Monday 31 December 2018

reflecting on 2018 & welcoming 2019

In just a few hours, it will be the New Year, oh how scarily fast time flies when you're adulting! As much as I would love to clear my other blog drafts before the new year begin, things have been so hectic the past weeks and I even fell sick. I finally had some time for myself early this week but with work still constantly at the back of my head *sigh* Nevertheless, 2018 has been a quite an amazing journey for myself so I am crossing my hands 2019 will be kind to me as well!

Anyways, this post is just me looking back into 2018 and counting my blessings. There were bad things such as how I contracted dengue but that showed how I am surrounded by people who cared about me. Of course,even my parents overfed me while I was recuperating at home. In many ways, I feel loved and blessed.

The other random highlights of my 2018 life, not in specific order are:- 

#1 Okay, not something I did in 2018 but rather something I managed to do _ I completed my Bali & Singapore's Travelogues woohoo!!

#2 I bought a DSLR and took lotsa photos! Our relationship is still going strong hahahaha

#3 tried Merchants' Lane cafe for the first time with my homies

#4 Explored several parks in KL & Selangor such as Taman Botani in Shah Alam, Lake Gardens, Desa Park, Kota Damansara Community Forest Park and early this week, Serendah Waterfall. I super love being in contact with nature. In case y'all never heard, shinrin yoku aka forest bathing is a natural therapy involving spending time in nature to promote self-healing. It works for me especially when I feel so stress up thinking about work but the moment I spend time just looking at trees and flowers or dipping my legs into streams and waterfall, I feel so calm.

#5 Speaking of shinrin yoku, Japonisme is back and they are such fascinating concepts such as Ikigai, Kintsugi and more (there are books of these titles which I totally wanna read!). Japan is freaking awesome! Of course, Japonisme revolves around a whole lot more such as art, sculptures and architectures but I'm more fascinated with the cultures and ideas which can be put into practice in our everyday life.

#6 Went on a random 2D1N trip to Cameron Highlands. Sharing my Cameron Highlands' itinerary & budget in case y'all planning for vacays! Because I had a lot on my plates this year, I decided to hold all international travel which is quite a bummer! This may continue until 2019 IDK but I really am missing Japan a lot *sniff*

#7 I did explore quite a few local spots, one of them Tadom Hill Resort with my colleagues. It's a small recreational spot but we had great fun playing human size jenga and some of us jumped into the man-made lake

#8 Probably the coolest thing ever _ I attended an Indian wedding for the first time! Check out how it went. I find the ceremony truly fascinating and eye-opening.

#9 my old friends, Daniel and Naoko came down from England for a visit & I met their baby, Nagisa-chan for the first time! Aside from the lovely family, two other friends from Australia and another from the Netherlands were around for a visit and we hung out. I feel grateful that they remember and took some time to hang out with me albeit their short visit. I also find it funny how whenever I think of them, they'll somehow always end up contacting me soon after!

Of course, there are great friends living locally whom I wish we could meet up more often but everyone is busy with their lives. Still, I can always count on them for being there! *virtual hugs* It's just like the quote about how "Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them but you know they're there". I tried looking for other quotes but I think this is the closest way to describe them.

#10 Attended another of my gal pal and ex-colleague's wedding, such a pretty bride!

#11 Ate a lot of durians when durian runtuh, literally.

#12 I discovered Hermo, the ultimate online beauty shopping haven

#13 went to the 2018 Bon Odori in Shah Alam for 2 consecutive years

#14 Decluttered my room. Still working on being a minimalist!

#15 Discovered thrifting, namely in Kedai Bless and ReFash

#16 I discover a love for nude shade lippies and eyeshadow. Wanted to write about them but I didn't have the time! Soon!!

#17 One of the many things in my head these days are the topic about sustainability and nature. By now you've probably heard me mentioned about this several times now. I noticed in the past few months, there were more brands and companies supporting the concept of recycling which is great news! From the ban of plastic straws, to a garment brand accepting bras recycling, to Uniqlo's recycling program and even 1 Utama Mall's electronics recycling. The list goes on. Totally supporting this movement and I hope this practice be a long term goals for many.

