Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter

by Venus

When Revlon's Lip Butter first launch in the US quite a while ago, everyone was raving about it. I was also very excited about this lip product but unfortunately I didn't actually know whether they will ever launch it in HK. Considering its cheap price, I asked Grace to buy me a couple while she was over at New York so that I could also try them when she comes back. But sadly they were SO POPULAR that most of the shades have already been sold out everywhere.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Josie Maran Argan Oil

By Grace

When I first told Venus that I have been using Argan oil as face moisturizer, she was like, ‘What? Argan Oil is for hair!’ I’m not sure if argan oil from other brands are the same, but this 100% Argan Oil from  Josie Maran serves multiple purposes, and it can be used as a daily moisturizer for skin, hair and nails.  

Although it is an oil, it does not feel oily at all and can be absorbed within seconds. The hydrating and healing effect is significant – after using it for months, my skin definitely feels softer more moisturized that I don’t need to touch up as frequently as before.  And the best thing is that it cures the flaky red patches around my nose.  Sometimes I also mix it with light-textured moisturizer e.g. dramatically different moisturizing lotion from Clinique, or Hydra bio light cream from Bioderma.

This product is fantastic and I’ll definitely buy it again! It’s available from Sephora and it comes in three sizes: 0.5oz ($14), 1.7 oz ($48) and 4oz ($96). I bought mine when they were selling a gift set that also includes a body butter, body cleansing oil, hair serum, and sun protection moisturizer, though I haven’t tried all of them, will update you guys once I've tried the other products!

The brand also sells makeup and they look pretty I regret for not getting makeup gift set and a larger bottle of argan oil from Sephora!

DIY: beaded friendship bracelet

by Venus

In the previous OOTD post, I wore a purple beaded friendship bracelet which I made with grace on the day. And we had matching nails!

Very easy to make, here are some photos to show how to make this friendship bracelet which is great for layering with other accessories on your wrist.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Forever 21 in Hong Kong

by Venus

It's been rumored that a Forever 21 store will open in Hong Kong last year. After waiting for SO LONG without actually hearing much about it until recently, the store finally opened 2 days ago. Originally I was going to stop by the store that morning just before I head back to uni but unfortunately there was just so much going on in preparation for my review yesterday.

This afternoon I FINALLY got a chance to stop by with a friend to check out the new store located in Causeway Bay. Now honestly because it's the first Forever 21 store in Hong Kong, I expected a huge crowd in there, especially because a lot of high school students are already on their Chinese New Year break.

No I'm not going to be saying how great the store is, how you all must go and check it out asap, because that seriously is not how I felt about it. Here are a few honest opinions about the store:

  1. The location used to be a Giordano store and a Watsons, so I thought the Forever 21 store is going to be really big, awesome for some shopping. I know that the store will have 6 floors in total, and right now, only 3 levels are open while the rest is still under construction, BUT I did feel that each level was way smaller than I expected. There was a huge crowd yes, but the store was still small.
  2. Price is cheaper than H&M, a lot of the clothes are around the price range of 100-250 hkd which I think is more reasonable than H&M considering the quality of the garments.
  3. Another good thing is that I find the quality of their garments are better than I expected, better than most from H&M (obviously that does depend on different items, but in general it is better than what H&M has nowadays).
  4. The style of the clothes is not surprising at all, nothing particularly impressive or exciting.
  5. 80% of the store consists of tops and knitwear, I rarely find any bottoms or dresses or coats.
  6. I was the most excited about being able to purchase Forever 21 accessories and jewelry, however that fully disappointed me. There were only a few jewelry, which is poorly organized in the store. You can find them all over the place and I really wished that there was perhaps this one corner which is especially for jewelry and accessories so everything in that particular category can be reached and compared in the same place. Also there was only a very limiting collection of jewelry, I do understand that some have already been wiped out in the first 2 days, but overall there just wasn't enough choices.
  7. The MOST disappointing thing out of all, is definitely the changing rooms. I have to say, H&M has a WAY better system in terms of changing rooms. There are changing rooms in each level. I did not go to the ones on the second and third floor since the queue was much longer than the one on the ground floor. However, there are only FOUR changing rooms, yes FOUR, on the ground level. and the design of the ground floor changing rooms is incredibly strange. The doors basically face the rest of the stores in a way that, you feel like there isn't privacy at all. I would understand such design if the store was a really small one, but no, not this store. So therefore in the end I had to wait for about 35 minutes? 40? I seriously can't even remember, just to try on some clothes.
  8. So yes, the store is quite poorly designed, whether it's about the location of the escalator, the placing of garment racks, the organization of items.
  9. The plastic bag for your purchase looks exactly the same as ones from US. But wait, if you compare carefully, the ones in Hong Kong are actually much more sheer, so basically people can see into your bag of purchases. Well, I know it's not everyday people would stare at your Forever 21 plastic bag of garments, but then I simply felt the idea makes it quite cheap.
  10. I believe the company wanted to open before Chinese New Year since it's a perfect opportunity to have an opening just before this public holiday, and this time of the year a lot of people in Hong Kong go out to shop for new clothes, new accessories, new shoes, new everything, it's simply a perfect time to make profit that Forever 21 does not want to miss out. However, being in the store I had a feeling that they tried to place all 6 levels of items into 3, looking at how the garment racks are all placed, it's just not a very nice environment to shop in, whether or not there is a huge crowd, the garment racks are just too packed. And I did notice that some items can been seen everywhere. My friend mentioned that she sees a lot of the same items in all floors, here and there, probably because there just isn't a lot of different items at all.
  11. A lot of the items are only nice when you look at it on a hanger, after you try it on there's just something odd about it, usually the cutting. After trying out 6 items, in the end I only made purchase to one of them.

