Most Favourite Perfect Skin Hydrators, 2017

Derek Zoolander once said “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.” and I couldn’t agree more. In this post I will share some reviews on my most favourite moisturizers with hydrating formulas.

I have combination skin that leans more towards oily and quite sensitive. However my skin can also look quite dry underneath my makeup. If you have a similar skin type like mine, you might find this review very useful.

I often go for an oil-free moisturizer that helps to balance my skin’s natural levels and reduce shines from a greasy complexion. And it is also very important that they will keep my skin hydrated for long hours without ruining my makeup. It’s not difficult to find ones that is specifically suited to your skin’s needs if you starts to pay more attention on the key ingredients.

1. Kiehl’s – Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel-Cream

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I’ve been using this cream very often for my skincare routine in the morning, especially on the days I prefer to put makeup on after. It quickly absorbs into my skin very well with instant cooling effect and doesn’t make a mess for my make up. Non sticky, non greasy and control shine for at least 4-5 hours for myself. No overwhelming fragrance too. I strongly recommend this for good results with affordable price.

2. Dr.Jart+ – Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel

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I was quite impressed with this moisturizer and its lightweight and very smooth textures. I use this at night and I’ve noticed some difference the next morning after I woke up. It makes my skin so soft and looking more radiant as well as doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin so far. The cons of this product? I find it cannot hold shine very well and that’s why I personally prefer to use it at night. I randomly bought it from Sasa in Hong Kong.

3. Bioelements – Beyond Hydration

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I read some reviews online and decided to give this moisturizer a try. It’s recommended for oily skin to keeping skin hydrated without leaving adding shine. It only takes a few minutes for their gel-alike texture to sink into my skin. It also doesn’t feel sticky at all and works pretty well for my combination skin with no breakouts. This one gives a bit of cooling feels on the skin which is quite refreshing. So far there is nothing I dislike about this product. Worth buying.

Have a good skin. x
Love, nira

Go Natural In Your Home with Pineapple Power

Mothers and household jobs can never really be separated whether you are a full-time housewife or a working mom. This post I will be sharing some good stuff which may help you to do them even better, and safer.

Choosing household cleaning products that cleaning quicker and easier may not be a difficult task at all but some of them may not be good for our health. Unfortunately, not many of us are aware of these toxic chemicals (or petrochemicals) which are commonly used in those products and how badly they could harm us both short term and long term. It can lead us to the development of allergies, skin rashes, asthma, eczema, and reproduction issues in pregnant woman. I’ve been through experiences with unsuitable products which caused me very bad rashes on my skin (and worsen skin allergy) and took me almost a week to get rid of them with medication, creams etc. From then it taught me a very good lesson to be even more careful with cleaning products.

But I definitely understand it can feel quite overwhelming scanning through all the ingredients of every cleaning product you are going to buy, so what I usually do is to find natural products from trusted brands, such as Pipper Standards.

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Their products are naturally made from pineapples, have both hypoallergenic and non-irritation certifications by Dermscan Asia, and are free of known allergens according to U.S FDA; which is safe for babies or young children when using Pipper Standard products at home.

I’ve been trying a few Pipper products and my most favourite one goes to laundry detergent. Because Terena has sensitive (and eczema-prone) skin so I’m extra careful with anything that related to her skin or detergents that used in her clothing. Pipper detergent is perfectly safe for her with no itchy skin or rashes, clean effectively with lesser foam, easier to rinse out compared to many detergents in the market with chemicals added to create foaming effect due to the common misconception that the more foam is the better cleaning. There is also no damp smells when I dry my clothes indoor because their products contain no chemicals.

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Below is a picture of Terena trying to wash her face towel with water only and there is no detergent or fabric softener added in until it was my turn to hand wash it myself. Teaching my daughter some household stuff is fun, especially when we can do it together sometimes.

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Another thing I love about Pipper products beside being safe cleaner especially for our family’s sensitive skin; is the powerful natural cleaning with eco-sustainable. They use patented pineapple fermentation process (yields natural organic acids, natural enzymes, natural preservatives and biosurfactants) to clean as good as or even better than some chemical products. Not to forget the air we are breathing in too. Cleaning products with harmful chemicals that circulate in the air of our home is definitely harmful. With Pipper products, I do not have to worry about that. They are chemical-free, worry-free and healthy for environment. And most importantly, I personally think it’s better to use natural products to keep my daughter safe and away from any possible harm of chemical products.

You can find out more Pipper Standard here. Always keep your home clean, and your family safe. Easily starting a healthy environment at our home.

