Friday, November 29, 2013

Series 2:Essential Oils: Grapefruit

Since I started off this series with lemon essential oil, I thought it fitting that I should follow up with one of its cousins: Grapefruit.

Grapefruit is a well known diuretic, that helps in fat burning and detoxing, and is even said to help prevent cancer. There have been animal studies that show that limonene helps prevent stomach, liver, colon, as well as skin cancer. This substance is found in citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, and of course grapefruit. In a study by Brigham Young University, an 80.5% cell inhibition value for skin cancer cells was shown with usage of grapefruit essential oil. Purdue University also reported a 80% regression in breast cancer carcinomas with the help of limonene, and little toxicity.

Besides the above, grapefruit also contains antioxidants, ans is an excellent astringent for oily skin. It is beneficial for acne, and is used for muscle fatigue, and helps in hair growth. At home, its anti viral and anti microbial properties also make it an excellent disinfectant. Used in aromatherapy, it also helps with depression, mental fatigue, anxiety, and stress.

Yummy Grapefruit!
So How do we use it? No issue of this series would be complete without the Belle's 2 cents worth. So here goes!

- Use 2-4 drops diluted in a carrier oil and massage to relieve tired muscles

-Add 3- 4 drops into your bathwater in the bathtub. This helps relieves stiffness of joints as well as rheumatism and arthritis

-Add a drop to your water bottle or glass of water to perk up your mind and help with stomach discomfort.  But make sure the essential oil is food grade first!

-Use in aromatherapy burner/ diffuser, diluted slightly with water to wake up the mind, and uplift the spirits. (My favourite way to use it. This also helps kill airborne germs!)

-Add 5-6 drops to 100ml of water, shake well, and use as a mild disinfecting spray.

-Using a wet cotton bud, use one drop and dab onto acne areas. (Please use with caution and dilute further if you have extra sensitive skin. Better still, do a patch test first!)

As always, use with caution on the very young, and very old, and avoid using around pets, especially felines-citrus oils are known to be very toxic to them!

Please pardon this slowcoach being so slow with updates. I am, and will be travelling rather often this holiday season, so updates are slow. But I will try my best, so please be patient with me! (Will answer to comments soon, please bear with me!)

See you back here soon, my beauties!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Time!

How have my dear beauties been? I've been in a little of a holiday mood, since my little one is on school holiday. The Belle has not been idle, however. I am in the midst of testing out products for my dear beauties.

In the upcoming posts, besides continuing with Series 2 of essential oils, the Belle will also be reviewing several new items, including a dupe of the infamous Tangle Teezer, as well as products for sensitive skin. DIY projects also work in progress!

I am going to be overseas for a few days getaway with my family, so do keep your fingers crossed for updates when I come back.

See you soon, my beauties!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Series 2: Essential Oils: Lemon Heaven

I love the smell of lemon. Mind you, I am talking about the real fresh lemon scent, not the artificial sugary lemon smell that you find in poor quality scents.Since it is not possible to keep lemon fresh for too long, the next best alternative would be essential oils.

Bright Yellow Lemons!


Besides being an excellent source of vitamin C goodness, lemon has been tested and proven to have an impact on a wide variety of ailments/complaints and the list is as follows:

-antiviral
-anticancer
-antioxidant
-astringent
-antidepressant
-antifungal
-antiseptic
-invigorating
-tonic
-refreshing

As usual, the Belle will list out a number of ways you can use this nifty essential oil. Here goes!

-Aromatherapy: In a burner or diffuser. The aroma purifies the air, uplifts the mood and invigorates the mind. It also helps with concentration.

-Massage: diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or sweet almond, helps with healing the affected area.

*When using lemon essential oil topically, always avoid the sun for at least 12 hours to prevent photo sensitivity.

-As a drink: 1 drop together with a tablespoon of honey, dissolved in water. This helps with intestinal issues and helps to clear toxins from the body. (Be sure the essential oil you have is food grade!) Clear system+Beautiful skin!

-Insect bites and stings: Used on insect bites and stings, it helps prevent the possibility of infection.

-Toner:Use with caution (see note above on photosensitivity) as a spritzer, being careful to avoid the eyes-- simply add 3-4 drops to about 100ml water

-Cleaning:Mix 7-8 drops to about 100 ml water, shake well. Use to help remove grease marks as well as disinfect. (And mummies, this works great for sticker/tape glue marks and gum!)

*As always, the list is not exhaustive. But these are the most convenient ways to use this wonderful oil.

**Be careful when using around your pets, especially felines--citrus oils are especially toxic to cats. Be careful when using round the very young (below 6) and the aged.

The Belle has been plagued by a string of events at home, and I thank you for your patience and understanding for my delay in posting! I am trying hard to update soonest for my beauties. So, I hope you do not abandon me....:D

See you again soon, my beauties. Till then!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Back After a Break & Preview

The Belle is finally back after a recharge of batteries. A lot is still going on, but the belle has gotten her engine oiled and is ready to go, so get ready!

Next up will be series 2 of essential oils, which I will be touching on fruit essential oils.

See you back soon,my beauties!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Note from The Belle

The Belle has a lot on the plate at the moment, out of the blue, and hence (again) the lack of updates. My apologies!

My mummy brain needs a rest as it has been plagued by an incessant stream of events in the family. I will not talk about them here, as my family values  privacy. Please give me a little time to adjust, and I will be back as soon as I can. That's a promise!

Excuses Reasons aside, I will be continuing with Series 2 on essential oils shortly, so please do stay tuned!

See you back here soon!

-The Belle

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: Shiseido Tsubaki Head Spa Shampoo

Here's the story: My much neglected scalp was crying out for help. It was itching even after (daily) shampooing, and scratching produced whitish deposits on my fingernails. And hubby (horror of horrors) started seeing the dreaded white flakes falling all over his shoulders. Hence, we decided that enough was enough and as it goes, the rest is history.

Introducing the protagonist!

Shiseido Tsubaki Head Spa Shampoo

So how did it fare? Let's find out!

Pros:
-Heavenly scent (The camellia flower extract?) that is not too overpowering
-A little goes a long way-I use 2 pumps of shampoo with my normal Asience Shampoo, but with this baby, I only needed 1 pump each time to produce a rich lather
-Clean, clean scalp and hair that stays clean for a longer time (In the absence of hair products) in Singapore's humid weather.
-No itchiness-even when hair starts to feel dirty
-Does not weigh down my fine hair.
-Gorgeous, translucent bottle that allows you see exactly how much is left-we all have those days when we curse ourselves for not bringing in the new bottle of shampoo when one has already stripped down to his/her birthday suit to shower.

Cons:
-A little expensive-it retails at SGD19.90 for a 550ml bottle-mind you, this is not a salon brand shampoo-but no biggie since you use less shampoo than usual
-Hair becomes a little dry and tangles more easily-again, not a big deal since the problem is easily solved with a little of your usual conditioner.

Verdict:
The Belle loves the stuff! I would be likely to repurchase this, unless I find something better for a reasonable price.

The Belle will be back soon with more reads, so keep your fingers crossed. See you again soon, my beauties!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: Essential Purely Smooth Conditioner

I had run out of conditioner and was looking around at the nearby beauty supplies store, and this caught my eye.

Essential Purely Smooth Conditioner

Like its predecessors, it promises to nourish your hair, right up to the last 15cm, which is most damaged. Having been a little disappointed by the other versions of this conditioner (one was too light, one was too heavy for my fine hair and caused slight itching), I was hesitant to try this, but eventually caved in. After all, SGD 7.40 for 500 ml is a pretty good deal.(Hey, the Belle needs to watch the household budget...) But did it deliver? Let's move on!

