Friday, 18 December 2015

Taipei – Monet: Landscapes of Mind at the National Museum of History

Monet:  Landscapes of Mind
Monet is one of my favourite artists.  I can’t explain exactly why but I love all his hazy, dreamy paintings.  I never expected to run into a Monet exhibition in Taipei.  I was having breakfast at the hotel when I looked out the window and saw advertisements for the Monet exhibition at the National Museum of History on the sides of the buses.  After Googling for more information online and trying my very best to read the local newspaper articles about the exhibition, I headed off to the National Museum of History in delight.  

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Taoyuan, Taiwan - Weichuan Pushin Ranch & Window on China Theme Park

Weichuan Pushin Ranch, Taoyuan

When I was in Taoyuan, I visited Weichuan Pushin Ranch.  It isn’t a place I’d normally plan to visit but the cool weather made the trip quite relaxing and fun.  There was much greenery on the ranch.  The ranch even had its own mini train to transport visitors around the 65-hectare property.  We met a group of kindergarten children who were on a school trip. 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Taiwan Shopping

Since it’s the end of the year and everyone’s in a holiday mood, I’ve decided to do a few travel-related posts.  Disclaimer:  I went on this particular trip to Taiwan in November 2013 so it’s a bit outdated!  Still, I hope that it can help to provide an alternative view of Taiwan as I didn’t do all the typical touristy things there. 
Hello Kitty clocks in Taoyuan Airport

Thursday, 10 December 2015

BeautyConsumer – Coslys Facial Cleansing Lotion and Facial Toner

My Coslys haul.  I have yet to use the day and night creams
I had previously sighted Coslys products at Shins stores before and planned to try them, especially since Coslys products were affordably priced.  Ever the procrastinator, I only got around to trying Coslys recently when Shins had a sale.

Coslys is a French brand of cosmetics inspired by nature.  According to their website, all Coslys products are
  • Free from artificial fragrance or colouring
  • P.E.G. free
  • G.M.O. free,
  • S.L.S. free and A.L.S. free,
  • Formulated without any parabens and phenoxyethanol presevatives, 
  • Not tested on animals
Please read on for my thoughts on the two products that I have used for several weeks. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

BeautyConsumer - Giovanni Eco Chic Cosmetics

My Giovanni family!
I first discovered Giovanni products by way of their shampoos.  I was looking for a sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) and paraben-free shampoo and found Giovanni shampoos at Sasa.  I’ve been using their shampoos and conditioners regularly since then.  Here are some of my comments.

Friday, 4 December 2015

BeautyConsumer - Nivea Crème Fairy Tales Limited Edition Tins

When I read that Nivea had collaborated with German artist Joelle Tourlonias to come up with some cute limited edition Nivea Crème tins and children’s stories, I didn’t think that they would be available in Malaysia!  I squealed with delight when I saw the limited edition tins in Watsons’ latest catalogue.  We don’t get the Winter Edition tins (they’re even cuter), unfortunately, but that’s okay.  We also only get the 150ml tins and not the tiny 75ml tins but that’s okay too.  If you purchase at least MYR50 of Nivea products at Watsons, you get a tumbler!  I didn’t read about tumblers being given out as gift-with-purchase in other countries. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Secret Garden, One Utama – Views

This is the last part in The Secret Garden series.  The Secret Garden is situated on the rooftop of One Utama Shopping Centre, one of the largest shopping malls in the world. 

Part 1:  Amazon Water Lilies 
Part 4:  White Flowers
Part 5:  Flowering Plants


This post is the last part in the series.  So you’ve seen some of the plants up close in my other posts but what does the garden itself look like? 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Secret Garden, One Utama – Flowering Plants

This is the fifth part in The Secret Garden series.  The Secret Garden is situated on the rooftop of One Utama Shopping Centre, one of the largest shopping malls in the world. 

