Slim Couture Post 2: Weight Loss Progress

So you guys know I’ve been trying to lose weight.. (what’s new?!) but what I’m going to show you today is visual results from the past 2 months of my efforts! You will definitely be surprised.

It’s been a great journey with Slim Couture so far. Read my first post introducing them on my blog here.
To quickly recap:
Slim Couture is a home-grown Singapore company focused on helping women lose weight safely. Through the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, Slim Couture prides itself in providing 100% results guaranteed weight loss solutions to female clients with weight issues since 2010.
Having been on their program for 2 months now, I have hardly any complains. Initially, my gripes were that I couldn’t get used to seeing the marks left by the cupping on my body, and that the treatments can be painful. But as time went on, I realize that these two “disadvantages” are actually quite useful to me. For starters, the marks on my body are a constant visual reminder that I’m on this slimming program. I never have the chance to forget this fact. People are always asking me, “Oh!!! What happened to you?” and I reply with, “Cupping. For slimming. I’m fine!” It’s always good to keep yourself in check, and to let others know that you’re trying to lose weight.. Because whenever I eye fattening food with glistening eager eyes, my friends would shoot back, “Aren’t you supposed to be on a diet?!” 
…Sob. T_T Yes, I am. No more french fries for me!!! 
Secondly, the pain from the scraping is actually something you’ll get used to after awhile, and helps you build pain tolerance. Gua Sha and Cupping is actually known to provide health benefits, and people do them normally even when they’re not trying to lose weight. What used to be borderline intolerable, is now just a couple of minutes of discomfort and unpleasant sensations that I’ve come to realize, will quickly pass. It’s also very good at convincing you not to eat fatty foods! Less fats = less slimming = less pain. Honestly, gua sha scraping can feel pretty shiok on some areas too, like on your calves and on your back where there’s been built up tension.
So all in all, I’d have to say I am a satisfied client of Slim Couture. Seeing my measurements slowly but surely drop every session feels so good!!! I know I’m on my way to a better and healthier body. Although according to them, my results are reallyyy slow compared to their other clients… LOL no thanks to my incessant binge eating.. I really can’t control my appetite!!!! I’m sorry!!! But I do try my best, as much as I can! And I’m STILL proud of what I’ve achieved so far.. Slow and steady wins the race??? *comforts self* To be fair to myself, I’m showing progress, and it’s quite visible. At least enough for everyone to be telling me recently that I’ve lost weight – that has to count for something, right?!

My Weight Loss Progress from the past 2 months of undergoing the “Divine Slim” treatment with Slim Couture:

3+ KG Loss
Arms: 3.7cm
Tummy: 8cm
Thighs: 11.5cm
Never have I ever posted such vulnerable and revealing photos on my blog. I’m uncomfortable to even post anything too skimpy or suggestive on social media these days, but I’m doing something out of my comfort zone in this post because I know a lot of people genuinely want to know whether my results are real or not, so okay lah here you go!!!!!!

This is the real me! (with my head chopped off and in low resolution so as to protect myself)

Yes, I have a biggggg bum. I’ve always mentioned on my blog that I am bottom heavy, now do you believe me? My boyfriend likes to call me”J-Lo” because she also has a big ass and well, my name is Jessica Loh. :’D Sometimes he also nicknames me Kim Kardashian. My big bum is still big (lol), but dare I say quite a lot smaller now! If you move back away from your screen, the difference will be easier to notice. I haven’t lost that much on my arms (damn you arm fats) but I’ve realized that they’re not as obscenely large when I take photos these days. My tummy and waist are also smaller, and no, I wasn’t sucking in!

Don’t laugh at my huge granny bra. It’s comfortable. I know some girls are all about lacey frilly bras and g strings, but I like to be comfortable. Problem?!

Let’s zoom in on the parts that are the most apparent:
I used to have a stomach that bulged out so much, I couldn’t even look down and see anything but my toes, because I was constantly bloated. Now that I’m managing my portions and overall diet better, my stomach is actually quite flat!!! And I can look straight down. It’s a miracle. It’s not TONED, but at least it’s not BULGING.

It feels awesome to be able to walk around without having to suck your gut in! I also have a more defined waist and a less obvious muffin top. 

Woopiee!!!! ANDD I ALSO HAVE some sort of thigh gap going on now!! YAY! My big cankles are now more toned down. Those circle marks are residual cupping marks. 
Thanks to losing 11.5cm off my thighs area, I’ve actually started to wear jeans a lot more often now, much to everyone’s surprise! Everyone when they see me: Oh my god, are you wearing jeans? I’ve never seen you in pants before! Yeah, me too. I haven’t worn jeans since I got fat!!! Feels good to be in denim again, pants that I haven’t been able to wear for YEARS!
I am currently at the lightest weight and healthiest state I’ve been in probably, say, more than 3 years. I don’t know exactly when I started to gain weight, so it’s hard to say for sure, but my jeans don’t lie… when was the last time you saw me in jeans on my blog? My thighs and butt were too big to fit into anything relatively normal sized! If this is my progress in 2 months, I’m looking forward to see what I will look like by the end of the year – or even in a few extra months. It’s actually surprisingly easy to be on this slimming program, seeing as I’m not dieting as much as I should be and still losing weight (although I REALLY SHOULD!!!)

If you’re thinking of going for Slim Couture, please do yourself a favor and diet more than I did!!! You’ll be amazed by the results. 

I managed to convince Sam to try out for Slim Couture too. He’s always had a problem with his belly, and he’s been starting to get a little pudgy around edges too… his results in just THREE sessions are jaw-dropping. I’ve got to hand it to him!
Sam’s Weight Loss Progress in 3 sessions (approximately 2 weeks):

2.4KG Loss
Arms: 5.2cm
Tummy: 5cm
Thighs: 6.5cm
I do not have any Before / After pics of Sam yet, considering he’s only gone for three sessions.. but walao eh!!!! Don’t spoil market leh. It makes me look kinda bad, LOL. He’s almost at my level of progress, and I’ve been on it for 2 months, whereas he’s only had 2 weeks and already catching up to me. He’s not as easily tempted by food such as fries & ice cream like I am, and he’s way more determined when it comes to dieting. This is the sort of result you can hope to see if you follow their recommended diet strictly!
There’s a whole list of foods you can / shouldn’t eat, which Slim Couture will provide to all their clients, but I’m just going to briefly cover it here. No red meats, only white meats such as fish and chicken. No dairy, no nuts, no sugary or fatty fruits / vegetables (for e.g no avocado but yes to leafy greens, no mango but yes to dragonfruit), no processed food or sugar of any sort (duh. but I often have to taste test for my baking, so I fail miserably at this!), no deep fried food, no soups because of high sodium content, no simple or complex carbs except for 2 slices of plain wholemeal bread in the morning.

So what we basically end up eating is super healthy stuff like: tons of leafy vegetables, tofu, a lot of cherry tomatoes, various types of white fishes, chicken meat, eggs, etc….. If you stick to this diet, it’s almost impossible not to lose weight. Despite my lack of dieting and exercise, I still saw visible results with Slim Couture (as you can see by my pictures above) It’s not that I ONLY lost 3+kg in total during 2 months. That’s not true. I actually lost 1.5kg in the first week already – the problem is, I would somehow always find a way to put the weight back on sooner or later!!!! Just like during my Perth trip – I actually gained 2 kilos when I was away for only 5 days. Can you imagine that?! So at that point in time, I was heavier than when I actually started out with Slim Couture. -_- The most difficult part about weight loss is maintaining a steady progress, because it’s so easy to slip and falter, ruining all your hard work. 

Just a gentle note that you’ll have to wait at least four weeks after signing up with Slim Couture to start on your first session, because they’re pretty full with their appointments at the moment. 
Just you wait and see ok!!!! I’m tired of being a “big girl”. Dear god, I just want to be normal, and healthy. I’ll be back with even more impressive results next time.  Give me a bit more time! I’ll blog about Sam’s advanced results too. So far, he’s been handling it extremely well. Slim Couture is opening up a men;s outlet soon due to popular request, so I hope this gives my male readers out there something to look forward to. Couples can now also strive to lose weight the healthy and safe way together, just like Sam and I!

Quote “shiberty” to receive a complimentary slimming wrap worth $58 for every 4 sessions with them. This wrap will stimulate the slimming process and work wonders!


SLIM COUTURE

Official website: http://slim-couture.com

18 Cross Street, #02-06
China Square Central
Singapore 048423

190 Clemenceau Ave 2,
Singapore Shopping Centre, #05-29
Singapore 239924
xoxo,
Jess 
xoxo,
Jess

4 Steps to a Flawless Face with Laura Mercier

Nobody was born flawless. Part of beauty, to me, is embracing your flaws.