Those are pretty much what I can recount for now. Until the next post, wishing y'all all the best for 2019! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Saturday 1 December 2018

Thrifting in KL: #wearlikenew with ReFash

You have probably read my post on Jalan Jalan Japan and Kedai Bless. Here is yet another thrift store which I found, also recently and come to love! Probably my favorite of them all for reasons they have prettier and well-maintain selections. Founded in Singapore, ReFash is the brainchild of Aloysius Sgn and first established ReFash in 2016 before bringing the idea to Malaysia. I can vouch that you will not disappoint on the choices available here because so far, I like them!

ReFash is a place you can do to donate your pre-loved items in return for either Lot 10, KL Gateway Mall or Quill City Mall cash vouchers.  From my recent experiences recycling my clothes with ReFash, I was informed you could either choose to donate and instantly paid OR be an partner and only get paid when your things are sold. I am not entirely sure about how the latter works. I chose the former, an easier option but found there are several disadvantages:-

1) All your pre-loved are quoted very low, even for branded and unworn pre-loved. But then they don't earn much so I guess cannot complain much on this

2) While they accept branded (as in MGP, DoubleWoot, etc.) or non-branded (Taobao-ish, etc.), they don't accept clothes with fuzz balls or pills. Tip: Shave your clothes to remove these annoying fuzz balls or pills! Beware when shaving close to sewn edges to prevent accidentally cutting the thread off.

3) They do not accept handbags, unfortunately.

4) The outlets do not have a universal system to log in customers' details so if you visit both the outlets, you have to register twice if you visit the different ReFash outlets.

Aside from donating your stuff, you can also shop at ReFash. Members are entitled for 10% off your second and subsequent purchases from the branch. The other thing is you cannot try on the clothes prior to purchasing.


ReFash at Sungai Wang Plaza

Finding this place was a total exercise for me considering I do not usually shop at Sungei Wang Plaza. In case you need help locating the store, it is on the first floor at the end of the aisle leading from Watsons. 

During my first visit to ReFash at Sungei Wang Plaza, I find the level of customer service meh. Like did the store assistants got an attitude issue or just a bad day? I was also not acknowledge by neither the two sales girls at the counter even though only one of them was busy dealing with another customer. On the other hand, the girls at KL Gateway Mall were very friendly and patiently explained to me some stuff, so kudos to them! Just saying 'cause I know as much as we have all the right to openly complain when things go wrong, we should openly express out appreciation when things are done right. When I went yesterday to Sungei Wang Plaza, the other store assistants were much professional and patient, so thumbs up on that too!

Aside from pre-loved, it appears this branch also sell new accessories. I even spotted several brand new Zalora collection dresses and wondered if ReFash is somehow collaborating with Zalora or someone donated them.

So many clothes! I really wanna check each and every bag out!!!!

Two of the prettiest pieces which caught my attention when I was there about two months' ago. The first is a plain blush-salmon color dress which would definitely look amazing paired with a belt. The second dress is a dinner/date made out of satin-like material with two straps on each sides, very sexyleh! Too bad can't try them on! I didn't buy them because I especially do not have an excuse to wear the sexy black dress and there were not other dresses to choose from *sigh*

I did however bought two pieces, a blue boho printed, off-shoulder top which I need to suck my tummy to fit in it and a plain G2000 blue skirt. It was totally not my plan to get everything in blue but blue is my favorite and my 'safe' color, so whatever LOL. Problem is, I do not think I have many tops in my current wardrobe that goes together with this. I don't mind wearing both the top and dress together but it's just a bit over-ly blue for my liking. Maybe with this I can give myself excuse to shop WTF

On the same day I was there (two months' ago), the staff informed me that they are having a separate pop-up store in the concourse floor, so off I went to check it out. Again, that took me awhile to find the place FML... When I do find the place, I find it is odd that the quality of most stuff looked like they are from Berjaya Times Square or Taobao but they refused to accept my better quality pre-loved apparels. Perhaps by then they were much more selective IDK. Left after checking out all the racks because I did not see anything I fancy.

ReFash at KL Gateway Mall

This is a place I rarely step foot in but may do now that I discover ReFash, I may actually have a reason to. It is much easier to spot the branch in this mall since there are few stores here.

Some of the pretty pieces, two printed dresses and one romper with ruched, tie detail on the front which I spotted early last month.

The next two dresses that I kinda love is something more on the muted color _ white and grey-ish lavendar. I think the second one is really cute and sexy, perfect for date night or as bridemaids dress.

Despite the shortcomings, ReFash do have nice selection of clothings. I think ReFash still is a great go-to option to trade off your pre-loved apparels for cash vouchers and at the same time not go through the hassle of personally having to sell off your pre-loved items online.

By the way, I thought I should let you know that ReFash is temporarily putting a hold on the distribution of vouchers. I only found out yesterday (1st December 2018) when I dropped by to donate several more pieces. They do still accept drop off items and will keep customers informed when they could go continue to distribute the vouchers. You can follow them on their FB page to get further updates on this.

Monday 26 November 2018

The Blackheads Series: Biore Cleansing Strips, Innisfree Blackhead Goodbye Finger Tip Silicon & Toothpaste

Yes, you read that right. I experimented with toothpaste to try to get rid of my blackheads, whether it works or not I will get to that real soon. Of late, I find myself with more stubborn blackheads which I resorted to just using my fingers to squeeze them out but they leave scars and I have to remind myself to keep my itchy fingers off my face! For that, I decide to share with y'all on the 3 methods I tried in getting my blackheads off.

The first method is using the Biore Cleansing Strips with bamboo charcoal, something I already own but have not been religiously using. To use, you would need to damp your face prior to sticking the strips. This helps secure the strips better on your face and getting all the whiteheads and blackheads and impurities off your pores. 

On the day, I was simply targeting the pores on my nose but other times I cut the strip to several pieces and stick them on troubled areas.

The strips are easy to use and they do remove whiteheads, sebum and impurities. Occasionally they work in getting my most stubborn blackheads out, unfortunately not all the time. I noticed that once you pull out the strips, it leaves a mint-y feel for a while, possibly due to the menthol present as part of the ingredients. 


I have been visiting Innisfree stores a lot to get my cleansers and usually when I am around, I'll browse through their other stuff and happened to come across the Innisfree Blackhead Goodbye Finger Tip Silicon at just RM10. It took me awhile before deciding to purchase it together with Innisfree's eco facial blotter.

These silicon tips are a no brainer to use, you just slip it into your fingers and massage your skin with it. According to the instruction, the soft, rounded projection is to rub across your face. I read up while you're at it, you can use skin exfoliator or facial cleanser while massaging. On the other hand, the striped projection works to remove whiteheads or impurities, think of it as 'pinching' the heads from the pores except that this is gentler than your fingernails. 

I like how the silicon fits nicely, stay on your fingers without slipping and they are gentle to your skin. While I can see some white impurities remained on the silicon tips after massaging and the silicons felt oilier (from my facial oil), it took a whole lot of effort to remove stubborn blackheads! One way that worked for me is to 'pinch' the troubled area with the striped projection and alternating the angles to force the blackheads out.

Icky things including the stubborn large blackhead I managed to remove! Yuck, ikr.

I have been using the softer side with my cleanser and found that it works amazing. My face feels cleaner after washing! I can assume, these fingers silicon tips are just the smaller version of the now trendy silicon facial cleanser you can find from Sephora or in Malaysia pharmacies.


Moving on to the third method, the toothpaste experiment which I came across in one of a beauty hacks video on Facebook. For this, I simply use some toothpaste together with Innisfree Blackhead Goodbye Finger Tip Silicon all over my nose. The article I came across recommends using a new toothbrush but since I had the silicon tips, might as well put them to good use.

With a bit more online reading, I found toothpaste works to remove blackheads because it contains ingredients which can dry out the skin. "Triclosan, an active ingredient found in many bathroom products, is an antibacterial agent that is particularly effective at drying out excess oil trapped in pores." One article warned that, "this might be a quick fix but in the long run it will cause your skin to produce more sebum because it is being dried out." So be warned and test the it out a bit before converting to toothpaste for solutions, especially more if you already have dry skin type!

Not much luck that day. Mostly the toothpaste residues and some whiteheads.

Be warn the toothpaste is so-o gonna sting your eyes. Why didn't the internet mention about this?! Surprisingly, it actually worked! Once I got off the bath (there is no mirror in the bathroom) and checked, I noticed one of my stubborn blackhead were gone. Maybe it is the silicone tip. Maybe, the toothpaste, I cannot be entirely sure. 

