Friday, May 31, 2013

REVIEW: Lolita Group's Healing Hydrates Handmade Soap

Lolita Group's Marina Square studio underwent renovations in late March and on the day before the works began, a massive sale was held. Of course I picked up the Eczema Combat Homemade Soap but besides that, I also bought 2 bars of the Healing Hydrates Handmade Soap.

The Healing Hydrates Handmade Soap is an amalgam of Lavender, Sea Buckthorn, Australian Ivory Clay, Rosehip and Hemp. Here are the things that the ingredients are known for generally, as well as my experiences with them:

Lavender: Calms irritations.
I have tried various Lavender products, with mixed results. The oil doesn't work on my pimples. In fact, it aggravates them. :\ But I enjoy my Lavender bath products, though they do sting on open wounds (Even the small ones.).

Sea Buckthorn: Repairs skin.
Dita Von Teese uses Obliphica hair products, which contain Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil as the key ingredient. I got a bottle of the oil and used it primarily on my hair. And gosh! It is really a godsend product. My hair ends are no longer fried, even after doing soft rebonding. Towards the bottle's demise, I used it on my face. My initial applications reared results that were pretty much non-existent. But after using it for a couple of nights, my complexion became the clearest that it has ever been in a long while. I'm incredibly glad that I ordered a backup in my last Vitacost haul!

Australian Ivory Clay: Cleanses skin gently.
I used clay products a couple of times. They really cleanse the skin but they tend to be a tad too drying.

Rosehip: Heals scars and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Back in secondary school, I was besieged by acne problems and they left so many scars. Rosehip Oil did an absolutely great job in healing them. However, I wouldn't recommend using it on your entire face, especially if you are young. I think it kinda over-healed parts of my skin that weren't damaged and left little speckles of excess skin. And I can only get rid of them by burning them off (At least that's what the dermatologist said.). :\ But ah well, they don't bother me too much and are really tiny. If you can see them, you're a little too close to me... Haha (No, but seriously...). BUT Mirander Kerr swears by this (Read it here! Hey, everyone's skin works and reacts differently!)!

Hemp: Provides relief for skin disorders.
I have never used hemp products before this so I can't really comment on it. But apparently, it's great for skin disorders like eczema (Read it here!).

M and I have used two bars of this and we think it works so well for heat rashes. After a long, warm and sweaty day in Singapore, there are times when we get heat rashes and our skins are dotted with red spots. After showering with the soaps, the spots vanish and our skins don't feel so itchy, yucky and uncomfortable anymore. In fact, our skins feel great!

I have used this on my face but I find it a little too drying, probably because of its clay content. Other than that, I encountered no other irritations. This doesn't work so great on eczema either. It doesn't aggravate it but it doesn't do anything for it.

Lolita Group has recently restocked their Healing Hydrates Handmade Soaps and Eczema Combat Homemade Soaps. And I think soaps using Red Wine have been produced as well. Do check them out when you're in Marina Square!


GIVEAWAY: The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser

Hey everyone! Thanks for hanging around when I haven't exactly been active. Eeps, big apologies! But anyway, holidays have just begun for me and I have got ten million and one things to share with you ladies (And guys)! :DDD

To kick-start the 'revival' of my blog, I'm giving away The Body Shop's Tea Tree Pore Minimiser.

Here's what you need to do:
1. Leave just one comment with your name and email address.
2. Have an address in Singapore.

The giveaway will end on June 11th, 10.30pm. Good luck! :D

P.S.: Please remember to check your junk folder!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

FOOD: Blackball

After coming back from Taiwan, all that catch M's and my eyes are Taiwanese food stalls. I don't remember when we found it, but I sure as hell remember the refreshing and cooling sensation when the black purée first trickled down my throat.

Actually, our first encounter with it wasn't the best; we had ordered the Jiufen version and we couldn't understand the little coloured purple balls. It didn't help that they were yam and the serving of red beans was way too generous. We were both avid haters. But we loved how the sweet grass jelly swished in our mouths and provided some respite from Singapore's unbearable weather. And the pearls were incredibly chewy but it didn't keep us chewing for an eternity, like Koi's.

M and I are both stubborn mules. So while we could have just gone to the market and slurped down all the grass jelly we wanted, we opted to try out the Blackball Signature. It had a mix of everything; pearls, grass jelly, various little coloured balls (Not just purple.) and of course, the too-generous serving of red beans.

We got rid of the red beans and added all of the little creamer that accompanied it and whoo boy! Best dessert on earth ever award, people! God knows how many times I have instagram-ed this dessert and how much tapioca is residing in M's and my stomach. But we don't care and we have big plans of having this everyday when we return to Taiwan next month! HURRAY!

P.S.: It is A LOT nicer without the red beans because we feel that their taste just overwhelms and spoils everything. But then again, please bear in mind that we have deep-seated animosity towards those little things.
P.P.S.: The creamer makes the dessert milkier, silkier and smoother. But then again, please bear in mind that M is a huge milk tea lover and I grew up on milk.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

HAUL: Bioderma and My Unhealthy Obsession with Moisturizers

On Friday night, I passed by dear ol' Watsons and was surprised to see the 500ml Bioderma Créaline H2O going for $39.90, instead of the usual (and slightly ridiculous) price of $59.90. I'm probably gonna buy more of this when I head to Taiwan in June (WHOOP WHOOP!) but $39.90 is pretty reasonable already.

I picked up 2 Nivea products as well, the Extra Whitening Cell Repair Body Milk (Freebies are all out of stock. Bummer!) and the original Creme. I'm really liking this brand quite a bit, so I can't wait to see how these 2 work out for me. Anyway, right before this little haul, I had actually picked up a moisturizer at VMV Hypoallergenics. And I still have like a bunch of unopened moisturizers at home... Why, hello new obsession!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

LOOKBOOK: I'm a pinafore girl.

G2000 mint knit top, ASOS denim pinafore

When a 13-year old me realized that my school uniform was a pinafore (and a blouse), I was incredibly excited. And even though I perspired buckets in our Singapore weather while wearing it, I remained very enthusiastic about the uniform... Just because it was a pinafore (I'm terribly sorry, school. I still love you. Moribus Modestus for life.).

Anyway, I'm absolutely in love with my mint top! I know that there are ten million mint tops out there but I was born a fussy pot and so far, only this stole my heart. Whether it was the material, cut or the shade of mint... This was just completely perfect. The denim pinafore is a little stiffer than I'd like it to be but I still love it all the same.

P.S.: This outfit resembles the Browhaus' uniform, doesn't it?


Sunday, May 12, 2013

REVIEW: Beauty Clinic's Mediheal I.P.L Lightmax Ampoule Mask

Back in April, dear Camy sent me several masks from Beauty Clinic's Mediheal range, 2 of which are the I.P.L Lightmax Ampoule Mask. Thanks Camy!

Beauty Clinic is a brand developed by some of the top clinical experts in Korea and is reportedly used by many Korean celebrities. One of the ranges that the brand has is Mediheal. It was created and tested by aesthetic specialists. This range provides treatments for specific skin troubles and uses only highly concentrated essences, that are filled with safe and effective dermatotropic ingredients. These include Marine Collagen, Caviar, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel Water, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C Derivative.

The I.P.L Lightmax Ampoule Mask is a whole concentrated ampoule of Vitamin C-AA2G, Arbutin and Mulberry. This trio creates a brightening effect on the skin that mimics that of Intense Pulse Light's. With continued usage, it lightens pigmentation and evens out the skin tone, leaving your skin well-hydrated and radiant.

The mask is to be used 2-3 times a week, with a duration of 15-20 minutes each. After removing the mask, pat the essence into your skin till it is fully absorbed.

Made of high quality Silk Cellulose material, the mask uses the Paper Thin Technology so that it is, well, paper thin. This means that the mask adheres like a second skin. It allows your skin to breathe easily during the treatment and ensures that most, if not all, of the essence gets absorbed into your skin completely.

