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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A much-needed rant

Lots of people has told me that life has it's ups and downs - at one point everything seems perfect, and at another, everything seems to crumble into oblivion. When people tell me that, I automatically imagine a curved line, like one you'd see on a graph with graduating curves with no points.

Now I'm replotting my life graph - I find that it has sharp points. The positive points are few, but the negative points are abundant, and they are stretched out, and slowly sloping downwards. Every now and then there would be a slight lift, but then it would drop lower.

After lots of hammering of pictures of brains and the difference between the left and right brain, I've concluded that I'm left-brained - logical, mathematical, and works better with words and number and whatnot. Which explains my lack of people skills.

I don't know when I started to, but I know I've been working a really long time trying to please everyone. My weakness is loneliness, the next is jealousy. All my life I've been acting like a stuck-up bitch, looking down my nose at people, when really I just don't know how to communicate with people. I remember during kindergarten, I had but one best friend in my class (a boy), and everyone else pretty much disliked me, to what I can remember.

Strangers think of me as stuck-up, arrogant, and generally grumpy. I find myself extremely silent these days - my brain doesn't work as it does, so I can't think of anything to add in a conversation. May be because of my current weird sleeping pattern, or because I haven't seen a certain someone for a really long time. And as it is a lot of things I say are rather offensive.

Now is one of those seemingly infinite down times in my life. My best friend is seemingly upset with me, though I'm well aware of the reason. She's one of the most important people in my life, because I won't ever meet another friend that's better than her. Her being upset with me is like plunging me into darkness.

I haven't seen my other half for near 3 months already. I'm depressed and lonely. Like those forever alone guys, I have to watch all the couples snuggle and hold hands and bump noses. Even liking each others' stuff on Facebook connects the wire that lights up the "jealousy" bulb. We used to do all that - cuddling, kissing, or just being in the presence of the other.

Now everything just makes me want to burst out in tears. Don't misunderstand, I'm not hating on other couples - I wish them the best, and I really hope they stay together until the end of their days. Just that every time I see a cuddly couple, it's like life is mocking me.

Occasionally Cute & Lens Village giveaway

Stand a chance to win 2 pairs of circle lenses from Lens Village! Click here for more info.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A few things I left out

My nails are one of my personal features that I find most pretty - my fingers are long (but by no means slender), and having long nails help "glamify" my hands. Especially when I have grown my nails to a decent length but they start to break, I delay that process by painting my nails.

I tend to reach for dark colors, like black or maroon.Whether it's because they are colors that compliment the skin tone or I'm just a more gothic-oriented person, I don't know. However, my mum recently purchased a beautiful coral color from Elianto, and I used that along with a couple other colors to do my nails.

Nail polishes that I used (from left to right):
  1. Generic brand calcium-fortified orange-tinted base coat
  2. Elianto Shimmery Nail Polish in 20 Shining Ebony (shimmery black)
  3. Winmax Nail Art Enamel in red
  4. Elianto Nail Colour in 09 Coral Light (hot pink in artificial light, coral in natural light)
  5. Elianto Nail Color in 04 Platinum Pearl (sheer shimmer)
Pointer finger: coral base with a hand-painted heart, which was topped with some shimmery polish.

Middle: tried to do some French tip with the shimmer polish.

Ring: FIRST SUCCESSFUL FRENCH TIP! Using the red nail art polish, then I went over the red with some shimmer polish.
Thumb: did some ribbon-inspired streaks (my favorite design) using the red nail art, then brush the entire thing over with the shimmer polish.

Middle: experimented with a polka dot design, also overlayed with shimmer polish.

I did a few different designs on mostly the coral painted nails, because the black was too dark. The calcium-fortified base coat has a really strong fruity smell, which is pleasant for the first couple of minutes, but just gets annoying because whenever you wave your hands near your face, you smell it.

Tie-dye top: no idea, this was from aeons ago.
Khaki corduroy skirt: Old Navy
Chain-link belt: E-Jewellery
Weave bangle (left wrist): Yinhoo
Buckle wrist strap (right wrist): birthday present from ex
I also took a picture for an OOTD post, but haven't got time to put it up until now. This was from a couple of weeks ago. 

I love Oreos. Probably more than half of the world does. And somehow I like to add Oreos to almost everything that's creamy and soft and cold. There was some strawberry mousse in the fridge and some *ahem* expired Chocolate Oreos in the cupboard. I took the cookies (not the cream), bashed them up and made them toppings for my mousse~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Current fitness diary

Been swamped with mid-semester exams (20% of overall grade) and assignments that I (we) rarely have the energy to go to the gym - in fact we skipped an entire week, if memory serves me right. I was feeling utterly guilty, because I was wolfing down double servings of noodles and lots of Tim Tams and Kit Kats. I had to do something.

My general gym routine is about 40 minutes on treadmill, alternating between brisk walking, running and climbing. Then I do a few sets of about 10-15 each of chin-ups and biceps curls on the machines, topped off with about 40-60 seconds of planking.

My mum is still pondering on whether to get a treadmill (I'm still struggling to understand why - she wanted to opt for a FOLDABLE one, which I find a bit dodgy), and having to drive specially to a maze of a park just to do running won't do, especially when I need to see numbers to keep myself motivated.

All I can do is do some exercises so that I don't feel as guilty. Since I spend most of my time in the gym on the treadmill working my cardio and legs, I'd work on the less worked areas that I'd like to tone, such as my arms and my abs.

Super simple - alternate sets of:

  • 10-15 push-ups [arms] (I do the half-push-ups, meaning I'm on my knees instead of my toes)
  • 10-15 crunches [abs]
  • 40-60 seconds of planking [core muscles + abs]

I'd repeat until I was tired, and that's usually it. If I feel like it I'd give it another few repetitions of it later in the day. Walking in heels help with the leg toning, though you'd be more prone to blisters and a potential spinal problem.

Where eating is concerned, I don't really pick out the fats and stuff like I used to about a month ago. But I'm really trying to moderate on the chocolate and the milk, whenever it's available in the fridge. Especially some of the pastries that my sister brings home after classes...

For example, I had a giant plate of linguine carbonara with parmesan cheese, then helped finish about one seventh (or more) of a 1/3 sheet Baskin Robbins ice cream cake (Jamoca flavor with vanilla cake). But I kind of balanced it out by walking to and fro between the academic and commercial blocks on 3.5 inch heels.

Some weeks ago after a heavy meal at Pasta Zanmai, I took something like a body mass test at a fitness promo at Mid Valley. It calculated everything through some kind of kind of waveform that passes through the body.

Depending on various factors, everyone has different calorie requirements, and it is possible to "count your calories", though I don't care much for that. This test shows how many calories I need in a day, which is under BMR. Eating less than that number will already help with losing weight.

Overall, I find that my cardio has only improved slightly, but muscle-wise, I've gotten stronger.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Girl-talk: Thongs

Hey, people. I might be gone for about a week, since exams are near, and assignments are piling up. So here's something to get your brain working.

I'll be talking about underwear, believe it or not, so if some of you are uncomfortable reading/talking about topics like these, feel free to browse some other articles on my blog, or just click out~

So, girl's underwear. Unlike guys', which consists of generally briefs and boxers (and the more unconventional G-string-for-men), we have granny-panties, boyshorts, mini panties, lace briefs, etc. I make this comparison because I have no more knowledge about men's underwear than I do with fixing pipes (which is virtually 0).

The type of underwear I'm talking about are ... thongs. And/or G-strings. Basically the same concept, just the difference of the amount of cloth. So here's the difference between the above mentions: G-strings are just a piece of triangular cloth in the front held together by strips of (usually) elastic straps. The thong has an entire piece of suitably-cut cloth running from the back to the front.

So. Let's start with the benefits of these "controversial" pieces of underwear. They get rid of the much-avoided panty lines. Sure, you could get seamless underwear, which would me more comfortable, but wearing thongs are SEXY.

You could play around with the types of thongs/G-strings available. Ignore those judging eyes from anyone who might be looking at you with, and just browse. The most important thing is to find one that's suitable for yourself, but if you still don't feel comfortable with wearing them, feel free not to.

If you do feel like experimenting though, remember not to pull them too high up, as some would do with their normal underwear. Adjust it so that it just fits, not stretching it too much, if not you'll feel extremely uncomfortable.

I just don't get the controversy with thongs. My mum's all right with anything as long as I'm comfortable with it, so there's no problem there. However, when I was browsing the thong mountain at a clearance sale, a lot of the young mothers, middle-aged married men, working young adults just stared, with a look that suggested disapproval of some sort.

WHY? It's just underwear. Yes, porn-stars wear them, that doesn't mean I am one. Shopping for thongs is just the same as shopping for any other types of underwear, or everything, for that matter.

Now. If you're new to thongs, I would suggest you stay away from them if you have to wear them for a really long time - like from morning to evening. Find some short occasions, like a couple hours of class or a lunch date with someone, and slowly get comfortable with it. The more stringy ones are more comfortable than the cloth-heavy ones in the long-run.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

TheMoonMaiden's giveaway

Blix has reached 2000 followers via Google Friend Connect, and she's hosting a giveaway to celebrate it! Click here to go to the original post~

What she's giving away? A tube of uber-awesome glitter glue that also works as an eye shadow base, Maybelline's Eyestudio Lasting Drama 24 Hour Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black, piCture pOlish nail polish in Stone, 3 tubes of vegan lipstick from Morgana Cryptoria, and a US$50 gift voucher for her eBay jewelry store!

