Tuesday, 30 June 2009

This Weekend – Well, Mid Next Week Actually….

Exhibition - Cats Of The World III

I can’t say I’m a cat person, but this is an exhibition that I’ll catch with my kiddy, simply ‘cos its so cute and quaint.
The Cats of The World’ Photo Exhibition is back for the third year running from 9-29 July at the Arts House. This visual celebration of cats caught on camera at home in Singapore and abroad. See them in their element – graceful, lazy, sneaky, aloof, loving, downright fluffy. Contributed by aspiring and professional photographers, this year's collection will showcase ‘Homely Cats’, ‘Worldly Cats’ and ‘Psychedelic Cats’.
Through sale of photos and merchandise, Cats of The World’ tries to raise funds for its adopted charity ‘Cat Welfare Society’ which aims to control the population of stray cats in Singapore via sterilisation. Admission is free.
The Arts House
1 Old Parliament Lane

Hogwart Cuisine
All of you who had stayed at a hall of residence in a UK uni or school would definitely have no romantic notions of Cornish Pasty. I don’t. But then again, I gather it’s because the cooks just didn’t do it right – as proven by Jamie Oliver’s UK school lunch revelations.

But the cookery school Palate Sensations will surely put it right, with their cooking class focusing on traditional British cooking a la Hogwart’s menu. Bring alive Harry Potter dining hall meals after you learn dishes like pumpkin juice, mini cornish pasties,Shepherd's pie served with Yorkshire pudding and treacle tart at the session on 7 July (7pm – 10pm). Bound to be fun. $110 per person.
1 Westbourne Road, #03-05 Tel: 64799025
To book, log onto http://www.palatesensations.com/

- Ee Waun
Tchaikovsky Galore
Oh, what a marvellous month for Tchaikovsky fans. The Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s attractive line-up for July features some of the 19th century Russian composer’s major works, including his piano concertos, in a series of three concerts to be held at the Esplanade.

On 3 July, pianist Stephen Hough begins a two-week exploration of Tchaikovsky's more neglected piano concertos. Hear the Second Concerto, a major albeit neglected work that has been championed by many notable pianists. Yoel Levi, Principal Conductor of the Orchestre National d'Île de France, leads the SSO in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, a popular and opulent symphonic masterpiece inspired by the Tales of 1001 Nights.

Hough continues the Tchaikovsky fortnight on 10 July with the colourful Concert Fantasy, which won public acclaim during the composer's lifetime, and the incomplete Third Concerto. To round off the evening, the SSO performs Stravinsky’s The Firebird: Suite, with Krzysztof Urbanski wielding the baton.

The gala concert on 24 July features Li Yundi, China's star pianist and First Prize winner of the 2000 Chopin International Piano Competition, who performs for the first time with the SSO in Tchaikovsky's popular Piano Concerto No. 1.
All concerts start at 7.30PM at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets for the subscription concerts on 3 July and 10 July range from $11 to S$60, and those for the gala concert on 24 July cost from S$30 to S$120.
Tix at SISTIC (tel: 6348 5555/www.sistic.com.sg)
For more details, visit http://www.sso.org.sg/

- Lisa
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Breakaway - Quick! Catch It While You're Still On Earth!

Horrors! I almost missed this wondrous bit of news. Did you know there’ll be a total solar eclipse on Wed, 22 July? I didn’t!
Called the Eclipse of the Century, hotels in Shanghai are cashing in on the opportunity with solar eclipse packages. That’s because nearby lies Yangshan Island which is apparently the best spot in the world to see the sun turn dark…but Shangai is near enough! If you’re in for some astro-excitement, there’s still time to make plans to skip north.

Eclipse in Comfort. Watch the day turn to night over Champagne breakfast at the JW Marriot Shanghai at Tomorrow Square. The 360˚ Solar Eclipse Package (from RMB 2660 per room) includes one night’s accommodation in a deluxe room, Champagne breakfast in the Marriott Café (yes!!), and after the magic is over, a spa treatment of a traditional Chinese medical massage at their Mandara spa. The best place to view the event is over breakfast at the café of course, with floor to ceiling windows and a 360˚ view. And after that? Why, shopping of course! For reservations, call (86 21) 5359 4969.

For diehard astronomy buffs, head to Pudong Shangri-La which is offering a package from RMB3,600 nett per person (available for 21-23 July only). It includes one or two-nights at Pudong Shangri-La, admission to the InterSoles Conference on 21 July 2009 (that’s an astronomy conference about the eclipse) and a guided excursion with Eclipse-City Ltd to Yangshan Island on 22 July 2009 to observe the total solar eclipse. (Eclipse-City Ltd is the only organiser who has the right to access Yangshan Island, the best location to view the eclipse, and is the official partner of the Shanghai Observatory.) For more details, email

Definite something to pen into your diary, this will be the longest total solar eclipse in the 21st century. It begins with a partial eclipse starting at 08:23am and finishing at 11:01am, and the full eclipse will last about five minutes from 09:36am to 09:41am. You’ll not see another solar eclipse as long as this until June 13, 2132. So catch it while you’re still on earth!

- Ee Waun
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By The Way – Deliciously Back To School

What has the ‘Gaaarmen’ always been telling us? Lifelong learning and constant upgrading is key to success, no? Well here are some classes that caught our eye. Going back to school never sounded so good.

Learn to cook like the Chef in Black. Find out Emmanuel Stroobant’s culinary secrets and learn to cook right in his home kitchen. Every month of so, he holds small classes of up to 10, showing you how easy it to whip up gourmet food without the fancy equipment of a professional kitchen. Upcoming classes are: French Cooking with local ingredients and a visit to Smith Street Market on 17 July (9am – 2pm; $180); Spa Cuisine on 19 August (11am – 2pm; $120) and Molecular Made Easy on 16 Sept (11am – 2pm; $120). Every lesson comes with food tasting, door gift and an apron.

Tel: 64380887 to book.

Know Your Kopi. Pick up basic barista skills and knowledge at Etre Bon Gallery and Academy, Bon Café’s coffee museum and learning centre. Find out about the coffee bean, roasting and blending and of course, the exciting bits like making the perfect espresso, frothing milk like a pro, and making other espresso based drinks. ($175 per person.)
Tel: 67762216 for class schedules. 208 Pandan Loop

Swirl and Sip. Expensive palate untouched by plonk? Artisan Cellars at Palais Renaissance is offering wine appreciation lessons for all with a taste for premium wines. Even ‘up-nosed’ newbies can learn the basics here.

Only premium, quality wines from their “exquisite boutique collection” are used in each class. Start with the Flash Wine Tasting Primer ($60 nett) which features six red, white and sparkling wines, or the two-session Wine Tasting Primer ($112 nett per person), designed for wine neophytes. Splurge on super high end classes as a gift or a treat to yourself: the Burgundy Connoisseurship Redux ($445 nett) over three sessions; or The Greatest Terroirs of Burgundy (a mind blowing $2350 for a single session). It promises to be “an extraordinary experience”.
Tel: 6838 0373, or email events@artisancellars.com
- Ee Waun
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Saturday, 27 June 2009

By The Way - Fight Club! This One Is For The Boys!

Boys! (and girls) if you fancy some hard hitting action, then this event is definitely for you ... 16 guys and girls, 12 weeks of hard training, all beating each other up for money ... "OH YEAH!" you say!

This one is for a good cause! "SHOWDOWN Inside The Ropes" is an amateur boxing exhibition held on 18 September 2009 at the Shangri-La Hotel's Island Ballroom in Singapore.
Conducted under traditional white collar rules over 3 X 2 minute rounds, participants in this 'Fight Club'-style event range from beginners to amateurs. The spoils go to the winner's charities of choice and overall takings are in support of the Bone Marrow Donors Programme. See: www.bmdp.org

Regular folk learning to box or kick box are welcome to participate. Prior to the event, regular training sessions will be held on skills, fitness, sparring and all the other attributes required to be a competent fighter. If you think you have what it takes to step into the ring or if you know someone who does, please pass this on. Registration is at http://www.fightclub.sg/register.html

Prefer to just sit back and watch? Book a ticket or table instead. Contact rubina@puredetails.com 9029 9175 or renee@purdetails.com 9831 1688.

Expect an adrenaline pumping, exciting evening of good food and entertainment. And do bring your cheque books along to make a donation for a good cause towards Bone Marrow research.

NOTE: Ringside tables are selling FAST so make your reservations ASAP!
- Elaine
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Thursday, 25 June 2009

Binge - Solace on Sunday

‘Tis the last Sunday of the June holidays. It’s not just the kids who go back to school but moms who have to do the endless school runs again. Hands up, all those who have to wake up at 6am next week to bring the kids to school! It’s goodbye to weekday sleep-ins for the next 10 weeks. I feel it keenly, don’t you? What to do, Sweeties?! Turn to Champers and good food, of course. Here’s where we can go to for solace and healing.

Global Kitchen Sunday Brunch
Always a good place for languid eating, they’ve added some new items to their big buffet offerings to keep things exciting. Over 100 yummy selections including 10 ‘stations’ such as oysters (from France & Canada) including au naturel, shooters, crispy oyster wrapped with bacon, oyster carpaccio, etc. Vol Au Vents of duck confit with foie gras, chicken ragout with mushrooms, ham and cheese; pasta, crepes, pancakes and soufflés, a cheese table, and a larger-than-life dessert section – just please please don’t eat the decoration. (Embarrassingly, Madam made that mistake and suffice to say, it was baaaad!) The seafood here is always good, including the smoked fish section and the briny fresh crabs. Plenty of kid-friendly foods, too, and activities like magic shows and crafts to keep them suitably occupied.
I like the pricing, too – good value for a feast for Gargantua. $98 per adult (the works with Champagne); $88++ per adult (no bubbles) and $78 ++ (alas, no alky). Children 6-12 years are charged a dollar for each year of age. Sundays only (12 pm – 3pm).

Global Kitchen (Level 3, Pan Pacific Singapore)
Tel: 6826 8240 or email
Reservations recommended

Laid back at Kha

If one doesn’t want to imbulge too much, Kha’s formula for feeding is unique. $50++ per person gets you four dishes (per table though) which you choose from a fairly decent menu and free flow drinks including wine, Singha beers and mocktail. Here’s some of the selections available on the menu: spicy shredded duck salad with green mango, chiili, thai herbs, toasted rice and chilli lime dressing; spicy pomelo salad with prawns, chicken, roasted coconut, chilli jam; phad thai; pork spareribs in yellow curry; vanilla bean custard with spiced thai basil syrup and young coconut. The food is good here, the setting in Hort Park is pretty. ‘Sundays at Kha’ is available from Sundays to Thursday, for lunch (11am - 3pm) and dinner (6pm-10pm).

33 Hyderabad Road #02-02
Tel: 6476 9000

Wine & Cheese at Four Seasons
Call it afternoon tea or extended pre-dinner drinks, the offering at The Bar and Alfresco at Four Seasons is tasteful, luxurious nibbling without going over the top. Sumptuous seasonal cheeses, luscious desserts like chocolate caramel tart and hazelnut royaltine, paired with unlimited servings of red, white and sparking wines. How gorgeous does that sound? $48++ is good deal for three hours of luxe, and a stylish way to banish the Monday blues. Sundays 5pm – 8pm.

190 Orchard Boulevard
Tel: 6831 7671

- By Ee Waun
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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

By The Way - Wine, Women and Vital Stats

If there’s one thing that irks me is the way waiters often assume that choosing wines is the man’s job. Walk into a fancy restaurant and the wine list is offered to him – not to the lady who may just perhaps know a lot more about wines. Many of my girlfriends suffer the same insult and have the same grouse. And when our partners direct the wine list to us, take a look at the waiter – you’ll probably find surprise, sheepishness, incredulousness on his face.

It’s no surprise that women these days know how to choose, buy and enjoy our wines. Heck, it’s been like that for yonks. Recently Vinexpo, the largest professional wine and spirits exhibition in the world, conducted a study of wine drinking attitudes of over 4000 women in five countries including Japan. Here are some of the statistics which may be news to the waiters out there, but it’s something we’ve known for a long time.

