Friday, 28 August 2015

SHANGHAI TANG'S SILK ROAD FRAGRANCE COLLECTION FEATURING ORCHID BLOOM



Since it's inception in 1994, Shanghai Tang has been the pioneering luxury lifestyle brand from Hong Kong. With its mission as the global curator of modern Chinese aesthetics, Shanghai Tang interprets the culture and craftsmanship of Shanghai with vibrant sophistication and relevance.

Inspired by the intricate decor, rich colours, infused with the local flora and cultural mysteries of the Silk Road, Shanghai Tang teams up with renowned master perfumer, Carlos Benaim to create the ultimate collection that captivates all of the senses.

The collection pays tribute to the grandeur of Chinese culture through the multiple facets and mystical essence of the unique scents. My first choice is, without a doubt, the Orchid Bloom Eau de Parfum as it reflects the grandeur and exotic of Singapore and coincidentally, celebrates our National Flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid.

The orchid is a symbol of luxury, with a sense of magnificence and artful splendor, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. Shanghai Tang's Orchid Bloom EDP captures the chic and sophisticated aura of the orchid and pays homage to an exquisite flower and the inspiring beauty of Singapore.







The single flower bouquet is accented with rose and olibanum and enhanced with exhilarating berries on top, embraced with a background of musk and patchouli. An alluring, therapeutic fragrance for the refined, feminine women.

The pure, unspoilt bottle design is also unmistakably Shanghai Tang. The Chinese symbol 寿 is featured prominently on the bottle and represents longevity, wealth, love and virtue. Bold, rich colours are used to represent each of the fragrances and reinforces the feeling of luxury, status and power. 




Explore the rest of the collection including four distinct scents for women and three for men now exclusively at Takashimaya D.S., Level 1.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF BEAUTY?



Half a year ago when I shot this series of photos with a few good friends, I was full of insecurities and vulnerabilities. Everything you see in this set of photos is a lie and I'm not referring to my face full of makeup. At this point in my life. my confidence was completely, and utterly shattered and I was uncomfortable with myself, being myself throughout the entire duration of the shoot.

It's unprecedented behaviour, considering how audacious and vivacious I am most of the time. 

I did not post these then because I couldn't bear to look at myself in the mirror, let alone in photos. But now, looking back, I don't think I look that bad after all. More importantly, I decided to post these because I've come a long way since then and with the help of my closest friends and family, I've conquered my inner demons and have come to realise that it does not matter what other people think about how I look as long as I feel good about myself. 

Over the past year, I have come to understand how it feels like to lose every ounce of confidence I had, the fear of not ever being able stand tall again, the very thought of it all just eating ME up inside. Just wanted to say this to whoever's reading this post that, it's okay to feel insecure and vulnerable. We have all been down that road or if you haven't, someday you will :) And it's really not that bad a thing, you just tell yourself that you are stronger than this and pull yourself through and I assure you, you will come out stronger, wiser and more confident.  

You are beautiful in your own right and if anyone tells you otherwise, well.. f**k them. 

The most beautiful thing is to be happy, don't you think? :)







Saturday, 1 August 2015

BLACKBOX AUGUST 2015 EDITION - THE BEAUTY PROLOGUE EXCLUSIVE PACK

August rolled in in a blink of an eye. I'm positive this is a special month for many, especially my fellow Singaporeans. 

Not only is it our National Day this 9th August, it is also our nation's golden jubilee, which is why we have been celebrating SG50 all year round!


It is exceptionally special at BlackBox this month because they have created a complete regimen of products to satisfy all your beauty needs.


In this month's exclusive pack, you will find:


1. Pearlie White Fluorinze Alcohol Free Fluoride Mouth Rinse (250ml)

2. TruLife Bird's Nest (1 bottle)
3a. Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo (40ml)
3b. Tsubaki Extra Moist Conditioner (40ml)
4a. Mores White Booster Plus+ (5ml)
4a. Mores 2 Eyes Sleeping Eye Mask (5ml)5b. Uriage Thermal Water (240ml)
5. Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Concentrate (240ml)








All these for just S$12.90! If the price and the amount of products in this month's edition isn't enough to blow you away, I don't know what will! Other than the Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo and Conditioner, I have not tried the other products, so it's quite an interesting pack to begin with because some of these brands are relatively new to me. I also like that BlackBox helps us discover brands that we normally wouldn't have time fishing out ourselves or are just too afraid to try sometimes. So this month's exclusive pack is great for anyone who's looking for the basic stuff but wants to venture out of the norm and try something slightly different while keeping your pockets happy :)

Let's begin shall we? 




