Hi all,

I've met plenty people on this journey and we will be forever bonded by the similarities in our stories. I've always wanted this one person to be a special guest on my blog. I was over the moon when she agreed. If you relate to the post at all, know that you are not alone... and we are here for you.

x, 
N

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I’ve been meaning to put this all down. I told myself I would, because I wanted to remember what we went through to become parents; all the ups and downs, the insides and outs of it all. Lo and behold, out of the blue – I get the opportunity to share my story here as a guest blogger. Thank you dear, FN <3 I dedicate this on the most part to you, because your kind heart shared valuable information that would change the course of the path I would walk on in this life.

The year was 2017. We had been married for over three years and of course, as many married couples know, that ONE question would play like a broken record – “alum kamu beranak?” The alternatives would be, “alum ada kah?” / “alum kau berisi?” with judging looks or smirks; comparing us to other couples that have been married a few months and were already pregnant.

Some would go as far as, “inda kamu mau anak kah?”. Trust me, there were much worse questions I’ve been asked, but that’s a whole new topic to write about. Yes, it hurts to be asked those questions. To the point where you just want to avoid going to functions or skip Hari Raya completely and fly off on vacation, because there’s a 100% chance you’ll be asked that. It doesn’t help to see that somehow everyone around you were having babies or they could just trip and get pregnant. Sorry, I really was that bitter and sad back then. I gained a lot of weight as well and was at my heaviest maybe 1-2 years after getting married, from emotional eating and feeling depressed.

Truth of the matter is, I always wanted to be a mom. Even as a teenager - I knew that I always wanted to have children one day, and have them as soon as possible after getting married! Scratch the honeymoon phase! We tried and prayed to be blessed with our own children. All the prayers, the doas to be blessed with your own offspring – I can recite them all by heart. Things didn’t go as we planned. We even took fertility tests around a year after getting married (yes, I was that desperate!), but it was taking a toll on us financially and with work and everything else going on, we just decided to take a break from it all and focus on ourselves and our health.

August 2017.  My mother heard someone wanted to give away their newborn baby boy and introduced me to the idea of adoption. I had never really thought about it. My plan all along was: Get married, get pregnant and give birth to our babies. Work was busy at the time, so I kind of shrugged it off and didn’t process it all properly… but I asked my husband what he thought, his reply was, “If you want to, then I’m with you.”  I know how badly my mother wanted grandchildren, feeling the pressure, I told her, “Bah, mana saja, Ma…”. I was feeling 50/50 about it all, but began to prepare myself mentally. I was going to be a mom. Not the ‘conventional’ way and definitely not the way I planned. I was starting to feel excited and found myself smiling like a fool, driving alone in my car lost in my own thoughts that this could finally be happening for us.  I even started looking up male baby names, possible names for our son.

A week later, my mom called me. The birth mother changed her mind. I was speechless. I felt like a ton of bricks were dropped on top of me; crushing me instantly. I guess I just realized how badly I wanted this child. I remember crying in my car on the way home and the rain was pouring (yes, sounds dramatic, but it’s true!). Maybe so that people driving passed couldn’t see me ugly cry that hard in my car. A song was playing, with these lyrics blasting so appropriately:


They say there’s one chance you get
They say there’s one life you live, but there’s only one you…
Don’t want to think about it right now
I’ll put this love in a bottle and I’ll go to the beach,
Lose this pain and sorrow as it flows out to sea,
And if it’s you, if it’s you, if it’s you…you’ll come back to me
But for now I’ll be right here with the memories


All my emotions in this pre-chorus. The thought that my husband and I would become parents was only lent to us.  Then, just like that, it was taken away from us. I told myself, I guess it’s not our rezeki, maybe it just wasn’t meant for us. To cope with my grieving, I kept myself occupied and busy. With that news, I cried it all out then dove into my work, went to as many spinning classes I could go to, to just forget about it all. Don’t even get me started on my mother - she was just so upset, she just deleted the photos she received of that newborn baby boy from her phone and she would go on and on about how upsetting it all was.

I can’t recall exactly, but maybe a week later, whilst in a meeting, my phone rang. I excused myself to answer this call; there was news that the birth mother changed her mind again – she was quite young with financial difficulties and wouldn’t be able to support her son. They asked, “Can you pick him up this afternoon when you’re off from work?” Another moment of being speechless, but I asked them to give me a few minutes while I called my husband. My husband, again replying, “If you want to go for it, then I’m with you.”

I was shaking. This was it. Just like that song, if it was meant to be him, he would come back to us. This was really going to happen. Over the phone, they told me that they had some essential baby items to last the next few days, so we didn’t need to rush or shop for everything immediately. I got off work as soon as it was 4.30pm and hurried to meet my husband. We drove to the address where our future awaited us.  

When we entered the house, they asked us to sit down while they prepared his items and were going to bring him out. I felt like I was holding my breath waiting for him, I just kept fidgeting and tapping my right foot. The birth mother brought him out and I could see from her face that this wasn’t easy for her. Without a word, she placed a 12-day old baby boy in my arms with a sad, yet relieved expression. I could feel that she was entrusting me to raise this boy as my own. As I awkwardly adjusted my arms to cradle him, she looked at me with earnest eyes and said, “Thank you for doing this.” She smiled at me, wiping away her tears...but I was the thankful one! I was receiving a priceless gift; a child, a human being! I told her that my husband and I would do everything in our power to take the best care of him and raise him; that she wouldn’t have to worry. She nodded and smiled at me again. I felt like she was reassured that she was doing the right thing, even though it could very well be the hardest decision she would ever have to make.

I observed that he was bundled in a thin, ragged and discoloured towel which broke my heart. In that moment, I made my heart speak to this baby and tell him that I would be his mommy and I would give him everything that he needs and more. I still keep this towel that we received him in from that very day, to serve as a constant reminder that I would always do my best to give him everything he needs and deserves.

So, there he was in my arms. Is this what it feels like to be a mom? You look at them and you just know they’re yours, that they’re the most beautiful thing you have ever laid your eyes on. Is this what women feel after they give birth, to see and hold their babies for the very first time? I really do hope that I got to feel even just an ounce of that, with this boy in my arms that I just couldn’t take my eyes off and never wanted to let go of.

It was almost 6 o’clock – you know what that means – Maghrib was approaching, and with a baby in tow, we needed to go home. I was anticipating bringing our baby boy to my mother, I hadn’t told her the news and wanted to surprise her. Unplanned, we walked into the house and found my mother in the kitchen standing with her phone in her hands as it was plugged into the wall. “Hi Ma,” I said casually, waiting for her to notice. It took a few seconds for her to yell, “ANAK SIAPA KAU AMBIL ANI?!?!” I told her, that this was him; the baby we were going to be given all along. She cried, taking him from my arms, “Ya Allah, lai… anak ani yang inda besalah inda bedusa…panggil dorang adi beradimu, suruh tia turun!” – my sisters came downstairs and so to cut the story short; it was a crying fest in the kitchen.

After our crying ended, it was the baby’s turn to cry. Almost two hours had passed and he was hungry. Earlier on, we were given a blue basket with his items, containing some clothes, towels, a bag of diapers, two baby bottles and his formula milk. Since we had no experience and didn’t have a clue what to do, my mother quickly went into action to make his milk and started verbally listing out things we needed to buy. With not much time to think and digest that we welcomed a baby home; we rushed out to buy what we could because we only had less than two hours before shops closed for the night. 

Exhausted from the shopping and setting up the cot and other essentials, we finally lay our baby down in his bed for the night. I gave in early and lied down with the baby’s cot right next to my side of the bed. I would jolt up every now and then just to check on him, but my husband was already there, leaning on the side of the cot, just smiling and watching our son sleeping peacefully. Babies are truly breathtaking; they really are such a blessing and we were definitely feeling this even during our first night with him.

Being totally new to this experience, we came to find out how frequently babies need to be fed and what any parent mean about ‘sleepless nights’ within the first few months of a baby’s life. Bear in mind, all of this was unplanned and unexpected, so I didn’t apply for leave beforehand and still had to work the next day even though I was sleep-deprived. As tired as we felt, we knew evermore so how blessed we were, Alhamdulillah. We adjusted to this new routine and lives with our baby boy the next few months.

[End of Part 1]

Maktub Series: I'll Put This Love in a Bottle

Saturday, 18 April 2020


Hi all,

I've met plenty people on this journey and we will be forever bonded by the similarities in our stories. I've always wanted this one person to be a special guest on my blog. I was over the moon when she agreed. If you relate to the post at all, know that you are not alone... and we are here for you.

x, 
N

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I’ve been meaning to put this all down. I told myself I would, because I wanted to remember what we went through to become parents; all the ups and downs, the insides and outs of it all. Lo and behold, out of the blue – I get the opportunity to share my story here as a guest blogger. Thank you dear, FN <3 I dedicate this on the most part to you, because your kind heart shared valuable information that would change the course of the path I would walk on in this life.

The year was 2017. We had been married for over three years and of course, as many married couples know, that ONE question would play like a broken record – “alum kamu beranak?” The alternatives would be, “alum ada kah?” / “alum kau berisi?” with judging looks or smirks; comparing us to other couples that have been married a few months and were already pregnant.

Some would go as far as, “inda kamu mau anak kah?”. Trust me, there were much worse questions I’ve been asked, but that’s a whole new topic to write about. Yes, it hurts to be asked those questions. To the point where you just want to avoid going to functions or skip Hari Raya completely and fly off on vacation, because there’s a 100% chance you’ll be asked that. It doesn’t help to see that somehow everyone around you were having babies or they could just trip and get pregnant. Sorry, I really was that bitter and sad back then. I gained a lot of weight as well and was at my heaviest maybe 1-2 years after getting married, from emotional eating and feeling depressed.

Truth of the matter is, I always wanted to be a mom. Even as a teenager - I knew that I always wanted to have children one day, and have them as soon as possible after getting married! Scratch the honeymoon phase! We tried and prayed to be blessed with our own children. All the prayers, the doas to be blessed with your own offspring – I can recite them all by heart. Things didn’t go as we planned. We even took fertility tests around a year after getting married (yes, I was that desperate!), but it was taking a toll on us financially and with work and everything else going on, we just decided to take a break from it all and focus on ourselves and our health.

August 2017.  My mother heard someone wanted to give away their newborn baby boy and introduced me to the idea of adoption. I had never really thought about it. My plan all along was: Get married, get pregnant and give birth to our babies. Work was busy at the time, so I kind of shrugged it off and didn’t process it all properly… but I asked my husband what he thought, his reply was, “If you want to, then I’m with you.”  I know how badly my mother wanted grandchildren, feeling the pressure, I told her, “Bah, mana saja, Ma…”. I was feeling 50/50 about it all, but began to prepare myself mentally. I was going to be a mom. Not the ‘conventional’ way and definitely not the way I planned. I was starting to feel excited and found myself smiling like a fool, driving alone in my car lost in my own thoughts that this could finally be happening for us.  I even started looking up male baby names, possible names for our son.

A week later, my mom called me. The birth mother changed her mind. I was speechless. I felt like a ton of bricks were dropped on top of me; crushing me instantly. I guess I just realized how badly I wanted this child. I remember crying in my car on the way home and the rain was pouring (yes, sounds dramatic, but it’s true!). Maybe so that people driving passed couldn’t see me ugly cry that hard in my car. A song was playing, with these lyrics blasting so appropriately:


They say there’s one chance you get
They say there’s one life you live, but there’s only one you…
Don’t want to think about it right now
I’ll put this love in a bottle and I’ll go to the beach,
Lose this pain and sorrow as it flows out to sea,
And if it’s you, if it’s you, if it’s you…you’ll come back to me
But for now I’ll be right here with the memories


All my emotions in this pre-chorus. The thought that my husband and I would become parents was only lent to us.  Then, just like that, it was taken away from us. I told myself, I guess it’s not our rezeki, maybe it just wasn’t meant for us. To cope with my grieving, I kept myself occupied and busy. With that news, I cried it all out then dove into my work, went to as many spinning classes I could go to, to just forget about it all. Don’t even get me started on my mother - she was just so upset, she just deleted the photos she received of that newborn baby boy from her phone and she would go on and on about how upsetting it all was.

I can’t recall exactly, but maybe a week later, whilst in a meeting, my phone rang. I excused myself to answer this call; there was news that the birth mother changed her mind again – she was quite young with financial difficulties and wouldn’t be able to support her son. They asked, “Can you pick him up this afternoon when you’re off from work?” Another moment of being speechless, but I asked them to give me a few minutes while I called my husband. My husband, again replying, “If you want to go for it, then I’m with you.”

I was shaking. This was it. Just like that song, if it was meant to be him, he would come back to us. This was really going to happen. Over the phone, they told me that they had some essential baby items to last the next few days, so we didn’t need to rush or shop for everything immediately. I got off work as soon as it was 4.30pm and hurried to meet my husband. We drove to the address where our future awaited us.  

When we entered the house, they asked us to sit down while they prepared his items and were going to bring him out. I felt like I was holding my breath waiting for him, I just kept fidgeting and tapping my right foot. The birth mother brought him out and I could see from her face that this wasn’t easy for her. Without a word, she placed a 12-day old baby boy in my arms with a sad, yet relieved expression. I could feel that she was entrusting me to raise this boy as my own. As I awkwardly adjusted my arms to cradle him, she looked at me with earnest eyes and said, “Thank you for doing this.” She smiled at me, wiping away her tears...but I was the thankful one! I was receiving a priceless gift; a child, a human being! I told her that my husband and I would do everything in our power to take the best care of him and raise him; that she wouldn’t have to worry. She nodded and smiled at me again. I felt like she was reassured that she was doing the right thing, even though it could very well be the hardest decision she would ever have to make.

I observed that he was bundled in a thin, ragged and discoloured towel which broke my heart. In that moment, I made my heart speak to this baby and tell him that I would be his mommy and I would give him everything that he needs and more. I still keep this towel that we received him in from that very day, to serve as a constant reminder that I would always do my best to give him everything he needs and deserves.

So, there he was in my arms. Is this what it feels like to be a mom? You look at them and you just know they’re yours, that they’re the most beautiful thing you have ever laid your eyes on. Is this what women feel after they give birth, to see and hold their babies for the very first time? I really do hope that I got to feel even just an ounce of that, with this boy in my arms that I just couldn’t take my eyes off and never wanted to let go of.

It was almost 6 o’clock – you know what that means – Maghrib was approaching, and with a baby in tow, we needed to go home. I was anticipating bringing our baby boy to my mother, I hadn’t told her the news and wanted to surprise her. Unplanned, we walked into the house and found my mother in the kitchen standing with her phone in her hands as it was plugged into the wall. “Hi Ma,” I said casually, waiting for her to notice. It took a few seconds for her to yell, “ANAK SIAPA KAU AMBIL ANI?!?!” I told her, that this was him; the baby we were going to be given all along. She cried, taking him from my arms, “Ya Allah, lai… anak ani yang inda besalah inda bedusa…panggil dorang adi beradimu, suruh tia turun!” – my sisters came downstairs and so to cut the story short; it was a crying fest in the kitchen.

After our crying ended, it was the baby’s turn to cry. Almost two hours had passed and he was hungry. Earlier on, we were given a blue basket with his items, containing some clothes, towels, a bag of diapers, two baby bottles and his formula milk. Since we had no experience and didn’t have a clue what to do, my mother quickly went into action to make his milk and started verbally listing out things we needed to buy. With not much time to think and digest that we welcomed a baby home; we rushed out to buy what we could because we only had less than two hours before shops closed for the night. 

Exhausted from the shopping and setting up the cot and other essentials, we finally lay our baby down in his bed for the night. I gave in early and lied down with the baby’s cot right next to my side of the bed. I would jolt up every now and then just to check on him, but my husband was already there, leaning on the side of the cot, just smiling and watching our son sleeping peacefully. Babies are truly breathtaking; they really are such a blessing and we were definitely feeling this even during our first night with him.

Being totally new to this experience, we came to find out how frequently babies need to be fed and what any parent mean about ‘sleepless nights’ within the first few months of a baby’s life. Bear in mind, all of this was unplanned and unexpected, so I didn’t apply for leave beforehand and still had to work the next day even though I was sleep-deprived. As tired as we felt, we knew evermore so how blessed we were, Alhamdulillah. We adjusted to this new routine and lives with our baby boy the next few months.

[End of Part 1]

I'm currently reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott and it started talking about two different groups of excellent people at the office. One she calls 'superstars' and the other group, 'rockstars'. Superstars are those that are hyper-ambitious and are on a steep growth trajectory. They want to always be challenged. These are the people who always want to explore new positions and new roles. They don't stay put for a very long time and it would drive them completely off the wall if they stayed in the same position doing the same thing next year. These people are the drivers of growth in a company.

The rockstars are those on a more gradual growth trajectory. Don't be mistaken. They still strive for excellence. They are still world-class in what they do but they're not eyeing for their boss's job. They are happy where they are. One of the characteristics that Kim Scott included was that these people, instead of excelling at the office, excelled outside of work. They are the drivers of stability in any organization. Kim Scott's book, and this is also echoed in the book called Loonshots that I read a few months back, that in any organization, there needs to be a balance of both growth and stability. A company will get no where if everyone is busy fighting for promotions.



It made me think about the growth trajectory that I was on. I remember graduating and actively looking for jobs back in 2012. I considered myself lucky. I think the labour market is a lot tougher these days. I landed a job soon after and I'm still here today after 7 years. I remember joining the workforce full of determination and drive. I remember being excited to achieve things. I remember the feeling of being fully motivated and ready to launch. I was a superstar. Well... I wouldn't call myself one but let's just say there were only two buckets where people could fit in. You can either be a superstar or a rockstar. For this purpose, let's say I was a superstar.

Over the years, things happen right? I realize my gears shifted to a more gradual growth trajectory for a couple of reasons. One, there was no point being a superstar and aiming for a steep growth trajectory when you're on a flat road and it doesn't seem like it was gonna change in the near future. Secondly, I found that social media and trying to set up my own business kept me centered, so I wanted to invest time in that and hence the stability at the office was key. Thirdly, I had a baby boy who helped shift my priorities. I wanted to be there for him first and foremost.

I have no regrets for shifting gears. I believe at the moment, I was meant to be on that path. I was meant to earn a little bit more through social media. I was meant to give LMN a chance. I was meant to meet all these amazing inspiring people. But it's been 5 years and with the bleak future of influencer marketing... I have no clue what lies ahead. I have and will always love creating content for brands. It always feels like such an honor to be acknowledged by them. I'm not saying I'm leaving that life. I'm just saying... I don't know where it's going.

But in terms of my career? I think I'm ready to switch gears again.

x,
N

Man, I Feel Just Like A Rockstar

Thursday, 9 April 2020

I'm currently reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott and it started talking about two different groups of excellent people at the office. One she calls 'superstars' and the other group, 'rockstars'. Superstars are those that are hyper-ambitious and are on a steep growth trajectory. They want to always be challenged. These are the people who always want to explore new positions and new roles. They don't stay put for a very long time and it would drive them completely off the wall if they stayed in the same position doing the same thing next year. These people are the drivers of growth in a company.

The rockstars are those on a more gradual growth trajectory. Don't be mistaken. They still strive for excellence. They are still world-class in what they do but they're not eyeing for their boss's job. They are happy where they are. One of the characteristics that Kim Scott included was that these people, instead of excelling at the office, excelled outside of work. They are the drivers of stability in any organization. Kim Scott's book, and this is also echoed in the book called Loonshots that I read a few months back, that in any organization, there needs to be a balance of both growth and stability. A company will get no where if everyone is busy fighting for promotions.



It made me think about the growth trajectory that I was on. I remember graduating and actively looking for jobs back in 2012. I considered myself lucky. I think the labour market is a lot tougher these days. I landed a job soon after and I'm still here today after 7 years. I remember joining the workforce full of determination and drive. I remember being excited to achieve things. I remember the feeling of being fully motivated and ready to launch. I was a superstar. Well... I wouldn't call myself one but let's just say there were only two buckets where people could fit in. You can either be a superstar or a rockstar. For this purpose, let's say I was a superstar.

Over the years, things happen right? I realize my gears shifted to a more gradual growth trajectory for a couple of reasons. One, there was no point being a superstar and aiming for a steep growth trajectory when you're on a flat road and it doesn't seem like it was gonna change in the near future. Secondly, I found that social media and trying to set up my own business kept me centered, so I wanted to invest time in that and hence the stability at the office was key. Thirdly, I had a baby boy who helped shift my priorities. I wanted to be there for him first and foremost.

I have no regrets for shifting gears. I believe at the moment, I was meant to be on that path. I was meant to earn a little bit more through social media. I was meant to give LMN a chance. I was meant to meet all these amazing inspiring people. But it's been 5 years and with the bleak future of influencer marketing... I have no clue what lies ahead. I have and will always love creating content for brands. It always feels like such an honor to be acknowledged by them. I'm not saying I'm leaving that life. I'm just saying... I don't know where it's going.

But in terms of my career? I think I'm ready to switch gears again.

x,
N
Hi guys! I am currently on leave. We don't have the work-from-home thing in place so we thought it'd be best to just take our leaves and stay home for the time being. We've been very concerned about leaving the house and if we do, to get take out or whatever, we come home straight to the shower. At some point, I'm also unwilling to take three showers a day, so we stay home. Hope you guys are well and keeping safe and clean at all times.

I'm also on a shopping ban because I need to save more money haha and I did a lot of damage during my birthday month and I have tons of back-up for my skincare already. BUTTTT that doesn't stop me from window-shopping. I was on Beaute Pratique yesterday and found some cool stuff that I thought I'd share with you since you too are probably online shopping and looking for cool things to stock up on. This isn't sponsored. Legit just wanted to help you guys out since I know a lot of people who have run out of their skincare products and would like to top up asap.

Note: Photos aren't mine. Got them off Google just to show you guys what it looks like.

Niacinamide

Everyone knows I love this ingredient. It really helps to keep the pimples and acne at bay. I had a horrible breakout for months on my forehead and when I started using Niacinamide (I started with The Ordinary). it completely vanished up until now! Incredible, right? It says it could be used for uneven skintone, hyperpigmentation and dullness but it specifically handles acne for me.




Alternatives:
2. Good Molecules, also at 10% Niacinamide:

3. I'm currently using The Inkey List but it isn't available on BP. You can find it on Cult Beauty and again it is 10% Niacinamide:

Itching to try:
4. This Niacinamide Toner from Good Molecules.



Cleanser



1. This is my holy grail cleansing oil. I have been using it since my University days: Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil. I don't have a favourite type--they have one for anti-aging, for brightening, etc. I usually go for the pink or purple. It's super effective as a makeup remover for your FIRST CLEANSE. DOUBLE CLEANSE GUYS. DOUBLE. CLEANSE. You slather it all over your face to melt off all your make up including waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Use water to turn it milky, give it an extra massage and then you wash it off. Then you follow with your usual cleanser. 

2. One of my favourites. I always talk about it. It's none other than Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. Gentle and soothing. I finished bottles and bottles of this:

Itching to try: 
3. Farmacy's Green Clean Balm. It looks and sounds so lush but it comes in a jar and that's my only problem.



SPF




1. Favourite SPF. No fuss. No cast. Non-sticky. Only wish it had a higher SPF. But if you hate the white-cast greasy types, this is for you! It's again from Glossier.



Eyes

Itching to try
1. I saw @acertainshadeofceej use this and I was sold cause her dark circles are... non-existent. She has none. No eyebags... just absolutely flawless youthful looking eyes. She used this product by Klair's and it was the main reason why I was on BP's website in the first place!




Moisturizer



1. Currently using this one from Glossier. I'm currently enjoying it. Just a simple, no fuss product. They also have a light version that is also in stock on the website. Check it out if you are needing one now.



Toner



I'm a die-hard Pixi fan when it comes to their toners. I've used both below and enjoy it. So if you're running low on toner and need one asap, give these ones a go.




Well, that's it. Happy shopping! Stay clean!

x,
N

Shopping on Beaute Pratique

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Hi guys! I am currently on leave. We don't have the work-from-home thing in place so we thought it'd be best to just take our leaves and stay home for the time being. We've been very concerned about leaving the house and if we do, to get take out or whatever, we come home straight to the shower. At some point, I'm also unwilling to take three showers a day, so we stay home. Hope you guys are well and keeping safe and clean at all times.

I'm also on a shopping ban because I need to save more money haha and I did a lot of damage during my birthday month and I have tons of back-up for my skincare already. BUTTTT that doesn't stop me from window-shopping. I was on Beaute Pratique yesterday and found some cool stuff that I thought I'd share with you since you too are probably online shopping and looking for cool things to stock up on. This isn't sponsored. Legit just wanted to help you guys out since I know a lot of people who have run out of their skincare products and would like to top up asap.

Note: Photos aren't mine. Got them off Google just to show you guys what it looks like.

Niacinamide

Everyone knows I love this ingredient. It really helps to keep the pimples and acne at bay. I had a horrible breakout for months on my forehead and when I started using Niacinamide (I started with The Ordinary). it completely vanished up until now! Incredible, right? It says it could be used for uneven skintone, hyperpigmentation and dullness but it specifically handles acne for me.




Alternatives:
2. Good Molecules, also at 10% Niacinamide:

3. I'm currently using The Inkey List but it isn't available on BP. You can find it on Cult Beauty and again it is 10% Niacinamide:

Itching to try:
4. This Niacinamide Toner from Good Molecules.



Cleanser



1. This is my holy grail cleansing oil. I have been using it since my University days: Shu Uemura's Cleansing Oil. I don't have a favourite type--they have one for anti-aging, for brightening, etc. I usually go for the pink or purple. It's super effective as a makeup remover for your FIRST CLEANSE. DOUBLE CLEANSE GUYS. DOUBLE. CLEANSE. You slather it all over your face to melt off all your make up including waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Use water to turn it milky, give it an extra massage and then you wash it off. Then you follow with your usual cleanser. 

2. One of my favourites. I always talk about it. It's none other than Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. Gentle and soothing. I finished bottles and bottles of this:

Itching to try: 
3. Farmacy's Green Clean Balm. It looks and sounds so lush but it comes in a jar and that's my only problem.



SPF




1. Favourite SPF. No fuss. No cast. Non-sticky. Only wish it had a higher SPF. But if you hate the white-cast greasy types, this is for you! It's again from Glossier.



Eyes

Itching to try
1. I saw @acertainshadeofceej use this and I was sold cause her dark circles are... non-existent. She has none. No eyebags... just absolutely flawless youthful looking eyes. She used this product by Klair's and it was the main reason why I was on BP's website in the first place!




Moisturizer



1. Currently using this one from Glossier. I'm currently enjoying it. Just a simple, no fuss product. They also have a light version that is also in stock on the website. Check it out if you are needing one now.



Toner



I'm a die-hard Pixi fan when it comes to their toners. I've used both below and enjoy it. So if you're running low on toner and need one asap, give these ones a go.




Well, that's it. Happy shopping! Stay clean!

x,
N

Hi guys,

Here's a quick beauty update on my empties and replacements. 

Cleanser: I recently finished my umpteenth bottle of Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser (about BND34 on Beauty Pratique for 177ml). I love that stuff. It's so gentle and it smells really light. I use it every morning and every night after removing my make up. One of my friends say that it makes her face a little oily but it doesn't at all on my skin. So if you do want to give this a go, maybe try the smaller bottle first. Unfortunately, they don't ship to Brunei yet so I thought it would be a good time to try out a cleanser from Renee Rouleau. They do a mini test to see which of the products work best for you and they picked the Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel (USD33.50). On the website it talks about awakening the tired skin and I was sold. Dull, tired skin? That's me! So I was super excited to try this out. Initially, I felt a little tightness in my skin which usually makes me automatically dislike a product. But the more I used it, the more my skin adapted to the product and now I can definitely say it has illuminated my skin (this and another thing that I used at the same time... I'll mention it below). The minty fresh scent (like ubat batuk k) really wakes you up and my skin feels alive. Ever since I've used it, I don't wear a base to work anymore. I'd definitely repurchase this... and could possibly prefer it over the Glossier one. Yup. I said it. Big revelation there.



Vitamin C Serum: Next on the list was a Vitamin C serum. Before this I was on the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Antioxidant Face Serum, which was absolutely divine! It smelled like oranges and really brightened my skin. But it was a small bottle of 15ml and if I remember correctly it was pretty pricey too. So I opted for the Vitamin C from the Inkey List which costed me around GBP8 for 30ml on Cult Beauty. Pretty neat, right? Unfortunately, the texture was a bit weird for me. Grainy almost... and it didn't quite sit well with my foundation. Currently, I'm using the Vitamin C&E Treatment from Renee Rouleau. It was about USD69.50 (YIKES I DID NOT REALIZE THIS) but this stuff works and it smells like oranges! If you do get it, don't forget to leave it on for a minute before you slather your moisturizer on top. This is the main reason for my skin looking more awake, although the cleansing gel did it's magic too.  Ahhh. Have you tried anything from Renee Rouleau? And if yes, what do you recommend?

Edit: I learnt that the Inkey List contained 30% of L-Ascorbic Acid which is extremely potent and you can feel it especially if you have sensitive skin. The grainy texture can be eliminated if you use less. Apparently, I was using a bit too much. So if you use a tiny amount, a little goes a long way. It leaves a slight white cast. The Vitamin C&E doesn't using L-Ascorbic Acid, they use Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate, which turns into Ascorbic Acid on the skin slowly and remains stable throughout the day. It's equivalent to 14% of free Vitamin C and because of the time-release mechanism, it's less irritating on the skin. Depending on what you want, just take those into account. 



Moisturizer: I ran out of Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturizer (GBP79 on CultBeauty). I think that took me three months! But I'm finally out of it and finally able to crack open this Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich (BND63 on Beaute Pratique). Okay--Dr. Dennis Gross one first. I liked it. I didn't see anything wrong with it. It worked. My face was never dry. Not sure if the Alpha Beta component worked. The Glossier one I'm using now feels nice. It's simple and has a light scent of lavender. I think that's why we all love Glossier products right? No fuss, straightforward and works. Definitely like this one too. No special effects but I'm gonna give it extra points for it's light scent that makes me feel like I'm in a spa.


Retinol/Probiotics: Although Aurelia's The Probiotic Concentrate (GBP38 on CultBeauty) can be used in conjunction with Retinol/Retinoid because of their properties that are able to calm irritated and inflamed skin caused by harsh ingredients, you are also able to use it as an alternative to Retinol/Retinoid as it also improves signs of aging, reduces pigmentation and UV-induced damage. After I ran out of The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (GBP8), I have now been using the probiotic as a substitute at night. Sometimes I just use it by it itself, other times together with my moisturizer. I like it. I think it does it's job. My face looks brilliant in the morning. So if you're looking for an alternative, try this out!




I already have back ups for when these products are done which I cannot wait to try! I'm also trying to use up my eye cream and my spf that I already have back ups for. And then I'm excited to purchase new back ups for my back ups hahaha.

Catch you later, beauty addicts!

Love, 
N

In&Out: March 2020

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Hi guys,

Here's a quick beauty update on my empties and replacements. 

Cleanser: I recently finished my umpteenth bottle of Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser (about BND34 on Beauty Pratique for 177ml). I love that stuff. It's so gentle and it smells really light. I use it every morning and every night after removing my make up. One of my friends say that it makes her face a little oily but it doesn't at all on my skin. So if you do want to give this a go, maybe try the smaller bottle first. Unfortunately, they don't ship to Brunei yet so I thought it would be a good time to try out a cleanser from Renee Rouleau. They do a mini test to see which of the products work best for you and they picked the Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel (USD33.50). On the website it talks about awakening the tired skin and I was sold. Dull, tired skin? That's me! So I was super excited to try this out. Initially, I felt a little tightness in my skin which usually makes me automatically dislike a product. But the more I used it, the more my skin adapted to the product and now I can definitely say it has illuminated my skin (this and another thing that I used at the same time... I'll mention it below). The minty fresh scent (like ubat batuk k) really wakes you up and my skin feels alive. Ever since I've used it, I don't wear a base to work anymore. I'd definitely repurchase this... and could possibly prefer it over the Glossier one. Yup. I said it. Big revelation there.



Vitamin C Serum: Next on the list was a Vitamin C serum. Before this I was on the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Antioxidant Face Serum, which was absolutely divine! It smelled like oranges and really brightened my skin. But it was a small bottle of 15ml and if I remember correctly it was pretty pricey too. So I opted for the Vitamin C from the Inkey List which costed me around GBP8 for 30ml on Cult Beauty. Pretty neat, right? Unfortunately, the texture was a bit weird for me. Grainy almost... and it didn't quite sit well with my foundation. Currently, I'm using the Vitamin C&E Treatment from Renee Rouleau. It was about USD69.50 (YIKES I DID NOT REALIZE THIS) but this stuff works and it smells like oranges! If you do get it, don't forget to leave it on for a minute before you slather your moisturizer on top. This is the main reason for my skin looking more awake, although the cleansing gel did it's magic too.  Ahhh. Have you tried anything from Renee Rouleau? And if yes, what do you recommend?

Edit: I learnt that the Inkey List contained 30% of L-Ascorbic Acid which is extremely potent and you can feel it especially if you have sensitive skin. The grainy texture can be eliminated if you use less. Apparently, I was using a bit too much. So if you use a tiny amount, a little goes a long way. It leaves a slight white cast. The Vitamin C&E doesn't using L-Ascorbic Acid, they use Magnesium Ascorbic Phosphate, which turns into Ascorbic Acid on the skin slowly and remains stable throughout the day. It's equivalent to 14% of free Vitamin C and because of the time-release mechanism, it's less irritating on the skin. Depending on what you want, just take those into account. 



Moisturizer: I ran out of Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Exfoliating Moisturizer (GBP79 on CultBeauty). I think that took me three months! But I'm finally out of it and finally able to crack open this Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich (BND63 on Beaute Pratique). Okay--Dr. Dennis Gross one first. I liked it. I didn't see anything wrong with it. It worked. My face was never dry. Not sure if the Alpha Beta component worked. The Glossier one I'm using now feels nice. It's simple and has a light scent of lavender. I think that's why we all love Glossier products right? No fuss, straightforward and works. Definitely like this one too. No special effects but I'm gonna give it extra points for it's light scent that makes me feel like I'm in a spa.


