Stress or mess?

So the belif moisturizer sample I had been using for about.. a month? or two? had run out. I decided to go back to one that had worked previously – the Clinique Moisture Surge.

I don’t know if my skin got mad sensitive over the years or it was never that great to begin with or something – it actually dried the skin on my cheeks?? I have dry patches now, which is ridiculous because I haven’t had dry patches for at least a year. Which means it’s likely that this damn expensive moisturizer could have been the culprit that was causing my dry patches. And now I also have pimples on the centre of my face that just refuse to go away. Brilliant. Thank you, Clinique.

Another thing on the list and the clock is ticking.

 

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Deep thoughts – Consumerism, makeup, project panning, and all that jazz

2017 was the year where I told myself I had to use up everything I had. I was getting bored of the few makeup and skincare items I owned, so I went on a buying spree in end 2016 during the Black Friday/festive season periods and in early 2017 when some websites had some really good deals. It wasn’t a lot compared to what I see other people talk about; I didn’t buy thousands of dollars’ worth of products, but it was a lot for me. Initially I was excited and eager to use the new things I had, but slowly I felt overwhelmed.
Combined with the ticking clock aka me having to move out by March 2018, I decided the time to use as much as possible was now. I brought in more products over the year – mostly Korean skincare because western products hadn’t done much and I desperately wanted to have the glowing, clear skin of my dreams – but I used up a lot, too. Looking back at what I bought, there were few things I regretted purchasing this year because I did intensive research on the products I was interested in and I did much less impulse buying. I think the only things I bought impulsively in 2017 were masks from Europe (a heating mask sounded cool don’t judge me), a setting powder from Amsterdam (supposedly “anti-acne”), and sheet masks.
This year I decided, again, to save all the items I had used up and take a good look at them at the end of the year. It helped me a lot when I did this in 2016. I saw a lot of things I didn’t really enjoy and when looking at all the products of a specific group (e.g. Moisturizers) I had used up in a year I learnt what worked for me and what didn’t. But in 2017 I took it to the next level and created a simple inventory. That was a sobering document, seeing all the things I bought and how much I had spent. I think looking at that total and how many items I had also deterred me from making impulse purchases for many product groups. If I already had 7 moisturizers, did I really need to buy an 8th one just because people are recommending it? Certainly not until I had used up some, if not all of what I owned.
Thanks to the inventory,  I learnt that I’ve used up 96 products amounting to $769.12. That cost is the nett price I paid for products. It doesn’t include the cost of any gifts or free samples, and any deluxe/travel sized products I bought were divided according to the price I paid e.g. If 5 products were in a pack for $20, I considered each product to be $4. I didn’t do the complicated process of calculating based on the price of the full sized product. I think if I did that the total would be higher.
So at the end of last year I took out everything I used and laid it all out:
2017

(The ziplock packets were full of masks and samples, I couldn’t bring myself to take those out because it would become very messy very quickly. Also, 4 cotton pads packages not pictured)

My first reaction was “Holy shit this is a lot of stuff”, because for some reason even though I saw the numbers in the inventory it didn’t seem like a lot physically since it all fit in the top shelf of my vanity. After the initial WTF moment I felt proud that I finished all of this because I’m the idiot who saves good things instead of using them and then the good things go bad. This year I mostly overcame that mentality except for a few instances (pretty eyeshadow palettes, I’m looking at you). I wanted to use up as much as I could and I achieved that.
Then came the thought: This is a lot of packaging.
Last year when I did this, I didn’t finish up as many products so separating those that could be recycled  wasn’t anywhere near as tedious as what I had to deal with now. Doing that this year was a full blown exercise. Washing all the empty packaging was really no joke – especially pesky moisturizers in tubes that were a real pain in the ass to scrape out. And after washing all of that, I prayed that everyone else in my estate washed their items too before tossing them into the recycling bin because it just takes one item to screw up the whole batch and it all goes to the landfill.
Looking at what I used:
1) Sheet masks are nice to use after a tired day at work and you can get some for as cheap as $1.50 but it’s no longer “cheap” when I buy 15 of them, they aren’t recyclable and almost all that I tried didn’t do anything for me. Some even broke me out. Moving forward, I’m only going to purchase a sheet mask if it’s a sample for a mask in a tube or tub.
2) I need to find a hair dye that I can keep for more than one use because I only need to do my roots most of the time and the Liese one, even though amazing, is a single-use product. I found myself throwing the excess dye down the drain at least once.
3) Minis are a great way to try things but I need to be certain that I want these minis and not buy them for the sake of buying or because “it’s a deal” (I’m slowly curbing this! #proud)
4) There are things that I forced myself to finish because I was caught up in the hype or I saw it on the shelf and it looked great. Never again. The pain to use up products you hate is real. Somewhere along the way last year I decided I was just going to toss something I hate using because life is too short, but for a good period of time I was angrily slapping shitty moisturizer on my body.
My recycling spree got me reading up on a zero-waste lifestyle because I do want to reduce the waste that I’m generating, but after reading a few blogs I realized that the zero-waste life is not for me. I’m all about recycling, buying things in bulk and cutting down unnecessary items, but I cannot live a life where I bring a metal straw to a restaurant. Maybe I might be that in the future, who knows, but not right now. I am interested in some things that I’ve seen zero-waste bloggers do but I’m going to take baby steps towards the right direction.
(I think the zero-waste/sustainable living situation deserves another post…otherwise this is going to be a novella length post)
In 2017 I also decided to try my hand in doing Project Pans. While the Project Pans did help me to use up a lot of products, I got sick of wearing the same lipstick for four months straight. This wasn’t because I only put in one lipstick into the project – I think I had three, but the other two were lipsticks I didn’t like. One looked like a sickly purple on me and another smudged all over my face every time I ate.
In retrospect, I should have put in things that I liked or could tolerate using instead of things that I used maybe three times a year when I wore purple. I thought I could actively use up things that I wasn’t too keen on so that I could move on to the things I loved, but I now know that I’m not that person. More importantly, I had things that I liked sitting around doing nothing because I was using up things I didn’t like. This makes no sense. So I also got rid of things that I just didn’t want to see in my drawer anymore. I gave some away to friends and family, others I tossed. And I’m glad that I did that because now I feel less overwhelmed and annoyed at what I own.
As such, I’ve decided to end the two Project Pans that I was doing. One was supposed to end in December but I had no time to do a closing post and I felt so uninspired. So this year, while I would still like to continue to do something related to Project Panning, I need to figure out what works for me.
A quick run down of the status of the products in my 2 projects, if you’re interested:
Finish 17 in 2017

