Author: Rachel

Recycling.

Admittedly, the word itself doesn’t inspire much.

But lo and behold… Beauty brands such as Lush and Innisfree have DEFINITELY lured me into not just using, BUT actually finishing their products with their “Bring in x number of empty containers and we will give you product y… FOR FREE!”

MAC does it as well, but let me tell you finishing 6 tubes of lipstick ain’t an easy task. It’s actually quite difficult, requires A LOT of commitment and time.

Took me a few years just to trade in my first empty containers for a free MAC lippie!

Since I started my blog as a channel or means to which to broadcast to the world my reviews.. opinions.. on beauty stuff, I thought I should take the chance to scribble down some thoughts before I haul these empty containers away to their respective shops for recycling.

So what products have I finished using this month?

Let’s start with LUSH.

In early January 2018, I went to Tokyo, my favourite city in the world and stocked up on some Lush goodies!! Did you know Lush Japan products are made in Japan? Awesome.

Fast-forward to early July 2018 and I’ve now finished my Ocean Salt Body Scrub and my Big Shampoo. Completely. Gone. I love both of these Lush products in particular because they are just so citrusy, refreshing and uplifting. And just plain salty like me.

But honestly, the Big shampoo literally gives you the most voluminous hair that smells like the ocean. I love it. Recommend it. But just be warned.. it’s addictive. And did I mention it’s a scrub? A scrub for your hair!! So good. Your scalp will thank you. Especially after a grubby long and tiring day.

Likewise, Ocean Salt is pure salty, scrubby goodness that will wake up and rejuvenate the rest of your tired body. Scrubs are a real godsend, enough said.

Innisfree. One of the things I don’t like to admit? That I buy into the whole K-beauty craze! Ha. I’ve been using this face wash for more than 6 months. Maybe almost a year? It’s the limited edition tube that came in a JUMBO 300ml bottle. I swear. It’s more like 500ml of face wash packed in there. Towards the tail end of me using this facial cleanser, i.e. the past few days, the packaging had a tiny hole which has now turned into a massive rip in the side and now I can’t squeeze the remaining product out! Such a waste. But. I love this. It’s like Dove/Heads and Shoulders shampoo/shower gel kind of fragrance but for your face. And it is superrr creamy and foamy. Ahhhh. Not to mention, it does a fab job of removing makeup, dead skin and general grime every time.

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Clay Mask. I think this one needs no introduction for those familiar with the Innisfree brand. But if you haven’t tried this before and you’re a clay mask buff, I highly highly recommend it. It’s super affordable and super long lasting.

Only drawback? Started to smell a little fermented and sourish after almost a year of using it (even though the product hasn’t technically expired as per the expiration date). Otherwise, this is a solid face mask. One of the best I’ve tried. Especially at this price point, I would instantly recommend this clay mask to anyone and everyone. And I have it on right now. Yes, give it a try if you haven’t yet! It works. It’s cheap. Buy it! Your skin will feel super duper soft and smooth and clean afterwards.

I’m not too sure whether I have a lot of other products that are almost empty, (the answer’s probably no) but I’ll definitely collect all of whatever I have that’s almost finished, and do an updated August Favourites review!

It’s good to finish products rather than have them sit around and collect dust. And it’s always good practice to empty your beauty products rather than buy, buy, buy new products all the time.

Perhaps my next review will be a more makeup based one.. I have so many moisturisers too. So maybe you’ll see more of that in my next empties/favourites review!

Till next time,
Rachel

This has been a much requested review so I’m glad to finally have gotten the time to sit down and share this review with you!

Function of Beauty is a personalised haircare brand from the US.

You start off with a hair quiz on their website (www.functionofbeauty.com) to sort out your hair type and goals and scalp profile.

According to their website, there are millions of possible permutations for your very own personalised shampoo and conditioner. You can even choose from the type of fragrance to the size of your product bottle! So cool.

Something I should have taken note of but forgot is that Function of Beauty offers free refunds within 30 days!

Anyway, I decided to be a guinea pig and try this product out because I was sooo curious and had to try this magical looking potion. The reviews I have read online have been a mixed bag so that wasn’t exactly helpful but it gave me some idea of how good/bad the product was. Some reviews were positive, some negative, and some neutral.

Everyone has different scalp and hair needs. And as every bottle of Function of Beauty shampoo and conditioner is different, my views which I have expressed here may differ from somebody else’s. So let’s get into my review!

