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De-Auntify

All this blog's PR Stuff Motherkao loves... Reviews

Eyewear coolness. Because vain. – Review of Ottica.com

June 24, 2017

Just like you never say no to one more bag or a pair of shoes, you never say no to one more pair of sunglasses.

Because?

Because vain.

I recently had the opportunity to find my perfect pair on Ottica.com, and by golly, the perfect pair I did find. All in the comfort of my home, in front of a screen, without having to take off, put on that trial pair of sunglasses – and repeat a hundred times – to find what fits my face.

It was online shopping at its best! So stoked that technology has made that all happened.

Ottica review by Motherkao (P1) - Copy

All I needed to do was to go to Ottica.com, and start browsing each tab.

Ottica review by Motherkao (1) - Copy

I went to Sunglasses, then to Gender, selected Female, and then a whole new world of choices opened up from colours, to shape to frame size.

You can choose to see what's most relevant for you from size and shape to colour and brands

You can choose to see what’s most relevant for you from size and shape to colour and brands

I keyed in my frame size, following the current pair of sunglasses I have with the best fit, and then the search was filtered further. When I clicked on any choice of sunglasses, a section on the right allowed me to upload my own photo to see how I looked.

You can key in your frame size by looking in the insides of your current frame that fits best

You can key in your frame size by looking in the insides of your current frame that fits best

Uploading a profile picture

Uploading a profile picture

And then, SHOPPING BEGAN!

Ottica review by Motherkao (7) - Copy

Ottica review by Motherkao (10) - Copy

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Ottica review by Motherkao (14) - Copy

Ottica review by Motherkao (16) - Copy

I tried my Raybans, I put on Tory Burch and Michael Kors and fitted Carolino Lemke and Versace cat glasses just for the fun of it. I got snapshots of myself in aviators, with round rims and oval ones and got the kids to do a poll for me.

I could even get an overview of what I tried, just to do more comparisons.

Ottica review by Motherkao (23) - Copy

All very good fun.

When I finally narrowed my selection to getting sunglasses from Coach, I could further choose between brown and black lens, rotate the sunglasses frame to see what I get on the sides and how it looked.

Ottica review by Motherkao (18) - Copy

Ottica review by Motherkao (21) - Copy

Ottica review by Motherkao (22) - Copy

And then, it was down to these three in black lens – with frames different – which was then put to a vote by the kids.

Ottica review by Motherkao (19) - Copy

You can imagine how long this process took. But at least I got to “try” every possible choice possible. Without needing to put on/take off like a gazillion times, which I imagine would be laborious and might likely result in me making decisions in a haste, if I were in a physical shop!

When it was time to check out, all I needed to do was to choose the type of lens type and thickness I’d like to have, and then check out through the payment link after keying in my shipping address.

Ottica review by Motherkao (25) - Copy

Ottica review by Motherkao (26) - Copy

Fuss-free, easy, convenient at my finger tips.

I loved that I had FULL control of what I am getting, and I probably will never buy sunglasses any other way again; or glasses for that matter of fact, since Ottica also provides for prescription.

I got the sunglasses in a matter of days – I think it was less than a week – and wala, it’s been lovely having it for company while I was on holiday.

Ottica review by Motherkao (P2) - Copy
Chic, cool and chosen by my kids.

