Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nature Republic Snail Therapy 80 Emulsion

Been using this Nature Republic Snail Therapy 80 Emulsion in the mornings for more than two weeks now, ever since we came home to visit my folks. 

I wasn't sure snail therapy entails what exactly because as you can see, Nature Republic is a Korean brand and, well, I can't read Korean ^.^ That said, a quick google yielded an entry from the U.S. National Library of Medicine for this very product! Interesting, no? Apparently it is considered an over-the-counter drug with 1.08% dimethicone as the main active ingredient, which means if you are sensitive to silicones, this product is not for you. And the snail therapy here involves "highly-concentrated snail mucus...harvested from clean ponds." Swear I'm getting braver by the year, venturing out to first placenta protein and now snail slime. What's next, I wonder?

This is a small sample jar (10mL may be?) I received from buying the newest Castledew Diacut Eyes 9 Colors E907 Pure Angelism last June. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Komenuka Bijin Eye Moist Jell

Finished up Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream and been using this generous sample of Komenuka Bijin Eye Moist Jell for the past 3 weeks. 

I was iffy using this at home in the states since I am now visiting with my folks where they live is super duper dry, especially in the winter with all the heat blasting. Usually, any eye "gel" is bound to be much lighter than an eye cream so I wasn't sure this would be adequate underneath sunscreen. And indeed this is a super light gel that's so viscous and runny I would mistake it for a Japanese toner if I didn't know any better!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator

Here's a short review for the several 0.10 fl oz./3 mL sample tubes of the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator from my various Caudalie orders. I started using them in Taipei after having finished up the full size of The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Exfoliator

My favorite samples from Caudalie. From left to right: Deep Cleansing Exfoliator, Pulpe Vitaminee Eye and Lip Cream, and VinoSource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DHC Q10 Face Powder Part II

This review is way overdue because I have been using this DHC Q10 Face Powder in Transparent 00 (transparent matte) for, well, since I first bought it in 2008. Yes, you read that right. You know how mundane daily things gets forgotten? That was what happened to this powder. Both this Transparent 00 (transparent matte) and the Transparent 01 (transparent shimmer) went with me to Japan and Taiwan, and back! And here am I finally reviewing the former, some 4+ years after having reviewed the latter. Ha -.-'

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taipei Eats - Zhongxiao East Road area Part II (忠孝東路, Picture heavy!)

More food ^.^

Hotpot is a must-try in Taipei, especially spicy hotpot (麻辣火鍋). That said, surprisingly hubby and I weren't too thrilled. I like it enough and hubby does too, but for some reason the spice really bothers his stomach and so we didn't eat it as much. When my sister visited though, we did take her along with J., her old friend from high school, to a hotpot restaurant, Artisan Hotpot (火鍋世家)

The place is a chain, and it's nothing fancy or "famous," but it's unique in serving "individual" hotpot, as in everyone gets their own hotpot and no sharing is required. If you ask me, it really defeats the purpose of hotpot but whatever, we weren't too picky and the place was packed, so we figured it couldn't have been that bad.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Taipei Eats - Heping East Road area Part II (和平東路, Picture heavy!)

Just a few more snack stands and a review for a couple of restaurants on Heping East Road (和平東路) here. 

This little cart selling fried scallion pancakes was at the mouth of my alley at the intersection of Heping East Road and Roosevelt Road (羅斯福路), right outside MRT Guting Station (古亭站) Exit 6. 

Adding an egg and/or spicy sauce and you have you'll have a yummy, satisfying, and filling snack. There were a couple of times when hubby and I had a huge lunch, so for dinner we each got one of these scallion pancakes and called it a night. Not the healthiest way to eat, but it worked for the time being. Better than instant noodles!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Canmake Whip Mousse Lip Part II

This is a quick review for Canmake Whip Mousse Lip in limited edition 04 Foggy Cherry. I got a hold of this early November via E(vil)bay as it was not available in Taipei. It probably will be eventually, but up until the day before I left it was still absent at Watson's, with some branches didn't even carry the item itself (they had, like, may be 4 colors of the Candy Wrap Lips -.-')! I have already described these in detail in my last post so I won't repeat it again here.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Only in Taiwan

Today I leave Taiwan, moving back to the US of A *sobs* To leave on a sunny note (forget that it's been raining 3 weeks straight, starting before Thanksgiving T.T), I thought I'd share some hilarious things I've ran into during my time here in Taipei. 

Is Forever 21 too young for you? Try Forever 26!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mr. Onion (Steak house)

For hubby's bday I wanted to take him somewhere that doesn't serve Chinese food, because poor baby's gotten a bit homesick after having spent 3 birthdays in a row overseas (so did I, but I love *not* being home LOL!). So I told him to take a look at in the travel guidebook his Japanese colleague A-san had left behind for him. One of the recommendations was Mr. Onion, a steak house. I thought the name sounded familiar. Turns out I did hear of it before from another classmate of mine. He also thought this place served great steaks and had recommended to us a little while back.

There are several locations, but hubby and I went to the branch in Taini (台泥), which is accessible via MRT Red Line (淡水線) Mingquan West Road Station (民權西路站). 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Taipei Eats - Yongkang Street area Part II (永康街, Picture heavy!)

Just a brief revisit on the food joints at Yongkang Street area ^.^

Hubby and I were in line at Smoothie House one afternoon and saw that some people got strawberry smoothie shaved ice. Of course I got giddy, however to my surprise this wasn't on the menu. When it was our turn to order, I asked the gal manning the register if I could switch the mango smoothie shaved ice for the strawberry one instead. She nodded a chirpy yes, and I got my strawberry smoothie shaved ice ^.^ I didn't like it as much as I did the mango smoothy shaved ice though. I thought the strawberry smoothie was a tad too thick and creamy, thus tasted more like strawberry ice cream. But it was still yummy. Give it a try the next time you're there!

Yes, we also gave into our touristy urges and got ourselves a reservation at the original location of Din Tai Fung. It was packed with Japanese tourists, and I mean packed like sardines, with hordes of people waited outside. So when the hostess saw me, she (along with everyone else I met in Taipei) thought I was Japanese and started speaking Japanese to me. My Japanese sucks, but no language comes between me and my food of course, which doesn't exactly help clear up any misconceptions ^.^'

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tea Atop Maokong, Taipei (貓空, Picture heavy!)

Hubby was dying to go up Maokong (貓空) to take a peek, so off we went on a misty afternoon before it started raining non-stop, for how long, almost 2 weeks now? Sigh...

Of course we had to go on the Maokong Gondola. It would be a crime not too! There are 2 separate lines, a super crowded one for a standard cabin, and less crowded one for the "crystal cabin," with a fiber glass bottom so you can see beneath your feet ^.^ The line for "crystal cabin" isn't less crowded because no one wants to ride in it. You have to buy a ticket for either lines, but with the "crystal cabin" line you have to get assigned to a time block in addition to the general ticket. Hubby and I didn't know this as there was not a sign or any instructions, perhaps on purpose because otherwise everyone would line up for it?. We and a bunch of other folks wasted time standing around until we all realized they were announcing time blocks for the crystal cars! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Caudalie VinoSource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum

I love getting samples with online orders. That was how I ended up with several of these small 1mL pouches of Caudalie VinoSource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum that I've been using for a few weeks now after finishing the previous sample of L'Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Advanced Skin Repair Daily Serum (what a mouthful!).

My typical packet of samples from a Caudalie order ^.^ I usually pick my favorite Pulp Vitaminee Eye and Lip Cream (the skinny green capped tube), which lasts at least 2 weeks and is perfect for travel, the Deep Cleansing Exfoliator (chubbier tube), which I will review soon, and this VinoSource Serum.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++

Update Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Revisited this Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ after SunPlay Super Block failed me and I grew tired of having to take second measures around the eye area when using Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Essence. I mean, putting on sunscreen every day is one thing, but having to put on two different sunscreens, one for the face and one for around the eyes? What a pain in the a$$!

