Celina, based in Melbourne Australia is an aspiring artist. With a passion for expressing herself through makeup, beauty, fashion, cosplay & photography, she believes in living life as creatively as possible.
Check out of my gaming blog called SuzakuNU, outside of beauty and cosplay, I live and breathe IT and gaming :)
I’m going to say what you all know was coming, it’s no surprise.
Beauty shopping in Hong Kong is better than Beauty shopping in Australia times a million plus one.
Okay, before anyone jumps out at me, let me at least present to you my little list of pros and cons, because everyone finds lists easier to read and they make my subjective thoughts seem factual
Why Hong Kong is better
Abundance of variety, so many international brands not available in Australia are here!
Asian cosmetic brands, okay I cheated as this is technically the same as the point above, asian cosmetics is so awesome it deserved it’s own bullet point.
Samples, and not just little packets, but real solid samples. Case in point, I purchased 5 MAC eye shadows from the new MAC Me Over collection, and received a free Size to Go bottle of Fix+ spray. It would be a cold day in hell when the MAC counters in Australia not only greet you with a smile (cheap shot) but offer sizable samples.
Prices, I know Hong Kong doesn’t have tax, and really whilst the prices here are a lot better than Australia, they are still not as epic as the prices in America. Still, the point is they are a TON better than Australia. Let’s use another MAC example, in Australia one eyeshadow is $33AU, in Hong Kong it’s $140HK (~$17AU) and in USA it’s $15US (~$14AU). In what universe did the Aussie retailers think we were stupid enough to pay double the price for the same cosmetics we can purchase online / overseas? The sheer joy of being able to head downstairs at lunch and BUY stuff knowing I’m paying a reasonable price is a luxury I’ve never experienced in Australia.
And people wonder why the offline retail market in Australia is dying, these points mentioned above pretty much apply to all retail areas.
Okay, but let’s be fair. Australia is my motherland, so I’ll be reasonable and give you the pros of Beauty shopping in Australia.
Why Australia is better
Australian brands, which admittedly are pretty awesome, my favourites being Face of Australia, Australis and Savvy by DB. When I was asked to recommend liquid liner to a friend here, it hit me that my favourite actually comes from Face of Australia, but it was a product my friend couldn’t physically buy / try
Yeah, the difference is clear. If you’re an Aussie planning a trip overseas, be prepared for a whole new level of shopping. It’s pretty darn awesome.
I’ve never in my life vlogged before, and whilst my readers here are well aware of why I haven’t been creating new videos for Book of Fables every week, I suspect there are a couple of viewers who watch me exclusively on YouTube who have no idea why I stopped posting videos, so I thought it was high time I bite the bullet, got over my fear of vlogging (esp in public with people staring… cause people were -_-;) and vlog the reason
Hope you enjoy and don’t make fun too much of my inability to hold a camera straight for too long
I bet those of you who frequent Asia already know the answer to this, but let’s carry on anyways. Now I don’t wear bronzer everyday, I actually reserve it for photo shoots or when filming a Book of Fables. That day has come, I am being a good Youtuber / Blogger and am going to try, come hell or high waters, to shoot a video for you guys this weekend.
But, the look I’m going for calls for some bronzer, and since as you know I didn’t bring any, I decided to head downstairs and see if I could get some.
I honestly didn’t anticipate how difficult a task this would be. Apparently people in Asia dislike being tanned! *shock of the century* Yes, sarcasm at it’s best
Seriously, I asked at about 8-10 different counters, in fact that lady serving the Shiseido counter at TST’s Galleria literally gave me the most bewildered look, “Bron…zer? O_o!?!?!” she replied.
The lady at the Dior counter actually asked me what it does, the minute I said to sculpt your face or give you a tan, she shook her head furiously and replied, “Oh! NO NO NO!”. Really? Is being tanned that bad? *le sigh*
Eventually the lovely ladies at the Giorgio Armani counter (whom now recognise me as that ABC girl who keeps playing at our counter) said probably MAC would be the only place to sell it. Though I suspect I’d find some at the Benefit and Bobbi Brown counters too if MAC disappointed.
