Beatrice Tan
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15

May

TWENTY

0305 HRS

New retail level at Vivocity

SPONSORED POST

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As mentioned in my Dayre post previously, one of Singapore's largest retail and lifestyle destination mall, VivoCity has introduced an entirely new retail space at Basement one!

I used to frequent VivoCity quite often during my university school days as my school was located around the area. Been a while since I've explored the mall and was pleasantly surprised to know of that new retail floor.

The basement one expansion is not just an addition of new stores but to be specific, this new retail level features exclusively curated brands. These are brands are exciting fashion and accessories retailers which I'm very sure both you and I have heard of. I visited the level just two weeks ago and some of the stores were still undergoing renovation but what I've heard, they’ll be opening really soon! You should definitely check them out when you head there!

To name a few that I visited the other day:

1. WEEKENDS

WEEKENDS is a new one-stop, multi-brand lifestyle store and has just opened its first ever store at VivoCity Basement one.

To give you more background on the store, WEEKENDS brings together 14 international lifestyle brands from Europe and America. They offer an eclectic collection of inspiring gifts and designer stationery, stylish jewellery and accessories, unique fragrances as well as statement-making soft home furnishings, such as wall art and prints, designer tableware, lamps and much more.     

Brands you can expect to see are kate spade new york Gift & Stationery, Acctim, Alphabet Bags, Brokis, Coulson Macleoud, Fiorelli, Gary Birks Designs, Ginger Ray, Jonathan Alder Gifts & Stationery, Mr Maria, Read Between The Lines, Royal Apothic and Talented.  Prices ranges from $6.90 for a notebook to $650.00 for ceiling lights and more pictures below to show you what's in store ;)

I adore homeware, cards & notebooks shopping and I spent a great deal of time checking them out. I personally think WEEKENDS offers a great range of gifts for your loved ones and friends and I'm confident you'll be able to pick out something for any gender and age!

P.S: Do you know MONOYONO, a leading branded specialty retailer of gifts and lifestyle merchandise is their sister company?

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2. THOMAS SABO

THOMAS SABO is an international jewellery, watch and beauty brand. They carry a wide range of designs made from sterling silver and design, sell, distribute products from Germany for both men and women.

The brand is known for creating innovative, trend-oriented, classically-elegant as well as highly-expressive accessories, with great attention to detail. Expressive and iconic designs from the ladies' and men's collections, such as the love knot, the skulls, leather bracelets and the feminine rings, have acquired cult status in the THOMAS SABO product world and are highly-coveted among customers across five different continents.

THOMAS SABO's partners include 2,600 jewellers and retail partners throughout the world with 273 shops (119 shop-in-shops and 154 stand-alone-shops) across the globe. You will also be excited to know that Poppy delevingne used to be one of their ambassadors as well and top model Georgia May Jagger (daughter of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger) is their current ambassador ;)

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THOMAS SABO is known for its  range of modular charm jewellery – entitled Karma Beads. The Karma Beads collection was introduced as a celebration of the ‘beautiful things in life’, representing a positive attitude towards all life. One of their star products is named The Wheel of Karma which represents ‘personal, inner balance’. There is quite a great spectrum of designs, ranging from sweet floral pieces to Gothic skull design.

I must say they do have a great range of designs for customers to choose from and from the collection, you can easily mix and match for your own customized bracelet. This will be a great idea for a gift too ;)

Receive a complimentary beauty bag worth $30 with minimum $150 spend. Valid till 30 June 2015,  while stocks last. Quote my name, Beatrice Tan to enjoy the promotion!

3. LAB SERIES
 

A prestige skincare brand for men by Estée Lauder companies. LAB SERIES believes in applying modern technology, advanced ingredients and the latest research on men’s physiological and lifestyle needs to develop products with proven results.  LAB SERIES offers simple educational tools to help men understand exactly how to address their skincare needs, and provide the knowledge and the assurance to solve any problems that arise – from acne to aging.

A friend of mine joined in for that afternoon and he was telling me he uses their products on a daily basis and they work well for him. He was keen to try out the new range of products and hence he had a complimentary skin analysis done on the very same day and received a one week trial sampling set after that. It's open to all walk-ins so calling out to you guys, if you would like to try their products, do pop by to have your skin analyzed!

You'll receive a 2-piece deluxe travel set worth $35 with minimum $50 worth of purchase. This promotion is valid till 30 June 2015 (while stocks last) and do quote my name to enjoy the offer :)

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4. STEVE MADDEN

What more can I say?

One of the most prominent footwear brands around and happy to know that VivoCity has an outlet now.

They have a wide range of sandals, sneakers, pumps and heels and we were totally spoilt for choice! Definitely a spacious location which allows you to shop in comfort. I spent a good hour or so shopping in the store and I must say the service was impeccable. I had to thank the staff, Nul (hope I didn't get his name wrong) for being so patient with me and he was probably one of the best salespersons I've encountered before!

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Three of Sel and my picks ;)

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Last but not least, these are just 4 of the 9 brands that are situated at VivoCity's basement one. Some other brands you can expect to see:
American Eagle Outfitters
Aéropostale
Rabeanco
Etude House
Innisfree

Do pop by the new retail level for some retail therapy as they will be having some special opening promotions in store, so don't miss them!

10

May

TWENTY

1105 HRS

Ladies Night Out

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Saturday night out with these gorgeous ladies.

Together with dear Merli, Evon, Sora and Melissa, we had a nice, simple evening catching up over sumptuous Chinese cuisine. Familiar faces on magazines and national teevee but definitely very down to earth yet humble people. Such a fun night out and thank you Sora & Evon for the treat! I'll be Merli and my turn the next round ;)

24

April

TWENTY

0404 HRS

Estee Lauder

(Sponsored Post)

I’ve always been looking out for skincare products that focus on whitening and recently, I was introduced to Estee Lauder’s Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Range and was told that this range is specifically created for Asian women, working in sync with skin’s natural circadian rhythm for fairer, brighter complexion.  

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I was rather drawn towards the fact that this range has been tested on Asian women as I personally felt that there is a difference between Asians and Caucasians’ skin type. To name a few that I came to understand from this online article: 

1.  Asians tend to have a thicker and denser dermal layer of the skin and there is a higher concentration of collagen. 
2. Asians have a more compact epidermis (top layer of skin) which tends to reduce the absorption of skincare substances when applied to the skin.  This probably explains why Asians pile on more potent potions and have developed at least a 5-step skincare.
3. Asians have darker skin than Caucasians. Asians tend to produce more melanin which tends to be distributed more towards the surface of the skin, thus the darker skin.
4. Asian skin tends to tan more and burn less, which means chronic UV exposure tends to produce more pigmentation-related problems for Asians. 
5. Asian skin responds differently to trauma (physical, surgical, chemical or light). They tend to produce more post-inflammatory/traumatic hyperpigmentation, which leaves patchy brown marks on the site of skin injury and this does not resolve easily. 
6.  Asians have a higher rate of unsightly scars, e.g. keloid and hypertrophic scars. 

Source: http://www.thebestbeautyblog.com/asian-beauty-what-is-asian-skin-and-how-does-it-compare-to-caucasian-skin/#sthash.7Z095UoD.4rt60rsy.dpbs

This Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Collection comprises of 6 skincare products and 1 powder foundation:
1. Cleanser
2. Moisture Treatment Lotion
3. Spot Correcting Essence
4. Moisture Creme
5. UV Protector SPF50/PA++++
6. BB Creme SPF50/PA++++ & Brightening Balm and Brightening Powder Makeup SPF25.

Through research, I also found out that hyperpigmentation is impacted by the skin’s own day/night cycle. Exposure to environmental assaults during the day can trigger melanin production at night. Hence, that's how a lot of us developed uneven skin tone and pigmentation surfaced as we age.

           
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HIGHLIGHTS OF CRESCENT WHITE FULL CYCLE BRIGHTENING COLLECTION
1. The products are scented with a floral fragrance developed in Asia
2. Naturally derived botanicals work with your skin’s own daily cycle to promote the skin's ability to self-brighten and repair.
3. A 24-hour brightening system which is gentle for long term use and with products which protect against daytime damage and repairs by night.
4. Corrects existing spots and prevents future spots
5. Calms down the skin, prevents dullness and discolorations
6. Ingredients include powerful anti-oxidants to protect skin against harmful free radicals, baicailin to neutralize the effects of pollution and UV, sea fern extract to inhibit melanin production, licorice to minimize irritation responses, and molasses extract to break up accumulated pigmentation.

This collection does sound very promising and I was happy to have the chance to try the entire set out.


Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Cleanser

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The cleanser comes in a very generous portion and I'm pretty sure this could last for a year or so.  I've previously used Estee Lauder's cleanser as well. It has a really rich texture and I like that a tiny bit is enough for creamy lather (you just have to add a few drops of water and the texture turns creamy).

My skin feels thoroughly cleansed after using but sometimes my skin gets really dry and the cleanser tugs on my skin a little. So what I would do is to follow with the Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Moisture Treatment Lotion and it helps to instantly adjust and balance the skin. I was told that this has calming ingredients that complement the regimen’s new Light Cycle QD Complex and help minimize irritation that can contribute to excess melanin production.

 
Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Moisture Treatment Lotion

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This Estee Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Moisture Treatment Lotion is a very gentle, watery fluid that helps to condition the skin after cleansing. I felt that it gave my dry skin a boost of hydration and the skin feels prepared my skin for the treatments that follow after.

Not forgetting the fact that the scent of this product is really lovely, feels pampering indeed. ;)

Crescent White Full Cycle Spot Correcting Essence

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This is the star product of the entire collection and it is also my favourite product from the range. I've used it diligently for two weeks now and I do think the skin feels slightly less dull now.

This product is a star for a reason. It aims to brighten the look of dark spots, dullness and this powerful essence targets existing dark spots and hyper-pigmentation, and also the key causes of discoloration.

As we all know, dullness disappears until light seems to come from deep within. This Estee Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Spot Correcting Essence contains the highest level of the new Light Cycle QD Complex and contains technology that helps skin defend against daily environmental assaults that can cause excess pigmentation.

The texture is a lightweight milky fluid that absorbs into my skin very quickly. Very soothing, moisturizing on my skin and I must really agree the scent smells heavenly too.

Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Moisture Creme

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I've really dry skin and I really like the rich texture of this cream.

To describe its texture, it has a lightly-whipped gel-creme texture that is lightweight and absorbs quickly without any stickiness.

I’m very particular when it comes to moisturizers and have been using different moisturizers for day and night. But this works well for both day and night I must say.  Initially I was a little concerned if it's suitable for day use as it might not go well with my make up after. I tried and tested it after and happy to know that my make up blended in and I tried a few different foundations over the span of a few days – all worked pretty well. I found it perfectly hydrating in the day time throughout my long hours without causing my t-zone to look oily; and sufficiently rich and nourishing at night – not too sure if it's because of the combination of the previous few products that helped to prep the skin well.

And of course, when it comes to night, the cream keeps my skin hydrated till the morning and I like how supple the skin feels in the morning.  

Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening UV Protector SPF50/PA++++

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First thing first, I always ensure my UV protector has an SPF of 50. Secondly, it has a PA++++ which equates to maximum protection!

It is a light cream that dries down completely and does not leave the skin feeling greasy. Fortified with anti-oxidants and anti-irritants, this calms the skin while protecting it. 

This sunscreen from Estee Lauder has UVA/UVB protection and is lightweight and fast-absorbing. I actually thought it acts like a primer to the skin for make up application too. Like they always say, no brightening skincare is complete without a good sunscreen and sunscreen is very, very important for us all.

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Taken right after applying the UV protection.

Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening BB Creme  SPF50/PA++++ & Brightening Balm
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Again, I like it that the BB Cream has an SPF of 50/PA++++ and uniquely, it comes with a Brightening Balm which acts as a highlighter!

I like the complete look and texture of my skin after applying the entire range. The skin has a slight glow but not greasy-looking and it certainly looks naturally brighter as well. Everything is lightly scented with an amazing floral scent, nothing overpowering or lingering, but just feels really fresh and pampering. 

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In conclusion, I would recommend this range if you think you've tired, dull-looking skin. I personally think apart from brightening up the skin, this range is also helpful in retaining moisture from the skin ;)

To receive a 5-day trial sample of the UV Protector, just simply flash my IG post at Estee Lauder ION Orchard Boutique.  (Limited to the first 100 only)

Enjoy your sample!

22

April

TWENTY

1204 HRS

Eye Define by Browhaus

(Sponsored Post)

If you have been following the blog, you probably know that I went for an semi-permanent eyeliner treatment at Browhaus one and half years ago (blog post here).

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To those who are new to Browhaus, it is known to be Singapore’s first dedicated brow and lash grooming salon. It has 30 outlets with presence in nine different cities such as Singapore, London, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok. Browhaus menu covers a range of brow grooming techniques such as threading, tweezing, tinting and Brow Resurrection.

