Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rescue my face

It's a love hate thing I have for winter. I love the cold but I need to wrap myself up like dumpling. Added on the fact that I'm no longer young, I have to be more protective of myself. Thus restricting my movement. (I feel more cumbersome with my winter wear)
One thing I hate is how the cold winds will affect my skin. Usually I'm without makeup back home but when it comes to holidays in winter countries, I tend to put makeup to cover and protect my face. I'm not sure if my thinking is logical's also more likely I'll appear in the pictures too so I need to look good.  I have a 3 min hydrating mask I bought from my beautician in my travel toiletries bag.
Back in the apartment, I will have to be extra hardworking and put on facial mask, at least twice in any holiday. Back home, I can count the number of times I put on mask (those big piece face mask) at home with one hand. So with holidays, probably I felt a little relaxed to start remembering to pamper myself, I'll usually pack 1-2 inside my toiletries bag.
Last winter (2014), I was caught unaware how bitterly cold Shanghai was. So bad that the usual hydrating mask I have didn't work and I had dry; itchy; flaky skin. Sephora was near where we stayed, so I dropped by one day to get something for my skin. According to the SA, he said it's the best
but truth be told I hated the biting sensation, maybe it was that Alguronic Acid?? What the heck is that?! My skin didn't feel any difference but it felt more itchy. I was "slapping my face" almost the whole time. I looked embarrasingly like a lobster, my face was ... unsightly dark pink. Perhaps call me a pink snake coz I was like shedding my skin. Think that gave you an idea of how hideous I looked. 
Amazingly my face 'healed' when I returned back to Singapore, I didn't have to deal with more 'shedding'.   

This winter (2015), I was doing some reading up in the apartment in Shanghai. Note the difference in year 2014 and this year, hubby told me about a free VPN I could use from iPhone. It wasn't enough so I paid to upgrade the data. Both years we headed to Japan from Shanghai for a short break, this year I decided that my skin was about to "give way" again (not so bad coz winter was slightly warmer than last year's) so searched on recommendations of facial products I can get in Osaka. Magazines; bloggers; product reviews. I finally had some ideas and products to look out for.
Going into any Japanese beauty store is an experience not to be missed. I simply love it, however I have to be sure I clutch onto my purse tightly as I may end up buying more than what I need.
And you know what? Within a day! Yes, I'm not bragging it's really within a day. It wasn't dry anymore and it did seem that moisture from the lotion and cream was absorbed quickly into the skin. My skin felt supple and hydrated, got that "poing poing". And the best thing is that I didn't have to use alot. I needed only a small drop.(I bought the toner; lotion; facial wash; moist mist. Notice I didn't get serum and the basic set is good enough for winter country I layered my face like kueh lapis without that greasy feeling. It's that great!    
I then felt so cheated that my pricey Dr Grandel can even lose out to affordable brand like Hada Labo. It lives to their line "one drop locks an ocean"

Let me introduce to you : The Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Acid range (not the full range I bought) for hydration.

Extracted this from their website : 
13. What is the difference between Hyaluronic Acid and Super Hyaluronic Acid?
1g of Hyaluronic Acid is able to hold up to 6Lof water. Super Hyaluronic Acid has double the moisture retention capacity of Hyaluronic Acid, providing your skin with more moisture retention ability.

14. What is Nano Hyaluronic Acid?
Nano Hyaluronic Acid is another excellent ingredient that is newly added for skin hydration. The molecule size of Nano is 15-25nanometer is extremely fine so it can penetrate easily into the innermost layer of the skin.

This is what I bought for use in Osaka and Shanghai. Pictures are taken off from a website, the ones I bought are in Japanese.

