Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Innersense Spa & Wellness Facial Review


 To keep my skin in tip top condition, I stick to a regular beauty routine and make it a point to go for facials whenever I sense that my skin condition is less than satisfactory. Towards the end of last year, I had a sudden outbreak of oil seeds on my face resulting from a moisturizer that was way too rich and creamy for my oily skin. 

Oil seeds are tough nuts to crack as they don't go away on their own, hence extraction is necessary. Fortunately, one of my friends introduced me to Innersense Spa & Wellness, a beauty salon centrally located at Far East Plaza. 




An oasis of peace and calm in the heart of bustling Orchard Road, the minimalist decor and warm ambiance at Innersense Spa & Wellness put me in a relaxed mood instantly. 

My eyes lit up when I saw skincare products by French brand Payot on display. Payot is a staple in the French beauty scene and its products are commonly found in beauty salons. The brand's commitment towards creating natural products from plant and marine extracts as well as minerals to minimize allergic reactions is commendable, and I certainly appreciate Innersense's choice of skincare brand.





Ladies, did you know that your boyfriends and husbands can also treat themselves to a pampering facial or massage treatment with Payot's Homme range at Innersense while you get your treatment done?



Before my treatment commenced, Cindy, the therapist, assessed my skin condition and gave me an overview of the proposed treatment customized for my skin type.



After a cup of warm tea and a change of attire, I was all ready to begin my treatment for the day.




These are the products that were used during the treatment.



Despite the fact that many facial treatments have steered towards the use of machines in place of manual extractions, I still believe that the human touch, especially manual extraction, is of paramount importance and more effective for oil seeds, white heads and black heads removal.  

I had expected to cringe in pain, as with most manual extractions, but I was in for a pleasant surprise. I hardly felt any pain as Cindy was extremely gentle with my skin and executed every move with utmost precision. The diamond dermabrasion machine was also used in tandem with manual extraction to expedite the unclogging process. 




 

High frequency treatments are known for their anti-bacterial properties, hence this was administered after the extraction process to eliminate any bacteria and prevent infection. My treatment ended with a soothing hydration mask from Payot and a pampering lymphatic drainage massage using Meditrina's Ageless Herbal Cream to remove toxins from the body.

 I have always believed that every facial review should come along with before and after photos. I can go on and on, waxing lyrical about how effective a treatment is, but photos are proof that it truly works. 

Here are my before and after photos. Both photos were taken with slightly different lighting but they have not been edited. 


Can you tell that most of the bumps and oil seeds disappeared after just one session? The most amazing part was, I could immediately head out for dinner right after as there was no redness or swelling at all. 

I have to thank Cindy for this as she did a terrific job of saving my skin!



 
Innersense Spa & Wellness

Address:
14 Scotts Road, Far East Plaza
#02-08 

Tel:
8322 3889

Website:
http://www.innersensespa.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Innersenseorchard















Monday, April 13, 2015

Crème Simon Micellar Water Makeup Remover Review

Crème Simon is a French skincare brand that uses over 90% natural ingredients, and natural skincare brands always get me all excited, especially if the products are free of parabens, alcohol, silicones, sulphates and colouring. 

Crème Simon was founded in 1860 by Joseph Simon, a talented young apothecary. He was searching for a remedy to relieve dry chapped hands that laundresses were so prone to, which eventually led to his discovery of a cream power packed with seven types of flowers and plants with incredible healing properties. This concoction is also known as the Activ-Fleur Complex, an essential ingredient in all Crème Simon products till today. 

Did you know that at the height of its popularity, Crème Simon was the most coveted beauty treatment in its era and sold out in Paris, New York and Asia? Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Today, Crème Simon promises a range of sheer, lightweight skincare formulas for the contemporary woman. The brand believes that our skin is defined by our environment, hence their products are duly customized to our climate. Personally, I stand by this very same belief as well, and as a matter of fact, I always change up my skincare routine whenever I'm overseas. For instance, I prefer gel moisturizers when I'm in Singapore but I'll slather on richer cream moisturizers in Australia where the climate is colder and drier. 

Similarly, I generally prefer cream-based or oil-based makeup removers in colder climates, but in Singapore, micellar water makeup removers are my favourite. 





Crème Simon's Micellar Water Makeup Remover is a water-based, no-rinse makeup remover that gently and thoroughly removes all impurities and makeup, including waterproof makeup. 

It combines the coolness of water with the cleansing properties of oil micelles to effectively trap impurities and make-up. As it is infused with rose, iris and jasmine extracts to boost toxin elimination and promote clear, luminous skin, it comes with a pleasant floral scent that lifts my mood every time I use it.

