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Phantom of the Opera

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Caught Phantom of the Opera at the Mastercard Theatre at MBS the other night!
I actually got the invite thanks to Qiuting, who mentioned in the group chat that she had been contacted for it & I was like "I WANT!" ~ whoop whoop ~ And then I told the rest of them what I thought the story of the Phantom of the Opera was, which was unfortunately based on an Archie Comic adaptation.

And now I know that Archie Comics are not a reliable source of information.



Some information I found online!

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The world's most successful and popular musical and the longest-running show on Broadway, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, comes to Singapore for a strictly limited season in July 2013.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's phenomenal hit celebrated its 27th anniversary on the West End stage last year, and continues to play to full houses nightly in London, New York and around the world. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA has been seen by over 130 million people worldwide, has been performed in more that 27 countries and has won over 50 major theatre awards.

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Story:

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is a heart-wrenching story of the mysterious, hideously disfigured Phantom who lives beneath the Paris Opera House, and his obsession with the young singer Christine. Disguised as the 'Angel of Music' he devotes himself to creating a new opera star, and winning her love from his rival Raoul, while exercising a reign of terror over the Opera house.

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Naturally no photography allowed in the theatre itself so I only have some pictures taken with backdrops! The dress code is black tie & everyone really was dressed quite formally (e.g. bowties & floor-length gowns), so be warned! Don't turn up in casual sloppy wear!

I wouldn't say I was underdressed (I don't even own any floor-length gowns...), but basically here's your opportunity to bust out your more formal wear that's rotting in your closet :)


With Melissa! Yina was there with us as well but somehow I missed out on taking photos with her lol.

With one of the cast members! He plays Christine's boyfriend, aka the Phantom's love rival!


Went to the toilet & pinned up my fringe after that. I have a love-hate relationship with it.
I like my dress that day though! It's from Anti Establish.

One more with another backdrop!

The Phantom of the Opera closes 01 September 2013, so catch before that!

If you haven't caught any musicals before & don't mind trying, you should catch THE musical, which is The Phantom of the Opera. I don't know much about musicals (I've caught a few but certainly not enough to review any) & this was my first time seeing The Phantom of the Opera, but 90% of the audience gave the cast a standing ovation at the end :O So it must have been good!

Music Anywhere x KKBOX

Monday, July 22, 2013

While not everyone may be a huge music fan, I'm still sure music is part of your life in some way or another. I've gone through the indieish-emo-songs phase, which generally just made me sad lol. I hardly listen to those songs anymore. I've always liked RnB & Hip Hop (yes although it's somewhat an "uncool" thing) & now I tend to listen mostly to those because they're way more upbeat. If you asked me to pick a favourite artist I would actually say Eminem. I love Eminem!

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I wanna introduce a new music streaming service to you guys!
Music Anywhere is StarHub’s online music store and they have collaborated with KKBOX – a leading music & entertainment service provider to offer you unlimited streaming of over 10 million songs from 500 international & regional music labels! Other than music streaming, you can also download songs & Connecting Tones from StarHub’s Music Anywhere!

PROMOTION:
Get FREE 2 months unlimited music streaming when you sign up now!

Find out more at www.starhub.com/music!


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The difference between a streaming service & a program like iTunes or Windows Media Player is that the latter are simply music libraries. You obtain your own music files, then store & play them there.

With a streaming software like KKBOX you actually can listen to entire songs without having the actual music file on your computer (I hated downloading a song, not liking it & then having to delete it). If you do want to keep the song, you just opt to save it to your library & you get it instantly!
No long downloading times whatsoever or worrying about song quality!



You can download KKBOX as a program on your desktop, or as an app on your smartphone!
I decided to first download it as an app since I don't keep many songs on my iPhone.




Quick glance at what the app offers!

After logging in to my account, I starting exploring the app by first searching for a song!
And the first artist that came to mind was... Selena Gomez... *facepalm*
I know, not cool at all. But she has new songs so I thought of her.

I narrowed my search down to Selena Gomez & The Scene (meaning songs they did together)!
Once at the page you are able to share it (FB/Twitter) & Follow
This will keep you up to date with new songs, albums & so on! StarHub - KKBOX is really interactive in this sense, as it allows artiste to communicate with followers! More on that later!


Left: Song played in-app! Options to see lyrics, info... etc
Right: Song played when phone is locked! Songs will continue to play even if you exit the app.

Quick look at other search results! Starhub - KKBOX will also suggest which are the artist's Top Hits, which is really convenient! Sometimes I hear a song but didn't catch the title & odds are, it's a popular new release. Related Artists also allows you to check out songs of a similar genre!

In the "Explore" tab, under Quick Play:
You can get random songs suggested to you based on your preferences!
You can adjust the Genres, Time frame & Mood of the type of songs you want to listen to!


The previous option was the Quick Play! Next I clicked on Top 50.

Some songs suggested to me:


You can add a song to your Favourites! These will be the ones you want to listen to often!
As I mentioned previously, you can stream the whole song without having it in your actual Library.
If you like it, simply add it! (+)

Oh yes & spot my picture below the album cover hehe.

My profile!

My Library:
You can see the songs you've listened to (e.g. Adele) & subsequently decide if you want to keep them in your library, simply by tapping the download button on the right!

Organising your library is really easy as well!


AND YOU GET LYRICS!

Another great feature is that each line is highlighted as it is sung!

:O
:O
:O


Great for singing! Haha move over karaoke, I can do this with my phone/laptop!

Attempting a soulful rendition of "When I was your man" by Bruno Mars...

And next, checking out the People tab on the app!
This is where StarHub - KKBOX is very different from a conventional music library!
You have profiles in the app as you can follow other people & they can follow you!


Music fans can check out what their friends listen to, or what other fans of the same band/singer are saying & playing! Celebrities & DJs can participate as well, which makes the platform really interactive!

Popular Taiwanese band Mayday for example, hosted a show on StarHub - KKBOX last year that attracted 50 000 listeners! Take it one step further; if you are a music streaming subscriber you will be entitled to:

*Monthly Star Treats - monthly threats with your favourite stars!
*Star Dreams - win a chance to get up close & personal with your favourite stars!

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In May the Star Treats were autographed premiums from The Wanted & Grayson Chance, while in June 40 fans got to take a picture with Sammi Cheng & Andy Lau!

Find out more about the Star entitlements at www.starhubstarperks.com!

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For me I especially like... dancing in my room to songs LOL
I get ~ my groove on ~ in front of my mirror & ~ work it ~ LOL




I don't have a real preference between playing songs on my phone or on my laptop!
Many listen to songs on-the-go, while others like to have it on while working/chilling at home.

If you take public transport please use earphones/headphones at a reasonable volume hor!

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If you prefer it on your desktop, StarHub - KKBOX is just as convenient!



You can download the songs (the speed is incredibly fast) to make them Offline Songs, meaning you can listen to them anytime even if you have no Internet connection!

Not sure why so many of Bruno Mars' songs are marked Explicit hahahaha.
As far as I know Bruno Mars is very mild...

Anyhow, I love the quality of all the songs you get on StarHub - KKBOX, alongside with the availability of correct lyrics as well as album artwork! Gone are the days where you had to search these online manually, or download 3rd-party applications to find these for you. And there is always the issue about song quality! >:( How many of you have downloaded songs that turned out to be remixes, or weird recordings, or part of a radio show, or a concert performance? Annoying!

Oh & personally I'm really particular about my song titles... I hate getting a song file with the title in lowercase, or incongruently so & so on. Overall ultimately StarHub - KKBOX provides proper song quality with all related info/artwork, as if it comes straight off the actual album! Also gone are the days where people bought whole albums (really, how often do you even like 50% of the songs on them?)!

Another great thing about StarHub - KKBOX... SYNCHED ACROSS ALL DEVICES!

What's that about taking a cable to connect your phone to your desktop to transfer songs?
Ain't nobody got time for that! Whatever you play, download or do on one device is automatically updated on others! Love it!

PROMOTION:
Get FREE 2 months unlimited music streaming when you sign up now!

Find out more at www.starhub.com/music!


Biore

Monday, July 15, 2013
Living in a year-round sunny country like Singapore, we need to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun! In fact even if it doesn't seem sunny that day, UV rays can still damage your skin.


With too much exposure to the sun you can face quite a few skin problems! The sun's rays can age your skin a lot, making it dryer & overall more tired-looking. Not to mention getting tanner!

Biore sent me some very useful products for daily use & they came just in time as I've been needing to replace some of my skincare products! I previously never really got to try Biore products other than their makeup removal wipes, which are pretty popular!

L-R: Biore makeup wipes, Biore Aqua Jelly Makeup Remover, Biore Aqua Rich Whitening Cream SPF 50+ PA+++ & Biore Marshmallow Whip Facial Wash

Particularly of interest is their new Biore Aqua Rich Whitening Cream!
This cream is a sheer sunscreen with SPF 50+ PA+++ for daily use!


I just got back from my summer trip to Europe! Aside from the usual summer sun, 2 of my destinations (Crete & Ibiza) were islands, meaning I spent a lot of time bumming at the beach!

The Biore Aqua Rich Whitening Cream would have been ideal for me because I had no interest whatsoever in tanning :X (yes... despite booking beach holidays haha)

I don't particularly wish to be darker & I know the sun causes things like spots & freckles, as well as accelerating scarring (if you have wounds or new scars, exposure to the sun will make the scar more obvious). Furthermore the literal "burning" sensation under the sun just kinda makes me freak out wondering what it's doing to my poor skin O.O

So yes, I actually made a very conscious effort to stay out of the sun!
At beaches I would always take daybeds in the shade. Even out & about in town I would lug along a big sunhat! And while people might use sunscreen (helps you tan safely), I was using sunblock. With an SPF of 75. LOL. SPF 75 is like... the highest I've ever heard of so far hahaha.

My 2 daily items against the sun!


I bought the sunhat the first day in Athens! I didn't even particularly like it (hate the bow) :/
But that's how desperate I was to stay out of the sun!

En route to the Acropolis:
Lugging the sunhat around despite it not being able to fit into my bag :/
*dedication*

Another day in Greece:
Spot the sunhat again... And me in the shade LOL.

And when I forgot to bring my sunhat out to the beach in Ibiza (we went every day)...
Hid my face in the shade of my bag...



A daily sunblock with SPF 50+ PA+++ (which is super high, *whoop whoop*) would have been great! I had my sunblock, but like most sunblocks it's super thick & kinda icky to apply to the face.


The Biore Aqua Rich Whitening Cream not only protects your skin from the sun with its SPF 50+ PA+++ protection, but also moisturizes & whitens your skin! So in terms of fairness, it both 1) prevents you from getting darker &) lightens your current skin tone over time! It contains natural extracts of Chamomile, allowing it to combat dark spots! At the same time the hyaluronic acid & citrus extracts in the cream help to hydrate & soften your skin.

Easy application! Dab on a small dot on each area & slowly spread it!


And done! The Biore Aqua Rich Whitening Cream is very light in texture & is instantly absorbed so it doesn't feel like anything is on your skin! It can also be used as a makeup base, all while protecting & nourishing your skin!

Below are some comparisons of texture between the Biore cream & my previous sunblock!


This is after a few quick wipes! The Biore Aqua Rich Whitening cream is noticeably thinner.
Do you recall the last time you applied sunscreen/sunblock & how ridiculously thick it feels? Ugh.

The Biore Aqua Rich Whitening cream is instantly absorbed due to its water capsule technology, which makes it feel like water on skin! It's easy to spread on your skin due to its watery texture.
My previous sunscreen/sunblock in contrast, doesn't get absorbed at all & remains a thick mess. 
It leaves my skin feeling greasy & uncomfortable :(


With the Biore Aqua Rich Whitening cream you don't have to worry about exposure to the sun! While moisturizing is important, protection from UV rays is equally so! I never really bothered when I was younger since I had the huh-I'm-not-going-tanning-what mentality, but in reality you need to protect your skin from the sun on a daily basis, not just when you intend to be outdoors a lot.

No more excuses for leaving your skin defenseless!

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Also tried out the other Biore products sent to me!

The Biore makeup wipes are already pretty popular & I have previously purchased them before!
On a daily basis you should use a normal makeup remover (such as their Aqua Jelly makeup remover), but this is really convenient for short overseas trips, makeup removal/touchup on-the-go & so on!

Tested it out against some common makeup items that tend to be more resilient when washing!

After just one wipe!

Removal of the right side of my face - liquid eyeliner, concealer & light eyeshadow + mascara

For daily usage, try the Biore Aqua Jelly makeup remover!


It has a really unique jelly-like texture & requires NO cotton pads/wipes!
Simply massage on gently to dissolve the makeup, & rinse off! Super convenient!

Wiping off the left side of my makeup now! You can see some of the dissolved makeup, which comes off immediately when I rinse my face!

Testing against the same makeup items...

Massage, dissolve, rinse off!

After removing your makeup, remember to wash your face with the Biore Marshmallow Whip facial wash! This one is extra moist; targeted at dry skin & that's great for me! I have combination skin but my cheeks can get really, really dry & overall I have more of a dry-skin issue than oily.




It's really super bouncy & fluffy! Quite fun to play with haha.

Pump & wash! :D

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Retail price: $18.90
Available at all major pharmacies & supermarkets!

You can also view the TV commercial of the NEW Biore Aqua Rich Whitening Cream SPF 50+ PA+++ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhmzp0sNto8

By the way, did you know that Biore is the number 1 UV brand in Japan?
Their products targeted at UV protection are really popular among Japanese women!

P.S. When applying the Biore Aqua Rich Whitening cream, remember apply some to your neck & ear tips as well! These are commonly neglected areas that face a lot of sun damage!