So I dared another experiment with this dreadfully drying UV Sara Sara Milk, though this time I'd learned my lesson (or not, after all here I am trying this stuff again...) and was being super careful about layering adequately underneath it (Caudalie VinoSource S.O.S Thirst-Quenching Serum, will review next). Interestingly enough, I can't seem to find this UV Sara Sara Milk in Taipei! I've seen plenty of its alcohol-free sister Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk in the blue bottle at Watson's, but not Sara Sara Milk in the pink bottle. Not sure why. 

Anyway, this was totally unexpected, but this Sara Sara Milk turns out to be just perfect for the crazy humid Taipei weather! Even better is that together with SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, it's been really helping with my pore clogging problem ever since I came to Taipei, perhaps because it's just that drying and it gives my skin no chance to get oily and clogged. Also, there is a reason I gave this sunscreen and SK-II Clear Lotion the credit for helping to clear up my skin and not Avene TriAcneal, but I'm not going to get into it until I actually review that product. 

So there, I brought my partially, well, more like 2/3 used bottle from Japan to Taiwan  on a hunch and it rewarded me handsomely. In fact, it worked out so well that when my sister came to visit in late October-early November, I asked her to bring me an extra bottle from my stash. Even then, I doubted this extra bottle. At the time, I was only about 2 weeks into the trial and I, nah, I probably won't even touch the new bottle because it would deep fry my skin before I finish up the current bottle. Well, I'm so so glad I was wrong, and that I have this new bottle to use, because it's been almost 7 weeks now and my skin thanks me for it!

Update Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Okay, so after 3 weeks of continuous use of this Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ sans moisturizer underneath, it totally dried out my skin. Damn, I was so convinced I would get away with it given how hot and humid it is outside! Guess not :( The alcohol is probably too much for my skin to handle and I've been getting dry and flaky patches on both cheeks, chin, and on the area around the mouth T.T

Time for damage control, and after spending more than 10 days layering moisturizer underneath (Mamonde Moisture Emulsion or HABA Lift Up Serum - finally ran out of both and currently using Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminee Anti-Wrinkle Fluid, will review soon), the dry and flaky patches improved but haven't gone away completely. So unfortunately, this sunscreen is definitely a big no-no for me during the winter. I mean, shoot, it's already giving me dry flakes now when my dry-combination skin requires only light to no moisturizer. What havoc will it wreck during the colder months when my skin goes into crazy dry mode? Eeeps!!! I guess there's no replacing my trusty all-star year round Allie after all. Ha.

This Sara Sara Milk is strictly for summer use, I concluded, and with adequate moisturizer underneath for sure. If your skin is super oily, that's an entirely different story, but if your skin is just plain dry, really, stay away! 

Original post Sunday, July 15, 2012

Having decided to put away Allie Extra UV Gel Mineral Moist N, I was eager to give this Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ a try. There are 2 sunscreens available in the Skin Aqua UV Milk range, a Moisture Milk I tried a few years ago that's alcohol-free, aiming to maintain moisture as most Japanese sunscreen are full of alcohol and can be drying, and this Sara Sara Milk released spring of last year that contains powder for a smooth finish. I ignored it then, thinking powder is rather an unnecessary ingredient, only to change my mind in the spirit of trying new things and gave it a chance recently. And besides, trying a different product from the same brand/range is not really that "new" or particularly adventurous in anyway. 

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream

More than three weeks into a generous sample of this Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Ice Cream now. I moved onto this after finishing the sample of IsQueen Rice High Performance Eye Gel at long last ="= I've never heard of the brand Skyn Iceland before but am happy to know it's available online in the case I like it and want to pursue further.

