Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To celebrate mothers all around the world, the Australian Women's Weekly published a wonderful article (among many other wonderful articles) on 'the silliest advice she gave to you'.

As five local celebrities recount the silliest advice their mothers have given them (such as how Vegemite can cure a cold sore, toothpaste heals pimples, rubbing Vicks on your feet to rid colds), I just had to smile as I recall the silliest advice my mom has given me!

Silly advice no.1: If you want a sharp, pretty nose, pull it!
Everyday, as often as you can. I never was a believer of this, but looking at my younger sister's nose and remembering how often she would pinch at the bridge I think I'm beginning to see the effects. Japanese devices that claim to 'sharpen' the nose by gently squeezing it between two pads may have stemmed from this Asian belief. Whatever it is, I regret not trying this out because I've got my nose from my dad and let's just say I would have pulled and pinched if I thought it would make a difference!

Silly advice no.2: All you really need is one moisturiser.
Well, she doesn't explicitly say this but one dinner my elder sister and I were just examining her face, talking amongst ourselves how Mom never seems to age. At 54, she's got amazingly young skin while at 23 (in two weeks' time!) I'm using anti-aging facial wash, toner and moisturiser but still bemoaning the fine lines that seem to have cosily settled around my eyes. We ask her what's her secret and she shrugs and says 'Hazeline Snow!' I swear, it is the only product she ever uses! And even though she uses regular soap to wash her face (harsh effects and all!) her skin is tighter, fairer, and more smooth than either of my sisters! Well then, who needs Olay when you can achieve the same results with this cheap and simple product?

Silly advice no.3: Eat more ice-cream to get your calcium!
I have never liked milk except when it is used in desserts, or with my morning Coco Pops. So ever since I've started working in an ice-cream shop, my mom has told me to eat more ice-cream since it's got milk in it. While I readily took to this advice, it was my younger sister who rolled her eyes at Mom and highlighted that yes, it's got calcium but along with it are probably ten other things I don't need in my body! Two years on, I'm still eating an ice-cream every shift but I try to be more wary of other things I consume, too.

What's the weirdest advice your mom has given you?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Making the transition from long to short

I'm talking about hair length of course. :)

Whenever I look at ladies sporting short, funky hairstyles, I always thought 'Hmm I could be one of them too!'  And after years of deliberating and imagining what I would look like in a short 'do, I finally decided to snip off my long locks for a much shorter and lighter style. It wasn't easy, this transition. In fact, it was actually really quite daunting. You see, I have always worn my hair long and straight. Bad experience with shorter styles when I was younger had me avoid short hair like a plague. And you know what they say about your hair being your crowning glory and all.

My transition from long to short hair took about six months and six haircuts - my most recent hair cut being two weeks ago. And while I am still trying to accept looking like a prepubescent boy, I quite like my hair short because it's just so much easier to deal with and not to mention easier on the wallet as I don't have to keep restocking my shampoo anymore!

One of my university mates actually asked me when we all met in class after our summer breaks, 'Weren't you scared?' I just looked at her, laughed and answered 'As hell!'

Let me just paint a clearer picture for you - of ten years back when I had a big, fluffy bush for hair. Before I discovered the magical hair-tamer that is rebonding (a hair straightening technique that breaks up the bonds in the hair follicle and then iron them out to smooth each strand), my hair was constantly tied tightly in a (very messy) ponytail. I never let it down for fear of looking like a lion. Combing my hair was a painful task - literally - as the bristles in my brush get constantly tangled in my mane. 

This all changed when I finally decided to spend my savings on a much needed salon visit. My hair is so thick that right up till now, I would need two hair stylists to deal with each half of my head. My first rebonding session took about five hours and a very sore butt. I was amazed at what the iron can do! For the very first time I could run my fingers through my hair without getting caught in a tangled mess!

Since then it became an annual routine to get my hair straightened as I didn't want to have to deal with having a mop head anymore.

Last year, I finally got bored of having long, straight hair. I desperately wanted a drastic change. The decision was either to have it permed or to have it cut real short. No prize for guessing which I decided to go for.

The first cut I had, I decided to stay safe and went for a medium length. It was hilarious when my stylist held up my long ponytail. Hilarious and a bit frightening. I remember holding my breath as he made the first snip and then praying that it would turn out Okay. I kept that length for about three days and then I decided to go even shorter - this time my hair barely grazed my shoulders.

Going short is addictive, someone once told me. I can only be a testimonial to this statement. Six haircuts later, here I am. Hair shorter than that of the boyfriend, head light as a feather. Right now though, I'm looking to grow my hair out. Having short hair has been quite an experience and I have gotten so many compliments and also not-so-nice comments, but I'm glad to have gathered courage to go as short as this. All I can say is if you're thinking of getting your hair cut, make sure you go to a trusted salon. One with a stylist who knows what s/he's doing and listens to what you want. Oh, and bring lots of pictures of your preferred hair style, too. Otherwise you might step out of the salon wishing it's all just a painful nightmare.