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Pink Salt Water Lake at Port Melbourne

pink salt water lake

Every year during the warmer months, the salt lake in Westgate Park, Port Melbourne turns to a glorious shade of pink.

westgate park

This natural phenomenon is quite unique as there are only a few lakes in the world that turns to this pretty shade of pink. But don’t let the pretty colours fool you, it was quite smelly when you come close to the lake.


It should still be around until mid April, so be sure to go check it out yourself.

pink lake in port melbourne

To read more about the lake and why it turns pink, click here.

pink water lakeAs you read this post, I would be in Japan doing either one of these things –> shopping, eating or sleeping. I will be back in a couple of weeks, see you all then! xx


Dior Prestige White Collection

Dior recently released some new skincare products addition to their infamous Dior Prestige White collection. This collection focuses in delivering both brightening and anti-ageing benefits to women 30 and above.

dior prestige white collection

As we all know, one of the biggest sign of ageing is not just lines/wrinkles but also the overall appearance dullness of the skin. Skin that looks lackluster, skin that looks “tired” and this can all be rectified and prevented with prolong use of Dior Prestige White skincare range.

dior prestige le nactar blanc

Today, I will be reviewing the serum aka Dior Prestige White Collection Le Nectar Blanc and the creme aka Dior Prestige White Collection La Creme Eclaircissante. Both products features the key ingredient Rose de Granville (anti ageing) with the unique brightening properties of White Rose. A rare alchemy for skin’s youthfulness and radiance.

le nactar blanc review

Dior Prestige White Collection Le Nectar Blanc - Is a highly concentrated serum that is specifically formulated for delicate Asian skin. Having said that, it can be used for all skin type. Texture wise, this milky white serum is waterly light and once applied onto skin it transforms into a silky and luminous finish. Designed to deeply penetrate and to revitalize skin, this serum is good for both day and night use to help target visible dark spots.

dior prestige white moisturiser

dior prestige white skincare

Dior Prestige White Collection La Creme Eclaircissante – This creme (moisturiser) is designed as a following up step after the serum and again, perfect for day and night use. Despite the moisturiser coming in a luxurious jar packaging, it is surprisingly lightweight and the texture melts away as soon as it is massaged into my skin.

dior prestige white moisturiser

I really love the concept of moisturising, protecting AND also brightening the skin appearance all at once. Over time, both the serum and moisturiser combo is able to illuminate dull skin, smooth skin surfaces and nourishes skin to prevent premature aging and slow down signs of ageing. Despite me hitting the big 30 last year, I still suffer from acne (how annoying!) and have a growing concern with ageing; so this skincare regime fits perfectly into my skin care needs.

One side note though, they will be pretty hard to bring along for travelling so perhaps decanter is the best way to go if you want to bring them with you on holidays.

Dior Prestige White Collection Le Nectar Blanc RRP AUD$ 460
Dior Prestige White Collection La Creme Eclaircissante (refillable) RRP AUD$ 460
Both products are available on Dior counters now 

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ghd V opal styler

ghd V opal styler

This April, ghd is releasing the super sleek ghd V opal styler in limited quantities. Perfect one to upgrade your existing hair styling tool or as a Mother’s Day gift even. Comes in universal voltage, ghd has even the jetsetters in mind when it comes to hair styling.

ghd V opal stylerIt also comes with the upgraded ceramic heat technology and rounder body to deliver perfect smooth straight locks/curls every single use. So run and be quick as these will fly off the shelves.

RRP AUD$269 
Available in approved ghd salons, Mecca Maxima and KIT stores
Call 1300 443 424 for stockist 


Kerstin Florian Caviar Rose Damascena Mist

When it comes to mist, I am very particular with them. I don’t like it when they leave a sticky residue, scent less, or too OTT scented. To me mist/spray products has to have that aromatic sensory experience that makes me feel better not only to the skin but also as an overall mood lifting solution.

Kerstin Florian Mist

To be honest, I was a little skeptical when I first received the Kerstin Florian (French skincare brand) Caviar Rose Damascena Mist. As most rose scent mist can be a hit or miss for me; this was however a HIT for me. The made in France mist combines the beautifully, luxurious scent of  pure rose damascena floral water that gives me a hydrating and refreshing boost to my skin. On top of that, it is rose damascena is known for its toning and soothing property as well.

