Saturday, 9 February 2013

Review: Avene Gentle Toner

Apart from the duty free prices, I love buying beauty items from Hong Kong because you're almost always guaranteed samples and gifts with purchases. If you're lucky and get helped by a really nice  sales assistant, you might be given an amount of samples that is equivalent to the actual full-size product! Using samples is actually quite important to me because I'm not huge on buying an array of full size products that I've never tried before. I need to try before I buy because my skin is so sensitive.
I got these Avene Gentle Toner samples on my recent trip to the Avene counter. Thankfully, I've met a wonderful sales assistant who is genuinely concerned about my dry and fragile skin, so she's very generous when it comes to samples.

I've tried a few sample bottles of the toner before and I really liked it. Personally, this is the only toner I can use when my skin is inflamed. It does a very good job of soothing and calming down my irritated skin. It feels refreshing, light and it doesn't leave a sticky sheen across my face. Like most Avene products, it smells like a mixture of very clean soap and baby powder. I find the scent quite pleasant and comforting!

The only negative is that I don't think it's tremendously good at further cleansing your skin before you put on your moisturiser. You don't get that clean feeling you get from most toners and so I don't think non-sensitive skin types will particularly find this product useful.

To me, I think the toner is more of a calming lotion and because of that, I use it on and off. Having said that, I don't think there's any harm in having this toner at home if you do have regular flare ups with your skin. Whenever my skin is up in flames and is parched, this toner really feels like heaven.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Crystal Jade, Causeway Bay

Another Hong Kong food post!

Crystal Jade is a Michelin star Restaurant with multiple branches throughout Hong Kong. Serving predominately Shanghainese dishes, Crystal Jade is a known for its Sichuan Dan Dan noodles and its array of dumplings. 

I try to visit each time in Hong Kong because I like how clean each dish tastes.

I always like to order a vegetarian appetiser to start off with. This is made from an assortment of vegetables and mushrooms wrapped in fried bean curd sheets.

I love fried bean curd on it's own or wrapped around vegetables. They're so crunchy and I just wish this dish was a main because there wasn't enough to go around!

When I was in Shanghai a few years ago, I hated Xiao Long Bao. I hated them with a passion! GRR! The taste of the pork was way too overpowering and I had to fight the entire dumpling from coming back out of my mouth. To be honest, I don't really eat much meat and by default, I don't like that blatant smell and taste of meat. 

So it's always been a big no-no with Xiao Long Bao. 

But Crystal Jade is known for their dumplings and so there's always a steamer on our table.

Surprisingly, these are really good and it's completely changed my view on Xiao Long Bao. While the taste of pork is definitely still there, the soup is flavoursome enough to minimise that obvious meat smell.

God, so good!

A simple cabbage stir fry.

At home, we usually have at least two different types of vegetables at the dinner table. So when we're out, we always order a nice plate of veggies.

I love their stir fried Shanghai rice cake! The beauty of it is that the rice cakes are cooked just right - tender, soft and yet still chewy!

I just wish there was some consistency with the dish sizes. On some occassions, I get a huge plate of rice cake and on other times, I get a small serve as seen in the photo.

Stir fried Shanghai noodles! Another favourite of mine because the noodles taste udon-like and I love me some udon.

Again, sometimes this can comes out onto our table as a huge serving. And other times, you get a smaller portion which gets snapped up within minutes.

This time I tried a dessert there as well. I chose the lovely Osmanthus cake, which is essentially a cold jelly made from Osmanthus water.

Not a lot of places do these cakes anymore and so they're definitely worth trying at Crystal Jade!

Crystal Jade
Shop B224, Times Square
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong