It’s sweet that my brother Maeng asks how I’m doing in Singapore (I haven’t posted any photos/status of my whereabouts for weeks now, so to prove I’m not yet dead or rotting in a cabinet, I’ll start a series of Singapore posts).
Aside from Kinokuniya Bookstore, another place I frequent in Takashimaya (at Orchard) is… Sephora!
Sephora is a French brand and chain of cosmetics stores founded in Paris in 1970, and acquired by Frenchconglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy) in 1997. The Sephora chain includes more than 750 stores in 17 countries. Carrying over 250 brands, along with their own private label, Sephora offers beauty products including makeup, skincare, fragrance, haircare, bath and body products, and hair and make-up tools. (wiki)
Mike, like other men, has no patience in waiting for their ladies while shopping or “malling,” but like other men, he can be bribed with tweetums, hugs, kisses, and smiles. (If this doesn’t work, a straight face eye-to-eye contact will do.)
Overcoming the disgust of trying on some make up
I’ve been reading reviews of Urban Decay eye make-up (primer, Naked palette, liquid liner, and mascara), so I tried this along with primers from Smashbox, face powder from Benefit, and others.
Applying or trying make up in stores was not my thing because I imagine the hundreds of lips using the lipstick and fingers on powders–and that goes with mascara, lip balm, foundation, blush, eyeliner, and all the products of manufactured Beauty marketed for maximum capital of the beauty product companies, to the detriment of some feminists who abhor this kind of commodification of women-ala-Barbie doll. (I have a prof in lit theory who joked about the feminists’ take on beauty, but it’s too evil, I will not say it here).
But now that I could use a pinch of foundation and a dab of lipstick to look professional in meetings, I have been reading reviews of products that one can apply to be presentable at the very least.
The most expensive brands in the market, I gather, seem to be in Sephora and testing them seems to be the sound thing to do since one doesn’t want to pay a hundred bucks for something that doesn’t work for the buyer.
What’s nice in some shops are the available cotton, make-up remover, and tissue paper to test the products without sacrificing one’s hygiene or self-respect. At MAC stores, there are even disposable mascara/lipgloss wands and lipstick brush aside from the tissue pads, cotton buds, and make up remover.
For those who still don’t feel like going to malls and boutiques to try the products, a magazine article suggested that one can ask for samples (usually hair and face care), and there are some businesses that you could pay to send you a box or package of samples of beauty products.
If, still, none of this is appealing, the good ole trial and error method is the way to go. At least visiting stores can help us read labels and test some products on the hand (although they say testing foundation and powders is best done on the face itself, not on one’s hand because of the difference in skin tone and texture).
Going for the natural
The last time I went to Sephora, I didn’t have money (I dunno what’s up with money these days, they come and go so fast), so maybe I’ll just save for that eye palette I’ve been, uh, eyeing.
After walking some more, along Orchard, I surprised Mike. I took him to the Singapore Botanic Gardens (he likes parks), and we were glad to catch the last minutes of the Chinese symphony orchestra doing a late afternoon gig in the middle of a lagoon, in front of families and lovers having picnic, surrounded by trees and plants and some flowers, with the Orchids Garden nearby.
Now, that is the beauty of nature, sans rival.
Sweet home Laguna
When torrential rains started to pound the Philippines, it was my turn to ask my brothers (all of them are sweet, actually) how they are in Laguna. Our place is not prone to flooding. We live in a subdivision near a small rice field, and planted around our small rented lot are trees that happily absorb water. Our street was “flooded” one time–the “flood” was just a foot high and a swimming pool wide–but after the canals were de-clogged by the community, we’re cool.
Here in Singapore (happy National Day to Singaporean friends), it’s been sunny lately, and as usual, I stay indoors all day for work, but weekends, I’m out all day till late night with my walking buddy Mike.