Raving about makeup, skincare, hair and other little obsessions... A Beauty Blog

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grow It & Grow It Right

Image source: http://casarei.net/2011/06/ruiva/seaofshoes/

I've been a bit busy lately and so I have yet to do up my Clinique vs YSL mascaras post. I decided that to do this one first because I've planned it for a very long and would be able to whip it up within half an hour or so.

Currently, I'm embarking on a journey to grow my hair long. I've only ever had short to shoulder-length hair until last year when I decided to grow it long. Why? Why did I leave it till now to grow it out? It's because I attended schools that did not permit long hair. If you're one of those people who are taking on the challenge of growing and maintaining long hair like I am, you might want to read on because apparently, it's no easy feat! I've done a fair bit of research over the World Wide Web. So now, all you have to do it read or watch some of the Youtube videos that I've included.

Things that I have learned:
1. Wash your hair once every TWO days. You will hear this over and over again. It cannot be stressed enough. Even if you have and are keeping short hair, you should only be washing once every two days. This is because you don't want to completely strip your scalp of all the natural oils that it produces to keep your hair healthy.

2. Any form of heat damages your hair. You're meant to apply heat protectant on your hair when you blow dry to keep it from drying out. It goes without said that you have to do the same before straightening or curling your hair. You want to retain the moisture in your hair. I've included some links to blog posts that will teach you the technique of blow drying your hair.

TBD: Blow Dry Basics
ROH: Blow Dry Your Way To Beautiful Hair

3. If you wash your hair with hot water, STOP! It removes the moisture from your hair and that's how you get dandruff. Here's a little more on why. Be sure to check out "the cuticle" link that's in that post. The best is to wash your hair with cool water. If you're afraid of the cold, try this: adjust your water temperature until it matches your body temperature. You can tell because you would not be able to tell if it's warm or cool. Then turn your cold water up just a tiny bit more and ta-da! You have water that's just cool.

4. You should wear your hair in a braid to sleep. It doesn't have to be tight or proper. Just a loose braid would do. Otherwise, when you thrash around in your sleep at night, your hair gets tugged and pulled against your "rough" pillowcase. I find that ever since I started sleeping with my hair in a braid, I hardly find any loose strands of hair scattered on/around my pillow! How does that work, you might ask. Well, think of it this way: it's very easy of you to snap a single twig. But if you gathered and bunched ten twigs together, it's much harder for you to snap them all together. The same applies for hair. Together, they are stronger. Another option is to use satin pillowcases.

Here's an extensive guide to taking care of your growing hair. I know the web design looks a bit old but the content is still very much relevant.

5. You'll probably experience a lot more hair fall than when you had short hair. Don't fret, my pet! It's natural. Our hair has a cycle of growing, stopping growth, falling and regrowing. It does not mean that you are balding. Luckily, TBD's Kristin Ess has done all the research for us! Read her post to get the details on how/why hair loss occurs and how it can/cannot be fixed. Here's a simpler hair loss article. Just in case you're sick of TBD!

Lastly, if you want seriously lustrous and gorgeous hair. Follow Kristin's hair bootcamp! She's written out hair routines tailored to most, if not all, hair types. If you don't have the time, you don't have to do it. You can live without constant treatment. It's for those hardcore hair lovers out there. Here are some of her more general tips.

Another hair guru whom I love is Krista Bradford. Watch her videos for some tips on growing healthy hair. Krista's hair FAQ and foods for healthy hair.

If you want a list of hair products Lets Make It Up! has made a pretty good video about it. She also covers some basic hair care rules. So you can pretty much watch this instead of reading everything but you will miss some other important info.

Here are some easy DIY hair treatments!
TBD's version

Krista's version

Do you have any tips for growing long hair? Please do share it in the comments section below! I'd love to hear them.
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do It Yourself: Half-moon Nails

I know it's spring now (well, over here anyway) and I should be donning light, bright and fancy colours like pale blue (which is the "in" colour right now). But ever since I saw this tutorial on thebeautydepartment.com, I've been obssessed with trying to get my nails done that way. It's so cool you should try it too!

Follow the instructions and you should be able to "reproduce Lauren Conrad's nails"! I bought my transparent reinforcement stickers for about $6 from Officeworks, which works like a charm. As you can see, I haven't perfected the art yet. My hands are still unsteady when it comes to painting my nails in general. Going to need more practice!

