For the most part, it is clear with a few spots here and there. One thing that remained persistent over the past few years is my milia. These small white bumps on my nose and underneath my eye seem to grow regardless of how often I exfoliate.
I met with Tao Skincare Clinic to see how we can remove them.
Milia are small white bumps formed when skin flakes or keratin are stuck underneath the upper layer of the skin. They aren't usually painful, they're just there. They've been there for a year now, no matter how much I exfoliated.
While I had them when I was younger, they became more pervasive since coming to the UK. Most likely due to the weather and forgetting to wash my makeup off often as I should. Since there was no way to remove them at home, I decided to see an esthetician.
They literally put me under a microscope.
Each pore and imperfection noticeable as I laid flat on the bed. "They should pop right out," she said, brushing her fingers against my skin. It wouldn't hurt, just little prickle.
We used needling at first. We prepped the skin first, cleaning the area with a cotton pad. Then, she took a sterilized needle, sharp to the touch, to prod the skin. I could feel the scratches, like a prick. A shard of glass pressing against the skin.
Once the skin was crossed finely, she applied pressure to the cyst. Gunk oozed out underneath, leaving a small dot of blood.
Some seeds were difficult to remove so she used electrolysis. Another needle hooked to a machine that poked under the skin, zapping a bit of heat to disperse the cyst. It sounded terrifying, electrocuting yourself in tiny heat strokes. I've never felt anything like that. The tingling sensation around the skin wasn't painful but I did hold my breath.
Afterward, she cleaned everything up with witch hazel. In just under twenty minutes, we were done!
Before & After
I had some scabs for a few days but nothing too obvious. Rather, just a bit of redness that faded away. It's a subtle change but made me feel relieved, as the bumps were pestering me for the past few years. Thanks to Tao Skincare Clinic, I feel so much better.
*insert 'you're so racist to white people' comment here*
"We're living in a post-racial society." "I don't see colour." "You're exaggerating."
I am not writing this for white people. I am writing this for catharsis.
The acceptance I am not going to please everyone, especially those whose ideas are already set. I am too SJW, too PC, too feminist. I've become so desensitized that they aren't insulting anymore. I find those people ignorant.
I'm making mountains out of molehills. It's not a big deal. Stay quiet, stay complicit.
"You're doing this for attention."
It's scary to know you feel different because you are different.
They don't see color because they never needed to confront their race. Worried that the color of their skin affects reality's perception of them and vice-versa. I walk a dangerous line every day, trying to fit in without erasing my Muslim and Asian identity - just enough that I don't get called a terrorist on the streets anymore.
"No, you're prettier without your hijab." "Take that thing off." "You don't really believe, do you?"
I hear people comment at the expense of us. My first reaction is to shout and cause a scene. Instead, my lips are tight and they stay silent. I can't challenge people who have made up their mind. It cannot always be me who educates the uneducated. It's mentally exhausting to explain basic human morality to people who don't want to listen anyway.
When someone looks at me, they think Asian. They think immigrant. They think 'you don't belong here.' That's fine. I don't want a place that doesn't want me.
I am not black. I will never learn fully understand their struggles in an ever-divided society, but I can relate. The colonization of Brunei, the White Rajah of Sarawak, and the lasting effects of colonialism. We will never know a life without British invasion because we still reel in the effects.
The past is the past, but we are still affected now. That doesn't change. Systematic oppression and casual racism still strong, and the rise of racially-motivated attacks are ignored by the public. I can't keep screaming or else I'd lose my voice.
There's no point to this post. It was written after finish a good book, and having one too many conversations where there was no conclusion. Rather than attempting to reaffirm bias, stop instead. Challenge the bias and listen to the minority. I will start talking when white people start listening.
I'm still here, still breathing, still alive. Just tired.
I'm growing a bit more tired every day.
School life, personal life, and professional life seem to clash every other day. It's a perpetual balance except everything's falling and the metaphor is all wrong. I know I complain too much. My therapist thinks so too but she phrases it differently. Figure out what you want out of life, give yourself space, take a break. So I did.
And I hated it.
I'm not suited for a quiet life.
As melodramatic as it sounds, boredom is my worst fear. I realised that after three months of silence on this blog. I wanted to write but lacked inspiration, I didn't have to write, I needed the space. I crave the silence but I know if I had a day of nothing, I'd grow anxious. I would start another side-hustle whilst learning how to juggle and do the splits. I'd make myself busy.
Not a good idea for someone who is physically, emotionally and mentally, a f*cking mess.
I know I'm a mess.
I once cried to models at an ASOS photoshoot I organized because I thought I hadn't eaten the whole day, only to find a half-eaten veggie wrap in my schoolbag. That was my dinner in the evening and breakfast the next morning.
I'm the most functional dysfunctional mess you'll meet, but I'm still a mess nonetheless.
Work is piling up, law school makes me cry, graduation is looming over me, and don't get me started on relationships. My life is crumbling. I'm barely clinging on with chipped nails gripping at the edges. At least I'm still here and alive.
Sometimes, I think that's the best thing I do now.
"I'm still alive and I have to stay alive,"has been my main mantra since I was nineteen. I don't know if that's a good thing anymore.
I'm about to graduate. That terrifies me. It's the time where I need to find a place in this world, wherever that is, or else I'm going to float through as I have the past three years. I'm not ready at all. Staying alive is great, I'm breathing and I'm okay. I just have to start living again. God help me.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening of the Selfie Factory Pop-Up at Shoreditch last weekend. Armed with my trusty Canon 600D, EOSM10 and iPhone, I dragged my friend to come along as my last minute photographer.
We braved the cold London streets till we found the place, brightly lit in contrast to the faint street lights. As we entered, we were welcomed to a world of excitement all for that perfect selfie.
The Selfie Factory was the best place to indulge in my narcissism.
Different areas of the places were installations to create fun selfies you'll never find anywhere else. They encouraged us to play with the props from the donut wall to a giant teddy bear. Each 'room' was fit with a certain vibe, perfect for the aesthetic.
I spent way longer than I should in each room, at least 10 minutes, going back and forth to perfect the perfect pose. Playing around with camera settings and angles, and I wasn't alone. Plenty of people around me did the same. I was not the exception, I was the norm.
That being said, there are a few things I would have done differently, given the chance. So I have some tips when you do go!
TIPS FOR THE SELFIE FACTORY
| Visit during the day. You'll get much better natural lighting than dim ceiling lights.
| Bring spare clothes - wear something you can easily change out of, and slip into another. This way, you can vary your shots and looks in a session!
| Equipment doesn't matter. Sometimes, all you need is your phone and a friend you trust (with a lot of patience)
Play around with shots. Go online and find some cool poses for the installations.
Reflecting on the past and excited for the future. As such, I looked back at my old blog posts. I didn't post as often as I wanted to, but I can't blame myself. I enjoyed 2017 a bit too much. Still, I found a few hidden gems.
Never in a million years did I think I could go to London Fashion Week, and yet I did.
When I received the invitations, I got heart palpations. I packed a full suitcase worth of clothes and shoes. It was so exciting to watch all these shows, nervous as I was a spectator in this huge event. Watching it unfold in front of my eyes, nerve-wrecking and a true dream come true.
I wrote this blog post on an emotional day. I felt so unpretty and so unhappy with myself.
Angry with myself, my body, and my mind, I sat down on my unmade bed and spilled these thoughts. A few days later, I rescheduled a shoot, and took these photos instead. No makeup, veins popping and eyes dark as usual. It's one of my most honest posts ever, and maybe that's why I loved it.
As I mentioned in My Year in Review, I wrote this prose in May, spent June perfecting it and publishing in July.
This post took the longest to publish. At the time, it meant so much. I wrote it on a whim, at three in the morning. Inspired by a boy I know or knew, depending on when you ask me. Now, while my feelings have changed, this post resonates with me as a reminder. Emotions stay with you, sometimes for the best.
In light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, many strong men and women have come out with their sexual harassment stories. As support, I wrote about some of my experiences.
I should note; these are not all of my experiences. If I have to write down every single time I was harassed, by someone I knew or stranger on the street, it would be endless. People are still surprised when I mention these experiences aren't the worst, just the ones I was comfortable to discuss.
A Monoligual Malay's Thoughts on Language & Cultural Identity - YouTube
People have called me whitewashed, westernised, white girl. Whether as a joke or insult, it does affect me regardless. As someone raised Bruneian and identifies as Malay, I wondered if I was lesser than others because my (lack of) language skills.
So I made a video about it.
While these posts might be my favourite, each blog post this year took effort, time and dedication. These are just few among many.
Now, I can look forward to the blog posts I will write this 2018. Goodness knows how those will be.