Eastland Grand Opening

Lots of natural light makes the new Eastland more inviting
Lots of natural light makes the new Eastland more inviting

Today is the day – Eastland Ringwood has it’s grand opening day. After being somewhat of a ‘meh’ shopping centre, with not much to offer and a bit of a bad rep as to be where the bogans hang (maybe due to the train station, not sure)… it was good to see firsthand the new face lift on pretty much 80% of the building. I can say that I was pretty impressed with the place.

What really made this new Eastland special, was that it has some specialised retailers that you can only get in the city – H&M, Mecca Maxima, and makes the Eastern burbs more attractive to be living in. Also, it’s new roof level alfresco restaurant area really drew my attention. The open, relaxed area filled with new restaurants that I would love to try looks very promising. Reminds me of what Harbourtown could have been… Hmmm…

Many artistic murals on the walls

Exciting things for Eastland, but on its ‘Grand Opening’ Day, you could see that they were clearly struggling to get it to a decent crowd-receiving standard. Floors were construction dirty, unpolished, many stores outside were still closed and under construction, the car parking areas were largely blocked off due to construction. I spent 20 minutes after arriving at one of the entry points on Ringwood Street, literally going from parking entry to parking entry finding that the right turns into the centre were blocked off. No right turns at all. Traffic was atrocious. Went all the way around, down Ringwood Street, along the Ringwood Bypass, and onto Warrandyte Road, no entries right up until the last parking entry point closest to Maroondah Hwy where two large construction trucks blocked half the entering traffic into the centre. Grand Opening Day traffic control was not up to standard at all. It was ridiculous. Management needs to get onto that… or was anyone thinking about that at all?

I did a quick visit of about 1.5hrs and walked majority of the centre. Here is a quick low down on some of the big players at the new Eastland SC.

H&M home section - one of my happy places
H&M home section – one of my happy places

H&M ~ Excited that the suburbians now do not need to travel all the way into the city at QVB (and line up, last time I was there) to shop at H&M. They had all these bollards ready to receive the ‘crowds’ lining and were ready to be inundated with crazy excited shoppers, but pretty much didn’t use them, as there was a line of about 10 people, then none for the rest of the time. Inside the store was nice, and the expanse of the store was a bit mind boggling, by Australian standards. Only one floor, and this includes the H&M home section, which I can safely say, is one of my favourite areas. Demographic buying up big when I was in there was teenage, university females, and mothers and grandmothers. Obviously it was a working day, so probably more evenly spread in the evenings and weekends.

Mecca Maxima ~ First time in this store, ever. TBH, it is just like another version of Sephora? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels almost exactly the same. Anyway, quite crowded, they were handing out Mecca branded water and lollipops. Happy to see that Urban Decay, Hourglass, Too faced, Bare Minerals and Soap & Glory are finally readily available in the burbs too. Or, as some would argue, available in Melbourne in general. Exciting times.

Beautiful Ambient Lighting blushes I've heard so much about
Beautiful Ambient Lighting blushes I’ve heard so much about @ Mecca Maxima
Stunning unique eyeshadows - love the packaging @ Mecca Maxima
Stunning unique eyeshadows – love the packaging @ Mecca Maxima
Mecca Maxima's booklet and lollipop from today's festivities
Mecca Maxima’s booklet and lollipop from today’s festivities

Uniqlo ~ Went in for my brother’s benefit. It’s only 1 floor as well, but dare I say, bigger than Chadstone? Nicely set out, more spacious than the one in Chadstone, and with higher ceilings. Weirdly enough, wasn’t greeted to the same extent as the Emporium and Chadstone stores. Not one staff member said ‘Welcome to Uniqlo’. Maybe that has changed? Not sure. There were some ‘opening day’ specials, but not many.

Love the colours! @ Uniqlo
Love the colours! @ Uniqlo

Target ~ As impressive as the new one in Chadstone. Also has the T-shirt printing facility and Target Cafe. They were making free coffees, handing out balloons and had face painting today too.

Target Mascot
Target Mascot

Oroton ~ Impressive large store. Didn’t see much else.

Harris Scarfe ~ New, more spacious and better set out store. Hope it lasts, and spells a greater future for this struggling store.

MRP ~ New clothing store that is affordable. Never seen this brand before. Bit of a mix between Temt, Supre, Cotton on and Kmart? I guess. They had a live DJ playing outside their store.

New clothing store MRP
New clothing store MRP

Outdoor Alfresco area has the much anticipated Huxtaburger (which was closed and under renovations today), Hunky Dory (burgers and fish?), Robinsons bookstore – which I love!, Ang Ang (modern asian), Pacos Tacos (mexican), The Cellar Door (australian – looked interesting), Hunter & Barrel (bar – which was packed) and a new Gelati place (forgot the name…). Many others weren’t open so I didn’t check them out. But this whole area leads straight over the road from the Ringwood train station.

Outdoor Restaurants and Stores
Outdoor Restaurants and Stores

The ‘older’ section of Eastland was definitely quieter (near Kmart area). To be honest, my impression of the previous Eastland was pretty bad. Once the floors are polished, the rest of the shops and restaurants are open, the traffic and parking is sorted, it will be a really great place to shop. But for now, unless you are desperate for H&M or Mecca Maxima, don’t bother until the place is completely done, parking is fully functional and, the floors are cleaned.

BB to the C…

I’m sure most people up-to-date in the makeup and skincare world have heard the phrase ‘BB cream” uttered continiously over the past few years… But what is it?!

BB Cream beginnings:

BB cream (blemish balm/beauty balm) was originally formulated in Germany by a dermatologist – Dr. Christine Schrammek in the 1960s. It was used for patients post-laser-surgery. The aim of the BB cream was to help protect, soothe and refine skin post-surgery.

Blemish Balm

Dr. Christine Schrammek’s original BB cream (popular in the U.S.)

In the 1980s, BB cream was introduced into the Korean cosmetics industry. Korean cosmetic companies jumped onto the band-wagon and marketed the cream via well-known celebrity endorsements. With the craze for perfect ‘white-porcelain’ skin in Asia, it became a huge hit instantly.

Most BB creams will have multiple functions, here are some:

  • Sun protection
  • Pollution protection
  • Nourishing skin
  • Moisturising skin
  • Restoring skin
  • Covering-up imperfections
  • Reducing redness and hyperpigmentation
  • Skin ageing prevention
  • Fresh and radiant skin appearance

My thoughts

Personally, I like to think of BB creams as a better version of a tinted moisturiser. I used to use this Ponds tinted moisturiser (is that still available?) when I was in my teens. BB cream is a one up on the tinted moisturiser because it actually reduces the redness on my face and evens out my complexion (without being too heavy). That’s why I love it! Some of them also reduce the size of large pores and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. But I have found that it really depends on the BB cream.


The downside to BB cream is that it has less coverage than a foundation. So if you’re asking for full coverage in a BB cream, you may not get it! Stick to your foundations for that. BB cream also makes my face (which is oily combination) sometimes oilier. In the dot points above the last one mentions ‘fresh and radiant’ skin. This can look like a ‘glowier’ or ‘dewier’ complexion – which oily combo skin peeps like me can do without! The other thing is that it can also make you look washed out (grey-ish), depending on the BB cream. I find the Korean brands do this more often. Maybe something to do with their whitening effect? I’m not sure.

How to use BB cream (what I do)

I tend to use it on my lazier days. Days where I do want to reduce redness, but can’t be bothered with the whole foundation routine. It is simple and easy to use. Here is what I do:

  1. Put a pea-sized dot onto my fingertips and dot onto face
  2. Smooth out quickly and evenly over the face – concentrating on the redness and starting from the centre and working outwards.
  3. Swirl translucent powder over the top to set (and stop being all shiny shiny)

How do I find the best one for my skin type?

Honestly, it is an ongoing process. I have tried a few types so far. Both from Korea and America. You really can’t tell how good (or bad) it is until you actually try it. Sometimes, websites will have charts that will help you find out which type would suit you (like pictured below). But I guess trial and error is usually the only way. Not everyone’s skin type is the same.

Anyway, have fun trying BB creams! If you have any recommendations, i’d love to hear them! Let me know which have worked best for you!


Dr. Christine Schrammek’s website:


Skin 79 (Korean brand) North American website:


Garnier’s BB cream Australian website: