Taking Care of A New Tattoo (and after)

Have you been thinking of getting a tattoo or just got a new one? Or maybe you already have one and you want to read more about how to properly take care of your body art?

I’ve had 4 tattoos now and I’ve learned some good practices that I’d like to share with fellow body ink enthusiasts. Hopefully, these steps can help you heal your fresh tattoo effectively, avoid possible irritations that may happen to a new one, and take care of an existing one so it stays looking great for as long as possible.

Before you go into any of my tips, just remember to listen to what your tattoo artist advises you. That should be your primary basis in taking care of your tattoo. Techniques and processes change over time, and your artist is always the best person who knows how to take care of the new tattoo you had.

How to take care of a new tattoo

Right after your tattoo is done, your artist may cover it with a plastic seal to prevent ink and blood from smudging. He/she will tell you how long to keep the seal on. Normally, you can take a quick shower within the same day that you got your tattoo. But to be very sure, you can ask your artist as well.

Here are the dos and don’ts that I follow when I have a new tattoo and some products that I’ve been using to take care of my tattoo:

1. When I take a shower, I use lukewarm or room-temperature water. And I take a quick one instead of my usual long bath. I personally enjoy long showers, I take my time to scrub my body with a bath sponge. But when I have a fresh tattoo, I make it quick to avoid soaking my new tattoo.

2. Use a shower gel or liquid soap that cleanses but is mild enough for a fresh wound. I use Clinique Liquid Facial Soap on my body tattoos. I’ve used this on small and bigger tattoos, and it never irritated any of them. Other good options would be Cetaphil, Sebamed, and baby cleansing products. I avoid cleansers with strong fragrances during my first few weeks. Some fragrances can be harsh and cause irritation.

When washing, I make a foam on my hand then gently cleanse the tattoo with the foam. Don’t put the soap directly on the tattoo then foam it on the tattoo. This could force you to rub roughly on the wound while forming the foam.

3. During the first 3 days, I only take a shower once a day instead of my usual twice a day. Although, yes, washing keeps the tattoo clean, water exposure increases the risk of bacteria getting into the wound as well. So I just shower once for the day for the first 3 days then I go back to my twice-daily shower routine.

I also normally don’t place my tattoo directly under the shower when my tattoo is still fresh. I use my hand to cup water and let it flow to my tattoo. This is because my shower is flowing directly above my head, not the angled type.

No swimming, no sauna, no long baths, no bathtub for new tattoo.

4. A very important step to follow is to never use your regular bath towel to dry a new tattoo. This is a step that I missed before on my second tattoo that probably caused irritation. Some say to use a separate tower for the tattoo, but that can still pose a risk of accumulating bacteria. For safety, I don’t use my normal towel on a fresh tattoo for at least 4 weeks.

5. Instead of using my bath towel that may have some dirt or bacteria even if I change it regularly, I use disposable serviettes, the type that doesn’t leave fibers behind. I buy this cheap serviette, costs me RM1.00 (USD0.25), and works really great. Remember to pat the serviette gently across your tattoo. Don’t rub.

6. Once I step out of the shower, the first thing I do is sanitize my hands. This is to ensure that my hands are bacteria-free before I apply anything to my tattoo. Don’t worry, this won’t be forever, only until my tattoo has completed its scabbing phase, probably within 2-3 weeks, and only the art is left behind.

I am from The Philippines and I grew up using 70% alcohol to sanitize my hands. We even use it to sanitize our office items like phones, computer keyboards, mouse, and more. That’s how we prevent spreading diseases. Some even use it for massage.

I’m now in Malaysia, but the great thing is I can still get hold of the same alcohol. I buy my stock from Kota Raya, where many Filipino shops are selling Filipino products. Lucky me!

I transfer the alcohol into a small spray bottle to make it easier and more economical to dispense than the usual pouring from the bottle or even a pump.

7. After sanitizing, I allow my hands to completely dry before I can start with the moisturizing step. It’s important to allow the hands to dry completely from the sanitizer because the alcohol content will not be good for a fresh tattoo. It does kill bacteria but it can damage the ink too.

8. Apply the moisturizing lotion to the entire tattoo. Your artist will advise or recommend the moisturizer or lotion that is best to use. He/she might even have it available for sale at her studio. I’m lucky to have access to After Inked Daily Moisturizer, which is great for fresh tattoos.

My first tattoo was in a different studio and my artist did not sell tattoo lotion in the studio. He recommended Rosken Repair for Dry Skin. This was also great. My tattoo healed nicely with no irritation.

Other good options would be Sebamed Moisturizing Body Lotion for Sensitive Skin, around RM35 (USD8.50). You can also try other baby-safe brands like Cetaphil and Aveeno.

9. When applying the lotion, I develop a directional routine for the tattoo, meaning which part I start with first and where I finish. This may sound ridiculous, but I find it helpful especially for my bigger, semi-full arm tattoo. If your tattoo is a small one, it may not matter where you start and finish. When you have a big one, it is easy to miss or overdo a spot, which is what I’m trying to avoid. So on my arm tattoo, I developed a directional routine. I start with the upper arm area, from outer arm to inner arm, then I go to my forearm, from outer to inner as well.

Missing a spot will risk drying up that part of the tattoo, and therefore not heal nicely. Overdoing a spot might irritate it.

10. Don’t forget to moisturize the surrounding skin around the tattoo as well. Part of basic body care includes moisturizing, with or without a tattoo. Don’t just moisturize your tattooed part; make sure your skin is healthy overall.

11. Wear loose cotton clothes or allow the tattoo to ‘breathe’. When I had my first 3 tattoos, I let them heal without covering them under my clothes. This has worked well for me. However, on my fourth tattoo, which was covering almost my entire left arm, I already had a cat and I know I have risks of getting scratched, or worse, bacteria from fur and other stuff. I had to cover up every day.

