Singapore Top Travel, Beauty, Food, Lifestyle Blog

Friday, March 25, 2016

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation

The cushion fanatic in me went totally gaga when I found out that everyone's beloved luxury brand, YSL came out with its own cushion foundation!

I mean, there's nothing NOT to love about cushion foundations. Ever since they came onto the beauty scene, my traditional liquid foundations have been set aside for special occasions when I really need something heavy-duty. On most days, I pick from my hoard of cushion foundations for one that suits my skin for the day, and application is as simple as patting it on in a matter of seconds.

I also slip one into my bag so that I can do touch-ups easily at any point of time in the day. It's so fuss-free, really.

(PS. The compact doesn't come with any personalisation: I just happened to be able to get it done since I was at the launch party, heh)

YSL has come up with the Le Cushion Encre de Peau aka the Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation, (this name is such a mouthful) promising to provide semi-matte all day flawless coverage. Guess what, Singapore was the first to launch this, world-wide! How exciting is that?

The packaging is classic YSL in black and gold and it's gorgeous. The kind of case that you want to bring out and flaunt while touching up your makeup!

About the YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation (this name is such a mouthful): Its formula is supposedly the same as the best-selling Fusion Ink Foundation, and what many ladies may find appealing about the YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation is that it comes in not just two or three shades like many Korean counterparts, but has a total of six shades for you to choose from.

I did notice that the YSL sponge cushion is more "porous" with bigger pores compared to some of my other cushions: This somehow makes the puff pick up more product than usual. Just go really light with the puff and there's no need to press down too hard on the sponge or you'll have way too much product on the puff.

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation Swatch

[ Swatches ]

Here are the swatches for YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation from shade 10 to 60! Six different shades is good news for us ladies who aren't so high up the fair spectrum: after testing out the shades, I was given a shade 30.

I was so excited to try out YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation and I wasn't disappointed, it gives my skin a beautiful semi-matte finish while evening out my skin tone and corrects the redness/darkness around my eyes and nose for a natural and brighter look.


The YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation has medium coverage and does a good job of correcting the redness around my eyes as well as my light blemishes and scars. My dark eye rings can still be seen, but are covered enough that I would feel comfortable with just YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation alone without concealer.

I do like the semi-matte finish which is a departure from my usual dewy look, it really gives you a very natural *almost like real skin* texture that's not completely matte and unnatural-looking!

I personally have dry skin and so I don't usually use loose powder after foundation, but I do use Guerlain's Meteorites to dust my T-zone and on my undereye (after concealer) for makeup to last longer.

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation has got pretty good lasting power on my skin, so I'd say it does hold up to its claim of providing all-day flawless coverage! Even after the end of the day, the foundation did not oxidise on my skin, and in fact looked more natural somehow (I guess I may have applied it a little too thick at the start of the day HAHAHA)

[ Verdict? ]

I do love YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation: It's a great semi-matte finish foundation cushion that works well on my dry skin, and I mean, who can resist that beautiful black lacquered packaging (though it does pick up smudges and fingerprints like crazy) and the iconic YSL logo on it? It's light-weight and yet provides good medium coverage, lasts well and has that "natural skin texture" sort of look that everyone loves.

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation is definitely pricey, compared to the more affordable cushions in the market, but I'd say it's worth a try!

With a bunch of very good-looking people during the launch party at YSL Beauty Boutique at ION Orchard: Xiaxue, Miyake, Yutakis and Evonne <3 p="">

Last I heard, both Tricia and Evonne love the YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation as well!

YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation
YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation retails at SG$88 for the case and a single sponge, and subsequent refills can be purchased at $58. 

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Dear Yina, what camera do you use?" - Bangkok with the Olympus Pen-F

One of the most frequently asked questions I get over and over again is, "Dear Yina, what camera do you use?".

Olympus Pen-F camera
Taken with the Olympus Pen-F
I'm proud to say that I've been using Olympus cameras for the past SIX years! My Olympus cameras have taken 80% of all the photos on this blog, and have accompanied me on so many travels and important occasions of my life. I love photography and taking photos is a big part of what I do, both at work at TheVelvetDolls, and for my blog :)

When Olympus approached me to be their PEN Ambassador last year, I was overjoyed! Being an ambassador of a brand that I love, is an absolute joy and privilege.

