Monday, May 26, 2008

Dior Make Up

I become a Diorskin fan ever since I bought the Diorskin Extreme-Fit Moist-Compact SPF25 a few months ago to replace my expired Laura Mercier's compact and after throwing away my Faceshop compact (not working on my skin, sadly). The powder is so smooth on my skin and really make the skin look smooth and flawless. It hides my panda eyes, so I don't need anymore concealer. By the way, if you need to use a concealer, I recommend to use Dior's too, I used one for quite number of years before I use their powder, and it blends well with your skin after you put all your skincare). Back to the compact, the powder pad is washable (if you use too many times, it'll look unsightly and according to some article I read, it can cause acne on your face) and the texture remains soft after it dries. What makes me even happier with this product is that it cover all my pores but it's easily wash off and it didn't hang around and clog my pores after wearing it for a long day.
This experience makes me want to try out the other products and I bought the Dior Harmonie de Blush because I don't really have a real blush. Initially I was going to buy the highlighter. But, when I tried it on my hand, I couldn't see the color. Too shimmery, and I don't feel like to 'shine' that much in places other than parties. So, the duty free assistant happily show me the blusher. What makes me happy about this product is that it got 4 blush color, so when you move the brush from right to left (from the brightest color), you got the right color combination to apply for your cheeks, and with just 1 blush you already got the color, and it stays. It also have some bronze color glitters although not literally visible as what you can see for the highlither. And, with that 4 color, you also can use that 4 colors as eye shadows and it didn't cake out on your eyelids. It's a treat as you pay kind of extra for Dior products (you got to admit, make up can be expensive).
Another product that I just bought recently is the Dior Addict Ultra Gloss to replace my expired lipgloss (I think they already passed their expiry dates way before now). I admit though I'm fussy about skincare but I couldn't really care less about make up only until recently when I start to know how to apply them fast (10 minutes complete with eyeliner and mascara). The gloss is nice (heck, it's one of Dior's bestseller anyway). It gives you shimmer and glow, but not excessively done, meaning that it doesn't make your lips stand out too much especially if you have a quite wide and thick lips like mine *shy*. I find that Dior gloss is head to head with the Chanel ones, the only difference is the colour as Dior has more range towards purple-ish colors whereas Channel is more to pinkish (mostly darker pink).
What I want to purchase next time if it's available at the Duty Free counter is Dior Five-Colour EyeShadow-Beige Massai. It's always out of stock. I like the bronze color because it's bold,neutral (you can play alot with its combination) and you can match it up for any outfits and any occassions. Last time I end up bought Shiseido's 4 colour palate instead. Shiseido is nice but if you go to gym with the eyeshadow on and you're sweating, the color will either run off or caked out on your lids, so must stay at 24 hour aircon. Clarin's done the trick. It stays nicely after 1 hour of sauna.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cream Puff

I've always thought that making cream puffs or eclair is hazardous to your kitchen because of their different method used. So I gathered some courage and manage to make tons of it yesterday. It's still hazardous in terms of how many times you have to wash your beaters, pans and pots, but the result is rewarding :)

333 gr milk
168 gr butter

4 gr salt
250 gr bread flour
8 eggs
  • Bring milk, butter, and salt to boil. When it boils, quickly put all the flour on the pan and using mixer, beat it with low speed on moderate heat until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the pan

  • Then take it aside and beat with low speed the eggs, one by one until smoothly incorporated

  • With whipping pipe, pipe about 4cm straight for eclair or round circle for cream puff.

  • Bake in 200C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crisp

240 gr milk
130 gr sugar
1 egg yolk
75 gr cornstarch
rum, to your taste

  • Separate about small bowl of milk to mix in with cornstarch and set aside

  • On the sauce pan, put milk, sugar and egg yolk. Stir in the egg yolk until it's fully incorporated with the milk before turning on the fire. Bring to boil and stir in the cornstarch. Keep stirring until it boils again and set aside.

  • Quickly stir on to cool the custard and when it cools down, pour your favourite rum and stir on until it's incorporated.

