Monday, November 02, 2009

Moved house from a Cavern somewhere Nice

I have actually reserved the below url for a long time. And I finally have enough courage to leave behind Dreamcavern as my standard online moniker for a name that I feel fits my blog content better - Positively Nice

I hope to see you over there. *smiles*

My Learning Curve

Wow! I thought I have reached a small plateau in my beauty learning curve, but I suddenly found a whole lot of new and good reads through The Body Shop Blog, after voting for Viva Woman to win the Naturally Beautiful Blogger Award.

Those other blogs offer perspectives that are different, refreshing, and thus brings me new beauty knowledge. As usual, I like to take down notes as I read, and here are some of the highlighted ones that I want to incorporate in my life, and so wish to share with you:

1. 5 Wonderful Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
~ by Beauty Secrets Revealed

Picture Courtesy of Beauty Secrets Revealed

Actually, I have known of Apple Cider Vinegar for 10 over years already. And I have tried drinking it before. But gave up, cos it is just too horrible to down a normal 250ml cup.

But what caught my eye is "just ingesting 2 teaspoons before meals"!

hahaha. That's so clever!

For locals who have listened to FM97.2 and know of Easy Billy/Dongfang Billy, you may have heard of him talking about using Apple Cider Vinegar for slimming. My mother bought his "secret recipes" book back then. But he didn't say in his book that 2 teaspoons before each meal is enough. So I tried to drink a whole cup a day. LOL.

Note: The book was written as a notebook about the food explorations done during his fight against throat cancer. Accordingly, he says that those health recipes helped him recover from cancer the first time. Unfortunately, the disease has now returned, after some 10 years.

2. Minty Mouthwash
~ by Wellness Oasis

Picture Courtesy of Wellness Oasis

What I really like about this is that it does not contains alcohol. Alcohol mouthwash can actually be bad, as alcohol is drying, and may end up inducing bad breath instead. There are also tonnes of worries of how alcohol mouthwash have the same effect as drinking alcohol, thus causing cancer etc.

Also, Wellness Oasis has so many super duper natural recipes for weird things, like nail treatments, footspray, deordorant etc. haha, just like how Viva Woman has yummy DIY masks recipes and more.

I totally must try all these out some time.

3. My #1 Piece of Health Advice
~ by All Natural Annie

Picture Courtesy of All Natural Annie

To fight flu, just use "one finely chopped clove of garlic and a tall glass of water".

Sounds like a really good idea! I normally drink 3 in 1 ginger tea if I feel the flu coming. I never knew garlic could be drunk like that.

I don't like to take medicine when I fall sick, because I belong to one of those who subscribe to the belief that taking so much panadol and antibiotics will make your immune system so use to it, that you develop resistance towards simple medicine, like panadol. And then you will end up having to take stronger and stronger medicines. But potent medicines have A LOT of side effects. Don't forget, they are still drugs afterall.

So natural garlic method is the way to go! =)))

Note: I have a friend who was wrongly diagnose of SARS during the SARS period, and he was made to take the SARS antibiotics, because the country just couldn't risk having someone out in the public with suspected SARS. It now ends up that he complains his body has weakened drastically, and he has lost his pre-SARS size and muscles. Basically, he said "it's just not the same anymore."

4. Interview with Patricia M. Bannan, registered Dietitian.
~ by All Natural Annie

I am so glad to find this post, as it gives a very good list of health food to swap your current meals for. This is something that I have posted about, but mine is an incomplete list, and also does not explains why each food is good.

I think those who like me, are trying to eat healthier, will find the tips really useful.

Below is a snippet of the list that I have taken the liberty to make. All credits to All Natural Annie and Patricia M. Bannan:

You hear of a lot of top 10 lists for healthy food/super foods, what top 10 items come to your mind when you think of healthy food?

