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Nichijou : Sweet Saturday (^.^)v

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I thought I would take a break from all the reviewing and start on a series called Nichijou. Yes, it does sound a lot like the recent anime with Yuuko and Nano as the characters, but the word itself means 'Everyday Life'. It's a Japanese word. In this series, I thought you can get to know me better seeing how I am in my everyday life. 
No, it's not THIS nichijou. ^^;;
Yesterday (Saturday) was a very unexpectedly full and fun day. It all started with us (my bf and I) going to Tangerang for a meeting. It took around one and half hours , then we're off to Living World at Alam Sutera.  I was excited to go there because it was a new mall and I'm always excited when it comes to malls. 
This is how it looks from the outside. Photo courtesy from HERE
From the outside, the mall looks huge and spacious. I don't know exactly how it measures in metric, but it IS huge. It has ACE, Informa, Office 1, and lots other stores. 

When we arrive inside the parking lot, I switched places with my bf because they have ladies parking. In all honesty, I'm not your-average-every-day -driving person, so my driving is a bit rusty. However, I TRIED to park the car in the ladies parking zone and did it!! Well, my bf isn't too happy with the result, but at the very least, the car is parked near the mall entrance. 
Such a cute sign of Ladies Parking!
We walked into the mall and noticed that the ceilings are high, making it more comfortable and spacious all the more. We had lunch at this place called Steak 21, where they served steaks on a hot plate. It's surprisingly tasty for a small restaurant. I'll do a separate review on it soon. 
I like the high ceilings and spacious walking space.

It has lots of chairs/sofas scattered all over the mall. It's perfect for boyfriends waiting for their girlfriends to finish shopping. Lol

A very random picture. I've been liking owls lately, weird. 

Our orders at Steak 21. Upper left-Lower Right (clockwise): NZ Tenderloin Balck Pepper Steak, Orange Juice, Iced Lemon Tea and Chicken Wings
After lunch, we explored the mall from the very top floor downwards. The top floor had a garden-ish view and some parts of the floor is made out of wood. I love wood floors. It kinda has a comforting effect on me. 
Excuse my bf. He's just too eager to get outside, but the doors are locked.

It looks really luxurious, yet cozy.

Here's the wooden floors that made me want to stay longer here. 

We ventured into the Toy Kingdom where they had toys. D-uh, obviously. I stumbled onto a cute hat and was thinking of buying it next time I was there. 
Life size Lego of a pirate and a police woman. Naturally, I just had to take a pic with them, so does  my bf, apparently.

They had a display of how the North Pole looks like. Only problem is that the penguins wouldn't be living so close with the polar bears, lol.

Here is the cute hat that I was thinking of buying. Should I? >.<

We had a great time at that mall and I bought a couple of office related things at Office 1. I also got stickers for my friend's scrapbook. It was a very relaxing and fun day, despite the fact that we had a meeting earlier. Not that the meeting was boring or unproductive, it's just that I woke up super early to get to that meeting.

We end the day by having dinner at Mall Artha Gading. Chicken Satay was our delicious dinner. See you next time in my other 'Nichijou' posts series! 

Beauty

Kemarau (Summer) is Here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer's here. Well, here in Indonesia, it's either summer (Kemarau) or the rainy season. Lately, the sun's been out a lot more, so I think it's Kemarau now. Although, we do have some days of rain, but nothing much. 

Back in the rainy season, I can wear any makeup on my face without any fear of it melting and sliding off my face because of the heat. However, now I'm more careful with my choices of makeup.

Beauty Tips For 'Kemarau' Season
  • Skip foundation if it's not really necessary, especially for everyday use. Choose a lighter face product like a tinted moisturizer or BB creams.
Some of my favorite BB cream and foundation. L-R: Olay Age Defying Series Renewal Lightening Lotion, Shills Sakura Extract BB Cream, L'egere White Multi BB, Holika Holika Baby Bloom Moisture BB Cream, and ZA Skin Beauty Liquid Foundation.
  • Use lighter texture moisturizers (opt for lotion or gels or emulsions if you have combination/oily skin)
One of my favorite day time moisturizers. It's light, not greasy, moisturizes well and has SPF!
  • Use a makeup primer to make sure your makeup stays on your face, not slides off to your clothes.
Recommended for those not allergic to silicone and has normal/combination skin. It also reduces redness on the cheeks!

Recommended for those not allergic to silicone, sensitive skin and normal to oily skin.  It really mattifies the face!
  • Always carry oil-blotting sheets/films in your handbag. They're life savers!
My favorite type because it's durable and absorbs all the oil in one sheet. 

  • For those with dry skin, remember to carry a spray bottle of water. Spritz it all over the face when in need of a boost of hydration. It'll also help in refreshing your mood as well!
My current favorite. It refreshes my face and reduces the redness on my cheeks. It's recommended for people with sensitive skin. If you can't find this, a regular water in a spray bottle is also okay.
  • Opt for a tinted lip balm with an SPF to prevent darkened lips. You don't want to have chapped, sunburned lips, do you?
Nivea has always been there for me and saves me from chapped lips. Both has SPF 15.
If you like more color on the lips, use a lip tint or lip cream because it's lighter in texture and it's smudge-free. L-R: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in shade Antwerp and Tony Tint in shade Cherry Pink
  • Wear waterproof mascara  and eyeliner, so you won't have panda eyes at the end of the day.
My two favorite mascara from Maybelline. It lengthens my lashes, keeps my curl, doesn't weigh them down and smudge-proof. L-R: Maybelline The MAgnum Volum'Express and Maybelline Volum'Express Turbo Boost Mascara.

  • Drink plenty of water because it will help hydrate your body, making your skin look healthy and glowy from within.
  • Always put on sunscreen with an SPF of 30/PA++ minimum, be it chemical or physical. The sun's ray is the number one collagen and elastin killer! 
My facial sunscreen from L'oreal. Available in most supermarkets all over Jakarta.

My eye area sunscreen. This is just a sample size I got from hollycosmetic.multiply.com

My body sunscreen. Vaseline Healthy White SPF 24/PA++, readily available in  most supermarkets all over Jakarta.
  • Carry a small size deodorant in your handbag as to prevent wet armpits due to excessive sweating.
Currently my favorite over Rexona because it's really drying. 
So, that is all the tips I can think of. If you have some of you tips, please leave a comment down below. I would love to hear you tips in facing the hot summer days.

Balm

Review: Holika Holika Baby Bloom Moisture BB Cream SPF 25/PA++

Monday, May 23, 2011

Their logo is simply adorable. The witch just made it irresistible!
I tried out a new BB Cream from Holika Holika because they just look cute. I know it's not much of a reason to try them but, it's just is. Period. ^___^ I pre-ordered it about two months ago and it came a month ago. I have been using it for around three weeks, so here is the review.


Why I Bought It
The actual product
When I was looking through the products from Holika Holika, I was in search for a moisturizing BB cream. Since this has the word 'Moisture' on it, I went and ordered it. Also, the word 'Baby Bloom' kinda has a hint that this product may be light in a sense that it wouldn't be cakey. Or, at least, that's how my brain works. 


Ingredients
I can't read it T____T
I don't speak or read Korean, so any of you who does, please help me list the ingredients. If it's not much of a bother, that is. ^__^


How I Use It
Like other BB creams, it goes lighter once blended into the skin.
There are two method of applying this BB cream on my face. It depends on my face's condition that day. 


If my face is dry and flaking really bad, I will mix this with my moisturizer to ensure the disappearance of the dry, flaky skin.


If my face has no flakes or dry patches, I will use this alone, spreading it evenly all over my face with my fingers. I never use any sponge or brush to apply my bb cream. 


What I Like About It
* It is affordable, retailing at IDR 145,000 (pre-order).
* It comes in a squeeze tube, so it's easy to dispense the product and hygienic.
* The size is compact, making it easy to travel with.
* It has no overpowering scent or fragrances.
* It's good at evening out my complexion, diminishing the redness on my cheeks.
* It has medium coverage when used alone. It's able to conceal my previous acne scars.
* It has the right shade when I want my face to look natural, not blotchy (with redness T^T)
* It has an additional SPF 25/PA++! Even though, I use a separate sunscreen before my moisturizer.


