Monday, July 29, 2013

LOOKBOOK: AforArcade's Rainforest Tee Top in White

AforArcade crop top, white shorts from a random shop in Taipei

She feels in italics and thinks in capitals.
Henry James

Saturday, July 27, 2013

MAIL: Brand's Essence of Chicken

Brand's Essence of Chicken played a major role in my childhood because Gran thought it would help me get good grades. On the mornings of examinations, she would warm up a bottle and prepare a little cup of sweets beside it. I drank it all the way till the big Os (Without the sweets, of course.) and then, it just kind of stopped. Actually, no. Dad started drinkinggulping it. Haha.

Anyway, even though I have consumed so many bottles of it, I had no idea that Brand's Essence of Chicken has been around for 170 years. Truth be told, I thought it was a young Singaporean brand because of all the top PSLE kids' endorsements. Haha. Yes, it doesn't make sense. And yes, I amwas ignorant.

The birth of the brand actually dates all the way back to the 1820s, when King George IV's health was deteriorating. It inspired the royal chef Henderson William Brand to develop a chicken tonic and it boosted the king's health. Of course, word got around and backed by popular demand, Mr. Brand decided to establish his own business in 1935. He started selling Brand's Essence of Chicken as a supplement for both the young and the old.

For the uninitiated, Brand's Essence of Chicken is an extract from high quality chicken in an easily digestible form. A holistic, all-natural, ready-to-drink product, it is free of fats, cholesterol and preservatives. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Boosts brain health and brain fitness.
  • Reduces stress levels and contributes to a relaxed mood.
  • Increases levels of stress tolerance.
  • Increases mental concentration and improves short-term memory.
  • Improves immunity.
  • Increases metabolic rate.
  • Boosts energy.

And Brand's Essence of Chicken now comes in various flavours to suit our needs!

Brand's Essence of Chicken
For people of all ages.
The original Essence of Chicken provides us with the daily nutrients required for health maintenance and mental alertness. It is fat-, cholesterol- and preservatives-free.

Brand's Essence of Chicken with Cordyceps
For busy working professionals who require a mental, emotional and physical boost.
Coupled with the goodness of premium Cordyceps, this helps to enhance and strengthen out immune system. It stimulates the production of natural 'killer' cells that attack pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.

Brand's Essence of Chicken with American Ginseng
For athletes, students and professionals who require maintenance and a boost in mental and physical strength and stamina.
American ginseng is known to be an effective stress reducer and energy booster. Containing Zinc, Vitamins A, B6 and C and Polysaccharide Glycans, it is often used to enhance out mental and physical performance.

Brand's Essence of Chicken with Tangkwei
For women who need a boost in their performance during the time of the month.
An excellent herbal tonic for blood circulation, Tangkwei is added to help balance our estrogen levels and regulate our menstrual cycle. It also helps to alleviate symptoms of menopause, ease menstrual cramps, reduce pain, dilate blood vessels and stimulate the relaxation of uterine muscles.

Thank you, Brand's and DeVries for sending me the 5 boxes to try out! (: I know my health will be well taken care of for the next month... That is, if Dad doesn't get to them first!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

MAIL: My First Personalized Vanity Trove

I think it was last Sunday that I received my first personalized Vanity Trove! And it was only a few days back that I checked my cart out. Very speedy delivery. In fact, everything went smoothly... Save for the 'What 6 items should I put in my cart?!?' bit. :\

Most of the good stuff disappeared really fast and I was left to pick from products that were either not very interesting or have already appeared in previous troves. I only checked my cart out when I spotted VMV Hypoallergenics's Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer (Which was in last October's trove.) but then, my sample of Pupa's Mascara Vamp! went OOS. So I had to settle for something else... Ah well, at least I get to choose my samples. (:

Anyway, let's take a peek at my first personalized Vanity Trove!

1. My Beauty Diary's Job's Brightening Mask
This mask combines Job's Tears Seed, also known as Pearl Barley, and Liquorice to brighten our skin, lighten discolouration and even out skin tone. At the same time, it also provides hydration and repairs damaged caused by the environment.

2. Physiogel's Cleanser
This cleanser is a hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, soap-free cleanser that cleansers, soothes and softens our skin, without drying it. It also helps to maintain our skin's natural pH balance.

3. Cetaphil's Gentle Skin Cleanser
Made for all skin types, this mild and non-irritating cleanser softens our skin as it cleans. It is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free and dermatologist recommended. I have mentioned this cleanser a couple of times and you can read my little reviews here. (:

4.Zao's Compact Powder in 302 Beige Orange
This compact powder was in this March's trove. It controls oil pretty well and my T-zone area is not the least bit shiny at the end of the day. Click here to read more about it.

5. VMV Hypoallergenics' Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer
This moisturizer cleverly delivers the right amount of moisture to different areas of our skin, i.e. the parched ones receives more and the oilier ones, less. Monolaurin, which is derived from the coconut, is also added for its anti-bacterial and calming properties on inflammation and acne breakouts.

6. Essential's Rich Premier Shampoo
This shampoo is actually a mystery gift that was added to my cart. I tried this during China's winter a few years back and it didn't work so well. But Mich was raving about it the other day, so I'm gonna see how it works out in a warmer and more humid climate.

Dr. Ci:Labo's Aqua-Collagen-Gel Enrich-Lift-EX (not pictured)
This gel contains 3 different lifting ingredients to increase our skin's elasticity. It wraps around the skin, leaving behind an invisible film that provides a high level of support for our less resilient skin. Alpha Lipoc Acid, an anti-aging ingredient, is also added to combat the sagging of our skin by promoting collagen production.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

REVIEW: L'Oreal Paris' EverSleek Sulfate-free Smoothing System Intense Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner

It was a quite task trying to pull myself away from Rêveur's Moist & Gloss Shampoo and Treatment, but when L'Oreal Paris sent me tubes of their latest sulfate-free hair care products, my curiosity was piqued.

For the uninitiated, sulfates are found in many hair care products. They are the forming agents that create suds... Which make washing ourmy hair so much fun (Yes, I am old and I love my foam.). However, despite their pristine white and innocent appearance, they are actually very harsh chemical detergents.

Sulfates have the potential of aggravating our scalps and destroying healthy hair. They stripped our hair of everything, both the bad AND the good. Our hair fibers lose their natural oils, weaken and eventually break. Under their reign, sensitive scalps may find themselves flaking and drying out.

Eeps, it sounds pretty terrifying but then, we have L'Oreal Paris's EverSleek Sulfate-free Smoothing System to save the day!

This hair care system, made for frizzy and damaged hair, is free from the clutches of evil sulfates and heavy silicones. It is formulated with Argan, Sunflower and Olive oils. Instead of coating our hair with suffocating silicones, these natural oils penetrate our hair fibers to smooth them for a 48-hour frizz control.

The shampoo and the conditioner come in 250ml tubes, with transparent and orange-coloured caps respectively. Both take the form of a white cream, with the former having a satin-like finish.

During my first week of trial, I alternated the above with my Rêveur's, which are only silicone-free, and there were very obvious differences. For starters, the shampoo didn't form as much due to the absence of sulfates. And after washing and conditioning, I felt that my hair wasn't as moisturized but it had more volume and body.

In the second week, I used only the EverSleek Sulfate-free Smoothing System and my hair pretty much felt the same, i.e. more volume and body but unfortunately, not so moisturized. It's probably because I had dyed and bleached my hair previously. L'Oreal Paris actually has an EverPure Color Care System (Which they also sent over. Thank you sooo much!), so that range may be more appropriate for me.

As for the 48-hour frizz control, I felt that it didn't really happen. But then again, Singapore's weather is pretty impossible. My hair is also of the much coarser type so the system just wasn't strong enough to battle with my lion's mane.

In spite of its shortcomings, I really appreciate the fact that L'Oreal Paris' EverSleek Sulfate-free Smoothing System Intense Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner come sulfate-free. I was having a chat with a lady the other day and she asked if I noticed how many of us are losing hair at an increasingly young age. She reasoned that it was because we use way too many products containing sulfates. I'm sure stress, environment and many other factors come into play as well. But knowing that I have taken care of one major factor (That is, eradicating sulfates from my products.) makes me less worried.

Anyway, besides the EverSleek Sulfate-free Smoothing System, there are 3 other systems for you to choose from; EverPure Color Care System for coloured hair, EverStrong Fortify System to reduce hair loss and EverCrème Moisture System for intense moisture. They can be found in supermarkets, pharmacies and departmental stores island-wide, with prices ranging from $14.90 to $21.90.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

LOOKBOOK: Lollyrouge's Fontaine La Vie Skirt in Lilac

Lollyrouge skirt

Carrying on from the previous entry, I paired the top with a dainty lilac skirt. Purple's really not my thing. I don't know about you but as a kid, I always picked the purple sweets. And one day, I decided to try a red one and it was sooo yum, like a million times better the purple ones. A very young me felt that I got 'cheated' by the latter. And henceforth, swore off ALL purple things. Yeah, I'm pretty 'extreme' like that.

The initial colour that I wanted was out of stock. But because I like the details at the bottom so much, I decided to make do with what was left behind. It sounds pretty sad but it worked out in the end. I think. I may actually not give purple a wide berth anymore. Blackcurrant sweets, anyone?


