Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: My Beauty Diary Black Masks


I'm back in Singapore and just found out that one of my all time favourite sheet mask brands - My Beauty Diary- has recently launched its NEW Black Mask range. There are 3 types in this range, Black Obsidian Moisturizing, Black Rose Brightening and Black Pearl Total Effect Black Masks.

The masks in this range have mystical black ingredients to help eliminate skin pigmentation, unevenness and loose skin caused by UV rays and environmental impurities, the deluxe Black Mask series helps to restore uneven skin tone and enhance skin elasticity.

There is a uniquely patented ingredient - Cosphingo™ with long-lasting moisturizing property for improved hydration, enabling the skin to feel soft and supple like baby’s skin!
The 2 key ingredients in this range are 3D Hyaluronic acid and Yeast Compoud. The unique structure of the 3D Hyaluronic acid forms a protective film over the skin to replenish and retain moisture, preventing dehydration and allowing skin to stay deeply hydrated. And the Yeast compound helps tighten and regulate skin tone, and effectively soothes fatigue skin in just 15-20 minutes.

The sheet mask is made of high-quality fine and smooth cotton fibres from Japan, this cotton sheet mask feels extremely gentle on the skin, the texture is so soft! It conforms easily to my face contours and overlaps generously onto my neck area offering optimal adherence and a comfortable fit. Plus there is lots and lots of serum on it so I spread the excess serum on my lower neck and chest to make the most of this product.

These masks are suitable for use with all skin types and is very gentle on my sensitive skin as it is free of harmful paraben preservatives, alcohol, mineral oil, pigments and fluorescent agents. 


Black Obsidian Moisturizing Black Mask

I use this moisturizing mask for 15- 20 minutes in the evenings, after cleansing my face. It's part of my pampering, wind down routine at the end of the day. I don't need to use it everyday, I usually use sheet masks 2 to 3 times a week. It is nourishing, hydrating, moisturizing and illuminating.

This mask is especially recommended for skin requiring intense hydration and illumination. There are trace elements and minerals that restore healthy skin, French Black Obsidian to support the skin’s protective mechanism and enhance the skin’s hydrating power. The infusion of Laminaria digitata and sugar maple delivers intense hydration to the deep layers of skin to improve dry skin texture, revealing renewed and brighter skin. It is also enriched with numerous soothing ingredients like Calendula officinalis, Licorice, and Ruscus aculeatus extracts to relieve dry, rough and irritated skin, the mask is also rich in Bladder wrack seaweed, Aloe vera, and hydrolyzed Jojoba for improved hydration, allowing the skin to feel optimally nourished.

This is my favourite of the 3 types. I think because my skin type is quite dry so it easily appears dull looking, especially if I haven't been exfoliating (lazy lah) for a while. But the moisturizing ingredients in this mask gives my skin an effective boost, making it appear and feel more radiant after I peel the mask off.

Before putting mask on
 

Right after taking mask off

When I use sheet masks, what I want is an instantaneous effect, it must make my skin feel and look good immediately. This mask was indeed soothing, and calming on my skin and there was no stinging feeling. It made my skin super soft and did not cause any breakouts. It doesn't make my skin oily and there is no strong fragrance. After every use, the mask leaves my skin feeling more and more supple, I love touching it.

Freebie!!
For a limited time period, MyBeautyDiarySG Facebook fans get to try the Black Obsidian Moisturizing Black Mask first-hand by redeeming their FREE samples in a ‘Group Redemption Deal’. Valid only for the first 1,000 fans who participate in this group deal, the deal would only be unlocked once 1,000 entries are received.

All you need to do is 'LIKE' MyBeautyDiarySG on Facebook and then click on Black Mask Group Redemption. Share with your friends too, so it will reach 1000 soon and every participant will receive a single-piece pack of Black Obsidian Moisturizing Black Mask, worth $3.95 each!

If you would like to purchase, My Beauty Diary Black Masks are sold at the Guardian, Sasa and Watsons at $16.90 for a 5-piece pack. You can also get it online at My Beauty Diary’s official online store  NaturesMart. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Black or White this Sunday? And What Will Become of Singapore?

I've been so touched by the outpouring of emotions and sentiments on social media over the recent passing of Lee Kuan Yew. The queue for the state funeral, despite being up to 8 hours long yesterday, was orderly. People were helping each other. 

