Thursday, October 30, 2014

ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE: Behind the scenes of TheVelvetDolls shoot

Remember my first blog post on my ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE? The ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE fared so well with food photography, that I thought I ought to give it a whir and see how well it would perform when it comes to taking photos of human subjects and objects.

I brought out my sleek ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE for this week's TheVelvetDolls photoshoot and I was truly astounded with the kind of shots that I captured with solely the built-in camera itself! Of course, I love editing my photos straight away on my mobile device as well, and I was really impressed that the Android Play Store has all my favourite photo-editing apps on it, such as Snapseed and VSCOcam.

Throughout the entire day, I was happily snapping away with the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE while my photographer Nic was taking the real shots. Heheh. I love it when I don't have to be the official photographer cos then I can take behind-the-scene photos which are sometimes so much more interesting!

Without further ado, here are some of my favourite behind-the-scene images shot with the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE from our photoshoot... I am incredibly amazed by how good they look! Remember, these are straight out from the built-in 8MP f/2.0 camera, and edited in-phone with only Snapseed and VSCOcam. For a smartphone that costs less than $300, I don't see how you can get any better than this.

Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE
Taken with ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE


Definitely my favourite image of the day. I love how the ZenFone 5 LTE camera was able to handle the complex scene with such dynamic lighting and complexity. Wow!



This is what happens during photoshoots, our photographer gets down and dirty all for the sake of good pictures!




One of my favourite outfits from the shoot! Do you also spot (on the right) our trolley of clothes/shoes/gear that we lug about during every outdoor shoot? It is tiring and back-breaking work, but oh-so-worth-it.


My pretty model Chanel, looking all edgy and pretty in this biker jacket and mesh skirt combination!



I was exploring the different camera modes on the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE and this mode literally blew me away. With this "Depth Of Field" mode, it makes the photos look almost like they were taken with a professional DSLR camera! 



You HAVE to try the Depth Of Field mode on the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE! The results are remarkable!


Another mode: Lomo, which I then converted to Black and White in VSCOcam. Great detail and contrast!




Using VSCOcam to process my images on the go! I love the huge 5" HD display too, makes editing photos a joy! The phone is also extremely fast and responsive, thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-Core Processor.

Oh yes, I love the "What's Next" function on the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE, which displays my daily schedule right on the home screen in a nice timeline and keeps me up-to-date with my crazy appointments and events and rehearsals. Love that!

 Almost hard to believe that the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE works so well for a phone that's just $269 (for the 2GB/8GB version), I'm sold! This phone is seriously value-for-money. Packed with so many awesome features, really pretty and sleek design, and not to forget the user-friendly Android-powered OS, ASUS's very own user interface and AWESOME camera function! If you're looking for maximum impact on a modest budget, you definitely wanna check out the ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE.

Thank you so much to the team at ASUS for sending this my way, this is one amazing little device!

Psst, have you heard of Grace Ciao?

ZenFone 5 limited edition back covers designed by Grace Ciao are up for auction starting on October 30, 2014, 12:00 PM! As a bonus, the highest overall bidder will not only get the back cover, but also a ZenFone 5 LTE!

Bidding starts at $25 and all proceeds will go to the Breast Cancer Foundation Singapore. Find out how you can join the auction here, and watch how Grace Ciao creates her ZenFone 5 back cover designs here!

The ASUS ZenFone 5 LTE is available in Champagne Gold, Cherry Red, Pearl White and Charcoal Black ;) It is available at all three major mobile operators, ASUS brand stores, Best Denki, Challenger and Newstead stores, as well as ASUS Official Online Store and Lazada.

Check out ASUS's online store here for more information and details about the ZenFone 5 LTE!


xoxo 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

5 Must-Try Cafes in Singapore!

This article was originally written for and cross-posted on Klarity right here! 


Hello folks! Say hello to the Klarity Editor-In-Chief.. AKA me!

Yes, I've taken on a new job responsibility and you may have seen me mentioning Klarity on my social media platforms here and there. Klarity is actually an up-and-coming beauty/wellness app and I'm really excited cos the team has been working so hard to make this app as awesome as possible, and trust me, it's sounding pretty damn awesome already right now! I might share more when the app is officially out in December, but first, come check out Klarity's blog where myself and a team of other writers will share beauty, wellness and inspiration for all of us folks! :)

The following round up of five cafes are some of my personal favourites, and in my opinion are some of the best cafes around in Singapore! If you're looking for a new brunch hangout spot, maybe you'd like to give the following cafes a try!

I've also added a little "In The Mood For..." indicator so that you can decide which cafe you may want to try, based on your mood and preference!


Five Must-Try Cafes in Singapore


1. Choupinette
If anyone asks me where to go for good Eggs Benedict in Singapore, Choupinette is my number one recommendation! This tiny French bakery/restaurant has a small menu which doesn't leave you spoiled for choice, but they also serve up one of the best Eggs Benedict in Singapore... EVER.

Tip: Go for one of their brunch sets which costs only about SGD19-SGD22 for a main with a fruit juice and any hot drink! Ala carte is only about SGD3 cheaper, which makes the set more worthwhile.

Recommended Dish: Eggs Benedict
Their Eggs Benedict is deliciously rich with perfectly poached eggs presented atop two half-baguettes and a generous portion of finely shaved ham, topped off with a flavourful Hollandaise sauce! This is THE place to have Eggs Benedict if you're having cravings.


607 Bukit Timah Road 
Tel: 64660613

Hours 
Tue - Thu: 09:00 - 20:00 
Fri: 09:00 - 22:00 
Sat: 08:00 - 22:00 
Sun: 08:00 - 18:00

Food Quality: ❤❤❤❤
Value-For-Money: ❤❤❤❤
In The Mood For... A really well-done traditional Eggs Benedict that really hits the spot



2. Symmetry
Symmetry has got to be one of my favourite brunch spots. Although pricey, Symmetry does an amazing variety of dishes, and all of them are superb. For savoury, I recommend the Symmetry Eggs Sur Le Plat, which is a concoction of piquillo puree, paprika, pork sausage, garlic confit, creamed spinach, cheese, basil (the ingredients listed in the menu) all baked together with two yummy, runny eggs! The explosion of flavours in this satisfying dish will leave you wanting more!

Recommended Dish: Waffle with banana, berries, peanut butter, hazelnut chocolate, maple syrup and ice cream
For a sweet end, you have to try their crisp-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside waffle that comes with two slabs of peanut butter and Nutella, and adorned with a scoop of ice cream.

Tip: Add another SGD4 for an extra scoop of ice cream, cos you'll need it! The one scoop of ice cream was barely enough to go with half of the waffle!

PS. Brunch is only available on the weekends!


Symmetry
9 Jalan Kubor #01-01

Tel: +65 62919 901

Tue to Thu: 1030am – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 9am – 12 midnight
Sun: 9am – 7pm


Food Quality: ❤❤❤❤
Value-For-Money: ❤❤❤❤❤
In The Mood For... Splurging on quality food and a cozy ambience



3. Habitat
For a fuss-free and affordable cafe experience, Habitat Coffee is the way to go! This place is self-service and you have to order and pay at the counter, but that also keeps their prices way cheaper than other competitors out there.

Food-wise, I like how Habitat Coffee has very simple and unpretentious food. The portions are just right and it's hard to find fault with their tasty and comforting fare, like the Big Ben (big breakfast) and Eggs Tomato Relish.

Recommended Dish: Eggs Tomato Relish
I'm a big fan of baked eggs and this is similar to Symmetry's Eggs Sur Le Plat, but more affordable! If you like the tangy zest of tomato and you love oozy runny soft eggs, I'm sure you'll like the Eggs Tomato Relish.

Tip: Habitat Coffee gets really crowded on the weekends, so I suggest you go early and also keep your dining group to smaller sizes of perhaps 3pax-4pax maximum!


Habitat Coffee
233 Upper Thomson Road Phone
Tel: 64562567

Hours
Tue - Fri: 11:00 - 22:30
Sat - Sun: 10:30 - 22:30
Closed: Mon



Food Quality: ❤❤❤❤❤
Value-For-Money: ❤❤❤❤❤
In The Mood For... Affordable and fuss-free brunch with a close group of intimate friends



4. Common Man Coffee Roasters
This is another one of those pricey but yummy cafes in town, and my favourite part about Common Man Coffee Roasters is the beautifully rustic interior and spacious feel. Most cafes in Singapore are pretty tiny so it's a nice change at Common Man Coffee Roasters!

Common Man Coffee Roasters Martin Road

Common Man Coffee Roasters Martin Road
This makes Common Man Coffee Roasters conducive for casual business meetings or even as a chillax spot for you to work the afternoon away, though again I'm sure this place gets really crowded on weekends so it might not be a good idea to bring your work out to CMCR during the weekends.

For the caffeine junkies, Common Man Coffee Roasters roasts their own coffee blends and I hear that the coffee here is great! They have other cool stuff happening too, like coffee workshops and the likes.

Let's not forget that breakfast is served all-day at Common Man Coffee Roasters, so you can get your eggs and toast fix at any time of the day!
Recommended Dish: French Toast
I'm quite partial to savoury sweet foods like French Toasts and Common Man Coffee Roasters has got one that's fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth, accompanied by plain ole vanilla ice cream and berries compote. Scrumptious!


Common Man Coffee Roasters
#01-00, 22 Martin Rd
Singapore 239058

Food Quality: ❤❤❤❤
Value-For-Money: ❤❤❤❤❤
In The Mood For... Great ambience and a nice place to sit and work on weekday afternoons



5. Rokeby Bistro
Situated along the same stretch as popular dessert cafe Wimbly Lu, the best part about Australian-inspired bistro/cafe Rokeby Bistro is how laid-back and relaxed the vibes are: This place is perfect for a few hours of long chit-chat and catching up over a huge huge variety of dishes available from their brunch/dinner menus! You'll find something for everyone at Rokeby Bistro.

Prices are relatively affordable too, and I like it that if you're in the mood for something more than eggs and toast, they've got really great offerings too like steaks, ox cheek stews, fish and chips and the likes.

Recommended Dish: Chilli Mussels
Chilli mussels may seem like a strange menu option for a bistro, but trust me on this, the chilli mussels at Rokeby Bistro are super addictive and makes a refreshing change from the usual cafe fare.

The mussels are sweet and fresh, and the spicy sweet broth is perfect for moping up with a piece of toast!


Rokeby Bistro
15-9 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987

Rokeby Bistro's website here

Food Quality: ❤❤❤
Value-For-Money: ❤❤❤❤
In The Mood For... Lots of variety and something more filling than regular cafe fare, great even for family meals because of the huge menu selection.


_______________

That brings an end to my very first article on Klarity, and I hope you'll be staying tuned for more beauty and wellness articles really soon! I'm so excited to be onboard the Klarity team and I know that you can expect lots and lots more great content from the Klarity editorial team. You'd be really excited to know that the Klarity app is well on it's way soon!


Klarity is a beauty and wellness app that allows you to luxuriate in some much-needed ‘me-time’ anytime, anywhere. Discover available appointments at top spas and salons by location, enjoy exclusive promotions, and book seamlessly via Klarity app in real-time.



Look for me on my other social media platforms here:

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Essential: My secret to healthy and manageable hair!

How important is it to have healthy and manageable hair?

I don't know about you, but I'm quite conscious about taking care of my hair! Especially cos I always bleach/color my hair and that means my hair is somewhat less healthy than "normal" hair, boohoo. It's true that doing chemical treatments to your hair will damage it and I always advise readers to ensure that you do your own regular hair treatment at home to take care of your hair!

So I really have to share about my latest favourite range from a shampoo brand that I've loved and trusted for many years: Essential! I think Essential is such a life-saver for my hair! Remember my previous blog post about Essential's Sleeping Hair Mask? They have got the best haircare products, and at super affordable prices :O

essential-shampoo-2
I was sent this huge box D: And I opened it to find...

essential-shampoo-4
Essential's brand new packaging with improved formulas and a new variant!

essential-shampoo-5
Oh and they also sent me a selfie stick too :D :D :D

essential-shampoo-6
This is gonna be helpful when I go overseas next week hehehehe.

essential-shampoo-9
More important than the selfie stick.. The brand new Essential shampoo range with four different formulas!

essential-shampoo-orange
Essential Nourishing Breakage Defense for weak and damaged hair
essential-shampoo-pink
Essential Moisturizing Frizz Free for dull and rough hair
essential-shampoo-yellow
Essential Light Finishing Volumizing for flat and limp hair
essential-shampoo-blue
Essential Deep Cleansing Care for oily scalp and dry ends


There are FOUR different variants, based on your hair type and different hair needs!

It's quite confusing sometimes I know. Cos my problem is that my hair is dry and damaged and needs something rich, but at the same time, my scalp/hair roots are more towards the oily side and if I use a very rich formula it makes my scalp get oilier faster and I find it super icky when my head feels so gross and oily!!

Especially in Singapore's hot and humid weather. Sometimes I wash my hair in the morning and in just a few hours my hair is so gross already and I feel like my hair is as greasy as Severus Snape HAHAHA (whenever I think of oily hair I think of him)


Have You Heard Of "Combination Hair?"

When I learnt about this concept called "Combination Hair", I was mind blown! D: We all know about combination skin when you have oily T-zone and dry cheeks etc but did you know that "combination hair" is also a hair condition too?

So people like me who have combination hair usually have oily roots and dry ends, which means that just one haircare product usually does not work well for us to solve both the problems of oily roots and dry ends. If a rich moisturising product is used, this will cause too much product build up on my scalp and make it heavy and oily. However, if I use a light clarifying product, my oily scalp may be better but my hair ends will be super dry! :(

I totally feel the pain cos whenever I try a rich formula for damaged hair, I always feel that my scalp cannot accept the formula. But using those shampoos designed for scalp care makes my hair feel very brittle and dry. It's a huge problem for me!


The Solution To Haircare Woes

Good thing Essential thought about this problem for "combination hair" people like me and came up with four different variants to cater for different needs! And if you have oily scalp but dry hair like me, I think you will LOVE the new Essential Light Finish Volumizing (yellow) and Deep Cleansing Care (blue)!

Infused with the new Microfine All Smooth Essence, the new Essential haircare range coats each hair strand evenly with a protective veil, delivering nutrients to repair damaged hair. Its uniform veil locks in moisture and repairs the dry, damaged hair ends without causing the hair roots to be sticky and heavy.This new formulation also soothes the damaged hair cuticles from root to tip, allowing you to run your fingers through your hair effortlessly even during shampooing. With strong, healthy and tangle-free hair, styling your hair has never been easier!

To decide which variant is best-suited for you, just ask yourself the two questions and choose from the matrix below!

1. Do you have oily hair roots/scalp?
2. Do you have dry/damaged hair ends?

GEss_Matrix Chart_Hair Care
For me it was quite an easy choice. Yes, very oily hair roots/scalp, and yes, very dry/damaged hair ends D: Anyway, I'm also quite kiasu la so I picked what seems like the best choice for me to minimise oily scalp and yet maximise hair nourishment!!!

If you find the blue formula (Deep Cleansing Care) too drying though, you can also try the yellow formula (Light Finish Volumizing) cos both of them have the optimum combination of Smart Cuticle Care and Sebum Cleansing Technology to target both problems of roots and hair ends! Thus, you get the best of both worlds!

essential-shampoo-15
I've been using the Essential Deep Cleansing Care range for quite some time now and it's really super love! I don't know what kind of magic Essential put in their shampoo but it makes my hair feel SO soft and light! And super duper smooth when you comb through it whether it's wet or dry. It really helps with the tangles!

If you have dry hair like me too, you should know that hair washing and bow-drying takes really long sometimes cos your hair keeps on getting tangled and it's so annoying. But using Essential makes my hair feel so smooth and even blow-drying my hair is faster and easier!

For the combination hair peeps like me who have very damaged hair, you're also recommended to use Essential's orange range hair treatment products (Treatment Tube and Hair Mask, to be applied to hair ends only, not scalp!) for best results!

The results? My hair ends are much more nourished now while my scalp now feels way fresher and lighter!

All thanks to Essential :D

Healthy manageable hair is just a switch away.. Switch to new Essential today!
The new range is available at leading supermarkets, hypermarkets, western pharmacies and personal care stores. Prices start from S$4.50.

Oh, and you can also redeem samples of Essential Light Finish Volumizing shampoo & conditioner (yellow variant) from Essential's Facebook page here! :) Experience it for yourself and I promise you'll be sold too! Pop by Essential's instagram at @essentialsingapore for more news and updates too!

xoxo

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Slim Couture: On Losing Weight

Weight loss is an issue that I've been battling all my life, so much that the word "dieting" is as familiar to me as the word.. "food". Some people are born skinny and some people are not, and I'm one of those that's been struggling with weight loss battles since childhood.

Even though my war with the fats is still ongoing today, I am really thankful that I came across Slim Couture and have decided to make it part of my life, because I have never sincerely believed in a weight loss treatment as much as I have, in Divine Slim! It is not just healthy and holistic, it is a treatment that truly works effectively and I have seen it do wonders not just on myself, but on people around me, like YZ or even Jessica (aka Shiberty)!

You can read more about my experiences with Slim Couture and their treatment Divine Slim in the following blog posts:

Slim-Couture-1
It was my great honour to be a part of Slim Couture's first ever event, a Meet-and-Greet session with readers! Of course, I got YZ to come along as well so he could be another real life testimonial. YZ lost like 7kg in just 6 weeks of going through Slim Couture's TCM slimming sessions!

The turnout for the event was great! I'm so glad I had a chance to meet some readers and talk to them/encourage them. It also made me feel heartened that I'm not the only one struggling with these issues and being able to meet these ladies to share my experience and give them hope! I know how daunting weight loss can be, and how impossible it seems. 

Some photos from the event!
Slim-Couture-5
Here's the special buffet spread at the event, and guess what, these foods are all "Slim Couture approved"! Lol. 

Slim-Couture-2
Fruits like dragonfruit, kiwi, strawberries and papaya..

Slim-Couture-3
Tofu, vegetables..

Slim-Couture-4
And yummy fish and chicken!

Honestly, it may be hard to follow to Slim Couture's diet at first, but once you're once to it, it's actually not that tough! Plus you don't have to starve yourself, which is what I always thought I had to do to lose weight. Not so with Slim Couture. You're supposed to eat your meals regularly and snack too, on healthy snacks like cherry tomatoes and blueberries!

Slim-Couture-6
In the process of sharing with readers about Slim Couture's TCM treatments and how they work!

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With dear Jess, who lost a HUGE amount of weight. I think Jess lost almost 10kg to date? I'm so proud of her and happy that Slim Couture helped her achieve such amazing results!

Slim-Couture-9
And these are the lovely ladies behind Slim Couture, and they are really passionate to help every single client lose weight healthily and effectively. Thank you for having me at the event!

I don't think I've ever posted such an ugly picture of me on my blog HAHA but this photo on the left was taken on the exact same day that I went to Slim Couture for my very first session! I still remember the photo being taken at a Benefit event (which is why I was holding a toy gun) and it was my dear Tricia aka VainGloriousYou who took this shot -.-

And of course, the photo on the right is my outfit photo from last month I think? Panelled Mesh Top (gonna be restocked soon!) and Elodie Skorts from TheVelvetDolls!
slim-couture
You might be surprised to know that the weight difference between these two photos is barely a few kg, but silhouette and measurements-wise, I think there is a huge difference! One of the best things about Slim Couture's treatment is that it helps to target cellulite as well as problem areas like love handles and tummy, which means a vastly improved silhouette and figure. Even though my weight hasn't gone down by much, I've received quite a fair bit of comments and compliments from friends and acquaintances about how I look!

Taken on the day of Slim Couture's event! Off-shoulder top from LilypiratesSora Mermaid Skirt from TheVelvetDolls, nude stroppy shoes from Steve Madden.

Ideally, I'm hoping to lose another 4-5kg in time for 1st January and I really hope that with Slim Couture's help, I can achieve my target weight and figure! Superficial as it seems, being that few kg slimmer really does make me feel better about myself. Apart from being able to wear clothes confidently, I feel so much more at ease with my body and myself. Of course, the benefits of losing weight with Divine Slim treatments are way more than just superficial! I really do feel tons healthier and happier.

Once I'm back from Spain in three weeks time, it'll be the last six weeks counting down to the wedding day! Those last twelve sessions are gonna be crucial for me to lose the extra couple of pounds I'm expecting to gain from travelling hahaha and really look my best on my big day. Can I please be the skinniest ever on that day? HAHA. Can't wait!!!

If you've also been fighting a war with weight loss like I am, please press on and don't give up! It's not easy, but trust me on this, you can do it! :) Stay positive alright! Most importantly of all, be happy and healthy because that's the best thing you can do for your body! And remember that at the end of the day, those numbers on the scale do not determine our entire self-worth and value. Your body's health and well-being is way more than just numbers, so go about losing weight healthily!


***

SLIM COUTURE

Official website: www.slim-couture.com

18 Cross Street, #02-06
China Square Central
Singapore 048423


190 Clemenceau Ave 2,
Singapore Shopping Centre, #05-29
Singapore 239924
Tel: (+65) 6336 8665

***

Will update again very soon, but follow me on Dayre and Instagram cos I'm gonna be updating way more frequently on my mobile social platforms while I'm travelling! :) I promise lots of Spanish updates from the other side of the world!

xoxo



Look for me on my other social media platforms here:


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