The Blogger

Hey people!

I'm Tracy Wong, a beauty and lifestyle public blogger who has been active in the blogosphere for the past 10 years. I aim to inspire readers to live life actively with a sense of adventure.

I love to write and I cover multiple topics in this little space of mine. You can click on my blogging portfolio below to find out more. I am also active on Instagram so you can keep in touch by following me on Instagram handle @gilmangirl.

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Perks for my Readers

Gaston Luga

Sudio Sweden

Key in promo code '15GILMANGIRL' to get 15% discount off your earphones. Read my features on Sudio Vasa Bla, Sudio Tre, Sudio Niva, Sudio Tolv, Sudio Fem, Sudio Ett, Sudio Elva, Sudio Femtio and Sudio Nio

Maison 21G

Key in promo code 'M21Gtracy15' to get 15% discount off all products on Maison 21G website.

Key in promo code 'M21WSgilmangirl21' to get 21% discount off any workshops on Maison 21G website.

Read my scent customisation experience at Maison 21G perfume boutique here.

Pine & Co

Use promo code 'gilmangirlxpine&co' for 10% discount off the lowest-price purchase from Pine & Co website. Promo code is limited to 1 use per customer. Read my feature of Pine & Co shower products here.


Use voucher code 'TSxDaintyDiva-Rewards' to receive a 10% discount on all purchases.

A Better Florist

Key in promo code 'GILMANGIRL' to get 20% discount from your flower purchase. More details here.

Current & Past Collaborations

Sample Store

Expressions Wellness - Best Beauty Reviewer 2016




Top 10 finalist in the Best Health & Wellness Blog Category of Singapore Blog Awards 2015

Featured in 'Top 40 Lifestyle Bloggers You Should Follow in 2020' article written by Best in Singapore.

Featured in '39 Beauty Bloggers in Singapore to Follow Based on your Skin Type' article written by BumbleScoop.

Particularly interested in the below collaborations:

- Hair Services
- Eyebrow trimming

- Dance & fitness classes
- Gadgets
- Beauty & make-up products
- Clothes, accessories, shoes & bags
- Food tasting
- Movie and drama previews
- Theatre, dance and music performances
- Media events
- Photoshoot
- Staycations & Travel

Please do not hesitate to contact me at liyeewong@gmail.com for any business opportunities, sponsorships, advertorials and/or collaborations.

BasicallyJo: Pureforet Centella Cica Skincare for Sensitive Skin

Hey people!

Do you have sensitive skin? I do.

In fact, my skin had a long history of problems. I started with severe acne during my schooling days, lowering my attractiveness and self-confidence at my most eligible age. Thereafter, I went through a 1-year acne treatment programme which cured my acne, but gave me photo-sensitive skin as a side effect. Sometimes, I would have pinkish cheeks when I am under the sun. Wearing sunscreen is also a must for me.

While I was less oily with age, my skin became dry with time. Getting good complexion is like winning the lottery. Needless to say, I invest a lot in my skincare because my top beauty goal is to be a bare-faced beauty in the long term.

Jolene, the founder of BasicallyJo, had her history of skin woes too. She had acne and contact dermatitis, which was far worse than me suffering from oily, acne-prone skin alone. However, what was common between us was that we did not let our poor skin get us down. Instead, we used our past experience to inspire others to take care of their skin.

I started this blog at least 10 years ago to review and recommend skincare products that could help ladies combat acne. Jolene's experience spurred her to launch BasicallyJo, a vegan-friendly, chemical-free and natural skincare brand which embraces clean beauty. When I was approached for a feature, I couldn't say no. The brand history was so aligned to my own experience and beauty goals.

BasicallyJo currently stocks two collections on their online store - the T'else Kombucha Teatox (for Aging, Dull and Uneven Skin Tone) and the Centella Cica (for Sensitive, Acne and Eczema Skin).

I have seen other influencers raving about the T'else Kombucha Teatox Essence, and the product appears frequently on my Facebook feed too. I am definitely curious about this collection. Nonetheless, I think that the Centella Cica collection is more suitable for my skin type, so I am thrilled for the opportunity to try and review a product from this collection.

There is a wider selection of products in the Centella Cica collection compared to the T'else Kombucha Teatox collection. The products are also formulated in Korea.

In this collection, they have nearly everything you would need for a regular skincare routine, and their current bestseller is the Centella Cica Balm. The only other item that the brand needs to introduce to complete the collection is a Centella Cica Cleanser. I am so looking forward to the day that the brand launches a sensitive skin-friendly cleanser.

For this review, I was sent the Pureforet Centella Multi Cream ($52.90) to try.

While the Centella Cica Lotion is a lightweight moisturizer, the Centella Multi Cream is slightly richer in texture, and is meant for those with extremely dry skin.

Infused with Centella Asiatica, Tea Tree Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, White Willow Bark Extract and Shea Butter, this Multi Cream provides your skin with an intense boost of hydration, while reducing inflammation and minimizing sebum production. The antioxidant-rich product also combats fine lines and wrinkles too.

As our skin requires more moisture overnight instead of in the day, it is recommended to use this product as a night cream or a sleeping mask. However, if your skin is very dry and you need that extra boost of moisture in the day as well, there is no stopping you from using this cream in the morning or even before makeup. I personally felt that this cream was not as thick or rich as it appeared to be, so I was happy to use it in the day and at night. It felt very comfortable on my face and did not leave behind a sticky, greasy or heavy sensation after application. The scent was SO AROMATIC that it smelled like a luxurious boutique store. Most importantly, I seemed to have tremendously less breakouts and barely any instances of flushed cheeks after using this product. DAMN - I love this product already.

BasicallyJo ships their products worldwide. For delivery within Singapore, they offer free delivery for orders above S$50, while they charge a $3.50 standard delivery fee for orders below S$50.

If you are keen to try their skin-loving products, you can order your products directly from BasicallyJo website. Support local by following them on their Facebook and Instagram too!

Cheers to good skin days ahead!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with BasicallyJo. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Plan Your Meals & Groceries with Weekly Meal Planner by Sweet Bunny Lobang

Hey people!

For those who cook, do you plan your daily meals? Do you also write a grocery list before you shop at the supermart?

Now that I am living with my parents until my flat is ready, I am fortunate that I do not have to do meal planning or grocery shopping at the moment. My Mom is highly particular about the meals that my family eats, so she makes the decisions on what to cook for the household everyday. Sometimes, I wonder how she manages to remember what dishes to prepare and what ingredients she would require each time.

Nonetheless, it's a matter of time that my husband and I would be moving to our own home, and preparing our daily meals. For someone who is tremendously organised, thinks in a structured way (I do think in terms of lists) and has a habit of planning ahead, having a weekly planner to plan my daily meals and groceries would come in handy.

I like the above Weekly Meal Planner ($1 for a Printable) that fellow blogger friend, Eveclair from Sweet Bunny Lobang has designed. Not only was it pretty, it was also functional and had neat categories for me to fill. There was even a 'Budget' and 'Actual Amount Spent' section if you intend to use the planner for tracking of expenses.

Best of all, you can edit the Meal Planner directly on your phone using
Adobe Acrobat PDF Viewer. When you are visting the supermart, you could just bring along your phone instead of your grocery list on that loose piece of paper. Convenient, isn't it? :P

If you are more tactile, this Weekly Meal Planner functions as a printable too. There's no stopping you from printing a copy and writing on it. You can even stick the planner to your fridge with a magnet if that helps! However, you may need to print multiple copies, which isn't great for the environment in the long run. What I would recommend instead is to laminate a copy which can be reused multiple times. Simply use an erasable marker to write on it, and erase them again for the next use. Easy does it!

The above is an example of how I would use Eveclair's Weekly Meal Planner. When it's time for me to use it properly, I will definitely rely on the soft copy to do my meal planning and grocery shopping.

If you like what you see and are keen to try using a Meal Planner, support Eveclair by purchasing her printable at only $1 at Sweet Bunny Lobang. :)

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Sweet Bunny Lobang. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Celebrate Special Occasions with Dig In Cakes

Hey people!

It has been a series of celebrations these few months.

Besides Mother's Day in May and Father's Day in June, my family members' birthdays are typically in May and July. Whenever it's a celebration, we get to eat cake. And I'm usually the one sourcing for cakes and ordering on behalf of everyone.

With safe distancing measures affecting physical businesses, I'm glad that cake shops are taking their business online. After all, I prefer ordering a cake online and having it delivered right to my doorstep. It's hassle-free and more convenient!

I was introduced to Dig In Cakes recently, an online cake delivery shop with a wide selection of cakes. Just look at their menu below, where they have helpfully classified the cakes in different categories and seasons. They even have add-ons like flowers and balloons too.

Dig In Cakes offer free same day delivery for orders above $100. For orders below $100, a standard delivery fee of $10 applies. They also deliver at the following 3-hour timeslots:

i) 9am to 12pm
ii) 12pm to 3pm
iii) 3pm to 6pm
iv) 6pm to 9pm

For express delivery within 1 hour between 10am to 6pm, Dig In Cakes will deliver for you at a fee of $20. For deliveries past 9pm, especially for those birthday surprises near midnight, you can count on Dig In Cakes to deliver your cake at a fee of $30.

When Dig In Cakes approached me for a collaboration, it was nearing Father's Day. As my in-laws would typically celebrate Father's Day by ordering a few slices of cake, I thought that it would be timely for them to try a cake from Dig In Cakes.

I requested for the cake to arrive between 3pm to 6pm at my in-laws' place over the weekend. To be honest, I was expecting the delivery to be late since they might have overwhelming orders during special occasions. Thankfully, they proved me wrong by being right on time. By 5pm, there was a knock at the door, and a deliveryman was standing outside, holding the cake carefully. It wasn't anyone's birthday, so I thought it was cute and funny that they included a 'Happy Birthday' topper and a candle too.

We picked a 6 inch Dark Chocolate Banana Mousse Dome from the 'Chocolate Cakes' category, and looked how beautiful and glossy it was! The strawberries and chocolate decors gave a bright pop of colour to the cake too.

It was honestly a tough call to pick a cake because many of the flavours looked super enticing to me, but I remembered that I was ordering for elderly in-laws who do not have exotic tastes. Chocolate cakes are typically a safe option for everyone since they are hard to go wrong, and I felt that the Dome cake looked the most unique among the chocolate cakes.

The dark chocolate glaze coated the cake so elegantly that I could not bear to cut into it and ruin its beauty. Thus, I gave my father-in-law the honour of cutting the cake instead.

Within the cake was a delicate combination of chocolate mousse and fresh bananas. The chocolate mousse was rich in taste and complemented the bananas perfectly. There was something about the bananas that tasted really memorable, quite unlike the bananas that I usually eat at home. While I am not a fan of white chocolate, I thought that the white chocolate pearls surrounding the cake was tasty and added a nice crunch to the cake. The only slight disappointment I had was with the strawberries. While they made pretty embellishments on the cake, they were a tad soggy actually so I only ate half a piece.

Overall, we loved this Dome cake, and are certainly up to try other cakes from Dig In Cakes next time. I am eyeing their exotic Tea Cakes and Fruit Cakes for my future orders. What about you?

If you are looking for a cake to celebrate special occasions, order yours directly from Dig In Cakes website. Don't forget to follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions too!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Dig In Cakes. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

VIP Crowd: Deep Cleansing Facial

Hey people!

My friend, Ivia, who's also a content creator, set up her own beauty salon with her sister this year. I was one of the lucky few who was invited to try her salon's beauty services sometime in April! 

Known as VIP Crowd, Ivia's philosophy is that every customer is treated like a VIP with utmost attention and care. She even does house calls at an additional fee of $20 to cater to customers who prefer getting their beauty treatments within the comforts of their home. Talk about personalised treatment and service!

VIP Crowd is located at The Grandplus, within walking distance from Kallang MRT Station. Specifically, the salon is set up in a yoga studio, Jogalove, which I have separately visited and reviewed here.

The founders of Jogalove and VIP Crowd are friends, and Ivia basically rented one of the rooms within the yoga studio for her beauty salon. In terms of beauty services, she offers 1) Deep Cleansing Facials, 2) Japanese non-invasive Face Lift, 3) Eyelash lift + Tint, 4) Eyelash Extensions and 5) Eyebrow Embroidery. I tried Deep Cleansing Facial, which I will be reviewing here.

Deep Cleansing Facial

In April, I visited Ivia at VIP Crowd to experience the 1.5 hour Deep Cleansing Facial. I like to get a facial once a month so this visit coincided with my monthly facial fix.

Ivia started the session by cleansing my skin before softening my pores with essence. Thereafter, she worked on extracting my whiteheads and blackheads. It was surprisingly painless, and I was not wincing or yelping as much as I thought I would. So nice of her to trim my eyebrows on her own initiative - I did not have to be thick-skinned to ask her about it.

She also did a Guasha for me to lift my skin and promote blood circulation. It was so relaxing that I wished it would last longer. My jaw area and cheeks definitely looked more lifted and less puffy with this Guasha experience.

I also enjoyed Ivia's facial and shoulder massages because the amount of pressure and strength that she used on me was JUST RIGHT!

When Ivia exerts pressure on my sore muscles, it was damn shiok and not overwhelmingly painful. I could also feel my stiff neck and shoulders becoming less tense as the massage went on.

The last part of the facial was my favourite - masking. Ivia used an Ajeuri Modeling Mask on me, a peeling mask from Korea which contains 8 flower extracts. 

I wore the mask for a good 15 to 20 minutes, relishing the lovely floral fragrance and enjoying the cooling sensation on my face. It felt like the mask was sealing all the moisture and nutrients into my skin, while eradicating any form of redness that I have experienced during the extraction.

The result was a clean, bright, well hydrated and lifted skin! I just needed to dab on some lip tint and I was good to go!

Now that facials are allowed during Phase 3 Heightened Alert, it would be good to make your facial booking after 13 June! Ivia would be concentrating on house calls during this period so you could engage her to enjoy a beauty service at your house.

Interested to engage Ivia's beauty services?

Book your appointment by sending Ivia a Whatsapp text at
8851 7112
. Do note that appointments are strictly by Whatsapp text only - no phone calls will be entertained!

Alternatively, you can Direct Message (DM) VIP Crowd on Instagram or Facebook to enquire or book your appointments.

First time customers can enjoy the Deep Cleansing Facial with Guasha at $58 if they quote my name '
Tracy'. Do include an additional $20 fee for house calls too.

Treat yourself to a pampering beauty service with Ivia, and enjoy your sessions!

VIP Crowd
163 Geylang Road,#02-05
The Grandplus, Singapore 389240

Disclaimer: This blog post is done in collaboration with VIP Crowd. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Staycation @ Hotel NuVe Heritage during Phase 2 Heightened Alert

Hey people!

It seemed that my reviews for budget-friendly boutique hotels were very well-received by my readers, so guess what? It's time for another staycation review!

In late May, the Hubs booked us a staycation at Hotel NuVe Heritage, a boutique hotel along Purvis Street. Coincidentally, this hotel was located right next to Hotel Kai, a boutique hotel which I had featured on my blog exactly 5 years ago when I was invited for a media tour. I hope Hotel Kai still looked the same as how I remembered it!

Our Hotel NuVe staycation was hugely subsidised by mother-in-law as part of Hubs' birthday gift, so thank you Hubs for sharing it with me. Then again, he doesn't have a choice right....who else could he share it with other than his wifey? :P

There were a couple of Hotel NuVe outlets (e.g. Hotel NuVe Urbane, Hotel NuVe Elements), each of them bearing a distinct theme. We chose Hotel NuVe Heritage because we liked their iconic colonial architecture, rustic white brick walls and gorgeous bedrooms!

You might not believe it based on the picture you see above but Hotel NuVe Heritage actually had 6 floors. If you book their suites, you could even enjoy a theme room and an outdoor bathtub too!

Although we did not go for their suites, we were happy with our Deluxe King Room, which came with a huge canopy bed! Hubs and I are petite so sleeping on a King size bed was more than enough room for both of us.

Their Slumberland mattress was super comfy too! My only gripe was that the room looked smaller than in pictures, but thankfully the large bed made up for the lack of space.

Their bathroom was spacious and pristine, and overlooked a lovely view of shophouses. I also adore its minimalistic marbled decor. In fact, I took my campaign shots in there because the decor was so instagrammable. :)

While their toiletries were nothing fancy, I was surprised that the hotel was so generous to provide their guests a mini-bar filled with snacks and drinks FREE OF CHARGE. Yes, even alcohol too - although strangely enough, the alcohol they provided us was aptly and coincidentally named Corona Extra. Out of all my staycation experiences, the only hotel that treated us to a stash of complimentary snacks was a 5-star hotel, not a 4-star boutique hotel. We definitely could not finish them, so we brought them home to save them for future craves.

Our staycation happened in the midst of Phase 2 - Heightened Alert but fortunately for us, Hotel NuVe Heritage was not selected as a Stay Home Notice (SHN) facility so we could proceed with our staycation. We contemplated whether we should postpone it and stay at home instead (coz you know, safety first) but we decided to still go ahead. I had already confined myself within my house for the past week, led a routine 'all work and no play' life and wanted to break away from the monotony. Since we decided to venture out, we made sure to be extra careful and avoid crowded places as much as possible.

As part of tightened safe management measures, we were not allowed to dine in. Thus, we had our meals in takeaway style instead, relying much on The Entertainer Singapore for takeaway deals and discounts.

Lunch from The Shake Farm HQ
Address: 126 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068595

Our check-in to Hotel NuVe Heritage was strictly 3pm, so we decided to drop by The Shake Farm HQ to order lunch. We ordered a Beef Bros Protein Bowl that was loaded with greens, and Let's Go Pesto Pita Pockets. What a wholesome and healthy meal!

Enjoyed a 25% discount off, even though it was not much of a fantastic deal after all since the eatery was still charging GST and service charge just like a regular dine-in order. We brought our food back to my in-laws' place to eat them before setting off to Hotel NuVe Heritage nearing the check-in time.

Dinner from Yummo Chow
Address: 13 Purvis Street, Singapore 188592

Dinner was convenient since it was on the ground floor of the hotel. If there was no Phase 2 Heightened Alert, I would be able to dine in at the cosy Yummo Chow.

Alas, we had to order our food from a little window that looked into the chef's kitchen, and do a takeaway back to our hotel room. We had a 'Buy-1-Free-1' deal from The Entertainer Singapore so we went for two best-selling main courses, the Smoke Salmon Pasta and the Beef Burger.

I know the picture below could be better but the lighting in our room was terribly dim and unsuitable for food photography. It was not an ideal experience either to be dining at the sole table in our room, which only had space to accomodate 1 pax. I was actually sitting at the edge of the bed eating, and praying to the Gods that I would not spill any food onto the bed.

The Smoke Salmon Pasta was HEAVENLY and I loved that it came with carbonara sauce. Carbonara pastas are my favourite! The Beef Burger was quite ordinary. Its sauce smeared and made the Burger Bun a tad soggy so it did not looked aesthetically pleasing. The Burger set also came with a motherload of fries which we only ate half of the portion. As I had the highest expectations for Yummo Chow, our takeaway experience was slightly disappointing.

Lunch from Donergy Turkish Kebab
Address: 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-90, Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596

The next morning, YX woke up earlier than me to buy a Croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery at Raffles City for us to share for breakfast. He even made a hot cup of Cappuccino to go along with it. My hubby pampers me greatly! :)

We checked out at 12pm and walked to Millenia Walk, where we did a takeaway from Donergy Turkish Kebab back to the in-laws' place. YX and I have never tried Turkish food together, so we seized the opportunity since we had a 25% discount.

We shared a Falafel Chicken Roll and a Chicken Kebab Tombik, both of which turned out to be extraordinarily good. They were substantial in portion, packed with greens, and the taste of Falafel was absolutely delicious. Even the Tombik bread was unlike regular burger buns - it was lighter in texture and had a nicely toasted surface that resembled pizza crust. Needleess to say, we had a hearty meal!

Our next staycation would actually fall during my birthday month, so I hope it does not get disrupted along the way. For now, with the escalating cases, I guess I would just have to get used to a homebody life, whether I like it or not. Crossing fingers that the situation would get better soon so that my BTO could be completed quickly, and we could resume travel activities again. Otherwise, we would just have to count on staycations to satisfy our 'wanderlust' and be a tourist in our home country!

Hotel NuVe Heritage
13 Purvis Street
Singapore 188592

Disclaimer: This is a personal post and I am not sponsored for my staycation (although staycation sponsorships are welcome). Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Filtech SG: Kenji SWF 165 Water Filter Shower Head

Hey people!

My shower head just got an upgrade, all thanks to Filtech SG, a water filter and purifier brand!

As my shower head is not a plain and simple one, it has gotten my family members pretty intrigued with it.

Filtech SG stocks a variety of water filters such as countertop water filters, faucet water filters, water filter shower heads and water filter pitchers.

While I have some knowledge about water filters, my parents are absolutely unfamiliar with them. Unsurprisingly, we do not have water filters intentionally installed within the house. Nonetheless, I know of many friends who have at least a faucet water filter installed at their kitchen taps.

Beyond water filters, Filtech SG also sells air purifiers - an essential item to clear the air and filter off impurities within your room.

I was sent the Kenji SWF 165 water filter shower head for this review. This shower head is designed to have better cleansing abilities and higher water pressure. This in turn reduces water consumption in the long run.

I used to own a water filter shower head 3 years back, but it broke along the way (opps!), so seeing the Kenji SWF 165 certainly brought back some memories.

The shower head was not as heavy as I expected even though the material of the handle was extremely solid. The grooves on the handle also improved our grip so hopefully, none of us would drop and break the shower head in months to come.

The shower head comes with a detachable body, which makes cleaning of the filters fuss-free. Installation was easy as well and it was completed by my hubby within a couple of minutes.

One of the key features of a water filter shower head is to remove chlorine from our water.

If you have sensitive scalp or eczema issues, chlorine can be potentially irritate your hair and skin. Kenji SWF 165 water filter shower head uses Calcium Sulfite Ceramic Balls (stuffed within the white layers in the handle) to remove up to 98% of chlorine in water. As compared to traditional activated carbon, these Calcium Sulfite Ceramic Balls can withstand high temperature and reduce bacteria breeding as well.

What's different about the Kenji SWF 165 is their use of grey Germanium Balls to warm up the body and encourage sweating while showering. This increases metabolism and tissue oxygenation, thereby enhancing the immunity system of our bodies. No wonder I felt a sense of sauna-like warmth when I was showering! Despite the Germanium Balls' ability to increase the water temperature, the water was not scalding and remained at a comfortable heat intensity throughout my shower.

Another fun part was exploring the different water pressure settings, which could be adjusted easily with a click of the button above.

There are 3 modes in all - Rainfall, Jetting and Massage. I typically shower on Rainfall mode (left pic below), but occasionally, I like to change the setting to Massage (right pic below) so that I could give myself a massage at some of my tension points. My niece Astrid had so much fun playing with the water settings during her bath time. Mom and hubby also enjoyed using the shower head because the water was warmer than before. Looks like the Kenji SWF 165 has elevated our shower experiences!

If you are interested to check out other water filter and purifier products, head over to Filtech SG website. They are active on Facebook and Instagram too!

Filtech SG offers free same day delivery for orders above $80. Orders below $80 will be charged a standard delivery fee of $8.

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Filtech SG. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Aromatic Global: Baobab Skincare Starter Kit

Hey people!

Having a good complexion has always been my top priority, but my journey to good skin has never been easy. With a combination skin type, oily T-Zone and dry, sensitive cheeks, I tend to choose products that are gentle and made with natural or organic ingredients.

Which brings me to Aromatic Global, an online retailer for natural skincare and oral care products. You may have read my previous review on their Arak Sewak Oral Care Collection.

For skincare, they have a Baobab Collection and a Frankincense Collection. I had a wonderful opportunity to review the Baobab Skincare Starter Kit ($35) which was recommended for my skin type. These 4 mini skincare goodies were just the right size for me to bring them along to all my staycations.

The Baobab Tree is known for its incredible longevity and has the ability to live up to 6000 years. Its pulp contains a staggering 10x of Vitamin C compared to the regular orange. Similarly, the use of the Baobab ingredient in skincare is especially nourishing to the skin. Even though we humans cannot live up to 6000 years, we can at least maintain a healthy and youthful appearance.

Let me share about how I use each of the product in the Starter Kit!

1) Baobab Toner

After cleansing, the Baobab Toner was the first product that I used in the Starter Kit. I like to apply two pumps of the toner onto my hand and pat it around my face gently. The toner gets absorbed by my skin instantaneously and leaves behind a smooth finish, preparing my face for the next product.

2) Baobab Essence

The Essence was truly a godsend. This lightweight essence totally penetrated the pores of my face to hydrate the dermis within my skin. I usually have flaky red cheeks after a shower, but this essence minimized the redness tremendously.

3) Baobab Tone Up Cream

While I use the Toner and Essence in the day and night, the Tone Up Cream was reserved only for the day.

Infused with a mixture of fruit and botanical extracts such as pomegranate, purple grass, peony, chinese prickly ash, forsythia and baobab (of course), this Tone Up Cream was a day moisturiser and a skin brightener.

Besides hydrating my skin, it actually made me fairer! Just apply an adequate amount and I looked like I just prepped my skin with a primer. Thanks to the Tone Up Cream, I get to skip my base makeup sometimes. :P

You know what would make this product perfect? If it could include SPF too. That way, I could skip my sunscreen as well.

4) Baobab Moisturizing Cream

My night moisturiser is the Baobab Moisturizing Cream, which was hands down my favourite product in the Starter Kit. If you can only choose one product from the Starter Kit, I'd say you go for this!

I never liked moisturisers that are creamy and heavy, so thankfully, the Baobab Moisturizing Cream was the complete opposite. It had the most gentle gel-cream texture that seemed to transform into water droplets when I applied it on my face. Even then, it had the amazing ability to lock moisture in my skin throughout the night. It's no wonder that my husband loved this product too - he kept asking to use it!

The icing on the cake was that the products smelled wonderful! Thumbs up to Aromatic Global for storing their products in glass bottles too. This protects the quality of the ingredients so that consumers like us can use them for a prolonged period. How thoughtful of the brand!

Keen to try the skincare products from the Baobab or Frankincense collection? Purchase your products directly from Aromatic Global website, and follow them on their social media platforms for promotions and updates!

Website: https://aromaticglobal.shop/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aromaticglobal.shop

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aromaticglobal/

First time users get $5 off from any purchase on their site as a welcome gift. Lucky you!

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Aromatic Global. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Hubby's Birthday Staycation @ Hotel Boss [Using SG Rediscover Vouchers]

Hey people!

April is hubby's birthday month so I treated us to a birthday staycation at Hotel Boss using my $100 Singapore Rediscover Vouchers.

Similarly to our Valentine's Day staycation at lyf Funan, the vouchers managed to offset the cost of a night's stay thanks to a fantastic deal on Klook, so it became a complimentary staycation for us.

Hotel Boss is a 4-star boutique hotel located within walking distance from Lavender MRT Station. We were both unfamiliar with Lavender so it gave us a good reason to explore the vicinity.

We stayed in a Superior Queen Room that night, a fairly decent room with a window that was facing the interior of the hotel.

Now, I don't usually care if my room does not have a great view. My only gripe was that the room's natural lighting seemed to be blocked off, making it look dimmer than it should. It perpetually felt like it was evening even though it was early afternoon.

On the upside, there was a TV in our room (although we were using it more for mindless browsing of YouTube) and we were happy that there was a mini fridge too!

The bathroom was a tad smaller than expected, but adequately stocked with basic toiletries and shower products. I did not use the hair products provided by the hotel though because I had recently dyed my hair and needed to use my own colour care shampoo. 

That said, the bed was awesome and gave me a great sleep. When I go for staycations, I never liked beds that were too soft because I wake up with an aching back the next day.

This bed was comfy and had the right amount of firmness. YX even took a quick nap when he reached the hotel!

For those who like to gym and swim while on staycation, Hotel Boss has a gym facing the swimming pool on Level 4.

Due to safe distancing, guests were granted access to the gym and pool on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you really want to have a dip in the pool, you would have to turn up as early as 8.30am to 'chope' your slot. When we were there, we were told that the slots were fully taken up for the rest of the day, so we did not get to use the pool. Boo... :(

Lunch @ Carbon&

Address: 12 Kallang Ave, Aperia Mall, #01-43/43A

Our hotel stay came with late check-out so we only needed to vacate our room by 3pm the next day instead of 11am. This extended staycation meant that we had more time to enjoy!

We explored Aperia Mall since hubby has not been there before, and grabbed lunch at Carbon& Restaurant.

Carbon& sells Japanese-Western fusion food at reasonable nett prices (no GST and service charge - weehee!).

Hubby went for a sinful and spicy Sansho Yakitori Chicken Ramen. I was more attracted to the Teriyaki Chicken Burger and fries, which was my kind of comfort food. Love the smokey taste of the Teriyaki Chicken!

Dessert @ Creamery Boutique Ice Creams Singapore
Address: 139 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207557

By mid-afternoon, I requested to visit Tyrwhitt Road to check out all the interesting cafes in that area. We took a nice walk to the cafe district, and I spotted familiar cafes that I have read about on social media.

Hubby was craving to have ice-cream so we decided to spend some time at Creamery Boutique Ice Creams Singapore for a chillin' good time.

Best decision ever!

We tried their signature Cookie Lava topped with homemade ice-cream and it was SO MEMORABLE. The way the cream oozes out from the cookie was super enticing, and the blend of cold ice-cream with warm cookie was a matchmade in heaven. I seriously want to eat this again!

Dinner @ Eat 3 Bowls
Address: 462 Crawford Ln, #01-61, Singapore 190462

When it was time for dinner, we went to peek at Eat 3 Bowls, a Taiwanese eatery that was recommended to us by YX's colleague. Dang! The queue was damn long.

Since the eatery was located right across the road from Hotel Boss, we decided that we could come back 2 hours later for a late dinner. Hopefully, there wouldn't be much of a queue by then.

Boy, we were so wrong. By the time we were there at 8pm, just 1 hour before the eatery's closing time, the queue was STILL long. There were at least a good 7 to 8 people waiting for their turn too.

Thankfully, YX found out that we could beat the queue by doing a takeaway, so we did. I wasn't gonna wait any longer for my food.

We headed straight for the counter, ordered an 'Eat-3-Bowls' set and brought it back to our room to dig in. The 'Eat-3-Bowls' set was actually meant for 1 pax, but the portion was just right for YX and me. YX loved the Oyster Intestines Mee Sua, while I adore the Braised Pork Rice. The Chicken Rice was quite unlike the traditional Chicken Rice in hawker centres - I think the Taiwanese version was much lighter in taste.

Brunch @ King of Fried Rice
Address: 6001 Beach Road, #B1-56, Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589

The next morning, Hubs wanted to visit Golden Mile Tower for brunch to try King of Fried Rice. This eatery was highly recommended by food bloggers, and YX was hugely curious about it, so we went to check it out.

Golden Mile Tower was like a ghost town on a Sunday, and the people who were there were largely heading towards King of Fried Rice for their meals too. The eatery opens at 11.30am, and there was already a queue outside the eatery before its opening. I thought it was cute that it was the men doing the queuing, while the ladies were chope-ing the tables.

I could see where the hype was. The Egg Fried Rice was flavourful and had that alluring wok hei fragrance. I would say that it was comparable to the Egg Fried Rice in top notch Chinese restaurants. The pork cutlet that YX added to the fried rice was so tender and delicious too!

YX also tried the XO Fried Rice, which he loved and praised to the heavens. I could not seem to appreciate it though, and I still prefer my Egg Fried Rice anytime.

Coffee @ Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Address: 150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207563

While we were exploring the cafe district on our first day, we spotted a lonnnng queue at Chye Seng Huat Hardware. This cafe was intentionally preserved in its old and run down state to pay tribute to the hardware heritage of the area.

Since we had some time to spare before we check out on the second day, we decided to visit this cafe for coffee. Luckily, the queue was not crazily long when we were there.

I shouldn't have said 'okay' to outdoor seating, because I was perspiring like mad from the humidity. You could totally see the open pores on my sweaty face in the picture above. Bless the customers who were wearing jackets and long-sleeved shirts around me.

YX and I shared a cappuccino, and tried some homemade banana bread with espresso butter. As it turned out, the cup of coffee was not the highlight, but the dessert was! While I generally enjoy banana bread, I didn't expect this to taste exceptionally yummy. The melted espresso butter atop the banana bread was the icing on the cake. I was in love with the unique and addictive taste. The next time you visit this cafe, don't just drink coffee. Try this yummilicious dessert too!

That sums up our 2D1N birthday staycation and food adventures! If you have not used your SG Rediscover Vouchers yet, you might want to try treating yourself to a staycation before June ends.

Staycations need not be expensive, and I personally do not believe in burning a hole in your pocket to have fun. You can read my blog reviews under the tag 'Travel and Staycations' if you need some budget-friendly inspiration for staycations!

Meanwhile, I'm on a roll with more budget-friendly staycations this year, so look out for my upcoming reviews on them too!

Hotel Boss
500 Jalan Sultan, #01-01
Singapore 199020

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Hotel Boss to write this post (although staycation sponsorships are welcome!). I sponsored this staycation using my SG Rediscover Vouchers. Reviews are based on personal experiences.

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing: Straightening Treatment + C-Curls & Hair Colour

Hey people!

It's been half a year since I did anything major to my hair and I knew that it was a matter of time to get my hair fixed.

How timely it was when I was approached by Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing to try a new hair service - a Straightening treatment + C-Curls that would be officially launched in the salon by May 2021. There will be promotions then, so do look out for it! 

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing is located at Hong Lim Complex, Level 2.

While it is within walking distance from Chinatown MRT Exit E, first-timers may still need to Google Map your way there, largely because Hong Lim Complex is a maze. I had a rough sense of its location because it is near Yan Palace, a Chinese restaurant which YX's grandmother loves visiting for celebrations.

Straightening treatment + C-Curls

As I knew that the Straightening treatment + C-Curls was going to be a 3 to 4 hour process, I took my leave and dedicated my entire Friday afternoon for it.

Ken was my hairstylist and I was so glad to leave my hair in his good hands. Before I commenced my hair service, he would take time to understand my hair history, such as the last time I coloured, straightened, permed or treated my hair. He was well aware of my hair concerns and very proactive in updating me on what I could expect from the entire service.

