The vanity of women

It’s tough having to look good all the time. People criticise us when we go out looking imperfect, as if it offends them.

“Your hair looks wrong today.”

Funny hair

Then they stare at you expectantly, as if they need an answer from you to explain the offense.

I’m not joking. That happens.

Then, an awkward moment happens when you stare back at them helplessly, wondering what the heck they expect you to say.

“I’m sorry my hair isn’t perfect today. Would your highness kindly wait while I zip into the salon for a complete makeover?”

So, you spend a lot of time making sure you look perfect enough to avoid stupid statements that are delivered in the form of accusations.

Sheylara

If you look good enough, you might even earn a compliment.

“Your hair looks great today.”

Which is always nice. Never mind whether you’re vain or not, receiving a compliment is always nicer (and easier) than receiving a perplexing accusation.

Which is why I tend to spend quite a bit of time dressing up to avoid awkward moments.

At other times, I just avoid social situations totally.

So, on the night of the Singapore Blog Awards, it was with a bit of apprehension that I made my second attempt to curl my newly-dyed hair.

If you remember, my first attempt was an astounding disaster. I had to hide the failure in a ponytail.

Emo punk goth

I did a little better the second time, after learning from my mistakes. The front parts of my hair curled beautifully. I was heartened.

And then I did the back.

And I became Medusa.

Medusa

So, then, I had half a head of beautiful curls (front) and half a head of angry, hissing curls (back). I could feel all the accusations sitting on the sidelines waiting to be born.

I didn’t want to do the ponytail thing again because ponytails are too unglam for the prestigious Singapore Blog Awards, and there was no time to straighten out the hair to do it all over.

So I brooded and considered calling in dead.

As I sat there brooding, a flash of inspiration struck me. I will hide the disaster in braids!

It was a perfect solution. I carefully forced the hissy curls into two side braids while leaving the nice curls alone… and it looked messy nice!

Sheylara

Sheylara

I felt like a genius!

I was ready to face the world!

Sheylara

Well, the rest you know already. I went on to receive the Best Lifestyle Blog Award, which was an awesome cap to a great night.

Sheylara

Sheylara

I had a bit of trouble lugging my prizes home. The Goonfather and I looked really bulked up with all the stuff while walking to the carpark. I wanted to take a picture of us then, but I had no more hands free to do it.

Sheylara

Most of the bulk came from the Koka noodles.

Koka noodles

The noodles in the two cartons and the hamper are my prize. The loose ones are from the goodie bags the Goonfather and I received combined. Scary!

A lot of it has been given away to relatives, though. I also invited my friends to come over to take their pick but they never did. I think they were scared off when I showed them the photo above. I have weird friends.

Full list of prizes I got:

  • Trophy designed by Tan Swie Hian, a renowned artist. (He did the floor calligraphy at Chinatown MRT Station.)
  • Award certificate.
  • 3D2N stay at Sugar Palm Grand, Hillside, Phuket worth $800.
  • $500 voucher from Play Smart (a gadgets shop).
  • 52 packets/bowls of Koka noodles.
  • Tons of Transformers premiums (3 posters, notebook, lanyard, cube, dog tag, soundtrack CD).
  • Star Trek mouse and mousepad that also serves as a USB hub.
  • Supperclub CD.
  • Fast & Furious 4 cap.
  • Monsters Vs Aliens notebook.
  • Laptop bag by Fabrix.

Prizes

Laptop bag

It was fun going through the bag to see what they gave me. Like unwrapping presents!

But that’s beside the point.

The point of this blog is that, no matter how nice your hair, makeup and clothes look during the day, it all disappears when the night’s over, although not as dramatic as Cinderella.

And then you have to do it all over again the next day (or the next time you step out of the house, anyway).

What a waste of time!

If only people would stop harping on the way we look all the time.

Why I took 3.5 hours to dress up for an event

I normally take about 1.5 hours to make myself public-ready. This includes showering and washing my hair, blow-drying my hair, lotioning and sunblocking my whole body, putting on makeup, making my hair presentable, and putting on an outfit.

Yesterday, though, I took 3.5 hours to get ready for a Microsoft press event.

Microsoft hardware

And I wasn’t even fully ready after 3.5 hours. I had to do the last touches of my makeup in the cab because I was seriously late.

Tonging the hair

As you all know, I just did my hair at the salon. At home, after washing my hair, my temp curls disappeared and I realised that my new brown hair looks awful being straight. Which means I will have to curl it myself every time now.

Yesterday was the very first time I attempted to use a curling tong.

It was a disaster!

