Singapore Top Travel, Beauty, Food, Lifestyle Blog

Friday, June 10, 2016

Seeing Hong Kong in a different light

Travelling with the Olympus Pen F is such a joy.
Photography is a very big part of my travel and I love capturing everything: What I eat, where I go, and what I do.

I brought the Olympus Pen F with me to Hong Kong last month, and had so much fun using it!

hong kong blog
As you know, I've been test-driving the Olympus Pen F for quite some time now, and this gorgeous camera will steal your heart! Olympus definitely got it right with that super good-looking vintage design. Of course, a camera is more about the quality of images it produces than how it looks, but I can't deny that this sexy camera's exterior won me over at first glance ;D

Armed with my Olympus Pen F and my 12-40mm lens, I had a ball of a time in one of my favourite cities ever! Enjoy the photos in this post, all taken with the Olympus Pen F!

hong kong blog
Despite having travelled to Hong Kong so many times over the past 2-3 years, there's something about the city that keeps me coming back for more. Every trip to Hong Kong makes it feel a little more like home, and I find myself discovering something new about Hong Kong every time.

There are two things I absolutely love about Hong Kong – the food and the streets! I’ll be sharing with you my food haunts and the places I’ve visited during this trip!

For instance, Hello Kitty dimsum!

Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine
Lee Loy Mansion, Canton Rd
Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong

Opening Hours: 11AM–3PM, 6–11PM

hong kong blog
I just went about gaga when we stepped into this restaurant. EVERYTHING was Kitty-themed, from the tea-ware to the hanging lights and even embossed Hello Kitty motifs on the furniture! Of course, the food was so creatively made into Hello Kitty representations and yet managed to taste good at the same time! Definitely very, very photo-worthy too!

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Hello Kitty desserts!

One of the things I love doing in Hong Kong is exploring the quieter streets and alleys, because of all the little scenes I come across. For example, I came across this roast meat shop and what caught my attention was the snaking long queue – of course, I had to take shots of the roast meat on display. Judging from the pictures below (and the queue), I supposed it must have been really good!

This photo is taken with the Olympus Pen F in regular mode (I usually use the Aperture mode or Program mode) 

The Olympus Pen F comes with a Creative Dial at the front of the camera that makes photography a lot more fun because you can play with different color settings with just the twist of a dial! What's awesome with it is that these mode settings are all "live", and you can see the effects of these filters being applied as you shoot, making the shooting experience instantaneous and gratifying. 

Here's the same scene captured with the Olympus Pen F using Color Profile Mode 3: Chrome Film Vivid Saturation. This settings gives the image a warm dose of color and contrast which instantly makes this image pop out.

Another favourite mode that I find myself constantly switching to is the Monotone mode, which simulates black-and-white film. I love the high contrast, black and white settings that instantly adds so much mood and feel to the image!


Two more pictures of the chefs at the roast meat shop hard at work! These photos were also taken in Color Profile Mode – which made the roast meat looks sooooo good!

Speaking of roast meat, my new favourite restaurant for roast goose in Hong Kong is officially Kam's Roast Goose!

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Kam's Roast Goose
 226 Hennessy Rd, Hong Kong

If you do go to Kam's Roast Goose, go early right before they open, so that you don't have to wait too long! Their lunch sets are super affordable and the roast goose is to-die-for. Juicy, tender and delicious, with that crackling skin that practically melts in the mouth.

hong kong blog
Just soooooo good I would go back to Hong Kong for this in a heartbeat! Please skip Yung Kee and do Kam's Roast Goose instead. You won't regret it! Just look at the above photo and it’s good enough to make you salivate – all thanks to the Color Profile on the PEN-F that brings this picture to life!

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They've even been awarded 1 Star in the 2015 and 2016 Michelin Guide, that's how good Kam's Roast Goose is!

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 When you're in Sheung Wan/Central area, don't miss out on the famous Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodles!

