My Skin Journey With Annabelle Skin | One Year Later~

Hello my readers, it has been a while since i have last updated on my skin! I have been a paying customer with Annabelle Skin for a year and i must say that this is the best decision i had made for my skin. ūüôā Gone were the days whereby i will be depressed over acne breakouts and persistent bumps on my skin. My skin is also less sensitive, less oily, brighter with small pores size! ūüôā

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A hidden gem in¬†the Adelphi –¬†Annabelle Skin (Founded in 1994) aims to serve as the trusted skin and body care companion to its¬†clients as they go through different stages in life by providing quality treatments, effective results and personalized service.¬†Annabelle Skin¬†strongly believes that everyone‚Äôs skin condition is unique. Each skin and body treatment will be¬†customized accordingly with the¬†combination of skillful manual methods with advanced scientific beauty technology, using high quality products made with natural ingredients from Europe to produce the best and most effective results.

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What set Annabelle Skin different from other salons which i have been to is that each facial treatment will be customized. Throughout my 1 year skin journey with Annabelle Skin, i have tried different types of Skin Treatments to address my ‘then’ skin condition. I love this personal touch as the skin condition will be ever-changing due to external factors and stress level. Hence, customized treatments in accordance to skin condition will help address and target problem areas better!¬†This is the state of my skin BEFORE¬†all the facial treatments at Annabelle Skin. See the amount of red patches, bumps and breakouts that i had?!

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Here’s my skin’s condition before my 12th facial treatment (Clear and smooth skin isn’t it?) . Before the start of every session, Mandy (my beautician) will always access the current condition. Mandy told me that she will work on skin hydration and healing. ¬†The facial¬†treatment started off with cleansing. As i did not have any makeup on, Mandy went straight into normal skin cleansing ¬†with the use of Sensi-Bel Delicate Cleanser¬†followed by Sensi-Bel Delicate¬†Tonic to remove remaining residues.¬†Next step is to exfoliate with a gentle scrub to get rid of impurities and dead skin cell. Mandy told me that my skin isn’t as sensitive as before so she can use scrub on my skin. ūüôā

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After which, cold steam was used to further hydrate and soothe my skin for 15 minutes before extraction commerce!¬†Over at Annabelle Skin, they do not promote squeezing to decongest pores. Extraction is done using a special extraction tool from Switzerland together with special technique to remove blackheads &¬†clogged sebum. As a result,¬†it is not as painful and red as compared to conventional extraction. Personally,¬†i felt that extraction seems less painful nowadays as the clogged particles are not embarked deep within and there’s lesser clogged pores / congestion (yay!).

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Steaming

After extraction, Mandy sterilized my skin with a¬†high frequency machine to kill bacteria on the skin‚Äôs surface.. During the process, i experienced a mild ting-ing p¬†sensation. After which, she applied Intensa Ampoules No.12¬†on my skin. What i love about Dr Belter’s ampoule is that it does not cause a burning / stinging sensation during application (which i will experience with other brand’s).

[AMPOULE No. 12 ANTI-STRESS]

The physical and psychological stress of everyday life coupled with environmental influences lead increasingly to unpleasant skin irritation and disturbance. The skin is the largest human sensory organ and must be strengthened and protected against these attacks. This ampoule serum encompasses special plant complexes and key milk properties as a powerful shield, on guard to protect you.

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Extraction completed!

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At the last stage of the treatment, Mandy applied a nourishment mask on my skin before using the Photolight 660 device to promote skin healing ans stability. Originating from Biogenie France, the development of Photolight 660 is based on several years of research in cosmetology on the optimal treatment of skins after damages due to the sun and to ageing. It is a non-invasive and athermic technique which uses a very specific light wave’s length of 660 nanometres that stimulates the production of collagen on fibroblasts. Photolight 660 was used on my skin to help improve the skin tone evenness, diminishes red blotches and to aid with skin healing.

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Immediately after facial, my skin will have this after facial glow and it will be smoother & brighter! It is normal to experience¬†mild purging in the form of¬†small pimples with pus as¬†the facial will ‚Äėpush‚Äô¬†skin impurities embedded within pores to the surface. During these 2 days,¬†i just have to take extra care in applying pimple gel to dry it up and also try to resist squeezing it.. Nowadays, i hardly have those big headache acne on my skin and i will only have mild hormonal breakouts when nearing my period. Another obvious difference is the reduction in pore size and i’m really pleased with it (It is possible to achieve this through regular facial instead of harsh laser treatment!)

