Baking session @ ABC Cooking Studio with LENNOX

Saturday, August 10, 2019

 Can I just start by saying how excited I am to blog about this?


Let me set the scene for you. Picture a group of beautiful colour-coordinated ladies clad in pink, all made up, standing before a gorgeous almost Muji-like backdrop of fine-grained bleached wood and bright light. 



Everyone is friendly, smiling and supportive, telling you how good you look and that they’d watch your Youtube videos and when you make jokes, people laugh and you can’t help but feel warm, happy and welcome. 



When you breathe in you smell baked goods and when you look around you see fruity backdrops and as many collagen drinks for you to sample as you wish. You know your turn to start making your own baked creations is coming soon when you see tables upon tables of perfectly measured out ingredients for you to use. It’s the perfect combination of good company, luxurious samples and a hands-on baking session.

Now you see why I’m so excited!

To be honest, I'm still convinced my outfit was a little weird and entirely impractical with the bows on my sleeves threatening to dip in the batter throughout. But the theme was pink and I wanted to go with something a little different - and well, it's different!

LENNOX Love Your Skin Campaign


With the adorable Renness

It’s August now and LENNOX is celebrating its Love Your Skin campaign. I have a growing appreciation for investing in good skin and even more so, when I’m making a smart investment with discounts and special offers. To encourage you to take the first step towards healthy and beautiful skin, Lennox is throwing tons of crazy deals your way. You can check out their FB page or website for discounts on different products each week and stand a chance to win awesome LENNOX products when you take part in their buy and win contest.


The event @ ABC Cooking Studio



In conjunction with that campaign, LENNOX hosted a baking workshop at ABC Cooking Studio situated in Gardens Mall. It was truly a joy to attend the event thanks to an invitation via TheButterfly Project, which gives small-time hobby bloggers like myself opportunity to work with brands and learn from industry veterans. I had such a good time trying the products, meeting fellow butterflies after a long hiatus from blogging events, and trying my hand at an ABC Cooking Studio class.


With Sylliepie

To provide some context, I work at Mid Valley, and I have walked past ABC Cooking Studio many times, often stepping in and leaving with a brochure, only to not sign up for a class. My excuses ranged from it being too expensive, the goods for the month not being what I’m particularly interested in making, or just simply because I couldn’t find enough people to go with. Ultimately, it took LENNOX and The Butterfly Project to finally get me into ABC Cooking Studio for an actual class, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

The event opened with an introduction to the products available. From what I heard, LENNOX strives to produce nutritional supplements of the highest quality to meet your health and beauty requirements. Backed by continuous research and development, LENNOX products are made using natural, organic and carefully selected ingredients that are scientifically proven to be safe and effective for your well-being. 

This of course, then begs the question…

Does collagen really work?

This is going to be one of the nerdiest beauty reviews ever, but bear with me. Since undergoing my career change, I feel a stronger call to responsibly recommend products, especially ones that we ingest. Hence, before we dive into the event, I think we should take a look at whether this is an effective product, or just a yummy snack.


Google “collagen” and you’re met with polarized views of it being an ultimate scam, or the best supplement since sliced bread. Researchers have released studies which prove its efficacy, while other researchers release studies which say it’s all circumstantial.

Here I quote the abstract from findings of Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications published by the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology:

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
Preliminary results are promising for the short and long-term use of oral collagen supplements for wound healing and skin aging. Oral collagen supplements also increase skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density. Collagen supplementation is generally safe with no reported adverse events. Further studies are needed to elucidate medical use in skin barrier diseases such as atopic dermatitis and to determine optimal dosing regimens.

So it sounds pretty promising. There are other studies too.


Many believe that collagen supplements can help reduce the effects of aging, such as by adding moisture to the skin, reducing wrinkles, and improving elasticity. There is some evidence to back these claims up. For example, in a study in the Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals (study linked here: http://www.jmnn.org/article.asp?issn=2278-1870;year=2015;volume=4;issue=1;spage=47;epage=53;aulast=Borumand), several women drank a mixture containing various vitamins, minerals, hydrolyzed collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

The study showed that compared with those in the control group, the women who drank this mixture reduced the depth of their wrinkles significantly. The participants' skin hydration and elasticity also improved significantly.

HOWEVER, on the other end of the spectrum, we have an article from Healthy But Smart, who breaks down scientific literature like the ones cited above and say that collagen isn’t proven to be helpful. You can read the article for yourself here (https://healthybutsmart.com/collagen-benefits-research/) but in short, they say that a lot of the research claiming the benefits of collagen are either taken from too small a sample size or have other errors, and in general, these research reports provide “insufficient evidence” to recommend collagen.

So, yep. 

All the above is a very long drawn out way to say – I don’t know if it works! Or more specifically, I don’t know if it is scientifically proven to work, but I will say that there aren’t any major side effects of taking collagen (besides the expense and time taken to consume it) so as far as I’m concerned, there is minimal to no harm in trying and if you see effects you like, keep taking it.. and if you don’t see any good outcomes, then stop. It’s as simple as that!

With all investments, my dear friends, there is a risk. And in this case, the risk isn’t too large. So make of that what you will.

LENNOX products

Bringing us back to LENNOX, if you’ve decided that you’re interested to try collagen, “aqueous marine collagen” is supposedly a better, more easily absorbed version of collagen which LENNOX uses. This also means that it is halal and suitable for consumption by Muslims and those who do not consume beef. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you'll have to give this a miss!

My favourite model 

LENNOX gave me a whole box of LENNOX FirmUp+, which comes with a small little sachet of grape seed extract which you mix in with the drink before consumption. In LENNOX’s words, “our unique powder + liquid formula ensures that total freshness and effectiveness of the ingredients are preserved."  

Okay so that means you'll have to open the packet and mix it into the drink before consumption - adds another step, but I will say it's pretty fun!

"The antioxidants we use are in powder form because we know that antioxidants in liquid form are easily oxidized even if they remain sealed and unopened.”

It is this grape seed extract that gives a slight bitter aftertaste when you drink it. I tasted it most strongly the first time I had it, but now that I'm used to it, I don't taste the bitterness at all. So now, the drink simply tastes of berries or concentrated Ribena! 

Some versions of collagen that they sell do not have this grape seed extract powder, and instead boast other benefits ranking from hydration to whitening. At the event, we were given the chance to take a look at their whole range of collagen products. 


You can choose whichever one you think it most suitable for you, and if taste is a big deal for you, I walked by Watsons and saw them selling these collagen bottles in packs of two for about RM5? So you can easily just try it first and see if it's something you'd like before making the commitment to get an entire box! 

LENNOX FirmUp+ (For Whitening)
LENNOX FirmUp+ Men (To Fight Oily Skin)
LENNOX FirmUp+ Forte Gold (For Hydration)
LENNOX FirmUp+ EX (For combined effect of Whitening + Hydration)
LENNOX Collagen 5000 (Low-Calorie, Easy-to-use collagen powder)

Baking time

After the introduction to the products, we got to put it all to good use. Initially, it seems a strange combination to put together a collagen brand and a baking workshop together, but it makes a lot of sense when we check out their collagen power – the LENNOX Collagen 5000.

My table mate - Lee Yann. 

For those who are not fans of drinking your collagen, or if you are simply someone who wants your whole family to enjoy the benefits of collagen, you can cook it with your food or bake it into some cupcakes. 

It’s safe to cook and bake with it since collagen’s nutritional value doesn’t change when it’s exposed to high temperatures.

Our recipe for the day


We got to make the most GLORIOUS, DELICIOUS and MOIST (oh yes, I’m using this word!) soufflé muffins I’ve ever tried. Honestly, I don’t know whether it’s because I feel like it’s a product of my creation akin to an ugly baby that a mother loves, but I was so mind-blown by how good it tasted.

Here’s the ingredients & recipe for the soufflé:


We were divided into groups of 4, and I had the best companions with me!


Meet Lee YannRenness and Sylvia. Lee Yann was trained as a nurse, Renness has a super fun Youtube channel, and Sylvia is practically a makeup/skincare guru. 

At ABC Studios, they provide each table with an instructor. Ours was such a dream to work with, giggling and laughing with us through our inadequacies throughout the day. When we messed up with our mixing and incorporated too much or too little air in our concoctions, she swooped right in to save the day, taking over the mixing and pouring for us.

Stood next to her and really butter-ed her up to get help. 

What really amazed me was when she told us that by adding in collagen to the recipe, the soufflé actually came out more moist than normal and that’s good enough of a reason to get the powder for your baked goods!


I haven’t had such a structured baking session since highschool and I realized how much I missed the satisfaction of creating something beautiful that you can share with your loved ones. And when I say beautiful, I actually mean delicious because frankly, mine were questionable in appearance but oh man, were they delicious.

My babies! 

Try your hand at making your own – don’t forget the collagen powder too!



My experience with LENNOX



As I mentioned above, we were gifted with a box of LENNOX Firm Up+ for us to try and review. I took a series of photos before and after photos over the period of collagen consumption and you can see for yourself whether it looked like it worked! I took the pics on my phone, without any edits, no makeup, in the same lighting, with front facing flash. 



When I look at the pictures, I don’t feel like there’s a significant difference from the first photo to the most recent one. If I'm really trying to look, I would perhaps say that the wrinkles around my mouth and nose look less deep? Maybe the eye bags are less pronounced? But I have to really be looking for it.

However, in person, I have had two people comment to me that my skin looks like it’s “glowing”. My boyfriend has also been very insistent that my skin looks great whenever we FaceTime. And these are unsolicited comments, okay – none of those induced “do you think my skin looks better?” sort of questions. I’ll admit that I’m not 100% sure if it’s due to the collagen since I am also trying out a new moisturizer which I’m pretty happy with, but whatever it is, I'm very pleased with how my skin looks and feels as of late! 

But other noticeable effects that I wasn’t prepared for was the improvement in my nails! I’ve had pretty soft nails for a while and in the past few weeks, I’ve seen them get noticeably more opaque and stronger. They used to bend easily whenever I applied pressure to them, but they’re holding up just fine now. And to be honest, it’s the strongest they’ve been in years! I think it must be the collagen and that alone is enough for me to go out and buy more once my supply ends.

I’ll be taking advantage of the special offers throughout the month of August to restock, and if you’ve been on the fence about trying collagen, now might be the right time since you can get them for a bargain. Find them in Watsons stores and online on Lazada or Shoppee.


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LAZADA

SHOPPEE

If you're in your early twenties, it's a pretty good time to start caring for your skin. Whether that means you take primrose oil or invest in skincare or whatever it is, view it as an investment!

Thank you to LENNOX for having me at your event and for all the products you provided. A shout out to The Butterfly Project for putting us all together on this wonderful platform. 

I took a number of pictures from the event that other butterflies might be featured in, especially my team members! You can access the full-resolution pictures here: LINK TO GDRIVE 

It's been a great series of weekends and I had the fortune of working with TheButterfly Project on quite a number of other fun events and product launches throughout July and August. Think moisturisers with amazing textures, flatlay workshops and even a wellness retreat! Stay tuned for all of those and more. 


Till then, check out my latest Youtube video on the trip to Johor that Seth and I made! We went to the Rainforest Treehouse in Kulai for a weekend of adventure:




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