The Detox Down Low: A Candid Take On What It’s Really Like To Be On Sakara’s 10 Day Reset

A wise frog once said that being green is not easy. The same can go for anyone – myself included – who’s trying to live on a sustainable diet. Given that I was raised an omnivore, I’ve briefly experimented with a vegan diet when I was in high school thanks to Mr. A, who first spread the gospel of an animal-free diet. Though it miserably failed, I didn’t really think that the option to go vegan would be crucial until I had a minor health scare four years ago when I found out that I had a lot of heavy metals and high yeast levels in my blood. Since there were plenty of vegan options in LA, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to clean up my body.

Flash forward to 2019, I realized that it was time for me to go vegan again. Earlier in February, I was pigging out on Chinese New Year meals, where pork, chicken, duck and other animal-based products were heavily consumed. Though there were veg-friendly dishes, I noticed that most Chinese dishes that I ate with my family and distant relatives contained meat. While eating meat was already not my cup of tea (save for an additional B12 consumption I needed for my O+ blood type), I hated the feeling of waking up bloated, drained of energy and in desperate need for a morning coffee. So, I sought to try out Sakara’s 10 Day Reset.

Known as a food delivery company that caters to models and actresses, Sakara made a name for itself by using organic produce. In fact, it’s got such a wide cult following for its probiotic chocolates, detox and beauty waters alongside some of the most amazing appetizing plant-based recipes. Though I’ve had some Sakara snacks from the past (e.g. watermelon jerky and watermelon seed butter), the nostalgic feeling of eating their products made me want to push myself to try out the cleanse once and for all.

Since it’s a vegan and gluten-free cleanse, I felt like I’d have no problem letting go of eating a lot of animal products. However, the two things that I wasn’t ready to let go of are my cup of coffee and the occasional tipple. If you love eating meat, munching on ice-cream, drinking coffee and raising your wine glasses on weekends, are you ready to give it all up for 10 days?

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No Scrubs: The Guide To Using Natural Exfoliants

Polluting the ocean isn’t the key to sexier, smoother skin. As public enemy #1, micro beads feel harsh and based on my experience, it hasn’t done anything to improve my skin texture. Rather than relying on plastic beads to clean my skin, I’ve realized that the best exfoliants come from the kitchen!

As a sustainable alternative, food-based scrubs exfoliate, improve my skin texture and make my cheeks glow. However, some ingredients are either a hit or miss. For instance, take Kylie Skin’s Walnut Face Scrub. Packed in an IG-friendly millenial pink tube, it’s a chicer alternative to St. Ives’ Apricot Face Scrub; however, its choice of using walnut powder has been dragged to filth due to the sharp edges of crushed walnuts. Since walnut powder has been linked to micro tears and abrasions on the skin’s surface, I wouldn’t want to use that too frequently on my face. (But, it works better on the body as it’s more aggressive!)

Since I’m on the hunt for the perfect natural exfoliant, what are some greener exfoliants that actually work on the skin?

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Are Superfoods The Superheros For Our Skin?

Eight years ago, I was an omnivore that enjoyed eating sushi, steaks, pizza and satay. I was also eating all sorts of yummy, but healthy snacks that somehow toed on the line of unhealthy. Even though I was on the way to start my senior year of high school, my skin was going through some puberty and stress-induced changes of spots, blackheads and oiliness. My mom sent me to see celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer.

During my appointment, Dr. Lancer dropped the bomb that I was treating my skin horribly with meat, raw fish and pizza. Rather than eating all the no-no foods, he advised me to eat more greens. From there, I started to think twice about what I ate.

Flash forward to 2019, I love a cup of coffee with almond milk and two tablespoons of Moon Juice’s Beauty Shroom, count on gluten-free meals, subsist on acai bowls and avoid anything with dairy to keep my skin crystal clear. (However, I can’t keep myself away from deep fried food!) While eating the right food can obviously do wonders for my skin, the same kinda goes for the right skincare.

Enter Rooki Beauty. As a newly founded local skincare brand, they’ve been successfully launching themselves as a rising force with a superfood-based face cleanser, moisturizer and mask. They slid into my DMs, asked me if they can send some items for review and as a skincare/wellness junkie, that was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Before I continue to my review, can superfoods be applied topically to save your skin?

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A Girl’s Guide To Singapore’s Hidden Gems

Forget about seeing the Merlion statue or an obligatory photo of the Marina Bay Sands. If you think that Singapore is what you see in Crazy Rich Asians, believe me, the one you see on screen is just another Hollywood fantasy.

Deep inside the Lion City’s dense concrete jungle, there’s a buzzing energy that sweeps beyond the MRT. Inside the packed streets, there’s always a new café or art gallery popping around the block or a mere tap away thanks to Instagram. Given that it’s so easy to walk past anywhere in the +65, the best experiences are always from the hidden hotspots. 

Must you go to any coffee shop (not the Amsterdam kinds, mind you!), bar, restaurant or club, sometimes, a little post on the ‘gram is all it takes to immortalize the experience and tell all your friends about it.

Since Singapore’s been through 1,001 face lifts every year, here are some hidden gems that you need to add on your bookmark ASAP:  

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Lacoste Is Ready To Slay The Streets With Its Customizable Unisexy Sneaker

Cotton polo tees, alligator logos and perfume ads that bear bold capitalized letters are all it takes to recognize a Lacoste from a mile away. Known for its preppy meets sporty aesthetic, the French brand does the unthinkable: launch a sneaker.

Dubbed the “WildCard”, Lacoste’s fresh new kicks offer a street-friendly version of the old school tennis sneaker. Made with leather and mesh, the WildCard sneakers have a low platform that makes it easily wearable to walk whether you’re at the tennis court or the sidewalks at Orchard. Although it’s marketed towards men, it can be worn by us, too. Compared to its past sneaker designs, Lacoste gives us the option to customize it however we want!

In honor of its drop, Lacoste has thrown a party last Friday at Orchard Central. Featuring local acts such as Tabitha Nauser, a Singapore-based singer, and Dharni, a Poland-based beatboxer, this party was a night that I could never forget.

Catch a glimpse of the launch party here:

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Is This Influencer-Loved Activewear Set Worth The IG Hype?

Activewear brands come and go just like how we often tend to clear out our closets whenever we’re bored. Even as under the radar companies are constantly challenged to break the market, what’s more important is how they aim to boot up the game. Rather than me reviewing a new brand, it’s time for me to rekindle with a familiar face I reviewed a year and a quarter ago.

Rather than going by Touché LA, it’s rebranded itself LA Collective, an activewear umbrella that represents 3 brands: TLA by Morgan Stewart, Ren Active (whom they collaborated with model Alexis Ren) and Vita LA. Launched last year, Vita LA’s brought out an array of fun prints (e.g. tie dye), unconventional details (e.g. aged denim) and a range of colors that make you think of sorbets at the ice cream shop. Backed by 37K Instagram followers and a handful of sold out listings, it’s no wonder that this under the radar cult activewear brand is already on its way to knock the big dogs down.

Jaynee got in touch with me again to send me a new pastel rose denim-inspired set that consisted of leggings, tank top and sports bra. The moment I woke up, I was more than excited to review it! While it’s easy for me to be let down by the amount of hype than quality in today’s activewear, is this new set from VITA LA worth the Instagram hype?

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A Letter To Karl Lagerfeld

Dear Karl,

It’s been three days since you passed away and honestly, I am so speechless. Although I have never met you in person, I felt that you were meant to be in my life since I was a child.

Growing up, I saw my mother wear Chanel since I was a baby. Before my mother purchased the tweed two pieces, she started small with a gold charm bracelets and leather trimmed chain belts that bore the brand’s logo. Then, she slowly added more belts to her collection by stocking up on a rhinestone belt alongside a wide logo gold chain belt. Apart from belts, she started collecting bags of every color, texture and size. Whether it’s a matte lilac Classic, chocolate brown croc mini tote or a basic black velvet clutch with a tassel, each bag always added a touch of luxurious elegance to an outfit. After the bags and jewelry, my mom started collecting a smorgasbord of jackets, t-shirts, skirts and tops to the point where I couldn’t reach the back of her closet. Looking back at my mom, I realized that you transformed her from a meek housewife to a confident fashion queen.

Although I yearned to wear her Chanel collection, I was too young to wear it as my mom didn’t want teenage me to grow up too fast. In fact, she’d rather have me wear her unbranded hand me downs or my grandma’s homemade clothes than to touch her precious Chanel collection.

Finally, I got my chance to wear Chanel when my father bought me a quilted faux pearl strapped handbag and long pearl and resin necklace for my 20th birthday. For my 20-year-old self, I felt that I didn’t deserve to wear them. Without much understanding about the value of a Chanel accessory, I randomly looked up the infamous ankle bag on The Real Real four years ago. Then, I Googled the patent leather vanity bag. Much to my surprise, I was shocked to learn that these archive pieces ran up to a four figured price tag. I learned that regardless of design or year, every Chanel piece is a heirloom connected to a storied house with a history of making women feel confident, classy and fabulous.

Now that I’m building my design career with baby steps, it’s so hard for me to picture a world without you. (Side note: I’m crying as I type this!) While we know that no human is perfect, I am so thankful that you want to step things up by including sustainability in fashion. As someone who wants to reduce environmental waste in an era of fast fashion, you have inspired me to make fashion fun while being ethically mindful of how we make and consume things.

Last but not least, the world has lost an angel, but heaven’s gained a virtuoso.

Sincerely,

M

Feature image courtesy of Instagram @chanelofficial