Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beauty is subjective.

Still, there is a guideline that I don’t think most people realize, but they fell for it anyway. Mainstream beauty is what they probably call it, those who are pretty at one glance, another glance, at every side, and then you’ll probably get bored of it because they look exactly the same like the rest of the pretty girls in the world, that sort of thing.

Then there’s the unconventional beauty that fashion designers always search for, those models with simple flaws that could attract mixed opinions. Yet they all couldn’t help but agree that they are gorgeous in their own artistic way, intriguing and downright interesting. The features, I mean.

(image from here)

But opinions vary and if I happen to think that a wide-gaped tooth model is pretty, the next person might not. If I think this girl with a large nose is beautiful, the rest of you might scoff in disbelief. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

(clicky click. Joanneme is my favorite Chinese blogger and she's so pretty! Though I think it's her eyes that makes her look oh so gorgeous, but she's still so pretty.)

Still, there is a law in beauty, and if you’re ticked in the right boxes then rest assured, people are going to find you pretty, or at least, not as awkward.

What are they? I can’t vouch for the western standard of beauty, but I’ve seen it here, in Malaysia, that for you to be pretty, you must have;

1. Fair skin
We love pearly glow. Not healthy glow. Healthy glow is not good. It’ll make you look dark in pictures. And we don’t want to look dark. Because we wouldn’t stand out that way. Fair skin automatically makes you look innocent and cute like a white bunny, and don’t tell me that white bunnies aren’t cute. Brown bunnies are cute too but people in my country probably will like white bunnies more. I hate this kind of prejudice. :(

2. Symmetrical face
It’s fine if you have large features. As long as it’s symmetrical with the rest of your face, you will look pretty. As long as your eyes and mouth is considerably larger than your nose, you will look pretty. Otherwise, you wouldn’t look as approachable. Compare a person with a nose as small as her mouth, and a person with a considerably wider mouth than her nose, who'll have a warmer face? Who has a better smile? The wider a smile is, the better it’ll look, isn’t it? Well, what can you do. That's why people try to make their eyes larger, their nose narrower, their lips...well, it's up to one's taste, I guess.

Meh, this topic is depressing. I can list more stuff about it, and many will probably beg to differ, but this is what I’ve observed. And it is kind of true. If not, why would many people find actresses beautiful, while models odd looking? Awkward, even? That sort of mainstream versus unconventional beauty is interesting to say the least, especially how much a person’s opinion differs from the others.

But all in all, beauty sags, people. How many cute babies have you seen, who grow up not to be as cute as they used to be? How many celebrities who don’t look as gorgeous as they did in their prime time?

I can assure myself with that, that beauty is a onetime thing, that beauty is just a handicap and nothing else, but beauty IS a handicap.

Beautiful people DO live their lives, easily. And for them to deny, saying that no, we have it tough just like you do, just couldn’t understand the whole picture.

They have it tough too. But it’s a different kind of toughness.

It’s like saying a genius lives his life just as tough as a slow-learner. As if a clever person needs to study as hard as the slow-learner. No, they don’t. They have a brain as sharp as a butcher’s knife. My brain is probably as sharp as my mother’s knife, which is probably not as sharp in the first place. So I need to sharpen it up, by studying a lot. Those intelligent people can only use a sharpener and they’re good to go. At least until the next test.

But of course, every human on earth has their own difficulties in life. Who to say they don’t?

It’s just that they have their own handicap. Everyone has their own handicap. You either realize it or don’t. But the most noticeable handicap is beauty. Next is probably brain.

Tell me, how many people look at others’ brain first before looking at their face?

As if their eyes can pierce through their brain? No, they pierce through a person’s eyes first. Then to the rest of their being. It’s not until a couple minutes later, heck, maybe a few hours, before they’ll get to the brain part. That is, if they were given the chance. Or if they didn’t screw up.

But if you look charming, then you’re good to go.

If you look ever the slightly nervous, or even a bit awkward, I believe you’ll have a problem there.

