Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Pole Journey so far: How to prepare for a pole photoshoot

I was looking at my first professionally take pole pictures and just realised about one and a half years has passed. I can't remember exactly when I took up pole dancing but judging from my first post about pole it has been about more than 2 years. Oh my, how time has passed. In these two years, I have become slightly more flexible on my back, shoulders and even though I still don't have my splits, I am much closer to the floor then I was before. It will probably take me years but I will take my time. I am very sure I am much stronger, although I can't do a proper pull up on the horizontal bar, if I placed my hands differently, I can manage three pull ups.

Pole now is both motivating and depressing for me. Tricks are getting so difficult now that I can almost never master the new tricks I have been taught. It is depressing because I see all my classmates nailing stuff while I struggle. Even though I keep telling myself it is not a competition and I will go at my own pace, my heart cries a little when I fail. So now my goal is to gain upper body strength especially in my arms and repeat my levels until I'm confident and look better at my poses. I'll still work on my nemesis moves and one day perhaps I'll get them. Oh yes, I'm taking up Spinning Pole which terrifies me till no end because spinning uncontrollably on a pole is scary and dizzying. I honestly fear I'll be the first person ever to throw up in the studio.

Anyway these pictures taken by Justin Tran is my way of documenting my pole progress. Hopefully in another year, I can show off my handspring, Jade and Allegra. Your pole photographer is very important. Although Justin has taken many pictures of famous pole celebrities, he still makes me feel safe and comfortable. For noobs like me, it can be terrifying because I know I can never match up to the pros. He guides me and helps me to get my best pole shot.

After my first photo shoot, I kinda knew what to expect. In order to prepare for this one, I stepped up on my fitness programme and watched what I ate more consciously. I realise that simple pole poses especially those showing the face look nicest and even though they might not be the most difficult of moves, your expression matters a lot. I looked through many pole poses and selected the few I wanted and started practising them by making sure I could hold the poses for more than a few seconds. These photoshoots are tiring business because you have to hold the pose till the photographer gets the perfect shot. I was lucky to have partnered another friend so we took turns to rest in between. My friend also helped spot me, turn me to the right direction and fixed my leg positions and hair. Thank you Joanne!

The pole spins in order for the photographer to turn you into the right position. For noobs like me that can be very scary because I am used to static poles. I used a lot of tack to ensure that I had grippy hands and would not slide. I also practised in the costume and heels I wanted to wear just to make sure that there would not be any wardrobe malfunctions if you know what I mean.

My first pose was the most difficult, tiring and scary one for me. It is called the Extended Butterfly. Even though I learned this more than a year ago, I only managed to nail this trick a few month back. The pole was moving so it made it harder for me to hold the pose for long so pardon the constipated face.

This is called the Dragon. Another trick I learned one and a half years ago but did not try to attempt because of my then inflexible back and shoulders. I could not do without cussing and the help of a friend to wrap my bottom hand onto the pole. 

This is a variation of a handstand.

And finally a split hand grip.

The best part I think was when Justin said that he thought I had improved from the last time we met, I was so pleased.

I am already thinking of what poses to work on for my next photoshoot. I would have at least another year to work on them.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Chanel Summer Collection MÉDITERRANÉE 2015:Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick Blush N 21 and N 22

I apologise for going MIA lately. With the bout of sickness, work stress and my dance rehearsals, it is getting really hard to motivate myself to blog. I don't even have the energy to buy makeup! Anyway, I finally have a little free time to compose this and I thought I would share one of my latest buys which I really could not resist.

Out of the whole Chanel Mediterranee collection, I was only interested in the two blushes. I still read makeup blogs and the moment I saw the colours and swatches, I knew I had to get down to my local counters to check them out. On the rare occasion, I managed to drag myself out of my house, I swatched both of them,  I love both shades so I had to get both of them.

I love the packaging. They are housed in hefty metal tubes with beige interlocking Cs instead of the usual white. They click shut so no worries of the cap coming off and dirtying your makeup pouch.

Left to right: N 21 and N 22, one swipe swatch

Two swipe swatch
N21 is a lovely bright rosy pink shade and N22 is a coral orange shade perfect for summer. They are matte and blend very easily over and under powder. I usually apply to swipes on my cheek bones and use my fingers to blend. Perfect for those no fuss makeup days where you just want to swipe and go. They last about 4 to 5 hours on me before gently fading to just a hint of colour.

N21 on my cheeks
SGD $68.

Ratings: 5 lipsticks

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tom Ford Beauty Soleil Collection 2015 Eye and Cheek Compact Pink Glow

Even though I have countless palettes already, I just had to get the Tom Ford Eye and Cheek palette. I let the 2014 summer palette escape me (that blue!) so I had to get this even though I was a bit wary of that plum shade on my eyelids.

The packaging is simply gorgeous. The white screams luxe although I question how clean the white suede casing will stay with constant handling. I love how sleek and slim the compact is.

The eye and cheek compact consists of three eyeshadow shades and a blush and a highlighter. The finger swatches done at the store blew me away. They felt creamy and dense to the touch even though they were powder.

The eyeshadows consist of a pearly white eyeshadow with a pink tinge which I typically use to highlight my brows or use on the inner corner of my eye lids. A sparkly topper shade and a dark plummy accent shade. The plum blush is quite intense and should be applied with the lightest hand. The eye shadows lasted on my eyelids, the topper shade adhered well without fall out and the blush stayed on my cheeks without my having to reapply.

White eyeshadow all over eye lids
Plum accent shade on outer corner of lids blending inwards and out
Topper shade on the middle of lids and eyeliner

Plum blush on my cheeks with highlighter on the top of my cheeks
This Pink Glow palette is surprisingly wearable for my skintone. The plum accent shade did not give my eyelids a bruised effect, instead it looks more exciting and refreshing as compared to my normal neutral eye looks. The quality of the all the products in this palette is outstanding, at its price, it is a big splurge but one I am very happy to make.

USD $95

Ratings: 4+ lipsticks

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bali adventures: Makeup Edition

The one additional reason why I love to travel is the fact that I love wondering around the Changi DFS beauty aisle deciding what to buy. I had planned to get the Chanel foundation as mine was finishing. The CDP lipstick was something I told myself I would get and the rest were impulse buys.

I was surprised to see Burberry, NARS and Make Up For Ever available at Terminal 2. Unfortunately I didn't see anything I wanted then so my wallet escaped with relatively little damage.

Below are stuff I brought. After two trips to Bali I learnt not to bring so much makeup. The steaming humidity isn't forgiving to heavy makeup.

I chose items that would stay intact in the humidity. The perfume was not a good idea, I didn't use any at all. I didn't want to attract anymore mosquitoes that I had to.

The laid back feel of Bali just didn't make bright lips feel right so I chose muted natural colours instead. 

For my complexion, I used my trusty Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet over this sample bottle of Make Up For Ever Primer in #0 which I discovered was a great combination. There was no need for powder as I wanted as natural a base as I could. My Addiction Blush Stick in Rose Bar and Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Wand in Manet gave me a sheer flush that stayed put.

Eyes looks were kept simple. I love using cream shadows because they are easy to tote around and long lasting. Plus I didn't have to bring any eye shadow brushes, I used my fingers to blend. Eye brows and eyeliner are very important to give me a natural yet polished look.

What do you normally bring for beach vacations?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bali adventures: Food Edition

Be prepared to drool. It was very difficult to stay on a strict diet when you are faced with so much good food. At Awarta Nusa Dua Luxury Villa and Spa, we always get a sumptuous breakfast before heading out to play. The daily pastry basket is always full of soft and fluffy pastry. I never got tired of the breakfast menu. There were so many choices and they always acceded to our request for extra bacon or sausages and what not.

Eggs benedict
Fluffy pancakes
Nasi Goreng with Udang (prawn)
Asian breakfast set
My daily dose of caffeine
The local dishes were delicious! Hubs had an obsession with Gado Gado which is an Asian salad with tofu and peanut sauce and Nasi Campur so he had to try them at every establishment he could find. Anyway how did we choose which restaurant to visit? Head for the ones where there are many patrons and cross our fingers. 

Gado Gado
Nasi Campur
Nasi Campur
Ayam soup (chicken soup)
More Gado Gado!

Rice with crispy duck
Rice with udang
Fried banana fritters with gula melaka
Seafood mixed grill
Being Singaporean, I think we know our seafood well, we were quite disappointed with some of the items from the seafood mixed grill. The crabs and prawns were powdery in texture which signifies that it isn't fresh. Might be better to head to Jimbaran for fresh seafood.

You know me, I head for desserts.

Most restaurants here do a fusion. You can find both western and Balinese food at every establishment. So when you get sick of Balinese food which you shouldn't there are always other cuisines available.

Bali is a food paradise people. Throw your plans of a diet out of the window when you are here. Enjoy first and worry about your waistline when you return.