Kind businesses along the riverfront and along the path where the queue meandered, they put out tables with free cold drinks, and some put chairs out for the weary to have some respite along the way. Good Samaritans just bought a load of drinks and food and passed them out to those queuing. No one fighting, pushing, or being kiasu. Kind of like how the Japanese were during the Tsunami aftermath ( I was so impressed with the calm, compassion and order of the Japanese, no looting etc). Honestly, I didn't think we had that in us. So to see (most of) the nation unite. It has made this loss much easier to bear.
pic from ChannelNewsAsia
But on the flipside, social media does not discriminate so every attention seeker, idiot, sheep, shit stirrer, disgruntled and misinformed person gets a voice too. And it's usually an ugly one.

It saddened me to see profiteering, and people who are trying to capitalize on his death.

$29 bucks
 

Hashtag LKY cos you know it's trending. Huat ah!
 

ok, with BreadTalk, they said that proceeds were for charity. Hmm... I think their intentions were good (if really for charity) but still, to churn out a Lee Kuan Yew bun the day after the man dies... is in poor taste.
 
Then there are those who make a show of going to his funeral. Why are a few of them smiling widely like on a fun school excursion???? The inappropriateness baffles me.

click to expand pic
I suppose it makes sense when you rationalize that most of this group are from the flashmob generation. This is just the way they do things... whether it's a movie premier or a funeral. But still... don't smile happily la, aiyoh.

Of course many celebrities, like Stefanie Sun went to the funeral too, but they were mostly low key. They knew that this event wasn't about THEM.

See, even Pierre Png (*swoon*) went, queued up with everyone else so that he could pay his last respects, but declined to pose for any photos with fans.

By the way, when I went back to his Instagram to get this screenshot, I realized eh... he changed his description.. first he said lets all wear black this Sunday... then he changed it to wear WHITE (upper caps).
Le kuah la! People nag until even Pierre Png changed his description.
Someone initially came up with the initiative to Wear Black this Sunday. It went viral.
Then someone started a WHITE version. Black or white, both are colours for mourning, so its ok. It has caught on too and is going viral... which is fine, wearing white is appropriate... but so many who are spreading this 'white movement' is going round saying Not to wear black. LKY wants us to wear white. And that the Black Sunday thingy is Fake (eh? this kind of thing got fake and authentic??).  

For the record, there's no official or non-official colour to wear ok. This is not a communist country.

Even got 'staff' from Prime minister's office tell people not to wear black wor.

Please la, wear whatever you want but don't spread it like it's some kind of mandate (because it's not). Then you even make people feel bad/guilty/wrong about wanting to wear black. (Until Pierre Png change his description some more!)
To me it seems like someone went, "damn it, that black movement thingy is going viral. Why didn't I think of it first! Nevermind, I shall start a wear white movement and challenge the black one."
 
HALLO! This shouldn't be about your ego and how many people you can get on your side.
Is it just me? Or does that shirt look black to you?

I'm not against wearing white or any other colour. It's your choice. But what I hate is when smarty pants people try to convince you that wearing black is WRONG and that you are listening to a Hoax (wtf?) and that LKY would have wanted us to wear white. People's Action Party always wear white. This is LKY's funeral, not PAP event leh! And if black is wrong, why did he wear black to his own wife's funeral then??? Stop spreading nonsense. Full stop.

Our Facebook newsfeeds are filled with praises for LKY. Some even more annoying because the posts come across as self glorifying or like they're trying to outdo everyone else with a bigger tribute. All singing praises etc. I find those posts harmless, and if I've seen enough, I just skip past their posts la.

So I understand how to some, it would seem as if all these people are so stupid that they think that Lee Kuan Yew created Singapore and that all the good things are because of him and him alone. I know it might seem that way when we call him the founding father, and talk about how Singapore is what it is now because of him. But most of us actually do know that there were others before him, along side him, and after him who have also contributed greatly to this nation. But for this week, we just want to celebrate this man.


For those who don't get the sarcasm. This pic is not Raffles Place circa 1959
I like this guy and agree with a lot of his views (on loads of stuff) whenever he posts them on FB. I can imagine how frustrated he must feel when people conveniently 'erase history' but this post is kind of mean. Sarcasm is one thing, but this came across as passive aggressive to me.  :(

Perhaps someone will post info about our other founders and pioneers in the coming weeks. That's a good way of educating the masses about our history. :)

The scariest and saddest posts I've seen though are those who relish LKY's death.
 
Ahhhhhh why are you getting your views/facts/info from TheRealSingapore website???!!! They claim to be a site that provides uncensored socio-political views... but haven't you realized their views are always anti-Singaporean. They are out to disrupt the harmony of our country. It's poison. Please get reliable sources before you believe in any article 100%.
 
I really hope all this hate and spite will blow over and not harm the racial harmony in Singapore. Let us work towards a better Singapore for all of us.

p/s- All the above screenshots were taken from public posts on my Facebook newsfeed and Instagram.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heart Warming Event by Beijing101


On the 23rd of January, I was at a Care & Share event at the Commonwealth Close Residents' Corner. Commonwealth Close is home to many elderly residents and while I think it's wonderful that the elderly here can maintain their freedom and independence by living on their own, it is also important for us to help them whenever or however we can.

I was so happy to have been able to witness this charity effort. It was such a meaningful day for employees of renowned hair treatment centre, Beijing 101 Hair Consultants, and several overseas and local celebrities as they visited needy and elderly residents.

This charity drive, named Care & Share, was initiated by Beijing 101 as part of its CSR (corporate social responsibility) program to give back to the society. This charity event was supported by Commonwealth Residents Committee, Popstar Media and WuGuFeng.
Blogger Jacqueline was also there to witness this special event.

The goodie bags were thoughtfully filled with daily essentials like cooking oil, biscuits and provision food.

The celebrities include Taiwanese Sing Hom who rose to fame from the movie "Café. Waiting. Love", and local artistes Huixin, Li Qin Yu, Han Xing, Terry Wong and Lin Si Tong from Popstar Media.

On top of distributing food hampers and daily necessities, the employees and celebrities interacted with the elderly and needy and brought love, care and laughter to them. It was nice to see such kindness and such cheer.
As some elderly are unable to move around conveniently, the Commonwealth RC arranged for the volunteers and celebrities to distribute the gifts and visit them at their homes.
 
One particularly touching moment was when the volunteers and celebrities visited an elderly lady who had slipped and fell at home, and had to stay in the hospital for several weeks. She was just discharged from the hospital a few days earlier, and was very grateful to receive the volunteers and celebrities at her door; thanking them profusely.
The elderly residents were to eager to take pictures with the celebrities, they had such happy smiles on their faces. The celebrities also autographed posters for the residents.
It is a blessing to be able to give than to receive. As we give, we are also reminded to cherish what we have. In that few hours, I witnessed how their little efforts brought smiles and joy to the elderly. Thanks for organizing such a meaningful event, Beijing 101! *love*
 
 
p/s- for more pictures or info about Care&Share, you can check out Beijing 101 Hair Consultant's Facebook page.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew Passed Away This Morning

I was still fast asleep this morning when David told me gently "Baby, your Prime Minister passed away." I knew he meant LKY.

I heard him, but I could not wake myself up. (I was terribly jet lagged... David even put an ugly photo of me on Facebook last night, I was passed out, looking totally spasticated, with the top button of my shorts undone. I had to get to his phone and delete it. Mofo).

Then when I finally got up, late, I was in a mad rush .... to the post office, then back home to clean the floor (we have a guest arriving later today) and do the ironing. Finally, now at almost noon, I sat down to have a nosey on Facebook... and saw all the posts about his passing. And it struck me, oh, he has really left us.  :(

So sad.

But I knew it would happen. He's 91. Lots of people were wishing that he would get well, and be discharged from hospital and later join us at the SG50 celebrations. I kinda knew that would not happen. People don't live forever.

Then there are those as well who celebrate this occasion, like he's the reason for anything and everything bad in their lives so they're happy he's finally dead ...  You rejoice and laugh but the jokes on you, loser. Lee Kuan Yew lived to 91, with very minimal health problems along the way, such a full life, and his legacy will forever live on. I'm always so proud to be Singaporean, especially when I travel, and people ask me where I'm from (sometimes I think to the point where I'm quite obnoxious lol.)

I for one am very grateful that such a great man took the helm 50 years ago when times were dire and we were a little island with no resources. Look what we are today. Nothing short of amazing. You think you (or anyone else) could have done better than that? Yeah yeah, hindsight is always 20/20.

To my fellow Singaporeans who are mourning our great loss... Just want to say that I always believe that for good people, death is a release to a better place. He can finally be with his wife again. And this coming SG50 celebrations, cheer with all your might for he will be there in spirit.

Monday, March 16, 2015

PRC Tourists Make Bad Travellers

Yesterday I watched a video of a Thai celebrity, Duangjai Phichitamphon, ranting about Chinese tourists at Jeju International Airport. The video shows hoards of PRC tourists crowding and pushing their way to the front of the counter.

Ugrh! So typical of them!

Having been around PRC tourists when abroad and also having lived around more of them in Singapore lately, I completely understand her frustration. Although towards the end of the video, when she starts to get more angry, it's a bit off putting because I guess it's the Thai language which tends to sound quite crass when spoken loudly.

I have 3 neighbouring units on my floor (Those 3 are rented units, the owners don't live in them, so the tenants tend to change every year or two). Right now, 2 out of those 3 are PRC occupied. The third is rented by some white guy. The PRC woman right next to me has a humongous shoe cabinet outside her apartment. And it's not exactly a shoe cabinet lah, more of a cupboard, it's as high as my shoulders. The passageway to the lift is already quite narrow, I think it's very inconsiderate of her to place that cabinet there.... in front of my doorway. The condo management did send out memos to residents last year saying no bulky items in corridors (the clutter can be a fire hazard I guess). But she just ignored it.

David doesn't seem to mind it. He bumped into the landlord of that unit one day, and the landlord mentioned something about aiyah why the tenant put such a big cabinet there... and David said it's ok, doesn't bother us. But it does bother me (ok, only when I'm passing by it to get to the lifts.. not like it's bothering me 24-7 lah), because it's blocking half the corridor, ugly and should be inside her apartment.

But on the whole, other than that cabinet, our China neighbours have been ok to live across from. Have you got any PRC neighbours? What are they like?
 
When travelling, I dread being around PRC tourists (especially in big groups), it's perhaps as bad as (or worse than) having a cranky baby sit near you in the plane. They can be loud, they don't know how to queue, don't have basic toilet etiquette and hygiene. Plus recently. I've read about them opening emergency doors on the airplanes *WTF*, chasing penguins in Antartica, manhandling a wild dolphin for some nice photos (and killed it because its lung collapsed) and having their children pee and shit in public places, like the streets, food courts and airplane aisles instead of taking them to the toilets. Ewww.
I think the shitty experiences I've had when travelling is that they have no concept of queuing. Doesn't matter if you've been queuing in an orderly manner for some time... when they arrive, they will just push past you. Then, the second time I was in Hong Kong with my brother, we had a flight early the next morning during rush hour, so I booked a taxi in advance to take us to the airport.

It was cold, but instead of waiting in the lobby, I waited outside the hotel for the taxi, because I really didn't want to miss the taxi. There was no way you could flag one down at that time. Of course, there were some PRC men (I think there for business/work) outside the hotel, trying to flag taxis.

Then I saw mine approaching. I identified it from the license plate number and it had a sign clearly displayed to say it was booked (I can't remember the sign, probably said On Call or something). Then these 2 asshole PRC men rushed towards my cab like a pair of monkeys. I heard one of them men say in Mandarin - that cab is on call. And his friend said- nevermind, just take it.

WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. bloody assholes. Luckily I was waiting outside for the cab (even though the concierge said I can wait in the warmth and when the cab arrives, he will let me know). I too had to rush towards the cab like a monkey so I could stop them from stealing my ride. Told them in a panicked and shouty manner that I had booked that cab. Luckily they backed away with an embarrassed look on their faces... because if not, I was prepared to kick them. lol. Normally I'm not so kiasu one, but I really needed to get to the airport on time.

So I generally have not had good experiences with PRCs. My husband thinks they are fine though. He's been to mainland China once and they were all very pleasant according to him. And when I was in Hong Kong with him, it was his first time there and I pre-warned him about the mainland Chinese tourists there... but that trip, we didn't come across that many of them. Don't know why. So was pretty pleasant throughout. I think I was only pushed once, by this Chinese woman who shoved me pretty hard in my back as she rushed to join her friends ahead of the queue. This was the queue for the tram at Victoria Peak. Wah lau, relax lah, why must push until so hard. Her water bottle dropped at my feet when she pushed past me. I was so shocked by the hard shove, I didn't do anything, just watched her pick it up and carry on. In retrospect, I should have kicked her water bottle far away so she would have to go retrieve it. Haaha.  Yeah, but she pushed me, didn't push my husband instead, so he still has the impression that China tourists are ok.

What have your experiences with PRC tourists been like?

Monday, March 09, 2015

Life After Terminating an Ectopic Pregnancy

Time has been crawling by.
Who would have thought that one ectopic pregnancy can set a couple's 'trying to conceive' schedule back by almost 6 months? That's half a year!
Being away is good, a change of scenery is a good distraction... so once I'm back in Singapore I just have another week or so to wait, and then we can start trying again.

The rough time line was:
- Got pregnant November 2014
- Tested positive early December 2014
- Because of bleeding, Beta tests done. Was told it's early miscarriage (chemical pregnancy).
- Early to Mid December. Follow up beta tests showed increasing HCG levels (but not increasing at normal levels). So turns out it wasn't a miscarriage. Was told only threatened miscarriage, put on progesterone support and bed rest. Have had a couple of scans but too early to see anything
- End of December, was still on bed rest, no more bleeding. The 7th week scan showed that the baby has implanted in my right fallopian tube.  :(   This is an ectopic pregnancy and is not viable. This also explains the wonky HCG levels, and previous bleeding.
- Was given some options.
1. to have close monitoring and see if the body would just abort the ectopic pregnancy itself. Supposedly happens in like 25% of ectopics, the body gets rid of it. Can be dangerous too because if the baby keeps growing, it will rupture the tube and cause massive internal bleeding.
2. to have keyhole surgery (laprascopy I think it's called) to go in and remove the baby. This has it's risks as well, like damaging the tube/having to cut tube out.
3. Take the Methotrexate jab which will terminate the pregnancy.

I chose the Methotrexate jab (MTX). I didn't want to choose the option to just wait and see, because I did feel like my body wasn't going to abort this embryo (and the rising HCG levels was worrying me... means the baby was still growing. I didn't want to be a ticking time bomb).

If you have a confirmed ectopic pregnancy, I would suggest not waiting and just get the MTX jab. It only works if diagnosed early (meaning lower than 6000 HCG level, baby no heartbeat yet, and no internal bleeding yet). It costs very much less than surgery ( think I paid less than 100 for the jab, and this was at a private hospital. Not including the price of the scan etc of course, which you have to get even if you do surgery. The surgery itself is about $1k). It is also non-invasive, no surgical scars to heal from.

I am also pleased that I got my period exactly 4 weeks after my HCG dropped to zero (non pregnant level). Because I read some women don't get their periods for months after as it can throw the cycle/hormones off whack.

The only shitty thing about this MTX jab is that you cannot try to conceive for 3 months after having the jab. MTX also drains the body to the point of extreme exhaustion, I had never been more tired in my life... which I don't mind. I can cope with that. But I have a new found respect for all cancer patients who have to undergo long bouts of this chemotherapy drug.

Yup, MTX is a chemotherapy drug. What it does is depletes (or blocks?) all your folic acid, so the baby can't grow. And it kills rapidly growing cells (like cancer, or like that of a baby/foetus growing).

Then you cannot conceive for 3 months after (this is if you have had one dose of MTX), because it's still in your system and your baby will have serious defects like spinal bifida if you do.

So that is why getting pregnant in November last year has set me back almost 6 freaking months. We can start trying again in April. And like I said, time has been c.r.a.w.l..i.n.g.

But I am thankful that it was diagnosed early. And that one MTX shot did the trick. Initially, a week after the jab, my HCG level was still rising a lot. Even the doctor was like.. oh nooooo.... cos if I have to take a second shot, it would set me back an additional 3 months!!!  But thankfully, we waited it out another week, and the next blood test, my HCG numbers dropped my half. Phew!

After that it really took it's time to reduce, and i kept worrying with every blood test that the number might jump back up. It only finally went below 5 (under 5 means normal and not pregnant) on the 5th of February 2015 (5 weeks after the MTX jab). It was a big relief. The 5th of Feb was also when I would have been starting my second trimester if my pregnancy wasn't ectopic. So it was a bittersweet day.

Ectopics are very rare (like 1-3%) so when I was going through it, I didn't have many people to ask about it. There isn't too much about MTX for ectopics on the internet either. So I'm just putting this out there in case someone else who is facing the same situation is looking for an account of what it's like.

Also I think I should state that there wasn't very much pain for me. The scan at week 7 when the ectopic was seen and confirmed, that scan procedure was painful, all previous scans I felt nothing. And I definitely had lower back ache (this was during the week after the MTX jab (week 7 to 8 of pregnancy), so when my HCG that week had risen, I did think oh no, that pain was because the baby was growing bigger still.

I would just get sudden sharp stabs (always on my right side)... but these were very sharp and very fast. And then nothing. Probably happened less than 10 times throughout the 3 months from dec to feb. So not often at all.

Also, I read that when it's going to rupture, you will feel a pain in your shoulders. This made me paranoid lol, every (imagined) pain I had in my shoulders I would worry and think the MTX is not working and my tube is going to rupture.

I don't know if I have a higher pain threshold or what (cos the nurses and doctor would keep asking me in a very concerned way if I was in pain), And I would always say no. To me it was really no pain. But if you have just a sporadic stab pain, lower back pain during the later weeks, and just a light muscle ache kinda feeling throughout... it could still be an ectopic, so get checked. Even though you read online that the pain is obvious and quite extreme. It wasn't so for me.