REVIEW: Lancôme Juicy Shaker in #381 Mangoes Wild & #301 Meli Melon

Hello everyone!

Liquid and ombre lipsticks, BB and CC creams and blending sponges. These are just some examples of the breakthroughs in the beauty realm we have seen in the last few decades and are now part and parcel of our daily beauty routine. For centuries, new and innovative beauty products keep being developed and this doesn’t seem to be slowing down (oh, our poor wallets). Remember the frenzy surrounding Lancôme’s Juicy Tubes which sparked the lip gloss phenomenon in the early 2000s? Just when you thought the lip gloss craze is dying, we are presented with yet another trendsetter which will certainly reignite your love for gloss because something similar but EVEN BETTER  is hitting shores!

lancome-juicy-shaker-4

This time, the creator of the lovely Juicy Tubes has revolutionised the cosmetics world once again with Juicy Shaker, a bi-phase lip oil that combines comfort with the colour impact of perfectly dosed pigments in a multitude of vibrant shades with an adjustable finish.

Paying homage to its predecessors – the Shaker and Juicy Tube, the Juicy Shaker marries an impressive range of flattering and wearable colours with zesty and fruity fragrances. The impeccable pairing of pigments and lipcare oils promises an incredibly soft and lightweight finish and a healthy shine on the lips – qualities of your regular gloss improved by a multitude of notches.

Shake it up!

Shake it up!

Most of the time when I review beauty products, I struggle finding their unique (and noteworthy) selling points to balance out their negative aspects (when I bash, I bash with grace) because whether we like it or not, everything is about the same. But I can go on and on about Juicy Shaker because everything about it is so distinctive. Besides the interesting packaging that’s molded after a cocktail shaker (complete with metal balls to mimic the effect of ice cubes hitting both ends of the mixer when you shake up the contents, no less), this product has also attained a couple of firsts. It comes with a sensorial, conical-shape cushion applicator to absorb just the right dose of formula for ultra-simple and intuitive application while to ensure the quintessence of gentleness. I swear my lips had never felt so pampered before.

Juicy Shaker cushion applicator

Juicy Shaker cushion applicator

The Juicy Shaker is also endowed with four precious oils with complementary properties which instantly offer lips with a smooth and plumped-up look. Peach kernel oil, for instance, provides the softening and nourishing effect while sweet almond oil leaves the lips supple and re-structured. Cranberry oil is an anti-oxidant which protects and promotes the restoration of the skin’s protective barrier with its richness in Omega 3 and 6. Musk rose oil, on the other hand, soothes the lips while helping to regenerate the skin and speed up any healing process (Hear ye, hear ye! People with lip picking habits!).

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “HOLY, THAT’S A LOT OF OIL! Isn’t it going to be super tacky?” Truth be told, that was my initial concern as well. In fact, tackiness is one of my biggest reasons for avoiding gloss because grrrrrr don’t you just hate it when strands of your hair get shrouded in sticky goo whenever you get hit by a sudden gust of wind? Gross. But my worries proved to be completely unfounded because not only does it lend a dazzling shine, there is absolutely no sticky sensation at all. OH JOY! You can try rubbing your lips together and they will literally glide off each other.

Swatches

Swatches

The texture of Juicy Shaker has definitely shone on my quality indicators for lip products but what about their application? I will be sharing my views based on the two shades I was given as press samples.

#381 in Mangoes Wild

Lancôme Juicy Shaker in #381 Mangoes Wild

Lancôme Juicy Shaker in #381 Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Juicy Shaker #381 in Mangoes Wild

Mangoes Wild, a favourite of Lily Collin and also mine, is described as an orange-pink with a sweet and intense scent of mango… and watermelon. I would say it leans more to the pink side with very negligible amount of orange undertones. It is sheer, emollient and it hugs to the lips. Perhaps due to its darker pigmentation, it feels thicker than Meli Melon upon application.

With oil as the main ingredient, however, comes an unsurprising downside: the lip oil would not be able to withstand eating, drinking and even more so, a little lip-locking (but I can guarantee that your partner would be tempted for more because those lips smell alluring and orgasmic *wink*). But the Juicy Shakers are packaged in such a way that they won’t occupy a lot space in your handbag so that you can bring yours along wherever you go and touch up whenever necessary.

#301 in Meli Melon

Lancôme Juicy Shaker in #301 Meli Melon

Lancôme Juicy Shaker in #301 Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Juicy Shaker #301 in Meli Melon

Meli Melon is described as a smooth and juicy pink with a perfectly-ripe melon scent. The lustrous texture (more so than Mangoes Wild) creates a natural pout effect to make the lips look fuller. It is sheer but conceals fine lines very well. But because it’s so sheer, I had to apply several times to achieve the light pink above or it would be almost unnoticeable on my lips. Fair skin would probably bring out the soft tone better.

