The Style Mermaid by Kisty Mea

The Style Mermaid | Kisty Mea • John Frieda Luminous Glaze Review
With the current state of my hair, shiny hair sounds impossible. Cellophane treatments, unfortunately, are too expensive here in Singapore so I Googled for alternatives. The Luminous Glaze is John Frieda’s is a hair glaze and a home solution for salons’ expensive cellophane treatments. The bottle cost $7.99 + shipping, which I think is a bit expensive but $140 cheaper than salons. Oh, for the pursuit of better hair!
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Anyway, the glaze comes in brunette and clear shine formulation, and I chose the latter because I have blonde highlights (that you can barely distinguish sometimes). The glaze promise to make my hair shiny without damaging my hair. In fact, the product claims that it is ammonia, dye and peroxide free. And that formulation will not damage or change the hair color. Hmm, interesting.  
Here’s the list of ingredients for your reference: 

Water, Propylene Carbonate, Alcohol Denat., Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Dimethiconol, Malic Acid, Tourmaline, Citrine, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol, Tea-Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Ext. Violet 2.

I never had a chance to research on the ingredients but I know that Sodium Hydroxide is some sort of hair relaxer (not ideal for curly-hair).
You can also apply the method in two ways:
Wet Method: After your usual shampoo/conditioner routine, just apply the shiny gunk all over your hair for three minutes then rinse. 
Dry Method: Apply generously over dry hair and let it stay there for 20 minutes. The bottle said you have to saturate the hair completely. Rinse and style as desired. 
I tried both methods for one week. Maybe one week is too short to make a verdict, but I should see some slight difference at least after the 5th application, right? 
But I did not see any difference. Not one bit. 

If you look at the photo above, the hair shine of my hair did not change. At least, I did not see any difference.
My hair became less frizzy, but I am not 100% sure if the glaze was responsible for this. Maybe one week is too short to see any changes, but the box did claim that the shine should intensify every time I use it. And I’ve used it for five times. 

John Frieda Luminous Glaze Review

With the current state of my hair, shiny hair sounds impossible. Cellophane treatments, unfortunately, are too expensive here in Singapore so I Googled for alternatives. The Luminous Glaze is John Frieda’s is a hair glaze and a home solution for salons’ expensive cellophane treatments. The bottle cost $7.99 + shipping, which I think is a bit expensive but $140 cheaper than salons. Oh, for the pursuit of better hair!

Read more

The Style Mermaid | Kisty Mea • YHA Boggle Hole
I think my favorite youth hostel in England deserves a post of its own. I absolutely love the other YHA hostels, but Boggle Hole was unique on its own. 
In my previous post, you’ve seen what Boggle Hole looks like and admit it, the house doesn’t look much. But that’s because the magic happens on the inside! So, let me give you a tour~[[MORE]]

When you enter Boggle Hole, you’ll see this counter filled with candies and sweets. Quite frankly, the counter looks more like a sweet shop than a hostel concierge. +1 for selling ice cream!!!!!!!! :3
Anyhoo, the hostel has this pirate theme going on. This is because the hostel was located right beside the sea and a couple of minutes away from Robin Hood’s Bay. The village was named after Robin Hood because there were legends that the famous outlaw encountered French pirates here. The pirates, of course, surrendered and Robin Hood returned the loot to the people of the village.  

The place is really ideal for kids because they get to do things that involves imagination and not technology. I believe this is the room where they held their puppet show.

"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky."

This is the laundry room and I love that wooden hanger thing. 

The Poop Deck! Hehehe!

This is my room for the night. The room has a view of the sea, which I thought was really nice. Close the window when you go to sleep because it’s awfully cold in the morning.


This is the basement and where you’ll eat a scrumptious full English Breakfast. 


The mermaid and pirate mascot of the hostel

We also went to the woods to check their bonfire site. Check out those cute wooden seats for the kids. 
So what do you think? :) I know it’s a hostel but Peta, the manager of the place, and her staff did an amazing job because it is one of the unique YHA hostels I’ve visited. It feels so cozy to live stay here, too! I’m definitely adding this to my home inspiration for my future home. :) 
YHA Boggle HoleMill Beck, Fylingthorpe, Whitby, YO22 4UQ T: 0845 371 9504 { Book Online }

YHA Boggle Hole

I think my favorite youth hostel in England deserves a post of its own. I absolutely love the other YHA hostels, but Boggle Hole was unique on its own. 

