Monthly Archives: September 2016

Makeup Transfer

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This one was a struggle from beginning to end.

Like all transfers, you have to cut it down to size first, then position it carefully before wetting the paper to let transfer the pattern to your skin. Doing this around your own eyes is not easy, as you can’t really see what you are doing until it is too late to put things right.

In this case, the pattern – whilst very pretty in the packet – was so big that various parts of it stuck to each other as soon as daughter #2 opened her eyes. OK, so maybe it hadn’t been given long enough to dry, but it was still way more tricky than it needed to be.

Even at only S$2, this kind of thing is not good for much but messing around on a lazy afternoon or – potentially – as a fun embellishment to a fancy dress costume. Good luck!

Sequin Lipstick


OK, I suppose I might have guessed this was never really going to deliver what it promised, and the fact that there was no ‘tester’ available should have warned me… but at only 35 Baht in Bangkok’s Chinatown, it was potentially too cool to be left behind.

In my defence, there did appear to be a sequin effect embedded into the colour, but in practice there was barely any shade noticeable on the lips, let alone glitter. Never mind, we live and learn, and this amused me enough at the time to make the purchase worthwhile.

Collagen Tea (and low-cal cupcakes)

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This little café was quite a find, with its Japanese ambiance and colourful treats to eat. We particularly liked the collagen tea, which has a bright turquoise layer of collagen jelly on the bottom, through which you drink your tea. OK, it is slightly odd, but in a country where tea regularly comes full of sago pearls and fruit ‘boba’ bubbles, it isn’t too much of a challenge.

The low calorie cupcakes were a bonus. Lady A Cupcakes actually offers nothing to eat but cupcakes, on the grounds that it if focuses on one thing, it will do a better job.

So the cake is light, either Madagascar vanilla or Belgian chocolate, sitting on a base of caramelised cookie for an interesting difference in texture. The low calorie frosting does not overwhelm the cake, unlike other brands I could mention, and is less sugary so you can actually taste the flavour.

As the menu says: ‘I am baked for the ladies, so I am always less sweet, has lower calories and I look really pretty too~ I know these are important to you.’

Our cupcake and collagen tea sets cost just S$4.90, which made this a tasty and very affordable treat.

Beware of Kites

Category : Other


The notice says it all – and visitors to Enoshima, an island near Kamakura in Japan, had best beware.

The kites hover round and really do swoop in to seize whatever treat you may be eating as you wander along the beach or over the causeway to the island. We were all scared silly and daughter #1 almost lost an ice cream as one bird made a determined bid to grab it from her hand.

Luckily she turned just in time, and our shrieks of surprise were enough to send it off to find more easy prey…

Eyelash Curlers

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These have been around for ever, and look like instruments of torture to me, but I am told that they provide an essential finishing touch.

Here is a slightly updated version from Japan, with ‘teeth’ to separate lashes which might otherwise clump together. Daughter #2 thought it was great, working far better than her usual curlers to spread out her lashes and make them look ‘amazing’.

She took that home with her too, which is fine. There was no way I would be persuaded to incorporate that into my daily routine…

Garlic Ice Cream


Savoury ice creams can be very tasty… I am very partial to the chilli crab version that one of my favourite restaurants here serves, and have always like the smoked salmon and brown bread option that has been around for decades.

I may, however, have hit the wall here.

Mad For Garlic is a restaurant chain which is hugely popular in Korea and now also has a couple of branches in Singapore.

Garlic is a great favourite in our family, so this place had to be tried, and every dish we had up to the point of dessert was delicious. Common sense might have prevailed at that point, but in our case, when it comes to trying new things, I confess that it rarely does.

So we ordered the garlic ice cream.

Technically, it is not really the ice cream that is garlic flavoured, but the ‘sweet garlic jelly’ and ‘garlic berries’ that come with it. But the effect is the same. I am sorry to admit that this was a dish too far. We not only could not finish it, we couldn’t actually face more than a couple of teaspoons each. Good job we only ordered a single portion to share. Never again!

Dragon Ear Cuffs

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It must have something to do with Game of Thrones, but I am seeing dragons everywhere. Take these fabulous ear cuffs, which slip easily over the edge of your ear and give you the whole fierce dragon-taming look in seconds.

These came from the immense and magical 24 hour emporium that is the Mustafa Centre in Singapore, for a ridiculously low S$4.95, and could not be left behind.

Daughters #1 and #2, you’re welcome!

Cream to Powder (and vv)

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Makeup which turns from  one texture to another  is popping up in the product lines of several Asian cosmetics companies.

You can get powder cheek and lip colours which develop a creamy consistency as they react with the moisture on your skin, then also a stick base cream which dries into powder within seconds. Both types are interesting, unusual, and seem to work very nicely – the finished effect is no different from what you get with normal cosmetics, but the way they transform themselves is the selling point.

We tried the Za CC stick, which is described as a one-step day cream to finishing powder which should last all day for a shine free and pore-less complexion. (Za, incidentally, aims to help ‘women who aspire to ‘cosmopolitan city life’ gain the confident and attractive beauty look’.)

This particular product apparently contains both stretch-fit powder and smart oil control powder, which are activated as you blend the cream in with your fingers. Daughter #2 said she liked it, although she would probably wear it like foundation over concealer rather than simply as a day cream. It comes in just 2 colours, natural and light.

The cheek and lip variety are available from a number of companies, but we tried only 2, both of which provided plenty of novelty and were nice enough to be used again.

Touch In Sol, a Korean company whose brand is described as suiting ‘Ladies who Wannabe – Twinkle Star, Sexy & Cute, Classy & Lovely’, make creams which turn into powder, which are possibly better for your cheeks than your lips but which can be used for either.

It’s Skin is also a Korean firm, whose little bottles of powder turn into cream on both lips and cheeks. There are 5 different shades, which are described as vivid but which we found to be fairly subtle unless you applied several layers. The product isn’t sticky as you’d expect, and feels more like a lip tint than the thicker cream of a lipstick. This one got a big thumbs up.

Build A Burger

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With the possible exception of MOS, I don’t do burgers. But I know people who do and so it was I found myself in a branch of McDonalds offering something a little bit different.

For a start there was a touch screen ordering system, although since you still had to queue for your food I am not sure how much time that saved. I suppose at least it ensured you actually got what you thought you had ordered, or if not then it was your own mistake…

But the real draw here was the chance to create your own burger through a series of steps offering a choice of condiments, toppings and so on.

You want caramelised onions, jalapeno relish and pineapple on there? Pickles, mustard and guacamole?? No problem! The possible permutations are doubtless too numerous to calculate without technological help, so I have to admit that I was impressed.

This seems to have been a limited trial run in Singapore so far, but (despite it being McDonalds) I sort of hope it will reappear soon.

Light Up Menu


I know I am not the only person who has trouble reading menus in the dark. By this I usually mean the menus you get at dimly lit cocktail bars, where I apparently cause no end of embarrassment to my daughters by using the flashlight on my phone.

Imagine my delight in Bangkok, at the Moon Bar on the 61st floor roof of the Banyan Tree Hotel, when presented with a menu that lit up. I have no idea how the technology behind this works, only that the pages sprang to life as the covers opened, and my only problem then was choosing what to order.