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

LOOKBOOK: The Tinsel Rack's Willow Button Basic Top in White

The Tinsel Rack top

I think it was sometime in May that Fel and I had a photoshoot together. Fel wore this top and looked so fabulous that I decided to get one myself. This is in the size XS, which is a tad too small. Nevertheless, the cutting is flattering and the material is an absolute joy to be clad in. The top looks completely polished and feminine, with the most darling buttons sitting on your shoulders. I think I might be wearing this to death. :\


Sunday, July 14, 2013

REVIEW: Rêveur's Moist & Gloss Shampoo and Treatment

This May, Japalang welcomed a new brand, Rêveur, to their family. The brand consists of 4 ranges, 2 of which are now available in Singapore. They are the Rich & Repair and Moist & Gloss ranges. A big thank you to Mr. Soh and Sharon for sending me the latter for trial! :D

Rêveur is one of Japan's top hair care brand because of its silicon-free formulae. The brand believes that quality hair care products should be made accessible to the masses and has sold over 50 million bottles within just 2 years of its launch in 2010.

The Moist & Gloss range overflows with natural ingredients like Jojoba Seed Oil, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter and Babassu Oil. It moisturizes and repairs hair from within, leaving us with crowns of soft, glossy and healthy hair.

The shampoo and conditioner are housed in 500ml plastic bottles. The shampoo takes a transparent, gel-like form while the conditioner comes out creamy. Both have sweet and pleasant scents that remain in the hair for quite some time.

I started using the range in May, ditching my beloved KeraSys. KeraSys was absolutely fantastic for my dry and coarse hair. However, prolonged periods of usage had weighed down my hair with too many conditioning agents. My hair lay obediently against my head, but it was a tad too limp and lifeless. So when I first used Rêveur's Moist & Gloss range, there was an immediate difference in my hair; it felt lighter, fresher AND remained moisturized.

During June, I dyed and added red streaks (Which required bleaching. Sigh.) in my hair and the whole colouring business left my hair resembling and feeling like straw. I started on the range again after my Taiwan trip and my hair's in a much healthier state now. (:

Rêveur's Moist & Gloss Shampoo and Treatment are 2 hair care products that I will purchase (I really want to try the Rich & Repair ones though. I mean, these purple bottles are really great. Imagine what the green ones can do!) and that you should check out! The brand can be found in Watsons, Nishino Pharmacy and on Beauty Carousel. Each bottle retails at $16.90. (:


Saturday, July 13, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Novalash's Eyelash Extensions by Lolita

I'm kicking of this weekend with my favourite giveaway thus far; an entire set of Novalash's Eyelash Extensions by Lolita! You have read all about my journey here and now, it's your turn to embark on your own! :DDD

Your journey will begin with my nimble fingers. Yes, I will be learning how to attach eyelash extensions the Novalash way and you will be my model! Heh. Please don't worry too much because Shuxian will be taking over after a very short while! :DDD

Here's what you need to do:
1. Be available on July 21st (Next Sunday!) from 5pm to 8pm (Roughly.).
2. Drop me an email at with your name and the quickest way to contact you!

The giveaway will end on July 19th (Next Friday!), 10.30pm. Cheers to pretty lashes! :DDD


Friday, July 12, 2013

LOOKBOOK: Houndstooth blues.

Houndstooth knit tee from a small shop in Orchard, Hollyhoque skirt

Houndstooth checks came from the Scottish people and I love how its simplicity exudes elegance. A while back, F21 launched a gorgeous pencil houndstooth skirt. I kept checking in on our local stores for it but just when I gave up, the skirt arrived and I completely missed it (I was sooo tempted to get it in L but stupid common sense kicked in. *curses*). Moral of the story: Never EVER give up.

Ever since then, I have been on a lookout for a similar piece but alas, houndstooth and fashion wait for no woman. Anyway, I came across a small shop with the above houndstooth knit tee. It's not the real McCoy (It's not even a skirt!) but I thought it would provide me with some comfort, at the very least.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

REVIEW: Crabtree & Evelyn's Lily Conditioning Hand Wash and Ultra Moisturizing Hand Therapy

Sometime in June, I received Crabtree & Evelyn's Lily Conditioning Hand Wash. This is one of the 8 new conditioning hand washes that the brand's launching this month.

Drawing on its hand-care expertise, Crabtree & Evelyn has created hand washes that bathe our hands in luxurious hydration. Each comes infused with a delightful and delicate floral fragrance and complements the award-winning Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy. Together as a couple, they give us hands that are soft, clean and beautiful.

The Lily Conditioning Hand Wash is housed in a sturdy 250ml bottle. It has a very light floral scent that's refreshing and lingers just for a bit. Lathering easily, it leaves my hands smooth and feeling oh-so-soft.