Confidence! Confidence, that’s what all people who aren’t born with natural beauty needs.

Resource! Resource, that’s what all people who aren’t born with a genius brain needs.

People might want to be best friends with beautiful people more than with you, but take a good look at your own friends and cherish them. Those are the people who love you for what you are.

Outer beauty sags, inner beauty doesn’t. It might not sag now, they might get better job, better boyfriend, better friends, better everything, but you’ll have a job that you were hired based on your skills, you’ll get a boyfriend who loves you for your inner beauty, you’ll get friends who love you for who you are.

It’s harder to sift through those when you have friends who’re in it for the benefits and the glamour behind it, to find your true friend who only cares about you and not ass-kissing you all the time.

See? Pretty people don’t get through things that easy either. But they do jump over the border easier. We, on the other hand, need to climb it, to make sure we land safely, but once we’ve landed, we’re safe.

People who jump on the other hand, might sprain their ankles.

Same applies to the geniuses.

But here’s the thing, if people don’t want to be friends with you because you’re not pretty to their eyes, then they’re not worth your time.

Would you want to work with a boss who only keeps you around for his viewing pleasure, or for his clients' viewing pleasure?

Would you want to live for eternity with a guy who has such a discriminating attitude?

See, the difficulties that beautiful people need to endure. Sure, you might say, oh they have a lot of options, sure it can be solved easily.

But to find a diamond in the rough is tough business. Especially when the other beads are just as sparkly. But you know they are fake.

Trust your guts! If you feel he’s the one, if he stands by you no matter what condition you are in, then just leave it to God and trust His judgment.

If everything doesn’t turn out well, then there’s another trial for you. What is life without trial? It spices things up, doesn’t it? Life with sparkles and sunshine can be a tad boring after a while, anyway. If anything, it teaches you to be a better person, a better son, a better daughter, a better servant.

As Eric Butterworth says – and this happens to my favorite quote – “Don’t go through life, grow through life.”

Thank you, see you later. :D

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

of bridal makeup and whatnot.

This is all my opinion.

Four years ago, I was exposed to the colorful world of bridal and runway makeup. I saw beforehand how the backstage people in the Malaysian community worked, their tips and tricks, and of course, the drama.

But to hell with the drama, let’s talk about the bridal makeup in general.

Since eternity I have always loathed bridal makeup. Not the technique or anything, but the way it was executed. I thought it will be better nowadays, but no. I was involved in four weddings this year (there’s my eldest brother and his wife joined wedding reception, my third brother’s wife reception, my fourth brother’s wife reception, my third and fourth – who are twins – double wedding reception) and I saw how nothing has changed.

Heck, just look at a Malaysian magazine's cover and compare it to Western – or even Japanese – magazines and you can see how dreadful the makeup is.

(you can't really see it here, but if you go to a bookstore, really look at the model's face on the cover, then you can see the foundation lines showing and caking on their faces. They could've airbrushed it, and many attempted on it, but it never really looks natural enough in my opinion)

Okay, to be fair, I suppose the eye and lip makeup are bearable. (The makeup in that cover above is very pretty in my opinion)

What really gets on my nerve is the foundation. That cream, stick foundation that they pile up inches and inches on those brides’ face.

I even said this to my sister, “A bride is beautiful when she tried on her clothes, complete with those shoes and accessories, but it all goes downhill once her face is painted with makeup.” To which, all my cousins who were nearby agreed.

Cakey, cracked foundation, eyes that look as if someone punch you in the face, lips too pink for comfort, harsh contouring, especially on the nose, I can see it in everyone’s eyes that they dreaded their wedding day, if only for the disastrous makeup.

And makeup is supposed to make you feel beautiful, isn’t it?

I asked those makeup artists before, “Why don’t you use liquid instead of cream?”

Because in my opinion, liquids look more natural than cream on the skin. At least when compared to the cream foundation that they’re using.

Their answer was, “It wouldn’t last as long.”

Which is true, I suppose. In our humid and hot weather, foundation can melt very easily and it won’t do to have our bride lost her radiance as well as coverage. Plus, most of those female guests will wear makeup as well, and big possibility they’ll wear liquid foundation on that day, and we wouldn’t want the bride to look the same as the rest, do we? We want the bride to overpower them, don't we?

“Besides, it wouldn’t photograph as well as this.”

I don’t particularly think it photographs well either, it looks too cakey in pictures to bother me enough, but the foundation does give some sort of a bridal feeling to it, so I digress.

Another thing that irks me about this all is that they use a one color fits all.

If a person is fairer, she’s going to look orangey.

If a person is darker, she’s going to look grayish.

Okay, I kid. That’s only this one store. There’s this other store, where they actually have three. One for ultra fair, one for kind of dark, and one in between. Contouring and highlighting will alter the skin’s color anyway, so it doesn’t matter if the color doesn’t suit the bride all that much at first, because everything will be blended in and it would look normal.

At least normal by bridal standard.

But I don’t like how the fair ladies look orange. And the tanned ladies look grey. I just don’t.

So this is what I wish those makeup artists would do. And if I have the money, I would so do it, but alas, bridal makeup is not my career (or at least at the moment).

1. Invest in airbrush system
- okay so, I’m not sure how it’ll fair in Malaysian’s weather but I think it’s high time they try a new technology. I’ve seen people with airbrush makeup and while it looks quite dollish and surreal, it is smooth, brimming with radiance and not cakey at all. I think it’ll photograph well, after all, isn’t this what they use in those international fashion shows anyway? No? Okay scratch that I’m not even sure myself. :/ And if those makeup artists can afford thousands ringgit of brushes and a whole array of lipglosses then they for sure can at least buy a small airbrush kit. Hey if people loved your makeup they’ll contact you for your service, and if they really like it they'll recommend you to their friends and relatives, which means more profit for you, right?

2. Ultra long false eyelashes that could possibly touch your browbone
- Falsies are eyes opener. Yes I would agree but what do you call a broom on an eyelash? I don’t think you need such an exaggerated effect to appear lovely in pictures. I believe in subtle beauty and if it opens the eyes enough, and makes her look alive then I think it’s good. Save those kinds of falsies for runway, PLEASE.

3. Don’t force things to bride that could make them uncomfortable
- If they don’t want to shave their eyebrows then don’t, just hide it with foundation. If they refuse to wear falsies then just use a heavy duty mascara. After all, it is their pictures and if they aren’t pleased with that then at least you can be ensured that they are comfortable on their wedding day. My sister in law is farsighted, and on her wedding day, her makeup artist forced her to wear circle colored lenses that have no power at all. My SIL demanded to wear her own contact lenses but the makeup artist refused to hear any of it. She said it wouldn't be pretty that way. The results? She couldn’t see any of the guests, and has to rely on my brother to walk around. I really want to smack that makeup artist’s head but what I can do, I can only smack my own. And are her eyes really that pretty that day? Well they say if you’re happy then it’ll reach your eyes, sparkling with happiness. I can't say for sure. I didn't talk to her that day, she couldn't recognize me. Or rather, she couldn't see me.

4. Don’t draw lips so thin it’s creepy.
Imagine walking up to a bride and notice her drawn lips are half her original lips. Shudder. I understand the need to balance both the upper and lower lips, but all I’m thinking is that they have a pattern to follow and instead of enhancing their features, they are actually transforming the brides into everyone else. I don’t like that. And because of that...

5. Why couldn't they enhance the brides' features and make them look lovely yet still retain their original beauty instead of painting a completely new face on them?

By no means am I an expert. I’m just an observer who likes to observe stuff, who happens to like makeup and how it can sweeten up a person’s complexion. Yes, sweeten up, because I happen to think that people who have proper makeup can look very sweet and charming, exactly how they’re supposed to look like on their wedding day.

Many will probably beg to differ, and I apologize, but on behalf of my loved ones, I seriously wish everything could be changed, and in this era and time, brides will no longer look disastrous and scary, but instead, elegant or cute or whatever their features call for.

I'm still very bitter and scarred just from seeing my sister-in-laws makeup, and I can see that they obviously hated it very much. And the makeup is forever embedded in their wedding pictures.

I don't want anyone to feel that way ever again. Hence the post.

That is all, thank you for reading my rant. -.-

Smile smile smile~ :D

It just occurs to me that even though I’m not as miserable as I once was years ago, my face still looks pretty darn gloomy, as if there are a handful of angry clouds on top of me.

I can probably understand that years back, because that is indeed my purpose, but now that I’m not projecting my miserable aura I thought I would at least look pleasant.

Turns out, not really. I saw those candid pictures of me and I look pretty angry or mellow most of the time. As if I have a problem. A problem with the world. This world we’re living in. If only it ends. That kind of problem.

I do used to have that kind of problem (with the world and the human race) but life’s too precious to worry about that.

When you’ve realized the actual reason behind that, everything suddenly makes sense.

Why I’m always the first one to say hi, why nobody really greets me unless I greet them first, why people look scared to talk to me unless I talk to them first, why they – oh shut it.

I wouldn’t have a problem with it if they act funny once they’ve talked to me. But they didn’t. They are all friendly and cozy and treat me just like they treat the next person. They just have a problem talking to me first. I blame it on my miserable aura.

So that’s why, when people talk to me first, I feel OH SO HAPPY.

But that’s such a rare thing I nearly lost hope on that.

Well, I used to lost hope. I used to not talk to people because they wouldn’t talk to me first. But you wouldn’t get anywhere if you keep on with that mindset. You will be forever alone, alone, alone in this world, alone with no social skills, or any skills, or potential knowledge you could gather, or juicy gossips, take your pick.

So now I’m thinking, I should look pleasant!

I should smile more. I’ve practiced that quite a lot in real life, but instead of looking like :), I instead look like :|.

Oh, but it earns me a couple of points with the aunties. As a result they asked about my wellbeing and included me in their chatters and that’s good I think.

Better than looking like :(, of course. XD <- the kind of face I want to make. Or this -> :D

But you’ll only see that as a smiley. :( Not gonna happen, not gonna happen.

(To be honest, I think I actually look like this -> D;<)

Next is to practice speaking! If I appear pleasant and charming enough in conversation perhaps they’ll greet me first the next time around (wishful thinking).

I find that most people with charming personalities have such a way with speaking that naturally grabbed people’s attentions. Be it with the warmth in their smiles that accompany their chatter, the sweetness of their expressions, or the animated way of their explanations, those are the qualities that to me, make it easy and fun to talk to them.

As for me, I am cold and sour and pokerfaced. :|

Maybe I should practice speaking. Not only will it help building up my social skills, perhaps it’ll benefit me in the long run. I do need to work in the future and probably will be meeting a lot of people which means I need to give a good impression of myself.

Of course, these skills should be developed naturally and shouldn’t be forced, and that is the biggest obstacles of them all – finding your inner charm that’ll charm people with your presence.

Oh the things that we do to satisfy those human beings. If they didn’t like us they’ll step over our head, if they like us they’ll probably manipulate our head.

But at least we try. And what’s better than to earn God’s blessing, by becoming a better you, by creating the world as a better place, by treating His other creations with respect, by being a good servant? :D

Friday, September 23, 2011

Let's flip the pan even though you don't have to really.

As a standard Malaysian girl, you probably learn how to:

1. Cook sambal (onions, garlic, dried chilies, seasonings, sauces and meat of choice goodness)
2. Cook curry (milk/coconut milk and curry powder and brinjal and ocras and stuff)
3. Cook various soups (tomyam, singgang, although I suppose the latter is more of an East Coast thing)

You probably have no idea how to:

1. Cook omelet (although that might just be me)
2. Cook various egg recipes that don’t include sambal, curry, soups or all those jazz.
3. I just want to talk about egg recipes in this post, can you tell? XD

I’m all up for finding unique but simple recipes, and in my quest of finding new recipes to try to add in my list of expertise, I stumbled across this video.

