Get Your Customised Health Report from Eu Yan Sang

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Hey everyone!

What comes to your mind when you think of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)? Having relied mostly on Western medicine to treat my illnesses all my life, I admit my perception of TCM had always been pretty warped and shallow even as a Chinese myself. Apart from the unusually bitter herbal tea my Mom occasionally makes to nourish the family (and I’d always have to pinch my nose while forcing the tea down my throat so as to avoid tasting the bitterness), I had also personally seen how cupping works at a makeshift sinseh’s stall. Although the man being cupped never showed any signs of distress (he probably was already accustomed to the pain. Who knows?), it still looked scarily painful enough for me to generalise that all TCM modalities of healing are a form of torture.

The various types of treatment available in TCM, chosen based on what's most suitable for your body

The various types of treatment available in TCM, chosen based on what’s most suitable for your body. Do note that foot reflexology is a part of acupuncture but it’s not a treatment used in TCM.

But after an excruciating session of facial extraction last month, that kinda got me thinking again. If people are actually willing to undergo the process of extraction despite the pain, surely there must be some benefits to it. Likewise, the same for TCM treatments, except that they are a lot less painful, perhaps causing only brief discomfort or tingling sensation which will go away before you know it.

(ADV) Do you know that turmeric is great for helping both your body and your brain? Check out which 10 turmeric supplement made the cut on MonicasHealthMag.com!

There are many TCM practitioners in Singapore whom you can seek medical help from but Eu Yan Sang is unarguably one of the most trusted and reputable clinics (more on this later!) around given their long history in the business of TCM and large customer base.

Luckily for me, I was given the golden opportunity to consult one of their physicians with regards to my health concerns at their Novena Specialist Centre outlet and I’m very excited to share my experience with you guys!

Getting to know Eu Yan Sang (余仁生)

Contrary to popular belief, the household brand isn’t homegrown nor was it from Hong Kong. It was actually founded in Perak, Malaysia by Eu Kong in 1879 to nurse tin miners battered by illnesses and poor living conditions back to health. Currently managing the enterprise is Eu Kong’s great grandson, Singaporean Richard Eu, who wanted to keep the last family business alive.

The Eu Tong Sen street along Chinatown was named after Eu Kong’s eldest son in recognition of his generous contributions in World War I to further the British efforts, as well as in social causes. After his death, Eu Yan Sang continues to be actively involved in community works under the helm of his successor.

Health screening at Eu Yan Sang Wellness Clinic

That’s right, besides the many stores which stock up raw and packed herbs islandwide, Eu Yan Sang also has its own chain of clinics! I honestly didn’t know about that until I was invited to a one-on-one health consultation with Physician Neo Min Jun. I’ve been seriously living under a rock -_-

Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic at Novena Specialist Centre

Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic at Novena Specialist Centre

As I was running a little late for the appointment at 6pm (due to work), I hastened my pace from Novena MRT to Novena Specialist Centre, which is fortunately just a stone’s throw away from each other. As a result, my temperature and blood pressure skyrocketed and kinda puzzled the clinic assistant who took the readings for me a little. Hahaha!

Physician Neo is effectively bilingual. Upon entering her room, she asked if I was comfortable with conversing in Mandarin or English, to which I chose the latter because I jiak kantang (or rather, I wouldn’t be able to understand all the TCM terms that she’d most likely bring up). Following that, she went on to seek more information about my sleeping habits, eating habits, lifestyle and so on. I could see the subtle shock in her eyes (the only facial features visible on her partially masked face) when I told her that I had been sleeping at 6am for the past 2 months. On top of that, she also checked my pulse and tongue.

As she was busy punching the keys on her computer keyboard, I was silently enjoying the soothing sound of the trickling fountain water in the background. Soon after, my first TCM health report was printed!

Physician Neo Min Jun

Physician Neo Min Jun

My TCM health report from Eu Yan Sang

My TCM health report

My TCM health report

My folder consists of a 4-page introductory section that explains the purpose and features of TCM, and a 9-page customised health report (with my full name and NRIC number indicated on every single page) detailing the healthy living do’s and don’ts in both English and Chinese languages.

TCM health report

TCM health report

Name and NRIC on cover page

Name and NRIC on cover page

For those not well-versed in TCM terms like me, basically everything in the universe – including our body – has both Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) attributes which are opposites and interdependent of each other. The example my physician gave me was the presence of “water” (yin, our bloody and bodily fluids) and “fire” (yang, our Qi or energy) elements in our body. We have to keep both in balance because failure to do so will either extinguish the fire or evaporate the water (水能灭火,火能烧干水). When one of these energies diminishes (阴阳失调), the body suffers and becomes more susceptible to falling ill.

5 elements of TCM

The 5 elements of TCM are Mu, Huo, Tu, Jin and Shui. The cyclical of the 5 phases tells you what the preceding elements are (e.g. Mu gives rise to Huo, Huo gives rise to Tu and so on. More info here). Each element represents a part of our body. For example, Mu represents our liver and Huo represents our heart. The direction of each line of the star in the middle links two opposing elements

And because of all the late nights, my “fire” has been constantly drying out my “water” to keep my body going (and it’s not easy to replenish these Yin and Yang energies). Therefore, Physician Neo had diagnosed a Yin-deficiency in me, based on my physical characteristics and what she had derived from my pulse rate, tongue texture and possibly other factors. Many general characteristics of a Yin-deficient individual resonated with me. Having too little bodily fluid, for instance, is one because I hardly drink up. I also have yellow urine, hard and dry stools and feel constipated. Most importantly, I am very easily agitated! My poor boyfriend and loved ones are often on the receiving end of my bad temper 😐

Physician Neo also went through the report with me and gave valuable advice on how to turn my health around at the same time. I learnt that TCM studies the body as an organic whole. In other words, an external problem (e.g. red eyes) may be of internal origin (e.g. liver issues). TCM doesn’t just treat the symptoms – it actually gets to the root of the problem. However, some people (especially youths like myself) may not notice these symptoms because prior to that, conditions have not yet developed into diseases. Even if they do experience certain discomfort such as chronic fatigue, headaches and poor quality of sleep, these sub-health issues are often neglected or overlooked.

Watch the video to learn more about sub-health issues!

In my case, I don’t present any symptoms on the surface due to my young age. But through the hassle-free health screening, my physician was able to identify my problem, which was a Yin-deficiency caused by my late nights. To resolve this issue, I’ve got to sleep early, preferably by 11pm, or 1pm latest because that’s when the liver (the organ with the most stressful job because it monitors all our 7 emotions) detoxes. Once I’ve missed the organ’s repair timing, I will have to wait til the next day!

The healing power of sleep
Organ’s daily repair/maintenance schedule

♦ 11pm – 1am: Gall bladder – time to sleep
♦ 1am – 3am: Liver
♦ 3am – 5am: Lungs
♦ 5am – 7am: Large intestines (or colon) – wake up and poop!
♦ 7am – 9am: Stomach – have breakfast
♦ 9am – 11am: Spleen
♦ 11am – 1pm: Heart
♦ 1pm – 3pm: Small intestines
♦ 3pm – 7pm: Kidneys and Bladder
♦ 7pm – 9pm: Pancreas
♦ 9pm – 11pm: Blood vessels and Arteries

Source: Physician Neo and additional info from healthreviser.com

Note: The human body functions according to the meridian clock,
not the body clock! So don’t have the silly thinking like me that the body would grow accustomed to your unhealthy sleeping habits XD

It’s gonna be tough resetting my body clock but for the sake of my health, I’ll try. *fingers crossed* I definitely don’t want to look older than my peers 10 years down the road and be menopausal earlier than anyone else!

Do you know?

Women age faster than men.

In the olden days, females underwent puberty at 14. However, with GMO foods embedded in our food system these days, the age has been lowered significantly over the years. The child-bearing years for women is between 21 and 35 years old. Thereafter, female fertility deteriorates and women start to age and subsequently go through menopause after 49 years old (7×7). Men only experience andropause after the age of 64 (8×8).

Another thing I was told to avoid was overly warming and drying food such as glutinous rice (an exception for me), chili, garlic, leek, cinnamon, dried ginger and mutton because they deplete my bodily fluids. Adding on to the list are fried food (which I’d be permissible to eat – in moderation – so long as I sleep early *sigh*) and *drums roll*…. my favourite BREWED GREEN TEA because it’s too cooling for my body system 😥 I should instead consume food such as lotus roots, black fungus, sugar cane, pear, wolfberry and red dates because they are more moisturising in nature.

Omg…… so much sacrifice to make. I’m not going to lie. I need time to get used to this lifestyle. I will certainly cheat a little, for now. Haha!

Get your own TCM health report!

After my session with Physician Neo, the ignoramus in me was tremendously enlightened. The purpose of TCM is to protect us from illnesses and it’s advisable to take care of our health now while we’re still young. Internal problems that arise now can still be reversed but it will be too late by the time symptoms start to emerge.

The best way to prevent these sub-health issues from developing and becoming emergencies is early discovery and of course, to treat them at the root before they worsen. You can begin by getting your health screened at Eu Yan Sang and obtaining your very own TCM health report… at a special rate!

That’s right, it’s not gonna burn a hole in your pocket! 🙂

SPECIAL OFFER
FOR READERS OF FIONASEAH.COM

Get your own TCM Health Report at Eu Yan Sang.
Simply call the clinic to make an appointment and quote “My TCM Health Report” to enjoy Health Report service at $38 (Usual price: $48),
until 31 Dec 2015.

For more information on the availability of the service and clinic numbers,
click here.

How do you find TCM in general? Have you consulted any TCM physician? Do share your experience with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic

Novena Specialist Centre @ 8 Sinaran Drive
#07-09, Singapore 307470
Nearest MRT: Novena
Tel: 6268 9611
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REVIEW: ColourPop Lippie Stix & Lippie Pencil – Poison, Grunge, Oh Snap & Dazed

Hey everyone!

After a satisfying first purchase from ColourPop, I’ve been following their social media feeds for updates on their upcoming launches. But as I delved deeply into their catalogue, I find myself amazed at how quickly a relatively new set-up is able to grind out a wide variety of decent-quality products in so many inspiring shades and finishes at such affordable prices. Apart from liquid lipsticks, they also boast an array of regular lipsticks, lip pencils, eye shadows, bronzers, highlighters and blush. With gel liners already in the works, their offerings seem to be almost on par with that of the largest cosmetics companies around, don’t you think?

But as a lip junkie, I am more riveted by their selection of lip products. For their Fall collection released in late August, 6 new shades namely Contempo, Dazed, Grunge, Nevermind, Poison and Oh Snap were added to the lipstick (lippie stix) and lip liner (lippie pencil) range. The low cost enabled me to buy more of their products without feeling much of a pinch, so I got myself 4 matte lipsticks – 3 with their complementary lip pencil and 1 standalone shade. That’s 7 items in total for just US$30 (after discount)! And after conversion to Sing dollars, each item is still about S$6 (or around S$8 after shipping). Mad cheap. I don’t think any local drugstore cosmetics of similar quality has a price that close.

Packaging

Packaging

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil

ColourPop Lippie Pencil (from top: Oh Snap, Grunge, Poison)

I noticed the disparity in the colour of the “ferrule” and the tip. I was hoping that the colours on the lips would turn out to be the one on the ferrule because they seem more vibrant and saturated.

ColourPop Lippie Stix

ColourPop Lippie Stix

ColourPop Lippie Stix

ColourPop Lippie Stix (from top: Oh Snap, Dazed, Grunge, Poison)

I’m not really fond of the name “Lippie” or anything that has unnecessary suffix as a matter of fact. The same goes for “Stix”. ColourPop is probably trying to be different by coming up with a unique-sounding name for their products but they just look, I don’t know, juvenile? Or twittish in Singaporean context.

Also, if you have little kids, you may want to keep your Lippie Stix away from them because much as I find the packaging of the lipstick and lip pencils really distinctive and perhaps handy, they bear a really strong resemblance to real colour pencils and crayons. The Lippie Stix, for instance, reminded me of those twistable crayons I was absolutely crazy about in my primary school days. So yeah, just a precaution lol.

A quick overview

A quick overview: The swatch of the Lippie Stix and their complementary shades look largely identical

The lipsticks and lip pencils are packed in white plastic packaging which I felt was extremely prone to becoming dirty, especially at the area near the cap. Already some of my lip pencils are stained with the product even when I had tried to put the cap back on really carefully.

#1 Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix (US$5)

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Stix

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil (US$5)

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Oh Snap is described as a pale dirty nude pink with a matte finish. It’s a shade that would probably show better on lighter skin tone. While the swatch of both lipstick and lip pencil appeared to be similar on my hand, it differed slightly when applied on my lips. The colour from the lip pencil actually seemed darker. It’s good in the sense that it may add a little more depth to the colour but the difference isn’t stark enough to be noticeable at all.

The lipstick has mostly opaque pigmentation with a natural shine in a single swipe and like the other lipsticks I bought, it smells like chocolate. It has a slippery consistency which helps to spread the lipstick around easily. However, it felt fairly streaky on the lips and I didn’t like how it tended to settle into my lip lines.

Oh Snap Lippie Stix - swatch comparison with other brands

Oh Snap Lippie Stix – swatch comparison with other brands

#2 Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix (US$5)

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Stix

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil (US$5)

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Poison is described as a deep brown red with a matte finish. The lip pencil colour is exactly that of the lipstick and it follows the natural curves of the lips to enhance its appearance even more.

The lipstick has a rich, smooth and velvety texture with an intense pigmentation that gives a comfortable and long-lasting wear. It provides an even coverage with a relatively lightweight feel. The added shine at the end also helps to plump up the lips a little to give them a more sultry look 😉

#3 Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix (US$5)

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Stix

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil (US$5)

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil

Grunge is described as a cool-toned plum brown with a matte finish. Like the other Lippie Pencils mentioned earlier, the lip liner delivers a flatter and drier texture which helps to prevent the lipstick from bleeding over the lip line.

But if you only need another US$5 in your order to fulfill the requirement for free delivery, you can drop the lip pencil and go with just the lipstick because it is able to stay in place on its own. The lipstick offers a semi-opaque coverage with a creamy texture and a slightly luminous sheen that lasts all day. It glided on very smoothly without tugging the lips and I didn’t have to apply many coats of the lipstick to get an even coverage.

Grunge Lippie Stix - swatch comparison with other brands

Grunge Lippie Stix – swatch comparison with other brands

Notice how similar in terms of colour and finish Grunge is to MAC’s Paramount, which has a satin finish. ColourPop’s matte lipsticks don’t possess the qualities of a traditional matte lipstick, which often appear drying and chalky like Whirl on the extreme right.

Grunge, Oh Snap and Poison Lippie Pencils - swatch comparison with MAC lip pencils

Grunge, Oh Snap and Poison Lippie Pencils – swatch comparison with MAC lip pencils I own

Interestingly, the texture of the lip pencils do not contrast much with my MAC lip pencils. The darker shades appear denser and more pigmented while the lighter shades have a thinner consistency.

#4 Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix (US$5)

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed Lippie Stix

Dazed is described as a berry red with a matte finish. It is the only Lippie Stix I got without an accompanying Lippie Pencil because.. yeah, you probably guessed it. I had hit my minimum spending requirement for free shipping 😆

This lipstick applied fairly evenly on my lips and has a lightweight and slightly chalkier consistency as compared to the other Lippie Stix. It isn’t entirely opaque because my natural lip colour could be seen peeking through the lipstick. However, I prefer this to Poison because of its cool/pink undertones. It’s so gorgeous and it doesn’t come across gaudy unlike Poison which may seem a little too heavy for me. I would recommend Dazed if you’re looking for a more muted red to wear on a regular basis.

Poison and Dazed Lippie Stix - swatch comparison with other brands

Poison and Dazed Lippie Stix – swatch comparison with other brands

All in all, each shade of the matte Lippie Stix is richly pigmented with great colour payoff. They reflect light to create a fuller appearance and are hydrating on the lips. They are long-lasting (no doubt about this) but can be quite difficult to remove fully. I don’t think it’s necessary to purchase the complementary lip pencil unless (you can’t line your lips properly, of course) because the lipsticks are quite static on their own, so chances of feathering is pretty low.

Having said that, I must say that ColourPop has once again surpassed my expectations of a low-cost cosmetics brand with their excellent quality. It’s like the poor man’s version of MAC with its wide spectrum of lipstick shades to choose from.

What do you think about their Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencil? Do you agree with my views? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

ColourPop Lippie Stix and Lippie Pencils are now available on ColourPop.com at US$5 each.

TK TrichoKare, Your Trusted Hair & Scalp Experts

SPONSORED

Hey everyone!

tk-trichokare-shop

TK TrichoKare @ orchardgateway (credit: TK TrichoKare)

The hair is every woman’s crowning glory.  Having enviable hair plays an important role in a woman’s self-confidence and self-esteem because it is what defines our appearance. Not only does it speak volumes of our age and style, but also our personality. Therefore, it is not unexpected that millions of dollars would be spent on hair care products and treatments each year by women alone, just to keep their hair in tiptop shape. However, these efforts could actually cause adverse effects to our hair, especially when done too frequently. Hair dyeing, for instance, is one of the top culprits of thinning of hair. This problem is so common, it doesn’t just happen to post-menopausal women anymore as many youth today like myself are similarly affected.

Growing up, I’ve always had fine and sparse hair on my scalp that break off every time I wash my hair or try to detangle them with my fingers. No matter how careful and gentle I am with them, my hairbrush would still end up laden with a chock-full of hair after every brush. It got worse since I had rebonded and coloured my hair (because vain) but I have tried reducing my hair dye use from twice to once a year. Still, the problem persists. It’s so annoying. Sometimes I’d get envious of people who sport intricate hairstyles (e.g. fringe braiding) because I obviously don’t have enough hair to do it! Pfft. I’d probably lose more hair in the process.

Also, if you’ve read my other hair-related posts, you could probably recall my issue with bald spots as well. Although most of them have grown in, there are still visible patches if viewed from the top.

Enjoying my TrichoTea!

Enjoying my TrichoTea (I made that up)! Didn’t take a picture of my scalp pre-treatment that day because my parting was going to be different later on, so no point la. But here you can clearly see my scalp and my receding hairline. It just gets worse with age!

Perhaps this is a hereditary condition because the females in my household lose quite a bit of hair everyday too (though definitely not as substantial and alarming as I). But according to my trichologist, En En, from TK Trichokare, a healthy scalp is essential to having healthy hair. And in my case, my hair woes are largely due to my poor scalp health – not because of bad hygiene, but poor diet (too much spicy and fried food, as always) coupled with the use of unsuitable hair products, leading to clogged hair follicles and low hair density.

What is TK TrichoKare?

TK TrichoKare (pronounced as Try-ko-care) is the first ISO 9001 certified Trichological Centre that provides customized European Herbal Hair Remedies validated by certified Trichologists with products formulated by a professional herbalist.

TrichoKare is founded by a Trichologist. The holistic hair and scalp centre looks into all hair & scalp problems. It has been in 12 years of service since passing the conformity assessment of providing consistent standard of commitment to its product and service quality.

Other outlets are nex, Novena Square and The Clementi Mall.

Getting ready for a hair and scalp analysis (credit: TK TrichoKare)

Getting ready for a hair and scalp analysis. Look at my balding spot in the middle :\ (credit: TK TrichoKare)

Hair and scalp analysis

Hair and scalp analysis

Using a hair scope, she further analysed my scalp while images of it flashed on the computer screen beside me. Don’t know why but it was so fascinating looking at my own scalp and that few strands of hair protruding from beneath it 😆

Images of my scalp

Images of my scalp (credit: TK TrichoKare)

Even without En En telling me about my scalp condition, I was able see how terrible it was just by looking at the screen! My scalp was red (a sign of sensitivity) and flaky (oil flakes apparently, not dandruff) and my abnormally thin hair scantily dispersed all over. Just look at the amount of space between two closest clusters of hair – it’s so bare, ‘think HDB can build a flat there la.

But I was in utter dismay. I knew my scalp was bad, but not that bad 😐

CLOSE UP: oil flakes (those white stuff) settled near the hair follicles. Oil flakes are formed when oil and dead skin cells accumulate under the scalp, causing a little blockage at the pore. The oil, being unable to pass through with ease, then clumps into flakes.

CLOSE UP: oil flakes (those white stuff) settled near the hair follicles. Oil flakes are formed when oil and dead skin cells accumulate under the scalp, causing a little blockage at the pore. The oil, being unable to pass through with ease, then clumps into flakes.

As you can see from above, the thickness of every strand of hair varied greatly. Known as miniaturisation of hair follicles, these hair are crazily thinner than usual and are at risk of falling off (and have most likely fallen by now). I was also told that each pore is capable of supporting more than 1 strand of healthily-thick hair but look at how pathetic mine is. Couldn’t even support 1 well, let alone 2. *sigh*

Hence, I was recommended the Scalp Rebalancing Treatment. There are other treatments available at TrichoKare too (such as the Hair Fall Preventive System which fellow reviewer Xiaxue had) but obviously, I was given the one that best suited my scalp condition. There are actually 3 segments to it – regulating, strengthening and densifying. As this was only a trial, I was only entitled to the first one. But boy oh boy, I still can’t wait to see what TrichoKare has in store for me!

Comfy seats at the treatment corner. Xiaxue was everywhere!

Comfy seats at the treatment corner. Xiaxue was everywhere!

I was then promptly ushered to one of the seats at the treatment area. My trichologist subsequently came over to massage some sort of serum all over scalp. It had a very  memorable scent – citrusy and tropical. She said it would leave a bit of a tingling sensation on my scalp. Fortunately I felt none of that!

Contains citrus essence and ginger oil

Contains citrus essence and ginger oil

1. Scalp treatment

1. Scalp treatment (application/massage + 15 min for it to settle completely)

My eyelids became really heavy. It was so difficult to stay awake…

Following that, I was brought to the wash room to shampoo away the oil. The room was dimly-lit to create a relaxing atmosphere, making it even more challenging for my eyes to stay open (I had to for awhile to take some pictures). Apart from shampooing, my hair was also given some protein treatment!

Wash basins

Wash basins

One more shot before I doze off hahaha

One more shot before I doze off hahaha

If you can still stay awake at this point, I salute you (credit: TK TrichoKare)

If you can still stay awake at this point, I salute you (credit: TK TrichoKare)

The professionalism of every staff who attended to me was impressive! They’d make it a point to keep me in the loop about whatever they were going to do so that I’d know what to expect. Throughout out hair washing session, not a single speck of water or foam landed on my face too! I was glad because my makeup normally wouldn’t survive past the hair wash haha.

Once this step was completed, I was led back to my seat again to get my hair blow-dried!

But wait, another head masssage? Oh yeah!! (credit: TK TrichoKare)

But wait, another head masssage? Oh yeah!! (credit: TK TrichoKare)

Just wish I could stop time D:

Just wish I could stop time D:

Before she went on to dry my hair, she disappeared somewhere briefly to get me what looked like a neck rest! Placing it around the back of neck and then covered it with the blue towel, it felt so warm and comforting in the cold room, and had a very familiar herbal smell. It was the smell of the TrichoTea I had in the consultation room earlier! I was told it contained some essential oil.

Blowdry

Blow-dry

What followed next was something I had never experienced before! The centre assistant proceeded to move a futuristic-looking equipment over my head. What I saw in the mirror reminded me of Doctor Octopus in the Spider-Man 2 movie (hahaha). Called the infrared lamps, they help to improve circulation in the scalp. It was left on above my head for a few minutes and it felt warm but still quite bearable.

Infrared lamp

Infrared lamp

After the electrotherapy, En En took over and applied some tonic and moisturizer onto my hair. Unlike the salons I had been to, the “finishing touches” didn’t reek of a repulsive chemical smell. *thumbs up*

Finally, I was sent back to the consultation room to have a final scalp scan. What I saw totally left me in awe. The results were truly unbelievable!

Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Post scalp treatment images (credit: TK TrichoKare)

Post scalp treatment images (credit: TK TrichoKare)

CLOSE UP: Post scalp treatment image

CLOSE UP: Post scalp treatment image

My pores were VISIBLY dilated and free of clogged oil! Those disgusting oil flakes had also lessened!

A quick before-and-after comparison

A quick before-and-after comparison

GOSH. I honestly didn’t expect to see much results with just a single session. My trichologist had even advised me beforehand to go for more treatments because it wouldn’t be completely effective if I only did it once. But hey look, it did work! Or at least that was how I felt. Hahaha.

Of course, the treatment that I went underwent only dealt with my scalp. The subsequent treatments will supposedly help tackle my hair loss problem. Nevertheless, I think this scalp treatment did help with my issue in one way or another because my hair REALLY doesn’t fall as much now. On that night of treatment, I counted – only 3 strands fell! What sorcery is this I cannot.

Clean and greasy no more!

Clean and greasy no more!

Full frontal shot! Hair looks so much better and healthier

Full frontal shot! Hair looks so much better and healthier

At last, supple and healthy-looking hair, albeit only temporarily. I am really tempted to get their full scalp treatment package though! (sponsors, anyone? *grins*)

Thanks TrichoKare! (and yes, I'm really tanned!)

Thanks TrichoKare! (and yes, I’m really tanned!)

In need of some professional help for your hair or scalp woes too? Great news! TK TrichoKare has kindly extended a special promotion to all my readers!

** SPECIAL PROMOTION **
for readers of fionaseah.com

Get Hair Fall Preventive Treatment at only $59!

Readers can register/get more info at Trichokare’s microsite by clicking here.

What are your thoughts on TK TrichoKare? Share them with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

TK TrichoKare @ orchardgateway

277 & 218 Orchard Road, #02-12, Singapore 238858/238851
Nearest MRT: Somerset
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

REVIEW: MAC x Brooke Candy Lipstick in Which Witch

Hello guys!

Whenever MAC Cosmetics announces a celebrity collaboration, the beauty community would normally be in a complete hysteria. But when news on the collaboration with American YouTube sensation-turned-pop rapper Brooke Candy broke, it was largely met with perplexity because nobody knew who the star in question was, not even myself despite being relatively in tune with the latest trends in music and fashion.

Not really fond of those brows, though

Not really fond of those brows, though

But even so, this seemingly unknown artiste somehow managed to clinch a partnership deal with the cosmetics giant to launch not one, but two collections. The first which had released in late August was a miniature online-exclusive with two lipsticks (Mind Control and Which Witch, US$17 each) and a black liquid eyeliner (Boot Black Intense Black, US$21).

I’m always very excited about celebrity beauty campaigns because products that come out from such collaborations had mostly been phenomenal and one-of-a-kind, colour or packaging-wise. However, MAC failed to hype me up with this one. As a MAC fanatic, I was absolutely underwhelmed by the not-so-exclusive black eyeliner and the uninteresting choice of lipstick shades – a bright cherry red (..not another red..) and a deep plum. I had expected more from a collection that’s supposed to serve as a prelude to a bigger one that’s set to launch in 2016.

MAC probably realised that so they tried to mask it with a graffitied sleeve over the regular lipstick box to appease the packaging whores. Good try, but nope.

I might have been less upset if the graffiti was done on the tube instead

I might have been less upset if the graffiti was done on the tube instead

Obviously displeased with this collection but still eager to lay my hands on a limited edition MAC product, I carted out just one lipstick (as opposed to my usual ritual of buying all the shades if it’s a mini collection). Wanna make a guess which shade I picked up? No prize for getting the right answer, though.

MAC Which Witch

MAC Which Witch

Of course it has to be the deep plum! I’ve lost count of the number of times MAC has released another Russian Red-esque lipstick. The last time I bought a similar red MAC lipstick, I ended up selling it away. But how did Which Witch fare? Let’s find out!

Which Witch is a deep plum with Amplified Creme finish (US$17)

Which Witch is a deep plum with Amplified Creme finish (US$17)

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

Which Witch

There’s an old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Here, I’ve provided you with four, and that’s more than enough for you to make your own judgement whether you should hunt it down (if you missed the launch).

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when did Amplified Creme become a Lustre clone? The finish for Which Witch is horrendous and nothing like the Amplified Creme lipsticks I already own. It got streakier and patchier the more I tried to build it up and it feathered upon application! It’s unbelievably frustrating. I wanted to use a lip liner to stop the feathering but with such slippy consistency, my lips would most likely end up with just the unsightly lip liner mark at the end of the day.

But having said that, Which Witch did leave a slightly hydrating and supple feeling on the lips and it may actually work better as a tint too.

Swatch comparison

Swatch comparison

In short, this small makeup collection was nothing short of a disappointment. But this could be a blessing in disguise because that means more money to spare for the Guo Pei collection! Hooray!

What do you think of this collection? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

MAC X BROOKE CANDY (PART 1) is a limited edition, online-exclusive collection and is no longer available on the website.

REVIEW: Minus 417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel, Aromatic Body Peeling & Aromatic Body Butter

Hey guys!

The -417 products that will be reviewed in this post

-417 products

Choosing the right face wash is an integral part of my skincare regime. However, it’s not easy finding a suitable one because of the sensitive nature of my skin. To top it off, I’ve also been battling serious acne since my adolescence although it’s a billion times better now. My self-esteem and self-confidence took a nosedive during my secondary school years because I often got taunted and humiliated due to my facial flaw, especially during petty arguments where the other party would resort to using personal insults and name-calling to get their point across. Jokingly or not, those words definitely stung and made me even more self-conscious. And that kinda sparked my obsession with facial products.

In a bid to improve my complexion, I started spending a wallop of money on products that promised results. I have probably tried almost every product sold at pharmacies, mostly recommended by sales reps. But none of them managed to keep my awful pimples at bay. Instead, some of them actually aggravated my skin condition (extreme dryness, skin inflammation and whatnot) and caused multiple scarring on my face because my pimples just couldn’t heal properly. It was devastating and demoralising!

But after many years of trial and error, I finally found the face wash that best suits my skin type. Prior to that, I had used The Body Shop‘s Aloe Gentle Facial Wash faithfully every day and night. However I felt that my skin kinda got immune to the effects after a couple of years and my face became a minefield for acne once again. Boyfriend noticed the severity of my condition and got me -417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel as part of my birthday present last year (after doing his research) and I’ve been using it as my daytime facial wash ever since!

What is -417?

-417 is the developer of an exclusive and unique line of natural skincare products based on natural active components and minerals from the lowest place in the world – the Dead Sea.

Founded in 2003, -417 has been committed to keeping the value that has established itself as a trendsetter in the beauty industry. Through meticulous research and development, scientific advances, professional expertise and the understanding of a customer’s well-being, -417 is continuing to change the world of beauty. With global distributors in more than 15 countries including France, Switzerland, Russia, Denmark and Argentina, -417 products are sold through international distribution channels such as at department stores, chain retailers and pharmacies, perfumeries, chain cosmetic stores and at leading spas & hotels.

(read more)

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel (S$120)

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel, 200g / 6.8oz

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel (pardon the dirtiness ‘coz it has sat in my bathroom for quite some time)

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel

Yup, it’s recommended to be used only in the day because it contains micro natural luffa beads that help to dislodge impurities and dead skin cell. Therefore, it may be too harsh on the skin if applied too many times in a day. According to -417, the foaming gel itself is based on the Vitamin-Mineral Complex – a combination of natural active ingredients, including moisture-balancing minerals from the Dead-Sea together with nourishing plant extracts and active vitamins (A, B, E, F and H) – as well as jojoba oil, olive oil and grape oil, that leaves the skin clean, soft fresh and glowing. It aids in reducing the appearance of dark spots while speeding up the skin’s micro-circulation and providing a deep cleansing. Impressive, eh?

And the crazy part?

It costs a whopping S$120* at retail.

*gasps* No wonder boyfriend refused to disclose the amount he paid regardless of how much I bugged him about it because he knew I’d definitely lambaste the hell outta him for spending that kind of money! It’s like what, the cost of two premium ribeye steaks at an extravagant restaurant combined?!

With the price that ridiculous, this product has got to work. And very fortunately, it does to a pretty large extent as visible improvements were seen as early as one week. I had my qualms about the exfoliating function of this product initially as I had read somewhere about face scrubs being harmful to the skin.  As it turned out eventually, my worries were for naught.

Before and After

Before and After (the seemingly sharper and fairer complexion could be due to the use of other products)

My face, once clogged with filth and oil, now appears cleaner and more radiant. It had also eliminated most of my greasy sheen and stubborn zits. Of course, these results are also dependent on my lifestyle and diet. Still, although staying away from fried food and having enough rest help to subdue my acne eruption, they can’t purify and unclog my pores. I would need a facial product like this to do the job.

Furthermore, if you’re eagle-eyed enough, you’d have realised the great difference in the timestamp of my before and after shots – they were taken almost a year apart! Believe it or not, I’m still on my first tube despite using it every single day! And I’m probably only halfway through. That’s because a teeny weeny layer of it is enough to make a lather for the entire face.

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel

-417 Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel

Just a thin layer like this will do

Just a thin layer like this will do (actually, I squeezed out way too much product – it’s more than enough!)

As this is advisable to be used only in the day, there’s another product that is designed for night use. The Whitening Cleansing Soap helps to lighten hyperpigmentation while removing eye and face makeup together. Like the Facial Micro Luffa Foaming Gel, the price is likely to burn a hole in your pocket and I was almost tempted into buying it when I was at their nex booth to redeem a gift for my boyfriend’s birthday a few months ago.

And that’s the thing about their sales reps – they are highly convincing and persuasive in their sales pitch to the point that it may seem a little pushy.  Apart from offering a special rate, they would also do a live demo of the products on you and chances are, you would be wowed by the instant results and enticed into getting it. While waiting for them to retrieve my gift, one of the sales reps took the opportunity to introduce me to some of their bestsellers and managed to win me over with just a simple demonstration. This was despite the fact that I’m usually very strong willed and firm against unrelenting pressure sales tactics. Well, I guess it becomes a different story altogether if the results are proven before my eyes.

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender (450g, RP: S$140 but you can get it a lot cheaper. Scroll down for more info!)

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender

As a mild sufferer of Ichthyosis Vulgaris (a common form of inherited skin disorder), I am always on a lookout for effective moisturising cream to relieve the dry and scaly skin covering most parts of my lower legs. The Aromatic Body Peeling is a fantastic addition to my skincare stash as it contains microscopic grains of the Dead Sea salt that helps to gently exfoliate dead and dry skin cells. On top of that, it also encourages skin rejuvenation and reduces signs of aging. The lavender fragrance smells reeeeally good too!

It comes in 3 other scents – Kiwi & Mango, Mik & Honey and Ocean.

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender - application

-417 Aromatic Body Peeling in Lavender – application

Packaged in a rather large tub that can probably last users for months, this only needs to be applied on the skin once a week during bath. It can be used on any part of the body except for the face and hair (because there are separate products for them). Most of the time I use it on my legs, arms and neck.

Application-wise, it was a breeze. The coarse texture of the salt evens out smoothly like a regular body wash and it leaves a silky, buttery and a minuscule tacky finish on the surface upon washing it off. Indeed, the skin doesn’t feel dehydrated and rough but I didn’t like the greasy feeling. That’s why boyfriend also got me the Aromatic Body Butter to tone it down a bit.

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender (250ml / 8.5oz, RP: $120 but you can get it a lot cheaper. Scroll down for more info!)

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender (250ml / 8.5oz, RP: S$120 but you can get it a lot cheaper. Scroll down for more info!)

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender

Enriched with Shea butter than nourishes and relaxes the skin, it also shields it from UV radiation and prevents skin aging. It contains sweet almonds oil, avocado oil and mango extract to provide a feeling of moisture, nourishment and silk. That said, I was advised to use it just once a week after shower (the same day I apply the Aromatic Body Peeling) but I’m probably going to increase my usage due to my abnormal skin condition. No matter how much of a quantity of the butter I massage on my body, the tubs seems to have an endless pit 😯

Moreover, I absolutely love the sweet aroma of the Lavender fragrance. It’s light enough not to irritate my sensitive nose and the smell actually lingers on for quite some time. Like the Aromatic Body Peeling, this also comes in 3 other similar scents.

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender - application

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender – application

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender - apply until it is fully absorbed into the skin

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender – apply until it is fully absorbed into the skin

-417 Aromatic Body Butter in Lavender - application

End result. Also, proof that I do have scaly skin :\ It’s better now with maintenance because it used to be a lot scarier and uglier than this.

