WATSONS ARGAN OIL Shampoo & Conditioner for Dry, Damaged Hair

This mummy blogger is happy to discover new sulfate-free hair products

Well, I’ve finished my other brand of shampoo and conditioner so I hunted for a new one a few weeks ago. I’ve heard about the launch of the New Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil and got curious about these products. Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner at these affordable prices?
What is argan oil anyway?
Argan oil is extracted from the nut of the fruit of the Argan tree, which is only found in the beautiful country of Morocco. The amazing Argan tree lives to be about 150-200 years old but the fruit is only produced when the tree is about 30 to 50 years old. That’s a long time to wait! Because the argan tree is only found in a limited area, the argan oil is rare. This ingredient is gaining popularity very fast due to its various benefits for the skin, hair and body. (for more info, visit http://skincare.about.com/od/skin101/a/Argan-Oil-Benefits-For-Skin-Hair-And-Body.htm)
One of the brands with Argan Oil that I’ve heard of is Josie Maran, which is exclusively available at Sephora. I haven’t tried it yet but let’s see how Watsons Argan Oil fares first.
The Naturals by Watsons Argan oil hair product range is formulated with ECOCERT certified organic argan oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids and provides necessary nutrition and protection to nourish body and hair roots to tip. It also consists of Soil Association certified organic avocado oil and wheat germ oil to help heal dry skin and strengthen hair while restoring hair’s natural shine.
Both the shampoo and conditioner come in a brown and orange color combination of plastic bottle with pump. The pumps are protected by seal to prevent leakage and tampering.

The bottles have this sticker highlighting “5 Benefits in 1, Ecocert certified Argan Oil from Morocco”. The benefits are:
  • Nourish
  • Detangle
  • Smooth Frizz
  • Damage Repair
  • Strengthen

The Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil shampoo is in a gel-like texture with white translucent color that glimmers under the light. One of my concerns before with sulfate-free shampoo is that it has very little foam so I tend to use more of it on my hair. But, hey, wait a minute. This one produces enough foam nicely!




The pump makes it easy to dispense shampoo and it just dispenses the right amount, too. Since I have long hair, I probably press the pump 4-6 times. The scent is also pleasant but it does remind me of cola drink, which is nice and sweet; I like it.  
The Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil conditioner is also gel-like with creamier white color than the shampoo. The bottle of the conditioner is exactly the same as the shampoo so it also has the same quality of pump to dispense the product. I find the pump user-friendly and convenient for ‘mummies in a hurry’ like me.

The minor downside to this type of identical packaging is that some people might mistake one for the other. The labels are of the exact design and color with only the words ‘shampoo’ and ‘conditioner’ as difference. If you’re buying these in a hurry off the shelf, you might accidentally purchase 2 of the same items. Guess we just need to remind ourselves to read carefully.
The conditioner glides smoothly on the hair and although it has a gel texture, it surprisingly adheres well to the hair, not watery at all. The scent is similar to the shampoo, reminding me again of cola drink (feel free to disagree with me if you’ve tried this, haha).
So are these hair products good?
Oh, yes! With very affordable price, these Naturals by Watsons hair products are a great addition to your hair care regimen if you have dry and damaged hair like mine. My hair is well moisturized with these argan oil – based shampoo and conditioner. I just rebonded my hair last week and it’s important to use products that repair damage and strengthen the hair. Yay for Argan Oil hair care from Watsons!


LEFT – Before Washing
RIGHT – Right after Washing

Well, it doesn’t really show the effects unless you feel my hair or unless you try it for yourself

All Naturals by Watsons Argan oil hair solutions are free from paraben, mineral oil, silicone, sodium lauryl sulphate and colorant free which have harmful side effects and can cause health problems.
Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil Shampoo RM22.90 (around USD7) for 490ml  
Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil Conditioner RM22.90 (around USD7) for 490ml  
Where to buy:
Selected Watsons stores



For more information about Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil solutions, visit www.facebook.com/watsonsmalaysiaor Watsons official website http://www.watsons.com.my .
Watsons is Asia’s leading health and beauty retailer, currently operating over 3,600 stores and more than 900 pharmacies in 12 Asian and European markets, including China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine.
In Malaysia, Watsons currently operates over 300 Watsons stores in the country serving more than 2.5 million customers per month.
Watsons continually sets the standards in the health, wellness and beauty market, providing personalised advice and counseling in health, beauty and personal care on top of its market-leading product range, making customers LOOK GOOD, FEEL GREAT every day.  Since 2009, Watsons has been the No. 1 pharmacy/drugstore brand in Asia*.  In Europe, Watsons is also the leading health and beauty retailer in the Ukraine.
Watsons is the flagship health and beauty brand of A.S. Watson Group.
Please visit www.aswatson.com for more in-depth information about A.S. Watson Group and its brands.
*Campaign Asia-Pacific’s “Asia’s Top 1,000 Brands” Survey 2012 of over 5,000 Asian respondents


Infused with ECOCERT certified organic argan oil from Morocco, avocado oil and wheat germ oil for intense revitalisation of your skin and hair

Nowadays, there are so many hair care and body care products that promise good results. Being a beauty junkie, I’ve tried a lot of different brands; I have discovered good ones and bad ones along the way. It’s always interesting to explore new and revolutionary products, specially the ones that aim to provide healthier solutions to every woman’s beauty concerns.
I am excited to talk about the launch of a new body and hair care range that aims to restore beauty without harmful chemical ingredients. Introducing the best of Mother Nature, Watsons Malaysia launched its latest innovation Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair care range, infused with Morocco’s miracle beauty elixir argan oil, avocado oil and wheat germ oil to revitalise your skin and hair.


Full range products of Naturals by Watsons – Argan Body & Hair Care

The Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair product range are formulated with ECOCERT certified organic argan oil which is rich in essential fatty acids and provides necessary nutrition and protection to nourish body and hair roots to tip. It also consists of Soil Association certified organic avocado oil and wheat germ oil to help heal dry skin and strengthen hair while restoring hair’s natural shine.
The complete organic product range offers four skin and four hair solutions that include– Shower Gel, Body Lotion, Hand Cream, Body Scrub, Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Mask and Hair Oil. Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair products appeal to women and men who are in their 20s and above, looking for reasonable yet natural products that will enhance their beauty.


Product experience sharing session by celebritiesFrom left: Emcee Magdalene; Celebrity Host Reem Shawa & Megan Tan

Speaking at the launch event, celebrity hosts Reem Shahwa and Megan Tan shared their beauty regimen and how natural products can further boost individual’s appearance.
“Being the leader in health and beauty in Malaysia, Watsons Malaysia is always looking for proven beauty essentials that will provide long-term solution for our customers. Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair care range is a true discovery since it consists of pure natural ingredients such as Argan oil, also known as ‘liquid gold’ in Morocco. Made from the nuts of the Argan tree, which grows almost exclusively in Morocco, the oil is said to have restorative and age-defying effects, high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids that can heal dry skin, damaged hair among other benefits,” said Reem Shahwa.
“As an actress, my hectic schedule takes quite a toll on my hair and skin. With Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair products, I’ve found the secret to keep my skin and hair healthy and invigorated. I’ve always been inclined towards products that are natural and does not have harmful effect, Watsons Argan oil body and hair care range is absolutely fantastic as its organic properties provide nutrients your skin deserves,” explained Megan Tan. 
All Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair solutions are free from paraben, mineral oil, silicone, sodium lauryl sulphate and colorant free which have harmful side effects and can cause health problems.


