Thursday, December 14, 2017

12 Innisfree Products I Have Used

Photo By: Elin Chow

I am a huge fan of Innisfree products and have used quite a number of their products. Well, it is not really a lot, but I feel that it would be good to share them in a single post to keep track the number of products I have used. So, here are the 12 products from Innisfree that I have used or am currently using.

1. Innisfree No Sebum Powder

My Review: Innisfree No Sebum Powder

The Innisfree No Sebum Powder is undoubtedly my most favorite and must have product from Innisfree. It comes in two different forms: loose powder and pressed powder. I have tried both the loose and pressed powder, but I prefer the loose powder more.

I have been using this powder for years, and am still loving it very much. The powder helps to control sweat and sebum and keep my makeup clean on my face. So for people with combination or oily skin, this will be a great choice. This is a product that I can never do without. Furthermore, the price is fairly affordable as well.

2. Innisfree Long Wear Cushion Foundation

My Review: Innisfree Long Wear Cushion Foundation

Other than the No Sebum Powder, the Long Wear Cushion Foundation is my other must have product from Innisfree. This is the most used foundation at the moment. Just like the No Sebum Powder, the  Long Wear Cushion Foundation helps to control excess sweat and sebum and keep my face matte and oil free for hours.

This foundation is pretty lightweight but does not offer much coverage. My skin does not feel sticky after application. It gives an amazing matte finish without drying the skin. The effect is almost long-lasting as well. I will keep re-purchasing this product since it works amazingly well on my skin.

3. Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Sheet Masks

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Sheet Masks offers a wonderful variety of sheet mask products that are suitable for everyone's budget and skin types. The most affordable It's Real Squeeze range is Innisfree's most popular sheet mask products. There are 16 choices available for you to choose from - - Acai, Aloe Vera, Bamboo, Bija, Blackberry, Cucumber, Green Tea, Kiwi, Lime, Manuka Honey, Pomegranate, Rice, Rose, Shea Butter, Strawberry and Tea Tree.

My favorite is their Manuka Honey sheet mask because I find it very soothing and moisturizing. It helps to hydrate and reduce redness and irritation on my skin.

4. Innisfree Skin Clinic Masks

The Innisfree Skin Clinic Masks are twice as expensive as It's Real Squeeze sheet masks. There are 7 different choices available for you to choose from - Peptide, Madecassoside, BHA, Vita C, Catechin, Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen. The Innisfree Skin Clinic Masks are better quality than It's Real Squeeze sheet masks. It is very soft and thin and adhere to my face well.

5. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam

The Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam is suitable for everyday use, especially for people with combination or oily skin. However, it might be a little too drying for people with dry skin. It cleanse the pores well and remove excess sebum without over drying the skin. The cleanser is soft, has a semi-thick consistency and contains microbeads that gently exfoliate the skin. My skin feels fresh and clean after every wash.

The Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam is currently my most favorite facial cleanser. Although, it is a little expensive, I will still repurchase this since it cleanse my skin really well.

6. Innisfree Sea Salt Cleansing Water

The Innisfree Sea Salt Cleansing Water is a makeup removing cleansing water that claims to remove makeup and dirt completely. I find the cleansing power a little underwhelming. Although it does remove most of my face and eye makeup, it would not get the makeup off completely in one go. It will require some harsh rubbing in order to cleanse well.

Price wise, it is a little expensive. I might not repurchase this product again because I believe there are much more better products in the market that can remove makeup better than the Innisfree Sea Salt Cleansing Water.

7. Innisfree Auto Eye Brow Pencil

This is an inexpensive eye brow pencil, available in 7 different colors. The texture of the pencil is very soft and smooth and does not irritate the skin. It glides across my eyebrow easily and create soft natural looking brows. Furthermore, the price is really cheap. However, the color is really light and barely visible. So, for anyone who prefer sharp and thick brows, this is probably not for you.

8. Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Black Head Out Balm

My Review: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Black Head Out Balm

The Jeju Volcanic Black Head Out Balm is inexpensive blackhead skincare removal product. The product comes in a solid balm form but melts into an oil texture once you massage it onto your skin. Price is cheap, but unfortunately, it is not super effective. The balm does not really remove blackheads, especially deep-rooted and stubborn ones.

I bought this because it was really cheap. Although the result is a little disappointing, it is a great choice for people with a low budget. I would probably not re-purchase this again because it is not really a must-have product for me.

9. Innisfree Eco Science Serum
My Review: Innisfree Eco Science Serum

Innisfree Eco Science Serum is an anti-aging serum with a runny consistency, thus it is easy to spread and absorb by the skin. It is not very moisturizing and I am not sure how effective this is in helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I would probably not re-purchase this again because I would like to try other brand of serums available in the market.

10. Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Foam

I ran out of the Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam, so I decided to try the Green Tea Cleansing Foam. Formulated with fresh green tea extract, the dense, rich foam helps to wash off makeup residue and dirt inside pores without drying the skin. My skin feels clean and fresh after every wash.

The Green Tea Cleansing Foam is suitable for all skin types, especially for people with sensitive or combination skin. But I still prefer the Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam to the Green Tea Cleansing Foam.

11. Innisfree Cream Mellow Lipstick 

The Innisfree Cream Mellow Lipstick is available 10 different colors. I bought this lipstick in #8 Glossy red color. The color is very pretty and looks really good on my skin tone.

Packaging is simple. The lipstick comes in a white plastic case with rose gold accent, which adds an elegant touch to it. The consistency of the lipstick is very soft and creamy, thus very easy to apply. It is moisturizing and makes my lips look voluminous.

12. Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask

I received a sample size Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask from Innisfree, and so I decided to try it out. The Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask is a 6-in-1 pore treatment clay mask made from minerals released by volcanic expansions in Jeju. It claims to be effective in shrinking pores, control sebum, exfoliate, deeply cleanse, brighten and smooth skin.

The texture of the mask is a thick gray clay, which smell a little like play-doh. Although it is very thick, it is easily spreadable. The mask helps to exfoliate and remove sebum on my skin. My skin feel clean, smooth and tight after use. But I find it a little oily for my liking.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido | Publika Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido 
Address: A2-UG1-9 Dutamas, No.1 Jalan Dutamas, Jalan Solaris, Publika 50480, Hartamas Height, Kuala Lumpur

I have been procrastinating whether I should write about my recent dining experience at Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido @ Publika because some of the photos I took are blurred and I hate posting low quality photos on my space here. But I still decided to write about it because I would like to share about my enjoyable dining experience.

Tsubohachi Izakaya-Hokkaido is an underrated Japanese Izakaya in Publika.The reason why I say it is underrated is because the food is really good but surprisingly, not many people seem to know about this restaurant. 

For those who do not know, Izakaya is a type of informal gastropub serving Tapas style food.  It is a casual place to meet and drink after work.

The first thing that you will noticed when you stepped into the restaurant is the 2 giant wooden bathtubs with matching pendant lights shining above them. 

The restaurant is pretty spacious with a few different seating options for diners to choose from. You can either choose to sit at normal tables, the wooden bathtubs or right on the ground on tatami mats. The atmosphere is very comfortable and relaxing.

Tsubohachi offers a wide range of delicious food items and drinks. From Sashimi, edamame, various salads, meat and noodles, to classic Izakaya favorites like grilled seafood, Okonomiyaki and Yakitori. The options are really vast and we were totally spoilt for choice! 

I love Takoyaki! I will always order Takoyaki whenever I visit a Japanese restaurant. But this one was nothing impressive. 

Chawanmushi is steamed egg custard topped with mushrooms. This is a simple dish that we would always order whenever we dine in a Japanese restaurant. The texture of the egg is silky smooth and melts instantly in your mouth.  Taste is light and richly flavorful. However, the price is a little expensive.

