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Monday, July 30, 2012

Sorry!

To my dear readers (if you follow my blog),

I'm so sorry for the delay in posting up my experience of Miyavi's performance in Kuala Lumpur. My photo editing software is down and hence I can't post up any photos. I'm so sorry. T__T

Yours truly
Chean~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kao Liese Bubble Hair Color in Antique Rose

I'm gonna share with you my experience using the popular Kao Liese Bubble Hair Color. Instead of the usual cream that you have to slowly and painstakingly get onto all the roots and strands, Liese uses foam to get all the strands and color the hair evenly.

The packaging is in pink! A magenta shade anyway~

Antique Rose (purplish red) seems to be one of the newer colors in the line. Cassis Berry (brownish pink) was my original choice, but I saw Antique Rose and decided to give it a try. This color comes with a rinse-off treatment, low smell formula and provides gray hair coverage, which isn't present in many of the other colors.

The rough directions on the side of the box.
The other side, with all the warnings.

It contains honey as a moisturizing agent that makes the hair feel smooth when fingers comb through, as well as hydrolyzed silk as a hair protecting ingredient, giving the hair a shiny and moisturized finish. The results will vary depending on the shade and lightness of your hair before coloring, the hair's condition, room temperature and the amount of time that your product is left on.

What you will find in the box:
1. Coloring solution (solution 1)
2. Color developer solution (solution 2)
3. Foamer cap
4. Instructions sheet in various languages
5. Some rough instruction and warning sheet
6. Rinse-off treatment
7. Liese styling product leaflet with short hair tutorial
8. Gloves and allergy test

Ingredients:

Liese Hair Color LP16 (Solution 1) Antique Rose 40ml Made in Japan
Water (aqua), alcohol, sodium cocoyl glutamate, laureth-23, ammonium bicarbonate, C12-14 sec-pareth-9, propylene glycol, decyl glucoside, ammonia, polyquaternium-22, 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene, PPG-7, Toluene-2,5-diamine, fragrance (parfum), sodium hydroxide, sodium sulfite, p-aminophenol, ascorbic acid, myristyl alcohol, m-aminophenol, tetrasodium EDTA, honey (mel), butylene glycol, hydrolyzed silk, royal jelly extract, rebus idaeus (raspberry) fruit extract, sodium benzoate.

Liese Hair Color Developer LP (Solution 2) 60ml Made in Japan
Water (aqua), hydrogen peroxide, cetearyl alcohol, steartrimonium chloride, ceteth-40, myristyl alcohol, etidronic acid, oxyquinoline sulfate, sodium hydroxide.

 Liese Rinse-off Treatment 8g Made in Thailand
Water (aqua), stearyl alcohol, demthicone, dipropylene glycol, stearoxypropyl dimethylamine, lactic acid, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, benzyl alcohol, dipentaerythrityl hexahydroxystearate/hexastearate/hexarosinate, amodimethicone, PEG-45M, hydrogenated castor oil hydroxystearate, fragrance (parfum), lanolin acid, paraffin, jojoba esters, ceteareth-7, bis-isobutyl PEG-15/amodimethicone copolymer, honey (mel), alcohol, ceteareth-25, malic acid, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter) oil, CI 15985, CI 19140, CI 60730.

The hair color comes with an allergy test kit - it comes in a sealed plastic pouch along with your gloves. Tear off the kit (which is just a piece of cardboard with a small indent at the center), and follow the instructions.

The allergy test panel. Make sure to use on a flat surface.

You'll need some cotton buds to put a few drops of solution 1 and 2 each to create a mixture, then apply it into the inner arm. Observe at 30 minutes and 48 hours after application. If there's redness or any indication of allergy, it would be advisable to avoid using the hair dye.


Now I think I left mine on for a tad too short a period of time, and I noticed that my hair is extremely thin and sparse. The box says that one box is enough to color shoulder length hair - my hair is longer than shoulder length, but there was quite some solution left in the bottle after I was done.

I edited the color slightly - it's slightly darker than this, but this is basically the color that came out from Antique Rose.

My original hair color is a very dark brown - the brown only being visible under certain angles and colors of light. Right now I'm sort of a red head~ I didn't do a very good job - only the top part of my head as well as the inner layers at the top are saturated with color, while the ends just look a bit darker.