I used a glittery gold from The Face Shop, which was given to me by a Korean friend, as the base. So don't ask me what the name of the nail polish is. It's in Korean. However, you should be able to find them in malls in Asia. Otherwise, there are plenty of other brands here in Australia that stock something similar. On top, I used Iris by Witchery. In the photo, it looks like navy but with the naked eye, it's a dark purple hue. My camera somehow picked it up as blue. It rhymes! Man, I sounded poetic! If you want other colour combination ideas. Check this out. And if you're feeling really glamorous and want to shake things up a bit, try this one, I dare you! Enjoy!

Coming up

Clinique vs. YSL
Who has the better mascara?

Grow It and Grow It Right!
Tips for growing and maintaining long hair.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Do It Yourself: Bookmarks


A couple of weeks ago, my dad handed me a few of his optical seminar freebies, this included a hand sanitiser (which I was happy to receive), a writing pad and a set of mini cardboard laminated pamphlets (I'm not sure if there exists a word to describe the thing). Anyway, my dad suggested that I use them as bookmarks. A dose of inspiration hit me. I decided that if I was going to use them as bookmarks, I might as well make them pretty ones!

Here's how I did it:

1. Remove the chain and separate them out. (Duh! Well, I just had to match the photo with a step)

2. Flip the "bookmark" over and use the end of another one to trace out it's "end shape". Do it just below the metal eye because you want to get rid of it.

3. With a pair of scissors, cut the "bookmark" following the line that you have just traced. This removes the metal eye and you're left with a rectangle "bookmark" that has rounded corners.

4. Select a card stock with the design/pattern/colour that you want on your "bookmark".

5. Flip your card stock over and lay your "bookmark" over it, faced down as well. Trace the shape of the "bookmark" onto the card stock. Tip: align the bookmark with the corner of the card stock so that there's less tracing and cutting to do.

6. Cut the shape out from the card stock.

7. Line the top side of your "bookmark" (the side with the advertising) with double-sided tape. You may use a glue stick but I find that they are not adhesive enough. They are many other types of glue that work as well. Align the cut-out and the "bookmark" at one end and then slowly smooth it down (just like how you would stick a protective film on your smart phone). It should fit perfectly... assuming that you did everything perfectly.

8. For me I didn't do it perfectly, so I had had to trim the edges a little afterwards. But that's no biggie. So voila! A pretty bookmark!

As you can see I made a few. I gave one to my mum and one to my dad. I did this a few days ago and yesterday, I made two more but I can't be bothered to take another picture and post it up here. After all, you get the picture already (excuse the lame pun). Enjoy!
Saturday, September 17, 2011

Love Letters

Bet you thought this post is gonna be about letters that I've received from an admirer or a lover/paramour or a boyfriend/love interest or... you get the picture. If you're a food lover, perhaps you thought of those tasty rolls of chocolate wafers? Yum...

Anyway, this post is a continuation of my previous post. Remember I mentioned that I keep letters in my folder? Well, here are some pretty letters and postcards that I've received and would like to share with you.

Christina sent me this postcard when she was visiting Perth.
Looking at it just make me feel so loved!

My cousin and his wife sent me this when they were on holiday in Cambodia.
Pretty cool, huh?

A friend of mine sent me this postcard when she moved to SA.

Christina sent me this one when she was on holiday in Japan.
I'd love to go to Japan one of these days!

A friend from England brought me postcards when she visited.
I reckon it's pretty cool. I like it.

This is another one.
Please excuse my poor photography skills.

Sometime back, Myra, Christina, Jess and Megan wrote me a really funny letter.
They decorated the envelope. Isn't it beautiful?

Megan and I used to write each other letters.
She'd use these really cute Peanuts envelopes.

That's all I have for now!

Procrastination, Thou Art My Enemy

Last week, I found myself going through my five-year-old new clear folder. I use it to keep newpaper article, letters, print-out of lyrics (ah, those days when I did not own an iPod...) and artwork that I recived from friends as gifts. "Why?" you may ask. I was evading the grueling task that lay ahead of me ...... Studying.

As you can see, it was quite a mess! I collected a lot of items of sentimental value over the years. But I decided it was time to move on. I recycled the lyrics, the newspaper (goodbye Twilight and Cathy Kelly, I'm so over you!) and some wrapping paper that I saved from presents. Yes, I keep wrapping paper that I find really pretty. Everything else went back into the folder.

After an hour's worth of procrastination, my folder was in good order again. Time to study... Ahhhh!! Before I finish off this post, I would like to share with you two lovely pieces of artwork that my best friend, Nop, gave to me.

Simply gorgeous!
Sunday, September 11, 2011

Makeup Diary's Birthday Giveaway!