Now bear in mind, I wasn’t attracted to the recipes, despite liking tomatoes and honey very very much.

It’s just that I don’t like eggs that much. But I still eat it, because as long as you’re still living you should eat anything that you’re allowed to eat just for the sake of it (and for the nutrition behind each bite, of course). Imagine those people who can’t eat it, be it for medical sake or lack of production, don’t you feel bless now? Yeah so don’t be picky.

Now. Eggs. Oh yeah! I was supposed to link this video in this post.


I was attracted to the awesomeness that is flipping the pan. And the most logical way to try it is by flipping eggs. Or pancakes.

But I don’t like pancakes that much, and the recipe isn’t about pancakes in the first place, so eggs it is.

(Of course, if the recipe calls for pancakes, I’ll probably be doing that)


And this is the result of my eggs flipping.

I must say it hurts my arms, a bit. Okay maybe not a bit – a lot. I blame it on my mother’s heavy pan. The first try, I can barely lift the eggs on air, but gradually I can make it shake a bit.

About the recipe, I think it’s an interesting combination. I followed the recipe pretty closely (omitted the spring onions because we don’t have that in our pantry) and it turns out quite similar, if I may say so myself. The ginger adds a tangy flavor to the eggs and tomatoes, really merges well with the tart taste of tomatoes, and the honey sweetens the tomatoes naturally you'd think the tomatoes really are overly sweet in the first place, and the salt completes the whole package. Really a nice recipe, I wouldn’t have expected that.

But then again, I don’t have a sweet tooth. My tooth, or rather tongue, likes sizzling stuff more, so this isn’t my cup of tea, really.

So my sister suggested that we add black pepper and Tabasco sauce and chopped fresh chilies.

And this is the result!

This time, I can really flip the eggs. I AM PROUD OF MY ACHIEVEMENTS. YUP YUP.

You can’t really see the chilies because we haven’t added them yet. It’s only after we tasted it that we realized it lacks the kicks we’re expecting so we added some of those later.

And it was umm for the lack of word…hot.

Well! I’m thinking of trying to flip sunny side eggs next time instead of scrambled eggs, because scrambled is too basic anyway, so my next goal is making an omelet. Because I don't like sunny side either. Not sure if I'd like omelet but you can put cheese in it and I happen to like cheese.

Here’s to eggs! Even though I'm well, not that fond of it. But I eat everything, just so you know. :D


Flashback three years ago and there was this little bird trying to build a nest on my air conditioner. The sad thing is that the surface is quite slippery and thus, no matter how hard the bird tried to make its nest stick, it just wouldn't keep in shape.

Often the twigs will make its way into my room, transforming the area around my window like a dried out jungle. -.- Sometimes I just didn't open the window so that I could escape from the mess. And I guess I did escape from it, because after that, the bird finally laid its egg, and as you probably expected it, the egg rolled over the air conditioner surface and broke on the floor.

If I'm not careful the egg just might make its way into my room, but really, poor bird and its egg. T_T

The end of the story is that the mother egg learned its lesson and decided to build a nest on my brother's room air conditioner. Seems like the surface isn't as smooth over there, judging by its successful breeding and such, and so the bird family live happily ever after, or at least I hope so. It's been three years since then and I no longer know where they are, or even noticed them to be honest.

People say that when birds build a nest at your house, it signifies good luck, but I can't attest to that. Although to be honest, most of my relatives who always have birds visiting them and living at their houses seem to have childrens who are millionaires and successful beyond words, so I guess perhaps that statement rings true. I mean, I'm not that successful either but who can believe my luck that I'll be able to come to Saudi and perform Hajj at a young age? Not that the bird's the sole reason for that, for most of the things come from God himself, but this birds thing is kind of fascinating.

