Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Mia's Review: Hadara Sparkling Eye Therapy [Advertorial]

Thanks to Janel, I was invited to a session of Hadara Sparkling Eye Therapy at Hadara Aesthetics Boutique to help save my tired eyes.

Upon entering the boutique salon, I was greeted with a pleasant scent in the air, which apparently is a blend of organic aromatic oils specially concocted for Hadara in collaboration with a clinical herbalist. This signature scent creates a warm and welcoming ambience that uplifts and relaxes to dissolve stress and tension. 

Apart from the uplifting scent, I was also greeted with a display of the Dermagold products.

And their star product, Miracle C+ is the 2015 winner of Simply Her Smart Shopper Great Skin Awards, which I will talk about it in a separate post at a later date.

Needless to say, all facial treatment started off with a consultation and I had a nice chat with Dermagold's representative, Isabel, for her to find out more about my skin conditions and to recommend what type of products are more suited for my skin.

I was then brought to their treatment room, nicely done up and impeccably neat, for 30 minutes of their Sparkling Eye Therapy, which has won the Singapore's Women Weekly Spa and Salon Award: Best Eye Treatment-Hydrating category. (Announced in May 2015 issue)

Hadara's Sparkling Eye Therapy is a relaxing eye treatment designed to hydrate the eye area with Vitamin C, plant stem cells, peptides and anti-oxidants, using only Dermagold skincare products and complemented by a therapeutic eye massage.
This therapy is especially suitable for those with tired eyes or those who use mobile devices, laptops
and PC for extended hours, namely yours truly.

Benefits of the therapy include:

1. Stimulates blood flow to the skin, muscles and capillaries around the eyes area, helps to drain excess fluids, reduce sagging areas, tones the eye muscles and nourishes new cell growth. Thus reduces crow’s feet.

2. Activates the pressure points around the eye sockets to help release tension in the visual system and increase the flow of life energy to the eyes.

3. Enhances penetration of products into the skin for maximal effect

After cleansing my face thoroughly with a cleansing milk, the therapist went on to do a scrub on my eye area using Dermagold award-winning Purifying Scrub, mild enough to be used on my delicate eye area, followed by Dermagold Brightening Revitalizer to activate the ascorbic acid embedded in plant oils like jojoba oil and shea butter.
Then, the therapist started the Sparkling Eye Treatment using the Dermagold Massage Cream before letting me rest with the eye masks and then finishing up the entire treatment using more Dermagold skincare products.

And now, let's see the results after just 30 minutes of the eye treatment.



Even though the results on picture isn't obvious (mostly due to the shadow my eyelashes cast on my undereye area) but you can see still visible brightening effect at certain parts around my eyes. There's also a very slight uplift at the corners of my eyes and smoother skin, probably due to the therapist's massage.

If you've plans after the session, fret not, for Hadara has not only prepared the necessary tools to let you get back that awesome hairdo but also mineral makeup for you to prim up your face, just in case you left your make up bag back at home.

 And right opposite the huge beauty mirror, is their pantry with my cup of tea on the island counter waiting for me. 

I was served the rejuvenation tea, which was fragrant with a hint of sweetness and left me feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

Enjoy your Hadara Sparkling Eye Therapy experience (Ala Carte) at only $88!
Furthermore, quote “MollyMia” to enjoy the following special deals (valid till 31st July 2015):

1. Get a special 25% off first time trial.
Packages are also available:
– sign up for 6 sessions and get 1 additional session free or
– sign up for 10 sessions and get 3 additional sessions free

2. Buy Dermagold Star Couple Miracle C+ & Skin Elixir, and get a Tinted/Sheer sunblock (worth $39) free

Hadara Aesthetics Boutique is located at:

23 Lorong Telok, #01-01
Singapore 049035

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday from 10.30am
Saturday 10am – 2pm
Closed on Sunday & Public Holiday

Tel (65) 6969 3022
Email info@hadaraaesthetics.com

For more information, visit Hadara's website HERE and their FaceBook page HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mia's Review: Alfero Artisan Gelato [Sponsored]

For those ladies out there who loves to indulge in an ice cream feast once in a while and yet lament over your newly added flabs, did you know that you can actually indulge in a more guilt-free alternative?

The astounding difference between Alfero Gelato and your usual ice cream! Mostly importantly, there's only 2 to 9% fat content compared to the #fatdieme 18 to 30% fat content in a normal ice cream. 

And that's Marco Alfero, owner and founder of Alfero Gelato, who came from Turin, Italy to Singapore in 2009 to deliver us this gelato heaven.

