Laneige Snow BB Cream Review

I’ve had the Laneige Snow BB Cream since last fall, but I find myself using the Missha and Faceshop BBs so much more as they offer much more coverage, but more on that later.

I decided to try the Laneige because I’d use their skincare products before and quite liked them, and as they have a full makeup line, I figure it couldn’t be too bad.  The sales girl at the store (who was pretty and had nice skin) told me she was wearing it, so I figured why not give it a try?

The Laneige BB cream contains the following properties:

  • anti-aging
  • whitening
  • SPF 41

The BB cream comes in two shades, a darker one in a matte colour and a lighter one with a hint of shimmer.  Based on the salesperson, I was better suited for the lighter shade.  Plus, as she added, wouldn’t I rather glow under the cold of the harsh Canadian winters?  She does have a point.

The back of the container

Note that one has the shake the container prior to using as the solution tends to be a bit watery.  Even shaken, the liquid on its own is more on the runny side than other BBs that I’ve used, though it spreads well like a skin emulsion/lotion emulating a pleasant smell as I spread it across my face.

After shaking the container, it comes out well.

Pros:

  • Coming from Laneige, a well known skin care company, the Snow BB Cream is very moisturizing and does not disappoint on that front.
  • The product smells great
  • Easy to spread and apply

Cons:

  • It is very light on the amount of coverage it provides.

Case in point, the redness is my cheeks is lighter but it’s not enough to hide it from view.  My face does look nicer, brighter and it seems that I have a nicer complexion, but it does not offer much more else.

If you just want very light coverage that very moisturizing, then this may be the product for you.  For me, I find that it does not offer me enough coverage but it’s great if you just want a hint of coverage with a small glow!

BB Cream Leave a comment

Don Don Izakaya Review

I was lining up to get in a bar on St Paddy’s day the past weekend, when my friend had to go, so the boyfriend and I changed course and went out for dinner instead at Don Don Izakaya.

To be honest, I haven’t been on Dundas for a while and I had no idea a new restaurant, specifically an izakaya, had opened until I discovered by chance through a friend’s Facebook check-in.

Don Don Izakaya is located on Dundas St West, between Bay St and University and within a 5 minute walking distance from the Eaton Centre.  It had less than stellar reviews on Urbanspoon but I went in with an open mind – I figure the worst that can happen is that I don’t like it and never go again!

http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/don-don-izakaya-toronto

It’s located on the upper floor above Topcuts and a nail salon.  I think if one were walking on the street, it can be easily missed as the sign downstairs is quite subtle.  I arrived a little before 6 pm on a Saturday and  it was surprisingly… pretty full for a day when everyone’s out at the pubs!

Similar to Guu Izakaya, its staff consist entirely of Japanese people and guests are welcomed in with shouts and the bang of drums.  We were seated by the bar, which was great as we got to see everything in action.  The waiters use ipads to take orders – what a great use of technology!

We started off with their themed St Patrick’s Day drinks, where I got the Matcha Kalula and him the Matcha Capico.  Both were good, though it depends how much you like matcha.  The matcha with the kalula tasted heavy with a very strong green tea taste compared to the capico that was light and refreshing.

Next came the Wasabi Seaweed chips which were really delicious.  They were basically seaweed deep fried, with wasabi dressing on top.  I only wished the bottom chips were coated with sauce as well!

The cook in charge of skewers were right in front of us, making skewers non-stop, so I got the bacon wrapped asparagus skewer which was pretty good as well.

The Atlantic Salmon and Egg Salad (bottom left) was a featured item on their menu so I decided to try it out.  Unfortunately, the amount of salmon in there is minimal so all you really get is an egg salad and a large piece of bacon.  As much as I love eating eggs, I found this dish to be a tad disappointing.

The salad was followed by the Fwhat Fwhat Steamed Pork buns.  The buns weren’t as good as the most amazing delicious ones I had while in NYC, but they were still very good.  The bun was super soft and it tastes like eating Chinese peking duck with oyster sauce (in a good way).

Next, we got another one of the menu recommendations – the soy milk tofu.  It comes with a little jar of slightly salty sauce.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the tofu either.  Another recommendation fail.  I didn’t really enjoy the flavour of the tofu with the sauce, though without it, it tasted bland!

The next menu item was the steamed shabu shabu.  Flavour-wise it tasted good with the sauce, but why did the chef choose to make it look so bland to the point that it looks a bit unappetizing, with a few slices of pork belly on top of bean sprouts and the occasional mushroom!  I probably could’ve done without it.

I could not help myself and ordered the bacon wrapped mushroom skewer.  You really can’t go wrong with bacon, so this was good too, though I preferred the avocado version more.

