Culinary Journey: What’s Up With… Dalgona Coffee

“A day without coffee is like, just kidding… I have no idea,” – Anonymous

If you are of the millennial generation, addicted to YouTube and a proud owner of TikTok, chances are you would have heard about this coffee…

Dalgona Coffee, although gain massive popularity in South Korea, is actually originated in Macau, China. The 400 times whisked coffee was featured in a South Korean reality, celebrity cooking competition called, Fun-staurant. One of the celebrity competing, Jung Il Woo, in search on foodie inspirations, went to Macau and discover this whisked coffee. Being a very popular reality show, evidently it inspired many South Korean, who happened to be stuck at home because of Covid-19, to take TikTok and YouTube by storm and the rest is history.

The recipe is so simple, all ingredients are 1:1:1 ratio

  • 2 tbsp Instant Coffee, black coffee won’t work with barista grade coffee for coffee machine or 3 in 1 kind with premixed sugar/creamer
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp hot water

You mixed all three ingredients and just whisk your life away. If you want it to be super fluffy, marshmallow like foam, you need to use an electric whisker cause your arms might fall off otherwise. If you are happy with a thickened cream consistency, your arm power will suffice. I love to pop this over ice and cashew milk. Cashew milk is honestly a recent discovery and I have fell hard for it.

Honestly, once you mixed the whisked coffee with milk, the drinks pretty much resemble a latte. The taste however, is on a different level. The coffee is creamier when compared to normal ice cafe latte and I don’t think I can drink coffee any other way, aside from Iced Americano, which is still my go-to. Dalgona coffee is definitely more like a treat, because as I’m writing this, like many of those South Korean before me, I am stuck at home, self isolating from all the corona craziness that is out there.

Let me know if you do give this coffee a go? You can always take a photo, post on Instagram and tag me http://instagram.com/karina.mandala

Stay safe and healthy everyone…

-k.

Skin Edit: Then I Met You… A Month In Review

“At Then I Met You, we believe now – in the age of distraction – it’s time to go deeper,” – Then I Met You

Have you ever experienced that instant deep connection you have towards, someone, some thing or some place, that you just can’t explain? In some sense, this is the definition of the Korean word, Jeong. There’s no literal translation of the word in English language, but the meaning behind the word it truly beautiful. To the Then I Met You team, it means a deep and meaningful connection that encourages empathy and generosity and with this ideals, the team rooted everything that they do with each products they created for their customers.

2020-03-26 104312295519615348090..jpg

For many people who knew me, aside from the fact that I am obsessed with skincare, I have a strong connection to the Korean culture. I am surrounded by amazing friends who are of Korean background, I enjoyed their cuisine, their language and their sense of humour. My visit to Seoul felt more like a true pilgrimage rather than a mere holiday, because it refreshes my mind and I came back inspired. I suppose it’s back to that word again, Jeong, I definitely felt that towards South Korea, especially Seoul. Guided by the same feeling of connection, I discovered Korean beauty and finally, Then I Met You. 

For the longest time, I could not get my hands on them because Then I Met You do not ship overseas. But I am so thankful that they decided to make their products available on Soko Glam, which an online Korean beauty store co-founded by the same person that created Then I Met You, Charlotte Cho. I always loved shopping at Soko Glam because of all their well curated beauty brands and trust worthy recommendations.

The products that I purchased are, The Living Cleansing Balm, as a duo with Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel, as well as the other duo consists of, Birch Milk Refining Toner & The Giving Essence. As I am writing this, the team is about to launch their latest product, which will be a moisturiser, can’t wait for it to be available on Soko Glam so I can get my hands on it too.

I have used these four products exclusively within my PM routine for the past month and these are some of my thoughts on each individual products,

  • Living Cleansing Balm

I love the sorbet like texture. I am a huge balm cleanser fan and I do rank this quite high up on the list of my most favourites, if not number 1. This balm is created with few star ingredients such as,

    • Sea Buckthorn Oil which is known to be rich in fatty acids
    • Persimmon Extract helps to capture free radicals and prevents premature ageing and photo damage. It is also an ingredients with a known skin brightening properties
    • Olive oil, grapes Oil and Vitamin E, all are powerfully nourishing oils, high in antioxidants that helps to remove oil based impurities

Why I love? The balm is easily spread on your dry skin and emulsify beautifully. When you wash it off, there are no trace of oily feel on your skin. You’re pretty much left with supple, clean and soft skin

  • Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

The second step to your double cleansing, this cleanser features fermented rice water (sake) that meant to help clear impurities and soften the skin. It’s star ingredients are,

    • Licorice root which is an effective antioxidant and natural skin brightening
    • Rice Ferment Filtrate is rich enzymes and amino acids to nourish your skin
    • Centella Asiatica a popular ingredient that help to increase moisture content in your skin
    • Green Tea is calming and very high in antioxidants
    • Tea tree lead is antimicrobial and anti inflammatory, also gentle for acne-prone skin
    • a PHA in the form of Gluconolactone which gently exfoliates, without sensitising the skin

Why I love? Enjoys the light tea scent of this cleansing. I am pleasantly surprise by the fun jelly-like texture, a little weirded out to start with but enjoys it now. The cleanser does not foam like crazy, which I personally love because it does not feel stripping for the skin

  • Birch Milk Refining Toner

This toner is designed to be used daily that will give you more than just simple hydration for the skin. Instead of water, the base of this toner is 76% concentration of pure birch juice, so you know the team at Then I Met You do not mess about when it comes to delivering highly efficient product to us, their customers. The star ingredients in this toner are,

    • Birch Juice off course. Birch juice has a skin-soothing and hydrating abilities while packed with amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants which includes Vitamin C and B3
    • Squalane derived from squalene, which our body produce naturally to maintain moisture in our skin. Squalane happens to boost cell regeneration while allowing other ingredients to absorb more efficiently into our skin
    • Marshmallow root is an anti-ageing plant extract that helps to reduce inflammation and fine lines while hydrates and protects the skin
    • Glycolic, Lactic Acid (both AHA) & PHA, both are gentle skin exfoliators, which helps to remove dead skin cells in order to encourage new skin to come to the surface. The combo also helps to counteract hyper-pigmentation and reverse the effect of sun damage

Why I love? First of all, I find the light tinge of violet of the toner to be a surprise, aside from that, this toner also has a slight fermentation scent, which reminds me a little of SK-II or Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. I was so excited to receive this product, it happened to arrive on the day that I got my monthly acid peel done at my aesthetician, therefore the moment I pop this toner on, my skin experienced a slight tingles. Off course, it was because of the AHA & PHA exfoliating element within the toner, but thank goodness the toner is gentle enough that my skin was not irritated from he accidental double exfoliation LOL

  • The Giving Essence

The last on the line-up (for now), the treatment essence designed with over 80% naturally fermented ingredients, it hydrates your skin, but also work harder on giving your skin its youthful radiance back. Some of its awesome ingredients are,

    • Black chokeberry which apparently have the highest recorded antioxidants which contributes to skin’s youth and radiance
    • Elagic Acid protects skin from UV rays, collagen degeneration and harmful bacteria pathogens. It also said to be a safer alternative to other brightening ingredient
    • Polyglutamic acid instead of hyaluronic acid, because this water soluble holds four times more moisture
    • Galatomyces derived from fermented sake to reduce appearance of pores, blackheads and sebum, decreasing level of acne and improve skin brightness
    • Red Algae which gives the essence its amazing colour, contain a high concentration of calcium. Happens to gently exfoliates, remove dead skin cells, reduce fine lines and brightened complexion

Why I love? I like the thin, more watery texture of this essence. I can not get over how pretty the packaging looks, for all of the products, but especially this essence. Anyway, side tracked, I love that this essence is fragrance free, despite having so many fermented ingredients. Within the month of me using this essence, I have noticed the lack of breakouts on my chin, which usually occurs around the time of the month.

Final thoughts on Then I Met You…

If I can only recommend one product from the line, the Living Cleansing Balm is definitely a clear stand-out for me. From the texture, the way it emulsify and the way my skin feels afterwards, this cleansing balm is a step above the many cleansing balm I have tried.

I honestly think using the combination of the Birch Milk Refining Toner with the Giving Essence, have definitely helped my skin’s overall more radiant look. Therefore, it will be hard for me to recommend one and not the other. I have a huge amount of respect for Charlotte Cho and her team at Then I Met You because you can feel the amount of thoughts that goes into every ingredients chosen to be in their products. You feel their passion for the brand, their products but above all, you can tell they want the best results possible for their customers.

-k.

Skin Edit: My Current Facial Serums

“Beautiful skin begins with exceptional skin care.” – Anonymous via Pinterest

In my personal opinion, one of the most important step within your skincare routine is treatment. If you really want to see the difference in your the way your skin look and feel, I think adding a serum in your skincare routine is definitely the most effective. Over the years, through trial and error, I have finally found the perfect active ingredients that work best tackling my skin concerns.

Some of my main skin concerns are, hyperpigmentation, hormonal breakouts and because I have oily skin, I get the craziest shine at the end of the day as well. I do not want to completely magnify my skin, but a more balance skin will be a top priority for me.

The best actives I find that has helped me wth my skin concerns are,

  • AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) such as Glycolic/Lactic acid, which always help with exfoliating dead skin cells and helps with brightening any pigmentation
  • BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) which is Salicylic acid, such a great active when you do get occasional breakouts
  • Vitamin C is definitely a super star ingredients in my AM routine, because Vitamin C helps with overall brightening of skin and evening out my overall skin tone

After plenty of trial and errors on my part, I am getting used to finding the right actives in skincare products, mostly serum, that helped me tackle my top skin concerns. Products in my skincare routine changes quite frequently, as I am testing different products all the time, but the following are the four my current rotation that I am loving.

2020-03-25 028628940238919472329..jpg

  • Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

Peach & Lily is a skincare brand created by Alicia Yoon, Harvard Business Graduate who loved skincare and have passion in helping others get better skin. We all need a friend like Alicia. The glass skin phenomenon stems from South Korea, where people want to have this pore-free, smooth complexion and radiant glow on their skin. Some try to achieve it using makeup with a bunch of highlighter, I prefer to achieve it (or as close to it as humanly possible,) through the help of really good skincare.

Glass Skin Refining Serum is sole goal is to get your skin that glass skin complexion through the help of the following star ingredients,

    • Peach Extract known to be a source of many vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that helps to promote skin’s firmness, radiance and refilient
    • Niacinamide the current superstar ingredients in many skincare products, believe to reduce inflammation. It has also believed to have many antioxidants which also helps to brighten skin
    • East Asian Mountain Yam Extract helps to encourage a more supple skin and helps to reduce flakes
    • Madecassoide derived from another star ingredient, Centella Asiatica, to help stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation and soothe the skin
    • Hyaluronic Acid & Peptide Complex, hyaluronic acid is the hydration hero within this formulation while the peptides helps to signal collagen production, which will help to reduce fine lines or deeper wrinkles. Collagen is the key cells that keeps our skin looking youthful, as we age however, the production of collagen slows down (from 28-30 days, it can decreases to up to 50 days… oh dear…)

Why I love? I love the light, gel texture, which sinks quickly into my skin. The formulation is scent free and so gentle, I did not break out or react to it, which is always a good thing. I notice a different on my skin after about a month of constant use in my AM skincare routine, the overall skin tone is brighter and more radiant. The serum did not give me that glass skin look, off course, I think my oily skin definitely does that whole shiny thing on its own. HOWEVER, it works wonder for your overall radiance 🙂

  • Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief Serum

Krave Beauty is such a wonderful skincare brand created by Liah Yoo, a beauty content creator on YouTube. I love how transparent the brand is when it comes to their products and the ingredients they use. I love how Liah shares many of the behind the scene and as consumers we get to meet the product’s producers/formulators, which is refreshing in the beauty industry.  The sole purpose of this serum is to restore any damaged skin barrier, help sooth your skin as well as, evening out your skin’s complexion. What I love the most about this serum is 2% of every sales will be donated to the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which happens to be one of the world’s natural wonders.

Great Barrier Relief Serum is effective because of the following star ingredients,

    • Tamanu Oil which according to research it’s the type of oil that has a skin regenerative properties. Longed been used to heal wounds and cure skin problems or ailments
    • Safflower oil & Rosehip Seed oil are both used to add nourishments to the skin, as both oils are known to be rich in linoleic acid which can help to restore damaged skin
    • NMF (Natural Moisturising Factors)+Ceramides and Squalane Combo which mimic a healthy skin barrier because all elements are naturally found in our skin. The combination of the three ingredients helped to replenish skin barrier without compromising it or cause sensitivities
    • Niacinamide or Vitamin B3, but truly by now, we do not need to discuss the good thing about this ingredient 🙂

