Christmas Nails in October? (It’s never too early)

Christmas baked goods from Furama Hotel

Christmas baked goods from Furama Hotel

As I’m typing this blog post, I’m doing four other things simultaneously:

  1. Munching on Christmas cookies.
  2. Contemplating this uncharacteristically warm October, and thinking over what BFF said about how the haze contributed to this freakish heat (very valid argument considering dust and soot particles, from all that burning in Indonesia, trap the sun’s heat).
  3. Trying not to ruin my freshly manicured Christmas nails.
  4. All the while hoping my attempt at tricking my mind into thinking of cooler climates – or, at least, cool climate activities (see points 1 and 3 above) – would take my mind off point number 2.

I work in a magazine firm and we work two months in adavance so we can bring you December’s fashion trends, new menus and art exhibitions. And of course, in order for us to write about upcoming events and offerings in the malls, we receive Christmas press kits – fragrance coffrets, and said cookies in point 1 – from them even way before reindeers and snowy wonderlands appear on their facades.

So, really, what I’m trying to say is: It isn’t too early to start thinking about that manicure to go with that party dress. And of course, the perfect excuse for me to start counting down to Christmas – my fav time of the year!

Without any further delay, I present you my how-to on creating fabulous Christmassy nails.

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I picked, from left: NARS in Fury; 3.1 Phillip Lim in Gold Viper; Butter London in Union Jack Black; Laura Mercier in Forbidden

 

  • You could pick two colours traditionally associated with the holidays, like red and green, or gold and silver.

 

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  • I created an updated version of the French manicure, where instead of having just a contrasting colour across the tip of your digits, that colour goes all around – kind of like a picture frame.

 

 

  • Apply two coats of the base colour and allow to dry thoroughly – a quick-drying to coat like Seche Vite helps to cut down wait time – before applying the second colour.

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  • The second colour goes right to the free edge. It’s just easier that way, you can never achieve a perfect square freehand. (You can leave it just like that; which I recommend on shorter nails to make them look more elongated, and also because an all-around border tend to make fingers appear stubby.)

 

 

  • Paint the edge of your nails with the first colour to complete the “frame”.
Clockwise, from left: Chanel F/W 14/15 couture shot by Karl Lagerfeld; Gucci silver loafers; Chanel sandals with bow detail

Clockwise from left: Chanel F/W 14/15 couture shot by Karl Lagerfeld; Gucci silver loafers; Chanel sandals with bow detail

 

 

Before I end this post, I’ll leave you with two thoughts: won’t the purple-and-silver just look adorable with the silver loafers from the Gucci Cruise 2015 collection; and oh-so-festive with these silver sandals from the Chanel Autumn/Winter 2014/15 collection.

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A Prayer to Samsung

Would the presence of white coats have soothed my nerves?

Would the presence of white coats have soothed my nerves?

My Samsung Tab 3 died on me, absolutely refused to boot up, after I brought it home barely two months ago.

After a two-week internal struggle (aka denial), I finally got around to schlepping its lifeless carcass down to the service centre in Plaza Singapura over the weekend. And it was packed, much like your regular general practitioner’s clinic on weekday mornings, except nary a white coat was in sight; instead the staff wore black Samsung-emblazoned polo-shirts.

Sitting across Nazeer, the diagnostician assigned to me, I could only watch helplessly as he turned Tabby (yes, I named my phone) over this way and that looking for scratches and possible puncture wounds. I was reminded that even though Tabby was still under warranty, if she was subject to any malicious bodily harm – and my diagnostician proceeded to list the possible scenarios: manslaughter (smashed), drowning (immersed in water), third-degree burns et cetera et cetera – there would be a price to pay.

After what seemed like an interminable interrogation – Nazeer firing questions and in turn meticulously documenting the how, who, when, where, what happened while I listened in on the sob-stories of others; I can’t help it, bedside manners were very much lacking, no partitions to protect us, the caretakers of Samsung devices, nor our modesty when we invariably shed a tear or two – Nazeer gathered his report and stapled the sheaves of paper with a loud click.

I steeled myself for the prognosis, “Miss Yap, we will be retaining Tabby and your charger. It may take us two or three days to get back to you,” but failed to master my legs, and stumbled unsteadily out of my chair (on hindsight, my boots might have been pinching).

Before exiting the service centre, I noticed my hands – a hallucination perchance, caused by perhaps exhaustion, perhaps grief – were illuminated with an almost benign, albeit blue benediction… I looked up and there it was: the Samsung sign in big blue neon. Oh why not, I’ve got nothing to lose at this point, and offered up a prayer, “Yes, I used to be a devout iPhone user, but I swear I’ll sing the praises of your name if you deliver my Tabby safe and sound back into my palms.”

[Writer’s note: I’m happy to report Tabby came back to me safe and sound. A big thank-you to Nazeer who insisted on the thorough check-up!]

 

Weekend Treat: Green Tea Affogato

 

  • I just might have stumbled upon an updated version of the yuanyang when I ran out of vanilla ice cream for my affogato.

    I had stayed up till 4am for a Supernatural marathon, and in order to fuel my obsession with the Winchester brothers, I made myself an affogato, but with a twist: green tea ice cream.

    And it worked! The delicate floral liquor of Nespresso’s Bukeela marries well with Meiji’s fragrant green tea-flavoured ice cream.

