Ramadan Culture that Confuses Non Muslims

Hey, everyone!

It feels like years since the last time I posted on this blog, while actually it’s only been two weeks! As I mentioned on this post, it’s a little bit hard for me to keep my old schedule to write blog posts since I got a new job. It’s actually even worse now because a relative who stays in my house and helps me take care of my son while I’m working went to her hometown for Ramadan and Eid (biggest Muslim celebration in a year). So basically I will be a single fighter until after Eid. Thank goodness my mom lives in nearby city so she will come help me every couple days in a week. That’s why I took a break from writing for two weeks just to let my self ‘breathe’ a little bit amidst this whole situation.

Speaking about Ramadan and Eid, last week’s Sunday evening (May 5th, 2019) marked the start of Ramadan month this year according to Islamic calendar. If you don’t know what Ramadan is, I found this article from Google where you can read simple and short but clear explanation about Ramadan. Ramadan month lasts for 30 days, and after that, we, Muslims, will have Eid al-Fitr celebration that usually takes up to one week long. So when I said my relative who helps me take care of my son is in a long holiday for Ramadan and Eid, it means I have to juggle between my son, my teaching job, and this blog all alone for around 5 weeks. I actually don’t know how I can handle that so if you’re a busy mom like me, please give me some advice!

In today’s post, since we are in the topic already, I thought I want to share with you my Ramadan experience among many people from different nations and ethnicity during my stay in Japan for three years. As Japan is a Muslim-minority country, not many people (Japanese or other non-Muslim foreigners who live in Japan) are aware about Ramadan’s customs. So I thought it would be interesting to share what non-Muslims think about Ramadan according to my experience. I hope you don’t mind that I take you to a trip down my memory lane so that you will get to know me little by little!

Now, let’s get started!

No Eating and Drinking During The Day

While non-Muslims in Indonesia (as Muslim-majority country) are aware about what Muslims do during Ramadan, that’s not the case for my Japanese and foreigner friends in Japan. When they first heard about Ramadan and came to realize that I won’t be eating and drinking during the day for a WHOLE month, they were shook!

“Won’t you be dead if you aren’t drinking and eating for more than 10 hours?” was the most common question I got from my friends. The fact is, we won’t (in God’s will). Our body can hold up to three weeks without food and up to four days without water (according to this article). So don’t worry, 12 hour-ish without food and water is doable!

The fact is, we must not drink and eat (or simply called ‘fast’) from sunrise until sunset, so the time will be different around the globe. In Indonesia, since we are near equator, we are so lucky to have similar hour-long between day and night. But during my stay in Japan, Ramadan always occurred in summer, so the day was longer than the night. At that time, I had to fast for about 17 hours. But I know it wasn’t the hardest fast known. In other countries, they have to fast for nearly 20 hours.

The next common question I got was, “Why would you sacrifice yourself like that just because your religion told you to do so?” First thing first, ‘fasting’ not only about ‘not drinking and eating’ only, but also about ‘abstaining our self from humanity desire or pleasure, such as sex, swearing, arguing, or smoking’ because this month is a special month for worshiping and getting closer to God. The fact is, personally, because I’m used to do it since I was a kid, I don’t feel any pressure to do it, but i must admit that fasting 17 hours in Japan was much harder than 12 hours in Indonesia. And about the ‘sacrifice’ thing, I feel like by abstaining myself from pleasure activities, I can focus more on my spiritual dedication. I always feel like I became a better person by the end of Ramadan by not arguing with people or restraining my anger. So definitely I must say rather than sacrificing myself by being hungry all day long, I feel the significance of my personal growth is worth the struggle (I hope it makes sense!).

Eating before Dawn

So how do we survive fasting during the day? We actually eat before dawn, and by ‘dawn’ here is also on different times around the world. In Japan when Ramadan lasted on summer, the dawn was 02.30, while in Indonesia it is typically around 04.30.

You might think that we eat a lot during this time, but actually, it’s hard to eat a lot while we’re still half asleep >< In the end, we can only eat just enough to start our day without looking too miserable.

I personally tend to avoid too much carbo or fat. It’s better to take a lot of protein and fiber as it slows down the digestion process, hence makes us feel full a little bit longer. I also make sure I drink a lot water.

