May 31, 2012

Hauling Guerlain by Emilo Pucci 2012 Collection

My hauling has gone a little out of control this summer - with an abundance of choices from Chanel, Dior and now Guerlain, coupled with very little restraining power. 

I did not walk... I RAN to the store to see if they had the Guerlain by Emilo Pucci 2012 Collection released in Denmark. Several times I was disappointed, and at last I decided the best option was to find it in Vienna. And so I did! And you would not have seen a smile any bigger from me that day, when the sales associate said that she still had both of the items I desperately wanted.

My poor SO could not understand my fascination for the 'balls'. Of course, he likes to make dirty jokes out my poor Guerlain balls. 

I think the reason for my insane obsession with Guerlain this time round is purely packaging. This is a collection worth collecting in my opinion. Each piece is thought through with care and detail, from the interior of the boxes to the Pucci fabric sleeve.

My heart stopped beating when I first opened the box containing the Terra Azzurra bronzer and blush. The work that has gone into creating this is just unbelievable.

And the bronzer is even more stunning to look at.

Fortunately enough, I don't go crazy with all the Guerlain meteorites that they have released in the past. I own 4 of them from previous collections (two in cardboard boxes and two in the newer metallic casing). These last a long long time, almost to no tomorrow. My mum adores Guerlain meteorites since the early 2000s and complains that it's too expensive for her. I bought her one a few years back to replace an extremely old meteorites, and she was of course over the moon.

Perles D'Azur is alot more shimmery than the other meteorites I own. I noticed that there is considerably more powdery deposit on the sides of the container, which I don't usually see with my other meteorites. I decided not to pick up the meteorites brush - instead, I intend to use the Shu Uemura red bristle brush in 18R, which is much softer.

Here are all the meteorites that I currently own to date. I'm dying again in makeup heaven!!!

Oh, the price of the Terra Azzurra is significantly more expensive at 68 euros, whilst the meteorites was about 48 euros or so.

If you're still hesitating, I urge you to test it out in stores. You know when you buy something and later have buyers remorse? Well, not this one. Guerlain by Emilo Pucci is an impressive collection - absolutely well done, Guerlain!

May 28, 2012

Charismatic Berlin Part 2

Nothing beats seeing the city in person, even in the best photographs. And Berlin is exactly one of those cities - a feeling you can't quite capture in photos. The strong cultural heritage dating back to the German Empire, the destruction of the World War II, and the post-war era of eastern and western Berlin, infused into this contemporary music-enriched city and infectious underground nightlife is interwoven into the everyday lives of the citizens here. Understandably, the only thing that Germany is wanting to erase, is any record of fascism. The city has gone through alot, and you can only feel this when you're there in person. 

The only thing we did not see was the remaining rock representing the Berlin wall. But what we did see was nothing short of magnificence and marvel. 

Brandenburg Gate

touristic charms

Radio Tower - a futuristic architecture back in the 90s

Postsdamer Platz

We often deviate from our path, taking the off-beaten path into little alleyways of the city, discovering the charms of daily Berlin living. 

And more museums!

The first compass

Coming up, pictures from Vienna (Austria)! We just returned back yesterday, and again, there's just too much to show you! 

May 24, 2012

Living in Denmark - in a nutshell

Hi everyone!

I cannot believe that it has been more than year since I moved to Denmark. And I think it's a good time to share my experiences so far (in a nutshell!). I'm dedicating this post to Maria, who asked me how I adapted to my new surroundings.

In summary, Denmark was what I hoped for. In many aspects this place has made me appreciate the more intangible things about life, and has given me the time for self reflection. My lifestyle in Singapore was not giving me much fulfilment at the time. And, I felt that if I worked harder for my job, I could make the hard earned salary work even better. But, it didn't give any sort of meaning.

My project work in Denmark has been rewarding in many ways. And, when you have work objectives in mind, all the other things seem to fall in place very quickly. Work hours are very flexible here - 9 to 4pm, work from home, and plenty of vacation days. It's unheard of anywhere else in the world. Work life balance is VERY important to Danes.

Sometimes it also takes a bit of courage to meet new people, and as easy as it sounds, it is not. But slowly, I had more friends in Denmark within a few months than I have ever made in 5 years living in Singapore. That's the beauty of networking. Know one person today, you will then know 5 tomorrow, and the chain reaction goes on. Generally, expats here are non-judgemental and open, which is a given considering how closed the Danes are with their friendship networks. Yes, it's very hard to get to know a Dane very well.

I did eventually meet my dear SO. :-) Yeah, the whole love refugee story makes it even sweeter to have moved to a new place. <3

When you have friends anywhere you live, adapting to the most harshest winter, makes life easier. The weather is insanely extreme here - from extreme day light hours and many nights of insomnia to extreme darkness and the many nights of frustration. The weather was something I am still not used to.

Denmark is one of those countries that have a very socialist perspective of ensuring a safety net for all Danish citizens. But foreigners have a bit of a rough time, because they pay 50% tax, but get very little back. So eventually most foreigners leave, including EU citizens. Paying 50% of tax is painful for me, and this deters me from retiring here, on top of the weather.

On a more personal and deeper level, I appreciate simplicity more than anything now. I can afford to take things a little slower, take a deep breathe, and know that I can make it even further than I would have if I was running the rats race. But it was not an easy journey to say the least, and I had to experience the downs before I have moments of happiness.

All in all, living in Denmark is like living in Austria or London or wherever it is. Living the day to day life does not matter where you are. But it's the people and the surroundings that influence how you feel and think. So, yes, I have loved my experience and hope you get have this kind of opportunity one day... even if it is just a short period of time.

May 22, 2012

Charismatic Berlin Part 1

It dawned on me this morning that I have not posted any pictures of our trip to Berlin. It was a while back, say over a month now? I think Berlin is a charismatic city - it doesn't give you an immediate impression, but it grows on you. By the 3rd day, I was almost convinced that I could quit my job in Denmark, pack up all my belongings, and find myself in one of the chic apartments in Berlin.

In contrast to Munich, Berliners are rather urban techno-loving grunge punks. Probably also the most populous city in terms of gothic fashion, second to that of the harajuku street style in Tokyo.

Berlin is only an hour flight from Copenhagen with a bunch of carriers that travel to either airports. Well, Tegal is now closed, which only leaves you with a single option to go Schonfield with a longer train ride to catch your flight. It was probably a rough start - no signage or tourist-friendly instructions to guide us to the city/Alexandraplatz. There was a 20-person-line waiting to buy tickets at our station, and only 2 stations. Each person probably took 10 minutes because the machines were sllllloooooowwwwww and in German.

We stayed at the Radisson Park, right bang at Alexandraplatz Metro. There are heaps of shops and an outdoor market selling lots of fat German sausages, weird German food, and pretzels. The hotel itself is clean and offers the transportation convenience to all major sights and entertainment. The concierge was amazingly knowledgeable and helped us on almost any weird random enquiry we had.

You can purchase a 5-day ticket, travelling anywhere in the city within Zone 1 and 2. They are about 30 euros each. So we bypassed the hop-on-hop-off buses (which in my opinion takes away the fun in discovering the city).

There's lots to do in Berlin; and really depends what your cup of tea is. The main street of Unter de Linden has some fantastic architectural buildings, parks and shops. The state of the art Mercedes and BMWs are displayed in the flagship showrooms.

My SO loves classical orchestra music, so we went to the Berlin Philharmonie.

The accoustics were splendid, and nothing I have ever heard before in my life. Even though it's not my first time hearing a concert piece, the design of the concert hall allows your ears to tune in on very complex tunes. It's really an experience I'll never forget!

Haha. My SO and myself in geeky nerdy glasses.

We spent hours and hours at the museums. Our feet was completely destroyed at the end of the day, but it was simply breathtaking seeing all the artwork in real life. Nothing compares to seeing it displayed. If you're a museum-junkie, you will probably need more than 10 days to visit Berlin's 153 museums. Yes, that many! They have special tickets which allows you unlimited access to most affiliated museums too.

We spent half of our 5-day trip visiting museums. Here are the ones you must not miss!

1. Gemäldegalerie, with it's renaissance paintings (absolutely beautiful dutch paintings).

2. The Neue Nationalgalerie, with contemporary art. Lots of fascinating intepretation of new art.

3. The Pergamon Museum, displaying the walls of Babylons. Jaw-dropping experience! A real-life, walking through the city of Babylons - a partial excavation into a museum. You can't get anything better than this!

4. The Alte Nationalgalerie with Egyptian art and Nefertiti sculpture. And some really awesome prehistoric sculptures.

The food platter is always the main subject of interest when travelling with an Asian. :-) There were plenty of sausages, German breads and schnitzel! The pork knuckle deterred me... it looked monstrous.

We did some shopping, although only a little, because shops were only opened on the one day for the easter weekend. On the day the shops were closed, we saw a bunch of people walking around the streets with a forrest green plastic bag.

Of course, we eventually stumbled on the only shop opened that day, a chocolatier! We did some serious chocolate munching all weekend. :-)

I leave the best and last piece to the very end... We met a friendly looking fly.

(pzzzz... haha! gotcha!)

We of course took alot of photos. My SO has a bunch of great photos I'll like to show you in my second upcoming post, this time with less text.

I hope you're having a lovely Tuesday. Today was so astronomically hot - 30 degrees outside, 33 degrees in the office. It's the first day of the year, when the weather is finally rewarding our patience.

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