The butter has a thick and consistent texture which spreads out nicely over a large area with just a dab. The absorption didn’t take very long too, probably in a few seconds. My skin definitely feels a lot smoother and softer after application, and less sticky as well.

*For best deals, purchase -417 products over the counter. Sales reps are usually very eager to close deals hence they would very often offer you the lowest prices possible (e.g. staff discounts, bundle prices at 30% off).

Remember, stand firm and don’t be afraid to say “no”!

All in all, -417 products are generally a costly investment (prices range between S$50 for a soap bar and S$600 for a facial mask, on average above S$100 per item) but the contents are mostly packaged in such large quantities that they can actually last you for months, thus helping you to save a lot of money in the long run. However, if you’re apprehensive about splurging on a product you’re unsure that would work, I’d highly recommend that you share it with a few people in your household.

And that’s about it!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

For more information on -417 and their products, click here.

6 Reasons Why Fajar Shopping Centre is Awesome

SPONSORED

Hello everyone!

Come this February will be three years since I moved from my long-time residence in Bukit Batok to Bukit Panjang. Although both are technically in the Western part of Singapore, each of them has their own distinct personality. As a newer town, Bukit Panjang (henceforth BP) may not have a public transport as well-integrated as Bukit Batok yet (looking forward to the new BP MRT station!) but it has certainly come a long way in the last 20 odd years. From a secluded or ulu estate in the early ’00s along with a lack of amenities, it is now a vibrant self-contained town with many bus services connecting to the city, complete with at least two community centres, a swimming complex, dozen of eateries (not forgetting the newly-built BP Hawker Centre and Market), two pretty decent malls and a few HDB heartland shopping centres scattered all around the neighbourhood to cater to the diverse needs of BP residents!

“Eh, what are HDB heartland shopping centres?”

Unlike urban malls, these smaller-scale shopping centres house a cluster of everyday shops and are normally located within a community to serve primarily the residents living around the area! They are not air-conditioned, however, but maybe that’s how rents are affordable and prices there are kept to the minimum, right? 🙂

In fact, these HDB heartland shopping centres have been a commonplace around Singapore. You may not know it, but there should be at least one in the vicinity of your house. Not sure where? Check this list out!

Fajar Shopping Centre

Fajar Shopping Centre

In my case, the nearest one is Fajar Shopping Centre which has served me well during my considerable length of stay here. So without further ado, here are 6 reasons why you should go to Fajar Shopping Centre.. and perhaps why moving to Fajar/Segar isn’t a bad idea after all (property agents marketing BP flats, you can quote me on that).

1.  It is more convenient than you think

Fajar LRT station

Fajar LRT station

Directly next to Fajar LRT station (like, literally beside it) and accessible by 2 city-bound and 1 feeder buses (bus-stop just smacked right in front), it is easily the most convenient heartland shopping centre in the Bukit Panjang housing estate. There’s also ample parking space if you’re driving, both within the compound of the shopping centre (multi-storey carpark) and the HDB flats around it. What’s more, parking is FREE at Fajar Shopping Centre during lunch time from Monday to Saturday, 12 noon to 2pm. And yes, there are good eats there as well! I will touch more on that in a bit.

Free Lunchtime Parking!

Free Lunchtime Parking!

2. There are THREE 24-hour shops for your late-night needs..

That’s right, folks. THREE.

They are McDonald’s, 7-eleven and mini GIANT supermarket, all conveniently located on the ground level.

McDonald's at Fajar Shopping Centre

McDonald’s at Fajar Shopping Centre

I think it is very essential to have convenience shops or eateries that operate all day and night in the neighbourhood because they help to save on delivery charges (and that unnecessary money you have to spend on more food just to hit the minimum order amount) when midnight hunger pangs strike! Furthermore, if you’re not too perturbed by the lingering food smells, McDonald’s is actually a great place to study (and snack when time comes) after midnight because it’s usually rather quiet by then.

3. ..and many specialty stores to accommodate every other shopper

Whether you’re an aspiring musician, a bargain hunter or a stationery hoarder, Fajar Shopping Centre has got you covered! Apart from the usual apparel shops (many pushcarts selling accessories around!), salons and whatnot, there are also a reputable music school, a value shop and a huge stationery shop that spans across two units!

ABC Bargain Centre

ABC Bargain Centre

More shops on the second level!

More shops on the second level!

Wide corridor on second level

Wide corridor on second level

Ossia Music School

Ossia Music School

Fajar Stationery & Copying Centre / My Book Palace

Fajar Stationery & Copying Centre / My Book Palace

If you’re a tertiary student, their printing services might be of importance to you (think all the reports and lecture notes you have to print).

Fajar Stationery & Copying Centre / My Book Palace

Fajar Stationery & Copying Centre / My Book Palace

If you’re feeling lucky, you can also purchase lottery tickets at Singapore Pools on the second level! Too stressed out at work? House of Tui Na is just a few shops down the row. In addition to that, parents can drop off their kids at Carpe Diem Young Joy and then leave to do their grocery shopping! And that brings me to the next point.

4. You can grocery shop at any time of the day

Not only is there a supermarket but also an indoor wet market for the early risers. I didn’t know there was a wet market the first time I went to Fajar Shopping Centre because it doesn’t look like it from the outside (and somehow I failed to notice the big “Fajar Market” lettering on the wall). With glass doors leading to the market on both entrances, it definitely looked more like an office building to me (I honestly thought it was the Town Council la).

Fajar Market

Fajar Market

As hygiene and cleanliness become the top priority these days, the wet market is relatively clean and spacious! The floor was perfectly dry when I was there on two occasions.

Giant Super

Giant Super

5. There are plenty of food choices under one roof

Of course, no shopping centre is complete without a food court! While most urban enclosed malls have just one, Fajar Shopping Centre has TWO – one with air-conditioner (Koufu) and another without (Astar). Impressive or not?

Koufu

Koufu

I  haven’t personally tried the food at Astar kopitiam but people living in Bukit Panjang have been raving to no end about the vegetarian food, which attracts a long queue of customers every time!

Freshly prepared fruit juice, just outside Astar!

Freshly prepared fruit juice, just outside Astar!

If you’re not in the mood for a heavy meal, there is a Mr Bean joint right next to Koufu that offers a dine-in area for patrons to enjoy their famous pancakes or soya beancurd!

Mr Bean

Mr Bean

6. Festive activities are planned for shoppers

To further enhance the shopping experience of residents and encourage family cohesion, the Housing Development Board (who operates these HDB heartland shopping centres) would also have programmes and activities lined up every now and then, especially during festive periods! The last time I was at Fajar Shopping Centre, there was an event specially organised to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival!

Event banner

Event banner

Due to the haze from the Indonesian forest fires shrouding Singapore for the past few weeks, many outdoor activities were cancelled so I was worried that this would be scrapped too! Fortunately, the haze miraculously cleared up on that day (and came back with a vengeance the following day) and the event went off without a hitch.

Beautiful lantern that lined the tent!

Beautiful floral lanterns that lined the tent!

Shoppers who spent at least $20 at the shopping centre were also entitled to redeem a doorgift consisting of a mooncake and a toy, or to participate in the activities such as the lantern decorating competition!

Doorgift

Doorgift

Mooncake

Mooncake

Lantern decorating competition

Lantern decorating competition

All of the participants were kids but were mostly aided on the artistic and creative direction by their enthusiastic and supportive parents. Seeing how much fun they were having, the child in me couldn’t resist not partaking in the activity! 😀

My masterpiece! Haha!

My masterpiece! Haha!

I submitted my lantern to the panel but decided not to participate in the competition eventually because it would be so unfair to the young kids if I won. There were 10 winners but the top 3 winners got to walk away with some household items. The grand winner, if I remember correctly, received a rice cooker. Whoa, not bad for such a small-scale competition leh! Kinda regret not joining in the end 😆

Having said that, my favourite part of the event still has got to be the caricature artist because.. who doesn’t like to be sketched?

Started stoning towards the end

Started stoning towards the end

Caricature artist drawing a portrait of me with so much skill

Caricature artist drawing a portrait of me with so much skill

Neat work! Though I don't quite see the resemblance hahaha

Neat work! Though I don’t quite see the resemblance hahaha

With better lighting!

With better lighting!

The event concluded with a meet-and-greet session and lantern walkabout with the HDB mascot, Wisely! He was so popular among the children who kept groping him. Parents were also hounding him for a picture with their kids 😆

A mascot with a lightning symbol as an outfit design named Wisely? I see what you did there, HDB *shifty brows*

A mascot with a lightning symbol as an outfit design named Wisely? I see what you did there, HDB *shifty brows*

Missed out on the event? Fret not!

The Mid-Autumn Festival may be over, but there are still ongoing activities for you to partake in while standing a chance to win some attractive prizes for yourself!

  1. Vote for your Top 50 shops

    Click for more information

    Click for more information

    Acknowledging that retailers at the HDB Shopping Centres addresses the needs of the residents while being an important part of the community, HDB will be rewarding these neighbourly retailers this year with a decal and commemorative plaque for display in their shops as testament of their popularity.

    Starting from 1 July 2015 till 31 October 2015, shoppers can nominate and vote for their favourite online via the app myfavHDBmall (currently available on Android and iOS) and stand a chance to win prizes in the Top 50 Favourite Shops contest.

  2. #myfavHDB Photography Competition
    Click for more information

    Click for more information

    The #myfavHDBmall Photography Competition is already launched. HDB Shopping Centres form an integral part of the residents’ daily lives by being a place for leisure, shopping and community bonding. This competition aims to collect these precious moments that are captured by residents at the 24 HDB Shopping Centres.

    Residents can submit their photos here and stand a chance to win attractive prizes. The winning entries will also be exhibited at 888 Plaza in 14 November 2015.

  3. Enter the Book of Records
    Click for more information

    Click for more information

    To mark the momentous year, an attempt is underway to create the largest SG50 logo made from stamps to set a new record in the Singapore Book of Records. Starting from May till end October, residents can play their part and donate their used and unused stamps for this record-breaking initiative.

    To participate, residents are to “post” their stamps at the specially designed post boxes at various HDB Shopping Centres and all submissions will qualify for the Lucky Draw. A total of $2,000 cash vouchers will be up for grabs. The finished masterpiece will be unveiled with great fanfare at 888 Plaza on 14 November 2015. Shoppers can expect an evening of games, activities and snacks.

And that’s about it! Do share with me your thoughts about your HDB heartland shopping centre in the comments below! And don’t forget to join the aforementioned contests! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Fajar Shopping Centre

Blocks 443, Fajar Road, Singapore 670443
Bus Services: SMRT 922, 971E & 922
Nearest station: Fajar LRT station
Click here for more information and here for directory of shops

District 10 Bar & Grill @ Suntec City

MEDIA INVITE

Hello everyone!

Since the reopening of Suntec City after a year-long (felt like forever, though) refurbishment in 2013, the crowds seem to have diverted from rat-plagued Marina Square to the newly renovated mall (have you been there yet? It’s massive). While a small part of Suntec City is still preparing to open to shoppers, most of the shops have already started operating. with some located at the inner part of the mall opening as late as this month.

And one of them is District 10, a rather cozy-chic restaurant serving modern European cuisine in a casual yet sophisticated al fresco and indoor setting. Formed in 2009 and headed by Chef Luca Pezzera, District 10 has 3 other outlets in Singapore and one in Medan, each bearing a different theme.  While these outlets offer the usual pub fare like burgers and fish and chips, the latest addition at Suntec City – which had only started on the second week of September – specialises in dry aged meat and provides a more upmarket choice of food and wine.

Just to sidetrack a little, the name District 10 brings me back to those days when I worked as an assistant to an estate agent who dealt primarily in private properties in prime areas like this district (or D10, one of the 28 districts in this city-state), which encompasses affluent neighbourhoods such as Bukit Timah, Holland Road, Orchard Road and Tanglin Road. Although I have no idea how the name of this restaurant came about, I think it’s highly possible that it was inspired by the real district 10 in Singapore, thus explaining the overall classy look and tone of the branding direction.

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

District 10 Bar & Grill at Suntec City

A considerable area of the 1,800 square-foot restaurant is devoted to the outdoor dining area as seen above. Designed and built by A D Lab’s leading architect, Warren Liu, the al fresco bar is the one and only with synchronised tole featuring logs in Suntec City and a series of movable and scalable cabana-like broad-seat open houses – a first in the mall.

Wines for tasting that evening

Wines for tasting that evening

Getting to District 10 was a bit of a hassle for me because it’s quite a distance from the MRT exit and since it was tucked right behind a long stretch of unopened shops, I nearly missed it. I wanted to take a shortcut but it was during the week of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix so almost every corner of Temasek Boulevard was sealed off – gah! I’m sure getting there would be a lot easier now, though.

Welcome drink: Zonin - Prosecco

Welcome drink: Zonin – Prosecco (11% alcohol level)

Upon arrival, I was served the Zonin Prosecco, a sparkling wine which takes its name from a little hill-side town near Trieste, in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy). The must is obtained from gently pressed grapes and it has a pale, straw yellow colour with subtle green hues with a persistent perlage (the chains of bubbles that ascend towards the surface of the wine) and rich mousse. It was pleasantly tannic with a fruity fragrant, all while revealing an abundance of almonds and fresh citrus notes. One of the milder wines I had that evening, it was surprisingly gentle on the palate and easy to drink for wine beginners.

This wine is best paired with caprese salad, crab cakes, pan-seared salmon with lemon and basil, chicken pesto with angel hair pasta or all your fine desserts.. or this near-impeccable canapé right here:

Crostini With Duck Rillettes And Fig Jam (S$16++)

Bar bites: Crostini with Duck Rillettes and Fig Jam (S$16++)

This fancy-looking  tartlet is a French specialty. Tender and well-salted, the shredded duck meat had a great consistency of fat and meat. Without a robust flavour on its own, it allowed the sweetness of the fig jam to stand out more. Further, the crostini added some crunch to the soft and moist texture of the duck confit and also gave it a bit more depth. However, I’d prefer the crostini to be slightly smaller so that the entire thing could sit comfortably in my mouth (since canapes are supposed to be eaten in one mouthful).

Chef Luca Pezzera

Chef Luca Pezzera

Sun-dried Tomato bread

Sun-dried Tomato bread

Following that, the guests were ushered to the indoor dining area. Gracing our table top was a bread basket featuring a few slices of crumbly sun-dried tomato bread. They were more dense and chewier in texture as compared to most sourdough bread I had, and hence were relatively easy to pry apart. Tomato puree was also pulped into the corners of every slice, giving it a deliciously tart finish which sort of opened up my appetite.

To further enhance the flavours of each course, savoury wines were served alongside the food.  The finest selection from the Zonin family, these wines were the highlights of that evening and were carefully paired with a customised menu from the restaurant. Each dish came with 2 wine accompaniments.