Pros:
-Hair is left light and smooth after drying, and ends look shiny and smooth after drying (now, please note that my hair is almost touching my tailbone, so the ends can get pretty ragged if the conditioner doesn't work well.)
-Non irritating to scalp (Yeah, highly intelligent me got the conditioner on my scalp)
-Unobtrusive scent. (don't you just hate those scents that are too 'in your face'?)
-Pocket friendly.

Cons:
-Effects did not last throughout the next day (I wash my hair at night.)
-Detangling affect was not as thorough as I would have liked. I slept with my hair loose and woke up to tangles on the end-- which were kept to a minimum using my favourite Loreal conditioner

Verdict:
I would repurchase this as it is very pocket friendly, and does what it says it will do, without weighing my hair down. But I am still on the lookout for a good, silicone and sulphate free, as well as budget friendly conditioner for my long hair. Tall order, I know. But one can hope..

Other reviews coming up soon, so keep watching this space. See you again soon, my beauties!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review: Ellips Hair Treatment Hair Vitamin

My hair ends have been feeling rather rough lately, with more split ends for me to snip than usual (yes, I trim them myself.) So, I was on the lookout for something to help with the damage and prevent more split ends, but at the same time, not break the bank. I was delighted to see this:

Ellips Hair Treatment Hair Vitamin
 Now, The Belle is a little leery of hair products that contain silicone (some of them tend to weigh down the hair, or in the long term, make it dull.) But I couldn't resist a good offer--it was only SGD 2.60. So, here it is!

Pros:
-Damaged hair feels smoother and moisturized
-Hair looks shinier and healthier

Cons:
-Requires long term use to see significant results.
-Felt heavy, especially on my fine hair. (Maybe because of the silicones?)

Verdict:
Hair did feel much less tangled and looked healthier after continued daily use for around a week.However, hair did look a little flat. Would I repurchase? Maybe, since it is rather pocket friendly. But, not for long term use due to the silicone content.

*I know I have been slow with my reviews. I am trying to work faster as I am feeling much better, so please stay tuned! Thank you!

See you back soon, my beauties!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I am Blessed...

I am blessed...

That my family and I  are relatively healthy and well.

I am blessed...

That my beloved husband is by my side, through the good and bad times.

I am blessed...

That I can see my son's beautiful smile and hear his voice every day.

I am blessed...

That I have a roof over my head, and food and drink in my tummy.

I am blessed...

That I do not have to worry about my next meal

I am blessed...

That I have close friends always ready to listen, and lend a helping hand.

I am blessed...

To stay in a country like Singapore, where I do not have to worry unduly about the safety of my family.

I am blessed...

To be able to enjoy the many creature comforts modern technology has given us.

I am blessed...

That I am able to sit here counting my blessings, typing them out.

I am blessed!

-The Belle

I was recently ill, as you would know, from my previous posts.  A lot has been happening at home as well. After I recovered, I was overcome with gratitude as I came to realize I had taken so much of what I had for granted.(And hence, the above soliloquy--or what ever you choose to call it..)What has made you feel blessed today?

*I apologize for not updating this blog for so long. The Belle is back in action, so there will be a lot more activity on this blog now. Thank you for your patience!

See you back soon, my beauties!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Unexpected Break

The Belle was unwell and took an unexpected break. My apologies!

Have been unwell very often these days, and it has not been fun. But rest assured, this blog has not been forgotten.

Reviews and other reads coming up soon, when the Belle is better. See you soon, my beauties!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Getting A Pet! (2):Hamster Haven

Pictures of some amazing homes some people have built for their furry friends! Now, whether it is to satisfy those furry little creatures or or human vanity is another matter...haha...

*image from soundprint.co.uk

If Apple built pet homes, they would probably look like this.

*image from www.eface.com
Hamster haven/heaven of tunnels and play areas. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, especially when it comes to clean up time...


*image from www.critterhub.com
Another hamster mansion!
*image from www.shopping.com

The Hagen Habitrail Ovo Suite Hamster Habitat. Habitrail has been labeled as 'evil' on forums for their size, but no one can deny that the designers do have some cool designs.

*image from petcrazy.co.uk
Okay, so this last one isn't that uncommon. But I included this pink Armitage Rotastak Pink Fun Palace because it is so pretty in pink!

Got to go now, as I have an early day tomorrow. Will be back soon, I promise!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Getting A Pet! (1)

As the (boring) title suggests, The Belle will be getting a pet shortly. Rather excited about this since this is the first time in 6 years that I will be getting another pet after my beloved Shih Tzu, Cookie was lost/stolen. My heart broke when I had to come to terms with the fact that I would never see Cookie again. Now, I can only hope he is in a better place, with loving owners.

Enough of the sad stuff. I am getting a pet hamster! ("Bo-oring, Belle...". Yeah, maybe to you. But this is my blog, so I will write what I like.) It has been ages since (erm, my secondary school days?) I last kept a hamster. The range of accessories available makes me giddy. My poor wallet, haha...

So other than my bi-weekly jaunts to beauty stores/ pharmacies, I will probably be visiting the pet shop pretty often as well to get the accessories needed before the new addition to my family comes home. I cannot wait to take pictures of the (oh-so-pretty) stuff that I see at the stores as well as the amazing homes some have built for their pets.

So, stay tuned for pictures. Meanwhile, I am working on some reviews, so do keep checking back for those too. The Belle will be back soon!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Series 1:Essential Oils: Queen's Favourite:Rose


"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose."
-Getrude Stein

Cleopatra was known to use in in her beauty regime, as well as in her attempts to seduce Marc Anthony. Today, we too can enjoy its benefits. Rose oil is known as the "Queen of Essential Oils"- it takes as many as 30 roses to make one drop of Rose Otto oil! It is divided into 2 different types: Rose Otto and Rose Absolute. Rose Otto is more expensive, as  it takes more roses to produce.It is also more preferred for topical aromatherapy as Rose Absolute, due to its nature of extraction, may still contain trace amounts of solvent.

The Belle has done a little research, and the uses of rose essential oil are as follows:

1)Aromatherapy: Used in aromatherapy burners, it can help relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. A few drops can also be added to the bathtub for a relaxing bathtime.

2)Massage: A few drops, used alone, or combined with lavender, added to a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil make for a relaxing massage that helps to relieve tension and cramps in muscles. This concoction can also be used to relieve menstrual cramps. Experiment, and go with something that your nose likes!

3)Skincare:As a toner for dry, sensitive skins, place about 5-8 drops in 80 ml water. Shake well before use, and apply with a cotton pad. The mixture can also be spritzed and patted onto eczema areas to relieve itchiness. Oilier skins may like to add witch hazel to the concoction.

4)Other uses: As a cure for congestion for blocked sinuses, stops nausea and vomiting. It can also help to ease sore throats and relieve coughing spasms. For relief, place 1-2 drops in a tissue/hankerchief and inhale.

The above list of uses are not exhaustive. The Belle would like to stress again (Now I sound like an old woman, but anyway...) that as with all essential oils, rose oil should be used with caution in the elderly, young, pregnant, nursing, and the very sensitive. Pregnant women, particularly, should wait until their 4th month or after to use it.

What are your favourite uses for roses? Do share!See you back here soon, my beauties!

A rose from The Belle to my beauties!

*End of first series on essential oils. Do let me know of there are any essential oils you want to be featured!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Apologies and Thank you!

Once again, I have to apologize for my lateness in updating the blog. So much has been going on at home. Thank you for your patience!

Rest assured I am working to bring you more good stuff, so please do keep checking back!

