Recently, I visited brand new Vivo City nail salon, Palette Nail for a classic manipedi session.

They just opened their second outlet at Harbourfront earlier this month. The classic manicure and pedicure normally retails at Palette Nail for S$65.00, but they’re currently having a grand opening promotion! The classic mani pedi is now just S$55.00. Totally worth getting!

For my nails, I decided on a nude, ballerina pink kind of colour from OPI (I forgot to check the name with the manicurist, oops!) while for my toes, I got them in my favourite vibrant, red nail colour – OPI’s glamorous Big Apple Red.

I also decided on getting 30 sparkling crystals for my fingernails (S$1.00 for the smaller Swarovski-esque crystals, the other types of crystals have different prices, so do check first with the manicurist!) and my holy grail top coat, Seche Vite Quick Dry topcoat (retails at S$3.00 for hands and S$3.00 for feet) for longer lasting and more durable nail polish, and to give your nails a more expensive and glossier appearance.

Location

This local nail salon just opened on the 1st of November 2015 at Vivo City. Its first store is located at the Star Vista in Buona Vista. Located on Level 2 of Vivo City, Palette Nail is pretty easy to find if you follow the directions on any of the shopping mall’s touch screen street directories dotted all over the vast shopping centre.

The store faces well known Asian beauty store, Sasa, and is on the same side as Build-A-Bear! It is also in close proximity to the drop-off point at Vivo City, so if you’re taking a cab, just turn left when you enter the building and you’ll see Palette Nail!

Palette Nail

The Experience

The Vivo City nail salon is extremely new, clean, and tidy.

With spotlights, grey and slate coloured walls and wallpaper, and black and white furniture, Palette Nail has a very unique colour scheme from the atypical pink, overly feminine and floral interiors of most nail salons. I would imagine that male customers would not be deterred from getting their nails done here! Which is a good thing – what’s wrong with men getting their nails, feet, and cuticles taken care of once in a while, right? Men can get monthly MANicures too!

When I was choosing my design, I found that there were so many Christmas studs and stones to choose from, and even a cute 3D snowflake crystal was available! Beautiful seashells are available as well in gold and silver, in many different sizes – which I imagine would go really well with a mermaid-themed gel manicure – glittery, shimmery, gradient, in shades of sea green, purplish jewel tones, or bright blue.

With my manicure, I felt that the nail technician did an overall pretty good job cutting and buffing my nails!

I was however, really blown away and satisfied with my Classic pedicure at Palette Nail. The nail technician did a wonderful job with my toenails – she was dedicated, undistracted, meticulous, and put in tons of effort! After my awesome pedicure session at Palette Nail, my feet felt extremely clean, and soft. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the fantastic leg massage, and the mint scrub which left my legs feeling incredibly smooth and smelling fresh!

Cons

While there was a good range of reds and nudes, there were few glittery and pastel options to choose from.  I would have also liked for there to be some nail magazines for me to browse through to help me decide what nail art or design to get!

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Conclusion

On the whole, I really enjoyed my lovely session at Palette Nail and felt super pampered by the lovely nail technicians! As you can see, my nails look pretty fab! 28 out of 30 of the crystals on my nails have also survived after 2 weeks! My nails are also still looking great and shiny and haven’t even chipped! Anyway, who doesn’t love having someone attending to their hands and feet?! I would definitely come back again, and recommend Palette Nail for their dedicated manicure pedicure service! So please do make an appointment with them at their brand new Vivo City branch and treat yourself to a much needed classic manipedi!

Palette Nail

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[Disclaimer: My classic manicure and classic pedicure were courtesy of Palette Nail. I paid for the gemstones and Quick Dry topcoat for my manipedi. All opinions are my own, and personal experiences may differ for others!]

For more on beauty, click here!