What I Hate About It
* It's not readily available here in Jakarta.
* There is only one shade available.
* For day when my skin is very dry and flaky, this BB cream is not as moisturizing as my L'egere BB cream.
* I can't read the ingredients. It just annoys me.. u_u
* It doesn't really brighten and whiten my face. 


Summary
# I would recommend this BB Cream for people who has normal to dry skin (not very dry           
    skin) who wants a light coverage and evened out skin tone. 
# Since it only has one shade, I think this is the biggest downfall of this product. The color will 
    match light to medium skin tones, instead of fair ones.
# Overall, it's a good BB cream. Not exceptional. Just good. For people who just wants to start out venturing into the BB cream realm, then this is for you. 


Final Rating
Availability : 0.5/1
Packaging : 2/2
Ingredients : Not rated momentarily since I can't read the list.
Price 1/1
Effectivity : 2/3


Five and a half out of seven

Bistro

Food Indulgence : Mad For Garlic *long post+pic heavy*

Monday, May 16, 2011

The other day when I went to Grand Indonesia with my bf and little brother, we decided to try out Mad For Garlic. 

The menu printed on both sides. 
For those of you who goes to GI frequently, you must have noticed this new restaurant located in the West mall just above Carl's Jr. It is located at 


Grand Indonesia
West Mall - Ground Floor - 20A
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.1 Jakarta 10310
Phone (021) 2358 1076


It's a pity that they don't have a standing menu on the outside. This will help patrons to get the big picture of what Mad For Garlic has to offer. 

It looks small and dark from the outside, but it's quite spacious once I got in. There are decors of garlic everywhere that I forgot to take picture of them. However, I do snap pictures of garlic being place on top of the glass rack and a cute lamp shaped like a garlic clove. 

Fake garlic garlands neatly placed in a row

The cute garlic shaped lamp
We chose a table near the window because it'll help with the pictures if it's taken with natural lighting. Once we're seated, the waiter handed us the menu and it took us a while to choose which ones to order. Finally, we decided to choose the signature dishes from the appetizer and pizza menu. My brother and I ordered Iced Chocolate and my bf had Ginger Ale. 

I like how they designed the interior. It seemed like a good place to hang out and chat
Our Iced Chocolate came quite fast (around 5 minutes). It looked boring and usual, not what I expected from a moderately priced restaurant. 


Quite boring and tasteless for IDR 25,000
At the very least, it could've had a whipped cream with chocolate shavings on top. Well, I guess they're not too keen on serving iced chocolate when they do have other alcohol based beverages in the menu. 

The taste of the Iced Chocolate is worse than it looks. It's like 10 parts water and  1 part cocoa powder. It is just the nastiest cocoa beverage I had ever drank in my life. The flavor of the beverage is bland and cold, nothing else. 


Picture courtesy of  LovelyLoe. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it since I was too busy texting. >.<
After around 15 minutes, our first appetizer came, The Garlic Tower. It is a French Baguette that is filled with garlic butter, or at least that's how I picture it. The waitress came and pushed the garlic butter inside the baguette, making sure it's evenly spread. It is then layed horizontally and cut into four pieces. 


Seeing how plenty the garlic is in the butter scares me a little. I was afraid that I'm going to hate it because of the pungent garlic odor and taste. However, that is not the case with this dish. 


The already cut Garlic Tower. 

Despite the large amounts of garlic, they are tasteless. They only feel gritty and gives you a crunchy texture in the mouth, but they don't taste like garlic at all. I was quite disappointed with this dish because I thought the garlic was going to stand out a bit more. It is more to the bland and greasy side and not in a good way. The butter on the baguette itself doesn't taste as creamy as the one from Marzano. For the price of IDR 35,000 (tax excluded), I'd skip this dish.


How it's supposed to look like. Doesn't the toasted bread look delicious?

The next appetizer we ordered was Dracula Killer. It is a dish where slices of soft bread is to be eaten with a mix of garlic, olive oil and anchovies. Since it is the signature dish, I expected it to be top notch. 