27 before 27

Say yes to the dress(es)

We went to LA Bridal’s showflat last week to choose our two outfits…and I managed to choose my pieces in half an hour. My mother was skeptical and thought that I just chose some random gown, but surprise! For the first time throughout this entire wedding journey, I knew what I wanted and they had what I wanted.

So I got to try 4 outfits total (2 for nikah, 2 for sanding), and we chose the best from there. While initially I thought that I should be able to try more outfits, narrowing it down to the top 4 made it a lot easier to decide which two pieces I wanted.

The lady was super helpful in narrowing down the options. It’s good to have an idea what you want – I wanted a Arab/Indian fusion outfit for nikah (since he’s part Arab and I’m part Indian) and a coloured gown for sanding. She asked if I wanted a white outfit or a colourful outfit for nikah, I said white, and she went to town pulling out all the possible pieces. She also pulled out some pastel pieces when I hemmed and hawwed at the white abayas, and one caught my eye immediately. Surprise, surprise, that was the one I ended up choosing. Like I said – really helpful. Just come with a plan and she will lead the way.

(I would also highly suggest you bring a girlfriend or cousin when choosing your outfits because men are useless with things like these. They’re great ego boosters – “You look great in everything yang” – but not helpful AT ALL)

There’s not really much else to say…except that I got the gown that I fell in love with a year ago and I am so excited to wear it. Probably 50 brides have worn it before but who gives a shit I look great and I feel great in that gown. It also fits my hips just nice so I can’t gain any weight otherwise we’re going to have a problem. So I guess it’s salads and juice throughout the last month…and then probably some wild weight gain post-wedding when I shove prawn crackers down my throat.

Weirdly enough it was harder for the mat to decide what he wanted?? He was already keen on one of the suits when we went the first time before booking LA Bridal, and luckily it wasn’t taken so he got that. But the baju kurung for nikah was tough because I had chosen a cream outfit instead of a white one. They had a cream baju kurung with all these beads and I took one look and I knew he was 100% not going to put that on. Thankfully the lady dug out a plain baju kurung set that was being altered for another groom.

Now that the outfits are chosen, we need to buy some things to complete our looks. LA Bridal doesn’t provide shoes for both bride and groom, shirt, cufflinks and belt for the groom (if he’s wearing a suit), and songkok (if he’s wearing baju kurung). I was also advised to get a bodyshaper, which made me sad because I thought that meant I couldn’t eat but it turns out I can eat and the bodyshaper will hide the food baby. I am down for this.

Over the weekend we went to Tanjong Katong Complex to get the custom songkok, since he wants a cream one to match the outfit…just that we couldn’t remember which cream the outfit was. Thankfully the pakcik was so kind and told us he would prepare the rangka of the songkok first and after the final fitting we could let him know what colour we wanted. I can’t remember the name of the shop, but his store is on the first floor a few shops away from Begum Boutique. You should be able to find his store – and many other songkok shops in the TKC/Joo Chiat area – if you Google. That’s how the mat found this one.

I’m gonna have bimbo bride-to-be moment right now and tell you that I’m super excited to put on those two outfits and become his wife. I still can’t cook properly and I still haven’t met the decor person to confirm the decor and I don’t even have my berkat settled but I’m ready for this part.

Long overdue update – Wedding planning

SO. This is going to be a LONG post because I have some real grandmother story to tell.

It has been a hot minute since I’ve been here. I’ve been pretty unmotivated and at one point bored to death with how life was going. There was this itch underneath my skin that only vanished when things that were high risk (for me at least) happened, e.g. when the mat goes at 115km/hr. Past me would cry, new me was like YES I FEEL ALIVE FINALLY.