Part 1:  Amazon Water Lilies 
Part 4:  White Flowers


Besides being home to Amazon water lilies, fruiting plants, vegetables, creepers, vines and white flowers, The Secret Garden is also home to a variety of flowering plants.  Some of them are relatively common in Malaysia, like the yellow canna shown above.  They were very popular when I was growing up and the local council planted plenty of yellow and red cannas along the roads. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Glasshouse Candles in Robinsons Malaysia

I had heard a lot about Glasshouse candles and how people were lugging them back from Australia.  I was on my way out of Robinsons after buying an ironing board cover when I passed displays of new interior fragrance and candle brands.  Glasshouse was one of them.  The others were DayNa Decker (USA), iKOU (Australia) and Culti.  ‘Tis the season to bring in candles?  TNS Skinlab has brought in Ecoya, another brand of candles from Australia. 
The Glasshouse display at Robinsons
Prices seemed standard for luxury candles, until I searched online and found out that Luxola carries Glasshouse products too. 

Prices for Glasshouse candles (not the La Maison ones):

60g – MYR139 (Robinsons), MYR81 (Luxola)
350g – MYR279 (Robinsons), MYR144 (Luxola)

So I guess fans of Glasshouse will know what to do………..ha!  Perhaps, check out the candles in person at Robinsons and order them online from Luxola?  Not that I’m suggesting anything here.   

DayNa Decker and iKOU displays
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Julien Macdonald Retrospective, Starhill Gallery

Julien Macdonald Retrospective at Starhill Gallery
I was excited when I read that Starhill Gallery would be holding an exhibition of Julien Macdonald’s designs.  Julien Macdonald may not be a household name in Malaysia but he makes some of the most glamorous and sexy evening gowns and is also known for his skill in knitwear.  If knitwear reminds you of something that grannies wear with sensible shoes, you have got to see Julien Macdonald’s knitwear! 

The exhibition comprised of 19 outfits.  Most of them were dresses but there was one very special knitted catsuit. The exhibit was in a very dark room that was carpeted in black with some very bright lights.  It was quite difficult for me to take photographs of some outfits so I left them out.  Initially, I was quite apprehensive of taking photographs with the flash on but the burly guard outside didn’t seem to mind.   Please do read on to see some of the dresses.  

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Mitsui Outlet Park Sepang – 1st Impression

Image credit:  Mitsui Outlet Park Sepang Facebook page
I had been dying to visit Mitsui Outlet Park (MOP) in Sepang.  I restrained myself from driving there when it had its soft opening in May, and again when they officially opened in July.  I didn’t want to go there before most of the shops had opened.  I flirted with the idea of popping to the outlet whenever I arrived at KLIA2 but it seemed too troublesome with luggage in tow. 

I finally made the long trip to Mitsui Outlet Park Sepang on Deepavali.  There were so many things I wanted to know but no matter how much I scoured the Internet, I couldn’t find the answers to my questions.  I wanted to know if the outlet was worth visiting, if prices were good, how the outlet compared to Johor Premium Outlets (JPO), what exactly was in the Club21 Outlet etc.  If you want to know what I think, do read on. 

(Read about my second visit to MOP here)

Monday, 16 November 2015

BeautyConsumer – Kings & Queens Chinese Ambassador Green Pear 2 in 1 Shampoo & Shower Gel


Price:  MYR39 (before discount)
Where:  Shins Mid Valley Megamall
Size:  300ml
Repurchase:  Yes

Whew!  What a mouthful for a product name!  I was poking around the inner corners of Shins with the requisite sales associate shadowing me when I found a few Kings & Queens bath and body products discounted at 60% off.  I was instantly captivated by the fancy packaging and breathless story-telling of some coveted exotic ingredient used in the product. 

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Mall Rat – Mid Valley Megamall & The Gardens Mall (November 2015)

This weekend is a long weekend of sorts in KL as there is a public holiday on Tuesday.  School holidays have already started here in Malaysia which means…….sales and offers galore!  I dropped by Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens Mall to have a quick look around. 

I wanted to check out F.O.S. because they are offering members a 30% discount until Tuesday.  There was very little merchandise tagged “Buy 1 Free 2”.  The better ones were Under Armour t-shirts (MYR15 for 1) and Brooks Brothers collared long-sleeved t-shirts or polo shirts (MYR15 for 1).  Under Armour appears to be all the rage in KL these days, I’m not sure why, so fans might want to pick some up at F.O.S. for cheap.

BudgetConsumer – Matrix Biolage Offer at 1 Mont’ Kiara Mall

I spotted some offers on Matrix Biolage products with old packaging at 1 Mont’Kiara Mall.  I forget what the shop is called but it’s on the first floor (with H&M, Sports Direct and some restaurants) and it’s opposite a Japanese restaurant (I think).  Anyway, it shouldn’t be hard to find as the floor isn’t very big. 

The 400ml shampoos are MYR24.90 for one and MYR48 for two.  Some of the other products are MYR15.90 for one and MYR39.90 for any three.  It seems like a pretty good offer as the shampoos are currently priced at MYR58 on Lazada. 

I won’t be getting any as I prefer not to use shampoos that contain sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) but I hope this helps those who want to buy some Matrix stuff. 

Happy Shopping! 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Mall Rat – IPC and The Curve (November 2015)

It’s been a while since the last edition of Mall Rat!  Somehow there weren’t many exciting things to write about in the malls over the past few months.  I found myself in IPC Mall and The Curve recently. 

Christmas decorations are already up in Ikea.  So cute!  I didn’t venture into Ikea because I didn’t need anything and had limited time. 

Spotlight was where I was heading to.  There were so many Christmas decorations and they were on sale too!  Christmas ornaments, fabric, tinsel, nutcrackers etc.  Oh, Halloween decorations were on sale for MYR3 if you’re keen to stock up for next year.  I didn’t take a picture of the display but there wasn’t much.  I do remember a rather big bat decoration if anyone is looking for one. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Michael Kors Collection Spring 2016 RTW

Michael Kors, the champion of luxe sportswear, has been producing some incredible collections in recent years.  His version of glamour is understated but not boring, subtly sexy but not vulgar.  It is quite refreshing to see Michael Kors’ clothing among a sea of loud and confused colours, patterns and prints offered by other labels.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Thrift Shopping in Kuala Lumpur – The Ones That Got Away 2

I haven’t thrifted much this year.  According to my records, I have only bought two items of clothing from thrift shops this year.  I did find some amazing things that I would loved to buy but just couldn’t.  Why, oh, why?  By the way, I think most of these clothes have already been bought by other people so don’t go rushing out to see if you can snag them. 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Another One Bites The Dust – Alber Elbaz Leaves Lanvin

Take your clothes and get gone.....
Image credit:  Vogue
I was shocked to read that Alber Elbaz, the champion of the peplum, was leaving Lanvin, without completing the pre-fall collection, no less.  It was only last week that Raf Simons announced that he was leaving Christian Dior and it didn’t seem so long ago that Alexander Wang was confirmed to be leaving Balenciaga.  But Alber Elbaz’s resignation is undeniably the most unexpected one of all. 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

BeautyConsumer - Innisfree and Etude House Peel-Off Base Coats

When I buy nail polish, I gravitate towards glitters.  I mean, who doesn’t want to shine bright like a diamond?  Unfortunately, I find removing glitter nail polish to be quite difficult.  After years of rubbing mercilessly at my nails and using up copious amounts of nail polish remover, I discovered the foil method of removing glitter nail polish.  It was a vast improvement, but still rather inconvenient. 

One day, a friend gave me a peel-off base coat from Innisfree.  Apparently, these base coats allow you to simply peel off the layers of nail polish!  I was intrigued.  I also bought Etude House’s peel-off base coat during a “Buy 1 Free 1” offer.  After trying both base coats, I’ve come to the conclusion that something’s gotta give. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Secret Garden, One Utama – White Flowers

This is the fourth part in The Secret Garden series.  The Secret Garden is situated on the rooftop of One Utama Shopping Centre, one of the largest shopping malls in the world. 

Part 1:  Amazon Water Lilies 

There is something calming about pristine white flowers.  The stark contrast between the green of the plant’s leaves and the white of the flowers creates a striking effect.  There were plenty of white flowers blooming in One Utama’s Secret Garden.  Some may be common but they are no less beautiful. 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

BudgetConsumer - Sales and Offers (October 2015)

There has been no shortage of sales and offers this month.  Although it is already the end of the month, I spotted some new sales and offers.  Here are the ones that I’m interested in. 

I can’t believe Longchamp would have another sale so soon.  I’m still unsure if it’s legit or not and I haven’t decided if I should brave KL traffic and Wisma Selangor Dredging’s high parking fees to find out.  I’m not a big Kipling fan but I’ve never been to a Kipling warehouse sale before. 

Kanebo is having a warehouse sale at their office in Menara AmFirst.  I’d love to have a look but I don’t need any more makeup and I hear that parking at Menara AmFirst is something awful.  I’ll probably skip this one. 

