Friday, November 06, 2015


Just thought that I'd share a mixtape that I made for Irina. The thing is, life get's tough sometimes. However, you never have to face it alone because there are always people who care for you. And when you feel like the world seems just about to swallow you whole, I hope this mixtape will replenish the strength in your heart. 

 P.S I took like 3 hours to figure out how to embed this mixtape. It loads, trust me. Just give it awhile.
P.P.S It doesn't load on Chrome but does in Safari (both on the Mac & iPhone). Shame on you, Google.
Update: It works on Chrome, but golly damn it's slow.
Update: The public link has been suspended for generating excessive traffic. Irina will share it again some other time!

- Yi Ming


Update from Irina:

Heres' the playlist I'm sure able to load and play haha. Thanks, Ming.
You're the best.


Thanks babe.

-Yi Ming

Monday, October 26, 2015


Just checking in on you guys and hope you're holding up fine ;-)
Saw a powerful video on Facebook that I thought you might like.
Take a moment to absorb cause you never know when you need it, right?

In other words, up your defence mechanism.
Know your worth, girl.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Do you guys shop at Pomelo? No, wait, have you heard of POMELO???? Well, not sure if you noticed, but I mentioned them briefly last year on my birthday post here. Just last month, they announced a major web uplift and the result is major gorgeous. Tbh, I couldn't be any prouder!!

I know that the entire team consists of very very dedicated and hardworking people. The last time I was in their office, the graphic designers were busy editing every single photos. Here's the thing, I'm not referring to lighting or contrast but it's more than that!!! They were editing the skin tone, contouring the legs, giving them a bronze glow. Like... dayummmmm, every model would feel so blessed and safe to work for a company like that! The photos no doubt turned out great!

Personally, I love shopping there. When Pomelo first spoke to me, they sounded like they wanted to take over my wardrobe and I think they've kinda achieve that now... haha. Cass, whom I liaise with for the selection of clothes, has a real great taste in clothes and she is the one of those picking out stuff for the collections - so girls, you're in safe hands.

I've always loved the stylist's recommendation on Asos' page. It's my go-to page for all the new and cool stuff I should look out for. Since there can be so many things on a web store, it'd nice to have someone streamlines the nice stuff for you before you look through it right? *wink* So, I thought I should just sum up the pieces I love from Pomelo here. Some might already be out of stock, but hey if you're interested in it, feedback to them... maybe they'll bring back a few for you!


And what I like best is their... 365 DAYS RETURN POLICY! Nuff' said.

Happy shopping hehe!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


"Are you happy?" my friend asked. 
Smiling, I replied, “I don’t think that’s the right question." 

The thing is... it is almost fallacious to think that happiness is the main criteria for a relationship to continue. However, it probably seems like a great guideline to abide by because we, after all, like to act in our best interest.

I used to agree with the "happiness-frustration" concept. The concept’s premise is simple: when frustration outweighs the happiness one feels from being in a relationship, one should begin considering taking flight. I am guilty of once telling a friend, "If you're not happy, then you should leave”. I have since realised that this philosophy is not applicable to every relationship. It might work for some (i.e. emotionally and/or physically abusive ones) but it sure doesn't work for mine. If one's in a toxic relationship that drains out your beautiful soul, then by all means, gtfo.

Ever since meeting Ming, my take on relationships has evolved quite a bit. Frustration does outweigh happiness at certain times but when we manage to persevere, we emerge twice as happy than we were before. If happiness is to be the sole determining factor of your commitment in a relationship, then what happens to the idea of sticking together through thick and thin and braving the ups and downs life frequently throws? Sometimes, as a test of endurance, happiness has to be taken out of the equation. I often imagine a point of financial difficulty some time in the future, where keeping smiles around the house is no longer easy. Will I waver when my answer to the question “are you happy?” is no?

Instead, let's ask: “Since meeting, have you become a better person?”

Disclaimer: this may not necessarily be the best guideline for everyone but it does help me to gauge if my friends are... in a healthy and blossoming relationship or not.

The term "better person" is of course, subjective. Think of it this way, will your 5-year younger self be proud of what you're or how you've handled your relationship issues today? Are you caring for him, as much as you care for yourself? It's not about extracting every bit of happiness out of a relationship. In my humble opinion, it is about growing together with someone - emotionally and mentally. It's about knowing each others’ intricacies and sanding down our edges so that we can come together for both the good and bad times. I may not be the best version of myself when I'm mad, in fact, I'm real egoistic and it is hard for me to stand down from a fight (especially when I'm right), but at least now I know I’m mad fighting for something that is good for us. I may not be happy at that moment, but I have learnt to muster all the strength needed to take the magnanimous ways to put aside everything that upsets me, for you and I. 
For my interest? For your interest? For our interest.

The idea of holding onto happiness, caging it as if it were a delicate bird, scares me. Happiness is elusive; it’ll arrive when its time. Come what may. 

Then again, my friends, don't get me wrong.
If you very much still like to stick to your question, so be it.

Here's the answer: "I'm happy."

Saturday, October 10, 2015


This time, I've handled the entire situation well enough to deserve a pat on my back. My emotions were balancing on such a thin line between plain sadness and absolute indifference. In order to not show a single trace of vulnerability, my scale skewed itself towards the latter. To not warrant any unnecessary concerns or impose unneeded burden on his family, I think I did maintain a pretty solid calm and composed exterior. Even so, my uncooperative heart has decided to engage me with a new set of feelings I've been trying to comprehend. The moment I reached home from the airport, everything hit me like an eager storm. It felt rich, intense, and anchored deeply inside me. 

I guess, only after a year, I've just grown to truly grasp and understand this whole dynamic between us, and yes, very soon, I'll readapt again I'm sure. In fact, I try to be thankful for this arrangement. I bet he feels the same way with each departure teaching us the idea of potential loss. It just puts us back in our place and ensures neither of us gets too complacent or comfortable with one another. Ever since the plane took off this late afternoon, I've tried my very best to stay busy but my mind kept drifting back to you. It's definitely much harder, after such a wonderful Summer.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


(not a paid ad)

Hey guys! So after the last entry on my journey to skin betterment (here), what's next? What's the next step, after eliminating those nasty blemishes, in achieving nicer looking skin? Well, Caring Skin not only helps tackle problematic skin but further enhances our skin to its full potential. In the weeks where I was faced with school tests and stress levels were at an all time high, it didn't help that my hectic schedule forced me to slack off my skincare routine (yikes!). As a result of my laziness, my skin suffered and I felt like it no longer channeled any sort of glow like it used to. Tbh, all the traveling and hopping from one time zone to another didn't do my skin any favours either... (ugh, highlighter can only do so much!).

Long story short, I tried a new treatment at Caring Skin called "the MatriCol Refiner".

Left side of my face: After treatment
Right side of my face: Before treatment

Basically, the goal of this treatment is the renewal of your skin through the use of a specific duo of active ingredients that optimise tolerance and efficacy. Using an acid carefully selected by the staff at Caring Skin, even the most sensitive skin (mine!) can, after undergoing this treatment, become brighter and more radiant. Psssst.... one of the best collagens used in the field of aesthetics will also be applied before the end of the treatment to slow down the premature ageing and tightening of  the skin - NO WONDER THE RESULTS WERE OBVIOUS.

Being explained to during the session on how this treatment works
Some of you might be puzzled by the color of my right cheek. Do not mistake its the rosiness as a result of applied force. In fact, it's a sign of blood circulation which means the treatment works!

Disclaimer: However, this might also be due to the sensitivity of my skin. My cheeks do get flushed easily and yours might react differently. Don't worry, though; even if a pinkness doesn't surface, your blood will be circulating better after. 

For a slightly more HD photo taken by the staff
Left: before entire treatment
Right: after entire treatment

I was quite shocked upon seeing this photo. While its rosiness isn't captured on flash, and disregarding the extremely flattering angle, the texture of my skin looks a lot more refined and smooth!!!! Pores appear to look slightly smaller and everyone wants a skin with smaller pores - don't you dare deny it hehe.


In all honesty, ever since I've met Caring Skin, I have always felt safe stepping into an aesthetic centre or facial room and grateful stepping out, because I know I'm in good hands. At the same time, it is both very comforting and unreal to me, how I can take post-facial selfies now because my skin has never looked better (then again, my skin fluctuates so fingers-crossed).

So, why not share this goodness with your friends! Aside from the fact they've twin rooms for you and your friend to do facials together, they are also currently running a promotion for STUDENTS!!!! Caring Skin understands how we as students are constantly locked in battle with problematic skin and that these are our crucial formative years that lay the foundation for years to come. Hence, after taking both the above thoughts and your feedback regarding the costliness of treatments into consideration, here is a really good deal that's been specially planned for YOU!!! 

Important things to note for this Students’ Promotion

1. Students will have to flash their student pass/card to experience this absolute goodness
2. The promotion is actually applicable only to first-time customers. However, I've spoken to Caring Skin and they've decided to make an exception for you guys, my readers!!!!! Just quote "IRINATAN" when signing up to enjoy this benefit
3. Valid during off peak hours only (Mondays to Fridays; 11am to 5pm)
4. 50% discount is applicable for any customized facial treatments worth $140 and above
5. Valid till 30 Nov 2015
6. Don't worry, there will be NO hardselling :-)

Feel free to email me regarding your session, if you like!
Hope you like them as much as I do.

P/S their massage is amazing esp. by Hui Qing *wink*

Sunday, October 04, 2015


It was mom's birthday yesterday. We had a really lovely night out.

And the above are my beautiful best friends in other foreign lands. I'm supposed to be studying, yet I'm thinking about all the wonderful people in my life. Just feel really blessed at this very moment and would love to have this noted down as a stark reminder.

Never too late to count blessings again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Our generation, narcissistic as it is (guilty*), seems fixated on nursing whatever deep-seated insecurities it might have by subconsciously lowering others' self esteem using glamorized photos that are so perfect, it hurts. "If you're an insecure person, how are you capable in producing such confident photos online that in turn, makes others feel insecure about themselves too??? Why not make everyone feel good together??" With so many people fixing their faces for a little cosmetic "boost", I constantly wonder if standing firmly beside my ideals will eventually cause me to lose out while everyone is looking prettier every minute. Irina, do you want to be the kind of person who advocates for brands that ultimately serve to only deepen feminine insecurities? No, of course, not!

Being in an industry where you're constantly exposed to the ugliness makes me feel really uncomfortable. Thanks to the interconnectedness that social media provides, I've crossed paths with a fair share of people over the years. People who ride on others for satisfaction that is merely temporary. People who set goals at the expense of others. People who use their job as a tool for extortion. When interacting with such individuals, I'm often confused as to how to act or carry myself. If you can't fight them, do you join them? Or do I burn bridges I have yet to cross?

With each passing day, I get more afraid. I'm worried for the kind of generation I might raise. I mean, how did we even go from "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers to Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?"?

Pardon me, but as I've said before, I'm confused. 

Friday, September 25, 2015


During my last group discussion in class about a research paper pertaining to social media, I learnt that there are people out there who actually believe that most photos on Instagram are true reflections of an individual's reality. FYI: Just like advertisements, not all the photos on Instagram are what you think they are. 

The photos above (if I'm not wrong) are great works of a Thai photographer, Champoo Baritone. I love this series so much. There are so many issues that have arisen since the dawn of social media; it has changed social dynamics, altered interpersonal relationships, modified perceptions of self identity etc. It truly and especially breaks my heart when I discover that the people around me believe in such crafted reality. "Guys, I'm in this industry. You guys help me out with my ootd and stuff. You ought to know better." The love-hate relationship from listening to them compare themselves with other individuals and how such discussions lead to self-deprecation is driving me nuts. As much as I want to agree with every word of self loathing coming out from their mouth, I can't help myself from going on a tirade about the lies on Instagram.

Never ever feel shit about yourself because grass will ALWAYS be greener on the other side. Your life is beautiful too; it's just that... maybe you're not equipped with the skills that others have to present a fancier version of reality right?

Friday, September 04, 2015


So.... how come you've been gone for so long, Irina?? 

The initial plan was to attend a  3-week Summer Exchange programme in London and, at the same time, see what Yi Ming's world was like. However, mere weeks before my flight over, I was informed by the school that both my first and second choices had not meet the achieved the minimum mass of students/attendees/sign-ups and as such would be cancelled. P/S The Summer exchange was really just an elaborate excuse, or rather a much needed boost of courage for me to get my ass out of my ultimate comfort zone. I was disappointed (yet secretly happy at the same time) by how it all turned out, even while the program advisor urged me to choose another course instead. It was a pity that the other courses had not interested me enough... so, that led me to make one of the best decisions in my life: dropping out of King’s College Summer Exchange.

In short, I took a semester off this Summer to travel with Ming :-)

Over the years, I’ve lived vicariously through the travel photos posted by other people on social media platforms as they ventured out of Asia. This Summer, however, it was finally... my turn. Since turning nineteen, I have stopped taking allowance from my mother because I'd discovered how modelling could be a sufficient (albeit temporary) source of income. It was hard to be financially self-sufficient and never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that it was actually possible to save enough for something as big as a trip to Europe. Thus, the furthest I'd ever been from Singapore, prior to this Summer escapade, was on a family trip to New Zealand.

Within the first few hours of my departure, I’d unlocked the two of the biggest achievements in my life: flying to Europe and flying ALONE. There was definitely an odd sense of liberation during my solitary flight but oh I can’t deny that I was... to a certain extent, scared (??) ha ha. I've always had a fear for the unknown and that includes unknown destinations. What I meant by that is, somehow it scares me when I can't envisage myself fitting into a place that I just naturally don't belong. My mind just can't translate the 2D Google Images I see online into something concrete, real, and with myself in it. The unknown basically bundled itself up and transformed into fear - a fear which has held me back for a long long time and has, a number of times, prevented me from brilliant opportunities like overseas internship and degree study.

So, while I still have the energy, I'd better get moving. You know what they say - when you're old, you've the money but neither the time nor energy. So for now, let's live. I have always been envious of those who have travelled so much with their families, who have seen so much of the world, and those who have managed to absorb so much culture and knowledge by immersing themselves in foreign lands. For those of you who are still waiting for your turn, don't be demoralized. Instead, work harder, save harder, and when it's your turn, you better play motherfucking harder than you thought you ever could.

Long story short, here's a sneak peek we've put together before breaking the travel-logs up into parts!

P/S: The morning I departed did not start too well. I lost my phone the moment I arrived at the airport but a good-hearted taxi driver returned me my phone and guess what?? I didn’t even take his ride (my uncle sent me to the airport instead)! He was very reassuring when he sensed the panic in my voice over the phone. SMRT cab driver of plate XXX883X, thank you for being such a life saver. I couldn’t note down his plate fast enough cause he drove off so quickly around the corner. Singapore is really small; just thought I should say my thanks here and give him the commendation he deserves. Maybe if someone he’s related to reads this, he/she can help me pass on my thanks and feel absolutely proud of what an exemplary man he is.