Monday, April 30, 2018

Althea's Bare Essentials @ Althea Korea

Hey pretties!
Time for some beauty gossip? :)
Today, I'm gonna share a completely brand new skin care products from Althea Korea.
Do you still remember the Petal Velvet Powder that I posted in August last year?
That was the first own line product from Althea.
And this year, Althea Korea has made it their entry into the skin care field, they are launching a new range of skin care products to save your skin!
The new skin care range contains 3 products with nourishing natural ingredients and easy execution; from contour cleanser, to primer water and fixer cream.
The new products aim to break down and simplify the K-beauty routine for the urban woman.
Woohoo! Are you excited cause I'm excited! :)
Yea! Shall we check on the Althea's Bare Essentials now?

After a long day at work, all you want to do is go back home and be a lazy girl.
However, taking care of your skin is one most important thing to do no matter how tired or busy you are because face is to give you confidence; so a complicated skincare step probably may not be your favourite, but simplify skin care routine will surely give what you really needs.
Althea's Bare Essentials has built a basic skincare routine that works for your busy and lazy lifestyle, because you only need to follow the 3 simple products which infused with nourishing and hydrating ingredients from nature to keep your skin at its most optimal and comfortable state.

Step #1: Contour Cleanser @ RM23 (150g) to detox for V shape.
It is a rich and foaming cleanser that helps to remove impurities and also improve blood circulation to create a V-shaped look for your face.
The cleanser also contains micro capsules to gentle exfoliate dead skin cells and leaves the skin feeling cool and refreshed too.

Recommended to use:
Contour Cleanser suggests to use as your day care as well as night care.
In the morning, the strong cooling effect will create a slim skin line and wash away impurities.
At night, it has an intensive detox treatment that makes a smooth and clean skin layer as if it's been exfoliated.
Apart from that, if you want an intensive treatment for your blackheads, pores, dead cells, and sebum, you can also use the cleanser one more time as a facial mask after cleansing, by applying on concerning areas, and then gently massage for approximately 30 seconds.

Contour Cleanser's ingredients:
#1 Ice Plant from South Africa: it provides a cooling effect and refreshment that helps sooth, and hydrate sensitive skin, and also calms redness.
#2 Lemon Verbena from South America: not only it has a nice scent, it also helps to purify the toxic energy inside the skin, and completes smooth and clear skin layer as if it's been exfoliated. Also, this ingredient helps soften and smoothen skin, calm and reduced acne, and ease puffiness and swelling.

When it comes to facial washes, most of them are packed in a swivel tube packaging, so does the Contour Cleanser.
For me, this is always the best packaging whenever I purchase the facial cleanser because it's much more hygiene and it's easy to control the amount you wanted to use.

How to use?
Squeeze out a small amount and lather onto the dry face, massage in circular motions, then rinse off with water.
When you first squeeze it out, it is in a cream form, and you just need to add a little water and it lathers up.
I always prefer to spend a bit more time to really lather up my face wash in my hands before it goes onto my face because sometimes this kind of cream-to-foam transformation can be too dry, harsh or irritate the skin.

My thoughts:
This facial cleanser is kind enough to give me a comfort feeling.
I love it! The creamy texture, aroma and my skin feels squeaky clean after use.
The cleanser contains small grainy beads that can gently remove dead skin cells, as well as cleaning my skin with oil, dirt and make up.
I think the contour cleanser is value for money since it works in two ways which allows you to both cleanse and exfoliate your skin at the same time.
It saves us both time and money, right?

Step #2 Primer Water @ RM43 (200ml) to prepare for silky skin.
Primer Water is a 2-in-1 combination step of toner and primer to provide a smooth, hydrating and ever so slightly balm-like.
It penetrates into the layers of the skin to plump them up, prepping the skin and making it a smooth canvas for products to come.

Recommended to use:
The primer water is a special care that can be used after morning and night cleansing during the toner or essence stage.
It works either with just one drop or two drops for bright silky finish.
The first drop touch provides fresh vitality, and if you want a more intensive treatment with the primer water, use second drop for even smoother velvety-soft skin texture.

Primer Water's ingredients:
#1 Snow lotus from remote areas of Asia: it is known to have brightening energy, fixing dark spots on the skin and superior anti-aging effects. It also smoothens and brightens the skin while evening out its texture to enhance its natural smoothness and radiance.
#2 Patented "dewdrop" formulation: a special technology that can revitalize the skin and provides immediate, effective moisture. The clear dewdrops claimed to soften the skin and improve suppleness by gently filling the gaps between pores and the skin.

The Primer Water comes in a 200ml round bottle with a silver cap.
Under the cap, there is a small hole to dispense the liquid.
When you open the bottle, the product has an attractive flowery scent which is pleasant.

How to use?
Pour out a small amount and apply evenly onto the face, gently patting in for better absorption.
The thing that makes the toner so special is their texture, which has a silky, velvety, not quite creamy feeling.
This type of texture surely associate your skin with comfort and hydration touch.

My thoughts:
I super love the nice smell of the primer water and really can't get over it!
My face is feeling balanced, refreshed and hydrated after using the toner.
The formula has an exceptionally lightweight texture that feels weightless on my skin, and at the same time I'm getting enough moisture restoring benefits.
The texture is slightly thicker than the other toners I used before, but it surely doesn't make my skin feeling sticky.

Step #3: Fixer Cream @ RM50 (50g) to fix moisture.
Fixer Cream is a powerful moisturizing properties that packed into a little jar to provide the skin with hydration up to 24 hours for a fresh, revitalized complexion.
It is recommended to use as the last step after the Contour Cleanser and Primer Water for best results.

Recommended to use:
It suggest to use in the daytime and nighttime to have better effects.
The first cover touch is to deliver full moisturizing to your face, and help your exhausted skin transform into smooth and healthy skin, staying hydrated up to 24 hours.
The second cover touch is the intense care, which boosts skin's elasticity and improves firmness of skin layer.

Fixer Cream's ingredients:
#1 Trehalose: a powerful humectant that retains moisture on the skin. It's re-hydrating and water binding properties reinforces the moisturizing effect in order to deliver long-lasting moistness.
#2 Baobab Tree from Africa: packed with antioxidants and Vitamin, which promotes collagen formation which helps to give radiant, glowing skin as well as preventing wrinkles.
#3 Wild Green Tea: the most powerful ingredient to fight against age spots, wrinkles, and sun damage. It also acts as an astringent which shrink pores and also helps to reduce the production of sebum in your face.
#4 Lavender: a powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial, sedative, calming and anti-depressive properties.

How to use?
Apply evenly onto the face and gently pat in till absorbed.
The creams is very lightweight feels so soft on the skin.
It absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling smooth, supple and hydrated all day long. 

My thoughts:
Since I have a combination skin type, I always prefer to use the face cream with hydration but not with a sticky formulation especially during day time.
Otherwise, my face will become too oily and my makeup will not sit on my face for long.
What I like about this cream is the non-sticky texture and how it keeps my skin moisture for all day long.
Also, I really enjoyed massage the cream into the skin as the pleasant aroma becomes stronger which gives a very good feeling after that.

After using the Althea's Bare Essentials for 2 weeks, I'm happy with the overall result.
Even though it's hard to see big changes on my face, but I can see the products do help me to keep my skin hydrated and healthier everytime after I used the whole range.
I think it's worth to invest in your skin with these 3 products at a total cost of RM116!
What's more?! Althea is giving out an additional 10% off with a free special edition mirror if you purchase now!
You can purchase the entire set from Althea official website, and don't forget that Althea also provides international shipping includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan and USA.
They also offer free shipping if you purchase a total RM150 and above.
So now? Head over to and experience the exclusive Bare Essentials by yourself!
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hippo x Budapest Hungary Travel Blog

Finally, it has come to the Budapest post of my Eastern Europe trip.
If you are new to my blog and would like to read more about my Eastern Europe trip, you can click on the label #EasternEurope on the right, and then it will redirect you to a page which contains all my posts regarding my trip in Eastern Europe. 
Well, before arriving to Budapest, I've heard so much about Budapest, can't believe that I finally made it to this beautiful place.
Budapest is the capital and also the most popular city of Hungary.
It is the largest city in the European Union, and that's why it is worth a paradise for explorers to visit.
Due to the limited amount of time during the trip, we only stayed in Budapest for one and a half days.
It's definitely not enough, so in this blogpost, I will be sharing the main highlights of my trip in Budapest.

When we first arrived in Budapest, the weather wasn't good.
The wind was so strong in the morning, and had lots of rain in the afternoon.
But overall, it was a nice stay in Budapest; I enjoy the beautiful scenery, and also love eating the delicious Hungarian food while pairing with wines. :)

If you are traveling to Budapest, you should change a bit of Hungarian money.
Euros are not accepted in Hungary, and that's why the Hungarian Forint (HUF) is important, especially to the places like small eateries and the local markets.
Only some big restaurants or major attraction places accept to use credit cards, otherwise only their local currency.

After having our lunch, we headed to the Millennium Monument, a world heritage site at the central of the city.
The monument is the landmark of Budapest, which features of the famous Heroes Square.
It's an interesting monument in a beautiful location, and was built to remember the country's heroes.

