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Friday, July 3, 2015

Product empties & investments

Assalamualaikum,

As the saying goes, 'You never know how many junks you have, until you clean your room'. Okay, I made that one up but... seriously, you never know what treasures lay hidden until you declutter everything. Last night, I was in a 'search-n-retrieve' mission for a gold necklace (my one and only real piece of gold by the way T_T) that mom bought me years back. Still missing even though I've scrutinized every single place I could think of!

Anyway, it's not that I don't know my tendency of buying stuff (and most of the time, just for the sake of a review... that's pretty messed up!) but going through each and every nook and crannies in my room and sifting all these products, it really puts things into perspective, you know. Just how many hand lotions, soaps and makeup do one need?

That's it, I'm going on a 'mindless purchase' ban. Wish me luck guys! This is also aligned with our government's call to save money and live a modest life. In the spirit of that, I will be undergoing a project pan and project empties~!


From left:

1) Far Away Body Spray by Avon
One more spritz and it's gone. I love the scent. It's very grown-up and sweet.

2) Sweet Heart Creamy Body Lotion by Etude House
This took FOREVER to finish! My sister-in-law gave this to me years ago. I hated how thick and greasy it felt in the beginning but the lotion has diluted since then. Used this mostly on my knees and joints.

3) The orange bottle back there
It's actually a Bath and Body Works body spray in there. I transferred half and gave the other half to my sister-in-law. It's a discontinued scent (Mango & coconut). Smell so summery and happy but I'm so glad to finally finish it.

4) Feelin Fresh Extra Care Deodorant (Smoothing) by Avon
This range is catered especially for sensitive underarms. I don't shave (I pluck patiently) both my underarms but the right side still gets itchy anyway. This is the only deodorant that works on my strange right underarm. Already repurchased and may stick with this particular range forever.

5) Ideal Luminous Cashmere Advanced Foundation by Avon
I used to really like this foundation but fell out of love, in favour of CC creams. The shade doesn't match me anymore as well since my skin has gotten slightly lighter. Only a few pea sizes / dollops left but am chucking it out now.

6) Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in Brun Boheme
One of my everyday lipstick. I will miss this when I finish it soon. Always get compliments when I wear it.

7) Avon Matte Lipstick in Matte Melon
It's quite funny how it is marketed as matte but it's not really that matte. Do you noticed the 'moisture matte' trend going on in the United States at the moment for Maybelline? This is definitely a moisturizing matte because I don't get chapped lips problem from wearing this at all. It's also one of my favourite everyday shade. Won't repurchase once finished since I have a back-up of it.

8) Chanel Healthy Glow Sheer Powder
Looks can be deceiving. It might take me another month or two to finish that off!

9) TheBalm Instain Blush in Argyle
I am ridiculously happy when this blush hit pan some months ago. I've gotten a lot of compliments on this blush. Will miss it when it's 100% finished but I still have tons of blush to go through.

10) Be Cool Body Spritz by Avon (not in picture)
I put this body spray in my gym bag and use it generously after I take a looong hot shower at the gym. It's almost finished as well, woohoo! I already have another Avon body spray waiting in my drawer to replace it.

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On another note, investments really are a huge pain in the xxxx for those who don't understand it (me, me, ME!).  As you can see, I'm re-looking into my spendings and looking for ways to save so that I can invest it somewhere. As always, I like to understand things from the bottom-most layer and I must say, I am getting a headache from so many unfamiliar terms and jargons.

Any websites and books on investment to recommend? The only author I know is Robert Kiyosaki so I might check his books first. Feel super grown up now... haha.

What are you guys up to? :)

Love,
Aisyah

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Real Talk: Backpack travel

Assalamualaikum,

Have you ever felt like dropping everything that you own and do, choose and pick a lifetime of possession into a single suitcase and just travel the world?

I do. All the time. But realistically, it can't be done. Money isn't so much the issue because I can just sell my body on the way (I kid, I kid...a bad joke though) a young person like me, I'll probably figure something out to make money on the way.

I am probably making up excuses for myself but here are the obstacles as I see it:

- I have a family to care for.
Being the only unmarried daughter, I am my mom's go-to or only available choice for mother-daughter activities. I also have a special needs younger brother (who is the cutest thing ever, by the way) who needs to be taken care off constantly since he doesn't know how to eat, go to the toilet, bath etc etc on his own.

- I am a single woman.
Of course I could go with a friend but believe me, travelling with a friend can be detrimental sometimes as you might have to plan time that is convenient to the both of you, do activities that both are interested in, so on and so forth. I kind of want to fly solo, you know what I mean? Go to a place where nobody knows who I am at all. Be completely and utterly anonymous. But travelling as a single woman seems scary as you can be taken advantage of and harmed.

However, not all hope is lost. If you're someone like me, with no lasting attachments (like a small baby), you can opt for backpack travelling. I've never actually done it before but it's definitely doable for the young and adventurous.

With the internet and social media boom, you can easily find backpacking communities that give lots of tips on places to visit, how to pack, how not to get lost and basically everything you need to know. In this post, I would like to make a special mention to Bucket List Abroad!


Bucket List Abroad (or widely known as BLA on Instagram) is actually a registered company that manages your travel bucket list. They aim to travel at least 196 countries in 365 days and you can join in whichever location they're opening participant slots for. And they also do a few monthly visits too with Malaysian guides (mostly students studying there) for popular destinations like Seoul, Korea and Cappadocia, Turkey.

What I find interesting is how inexpensive it is. The whole cost that they quote for you is not included flight tickets but that isn't a huge problem. If you're smart, you can easily get a good discount for flight tickets during sale season or MATTA fair. I love the fact that I can count on these young folks to look for halal place for me to eat, inexpensive but comfortable lodgings, public transportation etc etc. Sounds a whole lot like a tourist guide company but they give off the impression of being more hip and young, trekking the roads less taken.

Since we're talking about travelling, I've been making my own travel bucket list as well! I don't know when I'll be able to cross some of them off but it makes life interesting anyway, knowing you have a destination waiting for you, at the end of the horizon.

1) Seoul, Korea.
I'm pretty sure people would start asking whether I am a huge K-pop or K-drama fan for wanting to go to Seoul. I used to be. Not anymore. I can understand and write a little bit of Hangul and Korean so that would be interesting. I want to see the real people, behind the glossy K-pop and K-drama facade. It would be tricky finding stuff to eat but I sooo want to learn how to make authentic Kimchi with local folks! Also wear a hanbok! :D

2) Cappadocia, Turkey.
Cappadocia has a special place in my heart due to the movie 'Manisnya Cinta di Cappadocia'. I am in love with the scenery where you can see hot air balloons flying high into the air, with a nice view overlooking mountaintops. I would seriously cry if I get to witness that physically one day. Someone would need to hold me then or else I might just jumped off the hot air balloon out of sheer euphoria.

3) Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Of course, this is one of the place that I need to visit. For my soul and also because of its history and significance. Also where our Prophet Muhammad was borned. It must have been extra special for Muslims from non-muslim countries to visit Mecca and be surrounded by Muslims from all over the world. Even thinking about it is overwhelming to me, in a good way, of course. My mom and dad visited here before. :) My time will come, Insyaallah.

4) Osaka, Japan.
Why Osaka instead of the much-coveted Tokyo? In my head, Osaka is like Pantai Timur in Malaysia. Different local dialects, different atmosphere, different feel. I love that aspect to Osaka. And they do have livelier and rowdier people compared to Tokyo. I also have been eyeing Universal Studios Japan because I want to visit their Hogwarts. Still a Harry Potter girl, by heart. :)

5) London, England.
My ultimate dream. I guess people must be tired of hearing Harry Potter as the sole reason for people wanting to go to London. But that childhood aspect of us lives forever and needs to be materialized one day. I want to visit King's Cross station and pretty much, all of London. Take the subway and go places... see Big Ben (Peter Pan influence), London Eye... etc.

6) Central Java, Indonesia.
The Javanese culture is close to my heart even though I wasn't raised as a true Javanese (since my mom isn't a Javanese). My grandparent on my father's side speaks proper Javanese and most of my relatives living in Johor can understand and speak Javanese as well. I feel this sense of longing and belonging when I think of places where my roots might have originated from. Going places where there might be someone who is related to me. I'll be going to Bandung in less than a month and I can't wait! I'll be celebrating my birthday there as well and had already ordered a birthday cake made by a popular local bakery in Bandung, to be delivered to my hotel. So flipping cool! :)

I'll keep this list short for now as I do not even know how many years it would take to cross off that many countries. Money is tight nowadays, anyway, right? I'm sure all Malaysians can relate, except Encik Ahmad Maslan, Perdana Menteri Datuk Najib Razak and also his beloved Wife, Datin Rosmah Mansor.

So, tell me what's your dream destinations? Any place similar to mine? We can plan a trip together!

Love,
Aisyah

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Current skincare routine & HELLO July!

Assalamualaikum,

It is so ironic for me to say this but time goes by so fast! It's the 1st of July already, folks. Half a year has gone by! How's your 2015 resolutions going? Don't give up yet! We still have half a year to make it happen.

