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01 June 2018


Can you believe we're almost halfway through the year? It's also officially winter here in the underbelly of the world which for me means chapped lips and cracked skin, if I'm not careful enough.

Two years ago, I was airdropped from the humid hell that is Manila and into the middle of the harsh Australian winter. Having had no previous experience with anything other than heat, my skin practically froze off of my face that winter, with 15C seeming like a freezing tundra to my tropical ass.

But seeing as how it's my third winter here, much wisdom has been gained about my skin (and about layering clothes in general). I figured out that my very oily skin (less oily now that I've been airlifted out of that humid circle of hell) needs a lot of moisturizing and hydrating layers - which didn't make sense to me back then because I've adapted a less is more philosophy for my oil slick face.

So, let the dropping of the skincare routine commence (in order).

First cleanser (PM): Essano Rosehip Micellar Water


Look, I know in my heart of hearts that I should be using an oil/balm cleanser. I have tried a couple, but to be honest, they're just too messy for my taste (clean sort of rhymes with queen for a reason). It also takes a little bit longer to get off, and I'm just not down for that.

Second cleanser (AM + PM): Celeteque Hydration Facial Cleanser


An oldie but a goodie. This facial wash is something I always hoard when I go to Manila - or I bully my friends to bring it back for me. It' gentle, cleanses really well, and is the perfect pH!

(Quick link: Why the pH of your cleanser matters)

Actives (PM): CosRx AHA OR CosRx BHA (both used only twice a week)


If you've lived anywhere other than under a rock these past few years, of course you'd know of CosRx's actives for blackheads and whiteheads. I always recommend these to friends who ask for exfoliant recommendations with the caveat that you introduce it to your routine slowly, you wait 20 minutes before applying another product, and that you must - and this should go without saying - absolutely use sunblock. 


AHA on non-CosRx days (PM): Pixi Glow Tonic


Grandma's closet smell aside, this cult favorite is also in my skincare drawer because it does wonders for my skin texture.

Hydrating toner (AM + PM): Kikumasamune High Moist Lotion


Sake, arbutin, ceramides, and horse placenta (because Japan). Enough said.

(Quick link: What are Ceramides and Why Do We Want Them in Our Skincare?)

Hydrating toner the sequel (PM): Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion - Moist


For someone who abhors the word moist, there sure is an abundance of it in my routine. Anyway, I digress. This toner's main attraction is hyaluronic acid (HA), which draws water from the environment in order to moisturize the skin and make it plumper and smoother. It then makes sense that the next step in the routine should be...

(Quick link: Why Hyaluronic Acid?)

Ampoule (PM): Scinic All in One Aqua Ampoule


...water! I used to just spritz plain water after my HA serum (I learned this trick from Reddit), but now we're out here living our best life just above the poverty line. This ampoule just brings in an extra drop of watery goodness during this dry season.

Moisturizer (AM + PM): Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer


My go-to moisturizer for my oily skin! This one stays in my routine regardless of the season because it just...works.

Essence (AM + PM): CosRx Snail Essence


Okay, yes, I put moisturizer on before an essence. But that's because this essence is goopy and I feel like it's thicker than the Celeteque gel! I'm on my third bottle of this essence because it just makes everything soft and bouncy - like I can have Korean soft skin if I use it for long enough. Sadly, though, the cream counterpart of this breaks me out like no other and that may be because of the fatty alcohol in it (I may or may have not kept a spreadsheet of ingredients in all my skincare products to determine this for sure).

Cream (PM): Nivea Creme


We love a classic! I use this as an occlusive to seal everything in. I used to use a proper sleeping pack for this same purpose but I'm just not sure I'm fancy enough on the inside for that.

Sunblock (AM): Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen


Winter, spring, summer, or fall, bitch better wear a sunscreen.

Lip balm (All day, every damn day): Abundant Natural Health Lips Alive


In my 100% completely unbiased opinion and not just because I'm the marketing person for the brand, this really is the only lip balm that got rid of my chapped lips. My lips started acting up as soon as summer was officially over and a thick layer of this overnight just got rid of it (the chapping, not my lips).

