Saturday, 29 April 2017

Mia's Review: MKUP Real Complexion Cream (HONEST Review)

And recently there were tons of raves about this real complexion cream by MKUP floating around on the internet. 
Is it really worth the hype?

All the awesome things this product claims to do are stated on the back of the packaging. But if you haven't heard of this crazily raved product or seen the magical video of how it changes your dull and horrible complexion into a flawless looking one in mere 5 minutes, then you should know that MKUP boasts of this complexion cream as the only product ladies need, for EVERYTHING. 
Be it as skincare, or cosmetic. 
Be it day routine, or night routine. 
You just need this ONE bottle. 

Like, really?

Anyway, over to the packaging first, which I really like. The entire packing was really pretty (pinkish, rose print and all) and handy.

And having the cream kept in a push down air pump means no chance of product contamination. Usually, just 1 full pump is enough for me to apply the cream all over my face and neck. 

As you can see, the cream is white, with a pale purplish tint. It also comes with a lovely, sweet floral scent, which I love so much! Texture wise, it may feel a tad heavy and sticky when you first try to spread it out, but it does get absorbed (or feels to be absorbed) eventually, giving you a matte and slightly refreshing feeling. 

While spreading out the cream. And as you can see, this product will definitely create a ghastly looking white cast and give you a glorious geisha-inspired finish look if you pile it on. So really, a little goes a long way. 

And after blending it out, TADAA~! 
You can see absolutely NO effects!

Everything MKUP's video claimed to do, all the concealing of undereye circles, redness from blemishes, dilated pores and etc, it doesn't. 
If you apply more, thinking that the no visible effect is because of too little product applied, then you'll end up with a ghastly white cast. 
The whole claim of how we can substitute everything (skincare included) in our routine with just this 1 bottle is also a huge fraud. 
Don't fall for it, ladies!

The ONLY saving grace of this product, other than the lovely scent and packaging, would probably be the oil control efficacy. When using this, I found that my face was a lot less shinier at the end of the day. If you're an oily girl like me who wear glasses, you'll understand the pain and annoyance of having your glasses slipping down your oily, slippery nose every other few seconds of pushing it back up. But when I was using this product, my glasses pretty much stayed put on my nose throughout the day. 
And yes, I said, "when I WAS using..."
And why am I not using this anymore? Because THIS BROKE ME OUT. I developed TONS of whiteheads around my nose (the butterfly area) and on my chin. And it kind of make sense that it happened because something in this product is preventing my facial sebum from coming out from my pores to the skin surface and hence everything got clogged inside and formed whiteheads. 

So, this product doesn't really do oily ladies good, and neither will it do dry ladies good (because it's more mattifying than hydrating).
So really, what's with the hype, huh?

But, if you won't believe it until you've tried for yourself, you can pick up the 10ml travel size tubes first (instead of getting the 30ml full size product) HERE


ps. The video states this product hails from Korea, but I believe MKUP is a Taiwanese brand. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Mia Bakes: Chocolate Wholegrain Buckwheat Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Well, I do notice that I've been doing lots of baking recipe posts these days. But these buckwheat cookies shan't wait because my 3/4 full pack of wholegrain buckwheat flour is waiting to go bad if I don't do something about it soon enough. Wanted to try some buckwheat bread and decided that I didn't like the flavour it gives my bread, so some chocolate cookies it shall be! 

To make 13 (1 tbsp) cookies, you'll need:

63g wholegrain buckwheat flour
10g unsweeten cocoa powder
10g corn flour
30g unsalted butter
63g (chopped) dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
60g castor sugar (I uses stevia)
1 medium egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 baking soda
75g peanut butter chips 

First, melt your dark chocolates over a double boiler and leave to a side to cool. Cream your butter and sugar (it won't cream very well because of the ratio, just make sure it's well combined) before beating in the egg. Make sure your melted chocolate is cool enough before adding it into the egg mixture, and then mix in the vanilla extract. 
Sift in your dry ingredients and mix until almost fully combined before mixing in your peanut butter chips until just combined. 

To get thicker cookies, chill your dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes before dropping tablespoonful of dough onto your baking sheet. Space them about 1.5 to 2 inches apart as they do spread a bit. If you'll prefer a thinner and bigger cookie, skip the chilling part. But do space them further apart as they will spread a lot more.

Bake at 180 degree Celsius for about 9 to 11 minutes (depending on your oven). 

These cookies are slightly crisp on the outside, and crumbly/cakey on the inside. The "double chocolate" flavour (cocoa powder and melted chocolate) has successfully masked the distinctive buckwheat flavour while not making the cookies overly sweet. 
Best of all, they're wholegrain, albeit NOT a low calorie food. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

3 Spa Techniques that Will Attract More Customers

Being in business for yourself and having a day spa is sure to be lots of fun and provide you with a steady income. This will give you the opportunity to work with numerous clients and interact with people quite a bit. The good news is that you will be able to provide a service that is almost guaranteed to help make your clients happier. Many people simply can’t wait to go to the salon or spa because it’s a real treat. Offering the most and best services to your clients is the ideal way to get more business. By being aware of various techniques you can provide in your spa, this may be helpful in allowing you to get more business and increase your profit.

Technique #1: Offer body massages
Is there anything that can help you feel as relaxed as getting a full body massage? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no in most cases.
By having the right salon equipment in place, you can provide this service for your clients and doing so is sure to have customers entering your doors. There are tremendous health benefits to getting a massage, and some of these are listed below:
1.  Sense of well-being – One of the worse things you can do for your health is walk around stressed out all the time. This is horrible for your body and getting a massage can help you relax and stay that way for some time.
2.  Better rest – The key to getting good sleep may depend on having a massage at various stages of life.
3.  Lower blood pressure – If you suffer from high blood pressure readings, you will want to be sure to get this critical number in the right range. Studies indicate this reading should be 120/80.

Technique #2: Give pedicures and manicures
The warmer time of the year indeed calls for feet that are seen much more often. You’ll want to do all you can to have nice and attractive toes during this wonderful time of the year.
The most efficient way to get feet that look amazing and help you want to show off your scandals and flip flops is by getting a pedicure. This is an enjoyable and relaxing experience that will have your toes in tip top shape while you simply sit back and enjoy yourself.
Of course, you will want to offer the opportunity for your clients to get a manicure. This is sure to be one thing that is requested to go along with the pedicure and allow your customers to look and feel great.

Technique #3: Spray tan
This is the day and age of taking care of your skin. However, you may want to add some color to your look, and one of the ideal ways to get a head to toe experience is by getting a spray tan.
The health benefits of doing this are much greater because you won’t be exposed to ultraviolet rays like you would be by sitting in the sun.  Of course, you will need to invest the money into getting the right equipment that will enable you to do this for your customers and clients.
However, this can be a lucrative opportunity for you and a real enjoyment for the individuals that visit your salon. Studies show that the average cost of a spray tan is $25-$50. If you were to only do ten of these a day, this would add up to a nice profit for your spa.
Taking care of others sure is to be one of the ideal ways to build self-confidence for your clients. Having time to relax and unwind is the perfect way to do so and spa days could be the best way to make this happen. This is sure to be one of the most efficient ways for you to help others and have the profitable business that you want and need for success. Be sure to add these techniques to your spa today to reap the numerous benefits that are offered to you and others.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Mia Bakes: Choco-Peanut Butter Ban Ban Cookies

As I've mentioned before in my previous ban ban cookie recipe post (HERE), the flavour of matcha and chocolate didn't seem to go that well with each other, hence I've decided to switch up the recipe a bit and got these instead.

Choco-Peanut Butter half half cookies! 

So let's get over the ingredients so we can get started!

For the chocolate cookie dough, you'll need:
63g bittersweet chocolate 
(AT LEAST 60% cocoa, if not reduce your sugar)
63g salted butter, soften at room temperature
(if using unsalted, add in 1/4 tsp salt)
35g brown sugar
25g castor sugar
(or any baking sugar replacement of your choice, I used stevia)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 small egg
75g all purpose flour
15g unsweeten cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
150g peanut butter chips

First up, melt your bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler and set it aside to cool down. Cream your butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate and mix well. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Sift in dry ingredients (very important to sift cocoa powder) and fold until almost thoroughly combined before adding in peanut butter chips and folding until just combined. Never over-mix your batter. 
Then, keep your batter in the fridge for at least 20 to 30 minutes while you prepare your peanut butter dough. 