Do look out for my posts on essential oils continued, coming up soon. Meanwhile, stay pretty, my beauties!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Series 1:Essential Oils: Koala Heaven: Eucalyptus

Besides being the favourite food of the adorable koala bear, eucalyptus has a multitude of uses. For instance, do you know that eucalyptus leaves actually contain a potent insecticide, cyanide? (Not to worry, however, the amounts are minute and not harmful to us. A little chemistry here: Adequate protein in the diet helps to detoxify hydrocyanic acid, or HCN by providing sulphur amino acids. Ingested in small amounts over prolonged periods of time, the HCN will be neutralized.)

The Belle believes in balance-Even the most deadly of plants, when used correctly, can help us. (Take the deadly nightshade plant, for instance.) Similarly, even the best medicines, when used incorrectly, can be deadly. (Your bottle of innocent looking cough syrup suddenly isn't so innocent after all-some actually abuse it and use it as a drug!) So, keep an open mind, and use with caution and some common sense research. Exercise extra caution when using with the very young or old, pregnant and nursing, as well as the very sensitive.

The list of uses are as follows:
-Analgesic
-Antibacterial
-Anti-catarrhal
-Anti-Inflammatory
-Anti Infectious
-Expectorant
-Insecticidal
-Anti-viral

The Belle understands that the above can be quite difficult to digest, so here is a breakdown of the common ways that eucalyptus (essential oil) can be used at home.

1) Aromatherapy-Place a few drops in an aromatherapy oil burner or diffuser to help freshen the air, relieve coughs, jet lag, and clear blocked sinuses. Also helps with stress, mental exhaustion, as well as sluggishness.

2)Massage- For sore, aching muscles, rheumatism, as well as congestion-use diluted with a carrier oil (eg. sweet almond oil) and massage over affected areas. Can also be used for pain relief in shingles.

3) As an anti bacterial room spray-Mix 10 drops eucalyptus oil with 5 drops tea tree oil with about 150ml water (preferably distilled) in a spray bottle. Shake well, and spray to kill airborne bacteria. (I notice this also helps with pesky mosquitoes!)

4)Insect repellent- Place a few drops on a ribbon, and tie at a window where insects tend to enter. Drip drops on cotton balls, and place on shelves. Refresh weekly.

5)Lice-Place a few drops on comb, and comb through hair to help with itch and get rid of lice.

6)Itching skin/ inflammation/minor wounds- Mix 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops lavender, and 5 drops eucalyptus with 150ml water. Shake to mix thoroughly, and dab with soaked cotton pad on affected area, or spray directly and allow to dry.

7)Fever relief-Mix 5 drops eucalyptus and 5 drops peppermint oil with 100ml water, shake well, and apply by soaking a towel in the mixture. be careful not to get into the eyes!

This eucalyptus is mine, all mine!

This list, is, of course, not exhaustive, but lists the most convenient and common ways eucalyptus oil can bee used at home. Please feel free to share your recipes!

Series on essential oils, to be continued!

Pardon my tardiness with updates, a lot has been happening at home. But the Belle is trying to keep up with updates at least twice a week on this blog, so please do keep coming back!

*Image of koala bear from Google. Do let me know if you are the owner of this photo so that I can credit you!

The Belle is Giddy...

I have been back a couple of days, but am down with nausea and severe bouts of giddiness. I was in the middle of writing another post for my dear readers just now when I was struck by a sudden wave of nausea and giddiness.

I will try to update as soon as possible, when I get better, so please bear with me! Thank you for your patience!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Series1:Essential Oils:All Purpose Wonder:Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil has become a staple in our daily routine. We use it for almost everything at home- From a concoction for spraying smelly feet and shoes, to dabbing it on stubborn zits-you get the picture.

My trusty friend
Tea Tree oil is also obtained from the Melaleuca Alternifolia. It has a wide range of uses, so let me list the most common ones down for you.

1)Antifungal- For the treatment of foot fungus, especially toenail fungus. Just dab directly on the affected areas. (Helps to relieve associated itching too!)

2)Antispetic-For wounds, cuts and grazes: Mix about 8-10 drops in about 100ml of water, and spray on affected areas. (Never use undiluted on open skin, it can sting!)

3)Athelete's foot-Shake, and spray the above concoction in (2) on the foot, concentrating on the toe area. Spray on shoes to prevent and treat odour

4)Freshening Laundry- Add  a few drops to the final rinse cycle of your washing machine for freshly scented clothes. I find that it helps prevent the 'wet clothes' smell associated with drying indoors.

5)Acne-Dab with a moistened cotton bud onto affected areas.  You may also want to take a look at  DIY:Tea Tree Aloe Vera Treatment Gel.

6)The concoction in (2) can also be sprayed sparingly to freshen the bed linen/as a hand sanitizer/any other use you can think of. Just be careful and try not to use it undiluted.

What are your favourite uses for tea tree oil? Do share!

As with all essential oils, exercise caution when using with the pregnant, young and elderly.(or the very sensitive)

(NB:The Belle is on a short trip, so this is a scheduled post. Please email me or leave me a comment should you need to get to me, and I will get back to you ASAP!)

Series on essential oils, to be continued!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Series 1:Essential Oils:Purple Maiden: Lavender

"And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender'd. "

John Keats

I seem to have lost the source for this picture, please let me know if you are the owner so that I can do the proper crediting!


Many a time, we have used lavender at home to spritz and freshen linen. Other than being pretty to look at, lavender has a multitude of uses. At the risk of boring you, here is the list.

1)Antidepressant- Lavender is known to be soothing to the emotions  and has widely been used as such in aromatherapy for relieving anxiety, depression and stress

2)Antispetic- Good for cuts, wounds. Apply neat with a cotton bud.

3)Analgesic-Pain relief, especially in the case of burns including sunburns. Bathe in cool water, and the apply neat with a cotton bud.

4)Cicatrizant-Promotes healing of sores, and helps in scar free healing.  Helps with repair of skin tissues. Swipe undiluted over cleansed wound every day.

5)Vulnerary- Helps in the treatment of wounds

6)Nervine-Calms overly jumpy nerves.  Diffuse with reeds or in an aromatherapy oil burner.

7)Expectorant-When inhaled, mixed with a bowl if hot water., helps to clear clogged sinuses

8)Other uses-As an insect repellant, and to sooth insect bites. Treatment of shingles, as well as a soothing massage oil when diluted with other carrier oils. Helps in eczema, acne giddiness, headaches, insomnia, and jet lag.


The above list is not exhaustive. The Belle also likes lavender oil mixed into a spritzer  as a pillow spray. My family prefers to use tea tree oil for the sheets. More about that later. (DIY Recipes coming up!)

A word of warning though: As with all essential oils, use with caution when pregnant, in young children and the elderly. Best to avoid completely if you have a tendency towards being extremely sensitive.

Stay tuned for The Belle's family favourite: Tea Tree oil. Coming up next! See you soon!



Friday, August 16, 2013

Coming Soon!

Finally, the mini-renovations are over. The renovation was a nightmare of dust, as well as tempers flying.

No more drilling at 8 am in the morning, and no more hands coming away blackened from dust when I mistakenly touch a dirty surface by mistake.

Coming up next, will be a write up on essential oils and their uses, as well as some product reviews, so keep a lookout for those!

Cleaning up in progress at the Belle's residence. Updates soon!


Friday, August 9, 2013

Five More Days...

Good afternoon everyone, I trust you have all been well? The renovation works have stopped for the Hari Raya/ National Day holidays (and so my respiratory system has been given some respite), and so here I am!

I have gotten myself a (budget, of course) air purifier/air revitalizor, and will likely review it after use. Hopefully, it makes a difference! Now, on the lookout for quality essential oils to scent my room. Will share my findings here!

Five more days till the renovation is over, so I'll see everyone soon!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Note to Everyone, From The Belle

You may have noticed that I am moderating all comments, and you now have to key in a verification code to post your comments. This is because I have been getting a lot of spam in my comments section.Please do bear with me.

If anyone has any ideas other than moderating all the comments, please do let me know.

As my place is undergoing some renovation works now (Major noise,as well as dust), updates may not be as often for this couple of weeks. But The Belle will still try to blog as often as possible.

Meanwhile, The Belle is looking for an economical (read:cheap) air purifier(s) for her dusty, tiny, cramped living quarters. The dust and germs are getting on my nerves (and to my family's respiratory system) Suggestions (maybe, even, hopefully sponsors?) are welcome!

The Belle will be back soon with useful reads. See you again soon, my beauties!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review: Mentholatham Whitening Hand Veil

Finally this review is out, after a long wait. Pardon my tardiness!

Mentholatham Whitening Hand Veil SPF 15

I took awhile to review this as I wanted to give it a fair chance to work on my poor, neglected hands. So did it deliver? Let's see!

Pros:
-Hands remained the same colour even after sun exposure. No new sun spots.
-Hands were left well moisturized

Cons:
-A little oily, and took awhile to absorb. Left an oily feel if I applied too much.
-No visible whitening effect after about 2 weeks of use. (Hmm, maybe I wasn't using it regularly enough?)
-Overly strong scent

Verdict:
A fairly good basic handcream. Just don't expect whitening miracles from the product. As The Belle has some tiny spots on her hand, she will have to find an alternative product when this product is finished. Recommendations, or suggestions anyone? Please do let me know.(Or I will have to resort to more extreme measures...*cue evil laugh*....muhahahha......Kidding....)

See you back here soon, my beauties!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Depression:Pills of Happiness

Sorry for the delayed post! This will be the last post in the series.

The Belle understands that to those who are suffering from depression, being happy may be the most difficult thing to do. But we all have a choice. To quote Hamlet , "To be, or not to be, that is the question".Ask yourself, would you rather spend your time dwelling over past issues or be happy, hopeful and look into the bright future ahead? The answer is pretty clear, isn't it?

The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like: Meaning, if you think happy thoughts, positive thought and things will be attracted-and vice versa. (Yes, I am a believer of The Secret) So, think of happiness as coming from an infinite source that, is within you, and belongs to you-now,release it, and let it wash over you, over every fibre of your being.

My Pills of Happiness! I  take them by the handful!


Instead of taking actual medicine, try this exercise: Get some of your favourite food. (The Belle is partial to chocolate). With every bite and swallow, visualize the food as a pill for your ailment, seeping into your body, and 'curing' the unhappiness. There. Feeling better already?

Let go of your troubles, my dear friends. Happiness is not far, I promise!

Take care, my beauties. The Belle will see you soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Depression: A Cry for Help (2)

When things prove too much for you to handle, it can be useful to have someone to talk to. Here are a list of numbers to call, should you need a listening ear. Here goes!

In Singapore:

Visit:
http://www.ncss.gov.sg/documents/LIST%20OF%20HELPLINES.pdf

this PDF file offers a comprehensive list of helplines to cater to different groups in Singapore who may be in need of help.

Internationally:

http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

In the US

http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

Please, wherever you are, help is just a phone call away.

*Please, feel free to add on in the comments section should you have any useful contacts which you think should be included here.

Apologies for the very hurried post. The Belle will be back soon!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Depression: A Cry for Help (1)

There has always been a social stigma towards getting professional help for depression. When it comes to mental illnesses, society tends to be less forgiving. Let's look at it this way: We do not shun people who need to seek treatment for flu and fever, so why should depression be any different? Have we not progressed enough to open our hearts to those who sincerely need our help, but yet are afraid to do so because of being looked at differently? It is our ignorance and selfishness that is preventing us from reaching out.

Support and understanding is key. Many people delay seeking professional help with depression, either because they are ashamed, or feel that it is something normal that they can overcome themselves. Talk to the person, and encourage him/her to seek help. Explain that it is a medical condition, and nothing to be ashamed of. Express your willingness to help, and be there for them every step of the way.

Create a low stress environment for the person, taking care to remove any sources that may trigger unhappiness. Help create a regular routine so that he/she can feel more in control. Religion may also help to give the person the support and refuge he/she needs. Encourage the person to carry out activities he/she enjoys. Discreetly, find the root of the person's depression-this will go a long way towards aiding in recovery.

 Also remember to take care of yourself-physically as well as emotionally. Taking care of a chronically depressed person can be very draining. Stay positive, and exercise patience. You need time off too!

 Stay tuned for the next installment, coming soon!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Depression: Recognize the Signs

Firstly, why is The Belle blogging on depression?This is a beauty/skincare blog, right? 
Well, The Belle believes beauty comes from inside out. No amount of skincare or makeup will make you look pretty, especially to yourself, if your mind thinks otherwise.
 
I am not going to pretend that I am an expert and start to give advice. What I have here is what I have gleaned from my research.  The list is not exhaustive. But I do hope that what I write here can help someone who needs that little push, to encourage sufferers to seek treatment.

But Belle, there are different types of depression! Why are you not listing them out?
As I said earlier, and I repeat, I am no expert, nor do I pretend to be. This is meant as an elementary diagnosis so that sufferers reading this can seek professional help if need be.


Here Goes...

1)Outlook on life becomes hopeless and a general feeling of helplessness, of things spiraling out of control. Sufferers may begin to hate themselves, feel unreasonable guilt and worthlessness

2)Losing interest in things that he/she previously enjoyed. Some may suffer a decreased sex drive, or in severe case, impotence.

3)Inexplicable sadness, bouts of crying,anger all sometimes with no apparent reason.

4)Fatigue and disrupted sleep cycles. Some sufferers go through alternate periods of extreme lethargy and excessive bouts of high energy.

5)Inexplicable anxiety and irritability

6)Excessive fluctuation of weight and appetite.

7)Suicidal thoughts

8)Inability to make decisions-even minor ones.

*Any experts, feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Comments welcome!

If you or anyone you know and care about is suffering, please do not let them suffer in silence. Depression is nothing shameful. (For those who look negatively at, or worse still, look down on people with depression, shame on you.) There is a reason it is called 'clinical depression'. Just like you would go to a ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist for the related ailments, why would you avoid seeing a doctor when you need help as such? Think about it...
 
Next up,  I will talk about how to self help, as well as help someone suffering from depression. See you back soon, my pretties!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Special Series Preview: Depression

Ever feel like your life is spiraling out of control? Or, do you feel like crying very often, for no apparent reason? Maybe, dear reader, you might be suffering from depression.

I was inspired to research and write about this topic since it is one that people generally avoid. I hope that after this series that I am writing, there will be fewer people suffering in silence. Depression is a medical condition, and nothing to be ashamed of. (Treatment=Happier+ more healthy person=Looking more beautiful!)

I will touch on several areas including diagnosis, and possible treatment.

The Belle will be back soon. Thank you for your patience. Till then, take care, my beauties!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: My Beauty Diary Puffiness Intensive Eye Care Mask

I think that my dear readers would notice that I do complain a little (Okay, a lot!) about my panda eyes. I was delighted to spot this mask sitting on the shelves of my nearby Watson's. Needless to say, I took the plunge. Having (almost) all the problems the different variants of the eye masks were prescribed for, I picked one at random, and this is what I got:

My Beauty Diary Puffiness Intensive Eye Care Mask
Without further ado, the review!

Pros:
-Mask stays put, unlike other eye masks I've tried, which tend to slip. Now I know it's not me!
-Gorgeous design, shaped like a masquerade mask. My peepers feel happier and prettier!
-Does what it says; reduces puffiness. Dry lines are also slightly reduced.

Cons:
-Price can be a little steep, especially if you use it often. ( I forgot, was it Sgd11.50 or Sgd9.50)
-Maybe I am a little fussy, but I do notice that the mask doesn't exactly 'cover' where my eyebags are.
-Other than reducing puffiness, seems to have little or no impact on my other concerns--dark eye rings and deeper lines. But it's a good excuse to try the other variants! Haha..kidding...

Verdict:
Repurchase is a maybe. While I do like the effect it has on my eyebags, I find that the effect only lasts till midday the next day. Perhaps due more to my terrible sleeping habits than the mask.  (I am guilty of mistreating my eyes, I do admit.) Having said that I am still tempted to try out the other variants. I probably will, in due course.

Sayonara for now, my eyeslids are drooping. The Belle is off to dreamland. See you again soon, dear beauties!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Recipe: Gingko Barley Dessert

I was enjoying a bowl of this dessert (cooked by mother dearest, not me.) and thought it would be good to share it since it has so many benefits. Here goes!

Ingredients:
1 packet of prepared, vacuum packed gingko nuts
1/2 cup pearl barley, washed
1 large sheet of dried beancurd skin (be careful to choose the type meant for dessert, there are 2 types!)
Rock sugar to taste
2 litres water

Method:
-Put barley, and water in a large pot, bring to boil
-Add gingko nuts and sugar to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.
-Rinse dried beancurd skin, breaking to smaller pieces. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the beancurd skin's consistency is to your liking.
-Serve hot or cold as preferred. Enjoy!

You can also stir in some a lightly beaten egg white if you like. Red dates can also be added, but do remember to adjust the rock sugar to taste. The Belle, however, prefers a more 'basic' taste without other add ons.

Gingko nuts in chinese medicine, help to fight the signs of aging, both inside and out. Barley, also known as Job's Tears, fight water retention (Attested to by The Belle), and dried beancurd skin, also known as Yuba, is made from the dried skin that forms on heated soy milk. And we all know soy is good for you, so enough said.

Now go prepare tonight's dessert. Go on.

Stay beautiful, my pretties. See you back soon!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Review:Little Twin Stars X Sophie Monk Body Lotion (Whitening)

My recent holiday in Sunny Malaysia left my skin ravaged by the merciless sun. This, of course led to a frenzied trip to the pharmacy in search of remedies.

I spotted this adorable tube (together with the Mentholatham Whitening Hand Veil, which I will review later), and, tossed it, albeit unceremoniously, into my shopping basket at the pharmacy.
Little Twin Stars X Sophie Monk Body Lotion (Whitening)
 Needless to say, I was attracted to the packaging, but more importantly, printed on the tube, loosely translated from Chinese, was  "diamond brightening whitening body lotion".  The ingredient list also stated goodies like sodium hyaluronate, diamond extract, and tourmaline extract as the first 3 ingredients. The lotion claims to 'nourish, hydrate, soften, refine, smooth, and prevent dryness' Just what my poor skin was in dire need of.

But did it deliver? Let's see!

Pros:
-Left skin smooth, well hydrated and protected, even throughout the next day. My dry, cracked feet, interestingly, showed no signs of dryness even after a day of walking in slippers.
-Skin feels visibly softer. Again, attested to by my horribly neglected feet. Soles were visibly softer, and dry skin on the foot came off easily with scrubbing. Cuticles look less ravaged.
- Patchiness on toes and elbow areas from sun exposure are also almost gone with about a week's worth of daily use.
-Non irritating (for my finicky skin, at least)

Cons:
-Can take awhile to absorb. But no biggie if you apply less and add more only where needed. Once absorbed, skin does not feel oily any more.
-Whitening effect not pronounced. I did see fading of the patchiness due to sun exposure, but the less 'damaged' areas didn't seem to fade as fast. Maybe it needs a little more time to work. Ok, I am being impatient, it's only a week...
-Lacks SPF

Verdict:
I am in two minds about repurchasing this. Definitely, pocket friendly- I found this retailing at around SGD5 when it was on discount. It works well enough that I would want to keep it in my arsenal of body lotions. My   only real gripe would be that it lacks SPF--which means that I have to layer on another SPF product if I were to use it during the day. The hot, humid tropical weather in Singapore does not bode well for layering of products. Perhaps I will reserve this product for night time use, and use my faithful Nivea for daytime.

*Yes, I do know this is not a new product, but I thought I would review it since I didn't find many reviews for this little gem.

More coming up soon. Till then, take care, my beauties!




Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Garnier Sakura White Pinkish Radiance Intensive Whitening Mask

I was on the lookout for skincare to give my dull, sleep deprived skin a boost, and my eyes fell on the gorgeous baby pink and white colours of the Garnier Sakura White range.

I was initially tempted to get the whole range, but remembering the bottles of my beloved Hada Labo (Yes, I still love you), and in the interest of my wallet, I stopped myself and had to be content with purchasing just the mask instead. (I will come back for you later! Haha...)

This skincare range claims, after use, in 4 weeks:
Rosy Radiance
Luminous Fairness
Even Skin Tone
Satin Softness
Dewy Clear Skin

Did it deliver? Let's see!
Garnier Sakura White Pinkish Radiance Intensive Whitening Mask (Pardon the reflection on the mask packaging!)

Pros:
-Gorgeous baby pink mask! Got to love that.
-Fits very well-the best of the sheet masks I have tried over the years (and that's a lot of them)-thanks to the second skin technology.
-Left skin visibly smooth, radiant, and glowy after use
-Non irritating, skin was well hydrated and plump following usage
-Effects lasted well through the next couple of days

Cons:
-None! I am in love...

Verdict:
A definite repurchase! The mask contains sakura extract (and hence the namesake) which helps soothe and recover skin from damage. Vitamins CG and B3 protect and shield skin from pollution. Perfect for recovering from the recent haze. Its going at the discounted  price of $17.50 instead of the usual price of $21.90, so now would be a good time to give it a try!(and no I do not work for them, nor am I sponsored or advertising for them. I am just excited because I really like this product.)

Its time for the Belle to retire for the night now. Come back soon for more reviews coming up next! Good night, my beauties! (Or good morning? Never mind. Bedtime it is!)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Preview:Reviews Coming Up

Hello my beauties, how has everyone been?

The June school holidays have been a hectic time for me, and my apologies for not updating regularly in the past month or so. But The Belle is back now!

Anyway, here's a peek at the reviews that I have coming up next, so remember to come back to read them!

coming up soon!
I thank everyone for their patience. See you back here soon!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back to Clear Skies!

I  feel blessed to come back to relatively clear skies.

Once again, I can breathe deeply without fear of choking on the haze.

I can sleep my windows open to the cool night air again. Beauty sleep in peace!

Musings aside, I am in the process of reviewing some lotions and masks, so see you back soon, my beauties!


The Belle is back!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Escape from the Haze!

The haze has been a topic of concern recently, and the Belle has been affected as well.

 I have been suffering from a sore throat and headache the past few days. Not fun at all. I have been using the normal surgical masks when I am out. Looks like I should seriously consider getting the N95 masks just in case, since the haze may continue for a further few weeks.

Luckily, we are escaping traveling overseas for another short trip to celebrate my boy's birthday, so hopefully, the the effects of the haze at our destination will not reach us there. (Or at least be greatly reduced)

Meanwhile, I am working on some reviews. Testing in progress so that I can give my final verdict. The Belle is committed to giving the products a fair chance to work before reviewing.

I know I haven't been exactly regular with updating. This will pass, I promise, when things get settled down for me. Meanwhile, keep the comments coming in!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Roll-On

The late nights have been taking their toll on my panda eyes, and the recent haze further exacerbated the situation. Eyes watering, I reached for trusted brand,  Neutrogena. Did it work? Let us see!
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Roll-On 

(Pardon the dust in the background!I blame it on the haze...)


Pros:
-Extremely cooling and refreshing.
-Reduces swelling and puffiness in sensitive eyes
-Dry lines reduced in the under eye area after about a week's use.
-Make up goes on more smoothly after use.
-Absorbs quickly with some tapping

Cons:
-Did little for dark eye rings-impact was minimal

Verdict:
Repurchase is only a maybe. Perhaps I am asking for too much. (cue melodramatic sigh: holy grail, oh holy grail, wherefore art thou?) Putting my personal conditions aside, it does function as a pretty good hydrating product and a refreshing pick me up in the am and pm.

More reviews coming up, so watch this space!



Monday, June 17, 2013

Coming Soon!

I do apologise for not updating these few days.

I have been extremely overwhelmed with decisions these few days. But I have not forgotten this blog, dear reader.

I am coming up with a series of skincare product reviews for you, so please do be patient and bear with me for a while.

Long day ahead for me tomorrow, so my post will have to be short. But I promise to post again soon!

Please do watch this space, dear beauties!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Holiday-From Sunset to Sunrise

The gorgeous Malaysian scenery as I was travelling by train-pictures speak louder than words...

From going during sunset...





To coming back during sunrise...








 The road travelled during this holiday was not always smooth...



  But it was gorgeous, and worth it. Every minute. 




At first, I thought that there would be nothing much to see, since I had traveled this way to KL many times before as it was the cheapest and most economical way. But I was wrong this time.

I always thought traveling by train was torturous.  I could never sleep well but had to watch in envy as my fellow passengers snored on (and I woke up with every little noise on the train) This time round, I stayed fully awake during both ways back and forth, and was awestruck by the beautiful Malaysian scenery that I had never noticed it before the previous times I traveled by train.

Thus concludes by Malaysia trip. I shall not bore you with the details of what I ate (The Chinese stir fry, or 'tze char' , and the seafood, and the wanton noodles, and the desserts...... cheap and so good...) or the giant candy ball machine at Berjaya Times Square at which my boy squealed in delight. Or, the beautiful value for money hotel room we stayed in. Or...haha... I am rattling on, aren't I?

Time for me to hit the pillows and dream about my next trip. Take care, and see you back soon, my beauties!


(**I know you can see the reflection of my camera in some of the pictures. I left the photos intentionally unedited. Enjoy!)




Monday, June 10, 2013

Blessed, Happy Lunch!

I was feeling a little vexed over some things today, but was reminded of the delicious lunch I had today, which made me really happy in the afternoon...

Fried beehoon, crispy fried chicken crunchy cabbage and savoury, spicy brinjal. Yum!


Sinful, yet so...Yummy. Need I say more? (There go my diet plans for the day....haha..but so worth it!)

Count your blessings, and all the little irritations in life may seem minute in comparison. You'll be a lot happier. A happy person is a beautiful person!

What has made you happy today? Do share!

**yes, post on my trip coming soon. Stay tuned!

See you soon, my beauties!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Belle is Back!

I am back from my trip, I trust everyone has been well?

Initially, to be honest, I was very reluctant to go for the trip. But, the smiles on the faces of my loved ones made the reluctance vanish into thin air--so very worth the trouble!

(Mostly) Unedited photos of the beautiful Malaysian scenery taken while I was on the train coming up next, so watch this space!

See you shortly!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Be back on the 7th!

The Belle will be leaving for a trip in a few hours time.

(I probably should be in bed. Well, I am.. with my laptop..hahaha...)

Will be back soon with photos and other goodies, so watch this space!

See you soon, my beauties!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Belle's Holiday Plans!

Hi! As you probably notice, my posting has been much slower than usual.

I have been busy with plans for a family holiday, so please pardon me! I will be away until 07/06, so I ask for your patience till then, as updates in between will not be as frequent, and I may take longer than usual to answer to comments/emails. I will try to take some nice pictures while I am holidaying so that I can share them with you. (Erm, in case you are interested?*awkward silence*)

I am in the process of making some tweaks to the website so as to make it more user friendly, so please bear with me! Please do follow me on Twitter @cclearbelle (button on the right:D) for the latest updates.

Meanwhile, please do keep the suggestions and comments coming in, because they really mean a lot to me. If you have any requests for reviews of particular products, do let me know. I will try my best to oblige.

The Belle will be  back soon, my beauties!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Recipe: Snow Fungus with Rock Sugar

As you know, the Belle has been ill lately, and the bout of sickness has left me looking a little haggard. I was looking for something simple and nourishing to bring back the glow, and suddenly thought of this recipe. I thought it would be good to share this simple, traditional recipe (which I found on another blog some time ago, but I forgot about.) with my beauties. Tastes good, and is good for your health, and your skin! Enjoy!
 
Snow Fungus with Rock Sugar

1 palm sized snow fungus (soaked for about 10- 15 mins, rinsed, stub cut off, and cut to pieces)
1/2 cup of cooked lotus seeds,washed (I use vacuum packed)
1/2 cup of small sago, soaked
Roughly 6 red dates, washed (You can use more or less according to your preference)
1/2 cup candied winter melon strips
rock sugar to taste
About 2 Litres water

-Bring water to boil in a pot.
-Add in all ingredients except the sago and rock sugar. Bring to boil again.
-Simmer on low heat about 30 minutes.  Add in sago. Stir.
-Simmer for another 30 minutes or till desired consistency. Add rock sugar to taste.
-Enjoy hot, or serve iced, if your prefer.

Snow fungus has been often called the 'poor man's bird's nest' due to its economy, yet similar health and beauty benefits. Rich in collagen, frequent consumption may hep your skin to stay line free. In the view of traditional chinese medicine (TCM),  It helps with 'dry' coughs, and is useful in building up the respiratory and immune system. It is also believed to help with high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.


*Despite the benefits, care needs to be taken if you are suffering from diarrhea as snow fungus is rich in fibre, and has a mild laxative effect. Also, if your body is 'cold' it may not be suitable for you. When in doubt, consult your nearest TCM practitioner.

** I am not sure where it was from, but if you are the owner of this recipe or know where it is from, please do let me know so that I can do the proper crediting.

Hope you like this recipe! Take care, and see you soon, my beauties!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Vesak Day!

The year,so far has seen many countries plunged in political, economic, and social turmoil. But I have hope that things will become better.

My wish this holiday: To hear more happy news, and fewer complaints, for we are more blessed than we realize. To feel gladness, and peace. true happiness!

Take some time to appreciate those by your side. Stay positive!

Happy Vesak Day, my beauties!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Envy-Not!

Envy not, the next person's diamonds,
 for you do not see the sorrow in her heart.

Look on, without green eyes, the jet setting movie star,
as you do not see the loneliness fame brings.

Appreciate the little things-the beauty and joy they bring.
Your child's smile,
 The brilliant toothless grin your beloved grandmother gives you,
 as you  hand to her, her favourite snack.

Pure bliss!

-The Belle




Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review:Dermal White Collagen Essence Mask

Finally, the Belle is back. My most sincere apologies. I am glad I am (almost) back to functioning normally. More about my bout of sickness later.

