Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Salt Water as Facial Wash

Photo credit: Guardian Liberty

I used to have very oily skin during my puberty days, which has caused my skin to be prone to acne and blackheads. I have large pores that seems to be clogged up with excess sebum all the time. I have tried all kinds of products available in the market, but sadly, none of them could really solve my problems until my mum suggested me to try washing my face every night using sea salt water.

The idea of washing my face with salt water was weird. I was worried that trying it would only worsen my condition. Nevertheless, I still summoned the courage to try and mirculously, it has not only help to clear the excess oil on my face, but also get rid of acne and blackheads! I am glad that I actually took a try.

Why Sea Salt?

1. Purifying properties

Sea salt is known for its purifying properties, which will provide a great detox treatment for the skin. This helps to reduce the size of our pores and remove blackheads.

2. Natural antiseptic properties

 Salt has natural antiseptic properties that helps to promote faster healing. This means that people with acne problems, cuts or other blemishes to heal in a shorter time.

3. Kills bateria

I believe many of us are already aware of this. For instance, I believe everyone of you would have experience sore throat/ulcers in your life. Usually, the doctor will always recommend that you gargle down some salt water frequently as to kill the bateria that has caused the inflammation.

However, salt is also known to be quite drying, especially for people who have sensitive or dry skin. In this case, I would think that salt water might be too harsh to be used on the skin as it might have cause more irritation and worsen the condition. But it varies for different people too.

How Do I Use Sea Salt?

The method is not difficult. Simply add some sea salt into lukewater water and wash your face with it when the salt has dissolved. I would start with adding the salt in hot water first to get them dissolved before adding in some cold water. After washing, simply rinse your face clean with cold clean water. You could apply your acne creams or daily mosturizers afterwards.

*Note: I do not use this everyday. I stopped when I feel some irritation or drying and started again after letting my skin rest for a few days.

But whatever it is, I do not believe that there is one single thing in this world that will solve all the problems. Prevention is better than anything. That is why I always believe that good and healthy skin starts with good daily habits.

1. Healthy diet

This means lesser fried and junk food and more fresh fruits and veggies in your everyday diet.

2. Water

It is important to have sufficient water everyday. So drink lots of water!

3. Personal hygiene

Have a good personal hygiene such as washing your face and taking a shower everyday. Of course, it is bad if your over- washed your face too as it will often dry out your skin instead.

4. Sufficient sleep

Sleep is important. That is why girls always call it our ""beauty sleep". Having enough sleep everyday helps our skin to regenerate itself, thus promoting radiant and healthier skin.

5. Stress management

Most of the time, stress is the main cause of breakouts. Therefore, learning to manage stress is important. Try doing things that makes you relax after work or study everyday.

After using salt water as face wash for a year, I stopped the routine, My acne has healed. I have combination skin now instead of super oily skin. Though my blackheads problem is not completely cured, my skin has already improved a lot. I have achieved almost perfect skin! I am happy to say I have found my confidence back.

Benefits of sea bathing

Just in case that I have wriiten above are not sufficient to convince you, I suggest you could probably try taking some time off and go for a swim at the beach regularly. You may be able to discover that the seawater will be able to help you solve some of your skin problems such as severe acne, eczema or irritations.

Researches has shown that seawater acts as a natural cleanser for our skin. The salt and potassium chloride found naturally in the seawater helps to wash away irritants that cause allergies to our skin and speed up the healing process on the wounds. Due to its antisepetic nature, seawater is said to be effective in reducing skin inflammation. In additon, seawater is also known for its detoxifying ability which helps to regenerate the growth of new skin cells.

However, please remember to apply sunblocks before you go to the beach. Sunburns are definitely bad for your skin. Avoid staying to long under the sun too as your skin will be damaged by the harmful UV rays.

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

[Review] Cure Natural Aqua Gel

Photo By: Elin Chow

 The Japan No. 1 exfoliator
A bottle sold every 12 seconds in Japan!

This is basically what Toyo Life Japan has claimed.  Let's see what this product has to give to be able to create such a huge rave in one of the most competitive market in the world.

