It occurred to me yesterday, after thirteen months, that I should be thankful to have found a boyfriend who is not allergic to seafood :p

Imagine living in Singapore and not getting to try the world-famous crabs. What torture that must be.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Proactiv Revitalizing Toner

I just repurchased my fifth (or is it sixth?) bottle, so I guess a review is in order.

Like a lot of fellow desperate acne-plagued human beings, I gave the Proactiv "Combination Therapy" set a try, never mind that benzoyl peroxide products never ever work for me. Waking up everyday with a spanking new, gloriously inflamed pimple on your cheek heavily impairs your judgment. And EQ (but of course).

I actually went through two kits - that's 60 days worth - before I threw in the peroxide-bleached towel, and all I had to show for it was even more irritated and inflamed skin, and lots of leftover toner. It stayed in the back of my drawer for a while, until one day, I got bored, maybe, and decided to give it another shot. Thank goodness I did, because five (or six) bottles later, I'm still happily repurchasing.

Rainy Days and Mondays

Normally I hate the rain but it's something I have learned to accept after a year (already?!?) of suffering through Singapore's schizophrenic weather. I have been caught in the middle of a torrential downpour on my way to the office one too many times, and I always end up reporting for work with squish squish squishy shoes. Disgusting, I know. And bad news for my flats. So I had to do something about it, yes?

I prefer boots for rainy days, I really do, but I'm pasaway enough with the office attire as it is. So I went with the next best thing: Melissa shoes. My first pair was a disaster. I knew they were a bit too snug, but I fell in love with the color - a royal blue-black degrade that I have never seen before - and the sales assistant said they were supposed to be snug. Tssss. I promptly wore them the next day, and went home with blistered feet and a new pair of emergency, my-feet-are-about-to-die-so-I-just-bought-the-cheapest-I-could-find flats.

For my next pair I was a bit more careful. And I did my research. Did you know that Melissa shoes are so much cheaper in the Philippines? It was a test of patience (and how much people love me :p), but it's well worth it. Because lookie what I got!

Melissa x Jason Wu Ultragirl Lace flats. In the correct size, this time. Looooooooooove.

Dear Charles & Keith


Exhibit A:
Proenza-Schouler PS1 Keepall

Charles & Keith

Exhibit B:

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Charles & Keith

I know we can't help but be "inspired by" higher end brands, but lately, a visit to a Charles & Keith store is literally an exercise in "name that designer bag" - in particular you would find quite a number of Prada and Celine designs.

There's a fine line between being inspired (Birkin-esque) and being a copycat (Birkin knockoff) and lately Charles & Keith seems to be have crossed over into the latter. And to think I had such high hopes for this brand after LVMH acquisition. Sigh.

The One Thing I Hate...

... and will never ever purchase... is... Cetaphil!

I know Google has to make money to feed the hungry engineers (with gourmet meals, natch), and normally I don't mind the ads, but seeing this clip on almost every single YouTube video drives me into a seething mindless rage. Rage, I tell you. Most ads are distracting, true, but this is intrusive, and annoying, and repetitive, like campaign posters on election week. And to tell you the truth, I feel like it's something I have to suffer through just so I can watch a damn video, something I really want to be done and over with, and would you really want to associate your product with that feeling? Like now, I seriously am never going to buy Cetaphil. Ever.

Anyway, since we're on the subject of YouTube, let me just share one of my favorite channels, and no, it's not beauty related. It's called RRcherrypie, and a collection of videos about Japanese DIY stuff. If they started making videos when I was still in Japan, I probably wouldn't have developed a makeup addiction and instead focused my funds and energy into the most kawaii stuff that can only come from the Japanese. Like this Gummy Candy Tree that you have to build yourself before eating (which was what I was about to watch when I was rudely disturbed by the damn Cetaphil ad):

Coolest. Thing. Ever.
And they have more than a hundred other videos about similarly cute stuff. Oh, how to get my hands on these things...

Friday Favorites: Pocket for iOS

Pocket is the solution to my wish for a longer bus ride to work. And yes, I know that sounds crazy weird, but allow me to explain.

It all started with Pulse, a (free!) content aggregator app which collects the latest feeds from all your favorite websites and displays them in a nifty little grid - that's all the information you want, literally at the tip of your fingers.

Ever since this discovery I've made a habit of going through my feeds every morning on my way to work. Which was fine at first, but over time my subscriptions started to balloon, until my fifteen-minute bus ride was barely enough to skim through the headlines. Hence the wish for a longer bus ride. Arguably I could do the whole content consumption bit before going to work, but I'm dead sure sleep would trump it every single time. So what happens is I am forced to select only the most interesting bits and leave the rest to oblivion. Enter Pocket.

Friday Favorites: Coffee and Circle Lenses

Meet Tux, the fighter penguin.

Friday Favorites: Aspirin Mask

Just when I thought I had my skincare routine down pat, my skin decides to go nuts. I'm used to the occasional hormonal breakout on my T-zone, but when a pimple takes up residence on my cheeks, that's when I panic.

One of my favorite things to do to calm my skin down is the aspirin mask. I did this a lot when my skin first started breaking out like crazy (which heralded the start of my skincare and makeup obsession). It went into hiatus when I moved to Japan for a year because I didn't know how to get my hands on aspirin, and then I sort of forgot all about it.

But now it's back with a vengeance. It's extremely easy to do, and quite cheap too. You only need two things: aspirin and honey.

Top-rated Regrets

The proliferation of beauty forums and blogs and videos has definitely changed the way I shop. It's no longer enough that I find something pretty; a couple hundred girls from MakeupAlley, a dozen or so beauty bloggers, and my favorite YouTube gurus should give it a thumbs up as well. I'm sure this has managed to save me from more than one disastrous purchase, but sadly, beauty products remain a very personal thing, and what worked for a majority does not necessarily translate to good things for me.

So here are five top-rated products that I ended up regretting.

First Impressions: Kate Art Dial Mascara

Spotted this in Sasa yesterday, and it was just too intriguing to pass up on:

There are dozens of mascara wand innovations out on the market - oscillating wands, spiky torture balls - but this is the first one I've seen of its kind.

This Week's Obsession: White Collar

This was recommended to me during that one rare office lunchtime conversation that was not entirely devoted to Diablo, or Alien invasion vs Zombie apocalypse, or if levitation is possible for people with telekinesis. Hay, lunch with the boys.

There probably was a lengthy explanation of the plot and the premise and such, but all I needed to hear (and all I remembered, really) was "it stars Bryce Larkin from Chuck" and off I went.

This time around he's Neal Caffrey, a con man turned FBI consultant who can give Barney Stinson a run for his money in the suiting up department. He is also the only man in existence capable of pulling off a fedora. There are other characters, sure, but, well...

I rest my case. It took me two weekends to go through three seasons. If you haven't seen it yet, your timer starts now.