How quickly time has flown! As 2015 draws to a close, the holiday season is upon us once again. To help with your shopping woes and with the festive times just around the corner, I’ve compiled a list of 15 perfect Christmas gift ideas for each and every important person in your life! I’ve already done the window shopping for you. Without having to brave the shopping mall crowds and never-ending Christmas music, all you’ll need to do is sit back, relax, scroll, and click check-out.

1. FOR THE FASHIONISTA IN YOUR LIFE



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Tularosa Amelia Romper, from Revolve Clothing, $224.72

 

2. FOR THE SOPHISTICATED ACQUAINTANCE

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Tacit Eau de Parfum, from Aesop (unisex), $135.00

3. FOR THE FRIEND WHO IS ALWAYS LATE

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Lader | Black watch, from Larsson and Jennings (unisex), $253.00

4. FOR THE WOMAN YOU LOVE

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Sac De Jour small leather tote, from Saint Laurent
, $2,820.00

5. FOR THE PERSON TO WHOM YOU SAY, “I CAN’T DRAW.”

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The Slate Skin in Indian Summer, from Roxxlyn, $145.00

6. FOR THE BATH-HATING ANIMAL COMPANION

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Animal from Aesop (fur cleanser), $53.00

7. FOR THAT WORLDLY, BOHEMIAN HIPSTER FRIEND

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Vaara Eau de Parfum, from Penhaligon’s, $269.00

8. FOR THE ONE WITH A SWEET TOOTH

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Speculoos Cookie Butter, from Poppy & Co., $13.00

9. FOR THE FRIEND WHO CAN’T PUT THEIR PHONE DOWN DURING DINNER

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Black Marble iPhone Case, from Dear Maison, $39.00 

10. FOR THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN YOUR LIFE

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Pebble-Grain Leather Holdall, from Michael Kors, $1,016.00

11. FOR YOUR LEAST ANNOYING COLLEAGUE AT WORK

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USB Desk Fan, from Muji, $39.00

12. FOR THE MINIMALIST

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Kinfolk Issue Eighteen, from Kinfolk, $26.00

13. FOR THE BOOK HOARDER

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The Kinfolk Home, from Kinfolk, $31.80

14. FOR THE OVERSEAS SINGAPOREAN

departureboard02_0d7beff8-384e-4478-8e20-40cdf216cd61_grande-2Luggage Tag, from Naiise, $9.90

15. FOR THE STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMAN IN YOUR LIFE

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#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso, from Book Depository (paperback), $24.57

[Disclaimer:
1. These gift ideas are non-gender specific, and can be for anyone, regardless of gender.
2. These pictures do not belong to me. If you wish for me to remove one of these images which may belong to yourself or your company, please drop me an email and I will rectify it.
3. I strongly encourage and advocate donating (whatever you can afford) to charities, to the homeless and to those in need, especially during the Christmas season.]

Everything you need to know about the kawaii Hawaii-inspired restaurant that’s making a splash in Singapore.

Just last month, brand new Hawaiian-inspired Aloha Poké opened its doors along Amoy Street in Singapore’s bustling business district.

The casual dining restaurant is Singapore’s first foray into a Hawaiian culinary experience, specializing in Poké bowls, a delicious Hawaiian marinated sashimi salad dish (pronounced poh-key like in Pokémon). These cute bowls make not just a mean food photo, they also make a really delicious meal, upping the standards for clean eating in Singapore.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be restricted to eating a pile of salad leaves!

And with salmon and tuna sashimi this fresh, you really wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.


The new eatery is conveniently located near the famous Amoy Food Centre and the popular Ann Siang Hill area. Sitting along the peaceful stretch that is Amoy Street, the restaurant finds its fans not just with the office crowd, but with the gym enthusiasts, hipsters, and expats who drop by for either takeaway or for a quick dine-in. Plenty of customers do takeaway, which is great for those in a rush, or tourists in the vicinity looking for a quick bite to nibble on as they explore the surrounding Tanjong Pagar area. Filled with skyscrapers, temples, and well-preserved lines of shop houses, there’s plenty to see around here.

With lovely sunshine filtering into this laidback, atmospheric dining space, and friendly, welcoming service staff full of smiles, it’s impossible to dislike the place. Not to mention, they’re incredibly generous with the food portions.

Upon entering you are greeted by a huge, cheerful, colourful bowl of fresh pineapples which lines the counter as people pencil in their lunch orders. In the background, purple orchids, tiki décor and a surfboard lend a sense of calm, instantly transporting you to a temporary daydream retreat on the beachfront of Waikiki.

But back to the food! Aloha Poké is a great place for weekday lunch with the colleagues at work, post-work drinks, or to catch up with friends over Saturday brunch after a yoga session.

For my lunch, I ordered a Lil’ Swell – the smallest offering, at $11.90 for one 75g serving of Poké (protein choice: marinated salmon or tuna sashimi in either original, spicy, or wasabi mayo. Vegetarian/vegan options available too!), one superfood (avocado, chia seeds, or pomegranate) and two free add-on toppings (carrot, cucumber, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, edamame, the seasonal offering, almonds, flying fish roe, walnut, dried grape, pumpkin seeds, or golden raisins). For an additional superfood, just top up a dollar, and fifty cents will get you an additional fresh or crunch add-on.

Each Poké bowl comes with a big slice of tangy, citrusy lime, sweet onion, a special sesame oil and shoyu vinaigrette salad, and sprinkled with sesame and spring onions, and deliciously sweet, golden pineapple pieces.

For carbs, there’s white rice, brown rice, or a mix of both brown and white. Otherwise, you can ask choose to have salad instead. This time, I went with a mix of brown and white rice, which I personally prefer over the plainer white rice option. While I had picked the smallest size, the Poké bowl definitely filled me up. A satisfyingly simple, guilt-free, yummy, and clean meal.

Other sizes available include: the Big Kahuna ($19.90 for 225g, three scoops of Poké) and the Standard Nalu ($15.90 for 150g, two servings of Poké).

For the adventurous beer lovers, Aloha Poké also serves Hawaiian craft beers! For the healthy folks, tasty Coco Loco raw Thai coconut water is also sold at Aloha Poké.

Grab your lunch at Aloha Poké this week, and let me know what you think!

Aloha Poké
92 Amoy Street
Singapore 069911
Mondays to Fridays: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm, 5.30 pm – 11pm
Saturdays: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm

 

NARS
1. NARS Oil-Free Pro-Primer Pore Refiner

First, you are going to want to start priming your face for a polished look with the NARS Oil-Free Pro-Primer Pore Refiner. Often, people liken make-up artistry to painting. Your face is a canvas to build upon, and like a painter, you’re going to want to prep and prime, to get the smoothest surface to work with. I love that this primer has a very natural, herbal kind of scent to it, reminiscent of skincare products.

What this lightweight, gel-like primer does is soften and moisturize your skin. On top of that, it is formulated to reduce the visibility of pores, and improve the overall appearance of your skin. Sometimes, in high-resolution images, or under bad lighting, our skin’s imperfections can be magnified, and this primer helps to fix that problem by smoothening the skin for a flawless appearance. This is definitely one of the more important steps for a perfect no makeup makeup look.

Be sure to apply primer evenly on every part of your face!

NARS

2. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (shown in Light 4)

Step two is foundation. With a descriptive name like that, I think you’re going to wonder, does it really do all it says as advertised on the tin? After using this on the first few occasions, I realized that my skin had taken on a nice luminosity. Your skin will look a lot more natural, than a matte foundation or powder which can make our face look flat and a little less natural! This foundation illuminates the skin, and highlights the best features. Who doesn’t like naturally glowing, happy looking skin? You won’t even need to reach for an expensive highlighter anymore because this foundation does the job.

This foundation is also made to last all day (up to 16 hours)! Which is great for me, because I’m not a fan of touching up my makeup in the middle of the day.

