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!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Spago, Beverly Hills

Hello, hello, hello! It's good to be back to a relatively more regular basis - at least I'm trying. Working through my backlog, it actually quite satisfying! To celebrate dad's birthday, and not wanting to trek far on an abnormally cold day (winter came early to Australia...), we opted to for a nearby restaurant that we've yet to try - Spago.

Photo credit - Spago
I've been waiting to try out Spago ever since it opened, especially the multicoloured pasta made in-house. Spago doesn't have a large-size menu, but it's not small either. Wanting to try the largest number of dishes possible, we opted for a Set Menu ($39) each - 3 course meal w/coffee or tea. We were all aiming to try their pasta, so we didn't change any of our pasta mains to their one of their daily specials (+$5).

When we ordered, I found it really nice that the waitress asked us if it was to share without me asking for it!

ENTREES
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King Oyster Mushroom ($14)
Grilled sliced king oyster mushroom, grana padano cheese, rocket and black truffle oil
The mushroom was sliced really nicely, giving it a very nice mushroom steak feel to it. The natural bitterness of both the mushroom and the rocket was a bit much for me. Also, truffle oil didn't act to much benefit - not much truffle taste, and gave the naturally juicy mushroom a oily taste.

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Angus Beef Carpaccio ($15)
Thinly sliced of raw beef tenderloin with horseradish, truffle pecorino and truffle oil
This carpaccio was really good! The beef was melt in your mouth, and the horseradish gave it a nice tangy taste too. However, there probably was an overdose of truffle oil, making it slightly like eating a little block of butter. I'm having trouble identifying the olive coloured flower/fruit (is it a horseradish flower?? I'm so noob at this!)

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Garlic Prawn ($12)
King prawns, chorizo, garlic, chilli and butter
This thing is jam packed with flavour! It tasted brilliant, but it was extremely oily - the bowl had a layer of oil floating at the bottom. Although the lemon did help to lighten up the taste a little. However, the bread accompanies the flavours of the prawns and chorizo really well.

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Lobster Bisque ($14)
Creamy lobster soup with king prawns
I actually really like this. Compared to the lobster bisque at Blue Angel, this one has less of a lobster taste and more of a tomato-y flavour to it. I would have liked it a lot more if it was served with the bread like the garlic prawns did. Too bad the bread was all eaten by the time the brilliant idea came to me.

PASTA/MAINS
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Spaghetti Marinara ($28)
Fresh black mussels, king prawns, calamari, scallops and Napoletana sauce
The flavour combination was brilliant. The seafood was cooked just right, and the sauce good (a little salty for my tastebuds, but the fam loved it). However, the problem was that the sauce didn't stick to the pasta very well, leaving me with a pool of sauce, but relatively dry pasta at the same time.

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Lobster Bisque Risotto ($28)
Aborio rice cooked in lobster bisque topped with scallops and king prawns
I ordered this, then started regretting it when I read the description of the King Prawns Fettuccini ($24), which is practically like the risotto, but pasta instead of rice. But the risotto turned out to be a brilliant idea. It ticked all the boxes that the lobster bisque entree left unchecked. The rice soaked up the lobster bisque so well. Whilst I loved the strong flavour, mum found it a bit overpowering for her liking.
  
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Fettuccini Carbonara ($20)
Pan-fried smoked bacon and onion tossed with fresh egg, cream and parmesan cheese
We normally go for red sauce pastas, because they're less heavy and better suited for our tastebuds (other than my dad, the rest of us don't take dairy well in large portions). However, we decided to go for just one cream based sauce (for science!). I was really disappointed for the lack of sauce (as much as I can't take cream sauce), making the pasta very dry. Spago's in-house pasta is naturally on the drier side, so the lack of sauce just made it drier. 

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Squid Ink Spaghetti Crab Meat ($26)
Squid ink pasta, blue swimmer crab meat, cherry tomato, garlic, white wine, chilli and lime
Eating with me means that we always have to order something novelty. Although squid ink pasta isn't an entire new and funky thing, it's still novelty for me. Squid ink pasta doesn't have a distinctive taste - so the pasta by itself tastes pretty much like the normal spaghetti to me. Looking at the topping, the taste of the chilli and wine was very likeable, the texture of the swimmer crab was a bit mushy for my liking. 

After lots of eating and talking (and numerous drinks), we finished with our mains. When dessert and coffee/time was served, I was so content I forgot to take photos (shock horror!). For me, dessert was the best! The bitter and sweet combination of the tiramisu was beautiful. Whilst I'm not a big fan of berry sauces, the smooth consistency of the panna cotta won me over ( I just ended up more or less draining it, as I worked through my dessert cup).