Hand massage by Watsons Brand Advisor 

 “The Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair products are tested to meet high standards, but never tested on animals giving our consumers more reasons to purchase a truly natural product range,” added Megan Tan.


The official launch of Naturals by Watsons – Argan Oil Body and Hair Care
Group photo- From left: Morocco model; Reem Shahwa; Jessica Ng, Marketing & Development Director Watsons Malaysia; Caryn Loh, Trading General Manager Watsons Malaysia; Megan Tan; Danny Hoh, Marketing Controller Watsons Malaysia

Also at the launch were Kulvinder Birring, Watsons Malaysia Managing Director, Caryn Loh, Watsons Malaysia General Manager of Trading, Jessica Ng, Watsons Malaysia Marketing & Development Director and Danny Hoh, Watsons Malaysia Marketing Controller.
They joined Megan Tan and Reem Shahwa on stage to unveil the latest Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair care range. Moroccan models took to the catwalk and presented the guests with an exquisite runway show while showcasing the entire range of the products.

Watsons Argan Oil Body Care Range:
Body Scrub, Shower Gel, Body Lotion and Hand Cream – Hope to try these!

The Naturals by Watsons Argan oil body and hair products are available at selected Watsons stores now at the following prices:

For the body
RM18.90 for Shower Gel (490ml)
RM18.90 for Body Scrub (200g)
RM22.90 for Body Lotion (490ml)
RM11.90 for Hand Cream (60ml) 

For the hair
RM22.90 for Shampoo (490ml)
RM22.90 for Conditioner (490ml)
RM24.90 for Hair Mask (200ml)
RM22.90 for Hair Oil (100ml)

These are really affordable prices for products with ECOCERT certified argan oil! 


Watsons Argan Oil Hair Care Collection:
Hair Oil, Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask – Would love to try the Shampoo and Conditioner!

For more information about Naturals by Watsons Argan Oil solutions, visit www.facebook.com/watsonsmalaysiaor Watsons official website http://www.watsons.com.my .
Watsons is Asia’s leading health and beauty retailer, currently operating over 3,600 stores and more than 900 pharmacies in 12 Asian and European markets, including China (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine.
In Malaysia, Watsons currently operates over 300 Watsons stores in the country serving more than 2.5 million customers per month.
Watsons continually sets the standards in the health, wellness and beauty market, providing personalised advice and counseling in health, beauty and personal care on top of its market-leading product range, making customers LOOK GOOD, FEEL GREAT every day.  Since 2009, Watsons has been the No. 1 pharmacy/drugstore brand in Asia*.  In Europe, Watsons is also the leading health and beauty retailer in the Ukraine.
Watsons is the flagship health and beauty brand of A.S. Watson Group.
Please visit www.aswatson.com for more in-depth information about A.S. Watson Group and its brands.
*Campaign Asia-Pacific’s “Asia’s Top 1,000 Brands” Survey 2012 of over 5,000 Asian respondents

What to do in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

The mummy blogger went shopping, eating and sightseeing in Vietnam

Early last month, I got to spend a 5-day holiday in Vietnam with my family. This was my first time to see Ho Chi Minh and I was really excited to explore this country, or at least the city of Ho Chi Minh. This is also a first for my son so it’s very memorable and thrilling for all of us. The trip included my husband, my in-laws, my brother-in-law and his wife and daughter. Well, yeah, it was a big family trip.
The plane ride from LCCT to Vietnam is just short, around 2 hours (but I actually hate plane rides as I get headaches so 2 hours is already long for me). Luckily, my son slept half the time and he only had a minor fussy moment when we were almost there.  For those who will travel with kids, it helps to have some sweets to curb off the uneasy and nauseous feeling for toddlers. I also had some entertainment stuff like small toys and a small picture book.
We stayed at a small, cozy but convenient hotel named Dream Hotel located at District 1 of Ho Chi Minh. The location is great if you want to be near market shopping, street food and tourist spots. At that time, the hotel was undergoing some renovation so there are a few inconveniences but overall, it was worth it staying here mainly for its location and friendly staff.
Excitedly, of course, my first agenda is to explore Ben Thanh Market and do some first day shopping!
Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (photo from Wikipedia)
This is very near the hotel, which only takes a 3-minute walk to reach. The weather outdoors at that time was just nice — warm and sunny but not scorching hot. The Ben Thanh Market is very popular among the tourists because this is where you can find good souvenirs, local handicrafts and good local food, too. But take note, bargaining is a must at this place. Lucky I have a very competitive hubby who is still my best shopping buddy.

Colorful merchandise of all sorts inside the Ben Thanh Market

There are so many things to see inside the Ben Thanh Market. Colorful items will capture your eyes. Different textile items are for sale such as bags, hand-painted cloths and other decorative materials.

Beautiful collectible dolls in Ben Thanh Market

I saw these really cute, adorable dolls with hand-stitched clothes and hand-painted face. Yes, you’ll see a lot of creative handiwork in this market and if you are the type who loves to collect beautiful items and use them to decorate the house, this marketplace is a good shopping destination.

Various choices for coffee lovers

Vietnam is also famous for their delicious coffee and the Ben Thanh Market has a lot of coffee sellers. Wow, just look at these choices. This is just one of the sections of rows and rows of stalls selling coffee.


There are stalls selling sweets and other different dried fruits. Here you see some bargaining action between a customer and a seller. It can get very stuffy and hot inside this market so if you’re not comfortable, you can explore night “marketing” instead. At around 8PM, the Ben Thanh Market will close but the sellers will be setting up outside so tourists and locals can continue shopping. There will be fewer stalls, definitely, but you can still find good buys at the night market.

Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum

Another place to see is the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum. This is also just walking distance from our hotel. Of course, if you don’t want to be exposed to the sun and if you don’t want to fight your way through the busy streets, you have the option to take a cab. The thing about the streets around where we stayed at District 1 is that crossing the streets can be very challenging and scary.


The Fine Arts Museum has 3 floors of historic collections of different art pieces that reflect Vietnam arts and culture. It showcases paintings, relic items, sculptures, potteries and furniture.



What do you see?

Check out this painting. Do you see several figures, too?


Chinese Furniture in Fine Arts Museum

The craft of the Chinese wooden divider on the left is so intricate and yet this piece has been well taken care of. The table on the right consists of well-made inlays and very fine designs. It’s amazing to see a product of much creativity and hard in one magnificent piece of work.

Entrance fee to the Fine Arts Museum is very affordable. If I remember it right, it was only around RM3-5 per person.
Walking on the streets, you’ll find fresh fruits sold almost everywhere. Look at this enticing display of colorful fruits…

Fresh fruits, anyone?

Exploring the culture of Vietnam won’t be complete without reminiscing the Vietnam War. The War Remnants Museum, located at District 3 of Ho Chi Minh City, is quite famous among tourists. This museum primarily showcases exhibits relating to the American phase during the Vietnam War. My son was so excited when he saw those real-life helicopters, planes and tanks displayed outside the museum building.


War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam



Inside the building are more items such as the potteries below, old photos, ammunition and other historical materials.

After walking and enduring my son’s tantrums, I definitely needed to have good food to eat. People might find it weird that I didn’t crave for local food. I’ve always been enamored by the French culture as well. And since I was in a country that has some French background, I have to take advantage and enjoy some French food!


French Cafe in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

My husband brought my son, my mother-in-law and me to a French café called Une Journee a Paris, which is located near our hotel back in District 1. The pastries and the bread are all so mouth-watering.

Mouth-watering French muffins and bread

French cakes

Well, the French names alone are enticing: Citron Meringuee, Chocolat, Pain Au Chocolat Amande.


The best omelette I’ve had in my life!

I ordered this delicious omelette: Omelette Jambon – Fromage with French Ham and Cheese, and loads of freshly cut tomatoes. Served with bread, this omelette is amazing. I was so amazed at how such a simple-looking dish can be sooo good. The tomatoes had some sauce and olive oil that made it taste amazingly sumptuous. The omelette itself is so tender and the cheese just blended so good with the French ham and egg. OMG, I am lost for words. I just wish I know how to cook, hahaha!


Quiche Lorraine from French Restaurant in Vietnam

My mother-in-law ordered this Quiche Lorraine served with the same freshly cut tomatoes and some green vegetables. I tried a bit and it was just heavenly.


Enjoyed my hair cut, wash and blow dry in Ho Chi Minh!

Hair salons are also conveniently accessible to our hotel. I barely have time in Malaysia to do my haircut so I took my chance here in Ho Chi Minh. I had my haircut then had my hair washed, which came with good head massage, too.


To complete our Vietnam holiday, we went for some authentic local food at a hawker center called 155 Nha Hang Sinh Thai. The place was full of customers but we were lucky to find a place to sit and order. Ordering was a challenge as not a lot of them can understand and speak English. My husband and brother-in-law struggled for around 20 – 30 minutes for our orders to be taken.

Well, it was worth the struggle and wait, I guess. These were some of the dishes (or at least half of it).
I didn’t have much time to go around, as my son got sick on the second day. But I still managed to do some shopping, mostly for shoes (!), slippers and souvenirs to bring back to KL. I had a wonderful time, spending most of it with my naughty but adorable son. My husband was even busier than me, going out with the rest and then buying back food for me, and of course, taking me for some shopping when we have the chance.
Overall, Ho Chi Minh is really a wonderful city to visit. There are lots of good food, French pastries, value buys and amazing places to see. So if you’re thinking of another city to visit nearby Malaysia, consider Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. It’s worth your time and shopping money.
Oh, and by the way, I shopped for 2 pairs of ALDO shoes while in Vietnam. I’ll share the photos and prices soon!

Healthy Hair with Olive Shampoo & Conditioner from the Skintopic

I’m not one of those lucky ladies who were blessed with glorious, flowing, manageable hair. I did have beautiful hair when I was younger and it didn’t matter what shampoo I use. It just stays straight, shiny and soft. But as I aged, my hair became harder to maintain and manage. I remember starting to worry about it when I was around 14. I started having frizzes, my hair became unruly, and if I cut it shorter than shoulder length, I’ll have “bad hair days” for at least a month! Not that I intentionally torture myself by cutting it that short; but sometimes, some hair stylists can’t stop cutting. 
As I mentioned in my other hair care-related posts, I have resorted to hair rebonding years back. But now, I’m trying to reduce the need to go through this treatment. So I am actually in search of good hair products that can help me in achieving soft, manageable hair even if it’s not super straight like how it gets from rebonding. 

Olive with extra virgin olive oil Shampoo and Conditioner
I can’t remember if I’ve already tried using hair products with olive oil as a key ingredient but I was so thrilled when I was given a chance to try Olive Hair Nourishing Shampoo and Olive Hair Hydrating Conditioner. These products are available at theSkintopic outlets or boutiques (full store list below). Made in New Zealand by Simunovich Olive Estate Limited, Olive hair products are free from parabens, mineral oils, artificial colors and other harmful ingredients. I do know that olive oil is an amazing skincare ingredient because of its antioxidant properties. And I’m quite sure it will also do wonders for the hair.
Olive (with Extra Virgin Olive Oil) Hair Nourishing Shampoo
250ml at RM101
Life after opening – 12 months 
Olive with extra virgin olive oil Hair Nourishing Shampoo @ theSkintopic
The shampoo comes in a light olive green plastic bottle with a clear cap. The look of the bottle has that “organic” feel to it, with its clean appeal and green-brown color combination. I love that the cap of the shampoo comes with a push function, which makes it easy to open and close while giving control to the amount you disperse. 

Simunovich Olive Estate Emblem/ Seal
I also liked the emblem stamped on the box and on the bottle itself. It features the Fleur-de-lis (fleur means ‘flower’ in French and lis means ‘lily’), a stylized lily or iris used as a decorative symbol. The emblem or logo on this product stands for Simunovich Olive Estate — Nature – Nurture – Growth. 

Olive Hair Nourishing Shampoo and foam
The product itself is a clear liquid with very mild scent of olive oil and herbs. With sufficient amount of water, the shampoo creates light foam. It’s easy to use and massage all over the hair but you might need more amount than normal shampoos. This is because Olive Hair Nourishing Shampoo does not contain those harmful sulfates like other ordinary shampoos have. After use, my hair does feel light and smooth, not frizzy and rough.
What the packaging says:
A moisturising and hydrating shampoo for natural and salon treated hair. A gentle pH balanced, nutrient-rich blend containing extra virgin olive oil that will help to cleanse your hair and scalp of excessive oils and pollutants, while restoring moisture for softness and proteins for conditioning.
Use daily or as needed. Massage onto wet hair and work into a lather. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. To ensure healthy hair we recommend you use Olive Hair Conditioner and Olive Renewal Hair Masque. Beneficial for both natural and salon treated hair. Can be used daily. For external use, if product gets into eyes, rinse immediately with water.
Key active Ingredients:
Extra Virgin Olive oil: Assists the skin’s ability to naturally regenerate, nourish, hydrate, oxygenate and protect itself.
Aqua Spring water: Helps the natural and organic plant extracts penetrate and hydrate.
Vitamin B: Deeply moisturises, hydrates and guards against dryness
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Sucrose Cocoate, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, D-Panthenol, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Glyceryl Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Xanthan Gum, Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Beta Carotene, Lactic Acid
Olive (with Extra Virgin Olive Oil) Hair Hydrating Conditioner
150ml at RM101 
Life after opening – 36 months
Olive with extra virgin oil Hair Hydrating Conditioner
I can’t live without conditioner so my hair care always comes in a set. The Olive Hair Hydrating Conditioner comes in a soft tube with the opening at its base. Like the shampoo, this product also features the Simunovich logo with the Fleur-de-lis that I like. I find it unusual, though, that the size of the conditioner is smaller than the shampoo. It should at least be the same size of 250ml shampoo. I can predict that I’ll finish the conditioner much earlier than the shampoo. The product itself is an opaque, white fluid that has a mild olive scent. 

