THROUGH THE LENS: Singapore’s 50th National Day Parade + Staycation @ AQueen Hotel

*slaps forehead*

Geez… this entry was supposed to be posted in August but obviously procrastination and a sheer lack of time got the better of me. Usually when a post sits in “draft” mode for too long, I would just forsake it as it would have been outdated by the time I remembered its existence. But this is unlike the many others that had ended up in the trash because it is about the country I have spent all my life in. So I’m not going to let the year slip away without any mention of her huge milestone.

As many of you know, 2015 is a momentous year for all Singaporeans (and those who have resided in Singapore long enough to call it home) as we celebrate the nation’s golden jubilee, or SG50, as it is branded nationally. It is also a year of grief as we mourned the death of our beloved founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew who had been with us every independence day celebration until his passing. But in the interest of keeping this post about the joyous occasion, I shall leave out the unhappy bits and spare you the agony of reading yet another tribute to our late Minister Mentor.

SG50-logo

When Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965, many doubted that such a small country with no natural resources would survive. But we did, and we are still going strong after 50 years! So of course having gone through so much over so many decades, the National Day Parade (NDP) this year which served as the main commemorative event had to be different. Celebrated with tremendous fanfare, the campaign began as early as January last year with numerous companies adopting the SG50 branding for their marketing activities and providing consumers more than a year-long of SG50 deals and promotions (enjoyed the 50% discounts while they lasted XD ).

SG50 deals may have ended but there is still a wide selection of online discount codes, deals and coupons to the best Singapore’s online shopping sites available on Picodi Singapore!

Check out picodi.sg for the best offers from your favourite stores!

(psst… I see cheap air tickets)

And to make the celebration even more memorable for me, boyfriend and I won tickets to the parade at the Padang on the actual day (there were also a few sessions of public rehearsal prior to that for those who couldn’t get tickets to the actual event) after umpteen years of unsuccessful balloting! It was our first actual-day NDP experience and on top of that, at one of Singapore’s significant historic sites on her 50th birthday! I couldn’t believe how lucky we were! 😀

Tickets collection at Marina Square, June 2015

We collected our tickets at Marina Square some time in June!

NDP 2015 tickets

How our tickets look like! We were so thrilled to be receiving the tickets for the Padang instead of at The Float@Marina Bay!

I LOVE SINGAPORE ❤

Here’s what went down on that day.. in pictures!

NDP props

Behind those elevated seats were the props to be used later during one of the performances

Stairs to the Padang

To be honest, the make-shift stairs leading to the spectators’ seats were kinda scary

Boyfriend and I

My companion and I! Made the right choice to go sans-makeup on that day because the sun was BLAZING above us!

NDP stage

The elevated stage on the Padang

Overlooking the former Supreme Court

Overlooking the former Supreme Court. “Majulah Singapura” is the theme for NDP2015

Emcee

One of our emcees for the event

Opening act by The Sam Willows

Opening act by The Sam Willows

The crowd dressed in red and white

The crowd dressed in red and white, our national colours

The arrival of Members of Parliament

The arrival of Members of Parliament

The arrival of Members of Parliament

The arrival of Members of Parliament

The arrival of Members of Parliament

The arrival of Members of Parliament

The arrival of Emeritus Senior Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong

The arrival of Emeritus Senior Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong

The arrival of Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong

The arrival of Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong

Ministers were all smiles as they waved their flags

Ministers were all smiles as they waved their flags

Mr Lee Kuan Yew tribute

A tear-jerking tribute to the late Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Couldn’t hold back my tears when the footage was flashed on the screen. Although he was not with us at the parade, his seat was left vacant in honour of his memory and occupied by a sprig of yellow orchids. We miss you dearly, Mr Lee.

The performances began!

The performances began!

The ship that brought Sang Nila Utama to Singapura

The ship that brought Sang Nila Utama to Singapura

And then, Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore

And then, Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore

Vintage parade

The start of the vintage parade which re-enacted segments of the street parades that took place in the early 1970s

Vintage parade

More of vintage parade. Police officers in knee-length khaki shorts and knee-high socks.. haha, those were the days!

People's Association

People’s Association in the early 1970s!

SIA air stewardesses and trishaw riders

Singapore Airlines (SIA) air stewardesses being ferried by trishaw riders, as depicted in SIA’s olden TVCs

SIA fly-past

A fly-past by an SIA plane! If you’ve travelled with SIA this year, you should have seen our flag printed on the body 🙂

Uniformed groups

One of my favourite segments of NDP – the actual parade! A record of 37 contingents marched as a representation of the five points of Singapore’s total defence policy this year!

Contingents from social organizations and business firms

Contingents from social organizations and business firms

Contingents from social organizations and business firms

Contingents from social organizations and business firms

Contingents from social organizations and business firms

Contingents from social organizations and business firms

The Guard of Honour contingents

The Guard of Honour contingents

The Parade Commander

The Parade Commander

PM Lee standing on the saluting dais

PM Lee standing on the saluting dais

Awaiting the arrival of the President

Awaiting the arrival of the President

President Tony Tan standing on the saluting dais

President Tony Tan standing on the saluting dais before the parade inspection

State flag flypast

State flag flypast as we sang the national anthem…

A "50" formation flypast by the RSAF

A “50” formation flypast by the RSAF

President Tony Tan waving to the crowds

President Tony Tan waving to the crowds

More aerial display

More aerial display

More aerial display

More aerial display

As the skies had turned gloomy, the Singapore Armed Forces Parachute Team (Red Lions) had to cancel its NDP jump. Ahhhh, we were so disappointed! I believe they were, too, after rehearsing for so long! But obviously, safety first.

LEOPARD 2SG MBT

The mobile column display followed next, featuring the LEOPARD 2SG MBT

NOTE
Despite my efforts to ensure accuracy of the assets’ names, they may still be incorrect so please feel free to inform me should you spot any mistakes!

BIONIX II AFV

BIONIX II AFV

FLB (L)

FLB (L)

UNIMOG RID

UNIMOG RID

SPYDER

SPYDER

All Terrain Vehicle & K-9 DT

All Terrain Vehicle & K-9 DT

MUV

MUV

SMC

SMC

FCV & CSI VEH

FCV & CSI VEH

HMV

HMV

Stefanie Sun

Homegrown talent Stefanie Sun comes on stage to sing a medly of 2 past NDP theme songs – We Will Get There (2002) and One United People (2003). I was so excited because they’re my FAVOURITE theme songs!

Performance by the Singapore SOKA Association

Performance by the Singapore SOKA Association

The Singaporan identity - Ice Kachang

Possibly the highlight of the event, the showcase of the Singaporean identity which saw the People’s Association incorporating 12 large lighted props such as this 3.5m-tall Ice Kachang float into their lively dance routine

At the same time, theme songs of old local television shows such as English sitcom Under One Roof and Mandarin variety sketch show 搞笑行动 (Comedy Night), as well as of iconic campaigns like the Singapore Kindness Movement played in the background. Hearing those songs was a real blast from the past as I recalled watching these shows on television when I was really young! It’s something today’s generation will not understand because… who watches the telly these days? 😆

Singlish

#SoSingaporean words and phrases which only Singaporeans can understand. Why you so blur like sotong (squid) leh? Hahaha!

Mascots

Durian, Chilli Crab, and Water Wally. Food and mascots we Singaporeans grow up with

Changi Airport

Changi Airport, the best airport in the world!

Corrinne May

Corrine May appeared on the Toa Payoh dragon playground (a popular playground design in the past – so nostalgic!) to sing NDP 2010 theme song, Song for Singapore. A truly touching song :’)

SG50 balls

The audience got to play with the giant SG50 balls that were bouncing around!

LED troopers

500 primary school students lit up the venue with their LED costumes! How cute!

Stars

The stars from our flag!

JJ Lin

JJ Lin’s turn to perform this year’s NDP theme song, Our Singapore.

LED lights

The LED lights on the costumes turned white!

Kit Chan

And finally, Kit Chan makes an appearance to sing our all-time favourite National Day theme song, Home!

Pledge recital

Together, we recited the pledge. Felt so much pride!

Perhaps due to bad weather (it started to drizzle a little towards the end.. bummer!), there weren’t a lot of fireworks at the grand finale but that’s fine with me because to me, fireworks are overrated. What made the parade really enjoyable and entertaining were truly the performances. Not a single time did I feel bored throughout the 2-hour show! 🙂

Most white-collar workers here had a long and restful break in the the days leading up to 9 August (Sunday) because our President had declared 7 August (Friday) as a special one-off SG50 public holiday. So evidently, SG50 was of utmost significance to everyone in Singapore. In addition to the ongoing money-savers, our main public transport operators also provided free bus and train rides for the very first time on National Day! The news came as a big surprise because as public-listed companies, they are profit-driven and should technically be anticipating the increased earnings and returns on a public holiday (with extended service hours). Instead, they had put side their commercial interests to commemorate this special day! Knowing that it was going to be even more crowded everywhere due to this reason, boyfriend and I had booked a staycation at Aqueen Hotel Jalan Besar to get to the city faster.

Aqueen Hotel

Aqueen Hotel is a new establishment, having opened its doors only in late 2014. Upon arrival, what struck my eye was the hotel’s unusual facade which kinda reminded me of Iluma (what Bugis+ was known as before adopting its present name). Located within 10 minutes walking distance from Farrer Park MRT station (inclusive of the long pedestrian waiting time at the traffic lights opposite City Square Mall), it has, no doubt, taken up an excellent spot surrounded by many well-known eateries such as Scissors Cut Curry Rice (美芝律剪刀剪咖喱饭, just directly opposite the hotel) and Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant (a 5-minute walk away).

Aqueen Hotel reception

Aqueen Hotel reception

Aqueen Hotel lobby

Aqueen Hotel lobby

We booked a non-smoking twin room with a queen bed (the most basic room) through Expedia, which we found was a lot cheaper than booking directly with the hotel. Boyfriend paid a total of S$116.31 for a night as compared to about S$180+ for walk-in booking. And mind you, it was a last-minute decision to have a staycation and what’s more, on a public holiday. Of course, breakfast was not included for that kind of price. No biggie – there were so many other affordable dining options nearby!

Our room

Our room

The room we got was really tiny with limited space for walking. I would recommend going for a bigger room if you’re claustrophobic (or carrying a huge luggage). It was mainly in hues of grey, brown and white so there’s nothing to write home about. But I liked that it had a full-length window that allowed sunlight to spill into the otherwise sombre room.

The bed

The bed

Overlooking Jalan Besar Plaza

Overlooking Jalan Besar Plaza

The mini pantry!

The mini pantry!

Shower head

Shower head

I can’t comment much on their amenities since we only stayed there for a night. But I think this room is pretty decent for the price we (or rather, my boyfriend) paid. If you’re yearning to try some delicious and affordable Singaporean delicacies (Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine available in the vicinity) without having to walk a distance, this is one hotel you should definitely consider!

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

AQueen Hotel (Jalan Besar)
230 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208906
Nearest MRT station: Farrer Park
Tel: 6426 0999
Click here to visit website

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Hyaluronic Hyalogy Treatment Facial at Indulgence Beauty

Sponsored

Hello everyone!

I often wax lyrical about being a student because of the perks that come with it. But like everything in this material world, it also has its own downsides especially if you’re a final-year undergraduate (or anyone in their final year of study). While everyone else – including my friends who are already in the workforce – celebrates the holidays, my peers and I are slogging our guts out for our final-year project. And because I hold multiple day jobs to pay for my daily expenses, I often have to burn the midnight oil and turn in as late (or early lolz) as 7am just to complete my part of the work which requires a lot of reading and research. This has been going on for months now and as you would expect, my skin hasn’t been in good shape of late.

I don't usually get zits on my nose but when I do, it's those red, headless ones ARGHHHH

I don’t usually get zits on my nose but when I do, it’s those red, headless ones ARGHHHH

Aside from the increased number of zits on my cheeks and jaw area, my face had also become visibly drier and a lot more sallow, most likely due to my sleep deprivation which, according to Cosmopolitan, strips my skin of its moisture. Much as I’d like reverse the damage by having sufficient sleep, it is practically not feasible for now, or at least until next March (what terrible example I’m setting, I know.. time management is clearly not my forte) when my project officially comes to an end. Hence, I would have to rely on superficial methods to relieve the effects of stress on my skin for the meantime, one of which is to get a professional facial just so that I can (finally) lay back and relax for those few hours.

Three months had lapsed since my last facial session so obviously all the good done previously to my face had already been unravelled. Therefore, I was really psyched to receive a rather timely invite from the manager of Indulgence Beauty, a facial salon conveniently located at Tanjong Pagar (about 5 minutes away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station), to try out one of their services.

Getting to Tanjong Pagar Plaza where the salon is housed was a breeze but finding the unit itself took me a while because the whole place is seriously like a maze! But once you manage to find the correct corridor of shops, it would be easy to spot the salon. If you see a portrait of Edmund Chen fronting a shop, that’s when you know you’ve arrived at your destination 😉

Indulgence Beauty

The salon front just had a makeover! (Photo credit: Indulgence Beauty)

Walking into a spotless, spacious and brightly lit reception area, the beauty parlour gave the impression of cleanliness and professionalism which immediately put any first-timer at ease. I was welcomed by one of the beauticians, Anna, who would later attend to my facial needs. But before that, I had to go through the formality of registration to indicate my beauty regimen, allergies and whatnot.

Shop logo

Shop logo

Cup of tea served upon arrival

Cup of tea served upon arrival

The facial rooms were tucked behind a closed door at the back of the counter and there were also lockers for you to store your belongings. I was brought to the room nearest to the entrance to change into a loose-fitting silky tube top and a pair of bottoms. The top affirmed my belief that I had got very nanoscopic boobs because it kept sliding down XD

Bed in facial room

Bed in facial room

Anna then cleansed my face using MD Dermatics’ C-Cleanse Clarifying Wash to remove any unwanted debris (makeup, sunscreen, moisturiser, etc.) before proceeding with the skin analysis and actual facial. Indulgence Beauty uses mainly MD Dermatics to treat aesthetic skin concerns. A highly trusted brand, it has recently won the “Best for Hydration Serum” and “Most Waterproof Sunscreen” Bright Sparks Awards from Cosmopolitan Singapore.

MD Dermatics C-Cleanse Clarifying Wash

MD Dermatics C-Cleanse Clarifying Wash

Cleanse

Cleanse

A simple and straight-forward skin analysis was conducted back at the reception area. Unlike facial salons I had been to, Indulgence Beauty uses a complexion analyser to determine the type of facial I should go for. According to Anna, the machine was able to work out my skin’s moisture level and skin-tone evenness, thus giving a more accurate measure of my skin condition than just by scrutinising my face. A picture of my face was captured with a flash and subsequently the image, along with some analysis results, appeared on the computer screen next to me.

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Skin analysis

Not surprisingly, my skin was found to be dry and lacklustre with an estimated age of 30 – five years more than my present age  – and was extremely prone to wrinkles. My sebum was likely to be trapped below the surface; hence the many clogged pores (I was told that they were not acne) on my face. My skin tone was unexpectedly even, though. Perhaps all the whitening products really did work after all 😀 Based on my analysis results, I was recommended to try the Hyaluronic Hyalogy Treatment Facial, a newly launched treatment designed for dehydrated skin like mine.

Shortly after the consultation, I was ushered back to the facial room where I would receive the long-awaited pampering.  Anna began her magic with some unidentified serum on my face coupled with a few soothing strokes.

More massage

More massage

Following that, perhaps seeing how my brows were in such disarray (ain’t got no time for that thanks to my FYP), Anna offered to shape them for me. Of course, this additional service does not just apply to me. I’m sure she would also be tempted to do yours too if you have similarly messy ones 😉 It would hurt a little for the first-timers but as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain”! I’ve always enjoyed my brow-shaping sessions and this was no exception. My unruly and uneven brows turned out to be beautifully groomed.

Eyebrow shaping

Eyebrow shaping

Eyebrow shaping

Eyebrow shaping

The dreaded extraction came next but instead of using a comedone extractor which might tear or flake the targeted areas of my poor dry sky, Anna used her mighty fingers to squeeze those pesky clogged pores. I don’t know which method is more beneficial for my skin but one thing’s for sure, I didn’t feel like I was being put in an excruciating ordeal. The pain (if any) was extremely bearable. No tears were shed during the whole process! My face wasn’t as red and blotchy as I had imagined too.

Extraction

Extraction

Post-extraction

Post-extraction

Anna then tried to calm the redness by further massaging my face with a tranquility cream before progressing to the next stage. I tell you, her massage techniques were ah-mazing! They were thorough (definitely not the chop-chop, want-to-get-this-over-and-done-with kind), gentle yet perfectly firm. I could literally feel my face revitalised with every stroke.

More massage

More massage

Calming the skin

Calming the skin

Calming the skin

Calming the skin

The final part of the facial session involved a clay masque which would entirely envelop my face (even my eyes). Cool to the touch, it felt slightly heavy on the skin and hardened after a certain time, so try not to think of anything funny during this period because it may cause a crack on the masque if you burst out laughing.

This clay masque leaves your skin radiant, illuminated and glowing and renews your skin to give it a smoother and softer texture. On top of that, it also minimises the appearance of pores, improves the skin tone to provide you with a more youthful and healthy-looking appearance.

Clay masque

Clay masque

You know how beauticians would normally leave you in the facial room for what would feel like an eternity while the masque is sitting on your face? To be honest, I hated that because it makes me feel idle and the fact that I have to keep still with my back against the bed throughout the duration makes me feel very uneasy and stiff. But guess what? after applying the clay masque on my face, Anna went on to give me a full shoulder and neck massage for at least 10 minutes (could be a lot longer but it certainly didn’t feel long enough since it was so relaxing)!

YES, another massage!!!

Just what did I do to deserve this?! ❤

Exactly what my strained shoulders needed!

Exactly what my strained shoulders needed!

The masque was subsequently peeled off from my face afte. It came off effortlessly like silicone and my face instantly felt brand new. Finishing off the whole treatment, moisturiser was applied onto my face to give it a moisture boost.

MD Dermatics DayCalm Soothing Moisturiser - was told that it's also good for cool and dry climates

MD Dermatics DayCalm Soothing Moisturiser – was told that it’s also good for cool and dry climates

Moisturising

Moisturising

And here’s the result!

Post-facial

Post-facial

The redness had subsided tremendously and my pores were visibly smaller by a whole lot. The hyperpigmentation left by my old pimples were also lightened by a few notches. You can’t really see much flaws on the face save for those few stubborn active scars. Honestly, I was deeply impressed!

At night

At night

A quick before and after comparison

A quick before and after comparison. Some pores were unclogged!

If you’re in dire need to unwind and give your skin a break, the facial services offered by Indulgence Beauty are something you’ve got to try at least once in your life (and even more so if you’re a fan of properly done massage teehee).

Do share with me in the comments below your experience at Indulgence Beauty if you’ve already been there!

Thanks for reading, lovelies!

Indulgence Beauty

1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-34 Singapore 082001
By appointment only. Please call +65 6225 8980
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email

‘Tis the Season to be Feasting at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

MEDIA INVITE

Hey everyone!

As the year draws to a close, many of us are getting into the holiday spirit by decking our houses with Christmas and New Year decorations.  At the same time, we may also take this opportunity to gather our loved ones for a memorable reunion. But no reunion would be complete without great food that puts everyone in the festive mood and what better place to experience both simultaneously than throwing a little party at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport where you are able to enjoy a wide selection of delicious and hearty meals? 😉

If you’re intending to play host to this year’s Christmas or New Year celebration but don’t feel like sweating your butt off in the kitchen and yet have no idea where to hold it, Crowne Plaza has rolled out a variety of dining options this yuletide season that centres around conversations and connections. The inspired fusion of flavours and menu items offered at their Lobby Lounge (Yuletide Takeaways) and Azur Restaurant (Festive Buffet) are sized to suit smaller more intimate gatherings among close friends and immediate family members.

Yuletide Takeaways @ Lobby Lounge

From 1 to 26 December 2015, guests can tuck into a series of delights from the Lobby Lounge specially created for this festive month at the comfort of their home. Feast your eyes and stomach on a gourmet paradise of beef, turkey and lamb, as well as a mouthwatering lineup of cakes and pastries to tantalise your taste buds.

But before I go into those, let’s kick things off with some appetisers!

Pumpkin salad

Pumpkin salad – a mix of pumpkin and chestnut

Fruit salad

Fruit salad – a mix of apple, tomatoes, melons, strawberry and nuts

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Scallop topped with salmon caviar (price not available)

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Scallop topped with salmon caviar

Salmon cavier

Salmon caviar

The scallop was well-seared on both sides with a fleshy, juicy and fibrous middle. It was drenched in salty gravy and paired with a layer of spinach at the bottom. The salmon caviar gave an additional burst of flavour. However, you may need to request for this dish because it’s not listed on the order chit.

The highlight of the Yuletide Takeaways is the Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib which is sous vide (sealed in airtight plastic bags then placed in a hot-water bath of 70 degree Celsius, the same reheating method if you’re planning to eat it at a later time) for 24 hours before being roasted in the oven.

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib (S$120+, 1kg)

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib (S$120+, 1kg)

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

The ambrosial yet not-too-overwhelming flavour of the beef short-rib comes mainly from the BBQ gravy which sweetness is melded with the natural fragrance of the meat. The short-rib itself was incredibly soft with a gorgeous pink centre and perfectly rendered fat. And because it was so tender and buttery, none of it got stuck in my teeth! However, due to the time factor in the preparation of the Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib, an advance order of 3-4 days is required prior to collection.

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Roasted Texas BBQ Beef Short-Rib

Of course, when it comes to a Christmas get-together, the dining table needs to have some sort of a roast bird, usually turkey. Having eaten it about twice in my life, I had come to a conclusion that turkey meat is not my cup of tea because of its awfully dry and tough texture. I assumed it was the same for all turkey meat in general. But Crowne Plaza has managed to prove me wrong once again!

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices (S$135+, 1 kg)

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices (S$135+, 1 kg)

Doused in rich and delectable Spicy Coconut Cream Sauce that tastes like sweet curry, the Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices is a classic example of when East meets West. The turkey itself is roasted for 6 hours at 70 degree Celsius to a golden yellow and, although somewhat thicker than chicken meat, was an absolute joy to eat for it was so succulent and chewy! The thin savoury skin (the closest description I can think of is that it is quite similar to the roast chicken skin at Poulét) was the winner for me because it was what got me hooked! I just couldn’t resist getting more servings of the turkey meat XD

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices

Roasted Turkey with Turmeric Coriander Spices

If you prefer a more traditional take on the turkey, the House Special Roasted Turkey Marinated with Maple Glaze and Chestnut Stuffing served with Cranberry Sauce (S$135+, 5 kg) might just be what you’re looking for! Each whole turkey can serve approximately six to eight guests comfortably.

When it comes to celebrating Christmas, one cannot forget the lamb due to its significance in the bible (and symbolism of Christ). The Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Garlic & Caramelised Shallot Sauce ($160+, 2.6 kg) is soaked in orange brine overnight before being marinated in a fragrant combination of rosemary and garlic, and finally slow roasted at 70 degrees Celsius for over seven hours. If you’re game to try something new this Christmas (since lamb is more commonly served on Easter), you might want to give this dish a go!

Rounding out the Christmas menu from the Lobby Lounge are two festive log cakes handcrafted by the hotel’s pastry chefs because… what’s Christmas without log cakes? Indulge in either the Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse or the more conventional Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake (or both, to get the best of both worlds 😉 ). Featuring a light and tangy raspberry yoghurt mousse overlaying juicy lychee bits and rose-flavoured jelly in the cake centre, the former is the answer to guilt-free (not 100% but still…) log cakes. The slightly tart (acidic) overall taste helps to relieve a bit of the bloatedness from the hearty meal.

Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse (S$65+)

Ispahan-inspired Log Cake with Raspberries Yoghurt Mousse (S$65+)

The chocolate log cake, on the other hand, has a wafer-like hazelnut centre that has got that crunchy going on every bite.  It is not excessively sweet too as there was a tinge of bitterness in the chocolate. Designed to resemble an actual log from an enchanted forest, it comes topped with seasonal decorations like a mini Christmas hat. How cute!

Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake ($65+)

Manjari Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Yule Log Cake ($65+)

Since Crowne Plaza is conveniently located at Terminal 3 of Changi Airport, guests can, upon returning from their travels, pop in the Lobby Lounge for a quick takeout before heading home. But as most of these dishes require time to prepare, you are encouraged to place your orders at least 3 days in advance to avoid disappointment! To place an order for Yuletide Takeaways, visit the hotel’s Festive Desk (24 Nov – 24 Dec 2015, 9am – 9pm), call +65 6823 5367, fax your order to +65 6823 5301 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm) or email christmas.cpca@ihg.com. The last collection for all Yuletide Takeaways are on 26 December 2016.

Psst.. festive hampers are also on sale if you’d like to build stronger networks with your clients *winks* More information can be found here.

Festive Buffet @ Azur

Otherwise, if you dislike waiting, Azur Restaurant also has an array of Christmas-themed selections for their festive buffet that’s catered to both Asian and Western taste buds, available from 1 to 30 December 2015. Buffet items are served in small portions to allow sampling of all the different food offered at the international buffet. Looking for ways to reward your staff for their hard work and effort throughout the year? There are round tables for larger group dining reservations for everyone to bond and laugh over brunch, lunch and dinner.

Dessert spread at the buffet

Dessert spread at the buffet

Gingerbread man atop white chocolate and cinnamon

Gingerbread man atop white chocolate and cinnamon

Santa Claus atop raspberry puree

Santa Claus atop raspberry puree

Pricing plan

Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner (24 December 2015)*
Adult $ 70 ++ Child $ 35 ++

Christmas Day Brunch (25 December 2015)*
Adult $ 65 ++ Child $ 32.50 ++

Christmas Day Dinner (25 December 2015)*
Adult $ 75 ++ Child $ 37.50 ++

Boxing Day Brunch (26 December 2015)
Adult $ 65 ++ Child $ 32.50 ++

Festive Buffet Lunch (1 – 23, 27 – 30 December 2015)
Adult $ 45 ++ Child $ 22.50 ++

