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Why We Don’t Celebrate Valentine’s Day

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Yesterday my husband and I finally got to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, at the place we got married one year ago. Correction – technically it should be 1 year and 5 months. But that’s okie since we’ve never been big on dates and anniversaries. We’ve been together for so long we don’t even remember when we actually got together 11 years ago.

Here’s a little story on our childhood romance if you’re interested. 😉

Depending on your current status, I guess Valentine’s Day can either can a loving or cursed day. As far as I can remember, I never understood what the fuss about Valentine’s Day was, why people bothered buying gigantic overpriced bouquet of flowers or getting stacked like sardines next to a ton of other couples or why all these only happened on one day of the year. It always seemed a bit contrived and quite unromantic. Obviously the pressure to conform comes mostly from advertisers and retailers who created the need, making it sound like if you don’t shower your lover with gifts on February 14, then you’re not expressing your love well.

But shouldn’t love be celebrated and exhibited every day?

Mr Mode and I tried celebrating Valentine’s Day on the actual day a couple of times (back when we were young and carefree lol), and to be honest they didn’t feel any more special than any other day. Just more expensive, more forced, more pre-packaged.

As his 32-year-old self replied ‘just another day’ when I asked what Valentine’s Day means to him, I too feel that Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean anything except for the meaning we give it. It should not be a way to gauge your self worth or commitment to your partner. I’m not saying that Valentine’s Day is bad, but it shouldn’t make you feel less assured of your love or that buying expensive gifts and dinner means you’ve done your part in the relationship.

Instead of professing eternal love on that one special day, I would think fostering romance every day and sprinkling little surprises into daily life is the stuff love is made of.

When you are tempted to complain that he isn’t romantic (I do, sometimes), try making a list of things to remind yourself that he does, in his own quiet ways. This is particularly effective if your husband is shy and introverted or a hopeless non-romantic, like mine!

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Salted Egg Yolk Cookies In Octopus Man-Heart Shape

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Salted eggs are most commonly found at tze char stalls in Singapore as people like eating them with rice or porridge. The yolks are also an important ingredient in mooncakes. I like the yolk while Mr Mode likes the white. In recent years salted egg yolks have gained so much popularity they can now be found in anything from chicken/pork/ribs/crabs/prawns, fries, pizza, pasta, ice-cream, vegetables, etc. Not forgetting liu sha bao! 😀

I wondered if anyone would make cookies with salted eggs, and indeed there are! I researched on a few recipes to conclude this one that I’ll be sharing today. 😀

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Salted Egg Yolk Cookies

Makes about 70 cookies

Ingredients

Pastry:
85g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
40g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
3 cooked salted egg yolks, mashed
125g all purpose flour
10g corn flour
1/8 tsp baking powder

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Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chunks Walnut Muffins Recipe

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Well, I wouldn’t call it a ‘new year resolution’, but one thing I want to do in 2016 is to venture into the world of cooking and baking. It’s been a dream come true to have my own kitchen and space and every day I just want to come home and spend hours in the kitchen making something. It’s such a stress reliever and mood lifter. When I’m sad I bake, when I’m happy the more I want to bake! 😀

I love pumpkin, and it was such a joy to find that pumpkin makes a great ingredient for muffins. Incorporate a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to further enhance the taste of pumpkin for a perfect combination! Use chocolate chunks so they melt in a imperfectly beautiful and rustic manner, and add walnuts for crunch. Yum yum!!

Here’s my version of Pumpkin-Chocolate Chunks-Walnut Muffins, adapted from 2 recipes. I tried three times in total, the second time I failed coz I forgot to put baking powder so they turned out like Japanese mochi instead HAHA.

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chunks Walnut Muffins Recipe

Author: Bun Bun Makeup Tips

Adapted from: Martha Stewart & Home Cooking Adventure

Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teapoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

57g unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar, divided

1 large whole egg + 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

160ml whole milk

360g freshly baked pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

50g chopped walnuts

120g chocolate, cut into chunks

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

3. Cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy (You can do it by hand, or with a food processor or mixer). Add egg and egg yolk, vanilla, pumpkin. Mix until well combined.

