How to get beachy waves sans hot tools

One of the biggest mistake when I was moving to the States, is leaving my Cloud Nine hair straightener

I relied on the iron to get the beachy waves of my dreams and without it, my hair looks sad and boring. Putting my hair in a bun with some spritz of dry shampoo doesn't work.

On a lucky day, I came across this tutorial video from Byrdie.  Ashley Streicher (one-third of the Streicher sisters), a hairstylist shows us how to create waves without any hot tools. 

I recreate this look with (as the de-frizzer) and Living Proof Dry Volume Blast, (my favourite texturiser). Shoes by Manolo Blahnik.


Ashley keeps reminding us that touching the hair constantly causes more frizz. My mind is blown.

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How to cull your skincare

I have a confession, I started to take skincare extra seriously in the last few years. Makeup has always been more fun when it comes to beauty (the swatches, the textures, the magic!)


After years of relying on makeup to achieve flawless skin, I realized that good skincare is the base of a good makeup. I began with identifying my skin concerns (acne scarring, hydration, preventing pigmentation) After years of trying different products, I have begun culling my skincare to prepare for my big move overseas (hello San Francisco!)

Here is my edit of my non-negotiable tried and tested skincare staples.

  1. A good oil cleanser that doubles as eye makeup remover like Shu Uemura Ultim8 oil.

  2. Second cleanser, any non-stripping foaming cleanser.

  3. A mild acidic toner for everyday, like this one.

  4. An exfoliating toner to deep cleanse for once or twice a week, I can’t live without Biologique Recherche lotion p50.

  5. Any moisturising eye cream, currently enjoying Caudalie Resveratol Eye Balm.

  6. For morning, after toning I follow with a Vitamin C serum (Drunk Elephant C-Firma is my one and only), Glossier The Super hydrating serum, Glossier Priming Moisturiser oil-free moisturiser and Biore Aqua Rich sunscreen.

  7. For nighttime, I rotate between a few treatment serums from The Ordinary like Niacinamide and Advanced Retinoid 2%.

  8. I finish my nighttime routine up with The Ordinary Rose Hip Oil.

The extras:

Charcoal face mask, I have used the Origins Clear Improvement for years. Hydrating sheet masks every other night - I currently swear by My Beauty Diary, but I am always trying new ones.

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8 Products for a Pretty Glowy Winter Makeup

Winter is here! (cue: the Game of Thrones intro song)

I enjoy winter for the endless bowls Pho, never taking off on my Uniqlo hoodie and binge on Netflix with my son (a Staffie) by my side - embracing Hygge.

But I don't enjoy the cold winter mornings, when getting out of bed and getting ready feels like pulling teeth.

To combat winter woe and to make my makeup routine more fun, I opt for pink blushes and a glowy base (dewy, not shimmery). Here are my current makeup favourites.


I like a hydrating glowy base like *Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot primer. The Sephora Beauty Amplifier (no longer available) gives more glow and thinner in consistency. The M.A.C Strobe Cream is a classic but it has a thicker consistency and the intensity can be build by layering more.

NARS Sheer Glow is a fantastic full coverage but lightweight foundation. I say this about every new foundation that I test, I think this is the best foundation that's I've tried and I wonder where has it gone all my life? Glossier Stretch Concealer is a pleasant creamy concealer, not too dewy. 

Cream blush looks the most natural and pretty for winter in my opinion. I think I have found my perfect cream blush, the Glossier Paint Cloud in Puff.

I like *Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish Foundation as contour for some dimension. 

If I want extra glow and colour, I will go for the Tom Ford Soleil Contouring Compact. Tom Ford lipsticks are so buttery and creamy but yet luminous. Spanish Pink, my favourite colour is one of my all time favourite. Worth the price tag.

*This post contains affiliate links. Items marked with * are PR samples.





Manolo Blahnik BB pumps

My style goal has always been to create the ultimate classic wardrobe.


When it comes to heels, I believe in the classics. My first proper grown up pair of pumps are the Christian Louboutin Pigalle. I remember saving long and hard for them but unfortunately the toe box was crushing my feet especially the right foot. I told myself "Beauty is pain" or "This is the price to pay for a pair of Louboutins" but over the years, the comfort level did not get better after many attempts of stretching them both professionally and DIY. So, I decided enough is enough, the excruciating pain is not worth enough so I sold them off to a loving new owner.

My mission to find a new pair seems like a dread because the next pair MUST be perfect.

I have been fantasizing about owning Manolos (thanks to Carrie Bradshaw) but always thought they are not as hot as Louboutins. However, after buying the Carolynes,  I had my eyes on the BB pumps as my next purchase.

The downside is, the BBs are hard to find and some sites sell them for almost one third of my monthly mortgage payment. When two pairs of patent Bb (black and nude) turned up on my feed on The Real Real (godsend) for almost 80% off retail price, I bought them.

The patent leather are perfect, the heels are 115cm and comfortable. Who says dreams don't come true?

Shop some of my favourite classic pumps below:

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Jackalope Hotel, Mornington Peninsula

If there is one thing to know for sure, the Jackalope Hotel is one of the most stunning hotels that I have ever stayed in. Other than vineyard facing rooms, the matte black walls, moody lighting with a hint of dusty pink boast a sleekly sophisticated hideaway (bonus: a glass of wine for each guest on arrival)

"Sci-fi meets art deco" is the first thing that came to my mind when I see the reception, hallway and the signage leading to the rooms.

Doot Doot Doot, the fine dining restaurant boasts a sophisticated menu. You can expect one very considered interior with the focus on leather, marble, brass accents, and heavy woods. We guarantee you'll be 'gramming the hero feature, the ceiling covered with hundreds of bottles and the ever changing lighting.

For a casual lunch, head to Rare Hare for a cosy brunch with an array of food and wine options.