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how to shop at flea markets, flea markets

One of my favorite fleas is Portobello Market in London, which my best friend brought me to the last time I visited. It’s so good that I actually dream about it, sometimes! And though I had no idea what I was doing at that stage, after a few years of trying more flea markets out, I now have some kinda idea on howt to make your flea market a great experience:

1. Plan the time. The beginning of the day is better because obviously, everything will be there, and the end of the day is gret too because the sellers are tired and just want to get rid of whatever’s left – cue the extra discounts! It’s up to you to figure out what is more important to you – getting great deals or getting the best or most unique stuff?

2. Small cash only. Nothing is more annoying to both you and the vendor when they gotta exchange a big note – just bring how ever much you want but break them down to $5 and $10 bills. Easier for everyone!

3. Bring a huge tote bag… self explanatory, really. I remember in Portobella my BFF and I were scrambling and sharing each other’s handbags ’cause we didn’t know where to put our purchases, or when they were too much. Just bring a big old bag and dump it all in!

4. Bring a camera. For “expensive” things such as art work or furniture, if you’re undecided, you should take a photo of it and see what it looks like – and visualise it in your apartment. After hours of rummaging around, things can seem unclear and a photo can show the “real thing” and give some clarity.

6. Behind the Seams. When buying clothes, make sure to look for any tiny holes (usually around the seams), stains, smells, missing buttons and the like. Also, gently tug at the seams – especially around the shoulder area – to see if the fabric is sturdy and can last you more than say, one wash.

7. Lastly, ask specific questions. What I do is when I see an item I mentally tell myself how much I would pay for it. When asking for the price, if it’s higher than what you wanted, ask specific questions like “Can you let it go for $20?”, “I’d pay $20 for this, is that cool?”, “Would you take $20 for this?”. This usually starts the conversation and gets the sale rolling much quicker than going back and forth on prices – cut to the chase, other words!

And those are my top tips for working a flea market. Speaking of which, does anyone know of good ones in Singapore? I haven’t come across any yet, though I used to go to one in high school but I cannot for the life of me remember where it was! Also, if you have any other tips for working a flea market, please add them.

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Beauty Catchup!

Oh wow, guys… it’s been awhile. It feels like a long while!

As you may know, mid-August I got dengue fever and it lasted a little over 5 weeks, which is beyond horrible – I feel like I slept through all of August and September! I’ve been slowly but surely recovering, and last week I’ve also started a new job and position, that is why I have been a little quiet here. (Yup, no longer a full time blogger!). In the meantime though; because I was “out of it” for 5 weeks and the last few weeks, I have A LOT to catch up on. (Sorry to the emails I haven’t replied yet, I am slowly working through them!) Here are some things I’ve been loving since we last spoke that I want to share with you:

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Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil

My best friend told me about rose hip oil ages ago, claiming how good it was, but I didn’t think we got any in Singapore so I didn’t really take much notice. Also, when I was told about it a few years ago, I was still in the “but oil will give me breakouts” beauty level; which I will say: I was so wrong. Your skin needs oil, even if it gets breakouts! I’ve been using the serum for maybe 3 weeks now and I can tell you, this is one of the best skincare products I’ve ever tried. It’s absolutely fantastic, so fantastic I am thinking of just trying a bunch of his stuff and ditching my current skincare (even though it’s worked for me for about 9 years now!). It’s just SO good. My skin looks amazing. With natural ingredients of Vitamin A, C (both great for anti aging and brightening) and Omega 3+6 and Vitamin E (all great for moisturizing); it really is a powerful moisturizing anti aging serum. It goes on light and dries instantly, and has a yummy orange peel scent. You can find Ole Henriksen products at Sephora.