Alfero Artisan Gelato is prepared with a mixture of high quality ingredients – milk, cream, sugar, eggs, fruits, chocolate, nuts, etc. with a high nutritional value. Italian gelato contains less fat than ice cream, has less incorporated air and is served at a higher temperature (-11 degree Celsius). Our gelato provides a greater flavour experience because there is less fat that coats the tongue, more flavour per spoonful (due to less air), and the taste buds are more alive since the temperature is not so cold as to numb the sensitivity. The lower fat content also means fewer calories to burn. 
-credit to Alfero Gelato-

And I got to visit the branch located conveniently at a quiet corner of Marina Square level 2 for this small and cozy food-tasting session with fellow bloggers Finaldust, Hazel, Oyhz and Janel.

And I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they serve coffee as well!


It comes in a really cute, small sized coffee cup and I felt rather dainty sipping it. Coffee wise, it was pretty good if you enjoy a bitter coffee. Somehow I felt that there's a slight sour aftertaste after I added in the sugar, so I'll probably go sugarless the next time I'm there.

Couldn't help but snap a  picture of the colourful selection of their English Tea from Gryphon Tea Company.

In order to achieve perfection during the conservation phase, a special cabinet called pozzetto is used to store the gelato, where no air and light contamination will affect the quality of the gelato. Marco strongly believes in serving only the best-tasting gelato, which is why he is the only man in Singapore who keeps his gelato covered while on display. 

And of course, this marks the start of our crazy photo-taking session, which truly is a race against time because the gelato melts so quickly! 

And there's Janel with her hugeass DSLR and Oyhz holding on to her pink Samsung camera, the mother of my Samsung NX Mini. *rofl*

The total 11 flavours we've tried from top left in clockwise direction:

Lemon, Bacio, Dark Chocolate, Yuzu, Strawberry Milk, Walnut, Pistachio (both nutty flavours were in a sorry state by then because they were the very first cup to be served), Mango, Durian, Avocado, Passionfruit.

Having tried all with the exception of Durian, I have to say that I really cannot decide on my favourite flavour. 
Despite being a chocolate lover, Dark Chocolate and Bacio, which tasted like Ferrero Rocher, somehow got a little bit 'common' in spite of the rich and creamy texture and I found myself getting addicted to the strong nutty fragrance of Pistachio and Walnut. It felt like I was munching on the roasted nut itself, albeit with a smooth and creamy texture in my mouth.
Strawberry Milk was surprisingly yummy as well, with a slight tangy flavour of fresh strawberry instead of the usual artificial flavouring we taste in the normal ice creams. 
And for ladies with a love for lighter, icy citrus flavours, you can't go wrong with any of the sorbets, with Yuzu, my personal favourite sorbet, and Mango winning the popularity vote at the table. 

Cendol Gelato Waffle

Yes, you saw it right. It's a cendol flavoured gelato, the brain-child of Marco after being introduced to the flavour of Gula Melaka. 
As I'm not a fan of cendol at all, I only took a test-bite of the gelato and found the flavour pretty mild and manageable. But for one who loves a good Cendol with flavours that pack a punch, this might be a little to bland for you, as mentioned by Hazel.

As for the waffle, in spite being pandan-infused, there wasn't much of the distinctive pandan fragrance, which might be a good thing as overpowering pandan flavour tends to be an acquired taste. They were also slightly crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, which makes the waffle itself a pretty good choice if you're craving for something more filling.

Brownie with Snow White Gelato

If you're wondering what's a Snow White flavour, it's actually just milk.
Rich milky taste with a smooth creamy texture, I can see that this will be one of the hot favourite for young children, and the generous glob of gelato really did make the dry and crumbly brownie more appetizing.

Alfero Artisan Gelato is located at:

Marina Square #02-226A/B 

81 MacPherson Lane #01-37

Orchard Gateway #B2-06

For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Mia's Travelogue: Malacca Eats - Capitol Satay Celup

Despite hearsay of how those satay celup places reuse their pots of gravy, we decided to go ahead and try out Capitol Satay due to the overwhelmingly good reviews we read online. And due to our kiasu-ness, we set off from our hotel at 340pm and reached there just in time for them to open at 4pm sharp. 
Avoided the queue, yay!

And as stated on their signboard, there's no other sister branches out there so make sure you visit their one and only branch at Lorong Bukit Cina, which is about 15 to 20 minutes walk from Jonker Walk. 

The pot of gravy first look just like this on the empty table, and after addition of grounded peanuts and other condiments...

Tadaa, satay sauce!

The choice of food isn't really fabulous, but it will do, for not all kind of food can come on stick easily, although there are some that come on plates, and definitely not all can go well with satay sauce. 
They charge at RM1.10 per stick, so do remember not to go crazy with filling up your food tray. 

One thing that kind of annoyed me was this metal piece that supposedly is to shield you from the direct heat from the burner. But, why use metal? It gets so hot I had to take extra care not to brush my knees against it while I ate. 

Well, if I'm not in Malacca and Capitol Satay Celup is not one of the highly raved eats, I probably will not give this a second look.
First up, I'm never a fan of satay sauce. And secondly, the only think I enjoyed eating from the choices available (after having them cooked in satay sauce) are the fishballs and fishcakes. I would absolutely love a crispy fried wonton, but those soggy and drenched in satay sauce? 
Nay, no thanks. 

Well, I know this doesn't look the most appetizing, but if you're a big fan of satay sauce, you have to try this out!

And what did I say about reaching promptly at 4pm sharp to avoid the queue? We only ate for about 25 minutes, and the queue stretched till almost 3 shops down the street! 
But 1 thing I noticed while we're there was that unlike the usual steamboat places, the tables actually clear pretty quickly as most patrons usually only spend 20 minutes to 30 minutes eating. So while the queue might look dauntingly long, chances are you wouldn't end up fainting on the streets due to hunger from the long wait. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Friday, 17 April 2015

Mia's Review: Benzac AC Gel 5% [Sponsored]

If you didn't know, I've been a long time supporter of Benzac AC 2.5 (this is my 3rd or 4th tube in the picture) and when SampleStore offered an advertorial opportunity for their 5% gel, I was more than glad to be able to do the 'upgrade'.

Benzac is a complete range of products to help treat acne. Its products are dermatologically-tested, safe and gentle to help us achieve clear, healthy and acne-free skin.
And of course, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my package came along with a liquid cleanser (RTP $14.90) to combat oiliness without drying out our skin, and also a facial scrub (RTP $10.90) to help remove impurities and unclog our pores! 

The full range of Benzac cleansers comes in 5 different choices of scrub, liquid and foam cleansers and the water based acne-treatment gel comes in 3 strengths, 2.5% (RTP $16.50), 5% (RTP $17.50) and 10% (RTP $18.50).

Benzac AC Gel is an effective treatment for mild to moderate acne problems with the following key benefits:
1. Kills P-acnes, an acne causing bacteria, within 48 hours.
2. Unblocks pores with a mild peeling effect
3. Absorbs excess oil without stripping skin of moisture
4. Reduces risk of irritation: Unique Acrylates Copolymer (AC) Technology releases glycerin to keep skin hydrated and comfortable. 

If you follow my blog, you would have read a short post of my acne-busting tip that includes Benzac AC 2.5, so let's move on with AC 5!

During my few days of testing out 5% on my face, it was fortunate for me that I didn't have any huge pesky pimples but I experienced a minor breakout of tiny 'cloggy' pimples across forehead, probably due to the hot weather and insufficient facial products used while I was in Malacca. And so, I used 5% on them, and was surprised to find that they almost went away (dried off) overnight. The efficacy of 5% is definitely much better as compared to using 2.5%, whereby I'll probably need at least full day usage (2x) or 2 days for the breakouts to tone down. 

However, after 3 days of usage, I realised that my forehead and cheeks (areas I apply the gel on) are getting drier and my cheeks even started to feel 'sandy' even though no visible peeling occurred. And of course, I didn't have such problems with 2.5% (else I wouldn't have continued using it for years) and I reckon it's because my facial skin is too sensitive and not hydrated enough by itself, which is why 5% ended up being like an overkill for me. 

So efficacy versus drying effects, you got to make the choice here depending on your own facial condition, and I'll definitely stick to my old favourite of 2.5% on my face.

However, I feel that 5% is an excellent choice for combating pimples on other parts of my body (namely back and chest) with thicker skin. Previously when I used 2.5% on them, it'll take at least 2 to 3 days of usage before the pimple heal. 
However with 5%, the angry redness and bump seems to tone down with just 1 application overnight and there wasn't any issue with drier or flaky skin no matter how much gel I used to spot-treat my blemishes (but by right you shouldn't put too much gel).

So, to conclude, if you're a new user to Benzoyl Peroxide, or suffer from sensitive or extremely dehydrated skin, do start low (2.5%) and slowly work your way up to a 5% or even 10% should you feel that the efficacy is lacking. 

To redeem a free sample of Benzac AC 5%, check out SampleStore website HERE
You can also find full range of Benzac Products at the following places:
National Skin Centre
Selected Guardian, Unity and Watsons stores.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Friday, 10 April 2015

Mia's Travelogue: Malacca Eats - Jonker Walk

If you haven't read part 1 of my Malacca eats travelogue, do check out my review of Nadeje too. 

And now, let's move on to part 2 of my pigging out session at Malacca. And of course, how can we leave out Jonker Walk when we're in Malacca, right?

Other than the famous San Shu Gong, located right at the end (or front, depending from which end you enter the street) of Jonker Walk, where you can buy all sorts of famous Malaysian snacks like Bey Teh Soh, Pig's Ear Biscuits, Chicken Biscuits, Dodol and etc, there's also tons of yummy food located here. 

Yes, I think I saw 2 stalls/restaurants for the Chicken Rice Balls, but we decided to give this famous Malacca dish a miss. My mum complained to me that their rice balls weren't fragrant at all, while T's colleague complained to him that their chicken tasted bad. So, combined the two reviews and we decided that it's a "must-try dish" to be abandoned.
Plus, I'm never a fan of chicken rice anyway. Unless it's my late grandma's home-cooked chicken rice.

So first up, we have Jonker 88.

And obviously as you can see, they're pretty popular so do expect some waiting time to get your table (self-snatching) and they do get totally sold out pretty early for dinner (8 plus), so don't drop by too late. 

Baba Laksa (Spicy Coconut Flavour)

This is pretty similar to our Katong 328 Laksa, albeit with a much stronger coconut sweetness in the gravy that ends with a spicy kick. 

Nonya Laksa (Spicy Assam Flavour)

Not a fan of assam at all, for I find them too acutely sour. But T loved this. However, I do love the noodles that they used for the nonya laksa. Unlike the usual thick beehoon that's usually used in laksa, the nonya laksa uses something that's more like the mouse's tail noodles (lao shu fen). Thicker, slightly transparent and extremely chewy like mochi, an exceptionally addictive texture indeed.

Ice Kacang

Well, the picture says it all. Do not order this. Overly sweet, and not 'icy' at all.

And now for the other street food that you can find at Jonker Walk...

BBQ Scallops (2 for RM15)

This was amazing! I didn't quite understand why they added vermicelli to the scallops while grilling, until I ate them. The vermicelli literally sucked in all the sweetness of the scallops while they cooked, and with a dash of the sauce (soy sauce or fish sauce?) before serving, it was heavenly! 

Quail egg lovers alert. Now you get them on sticks!

Not only that, with a piece of hotdog in the middle and topped with chili sauce and mayonnaise (I requested for no mayo because I hate it). 

Smelly Tofu for the adventurous, or those with the acquired taste. 
Definitely not me, though.

The Maur Otak was really yummy too, but I didn't snap any pictures of them because... Well, they just look like otak otak....

And then, for the ice creams.
Funny Egg Ice Cream?

Major cuteness overload! How can you not buy one of this when it's only RM3 (SGD $1.10) and the weather over at Malacca is sweltering hot?

I got mine in sour plum flavour, really refreshing indeed! But do note that you'll get a little bit of a problem when trying to finish up the other half of the ice cream that's in the egg mould.
In the end, I managed to 'pour' the half into my mouth one shot, but I got a major brain freeze too.

Then there's these Ice Cream Rolls

Which basically is instant-made ice cream. They make the ice cream on the spot with cream and your choice of flavour, roll them up into swirls and top it up with a wafer roll, longan, peanuts and sprinkles.

I got mine in lemon flavour (as the hot weather make me crave citrus-icy stuff) and they actually look way better than they tasted.

Deep Fried Ice Cream!
I remembered that our local pasar malam used to have them, but they were phased out pretty quickly.

Ice cream, wrapped in bread and fried till golden brown. It was served with the freshly fried bread scalding hot, yet the ice cream within still icy cold.
Not the best choice for those with sensitive teeth, like yours truly.
So T ended up eating the whole thing by himself.

And lastly, this! The popular popsicle our parents grew up eating (as according to my mum).

Flavoured water (soft drinks) are poured into the individual contraption and the top part of the container was jiggled vigourously in the ice that's filled in the bottom part of the tin. And viola, you get soft drink flavoured popsicles!
We took the soursop flavour and it was slightly disappointing as the flavour was really bland.

And lastly, freshly baked Bey Teh Soh! Well, they do have other pastries available, but BTS is my bias. 

And this time, I decided to give the 'charcoaled' ones a try. There's actually not much of a difference, but I do feel that these freshly baked ones are flaky yet softer, the molasses filling also less sticky as compared to those packaged ones at San Shu Gong. 

Lastly, this is not a food recommendation, but on every weekend (Fri to Sun), there will be a public KTV session right here at the big stage in the middle of Jonker Walk. 
And yes, do note that I'm calling it a KTV session and not a singing performance. Which means, while most who dared to go on stage should sound quite decent, do brace yourself for some cringeworthy ones too.

And yes, Jonker Boutique Hotel is right beside the stage, so do take this possible 'noise pollution' into consideration if you're an early sleeper even while travelling. 
Oh, and by the way, this drink stall set up in front of the hotel sells yummy blended kiwi fruit juice! 

So, what are your top recommendation for Jonker Walk?

Till then,
Mia Foo
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