But MAC rarely does… well, they don’t disappoint when it comes to variety, the quality is a whole other issue. MAC in Hong Kong is now at the tail end of the Semi Precious collection, and it really was no surprise that the “darkest” blush was the only one left. Perfect! After swatching it at the counter, it really does give a beautiful glowly bronzed shade, perfect for sculpting and adding a bit of warmth to my complexion.
So, Australia! Fear not, I know most of you are truly annoyed at the lack of variety we get in both clothes and makeup, not to mention the low SPF and total absence of whitening goods, but at least we have an abundance of bronzer?
You can’t blame a girl for attempting to put a positive spin on things.
Another cute palette by L.A Colors, this time with very pastel like shades, great for spring. In my head, I always imagine younger girls appreciating these sorts of shades because it’s a nice way to ease into makeup since these pastel shades are less heavy and very wearable.
We’re on to week 4 now! Actually, half way through week 4. Next week will be my last week in Hong Kong, time has really flown by! I’m actually kinda sad to go because I’ve made some really great friends here, not to mention my Aussie co-workers who will remain here through to next year. As it turns out this was a really great experience and one I’m completely grateful to have been given, will be sad to leave, but similarly happy to go home and see my friends and family again
So without further ado, let’s get on to the photos!
Din Tai Fung’s 1 star Michelin, been here twice now and I’m going to blame it on the fact that I am not a foodie. The dumplings were good, really delicious, but I’m not really the sort of person who will insist you MUST try this food when you visit Hong Kong. Food is food.
I even got red bean dumplings
These are totally Christian Louboutin shoes in an official store, I ninja-ed the photo :3 Srsly? Who would buy a googly eyed shoe!? Not to mention pay close to $1k AU for it X_x;
Shopping in Mongkok, so extremely humid and crowded. People in Hong Kong constantly bump into you, brush against you, try to jump in front of you etc etc generally from an Aussie born perspective, they are rude. X_x; And even now after so long, I still am not used to it and constantly get left feeling frustrated! Keep in mind they aren’t intentionally being rude, it’s just the culture.
But if you’ve visited China (I did a while back) they are soooooooooooo much worse (the stories I could tell you!), so Hong Kong is a dream in comparison.
Mascots make rude people more tolerable tho!
Crazy long escalator *_* Still not world’s largest tho, I’m hoping to see that next weekend!
Menu to my favourite little eatery whose name I don’t know (but I know how to get there, priorities people!), but I go here so often because it’s cheap, good food and their menu has pictures.
Srsly, Asia has the best shower caps. The ones in Australia are rubbish! I bought out the supplies at two Sasas, they are only $1AU a pack
Posting this late at night (scheduling for Australian morning) so time for me to hit the hay! Good night!
Time for another asian cosmetics review, this time I’ve been using Za Cosmetics’ True White Two-Way Foundation. It’s essentially a powder foundation that contains SPF 20 and is designed to improve skin condition, whiten and all the typical good stuff most asian cosmetics promote. It has a very light rose scent, reminds me of Anna Sui’s scent but much more subtle.
The way most powder compacts come (and even some blushes) in asia is quite different to Australia, the powders are usually refillable and so always come seperate to the actual compact as you can see here.
So yes, some assembly required. Which I think is kinda of awesome and cost effective! Means I can save money and not have to buy the entire compact again, at least that’s the impression I get *pawn to marketing*.
The packaging is very cute, I love the reflective surface, though it does tend to pick up finger prints pretty easily and you can’t use it as a mirror, it makes your face look distorted… That aside, the product has left me in two minds.
As you can see below, the coverage is very good! Generally my skin doesn’t have any major issues (aka I don’t break out much), most foundations I use easily cover my freckles and this foundation is no different. I used a powder brush to apply instead, I find using the foam piece packs on waaay too much product and all I want is a very light dusting.
