Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I was in Japan last month for Hanami. A little hard to believe but throughout my 5.5 years of flying, I have never been to Japan during the sakura season before. Like how I was never in Amsterdam during the tulip season as well. So this trip with the #whenboysvsgirls group checked one item off my bucket list!

On the day we planned to go cherry blossoms viewing, we were blessed with absolutely beautiful weather which made my first sakura season a memorable one. It was raining 3/5 of our entire stay so I'm glad we managed to catch those blooming pinks!

We headed to Shinjuku Gyoen Park (alight at Shinjuku station then walk straight mostly for ten minutes) and paid 200yen (~S$2.30) entrance fee for a more private and intimate viewing session. And we got just that! It was crowded, yes, but pretty manageable and you will be able to take relatively pretty photos without any photo bombers. I cannot say the same about Yoyogi Park during this season... It was BEYOND crowded, almost chaotic (imagine queueing at least 30 minutes for the restroom). Therefore, I highly recommend using your loose change and head to Shinjuku Gyoen instead!

I am a huge fan of flowers, I love all types so it was a joy walking into a park littered with pink petals at every corner. The beauty, tranquility and crisp air would lift anyone's mood.

It was my first sakura season and most definitely not my last. :)




















Photos taken with Canon 650D / 85mm lens


Review: ASUS Zenfone 2

Friday, 15 May 2015

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Hello!

What do you think of the picture above? Looks like it's taken by a professional camera ya? I LOVE the depth of field (or blurred background). It is a little unbelievable but I actually achieved this effect using the camera function in ASUS ZenFone 2 which was recently launched!

Before I focus on the functions of the ZenFone 2, let me show you the exterior of the phone.


The size of it fits perfectly in my hands and after an extended period of using the phone surfing Instagram or updating my Dayre, my hand doesn't feel tired or stretched from holding it.


You'd be surprised to note there are no keys/buttons at the side of the ZenFone 2 which adds to the sleekness of the overall design. Which brings me to one of my favourite design aspect of the phone - the volume control! It is actually located at the rear of the phone (!!!).


You have no idea how convenient it is! You know sometimes when you are outside and a video of a screaming woman (or whatever) comes on and you'd be frantically searching for the volume keys to mute it? There would be at least 2 seconds of delay but for the ASUS ZenFone 2, your index finger would already be positioned there so no more embarrassing moments!!


When it comes to colours of phones, I like mine in classic shades so the metallic hairline finish in silver was perfect for me. I very much prefer to dress it up in cutesy phone covers hahaha. But if you are a fan of colours, you can choose from matte finish in black, white, red or hairline metallic finish in black, gold, silver or red!

About the more technological aspects of the phone, I'm going to highlight about the PixelMaster camera! For ZenFone 2, the images are SUPERB with the 13 megapixels and f/2.0 wide-aperture lens. There is zero shutter lag, images are sharp, clear and stunning. Even with low light, there is no flash required as the PixelMaster is capable of capturing up to 400% brighter photos. 


These are ALL the camera modes you can find in the phone! Not only these you see, there are even sub-categories okay?? 

For example, selfie. Taking selfies the usual way is a tad boring. With the ASUS ZenFone 2, you can edit your photo before you even take it.

This is a selfie taken at night in a cafe using the "Auto" mode.

And this is a selfie taken with the "Beautification" mode.

For easier comparison:

Did you notice I
1) made my eyes bigger
2) added blusher
3) gave myself fairer complexion, and
4) adjusted my face smaller?

Hahahaha. And I did all these BEFORE taking the picture. Is this "Beautification" mode amazing or what?! ASUS must have a female on the team when they designed this feature. How else can you explain the existence of all these functions???

By the way, I took the selfies with the front-facing 5 megapixel camera in lowlight and I must say, the quality turned out so much better than expected!


The "Panorama" mode also comes with selfie and this was taken at dinner the other day. I was still quite bad at it so Peggy was cut off :/ But it could've fit all of us and MORE!


And here, I have a comparison of two photos taken a minute apart but one in "Auto" mode and the other in "HDR" mode. The differences are obvious. The right picture taken in "HDR" is sharper, more defined and brighter. Better picture quality is now made possible with the use of a smartphone!


The "Manual" mode you find in the camera is awesome. The settings available such as ISO, Shutter Speed, Focus are all found in this mode. Everything can be adjusted for picture perfection which saves us the trouble of editing!


The ZenFone 2 allows dual-SIM (SIM cards x2) and dual-active 4G and its user interface, the Zen UI offers fully customisable settings so you can modify your device to your liking. So my phone is all pink and flowery with the most frequently used apps on the first page!

My wallpaper might not look like it but the ASUS ZenFone 2 is also known for its "Monster Performance". It is the first smartphone in Singapore to be equipped with 4GB RAM which means you can expect your phone and apps to run faster! 


Aimed to “Empower Luxury for Everyone”, you can expect the best specs in the ZenFone 2 that is comparable to high-end flagship models. Such as, a 64-bit 2.3GHz Super Quad-Core Intel processor which delivers 3x better performance and is 7x faster for gaming than the ZenFone. A laggy phone is something you won't encounter with the ZenFone 2.

In this age and time when everyone's smartphone battery runs out faster than we can compose an Instagram caption, the BoostMaster Fast Charging technology is almost godsend. The ZenFone 2 is able to charge up to 60% in only 39 mins (!!). Need a quick charge? Just head over to Starbucks for half an hour and the ZenFone 2 is revived again!


All in all, the ASUS ZenFone 2 is very much equal to other high-end smartphone brands in terms of design, performance, camera, yet it costs less than half the price of its competitors. For my phone model, the ASUS Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML 4GB/32GB) is retailing at only S$429.

If you want to get the 4GB “Monster Performance” ZenFone 2, head over to http://bit.ly/1Farc4F to pre-order and get your phone delivered to your doorstep!

To check the prices of the other models, you can head over to ASUS online store at  http://store.asus.com/sg/category/B4156 and if the price and model is right, you can even make your purchase directly from the online store without leaving home!

More information about the ZenFone 2 can be found at http://www.asus.com/sg/Phones/ZenFone_2_ZE551ML/.

I hope my post will allow you to make more informed decisions about your smartphone choice! :)


VDL Base Makeup Collection

Monday, 11 May 2015

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I am no stranger to VDL after having tried a couple of their products. My favourite is the uniquely shaped Lip Cube EX which is lipstick in a triangle tube. To extend, you'll have to twist the bottom of the lippie! Pretty interesting and I love the matte texture too.


But today, I'm not gonna be talking about lips... Instead I will be focusing on the VDL 3-step base makeup routine to achieve flawless and perfect base makeup using their latest products.

Read on till the end to find specially curated promotions just for you! :)

Clean, bare face with a layer of tinted lip balm. And I am ready!


Step 1: Prep your skin with SKIN P+R=O Almighty Ampoule Essence and SKIN P+R=O Almighty Cream



To achieve optimal skin condition for makeup, we have to focus on providing the right skincare to protect our skin and help it to recover. Therefore, I prepped my skin with the SKIN P+R=O Almighty Ampoule Essence after cleanser and toner.


The lightweight watery texture was absorbed into my skin after a few pats, leaving my skin hydrated and softer right away!


The second part to prepping my skin is the SKIN P+R=O Almighty Cream. The texture is more balm-like and doesn't feel oily or too heavy in our humidity.


I was very impressed with the Almighty Cream as it actually forms a protective layer against micro-dust and my face feels smoother instantly!


Step 2: Enhancing the staying power of foundation with the use of Lumilayer Primer

VDL's signature and best-selling primer is this Lumilayer Primer. It contains VDL's patented Lightflex Pigments that helps to reflect light off different angles of the face to create a mild highlighting and 3-dimentional face line.


After a thin layer of the primer, you can see my face has a slight radiance to it that is very natural and healthy looking. Very much akin to the glow you see on Korean celebrities!!


Step 3: Perfecting Last Foundation

The last step to VDL's perfect and flawless base makeup is the re-formulated Perfecting Last Foundation.


Can you see the drastic difference!! The coverage is GREAT. I can totally skip the concealer as my dark circles and flaws are fully concealed just with this liquid foundation.


If you would like to find out how these products fare on your skin, you can quote "JessicaForVDL" at any VDL outlets (they have just recently opened up the ION Orchard outlet!) to redeem 4pcs Base Makeup Collection Trial Kit from now till 31 May 2015 (while stocks last, T&Cs apply).

Also, from now till 22 May, enjoy 10% off Base Makeup Collection at any VDL Outlets (T&Cs apply)!

To stay updated with their latest news and be informed about their newest products, "LIKE" their Facebook page HERE!