My most favourite part about this foundation is that it’s so lightweight that it doesn’t feel like there’s cakey makeup on my face. The texture is velveteen smooth, making it quick and easy to blend.

It’s perfect for those who would normally shy away from liquid foundation for fear that foundation is too heavy and thick. Not this one, it doesn’t even feel like you have make up on, yet it really helps achieve that perfect no makeup makeup look.

Coverage is medium and goes a long way, so pump just a little foundation. Blending is so easy. I find that simply using fingers to apply this foundation is effective. But if you prefer using a beauty blender or stiff brush, this foundation is liquid-like and doesn’t need the warmth of your hands to make it easier to blend!

3. NARS Creamy Concealer (shown in Chantilly) and  4. NARS Finishing Powder (shown in Flesh)

NARS
NARS

The second to last step is Concealer! If you have amazing skin, then you can skip this step. For those with a few more imperfections like uneven pigmentation or redness (like me) or want to cover up pimples or scars, this is really useful for brightening up dull skin whilst at the same time really concealing spots with amazing coverage. The Creamy Concealer works wonders at reducing dark circles under the eyes. As I write this, my very own Creamy Concealer has finished and I need to pick up a new one from the NARS store. The Creamy Concealer is definitely one of my all-time favourites from NARS and I’ve used it religiously ever since.

The final step is to apply a finishing powder to set your makeup! This makes sure your makeup doesn’t stray away. I love this because it’s almost non-visible, and silky soft and easy to work with. The powder is the finishing touch to your makeup, to really pull everything together into a masterpiece. It’s like a spritz of fixative on a beautiful oil painting.

And you’re done!

What you should have at the end is a really natural, glowing, flawless, and polished look you can wear everyday, aka the no makeup makeup look. This look feels both weightless, and looks effortlessly natural and fresh. Its longevity means your makeup will survive the long hours and humidity and help you power through the day like a #girlboss.

Get your flawless look on, and go forth and do amazing things!

NARS

[Disclaimer: Products sponsored by NARS Cosmetics. All reviews and opinions in this piece are my own after using these products for several months, and for the Creamy Concealer, a few years.]

TACIT BY AESOP

By Rachel

If you are as big a fan of the Australian beauty brand, Aesop, as me, their latest fragrance is bound to hit all the right notes with you. While Tacit is the second addition to the much loved brand, it is certainly second to none, following in the footsteps of Aesop’s first fragrance, Marrakech Intense.

Crafted in collaboration with perfumer Celine Barel*, this perfume is a work of art.

Tacit by Aesop

Tacit by Aesop

Wonderfully androgynous in its scent, Tacit incorporates the clean, powerfully uplifting freshness of the classic cologne, while carving out a fine balance with its likeness to the contemporary, quiet elegance of a feminine perfume. Perfectly wearable for any momentous occasion, the modern scent is also great for day-to-day wear.

Drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean coast’s rich culture, topography and perfumed vegetation, this perhaps best explains why Tacit is a refreshing green scent, and completely out of the ordinary. Like the rest of Aesop’s range, Tacit is an embodiment of all that is botanical, calming, natural, and earthy. There isn’t a tinge of artificiality, which is what I love about Aesop.

Crisp and citrusy, the aromatic fragrance also takes inspiration from the palatable and cleansing aroma of the yuzu fruit, a far cry from the ubiquitous scent of lemons.

True to its name, Tacit’s elusiveness is elicited upon the realisation that while Tacit is a citrus-based scent, it leans a little towards the warmth and spice, with its subtle notes of clove.

The smell evokes fond memories of warm summer nights, making Tacit the best scent to last you through the fall and winter. And if the transition between long summer nights and cool breezy beginnings of autumn had a signature scent to mark the curiousness in the changing weather, that scent would be Tacit.

Tacit Eau de Parfum (50ml, S$135.00)  can be purchased online at www.aesop.com or at Aesop stores.

Tacit by Aesop
*
Celine Barel is the nose behind Jo Malone’s Vanilla & Anise.

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