I listed my hair profile as follows:-

• Wavy hair

• Fine hair

• Normal scalp

And my 5 hair goals for Function of Beauty were:

• Lengthen

• Strengthen

• Anti-Frizz

• Nourish Roots

• Deep condition

The colour I chose for my shampoo and conditioner was blue! I spent a lot of time trying to pick a colour. The other available shades are orange, pink, green, purple. Pick wisely!

My selected fragrance was “all(you)calpytus”. After I had ordered from Function of Beauty, they actually came out with a “no fragrance” option which sounds like the best option.

What I liked about the Function of Beauty hair products was that there was noticeably less hair fall. Hair did feel stronger and less brittle plus even in this humid weather, my hair was slightly less frizzy, straighter and more manageable!

Although my fine hair didn’t become tangle-free, it did have less tangles. Maybe this is something they can work on in their shampoo formula. Other stuff I noticed after using this product for a few weeks is that the shampoo is quite sticky and a little difficult to rinse. When washing the shampoo away, I have to scrub really hard at my scalp, otherwise my scalp and hair would become rather oily and unbearable afterwards! The shampoo would be much better if it was less heavy in that sense. And I guess from this I learned that my scalp might be more oily than what is considered “normal”. Perhaps another tip for their website quiz, giving people more information on how to select the correct scalp profile; maybe through additional guiding questions.

One other pro of using Function of Beauty is that my hair looks more sleek and feels a lot softer and less dry! I would recommend Function of Beauty if you have a really dry scalp and dry hair.

Other cons about Function of Beauty is that it doesn’t ship to Singapore, and when I first started using it, my scalp would feel rather oily and itchy and my hair felt greasy. The conditioner was also not a good replacement for a hair mask as there were still some occasional tangles in my hair. The fragrance was also really strong and not what I expected. The shampoo had a really heavy and masculine fragrance like sandalwood mixed with mint (reminded me of Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty). The conditioner on the other hand had a strong, rosey, herbal scent.

So there you have it, my take on Function of Beauty’s personalised hair care products. As you can see, I have quite mixed feelings about these two product!

While I can’t say I love the product, I do very much love the Function of Beauty concept! It’s just too bad that I didn’t like the product as much as I thought I would. I probably won’t be reordering any time soon but I may try a different permutation in future! 🙂

Believe it or not, the best years of my life were my IB and IGCSE years. Those six years are so precious to me and I met so many like-minded people. Learning was so much fun and I looked forward to every day of school.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I had always struggled with math, chemistry and biology. They were my least favourite subjects and I always dreaded those classes. I didn’t find the topics engaging or fun or something I wanted to learn about. I didn’t care for it, I just wanted to pass. That was it. And I suppose one of my regrets in life is not having done better in those subjects and scored better in Math and Biology for IB. I was less than one point away from getting into the London universities and it absolutely tore me apart for the longest time because it always made me feel not good enough.

On retrospect, I probably should have paid more attention to my weaker subjects instead of focusing more on my favourite classes like Visual Arts and English Literature and being complacent. I guess the message I’m trying to send is this: Have fun, do your best, and don’t give up. Don’t be complacent like me and think you will never excel at math and science. It is definitely possible with a little bit of effort!

The people I knew who scored well for IB all had one-on-one or group tuition. I honestly believe it makes all the difference. In a smaller, more cosy setting, we are less afraid to ask questions and more able to focus on our weak points. It is also easier for a tuition teacher to help coach a student one-on-one. This is where highly recommended tuition centre IB Super comes in.

Founded by Ms Bel Hwang in 2013, IB Super specialises in IB, IGCSE and A Level tuition. With more than 10 years’ experience in teaching and tuition under her belt, Ms Hwang felt ready to start her very own specialised tuition centre. IB Super specialises in the subjects that students often struggle the most with, namely, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics and Business Management.

So how does IB Super differ from other tuition centres in Singapore? IB Super focuses on each individual student’s foundation, i.e. what each student understands and comprehends about the subject. Tutors at IB Super then work on improving the student’s understanding and grasp of the subject through the use of tutorials, quizzes, practical assessments. Regular attendance is also key to improvement, and this is something IB Super encourages.            

From the many interesting videos on IB Super’s Instagram page, you get a sense of innovation – out of the box, creative techniques are utilised to make learning fun, easy and memorable. Scrolling through their social media, I really got the feeling that the tutors themselves are constantly improving themselves and finding new ways of teaching. It isn’t rigid, boredom-inducing learning. Instead, IB Super poses questions to students to make them want to expand their knowledge and find out more. An inquisitive mind is drawn out through the use of concept maps, mobile apps and memory aids.

