In the Hot Seat: Dr. Winston Lee Talks Carbon Laser Peels

 

Dr Winston Lee of SBA Clinic Singapore

Dr. Winston Lee, Medical Director of South Bridge Aesthetics (SBA) Clinic, Singapore.

 

Everyone dreams of having a perfect complexion. In every fashion advertorial we see, every model on Vogue’s cover page that stares sullenly back at us and every K-pop girl band music video, it seems as though attaining a flawless, youthful complexion is as easy as ABC. Photoshop makes it look like even the guys have no skin woes.

 

But things cannot be further from the truth. As I’m writing this in the quiet of my living room, the haze blows through my windows and the current 3-hour PSI reading is 93 (thank you Twitter). Sometimes, a good diet, exercise and proper sleep can only do so much when you’re living in a polluted city and facing non-stop stress at work.

 

That’s why today, I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Winston Lee, Medical Director of Southbridge Aesthetics Clinic Singapore, some questions about a unique facial treatment that they offer, known as Carbon Laser Peel, that can help you improve the way your skin looks and feels. He also dishes out skincare advice for women of different age groups. If you’ll like to find out more, read on.

 
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OOTD: On the Rocks at Ko Samet

 

Emigo Midi Dress

 

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

 

I’ve always loved the beach and there’s nowhere else other than in Asia where you can find white sandy beaches, where the sand feels like flour and making sandcastles feels like baking a huge pastry right under your feet. Singapore may be a port city, but we don’t exactly have beautiful beaches. That’s why, whenever we get an opportunity like this, it’s almost definitely to a beach somewhere else we go.

 

The very first beach we fell in love with was Bamboo Island back in 2009, off the coast of Ko Phi Phi Don in Thailand. Since then, every beach we’ve been to has instinctively been measured against this gem of a paradise. In this shoot, we travelled to Ko Samet, also located in Thailand but much further up north and along the eastern coast.

 

Emigo Midi Dress

 

Koh Samet by Laced Ivory

 

Emigo Midi Dress

 

Emigo Midi Dress

 

Midi Dress: Emigo

Earrings: Pelé

Bag: Triangl Swimwear

Sandals: New Look

Shades: Tory Burch

Ring: Lovisa

Photographer: Mr. Ratatouille

 
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Rave & Review: The Sara Happ The Pink Slip One Luxe Gloss

 

Sara Happ The Pink Slip One Luxe Gloss Review

Sara Happ’s The Pink Slip One Luxe Gloss – the best lip gloss in the world.

 

I’m going to straight up say this, that if there ever was a lip gloss in the world that one could marry, the Sara Happ The Pink Slip One Luxe Gloss would be it. This gloss is nothing short of amazing and here’s why.

 

The gloss itself is of a regular size (6ml) and it comes packaged in a nice metallic gold box. It delivers a gorgeous pink tint when applied and the colour lasts for many hours on end. It is also the most moisturising lip product I have ever owned. For a longtime beauty blogger like me to declare this, it says a lot about this product. It even beats other lip balms out there hands down. It has given me no allergic reaction, but instead soft plump lips with no flakiness. Even dead skin on my lips magically disappear by the time evening comes and I’ve had a whole day of wear. I swear, you don’t even need a lip scrub once you’ve discovered this product.

 

I wore it in one of my recent snaps on Instagram:

 

A photo posted by Roxanne C. (@lacedivory) on


 
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Link Love: Best Nail Blogs of the Moment

It’s not easy to come up with new designs when thinking up something for your nails. There are just so many brands, colours and finishes out there that stopping by Sephora can be quite a task. If you’re looking for something fresh, fun and that you’ve never thought of before, you might like to take an inspiration or two from these nine blogs, which I think are the best nail blogs out there right now.

 

Best Nail Blogs

 

1. A.J. from Nail Lacquer UK teaches us how to get Louboutin-esque nails. If you sharpen the tips more than what she does, I think you’ll make some pretty fine talons.