Image source: http://www.makeupdiary.org/

I bet your eyes are bulging or on the verge of popping out of its sockets. The blogger of Makeup Diary, JC, is having this amazing giveaway to celebrate her 23rd birthday! So if you're up for scoring yourself $200 worth of Sephora goodies, head over to her blog and enter.

But WAIT!!!

Before you do that, I'd just like to say that it'd be nice if you actually took a few minutes to go through her blog. Don't just hit Follow because of the giveaway because it's a pretty great blog to read!

I really like JC's taste in makeup (and handbags if I may add!). From MAC to NARS, this Hawaiian lady is constantly on hauls* and documents it religiously, something which I am in awe and jealous of. Her swatches** are pretty helpful too. You get to see what the colour of the eyeshadow or lipstick looks like on skin. Well, it's helpful for me anyway because my skin tone is somewhat like JC's. To top it off, her posts are enjoyable to read. She's doesn't ramble on... like I do. She gets straight to the point and you feel like she's actually tell you about her day or what she has bought!

So, give her blog a read. She didn't just hit over 2000 followers for no good reason. You might find yourself listing her as one of your favourite beauty blogs!

Now, back to her giveaway. Don't forget to read the instructions carefully. You wouldn't want to mess it up and miss the opportunity of a Sephora shopping spree. You can't fool JC, she goes through all the entries and disqualifies those who don't follow the rules. Don't miss out! So, good luck!

* Haul - a mini shopping spree
** Swatch - have a quick look at or testing out the makeup product
Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oh M Gee!

I've had this epiphany sometime back and it took me a while to carry it out and finish it off. I wanted to turn the word/phrase "OMG" into a picture.

What I did was put on some lipstick, took a few shots of myself, mouthing each letter. Then, I had to crop, resize and edit them on Picnik (as mentioned in my previous post). It's not perfect, I know. When I took a photo of "M", somehow I managed to capture more lighting. In other words, it was over-exposed. My teeth looks yellow in "G" because of the Effect I used on it to enhance my skin colour and red lips.

I think what I need is more practice. I'll post my next Photo Epiphany if and when I do have one!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

University Survival Guide - Saving Money

After half a year of university life, I've pick up some tips and tricks that I would more than likely remember for the rest of my life. I've decided that I'd share them here on my blog. Hopefully, they will help anyone who is about to start or has already started uni. So this post may actually be a "no-brainer" for some of you. Some of the things that I will point out may also be obvious to you. However, I find that a lot of people at my uni are either unaware of those tricks or choose not to adopt them.

Seeing as the economy is potentially at the point of another meltdown, I think it'd appropriate for my first USG post to be about saving money. It is not easy being a university student, especially a full time one. Depending on the course you take, you may find yourself taking up to 4 subjects, 5 being the worst case scenario. Apart from attending lectures and tutorials/workshops, you're expected to put in some extra study time at home. So what does this leave you with? Very few hours to work, to make some moolah. "But hey, that's okay. I'll just make a little less. I just spend on whatever I want and save very little." That's where you're quite wrong. If you want to be a high achiever at uni, you'll have to "invest" a fair amount of money into it. Unless you're really rich, you'll find it a struggle to keep your High Distinction dream and your social/personal life "afloat".


Most of your subjects will require a textbook. If you're willing to constantly fight over the measely few copies of textbooks in the library with dozens of other students, by all means, be my guest. The library copies are hardly freely available and depending on your uni, you may only have them on loan for a few hours or a few days or a couple of weeks. It'd be more efficient for you to have your own textbooks. But they are not cheap! Yes, I know. At first, I was dumb enough to buy all 4 of my textbooks brand new from the bookshop. Now, I desperately want to get rid of 2 of them, which were pretty useless to me. Luckily, the other 2 are essential for my course and I'll be using them profusely throughout my time at uni. So, my number one tip is to do some research! Your lecturer will recommend which textbook to purchase. Then, try to buddy up with a couple of seniors. Find out if the textbook is essential part of the subject. Did they manage to do really well without one? How did they do that? If you must buy one, look out for any "Textbook for Sale" ads on student noticeboards. Otherwise, check with your seniors,
they might be trying to sell their old textbooks. There's also this website called Student VIP. They have a lot of info and resources just for uni students. You can sign up with them. It's free. Go to their Textbook Exchange and hunt for secondhand textbooks there! If you're lucky, your uni may even have their very own secondhand bookshop!Still find those secondhand books really expensive? If you did your research way before you started uni, you'd have enough time to order your books online. You can check Amazon, Better World Books or Book Depository. Their used books range from $20 to $80. Remember, you have to do this at least a month before uni starts because the books are likely to be shipped from USA. "What if I've already started uni and need the book straight away?" You'll just have to buy a brand new copy. But don't fret! You can always sell it to the juniors next year or the year after when you are done with it.

Even in this technological age, you'll probably find yourself printing out the lecture slides, notes and practice questions. It's just easier to study them that way. I find that as much as students wish they want to print more "cost-effectively", they simply don't know how to. I didn't know either until my friend taught me how to do it. Instead of printing each individual slide on an A4 paper, you can and should either 4 or 6 slides per page. I've even seen someone go as far as printing 9 slides per A4 page. You can print PowerPoint lecture slides as a handout. Personally, I find that handouts are too small and I can't see the diagrams and figures clearly. What I do is convert them to PDF. Then, under "Page scaling" I choose "Multiple pages per sheet". If I go with 4 slides per page, I would have the page setup as a landscape. For 6 slides, I stick with protrait. This is to maximise the size of the slides. I would also choose duplex printing (means printing on both sides of the paper). I find it more practical and cheaper to print in Black & White instead of colour. Sure, you wan to see the images in colour but that's where your textbook comes in. Most, if not all, lecturers take images from the textbook for their lecture material. In fact, if you've bought your textbook, you don't need to print those slides with the textbook diagrams and figures. I always delete the useless slides. Other than images, I delete "title slides". They serve no purpose when it comes to studying. I manually write the title onto my printed lecture materials. This can sometimes be a time-consuming process but once you're used to it, you can edit lecture slides really quickly and efficiently. Not only will doing all these save you lots of money, it'll save the environment too! Prior to learning these tricks, I used to spend $20 every few days on printing alone! Now, I only top up my printing account with $20 about every 3 weeks. I mean, why "waste" all your money on printing when you can use it to buy a skirt (in a girl's case) or a pair of earphones (in a guy's case) that you've been eyeing.

Generally, at our age, we eat a lot. Studying demands a lot of brain usage and our neurons need a lot of glucose and oxygen to function well. Here's a fun fact for you: if it must, the brain would starve the rest of the body to feed itself, with the exception of the heart, which feeds itself first before it feeds the brain. Food sold at universities should be cheap, seeing as they are catering for students, most of whom are not rich. However, this is not necessarily the case. They can be costly in the long run. You're better off bringing your own lunch. I bring a homemade sandwich to uni for lunch every day. Yes, you're allowed to be skeptical at that statement but you can believe me. I do have friends to vouch for me. Sometimes I bring an apple and/or a muesli bar in addition to my sandwich. And I buy them from the supermarket/local food & fruit shop. How can this be saving money? Allow me to do the math for you.

Say you have to attend uni 4 times a week. Let's also say you're really thrifty and you only spend $7 a day, which would afford you a small box of rice & curry or greasey fish & chips. This means that you would be spending $28 a week. "Hey, that's not bad at all. I can afford!" Okay. But compare it to mine. If I buy a loaf of bread ($2), ham slices (~$4), lettuce (~$1) and cheese slices (~$4), which will last me at least a week or two, I'll only be spending $11 per week! Although that's just an estimation, add a couple more dollars to the cost and it'd still be cheaper than buying food from uni every day, plus it's healthier. I'm NOT saying that you absolutely must not buy food from your uni at all. I'm just suggesting another way for you to save more money. To bring you closer to buying that gorgeous Wheels & Dollbaby dress that's at the top of your wishlist... Ahem. I mean, my wishlist. So I hope you do see my point. You don't have to stick to sandwiches. You can make something quick, easy and cheap like a pasta salad. Another tip is that if you enjoy snacking whilst studying in your uni library, you can buy your mixed nuts or
packet of biscuits from the supermarket (especially if they are on special!). It costs more to buy those things from uni because they don't have as much buying power as the large supermarkets. Not that, I'm discouraging you from supporting your university food outlets! I do buy food at uni very now and then.


This is a really long blog post. It's the longest I've ever composed but hang in there! We're almost at the end! This is the final money-saving tip that I would like to share. If you live more than a couple of suburbs away from uni, like I do, I strongly recommend you take public transport. Why are you better off taking the train/bus/tram to uni than driving your own car? I'll break it all down for you. With the next inflation just around the corner, petrol prices are on the rise. They already have risen quite a few cents. I remember 3 years ago, they were on average 100 cents per litre. Now, they are at least 130 cents per litre. If you drive your car to uni every day, you'd be spending around $50 a week just on petrol. Let's not forget, you'll have to pay for parking at uni. Not only are they expensive but the spaces are usually limited, depending on your campus. Imagining circling around looking for a parking spot when you're already 10 minutes late for your lecture! Where I live and where my uni is, we're virtually at opposite ends of the city. By bus, I have to travel for at least 45 minutes to reach uni. The same goes for going home. But guess what? I spend $50 every MONTH, as oppose to every week, on bus fares, thanks to concession prices. Again, you won't just be saving money, you'll be saving the environment! And here's another perk for you. If you're really studious, you can use your time on the bus, to peruse lecture material or study!

