Changing hairstyles – a story in pictures

Filed Under (salon, services, shopping malls, style file) by rinnah on 26-07-2013

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After several years, I figure it’s time to give my wonderful stylist the recognition he deserves for making me look awesome each time I go for my haircut.

Not every stylist out there knows how to handle my hair, which is frequently described as being deceptive. It doesn’t look like it, but it is thick and has differing qualities – some strands are thick, most are baby fine, and the occasional odd one out is curly/wavy! Most stylists start off thinking my hair is easy to handle, and then they discover that it’s actually quite a handful. Deceptive appearances, I say. :P

So before I found the one person I trust to handle my hair, I used to bounce from salon to salon in search of a stylist who could manage not only my hair but my high expectations as well.

Enter Sam.

I have to tell you the story of how I found him, because it was totally by chance.

A long, long time ago…
I had gone for a trim at one of those ‘quick-cut’ salons because it was so cheap, and naively asked for a layered cut. Said ‘quick-cut’ salon botched up the job and left me with not a layered cut, but literally a jagged cut with ends that stuck out like a broom. I was *thisclose* to tears when I looked at myself in the mirror.

A desperate girl…
So in desperation, like, 10 minutes after I left that ‘quick-cut’ salon, I walked into Peekaboo at the Curve and told the reception “I want your best stylist who does short hairstyles”. As luck would have it, I was assigned to Sam and I guess I freaked him out at first – new customer sits down in front of him and tells him to chop off her hair in order to rectify the badly botched haircut from the ‘quick-cut’ salon. (I really wonder what he thought that day of this funny customer. Heh.)

Sam saves the day!
In any case, Sam did wonders to save the walking disaster that was the ‘quick-cut’ salon haircut (I couldn’t maintain the length anymore because the original cut was that badly executed) and I determined that this was it, he was THE stylist for me. So it’s been nearly five years since (late 2008 – 2013) and I’ve never even thought of going elsewhere. Such is my total confidence in him that I can confidently tell him to go ahead and cut whatever style he thinks he wants to give me for the season. I’ve never been much attached to the length of my hair and I reckon I’m rather chameleon-like in adapting my style to fit my look of the moment.

You can find Sam (Professional Stylist) at Peekaboo, the Curve

The following is a series rather self-gratuitous series of shots to show how much my hairstyles have varied over the years under Sam’s capable hands. (I realized that I generally prefer myself in shorter hairstyles…) And oh, this is probably the only time you’ll see this many pictures of me floating around on the blog. *wink*

01 Hairstyle Sept 2008
First time with hair that’s above the chin level with a longer, slightly shaggy fringe – very Korean guy’s style

02 Hairstyle Nov 2008
Hair is a bit longer here at the sides but now sporting a short spiky fringe

03 Hairstyle Jan 2009
Trying out blunt cut fringe and a rather bowl-shaped cut – Sam and I mutually agreed it wasn’t very me

04 Hairstyle Feb 2009
Still with the blunt fringe but thinned out for a more wispy look at the sides –more of a Japanese look/feel

05 Hairstyle Oct 2009
Growing out the fringe by reverting to my original left side parting but keeping the chin length cut

06 Hairstyle Feb 2010
Shoulder length and nearly on the level

07 Hairstyle Oct 2010
Going for the ‘tai-tai’ look with a blow-out

08 Hairstyle 2012
Total refresh of image – short boyish style

09 Hairstyle June 2013
And now, growing out the undercut and getting an asymmetrical bob

Which look do you think suits me best? Let me know in the comments!

My first Longchamp bag

Filed Under (bags, retail shopping) by rinnah on 02-11-2012

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I finally bit the bullet and hopped onto the Longchamp bandwagon last month.

Yes ladies, after at least 2 years of saying I didn’t want to be like everyone else… I have finally been suckered into buying a Longchamp.

Thankfully, it’s not a colorful Le Pliage, but a solid colored Planetes in black, medium sized (or small as it’s sometimes known. Confusing really) with long handles.

Longchamp Planetes black medium

To be sure, it’s not the perfect bag. Far from it! But it has its pros and cons.

It’s the right size – not too big and not too small. It fits everything I need inside there with plenty of room left over. Unfortunately, the design of the bag also means I sometimes end up scrabbling around the bottom of the bag searching for some tiny item that has made its way to the very depths of said bag. The zip and the flap sometimes gets in my way and I find it a wee bit unwieldy to zip the bag open/close. But I love the long handles that allow me to easily sling the bag on my shoulder with a one-handed movement (so necessary when juggling shopping and keys and whatnot).

I like that it’s black in color – hides all the stains, ya know? And I prefer the streamlined single color look of the Planetes line. Personally I find that the Planetes appears to keep its shape slightly better than the Le Pliage due to the material used.

Naturally, my next step up the Longchamp ladder would be the Veau Foulonne, yes? :P Although I’m also toying with the idea of getting a Le Pliage to bash around on weekends…

My First Haul from Boots Pharmacy Thailand

Filed Under (moisturiser, retail shopping, serum, skincare, tips and tricks, travel) by rinnah on 23-10-2012

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So I made my maiden trip to Bangkok, Thailand on a work-related visit last week. Even though my trip was for work, I still managed to squeeze in some time to check out the pharmacy wonderland that is Boots Pharmacy, or Boots Retail Shop as they are known.

Boots Retail Shop

Boots is very much like your local drugstore Guardian or Watsons with a slight difference. The majority of products at Boots are mostly housebrands, under a variety of lines and brand names. Having never had access to Boots before, it was like stepping into a whole new world for me. I tweeted that I wanted to buy the entire store but lack of time and luggage space was a very big factor that stopped me from doing so. Anyway, I had to buy something from Boots just to say I’d been there. :P

Boots Thailand mini haul

I think I was a good girl and valiantly restricted myself to just the 3 items of skincare you see above. I’m still on my hydrating craze, so I picked up three different moisturizers from three different ranges.

  • Boots Simply Sensitive Anti-Redness Serum
  • Boots Fragrance Free Moisturising Cream
  • Boots Sakura Blossom & Lemon Whitening Day Moisturiser (I was suckered into buying this because it smelled so good)

It’s been a week since I came back from my trip and I’ve already started on the Simply Sensitive Anti-Redness Serum and I’m loving it! Time to stock up on another tube (or two?) when I have to head back to Thailand next month. :D

Quickie shopping tip : If you’re going to be buying Boots stuff in Thailand, unless absolutely necessary, buy from the stores in the city outside the airport. Strangely enough, the Boots Retail Shop in the duty-free area at the airport sells their products for between 10 – 50 baht more compared to the city area.

Reviews will hopefully follow shortly!

Seen on the Market : butter LONDON polishes now available in Singapore

Filed Under (cosmetics, nail polish, retail shopping, shopping malls) by rinnah on 16-04-2012

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Nail polish lovers rejoice! butter LONDON polishes are now available in Singapore. :)

Thanks to a tip-off from the Make-up Blogette on Twitter on Saturday evening, I called upon my fellow polish collector Beetrice and we made a prompt foray to hunt for butter LONDON on Sunday. I was so paranoid that I would arrive to find no more butter LONDON left, or, in a worst case scenario, plenty of other shades but not the shade I’d been coveting since last year! :P

For those on the hunt, you will find the elusive butter LONDON stand hidden in the racks in the general vicinity of L’Occitane and Korres at Basement 1 of Takashimaya (seems like a strange place to place all these niche brands to me) – so keep your eyes peeled for it as we nearly missed it!

butter london in takashimaya

It’s really a tiny stand – only half a shelf – and they’ve brought in limited shades in even more limited quantities (only 1 or 2 bottles per shade). As you can see in the picture above, that’s all there is (there are about 1 or 2 more shades at the side that got cropped out of the picture), and that was BEFORE we made our purchases on Sunday afternoon. The sales assistant (funny aunty! :) ) mentioned that restocks might be made every 2 weeks depending on demand so you can expect that I’ll be frequenting Takashimaya a lot more regularly in the future.

butter london victoriana

I’m sure you’re wondering if I managed to hunt down my desired butter LONDON polish in the end. Ladies, I’m glad to say that I did. The last Victoriana is now safely residing with me in the company of my other polishes. Hehehe. Review to come in due course.

You can also check-out the Make-up Blogette’s post about butter LONDON here.

butter LONDON polishes are 3 free and come in 11ml sizes. Polishes retail at SGD 25.00 per bottle. Treatments retail at SGD 32.00 per bottle.

A miniature haul from Hong Kong!

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, fragrances, lip gloss, lotions, moisturiser, retail shopping, skincare, suncare) by rinnah on 25-07-2011

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Ah Hong Kong! How I miss shopping there already… and I’ve only been back for a week. :P

Being a total newbie (it was my maiden trip to HK), I was totally unprepared for the bright lights and myriad stores. But I was lost the moment Kahani introduced me to Bonjour.

When she showed me the section on sample/travel sized products, I was completely sold on the concept and there was no turning back. The majority of the stuff you see in the picture below is from Bonjour, with a purchase each from Sasa, Harvey Nichols Beauty Hall and duty-free at Changi Terminal.

Hong Kong miniature haul

In no particular order, I came back with :
1. Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rose Perle
2. Steam Cream
3. Lanvin Marry Me perfume miniature
4. Talika Lipocils Expert eyelash serum
5. Lancome Hydra Zen Neocalm detoxifying moisturising multi-relief anti-stress gel essence
6. Lancome Hydra Zen extreme soothing moisturising cream-gel
7. Lancome Genifique Youth Activator serum
8. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex serum
9. Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier ultra-hydration serum
10. Dior Capture Totale One Essential skin boosting super serum
11. Diorsnow White Reveal essence
12. Shu Uemura UV Armor high protection face cream SPF 50
13. Shu Uemura Deepsea Hydrability moisturizing gel cream
14. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
15. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial micro serum
16. Laniege Water Sleeping Pack_Ex
17. Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale exceptional complete care serum
18. Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover

Whew! That’s a lot of miniature stuff, methinks! :P

And did you notice anything about the list above? It’s mostly skincare with a heavy slant towards hydrating stuff and anti-aging stuff.

I’ve been lemming quite a number of these serums for some time now, so yes, I am one very happy camper. Let’s hope that my sensitive/problematic skin takes kindly to me experimenting in the next few months!

How I wish I had access to these miniature pretties in Singapore or Malaysia all the time…

Read other blogger notes on shopping in Hong Kong here :
Paris B

Seen on the Market : Vichy Laboratories Aerateint Pure Foundation

Filed Under (cosmetics, foundation, retail shopping, shopping malls) by rinnah on 16-01-2011

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I was recently in Singapore this year and I spotted that Vichy Laboratories had recently launched a foundation line called Aerateint Pure that has yet to be released in Malaysia. This product stand was seen at the big Guardian store in ION Orchard.

vichy aerateint pure foundation

There are only four shades available and they are all on the lighter end of the spectrum, so this may not be targeted at the darker skinned ladies. A tube retails at SGD 39.00 which I think is still reasonable, although on the high end for drugstore brands.

I’m pretty interested in this one since Vichy products have proven to be compatible with my sensitive skin and Paris B likes their BB cream (which is available in Malaysia). Here’s hoping that Vichy Laboratories brings this to Malaysia!

MJ Privilege Card for free

Filed Under (customer service, promotions, retail shopping) by rinnah on 24-04-2010

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Metrojaya logo
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Just a quick post to notify readers that Metrojaya is currently allowing shoppers to sign up for the MJ Privilege Card for free this weekend (24 – 25 April).

Yup, they’re handing out their department store loyalty card for free – no purchase required. Even better yet, you get a MYR 10 voucher to spend together with the card, so that’s essentially MYR 10 being given away by Metrojaya to every person who signs up for the card. Can you say score? :)

There is one thing though – it seems that the numbers of cards being given out are limited, so maybe that’s why this campaign isn’t being published or promoted because I didn’t see any flyers or banners. I found out by chance from a friendly cashier who told me when I made my purchase at Metrojaya MidValley just now.

So, if you’re not a MJ Privilege cardholder yet, now’s your chance to be one for free!

The best deal for you

Filed Under (online shopping, retail shopping, tips and tricks) by rinnah on 20-02-2010

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I like to think of myself as a savvy consumer. Make no mistake, I don’t mean being a stingy consumer, just a smart consumer who knows value when she sees it. So, how can you ensure that you end up with the best deal that is just right for you, the savvy consumer? Let’s have a little demonstration of what I mean.

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Sometime last month (in January), I knew I was running out of my Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. And I definitely knew that I needed to repurchase this staple in my beauty routine. Instead of waiting till the very last moment to repurchase, I decided I needed a plan of action. I would use the time I had between when I decided to repurchase and when I would run out of my moisturizer to ensure that I got the best possible deal.

I already knew that the regular sized jar (50ml) retailed for MYR 160 at all Clinique counters. Was there any way that I could get a better deal? I was willing to pay the full retail price of MYR 160, but yet I wanted assurance that I would get the best possible value for my MYR 160. Let’s see what I did.

Firstly, I checked out the price of online retailers. From friends’ recommendations and good experiences, Strawberrynet seemed the ideal place to start with. Unfortunately, they were having no special promotions and it would have cost me MYR 166 (with free shipping) when purchasing from them. Strawberrynet was a no-go.

At the recommendation of another friend, I checked out BestBuy World. Although the prices there are much cheaper, the product is not the full sized product, but rather travel/sample sizes as a discounted rate. The different type of packaging did not bother me, but unfortunately, they had no ready stocks of Moisture Surge then.

So, at that point of time it seemed as though I would need to pay the full retail price for my moisturizer. No problem, since I was already prepared to pay MYR 160 for the product. The next question was : Where to buy it? I decided to make my purchase at Parkson, since they have a retail program with Bonuslink which allows you to collect reward points for all purchases. In this way, I could be assured of accumulating reward points for future redemption against shopping vouchers. At least there would be some return on my money spent.

Then, as luck would have it, I received a flyer from Bonuslink informing me that there would be a members’ day at Parkson, which would allow me to collect 5 times reward points on any purchase. Even more value for money, right? So I deferred my purchase for a few more days while waiting for the members’ day to roll around.

During the time between the Bonuslink flyer and the members’ day, I received an email from Clinique, informing me of their latest promotion to redeem a sample of their new anti-aging moisturizer. I decided that I would redeem my free sample at the same time when I made my purchase.

When I visited the Clinique counter, I was able to accomplish a number of things at the same time – restock my moisturizer, redeem my free sample and I also asked the consultant for another sample of Clinique’s best-selling All About Eyes eye gel. Even though I did not purchase enough to meet the Gift-With-Purchase limit, I’m satisfied with getting samples on top of my purchased item.

Better yet, since I made my purchase on the members’ day, not only did I get the 5 times reward points, I also got MYR 20 worth of Parkson vouchers for spending above MYR 150 in a single day. Can you say score?

Total haul on that day :
Moisture Surge – MYR 160
Youth Surge sample redemption – free
All About Eyes sample – free
Parkson vouchers worth MYR 20 – free

Wouldn’t you say that’s a good deal? And all that for just waiting 1 week extra.

You might think that I unnecessarily spent a lot of time comparing prices and still ended up paying the full retail price for my moisturizer, but when I look at all that I managed to get for just one trip, to me that’s worth much more than randomly going out shopping.

So, plan your purchases ahead of time and save money.
Getting additional satisfaction in knowing you got a good deal? Priceless.

Premier Parking at The Gardens, Mid Valley City

Filed Under (retail shopping, shopping malls) by rinnah on 08-03-2009

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Mid Valley Megamall
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I was out at Mid Valley Megamall today and my, the place was packed! It could be for two reasons that I can think of : 1) The Malaysian Mega Sale; and 2) the extra long weekend due to a public holiday this week.

I actually try to avoid Mid Valley as much as possible because I dislike the road system which makes you go in a circle round around the area just to find the particular entrance / exit you’re looking for. Also, finding parking on weekends is a tremendous hassle and there isn’t anything special or unique at Mid Valley that I can’t find elsewhere. However, I’ve been forced to go to Mid Valley lately because my salon, Empro, has moved their outlet from Sunway Pyramid to Mid Valley. Needless to say, once I have finished up my remaining sessions, I won’t be repurchasing for the simple fact that I don’t fancy having to battle my way into Mid Valley once every month or so just to get my brows done.

