Travel Diaries: Hong Kong Shopping Guide

A trip to the fragrant harbour wouldn't be complete without shopping. From high-end brands to bargain items, you can buy just about everything in beautiful Hong Kong. My meagre allowance seriously went a long way because everything was just affordable and super inexpensive.

It actually took me some time to book a hotel for our four-day stay in Hong Kong. My main concerns were location, cleanliness, and of course, free breakfast and wifi connection. Fortunately, I decided to choose Holiday Inn Express Mongkok, which is just a barely five-minute walk to the nearest metro station, Yau Ma Tei. Aside from the fact that it's a new hotel, it's also strategically located. I love that Holiday Inn is situated on the quiet and more laid-back side of Dundas Street, yet it's just across where all the shopping action is happening, with lots of dining options as neighbors too.

Our first night in Hong Kong was spent roaming the brightly lit and lively streets of Mongkok. I got lost inside a Sasa branch along Nelson Road, where I got so many beauty items. It's every kikay girl's makeup haven! I purchased so many products that are either not available or super expensive here in Dubai. I think I hoarded too much facial masks for my own good. Just couldn't help it.

Just two blocks from the MTR station was Ladies Market filled with all items imaginable: from clothes, bags, shoes, and souvenirs. There were also streets dedicated to selling different categories: electronics, shoes, home accessories, and jewellery.

I was actually planning to purchase a new Neo Blythe doll but C.C. Toys, which I've been researching since forever, was closed when we went to CTMA. There's another store that sells Blythe, but their selection was very limited and no dolls caught my fancy, so I was a bit heartbroken.
Although disappointed, I still ended up exploring the other stores inside CTMA. There were just so many shops selling toys and other collectibles, including specialty stores selling Korean and Japanese fashion, Mori girl inspired clothing and accessories. One tip: Go there between 3PM to 9PM to make sure that most shops are still open. We went there around 10PM after resting a little bit thinking that it would be open until midnight.

The entire stretch of Sai Yeung Choi is also brimming with so many Korean beauty brands stand alone stores such as Etude House, Innisfree, Laneige, Nature Republic and Tony Moly. The KPOP phenomenon is also apparently alive and well in Hong Kong. Even the coffee and milk tea shops were playing Big Bang and 2ne1 songs. It almost felt like I was in Seoul, not Mongkok.
After our day trip to Macau, we spent a good few hours along Tsim Sha Tsui. If Mongkok's the center of bargains and night markets, Tsim Sha Tsui was less congested with plenty of high-end brands stores and air-conditioned malls.

Another tip: Try to learn a bit of Chinese, Cantonese in particular. It would come in really handy when shopping in Hong Kong especially in street markets. Although a lot of them speak good English, conversing in their own language would make haggling a bit easier for you. Also, don't forget to be nice and smile sincerely. Some friends who've been to Hong Kong before told us that Chinese people are a bit aloof and intimidating, so I was really surprised that all of the ones (except that one taxi driver) we've encountered during our trip were pretty warm, friendly, and helpful too.

It was definitely a nice long Eid weekend and I felt so recharged. I'll be dedicating separate posts for some of the highlights of our Hong Kong and Macau trip in the coming days once my schedule permits. 

Where did you spend your Eid break?

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My Morning Makeup Essentials

In all honesty I'm like the laziest person in the morning ever. It would take me hours to get out of bed and would be scramming to get ready on a regular basis. So I usually do away with only a slather of BB Cream, some blush, and lip balm.  But on those special days I manage to get up extra early, I do have a morning makeup routine. Here are some of my trusted go-to essentials:
For skin prep up: Bioderma Sensibio H2O, Nivea Mattifying Toner, Lucas Papaw Ointment, Etude House Wonder Pore Corrector, and The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX BB Cream with SPF 20

For everyday makeup: Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder, YSL Heart of Light Powder Blush, Maybelline Colossal Kajal Eyeliner, Essence Plump No Clump Mascara, and Inglot Matte Lipstick in 425 shade

Really fortunate that a lot of my cosmetics were gifts from my previous work and of course generous friends. A lot of my skin prep up products are mostly available from our neighborhood pharmacy (except the Lucas Papaw and Etude House tubes though).

I'm currently on the lookout for a new BB cream since The Face Shop has just discontinued the one I'm using above. Boohoo! It feels almost like a deja vu or something. Like Missha's Watery BB cream all over again. I've been using Watery since 2008 until Missha decided to discontinue that too. Now The Face Shop just did the same thing to my Lovely ME:EX. It's the only BB Cream that didn't break out my skin and the new one that they released to replace it doesn't match my skin tone at all. I've tried other brands and non-Korean brands, but they are either too cakey, not matching my skin tone, or only made my skin break out like crazy. I guess I'll have to go back to moisturizers then while I figure this thing out.

Do you also use a BB cream? What's your daily morning makeup routine and your go-to brands?

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