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If you are interested in trying out Annabelle Skin, they are offering my readers 1st facial trial at 50% off, plus free skin analysis and tester set! Just have to quote my name ‚ÄėJermaine Liang‚Äė when you are booking your appointment.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend everyone! ūüôā

Various Laser & Non-laser Treatment Options for Skin Tightening

Let’s talk about a beauty-related ¬†topic which many are concerned with!

Have you seen the movie ‚Äď The Curious Case of Benjamin Button back in 2009?¬†To¬†summarize, this movie talks about Benjamin‚Äôs bizarre and extraordinary life-story as he ages backwards and live his life ‚Äėaging in reverse‚Äô.. When he is born, he suffers from several aging diseases and has to live his child-hood in his eighties while he becomes younger when he gets older with time‚Ķ

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Picture from Google Image

As i’m already in my 30s, how i wish i can lead my life-like Benjamin whereby I will look younger when i gets older.. Sad to say, i cannot stop the signs of aging and the best i can do is to age gracefully‚Ķ.

Sooner or later, everyone faces issues with skin sagging and stretching, making you look older than you actually are. While it is often from aging, other factors pre-age such as smoking, over exposure to the sun, and environmental toxins. The good news is that you aren’t powerless in the fight against aging.¬†To fight against aging signs, you can choose between dermatological procedures and skincare solution., you can choose between dermatological procedures and skincare solution.¬†Here are just a few.

Lasers Used for Skin Tightening

There is a multitude of lasers that treat all different kinds of skin conditions. Even if you are looking specifically for skin tightening lasers, there are plenty to choose from:

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* Fraxel or CO2 – This laser vaporizes skin cells on the surface to exfoliate the skin. Recovery time can take only a few days or up to a few weeks. This treatment does not work on all skin tones, so be careful if you have a darker tone, whether natural or from sun exposure.

* IPL or Intense Pulsed Light – This style of laser uses pulses of light to penetrate the skin and heat the cells, which in turn stimulates collagen production. In order to prevent burns, newer models include a cooling device to cool the skin as the treatments is applied. Like the CO2 laser, the IPL is not recommended for those with darker skin tones as it can cause hyper pigmentation.

* Thermage – This laser delivers heat to the deeper skin layer, leaving the surface of the skin untouched. This makes it ideal for all skin tones, though anyone with oily skin should confirm with the clinic that it won’t be a problem. Because it is non-ablative, the down time is only a few hours for the average treatment. If a larger area is being treated, it may take longer.

* Ultherapy – This device uses ultrasound technology to encourage collagen production for thicker, tightened skin. It is ideal for the face, neck, jowls, and brow.

Non Laser Treatments

Pretty much everyone has heard of plastic surgery, an invasive method for tightening skin. It has a long recovery time, depending on the extent of surgery being performed. There are many possible side effects like severely swollen skin, potential infections, and heavy scarring. Also, there are some major risks, especially if you have a heart condition or diabetes. It’s true that the results are usually very dramatic and long-lasting, but you need to carefully weigh the risks before going through with such a drastic procedure.

Before Making a Decision

Don’t choose which method without consulting with your doctor or dermatologist first. Remember, even if friends swear by a certain treatment, it doesn’t mean it will work for your needs. You have to factor in all risks, consider any side effects, and look at your skin tone and condition. Finally, learn about the results each method provides. Then decide if it’s worth it for you.

ShopBack: Online shopping with cashback and a Sephora sale!

Hello everyone!!¬†It has been 1 month plus since we have moved to our new house and we are settling down fine!! Here’s how a lazy Saturday looks like when the husband don’t have to travel for work.. ¬†We are still in the midst of housewarming and we are currently inviting our friends & relatives in batches.. In this way, we will be able to play a better host ūüôā

Food-wise, i’m sooo thankful for food delivery portals like Food Panda which offers many choices (Besides the regular fast food deliveries~). Do you know discount code is not the only way you can enjoy some cash savings for your food orders? On top of that, you are entitled to cashback too! ¬†Good things must share! ūüôā

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You can enjoy cashback when you shop or order food online via Shopback! When you spend online through ShopBack, a portion of your purchase will be given back as Cashback. This means extra, unlimited savings whenever you shop online! ¬†Founded in 2014, it has grown to become Singapore’s Top Cashback Website. What i like about ShopBack is that it works with many different popular merchants like Groupon, Jetstar,¬†Sephora,¬†Guardian¬†and many more.

