runWESTIN. Work Out. Do Good.

Westin Hotels & Resorts in Asia Pacific launched the “runWESTIN. Work Out. Do Good” charity drive which invites their hotel guests to run and stay healthy for a good cause. In collaboration with New Balance, Westin‘s gear lending program allows hotel guests to borrow New Balance running shoes with disposable insoles plus a variety of New Balance apparel for a nominal fee – just in case you forgot to pack your running gear! This program also provides 5-8km running route maps so you can enjoy the city scenes while keeping fit. From 21 February to 30 April 2014, Westin Hotels & Resorts will donate a new pair of New Balance shoes to Soles4Souls, a charity that provides footwear to those in need. For Westin hotels in Greater China, New Balance shoes will be donated to Zhejiang Xinhua Compassion Education Foundation.

I had the chance to experience the “runWESTIN. Work Out. Do Good” during the launch last month. I honestly think the New Balance gear lending program is genius and will definitely encourage me to explore the city on foot and maintain my healthy routine. I can’t wait for my staycation at the newly opened The Westin Singapore.

runWESTIN. Work Out. Do Good.

Located at Marina Bay, The Westin Singapore promises “For a Better You” with its offering of 305 guestroom.s and suites and of course, the coveted Westin Heavenly® Bed (ahhh….)

runWESTIN. Work Out. Do Good.

All geared up and ready for my run!

runWESTIN. Work Out. Do Good.

All smiles before sweating it out!

If you’re an avid runner looking for a career change, Westin Singapore is looking for its first Running Concierge! runWESTIN concierge helps turn guests’ workout into exploration of locale by leading guests for a run and sharing outdoor running tips and providing suggestions to improve guests’ fitness conditions. Interested applicants should write to careers.singapore@westin.com for more information. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to represent The Westin Singapore in one overseas marathon and two runs in the country. The winner will make their first appearance at the SunDown Marathon on 31 May 2014.

images: Fash-Eccentric

Fash-Shop: Playpark by Karen Walker

If you’re visiting Auckland, be sure to visit one of my favorite stores, Playpark by Karen Walker. The original Karen Walker store got a major uplift in 2011 and expanded its collection to include Karen’s favorite brands such as Topshop, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Chacarel, Fred Perry Laurel Wreath, Claire Vivier, Julie Rofman, Hillier, Hunter boots and many more. Located at the heart of Newmarket, I spent a great amount of time trying Karen Walker Summer 2012‘s Sea Monsters collection. Let’s just say I walked off happily with my new Karen Walker top – just in time for Chinese New Year!

Playpark by Karen Walker
6 Balm St, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand
Tel: +64 09 522 4286

Playpark by Karen Walker

Playpark by Karen Walker

Playpark by Karen Walker

Playpark by Karen Walker

images: Playpark by Karen Walker

Fash-Label: Australia’s Cameo the Label

If my wardrobe can be filled with anything – it will be flooding with Cameo the Label. I discovered this Australian label while shopping at Good As Gold in Wellington. You can bet on my good dollars that this is the best discovery of 2012 (well, at least December). I may be exaggerating but I’m in love with Cameo‘s “feminine shapes, bold detailing and a truly unique aesthetic”. Best of all, it’s affordable. I don’t believe the label is currently stocked in Singapore (who knows?) but you can shop online at thefashionbunker.com. Scroll down for a taste of Cameo Spring/Summer 2013 collection (because it’s absolutely smashing!):

Australia's Cameo the Label

Australia's Cameo the Label

Australia's Cameo the Label

Australia's Cameo the Label

Australia's Cameo the Label

Australia's Cameo the Label

Australia's Cameo the Label

images: Cameo the Label

Top 5 Shopping Picks in Wellington, New Zealand

After four trips to Middle Earth, I finally made my way to the “Middle of Middle-Earth“, the city of Wellington in New Zealand. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Windy Wellington (oh yeah, it’s the second windiest city in the world!). Take a walk down the fashion and also vintage shopping mecca, Cuba Street followed by Lambton Quay. Wellington’s central is compact enough that you can explore local cafes, restaurants and independent boutiques without taking public transport or car. To be honest, I’ve only explored the city central area but I’m sure there are some cool, undiscovered boutiques beyond the city. For starters, scroll down for my shopping picks in Wellington based on my own exploration:

Wellington: Good As Gold

Good As Gold is the best shop I’ve been to in Wellington (totally my cup of tea!). From Australian labels such as Shakahuchi to NZ labels such as Stolen Girlfriends Club, I just want to pick everything from the racks of Good As Gold. I absolutely fell in love with a Cameo dress and I went crazy over Something Else by Natalie Wood. Can you blame me? The best news is you can shop online at www.goodasgold.co.nz.

