Hello everyone, and Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you all have a great time celebrating tonight, whether it’s going all out at a large New Year’s bash, or staying at home and chilling on the couch with some friends and some wine.
Favourites post are probably my all-time favourite types of blog posts to read from other bloggers, and today I’m sharing my own roundup of favourite beauty products of the year. Most of these are not new releases; the way I categorize my “favourite beauty products” posts is that I include things I discovered during the year, or purchased late last year and didn’t really get a chance to use them until this year. If there was a category I didn’t discover anything I loved, then I left it out of this post. I will also list runner-ups in each category if there are any. First on the agenda is my favourite beauty products of the year!
Eyeshadow: Tarte Chrome Paint Shadow Pot
When I reviewed these in the spring, my overall comments on these were how stellar they are. These are ridiculously metallic and pigmented – I feel like they make my jaw drop every time I use them. The texture is slightly crumbly, but I’ve never had any problems with fallout. I only wish that there was a bigger colour selection, as most of the shades available seem to be variations of gold and bronze.
Runner ups are ColourPop Super Shock Shadows and the Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes palette. After years of wanting to try the Super Shock Shadows, I finally had a chance to test them out, and they live up to the hype. It has a really interesting bouncy texture, the pigmentation on all of the shades I tried were impressive, and the line offers a great colour selection. I reviewed them here, and I definitely highly recommend them! The Just Peachy Mattes also came high on the list because the palette ended up surprising me a lot. The palette consists of really beautiful red-based matte shades that go well together, and it’s a more wearable palette than I initially presumed. My review of the palette can be found here.
Hello everybody, and Happy Christmas Eve! I’m still working today, but I do hope you are all at home drinking hot chocolate, relaxing, and watching Christmas movies before getting into the madness of Christmas dinner with family! Since it is Christmas Eve, today I wanted to talk about products that are perfect for holiday gatherings. I’ve already been to two Christmas parties/dinners and have had all of these products on rotation!
Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows
You can’t do the holidays without some glitter in your makeup routine, and these Stila Glitter & Glow liquid shadows are absolutely the perfect choice. They are long-wearing and will glitter on your eyelidsd all night with no fallout!
While we were in Hong Kong last month, we carved out a day to spend in Hong Kong Disneyland. This was a bit of a last-minute decision – I love Disney so I knew before leaving for our trip that I wanted to go, but my parents weren’t hot on the idea, so it ended up being one of the “maybe” activities on our itinerary. Since it was a family trip, I didn’t want to split up from my parents to do separate things, but when we got to Hong Kong, my mom insisted that we go while they took a day to rest (because we had apparently worn them down!) Off to the Happiest Place on Earth we went!
The easiest way to get to Hong Kong Disneyland is by the MTR train system. Regardless of where you’re coming from, you’ll have to either take the orange (Tung Chung) or dark green (Airport Express) line, then get off at Sunny Bay station. Here, you’ll transfer to the Pink line (Disneyland Resort). This line only has one stop, which is located right outside the Disneyland grounds.
It costs $699 HKD for an adult entrance ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland and $515 HKD for kids, which roughly translates to $120 and $90 CAD, respectively. If you are planning your trip ahead of time, make sure to scope out the Disney website for deals, as they’ll often have a discount on tickets when you buy online.
This tip goes for all Disney parks: downloading the official app is highly recommended, as you’ll get to see attraction wait-times, a GPS-enabled map, and show schedules. I couldn’t survive a Disney park visit without this!
Hi everyone! Today’s post is all about our trip to Hong Kong. To be honest, our stay here was super chill because we didn’t do too much. My parents are actually from Hong Kong and we’ve been back in previous years to visit family before, so we spent most of the trip eating, shopping, and visiting family. To be honest, most of the photos I took of this trip were of food, LOL. However, at the end of the post, I’ll list some places we visited during prior trips that I would highly recommend!
Hong Kong is such a fun city with so much to see. The official language is Cantonese, which I can speak, but you’ll easily get away if you only speak English. Hong Kong was a British colony up until 1997, so there are English signs everywhere, and those in the service industry can usually speak English fairly well. I find the culture in Hong Kong a very unique and distinct blend of East and West, moreso than any other Asian country we’ve visited so far.
Out of all the places we’ve visited, Hong Kong has my favourite public transit system (MTR) EVER. Not only is it very clean, but it’s by far the easiest for tourists to understand, it’s extensive, and it’s extremely efficient. Each of the 10 MTR lines have a name, but the colours are much easier for tourists like me to remember.
