Jet-Setters, Planning a Trip to Penang? Lion Air is Your Ride!

Hello everyone!

The June holidays are just around the corner and what better way to give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the first half of 2019 than a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Singapore? Unfortunately, if taking time off during the upcoming peak season has crossed your mind only recently, you’re going to be in for a shock as prices of flight tickets to popular destinations across the board have begun to creep up. That said, an inexpensive yet fuss-free vacation is still possible – that is, if you are open to the idea of visiting the neighbours for a change! I mean, there’s always the year-end holiday for farther destinations, right? 😉

Where should the arrow be pointing to on your invisible map then, you might ask. As an avid foodie, I am inclined to suggest Penang – the Land of Pearl – because the abundant of delectable food choices (that aren’t too foreign to our taste buds, given how similar our cuisines are) makes it an absolute food haven for anyone who is looking to stuff their face and gain some meaningful kilos.

Now that you have your destination nailed down, you need to decide on the airline to take you there. Fret not, you busy bee, for I have identified the best ride for you so you wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of sifting through various platforms. Lion Air – especially through online booking – is your best bet and here’s why:

The booking process is so easy that even a blind-folded monkey can find a way to purchase a ticket 

Lion Air flight tickets are readily available for purchase through any online travel agency you can find aside from their official booking website that is already very accessible on its own. Doesn’t it annoy you to no end when limited flights are offered in certain platforms because that would mean going back to the drawing board again in some cases? With Lion Air being extremely receptive towards having their products featured on online travel booking platforms, they are everywhere now and booking flights from Singapore to Penang online will be done in a jiff! Flight tickets have never been so easy to book that even a monkey can find it!

Your pocket (and travel buddies) will thank you

Having a great selection of platforms to choose from undoubtedly leads to competition, and as consumers, we know too well that competition only benefits us because booking sites will be vying for our businesses with the lowest possible rates. This is also when you should put your university research skills to the test by comparing prices to get you the best deal in the house.

So, is this option making your pockets cheer to the heavens yet?

You will be in good hands… and it’s the perks, really!

Perhaps the airline’s main pot of gold is their very own travel insurance policy – the Lion Air Travel Insurance. What makes it different from the insurance offered by other airlines is its extensive coverage which you’d probably only see in a life insurance policy, if you ask me. From Personal Accident to 24-Hour Emergency Medical Assistance, you can be rest assured that any travel woes that come your way will be well taken care of. More details about their travel insurance can be found on their website. But I know, we’re all too lazy busy for that, so here’s a round-up:

  1. Personal Accident Benefit
  2. Accident Medical Expenses (round trip)
  3. Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation (round trip)
  4. Felonious Assault (round trip)
  5. Flight Delay
  6. Trip Cancellation
  7. Trip Curtailment (round trip)
  8. Baggage Loss & Damage
  9. Loss of Travel Documents (round trip)
  10. Personal Liability (round trip)
  11. 24-Hour Emergency Medical Assistance (round trip)

Wowzers! The airline’s sheer dedication in helping its passengers to ease the stress of travelling is jaw-dropping! I wonder how much time was spent on coming with such comprehensive policy – every single potential travel mishap seems to have been taken into consideration!

Since I’ve already done the homework for you in finding the best flight deal to Penang, no harm in helping you out with your itinerary too, right? Here, take notes – cool places to visit in Penang:

Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest

Take a break from skyscrapers and traffic and immerse yourselves in the greens and sublime tranquillity of Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest where you will get a glimpse of peaceful nature for once. The town of Bukit Mertajam is quite close by, and there is even a hiking trail where you can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the lush greenery which is also home to many indigenous flora and fauna. Ah, the simple pleasures of life!

Escape Adventureplay

Hailed as Malaysia’s first environmentally-friendly theme park, Escape Adventureplay is one that is completely surrounded by nature. Get your adrenaline pumping with activities like zip-lining and rope bridges that would make any height-sensitive bunch feel queasy in the stomach. Extreme thrill seekers, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss this place! There are also children-friendly obstacle courses too for those who are not ready to overcome their fear of heights 😬

Mengkuang Dam

I know that in this millennial age, we have the tendency to announce to the whole world on what we do and where we go and hence, pictures need to be Instagrammable. Apart from Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest, Mengkuang Dam also provides breathtaking natural backdrops if you are planning on posting some #inspirational or #reflective pictures during your trip. Captions like “Make your heart like the ocean – with calm, still surface and great depths of kindness” can accompany a picture of the vast expanse of the lake while “The sky is the limit” can accompany one of the azure sky. 

Just kidding. Be there simply to relax and enjoy the wonders of nature, yeah?

Penang Road

No trip to Penang is complete without a walk down iconic Penang Road, at Georgetown. Like Clarke Quay and Somerset in Singapore, this is the area where you will find mouthwatering local food and street art displayed along the road on top of the mixture of nouveau-riche and quaint heritage it offers. It’s the go-to place of rendezvous for food, art and culture aficionados. Be sure to bring your camera along to snap some pictures!

Do share how your trip went and if you have other suggestions to add, feel free to drop me a comment below!

Thanks for reading!