  1. A variety of colorful vegetables (e.g., spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli)
  2. A variety of colorful fruits (e.g., oranges, berries, kiwis)
  3. Whole grains (oats, quinoa, barley, whole wheat)
  4. Nuts (e.g., pistachios, almonds, walnuts)
  5. Omega 3-rich fish (e.g., wild salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel)
  6. Beans (e.g., black, kidney, garbanzo, navy)
  7. Lean meat and poultry – natural when possible (e.g., Hormel® Natural Choice® deli sandwich meat)
  8. Whole soy (e.g., tofu, soy milk, soy nuts, edamame)
  9. Tea (e.g., black, green, white, oolong)
  10. Low-fat dairy (e.g., plain low-fat yogurt, skim milk)



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Body Shop Honey Moisturizing Shampoo

Time for raves again! After that mini-rant against TBS all natural image, here is something for it. =)

The Body Shop Honey Moisturizing Shampoo

Available: TBS outlets @ $16.90


Star Properties:
For Dry/Damaged/Chemically Treated Hair.
A rich, creamy, moisturising and gently cleansing shampoo that leaves the hair softer, more manageable and healthy-looking. With regular use it will help improve the condition of the hair over time. (Copied from TBS website.)

TBS Honey Moisturizing Shampoo, picture courtesy of TBS website.

Ok, I think we are all too familiar with TBS bottles. hahaha. All I can say is that the suction power is there, despite the way it looks like a toner bottle and everything will flow out without control. It doesn't. Coupled with the viscosity of the shampoo, one definitely has control over how much you want to squeeze out.

Very unfortunately, I find that this shampoo totally doesn't spreads. I squeezed out equal volume as I use from 1 pump of shampoos like Essential/Asience. But ended up, it wasn't enough, and I had to squeeze out another 2 more times that same amount!

So given the small 250ml volume, I think if I use it everyday, I am gonna finish it in a break neck speed of 1 bottle a month!

$16.90 for one month vs $16.90 (for Asience) for 6 months. *faints*

Shampooing Feel
To be honest, I hate this shampoo when I am using it. Unlike other shampoos, this one doesn't gives the immediate smooth feel effect. There was just no way I could glide my hands and comb my hair while shampooing. Very irritating.

The Ultimate Surface Finish After Hair Dries
Superb! I don't know if it's because I couple this with Essential's Orange Hair Treatment as conditioner (since I didn't buy the TBS conditioner), but wow wow! I can feel my hair ultra soft, untangled, straight and smooth throughout 2 days.

And guess what? I couldn't bring myself to wash my hair the next day. Cos I am so scared of losing that silky hair feel.

I really think that the softness is comparable, and maybe even slightly better than Asience shampoo and conditioner. It's definitely better than both Essential Pink and Orange Conditioner.

Just a shampoo alone can make so much difference? I am amazed with TBS Honey Shampoo.

My Skepticism
Yes, I was very skeptical about TBS Honey Shampoo, cos if you ask me, NO, Honey doesn't works for hair.

I have used the full range of L'oreal Elseve Royal Jelly for dry, damaged hair, but none of it works. Not even the night leave-on and day cream. (Maybe I was using a wrong range that's why. But I can swear by L'oreal Elseve Anti-frizz range.)

As for Essential which claims to use high purity honey, I am satisfied for the price. I like the pink conditioner for its volumizing and detangling properties. But the Orange range doesn't seems to work at all. Only the Orange Treatment is quite good.

Yep, so I love it: 5 hearts!
That's if you can afford $16.90 a month for shampoo. I got it cheaper at the atrium sale to try. So probably not buying again.

Labels: , , ,

Something to Say About The Body Shop

I am sure a lot of us know of the TBS Atrium Sale at Tampines Mall, and have been there already. My SO and I have also been there, and gotten some loots. =)))) Congrats to those who have picked up useful things and saving beauty money!

But what really makes me want to write about TBS is that I cannot understand why people keep thinking it is natural. And some try to argue their way out.

