Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: Beauty Mask Treatments from Hair to Toe

Today's review is not an ordinary mask review. As you can see from the title of this post, I will be doing a full set review on home beauty mask treatments by KOCOSTAR which I use to pamper myself from head to toe. I'm so excited to share about it! 

KOCOSTAR, or better known as the "Korea Cosmetic Star" is currently available in over thousands stores at more than 20 countries worldwide, and now it finally arrives at Malaysia and is available across all Sephora outlets nationwide.


KOCOSTAR offers 12 types of creative and innovative masks altogether, from head to toe! 

The idea of doing masks for the hair, face, hands, nails and legs is totally mind-blowing! I mean, KOCOSTAR impresses me with its extensive collection of masks that I have not seen before.

The innovative team behind KOCOSTAR has found this fabulous way to make our skin young and supple, our hair nourished and silky, our feet soft and smooth, as well as our nails healthy and sparkly….. Just by doing mask? YES!

The best part is, we don’t have to spend a bomb at the salons for these! KOCOSTAR mask range is priced from RM18 to RM42, which I find them very affordable and wallet-friendly.

KOCOSTAR SLICE MASK SERIES
Fruit / Vegetable Slice Mask @ RM18 per sheet

This is the freshest mask you should ever try! I assume this is meant for the face, but guess what, it is more than that! The Slice Mask is a fruit-and-vegetable sliced conceptual mask sheet which you can use piece by piece on the face, neck, arms, legs or wherever necessary!

It comes in 4 types: Lemon, Watermelon, Cucumber, Tomato 

All the 4 variants in the Slice Mask series are super cute and colorful, each resembling different types of fruits that deliver beauty goodness.


Lemon: Lighten and brighten skin tone, and improve radiance.


Watermelon: Hydrate and refresh the skin.

Cucumber: Boost the skin with rich Vitamin C content and improve moisture.

Tomato: Boost radiance and improve moisture.

When I am on vacation, I will make sure I bring along one of these slice masks to keep my skin hydrated and rejuvenated. My favourite is Watermelon as it gives a quick boost of moisture and "fresh" sensation on the skin instantly.

How To Use: Apply slice by slice, over cleansed skin / targeted areas. 

For the best result, I prefer using this 3-4 times a week as my skin needs more nourishment due to the long hours sitting in the air-conditioned room.


Function: ★★★★☆
It works well as a quick remedy for dry and tired skin, in a very fun way of course! The round slices are easy to apply on any skin area, especially the neck area which normal mask cannot reach.

Texture: ★★★
The thick cotton mask texture helps deliver moisture and refreshing effects without any stickiness.

Fragrance: ★★★
It really smells like the fruit itself! So yummy but not edible :P

What I like: ★★★★☆


Refreshing and soothing to the skin. Easy to use on any face and neck area I want.

Verdict: Generally, I think they are great for night use, especially after a long day out, to soothe the tired skin. As for the moisturizing effect, I don’t see much on the face, but mostly on the neck.


KOCOSTAR HAIR CARE SERIES
Ggongji Hair Pack @ RM18
Home Salon Hair Pack @ RM28
Long Hair Pack @ RM42

How To Use: Just "wear" the mask onto towel-dried hair for 20 minutes,
to create soft and silky locks.

Now, moving on to the hair mask, there are 3 variants altogether, specially catered for dry and damaged hair. Ggongji Hair Pack is the most basic type among them but it works well as a quick solution to nourish, hydrate and soothe the hair. The result? Smooth and tame tresses like a “Ggongji’ (which means “ponytail” in Korean)!

My first try on Home Salon Hair Pack is pretty satisfying!

But if you prefer something richer and more nourishing, the Home Salon Hair Pack is highly recommended. It uses professional hair salon technology to deeply hydrate and rejuvenate dry, damaged hair.


Function: ★★★★☆
It is so easy to wear and it allows the nutrients to wrap the whole hair and slowly absorb into it.

Texture: ★★
The texture is creamy thick like any good quality hair mask.
It literally feels like applying "lotion" onto the hair.

Fragrance: ★★★
It is packed with sensual aroma that makes my hair smells so good too.

What I like: ★★★★☆
After rinsing off, it leaves the hair with silky smooth finish and healthy look.

It combines the 3 powerful ingredients – Argan Oil, Olive Oil and Shea Butter – to form a protective layer for nutrients and prevents future damages.  