The first item that caught my attention was the Pearlie White Fluorinze Alcohol Free Fluoride Mouth Rinse (250ml,  S$4.20). In all honesty, I've never exactly tried a mouthwash so I'm on unfamiliar territory when it comes to the whole rinsing and gargling mouthwash ritual. It even feels slightly bizarre because I don't know what it tastes like and what would happen if I accidentally swallowed some. The thought of it makes me shudder. 
Anyway, my oral care routine is pretty simple, I brush my teeth 2-3 times a day and floss every night before I go to bed. I know most people find flossing too much trouble so I highly recommend trying out a mouthwash because it does more than just give you fresh breath, it also reaches in between the teeth to kill germs and can even get below the gum line to kill bacteria.

It's also important to know how to use it properly and since I've never attempted mouthwash, I decided to ask Google first, and here's what it says:


Step 1: Pour approximately 20 ml of mouthwash to use. It’s important to swish the mouthwash around for about 30 seconds so that it can reach all areas of the mouth, including all of your teeth, the gums, the roof of the mouth, and the tongue. This is the best way to kill germs in hard-to-reach places like in between the teeth and beneath the gum line.


At first taste, it wasn't too bad.. Then it started to feel like firecrackers exploding in the insides of my mouth and a stinging sensation on the inner walls. However, that sensation subsided within the next 30-40 seconds and it leaves a fresh, minty after taste. 

In fact, I've decided to keep this bottle at work so I can rinse my mouth after meals. It's quick, effective and free from harsh ingredients like SLS, parabens and saccharin.





Moving on, there's no better way to reward yourself after a good thorough oral care routine than with a bottle of TruLife Bird's Nest :)


Bird’s Nest is traditionally used as a beauty food to maintain youthfulness and enhance the complexion but it also believed to speed up recovery and promote overall immunity. It contains unique predigested form of proteins and nutrients, which are said to aid in recovery from chronic illnesses and its high glycoprotein content, growth factors and a neutral energetic property help boost a weak immune system. 




I've learnt to appreciate bird's nest over the years and TruLife Bird's Nest is the next best thing to a freshly boiled bird's nest soup. If I consume it early in the mornings or just before bed, I prefer it to be warmed up. Other times, I like to store them in the refrigerator and consume it before meals. The bird's nest soup is not overly sweet and comes in relatively large chunks with a smooth, gelatinous texture. It's a great gift for any occasion, and is a sure win with the ladies.




The next 2 items have already worked their way up to the top of my list! I personally love the brand after trying out the Tsubaki Shining Shampoo and Conditioner samples at home. It's hard to find hair products that are suitable for my scalp because it is sensitive and if I use a product that is too strong or moisturising, my hair follicles start to oxidise very quickly and my scalp tends to itch! So I continued with the full size products that I bought from Watsons when I finished the samples and so far, my hair has been quite tamed and healthy, considering how wayward it used to be in the past.

Hence, I was quite excited to try their new range, the Tsubaki Extra Moist Shampoo and Conditioner because the ends of my hair are dry and damaged even though my scalp tends to oxidise quickly. The Extra Moist range moisturises the hair and boosts up to 8 hours of lasting moisture with the long-acting hyaluronic acid and contains the brand’s signature ingredient, Tsubaki Koji S, to soften and moisturise both the hair and scalp. The Camellia Oil within helps to revitalize hair shine and leaves my hair with a fresh, floral scent.


You can read my previous reviews on the Tsubaki Shining series here and here.





When it comes to skincare for my eyes, I tend to be extra cautious because I've tried eye products that are too hydrating, which in turn, gave me milia seeds around my eyes and removing them was a huge pain. So the texture and ingredients are the 2 main deciding factors to whether I even try the product or not. Also, the area around our eyes is particularly sensitive so I try to be as meticulous and gentle as possible when applying a suitable product.


I first tested the Mores 2 Eyes Sleeping Eye Mask (5ml) on my hands to access whether it was more of a creamy, gel or lotion-like texture and it turned out to be in between a lotion and a cream with a faint flowery scent.


I'm more lenient with eye masks so this texture is perfect for a sleeping mask! I started applying it, careful not to get too close to my waterline and massaged the product under my eyes and underneath my brow bone area. Took a nap and removed it after an hour but you can sleep with this all night long and not worry that it will be too hydrating as the texture is quite light and works for all skin types. 


It works by infusing highly concentrated botanical extracts and the newest premium ingredient, MDI Complex which destroys the skin's collagen network, resulting in healthier skin. The product is said to improve lacklustre-looking eyes (dark eye circles, hooded and droopy eye-bags, dull, puffy, dry and sunken eye area) resulted from daily work stress, environmental pollutants and irregular sleeping pattern and diet. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles especially for users on regular application of makeup. 


The one time application wasn't enough to do ALL of that, but my eyes did feel softer and more hydrated. This is a product I would definitely consider purchasing because I don't do enough masks for my eyes as I would like. So this is a great alternative to some of the under-eye sheet masks that I've been using when I really want that extra boost of hydration. 





Next up, Mores White Booster Plus+ (5ml)! Pulled some information from the BlackBox website and it says that this product is an intensive whitening and collagen booster using the latest Double Phytocell Technology and Nano total base system from Switzerland. It is suitable to be used either as a daily moisturizer or dark spot treatment booster for pigmentation individuals. With consistent usage, skin barrier will be strengthened, reducing acnes/pimples formation and revealing a more radiant and supple skin.


As with anything that goes onto my face, I always try the product on the back of my hands and subsequently my neck to make sure it's compatible with my skin type. The Mores White Booster Plus+ has a creamier texture compared to the Eye Mask which I'm not most comfortable with applying on my face as I'm more accustomed to a lotion or gel product for my day and night moisturisers as I have oily-combination skin. 


I love the scent and that it dries up quickly without feeling sticky on my neck but I would not use this for my face as I'm well-aware of what my skin can or cannot take. However, I would suggest this to someone with a dry to normal combination skin type, who wants to address their pigmentation and acne problems and does not want the hassle of using more than 1 product.




And then of course, the pack also included a travel size Uriage Thermal Water (50ml, S$15.90) which is an essential skincare product for instant hydration. Whether you're situated in a hot or cold climate, doing sports or freezing your brains exploring the Alps, a good thermal spray is the perfect solution to cooling you down when you're hot and hydrating you when your skin is dehydrated due to long hours in an air-conditioned place or up in a plane!


You can use this anywhere at anytime and because it is isotonic, it acts in perfect osmosis with the skin. I've bought the Uriage Tolederm Soothing Cleansing Water previously and I loved it, which is how I know I will love this too.


I've used other brands of thermal water as well and honestly, I think this is just as good as any other. However, the downside is that thermal sprays are a tad expensive and some might even consider them redundant but I use them regularly to calm my skin when it feels itchy and sensitive, or on days when my skin tends to get very oily due to the humid weather in Singapore. I even knew a friend who used it to nurse his sun burns. If you're considering to try one, I would recommend buying this one and also to get the full size sprays in 300ml which costs S$27.90 or pay S$2 more and get them in a twin pack! 






The last product is a next generation solution for 24-hour moisture replenishment to combat dry, scaly skin. It's exhilarating to know that someone has finally invented a product like this! I feel bad for myself for not finding out about this product sooner!


Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Concentrate is a novelty product that marries all our bodycare needs and wants in one bottle!


It is a gel treatment which contains a 99.5% pure Hyaluronic Acid. High levels of pure, nature like Hyaluronic Acid within Hyaluronic Concentrate assist the delivery of actives in supplementary skincare, meaning that any lotions and potions applied on top of this concentrated gel treatment will be working to their full potential.


It's feels exceptionally comfortable when I store it in the fridge and apply it all over my body on a hot day! This would be great for my sister who NEVER liked body lotions because she always complained that they feel sticky and she's too lazy to find one that will suit her needs. I'm delighted BlackBox discovered this product for people like us AND delivers it to our doorsteps! 


The Hyaluronic Concentrate has a hand-sanitiser texture but smells nothing like it since it does not contain any alcohol. It feels super cooling and penetrates into the skin within minutes. I've only had it a couple of days but I'm only one third into the bottle because I apply it as and when I feel like it throughout the day. It's so addictive! 


As a whole, I think this month's exclusive pack is well presented and put together. Most of the products are a hit for me and I feel assured knowing that a lot of thought went into this edition. I would even recommend this as a starter pack for guys because it's very generic and contains many products that I think a guy would find interesting and useful too.


In line with SG50, this month's exclusive pack is retailing at a modest price of just S$12.90 (U.P. S$79.30), so hope on over to BlackBox and get yours now!


Check out the links below for more information on all the products that have been mentioned above:


TruLife: www.trulife.com.sg


Uriage: www.facebook.com/UriageSingapore


Pearlie White: www.pearliewhite.com


Hand Chemistry: www.handchemistry.com


Tsubaki: www.facebook.com/TsubakiSG


Mores: www.bebeblanc.com.sg


Good luck and I hope you enjoy the products as much as I did experiencing mine :)

Thursday, 30 July 2015

LUXOLA X ORIGINS MASKS (REVIEW)

A lovely package from Luxola arrived last week. 

Inside contained 3 masks from one of my favourite brands, Origins. Origins is not new to me, in fact, I bought my first mask from them. 

I bought my first Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask because I wanted a mask that could clean out my skin and clear my pores. It does a great job of drawing out pore-clogging impurities for a deep-down clean. The only downside is that the mask will leave your skin feeling a tad dry so I always follow up with a sheet mask or Origins Drink up Intensive Overnight Mask to re-hydrate my skin. 

Over the years, Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask has been my go-to mask for when I feel like my skin needs a good "detox". I've purchased at least 10 tubes over the past 11 years and it still does wonders for my skin. I would put it on for about 20-30 minutes before washing it off and then applying a replenishing mask to lock in moisture.