Since I started using Olympus six years ago, I've used the Olympus E-P1, E-P3, E-PL5, OMD EM5ii and I've loved every single one. Each new Olympus camera just gets better and better! Now, the latest Olympus camera, Olympus Pen-F has just landed in Singapore (and in my hands) and I am looking forward to creating even more beautiful memories with this camera.

Olympus Pen-F camera
The design of the Olympus Pen-F is a throwback to the first Olympus Pen (a film camera) and looks gorgeously vintage and classic.

Features-wise, the Pen-F is like a major upgrade from the Pen series: It has all the functions I already love (such as wi-fi, a flip screen, touch focus) and even more! There is now a 20mp sensor for higher quality photos, and a cool Creative Dial that allows you to explore different shooting styles with art filters, monochrome profile, tweak individual color settings and more!!

I'm having a lot of fun playing with the Olympus Pen-F, and brought it to Bangkok with me during my Lunar New Year family trip. Below are some of the first few photos captured with the Olympus Pen-F, documenting my time in Bangkok!

Enjoy the photos ;)

My darling chihuahua, Baby, who's now in doggie heaven. I hope you're loving it up there, Phatty!

Our shaggy princess yorkie, QQ

At the airport: YZ with Zylia, our niece.

This is YZ's daddy!

Aboard SQ and ready to conquer the skies.

A moody shot with the Monochrome mode.

My airplane read!

Favourite fruit in Bangkok: Fresh, delicious and thirst-quenching coconuts!

A night shot of Bangkok outside Platinum Mall, taken in Monochrome mode.


Hello! Dressed in TheVelvetDolls and having my first coconut of the day!

Street food vendors in the morning.

A happy and excited Zylia!

Fresh fruits by the street side.

Delicious mille crepe cake at After You cafe!

Their popular Ferrero Toast! Intensely chocolatey and sinful.

My favourite at After You: Shibuya Honey Toast with additional strawberries on the side!

I couldn't get enough of the delicious road-side salt-grilled fish! These were from Rod Fai market, but you can find them all around Bangkok. They are so insanely fresh and tasty!

A very hipster barber at Rod Fai market, loving the whole vibe of the place.

I brought my family to North-East Restaurant at Lumpini, where I previously dined at when I stayed at Sofitel So Bangkok right next door. It's my favourite eatery in Bangkok! Affordable and authentic Thai food :)

Bought a new phone case from a small shop at Siam Square too!

The next best thing to fresh coconut: Coconut ice cream! Got this outside Central World.

Olympus Pen-F camera
All photos above taken with the Olympus Pen-F! What can I say, it is an absolutely gorgeous camera both in terms of its sleek design as well as functions. Can't wait to play with this baby more, stay tuned for more photos from the Olympus Pen-F on this space soon!

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Japan! Osaka: Arriving via JR Shinkansen & A Night In Dotonbori

Yay, another Japan blog post!! 
I honestly have so much to write about. I'm still on Osaka, and I haven't even started on Tokyo yet! In this blog post, I'll talk a bit about the JR Pass, as well as travelling to Osaka from Narita Airport. I gotta say, I miss Japan SO much! It's truly one of my favourite countries to visit. The food, the people, the beautiful sights, the streets.. Everything!

Anyway, for the past two times, I've flown via United Airlines from Singapore to Narita, because they offer very affordable tickets when you book at the right times! We got our tickets from Singapore to Narita for just SGD493 each, which is considered a low price. Most of the time, I'll check for the cheapest ticket prices via SkyScanner, a website that searches for the cheapest airfares across 1,200 airline and travel sites.

[ Travelling within Japan with the JR Pass ]

JR Pass Singapore
If you intend to visit a few different cities in Japan, I highly recommend the 7 days JR Pass (Japan Rail Pass): This pass gives you access to all regular trains on the JR Line, one of the biggest train companies in Japan, as well as access to almost ALL the JR Line Shinkansen (high-speed bullet trains) that travel from city to city. There is also a 14 days and 21 days JR pass if you're travelling in Japan for 2 or 3 weeks instead!

One shinkansen ride alone can easily cost two hundred dollars. For instance from Narita to Osaka, the price as seen on Hyperdia is: ¥16,700 (Ticket Fare:¥ 9,610, Seat Fee:¥ 7,090), which is the equivalent of SGD200.. By purchasing the 7 Day JR Pass, you pay one flat price of SGD364, and this will cover all your JR Line rides, including most of the shinkansens on JR Line!