If you'd like to go down the skincare rabbit hole...

Now tell me your skincare holy grails!

28 April 2018


Month 4 and you just know all the resolutions I've made at the start of the year have been thrown out of the window. Including my unstated resolve to blog more. But being a flake is part of my branding now, I guess!

I've overhauled this space and cleared all my past posts in the hopes that a fresh start will motivate me to be here more. Cue the laugh track. Here we go again.

LIFE


  • Working for a skincare brand. If you've been following me anywhere, you'd know how much of a skincare ho I am. I can spend hours just reading and commenting on the skincare subreddits, and would like to give you a big hug if you're still using the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. So when my former internship boss got in touch saying she landed a startup skincare brand as a client and wants me to come on board to do the social media and content management, the answer is a resounding YES! I start work shortly before my birthday, so I'm also counting this as my birthday gift from the universe.

    A month into the job and my days mostly consist of sourcing photos and content for our Instagram feed (now the bane of my existence!) and Facebook page, taking care of our website, and other marketing bits and bobs. There, you've just been marketed to.

  • Studying. I've started school last March, and to be quite honest, I can't be positive about it. I don't quite know how to describe being in this particular uni that I am in, but let's just say that I need to be airlifted out of this circle of hell so please send help.

  • Sydney Royal Easter Show. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is an annual event held in Sydney over the span of two weeks during Easter. It is designed to promote the agricultural scene through competitions, animal experiences, carnivals, and much more. Will took me to the Show for my birthday this year and while I wish I took more photos, much fun was had overdosing on sugar, going on both kiddie and adult rides, and being a pussy in the half-assed haunted mansion.

  • Exercise break. I've been dealing with a chest infection for over a month now (hopefully I am correct in thinking that it's going away as I write this!) and so I've not been to the gym for over a month as well. There goes my dream abs.



  • Sony A6000.  Having had the Nikon D5000 for 7 years (and not having used it for 3 - mostly because of its bulk), I knew I would only be incentivized to actually get out there and take photos again if my next camera is smaller and easier to throw in my everyday bag. Yes, the best camera is the one you have with you, that's why I kept putting off getting a mirrorless for years - my Samsung S7 is usually enough for the quick photo. But I knew I wanted to document my life in a much better way than my phone camera and so I made the switch! I'm back to using a kit lens for now (I fell in love with the 50mm f1.8 for my Nikon back then that I put down my kit lens and never picked it up again) as I know I'm quite rusty and wanted to practice a little bit first. It's frustrating being with a kit lens again, though! So expect me to not exercise any self control at all and get the Sony 35mm f1.8 in the coming weeks.

    Some practice shots:









THINGS I'M LOVING

  • My Favorite Murder. A podcast by two true crime fans from LA, My Favorite Murder mixes in witty banter with tales of hometown murders and cults. I swore to myself that I will get into podcasts this year and in doing so, I knew I wanted to listen to women talking in my ear. MFM is the only podcast by women whose talking I can actually stand - there are some really cringey speech patterns out there, I found! Since I started bingeing, I have acquired a not-so-irrational irrational fear of randomly getting murdered and a fascination for true crime.

    If the over-enunciated Valley girl accent isn't your thing, there's also Martinis & Murder, All Killa No Filla, and the Crime Junkie Podcast!

  • The Book of Mormon soundtrack. Will and I saw The Book of Mormon at the Sydney Lyric Theatre at the beginning of the month. While I'm a sucker for musicals, he's not really into it but he ended up loving it! If it's ever in your city, don't hesitate to see the obscene masterpiece that is this play and walk out of the theatre believing that God has a plan for you -- and that plan involves getting your own planet.

    I'm still listening to the songs on a regular basis! My favorites are Two by Two and Turn It Off.

  • Simply Nailogical. Just do yourself a favor and watch her videos. You're welcome.

01 June 2018

10-Step Skincare Routine: The Winter Edit


Can you believe we're almost halfway through the year? It's also officially winter here in the underbelly of the world which for me means chapped lips and cracked skin, if I'm not careful enough.

Two years ago, I was airdropped from the humid hell that is Manila and into the middle of the harsh Australian winter. Having had no previous experience with anything other than heat, my skin practically froze off of my face that winter, with 15C seeming like a freezing tundra to my tropical ass.

But seeing as how it's my third winter here, much wisdom has been gained about my skin (and about layering clothes in general). I figured out that my very oily skin (less oily now that I've been airlifted out of that humid circle of hell) needs a lot of moisturizing and hydrating layers - which didn't make sense to me back then because I've adapted a less is more philosophy for my oil slick face.

So, let the dropping of the skincare routine commence (in order).

First cleanser (PM): Essano Rosehip Micellar Water


Look, I know in my heart of hearts that I should be using an oil/balm cleanser. I have tried a couple, but to be honest, they're just too messy for my taste (clean sort of rhymes with queen for a reason). It also takes a little bit longer to get off, and I'm just not down for that.

Second cleanser (AM + PM): Celeteque Hydration Facial Cleanser


An oldie but a goodie. This facial wash is something I always hoard when I go to Manila - or I bully my friends to bring it back for me. It' gentle, cleanses really well, and is the perfect pH!

(Quick link: Why the pH of your cleanser matters)

Actives (PM): CosRx AHA OR CosRx BHA (both used only twice a week)


If you've lived anywhere other than under a rock these past few years, of course you'd know of CosRx's actives for blackheads and whiteheads. I always recommend these to friends who ask for exfoliant recommendations with the caveat that you introduce it to your routine slowly, you wait 20 minutes before applying another product, and that you must - and this should go without saying - absolutely use sunblock. 


AHA on non-CosRx days (PM): Pixi Glow Tonic


Grandma's closet smell aside, this cult favorite is also in my skincare drawer because it does wonders for my skin texture.

Hydrating toner (AM + PM): Kikumasamune High Moist Lotion


Sake, arbutin, ceramides, and horse placenta (because Japan). Enough said.

(Quick link: What are Ceramides and Why Do We Want Them in Our Skincare?)

Hydrating toner the sequel (PM): Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion - Moist


For someone who abhors the word moist, there sure is an abundance of it in my routine. Anyway, I digress. This toner's main attraction is hyaluronic acid (HA), which draws water from the environment in order to moisturize the skin and make it plumper and smoother. It then makes sense that the next step in the routine should be...

(Quick link: Why Hyaluronic Acid?)

Ampoule (PM): Scinic All in One Aqua Ampoule


...water! I used to just spritz plain water after my HA serum (I learned this trick from Reddit), but now we're out here living our best life just above the poverty line. This ampoule just brings in an extra drop of watery goodness during this dry season.

Moisturizer (AM + PM): Celeteque Hydration Facial Moisturizer


My go-to moisturizer for my oily skin! This one stays in my routine regardless of the season because it just...works.

Essence (AM + PM): CosRx Snail Essence


Okay, yes, I put moisturizer on before an essence. But that's because this essence is goopy and I feel like it's thicker than the Celeteque gel! I'm on my third bottle of this essence because it just makes everything soft and bouncy - like I can have Korean soft skin if I use it for long enough. Sadly, though, the cream counterpart of this breaks me out like no other and that may be because of the fatty alcohol in it (I may or may have not kept a spreadsheet of ingredients in all my skincare products to determine this for sure).

Cream (PM): Nivea Creme


We love a classic! I use this as an occlusive to seal everything in. I used to use a proper sleeping pack for this same purpose but I'm just not sure I'm fancy enough on the inside for that.

Sunblock (AM): Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen


Winter, spring, summer, or fall, bitch better wear a sunscreen.

Lip balm (All day, every damn day): Abundant Natural Health Lips Alive


In my 100% completely unbiased opinion and not just because I'm the marketing person for the brand, this really is the only lip balm that got rid of my chapped lips. My lips started acting up as soon as summer was officially over and a thick layer of this overnight just got rid of it (the chapping, not my lips).