Bath and Body Works is having a rather attractive-looking sale. 

Crabtree & Evelyn is inviting you to be their VIP member with a minimum purchase of MYR100.  I recall that it used to be much higher so this seems to be a good offer. 

Until next time, enjoy the sales and offers!  

Image credits:  shoppingnsales, except for the Bath and Body Works photo

Monday, 26 October 2015

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2016 RTW

Two distinctly different looks presented at the show
I miss Oscar de la Renta.  I used to look forward to squealing over the stills from his runway collections but now, there is a void that nobody can fill.  Peter Copping, his much-praised successor, simply does not appeal to me.  Somehow, his designs for Oscar de la Renta seem to be quite convoluted or even confused.  Let’s see what he offered for Spring 2016.

The colour palette included some very strong colours like red, black and yellow.  There was also a smattering of forest green, turquoise, peach, lilac, white and powder blue.  I thought that none of the colours looked good against each other, but that’s just my opinion.  Vogue thinks that Peter Copping, like Oscar de la Renta, has a “phenomenal eye for colour and social tone”.  Ahem. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

BeautyConsumer - Saaf Skincare

Note:  Saaf skincare does not appear to be available in Malaysia any longer. 

Saaf is a brand of natural and organic skincare that I vaguely remembered being stocked at TNS Skinlab many years ago.  I never paid much attention to it.  However, I was browsing Shins in Mid Valley two years ago when I found some Saaf products hidden on a low shelf.  I was delighted to discover that they were on clearance!  Although I had never tried their products before, I must have had great faith in them, as evidenced by my first haul shown below. 

I've never purchased so much skincare at one go before!
The products I bought were:
  • Saaf organic enriching hair oil (MYR40, originally MYR199)
  • Saaf organic eraser body oil (MYR40, originally MYR279)
  • Saaf organic ultimate moisture face serum (MYR20, originally MYR249)
  • Saaf organic complexion boosting serum (MYR20, originally MYR249)
  • Saaf organic pure face cleanser and organic face cloth (MYR20, originally MYR199)

There were also body balms and foot balms available but I didn’t buy them.

What I have left of the serums and oils
That was not it.  When I returned to Shins a few weeks later, they had reduced all the prices to MYR10.  I just had to buy some more!  In total, I went to haul Saaf products three times.  Since then, I have used all the products except the body oil.  Here are my comments on the products. 

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Valiram Friends & Family Sale @ Westin Kuala Lumpur (16-18 October 2015)

Valiram is having a friends and family sale this weekend. Although I don’t need anything and never rarely find anything to buy at their sales, I decided to pay them a visit in the name of being a busybody research. 
Image credit:  Valiram's website

Sasa Warehouse Sale @ Citta Mall (14-18 October 2015)

Image credit:  Sasa Malaysia's Facebook page
I wasn’t expecting much when I read that Sasa was having a warehouse sale.  I figured that Sasa already has two permanent factory outlets (Sungei Wang Plaza and Mitsui Outlet Sepang) and most of their excess stock would go there.  After much thinking, I decided to venture to Citta Mall to check out the warehouse sale as there was an Esprit warehouse sale going on and a thrift shop that I could use to salvage my trip if there was nothing to buy at the Sasa warehouse sale. 

Turns out that I was wrong!  My only purchases were from the Sasa warehouse sale.  Please read on for more information. 

Thursday, 15 October 2015

H&M Home – The Spring Mall, Kuching (October 2015)

Fall display at H&M Home
My addiction to H&M Home shows no signs of waning.  I can never get bored of looking at the beautiful homewares, even if I do not buy any.  Here's what I found during another sigh-inducing visit to H&M Home.  

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Ralph Lauren Spring 2016 RTW

I love Ralph Lauren.  I always look forward to his runway shows.  He usually shows on the last day of New York Fashion Week so I will be impatiently waiting for the runway photos to emerge.  
For Spring 2016, Ralph Lauren presented a less showy collection.  There were plenty of clean lines, and crisp fabrics.  It was nautical miles away from the glamorous, colourful luxe safari collection he showed for Spring 2015.  Embellishments and jewelry were seemingly absent amid the sea of navy and white looks, some of them punctuated by buttery leather outerwear.  The bags were more casual and functional than glamorous.