I followed all the instructions, but obviously I still hadn't got used to the technique - the instruction sheet kept insisting that I avoid tangling my hair, and that made me keep the ends of my hair off the top of my head, which was supposed to be on top of my head to encourage even coloring.


I did this in a rush, right after gym and right before a lunch appointment with some family friends. Actually I could've just taken my time because the other party was late, but anyway, I left it on for what I think was just  15-20 minutes.


The solution stung my scalp - my skin has always been sorta sensitive, and this was my first time dying my hair DIY-style. Also, the foam got practically EVERYWHERE and the smell of ammonia is still here after so many hours.


Believe it or not, I colored my hair twice. The first round before lunch, and the second after. I had some leftover solution from the first round of coloring, and I was quite disappointed about the color payoff, so I tried doing another round, but I now realize I should have used the remaining solution with my hair ends instead of the roots.


Would I repurchase? Hell, yes! Although the color isn't very obvious, I love this shade of red~


Tips:

  • use a plastic bag cape - cut open the plastic bag and use it as a cape
  • before you finish the solution, use only one hand to massage
  • shampoo, condition and dry your hair before coloring, then brush through to get rid of tangles
  • there's no such thing as too much foam - use it all up!
  • recommend doing this upside down at some point to get the longer parts of your hair on the top of your head
  • start timing only when you've covered every single strand of hair and after at least 5 minutes of massaging
  • wash/wipe any dye/foam off your skin quickly - the foam tends to stain, and the longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove the stain
  • have lots of tissue conveniently available to wipe off any foam that splatters anywhere
  • make sure to get into the inner layers and the hairline, as well as the ends of your hair - give every strand some love!
  • if in doubt, get two boxes - just in case you don't have enough foam to color everything
  • stock up during promotions - the original price of these hair dyes are about RM38, during certain promotions they can cost as low as RM26
  • use a baby shampoo to wash your hair after washing off the foam (as per the directions)
  • if possible, use this naked - it much less of a hassle without worrying that you'll get hair dye on your clothes; and you can also wash your hair much easily!
  • if paranoid, you could just skip one day of hair-washing and use color protectant products, and/or leave the foam on for about 5 minutes more
  • remove all earrings and accessories before commencing

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Miyavi Live in Kuala Lumpur

I was just scrolling through my Facebook news feed on one fine day and *BAM!* - I saw the contest poster and I couldn't believe my eyes: MIYAVI WAS COMING TO KUALA LUMPUR!!! Sponsored by Asahi, 25th of July at The Stage, Avenue K on Jalan Ampang.

Rock zone ticket (RM130) & Miyavi's What's My Name album from 2010.
At first I was like "dang, that's the last day of my finals". I texted him and he went straight to Tokyo Street at Pavilion to get the tickets, as well as an album each for the meet and greet on Tuesday. So here's the schedule: Monday 6am Miyavi arrives at LCCT, 8pm having a preview show; Tuesday 8pm the meet and greet, then the live at 8pm on Wednesday.


The tickets are sold at RM130, RM180 and RM250 respectively, the most expensive one being the VIP area with a free flow of Asahi beer. Also featuring Koujee and Dennis Lau. For more information, click HERE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paradigm Mall haul

Kinda ironic 'cause we were studying paradigms in communication theory when the mall opened. Anyway, since my dad was back we took a swing by Paradigm Mall to check it out. First thing I wanna say: the person who planned the entering route, parking lot and general building layout - you are a complete "genius". The layout, to me, is too confusing.


However, I do like the selection of shops there, as well as the general graphic architecture. On to the shopping. The first store was somewhat of a craft cum gift store with lots of plastic flowers, gift boxes, wall deco, etc. Oh, yeah, and the management should also try to adjust their air conditioning 'cause it was like Alaska or Siberia there.


Peep toe heels from Payless Shoesource - RM159.90 (approx.)

Payless Shoesource is my favorite store now! Lots and lots of different shoes of different designs, all organized by size, so there's no need to wait for the salesperson to find your size of that shoe style. The prices are quite reasonable, but some of the heels have too high an inclination, which makes it difficult and painful for walking.