I don't think I have ever used a hand wash like that before. I usually just use something that's from the drugstores but now, I see the 'light'. I especially like the fact that it is formulated without parabens, propylene glycol, phthalate and mineral oil.

Complementing the hand wash is the Lily Ultra-Moisturizing Hand Therapy in 100g. The sister loves this range of hand moisturizers to bits and so do many people... And it's not the least bit surprising. Creamy and very conditioning, this moisturizer is formulated with shea butter, lily of the valley extract, macadamia nut oil and myrrh to work magic on our hands, cuticles and nails.

I have palms that are temperamental; sometimes they get rained on by sweat glands (I know, not pretty at all. Sigh.) and sometimes they are parched like the desert ground. When the latter happens, they drink up the moisturizer like hungry dire wolves (Yes, an indication that I'm a tad into 'Game of Thrones'.) and become plump with hydration. The lines on my hands are less obvious and they look smoother and younger. I'm really glad I got a set of these during last year's Christmas!

As aforementioned, there are 8 new hand washes. These are across Crabtree & Evelyn's Floral, Botanical and La Source ranges and they are

  • Pomegranate, Argan & Grapeseed
  • Citron, Honey & Coriander
  • Rosewater
  • Lavender
  • Lily
  • Iris
  • Wisteria
  • La Source
They are priced at $30 each and are already available at all Crabtree & Evelyn's stores. (:

LOOKBOOK: L'zzie x Holly

L'zzie top, Hollyhoque skirt

I have seen the shop L'zzie many times but it was only a week before my trip that I set foot in it. And gosh, am I in love with their style. Hello, new favourite shop! The clothes are très chic and classy, like French ladies. They are simple but then, they have this certain je ne sais quoi that makes them so much more than every other clothing on earth.

And the best thing that I like about L'zzie... Most of the clothes are made from comfy material, i.e. cotton and viscose. Both of which are incredibly soothing for insane heat.


Monday, July 8, 2013

TRAVEL: Taiwan 2 Day 3

Day 3 saw us frantically looking for a telecom service provider. All M and I needed was Wi-Fi so that we could get around and of course, so that I could tweet and Instagram (I know, I'm a complete slave to social media! I'm trying really hard to tear myself away! Btw, iTaiwan, the free Wi-Fi for travelers, is completely useless.). But alas, we forgot to our passports! So with heads down, we decided to park ourselves at Tonkatsu for some lunch.

M loved his curry chicken cutlet dish (Evidently!) but mine, some dish without any sauces, was just alright. I'm not a big fan of breaded stuff so... :\

The agenda for the day was to head to Taipei 101's Zara. Hahaha! M was incredibly determined to get work clothes over in Taiwan. Along the way, we passed by some really cool fixtures in front of a massive financial institution. And as people donned in suits walked past, we posed and snapped away!

And here's a shot of Taipei 101! I featured it in my previous trip and you can read about it here. I proceeded to spend a good 3 hours in Zara whereas M... *shakes head*. Aye, it's pretty obvious that if you couldn't find your sizes in the first Zara outlet, chances are that you won't be able to find any in the second one. I mean, they stock the same stuff! But I so wasn't gonna point that out to M, the shopping illiterate. HAHA. :P

Night fell and we headed to Raohe Street Night Market. The night market is quite a long walk from Taipei Metro. So do plan your time properly because Wufenpu, a.k.a the land of clothes, is nearby. You want to make sure you have enough time to visit both markets and make it back in time for the last train back to wherever you came from.

And TADAHHH! Meet San Ma Chou Chou Guo! We found the place by accident the last time we were there and M loved it so much that he was determined to go back (M's a very determined person.), even though our legs were so tired they flipped and flopped. Turns out that San Ma Chou Chou Guo is everywhere... There's one right smack in our hotel's district! :\

Anyway, San Ma Chou Chou Guo serves really awesome steamboat for just NT$100. That's less than S$5! And don't belittle the little pot. Food coma awaits you at the end of it.

We walked a little after that and even though we were still suffering from our comas, we stopped to have some mango dessert. And gosh, MOST DELISH DESSERT EVER! Throw away your macarons and cupcakes and just drown in this sunshine yellow goodness!

The ice was mixed with milk... Probably condensed milk so it was VERY sinful BUT EXTREMELY satisfying. And Taiwan's fruits are the absolute best! Summer's the season for mangoes and whoo boy, sweetest things my mouth had ever tasted! *salivates*

And yay, the end of another boring day! Haha. I just realized how boring my trip was because we just ate and shopped (Okay, just me.). But we had so much fun! Haha. Oh well, we are young and we are in love... What to do. *shrugs* :D

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