Skip to content

Gifts from Singapore

In January this year, we visited our family in India. We also used this time to go on a short trip to Singapore. It was a blessing that everyone could take time off from work and got to travel with the entire brood (both sets of parents and our siblings).

The thing about Singapore is that there is no extraordinary view or one-of-its-kind beach you’ll have to check off your list. The country is super efficient, clean, and unique in being a city-country. All these make it the perfect family destination for a bit of R & R, lounging by the pool, and exploring the awesome food scene at a laid back pace.I will not bore you with the details of our family vacation.

I was really proud of myself for not going overboard in any of my shopping escapades during my entire vacation (India and Singapore). So, I decided to treat myself to a couple of nice things at the Singapore airport duty free stores on our way back.

IMG_6677

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: 

As I grow older, I am starting to brush off most skin care products as snake oils. I am  more critical and cynical of all things ‘beauty’. At the same time, I am too lazy to have an american beauty routine, let alone an Asian one (Seven steps?!!). Don’t get me wrong, I really admire people who can follow such a routine and sustain it (both in terms of time and money). I just come from the school of thought that you should let your skin build some resistance (and character, perhaps?) by letting it be. Eat good food, drink water and perhaps a few more good habits. Skin takes care of itself. Then I turned 30. Oh yeah, I also belong to the unfortunate club of people who tried Laser Hair Removal and had their hands face burned. My recovery from all the scabs is a story for another time.

It is time to invest in quality products and establish a simple skin care routine. Two of my good friends recommended SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. I pretty much brushed it off as some fancy water in a bottle. Also, the price was too scary for a decent sized bottle. A 230ml (7.7 oz) costs USD 229 + taxes at Sephora. I almost feel SK-II products are a marketing gimmick.  I don’t really know if Pitera works or not. Some women consider it a holy grail product. Just compare the expert rating vs community rating here. You’ll see how polarizing both opinions are.

While we were at the Singapore airport,  I went into the SK-II store and compared the prices.  A 250 ml (8.4 oz) bottle costs SGD 179 which comes to about USD 130 (all inclusive). That is about a $100 (USD) cheaper for a bigger bottle!  I jumped the gun without much research and bought a bottle for myself and one for my sister.

Longchamp ‘Medium Le Pliage Neo’ Nylon Tote:

My sister bought me the Longchamp Neo Tote as an early birthday gift, while at the airport. It was not a planned purchase. She knew how much I love the brand.  I have been wanting to get a tote bag from the brand for long and decided duty free is the best place to get it. When I went to pay at the counter, she insisted on paying. After a little bit of tug-of-war between two Asian sisters, I let her win this time.

I always contemplated between the leather (significantly expensive) and the nylon one. After much thought and trying out both the bags last year, I figured that I could get too precious with the leather one. Longchamp Tote bags in ‘Cuir’ are made of soft, supple leather and are pretty much shapeless. The leather seemed prone to scratches.My plan was to use the tote as a travel handbag. If I were going to put it through security checks and shove it under plane seats, I thought the Nylon one was going to be a better option. Besides, it was lighter on the pocket.

I picked the black one. As I grow older, I am starting to appreciate black more. Now, it is the most used color, next only to blue/navy in my wardrobe. It cost $190 USD (all inclusive) for the medium size.

IMG_6683

If these two purchases are really worth it? Only time will tell. I plan on doing a quick 3 month and 6 month checkpoint.

 

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’ve always liked the idea of the sturdiness + light weight of the nylon Le Pliage, and the crossbody strap on this one would make it good for travelling too. I’d love a version of yours with gold hardware, I might actually go have a look if it exists!

    Like

    March 11, 2017
    • SA. #

      Black with gold hardware sounds lovely! I’ll let you know how the tote itself endures wear and tear. The light weight was what sold me on these nylon totes. There is another version with a long shoulder handle too.

      Like

      March 12, 2017
  2. I think you will get good use of the Longchamp nylon. I often see the blue version at outlets TJ, Off 5th, C21, etc… I completely forgot that a few years ago I bought 2 of the regular pliages as gifts until my friend thanked me again for it recently–she still loves it.