It was a no-brainer for us because we took the shinkansen from Narita to Osaka, from Osaka to Kyoto, and Kyoto to Tokyo! The JR Line is also a major line in Tokyo, so if you're staying somewhere along the JR Line, it makes a lot of sense to purchase the JR Pass.

Important note: The JR Pass can only be purchased OUTSIDE of Japan, so you need to do this before you fly to Japan! In Singapore, there is a JTB agency at Takashimaya/Ngee Ann City that sells the JR Pass (exchange order). You buy it from the JTB counter, then bring it to the JR Office at the airport to get it validated and exchanged for a pass. When you purchase your JR Pass (exchange order) at JTB Singapore, you also need your passport details, if I am not mistaken.

[ Where to purchase your JR Pass in Singapore ]

JTB Travel Saloon

391 Orchard Road,
#03-11C Takashimaya Shopping Center
Singapore 238872

Phone: +6595 0600


Remember, the exchange order you purchase from JTB Singapore needs to be validated when you arrive in Japan! The JR Office is located right at the railway station at Narita Airport so locating the office shouldn't be an issue. Also, do factor about thirty minutes for this into your timetable as there's usually a queue at the JR office.

JR Pass Japan Rail Pass from JTB Singapore
At the same time, we also got our NEX (Narita Express) and Shinkansen reserved seat tickets to Shin Osaka station at the JR office, which means to say that with the JR Pass, you don't have to pay for the Shinkansen tickets anymore, but you still need to get the physical tickets with seat bookings from the office. (I hope that makes sense.)

It is really not as complicated as it sounds, just ask your friendly counter assistant, who will be more than happy to help!

YZ and I on the Narita Express!

The weather was rather gloomy on the day we arrived, thankfully the skies cleared up the following day and we had many days of beautiful weather!

Bullet trains are fun to travel in, they move super fast, and you get the see the gorgeous countryside pass by as the train goes through.

I was so intrigued by the train attendants who go down the aisle selling snacks and drinks! Only in Japan, really.

We took the Shinkansen from Shinagawa to Shin Osaka before transferring to the Midosuji Line to get to Shinsaibashi Station: Everything was navigated once again via Google Maps, my best friend.

[ Accommodation in Osaka - Hotel Kuramoto ]

Osaka is a big city, and there are many choices for accommodation, especially if you book early. We booked our accommodation via Roomorama about ten days before our trip, and we were lucky to find a small ryokan, Hotel Kuramoto, very near Dotonbori, the heart of Osaka! Staying near Dotonbori was a good decision, because there is where a lot of the action as well as nightlife is in the city, and we were able to walk back easily at night. Hotel Kuramoto is only a 8-minute walk away from Dotonbori!

[ Hotel Kuramoto ]

2 Chome-11-7 Shimanouchi, Chuo Ward, Osaka,
Osaka Prefecture 542-0082, Japan

Hotel Kuramoto is about 1.1km away from Shinsaibashi Station though, so we spent a good twenty to thirty minutes trawling our luggages through the street to get from the station to our hotel, phew!

Here's our comfortable traditional-style Japanese room, complete with tatami and futons!

If it's your first trip to Japan, or if you've never stayed in a ryokan before, you ought to try it either in Osaka or Kyoto, it's a lovely experience!

More expensive/larger ryokans come with traditional kaiseki Japanese breakfasts/dinners, and some even have a hot spring or public bath to complete your authentic Japanese experience. Otherwise, a small and simple ryokan like Hotel Kuramoto is quite adequate for the easy-going traveller. 

We stayed two nights at Hotel Kuramoto during our time in Osaka, and enjoyed the ease of convenience and its location very much! Walking back to our accommodation every night was literally a breeze in the lovely night-time weather.

[ A Night in Dotonbori ]

After we put our luggage down and freshened up, we got straight down to business and made our way to the most exciting area in Osaka: Dotonbori! Dotonbori is SUPER popular. Everyone goes there, but for good reason, there's so many restaurants, shops and little street side stalls at Dotonbori!

So if you're wondering what we did on our first night in Dotonbori, we basically explored the streets and ate, A LOT.

Of course, the famous Glico "Running Man"! It's one of the most recognisable signs and has become a local icon in Osaka. Can you see everyone trying to take a selfie of themselves with the Running Man behind? I didn't even attempt to.. It was way way way too crowded.

