Sunday, January 25, 2015

Best Champagne Gift for Chinese New Year (and Valentine's Day)

Probably the most luxurious bottle of champagne anyone can give or receive this Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day or for whatever occasion…

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I first shot this Champagne for Christmas season and now that we're approaching Chinese New Year, a lot of friends ask what would be a nice bottle of wine to give to clients or business partners. Without a doubt, even if some people might say that there might be other better ones, I'd recommend the Ace of Spades. 

When I saw the bottle's photo a few months ago, I was amazed. How can a bottle of wine be so beautiful? And when I saw the actual bottle for the first time, I was mesmerised, captivated, enamoured. Is this for real? 

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One look at the box gives you an immediate feeling of class and elegance. Have you ever seen any ordinary wine or champagne bottle packaged in such style? Ace of Spades Champagne, or Champagne Armand de Brignac, comes elegantly packaged in a black lacquered box. Take note - lacquered. The cover is adorned with the brand’s logo in pewter, the stylized letter A inside a spade.  This is definitely the most beautiful letter I’ve seen. 

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The inside of this box is lined with solid rich black velvet. Under the top cover is a gold plate embossed and imprinted with “Armand de Brignac, Reims, France - Edition Limitee”. The bottle lies perfectly inside, with grooves specially made and designed to fit its size. 

And here’s another magnificent thing; the box comes with a sexy booklet, also in black and stamped with the logo and name in gold. 

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The bottle itself is in opaque gold and all labels are made of genuine pewter —- all handmade. Unique, elegant, classy. Who wouldn’t be delighted to receive this as a gift? The presentation of this Champagne is just amazing. If you're someone really generous and if you even have a special someone who loves Champagne, trust me, sending this as a Valentine gift with your sweet love note would be such an unforgettable moment.


The Taste of Ace of Spades
Marvelously complex and full-bodied, its bouquet is both fresh and lively, with light floral notes. On the palate, Brut Gold has a sumptuous, racy fruit character perfectly integrated with the wine’s subtle brioche accents. The Champagne’s texture is deliciously creamy, with great depth paired with a long, silky finish. Armand de Brignac Brut Gold is pressed from a perfectly balanced blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier wine. - Armand de Brignac

How to enjoy it:
Recommended serving temperature - 6 - 8 degrees Celsius
(place the bottle in the refrigerator the night before or chill in an ice bucket for 30 minutes)
Use a flute or champagne glass, not a broad-rimmed glass

For many different occasions, I think that the Ace of Spades is an ultimate gift.  Whether it’s for a loved one, a close friend, a business partner or a client, giving this bottle as a gift will make a solid statement of value and appreciation. Expressing it with a gold - pewter bottle of Champagne perfectly packed in a black lacquer box is just pure class. 

It was no surprise when I heard the news in November 2014 that Jay-Z bought this label. The Ace of Spades champagne was featured in his video, Show Me What You Got. Well, he’s also seen serving this US$300-worth-a-pop champagne in a lot of events and has long been associated with the brand.  

I haven’t tasted this Champagne yet, not that I can afford one. Well, one can dream. And I think that it’s one of the best wines to feature in preparation for Chinese New Year's gifting season. 

Where to buy in Malaysia: www.winetalk.com.my
Normal price: RM1,480 / Limited promotion price: RM1,280
Origin: Champagne, France
Type: Non-Vintage Champagne/ Sparkling Wine


About Armand de Brignac via www.wine-searcher.com 
Armand de Brignac is the brainchild of the Cattier house, located in the Champagne village of Chigny-les-Roses, and the New York drinks distribution company Sovereign Brands.

The Cattier family have been growing grapes in the Montagne de Reims area since 1763, and have made Champagne since 1918. The house is still family owned and run by Jean-Jacques Cattier and his son Alexandre, both respected winemakers. Champagne specialist and writer Michael Edwards speaks highly of the Cattier Champagnes and is particularly fond of the family's single-vineyard cuvée Clos du Moulin.

According to Jean-Jacques Cattier, Armand de Brignac aims “to present something authentically luxurious and which does justice to the once-in-a-lifetime events at which Champagne is so often present.” He believes that Champagne produces "bubbles in the eyes."

De Brignac was the name of a hero in a book that Jean-Jacques Cattier's mother once read. She liked it so much it became stuck in her memory, though no-one nowadays can remember which book the character was in. Later, Jean-Jacques' sister added "Armand" to round out the name. The family registered it as a brand in the 1950’s with Champagne's wine authority, the Comite Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC). It then lay dormant until 2006, when they dusted it off for their prestige cuvée and the forgotten hero once again enjoyed the limelight.



Gong Xi Fa Cai! Let's all welcome the Year of the Goat with fireworks and Champagne bursts!

Tebe Lavish Soap Bar for Face & Body

Cleanse, moisturize and refresh your skin with paraben-free soap

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Are you someone who only uses body wash or shower gel? Do you use soap bar?

I love using shower gel together with a bath sponge or lily but I also enjoy using soap bar for my body every morning. During the day, it’s just faster to use a bar of soap instead of my usual shower gel that I pour on the bath lily. Some of us have to rush bathing; put makeup and get ready quickly as we also need to prepare our child/children for school.

I love soap bars from Crabtree & Evelyn, Melvita and The Body Shop. I’ve recently opened my Tebe Lavish Soap Bar and I love it.
  
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Tebe Lavish Soap Bar
With pure olive leaf & green tea extracts
Price: RM75 for 170g
Where to buy: Skintopic Outlets or Kiosks
Can be used on the face and body
Free from mineral oils, parabens, artificial colourants & fragrance, silicones and animal products

Tebe’s triple milled Lavish Soap Bar with olive leaf extract contains a sumptuous blend of extra virgin olive oil and natural waxes that will produce a rich, creamy lather. pH balanced and lightly scented, your skin will feel soft, moisturized, cleansed and refreshed.

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This soap comes in a dark brown rectangular box. Upon opening flip-top box cover, you’ll be welcomed by a mild scent of the soap, which is wrapped inside a thin special paper.

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The light scent is fresh and invigorating. I personally love floral fragrance so it’s quite easy for this soap to capture me. After use, you'll feel refreshed and your skin will feel lightly moisturized. It's just a bit challenging to handle this soap bar at first because of its size so if you have small hands, it will be large to hold. 

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Tebe Lavish Soap Bar Ingredients: 
Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate, Aqua (Water),  Olea europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Parfum, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride,  Chamomilla recutita (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Olea europaea (Olive)  Leaf Extract, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract

Key Ingredients:
  • Olive leaf extract for brightening
  • Olive oil for softening
  • Chamomile for purifying
  • Green tea leaf extract as anti-oxidant


Tebe Lavish Soap Bar is manufactured at Simunovich Olive Estate Limited in New Zealand. For more information, visit www.simuoliveestate.com










Saturday, January 24, 2015

Makeup Style using The Butterfly Project Beauty Box

Trying new beauty products is always fun! Combined with some of my loved items, these products that I haven’t tried before have become even more interesting.

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Last December, I had a fun evening with fellow butterflies at The Apartment, The Curve. The Butterfly Project, headed by Tammy Lim, gave a celebration where both fresh and seasoned bloggers had a great time, great dinner and great opportunity to meet new friends. Luckily, I was free to join the group on that weekday dinner.

Aside from the Secret Santa gift-giving session, I also received a beauty box from the group. Thanks to all the generous sponsors who worked closely with the group and brought us happy cheers and, of course, new beauty products to try.

It’s exciting to explore different makeup looks by combining different products or brands. But at the same time, it’s also fun to mix and experiment with the new products together with those that you already have and love. Like a lot of you, I also have my favorites when it comes to skincare or makeup.

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Some of my loved products include GlamGlow ThirstyMud, Makeup ForEver Mist & Fix, Nars Eye Paint, Nars Dual Eye Shadow and Maybelline Color Tattoo. And I decided to mix these with some of the items from my butterfly beauty box: Shizens Lip Tattoo, Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner and Always 21 Soothing Gel Mist.

butterfly-project-beauty-box-makeup-collection


Starting with smooth, healthy skin makes a lot of difference on how makeup can accentuate or complement your look. I love using GlamGlow ThirstyMud to do my regular mask routine. It’s quite addicting so I limit it to twice a week. After washing off ThirstyMud, I spray Always 21 Soothing Gel Mist on my face and apply a moisturizer (I’m using Mario Badescu at the moment). Afterwards, I apply my makeup primer, foundation, pore minimizer and face powder (not included in photo shot).

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Now it’s time for my eye makeup. I’ve been loving my Nars eye paint and dual eyeshadow since last year, and I don’t think I can live without them. I’ve also started to use Maybelline Color Tattoo and it works well in making my eye color more vibrant and longer lasting. From the butterfly beauty box, I used the Dolly Wink Eyeliner, which has a pen style application.

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The Dolly Wink eyeliner has good color results and very easy to apply on the skin. It has a cute, dotted pink packaging, with a pen cap.


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On my lips, I used ShizensLip Tattoo, which came from The Butterfly Project beauty box. I’ve reviewed this lip product a few weeks ago and I loved its long lasting color on the lips. Great thing about this Lip Tattoo is that it makes the lips look naturally rosy through the day and keeps the lips moisturized. I now use it every morning together with different lip colors.

And here’s my quick 15-minute makeup look with a mix of my new and loved beauty products:




What are your favorite makeup products? Those that you must always have in your makeup kit? Thanks once again to The Butterfly Project for organizing events to meet friends and to explore more beauty products!

Find out more about the products featured in this article:























Saturday, January 10, 2015

My 2015 Beauty Regime from The Butterfly Project Beauty Box

How are you starting your beauty regimen this year? Have you got your whole body (or most of it) covered? Thanks to The Butterfly Project, I got started with my new regimen early.

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Happy New Year! Wait, what? Is it late?

It’s always wonderful to welcome the new year with new things…specially beauty stuff. And this month, I have started using new and exciting products to take care of my lips, hands, face and hair. 

beauty-box-with-garnier-sakura-white-cleanser-and-moisturizer
For the face, it’s time to explore a new cleanser and a moisturiser to improve my skin tone with Garnier Sakura White Pinkish Radiance Cleansing Foam and Moisturizing Cream. I have yet to unbox the cream but starting with the cleansing foam, I fell in love with the beautiful scent. I know, I know, it’s not the scent that solves my skin concern but, hey, can’t help it if the scent is really lovely. These Sakura White products give the skin fresh and pinkish radiant complexion. And they are affordable, too, starting at RM12.90.

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I’ve been using GlamGlow since last year and seeing this travel size ThirstyMud is an excitement. This is still part of my beauty regime and with Chinese New Year approaching, I’m just happy to have this travel size tube! GlamGlow ThirstyMud gives hydrating wonders on the skin within a 20-minute application and wash off or tissue off. 
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Oh, yes, I regularly enjoy my GlamGlow mud with some wine

korean-skincare-always21-aloe-vera-gel-mist-soothing-refreshing
I enjoy using mist on my face for instant moisture and skin refreshment. I’m currently using Melvita Eau Florale de Rose Damask Floral Rose Water, which I’ve also placed in a mini spray to carry with me to work. Now this Always Aloe Vera Soothing & Refresh Gel Mist is a delightful treat from the beauty box! I haven’t heard of this brand but the scent is invigorating, the mist feels great on the face and I love the spray. 

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Hair is a priority for me to start this year right as the effect of my rebonding treatment is starting to wear off. I’m always exploring shampoos and conditioners that will take care of my damaged hair. This Matrix Biolage Colorlast shampoo, as its name suggests, is for making color last longer - giving you salon-vibrant color for up to 9 weeks - but I discovered that Biolage also has a shampoo for dry hair —- Biolage Hydrasource. The Matrix Biolage hair care range addresses specific hair concern and is committed to creating sustainable products. 

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I love lip care products and will continue to love them. I’ve tried Shizens Lip Tattoo (see full review HERE) and it’s an amazing moisturizer, color and anti-aging product in one. It’s priced at RM168 so I may want to save it for office days and important events. For those casual days, I have Maybelline Baby Lips Colored Lip Balm to save my dry lips. If I remember right, this is only around RM15, available at leading pharmacies and beauty shops. I love the watermelon flavour and color of this Pink Shock variant. Did I mention it provides 8-hour moisture? 

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We must always hydrate our hands and take care of them daily and hourly. Hourly? Oh, yes, specially if you’re working inside cool temperature places. Never allow your hands to feel dry so always carry a tube of hand cream with you. This L’Occitane Velvet hand cream is a perfect companion to make sure that my hands stay young and beautiful. 

So these are some of my beauty picks to start my beauty regime this year! What are yours? 

Find out more about the brands featured in this article: