Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Japan Travelogue: #buddingyeastinJP Day Six - Outlet Mall, Tokyo Station and Asakusa

It has been one year since my trip to Japan with Bimb and omggggg i'm not done with the posts HAHAH.

Well good morning from the #buddingyeasts !


On our way to Mitsui Outlet Park - Kisarazu !
Bwahaha I love Bimb's blue hair in this shot.

There are a few outlet stores in Tokyo, and Mitsui is only one of them.
Kisarazu is supposedly the largest in Japan,
but most importantly, most of the stores there are those we are interested in hehehe.


The outlet park is on the outskirts of Tokyo, so you'd have to take a 45 min bus journey from Tokyo Station.
A single trip ticket would cost 1250 yen, and there's a fixed schedule for bus timings.

There are other stations eg. Shinjuku station, or direct from Haneda/Narita Airports.
Please refer to this link for more details! 


Here we are!
It's basically like an open space shopping mall, and some of the items are a good steal!


Before anything else, food!
Actually I was having a slight cold, probably from the rain the day before, so my nose was dripping like a tap.
Bimb noticed and suggested that we go and grab smth warm to eat first. Dawwwww. 

This was Ramen Express - Hakata Ippudo!
First time having Ippudo, and it was awesomeeee. 
Char siu wasn't the thinly sliced type, but the springy noodles and crunchy beansprouts more than made up for it. #yums.


We shopped for about 4 hours and left at around 2.30 pm, 
cause there was this horrible time gap between the next bus to the nearest train station.

Yeah somehow there wasn't a direct bus back to Tokyo Station cause it was a weekday :x
Had to take a bus to the nearest train station, which was Sodegaura on JR Uchibo Line

Look at this chic grandma with lavender hair #herhaircoolerthanours


Our view from the train station. Look at the expanse of paddy fields! <3 p="">

I realised that I have a horrible habit of not taking photos when I'm shopping BWAHAHAH.
Completely had no snaps of First Avenue Tokyo Station!
#failblogger

It's a huge part of Tokyo Station, selling all sorts of Omiyage - gift items.
Omiyage in Japanese culture, it is more than souvenirs,
because they represent a more sincere form of gifting.
All the chio deco and individual wrapping is their way of expressing sincerity.

Other than the ever famous Tokyo Banana, I got something else: Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory Cookies!
My colleague gave them to me when she visited Japan, and omg I fell in love.
So I definitely had to buy boxes and boxes of em to bring back.

Omg I'm drooling just thinking about them.
Super love the Salt & Camembert, and the Honey & Gorgonzola flavours..
Gahhh. *drooling uncontrollably*

If you're interested, here's a link of the places you can get the cookies from!
Keiyo Street is inside the ticketing gates (Yaesu South Ticket Gate).

Ooooooooooo there is a Character Street also,
and I'm talking a whole row of shops selling memorabilia of your favourite anime characters.
We went absolutely batshit crazy at the Cardcaptor Sakura store, because hello! Cardcaptor leh!

I was seriously contemplating getting the full set of Clow Cards wtf.
Settled on buying two mystery boxes which contains an acrylic keychain each..
HAHAHAH WE WERE SO SCARED WE'LL GET THE TOUYA/YUKITO ONE LOLOL.
But okay la I got Suppi and the original Clow Staff! :D

Paid Sensoji Temple a visit!
The nearest subway station is Asakusa, on Asakusa/Ginza Line.

Kaminarimon – 1st gate, also known as Thunder Gate.


Sensoji 
2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

Opening hours:
Temple grounds 24 hr
Main hall 6 am to 5 pm

Entrance fee: Free

The lantern is just ginormous.




There are a row of stores leading the path towards the temple - Nakamise Shopping Street.
Most of the shops are selling similar items, like hair accessories and handmade trinkets.

You know the matsuri scene in animes? Bwahahahah this stretch gives you the vibes right!!


Oh and I got a pack of senbei for jh here too!
Some stores allow you to buy a freshly toasted senbei at only 100 yen - no free samples here.
But hey, better than buying randomly without trying, and as it happens,
I loved the first store I tried so heheheh buy liao!!

Cinderella hime-sama! hahahah so cuteeee.


The grand temple in sights.
It is a Buddhist temple that was built in the 7th century.. that's 14 centuries ago wtf.


Hozomon – 2nd gate.
Managed to catch the unlit and brightened up gate!
It emanates a different feel, don't you think?



