HASK: The Must-Have For Your Hair

Humidity can really wreak havoc on your hair. Mine fights a constant battle against Singapore’s temperamental tropical climate. On top of that, like loads of ladies out there, I spend most of my day in a dry air-conditioned environment. My hair is mostly pretty smooth, but a combination of heat and air-conditioning makes my hair limp at the scalp, frizzy at the ends, and pretty much dull-looking at the end of the day. Even after a steamy shower and loads of TLC, the ends of my long hair (slightly above the waist) still feel dry and frizzy.

I was so glad to be introduced to the HASK’s Argan Oil series. They contain Argan Oil from Morocco, and are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants to repair, strengthen and moisturize hair. Also known as “liquid gold,” Argan Oil is a precious, time-honored beauty secret, and when used in haircare products, is great at taming frizz and adding shine to your mane.  No kidding – I noticed an immediate difference in softness, shine and overall condition of my hair after just one use!

HASK Haircare Review Singapore

At Blackbox SG’s online store, the recommended products come in a gorgeous, convenient set!

The HASK (Argan Oil) Exclusive Pack consists of:
☆ Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo
☆ Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner
☆ Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment Pack
☆ Argan Oil Repairing Treatment Vial

If you haven’t heard, HASK is a collection of hair care products featuring exotic oils and other unique ingredients from around the world. Rest assured that all its products – Shampoos, Conditioners and Shine Oils – are free of sulfates, parabens, drying alcohols, phthalates, gluten and artificial colors, which are known to damage your scalp and hair.

Fun fact: HASK is used on more film and TV sets than any other hair care brand! Including: Criminal Minds, Scream Queens, Modern Family and How To Get Away With Murder.

Seriously, all my favourite shows?

HASK Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

So why argan oil? Long before it entered mainstream haircare, Asian, Indian and northern African women have used argan oil to keep their hair silky-smooth and healthy. The oil, extracted from the fruit of Argan trees found predominately in Morocco, helps seal the hair cuticle to protect against environmental damage. Specifically, the molecules in Moroccan argan oil may be small enough to penetrate the hair cortex, and hence are able to stimulate smoothening of frizzy hair and healthy growth from within the hair shaft! So the oils do go deep within your hair to heal the frizz. Amazing isn’t it.

People in Morocco use argan oil on salads, during body massages as skin essential oils and on hair as a conditioner. It is also widely used for several first aid purposes, including bug bites, skin rashes, and infections. The oil also has therapeutic properties as it is rich with both Vitamin A and E. The trocopherol from the vitamin E boosts hair cell production and regeneration.

Let’s take a closer look at the individual products in this exclusive set!

Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo

This shampoo is infused with argan oil which repairs and prevents breakage to damaged hair as it deeply penetrates and moisturizes the hair shaft. My mane feels super-soft, tame and glossy, the way it feels when I’m in a seasonal country during Spring. Seriously, my hair agrees with cool air in spring. But since tropical heat can’t be avoided I just need to beat it with a crazy moisturising product.

The Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo’s invigorating scent (slightly sweet and tangy), has this uplifting and refreshing effect, which feels great in the mornings, as it tops off my need for perk-me-up coffees. The shampoo lathers moderately, and doesn’t leave behind a sticky, oily residue as you would expect natural oils to, hence my hair didn’t feel heavy or weighed down after washing.

HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo

Haircare Tip #1:
To avoid damage to frizzy hair, dry your hair with a towel, and allow the strands to dry without blow drying. Heat can often cause further long-term damage to the hair shaft in humid weather so avoid heat styling wherever possible.

Directions: Apply generously to wet hair. Massage into a luscious lather, rinse thoroughly and repeat as often as you like. For the sleekest, healthiest-looking hair imaginable, follow with HASK Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner, of course!

HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo

Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner

The Argan Oil Repairing Conditioner, like its accompanying shampoo, is perfect for dry, damaged or colour-treated hair. As promised in its product description, the conditioner acts as an intense restorative treatment that helps you bring life back to dull, damaged hair. I love the understated scent of this product – it is slightly less sweet than its shampoo, but still as refreshing and uplifting.

Again, no oily or stickiness at all, and my hair doesn’t feel weighed down after washing.  To add on to its frizz fighting benefit, the conditioner contains soy protein that helps with hydration and strength. As I only apply conditioner to the ends of my hair, I believe a bottle of conditioner like this can last quite a while, since I need only use a small pea-sized amount to tame my waist-length hair, right down to its tip.