Ottica review by Motherkao (P3) - Copy

All in the name of vanity.

~~~

Disclosure: I was gifted credits to experiment and review this website by Ottica.com. All opinions here are my own. I’ve been looking for a website like this for the longest time and this is a timely collaboration opportunity for a time-starved mother like me!

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Zap the fats and the double chin with LPG at Aura & Miracles [Review]

December 10, 2016

After three kids, I am resigned to the fact that I have to live with orange peels on my thighs and a flabby tummy that makes me look like I am four months preggers perpetually.

Well, in fact, after three kids, I now have issues I never used to have, which has everything to do with elasticity down south but that’s for another post on another occasion altogether. Suffice to say, I’ve paid many visits to my piles doctor this year.

For the record, I don’t hate my body – pushing three kids out is what I am proud to have done – but I do wish it could look better on some days and not having to feel like a truck’s ran over it and back.

So when my friend, Mummy Ed, shared with me how lipomassage worked for her when we met for coffee some time ago, I couldn’t wait to try it.

I’ll take anything non-invasive anytime, so this is perfect.

So to Aura & Miracles I went, hoping to find a miracle for the orange peeled skin and stubborn fats to melt into nothingness and disappear. I know nothing can replace diet and exercise but I really wouldn’t mind indulging in a quick fix or two once in a while. Some stubborn fats melting away is better than none.

aura-miracles

Aura & Miracles – how apt the name: look for Sherry or Pearl and they will show you some magic with the LPG

And there I was introduced to the LPG technology, via this ginormous machine that could so many wonderful things. Here are 3:

the-giant-rabbit

This looks like a giant rabbit to me!

1. Induce lipolysis – so it does melt the fats like butter somewhat! The roller technology targets the areas for fat burning and breaks the fats and other lipids by hydrolysis.

2.  Give you 10 hours equivalent of physical exercise – 30 minutes of lying there is equivalent to 10 hours of hard core cross training, minus the cardio bit, of course, but that’s the effect.

3. Improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, and smooth cellulite

Well, apparently LPG is the world leader in patented innovation when it comes to the treatment of connective tissues for therapeutic, beauty and medical applications. This treatment is also quite commonly used for sports therapy.

While I was assured I was in safe hands due to the brilliance and track record of this technology, I couldn’t wait to see what effect it has on me. The thought of #1, #2 and #3 happening sounds awesome already.

Melt, fat, melt!

So I got into a body suit, laid flat for about 35 minutes and had the LIPOMASSAGE BY ENDERMOLOGIE® pinch, suck and roll my fats around. Some parts were awfully painful (I was told by Pearl, my therapist, that the fats must have been too stubborn there) and some parts gave me the good kind of pain, like what a good deep tissue massage does. As it was my first, I was told that it would get better with every subsequent session and that would be a sign that the fat cells are getting smaller.

Yep, something like that (sorry no picture of me in a body suit that you can see) except I was flat out trying to catch some sleep

Yep, something like that (sorry no picture of me in a body suit that you can see) except I was flat out trying to catch some sleep.

Watch this video for the scientific bits of how the fats actually get broken down with this ‘giant bunny’: https://youtu.be/e7dsppIa4FQ

I was also told that I won’t drop dress sizes immediately or walk out looking like 36-24-36, so there, I had my expectations adjusted right away.

This is the area on my thigh I have the most orange peels. Nope, not going to show how they look but suffice to say, some lines out of many many lines were smoothened. So I assume they are gone?

This is the area on my thigh I have the most orange peels. I’m embarrassed to put out my peels on my very public blog but suffice to say, some lines out of many many lines were smoothened after one session.

But what I could really expect out of even a first treatment was to immediately see the water retention in my body gone, feel some smoothening on the cellulite-inflicted areas of my body and have a really good night’s rest after the treatment. Like a deep tissue massage, the lipomassage uses the technology to mechanically stimulate each cell for rejuvenation.

I don’t have awesome before and after photos to show for (sorry, not a pro beauty blogger here, and also too tired after work and massage to pose like I’m a 36-24-36), but this is what I have:

before-and-after_lipomassage_arms

Clearly the top is “before” and the bottom is “after” and you can see much of the flabbiness on my left side being pinched away just after one session.

And what I did have was a really good sleep that night (and the other night I did my 2nd treatment) and many days of feeling lighter and less flabbier. The arm is more toned, that’s for sure.

I also went back after two lipomassage sessions to try the EndermoLift™ by Endermologie® which was like a mini lipomassage for the face. The treatment apparently helps to revitalize dull, tired looking skin, reduce signs of wrinkles and stimulate collagen production. At the same time, it enhances facial metabolism, detoxifies and prepares skin for natural absorption of enriching serum and ampoules. This relaxing treatment unblocks facial lymph nodes, promotes skin renewal and enhances blood circulation.

This is how your double chins and fine lines are pinched away and your cells are rejuvenated

This is how your double chins and fine lines are pinched away and your cells are rejuvenated

It’s like a smaller version of the lipomassage technology pinching your face and neck everywhere, rolling, and sucking as it goes along every contour.

I caught a selfie of my very tired self on the left (in the dark, no less) just before the treatment and there - can you see the double chin? The one on the right is after one session of Endermolift and it's considerably more contoured

I caught a selfie of my very tired self on the left (in the dark, no less) just before the treatment and there – can you see the double chin? The one on the right is after one session of Endermolift and it’s considerably more contoured

Melt, double chin, melt.

If you’re looking for a wellness centre to experience the LPG technology and non-invasive treatments like Endermolift and Lipomassage, Aura & Miracles is the place to visit (402 Orchard Road, Delfi Orchard, #05-13 Singapore 238876 | Tel: 6333 8707).

The therapists are well trained in the LPG technology, and know exactly how to manoeuvre it to target specific areas of fats and cellulite that are exercise-resistant and diet-resistant (yep, apparently some fat cells are such!). They also provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your body and educate you about the technology before commencing treatment, something I appreciate very much.