Moisture Mist - which I brought out with me to hydrate my skin throughout the day. However I must admit whatever I put on my face in the morning before leaving the hotel was sufficient. Since I bought already, I shall try to lighten my luggage load. I was hesitant to buy another bottle as I have the habit of not putting any lotion or toner back home. And if it ran out before I left Japan, I'll buy another bottle to last my remaining stay in Shanghai. Only one bottle and I merely sprayed a few times. Somehow I feel it did its job of hydrating my skin on the go while my face is exposed to the weather elements.   
Toner - Feels this was doing its job, I didn't need the lotion at all. Or perhaps my skin feels superbly absorbent to anything since I hardly put on any. 

I noticed there's the green colour range as well but this is more hydrating and I'm basically using it for winter. I'm not sure as I've not checked out the stores in Singapore if they carried this range, anyway whether they have it or not, it's cheaper to get it here.

I bought another one - Premium oil Jelly 

which even more hydrating (for severe winter) coz it has a layer like Vaselin. When you're desperate, anything oily is good.  

I even got the facial mask. This mask - can do. 

I read up reviews on another mask so decided to try this out. The only thing I hate about this mask is that the they are not individually wrapped, which means taking them out nicely without creasing the next piece is a challenge itself. I prefer individually packed masks. Just like Hada Labo, this Lululun mask comes in many different colour packaging for varied usage. Do not be deceived by the watery feeling, eh... it's watery to me coz' I'm using a collagen hydrating mask at home which is starchy feel. One piece and I've got Pacific Ocean on my face. I read another review about a gold colour packaging mask but I only saw it in the hotel shop, can't find it in the stores. Too pricey. Never mind, still got chance to go Japan to stock up. 

I'm back to being pweety again. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Year end holiday

Made our trip to Shanghai for a family reunion. Spent our time nuah-ing away. And the best part is I was able to contact the world via VPN on my phone - NETPAS. My life saviour!! Can't imagine me being Facebook-less.

Just outside our place. Christmas decorations up along 南京西路

As usual, we went out for more family dinner treasuring every time we can get. The girls' favourite Singapore restaurant, western food at  静安. Not forgetting once we went over to spend our weekend in Pudong side.

It was really cold this time and I just want to spend most of my time cuddling in the bed. Can I have such holiday where I can totally do nothing? Where I don't have to take care of the girls? Wanted to bring them to 静安寺 and 豫园 but thought we still have next June. Procrastination!

Unfortunately too, this trip che-che had a bout of cough just before we left Singapore. It was the first time I brought them to a really nice International Hospital in Xuhui. I remember sourcing around for International schools and most campuses were in Minhang and Xuhui. As I got down from the cab, staff came up to me and then ushered me up the lift. Woah! Talk about good service! The building is big and clean. Thank goodness I didn't have to struggle to try to listen to the highly accented mandarin. The doctor spoke good english. Medicine --- sachets like given in Ma Guang and a mix of western medicine. Paractemol bottle in Chinese (Somehow it scares me if they're fake medications). I know if I stay on any longer, I'll perfect the art of speaking tok-kong mandarin

This time round, we also travelled to Osaka and Kyoto. 
Osaka - a place I've been to a few times but there's so much changes. I'm trying to recall where we stayed (perhaps it was Hyatt Regency?) and what was the name of the mall we used to walk across for our lunch. I remember the huge spotlight in the night in the - port? Pity though our night-stops were really short, no time to venture out although I remembered Freddy, my Chief Steward, always talked about going to Namba Station. It was a surprise when I realised the hotel hubby booked is current hotel for SIA cabin crew. Just coz' our room was in the same level as the crew lounge. The girls thought I was able to go into the room and (hopefully) find some familiar faces. I explained it's impossible as the night-stop is short, every crew will make their time fully utilised in Osaka, nobody cares about the crew lounge. 
A trip to Japan is not complete if you haven't been to the castles. Truth to be told, it's actually my first time stepping into a castle.
The highlight in Osaka is USJ. 

Che-Che was excited with Harry Potter theme park area and then talked about going to Orlando next year. Hmm....we shall see. As usual, I have my company for roller coaster rides while the man brought lil' one along with him at one point. He being the "I don't like theme parks" kind, I should be thankful that he even brought the lil one on her kiddy Hello Kitty rides. Making sure he don't miss anything, I also had to be considerate to ask him what rides he wanted to take. We went on two rides as a family. The Superman and Back To The Future. The lil' one came out "stunned like vegetables" and was so quiet as compared to her chirpy self before we sat on the rides. I guess she wanted comfort so I carried her (and she's so heavy - laden with layers of winter wear) and she was a baby leaning on me. Ahh.... I miss her being a small baby. 

Kyoto is beautiful, I'd love to be back again. Went to a few temples, Gion and even made an appointment for a makeover session for lil' one. I couldn't recognise her as she walked down the stairs in her tight kimono and hairdo, then i recalled not seeing any young kid upstairs earlier on. The moment she opened her mouth - confirmed chopped it's my girl. This would be the only time she'll listen to me and oblige me with this makeover thus I treasure the photo-taking moments with her. Walking in small steps is a big challenge for my chor-lor girl  

Stayed in an onsen hotel, not as authentic as the ones in Hokkaido as the busy street is right outside the hotel. We get to sleep on futon, have some boring breakfast. Of course the stay would be incomplete without a trip to onsen. Needless to say, I'm always the one having to drag two kids with me, I don't even get to relax. I think we spend more time washing ourselves before and after the dip, rather than the dip in the hot steamy water. Nothing compared to the sulphuric / metallic smell ones in Hokkaido so don't feel that the hot water is doing any good to me here.    

And I HAD TO continue my hunt for Haagen Dasz ice-cream. Every time the girls want to stop by Family Mart, I'll head to ice-cream section followed by che-che. She's also beginning to love the stick HDasz ice-cream. Lil' one will go to where they sell oden oden and starts speaking so loudly that she's hungry ..... did I mention that she really ate alot this trip. I wonder where the food went to? Fortunately we were on F&E, we were able to stop any time we want.
This mochi ice-cream has got to be my favourite! 

Well...... kinako mochi is my favourite!! I shall find the recipe and Meidi-ya here I come!

We spent about a week in Japan, with a heavy heart we returned to Shanghai. Back to the pollution and ...... my goash! I feel like I was in mini- China in the airport. You get to see their ugly behaviour. Shouting and jumping queues. Good thing, they thought we cannot speak chinese coz we were speaking in english all the time, and when they tried to be funny, I turned and said I understood every single word they said. They shut up after that. On the day we returned, hubby ordered 外卖 from various places. Food and drinks were delivered to the apartment as we arrived. Wasted no time and ate; washed up and ... I was the ah-sum doing the laundry. I think we overworked the radiator. It was spoilt!! Freezing cold in the apartment. Spent most days tucking ourselves under the duvet, I was really so tired to bring them out. Ahh.... I don't even want to go out for breakfast, something which lil' one would ask daddy to do. I just want to continue hiding under the warm cover and sleep. 
Ha! All the 3 lazy girls in the family. 

We flew back on 23rd. At the boarding gate, the 3 of us were making a fool of ourselves. The staff was saying something in chinese so quickly that none of us heard properly what she said, so we were speculating. Then one nicely dressed lady turned and told us what's being said and asked if we didn't understand chinese. I said yes we understand but she spoke so fast and she used a few unfamiliar words so we didn't quite catch what she said. Turned out it's the queue for upper deck and we're on the right queue. Had a conversation with a guy behind us and he asked lil' one if she's sat on A380 before, she was candid to tell him she sat twice already but this is the first time she's sitting upstairs. Then I told the guy how she cried when she noticed everybody else walking up the aerobridge while she was walking down the aerobridge. Guy told us "We are now the upper class people." Pun intended. With that, we bade goodbye. 

To think that lil' one was so excited about A380 aircraft.... she dozed off on flight and refused to walk around the upper level! 

Till then.....Shanghai see you next June!