Ms Hwang tells me that students nowadays have so many distractions and I think that is so true. Despite the challenges that come with a more technologically advanced world, IB Super has stood the test of time and has managed to produce great results with its students.


Conveniently located opposite Clarke Quay MRT at 59 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059405, IB Super is a trusted learning centre worth going to seek guidance for students struggling to keep up with IB, A Level, or IGCSE in school. So what are you waiting for? Parents and students alike, head on over to their website (http://ibsuper.com.sg) and Instagram page (http://www.instagram.com/ib_super) for testimonials and more info! Improve your grades and learning experience today 🙂

Been procrastinating on this review of La Taperia by Les Amis mostly because typing out the name of each dish was a little bit tedious, but now that it’s the weekend and I have a bit of time, I have no excuses!

La Taperia is a Spanish tapas restaurant located on the 2nd floor of Shaw Centre (next to Shaw House). Reservations can be made through www.quandoo.com.sg

The restaurant is dimly lit with a cosy, steakhouse kind of vibe. It’s also not too noisy which I appreciate!

On the whole I think our meal averaged to about $85 per person. A tad bit expensive IMHO but probably okay if you have deep pockets or celebrating a special occasion!

Drinks

Sangria Tinto ($15)

What better way to kick off our meal than with a glass of red sangria each!

La Taperia’s sangria is pretty sweet and fruity (yum!) and reminds me of Pimm’s. The sangria itself wasn’t too heavy and sour, it was just nice. I’ld definitely recommend getting a jug ($52) of the sangria for sharing because it is just so good.

Warm Tapas

Croquetas de Jamón ($15)

Croquette of suckling pig bechamel & jamón ibérico

This looked really good online. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, this tapas dish was too pricey and didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me. I much prefer Japanese croquettes from Muji/Mos Burger.

Gambas Al Ajillo ($20)

Prawns cooked with garlic chilli and extra virgin olive oil

I don’t eat seafood so most of our food was confined to meat.

My friend ordered this prawn tapas though, and the prawns looked pretty juicy. There was plenty of garlic and sizzle when the dish arrived!

Costillitas de Cordero a la Parrilla ($26)

Charcoal grilled lamb rib confit glazed with honey mustard

I love ribs. The meat is nice and tender and the sauce is just right, not too sweet. There’s a slight charcoal burnt flavour too. This was pretty yummy, I would definitely recommend ordering this!

Albóndigas en Salsa Ibérica ($18)

Homemade meatballs (chicken, pork and beef) cooked in chorizo ibérico sauce

Ahh I’ve been craving meatballs after Subway have temporarily banished their Meatball Marinara from their menu. Sadly the La Taperia meatballs were too pink and chicken-y for my liking. I prefer my meatballs to have a little more beef. The sauce was quite tomato-y and a little on the plain side. Perhaps it would be more appealing to people who prefer a much lighter and cleaner flavour?

Correderas de Carne ($16)

Beef cheek sliders, pickled vegetables & aioli sauce

These cute burgers were so tiny and reminded me of Krabby Patties from Spongebob! The beef cheek was definitely very soft and tender and melt in your mouth.

Bread

Grilled Baguette ($4)

Our waitress recommended that we order the grilled baguette to go with the meatballs and the garlic prawns. I had my eyes on the Crystal bread with diced tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil ($6) and probably should have ordered that instead.

The grilled baguette was quite tough and to me tasted a lil stale and it didn’t come at the same time as the meatballs and prawns so we didn’t have anything to eat the baguette with other than butter which was a little strange..

So maybe skip the plain grilled baguette and opt for the Crystal bread instead!

Sides

Coles de Bruselas Con Chorizo ($10)

Brussels sprouts with chorizo

My friend wasn’t a fan of this dish but I quite liked it. Thought it was one of the more affordable and yummy dishes on the menu. It’s very tasty and homely. Even the sauce tasted of Brussels sprouts. A good side dish of veggies to order!

Desserts

Crema Catalana ($12)

Catalan cream enriched with mango bits and à la minute crispy caramelised topping

I quite liked this dessert, the top layer was nice and crispy and the cream underneath was soft, sweet and creamy. Nothing too sickeningly sweet.

If you’re a fan of creme brûlée, try this dessert! Besides this, La Taperia also does churros and many other Spanish desserts! So leave space in your tummy for some delectable sweets.

