Convenient Moisturizing with Rinse-off Body Lotion

I saw this on my Instagram feed some time ago and I literally laughed out loud.

Soooo true.

One time, I thought of pampering myself with at-home spa treatment while my girls were busy building a Lego house. I figured that should keep them busy for a good 20 minutes. I went to the bathroom and started with facial first – cleansing oil, cleanser, scrub. Then I took a shower and began to shampoo and condition my hair. While waiting for all the goodness of the conditioner to absorb in my hair, I applied some facial mask. I was just halfway through applying the mask on my face when I heard a knock on the bathroom door. It was Raina.

“Mama, what you doing? Open ye doooorrrr” (open the door).

11 minutes, guys. That’s all she’s willing to give to me. And I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet!

I should have known tho. Taking a shower is already considered as a mommy’s luxury and there I was, trying to “upgrade” it for at-home spa treatment! Haha.

You see, when you’re mom, showering simply means brushing teeth, cleansing face, cleansing body, rinse off and nothing else. No scrub, no loofah, no pumice stone, no bath salt. Shampoo is only for when my hair gets greasy. Lotion? Only when my skin gets really really dry because it can be quite time consuming to wait until the lotion is fully absorbed.

When I heard that NIVEA has come up with a rinse-off lotion, I felt like one of my wishes came true.

 Behold the first rinse-off body lotion, Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner.

Yes, sometimes I find myself wishing that applying body lotion would be easy and fast, just like using shower gels. My skin needs moisturization so badly but I just couldn’t be bothered to apply lotion every time after showering. In fact, I’m not the only one. 70% of Malaysian women do not apply body lotion every day because they don’t have the time to sit around waiting for the lotion to dry off (we’ve more important things to do) and some don’t like the sticky residue following moisturizing especially in the hot weather. This rinse-off body lotion by NIVEA is the solution. The unique water-activated formula is designed to be used after shower gel, which leaves the skin feeling hydrated and silky soft instantly.

It comes in 2 variations: Sea Minerals for normal skin and Almond Oil for dry skin.

 

I love the clean fresh scent of the Sea Minerals and I use that for my body. I use the Almond Oil for my feet because I have very dry feet.

 See? It looks just like normal body lotion

 

I’ve been using this rinse-off body lotion for a few days now and I’m super loving it. You use it the same way like you use a shower gel but it doesn’t replace your shower gel. You still need your shower gel ok. Think of it as a conditioner for your body. Like your hair. After shampooing, you need to apply hair conditioner right? Same goes to your body. So what you do is, cleanse your body with a shower gel as usual, rinse off, apply the NIVEA In-Shower Skin Conditioner (while still in the shower), rinse off and towel dry. You can get dressed immediately. Having a clean and well-moisturized skin under 5 minutes, I can totally live with that! It’s totally a beauty savior. I feel like my skin is smiling and thanking me!

You can watch this video for some In-Shower experiment that involved a beauty queen and a hunky host *ehem*.


Check out NIVEA Malaysia Facebook page for more info and a free NIVEA In-Shower Skin Conditioner trial pack. You can even make a pledge with NIVEA and stand a chance to win a full year supply of the In-Shower Skin Conditioner with your 3 BFFs!



Layers of goodness

I am no baking queen so a quick and easy, no-bake dessert is the kind of dessert I like to make.

Like this raspberry banana parfait.

A spoonful of muesli, dollops of Greek yogurt (I used strawberry flavor), fresh raspberries, slices of bananas and chopped pecans, all layered in a glass.

Sweet, tangy, creamy, crunchy. Ooohh….

A little drizzle of chocolate syrup won’t hurt.

 

You can try with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mangoes, anything really.

I like to use Greek yogurt because it’s super smooth and creamy. It’s healthier than the fat free yogurts too.

 

Speaking of health, I’ve been trying to shed some weight since a couple of months before my sister’s wedding. I’ve been trying to eat clean and healthy meals and even tried a rather intense weight loss program for 3 weeks straight – strictly no-carb no-sugar diet, no cheat day, no sushi session, chugged down green smoothies that tasted like grass and exercised 3 times a week. It was hard work and I didn’t lose weight at all. I was frustrated to say the least.

I decided to throw it all out the window during my Shanghai and Jakarta trips, devouring garlic cheese naan, palak paneer, sinful chocolate desserts, salted egg soft shell crab and other yummy seafood. Oh glorious food, how I’ve missed them!

I realized I cannot give up good food and desserts entirely so now I’m taking the slow and steady approach of dieting. I eat healthy meals on most days (Herbalife shakes, herbal tea, substituting white rice with brown rice, etc) but I still let myself to indulge occasionally. I have my once-a-week cheat day. I haven’t got back on my exercise mat tho, ever since that intense program. Maybe one of these days. Heh *yelatu*.