In my previous post, you’ve seen what Boggle Hole looks like and admit it, the house doesn’t look much. But that’s because the magic happens on the inside! So, let me give you a tour~

Read more

The Style Mermaid | Kisty Mea • Youth Hostels? What to Expect?
This is going to be a really long entry but I guarantee that it’s going to be helpful for you, my little wanderlust. 
If you have been following my Big Blog Exchange trip, then you’ll know that I only spent one day in each of the places I’ve visited. I slept in 9 different Youth Hostels or YHA (A stands for Association) in 10 days. I must admit that an overnight stay is way too short to provide a proper review for each hostels I’ve visited, but at least, I can provide an overall feedback! :)
But before I begin, let me just clarify that YHA gave me a private room throughout my sponsored stay. Occasionally, I would share rooms with Lucy but she was my companion throughout the trip so I don’t think that counts. The real hostel experience (sharing rooms with a stranger and the like) happened when I extended my trip.
Now, shall we begin with the review? I promise it’ll be really informative!
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Hostel Rooms


Top: My room in YHA London Central / Bottom: Our room in YHA Ambleside + my mess
At YHA, you’ll be sleeping in a bunk bed with white sheets and green blankets (YHA’s official color). Sometimes, they would cover the sheets for you. Sometimes, you’ll have to do it for yourself. In the room, you’ll have your own cabinet to store your valuables and a personal bed light with an electric plug/power point. I like the personal electric plug because I don’t have to worry about the other guests stealing my phone or something (just a precautionary measure) because it’s just within the vicinity of my bed. 
While the room looks pretty basic, all of them were clean and cozy. In fact, I didn’t have a hard time settling down in any of the hostels because they all look welcoming and presentable. 
Due to the architecture of the building, the layout of the rooms were different in each hostels. Some rooms have their own bathroom, some don’t, but rest assured that all of the rooms will have their own sink. I think the reason why there’s a sink in every room is so that you can still freshen up even if you can’t use the common bathroom yet. Anyway, hostels like the YHA Stratford and Manchester have rooms with an attached bathroom and toilets, but the latter was much smaller. Then the room they gave me at YHA Oxford has a small balcony and TV. While the Wilderhope Manor has a Bridal Suite because the hostel is often used as a wedding venue.
There’s no bar fridge, but you can deposit your food in their self-service kitchen. Just make sure you properly label your food.
Hostel (Self-)Service

YHA London Central’s Beauty Room
With the exception of the London hostels, most of them offer breakfast for five quid. I’m not going to lie but I absolutely love, love, love the ones with breakfast because they were always offering a full English breakfast and that means bacon and scrambled eggs for me! :3
One meal I loved the most was this poached chicken that I ordered from YHA Stratford’s chef. I forgot the name of the meal but I loved it to bits! Too bad the other hostels were not offering it. /sad 
Some of the hostels have computers and wi-fi (not for free unless you’re a YHA member), but I can’t remember which. I am certain London Central and Manchester has one. 
Oh! They’re also partnered with a lot of tours and sights. So if you’re interested in watching a show or joining a group tour, the front desk will be able to assist you and even offer you a discount! :) 
Questions Answered


My room in YHA Stratford and its bathroom
It’s my first time to stay at a hostel and I didn’t really know what to expect. I used to have so many questions about hostels. Are they safe? Are they clean? Will I share a room with the opposite sex? Those are just some of the questions that I was able to personally answer. 
Are the beds comfy? Yes, they were! I never had a hard time sleeping! But for better comfort, I highly recommend you sleep at the top bunk.
Are the bathrooms clean? Yes, but my least favorite bathroom was YHA Ambleside because it was a shared bathroom where 8-9 rooms (2-4 guest in each rooms) have access. But the bathrooms and rooms were still spic-and-span!
Do they offer free breakfast? No. Majority of them, except for the hostels at London, offer a full English breakfast for five quid. Personally, I wish YHA London Central would offer a English breakfast since they have a big kitchen (the self-catering kitchen).  
Is it safe to stay at a hostel? To be honest, I felt safe throughout my stay. They have CCTVs installed and most of the hostels use a key card system. 
Will people steal my stuff if I leave it at the hostel? I can’t vouch for every backpacker but I did leave my locker unlocked for most of my trip and no one stole anything (of course, there was nothing valuable in there). But don’t follow my footsteps! Remain vigilant, don’t leave valuables unattended. Get your own padlock! ;)
Will I share a room with the opposite sex? This depends on the hostel. I’m not sure if YHA offer such kind of set-up, but there are hostels that do. Be sure to check before you book.
What happens if someone’s snoring so loud? Use an ear plug. I’m glad that the girls I’ve shared rooms with were mindful with the noise they’re making, especially during the morning when some are still sleeping. 
What are the things you need to bring? Kindly research this because it’s different for each hostels, but with YHA, you can rent towels, padlocks, earplugs and umbrellas for one or two pounds. You can see the full list of amenities on their websites.
Why should I stay at the hostel? I get you. Who doesn’t want to stay at a hotel? I would, if I could! But given the expenses to travel, I just find it ridiculous to stay at a hotel for $200 per night (the average rate at Agoda for London).
If your definition of traveling is to spend the whole day outside, roaming around the city, then stay at a hostel. If you’re visiting for a special occasion, like honeymoon or something, then go for a hotel… but still check with the hostel if they offer private rooms. 
Hostel Demystified
Since each hostel is different, here’s a brief review + lots and lots of photos.  


YHA London Central Pros: It’s located in Central London (duh!). They have an elevator. Love the cozy mood in their common room. About three blocks away from the nearest Tube. Alternatively, you can ride Bus 453 and you’ll have your own tour of Oxford/Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Big Ben! Oh, they also have a beauty room that I discovered on my last day of stay!Cons: No breakfast, but there’s a huge self-service kitchen.




YHA Stratford Pros: This place looks amazing! The room they gave me was pretty big and comes with its own bathroom and sink. +1 for that poached chicken I ordered! Cons: A bit far from the town central. I took a cab at 11PM because I was freezing to death and my jet lag was starting to kick in. It was a quick and safe ride though. 



YHA Wilderhope Manor Pros: You get to live in a really old manor. Hill-side view! The manor may look old on the inside, the Bridal Suite looks pretty new and modern. Definitely a perfect place to do weddings and digital detox. Oh, and I did not experience any paranormal activity during my stay. ;)Cons: In the middle of nowhere? No signal for Three mobile, my choice of network throughout my stay. 
YHA Manchester Pros: Very near MOSI! Manchester is somewhat a small city, so you won’t have a problem roaming around. Cons: I can’t think of any, but tall people might not like their small bathrooms? I’m petite, so that’s not really a problem for me! 

YHA Ambleside Pros: Overlooking Lake Windmere and is located beside Ambleside Pier. Place was full but quite peaceful. Cons: Rooms may be a little small for taller people, but that’s just what I think. Not enough shared bathrooms. 


YHA York Pros: They gave us a really spacious room with a big bathroom. The place looks really big! Cons: A 15/20-minute walk from the town central. It started to drizzle when I was on my way back to the hostel, and I’m not gonna lie, I was cursing because I didn’t have any brolly. The rain wasn’t that bad, it’s the cold wind that was literally killing me. I thought I’m going to get sick! But that’s not the hostel’s fault!  


YHA Boggle Hole Pros: My favorite hostel because of the quirky feel. Outside, the hostel may not look much, but visit inside and you’ll be taken to a different world. Maybe I’m exaggerating but I absolutely love this place. You’ll definitely be a kid at heart here. Cons: The hostel is a hidden gem, which is a good thing, but I absolutely have no idea how to get there by commute. May not be ideal for the disabled. 