And just for Motherkao readers, Aura & Miracles has kindly extended a special offer for anyone interested to trial the technology!

Quote “Motherkao” or “Elizabeth from Motherkao Blog” and try any treatment for SGD 68 (U.P $88) for the first time.

  • If you wish to take up a package for the lipomassage to do it regularly, you can get a 10% off the package price of $2500 and enjoy two additional complimentary sessions (total 12 sessions).
  • If you’d like to take up a package for Endermolift face treatment, you can get a 10% off the package price of $2000 and enjoy two additional complimentary sessions (total 12 sessions)

Disclosure: I was invited by Aura & Miracles to try out 2 lipomassage sessions and 1 Endermolift face treatment for the purpose of this review. All opinions, as well as the actual outcomes here are my own. It will differ from yours because your body is yours and my body is mine. Simple logic, I know, but please don’t hold me responsible for any outcomes, intended or unintended. You should just go try out one session for yourself! and who knows – your fats may melt faster than mine! Good luck!

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5 staples every mom should have

July 21, 2016

Preamble:

Apart from my husband, there hasn’t actually been any guest posts on this blog since I started. Every now and then, people would write to interest me in a range of topics, and usually the ambitious me would rather pen certain thoughts myself.

Now the reason for this guest posting is really because I REALLY want to know what are the things I should have in my wardrobe from a fashionista’s perspective. And now with e-commerce becoming so convenient, I’d love to keep up to date (and my fingers busy with online shopping) to invest in what I should have so that I can stay ‘less aunty, more trendy’.

[Guest post]

5 STAPLES THAT EVERY MOM SHOULD HAVE by Sabrina Klein

Don’t you just love that feeling when you can throw something on in seconds and it just works? As I got older I realised how much time I wasted when I knew how I was going to be late for work and still spent most mornings faffing around trying to choose what to wear that day. I’m sure every woman can relate to this at one point of their lives. Back then I would even think about what I was going to wear for work the night before and plan it in my dreams and still get it wrong.

Being a mummy now, I realised that we need to take care of ourselves and put ourselves first just as much as our babies, whether that means dressing with a little effort – at least, it’s a start. It’s always a race in the mornings and because of this I managed to pick up on what are the pieces of clothing I do wear and which are the ones I never touch.

Then I discovered that the ones I repeatedly wore over and over again were of course, my staples.

So here I am, guest posting on this blog to share what I think should be 5 staples that are easy to put on and easy for mom-life:

The T Shirt Dress

Just wear and go - t-shirt dress for easy breezy wearing (Dress from The White Pepper, from asos.com)

Just wear and go – t-shirt dress for easy breezy wearing
(Dress from The White Pepper, from asos.com)

A definite lifesaver when you feel a little bit bloated on that day or if the weathers getting warm and you just want to keep it easy breezy. T-shirt dresses are always casual, probably with a few buttons in front and a waist tie. Sleeveless or 3 quarter length sleeves are the best picks for me and I usually go for prints that are dark so that if there were any spillages or splatter from my babies’ dinner, nobody can really notice.

Depending on what the weather says, you can pair a t-shirt dress with ankle boots or some strappy sandals and you’re good to go.

The White Sneaker

Bensimon White Tennis Elly Sneakers from lyst.com

Bensimon White Tennis Elly Sneakers from lyst.com

Every woman needs a pair of comfortable white sneakers, it is a must-have and a staple that can be worn with absolutely anything. I love putting together a girly outfit and then dress it down with some sneakers for a casual look. Bensimon and Veja are my 2 favourite sneaker brands which can be found at Rue Madame Parisian boutique.

The Denim Culottes

denim cullotes

Different ways of wearing the denim culottes

A french style that I can’t get enough of are the culottes, they are the next cropped jeans! The wide leg space gives me every comfort and breeze. The denim finish makes the culottes come across a little bit edgy and super versatile that can be worn with casual flats or going out heels. Usually I will throw on a white t shirt and some chunky sandals.

Chunky sandals for the win

Chunky sandals for the win

The Soft Basics
I think I’ve lost count of basic t shirts, cardigans, tops and tanks I have. I live in them because they always work and I like the feel of the soft cotton against my skin. Majestic Filatures is one of my go to brands I swear by for basics that last because the quality is great and the price tag is not so bad either. T shirts make it easy to wear chunky necklaces with too!

Soft basics from Majestic Filatures

Soft basics from Majestic Filatures

The Everyday Jacket
Every mom should have a jacket she can wear with everything. It’s like a safety blanket. Everyday jackets like the wrap jacket that wraps around anything and looks good every time or a blazer in simple colours of white, black and navy which is easy to match with most things and is perfect to wear to work or on casual weekends.

I have my eye on IRO’s white chic jacket which has side pockets and gives off a sense of elegant and fashionable look.

Iro white blazer

IRO’s the embodiment of Frech chic meets NY Street. Here’s the white blazer I love

How many of these do you have in your wardrobe, and do you concur these are every mom’s absolute must-haves?

 

Becks Kao Motherkao loves... Reviews

The haircut after the haircut that went wrong (ft. a review of Aqua Korean Hair Salon)

July 19, 2016

So we all know that my little girl had a haircut gone wrong.

She was very upset with how short her hair turned out to be and threw a fit two weeks ago. Thankfully she is also one happy-go-lucky girl who bears no grudges and after we kissed and made up that night, she showed her mama she loved her more than she ever did.

What a wonderful little girl. Feisty and stubborn as she can be, sometimes hurling hurtful words to break my heart but also endearing and very expressive with her little acts of affection at the same time.

Just last Wednesday, after I returned home declaring that I was done with filming (the Channel 8 folks came by and interviewed me for Money Week 财经追击), my kids promptly echoed a chorus:

‘TIME TO CUT YOUR HAIR, MAMA!’

You see, out of panic at the salon the other day, I had randomly asked Becks if she wanted me to cut my hair too to ‘keep her company’. To which she said a resounding yes. I was held ransom immediately by the offer but got off the hook when I told her that I could only do it after Wednesday because I didn’t want to have short hair for TV.

She remembered. And so did her brothers who overheard everything we said.

Oh well. Don’t believe your kids if they tell you they can’t remember anything.

