August 26, 2016

Life Lately #03

I meant to update on my Life Lately few weeks back but I figured there wasn't enough content to talk about so I've been pushing things back.....until now. But really, if you want to see bits of my daily life, Instagram has kindly do me a favor introducing Instastory so please follow me on Instagram @HanieKuar *shameless self promote here* to see what I do in college, projects I'm working on and random food pictures. Also because posting pictures of food takeouts on my blog is just really boring.

Thanks to Instastory, I've migrated from Snapchat lol. It's too much of a hassle to handle 2 social media accounts which now has similar functions.

First life lately update I would like to talk about is that I've finally got my PASTEL PINK HAIR! I started lightening my hair since December last year and after many round of bleaching, a little trial and error along the way, I finally got that pastel fuwa-fuwa cotton candy pink hair. ❤ I started documenting various stages of my hair colour since I started this Life Lately thing so you can check out the previous post (#01, #02) to see my progress. Or if you would like to know more about how I got my hair colour and how I maintain it leave me a comment~!

I dyed it slightly darker than what I want before I return to Singapore so that it will fade into the lightness I want it to be. It's the third week now and it has faded way beyond that into a salmon pink shade, which I don't dislike, but I'm planning to touch up my hair soon lol. Pastel hair is really hard to achieve and I try to wash my hair less often because every time I wash it my heart aches a little. It's like that magical feeling is slowly being washed away into the drain. :'(

Secondly, which I'm pretty sure you saw that coming is Pokemon Go! It's true how this game manages to make someone who stays indoor most of the time to get outside, walk and have a new found purpose to visit the park right beside the place she resides in which she hasn't do so for the past year living there. All thanks to the cluster of 4 PokeStops constantly available with lure modules and a Gym! :D

I've only reach Level 20 so far because I ran out of phone data a week ago so I couldn't play the game or level up. I've joined team Mystic because who doesn't love Articuno lol. Although I have a soft spot for Instinct players because Spark is cute but I'm sorry Valor players, I'll constantly be hunting down your gyms. I've caught 97 and seen 98 pokemons so far which I'm pretty proud of since I'm way past the halfway point! My latest addition was a Lapras with 131cp, but I don't mind as long as I can catch 'em all! :D

I've been really into the game lately but not crazy to the point where I'd run for a Snorlax or a Dragonite. If they happen to appear then I guess that's my luck hehe~ Talking about luck, I've been really bad with egg hatching. I got so many Weedle and even got a flopping Magikarp greeting me. My only 10km egg so far got me a Dratini which is like everywhere at where I stay. D: I've sort of given up on getting surprises through egg hatching and rely solely on pokemons that decides to pop up to fill my pokedex, so please be kind to me~

Making: Hats for my minor class... which I'm not very good at :/
Wanting: The latest One Piece Burning Blood game, or at least someone who has it so I can play
Watching: One Piece, Danganronpa, Mob Psycho 100, Macross Delta
Playing: Pokemon Go!
Listening: I've been into Wagakki Band and cute electronic music lately.
Reading: Blogs that inspires me. Chai, Kaila, Ashley
Wishing: That my term break will be work free so I can go home for a week.
Enjoying: Painting my nails ^^
Waiting: For a tiny package of the first Youtuber merchandise I've ever purchased.
Liking: How my classes starts later than previous semesters
Loving: The comfort of being alone
Hoping: That life gets a little more positive and exciting...
Needing: Family warmth
Wearing: Pajamas as I'm drafting this post in my bed past midnight.
Noticing: How amazing Japan did for the closing ceremony of Rio Olympics.
Knowing: This semester I'll be busy doing photoshoots.
Bookmarking: Articles and websites for my projects
Thinking: It's way past my usual bedtime.
Feeling: Depressed(?)

Here comes the text heavy part... which was what actually prompted me to write this post. If you've been reading my blog since I started years ago when I was still a teenager, you would've known that I used to have these sudden emotion surge then wrote down huge chunk of texts rambling on and on. However as I grow older I became less willing to share these sort of things online and started shutting people out because I hate all the drama circulating around and how people judge me based on a few picture and some texts I posted online. The essence of those posts makes me cringe so badly once I tried to reread them but they are still somewhere on this blog because they are what made me who I am, but please do not start digging them out I beg you. D:

I was reading Kaila's blog while commuting to school this morning and I was really inspired by how she's sharing all these positive things in her life even when there might be negative things. Perhaps what I'm about to say is nothing positive, but at least you know that I got the courage to share personal thoughts from her and that this blog, to me, is more than a lifestyle/beauty/photography blog.

*moves over to my bed to continue writing*

So it's been a month since I'm back to Singapore and I can't say that things have been that exciting at all. I don't have much problems with the projects so far so that's a positive thing, and I wish that I can continue talking on this train of positivity but I can't. First of all, I was away for 3 months from Singapore and during the holiday I pretty much cut off 90% from my contacts in Singapore. It wasn't a bad thing because I needed a break from the constant phone buzzing from group chats which I can't relate to as people discuss about weekday and weekend plans...until when it was time to return to Singapore and I realised while briefly scrolling through the hundreds of messages that there were quite a number of new contacts being added into the group. Sounds as if it's no big deal here but it is when you happen to be socially awkward and have the toughest time meeting new people. I would rather give a speech to a huge audience than meeting new people, doing awkward self-intro and deal with small talks. So I worried and worried and put off plan arrangements and tried my best to avoid that slight chance of colliding into new people in this island of Singapore, although I know eventually I can't avoid it all so I came to face the truth. What happens next you asked? I had the most awkward time ever because no one formally introduced me to who these new people are and everyone was already chatting gleefully. Times like this I thank the people who created smart phone and Pokemon Go because it helps people like me to have an excuse to stare at my phone while having dinner in a group to avoid eye contacts.

I like to keep myself alone although that's not healthy but I feel a little more joy when I'm away from dealing with people. When I go out I like to just plug in my earphones and create the illusion of a personal space (it also helps me to avoid sales person) because it looks as if I've blocked out the sounds around me when I'm not playing music on my phone at all. I don't even know when I started to shut myself out like this and the only time when I feel comfortable opening up my thoughts is when I can have a 1 to 1 conversation. But half the time people don't know how to really respond to me either. Does these bottled up thoughts and feelings of mine baffles them? I often wonder as I await their respond. Not that I expect them to give me a solid response either because at times I have a hard time figuring things out in my mind, and that even I feel like I don't fully understand them, so perhaps God is the only one who does.

I always feel that I'm different, weird and do not fit in.

Talk about fitting in, not that I really want to do that, but I want to feel a little more comfortable with the environment around me. But it just does not seems as easily as I hope it will be. When I first moved over to Singapore to study, my parents laid their hopes on me getting a PR here in Singapore. I wanted to do that for them, seeing that my perspective back then was still as if 'the grass is greener on the other side'. But slowly after a year I started learning how life really is over here. How families don't have meals together, the materialistic side of the society, how it is known for it's Kiasuness (which means hate to lose) and other things here and there... I lost taste for the lifestyle here although it's a wonderfully planned and architectured country. It's just isn't what I am looking for and many times I am reminded of how I wish I can finish my purpose here and take my leave.

This last year of diploma has been getting tougher for me money wise, as the projects that are introduced are costing me more and more 'material fees'. Most of my classmates have no problem with the figures in their bank account but I do. Surely I can ask for more money from my parents but knowing how tight their financial status are it makes me feel terrible when I have to ask them for money. I've been trying to cut down the cost of my meals to around $10 per day and having 1-2 proper meals a day. It's especially tough since the place I rent does not allow me to cook so I can only eat out and that already cost more than cooking a meal. Oh wait, the difference might not be as great since the food prices here are much more expensive anyways. And how I hate whenever a Singaporean goes 'Let's go over to Johor to eat good food and pamper ourselves up because it's much cheaper than Singapore!' I get that you are excited and I thank you for contributing to our economy but please refrain from ever saying that in my face when you don't know how my personal financial status is.

