YSL TINT IN BALM – Storytime

Guys, I can’t. Also – let me know, when do I  blog, when do I Tube?


Wat Po Thai Massage School, Bangkok

I’ve always wanted to learn Thai Massage – I just have and when my friend told me she wanted to go and had found a school I was IN! The sad part was, she couldn’t go. So, I went alone to Wat Po Thai Massage School in Bangkok.

What sold me on the school that it was in a temple -wow so cool. When I did my research online about the school there’s almost nothing about the school except one article in SCMP that reiterates the temple teachings as well lets you know that the masseuse from The Pennisula get trained there, well, WOWEE!

The basic massage course is about 300USD for 30hours, 9am-4pm for 5 days. The interesting thing is that the course starts any day of the week except Sunday. The NOT SO INTERESTING THING IS – it’s not in a temple, womp womp what a huge let down. This school is associated with Wat Pho the famous temple in Bangkok. Inside the temple is a place where you can get a thai massage however no teaching happens there. The teaching happens across the street in a non descript building.

img_1601

This is kind of a crappy picture, but I guess this is what it looks like.

It is in one word, exhausting. Physically it’s very tiring. Not just your hands but your back, your knees, your hips!! It requires a lot of flexibility to do thai massage, especially in your own feet because you’re constantly moving around on your toes, on the back of your toes and I had to get several massages myself just to relieve myself from massaging!

From 9-4 you practice massage and you get practiced on as well, which sounds like fun and it kind of is but students practicing on you isn’t really a true massage – more just like someone touching you. Besides that there is A LOT to know in thai massage, the positions – the movements, the techniques and because of that it’s trying to remember all those details while someone gives you the massage as well.

After class, I tried to take advantage of the SHOPPING in Bangkok, and I went to a lot of markets but I was so tired, I didn’t buy much. After eating dinner I would be back in my hotel around 7-8pm and then I’d have to study all the movements again.

Thai massage is comprised of 5 sections. A full massage should take 2 hours. This obviously means you need to study, you need to practice. My brain was so full – hardcore Asian student study mode and you know what? I nailed that exam. Yes, there’s an exam.

Practice, practice, practice until your hands hurt, knees hurt, hips hurt, back hurts.

Practice, practice, practice until your hands hurt, knees hurt, hips hurt, back hurts.

If you’re interested in doing Thai Massage School here are my thoughts on this particular school:

Pros:

  • Small class sizes
  • Official massage school in Thailand
  • Free professional massages if you need them during class because your body is breaking
  • Great price!
  • Really cool neighbourhood with both hip restaurants and street food

Cons:

  • Language barrier – teachers are not super fluent in English
  • Teaching method is very non Western, there is no try and fail, there’s try and YOU’RE WRONG AND WE MADE SURE YOU KNEW IT
  • It’s not in a temple as advertised
  • It’s not theory based so this you will need to learn on your own – it’s execution based. I would suggest knowing some anatomy and read up on meridian lines.
  • It’s not easily accessible by public transit unless you take a boat, I opted to stay at a hotel right next door. Hotels in the area range from 50-100USD a night which is rubbish because 5 star hotels in Bangkok start at 120USD/night, so major con.

Massage Me!

I wouldn’t say I’m a touchy person but I do like to be touched by a person of authority, or that I know and is welcomed. I mean it has to be welcomed. And when I say authority – I mean like when you go through security and they pat you down. I like that. I don’t mind getting a physical either as long as they aren’t drawing blood. I guess I don’t like the dentist though so that’s bad touch. Good touch and bad touch. I like good touch.

Good touch is also massages. O M G. I love massages. Naturally, I am quite – how shall we put it, up to stuff and people who are up to stuff tend to need some muscle relaxation.

Since moving to Asia I have experienced the Chinese foot and body massage and let me tell you – the masseuses here are relentless. They literally make it their sole mission in their life to get ALL THE KNOTS out of your body even if that means you’re going to be bruised for a week and screaming into your pillow. Oddly, I like this.

And so in no particular order, my favourite types of massages.

1. Foot Massage

The foot massage is interesting because they don’t just massage your foot but up to your knee and sometimes higher. The foot is supposed to be linked with all these other areas in the body creating healing powers when pressed. Well, I don’t know about healing powers but I do know about pressure points. WOW – it hurts. Again, I like it. This type of massage is especially great if you do a lot of walking, or running, or sports, or are on your feet a lot. It’s like a rebirth for your legs.