I am not against TBS, in fact, I like their products, and think some of them really works! But I feel that it is great injustice to really, truly natural and/or organic brands that TBS is seen to be on the same level as them. So I hope to open things up, and shed some light on this issue.

TBS products are NOT natural. Neither are they going huge on being natural with their products. They don't even have a full fledged mineral cosmetics range. The closest I can think of, which I have not seen in Singapore stores, is what Viva Woman alerted the public to: Nutriganics from The Body Shop.

They are just practising beauty ethics, and being Green, and eco-friendly. (In fact, I am not sure if going to far-flung places and digging out new plants is REALLY eco-friendly or not. For those who have studied human geography, and know about the side effects of eco-tourism, and eco-industrialization, you know what I mean.)

Step 1: Feel their bottles. Squeeze it.
You will notice that the plastic is very much softer than others. Look at the plastic label at the bottom, and you should see a triangle with 1 inside. That is plastic indication, meaning Polyethylene Terapthalate.

It is low strength plastic that is recyclable.

So if you want to be more beauty natural and eco-friendly, please kindly recycle all your TBS bottles. =))) I do! I wash out the soap from the bottles and send them to my Town Council's fortnightly recycle group.

Step 2: Look again at their paper bags.
Notice that they give you takeaway bags without handles for small purchases, and large paper bags for things like the Tampines Mall Atrium sale. These are all made from recycled paper. And of course, you can, and should recycle it.

Step 3: Look at their movements and promotions.
The Help is At Hand, Stop Sex Trafficking advertisement is still around in some MRT stations. Movements like these help us to be aware of the less fortunate around the world. So help if you can afford the hand cream. =)

Apart from the things that our eyes can see, here is the rest of the Green efforts that they are making: Values & Campaigns: Our Green Efforts.

The Reason - Why I say they are not natural in terms of products
Step 1: Look at the ingredients list.
All the bodywash the I have seen contains SLS.
I did not get rashes from it, to my delight. =)

Step 2: Look at the ingredients list again.
Their body lotion and hair creams etc contains a lot of silicones which some, including me are quite sensitive to.

Step 3: Compare the ingredients list to something organic.
Now you will see the difference. TBS has mainly all chemicals.

haha, so that's all for bringing justice to truly natural and/or organic products.

Below is a you-can-try-it-too list: (they are all things that I like from TBS)
- Cassis Rose perfume
- Brazil Nut Anti-Frizz Hair Cream
- Honey Shampoo
- Musk Shower Gel (this is my favourite. ALL the other flavoured gels are just simply, flavoured, nothing special.)


Monday, October 26, 2009

5 Traits Successful Weight Losers Share

5 Traits Successful Weight Losers Share

Cosmetics Expiry Checklist

Cosmetics Expiry Checklist

Friday, October 23, 2009

DeCosmet Gentle Cleansing Gel

I think I have doing my dear old cleansing gel a great disservice by procrastinating a post on it for this long. The main reason being, my cleansing gel can't be bought easily off shelves, so I feel a post on it wouldn't help others much... ...

But over the years, quite a handful of people have asked me, that if I can't use off-the-shelves/counter brands cleanser, what am I using???

haha. And my usual answer would be, "oh, it's just a some Swiss brand."

I think this answers satisfies their curiosity, because the name Swiss seems to say something good. Think in the direction of Swiss alps, good water, makes sense for a skincare company to go there right? haha.

So finally, this is dedicated to the First Non-irritating Cleanser in my life, which I have been sticking to for 3 years.

DeCosmet Gentle Cleansing Gel

Available: Probably through me. I will contact my beautician, she will contact her supplier, and the supplier will pass back the product, then I can mail you or something. $42 iirc.

Volume: 135ml

Star Properties: pH balanced. Extremely little ingredients. Planty-based. Contains beads of cleansing agents.

Decosmet Gentle Cleansing Gel. Picture courtesy of

Good: Transparent. Pump bottle.

