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Goodbye 2016
Saturday, 31 December 2016 at 14:10 | 0 Comments
Another year has passed and now that 2017 is approaching us, I thought I'd dedicate a blog post to summarize and reflect back on the significant things that happened in 2016.

Honestly, it was really tough to decide if 2016 was a good year or not. Without doubt, many unexpected things had happened in 2016 and that made me realize how clueless we are with what our future holds.

Before I thought about what to include in this post, 2016 was deemed as one of the worse years of my life. Back in April - May 2016, I discovered a lump on the left side of my neck. There were many speculations about what it could be and I went through, what feels like, countless of tests and scans at that period of time. Heading to the hospital numerous times was definitely not a good feeling, especially when everything was still up in the air. During that period of time, coincidentally my boyfriend was facing some health issues as well and he too, had to visit the hospital for multiple tests. The need to continue working and living as per normal while all these were going on really took a toll on me and I soon found myself feeling anxious and depressed. Because the test results were uncertain, I had to go for a fine needle aspiration to draw out the substance in that lump. I was definitely scared but thankfully, with the support of my love ones and the kind doctors and nurses, I managed to pull through without any hiccups. For anyone who is about to go for a fine needle aspiration test and is worrying about the pain, personally, it wasn't a painful experience for me and it went a lot better than what I was expecting. The injection felt like an ant bite and that was pretty much it. After a couple of weeks, the results were out and thank God it was nothing cancerous or threatening. At the same time, my boyfriend's condition was known and I'm glad to say that we got through this tough time together and it even brought us closer together as we realized how much we ought to cherish one another. Nevertheless, it was a dark period for me in 2016.

As you may or may not already know, I hate my full-time job and unfortunately, it was a huge part of my 2016. Being someone who has a passion for creating, arts, digital and design, it was really tough for me to be doing routine work every month. It was definitely bearable in the beginning, but as time passes, work just seems to be so meaningless and mundane. In the following year, I will be in my mid-twenties and as I get older, the burden to earn more money for a stable future gets heavier, and despite wanting to chase after what I truly love, it just seems impossible in a country like Singapore.

During the times I was struggling in 2016, I received a lot of love and support from my family. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt in 2016 was to always count my blessings. So despite all the unhappy occasions that occurred, I have learnt how to put them aside and appreciate the good things that happened instead.

I feel like I have waited a long time to finally say this... In June 2016,... I removed my braces! I had them on for 2.5 years and even though I didn't hate wearing them, of course, nothing beats the feeling of getting them off. Having straight teeth was always a dream to me and actually having them now made me feel so much more confident about my smile. It has been about 6 months since I last saw my dentist, Dr.Leah, but I'm so grateful to him as I completed my braces journey. Another person to thank is of course, my mom. My mom is someone who doesn't earn a lot but she gives her best to both my sister and I which I am forever grateful for. I'm not an expressive person when it comes to my family which is a pity and it is something that I wish to change in the upcoming year, but for now, thank you mom!

Another big thing that happened in 2016 is in regards to my Vlogging and Blogging career. I uploaded my first vlog nearly 4 years ago and throughout these years, it was basically just me, sharing videos of myself blabbering about beauty products I own. In 2016, I decided to work even harder with my channel and I started contacting various companies to look for collaboration opportunities. At the same time, I also started receiving offers from companies which was definitely refreshing and exciting. One of the biggest opportunity I had was to work with SASA which is definitely one of my favourite shops to shop for beauty products ever since I was a teenager. During the initial stages, I was really unsure and afraid to accept the offer as stepping out of my comfort zone is not something I was always down for. Moreover, I do have a full time job which makes it even more stressful. However, I decided to take a plunge and it was surely one of the best decisions I have made. Other than SASA, I have also worked with many other big companies such as MK Universal, BlackBox Singapore, Cosme-de.com, W2Beauty and more. I was given many opportunities to try and share new products from brands I have never tried before and that was a really fun experience for me. Apart from that, I also got to know many new people in the process which is always a good thing! This year, I started uploading covers onto my Youtube channel as well. I used to cover songs nearly everyday back when I was a student and when I was unemployed (my cover channel: kw0nmiqi), I didn't know what to expect but they are actually receiving so much love and support from everyone! In the following year, I'm looking forward to grow my channel even more with hopefully more of such opportunities. Most of my covers don't earn any money due to copyright issues but honestly, I love doing them and I know everyone loves them too, so I will definitely continue uploading them.

In addition, I also launched this blog in 2016 and it was something I have been meaning and planning to do for a pretty long time. Like I have mentioned, I love creating, and that includes creating and writing content as well as designing and maintaining my own website. I honestly feel like writing is almost therapeutic for me. I didn't know if this blog would be a success but I have gained so many positive feedback so thank you so much for that!

With all the collaborations and due dates going on, I have to say that I am dedicating most of my weekends to my vlogs and blog. Even though it can get a little exhausting and demanding, the fruit of hard labour is always sweet.

The last thing I find worth mentioning is that I have obtained a driving license! Whew. This was totally unplanned and unexpected, but I did it! I have been wishing that I could drive for a really long time as I felt like driving is definitely considered a survival skill, alongside cycling, swimming, etc. But because I didn't want to sign up alone and considering the cost of learning how to drive... I have been procrastinating it. In August though, my boyfriend made a decision to go for driving lessons and for some reasons, I spontaneously offered to go with him and that, was how my journey in BBDC (Bukit Batok Driving Center) started. After we passed our theory test, my boyfriend decided to quit the school to join a private instructor whilst I stayed in the school. Even though I was left alone, I started my practical lesson in October and diligently went for all my lessons after work. Just a couple of weeks ago, I went for my driving test and managed to pass it with 8 demerit points. In total, I spent a huge sum of money, but in my opinion, it was money well-spent.

As we transit into year 2017, I feel like 2016 has taught me a lot and I am slowly, but steadily learning to shoulder my own responsibilities. In general, my plans for 2017 remains vague, but I guess all I wish for in 2017 is good health for me and all my love ones, and of course, world peace.

With that, 2016 was surely an eventful year with many ups and downs but I'm ready to move on to 2017.

4 Korean Looks with Chosungah22 and SASA Singapore!
Wednesday, 28 December 2016 at 09:09 | 0 Comments
안녕하세요! Love Korean beauty products? Love Korean beauty trends? Love K-pop? Well today, I'm going to share with you 4 easy Korean make-up looks you can try to transform yourself into your favourite Korean. To me, make-up is a way for individuals to express themselves. Hence, I've created 4 Korean inspired looks that I think matches different personalities and style.

All 4 looks are created only using products from Korean brand, Chosungah22. Chosungah22 was found by professional Korean make-up artiste Cho Sung-Ah whose vision was to create make-up products that are simple and fun. I was really attracted to their products at first sight due to the extremely loud and funky packaging, and now it is safe to say that I have fallen in the love with the brand due to the high quality and innovative products they offer.

Chosungah22 is available exclusively at SASA Singapore and together, we will be giving away a Chosungah22 mystery bag worth up to S$100! To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is:-

 Watch my make-up tutorial video on the 4 Korean Looks
 Head over to Sasa's Facebook Page
 Like and Share my video
 Comment below why you like Chosungah22?

And that's it! Winners will be announced via the comments thread over at their facebook page.

So now, are you ready to pick your own style? Watch the tutorial video here!

1st Look: Playful and Flirty

The 1st look is highly inspired by my favourite K-pop celebrities. This look is still very suitable for an everyday wear but it is much more playful, flirty and energetic. The perfect look to hit the stage with!

2nd Look: Natural Everyday Look

The second look is going to be an everyday look. I noticed many Koreans tend to go for this look on an everyday basis. This look is suitable for day time during the weekdays as it is simple yet it helps to slightly enhance our features. This look mainly focuses on peachy cheeks, slightly defined eyes and a pop of colour on the lips.

3rd Look: Smokey and Chic

This 3rd look is a smokey version of the first look I've created. This was also highly inspired by my favourite Kpop stars when they wear a smokey eye look. The dark eyeshadows and wine coloured lips makes this the perfect sultry, smokey look.

4th Look: Summery and Bright

The final look is a bright, summery and fun look, even though it's autumn now, if you're staying in Singapore like me, this look will be suitable all year round. Personally, I think this would make a great music festival look too!