Salmon skirt from Nichii - RM29.90

After some random walking-arounds and shop-surveys, we stopped at Nichii and kinda knocked ourselves out. Contrary to my regular stand-and-wait persona, I was actually browsing everything and trying on clothes. I think it has to do with the extra number of 'yes's to my purchase requests when my dad is back~

Suki-Ya is right beside Tong Pak Fu~
Choose any selection of chicken, lamb and/or beef~
A number of soup stocks are available - miso (right), kimchi, etc.
Apart from a free flow of various meats, noodles, and sukiyaki ingredients, there's also a free flow of ice cream (green tea, chocolate and black sesame) complete with toppings~

Before we proceeded with any other shopping, LUNCH! Suki-Ya provides all-you-can eat lunch and dinner  sukiyaki-style at fixed prices (subject to 10% service tax and 6% government tax). Limitless beef, lamb, delicious veggies, udon, and ICE CREAM! Well, the food was good, but the ice cream wasn't much to shout about - too little green tea taste, but it was good with chocolate rice crispies.


And after lunch, the shopping continued, though we wanted to grab some dessert from Tong Pak Fu. And since we were too full I suggested that we walk around to digest some of the food before proceeding for dessert~

Dark teal and rust colored skinny jeans from Kitschen - RM89.00

Kitschen is right beside Nichii and Cotton On, and I spotted some nice skinny jeans! All my jeans are now really loose (they've always been baggy, though), and the jeans were on sale at RM89 for two pairs (one pair cost RM69.90).

Tong Pak Fu is all the craze now!
Not one of their signature dishes, but the Horlicks ice was served with sago,  lychee juice bubbles and rainbow jelly~

Tong Pak Fu was kinda as usual, and this time I ordered a Horlicks flavored ice, and then I realized that I have a love-hate relationship with the taste of malt. I'm kinda addicted to the taste, but yet the taste also disgusts me to a certain extent (makes sense?). The durian one was awesome though~


We redeemed a T-shirt (purchase RM200 in a single or combination of two receipts and you're entitled to redeem a T-shirt) then headed home, where everyone kinda just went to sleep.


Maybe it's because the mall is new, and there's still room for more shops, but I think the place could do with a little improvement~

Cafe Review: In House Cafe, Seri Petaling



My dad just came home a few days ago, and on the same day we were working at Pureen's warehouse sales, so instead of cooking dinner we opted to eat out. Dad wanted noodles, and didn't want to eat at Face to Face or Taiwan Dami, so settled for In House Cafe.


According to one of my younger sister's good friends, the place was something like Pappa Rich, but I'll have to disagree with her. Pappa Rich serves mostly "Malaysian" food, while this one was a mixture of dim sum, Western and Asian food.


In House is located opposite Old Town White Coffee and Bonga Korean BBQ, as well as QQ Internet Cafe and Kam Lun Tai Restaurant. It takes up 3 shop lots and has an abundant amount of tables. It uses the button call system, so would be rather efficient.


I ordered a cheese-baked rice with fish, and a hot jasmine milk tea. The food actually came quite quickly, which was a plus, and so did the drinks. I wanted to order a fresh juice at first, but it cost RM5.00, and I didn't know how big the serving was, so I settled for the milk tea.

Cheese baked rice with fish - RM12.90

The cheese-baked rice was more of cream sauce-covered rice with a thin layer of cheese on the top, with a fish-and-chips-esque piece of fish on top. The good thing was that the rice wasn't baked until dehydrated, and the fish was perfectly cooked (albeit a bit over breaded).

Jasmine milk tea - RM3.90

The jasmine milk tea wasn't what I expected. I kinda expected the taste from Dami or Chatime, but it was neither, but still it tasted familiar (like my preferred English breakfast tea?). However, the tea didn't seem to have an even color, even after stirring, and that kinda bugged me.


The prices are average, but leaning toward the expensive side - a meal for 6 people (7 main dishes) and 3 drinks totaled up to RM101.10, inclusive of 10% service tax. That's an average of RM16.85 per person (inclusive of the tax), which is really quite expensive.


The service was horrible, though. All the staff were foreign staff who were taught certain phrases to answer some FAQs from the customers. None of them knew the food they were serving, and when asked what was what, just shoved the crumpled order ticket in your face. When my mum asked for chopped red chilies, he almost mispronounced "hijau" ("green" in Malay) when saying they only had green chilies.


Hence:

  • Food - 6 / 10
  • Variety - 7 / 10
  • Environment - 6.5 / 10
  • Service - 4 / 10
  • Price - 5.5 / 10
  • Location - 7.5 / 10

In House Cafe
No. 53, Jalan Radin Anum,
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling,
57000 Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Video: Mark Gungor's "Laugh Your Way To A Happy Marriage"

Just a few days ago one of my seniors posted a video cut from Mark Gungor's talk, Laugh Your Way To A Happy Marriage, talking about the difference between men's brains and women's brains (Tale of Two Brains). I thought it was quite interesting, but didn't go any further.


