“I Take You To Be My Wife… In Sickness And In Health…”

Faizah and Farhan

I came to know about Siti (Faizah) and Farhan’s inspiring love story and decided to interview them for my blog. When Siti was diagnosed with stage-2 lymphoma, and relatives and close friends doubted their idea of marriage, Farhan disregarded the “noise” and married Siti, sticking with her through thick-and-thin.

Siti has also participated in a half marathon despite feeling weak due to chemotherapy. And she is a finisher!

Siti has since lost 20kg of the weight that she gained while undergoing chemotherapy – she goes for yoga and zumba sessions, and other fitness programmes four days a week.

Farhan has also donated his bone marrow about half a year ago and helped save the life of a patient, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma!

Both of them are such beautiful and courageous individuals… and here’s their story:

1) Both of you got married after Siti’s diagnosis? Why? What’s your love story? :)

Farhan: Yes, it was already planned. Siti was diagnosed in the midst of our wedding preparations and I decided to proceed as I would like to take care of her, not out of sympathy, but purely because she’s my other half and I know she needs me to fight this disease together. And I know for sure that she will fully recover, and whatever happens, I will take care of her. Not because I have to…but because I want to.

Faizah: We met at our previous workplace. We were really close although Farhan had a girlfriend back then. We had common interests and similar taste in music and food. We hung out most of the time after work and even on our off days.

Farhan: I realised that I wasn’t happy with my girlfriend back then. When I was with Faizah, everything was easy with her and everything somehow falls into place perfectly. By then we both know that we like each other. I decided to man up, break up with my ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t a good girlfriend) and be with Faizah. And the rest is history.

2) What is the chemotherapy process like?

Faizah: I had to go through chemotherapy via the intravenous (IV) route. I was told to go through 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 1 cycle consists of 2 sessions. (Imagine going through 12 sessions!). Each session is 5 hours long and I was required to be treated once every 2 weeks. I was injected with 4 different combinations of drugs (2 injected via huge syringes and 2 bags via the drip).

Nurses had to be careful when administering 1 of the drugs from the syringes as it might burn my veins, which actually happened during the first session of my 2nd cycle and it was a horrible feeling. It took a while for the pain to subside and for my veins to recover.

The worst was yet to come.

The side effects kicked in on the 7th day after every session. Each individual who is undergoing chemotherapy will experience different side effects. I was quite lucky, as my side effects were considered quite minor. I had constipation for the first few days, heatiness in the mouth (thankfully, no ulcers!), upper back pain and at the shoulder area (which lasted for about 3-4days), bloatedness (from the anti-vomit meds), indigestion, weight gain and hair loss (not all but probably ¾ of my hair and this was a huge blow for me as I was afraid my hair will not grow in time for the wedding).

3) What would you say to encourage people who have been (recently) diagnosed with lymphoma?

Don’t give up hope. I know it’s easy for me to say it but you have got to keep pressing on and always stay positive. Cancer is not the end. It can be a start to an awesome life. :)

4) What would your advice be to the friends and family members of people who have been (recently) diagnosed with lymphoma?

Make them feel normal and do normal things. Don’t treat them like a sick person and always, always be there when they need you. Accepting the fact that they have cancer is already hard, so don’t make things harder for them and always stay positive no matter what.

5) What was your bone marrow donation process like? Please give us all the gory details, if any, so we can be adequately prepared if we choose to be donors.

Farhan: There is nothing gory about my bone marrow donation process. In fact, you are given two options as to how the bone marrow is extracted.

Method 1: Bone Marrow Harvest

The bone marrow is removed from the back of the pelvic bone using a special needle. The entire process takes 45 to 60 minutes whilst the donor is under general anesthetic (GA). Although there is no surgery involved, after a GA it is recommended that the donor stays overnight to rest in the hospital and goes home the following morning. The amount of bone marrow harvested is less than 5% of the body’s marrow and this is naturally regenerated within 4-6 weeks.

Side Effects:

Other than the remote chance of a reaction to anesthesia or an infection, the risks to bone marrow harvest are minimal. Donors generally feel no pain during the bone marrow harvest as the procedure is carried out under general anesthesia. After the procedure, there may be slight discomfort in the lower back lasting a few days, which is much like a muscle ache or similar to pain felt on the tailbone after a fall.