YHA WhitbyPros: The place’s huge and has a small garden with an amazing view of the town and Whitby Abbey. Suitable for the disabled. Cons: I can’t think of any, since I did not stay here. The manager gave me a tour of the place, including here and there history of the house and the surroundings. :)  





YHA Oxford Pros: Located near the train and bus station. Cons: None.
YHA Oxford Street Pros: Very near Oxford Street Station. I really like the room they gave me because I can see the London Eye from afar.  Cons: No elevators for the rooms, no breakfast but there’s a small self-service kitchen. 
Overall Experience
You might think I’m just being biased because this trip was sponsored by Hostelling International, but I really had a fantastic time staying at their hostels. Most of the staff I met were very accommodating, including the team at YHA Whitby! And the guests I met were also really nice. :) 
For more information about the Youth Hostels in England and Wales, please visit their website at http://www.yha.org.uk/. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask on the comment box below. 

Youth Hostels? What to Expect?

This is going to be a really long entry but I guarantee that it’s going to be helpful for you, my little wanderlust. 

If you have been following my Big Blog Exchange trip, then you’ll know that I only spent one day in each of the places I’ve visited. I slept in 9 different Youth Hostels or YHA (A stands for Association) in 10 days. I must admit that an overnight stay is way too short to provide a proper review for each hostels I’ve visited, but at least, I can provide an overall feedback! :)

But before I begin, let me just clarify that YHA gave me a private room throughout my sponsored stay. Occasionally, I would share rooms with Lucy but she was my companion throughout the trip so I don’t think that counts. The real hostel experience (sharing rooms with a stranger and the like) happened when I extended my trip.

Now, shall we begin with the review? I promise it’ll be really informative!

Read more

The Style Mermaid | Kisty Mea • Vegas Volt, Impassioned & Myth Review
There’s just too many MAC lipsticks too choose from, too many shades to try. But what frustrates me the most is the fact that 80% of the shades I want to try are either out of stock or unavailable in Asia. :(
Luckily for me, my boyfriend’s parents went on a month-long vacation in the USA, and they were nice enough to buy a few lipsticks.
It took me, more or less, two weeks to finally decide the colors I wanted. I even called MAC Singapore several times to check if they have a particular color in store, helping me narrow down my choices. In the end, I decided to get three shades that are not available in Asia at that time. 
So far, I have MAC in Angel, Freckletone, Ruby Woo and Bombshell (that I barely use, and don’t consider part of my ~permanent~ collection). [[MORE]]
Let’s start with the lipsticks from the Amplified formulation, Impassioned and Vegas Volt.


MAC Vegas Volt 
An orange-coral lipstick, a perfect shade for the summer… and in the tropics, that’s 365 days a year. Given that, I just don’t understand why this shade is not yet available in Asia. 
Among the three MAC lipsticks I got, this was my least favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the shade but the staying power is just so-so. 

MAC Impassioned
MAC Impassioned is another shade from the Amplified formulation. Highly pigmented and amazing staying power. 
Considering my personality and style, this lipstick is not ideal for a day look. But I’d wear this if I’ll be out the whole day and I don’t feel like wearing any makeup (a great pink alternative for Ruby Woo). 


MAC Myth
One of MAC’s most coveted nude lipstick, and my absolute favorite. I have natural pigmented lips, but Myth tones it down into a pale pink.  But I wouldn’t recommend this color to anyone. Nude is tricky, and it will also depend on how pigmented your lips are.
But between this and Freckletone, I like this better! :)
Swatches

Left-Right: Vegas Volt, Impassioned, and Myth 

Vegas Volt (lower right) looks a bit reddish on the photo though.
And that wraps up my beauty review! Three lipsticks and three swatches. I would like to thank my boyfriend’s family for sending these lipsticks and for giving it to me for free. 
Let me know which one is your favorite lipstick or look! I would like to know what you think! :) 

Vegas Volt, Impassioned & Myth Review

There’s just too many MAC lipsticks too choose from, too many shades to try. But what frustrates me the most is the fact that 80% of the shades I want to try are either out of stock or unavailable in Asia. :(

Luckily for me, my boyfriend’s parents went on a month-long vacation in the USA, and they were nice enough to buy a few lipsticks.

It took me, more or less, two weeks to finally decide the colors I wanted. I even called MAC Singapore several times to check if they have a particular color in store, helping me narrow down my choices. In the end, I decided to get three shades that are not available in Asia at that time

So far, I have MAC in Angel, Freckletone, Ruby Woo and Bombshell (that I barely use, and don’t consider part of my ~permanent~ collection). 

Read more