Thursday, 31 January 2013

Review: Mayor of Tiny Town

Some time ago, I visited this cute little cafe along Cantonment Road with my cousin Phyllis. 

Picture credit: Strictly Ours: Food, Fun & Travel
Tucked away in a little shophouse, you might not catch this sign if you were walking inside along the corridor.

When we went in, it was so quiet that I wasn't sure if they were open. Plus, it looked like a very homely setting instead of a very "cafe-y" one.

It kind of reminds me of the "min su" I stayed at when I was in Hualian, like a cosy bed and breakfast. 



With all the right vintage European touches.






Ah this is UK alright. They really drink. Quite a bit. ^.^

Let's look at what they have on their menu:







My partner in crime for the day. We grew up together, spent school holidays at each other's places, bathed together, slept together, even fought (doesn't happen too often thank goodness), had many heart-to-heart talks, and met all the boys we've ever been with. We were even cabin crew together, though it was such a pity that the only time I met her overseas was when she handed over the aircraft to me in Lahore. Lol. Anyways, just know that she is one of the loves of my life. ;)


The hungry duo had quite a bit of food that day. But let's start from the soups - the Cream of Wow Mushroom Soup, as well as the Minestrone.

This. Was. Amazing!
I'm a fan of mushroom soups (actually, anything mushroom), and I have to say, this is one of the best I've had. It doesn't have so much mushroom bits that it's too filling, nor is it watery. Just the right consistency, when paired with those croutons...mmm~~~ 5 stars!

After I've had the mushroom soup, the Minestrone didn't quite work for me. It was pretty good too, but I'm biased towards the mushroom. Maybe it's just me. (But Phyllis liked the Mushroom too, so maybe I'm not that odd.)  >.<

Then came the Warm Avocado Pasta. We ordered it because we were feeling adventurous. Because hey, avocado with pasta is not exactly a common combo.

 Didn't quite do it for me. We both felt it was a little heavy though it was Vegetarian. Other than the "jelat" bit it was quite good, especially if you share it with a few friends.

 Smoked Salmon Waffle.
I thought this was a really balanced meal with the scrambled eggs and vegetables. Protein - check. Carbs - check. Greens - uh huh. Colour - yup.

 What about the taste? It was very well-balanced with the saltiness of the smoked salmon evened out by the scrambled eggs and lettuce. And the waffle adds the sweet to the whole dish. Ladies, don't try to finish this on your own. Share! Then everyone can try everything.


Totally enjoying. 

By the time we were done we were pretty full already, but the tam-jiak in us (might actually just be me) wanted to try their desserts. It's not in the picture above (all my pictures of the menu turned out blur), but here's a screenshot from their website:


Tell me. What caught your attention?

Same!!!!! Okay I assumed it was Mayor's Mischief. Right right right??? Come on! Cotton candy!! With ice cream and mixed nuts and...espresso? You're not curious meh???

You got to let them know when you are ready because only then will the chef make it. Duh! Otherwise the cotton candy will lao-hong and be all shriveled.

Get ready for the biggest surprise of my visit. 
Mums and Dads alert! Do pay attention to what you're going to see next.

 !!!!! So cute!!! What is this cute monstrosity????

 Ooooo...2 brownish balls....
*eh hem...coughs*



All frosty like Christmas! And served in a pretty little tray too~ Aiyoh how could I bear to eat this???
Parents, bring your little ones here for this. They will love you to bits. 

Do you know you can book the whole cafe for your private party/gathering/birthday celebrations/whatever events if you wish? It can seat a comfortable 30 people, or more if you like to kway sio. Lol. But really, they can make arrangements if you have an event you'd like to host there. 

Back to my Mayor's Mischief, which by now was starting to look like a Smurf's hat because I took so long to take pictures:



How do you think we should eat this? By starting with the Cotton Candy? Then when all is done you can get to the good stuff below?

I thought so too. Think again.


You notice that little pot on the tray just beside the Mayor's Mischief? That's Espresso. And nope, it's not for drinking. You are supposed to pour it onto the cotton candy. 

Huh?

Stuff is supposed to happen. Lol. 

I made this little gif to show you my reaction as I was pouring the espresso in. 




#justcosilikethispicture

But seriously, I had no idea pouring coffee does that! Or does pouring anything over cotton candy do that??? 

Whatever it did, it revealed its very yummy-looking contents...mmm~~~

The cotton candy acted as the sugar for the espresso, which I was expecting to be really bitter but turned out well. The ice cream, together with the espresso and nuts, made for a very textured dessert with so much going on inside my mouth, it was amazing. Considering all that we ate before, we almost finished the whole thing. Definitely another item on the share list. It wouldn't be fun to just eat this on your own!

I would go back JUST for this, if not to try even more of their food which has had plenty of positive reviews in 8-Days and a few food blogs. (I am definitely coming back for the All Day Brunch!!!)

Definitely worth a visit, if you are looking for a new place to chill or a quiet place to catch up with your friends, this is a great place to go to. 

Pssst...I heard they are serving breakfast from 8am-11am on weekdays! If your workplace is around the area, pop by for a quick brekkie before heading to the office!


Mayor of Tiny Town is located at:
 61 Cantonment Road
Singapore 089757

Telephone:+65 6222 7089

Monday, 28 January 2013

Review: Beauti Instinct

Travelling always does weird thing to your skin. Or rather, travelling with the bf does. That's when you share the bathroom, you don't have ALL your skincare products with you, you jump into bed and cuddle before you do your usual cleansing like you would at home, you possibly get busy, and you fall right asleep with all your makeup on. 

Sounds familiar? 

Or am I the only one who's guilty of the above beauty sin?

When I travel alone, I'm somehow more me-inclined and take better care of my skin. When I travel with friends or the bf, my skin almost always ends up clogged, broken out, or just not in good form. Not to say they caused it of course. Just my own discipline problem when I have company. =P

My skin has been far from ideal since I returned from cold cold wintery Shanghai. Apart from making a mental note to myself to please pay more attention to my skin the next time I'm there, I have been struggling with whether or not to go for a facial because of the pain and downtime involved. And also, yes, because I am such a lazy bum unless there was an external push (just like me having a PT and going to the gym). 

I have been busy ever since I got back and I think I have yet had a day when I can just stay in and rest properly. Days home often also involved work. Shows up pretty obvious under my eyes. Heck, my eyes just look tired. 2 pimples on my chin which, thanks to an ill-disciplined hand, left me with open scars which get peeled off and bleed each time a scab forms. And the cycle continues...

So when Beauti Instinct dropped me an email regarding a sponsorship, I took it on, thinking that having to blog gives me an excuse to go, plus it allows me to share useful information with you, my readers. Voila~! 


Beauti Instinct is located on the 3rd floor of Far East Shopping Centre, and to be honest, I never really thought I'd go in there again following my SQ days (one of the kebaya tailors is there). The building looks old, kinda ghetto, and doesn't look like it fits into Orchard Road. The only other time I went into that building was because I urgently needed to pee and it was the nearest building to the open space carpark opposite Wheelock Place.

So back to Beauti Instinct.

I did not go online to do any form of prior research on Beauti Instinct before my first visit as I didn't want other reviews to affect mine in any way. Just so you know, I am not paid by anyone to do this review, and all opinions are genuine and by yours truly. =)

Because of its location, to be really honest, I was very apprehensive about this beauty salon. Was it just another beauty parlor jumping on the social media/blogger review bandwagon just to boost sales but really, had nothing really amazing to offer? As a blogger, I'm starting to become slightly scared of invites for facials, reviews, trials, yadayada simply because I really don't want to write a mediocre review. "Okay, you're a spa. Show me what you got, and it had better impress me." - is what I want to go for.




It was a world of difference when I stepped in. 



Beauti Instinct Treatment Room

I was greeted, promptly asked to sit down and served with a cup of ginger tea (you will be asked what you wish to drink. I've heard ginger tea helps get rid of water retention so I took that) while I waited for the boss to arrive. After a talk-through about my skin concerns for now, in this case it was 
  • the dreaded pimples on the chins which keep breaking out, 
  • skin sallowness, 
  • pigmentation, and of course, 
  • my dark eye circles which seem to be chronic. 
  • Oh, there's always the pursuit of a slimmer face  \^.^/

Eeeks! Can you see the blackheads??? And it just looked so dry I'm sure wrinkles will form if I don't do anything within the next 2 weeks.

After the consultation with Rita, a skin analysis was done and it revealed a lot of toxins in my chin. You see 2 apparent ones, but underneath the clear skin are a lot of dormant pimples! Yikes! It also revealed that my skin is very very low on moisture levels but very high on sebum. I can't bluff through that machine, I really haven't been very diligent with moisturizing my face of late. Time to pile on the moisturizing lotion!

Based on my skin analysis, Rita, the boss, recommended that I go for the Eye Resurfacing Treatment, as well as a customized Roller Treatment for my face to help clear the pimples and bring out the radiance. Sounds pretty good to me. Except! That the Eye Resurfacing Treatment uses MicroNeedle Technology, and just by hearing that gives me the jitters. 

Fear not! I was assured that there will be no bleeding, and no harm will be done to the face. What it does is that it will stimulate blood circulation, promote collagen synthesis AND PROMOTE SCAR HEALING!!! 

I am always peeling and picking at my pimple scars (because I feel that a flat scar is easier to cover up than a 3D one), so I'm always left with a lot of flat scars that show up after I remove my makeup. Those need to be gotten rid of. Completely.

If you think I have really nice skin to begin with, you should see this picture taken in low light with a HD. (Somehow brighter exposure hides flaws better.)

没吓到你吧?

See the difference in bright light? This is still my bare face. Looks better already right? But hey, I can cheat the whole world but I can't cheat yourself. Every time I look at my reflection, I want to see flawless skin. Tip-top condition is what I'm after.



My face was given a thorough cleansing by the therapist, and she even trimmed my brows to perfection! Woots! After that was done, she started working on my eyes. A gel, what they call "cocktail", was applied on my eye area before she started using the roller on my eye. 


You see it as a tiny contraption. I felt like someone was rolling a mini durian around my eyes. Until I went back to look at the pictures, I had NO idea this thing was that small! The skin under the eyes are very thin and sensitive, so the sensation was, whoa~ Damn high. Lol. But as with all treatments that I've tried and know that work, most require you to have a bit of pain threshold. Heck, I'm sure plastic surgery's and the downtime it comes with is much much much much more painful. So what's a few durians on my eyes? 

Area around my right eye, especially the eyelid, looking very raw and tender immediately after the eye roller treatment. 


An eye gel was placed on my eye area to soothe the skin.

After my right eye was done. (The one on your left.)

She then proceeded to apply another cocktail (I assume this is for radiance and scar healing) across the right side of my face, and after that was done, the micro derma roller (a much bigger one than the eye roller, but they were needles alright) was used.


They look scary, but the Micro-needle rollers work especially well for acne scars, even those with holes. Because it stimulates collagen production, your acne scar holes might just have a saviour! Coupled with the right products and treatments, the roller is said to work wonders.

The vibration mode was used for my face as the vibration is said to help reduce the pain (I guess the tremors distract the nerves?) Still, I have to say, I believe I was frowning throughout the treatment because it kind of hurt. 

Could you tell my skin looked a little fuller and a little lifted?

After it was done, my face felt like someone had rubbed chilli padi seeds all over the right side of my face. It burned. But I believe it's a good thing, because after I've started going to the gym, I know that really, no pain, no gain. You want results? Bear with it. 

The undone side. Somehow this side looks a little sunken. I don't mean slimmer. I mean sunken. I want a slim face but I want it to have that toing-toingness, if you get what I mean. 

All tender. And frowning. Lol. But notice this side of the face looks more plumped up (in a good way!)

So far so good. The other side was done, and my whole face felt really raw. I read that the micro needles help to create microscopic channels in your skin, which allows nutrients from the cocktails used to absorb deeper and more efficiently into the skin. If good stuff was used, it makes sense to feed it better to the skin. 

That being said, if you really can't handle the pain, ask them to use less pressure. For me, I prefer the "quickly done and over with" method. 忍一忍就过了。

After your face is fully rolled over (lol!) they will apply a mask on your face. Remember the microscopic channels which were open? They stay open for a couple of hours so during this period they will feed more goodness to the skin. 

The therapist came in with this and she kept saying this is very very very good. I don't remember what it does but she says she swears by it, and uses it on herself when necessary. She mixed them up and told me if I am not rushing anywhere, try to sleep with it on for the next 2 hours so it can FULLY maximize its potency. 

Because my skin was burning any kind of gel mask on it would feel heavenly, and I wouldn't want to walk out still feeling like chilli padi hot, so of course I said yes. If you are thinking of doing the roller treatment, do schedule a good 3 hours so you get your money's worth. 

.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
zzzZZZzzz~~~
.
.
.
.
.
*knee jerks*
*wakes up, realizes mouth is open, closes mouth*
.
.
.
.
.
.zzzZZzzzzZzz....
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
*drools*
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
2 hours later....
.
.
*woken up by therapist, realizes mouth is open, closes mouth*
.
.
*gel mask cleansing*
.
.
.
.

Tadah! I'm not red / raw / burning / chilli padi seed hot anymore!!!




Focus on blackheads? Muahahaha my pores are smaller! And you can't see any blackheads!

Did I see obvious results? Well my face was still a little pinkish when I walked out, and it felt really hydrated. My skin tone appeared more even, but that could have been the flush not entirely gone yet. I felt the biggest change was in my dark eye rings and the sallowness of my skin. My under eye circles weren't as dark anymore, and I could really feel my skin being more bouncy. 

These are pictures about 12 hours after the facial:






As my skin worked to recover, it was a little itchy and I had to keep fighting the urge to scratch my face. Of course I did anyway, as you could see on my forehead scratch marks. It was worst on the afternoon of the second day, but by evening, the itch had subsided.

Overall, I was happy with the results. Of course, as with any course of treatment, you will definitely require more than 1 session to see significant, long-lasting results. If I can see results like the above after 1 session, I am really keen to find out what they can do for me long term.

If you are keen to give Beauti Instinct a try, you can get it at a special discount. I highly recommend the Eye Resurfacing Treatment. You do want to look good for CNY and Valentine's Day, don't you? ;)



Beauti Instinct is located at: 
Far East Shopping Centre (beside Wheelock Place) 
545 Orchard Rd #03-14
Tel: 67339149
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am to 8pm



Disclaimer: All photographs used in the review are my own and have not been altered/edited in any way, with the exception of the promotional poster. No form of cosmetic makeup has been applied onto any part of the face for the purpose of an honest and fair review.