With the first tonging, my hair looked like this.

Bad hair

I tried different techniques on different segments of hair. Most of them turned out really bad. After 45 minutes, I looked like I had been electrocuted.

I tried straightening and recurling spoilt segments but it seemed like it didn’t work that way. The funny kinks refused to go away.

In the end, I gave up and tied my hair into a ponytail.

Ponytail

Blackening the eye

Besides having to make my hair look human, I had to blacken my eye.

The Microsoft event was held at Hard Rock Cafe with a rock theme and I was told to dress like a rocker. Supposedly, everyone in the Microsoft team and PR team would be dressing up. (Not the guests.)

So, I Googled “rocker makeup” and learnt that rock means black eyes, so I proceeded to give myself some.

Rock chick

This was another first attempt. I have never done rock makeup on myself before.

I have learnt over the years that good makeup isn’t just dabbing on the colour. It’s about blending. So I slowly and painstakingly blended the black onto my eyelids together with some white shimmer.

Half an hour later, I turned into a zombie.

Then I spent another half an hour trying to unzombify myself.

So, to hell with blending. In the end, it was just dabbing on the black.

Rock makeup

The final touch

Rocker is not my look of choice, but I have a number of black things in my wardrobe, so I dug out the most outrageous pieces I had.

This was at a time when the event was just about to start, and I was still at home fretting about my wardrobe.

Frantically putting stuff together, I concocted this outfit.

Rock outfit

It probably looks more goth than rocker, but I don’t have any rock stuff, really.

I took this punk-emo photo in the toilet, which I like quite a lot:

Punk emo in the bathroom

A picture after the event, practising drums at the studio:

Drums

It feels fun playing drums in an outrageous outfit!

A picture at the event, where I took a photo of me being captured by the new Microsoft LifeCam Cinema webcam. It’s a good cam, possibly the best out there now, if you’re shopping for a webcam.

Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

Although I love playing dress-up with all kinds of looks, sometimes I wish I were a guy. Life would be so much simpler without having to tong hair and put on funny makeup.

I could have completed an entire video game in 3.5 hours!

After so many years… my new look

New hairdo!!

I’ve resisted doing a dye job for years because I really hate going to the hair salon. It’s boring sitting there for hours.

Hated, anyway.

Now that I have Minou and Wang Wang to accompany me, I don’t mind going every few months to retouch and trim. (I used to visit the salon only once every two years or so.)

So, I decided to take the plunge and colour my hair!

I went with a very safe colour to start off.

Sheylara

I know, I know. You can hardly tell the difference from black. But we need to take baby steps. I think the Goonfather might faint if I step out of the salon with pink hair.

So, maybe I’ll kind of do it progressively.

Can someone good with photoshop pinkify my hair to show me how I’ll look?

Sheylara

The curls aren’t permanent; they were made with curling tongs. My stylist was nice enough to spend extra time curling my hair just for the heck of it.

I might go for permanent ones next time cos I like how it turned out. But Wang Wang said my hair will be horribly damaged, so I can’t decide now.

Sheylara

I didn’t think I could ever recreate this look on my own (I’ve never used curling tongs myself before!) so I took lots of photos.

But my stupid camera auto-adjusted the lighting in this following photo so that I look like a corpse.

Sheylara

With Minou and Wang Wang:

Three

Two

Maybe, maybe, next time, I’ll really go for pink.

Being vain is a chore

In the midst of a dizzying week!

Besides frantically practising for my student concert, trying to iron out as many kinks as possible in my drum grooves, I also have tons of appointments.

Sheylara at drums

Like, everyone wants me THIS WEEK and no week else.

I have meetings, events, shoots, interviews and birthday parties, on top of my gym classes, band concert and Shape Run 09. And, of course, blogging.

Birthday cake
Three pairs of hands trying to figure out how to unwrap the protective sheet around our birthday cake.

Busy all the way till Sunday. Sorry for the lack of GGFs for three weeks. Regular service should be resuming next week!

I AM PERFORMING ON SUNDAY!! Stressed! Still making mistakes at today’s rehearsal. Ack.

Band

Me and my band girls! I only met Jocelyn (guitarist) one month ago and Cheryl (vocalist) two weeks ago. We’ve only had, like, three short rehearsals together, due to some unfortunate circumstances.

But it’s a lot of fun (if you minus all the stress).

I think we should be able to sound coherent on Sunday. Come and support our event, okay?

This Sunday, 6pm – 9pm, at The Crazy Elephant. I still don’t know what time we’re on, though.

Fugene and Sheylara

Above: Fugene, our band director, also Jocelyn’s guitar instructor.

I camwhored in a hotel toilet yesterday. Was at Carlton Hotel for a business lunch.

I needed to decide whether to tuck my hair behind my ears or let it down for a photoshoot I was going for later in the day.

So I took photos to help me. Sometimes, photographs show you things you don’t see in the mirror.

Sheylara

Sheylara

I decided to go with tucking behind ears cos I think it makes me look friendlier.

Then, on my way to the MRT station, with the stupid wind blowing my hair everywhichway, I changed my mind and decided to go with loose hair. So I removed my hair pin.

Anyway, my outfit yesterday didn’t really go well with neat hair.

Being vain is such a chore!

Sheylara
Cabwhoring.

I mean, seriously, I wish I didn’t care about my looks so much. But if I don’t care about it, other people will. And I’m loathe to let others do what I can do myself, because I know I can do it better.

I know you don’t really understand that, but never mind. It makes me more enigmatic if you don’t understand me all the time.

I had this for dinner on Wednesday night:

Sheylara's dinner

I was dining alone. I know you think I’m a very sad person for having to dine alone. But I love dining alone in a quiet restaurant.

It’s so peaceful. I can do my favourite thing — eat and read. I really think there’s nothing more enjoyable in the world than eating and reading!

I also really wanted to try these mini oriental burgers. This was at a Chinese eatery in Iluma. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant because it’s some obiang Chinese name.

But I will go back again and take more photos and remember the name cos the food is yummy! The above meal cost me $15. Quite reasonable!

Well, happy Friday, everyone! You all love Fridays but I hate Fridays.

I have TGIF envy.

You have unique features. Yes, you.

Advertorial

Let’s play a little game today!

I’ll show you photos of celebrities and you guess what’s the one physical feature I admire about them most.

(It know it’s hard cos celebrities tend to have more than one unique, admirable feature, but try, okay?)

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

This probably isn’t the most flattering photo of Jennifer Aniston, but it’s a great example of what I like about her. Is that a big hint, or what?

I’m not a huge JA fan. I’ve only watched a few episodes of Friends in the past and I never watched any of her movies. But I’ve always envied her for her __________.

Jennifer Aniston

Answer: Healthy hair

I can never understand how her hair always manages to fall in the right way, framing her face perfectly, and still look so healthy and lustrous instead of looking bogged down by styling products.

I have healthy hair, too. It’s so healthy it resists styling products.

Sheylara

Let me tell you firsthand that healthy hair that resists styling products is no use at all.

It drapes over half my face half the time unless I clip it up. But clipped hair that can’t fly in the wind is no use at all, either.

But mine is an isolated case. You do want to try to have healthy hair because it brightens your appearance quite a lot!

Here are some tips for healthy hair that are often overlooked and neglected:

  • Don’t use too-hot water to wash your hair. It will strip it of moisture. Cold water is best. If you can’t wash it in cold water, just finish off with a cold rinse to close the cuticles so your hair shines.
  • Always use a conditioner after each wash.
  • Gently massage your scalp with finger tips (not nails) while shampooing.
  • Eating lots of vegetables, fruits and dairy products will help.
  • After washing, don’t towel dry your hair violently. Blot it gently and let it dry naturally. I usually wrap my wet hair in a towel for 10 minutes to soak up all the moisture first so that it won’t drip all over the place when drying.
  • Don’t brush wet hair. Use a comb if you must.

Okay, next!

Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere

When I watched her in the first season of Heroes, I thought she was weird. Something about her body proportions were a little off-kilter. And she had a funny botoxed look in her face.

But late into the next season, her look started to grow on me and I found myself admiring her beauty despite the teenage acne apparent in her close-up shots. I have been acne-free for over 5 years. Now and then I have slight blemishes or blackheads/whiteheads, but I’ve never had a pimple that should have been worth expressing. Concerning. Incidentally, I notice a clear connection between impurities and nutrition (unfortunately). If I don’t use Accutane https://aspirinworks.com/accutane-isotretinoin/, I have perfect skin.

So, what is it about her that stands out the most?

Hayden Panettiere

Answer: Healthy skin

She’s famous for her healthy, glowing skin. I suppose her youth helps a lot. Maybe some of it is makeup. You can achieve a glowing look with makeup.

The one time my skin glowed was when I did my first Xbox photoshoot.

Sheylara

The makeup artist used a bronze highlight to give me a fake glow, haha. But it’s a look I haven’t been able to recreate on my own because I don’t have the necessary tools (nor skills).

But I’m working on getting naturally glowing skin. For example:

  • Steam your face once a week to get rid of impurities and dead skin.
  • Exfoliate gently after steaming to complete the cleansing process, avoiding eye area.
  • Use brightening or hydrating masks. A good time would be after steaming and exfoliation.
  • Clean and moisturise face regularly. At least twice a day.
  • Avoid oily food and sweets. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits and drink lots of water.
  • Try to be asleep between 10 pm and 2 am because that’s the time when your body regenerates.

Stephen Chow

Stephen Chow

Stephen Chow looks very different these days, compared to when he first became popular as a young comedy actor.

But one thing seems to have remained over the years. What is it?

His younger days:

Stephen Chow

Answer: Friendly face

Maybe it’s that association with being a comedian that gives him that “friendly” aura. I don’t know.

My face is not friendly unless I smile. Well, I can’t help the way I look. And, obviously, there are no tips to having a friendly face since I think you just have to be born with it. Of course, you could try smiling a lot or changing your hairstyle or wearing blue to put people at ease.

I tried to find a friendly-looking photo of me. This was taken two years ago, lol.

Sheylara playing Wii

If you let me play with your Wii, I’d be friendly! ;)

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is one of those celebrities who has everything. There’s nothing about her that is wrong. Everything about her is outstanding, right down to her heart of gold.

I love her pelvic tattoo. Beside the huge cross are the words “Quod me nutrit me destruit”. It’s Latin for “What nourishes me, destroys me.”

Angelina Jolie

Apparently, it covers an earlier tattoo of a little dragon which she got while drunk in Amsterdam long ago.

So, what is it about her I love besides her tattoos?

Angelina Jolie

Answer: Sporty physique

I totally adore her in Tomb Raider. I wish she’d do more action movies!

My physique is nowhere even close. Er… I’m working on it lah!

Sheylara

Tips (that my personal trainer are forcing upon me):

  1. Cut all fat and sweets from diet. O_o
  2. Don’t eat carbohydrates after 6 pm.
  3. Do cardio exercises three times a week (like running).
  4. Hire a personal trainer to torture you 2-3 times a week.
  5. Drink lots of water.

You must know this is leading up to somewhere. So smart, you.

The Watsons You Awards is here! Individuals with unique, outstanding features are wanted to receive these coveted awards.

There are eight categories you can choose to participate in. Male and female residents of Singapore aged 18 and above are eligible.

The categories are:

Watsons You Awards

Healthy Hair — For hair that gives you confidence throughout the day.

Fit Figure — For the body that is taut, toned and full of energy.

Flawless Face — For a face made amazing with makeup magic.

Healthy Skin — For a skin that glows with health and radiance.

Friendly Face (Female) — for the face that speaks the universal language of friendship.

Friendly Face (Male) — for the face that speaks the universal language of friendship.

Sunny Smiles — For the smile that lights up the room when you walk in.

Sporty Physique — For the body that loves exercise and the great outdoors.

The winner of each category will receive:

  • S$2,000 cash
  • 1 year modelling contract with GLOW magazine
  • 1 year supply of attractive product gifts

To get an idea of what kind of product gifts you might expect, here’s a list of this year’s sponsors:

Watsons You Awards sponsors

Main Sponsors — Sunsilk, Bio-essence, ZA, Vichy, L’oreal, Gillette, Oral B, Ebene

Co-Sponsors — Clairol, Phyto, Huiji, Slimspa, Rimmel London, Revlon, Mentholatum, Himalaya, Olay, Sato, Nugeno, Quan Neng cool men, Colgate, Pearlie White, Ocean Health, Kwai A Day

Now, the important details: How to take part?

Recruitment Phase
May 15 to June 10, 2009: Make any purchase at Watsons, then submit your photo with a short writeup through the online registration form.

Voting Phase
June 18 to July 1, 2009: Members of the public can go to the Watsons You Awards website to vote for their favourite candidate.

Voters can win prizes too!! (Eight lucky voters who voted for eventual winners can win product hampers and Watsons vouchers!)

Announcement Phase
July 30, 2009: Winners will be announced at the Watsons Health, Wellness and Beauty Award (HWB) gala dinner.

Watsons You Awards

For more information, you can either visit the website or pick up the Watsons You Awards information leaflet from any Watsons store. There is a $5 discount coupon in the leaflet which you can use! (T&Cs apply.)

Well then, get going! You don’t have to be a great beauty or chiseled hunk to have unique, outstanding features. This award is a celebration of the individual. So, determine your most unique feature(s) and send those photos in now!

ALL THE BEST!!