Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Skincare Range for Oily Skin

The Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free skincare range couldn't have arrived at my doorstep at a better time as I recently discovered that I have oily but dehydrated skin.

Can oily skin be dry at the same time?
My skin looks oily on the surface but there are signs of flaking if I don't moisturize adequately. Sounds contradictory? Totally not.

Those of us with oily skin tend to skip moisturizer, thinking that our skin already feels moisturized anyway. We are also afraid that our skin will look oilier after applying moisturizer. Contrary to popular belief, it is not true that people with oily skin do not need to moisturize because beneath that oily exterior, your skin may be sorely lacking in moisture (like mine), which then results in dry, flaky skin.

I have tried several skincare brands and products. Most fare well in terms of hydration but I can't say the same when it comes to the oil control. That's where Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free range makes a difference. 

After using this skincare range for about a month, I feel that my skin feels more matte and  hydrated than before. 

Moisture without the shine - isn't that a dream come true?

1) Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser (S$43, 150ml)

What I love about Kiehl's products it that they are paraben-free, sulphate-free, silicone-free, oil-free and fragrance-free. Hence, you have nothing to fear even if you have sensitive skin. To reduce my level of exposure to unnecessary chemicals, I generally prefer products that do not contain these ingredients as well.

A pea sized amount is all I need to create sufficient lather for the entire face. My skin feels thoroughly cleansed yet hydrated as this facial cleanser is specially formulated with Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract to retain and restore moisture, even as it removes excess oil and impurities. It also contains Lemon Fruit Extracts which have astringent and antiseptic qualities to perk up and refresh tired, sluggish skin. 

I am using this cleanser on a daily basis and this is one product that I would repurchase as I really like the slightly tight, squeaky clean feeling after cleansing. I would recommend this to people with oily skin. That said, this cleanser is best paired with the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner to balance out the skin's moisture level.

2) Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free Toner (S$43, 150ml)

 This toner is alcohol-free, paraben-free, sulphate-free, silicone-free and fragrance-free. Made from Imperata Cylindrica root extract and antarcticine, a glycolprotein found in the Antartic Sea, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free toner gently hydrates and soothes your skin by balancing your skin's pH level. 

I use it after the facial cleanser to remove any residual impurities and I love how it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean, without stripping it of moisture. I especially like to use this when my skin breaks out during that time of the month as it effectively double cleanses my face to remove any excess oil. I currently alternate between this and my SKII Facial Treatment Essence (which is more nourishing) depending on my skin's condition.

3) Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream (S$48 for 50ml or S$82 for 125ml)

I love cream-based moisturizers for their nourishing properties, but they are usually too rich for my skin, which results in the formation of milia seeds. Gel-based moisturizers like this one are definitely more suitable for oily skin.

The lightweight gel texture absorbs readily into my skin, giving it a dose of much-needed moisture without that rich, creamy after-feel that most moisturizers tend to impart.There is absolutely no residue after application, and I adore how silky smooth and plumped up my skin feels immediately. Most importantly, it doesn't give me milia seeds.

What is really impressive about this moisturizer is that despite its almost feather-light  texture, it is more hydrating than most of the other gel-based moisturizers that I have tried. In fact, it feels just like an intensive serum cum moisturizer.

I would highly recommend this skincare range to anyone with oily skin. Its key strength lies in oil control without compromising on hydration, and the entire range has worked particularly well on me thus far. If you have oily skin as well, perhaps you could give this a try!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Malacca Food: What and Where to Eat

We were brought on a mini food trail hosted by the lovely staff of Julie's Biscuit during our recent sponsored trip to Malacca and while I can't speak on behalf of everyone, I for one couldn't stop munching on the delectable delights that the vibrant city had to offer. 

Malacca is a food haven, there's no doubt about that. Give me chicken rice balls, chendol, nyonya food and durian puffs any time, any day. 

Let's start with Jonker Walk, one of the most iconic tourist attractions in Malacca. Lined with street hawkers peddling local delicacies, knick knacks, trinklets and apparels, the street is always bustling with life. Weaving in and out of the maddening crowd is part and parcel of the entire experience, and while it can be rather exasperating at times to be stuck in a human jam, there is always something interesting in every nook and corner, ready to enchant and captivate.

If you are a fan of pineapple tarts, be sure to stop by Madam Goh. There are more than 10 shops selling pineapple tarts along Jonker Walk, but the pineapple tarts here are by far the yummiest that I've tried.

Madam Goh Nyonya Pineapple Tarts House
Jonker Walk
Tel: 06-335-1561

I love that the slightly crisp outer crust is so creamy and milky, it almost melts in your mouth. And as I sink my teeth deeper into the buttery confection, I am immediately greeted by a generous dollop of pineapple filling that is sweetened to perfection.

I have a penchant for durians and I've heard so much about One Bite Durian Puff along Jonker Street.

Encased within a soft fluffy puff pastry, the durian filling is rich and bursting with flavour. As the name suggests, you are supposed to devour the entire puff in one bite, but it was way too huge for me. I took at least 5 bites. With every bite, I had to rotate and contort my wrist in different directions just to prevent the delicious durian filling from oozing out on to my hands.

 Every bite gave me immense pleasure, so much so that I decided one durian puff was simply not enough for me. This is definitely a must-try if you are a durian fan!

Aside from street food, Malacca is also renowned for its authentic Perakanan cuisine, otherwise known as Nyonya food. We were hosted to a wonderful dinner at Restoran Nyonya Makko, one of the most established Nyonya restaurants in Malacca.

Restoran Nyonya Makko
123, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, Melaka
Tel: 06-2840-737

These were just some of the dishes that we had and every dish was sumptuous. It is quite impossible to go wrong with an establishment that has been around for 27 years and before long, everyone at the table abandoned their cameras to tuck into the splendid spread of Nyonya delicacies.

I'm not sure about you, but I have a separate compartment reserved for desserts, and even as I was bursting at the seams from all the glorious food, I had to have my Chendol! 

The key ingredients in Chendol include coconut milk, green jelly noodles made from rice flour, shaved ice and palm sugar. It sounds simple enough to make, but I guess the secret to a good bowl of Chendol lies in the quality and the proportions of ingredients.

If you are familiar with Malacca, you would probably have heard about their fabulous Chendol and the snaking queues at this particular stall along Jonker Walk. I personally feel that Restoran Nyonya Makko's is just as delish.

Chicken Rice Balls are my absolute favourite, which is why I saved the best for last. The most famous chicken rice ball stall in Malacca is probably Chung Wah Chicken Rice Balls, but the massive queues can serve as a deterrent, especially when your stomach is growling.

I have little patience and I get grumpy when hunger gets the better of me, so I was really happy when the Julie's Biscuit staff introduced us to another chicken rice ball stall that is equally yummy to satisfy my cravings.

Did you know that Ee Ji Ban Chicken Rice Ball is apparently the only halal chicken rice ball stall in Malacca?

The chicken rice balls were moist, fragrant and slightly sticky. I especially love the soft and smooth texture, which makes it incredibly easy to swallow. That probably explains why I ate up close to 20 rice balls in one seating.

The other dishes were equally mouthwatering. The chicken was juicy and succulent but in my opinion, the sambal squids took the cake. The sambal chilli was simply superb.

The abundance of good food in Malacca is such a huge draw and I can't wait to head back to explore and discover new eating places. There is so much more that Malacca has to offer, and what I have shared in this post barely scratches the surface.

Are there any other restaurants or cafes in Malacca that you would recommend?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fashion Fridays: Red Accents, Flowers & Foliage

I love adding a pop of red to my outfits, especially simple minimalistic pieces like a little black dress. Red stands out against black and the marriage between these two colours creates a classic look that never goes out of style. 

For a more playful and quirky look, you can also consider throwing on a splash of colours with red as an accent colour, like what I did here. It's easy to wear several colours at the same time and not end up looking like a clown as long as the colour of your shoes and accessories matches one of the colours in the ensemble. 

I have been waxing lyrical about leaf prints and palm prints the past 2 weeks, hence this week, I decided it's about time to bring on both flowers and foliage. After all, leaves and flowers belong together, don't they?

If you take a closer look at this whimsical top and skorts (yes, it's not a skirt!) set, you may notice that there are a couple of pop-up leaves and flowers that give it a more 3-dimensional visage. These cute little pop-ups are made of fluffy cotton pads and I know this sounds really childish and ridiculous, but I couldn't help but give these squishy pop-up motifs a good squeeze every now and then. Oops, now you know how silly I am!

Top and Skort Set from Ching
Shoes from Zara
Bag from Kate Spade
Earrings from Chanel

I hope you enjoyed today's edition of Fashion Fridays! As always, have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

On The Go With Samsung GALAXY Tab S

I am always on the go, shuttling between the office, meetings and events. While I may not be able to meet up with my loved ones as frequently as I would like to, I am grateful that advancements in technology have allowed me to constantly stay connected with them via email or social media platforms. 

For the past couple of weeks, my Samsung GALAXY Tab S has been out and about with me everyday. It is so incredibly light and slim, I can just pop it into my handbag and take it around with me wherever I go. It is now my trusty companion and I love how I can connect with the rest of the world with the swipe of a finger.

When I have pockets of time in between meetings or events, I like to catch up on my emails, read an e-book or watch my favourite drama series to make full use of my time. There are times when I prefer to sit outdoors just to get a whiff of fresh air, but I have come to realize that the screens on most tablets are very reflective, which makes it really hard for me to read what's on the screen clearly under sunlight. 

Thanks to the SUPER AMOLED display on Samsung GALAXY Tab S, this problem has become a thing of the past. Its SUPER AMOLED screen is 40% less reflective than the usual LCD screens on other tablets, so I have no issues reading my emails or e-book even when the sun is beating down on me. 

In a day and age where productivity is the buzzword, keeping myself productive is one of my top priorities and I love how I can get things done with my Samsung GALAXY Tab S.

Did you know that Samsung GALAXY Tab S also comes with a suite of programs to enhance your productivity on the go?  

Hancom Office, which is similar to Microsoft Office, is one program that I find particularly useful for work. With Hancom Office Hword (similar to Word document) and Hcell (similar to Spreadsheet), I can read and edit all my work documents easily. I never have to worry about compatibility issues again!


Another feature that I fell absolutely head over heels in love with is the Remote PC function, which allows you to sync your PC/laptop at home or at work with the Samsung GALAXY Tab S. With the tap of a button on my Samsung Galaxy Tab S, I can now gain access to all the files on my laptop or PC at home regardless of where I may be.

I upload tons of photos onto my laptop a few times a week and I always make it a point to edit my photos before publishing them on my blog. More often than not, I only have time to edit my photos on my laptop way after working hours at night as it is such a chore to carry my laptop around. 

You cannot believe how thankful I am to have my trusty Samsung GALAXY Tab S with me. I know I have been gushing incessantly about how light the Samsung GALAXY Tab S is, but aside from that, it also gives me the flexibility and convenience of being able to edit my photos on the go all the time. The long battery life is a huge plus point too as I can rush out urgent blog posts or work with complete peace of mind. 

SideSync 3.0 is yet another feature that got my attention. It actually makes me want to get myself a Samsung mobile phone.

SideSync allows you to control your Samsung smartphone from the Galaxy Tab S, which means you can continue to text your friends or pick up calls even if your mobile phone is not by your side. You can also share files between both devices by copying and pasting or dragging and dropping into the shared clipboard. Isn't that amazing?

(Disclaimer: Compatible with GALAXY S5 LTE and GALAXY Note 3 With LTE only. More devices to follow)

Taking short breaks throughout the day increases my productivity as I am able to recharge, refocus my energies and keep my mind fresh. To relax, I would usually grab some nibbles or catch a movie. And that's where Samsung GALAXY Life comes in useful. 

All Samsung GALAXY Tab S users stand to enjoy an exciting array of exclusive rewards and  privileges through GALAXY Life. Thinking of grabbing a bite, catching a movie or buying mooncakes for your loved ones? GALAXY Life has got you covered. 

You can easily redeem the rewards by clicking on the "Redeem It" button, after which you are given an hour to claim your reward.
Samsung GALAXY Life users are also entitled to a variety of special privileges. For instance, you could have redeemed a lucky draw code that gives you not one, but three chances to win concert tickets and rehearsal passes to the YG Family 2014 concert that took Singapore by storm! 

I love everything that Samsung GALAXY Tab S has to offer. With my trusty Samsung GALAXY Tab S, higher productivity is easily attainable and that also translates to fewer late nights and more beauty sleep for me!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fashion Fridays: Is Baby Blue the new Pink?

Is Baby Blue the new Pink this year?
I've been seeing a lot of baby blue in stores. Baby blue tops, pants, shoes, bags...you get the drift. And it isn't a bad thing.

I love pastel colours, especially baby pink, a feminine and delicate shade which still remains one of my favourite colours to date. Baby blue, on the other hand, has the same characteristics, and more, which means the styling possibilities are endless.  

There is an understated sweetness and elegance about baby blue that makes it edgy yet effortlessly chic. Baby pink can be a little too girly or overpoweringly sweet for work wear, unless it comes in the form of tailored jackets, shirts or pants. Baby blue however, takes the style factor up a notch without compromising on professionalism. In fact, this outfit that I'm sharing with you today is one of my favourite Casual Fridays ensembles for work.

Pants from Ching
Shoes from Charles & Keith
Clutch from Givenchy
Top and necklace from random stores

I have been wearing this pair of baby blue pants from Ching (Far East Plaza) more often these days. I love the unique baroque prints and there's a slight stretch to the pants which makes it unbelievably comfortable. 

These baby blue mules from Charles & Keith have also been making very frequent appearances. I like the minimalist chic design and clean simple lines. Don't you think they resemble an Alexander Wang design?

Whenever I wear these two items together, I prefer to keep the rest of the outfit simple with a basic black or white top. The whole idea is to make the baby blue shade pop.

 On days when I have after-work events to attend, I'll throw on a statement necklace to dress up the outfit. I'll also swop my work bag for a clutch, like this cute yet stylish piece from Givenchy.

Have you got any baby blue pieces in your wardrobe? If not, perhaps it's about time (now that the weekend is just around the corner) to start adding a dash of baby blue to keep your wardrobe updated!

 Have a great weekend!


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