Friday, July 03, 2015

Sponsored Video: SK-II Manifesto #ChangeDestiny

According to a study conducted by SK-II, 80% of women feel that our future is predestined and that whatever happens in our lives is beyond our control. 

We are told that we should work for passion. We should take control of our lives by ditching jobs that do not interest us, in the hope of finding our dream jobs. In reality, however, many of us stick on with jobs that we have no interest in because of the way society perceives success, or to ensure that we can put food on the table and have a roof over our heads.

If you have the opportunity to watch your life on playback, just like a movie, do you think it'll be a movie worth watching?
Can we really change our destinies? How do we overcome our challenges and societal perceptions?

1) Draw up a list of what is important to you 
In our quest to ensure that our basic needs are met, try not to lose sight of what is important to you as this gives meaning to your life. Have you always wanted to start a new business? Do you value family time, hanging out with your friends, blogging, swimming, running or climbing? Draw up a list (prioritize please, it shouldn't be a laundry list) of what is important to you!

2) Lack of time or money is not an excuse

We often lament about the lack of time or money to pursue our interests. Make it a point to set aside just 10-15 minutes a day to indulge in your passion. You'll feel rejuvenated instantly. That's what blogging does to me. 

No money to pursue a hobby such as traveling? Make it a point to save. Everything comes with an opportunity cost. Cut down on unnecessary purchases, take the public transport and eat at hawker centres. You'll soon be able to make your travel dreams come true.

3) Be your own agent of Change

 Blogging has always been a passion, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would open up so many windows of opportunities for me, especially in terms of sponsorships and advertorials.

I only started blogging actively in my late 20s and you know what, it's never too late to start. If yesterday was a bad day, try something different today.  

Believe in yourself, be your own agent of change and gradually, you'll be able to change your destiny. #ChangeDestiny


Through this teaser video starring Chinese actress Tang Wei,SK-II is embarking on its #ChangeDestiny movement that begins this July to inspire women like you and me to change our destinies.  

Watch the video to find out more and stay tuned to Tang Wei's story (to be launched on July 15).

For more information on SK-II and the #ChangeDestiny movement, do check out the following links:

SK-II Website

SK-II Facebook

SK-II Instagram

SK-II Youtube

**This post was sponsored by SK-II, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Travel: Commune Cafe in Gold Coast

Waking up early for breakfast is usually a tall order for me, but not when I'm in Australia because the day starts early here. Cafes open as early as 6am and seats start filling fast from 7-8 am, so it is true when they say the early bird catches the worm.

We stopped by Commune Cafe before our day trip to Mount Tamborine. If you're interested, I will be writing a separate post about some day trips you could do from Gold Coast, especially if you're a nature lover.

Commune Cafe is located at Burleigh Heads, right beside Gold Coast Highway. We actually passed by this quaint little cafe on our way to our apartment from the airport on our very first day and made a mental note to come back for a visit.

I have a soft spot for corn fritters and chai latte. If I see them on the menu, I'll definitely place an order for these two items. And that was exactly what I did at Commune Cafe. What I like about the food here is that everything is made from natural, organic ingredients, so you can be sure that you are feeding your body with nothing but the best.

The corn fritters here come with generous servings of avocado, rocket salad and a tangy thai chilli sauce dip, which goes surprisingly well with the star of the show. I loved it. 

The chai latte is freshly brewed from tea leaves and served to you in a little metal pot, which makes the experience all the more authentic.

What did JW have? Well, he is just as predictable as I am when it comes to breakfast. Eggs Benedict is his Archilles' heel and he orders this all the time whenever we go to a cafe for breakfast or brunch.

 Outdoor seats here are aplenty and this is one cafe where you can sit all day long, bask in the sun and soak up the good vibes with a cup of coffee and some delicious yet healthy organic food in tow. It is a beautiful spot to relax and chill with fellow friendly cafe-goers who never fail to wear a warm smile on their faces.


Commune Cafe

1844 Gold Coast Highway
Burleigh Heads
QLD 4220

Opening Hours:
6.30am - 3.00 pm

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fashion: Bohomian Chic Trend 2015

The bohemian chic trend is perhaps one of my favourite fashion trends of all-time. An enchanting, timeless style that exudes individuality and an effortlessly carefree vibe, it comes as no surprise that this trend is so wildly popular that it has been revived again and again in the history of fashion.

Commonly associated with hippies of the 70s, this trend has evolved over the years and there are many ways to go about embracing the boho chic look without looking like a druggie or a gypsy. One easy way to go about this is to slip into a white lace maxi dress with gladiator sandals, like what I did in my previous post here for a casual chic look. Alternatively, go for billowy silhouettes and softer fabrics paired with laced-up heels for a dressier take. Here's what I wore recently to attend the wedding of an old friend. 

Dress from Blum
Shoes from Windsor Smith
Vintage Carpet Bag from Sydney Glebe Markets
Earrings from Chanel
Ring c/o Coco & Tulip

I kept my accessories to a minimum with a simple pair of stud earrings from Chanel and an exquisite statement ring, aptly named Fire Leaf Ring Cuff, from online luxury jewellery boutique Coco & Tulip

Made of the finest sterling silver with cubic zirconia, the Fire Leaf Ring Cuff is a captivating accent piece that will add a touch of sparkle and liven up any ensemble. It never fails to draw compliments from friends and even strangers whenever I put it on. 

Coco & Tulip aims to make luxury jewellery affordable and easily accessible because everyone deserves to indulge in quality jewellery that stand the test of time. I find myself reaching for this beautiful ring ever so often simply because it goes with practically everything. 

Do visit Coco & Tulip's website here or follow them on instagram (@cocoandtulip) for more updates on their latest designs.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week ahead!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Palmer's White & Even Skincare for Pigmentation Issues

I am a fan of Palmer's Cocoa Butter body moisturizer because it is one of the few body moisturizers in the market that can truly transform my dry parched skin into buttery soft, smooth skin. It wasn't until recently that I discovered that one of my favourite bodycare brands has its very own range of facial skincare products too, and I was delighted to get my hands on them.

Palmer's White & Even skincare range is formulated specially for those of us who are plagued by pigmentation issues such as age spots, dark spots, acne scars and sun damage. Pigmentation is usually formed when sun exposure causes melanocytes in the epidermis to overproduce melanin which then results in brown skin cells rising to the skin surface. Topical creams like the White and Even range by Palmer's can inhibit the overproduction of melanin to prevent and treat skin discoloration. 

Besides its pigment-correcting properties, what I love about this range is that it is water-based and thus suitable for our humid climate.This range is also free of parabens, phthalates, sulphates, harsh dyes, synthetic dyes and fragrances, making it suitable for all skin types.

1) Palmer's White & Even Dark Spot Corrector ($29.90/30ml)

The White & Even Dark Spot Corrector is a serum that you can easily incorporate into your daily skincare regime. I typically apply this after toner and before moisturizer.

Palmer's Tone Enhancing Complex and Songyi Mushrooms are the key active ingredients in this product. The Tone Enhancing Complex is a unique concoction of Cocoa Butter (smooths marks and scars), Soy (restores luminosity), Licorice (improves tone and texture), Synovea (lightens age spots and just as effective as Hydroquinone!) and Vitamin C (natural skin brightener), while the highly coveted Songyi Mushrooms are widely sought after for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, soothe inflammations and firm up the skin for a youthful appearance.

The lightweight non-sticky gel serum is infused with a sheer veil of shimmer and a delightful floral scent (all-natural as the product is fragrance-free). Honestly, it is almost too pretty to be used. On application, it glides on like silk and absorbs quickly, almost as if your skin is quenching its thirst, leaving a soft, pearlescent finish on your face.

If your skin can't withstand the heaviness of traditional moisturizing, this serum doubles up as a moisturizer as well. I have been using this product as both a serum and moisturizer under sunblock. It sits well as a make-up base, even with Palmer's CBB cream, and the subtle shimmer gives you a luminous complexion without looking like a disco ball.

After using this for 2 weeks, I noticed that my skin tone has become brighter and more even. I went for a facial recently and with the help of this product, the extraction marks on my face vanished miraculously in just 2-3 days when they usually take about 4-5 days to fully recover. This is my favourite product out of the entire range and I would recommend this as an affordable alternative to some of the bigger brands because it actually works!

