Reading ‘The Casual Vacancy’ recently and this excerpt really got me thinking.
‘Howard carried the mental image of the Fields with him always, like a memory of a nightmare: boarded windows daubed with obscenities; smoking teenagers loitering in the perennially defaced bus shelters; satellite dishes everywhere, turned to the skies like the denuded ovules of grim metal flowers. He often asked rhetorically why they could not have organized and made the place over – what was stopping the residents from pooling their meagre resources and buying a lawnmower between the lot of them? But it never happened: the Fields waited for the councils, District and Parish, to clean, to repair, to maintain; to give and give and give again.
Howard would then recall the Hope Street of his boyhood, with its tiny back gardens, each hardly more than tablecloth-sized squares of earth, but most, including his mother’s, bristling with runner beans and potatoes. There was nothing, as far as Howard could see, to stop the Fielders growing fresh vegetables; nothing to stop them disciplining their sinister, hooded, spray-painting offspring; nothing to stop them pulling themselves together as a community and tackling the dirt and the shabbiness; nothing to stop them cleaning themselves up and taking jobs; nothing at all. So Howard was forced to draw the conclusion that they were choosing, of their own free will, to live the way they lived, and that the estate’s air of slightly threatening degradation was nothing more than a physical manifestation of ignorance and indolence.’
At first when I read it, I was like who is Howard to think of people he don’t understand that way? But I realised that this is me too! There’s been countless times when I judge too quickly, jump to conclusions when I knew nuts about a particular situation and tell myself XXX must be because of YYY.
This is definitely not a reflection post, of how flawed my character is. I simply am just amazed by how this character is similar to me in the way I think, and it got me wondering why I have such a mindset. One reason I could come up with is because coming to a conclusion about a situation/person gives me ‘closure’, however inappropriate this word may be for this situation, but it just stops me from obsessing over trying to find a reason for everything. Being on the fence about everything all the time must be such a pain in the butt, literally
Maybe one day I should really try to examine this flaw of mine, and be more open-minded. But tonight, tonight I am just going to marvel about the first time I am able to identify so deeply with a book character.
This month I have TEN empty products to share again! Using up products have become an addiction
1) Simple – Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes
why did I buy it? my favorite wipes!
first impressions? so far this is the best wipes I have come across that is most value for money.
upon finishing? have already gotten another pack of this.
2) Elemis – Makeup Away Cleansing Wipes
why did I buy it? as you guys probably already know from my recent posts, I love to try out different wipes so I thought I would give this a go as well.
first impressions? it is quite similar to the Simple wipes. Pretty pleasant to use.
upon finishing? Simple has slightly better cleansing power and at a better price point too! So I probably wouldn’t get this unless it’s on sale on ASOS since this actually has got pretty good ingredients in it.
3) Bio-essence – Bio Spring Water
why did I buy it? got this in a giveaway held by Ying Tian
first impressions? instantly cools my face down which is what I use it for and I do appreciate it leaving my face feeling more refreshed.
upon finishing? I really do enjoy using it in the office after lunch but I don’t really think it’s much different from any other facial sprays. It claims to have 20 excellent efficacies for face, hair and body but I don’t buy into such claims haha.
4) The Body Shop – Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner
why did I buy it? got this a few times already because I don’t use a cleanser in the morning so I need a toner that’s stronger.
first impressions? love love love!
upon finishing? definitely going to repurchase this!
5) Hada Labo – Whitening Lotion
why did I buy it? wanted to try out Hada Labo since quite a few people were raving about their products and it’s a japanese brand! I always love to try out Japanese and Korean skincare products because their ladies have such flawless skin!
first impressions? It is very different from the toners that I had used previously, as this is a softening lotion which means it’s supposed to prepare your skin for moisturizer instead of removing the remaining dirt that is on your face after cleansing. at first I wasn’t used to it at all because all my other toners will give me a really refreshing feeling.
upon finishing? in the end I do think that it does help a little in terms of prepping my skin for nighttime skincare, but I don’t really see a huge difference so will continue to try other toners!
6) Philosophy – Fresh Vanilla Frost Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
why did I buy it? got this in a giveaway held by Makeupstash
first impressions? love the scent!
upon finishing? now I understand why beauty gurus love to use Philosophy body products, they really do smell so yummy! And the fine shimmer in the body wash made me feel like a princess everytime I use it. But don’t worry it doesn’t leave your skin shimmery!
7) Philosophy – Fresh Vanilla Frost Body Lotion
why did I buy it? got this in a giveaway held by Makeupstash
first impressions? love the scent!
upon finishing? I really did enjoy using this during the Christmas season along with the body wash. Can’t wait to try out more Philosophy products in future.
8) Skinfood – Creamy Smoky Crayon in #2 Olive Black
why did I buy it? got this while in Korea couple of years back. At that time I was still a hoarder so this is just another item I picked up to try haha.
first impressions? it isn’t really as creamy as the name implies. In fact it is pretty dry so I find it quite a pain to use on its own as an actual eyeliner.
upon finishing? I didn’t finish it and can’t be bothered since I don’t ever reach for it anymore. I do think that due to its dry texture, it is suitable to use for the lower lashline. Other times, I do dip it into gel liners and use this as a brush instead, or I will use it on top of another liner to make my eyes have more depth.
9) Bath & Body Works – Espresso Bar
why did I buy it? during the past couple of years, I have actually grown to enjoy coffee and the smell so I thought I could give this scent a go.
first impressions? it is much sweeter than I had expected, but T loves it!
upon finishing? if not for the fact that T loves it, I probably wouldn’t repurchase it but I did so recently and am now waiting for the shipment to arrive in Singapore
10) Yankee Candle – Cinnamon and Frankincense
why did I buy it? I almost always get something whenever I walk past the Yankee Candle store!
first impressions? It is quite different from the usual scents that I would chose for myself but I still do enjoy it occasionally.
upon finishing? I feel like I have a love-hate r/s with this scent. Some days I love it and other days I am feeling pretty meh and trying to remember why I purchased this in the first place. I ended up burning half of it in our bathroom, haha.
And that is all! I have lots of things that I want to write about, but work has been taking up so much of my time. Hopefully I will be more motivated this month :p
So over Christmas (which seems like a really long time ago now haha), I decided to treat myself to something nice – a pair of Tieks! I first read about them on Beverly’s blog, and have been itching to get a pair ever since. However, I have been putting it off because it’s so expensive and I don’t wear flats too often anyway.
Then, things changed, such is life. I moved on to an office environment that doesn’t require me to be in heels often and a little further down the road, I got pregnant, so the death of my heels is further set in stone.
And when Black Friday comes around and Tieks had a 20% sitewide offer, I couldn’t resist! I was contemplating between getting the plain colored ones or prints (which were almost US$100 more expensive, eeeks), or get one of each etc.
In the end I decided on getting just one pair in Romantic Blush.
Look at how pretty it is!
I experienced slight biting at the toe area for the first 2 days, but overall it is still a very comfortable pair of flats. And it became even more comfortable after the initial wear!
Not too sure why there are small patches of blue at the back of my flats but I can live with it.
I am really satisfied with my pair of Tieks, so far and I definitely didn’t regret getting it but I am not sure if I will be able to justify getting a second pair.
Wow I have ten products to talk about this month!
Partly because I did a little spring cleaning. Hoping to be able to purge more but I just can’t bear to throw everything out at once. Anyone else has the same problem as me? haha
And it’s already February. Gee, where did January go?
1) The BodyShop – Vitamin E Genetle Facial Cleansing Wipes
why did I buy it? I have been hooked onto wipes recently so I thought I could give this a try. Bought a second pack because I had some extra credit without even trying the first pack I bought which was a bad decision.
first impressions? The wipe was not as moist as other wipes I have tried but the difference isn’t that big. I don’t really like super moist wipes anyway. After using this, I followed up with my usual routine which is Bioderma to remove any excess makeup and to my surprise, there was still quite a bit of junk left on my face! So I had to use 2-3 cotton pads to remove the rest -.-
upon finishing? Because I tend to rotate my base makeup weekly, I realise that it tends to remove foundations better than BB creams. However, it is still not as good as the Simple wipes so I definitely wouldn’t repurchase this.
2) Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Lip Tars
why did I buy it? got this during a Black Friday Sale couple years back because they were new and quite a few youtubers were raving about it!
first impressions? super pigmented! they also make my lip lines more obvious and peel after a while.
upon finishing? tried picking these up on and off the past 2 years but I always get the same results no matter what I do, so I gave up because I am too lazy to fuss around for a lip color.
3) Yankee Candle Honey Blossom
why did I buy it? always open to trying out new candle scents
first impressions? very sweet, and able to fill the entire room even though it’s only a single wick. Or maybe it’s because my living room is very small haha.
upon finishing? it did grow on me eventually, but I don’t think I will repurchase it since it is sweeter than what I prefer.