It was a strange period but now it’s more or less gone, I’m now back to glaring at him when he goes at 100km/hr. But I feel the itch coming back a little so I think I’ll have to come up with some less dangerous activities to keep myself in check. Like maybe an intense pilates class where I’m less likely to die.

ANYWAY. There has been some major changes to this wedding thing since I last wrote here. I think I was in that state of “meh” because I was kind of bummed out that we were using vendors that I wasn’t super excited about. So for all you creative types out there – don’t go for a package. I thought it was going to be easier but it isn’t and I’m not entirely thrilled with what’s happened. But with the changes that are happening/have happened comes a sense of purpose and urgency and now that we are 2.5 months away I am fully getting on board this wedding train….and I feel like I’m kind of becoming a little bit of a bridezilla? Does the shade of gold used in my decor and my signages really have to be the same? Do I really want to do a feature wall full of greenery to make the place less basic? I’m still struggling to answer these questions. My bridesmaids have been kind enough to bring me back down to earth a few times already.

Bridal

Let’s start with the biggest shocker, shall we? I’ve been trying to get on board with FM being my bridal for almost an entire year. Her company has never been in my top bridal companies list – not because she’s terrible or anything, but the styles I see on their Instagram never wowed me. I never looked at an outfit that wasn’t customized and thought of wearing it. Her style wasn’t my style, and so I struggled to accept this because everyone was telling me that she was established, that the makeup was good, that it was a good deal to have her company as part of my package. And because I didn’t want to spend unnecessary money, I decided to go with it. Surely there was something that I could choose from their outfits. Surely there were two outfits that would suit my tastes.

Towards the end of the year, I gave them a call to set an appointment for the first fitting and was told that my fitting was only in January next year because I was getting married in March. That was a bit of a shock, but I figured they should know what they were doing since they’ve been in the business for donkey years but I asked if I could go down to take a look at their dresses so that I roughly knew what I was getting myself into when I went for the fitting in January. The lady who took my call said that wouldn’t be a problem; I set an appointment and let the mat know.

So we went there and split up – I saw the dresses, the songket, the baju nikah. I was kind of surprised at how there weren’t that many options but maybe all of them were like that how would I know, I’ve never been to any Malay bridals before. I saw two that I would consider wearing – one baju nikah that I thought was nice and one gown. He went to see the men’s outfits. I never went to that side of the room. After going through the outfits, the lady asked if we would like to look at the exclusive pieces upstairs. If I wanted to wear any of those, I’d have to top up. I was like ok sure since I’m here right?

I would have to top up $800 to wear one of those dresses. Because most of them were only worn by models for photoshoots. $800. Eight hundred dollars.

No. Not paying that money to wear a dress for 3 hours, thank you. I know some brides will do it, and gurl if that dress is the dress of your dreams I say you do you, but I would rather spend that money on food. $800 can buy me 360 of that great fried chicken rice from Golden Shoe. That is chicken rice supply for a whole year. (That will also be how I develop high cholesterol but that is another story altogether)

So I left the place deciding that okay, I’ve got two outfits I saw I liked, I’m gonna hope that it will be available for me.

Then the shocker came. The real, honest to god shocker.

The mat was not happy with what he saw.

This changed the game entirely. I was like hold up, pause, rewind, what did you say??? Because the mat doesn’t really care about these things. The mat is the kind of man who goes to Bata, finds the cheapest shoe on the rack, and if they have his size and it fits he buys it. So when that kind of man says he’s not happy with the outfit selection, this is a real problem.

What was the problem, I asked. He said that he didn’t expect the mens’ outfits to be so few. And because there were so few, they looked like they’ve been worn.

He started talking about tailoring his suit. And at that point, all intentions of me using FM as my bridal just went poof. Because I had convinced myself to use FM since he was okay with FM. But now that HE wasn’t ok with FM and wanted to get his own clothes, why should I settle?

I told him since he didn’t want to use FM, I didn’t want to either and I explained my reasons. He agreed and said I should go find a bridal that made me happy.

Suddenly, there was this urgency in me because now I could use a bridal that I really wanted. I began scrolling frantically through Instagram, looking at the ones I loved but chose to ignore throughout the year. By then it was already December and I decided to narrow down to two that I really loved. I visited them and was completely blown away by the selection – one of them had a collection three times the size of FM’s. The other had a smaller collection but was still substantial. I saw so many pieces I imagined myself in. Both of them were so kind and lovely and I wanted to sign up with both but that would be ridiculous since my wedding was only 4 hours long. Both of them also told me that I was kind of late since my wedding was in March, whoops.

In the end, I got the bridal I had originally dreamed of – Lulu Alhadad. They were the more expensive option but they had a dress that I was thinking about for a whole week straight (and still am thinking about it now tbh).

Food tasting

This is a really, really, long story so in short: Everything was nice, but almost everything had problems. Some items the taste was nice but diluted, some items tasted nice but didn’t taste like what it claimed to be. Now all I can do is pray, because my mom’s friend attended a wedding at Red Velvet last week and the food was fine.

