All posts tagged: Travel

The Ordinary, Covent Garden

Shopping in London: The Ordinary

In a world of beauty products printed with mysterious and long lists of skincare ingredients, the appearance of The Ordinary is like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Launched in 2016, The Ordinary revolutionised the beauty market with affordable products that contain simple and effective ingredients. Soon, The Ordinary was on the hit list of beauty junkies that knew their retinol from their alpha hydroxy acids. Packaged simply in tinted glass dropper bottles, most of the products are made in straightforward combinations of the two best ingredients that would make one’s skin better: more hydrated, smoother, firmer, fairer. One at a time. The Ordinary does not make promises about do-it-all serums; just the right and pure ingredients that do it. TBG was in London earlier this year, and picked up 7 items that would be good for beginners looking to treat their skin, without having to risk too much of a reaction: Antioxidants to fix stressed skin: Resveratrol 3%+Ferulic Acid 3% Moisturisation: Hyaluronic Acid 2%+B5, or, 100% Plant-Derived Squalane, or, Amino Acids+B5 …

Apivita Experience Store

Borne out of a pharmacy and inspired by the humble and hardworking bee, Apivita may be Greece’s best beauty and wellness export. It is rarely spotted in Athens, save for in a smattering of pharmacies. The brand used to be available in Asia, but is currently nowhere to be found there. But Apivita’s skincare and wellness selection is one of the best in Europe. Formulated with bee products – from regular honey to pricey royal jelly and potent propolis – as well as botanicals found in the rich lands of Greece and beyond, Apivita’s products are unpretentious. To get the full range of what the brand has to offer, visit its three-storey flagship at 6 Solonos St & Kanari St, Kolonaki, Athens. On the ground floor, take your pick from the wide range of skincare for women, men and babies. This includes its selection of delicious skincare masks for every concern, conveniently packaged in sachets so they remain fresh and easy to bring along on vacations. Apivita’s suncare and anti-ageing products are also of top-notch …

Al Hammam Traditional Baths, Athens

With its proximity to Turkey, it is not surprising that the Al Hammam in the centre of Athens is considered one of the best in the city. Tucked in the alleyways of Athens (10 Ragava St. Plaka), it is a skip and hop away from the historic Bath of The Winds (now a museum). Step into the cool interior and be greeted by a colourful and cosy reception. But don’t let it fool you: the marble hammam space is heated up to 40 degrees celsius with hot steam. My husband and I picked the signature treatment, Al Hammam (49 Euros for 60 mins). Here’s what we got: 30 minutes in a private marbled hammam where we were steamed on a heated hexagaonal slab at up to 40 degrees celsius. Just 3 minutes in, we were gasping like fish out of water. Here’s the thing, if you are not used to or do not like saunas, the hammam experience will be trying. Thankfully, we were given cool water to drink before the 30-minute hammam session. Also …

Codage Paris Prescription: On The Road Again

The latest niche beauty label to hit Escentials’ shelves is Codage Paris, the French brand which prides itself on potent serums.  The range of seven serums are made to suit different skincare needs and lifestyles.  A good way to start experimenting with this new-to-market brand is to pick up the On The Road Again “prescription”. Packed to treat skin that is imbalanced due to the drying cabin conditions and unfamiliar weather, it contains: 1) Micellar Water (50ml) – a gentle but effective cleanser that also hydrates skin. It does not leave the skin tight and dry, and there is no need to rinse. Just dampen a cotton pad with the solution, and wipe skin clean. 2) Serum No.1 (10ml) – for intense moisturisation, the clear serum is lightweight but soaks skin easily. It contains complexes and ingredients to stimulate the skin’s own natural moisturisation levels (hyaluronic acid, aquaporin stimulator peptide) for long-lasting hydration, as well as antioxidants to protect. 3) Serum No.3 (10ml) – for radiance and energy. Also formulated with ingredients that deeply moisturise, …

Shopping: Eve and Boy in Bangkok, Siam Square

The beauty selection at drugstores of each city says alot about its women and their grooming habits.  Judging by what’s available on the shelves at chains such as Boots and Watsons, Bangkok is the place to stock up on mass, colour cosmetics.  Thai women (and men) love their bold eyeshadows, lipsticks and full coverage foundation.  And because the per capita gross domestic product in Thailand is about US$6,000; US$5 options are aplenty in Bangkok’s beauty stores. So beauty junkies can pretty much expect a wide range of reasonably priced, highly pigmented cosmetics in this land of fabulous drag queens. Eve & Boy, sort of a Sephora equivalent but with both mass and high-end options, is a must-visit if you are keen to find out what’s trending on the faces of Thai ladies. Accented with neon lights, Eve & Boy is located at Siam Square.  Besides the regular big-name brands such as MAC, Origins, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Clinique, NYX and Maybelline; there are plenty of K-Beauty options as well as smaller Thai and American labels.  These …

Facial Treatments at Aesop, Nakameguro, Tokyo

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin As I tucked myself between the sheets on the toasty spa bed at Aesop’s beautiful Nakameguro store in Tokyo, I found myself staring at this quote on the ceiling. I’m doing the right thing then, I thought, pampering myself with the new Tranquil Order Facial Treatment for “combination, sensitive and reactive skin”. First launched in Melbourne in 2005, the facial is now available at Aesop’s Nakameguro store, the only one in Japan which currently offers the indulgent session. The therapist decided on the Tranquil Order treatment (from 18,000 yen for 60 minutes, before tax) for me after a consultation, which involved a questionaire on my beauty routine and skincare habits. The treatment begins with a deep cleansing ritual where she mixed the Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant mixed with the Purifying Cream Cleanser, along with some facial cabin-only professional products. This was followed by the Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser, all applied with firm and comforting strokes. What happened next was all a blur as …

Shu X Murakami Holiday 2016

Following up on his Holiday 2013 limited edition collaboration with Shu Uemura, prolific Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is back with Shu’s Holiday 2016 collection. And it is literally a bigger and bolder line, with his signature colourful “superflat” super-cheery flowers emblazoned all over the 25-pieces of cosmetics. Shu’s Holiday lines are super coveted collectibles as they are often created in partnership with big creative names; from Wong Kar Wai to Karl Lagerfeld. This Murakami one is set to be a sold-out sensation. All available at Shu Uemura Singapore counters from Nov 1. These are what we’re lusting over from the collection:  

Innisfree on Jeju Island

If you’re ever in Jeju Island, pop by the Innisfree store to pick up its products and experience its free-spiritedness. Shop the brand’s skincare products; some of which are exclusive to the store. Make and match the ingredients to make your own masks… And make your own soap bars… Or just grab a drink from the cafe. A pretty green tea field where you can learn how green tea is picked and made, is just nearby.

YG Entertainment’s Moonshot in Seoul

Yes. The Koreans from the South are so good at raking in the moolah. K-pop manufacturer YG Entertainment, responsible for the uber popular Big Bang, 2NE1 and PSY, has its own cosmetics brand Moonshot. So K-pop fans can have a shot at looking a little like their idols (without having to go for surgery). Launched around a year ago, the flagship store is mapped on the Gyeongbukgong area (along the main street of restaurants and boutiques). It’s hard to miss the stylish block. And inside, you will be served by a men-only make-up artist team… The store offers both colour cosmetics and skincare. I got my hands on five of these Jelly Pot eyeshadows that are intensely pigmented and the colours are beautifully shimmery. And how often do you come across metallic magenta and peachy coral shadows? I had to grab them. —- The second floor of the store (above) is designed for classes and workshops. Just so you get an idea of how the make-up looks..here are some screengrabs of a Moonshot xTablo Youtube …