For more details, visit her blog!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Make-up: Liquid Foundation

Some people use it, some people don't. It's as simple as that. There are also those who can't live without it. Whatever the reason it is that one uses it, which type you use depends on your skin condition, the environment that you will be in, and the level of coverage that you desire.

Basically there are three types: powder, liquid and cream. Degree of coverage depends on:

  1. brand
  2. texture
  3. application method
  4. amount of product applied
  5. usage of skin base/primer

I'll have to be honest in terms of my lack of experience in the field of cream foundations - I only know that due to the more emollient texture, it works best on dry skin and/or in dry weather.

When purchasing foundations, opt for mineral formulas if possible, because they provide better coverage and are much "healthier" thank regular foundations. In contrast with regular foundations, mineral make-up is made of ... minerals, and are thus more natural than the regular ones, and in turn don't damage the skin so much in terms of clogging the pores and aging the skin.

Liquid foundation is the most popular option, and it's the foundation I use most of the time. I used to just slap it on, but I've found a weird but effective way of applying it.

If you're expecting to take lots of photos, especially with flash, avoid HD foundations, and other foundations that contain silicone and SPF, as the light-reflecting particles will a) leave a white cast over your face, b) wash out the color on your face and c) make your face look patchy.

How do you know if a shade of foundation is right for you? It would be advised that you give the foundation a couple of hours of a test run. Apply some on your jawline, then continue your shopping for about two hours.

If it doesn't change color and blends perfectly and suits your skin tone, that's the one. If it turns darker or orangey, it means you have acidic skin. If this happens, opt for a foundation that is one or two shades lighter than your original skin tone. It would be safer to test it as well before purchasing.

However, if you purchased a wrong shade of foundation, fret not - you could use it as a colored concealer or as Queenie Chan a.k.a. BeautyQQ says, you can use it as a highlighter or a contour product.

Products & tools:
  • liquid foundation in a shade that matches your skin tone [Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua Gel Foundation in 12 Natural]
  • water
  • face primer [Kate Covering Concealer for Pores]
  • foundation brush or stippling brush, opt for artificial hair brushes as they will not absorb as much product as natural hair brushes, or use a cosmetic sponge instead [Manicare Cosmetica Foundation Brush]
  • powder brush with soft bristles [generic brand small face brush]
  • powder, pressed or loose, translucent or skin toned, preferably with a puff or sponge puff [Pigeon Compact Baby Powder in Beige]
Kate Covering Concealer for Pores and Benefit's Porefessional are translucent creams that dry as a powder, and functions to fill in the pores, making them less obvious, especially if used under foundation.

Put on a good moisturizer, and if you have a primer, use it - it will help fill in your pores, smoothing the surface of the skin and help to achieve a smoother finish. A small amount will do. Smooth the product upwards so that they will fill the pores, then always remember to smooth the hairs back down.

I filled an old toner spray bottle with water for make-up uses.

Dampen your brush, but don't soak it. It should just feel slightly moist to the touch. If you're using a sponge, soak it in the water, then squeeze out all the excess water.

Squeeze/pump your foundation out onto the back of your hand. You could mix a few shades if you need. The back of your hand because the warmth of your body will help "melt" the product.

Dip your brush/sponge/fingers into the foundation "pool" and dot the product randomly all over your face, or wherever you need/want coverage. Try to keep the dots all even, as in about the same amount of product in each dot.

Using your preferred tool, blend the product evenly. Touch up wherever necessary, and apply another layer if level of coverage desired is not achieved. The dotting and blending technique helps avoid cakey foundation. Remember, the last brush stroke should always be downward/in the direction in which your fine facial hairs grow.

Tip: I tried having the foundation dry up on my skin while I was taking photos, so rewetting it with a mist of water might help.

Take your translucent or beige powder on a puff, then press the powder onto where you apply your foundation. Pressing and rolling on the powder with a puff instead of brushing it on with a brush helps seal the foundation and also helps minimize the appearance of large pores. Sometimes you pickup and apply too much powder - don't worry about that.

Lightly dust off any excess powder. It would be better to seal in everything first before dusting anything off. Brushing on your powder will inevitably "move" your carefully applied foundation. If you really must use a brush, pat/press it onto your skin instead of brushing it all over.

That's how I do my foundation now. Other people might object, but I find this better than "starting from the center of the face", because I find that doing that makes my pores look cakey (personal opinion). This technique gives me more of an airbrushed (but not completely) finished than my previous methods.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April haul

Mostly clothing items, the highlight being the Factory Outlet Store clearance sale at Hotel Sri Petaling.

The highlight were the items that were priced RM3 and up. Well, some of them were - the thongs being an exception (RM1) - while the rest were all 70% off. And the prices were BEAUTIFUL especially after discount~

What I got:

Maroon long-sleeved shirt by Gia - RM43.00 - 70% = RM12.90

The first thing that I got was a maroon long-sleeved ladies' cut shirt. I didn't have a mind to get a shirt, but I was browsing and I saw this lovely maroon shirt (along with other colors like white, baby blue and whatnot) and it immediately captured my heart - this would definitely inject some color to my formal wardrobe.

Knitted tank tops by Old Navy - RM3.00 each

I didn't really need tank tops, but I wanted a few for gym - I wear more or less the same three tops (and shorts, which was also on my shopping list) to the gym, about 3-4 times a week. I got two knitted tanks, a deep emerald green and a sky blue (the same colors my sister got for my mum) from the RM3 baskets.

Maxi dress by Heart Soul - RM53.00 - 70% =  RM15.90

Along with the maroon shirt, I found some lovely maxi dresses. At 70% off. Superbly lovely. Anyways, I went through the entire basket looking for alternate designs (some had their straps yanked off), but I settled with this lovely green toned one (though I think it's a tad bit big for me, guess I have to tweak the elastic strap part a bit so that it would fit better). Wearing this is dangerous - the front and back are both really low (especially as it doesn't fit well), so wearing a brassiere would be ugly. Yes, I wore this - braless - to campus.

Light khaki corduroy skirt (brand unknown) - RM35.00 - 70% = RM10.50

I've only heard of corduroy skirts in high school fiction books in font size 32 (I think). While looking for shorts, I spotted corduroy, and upon closer inspection, under all those kid's leggings and weird pants and whatnot were skirts! As for the skirt, I did try it on by pulling it over my cargos (there were no fitting cubicles available).

Brown kid-size T-shirt - RM3.00

I also got a random kid-sized T-shirt to practice my T-shirt cutting. I sort of failed when I cut up my green Singapore T-shirt (I cut out too much of the collar, so it became an off-shoulder top).

Somewhat embarrassing but I also got a number of the aforementioned thongs by H&M. Contrary to what my mum and sister thinks about thongs, they're actually quite comfortable to wear, provided that you wear them properly.

That's all I got from the F.O.S clearance sale - the only pair of shorts that I found was snatched by my younger sister. There were some good-looking white cargo pants at RM10 each, but all of them were SOOOO LONG in the leg.

Practically every trip we make to Mid Valley now involves a visit to the ever-crowded Vincci. Vincci, Vincci+ and Vincci Accessories are brought in by Padini, and the Mid Valley branch has all of them crowded into two shop units.

Heels are my weakness - it would be logical if you had a taller sister mocking you for your height almost 24/7. Yeah, it's fun for the mocker, but for the victim, not much so. Anyway, I love heels - as tall as you can please, but not chunky. I like the heels - wedges and stilettos alike - slim and tapered, and slightly curving away from the end of the shoe, which is contrary to the current trend.

Anyway, my mum dreads it when I visit shoe stores - I tend to reach for the sky-high (4-6 inch range) platforms. Her main concern is whether I can walk in them properly, which proves that she hasn't seen me walking in my 4.5 inch wedges before (R.I.P my beloved blue-strapped wedges).

What I got:

The last time I purchased a pair of ballerinas from the Sunway Pyramid branch of Vincci, which was only half a size too small, but killed my feet. Until now, the huge scab that was a result of the blister that was a result of those ballerinas has still not healed. Note to self: never buy hard-bodied ballerinas. Instead I got some nice, soft, grey polkadot ones, like my previous green ones. They're extremely comfortable, maybe because I got them in a half size bigger (my foot size is 7.5, or 39/40).

I think these qualify as pumps? Anyway, these sling-back peep-toe heels are the only pair of heels to date that my mum approves of (those above 2 inches, anyway). These are much shorter than my other pairs - my blue wedges were 4.5 inch, my silver ones are 3.5 inch. These are 2.5 inches, and also in half a size larger, which proved to be the wrong choice - not two blisters, 5 on one foot.

That's it for April. I don't buy much, unless I need it, and unless it's like something that I think is quite special, I probably won't post it up. Like the three bottles of tea tree oil that I got from The Body Shop the same day I got the shoes - those are my back-up skincare stock, and I've been using it for a couple of years now (works like a miracle potion most of the time).

Next haul post at the start of June, if I do get anything in May.