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Review: Sigma Beauty Warm Neutrals Palette (+ swatches!)
Tuesday, 27 December 2016 at 14:02 | 0 Comments
I promise, this is going to be the last eyeshadow palette I'm getting in 2016.

To be honest, I wasn't on a hunt for a new eyeshadow palette, but I just couldn't let Black Friday pass without getting my hands on something from Sephora. This post is long overdue, but I have always been a strong believer of the saying "better late than never". So lets get on with the review of the Sigma Warm Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette!

I was first attracted to this palette when I saw random swatch of the shades on the internet. I am a pinky gal so the pink and reddish-toned shades really caught my attention. The name of this palette is "Warm Neutrals" which made me thought that this palette will contain a bunch of shades such as gold, brown, bronze, and champagne. However, I was delighted to find out that this palette contains a good range and variety of different toned shades to choose from. Since it was black Friday, without second consideration, I happily bought this palette.

This palette comes in a simple cardboard-type packaging that shuts with a magnet, which is my favourite type of packaging for eyeshadow palettes as plastic ones with a hinge tend to break off more easily. The palette itself is in a good handy size which is not too big for travelling. Despite being a small palette, it contains 12 gorgeous shades which can definitely be used to create countless of looks.

It has a good mixture of shimmer and matte shades, as well as a good mix of dark and light shades for highlighting and adding depth. The eyeshadows were really pigmented as you will be able to tell from the swatches below. I do like to note that these eyeshadows were not as buttery as the ones from Urban Decay though, and it does have quite a number of fallout so make sure to tap your brush before applying (especially the darker shades).

My favourite shade out of this eyeshadow palette is definitely the peachy shimmer shade on the outer right of the middle row. It has been my go-to all over the lid shade as I think that it adds a good shimmer and soft touch to my eyes. I have been pretty obsessed with Momo from Twice, and her make-up tends to highlight her eye bags which is a popular look in Korea. To achieve a similar look to Momo, I love applying the peachy shade on my lower lash line as well to slightly accentuate my aegyo-sal.

Overall, I would recommend this palette to anyone that has been using and prefers warm-toned and neutral eyeshadows but at the same time, wish to experiment with bolder colours like burgundy, and pink. The shades in this palette may look daunting to anyone who hasn't tried using bolder colours on their lids, however they are actually still really easy to work with. 

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Review: The Morning After Exclusive Box Review
Thursday, 22 December 2016 at 17:10 | 0 Comments
Have you heard of "Rooibos"? Well, before I received the Morning After Exclusive Box from Blackbox.sg, me neither. So I googled it. And the results instantly made me more interested to find out more about this plant that seem to provide a good amount of benefits to my health.

Once again, today I have partnered up with Blackbox to bring you another review of one of their exclusive boxes - The Morning After Exclusive Box. Recently, I have already done up 3 reviews for them, focusing on Hair care, Body/Skin care, and Foot care. So now that our body is looking great from the outside, it's time to show some love to the insides of our body!

The Morning After Exclusive Box contains 3 products that contains Rooibos, which (if you haven't googled about it yet) is basically a type of plant, originated from South Africa, that is commonly used to make teas. So the very first product included in the box is, a pack of 40 Rooibos tea bags!

Due to my anxiety and stomach issues, I refrain from drinking too much coffee and tea as too much caffeine in my body can cause me to feel really anxious and jumpy. However, I was pleasantly pleased to find out that the Rooibos plant grows naturally without any caffeine, meaning to say that it is 100% caffeine-free! In fact, many people enjoy drinking the Roobois tea at night before going to bed as it is supposed to help them feel more calm and relaxed.

The tea itself provides quite a large number of health benefits, mainly because it contains a wide array of antioxidants. Research in South Africa and America has shown a link between Rooibos and the reduction of cancer. Due to its high antioxidants content, it is able to protect our healthy cells and prevent them from developing into cancer. Next, it also improves our blood circulation which leads to a prevention of heart diseases, lowered blood pressure, as well as cholesterol. As a beauty blogger, I have to mention the next benefit of this tea and that is, it can actually improve the condition of our skin! The Rooibos tea is also rich in alpha hydroxy acid and zinc, which are two nutrients great for tackling common skin problems such as acne, aging, uneven skin tone, dullness and more! Apart from just taking in the nutrients by drinking the tea itself, you can also apply a freshly brewed and cooled tea bag onto the troubled spots to soothe and heal any inflammation.

The next item in the box is Rooibos Soap and I was honestly so excited to try this out! By now, we already know some of the benefits of Rooibos, (seriously, there are SO many! I probably only mentioned 1/4 of the benefits...) including the benefits to our skin. So if you wish to clear up your skin, but you're too lazy to brew a cup of tea, here's an alternative. The Rooibos soap is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and you can use it on both your face and body! Since this soap contains Rooibos extract, it is said to be able to help relieve acne, sunburns and prevent your skin from aging. Amazing! Recently, I have been breaking out a lot as I have been feeling really stressed about my current workload. Apart from which, I do have back acne that I wish to eliminate.

The last item is the Rooibos Facial Brush which I absolute love using together with the Rooibos Soap. This brush is suitable for sensitive skin as it contains antibacterial ultra-fine fiber which is suitable for deep cleansing our skin, without being too rough and damaging. Using a facial brush along with your cleanser helps to cleanse your skin even more, hence reducing blackheads, clogged pores and acne. It also gently exfoliates dead skin so whatever skincare products you use after, will get absorbed in more effectively. Usually, I don't wash my face with a facial brush as the brushes I have used so far tend to be really prickly on my skin and uncomfortable. This one however feels really soft and smooth, it almost doesn't feel like it is actually exfoliating my skin! It also comes in a good size and shape which makes it easy to hold and maneuver around my face.

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Review: 3-Step Foot Spa with Carnation Footcare
Monday, 19 December 2016 at 22:03 | 0 Comments
Previously, I have already done up a review for Blackbox's PHS HairScience and BaliMaMa which is basically a hair care kit and a body care kit (check them out if you haven't!). So now that my hair and body is happy, it's time to have some happy feet (pun intended)!

Being the lazy girl I am, caring for my feet has never come across my mind before. But because my feet were not properly taken care of, I often feel embarrassed when I'm shoe-shopping and it just makes me feel really conscious about them. Apart from using these kits for yourself, I feel like they make the perfect gifts as well as it is one way to show someone that you care for their well-being, and it allows them to have their very own pamper sessions at home.

So today, I will be reviewing the 3-Step Foot Spa box which is retailing at only S$25.90* (U.P S$38.70). There are 3 full-sized products included so one item is technically less than S$10! To get an additional 10% off, make sure to use my discount code BBXMAUREEN10 upon checking out!

To get happy feet, all you need are 3 steps.

The first step is to use the Carnation Exfoliating Foot Scrub (100ml, S$13.90) to scrub away all the unwanted junk on our feet. The built up of dead skin is not a pretty sight, so this foot scrub contains walnut shell that help remove and soothe rough and dead skin, at the same time also cleanses away stubborn dirt from the pores of our feet. It also contains mineral oils to moisturize the treated areas. Apart from removing the thick and hard skin formed on your soles and heels, it also helps prevent them from forming, which sounds perfect for #TeamLazy.

Since I have never cared for my feet, I was pretty sure there were a good amount of dead skin to be removed. I didn't thought that a single use of this scrub would be able to make a noticeable difference but I was wrong! After gently rubbing it all around my feet and rinsing it away with warm water, I was left with ultra soft and smooth feet.

We all know what comes after a scrub, moisturize! The second step would be to apply the Carnation Intensive Moisturizing Foot Cream (100ml, S$11.90) to nourish and moisturize dry and rough feet. It contains peppermint oil which leaves your feet smelling minty fresh! I must say that I really am loving the smell of this stuff, somehow, perhaps because it's December, peppermint on my feet sounds totally like a good idea. Despite it containing an oil ingredient, it feels really light and gets absorbed into my skin easily (probably because of the good scrub from before!) without my feet feeling greasy or sticky.

Now we're on to our very last step which is to apply the Carnation Cracked Heel Cream (50ml, S$12.90). Without frequent scrubbing, our heels are prone to build up a thick layer of hard and dry dead skin which is not a pretty sight especially when it gets so dry, it cracks. The Carnation Cracked Heel Cream is formulated with 20-percent Urea to provide your heels with the much needed hydration. Once again, prevention is always better than cure, so you don't have to wait until your heels start cracking to use this product. Just slap it on! It also contains peppermint for the same fresh scent as the previous product!

Tip: If you have really dried out feet, here's how you can make your own mask for your feet! Before going to bed, simply apply more Foot and Heel cream on both feet (make sure they are completely covered!)  and then wear a pair of soft comfy socks to bed (I use the ones from Daiso as they are really soft and fluffy!). And there you have it! The next day, you will wake up with super soft and smooth feet that smells awesome too!

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Review: BbiA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner 5 Set Wedding Edition x W2Beauty
Wednesday, 7 December 2016 at 14:21 | 0 Comments

BbiA is honestly such an underrated Korean brand in the overseas market. I first chanced upon the brand whilst shopping on G-market Korea as I noticed how affordable their products were. Apart from having really reasonably priced products, I have to say that their products are really long-lasting, whether it's an eye or lip product. On many occasions, BbiA products were also featured in one of my favourite Korean MUA, Pony's make-up tutorials on Youtube!

So as I have mentioned, I have owned a couple of products from BbiA. One of my favourite item from them is the BbiA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner in the shade Brownie, which I use to tight line my upper lash line as well as my waterline. Therefore, whilst I was shopping on W2Beauty a couple of weeks ago, I was immediately attracted to the BbiA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner 5 Set Wedding Edition.

If you haven't heard of W2Beauty, I have previously done up my first review for them here. They are basically an online shop from Seoul that offers Korean beauty products with free shipping worldwide! So if you're a Korean beauty fanatic, or if you are interested to get your hands on any Korean beauty products, make sure you check out their website as they offer great promotions from time to time as well!

The BbiA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner is basically a creamy pencil eyeliner that is really smooth and pigmented - one of reasons why I love using it as a tight-line pencil, it doesn't hurt my eye! Another reason why I love it is the fact that it is ultra long-lasting, waster-proof, and it doesn't smudge, not even a single bit.

(smudge test!)

(waterproof test! ps. I actually had the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water on the cotton round,)

So the Wedding Edition set contains 5 of these Last Auto Gel Eyeliners in pretty peach and brown shades. Peach is an extremely wearable shade for any season, and unlike Pink shades which can appear to be too bold and bright, peach is a more subtle way to bring out the femininity in your make-up look. 4 out of the 5 are shimmer shades, while the remaining one is a matte shade.

The first shade we've got is one of my favourite, and it's called Wedding peach. This is essentially a shimmery peach shade and I usually use it to highlight my tear ducts to add some sparkle to my eyes. Recently, I also love applying it all along my lower lash line to create the Korean "aegyo-sal" look.

The next shade is called Juliet rose and this is our one and only matte shade in this set. This is more of a darker peach shade which is great to use as either a base, or the main colour of your look. You can also apply this to only your waterline, or use it as an eyeliner for a pop of colour.

The next shade is a gold shimmer shade called Mermaid, and instead of a yellowish bright gold shade, this is more of a darker toned champagne shade that is perfect for adding some highlights to your eye look.

Lastly, we've got 2 brown shimmer shades. The first one is Honey Bronze, which is a medium caramel brown shade. And the second one is Grace Brown which is a deeper brown shade with slight red undertones.

Needless to say, I love these eyeliners as much as I loved my first one (Brownie). Since they are in a pencil form, they are so much more convenient to bring out and apply. Which is one of the reasons why I actually brought 4 of them along with me on my recent trip to Malacca and Port Dickson. As I traveled to Malaysia by car, I knew it was going to be a hot and long trip. Apart from which, I knew we will be spending a lot of time in the pool and at the beach doing water sports. So knowing that these eyeliners are super long-lasting and waterproof, I did not have to worry about leaving the pool with smudged make-up.

I have incorporated these eyeliners to create this Dried Rose Make-Up Look on my channel, so click on the play button to watch!

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