Beauty + Fashion: Dressing up and getting ready for National Day 2016 (Without Breaking the Bank)

Ah, National Day. Usually the biggest event an Embassy or a Consulate will host for the year. It’s something that a lot of people either enjoy or stress over – depending on your role for that night.

As a diplomatic reporter and later on as a diplomat’s wife, I’ve been attending a whole lot of National Day celebrations and Embassy events from Manila to KL. Too many for me to count at this point – to think I’ve only been in the diplomatic circle for 5 years. (Diplomatic life does mean events left and right)

Such events are usually a good opportunity for a country to share something from home – their food, culture, history, the talent of their people. For us Filipinos, there’s usually a part of the program dedicated to how talented Filipino performers are.

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One thing I love about attending diplomatic events is the dressing up that it comes with. I happen to love wearing Filipiniana – all forms of it. From the well-known Terno and Maria Clara down to the clothes worn by the different tribes all over the Philippines. However, one thing about National Dresses/Outfits is that they can cost quite a bit. I’ve had one too many fellow diplowives telling me that dressing up for National means parting with a hefty amount. The fact that it happens annually means you also have a repetitive (big) expense.

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Fashion: Trium Card Celebrates 1st Anniversary + Nichii’s New Collection

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Happy birthday, Trium Card! :-*

Kuala Lumpur is definitely a shopping a city. I remember telling my husband a few months ago how it’s always a problem for me to close my wallet due to all the shopping and membership cards I acquired since moving here last year. Almost every brand or store has a membership card, all promising rewards. The more you shop, the more you get out of it.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? You actually get more value for your money in the end. 😉

One of these membership privilege providers is the Trium Card which handles three of the most popular and affordable retail brands I’ve seen in KL (They have stores every-effing-where!)  – Nichii, Kitschen, and Dressing Paula. The Trium Card loyalty programme was actually launched last year and what I like about it is that – it’s not really a card so it doesn’t physically take up space in my wallet.

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Attending Trium Card’s 1st Anniversary at the Nichii Store in MidValley Megamall. Also, that’s a weird angle for my right thigh.

What I Wore: Star Wars Long Sleeved shirt from Uniqlo, Black pencil skirt from Zara, Lace-up flats from H&M, Black leather handbag from Manfield.

No, really. It’s a digital version of a shopping privilege/membership card that you can access through your smartphone. Every time you shop at Nichii, Kitschen, and Dressing Paula, you get a point for every ringgit you spend. Once you accumulate 500 points, you get a 50 ringgit voucher for your next shopping trip.

I must admit that sometimes, I forget that I am a member of one store as there’s just so many cards to remember! Having just one card to cover these three fashion brands, makes transactions easier. Plus, I can use the points I accumulated in my Trium Cars to either one of these three brands.

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Beauty + Fashion [VIDEO]: The humungous (affordable) Europe haul

Hi everyone! Finally publishing this requested video which takes over 20 minutes. Crazy long, I know! But there’s just so much stuff to show you! So this is the video where I prove to you guys that shopping in Europe can be VERY affordable. 🙂 While I do have family there who heavily subsidised our trip and spoiled the hell out of us while we were there, the stuff I actually paid for didn’t leave my wallet in a sorry state. I missed Europe and all the things I can get there but I am proud to say that as always, I kept my head and didn’t go wild. Whew! (Always a struggle though if you’re into beauty products and clothes!)

Also, as a disclaimer, I didn’t include everything and even had to cut off a lot of parts just to keep it this short! I kept the most interesting bits, though. The home stuff, I’ll probably talk about them in another entry.

You can check the list of products I mentioned after the video if you don’t want to go through the whole ordeal. 😉 I also put them in order so you can easily forward through the video if you’re only interested in a few products!

A friend of mine who saw this video first before I uploaded it also asked why I didn’t get anything from Sephora during the trip. Answer: Because of the low Ringgit, everything is cheaper in Malaysia at the moment! So it would have been a disservice to my wallet and shopping skills if I shopped for makeup there that’s readily available in KL. 😀

Also, I was able to keep my hands off the Charlotte Tillbury and Tom Ford lipsticks that I wanted with the logic that if I pass on them now and just buy them when I have more savings, then, I will be able to buy more stuff in Boots! Haha! Crazy, I know. I’ve been taking extra freelance work lately as I’ve been saving up for the high end stuff that I want for my next trip – which may be coming sooner than I thought! 😉

Enjoy!

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Fashion: Charles & Keith re-opens in MidValley with a new concept store

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My love for classy shoes and bags is of common knowledge among my friends and most of the time, it’s often hard to resist the temptation once you find yourself a style that you really want.

Charles & Keith has often been my saviour during times when my craving/need for a new pair of shoes or bags gets a bit too much as their products are always easy on the pocket without sacrificing style and durability!

I’ve been a fan of theirs back in Manila when I was still working as a journalist, wearing their shoes to coverages and stuffing everything that I need for a long work day in their bags. Now, here in Malaysia as a Diplomat’s wife, I often wear Charles & Keith shoes and use their bags to diplomatic receptions and events. I often get compliments for them as well!

Oh, and did I mention that their stuff lasts for years? Yay for value for money, right?

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Fashion: Kenzo Time’s 2015 Collection

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Well this blog has been rather quiet! Sorry for the lack of updates, guys. If you’ve been following my Instagram, you might have noticed that I am not in Malaysia at the moment. The husband and I are finally enjoying an actual (!) holiday since our honeymoon.

It’s also well-deserved, I must say. They’ve been so busy at the embassy! He was ending his work days at 2am during the most recent ASEAN meetings. So to everyone who thinks that the job of a diplomat is easy – well, it’s not. Especially in a really busy post! We’re currently in Europe to visit my family and drop by a few must-see cities. It’s my husband’s first time here so it’s pretty fun to explore with him.

We’re currently at our second stop which is Paris! The city of lights, love, and of course – fashion. Looking at the Eiffel Tower yesterday reminded me of something! I actually have important news to share with you guys!

Before leaving for our trip, I attended the launch of Kenzo Time‘s 2015 collection in Kuala Lumpur and I must say that I was pretty impressed. I’m a lover of vintage and the classics when it comes to fashion and that mindset extends to my choice of timepieces. I usually stick with gold, vintage watches or bangle-type silver timepieces. I never saw watches as an accessory that can make or break my outfit. But alas, I stand corrected yet again. 😉

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Fashion + Style: Being Ethnically Chic with Frankitas

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“This is so you, Carol”, my friend Miriam said as we entered the Frankitas gallery in Damansara Heights. And I do think she is right.

I don’t really remember when my love for tribal (actual tribal patterns – not the ones you score in F21) and traditional cloth started. But it has turned into a bit of an obsession. Frankitas, Bags, Clutches, Jewelry, Ikat, Batik, Songket, Traditional Cloth, Weaving, Modernized, Fashion, Ethnic, Modern Ethnic, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Fashion Statement, Key Pieces, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Asia, Fabric, Woven,I remember my first piece (that I bought) being a T’nalak skirt from the T’boli tribe in South Cotabato, Philippines. The T’nalak is literally made out of dreams as the weavers have to dream of the patterns they use before turning them into a woven masterpiece.

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Stories like these make traditional fabric much more meaningful – that’s why I fall in love with them over and over. And you know what? I’m extremely happy that I am not alone in this love affair.

I met Francisca “Franki” Turner-Shaik at the media launch for her brand Frankitas. She uses traditional, woven fabric from all over the world, turning them to pieces that are fit for the modern-day woman. She is creative and has so much passion for the art of weaving and helping out the weavers. I loved her right away! 😉

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Authentic Filipino Crafts, Souvenirs, and Fashion at The Manila Collectible Co.

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My husband and I are crazy about “Filipinizing” our home. While at post, diplomats are expected to entertain – to have guests of different nationalities (other diplomats, businessmen, etc.) over for socialising – which usually means talking shop over food and drinks. 😉 Those opportunities are a great way to showcase our culture and what we have back home.

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So during my last trip to Manila, I bought some traditional Filipino accessories and clothes that I can wear to different events. It is often hard to convince people at diplomatic events that I’m actually Filipino because of how I look. My husband’s looks don’t really help either as people often think he’s Chinese/Japanese/Korean.

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