Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello Kitty Pasta

I am a sucker for packaging and this pasta pack tugged at my heart-strings the moment I saw them at Cold Storage.

If there isn't one close to you and you absolutely must these Hello Kitty Pasta Shapes, you can buy them here.

Pan fried some bacon, stirred in some cheese, cream and and egg for an easy and light carbonara.

Could be better with some onions or garlic but I couldn't be fussed. No pictures of completed dish, I was too busy devouring my meal.

Simple and tasty!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

CHANEL Preview: Le Jour, La Nuit & Le Weekend

This is possibly the first time I am posting about a product/launch the same day I attended the event.  I was rather surprised that these products would make its way to Malaysia so soon, when it had only launched in the States a few weeks back. 

As I previously wrote, I was particularly interested in this range as it can be incorporated into any existing regime and the ingredients used sounded okay for my sensitive-acne prone skin. This concept of regenerating the skin is a first for Chanel and in my opinion many other brands as well, and should definitely be embraced given our increasingly hectic lifestyles which in the long run would put a strain on our own skin/body's capability to regenerate itself.

"Where beauty begins..."
Venue was classy and well set-up with attention to detail, as at all Chanel events

No surprises that I came home with all 3 products as I felt they addressed most of my current skin's needs. While I've tried Chanel skincare on and off, I have actually never invested in a full range nor used them all at the same time. This is a first for me with Chanel (not considering their makeup launches).

All 3 products have a different and beautiful scent derived from flowers. When I read that Le Jour (50ml, MYR250) had Jasmine in it, I cringed a little as most perfumes or lotions with this flower in it didn't sit well with me. I sniffed it expecting to find the same explosive Jasmine but to my surprise it was more of a dried, subdued, Jasmine instead which was nice. Sorta like how roses and dried-roses have a same yet different fragrance to it. It pumps out clear and a little thick but when applied has a very light texture and absorbs well. Le Jour can be used under any serum as it works by reactivating the skin and helps boost the following products used. I currently already use 2 different serums in the morning and was informed it is completely okay to use Le Jour underneath them. 

La Nuit (50ml, MYR250) has soothing Frankincense fragrance, very much like those used when meditating but lighter and is a perfect scent for unwinding at the end of the day. The creamy texture is heavier than Le Jour but totally necessary in my opinion as night products should always be more nourishing. It helps regenerate the skin and is meant to be used as a last step of your nightcare, after serum and moisturizer.

Out of the 3, Le Weekend (50ml, MYR313) sounds the most promising and it also reminded me of the Alpha-H Liquid Gold which I have just started to use. The texture is velvety and has a light rose scent (again, not the usual Rose found in most skincare/fragrances) and works during the weekends to renew skin with the 6% glycolic acid content. There is no need to use a serum or moisturizer with this treatment- just apply it after your toner and top it with SPF, once a week, day and night. 

If I had to pick one, it would probably be Le Weekend but I find that my skin would benefit from Le Jour and La Nuit as well. Considering that I don't have to spend much for skincare these days (due to work and gifts), this is actually a good investment and can be used with my current products. The price may sound a little steep but considering that it comes in a 50ml bottle and you don't need much, it should last about 3 months (I go through a 30ml bottle of serum in 2 months when used once a day, everyday).

Am waiting to clear off a few more products on my vanity before breaking open these lovelies, will update again in a few months!

For all Malaysians, these products will be available early August onwards at all Chanel counters.

*On a side note, there will also be limited pieces of the coveted black Chanel eyelash curler for sale. I managed to pick up a few boxes years back, and I stocked up a few today too. They make great gifts. The curve fits my eyelids better than Shu Uemura's legendary curler and MAC's, check it out as they sell out in a blink!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Skincare which doesn't cost the Earth

That's sukin's tagline. As I grow older, I find that my skin feels more comfortable with gentle and plant based products. When I was younger all I wanted to see was quick results, it didn't matter what was in the formula as long as it achieved what it promised. These days, I scrutinize ingredient lists, how the formula works, is it harsh and filled with chemicals.. the questions go on.