That's all the tips and tricks that I have for you for now. Hope you enjoyed reading them and found them really useful. Good luck at uni!
Saturday, July 30, 2011

Giveaway coming!

I notice that my Total Pageview increases whenever I check in on my blog. I don't know if it means that people (yes, you!) have been reading my blog. Or people are just "blog-hopping".

"Oooh! This blog sounds interesting! "
*clicks on link to Ty's Blog of Epiphanies*
*looks at first post*
*clicks on link to a different blog*

Don't worry, guys. I'm not offended. The purpose of my blog is so that I can brush up on my writing skills. However, I do love the notion of having heaps of people reading my blog and loving it to bits! That's in an ideal world. This is the real world. Meaning less than 10 followers for me.

So, I've decided that I will throw a giveaway, like a lot of the beauty blogs that I follow do. This is to boost the number of followers to my blog. Yes, I'm cheating but hey, you stand a chance to win some serious goodies! My target audience will be females unles a large number of male followers voice their presence. Okay, it all sounds good so far. So what's the catch? I will only post the giveaway once I hit a hundred followers.

What?! You might say. From 7 followers (currently) to 100? That would take FOREVER! Well, no. It won't. It may sound like a huge gap to fill but going by the way my pageview increases on a daily basis, if everyone who visited my blog followed, we'd hit 100 within a week!

Okay, so where's the guarantee? What if I go back on my word? Well, you guys trust all the other bloggers. Why not me? I'll try to give a sneak peak at around the 50 mark. I'll start gathering the goodies. For now, I can only tell you 2 things you must do to qualify for the prize.

1. You must be an Australian resident
2. You must follow my blog via Google Friend Connect.

Will keep you guys posted with more deets! If you have any suggestions as to how my blog can be improved or what you would like to see me write about, please drop a comment. I won't bite. In fact, I'd love you for the constructive criticism! Try not to be harsh though. Thank you!


I'm not very talented when it comes to arts and crafts. I have friends who can fashion pieces of cardboard into amazing-looking photo frames or make a scrapbook style "passenger's logbook" from scratch. What do I do? I make greeting cards. Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you cards... You get the idea. I'm not extremely good but I guess I do have bursts of creative juice running through my veins now and then and produce something remotely decent.

Three years ago, if you told me to make you a Christmas card, it'd look something like that. Really amateur-ish, I know. But in my defence, I have to say that the card looked a lot better in real life than in photo.

Here's a Thank you card that I made. I took a picture of it before I wrote anything on it. It looks much better than my Christmas card. I apologise for the poor quality of the photo. We didn't own a very good camera at the time. Just the other day, when I visited my best friend, whom this card was for, I saw the card again and I was literally astounded. I'm not boasting here but I actually forgot that I was capable of making a good piece of artwork.

So this year, I've branched out a bit. If you read my Buttons post, you would have seen my Christmas snowflake artwork. Apart from that, I've bought and decorated paper folders. This was my first attempt and I wanted it to be fashion themed. No, it doesn't look professional at all. In fact, it looks like something a pre-teen girl would produce. However, from memory, the friend that I gave this to said that she liked it. Who knows, maybe it's been discarded somewhere, left forgetton and to collect dust? I wouldn't blame her at all.

Then, I made another for another friend. I would like to say that I got better at it but I wouldn't dare say so. You judge.

The latest one that I've made. I thought that perhaps simplicity was key. So I created a button theme. I would have liked to take a better photo of it but I wanted to give it to my friend in the morning. So this photo was taken at night. Hence the poor lighting. I did improve on one thing though, this one certainly looks neater!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

4 Pairs of Shoes & a Handbag

So I have this thing for shoes. I know I'm not alone in this. It's a female thing I suppose. Okay, I don't mean to generalise but I think it's the case for a lot of us girls. We've past the half way mark for 2011. And guess what? In those six months (from January to June), I managed to buy myself 4 pairs of shoes. Oh! And let's not forget a handbag as well. I was going to name this blog "4 Shoes & a Handbag", just like "4 Weddings & a Funeral" but I opted out because it'd be grammatically incorrect.

