Amsterdam 2016

Amsterdam really surprised me last year when I visited. I booked it as a pit stop after spending a week in Paris, but I really fell in love with the place when I arrived.

upload.jpg

Canals everywhere and the bikes lanes are a dream compared to what we have in Vancouver. 

upload.jpg

The local coffee scene is also fantastic. Many shops roast in-house and lots of pourover fans here too.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

One of the cutest place we stopped by was De Hallen. This warehouse-like building is packed with food stalls and cute local shops. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Raclette and beer.

upload.jpg

How cute are these shops? If my suitcase was big enough I'd take everything home.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Cocktails at Tail and Spirits, beautiful cocktail bar.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

There were so many great spots I visited that I didn't even have time to take photos in. That's a sign of a fun trip, right?

Lunch at Pierre Gagnaire

One of the highlights of my Paris trip was having lunch in this beautiful room. This 3 Michelin star spot is modern and lively. The legendary chef Pierre Gagnaire himself personally greets every single table, and it's clear that he's frequently surrounded by friends.

I didn't take pictures of the whole meal, and I normally don't take any pictures at Michelin star restaurants. I figure they get enough publicity that if you want to see the food, you can find it elsewhere, and I'll be busy eating. I took a few shots here since I had my camera with me already, walking around Paris. I guess it helps me remember. 

upload.jpg

A ball of fine butter is always a sign that a phenomenal meal is coming. 

upload.jpg

Bread and bites.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

One of our main courses. The beef in this was unbelievably tender.

upload.jpg

I remember these as one of five (or more?) courses of dessert we had. 

upload.jpg

Unfortunately a blurry photo, but the details on these dishes make them such stunners.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Post-meal coffees with candied sugar.

upload.jpg

Paris 2016

My first time in Paris. The city is old and dirty and charming as hell. And it only took me 8 months to put this post up.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

Nothing like this view at night.

upload.jpg
 

 

The Louvre

upload.jpg

We walked everywhere in Paris, you just can't help it when the view is like this.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

People watching at the Louvre can be more fun than the art.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

I love finding a quiet corner with good light.

 

 

Palace of Versailles

upload.jpg

This landscaping.

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg

The light here is just phnomenal. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
 

 

Palais de Tokyo

This is a highly recommended change of scenery if you have been staring at the renaissance for too long. 

upload.jpg
upload.jpg
upload.jpg
 

 

And of course, I couldn't leave Paris without a visit to this little shop.

upload.jpg

New Things To Try: The Chemistry Brand from Deciem

This winter has been particularly drying for my skin, especially on my body. I'm normally a pretty lazy person and don't use body lotion very often, but this year I find myself reaching it daily. I've been very diligent with my facial skincare routine this year and have seen great results, so I decided to spruce up my body care routine too.

Deciem, a brand I discovered early this year and have been in love with, had a pretty awesome Black Friday sale; so I took the chance to order a few things from their body care line: The Chemistry Brand.

upload.jpg

HYALURONIC CONCENTRATE

From Deciem: "Contains an extraordinarily high concentration of nature-like hyaluronic acid, suspended in a base of skin-supporting red algae and tamarind. Continued use helps retain hydration, while enhancing visible texture and delivery of actives." 

Let's talk about this one first because it's my favourite. I am a big fan of hyaluronic acid in my facial routine, but I've never tried it on my body. This comes in 240ml bottle with a pump for $30 CAD, probably the most affordable hyaluronic acid product I've seen.

I've been putting this on after I shower and before my body lotion, and I can't believe the difference it makes. It makes my skin so smooth and baby soft, and it seems to make my lotion absorb faster. By itself it's a clear gel that goes on very smooth, absorbs instantly, and does not leave any residue or stickiness. I don't find it moisturizing enough on its own, but paired with a body lotion it makes a huge difference; your skin will still feel soft and moisturized hours later.

upload.jpg

HAND CHEMISTRY & HEEL CHEMISTRY

From Deciem:

"Concentrated multi-functional hand cream targets 8 signs of hand aging simultaneously. The extraordinary 19.5% active complex concentration improves the looks of firmness, elasticity, density, evenness, brightness, texture, smoothness and hydration."

"Unlike traditional heel creams which focus on removing the hard skin, our 19.5% active complex hydrates the cracked skin topically whilst supporting below surface hydration to avoid the traditional hard skin cycle. Contains a marine complex clinically proven to improve visible skin texture and hydration, while counteracting extreme dryness. This formula contains no urea and no acids."

These two products are less exciting for me. They feel like the typical hand and foot creams, but leaves a slippery feeling I'm not a big fan of. It feels like the finish of a face primer with silicone in it. My all-time favourite hand or heel cream is still the beloved L'Occitane products. I buy multiples of both at duty free when I travel, which is fairly often. 

Overall I'm quite happy with this line from Deciem. I'm sure I'll repurchase the Hyaluronic Concentrate. 

Current Obsession: CosRX

cosrx.jpg

New year, new skincare; that makes sense right? 

cosrx-overview.jpg

I've been really getting into CosRx lately. I like their philosophy of making simple and effective skincare and their focus on scientifically proven ingredients. Also, it doesn't hurt that their branding is both minimalist and adorable at the same time. (My order came with stickers to decorate their bottles with!)

upload.jpg

AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid + BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

I always use these two as a combo, as I've been using AHA/BHA for a while now and my skin tolerates it quite well. Compared to my previous combo, which are the Paula's Choice 8% AHA gel and 2% BHA liquid, I like the CosRx version more. The BHA feels less greasy, and both products seem to absorb more quickly.

As a side note, the AHA and BHA liquids develop a distinct odour when in contact with my skin, probably a reaction to my oil cleanser or another topical I'm using. The liquids, when in the bottles, don't have any particular scent. Acids are known to react to other products, so just want to throw that out there in case anyone's sensitive to smells.

Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence

I've been using this as a toner after cleansing (lately I've been using Muji's cleansing oil), in place of my usual HG: Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence. I don't think I've used it long enough to see a difference, but it does feel great on the skin and doesn't do anything irritating.

upload.jpg

Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream

LOVE. I think this will be my staple winter moisturizer. I love how this feels on my skin. It's nourishing without being greasy, and my skin feels healthy and plump immediately after application. Compared to what I was previously using, Cerave "In the Tub" Moisturizing Cream, it feels much lighter but my skin feels more moisturized afterwards.

Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream & ADVANCED SNAIL 92 ALL-IN-ONE CREAM

These two both feel a touch "greasier" compared to the Honey Ceramide cream. They both absorb quite well though so that didn't bother me. They're definitely moisturizing enough for the winter. The jars are bigger than the Honey Ceramide and a little goes a long way. 

 

upload.jpg

Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask + Nourishing Rice Overnight Mask

These feel like the typical sleeping masks to me, very creamy and moisturizing. What I did notice though was that they never seem to dry completely, which really annoys me because I like to sleep on my side and don't like anything on my pillow. I definitely prefer my other sleeping mask choices, the popular Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack, because they dry to a smooth and non-tacky finish.

cosrx-planner.jpg

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Bisou Beauty Bar (a local Vancouver Korean beauty retailer), I got a CosRx planner and a bunch of stickers with my purchase. It's an adorable weekly planner, which I prefer as opposed to a daily one due to size and weight.

cosrx-planner-inside.jpg

I don't usually carry a physical planner because I'm pretty minimal with what I bring with me and I'm ALL for digital (hello, Sunrise calendar!), but I can't really complain about having something so cute in my life. Maybe I'll keep it as a skincare/product trials journal?