Looking at the meal as a whole, the restaurant is of average quality, but the prices doesn't exactly reflect this. I also remember seeing a certificate framed at the door saying that they were voted as a "Best Cheap Eat" restaurant, which works if you all ordered according to the set menu - however if you ordered everything separately, it's not a cheap eat...at least not in my books.

Spago on Urbanspoon

So that's all there is from me!
Both you and I need to make the most of this holiday we have now~
Have fun and stay safe!
xoxo
Serena

Monday, June 23, 2014

#177: Lucky Town Thai Kitchen, Beverly Hills - Menulog Review & Giveaway


Hello Internet friends~ Thanks to my long three week hiatus due to my first load of university exams (the troubles of a first year), I am sitting on quite a pile of backlog, so time to clear the one that sits on top the pile!

About a week ago before my exam block, I was lucky enough to have been contacted by Menulog, No. 1 for Online Takeaway! I rarely order delivery, and I've definitely done it online, so it was delighted to try out this new system, thanks to the $30 Menulog generously gave me! With over 3500 restaurant, the only trouble you'll have is having too many choices!

So this is how Menulog works:
1.     Hop on to menulog.com.au

2.       Enter the suburb you want to order from. For me, having never tried the many Thai restaurants in the Beverly Hills area, I decided to do a little search of takeaway restaurants in Beverly Hills. You can choose whichever place you want! 

3.       Choose any restaurant from the wide range Menulog has to offer! The site will show you cuisine, speed (based on reviews), min $ value for the order and any promotions they have running. Since I wanted Thai food, I filtered for Thai cuisine in the left hand side menu bar. 


4.     Choose what you want off the menu. Menulog is nice enough have a 'live checkout', which allows you can see what you've order and how much it's accumulating to.

5.     After knowing what you want, place your order and select the preferred time of delivery. 

6.       Pay for your food, and all you need to do is wait!

Now that I've gone through the process of how to order, let's look at what I ordered! After a long deliberation period, I finally settled on Lucky Town Thai Restaurant. I decided to buy three dishes, and the total bill under $30, including delivery!

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First I chose the Mixed Entree 3 ($8.90), which consists of a combination of a curry puff, spring roll, satay chicken, fish cake and coconut prawns and whiting
Whilst I appreciate the inclusion of a satay stick in the midst of all the fried food, the peanut sauce for the satay stick drowned some of the other stuff, as you can see in the picture. The bits that didn't get drowned were deliciously crunchy! I hate it when some places use old oil for deep frying and you can taste the gross oil taste, reminding you that you're eating unhealthily...getting off track here. But anyway, this was GOOOOD!

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No Thai meal is complete without Pad Thai ($10.00) - stir-fried rice noodles with egg, sprouts, shallots topped with crushed peanuts - for Thai food noob like me. Although this Pad Thai tasted different to ones I've eaten elsewhere - it has a more tangy tomato sauce taste to it. The ones I have usually have more of a soy sauce taste to it, so this was a total new experience for me. I can't say this is my favourite, but not bad. Maybe someone will come and tell me that I've been eating the wrong Pad Thai my whole life and this is actually the authentic one. 

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Having had it before, I also grabbed a Phuket Pineapple Fried Rice ($10.00) - fried rice with egg, vegetables, pineapple, cashew nuts and sultanas. I'm just lucky they either forgot about the sultanas, or something. I totally didn't notice the sultana bit till AFTER I placed the order. The pineapple turned out to be a pleasant surprise, adding freshness to the usual "plain savoury" taste of normal fried rice. However, I'm not too much of a fan of the cashews. Maybe it's just me, but cooking the cashews made it lose the usual 'crunchiness' that cashews have when you eat them by themselves. 

With fast delivery - exactly on time (because I chose the ASAP delivery time), cheap prices, Lucky Town is definitely a brilliant choice if you want good Thai food. And if you're lazy like me and just want to stay at home, Menulog is definitely a site you should be living off (if you aren't already).  

Well that's all for me today! But before I leave, I have one more piece of good news! Like I mentioned in the title, it's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!
Since I need to compensate for my AWOL period, the entry conditions are easy! Just leave a comment in the comments section!
I'll choose 2 winners, who will get a $10 voucher each to use on Menulog!
Good luck to you all, and I'll see you in a week!

xx
Serena


Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Menulog, but all opinions are purely my own.