Team Sassy rounds up all the tried & tested things we’re loving this month, from books, to Netflix shows, to skincare and our favorite scents
It feels like January 59th. This meme a friend recently shared on Instagram totally resonates with us — now that we’re all back in the routine of school drop-offs and homework (with Christmas parties and holiday travel a distant memory) we can’t help but feel a little blah.
If you’re looking for some quick pick-me-ups and inspiration, mama, click through our gallery to see what we’re loving this month. These tried & tested products from Team Sassy Mama run the gamut from great reads to delicious eats and inspiring scents. Enjoy!
Lead image sourced via Getty
I was gifted Scent by Six perfume as a Christmas present and love this homegrown Singapore, ‘artisanal fragrance’ (perfume) brand. The fragrances are unisex and they get their inspiration from places and countries where Jason Lee, the founder, has travelled. The scent I got is Biei and is apparently one of their best sellers. Not too overpowering and quite a neutral scent which is great to wear during the day. The perfume comes in a handy travel sized 20ml bottle and there are refill bottles for the casing which can be reused.
I haven’t been using a yoga towel on my mat recently as it’s too slippery (especially when the Wild Thing pose comes out!). Instead I use Utama Spice’s Supa Dupa Yoga Mat Spray (it also comes in a lovely Lavender scent) and this bacteria and fungi-fighting essential oil not only disinfects the mat, but leaves a lovely refreshing scent in the air that gets me in the zone for some strengthening moves.
The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley is not a new book, it’s been on my shelf for ages, but with the start of the new year I was inspired to cook up some healthier dishes. This book covers mains and snacks that are sugar-free, gluten-free and gut-healthy. In under an hour I had whizzed up some Black Bean Brownies (yes the main ingredient is crazily black beans!) and some gluten-free, egg-free gingernut biscuits made with just three ingredients! There are some super breakfast recipes if you are looking for alternatives to toast and cereal too.
I am a bit of a massage lover and am always on the hunt for a good affordable massage spot. I was sent the OSIM uScalp Handheld Massager, which I initially thought I wouldn’t use (given I ‘d prefer to lie back and not have to hold a contraption up to my head), but when a migraine threatened over the holidays I turned on this device and it really helped! The massage nodes are a little “scratchy” to feel like a salon scalp massage, but I was pleasantly surprised by how soothing it was. Plus it helped that the kids were fascinated with its vibrating massaging nodules and took turns holding it for me.
This month I am in love with Antidote’s protein booster mylks, which are so so tasty and nourishing. The talented Antidote team cold presses fresh organic ingredients into juices and mylks using an industrial cold press machine so you know they are fresh (shelf life of 3 days if refrigerated!). I recently completed their 5-day Body Balance juice cleanse (which I enjoyed so much more than I anticipated) and their (nut) mylks were like liquid dessert: The perfect combination of nutritionally dense ingredients (such as chaga mushroom, astragalus root, Ashwagandha, alkaline water, maca, blue spirulina) and yummy flavours (vanilla, coconut meat, medjool dates, strawberries, cashew). Perfect for a breakfast-on-the-go, or 4pm pick-me-up, or post-workout reward!
Read more: The Best Juice Cleanses in Singapore
I just discovered that Diptyque (you know the gorgeous scented candles from Paris!) now has car diffusers to spread their scrumptious signature fragrances within your very own car! You can choose from seven cartridges: Baies, Ambre, Figuier, Roses, Orange Blossom, Ginger, 34. A bit of an investment but I was so done with my rancid smelling Ambi Pur Car clip thing. Every time I step into the car, it’s like walking into my very own happy place! Happy Mama – happy driver 🙂 Available at Escentials, Tangs and Changi Airport.
I found Little Krafts Earrings at a small Christmas pop-up fair in Millenia Walk and bought three pairs! They are so light and so colourful, plus they are locally made and very affordable! Perfect for presents or just as a treat for yourself!
On Netflix we’ve been watching A Series of Unfortunate Events, which is great to watch with kids 6 years old and above.
Read more: 55 Shows to watch, stream or download
On the toy front, my son got Gravitrax for Christmas and he has played with it every single day since! I’d say it’s for 6 years and over. Our neighbour’s son who is 9 loves playing with it, too and even asked for it for his upcoming birthday present!
Finally, I recently ordered heaps of meat from The Meat Club. They’re running a great promotion at the moment! Quote one of these codes at checkout:
SNS50 for $50 off with a minimum $100 spend
SNS100 for $100 off with min. $200 spend
SNS150 for $150 off with min. $300 spend
I’d read about how amazing Sunday Riley’s Good Genes is but the hefty price tag ($148 per bottle) always put me off. It’s recently become available in Singapore at Sephora, and after trying a sample I’ve become a convert and invested. The key ingredient is lactic acid, which gently but effectively exfoliates the skin. My skin is definitely much smoother and plumper, with smaller pores and no dry patches. It’s expensive but oh so worth it!
Last year I read this article about the harmful chemicals in traditional drugstore deodorant (which I’d always been vaguely aware of), and a new generation of more natural deodorants that are actually effective. Living in hot and humid Singapore, deodorant is obviously a big deal, and for the longest time the only brand that worked for me was Secret from the U.S. But when I was home in the States last summer, I picked up a couple sticks of Megababe Rosy Pits (featured in the aforementioned article) and it’s been GREAT. The scent is nice but not overpowering, it never burns (in contrast to other natural deodorants that I’ve tried), and it actually works really well. I mean obviously I still sweat profusely sometimes, but it’s held up as well as any deodorant I’ve ever used – and it’s aluminium-free. At US$18 per stick it’s not cheap BUT, one stick actually lasted me six months, which I find fairly amazing! The only bad news: At this point Megababe only ships internationally to Canada and Australia. But if you have a hook-up in one of those countries or the U.S., I highly recommend it!
In December I received a sample of Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum+ (which we covered in that month’s What’s New Mama). I’m kind of a skincare skeptic – I feel like “skincare regimens” were created just so women would buy three times as many products as they needed – but my skin was also looking as bad as it ever had due to stress and lack of sleep, so I figured I’d give it a try. Two months on, and I have to say my skin really is firmer and brighter, and even my pores appear smaller. Sadly, my 30-something wrinkles are still there, but I didn’t really think a serum could erase lines. Used in conjunction with the Rose Quartz Facial Roller from Oasis:Skin (which I found out about in our Christmas gift guide!), I daresay I’ve become a bit of a convert to the whole skincare routine thing. Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum+ launched this month in Singapore at Takashimaya if you want to check it out.
I loved the book An American Marriage by Tayari Jones — the storytelling style is told through different points of view, along with letter correspondence between the characters. This caption sums it up better than I can: “This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control.”
I recently tried Aerial Yoga at Jal Yoga; it felt a bit like we were a room full of vampires hanging upside down in dramatic wine-colored scarves, but I really loved it! You can get some great stretches and long inversions without tension on the neck or back. Make sure your instructor knows you’re a beginner and talks you through the steps so you can really trust the ropes and let go.
I loved the New York Times article“A Family Ski Adventure in the Himalayas” about an American family with two kids skiing in Kashmir, the disputed region between India and Pakistan. It’s a great read for any adventurous mamas who may actually be inspired to give it a go (or not) — but a fun read either way!
I came across Nodspark Nail Wraps at a recent Public Garden Fair and fell in love with them! They are so convenient and the design range is decent, with new designs being released pretty often. Once you get the hang of it you only need about 15 minutes to have salon-quality nails!
I also recently read The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier and illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer, and it’s probably one of the most beautiful children books I have ever come across. The Secret Lives of Princesses tells the stories of princesses who until now have been living away from the spotlight. With characters such as “Princess Claire Voyant, who can see very far into tomorrow” and “Princess Oblivia, who forgets everything and misses all her appointments”, this book is a joy to flip through, especially when paired with Rébecca Dautremer’s amazing illustrations.
Recently I’ve been really loving the Too Faced Born This Way foundation. It’s not new to the makeup scene, but since their collaboration with American YouTuber Jackie Aina (who champions diversity and is very outspoken about the issues dark-skinned women face when buying makeup) I knew I had to get my hands on it. I lucked out with an exact match to my skin tone despite ordering it online, and I haven’t looked back since! The coverage is amazing and I love its dewy finish. As a makeup artist I’ve also tried it on my clients, and the feedback has been great! Safe to say it suits many different skin types, too.
Another product I’ve wanted to try for years but only just got around to is the Banila Co. Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm. It’s completely changed the way I remove my makeup! It’s a solid balm that melts into an oil-like texture in the palms, and then dissolves makeup (even waterproof mascara and liquid lipstick!) when massaged into the skin. The best part? It emulsifies when in contact with water, so it washes off easily without leaving behind any oily residue. My skin always feels super clean after using it, because it really does remove every trace of makeup. Definitely one of my top skincare faves!