Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thailand Haul!

Haul from our honeymoon destination, THAILAND!

When I found out that our honeymoon was going to be Thailand, I did a lot of beauty research to see what beauty products are so popular and what brands they have in Thailand.
Unfortunately, I could not find many makeup brands. Skincare and Spa products were much more popular. Or maybe there are lots of Thai makeup brands but I couldn't find where to find them without knowing Thai.
Still, with only a week in Bangkok to shop around, I think I did a very good job to find some interesting products!
I hope you enjoy!

Products mentioned (not in order, sorted by the brand)

The Bakery Bavarois Duo Blusher 299 bhts
The Bakery Choco Stick Lipstick 119 bhts
GINO McCRAY Mystique Magic Eyeliner 205 bhts
Scentio Tofu Soymilk Baby Salt Scrub 210 bhts
Scentio Goat Milk Cream Bath 260 bhts
The Bakery Chu Cream Instant Aura White Cream 190 bhts

Farm Fresh Tomato Skin Renewal Sugar Scrub
Chic & Charm Blusher
Defined by Design waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Iron Brown
Gorgeous Shadow Palette

Oriental Rose Body Oil Spray
Sensual Bath & Massage Oil

Toprical Nutrients Banana Advanced Hair Treatment Mask 265 bhts
Cuticle Hair Treatment Restorative Complex Treatment Mask 295 bhts

Boots Caribbean Cocktail Barbados Body Lotion
Boots Caribbean Cocktail Sexy Shine Hair Serum
No7 Radiant Glow Concealer in II
No7 Lash & Brow Perfector
SEVENTEEN Nail Extras Topcoat
Sanctuary Spa Foaming Bath Soak

Foot Soak in Peppermint $19 USD

IN2IT long wearing eyebrow liner in soft brown
Sovrana Spa Blue Chamomile Essential Oil 400 bhts
Kha-Cha-Spa Herbal Oil 80bhts
Kuan Im Cream 111 No.1
Madame Heng Merry Bell Herbal Soap
Ocean Potion Sunblock SPF 50 Anti-Aging

(All the prices are listed as much as I could find on the brands' websites.)

Hope you liked this video!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

*BIG REVIEW* Spring Empty Videos

Time for Monthly (how ironic as I am not really doing it monthly. lol) Empties!
This time, I am making it like Products I used up + Products I dislike enough to throw away.
This might be the biggest video that I have ever made..
In this video, I covered from daily hair care to dupe of the hyper expensive face cream.

I hope you enjoy it!!

Generally I don't like wasting things so I really try different things to make things work. It is not in my nature to throw away products just because I didn't like it after using it only a few times.
So If I am saying that I have tried to like it but couldn't, it means I tried so many ways to make it work but nothing seemed to work.
So it should give you some ideas how some products perform.

It was very humid and hot when I was filming this by the way. I could not get any air as I didn't want to disturb the neighbors by talking to loud to my camera with my window open, but I did my best to film in humidity!
Talking about humidity, I have been trying my own "humidity proof" makeup.
Is anyone interested?

I hope you found this video helpful.
Thanks for watching and have a great day!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My wedding story

Hey everyone! I wasn't planning to write about this on my blog because this is not really beauty related but when I posted about it on my Japanese blog, the response was great so I thought I would do a digest version of the same post here in English. 

This is about me getting married and organizing the whole thing. In Japan, from Sydney.
As being Japanese, I respect the traditions of our culture. My fiancé was not fussy about what style of the wedding they wanted so I suggested we do a Japanese traditional Shinto wedding (we are not religious at all) and he said ok. 
Japanese people are superstitious but not quite religious in a way. A lot of them worship Shinto gods and Buddha at the same time. On top of that, they like to celebrate Christmas (more like a non-religious happy day though) and other random events which were based on other religions.
Shinto and Buddhism is not something we choose but something we are born with for most of us. It is deep within the traditions and we almost automatically do the rituals, keep a lucky charm from shrines and do a ceremony at a temple when we die. 
So you don't really have to be a Shintoism follower to have a wedding in Shinto style at a Shinto shrine. 
My parents had a Shinto ceremony and western-style reception. So it was natural for me to do the same. I just wanted to honor them in that way.