    Here’s how to assemble your weekend affogato and not miss a beat of the Supernatural action:

    1. Bring out your tub of green tea ice cream to soften while you return to ogling the brothers. When Dean Winchester makes a pop-culture reference, the surface should be soft enough to push your spoon through.

    2. I don’t own an ice-cream scoop, but I find dipping a spoon in hot water useful in shaping the ice cream into a fancy quenelle.

    3. Place quenelle in receptacle (bowl or cup, your choice), and brew Bukeela in your trusty Nespresso machine.

    4. Pour espresso around green tea quenelle so it forms a sort of a moat. Top with white chocolate shavings.

 

Fragrance Review: Rosabotanica

I like to think of perfume as an extension of the clothes on our backs.

Think about it: You are dressed to the nines ankle-up, and yet you have your most comfortable – read: battered, faded, crusty with soil and sweat build-up – pair of flip-flops flapping against your soles… It’s practically an invitation to slouch!
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Now, imagine the same outfit but with a pair of come-fuck-me-heels and watch, how, not only do you stand more erect and toss your hair with more confidence, you also become a little bolder – hold the gaze of that handsome stranger across the room for a touch longer – and a little flirtier – touch the arm of that same handsome stranger to whom you were introduced just five minutes ago.

Wearing different scents, I find, have the same (or shall we say differing) effects on me; I’m able to concentrate better when I’m wearing a citrusy scent such as DKNY Women; I used to put on Narcisse by Chloé when I want to feel sexy; For days when I feel beautiful, I spritz on Chanel No. 5 which I liken to the cherry that finishes off a prettily-dressed sundae.

But that can hardly be news, for science has already proven scents can alter one’s moods and temperaments, even one’s life.

Now, after all that gushing about my past lovers I’m finally ready to form an opinion about Balenciaga’s Rosabotanica.image

Jean-Christophe Herault and Olivier Polge, the makers aka the noses­– if you like to sound like you are “in the know” – of Rosabotanica say of the key ingredient, “We have studied the rose in an experimental way and thus we wanted to go further.”

The duo went on to explain the romantic aspects of the rose have been downplayed, the focus is instead on its “spiced, spirited and even smouldering aspects”. Now, I have absolutely no idea what that meant, but having spent three days in the garden, I can only say the scent is insipid at best.

With other scents, as I went about my day, I would catch unexpected whiffs when I look over my shoulders or lift my arms over my head or get up from my seat. Unfortunately, Rosabotanica stayed under the radar, and by lunch on Day One, I had almost forgotten I was wearing it.

I had to reapply when I arrived at my first stop of my evening programme, the opening reception of the photography exhibition of Claude Mollard – an ex-politician turned artist-photographer from France. The usual hugs and kisses were exchanged with the usual suspects – the art buffs, PR execs, and other gallerists who had turned up to show their support; And even at such close proximity, I got no compliments on the scent.

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Pic courtesy of VISIONAIRS Gallery Singapore’s

I walked the distance of roughly one MRT station to the next to my second stop for the evening: Dinner with Salt & Pepper. Again, I reapplied before stepping in, where

We engaged in a passionate 8-second hug that would have caused a scandal anywhere in the Muslim world.

 

When we sat down, he commented on my sweaty countenance and assigned the blame slash cause to the sweltering Indian summer – but still no remarks on the scent.

Days Two and Three, hardly surprising, went about unremarkably, scent-wise.

Switching to Carbtree & Evelyn’s Florentine Freesia Flower Water tomorrow, hopefully the bloom native to South Africa will wear better in this August heat.

Watch this space for the Freesia Flower Water review.

 

Confessions of a Couch Potato

TVIt is in my best interest to not watch television.

For once I get hooked on a series, I’ll never step out of the house until I’ve devoured every single available episode.

I still remember the day a friend loaned me the DVD-box set of Sex and the City, Seasons 1 through 4. I spent the next three days watching one episode after another. When the closing credits rolled on the finale of Series 4, and I finally allowed my eyelids to close completely over my eyeballs and be enveloped by that welcoming darkness, I could feel the world spinning as the familiar piano-xylophone-saxophone theme came on.

Hence, you will understand my trepidation at getting too intimate with the Supernatural anthology.

It isn’t just the seemingly endless hours in front of the telly, it’s how the vernacular and quotes of my fav character(s) inevitably invade my own speech. I spoke with an English accent after BBC’s Being Human, began my sentences with “I posit” after Fringe, signed off on post-it notes to colleagues with XOXO after Gossip Girl, quipped “Honey, they don’t call it a job for nothing” when a particularly arduous task loomed ahead after — you guessed it — SATC.

All that rationalising, though, is now a moo point (Joey Tribbiani from Friends said this!), since Dean Winchester had me when he deadpanned “Agent Mulder, Agent Scully”. I mean, what chances do I have against The X-Files — not to sound like a sycophant — quite simply the best show in the Universe.

On the other hand, I want to believe some good will come out of this. It does, after all, provide me with the chance to expand my iTunes collection, for I wouldn’t have discovered Stevie Nicks without American Horror Story or Sweet Talk Radio without Haven.

So, to all couch potatoes out there, I say pop some corn and roll out the bunny slippers, it’s time to get comfy in front of the telly.