For the peanut butter cookie dough, you'll need:
250g creamy peanut butter 
180g castor sugar
(or any baking sugar replacement of your choice, I replaced half with stevia)
1 tsp baking soda
1 extra large egg
(or 2 small eggs)
1 tbsp cornstarch
150g bitter-sweet/dark chocolate chips 
(you may add more if you want them to be extra chocolatey)

For this dough, it's a super quick and easy 1 bowl recipe. Firstly, stir in the sugar with the peanut butter until well combined, before beating in the egg. Then, fold in your dry ingredients and lastly, the chocolate chips. 

Using a 1/2 tbsp, scoop 1 spoonful of each of your dough and drop them beside each other (touching) on your prepared baking sheet. Do remember to space out your cookies at least 2 inches apart because they do spread out, a lot. 
Then, with slightly oiled hands (your peanut butter dough should help you with that) carefully mold the two flavoured doughs together into a ball and press them down slightly. 

If you'll prefer flat and thin cookies, send them straight into the oven to bake at 175 degree Celsius for about 18 minutes. Each oven bakes differently hence do keep a watchful eye on your cookies, especially at the initial part (for they may spread gloriously into each other) and towards the end (so they do not burn). If you find your cookies getting dangerously close towards each other, you may crank up your temperature to 190 degree Celsius to "set" the cookie edges first (for perhaps about 5 minutes) before turning your temperature back down to 175 degree Celsius. 

Big and flat ban ban cookies from doughs that were sent straight into the oven.

However, if you prefer a slightly dome-shaped cookie, pop your dropped cookie doughs into the freezer for at least 10 minutes to harden up before popping the chilled dough straight into the oven. You can either tweak the temperature slightly (I baked at 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes and then 170 degree Celsius for another 10 minutes), or bake them for an additional 1 or 2 minutes at the same temperature. 

Slightly smaller and fatter cookies from doughs that were frozen for 10 minutes before baking. 

I have to say, peanut butter and chocolate just complement each other so well! These cookies will be extremely soft and feels spongey/cakey when first removed from the oven, so remember to not disturb them and let them cool completely to harden up. The outsides are slightly crisp and the insides chewy, filled with decadent sweetness of the chocolate and complemented with buttery, nutty fragrance of the peanut butter. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Joining the Ban Ban Trend

If you think my ban-ban cookies is all to the ban-ban craze, you're wrong! Apparently, the Koreans has also allowed the ban ban trend to take over their skincare scene.

To join in the trend, I decided to pick up two more ban ban items on qoo10, Gram Double Chemi Ban Ban Pack and Mogong Dodook Pore Professional Ban Ban Cream. 

Both comes in a handy tub with two separate sections for each product, along with a spatula for more hygienic usage. 

Mogong Dodook - $23.66 (Get yours at Qoo10)

The Mogong Dodook comes with a pore tightening pudding gel-like texture day cream, and a moisturising whipped cream texture night cream. You can use them separately as a day and night cream, or mix them up in proportion suitable for your own skin type like I do. 

Packed with tons of good stuff like gold extract, lotus extract, witch hazel extract, lemon balm extract, marine collage, baobab tree extract, hyaluronic acid and argan oil, this day & night cream boast of much anti-aging, pore tightening, whitening and moisturising effects. 

A mixture of 2 night - 1 day cream for the night leaves my skin well nourished and feeling smooth and supple the next morning when I wake up, while a mixture of 2 day - 1 night cream for the day keeps my skin well moisturised and keep my face relatively oil-free throughout the day. There's also a very subtle, pleasant citrus-lemon scent that invigorates your senses.

Ban Ban Pack - $24.90 (Get yours at Qoo10)

This banban wash off pack comes with two "flavours", green tea for our T-zone and pumpkin for our U-zone. The idea of this product is that most ladies actually suffers from oily T-zone while their U-zones are generally more dry and lack hydration.

 The green tea clay mask helps with deep pore cleansing, reduces our oil & sebum, and also reduces appearance of our blackheads. The pumpkin cream mask helps to moisturise our skin, firms up our skin and provide nutrients while reducing dryness and sensitivity. 

Well, I have very oily chin (speckled with tons of whiteheads) hence I chose to use the clay mask on my chin as well. 

Rather than helping to reduce appearance of blackheads, I find that the green tea mask helps to "pull out" the blackheads, making it easier for us to remove them, either by following up with a pore strip or just using blackhead remover stick to lightly scrap through. My entire face always feels super smooth and thoroughly cleansed after each use. Best part is, you only need to wait for 15 minutes for the mask pack to do their work, hence it's a super quick and easy fix for your skin. 

Till then,
Mia Foo
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