Salmon Sashimi
Salmon Sashimi was very fresh. The taste is buttery rich and has an almost melt-in-mouth texture. So delicious!

Nagashi Somen Set (Flowing Noodle Set)
Nagashi Somen is an unique way of serving thin noodles via flowing cold water. The noodles will slide down from a sliced bamboo pipe. Diners will have to use chopsticks to pick up the noodles as they slided down and dipped them in cold dipping sauce before eating. 

At Tsubohachi, the bamboo pipe is replaced by a Somen Set, which includes wheat-flour noodles, Ebi Tempura, fruits and vegetables and dipping sauce. We enjoy catching the noodles, fruits and vegetables from the flowing cold water. It really require a certain amount of skill!

Ebi Tempura was fried to a beautiful golden brown. It was not overly battered and gave a loud crunchy sound at every bite. Although it was delightfully crispy, it was not greasy at all. The prawns were also very fresh and nicely cooked and served with a tempura dipping sauce.

Hotate Yaki (Grilled Scallops)
My favorite will always be Hotate Yaki - a very expensive but delicious treat. The butter grilled scallops were awesomely sweet, tender and flavorful. I have been craving for this since I came back from Japan last year. This was also one of the reason we chose to visit this restaurant. But seriously, one is not enough to satisfy my craving. 

Kyuri Ippon Zuke (Japanese Style Pickled Cucumber) 
This one is my husband's favorite. I am not sure how it taste because I hate cucumber! But according to my husband, this was really good.

Tenderloin Steak with Ponzu
This was very disappointing. Served with a dipping sauce made from grated daikon, the meat was tasteless, hard and dry. Definitely not recommended.

Tako-Butsu (Diced Octopus Sashimi)
Diced Octopus Sashimi were not finely sliced, which was a little tough to eat. The texture is rubbery and difficult to chew. Not recommended!

Toro Salmon Sashimi (Salmon Belly)
Toro Salmon Sashimi is always one of my favorite, which is the fattier belly portion of the fish. The Sashimi is very fresh and has a buttery, melt-in mouth texture. Each slice of Sashimi was delicately cut, nicely presented and served freshly raw. Every bite of it was truly a delight.

Buta Kimchi Nabe (Pork Belly & Kimchi Claypot)
Made with anchovy broth, Kimchi, pork belly and vegetables, this soup pot is hot and sour that will warm your body up during rainy days. But the broth was a little too salty for my liking. Otherwise, I will definitely love this dish very much.

Salmon Harasu Yaki (Grilled Salmon Belly)
Since I am a big fan of raw Salmon belly, I decided to order the grilled ones to try as well. However, I did not like it very much because it was a little too salty. Unlike the raw version, the grilled Salmon belly has a very strong fishy taste too.

Tobiko Ajitama
I am not sure how this taste because I do not like boiled egg. But according to my husband, this is sweet and the taste was not bad.

Unagi Kabayaki (Boiled Eel)
Unagi Kabayaki is a popular dish in Japan, but I really do not like its strong fishy smell. For those who love Unagi, this should be good. 

Tobiko Gunkan
Tsubohachi Tebasaki & Nagoya Tebasaki (Fried Chicken Wings)

The chicken wings were well-seasoned and fried to perfection. Simple and delicious!

Madai Shabu Shabu

Madai is Seabream fish. I believe this is a kind of seasonal fish in Japan. Since it is currently available, we decided to try it out too. The fish meat was very soft and fresh. Definitely worth paying for!

Overall, we have a wonderful time eating at this restaurant. The total bill came to RM 400++ and the amount food we ordered was just nice for the 4 of us. Food was generally good and service was awesome. The staffs were prompt at clearing the empty plates and refill our tea. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for an authentic Izakaya dining experience.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

[Malaysia 2017] 3D2N Birthday Trip To Cameron Highland!