Then, on my Youtube homepage, there was a suggestion for the complete talk video "because I watched so-and-so video". So here are the videos, The Tale of Two Brains:

Part 1



Part 2



Of course I'm not married, but this really offers insight to the workings of both men's and women's brains (without bias) and the things that make them tick, and how to maintain as what Mark Gungor said, "a balance of happiness-to-poo ratio" in marriage.


And I don't think don't think these bits of information are only limited to married couples: they're useful also for regular couples (usually exclusively-dating ones). It helps us in general broaden our knowledge about the opposite sex, and do what is necessary to respect those differences and create a more harmonious relationship.


Enjoy~

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Photography for Make-up Blogs and Channels

For make-up blogs and channels, a lot of visual is required, because make-up is essentially something visual. Hence, a lot of pictures and videos have to be taken, and this is where photography comes in. I'm by no means educated in photography, nor am I claiming to be expert at this, but after time I've gathered a bit of experience regarding make-up photos, and I've watched enough Michelle Phan to last me a lifetime.

The Camera

Lots of beauty gurus use DSLRs or video cameras to record their work as well as taking pictures. In my opinion, a 5.0 megapixel camera is enough to do the job. Ever since I've been posting picture tutorials, I've been using the built-in 5.0 megapixel camera on my Nokia C6-00, and there were actually people who said that the pictures were really sharp!

The Lighting

Unless you're using artificial light, always go for front lighting. Always have the light right in your face, rather than coming from the side - this helps make the results more balanced, and you would also get the make-up more balanced if you used front light, as there would be no dark shadow on one side and light on the other.


Always go for white light (sunlight is slightly blue-tinted, if I recall correctly) as it gives the best results. But it's always good to give your selected lighting preference a test run before actually putting it to use. Position yourself and your lighting the way you want, then take a few pictures from varying angles to see how they come out. If you like'em, well, there's your lighting setting!


Take note though, afternoon sunlight is extremely bright, and though it's the most ideal light for photography, sometimes it can overexpose your face on camera, leaving cast-white skin tones and drowning out detail on your face. Tilt yourself so that you're facing the source of light, but without facing it completely head on. Or get a very sheer piece of curtain to tone down the sunlight.

The Setting

Watch the pixiwoo sisters, MissChievous or Wayne. Their backgrounds for filming area awesome - plain, uncluttered, professional looking. Always try to find a light-colored background, as it gives professional-looking effect.


If you can't do that, then make sure whichever background you're using isn't too cluttered - an entire bedroom, etc. If you do, then make sure any small to medium things that are lying around are out of sight, or make them look ornamental.

The Make-up

Make-up colors and definition are inevitably washed out slightly in pictures and videos. So, if you're doing something like a tutorial, it would be more logical to apply it more heavy-handedly, unless you're doing all close-ups. And if you're doing close-ups, make sure to clean up any mistakes, because they will be extremely obvious.

The Photo Selection

Take a million photos, then choose one from them. It's better than only taking one and it doesn't turn out nice. Well, at least take 2-3 shots of each, so that you could pick the best out of the entire selection.

The Editing

Apart from Adobe Photoshop, there are also some free online editing softwares available, though not as effective as Photoshop. PicMonkey is a multi-functional photo editing website, which is not unlike Picnik (closed down). Textures, frames, overlays, touch ups, etc. Most of them are default settings, but each feature has it's own control panel to adjust it.


My favorite function? Blemish fix. It's always when I'm breaking out that I have urges to do make-up tutorials or just take pictures of myself with make-up.

FOOD: Herbal Chicken Mushroom Soup

Our current go to dinner options for weekends for the past few months have been herbal chicken mushroom soup - you've got the Chinese herbs, healthy protein from chicken and also the wonderful flavor of mushrooms!


One of my grandmother's specialty soups (among many!) is her herbal soup - strong and full of wonderful nutrients. However, she handpicks all her herbs, and boils them according to her measurements. We, the younger generation in the family, don't like the boiled herbs, but sometimes they end up in our soup bowl.

These mixes are relatively cheap.

