Friday, October 11, 2013

[Review] Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream

Photo By: Elin Chow

Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream - I swear this is my most favorite night cream of all time. 

I started using this product about a year ago after my faithful night moisturizer ran out. After having tried some of its samples previously, I decided to switch to this Aqua cream from Nature Republic instead. 

What Nature Republic says

The Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream is a high performance hydrating cream which infuses extra moisture and refreshment back to skin with an energizing complex of deep sea minerals from maritime plants while extract of chlorella, seaweed, plankton and water-soluble collagen and hyaluronic acid help to strengthen skin's ability to defend itself against external aggressors and dehydration. 

Types of Super Aqua Max Watery Cream

There are mainly 3 types of Aqua Creams, each differentiate by 3 different colors, targeted for 3 different skin types. 

1. Pink color suitable for dry skin type
2. Green color suitable for combination skin type
3. Blue color suitable for oily skin type

What I like about this product

1. Tailored to 3 different skin types

Firstly, it's good that Nature Republic has launched this product in 3 different colors, customized for users with different skin types. This means that this Aqua cream is suitable for everyone! "So... isn't it better for Nature Republic to launch one product that is suitable for all skin types? There are so many such products in the market now" I believe many users would have asked me this question.Well, my point of view is there is no one such perfect product in this world. To me, it is just an impossible thing to achieve. That is why I seldom purchase products that stated "suitable for all skin types" on the packaging. So, as someone who has combination skin like myself, I bought the green bottle.

2. Texture and smell

The  Aqua cream feels light and cooling on my face once its application. Due to its watery consistency, this cream can easily be spread and absorbed quickly by my skin once applied. I am also very pleased with the fact that the Aqua cream does not leave a sticky or oily feel on my face after application. 

The Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream comes with a really pleasant floral scent which I love very much. The scent is not very long-lasting, but it does linger on my skin for about a few hours before fading away. 

However, the effect of this Aqua cream is not very lasting and probably would require reapplication after a few hours. Although the moisturizing effect is not extreme, it is just works perfectly well for someone who live in such a hot and humid country like me. For people who live in extremely cold countries,  I believe the Aqua Cream alone is definitely not going to be sufficient to keep your skin moisturized in the cool and dry weather.

3. Packaging

The packaging for this product is great. It comes in a green container made of hard plastic glass. The reason I love this is because it makes the cream look expensive as compared to many other korean products. As Nature Republic is actively promoting themselves as an Eco-friendly company in order to attract more customers to buy their products, of course, the box of this Aqua cream is also made from recyclable paper as a selling point. In addition, a plastic spatula is provided when you purchase this product for hygienic purposes.

4. Price and availability

Price wise... Not too expensive I guess. I think it is pretty affordable for a 80ml cream. It costs me around SGD 15 to ship to Singapore. I have also purchased a few containers of this when I visited Seoul last month. The Aqua cream currently retails at 11000 won each in any Nature Republic stores. It will cost a bit more if you choose to purchase this in any of its retail stores you find in your home country.

As for accessibility, I personally feel that Nature Republic has fewer retail stores compared to other korean brand stores (eg. The Etudehouse, The Faceshop etc) in Singapore and Malaysia. I think it is easier to purchase Nature Republic online and ship them to my country than to visit their retail store here.

What I Dislike About This Product

There is nothing I actually disliked for this product. I will probably continue to use this as my most faithful product.

How Do I Use This Product

The method of applying the Aqua Cream is just like any other facial creams available in the market. 

1. Cleanse my face thoroughly with a facial cleanser to remove any grease or dirt from my skin. For this, I will usually reach out for my EverSoft Ginkgo with Grapefruit Facial Cleanser.

2. Pat my face dry with a clean towel

3. Using a cotton pad, I will proceed to pat in some toner on my face. For this, I will always reach out for my most favorite toner - the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion

4. After I am done with the toner, I will then massage the Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream onto my face. 

