Saturday, November 24, 2018

Reddit's Curly Girl Method

The same hairstyle that I have had since junior college, after straightening.

I have been straightening my hair for the longest time but as I get older and perhaps because I'm trying to grow it out, I find that my hair isn't as thick as before. Especially the front, which has always not been thick but now it just seems more apparent. ಠ_ಠ It could very well be because I'm paying closer attention to it now (You know how overthinking kills. *nods slowly*). But anyway, I turned to Reddit for here and came across the Curly Girl/ Guy Method (CG Method).

You know how curls look more defined and just a lot prettier overall when wet than when they are dry? This method says that it is because we are using the wrong hair products. We are using products that are loaded with sulfates/ sulphates that give us the lather, make shampooing really fun (It's like snow. Okay, just give that to me. I live in a country with summer as my only season.) and clean our hair really well. But at the same time, they are also very harsh and can strip away the natural oils, leaving hair dry and in some cases, irritating our scalp too. Then, there are the silicones that make our hair so smooth and shiny we want to touch it forever but these chemicals actually kind of wrap themselves around each strand and prevent moisture from getting in. And it can also weigh hair down and make it limp and lifeless in the long run. So the CG method is to eliminate both of these chemicals in our hair care routine.

Okay, there are people out there who feel that these two chemicals are actually okay. To each his/ her own and YMMV but anyway, I decided to try the CG Method a couple of months back. I haven't got curls but my natural hair is actually pretty wavy and the thing is, I don't want to straighten my hair anymore if it's possible. I have been doing it for a decade already and my hair stylist knows what she is doing but I just don't think it's very healthy? Also, my skin is drying up so I really want to take care of it.

There's a wealth of information on the thread *points above*, but basically this was what I did and what I'm currently doing.

  • Step 1: Give your hair a final wash with a sulfates-only-no-silicones shampoo.
    This is to make sure your hair is extremely clean and free from any build-up before you start the method. I used Schwarzkopf Extra Care Purify & Protect Shampoo (SGD11.90 at Watsons.). It's a pretty huge bottle for something that you're only going to use once so I suggest waiting for sales (Which are very frequent.) or sharing it with a friend. I'm keeping mine because I'm planning to do this 'final wash' once every few months just to get rid of any possible build-up.

  • Step 2: Find your sulfates-and-silicones-free/ CG-friendly shampoo and conditioner.
    Okay, so there are 3 ways to do this; Co-wash, No-poo and Low-poo. There are many variations to these terms but they basically mean

    • Co-washing ('Conditioner-washing'): Washing your hair with conditioner and yes, including the roots. People always say that it's bad but it's actually because of the ingredients in the products that we use. Apparently, it's okay if they are free from sulfates and silicones.
    • No-poo ('No shampoo'): Exactly what the name says; washing your hair with only water.
    • Low-poo ('Low-shapoo'): Washing your hair every now and then with shampoos that are CG-friendly.
    I live in a very sunny and humid place where perspiring is breathing. I have to shower every day, twice. Sometimes, thrice. And I absolutely cannot go without shampoo, so I shampoo my hair every evening and condition twice a day.

    To do a quick check on whether a hair product is CG-friendly, just copy and paste the ingredients in here.

  • Step 3: Dry/ Style your hair.
    The original CG method calls for styling, drying and then, scrunching for curls but I haven't got them so I blow my hair dry and then, apply a leave-in conditioner.

So far, it has been pretty okay. Some people experience greasier scalps, oilier hair and an increase in hair fallout in the first two weeks or so, but thankfully I haven't got those (yet?) because I would have given up so easily man. Lolol (My hair is my everything! *screams dramatically*). And in fact, my hair actually feels a lot softer. Not more manageable and my front's still as thin as before but it just feels lighter and happier. Haha.

I was previously using Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo and Conditioner (USD7.16 each on iHerb.), and am currently using Sukin Moisture Restoring Shampoo and Conditioner and Maple Holistics Silk 18 Natural Hair Conditioner. All have been okay. I have repurchased the Giovanni one, along with some others from iHerb, because I like the minty feeling and the Maple Holistics one is my second bottle already. (ღˇᴗˇ)。o

(At my company's D&D event, with two of my favourite-st people in the world.)
Look at how thin my front is. ಠ_ಠ

I'll continue to update this space on my CG journey. If you have any questions, as always, just drop me an email or a DM on Instagram. Or check out the Curly Hair Community on Reddit. Everyone is just incredibly friendly, helpful and encouraging. ♥ Gawd, Reddit is truly the best (Along with Netflix.). ♥♥


Friday, November 9, 2018

The Minimalism Project I: Beauty Expenses Part 2

This year, I am going to try very hard to be a minimalist in all aspects of my life. And this includes my skincare because this is really where all my pay check goes to. Heh. •͈ᴗ•͈ This section is a record of all my sins, along with their 'justifications', throughout the entire year as mentioned here.

The Minimalism Project: Beauty Expenses
Chapter 1: January - March
Chapter 2: April - June May
Chapter 3: July - September
Chapter 4: October - December

November Diaries

Hi. So.. I have stopped writing about this project because I am weak and went completely out of control. ಥ_ಥ I have saved more than I did last year but I also bought a hell lot of products in the 2nd half of the year, which is really, really bad. ಥ_ಥ

There was one day when I got really fed up and decided to do up an Excel spreadsheet on all the brand new skincare products I own currently and it's like worth a fortune. A fortune with an expiry date. Hence, I'm going to try this again with more precautions taken.

  • Going completely cold turkey will definitely not work, so it's going to be a replacement-only-no-buy ban. I can only replace products that I have finished using or am left with 2 backups (Just because of delivery times.).
  • /r/MakeupRehab/ is my new best friend.
  • Every time I want to buy something, I will text Peiying immediately.
  • Unfollow Instagram accounts that do unboxing of any kind.
  • Focus all my energy on my other hobbies!
Okay, I can do this! Wish me luck! (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و ゙


May Diaries
When term ended, I immediately paid a visit to Cindy so that she could fix Term 2 out of my face. Term 2 was just 3 months of a seemingly never-ending loop of work and home. But I guess that's adulthood? :\ Anyway, visiting Cindy usually means new skincare products (Yay! :D I trust her with my life.). I finished Dr. Grandel SOS Ampoules so I wanted to replenish that. These little glass bottles soothe irritated skin immediately and each time my face turns red, dry and splotchy from stress and fatigue, all I need is 1/3 of one ampoule to calm all that chaos down. I got the Beauty Date Ampoules and Time Out Ampoules too as part of a promotion.

Then, because I have been eyeing on Cezanne makeup in like forever (Ask Brandon!), I decided to get the Airy Touch Shadow in 03 (SGD17.90 before discount) and the Nose & Eyebrow Powder in 01 (SGD15.90 before discount) when Watsons had their 20% sale. The pigmentation for the eyeshadow is really light but I'll play with it some more before I blog about it in detail. On a side note, I'm sooo very glad that Cezanne is back on our shores! Does anyone else like this brand? Their powder foundi is top notch! (ؑ‷ᵕؑ̇‷)◞✧

Cost of sins: ~SG148


April Diaries
Hello! ごめんね、このブログポストがちょっと遅かった。最近は超忙しいから。休みが欲しい〜 Anyway, here is my very small April haul. Really pleased with expenditure last month because it was the lowest ever and seriously, it should have been like this a long time ago. I kind of feel like there's an error but umm... Everything looks right? Heh. Keep it up, Char!

Right, back to the haul. Recently, I discovered another mole on my chin, so I have three now. Just like the Orion's Belt, which is really pretty in the night sky, but not on my face (People always think that I don't clean my mouth after eating.). And then, somehow, Facebook got to know about it and drew up this article for me and I freaked out a tad. I have diligently gone through tubes of La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL Aqua Fresh Gel, which is kind of an in-between-physical-and-chemical sunscreen. I really love it but there are still chemicals in it and the article made sense, so I decided to get the MooGoo Natural Sunscreen SPF 40 (AUD4.50 before discount). It contains 24.9% Zinc Oxide and it makes my skin feel so good after washing it off. Like legit soft and good. But the downside is that because of the high Zinc Oxide content, it makes you really white too. And when mixed with perspiration and sebum, no thanks to Singapore's weather, it's just not a very healthy look. ಥ_ಥ So I'm back to La Roche-Posay but I still use this every now and then, especially when I know I will be getting a lot of sun on that day.

This is my second pail of MooGoo Milk Wash. It's really gentle and moisturising for my sensitive skin. Initially, it felt a little weird because my face wasn't squeaky clean but I didn't encounter more clogged pores and in fact, it is very calming and soothing. The rest are all freebies. :D I have to go now but I will talk about the samples later on. またね!

Cost of sins: ~SG61


Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Only Thing that Stopped My Itch: Dermal Therapy Anti-Itch Soothing Cream

I have been dealing with eczema for the longest time. The first time I had it was when I was in primary school and you know how hot and humid our little island can get. What started out as heat rash on the insides of my elbows developed into eczema when I couldn't stop tending to the itch. Mum took me to a very expensive Chinese doctor who gave me some cream to apply and it cleared up everything so magically that I still remember it. I actually went back to the same doctor a couple of years back to ask for that same cream but apparently, it's banned in Singapore now. Lol.

My next encounter with eczema was when I was 14 and was being officially inducted into Singapore's stressful education system. It happened on my face and it appeared in such a way that I looked like I had an extended smile. Think: Joker. I tried so so so hard not to scratch because it was on. My. Face. And thank goodness that went away when the holidays rolled in. But that encounter also sparked a long-drawn on-and-off battle with stress-induced eczema. And 101% of the times, the eczema gets worse because I tend to the itch. It usually happens in the middle of the night, when my mind is asleep but my body is awake to every itch that happens.

I really think that the way to 'cure' eczema is to stop the itch first, instead of healing the skin. So you first need to find the root of the problem. For me, it's stress-induced so I should quit my job? Hahaha. I will prolly stress out from the lack of a stable, decent income and that's even worse. Also, no PW anymore which I think takes away a large part of my stress. (ؑ‷ᵕؑ̇‷)◞✧

Anyway, when I can't manage my itch, I go to my Chinese doctor but the queues are super long so because I'm also such a beauty junkie, I'm always reading up and finding new creams to try. And I have prolly tried all the popular ones already so trust me, when I say I found the cream that stops all itch.

Meet my new best friend, Dermal Therapy Anti-Itch Soothing Cream. I saw this at Unity Pharmacy and just bought it without doing any googling because it has no steroids and like, it either didn't work like most creams or there was a 0.0000000001 probability that it might work. You can see that there was very little expectation. Haha. I applied it that night when my back started to itch. There was a minty feel which halted the itch and that was what usually creams with menthol usually did immediately upon application but unlike the others, the itch didn't come back again for the entire night. I actually slept through without once waking up to find myself scratching. Which is super duper rare. It only happens when I'm really knackered and my body is dead to everything.

(It doesn't even happen during the holidays when there's no work and hence, no stress. I don't get tired enough so I don't go into a deep sleep and again, my body is awake to every itch. Yes, my body is stupid like that.)

I have gone through 3 tubes of this (Really need to manage stress better. ಥ_ಥ) and recommended it to everyone and so far, it has worked for everyone, yay! The only 'downside' is that it's not moisturising but then again, the tube doesn't say that it would moisturise. So what I do is that I layer it on with a MooGoo moisturiser. Sometimes, I add the Dermal Therapy Skin Relief Cream but this one is a really small tube, is pretty expensive, and it doesn't seem to be more moisturising than the MooGoo one.

If you're dealing with eczema, I really, really^(infinity) recommend that you give this a try. It's SGD19.90 at Unity Pharmacy and sometimes, there's a 20% discount. Do drop me an email at if you have any questions and also, let me know if this works for you! :D


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Checking out Emma Watson's Favourite Lip Stain from The Body Shop

The day after Into The Gloss published Emma Watson's Beauty Routine, I found myself at The Body Shop purchasing all the colours that the Lip & Cheek Stain is available in on our shores. Thankfully there are only 2; Pink Hibiscus 001 and Dark Cherry 018. Neither of which is the one that Emma uses (Red Pomegranate!). But that's okay because it turns out that I didn't like it when I was a teen and I still don't like it as an adult. 😕 Real bummer but I will still continue my googling of celebrities' beauty routines and checking out whatever products that are affordable. Heh. (ؑ‷ᵕؑ̇‷)◞✧

The stains come in 7.2ml tiny bottles that will fit in any makeup pouch or back pockets. They have sponge applicators that are soft yet firm. I dab a little of the stain on the inner corners of my lips and then, use my finger to spread it out for a 'just bitten' look.

