This year, do more.

How pretty is my latte? Apparently, after reading too much of Adventurous Kate blog on my last holiday, I’m pretty much influenced by how the lady boss behind the travel blog, Kate McCulley hunts for coffee in every city and town she travels to. Particularly small, independently-owned local cafes. With that, since late last year I’ve embarked on my ‘New Year mission‘ to discover as many local cafes (some call it hipster cafe?) as I could in 2018. Little did I know, there are indeed abundant of cool and cute cafes around, even a couple of good ones that are barely 3km than where I live! I cannot believe I’ve never paid any attention to these little gems before! Sorry Coffee Bean & SF Coffee, you’ve had too much of my love already.

Anyways, that’s a cup of hot latte up there, which I had the pleasure of indulging in on one, drizzling evening at The Parque Cafe at Eco Sanctuary. Here are a few more Instagram-worthy coffees I’ve had to date, so far this year;

White Chocolate Latte, frespresso.
Hot mocha, Brew & Bread Coffee Roaster

Now, what’s better than a cup of coffee? A cup of coffee with a good book! Again, thanks to Kate, I’m taking up her challenge to try to read 12 books in 2018. If you asked me twelve years ago if I could ever finish reading 12 books within a year, the twenty year old me would shout ‘Yes!’ without hesitation. But now….hmm I’m honestly not sure if I am capable of this challenge. Which makes this even more interesting.

I’m not gonna pressure myself too much with my (former) love for reading so I go lax with the theme for this challenge; this year, I’ll read 12 books by 12 female authors.

The first book for this challenge is:

Time To Say Goodbye by Judith Gould. Avid readers out there, go ahead and burst out laughing. To those who aren’t as avid (me included), here’s a fact: Judith Gould, as feminine as the name suggests, is actually a pseudonym….of two men! I was already halfway the book when I discovered this fact. Ha! So does this book count? Well remember that I said that I’m not gonna pressure myself too much with this challenge? Since I’m the one who came out with the theme of this 12-books-challenge, I’d say; ‘Yes, Hanna honey. This counts too.’ 😉

By the way, this old book belongs to my sister. I found this fiction novel while doing a little bookshelf cleaning at my parents’ home two weeks ago. As I was almost done with Time To Say Goodbye, I bought a brand new debut novel by Samira Ahmed last Sunday. Gosh it’s been awhile since I bought a book! I’m looking forward for February filled with yet another book for me to read.

Have you read anything this month? Maybe a good read with a great cuppa? Let me know what you’ve been up to. Till then, 😉

-Hanna-

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|Review| theBalm Time Balm Face Primer

 I cannot believe that I haven’t talk about this darling! I first discovered this primer by theBalm early this year while I was casually browsing at SaSa. theBalm section straightaway caught my eyes as I’d always wanted to try this brand but ended up never tried anything from this brand, until this year.

theBalm Time Balm Face Primer “for a flawless face” comes in a 30ml (1 FL OZ US) peachy-pink tube. As far as I know, there’s only one size of this product and it has been around. In other words, it’s not a recently-launched product from theBalm. It was only me who has just recently discovered this gem. Haha!

The ingredients

As for the product, it really does its job as a primer that helps products stay longer and matte on my face. However, do note that I don’t use cream nor liquid foundations. I’m a minimalist makeup-wearer with acne-prone and combination skin. As least for me, it’s great enough to hold my powder foundation and powder blusher. I noticed that my skin looks less oily too whenever I put on Time Balm, even if I skip the powder and the blusher.

I just ordered my third tube online. Yeah, the second, and current one I have is almost finish. Gosh, aren’t you proud of yourself when you did actually use up the whole product? 😄  Priced at RM124, but I bought it with 10% off, it is available at SaSa stores and Sephora online. (I haven’t been to Sephora stores for months so I’m not sure if it’s also available in store) 

 -Hanna-

|Review| REVLON Ultra Volume Mascara

Hey guys! Yes we’re all still in Eid holiday but I miss blogging too much, so here’s a super short product review on one cold, rainy Syawal night. 🌙😁🌙

Remember REVLON ULTIMATE All-in-one mascara? Well here’s her girly-pink sister. (They are actually five of them, like the Kadarshian-Jenner sisters) “Girly-pink sister” is the black+pink REVLON Ultra Volume non-waterproof mascara in 001 Blackest Black. I’m not sure if they have shades other than Blackest Black though, as I usually go for black all the way when it comes to mascara. 

For a voluminizing mascara, this baby is pretty good at helping my lashes to appear fuller. Removing it with water isn’t much of a hassle too, although I won’t suggest it. I usually clean up my lashes with oil makeup remover, or with a makeup remover wipes. 

Now, I’m interested to try out if the other three mascaras are just as good as this one. 😀

Finally! A perfect moisturizer for my crazy-imperfect skin.

