Pampered

Received a little care package from the brand which made me really excited. Well, who wouldn’t since we are basically all stuck indoors these days.

No big gestures for I guess I still have a long way to go in hitting that kind of quota but these aromatherapy blends definitely would come in handy in calming and lifting one’s spirits during these times.

Investment of a different kind

After decluttering my wardrobe and realising that more than half of the things I have bought have either been repurposed, re-gifted or thrown away, I started to become more conscious of just mindless buying.

I’ve decided to turn my investment on to my skin. Well, simply because time waits for no man and so does our skin. But with proper care, perhaps the signs of age on the skin can somewhat be delayed. That of course is my hope.

Perhaps also now that the Bub is slightly older, I also have a little more time to myself. So when she goes to bed, I do carve out some time between 30 – 45 mins for my night-time beauty ritual. This is what I usually try to do (keyword – TRY):

Once a week:

  • Hair mask : The ends of my hair tend to be a lot drier with permed hair now, so I try to keep my hair soft with a hair mask every week. My fave is the Hair Mask from Meg (available on Ksisters). After about 20-30 minutes of placing my hair in the mask, I find my hair being really smooth after washing the residual of the hair mask away. The softness of my hair is maintained for at least two days and when my stash of hair masks run out, I either get the Korean ones from Watsons or Innisfree.
  • Deep cleansing mask : Another fave of mine is the deep cleansing mask from Serendi Beauty (also available on Ksisters). Prolonged usage of this mask will actually help minimise the size of your pores and it even helps to remove blackheads (my nemesis). While my blackheads haven’t disappeared overnight, I do feel that my pores are somewhat smaller. My face does look clearer the next morning after using this mask. Thus, I do try to be a little more diligent in using this at least once a week.
  • Miraskin RX Lifting mask: The elasticity of my skin tend to lose its firmness with age so I’ve been trying to care for it more. I really like the lifting mask as it helps to firm up the skin and improve overall appearance. It has a filling and lifting effect without any painful needles.
  • Neck mask: The neck is often neglected but actually that’s the one area that also needs a lot of care for it can reveal your true age with all the age lines shown. I know I should probably invest in a stronger neck cream but I keep forgetting to apply it. So the best way for me to care for my neck is to slather on a neck mask from Innisfree once a week. I usually do this together with my hair mask so I literally just stay in the toilet for a good 20 to 30 minutes masking simultaneously my hair, face and neck.

At least two to three times a week:

  • A facial sheet mask: I get an assorted range of sheet masks and alternate the use based on what I feel like that day. So from hydrating, purifying, brightening or soothing, there are different ones that I used from different brands. Along with slathering on a sheet mask, I also use this Pobling Gua Sha massager to massage my face with the mask on. It apparently helps to firm and lift the face too. Whatever works man, I’m willing to give it a shot.
  • Deep cleansing nose pore mask: I purchased this nose pore oxygenated mask from Don Don Donki for under $10. It’s supposed to help with removing blackheads and you can achieve baby smooth skin with this product. I’m not sure if it works entirely but after I wash the mask off, I usually will sit down and extract the blackheads on my own. I think extraction is the only way of getting rid of those comedones.
  • Petal Purifying Bubble Mask from Mamonde: I love to use this in the morning as a quick perk-me-up to the face before I put on my toner, serum, eye cream and moisturiser. It helps prime the face and makes it really soft and supple before I complete it with my morning beauty regime. Have to add, the rose petal smell also helps to soothe the senses.

On a daily basis:

  • Saborino Morning Masks: These sheet masks from Saborino promise to perform 3 functions in under 1 minute! Imagine waking up and putting the sheet mask on and after 1 minute, your skin is cleansed, toned and prepped for make-up. Sounds too good to be true right? But these morning sheet masks have been flying off the shelves in Japan. I saw them at the local drug-store during our recent trip to Tokyo but didn’t stop to examine further. It’s only after coming back to Singapore and I saw these in Tokyu Hands, did I then realise what they really did. These masks are also available at Guardian Singapore and I couldn’t help but bought a pack to try. I have to add that I do continue to wash my face in the morning but I enjoy slapping a sheet mask on my face in the morning for the minty and fruity ingredients infused in the mask does do a good job in waking my skin up. I usually leave it on for about 2 minutes for that’s about the amount of time I take to brush my teeth as well. Talk about multi-tasking! At about $20-ish for about 32 masks, I thought these were quite economical to prep and tone the face. But according to some online reviews, they felt that it was pricey for a product that could only last for a month compared to some beauty products that you could get for almost the same price and that could last longer. For me, I thought a little investment is necessary to achieve nicer looking skin!

  • Eye masks: The Man got a variety of them from Japan that can be used daily. Love the packaging which is rather eco-friendly for 20 or more of these eye masks are kept in just one packet rather than individual packs.

  • Skin whitening supplements: I’ve caved in to taking oral supplements to try and achieve fairer skin or rather to whiten the pigmentation on my face. I guess I can’t avoid the age spots now that I am getting older but I sure can try to delay it. Have been taking these oral supplements for the past 2 months. I am hardly the pill-popper but I really do try to remember that I have to take them on a daily basis. Let’s hope it works.

There you have it, my attempt in trying to achieve better skin (and look younger) with this skincare regime.

 

Whitening… Ageing…

Had dinner with some friends one evening and the issue of skincare specifically whitening products was brought up. The person who raised this said that this is a segment he would not prefer not to pursue business in. I was taken aback because I thought that the area of whitening products would clearly be a lucrative business. This of course piqued my interest and I asked “Why?”

His response was one that I didn’t quite expect, he said that personally he had as issue with promoting products for people in pursuit of a fairer skin. On the other hand, I didn’t have an issue. I just felt the reason why people would even go into whitening products is not to lighten the skin-type but more for reducing the spots due to pigmentation. Well, at least that’s what I would do for I did freak out a little when I saw spots appearing on my skin.

Fresher skin awaits

I first met the youthful-looking Charlene (aka Ms Clak) virtually via Instagram and bumped into her at a couple of events. One thing that really struck me and left a deep impression on me when I scroll her IG feed as well as meeting her face-to-face is her glowing skin. Like seriously, this mom of 2 has really awesome skin that is dewy and glowy. I was super envious! It never really dawned upon to me to ask her beauty secrets, well, it could be her diet, the products she use or maybe she’s just born with really good skin.

I later discovered that it’s a combination of all the factors above and also the regular use of Co2 masks plus skincare from eFresh Singapore that gave her skin this awesome glow. How is it possible that just by using a leave-on gel mask, the effects are that immediate and lasting? But I was willing to try anything to give my skin a much-needed boost. Hey, am inching closer to the big FOUR-ZERO and I am willing to do whatever it takes to shave off a couple of years off my actual age physically. Time is often what I don’t have on hand. I used to be able to indulge in monthly facials and trust me, it does wonders for the skin. My pores are smaller and my skin appearance would look much better after the treatments. But I don’t have the luxury of lying down for a few hours on a monthly basis and apart from my usual daily skincare routine, I was simply too lazy to go the extra mile. The only thing I would possibly try to do if I’m free in the night is to place on a gel mask from Sulwasoo as an added facial boost to my tired skin.

I shared all the above concerns with Charlene and she very kindly offered to send me a box of one of her best-selling products – the Stem Cell Co2 masks to try out. I have to add that there is more work involved in the actual usage of the mask rather than those you can find off-the-shelf which are a lot more convenient for ladies starved of time. But I figured, I needed to try and carve out the time to do this for my skin and I would be able to multi-task after applying the mask so honestly, no big deal.

I had a quick look on the different types of Co2 masks on the eFresh Singapore site and here’s my pick of what I got eventually and the reasons why:

[Premium] Stem Cell Co2 Mask- 5 pieces per box (S$120):

  • The Apple Stem Cell ingredient found in the mask will help accelerate skin cell renewal and reveals newer, more youthful skin.
  • Reduces fine lines; wrinkles with instant effect, improves skin texture.
  • Boosts up collage, restores skin elasticity.
  • Controls the activation of melanin, results in whitening & acne spots diminishing.
  • Acts as a high anti-oxidant, retains skin moisture.
  • Strengthens oxygen circulation of skin cell, improves skin tone.
  • Improves drainage effect, results in skin firmness as well as shapes up face contours.