For the longest time before I did this eyeliner treatment, I felt a little conscious when I left home without drawing an eye-line. I would feel that the eyes were tired-looking, too small and naked. And with these reasons, I remember being really excited for the treatment because this would mean waking up to a pair of more defined eyes first thing in the morning.

I had a few concerns initially when I first did:
1. If the treatment will be painful and whether there will be downtime
2. What type of dye will Browhaus use and will the semi-permanent eyeline fade to a blue-ish shade (Got the impression from seeing tattoos etc)
3. Will the eyeline fade at certain areas eg, the corners, at some point of time and that I won't feel comfortable heading out without correcting the eyeline by drawing an eyeline (which defeats the purpose of doing this treatment, if so)

As mentioned previously in my post back then, I had consulted the specialist from Browhaus and was assured me that most people found no pain in the treatment (but of course it depends on the person's level of threshold for pain). As for downtime, I personally didn't experience much but based on the feedback provided by a couple of readers who previously done the treatment as well, they did face days of downtime so I would suggest doing it 3 to 5 days before the weekend to play safe. 

If you are concerned about the dye, I understand that Browhaus uses organic dyes that are 100% safe for all skin types. I've done it for a year half and till date, the eye-line is still very much intact. The black eyeliner shade has faded very slightly but it was still dark enough to show a defined line and there wasn't any blue tinge at all.

No regrets for doing this treatment and til date, I love it!

Well, and with that said, you can imagine my excitement when I was told there'll be a new eye-defined campaign called the 'splash-proof look' by Browhaus this year and I'm happy to have the chance to be involved in it. To share a little more about this campaign, it introduces (1) The Eye Define Treatment and (2) Browhaus's latest Heavy Duty Bi-Liner, a 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Eyeshadow.

1) The Eye Define treatment (what I did previously)

To further elaborate, the eye define treatment helps to define your eyes, making them brighter and your lashes look fuller.

The entire treatment took approximately 1 hour and I was very happy to be back in Wayne's hands! She was amazing, very attentive, precise, making sure that I don't feel sharp pain nor discomfort at any point of time. Numbing cream was applied before the treatment and whenever I faced a slight pain, Wayne would apply the cream along the way to ensure it'll be comfortable throughout.

I was also told that Browhaus’ Brow Specialists have to undergo a strict training regime before they will be able to start work hence they are all well-equipped with skills, making sure there's no room for errors.

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This was taken before my first eye define treatment.

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 And this was taken after one half years, before my second treatment.

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As mentioned before, we all have different preferences on how we like our eyeliner to be drawn. Wayne the specialist started by drawing on a temporary eyeliner shape to ensure that I was satisfied with it before we proceeded with the treatment.

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Numbing in the process and after an hour….

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And done!

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And to ensure that the eye-define treatment achieves its optimal results, it's best to bring home an aftercare kit which will aid in the healing process.

 
If you have realised, I did my bottom eye line too. These pictures below were taken a week after the treatment and I love how the eye define treatment helped to enlarge my eyes (especially after adding on a thin faint line at the bottom eye line). I still enjoy drawing eyeliner at times to achieve different make up looks and I like how Wayne ensures that it won't drastically change the eyes and yet at the same time, making the eyes look as naturally as possible.
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2) Browhaus's latest Heavy Duty Bi-Liner, a 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Eyeshadow

This is one of the newest inventions from Browhaus and what's more appropriate for a brow and eye specialist brand to introduce their own series of Eyeliner and Mascara?

You'll be happy to know that:
- Browhaus introduced a soft smudge tip and sharpener on the other
- Long-lasting Wear for up to 24 hours 
- Line your peepers with your favourite colour or create a sexy smokey effect by gently smudging the liner on your eyelids. 
- Comes in 5 colours: Noir Shimmer, Midnight Blue, Burgundy, Amber (Bronze), and Blush (Light Pink)

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Lovely packaging ;)

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Always a fan of liquid eyeliners and love the sharp tip!

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And all set ready to go after make up! Using Browhaus's precision smudge proof jet black eyeliner ;)

Browhaus is having a special promotion for the eyeliners -  A set of all 5 colours retailing at just $50 (U.P. $64.50 / $12.90 each) and do give them a try at any of their stores ;)



Last but not least, Browhaus is running an Eye Define Promotion at $428! It's a fraction of the usual price of $856 and only for a limited period. I personally love the treatment very much and would definitely recommend you to try it if you would like to have a semi-permanent eyeliner too. Do book in advance as their slots fill up pretty quickly everyday and I hope you will like the treatment as much as I do. Click here to find out more if you are keen!  

19

April

TWENTY

0704 HRS

Sunday Brunch

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Today's brunch date ;)

I was at the east for medical and so we decided to explore new places around the vicinity. Being coffee lovers, we were recommended by Merli's friend to visit Collective Brewers.

Besides coffee, the cafe had a rather decent variety of food and so we settled for brunch there. The burger we had was good, came in a pretty generous portion and for that, we might have over-ordered with a main, two side dishes, two cups of coffee and a chocolate banana cake. The cake we had was a little disappointing, rather dry in texture (the top chocolate layer was pretty good though) and we both agreed it might have been a little pricey for that. Last but not least, the coffee was pretty good, very smooth although we would very much prefer it to be slightly stronger.

It was a Sunday well-spent with the dear girl and happy that we spent some quality time catching up together once again!

And before I end of the entry, I would like to share a fun fashion application that I've downloaded a couple of months ago.

It's called 'WEAR' and I'm pretty sure you have seen the logo around as it's a huge thing in Japan! It's a leading fashion lookbook applicaiton and a global fashion community where you can:
1. Get inspirations
2. Connect with trendsetters
3. Shop what you discover from looks
4. Search, filter, sort, browse and save the best selection of looks, outfits, shoes, dresses etc.
5. Get styling tips

This application is free of charge and you can easily sign in via Facebook, Twitter, Weibo. It's quite engaging I must say. I surf this application at times to get more inspirations especially when I've no idea what to dress for the day. Besides that, it's pretty fun sharing outfit shots as well and connect with the other local/international 'wearistas'.
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Here's my handle and try it if you are free! ;)

19

April

TWENTY

0104 HRS

Bangkok

Went to Bangkok for a short trip last week and took this chance to catch up with a few friends.

The usual activities would be shopping & massage but for this time, I got to explore new places thanks to the local friends! Glad to have caught up with Mam, who I knew years ago from the Korea Press Trip as well as Gift, who was my classmate in London.

I went for a house party as well and stepped into one of the most gorgeous homes ever. This trip to Bangkok was definitely different from my usual visits and I had a great time.

Some of the places I went..

1) Dinner at Zense
Lovely venue, lovely view and I thought food was pretty good too. Extensive menu with various cuisines such as Thai, Indian, European, Italian etc. Would recommend this place for families or big groups or even dates ;)
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2) Songkran
Was there on the first day of Songkran. It was also my first time in Thailand in Songkran and it was an eye-opener – just look at the crowd! Wish I went for S2O which is an annual Songkran party which I was told that it would be worth a visit.
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3) With Gift – my London classmate
Spent quality time with this lovely friend and happy for her that she has found a job she truly enjoys. Looking forward to see you again & thanks for all the help! ;)
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4) With dear Mam
Knew Mam from the Korea press trip as mentioned earlier and she has recently opened a restaurant in Thailand. We will always try to catch up when I'm in Bangkok and glad we did again on this trip. Am actually heading to BKK next month again (tickets were booked way in advance) and look forward to bring the girls there for a meal!
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5) Sunday BBQ
Such a gorgeous home! Just check out those marble tiles and details. Made some new friends and I had an enjoyable afternoon there. Thank you to Amie/Victor for the kind hospitality!
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Meet pound ;)

6) Gymming
Been a while since I've visited the Gym and glad this was convenient at where I stayed. Definitely in needddd of a work out!
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Love my new fresh foam kicks from New Balance! Amazingly lightweight and it feels as though I was wearing nothing during my cardio exercise. Love this vermilion shade as well <3

7) Wine Connection
One of my favourite places in Thailand although I know we have this in Singapore as well. Good ambience, good food.
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8) La Baguette
One of the newest brunch places at the Emquartier mall so I've heard. Brunch food was mediocre but desserts were pretty good.
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The list goes on and there are so many more places I wish to explore in Bangkok. Can't wait to be back next month!

It doesn't feel that long, but it has been half a year since my 3-month stint in Europe/London.

Before I left, I wrote a really long entry with messy thoughts and right now, I’m ready to have a proper closure for that.

Ready because I’m more comfortable opening up right now and admitting the deeply buried issues I had in me I thought I'd never share. And the reason because these issues were unexpectedly damaging and I realised they destroyed every single bit of confidence I’ve had.

It is unbelievable how deep I have lived in denial. It was so destructive and honestly, very scary.

Now that I have figured things out and actually feel healthy (in the mind) deep down, I never never ever want to go through that again and sincerely hope no one will.

It hasn't been an easy road to admittedly conclude; London was somehow an escape.

I'm ready to share it as a final release to myself. But more than that, I really hope to be able to share this with people facing the same issues, for us all to learn from my own mistakes and handle negativity the correct way.

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The months before I left were tough and looking back, I still remember how I felt at that point of time. Dejected, lost, hopeless and unworthy.

I myself am not too sure when I fell into that dark hole but I suppose it was an accumulation of various issues that weren't managed the right way. And gradually, everything amplified.

I ended up feeling disconnected, not worthy of love, belonging and embarrassingly, I allowed my frustration to show, especially towards the people around me.

I would bawl like a child ridiculously uncontrollably in front of my loved ones from time to time. I was almost sure that ending the business, Klarra, would be best. I didn’t want to look into the mirror, I didn’t want to dress up. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was full of hatred and angst. I hated everything around me and about myself.

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So I’d enough of being sorry for myself and decided taking a break elsewhere was best. So I left.

I had the chance to go to London, and signed up for some business and fashion courses at the same time. I grew to love the city very much and met some great friends there. It was a convenient place for a retreat and to enjoy a bit of silence from everything. It taught how to be more independent and I got to discover a lot of about myself which I didn't think I would. It was a beautiful three months that have given me with memorable experiences that I’ll keep dearly in my heart.

I did feel really recharged. Everything was better and I thought I had everything under control.

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Then, It was time to come home. It was back to the daily grind and as usual, I kept myself busy with work and friends.

But strangely, I found myself exactly where I had left off. The same feelings kept resurfacing and I didn't want to admit them. I honestly thought I had fixed them in London.

I wanted people to only see the good side, that I am a changed person. I wanted to be admired and respected. So I convinced myself to shove these feelings deeper into my heart, hiding those negative feelings. I must have done it so naturally without thinking that it became part of my cognitive process.

I compensated those negative feelings by starting to try fitting in everywhere, seeking for approval. I wanted my confidence back badly and I was confused why I felt so empty. I didn't understand why I needed to please people and resented the fact that I did and felt I wasn’t good enough. I truly believed I wasn't, and it’s a scary thought looking back at it.

Unknowingly, I even leaned in to guys who came forward, believing it was love and attraction, confusing it for my need for self-validation and worthiness. With that, maybe I could feel complete or good about myself again.

I was lost and couldn’t make out what was right or wrong. I was tired from everything and I felt really pathetic, so I want to snap out of that.

I would say that this was a really tough time because I thought I had things fixed. But reality had forced me to come face to face with the fact that when you run, nothing changes. Even after these months, those feelings were still there, lying quietly and completely unresolved. Embarrassed again, it was a hard truth to swallow.

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There were a few trigger points that made me woke up finally.

But I'll highlight one that was most significant and surprising to me.

Of the most random place and very recently… It was a particular book I just chanced upon at the airport while I was waiting to board the plane.


"Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead.’
By Brene Brown


I flipped it open and the executive summary read out everything I wanted to know. It all about ‘vulnerability’ and how we think we know it but in actual fact, it’s all in us, just the difference in intensity.

It argues that vulnerability is a strength we should not ignore. Shutting ourselves off from revealing our true selves means we grow distant from things that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. And the willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability will determine the depth of our courage and clarity of our purpose.

These five takeaways that I’ve derived from this book have given me great insights and answers to many of the questions in my head. I hope they will help for those in need too.

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1. The myth, ‘Vulnerability is weakness’

We are conditioned into believing and accepting that vulnerability is a great weakness.

“ Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It is not what we call a dark emotion nor is it always a light, positive experience. Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. 

Our rejection of vulnerability often stems from our associating it with dark emotions like fear, shame, grief. sadness and disappointment which we don’t want to discuss, even when they profoundly affect the way we live, love, work and even lead."

How accurate is this?! I can’t agree more.

I really want to do greater bigger things. But I realised I had unconsciously worked throughout my years keeping work small. I enjoyed sharing but at the same time, I wasn’t confident to let myself be seen. I was afraid people will dislike me. And like what the author pointed out, I was afraid that I won’t be able to handle the mean-spirited criticism that’s so rampant in the internet culture.

I felt that being vulnerable and owning those feelings will give these keyboard warriors more ground to attack. So I went into a hiding mode and tried to protect. But now I realised the issue wasn’t to prevent criticism from coming forward because it’s not within my control. The key is to embrace what’s coming and importantly, to change the mindset, behaviour around it, aligning my life with the values I strongly believe in.

Like what the book said as well, I’m seeking help to ‘live a wholehearted life’ but not finding solutions on how to ‘stop living like this’.

Frankly speaking, these wise words have been told to me a few times but I just can’t connect the dots. In my opinion, Brene Brown has an impressive sense of articulation and there were solid justifications which made so much sense. Am really convinced right now.

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2. The Never-Enough Problem


"We live in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack. Everything from safety, love, money to resources feel restricted or lacking. We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want, don’t want and how much everyone has, needs and wants.

What makes this constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families and our communicates to unattainable, media-driven visions of perfection, or we are holding up our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it."

So much truth. I subconsciously compared myself with many of my successful friends around me and it opened a door for self-doubt to creep in. I really hated it and even more so that I’m aware of it but I can’t seem to move away from it. It affected my self-confidence and I questioned my self-worth many a time.

I do see the light now and we should feel good instead of chasing things that look good. I came to understand that what's good for others might not be the best for me. Because we all have different goals and I know what kind of life I want to lead. I’ve my own dreams to fulfil.

I spent the whole of last week sitting down with myself and honestly had a detailed review on my personal needs. I finally am able to clearly list down what I want to be truly happy and live a purposeful, meaningful life.

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3. It’s a dark hole when you link self-worth to achievements

" Most of us hitch our self-worth to what we produce and create – in other words, results/achievements.

Because of how we were all raised or how we approach the world, we unknowingly or knowingly attach our self-worth to how our products, works are received.

People like our products/works, we are worthy. People don’t, we feel worthless. "

This was exactly how I felt when Klarra’s designs were not well-received or as silly as it sounds, when my instagram posts didn’t generate enough likes (sometimes accompanied with a worry if I can generate enough response for sponsored postings too). It’s so ridiculous now after reading this and reflecting back.

I do have my own expectations of the quality of pictures I want to put out but I’m very glad I can finally unlink the ‘need’ and ‘want' for likes to prove that I’m good enough.  It’s really a terrible feeling to place our self-worth to what people think. We are not a prisoner of ‘pleasing, performing and perfecting.’

I also agree with the Brene Brown on how she describes what we all need in life – Connection (and that’s why we look for love and belonging). Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, valued and when they can give and receive without judgement.

Sharing those pictures/posts on social media can be a meaningful thing to do. Meaningful because it gives us a platform to remember all our little personal achievements and the joyous moments along the way.  I personally think by doing so, these platforms can be a good reminder on gratitude and provide that connection we all seek.

I’m viewing it as platforms where we can utilise them to help empower each other, giving support and appreciation even when we might not know each other personally. Don’t you think that’s the beauty of it? We can potentially make a difference, strengthen and show a little kindness to one another, giving each other a push when we need.  

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4. Perfectionism

This is one common issue most of us face and just take some time to digest this:

What perfectionism isn’t
- Perfectionism isn’t the same thing as striving for excellence
- Perfectionism isn’t about healthy achievement and growth
- Perfectionism isn’t about self-improvement
- Perfectionism isn’t the key to success
- Perfectionism isn’t a way to avoid shame. It’s a form of shame

Perfectionism is
- Perfectionism is self-destructive because of this belief: If I look perfect and do everything perfect, I can avoid or minimise the painful feeling of shame, judgement and blame
- Perfectionism is self-destructive because perfection doesn’t exist as it’s an unattainable goal
- Perfectionism is more about perception than internal motivation and there is no way to control perception
- Perfectionism is addictive because we often believe we weren’t perfect enough
- Perfectionism sets us up to feel shame such as “It’s my fault, I’m not good enough"

That’s the perfectionist problem and I like how Brene Brown defined it. So much sense.

We are unknowingly pushed to feel that we are not good enough and that we can always be better. I agree very much with the latter and that life is long, we should always seek to grow. And be careful of that mindset because I myself fell into the negative one. Instead of thinking we aren’t good enough, we should know that we’ve already done enough things to make us who we are today, but we want to grow, so we want more.

Appreciate that "a twenty-minute walk that I did is better than the 4km run I didn’t do”, or “The imperfect article that I wrote and was published is better than the perfect book that never left the computer”.

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5. Practise self-compassion

I like that the book encourages me to think in another direction, and to appreciate the beauty of cracks and being free from perfectionism. It says to practise self-compassion. If you face similar issues as mentioned above:

1. Self-kindness
- Bring warm and understanding to ourselves when we suffer, fail or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism.

2. Common Humanity
- Common humanity reorganises that suffering and feelings of personal inadequacy are part of the shared human experience – something we all go through rather than something that happens to ‘me’ alone.

3. Mindfulness
- Taking a balanced approach to negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. Mindfulness requires that we not ‘over-identify’ with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negativity.

Just as what Brene Brown says, it’s so easy to get stuck in self-criticism when one makes a mistake. And with the above self-compassion exercise, I personally think it’s important to learn to view pain and shame in a more observant and accurate perspective going forward. 

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Some personal lessons,
- In the heat of things, I realized I was seeking attention unknowingly by acting out and it didn't solve anything.
- I know now the 3-month stint in London was a false sense of assurance. But it is still bizarre to me today, that I actually believed that very much when I was in London.
- Finally understood to better let go of the need for approval. And learning to have more courage even when there are no certainties.
- There's no need to please anyone because there is no meaning to that – every single one of us is focusing on ourselves most of the time. Time to focus on ourselves now, go all out with things but not compromising on the values we strongly believe in.
- Practice gratitude and self-compassion

I’m still halfway through the book and I can’t tell you how the helpful first few chapters have been for me. It’s so crazy. I didn’t think a book would be this helpful, especially when we are talking about these issues. It preps, talks about marriage, parenthood and shares insights on why you need to take care of yourself first before you can give.

I’m still struggling with confidence issues but I’m just so glad to be feeling much better now. It’s a huge turning point (especially in my mindset) after reading this.

I’m happier now and it surprised me rather greatly that how thinking positive can impact your day to day actions and attitude so much. Suddenly life feels much more purposeful. It can be meaningful. Just how you make out of it.

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I feel great and and I would like that to stay.

Able to be healed made such big difference in my life and I also learned to embrace uncertainties. I feel that this positive mental state of mind could impact us greatly and I hope people facing similar issues can heal faster. I’m no expert, but would honestly like to extend a hand, answer to any questions you may have or share my story further in depth if you think it could help in anyway. And should you do, I will definitely try my best to be as quick as possible in my email replies as I would rather send a proper email to address the important points than a half-hearted one.

I’m clearer on who I wanna be, what I wanna do and I’m working on that. The beautiful thing is, I feel so much happier working towards that although it might still take a while.. and that’s because I finally understood how to channel the focus to the journey instead and not entirely the results. I hope you guys will be able to feel it the same way deep down in your hearts too, and together, let’s be here to support each other and to ensure that we focus on our goals. Just know that you are not alone and you will never be. Let's not wish for the road ahead to get easier, but wish for us all to have an increasing strength to welcome what's ahead.

To brighter and chirpier days ahead! :)

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6

April

TWENTY

1204 HRS

Jakarta, the traffic city

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Of all place, I bumped into my schoolmate, Wenqi at Jakarta's airport and what were the odds! Small world indeed but sometimes, the best surprises do come your way when you least expected it.

We hung out for two days together with her pals, and I got to know Mario (a local who has resided in Singapore for 20 over years but recently came back to Jakarta to start his own business – the burger joint). We specially made a trip down to check out Burgerous, Mario's new venture and I must they were quality cheeseburgers.

Definitely a traffic city but I actually didn't think it was a bad thing because I sleep well in bumpy car rides and I'd pretty good rest along the way.

Anyway, it was just a short casual trip and I'm back to Singapore in a few hours time. Hope you have had a good weekend and have a fabulous start to the new week!

4

April

TWENTY

0404 HRS

Klarra’s first feature on i-Weekly

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Klarra's first feature on i-Weekly magazine and the team is thrilled to see this. It was such a humbled and thankful moment.

We always believe fashion isn't just purely about looking good, but most importantly, to feel good, confident within, bringing out the best in each and every of us. We are very adamant on this philosophy will definitely continue to do our very best. Should you have any feedback for us, please do not hesitate to drop me an email at tan.beatrice@gmail.com. Would love to hear from you especially if it's something we should improve!

P.S: Thank you for the lovely write up, Meiwen :)

30

March

TWENTY

0503 HRS

Goodbye, Mr Lee

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An emotional week for all Singaporeans and a proper closure for us all yesterday.

Let's cherish what we have been given and work towards a better future together.