A review on L’Occitane Overnight Reset serum

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything,” – Irish Proverbs

If there is such thing as miracle, I have to say that this small jar of formula is it. Last year, L’Occitane en Provence, brought out a product that seems to be too good to be true. A relief for stressed and tired skin, claim to refresh and restart your skin while you sleep. So how can I not give it a whirl?

Here are the low down of how this beauty works. L’Occitane only uses natural ingredients and when possible, organic. In the case for this L’Occitane Overnight Reset Serum, the ingredients happened to be 97% natural, which is excellent. The three main ingredients are, Immortelle essential oils, electric daisy (acmella oleracea), and marjoram extract.

  • Immortelle Essential oils are in many of L’Occitane skincare line. Immortelle essential oil is an active ingredients that helps to heal and nourish your skin, in some products the concentration is high enough that it can actually help to stimulate collagen which helps to eradicate fine lines. However, in the case for Overnight Reset Serum, the level of Immortelle is not as high therefore this is not an anti-ageing serum. The oil functions more as an antioxidant which helps to protect skin from external aggressors,
  • Electric Daisy or Acmella Oleracea, has been used for ages as a numbing plants in traditional/natural medicine. It has been called a natural “botox”, which means that temporarily, this plant helps to rejuvenate and refresh the skin
  • Marjoram Extract in this serum is used to awaken our skin’s cells/DNA which helps to let our skin and skincare to communicate better. This leads to better absorption of our skincare products which leads to an increase in the efficiency of each ingredients

The synergy of the three main ingredients helps to create one of L’Occitane most successful skincare launch in Australia to date.

My first impression of the product was nothing special. I suppose my skin is so used to a more active products and I don’t see much difference on my skin. I was a little disappointed especially because the product claimed so many amazing things. Anyway, few months down the track, my skin was a little angry with pimples which leads to few scarring. With my hyper-pigmentation, this meant brown spots. Remembering that the marjoram extract in this serum can help increase efficiency of any skincare products you put on after, I thought, what the heck let’s mix one pump of Reset with my Vitamin-C serum.

The result was so good! My pigmentation usually last for 3-4 weeks, or sometime longer. But when I pop the Overnight Reset Serum on before my Vitamin C serum, within the space of two weeks, my pigmentations are much much lighter. I was so impressed with the results and I have been sharing with my friends ever since. The serum has definitely developed its own cult following of ladies who can’t live without it. It took me a while to review it, but I am glad that I get to share this with you.

Will you give this serum a go? Or have you? Let me know below…

-k.

Architectural wonders of Sydney

“Photos are a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone,” – Anonymous

To me, Sydney was always the typical buzzing busy big city of Australia. May have visit it few times in my 18 years of living in this beautiful country, but I have never been so impressed by Sydney. Perhaps I am perfectly brainwashed by Melbourne and its charm, that I refuse to see the beauty of Sydney.

When anyone think of Sydney, Australia, the first image that pops to mind might be the Harbour Bridge or the Sydney Opera House. Off course, both landmarks are fantastic examples of grand architectures that exist in this beautiful bayside city.

On my recent trip to Sydney, I believe I finally have a newfound appreciation for this city. Aside from the grand landmarks of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, I had two days to really explore the city on foot. I discovered many beautiful classic greco-roman style architectures, as well as the stunning Gothic style of Saint Mary’s Cathedral.

Art Gallery of New South Wales is definitely one of the most stunning art gallery I have ever seen. Located right in the middle of the vast area of Royal Botanic Garden, the Greco-style building with its own parthenon like front facade, looked majestic and slightly intimidating to me. The 145 years old building’s current design, the result of the 1882 destruction of the original Garden Palace by fire, intrigues me because of its sheer grandeur. The outside wall of the building lined by names of many famous artists throughout the ages, such as Botticelli and Bellini, which I thought was a nice touch.

St Andrew’s Cathedral, right in the middle of Sydney CBD, with its classic Gothic Revival style pictured below, has got to be a personal favourite of mine.

Since I stayed around George St, I walked pass the Cathedral almost every time. The beautiful stained glass windows are so stunning, as much as I don’t consider myself a religious person, I highly appreciate the biblical stories depicted on these windows.

I can’t possibly share about the stunning classical architectural buildings of Sydney without mentioning the Queen Victoria Building, pictured above. QVB has got to be the most beautiful shopping centre in Australia, such classic architecture to be housing various Australian and International retail giants. I never forget the day that Melbourne gave the Melbourne General Post Office (GPO) building to H&M, such a huge mistake, Melbourne’s GPO could have been what QVB is to Sydney. So for me, it was bittersweet to walk through this beautiful building and wishing that we have something similar to it here in Melbourne.

St Mary’s Cathedral, pictured below located near Sydney’s Hyde Park is every Gothic-architectural nerds’ dream! I am one, and walking past the Cathedral in the afternoon after one full gallery visit day, placed me on such a high emotionally and I could not stop smiling.

I was blessed with two beautiful sunny days to explore Sydney on foot, which helped me see the city in a different light. What a stunning place to explore and just, as Parisian called it, flaneur. Which is exactly what I did, walking endlessly with no particular destination, aside from my hotel room to rest my head at the end of the day.

Was there ever a city that you were so happily discover on foot, filled with beautiful buildings and sights to see? Share with me πŸ™‚

-k.

The Beauty Chef, my inner beauty essentials

“All disease begins in the gut,” – Hippocrates.

And who am I to argue with Hippocrates, the most outstanding figure in the history of medicine. In my personal opinion, many of people nowadays associates beauty with how we look physically and not enough marketing is done to promote inner beauty. In the age of social media and instant gratifications, it is hard to find your place in the world where you feel safe and at peace with who you truly are.

Inner beauty to me includes more than just physical inner health, but also the health of a person’s inner being, the strength of their characters and inner peace. Recently, I have become more aware on the importance of taking care of both equally. Regular meditations, taking time out with myself and joining reformer pilates classes weekly have all been wonderful, small changes I made in my life. Discovering The Beauty Chef has been another step towards a healthier and more balanced me.

Glow, for healthy skin, hair and nail,

I was introduced to The Beauty Chef a while back, and this is definitely not my first tub of Glow. The period where I drink this daily, my skin looks clearer and brighter, and I do noticed the shine on my hair. So when for whatever reason, I stopped taking this daily, I can see the difference on my skin. From now on, this is an important staple in my pantry and I add 1 tsp of Glow to coconut water or my juice every morning.

Cleanse, supports body’s natural cleaning process

After experiencing the amazing results from my Glow daily intake, I try my hands on The Beauty Chef‘s Cleanse powder. I don’t necessarily have much gut problems, but this powder really elevate your body’s ability to cleanse onto another level. Daily intake every morning, 2 tsps mixed with coconut water or blend in juice, Cleanse have helped me feeling less bloated everyday.

I do believe that any of this products from The Beauty Chef, really helped with the health of your insides and encourage you to try them out. If you love to indulge in what you eat a little more, sweet treats or perhaps alcohol, I believe a regular cleanse can help our moderate indulgence.

Make sure to take a peek around their page, The Beauty Chef and let me know if you have try anything else from them.

-k.

Let’s talk about ChatThai, Sydney

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience,” – James Beard.

One of the best thing about traveling, for me, is the chance to enjoy great food. Street foods are always the best way to integrate yourself with the local culture, however, sometimes there will be that one exception and a place like Chat Thai in Sydney, is it. Chat Thai is everywhere in Sydney, but the one I went to is below,

Chat Thai

20 Campbell St, Haymarket NSW 2000

The first time I tried Chat Thai, is during my last visit to Sydney in 2015/2016. The food was so good and quite authentic to many dishes I have had in Thailand. So imagine my excitement when I saw my hotel’s location during my recent trip to Sydney, happened to be right across the road from a Chat Thai restaurant.

What I ordered?

  • Som Tum (Papaya Salad)
  • Grilled Pork Neck with Sticky Rice
  • Yen Ta For
  • Iced Thai Milk Tea, off course

Som Tum (Papaya Salad)

Simple dish, with complex burst of flavours in your mouth. The savoury, sour and spiciness came through cleanly with every bites. The crunchy nuts are definite texture you need to complete the whole dish

Grilled Pork Neck eaten with Sticky Rice

This has got to be my most favourite dish amongst the three. When I was in Bangkok, I am so obsessed with eating sticky rice with Moo Ping (grilled pork satay), readily sacrificing my possible digestive health purchasing these satay from random street food vendors with flies flying around. The flavours of Chat Thai’s grilled pork neck is the closest to moo ping, I have tried outside of Bangkok. The dipping sauce is sour, savoury and spicy with a touch of sweetness, which is so perfect to go with the sticky rice. A must try!

Yen Ta For (Spicy fermented tofu noodle soup)

Another favourite Thai dish of mine is Yen Ta For, perhaps because the scent and flavour transformed me back to Jatujak Weekend Market in Bangkok. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with the one I had in Chat Thai. Personally, I think the Yen Ta For I had in Bangkok was such perfect balance of spicy and sourness. The Chat Thai version feels bland and does not have the certain “fermented” flavours. Despite that, I am grateful that they do serve this style soup, cause it is so hard to find in Melbourne’s many Thai restaurants.

-k.

Minimalism: Space . Light . Object. National Gallery Singapore

“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor,” – Seneca

The world we live in today crave excess, reward the most extravagant and embrace the worship of material things. And I think some people believe, the more you have, the better. Arts have become one of those status symbol, the object of obsession for those who wants to convey a certain image in our excessive world. Thus the irony of an exhibition glorifying minimalism is not lost on me. This is a continuum of my previous post on Minimalism art exhibition I recently went to in Singapore and unlike part one, this one held in National Gallery Singapore is shouting excess in the most minimalist way.

Housed within City Hall and previous Supreme Court building, the National Gallery Singapore is the largest visual art gallery and museum for the island nation. The building played many significant role in Singapore’s national history, and many of the country’s historical documents are still stored within the building.

Compared to Minimalism exhibition in the ArtScience Museum, this one is much larger in scale and filled with the more traditional form of artworks, dominated by paint work and sculptures. The vast building provides an endless pockets of artwork which begins on the ground floor with Dan Flavin’s installation which resembles New York’s Empire State Building.

The first room that displayed a Rothko (far left in picture above), is accompanied by few other Rothko inspired canvas works. I do believe that Rothko always intended for his works to be displayed in groups, but the difficulties of the task does not elude yours truly, hence the grouping of his work with others is aiming for the same impact. A study of black and every possible shades of it, is perhaps an appropriate theme of this second pocket of artworks. The idea of Rothko expressing human emotions through his work by using only black seems dark and repressive. But what if, we can translate this as a language of positive emotions? How do you talk about black without associating it with negative emotions? If only black is understood as the beginning of something, before any other shades of colour were added.

Many of the artworks displayed are significant but not many captivates me the way Mona Hatoum’s does here (picture above). Appeared to float above ground, the wire is suspended from the ceiling and arranged in such a way to resemble a square. A forest of bard wire box that you can’t escape from. As you walked around the installation, you can’t help but feeling a certain pull towards the centre of the work. Barb wire have longed been associated with boundary lines to keep things out, but in this case, it feels a lot more like an enchantment that wants to draw you in.

What about this mountain of porcelain sunflower seeds made painstakingly by hand from the a small studio of specialists in China, each seeds are unique as with most hand-made work will be. Porcelain work has long been associated with the Chinese civilisation and history, and such an appropriate choice of material for the work that represents the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon. Is it a complimentary work by the artist, or is it a painstaking mockery of the inability of self expression in such oppressive environment? When view from afar, all the seeds looks homogeneous perhaps representing the view of the world of China as a communist nation. But when you look closer, each seeds are unique like that of the Chinese people or even perhaps Ai Wei Wei himself as the artist.

Perhaps it is an accidental silver lining that connects the two exhibitions, ending the show with the works of Olafur Eliasson. The room for one colour is a stark contrast to that of the previously colourful work at the ArtScience Museum’s exhibition. The neon lights that omits all other colour but orange, and with that we are back to black at the end of the exhibition.

-k.

Minimalism: Space . Light . Object. ArtScience Museum, Singapore

“A work will only have deep resonance if the kind of darkness I can generate is something that is resident in me already,” – Anish Kapoor.

Some of the greatest artists in the Art-world happens to be some of the darkest, depressed, lost and confused people of all time. Therefore, to compress the amount of arts under the banner of, “Minimalism: Space.Light.Object”, can be quite ironic. Despite that, Singapore’s ArtScience Museum, in conjunction with the National Gallery Singapore, managed to curate one of the most exciting exhibition on minimalism in the Arts I have personally been to.

Singapore’s ArtScience Museum is located in Marina Bay Sands, the building is an amazing architectural highlight amongst many located around the area. The building reminds me of the lotus flower, was designed by an Israeli-Canadian architect, Moshe Safdie.

At the time of my visit, aside from the minimalism exhibition, a fun and interactive exhibition created by TeamLAB was on show. The neon filled, colourful and interactive exhibition for children of all ages.

Now on to the “Minimalism: Space.Light.Object”…

Greeted by a giant sand-pit of a zen garden created by Mona Hatoum, I was instantly given a snapshot of what the entire exhibition is all about. As seen in the photograph below of the artwork, the arm moves clock-wise and constantly changing the texture of the sand’s surface. The work can be interpreted in any number of ways, according to each visitors’ understanding. I personally believe that this is the best choice for the first piece, as it symbolises that despite the simplicity of minimalist arts, there are always deeper meaning behind each work.

I adore the pop of colours in the works by Donald Judd and Olafur Eliasson amongst all the lack of them in most minimalist pieces. Eliasson’s installation, pictured below, has got to be my most favourite. The work is colourful and immersive, as you walk around the various neon coloured sheets, your perspective and your sight changed and filtered.

Overall, Minimalism is a well-curated exhibition. The way each artworks are placed in the sequence that have been decided by the curatorial team, gave the exhibition a flow that is easily followed by any visitors with various degree of understanding towards the Arts. Plenty of international names, such as Kapoor, Judd and Eliasson, but also loved that the curatorial team also involved a good mix of artists from Asia, mainly Taiwanese and Japanese artists. Forever grateful to be able to visit Singapore at the right time to see this great exhibition.

-k.

Drunk Elephant Slaai-d, yet again

“Should I really double cleanse, I don’t wear makeup…”

If I have a dollar every time my clients say this, my pocket will be bursting at the seam from the weight. Ever since I was introduced to Caroline Hiron and her ever so enlightening videos on Youtube, I double cleansed. The changes you can see on your skin when you start doing double cleansing is crazy and I believe every women (and men) can reap benefit of this significant skincare routine step. There are few of my clients whose skin have improved by simply doing double cleanse.

The HOW is simple,

1. On dry skin, apply your oil cleanser, emulsify and rinse off. Don’t pat dry as yet cause you go to step…

2. Foam your water based cleanser and wash your face as normal

The WHY, even if you don’t wear or wear very little makeup, this is what double cleansing does for your skin,

1. First cleanse will takes dirt or dust you picked up throughout the day. Remember, some dust particles includes floating dead skin cells, gross. If you so happen to wear makeup, many makeup products are oil based, and oil will attracts oil, making makeup removal that much more thorough

2. Second cleanse with your water based cleanser will then actively cleanse the skin itself

I personally have always preferred balm cleanser as my oil-based, and as an avid Korean beauty user, I am very familiar with balm cleanser. I love how nowadays, many western beauty brands are creating products inspired by Korean beauty and these exchanges of ideas are so beautiful to me. The latest is one of my favourite skincare line, Drunk Elephant and their Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser.

In the box, you get a decent 110g tub of cleansing balm, plus a small Bamboo Booster which acts like a gentle exfoliant for that extra cleansed once in a while. My first impression of the product, to be very honest with you, was not very good. It was so thick and left quite an oily residue on my skin. It melted my makeup off super easily, don’t get me wrong, this stuff works, but compare to my other balm cleanser which emulsify beautifully and leave no oily residue on my skin, this sensation is new.

But I thought to myself, maybe I over do and scoop too much. The second time, I went a little bit easy on the scooping. Let’s just say, I was too excited the first time.

Slaai is a really thick butter, there’s no mistake. Hence, like any other Drunk Elephant products, you don’t need a lot of it. The butter melts so easily on skin, takes all my makeup off and emulsify beautifully. I do have to rinse few more times in comparison to previous cleansing balm I have used, but now I do not mind because my skin feels nourished afterwards, especially during the cooler months coming.

Appreciate the Bamboo Booster too, cause now once a week, I added a small amount to the balm. It is a gentle exfoliation but satisfying nonetheless. Considering how little I am scooping the butter, this will last me quite sometime and I am all for it.

All my double cleansing tribe, tell me what do you prefer, oil cleanser or balm cleanser? Let me know in the comment below please, incase there’s an oil-based cleanser that I need to try.

-k.