Here is my post about graduation…. two months late! (typical me!)

It’s been a long journey, but I’ve finally done it! I hate to be cliché, but let me just say life’s full of ups and downs- and if you get discouraged, there’ll always be another opportunity around the corner!

I didn’t do great for my A levels, and going into a course I liked locally was near impossible due to how competitive the arts and humanities were at NUS/NTU. Psychology is pretty much an AAA/A requirement and Journalism an AAA/B or AAB/B.

I was convinced I was good at science and math then and was too stubborn and prideful to switch when my grades started slipping early on. Everything was easy until junior college, since I never felt the need to study for anything except the bare minimum at exams.

I actually did well enough to feel like this state of things was sufficient and got really complacent ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ so obviously I did badly for A levels because there are so many subjects, you shouldn’t be messing around with that.

Back then I was too lazy and too proud to admit I was struggling.

Now, if you tell me I’m shit at maths, I will happily agree and go along with it as if it is something worth being proud about lol!

I think I’m becoming self-aware wow wow 😂 I shouldn’t feel proud of it like I do with all my other bad habits- messiness, laziness, chronic procrastination- and it will come back to bite me in the butt again like it did at A levels, but I don’t bother with all the what-ifs.

I don’t think I would have done it differently given my indifferent attitude towards studying for subjects that didn’t come to me easily.

I made my bed and I must lie in it, and I honestly applaud anyone who works hard enough to pull themselves out of a rut and go against all the people who doubt them.

But anyhow- I got onto the University of Salford through my aunt’s recommendation, my extra-curricular activities, and writing portfolio.

It wasn’t a highly-ranked university by any means, but the teaching was excellent. The lecturers were passionate about the subjects they taught, seminars were never just about them talking to a silent room. I enjoyed myself greatly and for the first time in years, genuinely enjoyed learning/ acquiring more knowledge in the subject.

My future ambitions have also shifted a little during the course of my university degree- I no longer wish to pursue journalism, but I am nevertheless glad I had the opportunity to learn about the processes involved.

Some of my coursemates and the other pure Journalism students got the chance to experience what a newsroom situation was like, which I’m slightly envious about. Ah well. I guess it’s not meant to be.

I start my MA in English Literature and American Studies at the University of Manchester this September, an opportunity I never thought I would have; and I am immensely grateful for everyone who has encouraged me to broaden my horizons and make that leap to an overseas university.

I’ve never been an independent person at all, but this made me grow up very quickly in some ways: I had to learn to cook, clean (arguably a feat that yet escapes me), navigate unfamiliar territories and get out of my cushy comfort zone.

housemates

I’ve met some amazing people along the way- my housemates, coursemates, and random friends I’ve picked up through the university/ my travels- something I would never have got with a local education, not to the same degree of immersion.

I was never the most confident person and hated inane small talk but now I could probably talk about anything under the sun and conjure up enthusiasm about a subject I know nothing about.
I think of it as a necessary part of Adulting™.

I thought of it as being “fake” but as my friend pointed out: by taking interest in things that people you care about, care about- it makes it a sweet gesture *mindblown*

There are other ways in which my worldview has changed while at university, and others reinforced, but we shall not go into detail about that at this point.

This has been an embarrassingly retrospective post, but it feels nice to get all my thoughts out there.

Until next time xx

  1. I was recently gifted this duo by my best friend, which she bought during her solo trip to South Korea. These can be bought as a set or on their own, and I’ve included a couple of links to sites where you can acquire them for yourself in this post.

These two products claim to help to improve the elasticity, radiance, and the moisture of your skin with egg white and yolk extracts-I used to use egg whites on my nose and cheek area to tighten/firm, and these products ought to work the same way. I’ll see if they really do hold up to their claims!

egg mousse pack and soap, too cool for school

The Egg Mousse Pack: a whipped foam facial mask made from egg white and egg yolk extracts- smoothens and brightens skin.

