Dec 31, 2015

Summary of 2015 Beauty Trend

We've come to the end of year 2015. This year, we are embracing more daring and experimental look. Let's look back on this year's trend in beauty and let me know which trend you've tried, which one you hate and which trend you're going to bring to year 2016...

#1 - Kylie Jenner Lips

Kylie Jenner broke the lipstick industry by pulling off brown-nude lip colour. Her entire lip package also includes dramatic outline and pouty lips.

#2 - Glitter roots

This is not something which you can wear on a daily basis, but still fun to try out. Watch the tutorial <<here>>

#3 - Inside-out ombre hair

Vertical ombre is so 2014. This year the trend is to dye a darker colour on the inside of the hair and a lighter colour on the outside, or vice versa.

#4 - Vampire facelift

Kim K broke the internet when she posted up her bloody facelift. Also called the selphyl treatment, where patients are injected with their own blood on targeted areas on the face. This procedure removes wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin naturally.

#5 - Dyed armpit hair 

This trend received a lot criticism, where females deliberately dye their armpit hair with eye-catching colours such as turquoise, pink, purple and orange.

#6 - Glass nail art

This is a trend that is easy to follow - glass nail art. Popularized by Korean artist, this nail art involves very little steps and easy to achieve. Check out the tutorial <<here>>.

#7 - Thick, dark & bushy eyebrow

Thanks to Cara Delevingne, thick, dark and bushy eyebrows are back in trend. We've lost this trend since Brooke Shields in the early '90s. Now, it is back!

#8 - Stick on eyeliner-cum-eyelash-cum-eyeshadow

Fendi Spring Summer '15 introduced us a new beauty tool that combines eyeliner, eyeshadow and eyelashes all in one. The good thing is, it is simple, time saving, cost saving and easy to put on. The bad thing is, it doesn't look comfortable.

#9 - The underline

We have not pay much attention to our underline, except underlining the waterline. This year, major underline is in trend where creative underlines are seen.

#10 - 3D Sweater Nail Art

This trend is popularized by Japanese nail art artists. A 3D stitching pattern is drawn onto the nails before painting it with soft pastel colour. This creates a wintern sweater pattern that perfect for autumn/winter. 

Dec 29, 2015

A Quirky Way To Start 2016: Carlo Rino 2016 Catalogue

Start the year with a bang with these pretty colourful accessories to complement your everyday look, and let your fashion fantasy begins…

Delicate Watercolours

In this season, our highlight is the watercolour series. This range features bags of various shapes and sizes made from synthetic material with microfiber trim. Needless to say, these bags are light-weight and are perfect for the busy working lady who needs everything in her bag. The pretty bags are wonderful for the working ladies who don’t want to be weighed down by heavy luggage. The range also includes purses made with the same synthetic material but trimmed with leather. 

Patching Things Up

Are you looking for something that brings out the fun personality in you? This patchwork range made with satin leather trim may just be the range for you. This pretty tote comes with a shoulder strap and it’s just perfect for those days when you need another pair of hands for other things. It is decorated with a city skyline patchwork or even whimsical clouds. It is finished off with a pretty Carlo Rino charm. Make this your bag your personality bag!

Beam Me Up!

Put something unidentified on your bag! This quirky tote plastered on with an adorable UFO is a favourite this season. It is not just a tote, it also comes with a fancy shoulder strap and it is perfect for the fashion forward ladies who need extra space in their bags for their daily necessities. It’s also wonderful for all occasions, making it the one bag that can make you stand out from the crowds.

Elegant Classics

If it’s something classic you’re looking for, this amazing microfiber and leather trimmed bag is the one for you this season. This short strap classic shape tote is adorned with a pretty Carlo Rino flower charm and despite its size this lightweight bag is wonderfully spacious and has space for almost everything! Also in the range, two full leather purses in bold red and mysterious black. The range is definitely something worth checking out.

Funky Embroidery

We love surprises and this structured bag is filled with it. First the hidden stitching of geometric pattern… It’s amazing for those who prefer something subtle as it can only be seen up close. Second, we are absolutely in love with the safety feature of this bag as it comes with an extra buckle inside to secure the inner zip where you can stash important documents for safekeeping. Comes together with a detachable shoulder strap for alternate styling according to your mood of the day.

Vibrant Shapes

Something simple doesn’t mean it’s something boring. These colourful shoulder slings are the perfect embodiment of quirky and playful everyday bags that is well-suited for every occasion. It’s got a glossy finish that gives it the extra detail. It’s spacious and light, and we think it’s also great for travelling and shopping!

Comfort With Style

This season’s sandals are pretty colourful! Made with you in mind, the design focuses on giving our fashionistas a fine balance of aesthetics and comfort. Walking long distance should not be a problem with these sandals. It comes with elastic straps for easy slip-on wearability. Be assured that it’s the perfect pair to bring along for your travelling days!

These Boots Are Made Amazing

It’s not the year end collection without some boots. This season, boots are high enough to give you height and made perfect to wear with skinny jeans anytime, anywhere and for all occasions. We love that wearing boots can automatically push up the power a few notches up. It’s all about how you stand up against your challenges.

For The Bold And Beautiful Ladies

Made especially for who wish to strike a difference, this range is perfect for those special occasions. Made with a shining finish, your man will be looking sharp when these shoes are paired with ankle pants. Take a step in these shoes today and feel the difference.

Well-Heeled Lady

A well-dressed lady wearing a pair of ill-fitting shoes or mismatched shoes is a terrible fashion faux pas. Carlo Rino understands this and in every season, we design comfortable, stylish and elegant shoes to go with your daily looks. In this season, we have something for work and also for play. It’s a passion that only a woman can understand.


Dec 27, 2015

Top 5 Worst Beauty Products 2015

Here you go! The worst beauty products I've tried in this year. Let's go through the reasons:

1. Nivea Cleansing Wipes
I tried 3 types of Nivea wipes, and I find it drying my skin. It's OK if you're going to use it as a makeup remover and wash it off later. However, you can't rely on it to do the cleansing job itself. I assume it is the fragrance used in the wipes that making my face dry.

2. Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
This mascara performs really good in the first week. After that it clumps the lashes so bad, I had to use lash comb to separate the clumps. I can forgive it if it is a drug store mascara. I just can't accept the fact that I paid so much for it, and it gives me the same problem I have with drugstore mascara. You get what I mean? This is a mascara not worth spending your money on.

3. Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Scrub
The sugar melts before it exfoliates my skin. I could have use the sugar in my kitchen and add some vanilla essence for the same effect. I agree that BBW makes great scented products. But if you want a product for its performance, don't go for BBW. It's worth getting the candles, mist, shower gel and other scented products. Just not the body scrub.

4. L'Oreal Hydrafresh Night Mask in Jelly
I think this product is OK if you're not sleeping in airconditioned room. Whenever I turn on the AC, the night mask didn't provide enough moisture. I wake up with dry skin around my mouth and nose. I expect the night mask to give a better moisture protection compared to ordinary moisturizer, but it didn't. Plus, it has a strong scent which I don't like.

5. L'Oreal Revitalift Day Cream
Another of L'Oreal product. This product leaves tiny white bumps on my face every time I put it on. To be fair, my mom loves it. I guess this product suits a more matured skin. It does minimized the appearance of fine lines on my mom's face. Maybe I will revisit this product after a few years. For now, it is not a product that I would appreciate.

What are the worst beauty products you've tried this year? Let me know why. 

Dec 24, 2015

Top 5 Best Beauty Products 2015

This year I hardly blog about beauty product reviews due to lack of time. But lacking of time didn't stop me from trying out beauty products. Although I didn't blog them, I still preach about fantastic products to people around me.

Here are the Top 5 best products I've tried this year (not in particular order):

1. Urban Decay Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup
This was recommended by my friend, Shikin. I love everything she recommended, due to same skin type (my skin is combination, with oily on T-zone and dry on my cheek). I love the Naked foundation because of its weightless texture. Apply a little, and it gives you a natural coverage. Apply a few layers, it builds up to a heavier coverage. It's a multi-function foundation that able to achieve whatever look you are looking for. This is currently my staple foundation that I wear on daily basis.

2. Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
Apparently, the mascara protects your lashes to make it stronger and healthier. I can't approve on that because there is nothing to measure that kind of performance on my lashes. I love it because of its natural finishing. It coats every strand of lash without clumping my lashes. It gives volume and length without putting weight on the lashes. Oh did I mention, it is long lasting and it doesn't create that panda-eye effect after washing.

3. Dermalogica Essential Cleansing Solution
I had a bad issue on peeling skin on my face and my dermatologist recommended me this. Initially, I hated it due to the weird texture. Imagine putting a thick moisturizer on your face as a cleanser. I didn't get used to it. Slowly, I see how good it is. It keeps my skin's pH balanced and hydrated. Also, it removes makeup perfectly, so I don't have to add another step to remove my makeup.

4. SK-II Stempower Cream
I love this as my night cream. Whenever I have a bad skin, apply this overnight and my skin rejuvenated the next day. It is a rich cream that target aging factors. This might not suit young skin. But if you are looking for an effective anti-aging such as firming, sagging and fine lines, this is the product to go for.

5. Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate
I swear by this. I think I recommended this to everyone I know. I've blogged about this and you can see the difference where I applied it on one side of my face for a week. Check out this post. You will be convinced.

Next, I will be showing you the TOP 5 WORST products I've tried in 2015. Some products can be really disappointed. So stay tuned!

Dec 20, 2015

16 To-Do's in 2016

The year 2015 literally torn me apart. I spent half of my nights crying throughout this year. Slowly, I developed stress. And when I thought I was going to wind down 2015, I slipped into depression. Now I am officially a psycho since I'm under medication and depression is a recognized psychological disorder. I didn't know where went wrong, and when I looked back, all the events are beyond my control.

Instead of crafting a new year resolution, I want to have a to-do list for this coming new year. It is not something I would strictly follow. It's just a guide for me to live a more fulfilling life next year. The list is very general, so I do invite you to join me if you would like to do so...

#1 - Resist temptation

Instead of having to do something, I want to "undo" it.  We are faced with temptations everyday. Some good and some bad. We wouldn't know the outcome until you put your foot into it. To save myself from regret, I want to resist the bad temptation. Hopefully I can slowly recognize which is the good and which is the bad ones.

#2 - Meeting an old friend

I surround myself with people that are available conveniently. Although I always think of my old friends, I never given a thought of wanting to meet up with them physically. I give myself the excuse to stay in because I have spent most of my time at work. I became very stingy with my energy and only rely on my phone to communicate.

#3 - Discover a new hobby

What happen to hobbies? Do you still have one? Or is it being reduced to scrolling Facebook, Instagram and watching YouTube videos? Don't worry if your answer is yes, I am guilty of the same pleasure. I want a conventional hobby that I can enjoy during my weekends and looking forward to it on weekdays.

#4 - Go to a new place

I want to get back on track on my traveling. After I revived my travel blog, I realized I haven't been anywhere. London, Dublin, Osaka and Paris are on my bucket list.

#5 - Get to know someone new

I hardly make friends now. Maybe it is a sign of getting old. Maybe it is a sign of too much betrayal from people I trusted. I need to step out of my comfort zone and get to know one or two new people and eventually get them into my life.

#6 - Achieve something significant at work

Sometimes at work, I'm not sure if I'm doing something right or wrong. Most of the time I'm the lone ranger because I don't have any partner-in-crime at work. I'm not sure what I want to achieve, but I'm sure I want to achieve something... Anything. A pay raise, a promotion, an award...

#7 - Indulge in something I truly want

I always have a "want" list. In fact, I have too many of it. A new car, a new phone, a new laptop, a new bag, etc. I'm going to give myself a good evaluation on what I really deserve and then indulge in it.

#8 - Going somewhere alone

I'm always surrounded by people. I've never travel alone. The only "alone" activities I would do is having short meal or going for a quick shopping trip.