This is a light eye cream with a very interesting texture akin to congealed milk - think Asian style milk pudding. It's thicker than American jello, but it jiggles and it does not adapt to the shape of its container.  The picture below is taken two weeks after I had started using. As you can see, the cream looks as though I had just squeezed it out of its package! When I touch it, some melt onto the tip of my ring finger while the shape does not budge. Neat huh?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

L'Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Advanced Skin Repair Daily Serum

Happy December, and yes, I'm behind on posts again. I'm moving out of Taipei in just two weeks T.T How all that time just flew right by me...

Finished a nice sample of this L'Oreal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Advanced Skin Repair Daily Serum a couple of weeks ago. Didn't think much of it at first though. I'm biased like that ^.^' Of course it doesn't help that I've been moving about in the past ten years. That said, I have started to pay attention to American drugstore items and this serum is one of those things that took me by complete surprise.

***Picture from

Friday, November 30, 2012

Shin Yeh (Taiwanese Cuisine)

Oops. Just realized I had forgotten to publish this post :X

For my sister's 1st dinner in Taipei, our old college friend A. and her fiance S. booked a table with Shin Yeh at their Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xinyi Branch (8th floor, building A9). As A. puts it, if you want to sit down and slowly get acquainted to traditional Taiwanese dishes before diving into the fast paced, rough and tumble night markets, Shin Yeh is a good start. Also, it helps that their website is available in English, providing a small glimpse of their extensive menu with names of some of the dishes in English!

There were actually 8 of us, with another couple and their young son arriving later in the meal. But by then, we had already ordered some 12 different dishes, with the waitress reluctant to keep taking our order because she thought we had ordered way too much. Actually, I have noticed this trend when dining out in Taiwan, that some waiters and waitresses don't just politely suggest you've ordered too much but will actively try to convince you to stop ordering LOL!

Had a bit of a bad hair night there...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

National Palace Museum, Taipei (故宮)

The day after our day trip to Beitou, it rained again, so me, my sister, hubby, and his Japanese colleague A-san all agree this calls for indoor activity that is the National Palace Museum (故宮). My sister has already been to this museum once with when she visited Taipei a few years ago with a big tour group. However, their tour schedule was tight and so she pretty much rushed through just the lower two floors and didn't get to see the top floor.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Coffret D'Or 3D Glossy Eyes

Along with the Eye Appeal Shadows, I also brought these Coffret D'Or 3D Glossy Eyes with me to Taipei. I have 3 of these palettes, 01 Nudy Brown and 03 Urban Gray were bought shortly before leaving Japan, and 04 Pink Violet were purchase later, here in Taipei in fact. 

Like the Eye Appeal Shadows, these came without a compact, which is sold separately. Instead, they are packaged in a sliding clear plastic case that is slim and easy to pack. You just slide the eye shadow pan out of its lid and snap onto the compact and that's it. No dealing with messy glues at the bottom of either the pan or the compact. The eye shadows themselves have excellent staying power and did not crease on me at all throughout the day. Texture wise they are soft, smooth, and blends well, but again I think Coffret D'Or can do even better.

Coffret D'Or 3D Glossy Eyes in 01 Nudy Brown and 03 Urban Gray

04 Pink Violet

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Divinia Deep Cleansing Oil

Third of the way through this bottle of Divinia Deep Cleansing Oil. Divinia is a Watsons store brand, although I'm not sure if it's available at Watsons throughout Asia or only at Watsons in Taiwan. This is my first Divinia product!

This Deep Cleansing Oil is actually packaged in a clear bottle with blue text. However, this one I bought is a Shizuoka Green Tea limited edition. The funny thing is that other than that round sticker at the top that simply says "Shizuoka Green Tea Limited Edition", nowhere else on the bottle makes a single mentioning of how this green tea is in anyway related to this product, whether being just a fragrance or is actually a part of the ingredient (I read the ingredients up and down!). Is it just the text is green or what?!?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day Trip to Beitou, Taipei (北投)

While my sister was here visiting, hubby's Japanese colleague A-san also dropped in for a few days. Of course that gives us the most perfect excuse to explore Beitou's famous onsens, so we took off on a cool and rainy afternoon when the weather was just right to be soaking in a hot bath.

