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Thursday, December 27, 2018

[Amaya Travels] Nakatsugawa // Sakashita, Japan (Nov 18)

Look at this autumn colour!

I am super thankful for the chance to travel to Japan twice within this year! Though I do not have paid leave left after using them all for about three trips this year XD

This time I travelled with the same friend for the entire week. She was the one who suggested the places to visit while I planned out the details, like how to get from place to place. 

I finished editing the photos before November ended, but got distracted with other commitments (what is new lol). I will be posting a series of posts based on location visited. 

First off, we flew to Nagoya airport and took a train to our airbnb in Sakashita. Fewer local trains go to Sakashita, so we could spend time in a bigger station called Nakatsugawa. Nakatsugawa is also the station where you can board the buses to Tsumago or Magome for the Nakasendo. 

Nakatsugawa Station
View outside the train station~
All excited to begin the trip!

Decor inside the train station
Morning view outside our airbnb

Our airbnb room!

The shelves were decorated with pretty postcards!
I highly recommend our lovely host, Misaki and her family. She was super prompt in replying our messages, and even gave us a little souvenir on our last day~ You may check out her airbnb listing here! We were lucky to have been the only guests staying there at the time.

The townsfolk were also super friendly to us while we were roaming around town for food XD The thing about small towns is that they do not have much going on at night - most places are closed. In the off peak hours, you also will not be able to find lunch - all we found at 3pm was cake and tea/coffee XD

Cafe Viento
2514-1 Sakashita, Nakatsugawa
Gifu Prefecture 509-9232, Japan

Tel: +81 50-3303-9124

This place was a pretty easy walk from our airbnb! The lady was really nice to introduce us to nearby shrines. She also took effort to use Google translate to speak to us XD

IzumoFukutoku Shrine
638-4 Sakashita, Nakatsugawa-shi
Gifu-ken 509-9232, Japan

This is a really quiet shrine. Legend has it that if you rub the bellies of the deities there, you will have good luck! Cafe Viento's host shared with us that she won a small sum of money after rubbing their bellies XD

Random photo of a directional sign to a hair salon x)
Also ate at an Izakaya owned by a sweet old lady who kept feeding us food. She also seemed to price her food on the spot as her menu had no prices. 

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*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Thursday, December 06, 2018

Skincare update! [November, 2018]

From right to left:

♡  the Saem Natural Skin-fit Mask (Tomato) ♡

What it is: A really thin mask containing tomato. Not much is available on the masks, but a search shows that tomatoes are good for brightening skin and keeping skin moisturized.

Price: Got them at $1.30 each from this Qoo10 shop! There is a $5 shipping rate that is applied after.

Key ingredients: Water, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Alcohol, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract (1,000ppm), Beta-Glucan, Sodium Hyluronate, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract

My thoughts: It is good that the tomato and the boswellia are in the top half of the ingredients list (contents are usually listed from highest to lowest concentration), but I am a little concerned about the alcohol content. I did not feel any skin tightening effects, so perhaps the amounts are not that high...

♡  the Saem Natural Skin-fit Mask (Green Grape) ♡

What it is: A sheet mask that is rich in antioxidants from the various berry extracts, the fast-acting mask makes skin brighter, clearer, and naturally radiant.

Key ingredients: Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Methylpropanediol, Alcohol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract (2500ppm), Arginine

My thoughts: The fragrance is very strong but delightful! It reminded me of the Qoo drinks.black grapes are high in antioxidants which carry anti-inflammatory properties that can heal and protect against sun damage, dark spots, and inflammation. Containing a substantial amount of vitamins C and E, this fruit is a natural at combating aging and acne. The combination of vitamins C and E can also lighten scars and work together to increase blood circulation to the scalp and skin.

♡   the Saem Natural Skin-fit Mask (Grapefruit) ♡

What it is: A sheet mask that is rich in antioxidants from grapefruit, which fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles, discoloration and dull complexion.

Key ingredients: Water, Glycereth-26, Dipropylene Glycol, Propandiol, Alcohol, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Beta-Glucan, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract

My thoughts: I used this mask just as I got back from Japan, where my skin got darker because I did not bring sunscreen (whoops). This mask definitely helped in brightening up the skin and evening out the skin. 

♡   Leaders Mediu Amino AC-free Mask ♡

What it is: A thin sheet mask containing a complex composed of 17 amino acid supplements combined with moisturising factors AHA and BHA. These active ingredients, together with Snail Secretion Filtrate, exfoliate and protect the skin while providing soothing comfort.

Price: $2.90 (I think) on Qoo10. The prices for each mask was different.

Key ingredients: There is no ingredients list in English ):

My thoughts: This mask is recommended for oily skin types (which was not made known to me in the Qoo10 description. The essence was light on the mask, but it would still leave a slightly sticky residue on the face (presumably from the snail extract). It did help to reduce some redness on my face, but I think it is too thick to be used daily.

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*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Sunday, December 02, 2018

The Sunday Currently, Volume Forty Six


LISTENING... to the current season of Sound of My Dreams. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the singing this round.

COVETING... the Nintendo switch and a few games~ I thought of buying it during the 11.11 sales, but I had some other important expenditure going on. I am determined to buy it during the 12.12 sale!

SMELLING... my citrus reed diffuser. I bought a really cheap one off Qoo10, and while the scent is too sweet for me, the coverage is great. I will try the different scents in future! 

WATCHING... walkthrough for the new Pokemon Let's Go games. I am tempted to get one now xD But I will play Zelda first before playing Pokemon Let's Go. 

WANTING... some discipline to last through December, with all the singing that is going on. It is the last month of the year!

LOVING... the December #kawaiijournaling challenge that Rainbowholic has set up. It is a good chance to just enjoy journaling, and to reflect on what I have done during the past year.

DRAFTING... a few simple posts on my Japan trip last month. I did not take as many photos as I would have liked, but I have enough to post about trip highlights!

Inspired by the original The Sunday Currently, here.

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*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Sunday Currently, Forty Five

This week of The Sunday Currently is coming one day earlier because I will be helping out at a wedding the whole of tomorrow. I am excited to see two friends get married to each other!

Work has been a peaceful respite after the super busy October. Strangely today has been a ball of tiredness and irritability, which I hope will go away after sleep tonight.


WATCHING... Sword Art Online: Alicization! I watched this series intermittently as the storyline tends to drag out. The starting of this arc seems pretty good; I hope that it will continue that way!

LISTENING... to random Spotify playlists revolving about the chill and relax themes.

WISHING... that all my luggage for Sunday and my Japan trip will pack themselves.

LOOKING... forward to spending a week in Japan. It is mostly free and easy, and two days in nature! I cannot wait.

SMELLING... the Innisfree hand cream in peach. Moisturizing and smells good.

MISSING... my pac-man ring. I took it off in the office pantry to wash my bento box and left it there by accident >_< It was gone the next day. The saving grace is that it was already losing its silver coating, and I would have to throw it then anyway.

COLLECTING... lookbook pictures to re-organise my wardrobe and take stock of my current fashion tastes. I have never had a really distinct or categorizable style, but I would like to figure it out x) also I have to match what I like with what can fit me. 

COVETING... a pocket printer to make printing pictures more convenient, when I do not have many to print! Unfortunately, only the HP and LG ones are available locally, and they are not at the quality I like yet. 

Inspired by the original The Sunday Currently, here.

Connect with me~


*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Skincare Update! [October, 2018]

Why do brands like to give their masks really long names... I was looking forward to using the Senka masks because Senka produces really good skincare products.

I was also really conscientious taking care of my skin this month, so I managed to use 5 masks in a month! Out of the 4 Senka masks, I would choose to continue with the White series, but only if I can stand the tacky essence xD

From left to right:

♡   L'Herboflore Cherry Blossom Whitening Mask ♡

What it is: Contains Yoshino Cherry Blossom extract, which has have skin-softening and skin-brightening effects. It also contains trehalose, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to provide long-lasting hydration, and is soothing to the skin.

Key ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Glycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Allantoin, Propylene Glycol

My thoughts: While it moisturizes the skin well, it does not really seem to do much in the whitening department. Unless the anti-inflammatory properties of cherry blossom will translate into whitening effects when it reduces redness?

♡   Senka Perfect Aqua Rich Extra Moist Mask ♡

What it is: Infused with rich moisturizing essence and Collagen G to boost moisture levels for smooth and supple skin that looks youthful and radiant.

Key ingredients: Aqua (Water), Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG-6, PEG-32, PEG-8, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Xanthan Gum

PriceFound these single sheet masks from Senka in Don Don Donki for $2 each!

My thoughts: I learnt that Xanthan Gum is a kind of thickening agent, which might be the contibuting factor of the tacky serum on the mask. I really dislike sticky masks. While the number of chemical ingredients is concerning, they do not seem to be unsafe.

♡   Perfect Aqua Rich Luminous Moist Mask ♡

What it is: Infused with rich moisturizing essence and pearl essence to improve skin regeneration for healthier, dewy and glowing skin.

Key ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol,  Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG-6, PEG-32, PEG-8, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Xanthan Gum

My thoughts: The only difference in the ingredients list with the above mask is that the collagen is replaced with hydrolysed conchiolin protein, which is good for skin conditioning. Both ingredients were on the bottom of the ingredients list, which suggests that they are present in very small amount. With that, I think both masks hydrated, but the other claims were yet to be seen.

