Wednesday, May 25, 2011

never belong

It was a lovely weekend. We took it easy, didn't dress up, didn't force ourselves to go out at night.

On Sunday I went to a block party. The thing about Shanghai is, it's like New York in how there is always something going on. But the thing about Shanghai that isn't, is that it's not exclusive. There aren't little pockets of hipsters, bankers/douchebags, or uptown girls. Just people wanting to meet people. I guess you get the same thing you would get with any type of atmosphere of situation that brings about certain people; like how New York calls to the ambitious, Shanghai and its expatriate community attracts the wanderers.

I like wanderers. They ask questions but don't judge. They are lost, but are happy.

Monday comes and I get a nice email in my Inbox forwarded to me by a friend who works for the local magazine: "Hey we used a pic of the back of your head and your friend for our flyer!"

Pretty much made my week, as I was beyond flattered and happy.

I wrote this to someone earlier, and it's worth repeating to anyone else who feels out of place wherever they may be: I'm beginning to realize that I'll probably never feel like I belong anywhere. And I'm OK with that.

Knowing how I am, fitting in and getting along with everyone would just bore the hell out of me.

And right on cue, The Guardian comes out with this article: Stephen Kelman's top 10 outsiders' stories:

"Maybe I was a more artistic or cerebral child than most of my peers, or maybe I was just blessed with a natural sense of curiosity which to this day attracts me to those people and stories outside of my own experience.

As a writer, the outsider – be he an immigrant from another country and culture like Harrison, the eleven-year-old Ghanaian boy who is the narrator of Pigeon English, or a social outcast like Huckleberry Finn – is an endlessly fascinating creature: he can be a benign commentator on his adoptive society, or a harsh critic; he can be the underdog or the agitator; his fish-out-of-water status can lend itself equally to comedy and tragedy. The entire spectrum of human experience can be captured within his detached or awed gaze. For both reader and writer, the outsider is an instrument that allows us to see the world in an unfamiliar way, and that for me is one of the prime aspirations of literature."
He's on to something.


Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg, at Cannes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I want to be here when it ends, in all its couture glory. If you're feeling adventurous or sadistic, check out Lars Von Trier's other film; Antichrist. Kirsten Dunst just won best actress at Cannes for this film.

Monday, May 16, 2011


A few things.

One. China Post is very different from United State Post Office. I need to learn to speak Chinese.

Two. I've been collecting post cards, so if you are still waiting for yours, well you may or may not get one soon because I don't want to send all the cards from China. So you'll just have to be patient. It is only good when it is a surprise.

Three. My grandfather. He's in my thoughts again and this morning I woke up in the most anguished spell, the feeling of him being ripped away from me so fresh that I was on the verge of tears and madness. Thus the rest of the day was spent in a silent state, trying to calm my heart. I don't think I will ever get over his passing and these little attacks will be frequent. I don't mind them really. It's part of dealing I guess. Not healing. I don't think you heal from loss because it's not like it was a wound or something. You just have to deal because its part of life.

Four. I have about as much tolerance of others as much as a tiger has tolerance for an empty stomach. But if you speak my language and expect nothing of me, of how I present myself and hold me to no standards, and let me be myself, we could be very good friends. I won't expound on this. But right now I'm in an anti-social sort of mood.

Five. I write to relate. I write to seep out all that boiling pent up blood. And to maybe let you know that you're not alone in your brooding, in your hope, love, wandering, or loss. I don't like those who write to show off, flex big words for the sake of using big words, and push empty feelings and thoughts on to a page merely to brag. Why for then? When all your entries blur together as one endless bland stream of nothingness and fakingness. Vanity for vanity's sake is so transparent.

Missha Wave Blusher No1. Pink Wave

In love with this brand, as you can tell from my last post. I bought a few things from this cosmetic brand and and finding myself very satisfied with just about everything that I walked away with, including some of their samples. One of the great things about shopping in Korea is that cosmetic shops give you lots of samples and have crazy flash sales during the weekend. How does one ever resist??

Unfortunately you cannot purchase this blush on their U.S. website, but it is available on ebay and the likes if you really want to try. Again, those overseas who have access to Hong Kong and Taipei shopping are in luck. 

I have always been a fan of multi-color blushes, bronzers, concealers...pretty much anything. They give you a bit of dimension and blend in a lot more naturally with your skin tone. Out of all those things, I am constantly on the look-out (and am suckered to) blushes. A girl can be bare faced with no make up, but she needs to have blush (and mascara). I was immediately drawn to the blusher on the left (No.1) for its vibrant pink color, which perfectly compliments my skin tone. It's important to know your skin tone when shopping to minimize trial and error, and save time.

