Saturday, 27 February 2016

Mia's Review: Laneige BB Cushion [Pore Control]

I know this is a little late, but it's better late than never, right?

Following the cushion craze, the Laneige BB Cushion [Pore Control] is actually the very first cushion I've bought (I have 3 till date), and I love this so so much!

And before I give you my review, I shall show you how to replace the used up cushion with a refill. Hah, yes. I've already used up mine by the time I decided to really settle down for a review. 

To change out the cushion, just pop it out from the back. 

I find that pressing down on the latch somehow helps, probably with giving you some sort of a pivot-action to pop the cushion up. 

The refill comes with a clean air puff and you can just pop into the frame (background) easily. 

With that, let's start off with an eyeliner test. 

This is with 2 layers of the last remains of my old pack, which means very much less product picked up each time as compared to a new refill pack and I'll say it's pretty decent! It doesn't covers everything and just anything (I don't go for high coverage products in the first place) but does a pretty good job evening out my skin tone and covering minor blemishes and redness without the need for a concealer. Can't help my horrible dark rings though. 

Fragrance is mild and very pleasant, and it gives a pretty matte and flawless finish as compared to the whitening range that supposedly gives a very dewy finish. Oil control is the best of the bb/cc products I've tried till date, with coverage on basically my entire face (just some melting on my T-zone) at the end of the day. 


After about 5 hours of wearing the product, without any blotting. 

Without a doubt, this is my favourite bb/cc product thus far. Loves how it makes my skin appear flawless yet natural looking, with such buildable coverage without becoming cakey. My own headache is that #21 is actually a little too light for me (I need to apply the product down to my neck in order to not get a 2 toned look) and #23 doesn't seem to exist in this line. However, it does 'oxidise' slighty through the day so I probably only need to risk getting ridiculed by strangers on the street for wearing 'geisha-make up' in the first few hours of putting it on. #failedattemptofsarcasm

You can get authentic Laneige BB Cushion (and many other Laneige products) from skinwecare, qoo10.com.sg or lazada.sg at a much cheaper price compared to the hiked up pricing in the local retail stores. :)

Otherwise, for my international readers, you can check out amazon.com for some awesome deals too!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Mia's Taiwan Travelogue: Alishan & CingJing Vienna Pleasance Cottage

If you haven't read my previous post on Alishan National Park, do read it HERE first before coming back for our sunrise-watching experience at Alishan.

To catch the sunrise, we actually bought the train tickets at Alishan Station the day before (when we were leaving the park) and got Lauya to arrange for a pick up service (pooled with some others who are also heading up to catch the sunrise) at 3:30am in the morning to take the one and only "sunrise" train at 5 plus 6am to Zhushan station. According Lauya's owner, sometimes there might be a 2nd train if demand calls for it.
The train moves slowly and it took about 30 minutes to reach Zhushan station.

We reached the Zhushan Viewing Lot at about 6:30am and a cute uncle (at first we thought he's the local guide but in the end he turned out to be one of the sellers selling woodcrafts there) jumped out of nowhere and start entertaining us with humour-injected introduction of the place.
So while waiting for the estimated sunrise timing of 7:05am and praying for the thick clouds to disperse, we started trying out our camera filters....




Just a shot to show you the crowd is as 'thick' as the clouds. 

Soon, it was 7:05am, and there wasn't the 'jumping yolk' sunrise for us. Sickening clouds. T.T
Don't ask me what's the jumping about, we've merely heard that the sun at Alishan's sunrise jumps. 

No jumping sun, but at least we managed to catch the yun hai (cloud sea) before we took the train back down and got ready to leave Alishan for our next destination. 

It was a mad rush for the bus down to Chiayi THSR station and we all promptly dozed off on the 1.5 hour bus ride to catch up on our lack of sleep. From the THSR station, it was another 30 minutes train ride to Taichung station, where we took the private pick up service arrange by the helpful owners of Lauya, instead of the 2 hours Nantou Tour Bus ride up to Cingjing Vienna Pleasance Cottage. 




If these aren't enough to convince you that the owners at Vienna are cat lovers....

 Then meet Momo, their beloved cat! 
Since it's the cold winter, Momo got socks for scarf, soft comfy blanket, and her warm fluffy bed place right beside the warm fireplace. 

She's so tamed and sweet, that even with our constant harassing, she's still so chill!

 This is how our room area looks like in the night...

And in the day.



And the breathtaking view from our balcony. 