~~~

For my haircut, I took the chance to try out a Korean hair salon near where I worked.

So after this…

Haircut at Aqua Korean Hair Salon (2)

this…

Haircut at Aqua Korean Hair Salon (3)

and this was done…

Haircut at Aqua Korean Hair Salon (4)

I am happy ]to say I now have shorter hair than Becks’ and ain’t no one’s going to be complaining anymore about any haircut gone wrong.

IMG_6012

Of course, the little girl was really happy she’s finally got company.

Haircut at Aqua Korean Hair Salon (6)

 

~~~

A quick review about the hair salon:

I love k-culture and have been immersed in it for close to 6 years now. It started with Running Man and quickly morphed into a crazy love for everything K – food, hairstyles, fashion, people, drama and history. For the longest time I’ve wanted to get a Korean hairstylist to do my hair, and when I finally did at Aqua Korean Hair Salon, I did it over very few words and lots of quiet flipping of CeCi magazines.

You need to completely trust that a Korean hairstylist knows exactly what to do when you give him simple words like ‘short’, ‘c-curl’ and ‘volume rebond’, and even then with Moon, my stylist, he was first to suggest I was good to go with just an A-line bob because my hair’s really straight anyway, and if I were to be diligent to blow dry it daily, I would have a similar c-curl effect. I liked that he was honest, and didn’t try to hard sell anything that didn’t make sense.

But I’ve always wanted to try the c-curl and know for a fact that no one else would do it better than a Korean (plus I love Kim Ji Won’s hair in DOTS) and told Moon to go ahead and try it on me.

KJW in DOTS (Photo credit: KBS)

KJW in DOTS
(Photo credit: KBS)

And he did. He unassumingly worked on every strand and step, with quiet confidence and finesse.

The result? I. loved. it. much.

I managed to even tell him that in Korean.

좋아. 진짜좋아. (Joa. Jjinja joa.)

Haircut at Aqua Korean Hair Salon (5)

More details:

Aqua Hair Salon is at Delfi Orchard #03-16, next to the best place to do your brows, Browtisan. Connect with them on their FB Page – you can make appointments and get a non-obligatory consultation by leaving the stylists a message on FB, or contact them at 6732 8011.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All recommendations and opinions are solely my own.

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New year, old perm, and magic! [Review of Mosche Hair Salon]

January 7, 2016

This new year, I had my hair “refurbished” instead of getting a new look.

I’m not sure if you remember this exactly a year ago – but I got hooked up with two very experienced stylists who heard my plea for bounce and texture to my otherwise very limp, fine hair, who did this for me as part of my ‘De-Auntify Me’ Image Improvement Project at the end of 2014:

The BEFORE

The BEFORE

A soft perm at Mosche in December 2014

The AFTER, Part I: A soft perm at Mosche in December 2014

And then a final touch of brown

The AFTER, Part II: And then a final touch of brown

And the perm that I got done at Mosche exactly a year turned out to be the very FIRST perm that I’ve ever had that lasts. For one entire year.

I’ve had fine, straight hair all my life. And I’ve had countless perming done to it. They lasted from 2 weeks to 3 months at most, most of the time. None has ever proven my money’s worth (and time too).

Until this.

I think only Magic Scissorhands can give a defined cut like this and a perm that can last for a year

I think only Magic Scissorhands can give a defined cut like this and a perm that can last for a year

Which makes me love these folks at Mosche, namely my stylist Leslie and his assistant, Annie, and all the very experienced colourists, so very much. They are good folks who won’t fleece a cent out of you and would go all out to make sure that everything that’s done for you is worth your time, money and effort making your way there. They would suggest hair colour that matches your skin tone, take the time to learn about the image you need to portray at work, and recommend hair styles that suit your personality and habits. I’m used to going to stylists all around Singapore whose first question is always, ‘So what can I do for you today?’ but ever since stepping into Mosche I realised that they work a little differently around here. They actively take a keen interest in what really, really suits you.

With Leslie, before the cut and after the colour

With Leslie, before the cut and after the colour

At last, a perm that lasts!

At last, a perm that lasts!

So this was why I only had a hair colour (done twice in fact, because Leslie’s perfectionist streak wouldn’t even allow any uneven patches!) and hair treatment done.

Because the perm has retained its wave for a year and the hair is growing out very nicely with it. Because there’s no need to do another for the sake of it.

Same hair, same perm, different year!

Same hair, same perm, different year!

And this is how magic happened. I am starting the year in total awe of such professionalism and talent, and all ready to kickstart the year looking refurbishedly refreshed, all thanks to the good people at Mosche, who take their work and my crowning glory very, very seriously!

Happy New Year!

More details:

Mosche Hair Salon is at ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS, Level 2, 25 Scotts Road, Singapore 228220.

Operating hours:
Monday to Friday – 10.30am to 8pm
Saturday – 10.30am to 7pm

Tel: 6734 0923 | 9628 8312

The person to ask for is Leslie Yap, the Artistic Director of Mosche Hair Salon, without whom this magic would never have happened.

***

Disclosure: This is not a paid review. All opinions here are my own.

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Minus Calories 30-Minute Workout at Active Hive [+Giveaway]

July 25, 2015

Many people wear their post-workout soreness like a badge of honour for having pushed their limits and worked  their muscles hard.

But me and lactic acid build-up – neh, we don’t usually go together. I don’t welcome it, and as a result I don’t like to exercise. When I do exercise and suffer the wretchedness of a sore body, I’d start swearing to myself I will never again exercise – and so begins the love-hate relationship with exercising and this damn thing called lactic acid.

So it remains then that should you take lactic acid away and dissolve it into the abyss forever, you’d find Motherkao all raring to go exercise.

Cue the Minus Calories Workout at Active Hive.

When I was invited to try it out for 5 sessions for a consecutive 2 weeks, the thoughts that ran through my mind were: me not eager. me not keen. I can think up a gazillion legit excuses, if I had to to avoid lactic acid.

Actually, I’m all for exercising, keeping fit, moving away from my sedentary lifestyle, lowering my cholesterol level, getting more cardio workouts, building my muscle mass, reducing my fat mass, and burning away all those calories from my sinful indulgences of bacon, egg yolks, organ meat and butter – things that I live to eat. I think I have more reasons to work out than not BUT the aching was my biggest issue.

And then I was told I would not ache a single bit if I did the Minus Calories 30-Minute Workout and I.was.sold.

I had to see this for myself – CAN I WORK OUT WITHOUT ACHING? Really?

Ladies and gents. I’ve tried it, done it, tested it.

And I’m here to shout out loud: IT’S POSSIBLE TO WORK OUT WITHOUT ACHING. REALLY.

A Body Composition Analysis first ...

At Active Hive: a Body Composition Analysis first …

The exercise machine within the Minus Calories machine

The exercise machine within the Minus Calories machine

Step in and work out!

Step in and work out!

Apparently, this “miracle” invention of a machine (of course together with the exercise equipment) promises you that a 30-minute workout is all that you need to burn calories five times more than the usual workouts. The infrared which is the secret to the NO ACHES, NO LACTIC ACID BUILDUP and ionized air not only optimises fat burning but also makes you sweat more and effectively remove toxins quickly.

So what if you had to work out in the sauna-like infrared enclosed space (totally safe level, by the way)? I didn’t mind that at all.

What I hear is in exchange for 30 minutes of my time (and watching my favourite hk and k-drama on tablet while at that!) and keeping my pulse rate at 75%, I get quintuple the effect of a normal workout, I sweat my toxins out, and the infrared technology improves the rate of my blood circulation, metabolism and absorption of anti-cellulite or slimming creams (I had anti-cellulite cream applied on me before every session. BURN, BABY, BURN!). The ionized air also supplies purified oxygen to rejuvenate my skin cells and improve my respiratory system and speeds up the process of purging toxins and weight loss.

By Session 2, I was encouraged by Nikki from Active Hive to push to burn more than 500 calories. Or course, the infrared was turned off at 30 minutes. And I continued to use the Step Exercise Machine.

By Session 2, I was encouraged by Nikki from Active Hive to push to burn more than 500 calories. Or course, the infrared was turned off at 30 minutes. I continued to use the Step Exercise Machine. And yes, I was watching some random HK drama.

