5 Things You’ll Need In Your Makeup Stash For Halloween

Halloween is an exciting day for kids because they’re going to receive lots of candies; as for adults, we can look forward to dressing up in the most flamboyant way, without being judged. There are going to be tons of makeup tutorials giving you ideas and teaching you how you can pull off different creative looks this Halloween, and I’m sure you already have your favourite YouTubers to get this covered for you. So I thought I’d just share some essentials that you can start stocking up now to achieve the Halloween makeup that you will be wearing on 31 October.

1. Ultra black eyeliner

vampire-makeup

Whether it is to dress up as a zombie, a vampire, or a witch, ultra black eyeliner to either create dark under eye circles or the goth look, is a must. Besides using it to line your eyes, eyeliners are also very useful for creating motifs such as fake tattoos, cracked lines, stitches, or scars on your skin.

Tip: To make sure your eye makeup last longer, layer some black eyeshadow powder on top of black cream eyeliner.

2. White face powder

Cracked-Porcelain

White face powder may not be a staple in your usual makeup routine, but when it comes to Halloween makeup, white – yes, sheet white – face powder is super useful! Use it for looks like the dead geisha, porcelain doll, or zombie.

Tip: For a more convincing look, you’ll probably need to powder up your neck area too.

3. Bronzer

cat halloween

Contouring is an important technique particularly for Halloween makeup in order to give your face more definition or to emphasise your cheekbones (so you look more gaunt). It can also help you create the face shape that you’d like to achieve to look more like the character you’re dressing up as.

Tip: The bronzing powder that you pick should come in a shade that’s approximately two shades darker than your actual skin tone, so that the blending will look more seamless.

4. Faux blood

halloween blood

The most fun part of Halloween makeup? Blood! Even if you aren’t very creative, you can simply do the makeup that you’re used to doing every day, and then smear blood all over to achieve a gory, scary look.

Tip: Allow the faux blood to drip naturally to get a more realistic look.

5. Glitter

glitter zip halloween

If you find (faux) blood too gory, you can consider investing in glitter for a odd but glamorous look. The above image, for instance, shows you how you can replace where it is usually blood, with glitter, to give a more futuristic touch. The above example looks like an alien that’s wearing human skin. Very neat!

Tip: Be more generous with your glitter application because it’s definitely going to come off throughout the day as you perspire.

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Enough about Bro Code. Here are my proposed Girl Code rules!

You probably know what “Bro Code” refers to: a set of rules or etiquette to follow if you’re a guy, towards your other guy friends (aka your “bros”). Some of the Bro Code rules I’ve heard include: Never date your bro’s ex-girlfriend, and never tell your bro’s girlfriend what nasty things he did last night.

I think girlfriends ought to have a set of rules that governs their friendships too. I don’t know if there are any “official” ones going around, but these are what I think should be in the Girl Code. Feel free to let me know if you think there are any other ones!

1. Your girl pal’s current boyfriend’s exes and her exes’ new girlfriends are never as good as her


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2. Discreetly let your girl pal know about the vegetable that’s stuck between her teeth as soon as you see it. This rule also extends to mascara smudges and lip stains on the teeth. Like, when this happens:

 

Like, when this happens.

 

3. “Like” all her selfies. (Unless she’s posting too excessively, then tell her privately to stop.) Tap “like” all the way, like this:

 

Just keep tapping "like".


4. Don’t ever get pissed off at her and not tell her why, thinking that “she should know it what“. (She’s not your boyfriend! Then again, you shouldn’t be doing this to your boyfriend!) I mean, like this:

 

mad-at-you


5. Ex-boyfriends are off-limits.

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6. Be happy for her successes and let her have a moment. For example, if she says: “I’m getting a promotion!”, the response should be “Congrats! You deserve it because you work so hard! Tell me about the new role!” and not “Sigh, I wonder when my boss will ever appreciate what I do…” (and spend the next one hour talking about your work woes)

 

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7. If you stop hanging out because you started dating, and even if you meet, he’s the only one you ever talk about? STAHP.

 

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8. Take care of her when she’s drunk and make sure she’s not in danger. (Although I’d even say, you should stop her from drinking before she gets pissed drunk.)

 

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9. Don’t ever harbour the thought of up-staging her at her own wedding. You’ll have your day!

 

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10. Be honest at the changing room. Don’t ever allow her to buy something you know look horrible on her.

 

hell no

 Any other rules you think we should add?

Selfies Are Not That Bad. Here’s When I Think They’re Good

Selfie: A word that didn’t exist until recent years (it only made its way to Oxford Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Dictionary in 2014) and is a big part of so many people’s lives these days.

I won’t call myself a selfie-fanatic, but I can see why people are hooked on them. We used to rely on others to take a photo for us, and the chances of it turning out as a good one is probably 50:50. Now, with the help of front-cameras and flip screens, we are able to see ourselves and snap a picture according to what we think look good enough to be immortalised as a photo (that we ultimately post onto social media). Another up side? Unlike getting someone else to take a photo for us, we can snap as many photos as we like, without frustrating the photographer.

First selfie I took after I finished my chemotherapy treatments. I had been very self-conscious about having no hair, brows and lashes, so I haven't taken photos for a long time before this.

First selfie I took after I finished my chemotherapy treatments. I had been very self-conscious about having no hair, brows and lashes, so I haven’t taken photos for a long time before this. Here, I wore a wig, drew on my brows, and wore eyeliner to conceal the missing lashes, and stepped out of the house for the first time, on a “first date” with my husband after the storm.

While selfies, like Justin Bieber, may be the biggest thing of the decade as far as Millenials are concerned, they also have a bad name for being synonymous with egoism and narcissism.

I admit duck-faces annoy me, and humble-braggarts – those that post a random selfie with a caption that says: 3 people asked if I were a celebrity today – make me mad. I am also not appreciative of Facebook albums that are made up of nothing but 100 photos of you making faces at the camera in the same room, on the same day. But selfies aren’t always bad, and these are when I think they’re great:

1. They serve as a motivator

Fitspo (short for fitsporation) that are posted as a record of your fitness or weight loss journey don’t just inspire others, but more importantly, help you to keep on track. Because you feel more pressured into showing progress and keeping to the regime, it makes you more motivated to work hard at the gym. What’s not okay, though: gym images with full-on makeup; just so you know, exercising with makeup destroys your skin.

2. They are an ice-breaker

Most people wouldn’t believe this, but I am really shy with strangers, and have to try very hard to warm up to them. However, when someone says “Hey, let’s take a selfie!” at appropriate times, it immediately breaks the ice. After all, huddling just to fit into the frame and laughing over the attempt to get as many people as possible in the picture makes for some good interactions. What’s more, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask for your new friends’ Instagram handle or to make Facebook friend requests afterwards!

3. They are a good momento

taiwan selfie

Breakfast at a beautiful hotel we checked into at Taroko Gorges in Taiwan. This was taken during my post-chemo celebratory trip with my brother, and is a “selfie with a story” for me.

I’m not talking about the 100 photos that you took in your room, but those that truly record the events you want to remember, like your best friend’s 30th birthday party or your proposal. Now that we are all armed with smartphones with front cameras, it makes life easier for solo travellers who might want to get a photo of a beautiful moment with themselves in it. After all, what’s the point of snapping a photo of only Eiffel Tower when you can probably find thousands of them on Google images? But hey, none has you in it, so that’s unique!

Too Lazy To Wear Eyeshadow So I Invest In Lipsticks Instead

I know I’ve made a resolution to wear eyeshadow more frequently this year, but somehow this just didn’t work out that well. Instead, I find myself wearing lipstick more often – it’s a much easier way to jazz up makeup, without committing as much time, effort and money, compared to eye makeup, I think!

Call it makeup porn, but one of my favourite things to do these days is to browse Instagram or Pinterest, looking new lip colours I can add to my growing lipstick collection. I’ve been seeing lots of photos taken by the beauty community, showing off their Stila lip products (especially the liquid lipstick!) and I just can’t get my mind off them.

There was a time I got tired of pink lipsticks, but somehow my preference towards them seems to be returning. I imagine this to go well with a frilly dress:

Stila 4

And this in coral shade melts my heart! While I have a huge lipstick collection, I don’t think I’ve had anything that’s in the coral shade yet. I’ve seen some of my friends wearing this shade and I thought that it looks very flattering on Asian skin tone and makes skin look brighter and more rosier.

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Some people may find this an overkill, but I absolutely love purple lipsticks. Like the red lipstick, it adds a glam factor to makeup, yet it’s not as cliched as red – you know what I mean? It’s surprisingly not that hard to pull off also. As long as you make sure that your brows are properly filled in.

Stila 2

And finally, classic red!

Stila 3

More than sharing with you, I’m actually taking these as my personal “tear sheets” to add to my wish list. Hahaha!

I’m actually thinking of hitting Sephora soon (there’s just no time to go anywhere with so many things lined up in my schedule), and then I realise that Stila makeup is sold online too. So I might not have to head out after all!

Which colour do you think I should put at the top of my wish list?

Not All Cancer Patients Have The Same Inspiring Story

Part of my job requires me to keep up with news of all kinds. And whenever I update myself with health news, it’s easy to notice that there’s news on the topic of cancer every day, whether it is about a new development in treating it, or about cancer prevention. More often than not, I’ll also see inspiring stories of survivors (or patients who are preparing for their death).

I notice a trend in these stories. It’s always about how the patient is a (usually young) person with a bright future, and how cancer struck in an unexpected way, how the patient and the family grieve, but eventually saw the positive in the negative, persevered through the tough treatments, and finally came out of it strong. And regardless whether the patient survives, there’s a silver lining behind the dark cloud.

Why are all the stories such a cliche?

Because inspiring stories sell. Everyone loves a pauper-to-prince story, and about how good triumph over evil. And so, everyone wants to hear how a tragedy happens to someone, and how he/she bravely overcomes it.

Can you imagine this story being published: Rachel has cancer, no insurance coverage, and no family members to take care of her. Because she has been a nasty and grouchy person, she has no friends too. When she fell ill, she became nastier and grouchier. She died after a long period of painful chemotherapy, with no one by her death bed.

In the end, patients are expected to look strong

No thanks to such “expectations”, patients are supposed to be brave and strong. There are many dark sides to fighting cancer that people may not have seen. I find it too cruel to share the horrible side that I stopped updating my social media about my illness. It’s too cruel to the social media audience, mind you – not to me. After all, what they want to hear is that I’m fighting a strong and brave fight. They want to make comments like: Kristen, you’re so strong and brave! Good luck! You’re going to get better! I’m going to pray for you! (Disclaimer: I appreciate well-wishers, really. And honestly, I can tell if you mean it or not. I may not call you out, but I know it. So, genuine well-wishers, I’m not referring to you.)

And what they want to hear in reply: I will! I can get better! Thanks for your prayers! I feel better already!

But guess what – this doesn’t always happen. I don’t always feel like a warrior. I don’t always want to share with you how I am really feeling right now (usually, in pain, afraid that I may die, lying in bed weakly). Sometimes, I may just want to sob quietly by the bed, asking God why it has to be me.

I didn’t feel like replying your Facebook comments to me and then find the strength to also look at your travel photos, food photos, and baby photos on the same platform, because these are luxuries that I may not be able to enjoy anymore.

Everyone wants to hear a good story especially after the fight is over

Even after the fight is over, and you’re officially a “survivor”, everyone expects a good story. I think the term “survivor” is so loaded, people put their own perceived value to it. You’re a cancer survivor, so you must have an inspiring story to share.

We held a small gathering shortly after I was given the “all clear” by the doctors. Some of Keith’s friends whom I hardly know came by.

I was asked questions like: How did God touch your life during that period? Do you feel like cancer has made you a better person? Share about how you overcome the pain! (Not verbatim, but definitely to the same effect.)

Now, I need to clarify that I was indeed very close to God when I was going through the treatments, and the ordeal made me and my family more prayerful. And because of the closer relationship with God, I’ve understood Jesus’ passionate love in a more “real” way, having experienced physical (and emotional) suffering, and this makes me want to be a better Christian (and in effect, a better person).

The issue I have is: I think I’ve been very lucky and I don’t think my experience can be taken to be a representation of many cancer patients out there. I have been extremely privileged because my parents, being self-employed, were able to take care of me very closely, I have a close group of girlfriends who supported me, my new husband did not run away out of fear and is also a faithful Christian, and many of my church friends supported me through prayers. There are many other privileges I have received when I was fighting cancer (that I may share another time), which helped me to weather through this darkest period of my life.

But these are not privileges that every patient will go through, I believe. And I find it absolutely presumptuous to ask a cancer survivor to share the positive parts of her/his ordeal, as if it were a given that the experience has to be positive, and that the survivor must have an inspiring story to tell.

Why do you want to hear stories anyway?

Is it because you want to feel better about yourself? Like, man, I feel good now to know that I’m better off than so many people. Or is it like, wow, this story makes for a good one to share with my friends the next time we are contemplating about life!

You know people who are racist stereotype a particular race and form a specific opinion about them, right? Thinking that all cancer survivors must share a common trait (such as, having inspiring stories to share), is a similar form of bias.

I have a lot of inspiring stories to share. But they aren’t all accumulated during the time I fought cancer. God has touched my life not just when I was fighting cancer, but also when I’m not fighting cancer. And the time I fought cancer comes with a lot of ugly stories too, just so you know. If you want to hear the good stories, you got to accept the ugly ones too, but I’m not sure if everyone wants to hear them.

udders-pancake-review10

Udders Isn’t Just Great At Ice-Cream, It’s A Champion In Pancakes Too

I’ve visited Udders along Upper Thomson Road many times (because it’s near to where I used to stay before I got married, so it is a usual haunt for supper) and have noticed that they started selling pancakes some time ago. However, I’ve never ordered it; somehow I felt that a brand that’s known for great ice-cream can’t do well in pancakes, y’know, like how you expect someone who can speak good English to not be able to speak good Mandarin too?

(I’m making this analogy despite the fact that I’m effectively bilingual. So, yes, please mark the irony.)

This is until I moved to the west and started going to the Bukit Timah area (near Beauty World) for supper instead. There’s an Udders Ice Cream outlet there that I visit with my West-side friends, and I noticed that it also has a new Udders Pancakes outlet next to it now. My first thought: Wow, so, they’re quite serious about this pancake business huh?

Still, I didn’t visit it, because, y’know… a brand that’s known for great ice-cream can’t possibly… yada yada… yup, thanks for completing the sentence for me.

This is until Udders invited me to The Udder Pancake for dinner (with the promise of ice-cream too) that I gave it a shot.

The Udder Pancake cute interior

Similar to Udders Ice Cream, which has a very cheeky brand image (notice their staff wearing t-shirts that say “Ice-cream is better than _ _ _” or “Don’t be selfish, think of Udders”?), The Udder Pancake has lots of playful design within the shop that I can’t help but go through each of them and taking a picture of them. These are some of my favourite (and let’s see if you get the joke):

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udders-pancake-review5   udders-pancake-review2 udders-pancake-review

And the cute design isn’t just restricted to the shop, but in the toilet as well. This is in the gents (I, erm… got special permission to enter…) and if you press the button, you’ll hear whistling.

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Besides the “In case of…” installations, the furniture are interesting as well:

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The above is not a real rock, by the way. When you’re there, look for this “rock seat” and touch it. It’s really amazing.

Some of the tables also come with adorable displays like this:

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Review of The Udder Pancake food

The very generous Udders ordered A LOT of food for Keith and me so that we can try as much dishes as possible.

This is the Honey-glazed Herbed Chicken (S$14.90).

udders-pancake-review12

 

 

I’d say that this is perhaps the safest choice in the menu, and is a crowd-pleaser. The chicken is slightly charred but gives a very flavourful “BBQ” taste. It’s marinated very thoroughly and is served with honey mustard sauce that goes well with both the chicken and the pancakes.

We also had the Tequila-fired Seafood Pot (S$18.90), which we thought was a very interesting combination for pancakes. I’ve never had pancakes with seafood, ever.

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The pot of seafood may be small, but the garlic sauce is creamy and rich, and it came with really good quality, fresh seafood, including greenback mussels, prawns and scallops, seared with tequila. The sauce went surprisingly well with the pancakes, and I’d love to have some bread to dip it with.

The Salmon, Crab & Caviar Egg Benedict (S$16.90 for half stack, S$24.90 for full stack) sound like a decadent treat and this is now my favourite style of egg benedict. The generous layer of crab coupled with the creamy pouched-egg-plus-hollandaise sauce are a party in the mouth, and the caviar gives it a much-appreciated texture, making the dish a very wholesome and delectable dish. This is my personal favourite.

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And this is a close second for me (but Keith’s favourite): the Pulled Pork Egg Benedict (S$12.90 for half stack, S$17.90 for full stack). The seasoning for the pulled pork was excellent – savoury with just the right amount of sweetness. Similarly, it wasn’t a combination that we really expected, but they go very well together.

udders-pancake-review11

 

I must also mention that, alone, the pancakes were a treat too. If you remember how McGriddles tasted like… well, these Udder pancakes tasted almost the same, but without the maple syrup sweetness. They’re crispy on the circumference, but very fluffy on the inner part. I would have been satisfied with eating it plain, actually – but of course, there’s no way I would have said no to the other combinations.

Besides the pancakes, check out their drinks selections too. The Elderflower Gummy Bears, for instance, makes for a really cute drink that’s very Instagram-worthy.

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Recently, The Udder Pancake has also launched two new fries selections: Mentaiko (S$9.90) and Salted Egg (S$9.90).

 

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They also have perennial favourites like Truffle Fries.

I’ve gone back again just one month after this tasting and brought friends along this time because I really enjoyed the food. The next time you’re thinking of having ice-cream at Udders, consider hopping over a little earlier for lunch or dinner instead (and then have ice-cream after that).

The Udder Pancake is located at 17 Lor Kilat. They’re opened:

Mon – Thurs (12pm – 11pm), Fri (12pm – 12am), Sat (11am – 12am) and Sun (11am – 11pm). On eves of public holidays, they’re opened till 12mn and on public holidays, they open at 11am. In other words, they’re opened EVERY DAY. See The Udder Pancake full menu by clicking here.

I Want To Take Better Care Of My Body Skin!

I spend almost 20 minutes per day on skincare: cleanser, toner, eye cream, serum, moisturiser, and a facial mask a few times a week.

And the amount of time I spent on my body skin? Zilch.

I recently went on a trip to Taiwan and checked myself in a hotel with an en-suite onsen. Thanks to this facility, I indulge in a bath two times a day – before I leave the hotel in the morning and after I get back from the day’s activities. What I noticed was that my body skin became reaaaaally smooth. My body skin tends to be dry and on certain parts, a little flaky. So, with the results yielded, I must say that I liked it!

As such, one of my new resolutions (I don’t care if it’s already four months into 2015!) is to take better care of my body skin.

The body care ritual I’m intending to commit to

bubble-bath

The body skin isn’t that much different from the facial skin, if you think about it. It deserves the same kind of care ritual! This is what I’m intending to commit to:

1. Shower Gel aka Cleanse
2. Body Scrub aka Exfoliate
3. Body Butter aka Moisturise
4. Body Mist aka Moisturise on-the-go
5. Foot scrub aka Exfoliate
6. Foot moisturiser aka Moisturise

I’m currently using a shower gel from Crabtree & Evelyn’s Somerset Meadow collection and it doesn’t just smell wonderful, and is very, very moisturising as well. I alternate between an Yves Rocher scrub and a Soap and Glory scrub. I’m intending to look into getting more body care products from Soap and Glory because I really like how they smell. The fun and cheeky packaging is irresistible too.

P/S: I’ll also be sharing more about my Taiwan trip. I had a blast!

Share with me! How do you take care of your body skin? What products do you use?