Tag: beauty

Hello 2020! It’s the start of a brand new year.

What better way to usher in the new year than with fresh, renewed skin (courtesy of an Aesop facial)?

This is probably going to be quite a detailed post. To cut a long story short, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Aesop facial experience and would recommend it to everyone! If my post is too wordy, please just read the lines I have bolded.

Yesterday was the last day of 2019 and it marked my first time experiencing an Aesop facial.

Location
Facials are carried out at the Aesop care space for facial treatments found on level 4 of Tangs Plaza in Orchard Road, the only one in Singapore. There are a few around the world in major cities like Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Melbourne, and Tokyo.

Making an appointment
It can be difficult to book a facial appointment, so it’s fastest fingers first. If you have a mostly free schedule you can look forward to making an appointment a few weeks/months in advance. I would say it’s generally easier to make an appointment on weekday afternoons. You can check out this webpage for available slots (https://10to8.com/book/aesop-tangs/). As there may be cancellations, you may be able to make an appointment a few days in advance (rather than wait a few weeks/months)!


Once you have booked your appointment, they will send you a few SMS reminders beforehand to be on time for your Aesop facial. Do take note that it is on level 4 and not level 1 of Tangs Plaza.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a very luxe green marble and dark facade. If I am not mistaken, this specialised Aesop space opened in July 2017 and is run by two therapists, Kit and Lynn, and each day, there are 4 facial slots.

The theme of the space is a very serene shade of green, and unlike the other brightly-lit, upscale facial places on this level of the mall (such as Sulwhasoo, La Mer, Dior, Chanel), Aesop’s space feels much more… secluded, high-end and private. At any one time, the Aesop space caters to one customer, so you have your own personal and private space to explore and enjoy. It kind of feels like a hotel (this is how I would imagine an Aesop spa treatment room in a hotel to be like; and I would love to stay at an Aesop hotel, it would probably be very lush and set in some secluded and zen Asian or Mediterranean location). My facial therapist, Kit, served me a cup of Aesop tea (liquorice root, spearmint and rose hip).

Side note: I love the Aesop cups so much. They have the quote “‘Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.’ Franz Kafka” printed on the inside of the cup. A great reminder for longevity.

Kit served the tea and passed me a questionnaire form to fill up. It has questions on what Aesop skincare products I use, frequency, how long I have been a customer, whether I am on any medication, have any allergies, skin type, skin concerns, personal details, etc.

My facial therapist said there was no need to answer questions I didn’t feel comfortable answering, but in any case, I tried to answer everything. Afterwards, she sat down and we had a brief consultation. Kit went over my concerns and my skincare regime (which, to be frank, is non-existent). Kit encouraged me to follow a simple skincare ritual of cleansing, toning, and moisturising, morning and night, which was great advice. After the Aesop facial, she also emphasised on the delicateness of the skin on our face and how it is constantly exposed to the elements and is less tough compared to the rest of the skin on our bodies.


The Changing Room
The above two images are of the pretty changing room (do you see the green theme?) where you can leave your bag, jewellery, clothing and shoes. There is a brown-grey towel hung on a clothes hanger in a closet, for you to wrap around yourself. You may remove your clothing and your upper undergarments on, but keep your lower undergarments on, reason being that there will be a neck, shoulder, head and arm massage as well. Oh before I forget, this facial is for all genders, not just women. The massage element is also quite intertwined with the facial element of the treatment. The changing room comes equipped with a strong and sweet-smelling Aesop deodorant (spray), a bottle of Marrakech Intense eau de toilette, and violet leaf hair balm (leave-in hair conditioner) for your hair. I would recommend removing your earrings to better enjoy the Aesop facial. 


The Treatment Room
Adjacent to the changing room is the treatment room.

After I changed and could hear Kit asking if I was ready and if she could come in, I stepped into the treatment room. It has a dark ceiling and dark curtains, and in the top left corner, a somewhat-muted-yet-sort-of-blaring speaker. The classical music is quite dynamic and cinematic (reminds me of Inception, at the same time, the music seems to ebb and flow – try listening to a motion picture soundtrack that incorporates classical music (like Hans Zimmer’s Inception) then maybe you would understand what I am getting at), and Kit asked me if I was okay with the music/volume. I wasn’t sure how the experience would be like without the music, but since the music was playing and part of the treatment, I thought I would just go with the music and volume. The whole ambience of the place makes you feel like you are *in* a movie.