Method 2: Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvest (PBSC)

Peripheral Blood Stem Cells are those blood cells that are usually found in the bone marrow. The donor will be given 4 daily injections of a hormone called G-CSF (Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor) to stimulate the growth of their stem cells and to mobilize them into the blood stream. This is usually done in the morning and the donor can continue their normal daily activities. On the fourth day, the stem cells will be collected in an outpatient procedure that is very similar to blood donation except that it will take between 5-7 hours. Once complete, the donor is usually free to go home.

Side Effects:

Donors might experience some flu-like symptoms, slight bone pain, or a feeling of heaviness during the 5 days when the injections to stimulate and mobilize the stem cells into the blood are being given. These discomforts usually disappear soon after the collection is completed.

I actually opted for Method 1 because it would be faster but the patient wanted me to proceed via Method 2 instead. I was willing to do what’s best for the patient so I didn’t mind.  A few days before the procedure, I was given the daily injections to stimulate my stem cells. And when the day came, all the doctor had to do was to extract the stem cells via the harvesting system. So, the blood goes out from one tube (from your arms) and goes into a machine where the stem cells are extracted.

Once done, the blood goes back via another tube into the other arm. However, due to difficulties in finding the main veins in my arms, the doctor decided to put a tube directly into my jugular vein on my right collarbone. It was weird but I did not feel anything at all, just a little uncomfortable when lying down. No matter what, they will make you feel as comfortable as possible.

I recovered quite fast as the wound was really well taken care of. And some of the perks of being a bone marrow donor is you get free full health check-up and you’ll be staying in an AA ward at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Novena), which was a first and an interesting experience for me.

~

This courageous and loving couple leaves me speechless. I wish them all the best, and to keep on doing what they do and inspiring the people around them. :)

‘Instantly Ageless’ Promises To Get Rid Of Your Eye Bags & Wrinkles – Does It Work?

I get emails regarding product sponsorships very frequently and I usually turn down the dubious-sounding ones. When a guy called Ryan emailed me about a best-selling product that is apparently selling like hotcakes around the world, and which promises to get rid of eye bags and wrinkles, I was intrigued. Then, he dropped a bucket of ice water on my enthusiasm by telling me the product is out-of-stock worldwide. O…K…

Instantly Ageless

When the (new) stock eventually arrived, I asked if I could do a video about it for a new YouTube channel I’m setting up. So if he’s up for the challenge, we’ll test out the product and film the entire process. If the product bombs, sorry too bad, I’ll STILL upload the video and everyone who watches it will know the product does NOT work. However, thankfully for Ryan, and to my utter amazement, it DOES work.

I had my 67-year-old blogging student, Steven from www.retiredowhat.com, be the ‘model’ for this product trial. Because, well, he has a rather severe eye bag issue. But as you can see from the Before-After picture below, the eye bag under his right eye is significantly less puffy after just 2 applications of Instantly Ageless. Most people generally need just 1 application, which takes about 2 minutes.

No Photoshop at all:

Instantly Ageless

And if you need more proof, just watch the video:

And no, Steven reported no side effects from using the cream. *Phew*

To me, this product is like shapewear for the eyes. We usually wear shapewear to defy gravity and tuck in our tummies and all the bits hanging out over waistbands. What Instantly Ageless does is to shrink that puffy eye area, even out the fine lines and wrinkles, and diminish the appearance of eye bags.

Like shapewear, the effect is not permanent. Instantly Ageless lasts for up to 9 hours, after which you’ll require another application or if you’re already home then just have a shower and go to bed. :)

It’s great for everyday use, whether to work or to parties, events, interviews, dates, etc. The possibilities are endless. PLUS you can bring the small vials with you everywhere, even on holidays!

And…

It’s affordable too, or I won’t even bother recommending it if it’s priced out of reach of the average consumer. *Disclaimer: I don’t earn a cent from your purchase of this product, and neither does Steven too. We found that Instantly Ageless works, so I’m just sharing this for your reference.

To find out about the current promotions/discounts, benefits of using Instantly Ageless, testimonials from users, and any other enquiries, head over to this facebook page and PM Ryan:

https://www.facebook.com/resvertrol

Lee Hwa Jewellery: Of Buddha Diamonds and Vanda Pendants

l’ve received a couple of emails recently regarding Lee Hwa Jewellery’s new and supposedly innovative collections. First up, there are the Buddha Diamonds.

Buddha Diamond

These Buddha Diamonds are developed by Munich-based Schreiner Fine Jewellery and are shaped to represent a meditating Buddha. Each Buddha Diamond has up to 58 facets and is sculpted from a single rough diamond. This diamond – which is internationally patented – takes ten times longer to cut compared to a normal diamond. The range also includes earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Honestly, I find it lacks the ‘wow’ factor for me:

Buddha Diamond earrings, anyone?