This was by the 4th session. And Running Man kept me company.

This was by the 4th session. And Running Man kept me company.

I had a really incredible time pushing my limits (while keeping within the acceptable pulse rate) progressively throughout my five sponsored sessions – I absolutely felt no soreness nor any lactic acid build-up. ZILCH. I looked forward to sweating like a pig, catching up on action in dramaland, and drinking that slow-juiced glass of goodness from a concoction of beetroot, celery, spinach, xiao bai cai, carrot, lime and orange after every workout.

A treat I look forward to after every workout

A treat I look forward to after every workout

Definitely won't have taken beetroot under any circumstances!

Definitely won’t have taken beetroot under any circumstances!

...Or drink a concoction of celerey, spinach, and all imaginable leafy greens!

…Or drink a concoction of celerey, spinach, and all imaginable leafy greens!

The result that I lost 0.2 percent of my fat mass was just the cherry on the cake. I enjoyed the workout more than anything, only because I didn’t have to deal with any horrible morning-afters, also known as wretched lactic acid build-up.

Such should be the happiness of exercising.

Working out the sweat, with anti-cellulite cream smeared all over my belly, thighs and even my double chin!

Working out the sweat, with anti-cellulite cream smeared all over my belly, thighs and even my double chin!

More details:

The Minus Calories 30-Minute Workout is only available at Active Hive (65 Ubi Road 1 #02-88, Oxley Bizhub, Singapore 40872 | Tel: 6385 2758).

Active Hive will be conducting a holistic wellness workshop on 15 August 2015. Learn how to ‘Get the Right Balance’ to improve your overall health. Register for the event here.

AND NOW, for a GIVEAWAY:

5 readers will stand to win a free trial workout at Active Hive on the Minus Calories machine, complete with 1 free Body Composition Analysis and 1 post-workout juice worth up to SGD103*.

To participate, all you need to do is:

1) LIKE and SHARE Active Hive’s Facebook Page

2) Comment here on this blog to share one tip on how you handle soreness after you exercise

Giveaway ends 31 July 2015.

*Terms & Conditions*

  • Winners must provide Active Hive with full name, email, mobile number and NRIC before Active Hive issues a letter for redemption.
  • Winners will liaise direct with Active Hive for their trial redemption.
  • Winners must utilise their trial session by the stipulated time provided by Active Hive.

Disclosure: I didn’t want to exercise, but I went, because I was sold on the ‘no-ache’ part. But it was in exchange for working out in a machine that had infrared technology for about 30 minutes. I was cool with that – that was my ‘no pain no gain’. I received no monetary compensation for this review, and all opinions here are my own. Oh, and the glass of slow juice after every session was a chockful of veggie-fruit goodness I wouldn’t otherwise ingest if I had a choice. Do tell them if you absolutely hate something.

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De-Auntify Me: Browtisan Eyebrow Embroidery Touch-Up

April 5, 2015

Ever since I had eyebrow embroidery done, my life’s changed for the better. My eyebrows are now fuller and more well-defined, and my embroidered brows frame my face in a way that accentuates my eyes.

So how has life changed for the better? Well, for one, the perpetual issue of shaping my brows is no longer an issue. And for another, I am looking a wee bit better when I’m made up. It’s a little confidence boost I have here.

I’m not saying this just because the entire procedure from embroidery to the first and second touch-ups are sponsored – I’ve been invited to review the services at Browtisan, just so you know – but because if I looked like a wreck after this aesthetic procedure I put myself through, you bet I’ll be the first to shout it out loud to warn you.

But I don’t look like a wreck at all, and it’s about the only place I would recommend if you want to get any aesthetic procedure done. Here at Browtisan, where I recently had my first touch-up for my embroidered eyebrows, I had a good chat with its founder and Chief Creative Officer, Coco, and realised just how professional and how sincere she and her therapists are, and how much quality you can get out of their services here.

First, a little on the first touch-up. It’s a similar process to the first, which I wrote about here, except that it takes a shorter time because my embroidered brows looked really settled and nicely done, and all there’s left was to enhance the colour a little to make them look even more natural, and to fill in some tiny gaps that have faded off. I was a little late in responding to my first touch up appointment actually. Coco mentioned that I should have let her check my brows after a month, strictly speaking. But my schedule’s been mad since the year started, and I only got to her 3 months after my embroidery was first done in December.

Nonetheless, we got started.

This is the new (and 2nd) shop space of Browtisan

This is the extended new shop space of Browtisan on Level 3 at Delfi Orchard

Check out the new lux lounge chairs

Check out the new lux lounge chairs

Chilling on the lux couch while waiting for the numbing cream to take effect

Chilling on the lux couch while waiting for the numbing cream to take effect

And this was the glorious result.

Skilfully embroidered by experienced hands!

Skilfully embroidered by experienced hands!

Look at how much clearer the eyebrow shape is, and how it has framed the face

Look at how much clearer the eyebrow shape is, and how it has framed the face

And this was how they looked after the 5 days of no-water rule (brows must be taped with 3M Tegaderm to prevent water from touching them), which made me a very, very happy woman.

Natural lighting, natural colour, natural look

Natural lighting, natural colour, natural look: every stroke filled by Coco is now nicely settled and looking like they made sense on my face!

So I mentioned Coco and I had a chat because I started to ask her about her business, and she started sharing with me the many things that they do at Browtisan. Besides eyebrow embroidery and eyelash extensions, Browtisan also provides lip-liner and eyeliner embroidery service, as well as eyelash perming and even facial treatments. I got to see how I would look like should I have my eyelids embroidered too (and I really liked the look!). The eyeliner made my eyes bigger and deeper. I also got to see the products that Coco uses for facial (she uses MT from Japan!) and this awesome looking contraption that lifts the skin instantly. I know it’s instant because I got to try it on the spot.

This little thing is amazing: it lifts your skin in an instant!

This little thing is amazing: it lifts your skin in an instant!

I also hear that Coco gives free eyebrow embroidery services to cancer patients to boost their confidence, and that really earned my respect.

I like businesses that give back to society, and one that is helmed by genuine, passionate people. Browtisan is certainly one of them.

If you’re looking for a place to get luxurious facial treatments or aesthetic procedures like eyebrow embroidery done, I reckon you will get good service with heart at this place. Quote [Motherkao] or [Elizabeth from Motherkao blog] for a 10% discount off Creative Eyebrow Embroidery [starts from SGD 1380) at Browtisan. This offer is valid till June 2015.

Browtisan is the latest Clinical Standard Brow Salon located at Delfi Orchard (402 Orchard Road #03-17, Singapore 238876). It specialises in painless, non-invasive, highly-customised Creative Eyebrow Embroidery. Other services include eyebrow shaping and design, eyeliner definition, lips embroidery, eyelash enhancement, eyelash perming and facial treatments. Connect with them on their Facebook Page to get tips on brows, and PM their therapists should you wish to make an appointment. You can also call them at 6235 2355.

This is Coco. Look for her or her equally talented therapists for your aesthetic procedures and facials at Browtisan

This is Coco. Look for her or her equally talented therapists for your aesthetic procedures and facials at Browtisan

Disclosure: Motherkao received a sponsored Eyebrow Embroidery Session at Browtisan for the purpose of this review, thanks to an invitation of AT Marketing Consultancy. The opinions here are in no way representative of Browtisan, and are solely mine. 

You can read about my eyebrow embroidery experience and eyelash extension reviews here and here.

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De-Auntify Me: From flat to wavy chic at Mosche [Review]

January 12, 2015

The hair’s flat out and the highlights are getting lighter by the day. Almost three inches of my hair from the roots is black while the rest languish in a pallid ghastly blonde-ness which makes me look, erm

Terrible.

