Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bike Ride. By Terry. Bibir. Bilur.

I encountered and discovered some interesting people/things in the last couple of days which makes me think that this has been a rather interesting week. I also think that what I’m about to talk about here are not things (or person) that I can’t often get (or meet). They also make me feel somewhat blessed and I just want to write them down and share them with you.

Living in one of the world’s most traffic-congested cities is too much of a hassle. Getting from one place to another is such a burden because even though it’s near, it’d take hours. Drive your own car then your feet will likely get achy, use public buses then you’ll find yourself elbowing people on the queue line (yeah right, like people would queue in a line), struggling to secure yourself a seat, but will end up hanging on a hand strap while trying to balance yourself and taking care of your belongings in a fully-packed space. See? Told you that it’s too much of a hassle. (Unless you have rich parents who provide you with a leisure car and a private chauffeur).

In the midst of Jakarta’s catastrophic traffic, there’s also such thing as an abang ojek. Abang is an Indonesian terminology to refer to an older, male person and ojek is a motorbike taxi. Hence, abang ojek is a person who can drive you anywhere you please using his motorbike and you have to pay for his service based upon a tariff determined by the abang. Here’s the thing; abang ojeks tend to offer bloody expensive tariffs, even if you want to travel close distance. Of course, you can bargain for a lower tariff. But still, however low it is, in the end, the tariff won’t be reasonable. It always will be ridiculous.

Luckily, there’s this Harvard Business School graduate who came up with an idea that changed my life and most likely the lives of most people who live in Jakarta and its surrounding areas, called Go-Jek. The concept of Go-Jek is basically pretty similar to the concept of abang ojeks’ services. But the main difference is that you can get Go-Jek’s services by booking it first using a phone/computer tablet app. Yes. An app. In other words, you don’t have to look for abang ojek on the streets if you use this app because the Go-Jek driver will come to you. Just tap, type, and wait until the driver comes to you.

How about the payment rate? It will be automatically calculated by the app based on the distance (in KM) you will travel. The tariff is fair and reasonable, in my opinion. Currently, they’re offering their ‘transport’ services for only IDR 15000 if the distance you’ll travel is no further than 25KM and I take advantage of this promotional strategy almost everyday. That, for a person who normally travels at least 2 FRIKKIN’ HOURS using public buses to get to her workplace from home and vice versa, is life-changing. I can travel faster and arrive at my workplace earlier (which means I can go home earlier as well. YAY). Plus, I get to spend lesser money if I use this compared to the regular ojeks, which makes another difference between the two.

Oh, did I mention that they also offer courier and food delivery services? Convenient, is it not? Told you that it’s life-changing.

I have utilized this app since June and have met different kinds of Go-Jek drivers. Most of them used to be regular abang ojeks and they claimed that they can be more productive and are more able to make both ends meet now than when they were still abang ojeks. Some work double jobs; vegetables vendor at dawn, Go-Jek driver at dusk. And then there’s this one, whom I met the other day; he told me that used to work a corporate job until there was some legal issues that made him and his other co workers unable to continue on their jobs, so he stayed home for 4 months with no clarity on when the company will pay for his salary yet he has a wife and a 5-year-old kid to feed. He then decided to be a Go-Jek driver. I was his third customer ever and dare I say that my ride with that person is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever had. And that memory won’t fall into the Memory Dump (major Inside Out reference).

It was another work day and I used the Go-Jek app as per normal. Sooner than I had expected, the Go-Jek driver called and asked me if i could direct him to my home from his location, which was nearby. He then arrived a couple of minutes later. I put on my hair cover, face mask (you also get these if you use Go-Jek. How considerate), and my green Go-Jek helmet. Then, I noticed that he wore a decent man shoes. I don’t know, I think I was just quite observant on that moment. I also noticed that his demeanor were quite different than most Go-Jek drivers that I had met. The way he talked, his choice of words... he made me think that he is an educated person (don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that just because a person is a Go-Jek driver then s/he is not educated. Even people with white-collar jobs can be shallow-minded and display uneducated attitude). We then went off.