Hong Kong is made up of three main regions: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and the New Territories, and they are all connected by its MRT system so that it’s easy to travel between the regions. Most tourists tend to stay in the Kowloon area because it has it closer to all of the main attractions and is more trendy. We stayed on Hong Kong Island because it’s closer to where our relatives live, and one good thing about it is that it’s quieter and farther away from all the crowds. While we would often have to switch trains to get somewhere, I didn’t find it to be a huge hassle because the city is so compact and the train systems are so efficient.
The hotel we stayed in was called iClub Fortress Hill. It was a really convenient location because it was a 5 minute walk to two MRT stations, as well as 5 minute walk to the bus station where we took the bus to and from the airport. The hotel itself was decent – quite new and modern-looking, clean, but very small. This isn’t unusual for Hong Kong, because the city is so crowded!
One of my favourite things about Hong Kong is the food. After we dropped off our bags off at the hotel early afternoon, we went off for lunch at the famous Hong Kong establish, Tim Ho Wan. This is a dim sum place that is the second cheapest Michelin star rated restaurant in the world, which is what makes it popular with tourists and locals alike. It was our first time there, even for my parents. They’re known for their BBQ Pork Buns, which were absolutely phenomenal – crispy on the outside and gooey and hot on the inside.
One thing to note about the service industry in Hong Kong is that the service isn’t great, at least in my experience. Hostile service is generally what I expect, and anything better than that always feels like a bonus! One thing that may also be a shocker to tourists is that a lot of restaurants may also give you a large bowl and a tea pot full of boiling water at the beginning of the meal. These are meant for rinsing all of your bowls, teacups, and utensils. I doubt that quickly rinsing all of your eating tools in hot water is going to help all that much without soap and a sponge – at this point you’re just sanitizing your stuff. But if it makes you feel any better, we never got sick from eating out…
Another affordable restaurant we tried was Australia Dairy Company. The owner of the restaurant worked on a farm in Australia in the 40’s, and when he returned to Hong Kong, he started this restaurant (hence the name). Similar to Tim Ho Wan, Australia Dairy Company is an establishment that is popular for both locals and tourists. We went at around 3pm so it wasn’t too busy, but this place usually has really long lineups if you go in the morning!
This place serves a pretty traditional Hong Kong breakfast: buttered toast, eggs, milk tea, and macaroni with ham. The food is good, the service is abysmal – as soon as we sat down, one of the servers came over to our table and proceeded to STARE AT ME with a completely blank expression. For about a very long 10 seconds, we just stared at each other until he finally walked away. I mean…what?? It was probably the most awkward experience I’ve ever had in a restaurant. That was weird, but the service here was just hostile in general. ANYWAYS. The food here was good, but nothing I would line up for – they are known for their scrambled eggs, which are admittedly super buttery and creamy, but everything else was pretty average.
On one of our last evenings in Hong Kong, we went to Social Place for dinner. I think I randomly found this restaurant through Instagram several months before our trip, and after showing my mom some photos, it didn’t take much convincing for her to be on board with us all going to eat here. This place is SUPER popular – we had a reservation at 8:00pm and we still had to wait until 8:30 to get our table. The food here is so freaking Instagram-worthy – I think they’re most known for their adorable baos (buns) that are so cute and aesthetically pleasing. I thought that the food might be more beauty than substance, but it was actually really unique and delicious! This place is pricier than your average dim sum restaurant, but it was so worth it.
Hong Kong’s skyline is iconic, and you must take a trip to Victoria Harbour in Kowloon, where you get a beautiful view of the skyline. It also has a laser show in the evenings, although to be honest, I didn’t find it particularly impressive. This is also the place where you can take the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island – it’s a short ride, but something I think you should experience!
You may have seen a lot of “influencers” posting photos outside these apartment buildings that have become very iconic in the last few years. When I first started seeing these on Instagram, I was like “WHY.” People live in these apartments, and it would be SO annoying to have tourists come and take photos of the place you live. How would you feel if there was a never-ending parade of tourists outside YOUR apartment, causing a ruckus?? However, I was kind of curious about these apartments because they look very similar in style to where my relatives live, so I asked my parents if these apartments looked familiar to them, and they knew exactly where these apartments were located! Apparently my aunt and uncle used to live here when my cousins were young, and they still live about 10 minutes away now.
We went to see them in person while we were exploring the Hong Kong Island side – I was kind of curious to see how big the crowds would be. There was actually only one other couple there and they were being pretty quiet, so we decided to stay. BUT they did have a sign saying that you need permission and a permit to take photos there, and to respect the tenants and keep the noise down. I doubt that people follow the rules (we sure didn’t), but it just goes to show you that the noise and crowds is probably unbearable at times!
We did not go to a ton of touristy places this time since we had already done most of them on our first trip, but if you are going to Hong Kong, here are a list of suggestions for places that are fun to visit, and pictures from our last trip (if I have them):
Victoria Peak: Gorgeous lookout point with views overlooking the Hong Kong skyline from above. Gorgeous at night, too!
Ngong Ping 360: One of the most scenic gondola rides I’ve ever been on, where you get to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the lush green hills of Hong Kong.
Tsim Sha Tsui: Trendy area on Kowloon with great shopping, food, and close to tourist areas like Victoria Harbour. Also has great night life because most of the night markets area located here (see below). Also close to Mong Kok, which is a bustling area that is fun as well.
Night Markets: The two biggest night markets are Temple Night Market and Ladies’ Market. I’ve found in recent years there’s less food vendors and more vendors selling random things like cheap clothing, and fake luxury bags. I don’t really buy anything from these night markets, but it’s cool to look at.
Lantau Island: Lush island that also holds the Tian Tan Buddha, which used to be the world’s largest outdoor Buddha; although it’s no longer the largest, it’s still pretty dang impressive to see.
Lan Kwai Fong: If you’re looking for a place to grab a drink, LKF is Hong Kong’s bar district and is full of trendy restaurants, nightclubs, and bars.
Hello, everyone! Today is the second installment of my holiday gift guide, where I’m sharing my picks for affordable beauty products. These are all products that I love myself, and best of all, they’re all under $30 CAD! I think these would be particularly good as stocking stuffers or gift exchanges where you might have a budget to work with!
This Becca set only retails for $18, and is new to Sephora. What a perfect way to try a well-rounded sample of Becca’s most popular products, which includes minis of a Glow Gloss, a Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighter, and their First Light Priming Filter. For some reason, I can no long find this on the Sephora website (maybe it sold out?) but this Jet, Set, Glow set is a good choice as well. Although at $30 it is pricier, it has both of Becca’s bestselling primers as well as their Eye Brightening Corrector, which I also love.
Hello, everyone! You may or may not know that I spent two weeks in Asia last month. We spent about a week in Taiwan, and a week in Hong Kong. My parents are from Hong Kong and it wasn’t my first time visiting the city, but it was my first time in Taiwan. Today’s post is specifically about our time in Taiwan. We were there for about 6 fulls days and we stayed in Taipei, which is the capital city. If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t know much about Taiwan. There’s definitely a lot of controversy in terms of the political status of Taiwan and whether or not they should belong to China – I can’t pretend to be an expert on the matter, but I do know that the Taiwanese people are very passionate about this topic. As a tourist, I do think Taiwan is very uniquely Taiwan, and nothing at all like the cities I’ve been to in China, nor like Hong Kong!
The hotel we stayed in was called Just Sleep Ximending, and we loved this hotel. Not only was it clean and comfortable, but we liked the layout of the bathrooms, which had the toilet, sink, and showers separated so that my husband could use one while I could use the other. It was also a super convenient location: a five-minute walk to Ximen Station and about a 10 minute walk to Taipei Main Station, which is a major hub station. In terms of entertainment, it was a five minute walk to Ximen Night Market, which is a bustling attraction in Taipei.
Hi everyone! As we’re nearing Christmas, I wanted to share with you a few gift guides. To start this series off, today I have a list for the non-beauty lovers in your life! Admittedly, this is where I’m weakest in gift-giving because I obviously am more knowledgeable about beauty. However, very few of the people in my life are beauty lovers, so I have to open my mind to the many other great gifts out there! I’ve included some specific items, as well as gifts with a large price range to fit everyone’s budgets.
Who doesn’t love a snuggle up with a good book, especially in the dead of winter? This one might be tough because not everyone has the same taste in books, but if you’re thinking of gifting a book, you probably already know what the recipient likes to read. A few of my favourites in the last few years: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I haven’t read it yet, but Becoming by Michelle Obama might be a good gift too; who doesn’t want to read a book written by this incredible and inspirational woman?
Hello, everyone! This week has been crazy – I forgot to post this blog post on Tuesday AND Wednesday, and almost forgot today too. It’s been a struggle!
If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you’ll know that I have dry skin all year round, but the dryness gets particularly bad in the winter. I feel like I’ve finally gotten it under control in the last two years, so today I wanted to share some skincare categories that are necessities in my winter skincare routine. In particular, I want to show you some specific products that I love. Read on for my winter skincare suggestions!
This one is a given! You really need a good moisturizer to keep your skin looking soft and supple all year round, but it’s especially important during the winter. I’ve been loving the Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme since the spring and summer, but I tend to switch to a heavier moisturizer in the winter. However, I’ve found that this has been working just fine in the winter so far; I’m not sure if it’s because it hasn’t been too dry and cold this winter, or if this is really good for all year round – but I’ll take it!