shopping

Things I Love: Charles & Keith Strappy Open-Toe Sandals

So the story goes – I was in Dubai and forgot to pack sensible summer shoes. But luckily, if there’s any city in the world that takes shopping mall seriously, it’s Dubai. Thus, armed with a singular mission, I went to the Dubai Mall to find me some sandals.

In the massive black hole that is the Dubai Mall, I found a store called Charles & Keith. C&K is a ladies footwear and accessories brand founded in Singapore. Yeah I’ve never heard of them either. But I went in because their store gave up off a pretty expensive and classy vibe. And even better, the prices were more than reasonable!

Having ONE pair of great-fitting and great-looking sandals is better than buying cute but shitty-quality sandals over and over again. I learned the hard way; it’s all about quality over quantity! After perusing the store, I decided to invest in a pair of classic black sandals. Here they are below:

 

And it’s been one of my best buys ever. The sandals are not only classic and versatile, they are so comfortable and sturdy. My feet never hurts in them! I believe I paid $70 USD but now that I’m looking at the website (it only ships to Singapore, sorry), they are listed as $50 Singaporean Dollars, aka $37 USD. Um what the hell? I paid almost double…

But regardless, I still think it’s worth it. So that’s my protip for the day: save your money for one beautiful item rather than waste your money on cheap stuff. It’s just economical sense!

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Things I Love: Haribo Cola Gummi Candy

Haribo Gummi Candy, Happy-Cola, 5-Ounce BagI’ve spoken at length about my devotion to Marks & Spencer’s fruit gums. So if you can’t tell, I love gummy candies and one of the best in market has got to be Haribo’s Happy Cola Gummy Candy. It really is the perfect combination – coca cola and gummy candy. I happen to love both.

Each individual gummy in the bag is shaped like a coke bottle. For the most part, the texture is nice and chewy unless you get a rogue hard piece. The coke flavour is also very nice. I’m a fan fan fan.

Haribo Gummi Candy, Fizzy Cola, 5-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)

But did you know it can get even better? Haribo also came out with Fizzy Cola. It’s exactly like the original, except with an added sour, sweet, tangy coating.

Fuckin delicious. Excuse my language.

 

Things I Love: Canvas Tote Bags

credit: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/jolie-peche/item/e9/

I love a fancy handbag but canvas bags are just tried and true, you know? I often find myself reaching for my canvas tote over other bags when I run errands, hop on the metro, go to the coffee shop, etc. It’s practical and fits everything. Also, they add a certain insouciance to your look. In Paris, to look like a cool girl, wear cropped jeans, leather jacket, Adidas sneakers, then throw a canvas bag over your shoulder. And voila, you chic chaton !

There’re so many styles and colours of canvas bags, but my favourite is the natural colour. I think it’s super important to find a good quality one that lasts for years. I’ve had many canvas bags that just snapped after a few use…just hateful. The one I use now is one I bought from Stumper & Fielding in London (107 Portobello Road) many years back. It’s of superb quality and at a very reasonable price! Go visit their store if you’re in London! (it’s a men’s clothing store FYI)

Things I Love: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

I’m obsessed with Korean skincare (and makeup). I know I’m generalizing but many Korean ladies (and gents) really know their stuff and are METICULOUS with their massive multi-step skincare routine. Spas, massages, facials, dermatologist appointments, treatments, etc. are just part of their weekly routine. Not to mention…plastic surgery! South Korea is plastic surgery capital of the world.

I half-admire their society’s commitment to looking young and beautiful. I say half-admire because annyeong I too want to look like a gorgeously dewy poreless k-drama actress or k-pop idol. But living in a society where looks are everything is incredibly tough. Appearance matters in most societies, but it’s especially true in East Asian cultures. I say this as an East Asian who grew up in both the East and West. I’d concede that physical beauty is prized everywhere in the world. But in my opinion, one of the more positive things about living in a Western society is that there’s more breadth in terms of beauty ideals (I’m not saying today’s Western beauty ideals are any better, just that there’s more diversity). I find the East Asia’s conception of beauty ideal to be quite narrow (and somewhat unrealistic). I’m wrongly lumping all Eastern cultures together but in general, for women, the trend is to look young, natural, have milky-white smooth skin, double-eyelids, big eyes, small nose, and a slim, oval face.

And fight me on this, but East Asian guys can get away with not looking “traditionally handsome” as long as they’re je-ne-sais-quoi charming, have a high nose bridge, and are above 180 cm. Can we say double standards?? I’m not dismissing that there’s an unfair global prejudice against short men, but nevertheless, it’s still harder to be a woman. Anyway, I think this rigid female beauty standard has extended to the rest of the continent, particularly Southeast Asia. On one hand, as an Asian, I admire the asian-nification and rise of Korean influence on beauty and culture. On the other hand, it’s always hard to look like something you are not naturally. In Asia, is this modern Eastern beauty ideal an improvement over the near-unattainable Caucasian beauty ideal of yesteryears? Or is it merely another incarnation of the latter?

I don’t really know.

I also want to point out that in Asia, people tend to be more openly judgmental and vocal about your looks. Body shaming? It happens. A stranger auntie (stranger danger!) on the street would feel entitled to tell you you’re fat. Let’s just say the body positive movement has not made it to most of Asia. In S. Korea, you have to submit a headshot with your job application and your looks are absolutely judged – just like any of your other qualifications. As an aside, you also have to include your headshot in your CV in France…but my French mentor in HR told me it’s so they can put a face to the application (uh-huhhh sure).

Pretty people in general are at advantage in life. It’s a fact and I’m not bitter about it. You can’t help being born beautiful, just like you can’t help being born smart. It is the hand you are dealt in this life. I just hope that for the sake of our younger generation, we expand the definition of what it means to be beautiful.

Sorry for my long ass ramble lol. Now back to my regular programming….I wanted to talk about Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask. I ♥ this product!! Getting enough sleep is still the best way to achieving good skin, but if you don’t get enough sleep, have no fear, there’s Laneige water sleeping mask!!

I use this about twice a week; you apply the gel on your face and leave it overnight and rinse in the morning. I don’t know what’s in this product but whatever it is, it’s 100% pure magic. Your skin looks and feels moisturized and revitalized, as if you got 20 hours of beauty rest.

You can buy it online here. In the U.S., Laneige was carried at select Targets, but I think they’re moving out of that distribution and into Sephora! Stay tuned.

 

Things I Love: MUJI 0.25mm Gel-Ink Hexagonal Ballpoint Pen

These pens are what I call affordable luxury. Not all of us can afford a Montblanc or S.T. Dupont, yours truly humbly included. So these Muji pens are the next best thing IMO.

I’ve been using these 0.25mm gel-ink pens for a few years now and it was love-at-first-write. The tip is super fine and the ink comes out really nicely. Somehow, even if you normally have shitty handwriting, your handwriting becomes crisp and awesome when you write with these pens. I swear.

Tip: don’t leave these pens lying around, because people will steal them!

You can buy them on Amazon or at Muji stores. Happy writing.