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My 10 First Experiences In Japan

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My first trip to Japan was in 2012 with Mr Mode to Okinawa, which is actually quite different from the rest of Japan. In terms of culture, Taiwan, China and other East Asian cultures close to Okinawa had a much bigger influence on Okinawa than the rest of Japan did. Even the local Okinawan food and music are clearly different from traditional Japanese food and music. Here’s more from our 2012 Okinawa trip!

So I’ve been to Japan, but not the mainstream part of Japan, you know what I mean? Someone once told me it’s like how Americans think of Hawaii, it’s part of America, but more exotic. Anyway, I’m glad to have been to Okinawa and finally to Yokohama and Tokyo! Experienced so many first-times during this trip and I wanted to share them with you so you might have ideas for your next trip to Japan. 😀

Watermelon That Doesn’t Drip

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One of my favorite fruits is watermelon, and what a memorable way to start the trip with the best watermelon I’ve ever had! It was crunchy, very sweet and juicy, and yet the juice did not get all over my hands and mouth as normal watermelons do. How intriguing! I love the garden behind Mr Watermelon and me, it’s a shared space for people in the neighborhood who do not have their own gardens but wish to grow their own plants and vegetables.

Making My First Futomaki Sushi

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Most people start by making simple sushi, but we jumped ranked and went straight into making Futomaki sushi rolls which required a lot more ingredients, steps, and skill. Luckily we had the friendly obasans to help us at every step of the way. Futomaski sushi rolls are thick Japanese sushi rolls primarily filled with vegetables and sometimes seafood. They’re known for their beautiful presentation and well-balanced flavors. The designs implementable are limited only by one’s imagination and we saw a variety of designs presented to us like flowers, panda, crab, and cherry blossoms! The outer tamago layer was my favorite, it was thick and perfectly sweet and salty. 😀

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Is Heat The Secret to Perfect Skin? maNara Hot Cleansing Gel Review

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There, a rare picture of me sans foundation/concealer/powder a.k.a war paint. I have spots and acne scars and discoloration and new pimples and comedones; I feel somewhat uncomfortable showing you my naked skin, but you know what? I always remind myself that ‘Hey, it could be a lot worse’. Sometimes when my skin acts up due to change in climate, dirty air, lack of water, lack of sleep, hormonal dysfunction, I look at pictures of worse skin days and tell myself ‘See, it’s not that bad today’. =)

With absolutely nothing on my skin, I thought it the best time to show you how it looks like right after cleansing my face with maNara Hot Cleansing Gel. I’ve never tried any cleanser, heck, ANY PRODUCT like it before. The first time I tried it, I’d thought there would be just a little warmth from rubbing the cleansing gel between my fingers, but no, there was obvious heat on my skin! :O

I was surprised (but not alarmed) coz the more I massaged, the warmer it got. But it wasn’t uncomfortable at all, it was more like an inviting embrace one would encounter when one enters a sauna and gets hit by the wave of warm air. That kind of feeling that makes one go “ahhhh…”. That reminds me of my first time at an onsen in Japan, that moment of relief when the warm waters enveloped my tired body and soothed my soul.

I’ve actually never heard of maNara before because, you know, the Japanese have wayyyy too many great products that are kept for their own community. But now that the brand wishes to share this secret with us, it’s easy to see why maNara Hot Cleansing Gel is the Number 1 cleansing gel in Japan! Welcome to Singapore! 😀

Come, allow me to show you how to enjoy the luxury of a spa facial in your own home.

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I kept the explanation short in the above diagram, so here are extra notes for you :)

  • Ensure your hands and face are dry, the hot cleansing gel will not work on damp/wet skin. An oily face is fine though, I’ve tried it at the end of an oily day and my face is always oily in the morning haha
  • Slowly work the cleansing gel in upward circular motions using your fingertips. In my pictures I use my palms, but that’s because I had to keep my fingertips clean to press the camera shutter LOL
  • Your skin will warm up and the heat retained for about 1 minute, after which you should rinse it off with water. 20 splashes should be sufficient.
  • Oil-based cleansers should never be allowed near eyelash extensions as the oil can dislodge the extensions from the root. So far none of my lash extensions have been harmed from the use of maNara Hot Cleansing Gel. It is perfectly safe for eyelash extensions!

Besides The Heat

What makes maNara Hot Cleansing Gel different from other cleansers is that it basically combines the functions of 7 products into 1 – makeup remover (okie, for me 6 then), cleanser, booster, serum, pore care, exfoliator, and thermal care.

It contains three main plant ingredients – golden root extract, multi flora and fruit extract, and artichoke leaf extract that work to tighten pores. The gel formula eliminates oil without stripping your skin, and what keeps the skin moist after cleansing is a myriad of beauty ingredients such as Vitman C derivative, Hyaluronic acid, Hydroquinone derivative, Astaxanthin, Squalene, collagen-supporting ingredients and more.

It is free of harmful additives like coloring, synthetic perfumes, mineral oil, ethanol (yes, thank you!!), paraben. I wonder how they incorporated the yummy citrus scent though, I absolutely adore it.

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A good cleanse really is the best thing you can do for your skin, and the citrus scent and warmth of maNara Hot Cleansing Gel makes waking up in the morning a little less painful. I would highly recommended this product, both for its efficacy and fun thermal experience 😀

You can make your order on the maNara Asia page, click here for English and click here for Mandarin, free shipping provided.

 

This post was written in collaboration with maNara Singapore. 

The Ultimate Blow: Dyson Supersonic

Dyson-Supersonic-Best-Hair-Dryer-Review_5.1 Dyson-Supersonic-Best-Hair-Dryer-Review_10.2 If there is ONE thing that’s preventing me from traveling light, or going backpacking, that would be the need to use a hairdryer every night. Hahaha! That probably sounds silly, but if you had my hair, you would understand. For my hair to be completely air-dried, 3 hours is just about how long it takes.

For years, my arms, especially my right, have ached under the weight of heavy, conventional hairdryers. There were no alternatives, and I couldn’t complain. It’s a necessary evil! Twenty minutes each time, every night.

That would be my bathroom routine for the next many decades, not a surprise since the hair dryer hasn’t been re-invented for the past 60 years, until Dyson decided to join the beauty market and change the monotony of bathroom routines forever.

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Coming from Dyson, you’d expect a hair dryer nothing less than unconventional. After all, it was the company that revolutionized simple domestic items and made them more efficient and actually look aesthetically desirable in homes – like its bladeless fan and cinetic vacuum cleaner. Owning a Dyson has kinda become a symbol of status, hasn’t it? When I opened the well-constructed packaging and held the Supersonic in my hand, I thought, my, my, what a beauty. 😀 The Dyson Supersonic reflects the brand’s usual sleek design and minimalism.

Two weeks after I started using the Dyson Supersonic, I wondered how much of a difference my new hairdryer could be from my previous one. Couldn’t be THAT different, right? So I took out the old guard and suddenly realized my 7 years of weight-lifting had done nothing to help me cope with having it in my hand again. I had forgotten just how cumbersome, heavy and NOISY it was!

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