For more information on Penang flights, do visit this website.
This post was done in collaboration with Traveloka.

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Addressing Your Mane Concerns: Signature Herbal Scalp Treatment at Luxe Scalp Specialist

Hello everyone!

READ TILL THE END FOR A SPECIAL OFFER!

Far from being my crowning glory, my hair had been the bane of my existence – it was visibly thin, frizzy and brittle (hence, much to my dismay, most hair tutorials don’t work for me). Sadly, these problems seemed to have gotten worse with age, to the extent that I could never run my fingers through my hair without losing gobs of them (which was why I had stopped brushing and combing my hair as often to prevent more breakage). Every look in the mirror gnawed away at my self-esteem as I noticed my ever-widening bald spot creeping forward from the crown of my head. At the rate my hair was disappearing, it wouldn’t be long before the bald patches could peek through whichever parting I would be wearing. Soon, my search history once filled with queries on acne was now permeated by worrying questions about premature baldness.

In a stroke of luck, an invitation from Luxe Scalp Specialist to try their scalp treatment showed up in my inbox (do I have guardian angels watching over me?!) and boy, never was I so quick in agreeing to a collaboration. Thank you for coming to my rescue 😭

Luxe Scalp Specialist who?

Founded in 2012, Luxe Scalp Specialist provides top-notch yet budget-friendly personalised scalp care treatments using modernised herbal formulation and trichological techniques while observing and practising high standard of professional conduct and ethical behaviour (no hard sell!). Their herbal treatment is 100% pure, contains no parabens and preservatives, and is validated by Mr Riff Lim, a trichologist certified by the International Association of Trichologists (IAT).

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

The company follows the L.U.X.E. principle, where services are luxurious and of optimal quality; unique with the use of a one-of-a-kind blend of the finest Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs (they are the only company that uses this formulation!) to combat hair problems such as oily scalp, thinning hair, dandruff and greying hair; experiential as every treatment includes their signature acupressure scalp massage that aids in blood circulation, and a reliever neck massage that is meant to relax the neck’s muscle; and effective, as vouched by their customers who had seen improvements in their conditions after just three treatments.

The Treatment: Signature Herbal Mask with Collagen Deep Moisturising Mask

My visit at their Tampines 1 outlet commenced with a scalp analysis for the specialist (quite frankly, she probably didn’t need it to know that my scalp was in a terrible shape) to better understand my scalp condition. The close-up scan revealed that, despite the dry texture of my hair, my scalp was actually oily and weak to boot, which explained the excessive hair fall I had been experiencing. This was further aggravated by the length of my hair which had kinda been adding to the pressure on my already vulnerable-scalp. With scalp as feeble as mine, the solution wouldn’t be as simple as just chopping off my hair – regaining its health would require professional help which Luxe Scalp is certainly equipped to give.

Those white stuff are oil scales, which were literally ALL OVER my scalp 😭

Those white stuff are oil scales, which were literally ALL OVER my scalp 😭

My poor scalp trying to keep my hair intact :(

My poor scalp trying to keep my hair intact 😦

More grease on my scalp

More grease on my scalp

Once the analysis was completed, the specialist ushered me to my seat where I would receive the Signature Herbal Mask treatment. This 2-hour herbal treatment is specially concocted with premium herbs handpicked from the Himalayan hills and then carefully brewed to allow thorough extraction of their essence and nutrients. It aims to reduce hair loss and dandruff, stimulate hair growth, boost blood circulation, prevent premature greying of hair, control oil production and soothe redness and scalp irritation.

My specialist began with a duo comb massage to improve blood circulation to my scalp. The whole brushing process was smooth and painless despite her swift movements – amazingly, the combs never once got stuck on any tangle!

Tea and caramelised biscuits (my favourite munchie!) were already served when I went to my seat

Tea and caramelised biscuits (my favourite munchie!) were already served when I went to my seat

Duo comb massage

Duo comb massage

She then proceeded to spritz some ginger-infused tonic on my scalp to stimulate the pores, and applied herbal mask (which had an awakening scent of Ginseng which lingered on my hair for the next two days) all over the top of my head before covering it with cling wrap. This was followed by a 30-minute micro-steaming session to allow for greater absorption of the herbal essences into the scalp.

GInger-infused tonic application

GInger-infused tonic application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Cling-wrapping

Cling-wrapping

30-minute micro-steaming session

30-minute micro-steaming session

After the beeper sounded for the therapist to move the steamer away, I was led to the washing basin for a deep-cleanse hair bath which lasted for no more than 10 minutes. Being the meticulous person she was, the therapist repeatedly ensured that I was comfortable with the water temperature (I could choose between cold or warm) before rinsing my hair. With her trained dainty fingers easing and relaxing every part of my scalp during the wash, I couldn’t help but drift off into a nap!

Rinse away!

Rinse away!