Festive Buffet Dinner (1 – 23, 26 – 30 December 2015)
Adult $ 55 ++ Child $ 27.50 ++

New Year’s Eve Lunch (31 December 2015)
Adult $ 45 ++ Child $ 22.50 ++

New Year’s Eve Dinner (31 December 2015)
Adult $ 75 ++ Child $ 37.50 ++

*Spot jolly ‘ol Santa on 24 and 25 December 2015 and receive a little blessing of joy. Santa will be roving around during meal times at Azur Restaurant

To make a reservation, please call 6823 5354 or email azur.cpca@ihg.com. Reservations are highly encouraged. Visit the Crowne Plaza Dining website for more information.

That’s all, fellow foodies! Get feasting! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Crowne Plaza @ Changi Airport
75 Airport Boulevard
Singapore 819664
For reservations: 6823 5367 (Yuletide Takeaways) / 6823 5354 (Festive Buffet)
Or you may email christmas.cpca@ihg.com (Yuletide Takeaways) /
azur.cpca@ihg.com (Festive Buffet)
Please visit their website or Facebook for more information

REVIEW: SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

SPONSORED

Hello everyone!

Many years ago when I was lurking around a male-centric forum, I came across a quote along the lines of, “If you want to know what a girl will look like in 20 years’ time, look at her mother.” Before you shrug it off, let’s just say that there’s indeed some truth to this statement (unless you’re not your mother’s biological daughter).

To set the record straight, I absolutely adore my mother and we both share the same interests in food. But much as I respect her, I wished I hadn’t genetically inherit her physical traits. Back then, I was slightly on the plump side (no thanks to my hormonal imbalance that caused my sudden weight gain) and I was so worried that I would become rotund like my mother in years to come. Determined to rewrite my fate, I went on an extreme diet to put myself back on the lower end of the weighing scale. While it was relatively easy for me to shed some weight, there are still issues that can’t be resolved with just a snap of the fingers. At 57, my mother has very dry skin and an obvious naso-labial fold. Upon closer inspection, you’d also be able to see enlarged pores and fine lines too.

Now that I’ve taken a sneak peak of my future self, of course I would want to take preventive measures to ensure these won’t occur when I hit my 50’s. But what would be potent enough to win my fight against these face monsters? Without a doubt, SK-II (one of the top brands in the world when it comes to anti-aging products) comes to mind! In my previous post, I talked about the first half of the new duo from SK-II which I thought was already pretty impressive on its own. But in order to reap the full benefits of the Radical New Age Complex technology, it has to be paired with the R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream!

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream (50g, S$149)

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream (50g, S$149)

Upgraded with the aforementioned groundbreaking anti-aging technology, this cream (which functions as a moisturiser) addresses not just your most severe aging concerns, but holistically treats all 10 signs of aging including loss of firmness, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, sallowness, lack of resilience, visible pores, sagging skins, lack of radiance, roughness and loss of tightened facial contours. When used in tandem with the essence, all these 10 signs would be improved, and the firmness you regain would be greater than the firmness you lose over 15 years.

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream (protective cover)

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream (protective cover)

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

Like the essence, this velvety cream is also formulated with a light and muted natural olive fragrance. You don’t need to apply a lot of the product on your face for it to work its magic too. All you need is a teeny-weeny amount of the cream (about 1cm in diameter) on your palm followed by a dot on the forehead, cheeks and chin. Lastly, gently massage the cream all over the face until absorbed. If used appropriately, a small 50g tub like this is definitely going to last you a long time.

Dotting my face

Dotting my face

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream

However, due to its thicker and creamier texture, this would leave the skin with a slightly tacky and slick finish (you can tell from the soft shine on the forehead) even though it does help to keep the skin hydrated. But if you could ignore this minor aspect of the cream, this product actually makes a brilliant addition to your skincare regimen. The first time I wore it, I could feel the cream penetrate my skin. No waiting time is required as the effect is immediate. How awesome is that? And apparently, this cream helps to tighten the naso-labial fold (at least after four weeks of use) too!

Nonetheless, as with other SK-II products, the R.N.A. Power series do not come cheap. But if you can afford them, I’d really recommend you to go for the smallest options first to see if they suit your skin. I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do!

Remember, it’s never too early to begin your battle against wrinkles!

What do you think of this product? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

The SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream is now available nationwide at SK-II counters at S$149 (50g), S$219 (80g) and S$234 (100g). You can read more about this product here.

REVIEW: SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SPONSORED

Hello everyone!

