Monthly Archives: January 2011

Inspiration for the New Year

Though I know that some of you are crazily doing your last minute shopping (as I will be) these last few days, don’t forget to have fun with it! Instead of buying something you “kinda” like, make the extra effort to find something you really like – it helps to make an inspiration board online on various sites such as Quirkychic’s favourite Polyvore before you go out, so you know what to look out for, cutting down on both your browsing time + $$ spent. Of course, do EXPERIMENT! with looks you’ve been aching to pull off. A confident, happy you paints the perfect picture of the young, successful person that you are.

see featured items here

Here’s my inspiration board for shopping this chinese new year – shades of orange + red, opi nail colours, ruffles! and rabbit-themed accessories :) I also dyed my hair deep red to match the occasion.

It’s important to not only feel good in your new clothes, but also look good in them. Here are some tips while you’re rushing in and out of the dressing room:

  1. stand perfectly straight & slowly squat down. are your curves still lovingly flattered? or are they horribly emphasized in ugly ways?
  2. now stand profile and if you’re not wearing heels (but plan to for your visiting), stand on tiptoe and note how well or how badly your butt is accentuated
  3. also note if panty lines/bra lines are visible and take care to wear the appropriate ones during your visiting
  4. look straight at the mirror and bend down as if you’re bending over a table to get more food. Is your cleavage overly exposed?

Yup! So those are my tips for the new year! Happy visiting :)

Baked Eyeshadow

When I first heard of “baked eyeshadow”, I was instantly curious. What did it mean? I envisioned people putting makeup pigments together and baking them in the oven lol! But as it turns out, Baked Eyeshadow simply means that its compounds were “baked” together in the sun. Undeniably, they look really pretty as most are marbled, with at least 2 colours swirled within the compound.

Recently I purchased several Baked Eyeshadows from Ulta for their buy 2 get 2 free promotion – however, Ulta.com kinda screwed up and sent me 4 of the exact same eyeshadows, in Drama. At least it was a pretty colour! I absolutely love the teal and marine blue – they’re both colours I’ve been thinking would go well with my outfits, but somehow I’ve never been able to find them at the makeup counters at affordable prices.

Unlike conventional eyeshadows, Baked Eyeshadows can be applied dry or wet – Dry for a sheer application, and Wet for a deeper, more vibrant colour. Here’s my side by side swatches of it dry and wet (I just added water to the “dry” swatch to ensure a fair comparison + less wastage of product)

Certainly, when wet, the eyeshadows have a greater depth and also look bolder. However, I love the eyeshadows dry for a day time look, they go gorgeously well with my grey-toned outfits. Plus, it also struck me that those who love transitioning from day to night would love baked eyeshadows. Just pat on some water onto your eyelids and voila! Your muted day eye makeup transforms to a vibrant night makeup look! (I actually tried that and it works, haha.)

Reading reviews from ulta.com, many use the dark blue as a liner and the sea green as an eyeshadow. However, I decided to just swirl everything together and put it on my eyelid. Notice the gorgeous shimmer! NYX Eyeshadow base was used with this swatch. Pardon me for the messy application, I did it freehand without a mirror :)

When applying these eyeshadows wet, it is important not to swipe your eyeshadow brush over the colours. Instead, pat lightly to get the pigments out. However, unlike loose pigments, baked eyeshadow is much neater.

Quirkychic will be giving away 3 of these baked eyeshadows in Drama to celebrate the Chinese New Year period! :) Simply click here to find out how to redeem one :)

Brolly Goodness

With the heavy rains over this weekend, my bf’s beloved “Monsterbrella” as we term it so affectionately, finally upped and died right after it sacrificed itself to protect us from the rain. Why “Monsterbrella?” you ask. Well, basically it’s a compact umbrella that’s huge, about 1.5 times the length of a normal umbrella, and it shelters 2 people comfortably. Very awesome. So we went Monsterbrella shopping! Whilst we were doing so, I saw quite a few cute umbrellas retailing at our local stores – and I don’t mean just the Disney, kiddy kind. These were nicely patterned (of course some looked like fake-Burberry) umbrellas that looked gorgeous as a backdrop for its carrier. I think that the effect a pretty umbrella has on its carrier is sometimes forgotten, but get one with a pattern that flatters any outfit and it will be effortlessly chic for any outfit you pick!

Scratching your head for inspiration? I sourced from lookbook.nu and got inspired :)

It really depends on what effect you’re after, but a good brolly can be used as a complementary backdrop or as a bold, eye-catching addition to your outfit. It’s certainly much more preferable than having a brolly with an ugly clashing pattern or colour that doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing at all.

see details of featured items here

Of course, buying that perfect brolly is also dependent on your personal style as well, and I found it quite intriguing as I explored the archives of polyvore for brolly inspiration from a mix of high-street and casual style stores. These days, brollies aren’t just the sacrificial piece of polyester that separates one from the rain. It’s also a personal statement about how you envision your personal style, and for some, what rainy days mean to you.

Moreover, umbrellas these days are becoming increasingly bag-friendly, with some coming in lightweight bottles that are not only easy to tote around, but also look good on their own, whether they’re sitting on the shelf as part of the decor (on non-rainy days) or on your office desk, ready to do their duty once the rain starts

So even in the rainy weather, don’t despair that your favourite pair of shoes is getting wet, or that it’s impractical to wear that new white dress of yours. Breathe in the glorious cool air and debut your brolly to the world :)

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothin’ seems to fit
Those raindrops are fallin’ on my head, they keep fallin’

So I just did me some talkin’ to the sun
And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done
Sleepin’ on the job
Those raindrops are fallin’ on my head, they keep fallin’

But there’s one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me won’t defeat me
It won’t be long till happiness steps up to greet me

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red
Cryin’s not for me
Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’
Because I’m free
Nothin’s worryin’ me

 

Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore

I’ve been hooked on this programme called Junior Masterchef Australia which is basically a TV show that features kids from ages 8-12 and we see them vying for the title of Masterchef Australia. It is simply appalling how at such a tender age, they can cook up a storm and make things as complicated as a Baklava or fish cakes in Thai sauce.

They seriously put me to shame. The only thing I know how to make is Maggi Mee! Anyhow, seeing all this delicious food on TV made me crave for Italian food (I think it was the seafood episode) and that’s how I ended up at Pasta Fresca.

I haven’t been to Pasta Fresca in years mainly because the parking at Siglap is just way too complicated (there are so little parking lots available) but today I got lucky. I got to park right outside the restaurant so I waltzed in without getting wet (it was raining quite heavily). And to my pleasant surprise, the decor hasn’t changed very much. That sense of nostalgia hit me when I saw those little murals on the wall and the draped fabric off the ceiling.

The place was pretty crowded cos it was dinner time but we were promptly attended to. Here’s what we ordered:

On the left, we have tomato soup with prawns, clams, mussels and squid and on the right, we have al fungi angel hair cream pasta

I would have ordered a pasta myself but I was down with the flu so I didn’t have much of an appetite. The soup turned out to be quite filling though because it came with two slices of garlic bread. I actually enjoyed my meal very much. The tomato soup was flavorful and you could really taste the pureed tomato. Yet, it wasn’t overwhelmingly sour. The squid pieces were chewy but not tough and they gave a hearty amount of clams, mussels and prawns. Really good quality Italian food for a Singapore-based restaurant.

The pasta was pretty yummy as well. They gave a generous amount of pasta so much so that my bf couldn’t finish it and I liked the bits of asparagus (not something you see with al fungi). But the thing with cream pasta is that you can get quite tired of it easily because it is so rich so it’s a good thing we shared.

And now for the highlight of the evening…

Tiramisu

Despite being ill, I couldn’t say no to tiramisu. I am a dessert freak and it would be an absolute sin to go to an Italian restaurant and pass up on dessert. And by golly, this was totally worth it. I would give up eating pineapple tarts this whole CNY (and you know how I love my pineapple tarts!) just to recover from this baby. That’s how good this is. It had the perfect balance of coffee, liquor and cream. It was so light and fluffy… ahh words escape me. It was just such a dream. Like heaven in my mouth. No regrets whatsoever (though I think my cough got worse but nothing some ninja paper cow aka nin jom pi pa gao can’t cure).

After dinner, I went crazy shopping! See what I bought under cut!

Read the rest of this entry

My week in a post

It feels like such a long time since I’ve blogged (when in actual fact, it’s only been a couple of days) and I’ve really come to miss this space! And so please forgive me for my verbal diarrhoea as I try to sum up the events that took place over the past week.

It’s time to reflect and consolidate!!

OK my week started off with a geography fieldtrip to Chinatown where we were taught how to observe sights, sounds and happenings and draw conclusions from them. You know, I never thought that Singapore would be a place to conduct geog fieldtrips cos we haven’t got much nature per se (everything’s manmade. Even our beaches) but as it turns out, there’s still lots to learn especially where human geography is concerned.

Being the cat lover that I am, I took lots of cat photos.

ScreenshotPhotos taken using Instagram

We then proceeded to Changi Beach where we got down and dirty and measured the beach profile and collected sand samples (which we later brought back to the lab to conduct some tests and came up with some very interesting findings!) You can see photos of my geography fieldtrips here.

For a literature assignment, we had to plan a learning journey which is something like a self-directed fieldtrip where students are given a package of instructions and worksheets and they conduct the fieldtrip on their own. Sounds easy? Well you cannot imagine the amount of work that goes into planning a fieldtrip. We had hours and hours of meetings (usually 6 hours at a go) where we literally camped in the library and talked through our ideas.

The fun part? The recce. And since our fieldtrip was going to be held at Changi Airport, my group trooped down to the east and scoured the airport, snapping photos of anything that might be useful. We were so engrossed in our planning that we missed the last train back to Joo Koon!

Witness the sad, abandoned faces (Embellishments courtesy of doodle booth!)

But I am proud and relieved to say that after two weeks of madness, our hard work finally paid off cos I am OFFICIALLY done with that crazy-ass mega assignment (all 27 pages of it)! A great weight has finally been lifted from my shoulders and I am (momentarily) FREE!!!

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The OCD in me just had to categorize everything alphabetically

 

This cost me many sleepless nights but it is all worth it!

And what is the icing on top of the cake? Finally going home over the weekend and catching up with my family! And I had my first lo hay for Chinese New Year at Xin Cuisine!

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Sng siblings

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Huat ah!

So despite my long trying week, there is a silver lining to every cloud, a rainbow after every thunderstorm! YAY! What’s more, next week is gonna be a uber short week cos of CNY! HURRAY!! I can’t hardly wait!

Movie Review: It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

Craig!

What were you planning to do with your bike hon?

I don’t care about my bike… I’m – I’m killing myself.

But we paid a lot of money for the bike son, all we ask is that you take good care of it.

Sometimes I pick up movies from the store without paying much attention to what it’s about. I’m in a hurry, I want to mindlessly chill for an hour or so, the title looked good.

To sum it up in one word, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story is about one thing – Stress. From all aspects of your life, in ways that you could, could’ve and couldn’t have imagined, and how inept you, or your family or well, mostly you… can’t deal with it.

How do you express something in words you can’t formulate?

The film revolves around Craig Gilner – the almost genius, the almost human being who’s kinda there but not really there and he really doesn’t know how things happened overnight. somehow, he’s never ever catching up.

I appreciated how well thought out the script was. there was no over-the-top dramatics of the psychiatric patients. Rather, they were more humane than the other “normal” human beings out there.

Do you think I’m gross-looking?

We don’t all need to be perfect, not as the world dictates, and sometimes it’s easier to breathe when you have your own imaginary world to escape to.

I’m running the risk of giving a full movie spoiler here so I’ll just stop and end with my favourite quote from the movie:

If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying – Bob Dylan (singer)

Tong Tong Friendship Store

With Chinese New Year right around the corner, it’s just the right excuse for us to shop for new clothes and shoes! I dunno about you, but I find that CNY is the only time where I can wear a cheongsam or a qi pao without anyone looking at me funny (the other ‘sanctioned’ occasion being Racial Harmony Day). Sadly, many good tailors and seamstresses have now gone out of business and it’s hard to find a well-made cheongsam anymore (same goes for sarong kebaya. If I wanted one tailored in Singapore it is gonna take weeks and it’ll cost a bomb).

And so, we have no choice but to settle for departmental store brands with standard sizing. Or not. Somewhere along Beach Road lies a quaint little shop called Tong Tong Friendship Store that takes stereotypical Chinese clothing and puts a modern twist to it. The concept is described to be “light hearted and quietly quirky but always with a respectful nod to tradition.” Now that’s something I would love to see. The intermingling of Chinese culture with the Western aesthetic.

I mean, just look at the quirky site!

Fun and colorful interface

And most importantly, the gorgeous clothes. My choice pick is this turquoise polka dot top. It looks so lightweight and sunny and I think it’ll look absolutely fab with jeans.

The shop is also known to make traditional cheongsams with modern materials and fabrics. I like this one over here because the combination of the chinese collar and the western pleated skirt in that shade of nude and champagne looks romantic and wayyy more figure flattering than a regular cheongsam. I love how these pieces are so suitable for the occasion without having to scream hey, I’m a walking red lantern!

Another awesome highlight is their collection of brooches. Not many people wear brooches anymore except the older generation (at least my grandma still does) and Tong Tong is trying to redefine the brooch, making it more chic for the younger generation. The result? The use of acrylic instead of gold/silver.

I personally like the side profile of the girl. It reminds me of those portrait thingums you purchase at Universal Studios. And I can imagine wearing this with many plain tops or to pin it on a blazer. But since we are going all out for CNY, I think this panda is so appropriate! Not only is it tres chic but it is oh so cute!

And this range is but a sample. Check out the actual store of wider pickings. I definitely am!

Tong Tong Friendship Store is located at 100 Beach Road #01-04/05 Shaw Towers. Tel: 63963887. Opening hours: Mon-Sat 12-8pm, Sun 12-5pm, closed on Public Holidays

Sally Hansen Nail Appliques!

With my recent nail hauls, I’ve strictly abstained from any nail counters and racks to preserve the cash in my wallet, but right now I’m itching to get to the nearest Watsons to check out if they’ve brought in Sally Hanson Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips – the latest release from Sally Hansen that promises great convenience with the prettiest of nail art.

Aren’t they pretty?? I absolutely love the idea of these, and as reviewed by Nail Blogger Alllacqueredup (all images were taken from her site and credited solely to her) they score well on the 10 day test (meaning that they last and do not chip excessively beyond that time period).

I’ve always loved nail art and I’m particularly in love with the lace design (think Katy Perry!) as well as some of the other crazy patterns, as they’re bound to make people look twice at your nails and wonder which salon you did your nails at.

Retailing at $9.99 USD each, or an estimated price of $13-$14 SGD, I’d say that these nail strip appliques aren’t something one can buy every week, but would be great for a party or even just as a personal treat. Besides, compared to a regular art manicure one gets at a salon (which similarly lasts 10 days because of nail growth, unless you invest in a gel/acrylic manicure), this is actually relatively cheap!

That said, I’m still partially obsessed with my Konad sets so even if I do buy these strips, I’d be going for patterns I can’t easily replicate :D Right now, given OPI’s recent release of the Glee nail appliques, I’m thinking that more and more nail polish brands are becoming open to this idea of easy, convenient nail strips. You don’t even need to wait for them to dry! All you’d need would be a base + top coat, to protect your nails and also to give them a shiny, gorgeous surface.

Here’s a peek at the entire Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips Line (it’s such a mouthful, I wish they’d shorten it)


all pictures credit to all lacquered up and you can view her test of the strips here.

Personally, I don’t see much point in the plain nail strips but I’m pretty psyched to try out one or two myself, though I have to say that some of them don’t look true to the pictures on the advertising campaign OR the real-life results, which leaves me somewhat wary. I guess I’ll purchase based on online reviews and such :)

Hunting for Office Wear

Needless to say, my wardrobe ain’t exactly packed to the brim with clothes suitable for my working life. So the hunt commences, and rather than walk aimlessly through all the shops browsing everything and anything (and trying everything and anything as I’m often wont to do.. then buy whatever looks flattering..). I decided to narrow the search down to 6 main “looks” i’ll be going for.

for details of featured items see here

  1. The Comfortable, Conservative Dress Preferably with sleeves, loose but still fitting (i.e. cinched at the waist.) For days when I feel fat, lazy to pick out my clothes and comfortable enough whilst I run errands and such.
  2. The Fancier Draped Thing Drapes are “in” this season, more so structured drapes. Preferably I’ll go for something that drapes beautifully from the bust to the waist, to create the illusion of a lengthened torso.
  3. The Pussy Bow Blouse Looks neat and is easy to wear, plus it’s feminine even with its collar
  4. The Comfortable Draped Thing with loads of excess material so it’s very comfortable. I wouldn’t mind something semi-sheer, and the peter pan collar is kinda cute too. The long sleeves means I won’t need to tote around a jacket/blazer! :D
  5. The Formal Tea Dress Looks vintage, hip and I love full skirts.
  6. The Modern Looking Shift Dress is an office staple but I’m hoping to get something with interesting design/cut/figure flattering detail. I really like the cut of the dress I’ve chosen above! :)

Menswear

After many failed attempts of trying to sleep early, I finally gave up and decided to do a post. Yup, this blog has not only become my space to express my views, creativity or just an arena to rant and vent, but now it’s also my cure to insomnia. Anyhow! I figured that I would do something different today and talk about an area of study that has always intrigued me but yet, I know so little about: Menswear.

And so I observed the two guys closest to me: my brother and my bf and this is a low-down of their usual getup:

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As you can see, my brother is typical of most Singaporean guys. He swears by a tried and tested formula: polo tee, fitted jeans and sneakers/loafers. His other default setting is graphic tee and fitted jeans/berms and flipflops which is also pretty common amongst Singaporean guys.

Glen’s OOTD: Polo tee from Zara, jeans from Zara and shoes from Pedro.

Then you have my bf who is in his typical work wear. The usual, shirt-tie-pants getup that you wear 5 days a week (weekends he dresses like a slob I tell you. Think Iron Maiden T-shirt, berms and Birkenstocks. Totally different from his well-groomed persona during the weekdays).

Mark’s OOTD: Shirt from G2000, pants are tailor-made, tie, tie pin and belt preowned.

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The thing is, it’s hard to be creative when you’re a guy. There are so few options. It’s either shorts, berms, jeans, pants. T-shirt, polo, singlet. Formal, casual jacket/hoodie. And sometimes, vest and scarf. But that’s pretty much it. The story is so totally different for girls. Every year there’s a new trend added. You have the maxi, harem, playsuit, jumpsuit, overalls, tulip skirts… the list just goes on and on. You’ll never get bored. And needless to say, girls have SO MANY shops to choose from whether locally or internationally (online shopping wheeee!)

For guys, if it’s not Zara, then it’s Fred Perry or Topman and even so, their designs are oh so pricey! But thankfully, the guy’s fashion scene in Singapore is changing! New Look has a guys range now. There’s Ben Sherman and even the F21 store in 313 Somerset has a small range of guy stuff from the 21Men collection! So hopefully with more brands coming out with stuff for guys, we’ll be seeing more interesting and bold menswear fashion on the street.

Things I would love to see men wear more:

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See all items I polyvored under cut. What other things would you like to see our men wear? I like the idea of cravats ala Chuck from Gossip Girl. What are your views?  Read the rest of this entry

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