xo,
Tam
Last year was terrible. I could not clear my mind to blog. I'm so sorry. Here are some random photos that I tool in February and March, because January was awful as well.

Lan Zhou noodles


Bà Bích


(photo credit here)


Angels


Ian Potter Museum of Art


Mum, me and Thỏ



From Palm Sunday



Happy April!

xo,
Tam


On those days that I have no class, no groceries to shop, no effort to dress up and go out, I spend all day at home. I speak to no friends, I see no neighbours. Well then when I see some people, they ask:"What do you usually do in your free time?". Where should I begin? I just can't say that I stay home and do nothing. Because when I do nothing I do everything.



I think of my grandmothers, the one who gave me fruits when I said I needed to go home; and the one who said "I love zu" when I said I was going to sleep. I do research on coffee, the history of tea, and how to make nitro cold brew. I think about my dad and his dreams that he told me. Then I cry because I miss him so much. Now I can only meet him in my dreams. I watch a video of an ASMR cooking channel and think the world is interesting but so boring. I clean up the coffee mug that has been on my bed head for days. I look out to see what people are wearing - is it hot or is it cool. "Oh I saw this couple before", I think. Then I think about death, not suicidal thought, but just death. I'm curious to know what it feels like, but I'll just wait. I think of what I should cook for the following day. I get worried about my future - will I get a job? Will I be able to afford a car? Will I be able to have good coffee every morning? I do research on 'advertising jobs in Australia'. I am upset when I think about social issues and even more upset at people who have no social responsibilities. Thinking about myself, way too many responsibilities that I need to take. Then I make myself the third cup of coffee of the day. I am depressed about life for half an hour. I help myself to get out of the depression by decorating my own apartment in my head with those products that I saw in furniture stores and telling me that's one of the goals in life. Then I swear to myself for the very billionth time that I will never pick my nails again before putting a band-aid on a bleeding finger.

You see, my head is a universe. It consists of more than planets and asteroids than a regular solar system does. What I do in a day all happen in this universe - my head. On some days, there are solar eclipses, some lunar eclipses, and someday there are 'big bang explosions'. And when someone asks: "what do you do in your free time?" or "how was your day?", where should I begin?





Play before you read (recommended)

Hanging out with Lana Pham pre-Christmas!




EAT EAT EAT!




We had Japanese food at Gyoza Gyoza in Emporium. If you live in Melbourne or have a chance to visit, check out this place. My favourite dishes are takoyaki and soft shell crab salad, the dressing is beautifully mixed with orange zest.  I hate the fact that it's located in a mall because it sounds so lame. 






HOPETOUN TEA ROOMS

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms, which have graced the Block Arcade on Collins street since 1892, has plenty of desserts and tea. The iconic place has always attracted a crowd with a very long queue. It was a 20-minute wait in the line until we were seated. It is elegantly charming and enchanting designed and decorated. We had an apricot & pistachio tart and strawberry sponge. So, so good.


Tea 101: How to have Mademoiselle Grey tea

and,
I wish you have a merry Christmas and happy New Year full of good tea and delicious food!

xo,
Tam


Friends, I'm sorry I have kept you waiting for a while. Since it is the holiday season, I would like to share my skincare routine to have a healthy skin in this cold weather. I have super dry to sensitive skin so I am super keen on finding the right products for my skin, which is not easy. Plus, living in a dry area like Australia makes moisturising/hydrating seems to be the most important step in having a healthy and glowy skin. I'm not an expert in skincare, in fact, I'm a learner in this complex operation. So please take this post as a reference only.

Two months ago, my skin was badly irritated and it was in "almost" the worst condition it has ever been (the worst times were when I got allergic to oysters and The Body Shop sunscreen). The difference was this irritation remained in a very long time, more than two months, much longer than my previous allergies. I spent days and days to research about skin, skin problems, skin care, anything skin related. It was the first time I was profoundly concerned about my skin, which made me realise that I was very negligent in taking care of my skin.  To get back to better condition, I thought a routine was a must. Based on my research, it depends on the demand for your skin that you choose a range for your skincare: moisturising, hydrating, anti-aging, brightening, etc. The irritation left me with hyperpigmentation,  plus my dry skin, so moisturising and evening skin tone were what my skin needed. Therefore, most of my skincare products are moisturing-based and brightening-based.

This routine follows The 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine by Soko Glam and it applies for both morning and night.





1.1 Double Cleansing (night)

On those days that I wear a bit of makeup (usually just tinted moisturiser and blush), I firstly use micellar water on a cotton pad to remove all the makeup. When my skin was irritated and full of red dots, I used concealer to cover up all the flaws. Garnier micellar water is available in multiple colours. This pink Garnier micellar water can entirely remove dirt and makeup on your face. Although it gentler than normal makeup remover, it it is still too harsh for my skin. In addition, I don't like the idea of wasting a cotton pad for each cleansing. This is my first bottle and will be the last one.  






This is the second cleanser in my double cleansing step.  The bottle says it's for oily skin but it works well on my skin. Coming in gel form, it smooths out your skin and does not leave it dry after washing it away. The scent is really nice as well. 













1.2. Cleansing (morning)

Renew Radiance Foam Cleanser
-Natio

This is my morning cleanser.  It does not foam up too much but still makes your skin very soft. However, its scent is a bit too strong that makes me sick sometimes.






Best scrub ever! I do this step twice to three times a week and avoid over-exfoliating. Sometimes during my shower, I leave this on as a mask and wash it off after my shower. 








3. Toner (morning/night)
Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner - Swisse

Even though this is not an alcohol-free toner, it is amazing. This toner is very hydrating with a little bit of smell of salt and ocean. Another factor that makes it become an ideal toner is that it comes in a spray bottle - no need to use your hands or wasting a cotton pad.











4.Serum/Oil/Essence 
(morning/night)
Skin Recovery Cream (Rich) - Avene


In this step, I replace the serum/essence/oil/etc. with Avene Recovery Cream. I couldn't find the right serum/essence for my face. I tried, but they didn't work. So I just simply use skin recovery cream, which works the same job as serum/essence. This cream says it's perfect for irritated and dry skin, which is perfect for me. But I guess it's perfect for all skin types as blogger Zoe Suen said it also works for oily skin. It doesn't leave your skin oily or too sticky after applying it.






5. Eye Serum
(morning/night)
no idea

The only information I know about this product is it's an eye serum from Korea.  Mum gave this to me because I had really bad dark circles. I'm not sure if they have been brightened up but I just keep using it in my routine.
#themostuselessreviewever






6. Moisturiser 
(morning/night)
Argan Facial Moisturiser (for dry skin) - Swisse


This is my favourite step in this routine and also my favourite product. It makes your skin remain moist and soft all day long without making it too shiny. It does make your skin glow and I find it so beautiful. It gives your face a scent of soft lemongrass, which I love. I highly recommend this product for anyone who has dry skin. Swisse also has facial moisturiser for other skin types.






I add this step in my morning routine after previous steps. It seals everything in and protects your skin from any damages from the sun. This sunscreen is perfect for anyone who needs strong protection. It comes with a soft scent of aloe vera, which is nice to me. Although it says "watery" but the consistency is not watery at all. In fact, it is very easy for blending and it quickly absorbs into your skin, leaving a glowy shield.



That was my entire skincare routine that I have been doing for three months. By having an "almost healthy" eating habits, cutting soy milk (which I believe that caused the irritation) and following this routine, my skin is slowly getting back to its first condition. I hope this is a helpful post for people searching for any skincare information. 
May you find have a beautiful and healthy skin this holiday season.

xo,
Tam

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