Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Counter Malaysia At Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Tucked in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur's Dining Loft, The Counter Malaysia is a little haven away from the hustle and bustle of my usual food haunts. The warm lighting and the hanging lights make for a cosy dinner setting (or lunch if that is your preference?).



The wait staff were friendly and attentive. It took a while (20 minutes or so) for them to prepare our order during peak hours but it was well worth the wait! Everything at The Counter is done to perfection, whether it is the succulent burgers, the delicious sweets or the perfect cuppa.



These are a small taste of the assortment of burgers that you can order out the 312,000 combinations! One glance at the menu was enough to tell me that the only outcome from this dinner was a serious food coma, haha! You can view the full menu here.


My burger - the Bacon² BBQ Burger! The beef was juicy with the slightest trace of pinkness. I can't take anything too rare so this degree of doneness is very much to my liking. It meshes beautifully with the bacon and the crispiness from the onion rings provided a nice crunch with every bite. By far the best burger I EVER had.


Upper left corner

The accompanying calorific buns are baked fresh by Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Delivered daily, they are fluffy yet dense. Yuuuum! I felt that the portion is a bit on the large side (disclaimer: I am not the biggest eater in the world) so take what I say with a grain of salt. But if I can finish it, so can you, although I was just about to burst at the seams.


We also feasted on the most heavenly fries! They come with sauces but give them a try without dipping into the sauces first.


The Cheddar Cheese Fries Clear have a clear cheese taste but they can get a little cloying after a while. A favourite of mine, the Sweet Sriracha Fries, were incredibly addictive and shall delight those looking for a hint of spiciness.

The Sweet Potato Fries got better with every bite. The Crispy Onion Strings had a sweetness that made them simply irresistible. It may interest you to know that these potatoes and sweet potatoes are imported all the way from the US. Only the best will do for The Counter Malaysia!


If that wasn't enough... dessert was mind-blowingly scrumptious. We had the Caramel + Chocolate Brownie (warm gooey brownie centred with ice cream that melted in the mouth) and the Key Lime Pie (tart tangy flavours that bloomed on the tongue). They really are what dreams are made of. Boy, was I glad that I saved some room for a final sweet course!


I managed to have something that wasn't sinful and it was this Orangaberry smoothie. Made from a blend of fruits and fat free vanilla yoghurt (to add creaminess to the drink), it didn't feel substantial thanks to the sourness from the orange.



The Counter Malaysia is a place I will 100% return just to continue working my way through the burger menu. I think you will have a fantastic time should you stop by! Now if only I could stop drooling over the Bacon² BBQ Burger...

Address:
Lot 7.01.01, Dining Loft,
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur,
168, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.

Telephone:
03-2856 0240

Hours:
10:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/counterpavilionmall

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Philips KeraShine Heated Styling Brush, Dryer & Straightener

As the cells in your hair mature, they fill up with a fibrous protein called keratin. Damaged hair occur when (inferior) products are used improperly. When your hair is dry and keratin deficient, a remedy in the form of a keratin treatment should be implemented.

This is where the Philips KeraShine range of products comes in. They are infused with keratin and built-in ionic conditioners to keep hair smooth, shiny and free from frizz. The stylers themselves are black (glossy for the heated styling brush and hair dryer; matte for the straightener) and sturdy in construction. The yellow light will illuminate to indicate they are on.

Here's how I got on in no particular order!

Philips KeraShine Heated Styling Brush HP8632 | RM 199
My favourite kind of curls is the classic vintage Hollywood curls like what you would see on Grace Kelly, but this styling brush won't help you achieve that look. Instead it gives soft, effortless curls. Y'know the kind of look that we wish we can all sport when we roll out from the bed?


Second best is still pretty good, and with the KeraShine Heated Styling Brush around, I can pretend that my hair looks naturally perfect from the time I wake up (thanks to the quick heat-up time) to the time I head to bed. And need I mention that the bristles has this awesome retractive ability? No more getting my mop ripped off or even tangled!

◆ 190℃ heat temperature
◆ 45mm barrel
◆ 2 temperature settings


Philips KeraShine Dryer HP8216 | RM 169
I am pretty lucky in the sense that my hair dries fairly straight with a hair dryer (and a round brush) but I can toss my brush away with the KeraShine Dryer around. Sporadically combing through with my fingers is enough to give me sleek locks. Add in a lustrous silky sheen and we have a winner in our hands! Who would have thought that a hair dryer can give me all these?!


I also liked that it had a cool air setting but let's face it, I only use it to dry my nail polish (I might as well admit to bad habits). My only complaint for an otherwise incredible tool is the longer drying time. If it takes my 2,200W ThermoProtect Ionic Hairdryer four minutes to finish the job, the 1,600W KeraShine Dryer will need double the time.

◆ Even Heat Distribution technology
◆ ThermoProtect temperature setting
◆ 3 flexible settings


Philips KeraShine Straightener HP8316 | RM 169
The KeraShine Straightener has a whole host of convenient features from the extra wide plates (H75×W47mm) for easy gliding over thick sections of hair at a time to a swivel cord for flexibility in my movements. One pass and I am ready to go!


Sliding a button located at the base of the straightener will lock the plates in place, making storage quick and easy and protecting the straightener from accidental damage. The lightweight wand (approximately 280g) requires little to no effort to lift, ensuring that my arms don't tire as I work on my hair. All of this is basically meant to ensure that I get poker-straight strands in minimum time without frazzling my mane unnecessarily.

◆ 210℃ heat temperature
◆ 60s heat-up time
◆ Auto shut-off function


It was such a treat to try these new tools out, so thank you, Philips Malaysia, for the opportunity! Want gorgeous tresses on a daily basis? Get the KeraShine collection from blipmy.com!


Disclosure: Press samples.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Etude House Dreaming Swan Overview

Celebrated Australian illustrator, Kerrie Hess, joined hands with Etude House for the Dreaming Swan collection. It centers upon the ballerina fantasy we all had when we were little girls, twirling around on pointe with our tutus flared out.


Name: Etude House 에뛰드하우스 Dreaming Swan 드리밍 스완
Made in: Korea

If you only plan to buy one thing, then go for the Eye & Cheek 아이 앤 치크. The powder formula is so incredibly blendable to the point where it goes unnoticed on my skin. This will be amazing on lighter skin tones and I may even crack 02 Pointe Coral 포인 코랄 (a beautiful peach shade) out to add some warmth to my skin. To make it ten times dreamier, the puff applicator comes with a bow and a tutu.


You may want to head straight to Dear My Blooming Lips-Talk 디어 마이 블루밍 립스 톡 if cheek products aren't your thing. Granted, the formula isn't the best... OR225 Dream Pointe Coral 꿈꿔왔던 포인 코랄, an apricot, is dry and will emphasize lip lines and flakes so moisturise well before use. I wish the Etude team repackaged Dear My Wish Lips-Talks instead; now those are awesome lipsticks!


Something I can't quite pinpoint as a must buy is the Any Cushion Case 애니 쿠션 케이스. If you already own their cushion foundations, purchasing this may border on the excessive side because you only need the refill (which you are able to buy separately). Nonetheless, the limited edition 01 Dreaming Swan 꿈꾸는백조 is scarily pretty so we will fall down that rabbit hole no matter what our minds may tell us, haha!


The Dreaming Swan collection even has this adorable Mini Pouch 미니 파우치. As indicated by the name, it is an itty bitty thing, measuring in at H6.8×D10.2cm. It doesn't fit much - I am only able to get a couple of my daily essentials in (about 12 lipsticks or so?). It is not something that I would necessarily buy for myself, but it is nice having it around to beautify my dresser cum work table.


Go to etudehouse.com for a detailed look at the whole collection! I have only featured four, there are plenty more on the site!

Disclosure: Pink Bird samples.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Amaranth Messaline Ultra Hydrating Cream

The Amaranth Messaline Ultra Hydrating Cream comes in a tube with the convenience of a pump. And thanks its clever design (more likely the flat-base cover), it can even stand upright by itself! It bears a strong plumeria scent, similar to the Collagen Moistfull Cream by Etude House.


Name: Amaranth 아마란스 Messaline 메사린 Ultra Hydrating Cream 울트라 하이드레이팅 크림
Price: ₩ 42,000 for 60 g
Made in: Korea

The texture is worth waxing lyrical about. It literally transforms in front of my eyes from a gel to water droplets. How cool is that?! This moisturiser gives a burst of cooling sensation upon application, which is a telling sign of how high the water content is. This is always a plus in my books, because it feels like the Sahara desert here sometimes (make that always!).


Besides water, it also contains Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Red Ginseng Extract and Chamomile Extract to heighten moisture as well as elasticity levels. Before, I had a measly 31.3% and after slapping Ultra Hydrating Cream on, my moisture levels climbed to 50.4%.


Before


After

The lightweight cream (or should I say gel?) sinks into my skin in a snap of fingers leaving it supple and hydrated without creating unnecessary greasiness. I like how smooth it made my skin feel - a nod to the silicones in the formulation perhaps? While I like using this moisturiser (the novelty factor helps a whole lot!), I am on the fence regarding the use of occlusives in the formulation. I know some people don't play well with silicones, so you may want to give this a pass if you are one of them.


You will be happy to know that you will be receiving a generous amount of product – 60 g to be exact – for ₩ 42,000. In South Korea, it looks like Amaranth products are available from selected duty-free shops. Unfortunately I don't think it has made it over here yet...

The full ingredient list for Messaline Ultra Hydrating Cream:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Ethyl Alcohol, PEG-10 Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer Dimethicone, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Phospholipids, Whey Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Menthol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Colloidal Platinum, Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Leaf Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Acetyl Tyrosine, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Carbomer, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG-8, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, CI 42090, Fragrance.

Disclosure: BNTGirls sample. Head on over to BNTNews for more exciting news, may it be K-Beauty, K-Fashion or K-Pop!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gucci Bamboo Eau De Parfum

One of Gucci's most recognisable design signatures, the bamboo, makes an appearance in its fragrance collection. Aptly named Gucci Bamboo, its sensorial composition draws inspiration from the Gucci woman's harmonious dichotomy.


She balances strength and confidence with her innate femininity. She bends yet she does not break. She is full of vitality, she is adaptable, and she faces life's changes with ease. She is an alluring mix of many sides.


"Being asked to work with Gucci has been an extraordinary honor. It's incredible to collaborate with one of the world's most influential fashion houses on such a special and empowering fragrance project. I treated the Gucci Bamboo campaign like a film role. The character is multi-layered and intriguing, and truly a modern woman."
Gal Gadot


Name: Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum
Price: RM 361 for 50 ml
Made in: France

The Fragrance
Able to flourish in extreme conditions including withstanding a hurricane's force, the bamboo plant's natural strength compares to steel. Slender and elegant, bamboo soars willowy over other vegetation.


Mirroring these characteristics, the perfume is both soft and intense at once. It highlights femininity with a flowery bouquet, enhanced by a voluptuous woody accord. The compelling and sensual scent simply hypnotises...

◆ Top note: Bergamot
◆ Heart notes: Casablanca Lily, Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang
◆ Base notes: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Tahitian Vanilla, Amber


I guess it is too much to ask for a literal interpretation? I for one would have been delighted to see bamboo featured as one of the notes in the perfume! But it is a huge game changer in the nuance of the fragrance; perhaps an entirely new perfume would have been born!


Nonetheless, the scent resonates with me so much that I have been wearing it every day with fail. It loses its potency when evening rolls around, so it is wise to decant some in a Travalo for freshening up purposes. Just in case I have plans later on. It is better to be prepared, ha!


The Flacon
The bottle design melds delicate sensibility with strong lines. The boldly cut art deco, diamond-style glass facets are juxtaposed against the ridged bamboo cap and the pale blush scent inside - a metaphor for the multifaceted Gucci woman.


The Collection
◆ Gucci Bamboo EdP 30 ml RM 260
◆ Gucci Bamboo EdP 50 ml RM 361
◆ Gucci Bamboo EdP 75 ml RM 455

The Composition
The full ingredient list for Bamboo Eau de Parfum:-
Alcohol Denat., Parfum (Fragrance), Aqua (Water), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, BHT, Linalool, Limonene, Hydroxycitronellal, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Citronellol, Isoeugenol, CI 60730 (Ext. Violet 2), CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 14700 (Red 4).

Disclosure: Press sample.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Forencos Lips In Love 04 Lol Lol Lol

You may not have heard of Forencos but it sure receives a lot of love in South Korea! It has appeared in dramas and variety shows (SBS's My Love from the Star and MBC Every1's Match Made in Heaven Returns to name a few) and the product that I am reviewing had its popularity skyrocketing when SoYou used it after her meal (in MBC Every1's Sistar Showtime).

(Source: forencos.co.kr/)

Name: Forencos 포렌코즈 Lips in Love 립스 인 러브 04 Lol Lol Lol 룰룰룰
Price: ₩ 19,000 for 6 g
Made in: Korea

Lips in Love has a sponge tipped applicator that picks up a quite a bit of product so clean off the excess before you start slicking it on. Extra gloop on the wand simply means that you will be piling on too much at once, which always leads to clumping.


It feels very cooling upon application (as if I am swiping on a layer of amped up water!). The lightweight texture and the lack of stickiness further points out the similarities between Forencos's Lips in Love and Bourjois's Rouge Edition Aqua Laque. If you like Aqua Laque but prefer a matte finish, then go with Lips in Love. You will love (forgive the pun!) it!


It does suffer from a couple of issues, firstly being the drying formulation. So prep your lips well beforehand. Secondly, it transfers and will mark coffee mugs. Lastly, the canned grape juice scent scent (just like Etude House's Color in Liquid Lips and Color Lips-Fit) may not be everyone's cup of tea. Me thinks the gorgeous colours are well worth the trouble though! Haha!


