Archive | April, 2013

Petit gateaux from Les Deux Garçons… and something to chew on

6 Apr

French pastries are these delicate little things that sometimes look too good to eat. Recently I got to try out 3 petit gateaux from Les Deux Garçons in Bangsar and was quite eager to see what these pastries are so popular.

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Simple but pretty packaging.

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First up, La Duchesse (RM15). “A decadent piece with earl grey solid sponge, milk chocolate earl grey ganache, and earl grey mousseline“.

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I could definitely taste the Earl Grey. The slight bitterness of the tea and a hint of bergamot made a most interesting flavour.

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Le Favori (RM15). “An inspired combination of  pistachio and raspberry, the pistachio flavoured biscuit pâte à choux base sets the stage for delightfully contrasting layers of Sicilian pistachio and fine French Raspberry mousseline“.

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I like pistachios. The subtle nutty flavour here is complemented by the sourness of the raspberry. The different textures of the layers can be felt as I gently sunk my fork into the cake.

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And finally, Printemps (RM16). “Made up with Hazelnut and black sesame dacquoise, milk chocolate macha ganache, macha mousseline, and macha crumbles“.

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This is my favourite of the three. It’s got quite a strong green tea flavour, which surprised me somehow at first bite. The layers of soft, creamy mousseline, with the crunch of the crumbles and chewiness of the base make this a delightful treat.

So as I was savouring the cakes, a thought came into my mind. I thought of how the pastries reminded me of life (perhaps good desserts make one philosophical). I thought of how every kind of cake that is eaten comes to an end anyway, just like how our lives will come to an end. What sets them apart is what we put into these cakes. We can quickly whip up something with ready-made cake-mix and put them all in moulds and basically live a cookie-cutter life in a cookie-cutter world. Or we can patiently make these different layers and textures that add depth to the finished product, making it enjoyable and something you think fondly about. A more lasting effect.

So how can we make more lasting contributions and live a fuller life? Each one of us would probably have a different answer but for me, it’s in serving our fellow human beings. There is much we can do in our neighbourhoods to build the community. And by that I don’t mean just a provision of services, but really a coming together and empowering each and every member to serve as well.

I’ll end this post with a quote I like.

“Service to the friends is service to the Kingdom of God.” – Abdu’l-Baha

The Lilac Box 2

5 Apr

Hi y’all! How nice it is to keep receiving packages in the mail. My Lilac Box 2 arrived a few days after I received my March Wonderbox so it was just delightful.

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Their usual brown cardboard box (which I really like) and lilac ribbon (I prefer this one over the previous polka-dotted one). My first impression: This feels quite heavy.

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Green crepe paper tied with brown straw. And something smells lovely.

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A welcome note from the 3 guys at Lilac Box

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The main reason for the weight: Redken Intra Force Shampoo and Toner (145ml each)

I’ve used Redken products before and they’re not bad although I have stopped because there are so many others to try! This allows me to sample their other products. My shampoo bottle was slightly open with some product dribbling out, but it was mostly safe. Some girls weren’t so lucky.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Nuxe Reve de Miel Face Cleansing and Makeup Removing Gel (15ml), Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (10ml)

I’ve never heard of Nuxe before this, but apparently their dry oil has quite a following. I realised that part of the scent comes from the dry oil. 98.1% of it consists of natural ingredients with 30% plant oils and Vitamin E. You can use it for your face, body and hair. I gave it a little go and found that it does absorb quickly into the skin without feeling oily.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Foundation (0.6g), Lunasol Smoothing Makeup Base (2g)

This powder foundation claims to provide the radiant finish that liquid and cream foundations have been able to provide, but powder foundations have not. It “combines beautifully with your skin in that it becomes a part of your skin rather than just being applied to the surface, and coats your skin to produce the appearance of no pores or roughness”. Sounds good, and it comes with a little sponge applicator.

The makeup base is formulated to be used together with the powder foundation, smoothing out bumps and pores and allowing the foundation to adhere to the skin better.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

The main cause of the scent: Calvin Klein Beauty EDP and Sheer Beauty EDT (1.2ml each)

CK Beauty is described as “the ultimate feminity of a luminous and modern floral” while Sheer Beauty is “transparent sensuality captured in a fresh fruity floral”. In the picture above, you only see Beauty. That’s because my Sheer Beauty broke, which is such a pity because I really like the smell. I like light, fresh scents and this one fits the bill.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

And the customary family portrait!

So those are the 8 products in this edition of the Lilac Box.

1) Redken Intra Force Shampoo (RM60/290ml) | RM30/145ml

2) Redken Intra Force Toner (RM65/245ml) | RM38.50/145ml

3) Nuxe Reve de Miel Face Cleansing and Makeup Removing Gel (RM68/200ml) | RM5.10/15ml

4) Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (RM148/100ml) | RM14.80/10ml

5) Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Foundation (RM148/10.5g) Case and refill sold separately | RM8.50/0.6g

6) Lunasol Smoothing Makeup Base (RM118/30g) | RM7.90/2g

7) Calvin Klein BeautyEDP 1.2ml (RM361/100ml) | RM4.30/1.2ml

8) Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty EDT (RM325/100ml) | RM3.90/1.2ml

This gives you a total value of RM113 for RM49.90. If you’re interested to subscribe to the next box when they open for orders, check their website or Facebook page for updates.

Wonderbox – March edition

5 Apr

I’m always excited to receive my beauty boxes, so I was like ‘Yay!’ when my March Wonderbox arrived.

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Pretty grey ribbon! This would be the skincare version.

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As usual, product card and voucher. This month’s RM30 Murad voucher is the same as last month’s. Not shown here is the 50% off voucher for Dr. Fuchs Regeneration Maximum Energy Serum. Now let’s look at the goodies one by one.

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Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (7.5ml) from their Age-Reform range

It claims to be Murad’s most opulent moisturiser and locks in moisture for 8 hours. Looking forward to try this.

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Murad Oil-free Sunscreen SPF 30 (10ml)

We all know how important sunscreen is and I admit, I’ve not been very diligent in using it. Mostly because of how sticky it makes my skin feel. Let’s see if this one agrees with my skin.

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Murad Active Radiance Serum (3.7ml)

According to the product info card, this serum “delivers 50 times the collagen-building, skin-brightening and cell-protecting power of ordinary topical Vitamin C”. Sounds power-packed. Not cheap too at RM398/30ml. No wonder it came in such a small vial.

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Wild Ferns Manuka Honey Conditioning Hand Creme (30ml)

Yay! I like manuka honey so I’m glad I got this. Smells quite pleasant too.

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Dr. Fuchs Secrets Midnight Secret Emergency Augen pads (2 pads)

These pads are said to regenerate, revitalise and detox skin for short nights, making you look like you got 8 hours of sleep.

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Ok everybody, say ‘cheese’!

Overall, I’m quite happy with the products. I prefer skincare to makeup anyway, plus I like Murad because I think their products are high quality and high value. The hand creme also looks promising.

Now for the dollar value of the box:

1) Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture (RM298/50ml) | RM45/7.5ml

2) Murad Oil-free Sunscreen SPF 30 (RM170/50ml) | RM34/10ml

3) Murad Active Radiance Serum (RM398/30ml) | RM49/3.7ml

4) Wild Ferns Manuka Honey Conditioning Hand Creme (RM69/85ml) | RM24/30ml The price was not provided on the card, but a cursory search online put the price at roughly RM45/85ml.

5) Dr. Fuchs Secrets Midnight Secret Emergency Augen pads (RM240/8 pads) | RM60/2 pads

That makes this box worth about RM212!

That wraps up this post. As usual, hop on over to Wonderbox if you think they give good value and are thinking of giving them a try.