2. Chinese Deep Tissue Massage

The pain from the foot massage can translate all the way into your body. If you can take the pain it’s definitely worth it for the after effects. It hurts so good.

3. Thai Massage

A massage and a stretch is really an amazing way to go when you aren’t quite ready for the all out pain of the Chinese massage, the Thai type is more gentle and great for your back, and mobility work on your legs and arms. I love this type so much I am thinking to get training in it!

4. Four Hand Massage

Four hands are better than two. Two people working on either half of your  body perfectly in sync is INCREDIBLE. The closest you can get to a threesome without having a threesome I think. And the only thing that could make it better? A hand bang – that’s right 8 hands.  WOW. I haven’t heard of that but I think I would love to experience it.

5. Therapeutic Massage

Honestly, I don’t even know what this means but every time I come out of one of these I feel like a million bucks.

So you know what, think of yourself as wanting to be the best kobe beef – so trendy and juicy because you’re getting massaged, all day err day. Moossage. (Lol).


Your must do skincare routine…

Last week I blogged about makeup must haves but let’s be honest – while makeup can do wonders, it’s your skin (the foundation) that needs to be smooth & clear. So let’s get started.

Step 1: Wash your hands

This is important because if you have dirty hands, we’re doing double duty in the cleaning department. Washing hands and face with the face cleanser. Best to just clean your hands first.

Step 2: Remove your makeup

In a similiar reasoning to Step 1 – you want to remove your makeup first because face cleansing is about cleaning your face, not your makeup. Try using a makeup wipe first (there’s lots on the market and I don’t think there’s much difference between them but of course choose the one that is right for your skin type – beware, some of these wipes SMELL). For eye make up – use an eye make up remover. Currently I am using Dior – Instant Eye Makeup Remover 31USD. I like it because it isn’t oily and it seems to do the job! I would repurchase but I am also open to trying new things.

Step 3: Cleanse your face

I gently wash my face using circular motions for about 30 seconds in each area. The BEST is to use a face cloth to rinse your face about 3 times and then rinse with water 10 times. You don’t want any leftover residue on your face!

My go-t0 cleansers are – La Roche Posay Effaclar Cream Deep Cleansing Foam Cream Cleanser (wow what a mouthful!) 22USD

Although it is suggested for oily skin, I actually have normal skin and find it provides a deep gentle clean. I’ve also tried Clarins Cleansing Cream but prefer La Roche.

Really the best and at an unbeatable price! Photo source: Makeupalley.com

Really the best and at an unbeatable price! Photo source: Makeupalley.com

I also use another face wash – just once a day – usually when I am in the shower because this one is more potent and I want to make sure it washes off completely.

Carley's Clear and Smooth Acne Treatment 22USD

Carley’s Clear and Smooth Acne Treatment 22USD

This looks like it’s made in someone’s basement and I don’t even care if it is. My skin is clear and smooth! I’ve never had any serious problems with acne but I know people who have and this brand carries and industrial version of this product. I really have to say I’m a fan. I’ve been using it for years!

Step 4: Tone your face

Not everyone needs a toner. You should use toner if you wear heavy makeup or have combination skin, oily skin or acne prone skin. It helps to remove any excess dirt or grime you might not have caught in your cleansing routine but it also can do so much more – including restore pH balance, tighten pores, hydrate etc. For more, read here.

I’m currently using Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris – Combination/Oily skin 25USD. You might be wondering I use the Combination/Oily instead of the Normal, well it’s because the Normal is Normal/Dry and if I were to choose, then I would choose Combination over Dry. I really like this, this is a repeat purchase. I’m also one to mix brands together though some people that one brand is meant to work together I think of it more like – everyone has different targeted needs so just target em, you know?

I wipe my face using cotton pads - not balls. Who uses balls anymore? The product just gets wasted.

I wipe my face using cotton pads – not balls. Who uses balls anymore? The product just gets wasted.

Step 5: Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is the most delicate and prone to wrinkles. You know the sun and stuff. If the area around my eyes is dry then I swear by Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado 28USD.

Amazing for winter if you live in a dry climate!

Amazing for winter if you live in a dry climate!

As for regular use, I am currently using Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Lift Perfecting Serum 63USD. I think it’s ok but I’m going to try something different next time. Not sure what yet but La Roche Posay Redermic C Eyes interests me.