As part of de-auntifying myself, I headed down to Royal Plaza on Scotts to review the hair services at Mosche Hair Salon. I was really blessed to have scored an invitation to try out the services at one of the oldest and more established hair salons in Singapore. Mosche Hair Salon has been around since 1979 and has had generations of loyal customers who would faithfully travel whenever they moved to locate them. The salon’s made yet another move to Royal Plaza on Scotts just a year ago, and is boasting of a bigger space and better façade.

The posh entrance of Mosche Hair Salon at Royal Plaza on Scotts

The posh entrance of Mosche Hair Salon at Royal Plaza on Scotts

At Mosche, I was introduced to the most dynamic duo I’ve ever met all my years visiting hair salons – paid or sponsored. There was so much synergy between my hairstylist, Leslie, and his partner, Annie. I actually had my hair checked and my appointment with Leslie booked a week before my first appointment (Leslie is a busy man!), to see if it was suitable to be permed. I told them I badly needed to get out of this flat hair and Leslie said he must have Annie to do a hair check-up for me before he would go ahead. The hair assessment was quick and after some tugging and routine questions, Annie said I could return another day to get it all done.

My first appointment

Upon my arrival, Leslie, together with Annie, conceptualised the look they wanted for me. They agreed the flatness of the hair needed to go, and a sassy digital perm was in order. Leslie was in charge of the cut and Annie was in charge of the perm. And I could see how important their individual roles were because Leslie’s experienced scissorhands were extremely crucial to give the hair its correct shape. He had to visualise how it would look permed while cutting. For the first time, my front was kept longer than my back – and it was most interesting to hear that this was to facilitate a soft look and not have the perm turn me into an auntie with a typical one-length cut.

This, I didn’t know. This kind of attentiveness, I never had. Ever.

Before: the ghastly pallid blonde-ness

Before: the ghastly pallid blonde-ness

One more 'Before' shot before the transformation

One more ‘Before’ shot before the transformation

Leslie Scissorhands

Leslie Scissorhands

And after the cut, Leslie had to pass me to Annie, because we’re talking about the most experienced woman to handle hair perms, ever. Her experience and professionalism was seen with her checking meticulously every segment of hair for porosity and density, things that many a salon have skipped just to get business from me and to get things done quick. At one point, I felt Annie was almost looking at my hair strand by strand! She was that thorough in making sure that my perm would turn out all right. She would fit the curlers in, take them out, try different sizes of curlers until she was satisfied. She was giving me a digital perm which she promised would make me look like Korean chic and not Singaporean auntie.

Annie applies a serum to protect my hair and scalp before the perm

Annie applies a serum to protect my hair and scalp before the perm

And then, perm in progress!

And then, curling in progress!

Very meticulously and properly...

Very meticulously and properly…

Hooked up, and "digitised"!

Hooked up, and “digitised”!

A thorough check before leaving everything in to settle

A thorough check before leaving everything in to settle

And she made good her word.

Because after almost 3 hours of sitting and waiting, this was the result:

Leslie checking...

Leslie checking…

...and styling...

…and styling…

Ta da!

Ta da!

Side profile

Side profile

Now I know why the front hair needs to be longer than the back - it's to get this soft effect of flow!

Now I know why the front hair needs to be longer than the back – it’s to get this soft effect of flow!

This is an example of synergistic teamwork, by this dynamic duo, I tell you. I’ve never been to any salon (and this, I am being honest) where the communication happens so seamlessly. Usually the stylist tells their subordinates and the latter gets going, just following instructions. But here were two stylists, both in their professional capacity conceptualising from start to finish, and I hear that’s the norm here at Mosche.

So the final product was this but Leslie and Annie didn’t look like they were ready to let me go. They told me I needed to come back after a week (we need to wait for the perm to settle), because to leave my hair in this colour was not what they wanted this look to be.

Not completed yet, but a photo with the people who made this first happened!

Not completed yet, but a photo with the people who made this happen first!

My second appointment

Five days later, I returned to Mosche all ready for my colour. I was half expecting Leslie to do up some dark maroon which I liked, but he didn’t. He told me he was going to mix a dark mocha brown for me. Reasons being, one, he was going for a mature, sophisticated look, not K-pop idol look; and two, given my busy schedule for the months to come, I probably wouldn’t have the time to upkeep a brighter colour and it is best I stuck with something as close to my natural hair colour.

I don’t know about you but this is the first time I’ve met a hair stylist so considerate. It’s like a friend saying, yes, you can be adventurous, but can I help you be a little practical so you can still look sassy chic everyday?

I like.

So I had my hair colour done. First near the roots which sat in for a little longer than the ends due to the already uneven colouring.

Leslie checking and showing his assistant, Bell, what he wants for my hair colour

Leslie checking and showing his assistant, Bell, what he wants for my hair colour

Before the colouring I told Bell my scalp gets really irritated and itchy whenever I colour it, and she applies a protective cream on my scalp. Am pleased to announce this was the best hair colouring session ever, because I didn't feel itch and irritation at all. No other salons have applied this pre-colour on me except Mosche.

Before the colouring I told Bell my scalp gets really irritated and itchy whenever the colour gets on, and she applied a protective cream on my scalp. Am pleased to announce this was the best hair colouring session ever, because I didn’t feel itch and irritation at all. No other salons have applied this pre-colour protection on me before, except Mosche.

Meanwhile, there was free flow coffee and tea.

The final result? This.

The final mocha dark brown

The final mocha dark brown

Looking a little more sophisticated, I would say

Looking a little more sophisticated, I would say

Gorgeousness.

I really like this look and although it may not have been brightly coloured as I wanted, I think this muted stylish-ness is going to be serving me in good stead for the new year and in my new job.

So considerately thought out and thought through by this dynamic pair. So easy to tousle and go in the morning. So ready to start a brand new year with a brand new look! Thank you, Leslie and Annie, and Mosche Hair Salon, for making this happen and for this wonderful opportunity to be acquainted with you!

With Annie, the woman who transformed me from flat to wavy

With Annie, the woman who transformed me from flat to wavy

With Leslie

With Leslie, the one who conceptualised the style from start to end, and gave me the haircut to the colour

Good things must share, and thanks to Leslie and Mosche Hair Salon, here’s a promotion you can enjoy at Mosche ALL YEAR LONG (yes, the whole of 2015) just for Motherkao readers:

1. Cut & Colour  – SGD 280 nett

2. Cut & Perm – SGD 450 nett

3. Cut, Perm & Colour – SGD 580 nett

4. All other a la carte hair services – 25% discount

Simply quote [Elizabeth from Motherkao Blog] to enjoy these offers for the whole year long!

Mosche Hair Salon is located at Royal Plaza on Scotts Level 2, 25 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228220. The number to call is 6734 0923 or 9628 8312. (Remember to ask for Leslie or Annie!)

Post-Script

You know I’m going to make this disclosure, as I always do: Motherkao was invited by Mosche Hair Salon for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions here are her own.

I’ve said that BUT I’m also going to add this, not just because it was a complimentary hair service:

I’ve really had one of the best customer service of all the hair salons I’ve been to – whether paid or sponsored – at Mosche, simply because of the un-pretentiousness that I experienced from meeting Leslie and Annie. They are not people who would pull a fast one on you; they come across as professional yet sincere and they get a damn good job done.

The prices at this place reflect their impeccable service here, and I’d be forthright here and now to say they are on the steeper end compared to most of the others their league.

But here, satisfaction is guaranteed and if you’re really game to try a new look here, they hardly disappoint, as seen by the happy transformations on their Facebook page and heard by their loyal customers’ reviews. I’ve a friend who’s been with Leslie for 23 years and still counting, and will never ask for anyone else other than Leslie. Her mother, her friends and relatives count among his scores of loyal followers. That, to me, is the true test of a really solid hair stylist.

That he’s got followers for more than TWO decades.