Good As Gold
120 Victoria Street
Wellington
Tel: +64 4 381 4653

Wellington: Swonderful Boutique

I felt like I walked into Audrey Hepburn‘s wardrobe. Swonderful is affectionately named after a song in Funny Face. Started by mother & daughter duo (also designers of Papercup, a vintage-inspired fashion line), this boutique features a beautifully curated collection from emerging New Zealand designers. You’ll find some cute knick-knacks and jewellery in addition to the cute clothing. A must-visit. After that, you can stop by Fidel’s for a heart-stopping, yummilicious Snickers shake (recommended by a local!).

Swonderful241 Cuba Street
Te Aro, Wellington
Tel: +64 4 382 8638

Wellington: Iko Iko

If you’re looking for a kooky gifts for your friends or family, Iko Iko is the “very best little gift shop”. Beware, you might end up spending hours in here as you might find a quirky something for your work desk or room. A Mexican Wrestlers? Some Kiwiana Kitsch? I got myself a Fur Baby Jackalope for my work desk and a Cat DJ Scratching Deck for Coco (also available at Fred Flare).

Iko Iko118 Cuba Street
Te Aro, Wellington
Tel: +64 4 385 0977

Wellington: Madame Fancy Pants

Madame Fancy Pants is a cute little store along Cuba Street selling high quality, limited edition pieces that you must have! You will find a nice, eclectic mix of clothing, bags, accessories, stationary and even books by Frankie curated by owner and designer, Claire Terry.

Madame Fancy Pants
217 Cuba Street
Wellington
Tel: +64 4 385 0830

Wellington: Rex Royale

Rex Royale is a fashion institution along Cuba Street. Started in 1997, Rex Royale stocked some of the best of Kiwiana and some times, the space hosts interesting exhibitions. Definitely worth checking out!

Rex Royale
106 Cuba Street
Wellington
Tel: +64 4 802 5757

Fash-Obsession: Australia’s Shakuhachi

It was love at first sight with Shakuhachi. As seen on Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian, this Aussie label is on my most-coveted list this season. It’s not everyday you find a label that makes you want to buy everything. I haven’t even started on how much I love their shoes! I should stop gushing and just start showing what Shakuhachi is all about (plus extra attitude!):

The Unconventional Bride

Fash-Obsession: Shakahuchi

New Romantics Blazer (AUD$290.00) with New Romantics Pants (AUD$240.00) & New Romantics Cut Out Shift (AUD$280.01)

Flower Power

Fash-Obsession: Shakahuchi

Scarf Print Tank Silk Black/White (AUD$160.00) & Inverse Brocade Train Dress Silk (AUD$250.00)

The Metallica

Fash-Obsession: Shakuhachi

Apollo Leather Panel Mini Skirt (AUD$330.00) & Brocade Leather Pinafore Crop Top Gold Palest Grey (AUD$220.00)

Let’s Get Dressy!

Fash-Obsession: Shakuhachi

Raw Edge Racer Jersey Maxi Dress (AUD$160.00) & Luxe Utility Asymetric Slice Dress Black (AUD$340.00)

SHOES! SHOES! SHOES!

Fash-Obsession: Shakuhachi

Split Oxfords (US$295.00) & Haircalf Riding Booties (US$395.00)

images: Shakuhachi

Top 5 Beauty Must-Haves for the Globetrotter

Are you a globetrotter? Whether you’re an avid or casual traveler, we all need to pack our entire beauty regime into a nifty bag. Sometimes, we may have to opt out the “extras” and stick with the basics. Or, pack a completely different set of beauty products according to the countries (yes, we do take humidity levels into consideration). Traveling takes a huge toll on your skin due to the dramatic weather change, cabin pressure, jetlag and even pollution. As a result, your skin suffers from sensitivity, dehydration, fine lines and even, *yikes* breakouts. So, before you travel – it’s highly important to stock up wisely and make sure your skin gets everything it needs to look fabulous even on your holiday. In fact, I’ve already packed mine for any emergency jetsetting. If you’ve no clue what to pack, here’s a start:

#1: Skin Inc My Daily Dose Travel Pack

Skin Inc My Daily Dose Travel Pack

It’s good to have your necessities but it’s always a bonus to pack the extras! Skin Inc My Daily Dose Travel Pack (Priced at SGD178) is a “nifty travel pouch that packs six 5ml
doses of Skin Inc’s blockbuster serums – collagen for firming, hyaluronic acid for hydration, placenta for brightening, vitamin A for even skin tone, coenzyme Q10 for energising and ceramide for strengthening”. This is a great starter kit and definitely a boost to your regular skincare regime!

