Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration moisturiser review – he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

kiehls ultra facial cream intense hydration

If you thought that living in Hong Kong meant you got to avoid the vagaries of winter weather, think again. The only difference? Unlike the UK, we’re just vastly unprepared for it!

Nevertheless, there are a couple of things you can buy to lessen the pain. Millions of Uniqlo Heattech tops. A mini convection heater to tote around wherever you go. And a really really good winter moisturiser. Which is exactly where Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration comes in.

Add dry weather to drying conditions (hello that beloved convection heater!) and you end up with pretty parched skin. Given that Hong Kong’s usual climate of heat and humidity is the exact opposite of this and you can see why a change in your skincare routine is most definitely called for! So it’s out with light, gel-based moisturisers and in with heavy-duty hydrating creams. However, what’s amazing about Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Intense Hydration Cream is that whilst it’s heavy-duty, it does so without actually being heavy. Which has to be some sort of make-up miracle.

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Afternoon tea at The Intercontinental Hong Kong review – a view to a kill

the intercontinental hong kong le chocolat alain ducasse tea set

In a city swarming with afternoon teas, there are a couple of stone cold (or rather, scone cold hehe) classics that rarely disappoint – The Mandarin Oriental, The Four Seasons, The Peninsula… and I think it’s about time that I added The Intercontinental Hong Kong to the list.

Whilst many hotel teas here boast pretty sweet views of the city thanks to their lofty heights (à la The Ritz-Carlton or The Upper House’s Café Gray Deluxe), The Intercontinental’s might just be my new favourite based on sheer spectacle alone. The laidback surrounds of the Lobby Lounge essentially give you front row seats to the best show Hong Kong has to offer – our magnificent harbour skyline, laid out for all to see via a giant wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s like you’re sitting on the ocean. As far as tea settings go, you can’t get much better… oh, until the sun sets and then you get to see Hong Kong’s glittering skyline by night instead.

the intercontinental hong kong lobby lounge

With that view, The Intercon could serve me tap water and gruel and I’d probably still be making a return booking. Thankfully, they do a whole lot better than that – and their afternoon tea set is definitely up there with Hong Kong’s stronger offerings. Continue reading

Zoya Aurora nail polish review

zoya aurora

Hail to the Princess Aurora! All of her subjects adore her! Hail to the King, hail to the Queen, hail to the Princess Aurora!

Given that Sleeping Beauty was always my favourite Disney princess, it was always likely I’d feel the urge to buy Zoya’s Aurora nail polish – and yes, I totally buy cosmetics based on the product names. Thankfully, the colour turned out to be pretty stellar.

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Clinique Chubby Sticks in Heftiest Hibiscus, Chunky Cherry and Jumbo Jasmine review

clinique chubby sticks

“Hello, my name is Rachel and I am a Chubb-aholic.”

Yes, ever since Clinique’s Chubby Sticks arrived on the beauty scene in 2011, I have found myself addicted to all crayon-shaped lip products that cross my path – be they the Chubby Sticks themselves, or bandwagon-jumping Chubb-alikes like Sisley’s Phyto-Lip Twists and Revlon’s Colorburst Balms. So it was only a matter of time before the itch hit and yet more Chubby Sticks found their way into my collection; if I plead innocence as to how they got there, will the make-up gods (and my bank balance) believe me?

clinique chubby sticks heftiest hibiscus chunky cherry jumbo jasmine swatchLeft to right: Heftiest Hibiscus, Chunky Cherry, Jumbo Jasmine

The latest additions to my Chubby Stick family are Heftiest Hibiscus, Chunky Cherry and Jumbo Jasmine. And of course, they are all pretty awesome. In case you need a recap as to why Clinique Chubby Sticks in general are awesome, may I point you to my previous reviews here and here… but if you are too lazy to click (tut tut), here are the basics:

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Through The Looking Glass’ Top 11 Posts of 2014

ttlg top 11 2014

Because not getting in on all this end-of-year list action would kill me, here are TTLG’s Most Read Posts of 2014:

1.  Hong Kong Murders: The Braemar Hill murders
2.  Clinique Chubby Sticks in Two Ton Tomato, Mighty Mimosa & Pudgy Peony review
3.  Barbie: still the Best
4.  SK-II Facial Treatment Essence review
5.  MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush & Coral Bliss Cremesheen Lipstick review – going coral cray-cray
6.  Lancome Blanc Expert Ultimate Whitening Hydrating Cream moisturiser review
7.  Innisfree Hand Cream Collection review
8.  MAC Stay Pretty Pro Longwear Blush & Sunny Seoul Cremesheen Lipstick review – think pink
9.  FACESSS Hong Kong gets a makeover – Innisfree, Philosophy, Tony Moly and beauty brands galore hit LAB Concept!
10.  Don’t wake me up…
11.  The Nail Library review – nailing it in Hong Kong!

ttlg 6 faves 2014

… And here’s six of my personal favourites that just missed out on being in the top eleven this year:

The one with the most hits for a restaurant review: Mott 32
The one that brought back my nail polish mojo: YSL Bleu Celadon
The one with ALL THE DESSERTS: ATUM Desserant
The one that fixed my hands: The Best Hand Creams Ever
The one where I was on The Crystal Maze (sort of): Freeing HK
The one that got my boyfriend’s hands on Buzzfeed: 7-Eleven Noodles

It’s been a great year guys *sniff sniff*; thanks SO much for reading and see you all in 2015!

Airplay Blow Dry Bar review – hairway to heaven

airplay bar hong kong rach

Tis the season to go party, fa la la la la la la la…

Yep, it’s that time of year when even the most shy and retiring wallflowers find themselves being dragged along to burn the midnight oil and stick tinsel in strange places at seasonal soirees and holiday parties galore.

airplay bar hong kong

It’s occasions like these where you might find yourself lacking the time or indeed, inspiration to get ready for a night out… and as someone who has put serious consideration into whether pyjamas fit the description of “smart-casual” and whose most adventurous hairstyle is the ponytail, I definitely know the feeling. Which is exactly where Airplay Bar comes into play.

airplay blow dry bar hong kong

Airplay is Hong Kong’s very first blow dry bar – no cuts, no colours, just simple (or not so simple!) styling – a concept that’s big in the States and Europe but which, in true HK fashion, took absolutely bloody ages to reach our shores. Their first location in Central is exactly the kind of space you’d like to enjoy some prime pampering time in; the décor is soft and feminine, with invitingly comfy white leather chairs and Project Runway on loop on giant screens, whilst the place itself is far bigger and more open than the photos do justice.

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Chesa restaurant review – Swiss bliss at The Peninsula Hong Kong

chesa hong kong swiss chalet

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…

There’s just something about Chesa in The Peninsula Hong Kong that makes me want to sing Christmas carols whatever time of year it is. (Luckily, we’ve now hit the festive season full-swing, so I sound somewhat less of a loon.)

chesa hong kong

One of the only Swiss restaurants in Hong Kong, Chesa has been going strong for over 40 years – and once you’ve stepped into its cosy chalet surroundings, you’ll understand why. It feels like a secret Alpine escape, not just from bustling Tsim Sha Tsui, but the whole of Hong Kong itself. With its dark wood panelling, rustic furniture and cute mountain chalet details (think cross-stitch cushions and cuckoo clocks), it’s a gorgeous little grotto that just begs for curling by the fire with a cup of cocoa and comedy Christmas jumper.

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