Deep-cleanse hair bath

Deep-cleanse hair bath

Back at my seat with my hair still wet from the wash, the therapist applied the Luxe Scalp Tonic on my scalp to intensify hair growth. My treatment in particular also came with collagen deep moisturising mask (which is actually ideal for dry and aging scalp) to help strengthen and repair my hair structure, moisturise the scalp and relieve itch, improve hair density and vitality, as well as form a protective barrier against external pollution. To ensure freshness and avoid contamination, the treatment masks are packed in individual sachets and they will be further heated up upon customers’ arrival to facilitate the penetration of the herbal essence into the scalp and help stimulate healthier hair roots.

Collagen deep moisturising mask

Collagen deep moisturising mask

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

The treatment at last concluded (*gasp* it’s been two hours already?!) with an invigorating scalp and shoulder acupressure massage that focused on boosting blood circulation for hair growth.

Sifting my hair through my fingers, what felt like dry rough hay-like strands were now noticeably softer and more manageable. Of course, no miracles were achieved in that one session, and my bald spot was still largely visible. But fast forward about a month, those once-barren patches are starting to show signs of growth! WOOHOO! The future of my hair is finally looking optimistic 😭

Adding the finishing touches. Frizz, be gone!

Adding the finishing touches. Frizz, be gone!

Have you tried the treatments offered by Luxe Scalp Specialist? If not, would you entrust your scalp to them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

S P E C I A L L Y  F O R  M Y  R E A D E R S
Quote “FionaXLuxeScalp” to enjoy Signature Herbal Mask with Collagen Deep Moisturising Mask (worth S$326) at only S$25!

Thanks for reading!

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines Outlet) · Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1 #04-29 Singapore 529536 · Tel: 65551065
Luxe Scalp Specialist (Novena Outlet) · Square 2, Sinaran Dr #02-61 Singapore 307506 · Tel: 67020777
For more information, please visit their website, Facebook page or on Instagram
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01, Make Keep Base, Make Retouch Base, Nose Shadow Highlighter, Lasting Lip Color N 402, Gokuboso Eyeliner R & Glamourlush Curl Mascara

Hello everyone!

Forget expensive shipping costs (and *cough* traveller’s fees). Thanks to local drugstores like Watsons stocking up on foreign beauty essentials on the cheap, products that could only be purchased while abroad previously are becoming more accessible than ever! Joining the ranks of Florida-based Palladio and Japanese cult-favourite drugstore brand Canmake is CEZANNE, which has been sold at selected Watsons stores since the beginning of the year (yes, I know I am slow again).

Some of CEZANNE products

Some of CEZANNE products

Established in 1964, CEZANNE was created with the intention to offer high quality yet affordable cosmetics to the Japanese beauty community through a three-pronged approach – being kind to the environment, skin and on your wallet.

A trendsetter in environmental sustainability, the brand adopts a refillable system which enables customers to reuse their cases. Additionally, metal pins are not used in the manufacturing of the packaging to allow for easy disposal, and packaging is also standardised to be simple and straightforward to reduce wastage and cost.

To minimise the probability of allergic reactions, patch tests are performed for all of their products (excluding nail polish remover) so those with skin concerns can use them in confidence!

Here are some CEZANNE products I was introduced to at their launch party in June! Please pardon my brief review (or lack thereof) on the face products – due to time constraints (damn early morning classes left me with very little prep time every day so I decided to skip out on the face makeup 😅) I couldn’t put them on long enough to form a fair judgement on their longevity and wear. But I will update this space once I’ve tried them all!

1. UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 (S$17.90)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 - original state (right) & spread out (left)

CEZANNE UV Clear Face Powder 01 – original state (right) & spread out (left)

Available in shades 01 (Light) and 02 (Natural), the UV Clear Face Powder provides the skin a silky smooth and semi-matte finish that helps to conceal minor blemishes and even out skin tone. Formulated with SPF28/PA+++ to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, this face powder also doubles as a setting powder as it prevents makeup from melting by absorbing the excess sebum on the face. It also comes with a built-in mirror and a high-quality powder puff for targeted application.

2. Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

CEZANNE Make Keep Base

A non-sticky primer to be used before foundation application, the Make Keep Base absorbs sebum and is formulated to be water- and sweat-resistant to reduce shine and slip, thereby helping with the longevity of the foundation. Apart from that, it also contains SPF28 PA++ for protection against the harshness of UV rays, as well as light-scattering ingredients to make pores appear less conspicuous. This supposedly fragrance-free (it actually smells like the bandung drink) primer yields a non-powdery finish, and yet is smooth to the touch but can be quite a pain to use due to its extremely runny texture.

To use, shake the bottle well and apply an appropriate amount of the Make Keep Base and spread it lightly and evenly on the entire face.

3. Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base (S$9.90)

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

CEZANNE Make Retouch Base

The Make Retouch Base provides shine control and can be used over and under makeup. It comes with a brush tip attached to the cap for a more precise application so you won’t have to worry about ruining your makeup with your fingers (although you would still have to pat with fingers after application).

There was a very faint craft glue smell when I first applied it on my hand, but it dissipated after a while, leaving with no smell at . Somewhat milky in texture at first, the product dried down to a slightly powdery but not exactly transparent (there was still some translucency) finish within seconds, giving the skin a soft-focus effect and smooth appearance.

4. Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – rub test

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10

Real-life wear test - not much change after more than 12 hours!

Real-life wear test – not much change after more than 12 hours!

Small-eyed people would most likely agree with me that eyeliners are the single must-have beauty staple because these godsent stuff literally open up the eyes and add definition to the otherwise two-dimensional feature. But it can be a challenge finding one that offers fantastic opacity in one stroke and yet does not smudge in this blistering heat of Singapore without burning a hole in our pocket. Well.. ladies, the search is finally over.

Admit it, we’ve all had our fair share of disappointing eyeliners that should be sold at the watercolour pencil section instead, and we can’t complain much about it for the price we paid for (*cough* Thai brands I’m looking at you). But the Gokuboso Eyeliner proves that even drugstore eyeliners can be as solid as upscale ones. The opacity of the ink, for one, caught me by surprise because I was expecting a really light wash of black out of it. Despite the affordable price tag, application was incredibly smooth and the thickness of the product stayed consistent from start to finish. Most importantly, this ah-mazing eyeliner is highly resistant to smearing – it did not bleed or fade an inch even after more than 8 hours of wear!

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 - swatch comparison

CEZANNE Gokuboso Eyeliner R 10 – swatch comparison

5. Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – AFTER application

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara - BEFORE and AFTER

CEZANNE Glamourlush Curl Mascara – BEFORE and AFTER

Available in black, the Glamourlush Curl Mascara is one of the four mascaras by CEZANNE specifically to add long-lasting curl and volume to lashes using a classic tubular wand that helps separate and lift each individual lash from the root, so every single strand is amplified to make the eyes the focus of attention. Clump-free and smudge-proof, this mascara is resistant to water (thus a great mascara to cry in) and rubbing (although I do not recommend you do this), and can be layered up for a more dramatic effect. Granted, the packaging does feel a little cheap, but the quality of the product is definitely up to the mark because my lashes did look fuller and a lot more balanced and uniformed after just two passes!

6. Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter (S$15.90)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter - BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right)

CEZANNE Nose Shadow Highlighter – BEFORE (left) and AFTER (right)

No matter how affluent we are, we have this innate desire for things that offer a bigger bang for our buck. That’s why we’re often drawn to palettes rather than singles despite knowing that less than half the selection would be utilised eventually, and suddenly it doesn’t seem like we’ve saved much after all. Do your wallet a favour and opt for this no-frills contour kit that features just two sculpting shades you’re bound to use – one of a fine-grained white pearl for highlighting purposes and another of a beige-brown that blends softly with any typical fair Asian skin (sorry, dark-skinned ladies 😞) for a more natural finish.

The darker shade, which I foresee myself hitting pan really soon since it takes up only a-third of the compact, adds dimension to the face (more specifically, the bridge of the nose, under the eyebrows and cheekbones) by emulating shadows. The pigmentation, however, isn’t as buildable as I’d like it to be so I felt there wasn’t a noticeable difference to my face even after three swipes.

Complementing it is the lighter shimmery shade, which is strangely given a lot more emphasis in this kit, as it helps to add glow (that turned out rather beautifully) to areas where light would naturally hit, such as the top of cheekbones, center of forehead, nose bridge, center of chin and top of cupid’s bow. The compact also conveniently includes a small dual-ended applicator (brush to apply the bronzer and sponge-tip to diffuse the highlight) to allow touch-ups on the go.

7. Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 (S$12.90)

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402

CEZANNE might have brought in a whole range of products, but at the end of the day nothing truly excites me more than a wide array of lipsticks, especially when they are packaged in such pretty Victorian-styled tubes! #suckerforprettypackaging

With more than 10 conventional shades to choose from, there is certainly one for each skin tone. I was gifted 402, a cool-toned medium red (surprisingly not as dark as it seems on the bullet) with a shot of luminous shine that applied like butter on the lips. The glossy finish was sheer at first but buildable to a semi-opaque coverage with 2-3 more passes without settling into the lines. The moisture of my lips was retained and throughout the wear I did not feel a hint of dryness or urge to lick my lips.

But much as I love how feminine this colour makes me look, this lipstick unfortunately does not live up to my expectations in the longevity department because it transfers and budges way too easily (a typical trade-off for moisture, so no surprise there).

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 - opacity comparison

CEZANNE Lasting Lip Color N 402 – opacity comparison

Based on what I’ve tried and tested so far, CEZANNE’s strength appears to lie in their eye products but seasoned users may disagree (their face products perform pretty well too according to most reviews I read online), so I suggest you head down to your nearest Watsons outlet and try their products out for yourselves!

What are your thoughts about CEZANNE and their products? Let me know your views in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

CEZANNE is now available on watsons.com.sg and in all local Watsons outlets.
Products were supplied by CEZANNE for my consideration but all opinions and expressed are my own.

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[POKÉMON] NEW Limited Edition Snorlax EZ-Charm Launches This December, Just in Time for Christmas!

Hello everyone!

Since the release of Pokémon GO, millions of people – both young and old – have been introduced to the world of Pokémon, thereby propelling the media franchise into a global phenomenon once again many decades after its inception. As a long-time fan of the series (and RPG games), it pleases me greatly to see Pokémon becoming one of the most talked-about topics in the country because every business then will be leveraging this trend to appeal to the masses 😆

In this respect, the biggest offender is most likely to be EZ-Link for draining my wallet with their periodical Pokémon-related launches (and I’m not complaining). From the super adorable Pikachu EZ-Charm launched in May, to the many Pokémon-themed EZ-Link cards sold subsequently, I’ve never missed a single Pokémon collection (okay, perhaps except for those only available at Golden Village – too much of a hassle for me). And if you’re as hard core a Pokémon collector as I am, you will be thrilled to know that EZ-Link is going to do it again this December with another Pokémon-related release…

Guess what just came in the mail?! Thank you EZ-Link for taking pity on my bank account!

Guess what just came in the mail?! Thank you EZ-Link for taking pity on my bank account!

… featuring Snorlax! Is this a subtle dig at our post-Christmas body? 🤣

This limited edition Snorlax trinket will be on sale for S$29.90 on Lazada Marketplace from next Monday, 10 December 2018. There is no mention about the launch time, but based on past experience, it should be available at the stroke of midnight. Otherwise, just wait for the announcement on EZ-Link’s Facebook page!

SNOREEEEEEEEEEEEE

SNOREEEEEEEEEEEEE

It's everyone's favourite bui-bui! XD

It’s everyone’s favourite bui-bui! XD

GAH SO CUTE

GAH SO CUTE

Snorlax's sexy back

Snorlax’s sexy back

In case you’re still tapping the MRT fare gates the conventional way (no shame, though. I still do, too, for practical reasons), EZ-Charm works just like your EZ-Link card, which is the most common payment option for public transport fares. On top of that, it can also be used for dining and at retail outlets where EZ-Link is accepted as a payment mode. The first EZ-Charms – featuring the world’s most iconic cat Hello Kitty in various designs – were launched in 2015 to much fanfare and since then, EZ-Charms have become a popular choice for gifting. Initially valid for only two years during its introductory period, the validity of EZ-Charms has now been extended to 3 years from the date of encoding and thereafter the trinket itself can be used as an accessory. Similarly to EZ-Link cards, EZ-Charms are sold without stored value but can be topped up at any top-up channels.

Remember to mark your calendar! As a word of advice, camp by your computer or phone before these EZ-Charms officially goes on sale to avoid disappointment because anything related to Pokémon tends to sell out. Fast.

Thanks for reading!

The Limited edition Snorlax EZ-Charm will be available for S$29.90 on Lazada Marketplace from 10 December 2018.
Product was provided by EZ-Link for my editorial consideration.

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CashBack Buddy – Earn Cashback Whenever You Are Shopping Online!

Hello everyone!

The appeal of online shopping has undoubtedly redefined how people fill their closets and cupboard. With more companies cashing in on the “discount mentality” of online shoppers (hey, we all want things cheap and easy!), the list of participating merchants on cashback websites like ShopBack only keeps getting longer and sometimes, it can be a pain to navigate through the different categories of stores when all you ever want do is buy the latest Anastasia Beverly Hills (AWW YISSZZ) palette from Sephora 😪

But life’s about to get even easier for the compulsive online shopping crowd (in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia at least): ShopBack has introduced CashBack Buddy, a browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari that notifies you whenever you are visiting an online store that is eligible for cashback from ShopBack.

Install ShopBack Cashback Buddy on ShopBack!

Install ShopBack Cashback Buddy on ShopBack!

Before I continue talking about how awesome this plug-in is, let me just say that growing up with computers that were constantly attacked by Trojan malware has made me very wary about installing or downloading any software – especially browser extensions – from the internet on my computer. But for the sake of putting together a comprehensive walk-through of CashBack Buddy, I took the plunge and installed it with the thinking that I could remove it after this article is published.

Click "Add to Chrome"

Click “Add to Chrome”

You will be prompted once more to confirm that you want to install the browser attention

You will be prompted once more to confirm that you want to install the browser attention

Don't forget to log in to your ShopBack account before you start shopping!

Don’t forget to log in to your ShopBack account before you start shopping!

You can also view some of the participating merchants on the pop-up notification

You can also view some of the participating merchants on the pop-up notification

Once installed (which was a breeze for me, by the way), a little red square icon will appear so inconspicuously next to the address bar that you won’t even notice its existence until it starts blinking for your attention when you land on a website that has partnership ties with ShopBack.

And here comes the revolution: instead of having to sift through the catalogue of merchants on ShopBack for a particular one (I am not saying that it is user-unfriendly, but the faster processors and immediate search results that the digital era have attuned us to have certainly turned us into some impatient consumers that can’t sit through anything which requires anything beyond a one-step process), CashBack Buddy helps you discover the availability of cashback from stores you never knew you could earn rebates from through ShopBack! In fact, you won’t even need to enter the website to know if it is eligible for cashback – a mere Google search would be able to show you, at a glance, those that qualify on the results page as seen in the screen recording below:

So helpful, CashBaby Buddy!

So helpful, CashBaby Buddy!

Apart from that, CashBack Buddy serves as a notification in the event that you have forgotten to access the merchant’s website through ShopBack (this happens too often to be taken lightly) because you will be notified to activate the cashback button via a pop-up message on the top-right corner of the page. Simply click on it and voilà! You are on your way to earn cashback from your purchase! But this button is only the beginning of more exciting features that will be rolled out in the future to help you make smarter shopping decisions, and the fastest way to find out when these updates would be made available is to install CashBack Buddy, obviously.

A pop-up message will prompt you to activate cashback (red button)

A pop-up message will prompt you to activate cashback (red button)

Once cashback is activated, the button turns green

Once cashback is activated, the button turns green

With the tremendous amount of convenience CashBack Buddy has brought to me, I guess it is safe to say that I won’t uninstalling this plug-in any time soon. Besides, no abnormalities have been observed on my browser since having this addition so it should be fine, right?  😜

Thanks for reading!

the ShopBack browser extension is available for Google Chrome, FireFox and Safari, laptops and desktops only.
This article was written in collaboration with ShopBack.

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REVIEW: Erborian Pink Perfect Crème, BB Crème & CC Crème

Hello everyone!

My badly chapped lips have been protesting against my reluctance to drink adequate amounts of water every day so this week’s beauty review shall be pertaining to the face instead. How timely, because I have been meaning to talk about the Erborian products I had received to try out. Plus, my used-to-be trusty Benefit Big Easy BB Cream – which I had bought THREE tubes of (mind you!) from the U.S. site in anticipation of its complete demise – has started to fail me by oxidising on my skin (and this has never happened to me before so how is that possible? Someone enlighten me!) 😭 My desperation for a good replacement was real!

Thank you, Erborian Singapore! You're a lifesaver 😩

Thank you, Erborian Singapore! You’re a lifesaver 😩

Founded by scientist Hojung Lee and beauty expert Katalin Berenyi in 2007 and then acquired by L’Occitane International in 2012, Erborian – which name derived from “Herbs of the Orient” (how creative!) – is a premium skincare brand that combines Korean skincare expertise and French luxury to take you one step closer to achieving “baby skin”. Their unique formula contains natural ingredients and cutting edge technologies from Seoul, as well as fragrances from France.

I was sent the 15 ml version of the Pink Perfect Crème, BB Crème and CC Crème which are about three-quarter of my palm and hence small enough to fit into a typical travel toiletry bag. This trial size is also created with first-time users like myself in mind, so you can sample them before committing to the full 45 ml size that is available on their website. Very thoughtful of them 😌

Pink Perfect Crème

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (15ml / S$24)

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (15ml / S$24)

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème (click to view in full)

All of the Erborian tubes come with this pointed opening

All of the Erborian tubes come with this pointed opening

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - straight from the tube

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – straight from the tube

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - blended out

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – blended out

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - on the face

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – on the face

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème - on the face, blended out

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème – on the face, blended out

Enriched with Diospyros Kaki Leaves (the dry leaves of persimmon) for its anti-inflammatory and anti-wrinkle properties, this lightweight pinkish cream (don’t worry, the pink dissipates when it is spread out) hydrates and refines the skin texture, forming a dewy second skin-like finish that blurs out pores and minimise the appearance of other imperfections once it melts into the surface. At the same time, the skin is rejuvenated with the Vitamin E and fatty acids from the Pumpkin Seed Oil in the creme to help skin fight the first signs of aging.

The cream has a muted Ginseng scent and may feel somewhat thick and greasy at first (in fact, that shouldn’t be the case if you just apply one dot of the cream to the main areas – a little goes a long way!) but it loses viscosity after a few swirls on the face, leaving only the right amount of shine to impart a radiant complexion and to prime the face for a smooth makeup application.

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème swatch comparison

Erborian Pink Perfect Crème swatch comparison

BB Crème

Erborian BB Crème (15ml / S$26)

Erborian BB Crème (15ml / S$26)

Erborian BB Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian BB Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian BB Crème - straight from the tube

Erborian BB Crème – straight from the tube

Erborian BB Crème - blended out

Erborian BB Crème – blended out

Erborian BB Crème - on the face

Erborian BB Crème – on the face

Erborian BB Crème - how much I usually apply

Erborian BB Crème – how much I usually apply

Erborian BB Crème - on the face, blended out

Erborian BB Crème – on the face, blended out

Available in two shades – Clair and Nude for fair and medium skin tones respectively (but somehow Sephora online only stocks Clair) – the number one bestselling BB (Blemish Balm) cream in Europe is a lightweight, multi-purpose foundation infused with SPF 20 (which quite honestly, isn’t something to write home about as it falls below the minimum SPF of 30 as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology for protection against skin cancer and sunburn, so don’t depend on it to save your skin from the sun!) and Ginseng Root to improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles. On top of that, Ginseng Root also has antioxidants to boost skin immunity to fight against harsh environmental factors that contribute to skin aging.

Upon squeezing out the content from the tube, my nose caught the distinctive earthy smell of Ginseng which, fortunately, is still pretty pleasant. When worn on its own, it gives a moisturising and velvety (almost learning towards matte) finish that provides ample coverage without caking on, and conceals what the Pink Perfect Crème could not to a certain extent. But if applied on top of the Pink Perfect Crème, it leaves the skin glowing with luminosity that lasts for hours (to be precise, more than 8 hours on me). Usually, I would need to set my foundation with translucent powder to reduce the tackiness but with this BB cream, this step is no longer necessary. The consistency of the cream is slightly on the runny side which delivers an even coat when blended in with fingers (I’ve not applied it with a brush or beauty blender because the tube is so adorably tiny, I don’t want to risk wasting any of it 😂), and eight small dots are plenty for the whole face! Most importantly, this does not oxidise over time! 👏🏻

But much as I adore the BB Crème, I found the shade Clair to be a little too light for my skin tone, so much so that I have to always finish with some bronzer to avoid looking washed out. Hence, the claim that the two shades are complementary to all skin tones seems a bit far-fetched…

Erborian BB Crème swatch comparison

Erborian BB Crème swatch comparison

CC Crème

Erborian CC Crème (15ml / S$29)

Erborian CC Crème (15ml / S$29)

Erborian CC Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian CC Crème (click to view in full)

Erborian CC Crème - straight from the tube

Erborian CC Crème – straight from the tube

Erborian CC Crème - blended out (see how it changes colour?)

Erborian CC Crème – blended out (see how it changes colour?)

Erborian CC Crème - fully blended out

Erborian CC Crème – fully blended out

Erborian CC Crème - on the face

Erborian CC Crème – on the face

Erborian CC Crème - on the face, blended out

Erborian CC Crème – on the face, blended out

Side-by-side comparison, with and without Erborian products

Formulated with SPF 25 and Centella Asiatica for its powerful multifunctional properties (including anti-ageing, skin-rejuvenation and wound-healing), the CC (Colour Correcting) Crème has encapsulated pigments that instantly brighten the skin with Vitamin B3 to strengthen the skin barrier and Adenosine to improve skin elasticity. It has semi-sheer coverage (depending on the amount used) which helps conceal fine lines reasonably well while providing a healthy-looking complexion.

Similarly, the CC Crème has a slight Ginseng smell with a hint of floral notes. Also available in two shades Clair and Dorè for fair and medium (or universal on Sephora) skin tones respectively, it has been receiving rave reviews from the critics, as well as flying off Sephora’s virtual shelves in the U.S. Despite the limited shade selection, Erborian claims that they are enough to provide an even complexion for a diverse range of skin tones through its colour-matching capability. And as far as I’m concerned, this hews pretty close to the truth.

The cream, which emerges to be entirely white when it comes out of the tube (and, to be honest, it did freak me out a bit the first time I tried this), magically transforms into a shade that matches my skin tone (albeit not perfectly as it appears a bit darker) when I blended it out with my fingers. Naturally, my initial reaction to this was, “What kind of sorcery is this?!” but after combing through Google results, I found out that this could have been possible by reacting with the pH level of my skin, so the discrepancy in the colour of the CC cream could have been resulted from it adapting to the pH of my fingers 🧐 Hmmm.. perhaps using a silicone makeup sponge (as opposed to the traditional beauty blender which will soak up most of the product) would yield a much closer match to my skin tone? I will update this space if I ever get the chance to try this!

Best used on its own or before BB cream (or concealer) to even out the skin tone or neutralise redness, this CC cream has a luminous finish and feels comfortably lightweight, making it an ideal choice for a natural look. Although the shade is not stated anywhere on the packaging, I am quite sure what I’ve gotten is in shade Clair which, according to Erborian UK, is more suited for pink or beige skin tones. The other shade, Dorè, would probably complement those with slightly golden skin (i.e. orange undertones).

As this is my first-ever CC cream, I do not have any basis for comparison. If you’ve tried CC creams from other brands, feel free to share your experiences with me in the comments below 😊

No filter, no Photoshopping - this was how my face looked after applying Erborian Pink Perfect Creme, BB Creme and CC Creme!

No filter, no Photoshopping – this was how my face looked after applying Erborian Pink Perfect Creme, BB Creme and CC Creme!

With mostly positive experience gained from using these Erborian products, I guess it’s safe to say that they have met, if not surpassed, my expectations. They are my go-to on days when I want a more natural look, or when I feel absolutely lazy to work with my brushes since these blend as perfectly with the fingers! However, I must emphasise that these generally do not provide full coverage and hence would not do wonders on textured or severely blemished skin.

Now, I’m hoping to maximise the usage because this bride-to-be has invested most of her money in her future home and thus cannot afford to buy a $50/$60+ makeup right now 😂 But if the day ever comes when I have to repurchase these products (especially the BB cream), I would be sure to set aside some funds for them!

What are your thoughts about Erborian and their products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Erborian is now available on Erborian.com.sg and on Sephora.sg.
Products were supplied by Erborian Singapore for my consideration but all opinions expressed are my own.

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[SHOUT-OUT] TAKASHIMAYA Beauty Hall #UnveilANewFace with New Brands and Counters

Hello everyone!

Singapore’s leading department store, Takashimaya recently celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a little unveiling party to introduce a couple of new brands such as HERA, Fresh and Albion, as well as to reveal the transformation of some existing counters.