The treatment bed was quite adjustable, and Kit provided me with a booster pillow under my knees. There were many, many layers of towels and I felt incredibly grounded/wrapped up/cosy/snug as a bug. It was wonderful! I think this is what being a baby must feel like, all swaddled up.

For the Aesop facial, there were many steps and Aesop products used in conjunction with formulation treatments (which are essentially bespoke, concentrated formulations of Vitamin C, aloe vera, etc. which are used during the facial appointments but which are not sold in-store).

There are six facial treatments (Ascorbic Action, Skin Quench, Calm Correct, Detox Anew, Parsley Seed Intensive, Lactic Surge) but each Aesop facial is “ultra-customised” so that they are suitable for your skin type.

You can read about each individual Aesop facial treatment here: https://www.aesop.com/sg/r/facial-appointments

Kit also highlighted that my whole face was dehydrated (she also has really firm and soft hands which is excellent, like have you ever had a masseur with dry, calloused, scratchy hands and sharp finger nails? That is not great).

Aesop products Kit used includes:
1. Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil
2. Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser
3. Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste
4. Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque
5. Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner 

6. Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum
7. In Two Minds Facial Hydrator
8. Control  
9. Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum 

During the Aesop facial, besides the intermittent massaging of the shoulders, head, scalp, arms, legs and neck, there was also gentle steaming, dry brush techniques, hot towels and cotton pads and light extraction (no machines, no needles though). Note that it is not an extraction-centric facial. Nonetheless, Kit assured me that the dry brushing, cleansing, exfoliating were also effective.

What I thought was very unique about the Aesop facial treatment was the use of warm bowls. I enjoyed the sound of the products being mixed in the bowls, it reminded me of what I had read about the Aesop founder, Dennis Paphitis, in their new book, on the spot creating products in a single, impromptu moment for a client. How amazing.

So all the Aesop products used were “heated” by the bowl and were nice and warm on the face, which is very different from using the products at room temperature! Mind-blowing. I absolutely loved it!

The dry brushes (an interesting experience) used on my face were from Australia and look something like this:

My face felt very hydrated, supple, very clean and clear after the facial. I enjoyed the rhythmic facial massage and the firmness of it. PS. the Aesop facial comes in 60 minutes/75 minutes.

After the facial, Kit asked if I needed a hair dryer (since she had massaged my scalp). She also passed me a wooden comb (I asked if it was disposable, she said that they sanitise and clean the comb). Kit also mentioned that if I wanted to get my hair done post-facial, there was some discount/promotion with the hair salon in the building. There were also two small hot towels provided which were great for wiping down the face and arms, etc. post-facial.


Once the facial was done, we went through the products used and the products Kit recommended based on my skin, sort of like a prescription (see below). Kit also encouraged me not to touch my face too often because “our hands contain germs”. Indeed, after the facial, I realised I touch my face pretty often (maybe 20-30 times a day?) and found myself stopping myself from touching/scratching my face.


I felt very rested and cared for after my Aesop facial, and would recommend others to try! After the Aesop facial, my face did look clearer, brighter and less congested and not too red and angry. I also realised that my face felt less bumpy too (I’m guessing she extracted the hardened sebum from my face), and much softer.

Kit also offered me water (hot or cold) and a cup of Aesop tea.

She also passed me some samples (Pasley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner x2 and In Two Minds Facial Hydrator x2).


Price
All in all, the Aesop facial and massage treatment cost S$150. Which I suppose, is really quite worth it for a tailored, restful and caring facial experience. Aesop is famous for being meticulous and attentive to detail and the customer experience, and it was well reflected in my Aesop facial yesterday afternoon. I would definitely go again, maybe in a few months. (I wanted to treat my mother to this experience but she said no, and told me to look after my own face by going for facials every few months). Even after this facial, I’m still obsessed with all things Aesop. I hope Aesop comes up with more treatments/experiences!

Have you tried the Aesop facial (in Singapore or elsewhere)? I would love to hear your thoughts! Or if you haven’t, let me know if you intend to try and what you think of the experience. I really enjoyed my Aesop facial and hope you will too.

Nuud deodorant – does it work?

I guess you could say I’m very impressionable. I bought this environmentally friendly nuud deodorant after seeing an ad on Instagram Stories, reading online reviews and reading the website. I had very high hopes because of all of the positive reviews online and numerous claims on the website.

Disclaimer: I didn’t come across any negative reviews prior to purchasing, and perhaps that should have been a huge red flag. This is my review after using this product every single day for 24 days. I did not use any other deodorant during this period of time.

First and foremost, I bought this Nuud Starter Pack from nuudcare.com for €12.95 which works out to about SGD19.71. The starter pack tube is 15ml and supposedly lasts for around 6 weeks on average. Quite expensive for what it is I think. If I’m not mistaken, nuud deodorant is from Utrecht, Netherlands.

There are also a ton of claims on the website of what nuud deodorant can do.

I’ll summarise them below:-

⁃ Environmentally friendly

⁃ All natural product

⁃ 100% vegan and no animal testing

⁃ No aluminium, no parabens, no propellants, no artificial fragrances, no chemicals, no alcohol

⁃ No stains

⁃ No clogging, healthy sweating

⁃ Sugar cane tube and biodegradable cardboard box packaging

⁃ Sustainable production and CO2 neutral free shipping

⁃ Patented formula

⁃ Odor free application from 3-7 days with one single application, prevents odor by neutralising bacteria

⁃ Exercising, showering, being active = 100% effective

Do products we see advertised on Instagram really work? I saw lots of positive reviews about how this product worked for days with a single application and was thrilled.

Sadly I don’t really think this product is for me. I’m not sure if I will actually re-purchase when this runs out. Let me go through some of the website claims versus my experience.

No stains: Ok I think this is fairly true. Deodorants that contain aluminium leave a yellow stain on certain clothing around the pits over time. This deodorant doesn’t contain harmful aluminium. Conclusion: I’ve only used this product for a little under one month and haven’t worn lots of white long sleeved shirts lately, so it could be a premature conclusion. But so far, no stains.

No clogging, healthy sweating: This means that the nuud deodorant is NOT an anti-perspirant but a deodorant. Personally, I will agree that it is not an anti-perspirant and allows you to sweat. Whether or not that sweat is “healthy” sweat per se I think is arguable. Does it clog? The nuud deodorant does leave a sunscreen-like texture on your skin. You also have to apply it to your pits with your hands like sunscreen. I also found that it would probably be advisable to wash off the nuud deodorant before using any hair removal cream as I found that applying hair removal cream directly may result in less effective hair removal results. Conclusion: no clogging to an extent, healthy sweating to an extent.

Odor free application from 3-7 days with one single application, prevents odor by neutralising bacteria and exercising, showering, being active = 100% effective: This one I disagree with almost entirely. Conclusion: For me, it lasted at most 2 days on one occasion only, and some days it lasts less than a few hours without exercise even. Nuud recommends that you apply their deodorant to your armpits right after showering. Idk that just doesn’t sit with me, after showering I like to be free of any product on my body. My experience is that the deodorant doesn’t work effectively every day, and some days you’re probably not any worse off skipping on the deodorant (maybe even worse off by using deodorant). For me the nuud deodorant doesn’t deodorise sometimes, especially living in a humid country, resulting in a lot of self-consciousness and annoyance.

I don’t think this product deodorises bacteria well and wouldn’t recommend using this if you can’t afford it and if you live in a warm country and if you sweat a lot. Just no.

Only buy this if you live in a cold country, don’t sweat much, and can afford this expensive deodorant. That’s my personal take on this nuud deodorant in terms of deodorising. Also, the website claims the deodorant is VERY concentrated and even that a pea-sized blob of deodorant can last days. I disagree with this claim. I find that for nuud deodorant to work somewhat effectively for me in 30 degree weather, I have to use about 2 pea sized blobs per pit. I don’t think the deodorant is concentrated at all. If I use too little deodorant (i.e. one pea sized blob), it simply doesn’t work at all.

Lastly, for full disclosure, I just want to add that I left a comment asking how long the “detox period” should last and saying that it hasn’t really worked well for me so far on nuud’s Instagram account and my comment was deleted subsequently by them/their supposed bot.

Whether there are any other remotely negative comments on the product which were left on their Instagram and which have since been deleted – I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Feel free to let me know in the comments your honest views/opinions after having used nuud deodorant!