This was also the time we found out we needed to settle our pelamin by end of the year, aka about a month to go. How lovely.

Decor

Because I was so intent on getting the bridal right, I didn’t have as much time to think about the decor when I first met the decorator, Juliana from Sentimentals. She had sent over a list of items that were in the package, and things that we could top up to make our wedding look better/nicer/grander/prettier. I secured the pelamin I wanted, thankfully, but it wasn’t a very fruitful meeting decor-wise because my brain was on bridal and the contract draft I had to prepare the next day. We discussed no. of tables, where to place the berkat table, the reception table, centrepieces and decor for the walkway leading towards Red Velvet. She’s a really down to earth lady and now that I have a better idea of what I want my wedding to be, I hope she can execute it.

Since we are on the topic of decor – ladies. Do not expect your man to be interested in decor. Do not expect him to have any input aside from “don’t need this la so expensive”. You can be angry at him for like a week but eventually you have to realize that this is not of importance to him so move on and handle it yourself. Continue to ask him for propriety’s sake but don’t be mad when he says “up to you”. (Isn’t it good, though, if it’s up to you? You get to do what you want, gurl! Unless you have a mother who’s planning her dream wedding for your wedding then that’s another story and also my condolences)

Also tell your mother to not expect your man to be interested because for some reason she would have forgotten that your father didn’t give a shit about decor back in the day too. She should take about two to three weeks to calm down about this.

Berkat

Let it be known right now that there is a 95% chance your parents will be more invested in the berkat than you. This is what they are going to give their judgemental guests when they receive duit salam, so to them it must be good.

My mother has been talking about tea the moment the mat put a ring on it, so I decided to not even bother to venture out and consider other things. Sometimes she’d say just buy Toblerone and give to people but eventually tea will come back into the picture. The mat and I did check prices of Toblerone and other chocolates but after the first 2 times giving tea came back into the picture we decided to just stick with tea regardless of what she said. It’s not offensive, people with diabetes/high cholesterol/insert illness of choice can drink it, it’s something we both drink so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’re giving it.

For the past half year since we started our search it always led to a dead end. One tea supplier didn’t pick up their phone and a Google search showed a residential address. Redmart ran out of one type of tea we were keen on getting. The mat found a company that does customized tea but it was out of our budget. We kept saying we were going to JB to check out the tea there but never ended up getting there.

Then my friend got married in early December and gave us cookies in pretty packaging. There was an Instagram account printed on the package. It turned out that she ordered them from a company based in KL. I started going through Instagram, hoping to find something unique from JB that wasn’t tikar sembahyang or nuts or popcorn or the biscuits I buy in bulk for $1 – and by some miracle of God, I found a vendor in Johor selling cute tea favours. I contacted her to send over a sample and now we’re waiting for it to come so that my parents can test the tea and give their seal of approval. I am hoping very, very hard that it will be approved otherwise I’m going to have to DIY some magic and that is going to take up a lot of time.

In conclusion

I have 2.5 months to go. There is still quite a bit to settle so I’m just really hoping that work isn’t going to throw me a ton of things because I definitely need as much time as possible to settle all this wedding stuff.

My colleague once told me that he’d rather make his marriage work so that he never had to do a wedding again. I’m going to agree with him 100%.

27 before 27

I know I’m currently trying to clear 17 items in 2017 – and that is one heck of a long-term project – but goals help me use up products that I might sit on or try to “save” because they’re good. And then they might get expired because I’m trying to save them. Story of my life.

So here’s a second project to finish 27 items before I turn 27 on 14 Feb next year! They’re mostly small items or things that I’m already halfway through and I just need that extra push to finish it. I really want to finish things so that I don’t have to bring them over to my new home and mayyyybe I want to get things from Sephora’s Black Friday sale coming up in November. Maybe. Perhaps. Mayhaps. We’ll see.

This is going to be a rollover project – once something is finished I’ll replace it with something else…unless there’s really nothing that I want to try to finish up. Also there’s a lot of skincare things because I’ve narrowed down my makeup a lot. There’s little makeup that I want to get rid of right now.

1_rimmel

Why is this so difficult to use??

2_bareminerals

This was supposed to be an “Hourglass dupe” um…no. It also gives my skin a white tinge so I can’t pile it on unless I want to look “casket-ready”. If I finish the matte side before my birthday, I might just toss it because I’m not interested in being a white cast disco ball. The shimmer side is a mess I can see the glitter when I look up close in the mirror.

3_lipsticks

BOURJOIS | Don’t intend to finish this up completely, but to use as much as possible because I really like the shade but this has been overlooked in favour of the other 2 lipsticks in my 17 by 2017 project.

NYX| I spent 2 hours looking at lip swatches of this lipstick before purchasing it and it was STILL the wrong shade. It’s a lot brighter and more pink than I expected. I’m going to use as much as possible and toss whatever is left by 14 Feb because it’s not my favourite and it’s starting to smell a little funky.

4_lipbalm

After almost a year’s worth of use, I am so close to finishing this. This has a white cast that makes me look sick. I use it in the morning before applying lipstick but I can’t use this on its own.

6_kanebo

My friend gave me these to try out back in December. These have been here for way too long.

7_moisturizers1

IT COSMETICS | This breaks me out if I use it everyday on my face. It moisturizes fine, but it didn’t do anything that made me go “Wow, I’m going to buy the full size now”. Intending to be bougie and use this as a neck moisturizer to finish it up.

NAOBAY | I got this in the Lookfantastic Beauty Box back in November last year. I’m very hesitant to use this as a face moisturizer because creams just break me out so will find some way to finish this.

8_chanel

Waiting for my Phuket trip in November to use these two up!

5_belif-samples

MOISTURIZING BOMB FOIL | Excited to try this not gonna lie.

WATER BOMB FOIL | The saleswoman said this was good for dry skin but you best believe I’m going to try everything.

9_belif2

MOISTURIZING BOMB | Praying to the gods that this doesn’t break me out.

AQUA BOMB | Currently using this. It’s not breaking me out which is always great but I do feel a little oilier than usual. Hmm.

10_serums

THE FACE SHOP | Got this when I signed up for TFS membership (“It’s free!”)

BELIF | I really should read up on this before putting this on my face because I have no idea what this does.

12_sheetmasks

DEARPACKER | I heard so many great things on Youtube and I was super excited to try the range…but the day after I used the Black Tea Rose mask I started getting pimples on my cheeks. I’m now hesitant to use this but this damn thing cost me $5.90 so I am 100% not going to throw this away I could have bought lunch with this money smh

COSRX | This is a 3 step kit with the cleanser, toner and mask. Excited!

 

11_ptr-masks

This is a perfect example of “They’re good quality so I need to save them!!” No, I need to USE THEM BEFORE THEY EXPIRE.

13_lorealmask

Good ol’ me bought this without realizing it has exfoliating beads in it. Using this as a neck mask because I’m now living the bougie life by force.

14_fabpads

Can I just say that I don’t know how people can tolerate the smell of this? This smells like day 4 unwashed hair. It does not smell good. I think I’ve used 3 pads so 25 to go.

16_hask

This did nothing for my hair and gave me dandruff. I’m using it now to wash my brushes.

15_brigeo

This is a pretty good mask – my hair is super duper smooth afterwards. I might go hunting for a full size when this is done.

ESSENCE MICELLAR WATER (I couldn’t find it while I was taking photos) | This breaks me out on my jawline. I think it might be the fragrance because none of the other ingredients appear to be culprits.

I’m pretty close to finishing some of these, so hopefully this will push me to use them up quickly!

Finish 17 in 2017 Q3

Intro | 1st update | 2nd update

We are almost at the end of 2017 and I honestly, truly, do not know where the year has gone because I’m still a mess and my wedding is 5 months away. It’s probably time to start panicking about not so good skin, right?

For the past 3 months I’ve had varying moods about makeup and skincare. Some weeks I’m doing a full face of makeup complete with 3 eyeshadows and liner, some weeks I just wanna powder my face and go to work (I think I did that once, on a Friday when I ran out of fucks to give). I had more days where I just didn’t want to spend time putting a lot of things on my face so there isn’t an amazing amount of progress this quarter. Here’s to hoping I can encourage myself and push myself to finish a few more things over the next three months.

Switching it up

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus Lip Hop Super Defence EX Sun Protection Milk SPF115 PA+++
Goal: Finish

liphop

The Clinique chubby stick died on me – it started having a waxy smell, and it started feeling less moisturizing and more like something lying on top of my lips and it felt really uncomfortable. The last straw was when it made my lips drier and a little chapped. Time to say goodbye.

I replaced it with the Lip Hop sunscreen which I bought for my face…only that it broke me out horribly. I bought this because I saw “SPF 115 PA+++” and I was like holy shit this is wild this is gonna protect my face. When I started having those painful breakouts, I couldn’t find ingredients on the package, I don’t remember seeing ingredients on the plastic wrapping (which I threw away once I opened it) and I can’t find any ingredients online. That’s pretty damn suspicious. So now I’m using it up as a body sunscreen and I’ve made pretty good progress. If I continue to use it everytime I get out of the house, I’m confident I can finish this.

We’re getting there!

Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips
Goal: Finish

vaseline

I’ve used up more of this and I think I might get more use out of it when my morning lip balm finishes up and I use this both day and night. I guess I hit my last update’s goal of finishing up half of what was in the pot?

Dior Addict Lipstick in 871 Power
Goal: Finish

dior-lipstick

If I had religiously used this all the time I would have finished it, but I didn’t want to. But now if I don’t finish it by the end of the year I’m going to be so pissed at myself because it’s so little left.

Palmer’s Hair Removal Cream 
Goal: Finish

palmers-hair-removal

I have neglected this for the past 2 months because the skin on my legs have become incredibly dry and flaky again ever since I ran out of my Bath & Body Works lotion. I can’t use this on my legs when they’re dry because then it gets extremely itchy and painful. Need to remember to do my pits more often I guess.

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 170 Natural Beige
Goal: Finish

revlon-foundation

I’m excited to finish up a 2nd foundation this year. I really enjoy the natural finish of this foundation but it’s starting to get a bit thick and it doesn’t perform as well as it did at the start of the year. This is discontinued too so I need to finish this soon and start hunting for the next best thing.

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek in Between The Sheets
Goal: Finish 1/3

colourpop-blush

I’ve definitely expanded the pan, but not sure if I can hit my goal of finishing 1/3 of this. It’s really a lot of product and I really don’t know how some people can finish this quickly. I still enjoy using it!

Silkygirl Perfect Sharp Eyeliner 
Goal: Finish

silkygirl-liner

This fella is getting less pigmented each time I use it and it’s getting harder to get a good, black line even if I go over it several times. I also struggle applying this over eyeshadow, especially cream eyeshadows and shimmer eyeshadows. It might be nearing the end (thank god).

What’s up with that?

Caudalie Moisturizing Mask and Glycolic Peel Mask
Goal: Finish

I’ve used the moisturizing mask a few times but still have not cracked into the glycolic peel one. Definitely want the moisturizing one done by the next update.

Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray
Goal: Finish

I have done minimal damage to this even though it’s on my desk at work. Need to remember to use this damn thing.

Colourpop Lippie Stick in Konichiwa 
Previous Goal: Finish 1/2 | New Goal: Just use what I can

I’ve come to terms that this is just not a colour that I enjoy. And I’m at peace with it. Might probably throw this out at the end of the year because why keep something I’m not interested in using?

Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette 
Goal: Hit pan on bronzer

sleek-bronzer

Does the pan even exist??? For the past month I’ve been using a ton of bronzer all over my face with a fluffy brush – I have had the urge to be very bronzed and glowy – and there is STILL no pan.

Overall thoughts for the 3rd quarter

Panning a whole lipstick might not be for me – turns out I enjoy changing up my lip colours. Maybe if it’s a “my lips but better” shade it wouldn’t be such a struggle to finish one. There’s a high possibility I’ll just get rid of some things in this project if they’re not completed by the end of the year; I don’t want to use some things anymore. I have other things I want to use. Life is too short to force yourself to wear makeup you don’t really like.

When reality hits you in the face aka Kursus Kahwin

The marriage preparation course aka kursus kahwin is no longer compulsory but it was never an optional thing for the mat and I. Both of us aren’t exactly A++ when it comes to religion and sometimes it’s just a hell lot simpler to talk to a third party about the whole marriage thing instead of your parents. Are you gonna ask your parents if oral sex is okay? I’m definitely not going to. I don’t want to know what my parents get up to in bed. Nope. Never.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had delayed registering for the course because it felt like once we were registered it meant shit had gotten serious. It sounds stupid since it should have felt like shit had gotten serious since the engagement or you know, when we booked the vendors, but this felt like a more sobering part of the “heading towards wedding and marriage” process. I think it’s probably because everything else was all about the wedding, and that’s just one day. Kurus kahwin is talking about the rest of your life with the person you’ve chosen.

If you go on the ROMM website there are several companies/organizations running the kursus kahwin. I didn’t do intensive research but as far as I’m aware (and probably you since you’d probably be doing your due diligence and stumbled on this post) there are some that offer a one day express course and others offer a two day course. Unfortunately I don’t know which companies specifically offer which courses, so I can’t give you a cost breakdown or something over here. But you might want to consider:

  1. Knowing which course you’re supposed to actually take. If you or your partner is under 21, you can’t go for the Cinta Abadi course, you’ll have to go for Inspirasi. Likewise, if one of you is a non-Singaporean and is in the process of applying for a dependents pass, or if one of you is divorced, or if one of you is bringing a child into the marriage, Cinta Abadi doesn’t apply for you either. If you don’t know if Cinta Abadi is the right course for you and your partner, check with the company/organizer you’re intending to sign up with. If it isn’t the right course they will point you in the right direction.
  2. The language of the course you’re choosing. If one of you absolutely sucks in understanding Malay, for the love of God don’t book a course in Malay. The ROMM schedule shows all the companies’ dates and what languages the courses will be in.
  3. The duration of the course. The one-day express course is excellent for couples who both are working shift and have difficulties applying leave. But if you want to go for that because you’re lazy to do a two-day course, be aware it’s likely that whatever is taught would be cut down even more to squeeze everything in a day. From what one of the instructors told us, the course is originally supposed to be done over a period of 12 weeks but because nobody got time they’ve cut it down to two days and then further down to one day. If you’re attending a two day course, keep in mind that you have to sign your attendance more than once throughout the day. If you don’t have full attendance you don’t get the certificate. Means if you want to get the certificate you’ll have to retake the course and that costs $$$.
  4. The style of teaching for the course. Different companies/organizers would teach differently. Some are more hip and modern, some are more traditional. Most of the companies’ websites have short video clips of the course so you can get a feel of how they run it. Alternatively, ask your friends who have attended the course or read reviews from BTBs.

