tria Hair Removal Laser 4X & SmoothStart Calming Gel - 3 Months

Because tria Beauty guarantees 90-day results on their website, or they will offer your money back, this 3-month update should be very telling as to whether or not I am in love with, apprehensive of, or disappointed at the tria Hair Removal Laser 4X.

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 12 Weeks

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 14 Weeks, 3 months

My wishful hopes, at this stage, were to see mindblowing results wherever I lasered with the tria system. More realistically, though, I would have just been happy to see any kind of difference. This is an at home, self-administered treatment and not a professional service.

There could be many reasons why my results aren't as drastic as others. For one, the laser beam in the 4X isn't supposed to be as strong the ones at the spas/salons. The laser's treatment window also isn't as wide (I preassume) as those owned by the pros. Since I am handling the zaps myself, it is highly possible that I made some human errors and missed spots here and there. It is really really difficult to keep track of the exact spot where I lasered and to remember to overlap it by half the circle the next zapping. The hairs on the various parts of my body could even just be the really persistent type.

So far I have personally done 7 treatments in the past 3 months. 1 treatment was done at energy level 3, another 1 at level 4, and 5 were conducted at the maximum level of 5. About half of the 7 sessions were done in conjunction with the SmoothStart Calming Gel and the rest without.

tria's website says many customers see results after 8 treatments, which equates to about 16 weeks of bi-weekly at-home laser sessions. The company mentions that "skin tone, hair color, body part, treatment level, and other factors" could affect the outcomes of hair regrowth. There could be a substantial reduction of hair to a little to even no reaction at all. Keeping all this in mind, perhaps this serves as a reminder as to why I am seeing such varying results in the different body parts I have been treating for the past few months.

I have included the BEFORE photos I first shared in this post as well to serve as an easier comparison since the company states there should be results at this point in the process.

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 12 Weeks Closeup

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair 14 Weeks, 3 months Closeup

tria Hair Removal Laser Facial Hair Closeup Before

Upper lips.

Another month of treatment has gone by and I cannot say I am excited at the results in the upper lip area. There seems to be no change in the amount or length of hairs that are growing back.  If not for the new and fading acne, it would have been difficult to tell that those photos were taken weeks apart. Since I have come this far, I am willing to continue zapping the area for a couple more months. However, I am considering the possibility that the tria laser just might not work as well on finer hairs.

tria Hair Removal Laser Armpits Hair 12 Weeks

tria Hair Removal Laser Armpits Hair 14 Weeks, 3 months

tria Hair Removal Laser Armpits Hair Before


Although my pits are not 100% hair-free after 3 months of lasering, I am almost confident in saying the at home laser was worth it, to me, just by looking at the current results here. The underarms are the most promising thus far.

I am going to sound like a broken record by saying the hairs are growing finer and slower, but it really is! In-grown hairs also aren't as problematic on either armpit now. The inflammation on the crevices of my underarms in the BEFORE shot are all places where in-grown hairs were very prone to recur 14 weeks prior. Now the redness and puffiness are almost all gone. There were a few occasions where I have even seen random armpit hairs lying around my pits after a scrub down in the shower. Maybe those were the dead hair follicles tria mentions? Overall, it seems this is a success.

tria Hair Removal Laser Knuckle Hair 12 Weeks

tria Hair Removal Laser Knuckle Hair 14 Weeks, 3 months

tria Hair Removal Laser Knuckle Hair Before

Knuckle hairs.

My knuckle hairs do not seem to be reacting to the laser treatments. The little strands of hair I shaved off with an eyebrow razor every two weeks seem to creep back out regularly despite the zaps. Since this area was not the main highlight of my hair removal journey, I can't say I am overly disappointed. It would have been great if there were results, but not devasting. Like with the upper lip area, I will continue to laser this part of my body for another couple months just to give the tria system a more thorough chance.

I can't say that I am completely and utterly in love with the tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, not just yet anyway. It did show some good results. But because I know that as with skincare and makeup, the device can work differently for everyone, I am not entirely apprehensive of the handheld machine either. The most I can do is give it longer chance and commit myself to doing some more treatments. Afterward, I may stop the treatment and hair shaving for some time to observe the resulting hair regrowth. This may be the best way to test how well the hair removal system worked. I have not decided how many more months I will continue to treat the hairs, but I will definitely keep record and update until then, as always.


When shopping and "extreme" activities (i.e. cable cars, Ferris wheels, Segways) aren't of interest, flora and fauna become the day's highlights while traveling with my Aunt. Singapore has a surprising amount of large zoos and aquariums for its country size: Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, and S.E.A Aquarium to name a few well-known ones.