I’ve finally found my (moisturizer) match! It fells so good saying that, I feel like shouting it from the rooftop. If you are anything like me, you would understand how wasting a decade of your life with harsh toners and improper moisturization would result to a skin that’s challenging to care for, and imperfect to be seen. Due to years of severe acne and oily-skin problems I’d been struggling with since adolescence, I skipped moisturizer from my skincare routine for the most part of those years. Plus, back then it was just plain impossible to find a decent moisturizer that worked on my crazy-imperfect skin. All of them were either too oily or too rich for me.

Then PALMER’S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA Daily Calming Facial Lotion came along. I remember it was one afternoon in late January, I was at Caring Pharmacy in my ‘hood trying to look out for my daughter’s shower gel. Then I saw a section filled with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula products. “They have a range of skincare too?” I thought to myself as all this while I knew they were popular only for their body lotion & strechmarks lotion. I picked up Daily Calming Facial Lotion as I was quickly drawn by the words “Lightweight Moisturizer”,“Sensitive Skin” aand Fragrance Free. Whoa, that’s triple threats (or in this case, triple treats ? ;p ) With retail price of RM29.90 (but I bought it on sale for RM23.90) , I didn’t expect much from this product as even if it doesn’t work out (like the hundreds of moisturizers I’ve been using my whole life), at least that RM23.90 won’t sound like a lot of money wasted.

But my,  this baby is a gem! It glides on my stubborn skin and absorbs effortlessly. My skin is left feeling and looking well-moisturized throughout the night. Ending my skincare regime with this moisturizer at night before I got to bed has been my routine for the past three months, and my skin has never been decently moisturized as well as it is now.

However, the only two downsides of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Calming Facial Moisturizer is first; it’s not lightweight enough to be worn during the day. At least for me. I tend to sweat often and I work at a non-air conditioned workplace so I have to skip moisturizer for a my daytime skincare routine. Secondly, this lotion has a very unpleasant scent. Forget the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula signature cocoa scent; it is completely abscent here and what you get is a fragrance-free, funny scent all over your face. But that’s okay. Because any product that is as respecful to my sensitive skin as this moisturizer deserved my undying lurve, baby.

-Hanna-

|Review| per-fékt lash perfection gel

I have never been more disappointed in a beauty product more than in per-fékt lash perfection gel , which I purchased online from Sephora Malaysia website.Wait, maybe it’s Sephora MY is to be blamed because as I was browsing for this particular product, this is how they describe per-fékt beauty mini lash perfection gel:

This ultra modern formulation glides on effortlessly to strengthen, lengthen, darken, condition, prime and per-fekt lashes. Smudge-resistant and clump-free, lash perfection gel provides natural, buildable coverage and leaves the lashes looking luscious.

Can’t find the word ‘mascara‘ in the description? Neither can I. So what is the problem here? I’d say, the description itself is misleading, especially when the product’s packaging also forgot to bear the word ‘mascara’ on it, which further misleads customers into thinking that this ‘gel’ is a lash care rather than a cosmetic product.

Now, compare that description with the ones from Sephora US website as well as the official website; perfektbeauty.com :

What it is: 
A jellified primer, mascara, conditioner, and enhancer that gives the lashes extreme length and definition. -Sephora 

What is it?
Lash perfection gel is a silky smooth mascara that conditions, defines and lengthens lashes. -perfektbeauty.com

Sigh….partly I myself am to blamed for not doing a through research prior to buying this mascara. But then again, I got the SEPHORA RM30 Birthday Promo voucher to be spend in a busy December, so c’mon Sephora! 

Now that’s a lesson learned there, let’s get straight to the product. For RM39, I feel that it’s a decently affordable mascara. Physically it may look tiny but the amount of product is 7ml (.25 FL.OZ.). It comes in two sizes; mini (7ml) and full-sized (13ml). There are three shades available which are blu, flash and flash deluxe. Mine is flash which is their fancy name for black. 

In ‘flash’ ; which is just basic black

As a mascara, I’m pretty much satisfied with how well it separates, curls and darkens my lashes after just one coat. (Go on to a second coat and your lashes won’t be as curled so don’t bother.) The product stays on for hours even during a hot day. The only downside is the shortness of the wand; which is pretty standard for mini or deluxe-sized mascaras. However I’m pretty sure the full-sized one doesn’t have this problem. 

However, as a ‘primer’, like how this brand claims it to be, I don’t see nor feel any improvement on my eyelashes after three weeks of using it. Clearly, this is not a lash primer nor it is a lash serum. Just a delusional non-waterproof mascara who blows its own horn. 

|Review| Bio-essence “Bio Treatment Essence-in-Oil Scar Speacialist” 


Scars. I generally dislike them. Post-pregnancy scar, now that’s a bittersweet affair. While I am thankful for the priviledge of carrying my child in my womb for over nine months, I have to admit, I don’t exactly enjoy what I see in the mirror when it comes to my tummy which to me, resembles those topography maps in Geography text books. 

So when I came across this sample of “Bio Treatment Essence-in-Oil Scar Specialist” from Singaporean brand; Bio-essence, wrapped together in SHAPE magazine as a free gift back in June, I’d had to grab that magazine from the newstand shelf. Never mind that I’ve never got to finish reading the whole mag in the end. See publishers, if you want your magazines to sell well , never underestimate the power of freebies.*big grin*

The generous sample is 30ml oil housed in a small, “chubby” bottle. The actual product is double the amount of oil (60ml) , double the height yet slimmer than this chubby sample bottle. Regardless, 30ml is actually enough to last for over a month when used at least once daily. Hence, I describe it here as ‘generous’. 

The unique blend of 11 essential oils

Despite eleven different oils blended to make this “scar specialist”, lavender is the only distinct scent I could detect everytime I use this product. 

As a self-proclaimed “Scar Specialist”, this oil fails to do nothing to my post pregnancy scars except moisturises the area. But then again, it does claim to helps minimize the formation of new scars. Therefore, it isn’t exactly fair for me to expect my three-year-old tummy stretch marks  to disappear. 

As a wound-healer, I’m happy to report that the oil really helps a small, new cut on my arm dried & healed faster! No surprise there since two of its ingredients, calendula oil & chamomile oil are both natural anti-imflammatories. 

All in all, Bio-essence “Bio Treatment Essence-in-Oil Scar Specialist” moisturises skin effectively when used daily as well as heals new, small wounds a little faster. As for scars, it doesn’t fade them at all, just like any other anti-scars and anti-stretchmarks products I’ve tried so far. I guess I’m just gonna make peace with the fact that my strechmarks (and yeah, my acne scars too) are here to stay, leaving me never. 

|Review| Revlon Ultimate All-in-One mascara

It has been awhile since my last post on a  mascara, my favourite go-to makeup product. After I was done with the last mascara I’d been using for three months, off to the drugstore I went to search for another wand that hopefully, won’t leave me disappointed this time. I was aware that I don’t really use Revlon products much, so I stood before the Revlon section, and a range of contrasting black-and-colour mascaras quickly caught my eyes. There are 5 different mascaras of black+blue, black+green, black+red, black+purple and black+pink packaging all to deliver different effects on lashes.

I picked up the black+red one; REVLON ULTIMATE ALL-IN-ONE mascara at about 15% less than it’s normal price of RM39.90 in Blackest Black. Packaging wise, I really love the non-traditional shape of the tube. It’s flatten as opposed to the usual cylinder mascara tubes, which makes storing of this product more effective. (doesn’t it annoy you when mascara or lipstick tubes roll off the table all the time?!) A part of the tube, the black one is velvety rubber so it leaves no visible fingerprints. Interestingly, the bristles (or mini brush, depending on the mascaras) matched the colour of the outer packaging so in my case, red Revlon Power Mini Brush™. Personally, I find this the most useless feature of any mascara. Honestly what is the point of having a coloured brush only to be dipped and darken by the product and leaves you no chance of seeing the red (or green, or blue, etc) at all? No, please don’t suggest me to wash off the brush just to ensure whether my mascara brush is, indeed red because seriously? Who in their right mind would do that?!

Okay, enough with my 2 minute rant. Now let’s move on to the product itself. Here’s what Revlon has to say about this 5-in-one multi-achieving mascara:

 • Our innovative, high-impact formula delivers 5 lash-transforming benefits, while our Revlon Power Mini Brush™ leaves no lash behind. Choosing the one has never been so simple.
• High impact formula delivers the ultimate 5 benefits in 1:
– Volume
– Length
– Definition
– Lift
– Intense Color
• Revlon Power Mini Brush™:
– Unique mini oval shape designed to reach every lash
– Hollow core designed to deposit formula for mega lash impact

After more than a month of using this mascara, I must say this one gem does deliver at least three of the five benefits promised. That is sincerely not bad at all for a multitasking mascara. I’ve been experimenting with enough mascaras to know that there is actually no such thing as multitasking mascaras, simply because different effects require different formulae. While one mascara can deliver fantastic lengthening effect, it fails to add volume to the lashes and vice versa. So “why ULTIMATE ALL-IN-ONE mascara if you’re such a smarty pants, Hanna?” Ah, I can hear your mind out loud. My answer is simple; curiousity. I’m always curious about how well can multitasking products deliver their 5, 10 or even 15 promises. *winks*

As a conclusion, REVLON ULTIMATE ALL-IN-ONE mascara is good enough for definition, adding a bit of volume and offers intense color (of Blackest Black for me). However, it doesn’t provide lengthening effect nor lift my lashes, especially with two of more coats so if you have straight lashes, you may need to curl your lashes prior to applying this mascara.

If you have used this mascara, or any other from this range please let me know what you think. Perhaps you could suggest me the other four mascaras I could try next time? Do let me know. Till then, enjoy this festive month!

Mascaras&Motherhood