The streets along Dotonbori are incredibly filled with people! There are major retail brands like F21, as well as an entire line of restaurants, many of them with huge billboards with moving things on them like crabs, octopus, pufferfish and even... giant gyoza signages. It's a sight to behold, only in Japan!

We were very hungry so we started searching for food! Look for this delicious takoyaki stall, which is across the canal from Ichiran Ramen! I don't know the name of this place but the queue is always abysmally long, so I think you'll be able to spot it.

According to Google Maps, it should be this restaurant!

[ 串かつ 勝大 道頓堀店 ]
1 Chome-5-9 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 
Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan

I've tried a few different takoyaki stalls in Osaka, and I think this is like one of the best!! The restaurant also sells okonomiyaki, but if you're looking to grab a quick bite on-the-go, they sell takoyaki outside the restaurant!

And you definitely definitely HAVE to try takoyaki in Osaka, it is miles miles better than our imported Singaporean version! Osaka is the birthplace of takoyaki (literally translated to grilled octopus) and these fluffy little balls of gooey, mochi flour batter with octopus pieces are to-die-for!!

It was also mesmerizing to watch the takoyaki chefs in action as they deftly flipped the balls over and over on the round grill pans!

It was either five or ten balls, so of course we went for ten (700 yen, about SGD8.50). We were sooo hungry after the long flight and train ride! Seriously, it's Osaka, you can't not eat, right?

It was soooo mind-blowingly yummy. You need to try the real takoyaki deal in Osaka, for sure.

Here's a better picture of takoyaki: We went back for it the day we left Osaka!

It's a magic combination of deliciously gooey balls of octopus in batter served with spring onion, bonito flakes, okonomiyaki sauce and pickled ginger. The balls are crisp on the outside but soft and practically melt-in-your-mouth when you bite into one. Such heaven!

We wandered into a small izakaya, Gappo, that was in one of the food alleys around Dotonbori: If I remember correctly, it was next to a Yoshinoya.

[ GAPPO Yakitori Izayaka ]

1 Chome-3-14 Dōtonbori, Chūō-ku,
Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 542-0071, Japan

It was an on-the-spur-of-the-moment decision, and completely random!

I thought our meal at Gappo was surprisingly memorable, we ordered a few different kinds of yakitori, which were then grilled on-the-spot and served to us fresh and hot.

In these small izakayas, you get to sit at a long counter facing the kitchen, next to whichever random stranger, we found ourselves next to a Hong Kong couple who told us they've been back at the izakaya two or three times during their stay in Osaka! Guess we chanced upon a hidden gem!

Oh, and a cup of chilled umeshu (sweet plum wine) on the rocks made everything even better :)

A humble plate of grilled pork belly that was nicely marinated and so delicious!

I was in love with the minced chicken meatballs. They were so flavourful! Superbly tender and juicy, yet had chewy cartilage bits in them that gave it this interesting crunch!

Freshly deep-fried chicken karaage just can't go wrong. Yum!

This simple izakaya meal cost us around 2000++ yen, or around SGD25. We ordered four dishes and a drink, so it was a reasonable price!

We had to let our stomachs take some time to digest, and so we ended up at the famous Don Quixote (or Donki for short)! Donki is a huge discount store, almost like the Japanese equivalent of Mustafa, except a lot cooler. There are a few different Donkis in Japan, but all of them are about six-stories-tall, and sell everything from preloved branded leather goods, to snacks, gadgets, and even beauty products!

[ Don Quixote Dotonbori ]

Japan, 〒542-0084 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, 

It's a fun place to shop at, and most important of all, it's open 24 hours a day, just like our own Mustafa Shopping Centre! I generally like going to Donki to look at the huge array of Japanese snacks, as well as check out things like Japanese contact lenses and other interesting stuff.

Osaka, Dotonbori, Don Quixote
Photo credit to
Don Quixote is easy to locate at Dotonbori: Just look for a huge yellow ferris wheel on the top of a building, with a cute cartoon penguin somewhere on it!

Once you're done shopping at Donki, it's time for your next meal! I timed this meal for the last because Ichiran Ramen also opens 24 hours a day, which means that you can get your ramen fix ANY TIME! Also, the queue is insanely long in the day time, so I'd much rather go at night. We didn't even have to queue! Ichiran Ramen is right beside Don Quixote at Dotonbori, you can't miss it.

