Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Review: Guerlain's Lingerie De Peau Foundation and Concealer Compact

I love the luxuriousness of Guerlain products. From their skincare to beauty products, their packaging is always so simple, yet chic and classic. I've used some of their skincare and at the moment have a good impression of the brand. I haven't gotten into their make up just yet, so when I was at the beauty counter in Hong Kong, the sales assistant gave me a sample of their Lingerie De Peau Foundation and Concealer Compact to try.

The website states that the compact consists of a foundation and concealer that is meant to give a sheer and almost invisible finish. The two shades are designed to complement each other seamlessly, creating a feeling of a second-skin. The result is promised to be natural and to bring out the best of each woman's individual complexion. 

The compact has SPF 20 PA+++ and also has, my favourite, Hyaluronic Acid, which hydrates and softens the skin.

I was given 02 Beige Clair to try. On the left we have the foundation, in the middle a concealer and on the right, a tiny little sponge which is impossible to hold between two fingers!

My initially thought was that the foundation shade is too dark for my face, whereas the concealer shade was just right. Nonetheless, I gave it a go. Swiped the foundation onto my face and used the concealer on my under-eye area. 

True to its name, the foundation and concealer both felt like second-skin lingerie. The texture of the two are creamy, smooth and easy to spread. The result was natural to the point where it looked like I wasn't wearing any foundation at all. The colour ended up being just right for my face as the foundation blended in quite quickly with just a few swipes.

What I really like about this compact is that it doesn't drastically change your face like heavier liquid foundations do. It simply evens out your skintone and improves on your complexion.

Having said that, I'd say that you'd have to have pretty good skin to really enjoy this product. If you have blemishes that you want to hide, this is definitely not the right duo for you. The colours are sheer and have very, very low coverage.

The compact came with an instructional leaflet which detailed all the ways to wear the duo. 
My only real problem with the product is that the concealer sank into my eye area's fine lines after all. Admittedly, I expected this because I've sampled a few cream concealers and they always seem to highlight, rather than, hide my lines. As such, I would not recommend this for dry skin girls. I think it will work better for normal and oily-skin types.

Right now, I'm using it as a highlighter. I like using the concealer with my nose and dabbing the foundation around my nose area.

I just steer clear away from my eyes!

INSTAGRAM: thisisvalentine_

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Travel / On-the-go Skincare .

When you're packing for a quick trip, what beauty products do you reach for? To be quite honest, packing my skincare and make up always takes longer than picking out my clothes. I spend most of my time rummaging through my drawers for sample-sized tubes and transferring full sized products into smaller tubs. I'm meticulous about what I pack because there are seriously things I cannot live without. 

But lugging around a beauty bag which is pretty much heavier than what's on your carry-on is not cool.

So here's my cull so far for a summer getaway! Tada! The quantity is so small that I can fit them all one small zip-lock bag!

Avene Thermal Spring Water
I absolutely love this facial spray and I buy this in bulk when I'm in Hong Kong because it's much cheaper! A lot of people say that it's silly to buy water in a can but it really isn't. This is so unbelievably versatile!

For sensitive skin people, this is a must-have product. I've been using it for about two years now and it hasn't healed my eczema/wide-spread dermatitis but when I'm going through an itching fit, this is the only thing that can stop me from scratching. It soothes and softens the skin so that it no longer feels parched, dry and in need of an itch. When I get red splotches on my cheeks and eyelids, this definitely helps to ease the heat and irritability. There are also days where my skin is so sensitive that I can't even put creams on it. On those occassions, I've constantly sprayed my face and let me skin naturally absorb it.

For non-sensitive skin types, this is a great product for sealing make up. Spray a fine mist over your make up and let it dry naturally or gently fan it with your hands for a more moisturised and dewy look. Just a quick hint - don't try to pat the water into your skin because it will only disturb your foundation and make it splotchy. I also use it throughout the day just to refresh my make up so I don't look so haggard. 

It also works quite well as a toner. The water, which is essentially softer than what comes out of our taps, softens the skin and makes it feel a lot more resilient.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extra Refreshing Eye Gel and Superbalanced Foundation in Beige
I don't think you can get this eye gel in Australia anymore and I'm not confident that this is one of Clinique's best eye creams. Nonetheless, I like to mix the eye gel with Clinique's Superbalanced Foundation on the back of my hand to make my concealer. I've tried a few concealers and found that they mostly emphasised the fine lines under my eye. At least with this mixture, they're not so obvious.

Depending on the condition of my skin, I will vary the amount of gel and foundation. But generally, the amount of gel is slightly smaller than foundation. The mixture is a lighter and diluted version of the original foundation but for me, that's acceptable. 

Clinique Take The Day Off Make Up Remover
I've previously done a review on this product and I continue to think that this is a great job of removing make up. As an oil-based product, it does leave a slightly greasy residue but it's not anything that a quick water cleanse can't handle. 

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Relief
I've also done a review on this and keep buying it over and over because, again, it's a basic staple that I just can't seem to live without. On a hot summer day or night, this is really all I seem to need. This gel feels like water on the skin and is so refreshing.

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask
If I know I'm going to be staying in a hotel with a nice-looking bath, I will bring a small sample-size tube of Avene's mask. It doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter! I will run a hot bath, spread the entire tube onto my face and dunk myself into the water. The water is generally steaming hot and the heat makes the whole room feel like I'm sitting in a sauna. Hello opened pores and hello greater moisture!

To be honest, you can do this with any cream mask. Give it a go and tell me what you think!

Avene Extremely Gentle Gel Cleanser
Another Avene product! In the winter, I like to use cream or milk cleansers. But in the summer, I'm all for using a gel. This product definitely lives up to its name as being an extremely gentle cleanser. I've used this when I've had irritable skin and it didn't set off a breakout or make my skin worse. 

Very pleasant surprise!

Two Long Salon-Style Hair Clips
I have a fringe that is quite wayward and never stays in place. So I like to bring at least two long hair clips so that I can fix my hair in the morning. 

Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Sable Brown
I used to wear black eyeliner but then it got too intense for daily wear so I switched to brown. Rimmel eyeliner are actually pretty good value. They're inexpensive and get the job done. 

The good thing with a brown eyeliner is that not only can they line your eyes, you can also smudge them out with a lightly wet water cotton bud to make an eye or eyebrow shadow.

Clinique Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream
I'm actually quite liking this eye cream. It's on the creamier side of things and feels substantial on my skin. I've gone past using gel or liquidy-type eye creams and I'm really liking how rich this feels. 

I use it both day and night as part of my skincare routine. In the morning, my gel eye cream and foundation mixture will go on top after it has been absorbed into my skin. 

YSL Sheer Candy in Succulent Pomegranate
Big fan of Sheer Candy and really wish they'd come out with more colours. I've been wearing this colour a lot lately because it's actually quite close to my natural lip colour. Wearing it does give my face a hint of liveliness and even when it's worn off, the lip stain is still gorgeous. 

I've also used this as a blush by swiping a tiny bit onto the back of my hand, rubbing the colour out and mixing it in with a tiny, tiny bit of Clinique's Moisture Surge. Gently pat it onto your cheeks with clean fingers and you've got yourself a pretty blush!

What's in your beauty bag when you're off for a quick break?

INSTAGRAM: thisisvalentine_

Friday, 23 November 2012

Three Mini ( aka Non Essay Style) Reviews .

Hello everyone!

Goodness me, it has been a VERY long time since I last blogged! How are we all? Hope everyone is well! I'm slowly catching up on blogs and seeing everyone's new products and outfits - loving everything I'm seeing. Sorry for my excessive absence! I've gone back to uni for my Masters and it's been a rollercoaster ride - no joke! You think spoon feeding is what they did in high school but nooooo. Spoon fed is what happens in Undergrad, ladies and gentlemen! Masters is literally DIY!

On the bright side, I've been microblogging a fair bit on Twitter and Instagram. Admittedly, I've been tweeting some dry humour and Instragramming uninteresting photos. But something is better than nothing, right?!

Anyway, I'm baccckkk and to ease myself back into blogging I'm going to do Three Mini Reviews. Need to brush up on my non-essay writing skills!

via Lancome

Have you ever taken Lancome's 7 Day Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate Challenge? Over the years, I've tried the challenge about 4 times thanks to some generous sales assistants. Lancome boasts that the concentrate can revitalise skin, making it visibly younger in just 7 days. Skin is said to look brighter, softer and much more radiant. These are huge promises in my books.

With all concentrates, you're supposed to use them day and night in between your cleanser and moisturiser. The product is a lightly scented, clear gel-like essence that spreads quite easily onto the skin. It is quickly absorbed but I like to wait a little awhile to allow my skin to drink it in before putting on my moisturiser.

Results can be seen in about two days. My skin was noticeably brighter and 'more together', which is Valentine-speak for being more nourished. I continued using the concentrate until the end of the challenge and cannot say that there were any other improvements. So I'm inclined to think that the differences were really subtle. In hindsight, my skin looked like it had been slightly stretched, which I didn't appreciate.

After I stopped using the concentrate, my face went back to normal. I haven't actually bought a full bottle to use yet and probably won't in the near future. This is because I feel as if the improvements I saw were very superficial. My skin didn't actually feel softer during the 7 day period. It makes me think that the concentrate never sunk into my skin properly. 'Looking' younger is important but personally, I rank having soft skin higher.

I used to never get pimples! Even when I got stressed, which was quite often, I wouldn't have a breakout. Most people spend their teenage years battling breakouts but I never had those experiences. I mean, I had my own problems to deal with - sensitive skin was and still is a pain in the ass. 

But this year I've been breaking out like mad!

I'm always lecturing my brother, who's prone to breakouts, about popping his pimples but now I literally stand there in front of the mirror analysing how I'm going to pop mine. It is a nightmare!

And because my brother probably pities me, he left a Clinelle's Blemish Care Gel on my dresser the other day with a note saying 'Put this on after you pop your pimple(s)'. 

This stuff is king. Seriously, no joke. Kinnnggg. Squeeze a bit of gel out, gently rub some on the red area and then go to sleep! By the time you wake up, the area is no longer red and swollen-looking. It definitely speeds up recovery. How amazing is that?

There are probably two downsides to this product. The first one is that it doesn't seem to work as well on areas that aren't full-blown pimples yet. Secondly, from what I know, you can only buy the product in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

I've being using a lot of Avene's products over the past two years and really like what I've tried so far. One product that I must rave about is the Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream SPF 20 I'm using now. First and foremost, this is a moisturiser with the added benefit of sun protection. I like to use this one in the daytime and at night, I use Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream which is the same thing, minus the SPF.

It's a simple and gentle product that does its job. It comes out as a light fluid that spreads easily. Once applied, there is a slight white cast which is honestly unnoticeable unless you're analysing your face up close. In terms of moisturising abilities, I apply the cream liberally during the summer and spring. It's not nourishing enough for the colder months and I find myself wearing a thicker cream underneath.

The best thing about this cream is that it helps to settle and soothe sensitive skin. It really helps to alleviate the redness associated with sensitive and irritable skin. It does take a couple of days since the improvements are gradual. But it sure beats waiting it out and not putting anything on your skin. 

I don't think it's a must try for people who don't have sensitive skin. If you have non-sensitive skin, there are plenty of moisturiser/sunscreen combinations out there that have higher SPF. But if like me, your skin is often red and irritated, I would definitely give this a go.  

Okay, I'm on a roll! Be back soon!

INSTAGRAM: thisisvalentine_

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Seven Years Ago, Today .

To my friends who constantly badger me about finding someone to be with. . .
Sorry. I can't.

It seems I gave my heart away seven years ago.

As cliched as it sounds, I remember thinking that you were just another crush. I thought that you were someone I'd eventually replace or forget. I thought that, because I was going out of my mind with stress, my heart had elected you as a distraction. It made so much sense at the time.

With the power of hindsight, I can say that you were more than just a distraction. I never forgot about you. I never replaced you. I'm beginning to think that I will never be able to forget or replace you.

For one, you taught me not to settle. Not to settle with someone who doesn't care about my dreams. Who doesn't respect my dreams. You made me painfully aware that I could never be with someone who wasn't respectful, confident, intelligent and gentle-hearted. You taught me that despite all these myths that us girls are fed, the perfect guy does exist.

You are it.

When I met you, I was such a complicated person. Always worrying and stressing about things. Granted that I had a lot of responsibility back then. But it seems that I always seemed to be crazy over the tiniest things. And yet there you were my antithesis - so uncomplicated and simple-minded. You were always so relaxed - everything came so easily to you. I was so infinitely jealous! I used to always wonder how you could be so intelligent, yet so carefree.
Of all people, you were sure of what you wanted to do with your life. You were going to get your degree and then live your dreams. In your mind, there was no doubt whether you were good enough to succeed. You just knew you would. I always admired your innate sense of entitlement to success.

You were also the first person to take me seriously when I told them about my dreams. Everyone before you had either laughed or berated me for dreaming my dreams. You were the first person who told me that they believed in me and that I could do anything in this world.

Up until this date, no one has said the same words. 
I'm not sure if what I feel for you is love. But I know that I feel a deep sense of gratitude towards you. The years after we parted have been tough. There seems to have been a million and one dark hours where I wished things were different.

I often thought about you. I worked hard to make my dreams come true - so very hard. With each achievement and failure, I thought about you. I would be so sad as to imagine what type of encouraging words you'd say to make my achievement sweeter or my failure less bitter.

No matter where I travelled to, I thought about you. For a really prolonged period, everything reminded me of you.

Outrageously, I began wishing that I had listened to you and put down your university course in my preference list so I could have spent another three years with you. I wished that I had someone like you who would tell me that they believed in me and that everything would be okay. When I was sitting in front of a stack of books trying to do my essays, I wish there was someone to give me a few encouraging words. When I was tapping away on the computer at 3AM trying to finish an assignment due in a few hours, I dreamt of having someone tell me that Essay Draft #15 was good enough and that I should catch some sleep. When people started opening attacking my dreams, I wished that there was someone there to defend me...someone to pull me into a corner and tell me that I was capable of getting there.

You. You always told me I was good enough. That I was really, really, really good enough to do whatever I wanted to do in this world.

There have been others who have come and gone but none of them were like you. They didn't see a girl with big dreams. They just saw a girl with silly dreams.

I just wish you had been there.

A month ago, I happened to drive past your house and my heart ached. After all these years, my heart ached.

Even though I knew you wouldn't be at home because you're overseas at the moment fulfilling your dreams, a part of me really wanted to go up and ring your doorbell.

My heart really misses you. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

YSL's No. 1 Griffe Dorée Nail Set

Do you girls still wear nail shatter? It seems like the trend has kind of passed already?

I was never too into nail shatter because it always seemed to look so haphazard and messy. I'm one those neat and simple girls. I like things consistent-looking and so the 'whatever goes' nature of shatter nail polishes never appealed to me. Having said that, I did purchase a blue OPI shatter awhile ago just to see what the hype was about. I've only used it once or twice and it's just sitting in my drawers now. 

I was at a YSL counter in Hong Kong during my January trip picking up some skincare when I saw a sales assistant with the prettiest nail shatter ever. Literally! The base colour was a creamy metallic gold with pitch black shatter on top. It looked so elegant and artistic combined together.

She told me she was wearing No. 1 Griffe Dorée from YSL's Manucure Couture Les Fauves collection. Apparently it was a limited edition nail set with a base colour and a bottle of black shatter.

Unfortunately, they'd sold out of No. 1 and I was due to fly out of Hong Kong in a few hours so I wasn't able to purchase it. But alas, I was able to get my hands on the duo pack on my most recent trip over there!

I've never tried YSL's nail polishes before but I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt since their other beauty products are pretty good. Not to mention how luxurious their packaging always looks. I'm a huge sucker for appealing packaging!

Here I'm wearing Revlon's Quick Dry Base Coat, one layer of Griffe Dorée, one layer of the Black Shatter and I finished it with Revlon's Clear Polish. 

I wish I had taken photos of the gold on its own to show you. It really is a gorgeous metallic gold that glides on like a dream and looks smooth and milky when it's dried. It actually looks quite beautiful on it's own. 

When the black shatter goes on the gold, the results look quite bland but once you go over it with a clean polish, the colours really stand out. The intensity of the black brings out the sparkly look of the gold. I also love how consistent the shatter seems. They kind of look coordinated? AHAH. 

Both polishes are wonderfully smooth and dry very quickly. My only problem is that I found the brush a bit too clunky. I would have preferred a thinner and sturdier brush like Zoya's. That would really make reaching the sides' of nail much more easier.

The gold base colour is a bit too luxurious and formal for my daily life and so I've tried the black with a few different shades. This is one of the best outcomes I've had. 

In this photo, I'm wearing OPI's Do You Lilac It as a base colour and YSL Black Shatter on top. The black shatter actually looks a bit more artistic in this one!

What nail styles are you loving at the moment?

INSTAGRAM: thisisvalentine_

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Weekly Musings Pt 4 : Hello! Long time no see!

Thank you to everyone that left comments in my last post! An even bigger thank you to everyone who shared their product knowledge and tips! I'm definitely going to go back to some of the products and give them a second chance. 

Hopefully, I'll get better results!

I know it's been awhile since I last updated and that's because I've literally been all over the place. I just got back to Australia a little over the week ago and I'm hoping to stay for as long as I can! AHAH. This whole flying around, experiencing life, looking for opportunities has taken its toll. I honestly miss my bed. AHAH.

So I am really behind with everyone's blogs but I'll be catching up very soon! So hold tight. I'll be visiting as soon as I can!

If I weren't afraid, I would bungee jump

People who know me personally snicker every single time I tell them that I'd love to bungee jump one day. I mean, it's not like I'm scared of heights or anything. It's just that. . .

. . .actually I don't know why they have a good laugh everytime this comes up in conversation. It must be because I don't look like the type who would want to do a bungee jump.

But it's definitely on my bucket list. I'd love to jump with a significant other, preferably with my future fiance or husband. We could do a couple bungee jump together! While I can say I don't fear heights, I am pretty sure that I'd be carrying on like a complete lunatic if I had to stand on the jump podium alone. Probably screaming my head off and crying like a child.

So that's why I want to do it with a significant other. In person, I can be quite an independent person. I am mostly a self-sufficient person and I'm used to being relied upon, as opposed to relying on others. Of course it gets tiresome at times but I would say it's mostly a joy. So think about it this way - for me to do a bungee jump with someone else is a very deliberate display on my part to show the other person that I am willing to put all my faith and trust in them. Perfect display of love, no?

*eyes blossom in pink love hearts*

At least that's how I see it because I totally refuse to jump with someone who's not willing to hold me super duper close, whisper 'it's going to be okay' in my ear and chuckle at my whimpers. Yesss, I have the entire scenario all mapped out in my head.

And if I turn 35 and I'm without a significant other, I'm going to bungee jump myself. Mark my words.

Dear Mr Valentine, Miss Valentine would like to meet you before she turns 35. Please do not leave her standing alone at the bungee podium alone.

Too many people talk about moving forward as if it's the most natural thing to do in times of crisis. However, when pressed for instructions on how to do just that, the rehearsed response is usually, 'You just do it. You pick yourself up, dust Self-pity of one shoulder and Regret off the other. You take your pretty little self out to coffee, meet up with friends, meet new friends, spend a night out in the city...'

That's the worst advice to give someone. 

Caffeine, meeting up with friends, meeting new people or having a night-out are band-aids. A means to an end. A filler to temporarily satisfy a void left behind.

Surely the solution lies in the past. 'Moving on' comes from recognising and accepting the past. It comes from looking at past triumphs and failures in order to make a better judgement of what should be done today and in the future. It's about recognising how and why you succeeded and failed. It's about going to the root of the problem in order to uncover a plausible solution. 

I am one of those people who can analyse things to death and think of a gazillion possibilities in a split second. I am one of those people who don't go from Point A to Point B. I am someone who goes from Point A to G to D to Y to Z to S. And believe it or not, that has served me well for a very long time. But times have changed and it is no longer something that I like to boast as one of my core strengths.

I went back to my past and tried to look for answers. The process hurt like hell. To cut through my over-analysing tendencies and then see things for what they were was tough. But I knew that the pain would be incomparable to the bitterness I'd have to carry for the rest of my life if I didn't do it.
The past is what made you who you are today. If you want to change the future, you go and confront your past. Look it right in the face and bravely make acquaintances with it.

A few weeks ago, our family went to Macau just to recharge and spend some time together. We booked two rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel in the City of Dreams Resort for a two night stay. We'd stayed there previously and it wasn't all that enjoyable. Luckily, things were much better this time around. 

We had a wonderful stay and the hotel even extended our rooms for an extra two nights without extra charge. So our quick holiday turned into a pretty lengthy affair which was excellent. Everyone in the family is so busy these days that being able to eat at the same table has turned into a bit of a luxury. 

Highlight of the trip was probably jumping on the hotel beds. AHAH. 

I would say that I come from a relatively strict and ordered household. There are a lot of rules - spoken and unspoken. One of them is 'no jumping on the beds - made or not made'. 

I felt so deprived as a kid! AHAH. Which kid doesn't jump on their beds?! 

Anyway, I grew up and jumping on a bed seemed childish, unimportant and almost unnecessary?

But then my brother, who is only a few years younger than me, full launched himself on the hotel bed and started jumping. He's usually very poised, which either earns him respect or fear. 

But there he was jumping on the bed and going off like a nutcase.

'Just jummmmpppp!'

So I get on and start jumping with him. 

Moments later, mum comes in through the door and the two of us are leaping from bed to bed in hysterics. 

'What's going on?!'

Nothing. Just having fun. 

And lastly, one quick photo of my latest obsession. Seriously, who isn't in love with Matt Bomer these days? 

Admittedly, he's my flavour of the month because he looks gorgeous in a suit. Broad shoulders, sharp jawline and deep-set eyes. And all in a tailored, pinstripe navy suit! In love!

I've never been a big fan of vests inside blazers because most guys end up looking cramped. But *swoons* Mister Bomer just looks gorgeous. 