Due to the thinner texture of the Juicy Shaker coupled with the thickness of the applicator, the product tends to bleed slightly especially at the corners of the mouth. Still, despite the minor drawback, these nourishing lip oils contain a truck load of pigment that intensifies with each application.

You can even do an ombre with two or more Juicy Shaker shades! Check out my subtle ombre - Mangoes Wild on the inner lips and Meli Melon on the outer!

You can even do an ombre with two or more Juicy Shaker shades! Check out my subtle ombre – Mangoes Wild on the inner lips and Meli Melon on the outer!

Lancôme proves themselves yet again to be ahead of the game by releasing 20 irresistible shades for the conventional and bold, all further characterised by their own scent so pronounced that you can get a whiff of the tropical fragrance the moment you uncap the bottle. God probably designed the nose above the lips for moments like this, where you to be enjoy the pleasure of smelling the delectable scent of food for as long as thirty minutes before it wanes.

All 20 shades with their complementing fragrance
(S$36 each)

Mango Wild (381) – mango-scented orange-pink*
Berry in Love (283) – blackberry-scented pinkish-purple*
Cherry Symphony (151) – cherry-scented bright red*
Apri-cute (102) – apricot-scented orange*
Lemon Explosion (300) – energy drink-scented rose (limited edition)*
Mint to Be (400) – mint-scented blue
Walk the Lime (166) – lime-scented orange 
It’s My Jam (172) – strawberry jam-scented intense red
Piece of Cake (201) – almond-scented tea brown
Good Kara-Mel (271) – caramel-scented praline brown
Berry Tale (372) – blackcurrant-scented berry pink
Great-Fruit (154) – grapefruit-scented orange
Wonder Melon (352) – watermelon-scented fuchsia
Show Me the Honey (112) – honey-scented syrupy golden
Vanilla Pop (252) – vanilla-scented rosewood red
Bohemian Raspberry (341) – raspberry-scented bluish-pink
Boom-Meringue (313) – lemon meringue-scented orange-pink
Spice It Up (240) – gingerbread-scented cinnamon brown
Meli-Melon (301) – melon-scented pink
Freedom of Peach (142) – peach-scented orange

*star shades

[COMPLIMENTARY MAKEOVER]

Want to have a look and feel of Juicy Shaker before committing to a purchase? Sign up for a complimentary Juicy Shakeover (makeover) here!

Don’t you just love the pun-intended names of the shades?

[CONTEST]
Pucker up for a showdown

Ready to #bantheboring? Take part in a beauty pageant just for lips with Lancôme!
Create your Shake Tape wearing a Juicy Shaker shade and hash tagging #juicyshakersg #lancomesg #bantheboring. You could be one of the six winners to walk away with three shades of the Juicy Shaker! The contest will end on 29 June.

For a chance to win THREE shades of Juicy Shaker, follow these steps:

1. Do the Shake Tape at dv.sg/shaketape-fiona
2. Upload to Facebook and Instagram (optional)
3. Use the 4th pose of your Shake Tape as the thumbnail
4. Hashtag your video with #juicyshakersg #lancomesg #bantheboring

The Shake Tape with the most likes each week, wins!

Thanks for reading!

The Juicy Shaker IS available at all Singapore Lancôme counters for S$36 each.
Disclaimer: ALL Products featured are press samples but opinions, as always, are my own.
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[FOOD NEWS] Kay Lee Roast Meat opens 7th outlet at Bukit Batok

Hello everyone!

There is now another reason to journey to the west of Singapore for popular roast meat joint Kay Lee Roast Meat has announced the opening of its first outlet in the west at 21 Bukit Batok Crescent. The chain’s seventh outlet, which will open its doors on 15th June at WCEGA Tower, will offer a part of the local iconic roast of more than 40 years. Being a Bukit Batok resident for the first 23 years of my life, I’m both thrilled and delighted that more established F&B brands are seeing potential in this mature town not widely known for its food offerings.

credit: Aztech Group

credit: Aztech Group

Legendary Dark Char Siew

Using only high quality marbled pork glazed in Kay Lee’s special home-made sweet and savoury sauce, the Char Siew are freshly and painstakingly grilled to perfection by their experienced chefs.

Signature Roast Duck

Marinated with 11 different herbs and spices for 24 hours, Kay Lee preserves its tradition by roasting the ducks over charcoal stoves to perfection. Each duck is meticulously seasoned and roasted by their experienced chefs for 6 hours. The duck skin is crispy to the gentlest bite while its meat retains its full flavour and texture.