If you'd like to go down the skincare rabbit hole...

Now tell me your skincare holy grails!

28 April 2018

April 2018: Murders and Mormons


Month 4 and you just know all the resolutions I've made at the start of the year have been thrown out of the window. Including my unstated resolve to blog more. But being a flake is part of my branding now, I guess!

I've overhauled this space and cleared all my past posts in the hopes that a fresh start will motivate me to be here more. Cue the laugh track. Here we go again.

LIFE


  • Working for a skincare brand. If you've been following me anywhere, you'd know how much of a skincare ho I am. I can spend hours just reading and commenting on the skincare subreddits, and would like to give you a big hug if you're still using the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. So when my former internship boss got in touch saying she landed a startup skincare brand as a client and wants me to come on board to do the social media and content management, the answer is a resounding YES! I start work shortly before my birthday, so I'm also counting this as my birthday gift from the universe.

    A month into the job and my days mostly consist of sourcing photos and content for our Instagram feed (now the bane of my existence!) and Facebook page, taking care of our website, and other marketing bits and bobs. There, you've just been marketed to.

  • Studying. I've started school last March, and to be quite honest, I can't be positive about it. I don't quite know how to describe being in this particular uni that I am in, but let's just say that I need to be airlifted out of this circle of hell so please send help.

  • Sydney Royal Easter Show. The Sydney Royal Easter Show is an annual event held in Sydney over the span of two weeks during Easter. It is designed to promote the agricultural scene through competitions, animal experiences, carnivals, and much more. Will took me to the Show for my birthday this year and while I wish I took more photos, much fun was had overdosing on sugar, going on both kiddie and adult rides, and being a pussy in the half-assed haunted mansion.

  • Exercise break. I've been dealing with a chest infection for over a month now (hopefully I am correct in thinking that it's going away as I write this!) and so I've not been to the gym for over a month as well. There goes my dream abs.



  • Sony A6000.  Having had the Nikon D5000 for 7 years (and not having used it for 3 - mostly because of its bulk), I knew I would only be incentivized to actually get out there and take photos again if my next camera is smaller and easier to throw in my everyday bag. Yes, the best camera is the one you have with you, that's why I kept putting off getting a mirrorless for years - my Samsung S7 is usually enough for the quick photo. But I knew I wanted to document my life in a much better way than my phone camera and so I made the switch! I'm back to using a kit lens for now (I fell in love with the 50mm f1.8 for my Nikon back then that I put down my kit lens and never picked it up again) as I know I'm quite rusty and wanted to practice a little bit first. It's frustrating being with a kit lens again, though! So expect me to not exercise any self control at all and get the Sony 35mm f1.8 in the coming weeks.

    Some practice shots:









THINGS I'M LOVING

  • My Favorite Murder. A podcast by two true crime fans from LA, My Favorite Murder mixes in witty banter with tales of hometown murders and cults. I swore to myself that I will get into podcasts this year and in doing so, I knew I wanted to listen to women talking in my ear. MFM is the only podcast by women whose talking I can actually stand - there are some really cringey speech patterns out there, I found! Since I started bingeing, I have acquired a not-so-irrational irrational fear of randomly getting murdered and a fascination for true crime.

    If the over-enunciated Valley girl accent isn't your thing, there's also Martinis & Murder, All Killa No Filla, and the Crime Junkie Podcast!

  • The Book of Mormon soundtrack. Will and I saw The Book of Mormon at the Sydney Lyric Theatre at the beginning of the month. While I'm a sucker for musicals, he's not really into it but he ended up loving it! If it's ever in your city, don't hesitate to see the obscene masterpiece that is this play and walk out of the theatre believing that God has a plan for you -- and that plan involves getting your own planet.

    I'm still listening to the songs on a regular basis! My favorites are Two by Two and Turn It Off.

  • Simply Nailogical. Just do yourself a favor and watch her videos. You're welcome.