Monday, March 30, 2015

#ThankYouLKY - A conclusion to the end.

Today is the last day of the National Mourning Period, for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
It is also the darkest day of the past seven days.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew is no more.
He has gone up in a blaze of fire, and finally at rest with his wife.
What used to be our founding father, is now interred in an urn.

His legacy, what he left behind, is modern Singapore.
His strong and indomitable spirit has been highlighted through the many tribute videos we've seen.
His love for the country will not be forgotten.

In these past seven days, we've seen the heartwarming actions of many Singaporeans.
We have felt the pride, as well as overwhelming sense of grief, amongst the people.
Mr Lee, in death, somehow still managed to ignite a spark of hope in everyone.

Of course, there has been an ugly side on social media.

Intially, I told myself, to not to read anything with scathing titles.
It is probably not going to do anything useful, except to make me angry.

I focused on the positives instead.
Personal words of tribute poured into my Facebook feed.
Everyone started to change their profile pictures, into the black ribbon of remembrance.

By the second day, however, I started to notice a trend.
My malay colleagues and friends, who had previously been very active on Facebook regarding sharing of news, had gone silent.

I was puzzled.
I thought that maybe I had missed out on their messages, because how can any Singaporean not be affected by Mr Lee's passing?

I was quite shocked to find out that I was wrong.

I whispered to Pok about my concerns.
I wondered if it was because of the fact that if Mr Lee had not campaigned for racial equality, 
we may still have been part of Malaysia, and the Malays would have had better benefits for housing and education?

He told me that majority of the Malay community has feelings of dissent regarding Mr Lee,
due to his comments regarding the surge of Islam in one of his books.
He reassured me that nevertheless, there are still those who respect him deeply, even if they do not express it.

That is true, because while I was queuing under the hot sun on Wednesday, 
I did see people of all races braving the relentless weather together.

However, I can't help feeling disappointed.

I am not a particularly religious person.
I don't understand much about Islam, but I have interacted frequently with Malays. (duh)
Some of them are more religious than the others.
I admire the kampung spirit that they have, because I've felt the warm hospitality at Malay weddings.

One brave soul shared this story.


I think respect to all, regardless of the religion, is the underlying message.

Mr Lee may have been wrong with his comments, but was he not human?
Was his comments so harsh and insulting, that it negated all that he had done for Singapore?

Perhaps staying silent would have been better than showing outrage, or glee (shame on you, Amos Yee), 
but I wished that more of them would have be magnanimous and brave enough to express their gratitude, 
instead of pretending that nothing has happened.
That would just be faking ignorance.

Moving on.

Mr Lee firmly believed in meritocracy.
If you have done something, merit will be accorded to you.
You would have earned your role, your rank, due to your value and contributions.
One must always fight for what is important, only then you will appreciate what you have achieved.

I think it is sad that some young people do not understand this.
We, as a young generation, were mostly born in an era of comfort and plenty.
Most of us did not suffer as much as what our ancestors did.
Our generally prosperous state is now possible, because it was earned with the blood, sweat and tears of the older generation.

The Chinese have a saying.

When we drink water, we must remember its source

It is a way of acknowledging our success, because to the even very basic human being, there is an origin.
We are here, on this earth, because of our parents.
Even if some may come from a broken family, it is up to that individual to fight for his/her better future.

I remember, when I was in Secondary One, my literature teacher was being stereotypical.
She was actually quite rude
She commented that children who came from broken families usually would not be able to succeed,
due to the lack of parental love and proper guidance.

One of my classmates was visibly upset and angry.
She wanted so much to shout at the teacher, to correct her insulting words.
However, she controlled her emotions throughout the class, and only ranted her anger to us later.

Had she burst out in a fit of anger, wouldn't she have proven my idiotic teacher right?

All our thoughts are ours, and ours alone.
However, it is our actions which are going to have an impact on the people around us.

In an era of liberal thinking and social media awareness,
We need to think much more about the consequences of our actions.
Often, it is no longer just a support/disagree reaction you get.
Many people have different points of view, and even more different ways of expression.

So at this point, it is even more important to reflect on what we, as Singaporeans,
can do to continue on our forefathers' hard work and legacy.

We need to be grateful more often.
We need to appreciate what we already have.
We need to fight more strongly for what we believe in.
We need to not just voice out, but start taking actions to improve.
We need to continue to be one united people, regardless of race, language or religion.

This is what I've reflected on during this sad week of mourning.

Finally, I wish to end with my thoughts of the entire day:

I've never felt prouder to be a Singaporean.
The heavens poured, but the nation never wavered.
The soldiers soldiered on despite the unrelenting rain.
Everyone was united in the face of sorrow.

Mr Lee would have been very touched, and very proud.
Even in death, he has rallied us together once again.

Rest in Peace, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Review: My Beauty Diary Black Obsidian Moisturizing Black Mask

I believe My Beauty Diary 我的美麗日記 series of face masks needs no fancy introduction!

My Beauty Diary is a leading Taiwanese skincare brand, founded in 2004.
It is popular in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

They have recently launched a new line of masks - the Black Mask range.
So what's new about the masks, other than packaging ?

The mask sheet itself has been pumped up with Cosphingo™, 
a specially patented and unique ingredient which has super moisturizing properties.
High quality cotton fibers from Japan are used to weave the masks, ensuring smooth comfort.

One of the reasons why their masks are so popular is the fit of the masks.
Not only does it contours the face, it extends to your neck area too!
We often neglect that, and it usually leads to fine lines.

Yay for a face + neck mask, makes our money worthwhile :D

Formula-wise, the mask range features the 3D Hyaluronic acid and Yeast Compound.

3D Hyaluronic acid is a deeply hydrating ingredient,
and its unique structure also forms a protective film over the skin, to allow moisture retention.

Yeast compound aids in tightening and regulation of  skin tone.
It also acts to soothe fatigue skin, giving it a glowing and velvety smooth complexion.

There are three types available of masks, meant for hydration, brightening, or firming.

I received the Black Obsidian Moisturizing Black Mask to try!
It is suitable for normal skin types, and functions to deeply hydrate skin.


To achieve deep hydration, what does it entail?
The mask must aim to be nourishing, hydrating, moisturizing and illuminating.

The ingredients in the Black Obsidian Mask work together to achieve those four targets.

French Black Obsidian - a type of healing stone - is rich in trace elements and minerals,
and boosts skin's protection and hydrating power.
Laminaria digitata - brown algae - and sugar maple combine to deliver intense hydration, even to the deep layers.
Other hydro-packed ingredients include bladder wrack seaweed, aloe vera, and hydrolyzed jojoba,
as well as calendula, licorice, and ruscus aculeatus extracts to soothe dry and irritated skin.

What's best about the formula, is that it does not contain any harmful paraben preservatives, alcohol, mineral oil, pigments and fluorescent agents.
This makes it suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. (Y)

Eh okay let's get to the actual product review!

The Black Masks series retails at $16.50 for a pack of 5, and is available at Guardian, Sasa and Watsons.
You can purchase the masks online from Nature's Mart too; delivery is free for orders above $50.


Mine was kindly sent by Sample Store for my honest opinions.

Before putting on the mask, I made sure to cleanse my face first !
Nyehyackkk, recent pimples on my forehead and nose.


Upon opening the packet, I first noticed the smell of the contents.

It's a pleasant scent, a mix of diluted rose and soap.
Yeah, I'm quite sensitive to strong smells, so this is a plus point for sure.

I was quite wowed by the softness of the mask too !
No kidding, it's so soft, I was worried about accidentally tearing it.
You know the super soft cotton material that Uniqlo loves to seduce buyers with?
The kind you touch and immediately feel like buying cause it's sooo comfy.
Exactly that.

And it really does fit snugly to your skin.
Eh but slightly too tight, cause my face feels like it's wearing skinny jeans.

HAHAHAH I took a selfie to show le boyfriend.
I look (and feel) like a bank robber LOLOL.


GIMME YOUR MONEY.

I'm typing out my post as I'm masking, and seriously, so far I'm impressed.

I actually forgot to pop the box into the fridge beforehand (which I usually do for my masks),
so I had no choice but to apply the mask at room temperature.
However, I can still feel a cooling sensation on my skin, as if it is really drinking in the formula.

Of course, the science student in me also says that the feeling is probably attributed to the moisture evaporating off.. #scienceFTW.

After 20 minutes, here's my liberated face.
It's obviously brighter than the robber picture. LOL.


#nofilter #BanishThemPimples.

Okay la serious.

After I peeled off the mask, my skin felt slightly sticky, but that feeling went away after awhile.
There was no residual tight feeling on my face too.

I'll recommend this as a once a fortnight mask, for combination skin like mine. (:

Harness the power of social media (and mystical black for fair and radiant skin)! #adslogan :B

Redeem a free single pc sample of the Black Obsidian Moisturizing Black Mask, worth $3.95 !

Like the My Beauty Diary Sg Facebook Page, and click on the 'More' tab.
Select 'Black Mask Group Redemption' to join the group deal.

This is limited to the first 1,000 entries, so faster go join!


Monday, March 23, 2015

#ThankYouLKY

The passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father, must be the most talked about topic today.

Official statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

Since I was young, my aunt has always told me that Mr Lee Kuan Yew is her hero,
because he changed Singapore and enabled us to live in a secure and safe environment.

Every National Day Parade, as we gathered around the tv to watch,
my da gu gu would always anticipate the moment where Mr Lee would appear on the Grandstand.
Without fail, she would stand up and clap enthusiastically when he finally made his presence.

I didn't fully understand this excitement, until I actually studied Social Studies.
Merger, everyone knows.
A clean and green Singapore, that was also his vision too.

Singapore has been very fortunate because our founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew was a pragmatic environmentalist even before green became fashionable. He understood and pursued a philosophy of growing our economy whilst protecting the environment.
- Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, 2014.

For me, he is a great man, who gave up much of his youth fighting for his ideals, for his country.
Singapore is a small dot on the world map.
People scoffed at him, but he stuck on to his principles and proved that he could transform Singapore.
Through his iron fist and determination, Mr Lee did many things and allowed us to stand out.
Geographically our size is the still same, but our presence internationally is more than that dot.

I remember, on the train in Seoul, a Korean man asked us which country were we from.
When we said Singapore, the first thing out of his mouth was this:
Singapore? GOOD. Lee Kuan Yew is a very good man. 
He then proceeded to talk to his neighbour about Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew.
#ProudToBeSingaporean

Read this on SGAG and I thought it was a meaningful pun.

There was a time, where people said Singapore couldn't make it, but Yew did. 

Of course, he was not perfect, and had his own critics.
There's no denying that some of his policies and actions were harsh, but politics is as such.

Mr Lee was fully aware of it.
In an interview in 2010 with The New York Times, he said this:

Let me give you a Chinese proverb: Do not judge a man until you've closed his coffin.
I may still do something foolish before the lid is closed on me.. The final verdict may not be in the obituaries. The final verdict will be when the PhD students dig out the archives, read my old papers, assess what my enemies have said, sift the evidence and seek the truth. I'm not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honourable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.

Right now, this quote is especially powerful and poignant, because the coffin has indeed closed.
The man that is our founding father, how will the future generations remember and honour him?

I hope that we are able to learn from not just his wisdom and tenacity, but also his faults.

For someone so powerful to admit that he did wrong, takes courage.
He was said to be arrogant, but perhaps he did earn that right.
He had an authoritarian personality, but if not for his absolute beliefs, would Singapore have progressed?

No matter what is being said of him, I believe that actions speak louder than words.

I have never been over-concerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. I think a leader who is, is a weak leader... And that's not what I am in this for. Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed that Machiavelli was right - If nobody is afraid of me, I'm meaningless.

Without him, I believe that Singapore would not be how it is today.
Maybe we would still be able to succeed, but how far and how different?
No one really knows,
but the fact remains that our current state of success is attributed to the far-sighted wisdom of our founding father.

He has also touched me with his devotion to his wife.
Here's a link to an article that his daughter wrote, after Mrs Lee passed away:
Love does indeed spring eternal - Dr Lee Wei Ling

It shows that no matter how powerful a man, he has emotional moments of vulnerability as well.
It is a reminder that Mr Lee Kuan Yew is only human, and not just a ruthless political giant.