The salon uses a treatment cream from Rinka Aqua Care to reduce frizz on hair and leave behind a glossy, smooth finish. It also nourishes and strengthens hair cuticles to give you a healthy, strong hair.

While I never liked that pin straight hair from my past rebonding days, the straightening effect from this cream was way more natural, akin to how you would look after getting a blow-dry from a hair salon. Best of all, the straightening effect could last for 4 to 6 months.

After a hair wash, the treatment cream was applied all over my hair for 10 minutes. Thereafter, Ken touched up the cream and we waited for a further 13 minutes before washing it off. By then, my hair was already smooth and soft to the touch.

Once my hair was blow-dried, a hair straightener was used to further remove frizz and enhance the absorption of the cream into my hair cuticles. This took a good half an hour because my hair was so long!

Time to work on the C-Curls!

Ken proceeded to wrap my hair ends with rollers and connect them to a digital heater, where my hair was heated for the next 20 minutes. To prevent the heat from getting into contact with my face, additional rollers and cloths were placed as barriers in between my hair and my face.

As you can tell, a large part of the hair session was waiting (at least on the customer end) so be sure to bring along something to do if you are bored. I used the time wisely to draft captions for social media campaigns and publish my IG posts.

In the last segment of the hair session, a cream-based neutralizer was applied on my straightened hair (top 70% of my hair) while a water-based neutralizer was applied on my C-Curls (bottom 30% of my hair, i.e. the hair ends).

We waited for a further 15 minutes, before the final wash and blow-dry.

TADAH! Did you see a major difference between my 'before' (left) and 'after' (right) photos?

I was hugely impressed with my 'after' photo because my hair looked sleek and smooth, and I loved how it ended off with such GORGEOUS waves. It was a tremendous improvement from my lion's mane in the 'before photo', where my hair was out of shape and I evidently had frizz problems.

My colleagues saw me a week after and they were like 'Your hair looks so nice! Are you going somewhere later?', 'Where did you do your hair?' and even.... 'Your hair looks so smooth. Can I touch it?'. It is rare that my hair would get so many compliments at one go.

I always knew that I looked good with curls, but I have never gotten beyond a temporary perm before.

I have been told countless times by hairstylists that my hair condition is not suitable for perms because they would dry and damage my hair further. Besides, perms need regular maintenance to ensure that they continue to look good.

These C-Curls are a minimal version of perms, and they are so low maintenance that all you need is to care for your hair as per usual. You do not have to use any special products and you can wash your hair the next day too. Whether you are a lazy or a busy girl, these C-Curls will add style and volume to your overall look, even on days when you feel disheveled.

Since I blow-dry my hair everyday, I do make efforts to twist my hair ends while blow-drying so as to maintain my curls.

Ken taught me to do a comb-through of my hair before blow-drying it. When my hair is around 80% to 90% dry, I could separate my hair into two sections, and twist them inwards while blow-drying so that the curls would look more obvious.

If you want to put in zero effort, you can always leave your hair to air-dry, and your curls would still turn inwards naturally. Nonetheless, it is not my preferred choice because my curls could look a tad messy, so I prefer to do some hair-twisting to get them into my desired style. With regular washes, the straightness of my hair and the curls at my hair ends do look more natural with time.

Hair Colouring

While my hair looked amazing in the pictures above, my hair colour still required a touch-up as my dark roots were showing and my grey hairs were peeking out.

As such, I made another visit to the salon on the following week to get a new hair colour.

We had to separate both appointments so that the hair colouring would not interfere with the Straightening treatment + C-Curls, and it spared me from sitting in the salon for a full 6-hours.

Knowing that I love warm colours, Ken recommended me to go for a Chocolate Brown hair colour mixed with a Mahogany Red. I love the way this hair colour looks on me! I feel more vibrant with it, and it gave me a fairer complexion.

To think I wanted a Copper shade initially, in which Ken told me that Copper is a tad orangey and might not look good with my skin tone. The moral of the story? Trust the aesthetic taste of your hairstylist!

It is best to use a Colour Care Shampoo for up to a month to maintain the colour of your newly dyed hair. Since I colour my hair every 6 to 7 months, I always have a bottle of Colour Care Shampoo reserved for post-colour maintenance. Meanwhile, for my first week, I had to avoid wearing white clothes or using white towels just in case of staining by the reddish dye.

If you're interested to give your hair a makeover, you can certainly consider the Straightening treatment + C-Curls that will be offered by Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing in May 2021. The promotion is as follows:

Promo for May 2021

Straightening Treatment - $260 to $350 (depending on hair length and hair density)
C-Curls or S-Curls (includes haircut) - + $70

First time customers - 15% off final price
FREE La Biosthetique scalp treatment for customers doing straightening treatment

Maintenance for this hairstyle is a breeze, and you are so gonna love your transformation after it!

Do call Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing to make an appointment at 6223 3133. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates and promotions too!

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing
531 Upper Cross Street
Hong Lim Complex
#02-08, Singapore 050531

Operating hours:
11am to 8.30pm (Mon to Fri)

11am to 7.00pm (Sat)
11am to 5.00pm (Sun & PH)

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing. Reviews are based on personal experiences.