Sunday, 22 June 2014

Sally Hansen Gel

When I want to treat myself too a relaxing day as a reward for a long week of work, a few essential activities come to mind: a facial, a bubble bath, a fancy meal for one and of course a manicure! That said, when you're an intern on a non-existent wage and/or a student, regular visits to the salon to get a professional manicure is simply not feasible. And to be honest, even if I had the budget, I'm not sure I'd have time to make such frequent visits! 

Working in a professional environment it's important to always been well groomed and looking your best, even if you are not in a client facing position. At any given time you may be introduced to someone new, maybe even a manager or executive and almost 99% of the time you'll be greeted with a handshake. You do not want your tailored outfit, perfectly set hair and glowing make up to be tarnished by chipped grotty nails! This sounds so obvious but I cannot tell you the amount of times I've witnessed this first hand. It's more distracting than you would you care to think. 

That is why Sally Hansen's new Salon Gel Polish system caught my eye. The idea that I could give myself a gel manicure in the comfort of my own home, whenever I happen to have 15-30 minutes to spare was music to my ears. Top that off with a promise of no drying time and up to two weeks wear and I'm sold!

Whilst treating yourself once in a while and making a sneaky splurge here and there is important, if I can find a more affordable way to unwind and pamper myself at home then I'm all in! The Starter Kit ($99.95 @ Priceline) has everything you need to get you on your way, LED light, base and top coat, a nice dark red polish to get you started, nail cleansing pads...all that good stuff. Don't worry, the basics can be easily replenished in store in a nifty little pack ($29.95 @ Priceline). 

The Verdict
Get on it. These babies have lasted on my nails for nearly three weeks! No chips. No nail breakage. You would not believe how long my nails have grown with the gel protecting it. Commitment issues? Don't want to stick with one colour for three weeks, no matter, just paint over the gels with any regular nail polish you fancy. Be as fickle as you like because nail polish remove won't affect these bad boys at all. In one sentence? I'm sold. 

Extra Extra...!

Read the instructions and follow it. Seriously. I know the excitement and adrenaline is telling you otherwise but trust me, you'll thank me later. 

The Colours
The Starter Kit came with Wine Not, I wanted the one with Shell We Dance, they didn't have stock. I settled. I've yet to try it but my mother has and it's pretty, bit shimmery but a lighter wine than I prefer. I'm a neutral or dark and vampy sorta girl, brights in-between aren't really my thing but that's okay. 

I have been obsessed with white nail polish for an unseasonal amount of time. Done right, it's so chic and doesn't at all resemble stationary white-out on your nails. So White Away was a given to be purchased with the Starter Kit. But it's sheer, milky even but nonetheless sheer. So sheer it just looks as though I have gel and no colour on my nails. That's not ideal and I'm disappointed. So it's not what it says it is on the box, but I'll make do. This can be a useful because it doesn't disturb the colours of any other regular nail polish I may paint over. 

Sally Hansen Gel Nail Enamel (Colour: White Away)

Friday, 30 May 2014

"Nice guys always finish last" myth. BUSTED!

Traditionally after a mass shooting, the hot topics of discussion that usually ensue usually circulate around gun control, political dissonance and nature or nurture debates (i.e. video game violence indoctrination or innate psychosis deviation). The Santa Barbara shooting however has ignited an unusual global discussion with misogyny as the centrepiece. Take to twitter using #Yesallwomen to follow the thread of comments.

I won’t mention the shooters name. I do not believe this individual should be granted the privilege of having their name remembered and sprawled across the internet. However, I would at this point like to remember the victims of this terrible tragedy.

Cheng Yuan Hong

George Chen

Weihan Wang

Katherine Cooper

Veronika Weiss

These are the people who deserve to be mourned for their lives lost to a monstrous act. Not the monster who committed the crime.

I am honestly angered that there are men out there who are paying sympathy to this manic who has taken the lives of both women AND men. They mourn for him, empathising that they understand how he could have been driven to such horrific madness because women had not given him any attention. That he was left to live his young adulthood as a virgin. Are women now under some obligation to keep men from committing mass murders by dishing out sexual favours? 

I have always detested the internet’s constant memes harping on about the dissatisfaction that apparently “nice guys always finish last”. That apparently all women knowingly and purposefully elect to become romantically involved with men who are inherently “douchbags”. The theory, a generous label, purports that because of the neglect “nice guys” have suffered at the hands of careless women, they are somehow then justified in themselves turning into “douchebags” and cannot be blamed for the rampage that ensues.
Do these boys and men, no #notallmen, so fervently support this conjecture because they genuinely believe that in the history of the human race, only “nice men” have been apparently been wronged by women and that “nice women” have not been by men? Or is it simply sheer entitlement?

Firstly, let me point out, this “theory” debunks itself. It literally identifies “nice guys” and “douchebags” as one in the same. It simply suggests a mutation. Ultimately, it’s still the undeniably the same cell. Secondly what are the criteria that one must satisfy to be so neatly categorised into one of the two? Surely in the twenty-first century we have moved beyond the fictitious and ultimately un-profound generalisations of good and bad. I should like to think that our understanding of the human psyche has at the very least allowed us to grasp the fact that the nature of the whole things is so complex that monochromatic groupings such as those do it no justice.

For arguments sake however, let me pretend that this primitive distinction exist. Firstly, “nice guys always finish last” is completely unfounded and an untrue generalisation. It is only from a very self-centred perspective that one would come to the conclusion that they are the only one being hurt in a situation. Hypothetically, and yes it happens, a very “nice” man has very genuine feelings towards a female friend and those feelings are not reciprocated. From a very narrow perspective, derived from a need to justify everything, that man may see his unsuccessful conquest, and subsequent “friendzoning”, as directly correlated to her affections for a less than admirable man. Before we proceed, why doesn’t anyone ever seem inclined to label this female character as the antagonist or the protagonist? Would it not be fair to place her in a similar light and make hyperboles such as “nice girls always finish last?”
If we're really being fair here, the “nice” guy and the girl are really one in the same. Both insist on pursuing someone who ultimately does not feel the same way. This is the real world. It’s not a romantic comedy and the truth is just because you’re nice, do the right thing and MAYBE you do “deserve” to win the person’s affections, the reality is that this does not entitle you to them. Maybe they are making a mistake by choosing someone who doesn’t treat them as well as you THINK you’ll treat them but that’s their mistake to make. Take it on the chin, wish them well and move on. Don’t become spiteful and use this experience as an excuse to become a manipulative player or worse, allowing your unjustified anger to manifest into violence.

Take ownership for you actions. If an individual’s pure motivation to befriend and be nice to another person were solely driven by a desire to possess them, then I for one would not consider them a particularly “nice” person. Men and women alike need to let go of this false sense of entitlement. Just because you give to someone does not entitle you to take from them if they do not return the favour as you would have liked. Love is not an arena where everyone’s efforts are always rewarded accordingly. People are not trophies to be won. You can only give the love you have to give and hope that just maybe those feelings will be returned with mutual affection but there are no promises.

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Validity of One's Pursuit of Happiness

Disclaimer: Before we proceed I need to make clear that I fully support the proliferation of knowledge and education to all, women and men alike. Furthermore I strongly encourage and admire any individual's personal choice to devote their life to their career. So please do not mistake what you're about to read as suggesting otherwise, because that would not be the case. 

What is a controversial discussion should really be a simple concept: feminism should, and on some level has, liberated women (not globally but arguably in 'developed' societies) in that she has the equal right, as any, to choose what she deems worthy of her life's devotions. That said, there is still this suffocating stigma that pre-defines the boundaries of success for women

Young women today are prescribed this equation for happiness that encompasses independent success that is largely career focused. I see so many people, men and women alike, slaving through university and a corporate job with no real attainment of wisdom or joy. Yet so many are shamed for not adopting this path. I'm not detracting from the importance of an education or discouraging the youthful drive and hunger for success. What I'm trying to emphasis is that one should make such pursuits through their own wilful mindedness. Should this path give them no true value and enrichment then I truly see no purpose for it. 

"Eventually I think I would like to devote myself to my family and children..." said with hesitation. 

"Really?" (Cue speech about the great insult this is to feminism)

In my personal experience through university and a corporate career, I have encountered many occasions where women are questioned for their persuasion towards a family focus lifestyle rather than a 'successful career'. This is only an example of the pressures faced by women today to achieve simply to satisfy the expectations of their peers.Whilst I am not insinuating that this is the case for all women, or that a successful career is not a valid life goal, my point is that as individuals we should feel liberated to pursue happiness, whatever form that may materialise in. Feminism was a movement of liberation. The great achievements of our predecessors should not be manipulated by modern activist to guilt women into passionless pursuits. I have an honest belief that if a woman is happy and free in what she devotes her daily life to, it really is no business of mine, or anyone else, to question or judge her. 

Whilst I have made the very personal choice to attain a university degree and strive towards a corporate career, many of my peers have opted for other routes. Narrowing the focus to simply the female cohort, I know many women who forged this path for many a reasons and I cannot say indefinitely that my happiness surpass theirs. In fact were I to, it would be said with much hesitation. I know one too many high achieving university students or even graduates who lack direction driven by passion. True, unadulterated, raw passion. Often times I feel their focus is misdirected because our society has constructed this artificial standard dictating what qualifies as a thing worth chasing, as a thing lucrative enough to justify our life's reverence.   

Don't let anyone build the confines of what qualifies as a passion or a subject worthy of your pursuit in life. Remove yourself from the measurements and categories constructed around you. Be limitless. I should think that once you forgo the interpretations and ideals of success imposed by society, many real opportunities and possibilities will open to you. Otherwise you will be destined to an endless chase for validation that you have achieved "something" in life as defined by everyone else but you. 

Just a little food for thought.


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Peak Hour Rush: Breakfast

Breakfast. That all important first meal of the day that gets you up and running (literally if you're always late for the train like I am) for the day. But don't lie, you skip it. Regularly. Even worst? Your at desk "breakfast" of choice is most likely a coffee (soy latte to be exact). It's a horrible habit that greatly diminishes your brain power, energy levels and is damaging to your overall physical health. But like so many things that aren't good for us, we do it because it's easy and convenient and really time management is not my best skill set at 7am in the morning. 

So what's a resolve that does not compromise speed and ease or demand more time in the early morning rush to work? Pre-packed breakfast is your answer! If you're working full time in an office environment you should be packing lunch at least 3-4 days a week as it is. If you work in the CBD (city) as I do, buying lunch everyday makes coming too work more about spending money than earning it! So, if you're packing lunch the night before, you might as well pack breakfast as well. Best part? Pre-made breakfast is a much less demanding task than lunch. 


> Breakfast on the go should be light and easy. Nothing rich and heavy simply because it'll make you too full and you'll be falling asleep at your desk rather than feeling energised and ready to take on the world!

> Pick relatively hassle free, low maintenance foods so that you can eat it on the train or at your desk in the office. Don't be embarrassed, because I can assure you, everyone around you is either completely empathetic (they're on the same train, most likely going into work too!) or completely jealous, they're hungry bellies growling.  

> If you're self conscious and want to be discrete, pick foods that don't have a strong smell. 

Fruit Salad & Organic Yogurt 

Make a big batch Sunday night and keep it in the fridge. You can snack on it during the week whenever you like, but it's amazingly easy to pack in Tupperware and take on the go to work. 

Breakfast friendly fruits may include, but are not limited to:

> Bananas 

> Blueberries

> Strawberries

> Lychee 

> Rockmelon 

I am currently obsessed with Five:am's organic yogurt range. Honey & Cinnamon is my weakness. It's thick, it's creamy and completely addictive. I have a preference for dipping my pieces of slice up fruit in it but you can also stir in some granola for a filling breaky! 

So let's do our best to get on, and stay on, that breakfast bandwagon! Don't let a busy schedule compromise a balanced lifestyle.