Olive Hair Hydrating Conditioner
I applied the conditioner after washing with the Olive shampoo then leave it on for around 5 minutes with a shower cap on. It’s easy to rinse, unlike other conditioners that tend to take much water to wash off. With water shortage nowadays in Malaysia, it does help to require less water to wash and bathe. My hair feels a lot softer after washing, definitely better than just washing with shampoo alone.
What the packaging says:
A conditioning treatment to moisturise and hydrate natural and salon treated hair.
A deep moisturising and hydrating treatment for natural and salon treated hair. Olive’s pH balanced, nutrient-rich blend of natural plant extracts and extra virgin olive oil will provide deep conditioning while restoring softness, manageability and a healthy shine.
After washing hair with Olive Hair Shampoo, apply conditioner, then massage gently all over your hair, paying more attention to the roots and tips. For best results, comb through the hair and leave for a few minutes, allowing time for the nutritional ingredients to penetrate the hair. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Beneficial for both natural and salon treated hair. Can be used daily. For external use, if product gets into eyes, rinse immediately with water.
Key active Ingredients:
Extra Virgin Olive oil: Assists the skin’s ability to naturally regenerate, nourish, hydrate, oxygenate and protect itself.
Aloe Vera: Healing, soothing, hydrating, softening, anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties.
Jojoba: Exceptional softening and moisturising properties promoting suppleness.
Vitamin B: Deeply moisturises, hydrates and guards against dryness
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-57, D-Panthenol, Inulin, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Olea europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolysed Wheat Protein, Glycerin, Moringa pterygosperma Seed Extract, Glyceryl Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Chlorphenesin
My Verdict:
The organic Olive Hair Care set is a great choice especially for those who have sensitive scalp, dandruff or dry hair. Extra virgin olive oil in shampoo and conditioner can give amazing benefits for the hair. Potent with health and beauty benefits and used for centuries, olive oil remains to be a powerful antioxidant that is good for the hair, the skin and the body.
The Olive Hair Care range by Simunovich Olive Estate is 
  • Free from parabens
  • Free from mineral oils
  • Free from silicones
  • Free from artificial colors
  • Free from animal products
  • Perfect for the whole family
  • Not tested on animals
  • Natural, safe for the skin


Ooooh and I also bought this Tebe Lavish Soap bar (RM75 for 170g)! The scent alone is enchanting and relaxing. So excited to ‘lavish’ my body soon with this soap that contains pure olive leaf and green tea extracts!
You can check more products at these Skintopic outlets:
theSkintopic at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
theSkintopic Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Lot P5.12.00, Level 5
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Phone: 03-2142 9988
theSkintopicAvenue K
C-16A, Concourse Floor
156 Jalan Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-2166 9988
Subang Parade 
Lot LGC01, Lower Ground Floor
No 5 Jalan SS16/1
47500 Subang Jaya

Phone: 03-5638 2988
theSkintopic Hartamas Shopping Centre
PF3, First Floor
No. 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 03-6205 8828
theSkintopic The Curve
K-G8-W, Ground Floor
No. 6, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara,
47810, Petaling Jaya Selangor
Phone: 03-7722 2213
For general inquiries, you can call +603 7722 2213
Stay connected to Skintopic via their FB page:
Find out more about Olive Tebe products at
theSkintopic has a wide range of body care and skincare products including premium brands like Linden Leaves, Olive and Tebe, Wild Ferns and Evolu.

Headband Shopping at Sereni and Shentel in Lot 10

Sereni and Shentel FREE delivery to Malaysia

I’ve raved a lot about this brand in January after I came across an article in Female magazine and then explored their website. I don’t think I can get enough of the chic designs and eye-popping colors! So when I stumbled upon the pop-up store in Lot 10, I knew I just had to buy a piece or two.
Sereni and Shentel in Lot 10
It was CNY season when I came to the shop. The display is just bursting with colors. It’s pretty clever that they only used simple, white walls and furniture to make the head pieces stand out.
Headbands displayed on golden holders
The headbands are nicely displayed on gold headband holders that are also sold online by Sereni and Shentel (around RM200). If my vanity kit had more space, I would probably get one of these because it’s convenient to display and store headbands.
Red headbands
Since it was CNY season that time, special attention was given to red-colored headbands. Check out the cool visual of a lady about to kiss the CNY lion. My son was so enamored by this picture.
Sereni and Shentel also offers a sweet collection of bands for the little ones. See the colors available from Baby Bow Down.
So what did I get for myself? I got 1 striking piece and 1 neutral one.
Headband haul! Only 2 pieces…

My first 2 Sereni and Shentel pieces

I was captivated by this purple Ice Ice Baby embellished with acrylic stones. Well, purple is my favorite color so it’s quite easy to get this sold with me. Each headband comes with a Sereni and Shentel tag stitched under the headband. It also has the signature 24K gold plated charm. Inside the provided cloth pouch is a small card with care instructions. I need to keep the headband inside the pouch when not in use to maintain its condition.

Sereni and Shentel Purple Ice Ice Baby
NP: RM156 but I got this at special price in Lot 10 (only RM93.60 or 40% off)
I also took this pink salmon-colored Mini Lolita. It is simple and has a cute, little bow. Easy to match with office clothes and even casual attires.
Sereni and Shentel Mini Lolita

Price: RM78

It’s easy to fall in love with S&S. The headpieces are very chic and range from simple ones to really thrilling designs. I even got a red Block Party piece online. It just goes well with a lot of my black outfits!
New collections are added regularly online. The Sweetheart Collection has been launched! If you love pinks and reds with a touch of sweet appeal, this collection is right for you.
Read my first article about Sereni and Shentel – click HERE.
For more info, collections and online shopping, visit
You may even request for a Look Book by filling up the form on their home page.
Connect to Sereni & Shentel Facebook page at:

L’Oreal EverSleek Shampoo and Conditioner

Dealing with dry, frizzy hair has been part of my challenges since I was in my late teens (and now I’m already in my early 30’s, gasp!). When I was 26, I started rebonding my hair once a year. However, going through chemical hair treatments like this can make the hair unhealthy, more brittle and harder to manage once the effects of the treatment wear off. From 6 months onwards after treatment, my hair would start to get frizzy and dry again, reveal unwanted waves all over, and I notice bad hair fall while bathing. If I want my hair to be in presentable condition, it’s either I use a straightening iron or I tie it.
It’s not easy to find a good set of shampoo and conditioner that will be great for my hair type. For a long time now, I’ve been loyal to Clairol Herbal Essences Coconut Milk (see my post about this, click HERE). But I’m always happy to try something new and interesting. While shopping for my regular toiletries at Watsons Mid Valley one day, I stumbled upon L’Oreal EverSleek products. The ‘Sleek’ packaging and the product description caught my attention; it says EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System, 48-hour frizz control.
L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System

A lot of us have probably heard of sulfate a few times but why is this product highlighting “Sulfate-Free”? Sulfates are chemicals found in shampoos, cleansers and similar products that produce suds or foam. In the past, we consumers felt that the foam makes the product work or more effective. But as it turns out, the sulfates that produce the chemical process aren’t very good for our skin or our hair. Sulfates in shampoo strip away more than dirt and excess oil from the scalp; sulfates also remove natural oils that our hair needs to stay healthy. Without these natural oils, scalp can become dry and itchy, and hair can develop dandruff and become frizzy (for more details, check www.livestrong.com).
L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Shampoo
L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System™ Reparative Smoothing Shampoo – Controls frizz.
Gently cleanses.
Gently cleanses while weightlessly smoothing frizzy, unruly hair. Helps improve texture, and leaves hair beautifully sleek and manageable.
The shampoo comes in a plastic tube with its opening cap at the base. The shampoo itself is a clear, colorless liquid with very light scent. Though the packaging looks elegant with its color gradient effect while showing the contents, I wasn’t happy with the cap. It’s quite hard to control the flow of the shampoo with this opening and considering that the shampoo is very water-like and fluid, it’s even tougher to stop the product from flowing out.

It would have been a good idea if the hole has some sort of stopper to control the liquid easier. Something like these two:

So I decided to transfer the shampoo to a bottle. This is why I love glass containers; they are reusable and easy to wash. The brown bottle here is my Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizer’s glass bottle that I finished last year. But I’ve kept the bottle simply because I know it can be useful.
When I used the shampoo for the first time, I didn’t quite like it because of very little foam forming on my hair. But since this is a sulfate-free product, that is expected. I just wasn’t used to it and I had to pour more of the shampoo to apply all over my long hair. Nevertheless, my hair felt clean after shampooing. When used together with the conditioner, this shampoo does miracle to my hair! (Refer to my verdict below)
How to Use:
Apply to wet hair and massage into a thick lather. Rinse. For optimal results, follow with EverSleek Intense Smoothing Conditioner. For added smoothing, use one of EverSleek’s advanced treatments.
PRICE: RM29.90 for 250ml (Watsons)
Where to buy: Watsons, Guardian and other leading pharmacies 

L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate-Free Conditioner

EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System™ Intense Smoothing Conditioner -Controls frizz.
Gently cleanses.
EverSleek Intense Smoothing Conditioner smoothes and deeply conditions frizzy, unruly hair without weighdown. Helps improve texture, and leaves hair beautifully sleek and manageable.
The conditioner comes in a copper-colored metallic tube with shiny finish. Unlike the shampoo, this one is easy to control even with that type of cap since conditioners have a thick texture and don’t flow continuously. The tube is easy to press. The conditioner itself comes in a milky white color and has a good thick texture. I don’t like those watery conditioners that don’t stick well to hair upon application. But this one is good.
After washing my hair with EverSleek Shampoo, I apply a generous amount of EverSleek Conditioner on my palm then massage it all over my hair, focusing more on the roots then to the ends. I place a shower cap and leave it on for 3-5 minutes then rinse thoroughly. And OMG, my hair feels really SLEEK.
How to Use:
After using EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo, apply to wet hair and massage gently. Leave in for 1-2 minutes. Rinse. For added smoothing, use one of EverSleek’s advanced treatments.
PRICE: RM29.90 for 250ml (Watsons)
Where to buy: Watsons, Guardian and other leading pharmacies
Using the shampoo and conditioner together for the past 2 weeks, I notice significant improvements on my hair:
  • Less hair fall after washing
  • Fewer frizzes
  • Softer and smoother hair
  • More manageable hair
  • Even if I don’t iron, my hair comes out semi-straight after drying

In short, I love this L’Oreal hair care duo! Though it’s double the price of what I normally spend on shampoo and conditioner, it’s worth the price of saving my hair from harsh ingredients that result to dry, frizzy hair. I am now convinced that sulfate-free is the way to go for hair products.
The EverSleek Sulfate-Free Smoothing System is free of harsh sulfates and heavy silicones. With Argan, Sunflower and Olive Oils, it weightlessly smoothes hair for 48-hour frizz control. Unlike some silicones, which can coat hair, these natural oils penetrate the hair while natural botanicals invigorate the senses.  
  • Silicone-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • 48-hour frizz control
  • Natural botanicals & oils
  • 100% vegan

For more information, visit
Stay connected to L’Oreal Malaysia via Facebook at

Be Fabulous this CNY with Gorgeous Headbands from Sereni and Shentel!


Chinese New Year is here! Everybody is getting busy with all the preparations for food, ang pow money, travel, plans with the family and, of course, looking fabulous for CNY dinners and gatherings.
I bet most of the ladies are spending much time on what dress and shoes to wear. Some are even planning on redoing their hairstyle, having their manicure and pedicure done among other things to look beautiful for the season. Like them, I’m also thinking of how to look my best on those important days. Being married to a Chinese, I celebrate Chinese New Year together with his family and relatives. New Year’s Eve dinner is an important occasion when everyone will be sitting together to enjoy food and exchange warm wishes to usher the New Year in.
So, yeah, I also need to plan on what to wear and how to look nice. While flipping through one of my favorite monthly magazine, Female, I stumbled upon this amazing and interesting online shop — Sereni and Shentel.
My first reaction upon reading the article was, “How come I’ve never known this brand before?” Oh, my goodness! This is such a revolutionary and extraordinary brand!
Accessories can make a huge difference to how attire makes its impact and an individual’s personality. I used to collect a lot of headbands with different colors and thicknesses. Well, I particularly love thick ones because they put my hair in place more efficiently; I used to have dry, messy hair until I met ‘re-bonding’.  Haha! But it’s not easy to find really good headbands. I don’t like those types with ‘teeth’ that make me uncomfortable. Some materials are also too hard and can give me migraine throughout a day. Most of all, it’s not easy to find pieces that blend with, complement or fire up your attire.
When I saw the headbands by Sereni & Shentel, I was awestruck. They are so charming and fabulous! These headbands are really a fashion statement on their own. So I check out the website, www.sereniandshentel.com, and I was even more captivated.  The designs are out-of-this-world, in a good way, and all the headbands are handmade, which makes the details look very elaborate and attractive. Sereni & Shentel offers online shopping for their gorgeous headbands and provides free shipping to Malaysia. Shipping is also available to other selected countries with applicable shipping fees.
Enough said, I’m just delighted to share what the brand offers. Take a look at all these great items and, by the way, these are just some of what they have in store. There are so many collections I can’t even decide which ones to post here!
For Chinese New Year dinners where you want to be in your beautiful cheong sam, these pieces are great accessories, whether or not your dress is in red!

Sereni & Shentel CNY Pom Pom Headband
Giant pom poms in red and pink sewn onto a Shocking Pink headband. Made from Metallic ribbon and wool pom poms. Headband has Sereni & Shentel 24K Gold Plated trademarked charm.

Sereni and Shentel Ice Ice Baby Shiny Red Headband
A classic headband for the girl who wants to add some bling to her outfit. More colours available.

Sereni and Shentel Mini Matte Tangerine Headband
Not as in your face as ice ice baby, this mini version still packs a punch in the bling department. Great for the girl who wants to be quietly ostentatious.

Sereni and Shentel CNY Bejewelled Lolita Bow

A CNY edition Lolita bow in Gold with shiny gold stones, sewn onto a Petersham headband in Chocolate Chip. Size & Fit:

Headband thickness is 1.3cm. Bow is 85mm wide. Made from Rayon for the headband base and Metallic ribbon for the bow. Headband has Sereni & Shentel 24K Gold Plated trademarked charm.

Sereni and Shentel CNY Velvetine Blair

A CNY edition tangerine Blair sewn onto a Velvetine headband in Russet Orange.
Size & Fit:

Headband thickness is 1.3cm. Made with acrylic stones, metallic ribbon and velvet ribbon. Headband has Sereni & Shentel 24K Gold Plated trademarked charm.
Sereni and Shentel also offers lovely gift sets for all occasions. Great gifts for fashionable friends, great buys for you!
Sereni and Shentel Velvetine Gift Set 
The best gift for the girl who can’t just have one.
 Any three colors of your choice.
 Headbands come with a white dust bag.

Sereni and Shentel Borneo Gift Set
The ultimate Borneo gift set includes:
1 x Borneo Lolita of your colour choice

1 x Borneo Block Party of your colour choice

1 x Borneo Blair of your colour choice

1 x SS white dust bag
Sereni and Shentel Somewhere Over the Rainbow Gift Set
This gift set includes:
1 x SS Rainbow Blair

1 x SS Rainbow Ice Ice Baby Mini

1 x SS Rainbow Bow Down

1 x SS white dust bag

Sereni and Shentel Mini Trio Gift Set
This Mini Trio gift set includes:
1 x Lolita of your colour choice

1 x Mini Block Party in grosgrain of your colour choice

1 x Ice Ice Baby Mini of your colour choice

1 x SS white dust bag
This next one is probably the most rare set I’ve seen:
Sereni and Shentel Velvet Bunny Gift Set
This gift set includes:
1 x SS Showgirl Velvet Bunny

1 x SS Showgirl Lolita Glove

1 x SS Showgirl Collar & Cuffs

1 x SS white dust bag
This one contains headbands that will really turn heads and eyes on you:

Sereni and Shentel Be Seen Gift Set

This gift set includes:
1 x Empire Rose of your colour choice

1 x Sunny Hill of your colour choice

1 x Peek A Boo of your colour choice

1 x SS white dust bag
Valentine’s Day is also just around the corner. Having any special parties? Bring out the glamor in you with these pieces from the Showgirl collection.