No good: Heavy (bad for travelling, but I still bring the whole bottle anyway. lol.). The plastic cap is lose after long term usage, and it cracks easily.

Really nice mild smell! Love it so much. Non-offensive, or over-powering at all. There is no stated added fragrance. =))

Really very little. Till now, I can't find a cleanser that has as little ingredients as this, yet feels so nice, cleanses well, and does not irritates my skin.

Everytime I hear "for sensitive skin", I check the ingredients, and it just turns me off. Either the list is too long, or the chemical content is too high. Brands like Simple, are actually not simple at all.

Ingredients list:
Aqua, Copaiba Balsam, Glycerin, Orchid Fruit extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Green Spheres, Propylene Glycol, Photo-Reflecting Agent.

pH balanced
Honestly, I am not sure if this factor is really so important. But since this cleanser is working well for me, I guess it plays a part.

Gel form. Pardon me, cos I can never understand why people say that gel form is drying. This cleanser never leaves my skin taut.

This is also water based, so it's really light, spreads well with good coverage, and suitable for sensitive skin.

Pump Amount
Actually, if you press down the entire pump, it's a lot. Too much for my face, imo. I have to control the pump and press about a black bean size/two red beans. Yup, just so little is enough. Strange right. If you really find it not enough, just use 3 red beans size, no need the whole pump.

Doing it this way, the bottle actually lasts me 8-9months. Amazing right.

The gel hasn't spoiled. Cos there is no smell or change in colour, and it works just as effectively. I don't breakout from it as well. So I don't think it will spoil.

I think it's because the planty ingredients are just extracts, not exactly natural or anything. But I am not particular about this. My main concern is that it works, and don't irritate me. As it is way to difficult for me to find something that can go on my skin (I can't be fussy).

After Feel
Very good. Never taut. My skin feels smooth enough. But not as softening as some products I've used, like masks...

I like it: 5 hearts

I don't think I will ever find another product like that - with little ingredients, yet higher amount of non-chemical ingredients, and at quite an okay price for the 9 months that it lasts.

Note: A forumer told me that there is a brand called Isoderm, which is also pH balanced, and for sensitive skin, and at around half the price of mine. Just fyi for those other people with sensitive skin, you might like to check out Isoderm too.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fighting Acne - The Unconventional Way

Prevention is better than cure.

I have read countless posts on how to treat acne/pimples/cysts. Extremely helpful as they may be, the take home message that I always get is that, prevention is better than cure. (I am very thankful for some of the articles, like Splendicity, and Viva Woman's.)

If in the first place, I don't have a pimple to begin with, then what for would I need a pimple cream, or tea tree oil (lol. I invested in a 100% pure one from Thursday Plantation, and it's left on my shelf collecting dust now.), or honey, or go through painful needle extractions during facial?

So after concluding from some of my observations, I decided that one of the best ways to fight acne, is by the "torturous", maybe time-consuming, but very beneficial way - A Healthy Lifestyle.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is the indirect, frequently overlooked, unconventional way of stopping all that unpleasant zits from popping out all over. And I have many athletic friends who can "prove" it. I am always so envious of the guys' baby smooth face. And even more envious when they say they use nothing but normal soap and/or water to wash their faces.


So how did I go about trying to lead a healthier lifestyle?

In my opinion, I feel that this can be divided into 2 big catergories, that is exercise and diet.

1. DECIDE that you want to lead a healthier lifestyle. (I wouldn't say healthy, just aim for moderate, healthIER lifestyle)

2. Start moving.
I started off with the little exercises that one kind friend devised for me. That includes things like leg bend, calf lift, squats, cruches, and swimming. Very simple, at low intensity, low repetition.

Then I also added in cycling.

Subsequently, I cut out magazine articles and start to follow them. This is very good! Just grab any girly mag, like Seventeen, Cleo, Women's Weekly, sure to see a page of healthy lifestyle.

3. Increase the repetitions and intensities as you go along.
I just increase after around 1 week, then 2, because by instincts, I feel that I am stronger, and can do more times. So this is up to individual to judge for yourself.

4. Stick to whatever movements you are doing for 4-8 weeks to see results.
Then you might like to change, e.g. your aerobic exercise can change from cycling to jogging, swimming, dancing/workout, ball games with friends.

Anyway, by that time, the next issue of magazine would have come out with new ideas, so just keep a lookout.

I don't mean go on a diet, starve yourself. I find it torturous to feel hungry. And I am against being extremely underweight, anorexic, bulimic etc. (My reasons range from being unable to donate blood, lack nutrients/hormones to have baby, bad fatless dry and hairy skin and more.)

Diet simply means change the things and way you eat, not don't eat.

1. Start by replacing one meal.
I chose lunch. Instead of just eating any amount of whatever I want, I choose boiled stuff, soup stuff, vegetarian, such as brown rice.

Also, take in protein from soy, beancurd, eggs, nuts, instead of meat. I don't abstain. Just take less. Cos I believe we should eat from every catergory.

Then for dinner, I also try to cut down on the processed food.

I am aiming to replace my peanut butter bread breakfast with banana, milk and oat by this week. (Here is a fellow beauty blogger's post on banana breakfast.)

2. Be on a calorie deficit
haha, actually this is for losing weight. But oh well, having a smaller waistline is part of beauty right. hehe.

Calorie deficit simply means eat lesser calorie than you use in one day. Normal sedentary lifestyle adult should be around 1500 kcal - 1800 kcal a day.

***It's very important to include the calorie from your drinks!!!
Simply don't take sweet drinks, you should be fine with this part.

3. Take vitamins the right way. Eat fruits, eat dark green leafy vegetables. Kiwi, banana, brocolli, mushrooms, all these are good food.

This is very important. Because it is quite common for people to think that going on a lean diet means cutting everything. You need to cut the bad things, but increase the nutrients. So that's why choosing is important. Choose the nutrients dense stuff.

The following is a simple list I can type off-hand:
Wholegrains/Carbo (oat, barley, brown rice, wholemeal bread)
Good fats (salmon, sardine, mackerel)
Vegetable (brocolli, spinach)
Fruit (kiwi, banana)
Protein (soy bean/milk (lactose free), plain boiled beancurd, eggs, skim milk/cheese/yohurt)

The idea is to cut fats/saturated fats. Protein makes us feel we are full, so we eat lesser. They are also used to build our DNA, bones, everything. Carbohydrates are to make us think we are full. We crave sweet things, and carbo, so if you cut carbo totally, you will just keep thinking you are so, so, so hungry. As for fats, the latest article I read says a normal adult only needs less than 50g a day.



A healthier, prettier, happier you!

Asides from my skincare, I do think that this change in lifestyle has contributed significantly to the fact that I don't need to touch the pimple cream for weeks already.

Not only for the face, but I read that if you suffer from body acne, diet also helps a lot. But I am unable to testify for that, as I only get one or two body acne if my clothes are too tight, and I fail to bathe quickly after sweating (during chalet).

I know, this post is so long. But I sincerely hope it can help someone out there. Signing off here. =) Bye.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 15, 2009

O2 Skin Fruit Yoghurt 5-min Wash-off Masks

I am so happy to find yet another item that can be added on to my MoneySense tag. And that is O2 Skin Fruit Yoghurt Masks!

I first came across O2 Skin Fruit masks when I brought a dear friend to O2 Skin outlet at AMK Hub. My friend bought both the Mango and Orange wash-off mask, and I asked her to let me have a look.

I did not try it, but from the looks of it, it's really wow! It looks and smells like real Mango. I had to try hard to suppress the urge to eat up the tub of Mango mask. hahahaha. (Unfortunately, at that time, I did not take a picture, so I can't show you anything. But there are quite a few O2 Skin outlets around, and do take a look if you pass by one of them.)

So, that has led me to have quite a good impression of O2 Skin Fruit Masks. And when I got a free 3-piece Fruit Yoghurt Mask packet from O2 Skin Workshop, I was delighted, and excited to want to try it.

O2 Skin Fruit Yoghurt Mask

Available: O2 Skin outlets

(I will check this out.)

Star Properties:
5-minute and all the goodness will be infused!

O2-Skin Fruit Yoghurt Mask x3 Free Trial Pack

The back. The ingredients are okay. Not poisonous, but definitely not natural, for those who are concerned.

It is white, with dense dots of fruit (strawberry/cucumber/orange) everywhere.

Very good! Not too thick, not too watery. Easy to spread all over face.

Strawberry: No effects, in my opinion.

Cucumber: OMG! This IS good! I think this is a must try. It's super hydrating, smoothening, and softening. If anyone remembers my rave on Blanc de Blanc 3-in-1 Hydrating Mask, now, I can say that, this cucumber mask is better than that! My face was super velvety and soft after I only used half that packet of cucumber mask. Velvety as in really the slightly furry, smooth feel. Literally. haha. Sorry, but this is too amazing that I have to emphasize it.

Orange: I haven't try this.

The Best Part
Of course, the best part for this would be it only takes 5 min! I personally always find myself very busy, and I can't bear waiting 20 - 30 minutes for masks to have their effects. The waiting time bores me out, as I can't have any facial expression for so long. haha.

Not sure if you also like to be fast, and save time like me. But a 5-min OK mask is really appealing for city-dwellers.

Sensitive Skin
So far so good. =) No problems with Strawberry and Cucumber. Will try orange soon.

I love it: 5 hearts.
This only applies to the cucumber mask, as it is very hydrating. I wouldn't recommend buying the strawberry at all.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Latest Beauty Discovery to Share!

I think some people already know about this, but I think it would still be good to share what I've just discovered for myself.

My eye gel can be used for removing laugh lines. Hooray!! =)))

Laugh lines are the lines that normally begin from the nodes of your nose down to the sides of the mouth. It is where the skin folds when you laugh, and sort of defines the cheeks. And the appearance of these lines will make you look a lot older than you actually are.

If you have dry or dehydrated skin like I do, you will notice that these fine lines appearing, even at a very young age. Mine has been slightly visible since around 3 years ago. And they have recently becomes a crease that doesn't goes off even when I have a straight face.

I personally think laugh lines are fine for middle age ladies as I am all for graceful aging, but it's just not fine to see it on someone still schooling.

So you can imagine out freaked out I was when I see that my lines did not go away. I have two, because I laugh evenly, I only laugh when it's really funny, I don't sly smile. hahaha.

I've heard that you can just have one. And if it's on the right side, the person is a sly and cunning one. If it's on the left, the person is a meek, shy one.


Yup, so I needed to find a quick remedy, and I thought, hey, since eye cream is for smoothing out fine lines and dark circles, why can't I use it to smooth out my other fine lines???

So I tried.

And tadaa! I am so glad to announce, and I believe many of you will be so glad to hear, that it works!! And it works very well.

Within two days of apply my eye gel to my laugh lines, I can safely say that it disappeared. Now my laugh lines spring back, and doesn't stays as a crease.

So I continued using it to maintain that part as hydrated as possible. (Fine lines form because the skin is not hydrated enough.)

I am fine now. =))) And I now believe that eye gel is more hydrating than normal moisturizer, and that mine works. LOL. Cos I always thought that my eye gel is rubbish, as it doesn't do much for my eyes. But now, I think, it's the undereye fine lines that are beyond hope. Just too deep.

So, I hope this will help somebody out there. If you have laugh lines, don't fret. Quickly try your current eye cream/gel on your laugh lines!! All the best!

Labels: , , ,