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! 🙂

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!

Metapora

Earlier this week I received a Tender Touch Milky Cleanser from Metapora for the purpose of reviewing, and so far my experience has been really great! Delivery was surprisingly fast, and customer service were quick to respond to my queries.

I had quite a lot of make up on the day my order arrived, and as usual, I was pretty sweaty from running errands. My face was feeling so grubby and I could just feel all the pollution and grime just clinging to my face and because it was so humid. The sweat and oil just clings to everything; your face, clothes, your skin… And because you feel so gross you feel kind of low and gross, and you just feel like you need a little pick me up like NOW. Like: I need to be clean again to get out of this funk.

The moment I reached home, I knew I had to open my parcel and try out the Metapora Tender Touch Milky Cleanser straight away. I’d been wanting to try this particular cleanser for a while!

Metapora
The packaging of the Metapora cleanser was so reartwarming and uplifting. The cleanser had this adorable message on it: “Tender Touch Milky Cleanser reminds me to trust myself”. As someone with a lot of self-doubt, this positive, inspiring message really resonated with me. A lot of skincare brands take the angle that people are imperfect, and they need to use skincare products to make themselves perfect. But, with Metapora, I absolutely loved that they have taken this self-love approach to branding by reminding customers to stay positive and to be confident. I feel like it’s much more ethical and true (and a lot less toxic, especially in a world where women are often judged based on their appearances). That was my first impression of Metapora as a brand.

And speaking of skincare, I do think that having a good skincare routine can definitely give you a boost of confidence when you leave the house. If you feel good, you look good. You will automatically exude that confidence.

Next, testing out the Tender Touch Milky Cleanser! First thing that hits me is the fragrance. Firstly, this cleanser is brimming with essential oils, so it would be impossible for it to not have any scent. Anyway, the great thing is that the smell is derived from all natural products. There aren’t any nasty chemicals, and the cleanser is formulated to be free of synthetic bulking agents. It’s incredibly pure and the ingredients are locally sourced in Australia. I could instantly smell cucumber the moment I applied some of the cleanser to my face. When I checked the label of the cleanser I saw that one of the ingredients was cucumber seed oil.

Metapora

To better describe the smell – the cleanser smelled like a spa experience. It’s extremely relaxing and calming. Perfect for hangovers, long work nights, or simply winding down and enjoying the weekend!

There was a lot of natural, essential oil aroma, which can probably be attributed to the amazing combination of neroli, lime essential oil, ylang ylang essential oil, cedarwood atlas essential oil, orange essential oil, and rosehip oil. These essential oils will leave you feeling refreshed and revived, and they also help to hydrate and nourish the skin.

The cleanser is extremely gentle, it isn’t heavy or cloying in any way, and true to its name, it is incredibly soft, almost like washing your face with purely water. I also noticed that there was very little foam/lather, which means it’s really natural and also kind to skin and non-drying!
If you have sensitive skin like myself, you should definitely check out this product. After using it, there wasn’t any dryness or redness. The cleanser also didn’t cause me to have any breakouts. It was super effective at removing all of my makeup, I noted that the gel-like cleanser was actually also quite hydrating! Amazing. My face felt really soft and supple and most important of all, clean after using this product to wash my face.

I felt that there wasn’t a need to apply moisturiser, but if you wish to, you can totally apply a thin layer of moisturiser to hydrate your skin even more. And if you’re in need of a good moisturiser, why not check out Metapora’s wide range of moisturisers and hydrating creams here!

To summarise, the Metapora Tender Touch Milky Cleanser:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Natural ingredients
  • 100% Organic
  • Vegan
  • Sourced in Australia
  • Removes all dirt and makeup
  • Made with plenty of amazing essential oils
  • Gives you a boost of confidence and positivity
  • Hydrating
  • Gentle and kind to skin

All in all, I would recommend the Metapora Tender Touch Milky Cleanser as it is such a perfect product!

The Metapora Tender Touch Milky Cleanser can be purchased here! PS. There’s free shipping! 🙂

And if you want to check out their wide range of inspiring skincare products like serums, eye cream, blemish cream, moisturisers, toners, cleansers, you can visit Metapora’s online store here.

To stay updated on their latest products and promotions, do give Metapora a follow on Instagram at @metapora.skincare

Metapora

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