Origins Drink up Intensive Overnight Mask on the other hand has a smooth, buttery texture. It has all the beneficial ingredients that makes it a great overnight mask to put on when you feel your skin needs a boost of moisture.

I usually like to put this one when I'm taking a nap and even then, 1-2 hours of this mask is more than enough to feel the difference. After rinsing your face, my face will still feel slightly buttered so I always use a toner after. 

The mask contains avocado and apricot kernel oil, which are excellent vitamins for the skin. Japanese Seaweed is also present in this mask to restore youth and health in dull skin. Origins' Drink up Intensive Overnight Mask also helps smoothen skin's texture and defends the skin against premature ageing.

Both of these masks have been a staple in my skincare routine, but I was really excited to discover a new orange coloured tube in the package as well. I could smell it even before I unwrapped the packaging! It has a sweet, invigorating scent that wakes you up instantly. 

With it comes to a gel mask like this one, I love storing it in the refrigerator so it'll turn icy cool. When you apply it on your face, it tingles immediately and closes up all the pores!  Origins GinZing Face Mask contains coffee beans that energise, cucumber that refreshes and  hoelen mushroom that soothes the skin. After applying it for 15 minutes and washing off the product, my skin feels bouncy and glowy :) An uplifting mask for dull, tired skin.



Origins offers masks to treat all your skincare woes. From clogged pores, to dull complexion and tired, de-hydrated skin, Origins offers a wide range of masks that combats these problems. My personal favourite is definitely the Charcoal Mask, use it once and you'll notice the difference! It's great using them one after the other. I like to use them once or twice a week, one after the other for best results :)

In addition, this is Luxola's Origins specials for the month of July:

Buy 1 Origins mask to get: Dr. Weil Mega-Bright Skin Illuminating Cleanser 30ml (worth $13)
- Buy 2 Origins  masks to get: GinZing Moisturizer 15ml & Modern Friction™ 15ml (worth $26)

Enjoy 15% off all first time orders made by August 31st 2015 with this code: BLX-GWEN

Good luck :)

Sunday, 21 June 2015

RUBBER KILLER










Has it ever occurred to you what happens when car tyres wear out? 
Well, the tyres become scrap and end up in the landfill. Nearly 300 million tyres are discarded each year - and that’s just in the United States. And because rubber doesn't decompose easily, it contributes to the huge waste problem worldwide. 

Thanks to Rubber Killer, these tyres are saved,  re-textured into high-quality, stylish bags, pouches and notebooks. The products are functional, edgy, and eco-conscious, qualities that resonate an outstanding and responsible fashion brand. 

Rubber Killer exudes a certain cool vibe, with a good array of designs, styles and textures for the eco-conscious and fashion-forward shopper to choose from. Who says you can't have style and substance?

Originally from Chiang Mai, Thailand, Rubber Killer is the brainchild of Saroengrong Wong-Savun, a.k.a. Joi. An independent architect, Joi mixes his brilliant design know-how with his eco-friendly philosophy to create super sustainable products under his own studio - the Re-Leaf Studio.

The brand believes in giving back to society and provide opportunities for locals in emerging economies by training them, equipping them with valuable skills and providing fair compensation under the Fair Trade International system. Through this initiative, Rubber Killer hopes to aid these workers in raising their earning power to better provide for themselves and their families.

A firm believer in the importance of education, they also allocate a percentage of their profits to fund a local education scholarship in Thailand, with the aim of financing the education of financially needy students.



The Classic Jan is my go-to bagpack for anything and everything. It makes for a great travel bagpack because it holds so much and it's lightweight. However, these days, I use it to hold my clothes, shoes and Ronny pouch when I hit the gym. It's spacious and practical for all ages. It comes in 6 different colours but I figured black works best for me, though I really adore the yellow one, it's such an exhilarating shade!


The Ronny pouch is versatile and functional. It's uni-sexual, as with most of their products, so guys can choose to use it for school stationery, to store travel essentials such as shades, passports, currencies. Needless to say, girls have 1000 uses for pouches so I need not explain but I like to store my toiletries and beauty essentials for gym because I can bring it into the shower and not afraid that it will get wet because it is water resistant :)

Shop now at the Rubber Killer.

You can also check out their Facebook here and IG here!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

INTRODUCING D.A.B. PORTER














d.a.b porter is an online ladies boutique that celebrates the female body and strives to fascinate and empower women to be bold, to be different, and be confident.

The collection is feminine and sophisticated. The designs are understated, which gives our creativity free rein to pair tops with jeans, pants or pencil skirts.

I thought the outfit looked best with statement jewellery to bring out the elegance and vibrancy of the clothing.

Shop now at d.a.b porter and get a 10% when you use the discount code GWENXDAB10.