Ultra Violette, homegrown sunscreen queens

Myth:

I don’t wear sunscreen in winter time, there’s barely any sun!

FACT:

Just because you can’t see the sun, does not mean you are not exposed to UV rays. UVA/UVB rays are consistent all year round. Aside from protecting your skin from UVA/UVB rays, if you happened to use skincare with active ingredients such as, glycolic acid, lactic acid or essential oils, using sunscreen prevent unnecessary damage due to photosensitivity due the use of active skincare.

Introducing you to my current favourite sunscreen, the sunscreen for people like me, who hates the scent and the sticky consistency of traditional sunscreen. The first time I heard about Ultra Violette: Queen Screen, was through an Instagram post from my friend, who happened to be a skincare blogger. At this stage, I have been searching for my sunscreen holy grail. I am wanting a light weight texture and non-sunscreen scented sunscreen, so my happiness double when I finally got my hands on this baby.

Ultra Violette is Melbourne-born created by two women, which makes me even more excited to support and promote this brand. Under the brand, Ultra Violette currently stocked four products, Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen, Mattifying Mineral Skinscreen, Hydrating Facial Sunscreen and Hydrating Lip Balm. I decided to purchase their Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF50+ and the Sheen Screen SPF30 Hydrating Lip Balm. So… here’s a little bit of what I thought about them,

Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Lightweight Skinscreen is exactly what it claims. The texture is very fluid and light. The Queen Screen does not have the traditional sunscreen scent, when you first apply it to your face, it has a soft rose scent which makes me so happy. The instruction is to pop Queen Screen after your moisturiser, just before your foundation. After I finished my morning skincare routine, I pop Queen Screen on, mixing the smallest dot of Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Sun Serum. Even when use alone, the Queen Screen leave no white cast and this skinscreen sink nicely into your skin. One of this will cost you AU$47, which in my opinion, can be slightly expensive for some. However, considering I purchased it a month ago and have been using it religiously every morning, I still have 80% of the product left. Definite value for money.

Ultra Violette Sheen Screen SPF 30 Hydrating Lip Balm comes in two shades, I purchased a peach one which gives your lips the slightest tint but all the nourishment your lips need. The lip balm has no flavouring or much scent and feels very comfortable on.

When I purchased them, they also sent me their pouch for free. Pouch big enough to fit your daily makeup needs but small enough to be carry around in your bag. To be completely honest, I am so very happy to have found this brand. For the fact that Ultra Violette is created in Melbourne therefore supporting local small business, I am happy to repurchase the Queen Screen once I run out of it. Would also love to be able to try the other two sunscreen products in their line, however for now, I am so in love with the Ultra Violette‘s Queen Screen.

What’s your go-to sunscreen brand? Share yours with me on the comment section and until next time…

-k.

Singapore’s architectural landmarks: a love at first sight

“I don’t think all buildings have to be iconic, but the history of the world has shown us that cultures build iconic buildings,” – Frank Gehry

The opportunity to travel, for me, is the greatest blessing I have the fortune to be able to do in my life. Every time I travel, I am always reminded to say my thanks for the journey or adventures I’m about to have. Growing up with architects as parents, I am accustomed to notice and appreciate the beauty of buildings, the older the architecture the better. I believe this is probably the roots of my love and appreciation for the Arts. In all of our travels as family, or when I travel by myself, older architectural landmarks are a must-see.

Singapore is probably one of my most visited city. When I used to reside in Jakarta, Singapore is an hour away hence an easy getaway. Once I moved to Melbourne, Singapore is a transit airport on my way home. Ever since my best friend moved back to her hometown of Singapore, I have more excuse to visit this island nation. For the years I have visited Singapore, I am always stuck between the bustle of Orchard Road or Sentosa Island. During my recent visit there, I have decided to not go to my usual path and ask my bestie to take me to places in Singapore with old architectural landmarks. So my bestie and her awesome hubby took me to these amazing neighbourhoods…

Joo Chiat Heritage Town

Once a coconut plantation owned by a wealthy Peranakan – Chinese descends family, Joo Chiat Heritage Town is filled with colourful shop-fronts and ornate two-storeys houses. The vibrancy of these houses brings so much joy to my day. Many of them are private residents which means visitors will not be able to see any further than the unique facades of the buildings. While we were there, there aren’t many visitors but few locals taking selfie of their own. In one of the house, a group of elderly men and women gathered to socialise, playing card games or Mahjong, which made me so happy. It felt like I get to take a peek into their daily life, living in these beautiful houses.

The neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru

Tiong Bahru neighbourhood might not be a new discovery for many, but I am so happy to have discovered it this time around. The whole neighbourhood is filled with art-modern inspired buildings. Some of the outer facade of the buildings are made from exposed bricks which contrast the plain white wall. If you keep walking around the area, you’ll find unique cafΓ©s and adorable brunch places within these unique buildings.

One of the unique sights to see around Tiong Bahru are the murals, which depicts the everyday life of the many Tiong Bahru residences. The murals are spread around the neighbourhood and in order to find them, you do have to go on a mini treasure hunt.

Capitol Theatre

I adore old theatres, they always have unique characteristics and a unique story of their own. Wedged between modern building on both sides, Capitol Theatre feels out of place in the way that it exists amongst all the modernity. However, despite the oddity I am so happy to have stumble upon this theatre.

I am glad to have find these pockets of unique architectures during this trip. I feel that the short four days trip is so much more fulfilling than the many other times I have been to Singapore. One of the best thing about Singapore is the accessibility, therefore you can go to any of these places using Singapore’s amazing underground train system.

Do you have any Singapore’s travel stories to share? Leave them in the comment below please, would love to read it.

-k.

My Winter Fragrance Wardrobe

“Perfume is personal magic. It is a first impression and a lasting recollection,” – Anonymous.

One of my earliest memory of fragrance is my mother’s Christian Dior Dolce Vita. My parent’s master bedroom has this vanity cabinet which looks like a treasure trove of perfumes that belongs to them. For whatever reason, Dior’s Dolce Vita bottle stood out to me. Every special occasions, my mother will pull it out and I will bask in the scent that flow through the air. I suppose ever since then, I always have a special place for perfumes.

My first fragrance was Issey Miyake, that feels like million years away. And like any great fragrances, this scent take me back to me and my cousin, listening to Spice Girl’s Wannabe while admiring Michael Owen of Liverpool Football Club poster hanging from her wall. If you understand any of that references, leave a comment below and we need to be friends πŸ™‚

Fast forward few light years from then, my taste in fragrance have change so much. I have now curate my own fragrance wardrobe, seperate seasonally. Since we are nearing the start of winter, southern hemisphere represent, the following are my accidentally monochrome curation of winter fragrances…

Diptyque eau DUELLE

A warm scent enveloped you the moment you spray this on. For the longest time, I was searching for a spicy, earthy scent without the sweetness of vanilla dominating the whole thing. Walking into my beauty heaven Mecca Cosmetica, Diptyque drew me through their simple monochrome labels. The moment I picked up eau DUELLE, I knew immediately its just what I wanted. A well balance combination of white vanilla and frankincense, with notes of cardamom, bergamot, saffron, musk and many more, evokes the magic of ancient silk road. In winter time, this is the perfect scent to bring all the warmth and cosy feels…

Byredo Black Saffron

Sweeter than your regular oriental, warm fragrances. Black Saffron was inspired by the creator’s trips to India, hence the fresh notes of pomelo, saffron and juniper berries. I enjoy vetiver and raspberry base that lingers on me all day. If worn during summer, I think the sweetness overpower. In winter however, this fragrance just kick the right amount of joy to my day…

Chanel eau Paris – Venise

A fresh oriental fragrance with notes of neroli, vanilla and tonka. I believe that by this point, you might gather that in winter, I enjoy the scent of vanilla. This perfume was inspired by a city that Coco Chanel holds dear to her heart, she spent time there recovering from loosing the love of her life Boy Capel. Her time in Venice shaped Chanel’s eye for detail and lifestyle all her life…

Chanel eau Paris – Biarritz

Burst of fresh ocean breeze comes to mind when I spray this fragrance on, thanks to its fruity Sicilian citrus and lily of the valley. Biarritz was the first city Chanel opened her couture house right across the road from the casino. This is the city that launched house of Chanel to the international clienteles. Every now and then in winter, a spritz of this fragrance transport me to the seaside town and its beautiful summer days…

What about you? What was your first fragrance memory? Share your story in comment section below, would love to hear about it.

-k.

Humble Ray, a brag-worthy Desserts

“Dessert doesn’t go to the stomach, dessert goes to the heart,” – Anonymous.

If I was asked to choose between sweet and savoury, I will always pick savoury. When it comes to sweet food, I only ever have one weakness,

ICE CREAM…

To be more precise, in the case here, I am talking about Korean shaved iced dessert. Better known as Bing-su, is the only type of sweet that I would always say yes too, no matter how stuffed my stomach feel. During my travel to Seoul, a chain store place called Seul-Bing, took a piece of my heart. I went back to various branches around Seoul few times during my 10 days there and now back in Melbourne, I have been looking for its replacement since.

Not the exact same, here’s praying for Seul-Bing to arrive in Melbourne, but for now this is an incredible substitutes. If you are a huge bing-su fan like yours truly, and you happen to live in Melbourne, make your way here…

Humble Ray | 71 Bouverie Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Opens 7 days | 8am – 4pm

Thai Milk Tea Bing-su

Huge fan of Thai Milk Tea, and for Humble Ray to create this Thai Milk Tea shaved ice is something I never knew I wanted but absolutely need in my life. Trust me when I say, it is not sickly sweet, you have extra condensed milk on the side if you need that extra sweetness. The Earl Grey ice cream on top, heavenly. Don’t forget to dig all the way to the bottom of the bowl for the grass jelly and coconut jelly goodness.

Matcha Bing-Su

I’m guessing matcha flavoured shaved-ice is not a new invention, but I do have to admit the unique dollop of Earl Grey Ice Cream adds a layer of flavour spectrum that is just simply delicious. The red bean mochi hidden beneath the tons of shaved ice creates a fun texture to the dessert.

I know we are talking about my love for shaved-ice desserts here, but I can’t talk about Humble Ray and skip the good brunch food they served alongside these desserts. My current favourite, to the point of me craving it in the middle of my working week, is this simple and flavoursome combo of…

Egg White and Bacon

Their Croissant with scrambled eggs might be Insta-famous, but I have to say, their Egg White and Bacon is something else. The fluffiest egg whites omelette, generous rashers of bacons and good kick from the chilli mayo. Alright who’s free for brunch?!?!

Humble Ray, take centre stage and humbly brag about your amazing shaved-ice desserts. Unless Seul-Bing arrived in Melbourne, you shall find me enjoying my shaved-ice over brunch in this popular Melbourne brunch place.

What is the one sweet thing you could never ever refuse? Share on the comment below πŸ™‚

-k,

Seoul, I love you

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

Gustav Flaubert

It’s been a long time coming. I have missed this creative space that is “Lifestyle Monolog” and I thought it is only appropriate to pick up where we left off. After my amazing trip to Thailand in 2017, I was determined to continue my travels from that moment on. Before I catch you up on 2019’s travels, I would love to share with you the best travel experience I have had in a long time, the time I travel to Seoul, South Korea.

Seoul is one of the city that I have always wanting to visit, for the longest time. Perhaps it was all the Korean variety shows I have been watching, or all the Korean food I have been enjoying with my friends here in Melbourne. May 2018, after much spontaneity, I took my little sister from another mother and father, JQ on a 10 days adventure in Seoul city!

Life saving tips:

Buy your T-Money card, for all your public transportation needs. You can buy them at 7Eleven, in many cute designs, and top them up at any train station

Download Naver Map. Forget Google Map, it does not work as well as Naver Map. Best thing about Naver Map, it is in English and if you typed in your location and where you want to go, it helps to break down which station you should get on and off, and most importantly, which exit to come out from. Cause in Seoul, if you walked out the wrong exit, you could end up being further away from where you’re wanting to go

Download Mango Plate app. This is the best foodie app ever! Once you find the area you are wanting to dine in, it gives you a list of hot spots according to the local Seoul residents, who will give their honest opinions on this app

Take the subway train EVERYWHERE, definitely one of the best subway system I have ever been on. Taxi, unless you speak Korean, forget about it. Convenient, fast and clean, the only thing is exit and entry to some stations requires your expertise in Stair-Master, the steps are no joke

My pick of must-go places are,

1. Samcheong-dong

With the old traditional houses, Hanok, clustered around the hilly side of town, the area feels more like a village within a city. Many tourists walking around wearing the traditional Korean dresses called, Hanbok, it is not too hard to think that you have just stepped back in time.

In this area of Jong-no, two must see concept stores are GRANHAND Perfumery, for some unique and personalised scent and GENTLE MONSTER, for some really snazzy sunglasses. Actually, any GENTLE MONSTER stores are worth the visit, simply because they have such outrageous interior. I went to another one in Hong-dae area and it is as over the top. Worth it.

2. Ihwa Mural Village

Warning: another hike up and get ready to climb up some serious steps.

As an art enthusiast, I am always excited to see the Arts in all sorts of form. Public art such as, murals are always fun. During our visit, some of the murals have disappeared, however, it was all worth it as we get a different view of Seoul from the top of the hill. As it is a residential area, we get to see how the local elderly relax and enjoyed the ever slightly cool breeze of Seoul’s summer.

3. Namsan Tower & Namsan Folk Village

I do think that the folk village was created to satisfy the tourists, however it is still worth the visit after a hike down from Namsan. The tower is feasible literally from any point in the city, and it is fun to go up to get an overall view of Seoul from up high. But winding down at the folk village in the afternoon, after all the tourists are gone, were quite the highlight. I remember exactly as I sat down in one corner of this space, I told myself, perhaps one day I could live in Seoul for a little while.

4. Dongdaemun Plaza

Only recommended for those of you who enjoys vast modern architectures. It is essentially the place for Seoul Fashion Week and aside from the awesome Kakao Friends store, Dongdaemun Plaza is pretty empty. We spent a good amount of time in the Kakao Friends Store and five minutes walking around the building. We walked around to find great photo spots and onwards we went.

5. Common Ground

The concept is simple, grouped bunch of shipping containers like UNO Stacko and create a cool shopping/foodie complex within them. The area is clearly catered to the young Seoulites, evident from all the cute trinkets sold and the ever so cool streetwear clothing options. Highly recommend visiting DORE DORE cafe and enjoy their Rainbow Cake, highly sugary and addictive.

6. Leeum Samsung Museum & Hannam-dong Neighbourhood

Even if you don’t enjoy Arts the way I do, I would still highly recommend a visit to this private museum. The gallery spaces are divided into two, historical gallery filled with old artefacts and a contemporary side filled with local and international who’s who of the art world. I was pretty gobsmacked by the list of international artists included in their collection, notably Basquiat, Rothko, Kapoor, Richter and Hirst. Entrance are half price for students, including overseas university students as long as you showed your student ID, if not entry fee is around AUD$10, which is so very affordable.

Apart from the Museum itself, the area where it is located, Hannam-dong, are full of cool cafes and shops. I highly recommend a visit to ONE IN A MILLION cafe, their red velvet cake is too good to be missed.

One more area in Seoul I would highly, highly recommended is Iksan-dong. Hot spots such as MADANG CAFE and SEOUL COFFEE are worth the trip. The lack of photographs of this particular area is done deliberately, cause I think Iksan-dong is a part of Seoul that you have to explore without a pre-conceive idea of what it looks like. But if you happened to follow me on Instagram, feel free to scroll and get a little taste of Iksan-dong.

As I am typing this post, I am planning another Seoul trip in 2020, in my mind cause something about this city took a piece of my heart and I could not shake off my holiday blues. Despite my endless Korean food nights with my Korean friends in Melbourne, the feeling of being in Seoul is not something I can replace. A feeling that I definitely can not wait to experience more often, sooner rather than later.

Have you been to Seoul? Share with me your thoughts on comments below πŸ™‚

– k.

Denmark House, final dΓ©gustation

First, let me give you the most important details,

Denmark House

428 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Now that I have informed you where they are, let me tell you a little about them. Denmark House is a small place in the middle of Melbourne’s busy city, offering the ultimate experience of Danish hospitality. I was there by pure chance of having a wonderful foodie friend, but when we went there on the last time the restaurant’s served their dΓ©gustation menus to the public. They will be serving dinner as per usual, a la carte instead. Let me show you the five-course meals experienced I had at the Denmark House,

Appetiser

Crispy Chicken with Danish remoulade

Nordic crisp bread with seeds and creme fraiche

Entree

Croquette of salted cod with ‘mormor’ salad and herbs

Smoked duck breast with pickled plum

Main

Sous vide lamb rump with new season carrots, charred spring onions and rosemary sauce

Large whole king prawns with asparagus, hollandaise sauce and cracked pepper

Desserts

Rye bread ice cream with brown butter

Compressed strawberries with cream and crushed meringue

Til kaffen

Marzipan lollipop with chocolate

Each dish serves are flavourful and a delight. Personally, not the biggest fan of Nordic crisp bread, but the sous vide lamb… got me thinking, I should get myself a sous vide machines or something. The service was brilliant with ever so friendly and knowledgable waitresses. Aside from the flavours, the experience overall was nothing short of Scandinavian coziness.

I hoped you all get a chance to have a little taste of “hygge” Danish style at the Denmark House when you visit Melbourne. If you’re Melbournian and a foodie, please take a chance to pay a visit. You will not be disappointed.

Until next time lovely people, don’t forget to follow my Instagram if you want to see more of my food/beauty/art adventures.

-k.m.

Winter Lips Savers

As the weather gets colder in Melbourne, and in the general area known as the Southern Hemisphere, the part of me that suffers the most is my lips. I am terrible at keeping myself hydrated throughout the day, I just couldn’t make myself drink enough water, which is terrible! Another thing I’m bad at, considering how chapped my lips can get, I can not for the life of me, remember to re-apply my lip balm throughout the day *face palm*

So with the cold weather breathing down our necks, the following are my go-to to help me somewhat hold on to a smooth, plump lips…

I shall review them on the order of the photo, from left to right:

  • Fresh Beauty SUGAR tinted lip balm in Coral – now that Fresh Beauty have finally arrived here in Australia, I’m happy to use this one EVERDAY… it gives my lips a slight tint of coral which makes my whole face looks alive. Lightly scented and has a velvety finish
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lip Balm – I slightly panic if I can’t find this one in my bag. Comes in this chapstick form or a glossy finish lip balm tube, but I prefer this one because it is so convenient to apply. Always have one somewhere in my most frequently used bags, because this is the only thing I remember to put on my lips as soon as I see it
  • Lanolips 101 Ointment Multi-Balm in Peach – this tube has no colour, but it smells like Peach and I have a slight addiction to peach scented anything! This is my latest addition to my growing lip balm collection, and so far I’m loving it
  • Fresh Beauty SUGAR Lip Serum Advanced Therapy – Not a gloss or balm, this is literally a serum for your lips! I swear by this now because within two days of application, twice daily, my chapped lips is nowhere to be seen… Amazing stuff!
  • Fresh Beauty SUGAR Nourishing Lip Balm Advanced Therapy – the balm version to be used after you apply your serum BUT I personally, am not a huge fan. The texture is super thick but I do enjoy a slight mint flavour and scent
  • Fresh Beauty SUGAR tinted lip balm in Honey – obviously, you can probably tell, I am a big fan of Fresh Beauty tinted lip balm. This one gives the best brown nude tint that is perfect to go under my many taupe/nude coloured lipsticks, e.g. MAC’s Velvet Teddy

I should probably do an honourable mentioned, because I have run out of the product, but I have been an avid user of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Repair Lip Balm

What is your go-to lips savers??? Please leave comments and let me know, maybe I could give your fave a try. Don’t forget to follow my adventure on Instagram and I shall see you on my next post πŸ™‚

-k.m.