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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Beauty/ Health: Ruby Aura Radiant-perfection Collagen Drink

For healthy skin, collagen is key. I've heard many beauty bloggers saying that the secret to flawless skin is good skincare, healthy eating and consuming beauty drinks. Well, I would like to try it out too but sadly, most collagen drinks in the market are EXPENSIVE! T.T

But thanks to Hishop, I got the chance to try out the Ruby Aura Radiant-perfection Collagen Drink for the first time! Whee~ Was really anticipating the arrival of the parcel cos I'm curious how a collagen drink tastes like.

What is collagen?
According to Hishop, collagen is a gelatin fiber that acts as a combination tissue in the skin, bone, ligaments, and cartilage. It is a naturally occuring protein and makes up 30% of the protein in the body, and keeps skin smooth and youthful. As we age, collagen production slows down, resulting in wrinkles, dry or saggy skin. WHUUUTT :o

What is Ruby Aura?
Ruby Aura is the first Brightening Collagen Drink that defines a whitening treatment injection. Using Eastern and Western science, it promises results in just five days! Ruby Aura is made of mainly fruit and vitamins extract such as strawberry, peach and pomegranate powder for Vitamin C boost, grapeseed extract for Vitamin E dose, tomato extract which acts as an antioxidant and other amazing ingredients!

It is said to be good  for improving skin brightness and radiance, act as an antixidant and anti-aging product, increase skin elasticity and whiten skin. People who need it are those who frequently sit in front of the computer, wears makeup everyday, sleeps late and in an air-conditioned room and is frequently stressed. shoots, sounds like me! :s

Is it just me or is the rainbow effect on the box super pretty!

Brochure and voucher from Hishop yayyy shoppinggg.

Ruby Aura is also the Best Selling Collagen Drink in Korea!

Each box contains 12g x 10 sachets of Ruby Aura drink for easy consumption.

It comes in the form of very fine whitish-pinkish powder that dissolves readily in water.

My skin condition lately- dry and kinda dull. And argh, so many pimples!! Result of sleeping late..

Directions for use: 

Prepare 100ml of room temperature water in a shaker. 

I thought we were supposed to make a full glass but nooo, apparently it's more of a concentrated solution?

Mix 1 sachet of Ruby Aura into the shaker.

Shake shake shake shake! 
why the white powder turned red dy?

Consume your drink. noob face here

You could mix the powder in a glass too instead of using a shaker!

The drink tastes and smells sweet and sourish. I didn't like it at first but after drinking it a few more times, I'm ok with it now. The taste kinda reminds me of Ribena or glucose drink now! Just sour-er. But I gotta admit, the preparation process is easy. I like the berry taste and if 100ml is like too little water for you, I guess you could add more to make it less saturated or sour.. 


10 sachets means I finished consuming the drinks in 5 days as we are supposed to drink it twice daily (1 before breakfast and 1 before bedtime). Honestly, I don't see much improvement in my skin condition. Maybe just that my pimples are less visible/ less red now. It did a good job of brightening but as for retaining moisture and rejuvenating skin, it's hard to tell as my toner and moisturiser does help to moisturise my skin as well. 

One thing I did realise though, is that I feel more energetic even though I'm sleeping about 5 hours daily only. I read online that it's because the collagen is broken down into energy and absorbed by the body, not the skin. Maybe that's why?  For now, I would rate the product a 6/10. The instructions say to consume it for 19 days and more, so I guess I will need to continue drinking it to see more prominent results.

If you're interested in this yummy healthy drink, do consider purchasing it from Hishop here! You can read about various success stories by customers too. Not only ladies, but guys tried out this drink as well! ;) For a set of 3, Ruby Aura comes with a shaker and teddy bear toy and they are on 10% discount now!