The solution: pre-packed herbal soup mixes! Yeah, it sounds like cheating, but it's actually not. Many companies make them, and there are different varieties depending on which brand you buy. It may sound dodgy, but it's exactly the same as boiling herbal soup the old-school way, except it's more fuss-free~


Usually the instructions for cooking and the ingredients required are written on the back of the packet. The one I used required 1.5L of water, and an entire chicken, I think. Requirements for the soup vary from packet to packet, but you could also add in your choice of veggies, meat, etc.


What we usually use:
  • 4-5 whole chicken drumsticks
  • 2 large bunches of fresh enoki mushrooms
  • 4 stalks of fresh eryngii mushrooms
  • 1 packet of fresh oyster mushrooms OR 1 packet fresh shimeji mushrooms

Or whatever we can get, but this is what we usually get for the soup. Depending on your taste you could add some salt to it, but we consider this a really healthy, salt-free meal (unless someone wants to add some salt, of course).


For clearer soup, skim off any foam from the surface of the soup every once in a while that comes from the chicken marrow and/or the mushrooms. This not only clears away any scum, it also scoops away any excess fat that might have melted off the chicken.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shopping!

I'll have to put my white flag up and put down my assumption that shopping wasn't therapeutic - maybe it was because all the "shopping" I did before was window-shopping, and there wasn't much stuff that I wanted that I could actually buy.


When I go out, I usually won't buy more than one or two items, depending on the situation. This time, I got almost everything that I wanted! (to be elaborated later) The only thing I didn't get was a pair of strappy leather heels from Charles & Keith - they were awfully pretty, and they were comfortable.


Purple sakura-print yukata with lilac obi - RM89.00 [Jusco]


The first item that I got the entire day was a YUKATA. A yukata is a summer kimono - usually made from cotton, and with significantly less layers than a traditional kimono. The patterns on the yukata you wear depends on your age. For example, goldfish and/or paper ball patterns are for younger girls. However, the more traditional patterns are floral.




Bon Odori is around the corner, and I was thrilled when I spotted the yukatas on sale at Jusco, Mid Valley (the ladies' floor, men's yukatas also available). The yukata along with the obi was only RM89, and now I'm completely in love with my new purple sakura-print yukata!




However, due to my height (I'm only 162cm, that's about 5' 3" I think), the yukata was a bit too long. Alright it was way too long, with about at least 20cm more fabric at the leg, but it was so pwetty~


The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in 02 Grey Brown - RM24.90 (if I'm not mistaken)


The trip to The Face Shop was as usual - I needed an eyebrow pencil since mine finished. It was until my mum got home and was rearranging her skincare and make-up that she found that she had one brow pencil (almost completely untouched) that she doesn't want.


Kao Liese Hair Color in Antique Rose - RM37.80 [Watsons]


I'm sure many of you have heard of Kao's Liese hair dye - instead of regular applied hair dye, this is actually a foam, so that all strands of hair can be dyed evenly. Ever since my friends dyed their hair using Liese (one used Chiffon Beige, another friend used Cassis Berry), I've been wanting to get my hands on one.



It wasn't until now that I got my own, and I think they've come up with new shades (Elegant Ash, True Chocolat, etc), and Antique Rose looked much more pink/red toned than Cassis Berry, which is supposed to be a pink with a brown undertone). Anyhow, I'm waiting for the next weekend (when I've just washed my hair) to dye it, and I'll do another blog post on that!


The food we had that day was SCRUMPTIOUS. Nando's chicken is one of our favorite places to have grilled chicken. It used to be Kenny Rogers, but then the Malaysian management decided to do all kinds of funny things to it (like calling it KRR rather than Kenny Rogers Roasters). Their chicken is wonderfully roasted to perfection and to the spiciness of your choice.


Of course, you could pair your meal with their unique sidelines, and/or with their signature sauces available. They also have a wide selection of drinks, desserts and kids meals~


For dessert... Tong Pak Fu (named after the ancient Chinese scholar of the same name) is located on the top floor at Mid Valley, somewhat next to the Barbie store. It has a wide selection of desserts available, but the most popular ones are the shaved ice.


It's shaved ice is similar to the ones at the 100Y stores, but with more condiments and flavors. I was craving Snowflake's Japan Combo, and Tong Pak Fu had soya ice! There are also mochi, ice cream, waffles and cream of nut soups. You also can get a 10% discount on the entire bill by showing the cashier your student ID card!