Looks like I’ve been ignoring this

Didn’t post at all in June and now it’s the second week of July, oops! Life felt a bit all over the place the past few weeks – hence the lack of posts – but here’s me trying to get back into it, as well as getting the rest of my life back on track.

Please pardon this really clunky welcome back post — my blogging skillz are rusty.

My May thing, part two

I wrote in my last post that May was my skincare month. It was also, to a lesser degree, my makeup month.

I’ve never been into makeup. I remember the first time my friend showed me how to put on eyeshadow. It was after college. Fortunately, one of my friends here is a makeup artist and nicely held a few “classes” to teach us, her makeup-challenged friends, some tips.

So, in May, I finally decided I wanted to get into makeup a little bit more (over a decade after the rest of my peers have started experimenting with it!) I ended up throwing out a large chunk of makeup I had. I hadn’t used a lot of it in years, and realised it had probably gone bad — so now I’m learning to start afresh, makeup-wise.

I still don’t wear it everyday, though. I usually go out with my CC cream and some kind of lip colour, and reserve a full face of makeup for when I go out. (Ultimately, I’m still trying to get to the level where my skin is awesome enough and I look polished enough to not require a full face every day, so my focus has been on improving my skin over using makeup.)

I can’t do the entire makeup transformation thing, however. I still look like me. I have to admit, I can’t help but be amazed at how different some people look with makeup.

But it’s not always a good thing, I suppose. I’m reminded of an acquaintance’s ex-girlfriend, a popular social media influencer. She’s supposedly cute enough in real life, but thanks to a ton of makeup, angles, and lighting, she looks totally amazing in her social media account… but not so much in other places, and she’s been getting a lot of flak for it! I guess transformation faces are good enough occasionally, but I couldn’t imagine looking totally different everyday and disappointing people when I go au naturale!

Leave a comment

When I cared about my skin

May is my skin-and-face month.

So this is the month I actually started giving a sh*t about my skincare. To be honest, I’ve been pretty lax these past few years. I’d wanted to simplify and natural-ise, so I stripped down my routine. I just washed my face + argan oil + eye cream (night) + moisturiser (night)/CC cream (day). My face was okay. It was passable. I didn’t get pimples, but it wasn’t particularly awesome. My skin was dry but oily. There was this redness that didn’t seem to go away, but I attributed it to my skin just being the way it was. (I guess this is one of those things where “minimalism” doesn’t really work, haha!)

Anyway, I decided this month I was finally going to really care about my skin. It started when I heard about Deciem, specifically, their The Ordinary line. I was intrigued by their concept of separating out formulations so people could tailor it to what their skin needed. I realised that I didn’t have to settle with my skin’s imperfections and yes, I could do something about them.

I already had some items I’d bought sporadically to fix my skin, so I started incorporating them into my routine more regularly:

  • Hyaluronic acid + B5. I’m currently using Skinceuticals. I bought a bottle when I was in Europe and my skin went crazy. But stopped using it when I went back to Sydney, so I dug it out of my cupboard and started using it again. When I run out, I’m planning to switch to The Ordinary‘s version as it’s 1/10th of the price!
  • Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm. I read someone describing this before as “lip balm for your entire face” and I’d have to say I agree. This was another thing I bought in Europe, but now I’ve started using it every night. It makes my skin super soft when I wake up!
  • Face mask. I bought a large tub of Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and use it once a week now.
  • Body scrub. I never used to do this, but I bought a coffee scrub from Toby and Rosie and it made my skin really soft (so I’ve been told 😉 ) I’ve since run out… I’m going to use another brand that someone has gifted me with for now. I really liked the coffee scrub, it was just a bit messy washing it all out in the shower!

I started using body lotion and foot cream regularly. I never got used to body lotion growing up. The Philippines is so hot and humid, putting on lotion just felt icky. I have to remind myself, though, that places with seasons are different. My feet, in particular, got super dry and gross one winter — the heels had started cracking and it hurt. I have to remind myself to frequently moisturise them. I’ve started doing that more often, so they look decent now, at least.

There’s been a definite improvement since fixing my skincare routine. My face is a lot less dry and the redness has lessened too — other people have noticed! And the moisturising everywhere else has helped as well. Some parts of my body are still a bit dry, but at least it’s no longer as rough and flaky as it used to be.

I’ve ordered a few more products from The Ordinary. I can’t wait for them to arrive so I can try them out!

Leave a comment

Me and my sewing machine

My new thing for March was sewing!

I hadn’t intended to do it so early in the year — it seemed like such a big thing to get into without mentally preparing myself first.* But there was a sale on machines, so I bought one, booked an intensive beginner workshop, and off I went!

The first thing I realised was that there were so many other things that I needed to consider. For example, for the workshop I had to bring in some “medium weight cotton.” I had no idea what medium weight cotton looked or felt like… fortunately, the lady at the fabric store helped pick it out for me.

I ended up making a little girl’s blouse and a tote bag that weekend, and I was so proud of myself! It made me want to make a gazillion other things, but it also made me realise that I had so much to learn. We sewed with cotton — but I wanted to make things out of knit and stretch fabrics. I’d bought the wrong kind of thread — I didn’t know that could be a thing! Cutting out patterns and putting the pieces back together was fun, and it gave me a greater appreciation for understanding how clothes are structured. I look at clothes differently now — I like looking at how things are made, and I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made piece of clothing.

I haven’t taken any other classes yet, because I want to practice more before moving on to something more advanced. So far I’ve been making pajamas — haha! They’re useful, and if I mess up I don’t really care. Hopefully I’ll move on to more public facing clothes soon. 😛

* I seem to always overestimate the amount of mental preparation that things take. One thing I’m learning is to jump in and do things!

Leave a comment

Listened to the opera, kinda

My new thing for April was experiencing the opera, kinda. I say “kinda” because I didn’t go to a full blown opera. But a family friend was part of a performance where they sang songs.

It was pretty different from my impression of the opera where there’s a stout lady in a Viking helmet singing onstage!

Anyway, since I was born with absolutely no singing skills,* I always love hearing other people sing. It’s a totally different style. To be honest, I found it a bit hard to understand at times, though I could appreciate the musicality of it.

One of the things they sang was a poem from Hilary North. She worked at the World Trade Center Tower 2 and lost 176 colleagues when 9/11 struck.

How My Life has Changed
by Hilary North

I can no longer flirt with Lou.
I can no longer dance with Mayra.
I can no longer eat brownies with Suzanne Y.
I can no longer meet the deadline with Mark.
I can no longer talk to George about his daughter.
I can no longer drink coffee with Rich.
I can no longer make a good impression on Chris.
I can no longer smile at Paul.
I can no longer hold the door open for Tony.
I can no longer confide in Lisa.
I can no longer complain about Gary.
I can no longer work on a project with Donna R.
I can no longer get to know Yolanda.
I can no longer call the client with Nick.
I can no longer contribute to the book drive organized by Karen.
I can no longer hang out with Millie.
I can no longer give career advice to Suzanne P.
I can no longer laugh with Donna G.
I can no longer watch Mary Ellen cut through the bull shit.
I can no longer drink beer with Paul.
I can no longer have a meeting with Dave W.
I can no longer leave a message with Andrea.
I can no longer gossip with Anna.
I can no longer run into Dave P. at the vending machine.
I can no longer call Steve about my computer.
I can no longer compliment Lorenzo.
I can no longer hear Herman’s voice.
I can no longer trade voice mails with Norman.
I can no longer ride the elevator with Barbara.
I can no longer be happy about Jennifer’s pregnancy.
I can no longer walk with Adam.
I can no longer say hello to Steven every morning.
I can no longer see the incredible view from the 103rd Floor of the South Tower.
I can no longer take my life for granted.

It made me think about the mundanities of everyday work life. There are so many little things that I take for granted. I only realise them after I’ve left — the chats, the coffees, the sneaky snack times, the shared work nights and inside jokes. It’s easy to just be annoyed at having to work and wishing I could win the lotto instead, but I was reminded that work is also full of small moments that can be beautiful and meaningful.

* I know Filipinos are well-known for being good singers, but I seem to have missed that gene. I’m so bad, my friends once started an a capella group and they invited everyone else in our extended group of friends (perhaps a dozen people?) except for me and one other guy. Robz and I are still waiting for our invitations.

Leave a comment

My style colour palette

I was reading Anuschka Rees’ “The Curated Closet,” and she spoke about identifying a style colour palette. (She also talks about it in this blog post.) I decided to give it a go and I think I’ve got mine pat!

Mela’s colour palette:

A lot of neutrals, shades of pink, and jewel tones.

It surprised me, when identifying my colour palette, that I had already been subconsciously putting it into practice. I’ve been wearing a lot of basic colours the past few years — I have a ton of black and use a lot greys, navy blues, and whites for pairing. I like pink, and tend to wear it in a dusty colour, or, on fewer occasions, bright neon pink. Every now and then I’ll wear something deep and rich and like purple, teal, or a coral.

The only thing this is missing is yellow! Like the shade I’m using for my links. I like having a pop of yellow every now and then. Funnily enough, when I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a decade, I commented on liking a random passersby’s yellow handbag and he commented, “yeah, you’ve always liked that colour, I remember you liking yellow from way back.” Haha!

Leave a comment