If you have long hair, try the Long Hair Pack. It functions similarly as the Home Salon Hair Pack, but the volume content is higher, hence sufficient for long hair.



KOCOSTAR FOOT CARE SERIES
Foot Peeling Pack @ RM42
Foot Moisture Pack @ RM18

I have been using foot masks for some time now, and I always love the effect of “renewing” my skin into soft, baby-like skin. KOCOSTAR’s Foot Peeling Pack is an intense, soothing treatment of botanical extracts to exfoliate and repair stressed feet while softening and smoothing the skin’s surface for soft, smooth feet.

But be careful, dead skin will peel off the feet naturally after 3-4 days to “renew” the skin. Personally, I find it very useful to get rid of dead skin cells / slight callus. 

But during my vacation, I only bring along the Foot Moisture Pack because I know vacations always make my feet sore and dry (Too much of walking for long hours!). It looks like two huge socks and all I do is just wear on the feet and seal tightly at the edge.


Function: ★★★★☆
It seals the feet with moisturising lotion, without any sticky residue.
A little massage will help for better absorption.

Texture: ★★
The texture is pretty much like "lotion-filled socks", which it feels "slippery" in the socks.

Fragrance: ★★★
It is scent-less, but great for those who love it this way.

What I like: ★★★★☆
As the mask relaxes my feet, it also replenishes the feet with moisture.
Just perfect to end my day with this treatment.

Verdict: Recommended for those who need a quick hydration. It works well on the feet with its moisturizing and soothing effect in just 20 minutes.


KOCOSTAR NAIL AND HAND CARE SERIES
Hand Moisture Pack @ RM18
Instant hydration and protection on both hands.

5-finger Nail Pack @ RM20
An intense, soothing treatment of botanicals and vitamins to protect and repair stressed nails
while strengthening nails against splitting and peeling.

Nail Art Starter @ RM25
It nourishes and moisturizes the hand when using nail polish or UV/LED lamps during nail care.

This is the cutest hand glove I’ve seen! Similar to the foot mask, KOCOSTAR has hand and nail masks too.

How to use: Wear the Hand Moisture Pack for 20 minutes 

Function: ★★★★☆
It moisturises the skin without any sticky residue. During this hand mask treatment, I can still play
with my smartphone, work on my laptop etc. So convenient that I can do this mask anytime I like!

Texture: ★★
It feels similar to how I usually apply hand lotion but with the gloves,
the hand cream feels richer on the hands. Hence, the absorption is much better.

Fragrance: ★★★
It is almost scentless, but good for those who love it this way.

What I like: ★★★★☆
It seals the palm with lots of moisture. Better than any hand cream I've tried!

My KOCOSTAR Experience
Verdict: 
1. Overall, it is a great, affordable homecare solution for pampering yourself. I personally prefer this and I can now save my trip (plus loads of money and time) from visiting beauty salons. ❤ 
2. I hope KOCOSTAR can add the lips mask into its collection in future too.
3. My favourite products? Definitely the Home Saloon Hair Pack!


KOCOSTAR is available across all Sephora stores in Malaysia.
For more information, please visit KOCOSTAR at www.kocostar.com.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bali Trip Part 4: Tanah Lot Temple

In a place with such strong influence of Balinese Hindu culture,
visiting temples is definitely a must-do activity in Bali.
Unfortunately our trip was constrained by time, so we could only choose to visit either Uluwatu Temple or Tanah Lot. T_T both are equally scenic, seriously how to choose??

I heard that Uluwatu is great for sunrise, whereas Tanah Lot is famed for sunset. Not sure how true is it, but we decided to visit Tanah Lot in a late afternoon.

The traffic from Kuta to Tanah Lot was insane, because of thousands and thousands of cars travelled there each day. It took us over an hour, thankfully quite smooth and not too hilly. Upon arrival, we got our entrance ticket at only 30,000 Rupiah (Equivalent to a mere RM10). 

It was already very crowded around 4pm, despite of the hot scorching sun. The art and cultural market there was pretty similar to what we saw earlier in Kuta-- fashion booths, street food stalls and small eateries serving the local food.

Oh, I love my Jagung Bakar (Grilled corn)!


The spectacular temple actually sits boldly on the huge rock beside the Indian Ocean since the 16th century. So, standing on high grounds above the ocean gives us a perfectly picturesque view before, during and after sunset.

The place is so huge, and I don't mind walking miles for the beautiful scenery.

The sunset at Tanah Lot was considered quite early, around 5pm. And the view was too picturesque to be missed!!! We skip the Kecak Fire Dance performance, and wait for the dawn to keep fascinating us with different panoramic views of the sky.


Everyone starts to leave around 7pm, and our tour guide recommends us for seafood dinner at Jimbaran, otherwise dining above the ocean can be an unforgettable experience too.

Dear Tanah Lot, thanks for the amazing evening!

Tanah Lot is certainly one of the main highlights of the trip;
If I were given a chance, I'd definitely love to visit this temple again.

Lots of love,
FiSh 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Value-for-money 7-course Meal at MARCO Creative Cuisine, 1 Utama

When I first heard that MARCO Creative Cuisine in 1 Utama shopping mall is introducing a fine dining concept, my first concern is, "Would it be expensive?" To my surprise, the 7-course meal I try here is only RM78 including drinks / coffee / tea

Let's see what exactly does MARCO offer in the 7-course meal.....

If you do not already know, MARCO is the newest establishment at the Ground Floor, Old Wing of 1 Utama shopping mall. Located near TGIFriday's and Pappa Rich, surely you'd notice the vibrant gold shopfront if you pass by this area. 

What excites the patrons of the mall is the huge aquarium display in front of MARCO. Guess what's inside? Not the ordinary fish, but it's jellyfish! 

I am sure it is not something you commonly see in a mall, and truly the jellyfish display is so beautiful that you have to stop by and just admire this lovely sea creature! 

MARCO's Journey of Flavours Menu

Excellent decor and ambiance aside, now let's check out what's on MARCO's menu (Available during lunch and dinner). Unlike common fine dining that is expensive and time-consuming, MARCO offers a multicourse creative cuisine at only RM78+ per person and served in 50 minutes

For this 7-course meal, except for the palate cleanser and appetiser which has already been set by the chef, you can choose among 3-6 options for the remaining 5 courses. 

The menu, invented by Chef-owner Daren Leong, is a culmination of Chef Daren's endless experiments with flavours and textures of food. To complement this up-scaled culinary journey, the 62-seater restaurant is tastefully designed with tiffany blue and white theme to exude a sense of class and elegance. 

PALATE CLEANSER
Velvety Matcha-Lime Shooter
Velvety Matcha-Lime foam covering a chilled Lime Snow

We begin our gastronomical journey with the palate cleanser - a smooth concoction of chilled lime snow, topped with tangy lime foam and matcha powder. So cool and refreshing to wake up all our senses and get our palate ready for the next dishes. 

APPETISER 
Savoury Eclair
Gruyere Flavoured Pâte à Choux decorated with
Aubergine Caviar, Green Chile Pesto and Tomato Confit

After whetting the palate with something tangy, here comes the appetizer - an airy choux pastry filled with smoky aubergine caviar dip. If you enjoy something heavy in taste with an added twist of spicy flavour, this is something you'd love.

SOUP
Truffled Mushroom Soup
Plant-based Creamy Mushroom Soup infused with Truffle Oil

Moving on to the soup, the staff recommends us the cold Strawberry Gazpacho which is a classic Spanish chilled vegetable soup but none of us is a fan of strawberry.

So we decide to opt for the piping hot creamy mushroom soup instead. The overall taste of Truffled Mushroom Soup may seem overly earthy for some, but I personally love it because of its deep earthy flavours. 

French Onion Soup
Caramelised Onions Broth accompanied by French Toast

If you prefer something not so common, do try the caramelised French Onion Soup. It is wonderfully topped with a thick layer of gooey, melty cheese which tastes amazing once we stir it into the rest of the soup. 

We appreciate how the chef boils it slowly for over 5 hours to achieve the ultra concentrated texture and natural sweetness in the onion soup. The French Toast is a bonus, but the soup is already thick, filling, and incredibly tasty on its own.  

ENTREE
Savoury Ice Cream Salad
Assorted Baby Leaves, Heirloom Tomato, Seasonal Microgreens and Violet Flowers
served with Savoury Ice Cream

While we are allowed to choose from two types of salad and one chicken liver pate for the entree, we go for the most unique one among all - Savoury Ice Cream Salad - which features a large dollop of ice cream made from sea salt and skimmed milk. Accompanied with lots of greens, this is a great option for the healthy goers. 

Chicken Liver Parfait
Creamy Chicken Liver covered with a Brûlée top served with Toasted Bread and Apple Chips
*Contains traces of alcohol

My dining partner prefers a more filling entree, and hence chooses the rich and decadent Chicken-Liver Pâté paired with toasted bread and crisp apple chips.

I personally love the creamy liver pâté which makes a good spread for sandwiches, toasts etc.
Its rich savoury taste is simply delicious and does not smell "metallic" at all.

MAIN
Duck Breast with Orange Puree and Roasted Beetroot
Sous Vide Pan Seared Peking Duck Breast with Orange Puree, Roasted Beetroot and Valrhona Dark Chocolate

Food continues to arrive at our table while our stomach is already half-filled. Daren's most notable main dish, the Duck Breast with Orange Puree and Roasted Beetroot, is a nice variation from the usual Cantonese roast duck.

Prepared using the sous vide method, the meat is more tender than usual. Accompanied with Naval orange and 66% dark chocolate sauce, the resulting flavour is a complex burst of sour, bitter and sweet notes for the taste buds to explore

Pomodoro Cream Seafood Pasta
Penne in rich Pomodoro Cream Sauce with Baby Squid, Clam and Mussel

We also sample the pasta for our main course and are totally smitten by the simple yet tummy-comforting plate of seafood pasta coated with sweet and rich tomato-based cream. A more generous helping of sauce would be great for richer flavours in every mouthful. 


Squid Ink Japonica Rice
Japanese Short Grain Rice cooked with Squid Ink accompanied with Prawn, Baby Squid and Omelette,
served with Garlic Mayonnaise

Another highly recommended main is the Squid Ink Japonica Rice, which is my personal favourite as well. Coated with squid ink, the texture of Japanese rice is slightly sticky, reminding me of sushi rice. Taste wise, the rice is flavourful on its own, and the portion is rather huge for one. 

The best part of this dish is, the egg is perfectly done in the way I love it! Forking into the fluffy egg
omelette, it reveals a custardy cascade of soft-cooked egg curds. So creamy, smooth and gooey!

Besides, other main course choices such as Chicken Roulade with Brussels Sprouts, Salmon with Jet Black Hollandaise and Vegetarian Arrabbiata are available too. 


DESSERT
Crème Brûlée with White Chocolate Sherbet
Lush Egg Custard accompanied by White Chocolate Sherbet and Meringue Kisses

The second last course certainly brings us on sugar high! The classic Crème Brûlée is done perfectly well in the traditional way, achieving the sweet glorious gooey texture of egg custard that we enjoy. 

Raspberry Decadence
Luscious Raspberry Cheesecake with Raspberry Gel accompanied by
Lemon Meringue Shards and Passion Fruit Gel

Fans of berries may go for the creamy raspberry mousse-like cheesecake as it is bursting with refreshing tang in contrast to the very slight sweetness. 

However, if you have slightly sweeter tooth, then the Deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie would be a great option for you to indulge in the sweet concoction of soft lemon curd, passion fruit gel, Italian meringue and white chocolate sherbet.  

DRINKS 
Single Origin French Press Coffee

After ending the meal with a sweet note, drinks are served last. Among the 3 options of handcrafted coffee, loose leaves tea and sparkling berry, my personal favourite is the French Press coffee as it washes down the palate with a slightly acidic finish. 

Sparkling Iced Berry

For Ala Carte Order:
Soup, Entree: RM18 per serving
Main: RM35 per serving (+RM10 for Duck Breast)
Dessert: RM20 per serving

Price includes 6% GST and excludes 10% service charge.

The menu we sample here is seasonal and subject to change every 3-6 months. Perhaps during our next visit, Chef Daren may bring us more surprises and treat us with a myriad of flavours and textures? Can't wait to come back for more!  

Verdict:
1. The fine dining concept in Marco Creative Cuisine is a great approach for more people to actually enjoy the experience of "fine dining" without burning a hole in the pocket. 
2. y the
3. Recommended dishes: Savoury Ice Cream Salad, Duck Breast, Squid Ink Rice, Creme Brulee

Marco Creative Cuisine
Lot G146, Ground Floor (Old Wing)
1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya,
47800 Selangor.

Reservation: +603-7731 8293
Email: reservation@marcocreativecuisine.com
Website: www.marcocreativecuisine.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcocreativecuisine
Instagram: www.instagram.com/marcocreativecuisine

Business Hours: 12noon – 10pm daily
• 12noon – 3pm: Lunch Service
• 3pm – 6pm: Coffee and Desserts only
• 6pm – 10pm: Dinner Service

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