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Thursday, October 29, 2015

I've done a pretty decent amount of travelling. While on my travels, I have seen a lot of different faces and come in contact with many different beauty standards. Maybe I'll do a post on that some day... but in the meantime, let's talk about what I've learned from various places. I've learned bits of the spoken language there (normally "please", "thank you", "how much", "hello" and "goodbye" as a minimum), eaten all sorts of interesting foods, and seen sites that I had previously only dreamed of.

It seems like people from different cultures like to give young women beauty tips. People always say that the women from wherever they are from are the most beautiful in the world, and have certain secrets that make them that way.  Anyways,  below are some tips I've learned from three different countries I've been to!

  • Stay out of the sun if you want to maintain a pale, clear complexion.
  • Use a face mask nightly for soft, moisturised skin. 
  • Drinking warm beverages is good for the body and the skin. 
  • Do not let rainwater get on your hair if you want it to look nice. 
  • Stay healthy in order to maintain a beautiful appearance. 

  • Eating olives is good for the skin and makes the eyes bright. 
  • Olive oil is a good way to get makeup off, soften the skin, and thicken the hair when applied to the scalp. 
  • Rose water and eating things with roses in them are good for increasing "feminine grace". 
  • You don't need a lot of makeup, but at least line your eyes to make them stand out. 

  • Burmese women wear thanaka on their faces as a natural sunscreen. You can buy it on Amazon... it's typically painted on in circles or other patterns. 
  • Thanaka is also good for getting rid of acne and curing oily skin. 
  • Thanaka is  skin whitener, and you can apply a thick layer as a mask at night for a brighter complexion. 
  • Putting a small amount of oil through the hair makes it soft, shiny and easier to manage. 

What did you think of these international beauty tips? Most of them are a lot more about diet/lifestyle than Western advice, which is more product/technique based in my opinion. Since I was in China over the summer, I feel like a lot of my beauty regime has shifted. Of the three, the country with the most interesting beauty standards has to be Myanmar, because the women wear thanaka patterns on their face which is just so pretty! 

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It seems like people from my childhood have been reaching out more lately. I wonder if there's a point in this growing-up business where people feel a touch insecure and look back at where they've come from. If there is, it seems like many people are hitting it. I can't say I'm immune, though I've been having more fun stalking their Facebook profiles than actually meeting up. However, there are exceptions to that. Also, I apologise for the generally romantic mood that this blog is falling into. It seems that as the weather is cooling down, people are looking for love and I'm getting swept up in the mix like fall leaves in the wind.

I met up with a friend that I grew up with the other day at his campus not far from where we grew up. It's a really pretty place, and from certain vantage points you can see Boston. We got hot drinks (neither of us drink coffee) and recalled irritating our teachers and my terrible high school fashion choices. It was a blast from the past-- mostly entertaining, a little cringeworthy, and romantic in the sense that we recalled the bad times as reasonably good, or at the very least a good story.

Eventually, we hit a weird point in the conversation where we acknowledged several things we both thought of but never said prior. He admitted to missing me when I left for Singapore. I admitted I held a torch for him all through my childhood. If I hadn't moved, he and I would have probably dated. We probably would have had our ups and downs, we would have debated, and we would have fought. We were arrogant and obnoxious as high schoolers, and even still we give off an edge of attitude.

It's strange being someone's "What If?" because it's like taking an eraser to ink that's already been dried. Maybe it's possible to smear the edges a little bit, but there's no way to alter what happened already. It's strange how even though we've largely moved on, we occasionally glance over our shoulders at the past and wonder how it could have been different.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Now, I need to start off this blog post by stating up front that I don't know a lot about comic books. However, I think I am allowed to be absolutely obsessed with Harley Quinn! I personally think DC does better villains that Marvel, and Harley Quinn is a great example. While she's seemingly simple, she was a psychologist before turning to the dark side. She's also on the Suicide Squad, so she has the capacity to be good.  She's smart, sexy, and completely mental. 

She's also my Halloween costume this year! I'm not sure if I'll be posting pictures of my costume because I haven't exactly worked out the top yet, but I have duel coloured pants from Hot Topic. They aren't cheap, but I plan on wearing them afterwards as part of my wardrobe. They run sales and reduced shipping reasonably often, so keep an eye out for that. 

On to the lips! This is a pretty simple look. Basically I outlined my cupid's bow (and messed up a few times) with a liquid eyeliner, then thickened the lines as they reached the edge of my lip. It looks a lot better if the bottom lip line is thicker than the top, which I did in the second picture. Then I filled in half of my top lip and bottom lip with a beautiful Savage Jenny lip pot. Since I didn't have a black lipstick, I used some black eyeshadow and lip balm to get the black to stay on the other halves.

How you fill in the red/black within your lips is up to you, though. I think the lips look more dramatic when outlined in black, but there's not a ton of reference art with Harley's lips drawn like that. Honestly, it's Halloween and have fun. Who cares if you don't look exactly like the character? I'm Chinese anyways :P

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I've started keeping a journal of sorts again. It's a pad of paper that I bought at CityCo three nights ago when I realised I had nothing to write on. It sucked, but I trudged out of my dorm and all the way across the street in the relative cold to pay for something to push a pen across in the name of writing down my thoughts. I think the guy working there thought I was insane... who buys a pad of paper and  a bag of Cola gummy sweets at two in the morning? Apparently I do, when there are too many things to say and typing doesn't suffice.

So after a few months of not expressing myself through writing, I wrote. I wrote in pretty cursive and that script I use when I'm racing to take notes in class. I tried printing again and laughed at how juvenile my handwriting has become. I wrote boldly and meekly, legibly and so illegibly I can't even begin to tell you what I was trying to say. I wrote my thoughts uncensored and read back the sort of person I am becoming.

I guess it's not fair to say that I haven't expressed myself in writing for months-- I've been blogging. The thing about blogging though is that us bloggers censor what we have to say. We don't like admitting it, but I will be blunt: we sugar-coat our lives. And typing the same as really sitting down with a pen and confronting your fears, insecurities, hopes and dreams on a medium you can touch.

Flipping back through what I've written, I realise that most of it so far are growing pains. I am a product of my circumstances and therefore worry about things appropriate to my current situation. There's nothing wrong with that, but there's also nothing unique about it either. And that's perfectly okay.
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Friday, October 9, 2015

I talk about being a university student all the time on this blog. You can't blame me-- my life basically revolves around eventually getting that BA degree. However, there are certain things that you do whilst in university that make you stop and think either, "Wow, I'm a New Englander" or "Wow, I'm a university student". Since I'm actually both, this little project deserved a blog. It's one of my friend's birthdays soon, and I got them a little present. However, I didn't have any wrapping paper, ribbon or tape to wrap the gift. So, I got creative.

I got some mail the other day, so I decided to use that as wrapping paper. As you can see, I cut the back off the big envelope. Look at my cute child-sized scissors!

I then took out my coloured pencils and cut a little strip off the envelope. I coloured in in with the white coloured pencil because I figured it would make it look less like an envelope. 

Here you can see I wrote "Happy Birthday" on the little strip of paper. I used a regular pencil to trace out the words before I went over it in coloured pencil. It's not super obvious here, but I made the first letter of both words a little bit thicker than the rest. It's small, but it looks quite nice in person. 

Because all Millennials have a streak of hipster in them, I had some twine lying around. The wrapping job wasn't so great because I didn't have any tape to make it neat. Thankfully the box was small enough I could hold the paper down with one hand while trying to get the bow done. It's not the neatest job in the world, but we're all broke college students anyways. 

I ended up adding an accent to the edges of the corners of the "card" to make it a little fancier. Doesn't it look nice? I think it looks homemade which makes people think you really like them and put a lot of care into what you did. In reality, I'm just too cheap to get tissue paper and all that jazz... but they don't have to know that!

Do you ever do creative little things to cut corners?

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It's October, which means Halloween is coming up at the end of the month. Halloween is 50% awesome and 50% the worst day of the year. Being scared is on the brain regardless of if you like it or not.

It's 50% awesome because I love dressing up in costumes. I have since I was a little kid... one year I wore five costumes! I'm sure you remember my incredibly sexy, revealing Halloween costume from last year (ha!). I also love eating candy! Everyone says they have a sweet tooth, but I think if I could get away with it I would eat nothing but sweets all day. I really love Oreo cookies these days for some reason. So between dressing up in costume and eating sweets, Halloween is awesome.

However... it's also 50% the worst day of the year because I get scared easily! I'm terrified of ancient Egyptian art (that's such a weird thing, but definitely a phobia), spiders, decay (zombies are horrifying), mummies, epidemics and loud noises. I'm mildly afraid of the dark, spooky noises in the dark, and skeletons. I'm also scared of getting scared, which I realise is a stupid fear.  There's a pattern here now that I've written them all out: I'm afraid of symbols of death and disease.

While I have a lot of silly fears that I just listed above, I think the most important thing about dealing with things that are scary in normal life... sickness, losing someone, accidents, current events, etc., is putting them in context. It's easy to let fear control your decisions. But if you think about things as rationally as you can, it's the easiest way to get through the day.  There's no reason to allow things that could not actually harm you frighten you... which is exactly why most of my fears listed above are very silly.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Look, photoshoot pictures ARE useful!

One of my friends has pretty bad depression. I don't know how long she's been suffering but it's finally hit a point where she knows she needs to get help. As her friend, I've been trying to do my bit and be there for her. The other day was rough... she was apparently on the verge of tears all day. So, I told her to make a list of things that make her happy, and I'd make mine as well. Sometimes we just have to focus on little things and work our way up from that. I'm posting my list. What's your list?

1) Using a new hair net on a bun for a performance. This is definitely a dancer thing.
2) The sound of rain outside when you're in for the night.
3) Gnocchi! I had some awesome ones on a date last Saturday.
4) Anything chocolate.
5) Wearing a skirt and feeling cute.
6) Getting blog comments.
7) Warm laundry out of the dryer.
8) Meeting up with old friends.
9) Exploring new places.
10) Having friends that have your back.
11) Dancing.
12) Ice skating.
13) Looking through old pictures.
14) Small, cute, fluffy things.
15) Snuggling up under blankets.

I stopped at fifteen because that's the number of things that she sent me. Fifteen things that make her happy, and fifteen things that make me happy.. that's a decent number. Even if you're having a bad day, it's important to find one of those things and let it lighten you day.
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