About Me / Contact Me

best beauty blog ceremony8 OHAI THERE!~x
My name is Cheryl, but you can also call me Dalja 달자.

I earn my keep as an editor (yes, I have a full-time job!), while I satisfy my creative writing lust as the contributing beauty editor of some online portals and other freelance writing gigs as well as handling this blog. At times, I pretend I’m a Kpop star.

I am fluent in English, Chinese and Korean, written and spoken. Oh, and I also speak Awesome. Heh.

I am the Beauty category winner for the inaugural HerWorldPlus Social Media Awards in 2016, the Most Popular Beauty Blog for the Singapore Blog Awards 2015, and also one of the top 3 Best Beauty Blogs for the Singapore Blog Awards 2014. I’ve also been on the judging panel for Her World Beauty Awards 2017 and 2016 (Singapore’s top female magazine), Cosmopolitan’s Grand Prix Beauty awards in 2015 as well as others.



The primary  focus is on beauty, travel and lifestyle, but I’m combining it with other stuff I’m interested in, such as gadgets. I pride myself on blogging every day (except for weekends and public holidays, and when I’m under the weather).

I set up this blog in March 2012 cos I believe a beauty blog has to be more than just 999 heavily filtered/ extremely Photoshopped selfies taken from a top-down angle or full-scale copy-and-paste press releases – it has to have truthful, accurate and helpful beauty product reviews.

I also run another food blog called Hungry Grumpy, but it’s still work in progress 🙂


Interested in sending me press information, event invites/products for review, collaborating, sponsoring or even hiring me as a keyboard-banging monkey aka freelance writer?  Please contact me at beautifulbuns.sg@gmail.com  or say hi on Instagram [beautifulbuns_sg].


I was abandoned on this planet by my superhero parents to be raised by wolves… not. I’m just your average run-of-the-mill person who’s been working for a living. I have more than 10 years of professional editorial writing experience as a full-time journalist/editor, and have written about beauty, skincare, gadgets and a whole plethora of topics in magazines since 2006. Publications I’ve worked in (as a full-time journalist/editor, not intern) include CLEO, T3, Revolution, Cake, Choices, Barcode etc. I was also previously the  Contributing Beauty Editor of Lifestyleasia.com  for about 2 years and also contributed articles to WTF.com (from March 2013 to May 2014). Click here to check out some of my editorial published works. Oh, and I was/am a real editor, not those self-proclaimed ones who haven’t had much experience in publishing/magazines.


Cos I believe blogging can (and should) be helpful and informative to every reader.

Cos I’m bringin’ sexy (bloggin’) integrity back.

Cos reading a badly-written, incoherent , cut-and-paste-from-press-release blog drives me batshit crazy.

Cos I saw BBB – bloggers behaving badly. Behold the motherload invasion of “beauty bloggers” calling themselves a “blogger” just to score invites to events or badger brands into giving them free products. Pfft.

At the risk of sounding snarky, I’m daresay I’ve got more experience and know-how about beauty products than some of them. There are definitely decent, sincere and nice bloggers out there, but (most of them) are not trained journalists and therefore cannot write a decent post. I’m not saying that all bloggers have to write well – some of them are very marketable/popular based on their looks, and I totally respect that too. Everyone has their own USP. – know it, and own it.

I’ve also won the inaugural HerWorldPlus Social Media Awards for the beauty category based purely on my blogging/writing ability, was Most Popular Beauty Blog in 2015’s Singapore Blog Awards, and placed in the top 3 for Best Beauty Blog of the Singapore Blog Awards 2014 without having to barter for votes using beauty products like the other two finalists did.


I’ve got more than 123,000 visitors / more than 260,000 hits per month. On Alexa, I’ve been moving upwards, thanks to my readers’ support.

Click here to check here how I fare on Alexa today (rankings change every day).

Here’s an open note to all PR people and brands – yes, numbers are everything, but they can also be fabricated and bought. Alexa is an international audit of the website’s popularity where you can check a particular blog’s ranking there before deciding to engage them.

If you’ve heard about the 2014 Insta-purge, then you’ll know that Instagram followers can be bought. According to this article, the average “like” rate for a photo should range from about 2-5%. This means that if a person has 5,000 followers, photo “like” rates should be about 50-250 “likes” (not everyone has a good Instagram photo day everyday). But then again, “likes” can be bought.

If it doesn’t, you’ll know for sure that the followers are bot/bought followers and your brand isn’t getting the awareness it should be receiving. Check out Socialblade (which is updated daily, with stats and graphs for your daily numerical analysis).

To do a thorough check, check the profile of the follower – not the latest, most recent followers, no. Scroll down the entire list of followers to somewhere in the middle, or even the start. If you see suspicious personality-less, drab and somewhat robotic (privatised) profiles that last posted many, many weeks ago (or even have no posts), but are following hundreds, if not, thousands of people, you’ll be able to sniff out a stinky fish.


Well, if you must know…

I am not one of those who calls herself a “photographer” because I take photos, nor am I calling myself a “writer” cos I write a blog. I am a properly-trained journalist – I went to uni and got myself a degree in journalism and I also have a diploma (with merit – top 10% graduating cohort baybeh!) in Mass Communications. I have also worked in magazines/publishing for about 8 years.

I am a grammar Nazi. Occupational hazards 😀

I dislike taking selfies cos I think I look like I’m in the midst of a stroke, or that my eyeballs are having a battle against each other to make me look cross-eyed.

I do admit I’m a Ko’Ho (Korean ‘ho). I’ve studied Korean language for 3 years. I can speak, read, write and converse in Korean, I travel to Korea very often (>10x and counting) and I’ve got a lot of Korean friends.

I have spent lotsa moneh on beauty shopping, and have bought at least 75% of the stuff that I’ve featured on this blog.

However, even though most of the products featured here will have Kimchi Land origins, Kiehl’s, Dior, Clarins and Dermalogica are some of my favourite brands too.

Oh, I’m a rabid fan of Rupaul’s Drag Race. Werk Hunty, WERK!

To find out more about my experience coming into the blogging world, check out my entry on “Thoughts on Being a Blogger”.



All text and graphic content on beautifulbuns.wordpress.com are copyrighted and intellectual property of this author, unless otherwise stated, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior permission.  Images taken from elsewhere are credited to their respective sources. beautifulbuns.wordpress.com does not claim ownership over borrowed images and will oblige to the removal of any image at the request of the original copyright holder. Re-posting of stories/images in whole or in part is not allowed without express permission, even if it’s credited or linked back to beautifulbuns.wordpress.com.  Infringement will be pursued. Please respect the effort and work put into this site. All opinions here are purely my own and do not reflect any one I may work / write for. Thank you and have a nice day.




53 thoughts on “About Me / Contact Me

  1. Hi Dalja,
    Its time that i change my day cream/moisturiser and yesterday at watsons I saw this product “Bio-essence” and i hoped that you might know something about this product, i’ve never used it before, since i don’t have a blessed skin like yours I do not want to take risk (lol). If you have any knowledge on it would you please share it with me ? 🙂

    • Hey C’rina, I personally haven’t tried Bio-essence before, so I can’t really recommend it. However, I have heard some good stuff about it… As you can tell I love all things Korean, so if I really had to recommend a day cream, I’d go with either Sulwhasoo (if it’s near your pay day) or Laneige (if you’re far from your pay day) hehe. I’m really keen on trying out the Senka SPF Gel too but it’ll only be available on 11 October.:)


  3. Hello~

    I have a question for you (I tried looking at the product reviews that you’ve done but I think I need a personal response to my case). I have impeccably dry skin during the winter time, and was wondering if you can recommend any product that’s not over-the-top expensive, nor known to cause break outs? And then any product that is good for preventing acne (usually my T-zone, especially around my nose/around the lip area). I wanted to email you privately, but I couldn’t find any contact info…

    Thanks in advance.

    • hi hi!

      actually my email contact is justttt above your comment – beautifulbuns.sg@gmail.com 😀

      Anyways, I think for winter time, you can try oil-based products – I’ve heard good things about the Kiehl’s midnight recovery oil, or Hera’s Age Away Intensive Oil which was specially formulated to combat the cold, dry winters of Korea. With these oil-based products, you don’t have to apply much, just perhaps a light emulsion/serum and this oil. It’s just to protect your natural moisture levels. At night, you can then slather on the creams to repair the damage.

