Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thailand Hot Tip

I know a few forums out there on Thailand say that tourist police randomly stop you and ask for your passport . No they don't. Although common sense says keep it safe! I'm sure you guys knew that already , I actually just needed a random post so I could post this funny LOLcat pic. I look terrible in my passport pic and it made me feel a bit better. I promise the next Thailand Hot Tip Post will at least hold some value and be a legitimate tip. #asyouwere

Thailand : Part one. of Thailand Vacation June 13 - June 25 2010 .

I was thinking of how to tackle the gangantuan task of blogging about my amazing, long- awaited (by me) holiday in Thailand . I decided that the smartest way to do it was to break it up into digestible chunks so I don't bore you. Firstly, I want to go back! What an amazing place! (please expect outbursts like this declaring it's amazing -ness throughout the blog posts). What a fantastic experience! Scooting through Bangkok traffic in tuk-tuks, jewel-coloured taxis and air-conditioned buses, shopping in endless malls, visiting amazing temples, speed-boating to tiny islands, snorkeling in clear blue water, taking pics with tigers, jet skis in Samui, longtail boat river rides, waterfalls, being accosted by ping pong shows,gem merchants,ladyboys, tailors and massage parlours ! It was the best experience ever - I want to go back and do it all over again (but maybe this time in Krabi, Hua Hin and Koh Lanta)

At the beginning when we decided that we'd like to go to I became quite overwhelmed with all the details and where to go and all the names and flights. All I knew is I wanted to go to Bangkok, Phuket and come hell-or-high-water Koh Samui. It was all so daunting - I didn't know how to start nevermind where! How people book these things all on their lonesome is beyond me. I was exhaustively googling, buying guidebooks asking advice and still I was  having a cerebral meltdown. I needed a travel agent!  After much searching and trying I found Nisha - the only person who went out of her way to give me exactly what I wanted out of the holiday . Every little detail was taken care of - what awesome personal and professional service - within a budget! Hah! No generic package deals here! She is extremely patient (considering what a neurotic freak I am) with good,honest advice. We are from now on booking all our holidays with her. Okay you might think I'm gushing or seriously pimping out her services but the before and AFTER sales care was impressive. The tickets, hotel transfers, airport taxes, accommodation was all organised and included in the budget. Everything was labelled and sorted and was completely effortless. *Gush,gush,gush*

Postnet Suite 39. Private bag X1 , Glenvista , 2058, South Africa  Email: nisha@flyingbuddha.co.zaContact number : +27 11 432 4409 , Mobile : 0725982051  Fax : 0867437266   Skype: nisha.chhikaCK2010/054456/23Seekers Travel Broker , a division of TOURVEST

Also it was a family holiday - my parents , my husband's mum and the Smoo(my husband) and I . This upped (is that a word?) the stress factor a bit. Bizarrely in Thailand , they had a "bring your old people on holiday drive" . LOL, I kid you not. So the day finally came  and with an amalgamtion of anxiety and excitement we set off to the Land of Smiles.

At OR TAMBO, getting some morning noms

After Checking in at OR TAMBO, Jhb. A cuppa at Capello's

Wooo! Chicken Mayo

Can't remeber what this is ? Think it may have been the Colloseum?

The Tambo Duty Free - it pales in comparison to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport's
(more on that later)

 Chocolate Shop

Thai Airways! WooHoo Bangkok here we come

Thai Airlines - Great , friendly service and really awesome food! They were constantly offering snackies and drinks. We tried to sleep on the plane , but no luck - it was a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong 11 hours. There is only so many movies and episodes of Modern Family you can watch. At least I cleared the Super Mario Game.

Finally we landed! I was bracing myself for some extreme humidity but it really wasn't that bad. I wish I took some pics at international arrivals - there is some beautiful art on the walls. The airport is huge and it took us forever to get to the bag carousal. Once done we met out guide , Daisy from Toureast (arranged by Nisha) , who took us to the hotel. Then off into the busy morning traffic of overcast Bangkok. Full of an  astounding array of Toyotas and the occasional spattering of swanky German engineering (compared to the suburbs of SA where BMWs, Range Rovers and Porshe Cayennes are so whatever). There were bright taxis everywhere and the motorcycles! I believe there are 1,2 million scooters in Bangkok. They take up any available space on the road. If this was Johannesburg some serious road rage would have taken place but everyone, even in the heated hub of traffic, is calm and patient. Also there were absolutely no junky, super old, rusty, smoking cars on the roads! Nothing!

 Daisy was super friendly and informative, chatting away on the way to the hotel.  I was also glad that a reputable company like Tour East ran tours because I didn't want to "shop around" and get a terrible tour.  Daisy even checked us in at the hotel ( we didn't need to do anything). Checking in was relatively quick and I was glad that the rooms were free so early in the morning. Compared to the islands Bangkok was more bang!bang!bang!. Daisy was not pushy but we thought let's get the most out of it in terms of tours and things. I told the hubby that while we were in Bangkok I'd love to go on a river cruise and see The Grand Palace, Siam Paragon  Patpong and taste mangosteens ( this was done after much guide book reading) We decided that on that day we would go for a relaxing river  Rice Barge tour and then an early morning Grand Palace tour. I already know what I'd like to do the next time we go to Bangkok - the floating markets, the Temple of the Dawn and Chatuchak Weekend Market - one of the world's largest markets http://www.bangkok.com/shopping-market/popular-markets.htm.

After a pleasent,  air conditioned ride we arrived at our hotel , the Eastin Hotel. Makkasen,  
1091/343 New Petchburi Road | Makkasan, Rajthevee, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
 http://www.eastinbangkokhotel.com/gallery-en.html.  I'll do a full review in a separate blog post.

Below are some website pics of the hotel
It really is beautiful

The Glass House - where we had breakfast noms

The bathroom - very important consideration

The Glass House

The Lobby

Attica Sky Bar

The pool on the tenth floor

Below are my pictures

The hotel looked snazzy but look at the outside just opposite!
Who cares , it has it's own aesthetic. Bangkok is a heady mix of old and new

Hotel Lobby , Eastin Makkasen

Early morning traffic

Rose-flavoured welcome Drink

Hotel's Spirit house - more about that later

I love you Bangkok!

The room

A bit of Breakfast. Don't worry the spread id huge. The
fruit with all the little black seeds is Dragon Fruit

As part of the display for the hotel spa. Sometimes you could get 
the pleasant aroma of lemongrass esp in the bottom lobby

One of the acidic-coloured taxis just outside the hotel. We were
were a bit early and waiting for our tour guide in the bottom lobby.

NEXT BLOG POST : The fantastic river cruise!
A bit of a river cruise teaser

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review :Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone by MAC

Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone is a partial primer designed for use in the T-Zone. This lightweight, oil-free, soy-based emulsion instantly helps minimize visible pores while helping to control excess surface oil and shine. M·A·C employs High Tech Optics, an advanced technology powder and light diffusers to fill in lines. The result: an invisible, natural-looking, long-lasting matte finish that also helps keep pores clean, clear and unclogged. It mattifies and hides imperfections using advanced powders and microspheres while a Mannose-Phosphate blend gently exfoliates away dead cells giving the skin a more youthful look and silica particles absorb oil. In addition to immediately minimizing pore appearance and shine, 24% experience an increased luminosity and clarity of the skin. Additionally, clinical tests show that over time, the Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone reduces the appearance of clogged pores and shrinks the appearance of pores to nearly two-thirds of its original size.
This was another excellent buy from Bangkok's Duty Free. I've used the product before after being introduced to it by the friendly MAC make-up artist at the MAC Rosebank store (not those horrible Eastgate people). This is an excellent product that gives a refined appearence to the skin. It really minimizes the appearence of enlarged pores and what a great matte finish! It really creates a smooth canvas for foundation or concealer.The downside is the teeny size of the tube . . . so teeny.  Another awesome product that has a similar affect http://thejadelotusbeauty.blogspot.com/2011/03/product-spotlight-idealist-pore.html (although it is ridiculously expensive)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Maybelline XXL Extensions® Washable Mascara Review

So I desperately  needed a new , reasonably priced mascara and I was actually looking at getting L'oreal but the store didn't have it so I got some Maybelline ( A great brand,The Mother of all Mascaras http://thejadelotusbeauty.blogspot.com/2010/11/lush-lashes-its-all-about-high-drama.html).

It's okay. It does the job. I don't really like the extra primer step but it does make a difference.It certainly lengthens but looks quite natural even with the primer. The formulation is super wet , so a steady hand is needed and a bit of patience. A big plus is that it doesn't clump and once applied properly really gives you that doe-eyed doll look. It also adds a slight, natural lash curl.  It doesn't smudge during the day or run even though it is washable. I'm not sure if I'll buy it again - I didn't really have much of a choice at the store.I just picked from what was available.It's not a bad mascara , but not really one of my favourites.

Monday, July 18, 2011

NARS - Orgasm Blush Review

Walking through the amazing Duty Free "mall" at Bangkok's  Suvanabhumi Airport, I was trying to muster all the shopping power I had to finish up the last bit of baht stuffed in my purse. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the rows and rows of fabulous make-up and skin care at one of their awesome megastores.

I gave in to all the twitter hype, I bought the NARS Orgasm Blush. I think I also bought NARS justr because it is NARS and you can't really get it in South Africa

NARS Orgasm makes cheeks blush a perfect pinky-peach flush and subtly highlights with accents of golden shimmer.A soft, sheer pressed highly pigmented powder blush that is universally flattering. NARS Blush offers a range of translucent, natural shades, each with a subtle pink for natural blush undertone, created to highlight the complexion.
Don't be afraid of the gold shimmer, with a light hand it truly is a fantastic highlighter, not at all disco-trashy. Gave me a glamourous yet not over-the top look and it is also suitable for daytime wear.
So if you get a chance to get hold of it - it's a great buy.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Restylane Skin Care - A Review


Ilze , my fabulous rep from Conquest Surgical gave me some samples of the new Restylane Skin Care to try out. I've tried teeny samples before but you can't tell from that if the product actually works or not. So far I've been using the products for a week (and only Restylane products) and abandoned my usual skin care routine. Wow!Wow! and Wow! (yes , terrible grammer I know). I've been using their day cream with and SPF 15, the Facial Cleanser(which my husband has nicked) and the Night Cream. What an amazing difference in how moisturized,luminous and supple my skin is. It's actually glowing. What really blew me over was the softening of two fine lines across my forehead. To me , they were glaring imperfections - the bane of my life (okay , that is a bit dramatic admittedly) . I was reluctant to inject Botox in the area because of  my teeny forehead and the potential for my brow's to drop. (Update : now I do using about only 2-4 units and it works quite well in conjunction with a lateral brow lift and the frown lines) and  I'm quite impressed with the results and I am going to continue using the products in conjunction with my Lamelle Products ( I can't help it -as you know I'm a Serum/Cream/Chemical Peel junkie) next week.

The creams and facial cleanser are light weight have this amazing, fresh smell (aloe? sweet melon? I don't know but it is invigorating!) .  Refreshingly simple but efficient and effective - that's what this skin care range is about.

I  trust in Restylane as I only use their FDA-approved range of fillers and injectable skinboosters on my patients.

The technology behind Restylane

The addition of stabilized hyaluronic acid, using the NASHA™ technology, enhances the long-lasting moisturizing effect of the cream and the crystal-shaped NASHA particles make the skin glow and fill out minimal lines. Unlike the plethora of lotions and potions out there with unstabilized hyaluronic acid (HA) (half-life of 48hours) the hyaluronic acid was developed from the same amazing technology that Restylane dermal fillers possess. What is so fabulous about HA - it can absorb a 1000 times it's own weight in water. That is a lot of plumping power!

Restylane® Day Cream is a soft moisturiser suitable for all skin types. Due to its similarity to the structure of your own skin, Restylane Day Cream can help build up the protective skin barrier, shielding it from pollution and stress.

Restylane Day Cream contains active ingredients that improve the skin’s own detoxifying ability, resulting in soft and healthy skin.
Active ingredients:

Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid, DMS, Niacinamide, Creatine, Acetyl Carnitine, Piperine and Ceramide 3.

Protect and revitalize

As the cream base is very similar to the skin it helps build up your own protective skin barrier, shielding your skin from pollution and stress. Regular use will increase the hydration, smoothness and beauty of your skin whilst protecting it from UV-radiation.

Restore your skin’s natural health
Restylane Night Cream contains active ingredients that help counteract the skin’s ageing process whilst protecting the natural balance and beauty of your skin.  As the cream is very similar to the skin it helps build up your own protective skin barrier and allows your skin to breathe and recover at night.

Beautiful skin in 4 weeks
Restylane Night Cream enhances your skin’s natural functions in as little as four weeks resulting in a beautiful and soft complexion

Restylane® Night Cream is a rich moisturiser suitable for all skin types. Due to its similarity to the structure of your own skin, Restylane Night Cream can help build up the protective skin barrier and allows your skin to breathe and recover at night.

Restylane Night Cream contains active ingredients that help counteract the skin’s ageing process whilst protecting the natural balance and beauty of your skin.

Active ingredients:
Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid, DMS, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract, and Ceramide 3.

Suggested usage:

Apply to thoroughly cleansed skin in the evening. Restylane Night Cream improves your skin's natural functions in as little as four weeks resulting in a beautiful, soft complexion*.

*Study: Report on a pilot study of a cream containing the active substances glycyrrhetinic acid and avenanthramides together with skin mimicking vehicle (DMS) treating patients with atopic dermatitis. Improvement in SASSAD score, indicating anti-irritating and calming effect.

Restylane Facial Cleanser cleanses the skin gently and efficiently, leaving your skin soft and radiant.

Gentle skincare with Restylane Facial Cleanser

Each time you cleanse your face you risk stripping your skin of essential lipids, antioxidants and water-binding substances. Therefore cleansing procedures must be as mild and gentle as possible to preserve the health and natural balance of your skin.

Organic oils and ceramides

Restylane Facial Cleanser cleanser uses organic oils and ceramides that protect your skin from loosing its own protective oils and antioxidants
Each time you cleanse your face you risk stripping your skin of essential lipids, anti-oxidants and water-binding substances. Therefore cleansing procedures must be as mild and gentle as possible to preserve the health and natural balance of your skin.

Restylane Facial Cleanser has been enriched with organic oils and ceramides to make your skin soft and supple. Restylane Facial Cleanser cleanses skin and removes make-up gently and efficiently without upsetting the skin's natural protective barrier.


Protective formula with organic oils and ceramide 3. PH-neutral

Suggested usage:
Rinse face with water, place a tiny amount of the cleanser in the palm of your hand, add water and work into a rich foam. Massage onto face and neck then rinse with water. Repeat this process for the best result. The cleanser can also be used as a cleansing milk, using cotton pads and less water.

Next I'd like to try their Night Serum with a staggering 0,5% of Retinol (excellent for improving the epidermis).

If you would like to see the full range of  Restylane's skin care products check out  http://www.restylane.co.nz/index.php/restylane-skincare.html

Love , love , love Restylane !

UPDATE: 2 weeks into using the Restylane Skin care and getting loads of compliments.

UPDATE :  My patients that have started on the Restylane skincare  absolutely love it! I also use the Recover Creamfrom the range after all my Botox and Filler treatments and it really is a little miracle in minimizing bruising. I also love the travel pack - it's really convenient when on holiday

The skin care range is relatively affordable and because of the airless pump you can be assured that there is no contamination and no waste - every last drop is pumped out . No crazy promises - just real results.

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