Monday, July 28, 2014

Long Lasting Brow & Eyeliner Pen by Savvy

Everyone who knows me will know that I suck at makeup, especially the eye section. So eyeliner is a really troublesome task for me. I've only experimented with pencil and liquid eyeliner. Due to the thinner point, I find liquid a lot easier to control than pencil eyeliner. However, a common problem is that they both smudge and run through a day's wear (thanks to the oil production of my skin)
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Long Lasting Brow & Eyeliner Pen by Savvy ($9.99)
I bought this whilst shopping at Priceline whilst it was on some huge sale, it was only like $4 or something like that. I've used it for a while now..so some the words have slightly rubbed off already.
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The tip is pretty average for a liquid liner. However, the fact that the 'ink' is already in the handle presents a problem. I thought it was meant to act in a similar way a texta or a pen would work i.e. work regardless how I position it. However, the liner turns out a lot fainter on the eye than on the hand (when I swabbed it)
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Top: one layer
Bottom: two layers
It's actually significantly darker on the hand compared to when I put it on my eye - It takes me two coats to get the results of one coat on my hand. My lack of skills probably doesn't help. 
I generally use this create a relatively 'faint' outline of how I want the eyeliner to appear, and then make it solid with my other liner. Also because it's lighter, it's easier to wipe off if you stuff it up - the darker ones still tend to leave some sort of a mark/smudge when 'cleaned'. 

I find that I got a good deal with the discount - but for $10, I'm pretty sure you can get a relatively okay one that requires less effort to get a significant shade. I've yet to use it as a brown pen yet - mostly because I naturally have crayon shin-chan brows, but when I do, I'll update this post!

xoxo
Serena

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria

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Thanks to uni, meeting up with friends is always really hard, so we always put in extra effort to make it worthwhile each time! So this time, we chose to go to The Grounds of Alexandria. None of us have been before and were pretty excited to go as a result of the raves online!
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I was actually quite taken back by the atmosphere of this place. It's set up as a little village, totally separate from the modern world, with places to eat, florist and a lot of space for you to hang out with a drink. So we decided to do a little exploring and wandering around before we went to eat. 

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If you don't like to eat indoors, you can opt to buy at the Garden BBQ and enjoy the nice weather outside. The drinks they offer look really good, but  didn't have anymore space for it (since I had 2 coffees and a lemonade...in like 3 hours)
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cute sign
Wait here to be seated - if there is a queue, the person there will give you a beeping machine, so you don't need to crowd there (just wander wherever you want till the machine beeps)
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Lemonade and fruit stand
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look into the cafe
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Breads for sale - you can buy it both inside the cafe or out here, whichever you like!
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Pastries for sale - they looked so good, but I couldn't buy any as they would be ruined on my way home...
E did buy some and she said it was good!
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Looks so good - I'm salivating just looking at them!!!
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Hanging jeans - no idea what for though
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Onsite florist!

We also decided to pay the (once kidnapped) Kevin Bacon a visit before eating. I found it kind of funny the number of signs advertising their bacon products there were in close vicinity to Kevin...hahahahaha

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The inside view
By the time we decided to go eat, we had to wait a short while (but it was alright la~). After we settled in, choosing what to eat was relatively painless (unlike what usually happens when we're presented with a huge menu).
To start us off, drinks!

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Apple cider ($5) and Ice Coffee ($6)
P got an apple cider whilst I opted for an ice coffee (despite having a cup before I left the house). I didn't try the apple cider, but apparently it was similar to the bottled Appletisers you can buy at Coles. The ice coffee was good, but not amazing. We first asked them if we could have the coffee without milk (since we were craving americano) but apparently they can't - and I don't think they had any cold drip coffee...so I got this at the end. 
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Hot Chocolate ($3.80)
Whilst our drinks were set up nicely, I think E's drink was presented the prettiest. Although the milk was beautifully frothed, with lots of foam, E found the drink not hot enough. I tried it and it was definitely below par for a hot drink. 


Time to move onto the food! I didn't bother taking a picture of the menu, as they change it seasonally, so it'll be of little use. Grounds has a simple and short menu for breakfast (served till 11:45am), so we decided for 2 savoury and 1 sweet dish!
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Blueberry Pancake ($16)
Served with lemon infused creme fraiche, candied walnuts and Canadian maple syrup
It was sahhhh....fluffy!!! I'm not a fan of berries in my food (I prefer them fresh)...so they were only average in my opinion. I'm also not a fan of maple syrup, but E (who loves sweet stuff) found that the maple syrup worked really well with the pancake and brought it to a new level! What none of us really liked was the creme fraiche. I tried a bit of it and the lemon flavour was rather overpowering, so in the end we just pushed it to one side. What we all really liked were the crushed and candied walnuts - I could eat it just by itself!

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Quinoa Cake ($16)
Hot smoked ocean trout, beetroot, pickled cucumber and fennel with a dukkah rolled soft boiled egg
Being the food noob I am, I was expecting something more cake-y, if you know what I am. The cake is served with ocean trout - which I found to be a bit dry and overcooked. I think it would have been better if salmon was used instead. But the highlight was in the egg. What egg you ask? Let me show you!

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Look at that egg! Generously covered in dukkah, a bit of the yolk poking out - too bad there wasn't a shot of us breaking the egg!
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Breakfast Board ($19)
Double smoked ham, avocado and fresh tomato with Persian feta, two poached eggs, house made pesto and The Grounds signature sourdough
This was really satisfying - it felt really hearty, but healthy at the same time. I'm not a fan of feta, so I didn't try that, but P liked it! Now that I look at this picture, I just realised that my breakfast for the last two days has been practically the same, but no feta, replace sourdough with crumpets and scrambled instead of poached eggs! (wait...everything's different except tomato and avocado..hahahaha)
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Polenta Chips ($4.50)
I personally find polenta kind of dough-y when it's been fried into chips - it kind of felt like I was eating bread sticks. Taste-wise it was pretty good, but I still prefer it in mash form. 

After devouring over 90% of the food, we decided to move outside to chat as the queue was getting incredibly long (the staff probably wanted us out too).
DSC_0442 Since I was looking at the lemonade the instant we stepped foot in The Grounds, we had to get it of course!

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Rose lemonade and lemonade ($5 each)
For $5 a cup, it's pretty average priced - but it tastes so good! I love them both, as they aren't as fizzy as the ones you buy at theme parks and fairs. I slightly regret not trying the Teamonade ($5) - mainly because it would taste like VLT (but nothing can beat VLT!)

Man this is a long post, but I think it's well worth it! Took me so long to put it up compared to E & P....
More posts to come in my last week of holidays~
Serena

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

nude by nature Professional Brush Kit

I don't normally use makeup (only BB cream...hehehehe) so I have little need for brushes as in my opinion fingers blend BB cream the best. But I was browsing Priceline before work one day and they were doing a sale....and I obviously did some impulse buying (which I regret to an extent now).
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The box looks really pretty right? As it was so pretty, I didn't check how the inside actually looked before buying...
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Brush kit
To me, this brush kit is...plain. But I guess it suits the brand image of being "natural".
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Tada~ The brushes are soooooo soft! I could totally just play with the brush all day...(easily entertained, no?) But one thing I don't understand is the three extra pockets....am I meant to buy more brushes to fill in the blanks? I'm too noob for this!!
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And here comes the problem. Because of the round nature of the bag and the fact that the brushes have been in there for a long time, the brush got moulded to the shape of the bag, making it a weird shape...

Well today I went to the cosmetic fragrance shop in market city (you know the pink one that sell perfume and cheap cosmetics), they had a really similar brush kit, but it was only $15!!!!!!!! So everyone, it you're looking for a first brush kit, I suggest going for that one first...because my brush kit now is just sitting at home collecting dust (it cost me $30 too...... T^T)

More posts to come later!
See you!
Serena 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_Ex

Hello! I've gone into hiding for quite a bit, despite it being uni holidays. That's because I semi-lost/misplaced my memory card for a while; also because Flickr was being an ass a couple days of ago and wouldn't let me upload my pictures. But now that I've fixed it all up...here we go!