HASK Repairing Conditioner Argan Oil

Haircare Tip #2: When conditioning after shampoo, wash off conditioner using cold water. Cold water causes the cuticles of the hair to contract, simultaneously adding shine and taming frizz, though there are some debates about this. Some scientists, doubt the effectiveness of cold water since hair cuticles aren’t living cells hence they shouldn’t contract. Cold water has always worked well for me in taming the frizz, and I swear firmly by this!

Directions: Shampoo hair and remove excess water. Apply generously, leaving on for 1-2 minutes, or as long as it takes to shave your legs! Rinse thoroughly and behold ready-to-style, gorgeous hair! For the sleekest, healthiest-looking hair imaginable, follow with HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shine Oil.

Hask Argan Oil Conditoner

Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment Pack

This product is a supplement to the daily shampoo and conditioner routine, and is a weightless and super-strengthening conditioning treatment that helps repair and smooth out hair using nourishing Argan oil and keratin. After 2 uses, I found some hope to my split ends – even the most damaged parts of my hair feels softer with the added moisture! All the damage from styling and blow-drying is magically reversed in a couple of uses –  my mane really feels pampered and nourished.

I can’t reiterate how much softness and strength my hair has regained after using this intense conditioner. Literally, all I had to do after deep conditioning was to finger comb my hair, and it feels perfect. Seriously I have found the ‘spring‘ that my hair needs to restore moisture and smooth out damaged, over-processed hair.

HASK Argan Oil from Morocco

If you look at the ingredients, this is really an all-star power-packed product!

Haircare Tip #3: If your hair is prone to fly-aways and frizzes, blot your hair dry with a towel instead of rubbing! Allow hair to air-dry as much as possible. If you have to blow dry, remember to blow down the shaft of hair instead of across it, which separates hair sections, or upward, which provides volume and lift but also adds puffiness to frizzy hair

Directions: Apply a generous amount of Argan Oil Intense Deep Conditioning Treatment to clean, wet hair. Massage into hair focusing on damaged areas. Let penetrate for 10 minutes. Rinse well. Style as usual.

HASK Argan Oil Haircare Blackbox

Argan Oil Repairing Treatment Vial

For a good number of reasons, many of us face hair fall issues. Argan oil is scientifically proven to be a good product for hair re-growth and cell regeneration. The Argan Oil Repairing Treatment Vial acts as a lightweight, alcohol-free serum / oil that absorbs instantly to provide frizz-free shine without leaving an oily residue. When applied to your scalp and hair, you can potentially treat your hair fall issues!

For a week, I smoothed out a bit of this oil to my wet hair ends after every shower, and it has improved my hair texture greatly. The serum is oily, but dries fast, and should not cause a mess so long as you are careful not to let it drip onto any white surfaces. Like all the other products in the series, the serum has a lively, invigorating scent, which I’m in love with.

Best parts about this product? It doesn’t make your hair stiff and oily to touch like most hair oils do, and you also get a choice to either use it on wet or dry hair. Whichever works for you.

Healing Shine Treatment Argan Oil Hask

Haircare Tip #4: Apply a pea-sized amount of smoothing serum, like the Argan Oil Repairing Treatment Vial, to damp hair with your fingers. Concentrate a bit more of the product on any areas prone to fly-aways as well as on the ends of the hair shafts, where dryness can occur.

Directions: Can be used on both wet and dry hair to create a silky, smooth finish. Apply a coin-sized amount evenly throughout hair, avoiding the root area. Style as desired. For the sleekest, healthiest hair imaginable, use HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner.

HASK Shine Treatment

Haircare Tip #5: Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet, as your hair is more fragile when it’s damp

I’m loving this haircare set because everything in this lovely box smells great! I’m big on fragrances, and if the product smells good, it’s a huge bonus, and personally it’s my deciding factor as to whether I would continue to use the product for the long-term. And definitely I would reuse this over and over, for the great benefits they have on my hair.

HASK Blackbox Argan Oil Haircare

Also a huge bonus – the exclusive pack saves you time in choosing complements to your haircare products. Just purchase this set for your complete haircare treatment. I’ve always loved how BlackBox packages, beautifies and distributes their products in their classic black box!