Serving: Cut off bit of the side of the cream puff and spoon or pipe in the custard. Then, sprinkle the top with icing sugar or top it with ganache.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chi's Sweet Home

I get to know this short anime series from my bro. It's based from the manga with the same title. You must watch this when you're stress out and Chi will take away your stress with its cuteness.

Chi's story starts when Chi got separated from his mom and siblings and eventually were lost. Then Chi met Yohei when he tried to find his family. Yohei took Chi home and since then Chi becomes the family pet.

You'll soon fall in love with Chi because Chi is so cute and adorable. It's naughty and can cause a ruckus, but you won't get mad at it for so long because Chi's eyes are so innocent and... kawaii (i repeat the word 'cute' so many times). You'll get to sing along the opening songs too, and it'll be inside your head for awhile. I don't like cats but I won't mind having Chi around :d

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Body Scrub

Scrubbing is good for your body because not only it sweeps away any dead cells remaining on your skin, it also helps to improve your blood circulation. It's also another way to pamper yourself after a long hard day in the office. It'll relax your body muscle after you scrub your body with massaging movement. Splash some aromatic body lotion after your shower, go to sleep and you'll feel refreshed on the next day. It won't take you more than 10 minutes to do this routine (you're not in spa, you're in shower, standing, so no point of standing for so long that it'll invite those not cute varicose veins to pop). Nowadays there are tons of different products of body scrub. I haven't tried lots of body scrub products because it's very hard to even finish 1 bottle of it (take at least 1 year to finish 1 product). Below are some that I've used and grown to love them:
  • Bath & Body Works' I'm in the Mood for Scrub™ Foaming Body Buff With Shea Butter Beads - One of my very first scrub products that I've tried and I still think that this is one of the best scrub ever. It has a very soothing smell to relax all your tensed muscle and the beads are rough, not too smooth but it works throughout your body and you'll feel very clean and free once your're out from the shower. Definite indulgence and a bargain for a huge bottle (I just come to realize that years after when I see so many not worthy scrub products come with more expensive price and much smaller packages)
  • Bath & Body Works' Aromatherapy Sugar Scrub ~ Ecalyptus Sprearmint - I grown to love Aromatherapy product line particularly the Ecalyptus scent (thanks to Feli). Heck I even bought the pillow mist, the lotion, the body wash and off course the scrub. Sugar scrub is milder compare to the regular scrub, and with the soft relaxing Ecalyptus scent, your stress will be washed away after that dreadful day at work. Not to forget to spray your pillow with the pillow mist before you sleep, you're getting a major pampering that you want.
  • Bath & Body Works' Luxuries Purely Silk Salt Scrub (the link is for the body lotion, can't find the scrub) - This is a very must have product that you use before your date. Why? Because after you scrub your body with this product, your skin will be really silky smooth with subtle sparkle of glitter linger. Top it with the silky body powder and you have luminous, soft and velvety skin to show off and brag on. Another point to note, this scrub can rub off the mosquito bite marks when you rub it regularly, not bad for a beauty product, right?
  • Origins' Ginger Body Scrub - Actually, I never buy this product, but it always come as a free gift together with the body souffle *grin*, it's the next comparable working effect to the Bath & Body Works' sea butter scrub since Bath & Body Works is not available in Singapore, but the ginger scent is more to warm up your mind rather than soothing. Top it with the souffle and you'll have a very smooth and soft skin.
  • L'Oreal's Exfotonic Exfoliating and Revitilizing Gel - This scrub works wonder with affordable price, especially when you buy it on promotion (there's one time that you buy 2 for 25$). It has a soothing and calming scent that makes you actually enjoy scrubbing. The gel gives you a cooling sensation when it touches your skin. This scrub actually gives you a squeeky clean feeling after use.
  • Clarins' Smoothing Body Scrub for A New Skin - Again, I never buy this (it's inside the free gift *grin*). If you have a sensitive skin, and can't survive any rough items touching your skin, then this scrub is perfect for you. The microbeads is very gentle to your skin that you'll feel like you glide as you scrub. Off course, it come along with Clarin's signature scent. This scrub also will leave you with a squeeky clean feeling after use.