What Cure Says

Made up of 91% activated hydrogen water
No fragrance,  colorings and preservatives used
Gently remove layers of dry, dead or rough skin to obtain clear, firm and ideal skin
Suitable for all skin types

Before I begin, let me briefly explain why it is important for every of us to exfoliate our skin on a regular basis.

The Importance Of Exfoliation

The main purpose of exfoliation is to remove the dead skin layers that has built up on my skin every single day. These dead skin layers are often known to have caused pimples, dark spots and other skin problems to most of us. By removing the dead skin layers, it helps to speed up our skin renewal process and thus, absorbing all our expensive skin care products better.

What do I like About This Product

1. Removes dead skin efficiently

Cure Natural Aqua Gel is my saviour! It really helps to remove the flaking dead skin that are sticking out of my skin surface, thus helping my face to absorb my serums and moisturizer better. My face always feels smooth and soft after use. It also gives me a very clean feeling. I believe it's because my skin could "breath' better now after having all the dead skin piling on top removed.

2. Packaging

Packaging wise, I think it's really good too. The product itself comes in a transparent bottle tube pump with a clip lock. I would say this is very hygienic and user friendly. The clip lock prevents wastage from spills and leaks, making it great for travelling. But most importantly of all, the product lasts me for about a year before I have to repurchase it again. But it differs for different users as it depends how often they use the product. 

What I don't like about the product

Cure Natural Aqua Gel is actually quite expensive as compared to other exfoliation gel available in the market. I remember I have gotten my first bottle at around SGD 50 at the Watsons store. However, I think the price has increased recently again. If I am not wrong, the product is currently retailing at SGD 60 now.

For such a popular product, it is quite sad that it is not very accessible to everyone. I believe this could not be found in many of the big stores in many other countries. In fact, I have difficulty finding this in Malaysia too. It can be a high turn off if people have to purchase this online every now and then. I think it's really time for Toyo Life to expand their distribution channels.

How To Use This Product

I use this during my showers, around once a week. Before you apply this gel on your face, please ensure that your skin is completely dry. I do not use this on any other parts of my body because I think it is a very big waste. 1-2 pumps of the product shpuld be enough to cover your whole face. Gently massage the gel onto your face, especially areas that are dry and rough.

As you massage, you would have noticed that some little white balls started to form and came off from your skin. According to Cure, these little white balls are actually dead skin that are just removed from your face. Once you are done, rinise the gel off with clean water.

However, I would recommend using a gentle facial scrub after having the gel washed off to remove any remaining dead skin that might be sticking on your face. When you are done with this step, then proceed to cleanse your face with your usual facial cleanser. For me, I would normally use my EverSoft Ginkgo with Grapefruit Facial Cleanser.

Before I wrote this review, I have read many other reviews online too. There are some points I would like to clarify. People has complained that:

1. It does not remove black/white heads!

Cure Natural Aqua Gel has never claimed that it will help in removing black/white heads. Many people often associate facial scrubs with exfoliator gel. However, they are somewhat different in nature. Even facial scrubs does not remove black/white heads as it has always claimed. The main function of Cure is to remove dry and dead skin ONLY. 

2. Smell awful, like alcohol!

Well, this is very subjective, which I could not comment on much. But this is not a very big issue for me because I never really notice about the smell every time I use it. 

3. It's like water, keep sliding off my face

It is a water based gel made up of 91% water. The most important thing is to keep your face dry. If you live in a very cold country, you have to keep it in room temperature before using it. 

Every products work differently for everyone. Even if it has claimed to be suitable for all skin types, it might not work for certain people too. Each of us is born differently. The best thing is to get samples to try it out first before purchasing, especially for people with sensitive and dry skin.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for any latest updates on my blog. So stay tuned!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

[Review] Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

Innisfree No Serum Mineral Powder - I swear this is the best finishing powder I have found so far.

