The 5 Expensive Beauty Products Worth Buying

When you spend money on something, you want to make sure it’s worth your money at least. Unfortunately, not everything expensive is considered good. Sometime it’s expensive because you are paying for the branding, marketing costs, years of R&D etc. There are costs I’ve been paying for experiences before I found some that are worth buying. This is not an advertorial and these reviews are purely based on my personal opinions.

So this post I’m going to share with you some of the expensive products I could recommend. However, I suggest you to consider buying a tester (if they do have) before purchasing some of the products below because everybody has a different skin tone, individual texture and types. Cut short, here we go. 

1. Sisley – Emulsion Ecologique Day and Night Lotion

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One of the best moisturizer products that I always repurchase when it’s finished. It moisturizes and smoothen my skin very well as well as giving a healthy look. You wouldn’t see the results until one week of using it regularly but it depends on an individual. Although I do not use this everyday but at least 4-5 times a week, I can still see the differences between using and not using it. The reason why I do not use this everyday because I have many others (new) moisturizers wanting to try or trying now.

The only downside I do not really like about this product is a slight oily feeling after 3-4 hours of application. If I want my make up to last longer in a daytime, I will not go for it and preferably apply it before bedtime. But again, it really depends on types of skin. I still love this Sisley Emulsion very much and this is one of the few products I keep buying for my parents because they too love it.

2. La Mer – The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF20

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Foundation is one of the makeup products I spend the most on. Because I’m considered VERY PICKY when it comes to choosing a foundation that suits my needs and reach my expectation. You hardly see me writing reviews on foundation because of that. However, I’m impressed by this La Mer foundation because of its weightless texture which is easily blending and healing hydration at the same time. I dislike anything that is too heavy. My skin looks naturally flawless after applying and my makeup stays well for at least 4 hours. Pores too look more refined.

Comes in 15 shades. However, I personally find this product is not really good enough for a full-coverage look if you are planning a night out.

3. Giorgio Armani – Power Fabric LONGWEAR HIGH COVER Foundation SPF25

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I have a combination skin with an oily T zone and and areas around my cheeks. This foundation works great on my skin. It feels very light and not too heavy. The texture is so smooth and easily blends into my skin. Even though it’s stated to use for full coverage but I think it works perfectly for both day time to go for a natural look or a night out for a more full-coverage finish.

All I need for my entire face is just one small drop to give a flawless look with a bit of powdery finish to it. Comes in 24 shades so your skin tone will surely find one that matches perfectly. I’m in love with quite a number of Armani’s makeup products and this is one of the tops.

4. La Prairie – White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream

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I think this is one the most expensive moisturizers I have bought so far. Slightly more expensive than Skin Caviar Luxe cream because of slightly different ingredients. White Caviar cream includes White Sturgen (fish eggs) which is very rich in omega (3 times than an average) and rare to find. I’m a sucker for whitening products so I prefer White Caviar. For the first time I applied this at night, my skin was really glowing the next morning. Dark spots from acne scars slowly disappear and leave my skin’s natural glow and bright. My mum thought I have been going to a facial treatment as she noticed some changes.

I use tiny amount of this cream before bedtime because they are so rich but not everyday (sometimes I switch to Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which is definitely another worth buying skincare product). If I remember correctly I bought this more than half a year and I just finished it last month. The only con you may find is probably their price. I love their luxurious jar packaging but it’s still considered very expensive. I’d still put it in this post because I like the results. I strongly recommend a sample to try at least 1-2 weeks before you consider purchasing this.

5. Shiseido – Revitalizing Essence

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This heavy red glass bottle of Essence works good for my combination skin. My all time favourite toner and also one of the very few toners I have been using (on and off) for years. I will use it at least 4-5 days in a week (morning and night) especially when my skin is getting dry during winter. I can easily feel the hydration it gives to my skin yet leaving no greasy or sticky feeling. One excellent product to be in a skincare routine. And yes, I will always repurchase this product.

Those are the top 5 I could share now. More updates will come.

I will end this post with small useful tips. You can actually try to ask for some available testers whenever you purchase something from the counters. Some countries (or malls) will give them even without you asking. But please do not expect them to do so if you only spend a few bucks. Hope it helps.

Love, nira

Sweet Sapporo, Part 1

This is going to be quite a long post with a lot of photos.

I just love travelling to Japan and I plan to visit many cities there. This time, Sapporo in Hokkaido! This trip was also a gift from me to my dad. I’ve always been overseas working in the past years, taking care of my daughter and I hardly have time to really spend with my parents. So I thought this would be a perfect gift. My mom passed this one but we will soon have our next trip.

We have been to a few cities in Japan and Sapporo is #5 biggest (and new) city. I did some research about Sapporo and I think it would be a great place for a relaxing trip for my dad, not too busy I would say. 6 and a half hours flight from Bangkok to Chitose Airport by Thai Airways this time. Chitose airport screening was really quite slow just to added. Think we were queuing for an hour. Weather was great at 1°C. I arranged a car from hotel which took us an hour from airport to town area.

I chose Sapporo Grand Hotel, just because of a good location as reviewed by many other tourists. And I agreed on that 100%. Everywhere we want to go is possible just by walking less than 15-20 minutes or less than 15 by taxis. However, taxis in Japan are not cheap but I did not have many choices because of my dad’s leg conditions. At least I already prepared for this in advance. I recommend this hotel if you care about location. Their rooms are not spacious but most hotel rooms in Japan are. Cleanliness and services are good enough. Choices of breakfast are great. There are 2 different buffets spots on 1st and 4th floor and one local menu breakfast sets by garden views on 4th floor. Nothing fancy about their bars so I didn’t like it.

And here is the lists of what I think it’s best to do in Sapporo. Please take note that I crossed out quite a number of very commercial places and only focused on my travelling style. I simply do not like boring or overrated places.

Hokkaido Jingu (北海道神宮)

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A beautiful place to be and to pray. It’s the biggest shrine in Hokkaido. The outlook of shrine is so great with such weather. Also to observe the local cultures. And very peaceful I would say.

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Do not mind my almost bare face. I couldn’t be bother to put so much makeup after a crazy long day before flying. Well.. at least my camera helped.

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We spent probably about 45 minutes. There is a nice huge garden around their shrine to walk around and I saw a few local feeding squirrels.

Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館)

I like beer so I wanted to visit this place. Sapporo beer as we know is one of the oldest and most popular beer brand in Japan; brewed in Sapporo since 1877. This museum tells you about history of beer and the making process.

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After touring the exhibitions, beer tastings are also available at a low cost. It was actually more of a tasting session at the end.

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My favourite was Kaitakushi beer on the right which is more of a easy-to-drink and quite rich kind of taste. After tasting I was told that Kaitakushi was named under a 2-story wooden brewery building and it was the first brewery in Hokkaido. But I personally prefer Belgium or Germany beer a lot more.

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However, this place is not as huge as I thought so one hour would actually be enough unless you want to sip more fresh beer.

Shiroi Koibito Park (Chocolate Factory)

It is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. I’m sure many you know this most famous cookies for souvenirs from Hokkaido. It is wrapped in green paper and inside is a white box with light blue design.The one which consists of two thin butter cookies and a layer of white chocolate in between.

There are quite many things to do and stroll around at this park such as cafe, restaurant, shops, chocolate related exhibitions and of course the cookie production process in the factory. Opposite this park is a huge soccer field.

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I just love their park. I’m pretty sure it’d look much nicer in December to January where all the new year lightings are set up. This is your place If you like to do selfies with nice background.

Next is my favourite of all, hot-chocolate cup room.

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I could spent a few hours in this room if I were by myself. Their rooms were nicely decorated and cups were displayed in such a way that is so grand and vintage. Rare kind of luxury.

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Below are some of my favourites out of a hundred photo I took of these cups/boxes. If they do not fancy you, just skip them. How I wish to have some of this for my home. They are just so beautifully designed in different years and places. They reflects the cultures of where they are from as well.

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Next, it’s the factory itself. From far I could smell a mixed of chocolate, butter, cookies before walking in this session. Very nice impression to start with.

 

 

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And a room full of cakes, beautiful ones.

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Ended with a random stuff of old collections. They are again, rare.

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This is a must to visit place if you have a chance to be in Sapporo. Out of all places I mentioned above, this is my most favourite. We went back hotel with some souvenirs of course. Simply a good day out.

I will be back for more of what to do in Sapporo as well as where to have good food over there. I hope you enjoy reading.

Love, nira

28th and Loved

Some updates about my life here.

Terena has just started her play school not very long ago. She did cry (and was clinging to me like a Koala bear) for the first 3 days right after I left her with the teachers but she is fine after fourth day onwards. It’s good that she didn’t take a long time to adapt. No mothers like to see their own kids tearing and begging for them not to leave right? But we have to do it anyway. Because the longer you stay, the more emotional and anxious they become. Bad for them. After 2 weeks her teacher mentioned that Terena is very observant, independent and likes to help other kids. As a mother, I’m happy to hear that and also very proud of her.

Anyway, it was my birthday last week. Believe it or not I almost forgot my own birthday this year, thanks to my family and friends. When people start asking me how am I going to celebrate this year, my answer was all the way “I don’t know”. Maybe a simple home-cooked dinner at home with my loved ones will do but my hubs wasn’t in town. I hope I’m not turning into a boring person. *chuckles* Then again, I think I’m a very lucky lady. Good things usually happens when I don’t expect them. First, a bouquet of beautiful white roses was delivered to my doorstep with a meaningful messages.

Ok. I took quite a bit of photos with this bouquet. Not everyday I have a chance to do this right. I love roses, especially white. x

This year I also received two lovely orange boxes. Thank you! Definitely love them a lot.

Richelle also bought me a cake before she was going to make her way to the airport. Even though I didn’t like the taste of it at all but I love and appreciate her thought and effort (she thought it was green tea favour but it wasn’t.. haha some kinds of nuts or beans). Oh yes, and I told her that. There is no need to lie between good friends. She herself didn’t like the taste of it too haha. But all of us (including Terena) had a great time. Terena loves cake!

You can’t see her face here but I think you can easily tell from her body gesture that she was waiting and wanting that cake! *chuckles*

Terena also received her belated birthday gifts. My girl was so happy. She loves that phone the most but unfortunately for her, I limit how much time she can play with it. My friend actually saved photos and videos of Terena since a newborn in that phone. Sweet and very thoughtful gift for her (and for me too).

And again, thank you to all of you, family, friends, acquaintances for your birthday wishes, gifts, good thoughts and efforts. Some of you’ve made my birthday so special to me and I feel very blessed with loves.

End this post with the best gift ever and forever, my Terena. I never believed love at first sight until the day I saw you as a peanut size in black and white screen.

Love, nira

Life in a New City

Sorry for the lack of updates. Some of you may already know about my family and I migrating to another city, Shanghai! For me, shanghai is one of the most interesting city (compared with other cities in China I’ve been to) where you can see China of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is also a joint of Eastern and Western cultures and the most modern city.

I’ve moved here for almost two month now and this place is still impressing me so far. There are so much to explore in this fast developing city. Terena also seems to enjoy the cold weather here more than I do but I’m kind of getting used to it now. Actually, I’m much more of a summer than winter person. We will see if I’m going to change my mind after spending more time during winter. Frankly speaking, I miss Singapore and Bangkok a lot especially family, friends and food! Fortunately, I still will be flying back to both countries very often due to business and visiting. Singapore is also like my second home after all so don’t worry my dear friends. You can see me quite often that you thought I have yet to move here. And if you are curious, I should be here in Shanghai for a few years.The very first few weeks I was pretty much occupied with household and a lot of new stuff to explore around but I’m becoming more familiar with this place now. While getting myself busy with finding a new house and kindergarden for Terena, I’m also having a new project coming up and I’m working hard on it now before putting them up.

I’ve said good things about Shanghai and yet to speak about the bad ones. Pretty sure many of you know what are the downsides of foreigner living in China (Every country definitely have at least one). So far, the thing I dislike about this city is the air, sometime it’s really bad but still better than Beijing. Next is the cautious about eating any food here. Unlike Bangkok where most street food won’t do me bad, some of Shanghai street or even can food can be dangerous for my stomach. I’ve had bad experiences for four times in two months. The worst one was the can food which wasn’t expired and yet gave me food poisoning for 2 days. But then again, they have so many good food here!

Anyway, I recently went to a Century park for a short break with baby and ayi (that’s what they called a helper/nanny here). It is the largest park of the city of Shanghai in Pudong New Area which combines British, Japanese, and Chinese gardening styles. So beautiful that I need to photograph.

In Nasty Gal knitted white dress, Massimo Dutti sweater, Burberry coat, BCBGMAXAZRIA stocking, Nine West boots and Chanel bag.

Love taking photos of these pretty flowers. I didn’t even need to use my pro but semi-pro camera to capture their beauty. Iphone 5 camera is very good for close-up shots too.

A flower in my hand was picked up from the floor and not from a tree itself.

more random things they sold at the park.

I was off to my meeting after spending an hour in a park. The weather was just nice on that day.

Cartier watch and ring, Tiffany bracelet and Korean designer jewelries. I love how the rose gold strongly compliments beige and white colour.

More random photos of my little girl. Start with da Michelin Terena all covered up in shocking pink GAP sweater.

Seriously. She is not even in white. Don’t you think she looks like a Michelin or is it just me? Actually I always call these type of sweater, the Michelin inspired. Cute enough.

and Terena da shopaholic baby.

She was actually being nice and helped me carry it all the way walking back home. Having a daughter is very sweet. Especially these days, she knows exactly how to make me melt when she wants something. But I will try my very best not spoil you simply because I love you very much. If you are a mother, you should know how hard it is to say no to your little ones but someone has to do it.

It’s late but I’m wishing you all a happy 2014. I hope all the good things be with you always.

ps. I bought quite a lot of Korea makeup and skincare from a family trip in Korea and I will be sharing some reviews once I’ve tried them all.

Love, nira

The peaceful part of Bali

Everyone deserves a holiday especially after hard work. My husband has been flying around very often and I’m so glad that he made it happen as he planned for everyone including my in-laws. It was also baby Terena’s second trip to overseas.

We spent 4 days and 3 nights in a stunning villa called ‘Villa Mandalay’ with full services boutique. There are 7 bedrooms, private pool, entertainment room, the spa areas, and also the living room areas with a bar etc. The best of all, it has a beautiful view of traditional rice terraces and the ocean.

And this is my favourite spot.

The next day was even better. Because baby Terena went into a pool for the first time and we could easily tell that she LOVED it. Baby happy, daddy and mummy happier.

So much fun, so much laughter, that moment.

More relaxing moments with a bottle of Indonesia beer and good foot massage. I recommend you guys to try their massage not manicure/pedicure.

Thank you for the great time and good services. Also, thanks to sweet my father-in-law who bought this rose for me on a Valentine’s day. My mum&sis-in-law got one too.

A lucky girl I am. Looking for more great time with a big family.

Love.- nira