Previously I parked with less hassle at The Gardens and today I discovered that they had increased their parking fee since my last visit! The charges for Premier parking are now MYR 7.00 for the first 3 hours. Talk about exorbitant! I could pay just slightly more (MYR 10.00) and probably get valet parking at 1Utama for an unlimited amount of time. Undoubtedly parking at the Premier parking section is plentiful and the facilities are well-kept with bright lighting, well marked parking spaces and a high-tech electronic system that tells you exactly how many parking bays are still available, but I do balk at paying such high fees and be limited in the time that I wish to spend at the shopping mall.

It looks like I have even less reasons to patronize Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens in future.

Some thoughts on Tropicana City Mall

Filed Under (retail shopping, shopping malls) by rinnah on 30-01-2009

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Mall logo
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It’s been little over a month since the soft opening of Tropicana City Mall, the newest shopping mall in the Petaling Jaya area. Having visited the place on four separate occasions, I feel that my thoughts and impressions of the mall are ready for publishing.

How to get there
The mall’s website offers a map on how to get there (refer to picture below) but frankly, I find it a little misleading. Why?

Location map
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One : The access road from Jalan Damansara over the Sprint highway is in the midst of construction, and therefore not usable at the present moment. By looking at the map, I am given the impression that the road is ready for use.

Two : The map does not indicate that if you’re making the U-turn from SS2 side, the road barricades actually prevent you from turning into the parking lot and there are no further signs to indicate how to get into parking thereon. I wish that the mall management would consider putting up more/bigger signs to indicate the entrance to the parking as people might miss it if they’re driving too fast.

Right now, parking is FREE and plentiful. I find parking there to be a breeze although those with larger vehicles may find the parking lots to be on the narrower side. However, there are plans by the mall management plans to charge MYR 1.00 for the first 4 hours and MYR 1.00 for every subsequent hour in the future. I have a minor gripe about the exits though. The signs telling me that there is an exit to SS2 actually works out to be a further distance in driving as compared to when I exit directly onto the LDP highway using another exit. Confused? You bet I am.

Artist representation
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Main anchor tenants of the mall include Carrefour, Borders, Best Denki, Nichii City and Kitschen at the moment. GSC will be opening a cinema hall there, so that might be more incentive for me to stay for longer periods of time. I find it odd that there are NO fast food tenants in this mall save for Kenny Rogers Roasters (Wendy’s has yet to open), and higher class eating outlets like San Fransisco Steakhouse, Sushi Tei and Santini are more prominently featured. However, that being said, I find that Tropicana City Mall actually has a pretty good mix of tenants. Oh, another minor gripe of mine – why is it so hard to locate Carrefour? I almost forgot that there was a Carrefour in the mall, it is that isolated by itself.

Having a highly visible mall directory near to exit points like lifts and escalators would be good. I spent some time wandering around the mall on my initial visit just looking for one particular store. It was a bit frustrating for me as a shopper because I want to know where I’m going to save time.

Oh and the toilets are located behind closed doors some distance down an isolated corridor away from the main mall, which is not very reassuring for female shoppers. Also, on the two occasions that I went, the toilets were extremely wet (think flooded!) and had faulty taps/pipes, which should not be the case for a new mall. For that, the toilets get a thumbs down from me. I’d rather hold and go elsewhere, it’s that awful.

I think Tropicana City Mall is more of neighborhood mall than a place of attraction mall. I’ll probably end up there only if I have an objective in mind, that is to get/do something there. Otherwise, if I had a choice, I’d rather hang out in 1Utama (same parking fee but longer hours) or the Curve (more places to eat).

Tropicana City Mall
No. 3, Jalan SS20/27
47400 Petaling Jaya
Telephone number : +60 3-7710 1818 / 0101
Facsimile number : +60 3-7710 0202
Email address :
Hours of operation : 10 am till 10 pm daily
Free shuttle service available from Kelana Jaya LRT station

Read other blogger reviews on Tropicana City Mall here :
Pink Elle
william (wN) Ng

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