Scientist and species-enthusiast I am not. Exhibits and animals can all start to look similar after going to many zoos or aquariums. What makes some more interesting to visit is the way the wildlife roams. It was nice to be able to see how open most "enclosures" were at the Singapore Zoo. While the level of freedom can't compare to the animals' natural habitats, it seemed more freeing than other animal parks. The Night Safari has an intriguing concept, night time zoo dedicated to nocturnal creatures. It was a little anti-climatic visit, for me. My human eyes couldn't adjust and see everything properly. Riding on a relatively quick tram ride didn't help either, but I rather ride that than try to journey through the safari on foot in the dark. Heh. Maybe if I was less afraid of the dark? Or if a had a braver companion?

lavlilacs Sentosa Singapore S.E.A. Aquarium worker
Scuba diver at S.E.A. Aquarium

lavlilacs Singapore Zoo polar bear
Inuka the polar bear at Singapore Zoo's Frozen Tundra zone

lavlilacs Sentosa Singapore S.E.A. Aquarium jellyfish
Jellyfish at S.E.A. Aquarium

lavlilacs Singapore Zoo kangaroo
Kangaroo at Singapore Zoo's Australasia zone (formerly Australia zone)

lavlilacs Singapore Zoo giraffe
Giraffe feeding at Singapore Zoo's Wild Africa zone

lavlilacs Singapore Zoo bats
Malayan Flying Fox at Singapore Zoo's Fragile Forest zone

lavlilacs Singapore Zoo white tiger
White tiger at Singapore Zoo

lavlilacs Singapore Night Safari owl
Creature of the Night show at the Night Safari

Singapore Eats

New York may be one of the most culturally diverse cities, but there are still many cultures and countries that aren't as well represented as others in the food scene. Chinese and Japanese cuisines were the forerunners in the Asian restaurant category. Korean food has grown steadily as all things Korean become ever more popular. Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Filipino eateries are specialties that exist and are slowly gaining a larger foothold even on non-Asian foodies' "To Try" lists.

Singapore is a country that is very under-represented in New York City's food world. It could be that the Singaporean food culture and hawker centers don't translate as well here or maybe foods that are similar to Singaporean cuisine could also be found in existing establishments since the country itself is a melting pot of many Asian immigrants.

It is safe to say that my most memorable moments of Singapore are all food related. Being able to taste various local eats was just as exciting as exploring new sights. Everything was new in one way or another. Not every single thing I ate there was out-of-this-worldly delicious. Certain foods suited my taste buds more than others. The trip to Singapore wasn't solely about eating the best of any one kind of food, rather it was just to try new types of food that I haven't had before.

lavlilacs Singapore traditional breakfast kaya toast eggs milk tea

Coffee & Toast, Singapore Changi Airport.

Kaya toast (toast with coconut jam and butter) with onsen egg and teh peng (iced tea with condensed milk and sugar) are supposedly the representative breakfast and snack combo in Singapore. I almost left the country without having tried it once. Kopitiam stops (coffee shop) were never needed as neither my Aunt nor I drink coffee; plus, we favored another thirst quencher during our visit.

Had I known how delicious yet simple and affordable this food pairing would be, I would have made sure to have it at least once or twice more as an energy booster. Although kaya is a jam, it isn't nearly as sweet as the typical berry varieties are. The addition of the runny eggs and butter help to balance out the sweetness of the jam and the dryness of the toasted bread.

My trip to Asia also affected my preferences in milk tea. Hong Kong and Singapore's choice of pairing condensed milk or evaporated milk with black tea brings a whole new world of differences that regular milk and even half & half cannot compare to. While the latter two can water down the flavors of the tea, the former two (I feel) add a creaminess while enhancing the tea. If that makes any sense at all. To simply put it, condensed milk + tea yields a stronger tea taste and milk + tea yields a weaker tea taste.

lavlilacs Singapore Din Tai Fung earl gray ice tea

Din Tai Fung, Marina Bay Sands, Marina Bay.

The best drink I had in Singapore was an unassuming cup of lemon earl gray iced tea from Din Tai Fung. Yes, my favorite item from Din Tai Fung Singapore was a glass of tea and not the soup dumplings. Not that the food I had was bad or anything like that. The tea just blew my mind.

Maybe it is was the use of frozen earl gray tea in place of typical water-based ice cubes? Perhaps the tea Din Tai Fung sourced is of very high-quality? Or is it possible that they use a very concentrated earl gray tea base? Whatever the reason, this was the single best cup of cold lemon tea I have ever had! The closest comparison I can think of would be to say it was like the natural and less-sweet version of a can of Brisk or Nestea. The tea flavor was so concentrated yet not cloyingly sugary. The ball of frozen tea became slush-like as it melted throughout the meal.

Ah~ I still can't stop thinking about it! I wonder if this ice tea is available in Din Tai Fung's in other countries too or if it is a region specific item.

lavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Complex popiah lavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell Food Center Pan Cake[

Ann Chin, Chinatown Complex Market, Chinatown. & Weng Pan Cake, Maxwell Food Center, Chinatown.

Popiah and pan cake both look so familiar yet very different from anything I have ever eaten before. Popiah looks similar to a burrito but is much smaller in size. It is a bit big and not fried to call it a spring roll. The wrapper skin is very thin and filled to the brim with lettuce, carrots, sprouts, and some crunchy bits. This was definitely one of the few things I tried in Singapore that wasn't my cup of tea. For something that looks like it would be savory tasted surprisingly sweet.

Min chiang kueh (Hokkien for peanut pancake) is something my Airbnb host recommended in her nearby eateries guide. Even though at first glance it doesn't seem very special, these swirly treats are very unique. The pancake has a chewiness and airiness to it that the typical flapjacks lack. Desiccated coconut, sugar-peanut mixture, and red bean fillings are tried & true matches to anything remotely "cakey". I think my favorite may have been the peanut version because the crunchy texture paired well with the soft sweet roll. These min chiang kueh sell for 50 cents a piece. It is worth a try without having to commit to a lot at once.

lavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell fresh coconut stand
lavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell Food Center fresh coconut waterlavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell Food Center fresh coconut flesh

Maxwell Juice Bar, Maxwell Food Center, Chinatown.

Sipping fresh coconut water in the humid Singapore weather is second-to-none. It is almost impossible to miss it. Hawker centres are everywhere in the Singapore and most will have at least one vendor who sells fresh coconuts. It couldn't be any more practical since the vendors could easily crack open the coconut for you and the hawker centres have places where you can properly discard the remaining shells.

While drinking coconut water straight from the fruit is as good as it can get, I had no idea young coconut flesh could be so interesting. The meat is jelly-like and scrapes off easily. It made for a great bonus dessert.

lavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell Food Center Tian Tian Chicken vendorlavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell Food Center Tian Tian Chicken prices
lavlilacs Singapore Chinatown Maxwell Food Center Tian Tian Chicken

Tian Tian Chicken, Maxwell Food Center, Chinatown.

Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Center is certainly on the top of my "Most Memorable" list. Hainanese chicken isn't a new dish to me. Yet the way the way Tian Tian Chicken Rice made it felt completely new. The meat was so smooth and tender. The breast meat wasn't dry or tough at all! The flavored rice was tasty and not overly fatty.

When any restaurant or food vendor has long lines of not only tourists but also locals waiting for food, it is safe to say that it would be a solid choice for a meal. Tian Tian definitely didn't disappoint. Chicken and rice are what they do (no really, they only do chicken, rice, and veggies) and they do both oh so well. My aunt and I enjoyed it so much that this was the only place we ate at twice during our short visit to Singapore. I am over the moon excited to hear that Anthony Bourdain is working to bring them over to NYC in the near future for his Asian style food center in Manhattan.

lavlilacs Singapore Sentosa Singapore Seafood Republic Chili Crab

Singapore Seafood Republic, Sentosa.

I am usually the last one to reach for crustaceans if it is ordered at big family dinners. So much work is needed to pick out such a small amount of meat. Some time ago I heard about Singapore's unique chili crab dish and how beloved it was by everyone who's tried it. Such praises kept it on my food radar despite my laziness for deshelling seafood.

It was unexpectedly quite difficult to find an eatery that served the dish that also wasn't too out of the way. I wanted to stop by Sentosa even more after I found that a place called the Singapore Seafood Republic served chili crab. This is definitely a very heavy dish for two people in the middle of the day, but once-in-a-lifetime chance, right?

The sauce of the dish is definitely the star: spicy but still sweet and tangy. There isn't enough crab meat for all the saucy goodness. My biggest regret is not knowing to order fried buns to use as a sauce mopping mechanism.

lavlilacs Singapore Orchard Road Riverside Indonesian BBQ Ayam Panggang Set

Riverside Indonesian BBQ, ION Orchard, Orchard Road.

With all the food courts and hawker centres available in Singapore, the choices for lunch and dinner are endless. A little too overwhelming especially for someone as indecisive as me. While the above foods were recommended in some way or another to me via a guide or internet review, Riverside Indonesian BBQ was something I stumbled upon completely by chance. My Aunt and I chose a random shopping mall on Orchard Road to have dinner and we chose different food vendors to buy our meals from. Without searching anything up, I chose to have some grilled chicken based on line size and scent alone.

The ayam panggang set (grilled chicken with curry rice, veggies, and fried egg) from Riverside was unlike anything else I've ever had. Probably because I have never had Indonesian food before. But still, the grilled chicken and their sauces were amazing! Saucy rice is my biggest weakness. There isn't anything else like slathering a layer or flavor over a plain bed of rice. I remember the meat being very tender and juicy. Yet the highlight of the dish, in my opinion, is whatever the dark caramelized sauce is which the chicken bathes in. Oh~ what I would do to be able to eat this combo again!