Sereni and Shentel Showgirl Kuching Cat
Rev up your Valentine with some pin-up glamour this Valentine’s season. Take this Sereni & Shentel pin-up inspired headband from dinner to the boudoir and bring out your inner Dita Von Teese. Select from hues of blush, black and vanilla in our popular classics or be daring in our new sequin cat ears and large satin Playboy bunny ear inspired headband. This collection also introduces a set that features a Sereni & Shentel collar and a pair of cuffs to spice up your date night.

Size & Fit:
Headband thickness is 25mm at the top. Bow width is 185mm. Made from Grosgrain ribbon and Acrylic stones. Headband has Sereni & Shentel 24K Gold Plated trademarked charm.

Sereni and Shentel Showgirl Pussy Cat

Maybe you prefer subtle yet stylish head pieces, you can opt for the mini styles that come in fab colors:

Rock your block with a pop of colour in this mini version. Smaller than the Block Party, the headband measures 25mm in width. More colours available. Size & Fit:
Headband thickness is 10mm at the top. Bow is 27mm wide. Made from Sparkle/Metallic/Grosgrain ribbon. Headband has Sereni & Shentel 24K Gold Plated trademarked charm.
Another endearing fact about Sereni & Shentel is they have collections for babies and kids! What a genius way to make the little ones more posh and even more adorable with these headpieces!

Headpieces for babies!

Lovely headbands for girls!

Ordering online is easy. Several payment options are accepted: PayPal, credit card, online banking and direct bank transfer. And, yes, Sereni and Shentel offers free delivery to all orders made within Malaysia. It will roughly take 10 business days to receive your order, as all items are handmade.
So what should we expect from delivery of Sereni and Shentel headbands?

  • Headbands have the legally trademarked 24 carat gold plated or rhodium Kuching Cat charm, and security tagged. This is a sure way of telling if you have bought a genuine Sereni & Shentel product.
  • Headbands come together with cream and gold pouches packed in signature yellow and gold Sereni & Shentel box.
  • It is important that you register your accurate phone number when you check out as the courier company will call you when they make delivery. 

International shipping rates are based on weight and is calculated at checkout. They only ship with FEDEX for International orders. If you have shipping enquires, send an email to info@sereniandshentel.com

Shop this CNY season and get a set of limited edition Sereni and Shentel ang pow packets with minimum purchase of RM100, while stocks last.

Enjoy 15% OFF on online orders until 31st Jan 2014 (excluding gift sets and sale items), just key-in NEWYEAR upon checkout.  

I haven’t made an order yet but I’m definitely thrilled by this brand! I’m still taking some time to go through the collections and designs; I can’t make up my mind!


Sereni & Shentel was founded by best friends Sereni Linggi and Shentel Lee in 2009. Shentel is a graphic designer and Sereni is a Mall Manager with a Property Management company. They are a perfect marriage of creativity and practicality.

The brand was founded in 2009, spurred on by a wardrobe crisis. Excited to be attending a Lady Gaga concert in Singapore in October 2009, Sereni and Shentel thought it was only fitting to make an effort to dress up a little out of the ordinary – an homage to the Lady herself.
The girls jumped online in search of appropriate headgear and found Gaga-esque moulded hair bow headbands to wear to the concert.
When the parcel arrived and the girls excitedly plucked them out of the box, they discovered that the headbands were so poorly constructed that they literally fell apart within minutes. Devastated and only hours to go before they had to depart, they decided to salvage the situation and create their own version of the Gaga bow using ribbon and rhinestones.
Sereni & Shentel headbands are handmade headbands made in Borneo by a team of artisans with a love for head turning and whimsical hair accessories. The headbands range from hand stitched bejeweled pieces to pearl encrusted bridal tiaras to demure Lolita-esque bows.
Sereni & Shentel is all about decoration without explanation. It is about having fun and a laugh with your look and injecting individuality into any fashion situation. The pieces are conversation starters; they are not dull or discreet. Eye catching, memorable and mad with a bit of humour is what the label is all about.
Choose from a wide range of headbands for adults, children and babies for any occasion ranging from Hen’s Veils for the bride-to-be, rhinestone encrusted party hats for the birthday girl to elaborate yet comfortable baby bands for baptisms.
Sereni & Shentel also offer custom headbands and have an interactive online application that allows customers to customize their headbands based on their popular Blair and Block Party styles.
For more info, collections and online shopping, visit
You may even request for a Look Book by filling up the form on their home page.
Connect to Sereni & Shentel Facebook page at:

Have a Merrier Christmas with www.hermo.com.my


It’s the most wonderful time of the year… And what better way to celebrate the season than loads and loads of gifts! It’s the season of giving and it can sometimes be challenging when we run out of gift ideas.
Well, I’m here to give you more ideas as I have started last month. Now that we’re officially in the month of December, Christmas shopping is already in a rush. We’re just left with 23 days! Don’t panic; I have great news!

At www.hermo.com.my you can enjoy easy Christmas shopping and you can spin & win for some awesome prizes! There are amazing deals and a lot of products to choose from: beauty, skincare, bath and body, make-up, masks and gift sets. What’s even better? They deliver straight to your doorstep! So you can actually escape the mad rush, long queue and traffic jams this time around!
When I was still in Philippines, our Christmas shopping starts as early as October, yes, October! Malls will be dressed up in holiday theme, playing Christmas songs and everyone is just in the holiday season mood. So, naturally, everybody is also shopping for gifts! But going through traffic jams and long queues can sometimes dampen good spirits.
Why not try an easier and rewarding way? Hermo Beauty Collection at www.hermo.com.my has launched Christmas Specials for beauty addicts like me. Are you ready for Christmas with Hermo?
Check out these Hermo Christmas promotions:

If you are not sure what to give your loved one or, better yet, if you think your loved ones will be happier choosing their own gifts, send them a Christmas e-Gift Card! You can choose from denominations of RM50, RM100 or RM200. Find out more by clicking here.

Find really irresistible gift sets for your loved ones or for yourself! Great savings and great combinations, too! They have skincare sets, makeup sets, fragrance sets and more. Check out and grab the limited gift sets by clicking here.

Here you’ll find value buys with up to 70% discount. Stocks are limited so better grab the things you want soon. Click here to see more. 

Now, this is very interesting. Take note carefully, you can win prizes EVERYDAY. Simply login or sign up and visit www.hermo.com.myor click here for your daily spin. There are several prizes such as RM50, 500 credits and cash voucher. Come, let’s all drop by the website for a free spin!


Do you have very close friends, boyfriends, sisters or loved ones whom you think love you enough to pay for what you want to receive this Christmas? At Hermo, you can easily choose the things you like and ask for your friend/s to pay for you! Isn’t that cool? This saves your loved ones the trouble of figuring out what you’d want and it makes your Christmas even wonderful. Wouldn’t it be a merrier Christmas if all of us receive what we want or pick for ourselves? Check out how it works by clicking here.


Here you get a chance to win an exclusive Christmas Gift Set from Bloop! You just need to share your Christmas greetings using Hermo greeting cards on Facebook, tag your friends in your greeting and that’s it! Just wait for Hermo to announce winners on 26th December 2013. Start your way to the prizes by clicking here.
Christmas won’t be complete without a wish list. I still remember the days when I really list down all the names of my godchildren (in Philippines, we don’t just have 1 but probably 10 children to prepare gifts for), my close friends and, of course, my family then plan for the gifts to buy for them. Aside from that, I definitely have a wish list for myself. You know what, at Hermo, you can easily create your wish list!


There are so many lovely products to choose from. I had a tough time just choosing at a total cost of RM80. Let’s see some of the ‘runner-ups’ for my choice:



But then again, I think I really need a new moisturizer as I’m about to finish my current one. So the winner of my wish list is…

Centella 70 Cream 50ml
The functional cream that contains 70% Centella Asiatica extracts–the mystical plant regenerating damaged and tired skin. 
RM 159.00
RM 79.50  
Dear Hermo, I’ve been a good girl this year and please, please grant my wish. My skin is aging fast and I really need a good anti-aging cream. Thank you. Love, Celeste
So go and visit www.hermo.com.my now for great Christmas treats!

Clairol Herbal Essences – Hello Hydration!

Finding the right shampoo and conditioner for my very dry and damaged hair has been an enduring challenge for me. I still remember my younger days when I can use whatever shampoo is available in the bathroom. And yet, my hair was soft and silky. I guess this is true for most of us. When we were younger, we have smooth skin, no wrinkles, lovely hair and less worries…

I’ve tried quite a handful of different brands and types but I’ve found a great companion for my hair — Clairol Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo and conditioner. 

I’ve been using Clairol products for years. I tried different variants in between, like Dangerously Straight and Long Term Relationship. One of the most notable features of Clairol hair products is the scent. All variants have distinguished, enchanting scents that you’d definitely want on your hair. Among the current variants, the red one (Long Term Relationship) is my favorite. But I’ve particularly been sticking to this blue set, Hello Hydration, because it works well for my hair type. I have frizzy, dry and very damaged hair due to rebonding over the years. I cannot refrain from undergoing rebond treatment every year as my hair is really terrible without it. Frizzy all over, unruly and unpresentable. This is not acceptable for me. 

I don’t expect my shampoo and conditioner to produce the same results from my rebonding treatment but at least make my hair moisturized and easier to manage. The Clairol Herbal Essences Hello Hydration is specifically made for Dry/ Damaged Hair. I love using the shampoo and conditioner mainly because they both moisturize my hair well enough. Some shampoos tend to make my hair stiff after washing. I notice that this Hello Hydration shampoo doesn’t dry my hair out even if it cleanses and removes dirt. It costs around RM14 to RM16. 

The Hello Hydration conditioner is just as great. I love the creamy texture, not watery like some conditioners. I actually find it weird that some conditioners are quite watery but I guess those types are meant for people with thin hair. 

Clairol’s Hello Hydration conditions my hair nicely and leaves a lovely scent which I really like. It costs around RM14 – RM16, depending where you buy it and if there’s promotion. I noticed that Watsons sells it at a better price than Guardian most of the time. 

Some people may not know but Clairol Herbal Essences has been in the market for quite some time. I remember trying it for the first time during my college days, man, that’s 16 years ago! I even used to save my daily allowance to afford it. Me and my classmates were so captivated by its scent. At that time, the products were not moisturizing enough for me so I eventually switched. But the new Clairol collection is great so I’m back to using it!

This was how the classic Clairol Herbal Essences looked like before…at least the type that I got introduced to. I believe there are older versions. 
Classic Clairol Herbal Essences (Image from web)

Well, that proves the long history of the brand and how far it has evolved. The older version looks very traditional, following the trend of those years. But now it’s funky, cool and even better!

A Few of my Favorite Things

My Favorite Things by Maria – The Sound of Music

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don’t feel so bad

(lyrics source: stlyrics.com)

I just celebrated my 33rd birthday a few weeks ago. At times, I still find it hard to believe how far I’ve gone from my life just almost 5 years before. And in celebration of a good and blessed life, I am enumerating the things in my life that I’m thankful for…plus a few of my favorite (material) things. 

1) My husband

Wedding in Boracay

Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that there’s no perfect marriage. It is no fairy tale where the princess marries the prince and they live happily ever after, the end. The truth is, marriage only starts after the wedding and this is where ‘work’ begins. There will be tough times, there will be tougher times. But after everything I’ve gone through, from letting go of everything I have back in my home country, to being in a foreign land with nothing but my clothes (and a few beauty products), no job, no friends…my husband has kept his promise that I will never be hungry. 

My husband has been true and loyal after all these years, after all the pregnancy weight and post-pregnancy kilos I’ve never lost. There are times of disappointments but he’s been ever loving and supportive of my decisions. Some wives are tied down with their partners’ manipulation and control while I am blessed to make my own choices and be respected for it. When I arrived in Malaysia more than 4 years back, I had nothing. But now, I am pursuing my aspirations and having a wonderful life. My husband has been strong through it all, and has been my most loyal friend. 

2) My son
The breadth and source of my very strength for the past 3 years and for the years to come. Motherhood completely changed my life, the way I look at things, my habits, my choices ad my personality. Before my son came into my life, I was a hot-tempered biatch at work and I can easily raise my voice, bang the table and scold people. Now, I’ve learned how to be patient and more. My priorities and choices revolve around him. I work even harder than before, making tougher decisions and more. But most of all, I aim to be the best person, achieve the highest I can and prepare the best possible future, all for him. 

3) My In-Laws

It’s not easy to find couples who can confidently say that they are thankful for their in-laws. In my case, I am very blessed to have in-laws who are very concerned, understanding, supportive and loving. All through these years, they’ve been on my side, always lending a helping hand. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t know how my husband and I could have gone through all the tough times when we first arrived. And now, they are the ones taking care of my son while I work, which is totally priceless. I cannot imagine how our lives would be without my in-laws being there for Aden. 

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have also been there for us. I still recall my pregnancy days and they helped us with things like baby items, food and other things that we might need. Whether small or big stuff, they’ve been generous and always thoughtful. In this time and life, I know that it’s not everyday for anyone to get blessed with a family like this. 

4) My parents, sisters and brother, and my relatives back home

Life is never easy but we need to find ways to be happy, find simple joys in everyday life. At a young age, I’ve known what it’s like to have a not-so-easy life, and so I learned to work hard, make better decisions to reach my goals. There were a lot of hard times but these hard times made me a tougher person. I learn how to appreciate good times and other blessings even more because I knew what it’s like to be on the other side. 

5) True friends

Good laughs, tears, sweat, tough professors, mean bosses, crushes, shopping…some things are just best shared and appreciated with true friends. Although some of us are very far apart, we still manage to share some laughs, heartaches and all. 

6) Tough Bosses who make you learn important things

I’ve been so blessed to have bosses who manage to bring out the best in me, whether intentionally done or not. I know that we all looooove to complain about our bosses but truth is, they make us tougher and do better than our normal, easy-going selves. People tend to find a comfort zone and without those tough (and sometimes heartless) people in our lives, we wouldn’t be challenged and life will just be boring. 

7) Photographers, Graphic Designers

Working with professional photographers and very creative graphic designers had been, and still is, a great joy in my career. I actually graduated as an interior designer (huwhat?) so creatives, colors and stuff grab my interest. But there’s something about photography and combining graphic design elements into an artwork that really gives me a sense of fulfillment.  