In conclusion, I think all these products do work in getting rid of both whiteheads and blackheads but only to some extend. While not exactly the best solution, I am starting to love Innisfree's Blackhead Goodbye Finger Tip Silicon mostly because they're definitely the gentler option compare to my fingernails. I definitely advice you to keep your fingers away from your face no matter how tempting it is to get the blackheads off lest you want scars. And if none of the products you use work, simply book an appointment with your dermatologist!

Sunday 25 November 2018

The Solone Eyeshadow Kit in Fascinating Love Review / Two Ways to Apply Eyeshadows

Here is a review dedicated to the Solone eyeshadow Kit in Fascinating Love, a mini eyeshadow palette which is part of my first beauty haul from Hermo Malaysia. I purchased this palette for RM69.90 (Normal price RM74.09). On first impression, the size of this palette is cute and the black casing makes this palette look so classy but upon further inspection, it looks like it is made up of some rather flimsy plastic.

Btw, there is a tiny mark there because I was trying to pry away the case from the tin (just out of curiosity) and ended up scraping off with my nail wtf

I do love how they come up with the idea of fitting 8 different colors into such a small palette! Because of that, they're so convenient to bring around without being overly bulky. While I do think each of the pans are rather small for the price I paid for, I'm quite alright with it because I never ever finished my eyeshadows.

The other shade available for Solone's Classic Eyeshadow Kit consists of pink shades, Sweet Tipsiness kit. This appearsto be a favorite, having sold out on Hermo.

As I have mentioned in my earlier haul post, I was contemplating between Solone's and another similar palette, the Mont Blanc Eyeshadow Kit which you can find in Watsons for RM65.94. I finally buying the latter out of curiosity. Both brands' eyeshadow palettes come encased in a metal tin and consists of olive and shimmery gold shades and are about the same price. Solone Eyeshadow Kit came in additional pink, brown and beige shades which compliments one another for au natural day look.

Here are the swatches for Solone Eyeshadow Kit in Fascinating Love without primer. Without primer the shades hardly show up!

After using this palette, I find that the swatches _ especially for the lighter shades _ do not show up well without the primer on my tanned skin. This is different to the creamier, more vibrant Mont Blanc  palette which I was comparing with. I guess that is the downside of purchasing eyeshadows online _ you cannot tell the results until you have it! The second thing I discovered was olive tone doesn't go well with my skin tone, I look so pale in them... Decided that pink and nudes are more my thing.

Anyways, since I have purchased it I might as well put it to good use. It also means that it won't be overly striking and good enough for everyday look. Before getting into writing this post, I have experimented with different looks with the different shades on this palette.

Look #1

I wore this shade to the last Bon Odori event~~

A post shared by Vivien Tan (@voguelyvivien) on 

Look #2

Which look do you prefer?

Sunday 18 November 2018

Hair Zone Hauls Reviews: Bioma Plant+9 Hair Treatment & Kosenze Ocean Miracle Spray

I have been 'investing' more on hair care products because my hair is super dry and I am starting to be super conscious of how my hair look. Wanna look presentable mah. This time, I bought Bioma Plant+9 Hair Treatment (Shopee.MY) and Kosenze Ocean Miracle Spray (Shopee.MY) both retails at RM158 and RM69 respectively from the hair saloon I am frequenting (but which you can get for less on Shopee!).

First up for this review is the Bioma Plant+9 Hair Treatment. I'm not sure I am actually getting the name right since I cannot find a single reference of this product online! Not sure if it is new or simply not so well known hmmm..

Apparently it is orange "because they use honey", a super moisturizing ingredients according to my hairdresser. And most probably orange coloring LOL.

Smells so yummy! But kenot eat this one okays.

I especially LOVE how you don't need to use much, this is coming from someone with lotsa hair on her crown okays. My last Midori hair masque was amazing but I needed to use a lot to cover my hair so I emptied the 500ml bottle within 2 months! With Bioma's, I just need to spare a bit more time to massage to get the ends of my hair completely covered. I have only used it about 5 times now and just by looking at the remaining amount, it looks like this can last at least me 3-4 months, if not more?

The price for the mask is pricey at RM158  but I dare vouch price is proportional to the effectiveness. Take note that I have yet to try a wide range of products, so my conclusion is limited on the products I have tried. For best result, use twice a week. 


The second highlight for this post is the Kosenze Ocean Miracle Spray. I have been interested in purchasing this hair spray for over a year since my then hairdresser let me tested them. What this does is that it repairs and nourish your hair. My hair is ultra soft after using this. Plus it smells amazing!

To use, spray along the length of your hair. I spray three times since mine is quite long but similar to the mask, you can easily spread this by combing with your fingers. 


After spraying one side of my hair. Result isn't so visible 'cause this is best sprayed when your hair is still damp.

I have only been using this spray once a week or on occasions I want my hair to look good because of the price. Kiam siap lol.

My take for these products are I am super loving them and can definitely vouch they do wonders to your hair. Of course, if you want your hair to look prettier, blow dry them. I don't do this 'cause I'm lazy lol. Anyways, I would highly recommend you all buying these rather than spending a lot doing treatment at saloons which can cost hundreds each time! 

Saturday 17 November 2018

2018 Minimalist Achievements: Decluttering my life

Hello fellow netizen! October has been hectic and stressful for me but it was also quite a productive month. One of the many things I have been working on was to declutter my life.

If you have been stalking this blog long enough, you have heard about me attempting to minimize my life because I feel that I have a lot of things and at times it gets on my OCD nerve. One of the main reason I'm stepping up on this is because I want to focus more on things that matter, and spending my time cleaning things up is not one of them. But the thing with the whole decluttering process is it a time-consuming. Over the years, I have managed to clear up but hit a bottleneck, until now. In this post, I am sharing with you where I got rid of things I haven't been utilizing _ mostly clothes but I do have gadgets and random things as well.

#1 recycling with H&M

Clothes that have terribly discolored, with moth holes and terrible fabric, I brought them to H&M to recycle. Throughout 2018, I think I have recycled a total of 3-4 bags of apparels and distribute the coupons among my friends since I do not use them.

Total items decluttered: 3-4 small bags of clothes
Gains: 3-4 H&M 15% discount on one item coupons

#2 selling on Carousell

Carousell is an online platform which I have been using to post my unworn or pre-loved items. Got lucky this month when I managed to sell my unworn Harry Potter tie and my used point-and-shoot camera. I have also people requesting to trade apparels but usually I reject cause I don't find anything I want from other people's page.

Total items decluttered: A Casio Exilim ZR1200 Camera (RM350), a Harry Potter Tie (RM10), Hsu Yu Hair Colour Refreshment Mask (RM50)
Gains: RM410 sales within October to first weekend of November'18

#3 donating to Kedai Bless

For the unsold items on Carousell, I decide to let them go for a cause. More on that in my separate blog post.

thrifting in Kuala Lumpur

Of course there are other charity organizations who accepts old but wearable apparels for donations such as Kechara Soup Kitchen. Feel free to donate to any organizations which cause you feel strongly about if not convenient for you to drop by.

Total items decluttered: 6 dresses, 8 tops, 9 bottoms, 1 outerwear, a small bag of random accessories & a handbag
Gains: few bags less of unutilized 'harta benda' in the room

#4 sustainable movement 
with ReFash

For things that I wasn't willing to let go for free, I brought them to ReFash to exchange with gift vouchers you have seen above. Unfortunately, the returns are little but this is the fastest way of decluttering clothes. I will be writing a review on ReFash sometime soon!

Total items decluttered: 5 dresses, 4 tops & 5 bottoms 
Spoils: RM39 for a top and a skirt (RM50+ each if purchase on their own)
Gains: RM30 KL Gateway Mall voucher + RM20 Lot 10 voucher

#5 out of sight, out of mind

One of the other thing that have been annoying me besides the many things lying around on the floor and my box of unworn apparels is my open bookcase. When I bought it for the sake of getting my things organized, it didn't occur to me the dust will accumulate and the open space concept would be such an eyesore. If I could turn back the time I'd bought one that's fully or partially covered.

Fortunately, I found a solution online! Bought a curtain hooks from Daiso for RM5.55 and curtain from Akemi Uchi at half-price for just RM24! Wanted something in cream or earthy tones but this is the lightest and most affordable curtains I can find.