Singapore, a tropical island, a country which is hot and humid throughout the whole year. Often, I would find my face covered in sweat and sebum, which looks even worst when I have my face makeup on. I believe there are no girls in this world would like their face to look super shiny, especially after they have spent a lot of time and effort to put their makeup on.

I came upon the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder Pact a year ago. Out of curiosity, I made my first purchase online, hoping that this product will deliver what it has claimed. Surprisingly. it works greatly!

What Innisfree Says

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder provides excellent absorption power which helps to absorb huge amount of sweat and sebum on your skin. Containing Jeju natural mint ingredients , the powder helps to keep a balance of oil and moisture on your skin, thus creating a healthy skin. It is Parabens free, Talc free, artificial pigment free, animal natural material free, mineral oil free and artificial scent free.

What I Like About This Product

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder really did what it has claimed. It helps to control the excessive sweat and sebum and reduces the extra shine on my face.

The powder is white in color, but became transparent after applying on the skin. This means I would not need to worry that it will not suit my skin tone. However, I am not sure whether it makes your skin looks healthier or not. But it does give me a matt and fresh-looking skin. The effect is almost long-lasting throughout the day. Often, most of the time, you will find that it is almost not necessary to touch up the powder again after the first application. So if you are someone who is lazy to refill your blotter papers every now and then, it will not be bad to consider this product as a good alternative.

Usually, I will find such oil controlling products to be rather dying on my skin. Most of the time, the powder would have caused my makeup to look cakey and undesirable. However, I was surprised to find the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder to be different than other oil controlling products in the market. The powder does not feel dying on my skin at all. In addition to it, it makes my skin feels very soft and smooth!!!

One of my main concern when picking up new products in the market is the list of ingredients. On top of developing a new product that caters to the needs of the majority, a company should also consider the health of its consumers. For people who also shared the same thoughts as me, I believe the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder would become a good choice for you.

In addition, as to offer its consumers different choices, Innisfree has launched 2 types of packaging for this product. One in the pressed powder pact form and the other comes in the loose powdery form. I actually found both of the packaging very compact, lightweight and travel friendly, which in fact make it great and easy to carry around in my purse wherever I go.

What I Dislike About This Product

The packaging is quite small for the price I paid. I have to keep re-purchasing this again and again because it finishes up fast. However, being small will also mean that it is more portable to carry it around with you wherever you go. For people who loves cute packaging, Innisfree will never offer the kind of products you will love. But this is never an issue for me as I am more concern with the product quality rather than the packaging.

Please note that this is a low-coverage range. Therefore, it is not effective in concealing the flaws on your skin. Rather, it helps to control oil and keeps your makeup clean on your face. I recommend to use this over foundation or BB- creams. I am using this product as a finishing powder over The Face Shop Face It Essence BB Base. That is a makeup base which I thought that has worked really well with the Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for any latest updates on my blog. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Online Matchmaking & Dating Sites

Recently, social matchmaking and dating website has become more and more common and popular in many countries, including Singapore. Generally, most of the people associate social networking sites online with teenagers only, however, it is not surprising to discover that it is also quite popular among the well qualified professionals or people from much older age group.

I was one of them. 2 years ago, I met my husband on a social matchmaking website known as Singaporelovelinks.com. We started dating on our first meeting after chatting online for only a week. 2 years after, never have I thought that I am getting married to a guy whom I have met online.

I remembered I signed up as a member on the website due to curiosity and boredom. Frankly, I have never expected some guy will come across my profile and leave me a message. Surprisingly, I replied him. We chatted online almost every night for a week. After a week, I initiated a meetup.

Truthfully, I really could not remember why I have initiated a meetup with a complete stranger who I didn't know in real life at all. I feel worried, scared, nervous but excited at the same time. Through our conversations, he just gave me a very good impression. However, I thought he was my ideal boyfriend type.

Unexpectedly, I made another shocking decision of my life. I accepted to be his girlfriend when he asked me on our first meeting. I am his first too. I remember my first reply then was "do you like me?" He nodded in silence. I thought for a while and replied him, "ok, let's try and see how it works out".  Instantly, he started laughing. His smile are so wide and he couldn't seem to stop. I could his heart and his sincerity.