The train ride to Beitou is pretty straight forward. You get on MRT Red Line and get off at Beitou Station, then take another special touristy train to Xinbeitou Station ^.^

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day Trip to Tamsui, New Taipei, Part II (淡水, Picture heavy!)

Hey guys, running so behind on some posts here :( Sorry!

My sister came for a short visit earlier in the month and hubby and I took her to Tamsui again. It was her second time in Taipei actually. Two winters ago, she was still living and working in Japan and had been here on a group tour along with her colleagues and fellow teacher. However, her group tour had a super tight schedule full of "touristy" places, which didn't give her any time to explore the city on her own at all. So this was an attempt to chill out a little, taking time to leisurely stroll around, check out the shops, eat some snacks, play some games, etc. 

We started out with lunch at my favorite neighborhood's Fortune Garden. Then at the Taipei Main Station we met up with J., whom my sister used to tutor way back in high school. She's a Taiwanese native but went to high school and college in the US, in the same state and city where we did. Hearing of my sister's visit, she was ecstatic as they had lost touch for a while before finding each other on FB several months earlier.

The funny gold statue man was there again! ^.^

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Canmake Cream Cheek Part II Clear Series

A few weeks ago when I was browsing the Canmake website looking for the new Cheek & Cheek 08 Love Trap Flower that was supposed to be released on October 1. Instead, I spotted these Canmake Cream Cheeks Clear Series.

Being a big fan of the Canmake Cream Cheeks, I started a frenzy search for any online retailer who carries these because, well, they haven't made it (still!!!) to the Taiwanese shore. I have to say, it's occasions like these that I feel thankful for Ebay, even if I loath it every other minute in between. Let's just say I, umm, stalked Alpha Beauty UK everyday and snapped these up as soon as they made their appearance. I don't care that they're marked up to about 2/3 the Japanese retail. I wanted these so badly. I must have them.

From left to right: CL01 Clear Red HeartCL02 Clear Love Song Pink, and CL03 Clear Sunset. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hada-Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Facial Cleansing Foam

More than 2/3 way through this 20g travel size tube of Hada-Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Facial Cleansing Foam that came with the Gokujyun Olive Oil Cleansing that I used up, umm, last August. I got started on this cleansing foam just two weeks ago after finishing up the Rosette Cleansing Paste Kaidei Smooth as the follow up cleanser after my cleansing oil (been using a new one for the past 10 day, will review soon!).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Caudalie Gentle Cleanser

A short and sweet review for Caudalie Gentle Cleanser. This is a 30mL travel size tube I brought with me among other things.

This is a very gentle milk cleanser that comes out of the tube in an opaque drinkable yogurt texture, not thick but not runny either. It constantly tricks me into thinking it will foam, going on with the slip of a liquid foaming cleanser, only it does not foam at all. It rinses well, much better than most cream or even milk cleanser, although not squeaky clean like a foaming cleanser would. It is scented with a very mild and unimposing leafy flowery scent that I do enjoy. My face does feel very clean afterwards without any tightness.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coffret D'Or Eye Appeal Shadow

Did some, okay, a lot of shopping before I left Japan, and these Coffret D'Or Eye Appeal Shadows were among the last grabs because I knew I'd be sorry if I pass them up only to bleed for jacked up prices plus international shipping later T.T Out of the 5 available palettes, I picked 01 Sweet Brown, 03 Gray Silver, and 04 Nudy Beige

I don't know why it took me so long to warm up to Coffret D'Or. I honestly thought the brand was so ho-hum and after the Trance Deep Eyes, I didn't bother keeping up with it. Even with the Trance Deep Eyes, only last December did I finally review it, some 3 years after it was released, then the single Eye Colors this past May, and the Smile Up Cheeks just two weeks prior to moving out of the country. 

Eye Appeal Shadows in 01 Sweet Brown (top), 03 Gray Silver (bottom left), and 04 Nudy Beige (bottom right). All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

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