So, although it's extremely sad that Mr Lee Kuan Yew could not see Singapore reach its 50th year of independence,
it is also a kind of relief that he is not suffering anymore.
It is a form of release, because he can finally be reunited with his beloved.

I would like to end off with my favourite quote of his, which I came across a few months ago.


Good or bad, justified or ruthless, 
there's no denying the contributions Mr Lee Kuan Yew has made for Singapore.

RIP Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and .thank you.

You will always be remembered.

#thankyouLKY

As I record my thoughts, here's a random one:
For us, the younger generation, it's the dawn of a new era.
Especially with the rising power of social media, and in the age of free speech and liberal thinking,
how will we carry on LKY and all our previous leaders' hopes, dreams, and legacy?

It's a question worth pondering.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bedok Lab - Memories.

It's been only a month since my resignation from Bedok Lab, but omg seems like even longer.
Quite boring to be not doing anything la, but I'm glad for the time to rest and recharge too.

Since I'm feeling nostalgic, here's a throwback to the random events we've celebrated.

This was SGH Pathology's Annual Lunch!
First time attending anything like this in my past 4 years actually. 

It's quite ironic - the moment I decide to resign, I kena first priority to book leave, and attend a supposedly bonding lunch. HAHAH.




My two mothers at work. :D


Bedok family.
Actually there's more of us, heheh.


Adele is in love with my front camera. HAHAH.


With cleanliness queen Suhaila.


With cupcake yati !
This girl is damn good at baking, her nutella tarts are the bomb. :D



With Superwoman cashier Siti.


Celebrating Adele's Farewell !

Adele and Saljorah, who makes the best fried mee siam.
I dont mean to honour people by the foods they make, but its really awesome.



Christmas Eve ! 
HAHAH our favourite photo spot seems like the ECG room.

Honestly we only ever have time to relax during public holiday eves.


New Year's Eve !
Olive very cutely bought a cake for everyone to celebrate. 

So everyone's looking at it... HAHAH.



Valentine's!

Le gorgeous Zubaida.
My mentor since SOC training, and a listening ear/advisor I can trust.
She gave me much help regarding work, as well as personal stuff.


Saljorah.
The above-mentioned fried mee siam expert. HAHAH.
Also phlebotomy expert please. If got difficult vein can find her for help. :D 


Olive!
Also another mentor of mine - she taught me SOC's clinical lab work.
Very patient and super nice. Her reactions are damn cute too.


Seen!
Best in-charge ever. 
Through her guidance, I've learnt how to be a better leader.
She's super understanding too, and always kicks me home to study for exams. :3


Chinese New Year's Eve! 
Also my last day of work. :D

Xiaoying.
So different with her hair let down! Pretty hor?
Havent worked with her for very long, but she's v nice and easy to get along with.






Had good and horrible times in Bedok Lab, but I wont ever forget my awesome colleagues. :D

Friday, March 20, 2015

Annual clique steamboat !

Happens every CNY!
This time was pre-CNY, so no lou hei. :B

Expanded to two steamboats because we expanded as well. HAHAH.
This time we extended it to everyone's plus one too. 
Take it as a chance for everyone to know each other.

My mum damn cute, all the chicken and pork label clearly so that Pok wont grab the wrong stuff.


Group selfie by yuxian!


Also a surprise early birthday celebration for Bimb!
She mentioned that she wanted to try the Earl Grey Cake from My Sister Bakes.

Bff wants, bff gets. :D
Okay la just nice I was on leave, got time to do anything I want. 


The original us !


With the plus ones.
Thanks jh for always being our photographer !


With the bff. :D


Fulfilling meet-up, 
because we got to finally see yuxian (the most talked about one ;p), and got to interact with hh a little more!

It also seems like its been a long time since we all met up too. 
We've all been running on different tracks ever since graduation, 
but I always appreciate it when they make time to meet.

Having friends who care about what's going on in your life has always been important to me, even though I have pok.
Afterall, different advice can come from people with other viewpoints. 

Especially my girls, who always have an open ear to hear my ramblings.
They are also awesome at detecting my mood, heheh.
And I dont have a wide social circle, because I'm more of an introvert.
I'm very unlikely to open up to strangers, cause it's not easy to gain my trust.

So yeah, love my group of poly mates, because they're more than just that. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Review: Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil for Face

It's been quite some time since my last review for Sample Store!

I'm very sure everyone has heard of Palmer's, especially their Cocoa Butter Formula range, as one of the popular brands for moisturisers.

Founded in America more than 170 years ago, Palmer’s is one of the world’s leading names in skincare. They hold a strong commitment in creating affordable, good quality products which works, and can be found in more than 80 countries worldwide
Their #1 formula, Cocoa Butter Formula, is one of Palmer’s key offering in its wide range of skincare. Today, Palmer’s is still growing to provide a product for every
skincare need : hand and body care, facial care, stretch mark care, hair care, body care and personal care.
Using nature’s richest, most luxurious ingredients, Palmer’s key ingredients include Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Morever, Palmer’s is against animal testing, and all of the products are cruelty free. Majority of Palmer’s products are free of parabens, phthalates and sulphates.

I swear by their lip balm to protect my lips from cracking during dry/cold weather overseas.
Bought the Dark Chocolate and Mint flavoured one during my recent trip to HK, damn cheap only, and smells good. *nom noms.*
Other than lip balms and butters, I've read good reviews for their hand creams, stretch mark creams and scar care products as well.

This time, I'm introducing their Skin Therapy Oil for Face.



Their TVC!


video



It is a multi-purpose, skin perfecting dry oil for face & neck, and aims to achieve the following:

- Reduces lines & wrinkles
- Lightens dark spots
- Moisturizes dry, ageing skin
- Brightens & evens skin tone

Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil is a combination of Pure Cocoa Butter, Sesame Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Rosehip Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Camelina Oil and Argan Oil.
That's 9 types of oils, blended together with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and their exclusive Cetesomate E Complex,
to confer anti-ageing benefits on your skin!

That being said, Palmer's recommends this serum for women aged 35 and above,
and those who are concerned about fine lines, dark spots, and ageing skin.

Now, the idea of applying oil on your face might sound slightly scary.
Afterall, I'm sure most of us are already used to gel based products, myself included.

It's worth a try though.

I tested the consistency of the oil before applying it to my face.
The oil comes with a dropper, so bonus points for non-messy dispensing!

I placed only a drop on the back of my hand, then rubbed it in to absorb.
There's a nice light rosehip smell, kinda like super diluted rose syrup.



It doesn't feel as oily as I thought it would be, but it definitely left a visible oily sheen.
That was gone in about 5 minutes - longer than my usual gel moisturiser.

Hokay on my face!
I decided I only needed 2 drops for the entire face; lesser on the T-zone because I have combination skin.

Before :
I dont have skin ageing problems like fine lines, dark spots and wrinkles,
but I do have an uneven skin tone.


After:
Hmm face looks shiny initially, but it doesnt feel very oily after 3 minutes.
I left it on for another 10 minutes, still slightly oily.
Took my skin 20 minutes to feel completely dry.


Conclusion? I dont think this is suitable for my face. :x

On the contrary, it absorbed better on my neck.
No oily feeling after 2 minutes!

Before

After


I let my mum try the oil too, to see how it works on their recommended target group.

She approves, hahahah.
According to her feedback, the oil was absorbed into her skin rather quickly, around 3 minutes.
Initially there was a tight feeling, but that went away after 1 minute, after she spread it more evenly on her face.

She felt that her dark spots had not lightened significantly,
but the fine lines seems less pronounced, and she had a brighter skin tone.

Interested to buy Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil , for either yourself or your loved ones?

It's available at Watson's - both online and in physical stores - at $29.90 for a 30 ml bottle.
(Wah I didn't know Watson's had an online store LOL)

And take part in their lucky draw as well!
Simply post a selfie of you and your bottle of Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil on Instagram,
with the hashtags:  #Palmers #PalmersSg #PalmersSTOFace

Stand to win the Grand Prize of $150 cash + $80 Palmer's hamper,
and consolation prize of $100 cash + $80 Palmer's hamper!

Contest runs from now to 25th April, so send in your entries ASAP. Good luck!
*Winners will be announced on 30th April 2015.

Want to try before you buy?
Hehehe you still have time to redeem a free sample from Sample Store here!


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