How it looks like when it came to the table. 
The dish came with several slices of plain bread. In the middle of the plate is a takoyaki-kind-of-pan (I've been told that it's an escargot pan) with the mixture of garlic, oil and anchovies. I can't see the anchovies, though. 


How it looked like once the cheese melted.
You're probably wondering how this taste like. Well, I don't like it one bit. The sauce mix isn't something special, it just tasted greasy and not even seasoned well. I don't understand how this is a signature dish. 


It just tasted like greasy, plain white bread with huge chunks of garlic on top. Also, the taste of the garlic didn't stand out as much to have a garlic-y flavor. I think it would be better if the bread is slightly toasted as to have a crunchy texture. For something that is IDR 45,000, this dish isn't well-thought of. 


See how puffy it is?? 
Our main course is another signature dish from the pizza section, the Calzone Pizza. The description on the menu stated Moon shaped Calzone with GENEROUS STUFFINGS accompanied by sweet garlic sauce.  When the waiter came with this dish on his hand, I was excited. It LOOKED all puffed up and filled with lots and lots of meat and sauces. 


The waiter 'killing' my calzone, lol.
Once the waiter puts it on the table and starts flattening the calzone, my jaw figuratively dropped to the floor. I thought it was filled with goodies, but no. The filling was just a quarter of the size of the calzone. He proceed to cut the calzone into portions. 


The dead-flat calzone, noooo.
This dish is a winner (kinda like best among the worst) from all the three that we ordered. At the very least, I can taste the garlic in this dish. It has few slices of meat, few basil leaf (I think), cheese and some sun dried tomatoes. 


My part of calzone that only has cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and basil. My bf and brother had slices of meat in theirs >.<
It came with a sweet garlic sauce that looks like minced garlic that had sweetness to it. I'm not quite a fan of the sauce since all it tasted like is sweet, which I think doesn't go too well with the already tasty calzone. At least, that's what I think about it. 

Sweet garlic sauce.
The taste was a combination of savory (from the cheese and meat) and sweet (from the sun dried tomatoes). The basil adds a more earthy and fresh taste that refreshes the palette once the meat and/or cheese is becoming overpowering. It was an enjoyable dish, but not something that stands out from this restaurant. I can easily go to Marzano and ordered a pizza that has a similar (even better) taste than this dish. In short, it's an okay dish, but nothing special. 


So far, the eating experience at our table was already going downhill from the appetizer section. Even so, I still ordered desserts which is tiramisu and chocolate ice cream. However, as we waited for 5 minutes, the waiter informed us that the tiramisu is still freezing or frozen (I didn't really listen), so it's gonna take longer to have it served and offered the cheesecake instead. I went with the cheesecake and waited. 


It was a cute looking dish, especially the chocolate garlic stencil ^^
After 7-ish minutes, the cheesecake and ice cream came. The cheesecake looked really thick and creamy, but not IDR 50,000 worth. In my opinion, I don't think there is enough sour cream in the recipe and I dislike the sugar on top of the cheesecake. It made the dish extremely sweet, kinda like diabetic-sweet. I scraped off the sugar on top and divided the cheesecake among the three of us. 
It's a thick slice of cheesecake with sugar on top.
Isn't that just cute!?
Again, it wasn't something really special. Maybe it really wasn't their specialty. It tasted sweet, a little bit sour, and it's not as creamy as I want it to be. It's good, but not extremely tasty.
A portion of chocolate ice cream
The chocolate ice cream came with two scoops place in a banana-split dish. It's creamy, sweet, chocolate-y, with a slight hint of vanilla flavor.  It's possible that it is homemade ice cream by Mad For Garlic. Possibly.


So, let's summarize this 'bistro' type restaurant.


Location is standard since it's in the mall. So, looking for it won't be difficult. Plus, you get to sight see the mall after your meal.


Ambience of the bistro itself is cozy with the brick walls and dimly lit garlic lamps. It gives off a warm and relaxed feeling while inside the bistro. I think it's best for get together events or just chatting with them.


Service is average. The waiter and waitresses are just well-mannered, but it's not hotel-like service. It's not like it's 7.5% service charge worth it. 


Price is moderately high and it ranges from IDR 25,000 to IDR 275,000, without tax. It's quite steep for my budget, though. We spent IDR 372,488 for two appetizers, one main course, two desserts and three beverages. 


The taste itself isn't comparable to genuine Italian cuisine since it is kinda like a fusion between Italian and Korean. However, since the name of the restaurant IS Mad for GARLIC, I think it should at least have a garlic taste to most of their dishes. The garlic taste shouldn't be reduced or hidden with other ingredients.


Summary
In the end, I like the interior and atmosphere of the restaurant, but not the food. I just thought that if you already said what you're signature dishes are, then at the very least season them well with salt and pepper. 


I don't think I will be coming back to dine here on my own. Probably if someone had their birthday here, then I would come just for the sake of the person's birthday. If not, then I won't be dining here again. 

Beauty Tips and Tricks

Skin Care Basic : Acne and Its Types (part 1)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hi everyone! Today, I'm going to discuss about a certain culprit found on the face that has decreased the self esteem of almost everyone who has had it, ACNE. I feel that I have been lacking posts about skin care and the basics, so here you go.

What is Acne?
Take from Wikipedia, acne is defined as a follicular eruption that looks like papules and pustules usually found on the face. It has a rounded, red and inflamed appearance, which we all are familiar with. 

Actually, acne is used to define the appearance of those papules and pustules. Acne itself has many different types. One of the most commonly seen type of acne is acne vulgaris. 

Acne Vulgaris is defined as a skin disease that has the characteristics of :
  • Seborrhea (scaly red skin)
  • comedones (blackheads and whiteheads)
  • papules (those yellow looking mountain on your face that looks angry and ready to explode)
  • nodules
  • scarring (from the previous papuples T^T)
Now, if you have one or more of those symptoms, you might have acne vulgaris. However, there is no need to worry because there are treatments to help diminish those annoying, nasty little critters. The next step is to find out what type of acne are you currently having. 


Types of Acne
The first type of acne acne vulgaris and it is further divided into mild to moderate acne vulgaris and severe acne vulgaris. 


Mild to Moderate Acne Vulgaris
This type of acne is the ones that firstly develop when the pores are clogged. The types are :


Whiteheads

Source: Acne org

This is a result of a blocked or clogged pore, trapping sebum and bacteria under the skin surface. It looks like a small spot with a whitish liquid under the skin, just like the picture below.
Source : Acne org
Blackheads
By now, this is the most common type of acne that people know. Pore strips are often used to get the blackheads out or a trip to the esthetician office for a blackhead extraction. 

Blackheads resulted from a partially blocked pore, causing the sebum and bacteria to slowly drain to the skin's surface, just like the picture below.

It's called a blackhead because the color is black, obviously. That black color is due to the reaction of the skin's pigment with the oxygen in the air. The process of oxidation turns it black, not because it's dirty. So, don't wash your face more than twice a day just because there are blackheads on your nose. It won't be gone with washing, it needs to be extracted. 

Papules
 This type or 'stage' of acne is when you notice that it seems more red than it was usual. It is an inflammatory acne because the follicular wall broke and caused inflammation. When the follicular wall broke, the insides (sebum and bacteria) went out, causing white blood cells to come to that area to kill any foreign objects in the body.

It will appear as a red spot that has no core or yellow center. 

Pustules
This is a later stage of the papule and happens as the white blood cell ascends to the skin surface. 


This appearance is what people know as pimple or zit. It looks red on the outer edges and has a yellow center filled with bacteria, sebum and white blood cells.


Severe Acne Vulgaris
The characteristics of this stage are the presence of nodules and cysts.


Nodules
This type of acne is result of a break in the bottom follicular wall that leads to total collapse of the insides. 


This reaction causes an inflamed bump on the skin that is painful when touched. 


Cysts
This is caused severe inflammatory reaction can result in very large pus filled lesions.
This type of acne can be very painful because of the accumulation of pus underneath the skin trying to push out. It appears as a reddish spot that has a yellow center. 


This is the end of the first chapter because I don't want this to be a super duper long post. People will get bored reading halfway. So, do comment below if you want more skin care basic series