4. Start with adding flour, then milk, then flour, then milk, and end with flour. Do not overmix.

5. Gently fold in pumpkin puree using a rubber spatula. Add about 100g chocolate chunks into mixture and reserve the rest for topping the muffins after baking.

6. Spoon batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

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7. Sprinkle walnuts on top of the muffins. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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12 Useful Tips To Make Your Eyelash Extensions Last A Long Time

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The above lash extensions are a week old. I swiped Nudestix (available at Sephora) Magnetic Eye Color in Angel as a base and Immortal on the outer edge, that’s it. No eyeliner, no mascara, and good to go! 😀

I’ve had eyelash extensions for a while now and I wanted to share my experience on how to take proper care of lash extensions so they can you last a long time.

Don’t Sleep Face Down

For those who naturally do not sleep face down and find it quite uncomfortable to do so, this might seem like an obvious choice. However there are many people who do sleep face down – yes, with nose crushed and cheeks sunk into the pillow. Doing so will also crush and make your lash extensions go out of shape. So maybe, for the sake of vanity and longevity of your lash extensions, try to minimize sleeping face down, k?

Goodbye Mascara

Mascara is a definite no-go. Mascara, even if stated water-soluble, contains oils and waxes that will require a lot of splashing of water to wash it all off, if not oil-based makeup removal. Eyelash extensions should not come in contact with oil as it will melt the glue. Besides, you don’t need to apply mascara if you’ve lash extensions on.

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(With Misuzu-san from Graceous)

In this picture I had extensions for the lower lashes too. I wouldn’t recommend that though, it was really quite uncomfortable when the upper and lower extensions got tangled. So now I only go for the upper lashes.

Apply Eyeliner Sparingly

Similar to mascara, eyeliner is hardly necessary. Most of the time I just pat some eyeshadow and define the outer edges with a darker shade. When I do want to play up the emphasis, I’ll apply eyeliner, but without tightlining.

Firstly coz it’s not necessary; secondly coz it’s pretty tedious removing eyeliner from the waterline. You’ll have to be very careful not to get the cotton bud fibres onto the root of the extension.

You want to keep the lash extensions clean and free of gunk, to prolong their time spent on your lashes.

Stash The Eyelash Curler

Eyelash extensions, if done at a reputable place under a skilled therapist, are durable, but not indestructible. So don’t go test their limits by crimping your lashes with an eyelash curler.

Keep Cotton Pads Away From Eye

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If you think you can be very careful, you’re most probably wrong. Speaking from many bad experiences of having cotton fibres stuck on my lash extensions, I really advocate not getting any cotton pads near the lashes. You’ll spend way more time trying to untangle the cotton fibres from the lashes. Just use a cotton bud, and even then, be very careful.

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Putting Together The Best Memories Of 2015, That’s How I Cope With New Year Blues

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I don’t know how they do it – celebrating, joyously bidding farewell to the year just passed after the clock strikes twelve, with great fanfare and pomp. I wish I could be that happy about the new year too.

For the first 2 weeks of 2016 – I hope I didn’t show it too much – but inside I was feeling incredibly dull, uninspired, bored. :(

I’ve been through 31 new years, but the transition into this year felt especially depressing. While many indulge in retrospection and prepare in advance their new year’s resolutions, I ruminated on 2015 and then felt like I didn’t achieve much. Like I wasted a whole year of my life achieving nothing. It was just a general feel of dread, lack of confidence, self-criticism, and probably exhaustion from a 365-day run.

To get out of the slump, I forced myself to behave positively, by doing things that make me happy, and you know what they say about doing the opposite of what you feel like doing? IT’S TRUE.

All I wanted to do was lie in bed and mull at how boring I felt my life was, but I made myself do things that would make me happy, keep my mind running, my hands moving. So I cooked, baked, went grocery shopping, bought kitchen ware. LOL. My friends have commented that ever since I got moved into my new home I have become very domesticated. I guess that’s how owning a house changes you.

