Thursday, February 20, 2020

BEAUTY | WHAT'S IN MY EVERYDAY MAKEUP BAG


In day to day basis, I barely wear a lot of makeup. It's either I go with soft-glam or no-makeup makeup look, there's no in-between. Today I want to share what's inside of my everyday makeup bag, means, the no-makeup makeup look products.

I only have five products that I use every single day, they are easy to use, not too much, and most of them are drugstore products.

Pond's Instabright Glow Up Cream in Pink Crush

I love this cream because it is a multipurpose cream: it can be your moisturiser, primer, or even highlighter. Although, because I have fair skin, it doesn't work well as a highlighter. I apply this cream after I put my moisturiser and sunscreen to add more moisture to my skin. It works well as a primer, smoothing my skin nicely.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Fair

It's been my favourite undereye concealer for years! It helps to cover up my dark circles, brighten the area and of course, compliments my skin tone nicely.

Maybelline Fashion Brow in Gray

Instead of using a brow pencil, I prefer to use a cream product on my brow. It creates a softer and more natural-looking look. I like how this product is very easy to use but stay on my brows all day even when I wudū three times during the day.

Tarte Amazonian Mascara

I have quite a few favourite mascaras but I realised, over the last three months, this is the only mascara I've used. I've been using this mascara since two years ago, stopped when I discovered another mascara, then I came back to it again. This mascara is beautiful. It makes my lashes look longer and have more volume. It is also not a waterproof mascara so it doesn't hurt when I remover the makeup on the evening.

Lancomê Matte Shaker in #270 Beige Vintage

This lip product is so gorgeous, I can't get over it even I've used this for almost two years now. It is moisturising my lips, creates a beautiful, soft, velvet matte colour on the lips, and it can be used as a liquid blush as well! The colour, beige vintage, specifically is so natural. I got so many compliments whenever I use this product on my lips (and as a blush as well!).

What's your must-have beauty product? 



Love, Vera
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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

BOOK | LITTLE WOMEN


As I'm doing a book challenge this year, February's book is a book that is also a movie which is perfect! In my previous post, I posted the Little Women movie review. I kinda planned everything together because believe it or not, I never read the book until now! 

So, I've finished one of the most loved books by Louisa May Alcott just a few days after I watched Gerwig's 2019 Little Women in the theatre (the movie premiered on the 7th February 2020 in Indonesia). Although I've watched Armstong's 1994 version, it is still fun to read and then watch the movie. There's always a new insight into it. 

Little Women novel is truly a masterpiece. Since its publication back in 1868, it has been described as a new kind of literature, a type of feminism and realism that's needed at the time. Even now, decades after its publication, the novel still is a literature that has to be read by everyone. 

As I kept reading, I found myself rooting for the March sisters. As they go through love and loss, they truly learn how to be little women while all they have is their mother, Marmee, because of their father off to war. 

I'm so in love with everyone here. They have reasons to do what they have to especially the March sisters. Jo is not only boyish and rebellious but also fiercely independent. Meg with the softness and kindness that filled inside her heart, make her the lady she always wanted to be. Amy who always stay true to herself and Beth who's quiet but has the loudest mind of all. I like how the four sisters represent a different type of human nature. 

This book is also underline so many things about family values which pretty rare to find in most of the modern literature. Marmee is a beautiful mum who allows her girls to do and pursue whatever they wanted to be despite what society would think about them. She encourages Jo to keep writing, Meg to follow her heart to marry someone she loves although he's not a rich man, Amy to pursue whatever she thinks the best for her, and Beth to keep playing music. She never forced them to do something for her, but the relationship she has with the girls is full of trust. In the end, the girls always put her as their priority. The kindness and love she teaches the girls eventually comes back to her. I love it so much. 

Alcott's way of writing is so poignant and elegant. It gives you an impression of how to be a normal family in 1800 and how it feels to be a woman at that time. The society only cares if a woman marries a rich man - or should I say, marry his name? So you can be wealthy and able to support your family as well. Little Women describes that very well but the characters are nothing like the society, that what makes this book is beautiful. 

However, I have a few complaints. As how the classic books go, this book also a little bit boring at times. There are some plots that I feel unnecessary to add and not exciting for the readers. I also found how perfect all characters are, especially Laurie. He's so annoyingly perfect - handsome, rich, smart, and has a beautiful heart. I want to see the characters have flaws - just like a normal human. 

Overall, I'm so in love with this book. By the end of the book, I found myself reading the last line twice, I was so satisfied but also wanted more. I highly recommend this book for everyone, despite the gender and generation, you'll find something valuable to learn from this story. You won't find a book like this anymore.


Love, Vera
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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

MOVIE | LITTLE WOMEN (2020)

Copyright Columbia Pictures
"What does Amy call you?"
"My lord."