Sukin's whole range is very affordable, smells beautiful and best part is it doesn't contain parabens. I have tried a few of their products and I honestly think this brand is not getting the recognition it deserves.

The texture and packaging of the Foaming Facial Cleanser really reminds me of Aesop cleansing gels which I have tried (is it a coincidence that both brands are Australian as well?), the only difference is the price, scent and I found sukin to be more gentle on my sensitive skin. I find myself deeply inhaling the scent every morning, and it leaves my skin refreshed and soft but not stripped. I am not searching for a cleanser at the moment as I am very happy with this and have stocked up.

The Facial Moisturizer also smells really nice, I add in a few drops of Clarins' Lotus Oil before I use it. It is lightweight, did not cause my skin further problems but I wouldn't repurchase as I am looking into anti-ageing products more these days.

LOVE the Hydrating Mist Toner. The BEST I have tried, only gripe is that it's 125ml so I have to pour it into a smaller spray for travelling.

The Facial Scrub is also very gentle, it is a creamy paste with fine bits of walnut shells and did not irritate my skin further even when I had nasty bumps all over.

Even the deodorant doesn't smell offensive (I had to hold my breath previously when I used aerosols), doesn't make ME smell offensive and best of all there is no residue. The scent is very similar in all their products; comforting, clean, but not herbal.

Sukin also has a range of shampoos, masks and shower products in their range but I have yet to check those out. This brand is definitely a keeper!

*Please note that some of these products are already in my previous Empties, I currently only have the Cleanser and Deodorant in use.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dining Out: BAIT, Bangsar Telawi

65 Jalan Telawi 3, 
Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, 
03-2201 8187

Taken from their Facebook page: "Few places come close to capturing the spell of the ocean like Bait. 
This restaurant bar is designed so diners can enjoy culinary delights in casual sophistication.
 The menu stars only the freshest of ingredients that are delicately served to perfection.
From Seared Rock Cod to Lager Steamed Mussels, Bait is a cure for all cravings, coupled with a tempting wine and cocktail list and attentive service; 
Bait is a dining venue that needs little persuasion."

Stuffed Squid- Grilled squid stuffed with chorizo, served with salsa verde and roasted cherry tomatoes
This was SO good. Juicy, flavourful and so delicious.

Chorizo Pasta- Spaghetti with chorizo, tossed with a light cream/tomato sauce
 This dish was tasty too and comes in a good portion.

Butter Poached Salmon
Another delicious dish. Everything we had was good and the other diners around us were notably happy with their food too.

Coconut & Gula Melaka Gelato
Coconut ice cream or gelato (or any coconut dish/dessert!) should always come with an indication if it is laced with dessicated coconut or not. I am not a fan of the gritty flakes and almost always avoid ordering dishes with this ingredient. Aside from that, the gelato tasted really nice and refreshing.

I like BAIT! Their wait staff are polite and attentive, not hawk-like at all and actually know the items on the menu well enough to recommend dishes convincingly.

Would definitely be back for more, especially the squid!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rilakkuma Lychee & Pineapple Marsh-melly

Slap a cute character on the packaging and I am sold. 

Most of the time.

Found at Ben's Independant Grocer at Publika, this Marsh-melly comes in 2 flavours- Pineapple and Lychee. I call it a Marsh-melly because the texture is like a cross between a marshmallow and a jelly.

How do you resist? Too cute!

There you go. A Marshmelly. Taste-wise, it was way too sweet for me.. so unless you have a sweet tooth, step away from this.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Product: Alpha-H Liquid Gold

This product has been on my MateriaList for the longest time, with my face finally settling down (its not oily/that congested anymore!) I took the plunge and ordered a bottle.

I have 3 words for it: TOTALLY IN LOVE!

It is worth the hype and I could see results the very next morning. I did plenty of research and read dozens of reviews and I only came across one or two users who didn't see any difference in their skin.