Some of you may remember that I went Korea at the end of 2013, and I bought a heap load, but I never actually blogged about what I got. So here I am today to clear up backlog!
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I read about all the raves and reviews about the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack from around mid-2013, so I really wanted to try it. But due to the geographical discrimination online shops have against Australia, it was marked up so much! So I forgot about all about it, till Korea came along!
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For 80mL, most online shops will charge somewhere in the 30-ies + shipping and handling. I grabbed this in one of those duty-free shops for ₩28,000, which equates to $28-29 AUD. Not that much cheaper, but since I was there already, might as well!

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It's colour is so pretty! According to the Laneige site, it has something called "snow water" - is it melted snow (I don't know...)? Another important thing is the scent - it smells really nice...too bad I can't share that here with you here la...
The scent of the sleeping pack isn't just something they've put in to make it more appealing or anything, it actually has an effect! The scent is called Sleepscent and acts to relax the body and mind for a good sleep, making the mask work better. There's no point in slapping on expensive skincare, if you aren't taking care of your body in the first place. And this Sleepscent thing works miracles....I remember putting on the mask by mistake (huh...what mistake?? just too lazy to grab my moisturiser) and I literally was so sleepy for the whole morning.... *yawns*
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Top: swatch with flash on | Bottom: swatch without flash
Even though it's a gel, I was slightly surprised that it wasn't totally see through. But regardless, the gel is very soothing to apply (a bit cold, especially in Winter). As with all sleeping masks, be generous when applying. Laneige recommends a 2.5cm diameter blob, and use it twice a week (more if you have extra dry skin)
From the beautiful blue colour to the soothing scents and the numerous languages the instructions and ingredient list is written (I hate when I don't understand what I'm using or how to use it), this sleeping mask is brilliant~~~~ What's not so brilliant is....the availability (which practically only applies for us in Australia..)...we need more Asian skincare in Australia (at the Asian price too please!!!)

That's all for today~
I'm gonna be back in a couple of days with more posts! Till then, stay safe!
xoxo
Serena

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Clinique 3-Step Skin Care

I've decided to ignore my once a week thing...it's too much work keeping a schedule - so I'm just going to post whenever I want (hehehehe...such a rebel).

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So...whilst I was browsing Myer aimlessly before work, I came across this - the Clinique 3-step skin care set. I know this isn't any new thing, but to me it's NEW! 
I bought this trial set for JB, because I wasn't ready to buy the full-size since it's not my skin and I don't now how JB's skin would react.
So for $39, this trial set is quite affordable and a good transition into using their products.

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Despite being called a trial pack, the products should last you a month - considering you use them twice a day.

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Step 1: Cleanse
 Liquid Facial Soap Mild ($29 for 200mL)
Clinique has three different types of cleansers for the four main types of skin types (very dry, dry combination, oily combination and oily). The one I got was for dry combination skin. The cleanser is a clear gel with sort of a herbal smell. I'm used to for foam cleansers, but this one doesn't foam up as well. But in terms of it's cleansing ability, it's excellent! It cleans, but the skin doesn't feel tight from being over-cleansed.

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Step 2: Exfoliate
Clarifying Lotion 2 ($36-$52)
It's meant to exfoliate, but I personally have no idea, how it can do that (I'm used to exfoliators in the form of a scrub or a peeling mask). One thing I really don't like is that it reeks of alcohol. However, the good thing is that it doesn't sting that toners with alcohol normally stings.
Another good thing is that they colour code their different "exfoliators"- green, purple, pink and blue. It's so pretty, I just want to buy them all, but...what's the point la~

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Step 3: Moisturise
Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+ ($29-$49)
For me, this lotion is a bit too thick. Kind of like a watery version of the QV cream or sorbolene. For me, it was a bit to pore-clogging, but for the JB with dry combination, it's alright I think. When I decide to start a new skincare routine, I think I'll opt for the moisturising gel instead.

I see that this 3 step routine worked pretty well for JB, but for me, it hasn't shown any miracles...so maybe I'll stick my current skincare brands.
But if your system isn't working so well, and you're getting breakouts, I suggest trying the Clinque trial set - $39 only!