Well, I will definitely be going there again, and for those of you who haven't, there's no need to rush. In general the garments are of reasonable quality and the price is cheap, but the poor design of the store is very much a put off. Here's the address of the store: G/F, Capitol Centre, 5-19 Jardine’s Crescent, Causeway Bay. I think it will be better to check it out after Chinese New Year, and when more items are back in stock. Since there were a lot of people there, I did not snap any pictures of the store, but here's a photo from their facebook showing what the store looks like without people. I will show the top I purchased in the next haul post. For those of you planning to go during this holiday, I hope you have a better shopping experience than I had, I suggest you go earlier, the store opens during 10am-1am, and enjoy all your purchases.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Style: Back to school outfit 1

by Venus

What I'm wearing:
1. White Cami: H&M
2. Cream Colored Hem Top:
3. Leather Jacket: Max&Co
4. Black Skinny Jeans: H&M
5. Black Leather Ballerina Flats: Maud Frizon
6. Black Tote: DKNY
7. Necklace: Accessorize
8. Bracelets: DIY

Being back to school for the winter is sometimes quite tricky especially for the recent days of hot afternoons and cold nights. A nice leather jacket keeps you warm for the nights while not making you too hot during the afternoon. Be sure to keep a scarf in your bag in case it gets a little colder. Dress it down with flats, and a classic tote, and you're ready to go!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

DIY: oatmeal yogurt mask

by Venus

During winter days like these, what's nicer than treating yourself with a moisturizing mask after a hot bath.

Recently I am starting to get small patches of flaky skin on my face, so tonight I decided to treat myself with a DIY oatmeal yogurt mask.

1 tbsp  Oatmeal
1 tbsp  Non-flavored yogurt
a few drops of honey (I used manuka honey)

(the above ingredient is enough, your face really isn't that large afterall)

After shower, washing my face, I placed a hot towel over my face for a short while just to let my pores open a little, allowing my skin to absorb nutrients better.
Mix up the above ingredients, apply the mask to your face, and leave it for about 10-15 minutes. I find it hard to rinse it off, so I massage my face a little, then take a piece of paper towel and wipe off most of the yogurt+oatmeal on my face before rinsing it with water.

My skin felt so much moisturized and smooth after the mask and I noticed those flaky patches on my face got a lot better (well, wasn't really THAT bad to begin with, but you know, we really don't ever want any bad things on our faces)

Bottom line: I think this is a great mask that is easy to make and very effective (and of course cheap), especially for winter, to keep our skin healthy and beautiful.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

NOTD: Essie Set In Stones


I have been wanting this Set In Stones for quite a while, but never really got around to purchasing it. Recently I happened to be near one of the Cher2 stores which sells OPI and Essie and Zoya and a lot of nail polish which you usually cannot find in Hong Kong. So I quickly picked up this beautiful nail polish.

It basically just has a lot of glitter in it, in three different sizes. On the left is one coat of the OPI better, with one coat of Set In Stones. And on the right hand side only with Essie's. Because it has 3 different sizes of glitter in the nail polish, it achieves a very pretty gradual effect just by adding more coats towards the end of the nail.


DIY: chain and rhinestone bracelet

Just last week I was a little obsessed with DIYs, probably because its the holidays and I have MUCH more free time than during the semester.
Using just some very simple materials and techniques, I made myself a chain and rhinestone bracelet and also with similar materials a rhinestone headband.

Here is the tutorial on how to make the chain and rhinestone bracelet from I Spy DIY