Category Archives: Travel

Welcome to Hakata, Fukuoka – Temple & Shrine hopping!

Many of my readers may know that Japan is an island country, with 4 major islands. I had never gone to Kyushu, the southern most island, so I recently took a few days off to go there.

Hakata (博多) is the last stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen, which connects Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. On the map, this area is called Fukuoka city, Fukuoka Prefecture, but it is historically known as Hakata city.

I went by Shinkansen (the high speed bullet train), but if you are going from Tokyo, going by airplane is much faster and usually much cheaper.  Fukuoka airport is a short subway ride from Hakata station.

Hakata Station

I stayed in an area with several temples and shrines.  I first went to Kushida Shrine, which is the center of Yamakasa festival, one of the most important festivals in Hakata.

I then went to Shofukuji temple, which was built in 1195, making it the oldest Zen temple in Japan.  The grounds are designated as a national historical monument.

This golden Buddha is not open for general public viewing, but can be seen through the windows of the main temple.

I then went to Tochoji temple, which houses a carved wooden Bhudda.

These three are all in walking distance of each other. The weather was pretty bad, but I still enjoyed the walk. Autumn is definitely the best time to travel in Japan!

Next up – a few more landmarks of Hakata!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

How to pack skin care and makeup for traveling

As you may know, I used to travel extensively for work. I’ve had a few trips when I was home for only 2 days before going on another business trip!  There are a few things I learned during this time which has helped me a lot when it comes to packing skin care and makeup.

How can you pack without forgetting things? How can you know how much skin care products you should bring? How can you bring just enough makeup – not too much and not too little?
Read on to learn my tips and tricks!

1. I have a packing list
This is a list of everything I pack when I go away. This list has everything from my passport, to my cellphone charger (which I tend to forget), to clothes.  EVERYTHING.

I’m pretty good about clothes. As long as I have “clothes”, “underwear”, “socks”, “bras” on the list, I won’t forget anything. I usually make a separate packing list for the actual clothes I’m going to bring, to ensure that I don’t bring too much or too little.

This list is tailored to my own needs, so it has a lot of things that you probably won’t need. For example, steel-toed shoes are on the list since I need them for work.  This list is something I’ve written down in a small notepad I bring everywhere with me. As my needs change, I have changed things on this list.

2. I have a list of things not yet in my suitcase
I always pack on the weekend prior to my departure date.  This gives me enough time to buy something if I need it before the trip.

However, if I pack that much in advance, there are a lot of things that I can’t yet put into my suitcase.  For example, I’ll use my toothbrush until the morning that I leave.  I need a way to remember what I haven’t packed yet.

See the yellow post-it on the picture above?  That is everything which I have not yet put into my suitcase. I write down everything that I haven’t packed yet so that I remember to pack them on the morning of the flight, such as my laptop and glasses.  I cross things off as I put them into by bag.

I’m usually in a rush in the morning before my flight. This post-it note has helped me so many times!

3. I know how much shampoo/shower gel/makeup remover I need to bring

This is an excerpt from the notebook I mentioned above. It shows how much cleanser, toner, shampoo, etc that I need to bring with me.
For example, if I’m going on a 5-day trip, I know I need to bring 4ml * 5days = 20ml of shampoo with me. On the other hand, if I’m going on a month long trip, I need to bring 150ml of shampoo.
This helps me not overpack and still not run out of things that I need.

You might think I’m OCD to make a list like this.  I’ve been on month-long business trips to developing nations.  Things like having nice shampoo or cleanser to use really made a difference in relieving the stress I got, both from working in a new place and not being able to do things for fun.

If you are going somewhere where you know you can buy things that you need, you wouldn’t need a list like this. However, there are many times where you don’t know which brands you should buy, or even where you should buy it!

You might want to know how I figured out how much of each thing I need. I filled several travel-sized bottles with these things, and kept track of how many days it took to use them up.  I was careful to use the “normal” amount, and not skimp on anything. You can see from the notes above – I used a 125 ml bottle of contact lens solution in 35 days = 3.3 ml/day.

All of my skin care stuff goes into this bag from Muji.  The hook on top is very convenient to hang from towel hangers and the like.

4. I know I have just enough makeup
This bag, also from Muji, has all the makeup I need.  If you’ve seen my “rotating makeup” post, you’ll know that I am very good at selecting enough products that I can make different looks and not be bored for 2-3 weeks.

Before I go on my trip, I will pack this bag, and try using ONLY the products from this bag for 2-3 days. This helps me in 2 ways.

First, I’ll notice if there is anything that I need which I have forgotten.  I’ve forgotten to pack things like foundation, and also things like tweezers and scissors which I only use every few days, but that I need to bring on a longer trip.

Second, I’ll notice if there are products which I haven’t touched.  When I do my makeup, I typically dump everything out of this bag onto a table, and put things back into the bag as I use them.  Anything that is remaining on the table when I finish my makeup hasn’t been used.  I notice when the same things remain on the table.  This way, I’ll know if 5 lipsticks is too many for me (yes, it is), or if 8 eyeshadows is too many for me (no, it’s not).  For example, I noticed before my last trip that my highlighter was always left on the table. I realized that the blush I was bringing was so shimmery that I didn’t need a highlighter, and I decided not to bring it on my trip.

That’s about it for makeup and skin care.  Some typical travel tips just don’t work for me, such as bringing things that are dual purpose (I would rather bring two small things).

Remember what you learned from each trip, and try to find what works best for you!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

Hong Kong food

I absolutely LOVE Cantonese food, so I had a great time eating in Hong Kong.  The best part is that most of the food I want to eat is SUPER cheap!

Wonton Noodles
The first thing I ate in Hong Kong. LOVE THEM.  They were about 25 HKD (about $3.25)
Curry Fish Balls
A very common street food.  These had daikon and a lot of other ingredients.

 

Ci Faan
Sticky rice wrapped around fried dough, meat floss, and zhacai
This is the first time I had this.  I LOVED it!
Congee
This bowl was HUGE.  It was the same size as my wonton noodles!
I’m more used to having a smaller serving of congee!
Rice Noodle Rolls
I love these!
Random dumplings that I had for breakfast
These were surprisingly tasty!
 
Shrimp with bean curd skin
I also bought a few things while in Hong Kong.  In case you’ve never been to Hong Kong, there are drugstores on every single street block!
 
32 pack of My Beauty Diary masks
I debated buying this for the longest time!  This is a limited edition set only available around this time of year.  However, the masks included are permanent and can be bought separately.  This contains two each of the following masks: Collagen Firming, Sake Yeast, Red Vine, Bird’s Nest, Cooling Mask, Apple Polyphenol, Southern France Apricot, Aloe, Pearl Powder, Bulgarian White Rose, Black Pearl, Natto, Mixed Berries, Strawberry Yogurt, Q10, Strawberry Cherry Blossom
I also picked up this at the drugstore:
AB Mezical Fiber

This product is similar to Mezaik and is used to make double eyelids.  I have double eyelids, but I wanted to adjust the width.  A lot of girls in Japan now do this.

I also picked up a few things at the duty free.

Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion 3

I have been using the toner from the 3-step skin care, in addition to the moisturizing toners I use.  I decided to try this toner to see the difference with the regular 3-step toner.
This toner is over $75 in Japan, although it is just $20 in the US for the same size.


Clinique Three Little Soaps

This is also part of their 3-step skin care. I now probably have enough soaps for the next 2 years!

MAC MSF Natural Medium Plus

This is a little dark on me, but the Medium was too pink, so I decided to try this.

Let me know if you want reviews!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

Thank you! Meet up with Jennifer

In Hong Kong, I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer from Life and Lens of Beauty. She told me I’m her 3rd meet up in a month!

We chatted and shopped, and had some local Hong Kong food!

Jennifer gave me a sweet love pack, including these LE MBD masks.
My Beauty Diary Sunflower Masks
Thank you so much, Jennifer!
xoxo, K
Please like & share:

Final Haul in the UK

We’re finally at the end of my posts about my trip to the UK. Wow, I’ve been posting about this trip for nearly a month!  This is my last haul, I promise!!

Barry M Nail Paint in Mushroom
This is a MUCH hyped product in the UK blogger world, where it is considered a dupe for the Chanel Particuliere nail polish.  I picked up two of these, one to give as a gift.  It is really a wonderful, work-appropriate color and I’m really glad I got it!

 

Topshop Nail Polish in Gypsy Night
Topshop recently came out with a line of beauty products.  Although the picture makes it look like this is a black polish with silver glitter, it actually has a multi-colored shimmer.  I also got two of these and sent one to Sarah for her birthday.  She calls the polish “OMGWTF”!
 
  Collection 2000 Hot Looks nail polishes

 

Gosh Darling Lipstick
Another hyped product.  It was SUPER hard to find this!
 
L’Oreal Studio Secrets Smooth Resurfacing Primer
During our meetup, Jess enabled me to buy this.
Yinnie enabled me to buy this:
Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel
And Jamilla enabled me to buy this:
MUA nail polishes (only 1 GBP each!)
Shopping with beauty bloggers is dangerous!!
I also got these Home Fragrance Oils from the Body Shop

Whew, thanks for tagging along through my month of shopping and sightseeing!  Back to regular blogging now!!

xoxo, K

Please like & share: