Sunday, 20 May 2018

Introducing Whamisa - Natural Sheet Masks

A couple of weeks ago I got my first ever delivery of Whamisa* products. Four different sheet masks, courtesy of, a Swiss online shop which imports Korean cosmetics. 

Whamisa is a Korean skincare brand which does research on how to include and preserve natural ingredients in their products. One of their processes to do so is natural fermentation. The products are organic and 100% natural, contain no parabens, silicones or mineral oils and they aren't tested on animals. Sounds good so far? 

I've tested three of their Hydrogel Masks and their Organic Real Kelp Sheet Mask. Something I noticed instantly, besides the cute design of the packaging, is that these sheet masks fit better than any other sheet mask I've tried before. Why is that? My face is quite small and these masks come in two parts which aren't too wide so they're the right size for my face. Yay! 

The first mask I've put on was the Organic Real Kelp Sheet Mask with the real kelp sheet. Be warned, it smells real, too! I didn't know what kelp is (bear in mind, English isn't my mother tongue) but I thought it's funny how this mask looks like algae and smells like algae. Well, after taking a look in the dictionary, I obviously knew why... The real kelp sheet mask contains 32 natural ingredients to make your skin look healthy and youthful. It claims to reduce wrinkles, puffiness and to minimise pores while brightening and improving your complexion. Anything else we could ask for? Oh well, and it hydrates the skin. 

Even though kelp doesn't sound like the most appealing scent to me, it actually smells very relaxing because it's mixed with white tea and I looove tea! When I used the sheet mask, all my skin needed at that moment was a bit of hydration. At first, the mask felt soothing on the skin, then I noticed a cooling effect and a tingly feeling. My skin got the hydration I asked for and a relaxing experience during the 15 minutes I've had the mask on my face, due to its scent. The residue of the mask is bright yellow so I kind of feared it would leave yellow marks on my skin if I don't remove it but that didn't happen, all good. Make sure to store the mask in the shade or even the fridge, heat may damage the ingredients. 

The Hydrogel Masks come in two pieces and look like some sort of solid gel. You can easily see your normal skin underneath, which makes me look pretty creepy so I'm not going to show you a picture of me wearing one of them. However, this must be the most comfortable mask to wear because its texture makes the mask sit on your face like a second skin. 

The Organic Fruits Hydrogel Mask contains a whole fruit salad on the picture below and some tomatoes, all fermented. It's a lifting, revitalizing and toning mask with a fresh herbal scent. This is dedicated to  balance sebum and tightening the pores. Once applied, you can hardly feel anything but after a while there's the same cooling effect as with the Facial Mask Pack and this is a sensation all the masks have in common. The residue is slightly sticky but easy to massage into the skin. After using this hydrogel mask, I was able to notice a slight difference: my pores were less visible, I guess that's a win! 

The second mask with naturally fermented ingredients was the Organic Flowers Hydrogel Mask. Again, this has a relaxing, herbal but kind of sweet flowery scent. It contains lotus flower extracts, dandelion root, chrysanthemum and green tea. This mask has a whitening effect so please make sure to protect your skin from the sun after using it. If your skin needs a bit of extra moisture, this is the one I'd go for. It takes a bit of attention to apply the mask, there's a lot of liquid in the packaging and the mask is a bit hard to grab because it's slimy. But you know, the moisture has to come from somewhere... 

The last mask I've tried was the one I didn't have high expectations on as my skin is still young and its main effect is to reduce wrinkles and lift the skin. However, this little product blew my mind! The fermented Organic Seeds and Rice Hydrogel Mask contains rice and oats. Doesn't sound too special. Nevertheless, the effect was instantly visible even on non-wrinkly skin. After a 20-minute application, I looked like someone took great care at making my skin look its absolute best, relaxed, plump, even and smooth. I've tested a lot of face mask during the last years and I've hardly ever been wowed like this by a product before. From now on, this is going to be my secret (or now not so secret anymore) weapon for when I didn't have enough sleep and need to trick people into thinking I'm perfectly fit. 

So what's the bottom line of my first experience with Whamisa? I enjoyed every single one of the four masks as they're easy to apply, comfortable and they all have a positive effect on my skin.  The one thing I'm not particularly happy about but which is common with all sheet masks is the amount of waste they produce. There's the sheet for once but also the plastic packaging. Even though I like the idea of sheet masks, because they're usually less messy to apply than a common face mask, I much prefer to buy the normal ones' due to the waste issue. 

The sheet masks are all packed individually. One Facial Mask Pack costs CHF 16, the Hydrogel Masks are CHF 12 each. I'd really recommend trying the Organic Seeds one, it was nominated for annabelle prix de beauté 2017 and considering the great effect, it's a real bargain. I'm intrigued to try other products from Whamisa. Do you have any recommendations? 

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 13 May 2018

A Fragrance Wardrobe with Atelier Cologne

Whatever the occasion, we always try to find a suitable outfit to wear. We wouldn't wear a ballgown to the office or a summer outfit in winter but often, we do exactly that when it comes to choosing scents. That's why Atelier Cologne has the principle of a "Fragrance Wardrobe", which is easy to understand because it works just like your normal wardrobe. What's the occasion? What do you feel like? Then go to your fragrance wardrobe and choose your scent. I've been doing this for quite a while myself, I have perfumes which I only wear when I'm going out and I have my everyday perfume choices for every season. However, this developed over time and I didn't buy the scents with the intention of wearing them for a particular occasion or mood, it just kind of happened. Atelier Cologne on the other hand creates moments with their colognes. This means, the founders think of a moment and they try to recreate that in form of a cologne. According to one of the founders, Christophe Cervasel, they're both perfectionists and only bring the cologne to the market once they both agree they captured the moment. For example, there's La Rose Anonyme, which tells us the story of a woman who steals diamonds. You can read the story of each cologne on Atelier Cologne's website.  

The story of Atelier Cologne is pretty juicy, so I'd like to share the quick version with you: The founders and perfumers Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter met in New York in 2006. They discovered their shared passion for Eau de Cologne and quickly fell in love. If I remember correctly, they were married at that point but decided to marry each other anyway, in order to work as a team on their dream to create a long-lasting, elegant Cologne of character. In 2009 they succeeded with founding Atelier Cologne, a fragrance house dedicated to cologne, and their Cologne Absolue, which counts as Pure Perfume due to containing 15% of essential oils. Hence, they're highly concentrated and made of the best natural raw material which the secret ingredient, a dose of love. 

Atelier Cologne* is available in Switzerland since about half a year and I recently got the chance to meet Christophe Cervasel at a PR event at Jelmoli. The main question I had to ask Christophe was to explain the difference between cologne, eau de toilette and perfume. Turned out I wasn't the only one with that question so it was addressed pretty quickly and there's more than one explanation. The correct one and the common one. At least that's what Christophe told us with a wide smile on his face. The common explanation is that a cologne contains 5% essential oils in the formula, whereas an eau de toilette contains 10%, eau de perfume 15% and a perfume over 15% of essential oils. The real definition of a cologne is that it is a perfume containing citrus from Italy. 

I always liked citrus based scents, especially in the warmer months so it comes as no surprise that I'm absolutely obsessed with the colognes. I highly recommend to pay a visit to Jelmoli or a store in your country which stocks Atelier Cologne. The counters look absolutely divine and the selection of colognes is out of this world. It's colorful, arranged beautifully and the shop assistants are very helpful while you're selecting your fragrance wardrobe. 

I got the chance to choose my two colognes and I spent as much time as possible to select the perfect two. It is not easy, I can tell you. Containing 32 different fragrances, the selection is insane, I wasn't able to test every single one and I liked so many of them but two of them were outstanding to me and I'm extremely happy with my choice. I went for Pomélo Paradis as my daily summer fragrance and Philtre Ceylan to wear on special occasions. Now I have to say that I love Philtre Ceylan so much, I want to wear it as often as possible so I might need to splurge on that 200ml bottle. What makes the Cologne Absolues so special in my opinion is that they smell pure and natural. The scents are strong but not overpowering and you can really tell what you're smelling. For whatever reason, it's the pureness of the scents which got me hooked. Pomélo Paradis has the very fresh scent of pomelo with a hint of sweetness. I don't like very sweet scents, especially in summer but this one is simply perfect for me. I'd say this is a cologne which most people will like. Philtre Ceylan won't be as popular, I guess. As the name suggests, it smells like black tea. I'm a tea lover and I instantly fell in love with Philtre Ceylan with its warm, spicy and mysterious scent. They're long lasting but I like to reapply them during the day because I just enjoy to do so. 

I know, I rave a lot in this blogpost but honestly, I loved the experience with Atelier Cologne and I can't get enough of my two fragrances. Surely, citrus scents aren't for everyone but not every cologne does smell really citrusy. Vanilla was a favourite of a lot of participants at the event, too and you can't tell the citrus in there, if you're worried about that. 

I could keep talking about the brand but I'm sure you noticed that I don't have any complaints about Atelier Cologne. Instead of telling you the story of my two picks I recommend to visit the brand's official website to read some stories or do a quick test to find your fragrance wardrobe. Now it's time to stop raving about the colognes and to tell you that these beauties aren't cheap but in my opinion well worth the money. The 100ml flacon costs CHF 159 and you can also get a beautiful personalized leather cover for the 30ml bottle, the one you can see in the picture above. It comes in 15 colours to choose from. Another difficult choice after testing all the colognes... I will definitely go back there to try some more. 

Do you know Atelier Cologne already? 

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Bedtime Routine with Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon

Dermalogica released a new night cream with the lovely name Sound Sleep Cocoon*, a product which comes with a little bed time routine and some tipps for better sleep. Sounds intriguing, right? Let me tell you more...

The main goal of this product is to regenerate the skin over night with the great side effect of helping you to a good night's sleep, which is what you need to keep your skin looking young and radiant. While you're sleeping, your skin does its best to regenerate itself. It is also at that time that the skin absorbs ingredients of skincare products particularly well, which is a good reason to choose your night cream carefully. Sound Sleep Cocoon contains essential oils from different, very exotic sounding plants to help you fall asleep easily and it aims to hydrate, balance and revitalize your skin during the night. So what we're expecting in the morning after using this product is healthy and even looking skin.

You may use the night gel-cream on its own or for example in combination with a serum. It's meant to be the last step in your evening skin care routine and I noticed pretty fast that it doesn't provide enough hydration for my skin to use it on its own, so I combined it with a hydrating serum. You could even use a night cream and then apply Sound Sleep Cocoon, if your skin needs more moisture.

The texture is light and gel-like and the cream has the most relaxing herbal scent due to the essential oils, a combination of lavender, patchouli and sandal wood. They're the key ingredients to this product as they help you to wind down, so take your time when you're applying Sound Sleep Cocoon: apply one or two pumps of the cream to your fingertips and lightly massage it into your skin, ideally between 9 and 11 p.m. because that's when melatonin production starts. The essential oils need to be massaged as they're kind of locked up in capsules and need to be released first. Then hold your hands in front of your nose and inhale deeply. This step really can make a difference to the quality of your sleep. I like to repeat this twice or three times. I already have some little things I do every evening to create my personal routine but this little extra step fits in perfectly.

Something important to know is, that it takes about 20 days to actually see results, so I tested the cream for a month, to be on the safe side. Before I tell you about the effects of this product I have to say that the condition of my skin was very good when I started using the product. My skin looked healthy, acceptably even and hydrated so what the product needed to do was to keep my skin in this condition, even though I skipped the night cream I was currently using, and it did! Sound Sleep Cocoon didn't cause any troubles such as blemishes, I woke up with healthy and radiant skin and the little routine in the evening helped to de-stress and after a long day at work. I can't really say whether I slept better than usually but I did sleep very well even though I've had quite a lot on my plate during the last month. I didn't notice any miraculous effects but it was lovely to use and kept my skin looking and feeling nice.

I will continue using this night cream because I personally enjoy a relaxing bed time ritual so the concept of this product appeals to me very much. The gel-cream feels light on the skin, smells great and seems to do its job. However, at CHF 103 for 50ml, it isn't the most affordable product. To be fair, the packaging is absolutely great and hygienic and the quality of the product is right up there, too. If it's in your budget and you're struggling with sleeping, you might want to give it a try? 

This was the first ever product I've tried from Dermalogica and I'm excited to learn more about the brand. There's a store in Zurich with built in treatment rooms opening next week  and I already have an appointment booked. Maybe you'll hear more about the brand very soon.

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press sample, all opinions are honest and my own.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Londontown Spring Manicure

A few weeks ago I was introduced to the nail polish brand Londontown, which creates nail polishes with a unique and nourishing formula. If you haven't read that blogpost yet and want to know more about the brand, click here to get to my first review

Last time I didn't have their base coat to do a full Londontown manicure so Londontown kindly sent it to me, as well as one of their new spring shades "out of office"*. The spring collection has four gorgeous shades: guilty pleasure, which is a hot pink with a hint of red, summer fling, a fresh pink, amalfi love which is a blueish lilac and finally out of office,  the light pink in the picture below. 

Londontown nail polishes contain natural ingredients pretty much out of your veggie garden to strengthen and nourish your nails. They even contain garlic essence but you won't smell that, I've checked... 

The nail polishes are vegan, gluten free and not tested on animals.

When it comes to quality, my opinion hasn't changed since the last review. The nail polishes dry quickly, they're long lasting and they apply evenly. The shades are opaque with one coat, if you want to get that gel like effect, add a second coat. What I forgot to mention last time is that the brush is pretty small so it takes a little more effort to apply the nail polish, nevertheless it doesn't look streaky. 

The difference I noticed when using Londontown's own Nail Hardener & Base Coat is that the nails really do feel harder than normally. My nails are quite thin and soft which can be annoying because they split easily and I feel like this base coat helps to make them stronger. 

On my nails, the nail polish lasts for about 5 days before it starts to chip. Due to the fact that the manicure is really hard when you use the nail hardening base coat, two coats of the lakur and the Londontown top coat, when it chips, it chips in larger pieces and I need to remove the nail polish instantly because the imperfections are easy to notice. However, the nails underneath look noticeably healthy - that is, if your nail polish remover isn't too drying. In my case, the nourishing formula seems to work and my nails aren't damaged by the nail polish but rather strengthened. I know, at around CHF 20 for a nail polish and CHF 25 for a base coat, Londontown nail polishes aren't the cheapest but from what I experienced so far, they can be a great option if your nails aren't in the best condition. Additionally, I'm very happy with the nature inspired brand philosophy and the more I'm looking into different brands, the more interested I am in this aspect of a product. 

Now I have a question for you: When you're buying beauty products, do you pay attention to the sustainability of the brand and other aspects such as brand transparency? I'm really interested in your opinion on this and you would make my day by leaving a comment with your answer below. 

Have a great day!

xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Estée Lauder Spring News 2018

It's all about bright reds and pinks today because Estée Lauder released some colourful spring products! I've tested the Paint-On Liquid LipColor, the Multi Effects Pure Color Envy Lash Mascara and a Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duo for you*. 

Let's start with the Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid LipColor. These beauties are available in three finishes: matte, metallic and vinyl. I've put two matte shades, naked ambition and pierced petal and the metallic shade scream sexy to the test. 

First things first, this is not a quick product to use. I always have to sit down and take some time to apply the liquid lipsticks because they're very pigmented and long lasting so I don't want to make a mess. You might need a lip liner, it isn't easy to get perfect contours as you can see in the pictures below. However, once they're on your lips, they will stay there. Forever, if necessary. No, not really, but on my lips they do last during more than one meal and a sweet treat, several drinks and a lot of talking. And if they don't look perfect  anymore after some hours, they don't flake but just fade away in a non-messy way. Actually, I was left with quite a pretty and natural ombre look once. What about hydration? Well, liquid lipsticks and especially mattes usually aren't the most hydrating sort of lip product. The Paint-On Liquid LipColor's are ok in that department. They contain avocado, jojoba and sunflower oil as well as some hyaluronic acid to moisture the lips. I can wear them for about three hours without having to apply some sort of lip balm on top. And let me tell you, three hours is a long time for a matte product on my lips. To keep my lips looking nice, I just dabbed some of the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Repairing Balm on them (it's matte and therefore a good choice) and they felt hydrated again. 

Naked Ambition
Pierced Petal
Scream Sexy
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of matte lipsticks but Naked Ambition is a very wearable nude shade and will stay with you all day so it might be a good everyday choice. Pierced Petal however is slightly out of my comfort zone and the bright pink doesn't suit me very well. It is a pretty cool colour though. Scream Sexy has the perfect name in my opinion. If you're going for a vampy look, this shade would be the star of the show! The metallic finish makes it look extra special. It's really comfortable to wear and not drying.  

The Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid LipColors are available in 23 shades and cost CHF 44. 

Estée Lauder added four new shades to the Pure Color Envy Lash Multi Effect Mascara line: dark red, red, pink and orange. I've tested the green one before and now I got the red one too. Quite a challenge for me, my makeup looks are usually quite natural and red lashes are hard to include into that routine. However, I've tested the mascara and the quality is definitely good. It separates the lashes, lasts long and the color is just as red on the lashes as it is in the mascara tube. In my opinion, it is rather difficult to remove if you apply it on top of black mascara but that might be because I was wearing several coats of mascara. Please let me know in the comments below if you'd wear a bright red mascara and on what occasion. It is available for CHF 39, not everywhere where Estée Lauder is sold but certainly online. 

The last new product I've tested for you is the Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duo in the shade pink. It comes in six shades each with a different correcting effect and they're created as a base for foundation or concealer. There's green to reduce redness, tangerine against dull skin, lavender to correct yellow tones and apricot, peach and pink to correct dark shades. 

On one end, there's a full coverage concealer, on the other end a lighter formula. I like to use the lighter formula around the eyes and the full coverage to conceal any blemishes. Pink would be the perfect shade for me during winter but now I've been to Thailand it's slightly too light for me but it still works as a base because it blends very well. I've even worn it without foundation or concealer on top and it looked perfectly natural. The Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duo's are available for CHF 46. 

All in all the quality of the products is very convincing. The colorful mascara's aren't something I'd wear on an everyday basis but the other two new releases are great for everyday use. I'm sure there's a shade for you too. 

What do you think about Estée Lauder's new products?

Have a lovely day!
xx Cheryl

* press samples, all opinions are honest and my own. 

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Review: Daylong Sensitive Face Regulating Fluid SPF 50+

The weather in Switzerland has been absolutely amazing this weekend and I spent as much time as possible outside. To protect my skin from sun damage I used Daylong's new Sensitive Face Fluids with SPF 50+ which I've taken to Thailand with me as well. 

I received the Sensitive Face Regulating Fluid SPF 50+ and the Sensitive Face BB Fluid SPF 50+ in the shade light/medium to put to the test*. As far as I can tell there's only one shade available. 

The products are designed for oily skin: They provide a mat effect because they regulate the sebum production of your skin. Furthermore, they protect the skin from pollutants and have an anti-aging effect, mostly due to the sun protection, I guess. The Sensitive Face products are non-comedogenic and suitable for very sensitive skin.  

The Sensitive Face Regulating Fluid has a very light texture and sinks into the skin quickly. Therefore, it can easily be used before applying makeup and it doesn't make my face look shiny at all. Well, at least not if I haven't been working out, but if that is the case, both products are water and sweat resistant as well... Last year I've been very impressed by the Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 and I have to say that I like the new Daylong one even better, because of its moisturizing effect. And it isn't scented, so our male contemporaries might like to use it too. 

I didn't reach for the BB Fluid as much as I reached for the Regulating Fluid, which is mostly because I often don't bother with any makeup related items when I'm at the beach. I applied it a few times and light/medium is already rather dark for pale faces such as mine but it blends into the skin nicely so it worked anyway. However, make sure to apply it evenly and take extra care around your hairline because the product may appear blotchy if you don't distribute it evenly all over your face and neck. In my experience, most tinted cream products don't really cover any blemishes but make the overall complexion look more even. This is exactly what the BB Fluid does as well with the added benefit of having an SPF 50+. It just warms up my skin tone a little, which is something I'm looking for when I'm having a lazy day where I don't feel the need to apply makeup but still want my skin to look healthy and sun-kissed. The texture of the two products feels pretty much the same to me but I would say my skin looked a tad bit less mat when using the BB Fluid, especially when it's humid outside. 

As you might have guessed, I prefer the Regulating Fluid to the BB Fluid as it fits into my daily routine better. What I find really impressing with both products is that I can actually skip moisturizer in hot weather when I'm using the Sensitive Face Fluids. When I'm applying makeup, I still use Caudalie's Eau de Beauté beforehand but I can get away without using a proper moisturizer. Not in winter, when my skin is dryer than usual but on a normal day, it is enough. 

The products are available for CHF 30.90 for 50ml in drugstores and pharmacies. If you've tried the products already, please share your opinion on them below! 

Have a great day!
xx Cheryl

*press samples, all opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Adventures in Thailand - Exploring Koh Yao Yai and Phuket

At the beginning of March I was lucky enough to be able to spend 11 days in Thailand with a dear friend. There's some obvious reasons why this was amazing, such as the great food and the sunny weather but I'd like to show you a little more. Sounds interesting? Then grab yourself a cup of tea and keep reading, this is going to be a long one! 

On the 28th of February we boarded a direct flight with Edelweiss Air from Zurich to Phuket. We both knew Phuket changed over the last years and it's so much more touristy than it used to be. However, as we only had 11 days to search for the sun we wanted the journey to be as easy as possible so we went for a direct flight to paradise. 

We wanted to make the most out of these days and explore and decided to take the next speedboat in Phuket to head to Koh Yao Yai. I've never heard of this island before and I still struggle to pronounce it but I can now tell you that it is well worth a visit! We stayed at the Koh Yao Yai Village Resort which is absolutely stunning! I've heard it being described as eco luxury and I totally agree. There are a lot of beautiful wooden details in the room and the shower is outside! 

We we're both blown away by the view from the infinity pool and the lovingly put together breakfast buffet. It offered so many healthy options with a great selection of nuts and seeds and yes, I do get very excited about a good breakfast! However, staying on the island isn't cheap compared to other parts of Thailand and I would recommend to bring enough cash, as there are only three ATMs on the whole island. 

To explore Koh Yao Yai, we hired a taxi driver for a few hours. The hotel arranged this for us and told our lovely driver where we'd like to go (i.e. see the rubber trees, watch the local specialty coconut biscuit being made, etc.). Sounds great, right? Well, it didn't go as planned. Our driver was so nice but she didn't understand any english, which is totally fine by me but she didn't drive to the places we expected to be going. We tried to explain what we wanted to see using hands and feet but it didn't work, even though we had a map with us, so I can't tell you whether our little sightseeing tour would have been worthwhile. Anyhow, I can tell you now that Ban Chong Lad is the most beautiful beach on the island, that shopping shouldn't be your aim when you're visiting Koh Yao Yai and that the island is very green and authentic. 

Ban Chong Lad
Loh Jark Bay
Pad Thai Gai
There are restaurants on the island to eat out but you might need to arrange for a taxi to pick you up with your hotel or rent a bike because there wasn't a good restaurant in walking distance to where we stayed. 

If you're planning on visiting Koh Yao Yai, please keep in mind that to respect the local culture you should't walk around in your bikini outside of the hotel and away from the beaches, just bring a nice shirtdress, pareo and T-shirt or something like that. 

Main thing to do in Koh Yao Yai: Relax. You could also book snorkeling trips or explore different beaches. We've only stayed on the island for two nights and I wouldn't recommend to stay there for a whole week as you can pretty much see the whole island in a day but we really enjoyed the stay at Koh Yao Yai Village and I would definitely go back. 

The transfer to Phuket was easy and very comfortable and we arrived at our hotel Thavorn Beach Village Resort after about two hours. To be honest, being in Phuket was a bit of a shock after staying on Koh Yao Yai as the latter was very quiet and by far exceeded our expectations. Phuket is popular all over the world and it attracts a lot of tourists. We were lucky that our hotel had a private beach which we shared with about 8 other people who preferred the sea view to the gigantic hotel pool. 

