Monday, July 28, 2014

Salam Aidilfitri


Hari Raya Aidilfitri marks a joyous occasion for Muslims around the globe, to celebrate their victory of completing the month of Ramadhan, signifying purification and a new beginning for most.

There is more to Ramadhan than just abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn till the sun sets. Ramadhan is regarded as the holiest or most sacred month in the Islamic calendar. Muslims around the world take this as a time of self reflection and purification.

The excitement of Aidilfitri begins at least a week or two before the day itself. You will observe most Muslim families starts baking cookies, putting up new curtains and carpets, refurnishing their house and all that you can think of. Most families will do their shopping at the famous bazaar in Geylang Serai. I prefer doing mine in Johor since it’s a couple of stops away from my house.

Aidilfitri is also the day when we will see our Muslim friends putting on their best traditional outfits for visiting! Mind you i really meant outfit(S) because Aidilfitri lasts a whole month!

It is aimed at strengthening ties with one another by visiting our relatives, friends and neighbours. Typically, the visitings would start from the eldest. My first house will always be my grandparent's, followed by the other relatives; depending on their locations. In many occasions, the visitings could even last past midnight! *Something which I wouldn't really encourage* 

Besides all the visiting, this is also the day for us to seek forgiveness from one another for any wrongdoings. During your visit, you can also expect to see a variety of food spread, this includes Ketupat, Lemang, Satay, Rendang and many more! So eat up and don’t forget to work out afterwards!

With that, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! May this Aidilfitri be full of love, peace and prosperity.

Drive and stay safe. Enjoy all the delicious food! Till the next entry!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

#projectbeautifulsmile part 1

“Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone” - Stanley Gordon West, Growing an Inch

I’m a strong believer of that quote. So why choose to cry when you have the world smiling along with you? In fact, it is a proven fact that a smile is contagious. A smile not only makes you happy, it makes others happy too! It also shows your confidence, helps you de-stress, calm your nerves, conceal your anxiety, boosts your immune system and the list just goes on and on. And if you’d ask my friends and family, I’m a person who never fails to offer a big smile; eventhough I don’t own that perfect Hollywood smile, but I'm getting there! I’m on my way to #projectbeautifulsmile with INVISALIGN.

#projectbeautifulsmile will be a series of updates on my Invisalign journey. And for the benefit of my readers who have no clue to what Invisalign is:

What is Invisalign?Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
How does Invisalign work?
Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made, clear "aligners" are produced. Each "aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.               

Why I chose Invisalign?

-          I get to view my complete treatment plan even before I get started with the aligners

-          It is invisible! Almost. Because no one notices these clear aligners unless I tell them

-          I can remove the aligners when I eat and then brush and floss normally afterwards. Be discipline! You wouldn’t want to get too comfortable removing them and end up forgetting to put them back on.

-          I won’t sugar coat my words to say it’s a painless process. You know what they say... “No pain, no gain!” I’m happy to say that my experience has been a pleasant and bearable one thus far. The only time I went through excruciating pain and discomfort was during the tooth extraction stage and initial shifting of teeth. 

In this series, I will walk you through the Invisalign treatment process and my progression to date.

Invisalign Treatment Process

Step 1: 
Schedule a consultation appointment with your preferred Invisalign provider; for my case, that would be iDental. Dr Cheng is very accommodating, professional and meticulous. He did a complete orthodontic examination which determined that I am suitable candidate for the Invisalign treatment.

He then proceeded with taking these set of orthodontic records:
  • Dental impression/ plaster models of my teeth
  • Dental X-rays
  • Photographs of my front and side face profile, close up view of my teeth
Step 2: 
On my second appointment, Dr Cheng explained my customised ideal treatment plan which was planned based on my orthodontic records. My dental impressions have now been transformed into a 3D digital model! Which showcases the movement and progression of my teeth with every stage. There was only one downside to it. I cringe to the thought of needing to do not one or two, BUT 4 TOOTH EXTRACTIONS!

Dr Cheng also shared with me on the pricing details which varies from $4500 to $8900 depending on the complexity of your case. They have instalment plans too! 

I’m happy with the final look of my treatment plan and decided to go ahead with the treatment.

Step 3: 
Took about a month to my third appointment because my impressions have been sent to Invisalign to manufacture a series of lower and upper case plastic aligner trays. By now you must be asking, “Won’t these plastic trays hurt?”

And the answer is no, these plastic aligners are smooth and comfortable. It doesn't cause any irritation to my gums or ultimately, ulcers. Though it does take some getting used to. I remember talking with a lisp, even now! but it only gets better, trust me.

My treatment process consists a total of 46 sets of aligner trays which I will need to change into a new set every 2 weeks. With each set of aligners, I will see gradual movements which follows my treatment plan. 

Once I have the aligners on, I need to ensure I wear them for atleast 20 to 22 hours a day to see best results. Dr Cheng will fix a check up every two months to monitor my progression. So no cheating for me!

Step 4:
SMILE! and start seeing results!

But before we see the results, let's take a look at my not-so-hollywood smile

Currently, I am on my 32nd tray and this is my progress! Gradual but getting there. Just 14 more aligners to go!

I hope this post will be helpful for those who are considering in taking up the Invisalign treatment and if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to comment down below. Do keep a look out for the next #projectbeautifulsmile series to keep yourself updated on my Invisalign treatment.

Before I end this week's post, I would like to wish Eid Mubarak to all my family and friends! May HE accept all your good deeds and ease the sufferings of all mankind around the globe.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What's in my makeup bag?

“Can I see what you have in your makeup bag?” is often a question asked by the nosey me when I see a makeup bag lying around by anyone of my girlfriends. 

There’s a lot that you can learn about one’s preferences and habits by taking a peek (or two) into one’s makeup bag. And by habits I mean those ehem! *coughs*uncleaned brushes*coughs*. Guilty as charged! p.s. I do clean mine regularly though. Just not as regularly as I should. Oops!

Today, you are about to learn on my makeup preferences and daily-go-tos. You’d noticed that most of my daily-go-to makeup consists of drugstore/ department store products. Let’s just say I love saving my high end products for special occasions. Not that drugstore products are less effective. It’s merely a matter of personal preference. 

I’ve been rocking this same look at work for the last six months or so because I have this habit of getting into a routine with the same range of products until I get tired of them, then I’ll switch it up here and there. But! My favourite must-have would definitely be the bright Fuchsia lipstick. I'll tell you why in abit. 

Without further ado, I shall reveal to you, my top secret ‘weapons’! 

Eucerine Dermopurifyer Hydrating Care
Murad Oil Control Mattifier

I can't stress enough on the importance of keeping your skin well hydrated and protected. With an oil free solution and SPF 30, the Eucerine moisturiser is all I need to do just that! And of course, to keep my makeup looking matt and fresh all day, I'll whip out the big guns, the Murad Oil Control Mattifier helps to keep those oil shine at bay!

Bourjois Happy Light ultra-covering concealer in shade 23 Beige Core
MUFE Duo Mat powder foundation in shade 209
Loreal True Match liquid foundation shade N7 Nude Amber

The best combination to a flawless dewy finish in just minutes or even seconds! Both the liquid and powder foundations are buildable. And on days that I don't feel like using the liquid foundation, I'll just pack on the powder foundation till it gives that flawless effect I'm looking for!

Bourjois waterproof eyeliner in shade 41 Black Party
The Face Shop Design My Eyebrow eyebrow pencil in shade 02 Dark Brown
MAC eyeshadow in Phloof!
Victoria’s Secret Lash Lust Mascara

My life saviour has got to be the eyebrow pencil, great for defining and filling in my brows. Trust me, nobody wants to be seen with sparse brows. And look more awake with Phloof! with one simple step by adding them to the inner corners of your eyes. Definitely comes in handy on days you've had sleepless nights!

MAC mineralise blusher in shade Subtle Breeze

A look is never complete without those perfect rosy cheeks.

Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick in 07 Fuchsia Graffiti

With such a bold colour, it naturally allows me to embody a sense of great confidence, strength and empowerment at work! It acts as both a weapon and a shield to deter the undesirable. Great tip to take note of ladies!

And that’s all for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as i did and do hit up the comment button down below if you’d like me to do a full review on the products. 

But before I end this post, let's observe a moment of silence to the passengers and crews of MH17. And not forgetting their family members, my thoughts and prayers goes out to them.

“Nothing you love is lost. Not really. Things, people–they always go away sooner or later. You can’t hold them anymore than you can hold moonlight. But if they’ve touched you, if they’re inside you, then they’re still yours. The only things you ever really have are the ones you hold inside your heart.” Bruce Coville

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Welcome to Norathexplora!

OLA! Welcome to Norathexplora!

Allow me to do some self-introduction. If it can’t get anymore obvious, my name is Nora. Im not new to the world of blogging. I’ve been blogging for almost a decade and finally decided to jump on the bandwagon for beauty and lifestyle blogging.

Other than my day to day job, I’m a person with a passion for anything beauty-related and always ready to share my personal thoughts and opinions.

NTX (Norathexplora) is meant to be a fun and informative blog for everyone’s reading pleasure! Do expect entries of various aspects such as my travelings, cafe-huntings, everyday activities and basically, anything under the sun!

I hope you are just as excited as i am! I would love to hear from you, so please do leave a comment and feedback, or email me at

Before I end this entry, here’s a short get to know me session with 8 random facts about me:

1. What’s your age?
NTX: Proud to be joining the quarter-century club, 25!

2. Are you single?
NTX: I’m not married but currently dating an amazing person, whom I will be revealing to you soon!

3. What’s you favourite colour?
NTX: Shades of blue

4. Which college did you attend?
NTX: Republic Polytechnic - graduated with a Diploma in Business Application

5. What are your hobbies?
NTX: Capturing moments, cafe-hunting, singing, make-up, traveling and many many more! 

6. Are you a morning or a night person?
NTX: Morning! 

7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
NTX: The ability to be in multiple places at one time

8. What are your bad habits?
NTX: Overthinking and procrastination

Till the next entry!

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb
 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_07.jpg  photo s_08.jpg  photo s_09.jpg  photo s_10.jpg