Sunday, 28 December 2014

Mia's Sponsored Review: bSoul Hydra-Lip


Do you know that some of the lip balms that we are using actually form a synthetic film over the surface of the lips, causing us to think that our lips are properly moisturized? Such ingredients do not work any further than just the surface and may even cause our own body and skin to forget to function by itself!

bSoul Hydra Lip is a certified-natural lip cream product that is rich in natural functional ingredients. It improves moisturisation from the first application and enhances the volume and the definition of the lips with prolong usage. 

And thanks to Herine and Meditrina, I got to try out this amazing sounding lip product to experience its efficacy for myself! 


If you're still unfamiliar to the brand, bSoul is the first eco-friendly phytoceutical cosmetic line, which exclude the use of parabens, silicones, petrolatum, paraffin, SLES and of course, does no testing on animals.

bSoul skin care is truly certified by ICEA (Environmental and Ethical Certification Institute) and well received in Italy.

One of the main ingredient, Ecocert complex, is rich in Sinalbin, which is the main phyto-nutrient of the mustard sprouts known to increase the capillary blood flow. This gives hydra lip the plumping effect, which enhances the volume, colour and definition of the lip.

 Before


After 1 application

Notice how the patchiness of my lip was removed (via flaking) and the lip wrinkles so much less obvious? And yes, that was taken immediately after 1 application of the lip cream!


I really like how hydra lip gets totally absorbed in as I massage the cream onto my lips, instead of leaving a film on top of my lips like other lip care products out in the market. This means that I can immediately apply on my lip stain without having the problem of the stain 'slipping' off my lips due to the oily sheen left over by my lipbalm.

During my first 2 usages, there was some 'flaking' (production of white particles as I massage the lip cream in), which is an indication of  the removal of dead skin and/or accumulated silicone from other lip products. I reckon my flaking wasn't excessive as I do exfoliate my lips from time to time.
The fact that it gets totally absorbed into my lips also gave me the perception that I'm not ingesting any of the product as I eat and drink throughout the day. Coming to this, I really wonder just how many sticks of lipsticks and lipbalms have I eaten till date. T.T

bSoul Hydra Lip retails for $52 at Meditrina
For online members, every $10 spent accumulate 1 credit point. Every 1 credit point offset $1 off future purchases. 

For more information on bSoul, visit their FB HERE
For more information on Meditrina, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Mia's Review: Coffee Bean Beanstro

"What, Coffee Bean Bistro? You mean they started bistro line? I didn't know that!"

"No, not bistro. It's beanstro. BEAN-stro."

"Okay.... What?"


Set up just like a CBTL cafe with better chairs and tables, it may be hard to notice that it's a Beanstro and not just their usual cafe. To be honest, CBTL has never been on my favourite list, ever, for I'm really not a fan of their coffees. So, will the Beanstro impress me?
Hmm, we'll see.

And of course, no coffee for me, thank you very much. I'll go for a cuppa tea!

 For starters, we got a few 'finger food' snacks for sharing while we waited for our tardy queen to arrive.

 Hand-cut Calamari - $9
Well, what can go wrong with a basket of well batter, deep fried squids? Near to nothing!
The batter wasn't exactly very crispy and the squid wasn't exactly tender-chewy enough, but it was still packed with flavour to make this basket of fried squid pretty addictive.

Mozzarella Fritters - $7

I didn't really get to eat this, because the waiter came and sneakily cleared the plate even though there's still 1 whole, untouched fritter left on it. And yup, he didn't even bother to ask if he can clear it. Just reached in, grabbed the plate and left while we're engrossed in chit-chatting.
BAD SERVICE, CBB, BAD SERVICE!
Erm, any refund of the (perhaps) $2?
 But according to the rest who has eaten it, it's still 'not too bad' for a cheese lover.


Morrocan Lamb Casserole - $16
A pair of lamb Marquez in tomato stew done Moroccan style, overlaid with eggs and baked in a hot plate!