Tenuta Ca'Bolani Aquilis Sauvignon

Tenuta Ca’Bolani – Aquilis Sauvignon (13.5% alcohol level)

Like Prosecco, Aquilis was named after the village it originated and is made only once every 2-3 years. It has a golden straw-yellow colour with green hues and its smell renders a wonderful balance of citrus fruit and minerals with subtle savoury notes and white rose. On the palate, the wine was dry, medium-bodied and discernibly piquant. Having said that, it kinda grew on me and I later found myself sipping quite a bit of it.

Feudo Principi di Butera - Insolia Sicilia

Feudo Principi di Butera – Insolia Sicilia (13% alcohol level)

The Sicilian name of the commonly known as “ansonica” in Italy, Insolia has straw-yellow shade with verdant hues. The wine is described to have a tropical aroma of minerals, apples, tangerine, creamsicle and flowers but somehow what I got was a rather sharp and pungent smell, almost likened to ammonia. It is dry with a syrupy texture and had refreshing citrus flavour reminiscent of tangerine combined with almond and stone minerals, leading to a long and crisp finish.

Proscuitto de Parma served with San Marzano Tomatoes

Prosciutto de Parma served with San Marzano Tomatoes (price not available)

The prosciutto was quite a rousing start and it actually went well with the sun-dried bread. In paper-thin slices, the dry-cured ham was soft with an incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture. It was salted but not too overwhelmingly because the tomatoes had helped to offset a bit of it.

Not being familiar with San Marzino tomatoes, I had initially mistaken it for apricot jam because of its sweet and hint of tart flavours. These tomatoes are, in fact, naturally sweet with low acidity because they are grown in the rich volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius. But despite how differently they taste from normal tomatoes, they, too, share similar cancer-fighting properties! Wow, pretty sure fussy eaters wouldn’t mind having them on their plates!

Castello d'Albola - Chianti Classico

Castello d’Albola – Chianti Classico (13% alcohol level)

Elegant and refined, the Chianti Classico is a feminine style of red wine. It has a brilliant ruby red colour that tends towards garnet. Delivering a rich aroma of berries with underlying notes of sage, spice cake and earth on the nose, the palate is enlivened with cherry and exotic spices by this vibrant and medium-bodied wine that offers a delicate and polished tannins finish. It is a lot sweeter than Riserva below.

Castello d'Albola - Chianti Classico Riserva

Castello d’Albola – Chianti Classico Riserva (13% alcohol level)

Presenting a lovely ruby-red colour with orange hues, the nose is pronounced with subtle red fruits and clear notes of violet, wood, spice and earth. It is rich and medium to full-bodied (definitely more velvety than Classico above), complete with hints of berries, herbs, spice and minerals on the palate that finishes with robust tannins.

Pappardelle served with Duck Ragout

Pappardelle served with Duck Ragout (price not available)

Topped with deliciously chalky Parmesan cheese flakes and tender shredded duck meat tossed in tangy tomato gravy, the Pappardelle was like an elevated version of the Fettuccine served in entrée portion size. The flat pasta noodles were cooked perfectly as they were dense and firm to the bite. However, we felt that there wasn’t much flair to the plating because the abundant of oil at the side wasn’t very aesthetically pleasing.

Chef Luca at work

Restaurant with an open-kitchen concept. Was able to see Chef Luca at work!

Black Angus Ribs on the grill

Black Angus Ribs on the grill

Feudo Principi di Butera - Symposio

Feudo Principi di Butera – Symposio (14% alcohol level)

This wine offers a dark ruby and purple colour and delivers rich leather notes, spice, dark chocolates and spicy tobacco on the palate. Medium bodied with a long and velvety soft finish, the nose displays black cherry and rich ruby red plum notes with strong zesty orange.

Tenuta Ca'Bolani - Alturio Refosco

Tenuta Ca’Bolani – Alturio Refosco (13.5% alcohol level)

A top-grade wine that was last made in 2011, I was lucky enough to try Alturio Refosco as it is relatively uncommon with limited quantity available in the world today. Assuming a dark ruby-purple and nearly opaque appearance, a delightful combination of plum and dark cherries with hints of rich milk chocolate, jasmine and spiced herbs greet the nose while the juicy cranberry, roasted coffee and big chewy tannins tickle the palate. Very flavourful, indeed! It was undoubtedly the best wine of the evening. You could tell the quality of the wine just by the taste of it. It is divine, smooth and supple with medium-bodied weight that leads to a long and mineral-driven finish.

Of course, with great wine comes great food, so we were not a bit surprised by the choice of food pairing for Alturio Refosco.

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze (S$20++ per 100g, min. order of 500g)

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze

Grilled Black Angus OP Ribs with Rosemary Sea Salt & Rosemary Glaze

Visually appealing with taste to boot, the grilled black angus OP ribs was the star of the menu and the best protein dish I had in years.  Neatly sliced to reveal the glistening rare-done rosy-red center, it had the optimal balance of the fat and meat to give a buttery, sashimi-like texture. The steak was seasoned perfectly and crispy on the edge, displaying great finesse. It was so succulent and on its own, you could eat it without the Rosemary glaze! Seriously, one of, if not the best, I’ve tasted in my life. This dish took me to the heaven and back, I kid you not.

Enjoying my wine!

Enjoying my wine!

Crispy beef skin

Crispy beef skin (price not available)

As a prelude to our desserts (well, not really), we nibbled on some crispy beef skin which tasted really salty. This was probably some impromptu snack whipped up by the chef to tease our taste buds because it wasn’t on the menu.

Zonin - Moscato Puglia

Zonin – Moscato Puglia (7% alcohol level)

And finally, a dessert wine to match with the final course. Light straw-yellow with golden reflections and a delicate mousse, the Moscato has a typical fresh and intense scents of peaches and exotic fruit. It is luscious and light-bodied with a lingering fresh, fruity and aromatic flavours that reveal its varietal characteristic.

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce (S$12++)

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce

Wild Berries Tart with Creme Fraiche and Vanilla Sauce

The dessert wine was a fantastic accompaniment to the tart which was unbearably sour on its own. But the wine managed to tone its acidity down a lot when consumed consecutively, and instantly transform this acetic dessert into an even more indulgent dish. Sprinkled with gold leaf, it was served in a generous portion with its cross-section of savoury berries visible on both sides. The vanilla ice cream added a satisfying flavour dimension to counteract the tartness. But of course, it wouldn’t be enough to mask substantially, thus I’d suggest you get a bottle of Moscato to go with it.

Earl Grey Tea

Ended my night with a pot of Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea

Earl Grey Tea

Apart from alcoholic beverages (all sorts! Beer, vodka, champagne… you name it, they have it), I believe they do serve tea as well but you may have to enquire about it since only alcoholic drinks are listed on the beverage menu.

On the overall, the food was top-notch, albeit pricey. But if you’re looking to unwind after a hectic week, District 10 serves as a magnificent getaway place for an intimate date with your beau, or a gathering spot for you and your pals!

Have you been to any of the District 10 outlets in Singapore? Let me know your thoughts! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

 

District 10 @ Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard, North Wing
#01-514/515 (near Fountain of Wealth, outside Tower 2 office lobby)
Singapore 038983
Operating hours:
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am – 11.00pm
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm (last order at 2.30pm)
Dinner: 6.00pm – 10.30pm (last order at 10pm)
Tel: 6822 2886
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