#MakeupMistakes: Maybelline Fit Me Powder Compact.

I’m planning on making this a whole series tbh, lord knows I’ve messed up many, many times when it comes to makeup lmao.

This post is dedicated to the Maybelline Fit Me powder compact- I’d owned another Maybelline powder compact prior to this and finished using it too having had no idea that I’d been wandering around looking like a ghost. Before I actually start though, I’ll just say that this isn’t a bad product- or a bad brand in general. It just did not work for me – so don’t worry, the only person I’m bashing here is me lol.

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So, I have dry skin. Like really dry skin. To the point where sometimes, it starts flaking off. Till now, most foundations do not sit right on my skin- product cracks and pills far too easily on me, and I have yet to figure out a workaround. I’m also not super makeup savvy, recently I’ve gotten into skincare and I’m learning a lot more about that but as far as makeup goes, I’m a certified n00b thanks to my dad who never let me use makeup (still is against it but I have begun my rebellion at 22) because it is a distraction from studies (won’t argue with that tbh, but I’m old enough to be responsible now uwu). My mum, who should’ve been the one to teach me this stuff hates makeup and knows even lesser than I do so effectively my only guide has been the internet- & beauty gurus who get paid to promote crap products/ never fully discuss all aspects of product selection but that’s a discussion to be had another time. In any case- this meant that I didn’t have that awkward phase of experimentation in school like everyone else- I had it in college. The SA at the local department store somehow convinced me to buy a compact (and I had seen rave reviews of this online thanks to all them beauty gurus) so I got this. And, mistakes were made.

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You see, if you have super dry skin like mine and are not following a skincare routine of any sort, a powder foundation is a bad BAD idea. If the skin is not hydrated enough to take this- not to mention this was the wrong shade for me (too light, though I could have gotten away with it had I known how to use it correctly)- this will end up looking awful. Not only will your base look super powdery, but it will also crack and pill/flake off. Aka utter and complete disaster. I did not know how to use it correctly. I was super heavy handed, walked around with a cake face thinking I was “cool”- basically it looked like I was wearing makeup. I like natural looks, the “no makeup” makeup kind of looks, this wasn’t it. I learned my lesson way too late because I ended up finishing my first compact (may she rest in peace) and got this one. It’s fine, still too light, hasn’t run out yet, still is terrible as a foundation on me but I use it to set my cushion foundation (that I shall review soon- it is AMAZING) and my concealer (that I also love, bless). So, I’m still not at beauty guru status (I shall get there one day). But I’m learning- even though my learning is costing me RIP.

IG Misadventures with bloggers (& brands).

PSA: This is not a call-out post, I won’t be naming names. But, if you read this, and the shoe fits, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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So, I’ve officially been Instagram blogging for a little over a year now, and I have had my fair share of weird experiences with bloggers and businesses. These are just my top 5 stories.  🐸☕️

  1. The one with the “big” blogger: Now I know I said I wouldn’t name names, but this lady is a decently popular SG blogger, married to a Korean dude, living in Korea (I have said enough lol). Anyway, while I was still a wee little blogger baby with less than 200 followers, I would DM her and we’d talk- until she asked me about my ethnicity, and then just proceeded to ignore my messages. Well, message because after she left my reply on read, I kind of figured that she no longer wished to speak to me. I’d give her the benefit of the doubt, but it’s highly unlikely that she’d suddenly halt a conversation where she was enthusiastically replying to me but still continue to post stories? (I’ll admit I sound a bit stalkerish in this regard but I was kinda angry.)
  2. The one with the “friend” and a brand: This happened in October of 2018. In this particular scenario I cannot place the entire blame on her, though I do wish as the host she’d have been a little more proactive in helping me sort out the situation. Long story short, she collaborated with a brand and hosted a giveaway that I won, the brand took my shipping details and proceeded to forget to send me the prize (while still sending PR gifts to other bloggers). After a messaging conversation that spanned a month (and being ghosted by the brand), I reached out to this friend who also took a while to respond and then contacted the brand, who finally said that the product stocks had gotten over and they’d send me my gift when the batch was ready. The brand has since been inactive and it’s safe to safe to say I’m no longer interested in receiving their gift.
  3. The one with the brand itself: The first time ever that I had been contacted by a local brand to review a product they’d send me, (with no scams whatsoever), I was hyped. But, as it so happens, the lady forgot to send me the product. A month later, when she finally did send it, she used what I can only describe as the sketchiest courier service in this city. At this point, I was already regretting accepting this offer. The product, in any case, turned out to be decent enough (it was a face oil labeled as a serum which is fraudulent IMO but we deal). Anyway, I did my best, studied carrier oils for the first time in my life (God bless Liah Yoo for her guidance) and wrote what I considered to be my best review yet. She ignored it. No acknowledgment, nothing. I was pretty miffed because my friends who also received products from this lady had their images reposed, got their own discount codes on her new website, kept receiving new launches and overall had a great experience- and all I have to say to any brand owners who do this- please do not approach a blogger to review a product for you if you aren’t planning on at least acknowledging it. It is a waste of the bloggers time and effort, not to mention just plain rude. But, as a friend (who is a veteran blogger) told me, things like this always happen, you gotta let it go and take in the good vibes.
  4. With a smaller blogger: So this one was some next level BS. This lady (American, also married to a Korean dude- I’m seeing a pattern here) followed me. Her content was pretty decent and she had a cute cat so we kinda talked I guess, until one day when she went ballistic about this YouTuber (who IMO has some pretty great content) not having English subtitles. Now Jody (the YouTuber) is a Korean, living in Korea, and only has an English name for the aesthetic (my old username was a Korean word and I can barely speak Korean- even if my comprehension skills are halfway decent, so I relate to some extent). In any case, my main point is- no one is obligated to provide subtitles. If you still wish to view their content, learn their language or deal with it. Not everyone considers English important, and it is the content creators decision to choose what audience to cater to. I said that, and she unfollowed me. Not blocked, mind you- which would’ve been the right thing to do. She unfollowed me because follower ratio of course. Yes. I was salty. I mean fair enough, she could unfollow me but what happened to all that flattery back when I didn’t express my disagreement with her anglocentrism hmm?
  5. The one with the brand itself (pt. 2- the scam): There were some brands who were doing these “lucky draw” events where they said they’d select influencers who’d review products for them. My naive, 100 follower having self, took part- and surprise surprise, I won. Now, from what they explained on their stories, I understood that they would be sending the product to me for a trial and a review- but no. As it turned out, they were offering me a very small discount on their product that I had to buy and then MAYBE they’d feature my review on their page and continue the relationship. To brands who think they can take advantage of people like this, you’ll never build goodwill in the community. After this experience with a local brand, I’ve been approached by a few others trying the same kinda scheme on me- and my answer has been no. Sorry, I will not pay for the privilege of reviewing your product and maybe getting a feature. I’d much rather pay for a product I actually want. 

So lessons learned? Don’t trust anyone’s online persona, and be wary of all brands (and if you’re based in India, be extremely cautious when dealing with Indian brands).

 

Beauty Review: Moonshot Korea BIGBANG10 Lip Balm

You can buy this product at StyleKorean.com here. (Not an affiliate or anything, I just bought mine here as well lol).

A while ago (early December ’18), I ordered this little bb off of StyleKorean (which is pretty much the only international site I trust at present, my experience with YesStyle was not ideal but I assume it’s because I live outside of the US). Anyway, MoonShot was having a sale and I got this and the MicroFit Setting Cushion ~ because Edward at some point had recommended one of the products from Moonshot but mostly because of the brand’s affiliation with BigBang (which was one of the first k-pop groups I got into).

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Ingredients:

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2,Ceresin, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Ozokerite, Diisostearyl Malate, Methyl Hydrogenated Rosinate, Microcrystalline Wax, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Phytosteryl/Isostearyl/Cetyl/Stearyl/Behenyl Dimer Dilinoleate,Polyethylene, Acetylated Sucrose Distearate, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Ceramide, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate.

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Review:

The lip balm doesn’t smell or taste of anything which is a big plus. It’s slightly greasy on application but absorbs pretty quickly, and it leaves your lips feeling soft. I’ve never felt a strong urge to constantly reapply like I have with a few other lip balms I’ve used in the past- however, it’s not very deeply hydrating, so for someone like me who has extremely dry lips that crack easily it’s not ideal. It’s fine for summer weather here in Bombay at least, but I don’t think it’s great for colder climates (if you have super dry lips). Other than that, it’s a pretty decent product (and apparently used by the members of BigBang! lol). I’d say it’s more of a novelty item that VIPs like me would enjoy owning- but if you’re looking for a serious, heavy-duty lip balm, I’d recommend the Lip Conditioner by Estee Lauder that you can find here (for Indian residents).

I’ve got so many more product reviews to share! I should really update more often hehe.

Acquiring Cooking Skills: Pancakes

The second post in my cooking adventures, this one is even less impressive than the first, since I don’t make the batter from scratch. All I’ll say is, God bless Betty Crocker. A true saviour for the culinarily challenged.