Back when I was in highschool, we were horrified of the month of July. Like monsoon season and the likes, July brought to us some of the spookiest ghost stories at school ever. I was schooled in a boarding school somewhere in Gombak, Malaysia, from 2001 - 2005, just FYI.

Every year, it's like these troops of invisible poltergeist were just bidding their time since January... and come July, BOOM, all of hell breaks loose, I kid you not. People getting possessed left and right, creepy sounds in the middle of the night, scary encounters with strange entities... you name it, we have it. I miss school all right, but I don't miss the month of July - August at school.

July always makes me a bit nauseous as well. One month till my birthday. And I'll turn 26 years old soon! Gosh, what have I done in this 26 years? I hope I've made at least a dent in somebody's life. A good, cozy dent though... like when you stayed on a cushion way too long. Not a car-crash dent. By the way, I have plenty of plans for next year... like writing (as always), travelling and... investing! I know, I know, investment-savvy people would eat me alive for saying that, but after what happened to Greece, I'm kind of worried. I need to learn good investment strategies rather than just saving 'paper' money in banks. :/

Anyway, being a mature adult and all, I finally have a decent skincare routine. I started using proper face cleanser during my university days but a proper regime followed later on in life. And in the past, I'm not really in love with my skincare routine. It's just, 'meeh'.

TADAA~! Here are the products that I've been using religiously everyday lately!


I treat every morning like a race. Even though technically I'm an early riser, somehow I manage to get ready for work at nearly the very end. For example, right now. It's 7.04am and I'm still happily typing away on my computer, like today's a holiday or something. Fantabulous!

Anyway, the products from the left: (I've also arranged according to steps as well)

1) Anew White Illuminating Cleanser
I love this range a lot to the point that I would recommend it to people. And I did recommend to a friend before but she was allergic to it. I don't know exactly the ingredient that made so many people allergic to Anew's skincare, but I'm really grateful that it suits my skin. Out of all the whitening range that I have ever used, Anew White is the only one that actually works! I've always had this problem where my face is slightly darker than the rest of my body. Since I've tried Anew White, I'm starting to see some positive results.

2) Hatomugi Skin Conditioner
I am big on recommending stuff to people if I really like it. I've recommended this toner / lotion to a friend before. I think I bought this at Sasa and it is very, very affordable at 500ml. Since the original bottle is humongous, I transferred a small portion into a spray bottle for daily use. I use this after cleanser by spraying it generously on my face and tap lightly. It really does help moisturise my face. I haven't had dry patches on my nose since I started re-using this recently.

3) Anew White Timeless Serum
Being almost 26 years old, it's about time I incorporate an anti-ageing product into my regime. Anew White Timeless works similar to the regular Anew White range, but it has an added anti-ageing properties. They don't have their own cleanser-toner-moisturiser regime yet so just feel free to incorporate into your usual skincare regime. I use it after spraying and patting in the Hatomugi toner. Serum is lighter in consistency than moisturiser so make sure it goes on your skin before your moisturiser, all right!

4) Anew White Day Cream
Moisturiser is the final step to my daily skincare regime. I don't have a night regime yet because I always forget everything once I see my bed anyway (haha). I choose a moisturiser from the same range as well since Anew White has been treating my skin so well. When looking for a day moisturiser, make sure to find something with SPF protection so that you are protected from any damages from UV light exposure.

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You can get Anew White skincare from your nearest Avon Beauty Boutique and Hatomugi Skin Conditioner is available at Sasa Malaysia.

Disclaimer: All products are bought with my own money.

By the way, the office is being freezing cold lately! I suspect the higher-ups must have instructed them to reduce the temperature so that none of us fell asleep, since it's Ramadan and all. A bird once told me that the reason why offices are very, very cold is because of work productivity. If it's all warm and fuzzy, you'll get comfortable and feel sleepy faster than... ANTARCTIC cold!

Let me demonstrate how unbearably cold my office is:


Yup, I bring my own small, fuzzy and super cute TVXQ blankie to work. And you can also see my friend enveloped in her own scarf as well behind me. Sorry for the messy background. Being in the marketing department, boxes of all sorts and product containers littering about really can't be helped.


And now you can't see the mess! Yay! See how I am already wearing a denim jacket but the cold still seeps in! How crazy is that?

Okay, gotta run into the shower and get ready for work now! Before I go, let me leave you a wise advice from someone I follow on social media. I totally agree... and it would take me another 20 minutes or so to peel this subject. Whoops, really got to run now!



Have a nice day, everyone, and go rock whatever it is that you do!

Love,
Aisyah