 ~~~

Heck, after this, I’m going to have to start saving money, because it sure looks like I’m going to be a follower too.

Read the other posts in this series of De-Auntify Me here and here too.

All this blog's PR Stuff Happy days Reviews

De-Auntify Me: Eyebrow Embroidery at Browtisan [Review]

January 5, 2015

The past two years of staying home have been disastrous to my eyebrows. They’ve been an unkempt mess for the longest time because I don’t even have the time to shape them with my tweezers. It’s always difficult for me to figure out the arch they are supposed to have and if I don’t find the time to regularly shape them, I lose touch with how I am supposed to look with properly defined brows.

I’ve heard a little about eyebrow embroidery and read many good reviews from fellow mom bloggers about their eyebrow embroidery experience at Browtisan here, here, here and here, so when I received an invitation to experience eyebrow embroidery for myself, I was pretty stoked. Ok, truth be told, I was half stoked and half hesitant. I needed to know what exactly is “embroidery” for the eyebrows in beautyspeak, what I would be in for, and what it could do for me to help de-auntify myself (read about my quest to do that this year here).

Eyebrow embroidery is an aesthetic cosmetic procedure of adding coloured pigment to the skin by filling in empty spots on your brows to give them a fuller and more flawless look. Using pigment matched to the actual brow colour, eyebrow embroidery produces a semi-permanent, natural look as the eyebrow hairline stroke is done by a professional stroke by stroke with precision and care. It is NOT a tattoo procedure (which is permanent, by the way) in which ink pentrates deep into the dermis. Eyebrow embroidery introduces pigment to the epidermis – the superficial layer of the skin – with minimal intrusion.

I was also told that at Browtisan, I would be in the good hands of Coco, Browtisan’s Chief Creative Officer, who has over two decades of experience in the brow and grooming industry. She also recently sat on the Annual Asia Panel of Experts for Asia Art of Eyebrow Embroidery Competition, and appointed Chairman of the Singapore (Regional Asia) 2014 Annual Asia Panel of Experts for Asia Art of Eyebrow Embroidery.

I was impressed, but nonetheless still hesitant. Afterall, it was a semi-permanent procedure which would last 2-3 years. I decided to bring my questions personally to Coco. I needed her to allay my fears and clarify my doubts, which include:

1) Will I end up looking perpetually shocked, fierce or like Crayon Shinchan?

2) Will this help make my grooming routine of tweezing my brows easier or more difficult?

3) Will I feel pain?

4) Will I regret? Can she reverse everything if I did? (Someone did tell me it is reversible, but I needed to check!)

When I arrived at Browtisan, I was immediately introduced to Coco who wasted no time in scrutinising my face and my brows. I probably would never know this if I didn’t step foot into Browtisan – but I found out I had a perpetually arched right brow because of a slightly bigger brow ridge, and that I had always had a little “hole” on my left and brows will likely not grow there anymore.

Browtisan is located at Delphi Orchard #03-17

Browtisan is located at Delphi Orchard #03-17. Browtisan stems from the word Brow and Artisan. It is a name coined to reflect the skills and artistry of their ultra-specialised subset of aestheticians.

Can you spot the seemingly insignificant: the right arch on the right brow and a little "hole" where there's no hair on the left?

Can you spot the seemingly insignificant: the right arch on the right brow and a little “hole” where there’s no hair on the left?

After applying some numbing cream and letting it numb the area around the eyebrows, Coco started working on tweezing away the strays and finding a natural shape of brows for my face. She also took the time to take the questions I was ceaselessly fielding and kept assuring me that it would look very natural.

While the numbing cream took effect, I fielded questions!

While the numbing cream took effect, I fielded questions!

Basically, she answered Questions 1 -3 (more on whether I would regret later!) by doing just ONE thing: tirelessly assuring me that the shape she was designing for me was going to follow the most natural arch for my face as much as possible.

