Breathe It All In, Love It All Out

When I’m feeling like there’s no love coming to me and I have no love to give… When I’m feeling separated from the world and cut off from myself… When I’m feeling annoyed by every little thing because I’m not getting what I want… I’ll remember that there is an infinite amount of love available to me. And I’ll see it in you. I’ll remember that I am complete within myself. So I’ll never have to look to you to complete me. And most of all, I’ll remember that everything I really need I already have, and whatever I don’t have will come to me when I’m ready to receive it.”

 — Will and Grace

CURRENTLY BURNING a blend of thyme, frankincense, lavender (augustifolia) and mandarin in this crazy haze bought on by massive forest fires in Indonesia. The oils help purify the air, as well as promote better breathing thanks to their anti-spasmodic (read: super relaxing, airway opening), sedative and anti-depressant properties. Frankincense has been used since Biblical times to maintain a healthy immune system. Aside from being a wonderful anti-aging oil, its decongestant properties mean it’s also helpful in soothing coughs/respiratory infections as it helps expel gross phlegm. Lavender also has wonderful anti-bac properties to naturally keep you and your loved ones healthier, ditto mandarin – another great tonic – which is safe for kids. So the lights are low, the space is cosy and we’re in a cocoon of calm unlike the eerie blanket of smoke outside. It’s always in times like these my heart goes out to people whose livelihoods mean they need to be exposed to the haze.

BEEN FEELING a little low lately, the late nights and horrible pollution certainly don’t help lighten the mood. I caught a podcast while I was working today, where the speaker suggested that it was not in nature’s way to see what you’ve planted in the same season. Putting a seed in the ground doesn’t mean you’re going to see a great harvest the next day. This ain’t no beanstalk. Things worth having take time. What you do now prepares you for the next phase, and you’ll reap in this season what you planted previously. Just because nothing happens overnight doesn’t mean it won’t happen, he suggested (how very Pantene Pro-V circa the ’90s). Delays are not always denials. It got me thinking about foundations, and why the now really counts.

SO I STOOD in the kitchen reheating leftover pumpkin risotto (it had pine nuts, spinach, parmesan – the works) from the other night. And I listed aloud all the things I was grateful for. Point by point. The great and the insignificant. While it felt a little forced at first, but that’s just it. Sometimes, to get out of a rut, you just have to push yourself. Eye-rolls and everything. So I rattled them off, despite being alone. Did it help? Perhaps being mindfully grateful is like taking vitamins. They’re better with daily, long-term use. What are you thankful for?

In the Pink

SOME DAYS when I feel run down – lethargic, not as vital as usual or my immunity is low, I take essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender and lemon together with a touch of clove, and put a few drops on the soles of my feet. I like to do this when I’m on the road as well, as you never know what you’ll encounter on your journey. These have brilliant natural anti-bacterial properties to kill germs and viruses. Tea tree oil is such as star as it works on a broad-spectrum level to kill a trifecta of germs, viruses and bacteria. Additionally, eucalyptus and lavender spike have a camphor component which enables better breathing which is helpful when you get the sniffles.

If you do have super sensitive skin, you could blend this together with a carrier oil such as lightweight grapeseed or sweet almond. I’d avoid applying oils neat onto the skin anywhere else than the soles of the feet (which has super thick skin, if you hadn’t noticed earlier). Essential oils are highly potent and have their own high alcohol content so they are in a way, solvents in their own right and could be a touch irritating. Blending them with carrier oils are the way to go.

If in a space where I can’t burn or diffuse oils (i.e. if you’re in an open plan office and you suspect your colleagues will get gnarky), you could also drop these on a tissue and inhale.


Mmerci Encore chats with ELLE

Thank you to my dear love, Vanessa at ELLE for this lovely post! Originally seen here:

Positivity and passion over pure commerce: That’s what creator Alli Sim is about

Why did you decide to create Mmerci Encore?

Mmerci Encore started as an online journal — it was, and still is, a platform to celebrate beauty in all its different forms. A field guide of all the things that make me happy and grateful. Through it, I started to rediscover other aspects of beauty that I really loved, including aromatherapy. I love scent; my parents have taken me to different flower farms and burning essential oils since I was a kid. Blending home spa goods was an extension of that. I began creating them as gifts for friends to help cheer them up after break-ups or accompany them on their travels — I’m glad it began from a place of positivity and passion rather than just pure commerce.