For our scenario, the mat always wanted BDMI. I don’t even know why – maybe he knew someone who did their kursus kahwin with them, maybe after he talked to the trainer once he liked the guy… I don’t know. I didn’t have any strong urge to pick another organizer, and it wasn’t the organizer that made me a bit uncomfortable when I read reviews and watched the videos, so I was like yeah sure go for it.

The BDMI course we took was a two day course that cost $300. On that day it was done at the SMCCI at Jalan Pinang so you don’t have to worry about finding food for lunch. The other location they do the course is Kampung Ubi CC, which is near Joo Chiat so there’s a lot of food there too. It’s a full two days, 9.30am-6pm, but don’t worry they provide snacks and drinks and there are breaks.

(as you can tell I’m hungry, hence the emphasis on food lol)

From my understanding you can sit with your partner, but our group somehow just… split itself?? Into guys sitting in one row and girls another row facing each other. Halal distance lah kan (chey). You aren’t too far from one another though if your group sits that way so you can still do the activities together…just don’t eavesdrop on what the other couple next to you does ah focus on your things.

We had three instructors, all three dealt with different topics. I really don’t know what other courses or classes might emphasize on, but I did get the feeling that they went more in depth only when we had more questions on the topic. So in a way I guess it was tailored for us? Because everyone would have different things they were interested in or they found important, and it just so happened that for my group we had some similar topics and it’s probably easier for the instructor too when the whole group is like “ok this is impt I know this right now immediately”.

If you are terrified that you are going to be the trashiest couple with zero of knowledge of each other compared to the others I am pleased to tell you that you don’t have to share anything with anyone else. Everything is just between you and your partner, with the exception of the one or two times they split us up based on gender so that we realize how different we function. Sometimes they’ll ask you to exchange books so that you can read what your partner wrote for the activities. I found that helpful because 1) the mat has always a man of few words and I’ve been trying to get him to say more words but it turns out he a man of few words even in writing so I’ve learnt this is just how he is. I can write a two paragraph answer and his is two lines 2) all this while I thought I was hallucinating at that date we had in IKEA and I noticed his cakarayam handwriting because he’s been writing in caps ever since and his handwriting in caps is beautiful. It turns out he cannot write small letters MYSTERY SOLVED.

The activities for the course was pretty interesting too, like the 5 Love Languages (the mat and I both have Quality Time as our Love Language) and the Personality Audit (both of us are Calm types). Yes, these are things that you can find online and try with each other, but which mat is going to circle printouts if not in class? Not mine, that’s for sure. Additionally, the instructors give tips on how to deal with your partner’s personality if you are too similar to too different – sometimes even based on their own marriages and their own trial and error. For example, you might be thinking “Shit, this sis got lucky sia she and her mat both the same” but the reality is that if both of you are Calm types, one day someone is going to have to say “Ok look, we need to stop chilling and start moving” and drag your partner along with you. I know there’s a 95% chance it’s going to be me. So now that I know what’s going to happen, I have to make a decision – am I prepared to be that person in the future? I already know how he is I can never expect him to evolve into a go-getter.

And I think that’s another thing these courses are trying to point out – don’t expect your partner to change after marriage. Don’t expect the high-stung girl to suddenly calm down. Don’t expect the lepak mat to suddenly want to take Skillsfuture courses with you. Be aware of who you are getting married to. And after you know who that person is – are you ready and prepared to marry them? If you are, then don’t yell “I shouldn’t have married you from the start!!!!” three years down the line when you get into an intense argument.

Personally I found the real life examples they gave absurd but they were also very good lessons. No one enters a marriage hoping to divorce, but shit happens if you don’t put in effort (and sometimes, sadly, even if you do). Something as simple as the hantaran can lead to a divorce if someone thinks the money is supposed to be used to A but it turns out it was used for B.

Now… if you were wondering about the sex education part of the course… not very sexy la ah. That segment is run by the lady instructor, Cik Zarina, so we ladies don’t have to be shy and awkward and reluctant to ask a pakcik about things. She gives eloquent answers and is always ready to answer the question that you think is fucked up or weird or too kinky. Like she talked about BDSM with a straight face so you really don’t have to worry.

Gentlemen, if you are shy to ask her then do feel free to ask her husband, Encik Abu Bakar, one of the other instructors. He has a “ask me now in class but don’t ever ask me after these 2 days” policy, and he too does not blink at any questions thrown to him.

Overall I really do think it’s a course worth attending. I really would recommend BDMI, it was a good combination of fun and jokes and serious business. It might get a bit confusing sometimes but eventually you’ll understand why the instructor discusses certain things or asks certain questions.

I did not have a Eureka moment but I learnt some things about myself and some things about the mat, and most importantly I learnt that after those two days I still want to marry him despite him occasionally being trash and I will have to endure the periods that he is trash just like how he will have to endure my mood swings and me crying at Shah Rukh Khan movies. And this has been an insanely long post so I’m going to stop here.

When companies are too efficient

I got a call today saying that my wedding ring was ready and I could collect it. The collection date was supposed to be end of this month whaaaaa?? On one hand oh my god my ring is reADY but on the other hand I don’t own a safe.

Is it weird to keep your own ring? As much as I love the mat I don’t trust that this ring will not go missing in his room.