For more details about the product, you can also view the video of Palmer's Brand Ambassador, Taiwanese Celebrity, Sonia Sui,here:

2. Palmer's White & Even Dark Circle Correcting Eye Treatment ($22.90/15ml)

Many of us, including myself, are victims of dark eye circles, which make us look more tired than we really are. To fight the signs of fatigue and reduce the appearance of dark eye circles, which is usually due to a lack of blood circulation, you may wish to give Palmer's Dark Circle Correcting Eye Treatment a try. 

Here's what it promises to do:

  • Brighten Dark Circles and Under Eye Shadows
  • Help Improve Microcirculation (circulation of blood in the smallest vessels)
  • Reduce Puffiness
  • Firm & Lift
  • Moisturize
It achieves these 5 effects through its triple blend of Caffeine to stimulate microcirculation, Skin Nutrients to plump and moisturize the delicate skin and Sheer Luminizing Veil to brighten the shadowy under-eye area. The cooling metal tip applicator reduces puffiness and can be used to massage the eye contours to relieve tiredness.

Just like the Dark Spot Corrector, this eye correcting treatment comes with a gel texture and pearlescent finish to brighten up your eye area. The metal tip applicator is also very handy for re-applications during the day, whenever you feel that you need that extra pick-me-up. 

A little goes a long way, so remember to squeeze out just a 5 cent coin size of gel and use the applicator to evenly distribute the product all over your eye contours, starting from inside out. Doing this in the morning when I am usually still half awake really perks me up and makes me feel absolutely refreshed.

3) Palmer's White & Even CBB Cream Fair/Light ($22.90/30ml)

We have all heard of BB creams or CC creams. Now, what exactly is CBB cream? 

CBB stands for Correcting Beauty Balm and Palmer's CBB Cream contains a multi-functional formula that targets discoloration and spots while giving you the coverage and sun protection (SPF 15) that you need. 

Here's what this multi-tasking product does:
  • Targets discoloration
  • Provides superior moisturization
  • Protects your skin from the sun
  • Prevents discoloration from recurring
  • Provides lightweight coverage to conceal imperfections
  • Primes skin for makeup application
  • Brightens complexion
  • Improves radiance and clarity instantly
  • Reduces redness
It may have a relatively thick consistency but it blends out well and the coverage is very buildable. It is also very hydrating, which explains why you really do not need to add a moisturizer to your skincare routine with Palmer's White and Even range.

 Can you tell that the vein on the right side of my hand is less obvious than before? Palmer's White and Even CBB cream is again formulated with their Tone Enhancing Complex, with the addition of Mineral Pigments to even out your skin tone and boost radiance, leaving you with luminous, younger-looking skin.

Did I find this skincare range effective and would I recommend it?

When you use Palmer's White & Even skincare a daily basis, you can expect to see your skin tone lighten and become more uniform within 3-5 days. After 4-6 weeks (depending on age, health and sun exposure), your skin evens out beautifully as the products act on the deeper skin layers to inhibit overproduction of melanin.

In fact, the brightening properties of Palmer's White & Even skincare can be seen immediately upon application. From my before (no make-up) and after (after applying White & Even Dark Spot Corrector and Dark Circle Correcting Eye Treatment) photo below, you can tell that my skin tone already looks more even and my eyes look less tired.

 Now, let's take a look at my before and after photo upon application of Palmer's White & Even CBB Cream.No concealer, foundation, blusher or even eye make-up (except lash extensions) was used in all the photos featured in this post. 

  A touch of the CBB cream was all it took for the pigmentation on my upper cheeks to disappear. If you require more coverage, simply dab on an additional layer of CBB cream for clear, flawless skin.

 I would recommend Palmer's White & Even Skincare range if you have pigmentation, dark spots, acne scars or simply wish to even out your skin tone as it is very affordable and most importantly, it actually works.  After using this range for about 2 weeks, I noticed that my skin tone has become more even and the redness has subsided. I would be lying if I were to tell you that the pigmentation on my upper cheeks has disappeared, because there isn't a miracle product like that in the market but based on the results currently, I am confident that with regular usage, it would lighten with time.

Oh, and don't forget your sunscreen to ensure that your efforts don't go to waste!

Head on down to Watsons, Guardian, BHG, Robinsons, John Little, Essentials    Pharmacy, Nishino Pharmacy, all leading pharmacies, departmental and cosmetic stores to get your Palmer's White & Even skincare range!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Travel: Beaches in Gold Coast

Other than theme parks, Gold Coast is known for their beautiful beaches that stretch on forever. Sunny yet cool, the beautiful weather all year round, even in winter, makes Gold Coast the perfect beach destination in Australia. 

I could just laze my day away at the beach all day with a book, feeling the powdery soft sand between my toes and listening to the roar of the crashing waves. When I get bored of sitting down, up I go to take a walk along the beach, where the finely milled sand makes you feel like you're walking on silk.

How divine.

Some of you may know that I typically avoid the sun like the plague, and the only time I am willing to get out in the sun is when I am at the beach, not without slathering on sunblock of course. I love beaches and during my recent trip to Gold Coast, I visited several of them.Here are some of the beaches that left a deep impression on me:

1) Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is the most popular beach in Gold Coast, which also makes it the most touristy. It stretches over 3 kilometres and depending on your preference, you could either join in the crowd and people watch or find a quiet spot to indulge in a little me-time, all against the backdrop of towering skyscrapers. 

Just so you know, none of these photos in this post required any editing on my part. Yes, the gorgeous deep blue gradients, dramatic cloud formations and beautiful beaches are all real.

Pretty amazing isn't it?

Romper from Alice McCall

Swimwear from Asos

If you stay till the evenings on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, you can also visit the beachfront markets and check out the fresh bakes (I loveee fudge!), produce, art and craft and souvenirs. 

 While you are at Surfers Paradise, I would also highly recommend that you visit SkyPoint Observation Deck for a bird's eye view of Gold Coast. Aside from its glowing beaches, you will be treated to a breathtaking view of Gold Coast's waterways. Fun fact of the day: Did you know that Gold Coast has more waterways and canals than Venice?  

General admission tickets are priced at A$22 for adults and A$13 for children. There's also a family pass for 2 Adults + 2 Children priced at A$57.

If you are up for some adrenalin-pumping action, try the SkyPoint Climb. The climb is conducted outdoors and takes you right to the top of the building. We were all ready to book a slot but eventually decided against it because we found out that no cameras are allowed, which we thought was quite a waste. 

If you are interested, tickets are priced at A$69 for adults (Day Climb) and A$49 for children (Day Climb), and A$80 for adults (Twilight Climb) and A$69 for children (Twilight Climb).


SkyPoint Observatory Deck


Level 77 of Q1 Resort
9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Queensland, 4217 Australia



+61 7 5582 2700


2) Nobby Beach

If a little peace and quiet is what you are after, head over to Nobby beach. An oasis of calm and serenity, there's hardly anyone around at all. If I were staying in Gold Coast, I would come here everyday just to chill out and unwind after a long day at work.

Nobby beach gets extra bonus points as one of our favourite restaurants, Sparrow Eating House (owned by the same people behind Elk Espresso) is located just a stone's throw away. 

3) Coolangatta Beach

Coolangatta beach is the nearest beach to the airport and is located close to several cafes and shops. 

We were in Coolangatta for breakfast at The Black Sheep, which serves up delicious meals and good coffee. After the hearty meal, we really needed to walk it off and it didn't take long before we found ourselves on Coolangatta beach. We hadn't planned on visiting the beach that day, hence my rather inappropriate attire drew curious stares from the beach-goers lining the shore. 

This beach seemed very popular among families and the locals so if you want to feel like a local, this is the beach to go. We also chanced upon an interesting cluster of rocks which provided a great backdrop for my OOTD pictures.

4) Broad Beach

We visited Broad Beach slightly before 6 a.m. on the last day of our trip and was greeted by vibrant shades of orange, red and blue as the sun peeked out from the horizon. .

Broad Beach is relatively quieter than Surfers Paradise but I was amazed to see many joggers along the beach early in the morning. Foodies will also be happy to know that Broad Beach is close to popular restaurants such as RockSalt Modern Dining (we had dinner there and the food was delicious!), Social Eating House, Verve and many others. 

The waves are generally too strong for swimming in Gold Coast, but you have to visit the beaches here if surfing is your cup of tea. No idea how to surf? Surf schools are aplenty so if you're feeling adventurous, you can always take up surfing lessons and ride the waves. 

 Even if you don't wish to enter the sea, take a walk towards the waves, twiddle your toes and enjoy the moment as the waves crash onto shore and break into delightful white foam at your feet. Trust me, it's worth it.


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