The shade that was tucked in my July BNTNews beauty box is 04 Lol Lol Lol, a muted rose red. It has the right amount of warmth in it to flatter and it is so wearable, and universal that it will match most, if not all skin tones.



Available in 6 other trendy shades from lilacs to oranges for US$ 19.99 each. Forencos.co.kr offers free international shipping for purchases over US$ 100!

Disclosure: BNTGirls sample. Head on over to BNTNews for more exciting news, may it be K-Beauty, K-Fashion or K-Pop!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Too Cool For School Check Hot Girl Lash 2 Royal Blue

Looking to dip your feet into the world of colored mascaras? Too Cool For School is the brand for you! They have three colours to choose from: 1 Nuts Brown 너츠 브라운, 2 Royal Blue 로열블루 and 3 Raspberry Pink 라즈베리 핑크.

(Source: toocoolforschool.com/)

Name: Too Cool For School 투쿨포스쿨 Check Hot Girl Lash 체크 핫 걸 래쉬 2 Royal Blue 로열블루
Price: ₩ 12,000
Made in: Korea

The brown or even blue hue would be ideal for you if you are not ready for bold colours yet. They are a subtle change from the classic black but not quite as intimidating as, say, a pink colour.


I was impressed by not only the beautiful navy blue colour, but also the seriously pretty lashes it delivered. This mascara combines length and volume in one flick of a wand. To really make the colour really pop, two or more coats will do the trick.


I don't ever coat my lower lashes, but I will now thanks to its ability to keep smudges and smears at bay. It looks really cool and maybe a little edgy too? What I know for sure is that I am garnering second takes, haha!


I am only showing the mascara's prowess on my upper lashes because my eyeballs won't photograph well - rampant signs of exhaustion (veiny and seriously yellow) - and this is supposed to be a review filled with rainbows and unicorns, not cobwebs and jungles!


Without


With

Colored mascaras are one of the easiest ways to get you there, whether you want to expand your horizons or make a statement!

Disclosure: BNTGirls sample. Head on over to BNTNews for more exciting news, may it be K-Beauty, K-Fashion or K-Pop!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Aritaum Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask

Another prolific brand under the Amore Pacific umbrella *coughs Laneige coughs* has come out with a lip mask but heady over my prior success, I knew I had to give Aritaum's version a look first.


Name: Aritaum 아리따움 Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask 진저슈가 오버나이트 립마스크
Price: ₩ 9,000 for 25 g
Made in: Korea

Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask is an ultimate thirst quencher as the formula deeply moisturises, keeping my pout soft and in perfect kissable condition (the brand promises 24H protection). Out of all the lip balms that I have tried before – and I have used plenty - this one stays on until the next morning in spite of my violent sleeping habits.


That is not to say that I can't use it during the day time, but I prefer something more portable when I am out and about. Besides that, the sticky, tacky, shiny and glossy finish can err on the slick side... a matte base is preferable if I want to wear lipsticks on top without them slipping or sliding off.


It has the mildest ginger fragrance, which makes sense since this product contains Ginger Extract alongside Shea Butter, Murumuru Seed Butter and Beeswax. A thin layer combined with the generously sized 25 g canister will keep me from looking for an alternative for quite sometime.


Retails for US$ 11.98 on jolse.com.

The full ingredient list for Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask:
폴리부텐, 덱스트린팔미테이트/에칠헥사노에이트, 피토스테릴/이소스테아릴/세틸/스테아릴/베헤닐다이머디리놀리에이트, 디이소스테아릴말레이트, 피토스테릴이소스테아릴다이머디리놀리에이트, 하이드로제네이티드폴리이소부텐, 미네랄오일,쉐어버터, 마이크로크리스탈린왁스, 글리세린, 칸데릴라왁스, 토코페릴아세테이트, 야자씨드버터, 트리에칠헥사노인,비즈왁스, 카프릴릭/카프릭트리글리세라이드, 디메치콘, 하이드로제네이티드스타이렌/이소프렌코폴리머, 슈크로오스테트라스테아레이트트리아세테이트, 부틸렌/에칠렌/스타이렌코폴리머, 에칠렌/프로필렌/스타이렌코폴리머, 폴리에칠렌, 오조케라이트, 폴리하이드록시스테아릭애씨드, 폴리글리세릴-2디폴리하이드록시스테아레이트, 디스테아디모늄헥토라이트, 소르비탄이소스테아레이트, 이소프로필팔미테이트, 이소스테아릭애씨드, 레시틴, 에칠헥실팔미테이트, 데하이드로아세틱애씨드, 비에이치티, 폴리글리세릴-3폴리리시놀리에이트, 트레할로스, 생강추출물, 향료.

Disclosure: Press sample.