The press event – hosted by Jade Seah and Marie Alexander – kicked off last Tuesday (the day before Hari Raya Haji) with live makeup demonstrations by celebrity makeup artist Ginger Lynette using products from the aforementioned brands. HERA’s global makeup artist Lee Sehyoung was also present to work his magic on the face of the model while giving some insightful tips with other respective trainers on how to achieve flawless skin using the brand’s makeup products. Following that, Class 95 radio deejay Jean Danker opened Day 2 of the event by inviting makeup maestro Peter Khor to take centre stage to demonstrate his coveted skills.

Read on to find out what went down on those two exciting days!

All photographs courtesy of Alexander PR Group and Willy Foo unless otherwise stated

DAY 1

TAKASHIMAYA celebrates its 25th anniversary with #UnveilANewFace

TAKASHIMAYA celebrates its 25th anniversary with #UnveilANewFace

Media personality Jade Seah picking the lucky draw winners!

Media personality Jade Seah picking the lucky draw winners!

Mouth-watering Japanese canapés by Ma Maison

Mouth-watering Japanese canapés by Ma Maison

Guests were also treated to some delicious pastries and cakes by Butter Studio

Guests were also treated to some delicious pastries and cakes by Butter Studio

Bloop

Pretty nails at the Bloop booth!

Pretty nails at the Bloop booth!

HERA

TAKASHIMAYA Beauty Hall welcomes HERA!

TAKASHIMAYA Beauty Hall welcomes HERA!

HERA's global makeup artist Lee Sehyoung (who flew in from South Korea) giving some invaluable beauty tips

HERA’s global makeup artist Lee Sehyoung (who flew in from South Korea) giving some invaluable beauty tips

Fresh

Fresh is also one of the newcomers at the beauty hall

Fresh is also one of the newcomers at the beauty hall

Check out their counter!

Check out their counter!

Some star products by Fresh!

Some star products by Fresh!

Live demonstration by a representative from Fresh

Live demonstration by a representative from Fresh

Fresh product testing

Fresh product testing

Albion

Welcome! Albion joins the ranks of HERA and Fresh

Welcome! Albion joins the ranks of HERA and Fresh

Some of Albion products

Some of Albion products

Aren't these eye shadow quads pretty?!

Aren’t these eye shadow quads pretty?!

Albion skin care products

Albion skin care products

Celebrity makeup artist Ginger Lynette wowing the crowd with her makeup prowess

Celebrity makeup artist Ginger Lynette wowing the crowd with her makeup prowess

DAY 2

Radio personality Jean Danker looking at stunning as ever while addressing the crowd before her

Radio personality Jean Danker looking at stunning as ever while addressing the crowd before her

Chantecaille

Cult beauty label Chantecaille (pronounced shan-duh-kai) finally opens its first outlet in South East Asia at TAKASHIMAYA!

Cult beauty label Chantecaille (pronounced shan-duh-kai) finally opens its first outlet in South East Asia at TAKASHIMAYA!

The brand's founder Sylvie Chantecaille is an anti-poaching advocate, so don't be surprised to find images of at-risk animals embossed on the eye-shadow pans of its signature and collectible palettes!

The brand’s founder Sylvie Chantecaille is an anti-poaching advocate, so don’t be surprised to find images of at-risk animals embossed on the eye-shadow pans of its signature and collectible palettes!

The embossing has already worn away with use, but you can roughly make out the elephant print on two of the pans

The embossing has already worn away with use, but you can roughly make out the elephant print on two of the pans

More of Chantecaille! Their products are so pretty!

More of Chantecaille! Their products are so pretty!

THREE

Hello and welcome, THREE!

Hello and welcome, THREE!

Some of THREE's products

Some of THREE’s products

Celebrity makeup artist Peter Khor showing us the tricks of the trade!

Celebrity makeup artist Peter Khor showing us the tricks of the trade!

MDNA

All hail the queen of pop: TAKASHIMAYA brings in Madonna's premium line of skincare products, MDNA SKIN

All hail the queen of pop: TAKASHIMAYA brings in Madonna’s premium line of skincare products, MDNA SKIN

You can already tell how luxurious (and expensive *gulps*) her products are just by the looks of the packaging!

You can already tell how luxurious (and expensive *gulps*) her products are just by the looks of the packaging!

Shiseido

Not a newcomer, but Shiseido has just got a counter revamp! It's so much more spacious now!

Not a newcomer, but Shiseido has just got a counter revamp! It’s so much more spacious now!

The goodie bag I received for attending the press event! I will be doing a review on the Guerlain lipstick soon 😉 (Photo by me)

The goodie bag I received for attending the press event! I will be doing a review on the Guerlain lipstick soon 😉 (Photo by me)

Other new beauty brands not mentioned above include Clé de Peau Beauté, La Prairie, La Mer, Sisley, ReFa and Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.

Have you popped by the beauty hall at TAKASHIMAYA to get your beauty fix yet? Let me know what you’ve bought in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

All brands featured above are available at Cosmetics Department, Level 1, TAKASHIMAYA Department Store (391 Orchard Road Singapore 238872)

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