 Its lightweight consistency leaves your skin feeling clean, smooth and hydrated without any oily or sticky after-feel. You could probably get away without double cleansing if you don't apply much make-up on a daily basis. Otherwise, I would still recommend following up with a facial cleanser thereafter.



Unlike most micellar make-up removers, Crème Simon's version is able to remove eye make-up (including water-proof eyeliners) effortlessly. In fact, I use this a one-step makeup remover for both my face and eyes. 

I use my trusty MAC PowerPoint eyeliner everyday and based on my experience thus far, micellar makeup removers generally do not do a good job of removing it thoroughly. With Crème Simon's micellar water makeup remover however, all you have to do is soak a cotton pad with the product, press it down lightly on your skin and hold for a few seconds before gently swiping your makeup away. 










Most importantly, no rubbing is required at all, which makes it perfect for eye make-up removal as you wouldn't want to run the risk of getting wrinkles due to excessive rubbing.

Did you know that this makeup remover is fortified with Wheat Oligosaccharides Complex which supposedly reduces pigmentation as well? I've been grappling with pigmentation issues for eons and would love to see what this product can do in the longer term. 

While I have yet to witness its brightening effects given that I have just started using it, I would highly recommend this product if you're looking for a lightweight makeup remover that provides heavy duty action with a heavenly scent to boot.







It may have taken me a while to finally get acquainted with Crème Simon's products as I was away during their launch last year, but nonetheless, it is always better late than never. After trying their Micellar Water Makeup Remover for a couple of weeks, I am now officially hooked. 

The lovely ladies at Crème Simon subsequently surprised me with more products recently, so if you're interested, do keep your eyes peeled as I will certainly share my review with you in due course.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fashion Fridays: Blooming Bougainvillea in Singapore


A glance at the numerous photos on Instagram is all it takes for us to know that it is currently the Sakura season in Japan. The breathtaking scenery makes me wish I had planned a trip to Tokyo this year. Oh well, there's always next year. 

A few weeks ago however, one of my girlfriends alerted me to these gorgeous pink bougainvillea trees in Toa Payoh central. I saw her photos on Facebook and wow, they definitely look like the next best thing to Sakura. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to go down to take a look. 

To say that I was completely blown away by the sight would be an understatement. I basked in the glorious beauty of mother nature and wondered at the same time why there was hardly anyone around to take in the magnificent view. There were only a handful of domestic helpers enjoying a mini picnic of sorts as they marveled at the beautiful trees and proceeded to snap away on their cameras. 

Indeed, photography is the beauty of life captured and photos speak a thousand words.







As you can tell, I was completely besotted. The pictures would have been even more perfect if we had green pastures in place of the tiled flooring.





My outfit for the day was a casual eyelet top and skirt set from Japanese label Liz Lisa, which was purchased last June during my trip to Hokkaido. Before this, it was hiding in the depths of my wardrobe waiting to be discovered. My wardrobe is bursting but I always feel that I have nothing to wear and it doesn't help that I tend to forget what I have in there. Isn't this a perennial problem that most of us ladies (and some gentlemen) face? 




The Liz Lisa brand is femininity personified. Frills, floral prints, bows and lace are what you can expect in almost every collection.

 I find this preppy set very wearable as it exudes tenderness without being too girly. To up the preppy factor, I paired it with a whimsical Alice in Wonderland book clutch in the same colour palette.  You can also mix and match the top and bottom separately to create different looks for the weekend.


Top and Skirt set from Liz Lisa
Heels from Pazzion



I hope you enjoyed today's edition of Fashion Fridays! Have a great weekend ahead!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Healthy Hair with Beijing 101 (Giveaway Included!)

 To have healthy hair, you first need to have a healthy scalp. I can attest to this from experience. I used to have sensitive scalp that itches from time to time, but after regular scalp treatments over time and through the use of suitable hair care products, this has since become a thing of the past.

  I am a firm believer of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Chinese herbs for scalp care because they truly work for me, hence when Beijing 101 invited me to their workshop at their Century Square outlet to find out more about their services, I said yes. 


One common myth about hair care centres is that they are meant for the older generation, especially those with hair loss problems. Hair loss can occur at any age due to a variety of factors such as stress, changes in environment, illness, oily scalp or dandruff.  

Hair care centres like Beijing 101 can help to keep your hair and scalp in the pink of health by diagnosing and treating scalp and hair problems. As we all know, prevention is always better than cure and the first step to preventing hair loss is to take good care of your scalp.


For 41 years, Beijing 101 has been solving hair problems by using treatments based on TCM principles. As Chinese herbs are able to treat the root of your hair problems and are gentle to the scalp, only premium Chinese herbs such as Dang Gui, Ginseng and He Shou Wu are used in Beijing 101's treatments. These herbs are specially grown and harvested under highly regulated conditions. Beijing 101's products are currently sold in over 60 countries including USA, England and Japan.

All hair care consultants at Beijing 101 are trained in TCM and are able to solve hair issues that affect both men and women. Through a detailed hair and scalp analysis, the hair care consultants are able to customize hair treatments that are tailored to your needs. You can also be assured of the quality of the treatments as a resident TCM physician can be found in every Beijing 101 outlet.


 During the workshop, I was taken on a tour of the branch, where I had the opportunity to take a look at the individual consultation rooms, hair and scalp treatment areas.

Typical Consultation Room at Beijing 101

Different Hair Loss Patterns

Hair and Scalp Treatment Area

Hair Wash Area

VIP rooms

I was also treated to a complimentary scalp scan at the end of the tour. While scalp scans are not new to me, this was the first time that my scalp scan results actually turned out better than expected. 


 Look, no more clogged hair follicles! Even then, I know I can't afford to rest on my laurels and the only way to maintain a healthy scalp is to take good care of it. I was also told to go to bed earlier at night as there was some redness in my scalp.






Beijing 101's Herbal Scalp Treatment

Beijing 101's Herbal Scalp Treatment helps to soothe and eliminate itchiness in your scalp while it cleanses deep within hair follicles to unclog impurities.

If you're interested in Beijing 101's Herbal Scalp Treatment, you can give it a try at just S$38 (UP $296).



 Win a Beijing 101 voucher worth S$188!

Thanks to Beijing 101's generosity, 1 lucky reader will also stand to win a voucher worth S$188

To find out how you can be a winner:
Follow me on my Instagram account (@reginachow_sg) 



Like my Facebook page !

 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Royal Bird's Nest & 5 Facts about Bird's Nest



If diamonds are a girl's best friend, bird's nest is your skin's best friend. All you need to do is to take a look at the porcelain skin of those who swear by bird's nest and have been consuming it religiously since young. 

The boss of Royal Bird's Nest, a bird's nest specialty shop based in People's Park Centre in Chinatown, is one such example. He has been taking bird's nest everyday since he was a little boy. If you were to see him in person, you would certainly be in awe of his smooth, radiant and absolutely pore-less skin.


What are the benefits of consuming bird's nest?

Traditionally prepared as a soup, bird's nest is rich in organic nutrients such as soluble glycoprotein, amino acids and minerals. Bird's nest also contains "Cell Division Inducing Hormone" and an "Epithelial Growth Factor" that stimulate the growth and division of cells to enhance tissue growth, cellular regeneration and cell-mediated immunity in human beings.

If you consume bird's nest regularly, you can be assured of fairer, younger and more radiant skin. It also strengthens your lungs, clears phlegm, and enhances your body's immunity.

Did you know that consumption of bird's nest during pregnancy also boosts your baby's immune system? It also shortens your recovery time after giving birth. 


I personally enjoy bird's nest as a tonic from time to time as it is truly delicious in comparison to most traditional Chinese medicine concoctions. However, I could never quite figure out why there are so many varieties of bird's nest in the market. 

How do you tell if a particular type of bird's nest is superior or inferior in quality? 

Besides sharing more about Royal Bird's Nest, I will also be highlighting 5 lesser known facts about bird's nest that would give you tips on selecting and cooking bird's nest to reap its optimal health benefits. Royal Bird's Nest has also kindly extended exclusive discounts to all my lovely readers, so do read on till the end of this post to find out more.



Background of Royal Bird's Nest

Royal Bird's Nest specializes in 100% genuine bird's nest without harmful chemicals, artificial colouring or preservatives. 

No bleaching agents are used in the process of cleaning. To ensure that its bird's nest is safe for consumption, Royal Bird's Nest developed a state-of-the-art cleaning technology that uses tiny bubbles in water to release explosive energy. This energy, coupled with reactive oxygen, exterminates pollutants such as E.Coli, Fungi, Nitrate and Nitrite in bird's nest without compromising its nutritional value.

Quality is assured as Royal Bird's Nest oversees the entire value chain process in-house, beginning with harvesting, followed by cleaning, quality control and ending with packaging.

Royal Bird's Nest believes in bringing bird's nest to the masses by selling them at wholesale prices. Besides premium bird's nest packed in transparent boxes which are perfect as gifts or even for personal consumption, it also serves pocket-friendly freshly brewed bird's nest soup in four different flavours.

Too busy to brew a bowl of bird's nest at home? Now, you can pop by Royal Bird's Nest for a quick fix!


We were treated to the Rock Sugar, Ginseng and Osmanthus varieties. Priced at just S$12 a bowl, each flavour came along with its own distinctive taste to cater to varying preferences. 


Karen and I generally have a soft spot for bird's nest with rock sugar, hence that was our personal favourite at Royal Bird's Nest.


 For a more concentrated concoction, order their premium bird's nest soup, priced at S$68. If you are too busy to drop by the shop, you can make arrangements to have your bird's nest soup delivered right to your doorstep one day in advance. How very convenient!

 

Meant to be shared among 2-3 pax, the premium bird's nest soup packs a punch as every spoonful delivers generous portions of nourishing bird's nest. While it is best to consume bird's nest when it is freshly brewed, you can still enjoy this bowl of bird's nest goodness 5-6 days down the road as long as it is stored in the refrigerator.
 

As we indulged in servings after servings of delectable bird's nest soup, questions about how to go about choosing and cooking the best bird's nest for consumption began to fill our minds. 

We had a very informative Q&A session with the boss of Royal Bird's Nest, who patiently answered each and every question as candidly as he could to satisfy our curiosity. He took our breaths away with his candour as he debunked several myths about bird's nest and shared invaluable insights with us, no holds barred.

I thought it would be useful to share these nuggets of information with you, so I have compiled 5 facts about bird's nest that you probably never knew!

FACT #1: 

Blood Bird's Nest is NOT superior in quality

Blood Bird's Nest, commonly known as 血燕 sports a reddish brown hue (far left in photo below) and is known to be a delicacy that is rich in nutrition as it is said to be produced by mother birds who rebuilt the nests many times till their saliva becomes blood. Contrary to popular belief, the reddish brown colour is typically due to the accumulation of swallow faeces, which does not translate to higher nutritional value. 

(L-R) Fake Blood Bird's Nest, Cave Bird's Nest and House Bird's Nest
In many cases, swallow breeders have also resorted to dyeing the bird's nest or adding nitrites to create blood bird's nest. Due to the potential health threats posed, the sale of blood bird's nest has already been banned in China. 

FACT #2: 

There is NO difference in nutritional value between House Bird's Nest and Cave Bird's Nest 

I was told by friends who buy bird's nest frequently that cave bird's nest is superior to house bird's nest. If you were to step into a bird's nest shop, you will realize that cave bird's nest fetches a higher price as well. The main reason is because cave bird's nest are produced by wild swiftlets and are thus considered to be more valuable.

The truth of the matter is, the higher price takes into account the danger harvesters face when harvesting cave bird's nest and such bird's nest typically contain more foreign materials such as feathers and twigs. It is also more susceptible to heavy metal contamination due to external environment factors. 

Given all the potential risks and higher price point, it is probably best to stick to house bird's nest since there isn't any difference in terms of nutritional value between the two.

FACT #3: 

Beautifully Molded Bird's Nest and Bird's Nest Strips have the same nutritional value

Most of the bird's nest that we come across in shops come in a beautiful concave shape, as pictured below.


If you thought the shape is completely natural, sorry to burst your bubble. This shape is actually molded to perfection using a plastic mold.


Before they are molded, bird's nest comes in strips. If you are less concerned about presentation or if you are buying for personal consumption, bird's nest strips are just as good and are likely to be more attractively priced too.



FACT #4: 

White Bird's Nest is better than Yellow Bird's Nest

Yellow bird's nest is widely popular due to its gorgeous colour, but did you know that it belongs to an older harvest? Yellow bird's nest are usually harvested after more than 4 -6 months and the colour is usually caused by fermentation or oxidation. The cooking process is also longer as it is much harder.


Fresh bird's nest is white in colour. As bird's nest is best taken fresh, white bird's nest is more nutritious and beneficial for your body!

FACT #5: 

Never boil your bird's nest beyond a temperature of 120 Degrees Celsius as the nutritional value would be lost

Cooking bird's nest is an art in itself. The first step is to soak the bird's nest in water for 2 hours before double boiling. Double boiling is an integral step to preserve the essence and nutrients. Do take precautions to ensure that temperature does not go beyond 120 Degrees Celsius as this will cause the nutritional value of the bird's nest to be compromised.





Now you know what to look out for when you go bird's nest shopping! I hope you found these 5 facts about Bird's Nest useful.

*****


Exclusive Promo for Readers of Shopping Queen's Haven

Royal Bird's Nest has also kindly extended a 10% storewide discount on all products and S$2 off every bird's nest soup purchased to all my readers.

To be entitled to this promo, all you have to do is to quote my blog name or show them this blog post.


*****


Royal Bird's Nest

Address:

101 Upper Cross Street 
People's Park Centre
#02-66
Singapore 058357

(Nearest MRT: Chinatown)

Website:


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