The boyfriend was captivated by the Tokyo Style Hot Dog, so we gave that a try.  In all honesty, it is simply a hot dog, but the flavours they top it with was amazing.  This gourmet hot dog was pretty delicious, though I still didn’t quite figure out what’s meant by “Tokyo Style”.

We couldn’t decide which dessert to order, so the boyfriend spoiled me with not one, but two desserts!  Both were really good in its own way.  The green tea mousse was more of a jelly than a mousse, and topped with sweet red bean for flavouring.

The caramel pudding was really good if you like custard.  I really quite enjoyed this one over the mousse as I found the red bean to be overly sweet.

Maybe it’s what I ordered, but I wasn’t blown away by the experience.  At the same time, I would be open to coming here again.  Certain dishes were pretty good, and it’s new and clean.  It offers a good alternative to Guu given that its dishes are totally different so there’s a few I’d still like to try like their croquette and the udon.  Service was pretty good and the staff was pretty fast in taking our plates away.  For 10 dishes and 2 drinks, it wasn’t exactly cheap, with our final bill adding up to $60 something plus tip and tax, but it was a nice night out.  Worth giving it a try!

Don Don Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Food , Leave a comment

L’Oreal Sale Toronto

The L’Oreal Warehouse Sale is in Toronto again… and it started today!  Guess who was lucky enough to go on the first day? :)

I haven’t been to the L’Oreal sale for a while because the tickets are hard to come by!  You have to know someone because the tickets go to friends and family only for the most part.

I didn’t plan to buy too much to be honest… but somehow this ended up being my haul.

Surprisingly, there weren’t many people although this may be because I went in the day time.  They still had a lot of stock of almost everything (except their vibrating mascara).  There were a ton of Polo and Armani perfumes, Maybelline makeup, L’Oreal hair products/makeup, Garnier wipes and hair, Vichy, La Roche Posay, Biotherm… and a small selection of Essie, Shu Uemura and Kiehl’s.

I didn’t know that L’Oreal owned Essie!!!  They were $6 each and all the colours were so nice, so of course I grabbed a few!  I also got a L’Oreal French tip.  Except for the dark purple and the grey, all of them look absolutely summer ready!

Although there was no tester, my sharp eyes zoomed in upon Essie’s all in one top and base coat and of course picked one up!  I’ve never used an all in one, but I have Essie’s base coat at home that I use and it works pretty well so I have faith in this product.

Next, I went crazy over Shu Uemura.  I got the Reindeer Kiss and Graceful Bloom palettes that I wanted so badly last year but never got because it was too expensive!  I also picked up two lip glosses from the same Takano collaboration in “Love Apricot” and “Harmony Pink”

I also picked up my upcoming new skincare regiment: anti-aging for the day and whitening at night! Whoohoo!  I’ve used the Primordiale night cream before and I quite liked it, so the day cream is exciting!  This will come once I’m done using my stuff from the Shiseido warehouse sale last time.

As mother’s day is coming up, I got some souvenirs for the mother as well.  The L’Oreal lipsticks were only $3 each and they still had the nice colours!

I also got the Garnier face wipes (because who doesn’t want handy wipes) and Ombrelle sunscreen.  Doesn’t feel like I bought a lot, but they really add up!  Back to the saving game… -___-

General, Shopping , , , , , 3 Comments

The Face Shop Oil Cut Dual BB Emulsion Review

I recently got the Face Shop Face it Oil Cut Dual BB Emulsion, a BB cream with SPF20.  I’d asked a friend going to Hong Kong to bring me back BB Cream from there, though I didn’t realize til after that the Face Shop actually has 18 BB creams listed on their website depending on your skin type and what you’re looking for!

It is a lot cheaper than Missha, retailing at around $20 USD for 40 ml.  From its online description, the Oil Cut Dual BB Cream can be used by all skin types, but it targets those particularly with black heads and pores.

What’s interesting about it is that in addition to the BB cream itself,  it includes a small concealer within the cap for added coverage for skin imperfections.

The Good

It blends well as a BB cream and the colour after it oxidises is very flattering for my skin tone.  Also, I like how a concealer is included should you feel that you need extra coverage that day.  It provides pretty good general coverage while staying relatively light on the skin.

The Bad

The cream has a slight minty scent and it’s not too bad, I think it’d be better unscented.

Before is on the left and after on the right. The red pigmentation is hidden away after using the BB

Final Thoughts

In comparison to Missha, the colour is more natural but the former has more colours to choose from and stronger coverage.  For an every day look, the Face Shop’s Oil Cut Dual BB Emusion is the way to go!

