Shopping in Taipei: Makeup, Skincare, and Disney Haul!

Hello lovelies! Yes, I’m finally back! Edwin and I were in Singapore last week to celebrate Mother’s Day with our families. I brought my laptop along, thinking I’d get to use it in the evenings, but boy did life have other plans. I somehow managed to schedule dinner dates with old friends every night, and while it meant that there wasn’t time to blog, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Now that it’s back to the daily grind, I can’t wait to share with you all the various purchases that we made during our Easter getaway in Taipei. Picture time!

I probably got a little carried away… this isn’t even all of it! (You’ll see more in the photos below.) It isn’t all for me though – a good chunk of these were meant as gifts, and have already found their way to the intended recipients.

Also, I apologise for the poor quality of the images. I took these with my phone, and didn’t realise how grainy they were until I saw them on the computer screen just now. I promise to work on my photography skills, and hopefully you’ll get better pictures next time!

LLang sheet masks. It’s a Korean brand I hadn’t heard of, but the packaging was just too cute to resist. How adorable is the “Roman Holiday” reference (top left)?Most of the masks have been given to friends and co-workers, and so far I’ve used the “Seaweed from Jeju” mask on myself – works okay!

For those interested, the masks retail for TWD99 (~HK$25.60/S$4.50/US$3.30) each at Cosmed. It sounds rather steep, but you can buy ten masks for just TWD350 (~HK$90.50/S$16.10/US$11.60)! Not going to bore you with more numbers, just going to say that it’s a massive discount, and a great deal!

More sheet masks, this time from The Face Shop, also a Korean beauty brand. There were so many to choose from at the store, but I just picked the five “flavours” that appealed to me the most. Some of them have also been given away, and I plan on using the “Longan” mask next.

Makeup purchased from Cosmed. Solone is a Taiwanese cosmetics brand which I was really eager to try out, mostly because they had several products that were inspired by Alice in Wonderland. To my disappointment, many of the eyeshadow and blush colours featured on the website couldn’t be found in the stores (and I went to A LOT of them!), so the only Alice-inspired thing I got was a basic black pencil eyeliner (review coming soon).

The blush and mascara are from Integrate, which is a Japanese brand, and apparently Elite Models is a French brand, which I didn’t know. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the eyelash curler is rose gold in colour, and it’s gorgeous.

I don’t have the price of the Alice eyeliner, but the prices of the other products are stated below:

Solone stick eyeshadow     TWD259 (~HK$67/S$11.90/US$8.60)
Solone brow gel                   TWD350 (~HK$90.50/S$16.10/US$11.60)
Integrate blush                    TWD298 (~HK$77.10/S$13.70/US$9.90)
Integrate mascara               TWD272 (~HK$70.40/S$12.50/US$9)
Eyelash curler                      TWD139 (~HK$36/S$6.40/US$4.60)

I’ve listed the retail prices of the Solone stick eyeshadow and the brow gel for your reference, but I actually bought them as a set, and together they cost only TWD329 (~HK$85.20/S$15.10/US$10.90)! Another insanely good deal, and more reviews to come!

Bought the May issue of Vivi magazine at the airport, and it came with a free general knowledge book and a picnic style guide!

We walked past a bookstore and thought we’d just take a peek. We ended up spending almost an hour, and almost all our cash as well! Bought the scores of our favourite musicals and Disney movies.

Biscuits for Edwin’s friends and ginger tea for his parents.

Fruit tea from Smith & Hsu! It’s a bit cheesy, but I really did fall in love with “Fallin’ in Love Again”. Some of it will be given away, as soon as I get some jars to put the tea leaves in!

And in case you were wondering when the Disney stuff was going to be featured, I saved the best for last!

There’s nail polish from The Face Shop featuring Pocahontas and Belle, two of my favourite Disney princesses. I got the Tsum Tsum tissues from a convenience store, and everything else is from (where else?) Cosmed. The Disney villains sheet masks are from Sexy Look, a Taiwanese skincare brand, and the Beauty and the Beast products are from Lovemore, also a Taiwanese brand.

Sexy Look sheet masks are available in Hong Kong as well, but I’ve only ever seen the Disney princess ones here. It’s quite unexpected and thus refreshing to see the villains being featured, and since there was a one-for-one offer (TWD299, I’m too tired to work out the rest of the math at this stage), I went ahead and got Ursula and the Evil Queen.

OMG the packaging is to die for! My Tsum Tsum plushies (from Hong Kong Disneyland) agree.

As though that wasn’t enough Disney madness, we also purchased jars of honey with Tsum Tsum packaging. The Chip and Dale pouch was a freebie from Gracegift because…

I BOUGHT TSUM TSUM SHOES!!!

*squeals with joy*

I’m not a sneaker person (give me ballet flats any day), but these were too adorable to pass up. Can’t wait to wear these babies – maybe on my next trip to Disneyland?

And… we’re done! Thanks for reading all the way, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it. There’ll be some reviews coming up, as well as one more “haul” post, because… I bought more Disney stuff in Singapore.

Ah.

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Addiction Aquatic Development

Some of the freshest sashimi and seafood!

Took a taxi as it wasn’t within walking distance of any metro station. Luckily, it wasn’t very far from our hotel, and the cab fare was reasonable.

Must have been hundreds, if not thousands of crabs in there!

Turned a corner into something that resembled a supermarket with a standing sushi bar between aisles. It was insanely crowded in some parts…

… and practically deserted in others.

We took a queue number before heading back out to have lunch (Part I) at one of the stalls.

Radish soup

Seafood version of Taiwan’s famous 滷肉飯 (braised pork on rice)

Clams in sake broth

Lunch (Part II). Salmon skin salad, which was larger than expected.

Deluxe sashimi set~

Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產
No. 18, Alley 2, Lane 410, Minzu East Road
Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491

Alice is Coming: Alice in Wonderland Themed Cafe in Taipei

While Taipei is world-famous for its night markets, there’s no shortage of kitschy themed cafes either. From Lego to Hello Kitty, this city seems to have it all! For our weekend trip, however, I had only one such cafe in mind – the Alice in Wonderland themed cafe.

First, a little music to set the mood.

After having brunch (second breakfast, really) at Smith & Hsu and shopping up a storm at Cosmed, we finally made it to Alice is Coming! I love the decor – there’s even teacups like the Disneyland ride – inspiration for my future dining room, perhaps?

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Lots of Alice-inspired artwork scattered around the cafe.

A cozy little corner just for photo-taking purposes.

Yes, I dressed up for the occasion! Sporting a Queen of Hearts ensemble, right down to my socks!

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Our table by the window.

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Even the place mats aren’t spared!

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“It’s always tea time.” – The Mad Hatter

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I’ve had this ring for years – don’t even remember where I bought it from.

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To truly appreciate the ambience of this place, you probably have to be a fan of Disney/Alice in Wonderland. Needless to say, I was reveling in it all. There was even a Disney soundtrack playing, and I was practically squealing with excitement when “Alice in Wonderland” came on.

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Even the food and drinks followed the theme as well. There were four beverages that were each inspired by a suit of cards: Coca-Cola float (spades), Sprite with rose syrup (hearts), Sprite with plum syrup (clubs), and apple tea (diamonds). I picked the Coca-Cola float, something which I’d been craving for ages. I don’t usually drink coke, but hey, exceptions can be made when on vacation!

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Edwin had the curry omurice, which was surprisingly good. We didn’t have high expectations for the food, since we were there mainly for the cute factor, so being able to tuck into a hot and tasty dish was definitely a bonus!

Confession: when I was ordering the chicken nuggets, I just wanted something savoury and somewhat filling to snack on, and “vacation mode” led me in the direction of fast food. That was all I wanted. So imagine my surprise when these arrived at the table, in the most adorable little shapes! Moreover, they tasted fairly good – crispy on the outside, piping hot on the inside. So satisfying!

One happy diner!

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More little details in the washroom.

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Be ambitious, courageous, and above all, be yourself.

More Alice goodies by the counter!

Note: we actually walked around the building once before we could find the entrance to Alice is Coming. The doorway was situated left of Family Mart, and was poorly lit, hence our initial confusion. Although, in a way, it’s like the rabbit hole that Alice fell through by accident, so it’s rather apt, isn’t it?

Alice is Coming 來自愛麗絲
No. 111, Yanping South Road
Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100 (Nearest Station: Ximen)
中正區延平南路111號2樓 · 台北市
Tel: +886 2 2311 0210

Scrumptious Scones at Smith & Hsu, Taipei

While I love a good scone and tea in the afternoon, this classic combination works for brunch as well. With that in mind, we arrived at Smith & Hsu (Hengyang store) at around 10.30am, only to find that we were the only ones there. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as we ended up spending a couple of hours there, savouring every moment. In fact, it felt a little like a private dining event!

The first thing the staff did was bring over a tray of tea leaves along with the menu. The variety of teas, from green to black to floral, was simply astounding! Picking our tea was definitely quite the experience, and for a while it seemed like we would never be able to narrow it down to just two! Finally, we managed to settle on No. 99 “Black Tea Golden Rush” and No. 102 “Falling in Love Again”. Pretty names to go with pretty scents!

Some of the most eye-catching tea leaves I’ve ever seen. This one was No. 100 “Philosopher’s Tea”.

Exploring the store while waiting for our food.

Gift sets.

The salted caramel coffee cake looked so good!

Just about everything was for sale.

As usual, the camera “eats” first.

For the scones, there were four flavours available: original, cranberry, rose petal, and Ore0. We picked original and rose petal. I had heard great reviews about Smith & Hsu, and these were indeed some of the best scones I had ever tasted. They were warm and fluffy on the inside while slightly crusty on the outside, which is how scones should be.

The scones were served with clotted cream and our choice of jam. The options were raspberry, strawberry, plum, and lemon curd. We went with classic strawberry jam. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough to go around. We finished every last drop of the cream and jam, and maybe 20% or even just 10% more would’ve been prefect.

Unfortunately, the tiramisu was a little dry and bland. I definitely wished that I’d picked the salted caramel coffee cake instead.

Like I mentioned earlier, just about everything was for sale. If you liked the tea, the teapot, or even the jars that the samples came in, you could purchase them at the store. I adored the tea “Falling in Love Again” so much that I bought two boxes of them! (The 12% discount didn’t hurt either.)

Now on to do more shopping before our next meal!

Smith & Hsu
No. 35, Hengyang Road, Taipei
(Metro Ximen Station Exit 4 or NTU Hospital Station Exit 1)
Tel: +886 2 2370 0785

Sights & Sounds of Taipei

Just a random display of photographs that don’t belong anywhere else.

2/28 Peace Park (outside the National Taiwan Museum). We were extremely fortunate to witness the literal works of art of some teenagers. There were possibly a couple of hundred students hanging out at the park, working on their art projects for school.

Would you look at that? My assignments never looked this good.

So much talent in every corner!

Went shopping at one of the Cosmed branches just outside of Ximending, and it was heaven. There was no one else in the store! Edwin found a corner to sit, and I shopped to my heart’s content! (Tip: Bring along your passport to get the tax refund!)

It’s real!

Alice in Wonderland eyeliner! I didn’t get these as I’d already gotten one from Solone (more on that next time).

More Alice in Wonderland goodies! I don’t use cleansing oil, so I passed on these too.

Tsum Tsum Pocky! No chocolate flavour though.

We bought the Pokeball one, which just tasted like sparkling water, but saltier.

We were in Pacific SOGO when a camera crew came in, followed by a massive crowd. I don’t watch any K-dramas, so I don’t know any of the celebrities. Does anyone know who this one is?

That’s all for tonight! I know this was more of an awkward filler than a proper blog post, and I promise the next one will be much, much better. Today was a looong day, and there’s so much to be sorted out before we go away. And then there’s the actual packing. Wish us luck!

Shida Night Market, Taipei

You can’t go to Taipei and not visit at least one of their many night markets. Whether it’s for street food, shopping, or just people-watching, it’s a must-do. On our last trip to Taipei, we went to Shilin and Raohe, so naturally we wanted to go somewhere new this time. Shida Night Market was within walking distance from our hotel, so we headed there after checking in.

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Walked past a shop selling 蔥油餅 (scallion pancakes), and I had to have one because a) there was a queue of locals, which meant it must be good; and b) I was starving. It tasted quite nice, and was only 30TWD (~HK$7.70/~US$1.00/~S$1.40)! Gotta love Taiwan.

Lots of people, locals and tourists alike.

Shi Yun a.k.a. the “deep-fried everything” stall.

Got my fried chicken with salt and pepper!

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We bought a few other things here and there, including this chocolate crepe. We were a little tired, so we didn’t stay long, and headed back to the hotel soon after.

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Bought some 麵線 (meesua/noodles) to enjoy in comfort of our room.

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I absolutely adore Tienren tea, and knowing its Taiwanese origin, I had to try it while in Taipei. However, I was sorely disappointed as it tasted nothing like the one in Hong Kong. There was no sweetness whatsoever, and reminded me of the Chinese tea that’s the “default” tea in restaurants here.

Next post will most likely be about the sights and sounds of Taipei, and it’ll be a fairly short one as well. After all, we were only there for a weekend, but fret not, there’ll be other exciting stuff coming along, so stay tuned!

Springtime in Disneyland (Part Two)

Took an unexpected trip to Disneyland last month, this time with my friend and co-worker Sonia, who recently purchased an Annual Pass to Hong Kong Disneyland. Woohoo, looks like there’ll be more trips to come!

During the previous visit, I’d managed to capture 54 of the Easter eggs on camera, and this time I was on a mission to find the rest of them. Gotta catch ’em all! (Different franchise, but the analogy still works.)

Duffy, Shellie May, and Gelatoni on Main Street.

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More of those gorgeous spring flowers.

Feels good to be home.

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Heihei and Pua in Adventureland, across the “river” from Tarzan’s Treehouse, which is currently closed for refurbishment. I suppose even the King of the Jungle has to keep up with the times.

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Baloo, King Louie, and Kaa the python in some corner of Adventureland.

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Two bears (do they have names?) by the entrance of the Mine Cars ride in Grizzly Gulch.

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Another bear chilling out close by. Are these THE three bears by any chance?

Albert the monkey in Mystic Point, flanked by what look more like Faberge eggs than Easter eggs.

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Little green aliens in Toy Story Land.

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A grumpy Lotso, also in Toy Story Land.

Howdy!

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It’s ALICE!!! Why oh why didn’t you show up while I was DisneyBounding as Alice?

Sigh, I’ll just have to make do with these photos.

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As much as I love Disney mugs (and Disney everything in general), I don’t buy them as there’s no need, not to mention no space. I’ve got a Stitch mug for home use, a Chip & Dale mug for work, and a Winnie the Pooh mug for guests. Any more than that would be excessive, but gosh, is this Scrump mug adorable or what?

Yes, another Disney afternoon tea set, this time at Corner Cafe on Main Street! The “Duffy & Friends Springtime Afternoon Tea Set” included mango and lobster salad cones, mini sandwiches (salmon and cream cheese, egg salad and cucumber), salmon spinach quiche tarts, chicken puff pastry, grilled Cajun beef skewers, tomato and parmesan tarts, a Mickey-shaped scone, Duffy and Shellie May cakes, macarons, and a tropical fruit platter.

The set cost HK$318 (~US$40.90/~S$57.10) for two persons. We didn’t want the beef skewers, and they were nice enough to replace them with more chicken puff pastries without additional charges.

Two drinks were also included. The available choices were the usual coffee, tea, soft drinks, and this seasonal special, which both of us picked. I couldn’t tell what flavour it was, only that it was way too sweet. Cute sticker though.

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While waiting in line for the Jungle Cruise.

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Stumbled upon the Mad Hatter in his sad little corner somewhere in Fantasyland. So this time I managed to find 25 more Easter eggs, bringing the grand total to 79. Not bad, I guess?

~It’s a Small World after all~

That’s it for now! Given that it’s the start of the month, I’ll probably have more energy/motivation to do a new post soon. Hoping to cover the various bits of the Taipei trip before going away again. Wish me luck!