♡  Perfect Aqua Soothing White Mask ♡

What it is: Infused with a unique brightening formula, rich moisturizing essence and aloe vera to soothe and calm skin.

Key ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Tranexamic Acid, PEG-6, PEG-32, PEG-8, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol

My thoughts: I'm starting to think that the residue is quite standard for their masks - perhaps a result of the essence? The hydrating properties really helped my super dry nose, which was peeling. Perhaps the aloe vera helped in reducing the redness too.

♡  Perfect Aqua Extra White Mask ♡

What it is: Infused with a unique brightening formula, rich moisturizing essence and rose serum to promote skin's natural turnover and remove dullness for brightened and translucent glowing skin.

Key ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Tranexamic Acid, PEG-6, PEG-32, PEG-8, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Phenoxyethanol

My thoughts: This mask had the most prominent brightening and moisturizing effects of the four masks I tried. Only difference with the above mask is that the aloe vera extract is replaced by the rose extract. The rose extract really helped my skin this time.

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*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Sunday Currently, Volume Forty Four

Work has been piling up this month, and I cut myself a lot of slack. My habit trackers are painfully empty. With the recent health screening exercise, I have new motivation to keep my discipline in check!

It is the last weekend for the month, so I spent some time preparing a photo spread for October, and the monthly calendar for November! I can't wait to be in a new area of Japan next month!


BOOKMARKING... Rainbowholic's Super Lucky Stationery Pack version 3! You can see a preview in this link. It is tempting to get one but I am heading to Japan next month XD Not Tokyo though~

LOVING... my new pouch from Taobao to fit my Nintendo Switch! It comes with a few pockets to put games in. Only thing is, I haven't bought the Switch xD 

WAITING... for the 11.11 deals to begin on Qoo10 so that I can use some promotions to buy the Nintendo Switch (linked to above).

FEELING... relaxed with the last presentation due tomorrow. Weeks ahead will be shorter than usual, so looking forward to them too!

HOPING... for mid-November to come soon so that I will be in Japan~

WISHING... that I am more prepared for choir practices in November so that we will put up a great concert.

BOOKMARKING... a bunch of cheap accessories in my Taobao shopping cart for a future purchase!

Inspired by the original The Sunday Currently, here.

Connect with me~


*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

[Unboxing] The Stationery Selection October Box

I am so excited to post about my first stationery subscription box that I found in my little research post. They offer a monthly subscription, but you can always buy individual boxes.

The Stationery Selection

FB | Instagram: @thestationeryselection

The box is USD $36.95, and shipping is USD $10, which translates to about SGD $66.80 based on Paypal's conversion rate at the time.

You get a detailed note on the items you receive!
Full box contents!
Laid out flat on my floor lol
Super pleased with this Mark-ON pen. It is really fast-drying, even more so than the SARASA Dry.
Hand-drawn postcard, anyone?
Beautiful letter paper!
I am so pleased to receive the MD notebook in monthly format. My current bullet journal is a normal A5 notebook that I use to journal monthly, and I had planned on getting another one for next year. I can use this together with my Hobonichi for 2019! #allset

I did some research on the selling price of all the products, and the mark-up is pretty reasonable to me. If you don't get much Japan-related products in your country, and you are comfortable with mystery boxes, then I think this box is really worth it!

Worth it at its price!
You can reserve your next box / subscription through their website. Follow their FB / IG to know when the next box is released!

The Stationery Selection

FB | Instagram: @thestationeryselection

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*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.


Sunday, October 07, 2018

The Sunday Currently, Volume Forty Three

Skipped a weekend because I was feeling under the weather T.T October started off with a bang, and it looks like work will be ramping up this month! Fighting! (。・ω・)ゞ


WATCHING... Boruto: Naruto Next Generation. I lost interest in the series after the original manga ended. After starting on this anime out of boredom, I found it to be pretty entertaining!

UNBOXING... my package from The Stationery Selection! I am very pleased with what I received, and I cannot wait to post about it~

TRYING... out new games on my phone. This time I looked for a casino-type game when I want to zone out, haha.

THINKING... about the backlog of emails I will have to clear in office tomorrow. I was outside for an exhibition for several days last week, so I expect a mountain of tasks to clear tomorrow. (ノ`´)ノ ~┻━┻ ~

WISHING... that payday will come soon. I still feel happy when my salary comes in every month, haha!

LOVING... my freebies and loot from Cityluxe's Japan Walk Walk event this week!

Inspired by the original The Sunday Currently, here.

Connect with me~


*Emoticons courtesy of JapanLover.me.