Before my schedule for the fourth tattoo, I bought long sleeve cotton shirts, some online, some from the mall. Loose shirts are great because it covers you up but still allows your tattoo to breathe inside. Don’t ever wear tight-fitting clothes during the healing phase. The dried-up blood/ink might stick to them and might cause the tattoo to be damaged.

I wear clothes that I won’t mind having ink stains if in case some bleeding occurs.

12. Avoid sun exposure. I’d use an umbrella if I really need to get out and be exposed to the sun. Applying sunscreen during the healing phase is not a good idea yet. The ingredients for sunscreen products are not wound-friendly so I’d rather not apply until the tattoo is fully healed, which will be around 4 weeks or more.

13. Don’t do extensive exercise activities that will result in sweating heavily. I opt for simpler exercises during the healing phase, such as walking or stretching. I know, I know. I don’t like the fact that I can’t go for my usual Muay Thai training. But this is part of the healing process.

14. I stick to a body care routine to take care of my skin and my tattoo. I want my body art to stay beautiful for as long as possible. After all the pain and process (and budget) that I go through for each tattoo, it wouldn’t make sense to just leave it be and not take care of it.

15. When it itches, don’t scratch. It’s a definite no-no to scratch your healing tattoo. I actually didn’t experience itchiness on my first 3 tattoos. But the big one on my arm certainly itched during the 5th to 8th day, when it started to peel and scab.

It may look disgusting when you see this happening to your tattoo. But whatever happens, don’t help the tattoo to peel. Leave it alone and allow it to peel itself naturally.

Remember, a new tattoo is a new wound.

The only difference is that a tattoo is artistic and formed in the design you wanted. But it still is a wound. It needs to be handled with the same extra care you would give any wound. It needs to be free from dirt and bacteria, and it needs time to heal.

Once my tattoo has fully healed, around 3 to 4 weeks (could be longer for some, depending on the size of the tattoo and the person’s skin), there are other steps that I do for my skin.

Now, I can use sunscreen. When I have to go out and be exposed to the sun, I spray Banana Boat Clear Ultra Mist SPF50. You can also use the cream type as this one easily allows you to see where you apply the sunscreen. I still avoid the sun whenever possible, and use an umbrella when I can.

After 3 months, I also use body oil at night on my tattoo. I was advised by a friend before that it helps to maintain the black tone of the tattoo. So I gave it a try and it works! I’ve been doing this now for more than 3 months and it does help to make my tattoo have the black tone more defined. But I only do it at night. During the day, it’s lotion plus sunscreen for my tattoos.

I also exfoliate with a gentle body scrub after 3 months. Just because there’s ink on that area of the skin doesn’t mean that dead skin cells don’t form on that spot. To keep the tattooed skin healthy, I exfoliate once a week.

How long do I wait after my new tattoo before I go back to extensive training?

1 month. Your tattoo artist would be the best to advise how long before you can train. In my case, I add 2 weeks before I train and sweat heavily.

How long do I wait after my new tattoo before I go swimming?

2 months. I don’t want to soak my new tattoo in chlorine water just yet. I normally wait a bit longer.

How long do I wait before I get another one?

I don’t really place a timeline on this, the artist can advise better. If the next tattoo will be on the same location, for example, you want another tattoo on the same left upper arm, the artist might advise giving it a month before adding another one on the same spot.

Some tattoos may need to be split into 2 or more sessions because of the amount of shading needed. When it needs to be split, the artist advises having the next session after 4 weeks, so that the skin has time to recover before the next round on the same location.

Here is my 50% completed fourth tattoo. It covers around 3/4th of my arm. The first session took around 4 hours, and now I am still waiting for the second session to finally complete this. The flower on top, close to my shoulder, is my 3rd tattoo, then I decided to fill up my arm with similar design of flowers.

My first tattoo was on my left ankle

My second one was on my right ankle

The third is on my left upper arm / shoulder

And the fourth one that’s still in progress is on my full left arm. Some shading are not yet completed, and I might add a few more leaves.

Have fun taking care of your tattoos! Cheers to us who enjoy body art and getting inked!

10 Great Movies to Watch on Netflix

Love Netflix, too? Here are some of movies that I loved so much that I’ve watched them over and over again. I’m not really a couch potato, neither do I have plenty of time to watch. But watching, nowadays, has become a way for me to wind down and reset my mind. Netflix has tons of choices, and sometimes you can get lost in deciding what to finally watch. But these movies are my top picks (for now) and I hope it can help you discover hidden gems. Don’t worry; no spoilers here, I was very careful of that.

The Old Guard

Probably my favourite Charlize Theron movie to-date, this is action-packed and I really love the mix of ancient legend with superhero concept with modern day society. The action scenes are great, but be warned, as this is not for the faint-hearted who don’t like seeing violence and blood. There are a few gory scenes, which are essential to the story. I enjoyed the plot, the twists, and the mysterious ending. If you like movies based on books or comics, and if you like superhero action, this is definitely something worth your 2 hours.

I wish this gets enough rating and interest to convince Netflix to create a sequel…and it seems there is! I’m not sure how reliable the news is, but according to this site


If it’s true…kudos to Netflix! Can’t wait to watch The Old Guard 2!


How often do you watch supermodel-turned-assasin storyline? I haven’t watched enough to know if there are a lot, but this movie got me interested with its short description. No regret on watching it; I loved the plot, the mix of fashion, violence, and drama. Not a typical assassin movie, this one could keep you on the edge of your seat, suspiciously waiting for what will happen next. Helen Mirren, as usual, is such an amazing actress.

This movie is great for action lovers who enjoy or don’t mind violence and blood. Damn, really awesome fight scenes.