I am thankful that I actually signed out on the website in the first place. At first, I was really skeptical about social networking website as the virtual world is always known to be full of lies and deceit. Can I say I am lucky that I actually met someone honest and awesome? Yes, indeed I am very lucky.

So, why is online social matchmaking and dating platform getting popular and common in today society? There are many reasons that led people in finding their mate online.

1. Shy in Nature

Some people are just too shy to approach people of their opposite sex, thus minimizing their chances in finding their mate.

2. Small Social Circle

Most people usually only tend to mix around with their colleagues and long-time school friends during their free time. This is especially true when they started working and eventually became too busy to meet new people.

3. Low Self Confidence

Approaching new people takes courage. Some people lacks self confidence to approach new people, especially people of the opposite sex. This might due to some physical inferiority that the person has for him or herself.

Whatever the reason is, online matchmaking and dating sites might be a good alternative. However, please keep in mind that there are always hidden 'dangers' lurking around in the virtual world. There is no guide but it is for you to judge. Just keep in mind that you should not be expecting too much from the person you chat with online till you get to meetup. Even so, a meetup shouldn't guarantee you a romance. It takes 2 right persons to be together. For this, I think fate will play a very major part too.

Marrying a Malaysian Part 1: Registering Your Marriage In Malaysia

Cross-border marriage generally gives us more headaches when it comes to its legal preparation as compared to "local marriage". I am not an exception too.

I am a typical Singaporean girl who will get married to my Malaysian boyfriend soon. Just in case where you are also a foreiger planning to register your marriage in Malaysia with your Malaysian spouse,  you will realise how complicated the preparation of the legal documents can get.

I am documentating my experience in preparing and submitting some of the paperwork to relevant authorities in both Singapore and Malaysia in order to get the approval to register my marriage in Malaysia.

Before I start, let me explain why am I choosing to have my marriage registered in Malaysia instead of Singapore where the processes are often seem to be more hassle-free. The main reason is to simplify the whole process for my long term social visit pass application in order for me to settle down permanently in Malaysia.

The following below are the steps to complete before you could file a marriage application with the relevant Malaysian authories:

1. Obtain a Single Status Letter from your home country

It is a requirement for all foreign spouse to obtain a Single Status Letter/ Letter of Impediment from your home country. In my case, it's Singapore. However, unlike other countries, Registry of Marriages (ROM) Singapore is unable to issue such letter. I have obtained an original certified true copy of search result of marriage records from ROM Singapore instead to show my eligibility to marry. Singaporeans can apply for a copy of the result of marriage records here : https://www.rom.gov.sg/emrs/rom_emrs_start.asp

** Note: The Single Status Letter is only valid for 6 months if there is no date stated on it.

2. To attest and certify the Single Status Letter
After getting my original certified true copy of search result of marriage records from ROM Singapore, I proceeded to Minstry of Foreign Affairs, Consular Service Office, Singapore to have the piece of document legalized. The process took less than 10 mins to complete. There is a SGD 10 service fee charged for this. You could check out on the link below for more details.

After getting the document stamped by the consular office, I proceeded to the Malaysia High Commission in Singapore to get it certified. However, this time, the process took about 3 days before I can collect the stamped document from the Malaysia Embassy in Singapore.

** Note: Please remember to bring along a copy of your NRIC/Passport before you proceed to the Consular service counter.

3. To reside in the district of marriage for at least 7 days

All foreign spouses are required to reside in the district of marriage for at least 7 days before the application of marriage can be filed to the relevant authorities in Malaysia. So, I booked a bus ticket and stayed in Malaysia for a week.

4. Re-certify the Single Status Letter at Wisma Putra, Putrajaya

Be sure that you are have fulfilled step 3 before you proceed to visit Wisma Putra. Similarly, at the Wisma Putra, proceed to the Consular service section to have the Single Status Letter certified. Be prepared to wait for longer time this time. The whole process took about 2 hours for me.