Here is one of my long delayed reviews!


Dermal White Collagen Essence Mask

Pros:
-Visible glow and bounciness after use that lasts throughout the next day.
-Skin feels well hydrated and soothed. Dry lines were greatly reduced.
-Non sticky after essence was patted in (tested in Singapore's extremely humid weather)

Cons:
-Did not fit very well, especially the awkward slits at the nose area.

The verdict?A definite keeper in my routine! I used this after almost a week of skipping masking in favour of sleep, and the results did not disappoint. The pocket friendly price, at SGD1 , gives me even more reason to repurchase.

Thank you for your patience! The Belle will be back again soon with more reads!

See you again soon, my beauties!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Apologies!

As you would probably notice, this week's posts are a little slow. I apologize to everyone who is waiting. I have been nearly delirious with the viruses that are rampaging through my house in a vicious cycle, and these few days, it happens to be my turn.

The Belle has falling sick rather often these days. Even so, the Belle is committed to bringing you informative and useful posts, so please be patient with me. 

I will come back with recipes (that I myself will test) to make you glow with health from inside out. Reviews, of course, are in the pipeline.

See you back soon, my pretties!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Belated Mother's Day Post

Thee best presents this year, to me  :D













How did you spend this year's mother's day?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reflections

In a thoughtful mood, after another year's wedding anniversary.

So quickly, it seems a year has passed. This is a time, I reflect, and think back on my past year's actions. "Did I do this right? Could I have done better?

My past year has not been without regrets. But I hope I have learnt to look back at the past with a smile, and look back in wonder at how events have unfolded, to make me a (hopefully ) better person.

How about you, my beauties?


"Lament not the passage of time, but look back and marvel at its beauty"
-Crystal Clear Belle

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Photo of the day!

First of all, my apologies for taking so long to update! Thank you for your patience!  In compensation, here's a pic of me!

I'm fat but cute!

 Haha...anyway, I have some reviews coming up soon, so see you soon, my beauties! I promise not to take too long!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Out for the Day!

The Belle will be on an extended family outing today and may be back late. Apologies in advance for late updates.  Will be back soon!

See you very soon, my beauties!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mummy Knows Best!-Fishy Goodness

I remember firmly refusing to open my mouth, as a child, when my mum tried to shove a spoonful of the stuff into our mouth as a child, saying it was good for me.

Yup, you're right. Its good old cod liver oil I'm talking about.

My boy, since starting kindergarten, has been down with the flu more often than I could take, and the feverish midnight crying has not been fun. (And my husband has turned into Mr Grouch more times than I can count, due to the flu.) Just then, I recalled a fellow mummy mentioning that cod liver oil seemed to help prevent colds in her toddler. A few night's worth of research and a quick consultation with mother in law saw me plonking down in my basket a 2 pack worth of Scott's Emulsion (which I will review later) together with the obligatory ('yucks', according to my boy) paracetamol syrup.

 So, what's so great about fish oil (in my case, cod liver oil) that mommies across generations have touted the benefits? Surely, it is more than just a miracle potion that helps with the common cold or flu?The Belle has done her research, and here are the results.

Vitamin A

Our skin cells contain a type of protein called protein receptors. They respond to Vitamin A in the blood. Proper Vitamin A levels help skin cells function at an optimal level (lack of vitamin A means new cells are unable surface, equaling clogged pores,acne and dull skin.) More importantly, it helps  to  maintain healthy mucosal membranes.It also helps psoraisis sufferers by regulating the over production of skin cells.

Vitamin D

Important to proper skin healing and tissue maintenance. Acts as a natural antioxidant to heal and protect skin. (especially from the harmful effects of the sun.)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Enough has been said about this group of nutrients. They are essential to the body, lubricating the hair shaft,  strengthening the nails, and helping with dry and aging skin. Glowing skin, hair and nails--what can I say?


**Disclaimer: More is not necessarily better. Some nutrients, like Vitamin A, can be toxic in high amounts. Always follow label instructions of the product, and always take  your daily diet into consideration when you plan on starting on any new supplement. When in doubt, consult your doctor.

On hindsight, I should have tested it out before buying a 2 pack, but luckily, the little tyke took to it like a charm. 2 days and 2 doses later, he is almost fully recovered. (Whether he was already recovering or the cod liver oil worked its magic, I don't know. But whatever makes him happy. I will continue to monitor his progress and report back.)

What are your experiences with this supplement from our childhood memory? Comments and opinions welcome!


Friday, May 3, 2013

The Belle is on Twitter!

Finally, I have gotten round to actively using my Twitter account, so do follow me on Twitter @cclearbelle (pretty please?) for blog updates!

Follow button on right sidebar for your convenience. New blog post coming up soon!

Later then, my beauties!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Labour Day!

Happy Labour Day everyone!

How are you spending this one day holiday? 

The Belle is going on a "rest and recuperate' outing with the family today, and will be back soon!

Meanwhile, stay beautiful, my pretties!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil has become almost indispensable for my family. I use it regularly in my day to day skincare. I took so long to review this item even though I have been using it for a long time, because it has become as common to me as brushing my teeth.

Here goes!

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil

Pros:
-Can be used for almost anything requiring an antiseptic effect.
eg;  DIY Tea Tree Oil Multi Purpose Spray
-Excellent for drying up pimples and infections.
-A bottle lasts a long time, even with daily use.

Cons:
-Bottle dropper can be a little unwieldy--product is a little difficult to dispense at first. But okay once you get used to it, so no biggie.

Now, there are many brands of tea tree oil on the market which I have tested, but I happen to like this one because it is easily available where I am, smells pleasant (to me) and it is 100% pure tea tree oil. A keeper in my daily routine!

Hope this review was useful! Comments welcome!

See you again soon, my beauties!



Saturday, April 27, 2013

DIY: Tea-Tree Oil Multi-Purpose Spray



I use tea tree oil for many things- wounds, zits, rashes, infections, etc. Recently, my family has been under attack by the flu virus, and a strange case of rashes caused by goodness knows what-- so, I thought it would be good to post this recipe up. (Not one of my usual beauty DIYs, I know, but I hope it's useful!)

Here it is!

Tea Tree Oil Multi-Purpose Spray

4 drops tea tree oil (I use Thursday Plantation's-review later)
1/2 cup of distilled (Bottled) or cool, boiled water
Spray bottle

Simply pour the water in the spray bottle, add the tea tree oil, shake well (before every use), and spray away!

Tea tree oil not only helps dry up acne and pimples, but also kills acne causing bacteria. (Tip: it is also great for keeping mosquitoes and bugs away)! Use this spray on your pillows (less acne causing bacteria=fewer zits!) and bedsheets, children's toys, or spray it on a piece of cloth and give your keyboard keys a good wipe. You can also use it as an air sanitizer-just a couple of spritzes freshens the air. Just be careful to keep it out of your eyes.

I like to spray in my family's footwear to keep our feet smelling fresh and free of infections. my boy likes it on his legs before he goes to bed, since the mosquitoes at my place have acquired a taste for the poor thing's blood. (It really works!)

I find new uses for this spray every day. My friend just told me the other day she uses a diluted version of this recipe as a toner- being careful to avoid the eyes.

I hope everyone finds this post useful, especially with the attack of the flu virus that seems to be everywhere.

See you soon, my pretties!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Dermal Vitamin Collagen Essence Mask

Another one of my recent purchases. Without further ado, here is the review!

Dermal Vitamin Collagen Essence Mask

Pros:

-Skin was left visibly more even, brighter and more luminous
-Brightening effect lasted throughout the next day
-Non irritating to skin

Cons:

-Left a sticky after feel.
-Again, mask did not fit well as with the others in the same range.

The verdict? As with the others in the same range, great value for money. Although the effect, again, was not as pronounced as the Pearl Collagen Essence Mask,I would still repurchase it. It is a good basic brightening sheet mask,that is very economical at SGD$1 per sheet, that does its job. I would recommend it for those on a budget.

Stay beautiful, and see you again soon, my pretties!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review:Dermal Gold Collagen Essence Mask

Gold has been long touted as a beauty secret, and used in many high end beauty treatments. Now, you can experience it in the comfort of your own home,  for a fraction of the price.

Dermal Gold Collagen Essence Mask

Now, I do not expect gold particles on my SGD$1 purchase, of course. But does it work? Let The Belle give you her 2 cents worth.

Pros
-Skin is left well hydrated and fine lines around the eye, as well as dry lines at the jowl area were significantly reduced.
-Non irritating to skin.
-Non sticky, as compared to the  Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask

Cons
-Brightening effect not as pronounced as the Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask
-Fit was a problem, especially around the eye area. The eye flaps were uncomfortable and ended up looking like I had white eye bags while I was doing my mask. Similar to other masks in the range. (Or maybe it's just me.)

The verdict? It does assist in hydrating and reducing minor lines, but did not do much for brightening. Regular use should help with those who have a minor problem with fine, dry lines. Repurchase, however, is only a maybe for me, because I prefer my masks to have more of a brightening effect.

*The Belle is on the road to recovery, and is trying to resume normal operations . Please be patient with me!

See you again soon, my beauties!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weather-Worn Belle

The Belle is a little under the weather this couple of days, but promises to update soon. (As soon as my nose stops threatening to short circuit my laptop keys.)

Thank you for your patience! Meanwhile, do keep the comments/emails coming in!

See you soon!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask

My skin has been looking rather dull and tired lately, no thanks to my terrible sleeping habits.  Masking is a great solution, but can get rather costly if you have to do it often. So, I have been on the lookout for cheap, efficient masks. This is one of those that I found during my jaunts at the local Unity Pharmacy, which cost about SGD$1 each.

Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask

To be honest, I was not expecting much from this mask since it was so cheap, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here's the verdict!

Pros

-Skin is left firm, even looking, and well hydrated.
-Brightening effect lasts well throughout the next day
-Mask is well soaked with essence, so plenty was left over to mask the neck (or if you are like me, to swipe over the arms and legs as well)
-Non irritating to skin
-Very inexpensive-need I say more?

Cons

-Left a sticky after feel that didn't go away (Tip: Use it before bed, so that the stickiness is gone by the time morning comes.)
-Mask sheet somehow took a lot of adjustments before I could get it just right. (But maybe it's just my OCD at work, trying to get rid of every single bubble..haha..)


This is a definite repurchase, when the stock I bought runs out. Cheap, good value for money, and definitely does what it promises. Good fix for those on a budget. The Belle has since purchased this in other variants, so look out for the reviews coming up, after I have sufficiently tested them.

See you soon, my beauties!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: Fair and Lovely Multivitamin Cream

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about trying this cream as it seemed too good to be true. A SGD$3.50 product that contains vitamins, and whitens to boot? However, I had heard good things about this product from my Indian friends, and so, I decided to take a closer look at the product.

Fair & Lovely Multivitamin Cream

On closer inspection, I realized that it was a product of Unilever. Confidence bolstered by the backing of the multinational giant, I bravely handed over my SGD$3.50 to the cashier.

This product is meant for the face, but I used this product on the horrible sandal tan lines on my feet that I got while running errands in Singapore's blazing tropical sun. (I have a tendency to forget about sunblock on my poor feet, so they are much darker than the rest of me) I was pleasantly surprised.

To give you a rough guide of how well the product works, I have included a picture of the Clear Fairness Meter, conveniently located on the side of the box.




The tan on my foot was roughly at 6 on the scale. With about 2 weeks of daily usage, it has lightened about 2 shades to 8 on the scale. Not bad for a budget product.

Here is the breakdown.

Pros:
-Contains vitamin C,E, B3 and B6
-Left a smooth, powdery finish. (Depending on the type of finish you like, this can be good or bad.)
-Skin was left looking more even toned
-Really cheap, at SGD$3.50 for a 80G tube

Cons
-Tended to leave a white cast (due to the sunblock content, I presume)
-Not moisturizing enough for dry skin, so a separate moisturizer has to be used if you have thirsty skin.

Would I buy this product again? It's a maybe. Although it does work, having to use a separate moisturizer is extra work.  There are products that work just as well (like my Nivea body lotion) without the need for extra moisturizer. But it is a nice boost to your daily whitening care, especially to get rid of an unwanted tan.

Stay tuned for more reviews!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

DIY: Rose Tea Refresher


Cleopatra carpeted her floor in it for Mark Antony. King Nero showered his dinner guests in it. The queen of flowers, the rose is not only beautiful,but also great for our skin. Rosewater is a great cleanser, it also balances, soothes and gently hydrates sensitized skin. Its astringent effect also means it can be used as a toner. Here, a DIY recipe that will have you feeling good both inside and out.

Rose Tea Refresher

1 cup of boiling water,preferably distilled.
1 cup dried rosebuds

Pour boiling water over rosebuds that have previously been rinsed in cold water. Leave to cool. Pour into container and seal. Leave to steep overnight in the fridge. Strain and discard rosebuds. Store liquid in fridge and use as needed.  Use up within a week.

You can freeze the  liquid into ice cubes to add to your tea for a heavenly scented drink. Placing cotton pads soaked in the chilled rose tea will help relieve soreness,swelling and redness in eyes. Swipe a cotton pad soaked with it over your face, and use it as a toner, and see your complexion becoming clearer as the days go by. Spritz it on your face and body after your shower daily, and your skin will take on a lovely glow with consistent usage.

Stay tuned for reviews, coming up next! See you soon, my beauties!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Note on DIY Recipes

The Belle loves making her own skincare, but also understands that our homemade skincare, unlike products on the shelf, do not contain preservatives. So, please do note that any DIY skincare recipes on this website, unless otherwise stated, need to be stored in the fridge. As a rule of thumb, make small amounts to ensure freshness, and use up the product within 10 days. If the product you made starts to smell odd, throw it out to be on the safe side.

Happy DIYing, see you soon!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DIY: Vitamin E Green Tea Toner

I love green tea. Hot, cold, with honey, sugar, milk or just on its own. I usually have quite a fair amount of green tea at home. So, I did some research on the internet, and after tinkering around in the kitchen, came up with this toner recipe some time ago. Stored in the fridge, it is not only cool and refreshing, but also helps to keep those fine lines at bay. Enjoy!

Vitamin E Green Tea Toner

Ingredients:

200ML of boiling water, preferably distilled
1 green teabag
1 tablespoon natural honey
3 Vitamin E capsules,400IU (Or you can use the equivalent in Vitamin E oil)

Pour boiling water over teabag, and allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Add in honey, and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool. Break open vitamin E capsules and add in the oil. Mix well. Store in an (preferably)airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator, and shake well before each use. (This is essential to ensure proper distribution of the vitamin E oil.)

This toner is suitable for most skin types, but dry skins will probably like this toner most-honey, a humectant and the vitamin E oil will help with dryness. And, need we say more about the antioxidant properties of green tea and vitamin E? Swipe it on with a cotton ball, or spritz in on with a spray bottle and pat it in before your other skincare products. Consistent usage will help reduce fine lines. As with all skincare products, always test on a small area, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

That's all for this post.  I will be back soon with more goodies. See you soon, my pretties!