The Art Exhibition Hall located next to the Millennium Monument.

The Chain Bridge in Budapest, is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the Western and Eastern sides of Budapest.
It's magnificent no matter if you see it at day time or night time.

My impression of the architectures in Budapest are diverse and everyone has their own characteristics.
It's nice to walk around the beautiful architecture to take street photographers. :)

In the late afternoon, we arrived at Budapest Castle (Buda Castle), the main attraction place to visit in Budapest.
Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kinds in Budapest.
It was completed in 1265 and was referred to as either the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle in the past.

It was really nice for a walk and very atmospheric when you are up at the hill top.
An amazing distance view over the city of Budapest is waiting for you up there, and it's an absolute must visit place if you come to here.

It was a bit gloomy when we were up there because of the rain.
But luckily, we still manage to make some amazing photos and able to see some important landmarks like the Hungarian Parliament which is the most spectacular buildings in Europe and also the world's third largest parliament building.
It's visible to view the Hungarian Parliament from there, but it's still a shame that we didn't manage to see this unique historic building in real.

Fishermen's Bastion, another important monument in Budapest which located next to the Buda Castle.
The reason that it is named as Fishermen's Bastion is because the fishermen were used to protect this area in the old times.
This is also the place where provides the panoramic views of the city, the Danube River, the Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge.

Another must visit when you are up at the hill top is the beautiful church, Matthias Church.
Since it is located at the same area, you can easily and conveniently make it as part of your visit to see the church.

Despite having a long history, the interior of the church is worth visiting as well.
It's big which consists of two floors.
The first floor is built with pews, for prayers and also ceremonies.
There is a a balcony overlooking the whole church at the second floor, and also you will also see the statue of the beautiful Queen Elizabeth of Hungary inside a small room too.

This is the place I love in Budapest!

We had a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant with a delicious three-course meal, wine was provided, and also followed by the authentic Hungarian folklore show.
The music and dance performance was lovely and enjoyable!
If you visit Hungary, I think you should take the chance to go for the unique experience of this Hungarian folk culture.
It's absolutely entertaining!

We ended the first night in Budapest by taking a romantic cruise on the Danube River.
It's quite expensive for the cruise as I remembered we paid EUR25 for each person.
I think you can get cheaper price if you purchase it online by yourself as we bought the ticket under our tour guide.
Anyway, I personally think the ride was not very worth to pay.

Night view of Hungarian Parliament.

The cruise also passed by the Chain Bridge and we got to see a clear night view of it.

Oh well, I had a glass of free campaign on the cruise while enjoying the night view.

On the second day in Budapest, we went to the Downtown of Szentendre, located in the Central Hungary Statistical Region
Szentendre is a Hungarian town on the Danube River, at the North of the Capital, Budapest.
The place is known for the baroque architectures, museums, churches, colourful houses, and narrow streets.

There are many unique shops and boutiques offering local products and souveniers such as paprika.
Everything from authentic accessories, handmade goods, and designer clothes to antiques.

It's such a pretty lovely little town to visit.
I believe you will love it whether you come here for a cup of coffee, visit museum, sightseeing, try local foods, or shop for the handicrafts.

Before we left Budapest, we visited Visegrád, which is a small castle town in Pest County in Hungary.
It is situated at the north of Budapest on the right bank of the Danube in the Danube Bend.
Visegrád has a total population of 1,654 and famous for the Early Renaissance summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and the medieval citadel.

We were welcomed with the sound of drums, and medieval instruments upon our visit.
And then, a 30 minutes Knight's tournament in the open air theater of the lower castle in Visegrád.
Free wines are available while listening to the Renaissance music and also watching the performance.
Also at the end of the show, we can have the opportunity to try some of the weapons with the help of the knights.

During lunch time, we had an ordinary dining experience at the Renaissance Étterem & Restaurant Visegrád.
I almost didn't expect the place can be themed so well; the staffs were dressed in special clothes, the middle-ages furniture and tableware, and the whole experience was like we were in the renaissance period.

We had a full course meal, from the starters till the dessert.
All portions were generous, and the service was attentive.
I'm glad we came here for lunch, and would highly recommend this restaurant to you to make it a memorable experience during your trip.
Super excellent!

That's all I want to share today!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if any of you have been to Budapest before, share with me your experience and impressions of the city in the comments below!
I would love to know more about the city!
Once again, thank you Budapest for giving so many good memories during my trip.
If I have the chance in the future, I will come back to visit you!

Last but not least, don't forget to watch my Budapest vlog!
Hope you like it! :)