Alone Time in Hong Kong

Travelling with a toddler in a foreign land can be both fun...

and frustrating at the same time especially during those out of this world tantrum spells!

The day before we were bound to return back home, I had a refreshingly sweet time off from full time motherhood. Oprah calls it a time to refill your emotional tank and recharge your batteries. I only had two hours of alone time before our next order of business: a visit to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

I wasted no time at all.

Free as a bird at least for the next two hours or so, I relished every second of every minute. Just walking around kept me in high spirits. That's something I wish I could do more around Metro Manila but can't because of the traffic and pollution.

Strolling down Nathan Road was a complete delight...

...most especially when I saw my destination: Sasa. Unfortunately I was there an hour or so before its opening.

I decided to turn the situation to my advantage and looked for some place to have breakfast. I went to the nearest McDonald's...

but then again, I asked myself, do I really need to eat all this?

I walked a few blocks further and found a friendly 7-11 store managed by a delightfully competent lady with special needs. She was friendly and very reliable indeed!

Looking through the aisles of delectable goodies, I reached out for a simple breakfast combo.

A chicken and egg sandwich just the way I liked it...

and a cold, refreshingly sweet n' sour Kiwi drink.

I was so in the moment, eating and all, that I decided to take snapshots of everything new to my eyes--a definite advantage when you were the only customer at that time of day.

I was deeply fascinated by these unique flavors quite profound to my taste buds: Kyoho Grape and Cream Soda.

And was glad that familiar flavors accompanied me while having my first breakfast all by myself.

If only I was not that full, I could have tried these hot drinks...

and the renowned and bittersweet Hong Kong Style Milk Tea concoction.

After breakfast, I grabbed a glossy magazine featuring several of my favorite Asian stars as a gift to a dear friend.

Since I still had an hour or so to spare, I dashed to the nearest "tiangge" (thrift store) just to look around for some cute "pasalubong" (gifts).

I stole a shot while the other customers sorted through the racks.

It was rather amazing that I met some Filipino architects at the store. After exchanging stories about our Hong Kong trip, I managed to give my business card before our chat was over. Gosh! You can get the girl out of the confines of her business but can't get the biz out of the girl! LOL.

At around 10AM, Sasa finally opened.

And "happiness" began. A wonderful milepost to celebrate my two hour sprint to some quality alone time.


Affordable Beauty from Sasa Outlet Stores in Macau and Hong Kong ♪♪♪♪

The next time you go to Macau, don't forget to visit a nearby Sasa Outlet Store for an array of excellent yet very affordable make-up and skincare products. No worries. Just go to Senado Square and there you'll find a Sasa store almost in every corner!

Even inside the Macau Tower which is another popular tourist destination, a Sasa outlet store sits proudly with other boutiques just waiting to be raided by fanatics like me.

In Hong Kong, Sasa is scattered all over the island. From the Hong Kong Star Ferry Terminal...

...all the way down along Nathan Avenue, there is a Sasa store available to your every whim...your every wish. In this particular outlet store, I decided to spend a few precious hours surrounded by an incredible sea of cosmetics before going through my "pasalubong" (gifts) list.

My dear friend and beauty advisor Cel Samson made a fantastic list of some of the most effective yet affordable beauty products at Sasa.

Let's go through this list one by one.

1.Naive Cleansing Foam Line by the reputable Japanese brand Kracie (Kanebo's new name).  Read all about it right here. It comes in different varieties: Grapefruit, Peach and Aloe Vera. Price: HKD 24 or PhP 140.

Mars Cel told me that this line of cleansing foam is really good. But I never expected it to be that amazing! The minute I uncapped the grapefruit variant, I was greeted by its fresh fruity scent. Squeezing off a pea size onto my hand, I worked a lather with a little bit of water and was amazed at the amount of foam it produced! I thought that it is absolutely perfect for tropical countries like the Philippines because it gives you a squeaky clean feel even on the hottest days.

The flakiness on my face caused by prickly heat disappeared on first use. Now three months and counting, my skin is indeed smoother and more supple.

My niece Kristine however claims...

... that the Aloe Vera variant helped make her break-outs disappear in as early as 7 days with another welcome side-effect: skin whitening.

2. White Milk by Kracie (Kanebo). Price: HKD 78 or PhP 455.

It is a facial lotion so light it won't melt even when you're under the harsh sun. It has also become a loyal friend no matter the weather. It blends well into my skin leaving a fresh, dewy look. The only side effect you can expect from this product is a brighter, whiter skin.

3. Suncut UV Protect Cream or Milk SPF 50 by Kose (30 grams). HKD 32 or PhP 186.

This Japanese brand is a revelation indeed. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin so you don't need to worry that your face will melt like butter once you're outdoors. It has a light musky scent that's not at all overpowering. It also blends well into your skin giving that dewy, fresh glow!

4. Sexy Look Anti-aging and Whitening Facial Masks (10 sheets per pack). HKD 69 or PhP 402.

These Taiwanese-made facial masks come in three variants: Anti-aging, Whitening with Collagen and Regular. Once you take out the mask sheets, expect them to be dripping wet with all the vitamins and minerals promised in the packaging. Although you're tempted to put them on your face until the sheet dries out, don't. Just leave the mask on for 30 minutes tops. You'll see and feel that your face is indeed more refreshed and revitalized.

5. Heroine Make Volume and Curl Mascara by Kiss Me. HKD 59 or PhP 344.

Kiss Me is another trusted Japanese brand that is not as pricey as its other counterparts. Expect a more defined lash line, bigger and brighter eyes thanks to this line of mascara.

6. Heroine Make BB Cream by Kiss Me Japan  Heroine Make BB Cream by Kiss Me. HKD 69 or PhP 402.

Also known as Blemish Balm or Blemish Base, it was first formulated in Germany to aid post-operative patients to soothe scars and blemishes while inducing skin renewal.

When Korean stars like Song Hye Kyo heard of this amazing technology, they started using BB cream as a make-up base with or without foundation. Now cosmetic giants like Etude, Laneige, The Face Shop, Skin Food and Missha offer different kinds of BB cream to suit your individual tastes and needs.

Other Asian countries followed suit and started producing their own kind of BB cream. Kiss Me Japan is one of them with a brilliant marketing strategy: a 50-70% lower price range than its Korean counterparts.

Just a pea size on your fingertips, dabbed and blended well on your forehead, under eye circles, cheeks, chin and neck will go a long way.

The light coverage makes you look like you're not wearing any make-up at all. With just a light dusting of powder all over the face and neck using your favorite stippling brush or sponge makes you feel and look your best!