The print-screen below shows some of the merchants which consists of fashion, travel, electronics, dining and so much more. How ShopBack work is by affiliate marketing. For each sales generated on the various sites, ShopBack receives a commission and then portion of those earnings are passed back to the shoppers.  Without much fuss, you can get up to 30% Cashback when you shop online for needs~

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Online Sale and Deals

ShopBack helps you get the best deals and discounts on 300+ online stores, plus Cashback! As mentioned, you can enjoy even more cost savings by utilizing coupons / vouchers/ promo codes/ discount code on top of cashback. Click here and you can gain access to all the vouchers / discount codes! Gone were the days whereby you have to use search engines to find one (Only to discover that it is invalid. haha!). Time for more online shopping!!!!!!

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Here’s a video to show how ShopBack works but nothing beats a real life example right? ūüôā At a recent house-warming, my husband and i had use ShopBack¬†while ordering from Foodpanda. As a result, we enjoyed 8% CashBack effortlessly.

Firstly, log in to your account and click on any store and get redirected to the merchant’s website. In our case, we clicked on Food Panda and was redirected to the website. If you cannot locate the shop / brand / product you want, you can use the search function ūüôā

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Locate what you want.

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Click on the ‘Shop-Now- Button

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Once re-directed, stay on the same browser and shop as usual on merchant’s site to make your purchase. Cashback will be processed once you have made your purchase. You can locate it in your ShopBack’s account within 48 hours, under the ‘Pending’ tab

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Cashback will turn ‘Redeemable’ once order is validated by the merchant. This will take 30-60 days to ensure that there is no order cancellation/return/exchange. An email will be sent once the cashback is credited to your account.

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Lastly, Cashback can be ‘Cash out’ easily to your PayPal or bank account. Just get your bank account set up and your payout will be credited once you have ‘confirmed’ your payout on ShopBack.

You can request for payout once you’ve reached Redeemable Cashback of $10.00
Bonus can only be cashed out when your Redeemable Cashback reaches $10.00

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Cost savings is as easy as 123 with SHOPBACK..

From now on, remember to incorporate ShopBack during your online shopping / ordering to earn more savings through cashback, coupons and deals! ūüôā

Thepowerof2DJ’s Lovenest‚Äď Update #1 (Defects Check)

Hello everyone, Sorry for disappearing again as i was so busy with work and the defect inspection process!! As you know, i have collected the keys to my new house 3 weeks ago.. As want to move in as soon as possible, we went straight into defect checks on the same day itself. As per the feedback from other residents in our Facebook Group, the defects are not so bad (Thank you Developer!) so we have decided not to engage any professional defect finder to help in our defect inspection. Instead, we have engaged the help of our ID, Parents in Law, Ben & Helen (My cousin & my friend) to assist us with the defect checking! (Thank you guys!)

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Thank God that the defects in our unit are very minor and everyone who helped in the defect checking were saying that the developer did a very good job this time… The only ‘major’ defect is with the Balcony door as something is wrong with the tracks~ The¬†glass sliding door does not move smoothly so both sides of the panels cannot be pushed to the end.

Other small defects include:

Balcony: Some balcony tiles have stains but we did not raise this problem to the developer as we will be doing decking so that it will be in line with our house theme.

Kitchen: There are stains and stains on the kitchen cabinet & wall. One of the hinges fell off when we opened up one of the cabinet. We will be removing the door of the kitchen due to the poor design. Our kitchen is already small enough and the door will be hazardous once opened!

Living Room: Not much major issues apart from 1-2 hollow tiles, stains and some incomplete grout between the joints of the tiles.

Main Door: Viewfinder has a crack at the bottom and there’s some stains on the door as well… Stopper at the top (I don’t know what is the correct term) doesn’t close the door smoothly.

Toilets: One of the shower screen door cannot close tightly… Both shower head holders are not screwed tightly… There are also stains and minor stains.¬†There are minor scratches and stains in both¬†toilets. Water pressure is also on the weak side and some helpful neighbors have already told us how to rectify the problem.

Bedrooms: For the flooring,¬†¬†there’s 1-2 hollow tiles, some chipping of tiles and stains~ As for the wardrobes, there are minor stains and¬†scratches. For the windows, some fine scratches on both the glass and window frames.

Walls: We left the aircon running at full blast overnight and there are some cracks on the wall… There are also stains on the wall but it won’t be an issue since we will be repainting the entire house.

Overall, we are quite satisfied with the workmanship for our development. Not to mention, the defect rectification team is really efficient. Few days after we submitted the defect list, they called us for a joint inspection so that they can rectify the defects. My parents in law helped us as my husband was away and i couldn’t take time off from work.

However, the actual defect rectification process took longer than expected and along the way we found more defects… In between, i have to go down personally to ‘chase’ them as i wish to start the renovation asap! In total, they took 2 weeks to rectify most of the defects. When i went to check a few days ago, some of the reported defects are (mostly the¬†incomplete grout ) still not done! Made some noise and they said they will rectify it by Monday. I know they have their constraints as well as they have so many units to handle so i have decided to sign the documents for handover.

