Life is remarkably circular. Sometimes life works in ways you can’t even predict. Fifteen years ago, I encountered a story that little did I know will touch my heart in the most unexpected way.
In the early 00’s, encyclopaedias were still our default search engine as the ultimate source of information. Thick, hard-bound books shelved in glass cabinets, catalogued alphabetically according to the sets where it belongs. One day, it was one of those times I was hanging out with a life-long buddy at the library during lunch break when this person handed me an infamous story about a famed artist of the nineteenth century who cut off his ear and shot himself. My 12-year old naive, innocent and Catholic-oriented self was undeniably shocked. Back then, I looked up at these magnificent people from the past as glorious beings who ever walked on earth; Faultless, infallible and immaculate. A quintessence of an ideal human being.
“How could one of the most famous and influential post-impressionist painter lived such a life?”
Image source: Holland.com
It was the time I was still obstinate and intolerant to the imperfections of life. The story was incomprehensible for me to accept and digest. From then on, I only focused on his works and refused to read about his life. It was simply unsuitable to take a young mind’s innocence and corrupt it with the dark intentions of human beings. So I thought.
Over the years, it has been my personal goal to expand my views and be more open-minded as possible. I allowed to put myself on someone’s shoes in every subject matter, remove all prejudice, breakdown every cultural norm and understand the root of such belief, behaviour and mindset. Since then, it has been my ultimate goal in life: To understand everyone and everything. Everything is a though word and impossible to achieve, but hey, we got to set the bar to the highest level.
One and a half decades later, I’ve pretty much achieved my goal in every subject that crosses my path. By removing personal preferences and inhibitions, I am able to dissect every detail of a fact, opinion or argument. It’s a very liberating thing to do. It’s the perfect time to go back to one story that I tried dancing around for quite a long time.
Life took its turn and presented me with the opportunity to revisit an old friend I’ve kept buried in my memory. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in partnership with Art Exhibitions Australia and independent art historian Sjraar van Heugten curated Van Gogh and the Seasons as one of its international exhibitions for 2017.
“Hey! It’s Van Gogh. Not to be missed for sure!” I thought. It’s true. It was a wonderful once in a life time experience to see such an exhibit that focused on the four seasons of his works. The storytelling of the exhibit was impeccable. One, if only he will allow to immerse himself to the experience, will clearly feel the connection with Van Gogh’s personal life; How he came to be as one of the most renowned artists of all time.
After going through the exhibit, I exited into the souvenir shop without the intention of purchasing any merchandise. There was a large coffee table book, most likely 12″ x 12″ in size detailing the entire exhibit which I personally find above my budget to own. Everyone seems to have bought it. Besides, it was an exclusive publication for this particular exhibit. My best friend bought one, being a huge Van Gogh fan that she is. I personally wasn’t a huge fan of impressionist paintings so I gave it a pass. While browsing through the books section, I saw two copies of Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story by Bernadette Murphy in paperback neatly placed on a table, seemed untouched. The title is very catchy, I scanned a bit, read a few pages and left.
Days later, the book seems to be calling out for me. NGV was conveniently located two blocks away from my workplace so I went back to the souvenir shop during my lunch break. I went back to the table where I last saw it but to my surprise, there’s none left. I saw an elderly man, around 70 years of age, intently reading the only copy of the book in sight. I wanted to wait for him so I can grab it for myself but he seemed so serious and wouldn’t put it down any time soon.
I asked the first staff I could find but I was told that it was completely sold out! I couldn’t accept it. “She seems like one of those staff who are lazy to get some stock.” The person I happen to asked must be a newbie. So I looked for the most easily swayed staff, younger than me, someone who looks like he doesn’t want to upset anyone, from the minority group, and asked again. I explained to him how badly I wanted the book. I know that I can purchase it online, but sometimes, you just want it right now. I waited for some time and he came out with a bunch of new stocks. I was delighted and thanked him repeatedly. I got two copies and sent one to my best friend who lives in Sydney.
I started reading it as soon as I got the book. I couldn’t just put it down. The investigative, story-telling narration style was so captivating. The enigma of the book piqued my curiosity and I was completely sold. The story revolved around the pursuit to identify “Rachel”, the allegedly prostitute which Van Gogh offered his ear after cutting it off one night of December 1888. There were a lot of times while reading the book, my mind was impatient and furious, “Who the f*** is ‘Rachel’?!” But of course, I knew that her identity will only be revealed in the end. I didn’t want to skip anything! Every detail is vital to the story. I’m a lazy reader and I’ve got to say that not a part of this book bored me neither gave me a reason to give up.
Van Gogh’s mental breakdowns – why, when and where it happened – were all essential in understanding the ultimate act of insanity that went down to his story and eventually to history.
This book revealed so much from what I have expected. Bernadette Murphy took seven laborious years gathering information and ID-ing every single resident of Arles in every situation. She traveled in every place mentioned in the book to see first hand and imagine what it was like to live during Van Gogh’s time. Her effort in completing this book is truly amazing. This book explains the different medical diagnoses of the painter and uncovered the truths behind the sensationalised newspaper prints during his time. It also allowed us to see and feel the ultimate bond between two brothers despite the financial hardship they went through.
After all these years, I have finally able to embrace his story in perfect timing. It’s utterly overwhelming to have finished the book with a tragic end (as we all know) but it leaves a heartwarming experience that will forever linger in the soul.
Who would’ve thought that somewhere in the historic town of Leura, a suburb in Blue Mountains west of Sydney CBD, Australia’s largest toy collection can be found. A mixture of railways, cars, planes, action figures, Children’s books and vintage dolls, particularly, Alice in Wonderland, Barbie, Popeye, Noddy and Harry Potter.
The Federation Free Classical style of the two-storey house was built in 1910 for the wealthy yachtsman Harry Andreas and his family after the first house on the site, known as Leuralla, built in 1903, was burned down by a bushfire. The entire property including the garden is 12 acres in size. Harry’s daughter, Marjorie, married Clive Evatt, an Australian politician and barrister and took over the house. At present time, their son, Clive Evatt Jr and his family owns the property and are responsible for the current museum exhibiting their railway and toy collection including his uncle HV Evatt’s memorabillas.
The interior of the house is furnished with Queensland maple notable for its extensive paneling and carvings. As soon as you stepped inside, you’ll immediately be overwhelmed by the heritage and extensive history that will unfold before your eyes. The toy and railway collections dates back in the early 19th Century manufactured by different companies all over the world.
It is noticeable how the owners have a special inclination towards Alice In Wonderland. You will be able to find it in every room and every corner of the house.
The railway collection is indeed massive. I’ve never seen so many train sets in my life. It ranges from different types of locomotives, railways, trams and trains that dates back to the industrial revolution up until late 20th Century. My photos can not even justify the number of sets displayed in the museum. Here are a few of them:
There are also a small collection of Children’s vintage hard-bound books. I was surprised to know that Noddy, a fictional character by English children’s author Enid Blyton, was created in 1949. I can still remember my little brother watching a new TV cartoon series of Noddy, back in early 2000s.
A number of die-cast model cars can also be seen throughout the museum. Notably, the owners must have travelled to Germany to collect some of them. The presence of toys made in Germany and Nazi figures can easily be identified.
If there are car model toys, there should also be planes and ships! Hanging in the ceiling of the staircase are two huge model biplanes.
Another Alice In Wonderland collection from the latest franchise can be seen at the top and bottom of the glass cabinet.
Lehmann Toys by Ernst Paul Lehmann Patenwerk, a famous German toy maker in 19th Century.
There are tiny model houses that is run by electricity. I used to have one when I was little and just by looking at these makes me want to have my own collection too. The tiny details and the amount of work put into it are incredible.
Of course, toy collections wouldn’t be complete without vintage board games. But this one is just a collection from Noddy.
Surprise, surprise, the owners must have been a fan of Archie comics. They even collected cosmetics apart from dolls.
Apart from Alice In Wonderland, it seems like the owners are huge fans of Popeye too. Their collection range from books, merchandises, figurines and toys.
Toy soldiers are displayed neatly and organized according to its time period in history. There are medieval knights, soldiers from World Wars and warriors of ethnic tribes.
I tried remembering the name of this castle but I couldn’t. Anyway, it’s on display too.
Part of the museum has been dedicated to HV Evatt’s memorabilla, an Australian judge, lawyer, parliamentarian and writer. There’s a collection of matches, tin cans, art materials, household products, pins, banknotes and what seems to be – coat strings.
The doll collection is so varied in styles and time in history. The oldest one I can date back is a 19th Century ceramic doll called bisque dolls made in France and Germany wearing affluent clothing of the period. These kinds of dolls were popularized in the market until after World War I and marketed to the rich families. Some of the dolls from the collection were owned by the daughters in the family of this house.
There are also special edition dolls after the Queen and Princess of the British Monarchy.
Fast forward to present time, Harry Potter and James Bond toy and merchandise collections are the first ones you’ll see as soon as you step into the house. The James Bond collection has been arranged according to its franchise timeline too.
Last but not the least, an extensive Barbie and Friends collection from the very first Barbie, Ken and Skipper dolls, designer editions, anniversary editions, movie merchandises, and limited editions to mark historical events.
The very first edition barbie doll (1959) in its original packaging and stand wearing striped bathing suit, large white sunglasses, ring earrings, black stillettos, brushed wavy hair in pony tail. Available in two different hair colours: Blonde and Brunette. The first reproduction was released in 1994 in celebration of her 35th birthday and another was released in 2015.
The first Ken doll was introduced in 1961, the toy displayed is still in its original packaging.
Skipper, Barbie’s younger sister, introduced by Mattel in 1964, a shorter doll standing 9.25 inches in height on its first release.
Some designer Barbies including Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Anne Klein, Macys, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani.
Barbie’s 50th Anniversary, MAC Cosmetics edition and Millennium Princess edition.
Barbie Coca-Cola editions.
Barbie pageant editions:
Movie editions of Barbie dolls featuring Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, The Munsters and Wizard of Oz.
Barbie outfits throughout history:
Leuralla Toy and Railway Museum is located at 36 Olympian Parade, Leura in New South Wales, Australia. It’s included as one of the stops of Blue Mountains Explorer Bus in Katoomba.
Some of the best things in life are those that comes at the most unexpected times.
It surprises and awakens something inside you.
When I discovered Quora back in 2015, I never expected to enjoy the site as much as I do now. I’ve often encountered people mentioning it before when I was randomly reading through blogs after blogs, forums after forums and social media sites after another. At first I was hesitant to join another site. All of us have countless memberships we’ve already signed up for and I reached to the point where I didn’t want to join anymore at all. But then I got curious and when curiosity strikes, nothing can stop it from killing the cat. A day came when I decided to give it a try.
It was a period in time where I got obsessed in reading about the most popular HBO series, Game of Thrones, based from George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel A Song of Ice and Fire. My Quora newsfeed was filled with back stories, fan theories, speculations, predictions and interpretations both of the novel and TV series. Honestly, my feed was only about that!
Reading about it day and night, that’s when I encountered the first Quoran I truly admire, Kelsey L. Hayes. She provides in-depth analyses and interpretations of every part of ASOIAF. She even understands how GRR Martin’s mind works, which is incredible. I’ve never seen someone who had so much depth of knowledge and who possesses such deep understanding on a literary work.
The realization of her character as a person changed my view on a certain aspect of the world. I began to question myself, “What have I been doing all this time?”
I realized that there are a lot of amazing people to meet and interact with; There are so many things to read about; Things to have in-depth knowledge of; Things that will expand and provide thorough understanding on a variety of subject matters.
I got excited.
For the first time in a long time, I was inspired again. My ultimate goal in life has been revisited and re-evaluated. It has been right all along – My search for knowledge and broad understanding of everything in this world. That is still my ultimate goal and Quora is one avenue for that.
It reminds me of an important episode in my life a decade back.
When I was still a sophomore in high school, I discovered a book at home that awakened my true curiosity and it triggered the formation of who I am today. I can still vividly remember that particular night: There was a major blackout in the city on a weekday. We only relied on our emergency lights to guide us and illuminate our paths as we fumble in the dark. I still don’t know what’s gotten into me but somehow, I grabbed this 3-inch A4-size hard bound book, published in 1975, and started browsing instead of playing my portable Nintendo like an ordinary teenager of that time.
The book smelled like it hasn’t been flipped for ages. The pages were turning yellow but still thick and crisp. It was a special edition Readers Digest that we picked up from my grandma’s house a few years back. The book’s content covers from ancient history up until humanity’s prediction of the future. It is filled with interesting, factual, mysterious and trivial information such as crop circles, peculiar diseases, the case of Mary Celeste, the two Titanics, and the bizarre story of a young girl (which I’ll never ever forget). Despite relying on a dim light I managed to read it for hours. I just couldn’t put it down.
Years passed and I’m pretty sure that I’ve read it cover to cover x number of times.
Since that night, I went to bed with a realization and understanding of what my interests are and it explained a lot why I enjoy documentaries and other science and history-related books/movies/TV shows. Thus, my interest with Mythbusters, Ancient Aliens and Fringe Science.
I met myself. As if for the first time.
It was absolute bliss.
Every time I read or watch something about a topic I’m interested in, I feel like a little kid going all thrilled over a piece of candy.
Throughout the years after, my attention and focus somehow diverted to college and everything Advertising-related. A few interests were added along the way. I found myself reading about different religions, philosophy, sociology, psychology and surprisingly literature.
I spent my lunch breaks browsing in our college library, seated in the least explored corners closest to the bookshelf of choice, and getting annoyed at anyone reaching within a 5-metre radius.
I found people I can share and discuss ideas with both in real life and online.
It was a period of awakening.
Reading about all these subject matters opened doors to a whole new view of the world. It was the kind of realization with no point of return.
My own paradigm shift.
I embraced the change and a lot of the knowledge I acquired. Things that used to be important to me seems to have become insignificant. Irrelevant to my everyday life. I found them shallow and childish.
I simply lost interest.
Up until today, I can’t manage to go back, peek and enjoy a little of things that used to be my source of entertainment.
It was the point where I accepted that I’ve clearly outgrown them.
After college, as a new graduate who just entered the real world, work seemed to be the only thing that mattered. Work seems like how a minor subject acted as if it’s a major one back in the day. In short, it consumed all the time I had, which in all honesty, wasn’t the best choice at all.
I consider that as my dark ages.
My judgements at that time have been clouded by an artificial form of lifestyle. Masked happiness, materialism and high-end way of living. PR was the only thing that mattered. What’s inside has been neglected.
When I quit and focused all my time studying again, this time, a diploma course focused in arts, I looked back to prior and questioned how I lived my life for that short period of time. It wasn’t the corporate life I imagined it to be.
That’s what my friends in the creative industry used to refer people who have chosen to be part of the corporate world when clearly they have future in an industry with more intellectual freedom and creative expression.
Apparently, giving up what you believe in and performing tasks you consider unethical for some temporary monetary gain hurts ones character.
Where was the substance?
It was another turning point in life and a chapter to be closed.
If passion is lost, then what’s the point of living?
Fast forward to present day, Quora is a site that continuously inspires me to create and enrich myself. It constantly awakens my curiosity, provides valuable information with a right balance of satisfying entertainment and helps focus on the important things in life. Most importantly, answering on Quora challenges writing, comprehension and researching skills. It’s a site with the right balance of learning and creating without any unnecessary stress.
From the site’s analytics, my knowledge, based on my answers, encompasses Haute Horlogerie and surprise, surprise, Melbourne, Australia. Apart from basic questions about watches, I get a lot of requests about migrating to Australia; Most likely because of my unbiased and subjective answers in regards to the topic.
The ultimate question is, “Who are my top picks of Quorans to follow?”
To be honest, I cannot consider myself to have explored the site to its maximum potential. I’m still enjoying the tip of the iceberg and little by little savouring my way down to its depth.
So far, the top Quorans on my list are as follows:
- Richard Muller – A physicist at University of California: Berkeley, author of “Now, The Physics of Time”. Apart from science related answers, he also writes about interesting personal stories that comes with an important life advice.
- Robert Frost – Works at NASA. Obviously answers a lot of interesting NASA, science and astronomy-related questions.
- Franklin Veaux – Writes mature relationship advice and an author of a book and site on polyamory, “More Than Two”.
- Kelsey L. Hayes – Provides in-depth analyses and interpretations of the entire A Song of Ice and Fire novel and Game Of Thrones TV show.
- CJ Lee – Provides in-depth analyses and interpretations, quotes page references and movie parts of the entire Harry Potter franchise.
- Jake Williams – Very opinionated and his writing has a satirical nature.
- McKayla Kennedy – Answers a variety of topics and it’s always rational and mature.
- Josh Fechter – Gives insightful advices regarding startups.
- Jordan Yates – Answers a lot of questions about everything.
- Dan Holliday – He claims to be an “agnostic-atheist-humanist-materialist-utilitarian” Pretty much what he writes about apart from personal experiences that he shares.
I have yet to discover more interesting Quorans. There are so many more topics to cover and to read about. Hopefully, a lifetime would be enough to satisfy ones intellectual cravings.
There’s no questioning Joe Wright’s incredible talent in directing films. If you’ve seen at least Pride and Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007), Anna Karenina (2012) and Pan (2015), it’s impossible not to notice his keen eye for artistic details for scriptwriting, character development, scene interpretation, dramatic lighting, shot composition and spatial awareness.
This is the main reason why this is one of my all-time favourite films despite its historical inaccuracy and lack of faithfulness to the original book by Jane Austen. It’s more of an artistic interpretation rather than simply a film adaptation of a classic. If one prefers a perfect dramatisation of the book, BBC has done a great job in producing Pride & Prejudice (1995), a six-episode British TV drama. But hey, Joe didn’t direct this movie in order to create a duplicate film and that what makes his’ outstanding. I’ve pointed out a few commendable skills and aesthetics I admire about Joe:
Joe’s cinematography is like a love letter to the English landscapes. He has always wanted the character’s proximity to landscape and nature as close as possible especially Elizabeth who was shooting for the stars with her risk of being with Mr. Darcy. He finds it heroic for the lead character to have her feet on the ground and end up achieving her pursuit for romantic interest.
This is one of those films with multiple point of views were taken into consideration. Everyone has become a spectator and a victim at some point. I believe that Joe has consciously included voyeurism as an artistic approach in order to deeply understand what the character’s are going through and how they perceive the events in their surroundings.
Joe as a director is very meticulous, he has admitted his like to minutiae, his obsession to details of everyday life, and I think it’s commendable to be this particular for a film. The trivial things he included makes the entire film deeper and more meaningful as you watch it over and over again. The rustic and plainness feel of the Bennet’s everyday things, the simplicity of their house decors, the kinds of food they serve on their table, and the differences in the gestures of different societal classes, all reveals a lot about who they really are.
In terms of characters and their developments, he has portrayed their individualities, choice of words, expressions, familiarity in relationships, familial habits and the evolution of their character’s costume design.
I will just leave this quote right here which perfectly describe how the costume design has been created for this film:
“I find empire line dresses are very ugly, so I did some research. Although the novel was published in 1813, Jane Austen wrote her first draft of “Pride and Prejudice”, then called “First Impressions”, around 1797. So we used the fashions of the earlier period, where the waist on dresses was lower and more flattering. When Caroline Bingley appears, she would obviously be wearing the latest creation. But Mrs. Bennet’s dresses are earlier than 1797, and Lady Catherine’s are even earlier, because those two would have best clothes from previous years in their wardrobe.“
(Joe Wright, Director)
Costumes are one of the best, easily spotted, telling things in a movie but often to differentiate between characters. In Pride and Prejudice (2005), it’s used to show the evolution of a character. It was mind blowing when I first noticed it years ago and it stuck to me until today.
Throughout the film, Mr. Darcy has evolved from a proud, snobbish and reserved gentleman, to apologetic, humbling and expressive fellow towards Elizabeth. His expressions and body gestures have drastically changed too. He started to smile and be more courageous in being open as an individual and his clothes reveal this change. From his uptight collar in the beginning, to his unbuttoned and loose shirt in the end.
Joe has also portrayed how a common family like the Bennet’s would normally act on everyday life. Their unrefined table manners completely shows the difference between classes in society but also shows the deep familiarity between family members who care about each other.
Hands are also one of the most important tellings signs in the film. Physical contact was kept to a minimum and Joe has taken in great consideration the importance of showing hand gestures to portray the meaning and expressions of each character involved. It’s astounding how electrifying every scene has been portrayed shooting different emotions at play.
The dance scene that is one of the most important scenes in the entire film. This is where the conflict has arises. In a time where physical contact can only happen through the dance, dancing is a very intimate activity between a couple. It’s sensual, electric and full of charge in a short time period of dancing in a very formal structure. The sexual chemistry between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth was present and very much alive while exchanging sarcastic remarks. There were so many factors at play in this scene and unconsciously, their relationship leaped from merely acquaintances to troubled couple-in-the-making while doubting their own prejudice against each other.
Again, Joe used voyeurism in order for the audience to intrude at this particular intimate moment between the couple. The camera angle didn’t change all throughout the dance and was carefully following Elizabeth as she twirls and moves around the hall. Following the first few sequences, the intensity of the scene became more tensed as the music increased its volume and intensity. Their witty and sarcastic remarks grew more fierce as they exchange sharper gaze against each other. And finally, the intensity reached its peak as the confrontation between the two stopped them from continuing the dance. The particular camera angle and technique has lead to inspire the entire movie of Anna Karenina (2012).
This film overall is circular. It’s definitely not one of those films that has an open ending. It completely starts and ends with a sunrise as it open and closes the chapter of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.
Joe’s comprehensive take in composition of the entire film is both admirable and commendable. His great deal in aesthetic and obsession with details in every angle and every aspect are very impressive. I hope he makes more films as thoughtful as this and he needs more recognition in his field. I can’t wait to watch his upcoming film The Darkest Hour (2017) which will be released this year.
*Source: All images were taken from my favourite Tumblr blog Pemberley-state-of-mind.tumblr.com
We can all agree that everyone needs a beauty sleep at night. With all the variety of activities we do everyday, the overall schedule of people have dramatically became extremely hectic throughout the decades. It is undeniable that the skin needs extra pampering at night to maximise the beneficial effects of the much-deserved beauty sleep. Thanks to Laneige sleeping masks for making it possible!
Following the success of the water sleeping pack that was first introduced in 2002, the NEW Laneige Water Sleeping Mask immediately captured the hearts of the market worldwide. It was launched alongside with the NEW Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask that complements well with its moisturising effect. Both comes in matching sealed frosted jars with spatulas for hygienic purposes.
History of Laneige Water Sleeping Packs:
Source: Laneige Official Website
Water Sleeping Mask (With Sleep-tox™ purifying effect)
I have been a huge fan of Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX since it was launched in 2009. I can’t imagine what my skin could’ve been if I didn’t supplement my skin’s nutrition with this product during the period in my life where I barely get 5 hours continuous sleep at night due to my busy ad agency lifestyle proceeding my thesis year. That’s why I was so hyped when they improved it to much more better product that not only extremely nourishes the skin, but also improves the length and quality of sleep!
It comes in a blue frosted 70ml jar that has a screw lid to keep its moisture intact for long use. It also comes with a transparent spatula as it always does to keep the rest of the product free from contamination for long use.
- Moisturzes and revitalizes skin
- Clarifies skin overnight
- Improves the quality of sleep, thus, improving the moisturising effect
- Provides skin a healthy glow
- Refines old skin to achieve a smooth finish
- Skin soothing effect
- Both dehydrated and well moisturised skin
- All skin types
- Sleep deprived people
How to Use:
- Do your regular skin care regime (facial wash, toner, moisturizer etc) then apply a generous amount on the face by spreading gently and patting it on the skin. Have your well-deserved beauty rest and let the magic happens overnight. Wake up with a smooth, healthy glowing and moisturised skin.
Detailed Product Information: Laneige Official Website
Special Ingredients: SLEEP-TOX™ Technology, MOISTURE WRAP™ and SLEEPSCENT™
Apparently, the new technology of the new and innovated Laneige Water Sleeping Mask has clinically proven to improve both the quality of sleep and the moisturising effect of the product with continuous use. This product is perfect for those who live in areas with extreme dry and cold seasons. Down here in Melbourne, we rarely experience hot and humid weathers even on summer season, known as the place in Australia with 4 seasons a day, this product is perfect for regular use all throughout the year.
The table below shows the moisturizing effect of Laneige Water Sleeping Mask:
Clinical Test conducted by Laneige using this product (Source: Laneige Official Website)
TEXTURE | Smooth, light and gel-type
SCENT | Lightly scented and refreshing
COLOUR | Light blue, transparent
APPLICATION | Transparent once applied on skin
PRICE | AU$45.00 (Inc. GST)
PROS | Great in moisturising the skin. It is very light and refreshing when applied compared to heavy and thick moisturisers. It leaves the skin supple in the morning and it maintains moisture on the skin even on winter season.
CONS | My combination type skin sometimes shows some breakouts and the tub only lasts for 4-6 months when used 2-3 times a week.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Verdict: I will continuously use it as part of my regular regime, 2-3 times a week.
Lip Sleeping Mask (With Vitamin C-rich Berry Mix ComplexTM)
I have accepted the fact that my dry lips stays dry with me forever that’s why my skin care regime always include a lip scrub every morning, beeswax as my lip moisturiser and a regular lip balm that I carry with me wherever I go. Laneige introducing the NEW Lip Sleeping Mask is heaven’s sent to supplement my regime. It comes in a pink frosted 20g jar that has a seal cover and a screw lid to keep its moisture intact for long use. It also comes with a cute pink rubber spatula and a case to keep it neat and hygienic, free from dust.
- Moistens sleep at the most beneficial time
- Removes dead skin cells
- Wake up with supple luscious lips
- Extremely dry lips
- Frequent wearer of lip make up
How to Use:
- Do your regular skin care regime (facial wash, toner, moisturizer etc) then apply a generous amount on the lips by spreading gently and leaving it on overnight. In the morning, scrub off dead skin cells and extra dry skin.
Detailed Product Information: Laneige Official Website
Special ingredients: Vitamin C-rich Berry Mix ComplexTM
Apparently, the new technology, Vitamin C-rich Berry Mic ComplexTM, contains raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry extracts erases dry, flaky dead skin on the lips during the night to realize smooth and supple lips the next morning. You can never get enough berries than this little product right here!
TEXTURE | Rich, thick, heavy and gel-type
SCENT | Lightly scented, sweet
COLOUR | Light pink, transparent
APPLICATION | Transparent with pink hue once applied on skin. Feels like a very thick lip balm masking the entire lips while you sleep.
PRICE | AU$30.00 (Inc. GST)
PROS | Moisturised the lips just as fine. It leaves the lips, soft and supple in the morning. It maintains moisture on the lips after prolonged use for those like me with dry lips.
CONS | Possibility of smudging while asleep and it’s very thick and has a heavy filling once applied.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Verdict: I will continuously use it as part of my regular regime, 2-3 times a week.
Laneige never fails to produce high quality and effective skin care products. These are totally worth investing on when it comes to moisturising especially when the magic happens on the most important time of the night. When you’re having your beauty sleep!
**This is an honest, non-paid, personal review of the products I religiously use.
“Change is the only constant in life.” – Heraclitus (Greek Philosopher)
This is one of the most notable universal lessons I learned early in life. Everything changes. We have to accept and continuously adapt to this inevitable phenomenon.
Contrary to popular belief in palmistry, the lines on our palms changes at least every three months. This can only mean that there’s a high probability that our ‘predictable’ future can change anytime soon. Advantageous for those who didn’t like their palm reading results.
When I was in uni, I met a professor who does palm reading. She read my life and fate as a short one, both ended right in the middle of my palm. Before I heard her reading, for some reason, I’ve always believed I wouldn’t go past 30, the main factor why I didn’t pursue to be a specialist doctor despite wanting to be one since I was 4 years old. Her reading, confirming my short life, just added as another reason for me to live my life to the fullest. I started learning everything I wanted to learn and do everything I want within my capabilities.
Years later, after a life-changing event, a milestone any person can be proud of, my life and fate lines have been doubled. I haven’t reached my 30th year yet but my palm drastically changed its reading. It’s evident how another set of lines started.
Even life within our palms changes.
Some people might argue that our star signs can never change since it was the time we were born. Technically it’s true, but our ancestors, the Babylonians, were trying to divide the sky into equal parts leaving out one of the thirteen zodiac signs to match their ancient calendar. The sky has been recently re-assessed by NASA and the thirteenth zodiac has been officially added again. Ophiuchus, the unfortunate one to be left out centuries ago, has made its come back and shifted the rest of the time periods of the other zodiac signs. The result: No one was happy. Probably aside from those who have always thought they never belong to any of the 12 zodiac signs.
I’m totally antagonistic towards this change, from being considered a Gemini, an air sign with two personalities, I’m now considered a Taurus, an earth sign and regarded as the most reliable of all.
Another mind-boggling change in my life is the dominant part of the brain. After being re-assessed over and over, it shifted from one to the other for the past two decades.
As a toddler, I used my right hand for quite some time until I became left-handed. My activities growing up revolved around utilising my creativity – dancing, playing the piano, painting, drawing and swimming. In spite my love for perfection and mentally fitting shapes into random objects, I’ve always been considered a creative rather than an analytical kid.
In high school, I found it enjoyable to play Damath, a math checkers board game, and competitive chess. I played badminton for leisure but was surprised that I can use both hands to hold the racket. It was advantageous for me to use both hands during the game. Throughout this time, I still danced and painted once in a while but I stopped playing any musical instruments. Before graduation, we have been assessed to find out which career would suit our skills best. Obviously, I’ve been advised to take an art-related degree.
By the time I’m halfway through my bachelor’s degree, my hobbies totally changed. I stopped any art-related activities such as dancing and drawing. I lost interest with anime, manga and console games. I focused more on my studies and I found my interest in business, marketing, history and languages. The school assessed all of us to find out which part of our brain is dominant to help us self-assess the right path to take after graduation. To my surprise, I was one of the rare students who have balanced dominance for both parts of the brain.
Fast forward to today, based on my interests, hobbies and career skills, I am confident to say that my left brain is currently the dominant part. I found myself learning languages, studying East Asian History, and became technical with precision instruments.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Our palms, the stars and the dominance of our brains may betray us but for me, my MBTI personality is the only consistent one that defines me in my life.
It has been 15 years since I took my first Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and it has been that long since I’ve been consistently assessed as INTJ.
The description of this personality perfectly describes who I am. It’s a good read for anyone who are interested in getting to know me because my poor skill in socializing wouldn’t even let anyone get past the “Hi-Hello” stage.
Recently, I took some online test that I got the link from one of my favourite bloggers just for fun. To my surprise, it’s quite accurate since my results is still the same. I took one after another from other sites and the results are always INTJ. It was hard to believe at first since I am perfectly aware that I drastically changed at least for the past decade. My hobbies, activities and belief were totally different, even my approach in life have improved, yet my results still show the same.
According to www.16personalities.com, the most recent test I took, INTJ is described as the Architect Personality.
Apparently, it forms just two percent of the population and women with INTJ type only belong to 0.8% of the population. I have always known that I’m different, always pursuing to be different. I dislike being considered as one of a large group but I still believe that INTJ is too much an honour for me. This is the personality for most villains because of their outstanding intellect and cleverness.
This personality is “often a challenge to find like-minded individuals who are able to keep up with their relentless intellectualism and chess-like maneuvering. People with the Architect personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.” -INTJ (16 personalities)
I love to read. But I’ve never considered myself as a bookworm. I’m actually pretty lazy when it comes to reading but I still prefer to do so because of my curiosity. As a matter of fact, no one in my life has ever referred me as a “bookworm” contrary to the description of INTJ early in life. I’ve been referred to as “weird” and I got a lot of facial expressions because of my interest in things most kids weren’t interested in.
With a natural thirst for knowledge that shows itself early in life, Architects are often given the title of “bookworm” as children. While this may be intended as an insult by their peers, they more than likely identify with it and are even proud of it, greatly enjoying their broad and deep body of knowledge. Architects enjoy sharing what they know as well, confident in their mastery of their chosen subjects, but they prefer to design and execute a brilliant plan within their field rather than share opinions on “uninteresting” distractions like gossip.
I can’t describe how perfectly fitting this description is to me. Undeniably, it’s the epitome of an INTJ but not enough to be considered quintessential:
A paradox to most observers, Architects are able to live by glaring contradictions that nonetheless make perfect sense – at least from a purely rational perspective. For example, Architects are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics, a seemingly impossible conflict. But this is because Architect personalities tend to believe that with effort, intelligence and consideration, nothing is impossible, while at the same time they believe that people are too lazy, short-sighted or self-serving to actually achieve those fantastic results. Yet that cynical view of reality is unlikely to stop an interested Architect from achieving a result they believe to be relevant.
“In Matters Of Principle, Stand Like a Rock”
It is said that Architects radiate self-confidence and an aura of mystery. One of the things I’m proud of is maintaining that aura to people I come in contact with. Revealing the mystery for me is losing the essence of everything I stand up for.
I once told my mum that in every new job I got into, I have to rebuild everything for the better. It’s like doing an overhaul in the existing systems in place and an in-depth reading on INTJ’s personality makes sense everything to me:
At times it will seem that Architects are bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come into contact with, employing a sense of perfectionism and even morality to this work. Anyone who doesn’t have the talent to keep up with Architects’ processes, or worse yet, doesn’t see the point of them, is likely to immediately and permanently lose their respect.
Another interesting trait that gets me into trouble is my smart-ass way of questioning authority. I’m definitely not a rebel but I believe that I can only properly follow rules and limitations if it makes sense to me. If not, it should be open for re-evaluation. I believe that we shouldn’t follow them blindly just because they are in place. They are after all, regarded as “human laws” created by humans ourselves. What makes the creators right, and us wrong if we begin questioning them?
Rules, limitations and traditions are anathema to the Architect personality type – everything should be open to questioning and reevaluation, and if they see a way, Architects will often act unilaterally to enact their technically superior, sometimes insensitive, and almost always unorthodox methods and ideas. This isn’t to be misunderstood as impulsiveness – Architects will strive to remain rational no matter how attractive the end goal may be, and every idea, whether generated internally or soaked in from the outside world, must pass the ruthless and ever-present “Is this going to work?” filter. This mechanism is applied at all times, to all things and all people, and this is often where Architect personalities run into trouble.
I have always regarded myself as anti-social or one with lack of social skills and this is the reason why:
Architects are brilliant and confident in bodies of knowledge they have taken the time to understand, but unfortunately the social contract is unlikely to be one of those subjects. White lies and small talk are hard enough as it is for a type that craves truth and depth, but Architects may go so far as to see many social conventions as downright stupid. Ironically, it is often best for them to remain where they are comfortable – out of the spotlight – where the natural confidence prevalent in Architects as they work with the familiar can serve as its own beacon, attracting people, romantically or otherwise, of similar temperament and interests.
I don’t consider myself brilliant, but I’m definitely proud of the bodies of knowledge I studied well. I can’t tolerate other people trying to outsmart me in situations where I knew that I know the subject better than they do. Most of the time I just shut up and end the conversation to continue my peace. Other times, when the other party is persistent in trying to make me accept my defeat in this social competition, I just have to join the game and gracefully win in the end.
My friend and colleague recently told me that I’m quite skilled in subtly making people feel stupid, shamed or inessential. But from my end, I consider it as a poorly executed curiosity that I inappropriately communicated across the other party.
Architects are defined by their tendency to move through life as though it were a giant chess board, pieces constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly outmaneuvering their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. This isn’t meant to suggest that Architects act without conscience, but to many other types, Architects’ distaste for acting on emotion can make it seem that way, and it explains why many fictional villains (and misunderstood heroes) are modeled on this personality type.
I’m not aware that I move like a chess-board piece, but I’m definitely trying to control situations and maximizing my freedom most of the time. And another thing is that logic is mostly favoured when making a decision and never an emotion. Emotion fades, logic remains forever.
This post is the closest thing anyone can get about getting to know who I am.
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” -Harlan Ellison
The darkest hour of the day has just retreated and sunlight starts to pierce through the clear sky. It is dawn, wind is chilling, streets are still empty and thousands of stars can still be vividly seen shining in the midnight blue sky. The woman in her mid-20s observes the celestial bodies with melancholy as she stands in the cold pavement of the unfamiliar metropolitan. The cold slowly envelopes her fragile body wrapped in black trench as her eyes focus on the brightest star.
“Strange. Really strange. I’m staring directly at the past. It’s a reminiscence of a baffling time that nobody could possibly imagine what it was like.”
The screeching of the passing tram breaks the silence and draws her back to reality from her deep thoughts. Her long wavy auburn hair dances with the breeze as she clutched her purse and starts walking towards up the road. It’s a bit of a stroll until she reaches her destination that she can’t even vaguely remember. The trees gestures with their outmost courtesy, branches waving and bowing as she passes by.
The intense aroma of different sorts of coffee linger in the area, inviting and awaking every passers by for a warm cup to grab. Around the corner of the laneway, a hole in the wall caught her attention. A rustic coffee shop with a huge wooden plank nailed just above the head reads “Expresso.” She pulled a bill from her pocket and ordered a latte. In a snap of a finger, the coffee is handed over to her. Or so it seems. She continues walking and crosses the road heading to the next block. The cup warms up her freezing hands as she slowly sips and savour the morning treat.
The coffee triggers a memory. “How long have I been drinking coffee?” she asks. It has been ten years, “It was the time I decided to start taking risks.”
The vivid memories quickly flashes back in her mind. Her thoughts sucks her back to her senior year in college.
It was the time of the year of acceptance letters. The most awaited moment for every senior student. After receiving offers from the most prestigious universities in the country to take up the course of her childhood dream, she, suddenly, out of rationality, backed out. She was frightened. She got scared of the pre-destined path she’s about to take. She felt something is missing in her life. A spark. A challenge. A risk.
She decided not to accept any of the generous offers. Instead, she has chosen to pursue education on career paths she never even imagined herself doing. Everyone around her was surprised. Her unwavering dream, or so it seems, officially came to an end.
A decade later she finds herself looking back at the very first risk she did in her life. She sips from her cup and feel the energising liquid fills her empty stomach. It’s satisfying and comforting at the same time. Her thoughts linger with a What If.
“What if I pursued my childhood dream?”
She takes a deep breath and exhales generously. The best response she gives herself.
As she reaches the end of the block, a lengthy crosswalk leads to the next one. Her destination is nowhere yet near in sight. She pulls herself together, uplifting her evidently down spirit with all the melancholy that lingers in the early time of the day. There isn’t any stoplights around. Cars vs pedestrian, basic traffic rules apply in confidence that everyone obeys it despite the lack of signals. She braves the crosswalk and begins to cross, level-headed and fearful of the massive vehicles that are about to pass by. Her heart keeps beating fast, terrified and unsure of the outcome she’s taking. However, she feels excited, challenged and surprisingly alive.
In every step she takes, she puts herself in a balance between life and death. But it doesn’t stop her from pursuing such a risky path. She holds her purse tightly and advance like a determined chess piece making a move. Certain of the progression and aggressively faces the path yet to be taken. Vehicles of all sorts continue to pass by without hesitation and she continues to brave the crosswalk. As she gets through, she looks back and observes the path she has just taken.
She suddenly realises that for a decade, she has been spending her life taking the path of a crosswalk. The moment she started to take the risk, she has been continuously taking one risk followed by another. And she’s still not yet halfway through. It may not be an easy path, but undoubtedly, she knows that it’s the right path to take. The only way for her further development as a better person, a passionate individual and an interesting personality with a broadened understanding of the world.
Looking forward, she continues her stroll towards her destination. Boldly facing the direction of the wind. Sipping again from her cup, feeling the cold breeze brush against her pale skin, she obliviates all her worries, unnecessary What If and enjoys the rest of the risky journey ahead.
“Risks are definitely worth it.”
Winter is almost over down under and I found myself learning calligraphy lately. The joy of challenging oneself to try on different art forms feels liberating. Calligraphy is definitely one of those art forms that I have neglected to pay attention to when growing up.
I have tried on different tools to learn and realised that the most important material does not lie on the quality of tools. The desire to learn, practice and motivation to improve are more important above all things.
To all those who would love to start practicing calligraphy, I put together the most basic kit you will need to start your journey. The Calligraphy Kit for Beginners can be purchased through my Etsy shop.
The Calligraphy Kit for Beginners includes the following:
- 1 box of Calligraphy writing kit:
- 1 calligraphy pen
- 3 nibs
- 1 brush
- 1 bottle of black ink
- calligraphy guide
- 3pcs. A4 sheets with different calligraphy styles with grid lines
- 10 pcs. A4 sheets of blank paper with calligraphy grid lines
I recently joined this Australian site for book lovers, called Bookon. It’s basically a digital marketplace for books. It’s similar to Ebay’s concept without auctions and specifically made for books. It’s currently the largest book marketplace in Australia where you can find thousands of study notes, textbooks, novels, references, study books or any kind of books. Whether you are required to have it for university or you would like to read it for personal use, Bookon has something for you.
Please have a look at my current display shelf – My Bookon: Katrinard