But that's not the point of this post. What's the point of this post again? -.-

Oh yeah, well, we have birds over here too!

There used to be only one last year, and it's the noisiest thing alive HARHARHAR T_T

But now there's three, and that's triple noisy for you.

(another one is in the hole)

This place is weird. And by that I mean it's an empty place with no doors to get into, only windows, and even then, there's this net covering it, so you really can't get in there. And what's worse is that, some of the people who rent upstairs dried their clothes at the balcony, and often the clothes will fly away and fall into here. There's even a carpet in here. I have nothing to say to that.

Now that I went away for three months, I came back to notice that the bird has found two partners, had a lot of eggs but didn't bother to sit on it, and the area is filled with umm...shit. Yeah.

Not a terribly good view but what can you do. You just need to convince yourself that it is at the very least, fascinating. Which was what I'm trying to do right now. T_T

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Disciplining Yourself

There are quite a lot of things that I find odd in this world (because well, I am normal and all of you are odd HAHAHA T_T).

And one of those is, doing something to improve your condition. By that I mean swallowing medicine.

Not sure if I’m just brought up this way with doctors and medicines and supplements and yucky things but whenever someone complains that they’re sick, but refuse to take their medicine, I felt the urge to sigh and shake my head.

How are you going to get better if you can’t even do that? I can’t help you if you can’t even discipline yourself. T_T

Same goes to those who want to be great at cooking or be a good Muslim but too lazy to go to the kitchen or study deeper into religion wait I can relate to that oh.

Disciplining yourself is hard, though. I’ve tried to memorize the Quran for years but I can never get really far. But I’m thinking that, if I myself couldn’t help myself, who will? It is for your own sake after all.

I won’t be an amazing cooker if I didn’t try to cook a proper meal all by myself.

I won’t be a good Muslim if I succumb to the whispers of the devils.

I won’t be good at the Arabic language if I stop studying. When you are your own teacher, things can get really tough, and the only way you can do it is to convince yourself that it is for your own good. So far I think myself is listening to me.

Another thing that’s odd is how good it felt to hear people speaking Arabic in Saudi dialect. I was in the plane yesterday and all those conversations around me is making me feel warm inside and I can’t really understand why. o.O

But all is well, you see I’ve made a goal last year, to understand completely what’s being said on TV by the third year.

Well, this year is the third year, and I must say I can’t really understand completely what was being said, but I think to understand about 70% of it is good enough.

It just means that I need to try harder, isn't it? T_T

Another good thing about learning Arabic (aside from understanding the Quran by its words and not by the translation) is hearing various religious talks by the Arab sheikhs. It is a feeling that I can’t quite describe, and well, not that I need to, but here’s a video by Meshari Al-Kharraz, one of my favorite sheikhs, complete with English subtitles. Happy watching. :D

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Leaving is always hard, especially when you have nothing as a force drive to make you flee the country.

To be honest, I have those. I have tons of those, but it still is hard to leave. As I sat here packing my things up, for the first time ever I’m not that thrilled to leave. Give me another week then maybe I’ll be more prepared, but now, it just feels so sudden, even though it’s not.

I have nothing in this house to fiddle with either. So why am I feeling this way? I’m going to be alone every day all the same, minding my own business.

It’s just that at least here, I know, even though I’m all alone, those who are close to me are still close enough to be stumbled upon, whereas over there, the percentage of that happening is actually very little.

But if I didn’t make a little sacrifice, I wouldn’t have a story to tell, would I? If you’re not brave enough, you won’t get anywhere, would you? Although I often wonder why do I always have to make the first move and not them, but at least I’ve made my goal. At least I created an impact, or something. I hope so.

So for the sake of our future, let’s man up, swallow the uneasiness and move forward for a better us. Everything will be okay, Insha Allah.

Goodbye Johor, goodbye Malaysia.

Hello Rabigh, hello Saudi Arabia.

I look forward to meeting you, no matter how dusty you’ve probably made my room into. :D