Photo By: Elin Chow

My birthday was on 9th September and that was about 3 months ago. I have been procrastinating in writing about my birthday trip to Cameron Highlands. Well, admit it, you procrastinate. Everyone do, because writing is just plain hard at times.

So, my husband planned another family trip to Cameron Highlands again for my birthday. To be honest, I was not very excited about the trip, simply because I think it will not be fun to visit the same place twice in just a short span of 2 months (we just visited Cameron Highlands back in July).

Just like our previous trip, we took the Simpang Pulai route instead of the Tapah route because it is much wider, less steep and less winding. But this time, it took us almost 6 hours to reach our hotel in Tanah Rata.

9th September was a public holiday. As a result, Cameron Highlands was very crowded with tourists and we were caught in massive traffic jam around the towns and tourist attractions. Getting up to Cameron Highlands from Simpang Pulai means one will reach Brinchang first. From Brinchang, it is a 10 minutes drive to Tanah Rata. But it took us almost 2 hours just to get from Brinchang to Tanah Rata! That was really tiring and frustrating!

Heritage Hotel
Official Website: Heritage Hotel Cameron Highlands

Finally at 4 pm, we arrived at Heritage Hotel, a 3.5-star Tudor-style hotel located on a hill in the town of Tanah Rata.

Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, the hotel offers a range of hotel rooms and suites to suit different needs. 

We checked into a deluxe room for one night. The room features a king sized bed, en-suite bathroom and a private balcony. However, the furnishing of the room looks really old and tired with a strong smell of old carpet. The bed also had a mushy smell but was clean.

Other in room amenities include a LCD flat screen TV with cable channels, a large built in closet, hairdryer, basic coffee and tea making facilities and a writing desk. However, there was no free Wifi provided in the room, which is a huge downside for me.  Free Wifi is necessary and important because mobile signal was extremely poor in the room as well. I am feeling incredibly annoyed for being unable to stay connected and access to my social media.

The room also comes with an ensuite bathroom equipped with a bath tub, large mirror and some basic toiletries. 

Basic toiletries provided include shower cap, shower gel, shampoo and disposable toothbrush and toothpaste.

The room opens out onto a balcony, offering a spectacular view of  the lush rainforest surrounding the hotel.

Highlands Steamboat

After settling down and freshening up, we proceeded out of the hotel for dinner. On our way to the restaurant, we were caught in another long traffic jam.

It took us about an hour to reach Highlands Steamboat, a steamboat restaurant located in Brinchang, next to Cameron Organic Steamboat.

Just like many other steamboat restaurants that you will find in Cameron Highlands, Highlands Steamboat also uses traditional charcoal stove instead of gas stove or induction cooker.

Minimum order is 2 pax and we ordered for 4 pax. Our order was served promptly and the ingredients were very fresh. Serving size was decent and easily sufficient for 5 pax. The broth also taste deep, rich and flavorful. It was delicious. We visited this restaurant the next day for dinner too.

After dinner, we planned to visit the Brinchang Night Market to grab some snacks and drinks. But we had to give up that idea because the night market was crazily crowded with people and there was no parking spaces available for us to park our car.

We finally got to our hotel at 9 pm after being stuck in the traffic jam for an hour. After washing up, we turned in early for the night.

Lavender Garden

After a night's sleep, I still woke up feeling exhausted. After having our breakfast at the hotel, we packed up and checked out of our room. We did not have any idea what to do or where to go for the day. After some discussion, we decided to visit the Lavender Garden to kill some time.

Located just before Tringkap town, approximately 9 km from Brinchang, Lavender Garden is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Cameron Highlands. The traffic jam got worst the next day and it took us about 2 hours to get here from Heritage Hotel. Parking spaces are pretty limited, so we have to park our car by the roadside.

