Squeezing in skincare before midnight x Althea

Saturday, April 28, 2018

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I don’t think I can say much more about Althea’s own skin care line that hasn’t already been said. Their 3-step solution is meant to bring simplicity to Korean routine and trust me when I say this, it is so satisfying to go through the routine quickly with my skin feeling clean and supple after it. If Althea sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Althea is an online beauty shop specialising in Korean products, which has shipped products globally. I also blogged about it not too long ago when I tried out the 7-step Korean skincare routine. Even in the post, I already had to confess that there were evenings where I’d take a shortcut and rather than complete the entire 7 steps, I’d cleanse, apply toner, moisturise, and call it a day.


Althea puts it best - “a solid routine starts from 3 essential steps -­ cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. All the other additional steps added to your routine are just that - additional.” With that in mind, Althea worked to develop a simple routine purporting to pack in all the benefits of a full-fledged one with their aptly named skincare line - Bare Essentials. And boy, what a great set of products these are! With minimalist packaging that you can’t help but display, trust me when I say that this simple routine is the busy person’s dream come true.


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I’m not a skincare expert so all the insight I can share is purely from an experience perspective. For starters, the products smell great, they’re super easy to use and most importantly for me, they’ve given me a new way at looking at my night time routine. 


We start with the Contour Cleanser (1) which lathers wonderfully and leaves my skin feeling very clean. In fact, it feels like I double cleansed! There’s a cooling sensation too after its use so I love washing my face when I have work to do at night and need a little pick me up. But because it can feel a little tight which can happen when you wash your face with a fairly strong cleanser, step two follows right after. The Primer Water (2) was a really confusing product to me at first, because I was expecting texture like the Beauty Water I wrote about before, but it came out in a watery gel form. No cotton pads needed here. Squeeze a small amount onto your palms and pat it onto your face. Quick absorbing, wonderful smelling, and a really nice feeling after. The Fixer Cream (3) is next. It sets out to provide 24-hour hydration and I guess it does for those living in humid countries. When I’m a little more hardworking, I pair this part with eye cream and maybe even a face mask, but for the most part, this is a great moisturiser for everyday use.


All three products are available for RM116 which is a really decent price for what they are - high quality, solid products. But don’t just take my word for it - their reviews speak for themselves.


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For me, the reason why I really recommend these products are because of the time taken for me to go through my routine. It isn’t just because it’s three steps. The fact that the cleanser lathers so quickly and the toner absorbs almost immediately means that on the days I come home late or I have too many things to do, it is physically possible to finish my routine in under 5 minutes.


If you wanna know what the routine looks like, you can see it on my Instagram! It’s literally a 45 second video so spare ya girl some time and check it out here:



What that means for me is that quicker skin care means quicker bed time. That means more sleep. More sleep means a happier me. And good things happen henceforth.


Thanks for the Bare Essentials, Althea!


Get your own here:

althea.kr

Flour, Bukit Damansara - Curry me home

Thursday, April 5, 2018
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I have been meaning to write this post for about 2 months now, which is relevant for you to know because it means I paid my visit to Flour some time in February and this whole February thing lends a little bit of context to the meal we had.  So we were smack dab in the midst of Chinese New Year season and with every dinner plan that week promising either steamboat or all sorts jumping over the wall, North Indian food at Flour felt like a breath of fresh air. Flour hasn’t been around for very long - a little over a year old – but it’s made enough of a mark in the scene which leaves advance bookings necessary and the “Restaurant FULL” sign up front unsurprising.

Another detail I must add is that because it was technically a new year, I felt somewhat reinvigorated to new year, new me all over again and decided to drive to the restaurant. With driving not being my strongest suit, it was with heightened adrenaline and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I tucked into this meal. Read into that what you will in terms of the objectivity of this review but for now, I’ve digressed enough so take a seat, grab a drink and into the restaurant we go!

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Tell me about the food..
If you’ve had enough of the modern day minimalist menus that’s currently in fashion but shares hardly more than the name of the dish and what you’re shelling out, the menu of Flour is made for you. Built almost like a book rather than a menu, it takes you on a bit of a journey by introducing the founders and cuisine (North Indian as opposed to the South Indian fare Malaysians are more accustomed to) and houses beautifully illustrated pages made for browsing.

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To start, we ordered batata fritters (RM12), which were basically balls of deliciousness in our mouths. They arrived piping hot (major plus point!) and was the perfect introduction to what was going to be a flavourful meal.