I consider the foundation to be medium coverage, but potentially quite cakey at the same time. Apply too much and up close you can see clearly see you are wearing foundation. (one of the reasons I typically use liquid foundations which “sinks” into my skin). I will admit that it works great when my skin is oily, it mattifies my face, but I also do have a few dry patches and unfortunately it really makes those patches noticable. Hence the two minds. I used it for one week straight, then switched back to my default liquid, but find myself using it still in the mornings when I’m running late for work :3
I’d recommend this product to people with oily skin types, if you’ve got dry skin, skip it all together. I’m half tempted to say it seems to work better for asian skin tones (yellow), but given mine is neutral and it still seems okay for me I might retract that statement…
The foundation comes in three shades, mine is the lightest one available. I’ll most likely continue using the foundation now and then, but I won’t be repurchasing it. The compact itself was around $100-120HK (~$12.50-$15AU) and the foundation refill is around $90HK (~$11.25AU) and I purchased it from Sasa.
I ordered this online a little while ago, I’m always keen to try new cosmetics and I have to admit their clean minimalist website (hi that’s totally my style) really drew me in, so I decided to order one of their cream eye shadows.
I was unfortunately pretty disappointed, I followed the instructions exactly too. In the morning I made sure to apply just the tiniest amount on my lids, then went to make myself some breakfast, came back to apply my mascara only to find my eye shadow had already creased.
The website says you can just re-blend it again with your finger, but I don’t think this should be expected of any product. This happened within 5 minutes, I don’t think anyone could be bothered re-blending out their eye shadow every 5 minutes.
As an eye primer it lasted another 3-4 hrs before creasing, which isn’t too bad but it did leave me disappointed given most people are busy during their working day and don’t have time to constantly be re-touching their makeup.
The website claims this particular product has moisturising benefits to it and can double as an eye cream, I wouldn’t use this product as a replacement to your eye cream, way too shimmery to be applied under your eyes etc.
However I am now using this to add a touch of shimmer to the apples of my cheeks over my blush, so at least my $28US won’t go to waste
Jill Stuart is one of those asian cosmetic brands most of my friends in the blogging world seem to rave on about! So of course I had to see what all the fuss was about~ Check out the packaging! Incredibly cute, girly, soft and pink
Today I wanted to show you guys some of the polish I purchased, I didn’t bring any polish with me to Hong Kong so as soon as I arrived I went looking for a good base coat and top coat.
The colour I’m showing you today is called Sweet Star, a shimmery dusty soft pink shade that applies very sheer with two coats. Very work friendly!
Sad to say whilst the base coat is nice (it mattifies your nail), the top coat I found to be disappointing. It’s fantastic once dried, no chipping for close to a week, but it takes forever and a day to dry which thanks to my impatience left me with a lot of dents.
I will say however that the colour range is limited from sheer nudes, pinks, soft shimmers with very few exceptions. Don’t expect something like a bright green. All the colours on offer are what you would expect a true princess to wear Regal and very wearable with lots of shimmer
All in all, I love the packaging, I’m a real sucker for that. I’ll be sure to pick up a few more colours before I leave
This is my current go to primer, I’ve tried a couple of different primers, but I feel determined to finish this tube that just doesn’t seem to want to be finished!
The photo wasn’t very good at capturing it, but the formula is white with the tiniest hint of micro shimmer infused through it. However once applied to your skin, you wouldn’t notice it at all. It certainly leaves my skin feeling very smooth, which makes it a perfect base for my foundation.
And surprisingly I do notice my foundation / blush lasting quite a bit longer. Before I discovered face primers, after 4-5 hrs of wearing makeup, I could see my natural imperfections coming through, such as freckles etc. However with primer, even after 8+ hrs of wear, my foundation is still providing amazing coverage!
So I definitely believe in face primers, they are perfect for long photo shoots and conventions! But they may feel a bit heavy / greasy if you want to use them as part of your everyday routine, which I do not!
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