Friday, October 18, 2013

Ecotools Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set Review

Omg, again with the long gap *sigh*. I got so many things to blog about, a couple of product reviews and I haven't written all the wedding prep posts and our honeymoon when we just got back from our second last week mehehehehe. So, here's a filler post meanwhile I'm working on the second part of the wedding prep post! 

Ok, so today I'm gonna review about Ecotools Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set! When they said 6 pieces it means 5 brushes+1 cotton hemp case to store the brushes. 

Here's how it looks like!










Ok, apparently this is the old packaging because now if you go see their web it looks different with bronze ferules and green floral prints on the case. Very pretty~ They also changed the name into "6 Piece Starter Set" which I agree! Because these brushes are perfect for beginner (like me). To be honest this is my first brush set! It's very affordable and pretty much covers what you need for basic makeup application. Not to mention it's pretty and earth friendly too! No wonder it's bestseller and people rave about it in MUA :)


Product description

Let's start with the blush brush!










One of my fave in this set! Bristles super soft and dense, no shedding, picks and applies powder nicely. The handle also in perfect length. I know it says blush brush but I'm currently using this for my loose powder and I'm loving it :)

Next, eye shading brush!







I'm still trying to figure out how to apply eye shadows properly (because I rarely wear eye shadows and even when I do it's usually one color only -.- #noob) so during my trial and error I rely on this brush for applying powder eye shadows and blending any harsh lines after my lousy application. It's pretty much ok IMO (the brush, not my so-called skill -.-).

The third is eyeliner brush!







My other fave! It's angled for easier application, great for gel liner. I use it for my eyebrows, it picks up enough pigment and then with short and gentle strokes apply it to your brows! With dark brown eye shadow, I also use it to draw aegyo sal (puffy eyes look, popularized by Korean stars) by stamping it carefully under my eyes ^ ^

Fourth, concealer brush!







This brush is smaller and flat, great for liquid/cream concealer. Just tap tap and blend carefully. 

And lastly, lash and brow groomer!







You use the brush for brows and the comb for separating your lashes. It does a pretty good job albeit I prefer using spoolie for my brows.

Conclusion:

Pros:
  • Cute packaging. I love the bamboo handles! They also give this cotton hemp case which I think very useful. The new packaging even has prettier design! :D
  • Brush quality is good enough for beginners. It's better than most cheap, brand less brushes you find in outlets like Strawberry, Naughty etc. 
  • This set pretty much has everything a beginner needs! 
  • Cruelty free, earth friendly
  • Affordable! It's USD 12.99 in their web which is approximately IDR 144k for 5 pcs of brush!
Cons:
  • Not easily available, at least in Indonesia fml -.- You might have to buy it online. I tried my luck and fail until finally my sister got this for me. 

I'm pretty much satisfied with this set. I kinda wish they add more to this set, maybe a powder/face brush or lip brush #greedy lololol . Would love to repurchase when mine worn down but for now I'd love to try other brushes from Ecotools! :D




Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wedding Prep: La Gardena Kopo Square, Bandung

Hello!

Today's post once again is wedding-related hehe. So sorry if it bores the hell outta some of you but I hope this post can help couples who are planning to get married, especially in Bandung. When I was preparing the wedding I browsed like tons of blogs for info and it helped A LOT. So, I just thought I wanna share ^ ^

The whole wedding prep thingy will be a super long post so to make things easier I'll split it in several posts. This post will be about our wedding venue.

Before I start I'd like to say that before you start looking for vendors you must decide how much you'd like to spend first *DUH!* and then based on your budget, finally decide where you wanna save and where you wanna splurge (unless you can afford to splurge in everything la, if so, lucky you! :D). This whole save and splurge thingy is of course your call and can be different from others. Some may splurge more for dress and makeup while others prefer to spend most of their budget for an extravagant honeymoon. No right and wrong here, everyone has different priorities so do whatever suits you but of course discuss it first with your fiance and everyone involved to avoid any misunderstandings. I said that because most of the time, even the sweetest couple too can have a little argument here and there over (usually silly) things during wedding prep haha. Just remember, the wedding is like a couple hours only but the marriage is for a life time so don't fight too seriously lol. 

Okay, first thing first!

I find venue as the most crucial thing! Unless you plan to get married at your house (or rent a venue in a weekday), you gotta do some quick research and start hunting asap after you got your date and budget! Because other couples may book your dream venue on that date too! We formally engaged in December 2012 and married in April 2013 but we've searched our venue waaaaay before that and booked it in September 2012 if I'm not mistaken.

At first I wanted a hotel ballroom but hotel packages usually (beside free room for the couple and/or discount for the family) only providing food and simple decor, which I don't mind because hotel ballrooms usually already nice looking so only minimum decor needed. BUT that means I'm gonna have to find dress/makeup/video & photography/music/other tidbits by myself and since I live in other city I'll have to put in a Herculean effort to do all that. Plus, hotels cater their own food and not all hotel food is nice :x The ones who have nice food are way too expensive for our budget, and the ones whose ballrooms we like and can afford have so-so food only :x

After that, I wanted an outdoor venue but outdoor venue at noon here will be very hot and humid and needs lots of fresh flowers for decor and it'll cost a fortune. While outdoor venue at night probably doesn't need flowers as much as noon wedding (replace them with lights and lantern/candles) so it'll be cheaper. BUT since most of our guests come from Jakarta we felt that wedding reception at night will be inconvenient for them because they'd have to drive for 3 hours to back to Jakarta at probably 8 or 9 PM OR spend extra to stay the night. So outdoor venue was immediately scratched from the list, not to mention we didn't wanna risk the weather uncertainty :x

After more research and long discussions we finally picked La Gardena, Kopo Square. Many people asked me "Why so far from your house?". Well, it's actually not that far from my parents' house when using tollway from Buah Batu. Mirza and his family stayed at Aston Primera in Pasteur and they can easily use tollway too. And most of our guests are from Jakarta and the venue is so close from Kopo toll exit. I've searched for venues downtown and most of them are government/military-owned and fully booked until the end of the year. And because they are government/military-owned doesn't necessarily mean they are cheap ok -.-

I like La Gardena because it's not government/military-owned & style (so nothing in green/blue hues like some halls are) thus not located in government/military complex but in Kopo Square complex with green garden and spacious parking lot. Some more, they're not really fussy with the caterings, you can use any catering companies you like. You know, some venues have lists of what caterings you should use and if you use other caterings not written in the list (meaning they're not partner yet with the venue), they charge you extra fee -.- Most of the catering companies on the list are actually the well-known ones with good reputation (and of course with suitable prices too) but if you have other options and it's not on the list, you pay extra -.-

There are 3 halls available for rent at La Gardena. First hall is a small building of its own, right next to the main building. It's small, maybe just enough for the pelaminan only, the food stalls must be put outside so the guests also eat outside and we don't want that. The terrace and the little garden can be used too but it's still too small for us.


The main building
The left side with "Gedung A" sign is the first hall

Sorry, no pic for the first hall because we're not really interested.

Second hall is in the back part of the main building, only separated with a soundproof sliding door from the grand ballroom, but you can't enter from the front door and lobby because it's for the grand ballroom, so you have to enter from the side door. This second hall is like half indoor and half outdoor (terrace with ceramic floor) but they put huge black tent for the outdoor part so it's like one huge indoor if you know what I mean. They also have this little gazebo in the outdoor part but it's portable I think, they can remove it if you don't want it. Size-wise, when the indoor and outdoor part combined, it's actually bigger that the grand ballroom. 


The second hall entrance from the side of the building. Approximately 12 - 15 m long. They also cover it in black tent.

Sorry for the blurry pics btw .___.


Half indoor half "outdoor". That's me in the "outdoor" part

That night when we went there, they were preparing for a big wedding for the next day. The couple rented the grand ballroom AND the second hall (they're only separated by a soundproof sliding door so it became one HUGE space enough for 2 - 4k guests I think). The decor was from Rumah Pengantin too, you may notice the decor is quite similar to mine hehe.


The gazebo is in the outdoor part. The marketing guy said usually it is used for akad nikah/dessert table/ice carving/band


The indoor part

I was contemplating this stage location for pelaminan. It'd be small 'tho but it's the most suitable position. The couple who rented both halls got their pelaminan in the grand ballroom and using this stage for the band.


The indoor part got enough ACs. Too bad, none for the "outdoor" part


On the left side you can see the door connecting to the grand ballroom

Third hall is the grand ballroom. It has square layout (easier to decor), built-in ACs, quite big and access to front door and lobby.


The garden in front of the lobby (main building)






The lobby area. The door in the right is the grand ballroom's door




The other door for the grand ballroom


That door in white curtain connects to the side entrance (for the second hall)


The inside of the grand ballroom


That's the door for the lobby








Upstairs. Can be used for akad nikah or coffee break for family after akad nikah or for changing/makeup


Quite spacious here


View from top





There's also a small room too with AC and a bathroom. 





We booked the second hall in September 2012. Despite the unique tricky layout (half indoor half outdoor, narrow space and challenging ceiling for pelaminan) and the side door entrance, we chose it because the size is perfect and the price also within our budget. 

However the black tent was too much of a problem for us. The marketing guy said for weddings, people usually decorate the black tent with some fabrics so it's not like total black. For night reception I think the black tent won't be too much of a hassle but for noon reception it'll darken the whole setting :x I kinda wished they had used white tent instead :x So, anyway, we went there again on a weekend and it was being decorated for a wedding that noon (their theme was maroon and gold) and I wasn't really pleased by how the black tent looked after the decor. The decor was not from the company I'm using but still, after seeing it myself I got the idea THAT'S how it's gonna look like after the standard decor :x They didn't cover the whole place with fabrics but with something like stripes of fabrics. And it's not enough, at least for me.