#9 - Plant a tree

I don't have the means to keep a pet, so I decide to plant a tree. It is the same concept of having a pet - to promote life and giving yourself a responsibility to take care of a living thing. And in return, it gives you a feeling of comfort and satisfaction.

#10 - Learn something new

When I was younger, I used to choose a topic-of-the-year and study the topic. I've done space settlement, geisha, art deco, tea art, and world war 2. After I started to work, I stopped completely. I need to continue this to get myself moving forward and discover something in depth. Not only I know about the topic better, I also learn to document things and doing research in more details. What topic should I explore next?

#11 - Declutter

I've been clinging to material stuff for too long. Whatever I see in the store, if I love it, I will get it. This is part of my parent's parenting that gone wrong. I remember having a difficult time choosing which toy dinosaur I want - between T-rex and the bird. When my mom came to me, she put everything she can find on the shelf and paid for it. I went back with 20 different types of dinosaur with a Jurrasic Park to fit them all in. When my dad brought us to snooker centre and taught us how to play, my brother showed a little interest. The next month, he had a snooker table at home!

#12 - To have a house gathering

Isn't it nice to get some friends over for pizza and board games? This is something I enjoy doing but haven't do so in a long time.

#13 - Finish reading a book

I have reduced to reading online articles and magazines. The bite-size reading materials are easy to digest compared to a physical book. Do advise me any interesting book you find recently.

#14 - Do something for my parents

I don't always help my parents in any way. I don't provide for the family. I don't buy anything for my parents. This is because my parents are way more resourceful than I am. It is time I do something for them, but I'm not too sure what I can do for them.

#15 - Initiating an Idea Book

There are 101 things that I want to do, but often neglected due to no time, lack of resources, no money and other similar excuses. If I can't materialized the ideas I have, it is best reduced it into writing. At least, when I'm retired, I have abundance of things to get me occupied.

#16 - Leaving office on time

Sounds like a myth. I hardly go home before 7pm, but next year, it's going to change. I need to create more quality time for myself. 

Dec 18, 2015

Drinking Lemon Water: You Are Doing It Wrong!

You've probably heard it from somewhere that adding few slices of lemon into your water is healthy. While so many of us doing it to reap the goodness from this simple recipe, many of us are doing it wrongly.

Adding slices of lemon into your water is one of the gross things you can do to your body. Living in Malaysia, we don't have lemon trees growing behind our yard. The lemons we purchase from supermarket are imported from far far away (mostly from Australia or New Zealand). In order to keep the fruit fresh and look good for a long time, lemons are rubbed with a layer of wax. A simple washing will not remove the wax away.

If you add the lemon into your water and consume it, you are taking in the wax into your body. In a long run, it may clog your system. So, what should you do?

There are two simple ways - cut the lemon into wedges and squeeze the lemon juice into your water. Or simply cut away the skin of the lemon before putting it into your water.

Now you know...

But, do you know the nutritional value of drinking lemon water?
  • It balances the pH level in our body
  • It flushes out toxins from your body
  • Promotes good blood circulation and good skin (for reason above)
  • It increases the metabolism level, indirectly helping you to lose weight
  • Boost your immune system
  • Contains antioxidant properties which keeps you looking young
  • Dissolves uric acid which causes inflammation in your joints. 
  • Replenish body salt in moderate level

Dec 16, 2015

Baby Steps To A Healthier Life

At one point of our lives, we would take a vow to live a healthier life. Then we will rush into subscribing to gym membership and only visit the gym once a month. Or purchase a yoga mat, leaving it to collect dust in the storeroom. We often make empty promises to bodies (often emptying our pockets with those unfulfilled promises) to live better, eat better, workout, etc. Have you wonder why your plans aren't working?

The answer is simple. You are forcing yourself to change your lifestyle to incorporate the "healthy activities" into it. Exercise is not for everyone, same goes to being a vegetarian is not going to work for everyone. Never force yourself to do something which you are not capable of. Instead, change a few habits to live a better life.