Haircare Tip #6:  Brush your hair regularly to help distribute its natural oils. Brushing your hair while hanging your head upside down helps better distribute the oils from your scalp/roots onto the rest of your hair. Weird but true.

HASK Blackbox SG Haircare Argan Oil

Would you believe how affordable this box set costs?

The Exclusive Pack is now available at Blackbox SG at a promotional price of $29.90/set (U.P $43.60), limited sets only. Grab yours now!

Direct shop link:
www.blackbox.sg/classic/detail/exclusive/HASK_(Argan_Oil)

Psst… don’t forget to apply my code ‘BBXJEAN10‘ at checkout for 10% discount off your entire purchase! ♥

About HASK

HASK is a collection of hair care products featuring exotic oils and other unique ingredients from around the world. The range includes shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners and shine oils based on the key ingredients of Argan Oil, Monoi Coconut Oil, Charcoal Citrus Oil, Macadamia Oil, Keratin Protein Oil, Bamboo Oil, Kalahari Melon Oil, and Mint Almond Oil. HASK Shampoos, Conditioners and Shine Oils are free of sulfates, parabens, drying alcohols, phthalates, gluten and artificial colors. Each system was developed to target and solve specific hair care needs. Initially introduced in Europe in 2012 with great success, distribution of the HASK Exotic Oil range has expanded worldwide over the past four years. The range appeals to women around the world of all ethnicities and with all hair types. Utilizing high quality ingredients, luxurious fragrances and fresh packaging, the HASK Exotic Oil range provides consumers with high-performance, salon quality results at an affordable price.

Sure, Life Isn’t Perfect But My Hair Is

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

J65 @ Hotel Jen Tanglin

Just last week, I gushed over my weekend at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore (HJTS), and promised to share more about J65 – HJTS’ very own F&B outlet. So here’s a long pictorial essay. As a precaution, do not proceed on an empty stomach as it will be sure to growl at these food-porn up ahead.

I had the pleasure of trying the hotel’s dinner and breakfast buffet during my stay. With a name inspired by the Singapore international dialing code (+65), HJTS’ new all-day dining restaurant J65 is open to diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner. HJTS is one of the only hotels in Singapore to offer net pricing at it’s F&B outlet, meaning that diners get no unpleasant surprises at the end of their meal. HJTS’ other dining outlet – Jen’s Kitchen On-the-go – offers locally roasted coffee and snacks 24-hours a day.

First, let’s talk about Hooked! – Seafood Dinner, which is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 6pm to 10pm. The vibrant restaurant with a modern market look and feel offers an eclectic fusion of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine alongside the buffet’s signature selection of fresh Fin de Claire oysters, sushi and sashimi, tiger prawns, Boston lobster and Sri Lankan crab. Hot dishes include soup-baked cumin red mullet and lobster bisque, poached sweet clams, grilled sea bass and other seafood treats.

J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin 2

The layout of the buffet starts with the salad bar and cold dishes in the middle, and grilled meats and hot dishes at the side, but I couldn’t make up my mind, and so decided to attack the grilled meats for starters. The hand-carved meat cuts offered all kinds of red and white meats, including Iberico ham and roast with fancy trimmings. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Pork knuckles, anybody?

J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin grilled meat

J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin grilled meat

A trayful of cheesebaked mussels for my birthday pleaseJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin baked mussels

Fancy meat, bread pudding, cheesebaked mussel: a plate full of (sin and) happinessJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin on my plate

This corner of the buffet is built to resemble the classic Singaporean hawker centre: note the hanging roast ducks and chicken, layout of a gazillion chillis and sauces, plus satays and authentic peanut sauce. 6 types of regional laksa (Singapore, Penang, Johor, Thai, Sarawak, and curry) are cooked on the spot by the skillful chef. J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin 3Here’s all 6 of the laksa selection!Hotel Jen Tanglin J65 Laksa SelectionJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Laksa

It was sooo hard to make a choice! Finally went with Penang Laksa.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Penang Laksa

Singapore chicken rice with all its accompanying sauces and condiments; once you’ve eaten at J65, you’d have tried a big portion of Singapore’s renowned delicacies
J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin chicken rice
Hotel Jen Tanglin J65 Chicken Rice Booth
And my favourite: SATAY! A pity they only offered chicken. Would have loved me some lamb or beef.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin satay

