dash of pink

I just wanted to rave about how awesome I think gel nails are, and also perhaps at the same time show what a mountain tortoise I have been where manicures are concerned. I guess gel nails should have been around for a while, but it was only recently that I actually even considered it.

On a whim, I went to get a manicure done for CNY recently, and opted to have gel nails since I was told by my friends that they dry really fast, and indeed they do. The moment the painting is done, and after about 30 seconds in the UV light machine, you’re good to go and there are no worries about the colour chipping. So the sparkly coat of polish lasted me 2 weeks while I traipsed to Tokyo and even as at Sunday when I went to have them removed, it was still pretty good and new, except that my nails have of course since grown a little.

I thought to refresh with a new coat, even though I’m quite sure it’s not very healthy for my nails to be constantly covered under a layer of gel, unable to breathe properly. But it was really just vanity on my part. And so this was what my manicurist at Fave Centrepoint did for me, for me to dab some colour in otherwise drab life currently.

I wouldn’t really say that their skills are top-notch, because my nails aren’t exactly smooth and free from… debris, after the soaking off of the gel, so I do spy bits of bumps on the nail plate. But I’m quite easily satisfied where such services are concerned, and as long as my manicurist doesn’t hurt my physically during the cuticle removal process, and are generally friendly, that’s all I require. And besides I don’t scrutinise the painting that much to see if the paint is perfect or not. I’m going to let this coat stay for maybe 3 weeks, unless something untoward happens in the meantime to require it to be removed premature to that.

i hate mondays

My mood… like an impending storm has clouded over the bright sunny morning that began:

I wish I could have a reason not to hate Mondays the way I do now. Aside from it being the sobering and less-than-welcomed start to the week, it means a great deal more things. Perhaps it being the official start to work, after a nice long break during the new year, and especially being in a lack of mood to do any work ever since the Christmas/New Year festivities started way back in December, it makes it even harder to think of the work that needs to be done.

And it is also at this time that everyone else seems to be gearing up for work at full steam, flooding your inboxes with incessant reminders and chasers of deadlines and the like. It is annoying to say the least, frustrating and depressing to be more exact. I can’t help but to continue to look into the past days and weeks, and how I was basking in the holiday spirit not having to think about any ounce of reality that meant primarily work. It’s called escapism, and I really don’t want to wake up.

Too many matters weighing on my mind that calls for action and attention, and it’s really time to start taking stock of all things important (or not) and straighten out this mesed-up life of yours truly. But can I do it? All these years that have passed have only made me weary and lethargic to take any tangible actions towards putting a stop to the procrastination and turning my thoughts into something real. I can dream of endless possibilities but yet I am probably one of the major forces, though not entirely, prohibiting the materialisation of these flights of fancy.

Once more, I cannot wait for the week to be over. How pathetic are we to be caught up in a neverending cycle of wishing for things to be over and then dreading the start of another round of it.

going on a joyride

So it isn’t news by now that over the CNY break, I jetted off to Tokyo for a short trip, even though I didn’t totally escape the traditional visiting and such. I arrived on Friday to a cool sunny morning, and was quite thankful the hotel allowed me an early check-in so I could freshen up before heading out to grab some lunch. Friday was spent roaming about the Roppongi area, since it was within walking distance of where I was staying, and as much as it was a weekend night, I was too tired that day to think of staying out, so I went back to the hotel after a very satisfying meal of ramen. That night, I fell asleep almost instantaneously once my head hit the pillow and only managed to rouse myself the next day at about 9.

I milled around in the room and watched some TV, and it wasn’t until probably about 11-ish that I headed out for some coffee and breakfast. The cold was rather biting that day, although after the long walk from the hotel to Roppongi Hills in my coat, I was feeling quite warm and so chose to sit outside. It’s quite sobering to be sitting nursing a hot dose of caffeine all wrapped up, as I watched passersby from where I sat and ate. No matter that after a while I started to lose the feeling in my fingers as the cold just numbed it entirely, but it was just a kind of bliss, to sit and enjoy the cold, enjoy the peace, and most of all, enjoy life, there and then.

