Wednesday Musing: My Top 5 Beauty Priorities


Top 5 Beauty Priorities


Life is all about making priorities. Our priorities change from time to time, depending on what is important to us at any moment in our lives. But there are some priorities that are here to stay, either for the next 10 days or the next 10 years.


Here are my current top 5 beauty priorities.


1. Good Skin

Good skin has always been a great concern of mine. I used to be a sufferer of really bad acne, some of which was cystic, while growing up. Even when I grew into adulthood, they never truly went away. If not for hormone regulating pills, I wouldn’t have the skin that I do today. And for me, that’s OK. Not everyone is born with flawless-skin genetics, so we just have to deal with it in our own ways.

I foresee that sometime in the near future, I’m going to have to slowly wean myself off this medication for specific periods of time, and a part of me is quite worried about what things are going to be like when that happens. I suppose with the invention of beauty cleansing tools (I currently use the Clarisonic Mia and am totally smitten by what it has done for me), good skincare products, a good diet, a regular skincare routine, enough rest and optimism, I can continue to have the skin that I wish for.


2. Brows

Oh dear me, wherever my brows went after I was born is a mystery. Actually, I’m not sure I actually had them proper. My brows are the finest you can get out there, never mind the fact that my hair is typically Asian-dark.

Brows can make or break a look, and I learnt this quite the hard way. Looking back at some of my very first beauty looks, where my brows were completely unfilled, I still cringe today. Nowadays, my daily look includes filling them in with some soft brow powder, so I feel somewhat better that people sitting at the far end of the lecture theatre can tell I have some sort of brows when I give my lectures. In a way, it’s kind of like stage makeup.

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The Relationship Between Lipstick and I


We're closer than you think.

We’re closer than you think.


If you’ve been following me, you might know how sensitive my lips are. They get all weirded out when I put on a lipstick, lip stain, lip gloss or even lip balm that they don’t like, and I’ll end up with lots of tiny bumps that start around the perimeter. That’s why when I find a brand of lip products that don’t cause me to break out and go all cray-cray, you can bet that I’m sticking with that brand for as long as forever.


Just over the past few days, I mentally went through my entire collection of lipsticks and realised to my utter dismay that I currently only wear about 10% of them. The other 90%? All test subjects, either given by companies for review purposes or bought with my own money on a whim. Oh, thank God for the really kind Tom Ford counter sales assistants who very nicely allowed me to give their lippies a go before I decided if I wanted to buy them.


{Disclaimer: Whether a lipstick worked on me or not isn’t revealed in my blog reviews, regardless of whether they are self-bought, because eczema is different for everybody and if it doesn’t work for me, it might still work on you. If it works for me, it might not for you. To each his own. All other aspects of the lip products, such as longevity and pigmentation, are as stated though.}


So, reflecting on my abysmal collection of lipsticks, I ended up buying a Sara Happ limited edition lip set, a Julie Hewett lipstick from the Noir Collection and a L’Oreal Pure Amaranthe lipstick. All within the span of less than 24 hours. Yep, that’s right. I’m so poor now.


I tweeted a couple of times how much I had to stop – and for now I have. But that got me thinking about why I even had the need to get those lippies (no, seriously, it was a need). And then I realised, that I just cannot live without them. And this is why.

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Feature: The New Times Bookstore at Waterway Point, Singapore


Times Waterway Point Singapore


With the rise of electronic books comes the inevitable demise of real, tangible books that allow you to feel the pages as you flip them over. If you’re a book lover like me, your heart must have been chipped away bit by bit with news of bookstores closing down and moving out in the past few years. Libraries are almost a salvation but nothing beats having a hard cover that you can truly call your own. That’s why when stores like Times expand and launch a new branch, it’s pretty much a celebration.


The new Times store is located at Waterway Point and although it’s quite far off for many people, at least those of you living there will have something to look forward to. Not only is this branch large and spacious, it also features exclusive children’s and lifestyle sections.


Kids will love the children’s section because where else will you be welcomed by a princess and a knight – in his shining armour, no less – and find soft, fluffy ladybirds to lean on while you explore the worlds of magic? Activity books and toys will serve not only to entertain the young, but also educate them in a fun way.


My favourite part of the store is the lifestyle section, where you’ll find things like Jamie Oliver’s kitchenware (oh, those gorgeous tins for storing garlic), aromatherapy tools and even cushions for your couch (I mean, with Netflix, it’s something you probably need). The space can also be converted to host workshops, such as cooking demonstrations and arts & craft sessions.


Times Waterway Point Singapore

A little something for your couch.