And here are some of my favorite material stuff…not to be mistaken as of equal importance as the above but, nevertheless, these stuff still give a smile on my face:

8) iPhone 5

This is just the best mobile gadget for me. I love the camera, love the speed, love the interface and all. For the past years, I’ve tried different brands, different types…but this, by far, outruns them all. Not everyone will agree but as a personal choice, iPhone 5 works best for me. 

iPhone5: One of my Precious-es

9) MacBook Pro

I guess I just have the ‘need for speed’. I hate working on computers that hang on minor applications, especially when you’re shifting from 1 design program to another. I’m not a full-time designer but I occasionally enjoy photo editing and some small artworks every now and then. The Mac’s interface is just superb with its multi-touch trackpad. Swipe and shift programs easily with your fingers. Quick. Easy. Genius. 
A few years back when I started working for an international lingerie brand and I saw a Mac for the first time, I was awestruck. Well, I thought, will I ever be able to afford that? Will I even understand how to use one? And, thank God, I was. It was worth every RM. 

MacBook Pro: Speed and creativity at my fingertips

10) Kate Spade Red Tote Bag

I’m not really the type who splurges on designer bags, not that I can even afford to. But I saw this bag and it called my name (!). The leather is wonderful, the color is delicious and the design is simple yet classy. At first, I thought that red will be very hard to match with clothes but it just works fine with any color. With the mix-and-match trend in fashion now, sporting a red bag with an attire can make a statement. 

Kate Spade Red Leather Bag with Gold Accents

11) Clairol Herbal Essences Coconut Milk

Yes, yes, like most of the other ladies out there, I am hoping that one shampoo or conditioner can solve all my hair problems. Though it doesn’t magically turn my hair into that soft-flowing, captivating bundle of strands like in TV commercials, this Clairol Herbal Essence Coconut Milk keeps my hair more moisturized than other conditioners that I’ve tried. The lasting scent is a definite plus and it’s very affordable if not cheap for most. The shampoo is just as nice because it doesn’t dry my hair out like others. I even explored  more expensive brands, salon brands, professional brands but I still go back to Herbal Essences. 

Clairol Herbal Essences Coconut Milk Conditioner

12) Canon EOS100D

I finally got my hands on my very first DSLR! I’ve actually been dreaming of owning one for several years. It’s not cheap and for the past few years, I wasn’t confident enough to invest on one because I rarely have time to just take pictures as I’m so busy with work. It wouldn’t be worth it to buy one and just keep it, right? But the time has come for me to pursue my other passion in life while still maintaining my career in marketing. Thank God for all the blessings. I now have some good regular time for my son and myself. 

The Canon EOS 100D was just recently released and in good timing for my decision to buy a DSLR. It is the lightest and smallest DSLR ever launched (for now) and it fits comfortably on a beginner’s hand. And it’s just amazingly light. I’ve been taking photos since I bought it, of course, excitedly, and the results are just so different and a lot better than my normal point-and-shoot digital camera. I can now take photos of Aden even if he moves a lot and take photos for my blogs more beautifully. 

My first DSLR: Canon EOS 100D

13) Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizer

I had a post about this great product at http://bit.ly/19BZkY6 This pore minimizer gave me visible results and the longer I use it, the more my skin becomes smoother, the smaller my pores become. I just love how my skin’s texture has improved within the past months. I’ll be finishing it soon so gotta buy another one!

14) Biore Pore Strips

Being obsessed with my huge pores, I constantly explore products to reduce their size or at least, keep it free from blackheads and whiteheads. But this is just almost impossible for me so I’ve been regularly cleaning my pores with pore strips. I do this every Saturday and I’m quite addicted to seeing those tiny, icky stuff all stuck to the strip! I’ve tried different brands at different prices. But Biore pore strips at only RM10.80 for 10 strips have been the most effective. Other strips don’t have cuttings on some corners that should adapt to the curves of our nose and cheeks which make it a bit inefficient. Biore has cutting on several corners, making it follow the contour of the nose, especially the fold between the nose and cheeks. 

15) Crabtree & Evelyn Iris Triple Milled Soap

Normally, I don’t really use bar soaps but when my sister-in-law gave me an Iris bath set, the scent of the triple milled soap was simply bewitching! So I got another set from Crabtree; there’s no 1-piece for sale so I had to get the 3-piece set… But it’s reasonable at only RM65 per set. 

Crabtree & Evelyn Iris Triple Miled Soap set of 3

16) Guerlain Idylle Duet EDP – Rose Patchouli

This is my special occasion fragrance. The floral scent is very classy and smells even lovelier as time wears on. When it comes to fragrance, I go for floral scents, not fruity and not the sporty scent. (Surprisingly, when it comes to skincare products, I have to avoid those with rose and other very floral scents as I tend to get some skin reaction to it.)
I love the sexy bottle, showing very feminine and glamorous curves. I prefer bottles that are transparent where you can see the contents so this makes Guerlain Idylle’s bottle even more attractive to me. Small thing but I don’t like those opaque bottles wherein I need to guess if it’s about to finish or not. And after all, one of the factors that makes a perfume attractive is the packaging. Save, of course, for Chanel No. 5 which has a simple bottle but still remains to be one of the most (if not THE most) popular fragrances in the world. 

Guerlain Idylle Duet – Rose Patchouli

17) The Body Shop – White Musk EDT & Moroccan Rose EDT

On normal days, I like to wear these Body Shop EDTs. The famous White Musk has a light, wonderful and simply soothing scent. It has combined notes of jasmine, rose, musk, lily and I guess some other more beautiful floral scents (I am no fragrance expert, haha). At a price of RM59 for 30ml, this EDT is worth to have as a daily part of my body care routine.

I also love the Body Shop’s Moroccan Rose. By now you can tell that I’m quite addicted to rose fragrance (!). This EDT has a romantic, feminine, light and fresh scent. And being named Moroccan, it adds some mystery and uniqueness to it. Very nice for daily wear and special occasions, too.

The Body Shop Moroccan Rose EDT & White Musk EDT

18) Dorothy Perkins Black Belt

For some time, I’ve been looking for a simple but nice black belt. If not expensive, designer type, I can only see very posh and accessorized belt which I don’t really go for. I needed something simple, good enough for corporate wear so it cannot be too stylized with all those shining stones all over it. One fine evening in Mid Valley, I came across this simple, nice belt from Dorothy Perkins and I loved it! If I remember it right, I got this belt for only RM39. Very reasonable price for a belt like this. 

19) Monthly Issue of Female & Women’s Weekly Magazines

Every month, I must always have a copy of these 2 magazines. I love the beauty and fashion articles, photos and updates. Presentation is very good, writing style is funky and smart. Female always contains the latest in beauty and fashion while Women’s Weekly has very interesting reads about family and life. 

20) Solvil El Titus Purple Watch

I just got this watch last February as a Valentine’s Day present from my hubby. I really love the purple color, the lovely glimmer of stones and the size against my wrist. I like that it has that chronograph style but the extra 3 sets of counters for date, seconds and 24-hour are not too big as the usual chronograph-style watches.

Solvil El Titus Purple Strap Watch

And lastly, my days will not be complete without a few minutes session with my son’s baby feet! I know I’m only left with a short time to enjoy these before they turn into non-baby feet and before he gets old enough not to allow me to play with them…

I have more blessings to be thankful for and a few more favorite things. Sometimes, people, including me, tend to focus on the bad things that happen or those things that cause disappointments. But in life, I should learn how to count my blessings instead, those small things that make me smile or make my life wonderful, even for just a few minutes or seconds in a day. Hope you find your favorite things as well, no matter how big or small they are.