Six out of 10 enjoy a glass of wine at least once a week. As women become more mature, wine becomes an increasingly regular source of enjoyment: 72.2% of women over 60 drink at least one glass of wine a week, compared to 60% of 18-30 year olds.

The majority (53.7%) see drinking wine as an art of life rather than a tradition (39.9%) or cultural product (42%).

We enjoy wine at social events amongst friends (68.6%) and during meals (71.2%).

Contrary to popular belief, we prefer red wine which accounts for over 60% of wines they purchase.

When asked why we drink wine, 79.3% say it’s to "enjoy the taste". In fact, more than nine out of 10 say this in Japan and in the US.

Over 44% of us select our wines on our own, without advice or assistance, thank you.

“In all five countries, women are clearly making independent choices. They enjoy wine as an art of life and associate it with friendship and sharing,” said Robert Beynat, Chief Executive of Vinexpo. The overall finding was that women have become “liberated wine drinkers, adopting an epicurean attitude towards wine”.

Only 3.6% consider it a man’s drink.

So give credit where it’s due, and hand over the wine list.

- Ee Waun
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By The Way - Trip Back In Time

With all those unfriendly bugs out there, staycations and armchair travel seems the smarter and safer way to go, at the moment. Satisfy your yen to explore -- minus the hassle of packing, trawling through tedious customs checks and possibly encountering H1NI -- by checking out Early Travels and Voyages in Southeast Asia, an ongoing exhibition of books on travel and exploration in Southeast Asia, from the Rare Book Collection of the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

Time travel vicariously through stories of long-ago voyages, when travel involved great risks, adventure and gains. Accounts of journeys to the region unfold, as narrated by the early European and other voyagers or transcribed from their journals, culminating in the founding of modern Singapore.

Lee Kong Chian Reference Library,
Level 10, National Library Building,
100 Victoria Street
Until 24 September 10 am-9 pm daily (except public holidays)
- Lisa
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Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Buys - Ferragamo's New Icon Watch

Ferragamo fans, here is one that will interest you.

Silk, colour and vintage prints from the world of Salvatore Ferragamo come together in 'Gancino Fancy', an icon-watch which pays tribute to the brand’s creative tradition in silk and women’s footwear.

The printed technical satin strap reproduces the TOES motif, a vintage pattern and emblem of Ferragamo scarves, and brings together some of the most important women’s footwear models in the history of the brand.

Ballerinas, sandals, open-toes, wedges, heels, decorations, plaiting, colours, buckles … this is a fascinating tour through the creative mind that transformed the concept of women’s shoes.

As watch shapes go, 'Gancino Fancy' has a sophisticated, linear design, with an ultra-flat case in the classic “Gancino” shape set directly into the strap. The time adjustment is on the case back. The dial is simply sumptuous, with its white mother of pearl and diamonds set in the hour markers. This is one where Italian design is balanced by Timex's Swiss-made technical perfection. Price starts from S$1450.

See this and a range of other wristwatches in the Salvatore Ferragamo watch collection in www.ferragamotimepieces.ch

- Elaine
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Buys - Eye Spy

'Eye' spy with my little eye, some nice shades that have just hit the stores from Esprit and ELLE ... perfect, because they are just in time to block out that June glare!

Esprit takes you to Cote d'Azur with a touch of Jackie-O. Their Men's collection features casual urban safari chic that is sporty and pleasingly basic. Available at all authorized dealers and Esprit shops (shades only) from S$148 onwards.

Get a complimentary Esprit Tote Bag for with every purchase of Esprit eyewear. Valid from now at all authorised optical shops, whilst stocks last.

ELLE launches its ELLE Elegance Chic and City Wear collections, including sunglasses and optical frames that combine fashion and beauty with top of the line materials such as multi layer acetate and transparent injection materials.

All models show an amazing attention to detail and a love for colours. Special features include laser engravings, floral patterns, cut-outs and graphic 3D patterns. Colours range from powerful and bright within the Elegance Chic line to warm and natural with the City Wear frames, both lines putting a strong emphasis on red and purple shades. Available at all authorized dealers from S$148 onwards.

Get a complimentary sporty RED ELLE Gym Bag for every purchase of ELLE eyewear. Valid from now at all authorised optical shops, whilst stocks last.

- Elaine
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Monday, 22 June 2009

Beauty - Convenience Store Finds

The Convenience store is my mecca for budget beauty and skin care. Always game for something new, the beauty junkie in me poked around recently and found: Clinelle (at Guardian), Skin Vitals (at Watsons) and surprisingly a beauty product from Revlon (at Watsons), which totally surprised me, as I had long since written off this as the ultimate Aunty brand...

Clinelle's 'Skin Soothing Toner' ($19.95) at Guardian caught my attention because I had just run out of toner. I was drawn to the 'I mean business' look of their sombre teal blue packaging. Made in France, the brand offers a 3-step (cleanser, toner and moisturser) skincare regime for dry and sensitive skin.

Why I liked it?

Pleasant, light fragrance with all natural ingredients ie. marigold extract, horse chestnut herb and licorice extract with aloe vera and allantoin to soothe and heal and pro-vitamin B5 for anti-inflammatory moisturising. Has a fantastic spray-on delivery system - think of how the facial lady does it - just close your eyes and spray onto face and neck or palm if you prefer to apply. Tightens pores and quite refreshing.

Also available: Clinelle Caring Milk Cleanser at S$17.95 and Clinelle Intense Skin Moisturiser at S$29.90. See: www.clinelle.com

I also picked up Skinvitals Brightening Eye Cream (Watson's) to hide my ever obvious 'panda' eyes. I confess that I am the perennial night owl and I love working undistracted into the peaceful wee hours.

Why I liked it:

Instant results! I applied it on to the area under both my eyes and at the left and right hand corner of my eyes where crow's feet have started to take root. Noticeably, the skin did not look so dull and tired. It looked more plump and almost instantly, probably because the product contains Vitamin C and Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, both work to reduce the appearance of eye bags and puffiness around the eyes. Texture was nice, not too oily and very natural especially when I applied loose powder over it.

Part of a larger range of "brightening" products that includes a C-Brighten Face Mask and Eye Brighten Eye Mask at $4.95 for a single sachet and $13.95 for a pack of three, a Brightening Eye Cream at S $34.90, Vitamin C Concentrate at $34.90, Everyday Illuminating Lotion at S$36.90 and Pigmentation Corrector Pen retails at S$31.90. See: www.skinvitals.com.au

Still at Watsons, I chanced on Revlon and their new mineral make up range. Intrigued, I decided to explore as I had heard all about the wonders of 'going mineral' and especially about a pricey specialist brand called "Bare Essentials" that my girl friend had raved about from Sephora.

Revlon's version of mineral is found in their ColorStay™ range of Mineral Foundations, complete with SPF10. I bought the loose powder as it supposedly is made of pure, lightweight minerals that slides on and stays on your skin when applied, apparently lasting for up to 16 hours.

Not completely true in my case as the I needed a touch up about six hours later, the way I would with normal loose powder. The powder was a bit too lightweight in my opinion. Coverage was also very so-so.

Its twist cap with a built-in-brush applicator was at first very promising. You are supposed to twist the brush into the powder, dust off the extras into the cap to prevent wastage and then brush on the powder for better wear. Was not thrilled with the results, perhaps because I am spoilt for choice having used the best powder brushes from Korea which really caress the skin. The brush here was too short and small and slightly too bristly for my liking. It did not save product because it was rather clumsy to use and instead I felt I used far more than I normally would from using a regular powder puff format.

Think I will just save up and invest in the Bare Essentials range which I hear is pricey but delivers that truly dewy finish.

- Elaine

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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Breaking News! - New Malls to Explore

Mall Rats! You are now officially in the KNOW and do say that you heard it here!

Zen and Knightsbridge are two NEW noteworthy malls that you should definitely suss out ... yes in the midst of the raging recession (which by my personal observation, very few seemed to be concerned about)


Once you feel safe enough to pack your bags for Bangkok, you should head to ZEN, touted as Asia's Number 1 Premier Lifestyle Mega-Store.