Final Thoughts

For people who are interested to try this product out, it is important for you to choose the one that is tailored to your skin types. However, please remember that what may be suitable and works well for people around you might not be the best for you.

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Familial Occupation - Prostitution

Photo credit: Caravan Magazine

I have been reading up about India for the past few weeks, especially on the topics of child abductions, human sex trafficking and rapes that are reported to be happening at a terrifying in the whole nation. I was deeply disturbed and disgusted by everything I have read, but at the same time, made me realized how fortunate I am.  Among so many I have read and learn, I chanced upon an article that had interested me and led me to further research about the topic. What I am about to write are purely information and details I have gathered and complied from many different sources and also my personal opinions on the various issues. Of course, I will be glad if any reader could provide and share more insights on what I have written.

Introduction: Prostitution as Tradition within the Bedia Caste

The Bedia caste, one of the lowest member in the India caste system, is an exception among the many castes in the male-dominated society. Against the traditions of the majority Indian communities, the Bedia viewed prostitution as a family business that is passed down from their ancestors for generations after generations. Daughters who are born to Bedia families are obliged to enter the sex trade once they have reached their puberty, with their fathers and brothers (the males) usually acting as the pimps. Unlike in other cultures and societies where the men are normally the sole breadwinner, the women are the one who are responsible for the subsistence of the whole family. The  Bedia men, on the other hand, usually do not engage in any paid employment in any part of their life as it is their tradition to rely on the income derived from the women sex work. 

Preference of Babies Girls to Boys

Unlike the traditional Indian communities which generally celebrate the birth of sons, Bedia community prefer the birth of daughters more as girls are seen as a potential source of income for the family. Often, young girls in the Bedia community are taught their future profession by their mothers even before they reached puberty. Oxytocin injection, or in some case, known as the love hormone,  is said to be commonly used in the Bedia community to help speed up the maturity in young girls, making them desire for love and sex and also look like a woman.

Virginity Auction

In India, similar to many traditional Asian cultures, virginity of a girl is still highly valued where men believe that having sex with a virgin will help to purify and cleanse their soul. Thus, most of them are usually willing to pay a premium in order to 'break' a virgin. 

However, different from many other castes in India where thousands of young girls are raped and sold into sex slavery, a Bedia girl can only enter the sex trade after she has her first period. The virginity of the young girl will then be auctioned where the highest bidder will get to visit her as many times as he wants in the next few days or weeks. After her first client left, a lavish party will be held where guests from all nearby Bedia villages are invited. The young girl will also be adorned with new jewellery and clothes during the party. This is so because the Bedia community traditionally believe that keeping the money from the auction  sale is inauspicious. Usually, at the party, alcohol is served and a goat is slaughtered to celebrate this happy "event''.

Besides the party, a ceremony called "nanthi utarna" which literally means "taking off the nose ring" is held to signify the girl is ready  to enter the sex trade. 

Marriage

Bedia women rarely get married. Bedia women who got married are not permitted to stay in the sex trade. This would mean that the family will lose a source of their income. For years after years, the Bedia community is being treated as an outcast which makes them incapable to secure any paid jobs anywhere in India.

The Bedia men, however, do get married. The norm within the Bedia community is to pay a large bride price to marry someone from outside the community. The women who are married to Bedia men are exempted from the sex trade. However, their daughters who are born to them will have to continue the community's centuries old tradition.

Besides that, there is another 'rule' in the Bedia community. That is Bedia men are prohibited to marry or engage in any sexual activities with women from their own community.

Respectable within Own Community

Unlike other prostitutes who came from other caste systems, Bedia women are highly respected within their own community. They tend to enjoy a highly social status than women who are married in from other community. This is because they are the sole-breadwinner of their family. Without them, the Bedia community would not have survived. 

My Thoughts

I feel quite shameful for myself after learning about these. I feel shameful for whining about my life every now and then. I feel shameful for not knowing how to appreciate life. I feel shameful for me not knowing to feel contended with what I have. I saw how beautiful these Bedia women are. How they are sacrificing for their family. Although they may not be very willing and have complained about their fate, they still understand that they have to accept that this is life and the only way for survival. It is her love for her family that gave her strength and courage.

Many would have sarcastically say that they could have gone for a change. This is the 21st century! Initially, I have thought so too. However, I realized how difficult it is for the Bedia community in India to change. Here are a few reasons.

Financial

Frankly speaking, I believe no women in the world would like to be a prostitute when there are other alternative jobs available which could generate a decent amount of income for the household. However, in India, well-paying jobs are scarce. The income which the majority of the population is earning is barely enough to support themselves, not to mention to feed a whole family. Thus, prostitution became the only choice for the Bedia women where it is said that they could earn 4-10 times the amount which most unskilled earned in India.

Resistance to Changes

For centuries, Bedia people have been taught to live in this way for generations after generations. The Bedia men have long been accustomed to their "comfortable" living. They are used to hold no responsibility for anyone in their life since they traditionally do not get employed for any paid jobs. It will be difficult for them to give their ''comfortable'' up and work day and night to support an entire household.

The Bedia women, on the other hand, may not be willing to give up their highly respected social status in their community due to their financial capabilities.

Education

Majority of the Bedia population are uneducated. This makes the women becomes easy targets for various crimes. I believe education will have the power to bring about significant changes to the traditional Indian communities.

Resignation to Fate

Many of the Bedia women have accepted and resigned to their fate. They have a deep misconception in their mind telling them that prostitution is what they are supposed to do. It is their destiny. Even those who do not have such misconception thought that it is too late for a change now. They believe that the damages are done and what is the point of changing now.

Although the Indian government and social workers has done many to educate and help the Bedia community, changes are still slow. It will probably takes them many more decades to change the traditions that exist within the society. 

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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

[Review] The Face Shop Raspberry Roots Sleeping Mask


Raspberry Roots Sleeping Mask by The Face Shop, this is actually the first product which makes me love and hate at the same time.

What The Faceshop Says

Raspberry roots from Himalayas are rich in anti-oxidant that helps in skin lifting, pores tightening and intense hydration for the skin.

This sleeping mask is claimed to be one of the best selling product from The Face Shop. However, I found this product to be a bit over-rated instead. Out of curiosity, I have bought this sleeping mask about a year ago after the sales assistant strongly recommended this to me.

Most of the online reviews from other users have claimed that this product has worked a miracle on their skin and did what it has promised to deliver. However for me, I did not feel much of a difference after application of the mask.

Skin Lifting & Pore Tightening?

No, I don't think it has helped me to achieve tighter skin or smaller pores.  It is true that my face do feel some tightness after washing the mask away with clean water. But it does not help much in improving my skin condition.

Hydration

Yes, the sleeping mask helps in hydrating to a certain extent. But it is not very intense. Personally, I thought any moisturizers could have done a better job.

Skin Redness & Itchiness 

I do not have sensitive skin and have never experienced any itchiness on my skin after the application of any creams, moisturizers or lotions. Yet, this sleeping mask have caused some redness and slight itchiness on my face after use. I could not leave the mask overnight on my face without washing before I go to sleep as it have caused me breakouts on the following morning.

Texture & Smell

The sleeping mask itself is a translucent pink gel. Although it feels light on my face, the sleeping mask still feels a bit oily on my combination skin. As for the smell, I have to say I totally love the fruity smell! It makes me feels fresh and happy. And also, I love the lovely packaging as well. The fact that it is packaged in a bottle with a pump makes it more hygienic too.

Price

Price wise... I can't really remember how much I have spent on this product. But products from The Face Shop are always not on the cheaper end. It's probably around SGD 20++ if you got this from their retail stores.

I dare not say this is a very bad product, rather I would say that it may not be suitable for my skin. The only thing I like about this sleeping mask is my face feels softer and smoother after application. Will it repurchase this again? Probably not, since I never even get to finish the first bottle which I have purchased.

Read my review on The Face Shop Raspberry Roots Depuffing Eye Gel too.