45 Minute Getaway

monicantik - Sundays Beach Club

I don’t need to teleport to Bali, Paris, or Moscow for a quick getaway. Hearing my phone ring and seeing your name on my phone screen, calling to say hi and how my day was is the equivalent of a getaway. To me, a 45 minute, 15 minute, or even a 1 hour call from you is equivalent to a getaway.

The warm hello coming from the other end of the call emanates the excitement of boarding a plane to the getaway destination.

Making you laugh radiates the same happiness as feeling warm Uluwatu sand between my toes and the cool water splashing against my skin.

Hearing your stories reminds me of the crisp air of Budapest in winter time: fresh and soothing.

The comfortable pauses of silence in between are delicious. Silence does not bother us. Hearing you breathe (not in a creepy sense) reminds me of taking a night stroll in Vienna.

I look forward to your call the same way I look forward to my annual vacation.

Can we savor this while it lasts?

Can this be preserved and be saved in a capsule, to open from time to time?

Recent Change: Hair

Rambut before after

Before: rada panjang; After: abis dirapihin

Katanya, potong rambut itu buang sial.

Jadi, ceritanya gue abis motong dan ngecat rambut!

Kalau soal potong, emang udah waktunya sih. Setiap tiga bulan, udah wajib hukumnya rapihin rambut ke salon langganan gue di Irwan Team, Bintaro Xchange, sama stylist langganan gue, si Om Thio. Entah kenapa rambut gue udah cocok banget dipegang doi, jadi udah beberapa tahun belakangan untuk urusan potram, gue gak memercayakan ke tangan orang lain selain doi. Dua minggu terakhir gue perhatikan kok rambut gue udah mulai gak jelas bentuknya, terus pas cek tanggalan oiyak udah waktunya trimming!

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Rambut gue tipis, teksturnya halus dan mengkilap, tapi tipis. Rontok sih gak terlalu, sejak gue pake sampo DS 10 (bisa beli di Guardian, botolnya kuning dan harganya sekitar 300 ribuan) dan pake semprotan hair tonic Klorane (waktu itu beli di Changi lagi promo, 3 botol sekitar 110 SGD).  Karena tipis itu lah, perlu trik-trik hair style buat bikin keliatan bervolume. Gue juga merasa rambut itu signifikan banget untuk nge-frame wajah. Berhubung gue orang Batak dengan rahang kotak dan pipi chubby karena gue gendut, kalo rambut deket muka udah gak jelas ngeframenya (dan biasanya emang setelah 3 bulan gak potong), gue langsung merasa risih dan pengen cepet-cepet rapihin. Hair stylenya simpel aja, poni panjang (sebenernya gue gak yakin masih bisa dibilang ini poni apa nggak) dan dilayer.

Image result for beautiful hair gif

Nah selain potong rambut, gue juga ngecat rambut, tapi kali ini gak di salon. Ini sih udah lewat waktunya. Gue terakhir mewarnai rambut itu sebelum dinas ke Italy bulan Desember lalu, di Irwan Team juga. Dan beberapa kali dalam 3 bulan terakhir di rendam pake daun henna atau daun pacar. Jadinya hasilnya coklat-coklat gitu deh. Waktu itu niatnya supaya kece aja difoto, rambut gue hits ala ala, warna cakep gitu. Dan gue sukaaa banget warna rambut gue waktu itu. Tapi berhubung udah berlalu 8 bulan, yhaaa, warnanya udah turun, sampe gue disangka ngombre karena yang deket akar coklat tua (rambut asli gue memang bukan hitam Sunsilk gitu tapi coklat tua), yang bawahnya coklat muda nyaris pirang. Akhirnya sama nyokap disuruh cat sendiri aja di rumah gak perlu ke salon, lebih murah ceunah. Jadi nyokap gue juga suka bereksperimen warna rambut, dia abis nyobain cat rambut dari L’oreal. Nah abis nyobain katanya enak, dan gak bikin rambut kasar. Jadilah gue nyoba juga, L’oreal Excellence yang warna Moka Brown. Kebetulan di Guardian lagi promo gitu jadi sekitar 97 ribuan. Who doesn’t love promotions right? Warna di kotak sih coklat sedang gitu, gak terlalu gelap dan gak terlalu terang juga. Pas sesuai salero gue. Setelah dikerjain di rumah dengan mengikuti instruksinya, voila hasilnya rada item hahahaha. Tapi bagus sih, kata nyokap jadi keliatan lebih muda dan sexy gitu ketimbang rambut coklat yang udah mulai mirang. Terrruuuuusss yang gue suka banget adalah rambut jadi halus mengkilap gitu! Luv banget deh. Sebenernya gue masih pengen ngewarnain yang lebih coklat lagi tapi mungkin dalam 2-3 bulan ke depan, probably sebelum Natal.

rambut

Before: rada coklat pirang; after: Coklat tua nyaris item

First eMatrix Experience

Monicantik - eMatrix

Kiri: ceritanya foto before; Tengah: abis diolesin anestesi; Kanan: di jalan pulang setelah di-eMatrix

 

So after a long time procrastinating, I have finally summed up the guts (and cash lol) to have an eMatrix treatment! Kenapa eMatrix? Down timenya pendek (gak perlu sampe cuti segala, ribet buat kita-kita yang punya komitmen pekerjaan yang sulit ditinggal).

As many of you may know, I struggled with a really bad phase of acne in my high school years, which cleared up in my first year of university setelah pindah ke dr. Rani. Ketika gue berjerawat di masa-masa SMA itu, gue berobat ke Titi Moertolo dan mengikuti sarannya untuk difacial, di mana ternyata, mengutip masukan yang gue terima, malah bikin scars di muka gue, dan scarsnya bukan yang discolored, merah atau item gitu, tapi yang cekung-cekung, jelek, bikin gak pede, dan butuh upaya (dan biaya lebih) buat menyamarkan (syukur-syukur bisa hilang, tapi dengan teknologi yang ada sekarang gue gak yakin bisa hilang 100%, tapi kalau bisa samar 60% kan kenapa nggak, ya kan?).

Gue akhirnya secara impulsif dan tanpa rencana, memberanikan diri ke klinik Dokterkulitku di Kemanggisan. Sebenernya sekitar setahun lalu gue pernah dateng, ya tes ombak lah, udah konsultasi tapi belum treatment. Kebetulan sempat ada waktu kosong, gak cuma buat treatment, tapi buat ngerem diri di rumah nunggu merah-merah pudar. Yaudah tanpa pikir panjang, gue sikat aja. Memang di saat gue dateng bukan pas lagi ada maraton, tapi kebetulan lagi sepi juga. Sehari sebelum treatment gue udah nelfon baiknya dateng jam berapa, dan dianjurkan buat sampe jam 11, untuk dioles krim kebal (anestesi) dan didiamkan selama 1 jam, dan pas dokternya dateng jam 12, gue udah bisa dikerjain. Oke, gue ikutin saran Mbak-Mbaknya.

Pas dateng, dipersilakan naik ke lantai 2, tiduran, muka gue dibersihkan dan diolesin  krim anestesi (di foto atas yang tengah). Bisa diliat dia gak ngoles semuka-muka, karena yang dioles hanya problem area yaitu yang ada scar dan akan diematrix. Sensasinya agak perih-perih dingin gitu. Setelah itu gue ditinggal deh sekitar satu jam (dan ketiduran hahaha). Kebetulan pas gue dateng agak sepi, gue pasien urutan kedua. Jadi setelah sejam lebih dikit berlalu, giliran pasien pertama, dan abis itu baru gue. Deg-degan sih mayan, soalnya pengalaman pertama laser di dr. Rani dua tahun lalu, itu sakit banget. Gue ngecengkram tangan nyokap sampe super kenceng gitu kasian doi  ikut kesakitan. Mbak-mbak yang ngolesin krim menenangkan gue dengan bilang, sakitnya masih kalah sama sakit difacial. Seperti biasa, gue yang skeptis ini gak bisa menelan klaim itu bulat-bulat. So I expected the worse aja.

Akhirnya tibalah giliran gue. Ruang pengerjaan eMatrix itu ada di lantai pertama, dan treatment ini dihandle langsung oleh dr. Simon. Muka gue disiapin, krim anestesinya dibersihkan dan voila, siap untuk dibakar! Setelah satu jam diolesin, emang berasa kaku dan numb sih kulit muka gue. Alat ematrix itu kecil, dan tanpa basa basi, dr. Simon langsung mengaplikasikannya ke kulit muka gue. Berhubung tindakan nggak didahului sama konsultasi jadi gue sembari nanya-nanya. Dr. Simon agak kaget melihat scars gue yang dalam, dan menganjurkan supaya gue treatment 6-8 kali, dengan gap sebulan sekali. In terms of pain, surprisingly, sakitnya gak separah laser di dr. Rani. Masih sangat sangat tolerable. Kecuali di beberapa area yang dalem di mana Pak Dokter agak berulang lewatinnya. Bener sih, sakitan facial hahaha. Gue kalo facial nangisnya bisa heboh, pas kelar eMatrix sih ya mata kiri berair dikit tapi udah aja gitu. Terus setelah kurang lebih 15 menit kelar deh. Kebetulan, area muka gue yang bermasalah gak gitu luas, di pipi kiri, pipi kanan, sama jidat tengah dikit di antara alis. Jadi cepet deh kelarnya.

Selesai pengerjaan, gue dikasi serum Growth Factor, dalam kapsul-kapsul mirip vitamin rambut gitu. 3 hari pertama harus pake itu dan gak boleh pake krim malem. Oiya salah satu hal yang gue suka dari treatment di Dokterkulitku selain down time yang relatif pendek dan sakit yang tolerable (nyaris tidak ada rasa sakit), adalah pasien gak harus migrasi ke produk-produk/krim Dokterkulitku. So basically you can stick to your own skin care regime, mau dari dokter lain kek atau merek apa, selain untuk 3 hari pertama setelah treatment. Sabun pun pake sabun muka kita sendiri aja.

And the most important thing….hasilnya. Well, we’ll see. It varies from one patient to another, dan gue belum sampai posisi untuk bicara hasil. Mungkin setelah 4 minggu baru keliatan (kalau baca-baca di website Dokterkulitku). Tapi hasil obrolan dengan dr. Simon dan Mbak-Mbak yang ngolesin anestesi sih, dari pengerjaan pertama, improvement sudah tampak, tapi ya levelnya beda-beda aja tiap orang, ada yang 30, 40 bahkan 60 persen. Gue sih gak mau ngarep muluk-muluk, ya kata dokternya aja harus 6-8 kali yaaa mau ngarep apa sih setelah pengerjaan 1 kali? Well, setidaknya gue udah gak penasaran lagi sama treatment eMatrix.  I will update with the results (terutama pembuktian down time sih yang paling penting, apalagi buat kita-kita yang on the go dan agak malu kalo beraktivitas dengan muka merah). Dan yang pasti setelah treatment pertama kali ini gue udah pede untuk melangkahkan kaki lagi ke Kemanggisan untuk treatment lanjutan!

Buat yang concern soal biaya, di Dokterkulitku cukup fleksibel. Treatment bisa menyesuaikan dengan budget. Jadi kalo budget lo 1 juta, misalnya, ya nanti tindakannya porsinya ya 1 juta. Berhubung gue merasa nanggung udah jauh-jauh dan susah nyisihin waktu, ya gue pol-in aja gak pake budget. Info dari Mbak-Mbak di kliniknya sih, rangenya bisa ratusan ribu sampai 4 juta. Gue tadi abis 2,6 juta (untuk ematrix doang, di luar serum dan administrasi).

In a nutshell here’s a summary of the treatment:

Time spent: 90 minutes
Cost: 2.7 mio IDR (around 200 USD)
Level of pain: 4 out of 10
Post treatment products: Growth Factor (3 capsules)
Down Time (not yet proven): 3 days

To Sleep is To Forget

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To sleep is to forget how we can’t share a beautiful view like this.

To forget the could-haves, would-haves, and what-ifs.

To forget the sound of your voice waking me up at 3 AM to catch my morning flight.

To forget the sound of your laugh after asking me a silly question. God, I miss your laugh.

To forget the disappointment you have caused.

To forget the miscarriage of hopes and expectations.

To forget that sinking feeling in my chest.

To sleep is to forget.

Pertama Kali Ambil IELTS

Setelah postingan Cara Dapet Skor TOEFL Tinggi Tanpa Les yang gue tulis 3 tahun lalu, kali ini setelah banyak request, gue mau nulis tentang IELTS! Jadi bulan Juli lalu gue pertama kali ambil IELTS.

Why?

Salah satu sekolah yang mau gue apply untuk S2 mensyaratkan IELTS, bukan TOEFL.

Seperti biasa, gue nggak les. Dalam rangka penghematan (hahaha) dan gue pede untuk IELTS nggak les (lain cerita untuk GRE yang gue les di Pascal). Piece of cake lah ya, dengan sombongnya gue pikirkan dalam benak gue. Gue nanya temen yang pernah IELTS dan TOEFL IBT katanya sih gampangan IELTS. Jadi gue agak ngentengin sih to be honest hahaha, apa karena suasana libur Lebaran juga ya, hmm entahlah. Gue ambil IELTS sengaja abis libur Lebaran biar libur Lebaran bisa gue pake buat belajar. Kerjaan gue cukup demanding, dari pagi jam 7 gue udah nangkring di kantor sampai malam jam 8, dan gak jarang juga pas weekend kerja juga, gak cuma di Jakarta tapi keluar kota/negeri, jadi libur seminggu itu bagai oasis di padang pasir. YES A WHOLE WEEK FOR ME! Berhubung gue gak suka liburan saat public holiday karena pasti rame pisan, what better way to use a week off than to study right?