4) NYX – Jumbo Eye Pencils
why did I buy it? Again, one of the many purchases influenced by youtubers and when I just started exploring makeup.
first impressions? very creamy, doesn’t really crease on me but that’s because I don’t have very oily lids. Works well as a base for shadows to appear even more vibrant.
upon finishing? I stopped using these because I don’t do very adventurous eye makeup these days. And since I have gotten them for so long, I decided to throw these away. I still have the eye pencil in silver though! Just in case
5) L’oreal – Youth Code Essence
why did I buy it? read online that this is similar to Lancome’s Génifique except that it is less potent. Have never tried Lancome’s version before since it’s so expensive, so I decided to try this out instead.
first impressions? it absorbs into the skin quickly, and does seem to give an extra boost to my skincare routine.
upon finishing? halfway through, I did manage to get a sample of Génifique to try and I was blown away! There is really quite a huge difference, so I guess you pay for what you get haha. That being said, if that’s the case I would rather save up, get Génifique and use it on special occasions when I need that boost and use other serums on a daily basis.
why did I buy it? lost count of how many tins I have bought of this already. everytime I buy a new one, it’s always because of the cute design!
first impressions? you can refer to my previous posts on steamcream.
upon finishing? it’s a very comforting product and I definitely will get more of it when I see designs that I like. I usually get mine from Asos.com!
7) Korres – Wild Rose 24-hour Moisturizing and Brightening cream
read here for details after I finish my first tube.
upon finishing? Previously I used the two tubes as a day cream. I also have the full size tub for night cream. I prefer it as a night cream since it’s rather heavy.
8) Benefit – Confessions of a Concealaholic
why did I buy it? thought this was a pretty cool kit to own, especially since I am all about a good skin base. click here to look at all the products this kit contains.
first impressions? there are quite a few products in this that I have not tried before so I really enjoy exploring the different items.
upon finishing? unfortunately, everything didn’t really work for me except for That Gal primer. All the cream products felt too dry on my skin no matter how I applied it. Tried warming it up on the back of my hand but didn’t work too. Very disappointed overall.
9) Hanskin – Suncream
why did I buy it? got this when I was in Korea. Miss shopping and eating in Korea so much! And when I was there, I was still like meh. Sometimes, I really don’t appreciate things/experiences when I have them.
first impressions? it is a little on the thick side, but still rather easy to apply.
upon finishing? I do think that it is a good product, but I am still very new to sunscreens and am definitely looking forward to try more. Anyway, I don’t think I can get Hanskin in Singapore anyway.
10) Clean & Clear – Oil Control Film in Grapefruit scent
featured in previous posts before. Read about it here!
I hope everyone had a good Chinese New Year celebration! If you don’t celebrate, a long weekend is always something to be happy about right. Only wish that it can happen more often :p
Finally finished my 2013 beauty favorites! took me a few attempts since it’s quite a lot to write at one go.
I chose 13 products, and I decided to include skincare and makeup for my mix since I have cut down a lot on my makeup purchases the past year and am more concerned with skincare now that I am 25.
The products I have chosen are items that I reached for very often and am really impressed with their abilities the past year! Hope you enjoyed looking through them
*Products listed in no particular order of preference*
1) Clarins Massage Oil
I actually only start using it in the month of December but I already love it so much!!! I never think that my skin is dry but after a few people commenting on my skin, I decided to take the plunge and start using this since I got it in DFS in August along with stretch mark cream and whatnot. At first, it felt kind of weird to be using oil but it really does moisturizes my body better than body lotion so I am alternating between this and body lotion now depending on my mood that night. But seriously, this smells so good. Definitely keen to check out more massage oils in the future.
2) Simple Cleansing Wipes
2013 has been a year of being into wipes because I don’t like to fuss around with cotton pads anymore. I still use Bioderma to take off the remaining junk before jumping into the shower but Simple usually leaves my face pretty clean already. Some brands of wipes only take off certain foundations particularly well or BB creams. This is where Bioderma comes in as a QC step haha.
Back to the simple wipes, I love its size. It is big enough for my huge face and it has a slight exfoliating texture that helps to take the makeup really well without being too harsh.
3) Clarisonic Mia
When I first start using the Clarisonic, I really didn’t notice much of a difference to my skin. I guess that’s better than other people who said they experienced a purging stage before getting better skin. Anyway, I stopped using it for a while after because my brush head was getting dirty. Guess what? I begin to notice a few breakouts every now and then! Immediately, I went to purchase new brush head and started using this religiously again. It really minimizes breakouts, and cleanses well. I am currently using the sensitive brush head, and only using it on alternate days. This is really a good investment, even though it’s kind of annoying having to change the brush head every 3 months.
4) Rimmel London Wake Me Up Foundation in 100 Ivory
One of the rare base products that I can use on its own and the color matches my face perfectly. And of course, the consistency is what I like as well, easily blendable and it is a light-medium coverage product. It also really wakes up my skin like it claims! Saw reviews that some people don’t like it because it is too glowy for them but I love a glowy base on most days. One pump is also perfect for my whole face. I don’t seem to have use it up much at all, but that’s because I have a ridiculous number of base products and I try to rotate them as much as I can. I seriously wonder how do people go through bases like nobody’s businesses? Like one month later, they have finished half a foundation! I wish I could do that, so I have excuses to buy more base products but it. is. so. difficult. T__T
5) Diorskin Nude Tan in 001 Auora
I am so glad I picked this up in 2012 because I really fell in love with it in 2013. It is light enough to be used as an all over powder to give my face that slightly bronzy look but I can also build it up to be a very light contour.
Packaging is gorgeous as well, like all Dior’s products. In general, I haven’t been disappointed with Dior’s makeup products before and am itching to try more products from them, especially their lip glow.
6) Benefit’s Benetint
A cult item from Benefit, something that I have gotten before 2013 but never really got around to using it much till in 2013. Mostly uses it as a cheek tint rather than a lip tint, and it gives a pretty flush. A huge plus point is that it smells really good, as most Benefit’s cheek products do. The only thing I don’t really like about it is that it stains my fingers after application but I never seem to notice it last throughout the day. The blush stays on my cheeks for a pretty long time though!
7) Benefit’s Porefessional
Another cult favorite! As I grow older, I noticed that my pores got bigger so I decided to give this a go. It really does cover up the pores pretty well! I don’t use it religiously as a primer, but only if I noticed huge pores after my makeup. And this is something that I really like about the product, it can be applied after powder and it blends in seamlessly without affecting the rest of the crap I’ve got on my face for that day. I guess I need to fix the root of my problem for my pores, which is to do more masks and also find a pore tightening essence!
8) Benefit Gimme Brow
My brow artist used this on me one day after my brow waxing session and it is so good that I bought this on the spot. Very fuss-free and keeps my brow hairs in place! I was contemplating with the idea of getting a brow gel to set my brow pencil on days my brow hairs go a little crazy but with this product, it gives me color and put my hairs in place! Definitely something that impressed me a lot, and will be very helpful once I have baby T and don’t have much time to fuss around with makeup anymore.
9) Neutrogena Lip Balm in Fresh Papaya
As you guys may know, I am an avid youtube beauty guru follower. However, only Emilynoel83 ever raved about this product! But I decided to go ahead and pick this up when I was in CVS anyway because she really seemed to love them. And I did not regret it! It is very moisturizing, and gives a natural gloss to my lips too. Now I regret not picking up the other color I was eyeing but maybe next time.
Oh and it has a sweet scent to it as well! Major plus point.
10) Stila Lip Glaze in Jack Frost and Jolly
Another product that smells yummy, notice the recurring theme? Lol. The color is not obvious at all as you can see from my swatch but it does give my lips a bit of shimmer so they don’t look so blah. Some days, or most days for me, I just don’t like to go for a full on lip color because I am very lazy with touch ups. I guess it’s pretty easy to find such lip glosses from any brand but I’ve been using Stila’s the most for 2013 so I’ve included them in my favorites.
11) Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner
In the morning, I only use clear water to cleanse my face and then follow up with this toner that helps to remove any impurities. I really like this because if I use a cleanser in the morning, even if it’s a gel cleanser that’s supposed to be more gentle, it still tends to dries out my skin a little too much. So I find that cleansing with water and using a ‘stronger’ toner works the best for me!
12) The Body Shop – Moroccan Rose EDT
Fragrance of the year for me, simply because I love the rose scent a lot. Also, I prefer lighter scents this year as compared to heavier floral ones. Am now looking to try out Chloe’s Roses perfume too.
13) Eyelash Glue
Best find this year! After wearing falsies for ~4years, I finally found the perfect eyelash glue! As compared to Dollywink, which was my previous HG eyelash glue, this is even better. Dollywink stays on really well but it can sometimes be a pain to remove without makeup remover. This eyelash glue stays on really well but you can remove it easily by tugging on the ends of the falsies!
Funny how I got the chance to try this out though. I left my travel makeup bag in a hotel in Shanghai last year, and had to buy an eyelash glue the next day since I was still hanging around in Shenzhen. So I decided to give this a go, didn’t expect much out of it but it blew my mind away! Of course, I was quite sad about losing my makeup bag because it had my favorite lipstick and powder but the silver lining is that I found an even more awesome eyelash glue!
Whoo that’s an extensive list!
Overall, I feel that my skin condition has improved heaps in 2013 since I don’t struggle with breakouts too much anymore. Extremely elated about that, and areas that I want to target in 2014 is to look for a pore tightening essence and a good eye cream for dark circles! I don’t really have a problem with puffiness, only discoloration. I suspect it’s also due to me putting on eye makeup almost everyday. Woes of having small eyes.
Looking forward to trying more products in 2014, but at the same time I do not want to go too crazy with the hoarding! I feel like I didn’t do that bad in 2013, but there is always room for improvement.
Happy Sunday everyone xx
No, this is not going to be a long-assed post reviewing my year in 2013 and setting unachievable goals in 2014. BUT I still want to write something, haven’t done that for a long time anyway.
The only thing I want to remain myself for 2014 is to stay positive! It is going to be difficult with so many changes in personal life and work and my increasingly negative outlook in life but I am going to TRY.
Also, I tried being very giving in 2013 and did enjoy it most of the time. But towards the end of the year, I got more and more unhappy with my family because I felt like I was the only one giving all the time. Anyway, they can’t say that I am stingy because that’s what they taught me along with twisted logics like how paying money to a nanny to take care of me and only bringing me back on Sat night is the act of noble parents.
Yes I am starting off 2014 angry, and I don’t even know if it will subside by the end of the year. Maybe I will get distracted, maybe not. They always say once you have your own kids, you will finally understand your parents’ pain in bringing you up but all I feel is anger and disappointment that I have shut off over the teenage years due to my focus on getting a better life. Or maybe it’s because I have bee sober now for 6 months.
Perhaps this is why they always say don’t bottle your feelings.
Whatever it is, I have to really get myself to stay focused again on the new goals T and I have set for our family in this roller-coaster year and stay positive!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Decided to do my last ‘Use-it-up’ post early. Took leave for the next 2 days so I will be enjoying a 5 day break from work! Super excited for it, just to spend some time at home and rest as well as with friends and family.
1) Eyelash Glue
why did I buy it? This is my second tube and it’s by far the best eyelash glue I’ve used!
first impressions? still very much in love with this product, easy to remove but able to stay on for the whole day.
upon finishing? already on my third tube and have gotten T to buy another 3 tubes for me during his recent trip to China. Can’t seem to locate this in SG’s Watsons!
2) L’occitane – Rose Jardin Delice Hand Cream Gel
why did I buy it? got this as a birthday gift couple years back.
first impressions? is not the typical rose scent but because of the gel nature, it absorbs into the skin really easily.
upon finishing? I barely got through half but I feel like the texture and scent has changed. Not sure if it’s because I haven’t used it for too long or because of the fact that it was in the car. Never had a problem leaving other hand creams in my car though! Finding L’occitane products a bit hit and miss for me =.=
3) Steam Cream
why did I buy it? the packaging is so cute! and because I have used Steamcream before and I really love it.
first impressions? still loving it because it has a rather pleasant and mild scent, very moisturizing as well.
upon finishing? Will definitely repurchase it whenever I spot cute tin designs. In fact, I have two new ones in my stash now haha
4) The Body Shop – Passion Fruit Body Scrub
why did I buy it? this is my second tub, I just love the scent of this product.
first impressions? it leaves my skin very smooth, and yummy smelling.
upon finishing? Would definitely repurchase this if there is a sale at The Body Shop and if I am running low on body scrubs. This scrub is a little abrasive though, so I wouldn’t recommend it to people with very sensitive skin.
5) M.A.C – Brush Cleanser
why did I buy it? I really wanted to get something that’s made specially for cleaning brushes, because I have been using just a gentle shower gel.
first impressions? it does cleanses my brushes rather well but I was afraid that I would finish it up rather quickly.
upon finishing? So I didn’t finish this up as fast as I thought I would! Which is a nice surprise, might repurchase this in future but I am sticking to Daiso’s one right now since it is so cheap and seems to get the job done soon.
6) The Body Shop – Cranberry Joy Shower Gel
why did I buy it? I buy this every Nov/Dec because this is one of their Christmas scents and I love it so much.
first impressions? just a normal shower gel, but I do really enjoy the scent so much that I don’t use it everyday which is why my bottle can last for a whole year hahaha.
upon finishing? not getting it this year because I have a ridiculous number of shower gels to finish, but will get it again next Christmas! Till now, I will just use their lip balm to remind me of the scent.
2013 is almost over, last couple of months have been sort of a roller coaster for me and I don’t expect things to get better but I pray that I will be able to find the strength to cope.