I like my masks cold so about an hour before application, I stuck the mask in the fridge. After cleansing my face and applying toner, I put the mask on for a good 20 minutes before removing it. When I first took the mask out of its bag, it was literally soaking with essence. But just like what Beauty Clinic said, the mask stuck on like a second skin and I didn't have uncomfortable drops of essence meandering down my neck. I didn't experience any irritations even though my skin is slightly sensitive (No tingling feeling whatsoever!).

After 20 minutes, my skin felt like it had undergone a mini facial spa. The slightly red splotches of my skin were calmed and my complexion looked clearer and was adequately moisturized. The brightening effect wasn't very obvious but I reckon it would be when used regularly.

Beauty Clinic's Mediheal range is available on Serenity Allure. Do connect with the brand's Facebook page here for the latest updates! (:


FOOD: Tokyo Banana

Earlier this year, it seemed that most people I was following on Instagram went to Japan or had friends who visited Japan. And each came back with a box (Or maybe, boxes.) of Tokyo Banana. I love my bananas (I have one every morning, since I was 14.) and banana products but I haven't got any plans to travel to the land of kawaii-ness (Yet.). So I was like ahhh well *shrugs*. What I don't know, I won't miss... Right?!?

So can you imagine my delight when I spotted a cart selling this, right here in Singapore?!?

Each box holds 8 of this sponge-y goodness! The expiry date is printed on the yellow wrapping, on the side. If I remembered it right, they can last for about 4 weeks... Though I doubt they will stick around for that long. I mean, mine was almost done within half a week (Saved one for M, who comes over only during the weekends! :D)!

TADAHHH! Tokyo Banana in all of its sponge-y glory! I wish I could show you the inside but umm... I don't eat prettily so... Anyway, the sponge cake that cocoons the banana goodness is probably the sponge-iest thing that I have ever eaten. It's like a cotton candy that has been infused with so much SK-II! As for the banana goodness... Oh gawd. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! It's pureed banana, lovingly made by cupids *nods seriously*. I like them refrigerated but leaving them at room temperature is perfectly fine too.

For those who are interested, the cart can be found at the basement of Raffles City. It is directly opposite Fruit Paradise. Each box costs $30 and the other flavours (Chocolate and chocolate caramel, I believe.) are available as well. :D Happy Tokyo Banana-ing!

P.S.: They sell out pretty fast but I think the owner brings them in very frequently too. Just check with the people mending the cart!
P.P.S.: Other Japanese goodies are available at the cart too! I spied some Japan-exclusive Rilakkuma items!


REVIEW: OST's Original Pure Vitamin C-20 Serum

OST's Original Pure Vitamin C-20 Serum, or more affectionately known as Red Bottle in Korea, is a all-in-one treatment serum that's infused with a cocktail of Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid and natural antioxidants. It prevents the premature signs of aging by

  • revitalizing,
  • removing dead skin cells,
  • whitening,
  • tightening pores,
  • healing stubborn scars and
  • removes blackheads.

    Last year, it was not only ranked the best selling item on Qoo10 but also won the SURE Beauty Awards. When Apper, from Wishtrend, contacted me about said product, I couldn't wait to try it! I mean, whatever the Koreans use, we MUST use right? :D

    The product came in 2 parts; a 30ml bottle of serum and a dropper in a clean plastic pocket. This helps keep the serum fresher. The serum lasts for a year, without opening and once opened. It has a citrusy scent, a little like Miranda's Orange.

    I apply this after cleaning and toning, using just 2 or 3 drops each time. Starting from the centre of my face, I smooth the serum outwards and end off with a patting motion. Then, I apply Jorubi's Aloe Vera Gel.

    During my first few applications, I felt a slight tingling sensation which Wishtrend mentioned would happen. The serum's a little thicker than most serums in the market, so it takes a tad longer for it to be absorbed fully. When I apply my moisturizer straightaway, I find that it forms a layer with the serum and kind of just sits on top of my skin. So I usually pat the serum in to speed up the absorption process, and wait for it to sink into my skin completely before applying my moisturizer.

    The inclusion of the serum in my skincare regimen hasn't caused any skin irritations. It blends in with my other products pretty seamlessly, leaving my skin smooth and fresh in the morning. There's a slight reduction in the number of blackheads on the tip of my nose. My pores haven't exactly been minimized but they do look cleaner, giving a clearer and more even complexion.

    OST's Original Pure Vitamin C-20 Serum is available on Korea-based Wishtrend. From now till May 31st, if you purchase more than USD$20 on Wishtrend, you get a 15% discount with code 'RV1HE9VM'. This code can be used 3 times per user. (:

    Alternatively, you can hop on over to Singapore's Qoo10, where Wishtrend stocks up on products that target Singaporeans specifically. Do like Wishtrend's Facebook page here for the latest updates on Korea's beauty scene! :D

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    Saturday, May 11, 2013

    RAMBLINGS: Oh, Tory! And life in random.

    Last month, I received my first 'proper' paycheck and when Shopbob had 20% off, I went slightly off the bat and got myself 4 Tory Burch earrings, 3 of which are in the same designs. I kind of wanted to shoot myself in the foot after that but

  • I love the Tory Burch logo very much (Even though I did use to think it was ugly.).
  • They were 20% off. Each.
  • They were low in stock.

    Yes, I make the perfect consumer indeed. But look!!! Isn't the pair above pretty? See how the gold catches the sunlight and reflects it?

    Oh gawd. I sound like a friggin' magpie.

    Since work started full-time, I have been crazy preoccupied and haven't had time to be with my thoughts. And the fact that I haven't completed a book in ages makes me feel like I'm degenerating as a human being. Sigh. Besides that, there are also the ten million and one things that I want to do (Procrastination and staring at the ceiling included.) but haven't even got started. Nevertheless, I'm very grateful for all the current goings in my life and I thank God that my job has things like June and December vacations and protected leave.

    Where my hobby is concerned, I'm accepting fewer assignments because I'm trying to explore other interests (None of which involve cooking or baking or anything that has to do with heat.). I have a bunch of films I want to watch, a camera to master, ten million comedians to get acquainted with and books that are begging me to save them from silverfishes and ugly yellow spots.

    I sound melancholic but I'm not, really. I mean, today, I convinced the sister to end her 4-year relationship with messy curls and go straight. And I have the best-est soul mate I can ever ask for (On a side note, (': ).

    Mmhmm... I guess I've become a stranger to my own thoughts.

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    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    REVIEW: Refill of Novalash's Eyelash Extensions by Lolita

    Two Sundays ago, I popped by Lolita to touch up my lashes. It had been exactly 3 weeks and some of my extensions had fallen off, especially from my right eye. Anyway, meet Shuxian! She's the pretty therapist behind my gorgeous extensions! :D

    The first shot features my extensions after 3 weeks. My left eye's extensions are pretty much still intact. But not my right... I rubbed it a couple of times (Before I remembered OH! I have extensions on. :\). But if you take care of your extensions, they can last beyond 3 weeks. If you're worried about the 'bareness' of your extensions after 3 weeks, don't worry because it isn't obvious when your eyes are opened. Alternatively, you can go for a refill, which was what I did!

    Here's what Shuxian did during the refilling process:

  • Step 1: Applied eye mask and under-eye stickers to separate my upper lashes from the bottom ones.
  • Step 2: Using tweezers, she went through each extension and removed the loose ones.
  • Step 3: Attached the new extensions on!
  • Step 4: Dried the glue with a hand-held fan and some water.

    For more information about the process of attaching extensions, click here for my first review!

    During my last trip, Shuxian told me to keep 2 hours free for the refill but in the end, she took only about an hour, including the removal of loose extensions (That was like less than 10 minutes!). I was so comfortable that I fell asleep midway!

    Here are the tools she used! The two little black commas are the Novalash adhesive. Shuxian used extensions that were 8mm and 12mm long for me as I usually have my spectacles on. Longer extensions would sweep against my spectacles and may cause slight discomfort.

    Here's how my lashes look, a week later!

    Without eyeliner!

    With eyeliner!

    Shuxian did natural lashes for me again, just like the previous time. I'm going to opt for a more dramatic one come June, before my trip to Taiwan (Yes, again!).

    Extensions not only enhance our eyes but can also alter how they look. It all depends on the length and density used. Here are some styles which you might want to consider:

  • Dramatic: Extensions are attached to almost every lash. This will take about 2 hours.
  • Doe-eyed: Extensions are denser and longer in the centre, creating the illusion of bigger irises.
  • Sultry: Longer extensions at the end to elongate the eyes.

    And just in case you are unaware, April/ May's promotion is still ongoing for my readers! :D Here's what you have to do to get pretty lashes for just $39 (instead of $139!):

  • Call Lolita at 6338 9981 and make an appointment with Shuxian one week in advance.
  • Quote 'Novalash@Charlene'.
  • Wait for your pretty lashes to come!

    Shuxian will be working on your lashes so if you're going to do it with a friend, you will need to book separate slots. And do make an appointment one week in advance as Shuxian's schedule is quite packed. Lastly, it would be good if you could go there without any eye makeup, especially mascara. (:

    As usual, if you have any questions, just leave me a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!

    6 Raffles Boulevard
    #B1-12 Marina Square
    Tel.: +65 6338 9981

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    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    LOOKBOOK: The sailor and her book.

    Sailor dress from a small shop in Orchard

    One of my favourite sea scenes is from C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Prince Caspian was tasked to find the seven lost Lords of Narnia. I was actually hoping that it would be as exciting as The 7th Voyage of Sinbad but umm guess not. Still, I enjoyed both the book and the movie thoroughly. I probably should have featured the book in the above shots instead of Dark Tales, the book I was reading then. Ah well. Another time, perhaps.

    Anyway, the dress is made of comfortable cotton that's rather thick. This makes it perfect for the wet and chilly weather we have these days. The design and colours are sharp, so the dress is appropriate for most occasions. I like that the bottom flares out a little and swings and swishes as I spin. (:

    Dark Tales is the first 'horror' book I have read in years (Let's see... The last one was True Singapore Ghost Stories XX.). This book is the child of a writing workshop, organized by the National Library Board. Titled 'Spin Your Supernatural Yarn', the workshop saw Verena Tay, a local writer and storyteller, challenging participants to, well, spin their own spine chillers. The book is given out at Kinokuniya bookstores.

    The book consists of 5 short stories and each read like a piece of composition. It was an easy read, though the writing didn't exactly appeal to me. Nevertheless, I think such initiatives are good. Many of us don't write anymore.


    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    REVIEW: Lancôme's Advanced Génifique

    Back in 2009, Lancôme launched Génifique. It took the beauty world by storm and became the brand's iconic product. Now, this year, Lancôme is all ready to make waves again with the new and improved Advanced Génifique!

    Built upon a foundation of a 14-year long research in gene science and 9 patents covering until 2029, the Advanced Génifique tackles the 10 signs that characterize youthful skin. The new formula contains a biotechnology derived ingredient that allows each drop of the Advanced Génifique to deliver almost 40% more active ingredients than the old Génifique. It sinks into the skin almost instantly to create a cocooning effect, plumping the skin so that it is left feeling full, firm and bouncy. In JUST 7 days.

    For those who used/ are using the old Génifique, here's how the new one differs from it:

  • New formula with addition ingredient (Probiotic).
  • Repairs and activates the 10 signs of youth.
  • New enveloping texture; it wraps your skin like a cocoon, absorbs really fast and leaves skin soft as silk.
  • New exclusive and patented self-loading dropper.
  • Each drop now contains 40% more active ingredients.
  • Produces 25 times more youth proteins as compared to the old version.

    I added the Advanced Génifique to my skincare regimen for 3 weeks, complementing it with the following products:

  • Cleanser: Lolita Group's Healing Soap
  • Toner: Witch Hazel & Rose Water Cleansing Toner
  • Moisturizer: Jorubi's Aloe Vera Gel and SK-II's Stempower

    I applied the Advanced Génifique after my toner and right before my moisturizer. As it comes with a self-loading dropper (Turn the cap all the way to the end and hear a 'click' sound!), I dispensed whatever that is loaded and patted the serum onto my skin. It sank into my skin very quickly, prepping my skin for the next step.