Well, sorry for the bad picture. CBB is quite a bad place to be taking pictures due to backlight in every corner and every single angle.
But this dish is really delish! However, the serving is pretty small and if it's not for the 2 slices of toasted baguette and with the calamari, I might have left the place hungry. I can't really say I understand the point of adding 2 eggs on top of the dish, for it doesn't complement ANYTHING imo. Well, it might have been for the toasts, which were better off being paired with the tomato stew to begin with. So In the end, I pretty much gobbled down the runny yolks first (I really cannot imagine the taste of it getting mixed into the rest of the stew) before moving on with the rest of the dish. The lamb cubes were tender and savoury, and the tangy tomato stew simply brought out more of its flavour.
 If you're a lamb and tomato lover like me, I really recommend that you try this!


Bangers and Mash - $18

Oozing with cheese, grilled chicken snail sausage on Idaho mash with caraway sour cabbage and onion gravy.


Classic Eggs Benedict - $17

Two softly poached eggs built on toasted Vienna with chicken ham, lime vinaigrette mesclun and hollandaise sauce.

Frankly speaking, I won't say that they're very affordable but the food quality is definitely there for a cafe (even though beanstro's concept is meant to be a casual dining restaurant, I still view CBB more as a cafe), and it makes the penny a little more worth spent. Service wise, really... please train up your waiters and remind them to NOT clear off non-empty plates WITHOUT asking the diners if it's alright to do so.
That was just plain rude. It's appalling.

Coffee Bean Beanstro Takashimaya is located at Ngee Ann City B1-37

For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 22 December 2014

Panasonic Cooking Demo: Homebaked Goodies for Christmas

I was so excited when I received an invite from omy recently, on a cooking demo by Panasonic to make some homebaked goodies for Christmas. And so, on a Saturday afternoon, I made my way over to the cooking studio at the Panasonic Customer Service Centre, along with a small group of other omy bloggers, to learn how easy it'll be to make some yummy breads with the Panasonic SD-P104 Bread Maker!



This is actually my first time seeing a bread maker and I was a little surprise to find that it actually resembles an elongated rice cooker. SD-P104 also comes with a handle, which added on to its handy-dandy convenience of being able to bring it around easily. 

And what's the plus point of being early for an event, other than being able to snatch the 'circus seats'? You can take as much photographs as you like, without snapping the weird backviews/sideviews/frontviews of any unknowing photobombers. 

And yes, that's 3 whole shelves of ovens and microwaves at the back of the cooking studio. 

Our cooking mama, Theresa, prepping up the place before the rest of the bloggers arrive. And yes, that's a freshly baked bread loaf you spot back there. 



A sneak peak of the ingredients needed for the cooking demo today....

And upon arrival of all bloggers, Theresa got the demo going by introducing to us how the Panasonic SD-P104 bread maker works. It not only mixes, kneads, rises and bakes the bread at one touch of the button, but also help to dispense raisins & nuts (left grey squarish contraption) and instant yeast (right black round contraption) automatically at the proper time. 
Not only that, it also allows us to choose the crust colour we prefer (light or standard) and has 13 baking menus (including rice flour bread and dumpling skin) to allow us to bake an array of goodies like bread, dough and cake. And according to Theresa, you can also make your own fruit jam using this bread maker as well! 

And other than the control panel and dispensers, the other remaining section of this amazing machine will be this bread pan.


And inside the bread pan comes with a detachable kneading blade. It's pretty surprising to know that such a small blade is enough to knead through the entire bread dough.


And while Theresa started off the class with showing us how she baked this perfect loaf of Fragrant Mixed Wheat Bread, Clarice, another friendly staff of Panasonic, helped to slice the freshly baked loaf for us to have a taste.



This bread is a little crispy on the outer crust, and totally soft and fluffy on the inside! And with a good dose of sunflower seeds, melon seeds, raisins and black sesame seeds, it totally added on to the sweetness and fragrance.... YUMS!

This is basically what happens after you dump all your ingredients into the bread pan and switch on the bread maker.
And in 2 hours under "Rapid" baking mode...

Viola~



And of course, we had a 2nd serving of this yummy bread loaf! Erm, okay I had a 3rd serving actually. xp

And if you think you can only make bread loaves with the bread maker, no that's not all! As mentioned, you can also make dough using the bread maker.


 and working on the ready made dough and allowed to rise further in a oven set at 40 degree C...

You can get some yummy flavoured bun rolls!



Theresa made cuts on top of the neatly shaped bun and stuffed in a good amount of canned tuna (minced), onions, cheese and a dash of paprika to make some yummy tuna bun rolls.



And even for a non canned tuna lover, this bun rolls were still yums! 


And next up... Guess what?



Yes, you can also easily make Muah Chee using the bread maker too! And the hardest part of it will definitely be cutting the ready made lump of muah chee and coating them with crushed peanuts. 
However, I felt that the muah chee was a little too soft and not chewy enough for my liking as a huge mochi/daifuku fan. 

And our last treat of the day...

Hmm, pizza?

No, it's focaccia bread! 

Covered fully with cherry tomatoes, olives and mozzarella cheese, the dough was left to rise at 40 degree C for another 50 minutes before baking.

And viola~

Fresh from the oven, fragrant and fluffy, it's so yummy that even those scalding hot cherry tomatoes couldn't stop our gluttony! 

For more information on SD-P104 Bread Maker and other Panasonic products, visit Panasonic's website HERE or their facebook HERE.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Mia's Review: Suddenly Slender Ionithermie Body Contouring Treatment [Sponsored]

Early last month, Suddenly Slender announces that they will introduce Ionithermie Body Contouring (IBC) treatment into Singapore. They will be the exclusive distributor of IBC and the first to bring it into Asia.   
IBC originated in Paris, France. French Biochemist Oliver Fouché created it in 1978. Originally developed to treat arthritis, many benefits become quickly evident. These benefits include detoxifying the body, emulsifying cellulite and increasing metabolic rate. IBC obtained an International Patent proving the originality of the concept. IBC is available in more than 40 countries such as USA, UK, Russia, Australia and Dubai.    
IBC has gone through seven (7) years of clinical researches and trials. The results indicate 1-8 inches loss in the treated areas of the body on 96% of the subjects. IBC has become a favorite anti-cellulite treatment of millions of satisfied customers from all over the world, including celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Heidi Klum.
And once again, thanks to TIN, I was not only able to join the official launch event at Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre, but also was able to experience for myself how the treatment feels like!

During the launch at Holiday Inn, we were shown a live demonstration of the IBC treatment on a pretty model.




Ionithermie is a combination of five treatments that are applied simultaneously. It uses five active components that work together directly on the problem:

1. Iontophoresis 
A non-invasive electrical stimulation charged with negative and positive ions. It is used in medicine to facilitate the penetration of therapeutically active ingredients deeply into the skin layers. It also helps to increase blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. The effect of the ionization lasts between 36-48 hours after the treatment. 
-credits of information to Ionthermie Saintclairs-
2. Thermal Aroma Mask
A conductive healing clay which heats up and gives a relaxing feeling. Thermal mask accelerates blood circulation, improves lymphatic flow and relaxes the muscles. The content of clay helps to eliminate excess fluid from the body, stimulates the metabolic processes and re-mineralize the skin.   
3. Aromatherapy
Cypress essential oil increases circulation and helps remove toxins and excess fluid from the body and balance the hormones. Pine essential oil is a natural diuretic, with stimulating and anti-inflammatory activity on the body.
The effect of the essential oils lasts between 5 -7 days after the treatment.   
4. Algae
A building material for connective tissue, re-mineralize the skin and eliminate toxins. Along with other active products, algae stimulate, nourish and heal the skin and body. Algae are rich in iron, iodine, minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, trace elements and sea salt.   
5. Electro Muscle Stimulation with faradic current
It 
tightens and tones the muscles. Physiotherapists use Faradic current to restore weak and damaged muscle tissue. It is utilized to stimulate the muscles, which helps blood circulation and lymphatic system. 
Furthermore, it helps to detoxify the extra-cellular matrix (where collagen is synthesized). Hence, it stimulates the production of collagen resulting in smooth skin.


A sample of the thermal mask, which gradually heats up as it dries and cracks. 
Well, actually I wanted to show off my Glam Rock. Haha, kidding! 

1. Clinically proven results: Smoother skin texture and reduced measurements
2. Defines upper abdominal muscles and improves contour 
3. Activates the Transversus Abdominis (TVA). 
4. Excellent for post natal re-establishment of muscle tone. 
5. Aids circulation and lymphatic drainage 
6. Reduces water retention and the appearance of cellulite 
7. Lifts, smoothen and tones the quadriceps 
8. Inch loss of up to 8 inches per treatment 
9. Detoxifies the body   

And then, I finally got to try out this amazing sounding treatment very recently at Suddenly Slender, Holiday Inn Orchard branch.


Their tea brewer and candies are set up right at the waiting area..


The small consultation room was prettily done with with a chandelier-like lighting and comfy looking chairs.

Yup, they won the best total body-toning treatment (non-machine based) for Women's Weekly Best in Beauty 2010.

For security reasons, lockers are provided for customers to lock away their valuables during the treatment session.

Then I was sent to the treatment room to change our of clothes into their disposable undergarments (bra and panties) and a robe before the therapist showed me to their sauna cubicle.


It's a private cubicle, and I was asked to remove my robes and only sit inside in my disposable undergarment at 135 degree F, which eventually rose to 140 degree F (60 degree C).


They're thoughtful enough to provide you with a cup of water and a dry towel inside for us to dry our pouring sweat. It would have been better if I've had a damp towel to cover my face/top of my head though.

And after 20 minutes of sweating like a horse inside the sauna cubicle, I was brought back into the treatment room to take down my before measurements and then kick start my treatment!

The whole tray of products they're going to use on me.

There were two therapists performing the treatment for me as it's really a "big project" and I doubt assigning just 1 therapist will be easy. It's really a labour-intensive treatment for the therapists, with many preparation required for setting up the mask in the mould and attachment of all the wires and such.

First up, the body toner (blue bottle) was used to cleanse my skin and prep it for the A+B ampoule, and positive & negative ions.

And as one therapist was busy with application of the ampoules on my body, another was busy preparing the algae-infused mask and distributing them evenly onto the mould (not in pictures) with the electrode pads attachment fixed for the back of my legs.
Then, both therapists (with my own pilates skills) helped to slid the mould underneath my body such that the back of my thighs right up to my lower back was fitted snugly inside and "coated" with the mask.

Then, more of the mask was applied onto the top part of my body (tummy and down to front of thighs) and 3 more electrode pads attached, 2 on the thighs and 1 on my tummy.


It took nothing more then mere seconds for the skillful therapists to fix all the wires in, and on came the current.

"It's going to be a little prickly, more intensive at the thighs as you have 2 on each thigh while on the tummy there's only 1."

Yes, for the intensity part. But prickly, no. It just felt like very small yet vigorously quick vibrations that was jiggling my fats. Ticklish more than prickly, actually.


Anyhow, I managed to fall asleep during the 30 minutes in "vibration mode".

And after 30 minutes was up, the therapists came back in and helped to clean off all the random bits of dried mask that stuck onto my body before applying body lotion for me.


And there you have it, my before and after! I lost a total of 5.2 inches, and that's 13.2 cm!
Before you think that my thighs measure a good 8 inches thicker than my waist, and my calves topped it all at 40 inches... Erm, no. Haha, the consultant somehow didn't jot down my stats according to the table.
And according to her, mine is not the most jaw-dropping results she has personally seen, for a another blogger lost about 9 inches!

And the amazing efficacy of this IBC treatment is not all.
For all my lovely readers, quote MiaHoKangTao and enjoy your first trial session of Asia IONITHERMIE (IBM Treatment) at only $99 (UP $588) and if you sign up for IBM packages, you get to enjoy 20% off directly!

So what are you waiting for? Drop Suddenly Slender a call to make your appointment and start losing those pesky inches!

Suddenly Slender are located at:

Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre
11 Cavenagh Road, #01-08/09, Singapore 229616
Tel: 6884 8111


Malacca Centre
20 Malacca Street, #12-00 Singapore 048979
Tel: 6345 8111


Blk 930 Yishun Central 1
#01-123
Singapore 760930
Tel : 6481 3168


For more information, visit Suddenly Slender's website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo
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