Sunday, July 10, 2016

HOW ABOUT MIND HOW WE TEACH THE SOCIETY





Benjamin Sim Buke Huang, I'm sure you're a nice person but still, your article is flawed in many ways.  
It's funny how you employ the term "kampung days" in an idealistic manner, as if it represents an era of innocence, simplicity and harmony. However, mind you that these so-called "kampung days" were fraught with backward practices such as racism, stereotyping and, at the heart of this issue, sexism.  
As a journalist with the power to influence, your attempt to glorify the good-old "kampung days" is, to put it bluntly, misguided. Rape and molest are age-old issues, harkening all the way back to biblical times (and then some, I presume). They are not modern issues brought about by 21st century vices. Whatever women wear, they will still be the victims of rape and molest. Thus, to ask that people's attitudes regress back to the "kampung days", rather than progress, is utterly irresponsible of you.  
By suggesting that females dress modestly to avoid rape and modest, you're essentially implying that such unspeakable acts are the fault of the victims. Women, like men, should be free to wear whatever they choose out in the public without fear. What needs to change is society's victims blaming attitude towards rape. Rapists and molesters, i.e the dentist in this article, are the ones who need to own up to their crime, and admit that the inherent dysfunction lies with them.

- Irina & Ming




Wednesday, June 08, 2016

IT'S NICE TO E-MEET YOU




Hi again, reliable Internet companions!

I'm currently in Hong Kong and it's raining outside. My friends and I decided to seek comfort indoors @ Hotel Jen, where we're staying. They're fast asleep and I'm wide awake. While they're dozing, I've decided to draft up a little something here for you guys ;-)



If you don't already know, I have been writing on this space for quite some time. I love documenting fragments of my life. Through writing, I find that I am able to liberate a part of me I've yet to learn how to deal with. For those of you that have been reading my blog for a long time and have accompanied me through the highlights of my existence, from falling in love to experiencing heartbreak and back to believing in love again, thank you so much for being a part of my journey! Kudos!

As I browsed through my past posts, I found myself really enjoying the exhilarating and nostalgic feeling of being catapulted back to my transformative years. As such, I thought this would be as good a time as any to craft a post as reference for my future self and to update all of you on where I currently stand at this very age and in this very moment. To those new readers who might have little knowledge of me, this post might help you to get to know me a little more personally.

Who knows, we all might be more similar than we think.


1. November
I am 24 going on 25 this 2016. It's rumoured that November babies are conceived on/around Valentine's Day and this notion somehow makes me irrationally happy to know. Being an end-of-year baby has also made the following, slightly awkward conversation possible on so many occasions:
Person: So, how old are you?
Me: 24
Person: Oh, so you're a 1992 as well?
Me: No.... it's '91.
All that aside, when I was a teenager, I used to picture 25 as the age by which one gets their shit together - after all, as you finish the first quarter of your life, you probably have had enough experience to know what to do with with the remaining three.  My mom had me when she was 25. With that as a guide, I aspired to be happily married with a kid by 25 as well. Now that I am almost 25 in few months time, I can only say, "shit, no way, I'm definitely not ready to be a mom NOW". 




2. Only Child
..... and that is one of the many reasons why my friends are so important to me. My friends are my almost-family and literally my helpline when I am in need.

I think this thought only set in a few Chinese New Years ago. It was then that I realized my kids would not have many visitings to do due to my lack of siblings. It doesn't help that my cousins are mostly in Malaysia and that we've grown up apart over the years because of distance. This might also be one of the many reasons I'd like to have a big family. Then again, child birth seems scary so...


I have a love-hate relationship with the idea of me being reliant on my friends. While I applaud myself for being vulnerable in front of others, I don't like appearing weak. Thus, with the knowledge that everyone eventually leaves, I find it hard to truly open up to people. 

 Some people we just outgrow. Relationships might end with no real explanation as to why. And when that happens, respect the shift. Honor the growth and understand that not all roots can stay planted in the same soil forever.
— Alex Elle


If you've had friends that you loved dearly and for some reason or another had to part ways with, here's a quote thae you might relate to as well:

‘I still love the people I’ve loved, even if I cross the street to avoid them.
— Uma Thurman





It's already 237PM now and it seems like my friends might wake up anytime now. I should get going! I thought I'd be able to hit at least three points about myself, then again, baby steps yeah? Just like before, hitting "publish" still scares me till this very day.


Thanks for reading :-)




______________________________________________________________________________




P.S. If you happen to be free and have time to read a little something, here's something that currently occupy me emotionally:

1. https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra
2. https://www.facebook.com/ellie.fialk/posts/10206915898164478
3. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/06/05/brock_turner_s_dad_s_defense_proves_why_his_victim_had_to_write_her_letter.html
4. https://thecoven.me/2016/04/17/roe-mcdermott-he-said-nothing/


Right now, it's just mostly women supporting each other and feeling for each other. I long for the day men take an active role in such discussions.






Wednesday, May 25, 2016

SKINCARE ROUTINE 2016




Hello everyone! Hope the week has been great so far and that you're all well. As the title says, I'll be sharing my skincare routine with you guys today!! I'm sorry for postponing this until now. I'm currently having a short break so, time permitting, I shall have more entries coming up sooooooooon hehe.

Side-thought: Do people still read blogs these days? Nonetheless, thanks for being here. Reading this.

I have been pretty into Korean beauty regime ever since I stumbled onto Charlotte Cho/Sokoglam's blog last year. She understands how it is hard for someone who does not understand the Korean language to learn more about the Korean skincare and beauty products. So she reviews them and curates the good ones for us! How amazing is that. Oh! However, I have learnt that she lives in a country with a climate different from ours. Hence, not every recommended product will be suitable for Singapore's humid weather. 

(Random: I saw her on this Korea trip but of course, I resisted and did a good job not fangirling over her. What I would give to ask her what products should I buy this time round in Korea without coming off like a creep though....)

One of her most informative posts would be the 10 Steps skincare regime: here
I tried to follow it religiously but on some days, I slipped back to my lazy self and make do with maybe half of the regime haha. With this guide (and also, utmost discipline), I have noticed pretty good changes on my skin! It's not perfect but I think, given that I'm pretty lazy, I should be thankful for the state my skin is currently in.

This the picture I posted on Instagram! The one there has its colour and tone adjusted and here's the unedited one for your reference. On hindsight, I have come so far from those acne days. However, human's greedy nature always leaves us wanting more - of course, if I can, I'd love to correct uneven skin tones, more moisture etc. 

Disclaimer: I am no expert but these are the products that I have been using and they have never given me any breakouts before. New pimples surface when I try new products that are not suitable, so that's pretty much an indication to know if a product is worth staying on my cabinet or not. I may not like some of them and I'll indicate my opinions accordingly and truthfully. Please do not buy these products below without doing some of your own research! Check them out on the net if they are what your skin needs as well :-) 


Irina's Skin Type: Combination

I've read about double and triple cleansing facial impurities. So I usually start off with an oil-based remover, move on to water cleanser and then finally, cleansing foam. When I have mascara on, Banila Co's Clean it Zero is my absolute go to. It removes everything effortlessly. It is in a solid state and has a creamy texture, in short, balm-like. Rub a reasonable amount all over your face and you'll see your makeup (waterproof or not) starts to melt. Then, rinse off! EASY!

I bought this from Korea but you can maybe try to get it online. This site, https://my.althea.kr/ (not an ad), sells Korean products at pretty reasonable prices! You might want to check it out :-)



Verdict: Must Try!

I started off loving this cleansing water a loooooot. I'm probably on my fifth bottle now? Apply a 50-cent-coin-sized amount of the product onto a cotton pad and sweep it through your face for remaining residue! The reason why I'm on the fence now about this product is because I've just discovered and purchased the Son&Park Beauty Water. I've heard so much good things about it that maybe Son&Park might replace Eucerin in my regime. We'll know in a few months time when I'm done with my Eucerin and start using Son&Park.

Verdict: Good, but is it better than Son&Park? Idk...
Bought Eucerin from Guardian/Watsons
Bought Son&Park from Korea's Olive Young
Then, I finish up my cleansing with this! I've been pretty happy with the Skinfood's Egg White Pore Foam. I am still on my first bottle. It smells nice and lathers well. I wouldn't say this is an amazing discovery or does wonder to my skin but it has got pretty decent reviews online. So you can check this out if you want to!


Verdict: It's okay~
Bought from Korea's Skinfood
Singapore's Skinfood probably has it too!
To exfoliate, I use Skinfood's Black Sugar Mask! I am still on my first bottle. If you don't already know, it is harmful to use those exfoliators/scrubs with solid beads. The sugar in this product dissolves upon contact with water. Hence, if your skin is sensitive, you can dissolve the sugar a little before you start exfoliating for a more gentle scrub! I like this quite a lot but I wouldn't say it is my holy grail. I use this only on every other day or when my pores feel clogged.

Products come and go so fast because companies keep coming up with new good things! Recently, I've just channeled my attention to Neogen's exfoliating pads! It is highly raved by many beauty bloggers! I bought one in Korea and I can't wait to see if it's any good!



Verdict: Worth buying!
Bought from Korea's Skinfood
Singapore's Skinfood probably has it too!
The current bottle of Clarin's Toning Lotion that I am using is probably my third or fourth bottle. I started using this when I was breaking out a lot. With a 50 cent sized amount of liquid on a cotton pad, I wipe my face clean. I used to love it but I have been enticed by so many other products in the market and apparently... Son&Park Beauty Water tones, as well as cleans too. I might just use Son&Park for all. It's more cost saving that way, I guess? One product replaces two?


Verdict: Does not aggravate sensitive/acne prone skin

After the toner, I follow up with Missha's Time Revolution First Treatment Essence! Tbh, I do not know the technical details/benefits of these products but I have heard that they are good for us! How true is that though, I do not know either. I can only try my best as a victim of advertising and follow their recommendations... because just like everyone, I am afraid of wrinkles.

Many have alleged this product to be the dupe of SKII's essence!! I'm currently on my fourth bottle and I have no complaints till... my recent purchase. I think they've changed the formula because the new one no longer smells the same. The old one used to smell like rice... and I loved that hehe. I don't know what is it about rice, I am not even sure if I'm describing it correcting but it has a calming effect on me.



Verdict: Why not? SKII's price is hefty :'(
Bought in Korea's Missha.
I do not see a lot of Missha in Singapore but there's one in NEX!
Ming's eldest sister has a friend who is a plastic surgeon (or dermatologist, shit my memory is terrible) and he said that we should start using suitable anti-aging products as prevention as soon as we can. I don't know how effective is this serum, but the term 'age-delay' is comforting haha.

I am going to try Missha's Time Revolution Night Repair Serum after this. So maybe then, I'd be able to compare which is better!



Verdict: It's alright~
I do not religiously use this because I am not sure if I am happy with it. I have used sooooo many eye creams and I can't seem to find the one I am happy with. Please share with me if you've an eye cream you're actually happy with!


Verdict: Some people love it while I think it's ok...
I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. Yes, I love it. It's a pretty big bottle and I think I am on my second. I bought Yi Ming a more hydrating version of this cause of Oxford's weather and he loves it! This cream, I don't know what about it but it has helped my skin in many ways I do not understand. 

Verdict: BUY.
Darn. Alongside all the beautiful things that my mom has passed down to me, I've inherited her neck lines too. Those of you who do not have it should be reaaaaally grateful because it is the hardest thing to get rid of. This is my first neck cream and I'm not sure if it's as effective as it claims. However, if you know of any other better one, PLEASE SHARE!


Verdict: Only if you're in the same predicament as me. Else, don't waste $$$


Yeap! That's all I have for my skincare routine! Hope this helps. Please do not feel the need to follow my list! The list is not meant to impose but to show you how I have mixed and matched products to fill up my 10 steps skincare routine! For masks, I mostly use the sheet masks I got from Korea almost every night. For the times where I feel my pores are clogged and I have new pimples popping out, I'd use mud mask to help detox!

Also, it helps that Caring Skin (http://www.caringskin.com.sg/) has been the backbone to my skin preservation journey. Sometimes, with schools and my exams, skincare is really the last thing on my mind. Silly but true, I always look forward to my 2-hour session with them. It's almost like booking for a very deserving me-time after all that hard work I have put into the respective areas of my life. I'm really thankful that Caring Skin has always been so understanding of my skin's needs and allow me to feel confident in bare skin :')

This is the picture taken from the very recent session before I left for Korea! When I was in Europe last year for my Summer escapade, Subrina (the founder) thoughtfully delivered a parcel full of skincare products for me to combat the weather. She secretly liaised with Ming for the address, and totally caught me by surprise. What's even more impressive was, unlike other clients, she has never pressurized me to share on my social media about it. She did it, because she cared. Like her, Caring Skin cares for everyone and that is why I still stick around.

Old entries on Caring Skin:

Now that I am finally acne-free, I can try new treatments I have never tried before! My last session I tried.... sth sth Hydra - feel free to ask the staff what I did - and check this out??? Huiqing, my beautician, stopped in the middle of the facial treatment and excitedly hurried me to look at the difference the facial massage made. Yeap. Pretty cool huh. 

I am aware that many of you have tried Caring Skin and are happy with it!!! Thanks for sharing your success stories with me. I have been in your shoes and I totally understand. For those of you who are still on your way, be patient and trust in their expertise that better skin days will come! Feel free to write in and talk to me about it if you like! I'll reply, but please note that I might be slow with my reply - slowly but surely :-)

OK. Now, if you're new to Caring Skin and would love to try out their facial services, just simply holler my name to enjoy a Dr. Renaud's Beautifying Eye Treatment - targets dark eye circles and heavy eye bags, ON TOP OF any existing promotions!!! *only valid for all new customers above 18 years old

P.S. students get student rates!!!!

For the existing customers, don't worry, they've kept you in mind! You will receive special perks when you're due for your next facial session if you just identify me with them, e..g "Irina's special treats"! Check with Caring Skin's staff for more details *winks*


Yeap... that's all I have for today! Have a lovely week ahead!!!!











Sunday, April 17, 2016

HEY MING




Santorini, 2015


Ohh, you make me live
Whenever this world is cruel to me
I got you to help me forgive
Ooh, you make me live now honey
Ooh, you make me live
- You're My Best Friend, Queen








Monday, March 28, 2016

GOOD FRIDAY BREAK


Hi, Internet friends!

Happy Good Friday! Regardless of whether you celebrate this holiday or not, I'm sure we're all thankful for the much needed break. I don't know about you, but I really needed this one. Ming is currently back on Easter break. However, I am still plagued by school and so we thought it would be nice to go somewhere to catch up with each other. We had plans for either Phuket or Hong Kong but... with my school assignments and tests looming, we decided to go somewhere nearer

Bintan.

Bintan has many resorts. Ultimately, we chose The Canopi, a 7-month old resort. It is owned by the Genting Group. The resort priced themselves rather reasonably compared to the other luxury resorts such as the Banyan Tree and Sanchaya. Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by the resort. Everything is as honest as it can be. If you're interested in going to The Canopi, you might want to keep reading...

One of the weirdest travel experiences

So, upon arrival at the Bintan Resorts Ferry Terminal, we found ourselves looking around for directions until we noticed this lone signboard with "Canopi guests this way please." written on it. It pointed us in a direction that was away from the general crowd, towards an unlit room with a single lady inside. It was in the day, so... why not? Everything seems less scary and less unforgiving when there's light.

Lady at the counter: Canopi?
We nodded.
Lady at the counter: Ok, passports please.
We handed over the passports.
Lady at the counter: Ok. This is the express lane. I will take your passports and you can collect it at your hotel.

Ming was like "??????" Well, I too found it odd but it wasn't enough for me to NOT say "okay". I smiled and together with the lady, we cruised through the immigration gate while everyone else was still queueing on the other side. We found ourselves at the entrance where we waited for our hotel staff to pick us up. This was when Ming started to get reaaaaally anxious and p/s his anxiety is reaaaaally contagious as well. So, I started to doubt myself.

Long story short, we got our passports back and apparently, it is TOTALLY normal. Weird huh? So...... if you happened to encounter the same thing, don't freak out or go against it; just go with the flow, I guess?

"We have the lagoon all to ourselves"

Currently, they have 40 tents. When we were there only 12 of these were occupied. The place was huge..... and we literally had the lagoon all to ourselves (cause everyone else was busy doing activities outside of the resort). 

Here is also what was odd: when we were booking our tent on the website, a good 70% of the tents were fully booked. The system works in such a way that it allows you to reserve your tent way beforehand and only pay for it upon your arrival. I guess many of those who did reserve, did not show up in the end. So, if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation where there are no tents left to reserve, email the resort immediately and they might be able to find something for you *wink*.

We got the Safari tent through a promotion, so we paid SGD$240 for 2 nights.

Lovers + Friends shorts (my current favourite pair) also from Revolve Clothing (product link here)

Since some of you found the Asos Inspired: Pomelo's post useful, I thought I could do something similar with what I wore in Bintan haha. Most of them are from Revolve Clothing (www.revolveclothing.com) and I am sure you have seen many other beautiful fashion bloggers wearing pieces from them. Revolve carries a lot of cool brands, some of which I find retailing for cheaper price than on comparable sites like Nastygal or Asos. So, something for you to consider yeah?

"Everything also must pay"

Yeappppp. That statement above makes us sound like a pair of right ol' sourpusses but legit, you have to pay for every activity there is to do on the island. It was a bit of a downer because... some things ought to be free? Beach towel - have to pay. Float - have to pay (per hour). Water activities - pay up please. Just to be clear, Ming and I do not expect everything to be free. We understand the need to maximise profits, but they seemed to charge for everything so... if we didn't pay, there really wasn't anything we could do. 

Some of these water activities, due to their steep prices, did not seem very attractive. There were land activities too like ATV riding but those weren't available during the time we were there so, we spent most of our time lazing in the lagoon or pool, whatever they want to call it, and in the tent.

Oh! We did pay for an activity though. It seemed to be the most reasonable one of all - an hour-long mangrove kayaking session $60 for two. Not too bad. Not too bad.

"Ahem... Ming got a new camera"

In case you're wondering how come Irina's pictures are now so high-res now.... well, Ming got a new camera. He's been waiting to fully maximise it so... why not in Bintan right? He's really not too bad of a photographer. I had fun being his subject haha.

Ming - Some of these are taken using the iPhone. DO NOT BE FOOLED.


I wouldn't say it was a must-do activity. It really depends on your personal preferences. It wasn't anything terribly exciting but it was definitely calming and soothing for the soul. The surroundings were rather quiet, with only the gentlest hints of birds chirping. A question you might be interested in: A lot of mosquitoes? 

No. The staff was kind enough to give us mosquito repellent.

Tips: Do not order the BBQ

There was an option to order a DIY BBQ dinner. They have prawns, wings and the other typical BBQ stuff. To be fair, we didn't opt for the BBQ. This was simply due to bad reviews on Tripadvisor, and not because we tried it and didn't like it. If you happen to try it and enjoy it, power to ya mate! 

For all you know, by the time you do decide to visit the Canopi, the resort might have vastly improved on its F&B offerings. Failing this, you can always opt for the safer choices at the resort's restaurant. We ordered the pepperoni pizza and nasi goreng. It wasn't phenomenal, but it was alright. It could have been much worse really. We had a really good simple night that we didn't mind at all.

Price range: Probably above $30? I'll check with Ming for this. 

Ming - hahahahaha $40. 

(bouncy castle? O$P$.....)
Emma Bikini from @herthelabel
"Safari Tent is just fine"

There were other tents with views of the lagoon and private jacuzzis available. We looked at these tents, which were priced higher than our own tent, and still thought that the Safari had the most value for money. The jacuzzis were rather small and placed just outside the tent... it's not very private at all. As for the rooms with the lagoon view, they were maybe 15 steps closer to the pool than Safari tent... and hey guys, it's only 15 steps (or more?). Plus, it was nice walking around the area.

The place is still heavily under construction so... at 7AM, you'll hear the sounds of machines and trucks. If you're a light sleeper, don't. Only visit Canopi... maybe half a year later when the construction has more or less died down.

One of the most important information you might want to know: the wifi signal was reasonably strong. I managed to stream and watch a movie hehe. 

One of the cutest rompers I have ever owned:
I wore this out on our date night when Ming had just come back.


Other random information:
1. Where you should go for dinner: Rin Restaurant
The price range is definitely pricey. A simple California maki goes for approx. SGD18? However, the restaurant is located by the beach. It had a really beautiful view. Ming justified the price with not-too-bad food, great service, sea breeze and amazing view. I won't deny these one bit. Rin is 10 minutes away from Canopi. We paid approx. SGD25 for return transport.

2. Which resort you shouldn't stay in in Bintan: Nirwana Gardens
Rin Restaurant is located in Nirwana Gardens, another resort in Bintan. We went for a stroll after dinner and ended up near the concierge. We asked the Nirwana Gardens staff for a simple favor: to call our driver to pick us up. The staff said "Sorry, we can't do that. You have to call from your room and you will be charged." We were like.... "ok???" So, we walked back to Rin. The staff at Rin, which is a separately owned entity from Nirwana btw, were so sweet. One of the waitresses called our driver using her mobile phone and another got us tea while we were waiting. I love understanding people like them. It makes life so much more worth living.




Pssssst!!! In case you're interested in any of their pieces,
Revolve is having an exclusive 3-day sales (starting today) for Singapore!!!!!!




You're welcome hehe.
Love you guys!











_______________________________________________________________________



Also, I'm thinking of holding a private flea! It will, of course, be slightly less accessible than the public fleas. It'll be fun, I promise! If you're interested, do email me at it.yt@live.com and I'll be sending over a private invite if it's really happening! Look forward to your email! 

P/S If you're worried about seeing ONLY my clothes and my style, fret not, I've other friends with other styles and clothing sizes to sell their stuff too! So it'll be diversified and rly cool!  :-)