Zen is located in downtown Bangkok next to CentralWorld, surrounded by 5-star hotels, luxury condominiums and international brand-name boutiques.

Already well known for its international fashion mix, Zen was recently expanded into 80,000 square metres of space featuring 7 floors of the world's most fashionable and innovative merchandise. Find apparel, accessories, home ware and beyond basic lifestyle goods and Zen World, an adjoining 12-storey tower with fitness centres, health and beauty spas, and the city’s coolest eating and drinking venues.

What you can expect from the new shopping experience:

Level 1 is dedicated to 'The Beauty of Luxury', with international designer names, luxury watches and jewelry, and the best in skincare and cosmetics.

Level 2 features 'Women’s Elegance' with contemporary fashion complemented by fine and costume jewelry, shoes and handbags.

Level 3 has the much feted Thai Designer Gallery and 'Casual Women' category with fun fashion to urban attire and the city best selections of lingerie and intimate wear.

Levels 4 and 5 are for hip guys, from the swankiest suits for the boardroom to the funkiest footwear for clubbing, complemented by urban fashion for city slickers at 'Funky Edgy ZEN'. Not to be missed is the ZEN Denim Gallery, the city’s premium jeans outlet.

Level 6 features 'Active Lifestyle, be it a book, a new digital gadget or something decorative for the home. It also incorporates the inimitable Muji store.

Level 7 is for discerning home owners. 'No Better Place Than Home' on this level showcases the most complete offering of everything you need in every corner of your tasteful habitat.


Here at home, head to Knightsbridge (yes you read correctly)! Knightsbridge on Orchard Road, to be precise.

This flagship retail concept located in a chic four-storey retail podium is scheduled to open in the first half of next year at 270 Orchard Road.

It will offer 83,000 sq ft of luxury shopping integrated within an S$80 million makeover of the former Park Hotel Orchard - currently being renovated and re-branded as a 5-star hotel.

Named after London's most fashionable address, Knightsbridge promises timeless chic and classic style. The dazzling exterior of the hotel includes a herringbone-designed glass façade and will incorporate a dramatic eight-storey tall media wall.

I wonder what that will do to the already terrible traffic situation along that stretch. Go figure!

See: www.parkhotelgroup.com

- by Elaine
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Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Beauty - The Hollywood A-Lister’s Essential Facial Is Here – At Half The Price They Pay!

Sweeties! I have seen the light! The holy grail is here. I am not a screaming Hollywood fan, but I have tried the Intraceuticals Infusion facial treatment at Grand Hyatt’s Damai Spa and it is really, I kid you not, everything it says it is. And to boot, I was ‘done’ by Madonna’s own ‘facialist’ Rachel Peck, who was here a fortnight ago to launch this wonder of wonders.

Intraceutical Infusions is apparently the latest essential skincare treatment of Hollywood stars including post-50-year-old Madonna. When Madam was invited to try it out, I was admittedly highly sceptical, expecting nothing more than slick American marketing and packaging. But I tell you, there were instant results and if Elaine didn’t stop me from posting my rather unprofessionally taken photograph, I would have wanted to show you a ‘before and after’ on each side of my face. For they did half of it first so I could compare. And what did I see at the end of the treatment? Significantly reduced eye bags and lines around my nose and mouth, lightened and more even skin tone, and firmer, plumped skin overall – the effects of deep hydration I was told.

This fancy new treatment involves a “hyperbaric oxygen therapy” which sends the serum deep into the layers of the skin. Basically the therapist applies the serum (which contains the magic ingredient hyaluronic acid) using a machine which blows a continuous and narrow jet of oxygen onto the skin – from face to neck – apparently sending the tiny molecules deep into your dermis. Ingredients in the serum aids cell growth, firms, tightens, and apparently fights ageing. Botox without the needles and any discomfort! How luscious is that?!

To make it really effective, you’re supposed to load up on the treatment once a week for the first six weeks, followed by monthly sessions to eke out its maximum potential.

