Pictures taken at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, which has a very photogenic bathroom
I get way too many questions on my study/ work/ balancing technique when the fact is, I don’t have a technique beyond just doing it. Still, between that and my love for Harpers Bazaar’s 24 hour feature, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do my own version of 24hours in what my typical day looks like, and you guys can make of it what you will. Yes? Yes. Here we go:
9:00AM: My alarm always goes off at 9am – an annoying barrage of electronic beeps and shrieks – and I always turn it off immediately. I never wake up right when my alarm rings, so I don’t know why I set it so early. I’ve reasoned it out before and I think it’s a secret tendency towards self-immolation.
9:30AM: I drag myself out of bed and scroll through instagram/twitter for the the RSS on what’s going on around me visually and news-wise (twitter). Yep, I’m one of those people. I know all the news sites say it’s the worst habit but I can’t kick it.. and besides, I always get some form of useless entertainment from twitter like a life hack or some punny joke that brings joy to my morning lol.
9:45: I get up. I wash up. I make my first coffee of the day. I feed my cat. I try to remember to moisturise. Right now I use my Benta Berry trifecta for face-washing and also Origins GinZing moisturiser because it’s so light and suitable for daytime use. Most of the time I forget, so I used to have a little post-it note that goes MOISTURISE OR YOU’LL BE AN OLD HAG on my dresser. I crumpled it up and threw it away after day three because i still forgot anyway and i decided i didn’t need that sort of negativity in my life.
10AM: From ten to twelve everyday I either go to the gym or go driving. I’m pretty hardcore with my driving lessons right now because my years of failing at daytona have magically made me somewhat okay at driving. Also, someone told me that if you get your license this year it has the SG50 logo on it, and I’m a sucker for limited edition shit like that, okay? Either way, I’ve been driving nonstop. If I don’t have driving lessons scheduled that morning, I’ll be at the gym running or meeting my personal trainer. Ironically, I find it easier to drag myself to the gym when it’s not the holidays. I’m that kind of person – I need order in my life – and I highly recommend implementing some form of discipline in your life, be it waking up everyday to run or play the piano or make your bed.. you’ll find that having some routine or order will benefit your productivity through the day exponentially.
Be that as it may, my walks to the gym are often punctuated with me grumbling my personal trainer is trying to kill me i swear.
12noon: Shower, get home, cook lunch. I make my own lunches a lot, because I hate ordering off a menu and getting stuff I don’t want. At home I can have a full meal of salmon and egg without having to haggle with the waiter to swap my beans or fries out for a sunny side up egg or something, you know?
1pm: I get ready to go out. I rarely stay home to do work, because there are just too many distractions – my sisters will invariably be yelling about something or other at home, or my mother will want to HTHT, or my cat will start mewing for food even when she was just fed by someone else. That cat is a great case study in obesity. All she does is sleep and eat. Anyway, doing my hair and make up is something I’ve honed down to a fifteen minute olympic-level event, if I’m just going out casually.
I won’t leave the house without at least straightening or curling my hair a little, because I feel like it makes a huge difference to one’s entire look. Yep, still using the Bosch 2-in-1 re: my 2014 Favourites post. Nope, don’t foresee myself switching it up anytime soon. I bought mine for approximately $90 in the departmental stores, but a reader recently dropped me a message to say that it’s available online for $65, with free delivery. Dammit.
While my curler is heating up, I do my make up. This is basically the most exciting part of my day because I have a lot of fun painting my face on. I’m a girl, okay? I get to be frivolous if I want to. Society says so.
For shoot days, I go full out: foundation, bronzer, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, falsies, setting and primer sprays, primer potions, ETCETERA ETCETERA ETCETERA. On casual days, I used to just put on eyeliner + bronzer + lipstick (optional), but I’ve been ridiculously, ridiculously addicted to this foundation by Urban Decay lately, which is ridiculous because I don’t even use foundation normally. You know I mean it because I used the word ridiculous in two variations three times. And I’m a lit major.
I still try not to use it every single day because I don’t want to put too much stuff on my face if I don’t have to, but I really do adore the silky way this feels. It’s incredibly light and matte and I can’t stop gushing about it! I use it whenever if I feel like my face is a little shiny that day (not really heavy coverage, i think, just matte-ifying in general), and I think it’s really gotten me into foundation when previously I didn’t really give two hoots about it. Now I just want to try all the different products so I can look like one of those matte skinned girls in advertisements all the time lol. I know, I know, it’s probably airbrushed. Still.
It coincidentally goes really well with it’s companion product, the Naked Skin Liquid Concealer.
Another thing I don’t use often, but recent circumstances have made the concealer a little too necessary for my liking – late nights, too much coffee… it’s the life of a final year student for you. Thank goodness I’m all but done now.
I’m still using MAC’s gel liner for my eyes, and I’ve got an unreasonably number of eyeliner brushes littering my dresser, from korea, japan, and random drugstores, because I keep misplacing them. I buy the MAC gel liner so often that I’ve started stocking up on them only when I go abroad, because I use the pots up super fast and I might as well get the three dollar or so discount on each pot.
I should probably clarify that since my eye accident in November, I’m no longer doing monthly eyelash extensions even though I love them so much because my doctor doesn’t want me to. Instead, on casual days I’m using the UD Perversion mascara and the Benefit They’re Real! mascara interchangeably, with the UD Subversion lash primer beforehand. When I have shoots, I use false lashes from Korea (they were a gift and I can’t read the brand name in korean) with Ardell eyelash glue, available in SaSa.
Here’s my travel make up palette, that I’ve been burning through, because I use some bit of it every single day.. It comes with a full sized rose lipgloss, which I surprisingly really like, given that I typically don’t enjoy using lip glosses, and what’s apparently the travel sized versions of their Perversion Mascara and 24/7 glide on eyeliner in Stag. They look pretty full sized to me though.
Lips wise, my favourite is still UD’s Revolution line in 69, which is this really strong red. But I’ve been trying sheer colors of late as well, because, you know, springtime and all that, and thankfully UD produces the same shades in a sheer finish as well.
The number of lipsticks I have on my dresser is insane. What I do, actually, is pop two lipsticks in each handbag I have, just so I can always touch up my lip color on the go. Even though I personally prefer the finish of matte lipsticks, I have to say, the sheer ones glide on much easier and feel more.. moisturising. If that makes sense.
One of my girlfriends told me when I was 18 – lipstick should stain, not stack. It makes sense. I hate when your lipstick stains your teeth, and besides that finger/straw trick everyone talks about, one other thing that’s quite essential post lipstick-application is blotting – pressing a tissue gently to your lips
And then when I have shoots, or if I know i’m going to be out all day, I use a finishing spray. The one by Urban Decay lasts a long time because it’s just light mist, and I believe the particular model I use (all nighter) was created in collaboration with bridal finishing spray brand Skindinavia. I’m unsure if this is an unintentional side effect, but I find that beyond making my make up stay on longer, it prevents me from getting those bright red spots of shine when out and about in Singapore weather. So – not exactly oil control, but pretty decent for helping you stay relatively matte.
A great thing that’s happened in terms of Beauty for me is my finally gearing up and getting my brows done professionally, which I think I can safely say is one of the best decisions I’ve made of late. A few companies have approached me regarding brow embroidery, but the concept has always been kind of scary to me – commitment phobia taken to a skin level, maybe? Anyway, after a couple of my friends paid to get theirs done, I was convinced.. so I finally said ok to one of the companies, Erabelle, because I have friends who are paying customers there and because they’re quite reputable in the field. Best decision ever! I wake up everyday with perfect brows now lol.
On top of that, I’ve come to occasionally play around with this clip on fringe from Jean Yip – it’s a trend trickled down from Korea, and gives girls the opportunity to have temporary bangs without having to commit to actually cutting their fringe. Me, I just want my sideswiped bangs to look fuller.
With and Without the clip on. You can kind of really see the difference, no?
(I’m using the UD Revolution lipstick in shade 69 for the first pic. It really is as intense as I want my reds to be.)
Ha ha ha ha despite the fact that it was a longass chunk of words, that only takes about 15-20 minutes in my daily routine. I told you I was olympic-level when it comes to make up application.
1:30PM: I head out.
If it’s shoot day, I go to the studio or wherever that day’s shoot is.
