Categories
Books

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with The Wind has been voted to be one of the best movies ever produced for as long as I remember, but the ignorant me didn’t know that the movie was based on Magaret Mitchell’s book of the same name. It was only when I learned that Bill Gates reads 200 books a year that I decided to pick up my reading, and I found out that “Gone with The Wind” is one of the classics. 

Margaret Mitchell is a talented writer whose detailed description of the lush countryside drew such a pretty picture that I longed to go there and the description of the bleakness of the Civil War and Reconstruction so bleak that I have never felt more thankful for all the comforts of my life. 

I have come to both love and hate Scarlette O’Hara for as much as I admire her strength and determination, I hate her selfishness and her indifference to her children, for this lack of motherly love will cause the children to have insecurity throughout their lives. The thing that infuriates the most about her is her “love” for Ashley Wilkes which is really just her imagination, even though he is already married to her best friend, Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. Oh, there are times when I wish I could strangle and wring her neck. 

I love Rhett Butler. I love his devotion to Scarlette O’Hara even though she hurts him again and again. I love that he is a doting father to Bonnie, Ella and Wade. There are many times when my heart arched for him and how I wish I were Scarlette O’Hara so that I may hold him and sooth his pain away. 

I am so happy that Scarlette O’Hara finally came to her senses at the end of the book when she realized that her love for Ashley is only an illusion and that she has come to love Rhett Butler as much as he has loved her. Although Rhett Butler says that his love for her has already died out, but now that Scarlette O’Hara has set her eyes on him, I am sure they will have a happy ending. If only there were a sequel to Gone with the Wind so that I may see them happily together. 

I am going to watch the movie and see how it compares with the original book. 

Get Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

 

Categories
Review

Miniso Anti-Slouching Foot Cover – My Favourite Foot Cover

Miniso Anti-Slouching Foot Cover

As you probably already know, I am a total Daiso fan. Everything for just $2 and with the huge catelogue of cute yet useful items, what’s not to like about Daiso? Thanks to the huge number of Daiso fans like me in Singapore, Daiso outlets have been popping up like mushrooms all around this tiny island, which gives rise to more Daiso followers, 

When I was faced with the problem of finding foot covers, the first place I went to was naturally Daiso. However, after trying out all the different foot covers at Daiso, I had to admit that Daiso foot covers have totally failed me. 

Daiso foot covers are designed with three strips of silicon gel at the back to prevent the socks from slipping, but they don’t seem to be very effective. The silicon gels lose their effectiveness after the first wear and they become basically useless after the first wash. I was pulling up the heel-end of the foot covers almost every hour and that really irritated me. 

I stumbled upon Miniso’s Anti-Slouch Foot Cover by accident one day when I was shopping in Westgate shopping mall in Jurong East. Miniso has just entered the Singapore market and the outlet in Westgate was one of their first outlets. I thought Miniso was similar to Daiso and I went to look around. That’s when I saw their Anti-Slouch Foot Cover and decided to get a pair to try. 

I have been in love with their Anti-Slouch Foot Cover ever since. Their foot cover are made using a thinner material than Daiso’s which makes it easier for my feet to breath. The best part are the double layer of thin silicon film that runs around the entire inner side of the foot covers. They are still as good even after multiple washings. 

However, there is one little flaw. As the material is thinner, the front end of the foot covers tend to get “holely” pretty quickly when it rubs against your shoes too much. But at $3.90 a pair, I think it is still very worth it. 

I am going to try the foot covers from H&M and Uniqlo (if they carry foot covers) and I will let you know my findings. 

Please comment if you know of any good foot covers that you think is worth a try! 

Categories
Skincare

8-Step Skincare Regime That Costs Only $16

 

Current Skincare Regime

I am so envious of Korean people’s dewy poreless skin. I am not talking about Korean celebrities who look picture-perfect with makeup or fashion blogger who get free stuff from sponsors. I am talking about average Koreans I see on the streets and during work. Granted, most of these Koreans are in their mid-20s, they are at the sweet spot of finished puberty and not at the age where hormones start wrecking havoc in their bodies, but I think their 10-step skincare routine probably plays a part too.

In an effort to achieve the perfect skin, I tried samples of the full SK-II range – SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser + SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion + SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (read my review here) but I was not convinced that it is going to give me the glowing skin of the SK-II ambassadors and I am not willing to spend hundreds of dollars a month  to find out.  

I decided to see if I can replicate Korean’s 10-step skincare routine without having to spend a few hundred a month. I went to my favorite store – DAISO! For those of you who do not know me yet, I am a fan of Daiso, a Japanese lifestyle store with around 2570 outlets in Japan and 550 outlets in 24 countries worldwide. I can find almost everything I need in Daiso and the best part is everything is S$2.

Let me show you how you can do your own 8-step skincare regime for just $16 in Daiso. 

Cleansing Sheets

Step 1 – Oil Cleanser

The first step actually calls for oil cleanser but I can’t find any in Daiso, so I decided to use these facial sheets instead. There are no fragrance added, so people with sensitive skin should be able to use them too. You may need to wipe a little harder and longer to get all your makeup off. 

Facial Wash

Step 2 – Water-Based Cleanser

The second step actually calls for water-based cleanser but the only cleanser I could find are cleansing foam wash. These should be fine for normal to oily skin and the charcoal in the Charcoal Face Wash will help to clean out impurities in your skin. 

Peeling Gel

Step 3 – Exfoliation

I am absolutely in love with these Almond/Strawberry/Peach Peeling Gel. My favorite is the Peach Peel Gel, it really smells like I am putting sweet juicy peach on my skin. Apply an even layer on your whole face and massage it in circular motion until white balls appear (these are your dead skin cells).

Toner

Step 4 – Toner

Toner helps to reset the PH of your skin and hydrate it at the same time. I especially like this Aloe Toner which contains the hydrating and healing effects of aloe vera. 

Lotion

Whitening Lotion

Step 5 – Lotion

Lotions help to nourish and renew your skin. You can find Aloe Lotion, Medicated Lotion and Sake Lotion in Daiso.

Serum

Step 6 – Serum

I was pleasantly surprised to find moisturizing serum in Daiso. The pink bottle is Collagen, dark blue bottle is Horse Placenta Protein, brown bottle is Royal Jelly, green bottle is Pearl Barley and light blue bottles are Hyaluronic Acid. 

Sheet Masks

Step 7 – Sheet Mask

You can find many types of sheet mask in Daiso, such as Camellia Oil Face Mask and Coenzyme Q10 Face Mask. There are around 2-3 pieces in each pack. 

Moisturizer

Step 8 – Moisturiser

This Deep H Moisture Gel is pretty good for something that costs only $2 a bottle. 

The last 2 steps are Eye Cream and Sunblock, which I can’t find in Daiso. You would think that sunscreen are so common that Daiso should have it. Oh well, you can’t have everything. 

There you have it, my 8-step skincare regime that only costs $16. You probably won’t find any of the top-notch ingredients in Daiso products, but they are good enough for a simple skincare routine. 

Do drop me a comment to let me know what you think of these Daiso’s skincare products.

Categories
Books

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


“When Breath Becomes Air” is one of the bestsellers on New York Times and it was highly recommended by Bill Gates on his website, Gates Notes, and that roused my curiosity so I decided that this is going to be my next read.

This book was written by Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who died at the tender age of 36 years old to lung cancer. I was expecting a heavy and dull book because this book is an autobiography as much as a memorial, but I actually felt very calm reading this book.

Paul was interesting in understanding the meaning of life and what makes life meaningful. Paul studied English literature in college because he thought literature “provided a rich account of human meaning” but he decided to switch to become a surgeon after he realized that “It was only in practicing medicine that I could pursue a serious biological philosophy.” 

This book is not about dying because we will all die one day, but rather about how to die and how to live a life of meaning. 

Get When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

 

Categories
Books

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Park Yeonmi


I was on Facebook one day when I watched a video of Park Yeonmi’s speech at One Young World 2014 Summit where she told her story of her life in North Korea and how she and her mother escaped from North Korea to China, and finally settled down in South Korea. 

Park Yeonmi has written a book called “In Order to Live: A North Korean’s Journey to Freedom” detailing her life in North Korea and her escape to China and finally to South Korea. I was intrigued and since I have made it my new year’s resolution to read 100 hundred books this year, I thought this book would make a great addition to my reading list. 

North Korea is one of the last few communist countries where everything is state-controlled. I have watched a documentary on YouTube sometime last year where an American traveler who was granted permission to travel in North Korea secretly filmed his entire trip. Sure, everything about North Korea is about propaganda and they only show you what they want you to see, but that is how communism works. Although the people of North Korea does not have access to the outside world, at least they look decently dressed and well-nourished. 

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I was reading “In Order to Live: A North Korean’s Journey to Freedom”. North Korea is the exact duplicate of China during the Cultural Revolution. I was born in China, and although I was brought to Singapore since young, I have heard stories of the horror of the Cultural Revolution that killed millions of Chinese people. I can’t believe that these kind of things is still happening. North Korea has even taken it a step further by having their own calendar called Juche calendar that is based on Kim II-Sung’s birthday on 1912 and their own time zone known as Pyongyang Time!  

This book is not only about the horrors of living in a communist country, it is also about the human spirit, courage and thirst for freedom. Yeonmi tells us about her escape from North Korea to China by crossing the frozen Yalu river, struggle to survive in China and nearly died while crossing the frigid Gobi desert to South Korea. 

This is a wonderful book that makes me feel thankful for having as much food as I want, being able to live wherever I want, not having to live in fear everyday and many other things that I have taken granted.

Get In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Park Yeonmi.

 

Categories
Review

SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

SK-II

I have been curious about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for a very long time.

There was a period a few years ago when I was forced to watch a SK-II commercial before and during every darned video I watch on Youtube.

Many celebrities and beauty bloggers swear by it so much so that the SK-II Facial Treatment has been dubbed “SK-II Miracle Water”.

I used to think “these people must be crazy to spend hundreds of dollars on fermented rice water” but that was when I had perfect skin during my younger days. Now that age has caught up with me and the lack of care has caused my skin to look dull and ugly, I have decided that I am going to “bring my skin back to life”.

I decided to try SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for myself, but I am unwilling to fork out hundreds of dollars on products that I am not convinced will work for me, I decided to get some samples to try out first.

I bought 6 pieces of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence samples from Carousell and the seller asked if I want to take the other 6 pieces of SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion and I thought “why not”.

Since I already have the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (which is the toner) and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, I thought I should complete the package with a SK-II cleanser so I bought a sample for that too.

In total, I spent $18 (SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion + SK-II Facial Treatment Essence) + $7 (SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser) = $25, which would otherwise have cost me hundreds of dollars. I am feeling quite pleased with myself.

SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser

I really like the SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser which foams well and leaves my face with a supple clean feeling after cleansing. I was considering upgrading my normal cleaner to the SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser under I realised that 1 bottle costs $63 on Lazada and $42.90 on Qoo10, I am a little hesitant.

SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion

To tell you the truth, I don’t feel any difference between the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion from the $2 toner I get from Daiso. I am not very convinced if it is worth the $65.90 on Qoo10 or $100 on Zalora.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

This is the core product and I am not really sure how I feel about it. I get a prickly sensation every time after I apply it, I reached forums online and some user say they get the same feeling but others say they have no such reaction. I don’t see that glowing and water-plump texture that has been advertised, but I have to admit that my skin looks a little brighter and more even-toned after using it. Granted, it will probably need prolonged usage to really see the results, but I am not sure if it is worth the $156.90 on Qoo10 or $204 on Sephora.

Conclusion

I personally believe that there is no one skincare product that works for everyone. Everyone have different skin types and everyone’s skin reacts differently with different products.

If SK-II products works for you and you are willing to fork out thousands every few months, congratulations.

If SK-II products works for you but you are unwilling to shell out that much money, please look out for my unbiased product reviews which may show you an alternative.

As for me, I am not convinced enough to warrant buying a whole bottle. I will continue to test them out using samples bought on Carousell until one day I can fully convince myself that it is worth the hefty price tag or I find a better alternative.