One Palette, 3 Different Looks: Pat McGrath's Nocturnal Nirvana

Let’s be honest: have you ever used what you bought on Black Friday? Unfortunately, we are all too guilty of one thing. In 2007, the average U.S. household has over 50 unused new items worth $3,100 USD. In 2019, a survey conducted in the UK reports that £544 was spent on beauty products, still fresh in the box. As a consumer of beauty products, I hate to admit that I haven’t finished my eyeshadows and because of the scarcity of some products (e.g. Pat McGrath’s Dark Star 006), I only wear them once in a while. As embarrassing as it sounds, I also have to say that it’s because that sometimes, I run out of ideas on how I can wear certain eyeshadows. However, don’t lose hope!

In this series, the first one I’d like to kick off with is Pat McGrath’s Nocturnal Nirvana palette. Featuring four stunning colors, it’s basically a Mardi Gras party filled with gold, aquamarine blue, duochrome green/purple and royal purple. Given that those are not everyday natural hues, it’s implied for night use only. Knowing me, I know that you know how much I LOVE wearing my colors loud and proud during the day!

These are the EXACT products I use to create my look!

Since this was a treat myself Black Friday purchase, this palette was worth EVERY dollar I ever spent on at Sephora as it was a limited edition product. No fallouts, no fades, no creasing, etc! That’s why Pat McGrath’s products have a high price tag attached to it as every single particle is super duper fine, which is why I purchased it to begin with. Although you can only find this on eBay or Poshmark, I promise you that you will never be disappointed!

Since this palette looks hard to wear, I’m gonna break it down on how YOU can make the most out of it!

Continue reading “One Palette, 3 Different Looks: Pat McGrath's Nocturnal Nirvana”

my first hair tutorial: blowout for mullets

Hey y’all!

I hate to admit that times are tough. We are living in a pandemic, ruled by paranoia and living under constant fear of the new disease that’s altered our entire outlook.

Not only do we have to socially distance ourselves, we also have to give up simple luxuries whether it be a short trip to Europe or a nice tropical getaway in Bali. Also, what was once a small errand like a trip to the salon is now a scarcity as we have to withdraw ourselves from having someone touch our hair.

Since a handful of you have admired my style and makeup game, I kinda wanted to start off with something easy: hair styling. Since hair is the foundation for outfits and makeup, I feel that it’s the right time to give away my top secret formula on my mullet! Because y’all can’t book a trip to the salon now, I wanna do my part to help you get a Hollywood style blowout at home. 🙂

Please check out my first video and try not to laugh at my Jim Carrey impression:

Real Men Talk: How Important Are First Date Impressions?

A new decade has officially begun. A new leaf is ready to turn. Though we’ve made plans for our New Year’s resolutions, how can we get them to stick if we’re still holding on to our comfort zone?

No matter how many times we try to break our bad habits, I have to say that the worst ones extend deeply into our romantic lives. No matter how many times you want to have fun or go on a deep soul searching journey to find love, there’s bound to be a lot of frogs you have to kiss before you can find a prince.

Speaking of men, I still have yet to be someone’s Khaleesi and the search has been a painful journey that’s full of dark and terrors. No matter how many times I went on Bumble and Tinder dates, I realize that a handful of straight men (regardless of age, body type, race or occupation) think that they have the pass to present themselves however they want, assuming that a woman like me doesn’t care too much about how smelly his breath is, how stained his teeth are (eew!), how many pimples he has on his face (seriously, WHY?!), how hungover he looks, what his hair color or length is and how hairy his chest is. Now that we are in a social media-centric society, it’s becoming inevitable for us to present an artificial avatar of ourselves to the world as we whittle down the sides of a waist, sculpt cheeks, widen eyes and blur out angry red bumps with swift flicks across a flat glass-covered screen.

This issue isn’t going away anytime soon, but I do hope that we can start a conversation about it now. Although I originally proposed this discussion on first date impressions at the start of 2019, it feels rightfully appropriate now as we’re still trying to figure out who we are, what are priorities are for a partner and how we struggle to be our best regardless of whether we feel happy or sad.

Whether you’re straight, gay, bi or pan, I feel that dating is such a universal issue that affects all of us. Irregardless of a man’s sexual orientation, I realize that men are heavily affected on this side of the pendulum. Here, I’ve got a steady roundup of men of various backgrounds: Alvin (celebrity makeup artist/stylist/La Prairie ambassador), Aaron (beverage director at Zén), Marc (barista), Tony (sales engineering director), Hayes (mechanical engineer) and Shawn (writer/model). Having this second roundtable discussion on Real Men Talk carries over the same spirit of wit, intellect and high energies that sync with my ever-scattered ADD Gemini brain.