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Perfume! – Honey by Marc Jacobs, Roses de Chloe by Chloe and Viva La Juicy Noir by Juicy Couture

And, as regular readers will know, I am a *wee* bit of a perfume addict (understatement of the century?!). I went to the launch event for Marc Jacobs Honey back in July; and if you remember my post on Dot, I really was excited. I love the bottles and Honey is the fresher, lighter version of Dot. I really like it; though I can’t decide if I like Honey or Dot more. They are very similar, yet their “vibe” is a little different. (Dot is more sweet, and Honey seems a little more rebellious). Either way, I think it’s a non-fussy, everyday scent. And that bottle! Too gorgeous. I love looking at it on my side table, it just feels so sunny, happy and positive.

For Roses de Chloe – I mean, what can you say with that bottle? Chloe is the perfect place to go for a feminine, soft, timeless scent. While the latest release from Chloe, if you remember is Eau De Chloe. That was a very green, clean scent; and this one seems a little more rosy (well, duh), a little more “French royalty”. There is a powdery softness to it, yet there is also a “bang” to it. It’s soft yet in your face, feminine and light, yet very strong willed and powerful. I like this contrast – I immediately thought of a tough princess when I first sniffed it!

As for Viva La Juicy Noir… I mean look at that bottle. I have the 100ml one, so it’s huge! Much bigger than I expected, and the black and hot pink is so fun and girly. When I first smelt it, I couldn’t put my hand on why it smelt familiar; and then I realized that it reminded me of my last perfume reviews – it was the berries! It has that same sophisticated berry scent as Taylor and The Key; I wonder if berries are the hot new thing in perfume? However, once the initial top notes of berry is gone, the drydown for this perfume is absolutely stunning. I too, found it familiar and was wrecking my brain, thinking where have I smelt this before, and then I realized: it smells like the original Juicy Couture perfume. I can’t be the only one who remembered it coming out in 2006. I remember the smell so perfectly because EVERY girl had it and I sure did as well! So this perfume really brought back some memories for me which I loved. It’s a berry, floral scent and has such a bubbly, girliness to it.

You can find these perfumes at their respected brand shops, or at all department store perfume counters.

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Nip + Fab Multi Fix Oil

Dengue fever is often called “Breakbone” disease, so you can only imagine how painful it is. It literally feels like someone took a hammer and broke all your bones in your body. It is a real intense, deep soreness to your body and I was in so much pain during those few weeks, the only “relief” I could think of was someone massaging the soreness. I looked through all my loot to see if I had some kinda oil to use, and lo and behold; I found this lifesaver.

Seriously, I don’t think I could’ve gone without this oil those weeks of pain. As you can see, I’ve used so much! I think it’s 90% gone. It is a multi-purpose oil in that it can be used pretty much everywhere (however I believe there is mineral oil so probably best not to use it on your face). But it is excellent for the body. It goes on smoothly and the scent is a light “clean” one which I liked very much. It also dries into your skin (so no oily residue) and leaves it feeling super soft. I’m going to buy another bottle just for body moisturization in the night; but if for whatever reason you might also need a massage oil to soothe some sore muscles/bones, I would definitely recommend this one! I believe it is available in Watsons.

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Benefit Gimme Brow

Though Benefit was the very first thing I wrote about on this blog almost 6 years ago (!!!); I haven’t tried too many of their stuff until I was part of their fun event back in July. I’ve been keeping up to date with them, and right now, a star product you must run out and get is Gimme Brow. Remember how I said that my mom “stole” my other Benefit product, the Porefessional? Well, she also stole Gimme Brow, and now would like to let everyone know that Benefit is the best makeup brand in the whole world. I’d have to agree, I am starting to get seriously more and more impressed by their products.

Anyway – Gimme Brow. What can I say? I’ve used Brow mascaras in the past and I prefer it to the powder look, however those mascara brushes were so big and hard to use, and I do not have Cara Delevinge eyebrows, thank you very much! The tiny brush of Gimme Brow is the real innovation here, I think. It is just the perfect size for you to comb through without making a mess or the skin around the brown area, and goes on smoothly and quickly. The formula has tiny micro fibers that also “beef” up your brows giving it a fuller look. Love, love, love. My favorite place to play around with Benefit it at their Tangs Beauty shop, so have a look there!

