In Search of Beauty

  • By shansoong
  • 30 Jun, 2016


Not too long ago, I was in Osaka, Japan for a short trip.

When I was out walking one day, I was bombarded by tons and tons of beauty products in the pharmacies and shops that line the streets. If you are a frequent traveller to major Asian cities, you will know what I mean. These stores are packed – floor to ceiling – with a dazzling array of products. 

It remains a mystery to me how a woman will know exactly what product is good for her. How will she choose amidst all of these “noise” and clutter? I know some women go by what beauty bloggers review (which yours truly will also do) while others will just randomly pick what they feel is good for them. Perhaps some will be buy the ones recommended by sales people or decide based on what their friends have tried before.

But…do women know what they really want or what is truly good for them? After all, in 1 Corinthians 12:27:

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

While we are all part of the body of Christ, we are also unique, given different talents and no-one of us are exactly alike (except perhaps for identical twins J). Simply put, we have different genetic make ups, and what works for one women may not be suitable for another person.

When I was young, I experimented with many many products. Some were good but others gave me breakouts and were unsuitable. Now, in my skin care regime, I like to keep things simple, choosing products that contain as many natural products as possible. While there are some really great organic, natural products out there, those can be expensive and unsustainable to use on a regular basis due to cost.

It is hard to get the best of both worlds sometimes. That was why I decided to try making my own pandan chocolate body scrub after much prayer and thought.

After weeks and months of prayer, trial and error, I finally formulated a scrub that I liked. I liked the grainy texture when I massage it on my skin, makes my skin feel so clean yet the oils do not leave it too dry. The smell of pandan and chocolate combined totally whets my appetite leaving me wanting more.

I use it on a regular basis; it’s great as a pick-me-up at the end of the long day.

If you are keen to try it for yourself, it’s available here (insert link to your product page).

Let me know what you think!

Restoration His Essence

By shansoong 30 Jun, 2016

“Ding dong” ….Woke up this morning to my whatsapp message – “Following your dreams” -My weekly motivational video.

Just the other day while having a conversation with my “Inspirer”, it struck me that many people have dreams but not many will be able to take one step at a time faithfully. Loads of people have many many ideas but not many are able to turn ideas into reality.

Before starting Restoration Essentials, I was one of those who dreamt but never got around to doing it… So what was the difference this time…

While I’m no expert to teach on how to follow dreams but probably I could attempt to share on the lessons I had learnt along the way thus far…..

1. Dream following has to start with an intense passion and a natural aptitude. Weirdly enough, that intense passion and natural aptitude, for me, was holistic health care and beauty. I've always had deep liking for natural herbs and anything that heals from within even before starting Restoration Essentials. So I followed this track, (with blessings from God) to start DIY skincare, pouring hours of my life into experimenting based on the simple faith to do what I love. The story definitely has only just begun, but it gives me great satisfaction to spend time doing what I enjoy.

The natural aptitude thing is so important too, though. I never knew what I had wanted to be when I was growing up, I did not have many dreams nor many talents. But I thank God that through much trial and error and people that he sent me along the way, I was affirmed and reassured to start with a little step. To explore what I am good at. My point is, don't waste your life following a dream you think you should have, or a dream you have no skill for. Follow where your heart and your head and your God-given talents lead you. They don't lead you wrong.

2. Understand your limitations. Own it. Do not try to turn weaknesses into strength. They never will. Build on your strengths.

3. Dream following is accomplished in the mundane, getting your hands dirty, doing the hard things other people won't. It is accomplished in the present moment. Never in the future. It is accomplished in the decision you make right now. To plan and write blogs instead of reading blogs and lazing in front of the tv. To sacrifice your favourite lattes to pay for your website design. To sleep at midnight and get up at 6:30 AM because you know you do your best work in the morning.To make goals and ways to constantly remind yourself of them. To wake up even earlier to have time to mediate and pray. To involve other people - to let all your friends and family know about your goals and how they can help you achieve them. Even if they may not totally agree or understand.

All of this "in the present" work will look different for everyone. But this is the hardest lesson of all. FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS IS SOMETIMES HARD WORK. Work that isn't fun. It isn't miserable, because you know it's contributing to and part of your dream, but it IS hard. That's what separates the successes from the failures. Willingness to do what others won't or can't. Willingness to train yourself where you are weak, to be different and be strong. In my case, I suffer terribly with FOCUS. So I am retraining myself, slowly but surely, to be focused. Some methods have worked, some haven't. For me, this is where the hardest work comes in. For you, it might be something different. But you can do it.

4. Have Faith. Believe your dreams. Keep going.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”Ephesians 3:20

By shansoong 30 Jun, 2016

Not too long ago, I was in Osaka, Japan for a short trip.

When I was out walking one day, I was bombarded by tons and tons of beauty products in the pharmacies and shops that line the streets. If you are a frequent traveller to major Asian cities, you will know what I mean. These stores are packed – floor to ceiling – with a dazzling array of products. 

By shansoong 30 Jun, 2016

It has been exactly 45 days since the start of what started out as a café exploration endeavour on behalf of a friend. Through a serendipitous meeting with my friend whom we will name the Inspirer for now, here we are a few months later with five products and a brand new business venture.

The idea behind Restoration Essentials is rooted in biblical principles. In the bible, we see that God restores us from a multitude of sin, undesirable relationships and broken lives. As it can be clearly seen from Isiaiah 61: 1- 3:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[ a ]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

This is the key inspiration behind our business: to bring the spirit of restoration to those around us who are in need of renewal, to provide a balm for their body and soul, and help them find rest and sanctuary amidst the stresses of modern day living through our carefully-curated, naturally-created products.

Speaking of products, you may have noticed that all our products contain pandan as a key ingredient. So, why pandan?

Well, pandan (also commonly known as screw pine) is a type of plant that is commonly used throughout South-East Asia in cooking. It has an unique, fragrant scent that makes it popular for use in many types of Asian dishes, particularly desserts. Pandan are also believed to be helpful in reducing fever, alleviating indigestion, helping women recover after childbirth and so on. We decided that this humble yet versatile plant, a gift of nature, is the perfect base for our products as it is plant-based, natural and provides health benefits – all of which are in line with our vision of restoration and bringing balance to body and soul.  

In the days to come, I will be sharing more about my spiritual journey, hopes and inspirations for our humble venture as well as holistic living in this space. Stay tuned! :) 

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