the 5 am club: a review.

Recently, I went on a trip to Bangalore. I wanted to get something that would entertain me during the flight there and back, so I picked up this book. I’ve been trying to wake up at 5 am since then (and failing, but I will continue trying my best).

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Like most self-help books, this one carries a lot of life advice, motivational quotes, and the ideal morning routine that once must adopt in order to achieve true success- but this book does it in a different way. This is a fictional self-help book, there is a story about an artist and an entrepreneur who meet their “guru” who is the one who teaches them how to join the 5 am club.

While I really enjoyed the book in terms of the information I got from it (on that count I’d definitely recommend that you read this book), I have to say the whole fictional story I found unbearably cheesy- the whole story was a major cringe moment in my opinion; while it did make the information easier to take in, I probably would’ve preferred the book without any of that.

Cringey story aside, this is a book worth reading if you’re willing to make serious lifestyle changes.

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my favorite beauty blogs.

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People say blogging is dead, but I still find that there are some blogs worth reading if you look hard enough. Some of these blogs are run by friends, others aren’t but they’re all wonderful bloggers whose writing is worth reading.

  1. My Women Stuff: Link
  2. Geeky Posh: Link
  3. Myra Beauty Diary: Link
  4. Carrie Jaboor: Link
  5. The RAEviewer: Link
  6. Messy Wands: Link
  7. Beautiful Buns: Link
  8. Fifty Shades of Snail: Link
  9. Love for Skincare: Link
  10. The Beauty Desk: Link
  11. The Brown Girl Beauty Blog: Link
  12. Dr. Cosmetique: Link
  13. Vicaismaname: Link
  14. Chamidiaries: Link
  15. Sparkles and Nargles: Link

Honorable mention: The Makeup Blogette on Instagram.

studylog #3: not really studying.

When I was in 8th grade, I took this state-level art examination called the Intermediate Art Exam (which was all the rage among the kids at my school). We had to learn a few different types of drawings, one of which was nature drawing (I can’t remember if that was the actual subject name or not) but we had to be able to paint from memory the Aster flower and the Sunflower. I practiced that so many times that today, 10 years later, I still remember how to paint the sunflower.

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I’m not as good at it as I used to be, though. But I decided to share this photo anyway. 🙂

 

studylog #2: before it begins.

August is almost ending, which means that I’ve had two and a half months worth of holiday time. This would’ve been wonderful, if not for the fact that the law school admissions process in my state is no where near done (or rather, it’s just begun) and I am incapable of fully enjoying this free time until I have successfuly been accepted into the school of my choice. Pair this with the fact that Instagram is no longer as fun as it once was, and you have a very bored me. So, I decided to listen to mum and get back to studying. I actually do enjoy studying quite a bit, especially without the stress of an exam hanging over my head.

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I decided to start working on a little notebook full of foreign legal terms- this was actually part of the entrance test syllabus, but since I decided on this path in such a rush, I only had a month to prepare for a test that most students take a year to study for (or longer in some cases), I had to sacrifice some pretty big chunks of the legal syllabus. Which is what I am studying now, my logic being that if it was a on the entrance test syllabus, we’d be expected to know this before our course formally begins.

I’ll probably talk about other topics I’ll cover while I study as well, in other posts. For now, I’ll leave you with this photograph. I think the picture came out quite well, don’t you? I finally got a new camera and I’ve been playing with it quite a bit.

studylog #1: my background.

studylog.

About me: I’m 23, & I live in India. For a longer version, you can read the About Page.

Higher Education so far:

Graduate Degree #1: Bachelor of Commerce (major: Financial Accounting and Audit) [Complete] 

Post Graduate Degree: Post Graduate Diploma in Management, (stream: Research and Business Analytics, major: Finance) [Complete]

Graduate Degree #2: LL.B. (General) Degree [will commence soon]

Note: Both graduate degrees are 3-year full-time courses. The postgraduate diploma is my country’s equivalent of a Masters in Business Administration and was a 2-year full-time course.

Languages:

I study Japanese, had to take a break while studying for my diploma course examinations, but I’ve started attending classes again. Currently in an N5 level batch, though I’ve previously been tutored up to N3. I haven’t obtained a JLPT certification yet. I also self-study Korean for fun sometimes.

an intro to hanbang (한방) skincare.

Hanbang (한방) refers to traditional Korean medicine practices. Heavily influenced by Chinese Medicine at the start, 한방 evolved over time to include more local ingredients and techniques unique to Korea- with an emphasis on the use of fermentation.

Some commonly used ingredients in 한방 skincare are:

Ginseng

Licorice Root

Green Tea 

Lotus Root

These ingredients are high in polyphenols (plant-derived compounds) with strong anti-oxidant effects that have great anti-aging benefits.

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Ginseng:

One of the most popular ingredients in Asian beauty, not just Korean beauty, is Ginseng. With its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-atopic and immunomodulatory properties, it is one of the most well-known 한방 ingredients.

There are two kinds of Ginseng,

White Ginseng: 4-6 years old, peeled and dried without any heating, has a moisture content of less than 12%

Red Ginseng: 6 years old, steamed at 98-100 degrees Celcius for 2-3 hours and then dried (hence the red color), with a moisture content of 12-15%

While Red Ginseng is preferred over the white (due to it’s more potent pharmacological properties), both the forms have some benefits in common, like their immunomodulatory properties that are used to treat inflammation, anti-oxidant properties, and anti-atopic activities which are used in the treatment of skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.

Benefits of Ginseng:

  • Anti Aging
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Prevents UV damage
  • Suppresses collagen destruction
  • Regulates hyaluronic acid generation
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation

Green Tea:

Green Tea, one of the most commonly consumed beverages in East Asia, is another very popular skincare ingredient, with brands such as Innisfree and TONYMOLY having entire lines of products dedicated to it.

Fun Fact: Green Tea essential oil is extracted from a plant called Camellia Sinesis and is also referred to as Camellia Oil (I had no idea about this until I read about this in some Vogue article, and honestly idk how I didn’t see this coming.) Camellia oil happens to be a pretty popular hair care ingredient. (Innisfree also has a Camellia oil hair serum that I like quite a bit).

Benefits of Green Tea:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-aging
  • Rebuilds collagen
  • Repairs cells from sun damage
  • Improves the skin barrier function
  • Boosts hydration and water retention reduces transepidermal water loss
  • Reduces the production of excess sebum
  • Reduces puffiness

Licorice Root:

Benefits of Licorice Root:

  • Reduces dark under-eye circles
  • Reduces discoloration
  • Lightens age spots
  • Balances oil (beneficial for the oily skin type)

Lotus Root:

Benefits of Lotus Root:

  • Anti-oxidant
  • Controls sebum production
  • Increases skin elasticity
  • Hydrates the skin
  • Contains Vitamin A which reduces swelling and helps in healing the skin (beneficial to those struggling with acne).
  • Vitamin C (which makes your skin bright)

Now personally, I haven’t yet tried any products with Ginseng, Licorice Root, or Lotus Root in them, but I have used quite a few Green Tea products and I have noticed that the ingredient does work as they claim it does (I hope that sentence made sense, I was trying to say it is effective). Innisfree and TonyMoly both have excellent products in their Green Tea lines- effective and affordable. Brands that are actually associated with hanbang tend to be more on the pricier side, like Sulwhasoo, the history of Whoo, Hera, Beauty of Joseon, etc. I’d be interested to try some of those at some point too.

If you have tried anything from the brands mentioned above, do let me know! I’d love to know if those products are really worth the price!

the 7-skin method.

I heard about this Korean Skincare trend in one of Edward Avila’s videos.

To put it simply, the trend requires you to put essence on your skin seven times. Now, obviously, this wouldn’t be possible with a product with a heavier consistency. Also, depending on your skin condition, too much product may actually end up irritating your skin. However, on days when your skin feels a little too dry or dehydrated, doing the 7-skin method with a watery toner (often referred to as 스킨/skin in K-beauty parlance) can actually help hydrate your skin and give it that glow.

The easiest way to do this is to apply the watery toner with a cotton pad (as it then deposits a little less product so you don’t have to wait as long between layers). Alternatively, you could just apply it with your hands.

The toners that I prefer for this use are:

  1. The RoundLab Dokdo 1025 Toner: Heres a link if you want to buy it.

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2. TONYMOLY The ChokChok Green Tea Watery Skin: Here’s a link to purchase, and use this one if you’re based in India and don’t want to import.

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