 What's more, get exclusive rebate of RM20 by keying in RUBY14 when you checkout! 
*valid for purchases above RM99 and till 15 March 2014*

For more information, do subscribe to Hishop's website
Like them on Facebook
and Follow them on Twitter

Carinn xx

Disclaimer: Even though the product is sponsored, the review is based on my personal thoughts, experiences and preference after testing the product.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Beauty: Beautymate Purifying & Hydrating Set

Do you know what are the three basic steps to skincare? They are:

Cleanse -> Tone -> Moisturise

So, it is super vital that you follow these steps in the day and night to keep your skin clean, refreshed and moisturised! Today I will be talking about a new toner that I got, thanks to Natta Cosme! It is the Beautymate Purifying & Hydrating Nano Toner from Japan. *awesome sauce!*

Why is it important to use a toner?
Well, I remember reading somewhere that a good toner removes excess makeup residue & oil, to leave the face feeling taut and smooth. Some experts say that it is not important but it is recommended that people with oily or acne prone skin to use them. Also, those who wear makeup frequently should use a toner after cleansing too! Well, that sounds like me cos I apply my BB cream almost everyday.. >.<

A little bit about Beautymate before we start the review. Beautymate is a skincare series developed in Japan and is tailor-made for Oriental women. (Asian skin ftw!) They use premium-grade, all-natural ingredients to let you indulge in freshness, softness and gentleness. 

Ok so before we start, I have to tell you first.. The first few photos are not mine because I went back to KL without bringing the whole box from Natta Cosme, just the toner and mask only. So silly of me -.- So I had no photos of the product in the box and Princess Neverland generously let me use her photos! Thank you, my dear! :D

So happy when I saw the parcel, it arrived right on CNY Eve! Perfect time to hydrate and freshen my skin as CNY was so HOT.

The toner was wrapped in bubble wrap for extra protection and to prevent leakages. And omg, there is a mask too! So did not expect that. Can't wait to use it!

I personally like the inner packaging, makes the items look somewhat more.. expensive. HAHA. XD

Took the following shots with my housemate's Sony Nex-5T. The photo quality is so good. I am so tempted to get one for myself now, omg! Sorry not sorry for the photo spam.

A little card and note/ brochure from Natta Cosme came with the items.

Beautymate Purifying & Hydrating Nano Toner is formulated with some very interesting ingredients..
Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract hydrates the skin and facilitates fast absorption. 
Hydrolyzed Pearl balances the skin pH value, brightens the skin and makes it soft and smooth 
Glycoproteins helps to increase moisture balance of the skin by 60% for up to 15 hours and above
Sounds so WOW!

The toner bottle comes with a plastic cap and the body made of glass, so it's a little heavy. Not recommended for travel purposes.. But it's a full-sized bottle of 120ml, can use super long wei!

Yay! It comes with a pump for easy usage and control over the amount of toner needed.

The toner comes in a colourless watery form so that it can be readily absorbed by the skin!

Now to test it out :D

Last week, I realised the skin on my nose was peeling a little. I have no idea why but it is not a glam look at all! :( 
I think it's because I left the exfoliant serum on for too long the night before -_-
Photo taken w my noob iPhone 4S front camera.

Directions to use: 

Use in the morning and evening on cleansed skin. Moisten cotton pad with 1-2 pumps of the toner. 2 pumps is enough for the whole face!

Stroke over face in an OUTWARD motion. This is to avoid the the residue from "going back" into your open pores. Remember to BE GENTLE with your skin.

Alternatively, you can use your hands and pat on the toner gently. Of course, it is more hygenic to use a cotton pad but I usually prefer patting it on.

Don't forget to apply on your neck too!

Avoid eye area. It is recommended to use twice a day (morning and night)

After that, you can apply your serum, eye cream, pimple cream (optional lah duh) and moisturiser. Moisturiser is a must, btw! Especially if you sleep in an air-conditioned room like me!

There is no sticky feeling after using it and I suspect it's because the product is absorbed quickly by my skin. There is not much fragrance, which is good as my skin is sensitive towards certain fragrances in skincare products. The overall smell is just very soothing and light. The feeling after swabbing or patting the toner on is so nice because it leaves a cooling effect! My regular toner does not leave that noticeable cooling effect.


I have been using the toner for about 2 weeks now. What I find that my skin is defintely more hydrated, no kidding! At least it doeasn't feel dry and tight by the end of the day and after applying my makeup and all. As for the smoothness and brightening, I don't see or feel much difference.. 
Also, after using the toner consecutively and religiously for 5 days after I found out that my nose was peeling, I find that my nose has stopped peeling! Thank goodness. Will see if continued usage makes my skin brighter or not, but so far I am liking the results.

Now, for the Beautymate Purifying & Hydrating Nano Mask, the surprise gift received.

Why is it important to use a mask?
It is recommended to use a mask every 3 days to keep your skin soft, smooth and hydrated. A good facial mask will draw out impurities from the top layers of the epidermis. Using a mask before toning and moisturising will actually make the process more effective.

So last night I finally got the time to try out the mask. Was pretty excited to see its results when used with the toner. 

The Beautymate Purifying & Hydrating Nano Mask is made of newly imported nano technology, combined with close-fitting mask cutting. It promises to effectively release essence nutrients into the skin cells to moisturise, improve and refine the skin. The ingredients are Gingko Biloba and Morus Nigra Leaf Extracts for whitening and Pearl Powder for cooling and calming of skin, reducing wrinkles and increasing moisture levels.

Directions for use:

Peel off the porous plastic layer before you apply the mask or remove it after you have fitted the mask on your face!

Spread mask over face and gently press on the mask with fingertips to ensure a snug fit. Leave mask on for 15-20 minutes, then remove. Wipe off remaining essence with a cotton pad. Use 1-2 times a week or more often when necessary.

Remember not to leave the mask on for more than 20 minutes as it will start to draw water OUT of your skin, instead of replenishing it! 

The mask may not fit my small face as perfectly as I'd like but it'll do. It does feel super snug though, like I can feel my skin tightening especially on my upper lip and cheeks area. Very strong fragrance like most masks have and the material of the mask is strong and firm.


 I removed the mask after 20 minutes, and look! There are water droplets left on my forehead and nose. Lol! I guess that means the essence isn't absorbed fully by my skin? My skin feels more taut, moisturised and looks significantly brighter. Pimples don't look so red now! There was so much essence left in the mask that I patted it on my neck and limbs as lotion hehe.

Overall, I think this toner and mask set is good for people with sensitive and dry skin as it is very gentle on the skin. Your skin will feel refreshed and hydrated when used daily. The price is also very reasonable for a huge bottle of toner like this! You can choose to purchase the toner here and the mask here, or you can get the toner and 7 pieces mask set here for RM42.90. It's more worth it when you get it in a set. This is on promo, so grab it fast from Natta Cosme!

For more information, do check out the links below:

Carinn xx

Disclaimer: Even though the products are sponsored, the review is based on my personal thoughts, experiences and preference after trying out the products

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Eats & Treats: Restaurant Lemon Tree @ Taman Melodies

♪ "I wonder how, I wonder why.. Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky~" 

I don't know about you, but I grew up listening to this song! An oldie but goldie. Can you guess what song is it? It's "Lemon Tree" sung by Fools' Garden! (reminds me of Convent's EW20!)

Coincidentally, the restaurant that I reviewed last month, courtesy of Kim Tan, was also called Lemon Tree. FYI, Kim is a foodie with many friends, hence we always get the opportunity to go for food reviews. Thanks, Kim! ;)

A little history about Restaurant Lemon Tree which is located at Melodies Garden. It was started on 1st July 2003, that's 11 years ago! The owner and chef, Jeffery Bong, used to work in various hotel as the chef and sous chef, and also at Vivo Pizza, before he decided to start up his own restaurant. He found this particular shoplot appealing because of the many trees in front of it, making it a shady and cooling place with ample parking space to start a restaurant. The focus of the restaurant is more on Western food rather than local cuisines. I guess you could call it a neighbourhood restaurant as many working people and families frequent it. The reason for naming the restaurant "Lemon Tree" was simply because the song was very popular in those days! Cute :3

The simple storefront. You won't expect the surprisingly good food in store inside!

The main dining area, which has been around for years.

Surprise! They have recently taken over the shoplot next door and renovated it into a private dining area! Quite a difference from the main dining area, right? This section has a more comfortable, homely and "western" atmosphere.

The private dining section was also where we were hosted. Do take note that if you're planning to throw a party or private event, this area is open for reservation. It's quite spacious so I think you can host about 80 guests? Perfect for dinner parties!

Of course when we arrived, the first thing we were served were the drinks.

Lemon Tea RM 4.50 (small)
A must-try. Lemon Tree Cafe is famous for their iced lemon tea, of course! A very refreshing drink and great thirst-quenching. The sweetness level is just nice.
Mango Fruity RM 5.50

Sour Sop Fruity RM 5.50
Ice-blended Cafe Mocha RM 6.00

Earl Grey Tea RM 3.50

At this point, the sky was getting darker and we were getting hungrier. Taking photos in low light was quite a challenge so please bear with my inconsistent photo quality! >< Thank you Jeffery for providing us with a table lamp to shoot photos lol.
Tuna Bruschetta Cheese Bread RM 9.80
Let's start off with appetizer! The main ingredients are tuna, herbs, cheese, garlic, cucumber and cherry tomatoes, served on a perfectly toasted bruschetta. I find the thickness of the bread just nice. I simply love the perfectly melted cheese on tuna combination! But I don't really fancy the garlic taste ._. To each their own, I guess. Eat it while it's hot and you can hear that *crunch* when you bite into the bread. Yummy!

Home-made Cream of Mushroom RM5.50
A sucker for homemade soup, I was drawn to this bowl of warm soup which I shared with Audrey. The soup is blended with five kinds of mushrooms and onions, then drizzled with cream and garnished with croutons and spring onions. It contains garlic as welll, but I couldn't really taste it so it's ok :p However, as delicious and smooth as it is, I couldn't really pick out the mushrom taste which was kind of a disappointment for me..

Tropical Hawaiian Pizza RM 17.80
 Bite into the soft pizza bread topped with garlic tomato sauce when it's warm and your tastebuds will get a tropical taste of the fresh and sweet pineapple, chilli, sweet onion, capsicum and salty ham. Delicious!

Island Seafood Pizza RM 19.80
Each pizza comes in slices of 6, which is actually big enough for one person to eat. This was one of my favourite dish as the sauce (I think it's thousand island?) is really light and tastes even fresher with the pineapple and cucumber. The 'seafood' part consists of fresh prawns, crabmeat and tuna. You won't really feel "jelak" eating this so I give this a thumbs up!

Mixed Fruit Salad RM 5.50
Another favourite! This dish was served mainly for Audrey because of her allergies towards the other dishes (she say wan) :p The salad dressing got all the girls swooning over it. I'm not kidding! Everyone liked it cos of the sweet and light sauce made of fresh orange juice. Aha, the key ingredient! Best part is, it is self-made. Very appetizing for me, when paired with all these fresh fruits and vege. It's my first time eating fruit salad which has mandarin oranges in it!

Grilled New Zealand Air-flown Ribeye Steak RM 49.00
I had to give this dish a miss because I can't eat beef, but I did take down notes. Apparently to get more marbling, the beef is 50% medium well-done with a bit of blood. The beef is tender and juicy because it is let aside to rest after grilling. The thickness is also just right and you're supposed to eat it with the black pepper sauce. Uhm, yeah.. That's all I can tell you. XD

Spaghetti Seafood Aglio-Olio RM 12.80
Not a big fan of aglio-olio as I've always found it too oily and garlicky, but I did give this a try. The spaghetti was quite firm and tasty, but still a little too oily for my liking.. The seafood was really fresh though.. Just look at those huge prawns! *.*

Spaghetti Hawaiian RM 8.80
One of the recommended dishes on the menu, this spaghetti did live up to its standard. It's really smooth and the sweet and sour tomato bolognaise sauce makes you want more of it. The saltiness of the ham really complements the dish well.

Special Fried Rice RM 13.80
There is a story behind this dish.. The fried rice is normal kampung fried rice, but what makes it so 'special' is because a regular customer orders this dish every time he visits Lemon Tree. One day, he then requested that some side dishes such as fried chicken, fried egg, ham and cheese, coleslaw and black pepper sauce be added to make the fried rice set more value-for-money. This dish does not only taste good (seriously, the fried rice is fragrant and non-clumpy and its even nicer when you pour the black pepper sauce over it),  it also shows that they actually listen to their customers' needs! :p

Seafood Mee Mamak RM 9.80
Remember that I mentioned they do serve local fushion dishes as well? This was one of it and this dish was specially requested by Kim to let us try. Unlike regular mee mamak, this dish does not have the alkalic noodle taste and served with generous amounts of tofu, fish cake and vege, as you can see. For me, it tastes quite normal and is not spicy enough. Again, to each their own!

Tiramisu RM 12.90
Desserts time, finally! Lemon Tree's Tiramisu is soaked in Kahlua, pure coffee bean and has lady finger, mascarpone cheese in it. SO GOOD. Smooth and moist, paired with sweet fruits, which makes it every girls' favourite! <3

Crème brûlée RM 9.80
Helloooo, beautiful! Crème brûlée is a dessert with rich custard base, topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. And that is the exact way to describe this dish! Lemon Tree's crème brûlée is flavoured with real vanilla seeds (not essence), milk and egg. I love the natural fragrance and sweetness that the vanilla gives off! There's even vanilla bits at the bottom. The idea of pairing it with sweet fruits and slightly bitter caramel just makes it more appetixing. Because many places don't serve this dessert with well-torched caramel on top, kudos to them for serving the burnt caramel perfectly!

Chocolate Lava Cake RM12.90
This is a MUST-TRY dish at Lemon Tree! What makes it different from other chocolate lava cakes I've tried is that it is made with 70% DARK thick chocolate! LOVE LOVE LOVE dark chocolate and it's rich bitterness. If you're not a fan of the slight bitterness, fret not. Eat this with sweet vanilla ice cream, I swear it is how happiness feels like :p Crusty on the outside and moist on the inside; just how a perfect lava cake should be. As you can see, the chocolate did not flow out when the cake is cut. This is because the choc is really dense and rich! No complains there. :D

Oops.. My greedy face caught on camera by Aud! XD
BTS. Hashtag #asiansatwork hahaha.
Aiya noob iPhone front camera.. >< First time meeting Princess Neverland's sister, Cece! :D

With the lou ban, Jeffery! Thank you for all the wonderful dishes!

With Jason of J-Travel! :)

Grouuuupp pic! Audrey, Eryn, Kim, Cece, Sin Yee aka Princess Neverland, and Sherlyn. Lerler was busy chatting with the boss and Jason haha. You can read about their Lemon Tree food reviews on their blogs! *click*

Photo credits to Jason! I love this shot!

My thoughts on the restaurant would be that it is definitely afforable, serving quality western dishes at mid-range price. No wonder so many families and working people come here! The food does not disappoint as everything is fresh and they only serve fresh local meat that is certified by HACCP. Even though there is no pork and no lard, the place is non-halal as they do serve alcoholic beverages. I really like the cozy feel and the fact that the boss is so friendly makes you feel right at home. For me, price and service are important criterias of any restaurant, especially neighbourhood ones. When you've built a loyal customer base, you know you've succeeded.

So, the next time you're craving cheap and good Western food, why not drop by Lemon Tree Restaurant? They are located near KSL City Mall and Holiday Plaza, so don't eat in the mall, come here and eat lah! :p A quiet place with ample parking makes this place ideal for private functions as well. Lemon Tree will cater your food if you do host any events here and they do outside catering as well! And it's not those regular buffet catering where they serve curry and all.. The chef and his brother are into fine dining so you'll get a range of tapas, canapes and more exquisite desserts! Wah.. Sounds so pro. So do keep them in mind if you're looking for a caterer! :)

♪ "And all that I can see, is just another Lemon Tree~

For more information, check out their Facebook page Lemon Tree Restaurant

Address: 18, Jalan Bedara,
Taman Melodies,
Johor Bahru
Tel: +607 - 335 5688
Business Hours: 12pm - 11pm (Closed on Mondays)

Carinn xx

Disclaimer: Even though the post is sponsored, the review is based on my personal thoughts, experiences and preference after trying out the food.