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


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.


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.



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.

Dyson-Supersonic-Best-Hair-Dryer-Review_8.2 Dyson-Supersonic-Best-Hair-Dryer-Review_7.2

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!


Clean Skin With Simple Steps: Simple Micellar Cleansing Water


There are many things in life that are not quite as simple as black and white, most of them beyond our control. For those that I have control over, I try to keep it simple, especially when it comes to skincare. Gone are the days where I used 9 different products after cleansing. I realized it all boils down to the very first step – proper makeup removal. Even when I don’t apply makeup, I make it a point to remove the impurities and dirt that had accumulated on my skin throughout the day from environmental pollutants or oil and smoke from cooking in the kitchen or sunscreen.

It is imperative to find the right type of makeup removal. I worked out that cleansing oil and milk don’t quite sit well with my oily skin, while it appreciates water-based makeup removers.

How Does Micellar Water Work?

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about Micellar Water, what with all that buzz about it being a magical potion that removes makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin without rinsing. It doesn’t dry out the skin, and some brands’ even provide hydration benefits.

It looks and feels like plain old water, and Simple Micellar Cleansing Water has NO artificial fragrances, colors, or harsh chemicals, making it THE magic potion for sensitive skin like mine.




Skin & Life After Facial Incident: What You’ve Always Wanted To Know – Part 2


And HELLO again! :)  In Part 1 of Skin & Life After Facial Incident: What You’ve Always Wanted To Know, I answered questions on reasons why I cannot disclose its identity, the legal implications, some skin updates, and my thoughts on makeup.

In Part 2, I shall answer more questions pertaining to my skin, doctors I’ve been to, why I’ve stopped going to some, and more.

Note: This post was updated on 11 June 2016

Q: Why did you stop going to Dr Joyce Lim clinic/Clifford clinic/any other clinic? 

A: Dr Joyce Lim played a huge part in my recovery from the allergic reaction. She made the correct diagnosis, gave the right meds and by the next day my skin had stop flaring. No more new barnacles, and old pustules were starting to dry up. I continued to see Dr Joyce for a year and did microdermabrasion and chemical peeling for my wedding. I had such great skin during that period.

Then somehow the products stopped taking effect and I started to have some acne again. I guess my skin didn’t take to her products anymore.

I didn’t see any doctor for a period of 6 months until I got to know Dr Gerard Ee from Clifford Clinic. I was with the clinic from January to June 2015 and wrote a detailed documentation of my journey during the period. Then suddenly my skin decided it didn’t like the drugs and products prescribed anymore too. Sheesh, such fickle-mindedness.

I don’t think any skin doctor is superior or inferior to another, it’s just a matter of finding the right one at the right time.

Skin changes, and so should our choices. :)


Skin & Life After Facial Incident: What You’ve Always Wanted To Know – Part 1


Hello friends! Sorry for this long overdue post, whoops! I’ve been meaning to write about how life and my skin have been since the terrible facial but there really is SO MUCH that getting started gave me a headache. And then my iMac went mad when I was close to publishing so that sat me back by a couple more weeks. @_@

Well, here it is, and it so happens to also be the month the outbreak occurred 3 years ago. So…. Happy anniversary to me! LOL.

After more than 3 years since the horrible facial happened, I still get asked questions pertaining to the incident. I don’t mind getting questions, really, in fact I am glad that my posts have touched many people and given them the courage to reach out to someone for help. Or shed light on the potential consequences of a facial.

However, sometimes I do find it tiring to be replying the same questions over and over again, all day, every day. To me, this incident happened very long ago and I do want to put it behind me. But every now and then a website picks up this piece of old news and it goes viral and then I get flooded with questions again. To people who don’t notice the date or look at my life updates, they think it happened yesterday.

So I decided to put together a two-part series, covering the most frequently asked questions, across various topics to help as many people as possible. I wanted to break it further but three posts seemed like an overkill.

Here’s Skin & Life Post-Facial: What You’ve Always Wanted To Know

Part 1: Salon Identity, Case Resolution, Skin Updates

Part 2: Skin Updates, Doctors, Dealing With Skin Conditions


Where To Find Good Quality & Affordable Makeup Brushes In Singapore


I often get the reply “But I don’t know how to use brushes or which brush to use” when people ask me what do I use to apply my makeup and I ask them back.

Considering the crazy number of brushes I own – I think I stopped counting at 180? – it might seem torturous to have to wade through the army of brushes before deciding what to use, and how to use it.

But in fact, no, usually this is more the case:


Lalalalalalalala~~ 😀

It’s precisely because I’ve gone through so many brushes that I know exactly what’s good and how to maximise each brush’s potential.

So today, I’m gonna share with you some of my commonly used brushes that are of great quality, super affordable, and easy to use. I love these brushes, that’s why I brought them in to make them accessible to more people, and at a lower price (coz there is no rent and no employees to pay LOL).

I hope through this post you’ll have a better understanding of various brushes and their versatility – every brush has more use than what its name states! You can drop me a message on the Gumtree app if you have any questions.