Little Women is an adaptation (and also a remake from Armstrong's Little Women 1994) from Louisa May Alcott's masterpiece with the same title. Written and directed by the talented Greta Gerwig, this movie centred in four beautiful March sisters, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) who are coming of age during the aftermath of the civil war. They're surrounded by the poverty, hard times to securing work, education, and dealing with a lot of injustice toward women at that time. 

This movie came out in 2019, however, it's not arrived in Indonesia until February 7th. So it's a little bit annoying but it is what it is. It was a long wait but dear God, it's worth every second. Standing applause to Greta Gerwig for successfully bringing back one of the most loved classic movies to the cinema. 

What I love about this movie is how fun and light-hearted it is. This movie obviously has some sad aspects that meant to make you feel and understand what these characters are going through. Women at that time dealing with the status issue, because of all the society cared about was women marrying rich men, got their named and wealth so they could support their family as well. It was, of course, rough, not every woman wanted that kind of life. Some wanted to marry for love, some wanted to pursue their dreams first before making a big decision to marrying someone. That's what happened to the March sisters. They all have dreams, they're trying to make ways but life is not always as smooth as they planned.

Everyone in this movie is great! The cast is an absolute dream. The chemistry between the March sisters is undeniable. Saoirse Ronan is once again delivered a beautiful work, as well as Timotheé Chalamet as Theodore 'Laurie' Laurence who became the centre of affection for some March girls. Laura Dern as Marmee is also beautiful, and also Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Every character compliments each other. I'm so in love with everyone here. 

The cinematography in this movie is also really pretty. The colour palette coordinates with the costume and makeup really good, as well as the setting. It's time periodically accurate. Which reminds me of how the 1994 version did. There are some scenes that are really pretty and visually pleasing such as the dance scene, the wedding, and the painting scene is definitely my favourites.

My only complaint about this movie is how the timeline switches so fast and at some point it kinda blurry where we are, is it the present or the past. It keeps going back and forth like that. You can tell by how the hairstyle and the colour palette but again, sometimes it is too similar and it takes a second for you to realise where the movie is. 

Overall, this movie is truly a beautiful work of art. It plays with your emotions, at times it is a heartwarming Chrismas movie with all the warmth, goodness and kindness, the true meaning of a celebration. But, there are other times that make you hard to breathe because it's devastating and cold. 

What do you think about this movie? 

Love, Vera
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Friday, January 31, 2020

JANUARY FAVOURITE


The first month of 2020 is over! My overall impression of January is a month of balancing. I have a completely different mindset, I finally able to organise my priorities, and of course, pretty much get my shit done. 

Today I want to share my monthly favourites. I haven't done this kind of post for a while and I believe this is the year to bring back our tradition, yes? ;) 

Beauty
I only have one favourite in the beauty section which is the Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel. This product is absolutely very unique and useful! I apply just a tiny bit on the dry patch on my face and body on the night time and voila, the next day my skin is very well moisturised! No more dry skin. 

Movie 
I have two favourite movies this month. 1917, which you can read the full review here, and UnderwaterI just watched Underwater at the cinema recently and I really like how this movie told the story about underwater creatures, how the people survived through bad things that kept happening. It's pretty entertaining, a little bit scary at some point. 

TV Series 
This month, I watched a really good amount of series actually. In the other note, I had so much free time (or lack of sleep?). My favourite shows this month are The Good Doctor (ABC). I know, I kinda late on the game but I literally binge-watching the first two seasons within one week and I'm not mad about it. This series is so good! Another series that I truly enjoyed this month is Dracula (Netflix). This limited series is so scary but good, I have mixed feeling about it. Not only it is scary but also gore (that kind of genre that I hate the most). 

Music 
I've been really into Florence+The Machine this month. I always like her music but I don't know, her music is literally my vibe this month. The most frequent album that I listened to is High as Hope (2018). So beautiful! 

App
One of my 2020 resolutions is to meditate more. I have a few favourite meditation apps, Headspace, Calm, and Mindfulness. I try to meditate twice a day, in the morning and before I go to bed. For my morning meditation, I'm switching between Headspace and Mindfulness. As for my night meditation, I prefer Calm because I can choose the sleep meditation as well and they offer good options.


What are you looking forward to the next month? 


Love, Vera
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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

MOVIE | 1917 (2020)

Copyright Universal Pictures
The story about World War I seems never finished. There's always more behind the story, more behind the story's story and so go on. Like most of the war movies, 1917 did not focus on characters, it focused on the tale, on how it told and how it received. Back in 2017, Christoper Nolan's Dunkirk came out and that was the first movie about war that I did not flinch a bit. Although Dunkirk told the story about WW II, both movie has a similar storytelling wise. The filmmakers wanted us to be emotionally there without attaching our feelings to one or two characters. 

I'm so amazed with the cinematography in this movie! 

