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    Beauty

    My Skincare Routine – Updated Minimalist Version

    I’ve actually posted a blogpost on my skincare routine and the products that I used before (click here to read). However, that post was posted long time ago (I think like 2-3 years ago). And that was when I was in Korean skincare frenzy!

    And quite recently, there were a few friends commented on how good my skin looks, the glow and all. They even asked me about my skincare routine and the products that I am currently using. Hence, this post!

    Comparing my old and current skincare routine, I haven’t been using many Korean skincare products except for Korean sheet mask. I still love Korean skincare products, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that my preference has become more mature as I’ve become more knowledgeable in the active ingredients that my skin needs. Even my current skincare routine has become even more simpler and minimal. My old routine have a total of 8 steps! Although I have a more simplified skincare routine now but I have incorporated products with stronger ingredients. Skincare products that I am going to mention in this post are good quality, from well known brands but most importantly AFFORDABLE!

    So without further a due, let’s get into my updated minimal skincare routine and the products!

    Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

    I’m currently using this product as cleanser and I honestly feel just meh okay about it. I mean it does what it supposed to with the whole cleansing thing but it doesn’t spark joy. I’m not thoroughly impressed by this cleanser. Once it finishes, hasta la vista baby and on to a different product. Thank you, next! I am still in the search for my holy grail cleanser so maybe if you have any recommendation, do comment down below!
    I’m still using my Biore Oil Cleanser for removing makeup and I still have like half a bottle of it! Totally worth of my money.

    Bioderma Hydrabio Essence Lotion

    Ever since Sis Pah of @beautybypapot raved on how much she LOVES this product, I gotta have it! So I bought it when it was on sale at Watson for RM62.90. As of now, I have been using it for almost a month. Words cannot describe on how much I love it and I really feel that I love this even more than the Hada Labo ones!

    One of the reasons I love the Bioderma Essence Lotion is the consistency. It is a lot thinner compared to the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion. Because of that, I feel that the product could penetrate easily into my skin. And for this Bioderma Hydrabio Essence Lotion, I only splash twice unto my palm and apply it to my whole my face. I love how hydrating, totally fresh and bouncy my skin feels after applying this toner. However, it has a little fragrance in it but nothing bad happened to my skin. Instead, my skin feels awesome!

    If your skin couldn’t tolerate Hyaluronic Acid, you can definitely give this toner a go as this is a very hydrating toner! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!

    Retistar Retinol Serum from Garden of Wisdom

    I have incorporated Retinol into my skincare routine, like finally! I always wanted to fight wrinkles, especially now that I’m turning 30 this year. So, hello Retinol! Retinol is referred to the only proven ingredient for anti-ageing that you can even bet your money on! This ingredient exfoliates, aid in the production of collagen and fighting the environment radicals. Really is an ah-may-zing ingredient to be applied to your skin!

    The price for this product is RM52 for 30ml and I know the price is a little steep for such a small amount. But let me tell you, this serum is not to be applied daily. So it can definitely last you for a very long time!

    So I applied this every Monday and Thursday and I mix it with my facial oil. I don’t apply it neat to avoid Retinol irritation as I’m still trying to make my skin to get used to it. It has only been for 3 weeks (total 6 times) that I’ve used it and so far so good. Only apply it at night and never had any discomfort nor irritation! However, Retinol don’t work as equally with everyone. You should definitely avoid it if you have rosacea, eczema or psoriasis on your face or it can make them even more inflamed.

    Lactic Acid 5% Serum from Garden of Wisdom

    I’ve always love my The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% and now that I’ve moved on from the brand, I need to find a substitute. So I decided that I’d try one from the Garden of Wisdom cos the price is almost similar. Also because I just can’t live without AHA. I’ve been using this almost everyday for the last 3 weeks.

    I still prefer The Ordinary’s because of the fresh face feeling after applying it. Whereas the GOW’s one doesn’t have the same after-effect. Probably because I have downgraded the lactic acid’s percentage that I’ve used to. Same with Retistar, I only use this at night!

    I think I will try a stronger AHA next time, which is the Glycolic acid and I think my skin is ready for it.

    Bio-Essence Bio-Hydra Jeju Marine Algae Aqua Moisturizing Gel

    I’m always drawn to skincare products that has the word ‘Hydra’ on it! I just loveeee to hydrate my skin because of my oily skin. It contains Niacinamide too and I’m sold! Bought it as Watson for RM34.90, which I think is affordable.

    Been using this for almost 2 months and I don’t think I would repurchase this again because of the same reason as the Cetaphil cleanser. So if you have any recommendation on gel moisturizer for oily skin, do comment down below!

    Tamanu Oil

    Another thing that I love to apply on my skin, facial oils! Got this also from @beautybypapot and she uses this every day, AM and PM. This oil has a funky smell and even funkier color too. I can’t explain what the smell is like but the color is very dark grey-ish! It looks like drain water, LOL! After applying it, I just love how glowy my skin is and it’s extra bouncy! Just like sis Papot, I also apply this daily, AM & PM.

    If I were to choose my fave products among all, I would have to choose the Bioderma Hydrabio Essence Lotion cos it’s just the best! Like seriously, you all really need to try that product out!

    That’s all for today’s long ass post. If you have any questions on incorporating stronger skincare product, just comment down below and I will try to give you recommendations.

    See you next post and au revoir,

    Jess

    Disclaimer: All of the products that I’ve mentioned above are NOT sponsored. Hence, these are all my honest review.

    Personal

    Update on Life and Wedding Prep

    Planning journal

    Hey ho, I have so many things to update! It has been the longest time since I left this platform of mine, 6 months to be exact! It really felt like it hasn’t been that long but time flies by so quickly, right? Just so you know that I’m back to blogging again!

    I’ve been wanting to share some updates on life and also a quick round up on the wedding tings! So sit back and relax!

    In the life department

    Well not much has changed except for I’ve been really focusing on myself and my emotional state. One of my main goals this year is to not bring home anything related to work. I’ve even decided that I won’t be replying to my students’ texts or Whatsapp messages after working hours. Because of that, I can really feel how much my mental and emotional state have improved. I don’t worry nor think about work that much at home anymore and I really value my time after work even more cos I know I really deserve to have a good rest.

    Besides that, I’ve gone back to reading again. Have you ever felt that kind of longing in your heart of the things that you used to do? Well for me, it’s reading. I was cleaning my bookshelf the other day and I saw the book gifted by Clarence for my 28th birthday. It was actually his first birthday gift to me when we started dating. It got me teary a little a bit because I know that I’ve been abandoning his gift. The book is by Haruki Murakami “Absolutely on Music” and I still have so many Haruki Murakami books left to finish reading. Not forgetting my other novels too! Hence, I will try my best to finish some by this year!

    Now, let’s move on to the wedding prep cos I know this is the part where all of you have been waiting for!

    Wedding related

    Saved the date

    I’d say that almost 70% of the wedding checklist have been crossed out. The wedding date has been decided which is going to be a day before my birthday. Coincidence? Maybe but I’d like to think so cos it was the only date available in July where KDCA hall is available and it’s going to be easy for Clarence to remember our wedding anniversary! Even my dad said that the date was perfect!

    Reception venue and church

    I have so many relatives from my mom’s and dad’s side and they have lots of friends too. Not forgetting my friends so I need a big ass hall to accommodate the largeness of a typical Kadazan wedding. Therefore, we have secured the KDCA hall for the reception. Since KDCA hall is very high in demand for wedding reception venue, we went straight to KDCA right after my engagement last year in May to book and secure the date. So to the future brides out there, if you are planning to have your reception in KDCA, please do your booking as soon as possible, like a year in advance!

    Both Clarence and I are both devoted Catholics. So it is without a doubt that we want to have our full Holy Matrimony mass. We have secured St. Michael Church Penampang because my parents got married there. And for that reason, it has been a dream of mine to get married there since I was young. Just like Jamie wanted to get married to Landon in the church where her parents got married in the movie ‘A Walk To Remember’.

    In order to get the full Holy Matrimony mass, we’ve gone through the Pre-Marriage Course and of course the interview session with the Priest. There’s a ‘4 months wait period’ for St. Michael Church after securing the date and interview session with the Priest. And I think this is because the church would like to post the wedding announcement on the notice board and to wait for any respond from the public if there is any reason why we can’t have the full mass or something like that. Yes, Catholic weddings can be this complicated but that’s how it is, I guess.

    Caterer

    So we have secured our caterer and we’ve decided that we won’t be serving pork for our reception so that there will be no segregation when it comes to food for our Non-Muslim and Muslim attendees. Our current number of invited guests has almost reached 1k so we are really happy with the price that was offered to us by the caterer. The food will still be Chinese Style cos everybody likes that!

    Wedding decorator

    My main priority for the wedding decorator is to make sure that they can achieve the aesthetic element that I want and I hope the wedding decorator can do that. I’ve become one of the brides that keep sending pictures of inspiration and I don’t care if they got annoyed!

    Pre-wedding photoshoot

    That was actually one of the first few things that I’ve checked from the wedding list cos I really want to use my pre-wedding picture to be on my wedding card. During the photoshoot, it was actually an eye opener that damn, I’m getting married!

    Makeup and Hair

    So I’ve booked a MUAH for myself on the wedding day and not forgetting my entourage. The price for the whole airbrush makeup and hair is really well priced compared to other well-known MUAHs. And I believe the MUAH that I’ve chosen is very talented and most importantly can totally achieve the Wedding Glam Look that I want. With all the dramatic eye, contour and of course red lips!

    Wedding invitation cards

    This is the latest thing that I’ve checked off from the wedding list! The wedding invitation cards are now being printed and I just cannot wait to have them done! As of now, I’m typing all the names that I would like to invite to the wedding and just print it out on a sticker paper. Then I can just cut them into individual pieces and stick the name onto the card. This is to avoid bad handwriting, mistakes and typos that will lead to wastage of cards.

    Emcee, karaoke and sound system

    This has also been checked off from the wedding list and I’m very fortunate that I have my uncles that can do this for us. We are really thankful that we were given a family price for this too! The emcee is also going to be a family member who knows me well.

    Gong rentals and players

    It won’t be a Kadazan wedding without magagung! Magagung is the sound of gongs being played to signify that there is wedding going on and also to invite people to dance to the sound. Again, the magagung team is also from my relatives!

    Things that needs to be done

    There are still a lot of things to be done but thankfully I would consider these things a little bit easier to get them checked off.

    1. Get my bridesmaids dresses made. For this one, I have bought the clothes and will passed them to my bridesmaids once arrived from Johor.
    2. To prepare my wedding program and tasklist. I haven’t done this and I really need some guidance. If you are willing to share your wedding program and tasklist with me, please do so by emailing it to me at jess@jesssjustine.com
    3. Getting the flowegirl dresses, bow ties and suspenders for my page boys.
    4. Doorgifts are almost done, I just need to wait for my doorgift stickers to be printed.
    5. To finalizing my wedding playlist! Muy importante and I’m still adding up songs for dancing! So many songs that everybody can get down and get jiggy with me.
    6. Wedding performance. My cousin and I have completed the choreography. All we have to do is to fine tune everything.
    7. Wedding day dress and Clarence’s coat. Well this has been set that we’ll be trying it out in June!

    Okay I think that’s all that I need to update! Thank you so much for reading this whole post if you made it till this far! I hope you all have a good weekend and to all the future brides out there, we can do this!!

    Au revoir,

    Jess

    Lifestyle

    Best Options for A Gorgeous Floral Arrangements : A Better Florist Malaysia

    When thinking of a flower shop, the first thing that comes to your mind must be gorgeous floral arrangements and special occasions. There’s so many flower shops in Malaysia, all offering a little piece of beauty for their customers, but A Better Florist is an innovation in the florist industry that took a different approach and it’s working. While you may think that a florist can’t offer anything different, A Better Florist proves us otherwise.

    A Better Florist

    A Better Florist became famous as a florist who by word of mouth has the best flowers in Singapore. It’s obvious that their visual presentation of everything from hampers to grand opening flowers is different. While words may not be the best way to describe their sense for design, the photos on their online shop speak for themselves. They are equally good at creating something different as they are in giving their customers options. It’s easy to shop, as you can find everything from funeral flowers to fruit baskets all in the same place. The ease of shopping is due to their simple website, which makes it easy for everyone to shop, even if you’re not that into online shopping. While online shopping isn’t revolutionary, compared to a multitude of other florists who offer an online shop, A Better Florist does such a great job of making everything presentable and easy to find.

     

    Whether we’re talking about their JB florist, the Ipoh flower delivery, the Penang flower delivery or the Kuala Lumpur delivery, they have the same business concept and philosophy, so you will always get the same service. Wherever you are they offer predesigned flowers and gifts. Wherever you are you can access their online shop. Also, wherever you happen to be, you can take advantage of their incredible flower delivery.

    What’s so amazing about this flower delivery? While it may seem impossible to achieve a same day flower delivery, or an express flower delivery within just 90 minutes, A Better Florist does it all the time. It makes your life so much easier, as they do this on the daily basis, and there are no special conditions you have to fulfill to get this kind of a treatment. They know that their customers need a reliable delivery, which is why they take pride in being the only florist in Malaysia that has a free same day delivery.

    Whether you need a baby hamper, or a get well soon hamper, or any type of flowers in Malaysia, A Better Florist will offer a completely different experience, and it’s nothing less than perfection. You can also find A Better Florist as a florist in Hong Kong, where they known for being the best HK florist, and as an UAE flower delivery. Wherever you are, try them out.

    Lifestyle

    Favourite Podcasts that I’m listening to

    My Favourite Podcasts

    I know podcasts have been around for so long but I just started to listen to them recently. And your girl here is totally hooked! I find podcasts are very informative and I regularly turn to podcast for fresh ideas or just to wind down. I’ve been getting really into podcasts lately and always have one playing when I’m in the car, while I was getting ready in the morning or even going to bed. It’s nice to have something to listen to besides music sometimes.

    There are so many podcasts that I’ve listened to and currently listening. So I’ve decided to share some of my personal favourite podcasts that you may like to have a listen.

     

    Side note: All of these podcasts can be found on both Spotify and Apple Podcast.

     

    1. Straight and Curly

    Straight and Curly Podcast

    Source: Google

    These 2 Aussie ladies have been ‘podcasting’ for over than 2 years and I get it why. People love them and so do I. Their podcasts are for people who are obsessed with self-improvement. Carly and Kelly also share about life hack every week. All of their podcast are worth to listen as they talk about a variety of topics from healthy lifestyle, productivity, relationships. Well simply everything! Their contents are very easy to understand despite both of them have really deep Aussie accent. I enjoy listening to them talking! It feels like you are there, hanging out with them.

    My fave podcasts from Straight and Curly are about blogging, life detoxes that we should at least try, fasting vs calorie counting for losing weight but other podcasts are awesome too!

    2. The Heart of It with Estée Lalonde

    The Heart of It with Estee Lalonde

    Source: Google

    Okay this girl, I mean my girl Estée, I LOVE HER! I’m such a huge fan of her! It’s her vibe, her bright personality and her wide smile that made me fall in love with her at the first place. I can say that she is the only Youtuber and fellow Blogger that I can totally relate to! When I found out that she released a podcast series last year, I had to listen and ‘The Heart of It with Estée Lalonde’ is actually her 1st podcast. She talks about various topics that we all girls would love such as makeup, travel, mother. There are only 8 series in this podcast and it you want to listen more of her (she sounds so amazing!), you can also listen to her 2nd podcast ‘On the Line with Estée Lalonde‘.

    3. Tokyo Tales – The Simon and Martina 

    Tokyo Tales: Simon and Martina

    Source: Spotify

    I actually knew them as a married couple Youtubers that talks about their lives in Korea. Now that they have moved to Japan, they still vlog about it but they have made podcast talking about the quirky tales of Tokyo. I always love their chemistry together and listening to them will make you agree with me. The reason why I am so into Japan lately is because my fiancé and I have this super fascination on Japan and we are planning for our honeymoon to Japan! Listening to this podcast made me imagine as if I’m in Tokyo. This to me is a light content and I usually listen to this when I’m about to go to sleep.

    4. Abroad in Japan

    Abroad in Japan Podcast

    Source: Google

    Another Japan related podcast! I’m just the kind of person that are just loyal to one particular thing until I get bored about it. I knew the host of this podcast, Chris Broad through his Youtube channel with the same name ‘Abroad in Japan’. He is assisted by a broadcaster/friend, Pete Donaldson. For me, this podcast is a little ‘educational’ compared to ‘Tokyo Tales’ as Chris talks about topics on the Do’s and Don’ts in Japan, 12 Amazing Facts about Japan, Japan’s love hotel ahem. Yes, it is educational but absolutely not in a boring way at all. Even the topics covered are interesting ones too, unlike the typical travel guides that we always reach for when we are planning for a travel.

     

    So there you have it, my favourite podcasts! To those who have never listen to any podcast, please go have a listen to any of my favourites or just any podcast. Who knows you might be a podcast lover like me? And those who loves podcasts, please share with me your favourites and suggestions cos I would love to listen to them!

    Thank you for reading and until next post, Jess x

    Personal, Relationship

    Guide to Surviving Long Distance Relationship

    Long distance relationship is hard! I admit that it is hard to be apart with your loved ones for weeks. Years may be even more painful! My previous relationship was a long distance. I guess that it was hard for my ex to keep it going and that’s probably why he cheated. And after the toxic relationship ended, I promised myself that I will not be interested to be in a long distance relationship again. But I guess God works in mysterious ways. He insisted me to be in a long distance relationship again this time around. Thankfully, it works this time!

    I’ve been in a long distance relationship with Clarence, my fiancé for over a year now. For me, the best possible way that I can describe it is that it’s constantly about counting down to the time. It’s either we are counting down the time on when we will meet or how many time do we have left being together. Honestly, it really can mess with my brain if I think about it too often.

    Therefore, I’m sharing 5 tips on surviving the hardships of being away with your loved ones. Cos you girl has been there, done that!

    The waiting game is NEVER easy

    This is the most important part, understanding the fact that it will never be easy to wait for the moment that both of you to be together again. There will be times that the feeling of missing your partner will be so intense that it can make you cry. It’s definitely normal to cry, you are human being with feelings.

    But fret not, it’s not always going to be hard, I can assure you that. There will be a time that both of you are busy with work and both have hectic schedules. Please occupy your time with other things. Go try out new things, do your laundry or just make yourself busy. It’s good so that you won’t feel how slow the time goes by if it’s a far long wait till that day arrives.

    Communication is KEY

    No matter how busy both of you are, always have time to communicate with each other. Clarence and I are always busy with our day job but we always spare some time to text each other in the morning. We even remind each other every day to have our lunch while both of us at work. And at the end of the day if both of us haven’t fall asleep, we would call each other just to have a chat on how our day was. We normally chat about the small things until both of us fall asleep with our phones still on our ears.

    Set the date

    Setting a precise time to meet each other is vital too. When both of you have decided on a date or time to meet, you will automatically feel the eagerness and the excitement! It’s countdown time! You will have this sense of looking forward to the day that both of you will reunite. In our case, we don’t always plan things out like what are we going to do but we will always plan when will we meet.

    Effort + compromise = love

    I believe in that equation. Both you and your partner need to put in the effort to make long distance relationship works. Just do whatever it takes to help both of you not to feel the distance so much. Both must also add in fair amount of effort. Even if both of you have to tighten your budget so that you can save a little more to travel to meet your partner, just do it! You will definitely feel soo worth it when the two of you are finally together because you know efforts come from both sides.

    Same goes to compromise. When it comes to distance, it’s always the case that either you or your partner have to travel far just so you two can be together. Most of the time, Clarence will be the one who drive 2 hours all the way from Beaufort just to see me in Kota Kinabalu. To compromise, there will be time that I will be the one who drive for 2 hours to see him in Beaufort. And I never let Clarence to pay everything when we go on dates. We have this mutual understanding that we will take turns in paying.

    Our partner has a life too, you know

    I consider myself a very clingy person. Although that I am, I would totally understand if Clarence has to do things or he’s preoccupied that he couldn’t text me. I know that Clarence has his own life and responsibilities prior having me in his life. As long as he would let me know that he won’t be available or he’s busy so that I won’t be worrying about his well-being too much. Cos I tend to overthink and I’ll get super paranoid. We also have to do our part in informing our partner too.

    Again, to be in a long distance relationship is a hard work and it’s not for everyone.

    To those who are still thinking about wanting to be in a long distance relationship, please think before committing. Please think whether you are the type person who can stand to be away from your partner.

    And to those who are already in one, persevere and be strong. It is tough to love someone from a distance but when both of you are together, everything will taste even better. Distance between you and your partner can make you fonder of the time you spend together, but truthfully being present will give your relationship a strength you never knew existed. If your love is established on a strong ground, then the absence between both of you will only fire up to a greater love. It takes depth, courage, and consistency to maintain a resilient long distance relationship.

    “Distance means so little when that person means so much.”

    Until next post, Jess x