Sunday, February 14, 2016

Going to A Concert Alone: My Experiences (so far...)

Admittedly, before I was legal, I've never been to a legit stand-up-jump-and-dance concert (been to Yuna's and other music showcases). Music-driven shows, yes, but not concerts. My Umi is a little strict on those aspects - 'Tunggu lah awak dah besar nanti,' is what she always told me. Trivia: I have never watched any Bond movie until recently, and I'm gonna be 23 this year, yeah laugh at me. I had a little leeway here and there thanks to my older sisters who were into the indie scene when I was in high school so there were some odd gigs/shows that I managed to go.

So then I got into Uni, and I don't really have the time and the excess fund to indulge for concerts. Also, most of the ones that I wanna go is held in Singapore and I don't see me being allowed to travel there alone at that point in time (Fall Out Boy *cries*). Then, somehow, I was almost done with degree with a major anxiety and stress issue, and I just think 'Welp that was stressful. I need to do stuffs that I want and like for a change,' and out of all artists, Ed Sheeran was coming to town. I grabbed the ticket the night it started selling, no second thought. Well I did consider that the concert will be held on a weekday night and I'm doing my internship but oh screw that.

Ed Sheeran's concert was a pretty safe choice to be frank. Most of the fans are young girls. Some are accompanied by guardians and parents. I came in my baju kurung to collect my ticket (hey I did my intern in a semi-gov body give me a break) and changed into tshirt and jeans in the KLCC toilet, and came out to find a verrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy longggggggg line. And I'm just like 'Well that's great dah lah aku sorang tak ada orang boleh cop tempat dalam line,'. I almost didn't want to go because I'm all alone. Well I'm glad I didn't skip out because missing that concert just because I'm afraid to go alone would be stupid.

Let me just establish that Ed's voice is phenomenal. AND DUDE CAN RAP FORREAL. It's just him, the mic, his guitar and his loop pedal and it was friggin' awesome. When the show properly started, I sincerely enjoyed it and sang along until I lost my voice. Best part is even if I cry (hypothetically) nobody knows me to make fun of me. It's pretty nice because you don't have to worry about you being separated from a friend and you can stand wherever you want (as you able lah kan) and nobody will whine about it.

So, now that I know Umi is okay with me going alone (albeit worriedly), I wanna go to more shows (yes I'm greedy like that). And I found out that The Script is coming! AND THEY NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR THE SHOW.

Here's the thing, I am not the luckiest person in terms of lucky draw stuffs. 98% of the time, I never get anything. AND I GOT PICKED TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE SCRIPT'S SHOW. I literally screamed when I got the email of confirmation for my participation. Because being a flag bearer means that we get into the stadium pre-show and get to meet the band and see them doing the sound check. I couldn't believe my luck (this was reaffirmed when a random guy yelled 'You lucky bitches!!!' over and over again when we walked out with the band - that made me laugh).

When I got to the stadium, I was pretty nervous, like, afraid that I will mess up or that I don't know where to find Johnny (the one who's supposed to meet us).  And started talking to this girl, Steph, who is in the volunteer group too. So yay me I found a friend for this concert! The whole volunteer bunch are nice tho so we kinda accompany each other for the concert.

The experience is kind of bizarre and surreal I still am amazed that I kept my cool (the girl with me started crying when the band came to hug and shook our hands). I declined hugs because I don't feel comfortable to it but it's okay. But Mark was so nice and polite he actually asked me first if he can hug me and when I declined we decided to just bow to each other out and that made me laugh (the situation was really funny now that I think about it). They performed a song just for us in an empty stadium (I still wanna cry now). And I know I kept saying this but Danny is really tall like wow how is that possible. I should also note that they smell good and not in a creepy way. Their perfume just smell nice. Johnny was a champ, managing a bunch of excited girls and giving extra comfort to Steph and the girls who was having trouble to stop crying after meeting the guys. It's amazing how some band and music can affect people's life so that they'll keep holding on you know, and when you meet them, it's like all the floodgate is opened so I completely understand that. I'm not the most publicly affectionate person and cringe when I see PDA so yes, I tend to not do that but I completely understand why she cried.

Bless the person who gifted them those songkok.

Honestly, eventhough I was anticipating to be alone at this concert too, I made friends and enjoyed it with them. We don't keep in touch afterwards but like I said, they are an awesome bunch. Plus, I'm not the best person in keeping in touch with people. But yeah, try to make friends at concerts especially if you see that they're alone too. Unless, of course, you really want an alone concert experience to which I'd say, you do you.

I went to other shows and concerts before and after these two concerts but these two are the ones that none of my friends went with me. Hujan is another story altogether like have you been to their gig back then? It's kind of like that but just a little bit sombre and by a little bit, I really mean jussstttttt a little bit. That show made me think about stopping from going to a concert. Maybe I'll still go but I'll just hang around at the back, enjoying the show from afar.

Well, really though, I think every experience is different and it is okay to go to concert alone BUT, ensure your safety and that you secure all your needed items with you.

My short advice when you go to a big concert alone or not;

1) be nice to the people you meet there - they are also hoping to enjoy the show as much as you do;
2) suppress from whining to your boyfriend (encountered this numerous time it's annoying, kalau nak selesa lapang boleh baring baring baik duduk rumah lah cik kak) and people - total strangers really - will just lowkey hate you;
3) tell someone where you are going, what time it starts and what time it ends.

I'd suggest a buddy system with someone that didn't go to the concert: your friend or sister or brother or whoever that stays up late and cares about you didn't go with you, promise them that you'd text them once it's over and then when you got home and gave them the green light that if somehow you went AWOL to contact your parents/guardian/relatives or authorities (depending on the situation). I know I sound paranoid but have you seen the news lately? It's a cray world. Better be safe than sorry. Also, load up your touch n go card or carry enough money (but don't go flashing them around). I, being unfamiliar with the roads in and around KL, got lost on my way home from the Ed Sheeran concert. Don't blame me, I prefer public transport if I ever need to roam KL rather than driving through the traffic jams yo.

But really though, be it you're going to a concert or a show alone or with a bunch of friends, be safe and just have fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beauty Stuffs: Laneige BB Cushion [Pore Control], A Review

I am not affiliated nor sponsored with ANY of the brand mentioned here. I'm only writing this review based on what I feel and the result from my experience with this particular product that I bought myself.

So, I'm an adult (cringe). Calling myself an adult feels a little bit cringey right now but that's just probably because I've just finished Uni and still am adjusting to this new life. It's funny how you change throughout the years and become this person and you know that you'll be changing in the future too and you're gonna look back when you're this age and make the same statement 'Man, I've changed didn't I?'. But I digress.

Anyway, hopping into the BB cushion trend as I just could not, for the life of me, find a foundation that I am comfortable enough to slap on my face everyday. I'm just very picky because even the slightest mistake can make my skin breakout like it's nobody's business. I want something that's light but could slightly cover up the PIH (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) on my face, matte finish, doesn't clog my pores, doesn't break me out and doesn't make me look like I put on a Geisha makeup.

Like, I love my golden complexion but all these Asian makeup products mostly caters for lighter skin. I get that most of us here in SEA admires and hold 'the whiter the better' in terms of complexion but can you makeup makers be realistic? Give us something that match our REAL complexion for heaven's sake, maybe it'll boost your sales more?! //end rant//

Back on topic, I started to get interested in the BB Cushion because people were raving about it in the Asian Beauty subreddit and Hermo were selling loads of them on their site. I like the concept of easier application rather than just BB cream in a tube (I have that too) since it's in a compact case with puff and would be easier to touch up. From what I gather, BB cushion is lighter coverage from the BB cream in tube which I personally favor since I usually can feel my face being 'congested' by the base products that I wore if it's heavy on me. So after quite an extensive reading on which BB Cushion would be best on me, I decided to just bite the bullet and get the Laneige BB Cushion [Pore Control] SPF 50+ PA+++ as my introductory cushion.

I got mine at Parkson IOI Mall instead of just buying online on Hermo because Hermo does not carry all of the shades from Laneige. Not sure if it's because the darker shades are a new addition or that Hermo's stockist doesn't take the darker hues. But I'm not complaining because I like to do a physical swatch test to see if the shade fits me. Now, mine is the Pore Control version (light blue casing) because my face is an oil slick mess and this version is a semi-matte finish rather than a full on dewy finish of the other version (white casing).

When you open the casing you'll see a mirror and the puff.

Underneath the puff case is the cushion itself.

What you get in the box is one BB Cushion (with the rubycell puff inside), a refill cushion and an instruction/ingredients paper that I've only scanned through the first time I bought this. Anyway, it should be noted that you're basically paying for two cushion as you get a refill when you buy this.

Colour shade : Limited. Mine is the shade No. 31. The darkest shade that I found in the store is No. 35 and weirdly, there's no No. 33. No 35 seems too dark for my complexion when I swatch it but No. 31 is a little bit too light for me but not by much so I settled for no. 31. I suspect that IF they have No. 33, it'll fit my (and frankly, a lot of other consumers in this part of the world) complexion better. However, it has been said around the forum that BB cushions (of any brand, not just Laneige) mostly caters to the lighter skin tone. As for now, Laneige is the only one that I found that caters to Olive/Darker complexion, and even then, if you have a really dark complexion, you're out of luck. Though you could make your own BB Cushion apparently but that's another story...

Application : You press the puff onto the cushion to pick up the cream (it's more liquidy than cream but let's call it a cream for this discussion's sake) and pat, pat, pat it quickly onto your face. You have to apply quickly because it does dry pretty quick and then you'll be left with patchy areas to fix. It feels cooling when you apply it as it is essentially a liquid being applied to your face. It does dry semi-matte which I love love love because I don't look like an oil slick but also doesn't look like I'm wearing those matte foundations that made it so obvious you have makeups on. Oh and I think I should stressed that the best way is to PAT the puff, not drag the puff all over your face.

Staying power :  Quite good. I actually like the staying power. My face is really oily so oiliness is pretty much expected with ANY products that I have but I find that I look much more of a decent oil mess when I use this rather than looking like I slathered my face with oil. I do usually wear a matte sunscreen and primer beforehand though, and I like to set my foundation with powder.

Pore Control & Coverage : Because of the name, I feel like I should address the pore control. I have issues with my pore and them being kinda big and noticeable is on of it and wearing this makes me look flawless. OK not completely flawless but it made my skin look really good. The coverage is sheer-medium but definitely buildable. I find that it does gives me a glowing effect but I'm not sure if it's because of the stuffs itself of because the shade is a tad lighter than my skintone. If I only use it on half of my face you can definitely tell the slight difference but not by much; the half that I applied it on seems brighter but not in the sense that 'She's wearing a shade wayyy too light for her'.

Sunscreen properties : My stand on sunscreen in cosmetic products that is not a proper sunscreen is still the same - it ain't gonna be enough honey. You need a proper sunscreen even though your base makeup product have SPF/PA in it. Reason? The distribution of the sunscreen is not enough. Read more here.

As illustrated, the left photo is me makeup-free just chilling at home and raging over a level on Undertale that I can't seem to beat.... and on the right is me slaying my no-makeup makeup game. I only have the Laneige Pore Control BB Cushion on and some lip tint and that's it. (Both photos have no filter nor did I edit anything).

I should make it clear that I do not want to completely conceal the existing acne because heavy products tends to aggravates it so I only intend to not make the acne too glaring and the PIH obvious. My goal is to even out my skin tone but not wanting a heavy coverage and this Laneige BB cushion is perfect for that.

Cleaning : Yes you should clean your puff, not just this puff in particular but every tools (brushes, Beauty Blender, sponges, etc.) that you use on your face should be cleansed once in a while. You can use the soap for cosmetic sponges found in Daiso or if you have the Beauty Blender soap, use that (I personally uses the Dove Beauty Bar, not sure if it's okay but I saw someone saying that they used it too). But the instructions from Laneige is to essentially soak the puff it in warm water and then gently presses from the center to the edge to push the residue out. Don't rub or crease or wring it like a cloth. Then sandwich it in a dry towel and press gently with your palm to wring out the excess water before leaving it to air dry.

Issues : Y U NO HAVE SHADE No. 33? Initially I thought that this product breaks me out but I think it's another product and just me not removing everything properly. It's advisable to double cleanse if you wear makeups or sunscreen. I personally triple cleanse on the evening nowadays if I wear makeups - Cleansing Water to remove makeups, oil cleanse, then my normal facial cleanser - as my skin can handle it, I'd skip cleansing water if I only have sunscreen on and only use my normal facial cleanser when I don't have anything but moisturizer on.

Verdict : I love this! And actually, my other base products was left untouched ever since I got this. I'll probably give No.35 another swatch and drag a friend to judge the shade for me just in case the shade fits me better. Or maybe Laneige will release a No. 33 for this region? But unless I find something that fits my skin tone better or could do a better job than Laneige especially oil-control-wise, I'll be a returning customer.

Sidenote on oiliness & 'this is not for our climate' issue : I have the L'Oreal Matt Magique BB Essence that I tried to love because of the matte properties but I just can't. I dries super matte for sure BUT it dries horribly on me and emphasized any dry or even the tiniest flaky spot especially on acne spot that's peeling due to my BP treatment. Not a pretty look. I don't really have this issue with Laneige Pore Control Cushion.

A lot of people are hesitant and some are against these stuffs because (their words) 'cushions are not designed for our climate' but I disagree, this one fares me well here and I have oily skin on top of that, and they are pretty popular as a summer base product so whatchu talking bout gurl? But, as always, YMMV, it may work for me but not for you, you just gotta find the right product for you but just because it doesn't work for you or you dislike it, it does not make this a bad product y'know.