Reviews of some of my Japanese beauty and make up buys !
There are sooo many products to choose from in Japanese drugstores. I can really spend 2 hours there combing every single row of shelves. So i went to check Naver.com (Korean’s version of google) to search for some of the MUST BUY make up or skin care items.

COW Brand Mutenka Non-Additive Face Wash Foam 

One thing i like about this wash foam is that it is not drying because it contains ceramides. I uses this foam cleanser in the morning to wash off the overnight sleeping mask.

 

 

Bifesta Cleansing Water

I really love Japanese make up remover. To be honest , i haven’t been impressed by any Korean make up removers at the moment except the gel ones from Nature Republic. Maybe the Japanese puts on thicker make up and their cleansers are more “powerful” ?

I have been using BIORE Jelly Make Up Remover since 2007 ! Everytime i go JB , i will buy alot back from their Watsons because it is sooo much cheaper in JB.

And i only started Biore Cleansing Water since 2015.  So this time , i decided to try Bifesta.

 

No space for bottles of Biore Jelly Make Up Remover in my luggage so i bought the refill packs instead. It is lighter and easier to pack.

 

Honeyce Hair Treatment.

Alot of Korean beauty websites recommended this MUST BUY item when you visit the Japanese drugstores. So i decided to buy 1 bottle and 1 refill pack. I have not opened it yet and should be using it next week after finishing my current hair treatment.

It is supposedly good for those with frizzy and dry hair.

 

 

My favourite Japanese make up brand – Cezanne. Sadly it is not available in Singapore.

I got to know about this brand when i visited Taiwan last year. I bought the lipsticks and eye shadows from the Watsons store in Ximending. I am currently using number 207 and just bought a new colour 206. I love this brand’s lipstick because it is very moisturizing and cheap (580 yen). I find it better than Canmake. Canmake colours are more cherry but Cezanne’s colours are more feminine. You can find this in Taiwan too.

 

I like their girly packaging ! So prettyyy !

 

Coffret D’or Smile Up Cheek Blusher in No 4

The packaging and rose shape is too pretty and i “bu she de” to use it !

  

 

 

One thing i don’t like about the packaging is that it is super bulky !

 

But the colours are nice. Shall review further after using it this week !

 

 

Cezanne Eye Shadow.

I prefer Cezanne’s eyeshadow because they are less shimmery as compared to Canmake’s

It is slightly matte.

Colour are sooo pretty ! I think the pigments are similar to Korean brand eye shadows because they are pretty natural and you need to layer alot ot make it more obvious.

 

 

That is all bout J-beauty. I bought some masks and skincare and shall review in separate posts because i have yet to start using them !

 

Now it is K-beauty !

I used up my bb cushions pretty fast ..about 1 cushion every 1 or 1.5 months. While i was looking into my BB cushion box where i keep stock my supply , i found this Leaders Insolution BB cushion. My MIL bought for me last October.

It is the Leaders InSolution Water Potent BB Cushion.

True to its name , it is really water potent. It gives a dewy finish and doesn’t require alot of touch up. The coverage is just nice. Not too sheer and not too thick. I realized that moisturizing cushions tend to have sheer coverage but this one fits in perfect. I am so IN LOVE WITH THIS !

Leaders Insolution is a Korean Cosmetic-Medical Brand made & tested by dermatologists of Leaders Dermatology Clinic which is comprised of Seoul National University Alumni.

 

If you are heading to Korea, this is a must buy !

Honesi Exofila Moisturizing Facial Cream.

Honesi products are soo popular. I love this facial cream because it really moisturizes my face very well !

 

They have 2 kinds of cream. 1 is slightly thicker and more oily and 1 is the one i am using below which is the gel version.

I am using the gel version.

 

The gel cream is now my holy grail.

I got the one below from a Korean beauty product distributor in Singapore and give it to my client who just got into an accident few months back and there are some abrasions on his face and hands. This one is slightly thicker in texture.