Description:

This whipped, meringue-like mousse facial mask enriched with egg white and egg yolk extracts instantly transforms rough, dull skin into a smooth, radiant complexion in as little as five minutes. Egg white extract purifies and brightens, while egg yolk extract leaves skin hydrated and silky smooth. This unique, frothy facial mask deeply moisturizes and enhances the use of other skin care products for beautifully luminous skin. It contains no Sulfates or Phthalates. (Sephora.com)

My experience:

Out of the two, I was least impressed with this one. It left my face feeling soft, but I wouldn’t say it was any more hydrated or radiant than it was previously. I wasn’t really a fan of the smell, either. It smelt like grapes for some reason and I felt a mild tingling sensation.

I tried two ways of applying, since I looked up reviews after my first application and apparently it is recommended that you continue to massage the mask in instead of applying and leaving it on (like a scrub). I didn’t notice any difference, honestly.

I will probably continue to use it, but it didn’t wow me in any way. I did like how the mask expelled in a nice blob of foam (you only need to press the nozzle a little, it is very sensitive) and it was the right amount for my face. I love Lush’s face masks, but I’m not a fan of the constant dipping- especially with long nails, the mask gets trapped under your nails and it’s honestly quite unhygienic. No fuss with this one 🙂

egg mousse pack and soap, too cool for school, kbeauty, korea

The Egg Mousse Soap (facial cleanser): A whipped egg white mousse cleanser infused with egg yolk extract that gently hydrates, purifies, and replenishes your skin.

Description: 

This creamy, meringue-like cleanser combines milk proteins, amino acids, and egg extracts to thoroughly cleanse your skin. Tiny particles are able to go deep into the skin, not only to dissolve oil and dead skin cells, but also to nourish for long-lasting smoothness and hydration. Egg white extract purifies, tightens, and brightens while egg yolk extract moisturizes. Your skin is left thoroughly clean, hydrated, and glowing. (Sephora.com)

My experience:

I liked this a lot more than the mask pack. Like the mask, the nozzle dispenses dense, white foam. I liked the scent a lot more, but you should be warned that like most of the products Too Cool for School has, their fragrance is quite strong. If you are someone who dislikes scents in anything skincare-related, I would advise against getting it.

The dense foam meant that I could easily reach awkward crevices and such, which I usually have to use a brush or foaming net to do. The nozzle dispenses a tad bit too much foam in one pump if you’re not careful, so use a light hand.

I rub in and massage, and my skin feels soft and supple afterwards. It is not a heavy duty cleanser, and I use it after removing all my makeup (certainly does not budge my waterproof mascara much).

I like that my skin does not feel uncomfortably tight like some cleansers leave me feeling, but I would not say you can entirely do without moisturiser altogether. Use your regular toner/ serum/ moisturiser after cleansing.

I am currently using the botanical toners from Garnier’s SkinActives range, which I will introduce in my August favourites at some point. I follow up with The Body Shop’s Vitamin E moisture cream (review here).

egg mousse pack and soap, kbeauty, too cool for school

Other similar products:

I have also used Tonymoly’s egg pore range, of which I still use the Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm (review here). I wasn’t that impressed with the Tightening and Cooling pack or the Blackhead Steam Balm from the same range- but then again, I do not have very visible blackheads. The steam balm and smooth balm smells lovely, which is a huge plus for me since I have to leave it on my face for a while.

If you live in Singapore, you can buy the whole range on Qoo10 here ($5.99/$8.99 SGD).

tonymoly egg pore silky smooth balm

I have also tried the Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam (150ml), which I wouldn’t say particularly impressed me. It was a cleanser that did its job, but that was pretty much it. It was a little drying, but probably more deep-cleansing than Too Cool For School.

I hope this review was helpful for those of you who are thinking about incorporating some Korean skincare options into your routine, or are curious about the benefits of eggs in skincare 🙂

I know the days of glorious sunshine are pretty much over (for rainy, rainy Britain), but how about getting one last fling at summer with these adorable water gel tints from Etude House? These were released months ago when I was still in the UK, miles away from affordable Korean beauty brands.