While we were on our way, he told me about his stories. He came to Jakarta from an outside city way before I was even born. I believe he came from somewhere in Java, because I could sense I teeny hint of Javanese accent. He used to be a Jakarta State University engineering student, but didn’t finish his studies. He also used to work as a contractor. Once, he was a bankrupt businessman. But then he opened a new food-supplying business and if I’m not mistaken, it’s still up and running. And he too is a landlord of a rented loft near my house. Wow... I was blown away by his stories, for his life is so full of struggle. See? A Go-Jek ride can be full of surprises.

If everything that he told me wasn’t just a sheer bullsh*t, then he, i think, is the epitome of a true hard-working person and a responsible husband/father. I hope great things will come to him and his little family everyday.

As we were about to arrive at my workplace, I felt a pounding in my head. I felt dizzy. Probably because I hadn’t had a proper breakfast. I then thought “Okay, I’m getting a Panadol”. After he dropped me off, I took off the helmet and felt slightly better. Then, I went straightaway to my desk and found that my buddy had just returned from her holiday. After we screamed like legit chicks and hugged, she pulled out a package that her friend got me from Mecca Cosmetica. I screamed for another time. Having that said, keep an eye out on this blog for another makeup post! Headache? What headache?

Speaking of makeup, I tried out ANOTHER mauvey-pink lip product. After I applied it for the first time, I was upset. It didn’t turn out as I had expected it to be. What disappointed me the most was because I saw so many good reviews about it. I immediately thought about selling it. Until, I discovered a way of getting the best use out of it. So, no. It’s still mine, I’m not gonna sell it, and I will talk about it later on this blog so stay tuned!

Okay, now back to work. You see that cropped photo of me up there? That's me wearing the aforesaid lip product and an earphone. I usually put on some music while I’m working, and the one that I’ve been listening to for the last couple of days is titled ‘Bilur’. It’s an Indonesian song sung by a female singer named Danilla and taken from her album called 'Telisik'. If you love gloomy weather and are a melancholic person like me, chances are you’re gonna love this song. Let me think of how many times I’ve listened to this song. 30? 100? ∞? I kid you not, I lost count. Her take on ‘My Favorite Things’ is also my favorite. But ‘Bilur’... OMG how can I even describe my love in the most humane way possible? Have you ever heard a song that makes you feel like there’s some butterflies in your belly every time you listen to it? Can’t you ever fathom my undying love for this tune? Dilla, If you’re reading this, thank you for introducing me to this song :””””””)

Every element of that song, I love. the guitar, the bass, the poetical lyric, the violin... the melancholy.

Aaaand that concludes this post. Phew, what a lengthy blog post! Thanks for coming by and reading this post until the very end :) I hope you find this useful and there’ll be lots of highlights on your upcoming days, but until then, have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Plum-ped Pout

I have a long, long wish list of beauty items I want to have and Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in the shade Plum Pop was once included in it. Was? Yes, I finally scratched it off my wish list!

I wanted to have it since months ago but back then, it wasn’t sold in Indonesia. Until around last month, when I visited a mall near my manor (do I sound rich or what), I saw a humongous poster of the aforementioned product. Apparently,  it’s been officially sold in Indonesia since then. However, I didn’t walk into the store that day. I didn’t want to purchase it just yet.

A couple of days later, I saw Adani’s blog post about Plum Pop. She mentioned that the color is in the middle of MAC Syrup and MAC Plumful, which both are also included in my wish list. So then I thought, if Syrup and Plumful had a baby, it’d be Plum Pop! After I finished reading her post, I made up my mind to make a purchase. ANOTHER Adani-enabled purchase.

When I heard that my childhood buddy is coming home from the states, I immediately contacted her and asked her to do a little favor – I asked her to get the product for me at a local Sephora (because the price there is not as hefty as in where I live), plus some other stuffs (a little favor, you said?). And that, my friends, is a brief tale of how I got my Plum Pop.

I really like the packaging of this and the rest of the range. It’s very sleek and minimal, yet it has a pop of color. The color itself is a plummy, mauvey-pink (surprise, surprise). How can it be not a Nadia color? (that being said, expect more pinky-mauvey lippies posts to come!).

Of course, it wouldn’t be a review if I didn’t put it to a test. So I did. Texture-wise, it felt very creamy. Pigmentation-wise, it was really good! Full, bold color-payoff in just a single swipe. It applied evenly over the lips and had no scent. The website says that it’s supposed to stay on the lips for 8 hours and because it says “Primer” I expected it to be long lasting. However, it only stayed on my lips for around 3 hours with lots of eating and drinking from glass. Maybe, if I hadn’t eaten and drunk that much, it’d last longer. Oh, and it did leave a mark on the glass. Well, it’s not an ultra-matte lipstick anyway.

I wanted to see whether or not it’d stay throughout wudu. So I reapplied and made wudu. After that, I noticed that the color still stayed on my lips. I just think that this is something worth mentioning :)

To summarize this post, I think it’s a great lipstick. It’s got amazing color coverage, lasts for a fair amount of time, and feels smooth and creamy on the lips. Now, allow me to look back at my wish list and scratch something off it some more… 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grad Makeup 101

The day you had been waiting for finally came after countless days of thesis counseling and sleepless nights of doing revisions. Next thing you knew… you passed THE thesis defense! Yeay! Still, there’s one more thing to do that’s as important as preparing for your thesis defense day. It’s preparing for your graduation day. Especially for girls, you know you have a long to-do list to be ticked that includes choosing your kebaya, buying heels that hopefully won’t make your toes sore, booking an appointment with your hair/hijab stylist, and most importantly is deciding what makeup to wear on that big day. Why is it so important? Trust me, you want to look and feel your best on that very day when you’ll be throwing your graduation cap into the air. Keep on reading if you want to know some useful tips in the hope of preventing the disastrous mistake you know you’ll want to avoid. 
Tip numero uno, wear a makeup look that you know you’ll feel comfortable with. Something like an amped up version of your regular makeup. Don’t try something out of your comfort zone that you haven’t worn before. For instance, if you have never sported a bold fiery red pout then don’t wear it on your graduation day. If you are used to wearing a nude lip, then just slap your favorite lipstick and add some gloss to glam it up a bit. You don’t want to feel uneasy for the rest of the day with whatever makeup it is you’re wearing.
Having a hard time in deciding what kind of look you’d like to wear? A good tip is to go for a classic, timeless look that never goes wrong. Heavily sculpted cheeks and thick bushy brows and are on today’s trends, but maybe not for 20-30 years later. Don’t make your grandchildren laugh at your makeup look when they see your graduation photos. You don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of them, do you?
If your graduation ceremony will be held indoor and you want to take photos indoor as well, avoid using foundations and powders that contain high SPF or you’ll get a flashback effect. It is when you look like a ghost when you get your picture taken using flash. Why? It’s because the primary ingredient in most products with SPF is titanium dioxide, a chemical formula that reflects sun rays. So, if you don’t want to look like Casper in your photos, use products that contain low or no SPF. But, for those of you who’ll be taking pictures in broad daylight, you better use products with SPF to prevent UV rays from messing around with your skin. (For more details about how titanium dioxide works, Google it. I’m not a chemist. LAZY).
It is essential to use primers before doing your makeup. A good face primer and eye primer will help prolong the wear time of your makeup. Once your makeup is done, spray your face with a makeup setting spray to lock everything in place.
After your makeup is done, make sure to prepare your own ‘emergency’ kit in case you need to reapply or touch up your makeup. Just grab your lipstick, concealer, and compact powder and throw them into your purse. No, you don’t need to carry your entire vanity. You can also throw in your hand fan in case things get sweaty, bobby pins, and pocket tissue.
Last but not least, enjoy your big day. Take lots and lots of pictures with your dearest friends and families. Cherish every second on that day. Because tomorrow you’ll turn the page and enter ‘Chapter Grown-Up’ with series of challenging adventures, responsibilities, and other serious stuffs. But that’s fine as long as you remember to have fun!

Congratulations for surviving college. Vivat academia!

PS. Have you got your pendamping wisuda already? 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Of Coffee and Capitalism

Last month, on the 22nd, the cubemate and I planned to go to a Starbucks outlet. She brought along her Starbucks tumbler that day so she could get 50% discount on any beverages. I’m not a coffee person, much less a hard-line Starbucks fan. But I was bored at work and it only took a few footsteps away to get there (okay maybe a few more), so there we went.