But on the days we really need to look our best (for some people, that’s everyday) we can still strive to attain that enviable near-perfection look, with Laura Mercier’s signature 4 Steps to a Flawless Face!

When fashion and beauty insiders are asked to name one of the most talented makeup artists today, without hesitation it’s Laura Mercier. A world-renowned painter-turned-makeup artist, Laura is known for her trademark ‘Flawless Face’ and her makeup line that enables you to achieve your full beauty potential.

From concealers that go virtually undetected to foundations that resemble second skin to glosses that leave your lips with a just-bitten glow, Laura’s cult favorite collection has an uncanny way of becoming so intrinsic to your daily beauty routine, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Laura Mercier’s 4 steps to a Flawless Face are, Step 1: Prime The Skin. Step 2: Apply Foundation. Step 3: Apply Concealers. Step 4: Set With Powder.

Armed with my Laura Mercier make up & brushes, I’d like to share with you girls how I turned my ordinary, uneven complexion into one that has a seemingly flawless finish that looks surprisingly natural!

Here’s me, barefaced. Loud and proud! To be real honest, I actually don’t mind showing people my naked face from time to time, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to look my best the rest of the time.

Let’s start!

To start off we have Step 1: Prime The Skin with Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer, which minimizes the look of imperfections, and enhances my make up wear throughout the day. I opted for the one with a radiance formula because I like having that extra touch of healthy glow. An overly powdered or matte face is unrealistic and can look as if you’ve piled a lot of make up on, so adding some a soft glow will keep it looking healthy, instead of pasty.

To better demonstrate the full potential of Laura Mercier’s products, I asked my soul sister & make up artist friend, Marie Soh to doll me up! Isn’t she gorgeous? These steps are actually very easy to achieve on your own, but I decided to ask for her help so that it would be easier to see the steps in pictures – I don’t have to fuss about posing or snapping the pics!

Next, is Step 2: Apply Foundation.

Once upon a time, I had a stigma against foundation, thinking all foundations looked too artificial. But of course, that’s not true, as I have found out. It’s all about finding the right product that’s suitable for you, and using the proper application technique.

Seen here is Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer (SPF 20), which is a hydrating formula with buildable coverage that successfully evened out my skin tone and glided on my face effortlessly. It feels like second skin thanks to its moisturizing properties. Always blend in towards your hairline and down towards your neck so it doesn’t look like you have a face mask on!

There’s something immensely satisfying about Step 3: Apply Concealers, making those dark eye circles fade away and skillfully hiding those pesky blemishes. We tested out Laura Mercier’s new release, High Coverage Concealer, and it truly lived up to its name! My panda eyes were now almost non-existent!


We also used Secret Camouflage to eliminate my reddish pimple marks, which worked like magic!

I always make it a point to conceal around my lips, too, because natural darkening occurs and I find brightening up the area helps “lift” my smile!

Did you know that you’re not supposed to use the same concealer for under eyes and the rest of your face (other dark areas – usually around the mouth – and concealing reddish blemishes)?

For the under eye, you will need a more emollient formula like High Coverage Concealer or Secret Concealer to reduce the appearance of fine lines and brighten the area whereas Secret Camouflage is only meant for the face. The highly pigmented concealer and dry texture requires very little product to achieve a natural coverage that does not cake. Creamy concealers will not be ideal for inflamed, red areas.

On top of that, the undertones for concealers should vary according to the areas of your face to balance the color properly. This explains why Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage comes with two-toned pan. It allows you to custom-blend the color and tone according to your discoloration, blemishes and redness.

For an extra boost to my tired eyes, Secret Brightening Powder was gently dabbed on to set the concealer under my eyes, making me look livelier instantly! You can also use this on areas to be lightened and brightened but never to set on the entire face.

The last step, Step 4: Set With Powder, is one not to be overlooked.

Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder is extremely light-weight, translucent and an essential step to prolonging your make up wear. This is really important for us ladies in Singapore, where the humidity is soaking wet every single day and it feels like our entire face might melt off in the afternoon.

Unlike usual practices to set makeup with brushes, Laura believes using a Velour Puff to press the translucent loose setting powder into the skin will “marry” the powder with skin to most effectively set and prevent foundation from “sliding”. To do this, saturate the Velour Puff with the powder and gently press the puff in a rolling motion to work the powder into your skin.

It also helps to:
1. Prevent your T-Zone from appearing oily halfway through the day
2. Reduce the smudging of your make up
3. Keep hour make up looking fresh until night time
4. Reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pore size and other imperfections

The different types of powders Laura Mercier carries include:

1. Translucent Pressed Setting Powder: Translucent Loose Setting Powder pressed into a portable compact for convenient touch ups and travel
2. Invisible Loose Setting Powder: Talc-free, zero color pigments, so it disappears upon application for an immaculate finish
3. Invisible Pressed Setting Powder: Similar to Translucent Pressed Setting Powder, pressed into a portable compact for convenient touch ups and travel
4. Mineral Finishing Powder: Ideal for setting mineral formulas and liquid foundation,
5. Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder: Eliminate shine and control oil, with a mint green tint to correct redness. This is also ideal for touch-ups throughout the day!

With such an extensive range to choose from, you’re probably wondering.. which one is perfect for you?!

Loose powder is suitable for oily skin, as it contains oil absorbing ingredients that can offset stubborn shine. It is more finely milled than pressed powder, and offers a barely-there look. However, as loose powder containers are bulkier than pressed powders, it is often used at home instead of being carried around as it can get quite messy.

With pressed powders, it is slightly easier to control the amount of product you apply as it is mess-free and compacted, perfect for touch ups on the go. Due to the stronger pigments you would want to be a lot more careful and light handed with pressed powders.

If you have oily skin that tends to mess up your make up as the day goes on, you’ll fall in love with Laura Mercier’s Secret Finish product. It’s a make up artist favorite which comes in two forms:
1. Original - for normal to dry skin – provides a dewy finish or if the makeup looks too matte, it can help to make it look more natural and 2. Mattifying - for oily skin – controls oil and helps makeup looks fresh. Suitable for touch-ups, no need for powder touch-ups. 


Squeeze a pea-sized amount of the product on your fingers, lightly rub with both hands and pat on areas around the face that requires touch-ups.

Andddddddd, voila. I’ve completed Laura Mercier’s 4 Steps, and I look so much more ready to take on the world than just before!

No more patchy skin tones or listless looking eyes. You wouldn’t have guessed I was actually sleep deprived. This is without any other make up on, except those stated above. If you like to keep the look minimalist, you can stop here and go about your daily activities feeling confident and fresh-faced. But since we’ve gotten ourselves this far… why not just go all the way? You’ve already created the perfect canvas for the rest of your make up!!

Fill the brows, tightline those lids, add a pop of lip color and the last touch – romantic lashes, and we’re all done!!! What do you think of the look?

It is different from my everyday look, but I love the flawless finish, it’s as if I’m glowing. It’s very put-together, yet light enough for everyday wear. In fact, I wore this make up all through the night, till about 10pm, and it did not budge at all, proving to be extremely long-wearing and suitable for ladies who want to look fresh from morning till evening.

Head down to any Laura Mercier counters (Robinsons Orchard, Takashimaya and TANGS Orchard) to find out how the award winning Loose Setting Powder can set your makeup flawlessly, and receive a 5 day trial size Flawless Face sample after a short consultation when you mention “Shiberty”!
Also, stand a chance to win a gorgeous Laura Mercier Hamper worth up to $400 when you share your consultation experience on Laura Mercier’s Facebook page.

Laura Mercier is available at Robinsons Orchard, Takashimaya, TANGS Orchard and all Sephora stores.

T&C apply: Redemption starts from today to 15 Jul (Tue), one per customer. Limited to first 50 customers per counter and is not valid at any Sephora stores. Facebook contest closes on 15 Jul (Tue). Applicable for Singapore addresses only.

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Thank you Laura Mercier for giving women everywhere the right tools and tricks we need to achieve a Flawless Face, and for letting me meet your national make up artist Alexandre Cianco at the Laura Mercier Global Makeup Artist Event! He managed to convincingly demonstrate the effectiveness of the newly launched High Coverage Concealer on my angry looking TCM cupping marks, which everyone present that day was impressed by.  
Other thanks:

Big thanks to my wonderful friend & make up artist, Marie Soh of mariesoh.com, for doing a fabulous job with this look! 
If you noticed the pictures in this post are more professional looking than usual, your sharp eyes have discovered the talents of Samuel Ng of Pixioo Photography - thank you for the great shots, even though your forte is in prewedding & actual day shoots!

Till my next post: stay beautiful, girls!
xoxo,
Jess
xoxo,
Jess

Recipe: Pork Belly Kimchi Stew

You know what I love eating on a cold, miserable rainy day kinda evening?

Kimchi stew. It makes any rainy day instantly okay. But of course, if it’s cold and miserable outside, you won’t want to leave your comfortable, dry house. …So, I didn’t. I stayed home and made my own kimchi soup / stew instead and boyyyy, was it good! Too good not to share. First off – I am not very knowledgeable about Korean food, so this may not taste like the best kinda authentic stuff, but it’s damn well good enough for me, and I reckon I have pretty high (or snobbish, depends how you look at it) standards for food so I urge you to give this a go.

My favorite Korean foods are the BBQ meats, seafood pancake, and of course.. kimchi stews! Unfortunately, kimchi stews are quite pricey if you order it in a restaurant, and I never understood why. Soups must be one of the easiest and cheapest foods to cook at home. I love making soup. I love it even better when it’s hot and spicy kimchi stew! There’s something about kimchi that’s very appetizing. It’s crunchy, chewy, spicy, sour, and almost a little sweet… literally a burst of flavor in your mouth.

I felt compelled to share this recipe, because literally anyone can make it. I always hesitate to post recipes that are too complicated. For this pork belly kimchi stew, even a hopeless cook in the kitchen could throw these ingredients together in a pot, then magic happens!

Ingredients (4 serves):

  • 500g kimchi, with juice
  • 300g sliced tofu, firm or soft to your preference
  • 200g golden mushroms / your favorite asian mushrooms
  • 300g thinly sliced pork belly / you can replace this with, or add on beef slices or chicken meat
  • half a medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tom yam stock cube
  • 1 chicken stock cube 
  • 1 liter of water
  • a splash of sesame oil, black pepper & spring onions for garnishing
  • steamed rice or instant noodles to your preference

Directions: 

  1. Bring a medium pot filled with 1 liter of water to a boil, then pour in the kimchi, onions, tom yam and chicken stock cubes while stirring, then let the soup simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Taste test your soup at this point. If desired, water can be added to dilute the taste, or the soup base can be left to boil for a further few minutes to intensify the flavors. Kimchi stew is known for its very strong flavors.
  3. Once satisfied with the soup base, add into the pot your mushrooms, tofu and meat, cooking on medium to high heat for another 3-5 minutes, or until meat is properly done.
  4. If eating with noodles, I recommend turning OFF the heat, then adding your instant noodles to the pot, as it will cook very quickly and will continue to cook through as you are serving & eating it. Soggy noodles are awful, so be very careful with not overcooking them.
  5. Serve your kimchi stew very hot in a stone or thick bowl if you have one, and don’t forget to add your garnishing on the top! 

It’s such a simple recipe, but it’s the classic and fuss-free ones like this that I find myself going back to time after time. When you cook often enough, it’s not about what’s the best meal you can whip up for your taste buds…. it’s more like, “what delicious thing can I create with leftover ingredients in the fridge”, or “what if I only have 30 mins to prep and cook?!”  

I do like eating my kimchi stew with al dente instant noodles instead of rice, however, it’s important to note that if you’re having it with rice, you would want the soup to be thicker and more heavy on the flavors than if you were to be eating it with noodles. I used golden / enoki mushrooms, but really you can also add in shiitake mushrooms, shimeiji mushrooms and it’ll be absolutely wonderful. I just used whatever I had on hand that day, and that’s my style of cooking. If I had more meats, I would’ve also thrown in some chicken sausages and other random ingredients in there too.. have you heard of a Korean army stew before? ;) I like that concept of “anything goes”.. into this pot of soup. If you like it more spicy, throw in some cut chilli, and if you like it really sour like my boyfriend does, I recommend you adding vinegar for that extra acidic kick. I followed the recipe I’ve given above without adding anything extra, and I loved it the way it is. You can really decide to include, or omit any ingredients to your own liking for soups like these, because they’re so easy to handle and adjust!

There you have it: your own soul warming pot of kimchi stew!

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P.S – It’s come to my attention that some people have been re-posting or re-distributing my recipes online without my permission. This is quite dismaying to learn of. I only post original recipes from trial and error ways in my own kitchen, and I work hard to bring you guys interesting content for your enjoyment. So I hope you’ll have enough respect, or morals, to include a link back to this blog / post or insert due credit when sharing my stuff online. Thank you!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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