So my journey to the right venue had started. 
In Japan, most of the wedding venues have wedding plans that includes lots of things. They have the package deals which are supposed to be worth more than what you pay. It depends on the place but most of the places will offer a ceremony&reception plan that would include ceremony, outfits for the couple, food for the guests, a hall space, thank-you gifts, photos, hair and makeup for the bride and etc. 
Now, it is normal for Japanese bride to change the outfit throughout the big day. Some brides change like 4 times but mostly 1-2 times is average. So for example, if it is western style wedding, you marry in white dress and show up to reception in a color dress. So if you want to wear lots of different dresses, not only it takes a lot of time but it costs extra too. 
On top of that, you can upgrade your food, hall service (if you would like to do a candle service, bouquet toss/pulls, or any sort of activities that involves some stage setting and props) and thankyou gifts, and the upgrade costs extra of course. And it comes with not only a wedding planner but a whole team for your big day! Music guy(who's in charge of sounds system), flower guy, photo guy and so on. So in the end, you feel like you get everything taken care of in one place, which can be mostly good, but sometimes a little annoying.
For instance, you have found a dress on at a boutique that looks gorgeous and it fits perfectly and you are so in love with it. But to wear the dress that is bought/rented outside the venue will incur "Bringing-in Fee". It sounds crazy but they want you to spend money inside the venue, not outside, so they try to discourage you to get things outside by charging the fee.
Some places might not have this or you can negotiate, but most of the places do have some sort of "Bringing-in Fee" on lots of things.

In Japan, traditionally, all the guests are expected to bring money as a wedding gift and normal amount they put in it is about 25000 to 30000 yen per person. It sounds like a lot but everything costs so much and this is how it's done so no one really complains..not in the bride's face anyway. All the guests (usually per household) will also get a thankyou gift at the end of the wedding too, so even though what guests are giving sounds a lot, half of the money will be the cost for food, entertainment and gifts.
Still, it is a lot of money, that is why the couple tries their best to entertain the guests in so many possible ways. Japanese wedding receptions are not casual. They are usually planned down to every minute. You will have some time to eat and chat but there is always something going on, usually. Cake cut, candle service, history video some musical entertainment performed by the couple's friends, speeches and all that. 

By now, you notice that Japanese wedding and wedding you know is quite different. (unless you are Japanese, of course!)

I am from Tokyo and my family and relatives are still in Tokyo, so I wanted to have a wedding there. The fact that we wanted Shinto wedding narrowed down the venues so much as there are not too many places where you can do that. Many places would only have western style like in church or chapel.

On top of that, while Shinto ceremony is usually for family and relatives only, I wanted to invite all my friends because my Aussie friends said that they would love to see the ceremony as well, and it is not fair if I didn't invite my Japanese friends too. Then the shrine needed to hold more than 80 people. So it came down to 4 venues in Tokyo.
I emailed them and explained that I am not in Tokyo now and it is going to be difficult to plan everything.
Then one place responded with a very positive vibe. And the plan seemed reasonable so we decided to go with it.
I got my wedding planner (they call themselves Wedding Assistants) and started planning via emails with her. It involved lots of questions and lots of imagination as I cannot be there to see with my own eyes and photos were helping but not great. It required so much time to write down all the things we wanted. But she was helping a lot and things started to fall into the right places.

I flew into Tokyo a month before the big day to finalize everything. I started have finalizing meetings with my wedding team members and it took all day usually. Some meetings took 7 hours.. But I could see that they were really trying to make my day the best one, so understanding that made it easier for me. 
All the talking and planning got finalized in time and Chris, my fiance flew in with his family a week before the day.
It was the most hectic week of my life. Fitting, adjusting, making some videos to play at the reception...All was happening at the same time! I literally had no time to see my friends or have fun!

And the our big day. It just passed in the blink of an eye but we had a great day and I truly thought that all the effort that we put into preparing was worth it.

Everyone was very impressed with the solemn ceremony and liked it.

I didn't want to make the reception too boring so I personalized the reception by cutting down things we didn't care for, like candle service and bouquet toss, and add some western stuff like our first dance. Everyone had great time dancing with us after our first dance. My planner came to me after the reception and told me that it was one of the most enjoyed reception she has ever seen. So yay for that! :)

Here are some pictures. I hope you enjoy.

White and Blue Kimono was rented at the venue. The dress was made by my mother.