As we were walking (and gossiping), we stumbled upon an old lady who was just walking right in front of us. I couldn’t tell how old she was, but she was a legit ‘ibu-ibu’. She was wearing a headscarf, a pair of gray trousers that were rolled up to the length of her ankles and seemed a bit dirty, and I believe, a pair of Swallow sandals. I also noticed that she was carrying a plastic box-like thing, wrapped in a large cloth, which she carried as if it was a sling bag. On her right hand, she carried a pink thermos bottle that looked like it hadn’t been washed for ages (I hoped she cleans the inside regularly, at least). I thought “Oh, she sells beverages. Perhaps mainly to the local ojek persons. And maybe that box she’s carrying consists of coffee sachets and plastic cups”.

We were about to enter the building where the Starbucks was at while the lady kept walking ahead. When we were about to part ways with the lady, I heard some security guards in front of the building greeting her ‘Emak’. Another thinking bubble popped with “Oh, she’s a regular and seems like local people knows her” written on it.

After we got that Starbucks drink, we went back to our cubicle-sweet-cubicle. Back to our work and emails. And reports. And YouTube videos. And Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. And M4m4h D3d3h’s dubsmash parodies.

And back to the thought of that old lady.

I couldn’t stop thinking about that encounter. There was a feeling of pity for her. Mixed with a touch of irony. In front of me, was her, who probably sells her coffees for under 10k. While behind her back, there was me, who was about to splurge 50k for a coffee. 

We were standing very close to each other, yet very distant.

I wanna be rich. I want to have ownership over concrete, tangible fortune that I know I can directly share with people like that lady. And the have nots. And the physically challenged. And those in need.

I just want to do something to other people that I can sense the impact, you know?

Even so, I’m sure she has something that no other person has in this entire world.

Something that makes her one special ‘Emak’.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Girl. Bond Girl.

*Cue to the 007 theme song*

Owning a Charlotte Tilbury product has been one of my ultimate life goals for yonks. The product in question is one of her Matte Revolution lipsticks named Bond Girl. But I wasn’t bold enough to put it on top of my makeup wish list, due to the hefty price tag and the accessibility to get the product. Yes, it’s a luxury makeup brand. And yes, it’s not available in where I live. It’s only sold in the UK.

I didn’t know what got into me. But one day, I felt like I was in dire need to purchase this product and I had to do it at once. Long story short, the universe conspired in helping me to achieve what I want. Then the next day, a post man came with a package for me.

It was it.

I passed out.


First off, let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the rose gold packaging. Isn’t it gorgeous?! The tip of the bullet is slanted and square-shaped, which I think is pretty ergonomic because it somewhat hugs the lips easily. The shade is a natural berry that I think is appropriate for both black tie events and casual occasions, and looks flattering on many skin tones.

After taking some pictures before abusing it, I finally got the chance to test it. I had high hopes on this product because it is a luxury product and it is expensive. When I initially applied it, I wasn’t wow-ed. It didn’t show as opaque as I had expected. Don’t get me wrong though, it was definitely not just a sheer wash of berry tint on the lips. It’s just I expected it to look richly pigmented in a single swipe. But it didn’t. I had to do 2 - 3 swipes until I was happy with the color payoff. Not a major deal-breaker, I know. 

As I was I applying the product, I could smell a faint vanillary scent, which I think was quite nice. The bullet glided smoothly along my lips. This product claims to have a soft-matte finish. Maybe that’s why the product felt moisturizing on the lips.

The moisture was gone after about an hour of wear, leaving my lips with a matte feeling that wasn't drying in any way. 4 hours later (plus lots of drinking from my mug, some fettucine, a bowl of oatmeal, some lebaran cookies, and some finger-licking shenanigans), the color began to fade from the center on my lips. Oh, and the color did transfer while I was drinking.

Maybe, if I decided to go for her crème de la crème products like the Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk or the Filmstar Bronze & Glow, I wouldn’t complain a single thing on this post. But all in all, I don’t regret buying this product. And after all, at some point in my life, I gotta own a Tilbury product anyway$$$$.