Ko Skincare Specialist

I’ve been lucky enough to not have too much trouble with my skin in general, except for a period of time in my uni days when I suffered from quite bad acne due to the oral contraception pills. It took me a long time and frankly quite a lot of money to get my skin back to optimal condition so I’ve been very careful with my skincare ever since. If the products work for my skin, I’d gladly fork out for them. I’ve heard of Ko Skincare Specialist before but didn’t know that they had their own range of products, so when I was approached to give their products a try, I was curious enough to find out more about them. Here’s a little background on Ko Skincare Specialist.

The founder of Dr. Ko Skin Specialist – Dr Ko Chung Beng, spent 17 years in UK and obtained his specialist qualifications prior to his return to Malaysia in 1994. He headed the Dermatology Department of Seremban Hospital until 1997, then founded the KO Skin Specialist which has since been providing a comprehensive range of in-depth services from dermatology to cosmetic surgery.

When he first started out on his own in 1997, KO Skin Specialist was just a little clinic in Klang, located on the first floor of a shop lot. However the effectiveness of his prescriptions soon spread and today, that little clinic is now the headquarters for the 26 clinics of KO Skin Specialist centres across Malaysia. KO Skin Specialist now has their very own formulation of skincare products which are formulated by their team of professionals to combat signs of aging, acne and other skin problems. The centres also offer the most complete range of laser therapy equipment in Asia. No longer just a Malaysian brand, KO Skin Specialist has a branch in Xiamen, China, and will be opening more branches in the future! How’s that for a Malaysian success story?

There are 4 ranges of skincare under Dr. Ko Skincare Specialist: Dermax Clinicare, KO Dermaceutical, KO Series, and eKo and here’s a brief overview:

Dermax Clinicare

The Dermax Clinicare series is known for its effectiveness in preventing new acne formation. Products in this series are meticulously blended with a natural botanical extracts under strict quality control. It removes impurities; refines open pores; soothes and heals the skin for an acne-free face.

This series comprises a broad range of products, even for dry and sensitive skin. Products from the Dermax Clinicare series may be used together with products from other Dr. Ko Skincare series depending on your needs.

KO Dermaceutical

The KO Dermaceutical series speeds up recovery; protects the skin from sun exposures; combats dullness, pigmentation, dehydration whilst reversing the signs of aging. The serums, cleansers, toners, moisturizers and sunscreens complement the needs of most skin types, and is also ideal for post-treatment care. Like Dermax and the KO series, products from the KO Dermaceutical range can be used together with products from other series, depending on your skin condition.

KO Series

The KO series offers a gentle solution to reduce blemishes, which is great news for those who have sensitive or acne-prone skin as most blemish fighting products can irritate sensitive skin.


The eKo series is infused with amaranthus caudatus — one of the best sources of vegetable protein known for its antioxidant and skin revitalization properties.

Before I was given the products, I attended a consultation with a Doctor at their 10 Boulevard Branch located in Petaling Jaya. The consultation was to discuss my skin concerns as well as for the Doctor to assess my skin condition. As I’m in my early 30s, I’m realising the importance of combating sun damage in the form of pigmentations and spots (I have a couple of lentigos on my face and has always been prone to freckles), and I suffer the occasional pimple whenever I’m hormonal and stressed. So these are the products prescribed to me:

Since there are quite a numner of them, I shall divide them into 2 groups and I’ll talk about the basic 3 step cleansing and moisturizing routine first.

KO Dermaceutical Perfect Cleanser 1 120ml RM198

First of all of course, the cleanser. This cleanser is designed to cleanse, hydrate and firm the skin without stripping the surface of its natural moisture and protective lipid layer, giving your skin a fresh and radiant glow. Enriched with botanical extracts, it’s gentle enough for those with dry and traumatized skin. The cleanser is clear in appearance and doesn’t product much bubble unlike the commercial ones. And my skin feels clean and fresh but not dry after each wash. It’s even good enough to remove makeup, although I generally do a double cleanse with that.
(Contains: Cactus pear extract, trehalose, lavender essential oil, salicylic acid.)

KO Dermaceutical Perfect Radiance Toner 21 120ml RM198

I always avoid toners containing alcohol so this one is perfect for me as it’s formulated with plant extracts to sooth the skin while inhibiting melanin production (the stuff that causes pigmentation and spots). It works to transform dull, tired skin into a brighter and luminous complexion with long-term use. I love the feel of this toner as it’s absorb pretty quickly in the skin leaving my skin feeling fresh. As a bonus, it can also be used to set or refresh makeup, and it’s fine to use at anytime of the day. I think it has definitely worked its magic because I’ve received a few compliments that my skin looks more radiant now.

(Contains: Cactus pear extract, trehalose, centifolia rose extract, witch hazel extract, cucumber extract, orange flower water, raspberry fruit water, lavender essential oil.)

Ko Dermacare Aqua Hydrating Moisturizer I 60g RM280

My favourite product of all would be this moisturizer. The texture feels incredibly light yet it’s very hydrating. It also feels a bit cool on the skin, which soothes any irritation. It’s water-based, so it’s perfect for acne-prone and oily skin. Since I have combination skin, I also use another additional moisturizer which I’ll review in my later post.

I’ve been using the products for over 2 months now and I’ve noticed my skin is more radiant, although it’s near impossible to get rid of pigmentation just by using skincare products but they are not as noticeable due to the increase luminance. Thank you Dr Ko for the recommendation!

One recent selfie, even complete with Dr Ko's shade of blue!
One recent selfie, even complete with Dr Ko’s shade of blue!

You can now purchase Dr. KO Skin Specialist products online at http://www.drkoskincare.com/

To celebrate the opening of their e-store, Dr. Ko Skincare is running the following promotions from 20 July 2015 to 20 August 2015:

– 20% storewide discount
– 50% discount on Ko Series
– Free delivery for purchase of RM300.00 and above

Download the Dr. Ko Skin Specialist mobile app to receive a RM20.00 e-voucher code (you will find the e-voucher code displayed under the Promotion Tab). One (1) redemption per account and it is valid with the 20% storewide discount (excluding 50% discount items).

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shockmediastudio.app.drko&hl=en

Apple App Store – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ko-skin-specialist/id959443985?mt=8

The Dr. Ko Skin Specialist headquarters is located at:

Klinik Pakar Kulit Ko Sdn Bhd
10A-22A, Jalan Temoh,
Off Jalan Goh Hock Huat,
41400 Klang, Selangor,
T:+603 3343 3140
You can also head over to http://www.koskinspecialist.com/ to find the complete list of branches.
Telephone: 1-800-22-33-22


Medlite C6 Laser, Premier Clinic

Chinese New Year is almost here! What better time to take charge of your skin, right? No thanks to my crazy schedule for the past few months, my skin has really been suffering the consequences. Occasional pimple here and there, dull complexion, ezcema patches, you name it. I got them. Which is why I decided to take up the offer for an aesthetic consultation at Premier Clinic to see what they can do for me.

Premier clinic offers a wide range of aesthetic services and has 2 branches; one in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and another in Bangsar. I went to the one at TTDI and my first impression was that the staff and nurses there are welcoming and friendly, making the visit a pleasant one. Dr Aarthi Maria was my consultant and I sat down to chat with her about my various skin concerns. There were a few things I could do based on my needs, but in the end I chose to do something that has completely no down time, seeing I have few gigs in a row following the visit.

The top concern for me was my complexion and pigmentation issues and Dr Aarthi Maria offered me 2 options: Fraxel (has down time, much more painful) and Medlite C6 Laser. Both offers similar things in different intensity. Obviously I went with the Medlite C6 Laser; The latest laser technology for skin whitening, pigmentation and dark scar removal. At the same time, it will also help to reduce wrinkles, open pores and even up the complexion. Although as compared to one time treatment of Fraxel, Medlite C6 laser will require few more sessions to achieve the desired results.

I have pretty sensitive skin so I’m always worried about having treatment done. I was assured that this laser is safe for all skin types unlike the older technology such as IPL which can cause burns and redness in some skin types.

Not the most flattering picture of me, that’s for sure.


Liposonix: The Follow Up

Several months ago, I’ve mentioned that I went for a Liposonix treatment with Dr Alice Michael. To rehash your memory, it’s a targeted fat reduction treatment designed for those who has that stubborn inch of fat to lose. It’s perfect for those who are already living a pretty healthy lifestyle but just want to drop a dress size. Read about how it works, as well as my treatment experience here.

Well, I’ve also mentioned once or twice that I’ve lost a bit of weight lately. I haven’t exactly changed my diet, but I have been quite busy the last few months with my shows, and as a result I didn’t have much time to think about food. My meals were mostly Paleo, but sometimes subjected to the event/function I was working at. I’ll admit to skipping a meal or two because I was too busy (not intentionally, I promise) and sometimes have no appetite for the same reason. But I definitely have not been starving myself.

Exercise wise, my shows are often quite physical because I’m always dancing and jumping around the stage. Apart from that I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle outside of work (though mostly because I needed to rest between gigs). From time to time when I’m motivated, I’d do some squats/planking while watching shows on my iPad (but that never last more than 5 minutes, haha).

Anyway, I’ve gone for a follow up review last month at Ageless Medispa. It was a quick one as they just needed to weigh and measure me. While I know that the result would be quite positive, it was still a shock to realise that I have lost almost 5kg in the last 3 months. This is overall weight loss, of course, because I’ve gone a full dress size smaller, even though my treatment area was just my abdomen.

The measurements are a bit confusing to read. Basically upper ab: From 86cm to 70cm, lower ab: From 89cm to 82cm.

If they had measured my hips they would probably be shocked to find out I’ve lost 2 inches there too. This is not a good thing however, because I now require cushion whenever I sit. Better do more squats to build the gluts!

So here’s a before/after photo:

Plump vs Tighter abs

I’ve tried to crop it as close as possible, but I guess you can tell that my abdomen is now almost flat. Also, I can no longer wear that pair of white shorts, they just fall right off! All that’s left for me to do is to keep up the exercise to tighten my muscles. I am more confident when wearing cropped tops and it’s been a joy doing an overhaul of my wardrobe. Best still, there were some dresses that no longer fit 3 months ago, and now I can wear them again. *Happy Dance*

I’d say that Liposonix definitely has been helpful for my weight loss journey. My upper abdomen especially. My body fat percentage has also gone down to 21% (pretty good for female non athletes) and my muscle mass is 35.9% (amazing considering I don’t exercise…much). Thank you Solta Medical and Dr Alice Michael for my transformation!

For enquiries and appointment with Dr Alice Michael, please contact:

Ageless Medispa
257 Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Baru
59100 Kuala Lumpur

For more information about Liposonix, click on http://solta.valeantonline.com/brands/liposonix

Vanity Post: Benefit Agent Zero Shine Workshop

Wow, it sure has been some crazy weeks! I do apologise for the lack of recipe posts here, as I barely has time to cook for myself for the past month and have been sticking to simple frittata and soups for my meals. Here’s a fairly backdated post for Benefit, as I attended a small workshop at their Midvalley branch back in February.

I’ve always been quite fond of Benefit line of cosmetics because of their cute packaging and fun names. I remember going on a Benefit shopping spree several years ago after being successfully coaxed into a makeover one day at Myer Melbourne. Hence it was just the right time for me to be reintroduced to them again with the launch of Agent Zero Shine (more on that later).

Some of my favourite products

I arrived at the workshop rather late due to the delay of my flight from Penang (that reminds me I need to blog about my Penang work trip soon) so the MHB girls were already there and had their makeup removed. I probably didn’t get the memo otherwise I wouldn’t have put on my makeup prior to the workshop. So there I was frantically removing my makeup as the girls put on their face mask, sitting back and chit-chatting away. The mask was soaked with Benefit Prep Moisturizer Toning Lotion to soothe our skin and prep our skin for the makeup.

Benefit Skincare

We then put on the moisturizer followed by the eye cream. I really like the light texture of their skincare products, perhaps time to try some of them out once my current one finish.

James demonstrating with the POREfessional

A primer has become rather essential in our makeup routine not only to increase the staying power of the foundation, but also to prevent environment irritant clogging our pores. Here Benefit’s star product the POREfessional is perfect for the job. Once again the texture is fairly light and non-sticky.

I don’t normally use liquid foundation (my eternal combination is BB Cream and Mineral Powder Foundation for minimal coverage) but find their “Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!” quite pleasant. A little bit goes a long way and the coverage is quite good too.

The Benetint

We then moved on to my favourite product of theirs, the Benetint. It’s supposed to be the highest selling product in Korea and the Korean girls mainly use it on the lips. The famous lip and cheek stain actually comes in several shades but Benetint is their signature with a sweet rosey colour. Just do a couple of swipes across the cheeks and blend, and dot it on your lips. Fabulous!

We also tried on a couple of other things including their “Gimme Brow” Brow Volumising Fibre Gel, which gives our eyebrows natural definition and is pretty easy to use. For eyeshadow I used a small brown palette to achieve a smoky eye look. But what I was really impressed with is their “They’re real! Mascara”. You might be able to guess from the name for their dramatic results. No need to curl our lashes, just a few brushes and voila! Here’s a pic of my done-up eye.

My lashes are usually quite pathetic, here they look nice and long!
No need for falsies.

And of course, the last step involves their brand new POREfessional Agent Zero Shine.  It comes in a tube with a twist off brush. The shine-control powder instantly minimizes shine and helps smooth the look of pores. Just twist off the brush, tap the powder onto the lid and dip the brush in, and sweep on your face for a matte complexion.

Agent Zero Shine

I love it! As we all got to take one home, I have been carrying this product everywhere and it’s especially handy when I am doing outdoor gigs.

Here’s a pic of my finished look.

And of course, we need a group pic with the girls.


Thank you Benefit for a fun workshop!

The Mid Valley branch offers brow bar service too! They provide one-stop brow shop for their signature brow shaping, body & facial waxing everything you can find from head to toe. Check out their new store in Mid Valley. To find out more, feel free to visit their website as follows:

MIVVA Beauty Box July Edition

Before I get to the review of July’s MIVVA Beauty Box (terribly delayed, I know), I just need to make a huge annoucement. I know that I generally don’t advertise the music stuff here but this is too exciting not to share. My first collaboration with 2 International Trance Producers (produced by Mehrad of Iranian origin, based in Singapore, remixed by Sebastian Weikum, based in Poland) is about to be released in a double-compilation CD in the UK (and online too so you too can get a copy). We are going International! Here’s a preview track for you:

Please do head over to YouTube to like the video, leave a comment and even share it on your social media sites if you have the time. It will definitely help me with my career. Thank you so much in advance! Enjoy the music.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ End Commercial Break ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok now, back to the beauty box. This is my fourth MIVVA Box and I’ve always wondered how they can keep the price so low, yet able to pack in so many products. It’s hard to believe the subscription is merely RM38 when you unbox and see this:

Apted themed: My Pamper Kit
Apted themed: My Pamper Kit

As usual, I’ll start with my favourite product in the box:

UNICO Eye Lip Enriched Cream
UNICO Eye Lip Enriched Cream RM98 for 15ml

I’ve never heard of this brand before. Google tells me it’s a local manufacturer though they do use the best natural ingredients and biotechnology in their formulations. This Eye and Lip cream is specially designed to block cell degeneration by scavenging the free radicals and epidermis mediators that could damage the skin tissue fibres. Designed to enhance the biological function of the lymphatic system, thus strengthening the cell metabolism. This helps to eliminate eye bags, dark eye circles, bulging, puffiness and fine lines, making the facial skin around the eyes firmer and brighter. Personally, I like the texture of the cream as it’s quite light and gets absorbed well. I haven’t used it long enough to get rid of my dark circles but eye area sure looks more hydrated. It also reduces my addiction to lip balm somewhat.

Re-gen Oil RM29.90 for 75ml
Re-gen Oil RM29.90 for 75ml

I’ve been a long-term user of Bio Oil and Re-gen Oil contains very similar list of ingredients: PCL Liquid, Lavender/Calendula/Chamomile/Rosemary Oils. To me, the benefits are the same: providing moisture and improving blemished skin and scars. I am naturally klutzy so needless to mention, I have a lot of scars on my body so these products are very much welcomed.

Beautymate Puryfying & Hydrating Nano Toner
Beautymate Puryfying & Hydrating Nano Toner

Beautymate is a pretty reputable brand and this toner is formulated to brighten up skin tone and increase the moisture balance. Nothing can sway me away from SKII FTE though, so this will be given away soon.

Smang Danahan Bonyeon Intensive Moisturizing Skin Toner and Emulsion RM190.90 each for 160ml
Somang Danahan Bonyeon Intensive Moisturizing Skin Toner and Emulsion RM139.90 each for 160ml

Another brand I’ve never heard of. Obviously Korean, it’s a herbal formula containing extract from chrysanthemum Indicum Flower, Cyperus Rotundus Root, Red Ginseng, Hoelen alba, angelica gagas, white peony roots, chuanxiong and gardenia seeds which improve blood circulation and enhances skin’s natural moisturizing function. The scent is a little strong, but the formula is silky and quite hydrating. I will keep this for my next trip (in couple of weeks’ time).

Elianto Ardour Shadow
Elianto Ardour Shadow RM8

Not a brand I’d go for, but I do like the colour (I use quite a bit of blue as I have a lot of dresses in various shades of blue). This has a matte finish though, so a little bit goes a long way.

Cute little Pumice Stone
Cute little Pumice Stone

Compact enough for travel, this is useful to scrub off the dead skin and calluses on my feet. Sorry if the visual isn’t too pretty (well unless you have a foot fetish….. please do keep it to yourself if that’s the case yeah).

So that’s all for July’s MIVVA Beauty Box. Definitely good value for money! Want to get yours? Head over to www.MIVVA.com to find out how!

More info:
Facebook: fb.com/MIVVAcom
Twitter: twitter.com/MIVVAcom

Vanity Trove July Edition with Kose

This month’s VanityTrove is all about KOSÉ. Specifically the Infinity range of product. As the name suggest, giving your skin a forever young appearance by improving skin texture, colour and elasticity.

Infinite Youth is Possible.
Infinite Youth is Possible.

Personally, I have used the Sekkisei range and found the product a little too harsh now for my sensitive skin. So it was interesting to see how the Infinity products would fare. So let’s take a look quickly, shall we? I will start from the left.

Deep Protection UV – with SPF50+, this is a powerful guard for the skin. I like the texture of the emulsion as it’s totally non greasy and absorbs really well while keeping my skin translucent, unlike a lot of the sunscreen out there.

Pure Advance Clear Up Wash – I have tried a lot of cleanser be it gel, milk, cream, foaming, oil and found this one to be quite luscious with fine bubbles (meringue-like, as they say). Effective enough to remove excess make up and non-drying.

Pure Advance Oil Cleansing Gel – When it comes to makeup remover. I prefer to use an oil-based cleanser and this does the job well. It has an interesting gel formula that only turns into oil in contact with the skin. Follow up with the clear up wash and there you have it: lovely, smooth and clean face.

Pure Advance Essence Lotion II – I like the soft scent of this serum and it sure feels really hydrating when applied. It’s definitely not as harsh as the Sekkisei product as I don’t detect that signature alcohol scent.

Pure Advance Serum II – Once again spotting the similar floral scent, this is quite a lot richer yet non-greasy. Containing natural essences to rejuvenate, hydrate and plump up tired skin. This would be a good product for my stressful schedule. That reminds me I should be taking a break soon before I go insane. Heh.

Pure Advance Eye Jelly – As you know, the skin around our eye area requires extra delicate care and the eye jelly gives an instant boost to the under eye area with intensive moisture. The negative point is that it doesn’t seem to absorb well and gives off a somewhat oily appearance.

So will this range of products bring me Infinite Youth? I surely hope so though of course I have to use them for extended period of time to tell. It’s probably not going to make me a convert yet (from SKII) but a good range to consider as back up. Remember: beauty comes from within so eating well and practising healthier lifestyle in general will slow down the aging process.



Introducing ALL NEW Customizable VanityTrove!

From July onwards, VanityTrove will select products best suited for you based on your Beauty Profile and Preferences on the VanityTrove website. You are also able to pick and choose your beauty samples to go into your personalised trove, which will then be sent to you within 7 working days.To ensure you get the products tailored to your need, all you need to do is fill up you beauty profile here.

Very straight forward questions :)
Very straight forward questions 🙂

Wishlist is another useful tool that will help you get the product you’ve been eyeing on. Remember the Like the brand and the product  too as this will help to unlock more samples for you to pick!

My wish list
My wish list: it’s quite long!

VanityTrove is not just a beauty page, it’s also a community for beauty junkies like me. It’s fun to write reviews for the products and read what others think about the same product too.

Love the product? Don't love it? Have your say on the product page.
Love the product? Don’t love it? Have your say on the product page.

And that’s not all! VanityTrove will be introducing new phase of beauty discovery, and you’ll be able to find out the latest happenings of the people you follow on VanityTrove (their beauty regime, likes and wish lists etc(. Think Facebook, but exclusively for beauty.

More info at VanityTrove website.Personalised VanityTrove subscription is RM50 per month.

Vanity Trove + Avène Workshop

It’s time for me to reveal what I’ve received in this month’s Vanity Trove! I can tell you that I was very impressed with the amount of products they’ve managed to packed in the box. Let’s take a look:

Full of goodies!
Full of goodies!

I reckon this might be their best month yet! The theme is “Obsessive Beauty” and it has indeed fed my obsession. I love how they covered hair, skincare and make up at once. I shall divide them into groups.

Hair care:

L'Oréal Professional Liss Ultime Shampoo and Masque
L’Oréal Professional Liss Ultime Shampoo and Masque

I’m actually using L’Oréal Professional Vitamino Color at the moment and I do love their products. The Liss Ultime promises to repair and smooth thick rebellious hair. Infused with Oil Incell technology (a combination of Incell and nourishing olive and argan oils), the shampoo will soften and nourish the hair while the masque protects the hair against humidity. Beautiful scent too.

Skin Care:

Decleor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream, Cocolab Aromatic Body Oil, Payot Speciale 5 Purifying gel
Decleor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream, Cocolab Aromatic Body Oil, Payot Speciale 5 Purifying gel

My favourite product from this series would be the Decleor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream. It’s deeply moisturizing but non-greasy. My skin absorbs it well and feels supple after applying this. I will probably get the full size next time. The Cocolab Aromatic Body Oil contains Virgin coconut oil with a fruity blend of essential oils. The coconut scent isn’t very apparent (not a bad thing) and it’s perfect for my dry skin especially the problem area. The Payot Purifying gel (2 samples) is included as bonus for filing out my beauty profile on their website. It’s targeted for skin imperfections, containing Melaleuca essential oil and Salicyclic acid, both are known for acne fighting benefits.

Of note I must mention that I have unfortunately lost the Soap Artisan Natural Lip Balm, probably in Penang somewhere. Such a shame though as I’ve only used it a couple of times and it’s incredibly rich and moisturising. My dry lips are still moaning the loss.

Make up:

Celeb Lash and Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover
Celeb Lash and Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover

If you look closely, you can see pretty purple strands on these false lashes, my favourite colour. Not for daily use but definitely great for stage performances. They are my favourite criss-cross style too. The “stems” are quite soft so should be very comfortable to wear. Can’t wait to try it out. A good make up remover is essential for a girl like me and I’ve tried many varieties: the best formula for me would be oil based remover. This eye makeup remover is not as effective as I’d like (had to use more than one cotton pad per eye) so I shall stick to my current one.

Avène x Vanity Trove Beauty Workshop @ Cafe Barbera
Very few things can lure me out of my Saturday afternoon stupor as I usually work (perform) til late on a Friday night. But last weekend Vanity Trove held a special member event in partnership with Eau Thermale Avène. I’m a fan of the Thermal Spring Water spray and was curious to check out their other products. It turned out to be quite an educational afternoon, with decent coffee at Cafe Barbera (the place smells so much like Melbourne.. must be the lingering coffee aroma)
Specialist for sensitive skin.
Specialist for sensitive skin.