And as you can see from the above photo, Pink Hibiscus (Bottom one.) is very watery whereas Dark Cherry (Top one.) is a little gel-like. The former smells flowery and gives a brighter and more youthful look, while the latter has a more chemical smell to it and gives off a pure and innocent vibe. I love both colours but unfortunately, despite the difference in viscosity, both are equally drying and unforgiving on my already-parched lips.

My lips feel drier and tight almost immediately upon application. I have tried applying a lip balm on top of it but then, the colour comes off. And if I applied a lip balm underneath it, then I find that it's difficult to get the colour to stick.

I really wanted to own a little something from Emma's beauty routine (Just because.) but I'm not going to find it in these two. 😕 I'm actually going to bin these two after I publish this entry but anyway, right not, I'm using DHC Pure Colour Lip Creams and we are getting along very fine. :D


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Naruko's Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask & Cleanser in 1

O-hai! It has been a while.. Again. 😕 Apologies! Work and life. But I have been trying out quite a number of new products and I can't wait to share them with you!

First up, it's the Naruko Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask & Cleanser in 1. The above is actually my second tube and again, I'm all kinds of sad that the brand pulled out of Singapore. It's still available at Watsons and on Lazada, but the sales just aren't as good. I read that the US website has pretty good ones but shipping fees! ): It's okay. I'll just wait for my stash to dry up and then, make a massive haul. Or go Taiwan for a holiday. Shipping fees are cheaper. Right.

And... I digress. Back to this mask/ scrub. It gives a deep cleanse by getting rid of dead skin cells and excess oil. Squeeze a pea-sized amount and apply all over dry face that has been cleaned off makeup. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then, gently massage with water, concentrating on your T-zone. Finally, wash it off to reveal your new radiant skin! (ؑ‷ᵕؑ̇‷)◞✧

Naruko Malaysia's website highlighted some of these key ingredients:

  • Phytoferulin: A combination of Coptis chinensis Franch (A Chinese herb that is known for its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.) and 10 concentrated plant extracts that enhances the skin's defence against external aggressors and revitalises the skin from inside out.
  • p-Refinyl: Concocted from oligose, this helps to control oil secretion, tighten pores and works with collagen to maintain skin's plumpness and firmness.
  • Jojoba Soft Microne: 'Beads' that are extracted from Jojoba oil to help smoothen skin gently.
  • Kaolin: Absorbs excess oil and gets rid of debris on skin's surface.
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil: Treats acne and soothes irritated skin.
  • Tremella Extract: This plant extract hydrates and nourishes skin.
  • Glycolic Acid: This fruit acid dissolves dead skin for a brighter, clearer and more even complexion.
  • Zince PCA Oil Control Factor: Controls oil secretion.
  • Tranexamic Acid: Brightens skin.

This 2-in-1 cleanser comes out as a off-white paste, dotted with specks. I was using this every 3 days or so until I realise that my supply was running out. So now it has become a once-a-week treat or whenever I feel like my skin is in a desperate need for a good scrub. But yes, it is that gentle on my sensitive skin. There is zero irritation and redness. After washing it off, my skin is always left feeling ultra smooth and clean, but not to the point of dryness. And the tea tree scent is incredibly invigorating after a long day!

I'll be really sad when this tube ends. ಥ_ಥ Naruko's tea tree range has been quite effective for my skin and I wish I had discovered it sooner! I actually just finished the Naruko Tea Tree Post Blemish Corrector and will share about it the next time (Spoiler alert: Holy grail status.). :D


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Catrice's Victorian Poetry Eyeshadow Palette in C01 NostalCHIC

Early in June, I was just chilling at a mall when I came across Catrice's Victorian Poetry collection. I actually didn't think much of the brand before this because I cannot work with the formula of the brand's nail polishes. I know they are two completely different categories but you know, it was just a bad impression. But this collection was so pretty with its frosty-ice-queen theme that I decided to swatch and developed a crush. ꈍ .̮ ꈍ

The eyeshadows are not buttery smooth like Urban Decay's (Well, this is a hell lot more affordable and a whole lot less guilt-inducing. Heh.) but they are of decent pigmentation and actually blend very well. I don't wear my eyeshadows with a primer and my eyelids can get pretty oily but this lasted okay for a dinner and an ice-cream. Some fading away, but still looking pretty fresh. :D

I will definitely by swatching a lot more when I pop by Guardian! ♡


Saturday, July 21, 2018

My Little Beauty Secret: Naruko's Face Renewal Miracle Essence

Naruko has been my favourite-st brand in the last 2 years because of this, the one and only Face Renewal Miracle Essence. I found this elixir during one of my 'darkest skin periods' via Fiddy Snails's blog (Ilu.♡). Back then, my skin was incredibly sensitive and irritated because of a snowball effect of natural sensitivity made worse by laser and dry Korean weather. But a few pats of this (Okay, I did spam when I realised how precious this was to my skin.) gradually nursed my skin back to health and beyond. ♡_♡

Naruko Face Renewal Miracle Essence is under the premium Jing Cheng line. Made from botanical extracts, yeast extract and a high concentration of Ystract, it promises a clear, hydrated and youthful complexion.

Here are the main ingredients:

  • Actuat E60: This special Naruko concoction is made from the extracts of 60 specially-selected plants. It works by combining Eastern herbal extracts and Western herbal aromatherapy to create a soothing environment for stressed-out skin, so that it is in its optimal condition to absorb the goodness of this essence.
  • Ystract: Another brainchild of Naruko, this contains amino acids, vitamins and minerals to help block melanin production, reduce spots and encourage skin metabolism. It also hydrates, whitens and firms up skin.
  • Yeast Extract: This delivers moisture to the skin, while repairing and enhancing the skin's natural defence system with its active ingredients. It also helps to control sebum production and whiten complexion.

I religiously apply this twice a day, after cleansing. And at the start, I really didn't think much of it. I just didn't want to waste (any more) money and the initial effects were pretty much non-existent. But this is a treatment and as the days of application went by, I realised that my skin was getting more hydrated, plumper and a lot less irritated. Even my inner cheeks, which always had some degree of roughness to them, were visibly smoother and happier. And it got to the point when my facial therapist was like 'Hey, your skin's getting a lot better! In fact, it's actually pretty good.'.

No one has ever said that about my skin. Ever.

And to think it was said by my facial therapist who sees my face up-close every month.. I will marry this. Unfortunately, Naruko decided to end its Singapore distribution this year. ಥ_ಥ So the only way for me to get my supply is when my cousin flies over to Taiwan.. Or perhaps, it's time for me to go back there again? :D Heh.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dressing My Nails in Catrice's Irregular Galaxies

Was a little early for my facial the other day and so, I decided to pop by Guardian and found Catrice Spectra Light Effect Nail Lacquer in 03 Irregular Galaxies. I love blue on my nails (Prolly because of Lindsay Lohan in 'Parent Trap'. Heh.), even though it does kind of make your nails a tad yellow when you remove it but I'll worry about that later.

Catrice is a super affordable brand that is stocked exclusively at Guardian. Their collections come out pretty often. The previous collection was Victorian Poetry and I got an eyeshadow palette (Oops! Swatches are still sitting in my draft and I forgot to include it in my Minimalism Project", which is actually failing miserably. ಥ_ಥ) because the quality was so decent. It isn't buttery soft like Urban Decay but it blended well and the colours were so frosty pretty! But that's another story for another entry, so back to this.

This actually isn't the first time I tried Catrice's nail polishes. A couple years back, I got the base coat, top coat and some shimmery nail polishes but I tried them once and never used them again. The formula wasn't very smooth so it made application a challenge for me. And unfortunately, that hasn't changed. I had to do this twice before I was okay with how my nails look under different light angles (No bumps, absolute smoothness.. Okay, not absolute.). Two coats were needed and I used my favourite Innisfree base and top coats.

Was it worth the effort?

Hell yeah! Look at how pretty the colours are! (': It makes marking scripts so much more bearable! (':


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Naruko Raw Job's Tears Supercritical CO2 Brightening Make-up Removing Cleansing Mousse

Hello! It's finally the holidays and even though I have had June holidays since I was a kid (Ermahgawd. Ageing. ಥ_ಥ), somehow this one feels extremely precious. Maybe it's because I took on a little more but it was nice being busy. Though it wasn't so nice falling sick... Twice. Sheesh, stupid body.

Anyway, just the other day, I was wondering if people still read blogs. I go onto Reddit for reviews because there aren't many active blogs now, which is kind of sad but oh wells. I mean, I'm barely active too. Heh. It would be a lot easier and convenient to blog when I move on to a new work place next year. Hopefully. ◡̈

Today, I'm going to review Naruko Raw Job's Tears Supercritical CO2 Brightening Make-up Removing Cleansing Mousse. For those who don't already know, Naruko is my current favourite-st brand and when the brand decided to pull out from Singapore early this year *insert loud sobs*, I went slightly crazy and carted out parcels after parcels of products. So much for minimalism and I really need to remind myself that I'm not Watsons personified. Heh. Anyway, I'm actually more for the masks but the cleansers were BOGO so... *guilty grin*

This cleanser doubles up as a makeup remover and even though it says 'mousse', it's more foam. And if you're familiar with Naruko products, you would know that their ingredients list is essay-like (Which is actually one of the reasons why I took so long to really love this brand because I prefer minimal ingredients.).

Here are the highlighted ingredients on Naruko Malaysia's website, along with some Google research:

  • Betaine: Humectant and anti-irritant, that hydrates the skin without leaving any sticky residual. Temporarily smoothes out lines and wrinkles for a youthful appearance.
  • Yeast Complex B and Gluconolactone: Yeast Complex B reduces sebum production and Gluconolactone, otherwise known as Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA), protects skin from UV radiation damage.
  • Raw Job's Tears, Polished Job's Tears, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid and Tranexamic Acid: The first two are for hydration, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a stable Vitamin C derivative which helps brighten the complexion and Tranexamic Acid helps to whiten.
  • Hyaluronic Acid, Tremella Extract and Phytoferulin: Hyaluronic Acid is for hydration, Tremella is a kind of fungus that is a natural substitute for Sodium Hyaluronate and Phytoferulin is Naruko's patented ingredient which contains 11 plant extracts for their antioxidant properties and brightening effects.

I'm currently on my 2nd and last bottle (Trip to Taiwan soon please. Also, to feed my current idol drama obsession. #jerryyan4eva). I use this every evening, after I come back from work. It removes sunscreen and light makeup really easily but it's not so clean when it comes to heavy eye makeup. I will double cleanse with this sometimes. Otherwise, I will use Naruko Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask & Cleanser in 1.

The cleanser doesn't give me that super squeaky clean feeling (Which is a good thing.) and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. I'm quite fair so the brightening effect isn't that visible but there's Niacinamide in it, which is a brightening ingredient that Redditors love. It leaves my skin soft, smooth and comfortable and I will definitely get this again if I come across it (Does Naruko Malaysia ship to Singapore? ಥ_ಥ) because it's pretty pocket-friendly as well. Also, foam is supposed to exert less stress on your skin so it prevents premature wrinkles. Not that this really matters to me because I totally skoosh my face into my pillow when I sleep so... Heh. Anyway, definitely check this out if you're looking for a fuss-free and gentle cleanser for sensitive skin!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Lierac Huile Sensorielle Aux 3 Fleurs Blanches

A year back or so, BlackBox had some really huge discounts and I managed to get my hands on the Lierac Huile Sensorielle Aux 3 Fleurs Blanches for only SGD39.90. Whoop! ٩(^‿^)۶

This multi-purpose oil is made from 3 types of white flower which help to nourish skin, hair and body. Argan oil is also added to repair environmental damage on the cellular level while omega-rich olive, sunflower, hazel seed and sweet almond oils boost firmness and elasticity.

I have been using this on and off for about a year, am down to my last few drops and thought I had better do a review before I bid it goodbye. But yeah, okay. Of course, I have a backup stashed away. Heh.