Love, nira

The 5 Expensive Beauty Products Worth Buying

When you spend money on something, you want to make sure it’s worth your money at least. Unfortunately, not everything expensive is considered good. Sometime it’s expensive because you are paying for the branding, marketing costs, years of R&D etc. There are costs I’ve been paying for experiences before I found some that are worth buying. This is not an advertorial and these reviews are purely based on my personal opinions.

So this post I’m going to share with you some of the expensive products I could recommend. However, I suggest you to consider buying a tester (if they do have) before purchasing some of the products below because everybody has a different skin tone, individual texture and types. Cut short, here we go. 

1. Sisley – Emulsion Ecologique Day and Night Lotion

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One of the best moisturizer products that I always repurchase when it’s finished. It moisturizes and smoothen my skin very well as well as giving a healthy look. You wouldn’t see the results until one week of using it regularly but it depends on an individual. Although I do not use this everyday but at least 4-5 times a week, I can still see the differences between using and not using it. The reason why I do not use this everyday because I have many others (new) moisturizers wanting to try or trying now.

The only downside I do not really like about this product is a slight oily feeling after 3-4 hours of application. If I want my make up to last longer in a daytime, I will not go for it and preferably apply it before bedtime. But again, it really depends on types of skin. I still love this Sisley Emulsion very much and this is one of the few products I keep buying for my parents because they too love it.

2. La Mer – The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF20

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Foundation is one of the makeup products I spend the most on. Because I’m considered VERY PICKY when it comes to choosing a foundation that suits my needs and reach my expectation. You hardly see me writing reviews on foundation because of that. However, I’m impressed by this La Mer foundation because of its weightless texture which is easily blending and healing hydration at the same time. I dislike anything that is too heavy. My skin looks naturally flawless after applying and my makeup stays well for at least 4 hours. Pores too look more refined.

Comes in 15 shades. However, I personally find this product is not really good enough for a full-coverage look if you are planning a night out.

3. Giorgio Armani – Power Fabric LONGWEAR HIGH COVER Foundation SPF25

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I have a combination skin with an oily T zone and and areas around my cheeks. This foundation works great on my skin. It feels very light and not too heavy. The texture is so smooth and easily blends into my skin. Even though it’s stated to use for full coverage but I think it works perfectly for both day time to go for a natural look or a night out for a more full-coverage finish.

All I need for my entire face is just one small drop to give a flawless look with a bit of powdery finish to it. Comes in 24 shades so your skin tone will surely find one that matches perfectly. I’m in love with quite a number of Armani’s makeup products and this is one of the tops.

4. La Prairie – White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream

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I think this is one the most expensive moisturizers I have bought so far. Slightly more expensive than Skin Caviar Luxe cream because of slightly different ingredients. White Caviar cream includes White Sturgen (fish eggs) which is very rich in omega (3 times than an average) and rare to find. I’m a sucker for whitening products so I prefer White Caviar. For the first time I applied this at night, my skin was really glowing the next morning. Dark spots from acne scars slowly disappear and leave my skin’s natural glow and bright. My mum thought I have been going to a facial treatment as she noticed some changes.

I use tiny amount of this cream before bedtime because they are so rich but not everyday (sometimes I switch to Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which is definitely another worth buying skincare product). If I remember correctly I bought this more than half a year and I just finished it last month. The only con you may find is probably their price. I love their luxurious jar packaging but it’s still considered very expensive. I’d still put it in this post because I like the results. I strongly recommend a sample to try at least 1-2 weeks before you consider purchasing this.

5. Shiseido – Revitalizing Essence

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This heavy red glass bottle of Essence works good for my combination skin. My all time favourite toner and also one of the very few toners I have been using (on and off) for years. I will use it at least 4-5 days in a week (morning and night) especially when my skin is getting dry during winter. I can easily feel the hydration it gives to my skin yet leaving no greasy or sticky feeling. One excellent product to be in a skincare routine. And yes, I will always repurchase this product.

Those are the top 5 I could share now. More updates will come.

I will end this post with small useful tips. You can actually try to ask for some available testers whenever you purchase something from the counters. Some countries (or malls) will give them even without you asking. But please do not expect them to do so if you only spend a few bucks. Hope it helps.

Love, nira

Gift Books for Kids, 2017

When it comes to kid’s birthday party, our kids definitely receive at least one of the toys such as dolls, logos, toys cars or similarly related kind of toys. Whether it’s from parents ourselves or guests. I started to look for more interesting gifts for my own child as well as others and they are books.

Books may sound boring to some children but I personally believein the value of reading habits which should be starting at early ages. I’ve been reading to my daughter Terena every night since she was less than 6 months and we are now reading at least a book before bedtime everyday. Terena reminds me too if I forget to do so especially after a long day or work. So yes, books. They will always be one of the greatest gifts. My daughter and I love to do book shopping at least once every two months.

Some book can be really fun and educated with interesting activities, amazing stories etc. So here are some books you might want to consider getting.

1. Maverick Children Books 

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I think Maverick children books are suitable for all children starting from early readers. They comes in high quality writing and a lot of interesting stories, and beautiful illustration. You will be spoiled by their variety of choices; picture books, board books, junior fiction and early readers. They are based in UK and publish 50 more titles this year 2017.

Some of my favourites are ‘Grandma Bendy’ and ‘The New LiBEARian’. Their price is reasonable at around £6.99. You can purchase them from www.maverickbooks.co.uk, worldwide shipping.

2. My Super Fun Playbook

Some of you may have already seen this through my Instagram platform but I will also put it up here for my readers not to miss it.

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This is a MUST-HAVE playbook for kids (from age 2-5). It’s not much about reading unless you can come up with a fun stories while playing them like what Terena and I always do. This fabric playbook is made with embroidered ornaments by sewing and stitching by hand. You can expect a very good quality of craftsmanship. It’s creative, fun, and educational at the same time. Terena and I have fun playing this together and sometimes I bring it with us whenever we travel together to keep her occupied (and try to stay away as much as we can from an Ipad). It’s lightweight and quite a time-consuming book.

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Overall. One great product to put your hands on for your children. This playbook also recently won Tillywig Brain Child Award Winner 2017. Congrats! I’m planning to get this for my friend’s son on his birthday this year too. Pretty sure he will like it just like Terena. Oh yes, it’s suitable for both boys and girls too.

You can get it from www.smarterconcepts.com.hk, worldwide shipping.

3. The Magic of My Name

This can be an awesome personalized gift with a child name customized in this book. Beside that, there are a total of 4 characteristics for each boys or girls to choose from for no additional costs, Each book will contains at least 38 pages depending on a child name. You can add in some notes in a book for free too so it could be a nice happy birthday wishes for a birthday gift for examples.

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Terena and I both enjoy this book for bedtime. I strongly recommend. Good customized story and book with beautiful illustration printed in good quality papers.

Price is at SGD41.99 (USD29.99) with standard cover or (optional) hard cover with an additional cost of SGD4.99. It’s suitable for children from 0 to 8 years old. Get it from www.themagicofmyname.com.sg

Hope it helps you with some gifts ideas and happy reading to all. x

Love, nira.

Diamond Black Hair, Bump Hair Design

Beautiful hair is healthy without dryness, soft to the touch and sway with movement. It doesn’t matter if your hair is curly, wavy or straight as long as it’s considered beautiful on it owns.

I personally prefer natural looking with hair coloured towards dark tones, like black or dark brown hair. I always maintain my hair but the recent beach trips somehow killed that healthy look especially hair colour and frizziness so I urgently needed to get my hair done. And do you know it is not necessary to pay quite a high price to have great hair? Especially if you know about this hair salon which I recently went to, and it’s called Bump Hair Design by AVENTA at River Valley.

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Thanks to my hair stylist, Seno San, for a hair makeover. (You can take a look at his work here). I requested for a natural looking black shiny hair together with hair treatment after.

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As you can see from non-editing photos below, I am very satisfied with the results.

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I did Tokio Inkarami treatment which is receiving great ratings and reviews from high-end salons in Japan. There are five steps in this treatment but the the processing time is somehow not as long as I thought it would be.

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Many other hair treatments help the outer layers of damaging hair but Inkarami helps beneath to the root of your hair and leave your hair smooth and shiny. More close-up image for you to see below.

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It’s not just great hair services they provide with affordable price, your hair will be done by Japanese hairstylists with at least 8-10 years of experiences in this industry. However, not all Japanese stylists there are fluent in English so you may need to bare with some communication problems. I suggest you to do homework (such as references) before you go there. You also need to bare with stairs as this salon is located on the second floor. On the bright side, I love their privacy so it wasn’t a problem to me at all. The more privacy, the better it is. Overall, I enjoyed their services and experiences they gave. And I think their price is worth paying.

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You can make your appointment at the details above. They open everyday. Monday to Friday from 09:00am to 09:00pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 10:00am – 09:00pm.

Have a nice hair day, always.

Love, nira.