A bit extreme huh? Some people only buy shoes once a year and I managed to go through 4 years worth of shoe quota in 6 months. I do feel guilty and am appalled at myself. But they are simply irresistable! I'm not kidding. You'll understand what I mean once you see them.

I bought this pair of heels from Forever New. I think they are called Floral Harlows. Yes, they are one of the most impractical things that I've bought in my life but I love them! And that's all that really matters, right??! They cost $80 but I think it's worth it because they are of good quality. They are surprisingly comfy for a pair of peep toes!

I purchased this pair of smart-looking heels from Famous Footwear for $50. They are not of the extremely good quality, not very comfortable but hey, they look great! I simply couldn't sleep at night unless I owned it! I'm thinking I have some kind of "shoe disorder" going on? What do you think?

I made a bold vow that I would not buy another pair of shoes for 2011. Then, my ballet flats disintegrated after a month of traipsing around uni in them. I threw them out in outrage. I bought them at Famous Footwear for $15. I guess when you think about it, it's not so bad. Just $15... But if I had to buy a pair of ballet flats every month because they fall apart and can't handle all the walking, I'd be spending $180 a year! So, I decided that I could break my vow just this once. I got myself this $70 pair of pumps from Betts. It should last me AT LEAST a year... Hopefully!

Then winter came around and I wore my boots to uni everyday. Before long, I had worn the heels out and holes were forming there. They are 3 years old, so I didn't blame them. After my exams, my mum took me to DFO as a reward and bought me a pair of new boots from Wittner! It was on SALE! I got them for $100. Well, my mum paid for them, so my vow is still intact! Aren't they beautiful?

I've never owned a proper handbag before. The free beach bag from Elle and the simple, young girl-ish and brandless handbag that I own don't count. While we were at DFO, my mum spotted a collection of bags from Fossil. She really adored this bag and bought it for me. From $90 to $50, it was a bargain!

So, there it is. The tale of 4 (pairs of) shoes and a handbag!
Friday, July 22, 2011

Alluring Apothica

In case you're wondering what Apothica is, it's not a bottle of perfume or a brand of cosmetics. It contains both those things but it's not a magazine/catalog or a pharmacy that "has gone back to its apothecary roots". It's the name of a website where you can shop for all of your beauty essentials. To quote from Apothica.com, "(we are) an online beauty boutique, which carries the finest selection of skin care, body care, aromatherapy, and cosmetic products on the market today, including the most natural, organic products available. We are dedicated to providing you with high quality products formulated to promote and enhance your natural beauty."

It truly is an impressive online store. From cosmetics to candles to hair care products. It's like many online shopping sites combined but even better! They carry brands from CHANEL to Clinique to L'Occitane. They cover more "ground" a department store can! What makes them even better than your average online beauty shop is that you can send them questions through LIVE HELP. Just click on it and ask away! It even tells you if there's anyone available at the other end! So check them out a.s.a.p. They have a SALE going on at the moment and you could potentially find some goodies at a cheaper price!

Talking about cheaper price, this reminds me. Ever since the 2008 GFC, many countries are still finding their economy down on its knees, trying to get back up. In these tough times, if you still long for a new lipstick or a fresh tube of mascara but need to cut back on spending, I would like to suggest the brand Stila. Their makeup are of reasonable quality and at a very affordable price. Personally, I have yet to try them myself but I have heard and seen good reviews of them on the internet.

Image source: Makeup and Macaroons

So if and when I do get my hands on any of these money-savers, I will post a review. If you are using or did use Stila, drop a comment and give us a quick review! If you want to get your hands on some Stila products, you can find them on Apothica.com. In fact, just click on the link and it'll take you there straight away! Have fun browsing/shopping!
Friday, July 8, 2011

Did you know?

I've decided to share what I know about uncommon but wonderful uses of certain household items that you may not have known of. I hope this post will help you solve a few of your everyday problems!

Baking Soda/Bi-Carb Soda

Apart from helping your cake expand, baking soda can help you eliminate horrible odour from almost anywhere! I've tried it myself. It "sucked" the rancid smell out of my aunt's car. Here's what I did: I poured some baking soda into a rectangle plastic container. I spread the powder so that it covers the entrie base of the container. Then, I left the container (without its lid) at the passenger's foot area for a few days. By the 3rd day, most of the smell was gone! It's a great alternative to buying an air-freshener, which only masks odours instead of getting rid of it.

1. The larger the base of the container, the better.
2. A large suface area is more important than large amounts of baking soda. But if you only have a container with a small base, you'll have to put large amounts and mix the baking soda now and then (so that more powder is exposed to the air and able to remove the odour).
3. Place the container where lots of air can come in contact with the baking soda. It's no point if you put it in the glove box (then only your glove box will be odour-free).
4. Have smelly shoes too? Sprinkle some baking soda into them!


I'm sure most of us have found our freezer rather stinky from storing fresh fish frequently. The trick to removing the odour is to place a small block of charcoal in the freezer. The smell should be completely gone within a matter of days. I leave mine in the fridge until the odour returns, which by then means that the charcoal has already "sucked up as much smell as it could". That's when I replace the block with a new one. Try it and you'll be amazed!

1. Place the charcoal in the far back corner of your freezer so that it does not get in your way of storing/searching for food.


Feel a sore throat coming? Mix yourself a concentrated solution of water and salt and gargle your mouth/throat after meals. This should stop the sore throat from developing. Why does it work? In simple terms, just like how salted fish is preserved, the bacteria would find your throat a difficult place to survive in if it's salty. Their water gets drawn out in a hypertonic environment and thus "killing" them.

This one is for all females who have trouble removing period stains from their clothes or bed. You don't need any special washing detergent. Simply squirt some soap/handwash onto the stain and sprinkle some salt over it. Scrub before and while rinsing. The stain should come off easily. I do not know the science behind it but it seems to work.

I hope you've found this post useful. I've tried all of them myself and they have worked for me. It's not a guarantee but I sure hope they work for you too. I'll be testing out the lemon-pimple trick next and will let you know if I'm successful!
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Katy Rocks

So I haven't been infatuated (smitten/besotted/call-it-whatever-you-like) with a star in a while. Two months back I attended Katy Perry's California Dreams concert and it was A-MAY-ZING! I am not exaggerating. That may have been my first concert but I can feel it in my gut that no other concert by any other singer can rival hers. Okay, perhaps I'm being a little bit bias here. Apart from being exceptionally sexy (voted by FHM as the sexiest woman alive), Katy is incredibly gorgeous in real life. Her performance was impeccable, sending all rumours of her sounding terrible live to the grave.

Katy's Last Friday Night music video was released recently. Playing the role of a nerdy teenage girl named Kathy Beth Terry, she was transformed into a hot party girl in the video. I was impressed by her acting skills and the Last Friday Night MV was a huge step up from her out-of-this-world E.T. MV. I won't rattle on anymore about how wonderful Katy Perry is. If you haven't seen her music videos , I recommend that you do. Last Friday Night will have you laughing, E.T. will leave you mesmerised and California Gurls will either leave you utterly speechless or make you have wet dreams of Katy!

Songs by Katy Perry that I like
Teenage Dream
California Gurls
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
Not Like the Movies
E. T.
Waking Up in Vegas
Ur So Gay
Hummingbird Heartbeat
Hot 'N Cold
Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Makeup Guru

A friend of mine downloaded all the issues of Marie Claire 2010 (US version) in PDF format and gave me a copy of all of them. I don't think Marie Claire would be too pleased to hear that! Anyway, for a while I became addicted to reading Tim Gunn's column called Gunn Laws, tips from The Careerist and anything to do with "styling your hair". In the October issue, one of their articles caught my attention. It was titled "Your future in their hands: 18 women who are changing the world". Marie Claire chose 18 talented "high-powered" career women, from different backgrounds and fields, to feature. I was interested in one woman in particular. Or should I say girl or young lady?

Michelle Phan, in her early twenties (the magazine says she's 23 but she could be 24 now that it's 2011), is a video makeup artist. If I got my facts right, she's the first person to start posting makeup tutorials on Youtube. She's earned the name "Makeup Guru" and has at least a million views on almost every single one of her videos! I've checked them out and they are good. So ladies, I believe we can learn a trick or two from her. Apart from makeup, she also teaches about hair and fashion. She's now a spokesperson for Lancome. Amazing? I know!

Here are a few of my favourites! They are worth checking out. You might want to watch them on Youtube or view with full screen. The full size looks better.

Hope you've enjoyed the videos as much as I did! Check out her Youtube channel for more.
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Male vs Female

I won't say much for this post because a picture paints a thousand words! Click on image to see a larger version.


Photos! A wonderful way of capturing memories that we one day may or may not forget. These days many of us no longer have our photos "developed" and stored in photo albums. Instead, we keep digital copies of them on our hard drives or upload them onto online albums. The good thing about keeping photos digitally is that they don't take up space physically and won't fade. Online albums are convenient whereby you can easily share them with friends and family who live in another country (as long as they have a computer and the internet!).

Technology has really come a long way. Apart from taking and storing our photos digitally, we can edit them. There are a number of photo-editing softwares which we can buy from shops. However, since most of us edit our photos as a fun hobby, we don't feel the need to spend a few hundred dollars on a photo-editing software. Luckily, there is also a range of free photo-editing websites available to us.

My favourite one is Picnik. You can edit your photos without the fuss of creating an account/signing up with them. Even without the premium edition you can do lots! From changing the brightness of your photo to softening or fading it.

Before Picnik

After Picnik

Photoshop (the online version), is pretty good as well. It also gives you the option of not creating an account and simply editing your photos. If you wish to store your photos on their site, you'd definitely have to sign up. There are a few things that Photoshop can do that Picnik cannot, vice versa. If you have the time, you should play around with both of them and decide which one you like best... or use both!

Before Photoshop

After Photoshop

The website that I use to store some of my photos (for forum use), is called Photobucket. It does have editing tools but I find them inferior to Picnik and Photoshop. What I like about Photobucket is that it generates links and codes for my photos that I can easily copy and paste. Besides that, with so many people uploading photos, you get to browse through millions of them. Among them, you'd more than likely find a good photo of your favourite movie star or a beautiful scenic shot that you want a copy of. Photobucket also holds photography competitions some of which you can win cool prizes from!

There are plenty other websites for you to try. I'm simply too content with the three that I have listed to explore others. Other photo-storing websites that I know of are Flickr and Shutterfly. You must create an account with them as well if you want to use them. Shutterfly is a bit different whereby you can create photobooks and buy it from them. If you wish to download a free photo-editing software, you can try Picasa. Apparently, you can create amazing collages with it!

Happy editing!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spontaneous Finds

I'm pretty sure most of us, if not every one, have found ourselves wondering through the mall and coming across an unexpected SALE. This is exactly what happened to me a couple of weeks back. Lovisa, one of the chain female accessories stores, had a all rings for $5 sale. It turns out they were clearing their old stock out and bringing in new ones. I've checked out their rings before and often found them too chunky for my small hands or too expensive for my pocket. As fate would have it, I found a black fabric rose ring. Its original price was $6.99. It wasn't as much of a saving compared to the more expensive rings but it suited me. It was the right size, right price.

As the day progressed, I was making more and more unplanned but "sensible" purchases. By sensible, I mean affordable and reasonable. JR and I went to Officeworks after we left Lovisa because he wanted to get a refill for his fountain pen. We stumbled upon a section of "designer" stationery. The notebooks had wonderful hues of blues, reds, greens and purple. The pencil set was designed with care and creativity. I was instantly drawn to it. However, I have many pens and pencils at home, a lot of which were free.What I did buy was a set of 4 funky badges, something I'd always fancied having. I also bought a set of decorative magnetic pegs. There were both of good value.

After that I decided to search for a fabric shop that I walked past a few months back. I wanted to buy some laces and black tulle for my craft projects. With JR's "trusty GPS" (iPhone), we walked through busy city streets, looking for it. The GPS led us to a nearby location. From there, I followed my instinct and found the shop. And indeed, they had black tulle, laces and frills as I expected. These are what I bought.

What a day of spontaneous finds!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blog Of Interest

I apologise for the lack of activity on this blog. I promise you 3 new posts once my exams are over. (Ugh!!! Can't wait!) Out of guilt I've set my Health Law notes aside and am hastily putting together a simple post for you. I sure have poor discipline for a uni student...

Sportsgirl is one of the many wonderful clothing chains in Australia. The apparel they sell are gorgeous but unfortunately exorbitant to poor uni students like me. Currently, I'm eyeing one of their silky grey tops, waiting to pounce the moment its price falls below $50 (SALE!). In order to stay informed of any impending sales, I subscribed for their electronic newsletters. Hey, it's free and they email it to you!

Yesterday, I checked my email and found myself looking through yet another Sportsgirl newsletter. What caught my eye was not the expensive new Winter wear that they were advertising but was an ad for a DIY competition. I won't waste time explaining what it's all about. You can check it out yourself: http://www.sportsgirl.com.au/blog/post/2011/3/win-a-sportsgirl-winter-wardrobe/freebies

One of the links at the sidebar of the webpage grabbed my attention. 365 DAYS OF CRAFT was what it read. Apparently, this really creative lady in Melbourne decided to make 2011 a year full of craft. Every night, she would make something, take pictures of it and post it on her blog. I checked out her blog and it proved to be interesting. She is capable of transforming trash into treasure, tea towels into cushions and scarves into skirts. If you're someone who really loves getting your hands busy and dirty with craft work but you're out of ideas, you should check out this blog. It'll give you ideas, if not inspiration. http://www.365daysofcraft.com/