Why I love this serum? There are so many reasons why we can unknowingly compromise our skin barrier. The most common is definitely over exfoliation of the skin, however unseen factors such as hormonal imbalances or simple stress can also compromise our skin barrier. And since I have not seen many skincare brand come out with a serum solely to tackle this purpose, I am so pleased to have tried this one. The scent can be quite herbal, but personally, I do not find it unpleasant. As someone who goes to professional aesthetician once a month, this serum is definitely the one I reach for post-treatment and have helped reduce any skin peeling without causing any further sensitivity to the skin

  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Serum

Good Genes by Sunday Riley is definitely not a new name in the skincare industry. The first time I tried the product was because Caroline Hiron told me to ego for it and I want to thank you Mrs Hiron, for you have saved my skin. The serum is created to be a deeply exfoliating dull surface of our skin therefore helping us to achieve younger looking skin with radiance and clarity. The formulation also helps to brightens the appearance of age spots or any discolourations.

Good Genes is has the following star ingredients,

    • Purified Lactic Acid is the main ingredients of this serum, which gently exfoliate your skin to remove pore clogging dead skin cells which in turn gives the skin a more smoother and clearer overall complexion
    • Lemongrass Oil is included as an aromatic ingredient that also happen to be astringent and skin refreshing for toned complexion
    • Licorice has longed been included in skincare formulation for its ability to help reduce dark spots, age spots and discolouration, which resulted in a clearer and more even skin tone
    • Prickly Pear Extract or a rare dessert cactus is used to help soothe your skin, after all that exfoliation

Why I love this serum? I believe because I have a true oily skin, I do find that at the end of the day my skin can look quite dull and feel “thick” because of the oil layers on top of makeup that has been stuck on my skin. I find that all the time that I use Good Genes, my skin definitely feels and look brighter and clearer. This serum is definitely a powerful and effective, so caution if you have never used any acid exfoliation before. Introduce it slowly to your routine and remember to patch test

  • Sunday Riley C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

A Vitamin C serum that created exclusively to help you brighten and even out your skin tone. This serum is also a more stable formulation of Vitamin C that helps to fade dark spots or age spots.

C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum has the following unique star ingredients,

    • Vitamin C (in the form of THD Ascorbate), which meant to be extremely stable and oil soluble form of vitamin c. It is here to help fight the signs of ageing such as dullness, visible loss of firmness, age spots or fine lines and wrinkles
    • Phytosterols Complex isolated from soybeans, the concentration of this ingredients help to reduce redness due to skin sensitivity
    • Saccharide Isomerate Extract is a water binding agent and good emollient for the skin, which can be particularly helpful for dry skin. This ingredient also helps to reinforce skin barrier for smoother, more youthful texture
    • Glycolic Acid is an AHA that helps to refine skin texture and help to keep formulas pH level balance for maximum effectiveness of the formula

Why I love this serum? Vitamin C is definitely well-known to be unstable and oxidise quickly due to environmental factors, e.g. once exposed to oxygen, or various temperature. I love the fact that the more stable formulation of this Vitamin C serum means that there will be no change of scent, texture and colour within the formulation. I do have to admit that you do see the results a little slower than a more pure Vitamin C serum such as, Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum, however, I really dislike the fact that the serum changes colour and clogged up the spout on the packaging with brown gel, not appealing.

Off course, the above are my own opinion based on my experience using each products. Always remember, what works for my skin might not be the best for yours and vice versa. Always patch test and ask for sample when you are wanting to try new skincare product. I believe that it is a lot harder to fix a damage skin, so take care and be very gentle with your skin.

-k.

 

 

 

Mind Journal: What in the World is going on?

In today’s uncertain time, I just want to share small thought bubbles to start with, before I begin decluttering my thoughts,

“Impact. You never really know the true impact you have on those around you. You never know how much someone needed that smile you gave them. You never know how much you kindness turned someone’s entire life around. You never know how much someone needed that long hug or deep talk. So don’t wait to be kind. Don’t wait for someone else to be kin first. Don’t wait for better circumstances or for someone to change. Just be kind, because you never know how much someone needs it,” – Nikki Banas

As I am writing this, from Melbourne, Australia, like every other country in the world, we are battling the one common enemy, Covid-19 virus. Let me just say, as someone who in my own personal opinion, do have a positive outlook on life in general, 2020 has been rough. We started the year with horrendous bushfire season like none we have seen before, the amount of loss we experienced both in human and wildlife were undoubtedly most distressing for so many of us.

Now, Australia currently has 11 deaths and over a thousand people affected by the virus and yes, I understand this is nothing like what is facing Europe right now. However, if nothing changes in the way people behave, Australia might face similar outcome as Italy or France. The government has been slightly confusing when it comes to restrictions they placed to its people. We are not allow to shop, but shopping centres are open. I understand the importance of maintaining the economy, but what will happened once all of that crumbles cause the virus has spread out of control? The economy will crash anyway…

Amidst all these uncertainty, I could not grasp my head around the fact that these uncertain time, bought out the worst in human’s behaviour. I have heard stories about racism towards people who are Asian, people selfishly panic buy and leave many people in actual need struggle for basic needs. I can not believe that in Australia, after the disaster that was bushfire where we are all came together as people, this pandemic managed to divide us apart!

I will not dwell on the anger or negativity, but I thought I just want to share small thoughts here. No matter how dire your situation might seem to you, most of the time there are other people who struggles more than you. Now it is not the time for competition of who gets it worst. Rather than looking inwards, why not try to look around and see if you can be of help to others. What we are experiencing is an unprecedented time in our history, how would you like history to remember us throughout this time? Would you rather be remembered as the generation that is filled with selfish, self-absorb people? Or would you rather history remember our generation as the group of people who come together in an unexpected tragedy and become closer, stronger and came out of the situation as one? I do not see another alternatives, we have to come together, we have to be kind…

-k.

Art Journal: KAWS Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, NGV International

“It’s just a combination of letters I liked. And when your whole art’s based on the lettering you choose, you kinda figure out what ones work together. I just liked the shapes of the k, a, w, s. It has no meaning.” -KAWS aka Brian Donnelly

Brian Donnelly, or you might be more familiar with his “artist” name, KAWS, is a New York based artists. His works span from traditional painting, giant sculpture, murals exhibited all over the world in a public space as well as in a gallery space. In my opinion, KAWS arts are not limited to the stereotypical art box, he certainly pushes the boundaries of what art can be. When a random giant Mickey Mouse-like giant inflatable sculpture floats around Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, you know his artwork goes beyond the white walls of a gallery.

20200301_1241228155470215073865255.jpg

KAWS most certainly tapped into the pulse of current trends and society, his artworks speaks to current generation in a way that perhaps no artist have done before. Alongside his exhibition in National Gallery of Victoria, KAWS created limited edition T-shirts design in collaboration with Uniqlo. The small act of adding a line of fashion merchandise in collaboration with the exhibition’s sponsor caused a relatively small chaos on the 4-storeys Uniqlo store in the centre of Melbourne CBD. The hype beasts are all out and ready, lining up for hours to get their hands on these limited edition T-shirt because they know the re-sale value of any KAWS merchandise can be absolutely ridiculous.

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-01 at 6.21.07 PM-3

Yes, Astroboy, I totally agree with your expression here. Face palm indeed. It might a phenomenon I will not and to some extend, do not care to understand. I wonder if half of these hype beasts even enjoy KAWS, the artist, or do they perhaps know him as a designer. Perhaps the same way they know Virgil Abloh of Off-White. His exhibition in National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, is quite conceptual and showcases many of his famous works. The curator had done an amazing job arranging KAWS artworks, from the beginning of his “graffiti” on advertisements to his larger than life sculpture he created exclusively for this exhibition.

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-01 at 6.21.07 PM

Is it art? Is it a mere imitations? Is he a genius? Is he a mere copycat who banked on the phenomenal success of other creatives? These are some of the questions I walked away with after my visit to the exhibition. The artist, Brian Connelly, does not seem to pay too much fuss of what you think about his work. Perhaps similar to the way he choose his “artist” name, maybe he just creates and not put too much meaning into his creations.

-k

Skin Edit: Ultra Violette, discovering the home-grown sun protection brand

“Beautiful skin requires commitment. Not a miracle.” – unknown via Pinterest

For some one who never invested in putting effort on her skin in her teenage years, I can share one piece of wisdom, wear your sunscreen! If anything else you don’t care for, care for sun protection. The thing with the sun, what affects our skin the most is not so much the heat, it is the ray both UVA & UVB. Easiest way to remember, UVA = ageing, UVB = burning. As much as UVB will hurt you through burning which can potentially lead to skin cancer, UVA is all about the unseen photo ageing affect of sun rays. UVA is responsible for your pigmentation/sun spots and the terrible fine lines on your skin. Have I scared you into using sunscreen yet? Yes? Okay… read on…

2020-03-02 104497073056678608785..jpg

Ultra Violette is the only name you need to know, when it comes to sun protection this Aussie born brand is all over it. The founders are two women who are an alumni of the Australian beauty industry, who are so familiar with the rigorous Australian testing when it comes to qualify products as sun screen/sun protection. I believe that the fact that it took them two or more years to develop Ultra Violette, definitely means they have put their time and effort on researching the best ingredients against Australian sun, which is super harsh. I definitely feel that Ultra Violette is more of a passion project that just a mere business for these women.

2020-03-02 104971908997605576797..jpg

Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF50+ UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum 50ml

This is the first product I ever purchased from Ultra Violette, because I literally see this bottle all over the social media. Points for all that marketing. I literally think about purchasing for so long, any way finally purchased and fell in love. The texture is light, milk-like, oil free formula with a subtle rosewater scent. It is a chemical sunscreen that contains Australian Kakadu Plum, which is knowns to be the world’s richest source of Vitamin C. Off course Vitamin C is the best antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage, all the while evening out your skin tone as well.

It has a pipette applicator and to make sure you have the best coverage, you need to use 3 pumps. Regardless, this one bottle last for a while. Queen Screen is definitely my staple, must-have, forever and until the day they decided to not make them anymore…

2020-03-02 105154120691636303513..jpg

Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF50+ UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum

If you asked what the difference are between the Supreme Screen and the Queen Screen, I would say it lies on the texture and tint within Supreme Screen. The original Queen Screen has the more milk-like consistency, while the Supreme Screen feels slightly thicker lightweight lotion. I love the slight tint which gives your skin a nice glow when you use it on its own on days that you do not want to wear makeup. On its own, you can say the Supreme Screen can make wonderful primer. One of the ingredient in Supreme Screen is pentavitin which, gives your skin a boost of hydration that last on your skin for up to 72 hours.

They recommend for you to use 5 pumps daily, however I do find the size of Supreme Screen to be quite small, travel friendly, but will definitely ran out quickly if you do 5 pumps. What I do is 3 pumps of Queen Screen as base before applying 2-3 pumps of my Supreme Screen

2020-03-02 102918945350983794922..jpg

Extreme Screen SPF50+ Hydrating Body + Hand Skinscreen UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum with 4 Hours Water Resistant

The latest to have been born into the Ultra Violette family, this hand and body sun protection is the reason I am regularly using sun protection for my hands. To be honest, as much as I am an advocate of applying sunscreen on the face, I know how much I lack in applying sun protection on the rest of my body. Despite the many advancements facial sun screen, being light and smells good now, body sun protection unfortunately, not as exciting. Well, not until this one arrived. Extreme Screen has a texture similar to that of the Supreme Screen, however without the tint. The coconut scented sunscreen is so light, you will think that you’re not wearing anything at all, except when the sun hits you and your skin sparkles cause of the extremely smooth glitter-like particle ingredients mixed in to the cream.

You are meant to leather this everywhere, all over your body! But I only ever use it on my hands unless I am planning to stay outdoor for a prolonged period of time. Extreme Screen  contains soothing aloe vera, which can help reduce the redness post sun exposure and Vitamin E, which can help to repair skin for a more youthful look. As a chemical sunscreen, Extreme Screen has no white-cast or grease-feel on

Interested? You can get your hands on these babies online from Ultra Violette website, simply click here. If you happened to live in Australia and prefer to feel the products before purchasing anything, Ultra Violette is now available in Sephora Australia. 

-k.

Skin Edit: February 2020 Favourites

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

How is February treating everyone? On a global scale, we have a pandemic affecting various countries that we still have no cure for. We have seen people panic in a massive scale which resulted in ridiculous behaviour that unfortunately includes racism and devastating backward thinking of so many. I wish to inform everyone, that this space is created with positivity and love, I don’t care who you are, where you’re from (and no, this will not continued on with the lyrics to Backstreet Boys famous hit, As Long As You Love Me), you are welcome here, you are in a safe space and you matter. Let’s get on with the business of sharing with you, few of my favourites for this month…

2020-03-02 101009581803462225702..jpg

As a skincare obsessive human, let’s start there eh! February is the month of intense weather changes and plenty terrible air pollutions days in between. Hence, anything that will repair and protect skin barriers are welcome…

  • Using the combination of Face Oil and Hydrating Toner/Essence in my PM routine, straight away after double cleansing, before continuing on with the rest of the routine. At first the concept baffles me, however the logic behind this method of madness made so much sense to me. When we double cleanse our skin, especially when you use oil cleanser e.g. cleansing balm, you essentially will be taking off any excess sebum off as well. Hence why it made sense to quickly replenish with good oil, before applying anything else, to encourage better absorbency of your other treatment products. My go-to this month are L’Occitane en Provence Immortelle Divine Youth Oil combine with Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence, the thicker texture of the essence really worked well with the oil, with just a quick warm up on the palm of your hands, gently pat across your face and you are good to go
  • Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief, a skin barrier repairing serum. With so much air pollution and free radicals going around due to the weather condition, I am so relieved that this serum is giving me the protection my skin needs. It contains Tamanu Oil, which is believed to help regenerates skin and addresses various skin problems e.g. hyper-pigmentation or acne scarring. Within the formulation, they have a combo of NMF+Ceramides, Squalene and Phytosterol, which mimic a healthy skin barrier. Finally, Niacinamide, the current darling of the skincare formulator cause it is in everything. It is said to be the reliable mom of the skincare world, as it repairs barrier with anti ageing benefits whilst being gentle on the skin
  • Eye cream was never something I cared about too much, as I believe whatever you pop on your face will naturally travel up to your eye areas. But definitely no harm in owning a preventative measure when you do find the right products for your skin. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is where it’s at for me. Squalane is a stable form of an amazing moisture replenisher for our skin, which derived from squalene, that occurs naturally in our skin, therefore you know, it will nourish and get rid of those annoying fine lines due to the lack of oil production surrounding our eye areas. The eye gel also contain Swiss apple stem cell extract which has an age defying properties such as, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles

2020-03-02 105940036405182849837..jpg

The number rule of my makeup bag is multi-functional products are king (or queen, up to you). Hence all my favourite this month seems have the ability to multi-task or make my life super easy,

  • RMS Beauty “un” cover-up Cream Foundation (shade: 33) is so straight forward to use, blend with fingers because the warmth of your hands just melts away the foundation into the ultimate moisturising, medium coverage foundation ever. It gives such beautiful finish without your feeling caked or greasey
  • Face Powder by Lizzie Parra in medium beige is an Indonesian makeup brand created by an absolutely adorable beauty blogger named, Lizzie Parra. I have tried few of her creations, but by far this setting powder is one of the more impressive product she created. Gives my oily skin a lovely matte, later on dewy complexion and set my foundation nicely
  • Nudestix Nudies Matter All Over Blush Colour in Sunset Strip is one of three Nudestix items I picked up from Sephora at the start of February. This particular colour, Sunset Strip, is such a beautiful shade of peachy coral and I could not stop using them as blusher, on my lips or a light flush of natural eyeshadow colour
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Fair/Medium is not a new purchase, however it is a recent re-discovery inspired by me watching the absolutely gorgeous Lily Aldridge’s natural everyday makeup tutorial on Youtube. I realised, while watching her video that I actually have most of products she uses, hence the obsession with this palette came back to me, in a big way this month. The bronze just give you the healthiest flush of “I just step in from a whole of basking in the Sun”- kind of glorious tan, while the highlighter gives you that glow on all the right places
  • I am not a lip balm person, I must say the sticky texture of a lip balm really bothers me, which is exactly why I am so surprise about this Laneige Lip Glow Balm in Peach. I might have allow it to be a favourite cause I am loving anything peach related, but this does hydrates my lip and not too sticky or overly glossy
  • For lips, I have been using mainly my MAC matte lippy in Chilli, but this month, I am loving the whole nude lip, or #MLBB life by using this NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie. With my trustee balm underneath, this lip pencil stays on for way longer than any lipstick would on me, so I am loving this

2020-03-02 101761716332025283611..jpg

With my recent passion for intensive hair care regime, I have added this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer to my routine. I know we shouldn’t wash our hair everyday, but I can’t help it. I could not stand the feeling of un-washed hair, which is why I think I need to go the extra mile to protects and nourish my hair. After hair oils, I spray this all over my hair before I proceed to blow dry them. I love the convenient of a spray and I also appreciate that the scent of this product does not attack me with a severe headache, like some other hair products tend to do

2020-03-02 106732353200915729106..jpg

In the scent department, I have a body cologne and a desk diffuser to talk about, because I have been using them non-stop this month. My prediction is they will be a long time favourite of mine long after February too,

  • Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey, did I mentioned I had an obsession with anything peach smelling lately? This is the ultimate peach scent in a bottle. The scent is soft with a slight sweetness of a ripe nectarine in summer, with a slight citrus kick that reminds you of a warm, summer afternoon you spent away laying down on a hammock while sipping a peach ice tea on the veranda, with the sound of crickets surround you. I just love that I can extend the feeling summertime give me by just using this fragrance
  • Essensorie is a Melbourne-based brand that creates beautiful essential oil based beauty products. Their Desk Diffuser in Geranium Bergamot has got to be on their best scent. I can’t get over how pretty this is! The dried flower petals are infused with geranium bergamot essential oils, all you need to do is shake before you open them. Place them on your desk for a whole day of a calming aroma…

The last but not least, a February favourite list will not be complete without the recommending you a favourite read. I am so in love in Paris, the city, ever since my first visit there during my childhood. Everything about that city, the people, their love for their arts, and their architectures just fascinates and completely floored me, I have been back there five times and always plan to go back for more. This book, In Paris: 20 Women on Life in the City of Light by the ultimate Parisian woman, Jeanne Damas and Lauren Bastide, gives me so much life. With its insider tips and places to go to for that perfect French kiss, a hidden gem of a bar or just a general tea on the lives of women living in Paris, this book has it all. If you love Paris, or if you know someone that loves Paris, this book a must-have.

What are some of your favourites in February? Made sure to let me know in the comment section down below 🙂

-k.

Art Journal: Spending the Day with Haring and Basquiat, NGV International Melbourne

“I didn’t start doing graffiti until two years after I got to New York. Jean Michel Basquiat was one of my main inspirations for doing graffiti. For a year, I didn’t know who Jean Michel was, but I knew his work.” – Keith Haring

When I first move to Melbourne in 2000, I was a naive 13 years old girl with completely glazed eyes and excitable emotions, arrived at my first Australian school being offered various subjects that she could only dream off learning back home. Fine Arts was one of those subject. During my time in Jakarta, I did so much painting and drawing classes, that I get quite good at it and fell in love with it completely. Art class in Melbourne means more exposure to international artists whose names I only ever read in my Encyclopaedia books. Keith Haring was one of those names that were introduced to me through an art class project. I remembered clearly how we were told to pick an artist and reproduce painting inspired by their body of work. For whatever reason, I was drawn to Haring’s work and thus begin my interest for various other New York artists such as, Andy Warhol, Basquiat or Grace Jones (her androgyny fascinates me).

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-01 at 6.21.08 PM-2

National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) International latest exhibition, Basquiat/Haring Crossing Lines, has got to be the most exciting things to have happen right now in Melbourne. Walking into a scene of Basquiat spraying words on a New York city’s wall, passing a news footage of Haring’s many arrest for painting on a blank advertising board, the anticipation of what’s to come build up slowly. The gallery’s white walls were filled with intertwining works by Haring and Basquiat, walls of curated story lines inspiring and perhaps, inciting a rebellious streak in all of us who visits. Cartoon like characters, random drawings of masked figures can be interpreted as shallow and irrelevant in our current society. But one can’t under estimate the strength of characters and messages behind each purposefully drawn figures that we, as visitors or passersby, should further unravel.

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-01 at 6.21.08 PM-2

While alive, both artists were known to be strong advocates of change, breaking stereotypes and the loudest voice against stigma of having to live with HIV/Aids or simply being of a different race. Can we still say that their works have no relevance in our society today?

WhatsApp Image 2020-03-01 at 6.21.08 PM

I always thought artists in the past were never just a painter or a videographer or a sculptor. I always thought of artists in the past as visionaries and society’s greatest critics. What is it that they see in or society that we, who lives in it everyday, simply missed? The works of both Haring and Basquiat continues to inspire generations of artists for years to come. Their works might start on the streets of New York, on the subway lines of Manhattan, but their desire to connect with everyone speaks to audience wider than they could have imagine. Even a rapper of South Korean boy group, Bigbang, TOP mentioned Basquiat’s name on his lyrics and who can blame him, cause arts just how Haring & Basquiat wanted and insisted, are for everyone.

-k.