BECAUSE LIFE’S A PEACH 

One fine Friday night spent at Majapahit Lounge at The Dharmawangsa with friends and Martini. 

And not just a simple Martini. It was a special Martini, shake and mixed in front of guests. Wait until you know what they named their Martinis. From James Bond movies and his Bond Girls! They stated the names and the movies on the menu with the complete description of their ingredients, too. 

Last night, I decided to try “Pussy Galore”, inspired by the fictional character from one of the classic Bond movie, “Gold Finger” way back in 1966. Vodka with Peach Liqueur, Cranberry, shaken & served in a chilled martini glass with a lemon twist (that’s the description on the menu, by the way). It was still quite early to have a stronger Martini, so I decided to have a fruity one. Plus, I love peach and cranberry. The cranberry juice lend their color to make the martini looks tempting, and a lemon twist balance out the sweet taste of peach liqueur. The girly (pinkish and peachy color) plus the not to sweet yet refreshing taste made me wish I was in the Bahamas! It was totally refreshing on stifling evening. Me and my best pals decided to nibble as well. We ordered banana fritters with chocolate & cheese on top, served with melted brown sugar sauce and one hot plate full of beef & chicken satays.  

Remember how James Bond himself prefers his martinis shaken not stirred? Well, the whole experience of having Bond’s favorite drink was very tempting, indeed. 

Photo: Shinta Rosvita

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MAKE YOUR POINTE

Inspired by the world of ballet and (of course) the ballerinas, Les Parfums de Rosine presents BALLERINA. 

Nothing against commercial perfumery, but if you ever got tired of them and looking for special perfumes that tell real stories behind the creation, you might love Les Parfums de Rosine. You see, Marie-Hélène Rogeon (the perfume maker that created Les Parfums de Rosine) is a grand grand daughter of Louis Panafieu who created fragrances for Emperor Napoleon III. And she loves all kind of roses which she delivered into variety of perfumes. What amazed me the most, she can built a lot of different aromas from roses, making it a classic, fresh to sensual fragrances. 

Her latest creations available in my home country are: Ballerina No 1 (the pink bottle), Vive La Mariee (the white bottle) and Ballerina No 2 (the grey bottle). As I’m an avid fan of beautiful packaging, they already had me at the bottles. Matte, opaque porcelain bottles embellished with tulle around their necks, do remind me of tutus. Youthful, sweet without being frilly, that’s what I thought of Ballerina No 1. Even though I wasn’t into ballet since I was a little girl (weird, right?), but I do not mind watching ballet and certainly I wouldn’t mind of the soft powdery scent from Ballerina No 1. Rose was indeed in the heart note of this, with florals (freesia, peony, violet), fruits (pear, peach, bergamot, raspberry) and base note such as milk, vanilla, musk, and sandalwood. Truly love this feminine fragrance. 

However, Ballerina No 2 seems to represent more mature prima ballerina (imagine, Black Swan). More woody and stronger, thanks to the base note of sandalwood, patchouli, ambrette seeds, vanilla & amber. Yes, rose is still in the very heart note of this perfume, along with florals like magnolia, violet, eglantine and iris. At the top note, there are bergamot, raspberry and orange blossom.

Separating itself from the Ballerina Collection is Vive La Mariee. The bottle is similar with different placement of tulle skirt. More bride than ballerina, it did remind me of a bride’s bouquet. Using Rose Mousseline, roses with white flower smell, I can imagine a bride wearing this on her most glorious day. But then again, if you already way overdue to wear that silk veil (like me, LOL), this soft floral perfume will remind you of that happy celebration. 

Photo: Shinta Rosvita

LIFE IN ROSY HUES

As Valentine’s Day is approaching so fast, this will be the perfect scent to accompany that bouquet of roses.

If someone asked me why I’m so picky when it comes to my perfume choice, I’d gladly answer: “That scent is going to stick with me the whole day, as I’m not really into fragrance touch-ups or changing my day to night fragrance. And I’ll make sure that fragrance won’t annoy me (read: cause dizziness) or worse… annoy someone close enough to sniff me." 

Scent of roses always intrigued me, I guess I’m a romantic that way. But as my journey of scents continues, particular roses won my heart. Bulgarian rose to be precise. For special reasons (their qualities and method of productions), Bulgarian-grown roses produce the world’s best and most expensive oil. And Maison Francis Kurkdjian described Damascena Rose from Bulgaria as one of his Olfactory Description from his latest fragrance, À la Rose. No wonder, it had me at the first sniff. Apparently 250 precious Centifolia Roses from Grasse were also enriched this feminine scent. 