      I’d totally recommend Sulwhasoo’s Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil as well, but it can be a bit pricey (but for good reason, cos it has ginseng and herbs). This is also formulated for Korea’s cold and dry winter. It totally saved my skin when I was in -22 degrees celsius last month.

      If you prefer cream-type products, you can try Vichy. Hera, Clarins which are more affordable than Sulwhasoo (which is my all-time favourite, but can be slightly pricey).

      I think acne appears when your pores are clogged, especially around the T-zone. you need to unclog those pores to avoid breakouts. I used to use the La Roche Posay Effaclar K http://www.amazon.com/La-Roche-Posay-Effaclar-K/dp/B0018D1M00

      This essentially helps to evacuate the dirt from the pores (which means you have to expect a slight minor breakout at first), but then after that, the pores are cleaned and smaller.

      Nowadays, I use the Derma RX Comedone Formula, which works wonders for me – you can check out my review (and pictures!) here https://beautifulbuns.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/derma-rx-comedone-formula/

      Hope this helps and feel free to email me if you have any further queries! 😀

  4. I love your reviews! There are so few honest and intelligently written reviews on skincare and make-up products by Singaporean bloggers, most sound like a badly rehashed version of the official marketing spiel. Please keep up the entertainingly good work 🙂

  5. Hi Dalja,

    I think I love Korean skincare products more than western ones (except Dermalogica… they are fab) and I am still exploring on that arena. Or maybe deep down I’m just trying to be more kind to my pocket. haha.

    Anyways, I’ve been loving your posts and your writing style as they feel more intimate and real compare to other ones out there. And that is why I subscribed to you and your love for Korean products!

    As far as BB cream goes, I’ve only tried Dior, Dr. Jart, Etude (totally hate it) and Kiehls. Maybe you can help me to review Dr. Jart & skin79? 🙂

    I’m going to Korea on May and saving up to do some splurging on korean products!

    • Hey Krystel,

      Sorry I missed your message! Was too busy stuffing my face with the festive food heh.

      I have tried Skin79 and Dr Jart previously (maybe when I first started visiting Korea in 2009-2010), but I wasn’t much impressed by it, so I didn’t review them. If I start using them again you’ll defo see a review up 😀

      Actually, the Missha Signature Real Complete BB cream was one that I used for quite a while if you’re looking to try a BB cream. Innisfree BB Creams are kinda good too. You should also try some of the BB cushions (IOPE, Sulwhasoo). Laneige has also released a new and improved version of its Snow BB Soothing Cushion, so I’m currently in the testing phase to see how it works out.

      I’m also going to Korea soon! Have fun, wear comfy walking shoes, bring a large foldable shopping bag in your handbag, and also bring an extra luggage / duffel bag to store your shopping 😀

  6. Hi Dalja

    I’ve been using Sulwhasoo for over a year and I usually get it on ebay. Now for the first time ever, I’ll be going to Seoul next month. I’m wondering if you know where I could get cheaper Sulwhasoo products. My must haves are the First Serum and Firming Cream.

    • Hi Lissa!

      Your best bet will be at Duty-Free areas in major department stores (Lotte, Shinsegae, Hyundai etc) or from inflight sales magazines (Korean Air, Asiana).

      Have fun in Seoul! 🙂

  7. I just stumbled upon your blog cos was looking for anti-ageing skincare. Why didn’t I chance upon your blog earlier?! You have great stuff here and I really like your honest reviews. Since reading your blog, I have already bought 2 products based on your recommendations 😊. And I’m an old auntie at 37 yrs old 😁.

    Thanks for making the effort to do this 👍.

  8. Hi Dalja;
    I am so curious about Sulwhasoo..I have dry-combination, very sensitive skin and I have dehydration problem as well.. I cant use the ones for the dry skins.If use them, they make me break out.. I need a product that will give me enough moisture and won’t cause any pimples,blackheads or whiteheads..what products of sulwasoo do you recommend me to get??this brand has products for very sensitive skins ,right?before I forget,some people say sulwhasoo is for the middle aged.what do you think about that?thanks in advance..

    • Hi hi,

      I started on Sulwhasoo in my late-20s, and yes, although many people (my Korean friends included) sometimes jest that I’m too “young” to start using Sulwhasoo, I’m fine with it. Most of their products aren’t overly rich anyway (except for the TimeTreasure line, which is targeted specifically for the more mature ladies).

      I wouldn’t say that this brand specialises in products for sensitive skin, but it does have herbal content which should be more suitable for sensitive skin.

      One product I’d recommend to all my friends looking to start on Sulwhasoo would be the First Care Activating Serum. It’s an all-in-one skin booster (apply onto freshly-cleansed skin before toner) and did wonders for my skin. I have a friend who also has sensitive skin – we bought it for her as a birthday present and she hasn’t had any breakout and is loving it.

      If you’re worried, perhaps you can purchase some sample sets on Qoo10 or Gmarket to try out first?

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  9. hi again!
    thanks for your answer. I also need a product recommendation for lifting and it better help the serum solving my dehydration problem .cause I don’t think the serum you suggested can do this job alone….ı read your reviews on lifting cream but ı am worried they may break me out..any lifting cream a combo sensitive can use?ı have been using ‘jnh halal essence’for almost six months but I realized ıf ı use it more than once there are whiteheads or pimples..now that essence is the lighest form of all how come it can cause pimples or sth,it is beyond my comprehension…another friend of mine say the same..no matter what brand of essence she uses,they make her break out….have you heard about JNH halal by the way??

  10. hi again!
    thanks for your answer. I also need a product recommendation for lifting and it better help the serum solve my dehydration problem .cause I don’t think the serum you suggested can do this job alone….ı read your reviews on lifting cream but ı am worried they may break me out..any lifting cream a combo sensitive can use?ı have been using ‘jnh halal essence’for almost six months but I realized ıf ı use it more than once there are whiteheads or pimples..now that essence is the lighest form of all how come it can cause pimples or sth,it is beyond my comprehension…another friend of mine say the same..no matter what brand of essence she uses,they make her break out….have you heard about JNH halal by the way??

  11. so sorry:(I must have confuse it..do you know anything about its content?ıt is such a popular brand so ı am curious about it.

  12. hi Dalja!
    I am also curious about Sulwhasoo..I am 27.I have combination acne prone skin with pores and blackheads..I also have acne scars and I still break out..if you recommend me to get some products that can help get rid of my pores and blackheads and hydrate my skin as well,I will really aprreciate it..

  13. Hi there! I really like your site. Quick question..have you heard of IPKN brand? Is it good? Is it a newer brand? Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!!

    • Hey Ann, I’ve heard of it and probably chanced upon it whilst shopping but I’ve never tried anything from it though. It’s probably a less popular brand… Sorry I can’t help much here, but when I do go back to Korea, I’ll deco hunt it down to test it out 😀

  14. I habe been an avid fan of your blog. I don’t recall seeing much reviews for Ettusais. However, I am keen in knowing more on Ettusais Acne Gentle Make Off. Do you have any experience/knowledge on this?


  15. Hi Dalja,

    I see that you have tried using Dermal Therapy Blistop. How do you remove the invisible layer of film at the end of the day when you remove your shoes? I can’t seem to remove it even after scrubbing, scratching or washing it off 😦

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  16. Hi Dalja,

    I just looked up CoolSculpt by Marie France and read your blog of when you tried it. I have had serious weight issues and I am considering this treatment. It’s not inexpensive so I would like to know how it worked out for you? If it worked at all? And if you recommend it. Hoping for your reply! Thank you!

    • Hello! To be honest, if you’re slightly on the heavier side, the best methods of weight loss would actually be exercising – even if it’s alighting from the bus one stop earlier and walking home, or getting off the lift 2-5 storeys earlier and climbing the rest up. (Which is what I’ve done before). This treatment can help to tone and firm and to a certain extent, some weight loss but I wouldn’t say I saw a drastic difference or inch-loss. Hope this helped! 🙂

  17. Hi Dalja, i’ve come across your blog when i was searching for reviews on korean essence. I would like to seek your opinion on which essence (IOPE, Nature Republic, Missha) which i could get for my skin. I am 27 years old, lives in Malaysia. I have combination skin type and working in an air-conditioned room. I mainly have oily nose in the afternoon regardless of the environment and rarely get some pimples on my face so it’s much stable than a few years back. However the sides of the face are still dry and gets some pimples once in awhile. I put on foundation and loose powder everyday, have yellow undertone. I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on essence and had narrowed down to the above mentioned. Better reviews go to Missha First Treatment Essence and Nature Republic The First Essence. So i would like your opinion on which should i choose? Really appreciated your time for reading my comments. Thank you.

    • Hi Carolyn, I personally saw better results with Nature Republic’s The First Essence (although Missha was good for me too). Hopefully you get the same benefits (cos everyone’s skin type is different). I also recommend Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, as well as Laneige’s Advanced Clear C Effector 🙂

      • Thank you very much Dalja, i am happy i bought nature republic first essence and their phyto essence too. Now waiting for them to arrive. Thank you so much 🙂

  18. Hi, saw your article on a espa at sentosa and was wondering what other spas are worth the splurge and others that are budget friendly. My girlfriends are visiting from US and I want to go enjoy girl time but not break the bank. Thanks!

    • Hello! Of the top of my head, here are some I recall – You can try The Spa Club at Beach Road as well. The Sentosa one is larger though. Four Seasons Hotel has one as well but it might be a lil pricey. Have fun! 🙂

  19. Hi, i having been reading your reviews of the different products you use, and i have some query, is it recommend to mix two different brand of products (eg, Laneige- Whitening & Innisfree – Moisture) for daily skincare?

    • Hi Jasmine,
      Personally I haven’t had any issues mixing these two brands in particular but it differs from person to person. I remember some years back I mixed a Korean brand with a Western brand and I ended up with red-hot Pikachu cheeks. It depends on your skin’s sensitivity as well I think. Best to do a patch test before you slather it onto the entire face. 🙂

      • hi 달자 Dalja, Thanks for your advise. I will do a small test before using both products on the face 🙂

  20. Hi 달자 !
    I came across your blog on my search for cushion foundations. They’re not that popular or well-known in Germany yet, but I’d love to try one out someday..
    Is there any certain cushion foundation you can recommend to combination skin? I’d need one that’s very yellow-toned but still light (around NC15-20).. it shouldn’t be too “glowy” as my T-Zone gets oily quickly. If the coverage was at least medium, that’d be great..
    I’m sorry if that question is too specific! I’d try and swatch them myself, but I’m in Germany, sadly.. Just thought I could try and ask you 🙂

    • Hello! I happen to be a NC15 and oily-combi skin owner as well 🙂

      Here are my recommendations and I hope they fit your skintone well!

      For a more matte finish, you can try Laneige’s Pore Control BB Cushion in 13 (if you’re slightly pinker) or 21 (if you’re slightly more yellow)

      For a semi-glowy and semi-matte finish, try VDL’s Beauty Metal Cushion (the 2015 upgraded version which I just reviewed today) in A03.

      For a more glowy and not-too-shiny finish, try Sulwhasoo’s Evenfair Perfecting Cushion Brightening in 17 (if you’re yellow with a little more pink) or 23 if you’re a bit more yellow. 21 is slightly too pink.

      All 3 of my recommendations don’t oxidise (cos I hate that), and aren’t too glowy (cos I hate that too).

      Hope this helps!~xoxo

  21. Hi!!

    I’ve just found your blog and i really really love it ~~<3 I'm a filipina born and raised in Barcelona, Spain.
    Can i ask you for advice? I have oily skin, do you think that having that kind of skin i can use oil serums? I have 31 years old and im wondering which brand suits me better for my age… Btw Laneige, IOPE, Hera, Sulwhasoo, The History of Woo…

    Thank you very much

  22. Hi Cheryl,
    Enjoyed reading your blog. I couldnt find Nature Republic in Singapore any more. I had used their First Eye Cream, my sister in law bought it for me in Seoul and I really like it. Do you know where I can find Nature Republic, other than in Seoul?
    Also, I wonder if you also know of any beauty blogger, like youself, in Hong Kong?

    • Hi Regina, I recall seeing some store selling Nature Republic in Far East Plaza buttttt I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the products as I have not tried them myself / they are not the authorised sellers. You can pop over to take a look? Alternatively you can try buying from Gmarket?

      Unfortunately I don’t know of any HK-based beauty bloggers 😦 Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  23. Hello
    I started reading all your reviews and they did helped a lot!
    Nice work! i leave in Greece and i buy a lot of things from Ebay!
    Thanks for your help

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