|The infamous Jill Stuart Cosmetics Line Spring 2012 campaign, sold only in Asia|
I spent the past week in Bangkok and I am officially in love with the city! The people are wonderfully kind, the food is absolutely amazing, and the shopping is right up my alley. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to visit South Asia, and I can say now that I will certainly be back, as seven days was nowhere near long enough to explore the city, and I didn’t even get to the pristine beaches!
There are hoards of amazing Thai designers, with boutiques on the third floor of Siam Center Mall – I recommend checking it out. While the clothes were beautiful and unique – think the pastels of S/S Louis Vuitton mixed with the silhouettes of Miu Miu – my goodness, they are tiny! The women of Thailand don’t seem to buy clothes any larger than a US 4, and the lengths were far too short for me. Oh well, it was a pleasure to look.
I was also in foodie heaven. It has been several months since I have had red meat, or sushi, so let’s just say that I had my fair share of both. My favorite sushi roll was one that I have never seen in the US – basically a California roll without rice, rolled in paper thin daikon, or radish. It was incredible. I even went back to the restaurant for dinner on my last night to experience it one more time. In terms of Thai food, which has always been one of my favorite cuisines, I ate quite a bit of it, as well. My mainstay was the infamous Som Tam, or Papaya Salad with dried shrimp and peanuts. While it is spicier here, to cater to the Asian palette, that is no problem with my newly-acquired Indian taste buds. The street food here is also insanely delicious, pork and chicken satays grilled with just the right amount of flavor are available on every corner. And if you are a little adventurous, why not try the fried insects? Those also seem to be in great supply, although I did not get the chance to taste them. Finally, how could I fail to mention the young coconut water? It is absolutely a divine thirst-quencher. Sorry, Zico, you just are not the same.
Something thing I did stock up on, when I wasn’t chowing down? Cosmetics, of course! Watson’s Chemist is a chain which carries all of the top Japanese drugstore brands, which I have followed for years. The days I spent browsing on StrawberryNet were finally made so much better in that I could look, touch, and try the products. Here are some of the goodies I picked up, which are not only adorably packaged, but beautifully formulated as well:
Canmake Cream Cheek #3 – Much loved on Makeup Alley, I knew I had to try this, as I think cream blush looks so much more natural in the summer than powder. Since my current favorite blush was stolen (Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink), I have been in the need of a natural flush that perks up my complexion and doesn’t clash with my pale blonde locks. I found it in this! Creamy in consistency, it melds into cheeks for a natural fifnish. The shade I got is shimmer-free, which I prefer, as I usually add a bit of glistening on the tops of cheekbones with Benefit’s High-Beam. I will definently be packing this gem in my kit on a future shoot.
Lioele Water Drop BB – I’ve been trying every BB cream I can get my hands on since they first came to the US last spring. While Dr. Jart’s was formerly my favorite, as some of the others broke me out, this is my new pick. Not only does it match my skin tone perfectly, but it has SPF 27 sunblock, and gives perfect coverage for a day at the pool or beach, which for me, is essential. While I’d love to go totally natural, my skin has a bit too much redness. This is the cure, as it looks like you have on no makeup. Plus, the pale blue and silver packaging is adorable – the poorly translated text just makes it even better.
EttuSais Lip Essence – I purchased this top-selling Japanese lip balm at Zen Department Store, a fabulous central tenant at CentralWorld Mall. They have really unique items at all price points, if you find yourself in Bangkok, this is a must go! It is Thailand’s answer to Bloomingdale’s. Anywho, this lip balm certainly deserves it’s top-selling status. My lips always get quite dry on planes, and on my way back to India, this totally remedied this common ailment. The peach scent is quite sweet. Also, who can resist the Sanrio characters on the packaging? Not I.
Canmake Jewelstar Eyes – New obsession. This creamy, metallic shadow is going to be put to hard work in my kit. I purchased #7, which is a silvery green (although described on the website as an "antique gold with silver, gold, and red pearl particles") that is absolutely unlike anything I’ve seen. While it would crease without a base for everyday wear (I recommend Urban Decay’s Primer Potion), it will be gorgeous on shoots for a unique smokey eye. I’m imagining blending it with my favorite Chanel Illusion D’Ombre shadows to get a smudgy, sexy slept-in look…
Majolica Majorca Puff de Cheek – Majorlica Majorca is made by Shiseido, and is a drugstore line targeted at teens and young women. Basically, I purchased this blush because it looked like a Macaroon, and I am a sucker for French desserts. However, it has awesome pigmentation, and the color I picked up, PK301, is a lovely coral-peach that is what Benefit’s Coralista should be.
Biore Cleansing Oil – Okay I’m not exactly sure as that is the official name, as it is in Japanese, but this product is fabulous. I am a huge fan of cleansing oils, my former top picks being Dermalogica’s Pre-Cleanse and the infamous Shu Uemura, but this comes close. It takes off all traces of mascara, sunscreen, and foundation, and doesn’t break me out. Plus, the scent is lovely. For those who don’t want to splurge on a cleansing oil, this is a must-buy.
I can’t fail to mention that dressing up your iPhone is an absolutely necessity in Asia. In fact, one of Bangkok’s most popular malls, MBK, has an entire floor devoted to stalls selling iPhone cases, accessories, straps, stickers, and everything in between. Not one to resist fashion-izing (is that a word?) anything, I picked up this bejeweled bunny case to remind me of my time spent in Bangkok.