The bottle says to use every alternate night, but I think that's a bit much for my 27 year old skin. I tried every third night but it made my skin peel a little, so now I use it every fourth night and it is perfect. I use it after my toner and nothing goes on after (I am using it as an intensive treatment as suggested on instructions). My skin didn't feel dry or tight; however the first time I used it, there was a slight tingling sensation.

My skin is visibly clearer, more even toned, less bumpy (with first use!). I've used it 3 times now and I am still impressed by how well it works.

LOVE! Have introduced this to my sister and she's seeing results too. If you're looking for a product to clear dead cells, congestion and make way for clearer, brighter, smoother skin- THIS IS IT!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pies & Cake

Simple ingredients, easy to put together and so delicious.
Bacon & egg pies, egg hearts for Choko
Bacon & Egg pie with cheese, cracked pepper and rosemary
(Need: Bacon, bread, eggs, cheese, butter- the rest optional)
1. Butter/Grease a muffin tray, line with bread or pastry sheet
2. Add a rasher of bacon, crack an egg into it (there may be excess egg white, keep aside for egg hearts)
3. Sprinkle some cheese, cracked pepper and rosemary
4. Shove into oven and bake for about 15 minutes
5. Eat!

Egg hearts
1. Whisk remaining egg whites from above and pour into moulds (no butter if serving to furry friends)
2. Bake until set
3. Serve to friends, family or even doggies!

Different colours of cake batter

Pink ombre butter cake with cream cheese frosting
(Need: Butter, flour, cream cheese, food colouring, sugar, vanilla pod/essence, eggs)
1. Use a butter cake recipe of your choice and whip up batter
2. Separate batter into 4 bowls, add food colouring (a little goes a loooongg way)
3. Bake cake layers
4. Once done, wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate overnight
5. For frosting, use a firm cream cheese recipe so it holds shape
6. Layer away!

*Tip: Frost your cake layer by layer and refrigerate at least an hour before adding next layer of cake. This prevents the top layers from "sinking" to the bottom.

I used a mixture of Betty Crocker's Cream Cheese frosting + normal cream cheese + confectioners sugar to make my frosting. Never again will I use store-bought frosting! It tastes so much better made with 100% real cream cheese and vanilla.

I will attempt this cake again because I wan't happy with neither the taste nor texture.

Any ideas what to do with the remaining 1.5 tubs of Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Little Twin Stars x Sophie Monk Skincare

I am rather partial to Sanrio collaborations/packaging despite my age..

I've had the Brightening Mask and Body lotion for a while now (expiry next year, better get to using them up) and recently picked up the 2-Day Mask set (blue packaging) at Watsons; but only after scrutinising the ingredient list and making sure where it was made in.

Taiwan generally does good masks so I didn't think twice about purchasing it. Plus the tag line caught my eye "Dullness? Large Pores? Tired skin?" Check. Check. And check.

Brightening mask ingredients
The 2-Day Masks actually come in 2 separate packs- the first is a Intensive Hydrating Mask to be used on Day-1 and for Day-2, there is a Deep Whitening Mask. There are 2 steps for each day and they are packaged separately. I am pretty sure these masks are meant to be used consecutively.

Day-1 and Day-2 steps
Ingredient list for Day-1, Intensive Hydrating essence
The ingredients looks fairly hydrating to me, with collagen and aloe extract high on the list. Judging by the list, I don't think I will experience any irritation with these 2 masks.

Ingredient list for Day-2, Deep Whitening essence
I am no pro with ingredients but I have read enough to know that Niacinamide is used to treat acne, lighten scars and is anti-inflammatory(amongst other functions). Aesop Control Gel also uses this ingredient and it works well for me. Camellia leaf extract is meant to nourish the skin and Chanel uses this flower in their Hydra range too.

All in all, these masks sound promising!

Retailing at around MYR13 for a set of 2-Day Masks.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

CHANEL Resynchronizing Skincare

"Reset time for beautiful skin.

In an ideal world, your skin’s functions would perform in perfect balance. However, daily life, lack of sleep, travel and hectic schedules disrupt skin’s natural rhythms, causing signs of dullness, fatigue and stress to appear. The complexion can appear tired, with an uneven texture.

To restore the complexion to its optimal state, Chanel created three skincare products, customized to your weekly needs. Together, the products help to resynchronize skin’s natural rhythms throughout the day, the night and the weekend for a perfectly balanced complexion - even-textured, smooth, supple and beautiful."

The latest offering from Chanel skincare; which can be used in conjunction with your current regime- Le Jour, La Nuit and Le Weekend.

I have gone through the ingredient list and they seem promising, and safe enough for me to actually consider getting all of them (without testing it out). Le Weekend sounds very much like Alpha-H's Liquid Gold which I have recently started to use and I am very keen to see how this compares.

Will definitely be checking this out when it hits the counters.

Image source

Check out Weekend Rambling's Blog for more pictures/a review.

Monday, July 8, 2013


This morning a friend shared something with me, and it struck me odd that I was not affected at all about it. I thought it would, and I waited for that pang of hurt to hit but it didn't.

Infact, I don't even feel a thing.

It's a good thing.


I remember a time when I only saw the light in everyone, even those who had hurt me or who shared different opinions/values. Somewhere along the way, I lost the energy to look at the light.. choosing to focus instead on their flaws and faults (to me). It was easier. Easier to say mean things and laugh it off rather than seeing the good in the person.

It wasn't always like that. Or rather, I, wasn't always like that. I can't take back the things I've said or made fun of but I can choose to light the flame I once saw in everyone.

When I was around 20, I wrote something along these lines describing myself in Facebook:
"I have strong opinions which may come across differently to people who dont know me well.
I still have strong opinions, but I never meant that other people couldn't have one. 
Even to people who know me (well), it still comes across wrong. I don't expect people to understand anymore.
I am judgmental and have a sharp tongue but I value trust and honesty above all.
The word "judgmental" isn't as harsh as it sounds, as I believe no one can truly judge you unless you accept it or believe it to be true yourself. Then you have nothing to be offended about.
I still have a sharp tongue. And I still value trust and honesty. Above all. 
I find it hard to let go of things which I love- be it material or relationships but once I do, I won't remember why I wanted it in the first place."
This still rings true, but it gets easier to let go. The memories of how I felt will always remain, but the people who were in the moment inevitably fade away.

It has been 7 years since. This was, is, and will always be me.

I will light the flame for no one but me to appreciate. If you happen to see the light too, then let's enjoy the view together.


I understand who I am and what I am.

Even if you don't believe or understand my truth, I still love you (all) the same.

There are those who are just like me in essence, and I am consoled knowing that it is okay to be different.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Empties: June 2013

Moving into the 2nd half of the year, my inventory is looking much much more manageable. 

When I first started the monthly Empties post last year, I was so hopeful thinking I could substantially downsize the beauty pile by this time of the year. I'm not quite where I expected but I'm getting there.

My purchases have been really minimal, rarely impulsive or compulsive. Staple items are also emerging and I am finally able to make a list of products which work for me.

Sometimes the best products for your skin might not be the most expensive or heavily advertised *looks at sukin foaming cleanser lovingly*. I've tried my fair share of luxury products, some work to a certain extent- others just caused me irritation no matter how many times I attempted after my skin cleared up *evil eyes at SK-II essence*.

In the shower..
1. Aesop Rose Hair & Scalp Moisturizing Masque [500ml // MYR310]
Recommended by Ally, gifted by my sister. I like the scent which isn't full on rose but mixed with other plants, and also that I could use it as a scalp treatment. It didn't leave my scalp oily nor weigh my hair down. I find that it doesn't leave the hair silky smooth (as expected from a plant-based hair product) but it does feel nourished and bouncy. I still have a 120ml tube to go through but am not sure if I would repurchase. Like, not love.

2. Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub [200ml]

3. Crabtree & Evelyn Bath & Shower Gel [50ml]

4. Soap & Glory Clean Girls Body Wash [500ml] LOVE the scent and packaging from this brand! Not a "natural" brand but I like their body products, not harsh nor drying. This really has a lovely scent! Their price point is a plus too.

5. Joico Silk Result Shampoo & 6. Conditioner 

Mostly Clarins..
7. Clarins Gentle Refiner
8. Carole Franck Clay Mask
9. Clarins White Plus Gentle Brightening Exfoliator
10. Clarins Pearl-to-Cream Brightening Cleanser  
11. Clarins Whitening Pure Aqua Lotion [200ml]
12. Clarins Iris Toning Lotion [50ml] I rarely use this on its own, instead mixing it with the Lotus Face Oil, works wonders for my congested sensitive skin.
13. Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind
14. Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate I wish I had known about this product earlier! A must have SOS item in my stash currently and fully approved by Caroline Hirons. LOVE! Have gotten a bottle already!
15. Clarins BB Cream I've tried quite a number of BB creams- Korean versions (skin79, Dr. G, etc.) as well as Western versions (Garnier, Maybelline..) but this is in a class of its own. I LOVE IT! The colour matches my skintone perfectly and the coverage is the best I have tried. I dare say it is better than most foundations I have previously used and I don't even need a concealer with this. I use this over my moisturizer and set with loose powder, just as I would with a foundation. It is long lasting, has an SPF40, doesnt irritate my sensitive skin and is SO comfortable to wear. I have also purchased a bottle already and am considering getting the jumbo size. Seriously, if you have sensitive, acne-prone skin and need the coverage but still looking natural and moisturized please try this. This has effectively replaced my foundations!
16. Aesop Bitter Orange Astringent [200ml] This toner works well on oily skintypes, but now that my skin is balanced, I have found it to be drying. 
17. Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate
18. Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover LOVE!! Not the cheapest in the market but definitely the best performing. Removes waterproof and long-lasting liners like a dream. Chanel is good, but lost out due to price point; Helena Rubenstein is good too but not readily available in KL; Lancome stings my eyes; and I find Bobbi Brown drying. Would definitely repurchase and totally recommend!

I am really taken by quite a few of Clarins' products and I say it in an unbiased way. Some of their products really work well for me and I appreciate that they are plant-based which is much better for my sensitive skin.

Hand creams..
20. Cath Kidston Honeysuckle Hand Cream [30ml] Out of the 3 scents available, I like this best and am actually hooked on it (the scent, not the cream). Makes me want to purchase a Honeysuckle-based perfume.

21. Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream [30ml] One of the best handcreams I've tried, absorbs quickly and leaves the hands soft. However, the scent is not for everyone. My sister finds it offensive and has banned me from using this when she is around.

22. Etude House Mini Anti-germ Hand Lotion [30ml]

23. di palomo White Grape with aloe Hand & Body Lotion

24. Anna Sui LOVE EDT This scent will always remind me of my first year at college, the early morning classes, the people I met then.. it was one of the first few perfumes which my mother had gifted me. I stopped using it a long long time ago but I held on to it for sentimental value. About 1/3 of the bottle was left; the scent remains unchanged (surprisingly) so I used it up as a bathroom spray.

25. Clarins Par Amour Toujours EDT I actually really like this; soft, delicate but fresh. Lasting power isn't very strong, by mid-day it will start to fade. It is a limited edition from many years back as well but I still see a few floating around on eBay. Might try to purchase one there.

26. L'Occitane White Blossoms Scented Candle 100g

27. Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer

28. Yves Saint Laurent YSL Radiant Brush Foundation This is a excellent foundation, great coverage and though scented it never gave my sensitive skin any problems. It comes with a brush head which works quite well but my only gripe is that I had to wash the brush applicator quite often as I am a bit of a germaphobe. Will not be repurchasing anytime soon as I have replaced my foundations with an excellent BB cream (above).

Total January - June: 145!!!

Previous Empties: