Sunday, September 29, 2013

Travel Diary: Visiting the Inspiration for Avatar's Pandora - Zhangjiajie

Hi All! This is my post for my fourth week in Hong Kong! (I'm one week behind)

But last week, I left HK on Wednesday to visit my aunt in Guangzhou, and then we did a four day tour in Zhangjiajie. Zhangjiajie is a city in Hunan province and is best known for their mountains.

I've never been to Guangzhou before, nor the HK train station. So it was a bit nerve wracking to take the trip by myself! But I felt really accomplished when I arrived in one piece to Guangzhou haha!

The train was surprisingly comfy

After spending the night in Guangzhou we woke up at 5am to catch the 7am high speed train. 3 hours train ride, and 4 hour bus ride later, we arrived to Zhang Jia Jie. 

First off we visited the historic site of the Tu ethnic family

These are some of their cultural artifacts. 

The next day we went to visit Tian Men Shan. Which literally means sky door mountain. To get there, we took a cable car up. Which was the steepest and longest cable car ride ever!!!

On the mountain, there was one section that was all glass! It was really neat and frightening for a lot of people.

Another highlight was climbing to see this cave. Redbull actually did a contest once and had people fly through it in its wingsuit!

On the third day, we visited another mountain. Does this look familiar to you at all? These were actually the inspiration for the background in the movie Avatar!! Pretty cool huh?

There were monkeys in this park!

On the last day we walked down a canyon! I was getting a bit tired of taking pictures at this point so not much more to see.

Overall it was a really neat trip. But it makes me appreciate the living conditions back at home so much more. The city Zhangjiajie is not known to most, I have never even heard of it before now. The parks were really beautiful, but the city still needs a lot of development. 

Check out my other Asia travel experiences!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Travel Diary: Weekend Trip to Macau from Hong Kong

Wow, I can't believe how fast the time is flying! I've already been in HK for a month!! Two weekends ago, I went to Macau :) I wanted to keep my first trip small and simple.

Getting ready to get on the ferry. It's only an hour boat ride away from HK

We got there around noon and decided to spend the day sightseeing. We started walking from the hotel but realized we walked the complete opposite direction! The city was very different from what I expected. I heard it was the Asian Vegas but there's not really a "strip". It was some fancy hotels in the middle of quite run down buildings.

We finally made our way to the touristy area! Group shot at the Square

Attempted jumping picture! (Thanks Jerry for the picture!)


What we came to Macau to see. The ruins!

This was beautiful but at the same time kind of artificial. There was nothing behind it and the whole path leading up to it was so commercialized. And then suddenly bam, it's a door. It almost feels like it's placed there just for tourist reasons.

The view of the city on top of the fortress.

We went to Fisherman's Wharf which was quite cute and quaint. But not sure why the whole area was empty! 

What was super fun about the trip was the night time activities! We caught the Wynn lightshow, and went in their casino, but realized the minimum bet was too high! We went over to the other side to the City of Dreams because we heard Club Cubic was really great. And it was definitely one of the funnest clubbing nights I've had! I would definitely recommend it!


We stayed overnight, but the next morning was all too tired to continue exploring. I think Macau is perfect for a small weekend trip. :) Have any of you guys been? What was your experience?

Check out my other Asia travel experiences!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Smashbox Try It Kit Review


Before I left Vancouver, I picked up the Smashbox Try it Kit from Sephora. This kit contains five of their best sellers in trial sizes. I've never had any Smashbox products, so I thought this was the perfect way to experiment. In summary I only really liked 1, I disliked 1 and the other three were just okay.

Read on!


Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Clear gel foundation primer


The formulation of this primer was very different from other primers I've used. Instead of feeling moisturized it felt dry after I put it on. This may be good if you have oily skin but I didn't like the feel of it. It's hard to describe so you should try it out first yourself before purchasing. Performance wise, I didn't see a huge difference but it was a nice base minus the dry feel. 

Photo Finish Lid Primer

Beige colored lid primer

I actually REALLY liked this product. It's my favorite from this kit. The reason is because this primer has enough coverage to double as a concealer. It was really nice using this on my lid and right underneath my eye to give an even color throughout the whole area!

Full Exposure Mascara

Bristle style wand which I love!

It lengthened my lashes quite well and gave me some volume. There was no flaking or smudging. I'd say this is a good every day mascara! But if I'm paying high end price, I want a mascara that wows. Currently I'm also using Benefit's They're Real and that mascara really gives me crazy big lashes. I do like this, but I wouldn't buy it full price. 

Limitless Eyeliner in Onyx

Soft, dark black waterproof eyeliner

This eyeliner was really intense and stayed on for the full day. But I found it really hard to wipe off. This is good if you are looking for a dark waterproof eyeliner. I like mine softer so I didn't really like it.

Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume

Pale champagne colored lipgloss with glitter and a sponge tip applicator


It looks quite pretty on my hand!

But I hate it on my lips! This picture doesn't show it properly but when I put it on, I feel like a hooker. It just looks really unclassy and too nude. Maybe my lips are too pigmented but it doesn't look good on me at all! Also, I like my lip products with flavor or scent and this is unscented. I would recommend this only if you like nude lipsticks and unscented lip products.


Overall

I don't regret buying this at all but none of the items really wowed me. I really liked the lid primer but everything was pretty dupable. It was $22 to try out 5 products so I don't mind at all! I'm still using all the products even if they aren't my favorite. I think these sets are a great way to try out new products so it was really fun. What do you guys own from Smashbox? What do you think of the brand?

With all the products on.

Sad about the lipgloss color