Here’s a fact you might not know about Watsons – did you know that Watsons is the largest health & beauty retailer in Asia with over 2,000 stores and 1,200 pharmacies in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea and Indonesia?
I didn’t know that and now I do.
Recently, a bunch of beauty bloggers were invited to the first-ever Watsons Beauty Day Out where we were introduced to some of the brands that you can find in Watsons.
I was a bit KO’ed that day because I’d just flown back in to Singapore from a business trip and then spent the entire day wrestling with work before heading for the event, but put a beauty blogger in a place with new brands to explore and products to play with and… I totally forgot my tiredness and even about the need to eat! LOL.
I’m a bit behind with this news, but you can still enter L’EGERE’s Win a Cruise contest until this Sunday, 22 July 2012 to be in the running to win a cruise for 2 and meet Kevin 老师 from the hit Taiwan talkshow 女人我最大 Nu Ren Wo Zui Da!
If you’ve ever enviously looked on while our beauty blogging sisters in UK, US, Australia and Singapore talked about the beauty box subscriptions available to them, fret no more! Starting from now, Malaysia has its first beauty box in Fabulous Finds.
For just RM35 a month, you’ll get 4 – 5 deluxe beauty samples from high-end and niche brands in a pretty box and delivered to your doorstep via courier.
I was invited to the launch of Fabulous Finds last Saturday and had a preview of the July box. What’s in the box?
As a nail polish hoarder, my first thought on seeing the pretty melon-pink box was, ‘Yes! I can keep more polishes in that box!’ because that’s how I’m storing my ever-expanding collection of polishes.
Crabtree & Evelyn Iris Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy
Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Foundation
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil
I was quite pleased with the brands represented in the first ever Fabulous Finds box – well known brands do a lot in reassuring me and I like that they were not your average drugstore brand but yet not so high-end so as to make them inaccessbile.
The deluxe beauty samples in the box were pretty decent too, and there was one full sized product in the Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy tube which if you buy retail is about RM25. Also, the Beaubelle products, Benefit’s POREfessional and Lunasol powder were travel-sized.
The subscription point of RM35 is reasonable in my opinion, and not likely to break the bank for a boxful of pretty surprises. I personally like to think of my beauty box subscriptions as little monthly presents to myself for being a good girl. *cough*
But you know what really made me like Fabulous Finds? I like that the founder, Hui Ling (that’s her in the picture above), really believes in giving back to the community. Did you know that each box is packed with care by women from disadvantaged backgrounds? This gives them the opportunity to gain employment and supplement their income even though it may not be able to provide them with a full-time income.
I’m really looking forward to see how Fabulous Finds progresses with their subsequent boxes and am more than happy to support a homegrown, local business.
You can subscribe to Fabulous Finds’ July box for just RM35 before 14 July 2012 as the boxes will be mailed out by courier starting 15 July 2012. There are only 180 boxes for July so you’ll need to be quick to reserve your box! Subscribe at the Fabulous Finds website here. Only available to residents of Malaysia.
It looks like I am making small forays into the world of gourmet dining this year, first with the Savour festival (which I have yet to blog about!) and now with the World Gourmet Summit 2012 edition.
I was lucky enough to get to tag along with Beetrice for the Opening Reception back in April, held at Universal Studios in Resorts World Sentosa.
To put it in layman’s terms, the World Gourmet Summit is like your local food tasting fair, except maybe the people are more dressed up, you’re eating gourmet food and you’ll find copious amounts of champagne and wine available on tap.
(I am rather late with this post cos my Hong Kong trip and work came up, but better late than never!)
Last month, I was lucky enough to be Beetrice’s plus one at Bella Box’s High Tea for bloggers. We had no idea what was in store for us but I can tell you now that it was fun!
The event was held at Arteastiq Tea Lounge @ Mandarin Gallery. It was my first time there and it would be a place I’d like to revisit – it seems very popular with the hip SG crowd, judging by the stream of people that came while we were there.
I have always loved dance, and of all the dance genres, ballet was my first love from the days when my mother sent me for baby ballet classes at the tender age of 3. So when I heard that Ballet Revolucion was in town, I jumped at the opportunity to make it the first live performance event on my list for 2012.
Ballet Revolucion definitely is not your normal ballet performance show. It’s been described online as “Ballet with attitude” and “Ballet unleashed as only the Cubans know how”. Check out the video below :
A chance group deal helped me to get awesome seats at almost half price; we were in the stalls just 2 rows from the stage and right in the center too, which meant that we had a perfect view of the action on stage.
I have to say that I was blown away by the energy of the dancers throughout the 2 hour show – as professionals it was the same from the start to the end, no flagging and there’s really nothing like a live performance to really get you going and totally immersed in whatever is happening on the stage. The touch of having a live band for the music was excellent as well as they kept the beat going.
But as much as I wanted to love Ballet Revolucion, I couldn’t.
I couldn’t help but get distracted by all the niggling, little technicalities that I could see. I wasn’t drawn into the dancer’s world where I was completely swept up in their reality until all the technicalities would fade into the distance and away from my memory. Instead, it was the little, unfinished things that kept pricking my consciousness and detracted from my enjoyment of the show.
Now here’s where I have to nitpick and give my (more than) 2 cents worth. (Feel free to skip this bit if you’re not a dancer.)
For a show with ballet in the title, I would have expected more/better ballet performances. I do understand that the show was created to make ballet more accessible to the general public and probably the general public would have enjoyed the short snippets of ballet interspersed with the rest of the dance styles. (The audience that night certainly did.) But for me, the ballet performances that I saw could have been better. Some lines were lovely, some were not. Sometimes extensions were not finished. One ballerina had a poker face, the other had a smile permanently plastered on. I didn’t feel that they were actually feeling the emotions or the expressions of the song and the choreography. The moves just didn’t feel effortless as ballet is supposed to be. It all felt rather contrived at some point or another.
Another area that was really glaring to me was the partner work. I’m not sure how much/often the dancers in the troupe work closely together in partner work, but the chemistry I expect to see in partner work just wasn’t there sometimes. It was just two people going through the motions of dance. I’m not sure if anyone else in the audience caught it, but I kept on seeing the quick glances and checks in between moves to ensure that the other dancer was where he/she was supposed to be. That really distracts me from the flow of the whole performance. I personally felt that the quick and multiple changes of dancers in this case detracted from what could have been lovely partner work.
I enjoyed the soloists’ work when it was shown but the group choreography left me wanting a bit more after a while. I saw a lot of repeated moves, just in different formations and by different dancers to different songs. Aside from one or two stand-outs, the troupe’s ballet background really showed in the group choreography. Some moves for hip hop were not loose enough, or ‘down and dirty’ enough. The flowing movement was sometimes there for contemporary pieces but that fixed ballerina poise still showed.
For the love of dance, yes you can be a Jack of all trades and dance many genres. But if I’m to watch a performance, I would rather watch one short piece by a master of his/her art that leaves me wanting more rather than a mishmash of a lot of styles that left me feeling as if something was missing. In a nutshell, I prefer quality over quantity.
You know, there’s only so many dance movies that have already been made about ballet/other genre crossovers that this production just feels like the live version of it.
Earlier this month I was invited to check out Apronbay, which touts itself as the first beauty boutique with an air travel concept in Malaysia. Intriguing, yes? I thought so too.
The whole idea behind Apronbay was dreamed up by Ashley Loong and her friend – a beauty salon with an exciting, fresh concept and superior customer service. I particularly like their travel themed concept with different destinations. It’s kinda like ‘Now everyone can go places even while you’re getting your brows or other parts done’. Teehee.
Where’s a solution to your hair woes when you need one?
I’d been experiencing some unusual hair fall of late, where if I ran my fingers through my hair I’d come away with a few strands in my hand. Washing my hair meant losing dozens of strands of hair and none of my usual shampoos were working to stem this problem. Honestly, I was getting rather worried about this situation. Not that I don’t have hair to spare – my hair is deceptive, as any of my hair stylists (past and present) will tell you. It looks rather fine and no more than a handful, but when they start to style/cut my hair, it will seem never-ending! Hahah.
Then I got invited to the Pantene blogger engagement event at Hair Atelier in Jaya One. And I will honestly say that I didn’t set any expectations overall before going. You see, I don’t have a firm opinion where Pantene products were concerned even though I’ve used variants of the shampoo/conditioner ever since I was a little girl. You could practically say I grew up in a house that was never without a bottle of Pantene shampoo/conditioner (different types) in the bathroom. And you know what they say – that you don’t fully realize the pros and cons of something just because you are so used to having it in your life. Heh.
I did hope that my poor, neglected tresses would get some TLC though. I’d say that the team was pretty confident that their product works because we were treated to a hair pampering session using nothing but the new Pantene Recharging Fluid Pro-V formulated products (after this referred to as Pantene Pro-V Total Care) – the Total Care shampoo, conditioner and the 3 minute miracle treatment.
The new Pantene Pro-V Total Care smells deliciously like honeydew, a rare departure from the rest of the fruity/floral shampoo brigade. Unlike dear Kahani, I kinda liked the fragrance and couldn’t help but sniff at my hair whenever I thought no one was watching.
After the wash and treatment, the stylists brought out their hairdryers to blow dry and style my hair and I thought “Oh no, my hair will be fried!” Luckily, I was wrong. The treatment had made my hair soft and silky straight, so much so one of the stylists asked if I had straightened my hair. LOL. And the end result of all that hair pampering?
My hair felt amazingly soft and light after and still looked great for the following week. Even better yet, the soft and light feel remained even though I’d been using other shampoos and conditioners and reminded me of far more pricier hair treatments I’d done previously. Even my scalp felt cleaner, since my hair did not get oily as quickly as it normally would. And while my hair did not miraculously stop falling, any subsequent hair fall that week was significantly reduced by as much as 70%. That was pretty amazing for me, I can tell ya.
Will I continue to use the Pantene Pro-V Total Care products? Yup, I definitely would as long as the products continue to work well for me.
You can pick up Pantene Pro-V products at the following recommended retail prices : Shampoo/conditioner @ MYR 9.30 (180ml) or MYR 14.90 (350ml); Intensive Treatment (in a jar) @ MYR 14.90 (135ml) or MYR 19.30 (300ml); Night Miracle serum @ MYR 17.90 (90ml) and Treatment 3-minute Miracle @ MYR 17.85 (3 tubes x 15ml).