We talk about everything from dye jobs, manscaping, avoiding BO and the pressure to look hot on dating apps.

Continue reading “Real Men Talk: How Important Are First Date Impressions?”

Do This Don’t: Get A Mullet

Polarizing, divisive and dated, the mullet is ready to worm its way back into fashion. Thanks to Stranger Things, Miley Cyrus, Billie Eilish, Kesha and Zendaya (whose hair is a wig), there’s no way that we can escape that super choppy hairstyle. Short on top with longer ends at the bottom, this punky ‘do is not for the shy.

When I saw a mullet 10 years ago, it was Kristen Stewart’s haircut on The Runaways biopic, where she had super choppy layers with matte jet black hair to mimic Joan Jett. I had to admit that it disgusted me at first, but while I was googling photos of the band during zoology class in 11th grade, I knew that I HAD to have the haircut. However, I played it safe by constantly relying on my basic bob with bangs.

A couple years later in 2014, I was growing out my Miley Cyrus haircut and needed something to keep things cute. Since growing out a half shaved pixie cut was awkward as heck, my hairstylist at Sally Hershberger in Los Angeles and I agreed that it was time to do a baby mullet. The Joan Jett option wasn’t the most practical, so I gunned for the Marc Jacobs version, where a model with the same inky black hair had super spiky ends on top. Though it was similar, having a baby mullet was a great way to stand out among the sea of boob-length Pantene smooth strands on campus.

After growing out the baby mullet, I always kept it safe with a bob, pixie and shoulder-length layers without bangs. There was no middle ground for the lengths of my hairstyle. A round face like mine was hard to try a diversity of hairstyles. It was even harder for me to have fun with my own hair as countless magazines and blogs always advised moon faced ladies like me to stick to long layers and avoid forehead-grazing bangs.

Bored with all the options I had in the past, I loathed the idea of returning back to a pixie as I did it countless times. Ditto with a bob as I realized that anything that hits my chin makes my face look like a blob. Repeating my 17-year-old self again, it was time to pull up images of Joan Jett and her shaggy mullet.

When I saw my hairstylist last week, I asked him to cut my hair like that. He told me, “I haven’t cut hair like this in a long time” since he used to cut a handful of mullets in London. The moment the sharp end of the scissors snipped my hair, three inch long strands fell to the ground slowly falling down like falling leaves on a windy day. Shocked at the final results, I couldn’t believe that I was a totally different person. The girl I always wanted to be at 17 was staring back at my 26-year-old face. Free from all expectations of having to look more feminine, the mullet made me feel good about my slightly masculine appearance (i.e. squarish jawline), which I inherited from my dad. Much to my own surprise, the layers made my face look slimmer and they’re so easy to style!

Before we dip outta January, I firmly believe that you must try a mullet for once in your life. Trust me, your life will never be the same the moment you let it happen.

Rooki’s Hayley teo is the next big mvp shaking up singapore’s beauty game

Lean, clean, green and litter-free, Singapore’s notoriously stringent approach to its urban layout applies to its inhabitants as well (myself included). With the clean beauty movement conquering the lovely little red dot, business is booming among beauty entrepreneurs. Looking no further than our kitchen cabinets, a handful of green beauty brands have tried to capture our attention with its all-natural ingredients and Glossier-esque packaging to build a steady market. Though I have previously featured Rooki, it was time to get to know its founder Hayley Teo, an ex-digital content creator turned skincare queen (who is still making killer content on Rooki’s Instagram!).

While we have yet to meet in person, we go deeper than our love for good skincare to talk about how she build her brand, why we need to listen to our skin, men’s vs. women’s approach to skincare, what to do you when you procrastinate on your skincare routine and her three upcoming superhero serums.

Continue reading “Rooki’s Hayley teo is the next big mvp shaking up singapore’s beauty game”

@thekimbino: How A Teacher Became Fashion’s Most Unlikeliest Insider To All Things Kardashian

Every fashion insider has something to back up their cred whether it’s a stylist, makeup artist, hairstylist, photographer, designer or anyone who’s worked on sets at photoshoots. With access to the world’s biggest superstars, it’s no doubt that they know all the piping hot tea. However, Kim of @thekimbino, is an unexpected fashion insider ready to take the industry by storm.

A primary school teacher by day, the 24-year-old Perth-based fashionista is a fashion insider by night. With almost 50K followers on Instagram, @thekimbino has built a steady following for her razor-sharp eagle eyed observations on celebrity fashion moments, engaging commentary on the latest state of fashion, and of course, all things Kim KW.

We go all the way back in 2017 when she discovered my account and from here, we’ve been keeping an eye on each other’s feed! Given that her account has been growing a lot, I decided that it was finally time to give her the interview of her dreams and decode the mystery behind the feed.

We catch up over this decade’s best/worst trends, the influence of the Kardashians on the fashion industry, the comeback of Y2K fashions, the current state of celebrity fashion and what it’s like to DM the world’s most famous reality TV icon.

Continue reading “@thekimbino: How A Teacher Became Fashion’s Most Unlikeliest Insider To All Things Kardashian”

My Style Evolution Part 2: 2016 to 2019

Settling into your early 20s is a long and embarrassing journey. I cannot tell you how many times I had to hide my clothes from my parents or how much I sat down in the middle of my closet, contemplating why the hell I bought clothes I wouldn’t wear today in the first place. The worst part is having to confront yourself and ask why you wasted so much money during your college years on poorly made fast fashion clothing that ain’t gonna last more than a year or let alone a trend cycle.

I had to admit that while I loved being my rebellious, expressive self, a rude awakening jolted my system when a mullet hemline tee I bought on Nasty Gal couldn’t match half the the things I had in my closet. From there, that sparked the need for me to let go of it. Ditto with my brown round John Lennon Cobrashop sunglasses, which I’ve had to let go as I realized that the product felt cheap over time. Though I liked stinging on myself when it came to the trendier products like Pixie Market’s faux suede thigh high boots, I had to sell it on Depop as it made me sprain my right ankle. (I blame lack of solid construction!) Upon realizing that cheaply made products weren’t the solution to my short term needs, the only way I could invest my money on better made products was a return to something I once ran away from: designer items.

The full circle to loving designer fashion was a therapeutic form of healing. Before I radically transformed my style, I was simply just a clean cut girl who proudly wore ballet flats, skinny jeans and designer bags. With a handful of reinventions mentioned in part one, I realized that I couldn’t run away from the glamour puss inside me, which came from my designer bag-toting mama and designer jean-loving papa. Before I rebelled, I clearly didn’t understand why my parents bought expensive clothes and accessories or why I gravitated towards them when I was a teen. Despite my liking for these items, my mom had to bar me from wearing pieces from her collection or buying anything too expensive as she felt that no child under 18 should wear them as she felt that it was reserved for adults. Thankfully, a sense of maturity walked into me when I was a couple months shy of being 23 and graduating college.

So, what really got me into going after designer stuff? Well, I remembered that I had a Chanel bag with faux pearl and leather chain strap handles that my dad gave me for my 20th birthday, which I barely wore out much. It was so beautiful and I was sad that it didn’t get much wear out of it. Even though it was my birthday gift, it was something that was waiting for me to wear it. I recalled that I wore it a handful of times, which I paired it with vintage dresses to my Miista velvet high high boots! From there, that sparked a journey to lust after designer goodies again as I realized that branded bags are forever timeless regardless of design. With the fact that there was a higher resale value for older Chanel bags, I guess that was what finally brought me to appreciate designer goods once and for all.

One night, I was surfing through The Real Real, where people sold secondhand Chanel goodies from the ’90s to ’00s. (Say what you want about its latest scandals, but it was great to me during 2015. I no longer shop there today.) At that time, I was consigning a handful of clothes there as I wanted to have enough money for myself. Since it was relatively cheaper than an upscale vintage boutique, I managed to walk out with fun new goodies! One of my earliest purchases there was a Chanel ankle purse, which came from their S/S 2008 show. It was so tiny, but an iconic novelty as it was inspired by Lindsay Lohan’s ankle monitoring bracelet. (Ha! Beat ya, Kendall! I bought it three years before she wore it!)

THIS was the ankle bag that Kendall Jenner bought years after me! Photo: Hallie Geller

Then, I slowly started to collect more vintage Chanel, which ranged from a pair of suede leather pants with oversized gold buttons from S/S 1993 to a turquoise patent leather vanity purse from its S/S 1995 collection, which was sported by Naomi Campbell. Because I grew up to seeing my mom all dolled up in Chanel, it was a way for me to embrace my full circle moment and a teenage fantasy to wear the most cherished luxury brand. Being 22 at that time, it was perfectly appropriate.

From there, I started to hunt for more vintage designer goodies whether it be a Dior bow choker, Versace safety pin adorned bag or Claude Montana shorts. If I wanted something more recent like 2010, I would spend countless hours finding runway pieces like Miu Miu’s satin cat print Mary-Janes or flower printed clogs. I’d find those goodies from vintage dealers (online or at markets), Poshmark or at bazaar sales, which were hosted by my mom and her friends. Such items were material things, but emerging into that phase served a bigger chapter into my life: NYC me.

Continue reading “My Style Evolution Part 2: 2016 to 2019”