So, face to face with Rachel Peck, who’s clients include A-listers like Eva Longoria and Madonna (whom she follows on tour to administer the treatment regularly!), I had to ask what was the elusive elixir to youthful skin? Aside from expensive treatments, the most essential basics she says is ultimately simple – stay out of the sun, use sunblock, use serums – load them on with abandon! She uses four of them at a go – and as far as possible, don’t use make up which she says compromises on the ‘quality of your skin’. That’s what her A-listers do, she says. (Hmmm – not sure if I’m convinced about the no make-up bit.)

Anyway, compared to the US$500 that these celebrities fork out for a 60 minute session, we on the other hand need to cough up S$240 a pop at Damai. It’s really good, and if weekly sessions are too pricey, it’s definitely worth doing it the day before a big event. Because like a good curry or tau yew bak, the effects improve over the next 2-3 days. And indeed I found it was indeed so. With faithful follow up using their take-home products, the effects though started to peter out after about nine days. Still it’s definitely worth a treat.

The Intraceutical Infusions offer a range of three targeted facials – the rejuvenate facial ($240) which hydrates and adds radiance, the opulence facial ($280) for whitening and evening out pigmentation, and atoxelene ($240), a top up treatment, which lifts and fills in the lines. A course of six sessions ranges from $1500 to $1600.

Faster go!

Damai Spa
Grand Hyatt Singapore
Tel: 6416 7156 for appointment or queries

- by Ee Waun
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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Bling - Goldheart goes Italiano

Capturing a younger, more savvy and fashionable market, Goldheart introduces NANIS, a premium collection of jewellery into its city stores.

Its stores at International Building, Vivocity, Wisma Atria, Great World City, as well as Goldheart’s new concept store at Orchard Central will offer Bon-Bon, Olga, Papette and Trans Bulb, four different collections of Italiano-style eye-candy coloured charms made of natural stones and yellow gold boules engraved by hand, like transparent sugar candies and small chocolates wrapped by precious paper. Prices start at S$968.

With a strong following in the US, UK, France, Morocco, Japan and Hong Kong, the NANIS collection is eye-catching. Check out these candy-tray picks (above) to take you effortlessly from the office to an evening out or to dress up a simple jeans and top weekend ensemble.

See: www.goldheart.com.sg

- Elaine
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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Beauty - Babe, you have to get some 'BB'!

Its the end of the day, my skin still looks great! Dewy, matte and fresh, words never used before to describe my 40 year old complexion. Borrowing the words of philosopher Descarte "I am because I 'BB'!".

No clue what I am going on about? 'BB' or 'B.B cream' is the biggest buzz word in the North Asian skin care and foundation market, a solo foundation product that is taking up prime display space as its simply flying off the shelves of the Korean and Japanese make up manufacturers, especially here in trend driven Hong Kong.

'BB' stands for Blemish Balm cream and it is basically a 4-in-1 multifunctional cream that soothes, moisturizes, protects and gives a natural dewy finish to the skin. Apparently the product was developed by dermatologists to help patients recovering from laser skin surgery, burns and skin related problems by providing ample coverage as well as soothing and regenerating the skin's surface as part of the complete healing process.

How did it soar to fame? Apparently the big home grown make-up manufacturers in Korea caught on to it as a marketable product and used Korean celebrity endorsement to introduce it. Overnight, this product evolved and emerged as the hottest 'must-have' make-up item to achieve that long-wearing and constantly youthful glow.

Ok so its not botox and does not smooth the wrinkles we are all starting to have at 40 but this product definitely does deliver! I got a tube of this 'miracle' cream by Korean brand Charmzone (Natural Skinade B.B cream with SPF15/PA+) as a gift from my well travelled girlfriend who heard her Korean aircrew friends rave about it. Yours truly decided to test the hype by taking it on a trial run.

I have the worst kind of combination skin, very oily on the T zone and dry everywhere else. I also have an uneven skin tone with the odd age spot appearing here and there and open pores especially along both sides of my nose. The instructions for use were simple. I followed the usual tone, moisturise and sun block routine first and then applied a thin layer of the product all-over focusing on the spots that I wanted to 'cover' as with a regular foundation or concealer. The product instantly reminded me of a tinted moisturiser with an additional mattifier or pore tightening effect. I very pleasantly surprised at the product's creamy and yet light texture. It did not invade the pores or rest heavy on the skin like a two way cake does. Instead, it spread evenly disappearing quickly into the skin, efficiently and almost instantly closing up what I call the 'pot holes' (pores) camouflaging them and evening out my overall complexion bringing me from pasty to radiant without looking 'shiny'.