#1 - Sleep
The best gift you can give to your body is plenty of sleep. When you are sleeping, your body isn't resting completely. Only 50% of your body is fully resting while the other 50% of your body is replenishing new cells. Have a regular sleep pattern so that your body knows the exact timing it should start manufacturing new cells for you. After your body is adapted to the sleeping pattern, slowly get rid of the alarm clock.

#2 - Give yourself time off from fan/AC
We are so pampered with the comfort provided by fan and aircond that we slowly accepting it as a must-have in your life. A simple way is to switch off your fan or AC at home a few hours before heading to shower, while doing housework or whenever you wake up. Give your body a good sweat to get rid of your body toxins. Some toxins are removed from your body through defecation and urination, and some need to be sweat out. If you are afraid of sweating, the toxins are going to stay in your body forever. It may have adverse effect to your body in a long run.

#3 - Stop drinking
Not just alcohol. Stop drinking sweet drinks entirely! When ordering drinks, your drinks menu should only consist of plain water, milk and tea. Know your tea well so you can treat it as medication. For example, if you take a lot of fatty food, tie guan yin and oolong tea are the best to reduce the cholesterols, and if you need caffeine substitute, go for green tea or black tea. I am still learning this as I am still clinging tightly on my daily morning coffee.

#4 - Increase walking
We are so blessed with new technologies, we don't walk anymore. Everyone fight for the nearest parking spot to the entrance to save that few steps of walking. Do not train yourself to that bad habit. Force yourself to walk by parking your car at the furthest spot, place your stuff in different rooms, or just opt for walking if your target destination is within 1km. 1km isn't that far if you are used to walking.

#5 - Eat the same portion everyday
Calculate the energy you need to sustain your daily activities and then plan your diet based on the calories. Your food intake should measure the same portion everyday (more specifically, the same amount of calories). Always treat your organs as your workers, the more you eat, the more they have to work. If you maintain the same portion of food intake everyday, your organs work more consistently in a regular mode.

It is not necessary to adapt to all the five habits, you are free to choose to follow whichever suits you. Those are what I did for a healthier change. Always remember, being uncomfortable is good. Some activities can be uncomfortable to your own consciousness, but it can be good to your body. If you manage to get used to some uncomfortable points as part of your daily habit, then you can take a bigger step to a healthier life journey - whether you want to take up yoga class, bring yourself to the gym, embracing vegetarian diet, etc. I hope the sharing is useful. I wish you good health always. 

Dec 9, 2015

Freeport A' Famosa Outlet Haul, Deals Spotted & Shopping Tips

I guessed most of you already know about the opening of Freeport A' Famosa Outlet (FAO) recently. I was one of the first one that got so excited about it. It's so near my house!

Some info about FAO:

  • FAO is a joint venture between Freeport (investor, asset manager and operator of portfolio of European outlet centres) and Langkah Realiti Sdn. Bhd.
  • The current project is the first phase of FAO, which house over 100 retail units
  • It is located right next to A' Famosa Resort and accessible from the main road
  • The retail concept mimics Dutch heritage design based on the local heritage value. The project is designed by leading Australian architect, LGM Architecture

Anyway, let me get straight to the reason you're reading this - what are the shops available and what are the good deals that I spotted there. 

1. Nike

Very good deals at Nike. Nike Free for RM179 (original price RM300+). Dri-fit long pants RM99 (original price RM160+). T-shirt RM39 for older styles. 

2. Forever 21

The prices are about 20% cheaper than the retail price, plus But 2 Free 1 deal. Shopping tips, purchase clothes with the same price so you will get the free item of higher value. If you have a mixture of other products, sort out the items according to the price range and check out separately. 

3. Levi's

What's worth getting here is the jeans. The prices are marked down about 20%. On top of that you will get additional 40% off from the tag.

4. Triumph

Triumph have different deals based on their different products. Some come with "buy 3 free 1" bargain and some have fixed price of 2 for RM169. On top of that, the additional storewide special includes 5 for extra 10% off, and so on.

6. Clarks

As expected, the prices at Clarks are cheaper than retail. The sales assistant mention that they are about 10-30% cheaper than retail. Additional sales include buy 2 for 20% off, buy 3 for 30% off and buy 5 for 50% off.