[ Ichiran Ramen ]
Japan, 〒542-0071 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka,
Chuo Ward, Dotonbori,
1 Chome−4−15 美津の

Ichiran Ramen is like many other Japanese casual dining establishments, you make payment and buy your food ticket from a machine, before you enter the dining area. Ichiran Ramen only serves one kind of ramen, but you can customize it with different options! Like how hard you want the noodles to be, how thick the broth is, etc. You can also add on extra toppings like an onsen egg, spring onion, or black fungus!

When seats are available, you'll be led to a booth within the restaurant, where there is a retractable window in front of you which all you see are the staff’s hands. There's a hidden partition behind that window where there's a serving area for the staff to attend to you!

The long dining counter is separated into booths by movable panels which you can fold away if you are sitting with a friend! If not you will be literally "面壁思过*" during your meal haha. Hand your food tickets to the staff (hidden from sight) who will then take your order, have it prepared in the kitchen, and JUST LIKE MAGIC, a bowl of ramen will appear right in front of your eyes!!!

(I can't post videos on here, but check out my previous experience at Ichiran Ramen documented on my Dayre post, all captured with snapchat!)

The ramen cost around 790 yen (close to SGD10) before our add-ons.. Very affordable by Japanese standards.

Taste-wise, I thought the ramen was pretty good!! Should have chosen the "hardest" consistency of ramen though cos by the time I was done take photos of it the noodles were quite soft already. Two of us shared a bowl of ramen because we'd already ate so much, haha! But this was the perfect end to our first night in Osaka!

Some people think that Ichiran Ramen is overrated and too hyped up, especially now that it's very well-known among tourists. In my opinion, I think that Ichiran Ramen is still worth a visit because it's still a good bowl of ramen, plus I enjoyed the entire Japanese dining experience! Just try not to visit during peak meal times so that you don't have to waste precious time queuing!

We ended our night well past midnight, since we didn't have to worry about transport back to our hotel, thanks to the convenient location of our accommodation. Taxis in Osaka are slightly more affordable than in Kyoto/Tokyo though, if you really have to take one. We simply google-mapped and walked our way back to Hotel Kuramoto!

One thing we didn't get to try at Osaka/Dotonbori was Okonomiyaki, Osaka's famous Japanese pancake! I hear that Mizuno at Dotonbori has got amazing okonomiyaki, so please try it out for me and tell me if it's any good!

[ Mizuno Okonomiyaki Restaurant ]

Japan, 〒542-0071 Osaka Prefecture, 
Osaka, Chuo Ward, Dotonbori, 
1 Chome−4−15 美津の

Accommodation - Roomorama
My accommodation in Japan was booked via Roomorama: I loved all the different apartments I stayed in, with the great accessiblity and well-furbished amenities! Featured above is my Tokyo apartment at Ebisu, my favourite of the lot.

With over 300,000 properties, Roomorama is the largest platform for professionally-managed vacation rentals and accommodations worldwide! Roomorama is giving away US$50 credits so you can get US$50 off your next Roomorama apartment booking!


Wifi Device - VISONDATA
visondata pocket wifi promo code
For my past few overseas trips (to Japan, Phuket and Hong Kong so far), I've been using VISONDATA pocket wifi and it has always worked wonderfully. VISONDATA wifi is available in 50 countries, and one pocket wifi can be connected to up to 5 different devices! 

It's extremely convenient and handy. I was impressed with the battery life of the pocket wifi device too, because it lasts at least a good 8 hours! I'm constantly updating on social media and checking on emails on-the-go, so that is quite a feat.

Quote "VDSGYINA" when you check out on VISONDATA for 20% off your order!

More Japan posts on the way, so if you're planning a trip to Japan soon, remember to check back for updates!


Japan - September 2015 Itinerary

Narita to Osaka
Day 1: Arrived at Narita > Shinkansen to Osaka > Checked into Osaka accommodation > Dotonburi

Osaka to Kyoto
Day 3Kuromon Ichiba Market Lucky Owl Cafe > Train to Kyoto > Checked into Kyoto accommodation > Dinner at famous OmuRice restaurant
Day 4: Shinkansen to Takayama > Bus to Shirakawago > Back to Kyoto

Kyoto to Tokyo
Day 6: Shinkansen to Tokyo > Checked into Ebisu accommodation > Shibuya
Day 7: Sensoji, Asakusa > Omotesando > Harajuku > Shinjuku
Day 8: Tsukiji Fish Market > Narita Airport Express from Shibuya > Departure at Narita


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© Yina Goes

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