When asked about what I did in Tokyo, I actually didn’t have much to offer up except my usual remark that I did nothing much except walking around taking in sights and sounds, and sitting at cafes and drinking a coffee when I got tired or hungry. Perhaps there are those who think that I can do that in Singapore, and do not have to spend a fortune flying all the way to Tokyo to do something like that. But… the feeling is just different, isn’t it? Vacations aren’t always about packing your daily schedule with an itinerary, making sure you are indeed doing something when you are there abroad, because just being in a foreign land and doing the same things as you do at home, brings a very different experience and state of mind. Maybe not everyone can appreciate or understand that, because I happen to belong to the sort who do not mind not having a plan when I travel. To me, travelling isn’t always for the sake of seeing / doing something, but for me it’s an enjoyment of being away, and where else better than at a city that my heart always fancies? There isn’t a point trying to explain to them how I feel about such experiences because we are all responsible for our lives and what we do with it. So long as I am happy doing what I have wished to do, it isn’t for them to tell me if it’s good or bad.

I’d make the same choice all over again if I had to. And if I have another chance to visit Tokyo again soon for such an experience, I wouldn’t say no.

perfect 10

After so many trips and deliberating for the past 9 times, I finally got myself one too. I was actually considering a Goyard because it seemed like a perfect tote bag that I was looking for, sort of as a substitute for the neverfull. But the price tag in Tokyo is outrageous at more than 100K JPY, so I decided to skip that and perhaps get that somewhere else in future, if I do eventually decide to get it.

It wasn’t really to placate myself that I bought the Porter tote. I was just strolling about in Harajuku when I came upon the Head Porter store that was brimming with people so I thought to venture inside for a look see. I’ve usually only seen the bags at Takashimaya and the thing I really like about their bags is the understated black puffy material that feels so comfortable to the touch, and is a breeze to carry as well.

Browsing through the store, there were a couple of bags that caught my fancy, but I decided on a very roomy black tote. But it was only on my 3rd visit to the store (within the same day, talk about procrastination) that I decided to get it. I actually went to Takashimaya in Shinjuku to look for the same bag to no avail, and after a quick dinner and finding out what time the store closes, I went back and just asked for a new piece, paid and left.

And so now I’m a happy owner of a Porter tote bag, one that can contain a lot of things including all my yoga stuff. The only drawback would be that it doesn’t come with a top zip, just a button, although that is usually fine with me, because somedays I really don’t want to grapple with a zip. I hope this bag doesn’t wear out too fast especially when the material does seem a little fragile. But it will satiate the bag lust for a short while, I hope. Anyways, after a disappointing outing where the Goyard was concerned, I haven’t thought of what bag I want next. Thought of getting a Proenza instead of a mini Alexa, because I want a smaller satchel, but I’m still thinking if that makes any sense in getting at all. And then I wanted another B bag, but I’ve been seeing too many of them out on the streets, everywhere. When I was in Hong Kong last Nov, and then just in Tokyo, there were so many people toting a Balenciaga around. Sure, it goes to show how popular the brand is but it could become too much of an overkill when the entire street of people are carrying it. When things become too common place, it may seal it with an index of popularity but at the same time it just lowers its appeal greatly. So for now, I shall put the money away to other uses. Travel seems like a fine choice.

back on local soil

After being diligent in posting daily in January, I think I’m starting to slack this month. It first began because I went away during CNY and on certain days I didn’t have a proper connection to do any form of blogging.

And I realised that there are just days I don’t feel like posting. I’ll still be updating regularly of course. I can’t afford to neglect my blog because I like to write too much about anything and everything.

I had to sit through an uncomfortable flight last night for the whole of 7.5 hours, and I was so glad when the plane finally touched down at Changi and I was able to collect my luggage promptly and head off for home. The weather isn’t comfortable at all at 26 deg, when I was just getting acclimatised to the single-digit temperatures in Tokyo, but at least there is a familiarity that is somewhat comforting.

The thing about taking non-SQ flights is the larger mix of passengers’ nationalities on board, and it helps greatly during customs clearance locally because you will see that the automated clearance counters are typically quite empty, and so it makes clearing the customs a breeze. Then, our ground and baggage handlers definitely have to be lauded on efficiency because being amongst the lucky ones to get out early and not having to queue for Dad’s alcohol at duty free, the wait for the luggage wasn’t long at all.

Today was an exceptionally warm day out, and I had to be out running various errands such that I wasn’t able to get enough rest even though I went to bed only at close to 2am, because I was quite determined to catch up on the pineapple tarts that I had missed out when I decided to fly off to Tokyo on the night of the 初一. And the catching up continued today when I came home with the prawn rolls and bak kwa, and then… my parents actually saved me a huge bowl of sharks’ fins soup they cooked! The family tradition is to have sharks’ fins soup each year on the second morning, but because I wasn’t around I whined that I am missing out this year. So a bowl of it was scooped and frozen for me to have it tonight for dinner, together with chicken curry that my mum decided to cook. For a week without exercising, and all that good food that is lining my stomach, I am quite hesitant about standing on the weighing scales because I just know for sure how reality is going to come crashing down on me.

There are some things that I had wanted to write about, but I shall leave that for another time because it’s really right about time for me to go off to slumber land before I return to the daily grind, even though yes I know, it’s tgif.

not ready

To go home, that is. After 5 days in this city that is an image of perennial rush hour, tonight marks the final night of this trip. And it’s leaving me feeling extremely reluctant to say goodbye yet again. It’s liberating to really be away from everything and not think of those things that can only anchor us to reality, because distance of the thousands of miles put between me and home really makes that difference in being able to cast aside the daily worries. But as the time draws nearer to going back, it’s almost time to rouse from a dream too sweet and wonderful, and like all good things, this has to come to an end.

If you asked me what I did these few days, I’d most likely draw a blank because I haven’t an idea as well. But if you asked me what I achieved over these days, which is a rather odd question to have in the first place, I’d say heaps. It has been pretty long since I last remembered not thinking. About the negativity that always resides in me, about the pessimism that always surrounds me. Just living and breathing each day with a smile on my face, brings a lightness to my steps that I never really knew I was capable of.

I was apprehensive. But I’m glad I made this trip, even if it meant I had to spend a fortune getting here. It’s probably an experience that I hope to relive someday, soon.

Mid-week tomorrow. And it’s my flight home. I started the trip feeling loved, and that helped in creating a good beginning. I wish this feeling heralds the year ahead. At least let me succeed in being positive for once in my life.

brush on the lashes

Remember long ago I mentioned about mascaras and how I have a problem finding one that is smudge-proof and doesn’t leave dark rings around my eyes, and can still add length or better still, volume and some curl to my otherwise short and sparse lashes?

All these years after I have discovered Deja Vu Fiberwig mascara, that was the only one I’ve stuck to and used. Although I have tried a couple of other brands along the way, like Rimmel (that was supposed to be waterproof and smudgeproof whatever but still left me looking like a panda), Dior (which also gave me dark circles), and some other brands that I have forgotten, Deja Vu still works best for me because the fibre adds length to my lashes that they badly needed, and yet it doesn’t smudge at all! If I want more dramatic, longer lashes, I just needed to brush on more coats, with a slight drawback that if not properly applied it could get a bit clumpy.

I was introduced to a different brand of mascara, Kiss Me (Heroine Make), last year by a colleague, which has a plastic wand that is curved, and also uses the same fibre ‘technology’ to add length and some volume to your lashes. The advantage of this over Deja Vu is that it actually helps to curl your lashes and thus opens your eyes up more, giving the eyes more definition and a 3-dimensional look. Definitely works better than Deja Vu, but the not-so-good thing about it is during removal. My usual make-up remover does nothing to clean this off, so I will need to use a dedicated oil-based eye make-up remover to carefully wipe off the fibres, and even that takes some effort.

Read on Xiaxue’s blog recently about the Maybelline Long Extreme mascara, and how amazing it was. Although initially sceptical because it claimed to be smudgeproof (and reminded me of Rimmel), I decided to give it a try and I think it’s great! The way it adds length and volume with the fibre is similar to Kiss Me, but with more brushes, it does make the lashes more visible and the brush helps to comb the fibre through the lashes such that they don’t clump. It also does not smudge, so I love it! Bad thing, like Kiss Me, is the stubbornness against make-up removers, so I will have to use these mascaras only when I have lots of time to remove them at night, or when I finally find a good eye make-up remover!