    The serum left my skin feeling very soft and semi-matte. When I applied my moisturizer, my skin seemed to receive it more readily and easily. And because the serum was fully absorbed into my skin, my moisturizer didn't pool around (If the serum isn't fully absorbed, the moisturizer may just be mixed with the serum and kind of just sit on top of your skin.).

    During the trial period of 3 weeks, I noticed a marked clarity in my complexion. The appearance of my pores were less noticeable and of course, my skin was feeling hydrated and very plump indeed (Advanced Génifique and Stempower clearly make a very powerful duo.). I skipped the serum during the day but my cheeks didn't go dry and my T-zone was noticeably less oily.

    The only gripe that I have about the serum is that I wish fragrance wasn't added to it. It didn't cause any irritations but I see fragrance as an unnecessary ingredient.

    As of May 1st, Lancôme's Advanced Génifique replaced the old Génifique and is available at all Lancôme counters. The brand is running a complimentary islandwide 7-day trial sampling campaign in the months of May and June.

    Here's a list of the sizes available and their prices:

  • 20ml: $99 (Limited edition.)
  • 30ml: $130
  • 50ml: $170 (Limited edition.)
  • 75ml: $210

    I hope this was helpful. Do leave a comment if you have an queries. (: Thanks for reading!

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    Monday, May 6, 2013

    REVIEW: Asience's Leave-On Hair Treatment Range

    For the better part of April, my hair received (And is still receiving) tons of love from Asience. Thanks Elfaine for sending the huge parcel over! As seen above, the rusty gold box held the brand's latest Leave-on Hair Treatment range and this comprises of

    Asience's Leave-On Treatment Water: For tangled and untamed hair.
    Asience's Leave-On Treatment Milk: For dry and frizzy hair.
    Asience's Leave-On Treatment Oil: For severely dry and damaged hair.

    I used to spend a good 15 minutes blow drying my hair. But as our little sunny island heats up, ten minutes outside and my hair was all over. Frizzy, messy. And I looked completely disheveled. So I grew my hair out, sweep it behind my ears on most days and don't bother about it anymore. This, of course, doesn't tame the beast that my hair is but it makes me look a teeny weeny bit neater. When the above hair care package came, you have no idea how thankful I was!

    Asience's Leave-on Hair Treatment range is built on a foundation of Lotus Flower, Camellia Oil, Pearl and Shell Ginger Leaf. It provides intensive repair by moisturizing hair from within. Then, it seals in the moisture with its enhanced hair 'veiling' ingredient to provides long-lasting smoothness and manageability.

    Asience's Leave-On Treatment Water is my favourite out of the trio. This treatment water is so light it feels like nothing when I spray it on my towel-dried hair. I usually blow dry the mid-section of my hair after that, just to shape it a little and I'm ready to take on the day! And in spite of the fact that I'm in an air-conditioned room most of the time, my hair doesn't feel the least bit dry unlike previously.

    Asience's Leave-On Treatment Milk is second on my list. A little heavier than the treatment water, this hydrates my hair without the greasy feeling. It keeps my hair smooth all day and I use this whenever I skip my conditioner on alternate days. I like the fact that the milk comes in a pump bottle but hmm... I wish I didn't have to use my hands to apply (And that is why the treatment water is my favourite!) because then, I have to wash my hands after that.

    Asience's Leave-On Treatment Oil is the most concentrated. I use this once a week, kinda like a hair mask, and apply it from the mid-section downwards. It smooths the hair instantly and because it's an oil, it leaves a very thin glossy sheen (Of course, this depends on how much oil you use.). For those who sweep their long hair to the back, this has't caused any skin irritations for me. I like this the least though, because I have to use my hands during the application and it leaves a thin waxy layer after that.

    Here's how my hair looks since embarking on this Asience hair regimen. I use the Leave-On Treatment Water almost everyday. If your hair hasn't been through much chemical torture and you are looking for something that is fuss-free and light, look no further!

    Asience's Leave-on Hair Treatment range can be found in selected hypermarkets, supermarkets and pharmacies at $14.90 each.

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