Retinol/Probiotics: Although Aurelia's The Probiotic Concentrate (GBP38 on CultBeauty) can be used in conjunction with Retinol/Retinoid because of their properties that are able to calm irritated and inflamed skin caused by harsh ingredients, you are also able to use it as an alternative to Retinol/Retinoid as it also improves signs of aging, reduces pigmentation and UV-induced damage. After I ran out of The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (GBP8), I have now been using the probiotic as a substitute at night. Sometimes I just use it by it itself, other times together with my moisturizer. I like it. I think it does it's job. My face looks brilliant in the morning. So if you're looking for an alternative, try this out!




I already have back ups for when these products are done which I cannot wait to try! I'm also trying to use up my eye cream and my spf that I already have back ups for. And then I'm excited to purchase new back ups for my back ups hahaha.

Catch you later, beauty addicts!

Love, 
N

*Pictures are from our pre-wed shoot by the amazing Aiman Besar.

Didn't we all, hopeless romantics, celebrate when the clock struck midnight on the 12th of February? Netflix released the sequel to the movie that took us back to when we were young and new to love? I remember watching the first one and grew obsessed over Peter Kavinsky's character. I was so head over heels and giddy. I'm pretty sure I've said it before but I love LOVE and all the corny stuff that comes with it. The butterflies in your tummy create a whirlwind with their wings, it rises up to your heart and amplifies the heartbeats til it pounds onto your chest. From your chest, it gains kinetic energy that is insurmountable that a surge of energy just launches into your voicebox, hitting notes that only dogs can hear. All in just seconds.

I think I'm still that girl that gets giddy and loves corny love things, so I'm pretty biased. I absolutely loved the movie and I've watched it three times already. I'm such a sucker of the charming PK vibe (which some might argue is the very reason for the amount of arguments girls have with their men... haha these movies set a certain benchmark that is almost impossible to reach. I mean... it was based on a book written by a lady). But anyway, I don't think I'll ever grow out of it, to be honest. Sweep me off my feet until my last breath. That's the deal. (I hope you read my blog, H. Haha.)



Dearest darling,

Thank you for being the amazing person that you are, for being my rock, for making me happy, for making my birthdays and our anniversaries really special, for being such a fighter and fighting for me all the friggin' damn time even when I'm a difficult wreck. Thank you for being understanding and forgiving. Thank you for riding my emotional waves. Thank you for taking care of Umair the way that you do and for making his milk every time I'm reading a book or when I'm watching a movie I love on Netflix. 

At one point, we grew in different directions but we made it through in the end. You kept us together. You kept us strong. And that's why you were meant for me and I was meant for you. We've been together since 2006 and boy that feels both long and short at the same time. We've overcome so many obstacles together and ventured so many new opportunities and experiences. We've won many battles and we'll continue winning them for as long as we stay together. InshaAllah.

I hope He blesses us with long and healthy lives filled with more love and happiness than we can ever imagine. Amin. (May He also bless you and your loved ones, my dear reader, so you can be with your soulmate and create many memories for many many years to come. Amin).

x,
Nabeela

To One Boy: PS I Still Love You

Thursday, 20 February 2020


*Pictures are from our pre-wed shoot by the amazing Aiman Besar.

Didn't we all, hopeless romantics, celebrate when the clock struck midnight on the 12th of February? Netflix released the sequel to the movie that took us back to when we were young and new to love? I remember watching the first one and grew obsessed over Peter Kavinsky's character. I was so head over heels and giddy. I'm pretty sure I've said it before but I love LOVE and all the corny stuff that comes with it. The butterflies in your tummy create a whirlwind with their wings, it rises up to your heart and amplifies the heartbeats til it pounds onto your chest. From your chest, it gains kinetic energy that is insurmountable that a surge of energy just launches into your voicebox, hitting notes that only dogs can hear. All in just seconds.

I think I'm still that girl that gets giddy and loves corny love things, so I'm pretty biased. I absolutely loved the movie and I've watched it three times already. I'm such a sucker of the charming PK vibe (which some might argue is the very reason for the amount of arguments girls have with their men... haha these movies set a certain benchmark that is almost impossible to reach. I mean... it was based on a book written by a lady). But anyway, I don't think I'll ever grow out of it, to be honest. Sweep me off my feet until my last breath. That's the deal. (I hope you read my blog, H. Haha.)



Dearest darling,

Thank you for being the amazing person that you are, for being my rock, for making me happy, for making my birthdays and our anniversaries really special, for being such a fighter and fighting for me all the friggin' damn time even when I'm a difficult wreck. Thank you for being understanding and forgiving. Thank you for riding my emotional waves. Thank you for taking care of Umair the way that you do and for making his milk every time I'm reading a book or when I'm watching a movie I love on Netflix. 

At one point, we grew in different directions but we made it through in the end. You kept us together. You kept us strong. And that's why you were meant for me and I was meant for you. We've been together since 2006 and boy that feels both long and short at the same time. We've overcome so many obstacles together and ventured so many new opportunities and experiences. We've won many battles and we'll continue winning them for as long as we stay together. InshaAllah.

I hope He blesses us with long and healthy lives filled with more love and happiness than we can ever imagine. Amin. (May He also bless you and your loved ones, my dear reader, so you can be with your soulmate and create many memories for many many years to come. Amin).

x,
Nabeela
I don't know why I feel the need to explain myself. I feel like... the version of me you've painted in your head (especially if we've never met), is really not my responsibility. People think I care a lot about what other people think. I guess that's correct to some extent. I care if people think I'm a mean bully because that is the last thing I want to be. I've been cyber-bullied by strangers who talk smack about me (atu boleh?) and it does not feel nice. So, why would I ever intentionally make anyone feel that way? 

Who says I never post candid photos? I've posted ugly photos of me on stories and FB. Also... why can't I keep my IG to only nice ones?

I do not, however, care about what people say about my outfit. I totally get it you know because style is incredibly subjective. What I like to wear may be something you completely hate. And vice versa. I love my Staud handbag, which I'm sure some of you do not understand as it looks like a pasu/vase. Haha I totally agree with you guys on that but I suppose that makes it charming to me.

I also do NOT care what everyone else wears. I said this during the Fasting Bro interview but it wasn't included in the version released--I said that people should wear whatever makes them happy. You do you. No matter what anyone says. I stand by that completely. I understand that everyone is different and we have different preferences and it makes fashion interesting, don't you think? I'm completely oblivious to my surroundings, so when I read posts of people saying that I look down on others as I scan them from head to toe..... GIRLLLLLL, I PROBABLY LOVE YOUR OUTFIT THAT'S WHY I'M LOOKING. (BTW... young people these days dress to the nines man! AMAZING). Nevertheless, I apologize completely if I've ever given you that vibe. I really... don't judge people based on the clothes they wear. Fashion is a statement--whether you dress up or dress down. It is your statement to make... and I'm appreciative of that. 

If you could take a peek into my mind, you'll realize that I do not just think about taking 100 photos to take the perfect shot (??). It's hilarious because do you think I don't have some kind of life? Hahaha I have a full time job that's been more and more demanding. I have deadlines to hit. I have bills to pay. I have a son to raise... friends to talk to. I have family matters to attend to. Birthdays. Gatherings. GAME NIGHTS. It's 2020. Can we please stop assuming things? And even if I was taking 100 photos just to get that one perfect shot, can we just let people be?

I'm still not a fan of instant hijabs though---WAIT I HAVE A REASON--it's only because I hate it on me. Someone on reddit has mentioned it--that I have an alien-shaped face. That is indeed correct. I don't know what is up with my faceshape haha. But it is exactly why I cannot fit into instant hijabs. It's not because of privilege or money. Ya'll are the privileged ones. You have been blessed with a nice face shape that won't make you feel strangled in an instant. 

But anyway, I just hope people remember that whatever is edited into a segment or a show does not depict the entire conversation. Also, when I say I do not like something, it ain't a diss. I also do not like Maggi Ayam but I'm pretty sure a lot of you will disagree and say it's nice... and that's perfectly fine. (Maggi Asam Laksa bruh... best thing ever). That's all.

REMEMBER: You do you! I mean it when I say it. All love.

Additionally, I would like to just take it as lessons learnt. I just have to be more aware of how I am in public. So thank you. 

Love,
N.

Ramblings and a Candid Photo

Monday, 3 February 2020

I don't know why I feel the need to explain myself. I feel like... the version of me you've painted in your head (especially if we've never met), is really not my responsibility. People think I care a lot about what other people think. I guess that's correct to some extent. I care if people think I'm a mean bully because that is the last thing I want to be. I've been cyber-bullied by strangers who talk smack about me (atu boleh?) and it does not feel nice. So, why would I ever intentionally make anyone feel that way? 

Who says I never post candid photos? I've posted ugly photos of me on stories and FB. Also... why can't I keep my IG to only nice ones?

I do not, however, care about what people say about my outfit. I totally get it you know because style is incredibly subjective. What I like to wear may be something you completely hate. And vice versa. I love my Staud handbag, which I'm sure some of you do not understand as it looks like a pasu/vase. Haha I totally agree with you guys on that but I suppose that makes it charming to me.

I also do NOT care what everyone else wears. I said this during the Fasting Bro interview but it wasn't included in the version released--I said that people should wear whatever makes them happy. You do you. No matter what anyone says. I stand by that completely. I understand that everyone is different and we have different preferences and it makes fashion interesting, don't you think? I'm completely oblivious to my surroundings, so when I read posts of people saying that I look down on others as I scan them from head to toe..... GIRLLLLLL, I PROBABLY LOVE YOUR OUTFIT THAT'S WHY I'M LOOKING. (BTW... young people these days dress to the nines man! AMAZING). Nevertheless, I apologize completely if I've ever given you that vibe. I really... don't judge people based on the clothes they wear. Fashion is a statement--whether you dress up or dress down. It is your statement to make... and I'm appreciative of that. 

If you could take a peek into my mind, you'll realize that I do not just think about taking 100 photos to take the perfect shot (??). It's hilarious because do you think I don't have some kind of life? Hahaha I have a full time job that's been more and more demanding. I have deadlines to hit. I have bills to pay. I have a son to raise... friends to talk to. I have family matters to attend to. Birthdays. Gatherings. GAME NIGHTS. It's 2020. Can we please stop assuming things? And even if I was taking 100 photos just to get that one perfect shot, can we just let people be?

I'm still not a fan of instant hijabs though---WAIT I HAVE A REASON--it's only because I hate it on me. Someone on reddit has mentioned it--that I have an alien-shaped face. That is indeed correct. I don't know what is up with my faceshape haha. But it is exactly why I cannot fit into instant hijabs. It's not because of privilege or money. Ya'll are the privileged ones. You have been blessed with a nice face shape that won't make you feel strangled in an instant. 

But anyway, I just hope people remember that whatever is edited into a segment or a show does not depict the entire conversation. Also, when I say I do not like something, it ain't a diss. I also do not like Maggi Ayam but I'm pretty sure a lot of you will disagree and say it's nice... and that's perfectly fine. (Maggi Asam Laksa bruh... best thing ever). That's all.

REMEMBER: You do you! I mean it when I say it. All love.

Additionally, I would like to just take it as lessons learnt. I just have to be more aware of how I am in public. So thank you. 

Love,
N.
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