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Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set

I’ve been hearing about eyeliners by Urban Decay and would always test them at Sephora in what feels like years, but I finally got the chance to try it out and boy, does it live up to expectations! These liners are so easy to apply – they literally glide on the skin – so drawing a line is super easy. They stay on all night and I find that the colors, though, like every brand they have the usual blacks, browns, etc, I feel there is a difference in them. They seem a little more shimmery, a little more dramatic; something about them seems so bold and dynamic. What I’ve been doing is applying black eyeliner at the top lash line, and gray on the bottom lash line. You can find this set at Sephora.

Phew… that’s about it for now! Such amazing products I’ve been using recently; and definitely ones that I’ll be using for a long, long time. What’s been up with everyone? I seriously feel so out of touch with everything! Update me? :)

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crowne-plaza-singapore-pool-1

It’s time to talk more about my staycation at Crowne Plaza! Honestly, I think the plan for me was just to write one post to review the whole place, but there are so many things to write about this place – yep, even though I was there for only a weekend, there were tons to do! – so I’m breaking it up. First I told you about the lovely hotel rooms (which I can honestly just spend all day there!) and now I want to talk about the gorgeous swimming pool.

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The swimming pool reminded me of those cool up town, apartment swimming pools, and it is located on the 3rd floor. As you can see, it has a very modern feel to it, and there is even some part of the pool blocked by a “sky wall” as I call it, so if you are one who doesn’t want to tan, but still lay by the pool, it’s perfect.

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As you can imagine, there isn’t much to say about a swimming pool – I am sure you all know what to do in one! – but I spend some time just lazying around, reading magazines, relaxing and it was perfect. As you can see, it is lovely and was quiet which I liked. It’s also a great place for photographs, since there is so much cool greenery around, and there were even a few weddings going on which was nice; and an option if you’re looking for places to do your ROM ;)

My next post will probably be a favorite of yours – the food! I’ll talk all about the lounge food and drinks, the buffet dinner (yum!!!) and the brunch I had Sunday afternoon before I checked out. Stay tuned for that!

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mark-hill-maracoilicious-hair-range-review

My best friend, Christine, is a beauty junkie quite like me, so from time to time I’ll be asking her to share her thoughts on what’s happening in the London beauty scene, as told to me. I like to call her my ‘London Reporter’! Enjoy…

I’ve been using these products for a few weeks and I am so impressed. These products are affordable and surprisingly hold up as well as salon hair care I’ve tried in the past. Out of the four products, my favorite is the hair mask; and Renee commented while we were Skyping how shiny my hair looks – it’s this range! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The ArganOil Hair Oil is light and non-greasy, great for my fine hair and even better as a heat protectant before styling. The shampoo and conditioner are great, but the real standouts are the Hair Mask and ArganOil. Those are my must-haves. I’d highly recommend this range for someone looking for a good moisturzing line of products. Even better that their ingredients list was full of ‘good’ ingredients such as argan oil, shea butter, vanilla extract and proteins like soy and wheat protein. A plus is that the scent is great! It has a tropical flower smell with slightly woody notes (my roommate loves it!). I can’t say more about this range. At first I was hesitant because I’ve been hearing a lot about argan oil and didn’t get the hype. But I would recommend this range 100%.

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overalls dungarees adults trend

Why yes, there’s another new fashion/beauty trend and it’s time we talk about it! This time round, I’m seeing overalls (or dungarees) making a big comeback… on adults. I used to wear them a lot as a kid, but I wonder – what do you think of this new trend on adults? It’s been all over the runways and street style blogs, so whether you love or hate this trend, it’s here to stay. At least for now.

I kinda like them. There is a child-like, casual-ness to it and it’s so easy to wear. I used to have a favorite one in 5th grade from Guess. It is so well made and “tough” that I’ve actually kept it all these years; and if only I didn’t grow like, a foot since then, ’cause I actually still fit it but I’m way too tall for it to hook. Oh well! I might find an adult version.

But what about you? Do you like overalls/dungarees?

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This time last week I was just coming back from staying at Crowne Plaza, the airport hotel at the one and only Changi Airport. They are having a special Rejuvenating Weekend Getaway promotion (now ’til December 31st 2013) and yours truly got a chance to review it. I was allowed to bring a guest, so I decided on my dear mom, who, right before I had dengue fever, she had it! So we both had been having quite a miserable few weeks and I thought it would be nice to treat her with a little getaway. We’ve also never done a mother-daughter thing like this, and so we were so excited. As you can see, boy were we treated! I’ll be doing several posts so you can experience the staycation as well, so first up: the lovely rooms! Helloooo.

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We had a room that walked out to the pool (you can request it, but it will go ‘while stocks last’ so secure that quick!); a lovely huge bathroom with a bathtub (I haven’t taken a bath in years so I really enjoyed that) a TV, iPod docking stations, a desk, couch, and of course a nice big comfy bed.

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And I mean… the view! The view was stunning. I loved staying right next to the pool.

The room itself is spacious enough to just hang out there all weekend, to be honest. It is 75sqm big and had pretty much everything you’d need in a bedroom. The bathroom was huge and was stocked with The White Company products, which I loved obviously; especially for my bubble baths! For some reason, I always like to see what products are used in hotels. We were also kindly greeted with a really nice note from the GM, Mr. Steven Chan.

Stunning, no? Next post will be about the amazing pool!

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kate spade darcel donut collection

Buy this cute sweater here.

I was browsing around the Interwebs the other night (or, as I tend to every night before going to bed), and one of my favorite places is the Kate Spade Tumblr page; which is full of fun color, girliness and… it’s just so much fun! While my personal style is very much the basic tees and jeans, I like to add some trendy bits to it; and Kate Spade’s new collection is right up my alley. And probably the first thing I noticed about their new KSNY x Darcel collection, is that it was full of one of my favorite things: donuts!

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I believe the collection is already in Singapore for some time (this is in no way a sponsored/PR driven post) but I thought it would be fun to share on the blog. The Kate Spade x Darcel collection features tons of fun ways to add a bit of donut fun into your daily fashion pieces. (But be warned, they are such a conversation piece you’ll find yourself saying, DONUT TOUCH ME. Ha!):

  1. Kate Spade Coin Purse (buy here): A fun way to keep all your small change. In a hot, bright pink color so you won’t ever lose it!
  2. Kate Spade Resin iPhone 5 Case (buy here): I always like bright handphone cases ’cause I always tend to misplace them! You’ll never forget your cellphone with this cute, loud case full of New York street bites!
  3. Donut Belt (buy here): Add a pop of fun quirkiness to your outfit with this donut belt. My donut belt will probably go with all my denim shorts.
  4. Darcel Donut Bangel (buy here): Talk about an instant conversation starter…
  5. Darcel Davie Cosmetic Case (buy here): Store your daily makeup and beauty must haves in this spacious, fun case.
  6. GOOEY Flats (buy here): Another way to add a more fun, spontaneous piece to your wardrobe.

Want more? Shop the Look:

Anyone remember my donut necklaces? These take it up a notch and I gotta get my hands on that sweater, coin purse and handphone case! :)

What are your favorite foodie things in fashion? Cupcakes? Donuts? Macaroon?

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beauty tip sand to exfoliate skin

Ah, it is time! Beauty Tip of the Week. Every Thursday, don’t forget! This week’s tip is the very last one for summer.

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While you’re having the last days of frolicking on the beach, remember to give your feet and skin a treat! Sand is a great exfoliator for your skin.

What I like to do, when having “long walks on the beach”, is that I’ll dip my feet in the ocean to make it wet. As I walk on the sand, the sad sticks to the water on my feet, and, as I walk, slowly exfoliates any dead skin cells on my feet (especially useful for high heel wearers). For the rest of your skin, sitting at the edge of the ocean and rubbing damp sand on your arms, legs and belly will naturally exfoliate as well. (Be gentle though, some sand can be very harsh for your skin. Rub it in small circular motions and do not put so much pressure.)

Have you ever tried exfoliating your skin with sand? Let me know what you think!

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