Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

When it comes to dolling up, it's a head to toe kinda affair for me. What to do? I'm a sucker for coordination. Which means my outfit, accessories, bag and shoes gotta complement each other. Oh and my manicure and pedicure too! Attention to details ladies! As the saying goes, there aren't ugly women, just lazy ones.

I recently checked out Absolutely Nails, a sister brand of the popular Feet Haven Reflexology along East Coast Road Singapore in preparation for a friend's wedding dinner. Heh.
Absolutely Nails has recently relocated to be situated within the Feet Haven outlet, just a stone's throw away from 112 Katong Mall. Get a foot massage before your pedicure session! I mean, if you're gonna indulge, must as well go all the way right? I just love to be pampered and fussed over.
I was led to the back of the shop house to the cosy corner where Absolutely Nails was situated. The first thing I noticed was the use of aromatherapy to create a relaxing atmosphere for the ladies.
Jocelyn was the one who helped me with my nails. She's really meticulous and careful and my cuticles were removed painlessly. We settled into a comfortable silence while she worked on my nails. I don't know about you guys but I hate making irrelevant small talk.

I did the gelish manicure, which IMO is the best manicure invention. I cannot tell you how many times I've ruined my nails just moments after I've stepped out of a nail parlor, no matter how careful I am. 
Gelish is perfect for manicures since it dries immediately after sunning in the UV machine. It's pretty scratch resistant and the mani looks perfect for at least a good 2 weeks. It's great for the holidays because you won't have to squeeze with everyone else for nail appointments and will still have pretty nails come party time. :)

Jocelyn gave me a simple but elegant nail art design to match the nude chiffon dress that I was planning on wearing. If you have some design in mind, be sure to let her know. If not I'm sure she can come up with something that suits your needs.
I was surprised to know how affordable the nail services are at Absolutely Nails! Just to give you an idea of the prices, 5 sessions of Classic Manicure with Classic Pedicure only costs $195 and they throw in an additional session! The individual price is only $39!

The Gelish Manicure service with soak off is only $43 per session and $220 for the 5+1 package. Geesh. I've paid $100 for the same service (with package) at some chain nail parlor! Totally got ripped off. MEH!

Absolutely Nails
136 East Coast Road
Tel: +65 6345 3303, sms at +65 86062930
Weekdays: 10am - 8.30pm
Weekends and PH: 10am - 7pm 

Passionate about all things nice? Always on the lookout for funky thought provoking designs? Then you should head to Naiise, a new shopping portal that focuses on cool quirky designs that are functional and accessible. In my opinion, this is the local (and affordable) version of my other favorite crowd curated site The Fancy (you should get a Fancy Box subscription!) 
With more than 1,200 products across multiple verticals ranging from furniture to fashion to gadgets, there is something for everyone. There are unique overseas brands such as Pantone Universe and Ole Jansen, as well as local designers like FARM and Aide de Camp.
Naiise founder Dennis, believes that by working closely and sincerely with designers, brands, partners, influencers and the community, they can together effect change, and help people understand the value of good design and get them saying "Hey, that's naiise!" Read about the conversations with these influencers here. And here is my interview with them (read it here)

Knowing how much i travel, I was invited by Naiise to curate a Gift List for Wanderlusters, check it out here. 

Here's highlighting my top 3 picks from the site!

FARM 6 Year Coupon Journal $25
I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. It feels like I can freeze time and stay in the moment forever when I pen my travel journeys in this journal. It's also uniquely Singapore because it uses the Parking Coupon design! Quirky!

Darkroom Army Vintage Cameras $200
Capture a different dimension to your travels with the Darkroom Army's Vintage Cameras. These are seriously cool. The trip may end but the journey continues as you develop new perspectives from the pictures after you get back.

The Pantone series cameras are also absolutely pretty. I wish i can have all of them.

Komono Magnus Watch in Black Cognac $149.50 
This is one cool watch for the boys! The matte black bezel with the brown leather reminds me of the gorgeous 2012 Special Edition Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Cerimica (which is to die for). And this is a mere fraction of the latter’s price. There's currently a 3 day timed sale till 19 Dec 2013 on Komono watches.

For my dear readers, Naiise is also offering a 5% discount till 31 Jan 2014. Simple use the voucher MSFxNaiise for the offer. This is applicable on all items storewide, with no minimum spend. Enjoy shopping at

Pop up stores are fast becoming a feature in Singapore, like in many great cities in the world (NYC duh). The 'limited time offer' concept confers exclusivity to the event, pulling in the crowd who doesn't want to miss out on something that could be great. And Temporium is one great pop up that you shouldn't be missing out on.  
Located in the flavorful Little India district, Temporium houses a store, diner and gallery within two conservation houses on Dunlop Street. Unique pairings and cross collaborations of several homegrown brands, including Papa Palheta, Wild Rocket and BooksActually will be showcased at the spot till 8 Feb 2014
W and I visited the concept diner, Compl(e)ments Of, a 20-seater which sees the works of 3 Singaporean craftsmen who complement each other come together; Artisanal coffee by Papa Palheta, Ceremics by Weekend Worker, and cuisine by Wild Rocket.  
The main changes every month. Notice that it is singular, for there is only 1 option for lunch and dinner and another option for breakfast. We heard great things about Sep's Salmon red rice donburi with jicama salad which we missed as we just crossed into Oct. The main costs $16, though i'm not too sure if the price changes each month as well. But do go for the set, of course, because the items are supposed to complement each other. For $26, you'll get a coffee, the main and a dessert or cake.
The October menu is a Chili Crab Burger, which is a tempura soft shell crab in chili crab sauce sandwiched in a charcoal squid ink sesame bun. The sambal chili packed a punch and had me downing ice water in an attempt to put out the flames. I would gladly go through hell to taste that piquant jam again.

While the squid ink bun was lacking in the smoky flavor (I have yet to taste any that resembles squid ink), the pillowy bun had a light sweetness that complemented the fiery burn from the crunchy crustacean. And beware that chili kaffir papadums, i choked on the spiciness of the powder due to my carelessness. My my, i'm turning out to be the clumsy diner. 
We expected nothing less of Papa Palheta's coffee, after all it's the founding father of the third wave movement in Singapore. It had to be iced though due to the terribly humid weather that day. 
For desserts, we had the sugee cake with coconut ice cream and a double peanut fudge ice cream. Both scoops of  ice cream were intensely flavored and delicious. The coconut ice cream reminded me of the awesome one that i had in Bangkok Chatuchak Market. It paired very well with the nutty and buttery sugee cake.

Head on down quickly before you miss out on Oct. We heard a rumor that the Salmon donburi may be brought back by popular demand. Yay! Anyhow, with the changing menu, there's great reason to visit Compl(e)ments of every month.

Temporium/ Compl(e)ments of
72 - 74 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209400
7 Sept 2013 - 8 Feb 2014
Tue to Sun: 10am - 8pm (Diner opens at 9am) 
I'm always for fashion with a good cause. It's good to know that someone out there is also benefiting while i splurge on frivolous things. Anything to take the guilt away from the spending. :P Just like how TOMS is my preferred footwear, Warby Parker is fast becoming another favorite of mine. This NYC exclusive eyewear brand subscribes to the one-for-one model as well and partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Today marks the launch of Warby Parker's latest collaboration with, an online non-profit organisation that funds educational projects in public schools in America. I'm honored to collaborate with Warby Parker to launch their latest design online. The Gardner is their most flattering sunglasses yet. Definitely something that I'm sure Ryan Gosling will approve of.

I love the tortoise shell design and the angular shape of the glasses. I'm all for that additional pop from the school bus yellow-inspired line. What's the point of sunglasses if they are not fun?

This pair of sunnies is for the preppy kids, playground rascals, and even comedy writers, like supporter Mindy Kaling (from NBC's The Office and The Mindy Project).
A A little more on DonorsChoose.orgCEO and former teacher Charles Best founded  the organisation when he noticed how often he and his teaching colleagues were struggling to fund classroom projects because there was no place to go to get the micro funding they needed.

With DC, public school teachers across the country crowd source materials and experiences for their classrooms by posting their requests online. In turn, DC vets the projects, and anyone can donate. Once the request is fulfilled, DC purchases and ships the materials to the school, and teachers update project backers with dispatches from the classrooms. The donor, aka YOU, will make an impact directly and tangibly to the group in need. This is also why DC caught Kaling's attention.

With every US$95 frame purchased from this collaboration, Warby Parker will be donating $30 so that each customer can contribute to the project of his or her choice. And as always, for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Here's my little contribution and i foresee many more pairs to come.
This is the Vintage 1922 Porter. They must be the smallest pair of sunnies in the store. Perfect for my little face. :) S got himself 2 pairs too.

So please do head on down to the nearest store if you're in the Big Apple or go online to to get a pair. They do prescription glasses as well and all glasses are only 95 bucks. 

Everyone has the right to see.

Balenciaga is still one of my favorite brands despite how so many Singaporean women are carrying it these days. 

Still, I don't go for the conventional City. My first Bal is the Twiggy. Very casual and I love how the tassels give it that rocker chick look. Love the reddish Pourpre from many seasons ago. Still one of my favorite bags!
My second Bal is the First in Canard and RGGH (that's rose gold giant hardware in Bal speak). Took me forever to hunt down the greenish blue hue. I thought it was lost to me forever but then I found it in HK. Mini bags for the mini me. The First doesn't hold much but it's an ok evening bag because of the color and the hardware adds a touch of sophistication.
Finally my latest Bal addition, the Triple Tour Bracelet in Bleu Tropical. The S size fits me ok but the overall width overwhelmed my tiny wrist at first. Getting used to this and I'm starting to love the look.

Will more Bs join my bag family? Hmm.. Well... Stay tune and find out. ;)

I had the privilege of attending the opening night of Ong Shunmugam's fifth collection Whenever I Fall at Your Feet at the National Museum of Singapore. Priscilla's label has always focused on engaging the modern women in dialogue about the Asian origin and identity and this collection has brought that theme out even more strongly with its dedication to the historic structures in Singapore.
Each piece of garment was designed after a national monument or other historic buildings and places such as the Cenotaph, Tanjong Pagar Railway and Tiong Bahru flats to name a few. They serve as a reminder for us to re-evaluate the importance of history and reconsider the destruction of the past in our chase for development and progress.
On a lighter note, introducing the Tiong Bahru flats dresses. I love the one on the left!

To me, these are pieces of art and not just clothes. The designs embody the silhouette of the socio-historical foundations of the buildings, as well as personal emotions that people have towards them. Filmmaker Jacky Lee and Photographer Clarence Aw tastefully captured these anecdotes on media and you would be able to gain an insight to the what, why, and how the collection came about.
One of my favorite outfits, the F16 blouse and F13 skirt inspired by an Indian barbershop in Holland Village. The fabric design and colors are drawn from the cutting tools and religious symbols which feature in the shop. 
My other favorite, cropped top and pants suit inspired by the Jamae Mosque. Also digging another fuchsia ensemble based on the Former Cathay Building. Too many great pieces!
Drinks for the night was sponsored by Grey Goose Guild. Teh O Ais Limau specially created for the exhibition. Very tasty! The cool stirrer spins around in the champagne glass when you swirl the drink. It also doubles as a hair pin! ;)
Fly away little goose.
Remember to check out the exhibition at the Stamford Gallery at the National Museum of Singapore from now till 28 July, 10am to 6pm daily. Admission is free. A Designer's Talk and Tour will be held on 21 July, 4.30 to 6pm. Registration is required so drop your contact details at by 15 July 2013.

Wear a piece of history today.
Every girl should own a Yves Saint Laurent Arty Ring, or at least any one with a great fashion sense and appreciation for the finer things in life. Just like how we love little jewelry pieces that come in baby blue boxes, the YSL Arty ring has attained the same IT status in a short span of time.
The classic ring is the Arty Oval, a glass cabochon stone set on the bright golden, organically textured band. Even without a logo, the ring is easily distinguished by those with a good eye in fashion (or not). The authentic ones would have an embossed YSL logo at the back of the stone.

The ring is expensive enough to be considered a luxury item, but not so expensive it breaks the bank. It's currently retailing in Singapore for S$400 and the price is set to go higher according to the SA. It was only going for S$285 2 years back? Grr.
There is a variety of colours, shapes and materials for the rings. These were what greeted me when i 'randomly' stepped into the Ion Orchard YSL store for browsing. Of course.. you know what happened next.
My very first Blue Arty Ring. Got chided by S for randomly buying things again, especially after losing my diamond ring. :/ Of course he did agree that the ring is pretty. I was really lucky to get this in Size 4 (their smallest size) and in the colour that i wanted (they only had 1 size 4 ring). Whee! It's still a little loose for my fattest finger but it'll do. :)) I love how it's so bling and opulent.  
Ta da! I just want to get them all. The other 2 rings belong to Stupidgirl, who was persuaded to buy another one with me. The power of persuasion. Haha. I'm such the good marketer. ;) The ring also retails on for 158GBP. I think it's about the same price after you factor in shipping. It's also available at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave etc. Now, go grab yourself one. We all deserve a little pampering sometimes. I'm already looking forward to my next one.

I hate packing for a trip. It's so much trouble really. I'm not sure how many share my sentiments on this but S surely doesn't. He just grabs a couple of tee and shorts and jeans and he's done. "It's ok to wear the same thing again", he says. Me? It's a lot more complicated than that.

So how do I pack? Well.. First, make a mental list of the places we'll go and the activities we'll participate in. Also, check for dress code for restaurants. Then begins the whole fashion parade in my room which involves changing in and out of various permutation and combination of tee, blouses, jeans, pants, shorts, skirts, dresses, jumpers... I'm not even being specific here with the rompers, jumpsuits, midi, maxi etc.. Accessorizing is another ballpark altogether. This is why packing is torture for me.
As you can tell, I'm not one of those people who think that it's absolutely okay to wear your lousiest clothes on holidays just because people don't recognize you. It is a matter of aesthetics! Some people just don't get it, even at home where they'd be recognized. These people should not be let out of their houses really. Oh my burning retinas. It's one thing to have confidence but another to be delusional about what clothes fit you. I do not claim to be a fashionista but at least I dress to hide my flaws and I look decent in public.

I digress. Back to the topic of packing. I've tried various methods over the years in order to maximize my luggage space just so that I can look well coordinated and presentable and yet have space to bring home more shopping.
Tip 1: Never fold your clothes individually
They take up way too much space. There are air pockets that are hard to eliminate when you pack this way. I only use this methods for bulky items like jeans. Then again, i'd wear jeans on board just so that I can save precious space in the luggage. ;)
Tip 2: Roll up clothes that don't crinkle
In my earlier years I would simply roll each piece and store them neatly. It's easy to identify which one I wanna wear as well. The prob is that everything ends up being quite crumpled and I would have to hang everything up once I get to the hotel and even iron them sometimes. Not something you can do if you're gonna be on the road the whole time.
Tip 3: Lay them, Stack them, fold into half
This is my current preferred method. Since my clothes aren't bulky, it's easier to just lay them on top of another. I would categorize them by types as well so that it'll easier to find what I wanna wear. Once done, fold them into half and store. This reduces wrinkles too!
Tip 4: Vacuum Bag Everything
This is the trick to getting extra space. Air is useless and you don't wanna be carrying them. Get these vacuum bags from Daiso (only S$2 each, various sizes). I'll put all my clothes in and proceed to squeeze all the air out. You can even do it manually! I've managed to bag a ski suit, 1 long and 1 short wool coat into a Vbag and it didn't even take up much of my luggage space!

Tip 5: Go For Basics
I'm obviously not one who packs light, as hard as I try. This Croatia trip alone I have with me 5 pairs of footwear, 1 outfit for each day, gym wear, 2 sets of swimwear and sleepwear as well. Not the best person to give advice but here is my wardrobe's worth. The above picture is only missing 1 shoebag, and my Longchamp travel bag. Not bad for a heavy packer like me!

For Her: A pair of dark colored shorts and jeans, tank tops, a girly blouse, a pair of heels/pumps for party, a versatile dress that brings you from day to night. To change the look of your outfit, simply accessorize.

For Him: A combination of tees/polo, shorts, slippers, loafers, a proper shirt could bring you anywhere you need to be. Suit up if you must. You have plenty of room in your trunk anyway. Guys have it much easier. Some people say that a man's best accessory is his partner. Apart from his watch and ride. ;)

Ok. Hope this helps if you are packing for your trip! Oh all these don't apply if you have a huge 29" luggage (which i do, coincidentally) Just throw everything in and go! I like mine organized though. :P Or if you have plenty of dough to spare, just buy everything overseas. At least people won't be wearing the same stuff as you back home.

Tata people. My holiday beckons.


The idea of friendship has been redefined with the rise of social media networks. Gone were the days when we used to categorize people we actually know into lists on autograph book (pardon primary school kids of the past). Today we add random acquaintance onto FaceBook and call them our friends when perhaps and most likely, don't even communicate with us. (No, reading status updates does not constitute communication). Back then we actually have 1 Best friend (Duh, isn't that what Best represents?) These days, we call everyone our BFFs (plural?!!). 

I'm guilty of all of the above. After all, friendship changes as we grow. I would say that at any 1 point in time, we may find 1 person (if you are lucky) who is the perfect friend. The one who has the same interests, likings, taste, thoughts, and understands everything you do. That person would be your best friend at that time (for as long as it is till you grow apart). I'm glad to have met friends like that.

That said, there are those friends who will always remain special in your heart, regardless of the distance and space between you. They are the constant. The special ones whom you have shared memories, secrets and inside jokes even telepathic conversations with. By now you must be wondering how does this relate to the title of the post. Let me explain. 
After i bought my Mulberry Grape Alexa (AW2010) (Read about it here), i brought it on a holiday in Hong Kong (Spring 2011). I also met up with my beloved friend Olivia, whom i have been friends with since we were 9. She is exactly one of those rare special friends that i've described above. Despite studying, working and living in 2 different countries for 9 years, she is still my evil twin (we always accumulate bad karma when we meet up ;)) That was when I introduced her to the world of Mulberry with my Alexa (she is such the classic Chanel girl) and she fell in love (we have such similarly good taste). I believe that was also when i planted bagaholistic thoughts in her head and exposed to her a world of limitless possibilities (of bag choices. haha). So she began the hunt for a perfect Alexa. In the end, i found the perfect option for her which is the Buckle Satchel in Eggplant (AW2011).
I was in love with the colour when i first saw it at the stores. It's a nice deep burgundy/maroon which i would have gotten if 1. I don't already have an Alexa and 2. If the shade isn't too in between my Mulberry Grape and Balenciaga Pourpre. Furthermore, the pebbled lambskin is so buttery soft and squishy and you know how i love my pebbling (a la AW Rocco and YSL Easy). It took her some time to convince herself that this is the bag (she wanted to get the Cabbage Alexa?!!) and now it's her most loved bag. So yup, sister bags for the separated at birth sisters!

Now onto the bags. The 2 look almost alike. Postman's lock, braided handle, 2 buckle straps and a belted shoulder strap that's way too long for petite Asian girls like us. We doubleloop ours for a more ladylike look. It becomes a shorter shoulder bag that makes for easy reach for our phones and stuff in the bag. The subtle differences lie in the detailing and finishing such as the full metal buckles and glossy shine finishing for the embellishments. The side hooks are also a little different, the Buckle's being a little bigger. Alexa uses a soft buffalo skin while the latter is a Nappa leather in lambskin. Overall, Alexa is a little more street style while the Bucket Satchel is more ladylike. Kinda like the 2 of us. :)

Since i'm on the topic of Mulberry satchels, i've noticed that with the birth and success of the Alexa, Mulberry has been rehashing (more than reinventing) the iconic satchel look and i wouldn't say it's particularly exciting me. Here are some of the spin offs.

Bayswater Satchel

Now this is the miniature version of the iconic Bayswater style. Poacher style straps with stud closures and cross body straps. I hardly see any modifications to the original. Plus i'm not liking the stiff handles that stick out from the main body. I foresee they would probably get in the way when i sling the bag over my shoulders. If i want a Bayswater, i'd just get that and not this. Though i must say i love this Nightshade blue shade with rose gold hardware. I would say this is more of a work satchel (that is if a satchel is office wear appropriate).

Tillie Satchel

Now this is one weirdly shaped bag. The D ring in the middle is quite purposeless though the trompe l'oeil buckle detailing is quite cute. Not digging the shape or style but exotic skins? Anytime. This is ostrich btw.

Postman's Lock Satchel (Edie)
The simpler Postman's lock satchel is the exact shape and design as its predecessor Edie. I don't get why they renamed it. The Postman is a lot slouchier ie. more shapeless as compared to the other satchels. I prefer my bags with a little more structure. This Beige shade will make a nice addition to any Pastel collection and it is so in this season. I sure wouldn't mind this neutral.

Travel Day Bag

The latest variation is the Travel Day Bag which takes the heritage satchel shape but gives it a twist with a metal luggage tag inspired plaque in front and metal tipped embellishments on both sides of the bag. I think all the metal tags around is quite redundant and boy that would add a lot more weight to the already heavy bag. I'm already complaining about the weight of my Alexa as it is, can't imagine how this would feel on my shoulders after a long day.

So yeap, that's my take on most of the Mulberry satchels. Alexa remains my favorite out of the lot and it has become one of Mulberry's icon in such a short span of time. Love the Buckle too but it hasn't been featured after 2011. So Olivia is one lucky girl, that's practically a limited edition. :P

This post is dedicated to my evil twin Dr. Olivia Tan. Welcome to the land of pretty bags and clutches. I'm glad you love your Mulberry as i love mine. To everlasting friendship and bagaholism! :))

*Photo Credits-