Getting Together and Eating after Sunset

One of our favorite time would be none other than the time when we can break our fast. It is around 19.00 in Japan during summer, and 17.30 in Indonesia.

During this time, we usually get together with our family and friends and break our fast together. In Japan, in the city where I lived in, we have huge Muslim community because my city has some universities and research centers, so I can safely say that my city was very foreigner friendly. We have one mosque that is actually not very big, but because of that, we feel very close to each other.

During Ramadan, we had break-fasting schedule almost everyday in the mosque, and in every schedule, we took turn to prepare the food according to our countries. We have Indonesian, Malaysian, Arab, Egypt, Indian, Bangladesh, and Pakistan community when I lived there, so I’m so grateful to be able to experience so many different Ramadan dishes from around the world. We sat together without distinguishing nations and ethnicity, and we just felt as one big Muslim brothers and sisters :’)

Break-fasting menu from Arab Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Pakistan Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Bangladesh Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Indonesia & Malaysia Community, photo by me

So sorry for the low quality photos, guys. I retrieved those photos from my personal IG account. I took them around 2013-2015 when I was still living in Japan, at that time I didn’t know how to make objects look aesthetic on photos. I basically just took the photos for documentary purpose. But I’m sure you get the idea! XD

Praying until Late at Night

And after break-fasting, we had a special prayer that was longer than usual (and by ‘usual’ here I mean months other than Ramadan month). This prayer actually can be done alone in our own home or together in the mosque. But definitely it feels different when we pray together in the mosque and it feels more Ramadan.

This prayer usually started around 21.00 in Japan because of the summer time, while in Indonesia it started around 19.30. The length of the prayer is actually different according to each mosques’ custom. In our mosque in Japan, this prayer usually finished around 22.30. But this is not an obligatory prayer (like I’ve said before). There were several breaks in the middle of the prayer, so we can go home during those breaks if we want to. Or we can completely skip it from the beginning and do it alone in our home.

So after the prayer, me and my friends usually rode our bicycle together from the mosque to our apartment or dorm in Japan. Even though it’s almost midnight, it felt so nice to be with friends, riding our bicycle in the middle of the road. How I missed those time when I was young and free XD

So those are our Ramadan culture, especially when I was living among many Muslims from different countries in Japan. This is such a rare experience and I can’t thank Allah (God) enough for giving me the opportunity to meet my brothers and sisters from around the world and share Ramadan together for once in my lifetime. When I think that I might not be able to repeat this experience, I am a little bit sad. But at least, I have this memory to remember forever :’)

That’s all guys for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it! If you’re not Muslims, do you find this culture interesting? Or maybe do you have some Muslim friends and know how their Ramadan culture is? Are they different than mine? If you’re Muslims, where are you from and how is your Ramadan culture? Share it on the comments below because I’m really interested to know about that, too!

See you on my next post!

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Be Grateful

Hey, all.

Today’s post is actually very short, but I just want to give you a quick update.

So, just recently I got new job! I can’t thank God enough for this! Well, actually it’s not ‘new’ new, but here’s the thing.

From the beginning of this year, I want to give a shot once more to this blog. I have this blog since 2012 but I never write it regularly with a specific theme, so I always ran out of idea of what to write in this blog. So, on January, along with the start of my low-buy year project, I revamped this blog, and actually set a designated schedule to write. I’ve been enjoying writing in this blog, updating my Instagram account and Youtube channel, and I was able to meet new friends from all over the world, all because of this new blog that I have.

Besides that, teaching Japanese has always been my passion also. So, in the beginning of this year, I also posted some advertisements on some local medias here in the city where I reside about me opening a private Japanese lesson. Since then, several people contacted me, but none of them finally became my students. It was like this until March, so I just focus on this blog, my Instagram account, and my Youtube channel. I tried to not have high hopes for my Japanese class.

However, in the beginning of April, suddenly two people contacted me about my Japanese class, and both of them finally decided to study from me! I am so grateful and couldn’t be anymore happier than these days. Three days a week now I have my teaching schedule for these past two weeks.

Therefore, consequently, I have less time to update all of social media accounts. Because of this new schedule that I have to add to my previous existing schedule, I couldn’t finish some drafts that I have prepared for this blog. I need to re-arrange my schedule ASAP!

So, I hope you don’t mind that there will be no beauty-related content this week. I have prepared two posts for the next weeks, but I need more time to do my research related to those posts. I don’t want to upload a blog post just for the sake of uploading every week. I want the content to be comprehensive and actually helpful for you who read it.

Regardless, I’m so grateful for my new job, and also for you who have followed me and read my blog posts. I hope I can sort everything out quickly and have a normal schedule again!

Thank you for bearing with me, and see you on my next post!

Super Easy Way to Make A Sushi Roll

Hey, everyone!

First of all, no, you are not opening a wrong blog. This is still me, Unpretty Vanity, and this time I want to share with you something a little bit different than what I usually write. But of course, this blog ain’t gonna change to a recipe blog. This blog will still be a beauty & lifestyle blog. And since Japan-related lifestyle is also part of me, I think it’s not out-of-nowhere that I write this kind of post once in a while!

Actually, I haven’t really told you about myself and maybe some of you who followed me just recently was a little bit confuse why Japan is related to me. If you’re Indonesians or understand Indonesian, you can read my previous posts about my life in Japan on the menu ‘Japan’ and ‘Monbusho’ on this blog. But if you’re neither, I’ll make sure to write more detail about my life in Japan later, of course if you are interested to know a little bit more about myself! For now, let’s diggin’ into this post!

If you happened to come across this post hoping for some fancy sushi roll recipes, I’m sorry that this post might disappoint you. Here I’ll mainly give you a SUPER EASY STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MAKE A SUSHI ROLL WITH INGREDIENTS YOU PROBABLY HAVE AT YOUR HOME. If it’s your cup of tea, then just keep on reading!

Sushi roll is probably the easiest kind of sushi we can make by ourselves at home. You can literally fill it with any veggies or meats you like.

A couple days ago, me and my husband wanted to have fun a little bit at home, so we decided to make a simple sushi roll. Our son is only two and a half years old so we also wanted him to learn making food and we thought sushi roll is not dangerous to be made by toddler. Here were all the ingredients and tools that we used.

Ingredients: rice, fried chicken nuggets, fried chikuwa (a kind of fish sausage), furikake (food sprinkle) in any flavor (this time we used nori-flavor), and some sheets of nori (seaweed). You can find these ingredients in your local Asian market. You can of course change the filling with some healthier ingredients such as cucumber or carrot.

Tools: knife (to cut the ingredients), cutting board, and sushi roller. This sushi roller we have we bought in Daiso in Japan. I’m sure you can find it in Daiso or any Japanese dollar store in your area.

First, mix the furikake with the rice evenly. It makes the rice looks pretty and very Japanese. Also cut the ingredients (in our case: nuggets and chikuwa) into long and slim shape so it will fit inside our rice roll without making the diameter of the roll too big.

Next, spread one sheet of nori on the roller, and put rice as much as one third of the nori, and then put the ingredients on the center part of the rice. If my words don’t make sense, just see the picture below XD

Next, roll up the roller until in covers all first components that have been added above, give it some pressure until it feels tight. And then, add one third of rice again without opening the roller, just like the picture below:

Yes, we were using our son’s table to make this dish and don’t worry even though there were knives there, our son was completely safe from them XD

After that, open the roller, but immediately roll it again until it covers the second component of rice that has been added just now. And then, add a little bit of rice to make the rest of the nori part sticky, and lastly, roll it again until the roller completely cover the sushi roll. Give it some pressure again until the roll tight and firm like on the picture below:

Now, just cut the roll into some bite-sized pieces!

So it’s basically done! Super easy, right! It was also super fun to make with kids at home to make bonding time without having to go outside πŸ™‚

That’s all for today’s post. I’m sorry that it’s very short, but I hope you enjoyed and got some inspiration for when you don’t want to cook complicated meals!

What do you think about this kind of post once in a while? If you like it, I’d more than happy to make this kind of post again in the future. Please tell me what easy Japanese recipes you want to read next on this blog!

Still want to read some more from this blog? Here are some of my popular posts:

Halal in-flight meals review (in Indonesian)

MEXT scholarship selection process (in Indonesian)

Life as a blogger (in English)

Tips for shopping on Colourpop website (in English)

Thank you for reading today’s post! Until then!

Things I Would’ve Bought: Feb-Mar 2019

Hey, everyone!

It’s another end of the month again, which means it’s time for me to give you an update about my low-buy year project! It feels just like yesterday I wrote my January “Things I would’ve Bought” and in fact it’s already the end of March. Can you believe how fast time flies!

So, if you haven’t followed me since before, then first of all, welcome to this blog! I’m glad that you came all the way here, and I hope you stick around!

In this particular blog series, I will be documenting my journey on my low-buy project this year. Before, I’ve written my rules here, and my January “I Would’ve Bought” here. On February, I didn’t have many things I wanted to buy, so I decided to merge my monthly “I Would’ve Bought” list to this post that covers my February and March list all at once.

What I Bought

Before sharing my list, I want to share what I have bought during these two months. I still managed to not buy anything new, so all of the items here are refills or necessities. But, I did receive one thing as a gift from my husband. I’ll show you a bit later in this post!

The first thing I bought was three packs of cotton pads. Each of them costs USD 1. I also bought two bottles of Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water, which costs USD 10 for both. And then I bought Safi Age Defy Eye Contour Treatment because I ran out of my Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream and was looking for a cheaper alternative. It costs USD 6.

And lastly, I bought a small tube of hair conditioner that costs USD 1. This was a new product I didn’t have before but I bought it because recently my hair feels so rough and dry so I thought I might need a hair conditioner. I never took care of my hair properly because I rarely had problem with my hair (thank goodness). So I never had any hair care product except my shampoo. Now I realized I should’ve taken care my hair more.

All of my February & March haul, except the cotton pads are 3 packs and the Garnier ones are 2 bottles.

In total, these 2 months I spent only USD 20! This might looks so cheap for you to spend in 2 months, but here in Indonesia, it’s a decent amount of money!

Besides these stuffs, I also got a gift from my husband. He bought me a brush storage made from acrylic material that I’ve been eyeing for months but couldn’t pick up because of my low-buy project! Now I can store and display my brush collection prettily and without having to worry about them getting dusty!

What I Would Have Bought

Now let’s move on to the more interesting part which is my wish list! I don’t actually like to call this wish list, but rather “things I would have bought if I wasn’t doing a low-buy project”. I prefer call it like that because I tend to do an impulsive buy >< So by doing this low-buy project, it helps me restrain my bad shopping habit and not buy something immediately ><

So far, I must admit that the temptation to break my rules is getting harder and harder. As the season changes from winter to spring (although we don’t have that season-changing here in Indonesia), all makeup brands starts competing to release new spring items every other day. Recently, not only the products are getting innovative, the packaging is also getting cuter, and I’m such a sucker for cute packaging.

Before I continue to my list, I want to give a disclaimer first XD I apologize in advance that you might be bored of me mentioning this particular brand. If you’ve followed me for a while, you might be able to guess it by now. Yes, it is none other than Colourpop XD I’m sorry in advance that there will be a lot of Colourpop products mentioned here. It’s just simply because Colourpop ships to almost every where in the world so I find it cheaper and easier to shop directly from their website.

Okay, without further a do, here are some products that caught my eye and almost made me break my low-buy rules these past months.

Colourpop BFF Liners

Not stopping after colorful mascaras, Colourpop released yet another colorful product, which were colorful liquid liners. The second they announced it, I know right from the bat that I will buy one or two to pair with the purple and red mascaras I wanted to buy since January. But, I was a little bit disappointed when I found out that there was no purple liner! I was so heart broken because purple is my favorite color and I have planned to buy the purple palette and purple mascara together. It would’ve been perfect if there was a purple liner too! I do hope they add the shades in the future. It is Colourpop we’re talking about πŸ˜‰

For now, I’ll settle with only the red one. So, if I wasn’t doing a low-buy year, I would’ve spent USD 8 for this liquid liner.


Colourpop Overtime Lippie Pencil

Colourpop released a bunch of new lippie pencil shades as well as renew the packaging. I wasn’t a type of lip liner girl. Can you believe that I only have one lip pencil until now? So I thought why not try a new one? I happened to need a red one anyway. Among all red shades on Colourpop website, I find this one called “overtime” is the most basic. So,I would’ve spent USD 5 for this lip liner.

Colourpop Spring 2019 Collection

If you can’t tell already, pastel pink, coral, and peach are my color, hence the logo I made for this blog. I made this logo even before I knew that this year’s pantone color is living coral. How happy I was when Colourpop released their spring collection this year and the main color was living coral!