Crackling Roast Pork

Kay Lee’s signature Crackling Roasted Pork has puffed crisp skin that crackles with every bite.

Kay Lee started out at Upper Paya Lebar Road (a few minutes away from Tai Seng MRT station) and was originally run by an elderly couple who had since sold their eatery to Aztech Group in 2014 for S$4 million as their children were not interested to carry on with the family business. With its original outlet still standing strong, the new owners have gone on to expand its reach to consumers in the central and eastern regions of Singapore.

Are you excited about this new addition to Bukit Batok? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Kay Lee Roast Meat (Bukit Batok)
WCEGA Tower
Ground Floor, 21 Bt Batok Crescent
Singapore 658065
Operating hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Bus services: 41, 183 (from Jurong East MRT) or 77, 106 (from Bukit Batok MRT)
Website | Facebook

[BOOK REVIEW] My School Uniform, a Photo Book for the Ages

Hello everyone!

During the good ol’ days back when I was in still studying at St. Gabriel’s Secondary, I was always intrigued or amused by the uniforms of other schools as I found some to be quite funny for various reasons.

A little backstory – I had the chance to take Music as an ‘O’ level subject at CHIJ St. Nicholas’ as my school did not offer it. It was such a memorable experience because I had the chance of meeting new friends from different schools. Now now, I know what you are thinking now. It definitely wasn’t memorable because I was a guy who suddenly had the chance to meet girls. On the contrary, I was extremely shy and nervous because I studied in an all-boys environment since primary school. On my first day at St. Nicks, my legs somehow managed to forget how to walk down stairs when I saw a group of girls walking past me that I slipped and fell. The giggles that I elicited from them will forever ring in my ears.

Jokes aside, my best memories were some of the classmates I met from Maris Stella, Catholic High and Holy Innocents. I remembered how I enjoyed teasing the guy from Catholic High because of his hairy legs which were visible because they had no long pants even in upper secondary.

Catholic High School

Catholic High School

It was recently announced in the news that another 22 secondary schools would be merged into 11 over the next 2 years due to declining cohort sizes. Singaporeans just aren’t producing enough babies to maintain a healthy number of students in all our schools! 😦

msu-2016-4

I always find the announcement of such news extremely disheartening. Once the merger is completed, regardless whether the name of the newly merged school will be changed or not, it is rather certain that the uniforms of both merged schools will be lost in the process as there will be changes made to the existing uniform to reflect the new identify and direction of the newly formed schools.

msu-2016-9

For those who are extremely nostalgic and worry that a part of your memories might be lost when these schools merged, fret not because of the recent launch of ‘My School Uniform’, the first-ever photography project in Singapore that has managed to cover more than 140 secondary schools, which is about approximately 85% of all the secondary schools in Singapore. A project supported by the National Heritage Board and spearheaded by Yix Quek, a creative and arts educator, its objective is to document the past and present – the way we were through what we wore – for future generations. Secondary schools were chosen as experiences of adolescence last a lifetime. They are our important formative years where we grapple with our innocence and struggle to define ourselves.

My School Uniform photography book (designed by Yong Kam Ling)

My School Uniform photography book (designed by Yong Kam Ling)

My School Uniform

My School Uniform

For most schools, the book showcases 3 different kinds of uniforms that students might have a chance to wear during their time in school.

  1. Councillor attire with the school ties and blazers that students might wear for official school events
  2. The day to day formal attire that students should be wearing if they have no Physical Education (PE) / CCA classes on that day
  3. Of course, the PE kit they wear for any sporting activities in school

This book strikes a chord in my heart because how the loss of uniforms is directly related to the closure of schools in Singapore, which Fiona had compiled on this blog. Apart from being able to admire the diverse and interesting uniforms from the different schools, I really liked the interesting trivia and information provided at the back of the book about the history of school badges. In particular, I loved the section on ‘Crests of Change’ which shed some information of how some school badges have evolved and changed over time due to various reasons. For instance, I did not really know that the St. Gabriel’s badge I used to wear while schooling has made way for a brand new crest which reflects the common historical heritage of Assumption English School, Montfort Secondary and St. Gabriel’s Secondary.

School badges, past and present

School badges, past and present

I strongly recommend everyone to get a copy of your book while it is still available on the shelves at Kinokuniya, Popular bookstore and Basheer Graphic Books as this is a book that surely can be passed down onto future generations. Besides, the fascinating nuggets of the schools’ history and strengths that accompany the well-taken shots (photographed by Nicky Loh, Louis Kwok, Soh Qiuling and Benny Loh) enable this book to be a comprehensive guide for primary school leavers who are still deciding on what secondary school to go to after the PSLE.