The gold-tinged oil is lightweight, comes out pretty runny and smells super good! It has a light floral scent that isn't overpowering. I use this mostly on my hair but I have tried this on my face and body as well. And on all 3 areas, it is absorbed very quickly, leaving barely a hint of an oily residue. For my face and body, I felt that the effects were just okay. Nothing special and nothing that I couldn't replicate with other products. But on my hair, it's a different story. My hair loves it. Loves. ♡_♡

After showering and blow drying my hair a little at night, I would apply 2 pumps of this golden goodness from the mid-length of my hair downwards, concentrating on the ends. It doesn't weigh my hair down and it has made it crazily soft, but not limp, and super healthy. Will definitely repurchase this when it goes on sale again!


Monday, April 30, 2018

The Minimalism Project I: Beauty Expenses Part 1

This year, I am going to try very hard to be a minimalist in all aspects of my life. And this includes my skincare because this is really where all my pay check goes to. Heh. •͈ᴗ•͈ This section is a record of all my sins, along with their 'justifications', throughout the entire year as mentioned here.

The Minimalism Project: Beauty Expenses
Chapter 1: January - March
Chapter 2: April - June May
Chapter 3: July - September
Chapter 4: October - December


March Diaries
March failed terribly, in terms of this Minimalism Project. ಥ_ಥ Firstly, Naruko is pulling out of Singapore (Side note: I'm extremely upset about this. *mourns*) and I went a tad insane stocking up on my favourite masks, as well as getting new products to try (It was like 2 for the price of 1!). So expect tons of reviews on Naruko in the months to come! *excites* But... Yeah, I spent a whole lot. ): SGD552, in fact. )): I want to say that I'm not going to spend anymore but we all know that actions speak louder than words, so 頑張ります!*inserts flexed bicep emoji*

Anyway, on to the photos above. I visited my facial therapist at the start of the month for some pampering after a crazy February and got my favourite Skin Origin Cleansing Milk (SGD75 before discount) and Naturelle Bio Dermatique Glyco-Bio III (SGD88 before discount). The latter contains 12% Glycolic Acid and I got it mainly to get rid of scars and clogged pores on my back. It has been fading old scars really quickly and my clogged pores are a whole lot fewer. But it's pretty pricey, so now that my back's better, I'm going to alternate it with Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic, which has 5% Glycolic Acid.

Right above aforementioned items are Dejavu mascaras, which I got from Sasa with a 20% discount (SGD20 after discount). My current one takes a lot of rubbing to remove and well, I'm aging and really do not need to risk having more lines under my eyes. Though these don't give you falsies-like lashes, they are comfortable and wash off incredibly easy with warm water. I think I'm just going to stick with them for life now. These and the ones from Innisfree. ♥

The second photo shows my stash of Aura Cacia essential oils from iHerb. I have a couple of colleagues who are very into essential oils for their kids and in my quest to have the control to be zen whenever I want to, I kinda joined the club. Essential oils that can be bought in Singapore come mainly from 2 companies, Doterra and Young Living. I know Doterra oils can be ingested but both brands are crazy expensive. I wasn't really interested in taken them orally so I decided to get mine from iHerb. FYI, Aura Cacia's oils cannot be ingested. I put many drops of Lavender on Gran's pillow cases, blankets and cardigan at night to keep mosquitoes away and it has been so effective. Gran doesn't complain about them anymore. For me, I mix Chamomile or Lavender in my body lotion, and Peppermint is used when I get stomach upsets.

Not pictured are tubes of La Roche-Posay Circaplast Pro-Recovery Skincare (SGD18.34 after discount), which I have known since forever. I had my skin tags burned off during the March holidays and was spamming this magical gel on the wounds. Healed beautifully. Please, please, La Roche-Posay, please don't every discontinue this.

Cost of sins: ~SG840


February Diaries
Okay, so I didn't think I would be updating this entry so soon (And at the start of the month some more. ಠ_ಠ) but January kinda ended on a really stressful note. It's actually going to be a stressful February too. Anyway, in between work on February 1st, I found some time to log onto BeautyFresh and got my NARS blushers in Deep Throat and Orgasm (SGD36.19 each, after a V-day discount of 23%). I have been going foundation-free for a year now but I wanted to add some happiness to my face. Lol. I have owned them both before, though I never actually hit pan on one. 😕 Side note, BeautyFresh's amazing. This is my 2nd order with them and it has been a wonderful shopping experience. Think: Smooth transactions, timely updates and quick deliveries.

Right after work ended and my afternoon appointment got cancelled, I headed down to the mall for more serious retail therapy. Sasa was having a private member sale and I got theBalm's DownBoy and CabanaBoy (SGD35 each but there was a 30% discount), Dejavu's Lasting-fine Brush Liquid Eyeliner (Espresso) (SGD5 during the sale) and Pink Lady's Double Eyelid Tape (S) (SGD4.50 each but it was a buy-1-free-1 deal.). I have been using my Benefit blush palette, Dandelion in particular but I couldn't stop thinking about DownBoy. The latter is just so much prettier to me. CabanaBoy is a winter-bitten kind of blush. It is very pigmented and very pretty!

Last night, I received my Laniege Two Tone Matte Lip Bar in No. 10 Soft Knit (SGD24.40, with shipping) parcel from Breezy Qoo10. I tried it earlier and it was pretty drying so I'm glad it came with complimentary trial sizes of the Lip Sleeping Mask and Lip & Eye Remover.

Okay, confession time. The Innisfree nail polishes (SGD4 each), Jovisa Eyelash Tonic (USD16.99) and Silk18 Natural Hair Conditioner (USD15.83, with shipping) were bought last month. Heh. Innisfree nail polishes are the absolute best. They go on smooth, dry fast and they dominate my nail polish collection. Amazon (ILU. ♡) has been my go-to scrolling page when I have some leisure time. I found the Jovisa eyelash serum at a much cheaper price and decided to get a Buzzfeed-featured conditioner to try.