Step 6: Serum

I could literally be the spokesperson for Clarins Double Serum – 89USD. It changed my life. Brighter skin. More supple. More radiant. More everything. It’s the best. Why use a serum you might wonder? Because serum penetrates deep into your pores and really that’s what you want – the cells deep within your skin to plump up and get nutrients. SO THIS STEP IS A MUST EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ALL MUSTS.

Pricey but so worth it!

Pricey but so worth it!

Step 7: Moisturise

With all the work that you’ve done, you’ll want to seal the deal and that’s exactly what moisturising does. IT DOES NOT ADD MOISTURE. That is a myth. That’s what the serum for. Moisturiser is a coating on top of your skin that locks in the moisture you already have. It’s still important to do because we DO want to LOCK IT IN. I really like this brand Merlot – although it can only be bought in the USA, which is a huge pain. I’m a a big fan.

Only 17USD!!

Only 17USD!!

I also like that it has SPF 15 – I am a sunscreen freak and I wear sunscreen every day even in winter. There’s also a night version to this cream that I also love.

Step 8: Sunscreen

Wow – don’t even get me started. Unless you want to look like a garbage bag with freckles when you’re older, then you’ll want to put on sunscreen. And you know what – you think those are freckles on old people? Their not, their sun spots. And you think you don’t have sun spots? Maybe not know but they are hiding under layers of epidermis waiting to come out. Trust me.

I finish with – La Roche Posay Anthelios Targeted Protection Stick SPF 60. I love the stick format. It’s so easy and practical and portable! And it’s water resistant! I use it on my face and neck. Also whatever you do to your face, you must do to your neck!!

I love this thing.

I love this thing.

That’s all the steps! Make sure you practice this morning and night – consistency as with most things that require improvement is key. And drink lots of water!! And just love yourself – yeah! *high kick!


Makeup Favourites for natural, radiant look

For those of you who see me often this post may come as a surprise to you as I rarely wear makeup. But just because I rarely wear it doesn’t mean I don’t know a lot about it. With the birth of the internet my research skills have taken over my life and now I know more than I would like too.

Note: I used to wear more makeup in the past when I didn’t leave in sauna or teach yoga almost everyday – it seems silly to be wearing makeup when you are in and out of the gym and melting in the Hong Kong sun. That being said – I am a snob when it come stop most things and makeup is definitely one of them. Everything I mention in this post is tried and true. This post isn’t sponsored because I’m not famous. Lol.

Oh I should also mention I( have been maintaining my Sephora VIB status for 3 years while living in Hong Kong – impressive!

FACE:

I think a good skincare routine is the basis for a good face so I highly recommend starting there. I don’t think most people need to use foundation but many do – I never have, the closest I come is this:

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Photo Cred: Pink Sith

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Photo Cred: Pink Sith

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – 44USD

Why I like it: I like it because it is lightweight – it leaves a dewy, radiant glow, blends easily and it acts as a moisturiser with natural ingredients that overtime help to improve your complexion.

Note: I use this for special occasions only when I want to really even out and brighten my skin tone. Especially great if there are cameras around. Paparazzi after me. If I am using this I won’t use a makeup primer. Note that I have not included a makeup primer in this post as I have yet to find one that I swear by.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer Photo Cred: Sephora.com

MAKE UP FOR EVER
Full Cover Concealer Photo Cred: Sephora.com

 

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer – 34USD

Why I like it: It doesn’t move. This concealer is meant not for your under eye (but that’s what I use it for – pushing boundaries, exploring new frontiers – I’m a pioneer!).

Note: I used to work crazy hours like 17 hours a day and you just do not want to look like a panda bear – no matter how cute they are. I also tried Amazing Cosmetics which they use on Gossip Girl but I didn’t like the consistency as much and the staying power wasn’t as strong.

CHEEKS:

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Bobbi Brown
Shimmer Brick Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick – Color Bronze – 25USD

Why I like it: It gives you a perfect glow without being too brown (depending on your skin town, I am a dark olive with yellow undertones).

Note: I really like the natural but enhanced look – radiant and fresh, so I think this is perfect for that. And it’s not too glittery. I use this on my cheeks and my T zone.

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Powder Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Hourglass
Ambient® Lighting Powder Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder – Color Luminous Light – 47USD

Why I like it: This powder makes you look like you’re by candlelight and EVERYONE  looks good by candlelight. This powder softens the look of the skin – diffusing light to make you look brighter with more refined skin. I use it when I don’t want to use the shimmer brick (winter for example) and I always use it under my eye and above me eyebrow in a C shape to brighten up my eyes and use it as a setting powder of the concealer.

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Photo Cred: Sephora.com

tarte
Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Photo Cred: Sephora.com

tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush – 28USD

Why I like it: It comes in 18 of the most naturally beautiful colors. The color seems to come from within your skin giving you that flushed natural glow. I absolutely love that. I don’t think it lasts 12 hours but I love the pigment and the way it goes on the skin. They can easily be layered and blended. Another great feature is the packaging – the compact is the same color as the blush inside – helpful when rummaging through your makeup bag.

Special Mention: Nars Blush – Color Orgasm – Cult classic, I am a big fan of this as well but only when I am not wearing the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick as Orgasm is quite shimmery on it’s own.

EYES:

I don’t wear eyeliner really so you won’t see that on here – I would recommend the Bobbi Brown eye liner gel – that’s what I would use if I had the time to carefully apply. I also use the Sephora eyebrow pencil – I don’t have much experience with eyebrow pencils and currently feel that an eyebrow pencil is an eyebrow pencil. I do like how it defines your face, that pencil.

And eyeshadow – I really like the Sephora brand eyeshadows – cheap and cheerful and they stay on. Urban Decay is nice but somehow I always gravitate towards Sephora rather than my Naked palettte. I really dislike Nars eyeshadow – don’t  bother  unless you want to see the creases of your eyelids. That being said, I rarely wear eyeshadow but when I do I prime it with Urban Decay Eye Primer.

Prescriptives Lash Builder Mascara Basecoat Photo Cred: Prescriptives.com

Prescriptives Lash Builder Mascara Basecoat Photo Cred: Prescriptives.com

Prescriptives Lash Builder Mascara Basecoat – 20USD

Why I like it: I’ve tried many basecoats to mascara including the infamous Dior but there’s nothing quite like this one – it coats each lash effortlessly – building and separating each one making it easy to glide mascara on and not have to wiggle the wand back and forth or try really hard. It’s just easy and it works.

Note: This brand used to be sold in high end department stores and was known for customising foundation and lipstick to your needs they’ve since shut down all their physical locations and only have an online store of which items can be shipped within the USA only. While this is a pain, I still think it’s worth it. They often do promotions as well! Free size bronzer with purchase etc.

Prescriptives Lash Envy Volumizing Mascara Photo Cred: Prescriptives.com

Prescriptives Lash Envy Volumizing Mascara Photo Cred: Prescriptives.com

Prescriptives Lash Envy Volumizing Mascara – 23USD

Why I like it: The natural companion to the lash builder this lash mascara goes on easily and delivers the volume. I do think however after many hours it can begin to flake – I am interested in trying the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and the Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. I’ve read lots of great reviews on both.

Note: I have tried Dior Dior Show – it doesn’t have the same fanning effect. I’ve tried lots of mascaras from Maybelline to Lancome to Clinque to Benefit and right now this still takes the cake. Also note, I always want the volumizing look – sometimes the false eyelashes look to but what I’ve learned is volume is good – a little beyond natural and then some, but the false lashes mascara often looks too thick, too clumpy and not nice. If you want the false lashes look – get false lashes or eyelash extensions. It will look much better!

LIPS:

I tend to gravitate toward MAC lipsticks and Nars lipsticks. And I like Chanel lipgloss (Side story: Once in a bar I pulled out my lipgloss and a boy asked me what flavour it was – FLAVOUR? We’re in a bar! Not a playground. I said, “It’s not a flavour – it’s Chanel” – feels like I was in a commercial right there, lol.

For everyday I LOVE Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow – 33USD

Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Why I like it: Essentially it is a very expensive chapstick but BETTER. Lip glow takes the natural color of your lips and brightens it. Pale lips no more! You look healthy and cute!

Note: They often sell this on the plane with it’s counter part lipgloss. You can get a deal!

FINALLY

I set it all with Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray – 30USD

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Urban Decay
All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Photo Cred: Sephora.com

Why I like it: Honestly I think it’s placebo effect but at the same time I can’t be sure because I’ve been using it so long. This setting spray is lightweight – smells good and is suppose to let your makeup stay for up to 16h! Supposedly it cools down the temperature of your makeup so it doesn’t melt – maybe it does…

Note: I also tried their similar product but for oily skin – I really didn’t like this – it made my skin MORE oily.

There you have it! Go be beautiful!


Protein Chips!

Because protein shakes are seriously gross and protein bars for the most part are also gross. I could just eat foods that are high in protein but protein chips seem like the future.

Cause here’s the thing, I love chips. Like so much. I like how crunchy and flavorful they are and since moving to Hong Kong, I mean it’s really interesting because they just don’t have aisles of chips here like they do in Canada (or gasp! America). So much chip intake has gone down which is probably better for my physical health but not my mental health.

ANYWAYS – along with chips, I thought I would list a couple of my other favourite foods.

  • Pho – pho sure I could eat this EVERYDAY. Like every single day. Too bad Hong Kong has crappy and expensive pho. If they had amazing and cheap pho I would be pho fat.
  • Bread – bread to me tastes like candy but I almost never eat bread so it’s even more extra special to me.
  • Rice noodles, though I think this kind of falls under the pho category they are also used in Pad Thai, and other Asian type noodle soups…YUM
  • Sushi – salmon sushi – spicy salmon sushi – uni – scallop – I mean mostly all types. I like handrolls too. I like sashimi.
  • Gyoza – oh yeah, I could have like 20 of those. Maybe 30.
  • Oysters and lobster are my favourite seafoods – I could eat 50 oysters. I think I have.
The way forward. Photo Source: Progress Fitness

The way forward. Photo Source: Progress Fitness

Anyways back to protein chips – it’s like one bag has 120 calories are 21 grams of protein. I’m talking about the Quest brand protein chips. I literally don’t know anything else about them like how good they are or bad they are for you etc. All I know is that I can have a bag of chips after I work out and that is a huge win to me. Though they are a bit expensive, $3usd/bag? Maybe less but I suppose all protein supplements are around that cost. I buy mine off iherb.com – there are several flavours:

  • BBQ – I generally just don’t like the BBQ flavor and I still don’t in this particular chip
  • Sea Salt – Too SALTY
  • Salt & Vinegar – Have yet to try but I’ve ordered it and I’m excited!
  • Sour Cream and Onion – I think is quite YUM and doesn’t have the same heavy taste that other brands might
  • Cheddar and Sour Cream – I have this at home and I haven’t tried it but I’m going to. Keep you posted.

That’s it. This might be the worst post of all time. I’m sorry but hopefully you got something out of it. Protein chips! The way of the future.


Why I decided to stop eating meat…

…well almost. Let me explain.

Growing up one of my best friends was a pescatarian and so I followed suit because we were together most of the time and I like the taste of soy based faux meats and didn’t miss the real stuff. She was and is a real animal lover. I got it into my head that I should stop eating meat if I loved animals. But the problem is, not that I don’t love animals it’s that I don’t LOVE animals. I like animals.

I like to look at animals, on the rare occasion, pet an animal but I’m not one to have a pet. So my animal love basically ends there. I can appreciate animals but I guess I just thought that I need to be in love with animals to stop eating meat.

For awhile, I was eating meat because it was easy. It gives you lots of options especially when eating out.

I’ve watched a handful of documentaries about animal slaughter, genetically modified foods and the like. They definitely affected me but it never pushed me over the edge.

I knew some people who became vegetarians and lost a lot of weight but I don’t think that has to do with being a vegetarian exactly but more cutting out other junk in your life too. I also read that a lot of athletes have a diet high in veggies, like 80% of their diet is veggies…interesting. And at around this time paleo was quite popular and though paleo has some controversy to it – it is true that we never did eat THAT much meat.

I tried being pescatarian earlier this year for month as part of my new year’s resolutions and I liked it – I felt lighter, healthier and as I was still eating fish – felt good about my protein intake. The hardest part was eating out, especially when most of your friends are carnivores. Oh, and with the extra fibre intake I was extremely gas-y.

After that – I watched a movie called COWSPIRACY. Which is about a lot of things but my main takeaway was the sheer amount of resources it takes to breed meat and how that has a massive and detrimental impact on our environment. We  make choices every time we eat and the impact it has on our surroundings. With this in mind I decided it was time to make conscious decisions about what I was eating. I have a newfound understanding that vegetarians don’t need to love animals but they can love the environment. I want to make some impact in my lifestyle choices and this is the one I have decided to make.

As for the, well almost at the beginning of my post – I haven’t cut out meat entirely. I might have meat on special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Birthday or if it is a local delicacy to a traveled region, and if it’s pho – I really love pho and vegetarian pho is not accessible where I live. I’ve given some thought to this and think that it’s not black or white, but a process, and often people forget that the journey is what’s important.