Category Archives: Reviews

Vietnam Tripping: Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Hello from sunny Singapore! I’m finally back home and feeling pretty recharged from our recent trip to Vietnam. After all the hotel stays, long bus rides, day trips to nearby cities, trekking with Hmong tribes in Sapa and a wonderful cruise in Halong Bay, it’s time to write about the places we’ve stayed in.

 

In this first edition of my travel tales in Vietnam, I’ll be reviewing the first hotel we stayed in the city – Hanoi Pearl Hotel.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Cute colonial-looking sleeping area, I’d say!

 

At the moment, this hotel is ranked by Tripadvisor as #124 of 521 hotels in Hanoi and has a certificate of excellence under its belt. We booked this hotel via Expedia and had no problems with checking in.

 

Location

 

The hotel can be found at Number 6, Bao Khanh Lane | Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi 844, Vietnam. It’s located in the charming Old Quarter of Hanoi, not far from Hoan Kiem Lake. Price-wise, it’s pretty affordable and location-wise, it’s very convenient for exploring the area.

 

Room

 

Our room was a superior room, and its size suited two people just nice. The room was clean and neat, and had everything that I needed as a guest. However, one thing struck me as odd: We didn’t have any windows!

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Lovely little work desk.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Tidy bathroom. You can see the little window that opens at the bottom.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Basin area, which fits one person nicely and two people a bit snugly.

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

Some necessities provided by the hotel. So thankful for the cotton buds!

 

Hanoi Pearl Hotel Review

The sleeping area once again.

 

The only window we had was a small one in the bathroom, which opened up to the wall of the neighbouring building, which was about 50cm away. So although you don’t see much from there, at least you’ll know if it’s raining or not.

 

Service

 

The service in general was good. The receptionists and manager on duty were always smiling, seemed relaxed and happy, and were up for a little chat when they weren’t too busy. They have umbrellas in the lobby that you can borrow, and how awesome that was, for on our second day in Hanoi, it rained. That same evening, as we waited (again, in the lobby) for our pick-up to arrive to send us to the train station, I requested for the receptionist to call our tour company to confirm that they were on their way to get us. It all went ahead without a glitch.

 

Overall & Price

 

The first thing you’ll notice about the hotel is the musky scent the moment you enter. While it might not suit some people, I didn’t really have a problem with it. Breakfast was decent as well, though nothing absolutely fancy. There’s the traditional Asian porridge if you’re craving for some hot food in the morning but you’ll have to add some garnishing to it (these are also provided and placed beside the porridge).

 

The overall ambience of this hotel is relaxing, welcoming and pretty chill. I’ll let you decide if you’d like to reserve a room at this hotel, but if you’re not fussy and are just staying in town for the night, this hotel serves its purpose. At S$80 a night for a superior room, which includes free wifi and a buffet breakfast, I’d say it is generally all right if you’re not picky about the view.

 

Never lose sight of the explorer within you,

Roxanne

Rave & Review: The Depend GelLack

 

Depend GelLack Review

Sit tight for my Depend GelLack Review. You’ll want to read it.

 

Fans of gelish rejoice. I’ve been introduced to a safer and long-lasting alternative, known as the Depend GelLack, which you can do on your own in the comfort of your home.

 

I’ve never done gel manicures because of all the horror stories I’ve heard about having them removed after a few weeks. Your nails are thinned, dry and brittle and you can’t apply anything on them afterwards. However, the Depend GelLack kit and polishes go easy on your nails, so that you can have colour that doesn’t chip off.

 

I repeat, it doesn’t chip off. At all. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in for a while.

 

Now let’s take a closer look at the starter kit.

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Review: The Naturalium Bath & Shower Gel in Melon

 

Naturalium Bath & Shower Gel Review

 

We all know that many chemicals are harmful. That’s why many beauty companies are changing their manufacturing processes to cut down on these chemicals, either completely or by substantial amounts.

 

I was lucky enough to get to try the Bath & Shower Gel in Melon from newly launched Spanish brand, Naturalium. The brand was founded in 2014 and only made its way to our humble shores this year. All of their products are made with no parabens, colourants and phthalates. In case you were wondering, parabens and colourants can cause cancer, while phthalates are known to affect reproductive systems in mice and humans.

 

Here’s a closer look at the Bath & Shower Gel in Melon.

 
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Review: Aroma Bar Singapore

 

Aroma Bar Singapore Review

A bunch of goodies that knocked on my doorstep.

 

It’s not often that you find a product that delivers what it promises to. And when it happens, you just wish it would never be discontinued. That’s what I currently feel towards the Aroma Bar Singapore range of products that I received one afternoon and haven’t stopped using since.

 

Founded in 2012 in Singapore by local aromatherapist Sarah C., Aroma Bar Singapore features products that are hand-blended and 100% natural. The best part is that they deliver results (or at least the ones I tried). Let’s take a look at the Rose Geranium Magnolia Extra Rich Body Butter.

 

Aroma Bar Singapore Review

The Rose Geranium Magnolia Extra Rich Body Butter (50ml, S$26.50) from Aroma Bar Singapore.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to feel as if you’re being pampered at a luxurious spa, while you’re at home and have some time to spare, apply this body butter after a relaxing shower. This product smells absolutely gorgeous (if smells can be gorgeous) and works great on targeted areas of your skin. Its consistency is more like a solid balm, so it might be a bit challenging to spread it all over your body. I recommend using this on areas such as your elbows, fingertips or cuticles, the heels of your feet and around the toes.

 

The ingredients in this body butter cannot be more natural either. Check it out.

 
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Shopback Review: I Tried It so You’ll Know How To

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve shopped online before. What if I told you, you could earn some of that money back when you spend it on a new dress?

 

Mais oui, bien sûr.

Mais oui, bien sûr.

 

If you frequent online fashion stores like ASOS, Zalora, Lazada and Shopbop; buy travel tickets or booked accommodation on Rail Europe, Expedia and Agoda; or even grab a coupon or two from Groupon, getting some of that money back will save you some serious cash over time and lessen your spending.

 

I was invited to give Shopback a try some weeks ago, and to summarise, I did get a percentage of my money spent back while shopping online. Shopback is a cashback site that pays you to shop with their partnered merchants – more than 500 of them. I used it to get something new for myself on Zalora and here’s a short tutorial (using Safari, with screenshots) for you, so you can see how it looks like before signing up.

 

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Rave & Review: The Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Sequin

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Sequin

 

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Sequin

 

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Pink Sequin

 

All it takes for one girl to spend some precious cash on makeup is a long, exhausting week moving to a new place and the free Friday evening of that week. Of course, being in the beauty department of a mall helps and when you see a lip gloss as precious as this costing less than S$40 a pop, you really can’t fight it.

 

I popped by Laduree after work last Friday evening and somehow also ended up at a Bobbi Brown counter afterwards. Needless to say, this lip gloss spontaneously made its way into my makeup shopping list – now how did that happen?

 
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Rave & Review: Kiss Me Heavy Rotation Powder Eyebrow & Nose Shadow

 

Kiss Me Heavy Rotation Powder Eyebrow & Nose Shadow

The Kiss Me Heavy Rotation Powder Eyebrow & Nose Shadow in 02.

 

Kiss Me Heavy Rotation Powder Eyebrow & Nose Shadow

A new addition to my collection of beauty staples.

 

It’s rainy today and rainy days call for tea, cakes and some pondering on life issues. Like whether you would look good in the latest Korean trend of horizontal brows, or if you should even attempt Cara Delevingne’s brow game in a fancy Chanel ad campaign.

 

But trends are trends and they aren’t here to stay. What matters more is looking your best, in a way that will last decades and not make your granddaughter laugh at your old pictures. Brows are one of the features on our faces that make or break a look. Untrimmed brows make you look fuzzy, like you haven’t really gotten out of bed. Overly trimmed, stick-thin brows suggest you are way too obsessed over giving an impression. Properly shaped brows are the best – they make you look sharp and send the message that you’ve got it all under control.

 

I’ve always had long, angled, sparse brows. For years, it had always been a struggle to find the right brow product. Should I get the Shu Uemura brow pencil, which I’ll need to shave or sharpen every now and then, wasting precious product each time the pencil goes through the knife? Should I get a retractable brow pencil? Should I just use my dark eyeshadow? Up till now, my brow powder had been the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in shade 61 Saddle. It’s the same shade they currently have in one of their brow palettes, but since I used only one shade, it didn’t make sense to get a palette that came with another shade.

 

And then I chanced upon the Kiss Me Heavy Rotation Powder Eyebrow & Nose Shadow while shopping for beauty supplies at Watsons Singapore. This product currently comes in 2 shades – 01 for lighter tones and 02 for darker tones. Seeing that  I have dark hair, I picked 02. The palette is pocket-friendly and weighs only 3.5g, including the small brush. The powder itself is long-lasting and doesn’t smudge (unless, of course, you do it on purpose). Here’s how you can use the palette:

 
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Rave & Review: The Etude House Dear My Wish Lips-Talk

 

Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk

 

If your favourite colour is pink and you like girly bows, then you’ll fall in love with the pretty packaging of the Etude House Dear My Wish Lips – Talk lip stick! I received these two in the mail one fine day, and still can’t get over how cute they look.

 

The two shades I have are OR202 and PK002.Both are extremely vivid colours in different shades of red. OR202 is more yellow-toned, while PK002 is more blue-toned. If you’re neutral-toned, both shades will fit you perfectly. Here are a shot of the lip colours up close and a couple of instagram selfies of me wearing PK002:

 

Etude House Dear My Wish Lips Talk

The Etude House Dear My Wish Lips – Talk in OR202 (left) and PK002 (right).

 
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Stay: The PuLi Hotel & Spa Shanghai

 

The PuLi Hotel & Spa Shanghai

The elegant lobby of one of the most luxurious hotels in Shanghai.

 

{This is the last part of my series of posts on my travel to Shanghai. To see the rest of them, read: Travel Diary: Shanghai Travel Tips and OOTD: Reminiscing Shanghai.}

 

To date, Shanghai is the first Chinese city I’ve ever visited. It was a pleasant surprise in some ways, especially how easy it was to get around based on my knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. However, the locals in the service industry speak English as well, so you’ll be just fine if you only speak that.

 

We spent our final night at the wonderful PuLi Hotel & Spa and our experience there had been nothing short of extraordinary. Checking in was a breeze in the huge lobby area and bellboys were there to greet us and handle our baggage the moment we arrived. I requested for a room on a high floor and we were given one on the 21st storey, which had amazing views of the city and highways below. You’ll want to know that rooms in The PuLi Hotel & Spa from the 20th storey onwards are Club Rooms, which come with exclusive club benefits, such as your personal butler and a complimentary mini bar. The high ceilings and wide windows also allow more light into the room, which makes everything feel much more inviting.

 
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Rave & Review: The Bené Premium Rougeria Delicious Repair Hair Oil

 

Bené Premium Rougeria Delicious Repair Hair Oil

 

I chanced upon this miracle of a product when I attended the recent Watsons Girls Day Out event at NEX, Singapore. As a blogger, I had the privilege of being guided through all the booths promoting various health and beauty products but the one item that made me return to Watsons within the same week and spend my precious moolah on was this: the Bené Premium Rougeria Delicious Repair Hair Oil.

 

A photo posted by Roxanne C. (@lacedivory) on


 

I’m a strong advocate of hair oils, serums and leave-in conditioners because hair masks and normal conditioners? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Leave-in hair products save me so much time, which I very much prefer to spend on resting after a long day’s work, or catching up on blogging matters. I’ve tried many products but this one beats them hands down (sorry Jen).

 

My hair was recently bleached twice in a row when I decided to get an ombre style (read about my first-time experience here) and although I loved the effect, the process left me with extremely dry hair. It got to the point where I had to take 10 whole minutes just to comb through all the tangles. This product from Bené Cosmetics solved that problem for me.

 
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