Here is another review for another one of the items I picked up in my Taipei haul: Dolly 3-Step Eyes by Etude House. I walked into Etude House that day planning to buy eyeliner and lip tint, but when I saw this palette, I knew I wouldn't be able to leave the store without it.

Most of my eyeshadows are of nude shades, and I've been wanting to bring more variety into my collection. When I saw this palette, I knew it would be perfect. I personally love bright and bold colors, so it's no wonder that this managed to catch my eye! From L-R: a subtle peach shadow with a satin finish, a shimmery hot pink, and a deep burgundy with a matte finish.

The color-payout is amazing! How you see it in the palette is how it shows up on your skin! I've had my fair share of eyeshadows that look pretty in the palette but does not look good when applied. I was pretty skeptic about the pink shade, at first. I honestly didn't think it would even show properly once applied but whoa. Was I proven wrong. Even without a base shadow or primer, the pigmentation is still solid. Unlike with most other coloured eyeshadows I've tried, there wasn't much need to build it up.

 That being said, the fallout is pretty bad, especially from the middle shadow. I've taken to applying eyeshadow before I apply my base whenever I use this particular palette. Still, the shadow is pretty resilient and when paired with primer, lasts through the day with minimal fading! 

I am very happy with this palette and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to try something bright and bold for a change!

The first time I heard of Taiyou no Tomato was during my time as an exchange student in Tokyo. One of my professors recommended the place as it was near the university, and that it was the one place to try Tomato Cheese Ramen. I was pretty skeptical at first, because psh, Tomato Cheese Ramen? The tomato part, I can still comprehend, but the cheese? Not so much. Still, I ended up trying it out and when I did, I knew it was going to be one of those things I would surely miss once I left Tokyo.

As luck would have it, a branch recently opened in Taipei, right beside Taipei Main Station. I was ecstatic when I came across the place and dragged my dad along with me. There are quite a lot of other choices in the menu, but of course we ended up getting the signature Tomato Cheese Ramen. Though it may seem like buying an extremely soupy bowl of spaghetti, all it takes is one sip of the broth to find that it is anything but. The broth is rich, hearty, and wonderfully flavored. The savory, yet slightly tart flavor of tomatoes is brought out to its best, and complemented well by the generous helping of cheese. The grilled chicken also works really well with the broth, and I thought, made a much better choice than if they added pork.

They don't skimp on the servings too, and I rarely ever manage to finish one entire bowl by myself. In fact, whenever I know that I'm going to end up eating at Taiyou no Tomato, I make sure to work up an appetite. But on the off-chance I end up finishing all the noodles and am still a bit hungry, I order a bowl of risotto to which I add the leftover broth.  Trust me, you wouldn't want to let a single drop of that soup go to waste.

There are some side dishes available, but I often end up opting for the chicken karaage and the kimchi. Karaage for the simple reason that it is just impossible to pass up the chance to have really good fried chicken. The Karaage from Taiyou no Tomato is always perfectly seasoned and cooked. Nice and juicy – none of that overcooked, dry chicken. And Kimchi because ever since I've acquired the taste for it, it seems to round out a meal well.

More than just an amazing foodie experience, trying this out again brought a hint of nostalgia and fond memories from one of the best experiences in my life.
Hello everyone! I'm back with another make-up post! My Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream was running out, so I bought the UV White CC Essence by 1028 Visual therapy during my stay in Taipei. The Moisture Surge CC Cream was really pricey, so I thought to buy a cheaper alternative.

I ended up choosing the UV White CC Essence from 1028 Visual Therapy. Not only is it reasonably priced (usually at 420NTD), but it was on sale, too! Also, I own two other 1028 products: the Macaron Eyes Palette  and the Ultimate Oil Control Powder and neither have disappointed me so far. 

The CC Cream comes in only two shades: Light Beige and Natural Beige. I bought the Natural Beige one, though the difference in the shades aren't much. The Light Beige shade still matches my skin tone pretty well.