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We will be starting our much-anticipated renovation¬†tomorrow and i’m glad to have engaged the help of a really talented and responsible ID. Will be more with more updates on the renovation so stay tune! Ending off with a picture of the pool at night~ Really love the peaceful and tranquil environment~ The most favorite feature has to be the ‘floating’ pavilion! ūüôā

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Picture from Waterbay’s Facebook page

In the meantime, i’m open to home related collaborations so you can keen to email me if you are keen to work with me. Thank you!:)

Thepowerof2DJ’s Honeymoon in Finland – Update #1

Hello my readers, it has been many months since my honeymoon to Finland and i’m ready to blog¬†about it (Way overdue i know! haha). Why Finland you might ask? For many years, i have been dreaming of a White Christmas. My husband has yearning to visit¬†Finland but i’m really worried that i cannot take the harsh winter.. Eventually, we have decided to head to South Africa for a more exotic honeymoon and we have paid for the deposit¬†at the Natas Fair. However, we have to cancel it¬†as Jane entered our lives the following month. Due¬†to the turn of events a few months later, i have a lot of spare time during my Maternity Leave. My husband also has to clear his leave so he suggested that we head for¬†the long overdue honeymoon in December. His first choice is Finland (obviously) and we decided to just do it!

We booked our trip very last-minute in October and being the peak season, we were really lucky to grab the very last 2 air tickets on Finnair (On both Departure and Arrival Flight)… Due to the time constraint, we engaged the help of a tour operator to arrange for land tours (Meaning, she will only help us with the reservation of our air tickets, accommodation¬†and railway tickets).¬†We prefer a F&E trip, we don’t like to follow rigid schedule (too much constraints & restrictions) and i dislike travelling with too many people. If i did not remember wrongly, the air tickets cost about $1.5k each and this is the only airline that offers direct flight to Finland from Singapore. Overall, the flight experience was good with friendly and attentive crew~ The 2 meals provided were delicious as well but the only complaint was¬†the lack of leg space (SQ’s flight has bigger leg space!). hehe~

Tip #1: If possible, do self-check in the day before in case flight overbooked. You can also select your favorite seat and in our case, seats near the window!

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Check out my furry and warm boots!

We arrived Finland in about 12-13 hours and i was thrilled when the plane was about to land as most places were covered with snow! Thank God for providing us with the means so that we have this opportunity to experience such a magical moment.

It was about 6.30am when we arrived Helsinki and we cleared immigration swiftly before collecting our luggage. We had an internal flight to catch at 11+ hence there was so much time to kill.. :/ After self-check in & bag drop was done for our next flight, we roamed around the airport. It was snowing while we arrived! Yay!! Since it was the winter season, there was little day light so the skies remained dark and gloomy most of the time.

We also purchased SIM card bundle from¬†R-Kioski (Convenience store) at the arrival hall. We bought the Saunalahti Perhenetti Prepaid Bundle which costs 39,00 ‚ā¨ which consists of a¬†Mobile Broadband (WIFI) router and a¬†Saunalahti Prepaid Mobile Broadband simcard (Including one month data in Finland and 6¬†‚ā¨ Balance for calls).

Tip #2: There’s individual sim card available but we reckon the bundle is more worth it as we would be relying heavily on the internet (on the go) and we would be there for 2 weeks. Moreover, we wouldn’t have to go through the hassle to top it up from time to time. Saunalahti ‘s network is stable, fast and has coverage at all the places we went so i will highly recommend it. ūüôā

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There’s plenty of cafes to get your food fixs and free WIFI at the airport to help us kill time… For Pandora lovers, there’s an outlet in the airport itself so that you can get your accessories at tax-free prices.. Don’t say i never share ūüėõ

Rovaniemi is the first destination that we were heading to and it is the capital of Lapland.. Rovaniemi as it is the Official Hometown of Santa Claus and it is¬†an urban oasis amidst the Arctic wilderness, where culture and wild activities and fairytales come together (Quote from http://www.visitrovaniemi.fi/). Will touch on what’s in Rovaniemi in my next blog post so stay tune.

We chose to take an internal flight to Rovaniemi to save time as it only takes 1 hr 15 mins to arrive there (as compared to taking an overnight train). Finnair and Norwegian Airline flies there and we took Norwegian Airline as it is a budget carrier (Hence tickets are more affordable). We booked the internal flight tickets ourselves as it was a last-minute decision (as we decided not to take overnight train). Paid about $464.22 for 2 pax and the flight experience was good as well! Comfortable leather seat and leg space is decent as well.. Their air crew also emphasized a lot on safety which we really appreciate (Unlike certain budget airline that i took in Singapore)

Check out the really adorable decoration on the baggage carousel!! Our baggage came out really fast as well and i was really excited to begin our winter land adventure!

The lazy Polar Beer & Reindeer!

Cute Huskies!

Waiting for my luggage and i can’t wait to start my winter adventure

To get to our hotel in the city, we took the Airport Bus right outside the first exit near to the¬† baggage carousel area (Basically, you just have to walk straight).. The bus will be waiting outside whenever there’s any flight incoming and no booking is required.¬†Bus fare¬†starts from 7¬†‚ā¨ from the airport to the city. The bus will leave immediately after the arrival of Finnair and Norwegian Flights so you have to be quick! The bus journey to our hotel took about 45 mins and i was busy enjoying the scenery along the way. The driver will help you with your luggage after you alight and Finnish are really friendly people! ūüôā

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Picture taken from Google’s image

Plenty of Snow & Pine Trees!

-14 degrees~

We stayed in¬†City Hotel Rovaniemi and we chose this hotel as it is located in the main city area whereby the city shopping centre is located in the vicinity (Just across the street). Check in was done fast by helpful and attentive hotel staff! Our room + Bathroom were small but adequate for the both of us! It has a modern touch and filled with the needed¬†amenities (Like heater, toiletries and coffee-making factilities etc).¬†The in-room WiFi was complimentary, fast and stable so we have nothing much to complain about.. Bed and pillows were comfortable and it really helped to ‘shorten’ my jetlag sympton. Breakfast provided by the hotel was really good as well and i enjoyed it very much!

#Tip 3: You can use online travel search engine¬†like Hotels.com¬†/ Expedia to check out different¬†choices /comparison of flights and timing. Likewise for hotel rooms! Sometimes, it will be more affordable to book your flights or Hotels via these online portals instead of booking direct through the airline / hotels’s website. At the same time, you can¬†enjoy¬†more cost savings by¬†utilizing¬†coupons / discount codes from sites like CupoNation.¬†

We arrived on 24 Dec so the hotel was hosting Gala Dinner (on 24th and 25th Dec) for their occupants! It was a really nice touch as almost all the shops were closed (Including cafes and Restaurants)~ Special mention to the employees as they have to work on a holiday and coping with the large amount of guest during the Christmas Period (The hotel was fully booked while we were staying there).

Here’s what we had on the first night (Clockwise Direction):

Smoked Salmon Herb Cream and Roe, Grilled Filet of Beef, Reindeer Carpaccio with dried and preserved berries, Fire Frilled White Fish and Strawberry Champagne Sorbet (Not in picture). 

Almost everything beside the Reindeer Carpaccio were delicious! I took a small bite of the Reindeer Carpaccio and it has a stronger and weirder aftertaste as compared to the mutton. No price for guessing who ate it in the end (The dustbin. lol!)

After dinner, we went to explore the hotel area. All the shops were closed due to the festive season and we wanted to walk to the Arktikum (Arctic Centre and Regional Museum of Lapland) located 15 mins away from the hotel. Bad choice and we gave up halfway as the extreme cold was too much for us to bear!

Tip #4: Do bring along a mask as the cold air that you breathe in will make your nose very dry and uncomfortable (Some will even experience nose bleed). If possible, wear spectacles with anti-fog lenses or contact lenses (Bring a bottle of eye drop along). If not, your spectacle lenses will fog up and freeze (no Joke!)

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Us with the fogged up and Frozen Spectacle lenses!

Went back to the hotel for a short rest and proceeded to the lobby again as the staff told us that Santa Claus will be paying a visit. I did not expect that he will arrive on a Reindeer Sled! Omg!

Do you know that Reindeer is a species of deer that’s native to Arctic?

Look at the thick amount of fur! Reindeer are built for staying warm in freezing temperatures!

After staring at the Reindeer indoors, my husband suggested to run outside and take a picture with the Reindeer. We were under-dressed and our down jackets were in the rooms (There was not enough time for us to go up and grab it).

We were freezinggggg after spending less than 3 mins outside (Temperature was -19 degrees) but it was worth it!

Alright! I will end a picture with the (Not so happy¬†looking) Santa Claus and that’s all for Day 1! We only had a few hours to spare as we reached the hotel at about 3 pm and many attractions were closed~ Went to bed early to prepare for Day 2 as we had to wake up early~

Stay Tune to my next update and Happy Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all my muslim friends and readers. Have a great weekend everyone!