Have you tried La Taperia? Let me know in the comments what you’ve tried! Or if you haven’t, what your favourite Spanish tapas restaurants are in Singapore so I can check them out! 🙂

I’ve been eyeing Oasis Skin’s products on social media way before the recent launch of their website, so the moment the parcel arrived at my door step, I was beyond elated!

Oasis Skin is a Singapore skincare brand that recently launched in March 2018. Their masks and mists are all made in Singapore! They’ve incorporated lots of natural wild ingredients from France into their masks and mists, all of which are made in small batches! Each batch has its own unique batch number on the label. And speaking of labels, isn’t the lettering on their labels soooo gorgeous? (But I must warn you that the ink isn’t waterproof so keep it in a dry place away from your sink!)

The two products that I received from Oasis Skin were the Lavender and Sage Mist and the French Marine Clay + Ocean Vitamins Mask.

Oasis Skin Lavender and Sage Mist

Much like its namesake, this mist provides a surprising amount of hydration and is a real oasis for the face. In my opinion, the fragrance is a mix of flowery honey, essential oils, and relaxing lavender. I love how the bottle feels so weighted, and that the mist is so delicate and fine! It’s a refreshing change from the usual less fine water mists that I use.

I especially love spritzing this stuff all over my face before sleeping. If you have trouble falling asleep, I highly recommend this product to help you fall asleep instantly. There’s something about lavender that just relaxes you and makes you sleepy.

One other thing I really enjoy about this mist is that it provides adequate moisture to your face without making your face oily or hands greasy! Like really this is a godsend. Just a few spritzes of this stuff and you can go to sleep assured that your night time skin routine is taken care of.

The ingredients are absolutely fantastic as well. So if you’re interested in learning even more about this mist from Oasis Skin, please check out this LINK!

I 10/10 would recommend this lavender and sage mist to a friend and would replenish this product as soon as I’ve finished it!! 🙂

Oasis Skin French Marine Clay + Ocean Vitamins Mask

Honestly I’m not sure what vitamins are in this clay mask, but I must say, this three-ingredient mask is AWESOME. Firstly, to find a product with so few ingredients that works really opens your eyes to the kinds of products on the market out there. Do they really need so many other preservatives? Well, the fact that this clay mask is in powder form makes it much longer lasting than your usual store-bought clay mask and I suppose less in need of all these preservatives.

The three ingredients found in this clay mask are: spirulina extract, seaweed and illite clay. Clay has tons of minerals and is super good for clearing up and soothing unhappy skin (read: breakouts and rogue baby pimples). As for spirulina, it’s great for your body, and often touted as a superfood because it’s a great source of Vitamins B and antioxidants! Seaweed offers hydration, and is said to have anti-aging properties.

After using this mask, I didn’t expect much because it applied quite thinly. But surprisingly enough, the clay in the mask kind of dried quickly and there was this kind of hugging sensation as it dried (which seemed to happen faster and more effectively compared to other clay masks I’ve tried). Further, it was so easy to wash off. The only slight drawback I felt was that the smell was a lil strong (like the sea) but it reminded me of my time in Hokkaido and it made me realise how natural this mask really is 🙂 And halfway through masking, the smell of the ocean kind of went away.

After using this clay mask, all of my pimples (both big and small) went away and my pores had shrunk visibly too. My skin felt a lot smoother and more supple as a result the next day! If you’re worried about clay masks drying out your skin, just spray the Lavender and Sage Mist to re-hydrate the skin 🙂

Oasis Skin have a variety of really effective and natural masks and mists to choose from, so do give their new local business all the support it deserves! I actually really honestly like their products and packaging so much.

You can check out the clay mask: HERE!

Something I also just realised that is immensely helpful is that Oasis Skin have taken the trouble to include directions on how to use their clay masks on the website!

So if you ever purchase the mask and aren’t sure of the water to mask ratio to mix, the directions are as follows:

“Scoop 2 spoonfuls of mask powder out into a non-metal bowl and carefully add liquid to mix it into a paste. We recommend a 1:1 ratio of clay to liquid. Use the oasis:skin mask brush to apply the mask evenly onto your cleansed face and let it dry for 10-15 minutes. Gently wash it off with warm water and mist your face after to complete the treatment. For the ultimate treat, use your oasis:skin face mist liquid as a mask mixer to supercharge your mask therapy.”

Also, since Oasis Skin only just launched earlier this month, they are currently giving all customers 10% off. Hurrah!

Take advantage of this promotion and use OASIS10 at checkout.

Happy masking and misting friends!

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