Jadi kira-kira dua minggu sebelom tes gue daftar IELTS di IDP Pondok Indah karena deket rumah. Bayarnya 2,85 juta (mahal cyin), dan gue dapet tes di Hotel Mercure TB Simatupang. Oh iya, a little note, I wasn’t aware of this when I registered there, ternyata ambil IELTS di sana cukup rempong. Untuk semua section selain Speaking dilakukan di venue Hotel Mercure, sementara untuk Speaking dilakukan di kantor IDP Pondok Indah yang di Margaguna Raya (di ruko-ruko depannya pom bensin deket PIM 1 itu). Jujur gue baru tau itu pas ditelfon petugas sebelum tes dan sempet complain juga. Karena dalam bayangan gue, dalam suasana tes kan, si peserta psychologically harus dalam keadaan tenang. Kalau harus pake pindah tempat, iya gue tau dari segi jarak dekat, tapi dari TB Simatupang itu kan lalu lintasnya padat, ya itu menambah stress juga (tidak disediakan shuttle). Terus giliran Speaking itu baru ketauan pas kita tes, di hari-H. Gue dapet giliran pertama jam 12 siang hahaha ya bagus sih, gak harus digantungin sampe sore. Tapi jadinya kelar tes yang Listening, Reading, Writing jam 11.45-an gue langsung fast and furious ke tempat tes Speaking (yang ternyata sampai sana juga nungguin panitianya tiba dari Mercure ke IDP). I think this is an important thing to consider sih, kalau gue retake, honestly, under these circumstances, akan gue pertimbangkan opsi lain yang semua section sudah secure di bawah satu atap.

Okay let’s move to independent preparation. Sama kayak TOEFL, bagi gue, buku yang cocok itu bobotnya gede banget  untuk menentukan tesnya berhasil atau nggak. Apa buku yang gue pake?

How to Master the IELTS

BUKU INI ENAK BANGET DIPAKE!

Kenapa?

Berhubung gue gak les, ya sumber terpercaya gue yang bisa nge-guide ke jalan yang benar adalah kunci jawaban! Kunci jawaban yang gak sekedar huruf jawaban tapi lengkap dengan penjelasan. This book has that, so that brings me to the conclusion that this book is awesome.

Gue menerapkan trik yang kayak toefl: latian soal terus. Tapi dalam persiapan karena suasana liburan gue sempet mood-moodan juga, jadi belajarnya sebenernya kalo diitung-itung efektifnya cuma 8-10 jam kali ya kalau diakumulasikan. Latian soal reading, latian soal listening, sama nontonin video speaking sambil fitness. Gue gak latian writing sama sekali…………which turned out to have an impact on my results. Pas hari H, esai Writing Task 2 gue gak kelar, karena salah strategi pembagian waktu (padahal di awal pengawasanya udah bilang, porsi Writing Task 2, bikin esai dengan topik, lebih gede dari Writing Task 1, ceritain isi tabel/chart/grafik tapi dalam eksekusi seperti biasa, sisi perfeksionis gue merasa WT 1-nya kurang lengkap dan gue terlalu focused on making the essay sophisticated dengan kalimat beranak pinak dan kata-kata advanced). Alhasil di Writing Task 2, gue udah sampe paragraf kesimpulan, udah memasuki kalimat kedua, eh waktunya abis. Daripada gue kehitung curang dan hasil gue gak keluar karena gue masih nulis padahal waktunya udah abis, yowis… Aku relakan!

Selebihnya untuk reading, listening, dan speaking relatively mudah sih. Kalau udah ngerasain TOEFL IBT, I bet you’ll say the same. Di IELTS gak ada section yang integrated: listening, reading, writing. Most answers are given, paling yang tricky adalah penyamaan persepsi kita dan pembuat soal. That takes practice. Untuk Listening yang tricky adalah mendengarkan logat British/Aussienya. Terus speakernya itu 1 buat rame-rame di ruangan, bukan di headset. Jadi harus fokus ekstra sih.

Speaking sih, cincailah. Banyak nonton YouTube dan santai aja. Gue pas speaking, ya kurang latian juga, jadinya gue inget banyak ‘umm’ dan ‘like’ (yeah that made me sound like a high school teenager). Oh iya, speaking di IELTS itu kan sama orang beneran ya, unlike TOEFL IBT yang kita ngomong di headset. Bagi gue sih enakan sama komputer hahaha, tapi dari segi substansi jauh lebih mudah speaking IELTS. Kayak ngobrol sama temen aja gitu. Gue pas Speaking dapet topik tentang pengalaman di kala orang lain minta maaf sama kita. EAAAAK. Speakingnya curhat. Mosok ceritain mantan, nanti keluar tes mewek-mewek pulak ye kan. Jadi ya gue karang-karang aja cerita yang acceptable untuk konteks tes dan punya ruang untuk improvisasi dan menggunakan kata-kata sophisticated.

Jadi berapa skor tes IELTS gue?

Dengan persiapan satu minggu (yang efektifnya 8-10 jam) tanpa les, gue mendapat overall band score 8.5.

Dengan rincian yang bisa dilihat di gambar di bawah. Gue gengges sama skor Writing yang 7.0 (sementara salah satu sekolah yang gue targetkan minta 7.5 di semua section….so I do have to retake the IELTS, syedih gan). But overall, gue cukup senang dengan hasil gue, cukup senang tapi belum puas.

Skor IELTS Monica

Skor IELTS Monica: Overall band score 8.5 (tapi writingnya bikin gengges, cuma 7 karena esai gue ga kelar)

Jadi sekian sharing pengalaman IELTS perdana gue, jangan malu atau ragu untuk bertanya-tanya (semoga gue bisa jawab juga haha).

On the Repit Hot Brush

After years of having long hair and holding on to the belief that it suits me best, I have finally cut my hair shorter than its usual length. After the chop came another challenge: making it look good everyday. That’s the role Repit’s hot brush plays in my life now.

It all began after meeting up with my best friend when he told me how I needed a new hairstyle. After doing a little research and noticing how going from long to short is currently the hottest hair trend, I did it! I went to my favorite hair stylist, Om Thio from my go-to salon, Irwan Team in Bintaro, and he did his magic. Voila!

After a few days of adjusting to my new hair, I discovered that my hair length didn’t go very well with my naturally wavy hair. That’s a thing I love about having long hair, at least I’ve always thought long hair requires less maintenance. That’s when I decided that I need to learn how to style my hair, but with a routine that’s quick and easy.

I went to the mall and walked directly to the hairstyling tools section. I did a little research on Youtube and I had a few brands in mind, but honestly Repit wasn’t one of them. I chatted with the store attendant and she recommended me the Repit brush. The store had 2 kinds: the 2 in 1 flat iron and brush and the hot brush. I never use flat irons because I’ve always thought that they make my hair look flat, so I ditched the 2-in-1 brush and opted for the hot brush instead. I chose the 32mm hot brush because I like large curls instead of small ones. The store attendant told me it was all the rage with beauty bloggers writing reviews on it like Andra Alodita and Lizzie Parra (of course I didn’t know that because I don’t read their blogs regularly). So while the store attendant performed trial runs on my hair, I read how positive the reviews were and boom! I walked out of the store with a Repit hot brush in my shopping bag. It cost me IDR 1.9 million (about 143 USD).

So here are some photos to give you a picture of the steps of my (now) daily hair routine.

The steps

After washing my hair using Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Shampoo, I spray heat protection product on my damp, towel dried hair. The product I use is Tresemme Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Smoothing Spray. The last thing I need is my hair to be damaged due to my new routine.

After spraying the product, I blow dry my hair until it’s dry (photo on the top left). The store attendant told me that for best results using the Repit Hot Brush is using it on dry hair, and I tried using it on 50% dry hair and the results weren’t as great. Once my hair is dry, I run my fingers through my hair and comb it (photo on the top right, before combing).

This is when the Repit hair brush comes in. If you watch videos you’ll see ladies dividing their hair into sections and clipping them. Well, I guess I’m just too lazy or in too much of a hurry to do that, so I dive right in, rolling a section at a time (photo on the bottom left). I usually start with the bottom of my hair and roll it inwards. For volume, I do the upper part of my hair last. The Repit hot brush has four temperature settings, all in degrees Celsius: 130, 150, 170, and 190. For maximum staying power, use the highest temperature. I never use the highest temperature because I’m still not comfortable using it that hot, so 150 and 170 is enough for me. Besides, my hair is already soft and the strands are thin, so experience shows that those temperatures prove to be sufficient.

So let me weigh in the pros and cons of the Repit hot brush.

Pros:
  • It saves you a lot of time. It only takes 2 minutes to heat. No need to go to the salon for a blow out!
  • It’s very easy to use. You are in full control of the movement of the brush.
  • The bristles are not heat conductors, so you can actually touch them when you use the brush.
Cons:
  • Honestly, it is pricey for a brush, right? But don’t worry, many stores have 0% credit card installment programs.
  • For a frequent traveller like myself, it doesn’t come in a travel friendly size. It’s pretty big to put in a suitcase/travel bag.

But all in all, it’s 4.5 of 5 to me (the non-travel friendly size was a significant let down). So after using the brush in all parts of my hair, voila!

Repit Review Monicantik_2

Not bad, right?

Untuk Kamu yang Aku Tinggal dengan Diam-Diam

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Matthias Church, Budapest, 2015

It’s strange how a song,  a scent, a face of a stranger, or a nuance can sound an alarm in your brain to revisit a certain memory. It reminds of you of an occurrence you have kept hidden for a while, tucked under layers of distractions. In my case it’s the following lyrics of a new single released by one of my favorite Indonesian musicians: “Izinkan aku pergi dulu, yang berubah hanya tak lagi ku milikmu.” Listening to the whole song from start to finish, it’s obvious how I’d strongly relate to it. And you, kamu yang aku tinggal dengan diam-diam, mungkin merasa hal yang sama ketika mendengar lagu itu, meski dengan perspektif berbeda, di lagu itu aku menjadi aku, dan kamu menjadi kau. Ironically, though this memory was evoked by this song, Pamit which literally translates to saying goodbye, that is exactly what I didn’t do. Aku tinggalkan kamu dengan diam-diam, which happens to be the exact opposite of pamit.

“Sudah coba berbagai cara agar kita tetap bersama.
Yang tersisa dari kisah ini hanya kau takut kuhilang.
Perdebatan apapun menuju kata pisah.” – Tulus 

Our bond was like cancerous cells, spreading to all parts of the body. Leaving it weak and in pain. It made me grow bitter instead of grow better. It was a gas chamber and I was gasping for air.

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.

I did what was necessary.

Untuk kamu yang aku tinggal dengan diam-diam, what I did was an attempt to save myself. Bear in mind that we, both you and I, deserve to be happy. Why hold on to something that is not worth holding on to?

So you may or may not be reading this, forgive me for saying goodbye this way. Forgive me for vanishing and keeping silent all this time, leaving you wondering what you did wrong (and if you’re still wondering, well..I don’t know what else to say). Well honey, you did me wrong. Big time. But I’m not writing this to rant on how much you hurt me and the permanent scars I have because of you. We have had enough fights that ended in tears and bitterness.

So, I am writing this as an effort to detach, to let go. I am writing this as a part of my struggle to forgive you. I am writing this to confront that struggle. To confront that it is not something that happens over night. Has it been weeks? Months? Nonetheless, I owe it to myself to do so.

We met for a reason, either you’re a blessing or a lesson.

Between those two, I guess it’s pretty clear which fits our scenario. I hope life treats you kind. You will always be in my prayers.

On Being a Girl With a Guy Best Friend

A guy and a girl can be best friends without falling for each other. But that does not mean that feelings won’t surface, they can and they probably will. If they don’t good, but if they do…well it’s entirely your choice on how to react to it and which you want to save: your feelings or the friendship.

new girl

But first let me start with the perks of being a girl with a guy best friend:

1. He can help you decode things guy say.

A guy best friend can be really handy when you don’t know how to respond the potential SO, especially if you’re clueless about guys. Guy A texted me this, what am I supposed to say, or Guy B only asks me out every few weeks, should I text him first, and the list goes on. This works the other way around too, if he wants to decode what girls say, you better be ready to decipher all of that.

2. You’ll always have a wingman for situations that require having a wingman.

Being his plus one to a wedding or a function is something you gotta be prepared for, and vice versa. Even if it’s just casual like trying out that new gelato shop, or seeing that new movie, he’ll be the wingman.

3. You always have a buddy to share everything, from the good to the ugly.

From ugly revisits to bad memories with your ex-boyfriend, to sharing dirty jokes, to funny obese Disney Princess cartoons,  and serious career or educational topics, he’s always on the other line. It even feels weird that a day goes by without texting each other.

4. He’s ready to give you pragmatic feedback you need but don’t want to hear.

He’s a guy. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus right? There’s no sugar coating. Everything is served raw and practical. He’s gonna be the one who’s gonna tell you that you need to work out or watch what you eat. You tell each other that because no feelings would be hurt.

Those are the perks. What are the things that can be tricky? Dodging the ‘Are you dating?’ or occasional teasing/assumptions made by your friends/family. Your cousin thinks you’re dating, his mother thinks you’re dating. You have to be careful to not give the impression that you’re dating, but at the same time you spend a lot of time together. So..yes that can be tricky.

Oh and like I mentioned at the top, it is possible for feelings to surface. But since you’re best friends, you can talk about it, and it’s up to you, if you both want to transform it into a relationship and it may work, well why not. But if it doesn’t look that it will be successful, and you want to save the friendship instead, well just acknowledge the elephant in the room, let the feelings fade away, and be best friends again! In my case, we talked about feelings in retrospect, so we quickly brushed them off.  The reality is,  just because he’s your guy best friend, it does not necessary mean he is SO material. If you’re a sensitive and naturally caring person like me, you have to constantly remind yourself not to be carried away by the comfort of the friendship.

Him: There was a time I was attracted to you.
Me: Hahahahaa

A few moments later..

Me: Wait why?
Him: I think it’s a combination of your curves, wide knowledge, nice accent, and friendly trait.
Me: Guess what. there was a time I was attracted to you once as well. But…well I didn’t want to mess things up.
Him: What…..what if it was at the same time.
Me: Haha no I don’t think so.

So to sum up, having a guy best friend is a great thing that I cherish in my life! I also cherish my female best friends, there are gaps that can only be filled by being best friends with a girl. A thing to remember is that, it doesn’t work for everyone, maintaining one requires self control, but at the end of the day if you fight the good fight, you may reap the results.

My Daily Makeup Routine

Gue sehari-hari make makeup, bukan tipe yang polosan gitu kemana-mana. Apa aja produk yang gue pakai sehari-hari? Kurang lebih kayak di bawah:

My day to day makeup kit!

My day to day makeup kit!

Pertama: Muka

Buat muka tricky: minyakan, pori-pori besar, dan bekas jerawat (dan rawan jerawatan) harus ekstra hati-hati milih makeup buat muka. Harus oil free tentunya, kalau aman untuk kulit sensitif lebih bagus lagi. Untuk sehari-hari gue gak suka terlalu berat pakai foundation. Begitu abis mandi dan cuci muka, gue pakai Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion. Gue beli ini di Changi abis business trip, waktu itu dirayu Mbak-Mbaknya bisa ngurangin merah-merah jerawat dan pori-pori tersamarkan. Setelah gue coba bener loh, jerawat juga pada kempes dalam 1-2 hari. Dipakainya pagi dan malam. Nah setelah pakai itu, gue timpa lagi dengan Sunblock dari dr. Rani (not pictured). Nah gue diemin beberapa menit sambil pakai baju, dan siap-siap yang lain. Nah abis itu, gue pake Benefit Porefessional, dan dilanjutin sama NYX Pore Filler. Ini buat menyamarkan bekas jerawat dan pori-pori membesar. Benefit Porefessional ini sebenernya agak pricey ya (bulan Februari ’16 gue beli 850 ribu) ketimbang NYX Pore Filler, tapi tahan lama banget! Gue beli Maret 2014, masih ada sampai sekarang, cengli ye. Nah abis pakai primer, gue biasanya pakai bedak tabur dari dr. Rani (again, not pictured). Gue sehari-hari gak make blush on karena…takut keliatan menor sih dan pipi gue kadang udah pink aja gitu aneh emang.

Kedua: Mata

Alis!! Gue udah make alis sebelom alis Nike ngehits sekarang-sekarang ini. Haha. Gue pernah bereksperimen pake Elf/Anastasia dan tetep aja enakan pake yang pensil/krayon gitu. Karena udah biasa sehari-hari ngalis, kalo gue gak ngalis keliatan beda banget kalo kata orang-orang~ Nah abis ngalis, gue lanjut ke make eyeshadow, dengan terlebih dahulu memakai Eyeshadow Primer NYX. Waktu itu pas lagi di Centro sama Mbak-Mbaknya ditunjukin bedanya make primer sama gak make primer, dan ternyata signifikan loh, kalo make primer warnanya lebih ‘keluar’. Abis pake primer, make eyeshadow, biasanya gak pake teknik smokey eye atau semacemnya. Gue pilih aja satu warna, biasanya coklat aja. Lagipula gue gak selalu pakai eyeshadow (kadang mager), kadang diskip langsung ke eyeliner aja. Gue udah bereksperimen pake eyeliner: Stila, Benefit, Revlon dan tetep aja semuanya beleber! Yang tahan dan heavy duty buat kelopak gue yang berminyak hanya eyeliner MAC. Sehari-hari biasanya gue cat eye aja, tapi gak lebay, enough to make my eyes pop. Nah step selanjutnya juga optional, yaitu Mascara! Karena gue pakai kacamata, gue kadang merasa make maskara dan nggak make gak terlalu keliatan bedanya. Tapi kalo lagi pengen make mascara, gue pake, dengan menjepit bulu mata terlebih dahulu~ Bagi gue, Mascara yang heavy duty dan tidak (cepet) beleber adalah Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara. Tapi kalo gue makenya hari kerja yang panjang, apalagi perjalanan dinas dengan ketiduran di pesawat, suka beleber. Yak gue masih mencari maskara yang (semakin) heavy duty. Dannn sebenernya gue lebih suka lash extensions sih daripada make mascara, tapi susah nyari waktu buat lash extensions haha.

((UPDATE SEDIKIT ~ GUE ABIS LASH EXTENSIONS LOH))

Jadi Jumat tanggal 19 Februari kemaren gue nyempetin diri pulang kantor buat lash extensions di langganan gue buat hair removal, Tokyo Beauty Laboratory di Epicentrum. Lagi ada promo juga, diskon 20% dari harga normal 400 ribu untuk 80 helai, jadi 320 ribu. Kan mayan ye. Kira-kira begini hasilnya:

After getting lash extensions~

After getting lash extensions~

Gue seneng make lash extensions karena sampai sekarang gue gak bisa-bisa masang bulmat palsu. Udah gitu, jadi simpel, gue gak usah pake mascara/eyeliner lagi buat bikin mata pop out😉 Yah bisa sih kalo mau, tapi bagi gue begini saja sudah cukup hehehe.

Ketiga: Bibir

Dengan bibir yang cenderung kering, gue harus hati-hati milih produk bibir. Setelah bereksperimen, yang cocok banget sejauh ini lipstick Bobbi Brown (shade: Rose) sama Girlactik (Allure dan Flirtatious). Kalau Bobbi Brown rasanya lebih melembabkan ketimbang Girlactik. Jadi kalau gue merasa bibir gue rada kering, gue makenya Bobbi Brown. On the other hand untuk tahan lama, Girlacktick juara banget, plus dia tidak membuat kering, tapi tidak membuat lembab juga sih. Gue udah nyoba NYX SMLC gak cocok dan bikin kering, dan Bourjouis yang Rouge Velvet baunya aneh banget gak tahan! Jadi untuk beberapa bulan terakhir Bobbi Brown dan Girlactik merupakan pilihan utama gue untuk urusan perbibiran.

Jadi sekian rutin makeup gue…simpel kaaan, gue juga sudah semakin mahir makeup-an di mobil, tentu dengan memanfaatkan macet dan lampu merah haha. Tentu saja setelah makeupan, buat memaintain makeup di muka, senjata utama gue melawan minyak adalah Face Paper. Waktu itu pas lagi liat-liat di Guardian, gue lihat Face Paper Clean and Clear diskon jadi setengah harga. Alhasil gue borong sampe abis. Kapan lagi Face Paper yang biasanya 26-28 ribu jadi 14 ribu perak haha. Punya problem skin memang tricky untuk nyari makeup yang pas, gak bikin jerawatan, dan gak beleber.  Semoga post gue membantu membypass trial and error kalian yaa~

Before Makeup - After Makeup

Before Makeup – After Makeup

Falling Asleep Without Trying

A pic I took when I couldn't sleep

A pic I took last month  when I couldn’t sleep. I have a bad habit of leaving the TV on all night when I’m sleeping alone in a hotel room. Sorry energy police.

Don’t you love it when you lay down and then the next thing you know you open your eyes, you’re delirious, not knowing what time it is. You check your phone and your memory comes back to you. It’s 4:32 AM, it’s a Saturday and congratulations, you managed to get some sleep without even trying! Perhaps it’s the adult version of when you were a kid and watching TV in the living room, and the next thing you know you open your eyes and you’re in bed. You wonder how you got there, the last thing you remember is watching a scene in that weird TV show that you thought would be good.

So how did you fall asleep without trying? Maybe it’s the strenuous work these past days, or is it the emotional baggage you carry around with you everywhere? Or maybe the glasses of wine you had at dinner? Or the flu pills you took earlier because of the cold you caught from the chilly air in the plane? Or the anxiety you carry around about work, about the future? Or is it the past haunting you? The dark memories that you visit from time to time that still bring tears to your eyes. The wounds that haven’t healed? Like when you were a kid, when you got a scab and had to cover it with a band aid, you couldn’t help taking a peek now and then to check if it’s covered with new skin or not.

Whatever it is, for whatever reason, it feels so nice to fall asleep without trying. To drift off, without letting your mind be carried away with thoughts. To sleep for 6-7 hours straight, without waking up every 2 hours for no reason.