No, I'm not vain. The tiara's from my sis' bachelorette in case you're wondering!

Closeup on the Daiso wire rail and clips, so far they work amazing! Seeing that the hooks looks really fragile, the curtain seems fitting since it is of light material (^^)

Tip #1: Hook one of the clips together with the hook to keep one side of the curtains in place or both ends to keep the curtains completely covering the cabinet.

Tip #2: Get a light material curtain or shower curtains which won't weight the sliding down the center.

Total items decluttered: None, really. I need everything on the bookcase. For now.
Spoils: RM5.55 for the curtain rail plus clips and RM24 for curtains, wire & hooks
Gains: Less mess to see and hopefully, less dusting needed


Overall, I am super happy to be able to get a lot of things off my mind even though I still have more cleaning to do. As of now, I still have two bags to send to Kedai Bless and ReFash each. For the remaining items, currently, I am putting my stuff in designated spot so that I can find  easily find the things I need when I need them. For some beauty and body care products, I am planning to use them up. The rest of my things, I will need more time to decide if I still want or need them else I will just donate or something.

I just noticed that Uniqlo & 1 Utama's Isetan are both jumping into the sustainable living bandwagon which is GREAT NEWS! I strongly think consumer brands need to step up their responsibility when it comes to adopting sustainable initiatives. It is still so hard to find a place to recycle batteries or used soap and shampoo bottles or milk cartons, you get the drift. Crossing my fingers we will be seeing more of these soon!

Wednesday 14 November 2018

2018 ArtBox Malaysia at Sunway City

With the turnout at ArtBox Malaysia last weekend, I doubt ArtBox needs further introduction. In case you have not heard about it, it is a container-themed art market similar to its pioneer in Bangkok. Expect hipsters stalls selling food, crafty stuffs at exorbitant price and decorated, Insta-worthy corners, stuff like that.

Last weekend, my friends and I decided to check out what was they hype all about and so a bunch of us thought it was great idea to go on a Friday evening thinking there would not be a crowd. It appears like hundreds other people have the same thoughts! For one the traffic was horrendous, Waze kept bringing us around the two-hour long traffic. By the time we arrived, we had to queue during which some idiots kept cutting into our lines. When we did enter, lined to food stalls were long or sold out and there were a lot of uncomfortable human contacts..

A post shared by Vivien Tan (@voguelyvivien) on

My friends who did have the patience to wait in lined queued up for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour for food that were not up to the lowest standards apparently _ the crepes and Taiwanese lu ruo fan. Meanwhile, the rest of us just head to Sunway Pyramid for our super late dinner wtf. So no luck on Friday!

Saturday I visited with yet a different bunch of friends but this time prepared by having a proper meal then warning my gal pals of the food and me not wanting to queue except for one hipster drinks. That is really overpriced canned Jus Tea on a unicorn float, I found out after having queued for 30 minutes. Yeah, I paid for a unicorn float LOL

ArtBox Kuala Lumpur 2018 at Sunway City open air car park

ArtBox Kuala Lumpur 2018 at Sunway City open air car park

We did have quite OK stinky tofu but let's be real, you can find it at our local pasar malam. We managed this by splitting up to queue, so that's one strategy y'all can use.

ArtBox Kuala Lumpur 2018 at Sunway City open air car park

The other stall a friend was queuing for.

Found a spot to take photos! That ain't the unicorn's eyes but nostrils LOL

Some of the stalls that caught my interest. This one sells customized, portrait rubber stamps! These are from Crafteria.

Uber cute macarons by Sweet Tooth

Loving the tote bags from DuangDeeBags!!

Cats print tote *hyperventilates*

Minimalist style watches by BornFoundWatch, if only I had brought more cash!

Miniatures tidbits by TinyPinc

Handcrafted musical box and scarfs from Gaia's Garden

For those who has not been to ArtBox and are planning to do so, be warned there will still most probably be a huge turnout so parents with small children may want to be more alert if not avoid these places. And yes, it is hard to maneuver your child's pram. Definitely, definitely have your meals because the food are either overpriced Instagram-worthy ones, subpar pasar malam snacks or just meh. Also bring enough cash especially if you planning to try the hipster foodstuff or shop around. You will probably be glad to know there may be different vendors this coming weekend. 

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