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Most Wearable Beauty Looks from Paris Fashion Week FW 2016


Paris Fashion Week 2016 Beauty Looks


Phew! The hectic week that is known as Paris Fashion Week is finally over and done with. I haven’t been a part of the shows and runways but I definitely kept up with the news and am so in love with Chanel’s fishnet eyes. That said, this fall has many other interesting looks up its sleeve. Think sleek ponytails, bright eyeliners, the classic smouldering black smokey eye, glossy lids, dark sombre lips and specks of glitter. And if you may ask, yes, there are some which are definitely going to look great on you!


Thanks to Sarah at Popsugar (where all the pictures in this post are from), who made a comprehensive album of all the looks being strutted in style, I’m able to show you some wearable looks from the runway that you can try out.


1. The “Anne Hathaway”

Paris Fashion Week 2016 Beauty Looks


I came up with the name for this one because the moment I saw this look, she was the one who immediately came to mind. This look is all about keeping the face barely-there, creating a bambi-eyed look with rosy lips. Some variations have bolder lip colours but the rest remains the same.


How you can get the look:

Apply concealor and foundation all over your face, and add some light blush on the cheekbones. Keep brows full, soft and natural by using a brow powder. Avoid eyeliner and lipliner but use lip balm to keep lips soft and plump. Finally, apply some rosy lip colour all over your lips. As for your hair, keep it the way it looks naturally. Some curves and waves would make it perfect.


2. The “Au Naturel”

Paris Fashion Week 2016 Beauty Looks


At every Fashion Week, there are bound to be some runways that decide to keep things simple. This one’s no different, and a natural no-makeup, girl-next-door look is always suitable for day-to-day life. In fact, this is my very own everyday look.


How you can get the look:

Concealor and foundation are a must for a look such as this (of course, unless you don’t need it). Just like the previous look, only a small amount of blush is needed – keep to shades that are natural. A blush with slight shimmer or glow is fine. Your brows just need to be filled in slightly and kept neat. No eyeliner, mascara or eyeshadow is necessary, while lip balm is all you need. If you wish for a tinge of colour on your puckers, a tinted lip balm would do the trick. As for your hair, tie it up neatly into a pigtail or ponytail at the back. I absolutely adore Ellery’s take on tying the end with some string (see picture above) but if you attempt this, make sure it doesn’t come off easily.

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Confession: The Struggles of Being a Blogger (Part 2 of 2)


Struggles of Being a Blogger (Part 2)

The struggle is real.


{I recently wrote the first part of this in a previous entry, and you can find it here.}


Being a blogger is no easy task, especially when we do it while holding a full-time job and fulfil other commitments as well. It’s tricky when it comes to balancing everything and only bloggers who really have passion in what we do will outlast the rest. That said, here are some other things that all bloggers struggle with, no matter how long we’ve been blogging and what we blog about. Enjoy!


7. Balancing a full-time job with blogging.

Most bloggers in Singapore aren’t paid when we do sponsored posts. We hold full-time jobs because Mama has to put food on the table and buy that Naked palette. Most of the time, our full-time jobs aren’t exactly aligned with the nature of what we blog about, so it’s pretty common to have a financial banker working 12-hour days and finding time in between all the other commitments to blog. Note that blogging also includes attending events, networking sessions, pitching to PR companies, photoshoots and writing emails. Tons and tons of emails.

This is why you’d believe a beauty blogger with a full-time job when she recommends you a good under-eye concealor.


8. Not being paid for our work.

There is a reason many European and US bloggers can carve out a living from blogging and Singaporean bloggers can’t. It’s simply that companies here, unlike the ones overseas, would rather not pay bloggers to blog about their products or services than to be strategic about their outreach campaigns. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. And I’m also trying to change it (like how a few other bloggers are), but one day at a time. If companies here were willing to change the way they approached the blogging industry, given the calibre of the pool of bloggers we have in Singapore, it wouldn’t be difficult to have our versions – or better ones – of Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni and Jessica Stein.


9. Being perceived as wannabes.

Not all bloggers want to be popular or be a star. Sometimes, we really just do want to blog, that’s all. Maybe we have outfit shots or vlogs, but for some of us, what really matter are the photography, the videography, the behind-the-scenes actions, the people we meet (who later become friends) while collaborating on blog entries and attending events to stay in the know of latest industry updates. The best kinds of bloggers give you value, amaze you with their work and you always learn something new from them.

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Confession: The Struggles of Being a Blogger (Part 1 of 2)


Struggles of Being a Blogger

If only my desk were this perfect all the time.


OK I’ll admit it. Even before I typed the first word of this blog post, I actually Googled “struggles of being a blogger” to see what other bloggers in the rest of the world are struggling with. And it seems – after reading several articles and one particularly funny post filled with gifs on Buzzfeed – that bloggers do suffer from very similar things regardless of the genre of blogging.


I started blogging in 2010 because I loved writing (and makeup). Yes, I’m a chemist and I love to write. But I also cannot stand the emotive demands in literature (sorry folks), which seem way too tiring for me to catch up with. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good Neil Gaiman every now and then, but asking me what the poetic devices used in a poem imply about language is alien speak to me. So, the only way for me to continue my love affair with words, other than the occasional trips to the bookstore, is to write. And what else to write about than my other passion in life – beauty?


There are many problems that bloggers face in their time as a blogger, and here are some of the biggest ones I faced or are facing as a style and beauty blogger in Singapore.


1. Buying a new product and not using it till photos are taken.

So I just bought a new lipstick in a new never-worn-before shade from Tom Ford. I’m dying to use it this weekend while cafe hopping, or during the next big day at work (to remind me that all that hard work is worth it). The only thing is, I can’t. Because before I even dare to apply one layer of it on my skin, I need to make sure I’ve taken all the best photos I can of it for my blog review and Instagram. Same goes for skincare products and clothes for outfit posts. Yup, no chances taken.


2. Finding a photographer.

We all know the golden hours to take shots outdoors are the one just after sunrise and the one just before sunset. Good luck trying to find someone who’s also available during those times to take that shot for you. Not only that, but that certain someone should preferably like photography as much as you like having a nice photo of you put out there for all to see. Thank God for boyfriends and Instagram husbands now, shall we?


3. How often to post.

I used to post an entry every other day of the week at the very least, even if it was a small Tip of the Day entry. That was back when I’d just graduated from university and had some extra time on my hands. However, with what little amount of time I have now, there is a need to strategise. We know that quality trumps quantity, but we also know that readers get bored easily and won’t come back if we only post once a month or so.

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Tip of the Day: How to Wear Navy (and Look Stylish While at it)

How to Wear Navy


The nautical theme is so last season, babe. That’s why it can be tricky business to wear navy without looking like we didn’t get the memo. But fret not, I’ve got some tips that would help you stay classy and up-to-date. Read on to find out more about how to wear navy in style and rock it solid.


1. Wear it on its own.


Navy alone is a classic shade, just like black or beige. It is something that would never fail. Think about it, wearing an all-navy ensemble to a dinner party, beach wedding, to the movies or Sunday brunch. Chances are, you’ve already got something in mind. So yes, if you aren’t sure what to wear navy with, staying with it on its own would do just fine.


2. Wear it with neutral colours.


Some colours include black, white, nude, and brown. If you’re known for hitting the nail on the head where colour blocking is concerned, these shades can’t go wrong.


3. Wear it with denim.


Denim, where do I even begin? It can be faded denim or something that’s a darker shade of blue. Whatever the case, not everyone likes denim-on-denim. But navy-on-denim could very well be the trend you set next.

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Link Love: What’s Your Life Made up of?



Kiss me hard before you go, summertime sadness. Oh, my God, I feel it in the air. Telephone wires above all sizzlin’ like your stare. Honey I’m on fire I feel it everywhere. Nothing scares me anymore.


Today’s Link Love post is inspired by my own thoughts lately about life in general. Right now, I’m in a spot or phase where I’m feeling all sorts of jaded by everything that’s going on around me. I suppose we all do get into a pit like this sometime in life, once or twice, and for some others, maybe more often. It’s not a nice place to be, not seeing or finding meaning in whatever it is that you do. So you need to just take a deep breath and do what it takes to get you to a better place.


Summertime Sadness Link Love - Laced Ivory


  1. The peeps at Senatus share Jimmy Choo’s 2016 new bridal shoes collection.
  2. Nikaela writes at Kinfolk‘s 9th issue about the art of being idle.
  3. Cassandra at Goodyfeed lets us in on the 10 restaurants in Singapore with the best views.
  4. Check out the second volume of free online magazine SOFFA.
  5. Mr. Smit (I named him) at Smitten Kitchen shares his recipe for making broccoli melts.
  6. Caroline asks on NY Times why we teach girls to be scared.
  7. The peeps at Pantone reveal the official FW 2016 Pantone colours.
  8. Kashmira talks about the 12 worst Tinder horror stories on The Independent.
  9. Elizabeth at Style Me Pretty shares her picks of flat wedding shoes for the girl who values comfort and style.

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OOTD: Cocooned in Love

Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Maryling Silk Dress


Silk Dress: Maryling

Clutch: Random store in Seoul, Korea

Amethyst Ear Studs: J. Trouvée

Pearl Bangle: J. Trouvée

Drusy Necklace: J. Trouvée

Heeled Sandals: Steve Madden (available on Nordstrom here)

Photographer: The ever so talented Mr. Ratatouille


If you’re with the right partner, every day is Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate 14th February if you wanted to either. For us, it’s really another excuse to gift each other with something special and just block out time for each other. Maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t for you, and maybe it is, but for us it’s definitely a time we treasure and be thankful for having each other in our lives.

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