Along with citrus (bergamot & orange), flower (violet & magnolia blossom) and a touch of musk plus cedar wood, À la Rose is like love in a bottle. It hugs me in a subtle and soft romantic way, feels very light and velvety like touching the actual fresh rose petals.   

Photo: Shinta Rosvita 

RED REVOLUTION

Congratulations to YSL Beaute Indonesia for the launch of their latest counter in Central Department Store, Grand Indonesia, Jakarta.

In conjunction with the opening, they also launch their new arrivals, “Danger Lips Collection”, “Forever Youth Liberator Y Shape” and Blush Volupte. Let’s start with the lips, shall we? With the latest collection, they offer four looks, “Daring”, “Edgy”, “Sexy” and “Rock”. Some Rouge Pur Couture Lipsticks are new, some are classic best seller like Rouge Pur Couture #52 (Rouge Rose), a most wanted lipstick shade (thanks to K-Pop madness). 

The newest addition is Blush Volupte (Rp 680.000), available in 9 colors. There are two ways to apply this blush, mixed together as blush or apply separately to sculpt. As for skincare, they have Forever Youth Liberator Y Shape, perfect to achieve that Youth Shape look. Comes in Creme (Rp 1.800.000) and Concentrate (Rp 1.850.000), these duo will work hand in hand to restore lost volumes and redefine Y-shape contours on face, neck and decollete. 

Well, beauty enthusiasts…what are you waiting for? 

UNEXPECTED, LUXURIOUS & NEXT GENERATION

That’s what Marc Jacobs Beauty all about….

at least according to Tiana Lukette, Marc Jacobs Beauty Education Specialist from the US at the launch of this most anticipated makeup line. Me and fellow bloggers were invited to the launch event at The Immigrant, Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta. And boy, did we have fun trying them all. From Genius Gel Foundation, Remedy Concealer Pen till LoveMarc Lip Gel. Yup ladies, Marc Jacobs Beauty is finally available throughout Sephora Indonesia since this January 2015. This breakthrough brand debuts 126 products, assortment of 16 innovative complexion & color cosmetics, plus makeup brushes.

“Beauty is youth, beauty is energy, it’s something that you attracted to,” said Marc in his short video played at the event. In the video, he also mentioned about how he personally love the blackest of black, the shiniest of shine, the mattest of matte which he created for his beauty line. And I just love how Marc really gets his hands on all the products, from the ingredients to their names. Even his tattoo “Shameless” was the inspiration behind the brand’s bold blushes. 

If you think the ritual of putting on cosmetics, choosing your clothes & shoes is a part of your joyful life, then Marc Jacobs Beauty is for you! Get them exclusively at Sephora Plaza Indonesia and Kota Kasablanka, Jakarta, Indonesia. 

THE ART OF CLEANING

It’s a fountain cleaning ritual in the House of Caron. 

Every two months, these precious perfume fountains will be clean by their staffs. And last week, I was invited to witness the special ritual in their first boutique in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta.

These precious perfume fountains were created in glass and crystal by Baccarat. They’re the perfect storage for the extracts, therefore they need to be clean to keep their transparency and to preserve the highest quality of their perfumes.

First, they’ll empty the leftover perfume extract from the fountain and pour it into a special container using special paper filter. FYI, the leftover will be pour again inside the clean fountain if they didn’t change color or texture. Then, they’ll pour 60% alcohol into the fountain. Using a special brush, they started to brush the inside of the fountain. After the alcohol was put away, they will dry it with clean tissues, making sure that it dried 100% (as leftover alcohol will interfere the extract’s scent). The same extract (one fountain will always filled with the same extract) will be poured inside the fountain, about 500ml of them. They also cleaned the outer side of the fountain, using dry tissue. Voila! Clean and shiny, it’s ready to fill the Caron’s bottle. 

HOT SPOT FOR HOT POT 

Ideal meal for this gloomy weather at Crystal Jade Restaurant & Steamboat.

I have to admit that I do enjoy warm meal on any days. What can I say, I am not a salad or sushi kind of gal. That’s why hot pot, also known as steamboat (in countries such as Singapore and Thailand) is one of my favorite. Yesterday, I was invited to try the first ever steamboat restaurant by Crystal Jade in Jakarta. What’s more: they also served dim sum till 5pm. 

Crystal Jade offers different sets of steamboats, but I decided to try Set G, which is their Set Steamboat Seafood. For the soup base (yes, you can self-select), I was recommended to try their chicken congee soup base. Not your typical congee, as you won’t see the actual one. The consistency of the congee was not that thick, easy to slurp as it’s lightly salted and smooth. Not to mention, very tasty too! So tasty, I could eat the soup base alone and feel full. But, I don’t want to miss three pieces of live prawns which are a part of the set. When I said live prawn, they’re still alive when served. So they’re really really fresh. The others are cuttlefish, vegetables (napa cabbage & hon-shimeji mushrooms), vermicelli, garoupa fillet, homemade (yes, Crystal Jade takes effort to make their own) cuttlefish ball, bean curd, sweet corn and egg. Even though they’re seafood, but they definitely didn’t taste fishy at all. All these fresh additions made a very flavourful steamboat, indeed! Cooked on a special imported table (named: induction), without fire at sight, I truly believe that steamboat is all about the freshness of the ingredients and the mix of sauces (they have 17 sauces to mix and match). 

As I mentioned earlier, other than steamboat, the restaurant also offer a selection of Dim Sum favorites, made by a Hong Kong chef. I ordered the old-time favorite Siew Mai and Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun. I’m not surprised why there are queues for Crystal Jade’s dim sum, especially on the weekends. They are delicious. Make sure they’re served hot, especially for the custard bun as I can feel the warm golden colored sauce melt inside my mouth. I love how fluffy the dough is, and I consider this dish as a memorable dim sum dessert at Crystal Jade. Another must try for the closing, are their ice blended drinks (I tried Rosemary: a blend of strawberry, banana & milk) and well loved mango pudding. 

Except the yeay factor for the weekday dim sum, as Chinese New Year nearly approaching next month, this is a good spot to have your reunion dinner. Best to have a company of friends and families, judging from their spacious Chinese’ style interior for a more pleasant dining experience. 

Crystal Jade Restaurant & Steam Boat
Pondok Indah Mall Street Gallery 2nd Floor
Jakarta, Indonesia 

JUST LIKE EDELWEISS

Small and white, clean & bright. This well-known mountain flower is the active ingredient for the latest eye care product from THE BODY SHOP, DROPS OF YOUTH EYE CONCENTRATE. 

Yesterday, me, fellow bloggers and medias were invited to the launch at Hotel Mulia, Jakarta. To refresh our memories, Drops of Youth was actually a part of Nutriganics skincare series which was launched back in 2012. Remember their Drops of Youth Concentrate? Apparently, this face serum which carried the plant stem cells technology from rare Criste Marine is doing very well, The Body Shop decided to create a whole skincare range, Drops of Youth. 

Instead of Criste Marine, Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate enriched with Edelweiss plant stem cells from the Alps and Community Fair Trade Babassu Oil from Brazil. As edelweiss plant stem cells possess renowned skin renewal properties, this unique and innovative eye concentrate will refresh the eye contour (including the lids), smoothes out the appearance of lines, bags & fatigue. Perfect for those who long for younger-looking eyes (read:me!). 

It was great to be there at this launch event, as I got some serious knowledge from The Body Shop Indonesia and dermatologist dr. Amaranila Lalita Drijono, Sp.KK. Some of the important points that she shared were:

  • We should always differentiate skin care with eye care, as eye area are more sensitive. She said, a lot of women still use one same product for the whole face. What? Face cream for eyes? Hello???? I’ve used eye cream since I was 17.
  • The way we apply our beauty products is also important. Tugging, rubbing and those high pressure will age us faster. She said, maybe you’ve picked the right products but the way you applied them also counts. 
  • Thank goodness for the technology, as we now lived in an era of Cosmeceutical, cosmetic products with biologically active ingredients to help us repair our skin problems. Imagine those days when skincare only delivered moisturizing properties. 
  • Make sure your eye care product is not only dermatology tested, but also ophthalmology tested, as eye products will come close to the eyes (even entering them).

“Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate is ophthalmology tested,” said Ilya Kamelia, Training Manager & Skincare Expert from The Body Shop Indonesia. At the event, she also demonstrated on model how to apply it. Firstly use, you might need two to three pumps to deliver the concentrate on the roller ball (after the first use, one pump is enough). Then, roll in a figure of 8 motion around the eye area (not just under eyes, but also on the lids). Gently pat afterwards with your ring fingers to help the absorption. She recommends to apply before moisturizer or eye cream on a clean face. But if needed (let’s just say you stare on your computer all day), you can apply it on top of your makeup for instant eye refreshment. You can read the usage instructions from the packaging as well (see above pic).

Available throughout The Body Shop Indonesia’s stores since January 8, 2015 for Rp 439.000 with the rest of the Drops of Youth series (can’t wait to get my hands on them too). Oh yeah, you can also get them online, click here

INSTANT AIR OF LUXURY

Great scents count. A lot. Every time I burn DIPTYQUE candle, I feel Paris.

If you never tried this highest quality scented candle (FYI, they’re all made with only natural ingredients-no synthetic scents), this is the perfect set to start. Set of Mini Candles (each weight 70 grams) includes three scents, BAIES (Berries), FIGUIER (Fig) and ROSES (Roses). Even though they’re petite, they’re as powerful as the standard Diptyque candle. And the best part if we own this set is we can lit one by one at itself or light them all to create a unique scent. 

Baies was first introduced in 1983, one of the cult classics which is a favorite for such as Peter Som. He also uses the candle’s empty glass container to store his colored pencils (mine will be makeup brushes). Remember folks, do not throw the precious empty glasses once they all burned. 

Figuier is another darling for celebrities alike. Once, Gwyneth Paltrow blogged about it, naming Figuier as one of her favorite candle. 

Roses is sophisticated & elegant, no wonder Kate Moss, Madonna and Jennifer Lopez swear by its’ scent. 

From what I’ve read, those well-known people not only stock their homes with Diptyque candles, they travel with them too. That’s why this set comes in handy at smaller sizes. Don’t you just love the homelike ambience when you travel? I know I do. 

GREAT NEWS FOR SENSITIVE SKIN

Now, there are active anti-aging care range from APOT.CARE Paris. 

Last week, me and fellow press were invited to the launch of Apot.Care skincare range. As I’ve tried their Optilash (lash & brow serum) to lengthen my lashes and thicken my brows, I was excited to try their skincare as well. If it worked for my eyes, it should work for my skin as well, right?

Well, turned out, Apot.Care skincare range really took the science and the principles of ophthalmology. That’s why they can be used even on the most sensitive skin. Ever got the feeling of your eyes sting when your face cream accidentally landed there? That wouldn’t happen when you use Apot.Care skincare range. Interesting, yes? 

What’s more interesting, Beauty Box’s stores do carry this complete anti-aging solution line. Let me break it down: 

  • Micellar Lotion (Rp 490.000): This is my favorite of all. As I’m an avid fan of the water-cleansing method for my oily skin, this wiped out my waterproof lipstick I’ve had on the event launch in one swipe only. Very good for makeup removal. 
  • Iridoradiant Cream Light & Rich (Rp 1.300.000): Recommended for those who like to try Botox, but not yet have the guts for it. This fine & silky emulsion have two textures, Light for combination & oily skin, and Rich for dry skin. Let just say, this two will give Botox-effect for tired skin.
  • Radiant Exfoliating Cleanser (Rp 420.000): A daily cleansing scrub with softer beads texture. Expect a fresh and comfort feeling after cleansing. 
  • Instant Radiant Eye Patch (Rp 460.000): Leave the patch for 15 minutes under the eyes to fight against signs of aging & fatigue.
  • Iridoradiant Eye Contour Cream (Rp 840.000): Enriched with NACA Cellular Complex, a powerful global anti-aging complex, this will soothe the delicate eye area. 
  • Iridoradiant Serum (Rp 1.400.000): The most expensive of all from this range, this powerful and high concentrated serum will help to iron-out wrinkle and boost radiance. 
  • Anti-Aging Hydrating Mask Treatment (Rp 560.000): Sheet masks with second skin medical technology. Rich in collagen and hyaluronic acid, perfect for instant hydration & replumping effects. 
  • Radiant Lifting Mask (Rp 700.000): Leave it on the face for 10 minutes or used it as a night mask. This triple action mask will tone the skin, restore a luminous complexion & tighten it. 

Now available at Beauty Box Stores, or you can buy them online, here