    I’m with you on the snake oils camp, esp when these products are starting to hit well over $90. Keep us updated on SK2. I never take advantage of the duty free since going thru international flights w/ carry-ons only means security checkpts 2x so they will just take it away anyway. Once I’m done with my no buy this month, I will give the Ordinary a try, replace my Cerave PM, and maybe go for a Philosophy Vit C serum. Have you tried a prescription Retin? or some people are going the Differn route now that its available OTC.

    Please share your LHR story if you feel comfortable.

    Like

    March 12, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you P! I hope to use that bag well. I am seeing a dermatologist next weekend and will be asking for a prescription Retin. I will share the LHR story soon. Never thought anyone would be interested though!
      With skin care products, i think it is important to ‘rotate’ them around so that the skin doesn’t get used to them too much.

      Like

      March 13, 2017
      • I think the nylon longchamp will be good! I recently (9 months ago…lol…still feels new to me) got a Prada Testusso nylon bag after my girlfriend pointed out to me that if I want a lighter bag, the easiest way to get rid of weight is not to have leather, which is heavy by itself! I usually think brands are stupid and marketing gimmicks most of the time…but it’s good to get a brand for a nylon bag because it keeps it from looking cheap and making your outfit look cheap. So, in this case, the gimmick has use. Longchamps look very classic to me! Even if it is ever ‘dated’ and out of style…the design and construction is good so you can’t argue with that!

        Like

        March 15, 2017
      • SA. #

        I had to google to see how the Testusso bag looks. The gold hardware version looks beautiful!

        You are so right about going for the branded item on basic materials. I guess, that is what they mean by ‘elevated basics’ for a classic look. Of course, not all brands are created equal. Some of them have such poor quality and for the price they charge, I’d rather save my money and not buy anything.

        I will let you know how about the wear & tear of this bag with use.

        Like

        March 16, 2017
  3. I’m from the same school of thought when it comes to skincare. It’s what my mum tried to teach me but due to my rebellious teenage years I had to rediscover it myself. The more I put on my face, the worse it looks. My skin is the happiest when I wipe it with a micellar water in the morning and put a light cream on. Eating healthy, unprocessed food and lots of fruits and vegetables is of the same importance. End of story. From time to time, some gentle diy peeling that I can also eat. :)) When I saw the 10-step (or how many steps) Korean skincare, the only thing I thought was: where do they take so much time and energy to do that every day??? And I didn’t really like how they looked. Sort of wax-figure skin texture.

    Like

    March 12, 2017
    • SA. #

      Yeah, Korean beauty standards and routines scare me. How is that even possible for a normal person who needs to go to school or a job? DIY peels sound so nice! Would you do a post please?

      Like

      March 12, 2017
  4. I like the Le Pliage with the crossbody strap. I have a knockoff that has served me well when travelling.
    Skincare is such an issue to me lately. I do have a natural calendula cream from Romania that my skin just loves, but that’s about it (and I don’t do well with the American calendula, even when the formulation is identical, isn’t that weird?)

    Like

    March 12, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you for stopping by Lori! I am enjoying your instagram a lot.
      I hope to use the bag well for the next few years. I might even take it for work.
      I have similar story about my sunscreen. La Roche Posay sunscreen from India works better for me than the same version in the US 🙂

      Like

      March 13, 2017
  5. Xin #

    I can vouch for the benefits of a pretty extreme skincare routine, though pretty much all of my products are drugstore-priced. (The most expensive are from the Korean brand Missha, at about ~$30 for a bottle that’s about a 5-6 month supply.) I can’t 100% vouch for each and every product and/or step being essential, but my skin requires pretty extreme acne topicals. After that, multiple layers of moisturizing and soothing products are needed if I’m to avoid peeling like a snake and redness and irritation. I don’t have too much trouble fitting the routine in around my schedule either, with the exception of the sheet mask step, which I’ve largely dispensed with. I don’t give products much time to absorb, though.

    Various skincare bloggers whose opinion I trust have recommend Missha First Treatment Essence as being as good as or better than SKII. (There have been two more generations of reformulations to the Missha product since then, however – I can vouch for both gen 1 and gen 2 as being good products, but not gen 3 yet.)

    Like

    April 29, 2017
    • SA. #

      Thank you Xin! Yes, after buying SK II, I read quite a few beauty blogger posts mentioned that Missha is as good as SK II for a much a lesser price. I am only just figuring out a skin care regime. I love a good sheet mask!

      Like

      April 29, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: