BEAUTY IS A STATE OF MIND

I'll be the first person to admit that I'm a big fan of Dove's commercials. Whether you agree with it or not, Dove manages to create conversation, and that, as a writer truly is the mark of great work. To provoke, to make people think. And their latest campaign, centred around a film documenting a social experiment is just another example of how Dove seeks to create conversation around issues that are more often than not, swept under the proverbial rug. 

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find out what I feel about this commercial, and what I think #BeautyIs. 

PERSONAL SHOPPER IN THE UK, AT YOUR SERVICE

I know I’m the Shopping Editor at inSing.com, but I have to admit the retail scene in Singapore is pretty bleak. The last time I bought a piece of clothing here, was in September when I was desperate for a black dress. While stores are aplenty, selections are mediocre and the worst part is how heavily marked up everything is. I know retail is no easy business with sky-high rents, the almost-impossible task of looking for good service staff, amongst other things but as a customer, you can’t help but want to blow your moolah outside the +65.

If you’re globetrotting and going for European sojourns quite so often, lucky you! The mere mortals amongst us who salivate over designer stashes and latest fashion covetables don’t have to twiddle our thumbs anymore - introducing Sins of Lust, a personal shopper service in Europe that caters to Singaporeans, and Asians who want designer bags [or anything at all] minus the ridiculous prices in Singapore.

Prices of the designer goods you purchase will definitely be lower than the stores in SG, and they include the cost of the service, plus first class registered postage and taxes. Whether it’s something that’s too expensive to buy in Singapore, or a collection that won’t reach our shores, Sins of Lust is there to help. Here’s how

  1. Get in touch with the good people at Sins of Lust, and tell them what you’re looking for. Give them the full 411, with specifics. They will get back to you with a quote in about 24 hours.
  2. If agreeable, they’ll send you an invoice via Paypal. You can also make payment via their Singapore-based account via iBanking.
  3. Once payment is received, you’ll get your baby within 10 working days.

WHAT?! Totes easy peasy.

Here are the prices that Sins of Lust's customers enjoy, and you definitely know that they are unbeatable in the boutiques of Singapore!

Goyard petite St. Louis is $1280 Goyard grande St. Louis is $1720 Celine Nano $2,750 Celine Trapeze $3,400 Celine Luggage $3,800 Boy Chanel $5,600

In case you haven't heard, the British Sterling Pound exchange rate has dropped to SGD1.88, and Sins of Lust is based there, there's no better time to purchase!

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS

I don't usually buy a lot of Christmas gifts. I get them for some close friends, and colleagues with whom I exchange gifts. This year, I added a couple more people to my list, so with my Amex in hand, I went a'shoppin'. I hit the latest H&M store in ION, especially since you get two chances to win for every $10 spent in ION, Singapore Airlines and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands with American Express. Of course, I got distracted and tried some stuff on:

Kinokuniya was next. 1Q84 for Murakami fans, anyone?

I went to Lovisa in Wisma Atria next. I love Lovisa. It's my favourite new accessories store - a notch above Diva [that's being pulled out of Singapore as we speak], affordable and they've got wicked, ultra fashion-forward pieces you can throw on and not think twice about. J's sister got a couple of pieces from here from me. ;o)

Sephora was next. I always get lost in Sephora. In between being gobsmacked by all the pretty colours, I usually have no clue what to buy. These super cute ducks [that double up as vibrators] could be useful for the girlfriend who's always complaining about her single status...

As for me, I didn't get myself anything with the moolah American Express. I have almost everything in the world I want and who could actually say that?! I did, however, get J a lil' something something for the holidays. You just have to watch this space to find out what it is!

HOLIDAY SHOPPING WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS

I like to think I give good gifts. I think about what the person enjoys, I like to pick out little details, and I scour the web - sometimes months in advance for the birthdays of people I love. Sometimes, I'd be bouncing off the walls to present someone with a gift! As you already know, American Express is sending me on a shopping spree for Xmas gifts in conjunction with their wicked Round the World campaign this festive season!

While shopping in person will give you more chances to win a Round the World trip  [Every $10 spent at ION Orchard, Singapore Airlines or The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands for 2 chances to win!], I like to suss out what there is in the world starting with the web.

1. A subscription to Frankie Magazine. The only magazine I've bought since issue #3, and the only magazine I've probably bought for leisure for the past year or so since we've propelled into digital magazines. Frankie manages to put out beautiful works of art - perfect stock, stunning printing and writing that I just love to delve deep into. If your girlfriend appreciate beautiful things, this is a wicked gift that will last a whole year!

2. NARS Pure Matte lipstick. I've been looking for a matte pink lipstick for a while, and I was delighted when NARS finally opened here. Unfortunately, when I was there a few days ago, heaps of the lipstick shades were sold out. I specifically asked the salesgirl to show me a lipstick shade that was in stock, and she put Carthage on for me, only to tell me after that the girl who came in just before me bought the last one. This tops my list, and I'm sure it'll top many of your girlfriends' too.

3. Ciate Nail Polishes make the perfect stocking stuffers. Always in vivid colours and in such cute packaging, what's not to love?

4. Fortune Cookie purse. For those girls who always have change lying around everywhere, this cute purse will make a wicked stocking stuffer. And you can remind her about the purse you got her every time she jingles when she fishes for something in her bag.

1. Lanvin Silver-plated Onyx cufflinks These are so sexy. They're so understated, yet so perfect. I wish I wore shirts that need cufflinks so I have an excuse to get them for myself...

2. Prescription glasses. J has been hunting for prescription glasses for the longest time, but he's yet to find a pair he likes. You usually have to try on glasses to see how they suit your face, but Lookmatic lets you virtually try it on! Upload a photo of your man, and you're good to go!

3. Homemade milano cookies. Who doesn't love milano cookies? Even better if they're handmade and fresh from the oven!

4. Plane tickets... ;o)

5. iPad Mini. If your man works on an iMac, watches Apple TV, listens to music on his iPod Touch, it's time you splurge and get him the new iPad Mini. It's not so big like the iPad such that it can be a pain to carry, and it's not super tiny like the iPod Touch where he'd be straining his eyes trying to watch his favourite sitcom. And you get to steal it occasionally to shop online! Win-win!

6. Victoria's Secret giftcard. This is a little cheeky, but it can be a cute stocking stuffer [oh, the puns!]. Get him to pick out what he wants you to wear. Gift for him, gift for you. I'm a bloody genius!

Watch this space to find out where I went shopping, and what I got for the favourite people in my life. Myself included of course! Remember to start spendin' with your American Express for a Round the World getaway!

SHOES, SHOES, SHOES.

This post is written in partnership with the IKEA Singapore e-influencers programme. It's no secret that I love my shoes; the higher the heels, the closer to God, no? ;o)

Before we start delving deep into the world of shoe storage, otherwise known as the biggest mysteries in life, let me introduce my latest pair of shoes, these super cute kueh lapis acrylic heels by Jeffrey Campbell:

Now that that's settled, one of my favourite things to do when I'm procrastinating on Pinterest is pinning shoe storage ideas. When it comes to my shoes, I'm in a permanent state of disarray. It's not that my shoes are in disarray, they aren't; but I feel like it isn't organised to its fullest potential. Or in my terms, it means that my obsessive compulsive neat freakness hasn't been exploited to the point of no return. And so I started pinning.

There are so many wonderful, neat [in multiple sense of the word!] ideas, but the problem is I haven't got any space. It's so annoying trying to fit in new furniture, or ideas in the midst of what I already have. It honestly easier to move out, or dump everything out and start from scratch.

But in the mean time, I'll make do with what I have. Here's how I currently store my shoes:

In translucent drawers stacked one set on top of the other. As you can tell, my wardrobe next to it is worn to death [it might be older than some of you reading this], and as you can also tell by the shoe boxes stacked right on top, I've run out of space.

What do you do when you're posed with a storage-related conundrum? Head to IKEA, of course!

Within five minutes of walking in, I thought this might work as individual shoe storage that's stackable at the same time:

It's wide enough and deep enough to store crazy high heels, and multiple flats if need be. It might pose a bit of hassle if you have a lot of shoes stacked one on top of the other but if it's just a row of threes stacked at the bottom of your closet, it'll be perfect. Plus, it'll keep dust and mould away. Just to be safe, stash some Thirsty Hippo sachets in there!

And then, there are shoe cabinets of course. I'm not a big fan of shoe cabinets, because they're just blah, but for those people who need a shoe storage space to act as a shoe storage space, this will do the trick:

Of course, there's the wonderful IKEA shoe storage boxes that come in a variety of colours that I will probably get for my boyfriend because I want to cry every time I look at how he stashes his shoes:

But my favourite of it all, is using a bookcase, just like this one, as shoe storage. I take care of my shoes very well, and I love them just as much, so this makes perfect sense! Having limited space will also [hopefully] curb my shoe obsession. The best part is, because it's white, you can decorate it any way you like!

How are you shoes stored?