In other words, this was what she was going to do: define my brows to make it full (there were too many gaps) and lower the right arch created by the bigger brow ridge to create balance for both sides. And she says that when the entire process is done, all I have to do is to tweeze away the strays by following the shape she’s created. It’s going to make life soooo easy!

All that she subsequently explained could be summed up in three words: painless, effortless, natural. Once again, she assured me that the whole process was going to be painless; it’s not going to take any effort on my part (so I just need to relax); and I that I needed to trust that she will give me a look that is as natural as possible.

Coco first painstakingly shapes and reshapes with an eyebrow pencil

Coco first painstakingly shapes and reshapes with an eyebrow pencil

And will only proceed with the embroidery process when the customer is completely satisfied with the shape

And will only proceed with the embroidery process when the customer is completely satisfied with the shape

Convinced at last, I let her get to work after I ok-ed the eyebrow design…

First, Coco puts on her microscopic amplification glasses to magnify whatever she's looking at

First, Coco puts on her microscopic amplification glasses to magnify whatever she’s looking at

And then she "embroiders" every single eyebrow, stroke by stroke

And then she “embroiders” every single eyebrow, stroke by stroke. This is also when the epidermis feels some tugging, and if you have a lower threshold of pain, you can ask for more numbing cream NOW.

It's only professional to check you while you sit up because the world doesn't look at you lying down. Here Coco adds finishing touches because the face is different when I lie down and when I sit up!

It’s only professional to check you while you sit up because the world doesn’t look at you lying down. Here Coco adds finishing touches because the face is different when I lie down and when I sit up!

The whole process took a while (about an hour or so) because the professional in her checks, and checks and checks till she is satisfied!

The whole process took a while (about an hour or so) because the professional in her checks, and checks and checks till she is satisfied!

At last, eyebrow embroidery COMPLETED!

Browtisan_Completed

Embroided brows, stroke by stroke. Done by Coco!

Browtisan_Completed_Full face

The full face

Browtisan_Completed_with Coco

A picture with the woman who made it all happen

So I started asking, why is it so thick? so brown? so full? so erm… unnatural? And I was told that it will all be OK after 5 days. I did like this “new” look actually, but I figured I needed to be putting on makeup when I headed out those 5 days. If not, I might actually look very fierce.

Before I left I was given a serum to apply daily for 5 days, and some 3M Tegaderm Film to protect my eyebrows from water.

~~~

My brows DID really start looking more and more natural as days passed but I have to say the 5 days that they were not allowed any contact with water was a bit of a hassle. I take at least two baths a day, and had to go to a pharmacy to hunt for more 3M Tegaderm films to cover those brows for those 5 days. But this senseless grumble aside, the incovenience was totally worth it. The entire experience at Browtisan and the result after 5 days was, well, let’s just say I am not regretting anything at all (Question 4 answered).

After embroidery, Day 1

After embroidery, Day 1

After embroidery, Day 2

After embroidery, Day 2

After embroidery, Day 3

After embroidery, Day 3

After embroidery, Day 4 - you can see it's lightening a lot

After embroidery, Day 4 – you can see it’s lightening a lot

After embroidery, Day 5

After embroidery, Day 5

The above pictures were taken with as natural a lighting as possible, and not edited.

And this was the 6th day. And I was feeling all too happy to finally not have to tape my brows up when I shower!

After embroidery, Day 6

After embroidery, Day 6

And here are the brows again, at Week 3, taken just yesterday!

This is how natural looking it is, and I am really loving these brows.

This is how natural looking it is, and I am really loving these brows.

I’m really liking the fact that the brows are now fuller and cleanly defined. I like it too that my eyebrows now frame my face instead of just being a shabby patch of mess before they were embroidered. It’s like, before Browtisan, they just existed. Now, after Browtisan, they’ve come alive and are making me look a lot more well-groomed than I used to look.

First step in de-auntifying self: SUCCESS!

Thank you, Coco and Browtisan, for demonstrating your artistry on my face!

~~~

More details:

Browtisan is the latest Clinical Standard Brow Salon located at Delphi Orchard (402 Orchard Road #03-17, Singapore 238876). It specialises in painless, non-invasive, highly-customised Creative Eyebrow Embroidery. Other services include eyebrow shaping and design, eyeliner definition, lips embroidery, eyelash enhancement, eyelash perming and facial treatments.

The price for Eyebrow Embroidery starts from SGD1380.

And here’s a discount code just for Motherkao readers:

Quote [Motherkao blog] or [Elizabeth from Motherkao] to enjoy a 10% discount off Creative Eyebrow Embroidery at Browtisan. Valid till June 2015.

~~~

P/S: I had my eyelashes extended too, but more on it in another post!

Disclosure: Motherkao received a sponsored Eyebrow Embroidery Session at Browtisan for the purpose of this review, thanks to an invitation of AT Marketing Consultancy. The opinions here are in no way representative of Browtisan, and are solely mine. 

(Self) Examination The real supermom

2015’s first project: De-Auntify Me

January 5, 2015

It’s a new year and a new beginning once again. It’s certainly an exciting thought to be able to rewrite the next 365 pages of our lives with renewed hope and vision.

To kickstart the year, I’ve embarked on a project makeover to deauntify myself. Yep, you heard that right. Since I’m returning to work after staying home for two years, I thought the start of this year would be the best time to dust the dust off those shoes, bags and dresses languishing in the wardrobe, throw out the probably expired make-up and start sorting accessories by colour and clothes type.

It’s time to get brows shaped, hair done and blackheads exterminated. It’s time to get physically fit and more sleep in. It’s time to take the clutter away and out, dump the frumpy frazzled and embrace the sassy chic.

Goodbye, SAHM. For now. Hello, ???-M. I don’t know what to call myself anymore (???)

Aunty at 33 - no more!

Aunty at 33 – no more!

I’ll be working every day but doing full-time mothering duties every day too, so I don’t know what ‘M’ that makes me. But one thing I do know for sure, I am saying goodbye to the aunty aunty gig, the one where the eyebags are black and deep, the hair ends are split and the face is scrubbed with soap in less than a minute. Yes, the one that features only t-shirt and shorts seven days a week. I’ve made enough sacrifices for the kids so now it’s time to bring back ME.

Watch this space for the ‘De-Auntify Me’ Series.