2. Michelle at All Lacquered Up swatches us some of Deborah Lippmann’s Fall 2015 colours.

3. Jen at Polish & Pearls shows us how red nails match black quilt oh-so-well.

4. Sammy at The Nailasaurus teaches us how to make swishes with any colour we like.

5. The peeps behind The Illustrated Nail gives us a look at how we can create bright designs using some OPI lacquers.

6. Sarah at Chalkboard Nails shows us what we’ll get when we mix some basic neutrals with a splatter of glitter.

7. Sam at Fashion Polish shares with us what polishes she used for this gorgeous gradient nail art.

8. Katy at Nailed It shows us how light shades can look so classy with a few rhinestones. The future bride in me screams wedding inspo!

9. Kelly at Vampy Varnish swatches some beautiful shimmery shades.

 
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Review: The Chanel Aqualumière High Shine Sheer Concentrate Lip Gloss in 69 and 91

 

Chanel Aqualumière Lip Gloss

Just a couple of Chanel glosses.

 

I discovered these gorgeous glosses quite by accident, when I was shopping for a gift for my mother, actually. If you shop for makeup and you love makeup, then you must know how distracting it is when you’re surrounded by nothing else but makeup – and a very professional makeup artist.

 

I requested to try on a shade or two, can’t remember which ones, but man was I sold the moment I saw the finished look on my lips. In today’s post, I feature two of my current favourite glosses, the Chanel Aqualumière High Shine Sheer Concentrate Lip Gloss in 91 Tutu and 69 Glass Quartz.

 

Chanel Aqualumière Lip Gloss

91 Tutu at the top, 69 Glass Quartz below.

 
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FOTD: Classic Hollywood Makeup Tutorial

 

Classic Hollywood Tutorial

 

Contouring is all the rage right now, and some people have even taken it a notch higher by introducing baking to the world. But what about the rest of us mere mortals who simply do not have that much time to master these techniques, or just plain don’t see the need for all that piling on of makeup?

 

In today’s Classic Hollywood Makeup tutorial, I teach you how you can achieve the classic Hollywood glam look without all of that. What you need are the following:

  • Dior‘s Diorshow Forever Compact Foundation SPF 25 PA++
  • Dior‘s Blush in 756 Rose Cherie
  • Urban Decay‘s Naked 3 Palette (Available it on Nordstrom here.)
  • Maybelline‘s HyperSharp Wing Eyeliner
  • Lash Curler
  • Majolica Majorca‘s Lash King Mascara
  • Falsies
  • Guerlain‘s Meteorites in 3 Medium
  • Julie Hewett‘s Belle Noir Lipstick (applied with a lip brush)

 

And here’s the video tutorial (available in HD):

 



 
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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – Beauty Exclusives

It’s the time of the year when the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on again! To save you some precious time – lord forbid anyone else getting to the items before you! – I’ve selected some beauty exclusives from the sale event which you’ll be happy to bag.

 


 

If you’ll like to see more, head on over to the Nordstrom sale site. After all, there’s nothing wrong with snooping around a little bit just to see what’s up for grabs, is there. Just remember: The sale ends 3rd August 2015.

 

Happy shopping,

Roxanne

Vietnam Tripping: Cruising in Crochet

 


Vero Moda Crochet Dress
 

Vero Moda Crochet Dress

 

Vero Moda Crochet Dress

 

Vero Moda Crochet Dress

 

Vero Moda Crochet Dress


 

Dress: Vero Moda

Earrings: JL Heart

Photographer: Mr. Ratatouille

 

The best part about being on a cruise is that you’re far away from the crowds. What’s even better is when your ship only has a handful of people on board, so you feel like it’s peace on earth.

 

We had a fun time to ourselves on the deck of our cruise ship that day. Destination: Halong Bay, Vietnam. Time: Shortly after sunrise. Feeling: Relaxed.

 
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Vietnam Tripping: Oriental Central Hotel Review

This was the third hotel we stayed at in Hanoi for our recent trip to northern Vietnam. I previously reviewed the first two hotels we picked. You can read about Hanoi Pearl Hotel here and Golden Sun Suites Hotel here.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

 

Oriental Central Hotel is located north of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, and is ranked on Tripadvisor as #2 of 521 hotels in Hanoi. It is also a recipient of the 2015 Travellers’ Choice Award for its service – and very rightfully so. We booked this hotel via Agoda and had no problems checking in.

 

Location

 

The hotel can be found at No. 39 Hang Bac Str, Old Quarter | Hoan Kiem, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam. It’s right smack in the center of the Old Quarter of Hanoi, is 100m away from the renowned coffee street and also close to the night market, which is open on weekends.

 

Room

 

We’d booked a superior double room, which was located on the 7th floor of the building. The corridors are pretty narrow – which seems to be a common feature of hotels in Hanoi – but definitely wide enough to fit our bulky luggage.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

Large comfy bed and pink rose petals.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

So intricately placed.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

Little lantern we didn’t use, but which added to the atmosphere in the room.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

Complimentary fruits, snacks, coffee and tea. It came with some utensils, which were definitely helpful.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

Gorgeous, gorgeous bathroom.

 

Oriental Central Hotel Review

It’s quite hard to beat a good brass rain shower.

 

Our room was a good size for two people and the interior of the bathroom was such a gem. A brass rain shower and china-esque basin are all you need to make a tiny space look luxurious. Everything was clean and neat, and the little notice on the vanity counter informed us that if we had wanted our sheets changed, all we needed to do was to place the rose on the bed. Now we know why Vietnamese hotel rooms have single stalks of roses in them!

 

Service

 

The service was excellent, if anything. The moment we arrived, there were the usual greetings and an invitation to take a seat in the lobby’s waiting area. While we waited as one of the receptionists checked us in, we were provided with drinks and cold towels. Then, another receptionist came by to ask us about our remaining time in Hanoi and she gave us a little session on where we could visit, showing us everything on a map. If it weren’t for her, we’d never know there was a coffee street just around the corner, where the French quarter was and where we could go for cheap beer and a good dinner.

 

On the final day of our stay in Hanoi, before we left for the airport, the hotel surprised us with a little bag of Vietnamese coffee as a gift. This was such a surprise, and definitely greatly welcomed because Vietnamese coffee is just so one-of-a-kind.

 

Overall & Price

 

It’s totally justified that Oriental Central Hotel is ranked as the 2nd hotel to stay at in Hanoi. The rooms, breakfast, service and price are very reasonable and the staff does its best to make you feel like everything’s under control, like you’ve got this. I’d recommend this hotel in a flash to anyone who’s travelling to Hanoi.

 

At S$66 a night, including buffet breakfast and free-wifi, it’s not the cheapest hotel in Hanoi but it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss.

 

Travel away,

Roxanne

Vietnam Tripping: 3 Cafes You Must Visit in Hanoi

 

The Hanoi Social Club

 

It wasn’t until my trip to Seoul last December with my BFF Alexis that cafe hopping really became a thing for me. This time, visiting northern Hanoi for the first time, I thought I’d check out a few cafes that many people had recommended online, either for their coffee, food or ambience. I must say that all you internet folks have been really kind – all the 3 cafes I ended up visiting were really cool!

 

To save you time sifting through the net space and looking up reviews separately, I’ve combined my reviews of the 3 best cafes in Hanoi here. I hope you’ll find this useful, and that you’ll check them out like I did.

 

{Click on the tabs below to reveal my reviews for the individual cafes.}

 

The Hanoi Social Club

The Hanoi Social Club.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

 

The Hanoi Social Club was our first stop the moment we reached Hanoi. I had heard nice things about the food and the decor of the place, apart from the fact that the owners were Australian. It’s located at 6 Hoi Vu | Hoan KiemHanoi 84Vietnam and has a certificate of excellence on Tripadvisor.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

A nice, cosy place for individuals or groups of people. You can even set up your laptop and work here in the day.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

Just sit back, relax and enjoy your iced egg coffee.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

I love those fairy lights.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

Little details make all the difference.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

The burgers are huge, so big eaters, you’ll be happy here.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

The waitress recommended us an African cappuccino and we weren’t disappointed with it. In case you were wondering why the table looks different from the one before, we changed seats just for fun.

 

You could head upstairs too, if you like, and that’s what we did. On the top floor is an open air verandah, where you can sit and chat with friends if you guys would like some fresh air. It’s not air conditioned, though, so if you can’t tolerate the heat like me, I’d recommend staying on the first floor.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

A little counter on the top floor.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

Lovely setting for groups.

 

The Hanoi Social Club

Yes, you’re in the right place.

 

I’d say drop by if you have the time. Although it isn’t exactly Vietnamese in terms of the interior and food, go for the coffee and cosy atmosphere if you can, and maybe pick a book or two off the shelves for an afternoon read.

 

The next cafe you should visit is Cafe Pho Co:

 

Caphe Pho Co Hanoi

The view of the cafe from the top floor of Caphe Pho Co.

 

Cafe Pho Co

 

Cafe Pho Co is a very tiny cafe that goes upwards instead of sideways. To find it can be a bit tricky, especially if you aren’t used to the way buildings are constructed in Hanoi. It’s located at 11 Hang Gai, Hang Trong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam and also has a certificate of excellence on Tripadvisor. If you’re just walking around shopping along the streets of Hang Gai, you might unknowingly pass it by. Just remember, 11 Hang Gai.

 

Caphe Pho Co Hanoi

First, you need to pass through this tiny, unlit passageway.

 

Caphe Pho Co Hanoi

And after that, you’ll see something that looks like someone’s backyard. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not but it sure looks rustic enough.

 

Once you get here, place your order at the counter on the left, and then head upstairs via the steep steps on the right. If you need the restroom, it’s located under this flight of steps but you might need to bring your own toilet paper. Climbing up the stairs, plus a spiral staircase (which can only take one person at a time), and then another flight of steps will take you to the very top.

 

Caphe Pho Co Hanoi

Heading up the steps with such pretty lanterns.

 

Caphe Pho Co Hanoi

On the way up.

 

It’s really something, this cafe. There’s nothing luxurious about it but the quirky decor more than makes up for the lack of fancy mugs or five-star comfort. I could spend an entire hour or so just admiring the knick knacks propped up everywhere. You have to climb all the way up to the fourth floor if you want a nice view of the lake in the city centre, but there is an air conditioned room one floor below that if you can’t take the heat (and if there is space).

 

Caphe Pho Co Hanoi

An iced egg coffee and pineapple juice.

 

We spent some time at the top floor that afternoon. Although my makeup was melting from all the heat, it was nice to just be able to sit down under the shade with some iced beverage. The iced egg coffee was good, just the way we expected it to be and I recommend it to everyone heading here.

 

The final cafe you need to check out the next time you’re in Hanoi is Cong Caphe:

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

Cong Caphe sells their own coffee too, and it might be worth a buy as a souvenir.

 

Cong Caphe

 

Cong Caphe is definitely a cafe with character. It has several outlets throughout Hanoi, including one just opposite the cathedral in the French Quarter, but the one you should visit is the one at the start of the famed coffee street (35B Nguyen Huu Huan, Ly Thai To, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam).

 

Like the other good cafes in Hanoi – and the rest of Vietnam, I would suppose – the coffee here is thick and full of flavour. We ordered a normal cup of iced coffee with milk and a juice and had a good time chilling out on the second floor.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

The moment you enter, you’ll step into a tiny counter with staff wearing uniforms that look very military.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

Random bottles for sale.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

Old photos of Vietnam from eons ago decorate the cafe.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

Such narrow steps! Only one person can walk through this space at a time.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

A little corner near the stairs that really takes you back to history – without the air conditioning remote controls.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

The interior of the cafe that I fell in love with. You can choose to sit on chairs or just cross your legs on the platform.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

On the second level where it was more crowded.

 

Cong Caphe Hanoi

On the top floor, which wasn’t open yet as the lower floors still had space. The staff was kind enough to let us poke around in here for a bit.

 

The inspiration for Cong Caphe is undoubtedly the Viet Cong, as seen by the communist themed decorations (and the name of the café). The walls are made pock-marked and rugged-looking, as if there was no time to place tiles over the cement as it dried. The seats are wooden and simple, matched with bright red cushions. It’s air conditioned but with the doors and windows open, all you feel is just a little respite from the heat outside. If you aren’t a fan of chairs, you can also plop yourself on one of the cushions on the floor around a table and have your cuppa like how they used to do it in the good old days.

 

If you do drop by this branch, it would be nice to spend some time checking out the bits and pieces of props all over the place, such as the old-school green metal boxes that act as makeshift tables and pictures that show the history of Vietnam. They also sell their own coffee beans, which you can buy as a souvenir for loved ones back home. Just don’t be surprised when someone in military wear approaches you for your order when you enter the cafe or when you pay before you leave.

 

Drink up,

Roxanne