The one cool thing about this is the shimmery powders mixed into the blush instantly brightens your face, giving you a bit of an ethereal glow. It's not bold, but rather subtle in a very good way. Almost like Nar's Orgasm blush, which has shimmery bits in it and a soft glow, except this one is a bit brighter in tone. Bonus: there's a sweet scent infused into the blush so whenever I give it a swirl I get a welcoming whiff of flowers!

changing pace

The last entry of pictures pretty accurately depicted my first few weeks in Shanghai; lots of eating and non-stop clubbing. I was this close to naming that entry "Comfortable." Because believe it or not, you can easily fall into a mundane routine of going out to the same variety of clubs with the same group of people every weekend. There's nothing wrong with that, but I didn't come here to just go clubbing. So in the last two weeks, I slowed things down a bit. Took the clubs in meager rations, and made more of an effort to explore the city. Thankfully, I was able to make a new friend, just in the knick of time, and have a lover who shares the same sentiments as well. We took the time to really hang out and get to know each other. I found new parts of Shanghai that I would have never seen on my own.

I don't miss the clubbing and since I only have a few weeks left in Shanghai, my goal is to tune it out altogether because I don't think there's any thing to 'miss out' on. It's the same shit every weekend (drink, second-hand smoke, elbow through crowds, take lots of pictures, rinse & repeat), just different venue. 

Shanghai; photo edition

Lover picked me up from the airport and took me on the Maglev train
Lucky for me, two girlfriends that I knew from home (Maryland) had recently moved to Shanghai!
From there, I met the rest of the group.
One of the many food pictures I took. This one was from a buffet at the Shangri-La hotel. Amazing buffet to try out!

And we had a girl's dinner. They are so sweet!
Eating again. This time on roasted pork skin.
All you can eat habachi style at Kagen.
I love this picture of us.

And then I got bangs. Again. 
A Girls Night Out. I'm in white.
At Deadmau5 concert last weekend. Loving the ear headbands they gave us!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Missha Signature Radiance Make-Up Base

Inevitably, my trip to Seoul had me returning with a handful of cosmetic products. Like how there are multiple ads for plastic surgery in ever subway car, there is at least one cosmetic store on every block in Seoul. Original Korean cosmetic brands include Missha, Laneige, Etude, Isa Knox (who Jessica Alba has done an TV advert for), Clio, Hanskin, Banila Co, Skin Food...and that's just the start.

One of my favorite purchase that I am in love with is the Missha Signature Radiance Make-up Base. How I came upon it was purely by accident.

The girls and I had been trying on BB creams (what Korean cosmetic is known for since they started the whole trend) all day, and my skin, being on the normal to combination end of skin types, was beginning to feel dry and flaky. After applying all those creams, repeated removing them with make up remover and cotton, it was feeling more than abused. So I reached out for the closest thing to a moisturizer that I could find to sooth my dry skin. As soon as I applied the base, my skin instantly calmed down. After letting it absorb into my skin a bit, I noticed it felt silky, soft, and not at all oily. I ran back to the counter where I had found it for my own full size and went straight to the register.

It comes in two colors: green and lavender and has an SPF of 15, costing around $20USD. I got the lavender one solely on the logic that it will match better with my olive/tan skin tone than the green. I should caution that when it comes to make-up I am fairly low-maintenance. Besides sunscreen and eye make up, I usually don't put anything else on my face, so purchasing this make-up base is sort of like taking things to the next level for me. I'm a real girl now.

After getting home, I notice a little note on the box that read:

"Contains Fullerenes won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry"

Apparently this stuff is more than awesome, it's magic. From the US National Library of Medicine:

Fullerenes display a wide range of biological activities. Potent scavenging capacities against radical oxygen species (ROS) and excellent potential as biological antioxidants made fullerenes suitable active compounds in the preparation of skin rejuvenation cosmetic formulations.

Conclusion: I love this product. I use it under very light powder during the day and it effectively keeps my skin moisturized and soft all day, without making it feel the least bit oily. It also brightens my face.

You can purchase Missha products online and if you aren't in South Korea, Hong Kong is the best alternative as prices everywhere else in China are ridiculously marked up.

If this is your first time hearing about Asian cosmetics and you want to learn more, I highly suggest reading this to get yourself better acquainted.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello from Seoul!

My apologies for being so lazy with posting lately! I was in Seoul, South Korea with the lover this past long weekend. The above is a sneak peak of our trip. I felt like I was on the set of my favorite Korean dramas the entire time. Can't wait to show you more pictures!