But guess what? I managed to lose 2 kg in 2 weeks! And that’s without intense diet and workout. I guess my body’s weird like that haha.

But it’s still early days and I still have a lot to lose (I’m talking 10kg).

Here’s to everyone who wants to lose that extra kilos. Don’t force yourself too much. It’s better to do it slow and steady in long term rather than making extreme changes that is only short-lived. Slow and steady wins the diet race!

Happy new year!



Breast Cancer Awareness

I sigh every time I look at our photos when we were younger. We seemed to be growing bigger and bigger each year. Dah beranak, lemak pun beranak sekali. Pffft.

I want this body back. I was a size UK 6! *cries*

But it’s not just about losing weight anymore. It’s about staying fit and healthy. I guess being 30 makes me realize all that. After months – wait, years, of overindulging, my husband and I decided that it’s time to get back on track. We actually just started our “healthy lifestyle” just a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been trying to eat less carbs, fats and sugar, cook healthier dishes, eat more lean meats and veggies, have brown rice instead of white rice, and make it a habit to exercise 3 times a week. I even had green smoothie for breakfast twice (still trying to get used to the “grassy” taste, which honestly is a bit yucky).

And of course, a recent trip to the hospital to visit a sick uncle with a heart problem kind of opened up our eyes too. He was only in his late 40s-early 50s. Scary how more and more people are getting sick at younger age these days… and that could be us if we don’t do something to change our diet and lifestyle. Nauzubillah.

I was even more bersemangat with health issues after attending Yakult’s breast cancer awareness campaign recently. The event was held at Yakult factory in Seremban for the Yakult ladies.

 

 

And then there’s us, the bloggers.

Speakers of the day

The event started with an opening speech, followed by Cancer Prevention Nutrition Tips by a Nutritionist, Puan Indra Balaratnam.

Besides genetics, physical activities and environmental exposures, food is one of the main causes of cancer. What you eat and don’t eat can have a powerful effect on your health because there are food that actually increases the risk of cancer, while others strengthen your immune system and support your body. So it’s important to know which food you should be consuming, and which ones you should avoid.

Some of the best anti-cancer food are fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel), nuts, flaxseed, soy, and of course fruits and veggies, especially the bright colored ones. Fruits and veggies that are rich in colors, such as bell peppers, carrots, apples, beets, strawberries, eggplants, broccoli, spinach, etc contain pigments with antioxidant properties which protect the cells in our body.

Then Puan Indra showed us this:

Nasi lemak = fat rice. No surprise there.

But this, I was shocked. Apparently, nasi briyani has more calories than nasi lemak!
Bye Mahbub. See you when I’m 5 kg lighter.

Besides these highly fattening food, we should also limit fast food, fried food, processed food, packaged food and other foods and drinks with all those “science-y” ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, because they are high in saturated fats, refined sugar, sodium, MSG, etc and contains very little to zero nutrients. They are just plain unhealthy. Most of them are just toxic to our body so it would be even better if you can avoid them at all cost. Bak kata my mom, tak mati pun kalau tak minum tu, tapi kalau minum boleh mati (she was talking about soft drinks by the way). How true!

A healthy food serving guideline – 1/4 starch, 1/4 protein, 1/2 veggies

The next topic was Early Detection and Breast Self-Exam, by Matron Zainab from Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia.

My favorite speaker. She’s one funny woman!

Ok, a quick quiz. Among the Malay, Chinese and Indian races, which Malaysian women do you think have the highest risk of breast cancer?

No clue? Then take a look at this:

Chinese! (This is based on a research by the way). I was quite surprised because I thought it was Malay because… you know, a lot of Malay dishes use santan and whatnot.

But that doesn’t mean the other 2 races can sigh in relief, especially those with family history of cancer. According to the matron, all women should start doing breast self-examination once a month beginning at the age of 20! I…. uhh… think I’ve only done it like…. 3 times in all my life? That’s like once every 10 years! Yikes. I’m gonna do it sooooon ok, after my next period because according to Matron Zainab, the best time to do it is 7-10 days after your first day of period. Which means, let’s say you get your period on the 1st day of the month; you can do your breast self-exam anytime between 7th – 10th day of the month.

Matron Zainab even showed us how to do the breast self-exam and it was pretty easy. Refer here if you don’t know how. You can even ask your husband to do it for you. I’m sure he’d be more than happy to help.

They had samples of breasts with cancer lumps and a normal healthy breast.

Trying to feel the lumps. It’s like the size of a pea (but it can grow bigger. So scary!)

Matron Zainab said that not all lumps or changes in breasts are cancer. In fact, 90% of the lumps are non-cancerous. Phew! They could be fibrosis, cysts, benign tumors, mastitis (if you’re breastfeeding) and others. So don’t panic if you feel something in your breast. Seek expert advice if you’re unsure.

The last topic was about how Yakult can actually lowers the risk of breast cancer. The talk was given by Dr. Kaga from Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research.

Factors that may increase and decrease the risk of breast cancer. Guess we need to make more babies, hubby!

Some of soy isoflavones food include soy milk and tofu

Then Dr. Kaga explained how L. casei Shirota (LcS), the probiotic strain found in Yakult could help to lower the risk of breast cancer, together with soy isoflavons. Probiotics are microorganisms that gives health benefits by helping to keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food. They also help to activate our immune system. A study was done in Japan and they found that women who took both LcS and soy isoflavones on regular basis have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who don’t take them.

Yakult Ace and Yakult Ace Light

Just so you know, Yakult Ace has 62 kcal, while Yakult Ace Light has only 46 kcal

The event ended with a cooking demo – well, a healthy smoothie demo actually – with the bubbly Fara Fauzana.

She’s assisting Pn. Indra, the Nutritionist, on how to make healthy fruit smoothies. Pn. Indra even recommended drinking healthy smoothies/shakes for breakfast. Seriously guys, it’s so easy and only takes like 2 minutes to make one.

They made 2 types of smoothies (mango and dragon fruit) with soy milk, oat bran powder, almond powder and Yakult. I am so going to try adding Yakult in my morning shakes!

Love how vibrant the pink dragon fruit smoothie, but I prefer the taste of mango.

Managed to snap a pic with Fafau! Abaikan kegemukan saya please, and my terompah-looking wedges >_<

So remember ladies (myself included, and gentlemen because you have mothers/wives/sisters/cousins), be aware, prevent and get your breast checked regularly before it’s too late. Ignorance is NOT bliss!



PIXY Cleansing Series

As much as I know how important it is to double cleanse my face every day especially if I have makeup on, I don’t do it when I’m on the go – like when I want to solat while I’m out and about or when I’m traveling. It’s a bit of a hassle and my husband will be restless if he has to wait for me for more than 20 minutes. So I only used wipes or sometimes baby wipes to wipe off my makeup. It removes most of my makeup pretty well as I don’t wear waterproof makeup, but it doesn’t have that double duty cleansing. I could still feel the dirt and makeup residue clogging my pores, even after washing with water. But I still couldn’t be bothered to do the double cleansing steps! Not outside my home, that is.

PIXY, a brand by Mandom, just came up with a fuss-free, one step makeup cleansing solution for ladies on the go. There are 2 types of makeup cleansers in the cleansing series and you get to choose which one that best suits your needs.

There’s the PIXY Gentle & Moist Cleansing Lotion and PIXY Single Step Liquid Foam For Makeup. These two removes makeup, cleanses and moisturizes the face quickly and effectively without the need for double cleansing. Perrrfect for on the go!

At first glance, I thought the model was Neelofa! Of course it’s an Indonesian model.

I was given a few bottles to try and brought them with me for my recent trip to Jakarta. The small bottles fit nicely in my makeup bag and it’s handy, so you can bring it anywhere with you.

 

The Gentle & Moist Cleansing Lotion (transparent bottle) is like a regular makeup remover but it takes off everyday makeup in a jiffy and doesn’t require double cleansing. You just need to saturate a cotton pad with the cleansing lotion and gently wipe it off your face. I like to start with my eyes by the way, because that’s where I have the most makeup on.

 

It removes makeup effectively. This is just for one eye!

The Gentle & Moist Cleansing Lotion would be particularly convenient for active ladies who need to remove makeup – say, before a gym session, or even after a long tiring day. It doesn’t always happen to me, but on those rare occasions when I’m too exhausted/sleepy, I couldn’t be bothered to do anything but pass out on the bed with my makeup on (and then I’d wake up feeling guilty). At least with this cleansing lotion, I can remove my makeup before going to sleep (only took 30 seconds or so!) instead of sleeping with my makeup on. It’s moisturizing and I don’t feel the tightness like some other makeup removers that I’ve tried previously.

 

The Single Step Liquid Foam For Makeup (pink bottle) is a combination of makeup remover and facial foam. It’s like doing double cleansing, except in a single step. Which means, you can use it on the eye area as well. How convenient!

All you need to do is squirt a small amount on the palm of your hand, mix it with a little water and lather it up until it becomes foamy. Then massage it all over your face, rinse it off and you can continue with your wudhu (well, I imagine using this before performing solat – why else would I want to remove my makeup when I’m out and about right?).

PIXY cleansing series claims to keep the skin feeling fresh, soft and radiant as the key ingredient is honey. Honey is known for its natural moisturizing properties and this cleansing series is gentle on the skin and can even be used repeatedly in a day without drying the skin. They are also based on Japanese formulation and are clinically tested to remove makeup effectively while leaving the skin soft and supple.

I think it’s a great on-the-go, hassle-free makeup remover solution for women and it’s ideal to have in the handbag. This cleansing series by PIXY is available at major retail outlets, chain pharmacies and hypermarkets at only RM7.90 for 50ml and RM13.90 for 100ml. You can browse their website or their Facebook page to get more info about their products.

Anyway, PIXY is currently having a One-Step Dance competition where you get to show your dance move while cleansing your face with the PIXY cleansing series. Watch PIXY ambassador’s dance move in this TV ad:

 

If you’re interested to join the contest, you need to download the One-Step PIXY song, record your own version of cleansing dance move and upload your video on the website. Or you can watch other people’s videos by clicking on the Gallery tab. Hilarious! Haha.

The contest ends on 6th December 2013. Click here for more info about the contest.



My Makeup Must-Haves

You know you love a certain product when you keep on buying it over and over again. I have a handful of those in my makeup list.

These five are my favorite makeup products that I have been using for over a year.

Of course I’ve tried a few other foundations, powders, mascaras, eyeliners and lip balms along the way, but I find myself going back to these. They’re my ultimate makeup staples and I thought of sharing them with you guys.

1. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
I don’t like the look and feel of a full coverage foundation because I always end up looking like an oil slick, so lightweight ones are always my choice when it comes to face makeup. I used Stila Perfect & Correct foundation previously and loved it, but it doesn’t contain any SPF so I had to look for something else. Then I found out about Smashbox BB cream which has great reviews so I decided to purchase it. It has SPF 35 which is pretty high – at least I have a little bit of sun protection on my face. Even tho it’s a 5-in-1 formula (serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, sunblock), I still treat it as a makeup rather than a skincare. Which means, I still use my essence and moisturizer before putting this on. I love the coverage – it gives a great finish that looks like a better version of your own skin, and provides a better coverage than the previous Stila foundation I used without the heaviness.

 

2. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
I’m not a fan of their HD foundation (bit heavy for my liking) but this powder is hands down, the best loose powder I’ve ever tried. It goes on nicely and makes my skin feel so soft and silky. It’s matifying, hides pores and gives you that airbrushed look. I’m seriously in love with this powder!

 

3. Maybelline Hyper Sharp Liner
I still consider myself a newbie in the liquid eyeliner department because I can’t seem to get that perfect smooth line without it going awry the first few attempts. I don’t know how my sister can do it in a moving car. She must have really steady hands or something! But this liquid eyeliner changed it all for me. I’ve tried dip-brush and felt tip ones, and altho the latter is a lot similar like pencil eyeliners (read: easy to apply), I noticed it dries out really quickly even after just a few uses. This Hyper Sharp liner combines the best of two worlds – it looks like a pen which is similar to felt tip liner, but it has a brush tip like a dip-brush eyeliner. The brush is ultra-refined, making it so easy to make a precise line. Would highly recommend this for beginners.

 

4. Lancome Hypnose Mascara
Mascara is one of my “can’t leave the house without” makeup items and one of the first makeup I’ve used. I love mascaras so much that I think I have tried almost every mascara brands out there – from drugstore (Maybelline, Revlon, L’Oreal and Majolica Majorca) to high-end ones (Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Stila, Benefit, Bobbi Brown, just to name a few). I still think Lancome makes the best mascaras. My favorite Lancome mascara is their Hypnose range. I’m currently using their Hypnose Doll Eyes, by the way (they also have Hypnose Drama, Hypnose Custom Volume, Hypnose Star and God knows what other Hypnoses they have). What I love most about this mascara is how it volumizes my lashes and still separates them. It doesn’t clump no matter how much I applied it on my lashes. The cone-shaped brush makes it a lot easier to apply on the inner corners and lower lashes.

 

5. Dior Addict Lip Glow
I cannot believe I paid almost a hundred Ringgit just for a lip balm! But then, it’s not just any lip balm. It’s Dior. And the packaging is pretty (that’s always a plus point). Besides, I’ve splurged on lipsticks and lip glosses that I rarely wear so why not splurge on something that I know I would wear, right? (that’s exactly what I told myself when paying it for the first time). It turned out to be one of the best makeup decision I’ve ever made. Haha. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a lip balm – smooth, moisturizing, gives a nice pink tint with the right amount of shine. It’s perfect for everyday wear. And did I mention the pretty packaging?