There's definitely something about his eyes. Is it because he rarely blinks or that his eyes are just THAT piercing? Far out, I don't know how I react if I met him in person. I'd be caught between wanting to look into his gorgeous eyes and not wanting to have him pin me with them. 

And yes I know he has a partner and three children. Yes, I know. But since he looks good enough to devour, I reserve the right to fantasise.

See you in my dreams tonight, Mister Bomer! AHAH. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Four Lightening Fast Reviews !

I think I should change my profile to read 'Dry skin, dry hair, dry sense of humour, dry love life, dry under-eye area'.

As you may know, I have very sensitive, dry and fragile skin. The driest part of my face, by far, are my eyes and it's a real nightmare because I love dressing up my eyes. I adore smoky, sultry cat-like eyes rimmed in black!

I am always on the lookout for a great eye-cream but I've yet to find one that really plumps eye creases and prevents them from deepening. But along the way, I've found some pretty good eye-creams that are worth mentioning. Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is one that I do recommend for those who are on the market for their first eye-cream. It's a basic moisturiser that focuses on hydration and when you're just starting out, that's all you really need. The texture is initially gooey, oily and sticky but once heated up between your ring fingers and patted into the skin, it sits very nicely on the skin.

Personally, I like using this eye-cream in the morning because I've noticed that it subtly prevents my foundation/concealer from sinking in. It doesn't stop it completely but it does make a difference!

Do you use eye-cream? Which one are you currently using?

I use a straightener every second day and I am only too aware of the damage I'm doing to my hair. Aside from searching for the best shampoo, conditioner and hair masks, I've been on the market for a great heat protective spray. I've only tried a few and they've all been terrible!
I've heard so many positive reviews on Tresemme's Heat Tamer Protective Spray and so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, it was just as bad as all the others I've tried. It made my hair stiff, straw-like and dried the living daylights out of my hair.


Have you used any heat protective sprays?

Another hyped product that didn't work for me! It seems everyone loves Bioderma's Sensibio H20 and goes on and on about what an excellent cleanser it is for sensitive skin.
The liquid is just like water - clear, odourless and seemingly harmless! I soaked some cotton wipes and swiped it across my face to remove the foundation and pressed it into my eyelids to remove the eyeliner and waterproof mascara. Took a good few tries before it properly removed everything and by then my skin was feeling dry and tight. I had to go back in with a milk cleanser for a double cleanse just to soothe my skin.
I definitely won't be touching that again! It's way too drying for my skin!
Have you had a better experience with Sensibio H20?


A friend of mine just came back from Japan and she bought me some Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Treatment as a little souvenir. I used to use Pantene shampoo and conditioner but stopped because I was losing too much hair from using it. I was a little weary coming back to the Pantene brand but I thought I'd just give it a go anyway!

The results were surprisingly good! My hair did feel softer and more manageable than usual. It felt light and had a bit more vibrancy than usual. The results lasted until I washed my hair and then it was business as usual.

I still think the Essential's Hair Mask works better but it's definitely more to convenient to travel with this Pantene Treatment. They're as small as a lipstick and one tube is enough for my hair which is infamously thick and falls down half way down my back. I'm happy to put this in my make up bag for when I'm going overseas!

Do you use any hair treatments?


Monday, 25 June 2012

Have You Won the Guerlain x Essential Giveaway ?

Hey everyone! How are we all today?

I'm back to announce the winner of the Guerlain x Essential giveaway. A big thank you to all the lovely everyone who entered the competition.

Since it was my first giveaway, I decided to do everything manually by writing each entry onto strips of paper and putting them into a hat. Don't laugh - it's totally something I've always wanted to do *crosses 'drawing a winner out of a hat' off bucket list* AHAH.

Congratulations to Rain Drops!

I really hope you'll enjoy the Guerlain toner and Essential hair mask as much as I do! Please email me your details to mynameisvalentine20@hotmail.com before 11:59PM Australian Eastern Standard Time, 2 July 2012 to claim your prize!

Thank you once again for everyone who entered!

Until next time!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Peking Restaurant, Hong Kong

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has entered my Guerlain x Essential giveaway! We're a few days away from the competition closing and I'm actually really excited to find out who wins! Will it be you?!

I just have a few photos to share with you today!

The one place I visit without fail when I'm in Hong Kong is the Peking Restaurant. I've been going since I was a baby and we always order the same dishes. I don't know much about Beijing cuisine and it's not exactly something I seek out when choosing what to eat. But people have told me that the Peking Restaurant is one of those rare gems that serves traditional, authentic and honest Beijing food. 