Though it’s a lot more expensive than the rest of the other types found within the same range ($24 per pack), but I really did see and feel the effects after one usage. As I had a series of events to attend the same weekend, I decided to be a lot more hardworking and apply a mask 3 times in a span of 4 days. Result? My skin looked tighter, pores looked smaller too; and even though I was physically really tired, my skin did not look dull. Instead, it looked hydrated, with a slight glow and that to me is result that the stem cell Co2 mask is indeed working its magic on my skin.

Aqua Co2 Mask- 5 pieces per box (S$80):

  • Attracts and binds water molecules, provides intensive level of hydration to skin.
  • Helps to speed up water permeation to the skin and results in long lasting moisturizing effect up to 24 hours.
  • Ultimately solving the problem of bottom layer of cell and hence achieves the function of skin brightening, revitalizing and restoring.

Used my coupon code to get another box of these masks to alternate between the Stem Cell masks. I have yet to use the mask from this range yet but if you wish to try out the masks but not willing to splurge on the premium range, this might be the range you wish to consider.

Ta-dah, moi with my Stem Cell Co2 mask and waiting it out for 30 to 45 mins. Hope I didn’t scare you! I have to add that the gel in one pack of the mask is actually quite generous. So spread it thick on your face, I use it both on my face and neck. Hey, a woman’s gotta protect your neck too! Very important as those age lines on the neck are irreversible and they tell of a woman’s age.

I’ve done up an amateur instructional video of how to use the mask so please do check it out and follow the steps if you would like to find out more.

SpecialLY for my readers!

Quote “joanne10” and enjoy 10% off your purchase at eFresh Singapore.

Offer valid till 31 August 2017 only so don’t miss out on this deal to try out these amazing masks! I stocked up on two boxes because now that the best kept secret is out on how glowy skin can be achieved, these masks are literally flying off the shelves!

Note : We received a box of Stem Cell Co2 Masks from eFresh Singapore for a review on our Instagram account. No additional monetary rewards were given.  I was not obligated to review this on my blog but I enjoyed using the masks so much and ended up purchasing more on my own accord, so I wanted to do an in-depth review of this. All views expressed are purely of my own and written according to my experience in using this product. Any queries on the product  should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Spending the morning at 705 Craft with KSisters

Recently won a contest that was organised by KSisters (one of my fave Korean brands here in Singapore for women’s fashion and mama + daughter twinning outfits) and was treated to a bracelet making workshop by 705 Craft one Saturday morning with a few moms who are all fans of KSisters. 🙂

The leather bracelet making workshop was supposed to be for 3 hours but we took 4 hours to complete 2 twinning bracelets in total, from picking of the leather, to cutting, glueing and then putting the finishes touches for both the bracelets. One for me and one for the Bub with our names customised on the bracelets.

I have to add that I now have the utmost respect plus appreciation for the amount of work that goes into making these hand-crafted pieces. I guess there’s a reason why the brands charge the amount that they do, especially if it’s handmade and not churned out from a machine. That said, this is a memorable keepsake, one that I will cherish for I made it on my own. The Bub also loves her mini bracelet that I made for her and she proudly shares that her bracelet is made by Mama. Aww…she definitely knows what to say to pull my heart-strings.

Here’s a close-up shot of the “Kelly Double Tour” bracelet that I made. I chose a beige calfskin leather with a pink inner leather lining and gold hardware. For the Bub’s bracelet, she specifically asked for pink, so I decided to fulfill her heart’s desire.

I’ve been shopping with KSisters for over a year now and I love how Mama Jungmin (founder of KSisters) connect with her customers. This little gathering that she kindly hosted was a lovely way to get to know other Mamas who all share a common bond for fashion and style. In our case, shopping at KSisters! That’s not all, us Mamas received the star treatment with a video-shoot as well as a photoshoot.

Shopping still remains as one of my fave activities to do. With a young toddler, shopping in the shops does feel like a luxury so I turn to online shopping for a quick fix. So glad to have found KSisters for Jungmin curates the collection and brings in only the best labels in Korean fashion. Love that the fabrics are ideal for the Singapore weather with the styles being very current and aligned with what’s trending in the world of K-fashion.

Be warned though, you might end up falling into a deep rabbit hole. Well, that’s bascially how I ended up being such a fan with repeat purchases back at KSisters because I would be cursing under my breath if I missed out on one of the lovely dresses. ;p This was a group shot with other Mamas who also attended the workshop. Loved how natural all of us looked here in our lovely outfits.

Thanks again Jungmin for organising this lovely gathering with the Mamas… look how happy we all are decked in our fave KSisters outfits!

Trash and Treasure : Upcycling a used kids furniture set

I was itching to embark on another upcycling project having successfully painted our IKEA Step Stool. This time round, I was a little more ambitious and decided to add a kid’s table with chairs to our living room. The Man was not pleased when he heard it. The immediate words that came out of his mouth was “It’s going to be a white elephant. We don’t have room in the living room for this! We already have a small table for her in her room and she doesn’t even use it!”

Well, it was partially true but having a kid’s table with chairs in the living room meant that the Bub could sit and have her meals with her friend if we do host families with young children. She could also sit there for a spot of reading/ crafting/ playing if she fancied. So I decided to stick to my guns and hunt for a sturdy and reasonably-priced kid’s table with chairs to be upcycled.

This was quite a gem-of-a-find! Priced at $50, I found this set on Carousell. It looked sturdy and the owner said that she had it imported from UK and paid way more for it. It was lovingly used in their home for about 5 years. The price seemed fair and yes, it looked scratched but I thought a fresh coat of paint should do the trick nicely. So one Saturday morning, I drove down to the home and lugged these set back home. I was worried that it could not fit into my boot but after some shoving and shifting, it eventually did. Phew!

So what did I do with it now that it’s home? According to upcycling pro – Libby, you would have to first sun the furniture. I guess this is important because in a humid country like Singapore and particularly if you are not sure how the furniture was once kept, the sunning process would help to “drive out” unwanted inhabitants (hopefully, no mites! YIKES!). On our end, we also disinfected the table/ chairs with Be Sanitised and Konk, just wanted to be doubly sure because the items are to be used by the Bub at the end of the day.

After sunning, we sand down the surface of the table and the chairs. This will help remove the layer of varnish (if any) so that the paint will go on evenly on the surface.

On colour, we decided to go with a colour theme that would match her Stokke high-chair. It was hard deciding between the Mother Duck and Anguilla. In the end, we went with the Anguilla which was a slightly darlker shade of seafoam. It did still match our colour scheme eventually.

I wanted to achieve a Shabby Chic look so decided to play around with the Copper powder from the Frensheen collection.

Think it looked pretty okay after putting the finishing touches on the grooves of the table. It wasn’t too much I guess and it had a very Marie Antoinette look and feel that I was trying to achieve.

For the chairs, we went with the Nougat which is a lovely shade of dusty rose pink. A little subtle but complemented the Anguilla table and our surroundings.

The finished product which took us about 3-4 hours to paint and complete. It wasn’t all too difficult and the sunning of the furniture took us about a week before I applied the paint on the items. I have to add that our helper who’s actually quite creative was the extra pair of hands that I relied on for this upcycling project.

Super pleased now we have a proper kids table with chairs to host our little friends when they come over to play. 🙂

Can’t quite believe that we’ve already completed 2 upcycling projects in the course of a couple of months. The Man thinks this is pretty simple stuff, so he said he will take on an upcycling project in the form a shoe rack. I’ve got the shoe rack but it’s still sitting in its original form on our porch. I reckon I probably be the one to do this up again. Let’s see!