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After a bit of a struggle in deciding how much to order for our mains, we finally decided that for 7 of us hungry young adults, 6 curries, 3 biryanis and a serving of garlic naan was the way to go. 

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For every curry you order, you may opt for a side of bread or a bowl of white rice. Not knowing which to pick, we left the choice up to the waitress and were treated with a variety of flatbreads, some fluffy, most crispy, but all perfect for accompanying the rich, piping hot curries at Flour. If you think you’ll be getting tough overnight bread here, don’t worry, there’s naan. ;)

If you’re curious, we tried the following:
  • Murgh Makhani (RM27)
  • Mutton Korma (RM32)
  • Methi Chicken (RM26)
  • Lasooni Ghost (RM31)
  • Paneer Nimbu Do Pyaza (RM24)
  • Ajwaini Baingan (RM22)
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When the food arrived, I pulled apart the bread, had a helping of golden, creamy Murgh Makhani (butter chicken), and actually gasped at how gloriously rich, flavourful and deep the flavours were. If you like your butter chicken a little sweet and very creamy, you’ll adore the one at Flour. Probably the most popular curry of the night for us, when we were 6 curries down and the food was just starting to settle in our stomachs, we even contemplated ordering another helping because it was just so G O O D. But alas, belly and wallet constraints ended the journey there, though a few of my friends made repeat visits and had it again not long after.

A close second for me was the Paneer Nimbu Do Pyaza, another creamy delicacy that made me wish I had more bread to mop up the deliciousness left at the base of the bowl. Now this is almost inexcusable but I just flat out did not know that paneer was a type of cheese and was wondering how they managed to make tofu taste so good. I finally figured it out when my friends were asking if everyone had tried the “cheese one” and I was like, “no wait, which” only to realise it was the dish I was hogging. LOL well, you live and you learn, am I right?

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I enjoyed the mutton korma because I thought it tasted really clean and not too meaty, which can happen sometimes with mutton. The meat tenderly fell apart in my mouth and the curry was a nice break from the other two above. However, I think in the entire pot, there were probably two solid pieces of mutton, a huge bone, and very little else which made us feel a little short changed. If they were more generous with the meat, it would’ve easily been one of my favourites, but as is, I would think twice before ordering it again, especially if I’m feeling hungry.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but if I’m having a lot of curries all at once, after a while, no matter how good they are, almost everything begins to taste the same. That’s exactly what happened at Flour and the rest of the dishes went by in a blur. I had the chance to try the other dishes we ordered, but the rest don’t stand distinct in my memory. All I recall was that they all tasted good in their own unique way and I left was convinced that whatever curry ordered was going to be good.

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We had 2x chicken biryanis (RM28 each) and a serving of mutton biryani (RM33) to share. They were served in cute ceramic pots which kept them warm throughout the meal, but as far as I was concerned, the biryanis were just flavoured bases for the curries. Worth a try because to each their own biryani, but they didn’t do it for me.

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Their mango lassi was a whopping RM13 each, served in small steel cups and very assuredly not worth the money. Not pictured is their masala cha (RM8) which was delicately spiced and pretty good. Hahaha though my friend who ordered it for a hopeful caffeine kick was very disappointed and spent some portion of the night crying out for coffee.

Drinks aside, it was a really good meal and I am already planning a repeat visit in my head. Anyone in?
You should try it if…
  • You appreciate a good curry
  • You’re looking to try something different
  • You were a fan of Dishoom in London
  • You’ve never tried North Indian food and want an introduction
  • You already like North Indian food and well, want another place to try
  • You’re thinking of a place for group dining that you can make reservations for (order more to share!)
  • You’re vegetarian (plenty of options for you here!)
  • You’re craving curry, but a mamak just won’t cut it
  • You don’t eat spicy food (plenty of mild curries available - most of the ones we got weren’t spicy at all)
Minding Money Tips
Hahaha sorry this header’s a little misleading because I don’t actually have proper tips to give. Our total bill worked out to RM381.30 which wasn’t expensive, but it’s not exactly a budget offering. Including service charge and tax, that's roughly RM53+ per person without drinks.

But if you really want a tip, does it help to say that there’s a 7 Eleven right outside, and if you want to save money on dessert and you’re feeling #cheapo, you can get RM2 ice cream from next door? Um, not actually going to confirm if any of us did that but I’m just putting it out there that it’s always useful to know your options!

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