Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's inside of my travel bag

When I was packing for the bag that I was going to take on the plane during my 12 hour airplane ride to China, I decided to take out my camera and record what I brought with me. Interested to take a peek into my travel bag?

Since the flight is long, the seats are uncomfy, and we all know how cold/dry it gets on the airplane, I wanted to make sure that I bring all the essentials to take care of my body/skin in-flight. Yet everything has to be light and compact enough that I don't feel like I'm dragging an extra piece of luggage with me.

 This is the bag I chose -- a canvas duffel with two front pockets for easy access, two side pockets for water bottles, plenty of room inside with a secure zippered closure, and an extra small zipped pocket inside for the extra valuables to prevent them from getting lost. The bag itself is light weight, and has no rigid corners so I can squeeze it anywhere, even when the overhead compartment is filled with other people's suitcases. The straps are wide and soft, so even when my bag gets heavy, they won't cut into my shoulders and cause fatigue. Also, don't you just love the panda prints? :)
 First up are everything liquid/gel that need to fit into a ziplog baggie so they can be screened separately during security. Here I have  
Go Smile Touch Up, perfect for preventing stains on my teeth when I drink that glass of red wine during my flight so I can fall asleep quickly :p 
Jack Black lip balm has gotta be my favorite lip balm at the moment, it really keeps those lips stay moisturized. Plus the black tea & blackberry flavor is so yummy.  
L'Occitane hand cream in a 1 oz. travel sized tube. L'Occitane makes excellent hand creams. Since the back of my hands tend to get dry, I find myself constantly applying them. 
ELF cuticle oil stick is a mess free way to keep those dry cuticles moisturized whenever needed.  
Hello Kitty tinted lip balm for when I get off the plane, to give my lips some extra color. 
L'Occitane rose facial spray prevent my skin from getting too dry, plus it is so refreshing when the plane ride gets to feel too stuffy.  
Stila converticle color is so versatile, it could be used for both cheeks and lips, plus the compact comes with a mirror that comes in handy.
Sample pack of My Scheming Camellia Sleeping Mask, to use when I am resting.

 Of course, my iPhone and headphones, for movies and music.

Empty water bottle, since you can't bring water pass through security, it is a good idea to bring a water bottle so you can fill up inside of the terminals. Stay hydrated at all times!
Kao Steam Eye Mask (buy here), doubles up as a sleep mask to block all the cabin lights, and it warms up so it really relaxes and soothes your eyes.
Airbourne, to prevent any chances of catching the bugs and getting sick from the trip.
Clean & Clear moistened face wipes, they clean up my face, removes all the dirt, oil and impurities, and contains salicylic acid to prevent pimples.

 Books and magazines to read and keep me busy.

 Pen and notepad, just in case. The notepad also contains all of our travel information, itineraries, phone numbers of people to contact because once we enter China, our AT&T phones would no longer be working. Make sure you bring a pen, it will come in handy when your flight attendant hands you the Customs form to fill out.

 Makeup bag:
Shiseido Pureness Refreshing Cleaning Sheets, to clean face, hands, and body.
Shiseido Pureness Oil Control Blotting Sheets, this is a must for me as my tzone gets oily easily.
Collagen Crystal eye mask, it is clear and not very noticeable when the lights are dim (to avoid weird stares), and they really help your undereye areas to stay hydrated.
Sample of DHC Facial Film Soap, a very convenient face wash that foams up when wet, in case if my face feels gross at the airport or in flight.
Trident White gum for fresh breathes. Also chewing gum during landing and take off helps to reduce that annoying buzz in the ears.
Band-aid, you will never know.
Floss to be used after eating.
Alcohol hand wipes to keep hands germ free, especially before handling food.
Hair ties and hair brush to pull hair into a pony when they get in the way.
Retractable kabuki brush and a powder to use after I land.
DentaBurst Refreshing Teeth Cleanser to keep my teeth clean since brushing teeth during flight will be hard.
Nail file, because broken scratchy nails would suck.

To stay comfy and warm:
Neck pillow, a must if you don't want sore neck from sleeping weird in your chair.
Long sleeve cardigan & scarf, to keep warm when the plane gets cold.
Portable slippers, to keep my feet warm and comfy during the long flight.

Plus an extra inflatable neck pillow for the hubby, they are so convenient because they take no room when folded up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

China Haul

When the Customs officer at the airport asked us what we bought in China, I told her -- makeup and skincare. She looked at hubby and jokingly asked, are any of them for you? The answer is of course, none. hahaha :p

Because we had to visit several different locations during our two weeks trip, the domestic traveling really prevented me from purchasing much during the first few legs of the trip. It wasn't until we arrived at our last location -- Guangzhou/Hong Kong, that I seriously hauled. At that time I finally room in my luggage after most of the gifts we've brought were given away, and if I couldn't bring any of the yummy food back, I had to bring back something right ;)

Most of the beauty items I purchased in Guangzhou were from Watsons -- like Walgreens, they are everywhere! During our one day trip to Hong Kong, I also had a chance to visit Sasa and Bonjour.

Being the mask addict that I am, I couldn't pass up the opportunity of buying more. I actually didn't get a whole lot this time because they weigh a lot and would be a hassle to travel with. I got some more of my favorite mG masks. The individual ones were not cheap, about $4 each. But they are made with an ultra thin silk clothes that feels so heavenly on the face. 