For a CC Cream, it certainly does its job. I've only used it twice so far, and though the coverage is light, it does well at concealing redness on the face– almost as good as my Clinique one. The consistency of the cream is pretty light, a tad bit more runny and smoother than my Clinique one. Which is probably the secret to my favorite thing about this CC Cream: I can't feel it. I usually opt out of using a base because I can literally feel it sitting on my face, no matter how light I apply it. However, after applying this CC Cream, it doesn't feel like anything at all. Even when I touch my face, I can only feel my skin getting a bit more smoother. Just like how it feels when its freshly washed. The only downside to this is that because I feel like I've applied nothing to my face, I end up using more of the CC cream because I feel like I haven't put on enough. 

It is also important to say that though I am used to applying my base with a sponge or a brush for an even finish, I found that the 1028 Visual Therapy UV CC Essence applies flawlessly even with just my fingers! 

All in all, I am looking forward to incorporating this into my usual make-up routine. :)

Until next time! 

If there's one thing that I know the Taiwanese do right, it's the food. Taipei has been dubbed by CNN as the "Gluttony City" and it's no wonder why: everywhere you go, there is always something good to eat. From street food to high-end restaurants – Taipei is a foodie's heaven. One of the foods that I always end up looking for during my visits is the beef noodles.

Of course, no visit to Taipei will be complete without trying Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Taiwan is well-known for beef noodles. In fact, there is even an annual Beef Noodle Festival held in Taipei. That being said, it isn't difficult at all to find a good noodle place in Taipei. After my favorite noodle house practically disappeared around two years ago, I think I've finally found a new favorite: Mazendo.

My dad and I tried out this restaurant at a whim, and both of us ordered their Red Roaster Beef Brisket Noodle Soup. I was intrigued by the chunks of tomato in the broth because it's not a usual ingredient in the beef noodle soup I've had before but a quick taste of the broth had me hooked. It's everything one would expect from Taiwanese beef noodle soup– savory, hearty. But this particular broth had an unexpectedly refreshing flavor to it, one I think I could attribute to the tomato. The noodles themselves were pretty standard– soft and not too chewy and the beef brisket was as tender and flavorful as one would expect from a good beef noodle soup!

We also had side-dishes, one of which was stir-friend cabbage. It was okay, a tad bit salty but at 70NTD it costs more than what it's worth. (That's only 20NTD less than my favorite biàndang!)

We also had an order of potstickers which I was really happy about! I'm not a big fan of potstickers because the texture doesn't really sit well with me, but this one was more than alright. Though the wrapper was a tad bit too thick for me, it had just the right chewiness. The filling was also delicious, juicy, tender, and not at all dry like most of the potstickers I've had before!

It's still a wonder why we ended up eating at this place– as it is located quite near my favorite American-style restaurant in Taipei, but it just goes to show that one should give new things a chance!

Until next time!

It was sale season while I was in Taipei and being the weak, weak person that I am, I couldn't resist. So here is my lovely assistant, Onew, to show you my Taipei Make-Up Haul!

1. Rosy Tint Lips #4

I've also had my eye on this for quite some time, because the color was exactly the shade I wanted for my lips, and it's easy to manipulate and use for gradient lips! 

2. Play 101 Pencil #1

This eyeliner has long been in my wishlist, but I've only decided to get it now! This was recommended to me by my Jagiya, Alex. According to her it was very resilient. After swatching it for a couple of times and trying rub it off and failing, I was sold. It applies really smoothly too! 

3. Dolly 3-Step Eyes #3

Okay, I didn't really plan on buying this, but when I saw the color and tried it out on my skin, I knew I couldn't just not get it! (And it was on sale too!) All you have to know for now is that the shades are to die for because I'm going to do a review on this real soon! 

1. Anna Sui Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Black

This was the first ever liquid liner pen I had, and I've yet to try another one that works for me as well as this one did. It's easy to apply and really gives clean, bold lines. I've never experienced any smudging and smearing with it, even during that one time I was caught in the rain while wearing it!

2. Anna Sui Eyelash Curler

Of all the eyelash curlers I've tried (Shu Uemura, Koji, ELF, Fanny Serrano), the Anna Sui one has been the only eyelash curler to really curl my lashes and not leave my eyelids in pain. It also has a really sturdy feel to it, and the pad is more gentle than even my Shu Uemura curler.

3.  1028 Visual Therapy UV White CC Cream in Natural Beige

My Clinique CC Cream is nearly running out, and I wanted to try a cheaper alternative. My skin is crazy sensitive and I swatched this sample on my neck or jaw a couple of times before deciding to buy it. It's really light on the skin and I hope to do a review soon!

Until next time! 

Hi everyone! It's been quite a while since my last post, but I'm back with another make-up post! I'm back in Taipei right now, so I thought it would be prudent to share what cosmetics I usually bring with me when I'm going to be out of the country for a certain period of time. Of course, it's a given that I'll be bringing my everyday make-up bag which I made a post about here. But if I'm going to be away from home for more than a couple of days, I like having the items that are almost always part of my usual make-up routine.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream in Natural Fair

This is my go-to base for everyday. I'm not a fan of foundation much because I find it to be too heavy on the skin. Before I discovered the wonders of CC Cream, I would use BB Cream from Etude house, but even then it would be too heavy on my skin and caused me to break out a couple of times. Admittedly, my skin is quite clear and doesn't need much coverage so I decided to give CC Cream a try. And from then on, it was love! <3 I love this one from Clinique. It provides light to medium coverage and gives my skin that dewy appearance. It's really easy to apply, the formula being neither too thick or too runny and doesn't streak no matter what I use to apply it with.

Guerlain Meteorites Blanc De Perle

My finishing powder of choice! A lot of people consider this a holy grail item, and honestly, I can see why. It leaves a really nice, smooth yet natural finish on the skin with really fine shimmer that makes your skin glow. Some people are bothered by the shimmer, but personally, I love it. I would bring it around with me everyday if I could, but movement tends to make the pearls break up and crumble and the container is a bit bulky, leaving me no choice but apply it at home before I leave and leave it at home. I'm thinking of finding a nice compact where I can place a couple of pearls in to make it a bit more portable.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

This one holds a special place in my heart as it is the first eyeshadow palette that I ever picked out for myself! (Most of my cosmetics are gifts, you see.) You can even somewhat see how beaten up this particular palette is. The wide range of neutrals in both shimmer and matte make it perfect for everyday use or even special occasions.  I really love the matte shadows as they are really buttery and apply perfectly. The shimmer shadows aren't really easy to pack on the lid and tend to fall out, but this is easily remedied by using an eyeshadow primer.

Lancôme Colour Focus Eye Colour Quad in 4Romance

This is a very new addition to my collection – a gift I received from my mother recently. I've only used it twice before, and the pigmentation isn't at all that great and it takes quite a while to build up the color but the shadows are really smooth and feel very light on the skin. Despite the troubles I have with applying it, I brought it along anyway because I love how I can make a subtle smokey eye with it.

Maybelline Colorshow Crayon Kohl in Blue

I am a big fan of colored eyeliner and blue just happens to be my favorite! I don't use it everyday, but there are times when I'm too lazy to put on eyeshadow and I just apply a line of blue liner for a pop of color. Minimal effort, but still gives off the impression that I actually tried to make myself look presentable.

Real Techniques Starter Set and Silicone Eyeliner Brush

It comes with a carrying case! Isn't that reason enough to bring it around? Kidding aside, I put the most effort into applying eyeshadow when I'm doing my make-up, so having this set is a must for me.

From L-R
1. Silicone Eyeliner Brush
2. Accent Brush
3.  Fine Liner Brush
4. Base Shadow Brush
5. Deluxe Crease Brush
The set also came with an Eyebrow brush but I have long since given it to my mom because I don't do my eyebrows. 

The Silicone Eyeliner Brush is sold separately. Though the set comes with an eyeliner brush, I prefer the silicone one when applying gel or liquid liner because it allows for more accuracy and cleaner lines. Also, I find the Fine Liner brush to be a bit too tough and scratchy and is prone to irritating my lids. The other brushes are fantastic though. They apply eyeshadow really well and are really soft.

Bare Minerals Full Flawless Face and Flawless Face Brushes

These two brushes are extremely soft, pick up products really well, and buffs them on the skin wonderfully! I use the Full Flawless Face Brush to apply my Guerlain Meteorites. I've read that not all brushes can pick up the powders from the Meteorites well, but I've never had such a problem with this brush! I also use it sometimes to sweep away eyeshadow fall-out. I use the Flawless Face Brush with my Estee Blush (which I wrote about here). It does wonders at buffing the blush onto my skin! I've mentioned before that the Estee Blush took a while for the pigment to build up, but I've had more success with using this brush than any other brush I tried applying it with before.

Too Cool for School Milky Tint in Red

I always bring around the Milky Tint in Pink and use it more often but there are those times when I feel a bit more daring than usual. During these times, I feel like using this lip tint for a more in-your-face color on my lips. Here's a comparison photo:
Pink on the left. Red on the right.

 I rarely use it by itself– I usually use it with the Pink Tint for gradient lips. (Which I haven't learned to apply properly yet. Boo hoo.)

I would have added my Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner, but it has dried up and become unwieldy so I opted to leave it back home.

And there you have it! A run-down of my travel must-haves! Until next time! :)

I recently started watching this K-Drama, My Lovely Girl, because I heard that Krystal from f(x) and L from Infinite are going to be in the main cast! I loved Krystal during her stint as Lee Bona from The Heirs, and eventually ended up gritting my teeth through the cringe-worthy moments of Kim Tan and Cha Eunsang just to catch the few scenes with Lee Bona  (with Yoon Chanyoung, played by CNBlue's Kang Minhyuk, if I'm lucky.) I was pretty much ecstatic after hearing that she was going to have the leading role– and after learning that L was to be one of her love interests, I was pretty much sold.

The cast was primarily what drew me into watching this drama, as most of the Korean Dramas I've watched end up with similar themes and plot devices. Story-wise, I wasn't expecting much from the drama. There will always be the rich tycoon/heir/CEO leading man, the poor girl who needs money badly, and the never-ending love triangles. I'll say it early as now: this drama has all of them. The last one in liberal amounts.

But what kept me watching after the cheesy, fanfiction-esque first two episodes were the characters. They're all endearing and very different from the characters in the other dramas I watched. Hearing Krystal sing every now and then is an added bonus too.

(Forgive me for the crappy screencaps.)

Krystal plays Yoon Sena, an aspiring composer who struggles to make ends meet and at some points ends up getting chased around by loan sharks. I love how her personality is a mix between sassy, sweet, bubbly, and independent. She's motivated– she knows what she wants and what she should do to get there. But what makes her so different is that she knows when to accept help, and be grateful for it. (How many instances in dramas have there been in which the lead female staunchly refuses help and ends up throwing everything into chaos?)

Same, Haeyoon. Same.

Rain's role as Lee Hyunwook surprised me the most. I thought he was just going to end up as the brooding, debonair, broken-hearted lead who declares that he will never love again – which he is, but watching through the first few episodes, I ended up realizing that he was just one giant dork who has a bit of a complex when it comes to his dog, Dalbong, and tries so very hard to befriend Sena when he manages to get her fired from her job. His character gives a very child-like feel at times. It's a refreshing change from the typical, overly-aggressive, leading man who suddenly decides that hey, I want this girl and I'm going to be obnoxious about it. His relationship with Sena develops gradually, actually going through the friendship phase first.

This is supposed to be sweet, but I don't see it. 

Honestly though, I can't quite see the romantic relationship between the two blooming. It may just be me being a bit creeped out by the fact that Rain is, at least, 12 years older than Krystal– but their dynamic leans toward that older brother-younger sister side. Their banter, conversations– even Hyunwook supposedly being "jealous" just seems like him being an overprotective older brother to Sena. It also doesn't help that Sena refers to Hyunwook as "ahjussi" half the time. Or this is just me hoping that there will be a huge plot twist and Sena ends up with Shiwoo, a member of an idol group played by Infinite's L.

Cue me screaming at my laptop screen. 

I know I'm setting myself up for heartbreak, because the second guy never gets the girl but their chemistry is just amazing! Shiwoo is genuine, earnest character, comes off as a bit spoiled and shameless, and Sena won't take any of his crap, but they end up as friends. I'll stop here before I go on a rant about why is it that the second guy never gets the girl they go together so much better ugh.

Why yes, this is me screaming again. Just a little more. Can I push one of them, please?

Shipping aside, the drama also provides a peek into what Korean entertainment companies are like behind the scenes: what being a trainee is like, what happens during a scandal, and so on. For people who enjoy K-Pop like me, it's worth looking into. 

My only regret about watching this drama is that I started watching before it was complete. Waiting for the next episode to come out next week is going to be such a long while.