Cost of sins: ~SGD215


January Diaries
This is my backup of ICM Pharma's Acne Clear Pimple Treatment Cream (SGD6.20). It is my current pimple destroyer and it is so effective! Apply some on potential and existing pimples and they should be eliminated within a couple of days. I got the Acne Clear Lotion (SGD7.60) too for clogged pores on my back (Which my Sinseh said is the manifestation of 虛火, or otherwise known as Deficient Fire in TCM terminology.). It has the same active ingredients as the cream, but in slightly different proportions and sans Zinc Oxide. Though it's a lot easier to apply this on my back, it unfortunately doesn't work as fast. ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶

The Centellase Ointment (SGD17+) was spotted on Guardian shelves during one of my window shopping trips. I love Centella Asiatica because of Cosrx and this has 10mg of it. Haven't tried this yet because I'm trying to finish up my Hiruscar but will report back as soon as I can. :D

Cost of sins: ~SGD31


Friday, March 30, 2018

Going foundation-free

I started wearing foundation full-time when I was in university. Tinted moisturisers, B.B. creams, foundations... I have tried them all. B.B. creams were prolly the most fun to use because they came with a gazillion other skincare benefits and also, they give you the much-envied, flawlessly dewy Korean skin. Unfortunately, for me, they gave me a bunch of blackheads too. My facial therapist explained that because they are so good at being resistant to sebum and perspiration, it becomes really difficult to clean them off completely. Hence, the clogged pores.

So, in my later years (Lol.), I stuck to Bourjois' Healthy Mix Serum, VMV Hypoallergenics' Illuminants Brilliance Finish 25 Powder Foundation (Which I still love very much and have a spare each in my stash.). However, two Septembers ago, my skin got really sensitive. It was dry, irritated and peeling everywhere. The more I tried to cover it with foundation, the worse it looked. And that was when I decided to go foundation-free.

The first day was pretty 'scary'. I mean, of all the times to decide to go barefaced, I did it when my skin was at its crappiest?? Lol. But it was okay. Just like pimples, no one really bothered. And I felt like my skin could breathe! With the help of some Chinese meds, my skin eventually healed and I didn't go back to foundation. Of course I use a concealer every now and then to hide pesky spots but, I quite enjoy the feeling of not having a layer covering my skin. Also, I find my skin a lot healthier now. :D

Here are my top 5 tips on going foundation-free.

  1. Exercise and drink lots of water.
    Skin is a reflection of what's going on in our body so do take care of it! I think it's virtually impossible to have sufficient rest (Hahaha.), so I try to accomplish other things instead like exercising at least once a week and drinking about 2 litres of water every day.
  2. Invest in good skincare.
    Knowing what goes into the skincare products we apply on our face is important. I research and read online reviews before buying new products and I always do a patch test.
  3. Apply sunscreen.
    I cannot stress the importance of sunscreen enough. As I get older, I find myself getting more freckles and moles. And after long hours under the sun, my skin just looks battered. I carry an umbrella everywhere I go.
  4. Don't pick your skin. That pimple will go away.
    Again, as I age, my skin takes longer to heal. But it will heal. So don't delay recovery by tampering with pimples because breaking the skin might just cause more infection.
  5. Pamper your skin.
    Every week, I give my skin a good scrub and a nice mask-ing session at least 2-3 times. Scrubs remove dead skin so that skincare can sink in better and masks contain an intense concentration of ingredients to treat and repair our skin.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Maple Holistics Silk18 Natural Hair Conditioner

I love BuzzFeed. I take their quizzes regularly, watch their Tasty Instagram videos when I'm bored, get my current affairs knowledge from their News section and of course, read every beauty article they published. In last month's beauty news, they featured 28 Things That'll Help You Get The Best Hair Of Your Life. And on the list was Maple Holistics Silk18 Natural Hair Conditioner (USD15.83, with shipping, from beloved Amazon.).

Steeped in a base of water and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, this conditioner is jam-packed with 18 different silk amino acids, Phytokeratin, oils like Jojoba and Argan and an organic blend of Pomegranate, Hibiscus, Green Tea and Sea Buckthorn to help calm and hydrate frizzy tresses. Made in USA, it is cruelty-free and does not contain any artificial fragrances (Natural Vanilla is used!), colouring and sulfates.

I have been using this for about a month now and I have completely abandoned my L'Occitane conditioner in favour of it. In the mornings, I slather this on, let it soak in, wash it off, apply my L'Occitane oil on the ends and I get the most obedient hair ever. My hair doesn't get as messy and frizzy as it usually does as the day goes on, and it keeps its shape. And despite the conditioner's oil contents, my hair doesn't get weighed down. Also, the vanilla scent makes it smell so homely and so very safe. ◡̈ Definitely a keeper!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Dressing My Nails in Innisfree

I came to appreciate nail polishes when I was in university. Classes were dreary and I decided to paint my nails a different colour every week, just to cheer myself up. So even though it was such a pain to wait for the polishes to dry completely, it became my relaxing/ telly time. 6 years on and it's still therapeutic for me.

Technology has come a long way and after experimenting with various brands like O.P.I, Essie, Orly, The Face Shop etc., I have found my favourite a.k.a Innisfree. The nail polishes go on smoothly, dry quickly and are really long-lasting. Also, they are incredibly affordable at SGD4 per bottle.

Innisfree's Nail Base Coat (SGD6) and Nail Top Coat (SGD6) are staples. And I also really like their Nail Gel Top Coat a lot too. It made my previous set of nails so shiny and colourful for 1.5 weeks before chipping. I wanted to feature that in this post actually but I took the wrong one. Also, I'm not sure if it's still available because the last Innisfree store I visited didn't have it. Let me check and I'll do up another post then. ◡̈ Spotted it at Takashimaya's Innisfree outlet!

Anyway, back to this post. Here are my nails, freshly coated in Innisfree. Unfortunately, I can't remember the numbers for these polishes because they are printed on the sticky tape that you have to remove. They are in the usual range though. And they are actually more purplish than they appear here. The purple base is #63 and the glitter is #80.

I'll be penning down my journey with this set of nails so that you can see how great Innisfree nail polishes are and be convinced to buy truckloads of them. This way, Innisfree will be encouraged to come up with more nail colours and I can be happy for the rest of my life. Hahaha. Kidding. Maybe not. But I do really want to share their greatness. Not going to buy other brands unless they have got more interesting/ prettier colours.

Day 0
Each nail has 2 coats of the base colour and every alternate nail has an additional coat of glitter. It took about 1 1/2 episode of The Vampire Diaries (An hour. Also, rewatching TVD. Soundtrack is great and Ian Somerhalder is gorgeous. His eyes are so pretty. ♥_♥) to dry completely, through the layers. Went about the rest of my day as usual and not a single nail was mucked up, which you have to understand, was quite a feat because I'm not exactly dainty.

Day 1
Had a final fancy meal with family and Z at Lei Garden Restaurant in CHIJMES before the sis jets back to the U.K.. I really like the spring pancakes that you wrap the Peking Duck in but Dad doesn't. Anyhow, the service is great and prompt, and it's a nice place to dine with loved ones. Went to work after that and worked out a little while watching the beginnings of Klaroline (Hehe. ♡). And here I am, with my Innisfree nails report. Not a chip in sight (Well, it's only day 1.) and the glitters are firmly sealed in. :D

Day 3
It was back to work for me today after completely losing my voice last Wednesday. It was absolutely terrible not being able to talk and/ or having your own body cut you off mid-sentence. The sister thought I sounded a lot like Chewie from Star Wars and decided to play soundtracks of him growling every time I tried to say something. ಠ_ಠ Anyway, while washing my hair today, I felt a strand get caught underneath the nail polish. Turned out to be my middle finger. Still, it looks alright. Glitters are still intact. ◡̈

Day 6
And yay, it's Chinese New Year break!!! Teehee. Can't wait to wolf down all the Bak Kwa, even though I still think that Ba Kwa produced during this festive period is just not as good as the non-festive period ones. 😕 Back to the nails... The middle one kinda took a beating over the past couple of days. And a glitter bit on my index finger came off. But it still looks alright overall. Hoping that it will last through the festive bingeing!

Day 8
CNY was great! Dipped my hands way too many times into the Bak Kwa and Pineapple tart jars that more of my nail polish came off. Hahaha. Oh gee, I hope I didn't swallow any of the flakes accidentally. 😕 Anyway, other than the index and middle fingers, the rest actually still look pretty good but my nails do grow pretty fast, huh?

Day 12
Today's the end of this set of nails because I have a work event on Friday and also, I'm dying to paint my nails black again (After Friday.). Heh. My ring finger's nail polish has started to chip but after 12 days, my nails still look decently presentable. :D It's almost two weeks! For the curious cats, my right hand, which is the dominant one, fared just a tad worse. Most of the chipping happened on the index and middle fingers.

So, there you have it, my 12 days of pretty nails with Innisfree! I hope this entry has been a good review of Innisfree's nail polish formula. ◡̈


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Babyliss Diamond Big Hair Dual

My hair is really the bane of my existence. It's dry, coarse and very messy. I get it straightened twice a year which I know is really bad. But if I don't do that, it becomes, in Dad's words, a lion's mane. Lol. Anyway, in between my rebonding sessions when the effect is wearing off, I'm always looking out for tools to style unkempt, growing-out rebonded hair.

I have tried straighteners and curlers but they are quite troublesome. I wash my hair before I style it so that means spending ten minutes on blow-drying, then another ten on styling and I just haven't got that kind of patience. Also, I'm usually running late. Heh. Plus Singapore is really hot so by the time I'm done making my hair pretty, I'm a mess everywhere else. :\\\

Several years back, I discovered the magic of hot air stylers and I still use a Babyliss one every now and then. But you know how you're supposed to blow-dry your hair downwards to close the hair cuticles. Yeah, that is not easy with a hot air styler so my hair gets frizzy really fast. :\

(This story is becoming really long. Promise that it's about to end.)

A couple of weeks back, my mentor went to work with really nice salon-styled hair and told me about Babybliss Big Hair. I read about it when it first came out but it didn't appeal to me then. Anyway, I started googling again, read reviews, watched YouTube tutorials and got really tempted. Lol. The only problem is that it costs SGD129 at Watsons. So I decided to wait for sales but... ASOS has the Babyliss Diamond Big Hair Dual, which comes with 2 interchangeable heads (42mm and 50mm) at SGD129.30! Still, I decided to wait and then, BAM! 20% discount.

I bought it. *insert moon emoji*

So tadahhh! Here's my Babyliss Diamond Big Hair Dual in all of its shining glory. :DDD It is basically a hot air styler, except that the brush heads rotate! This really helps with the frizz because the air is being blown downwards when it rotates. I think. Hahaha. Or maybe it's because the barrels are made of diamond-infused ceramic? Or there's a new technology in place? Lol. Whatever it is, I experience a lot less frizz with this as compared with my hot air non-rotating styler. Yay! :DDD

After washing and towel-drying my hair, I blow-dry till it's about 80% damp and comb through with a small Kent brush to get rid of any tangles. Then I go all happy with my Diamond Big Hair Dual. It's slightly bulkier than my hot air styler but I have been using the latter for years so I can maneuver it pretty easily. Newbies might need some time to figure their way around it though, but don't give up! Promise that the results are worth it. Haha. :D

I still haven't got the complete hang of styling my hair with it. Sometimes, my hair gets a little stuck (Just need to rotate the brush in the opposite direction!). But it is getting easier with each attempt. It gives my hair a lot of volume and bounce and I love how quickly and easily it makes my hair ends curl in. I guess the only real downside about this thing is that your hair is receiving a lot of heat in close proximity. So I use a lot of L'Occitane oil, especially on my hair ends. (:

I hope this post has been useful! If you have any questions, just leave a comment or drop me an email. (:


Monday, February 5, 2018

Edge Fractional CO2 Laser FAQ

Even though it has been about a year since I did my Edge Fractional CO2 Laser at The Clifford Clinic, I'm still getting emails about it. And I kinda missed out on replying to some because I was busy (I'm very sorry!), so I decided to do a FAQ entry on the common questions asked. Hope it helps! ◡̈

  • How much did you pay for it?
    I paid SGD200 for the trial and bought a tube of Foban Cream at SGD8 and the Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel at SGD129. I can't remember if those prices included GST though.

  • Is it okay if I go for just one session?
    This really depends on your skin's condition. For me, I only went for one and I had baby-smooth, though very sensitive, skin after that. The receptionist told me she went for one every year and her skin was really good. Do consult the doctor regarding this though!

  • Did the laser cure your acne?
    I didn't go for the laser to get rid of acne. I was actually looking to get rid of my skin tags but decided to do the Edge Fractional CO2 Laser too because it promised smoother skin texture and smaller pores.