That probably explains its popularity. The Peking Restaurant is located on the second floor and you have to go up this insanely steep staircase to get to it. Every single time I'm there, there's a line. It literally blocks the two-door entry into the restaurant and the staircase is completely littered with customers waiting on each step. 

My parents know the owner and so miraculously there's always a table for us, regardless of the amount of people. I know it's unfair and I feel guilty sometimes! But in a way, it's really reflective of what Hong Kong society really is about - connections and favours!

This place has been operating for decades now and its decor is really reflective of this. It's definitely more functional than decorative. But it fits in well with the sense of tradition and nostalgia. It brings back a lot of memories for me since I only visit once or twice a year.

For those of you who've been to Hong Kong, I'm sure you'll agree that it's an unbelievably fast-paced place. Everyone is always in a rush - people seem to walk/run through the crowds, speak at the speed of lightening and demand for things to happen instantly. Things change really quickly and to have something that's stable and unchanging is comforting.

 Vegetarian Duck Tofu Rolls
 I love all vegetarian tofu dishes - maybe because they're always so flavoursome. These duck tofu rolls taste smoky and it's a strangely addictive taste.

Fried egg white with crabmeat
 Everyone likes to eat this with a bit of vinegar. But since I'm not 'everyone', I eat mine plain. AHAH.

Shark fin in Chicken Soup with Man Tou
Out of all the shark fin soups I've had, Peking Restaurant serves up the best. There is an abundance of shark fin and the chicken flavour of the soup is divine. Whenever it's winter in Australia, I crave this soup like no other!

Peking Duck
 Not a huge Peking Duck fan but my brother, who can easily eat half the plate, loves it. 

 Sweet and sour whole fish

Kung pao prawns

Red bean souffle balls
These actually taste really good. The red bean is smooth and not overly sweet. Nonetheless, they're really decadent and we always end up taking them home to eat since we're so full from the meal!

There is honestly nothing fancy about the dishes they cook up. There's definitely no decorative plating and the food is often haphazardly arranged. The noise level here can get unbelievably loud at times and we have to raise our voices in order to be heard by each other. Waiters do mad rushes around our table trying to delegate responsibilities and direct people to their tables.

It's everything that I usually stay away from.

But because I'm with family I rarely see, I can overlook it all. 

And besides, who can say no to a good Shark Fin in Chicken soup? I can't!

Peking Restaurant
227 Nathan Road
Jordan, Hong Kong

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

International Giveaway - Guerlain Toner x Essential Hair Mask !

So here it is! My very own giveaway *squeals in absolute delight*

I'm sure that by now, you would have noticed that 'VALENTINE .' is really more of a skincare blog and rarely about cosmetics. In my circle of friends, beauty conversations always revolve around cosmetics and make up looks. It's extremely rare that we talk about skincare and it often leaves me without an outlet. I'm so happy that I get to express my infinite skincare ramblings on this blog! 

I am eternally grateful for every word of encouragement my followers have left me. As a child, I loved writing. I remember spending pretty much all of my high school years writing short stories and fiddling around with HTML on Geocities. Somehow life got in the way and all of that faded away. I'm happy to have rediscovered my passion!

I am a very skin and hair vain person. My philosophy has always been 'Good hair + good skin = good day'. If any component is missing, then it really isn't a good day at all!

So to make sure that you'll have good days, I'm giving away two products that I've thoroughly tested and honestly love to death. . .


1. This giveaway is open internationally. 

2. Entries must be received before 11:59PM Australian Eastern Standard Time, 19th June 2012.

3. A winner will be randomly drawn. 

4. The winner will be announced shortly afterward and will be asked to email their details to mynameisvalentine20@hotmail.com

5. The winner must provide their details within 7 days.

6. In the event that the winner does not respond within 7 days, a new winner will be selected and announced.


1. Simply follow this blog on Google Friend Connect.

2. Leave a quick comment!


1. For 1 extra entry, blog about this giveaway. In your entry, you must include a link back to this post. Please leave YOUR BLOG ENTRY LINK in the comment box.  

2. For 1 extra entry, follow me on Twitter - twitter.com/thisisvalentine. Please leave YOUR TWITTER ID in the comment box.

3. For 1 extra entry, tweet '@thisisvalentine is giving away a Guerlain toner and Essential hair mask! Enter at - http://thisisvalentine.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/international-giveaway-guerlain-toner-x.html'

4. For 1 extra entry, follow me on Pinterest - pinterest.com/thisisvalentine. Please leave YOUR PINTEREST link in the comment box.


1. Each individual is allowed a maximum of 5 entries!

All the best!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Pin It !

Ohhh, I've been getting into all types of trouble since the last time I posted! My computer screen completely stopped working last week and I pretty much spent forever waiting for a new one to be delivered. I just installed my new screen yesterday morning and am still getting used to touch sensitive buttons on it. AHAH. 

And I sprained my ankle. Again. 

Think of that friend of yours who is slightly awkward, accident-prone and just plain fragile. I'm them...times a million. I've sprained my ankle so many times that when I messaged one of my friends about it, she didn't even bother to text back. Crutches were my best friend two years ago. Actually, I got so sick and tired of renting them from the pharmacy that buying them out and keeping them permanently at home was something that I thought about on a monthly basis. 

My poor feet.


A few years ago, one of my friends made me read 'The Secret'. I know, I know. Did it make much of a difference in my life? Kind of. I attracted a few free coffees into my life, felt super duper smug, stopped 'attracting things' and then it was life as normal. 

But what really resonated with me about 'The Secret' was the emphasis on Vision Boards. I've always wanted to make one. Not because I neccessarily subscribe to the idea that by putting things on a board will make it come true in the near future. But I did want one because I liked the idea of having something inspirational and pretty in my room.

I never really got around to making my own board. The whole flipping through magazines, printing off images from the net, cutting out images and pinning them onto a foam board sounded a bit tedious. I honestly didn't and still don't have the time to sit around, even on the weekends, to do something like that.

And then Pinterest happened and some friends started pinning and then I signed up and I started pinning and then I got the 'Pin It' button installed and I went trolling the net for images and...

Long story short, I'm probably addicted.

I pin everything from dream houses that I could only ever afford if I battled it out in the corporate world and to fashion items that would be out of season by the time I have the money to purchase. It's fun. It's a perfect way to procrastinate without sharp scissors and grainy print-outs from my aging printer.

Do you have Pinterest? Visit and follow me at pinterest.com/thisisvalentine
I'm off to catch up on everyone's blogs!

Speak soon!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Review : Guerlain's Super Aqua-Lotion Toner

Do people still use toner these days?

I stopped using toner for an entire year because I thought it was drying out my skin and I swear it was the worst mistake ever. My T-Zone went oily and I started seeing blackheads on my nose. Actually, my T-Zone is still oily and I just can't seem to find a way to get rid of my stubborn blackheads! Help!

When you think about it, toners are important to ensure that your face is completely rid of residual grim and make up. A good toner penetrates the pores, removes excess oil and dead skin cells. It essentially preps your skin for the moisture that is to follow, enabling your skin to better absorb the hydration.

Of course there's always the argument that toners strip the skin of its natural moisture and therefore people can do without it. Luckily, most skincare brands have recognised this concern and begun producing gentler toners that not only work to remove leftover dirt, but also hydrate at the same time.

At first I was skeptical. How on earth can you have a toner that basically removes something from your face WHILE putting something back into it?

Alas, I have found a product that does just that.

Say hello to the latest love of my life - Guerlain's Super Aqua-Lotion Toner.

Guerlain's Super Aqua Toner has the brand's patented Desert Rose Flower Complex which nourishes and plumps dehydrated skin. This technology is based on a desert flower that thrives in the harshest arid environments. This flower is able to absorb and retain moisture, giving itself life and nutrients. The ingredients found in this toner does something quite similar. The toner cleanses whilst reinforcing the skin's internal barrier, trapping any moisture you give it.

I'm a few days away from finishing my first bottle and really have head over heels in love with this toner.

It cleanses so effortlessly and does an excellent job at removing anything leftover from my cleanser. With other toners, dirt rarely shows up on my cotton pads despite my face feeling a little grimy and weighed down. Half a pump of this Guerlain toner and my skin feels refreshed and thoroughly cleansed.

A big tick for effective cleansing!

I really like how soft and supple my skin feels afterward. The toner also smells divine - a mixture of roses and a slightly floral fragrance. It smells comforting and a bit like old-school luxury.

The toner is also alcohol-free and I haven't had any problems with it so far. Although, I choose not to use it when my skin is flaring or feeling thin. I'm honestly not much a risk-taker when it comes to my face and so when my skin is sensitive, I will use a basic moisturiser and leave everything else until later.

This toner is a product that I believe in and honestly think will suit all skin types. Oily-types will enjoy the freshness of the toner, normal skin-types will benefit from the gentle yet effectiveness of the product and my dry-faced comrades will really love how moisturising their skin feels afterward!

Would you like to try Guerlain's Super Aqua-Lotion Toner? I'm going to hold a GIVEAWAY very soon and this is going to be one of the prizes. 

So stay tuned!