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 Kau Kee Beef Brisket Noodles
21 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong

Both their curry beef brisket noodles and regular beef brisket noodles are amazeballs and you must try both!! So satisfying, especially on a cold Hong Kong evening.

hong kong blog
Besides restaurants, Hong Kong’s café scene is one that you have to check out too!

One of the hipster cafes that I really like in Hong Kong is Mum's Not Home!

It's a cozy cafe/shop located in a residential apartment in a corner of Yau Ma Tei and has got some seriously cool vibes going on. Every corner of this place is chock full of eclectic decor and quirky character. I've been there on two occasions over two separate trips and it hasn't lost any of its charm!

Mum's Not Home
1/F 302 Shanghai St, Yau Ma Tei

While chilling at the café, I decided to play with the Art filters on the Olympus Pen F and I really liked how it brought out the feel of Mum's Not Home! Same photo but different feels!

Art Filter: Pop Art Mode

Art Filter: Pale and Light Color Mode

Art Filter: Vintage Mode

A shot of the super cool hand drawn menu at Mum's Not Home. I love how unorthodox everything is in there!

Art Filter: Vintage Mode

I love this picture because it’s such a happening photo with the burst of colours in one frame! The settings on the Color Profile Mode really helped bring out the colours in this shot! 

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Our cafe-hopping brought us to Common Ground, a well-known coffee place in Sheung Wan, where I spent a great afternoon working and enjoying the relaxed cafe ambience.

Common Ground
Shing Wong St, Central, Hong Kong

Tastefully decorated space that has industrial accents but still manages to keep a cozy ambience.

I love the way natural sunlight streamed in from the windows, it was a very peaceful and well-spent afternoon.

And look at the new friend I made: Bula the Malamute! (He has his own instagram account at @bulathemalamute and is absolutely beautiful!)

This lovely majestic giant was so friendly and docile, gamely posing for my camera. Of course aided by Olympus’ trusty 5-axis image stabilization system! 

Bula the Malamute with his owner, taken in Monotone mode.

Looking back at these photos really makes me miss my gastronomical adventures in Hong Kong!   When I’m not busy stuffing my face with food, I took to the streets of Hong Kong and had a ball of time playing with the features of the Pen F to capture the essence of Hong Kong. Check out the following images!

To me, there's something beautiful about the dilapidated and grimy buildings in Hong Kong. So much character and so many silent stories to tell.

The same buildings taken with the Color Profile mode immediately makes the image look more eye-catching with that pop of saturation and contrast!

While in Monotone mode, it now looks and feels like a scene from an old black-and-white movie.

Here's another comparison between the regular shooting mode for the Olympus Pen F, along with my two other favourite modes: Color Profile (Mode 3) and Monotone.

 Color Profile Mode

Monotone Mode

For the creative photographers who want more out of their Olympus Pen F, you can customise your color settings further in Color Creator Mode that allows you to tweak different colors on the spectrum to reduce or boost specific colors.

Pretty fun stuff! 

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I really had so much fun exploring both Hong Kong and my Olympus Pen F!

It's my perfect camera on-the-go. Apart from all the creative color modes, the Olympus Pen F also features a swivel LCD screen that allows for easy selfies (heheh very important feature) as well as the wi-fi function that allows me to send photos straight to my phone easily for social sharing!

Hoping to fly on my next destination soon and capture more beautiful memories with the Olympus Pen F!

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Before I end my post, here's one last parting shot of Hong Kong with the Olympus Pen F in Art Filter: Pinhole mode.

I’ll be back soon, Hong Kong!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Skincare for Dehydrated Sensitive Skin: Bioderma Hydrabio Range

One drastic change to my skin after taking Roaccutane (acne medication) was that my skin turned from combination skin to dry/dehydrated skin, and now needs a lot more hydration as compared to previously. I've been trying out different skincare products to look for an optimal skincare range that can provide me with the hydration my skin needs, and I found Bioderma's Hydrabio range!

I'm sure you already know of Bioderma through its famous Micellar Cleansing Water, but you probably didn't know that Bioderma has been a pioneer in skincare since the 1970s, and have a strong focus on biological solutions to formulate highly-effective skincare products.

I've been a fan of Bioderma's Sensibo H20 Makeup-Removing Micelle Water for the longest time, because it is so fuss-free and easy to use! I carry around a small bottle of it whenever I travel, and a huge bottle of Bioderma Micelle Water sits on my dressing table. It is consistently the first makeup remover I reach out for, especially especially on very lazy nights when I reach home tired and just want to clean off my makeup in the fastest possible way.

I've been trying out the Bioderma Hydrabio skincare range for the past few weeks and I love these products!

The new Bioderma Hydrabio range aims to deliver hydration deeper into the skin, thanks to a brand new emulsion base technology inspired by the skin structure. It's known as the Physiological Lamellar Emulsion base technology, an oil-in-water-in-oil structure that fuses with the skin to allow for restoration of the skin's barrier and deeper penetration of active ingredients.

With the help of this new technology, exist active ingredients that form the Aquagenium patent (a feature of all Bioderma Hydrabio products) help to benefit the skin more than ever.

I'm going to share my thoughts and review on the Bioderma Hydrabio products that I've been using for the past couple of weeks.

Bioderma Hydrabio H20 
($14.90 for 100ml, $26.90 for 250ml, $40.90 for 500ml)

My holy grail Bioderma cleansing water gets even better when it's especially formulated for dehydrated/sensitive skin. This blue version of Bioderma's cleansing water feels even more gentle on the skin, and it biologically activates the skin's natural hydrating ability thanks to the Aquagenium® patent.

My makeup is removed thoroughly and effectively with Bioderma Hydrabio H20, and I love it that my skin doesn't feel tight or dry after I remove my makeup with this. On days that I'm super tired, I literally just use Bioderma Hydrabio H20 and fall straight into bed! (Though I highly recommend you follow through with the rest of your skincare products, hahaha.)

Bioderma Hydrabio Tonique
($38.50 for 250ml)

After cleansing, sweep this moisturising toning lotion across the face to prepare the skin for your daily moisturising regimen.

I usually saturate a cotton pad quite liberally with Bioderma Hydrabio Tonique before I lightly sweep it all over my face. Nowadays, I tend to prefer toners without any alcohol content in it because alcohol can be very drying to the skin, and what I like about Bioderma Hydrabio Tonique is that it feels so mild on the skin.

*NEW* Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme
($41.90 for 40ml)

Despite its light and refreshing gel-like texture, Hydrabio Gel-Creme offers powerful hydration capability, making it the perfect daily moisturiser for intense and lasting radiance. Suitable for normal to oily, very oily skin, or those who prefer a more lightweight treatment moisturiser. It is formulated with moisturising agents (hexydecanol, rapeseed extract, glycerine and squalene) as well as anti-free radicals (Vitamin E, rapeseed oil and malachite extracts) for premature aging, and salicylic acid to smooth the skin's surface.

What I particularly like about the Bioderma Hydrabio range is the incredibly light-weight texture. The Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme has a very light gel-like consistency that literally melts into my skin, and it gives my skin instant hydration.

Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme is more suitable to be used in the day time especially for hot and  humid weather like ours, and is suitable even for normal to very oily skin due to its super light-weight texture!

For night-time though, I use the following product instead:
*NEW* Bioderma Hydrabio Creme
($44.90 for 50ml)

Bioderma Hydrabio Creme is more suitable for dry to very dry sensitive skin, and offers heavy-duty moisturisation for up to 8 hours! It is enriched with powerful hydrating agents like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sunflowers oil, rapeseed extract and squalene. This is perfect for night-time use, especially if you sleep in an air-conditioned room at night.

The formulation for Bioderma Hydrabio Creme is heavier than the Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme, but surprisingly absorbs well into the skin and and doesn't leave any uncomfortable sticky or film-like residue like some heavy-duty moisturisers do. I found it very hydrating and I love that feeling of hydration penetrating deep into my skin.

Bioderma Hydrabio Serum 
($49.90 for 40ml)

Bioderma Hydrabio Serum is a light-weight hydration booster that works on even the driest skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid and an exceptionally high concentration of glycerin for immediate and intensive hydration.

Again, the texture of Bioderma Hydrabio Serum is amazing! The gel consistency absorbs straight away, and used together with the Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme (in the day time) or Bioderma Hydrabio Creme (in the night time) helps to really seal in all that moisture in my skin and delivers this boost of hydration that I'm loving.

*NEW* Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30 PA+++
($49.90 for 40ml)

This is Bioderma Hydrabio's latest star product, and I can totally understand why! With the Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30 PA+++, you get the same skincare technology as with the other products in Bioderma Hydrabio range, and in addition, it gives a velvety finish with a rosy tint! Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur also contains soft powders and mica to give a blurring effect and cover micro-wrinkles and imperfections. 

It's a perfect multi-tasker as a moisturiser with UVA/UVB protection and a make-up base!

Don't be fooled by how its texture looks here, Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur actually spreads very well on the skin, and you just need one pump for the entire face.

Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur SPF30 PA+++ works marvellously for me on days that I know I'm not going out into the sun for too long (if not I'll slather on my SPF50 sunscreen instead) and it acts as a moisturiser, sunscreen and makeup primer all together at the same time.

It really does give my skin a smoother and more radiant look with its rosy tint and blurring effect!

Bioderma Hydrabio Gommant - Exfoliating Cream
($32.90 for 75ml)

The last product from the Bioderma Hydrabio range that I've been trying out is this Bioderma Hydrabio Exfoliating Cream: It's made for sensitive, dry and dehydrated skin and is gentle to the skin with a cream-based hydration formula. Bioderma Hydrabio Exfoliating Cream helps to reveal a smooth, more radiant complexion.

A reminder for ladies with sensitive/dehydrated skin to not use exfoliating creams daily as over-exfoliating actually makes the skin even more prone to sensitivity and dryness!

I exfoliate just once to twice a week whenever I feel that my skin is getting a little dull, and Bioderma Hydrabio Exfoliating Cream does a good job of gentle exfoliating, without drying out my skin. 

My verdict on Bioderma Hydrabio range: I love these products! They've been doing a fabulous job at keeping my skin healthy and moisturised, and the light-weight consistency and textures of Bioderma Hydrabio products are perfect for our sunny and humid Singapore climate.

I would highly recommend those with sensitive/dehydrated skin to give these products a try, in particular Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme and Hydrabio Perfecteur, my two favourite products in the range. 

Of course, I always prefer to use the entire range for any skincare products as I feel that it helps to improve the efficacy of the skincare ingredients in general, which is what I would suggest for the Bioderma Hydrabio range too.

If you're on the look-out for good skincare products for sensitive and dehydrated skin, give these Bioderma Hydrabio products a try, I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Just some snaps from my weekend spent doing promo performances for Hear Me Sing SG: Yesss I am now officially in the Top 4 with these three talented ladies! 

Got quite a few compliments on my glowing skin and I'm pretty sure Bioderma Hydrabio skincare products and especially Bioderma Hydrabio Perfecteur played a big part to give me that smooth and radiant skin hehe.

It's been a hectic period for me, but also very very fulfilling and exciting at the same time! If you happen to be free, come catch us sing at the following dates/venues!

Hear Me Sing Top 4 Promos

Wed 8/6 9PM - Unplugged @ Dempsey
Thurs 9/6 9.15PM - Shuffle @ Clark Quay
Fri 10/6 6.30PM JCube (JAvenue)Fri 10/6 8PM Switch @ Bras Basah
Sat 11/6 5PM Bugis Junction
Sat 11/6 9PM O Bar @ Punggol


© Yina Goes

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