I started moving forward with tiny little steps. Moving forward when you’re not feeling motivated helps you push through your fears, get out of your comfort zone, and win the mental battles you have with yourself.

Some people make resolutions to spur them on in the new year, I think that alone exhausts me, so instead I shall look back on the happy memories of 2015, which I hope will motivate me to create even better ones in 2016! ^_^*

A Place We Call Our Own

Finally, we moved and settled into our own home! It’s such a wonderful feeling to have your own home, and a dream come true to have my own room which is a study, studio, walk-in wardrobe, beauty arena, all in one.

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From: Non-Makeup Gifts That Will Make Your Makeup-Obsessed Friend Just As Happy

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I had one chance to take this set of photos for Scholl Pedi Foot File. The next day, Mr Mode’s built-in wardrobe went up.

I realized I love hosting parties at my house. As much as possible, I prefer to cook for my guests because it gives me an opportunity to try out dishes that can feed more people, otherwise it’s just Mr Mode and me on most days.

Here are some Dayre posts with pictures of our new home and hosting parties!

Cooking & Baking

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I’ve always been interested in cooking and baking, but never had to chance to really cook at my parents’ or in-laws’ coz… you know, it’s ultimately not my kitchen and I don’t want to go around messing up other people’s systems.

Now that I am the mistress to the house and chef (a term used very loosely lol) to my own kitchen, I spend long, long, long hours in there trying new recipes, failing, succeeding, experimenting. There’s so much science to it, and I love reading up on techniques and tricks. It feels very much like how I would spend countless hours reading up on makeup tips and practising when I first got into this beauty industry. Absolutely LOVE embarking on this new journey.

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Non-Makeup Gifts That Will Make Your Makeup-Obsessed Friend Just As Happy

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WOAHHH too fast, it’s 6 days to Christmas!! Anyone still scrambling to get presents? HOHO.

The other day my friend asked me what makeup product should she gift a makeup lover. It’s such a nightmare buying for the person who seems to already own everything you can think of to buy her, isn’t it? You run the risk of buying something she already has, something of the wrong shade, something she’s allergic to, or something she doesn’t like.

I told her, from personal experience, that the last thing a makeup lover / beauty junkie / beauty addict needs is more beauty products that she doesn’t need. Well, unless she tells you specifically what she wants. But that would spoil the element of surprise, and if the beauty obsessed already knows what she wants, she’ll get it faster than you can. From here on, I shall refer to this group of people as ‘us’, ‘we’ coz I would think myself as part of this group. 😆

So I thought I’d come up with a list to help people get gifts that their makeup-obsessed friends will LOVE AS MUCH AS MAKEUP and that are easy to buy!

Muji Storage

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As makeup hoarders, we sure need a proper place to store all of those eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners, foundations, brushes, lipsticks, skincare, etc. Huge points if they’re pretty too! My first Muji storage was the RPP 6-drawer case, then later the 3-drawer without the partition in the middle. I like that the translucency hides the mess. Then late last year I bought the 2-storey and 5-storey acrylic ones and it’s a total joy to be able to see what each compartment contains without touching it. So then I bought 2 more for myself and 3 more as gifts!

Actually, regardless of whether one is a beauty junkie, every woman should own one of these beautiful and useful acrylic drawers.

Innisfree Diffuser / Jo Malone Diffuser

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Unlike candles, reed diffusers offer aromatherapy without fire risks. There is no fear of messy wax deposits; no aerosols or artificial fragrances involved and no external power is required to make the product work. I like how they add beauty and a touch of luxury to homes, and elevate the mood and spirits with different fragrances chosen. The beauty-obsessed usually has a keen sense of smell. 

See, I bought the Christmas limited edition scent named Snowy Time and placed it in my bathroom. I received Rose from my Secret Santa too! (Anyone uses the generator too? Pretty cool, I feel!)

If you have a higher budget for a special friend for Christmas, or as a house-warming gift, you can consider Jo Malone Candles. I love English Pear & Freesia. And a lot of makeup lovers like to turn the beautiful candle glasses into brush holders.

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Christmas Shopping On Gumtree & Tips For New Sellers

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it! 😀 We don’t have, nor will ever have, snow in Singapore, but everything becomes soft and beautiful and magical this time of the year, as if someone waved a fairy wand to tell the people of the land that tis’ the season for kindling the fire of hospitality.

I can’t wait to host the many parties we have planned for the coming months! It’s so exciting to finally have a place of our own. Where I sat to take this series of photos will, in a couple of weeks, sit our TV console, TV and vintage peripherals Mr Mode and I have amassed over a year. Now we’re running the last leg of house cleaning and can move in soon!

Before Christmas comes……. PRESENTS! >.< Ah, it’s always a headache for me when it comes to buying gifts – I’m really bad at it. Oh, except when it comes to buying beauty products. Yes, then I know exactly what to buy for who. Hahaha!

Thank you for your support for my Gumtree shop! I’ve added more items and I’m sure you’ll find an item or two (or 5 hoho) to gift your friends.

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Oooohhh!! Won’t you have a look at these cute little squishy sponges? ^_^ Heehee they’re so colorful and soft, they make me smile when I look at them. I kept 4 new ones for myself, adding to the 2 I already have. They are slightly more dense than the original BeautyBlenders (which you can also get from my Gumtree profile), but at fraction of the price. I’d recommend you give it a try!

They’re going for $3 each and you can choose from 9 colors. Each are packed individually.

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A girl and her falsies are best friends. The Eyemazing Lashes are up on my shop too and are going for $14 each. They retail for $21.90 each. So that’s almost 40% off retail price.

Here are just some of the items available on ==> http://profile.gumtree.sg/bunbunmakeup

You can also follow me so that you’ll be the first to know when new items are up for sale. Here are some of the new items up on the shop. There are currently more than 50 SKUs.

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5 Tips For New Sellers

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I thought these tips might benefit those of you interested to set up your own account on Gumtree. It’s very easy to set up an account, but more can be done to increase your chances of getting your items sold.

Tip 1: Give It A Good Name

Instead of just ‘furniture’, try ‘mid century coffee table with pencil legs’. Such targeted keywords as ‘mid century’, ‘coffee table’, and ‘pencil legs’ will make your item more prominent in the search results and draw the right crowd. Since the keyword search would more closely match your title, there would be a higher chance of closing a deal. This is really just like SEO. Haha.

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Battle Of The Brush Cleaning Soaps: Make Up Store VS Hakuhodo

Hello again!

Sorry I’ve been missing for so long. We’ve finally moved into our new home! YAY! Even though the idea of finally owning your own home is exciting and all, unpacking and cleaning is really time-consuming and exhausting. You can follow my updates on dayre.me/bunbunmakeup. We just got our wifi up yesterday so now I’m back to blogging. I missed this space! 😀

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Brand new soaps always look so delectable, don’t they?

I’ve been using Make Up Store Brush Cleaning Soap for the longest time – more than 2 years – and it’s so good it’s always sold out within a few weeks of a new shipment. I bought a backup last year and only recently started using it.

I take my brush cleaning routine very seriously. I need to keep my brushes clean so they don’t irritate my sensitive skin and try to clean them every 2 weeks, more often if I wore makeup everyday for the week.

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Size comparison with a Singapore $1 coin.

Hakuhodo Brushes

What could be better experimental objects to test the Hakuhodo Brush Cleaning Soap than Hakuhodo brushes, right? :)

Here are some of my Hakuhodo brushes:

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The Hakuhodo numbering system is a high level of Science @_@”. Even after trying to understand it for a long time, little makes sense.

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A Dancer’s Feet: Scholl Pedi Foot File Review

Brought to you by Scholl

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I used to dance up to 6 times a week, but now, once in…… a very long while? So do I still call myself a dancer or an EX-dancer?

Or, once a dancer always a dancer? :)

I don’t do ballet nor dance en pointe, but during those few years that I was dancing actively, in tight Latin heels for long hours, calluses, corns, blisters grew like mushrooms. I also grew a bunion due to the stress put on my big toe. A bunion is formed when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. Walking hurt.

That’s why they say dancers have the ugliest feet in the world. Lol. But we wear those calluses, corns, blisters and bunions like a badge of honor and experience. We lament about the wreckage on our feet, but we willingly do it day after day, week after week. Dancers need to develop some thicker skin over vulnerable areas for protection but calluses sometimes become so thick and hard they cause pain.

I know of people whose calluses are so severe they CRACK and BLEED. And they’re not dancers. @_@ To avoid that, my mum wears bedroom slippers around the house and my mother-in-law uses a metal scrapper to scrape off the thickened skin at the bottom of her feet.

Instead of those, I shall get them the Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electronic Foot File.

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Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi Electronic Foot File is an electronic foot file that gently buffs away hard skin on the feet effortlessly and instantly.

That hard skin is calluses, a thickening of the skin on the bottom of the foot. Many people don’t like foot calluses because they look unsightly in sandals, but they actually keep feet from sticking to the floor and protect against blisters. However, too much of it can hurt too. If calluses become overgrown or cracked, they can be uncomfortable and are susceptible to infection.

So it’s all about striking a balance. If your lifestyle requires that you have calluses to make the activity easier, keep them but trim if they are overly thick and causing pain.

For most people who do not engage in such activities as twirling and having constant abnormal pressure over an area, let’s aim to keep hardened skin at bay!

How To Use Scholl Express Pedi Foot File

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Easy peasy, yea? 😀 Simply remove the plastic ring and orange protective film (batteries included), twist the cap back and switch it on. Now beautiful salon-finished feet can be achieved in the comfort of your own home.

What’s super cool is that the Replacement Roller Head can be removed for rinsing or replaced when it wears out. Actually if you want to save money, just buy one device for the whole family to share, and everyone can buy their own replacement heads for hygiene purposes. Hoho. Savings, YAY! ^_^*

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Long Wear Richness In A Tube: Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipsticks

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The first shade I got to try from the Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick range was Melted Sugar, described as a ‘nude sand’. The light nude shade didn’t excite me as I prefer brighter and bolder shades, but the formula and wear was off the park. WOAHHH!!!! 😀

When I went to test out the other 17 shades at Sephora, I fell in LOVE with the range.

Described by Too Faced as having ‘the shine of a gloss, lasting power of a stain, and pigment-packed color of a liquid lipstick’, they are basically soft melted lipsticks, like what you’d get if you melted down a lipstick to depot it.

Packaging & Application

The simple squeeze tube packaging with a gold screw cap is an incredible time saver because the color of the tube is a pretty accurate indication of the exact shade. I like squeeze tubes because I feel like I can get the most out of the product, leaving less to waste.

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I was initially concerned if the product will come squirting out like a jet spray, but you just have to gently squeeze the tube and the color will dispense on the velvet tip applicator in a controlled and consistent manner.

For really crisp lines I use a lip brush, but it is possible to apply directly from the tube. Sometimes when I want it to look less intense, I’ll diffuse the color by dabbing it with my finger.

Shade Review & Swatches

Here are my 8 favorite shades; there are a total of 18 shades available at Sephora Singapore.

Too Faced Melted Liquified – Melted Berry

Berry is a burgundy wine with cool, blue undertones. This is a great starter color if you’re interested to go into berry shades. I like that it’s not too dark or scary.

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Too Faced Melted Liquified – Melted Ruby

Ruby is described as a ‘blood red’. When I smear it on tissue, it really looks like blood from a nosebleed haha. It has cool undertones and feels slightly more watery and appears slightly more glossy than the rest. Love this shade.

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Too Faced Melted Liquified – Melted Candy

Candy is a bright fuschia candy pink with very slight cool undertones. The tube colors of Candy and Jelly Donut look almost similar but they’re really quite different. Candy is brighter and a warmer pink than Jelly Donut. Candy feels… more cheery and happy? 😆

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