weather! Bring on the good skin! I've been suffering too much!

But with the sun, comes the need for some serious protection. Australia is, after all, the sunburnt country and sunscreen shouldn't really an option. I only started using sunscreen at the start of the year and I regret it. I've got a few sun spots that I didn't even know existed until quite recently.

Recently, my mother did a Guerlain haul and as usual, she came back with a handful of samples. She told the sales assistant how I'm new to wearing sunscreen and she kindly popped a few samples of Guerlain's Blanc de Perle UV Shield Brightening Pearl Perfection SPF 50 - PA +++.





From Guerlain :

'This high-protection UV shield combats pigmentation imperfections. With its outstanding lightness and translucence, it is also enriched with active anti-aging detoxifying ingredients to prevent damage caused by free radicals and protect the skin’s youthfulness. The complexion remains light and luminous under all circumstances. Apply every morning to the face and neck.'

The sunscreen also contains Guerlain's Pearl Whitening Complex which, like pearls, fights against imperfections such as melanin trapped at the heart of the epidermis.




When you squeeze the sunscreen out, it is a pearly and milky formula. A little product goes a long way and so you don't have to squeeze a lot out.




Although it look milky, it is slightly thick and spreads out with a little effort. It also feels a little oily on my fingertips when I smooth it over my face.

Initially, the colour looked a little too white for my liking. But I patted it in gently, it gradually sinks and blends in with your skin.




The end result is a healthy pearly glow that helps me look a little more well-rested that I really am. Always a bonus!

At first, I loved the sunscreen's finish. It settled into my skin nicely and it gave my face a nice glow. A friend saw me a few days ago and noticed that I looked healthier. Since I've been sick, I'm pretty sure it's not because I actually looked healthier, but because I was wearing a layer of Guerlain sunscreen.

I also love the fact that it is SPF 50. The current moisturer/sunscreen that I'm using is SPF 25 and I don't think it's anywhere near enough for the current weather conditions. 

However, the sunscreen gets oily on my face 2-3 hours after application. It's also a bit drying and looks like it's zapped some of the moisture out of my face. It sounds really strange, right? How can a product be both oily and drying?
Trust me, it can!

After 2-3 hours, I can see and feel a thin layer of oil sitting on top of my skin and I can see my skin looking dry underneath all of that. 

It's really a shame because I love the pearly radiance it gives my face. But I absolutely hate how oily it makes my skin, and not to mention that it is a little drying.

Oh Guerlain sunscreen! Why must you give this pretty pearl radiance and then make me look oily and dried out all at once?  

Saturday, 22 October 2011

@thisisvalentine

Ahh life semi-sucks right now! One of my girlfriends is holding her annual Halloween house party tonight and I can't go because I'm at home nursing a cold. Boooo! Everyone's out having fun except me! Booo!

SIGH. 

Anywhoo. . .

I GOT TWITTER. 
@thisisvalentine

I actually got Twitter back in August but kind of forgot about it. I used to have an account but I stopped using it ages ago. So right now, I'm still a bit 'Err, what do I do?' about it! AHAH. Bear with me!
Please add me and then we can have endless conversations about everything under the sun!

SECOND, I NEED ADVICE
Would you fly 9+ hours if someone told you that you have a 1 in 100 chance to come a little bit closer to your lifelong dream?

I literally have 24 hours to decide. 

I'm so confused. On the one hand, I feel like if I don't take this chance, I'll never get the same opportunity again. Even if I get the same chance, the circumstances won't be right. Not that I'm saying the circumstances are right now. But they're much better than say a year ago. 

But then there are a gazillion other things holding me back. I'm just plain busy right now. I've got a lot of things on my plate. Not to mention that there are no guarantees. There is no guarantee that I will be that 1 in 100. To be quite honest, I don't feel that I will be that 1 in 100. 

Another thing that's really bugging me is that if THIS was seriously my dream, surely there is no need for this conversation. It wouldn't be a matter of should I go but which day I should fly out.  

I feel that if I don't go, I'll regret it. And if I do go, I'll regret it as well. What the hell?!
Sorry I can't be more specific about what's happening. 

But I just don't know.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Sugar Hit 2011 at The Cortile, InterContinental Hotel

I'm back again with more food from the Crave Sydney International Food Festival! Two of my friends and I spent a lovely evening at The Cortile, InterContinental Hotel enjoying our Sugar Hit

It was my first time in the InterContinental and I think I've fallen in love with The Cortile. 

The surroundings are absolutely stunning and completely breathtaking. It is by far one of the most elegant hotel lobbies I've been to. The Cortile is actually a Victorian-style courtyard surrounded by  three-tiers of sandstone corridors and a soaring glass ceiling. It has a deep sense of history and antiquity, and the surroundings are serene and tranquil. The contemporary furnishings makes the lobby lounge especially relaxing and intimate.



The photos are no where near indicative of how beautiful the Cortile is. It really is something you have to experience for yourself. At night, the sandstone arcades are lit up and the ambiance is perfect for a quiet conversation over a glass of wine and dessert.

It was still a little bit dark, hence the photos. I've actually tried to lighten the photos so that you can see a bit more detail.

The service is unbelievably attentive. In my experience, The Venetian in Macau has the best service overral. The staff at The Venetian are courteous, accommodating and prompt. I cannot tell you the amount of times I've asked The Venetian staff to go beyond their call of duty. Each time, I am amazed at how willing they are to fulfill your requests and how much trouble they go to in order to not make you feel like your requests are a bother. 

The service at the Cortile is quite similar. The staff are very polite and accommodating. Sugar Hit begins at 9PM, but my girlfriends and I arrived earlier and I asked whether we could be seated in advance. The waitress gladly showed us to a table and informed us that she would serve us three Sugar Hits when it was 9PM.
Lovely service. 



Our dessert wine arrived first. It was a Brown Brother's Orange Muscat and Flora, and it complimented our dessert very well. It's unfortunate that I'm not much of a drinker. I literally had a few sips and I was already getting light-headed. 

This is actually a shot of my glass when I called quits.



Our dessert for the night was a home-made pistachio and bitter chocolate vacherin with blood orange custard with a jaffa macaron.   




The vacherin was pure delight. I would gladly demolish another one. . .or two. AHAH. I couldn't really taste the pistachio though. 

 


I'm not big on macarons or macaroons. They never really appealed to me. A lot of my friends are obsessed with them but I just never got why. They're kind of bland? AHAH. Maybe it's just me. 

This is going to be my last food blog entry in a really, really long time. No more eating for me! I need to lose some serious weight and so that means I'm on a food ban. Since last March, I've gained a total of 10kgs!

I need to get back into my routine! So from the moment I wake up, it will be back to healthy eating! Salads, tuna, salmon, capsicum, fresh tomatoes, apples, oranges, seaweed, green beans and yoghurt. These all used to be my favourite food but then I went berserk and went all out with carbs. I'm also putting a limit on carbs from tomorrow onwards!

I want my old body back! GRR!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Death By Chocolate

What's your main role in your circle of friends?

Amongst my friends, I am unofficially in charge of Events Management. I am  the one who makes those elaborate Facebook events, chases guests to RSVP, check dietary requirements, does all the relevant reservations, disseminates detailed directions to the location and makes sure everyone is dressed for the occassion.

I, somehow, just settled into the role. Admittedly, I wouldn't have it any other way!

I am the fussiest when it comes to going out. I am pedantic about food since I'm allergic to practically everything under the sun and meticulous about getting my money's worth. Setting up events is often stressful, especially when people cancel at the last minute or people turn up half way through the event. GRR.

But I like organising events and I like having the final say! AHAH.

Awhile ago, some of my girlfriends and I decided to do a meet up over some delicious food. We don't get the chance to see each other regularly anymore because of conflicting schedules. So I booked for us to do something special, fancy and girly. I booked for the four of us to do High Tea!

The decision was made partly to coincide with the Crave Sydney International Food Festival. The Festival runs for the month of October and celebrates a wide variety of international cuisines. As part of the festival, there are a myriad of food events staged around Sydney and regional New South Wales. One of the more popular events that the festival has running is High Tea. Participating restaurants and hotels are serving their High Tea menus with a flute of Brown Brothers champagne for $45.

It took us awhile to figure out where we wanted to have High Tea because the festival has spoilt us with so many tantalising choices! I ended up booking the Shangri-La's 'Wickedly Sweet High Tea' which consists of eleven chocolate desserts per person. It seemed like the perfect choice because one of my friends can't eat cold cut meats and another loved the sound of a chocolate high tea.



High Tea at the Shangri-Le is served in The Lobby Lounge and Terrace, and the surroundings are pleasant and comfortable. On a normal day, this would definitely be a place that I would pop in for a coffee to unwind.

Unfortunately, we chose the wrong day to go for High Tea. The hotel was packed to the brim with people coming and going, and the hustle and bustle of people was discomforting. Admittedly, there were a few activities and events being held in the hotel itself, hence the large volume of people present. The lounge also overflowed with patrons and people were bumping into my chair as they walked past. Not to mention that the noise level was extremely high and we had to shout across the table in order to be heard by each other.

That was really disappointing.

Another complain would be the service. All the waitstaff we encountered were lovely, courteous and friendly. One staff member tried to make small talk with a friend of mine which I thought was nice. It personalised the experience.

But as time went on and the amount of people increased, the staff were difficult to flag down and prone to mistakes. I just wish they weren't so understaffed because on the day that we went, they were literally swamped.




My three girlfriends ordered English Breakfast Tea and I had my usual latte. I'm not sure whether it was intentional, but I was not served any sugar. My friend laughed that maybe it was normal, considering the amount of sugar in front of us!

The desserts that we indulged in were :   

Gateau Opera – Layers of Kahlua soaked sponge with hazelnut chocolate crunch and coffee butter cream          
Double Chocolate Brownie –
Chocolate and walnut brownie with a milk chocolate mousse
Chocolate Shot-  Milk chocolate cream topped with chocolate crunch
Selection of Macarons – Variety of chocolate flavoured macarons
Whisky Candy Bar – A crispy feuilletine base topped with whisky infused chocolate
Pistachio Slice – Pistachio sponge with a White chocolate and rice pudding bavarois finished with a pistachio glaze
Triple Chocolate Dome – Layers of white, dark and milk chocolate mousse set on a chocolate sable
Chocolate and Cherry Tart - Sweet pastry tart shell with baked chocolate mousse and cherries in kirsch
Chocolate Bavarois – Mini chocolate bavarois cake
Fondue with Lollipops - Warm chocolate fondue with frozen chocolate and hazelnut pops
Rocky Road – Raspberry marshmallow, Rose jelly, salted peanut chocolate caramel




I forgot to take photos of one or two desserts but you can definitely get a feel for how decadent the desserts are. After my second piece, I was begging for salt! AHAH. I was actually craving for stir-fried udon!

Was it delicious? I really enjoyed the 'Chocolate Shot' which is the first photo and the Rocky Road  piece which had rose jelly. Aside for these two, I don't believe that there was anything particularly exceptional. Everything else was a bit so-so. I thought there would be different variations of chocolates like dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. At the very least, I would have liked one piece of white chocolate. Every piece of dessert just tasted like it came from the same type of chocolate and that bored me.

I'm not sure if that makes sense. But the High Tea was essentially the same chocolate flavour eleven times. There was little variation. 

I know that I would have loved the experience a million times better if there just wasn't so many people or if the noise level was lower. I was so excited to see my girlfriends but the atmosphere made having a proper conversation really difficult. 

There are many more things to try at the Crave Sydney Food Festival! I'll be heading out to the Night Noodle Market and Sugar Hit this week and I can't wait!

To all my Sydneysiders! Have you been doing any of the festival activities?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Blog Tag : Tell Me About Yourself !



Lily has kindly tagged me with 'Tell Me About Yourself'. It's my first blog tag and I want to thank her for thinking of me! So the rules are that I've got to share Seven Random Facts about myself and then tag other bloggers to keep this game going!

So let's go!

FACT ONE . I'm married. . .to Jung Yunho.
Okay, maybe it's not fact. . .yet! Does everyone know who Yunho is? He's the leader of the Korean group Dong Bang Shin Ki! He is seriously a perfect gentleman and has this deep sense of responsibility. Obviously I don't know him in real person (yet), but from what I've seen and heard, Yunho is a really hard worker, dedicated and dependable. I don't want to sound like a complete lunatic, but he comes across as someone who is genuine, friendly, kind-hearted and good-spirited. Sure it could all be an act, but this is the type of person I want to be with.

He's also super good looking, dances like a machine, has strong shoulders and looks hott in a suit. What more can you ask for?!

Swoon and dies!


  

FACT TWO . When I hear a good song, I cry.
Music is my life and when I hear a beautiful melody, I cry. When I see someone playing an instrument with passion, I cry. I am a sucker for creative people. 

Wang LeeHom's live concert performance of 'If You Can Hear My Song' made me cry like an idiot. The piano introduction had me in a puddle and I still can't pinpoint why. It's just beautiful.




FACT THREE . I'm allergic to beef.
This is seriously a pain in the ass because eating out can be a bit of a hit and miss. I have to be extra careful and remember to ask about what stock has been used for certain dishes. I always give BBQs a miss because I can't eat any food that has been cooked on plates that have touched beef. Yes, beef juices can give me a reaction.

Not only am I allergic to beef, the smell of it makes me queasy.   

FACT FOUR . I love grocery shopping!
I adore the supermarket. I don't know why. But I just love walking around the supermarket even if I don't need or end up buying anything. It's much more therapeutic than window shopping. I'm so strange. AHAH

FACT FIVE . I heart Sailormoon. 
Back in primary school, my friends and I used to put on lunchtime plays. Every lunchtime we'd reenact the episode of Sailormoon that was shown on TV in the morning. I always played Sailor Mars because of my long black hair. 

Halloween is coming up which means dress-up time! Most people don't celebrate Halloween in Australia but one of my girlfriends uses it as an excuse to throw a house party each year. She gets mad if we don't dress up! I started looking for ideas last week and I came across Sailormoon. I've spent the past five or six days reading up on the entire series and watching snippets on Youtube. I ended up buying a Sailormoon comic and it just got delivered today! AHAH. I'm completely obsessed.

It's like being a child all over again!

FACT SIX . One day, I'm going to open a small cafe. I'm going to make the most delicious and uplifting coffee ever tasted!
I like coffee. I like making people's day. Hopefully, before the end of this year, I can go get my barista certificate and take some coffee art lessons. 

I like environments where I am constantly in front of people and able to communicate with them face to face.

FACT SEVEN . My body reacts negatively to Western medicine in general. So when I'm sick, I resort to traditional herbal medicine.
I generally have an unhealthy body. AHAH. My body just sucks. It fatigues really easily and I'm a liability most of the time. AHAH. I'm always on some type of herbal medicine or drinking some type or health remedy to strengthen my body. 

It seems the only Western medicine that I take is Panadol. 

Now, I want to tag everyone who reads/comments on this entry! I want to know more about every single on of you. So tag! You're it!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Hello, Stranger!

Hello everyone! How's everyone going? Hope everyone is good! 

It's been awhile since I last blogged, right? Same old excuse - I've been super busy and super tired! My skin has gone berserk AGAIN, which means using, trying and writing about anything beauty related has been put on a complete halt. My skin is looking terrible and that's really discouraged me from blogging.

Here's hoping that my skin gets better soon because I have a handful of products to try! I got some vouchers emailed to me awhile ago to try out some new and existing beauty products. I had some free time yesterday so I went and collected them all in the one go!

Gah, I so want my skin to get better! Can't wait to test out these products!




I got a voucher to try out Estee Lauder's Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Eye Creme and the sales consultant was so generous. She also gave me a sample tub of Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme SPF 15, Advanced Night Repair Eye Creme and Advanced Night Repair Serum. That's more than generous - that's super duper generous!

I've never used anything from Estee Lauder before and admit to not being too familiar with the brand.

Anyone tried out any of Estee Lauder's products? I love the little tubs! They're so pretty!



Oh, Yves Saint Laurent! I was given the Parisienne and Opium Fragrance sample, and a trial bottle of Top Secrets Eye Make Up Remover Bi-Phase

The make up remover looks slightly intimidating with it being green and all. I am definitely going to wait until my skin gets better before trialling that!



I also collected a sample of Guerlain's Abeille Royale Up-lifting Eye Care. I am seriously in love with Guerlain and so is my mother! AHAH. 

I think overrall the brand is quite underrated. Their skincare lines are on the expensive side but are, nonetheless, quite effective. I don't use any of their skincare products but my mother does and her skin has improved immensely since using the brand.



A week ago, a family friend came to visit from Hong Kong and we got her to buy some products for us. This is my mother's Guerlain Parure Aqua SPF20 PA +++ Foundation in No. 2. But I'll most likely be claiming it from now on. AHAH.

I've been using a bit of my mother's foundation because she's been raving about how moisturising and nice the colour is. The foundation is light, slightly watery and doesn't offer much coverage. But it is much more moisturising than any foundation I've used before. It also feels very comfortable on my skin.

So I claim it now.




The YSL Touche Eclat in No. 1 deserves its own post. I have this wonderful love/hate relationship with this pen. The two of us. . .we have a very long history. We go way back. 

I re-bought the Touche Eclat because I've been mixing it with my foundation and using it as an under-eye concealer. Works like a gem.



Lastly, a Clinique product! This is Clinique's Derma White City Block Anti-Pollution SPF 40/PA +++. You can't get this in Australia because the Derma White line doesn't exist. We only have the normal City Block range and I don't really like the colour of those tinted sunscreens. On my face, the colour looks really gray and it makes me look like a walking corpse!

The Derma White City Block colour is much better. 

Admittedly, this is another product for my mother because she loves it. She's trying to get on me on the bandwagon because I'm getting freckles and my regular SPF20 moisturiser isn't really helping. 

This will be my first tinted sunscreen. I've always been against using tinted sunscreens because it's hard to find a colour that matches my skin. 

So we'll see how it goes!

IN OTHER NEWS

I'm starting a new job next week! I've spent an entire month discussing and negotiating the role and finally I start! Am I excited? I'm more nervous than excited. It's completely different to any position I've ever held and I am a little worried that I might fall flat on my ass! AHAH. 

So I've been out and about shopping for work-suitable outfits and *hyperventilates* 

I'm so nervous! Oh my gosh, someone hurry up and teach me how to use Excel!