Kerstin florian rose damascena mist

There are two ways to use this, either to mist over face and neck for a revitalizing experience or spray on a cotton pad and wipe over cleansed skin as a toner step. Personally, I prefer to use this as a mist after cleansing my skin or throughout the day as the mist are really fine and doesn’t mess up my makeup.

If you are looking for a mist that you know you’ll love and is great for your skin, do give this a go as the luxurious scent in itself is something hard to say no to!

Available on Kerstin Florian counters now 


I’m on a holiday


Last week, there’s been some personal stuff going on and I’ve decided to take on a few impromptu trips away. The past few days I’ve been on road trips and brunching around town.

As I type this, I am waiting for my cab to pick me up to the airport.

So if you are interested with my travel updates, do make sure to follow me on instagram @ponikuta

V x


How I lost 7.8kg in 13 weeks

ponikuta weight lost

So last night I posted this picture on my instagram as a teaser to this post. Back in late December 2014, I’d set up my mind that enough was enough and that I needed to do something with my weight. But before I get into the nitty gritty details as to how I’ve achieved consistent and permanent weight lost; let me share with you my battle with my weight.

I truly believe that each individual are build differently and we got to all accept ourselves for who we are and work with what we have to begin with. I was a “skinny kid” my entire life never voluptuous or chubby. I’d never experienced the chubby kid phase and my weight has always been consistent for the first 20 years of my life, always hovering around the 45-46kg mark. The words to describe my body shape was slender and lean.

When I was 21, I started contraceptive pills to mainly control my acne issues and to help clear my skin and it worked for my skin but not so much with my weight. I then bit the bullet and told myself, I’d chose good skin over being skinny, after all being in cold Melbourne I get to mask my forever bloated tummy and consistent weight gain for years to come in layers of dark attire. This was also how I managed to pile on all that weight without many people noticing it.

weight lost journey

Yes, I was capable of bursting my stretchy pants through my thunderous thighs

Not to forget, I am also not a particularly active person (actually I take that back, I am NOT ACTIVE at all) and the last thing in the world I would do is to give up #valfooddiary and go on a diet. The only thing I guess I am blessed with is pretty alright metabolism hence I could eat and sleep on repeat without much weight gain until of course after 25 on wards it was down hill for me. So the combination of the side effects from contraceptive pills + getting old (turning 31 this year!), I managed to top the scale at 55.5kg at my peak which was December 2014.

ponikuta fat

Me at my fattest, can you see how round and fat my face is? Also note the forever layers of clothes + black attire to cover all the weight. Oh, who am I kidding? 

Now for many you might think 55.5kg is no big deal but may I remind you I am also very short and for Asian ethnicity and one who has been around 45kg her whole life, piling on that 10kg made the world of a difference to me. I went from being a size 4  to size 6, size 8 and end of last year I could barely fit into my size 8 clothes and burst not one pants but also two tops from being fat. A visit back home recently, my mom (who gave birth to 3 kids mind you) was only 55kg and here I am steadily gaining weight exceeding her weight for the first time in my life.

That was pretty much a wake up call for me to get my act together and do something it. I was hovering at a point where Size 8 were too tight for me and Size 10 were too loose. I hated how I look for a while there.

So instead of whining and complaining about how I looked, I decided in January 2014 to stop taking the contraceptive pills that I was taking for more than 8 years none stop. It did a mixture of things to me, instead of the weight lost, I gained weight. I started to break out and had crazy water retention issues. I started swimming 2 – 3 times a week, eating healthier, doing regular sports (badminton) and running but my weight gain continued.

Many would say it would be muscle weight but it also made me feel constantly bloated and fat. I did some research and found out that a minority of women do in fact experience weight gain no matter what they do when they get off the pill. I was devastated as I have not been this active in my entire life and instead of losing weight I was gaining weight like no tomorrow. 

People would joke that I was “drinking too much water” from all the swimming or that I was eating too much which I wasn’t. Needless to say 2014 was a tough year for me and I continued the sports and whatever exercise I could get my motivation to commit to. In July 2014, I also wrote this piece about being consistent and doing core/toning exercise at the comfort of my own home.

lose weight

For whatever reason it was, God must have noticed that I didn’t give up despite the change in lifestyle and fitness level and I still out grew my Size 8 clothes and my body took a sharp turn in December 2014. At this point, I was running consistently 1 – 2 a week around the tan track.

It helps to have a dog as a runny buddy to keep you motivated. Belle was always there for me despite me running so slow. And the weight started to drop 0.3kg – 0.5kg at a time.

ponikuta sportsI also maintained my weekly badminton session for couple of hours, as I enjoy how it helped me to work out a sweat, rain, hail or shine. More importantly, it also helps with my reflex (I’m slow) and sprints (motivates me to run around).

nike fit

There’s no two ways about it. Fitness and being active was one of the key reason why I could lose weight in a consistent manner -usually 0.5kg per week and some weeks it gets stagnant but remember this – NEVER GIVE UP! Hike, run, walk, climb and keep moving. It was between not making an effort and making an effort, I chose the latter. Along the way, I was teased consistently for being slow, being unfit, being unable to do basic exercise but I powered through at my own pace and heaps of positive enforcement from Shizuka.

Surround yourself around people who are positive and are into fitness, helped me to get it going.

bubble bathOkay, I suppose this is really the secret to my success weight lost is that I do very hot bath 2-3 times a week. Especially after an exercise session to keep the heart pumping going and to increase blood circulation to the whole body. Each bath session last about 30 minutes, 15 minutes of soaking and another 15 minutes of massaging (especially around the calves, thighs and tummy area) to get the lymphatic drainage going.

At the beginning it was uncomfortable (from the heat) and can get quite sore/painful from the massage but personally I find it really works and it helps me to relax as well. By the end of the 30 minute mark, you should be dripping from sweat and slightly red. Just be sure to drink lots of water after to prevent dehydration.

I’ve gotten so used to it now, I love it. I also utilise this 30 minutes by applying facial mask, hair mask, teeth whitening strip and so on. I find body oil really helps with the massaging as well.


I also take Defat health supplement regularly. Six pills each time before bed. I bought this in one of those Japanese drug store, so I am assuming it it safe to take. I can’t read Japanese so I don’t actually know what it does? lol #fail


After shower/bath everyday, I also take 5 minutes out to massage problematic areas like tummy/thighs with Thalgo Stomach & Waist Sculptor. This gel cream helps to firm up my skin. Remember consistency is key. You don’t get good skin by using one bottle of serum, you don’t get results by being fit for a month either. These small little steps have all incorporated into my daily routine.

val food diary

Now, everyone who knows me knows that I do not cook and that I eat out almost everyday. I love my food and I love discovering new restaurants hence my instagram also document a lot of these yummy foodie pictures. One thing I wasn’t ready to give up for weight lost was certainly food and changing my diet. Of course, I firmly believe that everything should be taken in moderation, so portion control is key for me.

For Monday – Thursdays, I start my day with a big breakfast/lunch and end my day with small dinner. Also remember to have dinner as early as possible. I did not cut out carbs entirely or anything like that. On the weekends, I do not limit myself, I just go out and eat whatever I want but instead of finishing my meal, I’ll share it with a friend. Or opt for multiple entrees over one big main. I never deprive myself from any food I wanted to eat or crave. So I guess the Defat health supplements that I’ve been taking must be miracle pills?

weight lost

So there you have it, my tips on how I lost all that weight and I’ve not felt this good in ages. I can now wear clothes confidently and be happier with my body. I am maintaining my weight by still do daily core exercise at home via Youtube videos on TV (my fav are XHIIT as they only take 15 minutes max), daily abs exercise (I want toned abs!) and shall start with some muscle building to get some definition.

I also do know that weight on the scale shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but since this was a personal journey for me, I was determined to lose all that weight before I start building muscle that way I know that I am building muscle on lean skinny me rather over fat. Well, this is my thinking anyway. Now that I’ve made my goal weight, I am happy that I am feeling myself again but #firstworldproblem now I need a new wardrobe none of my size 8 bottom fit any more.

Good luck!



essie Dress to Kilt Fall 2014 Collection


Today, I am reviewing the Essie Fall 2014 collection – Dress to Kilt. I know this was launched back in 2014 overseas but it has just hit out counters due to our Australian different climate/seasonality compare to the rest of the world. It is after all Fall here in Australia now.


From left to right: #The Perfect Cover Up  (dark green), #Partner in Crime (rich brown), #Style Cartel (royal blue), #Take it Outside (taupe/grey), #Dress To Kilt (red), #Fall in Line (dusty green).

Overall, this collection contains essie’s upgraded formula, great pigment, great longetivity and is the perfect palette combination for this fall. All swatches were swatched with two coats. My personal favourites are the ever on trend taupe/grey shade – #take it outside and dusty green #fall in line. I just have a thing for dusty, green shades.

RRP AUD$16.95 each
Available in counters now 


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