Twelve hours later, back from my supermarket run and even after a 45 minute visit to the gym, I was still pretty dewy and sufficiently matte rather than looking like an oozing oil well, which I normally am after being out in the humidity and heat of a Hong Kong Summer. Before my final verdict, I did a 'morning-after' test, the next morning just to see if I had clogged pores or any breakouts. Nothing! I was sold!

With the advantage of being both a makeup and a skin care product, BB cream formulations are suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive and acne-prone skin. BB creams generally come in one or two shades as they are not meant to mask your skin but rather to sink or seep into your skin to even up your skin tone. Note this product is NOT meant as a replacement to the regular, tone, moisturise and sun block routine. Also not to be used as a treatment product if you have existing acne or stubborn blemishes as the product is more cosmetic in nature ie. used for concealment.

Where can you find this? Try the Korean brands (some of these brands are in Singapore) Bio Remedies Therapeutic Cosmetics (BRTC), Skin Food, Missha, Skin 79, Etude, The Face Shop.

Go ahead babe, your skin is in crave mode and you definitely need some BB love!

- Elaine

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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

This Weekend - Zen Rocks

If you’re feeling a little stressed out – maxed out your credit cards at the GSS, perhaps, or missed out on the recent stock market rally? – head to the museum for a touch of zen and restore your inner balance. For a serving of calm and serenity, check out The Way the Sand Flows: Japanese Rock Gardens at the National Museum of Singapore on 13 June (Saturday).

This event, held in conjunction with World Environment Day (5 June), is part of the museum’s Life & Living Series, which aims to present refreshing new ways of discovering different aspects of life and history in a relaxed, informal manner.

Karesansui, or the Japanese rock garden, is a well-known, traditional form of Japanese landscaping and closely linked with broader Buddhist and Shinto beliefs. Symbolism is a key element and underscores every aspect of creating a garden. Explore how these gardens reproduce natural landscapes using stones, gravel, sand and moss and how it ties in with broader Japanese design philosophies. 

Not only that. You also get to create your own mini-garden during this workshop, which will be helmed by artist-designer Grace Tan, who has spent many years researching Japanese design philosophies, including its use in these Japanese rock gardens and ikebana. Grace has exhibited widely, including at the Venice Architectural Biennale, London Design Week and Tokyo Design Tide.

The Way The Sand Flows: Japanese Rock Gardens
At The Salon, National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road
13 June (3pm-5pm)
Tickets at S$25 per person.
Tel: (65) 6332 5642/6332 3659 

- Lisa
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Buys - This one is for the Dads!

Looking for something more novel for Dad or the man in your life? 

Take a look at this one! Ok, so its not exactly recessionista proof with a S$6,688 price tag, including GST. However the Epson EH-TW5000 is something the whole family can enjoy together. 

The Epson EH-TW5000 is basically a home cinema projector ideal for those who want a premium home cinematic experience. The set up offers a full HD 1080p with true high-definition 1920 x 1080p resolution with 3LCD technology. 

If you are into specs it has a C²Fine inorganic D7 panel, a dynamic contrast ratio of 75,000:1, a high level of brightness of 1600 ANSI Lumens, a HQV video processor to realise clear and sharp motion picture and can be connected to a range of input sources including 2 x HDMI version 1.3, YUV and VGA. Also comes with a five year warranty (including Saturday visits) on lamp and projector. Now that's a good 60 months of airtime that would give you your money's worth. 

You say, "Who am I kidding? It screams 'soccer widow'". 

Call me foolish, hopeful or both but I choose to see the positive rather than the obvious. After all dreams are free and mine are of weekly movie and popcorn nights, lovely elusive visions of the family curled up on couch together. Ahhh... I dream on and so should you darlings -- as dreams are free! 

More details at www.epson.com.sg

- Elaine
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