Sunday, December 06, 2020

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing Review

It has been a while since I last went to the salon, and the frizzy unruly hair is really irking me. Therefore, time to look for Ken to save my tresses!

I went to him last year for a Mucota Algana Straightening with C-curls, and he has since moved to another salon this November - Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing.

Mucota Algana Straigtening with C-curls

This time, I decided to do Mucota Algana Straightening with C-curls once again as this really helps with the frizziness of my hair.

Just to let everyone see the disastrous state of my hair before the treatment:

Benefits of this treatment:
  • Softer, smoother hair with a healthy shine
  • More natural looking, not the usual rebonding flat and straight type of hair
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Tames frizzy hair
  • Lasts up to 6 months or longer

In summary, these were the steps for my whole session at the salon:
  1. Wash
  2. Snipping off 6 inches (because a shorter hair length is more suitable for C-curls, and I wanted him to snip off my bleached hair ends)
  3. Blow dry 
  4. Apply the treatment prep cream
  5. Leave the cream on for 20 minutes
  6. Wash and blow dry
  7. Straighten hair with flat iron
  8. Put on curlers at the hair ends
  9. Perm the hair ends for 20 minutes
  10. Apply a liquid to finish off the straightening treatment and set hair
  11. Leave them on for 10 minutes
  12. Wash and blow dry
So there you have it. Look at what my hair looks like after the treatment:

My hair is so silky, frizz-free and easy to maintain now!

*For my hair length, the whole treatment costs $280 (incl. cut) + $70 (c-curls). Do check with Ken for your hair length and whether this is the most suitable treatment for your hair.

And if you are wondering if my hair still looks the same post-salon? 

Yes it does, although blow-drying your hair of course gives it more shine. But on days that I don't blow-dry, it looks nicely maintained as well. Just in time to celebrate the Holiday season!

Mucota Hair Products

And having tried Mucota shampoo before, I can attest that their products really does wonders to my hair. So I decided to buy a set of Mucota Little Forest series from the salon. There is 20% off their hair products now, and I even get a free Mucota pouch!
  • Smoothing Botanical Scalp Shampoo
  • Moisturising Botanical Treatment
  • Botanical Veil for Wavy Hair
I absolutely love the scent from their hair products by the way. Makes me want to smell my own hair more lol.

Buying from an authorised shop will prevent you from getting fake ones online. I heard that some shops selling these cheap on Carousell have the exact same packaging, same colour, same smell, but effects are vastly different. Knock-offs are so commonplace nowadays we can't even tell the difference!

Do look for Ken f you need to get your Mucota products, or to create some magic to your tresses!

Kudos by Headlines Hairdressing

531 Upper Cross St, #02-08 HongLim Complex, Singapore 050531

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

How to look at Sapphires

I love all things bling. So when there was a chance to attend a Sapphire Appreciation Course conducted by Caratell, I was delighted and signed up straightaway. 

This post is not written by a gem expert, but rather, someone who has had little or no prior knowledge about gemstones, so just a disclaimer to experts out there, what you read on below might be more layman and brief!

Caratell is a Luxury Jewellery Store located at 20 Handy Road, Singapore, and have many prestigious accolades under their name, one of them being named the Top Ten Best Jewellers by Singapore Tatler. They specialise in bespoke jewellery design services and of course, Diamonds, Jadeite and Gems.

There are many different types of gems, categorised into precious and semi-precious: Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald and Diamonds fall under precious gems, while Spinel, Opal, Garnet, Peridot fall under semi-precious gems... the list goes on and on. There are various characteristics and factors in play when looking at different types of stones.

However for this session, we focus on what might be the most fascinating yet difficult gemstone to look at: Corundum, specifically Sapphire

Sapphire Appreciation Course

So the course starts with a theory session conducted by Archillea, followed by a practical session with Michael, both, founders of the store.


When you think of Sapphire, you might be reminded of the iconic Sapphire Engagement ring of Princess Diana (now Kate Middleton's), known as the Royal Blue.