7. Rip Curl

Rip Curl swimwear is approximately RM130+ for a pair, excluding the store 30% sale. Female clothing option is limited. However, if you dig into the accessories part, you might find some gem, like a wallet for RM39.

8. Carlo Rino

All Carlo Rino deals are different. The store provide up to 70% discount. For the newer season, it is up to 30% discount.

9. Moodboard

Moodboard store carries different brand under their roof. The main brands are Amori, Joy & Peace, Santa Barbara, Jaguar Shoes, Fiorucci & Everbest. These are famous brands in European countries and other parts of Asia. You can get a very good quality shoe at the price of RM100+.

10. Sacoor Brother

Sacoor Brother is a very prestige brand in Portugal & UK. They offer up to 75% on winter clothing. The store items change according to the four seasons.

11. Puma

Prices of Puma products are between 10-50% cheaper than retail. And take additional 10-20% off when you check out, depending on how many item you purchase.

12. 57th Street by Zang Toi

Surprise! There's a Zang Toi Cafe in Melaka. There's no good deal here, but there are plenty of good cakes here.

13. Crocs

The photo is pretty much self-explanatory. Not sure until when the deal ends, however their stock run out really fast. Do grab the opportunity if you are a Crocs fan.

14. Luv Lux

Luv Lux carries plenty of upscaled designer brands under their wings. Some of the brands include Moschino, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Tods, Miu Miu, Sergio Rossi and many more. Spotted Moschino bag for only RM700+.

15. Esprit
16. Cotton On
17. Young Hearts
18. Cosas United
19. Narquirkee
20. G2000
21. Curiosity
22. Only
23. Vero Moda
24. Sketchers
25. Florsheim
26. Samsonite
27. Sembonia
28. Elle
29. Folli Follie
30. Stay Fit
31. Poney
32. Aviva
33. Nature Republic
34. Daphne
35. Melinda Looi
36. Camel Active
37. Geox
38. Aivoria
39. Wonder Rococo by Candy Flowers
40. IL Fragrance

... and many more stores are opening soon.

As of now, only 50% of the stores are fully operating. Some stores are still in renovation and some are still empty.

In my honest opinion, I really like the FAO because it has variety of brands. And the brands are those brands that I usually buy from such as Forever 21, Cotton On, Nike and Puma. There is a mixture of upscaled branded items and average daily brand that we purchase from. The combo of brands make it a pleasant experience to shop because you have different options.

I had the chance to participate in the 'Style on Shoestring' contest during the launch, whereby I was given RM350 to shop for an outfit for a casual occasion. This is my before outlook..

After 2 hours of shopping at FAO, this is my new look...

Top: Cotton On (RM44.90). 3 layered necklace + leather pants + quilt studded mini bag: Forever 21 (Total RM198). Loafer shoes: Moodboard Everbest brand (RM149).

It is easy to look for what you want at FAO when you shop for a full outfit. Unfortunately, the crowd make the process more complicated. It takes time to queue at the changing room and cashier counter. And some shops limit the walk-in customers, so you have to queue outside until some shoppers come out. Restaurant and food outlet is very limited at the moment. However, you can find good coffee there! Dr. Cafe has the best coffee (among all the main coffee joints). I foresee myself coming here every weekend for morning coffee.

If you are planning for a shopping trip there, here are some shopping tips:
  1. In case of crowded carpark, go into A' Famosa Resort and park near the Cowboy Town. There is a small access at the side of the carpark to the main road. You can walk along the main road to reach FAO. It's about 1 minute walk, which is not as bad as getting stuck in the carpark with no space to park your car.
  2. Currently, there are some shops still setting up their cashier system. It's best to bring along cash with you. ATM may run out of cash due to the massive crowd.
  3. Wear flat shoes! There will be a lot of walking. And also bring some water, just in case.
  4. Some stores allow you to keep your haul at the counter before check out. You can scout the entire place first before settle for the best. If you decided to let go of your haul, do have the courtesy to tell the cashier. 
  5. The FAO is a single storey construction. It is pram and wheelchair friendly.

Have you been to FAO? What do you think of it?