This is one helluva fascinating buffet area: the YUSHENG BAR. As it was nearing the end of the Chinese New Year, you could make your own yusheng at J65, and toss in fresh salmon from the Japanese sushi bar right beside it. Staying true to the Southeast Asian/Singapore tradition indeed.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin 1

There ain’t no lack of fibre at this buffet with this well-stocked salad bar. Tantalizing bowls of pre-tossed Thai-style mango salad, a mixed deli couscous, delectable choices of cut beetroot, shaved carrots and tomatoes are all the fibre you’d need in a meal or two.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin saladJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin salad barJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin salad

Finally onto the seafood bar. The mussels are especially fresh. Some of the oysters tasted a little strange, but it could have been just my taste buds. The crab was amazing though.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin seafoodJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin seafoodJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin seafood

I must say, the sushi platter and fresh salmon / sashimi are the fastest to go, once restocked. I loved the fresh salmon! The selection was not bad at all (though I couldn’t waste anymore tummy space on rice)J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin sushi

Here’s a peek at what filled our plates at dinner:J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin salmonJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Meat FestJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin PlatesJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin MusselsJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin plate

What’s dinner without desserts? It’s like I have a separate mood centre in my brain that lights up at the sight of desserts (and coffee, too). So much happiness on this table right here.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin dessert bar
Look at this spread!J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin coconut tart desserts

J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin DinnerJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin cakeJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin cupcakeJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin chocolate cakeJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin mango mousseJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Cakes and DessertsImpressed by this selection of ice cream, really! The matcha was to die for (actually had the matcha at breakfast, scroll down for my matcha with sprinkles)J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin ice cream bar

This pistachio cake with chocolate fudge, and chocolate cupcake were out of this world.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin DessertsThe pistachio bits were really darn goodJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin pistachio cake

Feel free to order one of these:Hotel jen Tanglin J65 Desserts Foodporn yummy

These go into your ice cream, or wherever you’d like them, even on your sashimi if you pleaseJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Ice CreamJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Ice CreamMore desserts: osmanthus jellyJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin jelly

If you need to load up on carbs, again, no lack of them. Shelves and shelves full of them, to your fancy.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin BreadJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin JuicesJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin 6

J65 Hotel Jen TanglinSeafood galore:J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Bar

At dinner, we made our own Kueh Pie Tee!J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin DIY kueh pie tieJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Kueh Pie Tie

So we added everything that was available at the DIY area. Was so tempted to throw in random junk like ice cream and sprinkles in my Kueh Pie Tee shell, but that would be untrue to local traditions, and I suppose is a nono at J65, which has such strong roots in local flavours and cuisine. The buffet isn’t all, there’s an ala carte menu if you’re looking for something more.

I learnt that on other buffet nights, pizzas and other Western dishes would also be available.
Hotel Jen Tanglin J65 Pizza BuffetTravellers hunting for authentic Southeast Asian food should definitely make it a point to try J65’s Hooked – Seafood Dinner, because this is where you get the best of both worlds – Western, Singaporean, Asian – you name it, they probably serve it.

Now onto breakfast! After an awesome night’s sleep, we woke up refreshed, and ready for HJTS’ breakfast selection.

At J65’s Sunday morning breakfast, we were greeted by this table full of cold cuts to pair with the great salad bar. And as all good breakfasts should, there were hash browns, sausages, baked tomatoes and bacon. In addition, we also got to choose from a variety of Hong Kong style dimsum (chicken paus, rice rolls), and Malay style beehoon and curry. Good ol’ Peranakan style Kuehs were also available!

J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin BreakfastJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin breakfast meatsJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Salad BarJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Bacon Grease

J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin BreakfastJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin buffet paoCereal table, and shelves full of bread behind. Carbs heaven!J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin cereal barJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin eggsJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin buffet kuehJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin tabao bagWhat went onto our plates:J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin breakfast plateJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin breakfast choiceYes there is KIMCHIJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin breakfastAnd aforementioned to-die-for matcha ice cream!J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin breakfast dessertsI went for 2 cups of ice-cold desserts: the vanilla and matcha, both decked in my favourite crunchy choco/malt balls.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin ice cream breakfastJ65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Matcha Ice Cream

Breakfast was just as satisfying as dinner, with the mad selection of meats (which were too heavy for us), and sweets.J65 Hotel Jen Tanglin Breakfast Buffet

Really grateful to HJTS for this staycay opportunity and for a chance to taste their signature weekend dinner and breakfast spread! Definitely spreading the word, and keeping this place in mind for future staycays. Do click through this Link for HJTS’ room rates and deals!

J65 at Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore

J65 HJTS BuffetWeekday Lunch Buffet
S$29 net per person
Monday to Saturday
12pm – 2.30pm

Hooked! – Seafood Buffet Dinner
S$78 net per person
Friday to Saturday
6pm – 10pm 

Sunday Champagne Brunch
S$128 with free-flow Champagne, wine, beer and cocktails, or
S$88 net without alcohol

Every Sunday
12pm – 3pm

Book online for a 15% discount on the total bill.

For more information, email J65@hoteljen.com or call (65) 6831 4374.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

TruLife Collagen Manuka Max – Food For Your Skin!

TruLife collagen manuka max honey

Not gonna lie, this is a very sweet tasting drink, but I’m every bit convinced of its effectiveness and authenticity!

I had the pleasure to try TruLife Collagen Manuka Max, which is not even out in the market yet! Give it another week and you can give your skin a treat with TruLife Collagen Manuka Max.

The new collagen drink is packed with a protein Cynatine known to reduce wrinkles, promote skin elasticity, improve nail strength and reduce hair loss. We all already know how collagen repairs UV spot damages, promotes clearer complexion, improves skin appearance, and is a valuable component of any beauty regime. So indulge me, while I share an article here on a double blind, placebo controlled human clinical trial with significant results of Cynatine HNS’s ability to support healthy hair, nails and skin.

For consumers who’ve never tried Manuka Honey, the taste may be a tad heavy. Most store-bought inorganic honey are blends of various raw honeys plus a mixture of corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, while Manuka contains only New Zealand Manuka tree honey. Manuka Honey provides a lot of energy from a nutritious source, and has skin-beautifying properties on top of antibacterial benefits for the health of the digestive system. Whilst it is true that honey is high in sugar content (duh), dieters – don’t worry that this would ruin your plans! Studies have found that Manuka Honey is actually beneficial at reducing reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances, hence aiding digestion. For me, this drink has been a delicious add-on to my daily supplement intake.

Instead of separating your collagen and manuka honey source intake, this handy bottle provides both all at once. A great tasting and skin-loving treat from a trustworthy brand. Thumbs up!

TruLife Collagen Beauty Drink Max

Also loving the brand’s solid packaging. It was great fun unboxing these babies.

Trulife bottles

Trulife collagen manuka max drink

Each bottle contains 7,000mg of collagen, Manuka Honey, Cynatine, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6, as well as Zinc. Plus, put your mind at ease, as the product has no added sugar, nor any form of additives and colouring.

The recommended daily intake is 1 bottle – at room temperature or chilled to your preference. I like mine at room temperature for I always believe the cold might damage some of the collagen’s peptide bonds (an education in A-level biology demands that I think about these!).

TruLife Collagen Manuka Max

Trulife Collagen Beauty

TruLife Collagen Drinks Beauty

Give these a shot!

TruLife collagen is now available for purchase at all Watsons stores, and you could also get one of these samples from BlackBox SG from 2 March onwards when it is officially launched!

Also, BlackBox SG is having a 3rd anniversary 24-hour, 50%-off-all-purchase sale,
starting 20 Feb, 12pm, till 21 Feb, 12pm!

Grab everything you’ve ever wanted from BlackBox SG now!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[NEW YORK] EAT. SHOP. REPEAT

“I love New York. You can pop out of the Underworld in Central Park, hail a taxi, head down Fifth Avenue with a giant hellhound loping behind you, and nobody even looks at you funny.”
Rick Riordan

Eat, shop, dream, repeat! was all we did in New York during the winter. In early February, 0°C felt like much less, thanks to bone-chilling winds and an insufficient wardrobe. We had 3 days to spend right smack in the city, where you could literally shop all day and stay up at Times Square without realising it’s already midnight, and not even subzero temperatures could deter them creatures of the night.

Rick Riordan’s quote rang true when I realised literally anybody could dress up in anything and sell their crafts/ideas on Times Square. I forgot how many Big Birds, Cookie Monsters, Madagascar Penguins, Mickey Mouses and Eeyores I’ve seen accosting strangers in the streets, handing out pamphlets or just attempting to sell you something. Nobody found it weird and the reverse is true. The ones wearing them don’t feel judged at all.

Checking into The Paramount Hotel at Times Square felt like entering a club – dim lights, velvet couches, a DJ spinning on the console and bar drinks in the corner.

Straight off our flight, we headed for Koreatown in search of piping hot and spicy Korean food! Decided on New Wonjo because it looked spanking clean and boasts a really strong heater (we felt the emanating warmth just by walking past). Not once during our entire meal did we regret our choice. We had an amazing meal: Bean paste stew (된장찌개), Spicy Tofu Stew (순두부찌개), Short Rib Soup (갈비탕), Beef Glass Noodles (잡채), Rice Cakes (떡볶이), and Seafood Pancake (해물파전 ). Daresay this was one of the best Korean restaurants I’ve been to outside of Seoul.
    

During the trip I had one of the best Thai dishes in NYC too! New York’s melting pot of culture gives rise to an international array of good cuisines within the city centre. Yay me, who’s not a big fan of fast food. This was Thai green curry chicken from Pongsri Thai, a hip diner tucked between Broadway & 8th Ave, bringing you awesome Thai food since 1972.

The sweet-tooth in me jumped for joy at MAGNOLIA BAKERY, NYC’s very own vintage cupcakes store! This is one patisserie that I would seriously cry with happiness if it ever makes its way to Singapore…and guess what!! I just read this on their webpage:
In addition to our current locations, Magnolia Bakery is continuing to franchise internationally and will soon open in Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Singapore.”

OH LORD I’LL SHED REAL TEARS OF JOY. Let me show you why:

Day One: Red Velvet Cupcake and Banana Pudding.
I’ve always been a huge fan of red velvet, but this is a whole new level of velvety goodness. It was so soft and creamy, that there was nothing cake-y about it at all. Just melt-in-your-mouth smooth satiny velvet, made red with cocoa, vanilla and “a little southern mystery”, topped with  special whipped vanilla icing and chocolate chips.
  

I’ve never eaten a banana pudding, and my first was pure orgasmic. I totally get why this is Sex-and-The-City-approved! Layers and layers of banana and melted vanilla wafers in a cup blended in rich vanilla mousse… this is helluva showstopper. Omg, so good I swear!

Banana-pudding-and-kindle kinda night

Day Two: Lemon Cheesecake and Magic Cookie Bars
Lemon cheesecake was my breakfast, and it was so totally amazing, I wanted to trudge back to the store in freezing winter just to get another. I love how moist their cupcakes are in the grand scheme of how cupcakes tend to be, and it’s sweet without being sinfully so (or at least they don’t taste sinfully sweet like a pure bar of sugar)
Curious about Magic Cookie Bars and just how magic they were, I tried one, and went to cookie heaven. Still wasn’t sure what was in them until I went over to their page:”Graham cracker crust with chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut topped with sweetened condensed milk then baked.  

Enough talk about food, moving on to the shopping part of my whirlwind stay. For me shopping is the main activity in the States. Without driving to outlet stores, NYC has a convenient selection around our hotel and down the streets. Big names are all listed on city maps designed with easy-to-navigate grids. Sephora awarded me their VI(B) thanks to my patronage every time I’m in the States.

We went into the Lego Store! – always such an innocently happy place. Larger than life-sized figurines such as the Statue of Liberty and Lego Movie characters were made of lego blocks only. I applaud the makers’ patience and their eye for details. This was where we took most of our shameless selfies that must have prompted many to judge us overenthusiastic Asian girls.

In the day, Times Square is incredibly, vividly lit. In the night, it’s not so different. Shopping from late evening on, I didn’t even notice that daylight was gone because the billboards were so intensely bright that they lit up almost the entire sky if you were to stand right in the middle of the streets. I’m reminded again of why NYC is the City that Truly Never Sleeps.

When it was time to go, I was just incredibly sad ): But knowing that I’ll be back someday makes me incredibly excited to explore new parts of the state and venture beyond the city centre!

Of course my bag suffered the brunt of my shopping.

 

Till next time,

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean