Uni started this week and my mind still hasn’t adjusted itself to the escalation of thinking required when attending classes. The first week after spring break is customarily filled with “how was your holiday?”-type questions and I’m always happy to oblige. Against a background of my friends recollecting their adventures in Sydney/Queensland/Monaco (k the Monaco tale did make me a lil green), I was one of the few who would say unashamedly, “I did absolutely nothing and it was beautiful.”
Okay, that was a semi-lie. I spent the last two weeks getting my body back on track: I threw away all the junk food I had in my house, even my roommate’s emergency bags of crisps when she wasn’t looking. Just kidding. It took all of my powers of persuasion (“It’s not food wastage if it isn’t real food to begin with!”) and she finally relented in the end. I also ate more complex carbs and at some point, the only form of protein I was consuming was tofu so in some ways, I became a pseudo-vegetarian LOL.
This was unintentional to be honest, I couldn’t be arsed to go to the market to get fish and meat ;p But the two week meat purge did me some good: I’ve lost 3 kilos so far WHOO /o/ Anyway, my fridge is now fully-stocked again so I guess that’s the end of my stint as a vegetarian haha! It feels great to be eating healthy again though and I can’t remember why I went down the dark path of evil processed food – Oh right – school, the elitist institution responsible for nurturing, not bright minds, but weight gain.
The irony in this entry is that I’m about to share a seafood chowder recipe which isn’t exactly on top of the healthy food list since it’s loaded with one of God’s greatest gifts to female thighs: cream. But one can always make healthy adjustments to the recipe by using lite cream and skim milk, yes? I take no credit for the recipe, it’s actually my roommate’s which is why I’ve named it after her ;D Thanks Nini! <3
Nini’s Seafood Chowder
1 teaspoon butter
2 gloves garlic
1 potato, boiled and grated
1 cup fresh milk
1/2 cup cream (YEAAAAHHHHH)
1.5 cups of seafood marinara mix
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped finely
A pinch of salt and black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a heated pot and throw in the garlic and onion until fragrant.
2. Add in the grated potato and stir.
3. Pour the fresh milk into the pot and let it heat up for a bit.
4. Add the marinara and cream into the mixture and make sure you stir well!
5. Season according to taste with the salt, black pepper and parsley.
6. Serve with bread or with pasta!
I actually like it enough on its own ;D Bon appétit!
And because I’ve been a proud Apple advocate since 2005:
The man whose computers and applications I have to thank for allowing me to create beautiful things like tea noir and the many other design projects I was involved in during my days as a design student and subsequently, as a working designer. Thank you Steve, and goodbye.
Image credit: Time.com
P.S about the Apple logo: It wasn’t designed by Steve Jobs or anyone under Apple for that matter. It was designed by a man named Rob Janoff who says the story of Adam and Eve had nothing to do with the bite in the famous apple. Here’s my favourite quote from an interview he did:
I’m probably the least religious person, so Adam and Eve didn’t have anything to do with it. The bite of knowledge sounds fabulous, but that’s not it. And, there is a whole lot of other lure about it.
Turing, the famous supposed father of computer science who committed suicide in the early 50’s, was British and was accused of being homosexual, which he was. He was facing a jail sentence so he committed suicide to avoid all that. So, I heard one of the legends being that the colored logo was an homage to him. People think I did the colored stripes because of the gay flag. And, that was something really thought for a long time. The other really cool part was that apparently he killed himself with a cyanide laced apple. And, then I found out Alan Turing’s favorite childhood story was Snow White where she falls asleep forever for eating a poisoned apple to be woken up by the handsome prince.
Anyway, when I explain the real reason why I did the bite it’s kind of a let down. But I’ll tell you. I designed it with a bite for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry. Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple. Something that everyone can experience. It goes across cultures. If anybody ever had an apple he probably bitten into it and that’s what you get.
It was after I designed it, that my creative director told me: “Well you know, there is a computer term called byte”. And I was like: “You’re kidding!”
Back story: A month ago, a mole I have on my elbow began itching terribly but after asking my mother about it (she works in the medical industry), she told me there wasn’t anything to worry about so I left it at that. But last week, I noticed the same mole had a layer of scab over it and there was a lot of redness surrounding the area. I googled this up like any techy young adult would do and Dr Google diagnosed my symptoms as that of melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Ensue crazy panic attacks and general freaking out.
My puzzling skin condition has been solved after leaving two doctors bewildered by my irrational mole (yes, I did just call it that – irrational). I was referred to the Skin Cancer Foundation for a thorough diagnosis, and what they actually mean by ‘thorough’ is a 5 minute chat with the doctor about the mole on my elbow and some careful prodding with that weird magnifying glass you often spy on a doctor’s desk. I was expecting to see more complex equipment to be frank: glasses with an endless number of magnifying lenses that you can slide in and out, one that would allow you to see the party of ruptured cells on my elbow. Maybe the magnifying glass dermatologists get are 10x more powerful than the standard issue.
The doctor tells me he doesn’t think it’s melanoma since my ethnicity, medical history and staggering ability to stay out of the sun makes it nearly damn impossible otherwise. I’m feeling kinda relieved at this point but mostly I am thinking, “Damn doctor, you’re pretty cute”. Kayz Ilyana, keep your hormones in check.
We decide together that it’s probably a layer of eczema* that’s just happened to cover my mole, no more but wicked chance. My doctor gives the head of the clinic a call, a Professor Robin Marks, and I’m thankful another woman would be in the consulting room because I need a distraction from Le Smoking Hot Asian Doctor. Of course, Professor Robin Marks turns out to be an eccentric old man who walks with a slight limp and carries an actual Sherlock Holmes type magnifying glass wherever he goes. I didn’t know what to think. He whips out his magnifying glass and holds them over my hands – “My goodness you have gold on your nails!”
I like him already.
Why my nails looked so frickin’ amazing yesterday:
Chanel Varnish in Peridot. THE NEBULA IN A BOTTLE! Twas a birthday present from Catherine, she spoils me so much omg THANKS DARLING <3
Anyway, Professor Marks touched my mole for 3 seconds and said, “This is just plain eczema, can’t you feel it?” in this singsong ~~ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON!~~ manner. Hot Asian Doctor was looking at us both sheepishly, prolly feeling guilty for calling the Prof away from his office awww :3
And then the worst happened: The Prof told me to strip so the both of them could examine my back. KILL. ME. NOW. The contents of last night’s dinner swirled in my head like a tragic bowl of punch: sweet chilli tofu, grilled chicken, some carrots, a mountain of rice and half a chocolate muffin. DAMN IT THAT CHOCOLATE MUFFIN. So while I was putting on my sad strip show, Hot Asian Doctor had a little chat with the Professor about some other patient business in an effort to keep things less awkward for me. I really appreciated that omg ;__; In Singapore, if you had to strip for the doctor – he’ll barely give you two minutes to get your shiz together before saying, “HELLO, READY OR NOT?” True story, k.
The two doctors gave my back a quick glance and satisfied by the lack of melanoma symptoms it showed, they thanked me for my time and walked me out to the reception (so nice and polite omg SINGAPORE Y U NO HAVE GENTLEMEN?!)
So yay, I’m cancer-free guys! I’m so thankful it was just a false alarm but er I am a little scarred that Hot Asian Doctor had to see my love handles .__. I’ll get over it eventually but I still cry in the shower thinking about my strip show HAHAHAH ok no.
But in all seriousness, skin cancer is not to be trifled with. If you have a mole that’s been bothering you for a while, I urge you to have it checked out! Remember to wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun. Thanks to everyone who was panicking along with me on Twitter and in real life LOL, I appreciate all the love and well wishes <3 <3 <3
Note: I suffer from contact dermatitis – I’m allergic to nickel, which sadly is what most costume jewellery is made of. Whenever I wear my rings or any other non-silver/gold jewellery for long periods of time, I eventually get eczema as an allergic reaction. To put it simply: I suffer for fashion. The good thing is if and when I get married in the future and I shop for jewellery with my husband, I can say, “Honey, it’s not my fault I have expensive taste, I WAS BORN THIS WAY!” 8D
For someone who used to grouse about the lack of Lush stores in Singapore, I ironically write very little on the subject matter now that I live in a country teeming with it. I can explain.
Going to Lush for the first time is like going to your favorite buffet restaurant. You’re barely 10 ft away but already you are catching whiffs of toffee and pink rock star soap. When you’ve been to a restaurant a couple of times, you’re certain you know what you want but there is often that nagging feeling you get; the one that tells you maybe, just maybe, you should stop playing it safe and try something different today. It is our innate need for new experiences that makes the Lush store a very dangerous place. And I avoid it the same way I avoided carbs in a failed all-protein diet: Pretend it doesn’t exist.
Trouble is, I have to pass by a certain Lush store everyday on my way to school. I used to think this was the best thing ever, I could pop in anytime I wanted regardless of the time. Then, it happened. I keep my Lush paper bags piled neatly on the top shelf of my closet (you know, out of sight, out of mind lol). Sometime last year, I was late for dinner with friends so I was running around, getting dressed, sorta lost my balance and crashed. Into my closet. I opened it just to check if the doors were still working and like a broken dam, 12 black/yellow paper bags slid out, pelting me at my feet. And I was left with a very visual display of just why I was broke every month.
Just like this:
Not good, gais. So I’ve been anti-Lush the last 6 months. Pretty good record, considering every sidelong glance at the store’s woodsy interior gradually eats away my resistance. And my resistance finally gave away last week when I was feeling the hate from school so I went in to check out their new summer stuff!
I’m very fond of Lush’s bath bombs and bubble bars…when I still had a tub. Sex in The Shower is one of their new emotibombs, designed specifically for the bathtub-less! It smells strongly of roses and ylang ylang which I’d imagine to be a perfect combo for the ‘deed’ lol. Still, single ladies (and men) would probably appreciate an indulgent shower from time to time. The sad thing is, like an inexperienced lover, the emotibomb probably lasted just under 10 minutes in the shower? But I have to admit, it was a delightful 10 minute experience LOL I’M SO GETTING SUED FOR THIS. *cough* So yeah, if you’re feeling down and wouldn’t mind throwing $5 into the sewage pipes just so you can get high on rose-scented fumes, SEX IN THE SHOWER IS WHAT YOU WANT.
Demon in the Dark. The Godmother. Unlucky for Dirt. Vanilla in The Mist. Just rattling off some of my favourite Lush soaps, who comes up with these names and scents seriously? Just incredible. Yet, none of these soaps would ever top my favourite: Honey, I Washed The Kids (or in this entry, Honey for short). Now, the problem I have with Honey is that while the scent is exquisite, the soap formula is a little drying to the skin. But just for Valentine’s Day (Yeah, I am a lil slow huh?), Lush released a shower gel version of their no. 1 soap: It’s Raining Men.
Oh. My. God. It smells exactly like Honey except punchier (I think it’s the inclusion of bergamot and wild orange oil) and the fragrance just lingers on your skin forever. I’ve stopped using my perfume since I bought this from the store because I’d hate to have something mask its caramel-like nuance. I have no problems with the shower gel formulation too. Truly, truly sublime. Sadly, it’s limited edition so I’m tempted to get the largest bottle but it’s $30 ._. WHO SPENDS $30 ON SHOWER GEL MAN? (I’ll think about it.)
Anyway, how has everyone been? Anyone else inflicted by similar shopping problems? ;p School has been, I’ll be be blunt, so shit for me the past 2 weeks, I don’t know if I’m imagining things but my workload has increased two fold compared to last semester. I haven’t been sleeping well. And frankly, I don’t have time to take care of myself mentally + nutritionally. It’s been instant noodles, junk food etc. I’ve gained a bit of weight as well, which makes my diet entry last year completely obsolete LOL, it’s a shame, really and I hate it. When your parents’ money are banked on you to get good grades, you better deliver. I haven’t disappointed them yet but this semester has the potential to break my lucky streak, it’s terrifying! Gotta get my act together!
The only subject I like this semester is Poetry. It’s challenging but I enjoy it immensely. I don’t aspire to be a poet, of course but I think it teaches something valuable: To look at the world and describe it in the most unusual way. I suppose that is the beauty of poetry and god, it’s therapeutic. Except for the last couple of days when I was forced to write a sonnet. Sorry, imma werq my free verse everyday. Urgh, Shakespeare. Why didn’t sonnets die with you? That said, I’d still like to have a hot man recite Sonnet 18 to me one day lol, I would just DIE. Happy weekend, everyone!
p.s I think it’s evident by now I don’t have time to read anything other than my school texts. I will catch up with everyone eventually but it’s a little hard, I hope you understand. It’s not you, it’s me (or rather, uni)! If you need to contact me, email me or find me on twitter! Thanks guys x
I like the eccentric as much as I like the pretty. It’s reflected in the clothes I pick and the friends I have. And the kookiest one I know has a bad habit of buying me a hoard of kitschy paraphernalia whenever she travels to the coolest part of Asia, Japan (my very biased opinion, obviously). Yumi‘s half-Japanese so she visits her motherland once a year. Uh huh, I know right. Most people only venture into Tokyo in their sleep (me included!) and she gets to go there every year.
Still, I can’t whine about it too much since she always gets me a giant goody bag filled with amazing things. Remember last year’s? I have no idea why she spoils me so much. I listed down the pros she might have with me as a friend in my head and apart from “enjoys eating monstrous amounts of pizza and pastries” and “can converse on a wide range of topics from the worsening economy to fat cats”, there is quite little I can offer LOL *shrugs* KEEP ON GIVING, YUMI! <3
See what I mean?? How can you not get excited when taking a peek into this treasureland?
The tote bag that came with the magazine she gave me! Perfect for my grocery shopping :3
This cute skincare trial pack she got for me! It comes with a foaming cleanser for the day and a thick gel for removing make-up at night. I’ve not used the cleanser yet (I am a cleanser junkie and have about 4 more bottles of different cleansers to go through, see below) but the make-up remover gel is great! You spread it on your face and it slowly warms up when you massage it into the skin. Mmm magic thermal heating properties, kinky. And with a name like MARSHMALLOW ORANGE, nobody will dare deny its awesomeness. Yep, it does smell of oranges too :3
Natural Blush by Cezanne, which I believe is a common drugstore find in Japan? This is Shade 01 and is reminiscent of my NARS Angelika blush except it’s warmer and matte. It does have a slight shimmer to it in the pan but the shimmer vanishes once you apply it onto the skin. I wasn’t expecting a lot from this blush because I’m going to say, without an ounce of shame, that I wasn’t too keen on the packaging. There’s nothing wrong with it but once you’ve been exposed to the remarkable packaging design skillz of the Japanese, you kinda expect more than a simple acrylic case. Aah but in this case, simple is good. The blush is beautifully pigmented and in the words of Edith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien!
My first product from Japanese drugstore beauty and skincare mogul, SANA! The packaging is so cute omfg, I cannot. Girly ‘kawaii kore!!‘ squeals aside, this concealer is bananas. Like, literally. It is the shade of the palest banana HAHA WTF o_O; The craziest thing is, it fricking works. Admittedly, the coverage isn’t as good as my MAC Studio Finish concealer but it’s got a nice light consistency which the Studio Finish concealer is sorely lacking in. You don’t ever need to worry about putting too much either. Point is, if your undereye circles aren’t as abhorrent as mine, I would definitely recommend the SANA concealer!
THE OBAA-CHAN (grandmother) OF ALL FOAM-DISPENSED CLEANSERS: Softymo’s Airy Whip. I’ve wanted to try this for years! It’s not open yet – I’m saving it for winter. Super huge photo to make up for my lack of review lol.
And the dubiously named Pink-G Body Lotion LOL, oh Japan how you tickle me. Yumi sent me a sexy photo of her posing with this bottle the same day she bought it, yelling with unrestrained enthusiasm about how she found something that screamed ‘me’. It’s got slivers of silver foil trapped in a beautifully rose-scented aqueous gel that transforms into water when coming into contact with your skin . I’ve used it a couple of times and the silver foil actually melts away, leaving behind the barest hint of shimmer. THIS IS THE SHIT RAIT HERE PEOPLE.
Peach-scented hand cream! I know it doesn’t look like your typical tube of hand cream. And get this, the hand cream is dispensed in FOAM. I don’t know what it is with the Japanese and turning everything into foam but GO FORTH AND SOLDIER ON, JAPAN! /o/ It’s like a wild foam party treat for my hands, minus the gyrating bodies and scantily-dressed women, LOVE THIS.
DHC‘s famous lip cream. It’s still unopened, sorry. Again, I’m saving this for winter. I’ve heard plenty of good things about this though, Yumi loves the lip cream as well! I’m going to be so prepared for winter this year; I’ve got different cleansers, lipbalm and slight deviation here, the warmest thermal fleece jacket from UNIQLO <3 WINTER, I WILL OWN YOU.
These product reviews would not have been possible without the extreme generosity of Yumi, THANK YOU MY LOVE <3 <3 I will see you back in Melbourne where we will feast on feta cheese and pumpkin pizza.
ALSO, TEA NOIR’S EPIC GIVEAWAY IS ENDING IN 2 DAYS!! The entries I’ve been getting are such a delight to read, thank you so much for taking part guys! It’s going to be so hard to choose my top faves *_* Please join in the fun, if you haven’t ;D Click here to take part in the giveaway and then you can truly say Non, je ne regrette rien! 8D
Aah so this is the entry everyone and their overweight uncles with beer bellies have been waiting for: How Ilyana Lost 25kg Without Losing Her Soul. Weight loss isn’t exactly rocket science but losing 25kg kinda makes me an unofficial expert in the field of calorie restriction so read this carefully and throw your Atkins Diet guidebooks in the bin cos weight loss tips like these don’t usually come for free.
Oh and because I don’t believe in going to extreme lengths for weight loss i.e starvation, this entry will be filled with yummeh food photos I illegally took at Carousel (photos aren’t allowed but they obviously don’t know who they’re dealing with, tsk) YES. A DIET ENTRY…WITH FOOD PHOTOS. I know, I know..I amaze myself sometimes.
I’ve always maintained a healthy weight since young, I don’t have skinny genes – I’m sorry it’s just not possible; I have boobs, an ass and I love my sushi too much to give it up for teeny tiny clothes. Everyone is probably going to expect some dramatic sob fest on the reasons behind my sudden 25kg weight gain but the answer is as easy and blunt as this: School sucks. I was really stressed up during my last year of school, we had our final project to complete and as I struggled with the many stipulated project deadlines, I turned to food for solace during the many long nights I had to stay awake to complete the project.
By the end of the final deadline, I was seriously overweight and I was living in grey sweats and giant sized tees…not a pretty sight. The worst thing was it didn’t register in my head that I had put on massive amounts of weight even though my thighs had grown to the size of a baby elephant, I was sadly living in denial until I asked my then-boyfriend, “Baby, do you think I’m fat?” and he couldn’t answer the question HAHAHHA SSSSHHHHHIIITTT.
When I first started out on a diet, I was really hard on myself. I was doing the Special K cereal thing where I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a small meal for lunch and another bowl of cereal for dinner. I did that for two weeks straight and I’m still amazed that I actually had the determination to eat nothing but cereal *shudders* I lost a kilo after two weeks but I felt miserable despite the weight loss and told myself there was no way in heck I was gonna live on cereal for the rest of my life which brings me to the REAL dieting portion of this entry. The following “rules” are just an accumulation of what I’ve been doing so far, they work really well for me and hopefully they’ll do the same for you.
Rule 1: Eat breakfast for god’s sake!
I’m not saying you should be eating eggs benedict for breakfast every single day because it’s not quite healthy but not eating breakfast at all is much worse. They’ve been saying that breakfast is the most important meal for centuries now and with good reason, it kicks start your metabolism and gives you the energy you need to kick start the day bla bla bla you know this guys, you’ve heard it so many times before so EAT BREAKFAST, IT IS GOOD FOR CHU. Er if you’re curious about what I always have for breakfast…I usually have a traditional chinese breakfast back when I was still working: chee cheong fun minus the black sauce or 2 steamed chicken buns/baos.
Rule 2: Don’t go overboard with the salads.
Everyone assumes they should be eating a lot of salads when they’re on a diet, there really is nothing wrong with salads or vegetables but just don’t expect to eat a plain salad and fill full the rest of the day. You. will. die. It’s not healthy to be living on vegetables alone raw or not, you should always have some protein mixed in to make it a complete meal. I’m not fond of salads but I thought I should write a little paragraph about this because I know people who think they can live on vegetables alone…and they’re not vegetarians so that’s just crossing the line between trying to eat healthy and starving.
Rule 3: Focus on what you CAN eat and stock up on the soba.
If I could pick a certain type of food that would be the key to my weight loss, it would be the humble soba noodle. All of you should know by now I’m absolutely fanatical about Japanese food and I realized with great haste after my disastrous 2 week cereal diet that restricting myself to a certain type of food was just not my thing. Not all food is made equal but most of them are good for you, you just have to pick the ones you like and shut the supermarket down by buying an entire year’s supply like what I did with the soba.
I LOVE SOBA. I still find it remarkable that something so easy to put together (boil the noodles, drain and eat it with the dipping sauce) would taste so…GLORIOUS. All that buckwheat fills you up real fast and keeps you full until the next meal. There are other ways to serve soba too, my eternal goddess Nigella has a yummy soba salad recipe up on the internets.
Rule 4: Raw fish makes white rice less evil.
Ok white rice isn’t really evil but when you pair it with rich, oily dishes and deep fried stuff, it just gets ugly. The thing about us Asians is that we LOVE rice as much as we love our grandmothers and I’m not saying you should stop eating rice altogether and in a perfect world, I would be pairing rice with healthy dishes like steamed vegetables, oven-baked chicken etc but pfft who has the time?! If you do, then good on ye girlfriend but I am now a full-time uni student and that leaves me with barely enough time to make a sandwich. The solution: JAPANESE FOOD.
The Japanese eat a lot of rice but they pair it with raw fish slices and if the dish is cooked at all, it’s usually sauteed or broiled lightly with soy/teriyaki sauce. I don’t eat rice very often but when I do, it’s usually when I’m eating Japanese food or when my dear mother decides to cook something that doesn’t have a bucket full of coconut milk.
Rule 4: Drink lots of tea!
LOL I didn’t have a photo of the tea I drank in the restaurant so this photo of the amazing green tea mousse cake I had would just have to suffice. I’m not going to elaborate on the benefits of tea (I don’t want to start sounding like an infomercial kthx) so BREW IT. DRINK IT. LOVE IT.
Rule 5: A little chocolate won’t harm you.
The more you deprive yourself of a certain food, the more you’d want to gorge on it so whatever your diet vice is, chocolate, gummy bears, ice cream, whatever – you can eat them all but in MODERATE amounts people. Ideally, you should aim for one cheat meal at the end of each week. You can eat whatever you want during a cheat meal because you deserve it!
Rule 6: Stop hating yourself.
If you’re not overweight, chances are you’re fine the way you are. Nobody’s perfect and everyone was born with different bodies so it really gets to me when my friends who are impossibly skinny whine and complain about how “fat” they are. They don’t eat (except the occasional plate of vegetables) and resort to extreme means in order to lose weight. They’re on a constant crash diet and it gets to a point where they are so steeped in delusion that they actually THINK they’re eating healthy. The best thing is after all that starving, they haven’t lost a single pound >_>
It’s okay if you want to drop a few pounds and cultivate better eating habits but DON’T GET OBSESSIVE. I’m sorry but losing 5 pounds will not drastically change your life and make you a rockstar with the boys (or the girls, whatever catches your fancy) as much as you think it will. I know, I’ve been there, dropped 55lbs and lived to tell u guys that STARVING DOES NOT WORK PEOPLE. This self-hate has got to stop! Recognize that you are amazing in your own way and learn to love your body because IT’S THE ONLY ONE YOU’VE GOT.
Ok I hope that’s answered some of your questions on how I lost weight, it’s the best diet in the world I think lol. Oh and as for exercise – I have a Wii Fit and I used to exercise for half an hour every morning…until I got lazy erk. I make sure I walk a lot though, window shopping is the best form of exercise 8D
Remember to love thyself and eat the damn cake. I’d be happy to answer any diet-related questions, just ask in the comments! ;D
Oh and this entry is going to be littered with grammatical errors I’m sure and I’m too exhausted to check for them (plus this entry is so overdue!!) so I’m going to apologise in advance.
ANDDD BEFORE I FORGET I RUN A BEAUTY BLOG: Make-up for my Carousel lunch was kept really basic because I had a pretty strong lipcolor on lol (OCC lip tar in Indashio, LOVE LOVE LOVE OMFG), did a lil’ flick trick with the eyeliner and La Femme’s Nectar Peach blush ;D
LIFE UPDATE: Uni just started a couple of days ago, this is my third week in Melbourne and everything’s going crazy fast! I’m thinking of taking Japanese as my second major but I’ll see how that goes. We had our first class today and I got my ass kicked a couple of times during the character writing session LOL oh but what fun! I’ll write more about Melbourne in my next entry, I hope everyone’s doing fine. I’m slowly catching up on all your past entries so expect comments by this week!
Last night I was got back home a little later than usual due to a hold-up at work, I was really tired – I had the flu, my nose was leaking like crazy (you have no idea how close I was to stuffing a tampon up my nose….not that you needed to know that but hey I’m trying to keep it real and funny here ya know?) and all I wanted to do was pop a couple of pills and sleep.
Then I noticed the box.
OMG MY SWAP PACKAGE FROM CATHERINE IS FINALLY HEREEEEEEEEEEE! I did a lil’ SQUEEE! and danced around the living room, totally forgetting that my parents were there and giving me weird looks. Uh, right. Sorry mom I know my 20 second ~IMMA BE JLO~ dance routine last night was painful to watch but despite the odds, I’m still your daughter k. Promise.
What’s weird is the box Catherine sent me only had our names and no addresses! I guess technology has become so advanced that you no longer have to write addresses on mail anymore…or maybe my Photoshop skills are so kick-ass and hot like fire that I managed to get rid of our addresses to prevent scary stalkers XD
A little back story on how the swap came about: Cat reviewed the MAC 5 Haute High Jinks Warm Pigment/Glitter Set and I commented on the post asking if she’s tried MAC’s pigment in Blonde’s Gold (gorgeous light yellow-gold color btw) because it’s one of my favourites. Turns out she hadn’t so I offered to send her a sample and cut to the chase, that somehow turned into a full blown international swap lol.
I was telling Cat how I had all these annoying bumps on my t-zone from time to time and I had absolutely no idea how to get rid of them. I think they’re a lot worse than pimples because although pimples are icky, they go away after a few days but these bumps just STAY THERE. What is the point srsly? They’re not even paying rent so they gotta go go go.
Cat recommended using a concoction of jojoba oil + squalane as a moisturizer to help declog the pores so she got me a bottle each plus a small vial of lavender oil to add into mixture. She’s also written a couple of blog entries pertaining to the wonders of jojoba oil and how they can help with acne, read about them here.
I also asked her to get me Weleda’s Skin Food because this multipurpose tube of moisturizer has been getting raves on Makeupalley, everyone’s proclaiming it to be the next best thing since Lady GaGa. It supposedly addresses many concerns like dryness, redness etc and you can use it on your face + body so I thought it would come in handy during winter in Melbourne.
NAIL POLISHES! L to R: China Glaze Stella, OPI Smitten with Mittens, OPI Merry Midnight. I asked Cat to get me some OPI, particularly Smitten with Mittens which was part of their 2009 holiday collection. She also talked me into getting another polish from the same collection – Merry Midnight and HOLY CRAP it’s an amazing shade of purple! She was kind enough to include so many extras for me including THREE other nail polishes, one of them being China Glaze’s Stella which an outer worldly shade of warm purple, gorgeousss.
Dude. I completely flipped out when I saw that Cat got me the infamous Essie Mint Candy Apple which is a great dupe of Chanel’s “Jade” nail polish. I love it so much omg, thank you, thank you! The funny thing is she also included a bottle of Essie’s Love, Beverly Hills xx, which is another color I’ve been curious about (it’s got 24k gold in it!) How the heck did you read my mind girl??
See the beautiful shimmery pool of gold in the red base? Can’t wait to try this one out!
Stella is a very unique purple, I think it should have been renamed Stellar lol because it’s just so alien-pretty…if that makes any sense (sorry it’s 11pm, I’m sick and I’m sleepy)
Smitten with Mittens is a classic red with gold glitter! You might think it’s similar to Love, Beverly Hills xx but that’s got more of a metallic finish compared to Smitten with Mittens.
I cannot get over how AWESOME Merry Midnight is! It’s a very deep purple with lots of blue-red glitter and flakes! If witches celebrated Christmas, this would be their nail polish of choice lmao. Oh and I’ve got Essie’s Mint Candy Apple on my nails in this photo ;D
I wanted a replacement for my MAC paintpots before they completely dry up on me so I now have the L’Oreal HIP cream shadow paint in 807 Secretive which is a very light neutral color that can be used alone or as a base for eyeshadow. I love how it comes with its own brush too!
Sweet Sienna’s a MAC LE pigment that came out 2 years ago and it is what I would classify as “The one that got away”. I can’t remember why I didn’t buy it but I’ve always regretted not getting the pigment. It’s a dirty brown with silver/grey pearl, I think there’s nothing like it. Cat actually received a large sample of Sweet Sienna in a separate swap and she kindly gave me a portion for me to try <3 <3 <3
LOL I’M NOT DONE YET. She also included another MAC pigment sample, Sunnydaze which is a stunning almost brown taupe shade! You’re so right Cat, I don’t have this at all lol! My pigment collection’s mostly golds and greens ;D
Thank you so much Cat!!! I love everything you sent, you’re my first official cosmetics swap ever and I had such a great time emailing/chatting with you on msn! I think we got to know each other a lot better since the swap so cheers to a blossoming friendship <3333 If you're curious to see what I sent Cat from my end, you can read about it here!
This post is seriously lacking in swatches, I know and I apologise. I couldn’t stay out in the sun for a long period of time today because this flu is just killin’ my fun and I had to take a day’s off from work :/ My voice is so hoarse and raspy now, I almost sound like Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. I hear he’s quit the band so guys, if you’re still looking for a replacement I’m willing to take the job but I should probably let you all know in advance that the only Aerosmith song I know is “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” from that Armageddon movie LOL
This has got to be the prettiest product shot I’ve ever taken. I would have totally posted this up as a 1280 x 960 wallpaper sized image but that would make me seem obsessive, wouldn’t it?
Just some photos of the Bath & Body Works shower gels and body butter I got from Hid who flew out to San Francisco last month. There isn’t a B&BW store in Singapore so I’m happy I can finally try their products out ;D Doesn’t “Sea Island Cotton” sound so blissfully romantic? Long chilly walks by the beach at sunset, being carried on your boyfriend’s back as he sparkles and runs at superhuman speed through the mossy terrain..oh wait that’s just Twilight lol -Thanks Hid, you’re super!
I’ve been drinking a lot of tea lately (pictured above is my current fave, sakura! sakura! from TWG), it’s de-stressing especially after a long arduous day of making a student visa. I have the worst luck in taking ID card photos, all my photo ID cards e.g. my driver’s license, my IC- ALL of them have the most unflattering shots of me and today my visa is going to join my dysfunctional family of monster ID cards.
I actually look entirely different (in a bad I’m-about-to-murder-someone way) in my visa photo and that just sucks because I have to live with it for the next 3 years of my life! Mr Photographer dude, I didn’t just take a day’s leave from work for you to take a lousy photo of me!!!!!!! Fork this -_-
Anyway, I promised you guys a review of the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and I finally got around to using it last night.
It comes individually wrapped in pretty silvery foil packaging, I actually regretted not taking a photo of it but it was night = shit lighting and I’d rather kick myself than put up a bad photo on this blog lol (yeah sue me for being anal).
Once you’ve ripped open the packaging, you can see the mask is completely soaked in Pitera, a top-secret key ingredient in all SK-II products and the sole reason why SK-II is so goddamn expensive. C’mon guys, the jig is up! WE ALL KNOW IT’S JUST RICE VINEGAR!
Ok ok, don’t sue me. I made that rice vinegar thing up. (tho I won’t be surprised if it’s actually made of rice vinegar lol, juz sayin’) Rice vinegar or not, THIS MASK IS EPIC. I left it on for 30 minutes and removed the mask to reveal the softest, glowing skin *_* The mask itself is made of thick, woven material which fyi, is even thicker than my Silk Whitia masks surprisingly. I LOVE the shape/cutting of the mask- it fits my face perfectly which is a good thing because I hate it when I have to constantly adjust a sheet mask in order to get even coverage on my skin.
This is my first time using anything from SK-II so I’m a little weirded out by the Pitera scent. It smells faintly of fishballs and vinegar LOL I’m not kidding this time! It doesn’t offend me as much as it offends other people so I’m not going to bitch about it.
Overall, I’m really liking the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and I can seriously see myself emptying whatever remnants of money I have left in my bank account (which isn’t much to begin with >.>) to invest in these masks XD The only drawback is the price (SGD$21 per piece D8) so I think I’m going to stick with my Silk Whitia masks and only purchase this
when I find myself a rich boyfriend for special occasions.
Ok I’m back from my self-imposed Christmas holiday break! XD A couple of minutes after I uploaded my previous foodie entry, I realized I’ve blogged about the sights and the food in Melbourne but totally missed out on what I bought from there lol oops. Here we go:
OMG I was a nut in LUSH. I got lost trying to find the store, walking up and down the street for a good 20 mins before I caught the scent of bath bombs 10 metres away. Seriously if you know roughly where LUSH is but can’t find exactly where the store is, rely on your nose. The store gives off a very distinct yummy “LUSH” scent which is kinda overpowering but in a good way ;P
So I bought the Christmas limited edition shower gel Snow Fairy which smells really gross and plasticky in the bottle but when you try it in the shower, you get this nice powdery candy scent which lingers on your skin forever.
Two toners too, Breath of Fresh Air & Tea Tree Water (Thank you Naomi!) – I love Lush toners, you can just spray it on your skin straight from the bottle. It’s very light and even if it gets into your eyes, it doesn’t sting.
Two solid shampoo bars: Karma Komba and Ultimate Shine which are the two top selling shampoos in LUSH (in Australia at the very least lol) I think it’s a cool concept, there are no bottles (+1 for mother earth) and despite common misconceptions, the bars actually lather pretty well. You get a free tin to store them in if you purchase two bars too!
American Dream is a vanilla infused conditioner made with no silicone. I’ve read that conditioners with silicone (which is what 99% of hair conditioners in the market have in their ingredients) actually weigh your hair down so I’ve been wanting to try out a non-silicone conditioner. American Dream seems like the perfect candidate for that. C’mon it’s made from honey water, vanilla pods, fresh oranges and fresh strawberries – I am so there.
I also got the fresh face Crash Course in Skincare mask which has smells like lemony cupcake batter and spreads on the skin like a dream!
Even my dad caught on the LUSH bug (I was in the store for half an hour and he got annoyed waiting for me so he went in to see what was all the fuss about HAHA) and bought the infamous Honey I Washed the Kids soap I talked about in my previous LUSH entry.
My ROCK CHICK gift set I bought for myself! It’s got a small bar of Rockstar soap and a Creamy Candy bubble bar which I used in the bathtub at the hotel we stayed in. It was amaaaazing! The whole room was bathed in this fluffy vanilla candied scent, the bubbles were aplenty and the water was tinted a pale pink. I stayed in the tub for a long, long time and only got out when my toes were all wrinkly.
Handmade soaps!! From left to right: Orange & rose, bubblegum blueberry (my fave!) and African pumice scrub soap. I actually have a lot more but they’ve been given away to friends and family.
Mor Cosmetics is an Australian brand I got introduced to in Melbourne. Their packaging is to die for and beneath all that jazz, their products are very well-made. They sell all kinds of stuff from body butters to bath salts. Check out their website and be stunned by their beautiful packaging.
I bought their Moroccan Mint body butter from their Emporium range – MOROCCAN MINT BODY BUTTER! That’s something you don’t see everyday!
BLACK & GOLD /o/ /o/ /o/so so pretty!
L’Occitane Foot Cream I got from Duty Free! This is my HG foot cream! I get dry feet easily and this is the only foot cream that works for me. It’s creamy but sinks into the skin fast and who doesn’t love the signature L’Occitane lavender scent?
And last but not least, I bought another tube of YSL Rouge Volupté ;P It’s really cheap in duty-free, SGD$37 when it costs USD$34 in the states which works out to be about SGD$50. That’s a good discount y/y? I bought it in shade 26, Tender Peach – I’ll swatch it soon!
I apologize in advance if this entry is riddled with grammar errors, I’m so tired D: I’ll catch you guys soon!
Has anyone checked out the new ION ORCHARD mall? I checked it out last weekend and although 20% of the shops there aren’t open yet, I’m impressed by it’s interior architecture and the range of shops available. I went to the luxury boutiques with my Louis Vuitton toting best friend (he owns an LV bag while I don’t even own one high-end bag, the world is such a bleak cruel place) and practically drooled all over miu miu.
Another note-worthy addition to our island’s freakishly small range of beauty brands is Greek brand KORRES, known for their famous Wild Rose range. I went in the store with absolutely no intention of buying anything but I was floored by their lovely, minimalist packaging and like the typical design + beauty product whore I am, I bought two travel-size items from KORRES to try out.
I like how they sell reasonably priced travel-sized versions of their best-selling products so people who are new the brand would be able to try out the product before investing in a full-sized product. Brownie points for that KORRES!~
Oh and another lovely plus point: They’re quite generous with their samples. I was given the entire Wild Rose range (in sample form, of course) to try out and I’m stoked!
My purchases were wrapped up in this eco-friendly fibrous bag which added a nice rustic touch to the whole KORRES branding (here I go again with the design terms, sorry guys I can’t help myself sometimes)
I bought the Guava shower gel and Rice Protein + Oligoelements Shampoo for Fine & Fragile hair.
The Guava shower gel didn’t really smell like guava lol; twas more of a musky amber and aloe vera scent(aloe vera was one of the main ingredients of the shower gel). I’ve been using this everyday now, there’s a slight masculinity to the scent which I love. It doesn’t dry my skin out and the scent lingers even after you’ve stepped out of the shower. I’d probably invest in a full size bottle once I’m done with my small bottle!
The Rice + Olighekiejwhatever shampoo was just okay for me, I’ve only used it once so I’ll update you guys if it really does anything for my hair. It’s got a funny scent which isn’t unpleasant but I just can’t put my finger on what it smells like…it was just weird lol.
I’ve not tried out the samples I received but I can’t wait to! I’ve heard brilliant reviews on their Wild Rose brightening mask so you guys should probably check it out too! If you’re skeptical about spending money on a brand you’ve not heard of before, I suggest you check out their travel-size range which include body scrubs, body milk (their vanilla cinnamon one is d-i-v-i-n-e) etc.
Randomly, the photos in this entry were my first foray in taking photos with my dad’s DSLR. My dad’s had the camera for ages and I never had the guts to use it until now so here are some of the photos I took as I pranced around in my garden looking like a fool in stale make-up…not exactly a pretty sight haha.
*whistles* This is such a long entry, I’m almost proud of myself lol!
Coming up next on tea noir: A series of mask reviews to suit your every need! Moisturising, whitening, acne-killin’ – I’ve got it covered bitchez! Watch out for it ;D
Sigh in pure bliss and absolute joy, that is.
I was having a nice sushi dinner with my good friend, Jacq. Just two single girls greedily swiping off plates of sushi off the conveyor belt (ok honestly, the only greedy person was me). After ordering countless salmon avocado gunkan sushi (my favourite!), we left the restaurant with our bloated tummies and headed out to do some shopping.
I had wanted to get a tub of The Body Shop’s new Peach body butter which by the way smells absolutely divine like it was made of ice cream but to my horror, all The Body Shop outlets were closed.
I cursed under my breath. It was absolutely ridiculous, it was only 7pm – why were the shops closed? Jacq then quickly pointed out to me that we were in the central business district, affectionately referred to as the CBD in which all shops closed at 7pm. Aah, a rather enlightening moment there.
We decided then to walk to City Hall where shops only closed at 9pm or later (Oh thank heavens.) The walk to City Hall was pretty amusing, not so much the walk but the people we encountered. I’ll elaborate no further because if I do, this entry will probably not see the light of the nifty “Publish” button.
When I got to City Hall, I suddenly remembered there was a L’occitane store there which I’ve been meaning to check out for ages because I’ve always, always wanted to get their Cherry Blossom solid perfume tin ever since Naomi made me sniff hers a couple of months ago.
Here she is, keeper of my heart. As I opened the tin, I breathed into the clean, floral scent of cherry blossoms and was won over by delicate..almost romantic act of applying the warm fragrant wax on my wrists but of course, that’s just the French woman in me speaking.
I like applying it on my pulse points e.g. behind the ears, neck and wrists after a bath and especially before bedtime; it just has such a calming effect on me and oh, the luxury.
As I was paying for the solid perfume (and shamelessly asking for samples as well), I noticed a pretty basket on the cashier counter filled with bundles of foot cream and shea butter wrapped up together. Looking down at my poor tired feet, I drifted off into my own little world where my feet would be treated and moisturized with care. I could see it vividly, a nice foot scrub and some L’occitane foot cream.
Did I mention the foot cream? Oh yes, I did. Well I bought the damn thing and HELLOOOOO HAPPY FEET! I was seriously amazed at this little tube and what it did for my feet, goodbye dry skin (btw, how adorably quaint is the paint tube-like packaging?!). It’s got 15% shea butter in it, together with other essential oils. Its lavender scent is so soothing and it absorbs into your feet in a jiffy, what’s there not to like?
This tin of 100% shea butter was included in the bundle I bought. I wasn’t really impressed by it on first try because it was really hard and waxy but I now use it daily as a lip balm. It’s got a faint cinnamon + mint scent, it’ll take some time for you to get used to its thick consistency but that’s what I like about it actually – it lasts through a meal and there’s no need for reapplication.
I’m beginning to think myself as a L’occitane fan as of now and that really isn’t a very good thing for I can see myself buying more of their products lol. If you’re new to the brand, I recommend you check out their cherry blossom range and their foot + hand creams!