This cream was sold out in Korea within 2 weeks after its release.It is formulated to enhance skin regeneration to effectively improve acne scar and remove freckles. You can use it to improve scars too.

It is also another cosmetic medical brand popular in Korea. Reviews are all positive for their creams !

These 2 new K-beauty buys are the MUST TRY ! I am definitely stocking up on Honesi facial cream !
I am keen to try VANT 365’s cushion some day !

 

 

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Hihi ! Im back !

So much things happened , done and places travelled to for the past 3.5 weeks !

I went for my company’s qualifying convention in Osaka in mid of May. So Oppa and i decided to go to Kyoto and Osaka for holiday a week before the 3 days convention starts. It was a good timing too and we can celebrate my 31st birthday too !

It was my first time to Japan. I was abit taken back because everything is SO EXPENSIVE. The make ups, food and transport. We didn’t exchange much Japanese Yen though because i don’t intend to shop except for buying my usual stuff from the Japanese drugstores, Uniqlo and Gu. Japanese are so polite especially those in Kyoto. I LOVE KYOTO ! Definitely will go back there next time. The hotel we stayed at is Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto (Shijo Branch). There is free unlimited onsen for hotel guests. It is at city centre and what i like about it is that there is a 24hours supermarket right opposite so we can shop for food and snacks easily to bring back to SG. The hotel staff are super polite and the hotel rooms are soo clean. The location is also perfect and convenient. Righ at city centre. Easy to shop and walk back.

We searched for travel blogs in Naver (Korean’s version of google). So we decided to follow their itinery and their itinery for GOOD FOOD and WHAT TO BUY !

Mr Shin is used to Korean style of travelling. That is to get out at 9am daily and back only after midnight. And throughout the day, just follow the travel blog on where to go , how to go and what to eat. So those places we went to eat especially…has alot of Koreans and servers who can speak Korean to serve the Korean crowds. Hence language is not a barrier for us.

To be the honest , the food places we went to is THUMBS UP! I introed to my colleagues during the convention and heard the guys went back to have the beef bowl ( which i will blog about later ).

I have 2000 over pictures taken over 10 days. I will just post my favourite places of interest and food only ! Ehhh…i actually forgot where we go and what is the place called. But if you want to know , you can email me at peonykissblog@gmail.com

KYOTO , JAPAN

Spotted Geishas at Gion Old Street.

My birthday at a Japanese dessert cafe in Nishiki Fish Market.

Free parfait on your birthday ! We cannot read Jap but agar agar from the Chinese characters , we guessed that it means free parfait on your birthday. Just show your id or passport to prove.

    

Supper…we bought sushi and sashimi at a discount from Takashimaya food basement. All stuff goes on 50-70% discount from 7pm onwards. Be prepared to start waiting at 630pm for the staff to paste the discount stickers. Because everyone will snatch them like sharks. That’s all we managed to grab.

My birthday dinner at a local sushi restaurant.

OSAKA , JAPAN 

   

Famous Rikuro Ojisan Cheesecake. The jiggly cheesecake you saw going viral on facebook or youtube.

               

Our favourite restaurant and skirt steak bowl in Dotonburi. Cheap and good. Super popular among the Koreans. The entire queue was filled with Koreans.

Only 790 yen.

This post has too many pictures and it kinda slowed down my scrolling and typing. Shall publish the Japanese and Korean beauty reviews , Smart Lady post and something personal to share separately. Still drafting halfway for the beauty buys.

#Kbeauty Time !

This is one product i strongly recommend to you. I realized my skin became better and quite good. Even hubby also agreed.

The only “constant” product i have been using religiously everyday is this one liao ! I switch between Renecell and Hera’s toner+emulsion but this is one thing i apply EVERY NIGHT before i go to bed.

Doctorcos – Snow White Water Glow Mask

One bottle cost about KRW 19,000 if i remember correctly.  My Korean housemate recommended this to me and i instantly fell in love with it. It works like the Laneige water sleeping pack but this one has alot of functions (whitening+pore tightening+hydrating). I downloaded the Korean home shopping app. So one day i was watching the live TV on my phone on the way to work and saw this on promo. So i immediately screen shot it and asked my MIL for help to buy and she passed it to me when we met in Taiwan in March for holiday. 1 box of 4 bottles + 4 tubes. I used finish 1 now and it took me 1.5 months to use up 1 tub.

I really like this one alot. It is not greasy and because i bought the set , they gave me a free brush ( the brush for mask ) so that i can use it to apply on my face instead of digging my fingers into the tub.

Some people asked me : “Won’t you stain your pillows when you sleep ?”

Well , i apply sleeping masks at least 1-2 hours before bed time. This is so that there is some time for the mask to absorb into the skin. Of cos abit of it will be “transferred” to my pillow case but it doesn’t really matter to me.

This sleeping mask makes my skin looks more radiant and dewy. Also i can see my skin become abit fairer also. This one is going to my holy grail !

You can find this in Gmarket but im not sure if there are sellers who ship them to SG. I cannot find this in Olive and Young too. So you may want to check online if you want to buy. This is a popular brand and apparently sold millions of bottles. The brand have different types of masks and creams but this is the best seller.

Im going to my 2nd tub liao !

I am also trying a new moisturiser. Will review after i used it for at least 2 weeks.

#Smartlady

Shucks , i had fever, sore throat and flu again last week 😦 Just recovered like 2 weeks plus ago ? And now again…

I did alot of portfolio reviews and resolving shortfalls lately..so my appointments took quite long like 2-3 hours.  Talk non-stop alot…Plus the weather is very hot…so i had a bad throat infection which lead to fever.

It’s been almost 3 months since i last blogged about #Smartlady. Coincidentally , some of my clients are readers of my blog ! I didn’t know that ! SG is too small. My clients referred them to me because their friends were looking to enhance their insurance and savings/investment portfolio. They mentioned that they enjoyed reading Smart Lady posts. They didn’t know it is me when their friends gave them my number too until they saw my whatsapp picture. So they requested that i blog more on Smartlady because it helps them to look at things in another perspective. I didn’t know that #smartlady posts have such an impact on some of you because i just blog from my work experiences and also cases i encountered recently. But im glad that it helps and thank you all for reading this humble space of mine. I will try to update more. Maybe once a week ?

Well ,the last time i blogged about #Smartlady was in Jan ? After that i was quite busy with alot of work and portfolios. Such that i have alot that i want to share but i cannot find the time to draft it down here. I haven’t been updating here often because i kept falling sick and have alot of backlogs and meetings to fulfil when i get back to work after my MCs.

Just a few days ago , i was preparing a Death Claim document…it hit me that i should blog about #Smartlady. Will do a #Smartlady on savings next !

Well for the last 3 months , i have worked alot of portfolios for women (age between 22-35). Some are working , some are stay-at-home-mum and some are still schooling in university. My female clients prefer a female adviser because they find female advisers comfortable to talk and confide to especially when you talk about child birth , husband problems or female body parts.

From my clients whom i spoke to and from what they told me about their friends , most of them don’t really depend on their husbands to take care of their financial portfolios (insurance/savings/investments). Some are even attending workshops or classes to learn more about finance and trading so they can make passive income.  Even some stay at home mums are doing saving plans bit by bit with the allowance they were given. Because they are not working , they have to make their money work for them instead of saving in a bank.

Recently i spoke to a lady with a medical issue. She is 28 and asked me to take a look at her portfolio and advice on her shortfall. So we started from the basic..which is insurance before we look into her endowments and investments. So i took a look at her portfoilo. There are 1 term insurance, 2 endowments and 1 accident policy. She has no critical illness coverage. And with her current medical issue , it can lead to something serious if relapsed. That is why she is relooking into her portfolio. She told me that her friends “strongly recommend” her to BUY TERM and INVEST THE REST.  The reason is because Term plans are cheap. No doubt Term plans are cheap (death term plan). Her dad’s friend who was an agent recommended a whole life insurance. But due to peer pressure, she followed her friend’s advice to go for death term insurance. So now she has a medical problem , she was afraid that it will worsen and want to add critical illness coverage which she lack of. But she knows with her condition now , it is very hard to get it fully covered. She is only 28. Still young and has a long way to go.

She told me her advice to young people is  “Do what you think is good and right for you. Do not follow others blindly… you can ask for suggestions and opinions but just don’t follow blindly. Go seek professional advices. “

When she told her friend about her medical issue, that friend just ‘disappeared’ and may have blocked her from whatsapp. She doesn’t blame her friend because it is her decision to follow her friend’s advice. But she was just disappointed that her friend “disappear” on her just like that.

Besides knowing what you want and what you need, you must also know WHAT YOU HAVE.

I got a call to process a death claim from someone close i know. A family member just passed away and the whole family doesnt know what he has. When a person pass away, his/her family will be busy mourning, grieving and settle all the funeral matters. After the funeral , the hospital bills , debts,  loans or letters will start coming in which the family has to settle. And that is when everyone will be checking on the insurances or endowments policies etc the deceased bought when he was alive. Hoping there are claims that can be made to help to ease the financial burden.

Sometimes the deceased’s family members doesn’t know what he/she has and they have to end up going to every single company to check. It takes alot of time and energy especially when you are still grieving. Yes, whatever is in the bank account of the deceased belongs to the family. but all the loans , medical bills etc will all also go to the family members who are still living.

So it is good that you keep your files and documents properly. Let your family members know what you have and make the documents easy to find. Because sometimes in the case of emergency or when you need $$ for medical bills , these documents can help you alot. Insurance companies will not know if you are diagnosed with illness or death or not unless you submit the claims with your supporting documents. So maybe you can submit a claim but you forgot or don’t know if you have or not and ended up not claiming. There are also deadlines to submit some claims.

Imagine you are in coma or unconcious, nobody will know what you have. You may be healthy and active now but you won’t know what will happen in the next 20/30/40/50 years later. Anything can happen to anyone. The youngest one i know was a 22 year old with brain tumour. His headache persisted for quite while and only when his vision turned blur then he go for check and realized there was a tumour.

It is also important to know WHAT YOU HAVE.

I had done reviews for some clients’ old portfolio. Some mistook their endowments for life insurance which they can claim when they are down with criticaill illness and some have accident plans that can claim for sports injuries but they were not aware that they can claim. Only after i explained then they realized that. I guess the reason is because their advisers never meet up to review often or for years so all were forgotten. Some thought their life insurance covers criticail illnesses but there was not and it covers only death. Some had late stage critical illness but no early stage. Most young students or working adults have insurances which their parents bought when they were young but most i met only covered for death and whereas some have coverage of about $35,000 only which is not sufficient.

So know what you have , how much you have and what they are for is important.

Maybe some of you don’t find it a need to look at these things now.
But trust me, with people around me facing financial difficulties because of illnesses or death , clients whom i did the claims for and people whom i have spoke to with medical illness , don’t wait until things to happen then look into these things. Because it will be too late. Especially when it comes to insurance which has sensitive medical underwriting.

For the last 2 months , i have been doing alot of reviews and resolving the shortfalls for my clients’s insurance and savings portfolio. So all these are based on my experiences.

If after reading this post and you realized you don’t know what you have and what they are for ? It is time to dig them out.

#SGAHJUMMA 

Some of my close friends asked me how come i have so much free time and energy to cook ?

My reply to them was :

You think is i am so free and bo eng meh ?

Seriously , being a Financial adviser doesn’t mean i am very free and very nua. I have my fix working hours. I start my day at 930am and all the way till it ends at 10pm on some days. On good days, i will end about 6 or 7pm.

Thought my hubs is pretty health conscious and he eats alot and looking at the way he eat when we eat out, it looks super unhealthy. He can drink and finish the entire pot of steamboat soup. So i try to cook at home as much as possible. I am quite sensitive to MSG so too much msg can give me a very bad migraine for several days. Yes it is that serious.

So how did i manage to cook even though i end my day at 7pm on good days ?

Well , i made the sauce in advance. And i always have packets of pork , chicken , onions and garlic at home on standby. I try to avoid frozen meat but sometimes really bo bian…esp on weekdays where i don’t know what time my day will end. Only on weekends i will go to the supermarket or wet market to buy fresh meat to cook for the day.

I will sort them into many small plastic bags. 1 bag for 1 meal. So i do not need to thaw everything and just use how much i need.

So, how to make the sauce ? What sauce is it ?
Well , if you go to Korean restaurants often , you will see the dish Dak-bokk-eum-tang (닭볶음탕).  It is a spicy chicken stew dish (Chicken + potatoes + carr0ts).  Well , i pre-made the sauce and it can be cooked with anything ! Lean meat, chicken, baby octopus etc etc. The sauce is super easy to make.

If you were to order this from Korean restaurants , it will cost between SGD 45- SGD 65 depending on the size. But if you were to cook it at home , it will cost you less than SGD 10.

So how to make the sauce ?

1.  2 to 3 table spoons of Korean Red Chilli Paste

2. 1.5 table spoon of Korean Red Chilli Flakes

3. 1 table spoon of Korean soya sauce

4. 1 table spoon of minced garlic

Just mixed all the above in a bowl !

I made enough to fill up a small bottle so that when i get home , i just need to throw the meat and use a spoon to scoop sauce instead. My hub doesn’t know how to cook so it is easy for him also. Sometimes if i know i will be back home late the next day , i will season the sauce and the meat together and put them in a plastic bag. So my hubby can just throw it into the pot and let it stew… that’s it.

Dak-bokk-eum-tang (닭볶음탕)

Btw, this is not the final. I just added in the potatoes so still looks very soupy. The sauce will be slightly sticky after that.

This is super easy to cook. A Korean friend of mine who works at a Korean restaurant gave me the recipe. My MIL’s recipe too cheem and i cannot find some stuff in SG…so i shall stick to my friend’s.

How to cook Dak-bokk-eum-tang (닭볶음탕)

You need chopped chicken parts (i like wings and my hubs like drumsticks so i bought only these 2) , 1 green chilli, 2 potatoes chopped into pieces, 1 onion cut into slices, 1 carrot chopped into pieces and the sauce i mentioned above.

Heat the pan with oil.

Add the sauce (ingredients mentioned above) into the pan and let it sizzle.  If you are like me who doesn’t like too “meaty” taste, you can add a few ginger slices.

Once the sauce sizzles and heat up , add in the chicken parts and mix with the sauce together.

Once the chicken parts turned slightly golden brown , add a cup of water to boil.

You can choose to add boiling water or make your own Korean stock with kelps and anchovies. I prefer to add the korean stock ( kelps+anchovies) instead.

After the water boiled , add in onions and let it stew and boil for about 30 minutes.

After 30minutes , add in the potatoes and 1 chopped green chilli and stew it for the next 30-40 minutes.

Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds for dressing and ready to be served !

It’s  been 3 weeks since i went MIA-ed..

First 2 weeks of April was horrible. I had high fever twice in a week. So i spent the 2 weeks resting at home and trying to recover asap. First fever was 39.6 degrees before it dipped to 38.8 and went up to 39 again. The feeling was horrible. Went to the hospital for test and check ups and fortunately it was not dengue and just a viral infection. So i spent the first week recovering from 2 fevers and the 2nd week recovering from flu. When i was recovering , i had flu and sorethroat….. sorry for the rant here..but the first 2 weeks was feeling like hell….:( And last week was to make up my postponed appointments and backlogs to settle. Finally i had time to blog today.

It’s spring now and i am missing the weather and the cherry blossoms in Korea. I didn’t go back this spring..will be going back in Autumn instead of 2 weeks.

If you are heading to Korea to catch the cherry blossoms , one place you have to go to is Jinhae. It is 45mins car ride from Busan.

This place is famous for its cherry blossoms and it is always packed with tourists and locals.

My first spring and cherry blossom experience was in 2015 – April and it was my virgin trip to Jinhae. It is a small and quaint city.

Here are some things you can do in Jinhae

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=1630721

I miss the weather and i miss Busan. Can’t wait for October to go back there again !

#Kbeauty time !

I have not gone for any facial or laser treatments for a year and some of my clients and readers asked how did i maintain the good skin and still keep it good ?

I did my own “facial care” at home. I got my own peeling sets and starting to use more derma skin care brands. But i am also still using HERA toners and emulsions , eye-gel and cell-bio essence ! Their waterin eye gel is good and i have been using the toner, emulsion, eye-gel and cell-bio essence since 2013 !

I mask my face everyday and apply sleeping mask to hydrate my skin overnight in the air-con room. It is all about discipline and the right type of product. Also , i remove make up and cleanse my face thoroughly. And i exfoliate my skin once or twice a week with SkinFood Black Sugar Scrub. I guess that is why i do not have black heads.

I was really busy these days and sometimes i will forget. So i wrote on a post-it note and paste on my dressing shelf. Lol my housemate paste step by step yoga exercise steps on her wall to remind herself to exercise ( she is trying to lose weight ) whereas i paste skincare steps on the wall. Haha !

This is a new brand name im going to recommend : ReneCell (www.renecell.com)

My female Korean housemate recommended this brand to me. That was how i got to know this brand. Did some research and it was selling like hot cakes especially one of their Placen Filler Magic System creams.

It is a high end Korean derma skin care brand.

A 11 steps set cost KRW 1,100,000 !

I finished my old bottle of toners and in need of new one. So my bro-in-law got it for me and brought it to our Taiwan trip to pass it to me! YAYY !

ReneCell Multi-Peptide Toner

It is a hydrating toner and also supposed to provide firmness to the skin with its peptide ingredient.

With a spray noose. So you need not worry about over-spilling.

So here comes the review !

I bought it at KRW35,500. I was expecting it to be a little more serum like since it is marketed as a hydrating toner. The ones from Hera are more ‘serum-ish’ so a small amount will do to apply and spread around your whole face.

The texture for this toner is more “watery” so it gets absorbed very fast into the skin. And the watery texture means i need to spray quite abit inorder to spread it all my face. So does it have any hydrating factor ? Maybe it does get absorbed deep into the skin because it is like water. But my skin is abit dry these days ( i work in air-conditioned enviroment and i sleep in aircon roomeveryday..my hubby cannot stand SG’s hot weather. The fan or aircon is always on and blowing at us ). So i need to spray more. But it works for me. Because my essence and serum are quite thick in texture. So a light and fast absorbing toner will be more compatible. This also will work well on combination skin. I switch my toners between this and the HERA aquabolic moisturizing toner. HERA toners will never fail me. On days my skin felt really very dry , i will use the one from HERA.

This toner reminds me of the one from CNP. Texture is similar.

Should you buy ?

Yes..if you like the CNP toner ( which works and feels similar ) , you will also like this !

ReneCell Absorber Hyaluronic Serum

  

Bought this at KRW48,000

This is quite expensive and i saw alot of people carted it out and has alot of good reviews. There are 3 serums available. Vita C Face Serum , Recovery serum and Hyaluronic serum.

30ml for KRW 48,000. So i am quite careful when i use it. Lol i try not to pump out too much.

The texture is very smooth and i really like it. It moisturises my skin and easily absorbed. No wonder it has alot of good reviews !

Should you buy ?
Yes..if you have oily skin, maybe you need to go for other serums instead.

I will definitely want to try the other creams and serums next time !