Back to how my school is costing me so much money, I do wonder at times, are there options of getting an education without spending so much money on 'material fees' just to graduate and claim myself a diploma certificate? I'm surrounded by many classmates who would buy the latest iphone, macbook, clothes, makeup and shoes because of so many excuses. I don't even dare to say out loud that I've not purchased a single clothing item for myself in the past 4 months. I've not travelled overseas during the holiday and neither would I carelessly spend my parents' money just because it's not mine when I go on vacation with them. (Like wth do people get this kind of mentality?! Parents are your family and as a family we share things we have, so think of their money as yours too!) I am taught to keep my items in good condition, I don't change my phone until it starts malfunctioning and not that 'my phone contract expired so let's change a new phone', 'I need a macbook because I'm a designer' and the list goes on and on. I love having new things too, just saying. On the bright side though, I am more motivated to be creative using what I have and spending the least amount of money to achieve decent results.

If you read all the way here, thank you for doing so. I don't really expect anyone to read it though, since the pictures at the top of this post might be much much more interesting that what goes on after them. Honestly I am afraid that my friends and acquaintances would be reading this too but I'm betting on their short attention span and just scroll through this huge text and decided that they will return to scrolling their Facebook feed which is more flashy and interesting. I included this in my Life Lately post because it is what it is and I can't think of a separate blog post title for this. So again, thanks for reading and I shall end the post here today. :')
August 5, 2016

July Beauty Hauls

Hello there~! It's been a long while, a very long one if I am to emphasize, since I've done a beauty update here on my blog. Many times I just don't have enough things to talk about so I'd put off writing a blog post about it over and over again. I was back in Kuala Lumpur for about 3 months and I emptied up a fair amount of products back home so the next day after I was back in Singapore I went shopping for beauty products. Most of the things here are products which I had repurchased so I thought it'll be fun to talk about them! :D

From left to right: Hada Labo's Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion, Etude House Play 101 Pencil #1, Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, Etude House True Relief Moist Mist Toner (Sample packaging)

My skin condition recently changed from combination skin to dry skin. Since I was about to use up my previous skin care products, I wanted to try something that would suit my skin condition better and Hada Labo was sold at promotion set of cleanser and toner I bought it right away. The brand is known for its skin moisturising benefits and it works great on my skin right now. The other skin care product I got here is the Moist Mist Toner which is a freebie when I shopped at Etude House. I don't usually use mist so I can't say much about it, but so far the product has been alright on my skin. I only wish that the spray nozzle would spread out the product more evenly.

Next, I've got the Etude House Play 101 Pencil which is my second repurchase already. I love how easily the product glides on as I tightline my eyes and it doesn't dry out unlike other pencil eyeliners I've tried before. The only thing you need to take note is that you need to make sure you set your eye makeup well or it might smudge after long hours. Another one of my favourite product is Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, which I think is already my 5th repurchase. I've tried to switch to another brand to 'try something new' but I miss this product so much that I immediately bought it back once I was done with the other brand. I love this so much and it's an essential in my daily makeup routine as it holds curl nicely and I feel like my eyelashes look amazing haha!

Left: Etude House Precious Mineral MAGIC Any Cushion refill in Peach. Right: Etude House Pure Water Baobab Moist Cream (Sample Packaging)

It's my first time trying out both these products. I usually don't use foundation for daily makeup but my skin condition got rather bad when I was back in Malaysia, in fact every time I go back my skin just start breaking out. :( Since school was starting soon, I needed some base makeup to help me look better so I got this Any Cushion in Peach. I used to dislike Etude House's base makeup because they have this grey cast but I think the formula has improved so it looks much better now. The only thing I dislike though, is the dewy skin thing most Korean products have. I find myself spending more time to set my base makeup to get rid of that dewy, sticky feeling. :/ As for the Pure Water Baobab Moist Cream, it moisturises and gets absorbed into my skin really well so I'm thinking of getting it once I use up my current moisturiser.

I stocked up on these Innisfree face mask when I went back to Malaysia as they are slightly cheaper back there compared to Singapore. I love these face mask so much and shared it with Chai and she loves it too. Face mask are always like a treat to me and I used them to reward myself after long tiring days. I know there's the toning white C sample pack which I've omitted, but that's because I got it as a gift and I've yet to try it. Does anyone know if it's good? Are there any products that I can try out next time? :D
August 2, 2016

Interview with designer and daydreamer Gilda Su

Last semester I had the opportunity to work with Singapore designer Gilda Su, who runs the label RÊVASSEUR and is the co-owner of SUPERSPACE fashion concept store for my school project. It was really cool to talk to her, understand her viewpoints and I got to photograph her as well. I personally love the outcome of the booklet I made for this project and I totally enjoyed working with her style.

Interview text at the end of this post.

'Hi, nice to meet you! Would you excuse me for 5 minutes as I get my makeup done?' she said it in a cheerful tone as we met. Fashion designer, concept store owner and self proclaimed 'daydreamer', Gilda sat down to chat about her inspirations, insights on the fashion industry in Singapore as well as her future plans.

How would you describe your style? I’d say that I’m colourful and loud. I like prints too so I mix these elements together which end up looking quite whimsical. I like wearing my own designs and live my brand. Who are the people who inspire you? What do you like about them? My style icons are Iris Apfel, Anna Piaggi and Isabella Blow. They dress in their individual styles and they don’t follow trends. I respect them as I don’t like how people change their way of dressing because someone tells them to. Your brand, RÊVASSEUR means ‘daydreamer’ in French. How significant is the phrase to you? 'RÊVASSEUR' has a negative connotation to the word 'daydreamer'. Back in school I liked to daydream but the teachers did not like that. I named my brand based on my experiences which have become an encouragement to me. Has being a fashion designer your childhood dream? Not really. I wanted to be a vet yet I have always been interested in arts and craft. I only wanted to be in fashion when I was around 17. How do you start creating a collection? I keep a folder of things that interest me. When I’m working on it, if something doesn’t feel right, I would drop it if a bigger inspiration comes along. Which is your favourite collection? What do you like about it? My first collection is my favourite as it speaks true to my brand’s roots. It is what I imagined my brand would be when it started, before people started clouding me with opinions like "Do you think that sells?". Who do you wish will be wearing your designs one day? It doesn’t matter, although when celebrities wear them it helps with the brand awareness. I am more than happy when I see a normal person wearing it on the streets. You have previously shown your collections at Seoul Fashion Week. Comparing Seoul Fashion Week and Singapore Fashion Week, what are your overall thoughts? Seoul Fashion Week is heavily supported by their government and 90 percent of the participants are Korean designers and models. On the other hand, Singapore Fashion Week does not showcase that many Singapore labels, and often pays for top tier international designers to do a recycled showcase in Singapore. Maybe that's what the audience wants, but we have to start educating them if we want to support local. How do you picture the future of your label? I can't foresee the future but I dream big.SUPERSPACE is a fashion concept store established through collaborated effort, how important is it in the long run? We have different personalities and abilities but we work out what is best for our common goal. How did you decide on which label to bring into SUPERSPACE? It’s not easy supporting the cult labels and emerging designers so they need to have commercial value. It’s based on what we like and what brings a different angle to the shop. You have recently signed a licensing deal with Disney, how did that come about? I met Disney last year at Blueprint and they already knew about my brand and were looking for a Singapore designer to collaborate with. Do you mind dropping some hints on the collection? There will be 2 collections. The first one is based on Minnie Mouse, but it includes all the original characters. Separately, I will be doing a collection based on Alice in Wonderland for the upcoming movie. Knowing how huge of a Disney fan you are, how does the term ‘A dream is a wish you heart makes’ sounds to you? It's definitely a dream come true! I've always loved Disney since I was a child, so I'm excited to work with them now as a designer.

Photography. Interview. Editing by Hanie Kuar.