Another colour which gem connoisseurs would love, would be the Cornflower Blue. Got this lovely picture of the shade of cornflower blue off the internet:

There's a misconception that Sapphires refers to blue gems, but Sapphires actually come in a spectrum of colours:
  • Blue Sapphire
  • Pink Sapphire
  • Padparadscha (some sort of orange-pink colour)
  • Yellow Sapphire
and so on.. A Sapphire in red colour isn't called a Red Sapphire, but rather a Ruby. 


If you look around, there might be people talking about some specific varieties of Sapphires like the Star Sapphire, where you see an asterism in the stone.

There is also the colour changing Sapphires which exhibits 2 (in rare cases, even 3!) colours in different lightings.

These are 2 examples that Michael showed us under different incandescent lights. See the blue and purple?

And then for this: blue and pink!

Tools needed

First up, you need to learn how to differentiate 2 main things when examining a gemstone:
Synthetic or Natural.

2 very important and basic tools are needed for examining your stones:
  • Refractometer 
  • Microscope

A refractometer allows us to see the Refractive Index (RI) of a stone, and this can be a powerful tool to tell straightaway if a stone is a Sapphire. Just to give examples, Diamonds have single RI while Sapphires have double RI. If the RI falls into a specific range of 1.768 to 1.772, then it would definitely be a Sapphire!

And to further determine whether a Sapphire is synthetic or natural, a microscope will enable us to magnify and check for certain inclusions or characteristics.


There are a few ways that synthetic Sapphires are made:
  • Flame Fusion
  • Flux Growth
  • Hydrothermal
  • Pulling Method
Shall not go into details for that as this post might be super long by the time I'm done elaborating everything about Sapphires!


One of the easiest ways to identify a synthetic Sapphire, is to look out for Curved Striations in the stone.

Tried very hard to search a good picture off the internet but this was the best I could find. If you see somewhat curved lines like these in a stone, it is synthetic. However, I must say, it was difficult to find traces of curved lines in a stone, all the more so if it can only be found in certain areas of the stone, whereby you have to really twist and turn the angles to scrutinize every bit of the stone.


Majority (almost 95%) of natural Sapphires you see in the market are treated, as some sort of treatment enhances the colour or clarity of the gems. 
There are a few ways to do so:
  • Heat
  • Diffusion
  • Glass filled

Sapphires which are glass filled can be seen as the lowest quality of them all.


There will be specific types of inclusions that give evidence to whether a stone is an unheated specimen more easily. 
These includes:
  • Needle 
  • Colour zoning
  • Crystal
  • Snowball
  • Bubble
  • Crack line

Here are some reference photos I found off the internet to let you understand how inclusions look like under the microscope.

Needles, crystals and bubbles are quite easy to spot, while sometimes I might mistake dirt or fingerprints on the stone itself as inclusions. Therefore, it is very important to clean the stone properly before examining it!

So there you have it, this is really just a simple summary of what I went through during the Sapphire Appreciation Course with Caratell.

And here's a cert I got from passing the test from them. Michael gave 1 blue stone to each of us and we had to determine whether that stone is a Sapphire, and if so, whether it is synthetic or natural.

My thoughts and opinions?

There is just so much more to gem appreciation, and I'm glad Michael and Archillea were so accommodating to educate us all about it. Found it very difficult to look at inclusions and differentiate them, especially so if the inclusions look ALMOST the same. 

The engagement ring of Princess Diana also opened the world to Sapphires and paved a whole new way for Royal Blue instead of the coveted Cornflower Blue. 

For the rest of us however, I believe that we look more at the overall design of the Sapphire jewellery piece rather than how little inclusion the stone has, or how it is cut perfectly etc. 

One thing's for sure, we must first learn how to differentiate between a synthetic or natural Sapphire in order to prevent buying knock-offs by inconsiderate sellers out there. Got a friend who almost got duped into buying a Sapphire at a price of a natural, but through the course, found out that the Sapphire the seller was offering turns out to be a synthetic.

And with more experience, we can learn to appreciate the many fascinating things from examining a gemstone. Am glad that Michael is one of those who is passionate on educating to ensure that the Jewellery Industry retains its lustre.

Do visit Caratell's website or social media to get more information on any other gem appreciation courses in time to come!

20 Handy Road, #01-01, Nomu, Singapore 229236

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Easy Noodle Recipes with Heng's Natural Thick Ramen

With this Covid situation, more of us are dining at home and cooking our own food more often.
If you are bored of the usual fare, here are two simple 5-step recipes for dry and soupy noodles you can create at home using Heng's Natural Thick Ramen. They have 10 flavours of noodles:

Chia Seed
Sweet Potato

I've tried tomato and spinach noodles at certain food stalls in Singapore, but was surprised at the huge array of flavours this brand has.

ps: their pepper salt prawn spices pack is also real good too. if you like your food strong flavoured, I assure you this will make prawns taste very good!

So anyway, I decided to try out the Sweet Potato and Beetroot flavours since the colours seem to look so pretty!

Dry Noodles Recipe

Here is a super easy Dry Noodles Recipe (for 1 pax) using Heng's Natural Thick Ramen in Sweet Potato Flavour.


Heng's Thick Ramen - 1 portion
Lee Kum Kee Oyster Flavoured Sauce with Mushroom - 2 spoonful
Maggi Tomato Sauce - 1 spoonful
Mahsuri Hot Sweet Soy Sauce - 1 spoonful

Step 1:
Prepare the dumplings first. I chose to have both boiled and fried dumplings to give more textures to the meal. Shall not elaborate on the dumplings as you can choose to make your own, or buy off-the-shelf ones.

Step 2:
Prepare the vegetables. You can choose any kind of vegetables you like to go with your noodles, but for simplicity's sake, we shall choose kailan for this.

Step 3:
Prepare the sauce of the dry noodles. Mix 2 spoonfuls of oyster sauce, 1 spoonful of ketchup, and 1 spoonful of hot sweet soy sauce. I love this soy sauce as it has a tinge of spiciness which adds that extra oomph to the dish! Then, add some hot water and stir all these together.
Step 4:
Start cooking your noodles. Mine took about 10-15 minutes to be fully cooked. You can tweak the cooking time depending on how chewy you want your noodles to be.

Step 5:
Finally, just place your cooked noodles onto the bowl and mix well with the sauce prepared previously in step 3. Put in all the other ingredients and your dish is good to go!

Soupy Noodles Recipe

For a healthier option, or on days where you are craving to have some soup, try to make this soupy noodles with fish (1 pax) using Heng's Natural Thick Ramen in Beetroot flavour.


Heng's Thick Ramen - 1 portion
Sliced Ginger - 3 small slices
MSG - a little (Uncle Roger approves)
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Pepper - a little
Fish slices

Step 1:
Start cooking your noodles. Mine took about 10-15 minutes to be fully cooked. You can tweak the cooking time depending on how chewy you want your noodles to be.

Step 2:
Add some sliced ginger, MSG, and vegetables into boiling water. 

Step 3:
Then put in some fish slices. *Note that you could actually put in any ingredients that are cooked quickly in boiling water, in place of fish. (think fish balls, fish cakes, etc.) Then add 1 teaspoon of salt. 

Step 4:
Place the cooked noodles back into the pot and stir. Add a dash of soya sauce. 

Step 5:
Finally, pour everything into your bowl, add pepper and any extra ingredients (in this case I placed a corn into the soup for colour ) and this is ready to be served!

And there you have it. Easy peasy!

To get these Heng's Thick Ramen and other food produce, just order from Wowfire Pte Ltd.
They are available on various platforms!

Click below to buy now:

Physical Retailer: 
Ah Hwee Trading (Blk 207 Tampines Street 21)

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