While my hair and make up is being done, I swing between enjoying it and struggling with how disgusted I am by my privilege. There was this once I was sitting there with five different people working on me – two on hair, one on nails, one on toenails, one on make up – and I looked up and thought to myself what am I doing?! It was ridiculous. I felt so incredibly spoilt. I get that it’s all part of the job but being so fussed over sometimes makes me want to stand up and laugh and ask everyone if this is all some kind of joke.. well. Don’t get me wrong, I love every part of what I do, but sometimes I wonder if these ‘job perks’ will cultivate a sort of entitlement or headiness that comes not with due diligence but with the dizzy smell of aerosol. Anyway!
If it’s not a shoot day, I head out to get work done. I generally do work alone, in some air conditioned cafe. My criteria for working cafes are simple – airconditioning, steady wifi, powerpoints. I don’t even need fantastic coffee – I just need somewhere to sit and not be disturbed. I document my attempts to find the perfect cafe in my Mocha Mondays series. The search is still on.
I tend to go out and do work alone. The reason why is really, really, basic: you get more work done alone. I don’t know why people try to convince themselves otherwise. I used to pretend that studying or working with other people around was effective – in my JC/ secondary school days I’d make plans to study out with friends, but it’s so clear in retrospect that studying then was a social activity. You end up talking about the meaning of life more than you do study, and it’s silly to pretend otherwise. I made a lot of great friends during my “studying out” period back in JC/secondary school, but not a lot of headway in terms of work.
I try to get at least three to four hours of solid writing done a day. Whether it’s articles for my blog, or freewriting, or fiction. When I was still working on my FYP I would spend my full three to four hours writing, rewriting, and editing my pieces.
At any one point in time I have at least two writing projects going on, so that if I get tired of one I can switch to the other. And if I can’t write – writers block, blah blah – I read. Whatever time I don’t spend writing, I spend reading. I’m a firm believer of the idea that a bad book can do much more damage to someone than not reading at all, so if I can’t find anything new and good to read I re-read books I love for various reasons – style, voice, plot, etc.
I don’t listen to music when I’m working or reading because I don’t believe it helps you focus unless it’s white noise – but I do plug in my noise cancelling earphones just to block out noise. Right now I’m using a pretty pair from Sudio Sweden that works pretty well for my purposes. They’re a brand that tries to deliver quality headphones at a fraction of the usual cost. The boyfriend and I are both using their products – they sent us a couple’s set.
7pm: is the next time I should be looking up from my work, hopefully to get dinner or something like that. If I’ve got a close girlfriend or my boyfriend in the area, I meet them to grab a bite. Otherwise, I just buy something from wherever’s near where I’m working. If I’m eating alone, I do a takeout and eat while watching an old episode of FRIENDS or something. Dinner for me is always a mixed bag. If I’ve been working all day, chances are I won’t have the appetite for a real dinner, because caffeine always makes me feel slightly queasy, especially when mixed with too much staring at the screen. It’s either that, or I get crazy hungry, and walk around looking for sushi and eggs till I procure them somehow. I really get the most specific cravings.
8pm: Back to work. When I start getting tired at night, I switch to ‘official work mode’ ie. I reply emails, I post process pictures, I edit layouts. These are things that don’t require as much active brain space – save the creative stuff, the writing, absorbing, studying, whatever, for when you’re the most alert. When I switch back to official work mode, I plug in, pull up whatever playlist is on my recent obsessions on spotify, and unwind while getting pictures edited and emails replied.
11pm: On good days, I wrap up about 11pm wherever I am and grab an uber home. I freakin love uber, because it doesn’t charge for the after 5pm/ after midnight surcharge, and doesn’t charge for the CBD pick up surcharge either. I spend way too much money on Ubers, actually, but the way I see it, it’s an investment because 1. i really just zone out in ubers and relax, 2. the time spent in a car vs the time spent on public transport is insane and 3. i’ve had a long day, ok? let me chill. If you’re a first time user, jeq1l is my code and you’ll get 10 bucks off.
12midnight: Back home, I shower and consider my options. After showering I am invariably wide awake. I could mentally pig out on a couple of FRIENDS episodes I’ve watched five times already, and then go to sleep, or I could get more work done. There’s always more work to be done. If it’s anywhere near cram time, this isn’t even an option. Exam periods see me studying way into the night, because it’s dead quiet and nobody but the cat is awake to bug me. If not, I nua around at night and read or watch FRIENDS till it’s time to sleep. Either way, I try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep because otherwise it eats into the next day’s productivity and it’s just not worth it.
An indefinite time in the dead of the night: Bedtime.