So what can you do in Phuket? Pretty much everything you can think of. We did a little trip everyday and got to see a lot of the island. I would recommend visiting old Phuket town. It was pretty empty when we were there and the streets are gorgeous. The architecture is inspired by Spanish villages which is not what I expected to see in Thailand. The whole town is full of little shops and pretty cafes and the whole vibe of the town is different than anywhere else I've been in Thailand. 

Soi Rommanee, Phuket town
A must do but most likely cultural shock is a visit to Bangla Road in Patong. Patong is well known as a party destination and Bangla Road seems to be where the party happens. There's bars and clubs on each side of the road and there's no chance you can walk through there without at least 5 people offering you to see a "sexy show", which is shown in all the bars on the street. We've seen enough just by walking the street up and down but we weren't the only tourists going there just to watch the crowd. We've seen elderly couples sitting there comfortably with a beer enjoying the sight of the busy street. Go there, take a look around, and if it's too much you can always just walk around the corner to a more quiet street and enjoy an oil massage, or even a thai massage, if you're a little more adventurous than I am.

The most surprising thing during our time in Phuket: We wanted to do a snorkeling trip in Ao Sane, where you can find a hidden little beach and we heard that it is a great place if you want to go snorkeling from the shore. However, when we tried our snorkeling equipment right in front of the hotel beach, we were totally blown away by the amount and variety of fish we were able to see there. I did a snorkeling trip to a reef in Thailand the year before and I didn't see as many different fish as we did right there at our hotel, which is just insane. Parrotfish, moray eels and many of their colourful friends just hung around there. 

The private beach in front of Thavorn Beach Village Resort
View from the Big Buddha
One day we went to see the Big Buddha and Wat Chalong. The picture above is shot at the top of the hill where Big Buddha is. In my opinion, the view is the only reason to go there, as the whole experience around the Buddha doesn't feel authentic at all. I haven't seen any locals up there, it seems like it has just been built for tourists. Wat Chalong on the other hand feels real. There are tourists but at the same time there are people worshipping in the temples and the whole area is beautifully built and well worth a visit, if you're interested in culture. Bring something to cover shoulders and knees, just as I did with my Calzedonia pareo if you're planning on visiting temples. On our way back we ate the absolute best food we had during our whole trip at Baan Rim Pa Kalim restaurant. If you're staying in Kamala or Patong, I highly recommend to check it out! The restaurant is situated on a hill and has a huge terrace overlooking the ocean. If you're there, try the Massaman Curry with beef, it is seriously the most delicious thing ever! 

For our last two days we travelled to the northern part of Phuket to the L'Esprit de Naiyang hotel near the airport. It's located about 5 minutes away from the best beach we've seen in Phuket. We weren't expecting this as the beach leads directly to the airport. If you don't mind hearing and seeing planes all day long, I'd really recommend to stay around there when you're in Phuket. The hotel itself is ok but nothing special, there's some better hotels which are closer to the beach. 

Nai Yang Beach

The highlight in Phuket happened on our last day. At Nai Yang beach, a local charity organization hosted a small event to release sea turtles back into the sea. We were lucky enough to be there at that very moment, so we could stand at the beach and see about a hundred sea turtles find their way back into freedom. As far as I know, this happens once a year and if you're there early enough, you can even sign up to help. 

That was the last evening before we headed to the airport at 3 a.m. to catch our flight back to Zurich. Even though I wouldn't go back to Phuket because there are just too many tourists for my liking I felt so relaxed after this holiday because it was so much fun, great food and the sun was just what I needed. I'm sure I'll be back in Thailand before long. 

This post was a little different than what I usually write about but I intend to broaden the variety of topics on this blog in the near future. Let me know what you thought about this in the comments below or via email, feedback is always appreciated!

If you have any questions, want more tipps or if you want to share your own experiences in Phuket, just leave a comment below. 

Have a great day!

XX Cheryl