We were told not to wear make up at the event (well, not quite, but we were required to wash our face anyway during the hands-on session), which suited me (extra 15 minutes of sleep, lol).

In short, all Avène products are formulated with Thermal Spring Water from this little French village called Avène (sorry to channel Captain Obvious). Apparently, some 200+ years ago, the villagers discovered the magic of their spring water after observing a horse with a skin condition magically healed after playing in the spring water (sounds rather surreal and almost fairytale-like), from there a water research centre and even a hydrotherapy centre was built. The spring water was found to be beneficial especially to people with sensitive and allergic skin (hello, I’m raising my hand here!). Daily use of their products will not only soothe the skin, also improve conditions like ezcema.

During the hands-on session, we were instructed to first wash our face, soothe with Thermal spring water spray, tone, mask, moisturize and lastly apply sunscreen. We all have different skin types and my best combination of products are as follow:

Avène Micellar Lotion (Cleanser and Remover) – a light formula but effective make up remover however I didn’t have eye make up on to test it.

Avène Gentle Gel Cleanser – Non-foaming formula, non-drying too

Avène Thermal Spring Water – the star of the show, it’s wonderfully soothing.

Avène Gentle Toner – Noticing a lot of gentle stuff here?

Avène Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream – although the texture is light, it’s absorbed quickly and provide enough hydration to my skin.

Avène “Very High Protection” Emulsion – armed with SPF 50+, it’s slightly sticky after application but not annoyingly so.

Besides trying out the products, we also got to take home some of them in a special edition of Vanity Trove, tailored to our skin types (according to our beauty profiles), what a great idea!

Including a full-sized Thermal Spring Water Spray
Including a full-sized Thermal Spring Water Spray
Thank you Avene and Vanity Trove for organising the event! I’m officially a fan of the Thermal Spring Water.
Avène Facebook Page:

Want to receive your own Vanity Trove and enjoy special events as a member? To order the July Edition of Vanity Trove, sign up and subscribe at www.VanityTrove.com/my for monthly subscription fee of RM50 or choose the 3, 6, 12 months subscription options.

For more information, visit

HiShop Beauty Ambassador Pack – May (featuring Jelly Pong Pong)

Ahhhh my hands are so itching to cook but I have been down with a bout of ulcer attack (mouth, not stomach) precipitated by my hectic schedule and sleep deprivation (by the way, have you ever had more than 10 ulcers at once? I counted about 15 and pretty sure there are some further down where I couldn’t see). I’m still in the middle of it and currently find swallowing a chore so I have resorted to a liquid diet. Imagine having to go through 3 days of singing with that amount of pain! Good thing is, I will be able to lose those stubborn flabs in the next few days. Hah! There’s always a silver lining, eh? I’m also busy preparing my menu for Plateculture, hopefully my supper club will be ready by the weekend. You’ll be the first to know, of course.

One month flew by so quickly, it feels like I’ve only blogged about the HiShop Beauty Ambassador welcome pack very recently. The new box arrived just a week ago with 3 Jelly Pong Pong products which I found very adorable. Jelly Pong Pong (rather weird but cute name) is founded by Susan Chyi (fellow Malaysian) who has been in the beauty industry for many years. The products are all made in Italy and it’s also good know that JPP is against animal testing.

May Surprise
May Surprise

I like how it’s all makeup products this time, as you know a girl can never have too many. I do not use any lipgloss or lipsticks generally, but if I leave the house without a lip balm, I’ll have a panic attack. That’s how much I’m addicted to them. So the Jelly Pong Pong Lip Cushion Lip Balm (Crush) is perfect for dry lips. It contains evening primrose oil, beeswax & aloe vera and comes with the most delicious sweet rose, berry flavor scent.

Jelly Pong Pong Lip Cushion looks like something we can actually eat.
Jelly Pong Pong Lip Cushion looks like something we can actually eat.

Despite the dark jam like colour, it’s not highly pigmented and the finishing is more like a sheer gloss. It’s also non-sticky. My favourite out of 3 products.

Doesn't the Jelly Pong Pong Brazillian Sun Blusher look so gorgeous?
Doesn’t the Jelly Pong Pong Brazillian Sun Blusher look so gorgeous?

Many years ago when the Oz girls are putting on bronzer for the sun-kissed look, Malaysian girls (Chinese, anyway) are still in favour of the pale oriental shade. I remember my friend trying to purchase a bronzer at our local duty free and the shop assistant just look confused. Now the sun-kissed look is more fashionable than usual, and I can cheat the holiday glow with this beauty. Jelly Pong Pong Brazilian Sun Blusher is the product that surprised me. When I opened the box, I was a little puzzled to see the purple flower, but turns out it’s connected to the puff, how cute! This product is a proper ‘brown’ (none of those orangey, rusty tone) and it is sheer enough with a little shimmer that also acts as highlight. Quite natural looking.

 Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair) JELLY PONG PONG Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15
Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation Powder SPF 15 (Fair)

I have been using Mineral Foundation Powder for years (M.A.C being my only choice so far) and it’s nice to receive similar product to try on. The Jelly Pong Pong Mineral Foundation gives a matte finish while leaving the skin silky to touch. My only problem is this is just a tiny bit light for my skin, but since I have actually gotten a little bit tan after the 2 Penang trips, this should be just ok when my tan fades. Just like my M.A.C foundation, this comes with SPF 15 which is an important factor I consider when I get my makeup products.

Thank you, HiShop.my for the lovely ‘presents’ that actually targets my own need. Looking forward to the next box of surprises!

By the way, as a reader, you also get to enjoy some discounts, so here are all the discount codes you can use.
MILKADEAL (8% off)
Disocunt Code: MAD0613
Multiple transactions allowed.
WHITE.MY (8% off)
Discount Code: WHITE0613
Valid till: 30 June 2013
Multiple transactions allowed.
HISHOP: RM20 voucher
Discount Code: HS0613
Valid till: 30 June 2013
Multiple transaction allowed. Redeemable on purchases worth RM 100 and above only*

Do subscribe to HiShop’s newsletter for exclusive offers: http://www.hishop.my/subscribe

For more offers and promotions, check out these websites below:Official Website
Facebook: HiShop Malaysia
Twitter: @hishopmy

Hopefully I’ll have a recipe to share in my next post! Pulling out all the stops to get myself better, wish me luck. 🙂

Shawn Cutler Salon Review

It has been a rather hectic few days for me and I’m excited to announced that I’ve come 1st Runner up for the Simplot Food Blogger Cook Off Challenge, I’ll do a little write up on the competition soon but I gotta say that I can’t seem to shake off this 1st Runner Up thing yet since 2007. Be it singing competition, beauty pageant, baking or cooking competition, always the number 2! Too much of a coincidence? Hehe. Anyway, I put up more food posts (few reviews and recipes to come), I shall write about my experience at the Shawn Cutler Salon as they have very kindly sponsored a makeover for us.

Shawn Cutler has been in the business for many years and has now opened the 4th branch just a stone throw away from their first salon on Jalan Telawi 2. The Cutler is located at the new Telawi square just opposite Bangsar Village II. I have initially made the appointment for the older branch but the staff there insisted for us to try out their brand new salon.

New Telawi Square where The Cutler is located
New Telawi Square where The Cutler is located

The new branch is distinctively different from the other as it’s blessed with abundance of sunlight, albeit smaller in size.

All glass wall gives it a clean look.
All glass wall gives it a clean look and you can see that it’s buzzing with activities

As per usual, I went into the salon with an open mind and left the pros to do what they want. I basically told them I need more volume in my hair (I’ve mentioned before that hair loss is my main concern for my hair) and perhaps a subtle pop of colour.

Before: Long, slightly curled at the bottom from the last makeover, but very thin.
Before: Long, slightly curled at the bottom from the last makeover, but very thin.

I have very fine hair and I’m starting to find that longer hair styles no longer suits me, so I told them to show no mercy and just cut as much as they want. As a result, I think I lost about 4inches of length.

A peep at the washing station
A peep at the washing station

I was told that they will have to make more alterations with their basin as some customers have complained about the angle. I just found it a little ‘short’ for tall people like me. Small issue though.

Majirel by Loreal colour
Majirel by Loreal colour, my hue was the red one in the middle.

I like red in my hair and that’s what I chose. Love to have a whole head of red hair but considering how lazy I am I will not be able to keep up with the touch-ups etc (and I hate the regrowth look), so highlights it will have to be. The hair dye took about 40 minutes or so and then it was time for treatment. Loreal Hair Spa was used on my hair, the main aim is to lock in more moisture for that healthy look.

Kung Fu Hustle lady!
Kung Fu Hustle lady!

Put up this photo and I thought it was hilarious. Here you can also see how vibrant the red is. Although the layers are actually all buried until the top layer.

Back view
Back view

Love it! On hindsight I should have asked them to put the colour at the very bottom layer too as this is less noticeable than I hoped. My hair now looks thicker too.


The curls are obviously temporary and it was achieved just by those hair rolls. Maybe I should invest in them. Seems like the least damaging option for big volume.

As red colour fades quickly, shampoo for coloured hair is important, and I bought a bottle from them.
As red colour fades quickly, shampoo for coloured hair is important, and I bought a bottle of Vitamino Colour Shampoo (middle pink series) from them.

I must say that the service is really cheerful and friendly in Shawn Cutler and every hair stylist truly shows their passion into creating a suitable for each customer. My stylist Emily in particular was good-humoured and best thing we had something very much in common.

With Emily.
With Emily.

You see, early into our session, I guessed correctly that my hair stylist is a Sarawakian (She’s from Kuching). Our conversation went something like this:
Emily: bla bla bla bla if this happens, then “Ngai Ti” lor
Me: Hey! You must be from Sarawak?
Emily: Eh how did you guess?
Me: Only Sarawakian would use “Ngai Ti”, haha!

From Urban Dictionary:
A very popular Sarawakian Chinese slang (A region in the Borneo) to express “what the hell”, “OMG”, “gosh” or something else similar.

Once you hear someone else called out “ngaiti” you could directly conclude that they are the Sarawak people.

Just for your reference, my hair makeover would have costed this much:
Cut RM75
Colour (Majirel) RM250
Treatment (Loreal Hair Spa) RM180
Total: RM505.00

Thank you Shawn Cutler for the makeover!

After the long 3-hour session (clever me didn’t have time for lunch before the appointment and was starvin’ marvin’), it was only apt to have a cheap but good meal just next door to Telawi Square:

Banana Leaf Rice!
Banana Leaf Rice!

No need for fancy side dishes, just the rice flooded with curry gravy and veges! Yummo.

The Cutler
Shop 3, Telawi Square, No.39841, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-22881008

Shawn Cutler’s Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shawn-Cutler/128088503930988

More info at http://www.shawncutler.com.my

Awesome Wholesome Vanity Trove (May)

First of all, I want to say a big thank you to Vanity Trove for their wonderful idea to collaborate with bloggers. It sure has added some element of excitement to my life knowing that I’ll get to try something new every month (third one, so far). You can check my my reviews on the March and April Edition.

I can tell you this month’s box is the best yet. The theme is “Awesome Wholesome”, and the focus is inner peace vs outer beauty. Well I’m all for skin care and beautiful glowing skin. A quick look at my daily regime you’ll know I spend a lot of time caring for my face and body, rather than piling on cosmetics on my face (except for events and performances, that I can’t really avoid). So this is definitely right up my alley.

Vanity Trove May Edition
Vanity Trove May Edition

Before I opened the box, I detected a pleasant scent telling me that I will like this very much. Initial thoughts: The products have bulked up as compared to the previous boxes. I guess I’ll start with my favourite products, which would be the Pure South Organic Body Lotion with Fresh Goat’s Milk, followed closely by the Tilley Goat Milk Soap.

Tilley Goat Milk Soap (RM12) and Pure South Organic Body Lotion (RM59 for 255ml)
Tilley Goat Milk Soap (RM12) and Pure South Organic Body Lotion (RM59 for 255ml)

My preferences for products has always leaned towards the creamy side. Think shea butter, cocoa butter, milk and honey. Which is why this duo of products ticked all the right boxes. The body lotion contains plant extracts and pure essential oils, perfect for dry skin (in my case, “aircond” skin). The rose oil and rosella extracts made the lotion smell amazing while boosting skin cell renewal.

I normally opt for shower gel for quicker shower, but occasionally using a bar soap can be a treat to my skin. This soap is wonderfully creamy and great for sensitive skin. Keywords: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter. Love it! I think I might actually stick to this product for the long term.

Heaven on Earth Essential Oil - Lavender (RM50 - 5ml)
Heaven on Earth Essential Oil – Lavender (RM50 for 5ml)

Of all the essential oils available on the market, my favourite has to be lavender. Lavender is extremely versatile and the Heaven on Earth preparation can be used directly on the skin, inhaled (the vapor of course not the oil itself, best in a hot bath). As a chronic poor sleeper, my favourite way to use this is to apply a few drop on my pillow to help me sleep better. Apart from its well known relaxing/calming effect, it can also soothe insect bites.

EAU Thermale Avene Thermal Spring Water (RM19 for 50ml)
Eau Thermale Avène Thermal Spring Water (RM19 for 50ml)

I’m actually using the Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Emulsion (SPF 50+) as my sunscreen. The KL weather is brutal and this Thermal Spring Water is great for the cooling effect on skin especially during super hot days. Besides, it’s great for sunburn skin (although best to avoid sunburn in the first place), setting make up, soothing all sorts of skin irriation etc. This 50ml bottle is perfect for my handbag and will stay there from now on.

Schwarzkopf Essensity Natural Shine Serum (RM56 for 50ml)
Schwarzkopf Essensity Natural Shine Serum (RM56 for 50ml)

I can never pronounce Schwarzkopf properly but I do like their hair products. Fizzy hair is never a problem for me but it doesn’t hurt to add extra shine to my hair with organic essences of sesame and olive oils from the Essensity Natural Shine Serum. The citrus scent is rather refreshing too.

Great job for putting together such a fabulous box this month, Vanity Trove! Looking forward to June already. 🙂

Vanity Trove is also going to have a special booth at the Market, Jaya One this Saturday and there will be many exciting activities for us all. I guess I will see you there!

To order the June Edition of Vanity Trove, sign up and subscribe at www.VanityTrove.com/my for monthly subscription fee of RM50 or choose the 3, 6, 12 months subscription options.

For more information, visit