Age is just a number, or is it? While it is easy to work out someone’s chronological age from their birth year, it does not necessarily reflect the true biological age of their skin. Hence, some people tend to look older than they are and vice versa. It’s no secret to anyone that the key to having youthful and radiant skin is to eat well and lead a healthy lifestyle. But very often, we would also need the help of anti-aging products to give our skin that extra boost to stay young.

Call me paranoid but as I inch closer to my 30th birthday, I’m beginning to pay very close attention to the every single detail of my body. Lately, I have noticed the loss of elasticity in my skin. Although not very visible from a distance, I could feel the weight of my cheeks when my face is at rest. To top it off, I would also see the outer corner of my eyes crinkling into little crow’s feet as I practise my smile in the mirror. As a result, I had tried not to smile too excessively lest more wrinkles developed (perhaps that’s why Victoria Beckham doesn’t smile?). Furthermore, to make the matter worse, I was called “auntie” (a term of respect for any older women in Singapore, but can be a derogatory one for those not that old) on several occasions by young kids 😥 I’m barely 25 goddammit!

So instead of letting nature take its course and allowing age to ravage my youthful looks, I decided I had to do something before it gets costlier to reverse the damage (with botox and whatnot). And honestly, when it comes to combating and repairing aging skin, no brand does it better than SK-II.

Introducing the all-new SK-II R.N.A. Power line!

Introducing the all-new SK-II R.N.A. Power line!

Evolving from stempower technology to the latest innovation in anti-aging technology, SK-II ushers in a new generation of anti-aging skincare with the Pitera x R.N.A. (Radical New Age) Power boutique. It targets the multi-controller of firmness to achieve lengthwise-crosswise firmness by rejuvenating skin cells and promoting structural protein synthesis in every cell, all layers of the skin.

This new lineup sees the reformulation of the brand’s best-selling moisturiser (which will be covered on the next post) and essence (toner) to better cater to the beauty needs of consumers.

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence (50g, S$149)

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence (50g, S$149)

SK-II R.N.A. POWER Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. POWER Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

For weeks I had been experiencing enlarged pores on my nose and cheeks due to hormonal changes partially caused by my menstruation. These large pores caused a lot of inconvenience to my makeup regimen because the bumpy surface made it much more difficult for foundation to be applied evenly. The problem persisted for a while even after my period had ended and it would usually take days for my face to recover.

But after using the R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence for the first time, I instantly felt my skin almost reverting back to its original state. The change may not be obvious to the naked eye but you can definitely feel the difference! Apart from the reduction of the pore visibility, my skin had also become smoother after application, allowing makeup to be applied with greater ease. I noticed my hyperpigmentation had somehow lightened a bit as well.

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence

Using the provided dropper dispenser, release 2 full droppers of the essence into the palm and smooth over the entire face after cleansing. However, I like to dot my face with the essence and then smear it with my fingers out of habit but it is definitely advisable to use your palms instead so that more product would be absorbed into more parts of the face at the same time. You can also add extra drops onto specific areas of concern, such as on the outer corners of each eye or laugh lines. Otherwise, 2 drops should be more than enough for the whole face.

The essence has a rather milky and lightweight texture with a semi-thick consistency. It has a mellow scent of plant fragrance (can’t quite figure out what but it really smells awesome and calming) and it absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving a sticky residue behind. You know how some cream comes off like sweat or dirt-like playdough when you rub against your skin? Well, this certainly does not! This essence gives my skin a soft healthy-looking glow (even at the T-zone) rather than an awful greasy shine. Therefore, I was truly impressed with the results! 🙂

Essence spreads evenly across the skin, leaving no unsightly residue. Picture depicts first-time use

#NOFILTER: Essence spreads evenly across the skin, leaving no unsightly residue. Picture depicts first-time use

Application

Application

In order to experience the full effect of the product, I had tried it for at least a week (alongside the R.N.A. Power cream) before penning down this review. By the end of the trial, my face felt a lot firmer and looked – dare I say – flawless with a bouncy resilience. It actually regained my confidence in heading to school without makeup (which is a big deal considering how I had never gone to school with a bare face since my first year, even if it was only for a 1-hour lecture). This product is definitely a worthwhile investment despite the cost.

Skin isn't as rough as before after very first application

Skin isn’t as rough as before after very first application

What say you, ladies? Is this something you would lay your hands on? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

The SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence is now available nationwide at SK-II counters at S$156 (30ml), S$224 (50ml) and S$308 (75ml). You can read more about this product here.