things i love

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: Letters of Note

http://www.lettersofnote.com/

I discovered Letters of Note a few years back. Compiled by a man named Shaun Usher, it’s a blog that features an ongoing, eclectic collection of written correspondence from the past. Featuring snarky missives to love letters to fan mail from the famous, infamous, and never famous, the blog itself is a beautiful love note to the dying art of pen on paper.

In this age of email and texting (& tweets & snaps), it’s good for us to be reminded of the beauty, charm, and power of the written word. More than a few times, I was blown away by the eloquence of these writers, most of them normal man or woman like you and me. At other times, I’m either crying or laughing out loud when reading these correspondence. No matter the tone, each letter featured is precious because it evokes something in readers and gives you a glimpse of a moment in time.

My only regret reading this blog is that I probably won’t ever receive these kind of letters in my mailbox, not in this lifetime.

P.S. He also came out with 2 books. You can buy both on Amazon here and here.

 

Things I Love: Left-Handed Guys

Isn’t it strange? I’ve always had a weakness for lefties. Obviously, I’m not attracted to all the left-handed guys in the world but choose between a hot righty and an equally hot lefty? Lefty wins…for absolutely no good reason lol. I just find the way lefties write really sexy. Please don’t ask me why!!

Anyway, we all have weird turn-ons. What’s yours?

P.S. I’m ambidextrous 🙂

Things I Love: Ferrero Rocher

I cannot even begin to describe my lifelong love for Ferrero Rocher!!! I love it, I love it, I freakin love it. I’m not a person that craves chocolate, but Ferrero Rocher is its own food group as far as I’m concerned. Popular opinion is on my side too, just look at this chart below:

To me, Ferrero Rocher is the perfect gold nugget of chocolate hazelnut goodness. It’s not overwhelmingly chocolate-ty, which I love. According to Wikipedia, Ferrero Rocher consists of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut chocolate and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts. AKA PERFECTION!!

Anyway, I love Ferrero Rocher. It’s the best chocolate in the world. Coming in at a distant second is Kinder Bueno (chocolate bar made of crispy wafer + hazelnut filling). Can you tell? I love hazelnut 🙂

 

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)

My Nighttime Skin Routine

I’m pretty experimental with skincare. There are products that I’ve tried and love, but I’m still always on the lookout for new stuff. Why? I can’t help it….I’m a beauty junkie! Another reason is because I think my skin gets too used to ingredients, so it’s good to switch up products periodically. Having said that, most skincare products do take time to deliver maximum efficacy results. Therefore, it’s still important to be patient and have a routine. Without further ado, here’s my daily night routine:

STEP 1: CLEANSING OIL

credit: youbeauty.com

If I’m wearing makeup, I first use CLEANSING OIL to remove all my makeup. There are so many cleansing oils out there but my favorite is, of course, DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil. Lately, I’ve been using Innisfree’s Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil (3.5 out of 5 stars, it’s not bad but sometimes it doesn’t remove all my eye makeup). I’ve also tried Sephora’s Supreme Cleansing Oil (3 out of 5 stars, too oily and leaves a film). I have 2 friends who swear by Tatcha’s Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, but it’s too $$$$ for me. A lot of people have recommended Shu Uemura cleansing oils to me…so maybe I’ll try that next!

STEP 2: CLEANSING WATER / MICELLAR WATER

If I’m not wearing makeup, then I skip straight to step 2, which is MICELLAR WATER. Cleansing/Micellar water is popular everywhere now, but it used to be a beauty secret of the French. See, French women don’t use water to wash their face because they believe water is too harsh (I can attest to this. I lived in Paris and the water there is hard aka has lots of calcium and magnesium – which makes your hair look sexy af but can be harsh on skin). So anyway, French women love their thermal water sprays and micellar water. They use the latter to remove makeup, cleanse, and tone. The cult favourite micellar water on the market is probably Bioderma Sensibio H2O. Personally, I’m using Bioderma Sébium H2O, which is aimed for oily/spot-prone skin. I actually don’t have oily skin but I prefer the Sébium version over the one for sensitive skin. I apply the cleansing water on a cotton pad and then swipe it over my face. Easy peasy. There are a ton of effective micellar waters at different price points. You know my preference of course but an alternative recommendation is Koh-Gen-Do’s Cleansing Spa Water – my best friend swears by it.

STEP 3: CLEANSING MILK

Step 3: Ok you probably think I’m cleansing my face too much but after micellar water, I usually wash my face again with CLEANSING MILK. I use La Roche-Posay’s Toleriane Dermo-Nettoyant. If you prefer the squeaky clean feeling after washing for your face, this product is not for you. The texture is fluid and milky and it leaves behind a creamy film. It also doesn’t wash off your makeup so you need to use a makeup remover before this. Cleansing milk clearly isn’t for everyone but personally, I love the creamy/milky feeling and I think it leaves my skin soft and plump. To each her own!

P.S. If I feel like I’m about to break out (I sometimes get hormonal chin acne before my period), I switch immédiatement to a sulfur face wash. Mine is prescribed by a dermatologist. It is the ONLY thing that works and I swear by it. It may be smelly but I’ll take it over having spots.

STEP 4: TONER

Confession: I used to follow the Korean 10 step routine but then, I got too lazy. I can’t commit to double-cleansing, exfoliating, toning, putting on essence, serum/booster/ampoule, sheet mask, eye cream, and moisturizer every day. I can’t. I mean, I can’t even remember all the steps! These days, I exfoliate and do a sheet mask 1x or 2x a week. After cleansing milk (step 3), I use a TONER. Right now, I’m using Etude House’s Wonder Pore Freshner. I like this product a lot but honestly, I haven’t tried other toners in recent years because I’ve been trying to finish this 500ml bottle for the last 3 years. It literally lasts forever.

STEP 5: VITAMIN C SERUM

This is a recent development but I just started incorporating VITAMIN C SERUM to my nighttime skincare routine. It supposedly helps produce collagen, repair signs of aging, fades dark spots, & brightens skin. I bought a random bottle (Brand: Measurable Difference) from the skincare aisle at Ross (lol), so I’m no expert. My friend mentioned that Drunken Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum is good so check that out. Anyway, I drop some vit C on my fingertips, warm the serum up and rubbing my fingertips together, and dot it on my face. I focus particularly on my cheeks where I have some indented scars. I also slather it generously on my nose because my facialist said it helps with tightening pores. It has been about 1 week since I started using this serum, but I think the pores on my nose already look smaller. I can’t tell if my scars are getting better but topical creams usually can’t do much…so I’m not holding my breath.

STEP 6: RETINOL

This is also a recent addition – RETINOLS! Retinol works great on wrinkles, enlarged pores, scars, etc. I use the A313 Vitamin A pommade (replacement product for Avibon, which was discontinued).

So, I didn’t realize until I was putting this list together but I apparently use a lot of French and Korean/Japanese products lol.

STEP 7: MOISTURIZER

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. I use Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrè. Ahhh it’s my favorite. It’s rich and just sinks into your skin. It is also amazing as a daytime moisturizer because it acts as a good primer. If you have dry, flaky skin – this product is a godsend! It soothes over your skin so your makeup won’t flake.

STEP 8: EYE CREAM

People always advise to start using EYE CREAM early. I totally should have listened. I’m really forgetful with eye cream, which is dumb because I have dark eye circles and really bad allergies…so I rub my eyes a lot (a big no-no because the skin around your eyes is so delicate). If I remember to dab eye cream on (with my ring finger), I use Avène PhysioLift Eyes. I actually don’t like the product, but it’s the only one I own right now. I find the formula too heavy and not moisturizing at all. I’ll have to look for a new product soon. Any reccos?

STEP 9: LIP BALM

Last but not least, lips. I have big lips and they are almost always chapped. I’ve tried about a million LIP BALMS and usually nothing works. People swear by NUXE Rêve de Mie but I don’t think it works on me…maybe I need to use it for an extended period of time. Right now, I use a La Roche-Posay Nutritic lip balm stick. At night, I’m putting Homeoplasmine (an all-purpose ointment and all-around French pharmacie staple) on my lips right now. Happy to report it seems to be working so far. My lips are not chapped!!

So that concludes my nighttime skincare regime. What’s your skincare routine 🙂 ?