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

Shark Red (L), Watermelon Red (R)

Today I’ll be reviewing the Dear Darling Water Gel Tint from Etude House– their Dear Darling tints have a huge range, but for these adorable popsicles, there are just six: 샤크레드 (Shark Red) , 통팥레드 (Red Bean Red), 수박레드 (Watermelon Red), 오피치레드 (Oh Peachy Red), 보석레드 (Jewel Red), and 살구레드(Apricot Red).

I found the tints very pigmented, like the rest of the Dear Darling range, and some of the shades ended up looking pretty similar when I swatched them instore! I decided to get the reddish tints since I look better in those hues (compared to pink).

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

I bought two tints (Shark Red, Watermelon Red) during a 1+1 event, from a store called Beauti Topping on a local Singapore shopping site, Qoo10 (SG). There is an alternate site called Qoo10 Global, for international shoppers- the tints are shipped direct from Korea, and are often marginally cheaper than getting them in brick and mortar stores.

I got it with the sale price of $8.70 (U.P. $10.99) with shipping $1.90 (total roughly £6) which was a steal considering it costs $9.90 in stores. I keep harping on the price but as a Singaporean, there’s nothing I love more than a good deal! Qoo10 does sales regularly so keep an eye out- the price will surely drop soon.

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

Watermelon Red (L), Shark Red (R)

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

 

You can apply several coats for a buildable look or apply in the center and blend outwards for a softer, ulzaang look. Bitten lips, right on trend!

I usually bring Shark Red with me- I just pop it into my purse and carry it around, it’s small and fits perfectly. It might be less convenient to pop into a pocket due to its thickness (my common gripe with the EOS lip balms) though.

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

I also purchased the normal Dear Darling tints in two shades- RD305 (L) and BR401 (R).

dear darling water gel tint

I got BR401 purely by accident- I placed the order assuming it was a deeper red, but this was from the soda pop range- also named BR401. Ach, online shopping is convenient, but it’s so much easier to mess up/ click something you didn’t mean to/ order something you didn’t intend to. Oh well.

BR401 has a matte formula and smells strongly of sweet soda. I profess to not being a fan of the colour- it is a very peachy pink and applies thickly. The chemical-y sweet smell irritates my nose (and lips! they burned)- I’m not overly sensitive to fragrances and don’t mind them, but this was overwhelming. I’ll probably sell it off on Depop or Carousell (both links will take you to my shop page).

RD305 is now my new everyday shade- despite how dark it looks on the official promotional pictures, it blends out to a very wearable shade! It is a lovely brick red shade with no orange undertones.

I use it with the NYX soft matte lip cream in Abu Dhabi and it looks gorgeous! I’ve never been a fan of full-on matte shades, since I’m often snacking throughout the day- matte lipsticks tend to wear off fastest in the center, giving that dreaded patchy look.

Lip tints are a lot more lightweight and easy to reapply- and you don’t have to take them off at all- they just wear off over the course of the day or come off easily during your regular face cleansing routine without any hassle or stain! I think it’s a great shame lip tints haven’t been brought to western countries like UK/ USA or publicised more.

It was only early this year that I’ve seen beauty sites like Beautybay start stocking Korean brands like Tonymoly (a favourite with such sites, since the packaging is adorable), and I’ve spotted a few Etude House products sold in T.K.Maxx (mostly older ranges).

Do any of you guys use makeup from Korean brands? I would recommend giving them a try- they are often comparable to huge, established beauty brands for a fraction of the price! I use a sheet mask from Innisfree to save my skin after a bad breakout- it is honestly such a lifesaver. While I’m still in Singapore, I’ll try to review more Asian beauty brands- it’s been too long since I’ve done a full review!

I purchased these products with my own money, and all opinions about the product are my own.

After reviewing the Gousto food box, I’ve partnered with Tornado to bring you yet another food box review from Everdine!

everdine review, everdine, food, food box

Everdine touts itself as “clean eating made simple”, with delicious meals delivered to your home or office that you can take from freezer to plate in usually just 10 minutes. You simply select a plan with 8 or 12 clean, wholesome gourmet meals in each delivery, with options for vegetarians too.

To be honest, I’ve always thought of “clean eating” as another dietary fad, a buzzword thrown around by fitness accounts on Instagram by smiling perfect women with “Live Laugh Love” tattoos in a minimalist font on their wrists or “Eat Pray Love” on their walls; a lifestyle that requires a lot of effort and money to sustain and upkeep (maybe that was a tad bit bitter, but I’m so envious of this lifestyle!).

I’d like to think I’m pretty good with making sure I eat healthily, since I dislike having too much fried food or things that just get chucked in the oven. However, I’m a pretty lazy person when it comes to cooking- especially after getting home after a long day, all I want is for food to be sorted in a flash!

Most of my regular meals involve some sort of stir-fry with various vegetables and sometimes a bit of chicken, or something that sits in a pot like stew or pasta that I can whip up quickly. If it requires a lot of steps or ingredients, I am usually reluctant to start it unless I have time on weekends. I often indulge in junk food during the day too, which is probably not the best for someone trying to stick to a healthy diet.

I was initially a bit iffy after hearing it was frozen, as you always hear about frozen ready meals that never taste very good and how unhealthy they are. Oh boy, I was definitely proven wrong.

I received 8 meals, which were:

Speckled lentil chilli with parisienne potatoes, Cajun blackened salmon, Cherry & hoisin duck with wilted greens, Mediterranean cod, Coconut katsu chicken, Falafel shawarma, Smoky chicken fajitas, Slow cooked beef & beetroot bourguignon

everdine review, everdine, food, food box

Some general observations about these dishes:

They were so convenient, and definitely perfect to take to work and heat up in the microwave- a full balanced meal without any of the fuss or washing up! I would definitely recommend this to people with busy full-time jobs- £55.20 might be too steep a week if you’re on minimum wage and only working part-time and in university most of the time, like most of my peers.

I would probably not use this every week/ every two weeks but I can definitely see myself subscribing to this every time I run out- I would like a one-off delivery option, which Everdine does not do unfortunately. It took me awhile to go through all the boxes as I used them to supplement my regular cooked meals/ when I was too tired to cook, and I think that these boxes are perfect to have as a “just in case”, if you forgot to make a lunch to take with you, if you were too tired to cook, if you ran out of fresh food and it’s too late to get some groceries.

Luckily, these boxes coincided with the week I got back from my 3-week trip from Europe (more on that in a separate post), and I had some lovely meals before I got around to doing any grocery shopping.

A lot of these meals were a little bland for my liking, which makes sense if they tout themselves as a healthy option. It isn’t difficult to add a little salt and pepper, and I added some soy sauce and sesame oil to the noodles that came with the cherry & hoisin duck dish, since it was unseasoned. Kale featured a lot in these meals given its superfood status now- I have never been a fan but I am now a convert!

Everdine definitely pays attention to what dishes/ ingredients are trendy at the moment- cajun blackened salmon has been featured in three food boxes I’ve seen so far, and firm favourites like falafel, fajitas, pasta, and katsu all are available to choose from.

What it looks like

It comes with a film you pierce/ peel off (if you have extras you have to remove). This was the coconut katsu chicken, which I thought was pretty nice- I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the greens were: soybeans, pak choi added a refreshing balance to the chicken, and stopped it from being too dry.

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Some of my other favourites- the beef and beetroot bourguignon was a delicious treat- I am definitely not a fan of beef and other heavy red meats due to the strong smell and taste (something I have not gotten used to from my 10+ years of being vegetarian). This meal was something I put in as a last resort because I did not want to try a meal I could whip up easily on my own. And gosh, it is definitely in my top 3 among all these lovely options! The beef is not too strong and the beetroot lends a bit of sweetness + tenderness to the meat. I am a huge fan of parsnips so the sides were excellent as well.

The cajun blackened salmon was also cooked to perfection and did not go to pieces when I attempted to flip it for a more even heating. This was seasoned just right and was really fragrant! The peppers on the side were chewy and sweet.

Convinced? Curious?

If you’d like to try out this box yourself, use this handy code for £25 off your first box! Here’s to a healthier diet with no stress or mess!