Three down, many to go

So somehow this week we managed to settle two things (surprise! sloths apparently act fast when in some kind of… productive panicky mood) and I am well on my way to creating a full set of Google docs. I know, who am I??

Actually you know what, we settled three things because the mat freaked out that some of the hotels/apartments he saved in Agoda for our honeymoon are all booked so he decided to just book everything. I’m not even making this up, our honeymoon is settled. And our wedding is not. I don’t even know what to say. On Thursday I was in his room staring at apartments, chalets, hotels and a shed (that look cute and cozy and I was about that life until we see the outdoor pic and it turns out we would be living in someone’s backyard and the toilet was separate which explained why it was going for $45) and we’re like what the heck is going on why is everything booked on the days we wanna go? It’s not even peak period it’s not the world cup it’s not the nation’s 50th birthday what is going on??

Then when I met him yesterday he’s like ok I booked everything because I didn’t want to be houseless here’s the breakdown. Boom. The man knows how go full speed ahead when he wants to.

(Also on Thursday he discovered that I get whiny and make really bad jokes when I’m tired. But that’s a whole other story.)

The first thing we settled were the wedding invitations. I decided that somebody needed to start doing something and if that someone was me fine. A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do. Seeing how I absolutely despise talking to people (how did I do mass comm for 7 years is BEYOND ME) I decided to start with the only vendor that the Landmark gave me that had an email – my wedding cards vendor.

I remember really liking some of the designs that they showed at the wedding expo back in January, so I figured it shouldn’t really be a stressful thing (coughberkatcough). Connie from T Dragon Cards got back to me in 2 days with some photos of the designs we could pick. Now if you go to their website it might look like something done up by a secondary school kid circa 2004 hosted by Angelfire but these fellas do cards for some big hotels. Like that banquet wedding package that’s $1080/table? They’re the card vendors. So they’re legit, just that their website is not.

You can order the cards online or you can go to their showroom to look at the cards. We decided to go down and take a look, and I’m glad that we did because there’s a difference when you look at the cards in real life and touch them. The mat actually was really keen on this card that looked black in the photo they sent us but in reality it was more of a dark blue. It wasn’t printed on blue card either, it was on white semi-matte card. So if you printed one side the back was white and if you printed it both sides the edges were white. I could tell he was disappointed about it and I was disappointed about it too because this was something that he took interest in and y’all there are some things he just does not care about (e.g. bridal). But at the same time I’m not blaming T Dragon Cards because they’re probably given an budget to work with and dark blue card most likely exceeded that budget.

We ended up choosing another design and topped-up additional cost for having double sided printing. For the record, they do have those traditional cards with the two page inserts but neither of us were interested in those. And we couldn’t just have one language because he was going to invite important non-Malay people and I wanted to have Malay on the cards because I’m not about the “kacang lupakan kulit” life. Also my grandmother would never let me forget my sins and will bring that up even at her deathbed.

One of my aunts couldn’t understand why I paid for the double sided printing when they offered me those traditional cards. She said that it’s just a card, people throw away cards. And she’s right, but you know what; I’m known as the girl that does design and I’m not going to put my name on a meh card and mail it out. That card better be aesthetically pleasing because I got a reputation to maintain. If all they offered me were meh cards I would design one myself. Is that petty and kind of bridezilla? Probably. Do I care? No.

So we’re getting the cards hopefully around September if the drafts turn out fine. Then I need to make space to store all of those cards and pray hard that they don’t get yellow spots by December.

The second thing we settled was the kurus rumah tangga. I’m not gonna lie, I kinda delayed this because when you attend this course it’s basically saying, this is real. Which I should be okay with but I’m kind of worried about it because I worry about lots of things. Like what if the guy asks me “So what is his favourite song?” and I get it wrong? I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s stressful like maybe the people we’re going for this course with know each other for donkey years and know everything about each other, including but not limited to what time they pee after lunch, how many days a week they snore in their sleep and how long do their shoes last. And I suppose in an ideal world I should know everything about the mat before I marry him but let’s be real you will never know everything about a person until you live with them. What if the people doing the course tell us “look man, you guys don’t know enough about each other” what would that mean? Am I stressing myself out for no good reason? I don’t know.

Anyway. Deep (or maybe not too deep) thoughts aside, on Friday afternoon while discussing about going to take a look at the wedding cards my brain decided it would be a good time to check out the timings for the course that were still available. An hour later we’ve booked one and all we gotta do now is remember to attend it.

Now that I’m sort of on a slow roll, I should probably settle my photographer and bridal issues this coming week.

Sudden panic mode

I’m kind of freaking out.

Idk is it because it’s 12am and my brain goes haywire after 11.30 these days, but I’m now worried that the wedding is going to be a mess. It could also be because my mom is not talking to me right now because of freaking berkat, because I want to see if there are more affordable options instead of what she wants. And it could also be me realising that it’s only 7 months to go and I haven’t gotten quite a few things done because wedding planning is the last thing I want to do when I come home from work or when I go out with the mat.

I now truly understand why my colleague said “I’ll never get married again because I never want to plan another wedding”.