-credits to booking.com-

The room was pretty basic, very much smaller (compared to our Lauya room) and didn't have a heater in the room, which we got exceptionally worried about after experiencing the cold in the room at Lauya. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that the reason why there weren't any room heaters was because it's really not required. Somehow, even if the weather outside was pretty cold, the room still remained at a much higher temperature than outside (I can't say it's warm) and with the electric blanket, all was well. 
Slippers (room and bathroom) and towels are provided and the hot water at the standing shower is pretty stable to not freeze yourself this second and cook yourself alive the next. 

One good thing about Vienna is that it's within a 5 minute walking distance to 7-ll, Carton King and Little Swiss Garden!

I had a little mishap (my boots came apart, BOTH OF THEM) and with help from the Vienna staff, managed to get a car drive to the nearest 'village' that sells shoes. And after getting out dinner along the way back, it was already pretty dark when we get to Swiss Garden.


The darkness wasn't really an issue as the night lightings were so beautiful, but due to thick fog, nothing came up in the photos. :(
Fortunately, buying the tickets at night allow us to return the next day, so stick around for my update on my virgin snow experience at He Huan Shan & Qing Qing Cao Yuan in my next travelogue. 

Day 5 Travelogue is up HERE

For booking of Vienna Pleasance Cottage, visit booking.com, hotels.comagoda.com or expedia.com for better deals!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 15 February 2016

Mia's Review: Blingsome Lip Tattoo

It's been a while since I read other blog reviews about this lip tint tattoo by Berrisome and when I saw this by Blingsome on Althea, I decided to grab one to try it out.

If you're curious, I've already reviewed Skinfood's Pore Fit Cushion Bottle a while back HERE.

The directions for use are all in Korean, but it's still pretty self-explanatory with the pictures. You put on a layer of the product, wait for it to dry completely before peeling them off to get the colour 'tattooed' onto your lips. 



And here's my before and after photos. The colour shows up more brightly in the picture, and the streaky uneveness in colour was washed out. In other words, it looked pretty bad IRL. 

Totally taken aback with the lack of results, I decided to do a hand test to see if it's because of my natural lip colour that's preventing the lip tattoo's colour from showing.

 In a desperate attempt to make it 'work', I've applied an extremely thick layer of the product (so thick it was dripping off) and waited near to 30 minutes for it to dry completely. 

And... Yup, the colour payoff really isn't that great. 

Well, the only plus point is, it is really smudge-proof and doesn't transfer, not that there's really much colour on your lips in the first place to transfer anywhere. 

And there's another brownie point off this product for the horrible taste. It's not that I will love to eat my lip product, even though it does smell all nice and peachy. But do keep in mind that you have to keep a thick layer of the product on your lips for a good 5 to 10 minutes and during that period of time, chances are you'll end up getting a try of its horribly, acutely bitter-sour taste. It's really not that pleasant, especially when you come to realise that after all the hassle (and tasting bad stuff), you get almost no colour payoff on your lips. 

So to sum up, the conclusion is simple. 
DO NOT BUY THIS, ESPECIALLY NOT IN THE SHADE OF HONEY LOVE. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Friday, 12 February 2016

Mia's Taiwan Travelogue: Alishan National Park

First up, if you're planning to spend a night or two at Alishan and can't decide on where to stay, you might want to check out my experience at Alishan Lauya Homestay and find out how to get there from Chiayi HSR Station.

And so, after our first day on Alishan, we started our day with a simple breakfast at Lauya before heading up Alishan via the Alishan Bus, which comes in roughly 30 minutes intervals in the morning It is best to check with your homestay, and Lauya gave us a very detailed briefing on all the different timings of the to and fro bus and the Alishan train departure and arrival time etc. 

The bus will bring you to the entrance of the park and you'll alight at the 7-11 kiosk before walking back to Alishan Station to buy your train ticket to go up to Zhao Ping Station (as recommended by Lauya's owner).



It's a short train ride up to Zhao Ping Station, and as advised by Lauya, we retrace our steps back from where the train came from and got onto the abandoned railway track that's located beside the track on which the train came from, to get to the Giant Tree of Mt. Shuishan. 


A few steps along the old tracks and you should get your confirmation that you're on the right tracks, no puns intended. 


We were told that the journey in and out will take about an hour each. But due to too much goofing around and photo-taking along the way, we took about 1.5 hours (or more) to get in. 


Every spot seems like the perfect #ootd spot, no joke.


And when you see this part of the railway, it means you're getting there! 

But, just when you thought the Giant Tree is going to be right in front of your eyes....


You'll see a long flight of stairs instead. HO... =.="



Well, just using me (of 1.7m height) to show you just how 'giant' is this Giant Tree. 

And after taking in the breathtaking view of this impossibly huge and anciently old tree, we retrace our steps back to Zhaoping Station, and it was already almost 1pm when we started off our journey to the rest of the park from Zhaoping station.

First up on the map, was Sister Pond. 
And before that, we got tricked by the Younger Sister Pond into thinking, "Huh, this?" 
But on 2nd thought, though extremely small and resembles nothing more than just a puny water body smack in the middle of some greenery, the Younger Sister Pond actually meant more to us, for all of us are the younger sister (and brother) of the family. 

And this is the actual Sister Pond.

Got some instagram-worthy shot(s) of the day using some iPhone filter. And I swear it wasn't a 'posey' shot. I was waiting for the bf to take my tourist type of look-straight-at-the-camera-and-grin photo, and zh just snapped it randomly while testing her iPhone filters. 

Totally took this at the wrong angle, but the correct angle showing the heart shape was a shot with the bf hence I didn't want to post it up here as it's too 'cheesy'. But yeah, the remains of the tree trunk actually forms a rather obvious heart shape. 

Following down the pathway, we came to the Shouzhen Temple at the pit stop station with a stretch of stalls selling food like roasted sweet potatoes, curry fishballs and some hot soup. This is the only place with sale of food for consumption inside the park, so be sure to at least grab something to keep in your bag even if you're not feeling hungry, just in case. 
And after the pit stop station, we continued with our route to get to the Three-Generation Tree, which is a 'set' of 3 different trees going 'on top' of each other. By this time, we were all pretty tired from all the walking and goofing around for photo-taking previously, so there's almost ZERO photos from this point onwards. 
After the Three-Generation Tree, follow on with the pathway and get to this extremely long flight of stairs down to get to the Giant Tree Boardwalk and the Sacred Tree Station, which is where you board the train back (out) to Alishan Station to take the bus back down. Walking down to your right while facing the station will bring you to a small (and pretty disappointing) waterfall, which might have been better if there had been some rainfall or something. But while we're there, nope. It was rather pathetic, to be honest. 

Stick around for my Day 4 travelogue, where we return to Alishan Park in the early morning to (try and) catch the sunrise and then leave the mountains for yet another one, at Cing Jing. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Mia's Taiwan Travelogue: Lauya Homestay at Alishan & Fenqihu

Well, if you haven't read my review of Jia's Inn Liouhe (Day 1 of Taiwan Travelogue), do hop over and get a faint idea of how Liouhe Tourist Night Market will be.

And so, after 1 day in Kaohsiung, we packed our bags and headed off to Alishan! To get to Alishan from Kaohsiung, get onto the Kaohsiung Metro and get to Zuoying Station to transfer to the High Speed Railto get to Chiayi Station, which will take you about 30 minutes as it's only 2 stops away. There's no need to get reserved ticket as the train are usually quite empty (unlike the Taipei-bound ones) and you can easily get a seat in style.

And while on the HSR, please remember to grab a HSR bento!


Wasn't expecting much from the NT $100 bento, but it was so so so good! Our eyes all LIT UP at first bite because everything was so flavourful and yummy. And we got marinated edamame as one of the sides. Who can ever resist that?

And from Chiayi, get to bus stop 3 from exit 2 of the station to take the Alishan Tourist Shuttle Service  up to Alishan, which will cost you less than NT$300 and about 1.5 hours bus ride.

Well, that was our plan, to take the long bus ride, but we got 'hooked up' by a friendly taxi driver uncle who offered to drive the 4 of us up Alishan to Lauya Homestay for NT $1600 and then to one of the Alishan tourist attraction, Fenqihu. And during our ride up the mountain, the chatty uncle actually let us stop by the Tian Chang Di Jiu Bridges (for about an hour!) to take tons of photos!





And that's Tian Chang Bridge up there in the background.


And the Di Jiu Bridge is a little more on the average side in comparison.


And that's me with a fail #ootd shot on the Tian Chang Bridge.


And then I decided to try out a quirky #ootd shot before hopping onto the taxi again and continue our journey up the mountains and to our homestay.

It just so happened that when we arrived, the owners were out on a last minute urgent errand. And it was so fortunate that the friendly taxi uncle was still with us, so we got onto the phone with the owner and arranged to keep our luggage at the main lobby and going ahead to start our first day at Alishan by going to Fenqihu!

And before moving on to Fenqihu, let's take a look at how Lauya Homestay looks like!



They have cute owls on display too!

And this is Yang Yang, one of their pet dogs that has grown wary of strangers after being attacked with stones by some kids (according to the owner). He looks so adorable and docile, but is rather temperamental and will bite without warning, so.... hands off!

And if you're planning to stay at Lauya Homestay too, and wishes to take a bus up, here's how you can get yourself right to their doorstep easily.
If you're arriving at Chiayi HSR station before 13:10, go to exit 2 and you'll get to Alishan bus terminal. Take the green bus named 'Alishan 7329" that departs at 10:10, 11:40 and 13:10 and keep check on the bus LED stop screen to make sure you alight at ShangHuDi stop. And there, you'll find yourself right in front of Lauya Homestay's garden!

If you're arriving at Chiayi HSR station after 13:10, go to exit 2 and check out the right side to take the free Bus Rapid Transit to Chiayi Rear Railway Station, which will take you 15 minutes. Then, head to the front railway station via a sky bridge to get to the Chiayi Bus station, which is at the right side of the Front Railway Station. Buy a ticket to FuShan stop and alight at ShangHuDi. Do note that the last bus is at 14:10, so make sure you don't plan to head up Alishan too late!

And so, after getting our luggage settled at Lauya, we hopped onto the taxi again and off we went for a late lunch! The taxi uncle very nicely brought us to this Tie Dao Shan Cheng old school 'cafe' that's nestled in the 'back alley' along the path to Fenqihu, a place I'm sure we'll never have found if not for him.



There's many cats roaming around the cafe too! 



First thing that caught my eyes was Doraemon and I immediately yelled for kx. ROFL.


Spotted a vintage telephone! 



And yes, it's the NT $100 (old school) railway bento again. And for just $100, you get a huge-ass drumstick, braised egg, a piece of fried fish, a piece of fried fishcake, a slice of sausage, veggies and a bowl of meatball soup FOC. Otherwise, you can opt for the pork version, which gives you a really huge piece of pork cutlet. Though flavourful, I found the meat generally too dry and tough, and so was the egg. The meatball soup was reeking of the 'pork smell' and only T wasn't too affected by it.



And as I've mentioned that the meatball soup wasn't too well-received at the table, the cat got to benefit from it in the end!

And from the cafe, we walked uphill for around 10 minutes and got to the 'entrance' of the fenqihu old street, which is easily recognised by the 7-11. 


The view that awaits us when we go to the 'top' of the uphill going old street.

The place is like jiufen old street in the Taipei area, albeit smaller and less 'happening'. However, if you wishes to get some Taiwanese snacks or just get a feel of how Taiwanese old streets look like and has some time to spare, you can drop by for about 1 hour to 1.5 hour before heading off to your next destination.


And I bought a tray of yummy mochi to snack on back at Lauya. It's a pity I didn't get to finish it within the recommended 3 days, but at least I gobbled up all the chocolate ones, which were the yummiest flavour. 

And not forgetting an #ootd shot on the railway tracks before heading over to ShiZhao for dinner (via cab, but you can take the bus too) and returning to Lauya for the night.

And, welcome to our VIP room!


The room is really huge and has two "sections" to it with two beds, one section with the bathroom and the other section with the TV. What connects the two sections is a corner with armchairs (as shown in the first picture) that faces the balcony with views like this.




The bathroom is pretty spacious with a rainshower and L'occitane toiletries provided. There's also a washroom located right outside our room, so there's no fear of long queues outside the bathroom with a supposedly 4:1 ratio.

The friendliness of the owners, comfy-ness of the room and awesomeness of the view aside, there's just one thing that kind of bugged us, and that is the temperature of the room. For some reason, it was extremely cold and returning to the room at night before turning on the room heaters was almost like walking on ice. It took quite a while for the heaters to heat up the room and yet, it still wasn't quite a comfortable warmth, just a bearable cold. The heated beds at this time was a total God-send and somehow in the middle of the night we all started perspiring and kicking off the blankets. HAHA!

For booking of Lauya Homestay, visit booking.com, hotels.comagoda.com or expedia.com for better deals!


Till then,
Mia Foo


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