BB Cream, The Face Shop Leave a comment

Louis Vuitton on Beyond the Rack

So it wasn’t my imagination!  Beyond the Rack often has “Pre-owned Louis Vuitton” sales, and I always wonder where do they come from?  How do they have so many?  In fact, they just had another vintage LV sale today today, and I discovered that the country of origin is labelled wrong!

In the photo of the wallet itself, it says Made in Spain, but the origin is marked France!

Here’s a closer look.

I have come to the conclusion that my last LV was definitely mislabelled!  I suppose it doesn’t matter, but something about the French makes it feel more romantic.

Shopping , Leave a comment

Birkham Yoga Toronto Review

A while back, I bought a Groupon for 20 classes of Hot Yoga for $20 at Bikram Yoga Toronto (located at Bayview and Sheppard).  I figured I couldn’t go wrong with $1 a class, so even if I went 5 classes it would be worth it.

The mall where Bikram Yoga Canada is located

The yoga studio is located on the ground floor of a medical centre.  The studio is a little dated with just one hot yoga room, and very basic change room facilities.  In fact, the entire studio is very no frills.  If you bring your own lock, there are smaller lockers available in a hallway between the change rooms and the classroom.  During classes, the room is fully lit with florescent lights and in my opinion fits with their no frills look.

Their studio is set up very similar to this

The style of yoga at Bikramis very hardcore – the heat is hotter than any other that I’ve been to and the instructors really push you as if it was boot camp class with shouts of “push back, MORE back, WAY BACK” for encouragement.  The format of all the classes is the same, where the instructors go through the same 26 poses twice each class.  Different variations are provided to accommodate the student experience levels.

Again, not their exact studio but pretty darn close

Pros:

  • Very intense workout.  You really feel it in your muscles after class.  Typically, my thighs and abs would burn for a few days.
  • Convenient location near the subway and major highways.

Cons:

  • The studio room can be dirty at times, as they do not always wipe their floors in-between classes.  As a result, you could be potentially stepping into the last class’ sweat (very gross).  They also do not use any incense, so it can be pretty smelly in there.
  • Plenty of older men go to this studio, and they are typically round, hairy and topless, no offence but please put on a shirt.  It’s kind of gross.
  • Normal class packages are not cheap for such a basic facility.
  • The instructors (I’ve seen 5-6 different ones) generally walk around and lead the class, but do not necessarily show examples of how poses should be held.

If I didn’t buy the multi-class Groupon, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Bikram Yoga again after the first class.  Although the workout is more intense than the others I’ve ever been to, the older and particularly potential unsanitary facilities are a definite turnoff.  Further, at prices comparable to other newer and better equipped studios in the area, why go to this one?

In the end, I only used 7/20 classes because the fine print said all classes must be used within 60 days of activation!  However, I still got a deal at $3/ hot yoga class which is a steal!

Since then, I’ve found better yoga studios I’m more comfortable with, but I see regulars that do go here so if you’re looking for a no frills Bikram-styled class, give it a try.  The people that work there are nice and you get a really good workout!  I just think it’s a bit expensive for what I’m getting!

Fitness, Wellness Leave a comment

Vintage Louis Vuitton

After placing my order on Beyond the Rack (BTR) two weeks ago, I finally received my vintage Louis Vuitton Petit Noe in the mail!  I paid $200 plus tax and shipping, which is reasonable considering it typically costs more with shipping on eBay and it’s currently selling at $955 new in store!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my purchase.  The canvas was in great shape and the interior is clean. Although the colour of leather has browned with age , the condition was pretty good as there are no cracks on the string nor the strap.

The leather bottom was more scratched that I would’ve liked and it smelled pretty musty, but it can be aired it out and no one ever really sees the bottom anyways!  There’s also some green stains which can be cleaned.

I realized from the date code that my Noe is actually made in the States rather than France, but I suppose I’ll live as the craftsmanship should be the same.  My only actual issue with the bag (similar to my last vintage LV) is that it smells really musty!  With my last one, I tried to get use baking soda to absorb the smell and it worked somewhat.  It got a bit messy though, so I’m going to try febreeze and see now it goes!

Shopping , 2 Comments

Intercontinental Barclay New York Review

Through Hotwire booking, I stayed by chance at the Intercontinental Barclay in New York City.  Given the Intercontinental brand name and its association with quality, I had certain expectations for this hotel.  Note that there’re actually two Intercontinental chain locations in New York City:  Intercontinental Times Square (the nicer and more expensive one) and the Intercontinental Barclay (the subject of today’s review).

The hotel was built in 1926 of a neo-Federal style, so it has an older traditional charm.  Free wi-fi was available for guests in the lobby.

Location

The Intercontinental Barclay is located at point A

The Intercontinental Barclay is conveniently located right in the middle of the city at 111 East 48th Street, just steps away from the nearest subway station (51st Station) at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue.  The station is on the Lexington subway line, which runs North South, so it was relatively easy to get from one end of the city to the other.

The hotel is also walking distance to numerous attractions:

  • Rockefeller Centre (10 minutes)
  • Barney’s New York, Saks on 5th Avenue, Sephora (10 minutes)
  • Magnolia Bakery – famed cupcakes from Sex in the City (11 minutes)
  • Moma (12 minutes)
  • Times Square (15 minutes)

Note that that the area around the hotel is pretty quiet at night as there’s a ton of office buildings in the area, so on one hand you can get good quality sleep, but if you’re looking for happening nightlife, you may need to cab elsewhere to find it!

Rooms

A view of our room... it is huge!

Given the expensive real estate prices in the city, our hotel room was pretty good size for what we paid for.  The older hotel probably played a factor too.  Our room wasn’t the most modern, but it felt nice and it matched the style and décor of the rest of the hotel.  It could use some upgrades like LCD TVs (vs. the black boxes) complimentary in-room wi-fi, and more modernized bathrooms, but they aren’t deal breakers.  There’s so much to do in the city, and it was honestly a nice place to crash after a long day out.  Most importantly, my room was clean!

A view from the other side

Service

The service was excellent from the front desk to the cleaning staff.  One example that really stood out was when we were locked out of our safe on our last night in the city.  In our panic, we called hotel management and though we didn’t need our belongings right away, someone was sent to our room within 5 minutes to crack the code and open the safe, free of charge!

The front lobby

Value

At $170/night on average, it’s a pretty competitive for a 4* hotel in the middle of Manhattan.  For its quality service, excellent location, and clean and decent sized rooms, I’d definitely consider staying here again.

Travel , , Leave a comment

Marni H&M – Toronto Launch

I was quite excited about the Marni H&M collection.  I’ve always liked their accessories, but they are so expensive, at $300 even on sale!  I actually took the day off two weeks ago in anticipation of waking up early and heading downtown to line up.  However, as the date got closer, I got more on the fence about lining up.  I honestly do not need any more new clothes, but the chance to own a Marni at discount prices was too tempting.  Plus it’s an annual tradition with my friends (H&M x Jimmy Choo, H&M x Lanvin, H&M x Sonia Rykiel, H&M x Matthew Williamson…!!!)  We’ve been to a lot of these over the years.

It’s funny because I normally do not shop at H&M as I find their general quality cheap, but their designer collaborations are usually very nice just a little more expensive.

The website instructions said the stores open at 10, so the original plan was to head downtown to the Eaton Centre by 7 am and wait in line for 3 hours.  I didn’t want to go downtown on my day off only to wake up early and stand in the rain, so we changed plans to go to Yorkdale Mall instead by 9:30.

When I got there at 9:15, the mall was quiet and there was no line up!  As I entered H&M though, I realized that the major crowds were all gone and the racks were half empty!  The blue polka dot suit, the maxi dress, leather top, the accessories… they were basically all gone.  Aside from the accessories, I surprisingly managed to grab all the major items that I’d really wanted, either from the racks or leftover sizes in the changeroom!

I was too excited and I forgot to take pictures while at Yorkdale, but this is my haul:

Marni H&M

According to some of the salespeople in the other stores that saw our bags, people were already there at Yorkdale lining up at 6 am, so I’m actually very surprised I got there so late and got almost everything I wanted in my size!

Another friend of mine ended up going to Eaton’s and apparently they kept putting stuff out!  I probably could’ve gotten everything if I went downtown, but I would’ve spent more so maybe it’s for the best. :)

Shopping , , Leave a comment

New York City – Day 5

We had an afternoon flight, so after checking out of our hotel in the morning we took a cab to the Nougatine at Jean George for brunch.  Jean George also had excellent reviews though on the expensive side.  For those looking for a deal, the Nougatine is located just beside Jean George, so you can get Jean George’s quality for a fraction of the price!  My French toast was good, though I liked Serene’s fish better.  Before we knew it, it was time to catch our flight home.

If I had more time, I would’ve liked to go to Ellis Island for the immigration centre, the 911 memorial site (which opened a month after my trip), walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, eat a bagel (wait for me Ess-a-Bagel!), and walk around Chelsea Market.  I should’ve did research to hit up a few bars and clubs too.

For now, until next time!  Bye NYC!

Travel , Leave a comment