Here are some more previews of the Secondary schools you can find in the book:

Bedok North Secondary School

Bedok North Secondary School

Fuchun Secondary School

Fuchun Secondary School

Manjusri Secondary School

Manjusri Secondary School

Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary)

Fairfield Methodist School (Secondary)

If ever the day comes when students in Singapore no longer have to wear uniforms but are able to choose what they wear to schools such as the kids in the U.S., this book will really be a treasure trove of memories for you to think back about your time when you were in school. Hopefully future editions of this book will be able to include the other schools which were not covered in this book so no schools will be left out.

Thanks for reading!

BOOK INFORMATION

Sale price: S$28.50 (free delivery with purchase of 5 copies or more)

To order, please leave your name, contact number and e-mail address on this form

Availability: 

Basheer Graphic Books
Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain St, Singapore 180231
Tel: 6336 1917
Operating hours: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
Enjoy 20% discount when you quote “fionaseah.com” at Basheer Graphic Books

Hitting shelves at all major bookstores including Kinokuniya and Popular soon

The author is a bookworm who has co-written food reviews and shared his expertise on matters concerning technology on fionaseah.com.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCT FEATURED IS A PRESS SAMPLE BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE AUTHOR’S OWN.

Pokémon Cafe Singapore @ EwF Bugis Junction

Hello everyone!

Anybody growing up in the ’90s was bound to have a favourite cartoon that they would religiously follow on TV.  For me, I was an ardent Pokémaniac. Much as I hated waking up early, I made the effort to drag myself out of bed before 10am every Saturday just so that I could watch a 30-minute episode of Pokémon on Kids Central (now okto). That was before the internet became a household commodity so unless I blew my meagre pocket money on VCDs, there was no way I could catch up on episodes I missed. Even as an adult now, I still go into a frenzy at the thought and sight of Pokémon (I have a Nintendo 3DS purely for playing Pokémon). Hence, receiving the news about the opening of Pokémon pop-up cafe in Singapore has got to be the best thing that has ever happened to a Pokémon aficionado like me.

In collaboration with Everything with Fries (EwF), the pop-up cafe at Bugis Junction happening between 27 May and 31 July 2016 is the first in South-East Asia following its roaring success at Shibuya PARCO in Japan. The concept of the food and drinks in the cafe’s original menu are inspired by Pokémon stories and characters with Pikachu as the main protagonist.

The queue on a Thursday afternoon

The queue on a Thursday afternoon

As I had expected, the queue had already started to form before the opening of the cafe. Then, as if the 5-hour waiting time wasn’t intense enough, everything was sold out about 2 hours ahead of closing time on the first day. HA! Beat that, Hello Kitty!

(ADV) What are some of the best multi-tools for outdoor activities? Check out what GearWeAre has got in store for you adventure fanatics!

Pokémon merchandise is also sold exclusively at the cafe alongside other official Pokémon products which you may find at, no doubt, a way cheaper rate at the Pokémon centre in Japan. When I was there, however, popular items like the Pikachu T-shirt for adults were already out of stock, leaving only the plainly-designed one for kids. The key holders (cheaply made with plastic that scratches easily) and can badges each encased in silver plastic packaging to prevent customers from choosing the design. The only thing that is honestly worth buying is the Pokémon XY Omnibus Kalos Region at S$22.90. The merchandise corner is open to walk-ins so you don’t need to dine in order to get anything there.

Pokemon cafe - bar and kitchen area

Pokemon cafe – bar and kitchen area

Occupying the entire EwF space, the Pokémon cafe is adorned with yellow balloons, blown-up Pikachu figures and decals of other favourite characters from the Kalos region. It is apparent that considerable thought had been put into the look and feel of the cafe. Apart from the familiar tunes of the Pokémon game playing rather softly in the background, all the waitstaff sport Pikachu ears headband and have Pikachu tail dangling from their backside. Perhaps it would seem more coordinated if they have worn a yellow shirt instead of their white EwF (I suppose) uniform.

But that’s beside the point. I would rather more effort be put into the execution of the dishes because many of them turned out to be a huge letdown and embarrassment. If you haven’t been there yet, maybe this review would save you the hassle of making a trip to the cafe and waiting at least 1 hour in line (the dwindling crowd speaks for itself) only to spend close to S$100 on substandard food. In this entry, you will be treated to some behind-the-scenes happenings relayed to me by a staff as well.

Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce (S$25++)

Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce

Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce

I wouldn’t have bought this Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce if not for the complimentary Pokéball mug that comes with this dish. For the price of S$25++ for a big insipid mound of Saffron rice as Pikachu’s face and two miserably dry, malnourished and thin omelette rolled up into the shape of the ears, surely that is daylight robbery. Seaweed was used to recreate the darker areas of the face and ears. I was appalled by the ridiculous use of ketchup for the cheeks and mouth. I mean, they could have gone with red-dyed crackers or something since this rice omelette was starting to remind me of Nasi Briyani. And at the side was some salad to inject some greens in the dish. Basically, I felt like I was having a vegetarian meal because of the apparent absence of meat on the plate.

The profit margin from the sale of this dish alone must have already been enough to cover the overhead costs of the business because it’s so overpriced and bland, to say the least. How cunning of the owners, I thought, to have used the mug as a bait to diehard Pokémon fans.

Carb-loaded meal - that's how much rice was on my plate. The portion is as big as my face

Carb-loaded meal – that’s how much rice was on my plate. The portion is as big as my face

Colour of magma sauce

Colour of magma sauce

The highlight of this dish was the Primal Groudon’s magma sauce which tasted like curry, except that it was reddish-pink and not spicy at all. The overall lack of flavour of the rice was momentarily salvaged by the semi-sweet and earthy taste of the sauce which filled only half the small Pokéball cup. Goodness me! Can they get any stingier than that?

Special Move “Fire Blast”! Primal Groudon’s Bolognese (S$20++)

Special Move “Fire Blast”! Primal Groudon’s Bolognese

Special Move “Fire Blast”! Primal Groudon’s Bolognese

Upon learning that the beef patty dish was unavailable, we reluctantly switched our next order to this Special Move “Fire Blast”! Primal Groudon’s Bolognese.

Worse. Decision. Ever.

It was a typical chicken bolognese paired with egg white patty in the middle and two sides of a toasted bun with a faded Pikachu imprint and that’s it. No pasta, rice whatsoever. You’re expected to fill your stomach with just bread as your main carbohydrate food from this supposedly main course *slow clap* Perhaps the overwhelming amount of Saffron rice from the Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette is meant to be shared with whichever poor soul has ordered this dish. Taste-wise, it was unsurprisingly mediocre. The chicken bolognese from Pastamania certainly tasted heaps better with a more generous serving of meat. So, steer clear if you’re hungry.

The “Pokéball” – looking nothing like the fondant-textured one on the menu – is made of egg white and had ketchup once again (what’s with the excessive use of ketchup, though) smeared on the upper half, thereby adding even more acidity to the already-acidic flavour of the chunky bolognese sauce. Despite the fact that all the recipes and artistic direction of the dishes were provided by the licensor (which I doubt were conscientiously conformed here because it’s quite unlike the Japanese to produce such unacceptable standard of food), the whole dish seemed to be put together by amateurs and there is clearly no attempt in flavour balancing at all.

Wanna Get Tingling!? “Volt Tackle” Soda (S$10++)

“Volt Tackle” Soda

“Volt Tackle” Soda

Mango sherbet

Mango sherbet

Just when I thought things would get better once we had our beverages, we were subjected to yet another disappointment. As per usual cafe/restaurant protocol, we expected our drinks to be served first before our mains. But alas, they only came just before our dessert. Even though we were thirsty from eating too much Saffron rice and ketchup, we were still rather cool with the wait.

About 30 minutes into our dining experience, our beverages finally came. Everything was pretty much identical to what we saw on the menu except for the mango sherbet in the “Volt Tackle” Soda. From my knowledge, sherbet is a sweetened frozen dessert made with fruits and dairy product such as milk or cream. But the barely-recognisable Pikachu sherbet in my drink looks more like coloured ice. And to top it off, there is not a single mango flavour. Nevertheless, the passionfruit soda was refreshing but no way it is worth S$10++. Not even with that less-than-one-teaspoon amount of popping candy for the added tingling effect.

(Seriously man, want to give so little popping candy then might as well don’t give la)

Stick-on Pikachu tail on all cutlery

Stick-on Pikachu tail on all cutlery

Iced Pikachu Latte (S$9++)

Iced Pikachu Latte

Iced Pikachu Latte

Finally, a perfectly executed art direction. Give this barista a pay raise!

Finally, a perfectly executed art direction in this cafe. Give this barista a pay raise!

The best item on the menu is surprisingly a beverage – the Iced Pikachu Latte – partly due to the perfectly execution of the latte art as well as its overall visual appeal.. which is sadly almost nonexistent in this cafe. The sweetness of the cream lent a refreshing contrast to the mild bitterness of the espresso which was pulled in the morning (yes, that’s right, the staff are asked to prepare the espresso early in the morning daily). But they somehow don’t blend easily so we had to keep licking the straw to taste the sweetness. One cup of iced latte takes approximately 10 minutes to make due to the pasting of Pikachu’s face and adding of the cream.

The cheeks you see here are colour melts but now the cafe has changed to using red whipped cream (man, the inconsistency..). The ears are formed with monaka (the same thin and airy wafer used in Japanese ice-cream sandwich) dipped in dark chocolate sauce forms the ears. Monaka has an light, airy and elastic texture, somewhat like our biscuit piring wafer, but is more resistant to liquid.

Complimentary Pokemon coasters with every drink purchase

Complimentary Pokemon coasters with every drink purchase

Pikachu’s Sweeeeet Pancake (S$20++)

Pikachu’s Sweeeeet Pancake

Pikachu’s Sweeeeet Pancake

Although we were told at the entrance that we weren’t allowed to request for desserts to be served later, we still ended up having to wait more than half an hour (from the time we settled down) for our Pikachu’s Sweeeeet Pancake to arrive and only after we incessantly chased for it because we were in a hurry. An insider divulged that food service can be slow at times as the cafe staff go in order of highest demand, hence the preparation of the less popular food items may be delayed. To cope with high volume of orders, the pancakes – which were the most sought-after – were made in batches of 20, kept aside and reheated in microwave oven when they need to be served. Even so, reheating takes time, thus greatly affecting the speed of service. Sometimes you may find thyme and mint leaves (for decorative purposes anyway) missing on your plate as well because the cafe has run out of them. Apart from these two ingredients, the cafe also constantly faces shortage in milk. I find this sloppy considering that the ingredients were all gotten from local suppliers.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

Puffs and crepes are perpetually served a lot slower as they require much longer preparation time.

So I guess the above explains why the queue hardly moves? It all stems from the poor management of the cafe and shortage of manpower which contributed to the long waiting time for food to be served.

Going back to our expensive dessert which also comes with a free Pokéball mug, the first thing we noted was the disproportionate appearance of Pikachu’s face compared with the ears. The edges of the uppermost pancake were ripped off as if it was scooped out of the pan in a haste with no hoots given to quality control (do they even use the mold?). Despite being supposedly reheated, the pancakes we had were still cold but that’s honestly fine with me because the sweetness of the refillable maple syrup would have taken the attention away from it.

Pikachu’s facial features on the pancake are neatly constructed with cocoa powder and topped with monaka ears. The star of this dish is undoubtedly the tail. Made using a slab of Japanese-style butter cookie, it provides a soft crunch and a melt-in-your-mouth consistency. I personally prefer this to plain-tasting monaka.

Now, I believe many of you have read this review by Vivian Tian on the “bleeding” Pikachu served with the Pokéball Cream Puff. Here’s the other side of the story, provided by the preparer herself:

The blogger (Vivian) is my friend and whatever desserts and drinks you’ve seen here is done by me. And I will take this time to explain the reason behind it.

Originally the moose you’ve seen here is meant to have film used (the same EDIBLE FILM used on our iced lattes). And I have a minimum standard of professionalism when making food, and when we found out we had no film left, we had to make red whipped cream. And, obviously, those who baked before will know that too much red food colouring will make it more liquidy. And alas, I tried my best handling something new, and it bled. 

NEVERMIND, WANT TO REMAKE. But the bloody server decided to serve my pikachu from hell to them WITHOUT ASKING. Pissed, but nevermind. Knowing they will reject, I remade it. Cause I know them well, they will know what I go through. 

And she forewarned me how strict she will be, I said okay.

In conclusion, my experience was tainted by the unnecessarily long waiting time and expensive dishes prepared using cheap ingredients which I can readily find in my home refrigerator. But then again, I don’t blame the cafe staff because their morale has probably hit rock bottom after getting pushed around by their bosses. As much as I’m a huge Pokémon lover, I don’t condone the owners’ blatant profiteering and their poor staff management. So no, I don’t recommend dining at this cafe.

Thanks for reading!

Pokémon cafe @ EwF – a concept by PARCO
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[BEAUTY PICKS] SEPHORA Natural Allure; Feel-Good Beauty Redefined

Hello everyone!

With sustainability becoming a global business trend, even the beauty and personal care industry has joined the growing green movement by incorporating natural ingredients in their products. This news comes as music to the ears of beauty enthusiasts afflicted with troubled skin like yours truly because not only do some of the synthetic cosmetic ingredients found in many products cause skin irritation and toxic reactions, they are also detrimental to our health if used on a long-term basis.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for an exciting giveaway!)

This season, Sephora pays homage to Mother Nature with a bounty of skin-loving goodness inspired and powered by the very best of nature as they are filled with plant-based ingredients that are absolutely gentle on the skin!

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

Among the brands I will be featuring from this theme are a handful of new faces such as UK brand This Works and a new product from Fresh. The key natural ingredients for each product are denoted in teal.

new

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Inspired by the iconic cult-favourite Rose Face Mask, the new Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum is an expansion of the Rose skincare collection. This lightweight serum absorbs almost immediately and the hyaluronic acid, angelica leaf extract and porphyridium cruentum formula penetrates deeply to restore the skin’s natural glow.

The key natural ingredient in this face serum is rosewater, a venerable elixir suitable for all skin types which helps to maintain the skin’s pH balance and prevent excess sebum production. It can be used as a makeup base (but do allow some time for the skin to absorb the serum before applying your makeup) and the size of the bottle is small enough to be carried around all day.

RETAIL PRICE: S$88 in-stores and online

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems in Singapore as can be understood from a 2014 study which showed that we are among the cities in the world with the least hours of sleep. Considering how fast-paced and stressful life can be in these current times, it is almost inevitable not to be able to unwind at the end of the day. But not all hope is lost because with This Work’s Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, you will likely find yourself having better sleep or falling asleep faster as you inhale the invigorating yet soothing scent of a combination of three pure essential oils – lavender, vetiver and wild chamomile. To experience the wondrous effect of this spray, do ensure that you spritz it on a clean pillow case as you wouldn’t want such fragrance to blend with the intoxicating smell of your sweaty hair and saliva 😉

This natural alternative to prescription sleep aids calms and relaxes the mind and body while you have sweet dreams at night. Some health benefits of the key natural ingredient (lavender) include its ability to eliminate nervous tension and improving mood, thereby uplifting your spirits in the morning. If you’re still unsure of what to get for your insomniac father this Father’s Day, then look no further and get this in your shopping cart right now!

RETAIL PRICE: S$32 in-stores and online
(also comes in supersize 250ml at S$66)

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

Freshen up your morning with This Works in Transit Camera Close-Up, an all-in-one product which works (no pun intended) as a leave-on mask, moisturiser and primer, to banish any signs of fatigue and make you look camera-ready in no time. It has creamy and slightly thick texture but does not leave a tacky or greasy finish. Instead, it leaves the skin feeling hydrated, supple and smooth. Smell-wise, it reminds me of clinical hand creams – no overpowering artificial fragrance whatsoever.

It contains hyaluronic acid and caffaine, combined with Bio Boost – a revolutionary blend of echium and sunflower oils that restores, heals and brightens and tightens the skin.  Echium is also known for its emollient qualities and anti-inflammatory effects, hence making it extremely suitable for eczema-prone skin. This product can be used daily or as a pick-me-up throughout the day to give your face a dewy appearance.

RETAIL PRICE: S$61 in-stores and online

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Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

This multitasking Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask by Estelle & Thild promotes glowing skin as it protects the skin’s delicate natural moisture levels. On top of that, the natural bentonite clay of this certified organic mask draws out impurities and toxins and shrink your pores while the black elderflower decongests and detoxifies for a firmer and more radiant complexion.

This mask does not require a lot of your time as you would only need to let it sit on for five minutes before you can rinse it off with warm water. Given the minimal time needed, nobody would suspect a thing in the event that you feel like cleansing your face in the midst of your work!

RETAIL PRICE: S$57 in-stores and online

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Looks are important, but so are our hands. We always shower our face with so much tender loving care and neglect the most valuable tool we have that is often overworked. Since our hands have fewer oil glands than the rest of our body, they are susceptible to drying out, especially in air-conditioned environment.

Application

Application

Prevent your hands from aging prematurely with the Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands which acts as an antioxidant barrier and powerful protective agent to reduce moisture loss. It keeps the hands soft and smooth with liquorice, yuzu peel extract and vitamin E and has a nice citrus scent. Yuzu, the key natural ingredient of this product, is also a good source of antioxidants that can help replenish dead skin cells.

RETAIL PRICE: S$17 in-stores only

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

Dehydrated skin is a common concern but one that is often mistaken to be solely caused by inadequate water intake. In fact, the issue may well be brought about by the use of soap as their high alkaline levels could damage the skin barrier function and allow greater water loss. The solution? Use soap-free products, of course, starting from the most sensitive part of our body – our face!

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel is a soap-free facial cleansing gel that removes makeup, oil and pollution without the harsh effects of sulphates found in traditional cleansers. Formulated with aloe vera and rose otto oil for its therapeutic healing and regenerating qualities, this cleanser balances, tones, decongests and soothes the skin to promote healthy skin metabolism.

RETAIL PRICE: S$50 in-stores and online

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Seal

Seal

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Every office desk needs a pick-me-up to get you through the work day. June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist does just that by providing a surge of moisture to refresh your skin. It contains bitter orange from the south of France to calm the over-active production of sebum especially on oily and acne-prone skin. Other ingredients such as neroli oil and a powerful patent-pending blend of tea extracts revitalise the skin and stimulate cell regeneration to combat the visible signs of aging.

RETAIL PRICE: S$74 in-stores and online

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt's Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

In the heat of everlasting summer in Singapore, one can never have too many moisturisers. Infused with clary sage to regulate oil production and reduce inflammation, Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Nourishing Facial Water is a toner that replenishes your skin’s natural moisture. Applied using hands or cotton pads, it absorbs into the skin readily and leaves a visibly softer and smoother appearance.

I unfortunately didn’t find the smell all that pleasant. It actually reminds me of the chemical-ish smell of unscented lipsticks, though not that strong. But then again, it could just be me so do pop by Sephora to have a whiff of it 🙂

RETAIL PRICE: S$30 in-stores only

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (S$46)

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Illustrated instructions within the box

Illustrated instructions within the box

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Everything about this moisturiser – down right to the lovely baby pink packaging (I’m not ashamed to admit that I love everything pink, heh) – is just so noteworthy! Formulated with advanced skincare technology, this gel-cream transforms into a liquid on contact with the skin just like a sorbet.

Application

Application

For those who are not familiar with Caudalie, it is one of the few beauty companies to harness the properties of grape seed into their formulas to maximise anti-aging properties. Suitable for dehydrated and sensitive skin, this sweet-scented moisturiser contains both merlot (a kind of grape used for making red wines) and muscat grapes from the south of France which integrate to create the key natural ingredient: Organic Grape water®. It increases skin hydration levels by 127% with each application and together with other natural ingredients such as chamomile, this moisturiser soothes skin and reduces redness.

Retail price: S$46 in-stores and online

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Gear up for your upcoming vacay with Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit! This travel kit contains all four of Edible Beauty’s core products and covers all your skincare needs on-the-go.

Perfect for any climate around the globe (save for the extreme ones, of course), No. 1 Belle Frais Cleanser cleanses and purifies the skin with coconut oil during winter while No. 2 Citrus Rhapsody Tonique refreshes the skin with a unique blend of antioxidant rich fruits and herbs to protect you against the sun when you hit the beach. No. 3 Exotic Goddess Angeless Serum increases the skin’s elasticity with Edelweiss and No. 4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion hydrates with cocoa butter extracted from the cocoa bean when the air turns dry and colder in autumn. These portable skin-lovin’ goodies may merely occupy 1/8 of your luggage space but they will definitely be your go-to items to keep your skin in tip-top condition!

Retail price: S$73 online only

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Dying to get something listed above but have already emptied your bank account for your summer holiday? Here’s your chance to lay claim to one of the coveted products above because I’m about to throw a…

1 MILLION MILESTONE GIVEAWAY

WOOHOO!! That’s right! This site has recently passed the one million mark in visits! I wouldn’t have gotten this far without your support 🙂 In celebration of this huge milestone and as a gesture of appreciation to everyone who has supported this blog, I would like to reward one reader with an Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit worth S$73 (as featured above) to prep you for your next holiday!

To win, simply follow these steps:

(don’t worry, nothing too burdensome if you’re already following my social media accounts!)

1. Like my Facebook page here
2. Follow me on Instagram here
3. Comment on this post what you like about fionaseah.com or what you would like to see more on this blog! 🙂 This is for me to know your interests better! It can be related to any category I’ve covered on this blog
4. Remember to leave your e-mail address for me to reach you if you win

And guess what? This contest is open internationally because how could I forget about my foreign readers? You guys are equally awesome! Postage will be fully borne by yours truly so all you need to do is sit back and wait for the parcel to arrive at your doorstep! 🙂 It’s that simple!

Contest ends 24 June 2016 and the winner will be notified by 26 June 2016 (GMT+8). More giveaways (lipsticks included… yup) will be coming your way to mark this significant milestone so stay tuned! 🙂

Contest has ended! Thank you for your participation! 🙂

Thanks for reading, lovelies! And good luck!

find out which other products made it to the ‘green’ list! SEPHORA Natural Allure is now available online and/or at all Sephora stores in Singapore.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCTS FEATURED were sent to me for review purposes with information provided by sephora BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.