Red (Retired, Extremely Dangerous)

How often would you have Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirren in 1 movie? I adore these actors and this movie is just a witty combination of action and comedy. I’ve probably watched this at least 5 times. I particularly love John Malkovich’s character here; he’s so adorable with his excessive paranoia, which is funny and intelligent at the same time.

I find Bruce Willis so hot in this movie, he ages really well. His action scenes are still so cool and engaging, and I liked the romanticism of his character. Helen Mirren is just kick ass. And Morgan Freeman always has this warm character that you’ll love.

There was a sequel to this, Red 2, but it seems it’s not on Netflix anymore.

John Wick 1, 2, and 3

I was very late to watching and appreciating John Wick as I don’t really have much time or I am not interested to spend hours to watch movies years back. But, man, when I watched one, I got hooked! This is probably the best Keanu Reeves movie series so far, different level than The Matrix. I love the violence and the heartless execution of the kills, true no-nonsense, no doubt, no wishful thinking. I was never a fan of one-man army, fighting against so many at the same time, but John Wick convinced me.

The Italian Job

Who doesn’t love fast cars? Combine that with a heist, gold bars, and Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg, I’m all in! I even bought the original DVD of this years back (that was before Netflix, okay). I needed to have a way to watch it again when I wanted to. I’ve watched this probably more than 10 times now. I love the heist planning and set-up scenes, the witty lines, the funny lines, and, of course, the driving scenes.


This is my second Will Smith movie (next to Enemy of the State). With Will Smith as a drunk superhero whom the country hates, Hancock is such an entertaining film. I can still remember getting extremely shocked by Charlize Theron’s single move that revealed her true character. Gotta watch out for that one if you haven’t seen this yet.

This is a great superhero action film, but don’t be deceived, this was a tearjerker for me as well. I didn’t expect to shed a tear or two when I first watched this, but it did.


This one’s a classic story! I love mythology and the Trojan war is a big part of the stories that I’ve read about since I was a teen. Troy brings me back to my younger days, back when physical books are one of our best companions and when I still need to go to the library to borrow books, stamp details on the library card, then rush back to read them and return them before the due date.

If you’ve read the story of the Trojan war, you know that this will not end happily. Well, wars don’t end with a laugh. This film didn’t show the intervention of the gods and goddesses; it was focused on the human side of the story, Hector’s undying love to defend his brother and family’s honour, Achilles’s love for his cousin, and his love for Briseis. I’m amazed by how their characters were dramatised in the film. I’ve never imagined Achilles’s character as such, because he’s always been depicted as a ruthless warrior in books.

This is a great movie for those who love classic wars, mythology, and Brad Pitt. I’m not a big fan of the guy but I adored him here.

Coach Carter

I occasionally enjoy inspiring movies and this one is on top of my list. I love basketball (although I don’t play) and I’m always moved by the realisation that many kids around the world have no good shot at education. I love Samuel L. Jackson’s character here as a dedicated coach, who is strict, disciplined, and committed to his players not just on court, but off court as well.

This was based on the true story of Coach Ken Carter, who coached Richmond High School in California, United States. If you love any sport because you understand the amount of hard work to excel in it, you will like this film.


Wouldn’t it be awesome if you can convert the capability of your genius brain into cash on the casino table? This one takes Math geniuses into money-making card players by using their superb counting skills to play blackjack in Las Vegas. I enjoyed the storyline and the cool spin on turning Math geeks into this bunch of confident, cool casino winners.

It’s a sort of heist but without any violence in plan, no getaway cars, and no smart gadgets to break through locks. This is pure brain power used against card play. The film is based on a true story, by the way, which makes it even more amazing. It’s been criticised for casting mostly white Americans instead of Asian Americans as told in the true story. But right or wrong cast, this film is recommended for anyone who enjoys kick ass brains and heists!


This is an oldie but goodie! Robin Williams had so many great movies (Mrs. Doubtfire, unfortunately, is not on Netflix) and this depiction of the classic Peter Pan story into the part of growing up and having a family was one of his memorable ones. I never get tired of the fantasy, of flying, and of never growing up. It’s a great film for the entire family. It’s entertaining, it’s fun, and it is heartwarming.

Happy watching!

Staying Fit with 10-minute Daily Exercises

It’s definitely been tough to stay fit through the pandemic, with lockdowns affecting gym schedule and other sports activities. But, in a way, there’s a positive side to it. We had to learn to find other ways, to be creative, and to do what we can at home.

This is my first post after more than a year of silence (or laziness or not making time) from writing here and sharing my thoughts and experiences. It has been challenging, working our asses off to keep our jobs, to make our jobs contribute well to the company, to manage our lives, to manage a child / children’s learning at home, and, on top of all these, to stay safe, healthy, and hopefully, COVID-free.

One of the key activities I’ve been doing before and during the pandemic was having 10-minute daily workouts. I know it sounds simple, but that’s the key. It IS simple. It IS fast. That’s what makes it EASY to commit to. Many of us have busy daily lives, we can’t commit to going to the gym daily, even when we are allowed to. But imagine if you only need to commit to 10 minutes of your day. It may not be much and may not do much, but it’s still so much better than doing 0 minute exercise everyday. 10 minutes every day is still 70 minutes in a week.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) that lasts for 10 minutes or more each day has helped me stay fit during the past year and now. Although I am now back to my regular weekly Muay Thai sessions, HIIT helps me accomplish active minutes every day and improve specific areas of my body.

I’ve been using this app that I’ve also been recommending to friends who are keen to move and sweat every day. I love this app that I’ve been using for probably 3 years now: Workout for Women. Although it says “for Women”, it’s actually great for all. And, yes, it’s FREE. You’d only need to pay for selected features that you want, like guided programs.

The app comes with more than 1,000 workouts. And what I love the most about it is that it has very specific exercises for specific areas of the body that you’d like to address. It also takes away the repetitiveness that might result to boredom from the training. For example, I can choose to work on my arms on Mondays, then switch to legs on Tuesdays, then abs on Wednesdays.

It’s great for beginners and experts alike as the exercises come with different difficulty levels to choose from. Each training comes with a list of exercises, and if you want to see how to do each exercises properly, there’s a video guide that shows you how.

The app comes with daily motivational quotes which I love. Because sometimes, we just need that extra something to get us moving. It also tracks your progress so you can monitor how many days in a week or month have you done your exercise. Don’t be disappointed or disheartened when you miss a day, two, or three…what matters is that you always have another new day to move and sweat.

You can download the app through these links:

App Store https://apps.apple.com/my/app/workout-for-women-fitness-app/id839285684

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.workoutinc.seven_7minutesfitness_forwomen

It is never too late to get started with a movement activity for your body. We don’t need to be experts nor be like those super fit gym buffs you see on social media.

The important thing is we keep loving ourselves and our bodies, stay active and try to stay fit and healthy.

Smoother Body with Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Polish

I hope this is not discontinued…or at least, it should have a good replacement.
how to exfoliate your body with soap and glory body polish

I believe in the importance of exfoliating our skin once a week. Years back, I was a bit lazy to follow a routine but I guess when you notice how ageing starts to impact the texture and appearance of the skin, you get moving. Exfoliating is not only for the face but for the body as well. Scrubbing or exfoliating on a once-a-week basis signals our body to produce more collagen. It helps our skin to refresh itself by getting unclogged from buildup of dead cells on its surface. This way, it also helps the skin absorb moisturizers or body lotion better than before.

Smoother Body with Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Polish

I picked up this Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Polish when I was in Thailand and I’ve fallen in love with it! Aside from the catchy product name which Soap and Glory has been known for, the scent is captivating. But wait, not only does it smell great, it makes my skin feel great everytime, too! Compared to other body scrubs that I used, this one melts naturally onto wet skin and leaves that amazing refreshed feeling.

Step by step to exfoliate your body

Colour of body polish

Soap and Glory says “this is a 3-in-1 body polish formulated to stimulate and revive the skin. The scent is a combination of fresh green mandarin, lemon and sweet orange peel oils. It is designed to to gently foam, cleanse, moisturize, uplift and refresh while smoothing the skin.”
Natural Orange peel exfoliator
Jojoba Moisture melt beads
Green Tea antioxidants
How to use:
  1. Rinse your body with water. Some prefer to prep the skin by manually exfoliating using loofah or exfoliating gloves before they even hop into the shower.
  2. Squeeze a handful of Orangeasm Exfoliating Body Polish onto your damp skin. You can start with your shoulders to your arms then progressively downwards to your legs and toes. Rub gently in circular motions, like how you do using your body wash.
  3. Squeeze a bit more of the body polish when needed.
  4. Add extra attention to your elbows, knees and feet but don’t scrub like your angry. Just rub gently with probably more rounds than other parts.
  5. Don’t forget to scrub your back as well.
  6. Rinse with lukewarm water, gently rubbing off the beads.
  7. Towel dry and apply your favorite body lotion on your entire body.
  • Don’t scrub on wounds or broken skin.
  • If you have sensitive skin, you may want to test on a small part of your skin first.
  • This product is for adults only, not designed for children or babies.
  • Avoid contact with eyes. If product gets into your eyes, quickly rinse with cool water until vision is clear and no stinging remains.
You can also check their site for more Soap and Glory products 
Happy exfoliating!

I’m not sure though if this product is still available. I notice that it’s out of stock in many places and I haven’t visited Boots in Thailand recently to check if it’s still being sold. But I do have a backup…Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub! You can check it out at Soap and Glory website

Getting Started with Resistance Training using LILA EXOGEN

Keen to improve the way you move? Whether it’s for competitive sports or regular fitness activities, resistance training has valuable benefits.

Maintaining a healthy weight, having firmer body, and being more energetic are my personal goals when it comes to health and fitness. I’m sure I’m not alone with these goals. After all, who doesn’t want a happier life with healthy body and mind? But I do accept that this is easier said than done.

One of the activities I do towards having healthy weight is to have regular exercises. I’m a working mom, and like many other busy mums, whether working or not, it can be challenging to allot time and energy every day to exercise. On weekdays, what I’ve been doing over the years is to perform 10-20 minute shots of exercises for specific areas of the body. On weekends, I run / walk for an hour. These have been great routines for me for the past, hmmm, 4 to 5 years.
However, I’ve been starting to feel that I want to improve what I do. Ageing doesn’t make my metabolism better (aaaarrrrrhhh!). And I noticed that I’m starting to gain weight again instead of losing or maintaining my target, at least. Signs that I need to “up” my level, yes?
I know that I need to improve how I do my exercises. I need to improve the way I move. I cannot stretch the time I spend on workout too much as there are many things in life that I need to balance, just like a lot of you. I need to be more efficient with how I work out, either through increasing the intensity or…resistance training.


My regular workouts include Tabata body, 7-minute leg workout, abs workout, and 10-minute HIIT. Plank, jumping jacks, leg lifts, v-sits, lunges, squat jumps, high knee running in place…these are some of the steps that I regularly do. I’ll share more about this wonderful app that I follow to do these at home. I’m no expert and definitely a newbie on the subject of resistance training so I’ve done some research to understand more.

One of the interesting articles I’ve read from TIME said:
“If you just do cardio, you’re sabotaging yourself,” says Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “Your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” That explains why, in one Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults, those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).
No wonder it was getting harder to maintain my target weight…
So what then is resistance training? There are so many definitions you can find online but one of the simplest one I found says that resistance training, also called strength training or weight training, is a form of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance. It increases muscle strength by making your muscles work against a weight or force.

There are many ways that you can do resistance training. Some of them include sand bags, resistance bands, suspension equipment, free weights like dumbbells and I’ve seen ankle weights and wrist weights as well. I tried using some dumbbells but I somehow didn’t enjoy it. I like to move and sweat all over after some short but intense (at least intense for me) workouts, without the need to hold weights in my hands. I did check ankle weights and wrist weights, too, but I wasn’t sure if I’ll be comfortable strapping those heavy loads while I jump or run. It didn’t look and sound right. I was worried about injuries specially on my knees. The ones I saw were quite heavy, ranging from 1kg to even 6kg.

I’ve also read that ankle weights can be good complement for exercises like leg lifts, squats, planks with leg lifts, bicycle kicks, mountain climbers and other similar exercises. But I was looking for something more multi-functional and something that can move with me, whether it’s for HIIT, running and, potentially, muay thai. There should be a solution out there for people like me who switch between different types of workouts, right?
I encountered Light Variable Resistance Training or LILA calls it LVRT. Wait, what?  
Light Variable Resistance Training is a way of training with significantly less load than traditional resistance training. It’s a signature training system developed by LILA and it emphasises 100% user-defined resistance training. In other words, we control it and we define how we move with it.


LILA (pronounced lee-lah) has developed EXOGEN EXOSKELETONS. Sounds fancy, huh? It deserves to sound fancy. It is, after all, the world’s 1st generation of multi-function, high-performance exoskeletons that accelerate the future of user-defined movement training.

What is an exoskeleton? An exoskeleton basically is an external skeleton that supports and protects the body. Think of it like the Iron Man suits. It turns Tony Stark into a superhero that can lift extremely heavy loads, fly, scan surroundings with superhuman speed and accuracy, shoot and more. In the US, exoskeletons are already being used to rehabilitate injuries and provide superhuman strength. 
LILA’s EXOGEN EXOSKELETONS are created and developed by sports scientists to improve the way you move. It combines the art of movement with science and technology to enhance your performance, provide protection and support, improve sensory feedback and deliver thermo-regulation.
What does it do? What are the benefits of using LILA EXOGEN?
LILA has research-based benefits that span across various areas, from improving calorie burn up to increasing leg power and jump. For more scientific details about EXOGEN performance benefits, you can check it out here https://movementrevolution.com/exogen/exogen-performance-benefits/
I’m most interested in its benefits for cardio and burning calories. If it can help increase my metabolic output or burn by 8 – 15% then I can increase my calorie burn every time I do my regular workouts and run. Let’s do some math:
Regular 10-minute HIIT
Without LILA = 84 calories x 5 days in a week = 420 calories / week x 4 = 1,680 / month
With LILA EXOGEN at 15% increase = 96.6 calories x 5 days in a week = 483 calories / week x 4 = 1,932 / month
That’s an increase of 252 calories in just 1 month with just my 10-minute workout.
Imagine doing that for 12 months. That’s an increase of 3,024 calories burned!
My weekend run
Without LILA = around 410 calories / week x 4 = 1,640 / month
With LILA at 15% increase = 471.5 calories / week x 4 = 1,886 / month
That’s an increase of 246 in 1 month with just my 1-hour run every weekend. If I do this for 12 months, that’s an increase of 2,952 calories burned.
Add my 10-minute HIIT and weekend runs, I can potentially increase my calorie burn by 5,976 in a year!


What makes this really amazing is that it is wearable. Unlike old school or traditional resistance training equipment that are confined to the walls or floors of a gym, the LILA EXOGEN is worn on the body and moves with the body. The loads and sleeves are travel-friendly too. 

LILA EXOGEN High Performance Exoskeletons come in several forms targeted at specific areas of the body. The EXOGEN range includes Forearm Compression Sleeves, Upper Arm Compression Sleeves, Full ArmCompression Sleeves, Compression Calf Sleeves, Compression Shorts and CompressionSleeveless Top. I’m focused at the moment on improving my leg movements and workouts so I decided to purchase the Compression Calf Sleeves.

The Compression Calf Sleeves come in a black carry box, containing a pair of compression calf sleeves, a mesh bag, an 8-piece set of loads in a travel-friendly roll pouch and the user guide.

Price: USD139 / RM588

I’ve started using the calf sleeves on my daily short workouts and I felt an incredible difference. Starting with light load of 100g per leg, I can feel that I’m working harder yet it just feels natural with my movement.
I also use it for my weekend run. On my first run test, I was too ambitious, I loaded 300g on each leg. But this is too early for me to do, I felt that I need to make the load lighter after a few hundred meters. So I reduced the loads to 100g per leg, it felt right and I continued my run / walk for another hour. I love that I can control the amount of loads and play with the direction of the loads, too! That’s what I call true user freedom! And on my 2nd test run with LILA, I increased it to 200g per leg, 100g in front and 100g at the back.




There are various methods for arranging the loads or Fusiform on the sleeves. For my running and short workouts, I’m currently placing the loads downwards and with the belly (fatter side) on top.
I’m keen on progressing continuously with resistance training. According to Better Health Australia, doing resistance training / strength training / weight training has many health benefits, both for physical and mental health, such as:
  1. improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury
  2. weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest
  3. greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
  4. improved mobility and balance
  5. improved posture
  6. increased bone density and strength
  7. improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood
  8. enhanced performance of everyday tasks
For full article about resistance training health benefits, visit https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits

I had the honour of meeting the LILA EXOGEN team and got hooked by their concept and mission to improve the way we move. At the time of publishing this article, I’m already a happy member and delighted customer of the LILA EXOGEN team, moving forward to improve the way I move!

Stay tuned for updates on my LILa journey…progress on my workouts and Muay Thai training!
Born to move. Live to move.


Great Online Shops for Christmas Gifts, Birthdays and more

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Time for joy, time for cheer, time for gifting! 

With just around 2 weeks before Christmas, shopping rush is on. And if you are juggling work, home, travel and many other responsibilities, it might not be easy to get gift shopping done on time. Don’t forget, there’s still Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day celebrations to plan for. 

But don’t let time stop you from getting things done. There are a lot of online shopping sites out there. While I was “window shopping”, or should I say “screen shopping”, I came across some great gifts from different sites. So many choices, so little time! The magic of online shopping is that you can explore many options in less time and you can get the gifts delivered to your house, office or maybe even directly to your loved ones. That’s efficiency and convenience. 

For those who’d love skincare, scents, hair care and body care gifts:

Althea (tried and tested)
Althea is an online shopping site for Korean beauty products, skincare, body care, cosmetics, hair care and makeup. Find brands like Innisfree, The Face Shop, Laneige, Nature Republic, Sulwhasoo and more. 

You can find gift ideas from as low as RM13  

I ordered a few items for myself (yah, I deserve a Christmas box, too) several weeks back and it came with this pretty Holiday box!

I picked this cleanser purely because of the “killer” name!

The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a retail and online shop for skincare, beauty products, makeup, body care and more. If you don’t have time to buy from its shops, you can easily order online and get them delivered to you. 
You can find gift ideas from as low as RM35
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From as low as RM44

For those who’d like something a bit more personalised:

Giftr is an online shopping site specializing on gifts such as flowers, bouquets, chocolates, cakes and personalized gifts. 
You can find great gifts from as low as RM49.90, including personalised monogram cushion

Printcious is an online shop that specializes on personalized gift items such as mugs, shirts, mouse pads, keychains, luggage tags and even ceramic tile!
You can find gift ideas from as low as RM20.30

BloomThis is great for those who love to send or receive flowers. They can do same day delivery, just order before 1pm between Monday to Friday and before 12pm for Saturday deliveries. 
Find gifts from as low as RM99

For those who like shiny, sparkling things

Swarovski via Zalora (tried and tested)
I’m a Swarovski fan and a Zalora fan, too. It’s great to shop online for Swarovski accessories via Zalora and enjoy fast delivery. If you’re looking for sparkling, shiny gifts, check out the Swarovski flagship store at Zalora for earrings, necklaces, rings and more. 
From as low as RM149

Look at this pretty key pendant necklace…

If you like the idea of collecting charms or beads, check out Jeoel and its collections of accessories with various themes such as animals, fairy tales, love, music, numbers and more including diamond-ornamented accessories. 
You can find great sparkling gifts from as low as RM84

There’s currently a promo for Buy 2 for 50% off

If you or your loved one love unicorns, you might like this one…

For those who love activities and experiences

Klook is your online destination if you’re looking for experiences such as tours, shows, performances, galleries and theme parks like 3D Art Museum, aquarium and more.
Find activities from as low as RM7

For those who love delicious cake, delivered right at your doorstep:

Cake Together
What’s not to like and be happy about this Christmas if you receive a beautifully crafted cake? Cakes can get ready in as fast as 4 hours within KL and PJ, and selections are available for Penang, too.
From as low as RM95 per cake

There seems to be lotsa love for unicorns and mermaids…take a look at this beautiful mermaid cake!

Oh my goodness, look at this mouth-watering Nutella Cake…

Eat Cake Today
More and more cakes! I’d definitely be delighted to receive any of these beautiful cakes, cookies, macaroons or cupcakes. Look, they even have gingerbread cookies!

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From as low as RM60

Happy shopping and I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season! 

Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup

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Ah makeup, makeup, makeup. Can’t live without ‘em. And definitely cannot live without any foundation! 

I’m a fan of lightweight liquid foundation. I prefer texture and viscosity that feel like it’s just “second skin”. I tested this foundation in one of the retail shops (oh my, I can’t believe that I can’t remember where exactly did I buy this) and I really liked how water-like it was. So I bought one (hmmm, probably in Sephora, Aeon, Isetan, Metrojaya…). 

I’ve been using this for more than a month now and I’m enjoying how easy it is to blend and spread on the face. I normally apply it using wet beauty sponge and it easily gets absorbed by the skin. However, if you prefer full coverage, this might be a bit light for you. Although it says that coverage is from medium to full, I find that it might be light if there are dark spots that you want to blur. I do apply concealer before this foundation to even out some spots. 


Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra-Bright Essence Makeup
SPF30 / PA++
How much: RM205 / 30ml 
My shade: 1C0 Cool Porcelain

Made in Belgium. Use within 24 months after opening.
Created for and tested on Asian skin in Asia.

It comes in a plastic bottle with frosted finish, looks like frosted glass until you touch it. The cap serves as dropper so you can dispense the liquid in controlled amount. 


Here’s a closer look at the dropper

Look at those drops. Aren’t they pretty to look at?

My steps on how to apply this foundation:
1. Cleanse your face and neck. Pat dry.
2. Apply your usual skincare products: toner, essence, moisturiser and eye cream. 
3. Apply your makeup base. 
4. Based on your preference and need, apply concealer on target areas of your face. 
5. Dispense 2-3 drops of Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup on your palm.  
6. Using a beauty sponge, dab the foundation onto your face up to jawline and neck. Blend in circular motions until even. 
7. If needed, dispense another 1-2 drops and apply on selected areas. 
8. Finish with translucent or face powder. 

Throughout the day, this foundation feels great on the skin. No caking. My skin feels moisturised and I do notice slight brightening of some spots over the past weeks. It’s not massive impact but the foundation does function as makeup and skincare at the same time. Works great for me. 

It seems though that it’s not easy to find this specific product online except Amazon. I’m not sure if it’s still available in major retail stores but if in case you are looking for it, Amazon might be able to ship it to Malaysia. 


About Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup 
(try to say that in 3 seconds, quite a mouthful of a product name)  

Every drop of this light-filled liquid foundation is fortified with skin-pampering, cooling hydration to plump skin, enhancing its luminosity. Advanced optics instantly blur and minimize uneven skin tones, dullness, fine lines, pores and dark spots. The result? A smooth flawless finish that seems one with your skin, glowing from within. Contains key actives that complement the Light Cycle Complex in the Crescent White skincare products. Medium to full coverage. Oil-free. Fragrance-free. Dermatologist tested. 

  • A brightening, fluid foundation with high UV protection 
  • Gives medium to full coverage to even out skin tone 
  • Instantly hides fine lines, pores & dark spots for a flawless complexion 
  • Delivers a luminous finish to refresh dull skin 
  • Enriched with cooling hydration to plump skin 
  • Boosts skin radiance & smoothness
  • Smooth on this luxuriously sheer, fluid base to help instantly correct and minimize dull, sallow tones and dark spots with advanced optics and skin-brightening lavender pigments
  • The luxuriously lightweight formula primes skin so effectively, makeup glides on effortlessly, blends smoothly and looks flawlessly fresh

For optimum performance, prime with Brightening Makeup Base. 
Shake well before use. 

Other available shades:
  • 1C0 Cool Porcelain
  • 2C0 Cool Vanilla
  • 3C0 Cool Cream
  • 4C0 Cool Cashmere
  • 1W0 Warm Porcelain
  • 2W0 Warm Vanilla
  • 3W0 Warm Cream
  • 3W1 Tawny

For more Crescent White products, you can check Estee Lauder site 

11 Reasons Why I Love Spotify

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If you’re not using Spotify yet and wondering why so many people are using it, here are some of the reasons why I love Spotify (and could be why you might want to start using it, too). 

I can find every song I want, from new songs up to the songs I listen to when I was, hmmm…8 years old? 
I’m a 1980 baby (yes, I admit, I’m old) and I grew up with my father’s music like The Beatles, Kenny Rogers, Simon and Garfunkel, Peter Paul and Mary, The Carpenters and Cat Stevens. My strongest music preference is within the 90’s, when alternative rock and more rock genres have evolved up to gothic rock. Generation of today may not be inclined to listen to bands like Disturbed, Garbage, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation and System of a Down. I don’t listen to the radio and I definitely need my own mix of songs while driving or running. 

And that’s the greatest thing I experienced when I first used Spotify. I can create my personal mix and I can literally find every song I wanted. 

I can download songs or podcasts and listen to it offline. 
This makes the experience hassle-free. I don’t need to be dependent on data to start listening. I can create my mix or follow playlists that I like and download them into my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. 
You can’t play your music on more than 1 device at the same time but I have no issue with this. 

I learn interesting stuff from podcasts and more. 
It’s not just all songs and playlists. Spotify has multiple categories including audiobooks, comedy and podcasts. My favourite podcast is Something You Should Know by Mike Carruthers. Oh and there are new ones including Chill Digital Marketing! I should start listening to that… 

I discover songs that I probably wouldn’t know about. 
Since I don’t like listening to radio, I’m unaware of new songs that I might potentially like based on my music preference. Spotify has weekly updates under “Made for You” tab where you see playlists and songs that you might like. 

I feel like Spotify understands my mood. 
There is a certain time of the day or day of the week when I need music to focus. Spotify has playlist for it. There are times when you need some energy boost. There are times when you need to de-stress or need good music while reading a book for that perfect chill-and-relax time. There’s this season of the year when you need Christmas songs, yes? Spotify’s playlists for genres and moods are just amazing.

It’s also great how Spotify has a localised approach. Since I’m based in Malaysia, my Spotify “Browse” section features Malay Pop playlist. I don’t really listen to it but it’s great that Spotify has this. 

I fall asleep with Spotify Sleep playlists on.
I used to have a hard time falling asleep. At home, in local hotels, in overseas hotels, it’s just difficult for me to stop thinking, chill and fall asleep. And during one of the nights I was having trouble sleeping and I was tinkering with my Spotify playlists, guess what, Spotify showed “Can’t sleep?” And it displayed several playlists for sleep! Since then, I’ve been playing Sleep playlists every night, wherever I am, and it really helped me relax and doze off faster. 

I run longer and better with my Spotify playlist on.
I started running every weekend around 2 years back and it can honestly be very boring. I find it more challenging to defeat boredom than enduring the exercise itself. Then I tried running with music on and it was a game changer! I can now last more than an hour with music on when I used to get so bored within my first 20 minutes. 

I can survive hours of flights with Spotify. 
I’m not a fan of traveling, unlike most of young people out there who love to travel. I don’t like sitting for hours in a plane (or any form of transport). I try working on my laptop in flight but this gives me headache. Nowadays I have my Spotify music on. Whether I’m listening to songs or podcasts, I am now better at traveling for a few hours. 

I can easily access what I recently listened to. And play it again and again when I feel like it. 
The Spotify app or software easily allows you to go through playlists, follow them and the playlists you recently played go inside the tab “Recently Played”. Then you can keep playing the same playlist and knock yourself out with the same songs again and again. Ahhhh, the joy of satisfying your song cravings. 

The user interface is just awesome. 
This is just way easy to use, easy to find songs, easy to personalize and easy for discovery. 

It’s affordable. 
It does have 30-day trial and even the premium subscription is only at RM14.90 per month. I use Spotify everyday and I find that it’s really worth it. I hope Spotify maintains its reasonable price while it keeps adding more cool things over time. 

 Music for everyone

Keep it up, Spotify! Rock my world. 

*Just in case you are wondering…the contents of this article are from my personal opinion and experience. This is not a paid post. 

Hypoallergenic Face Cream for Kids and Babies

How are you taking care of your child’s face?


For the past few years, I’ve been using Sebamed Baby Protective Facial Cream on my son’s face. It’s a great product, I have no complain at all. 

However, my son is now turning 9 years old, not a baby anymore. So I thought it could be time to switch to a cream intended for children, not necessarily for babies. I saw  this Physiogel moisture cream while Sebamed was out of stock so I decided to give Physiogel a try. 


Physiogel Hypoallergenic
Daily Moisture Therapy Cream
Price: RM45.90 / 75ml
Where to buy: Guardian Pharmacy

My son has been using this cream for 3 months now and it has been good. His skin is smooth and supple, still like a baby’s. He doesn’t develop rashes on the neck from sweating and no dry patches. 

The cream itself  is milky, easy to apply and easily absorbed by the skin, does not leave an oily film. 



This cream:
Is for normal / dry sensitive skin
Provides long-lasting moisture
Makes skin less sensitive
Is clinically proven to strengthen and repair the skin’s moisture barrier
Has no preservatives, perfumes, colorants
Is suitable for face and body


Daily use moisturizing cream for normal / dry sensitive skin that can feel tight, rough or uncomfortable. Also suitable for babies and children. Clinically tested by dermatologists. Non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.

Proven results:
Nourishes and repairs the moisture barrier even in sensitive skin
Restores skin’s elasticity
Promotes long-lasting moisturization to protect against recurring dryness, with regular use
Softens and smoothens for visibly healthier skin

How to use:

Apply to clean skin twice daily
Apply on face and neck


Upgrade your old phone to an OPPO F9 with the OPPO and TecProtec Trade-in Program

Want to upgrade your phone to the new OPPO F9 without breaking the bank?


Manila, Philippines
AmTrust Mobile Solutions and OPPO is elevating consumer purchasing power with its new TecProtec Trade-in program partnership. With peace of mind and fast processing for trade-in, customers may now have their current smartphones assessed and evaluated for a new OPPO smartphone directly at select OPPO concept stores.



TecProtec, a program by AmTrust Mobile Solutions, in exclusive partnership with top international smartphone brand OPPO, aimed to offer more options to consumers in purchasing smartphones. Starting September 28, 2018, customers may now inquire to trade-in their current smartphone and get evaluated in its value in just 5 minutes. Qualified smartphones will then be eligible for its trade-in value to purchase a new OPPO smartphone such as the recently launched F9 with VOOC Flash Charging technology.

“The goal of this program is to provide an easy way for smartphone owners to upgrade to their choice of new phone,” said Jaime Jose M. Javier, Jr., AmTrust Mobile Solutions Philippines CEO. “With the Trade-in to the New OPPO F9 Program, we are happy to provide a great solution to more smartphone owners to upgrade and get their dream phone,” Javier added.

“It’s a simple and easy solution to trade-in and upgrade. With any old device, a customer can walk-in to our selected outlets and get the trade-in completed within minutes” announced Garrick Hung, OPPO Philippines Vice President. “This eliminates the time-consuming journey of having your phone sold first and even avoiding the risk of low ballers. In just a few steps, anyone can walk out with the new OPPO F9 in their hands and just in one store.” Hung added.

AmTrust Mobile Solutions / TecProtec team at OPPO + TecProtec Trade-in Launch
(left to right) Mikko Bacani, Aldrin Ocampo, Clark Afortunado, Ronelyn Ordonez, Jimmy Javier, Menan Tagle

Part of the goal was to develop a creative and engaging concept that showcases TecProtec’s Trade-In Program positioning and unique mobile trade-in capabilities. TecProtec’s approach to mobile is anchored by their belief that mobile is more than just a transaction platform; it can strengthen the relationship of brands with consumers.
Starting September 29, 2018, Saturday customers may now visit the following OPPO concept stores to inquire about availing current smartphone to the TecProtec trade-in program.

List of OPPO Concept Stores
·       SM Megamall
·       SM Mall of Asia
·       Tutuban Mall
·       SM Sangandaan
·       Starmall Alabang
·       SM Southmall
·       SM BF Paranaque
·       SM Novaliches
·       SM Fairview
·       Robinsons Nova
·       Fairview Terraces
·       Sta. Lucia Mini Concept
·       SM Marikina
·       SM East Ortigas
·       Robinsons Galleria Ortigas
·       Robinsons Metro East
·       Market Market Taguig
·       Alimall Cubao

(from left) Edward Lacap, Regional BuyBack Manager for AmTrust Mobile Solutions, together with Jemma Dela Cruz, General Manager for AmTrust Mobile Solutions, explain details of the OPPO program on stage

Visit a participating OPPO Concept Store today and get yourself a new OPPO F9!

About TecProtec
TecProtec, a brand of AmTrust Mobile Solutions, is a device protection program that gives you peace of mind. As smartphones become an integrated part of our lifestyle, it is important to ensure our devices are protected and TecProtec ensures that you’re always connected.

About AmTrust Mobile Solutions
AmTrust Mobile Solutions by AmTrust International is a leading hub for mobile phone and gadget protections in the market, with business segments: device protection, repairs, trade-ins, and tech support for convenient and seamless solutions. Its value-added solutions support businesses and customers for an uninterrupted digital life. For more information, visit our website: https://www.tecprotec.co/and https://amtrustmobilesolutions.asia/

About OPPO
For the last 10 years, OPPO has been focusing on manufacturing camera phones, while innovating mobile photography technology breakthroughs. OPPO started the era of selfie beautification and was the first brand to launch smartphones with 5MP and 16MP front cameras.  OPPO was also the first brand to introduce the motorized rotating camera, the Ultra HD feature and the 5x Dual Camera Zoom technology. OPPO’s Selfie Expert F series launched in 2016 drove a selfie trend in the smartphone industry.
In 2016, OPPO was ranked as the number 4 smartphone brand globally, according to IDC. And today, OPPO provides excellent smartphone photography experience to over 100 million young people around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.oppo.com/ph/index.html