What challenges did you face in creating the products?

First up, it’s a lean company — it’s up to me to blend, work on the R&D, package and ship the products, and manage customer service. And because I’m a stickler for quality, it can be frustrating when a batch doesn’t turn out the way it needs to, especially when you’ve worked so long on it. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What does Singapore beauty mean to you?

It’s embodied in the women I admire. It’s the street-smarts and confidence of women like Anita Kapoor, Carolyn Kan of Carrie K and Choo Yilin. It’s the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of women like Sabrina Tan of Skin Inc, Magpie’s Annabelle Fernandez, Roomorama’s Jia En Teo and Plain Vanilla’s Vanessa Kenchington. The elegance of Astries Sunidar-Ratner of The Beauty Candy Apothecary, who is so chic and well-travelled. I see these values in all my friends. I love their kindness, humour, grit and optimism.

How proud are you that Mmerci Encore is Singapore-owned?

Our ingredients are sourced from Europe and Australia, but crafted with passion and pride in Singapore. I love that we’ve made a conscious decision to partner with as many locally based suppliers as possible. This may be a drop in the ocean, but choosing to support local means helping someone further their business dreams, put their kids through school, and create new jobs. In short, I love this gorgeous city and all the friends we’ve made here.

Where are your fave places in Singapore to go for a pampering beauty treat?

I’ve been going to Lush at Mount Pleasant for years — Lynette and her team really look after me. I make a beeline for their massage beds every time I land from a trip. I also love Auriga Spa at Capella Hotel; I could stay in their steam showers forever and love their post-treatment rooms.

And my secret weapon is Hazel, a facialist at Dermafeel on Orchard Rd (you can reach her at 9793-2821). She has healing hands, especially if you have a sensitive complexion, like I do.

Super Farmers, Super Zen

We are so thrilled to be part of the Super Farmers store, the place where urban farming meets holistic living. In addition to farmer Cynthea’s wonderfully cute plants and herbs (don’t forget to check out darling succulents planted in old kopitiam cups – only she could make them so painfully chic), there are cold-pressed juices by A Juicery and of course, our artisanal aromatherapy goods.

Given that our handcrafted aromatherapy blends are formulated using the finest botanicals and essential oils (bergamot! lime! thyme! mint! rosemary!), we thought it poetic to be surrounded by so many living greens, planting accoutrements and quirky books. Enter the space and you’ll find yourself instantly wowed by the light, modern fit out and calm, grounding atmosphere. We are definitely count ourselves in great company here.

Before we give away all of the space’s good surprises, here’s a sneak peek of the wonderfully modern, lush space.

Mmerci Encore at Superfarmers

Super Farmers (together with Mmerci Encore)

1M Yong Siak St, Tiong Bahru in Singapore

Open every day except Monday, 11am to 6pm

Playground Journal

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting”– Ralph Waldo Emerson via Playground Journal

If you think that becoming a mum means packing away the side of you that has an eye for beauty and appreciation for design… if you think becoming a parent means it’s going to be all Hello Kitty furniture till they turn 16 and hate you, think again.

Playground Journal, helmed by editor and curator Jingmei, is a wonderful platform where motherhood and clever design meet. I know, I’m not a mum (yet), what do I know. But I’m over there on the daily refreshing my feed because I love the human stories, reading about wonderful design pieces (Fritz Hansen: here take all my money) and that 5% which speaks to the future mum in me saying, Have hope. You don’t have to paint the cast of Frozen (or the Frozen of the future) on your kid’s bathroom wall. It’s all good. No hate on Frozen by the way, I own the soundtrack. So if you ever see me strutting down Orchard Road like I’m the baddest b around, it’s probably to Do You Wanna Build a Snowman. Only God can judge me!

Take home message: if you’re after an intelligent read filled with beautiful creative conversations, Playground Journal is the site to bookmark.

CSHH by Playground Journal

We recently sat down with Playground Journal and Plain Vanilla Bakery to chat about beauty, scent and taste-inspired memories and the little things that make life amazing. You know, like cupcakes. And home spa sessions. Read all about it here.

Love and good vibes to Jingmei! Thanks for letting us be part of your awesome site x

aromatherapy art bon mots creativity design little things love music poetry power tripping self-care zen