Lavender Garden is open daily, from 9 am to 6 pm. Entry is not free. It costs RM 10 per adult and RM 7 per child to enter the attraction, which I feel is a little too expensive.

Stepping into the attraction, we were greeted by a purple field of lavender flowers.The lavenders are planted on a large plot of land in the centre of the attraction with artificial lavender scent permeating the air at the entrance. Other than lavenders, there are some others flowers like yellow daisies, camellias and peonies planted as well.

At the end of the garden, you will find a few shops selling a selection of lavender-related products. This is where you can pick up some souvenirs and gifts for your friends and families before exiting.

All around the garden, there are plenty of photo opportunities. The attraction is packed with people, so it was almost impossible to take a good picture with the lavenders because of crowds.

There is also a cafe here offering a selection of lavender-based pastries, ice cream and drinks.

At the end, there is also a small strawberry farm where visitors can pick their own strawberry and take them home for a price. 

Lavender Garden is just the typical tourist place for tourists to visit and take some photos. If you love flowers, this place is worth a visit.

Bharat Cameron Valley Tea Plantation

Leaving Lavender Garden, we visited the Bharat Cameron Valley Tea Plantation for an afternoon tea break. We chose to sit on the second floor, which offers an incredible view over the scenic tea plantations and mountains.

We ordered some scones and tea while enjoying the cool air and fantastic view of the tea plantations below. As expected, the cafe is overpriced and the taste of the scones are pretty disappointing as well.

However, this is a great place to take photos with the tea plantations and mountains. 

Copthorne Hotel
Official Website: Copthorne Hotel Cameron Highlands

After being struck in the traffic jam for 2 hours, we finally arrived at Copthorne Hotel, a 4-star Tudor style hotel located in Brinchang, within walking distance to Butterfly Garden and Kea Farm.

Originally known as Hotel Equatorial, Copthorne Hotel offers 316 rooms and apartments - Superior, Deluxe, Premier and 1-bedroom apartment to suit different needs and budget. Surrounded by mountains and valley, it is one of the largest and highest hotel in Cameron Highlands.

Stepping into the hotel, we were greeted by a humongous lobby. State flags adorn the walls, stone laid foundation, iron chandeliers and nicely tiled stone flooring. It felt as though I have walked into a medieval castle! 

Superior Room
We booked a Superior and Deluxe room at Copthorne Hotel. Superior room was nothing impressive. Measuring 31 sqm, the Superior room features a king sized bed, LCD flat screen TV, built-in closet, working desk and ensuite bathroom. The furnishing looks pretty dated and tired. Wifi is available for free, but connection is poor and weak. 

The ensuite bathroom is spacious with basic toiletries like soap, shampoo and disposable toothbrush and toothpaste provided.

Deluxe Room
Decorated in warm colors, the deluxe room is the same size as the superior room and comes with a balcony. The deluxe room features a king sized bed, built in closet, working desk, a large sofa and  ensuite bathroom.

Bathroom is bright and modernly decorated with toiletries provided.

Basic coffee and tea making facilities are provided in all the rooms as well.

The balcony offers spectacular view over Brinchang valley and mountains. After freshening up, we visited Highland Steamboat again for dinner. We spent the rest of the night chilling in our room at the hotel because we expected the night market to be crazily crowded too.

The last morning before we departed for home, we visited the Kea Farm after checking out of our room. Traffic was still bad in Cameron Highlands that morning, but slightly better than the day before. After filling our car with locally grown vegetables and fruits, we departed for home via the Tapah route.

Overall, it was not a very enjoyable trip. We spent most of our time stuck in traffic jams. It was just a total waste of time. At the end of each day, we were just exhausted. For anyone who hate the crowds and traffic jams, please avoid visiting Cameron Highlands on public holidays or school holidays.

Be sure to follow me on my Facebook or Twitter to get the latest updates on my travel adventures! Also, do not forget to share my blog posts with your family and friends if you find them helpful. In the meantime, you might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.