Bonus screencap of one of the most important things I learned in my Theology 131: Marriage, Family Life And Human Sexuality class:

Hello everyone! I'm back with another nail lacquer review of sorts. Nail lacquer is my first love when it comes to cosmetics, so I was really pleased at finding this gem among my collection. It's Rosa Rosa from Estée Lauder.

I've been ignoring this bottle for at least two years, and it's just been sitting untouched in my nail lacquer drawer. Since I wanted to wear a pink dress for my friend's 18th birthday party, I wanted to find a good pink shade for my nails and this was the only I hadn't tried yet. And I am really happy that I did!
No topcoat.

It was really easy to apply – the consistency was neither too thick nor too runny. Almost buttery, really. The brush was flat, so I thought it would be problematic to apply the lacquer with it but I worried for nothing as it applied the lacquer so smoothly. All it took was two swipes per nail, and one coat was done. 

Two coats. No topcoat. 

One coat of the lacquer provided a pretty solid color, but it was still a bit translucent and I could still see the white tips of my nails so I settled for two coats. The lacquer alone wasn't glossy at all, so I recommend that you use a top coat with it.

With Seche Vite Top Coat.

The color is a cheerful, berry pink – not really what I expected from a shade named 'Rosa Rosa'. Still, I ended up loving how it looks despite the fact that when it comes to nail lacquer, I usually lean more towards the blues. It seems like a perfect color to wear during the summer months, but I don't think I can wait that long if I'm to use it again– and it's definitely a shade I would use over and over again. (Which is saying something because I get tired of my nail color quickly. I only keep a color on for a week-and-a-half tops.)  It's a shame that I only have a 5ml bottle of it. :( 

With Seche Vite Top Coat.

This has definitely been one of the best lacquers I've ever applied on myself. The color, the consistency, the ease of application... I'd definitely 10/10 recommend this.

My friend, Kleo, just turned 18! She had her debut last September 27, 2014 at the Vivere Hotel in Muntinlupa. Of course, there was no way I wouldn't attend even if my friends and I had difficulties getting a ride. Who am I to pass up a chance to see my friend all dolled up and dressed in a gown? Aside from that, it was also a chance to meet up and have fun with some friends I haven't met in a while so here I am with another photo post! TL;DR: Less rambling, more images.

The party was held in the Ballroom of the Vivere hotel. The place was absolutely beautiful – most especially the fixtures on the ceiling. The walls of the ballroom itself were covered with mirrors so it gave one the feeling of being in an enchanted place. The lighting only added to that "magical" atmosphere, but it did make it a bit difficult for me to get decent photos.

Alex and Marty posing with the Kleo standee by the entrance.

The party was fun, and everything seemed so well prepared. There were video messages from family and friends who couldn't make it, videos of Kleo at a photoshoot, and slideshows with photos of her growing up.

Tari using Marty as a desk while she writes a dedication for the debutante.

My friend, Alex, and I on the "hotseat".

I found her version of the 18 Candles particularly interesting because it was so different from what the 18 Candles traditionally are supposed to be. For the 18 Candles, the assigned guests were grouped by how they were related to Kleo, and made to sit with her onstage while they answered questions Kleo chose for them. My friend, Alex, and I sorta represented our group of friends,, and were told to answer the question "If Kleo were a cosmetic, what would she be?" We ended up answering that she was an anti-aging serum because of her youthful, child-like looks.

A ferris wheel with candy. All parties should have one.

There was also a candy bar filled with marshmallows, gummy worms, chocolate and more! Needless to say, quite a lot of the guests kept coming back for more.

The party lasted well into the night with people on the dance floor, and of course the debutante took centre stage. She looked so happy that night so I'm sure that it was truly a memorable day for her. Happy Birthday, dear baby girl!

Cheers for Kleo! 

Kleo and the Pedestrians.

"Tingin sa itaas!" Some people didn't get the memo.

Trying to go for a Teleserye concept. 

Taray pose with girls.

The One Direction pose is a tradtion. 

Kleo with her blockmates. 

"Let's take a photo while we're still fresh!" family photo on-stage.

A trolley packed with gifts. How about that? 

The struggle to take a family selca is always real. 

But the love in those smiling faces is more real. <3 //cheese