Bwahahahah this has gotta be a size 500 straw sandal.
You can see the Tokyo Skytree from here!


Other than the Sensoji Temple, Asakusa is quite well known for its tempura.
We had intended to try, but WTF a tempura meal here costs about 5000 yen?! 
That's like 50 plus sgd for 2 pieces of tempura and a bowl of rice.. 

Uh I'm all about enjoying my food but unless the tempura contains gold or some magic potion I'm not paying that much.

Continued shopping in Ueno area.. I think we were looking for GUs to shop cause the clothes are 

Hi please pay attention to how the fitting rooms look like in Japan omg.

HELLO so damn spacious!
Yes abit mafan la cause you're supposed to take off your shoes before you step on the spotlight carpet, 
but what the heck. 
Way to make people feel like princesses.


I wonder how Japanese people feel when they're overseas/in Singapore and the changing rooms are half the normal to them.

That's it for Day Six! Shopping days are usually easier to write cause v little photos BWAHAHAH
I often digress when I have more photos to put cause I get carried away reminiscing. 

Or like that section on the Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory cookies.. 
Walao I had to search and see if Singapore has it cause I was CRAVING for it.. #gluttonforlife
Answer: Shiok Japan carries it! Guess I might pay a visit to Burlington Square one of these days HAHAHA

Lai show off yi xia this gorgeous pair of Nike Flyknits I got from the outlet mall!!
This color combination is so me, I dont even know why I hesitated and nearly got scolded by Bimb HAHAHAH.
So comfy too! I wore it for Dance Cardio class and it was super lightweight. ^_^ v


NEXT POST IS DISNEYLAND AND DISNEYSEA OMG I can foresee I'll take super long cause too excited HAHAH.



Monday, August 07, 2017

Review: J&J Hair Identity's NATULIQUE Hair Color Service

Sample Store is back after their revamping hiatus!

I know it's kinda aunty to say, but samples are really a good way to try out stuff before committing to a purchase, 
especially if a full sized product is expensive.

Just take SKII as an example; 
although it's formulated by Asians and touted to be suitable to people from their 20s onwards,
many of my friends/colleagues all experienced breakouts after using it, and had to give it away.
Money super wasted lor :x

#turningaunty #nodenyingit

ANYWAY, 
I received an invitation to try out NATULIQUE's products at J&J Hair Identity Salon!


NATULIQUE Logo


NATULIQUE originates from Denmark, and they're all about using certified organic ingredients in their salon products.
They pride themselves on being eco-friendly and sustainable as well - and they actually have the certification to prove it.
Their passion for health and nature also stemmed from one of the founders' personal encounter with cancer, 
so I believe that they really are sincere about using the best ingredients for their clients.

J&J Hair Identity Salon is one of the first salons in Singapore to provide NATULIQUE products.
Not only do they provide ECOCERT certified hair care, 
J&J has their TOP identity formula, which is their professional approach to every customer.

T for Textura - analysis of hair texture
O for Originality - face structure 'that the customer may originally possess'
P for Personality - personality/style 

The combination of these three points allows the stylist to create the best hairstyle for each individual :D

J&J Hair Identity Salon is located in Katong Square, which is super convenient for me whoots.
In case you're not familiar with the area, it's right next to Katong I12 and it looks like this:


Frankly I had no idea there was this place either hahahahah.
Like eh, suddenly pop-up one. 
It's kinda too far inside from the main road? :x

J&J Hair Identity is on the second level, go up the escalator and turn right!


88 East Coast Road 
Katong Square
#02-11
Singapore 423371

Opening hours: 
Mon - Fri : 11 am to 9 pm
Sat - Sun : 10.30 am to 8 pm

Here's a before pic of my hair (and over-long fringe wtf why does it grow so fast)


General texture of my hair. 
Other than being slightly frizzy sometimes,
I think my hair is generally quite healthy and smooth, and its just that i'm really lazy to style it.

Where got time la, sleep more important.


The salon is spacious and airy, which is really important to me! 
I don't wanna be inhaling the smell of hair chemicals all the time. 
Other than the obvious health issues, my nose itself is also very sensitive. 
Later I come out as Rudolph how.


Aiyoh the magazine rack so cute.


Can't wait to get started!
I was offered drinks and snacks in case I felt hungry (:

How they know I is glutton sia HAHAH.


The use of wood panels and greenery in the storefront, with the metal frame to give it an industrial feel..
I kind of like how the deco brings out the salon's focus on organic products.

Ahem this reminds me of my principals in retail management module hahahah. 

I had Jac Lee, Lead designer and Salon Manager, to advise me on the coloring process!
He gave me a brief introduction on the range of NATULIQUE products I would be reviewing. 

NATULIQUE products are free of Ammonia, Lauryl Sulfate, Parabens, 
and 98.02% of its ingredients are from natural sources.

While most of the colors are natural hair color shades like browns and reds (teehee), 
it would surprise you, but they actually have pastel colors like Lavender, Blueberry and Silver too!


Photo credits to Natulique

Yeah I was kinda stunned too cause you wouldn't expect organic dyes to have these colors.
Their whiteners and color developers are ammonia and parabens free too.
Is it magic.

Jac took the time to discuss with me about my hairspirations (ARIEL hahah) and limitations.

1. I've always had red tones in my hair, so I'd like to stick within that color scheme.
2. My job (actually my manager) requires me to have tame colors, so I can't go for the wild and bright shades.
3. I'd like to have babylights - thin streaks of highlights which blends and looks natural; but red, instead of blonde
4. If possible, I don't mind having wild colors but it has to be hidden in my ponytail #rebelatheart

I'm not an easy customer :x

Jac was very patient though! 
He took the time to consider and think about the best way to incorporate what I've mentioned,
instead of just brushing aside my requests like one of my ex-hairstylists, 
which is why she is an ex LOLOL

Final decision!
1. My base color would be Violet Auburn - a dark purple-red 
2. Highlights in Intense Red Dark Blonde and Intense Violet Mix.

Jac sadly informed me that I wouldn't be able to hide wild colors - which is okay by me la, it's really hard leh.
It'll be easier for me to change job HAHAHA.

He did explain that he'll be doing the highlights not from the top of my head, but lower than eye level instead.
This is so that it wouldn't bring too much attention to the brighter colors.
Wah that's another level of detail sia.

Like there are kit-kats in my hair.


You know the amazing realization I had when sitting through the first round of dyeing?
THERE WAS NO SMELL.
THERE WAS NO TINGLY SENSATION ON MY SCALP.

What sorcery is this?!!

I have highlighted, bleached, and dyed my hair for so long, 
I've always come to expect the sharp tingly feeling and the smell of ammonia.

It's usually the point of time where you'd tell yourself beauty comes with a price HAHAH.

But seriously. I didn't even realize that I was kind of dreading it till 15 minutes into the process.
And I realized that nothing happened.

Natulique is magic. 

Other than the highlights by Jac, I was attended to by Mikko, another hairstylist.

My hair actually got pretty tangled during washing, but she combed it out so carefully I didn't feel much tugging.
*waves* Thank you Mikko, for being gentle, calming and soothing during the wash and scalp massage!

Oh the scalp leave-on treatment she applied for me had a minty tingly feeling,
but it's the comfortable kind la.
I forgot the name of the treatment though :x

After 5 hours at the chair, taaa-daaaa.
Wah their ring light is super legit.


To be really honest, I couldn't see the violet tones, 
but Jac says that it's because the red appears so much brighter hence it seems darker by comparison.
He assures me that the change is definitely there.

Actually I more excited about the red HAHAH.

Here's one with natural lighting!


Okay this one probably shows slightly more purple tones than the artificial lighting. Yay!
I really love how there is a distribution of color, without being too bright on the overall.

Hopefully it's a pass for my manager bwahahah.

Let's see the colors 3 days later, under natural lighting.
I used my color protect shampoo and hair mask - as per my usual practice in the first week of getting a new dye job.


Kind of happy because.. is it me, or did the color become brighter? :D

With the extra processing due to the highlights, my hair texture is generally still as smooth as before dyeing,
but the hair ends are unfortunately feeling slightly dry.
Can't be helped - my hair hasn't been cut for quite some time liao, hahah.

Other than that, I'm mind blown as well, because the red did not bleed off much during bathtime.
My heart always aches when I see the water trickling pink down the drain, 
because it is known that red fades off with each wash.

And you know how you've to wear dark clothing for a week,
because otherwise the dye might cause staining especially when your hair is wet?

Nope. Somehow I didn't kena all those pink stains on my necklines at all.
Towel still pink la though hahaha but eh very good liao leh.

So amazed.

On the overall, J&J Hair Identity has managed to impress me with NATULIQUE's Professional organic salon hair colours,
because I never would have expected that I would be able to achieve such bright results with organic hair dye.
I would say that the best of all is the lack of strong chemical smells and tingly scalp.
Seriously, it made my sitting there so much more comfortable.

Highly recommended for those who are concerned with protecting your scalp and hair while dyeing!

If you're interested in trying out NATULIQUE's range of products,
do make an appointment with J&J Hair Identity (:

Take a look at their Facebook or Instagram for photos of other clients,
or read other blogger reviews here!

______________________________________________________________________________

Just a quick update.
Quote my name 'JASLYNN' to enjoy 20% off hair services at J&J Hair Identity.
Yay for you if you're interested to try!

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Japan Travelogue: #buddingyeastinJP Day Five - Kimono Day!

Wheeeeeee let's go Arashiyama!
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of the places I've been super excited to visit.
The towering wall of elegant bamboos ~ 
We took Sagano-San In Line to JR Saga-Arashiyama station!
I love the clean look of the station, which somehow combines the traditional and the new.


Starting our day bright and early at 9.30 am !
The streets are so quiet and peaceful ~


To get to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, it is recommended that we walk via Tenryu-ji Temple
Its a 10 min walk away from the station.
Just walk straight up and follow the signs!

Tenryu-ji Temple is a UNESCO world heritage site, built in 1339 and ranked first of the five important Zen temples in Kyoto.

Tenryu-ji Temple 
68 Sagatenryūji Susukinobabachō, 
Ukyō-ku, Kyōto 616-8385

Opening hours: 
8.30 am to 5 pm

Entrance fee: 
300 yen for garden + 300 yen for buildings

We took a brief walk through the front gardens of Tenryu-ji, just to take a look!
The autumn foliage wasn't much, so we didn't feel it would be worth it to explore the huge place. 
I'd imagine the Sogenchi Teien (Sogen Pond Garden) would be super gorgeous in the peak of autumn or spring!

Don't say never warn you ah ~


To be honest I can't remember some of the names of the various buildings hahahaha


Hatto - Dharma Hall.
There is a gorgeous painting called the Tenryu-ji Cloud Dragon, painted in happo nirami style, 
which means from anywhere you stand in the Hatto, the dragon's eyes will seem to be looking at you.

You'll have to pay an extra 500 yen to enter on weekends, public holidays and certain periods of the year.





Walked around to find our kimono rental store! 
There are many in this area but they don't open as early ~

This is Yume Kyoto. Heheheh kudos to the budding yeast for spotting this store!
It is upslope 


YUME KYOTO Arashiyama shop
Akamanma Floor View First floor, Sagatenryuji Setogawacho
Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Opening hours:
9 am to 6 pm

Dawwwww look at this kawaii imoto!


A basic kimono package costs 3500 yen without 8% tax.
The designs are simpler, and you cannot choose the matching obi belt or any accessories.
Tabi - traditional socks (neh, with that split toe) are not included as well.

Er, really is basic lor hahahaha.

So we selected the 4000 yen package, which allows us to choose the obi belt design, handbag and shoes. And yay free tabi LOL.

Eh actually it was 5000 yen according to the website but we got a discount teehee.

Topped up another 1500 yen for the hairstyling service too.
Spent a total of 5940 yen, around sgd 72?

Damn worth it in my opinion :D

Wearing the kimono was an elaborate process, which definitely requires the help of a professional !
There's an undershirt - a thin cotton wrap piece.
Then goes the kimono - which is actually super long.
So amazed at how deftly they folded it to fit my height! Like magic omg :x

A plastic backing is also stuffed into the collar of the kimono to make it pop.
Next they tie the obi, which also had this towel stuffed at the small of my back to give it that classic silhouette.. 
and also forces you to keep your back straight hahahaha.

You can choose how you'd like your kimono to be tied.
We both opted for a simple twisted ribbon, so that we could keep the focus on the beautiful fabric.

Bimb getting her hair done!
They have a few designs to let you choose from, plus an accessory to add adornment.

The bff opted for this pretty braided up-do!
We are both super amazed at how the hairstylist manipulated her long and thick hair into such a neat style.


Added the hair accessory! 
Wahhhh looks damn chio la. Elegant and fun at the same time.


Color block and pattern pop done right. :D


Mine was a simple chignon, with my hair twisted into a flower design at the base.
and the fluffy pompom hydrangeas with the tassel is soooo pretty.
I LOVE IT. 


Obi belt fold!


Can you tell I'm excited? Can you? :D


We were one of the first few visitors in kimono to the bamboo grove, 
so we attracted some attention and photo requests; so paiseh!

Bimb's happiest moment is when this cute korean boy called her pretty noona and asked for a photo!
Dawwww so cute.

Oh and there was this weird angmo guy who was quite.. aggressive?
He didn't ask permission, but instead stood in front of us and directed us to stand here, face there, DON'T SMILE, etc.
And he had this glaring kind of expression.. like wut..

Okay la but his photo not bad.


My swaying bamboo~
The swishing sounds and the soaring bamboo in symphony. 
Such a wonder to behold and super therapeutic to just shut your eyes and listen to the winds rushing by.

   

How my bff sways vs how the bamboo sways HAHAH


#buddingyeastinJP Day Five! 


So demure sia hahahahahah.


How high can the bamboos grow~
If you cut it down, then you'll never know~

:D


Lucky enough to chance upon a couple having their wedding photo shoot here!
So happy they obliged us to take a photo.


Um the aforementioned grumpy photog also barged in to direct them without asking wtf.

Is it we also having photo shoot hahahahah.

 





AHAHAHA it actually wasn't that hard to sit! Just cannot cross legs la!


Roamed around for 3 hours cause the weather was just awesome!
Despite the sunny conditions it was quite cooling at the same time.
Wah if it was Singapore I doubt we would have lasted even an hour hahahaha.

One more kimono photo before you guys get sick of us teehee.
Love how our picks is so so representative of our individual style.
And even though we're so different, we still have the same mo qi heheh. 
Now i just look like an air stewardess HAHAHAH


Our last stop in Kyoto is the Shimogamo Shrine, in the Tadasu no Mori forest.

Take Exit 5 of Demachiyanagi subway station and cross the bridge with this stream on the left..


Turn right and walk straight through to the forest.
Walao we walked one big round bwahahahah.


Tadasu no Mori 糺の森 is considered a sacred grove, 
because despite all the burnings and destruction from ancient wars, the forest has managed to rebound and recover.
That's kind of amazing leh.

The forest is now left to grow on its own, with no pruning or planting.
Well, I'd say it looks pretty amazing naturally! 


Because it's nature, geddit? HAHAHAHAH
Okay sorry. :B

Who is surprised that we're visiting another UNESCO site? 

The entrance of Shimogamo Shrine is flanked by stately yama-zakura (mountain cherry) trees.
Seriously, it's super grand and taaaaaall.


Anybody thirsty for sake? heheh.
These are similar to torii gates at fushimi inari taisha - donations by companies hoping for blessing from the shrine.


Majestic.



Back to our hotel to pick up our luggages, and it's the Shinkansen to Tokyo we go!
It's a 2 hr 40 min journey, and we chose to alight at Shin-Yokohama Station instead of Tokyo Station.

Why?
Tokyo station is GINORMOUS. and super duper crowded. 
So it can be quite difficult to navigate, especially if you're carrying bulky luggages.

Shin-Yokohama is also connected to many lines as well, and it is smaller and less crowded.


My obsession with sky ombres continue.


My shinkansen bento!
This was simple but so comforting cause we were starvingggggg.

955 yen for so much om nom nom marinated teriyaki chicken and chicken balls~


Whoooo check out our spacious Air BnB in Ginza!

Bwahahah the collection of keys was damn funny, like some spy movie.
Passcode was given to us via a letter, and we had to collect it from the safebox style locked letterbox HAHAH.


Pristine clean toilet! We love.
This is a japanese style toilet - with a bathtub and shower. 
You sit on a stool and bathe, after which you get to soak in the bathtub like your mini spa HAHA.


DINNER!
our first conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Japan can you believe it.


Kura Sushi
B1F, G Building, 1-19-5 Minami-ikebukuro, 
Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Opening hours: 
11 am to 11 pm

Itadakimasu!



It's 108 yen per plate - which is around $1.30.
Not any cheaper than the ones in Singapore, I know, but holy crap the freshness makes all the difference!
All the ingredients were generous and fresh - and this is just conveyor belt sushi leh.
Not even their restaurant grade yet.

Love love love the tamago and inari nigiri~
And the aburi cheese prawn nigiri :D

Er but the seaweed.. why kinda hard ah? :x

We had 17 plates and 3 drinks - spent a total of 1161 yen including tax.

Tokyo is so much colder than Osaka and Kyoto!
Looks like I have to bring out the heattech~

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