The top right corner is a peeling foot mask from Watsons. I have already tried one after I came back. Basically you wear the foot mask on for about an hour and then rinse off. In about a few days time, all the dead skin on your feet will start to peel off. The process is very gross yet satisfying. I had a few calluses from walking/exercising. After peeling, I was left with baby soft feet. Now I am totally for sandal season!

I picked up a backup of my favorite mascara: Kiss Me Heroine. This combo set also comes with the mascara remover -- it has a plastic wand similar to mascara. To remove mascara on your lashes, you just apply the solution onto your lashes, and gently wipe. Its compact size will be perfect for travel.

On the right side were a bunch of tools I've picked up -- pore extractor, eye brow razor, spatula for scooping out clay/cream masks, and brushes for applying mask. Last month, I went to my first facial, and my beautician used a brush to apply my face mask, it felt so good and luxurious. So when I saw these brushes at Bonjour, I had to pick a few up to try. They make mask application so much easier, no more messy fingers, and they help apply masks very evenly. The synthetic fiber makes it very easy to rinse them clean and dry.

Top left, a peach flavored hand cream in a peach shaped container -- too cute to pass up!

Top right: stocked up on my favorite deodorant from Nivea. It has skin whitening ingredients to help combat skin discoloration in the armpit area from shaving.

Middle left: my best friend asked me to help her pick up a NUXE cream because it is hard to find in the US. So I picked one up for myself to try as well.

Middle right: oil blotting paper, in various cute packagings.

Bottom left: multi-layered cotton pads that can be peeled off in layers and used as a quick face mask with your favorite toners.

Bottom right: decided to give Nexcare Acne Dressing another chance. I have purchased this before from Sasa and used up the whole box, but unfortunately it didn't work too well for me. After talking to some blogger friends and reading reviews online, I realized this acne treatment is only good for certain kinds of acne, namely the raised puzzy ones -- after a few hours of putting this on, the acne dressing is suppose to soak up all the impurities inside of the pimple, and helps it to heal so much faster. It actually doesn't work well for cystic acne.

Picked up a Chanel Rouge Coco in 17 Orchidee at the duty free shop at the airport. After I came home and opened my lipstick drawer, I realized it is probably time for me to stop buying new lipsticks that I never get a chance to use. So here is a reminder for myself to not buy new lipsticks for the time being, so I can get to all the new ones I've bought recently and swatch them for you soon :)
I also bought a lot of hair accessories during my trip -- more than enough hair clips than I could use because I almost never put my hair up in the US. But the hot weather in China really got to me and it was too annoying to leave my long hair down the whole time, so hair clips really came in handy.

The red hair bun holder and hair brush were gifts from my best childhood friends. The hair clips on the top right corner were gifts from cousin's wife when she took me out shopping in Guangzhou, thank you :) The funny looking phone cord thing on the left bottom corner were actually hair ties. Appearantly they are really popular in China. After trying them on, I loved how nicely they held up my hair, but wasn't too hot on the idea of having phone cord in my hair. But I still asked my cousin to pick some up for me because they will be perfect to tie my hair up before I put them in a bun (so they could be hidden), because they not only hold well, but will help my hair to add volume!

Jewelries that I picked up.
This matching earrings/necklace set was a gift from my cousin ♥

Cute socks that I found in Guangzhou :)

Hope you enjoyed my haul!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meeting Kay in Beijing

A few weeks ago, hubby and I visited China for two weeks. While I was in Beijing, I had the chance to meet my wonderful blogger friend Kay! Kay works in a nearby city but she took the day off and rode the train all the way to Beijing to see me. I felt so honored and was super excited about our meet up.
Kay and I posing next to a billboard featuring Jay Chou and Hello Kitty -- two of my favorites hahaha.
We decided to meet in Xi Dan (西单)area, where a lot of restaurants and shopping malls are located. The last time I visited Beijing was when I was 6-years-old, so the city was completely new to me since so much has changed. There were so many exciting places for us to visit and discover, but unfortunately we only had a short stay of 2 days in Beijing this time. I also do not recommend visiting China in the summer months if you have a choice, the weather was extremely hot and humid, every time I go out, I just wanted to go back home and jump in the shower because I hated that sticky feel all over my body.
For lunch, we went to a hot pot place called Hai Di Lao (海底捞), which was famous for its excellent service and yummy food. Hai Di Lao was such an interesting dining experience -- the waiters were super attentive, the food was yummy and fresh. We ordered a side of noodles, just to see this performance to be done next to our table. When hubby's eyeglasses got fogged up by the steam from the hotpot, a waiter came right away with a glass wipe. They also offer a ton of extra services to the diners -- free internet, computer games, karaoke, chess and checkers, to name a few. Kay and I enjoyed a round of checkers together. The best part was getting a manicure after our lunch -- also part of the free services the restaurant offers.
Free manicure for the girls.
Kay was such a fun person to be with. We chatted about anything and everything during our few hours together. I totally wish that I didn't have to go and that we could spend more time together!
Kay also brought goodies for me, which was so kind of her. She got me a little bit of everything -- face mask, her favorite Cover Girl Lash Blast, Sleek Pout Polish, Revlon lip gloss, pretty pigments, and a cool looking eyeshadow palette with a super blingy silver shade. She also bought me these pretty pearl earrings ♥ Thank you so much dear, for making my Beijing visit so much more exciting!