  • Was your face really red after the laser?
    Yes, yes it was. If you google for online reviews, some people only had slight redness but mine was full-on red. It was like I had a really bad sunburnt. It took slightly more than a week for the redness to reduce to a friendlier pink.

  • Was your skin sensitive after the laser?
    Yes, it was very sensitive. I mean, I have sensitive skin to begin with so this just made it even more sensitive and I ran into a bit of an eczema trouble when I went to Korea (Dry air.) a month later.

  • Did you get any breakout?
    Nope, I didn't get zits.

  • When is it allowed to apply makeup after the laser to conceal the redness?
    I'm not sure when it is allowed actually. Haha. But I wore light makeup on Day 3 and it was okay. The only thing is that you need to be extremely careful when removing the makeup. The scabs that formed are supposed to fall off naturally like how normal wounds heal. But I didn't think the water jet from the shower head would be strong enough to wash them off, so I wasn't very gentle. Lots of scabs fell off unnaturally and my face got a little raw. ಥ_ಥ

  • Other than the antiseptic cream and the thermal water spray, what else did you apply to reduce the redness?
    I did a post here!

  • How is the effect so far? Does it really help to get rid of acne scars and enlarged pores?
    Hmm... I feel that I didn't recover as well because of the whole Korea-dry-air-developed-eczema business. My skin actually looks like how it was before the laser. But I only went for one session and it was a year ago, so I can't really be a good judge on that.

  • Will you go for it again?
    No. Heh. I mean, I really love and enjoyed having baby-smooth skin for a month but my skin's just way too sensitive for invasive lasers. I don't mind going for the less invasive ones though, but they are really expensive.

My Laser Diary
May 21st, 2014: Spectra Carbon Laser Peel with Trinity Medical Centre (Marine Parade)
January 31st, 2015: Nd:YAG Laser Rejuvenation with Trinity Medical Centre (Marine Parade)
August 10th, 2016: PPP Laser Clinic's 360 Skin Solution
September 16th, 2016: The Clifford Clinic's Edge Fractional CO2 Laser
December 22nd, 2016: 5 Months After Laser
September 20th, 2016: Post-laser Skincare Routine

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The In-between Skincare Routine: HA Edition

Okay, I'm not sure about you but I have this thing called the in-between skincare routine. It's what I do when it's not quite time for my actual skincare routine yet. My actual routine is done in the mornings when I get up and shower for work and at nights, right before bedtime. So when I get home during the weekdays or when I don't shower so early during the weekends, I have this simple routine which I do. Basically, a midday routine. Right, that's probably a better name. Haha. But I like 'in-between'. Very Stranger Things-like. Hahaha. Heh.

The products I use in my in-between routine change quite often because it's also a time for me to test out products. I'm awake so I can monitor how my skin is receiving them and if there's any negative reaction, I can do immediate 'first aid'. Anyway, I have been really liking my current in-between routine and here's what it is made up of.

  • Derma E Hydrating Mist with Hyaluronic Acid
    This mist is a bottle of Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Provitamin B5, Witch Hazel, Green Tea and Aloe Vera. After cleansing and if it had been a particularly greasy day or if I wanted something light, I would just spray this on and pat it in. It smells a little like detergent but the scent goes away quickly and it hydrates very nicely in our hot and humid weather. Also, it's free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colours and GMOs.

  • Skinceuticals Hydrating B5
    While I felt that the Phyto Corrective Gel didn't do much for my skin, the Hydrating B5 did and it's a huge difference. My face has been feeling really plump with moisture because of Naruko Face Renewal Miracle Essence and I really didn't think there would be any other product that could do the same but oh boy! All I needed was one night with Hydrating B5 and I'm completely hooked. It actually makes my face feels plumper (No, I'm very certain it's not from eating. Haha.), more hydrated and just very healthy overall. This bottle is actually in both my in-between and night routines, though I try to save it more for the latter because it's really expensive.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Skincare Goals 2018

I have been obsessed with skincare ever since I got my first zit and it's one of the topics that I talk very enthusiastically about. If we were to have a meal together, it is very likely that I begin with "So, what has your skincare routine been like?". Kind of like a walking, lol. (ؑ‷ᵕؑ̇‷)◞✧

Anyways, after years of informal interviews with people, I, finally at the grand old age of __(insert age)__, have finally realised and accepted the fact that good skin is really all about having a healthy lifestyle. Sure, pile on your beauty products because they promise so much and make you feel so good. But ultimately, the skin, being the largest organ of the body, is really a reflection of what goes on inside.

Hence, here are 4 habits which I would like to adopt this year. (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و ゙

  1. Exercise at least 3 times a week.
    Exercise works wonders for my body. If I don't exercise, I fall sick real easily. Unfortunately, life gets pretty tiring and well, there's this thing called laziness... Heh. So here's the plan. Exercise at least 3 times a week. This includes running (Which I have stopped ever since my London trip. 😕), my 'lazy' routine* and Muay Thai sessions (Once the gym is done with renovations.). On the other days, it will be 50 crunches and 50 push-ups right before I sleep or I'm thinking of 12 Sun Salutations or 50 burpees (LOL. Who am I kidding.) in the morning. Hmm...

    *My 'lazy' routine: Jump rope x1000, crunches x100, push-ups x100 and some other random exercises. If it sounds frightening, it really isn't!

  2. Drink plenty of water.
    I usually only drink water and tea. Nothing else. And it's always one cup of water that starts my mornings.

  3. Sleep early c'monyoucandoit.
    Ugh, gawd. I know this is super important for my skin. When I sleep late, I get more blackheads and clogged pores but ughhh, there's just so much I want to do. Well, not really. Aimlessly scrolling the Internet or Instagram is not doing anything at all. Trying very hard to cut those down. Discipline, Char. Discipline.

  4. Shower in cold water.
    London's cold air, along with its high humidity, was sooo good for my skin. And gosh, really. Most Londoners have good, poreless skin. While there's no legit Science to this and it's very possibly due to genetics, I like to believe that it is really the cold air working its magic. Hence, I've been turning the temperature dial down whenever I shower. There are just some days when I really miss covering myself in a blanket of warm water though (Like whut right? In Singapore. Go figure.)...
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