Maccha Cake with Azuki Beans

Been wondering how to incorperate the maccha into standard cake recipes and here is the result. Still in smooth texture but it smells heavenly with green tea aroma. Maccha must be accompanied by its partner, the sweet azuki beans to be called complete. So I splashed some of the canned azuki beans inside my maccha cake :).

170 gr butter
150 gr sugar
3 eggs
130 gr cake flour
20 gr green tea powder
4 gr baking powder
2 gr vanilla essence
1/2 can azuki beans
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy in high speed and add in vanilla
  • Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs until well incorporated
  • Still in low speed, add in all dry ingridients and resume to high speed untill the batter are well blended
  • Using 8' round baking tin, pour 1/2 of the batter and spread it evenly, with spoon, spread the azuki beans, and tope it off with the rest of the batter
  • Bake it for 30-45 min in 180C
  • Serving option: sprinkle the top with icing sugar

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Facial Mask

With the spa frenzee in recent years, facial become one of the most sought treatment. However, I don't really like doing facial in spa, due to couple of reasons. 1. Their products may not suitable for your skin. So instead of going home with glowing skin, you'll get acne-full skin. 2. The sales team are just simply... annoying, they'll just sell you whatever things they have, and not caring what happen if you get the result of #1. 3. You have to make appointment first, which is annoying too. 4. You have to choose the beautician too, some may not clean your face as clean as the others. But, you still need professionals to do the cleaning for your face every now and then. It's inevitable. The place that I've gone to so far is Kose Beauty Center because they use Kose products which are heavenly and I know I won't get acne from them. Else, I choose the safest, have your own mini facial at least twice a week at your own home. You don't need to have the full regime everytime. Just use your scrub on day 1, use the deep cleansing mask on day 2, whitening mask on day 3, revitalizing mask on day 4, moisturizing mask on day 5, and you leave it on your face while you're watching your favourite drama and rinse it off during the commercials. Some of the mask can be left on for the whole night and you don't need to wash your face till the next day. Here are some of the masks that I love and why:

  • Clarins' Trully Matte Pure and Radiant Mask - It's a pink clay-wash off mask for your cleansing. The product is very mild and will leave your skin felt more radiant and soft after using it for 10 minutes. Very easy to use and clean.

  • Origin's Clear Improvement - It's a black clay-wash off mask for your deep cleansing. I've been using this for years. It'll leave your skin moisturized despite of taking off the impurities on your skin. Use it for 10-15 minutes until it dries and wash off.

  • Origin's No Puffery - This cooling gel mask is for your eyes. It can be left of for the whole night or rinse off after 10 minutes. It's very soothing and obviously easy to use. Just splash a very thin layer under your eye and you'll be pampered.

  • Kose's Seikisho White Mask - My new favorite mask. It's a black peeled off mask. Just do a thin layering around your face, leave it until it dries out and peel off, then splash your toner and you're done. It leaves your skin very clean and supple.

  • L'Occitaine Honey Comfort Mask - A very good investment for your skin. You can use this everyday and you can leave it for the whole night or wash off after 10 minutes. It's very smooth with delicious honey scent and your skin is guaranteed for radiance on the next day.

  • Origin's Swept Away - My favourite scrub. The scrub is so soft that you can rub it on your face everyday to keep those blackheads on your nose and leave your skin squeeky clean after wash.

  • Origin's You're Getting Warmer. Another clay-wash off mask from Origins. You're face will get hot when you wear this and it has the scrub bits when you wash it off so that your skin is definitely clean.

  • Neutrogena's Deep Hydrating Mask - With the trend of mask sheets in Asia, Neutrogena come out with an affordable but good quality version. Get this when it's on promotion for 2$ each at Watson. Kose or SKII mask sheets are way out of my range now, so this will do and it works wonderfully. It doesn't make your skin itchy (the whitening ones makes me itch so I stop using it and gave the whole stack to my friend).