#2: SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask

This is my travel staple: The SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (Priced at SGD86 – 6pcs box) is a great, handy sheet mask that you can slap on your face during a long-haul flight. This 100% cotton mask is soaked in Pitera’s rich nutrients of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids to keep your skin hydrated, refreshed and cool throughout your journey. I can’t tell you how amazing this baby is – you gotta try it to believe it.

#3: Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist

Jurlique Lavender Hydrating MistAnyone who travels with me will know that I will start asking around, “Who wants a spritz?” Yups, a spritz of my Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist (Plus, I use the Chamomile Soothing Mist as well!). Get ready for the goodness of marshmallow to hydrate and soften your skin, lavender oil and glycerin to rebalance dryness and prevent moisture loss, and grapefruit seed as a natural antioxidant. In short, it smells so good – you just can’t stop spritzing!

#4: Rohto Lycee C Cube Eye Drops

I bought the Rohto Lycee C Cube Eye Drops from my recent trip to Japan and it’s simply the best! As a contact lens wearer, my eyes get dry pretty easily during my travels and this compact eye drop comes in handy to keep my eyes moisturised and cool. Unfortunately, you can’t buy this version in Singapore. Get your friends who are heading to Japan to grab them for you!

#5: Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm

Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm

Enough about the face and let’s focus on the hands. It’s one of the highly stressed “skin”, if you ask me. I’m currently hooked on Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm. This intensely moisturising hand balm includes skin-softening Potassium Lactate and Lactic Acid. What I love about it? It’s non-greasy and smells like a spa every time you use it.

Once again, happy travels and take care of your skin, eyes and hands!

I Heart g.u., Japan’s Chic, Affordable High Street Label

Have you heard of g.u.? Well, I discovered this amazing low-priced clothing line, g.u. by Fast Retailing (the parent company of UNIQLO) in Shinsabaishi, Osaka’s shopping haven. Currently, there are 164 g.u. stores in Japan and let’s hope that g.u. makes its way to Singapore! I was surprised at the reasonably priced clothing and accessories starting from as low as ¥390 (approx. SGD6.50). Imagine maxi dresses at ¥990 (SGD16) and cardigans at ¥1,290 (SGD21). You can expect basics in seasonal shapes, prints and colours without compromising on quality. I can’t help but grab a couple of pieces myself including printed pants at only ¥990! Can you believe it? The face of g.u. since 2001 is AKB48‘s Atsuko Maeda who definitely added brand value to the label. So, if you’re making your way to Japan – you don’t need to break the bank to shop up a storm. Just head down to g.u.

Watch the latest g.u. commercial featuring AKB48‘s Atsuko Maeda, entitled “OTONA summer” which was shot in Guam.

I visited the g.u. flagship store in Ginza – it’s hugeeeeeeee!

Such adorable straw bags for the summer. Only ¥990!

It’s a great place to grab basics for the season, really. I wish I can buy everything!

Spotted: SALE ITEMS at ¥390. Even cheaper! This is retail heaven.

I got a couple of maxi dresses from g.u. – my favourite!

The g.u. Summer 2012 look book featuring Atsuko Maeda.

I love their cropped pants for the Summer!

images: Fash-Eccentric & g.u.

Kyoto, Make Me Beautiful: YOJIYA

YOJIYA is one of Japan’s best kept beauty secret for the past 108 years. Founded in 1904 in the ancient city of Kyoto, YOJIYA is famed for its Aburatorigami (facial oil blotting paper), a beauty essential for Japanese women especially with the Maikos (Geishas).. Made from a special type of Japanese paper, the Aburatorigami ensures your skin is ready makeup as well as keeping your face matte looking. Its pride for its quality to achieve natural beauty for the Japanese. Today, YOJIYA offers an extensive beauty product line and for the ladies, YOJIYA makes a great souvenir when visiting Kyoto. My sister and I bought the YOJIYA hand cream made from silkworms! Well, they are not the cheapest brands around but after I tried the tester in the store, I was SOLD. My 30g hand cream called Mayugomori (literally translated to ‘eyebrows forest’) is priced at around 900yen from memory – I can’t actually remember! The application is rich and smooth (really good for your dry cuticles!) with a fresh, floral scent. I can’t stop thinking of squishy silkworms hahaha. If you’re in Kyoto, do check out YOJIYA Cafe as well as their stores located almost everywhere.

Ahh, I miss Kyoto.

I shopped at the store located at Kinkakuji Temple (also known as the Golden Pavillion). You can also find it at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.

You can buy these YOJIYA face powder paper here. Comes in 60 sheets in three colours: pink, ochre and lucent.

This is the YOJIYA hand cream I bought. As I’ve mentioned, it’s small!

Light, creamy texture that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. The scent smells a little like Jasmine but not overpowering.

images: Fash-Eccentric

Fash-Eccentric is in Japan (again): I Heart Osaka

You may be wondering why I didn’t blog yesterday (or not). I’m currently in Japan, specifically… Osaka! It’s my first time in the city so I’ve been doing all the kitschy stuff and of course, eating and shopping a lot *burp*. I am staying opposite Daimaru and Beams at Shinsaibashi. It’s perfect and I couldn’t ask for a better location. I love how laid back the Osakians are as compared to the Tokyo-ites. The food is cheaper and definitely ‘different’. Shopping? I can’t complain. It lacks the variety that Tokyo brings but it’s good enough for me – for now. Here is a glimpse of where I was out and about today:

I’m wearing my Uniqlo x Hello Kitty t-shirt, Uniqlo jeans and Feiyue sneakers. It’s summer, dammit! ‘They’ say that if you rub the feet of the Billiken, it will bring you good luck. Oh, you can see how the others have been molesting his feet.

I can’t help it, can I?

The Osaka Castle. The first stop of the day.

Adorable flower pots at Shinsekai.

Take a moment and enjoy the street performance by young, talented Japanese.

Make a wish at the Umeda Sky Building.

On top of the world at Umeda Sky Building.

Art. Recycled.

America Mura, behind my hotel.

It’s like the Harrods of Japan. I love Daimaru.

Neon lights at the bustling Dotonburi. Till tomorrow, Osaka.

images: Fash-Eccentric

Fash-Eccentric is in Tokyo!

Alright, if you’ve been following my Twitter or Instagram (@fasheccentric) … you would probably know that I’m in Tokyo right now! The ‘trip’ report will come later (as to what I’ve been up to and so on) in May so please be patient :) Good news, I’m officially a full-time blogger and flying to Tokyo on my first junket this year is an awesome way to kick start my new career. I spotted Cherry Blossoms for the first time in my life (on the trees, and not dead on the ground). I ate, work, shop. Tokyo, you always surprise me. Here is a glimpse of my past couple of days in Tokyo:

Cherry Blossoms or Sakuras are blooming outside Hotel Monterey Akasaka!

THE REAL DEAL. You can’t beat Japanese food in Japan.

You know it’s serious business when journalists and a blogger wear bibs.

An unusual mannequin in complete zen.

THE Prada flagship store in Aoyoma. Pay homage to the motherland!

I made it to Francfranc flagship store in Aoyoma. Stay tuned for my Francfranc report.

images: Fash-Eccentric

Fash-Travel: Cologne Christmas Market in Germany

Bubster and I went for our long-awaited honeymoon to Germany and Switzerland just couple of weeks ago. I guess we are looking for a ‘real’ Christmas experience at the famous German Christmas markets and of course, see snow (which didn’t happen). Our first stop is Cologne in Germany. From late November till Christmas, idyllic Christmas markets spread throughout the Old Town of Cologne. The Cathedral is such a magnificent building that didn’t get bombed during the world war. I say it’s the perfect backdrop for such a festive Christmas market. The best part is you can hop on those old-school, toy-like trains that bring you around the Old Town to all the Christmas Markets. If you ask me, once you’ve been to one – you’ve been to ALL. We had fun stuffing our faces with Bratwursts, Currywursts, Gulhwein, Raclette and many more Christmas goodies. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Isn’t the cathedral beautiful in the night?

Let’s rewind to the start – here’s tired, jetlag me at the first Christmas market of our Germany-Switzerland trip.

There is nothing more comforting than a warm, cuppa Gulhwein.

There are many handmade Christmas decorations to shop for. LOVE!

Currywurst is better than Bratwurst. YUMS.

Love the huts and the servers are all dressed up in characters!

I was like, “Eww, what’s that smell? I’m not eating that”

Turns out, I was smelling something else next door. This Raclette cheese on bread is the yummiest!

I need to learn glass-blowing. How adorable are these snowmen? I wish I have a Christmas tree at home.

Beautiful glass pieces for your tree – Christmas markets are well-stocked with these creations!

OMIGOSH. TOFFEE APPLES!

This Christmas market is crowded, yo!

images: Fash-Eccentric