Recent years have been challenging for me in a personal capacity. There were times when I wanted to crawl into a cave, seal the entrance, and never come back out into the cold, cruel world. 2015 and early 2016 were particularly challenging, and I reacted by being angry and uptight all the time. This reflected itself on my skin – I slacked on my skincare, I was lazy with my makeup, and for that, I was rewarded with dull skin.
We all go through phases like this at some point in our lives. However, I wanted to share what I’d label the “3 R’s” that have helped me climb up and stay on top of things, and in many ways, lessen the tension on my internal spring, so I’m not so tightly wound up all the time. I wrote this in collaboration with La Mer Malaysia, and while it’s coming at a timely moment at the beginning of a new year, this isn’t anything to do with a new year at all. It’s all to do with YOU wanting A NEW YOU and it’s something you can practice at any time of the year :)
To refresh myself, and to distract from dwelling on dark thoughts, I decided to learn something new. I picked hand-lettering, or calligraphy. I took a short class in nib pen copperplate calligraphy in the early part of last year, but I couldn’t keep up with it. I found it beautiful but too finicky. In the later part of the year, I told myself I’d teach myself brush pen calligraphy instead.
I didn’t really want to talk about this at first, because I’m still new to it and am positively embarrassed to show my poor attempts :P But I’m practising often, because it’s far easier to pick up a pen, pre-filled with ink, than it is to prep a workspace for using nib pens. It’s been a quiet personal project since mid-December, as a personal challenge to see how far I can go in 6 months. I set a goal, I sampled it, and I’m taking baby steps! It’s refreshing, and I’m enjoying learning something new :)
On the beauty front, I’m keeping my skincare routine refreshed, by maintaining a hydrating routine, but layering different products in a slightly thinner layer. I work on hydration, for example, by layering a hydrating lotion like the La Mer The Treatment Lotion (I love this product!) which adds a hydration boost to my skin, and then layering on a thin layer of a hydrating serum, which is the brand new La Mer The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum that’s now available at counters. I’ve been using this new The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum for about a month now, since I received the sample, and my skin drinks it all up and loves it! It isn’t sticky, it absorbs quickly, and it makes my skin feel so comfortable. I do find it a little rich, so I only use half a pump in the day, and a half to full pump at night. The metallic scent is a little sharp, but it really keeps my skin well hydrated and plumped in the day, so makeup sits well; and well nourished through the night so I wake to happy skin. Major love, for refreshing and revitalizing my skin :)
To make an effort to get out, what I did in 2016 was to renew ties with friends. A bunch of us would meet up at least once a month, to catch up, chat and EAT! It doesn’t seem like much, but we are so often caught up in our daily lives, that we forget to maintain those friendship ties, thinking you’d always be friends. No you won’t, if you don’t make an effort to keep those friendships alive.
I look forward to our monthly meet-ups, and our annual 1 January new year gatherings (in its 7th year now!), and I appreciate that everyone makes that little effort to get together, for it truly takes effort to maintain friendships, as with all relationships. I also renewed ties with an old friend living overseas, thanks to the wonders of WhatsApp, where in those few minutes of chatting, we’re giddy-headed teens, swooning over Harrison Ford again :D I also try to catch up with people who have become friends along the course of work. Just a handful, but they are there. I’m not the world’s most sociable person, being pretty much a hermit, with a very small circle of friends. But making this effort is important to enrich and renew your ties with others.
My beauty renewal comes in the form of a continued appreciation for facial oils. Facial oils, like the La Mer The Renewal Oil which I still use (practically done with my first bottle!) remain firmly rooted in my skincare routines. The Renewal Oil is light enough that I can use it in the day, but I also use a little more to seal in The Revitalizing Hydrating serum in the evening 2-3 times a week. A thin layer of moisturiser over it all, and I wake up with soft, hydrated, comfortable skin. I am always experimenting, but since incorporating facial oils into my routine about 2 years back, I’ve seen only positive results.
You know that song from the Madagascar cartoon – I like to move it? Well, I don’t :P I’m a sloth. I dislike moving. So, although I had aspirations to one day complete a run, the reality was that I couldn’t. My knees and ankles aren’t made to run and I kept injuring myself.
I sat around like a blob for a while, until I realised that I actually enjoyed swimming, and it was what I used to do. It’s easy to slack with swimming because of simple things like weather (rain, too hot etc) and when you get your period and don’t really want to get into the pool. But I pushed past all that, and worked out a little routine for myself, promising to swim a little more, and a little further each time. I even bought myself a swim cap! My first ever, and goodness. Why have I never owned a swim cap before?! It helps me swim faster, and my hair hasn’t turned into hay. Yay! :D
On the beauty front, I’m stepping up my facial and massage treatments. I’ve met many people who tell me that a facial is a waste of time; and why would anyone want to lie there for an hour, doing nothing. I can’t understand the aversion to doing nothing because I’m a sloth, remember? :P
For me, it’s during a facial or body massage, that you truly have time to just yourself. It could just be for one hour, but it is one hour where it is just only about YOU. No phones. No social media. No chatter. No kids. No one else. Just you and your facial or massage therapist. Sleep, if you want to, or just drift. I personally visit the La Mer Spa (which has now moved to Robinson’s at The Gardens, if you’re like me and wondering where they’ve gone) where I’ve been going for the last couple of years since my previous regular facial place closed down. Lovely facial massages bar none and always leaves me and my skin feeling revitalized!
These are the 3 R’s I have quietly told myself to practice in the past year, to pull me out of the funk I was in. It has helped me stay afloat despite negativity threatening to sink me, and if you too are facing challenging times, I hope one of the R’s will, one way or another, help you too :)
Do you practice anything similar to help you stay sane?
Calligraphy is really quite the in thing now, and helps me relax, if something bugs me. It’s a skill that isn’t hard to pick up. You do however, need to practice, practice, practice to be any good at it. And that takes a hell lot of discipline! Have you tried your hand at it? :)
This post is kindly sponsored by La Mer Malaysia
La Mer The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum retails for RM820 | US$195 for 30ml and is available at all La Mer counters from January 2017.