So, what are you waiting for? Clear and radiant skin is within your reach with just a few minutes of effort of maintenance.

Cold Tofu

This is a very simple Japanese dish and it taste so soothing and comforting. Very suitable for a hot day or after a long day at work. And the catch is, you don't even need to cook it.

1 box good quality Japanese tofu (silken tofu preffered)
6 tbsp shoyu (you'll most likely find this at the Japanese food aisle in any supermarket nowadays. You also can use this to eat with soba/somen)
2 tbsp sake (to make it sweeter) - optional
bonito flakes - to your taste (I like lots of it) - optional, you also can substitute this with furikake, but mindful that furikake is much more saltist, so you have to reduce the amount of shoyu that you pour
decorative toppings: sliced green onion, minced ginger, grated white daikon - optional

How to:
  • Wash tofu to get rid of the preservative liquid from the box, pat dry with paper towel and place it the bowl
  • Pour the shoyu around it and top is with bonito flakes and the rest of the toppings
  • Optional: to make it even luxurious, you can place ice cubes underneath the tofu, the purpose it to keep the tofu chilled, but in the next few minutes, you'll sacrifice the shoyu's thickness

American Idol - 7

OK, I'm actually not really into American Idol, Indonesian Idol, Singapore Idol, or whatever idol shows out there (amazingly it's been going on for 7 years already). Never really have favorites. Never really follow the shows. Never even thinking on commenting about the show. Well, until I watched the clip of David Archuleta's Stand by Me on TV and available in Youtube at the soonest possible (there're always some devoted fans out there and it's good for the ignorant girl like me) and think I must share it. I don't really know why but I like his voice, very soothing and calming, so I hope he wins :) and continue to sing and improve.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Iron Man

It's been a long time since my last entry to the place called movie theater. Watched it yesterday and feel it worths my money. Iron Man is based on the Marvel comic series Iron Man. The main character is Tony Stark (played by Robert Downy Jr) who is not your typical superhero. He owns a weapon producing company, an extremely rich and egocentric person until… he’s kidnapped by a bunch of terrorist and was forced to make his ultimate weapon for their use. He lost his new friend when he’s escaping from the terrorist cave by using his metal armor (the one that later he perfected for the Iron Man suit). And, bam, he turns sober and starts seeing his world in a new spectacle. He’s still a egocentric and sometimes even lunatic (which makes the movie entertaining) person but with more consciousness. He causes ruckus by announcing his company will stop making weapons in a press conference.

What make this movie entertaining and fun to watch is the full actions and special effects. The suit is amazing and I would like to have one haha… Stark’s robot that can clean up table is totally funny and I also want one of those too. There are hilarious moments when Stark experimenting with the spare parts of his suit. And most of the entertaining moments are because of Stark’s character itself.

Definitely worth your money for 2008 movie list.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Marble Cake

I admit it, I'm not so creative this week. I want to make some full-proof and not a time consuming cake, so that's why it's marble cake this week. The whole process from preparing to washing the kitchen take a total of 1.5 hour, so it's quite fast. The cake itself is quite versatile. So long as you cream the butter and sugar correctly, your cake will not get deflated or dry or burn or whatever disaster that you can imagine. It also will not dry if you forget about it in the oven for 5 more minutes from the supposedly baking time, but off course longer than that it's a blackhole (with a burnt smell).

100 gr sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
200 gr butter
4 eggs
13 gr milk powder
4 gr baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
210 gr cake flour
10 gr choco paste
  1. Cream sugar, vanilla and butter in high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Lower the speed then spoon in the eggs one by one, until each of them is incorporated.
  3. Still in low speed, mix in all dry ingredients and turn back to high speed for 10 seconds, and set aside the batter.
  4. Take about 4 scoops of the batter and mix it with the choco paste.
  5. On an 8-inch round pan, already lined with the parchment paper, pour in half of the white better, the pour about 4 scoops of chocolate batter then top again with the remainding of the white batter. With toothpick, swirl around the batter until the top looks like a marble.
  6. Bake it for 40 minutes at 180C.
  7. After baking set it off to cool.