Not worth bragging about- Brat Hotdog Shop

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I don’t know how to feel about the “gourmet” burger shops that have been popping up these few years.  While some of them are delicious (Triple-O’s is worth the money, in my opinion), some just seems to me as poor excuses for tripling the price of your meal.  Unfortunately, my experience at Brat puts my impression of the shop in the latter category.image

As you can see on the menu here (the prices are in Hong Kong dollars), the hotdogs don’t come cheap.  And did I mention that the shop is just a shopfront and has no seats?  So it’s takeaway only.  For me, I ate my meal on the seats of the shopping centre.  Not the most comfy experience, and of course, no service to speak of.image

First up, the fries.  It is worth mentioning that even though they claim the fries are freshly made, that they leave the potato skins on for flavour and texture, etc. etc., they taste almost exactly the same as those at McDonald’s.  They are not fat or wrinkly ones, they are extremely skinny and bland.  I added extra money for the Japanese condiments (which makes them taste like octopus balls-flavoured fries), but it’s simply teriyaki sauce and mayo and a spinkle of seaweed.  Not worth it.image

Here comes the hotdog.  As you can see, the hotdog fits comfortably in my hand, and my hand is not that big.  I have chosen a spicy garlic sausage (too salty and not enough of other flavours), jalapenos and parmesan cheese as condiments.  But the biggest problem lies in the hotdog bun.  It looks, feels and tastes really cheap, like the cheapest ones you can buy in bulk from the supermarket.  And it’s small.  That was definitely unexpected, looking at the price.

My menu also comes with a can of soft drink, of which I picked Coke.  I wanted lemon tea instead but was informed I need to add more money for it, so I gave up.  Overall, I think the place is do-able if it’s at least half of its current price, but for this price, I can think of so many other places to dine.  And that concludes my one, and probably only, experiece at Brat.

Liquid exfoliator- Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex

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I recently tried out a new (new-to-me) brand, Peter Thomas Roth.  This product appealed to me because it’s not glycolic acid in the form of an additional serum, but in your toner.  I also love that they tell you it has 10% glycolic acid, as opposed to some brands which just tells you there is glycolic acid in it but no indication of the concentration.  It feels like I’m getting a more potent product, although obviously I can’t compare with companies which don’t disclose their concentration (like you, Mario Badescu!).  Aside from the glycolic acid, it apparently has other nice stuff like lactic acid, citric acid, vitamin C… (you can read the bottle in the picture above and below).image

Here’s a look at the back of the bottle for you who may be interested.image

The toner is clear (as you can see from the lack of apparent colour inside the bottle- and it’s full), and doesn’t smell much.  I expected a stronger smell (because of all the acid in it I suppose), but it doesn’t smell of anything at all.  After I smoothed it on with a cotton pad, it tingled a little (not a lot, but obviously use it sparingly, and don’t rub), and it made my cheeks a little red.  It stayed reddish for quite some time (I don’t know exactly how long because I headed to bed), but it can be because my skin is on the thin and sensitive side.  Therefore, I only use it at night so far, which means the 250 mL bottle will last me quite some time.

After using it every night for 2 weeks, I think my acne scars have faded slightly. Pimples also seemed to heal slightly quicker. However, one thing that kind of bothers me is the design of the bottle cap. It is quite leaky when you pour the content out onto the cotton pad, which means you waste a little product each time you use it. For those of you who have used it before, did you encounter this problem!

Glamour at a price- Rodial Glam Balm Lip

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I love lip balms and have tried an awful lot, but the fact is a lot of them are just really average. Seldom do balms offer enough moisture for me, and I hate to admit, I usually want yummy scents too, so those without.fragrance are not really my thing. This lip balm is the first product I have tried from the brand Rodial, and it is one of the products from its Glam Balm series (a balm similar to Elizabeth Arden’s Eight-hour Cream but smells nicer- I may write a review about it sometime). In fact, this lip balm came in a box set I bought last Christmas, which contained also the Glam Balm and a hand cream. (I only wanted to buy the lip balm initially but got sucked into buying this whole set which apparently helps me save 50% off the rack price…)

imageAs you can see, this balm is slightly tinted in the pot (a kind of peachy, pinkish tint) but has no colour whatsoever on my lips. It claims to be rose- flavoured but this is misleading- it is rose- scented but has no flavour when ingested. It doesn’t taste medicinal or odd. It just has no taste. The balm feels a little bit oily but in a good way- like a slightly thick gloss but it is surprisingly non-sticky.

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This is is the balm on my lips. It provides a bit of shine and stays for quite some time.  I don’t really know how to explain it, but its pillowy texture makes it seem almost luxurious to use.  Having it in a tub is slightly inconvenient, but I suppose if you don’t want lip products with lots of beeswax (which I personally don’t find very moisturising) you will have to put up with it being in a tub.  One thing to note, though, is that the product melts a little when in heat, so you probably won’t want to keep it in your pockets and you definitely don’t want to heat it up then tilt the pot- you will get a smeary mess and you will lose a lot of product.  This is why Glam Balm Lip is now my favourite bed-time lip balm, but otherwise I won’t be bringing it out with me anytime soon.

(Not so) Pink lady- Ettusais Lip Essence (Color)

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Today I’m reviewing the squeezy-tube lip balm (called “lip essence”) by the Japanese brand Ettusais.  This one is the coloured version, as you can see from the wordings on the tube and also the bright pink tube itself (which unfortunately does not reflect the colour of the balm).  I have used several of the brand’s lip balms and I find it quite a good buy in terms of quality and price.  It claims to have a “gloss oil” type consistency and actually it describes the product quite accurately.  It is moisturising and definitely glossy, but not too sticky.  The added sun protection is a bonus.  So far I find the lip balms the best product the brand offers (and I have tried quite a lot of its products).image

Check this out on my hand.  You can see that it definitely has a red tint.  However, also bear in mind this is quite a thick dollop, and nobody uses that much of lip balm in one go (I sometimes do, but that’s before bed, and we don’t need tinted lip products when sleeping, right?).  When spread out, the balm is actually only slightly tinted.   

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Look at this on my lips.  I have it on but you can barely see the colour.  I’m sure the colour is buildable, but the picture above shows how it looks like when I apply lip balm like a normal person.  It is quite good at filling in the lines on the lips, as with most gloss products, and does provide relatively lasting moisture, but if you’re looking for pink lips, you may have better luck with a real gloss.  This product does have its appeal though- look at how I bought it when I have a perfectly fine (but untinted) tube!