Books To Read

I love reading reviews on books so I decided to contribute by doing a post on books I read in 2019 and a small list of books I hope to finish in 2020!

  1. Dark in Death by JD Robb
  2. Leverage in Death by JD Robb
  3. Connections in Death by JD Robb
  4. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  5. China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
  6. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

I’m a huge fan of Nora Roberts and her in death series are a great way to pass time mindlessly. I love Oprah and everything that she stands for. You can read her book a million times and come away with a new life lesson each time. She’s so inspiring and there’s so much wisdom to be found in her book. I highly recommend you to read it if you haven’t already! This year I hope to set aside more time just to read though it’s already April and I’m only halfway through Anna Karenina and three quarters through The Rosie Project.

Books that I would like to finish in 2020:

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  3. Origin by Dan Brown
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  6. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

My goal is to read 2 classics a year! I just created a goodreads account to keep track of all the books I’ve read. You can check it out here if you like.

Tried and Tested Eye Creams

“Do we really need eye cream?” – Me, 24 with no wrinkles.

But I swear the moment I turned 25, all my lines, freckles and sun spots started showing. So let me list the ones I’ve tried and tested! (Disclaimer: I have dry and sensitive skin, but I’m lucky to not have developed any oil seeds/milia while trying some pretty rich eye creams)

1. SES Nano Eye Gel

This was my very first eye product so I had no basis of comparison. I thought it did a pretty decent job simply because I didn’t breakout. However, what I didn’t know was that it wasn’t moisturising enough for my dry dry skin. When I suddenly started flying more frequently, my eyelids was peeling because of how dry my skin was.

2. La Mer The Eye Concentrate

This came highly recommended by my colleagues and one of them had a 20% discount so I decided to give a try – I mean, anything to save my skin right? It felt and smelt so good to apply, it’s like a rich cream but is actually very light and was absorbed quickly. I think because my eyelids were already cracked and peeling, hence I felt some stinging sensation when I first started using it. I want to say I love it but I felt it still wasn’t moisturising enough for me especially when I’m constantly subjecting myself to harsh dry aircraft air. And for its price point, it was hard to make a repurchase.

3. This Works Light Time Open Eyes

I liked this because of the metal applicator. I love how soothing and refreshing it was to apply the eye cream with it. This was less moisturising than La Mer but more than SES.

4. Babor HSR Lifting Eye Cream

I chanced upon this German brand two years ago during one of my trips to Frankfurt. I had a friend with me who swears by this. So naturally I had to give it a try. And it’s still one of my favourite eye creams! It’s rich enough to be perfectly moisturising yet it absorbs quickly into the skin without clogging it. I also use it on my chin and in the crease of my nose as I tend to get dry and red there and it works like a charm.

These are all the eye creams I’ve tried since I was 25. Now that I’m turning 30, I might have to venture into trying out more anti aging products..

Moisturisers That Actually Result In Moist Skin

I don’t know if I’d be able to remember every single moisturiser I’ve tried because I might not be able to ever end this post, but I will definitely try! Some of products were gifted to me by a friend who’s a beauty writer, but most were purchased by myself through much research!

1. Banila Co Birds Nest Forever Young Multi Care Lifting Cream

This felt sticky when applying it but absorbed fairly quickly. Didn’t cause any breakouts and my skin didn’t look shiny. But I still felt a little dry even though I wasn’t travelling much at that time and was in Singapore’s humid climate.

2. Innisfree Green Tea Seed Cream

I used to swear by this and its corresponding serum till one day I was stuck in wintery Frankfurt and had no skincare other than this and its serum. I forgot my whole bag of skincare and somehow these two were packed in my makeup bag instead. I thought I was lucky but my face peeled so badly. They were clearly not moisturising enough even though I applied two layers of each to substitute all the other steps in my regime. Again, perhaps only suited for humid climates. It also didn’t irritate my sensitive skin so I’d give it a try again if I were based in SG or if I had normal to oily skin.

3. Minon Amino Moist Moist Barrier Cream

This cream absorbed really quickly and had no fragrance. It was lightweight but it provided adequate hydration. It did give me a bit of shine but I would still recommend for people staying in a humid climate.

4. Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream

I think they have an updated version of this already but I haven’t tried it. A lightweight gel cream that had a light fragrance to it but did not break me out. It takes quite awhile to absorb and though it does give the skin a dewy look, when I washed it off my skin still felt dry.

5. Mamonde Rose Water Gel Cream

Smelt like roses, absorbed okay, but I did get two pimples when testing this product. It didn’t wow me so I probably won’t give it a try again.

6. Clarins HydraQuench Cream

I can’t remember the exact line of products I was using from Clarins as it was 7-8 years ago but I remember not being impressed with the results even though I stuck to the brand for a year. Even had membership and all. During that time I was involved in a lot of outdoor activities though, so perhaps it contributed in the lack of results. Might give it a try again if anything well raved comes out.

7. AHC Ageless Real Eyecream For Face (7th Gen)

This is my current favourite moisturiser. I wear it under my makeup when I fly and even after a 20 hour flight, my face doesn’t crack! Yet, in Singapore, it isn’t overly rich and I can apply it as a day moisturiser though I do get shiny midday. I have also tried their 5th gen moisturiser, it it lighter than this and doesn’t perform as well, but good enough for a day cream.

8. Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream

I added this in the list because it’s marketed as a moisturiser but I used it as a spot treatment/lotion. This is simply because when used on its own, my skin became too dry. But my skin became softer and brighter when used together with a thicker moisturiser. It’s all about trial and error!

Sleeping Masks For Dry And Sensitive Skin

If you’re like me, I’m sure you’d have read many articles and blogs for tips and products to use. I used to be a skincare junkie, buying almost everything people (both on and offline) recommended. It didn’t help that my mother has naturally perfect skin so she didn’t really know how to deal with acne and the scarring that followed. She did give me one advice that I wish I listened to: Stop touching your face!! Instead, I tried everything a teenager strapped for cash could afford, namely drugstore pimple creams and cleansers, and even resorted to concealers. My mother, seeing how I was struggling, bought me a facial package which, till this day, I can’t decide whether it actually helped or made things worse. I did like the products that I bought from them, but their facials always left my face super red and blotchy that took weeks to clear up.

Eventually, as I did more research and read countless reviews (hello makeupalley!), and had more spending power to buy higher end products to try, my skin finally calmed down. I still tested many products but I did it gradually and one at a time to ensure it suited my skin type. I’d start with a little on my neck and if there were no adverse reactions the next day, I would slowly progress to a little on my cheek and my T zone before applying it on my whole face the following day. This has helped me find my holy grail skincare products that I can’t live without today.

Currently my main concerns are my scars, pigmentation and dry skin. My dry skin worsened after I started travelling more often for work. So I’m always on the lookout for hydrating and moisturising products. I shall start off with a few masks that I’ve tried with some successes and failures!

1. Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalising Mask

This has been my number one product for the past 4 years. It has never failed me. Every time I feel like my face is about to erupt in angry red bumps, I would slap this on and everything will be back to normal the next morning. Every time I feel like my face needs some extra hydration, I would slap this on and everything will be back to normal the next morning. Every time I’m too lazy/tired to do my usual skincare routine, I would just slap this on! I cannot recommend this overnight mask enough. It does have a faint ginseng/medicinal scent but it fades after awhile and has never bothered my very sensitive nose.

2. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

This was a huge letdown. Now you’d think what can go wrong with masks but although this felt and smelt so good to put on, it did nothing for my skin. My skin felt so dry in the morning as if I didn’t put on any moisturiser that night. I think if you have normal to oily skin, this would work well. But for people with dry skin, you’d need to find something more moisturising that this.

3. Fresh Rose Face Mask

I like Fresh’s packaging, it feels like a luxurious treat for your skin. However, this mask did irritate my skin slightly. It stung when I put it on and left my skin red after I washed it off though it faded the next morning. I love all their lip balms though. I’m about to try their Vitamin Nectar Glow Face Mask, will see how it goes.

4. Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Sleeping Mask

I would rate this mask between Sulwhasoo’s Overnight Vitalising Mask and Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask. It does provide adequate hydration and is soothing and gentle on the skin. A nice mask to have on hand for rotation.

5. My Beauty Diary Duo Brightening Black Pearl EX+

Finally a sheet mask! I used to use sheet masks religiously but because of work and age (read: lazy), I’ve been leaning more towards sleeping masks because you don’t have to wait to wash it off. So I maybe use sheet masks once a week or once in two weeks. I do plan to increase the frequency because I still have so many masks left untouched (hoarder alert!). This sheet mask promotes its deeply hydrating and intense brightening properties, and being an avid mask user, I’d say it does the job pretty well!

Road Tripping in Scotland and the UK

The loss of my honeymoon plans and our intended 2 week road trip in the States this year has me reminiscing about my past travels with Bill.

Slightly more than two years ago, we took three weeks off work and decided to explore Scotland and the UK. We went during winter because that’s Bill’s favourite season. I was surprised most of our days there were pretty sunny! Usually the weather can be overcast, windy and rainy, but it held up when we were there so #trulyblessed.

Our most memorable drive was when we drove up to Inverness. We stopped so many times along the way just to admire the scenery. Our 3 hour drive became close to 4 hours but we had so much talking and laughing like the best friends we are.

Apart from the glorious scenery, we found the most amazing airbnb in Edinburgh. It was cosy and spacious, clean and tidy, and our host Linda was the most lovely lady ever. We enjoyed ourselves immensely exploring Scotland with her place to call home. Those were really one of the best days of my life.

Every time I read the news and see how the pandemic is affecting the UK, my heart feels so heavy. I pray this will all be over soon. Stay safe everyone!

Top 7 Things You Need When Migrating To A Developing Country

I will be moving to Myanmar to be with my husband, Bill, soon and even though I still have a few more months (I hope!) to go before the big move, I have been researching and planning non stop about the things I would need to settle in as comfortably as possible.

I’m moving into his bedroom that is already furnished albeit like a bachelor’s pad, it greatly reduces the list of things to bring, though being a developing country, they have far fewer resources so the following are the things I can think of to help make the move as smooth as possible for me!

1. Skincare

I have sensitive dry skin so I only use tried and tested products that I know work for me such as Kiehls, Sulwhasoo and Babor. These brands aren’t readily available or are overpriced in Yangon. I also bought an organiser and it makes my bottles looks so appealing, really helps motivate me to put on my skincare every morning and night.

2. Clothes and Shoes

I know it seems stupid to add this but there’s a reason: in Singapore I usually wear shorts and slippers and summer clothes all year round. However, not only is Yangon a more conservative society, they have a cold spells that a girl like me from the tropics won’t be able to stand without proper clothing!

My parents-in-law are also more into appearances, not in a bad way, but different from how I usually am – no makeup and casual wear. So I have bought a few dressier heels and dresses to try and fit into their lives a little more 🙂

One of Yangon’s major export is textile, but their markets are mostly flooded with their traditional wear, longyi. Which is why I chose to get my stuff from Singapore first.

3. Portable charger and adaptors

I included adaptors for those of you who are moving to a place with different plugs but luckily for me, Yangon and Singapore are the same. Unluckily for me, Yangon’s electricity is volatile and unpredictable. So having a portable charger is a must!

4. Portable USB Fan

This is so small and convenient to bring around with you wherever you go. Just plug it into your phone and you have a brief respite from the many heatwaves Myanmar and the surrounding countries tend to experience.

5. Contact Lenses

I have really bad eyesight so my contact lenses can’t be bought over the counter and has to be ordered in advance. So I’m gonna be bringing at least 1 years worth to buy myself enough time to find a reliable optician there. It may be overkill, but I’m the queen of procrastination..

6. Medication

Now I don’t normally take medicine even when I’m feeling unwell or suffering from menstrual cramps/headache, because I don’t want to become reliant and believe in a more ‘holistic” approach and usually try to just get more rest and drink more water. However, occasionally when I do have to, this is where having my stash of medication around will come in handy.

7. Mosquito Repellent Device

Every time I’m in Myanmar, I always get covered in bites by the end of the trip DESPITE using mosquito repellent patches, mosquito coils and mosquito sprays. This time I will be bringing this item and hope like crazy it will work. I hate waking multiple times during the night to the annoying buzz of a mosquito hovering nearby waiting to suck the blood outta you!!

These are just some of the things I can think of for now. Might update with more items closer to the move!

New beginnings!

Hello! I actually wanted to start this off with my move to Myanmar but as Covid-19 has postponed my plans by who knows how long, I shall document my planning process instead. I’ve been given the gift of time!

I’m moving to Myanmar to be with my husband, Bill and we will be staying with his parents. Their house is big enough for us to have our own en suite bedroom far enough to be private. I’m really looking forward to moving in and decorating our space to make it look more cosy and less bachelor pad-ish haha.

Bill and I have been together for 9 years now and have been married almost a year. Due to the nature of my job which requires me to travel quite a bit and his business being based in Myanmar, we have experienced LDR during the course of our relationship. However the longest we’ve ever been apart was 2 months and now, because of Covid-19, we’ve been apart for more than 3 months now : ( Can’t wait for things to get better.