Sam Mendes' Spectre memorable opening scene was a legit success. That opening scene was so beautifully shot that the audience believed it was one shot. In 1917, most of the scenes are that tracking shot. That kind of camera work made the audience felt like playing video games because most of the time we were behind someone's back. It worked. 1917 has nevertheless the most beautiful cinematography in war movie theme. The colour palette, the camera work, the movement, even the close-up, everything was perfect. It was done beautifully that I was very sure it was shot one time only until I watched the behind the scenes video. If Mendes did not get enough appreciation for this kind of cinematography, I honestly lost faith in what so-told movie lovers wanted. 

Story-wise, 1917 reminded me of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. The way sets of corporals, Schofield (MacKay) and Blake (Chapman), searching for a brother, in a special quest to save a thousand lives. Either way, I love how 1917 did not let us attach to characters longer. I love a war movie that purely tells the truth (I guess we never know) about what actually happened, gives us insight on how the soldiers cope up with the emotional issue, how the battlefield looks like. 1917 gave you a simple storyline with heaps of troubles on the way. 1917 was dense with the atmosphere. Every time they stepped on a new place, I felt so uneasy and scared for them, there was always something went wrong. 

Thomas Newman's score was also providing more intensity and story to the plot, an eerie yet beautiful back sounds, the sound mixing for the sound of water, wind, leaves, and branches. Everything was born ready to give you an insight of battlefield horror. Music plays a fairly important role in a movie - there was always that one noise that ruined the entire atmosphere of the movie, however I did not find a single flaw in this movie. The story, the cinematography, the music, the acting, and directing, they complimented one another and that made a beautiful movie to watch. 

Sam Mendes' 1917 reminded you of every single war movie that you've ever watched but thousand times better. It is an astonishing film with a simple storyline. 1917 felt like wasn't a movie but an experience. 


Love, Vera
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Sunday, January 26, 2020

PLAYLIST | THE READING NOOK


Songs that keep me company while I sit and read on my favourite nook. 
  1. Arc - Yoste
  2. Be Free - MALFNKTION, Zoya
  3. Howl - Yoste
  4. On That Day - Ásgeir
  5. Leanonyou - Jairus Joseph Kersey
  6. Lover - Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes
  7. Love Song - Lana Del Rey
  8. Palladio - Escala
  9. Runner - From Indian Lakes
  10. Zala - Pataki Gisella 
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

BOOK | THE BLACK DAHLIA


Hi! 

I will be, hopefully, post a book review every month as Zain and I do the 2020 Reading Challenge together. I also think this is great because the last two years have been bad for me, I didn't read as much as I usually do. One book a month should be alright, yeah? 

I love reading (and buying) books but one of my 2020 resolutions is to be more sustainable so I purchased the e-book instead. Honestly, it's been a strange experienced to start reading e-book again. I love the smell of a new book and flip from one page to another.  So having to slide onto the next page is really not my tea. However, I have to stop being selfish and think about the environment so here I am. 

This month's theme is a book with a colour in the title. Of course, I choose The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. It has been on my reading list for so long but I haven't had time to find the book yet. 

I started this book right on the first day of January and I finally finished the book on the 16th. It took a little bit faster than I expected as The Black Dahlia is such a deep, complicated story to read on. I also didn't read this book religiously because of some errands that I had to do, appointments, and such. But I'm glad I finally finished it. 
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Monday, January 13, 2020

A DECADE RECAP


Wow. Yes. We are officially entering a new decade. A lot of things have happened in the last 10 years in my life but I never realised it is like a lot when I decided to write down the highlights of that year. Also, I was really bad at remembering things, so this is probably a little bit vague. 

I started this blog back in 2013, so it hasn't been 10 years but in this blog alone, a lot of things have changed. The way I write, the way I share my thoughts, the way I create content. I found it so interesting to look back and see how different I was 7 years ago or so. I also can't believe I have been blogging for seven freaking years!! 

My wish is in the next ten years, I want to be happier than I am right now, be in the place where I should be, with a person I deserve, and of course, have created a beautiful, meaningful story that I can share to my children - or maybe on the blog? Who knows! 
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Sunday, January 05, 2020

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION


Hi, guys! How's your first week of January? Mine was pretty nice. It was a relaxing week, I did major cleaned up on my closet and vanity, spent more quality time with my family, and finally had time to sit down and think through about what has happened in 2019 and in the last decade, evaluated, and wrote down what my goals for the new year. 

Today I want to share some of my 2020 resolutions. I want to focus on my wellbeing because I realised the last few years I was too focus on my goals - not that it was a bad thing, it was good, but I neglected my happiness for something that wasn't last very long. I was too focus on what or who hurt me more than I was on those who purely love me as I am. I know I don't have to justify everything, no need to explain, but I consider my blog as my online diary - I want to look back when I'm older and see what I have done, what I have written. More importantly, I want to write something that I needed to see when I was younger. 

I hope when you read this blog, you will get inspired or motivated. I wish we have the best year we always deserve, the lifeline that treats us better than last year. Let's start this clean slate with something more meaningful and happier. Happy new year! 
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