Friday, 9 October 2015

BeautyConsumer - Peter Thomas Roth, Roger & Gallet

Peter Thomas Roth is a brand I see and hear about a lot but have never tried.  I usually use hair and body products that do not have sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens but that doesn't stop me from occasionally trying products that do contain those ingredients.  

I discovered the products pictured above in my parents' house.  They probably came from hotels.  I will summarise my thoughts quickly as I find that I lose interest in lengthy product reviews.  

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Shopping Using Zalora Mobile App

I have a confession to make.  I have never shopped online before except for flight tickets.  Shopping using a mobile app?  I never thought I'd attempt it.  Due to an unusual stroke of good luck, I won a MYR200 Zalora shopping voucher through a contest.  The caveat besides some brand exclusions?  I had to shop using Zalora's mobile application.  What was that saying about walking before you run?  

To my relief and delight, shopping using the mobile app was a breeze.  If you have no idea what you want to buy, it would be easier to browse Zalora's many offerings using a browser first before placing your order via the mobile app.  Even better, there is usually a 20% discount code you can use if you order via the mobile app.  

I won't go into the details of creating an account, ordering, tracking your order etc.  I was happy that my package arrived without any delay.  I don't really like the amount of promotional e-mails and mobile alerts that kept popping up though.  

And since we're always interested in what others buy, here is my loot.  

It wasn't easy to shop within a specified budget so I ended up getting two of the same tops (one was for my mother).  I had no idea that Ipanema's sizing ran so small.  Luckily, I ordered the flip flops in US size 8.  I usually wear a size 6 or 6.5.  I love the flip flops.  They are so comfortable.  The Dorothy Perkins blush daisy burnout tee looked a bit cheaply made in real life but the striped crochet tees were perfect.  

I had a good shopping experience with Zalora but I am going to uninstall the mobile app and unsubscribe from their mailing list before I get annoyed at them!  

Saturday, 3 October 2015

H&M Mid-Season Deals

I was passing by H&M in The Spring Mall, Kuching when I spotted bright red signs with "deals" printed on them.  Obviously, I couldn't resist going in to see what was available.  There were already many shoppers inside despite the fact that it was a Wednesday!  

Dresses started from MYR30.  

Lovely lace dresses
There were some pretty lace dresses at MYR80.  Most of them were sleeveless but there were two designs that had long sleeves.  

Bras were mostly priced at an affordable MYR25.  Unfortunately, there weren't many sizes left.  If you are looking for cups A, C or D, you can try your luck.    For those who are wondering if H&M bras are any good, I think they are quite good for the price.  Perhaps I shall do a review in the near future.  

Cute printed shorts started from MYR25 and most of them had pockets.  I spotted the flowered shorts on the first episode of the second season of Fresh Off The Boat!

Constance Wu wearing H&M shorts on Fresh Off The Boat
In the home department, most of the sale stock from my last H&M Home report at The Spring Mall remained.  The prices hadn't dropped either!  There were some comforters but they were rather expensive at MYR199.  I saw some pillowcases (linen, ruffled linen, cotton) that were marked down to MYR30.  

I didn't check out the men's and children's departments.  Until next time, I hope you snag some great deals at H&M this season!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Sparkly Shoe Sightings

Vincci glitter Mary Janes (MYR99)
Image credit:  Zalora
I love sparkly shoes, it doesn't matter if the shine comes from glitter or sequins.  It just feels magical to put on a pair of shoes that reflect the light like disco balls do.  I spotted these cute Mary Janes from Vincci.  They come in a glittery charcoal and silver.  

Top view
Side views
I tried them on in-store and found them to fit well.  I wish they came in more colours like gold, rose gold or red but that's just me being greedy.  

Zara glitter pumps (MYR249)
Image credit: Zara
If you find Mary Janes slightly childish, you may like to try Zara's glitter pumps instead.  They come in a very grown-up and discreet black.  

While I was at Vincci, I also found some pretty, shiny sandals.

Look at the bling on these pairs!  I like these ones best out of all the sandals I saw at Vincci.

This design is more demure.  The large gems make the otherwise boring sandals more exciting.  

This pair was a very simple design with pretty beads.  It was on sale (buy 2 pairs for MYR69) but there were only large sizes left.

Now, if only I could decide which ones to buy..............