5.  JPN Office, Putrajaya to submit the marriage application

Before you proceed to the Marriage & Divorce counter, please check if you have the following documents with you.

Original & Photocopy of:
1. MyKad, MyPR or Malaysian green card (that is still valid).
2. Passport and photocopy of pages with personal details, the latest arrival date in Malaysia and a valid visa or pass for non-citizen.
3. One (1) colour passport-sized photograph per applicant.
4. Approval letter from the Immigration department for the student pass and temporary employment pass holders to register their marriage in Malaysia.
5.1. Birth Certificate for non-citizen ( I think this is only for applicant age below 18)
5.2. Decree nisi absolute (divorce certificate), if applicable.
5.3. Death certificate of previous spouse, if applicable.
5.4. Single Status Letter

When you have these documents ready, please proceed to the counter. The officer should hand you Form JPN.KC02 for you to fill it up. Please note that Form JPN.KC02 is entirely in Malay language.

6. Submit Letter of Approval to respective JPN office

The last step is to bring the Letter of Approval issue by JPN Putrajaya to the respective JPN office which you have choose to have your marriage solemnize. Please have the documents listed in step 5 ready again for re-submission at the respective JPN office.

** Note: For Malaysian who wish to marry their foreign spouse, you could only choose to have the marriage solemnize at the JPN office. Solemnizing at other venues such as church or temples will not be allowed.   

Written above are all my experiences in completing my marriage application in Malaysia. For those who wish to have a much clearer view, you may wish to check on the website below. http://www.jpn.gov.my/en/servicesmarriageordivorce

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Monday, August 5, 2013

[Review] Skinlite Nourishing Red Ginseng Mask

I love sheet masks! I never used to love them as much before when I was in my teenager days. For some reason, I find them rather "oily'' for my combination skin which is very prone to breakouts at that time. However, as I reached my early 20s now, my skin condition gradually improves as my hormones began to stabilize. My skin no longer feels as much oily as the past days. On the other hand, it has gotten drier around my cheeks areas where I often find my skin flaking off.

Women in today society are really blessed with choices. There are so many different brands and types of sheets facial masks in the market currently. Choosing one from the store can sometimes becomes a frustrating chore. However, I always think the most important point is to find one that suits your skin the most.

Now, why do I say this? I used to think that facial masks are all similar only to realize how wrong I really am.

For me, Skinlite Nourishing Red Ginseng Mask is one of my favorite mask of all time.

What Skinlite Says:

- Formulated with Red Ginseng Extract, Collagen and Vitamin E.
- It is made from Oriental Red Ginseng, burst with energy vitamin
- Helps to vitalize and nourish your tired skin.
- Natural pulp sheet helps to prevents skin trouble and provides close adhesion to the face.

What I Like About This Product

So why is this a must have mask for me? The following below are the reasons:

1. Hydration

It makes my skin feel hydrated and glow healthier. Although some people has commented that the essence might be a bit insufficient, it still works awesome for me. I prefer a facial mask where I have all the essence being absorb into my skin than having them dripping non-stop down my face.

2. 100% pulp

This would mean that this mask would provide close adhesion and fits prefectly well on my face. I really hate mask that are 'loose' and does not stick fit and tight to my face.

3. Solve my minor skin trouble

Whenever I have minor skin trouble such as redness or break-outs, I will seek help from this mask. I really feel that it helps to regenerate my skin and speed out the recovery processes. Not only that, it also helps to reduce dullness and redness on my skin caused by stress and tiredness.  However, if you have very serious skin problems, that would be a different story.

4. Smell like Ginseng

I must be talking nonsense. Of course it smells like Ginseng. If you are a Ginseng lover, you will love it. On the other hand, if you are someone who just hates the smell of traditional medicine, this mask might be a little turn off for you.

By the way, Skinlite has a range of facial masks. This is the one I love the most. If anyone is interested, you can get the masks from Sasa Stores. The mask usually retails at SGD 1.90 each. However, Sasa stores often have a buy 2 @ SGD 1.90 promotion for the skinlite masks. It will be a good opportunity to grab some of them at that time.

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