So I talked to Rumah Pengantin who provides my decor and everything else and they said they can cover it with stripes of fabrics too but if I wanted to cover the whole place I'd have to pay extra. After some calculations, the "extra" fee would be like around IDR 2 or 3 mill at least wtf. Plus, I'm gonna need to pay rent for extra standing ACs (each IDR 500k) too for the outdoor part of the hall because they only have ACs in indoor part only. In the end, the whole cost for the second hall will be approximately as much as the grand ballroom fml -.- so we thought might as well rent the grand ballroom lah, it costs more or less the same, it's prettier and easier to decor (no need to spend more for extra fabrics) and no need to rent standing ACs too.  

Luckily, it's available that day. It's settled that we'll use the grand ballroom on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from 8 AM (akad nikah) and 11 AM - 1 PM (reception). The venue must be emptied and the decor must be removed around 3 PM if the venue is rented for other wedding at night BUT he said most of the time it's only used for only one wedding/day. We're a bit afraid that others will use other halls too on the D-day because of the noises and maybe guests will confuse our wedding to others etc but thank God it didn't happen. On the D-day, we were the only one using the place :D

The price ranged from IDR 7 mill (the smallest hall) to anything below IDR 20 mill, depending on your negotiation skill haha. Btw, that's price for 2012 ya, I dunno if the price changed already or not -.- You can contact their marketing for more details (electricity capacity, seats etc) here:

Jl. Raya Kopo Bihbul No. 45
Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Ph. +6222 5401659/5421806



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Wedding: Reception


So sorry for the long gap! m(_   _)m

Before I start I'd like to say Happy Eid Mubarak 1434 H! It's my first Hari Raya as a wife hehehehe. How'd you all spend your holiday? Mine was filled with lots of cooking and of course, eating *stares at tummy rolls* .___.

Anyway, here's the second part of the wedding post, the reception! To refresh your memory you can read about the akad nikah (wedding solemnization) here :D

The reception was pretty much simpler than the akad. After we changed clothes and touched up makeup, we're ready for our entrance :D


People gave way to the king and the queen of that day lol







Our entrance song was Pachelbel Canon in D in saxophone :') Played continuously until we reached the pelaminan. For those of you who don't know, pelaminan is like this stage where the groom and the brides and their parents sit in wedding reception. 







Here's when we finally reached the pelaminan :D




v(^  v  ^)v

It's 11 AM already and the guests started coming one by one.


Greeted by a huge ass picture of us pretending to be president and first lady lololol


The MC opened the event and greeted the guests


More speeches


The siblings listened carefully lol


Okay, let's get this party started! Music!!!




We're a bit disappointed they didn't play some of our songs (even Mumford and Sons' Banjolin Song although I specifically requested it months before! *roars*) and replaced them with some popular pop songs (Noah, everyone?) but can't really blame them since most songs they didn't play that day were actually Mirza's hipster songs lol.



My cousin sang one song for us :)

The guests started queuing to congratulate us  
















It's very tiring standing there, smiling and shaking hands with hundreds of people for hours but we're truly happy :) Standing there, getting all excited when we saw familiar faces and we feel so so grateful for those who came to our wedding. Some even had to put more efforts, drove for hours and flew from other city just to be there. There was heavy rain earlier in the morning thus the traffic was quite bad that day that some guests arrived late, like as late as after we got off of the pelaminan and having lunch but that doesn't matter! Your presence is special and means a lot to us! :') 

Now I feel guilty for every wedding I skipped in the past for stupid reasons T___T From now on, I'll put some efforts too to come to other people's weddings .___.
















Now it's time to throw the bouquet! :D




I know it's supposed to be me who threw it la but it's a bit heavy and I was afraid I couldn't throw it as far as it supposed to be so I asked Mirza to help me hold it mehehehe :p 




Mirza's male coworker got it. He's like super eager one lol jumped so high to catch it only to get disqualified by the crowd later because he's married already and his wife was like 7 or 8 months pregnant wtf hahahahahah. So we threw it again and it successfully hit the floor fml and my sister quickly ran and snatched it wtf you're getting married in two months why don't give chance to all the singles lolololol :))


My sister and Ayu, Mirza's sister in law

Family pic session!


With my family


With Mirza's family


One of my fave shot, silly pose with the siblings :D


Almost full team! Minus baby Khalif here, I think he took a nap


With our pagar ayu and pagar bagus :D

And of course, us! Hehe :p











When it's over we finally get to eat! Most of the guests were gone already but some just arrived because of the traffic jam -___-





The photographer made us do this -___-

Aaaand done! The family and relatives stayed longer to get everything done, dealing with people from Rumah Pengantin and packing the leftover food while we left early straight to Hotel Savoy Homann to rest before went back to Jakarta the next day. So sweet of them to do that, really la, I've never thought much about family part in weddings because most of the time I came to weddings as guest and I only care about the food lol but now that I've experienced it myself, I learn to appreciate all the efforts by the couple (and most of the time the family), all the resources, time and energy spent to plan the wedding, preparing every little details that a clueless and ignorant guest like me never pay attention to .___. It's not an easy job everyone can do that's why WO and wedding planners exist. But still, family has this HUGE part in my wedding preparation. Really la, dunno what'd I do without family even 'tho I already used Rumah Pengantin's service :') 

I'll talk more about the vendors later. Until next time! :D







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