To be honest, though, it’s easy to make the batter, but to get the perfect looking pancakes was an actual challenge. They have to be perfectly round and just the right shade of golden brown to look appetizing- not to mention, its stupidly easy to burn the chocolate chips on these (I never have them with maple syrup because it may taste good but it is a sticky nightmare from hell I hope to never encounter again).

How I make these:-

You’ll need the mix, cold water, and some chocolate chips.

I normally add some of the powder to the bowl and pour in water and mix till it’s runny and slightly thin but not super watery (it should easily drip off the spoon but it should look opaque, follow the instructions on the package the first time to get an idea tbh- but it’s a pain to calculate the right quantity for one (1) pancake so I have figured out my own way to judge the right consistency lol.

Ok now the most important chocolate chip related tip – sprinkle them the moment you’ve poured the batter on the pan, and flip the pancake once the edges have set- if you wait for the centre to set your chocolate chips will get burnt and ugly, not to mention crispy (if you like them like that, though, then go for it- but otherwise- be warned) .

Anyway, that’s the end to this post. I shall continue to write about pointless stuff, lol.

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Here’s an aesthetically pleasing stock photo of pancakes. May mine look this beautiful someday.

 

Healthier Alternatives: Oatmeal with chocolate.

I’ve been visiting a dietician to improve my overall health for the last couple of months and she always encourages me to eat more vegetables and protein as opposed to carbs, so most of my food is a bit boring these days. So, I’ve been trying to see if I can make some tasty but “dietician approved™” foods. I’ll probably keep posting some of the things I make, regardless of how ridiculous(ly easy) some of these foods are and I shall also include the recipes for my own reference (in case I somehow forget to make it someday. Highly unlikely, but anyway.)

So, a couple of days ago, I experimented and came up with this recipe for the Oatmeal that will end your craving for baked goods containing chocolate! It works for me at least, and I’m not a fancy chef at all- I can barely cook- so the recipe is ridiculously simple.

Note: I did not photograph my creation as it isn’t the prettiest looking meal, or I haven’t learnt how to plate it well, so for now please make do with the stock images of the most vital ingredients.

Ingredients required: 

  • 1/2 a cup of Quakers Oats
  • Water, enough to cover the oats (or milk if you can digest it unlike me, but I have seen UK Chef Rosemary Shrager claim proper oats are made with water, so it was a relief to me lol)
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Sugar (to taste, really)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips (I just use about half a fistful)

Instructions:

Pour just enough water over the oats to cover it, and on high heat stir in some sugar. Continue to boil till they go gluggy/ sludge like. Take it off the heat and mix in half the quantity of chocolate chips so that the oats become a nice brown. Put it in a bowl and sprinkle the remainder of the chocolate so you get the melty bits while you eat.

Enjoy ~

I know this post is a bit ridiculous, but I have just begun to learn how to cook things so it’s still a little exciting to me. This is more like a recipe for kids, hopefully, I’ll gain enough skill for some fancier recipes in the future.

My Favourite (Mom) Vloggers.

I’ve gotten into watching mom vlogs. The “a day in the life” vlogs of these particular vloggers to me are very calming and it’s the kind of snuggle in the bed kind of content that I have been enjoying lately.

There are a lot of vloggers out there who do these kinds of vlogs but two in particular who’s videos I absolutely adore are Louise Pentland (ex. Sprinkle of Glitter) and Emma Conway (aka Brummymummyof2). They’re good friends too, so there’s many lovely collab videos to watch as well!

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Louise Pentland, being fabulous.

I’ve been watching Louise since around 2012 when Zoella was still a thing and her content back then was very very different. I moved away from the whole beauty guru content and started watching only vlogs, and more from j-vloggers and then the whole Korean side of youtube kind of dragged me in, so when I did find myself going back to English content I was surprised to see that Louise had kind of changed it up and I really enjoyed her new style of content (I have to say I kind of miss the SprinkleofChatter videos, but The Weekly I binge watch on the regular and The New Weekly I wait for every Sunday). I would recommend to anyone who likes watching casual, every day vlogs to check out her channel.

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Emma Conway.

Emma, I found out about thanks to Louise’s channel, and I have just started watching her videos (like, in the last week or so). I haven’t watched enough to have a strong opinion as I did with Louise, but their channels have a very similar vibe. You can check out Emma’s channel here.

Their videos come across as very “normal people like you and me” in a way, they don’t seem to have endless amounts of money to spend on luxury and designer goods (Poundland is featured in a few vlogs and it makes me wish I lived in the UK) – though luxury vloggers are fun to watch as well.

And that is it for this post! Do let me know if you end up checking out their channels, or if you’re already a viewer!

Book Review: Genki Kawamura’s If Cats Disappeared From The World.

What would you sacrifice for an extra day of life?

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The story follows a protagonist who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor that is terminal and how he lives out the last few days of his life. He is greeted by the devil – who is described as a person who looks like him but is the exact opposite of him, and the devil offers him a deal. For every object he decides to erase from the world, the devil grants him one more day of life. The protagonist then gets one last chance to enjoy that thing, before it’s gone from the world forever. The pattern continues throughout the book, he reminisces about fond memories while he’s enjoying the object for the last time and somewhat rekindles old relationships, in an effort to see if his life, while he did live it, left any sort of impact on the people who were once around him He did not live his life with any sort of passion, nor did he put any extraordinary effort into his relationships and making his feelings known. He just sort of went through life without putting any real thought into his actions, as though he didn’t quite accept that life could end at any moment. As the book progresses, the protagonist seems to cling on to life more so than he did earlier-  till he reaches a point where he accepts his fate- he cannot sacrifice anymore, and this is where the book closes. He tries one last time to salvage the one relationship that he can think to, but it is an open ending, as we don’t see any definite conclusion to that.

The book has been translated from Japanese (by Eric Selland) and I can’t help but feel like some of the nuance has been lost in translation. The language feels slightly odd, which may be a bit off-putting to some. Overall the book had a very Japanese vibe to it (of course lol) which you might enjoy if you enjoy works by authors like Murakami. The book was quite short, took me about an hour and a half to finish so it’s a nice read. It is kind of boring in a way, and definitely not something I’d be able to read again- but to each their own I suppose. I did quite enjoy it, it’s a nice read for a blah kind of day, suits a bit of a gloomy vibe. It’s not something I’d recommend to read on a happy sort of day for sure, especially if books affect your mood (I remember I was so upset after Wuthering Heights that I haven’t read it again even though I can’t recall any part of the story anymore).

Overall, I’d give this book a 6/10 rating. Not bad, but not the best either I suppose.

Book Review (first book of 2019): Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey In a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me about Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits

One of my resolutions for 2019 was beginning to read a lot more often, and to try different genres of books. So, when I came across this book I decided I’d give it a try. This seemed to have a vibe similar to Cordially Invited by Zoe Sugg, which got a lot of criticism online for being an absolutely worthless read (which I personally have no opinion on, as I haven’t read the book myself. But the concept is something I’d 100% get behind). I haven’t been a huge Reese Witherspoon fan, though Elle Woods is a true icon for all girls out there and I absolutely love Legally Blonde (& Cruel Intentions too but I preferred Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character to Reese’s) so I had no idea she had written a book. It has the cutest cover ever, and the images inside are gorgeous- at present, I have the e-book version cause I am not one to buy physical books but I think that this one, for me, would definitely be worth owning.

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The book itself is a mix of recipes, hosting tips, and the various experiences Reese has had in her lifetime. She looks back on how she grew up to be the person she is today, and the warmth with which she speaks of her childhood makes you feel nostalgic for your own. The overall vibe of this book and her style of writing is something hard to come across over the internet for the most part- it’s what I look for in bloggers/ YouTubers/ podcasters that I follow and it’s also what I wish to create with my content someday. This is the kind of book you’d enjoy reading either wrapped in blankets in bed or on a calm morning with a warm cup of tea. There are people who have claimed this book’s content (in so far as the recipes and other tips go) are hardly anything out of the ordinary and the author here is simply cashing in on her reputation, (this criticism seems to be similar to that received by Zoe Sugg as well- perhaps it is the genre of the book that seems to be inviting such reviews?), but I would strongly disagree. Perhaps for an American audience, who seem to be largely familiar with the way life is lived in the South, the book could fall under the “tell me something I don’t already know” category, but for a girl like me who has grown up in a country with a jarringly different culture- and in a big city as opposed to the countryside, this book fascinates me to no end.

The book’s main focus is Reese’s Southern upbringing, which incorporates a wide array of themes such as etiquette, home decor, cooking, hosting and just basic principles to live life by. She speaks of the things she was taught by her grandparents, her parents, her family and all the friends who surrounded her as she grew up. At no point during the book does she come off as anything but humble, the way it is written makes you feel like you’re being spoken to as opposed to reading really heavy prose. The book is light and is definitely more of a “feel good” kind of nonfiction book, which makes for a pretty good read. It is probably even better for people who enjoy cooking, given the nice collection of recipes in there.

Overall, I give this book a 9/10 rating, I really, really enjoyed reading this one.