Buddha Diamond earings

The full range of Buddha Diamonds will be available at the Lee Hwa Diamond Promenade (ION Orchard), while Buddha Diamond In Glass will be available in all other Lee Hwa Jewellery boutiques from end April 2015 onwards.

What IS pretty, though, is the Vanda pendant!  :)

Lee Hwa Jewellery Vanda Pendant

Vanda’s design incorporates Lee Hwa Jewellery’s signature 19k Purple Gold™, accompanied by rose and white gold. Also, there are several dozen round white diamonds, purple amethysts and pink tourmalines combined with a round solitaire diamond on the orchid’s lip. The Vanda pendant probably looks best on the rose gold chain.. The Vanda Pendant is available at Lee Hwa Jewellery boutiques in ION Orchard, Suntec City, and VivoCity from June 2015. Each limited edition Vanda pendant comes with its own individual serial number. If you really like jewellery fashioned to look like orchids, you can also check out Risis’ collection here. Very tempting indeed.

Top 5 Highlights of Watsons’ Girls Day Out PLUS A GIVEAWAY

On Monday evening, I attended Watsons’ Girls Day Out upon their kind invitation. The event was held at Serangoon NEX and let’s just say I didn’t go home empty-handed. The goodie bag I was given probably weighed more than 8kg, and like one of my Facebook fans noted from a picture I posted, it seemed to have one of everything from the Watsons catalogue, though that’s definitely an exaggeration. :)

Here are the top 5 highlights of Monday’s event. It’s probably one of the best events I’ve attended this year – lots of fun plus fantastic prizes:

1) Game Booths and Watsons prizes

Treats by Watsons

The bloggers were all divided into groups, and each group leader decided which booth we would visit first.

For my group of 3 bloggers, the leader brought us to the ‘game booths’, which required some interaction and involved some prizes. Himalaya Herbals gave us a small gift bag for visiting their booth while the next booth (I think it was Pure Beauty’s) had us participate in a ‘matching’ game – to match the product ingredients with their stated benefits. That was fun!

And after that, divinia’s sales reps had us net as many plastic globes as possible in just one scoop from a big glass tank. If a plastic globe contained one of their product ingredients, e.g Ceramide, Olive Extract or Double Hyaluronic Acid, it’d be counted as 1 point. The blogger with the most points wins.

And for our efforts, we won things like the ‘Treats by Watsons’ gummy bears and gummy fizzy letters, and Watsons mini hankies you see above. I’m keeping the hankies and giving the sweets to my gummy-loving pal.

It was a really good start to the whole event. Though it ended past 10pm, and our feet were sore, everyone agreed it was most enjoyable. :)

2) L’oreal Revitalift Magic Blur and an Instagram post for a S$50 Zalora gift card

Loreal Revitalift Magic Blur

The brand which wow-ed us most with their generosity was L’oreal. All we had to do was post a picture on Instagram about the L’oreal Revitalift Magic Blur product, and we’d get a Zalora $50 gift card instantly. That’s probably the easiest $50 I’ve ever earned!

This product “instantly blurs the look of pores, lines and imperfections” and retails at S$41.90 (50ml).

I’ll be reviewing this product soon. Because the gift bag is filled with so many goodies, I just didn’t know which product to start reviewing first. :D

3) Kinohitmitsu EyeBright and JointPro360

Kinohimitsu EyeBright and JointPro360

Kinohimitsu was yet another generous brand. When we visited their booth, we were given a bag with the two products you see above – EyeBright and JointPro360. We were also given a sachet of EyeBright to try on the spot. I would have thought that the ‘powder’ had to be mixed with water before consumption, but I was told to just eat it like I would a sweet.  It tastes quite good too. And don’t hold your breath for a giveaway of these products; I definitely need EyeBright as my eyes are always tired from working on my laptop for too many hours every single day. Ha! And the JointPro360 goes to the future MIL. XD

EyeBright is retailing at S$59.90 (Introductory Offer right now: S$55.90)

JointPro360 is retailing at S$69.90 (Introductory Offer right now: S$65.90)

In the bottom right hand corner of the picture is a tiny bottle of bird’s nest from a brand I shall not name. We were given only this tiny 30ml bottle – how to review? It’s not even a mouthful, in my opinion. :D And *ahem* it costs S$95 for 6 small bottles in stores. Honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the price lah but you can check it out at Watsons and tell me what you think.

4) Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain and PhotoReady Airbrush Effect

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain and PhotoReady Airbrush Effect

At the Revlon booth, we were introduced to the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain by means of a powerpoint presentation. We were also given snacks and an aloe vera drink. THEN… we were tested on whether we had paid attention to the presentation. LOL!

I’ve forgotten what the question was, but the answer was Aloe Vera and Vitamin E… and I won the gift set you see above (sans the lipstick, which came in the goodie bag). The set of Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect in the shades Ivory and Natural Ochre are encased in that camera-lookalike box. It is not for sale, but you can win it in my giveaway at the end of this blogpost! :D

*These new lipsticks provide immediate lip hydration and are available in 8 shades (S$20.90 each).

*PhotoReady Airbrush Effect is available in 5 shades and retails at S$30.90.

5) Watsons eStore and S$100 Shopping Cart Challenge

Watsons Sally Hansen and Revlon ColorStay Eyebrow Liner

Watsons has once again proven that they understand the needs of their customers best. They know that crowded stores, long queues (!!!) and heavy shopping bags are some of our frustrations so the Watsons eStore has been set up! Woohoo!

The eStore will have the products sold in stores, and also some exclusive ones which are too bulky and typically not sold in physical stores. What are these? Head to http://www.watsons.com.sg to find out. Register and place an order, and you’ll also get a surprise gift throughout the month of March because it’s Watsons’ 27th anniversary! *You can pick up your purchase from selected ‘Click & Collect’ stores or get it delivered for free (min. $80 spending).

http://www.watsons.com.sg/

I won the items you see above because we were given tablets and told to select as many items as we want in under a minute, within a S$100 budget. The blogger whose shopping cart bill came closest to S$100 wins everything in his/her cart. And I won! My ‘bill’ was S$98.10 and I honestly don’t know how I did it. I simply picked some Sally Hansen items I have been wanting to buy and a Revlon ColorStay Eyebrow Liner. I have fast fingers?! :)

~ GIVEAWAY ~

WIN the set of Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect Makeup OR the Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain lipstick:

Step 1: ‘Like’ my Revlon giveaway on Facebook

Step 2: ‘Share’ my Revlon giveaway on Facebook

Step 3: Comment on THIS blogpost and tell me which item you want to win: PhotoReady OR Lipstick :D

It’s that simple. Giveaway ends 18 March 23:59hrs and is only for residents of Singapore.

SK-II’s #ChangeDestiny Museum and What the “SK” in “SK-II” Stands For

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

I had a lunch appointment at Orchard Road yesterday and had some time to visit the SK-II #ChangeDestiny Museum at Paragon. It was the last day of the “museum”/exhibition, so if you’ve missed it, you’ll have to wait for their next event, I guess. :D I got to learn some new things about SK-II even though I have been a user of the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for many years now. For instance, what does the “SK” in “SK-II” stand for? Make a guess, and I’ll reveal the answer in a bit.

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

Got a surprise when I spotted myself in their video (picture above) at the museum. I was one of a number of bloggers/SK-II users who were ‘interviewed’ at an event in the past. So yes, you might have seen “me” at Paragon recently. LOL!

And now… for the reveal:

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

The first bottle of Secret Key II Facial Treament Essence was launched in Japan on 21 December 1980. That’s even before I was born – I’m suitably impressed knowing this. :)

And that’s not all. I’m usually lazy about applying toner, or what SK-II calls their Facial Treatment Clear Lotion. So my very helpful (museum) guide did a demonstration on the back of my hands. The Clear Lotion was applied only to my right hand – it removes dead skin cells and helps with the absorption of other products. Then she dropped an equal amount of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (FTE) on both hands, and the one which had toner applied beforehand quickly absorbed the FTE. However, without the toner, the FTE just stubbornly stayed on the surface of my left hand.

SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion

So yes, I am now convinced that I should always apply toner first, so any other (expensive) products I apply next will not go to waste.

SK-II also created many beautiful ‘experience corners’ for museum visitors to get acquainted with their products.

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

SK-II Change Destiny Museum

One of their products I don’t own (yet) is the Auractivator CC Cream:

SK-II Auractivator CC Cream

A small amount was applied to my right hand (“a little goes a long way” according to my guide) and the result is pretty obvious. The skin on my left hand (without the CC cream) looks more yellowish.

The best part? This CC cream smells really good too, unlike the FTE which has no fragrance added to it. Be sure to grab a sample at any SK-II counter and try this product – I think you’ll like it. :)

What I’ll be doing next, over 2 weeks, is finding out which brand is better – SK-II or Sulwhasoo. I’ve long heard that Sulwhasoo is Korea’s answer to SK-II. And I have been gifted some Sulwhasoo products from a friend so I’ll be doing a little experiment. *I’m not paid by either company. So you can be assured of a very fair review. Stay tuned.

National Flowers of the World (In My #Migmepedia)

I’ve been having fun on a new social media platform (*new in Singapore, but rather established elsewhere). Head over to Migme and look for me (‘thegracetan’) :D I’ve recently been doing a series of posts about the National Flowers of various countries over on Mig and this blogpost is a summary of the posts that I’ve uploaded.

-> Connect with me: http://mig.me/u/thegracetan <-

1) National Flower of Nepal

National Flower of Nepal

2) National Flower of Bangladesh

National Flower of Bangladesh

3) National Flower of India

National Flower of India

4) National Flower of Pakistan

National Flower of Pakistan

5) National Flower of Singapore

National Flower of Singapore

6) National Flower of Maldives

National Flower of Maldives

*repost of National Flower of Nepal*

National Flower of Nepal repost

7) National Flower of Indonesia

National Flower of Indonesia

8) National Flower of Korea

National Flower of Korea

9) National Flower of Malaysia

National Flower of Malaysia

10) National Flower of Syria

National Flower of Syria

Soufeel: Beautiful Personalized Charms For Your Charm Bracelet

soufeel

I’ve never quite understood why people spend hundreds of dollars on charm bracelets. Each charm can cost more than S$100, if you get them from a popular ‘P’ brand. (@_@)

I ordered some charms from Soufeel.com, together with a bracelet. As you can probably guess from the picture above, the two heart-shaped charms are my favorites. One is of the Singapore flag (not customized; they are sold on soufeel.com) and the other was made using a picture of me and my BF (customized for under USD10 when there was a promotion).

You can customize your own charms here for under USD20: http://www.soufeel.com/soufeel-charms/memorable-charms

soufeel charm bracelet

As for the other charms, the wizard’s hat reminds me to never forget to look for the magic in everyday life. The pink charm is a birthstone (gem) charm. The fortune kitty is supposed to bring me good luck and prosperity – hehe. The aeroplane charm is a reminder of the wonders of travel, and to visit at least one new country every year. And the final one is a gift from Soufeel – not picked by me.

As for the bracelet, I bought it for S$5 from a stall at Bugis Village.

Go ahead and pick your own charms at Soufeel or design your own with a customized charm. Feel free to share your designs with me, and the story behind each charm, and I’ll be happy to feature them here. :)

soufeel

http://www.soufeel.com/

E’AURA: Authentic Perfumes At Lower-Than-Duty-Free Prices

E'AURA perfumes online Burberry Brit Sheer

I’ve found my new favorite fragrance in the Burberry Brit Sheer. It is a fruit floral fragrance with “top notes of yuzu, pineapple leaves, litchi, mandarin and grapes, middle notes of pink peony, peach blossom, nashi, and base notes of white musk and blond woods.” I bet you can tell it smells delicious just from reading this list of components, yes? :D And that’s not all it comes with! How about free delivery and super-low prices that even duty-free stores cannot beat?

~

[Giveaway at the end of this blogpost: WIN Burberry Brit Sheer and Brit Rhythm]

E'AURA perfumes online

~

Introducing EAURA.sg, which prides itself on being a “close-to-heart online beauty portal, delivering pocket friendly scents to all customers”. Also, repeat customers are rewarded in their loyalty programme (2% cash rebate for every dollar spent).

www.eaura.sg

EAURA

I tend to be skeptical of most marketing claims so I’ve compared E’AURA’s pricing across various online stores just to see if they indeed offer lower prices compared to other online retailers. Here’s the Burberry Brit Rhythm EDT (90ml) on TANGS estore:

Burberry Brit Rhythm

It’s priced at S$130. [The same as on sg.burberry.com]

And since E’AURA claims to sell fragrances cheaper than at Duty Free shops, I did a comparison with Shilla Duty Free at ishopchangi.com. Will E’AURA be able to beat the Duty-Free online prices?

The same 90ml EDT at ishopchangi.com costs…

Burberry Brit Rhythm

S$90.45 (S$39.55 cheaper than at *ahem* TANGS)

And how much does it cost on E’AURA?

Burberry Brit Rhythm

Just S$65 (That’s 50% cheaper than TANGS and 28% cheaper than Changi’s duty-free online store!)

And that’s not all. You can even purchase the (brand new) tester sets from E’AURA at just S$45:

Burberry Brit Rhythm

*What are tester sets? Those sets displayed at fragrance counters for you to ‘try out’ the scents. For some reason unknown to me, they are sold in many places, whether online or not. The packaging may not be as pretty as the non-testers but the fragrance is the exact same, so if you’re getting it for yourself, why not save some money and get a tester set? And since online stores don’t have physical counters for you to visit and try the perfumes, I guess they can sell those tester sets, right?

My take on the products from EAURA: The scents last as long as any regular EDT, they smell awesome (my bf thinks the Brit Rhythm smells better than the Davidoff Cool Water; which is saying a lot) and I like getting good deals when I make purchases. Who doesn’t?

And why are EAURA’s prices so low? I spoke with their co-founder, Shantel, and found that they want to serve more customers by keeping prices low. In Mandarin, this is called ‘薄利多销’ (“thin profit, vast sales”). And they are so confident about their products that they even offer a 100% money-back guarantee regarding product authenticity! On top of that, they have a loyalty program, a referral program, and a constant stream of promotions.

~

And, of course, I had to ask for a special promotion just for my readers! :D

Simply use voucher code ‘RUNUI1FJ‘ (valid till 31 Mar 2015) to get S$5 off your (minimum) purchase of S$80 worth of fragrances. Pay via Internet Banking and get an additional free perfume vial too. :) [*Other T&Cs apply]

WHAT? A discount on top of already-low prices?! YES, and you are welcome. :)

~

Whether you are making a purchase right away or not, go sign up for a FREE account at E’AURA.sg now and you can get a complimentary perfume vial, while stocks last (no purchase needed; E’AURA will send you an email regarding the free vial).

EAURA free vial

Sign up now: http://eaura.sg/

~ GIVEAWAY~

E'AURA perfumes online

To win either the Burberry Brit Sheer or Burberry Brit Rhythm, take part in the giveaway happening at my facebook page HERE.

Absolute Slimming – Finally… A Slimming Program That Works!

[Remember my previous blogpost about Absolute Slimming that mentioned how my guest writer, Kirbie, will be undergoing the treatments and sharing about her experience? Well, this is it. :)

While Absolute Slimming highly recommends that clients complete the 8 sessions in 1 month, Kirbie had to stretch them over 2 months because of work commitments. And she wasn’t able to follow their diet plans very strictly either – she’s kind of like me; we don’t say “no” to good food! :D And yet, despite not being their most obedient client, Kirbie has benefited from Absolute Slimming’s expertise in body shaping and toning. And at the end of her review, you’ll also find two testimonials from Absolute Slimming’s clients. Read on…]

Absolute Slimming

It’s Kirbie again! :D I jumped at the chance of reviewing an 8-session program at Absolute Slimming and now, it’s time for my review after the 8 sessions with, of course, my results.

I’d like to state upfront that there are just two things about this program that made me feel slightly uncomfortable, but if you can overcome them, then you should go ahead and try the sessions:

1) Level of Pain

The treatments involve guasha (scraping) and cupping. My pain threshold is pretty low, so the guasha gets unbearable at times. Sometimes I will get bruises that can last for 2 to 3 days.

You can ask your therapist to reduce the amount of strength applied if you really cannot bear the pain, but I think it is probably supposed to be good pain. No pain, no gain right?

I tried to imagine the guasha “scraping” fatty deposits off my body. And, trust me, it really helps! :D

I went to one of the sessions with a slight backache and after the guasha, that back pain disappeared. It’s pretty amazing stuff!

Cupping, on the other hand, involves a mini suction tool (different from the big, dome-shaped transparent ones that we see with baguan). It sometimes stings a little as the tool will stick itself onto the skin with just a small amount of pressure. The pain usually subsides in under a minute.

2) Cupping Marks

I was told that the marks left by the cupping has a correlation with the amount of toxins in the body. The toxins coagulate on the surface of your skin, which results in the cupping ‘marks’.

While I’m not too fond of them, the marks on my arms usually remain for less than a week. The marks on other parts of my body disappear the very next day. Thankfully, the marks on my arms can easily be concealed with short-sleeved clothing.

I was told that for most people, cupping marks generally fade away within 3 days. It really differs from person to person.

~

And now, here’s what I liked about the program :D

1) Comfort

I don’t know about you, but I have been to quite a few beauty salons which have made me feel very uncomfortable with how pushy their staff are – up till the point where I asked myself why I was paying good money to suffer!

At Absolute Slimming, it’s just the opposite:

Warm greetings: Each time I pull open the center’s sliding door, Irene and her staff would greet me cheerfully, without fail. It definitely helps put me at ease as I get ready for the treatments.

Soothing music: Relaxing instrumental music will be played throughout the session. Great way to unwind after a tiring day of work!

Excellent service: The cupping tools can sometimes fall off, and Irene or her staff have to come stick them on again. They attend to me promptly and I do feel quite loved there!

Safe and relaxed environment: I don’t follow the diet plan very strictly, and so there are days where I will lose only 200g-300g per session. Irene or her staff will set aside time to go through my current eating habits and point out areas for improvement which can lead to faster weight loss. It’s challenging – but it helps to know where you have gone right or wrong!

2) Sessions are the same every time

What I don’t like about other centers is that most of them will try to sell me a different treatment every time I visit.

Irene and her staff will occasionally educate me about how a different treatment will help for a different type of slimming, for example, spot reduction.

They never once tried to hard-sell me on any add-on products or services, which I am extremely grateful for. I mean, when customers want to buy we will willingly take out our wallets; there’s never a need to be pushy, right?

So I know exactly what to expect for the treatments, because it’s the same every time:

Step 1: Lie facedown on bed. Irene/staff will begin guasha on my arms, back and legs. They may concentrate guasha on spots that they think have more stubborn fats.

For me, Irene focused on my back as she told me about how the shape of my figure has been contoured by my ‘bra line’. Sounds a bit sad, but I am glad she told me I have such a problem with my body shape.

Step 2: Cupping begins. The cupping locations are exactly the same every time, which means Irene and her staff really know where the crucial acupoints are for the best slimming effects. I have read reviews for other centers in which customers complain about cupping positions shifting every time they visit. How can we trust those centers if this is the case? Do they put the cups wherever they like? Hmmm…

Step 3: Turn, lie face-up on bed. The guasha and cupping methods are repeated on the front for arms, legs and tummy. During the treatment, they will apply their homemade cream to reduce the friction. The cream is odorless; so I can safely go for dates after the treatments!

3) Simple diet plan

Diet is, of course, the killer in many slimming plans simply because we are in Singapore! The lure of good food is just irresistible, and I am no exception to the norm – I really love indulging my tastebuds!

Fortunately, the diet plan that Irene gave me is quite simple to follow. The general idea is not to avoid all my favorite foods, but to shrink my appetite so that I can exercise better portion control. This will prevent you from eating excessively and interfering with slimming treatments.

Some of the things I am allowed to eat:

Plain wholemeal bread. I like eating wholemeal bread, so this was great news. I’m allowed to eat 1-2 slices of wholemeal bread in the morning, and 1 slice during tea break, or whenever I am feeling extremely hungry.

Since one loaf of bread typically lasts a week, I bought different brands of wholemeal bread to ensure I don’t get sick of the taste. Sometimes I also bought walnut wholemeal breads for the extra crunch. To me, it is important that I vary the food options I have, as I am looking at a long-term diet and lifestyle change.

Fruits – I was advised to include more fruits in my diet. This was a little hard for me initially, and I ended up snacking on bread for supper (this is a no-no, by the way). The hardest part is getting through the first two days. After which my tummy did miraculously become smaller and I was able to achieve 80% satiety (or that ‘full’ feeling) with just a small meal.

For many customers, appetite reduction is a huge part of the treatment process, as it helps you to control your diet during the 1-month treatment.

HL Milk – 200ml packaging only. For both fruits and milk – it is advisable not to consume too much of either. As mentioned before, the idea is to give my stomach the chance to shrink quickly and significantly.

Healthy biscuits such as chia seeds biscuits. Thanks to Grace, who bought them for me in Malaysia! I don’t think they are available in Singapore. This is what the biscuits look like:

Absolute Slimming

Meats and vegetables – It is all right to steam, stir-fry and add a little seasoning to your meat and vegetables. The only thing to avoid is, of course, fried food.

Although the diet seems pretty strict, it was not hard to follow as I brought a small electric lunch cooker along to work. I had some cheat days on weekends (of course, please cut down on cheat days if you’re really serious about paying money for their slimming treatments!), but Irene taught me how to make up for it by eating certain foods afterwards.

Also, I did ask if exercising is recommended and Irene suggested that I do only mild exercise such as climbing the stairs, as intense exercise will increase muscle mass and affect my net weight loss.

4) Sustainable results

I lost about 3kg and this weight loss was sustained throughout the 8 sessions. Not once did it rebound even though I did not follow the diet plan very strictly!

This is what I look like after close to a month from starting the sessions. There might not be a huge difference on camera, but my face and body shape is now slimmer and I do ‘feel’ the difference when I put on my clothes.

Absolute Slimming

As with all other slimming plans, the amount of weight lost depends greatly on each individual. Some of Irene’s clients can lose up to 2 kg with just one session.

For best results, Irene’s advice is to go for treatments twice a week. That explains why my weight loss was so much slower – because I was busy and could only attend one session a week at times, and sometimes even none.

It was also during the holiday season! And I could have overeaten, well, a little (hehe). But I am still very happy that my weight loss can be maintained. Especially since I do not need to exercise!

I guess slimming down is actually more of a “mind-over-body” thing. Set a big enough goal and I am sure we can all achieve even more. With Absolute Slimming, I don’t feel that slimming is such a lonely journey and I can get advice from Irene any time I need it! This has been a wonderful chance for me to kick-start my slimming journey and get even more kilos off my weight.

Most of their clients are ladies, but Irene says their treatments work well on men too!

*If you choose to have your treatments on weekends, bear in mind that the place will be super crowded! You may also have to wait a little, as there are only 8 rooms available at Absolute Slimming. I prefer weekdays when the place is quieter and I can really relax.

Also, Absolute Slimming has a special gift for readers of this blog:

“Quote workingwithgrace at the point of purchase and get 10% off your first cupping package! For first-time customers only. Valid till 28 Feb 2015.” (check in-store for T&Cs)

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.Testimonials from 2 more clients of Absolute Slimming:

Absolute Slimming

Serene, 41

“As an overweight mother of three kids, my confidence was so low that I would only wear comfort jeans and baggy shirts that covered my body shape, especially my stomach. After 12 sessions with Absolute Slimming, and with disciplined eating on my part, I shed 6 kg of stubborn fats and lost inches around my waist and thighs.The toning was amazing! I’ve gone back to wearing figure-hugging clothes again, and both my husband and children have noticed the boost in my confidence ever since undergoing treatment.”

Absolute Slimming

Michelle, 44

“I’ve been piling on weight recently and had hoped to slim down before Chinese New Year. Fortunately, I came to know of Absolute Slimming through a good friend of mine who had gone through the treatment herself and saw wonderful results. After going through 8 sessions of Absolute Slimming’s weight loss program, I have lost more than 5kg and went down by one dress size – and all within just 1 month! Since then, I’ve signed up for another 4 sessions to continue shedding weight.”

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Absolute Slimming’s address: 211 Holland Avenue, #03-14, Holland Road Shopping Centre, Singapore 278967

Tel: 64630360 or 98613123

Email: info@absoluteslimming.net

Web: http://absoluteslimming.net/

Gillette Venus’ #UseYourAnd Campaign – Huh?!!!

I usually ignore press releases because (1) in no way do they benefit me, and (2) my blog is not a public noticeboard – I do not copy and paste press releases onto this blog, so such emails always go into the trash. But this one from Gillette was simply mind-boggling. “Use Your And”?! Simi?!

I definitely think the campaign could have been named a different way, and given a hashtag that is easier to understand instantly. But if you watch the video, like I did, then you’ll finally understand what this campaign is about.

The Gillette Venus #UseYourAnd video:

Having said that, I still don’t see any link between this campaign and Gillette. And at the end of the video, it states “great legs”. Am I supposed to complete the sentence with “and…”?

*Anyway, what qualifies as “great legs”? Hairless legs?

The first two-thirds of the video are inspiring and all but the final third just (pathetically) tries to link it back to Gillette. Ha! I like that line “You are polished nails and a polished mind” (sounds good) but I won’t buy Gillette’s products anyway. [Daiso sells 3 for S$2 shavers *ahem*]

The comments left on this video are very interesting:

Gillette Venus

Gillette Venus

Gillette Venus

Gillette Venus, I think this video is good (at least the first two-thirds) AND I think you can do better next time! :P