Sunday 29 December 2019

all the hair care products you'll ever need

Besides my face, my hair is another part of my body that requires high maintenance. Maybe because over the years they have been subjected to tons of hair dyes and once bleach. Don't ever bleach unless you want to spend a lot to repair it, it's horrible! Also as I work in the office, I do want to look presentable, I won't consider myself super vain (heck, I don't like selfies!) but impression still matters!

So if you have fizzy hair, here are all the tried and tested hair products that truly does wonders. I think it's only in the recent months after using these products that my hair have been in their best condition in years! Thanks to this post you don't have to experiment with other brands that don't really work. You're welcome!

#1 Best Commercial Shampoo 
& Conditioner under RM50

I have no idea what took me so long to trying Dove hair care products (Shopee.MY)! Bought this to interchange with the other higher end shampoo (to stretch my monies) and found it works. Ok, you'd say perhaps its my other shampoo doing the work but I did use this for weeks when I emptied the others and it moisturizes my hair so well! Available in most local supermarket from RM20-RM30 per bottle.

#2 Best Shampoo over RM50

I have 2 brands to introduce but first, gotta share my absolute favorite which is the Goldwell Kerasilk Reconstruct Shampoo (Amazon | Shopee.MY), it has dethroned Midori as a personal favorite because of how longer lasting the effect is. It totally convert my dry and fizzy hair to super smooth. One downside is that my hair got so thin they start to fall but otherwise, I love this lots! Bought it from Hair Zone for RM110 (250ml bottle).

One other brand I want to share is Marc Anthony's 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Shea Butter Shampoo (Amazon | Shopee.MY) that retails in Watsons at RM51 (250ml tube). I have always wanted to try coconut oil-base shampoos and couldn't find a brand to try until recently. Almost wanted to DIY my own HAHAHA! I think the price is alright considering coconut oil are quite expensive. This shampoo lathers mildly and doesn't spread easily like normal shampoo so I have to use a lot to cover my long hair. Still, feels ultra clean after washing and I'm not sure if it actually strips off the oil or moisture because my hair feels too light weighted. It's the complete opposite to when I use Bioma that seems to make my hair absorb more water literally. The coconut scent is quite strong and can also take some time to getting use to.

#3 Best Hair Treatment

Hands down this goes to Bioma Plant+9 Hair Treatment. For best result, to use 2-3 times a week, leaving it for at least 5-10 minutes before washing off. Optionally, can be use daily like a conditioner if you don't want to let it stay. A tiny bit goes a long way! I've looked around but this appears to be only available at Hair Zone for RM158 or Shopee.MY for less (update: I found the sellers on Shopee are using my photos without permission WTF).

Best hair treatment for dry, damaged and frizzy hair

#4 Best Hair Revitalizing Spray

Yet another favorite of mine, the Kosenze Ocean Miracle Spray. I don't really know what to categorize this product as since it's not the kind of spray to set your hair. Best use on lightly toweled dry hair for soft, less frizzy hair plus it smells super good. It's my lazy days remedy when I don't to have the time for conditioner or treatment but need to look presentable. It can also be used as heat protection spray before ironing and for UV-protection. Available in Hair Zone for RM69 (150ml) or Shopee.MY.

Best Hair Revitalizing Spray

#5 Best Hair Oil

I'm not the biggest fan of hair oil, many just leave your hair very greasy and they don't seem to do much besides weighing you hair down. I had vowed never to buy another until Keratase Elixir Ultime (Amazon | Shopee.MY). It does wonders by making my hair look healthy and really brings out the color of your hair (if you dye them). Aside from that, it claims to protect your hair against the heat, and leave it untangled, easier to style, and free from frizz.

Hair Zone carries two brands, I do not remember the other but it has a branded (Is it Chanel or Dior?) eu de parfum infused in it. Apparently it's quite a hot item despite the price and was sold out.

This is another of my lazy day solution and can be use on wet or dry hair. So if I happen to need to go out but did not do treatment or spray the Kosenze Ocean Miracle Spray the night before (I wash my hair at night), this comes in real handy! Also a product which I bought from Hair Zone for RM150 (100ml). I believe you can find it in most other saloons considering Keratase is quite a well-known hair care brand.

#6 Best Hair Ampoules

My favorite thus far is Artizta, again something my hairdresser from Hair Zone recommended at RM45 for each ampule. For one ampule, you can feel and see the difference with results lasting for 2 weeks. It smells heavenly too! Love this so much but can't do it often because it's so pricey to do in the saloon!! Good news though, I look it up and found this online at Shopee.MY for RM160+ 12 vials. I have not tested it out so I cannot vouch on the authenticity of the product on Shopee but definitely keeping in view.

Even though ampoules are pricey, it's economical in a way that after applying it I can just skipped all the conditioning/treatment, hair spray or hair oil for the entire two weeks. Washing your hair isn't an option to skip though.

#7 Best DIY Hair Dyes

I love experimenting with DIY hair dyes and have tried Liese, Herbatint Permanent Hair Color Gel and April Skin Color Treatment _ these in the order of my preferences. Liese bubble hair dye (Amazon | Shopee.MY) is one brand I had used multiple times and it is by far the easiest to use with the most favorable results. Also, the foam makes it super easy to apply and gives you a much even coverage!


Personally, I wouldn't advice y'all to get everything I list at one go. If I have to choose, a good shampoo and treatment (in replace of hair conditioner) goes a long way! I tend to get a high range shampoo and a lower range (Dove is amazing!) one to interchange just so I don't need to replace the expensive one as frequent LOL. Just a strategy for stretching your dollar.

Then the hair ampules are quite extra but I find they make your hair healthier and the effect last longer so it's worth it!

Finally, the Keratase hair oil and Kosenze spray is my go-to on busy or lazy days because you see results without much fuss though it lasts a day or two. If you can only choose one, then Keratase hair oil it is! I don't use these frequently so it last me over a year (I think it'll be another year before I empty them, so make it two years) that my hair dresser isn't pleased since I'm not her best customer #truestory

That brings me to the end of this post. I know a lot of the products I recommend here are from Hair Zone but I vouch this post is NOT a sponsored post. It's just that I have tried the products recommended by my hair stylists and can see the amazing results they do to my very unruly mane. If you have tried these products based on my recommendation, tell me if they work for you!

Saturday 28 December 2019

Phuket 5D4N Itinerary under RM2K

Hello y'all! Can you believe we're just a few days shy from 2020??? Anyway, I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and wishing everyone an early Happy New Year! 

I haven't been blogging much  for the year because adulting but still wanted to post something before the end of 2019. What better timing than my return from a trip just last week, at least I have something to post hahahaha! This trip was a rather last minute plan, Japan didn't happen because I can't seem to find a time to get off work! (T⌓T) Still, I'm grateful I could afford money and time to go someplace! Sharing them with y'all in this post!


Where to stay

As always, I opted for AirBnB because it is more affordable and there were very limited options in the other sites since it was such a last minute thing. I stayed at New Life Phuket Classic, a hotel at the quieter end of Patong. It's a 10 minutes or so walk away from the bustling Patong town and beach. I'm quite glad we did because it seems come Friday and the weekend, it can get really loud! We could still feel the beat of the music from our room, I cannot imagine what's it like staying closer! I also appreciate that my AirBnB contact person was very responsive. Plus we were allowed to check in earlier that what's stated and could even leave our luggages after we checked out at noon (our flight was at night).

I do have one complain, the toilet/washroom isn't exactly private you can hear others doing their business so I had the toilet kinda 'stage fright'. Probably why I had constipation during my trip
( ̄□ ̄) FML. If I gained weight from the past week, it's just cause I'm full of shit.

Staying connected 
with local SIM card

I'm a bit kiasu and need to stay connected. Glad I did this because many times I had to rely on Waze and Grab. I have to admit, this time I was not fully prepared having just worked on the itinerary (big responsibility!) two weeks prior to the trip! I booked a local sim card from Klook for RM20 and then had to reload 100TBH / RM13.90 on one day I needed to make a call to my tour group because they were late to pick me up ( TдT ) Definitely cheaper than roaming with a Malaysia sim card which will cost RM10-RM40 per day!

Getting around Phuket

Tuk tuks are one interesting way to get around but boy, are they're pricey. A 10-minute ride from Patong to Karon will easily set you back by 400TBH. For comparison, that's thrice as expensive as getting around in Penang island! So this is not the best option for those on a budget. If you insist to experience them, I'd recommend you going to No. 6 Restaurant and inform the staff you'd like to go to the No. 6 by the hill. They offer free rides to their branch well, on the hill with a view of the town and more tables so you wouldn't need to share. Expect a bumpy ride up the crazy steep hill, my friends and I had quite a shock when the tuk tuk stopped abruptly at our destination almost sending us rolling out the tuk tuk and down the hill!

Another option is to use Grab, which is best when exploring the central or east coast. You can negotiate with the drivers to stop at multiple destinations for additional fees. Price vary depending on tuk tuk drivers but the best offer we've got was 300TBH per hour so you'd definitely need to budget for that. I had to muster up some courage (because my friends weren't helpful) to negotiate with our Grab driver who was thankfully, open to that. Super grateful!

Many times during the trip I wished I had motorcycle license, it'd probably save us a lot (I've seen 350TBH per day rental deals) and is more convenient.

Another affordable option is by getting around with the local buses whether it is the Smart Bus (covers the west coast), Blue Bus (covers the central & west coast) or Pink Bus (covers Phuket Old Town). My friends and I had bought the Rabbit Card for the Smart Bus ride from the airport to Patong where our Airbnb were. We didn't utilized it until the day before we left but it got me thinking we should have experimented more to take advantage of the discounted fare! The huge downside of this Rabbit Card is there are very incomplete information online and even tourist information centers weren't helpful, therefore leading to some inconvenienced (and annoyance). For your convenience, I am listing down what I found out about the Rabbit Card, you're welcome!

What to consider 
purchasing the Rabbit Card:-

1) In Phuket, the Rabbit Card can be use for the Smart Bus with possible minimum of 170TBH. Or when purchasing items from partner stores such as McDonalds, 7Eleven, Family Mart, etc. with minimum balance of 300TBH.
2) The card can be reloaded with value of 100TBH-200TBH-300TBH-and so forth.
3) The card can be purchased at the airport's local bus stop for 300TBH whereupon 100TBH is the card fee and 200TBH is the available amount to use.
4) With the Rabbit Card, passengers are entitled for discount and fees will be depending on distances and destination. Without the card, every trip for each person will be 170TBH irregardless of the destination.
5) The Smart Bus only covers destinations along the West Coast of Phuket.
6) Rabbit Cards can be used in Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
7) The most complete details about the Rabbit Card can be found here.
8) The Rabbit Card is NOT refundable/exchangeable.

Fees by destinations for passengers with Rabbit Card

5D4N Itinerary
& recommendations

I prepped my itinerary rather last minute and somehow during the trip, plans changed to cut down on transportation cost and for the sake of exploring the part of Phuket. Besides that, my friends and I spent a lot of time walking as means of getting around. For those who choose to charter a tour van or have their own motorcycle, you'd definitely be able to cover a lot more places in a single day!

*Day 1
Arrival in Phuket & checking into New Life Phuket Classic
Lunch at Da Number 6 Restaurant
Exploring Banzaan Fresh Market, Patong Beach & Kamala Beach
Dinner at Malin Plaza then exploring Dragon Night Market & OTOP Night Market
*Day 2
Breakfast at The Pad Thai Shop, Karon
Karon Beach
Khao Rang Hill, Tunk Ka Restaurant & Wat Khao Rang
Phuket Old Town
Dinner at Chillva Night Market, Yaowarat Road
*Day 3
7Eleven breakfast
Full-day Islands hopping around Phang Nga Bay (James Bond & 5 other islands)
Dinner at Banzaan Night Market, exploring Chillva Night Market & Bangla Road in Patong
*Day 4
7Eleven breakfast
Sightseeing at Chalong Pier & Big Buddha
Kata Noi Beach & Kata Yai Beach
Kata Night Bazaar & Night Market
*Day 5
Breakfast at Sam Chor
Free & easy souvenirs shopping day around Patong
Lunch at No.6 Restaurant on the hill
**Links to daily travelogue coming soon!

My favorite part besides the island hopping where I had the first opportunity in years to kayak (i super miss this!) is Chalong Pier and the Big Buddha. There's something about the combination of blue blue sea and blue blue sky and boats and cool breeze that is just super relaxing. I also noticed I love highlands because it's cooler which was where the status of the Big Buddha is stationed, overlooking the beautiful Chalong Pier.

What & Where to eat

Pad thai, tom yum soup and local Thai cuisines are a must! Other novel food I have tried include crocodile meat, baby crickets & sago worms, parrot fish, sea grapes and gac fruit juice. Some may sound cringe-worthy but don't let that stop you from trying! Judge only after you ate them.

Also, what's better than rolled ice cream on a sunny day. Totally recommending a mix of mango & lemon flavor! ( ̄¬ ̄)

Family Mart and 7Eleven are a common sight in Phuket, there are a branch in almost each rows of shops! Definitely do drop by to grab some burgers or sandwiches which the staffs will assist you to reheat. I super love the cream puffs that are available in original and salted egg creams, yummy!

Will post in more details in my daily travelogues (coming soon!)so don't forget to check them out!

Souvenirs shopping

My top 10 recommendations will be dried mangoes, traditional massage oil or balms, melon flavor or original milk candy, Harnn massage oil, snail body care, beach dresses, white beach tops/dresses, swimming suits, waterproof bucket bags and gold masks.

Seen in a shop along Kata Road. The dresses and tankinis are so cute!

Patong Central has the best offer for dried mangoes, at 50TBH per 100g pack (but only sold at bulk in 6-12-18) and 6-pack Siang Pure Oil for 740TBH. On the other hand, the best deals for the snail beauty products and health foot patches at Fruit Paradise, a beauty & souvenirs shop along Phangmuang Sai Kor Road in Patong. It is not far from the malls but for convenience, you can simply get them all from Patong Central.

You can also find fruits & chocolate flavors milk candies in Patong Central's Big C.

There's even a guide prepared in case you're wondering what to get!


Budgeting for Phuket

Overall, I spend approximately RM2K for my entire 5D4N trip.

Prior to the trip, I have pre-booked the following:-
Kuala Lumpur à Phuket Return Flight with Air Asia
4-Night AirBnB Accommodation
Full-day Phang Nga Bay (including James Bond Island) tour experience with BJ Canoeing Tour bought from Klook
RM246.30 / 1,772TBH
DTAC 8-day Unlimited Data Plan (also from Klook)

I brought 7,000TBH in cash, just slightly under RM1K and I'd say that was exactly what I spent! A big chunk went to public transportation, food, shopping and some donation to the Big Buddha temple. I bought few souvenirs _ 6 pack of 50g dried mangoes, 3 pack of Siang Pure Oil, 10 packs of milk candy and a dress _ so if you're a bigger spender, you'd want to consider a bigger budget. I'd also recommend you budget for tours around Phi Phi or Similan islands and experience Phuket's Fantasea, things I wished I had done.

The one extra thing I swiped with my card (because I ran outta cash) was a bottle of Choya Yuzu from the duty free section in the airport. Die die want it because I have never seen it around Malaysia! True enough, there weren't any in KLIA2 or in the supermarket!٩( ^ᴗ^  )۶

In conclusion

Phuket is a place for those who truly want to enjoy to take your time and relax. The people are welcoming, there are many beautiful islands and beaches to explore. I also feel safe walking around the island during the day and at night _ you get more hamsap stares in KLIA2 by foreigner security guards. 

Food and transportation can get a bit pricey. I think islands hopping, kayaking and snorkeling should be considered especially around James Bond/Phang Nga Bay, Phi Phi or Similan _ at least I wished I've done more!

Friday 13 December 2019

April Skin Turn Up Hair Treatment in Wanna Blue Review

These days I'm feeling adventurous to try another hair color (again!). I still very much love mahogany shade but somehow decided I want to try colors such as indigo, green or purple _ the shades I have yet to explore! Didn't want to spend so much because I know light colors don't last to invest so much on nor I am not so sure of getting permanent ones (like dark blue or dark purple).

I went ahead and bought April Skin's Turn Up Color Treatment in Wanna Blue and Purple for RM22.07 each during Black Friday sale. Wanted to do purple first but now I'm saving it for CNY.

While I was shopping around, I noticed a few others were checking out the DIY dye aisle and buying boxes for themselves. Guess everyone's getting ready for Christmas, New Year and CNY! Somehow Wanna Blue was quite a hit _ I dropped by different branches and found the shade completely sold out walao eh.

April Skin's DIY hair dye comes in two ranges_ the Turn Up Color Treatment that supposedly nourishes your hair while giving vibrant albeit temporary, approximately 2 weeks staying power. Choices between 9 different shades Red, Orange, Peach Pink, Pink, Green Blue, Khaki, Dark Brown, Purple and Wanna Blue. I think Wanna Blue's one of the newest addition so the sample result is not included in the illustration below, but that's fine, you're about to see it anyways hahaha

The other range is called the Turn Up Color Cream that gives a longer-lasting result and 7 different shades Pink Candy, Red Pepper, Matt Avocado, Cinnamon Butter, Ash Latte, Deep Blueberry and Highlighter, the last to bleach your hair. I actually would prefer Deep Blueberry but have not seen it around :( That was the initial color I wanted!

I already have a dye bowl and brush from experimenting with Herbatint's Permanent Hair Color Gel previously. I didn't know they already packed a glove and cape so I went to Daiso to buy the hair dye kit whiCh comes together with a comb, two sets of ear protectors, capes and gloves for RM5.90. Least the mini comb come in very handy, so oklah.

I start by washing my hair and towel dry them before spreading the dye on my hair. Just to make sure I have enough, I made sure to section my hair (top & bottom half) and squeezing enough for each section at a time. 

Was worried I didn't have enough considering my hair's long. Perhaps because I had recently gone for a haircut and treated my hair to an amazing ampule that kept it more manageable, my concern were unnecessary. If I hadn't done so I will advice you peeps on getting 2 boxes! It's also good to have a spare in case the color didn't come out evenly.

After Herbatint, I told myself I won't buy DIY dyes unless they're like Lieise Bubble Hair Dyes because it's so much harder to do it yourself and easier to miss a section. By the end of the whole ordeal, even your hands will turn sore! HOWEVER, April Skin Turn Up Hair Treatment turned out to be quite pleasant to use. It's easy to apply and doesn't turn your hair hard or make your scalp tingles. It also doesn't have the strong chemical smell but instead floral-y scent.

Before with permanent mahogany brown hair and black roots

After, hair appears darker with hint of ash gray IRL but obvious mahogany streaks

Unfortunately for me, the color didn't turn out obvious while I can tell there were many streaks of undyed hair. IRL, I'd say it looks more dark, ash black than blue. Also, I was very sad when I washed my hair the following day, the remaining dye washed off! I wasted 1 hour of my life dyeing my hair FML. So much for lasting for 2 weeks! 

I know the dye isn't entirely to be blamed because I was just very disappointed. I'm also not sure if it's because I toweled dry my hair before dyeing them to prevent them from dripping on the floor. Can't tell if that actually is a factor unless I try again.

Not too eager to try the cream range or the purple one I have but at least I know if I just feel like having a crazy hair color for a day, I know which brand to choose *shrugs*

Saturday 30 November 2019

MakeOver Indonesia Cliquematte Lip Stylo in #201 Eclair & #202 Hollywood Review

in Eclair & Hollywood

I suck at makeup. I suck more when it comes to choosing the right shade of lipsticks. Similar to my fashion style, I went through some experimental phase with lippies. Some shades are too light, too pink or too red. My safest and favorite shade is coral and I always buy them in lip gloss. Just very recently, I discovered matte, brown shades which I'm starting to love big time! That's thanks to my discovery of MakeOver Indonesia's Cliquematte Lip Stylo in #201 Eclair and #202 Hollywood.

in Eclair and Hollywood

I did a whole lot of investigating prior to purchasing since these are not cheap, at RM42 each. In case you are wondering where you can purchase these original MakeOver Indonesia products, check out Dear Momiji.

Dear Momiji's post on these MakeOver Cliquematte Lip Stylo

What caught my interest is because one of my favorite IG influencer, Elle Yamada appears to be the brand ambassador for MakeOver Indonesia and she rocks the shades well!

The lipsticks are dispense with the push at the end. Note to click to only as needed length because it is non-retractable!

The brown shade, Eclair is my absolute favorite of these two. As you can see, I've been wearing them super often if you noticed on my IG! I have gotten a lot of compliments for this shade and a friend who owned the same has equally good things to say she even went to look when she was at Yogyakarta.

Hollywood is a lovely coral and a shade I am comfortable in wearing but I haven't worn it as frequent as Eclair to be honest. Loving the formula nevertheless! Btw, sorry the photos are not doing justice for these lippies! X(

Since my discovery of nude, brown lippies, I can say I'm hooked! It's one of the best beauty trends that ever happen!! Currently I am eyeing L'oreal Paris Color Riche Matte, Maybelline's The Powder Matte, 3CE's Inked Heart or even Dior's but do not have enough excuse to purchase them yet lolwhat. Perhaps when I've used up MakeOver's Eclair. Dreading the day though!

Friday 29 November 2019

Reviewing Bamboo Toothbrushes

So you've heard me talk about minimalism, converting to sustainable and greener lifestyle since last year.  And in case you're wondering, yes, it is still on and the thoughts about how I can contribute to the environment has been the back of my head more often now as depressing news like the Amazon fires and us Malaysians (pljus our neighboting countris) experiencing the worse transborder haze of the century yadayadayada. That aside, this post is about my experience converting to bamboo toothbrush.

Until now, I have only tried three types of eco-friendly toothbrushes _ the generic bamboo brushes from Taobao which cost about RM1-ish each, one from The Hive that cost me RM11 and another available in Aeon called Jordan for about RM10 made of recycled plastic.

Unlike the gentler design of plastic toothbrushes, the bamboo ones are hard. I always find bruises on my the side of my lips after brushing! It doesn't hurt nor obvious but annoys me.

Because manufacturers are so eager to accommodate to consumers' growing demands for greener options, little emphasize are put on the bristles. The ones I got online (no doubt made in China) are course and sharp they hurt my gums. To fix, I simply use a scissors to trim the sharp edges and it was good to use.

Before & after trimming

Another which I got from The Hive has such soft bristles, they were already out of shape after the first use. I get it will be some time before they figure what's a greener alternative to nylon bristles, but I would want better bristle designs.

This is how it looks about a month... Very rarely do my other toothbrushes look like this by the time I replace them.

I have switched 3-4 bamboo toothbrushes over the past few months, which I think is quite frequent. Reason being I found that the bamboo part do not last long because they're very susceptible to molds.Read Natural bristles retains moisture and are breeding grounds for bacteria and malodour EWWW!! That is even though I made sure they're kept dry. I think that's the case because the bamboo part were not treated with chemicals to make them waterproof, leaving it in its au natural state. In other words, you want to store them dry, in  toothbrush holders with more open spaces for ventilation. Maybe out of the bathroom where it can get humid.

See those black spots are molds!

All this kinda makes you think twice about using bamboo toothbrushes... I'm persisting is because I do think they do their part in reducing plastic waste. If I have to decide which, I will get more from China because the bristles are better and they're cheap so I can change whenever molds start growing. Tho still hoping there will be more ergonomic designs available soon!

On Instagram

© voguelyvivien. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.