This collection is the hardest collection to resist for me during this low-buy. To be honest, I almost break my rules. But, I still can hold on until I wrote this post.

All items in this collection is so pretty. There are no shades I dislike. But, since I’m always on a budget, I must select just a few things from this entire collection.

From this collection, I definitely would love to pick up the palette, the “sweet talk” palette. This palette is so special. Not only because the packaging and the coral color scheme that really scream spring to me, but also because it contains one super shock shadow which was reformulated to be able to not drying on the pan, and two pressed glitter. This is such a good deal for me who wouldn’t bought a single jar of glitter since I wouldn’t get a lot of use out of it anyway. But, since it’s on a palette, it’s a good chance for me to try it out!

“Sweet Talk” Palette

And then, I’d also love to pick up the blushes in “get leid” and “growth flirt”. They are the ones on the first and third from top on the picture below.

I also love the jelly much eye shadows recently. They are easier to work with than my initial thoughts. And I like how foiled they look on my eyes. Among the jelly shadows, I probably would’ve picked up the ones called “doves n roses” and “wisthlin’ pixie”. They are the first and second from top on picture below.

And lastly, of course I would’ve picked up the lipsticks. I’m glad that they included the creme lux lipsticks in this collection, because they are my all time favorite finish among all Colourpop lip products. If I had unlimited amount of money, I would’ve picked up all of them. But since I didn’t, I probably would’ve picked up three of them, which were “ur thriving”,
“spring roll”, and “tea thyme”. They are the first, third, and last respectively from the top on the picture below.

So if I wasn’t on low-buy, I would’ve spent 18 + 4 * 8 + 3 * 7 = USD 71 for this collection only.

Colourpop Disney Villains

And yet another big collection from Colourpop, which was their second collaboration with Disney, the Disney Villains Collection. I was so hyped up when I first heard about this launch because I LOVE my Disney Princess’ palette and lipsticks. But, after all products were revealed, and I saw swatches everywhere, I feel a little bit underwhelmed.

First, the price. Almost all items in this collection retail more expensive than any similar products Colourpop has released before. Usually their 15 pan palettes retail for USD 20, the palette in this one retails for USD 22. The lux lipsticks that are usually USD 7, retail for USD 8 here. And the super shock highlighters that are usually USD 8 is USD 10 in this collection. Lastly the lip glosses are USD 7, which is usually USD 6.5. Only the jelly much shadows that remain the same price as usual, which are USD 8.

I understand about the lipstick, though. They have special “villains” emboss on it, which means Colourpop has to make a special mold for these lipsticks only. And the highlighter is super shock but stored in a heavy duty cardboard, which means it has to be specially formulated to non drying on the pan, unlike their usual super shock highlighters that are stored in a closed jar.

And then, usually in a collection, I would’ve been interested in the shadow palette. But the palette in this one, I feel the color scheme is sooo similar to “Perception” palette by Shayla. I don’t have that palette, but many have said that that palette was a dupe for Urban Decay “Born to Run” palette which I have. I don’t want to have palettes that are to similar in color scheme, so I am still unsure whether I want to pick up this palette or not.

And then the lipsticks. Almost all the colors look similar to their current existing shades, especially the Disney Princess’ lipsticks. Among all lipsticks, I would probably picked up only “Maleficent”, which is the second from the right on picture below.


Besides that, I probably would’ve pick up the Maleficent highlighter, and the blue jelly much shadow since I don’t have any blue jelly much shadow yet.

Maleficent highlighter “Mistress of all evil”
Ursula jelly much shadow “Just your voice”

If I wasn’t on low-buy, I would’ve spent USD 26 on this collection.

So, that’s all my imaginative haul. In total, I would’ve spent USD 110 in these two months if I wasn’t doing a low-buy year! Glad that I am!

If you’re currently doing a low-buy like me, how is your low-buy so far? What’s your biggest temptation, and how you restrain it? Please share your experience on the comment section below!

Thank you so much for reading today’s post and I’ll see you next week!

Life as A Blogger

Hello, everyone!

First of all, thank you so much for supporting me by reading, commenting, liking, and following this blog. I can’t believe it’s been two months since I revamped this blog and mainly focus on writing about beauty, traveling, and life style. And by this short time span, I learned a lot of new things which I believe will be beneficial for my self-improvement. And I hope this blog is someway beneficial for you who read it too.

In today’s post I won’t be talking about beauty-related stuffs. I just want to write casually and share with you things I unconsciously learned by focusing my life as a blogger for a solid 2 months. I said ‘unconsciously’ because at first I decided to do this to push myself to become someone who is more productive in a way besides doing my duty as a housewife and a mom. But after doing it with all my heart, I realized that there are so many things I suddenly am able to do, that I couldn’t do before I’m doing this ‘job’.

Doing a ‘job’ that doesn’t have a boss or a designated time and place is really challenging. I knew it from the start, therefore I made myself a very tight schedule that I must follow to be able to do it smoothly. First, I made a list about things I wanted to achieve each week or each month. And then, I arranged my schedule daily for a month according to that to-do-list. This way, I knew what I will have to finish by the end of each day.

However, doing a self-employed job needs flexibility. For example, sometimes I swapped blog posts I wanted to publish on that week. That’s why I wrote my schedule in a way it could be moved easily. I wrote them on sticky notes so I didn’t have to scratch my planner when I need to reschedule something. In a day where I have a lot of things to do, I also made a detail to-do-list for that day. Here are my monthly schedule for January and February look like.

January Schedule
February Schedule

Following those schedules I made by myself is really hard. I need to push myself real hard and restrain my ego to rest or to have fun. Sometimes I need to film until 1 AM. On the other day, I need to edit my YouTube video early in the morning before my son woke up (and by early here I meant before 5 AM). I also had to bring my laptop every time I was out of town because I need to write or to edit. This makes traveling harder than before because no matter where I go, I will always have to work.

Writing a blog post means I need to provide pictures to support the content I want to deliver in that post. In my case, not only this blog, but I also update my Instagram and YouTube account regularly. Therefore, learning to take picture and film video properly becomes necessary. I haven’t invested in a good DSLR camera, though, because my biggest focus for now are doing this continuously and giving meaningful content. But, during this 2 months, I was able to learn object arrangement, photo editing, and also video editing!

I took photos for my Instagram using my phone camera. I find it easier that way because I can directly edit the photos with an application installed on my phone. The application is called ‘Snapseed’. This application not only has variety of different filter, but can also edit photo manually, selectively, and also add some watermarks. Here is example of before-after of my Instagram post.

left: before, right: after
left: before, right: after

I film my videos and take photos for my YouTube channel with my old trustworthy Canon G15 camera (I bought it back in 2013!). Even though it’s only a pocket camera, it can be set manually too. But obviously, it can’t create a soft focus blurred look for the background. But, I’m okay so far since the most important for me now is delivering good contents to you regularly. I can always slowly upgrade my YouTube background later.

After doing all of this for 2 months, I realize now that I never feel as lively before. I always look forward my next schedule and the time where I get to learn to make my contents more attractive. I am 100% aware that I’m no way near perfect. But I enjoy the process I’m going through now. It’s been a long time since I feel like I achieve something, even though it’s a just a negligible achievement compare to other people.

If you did read until this point, I once again want to say thank you. What do you want to see more from this blog? How do you think I can improve the content of this blog? Please leave your advice so that I can become a better person. I’m more than happy to hear your constructive criticism.

See you on my next post!

My First Colourpop International Shipping Experience

Hey, everyone! How was your first week of 2019? Do you have long term and short term schedule you want to follow? Me personally, I decided to post on this blog once a week every Monday. I hope I can be consistent with this target, though. It is hard, these days, being consistent. But, let’s believe in our self first!

This time, I want to share with you my first ever shopping experience on Colourpop website. You might think ‘what is so special by shopping on Colourpop website’, but as an international buyer like me, it is actually quite an experience. So if you are interested in Colourpop products and planning to shop directly on their website, I hope this post can give you some insights of things that might happen to your order.

I will breakdown this post into several parts, so you can easily skip on part you don’t want to read too detail.

Shopping Experience

This was actually not the first products I’ve ever tried from Colourpop. Back in August 2018, I was looking for a good affordable eye shadow palette. And from many recommendations, I decided to buy Colourpop’s ‘Give it To Me Straight’ palette. I bought it from a local personal shopper here in Indonesia. And soon after that, I also bought their ‘No Filter Concealer’, also from a personal shopper. I love these two products from Colourpop, so I decided to try more products from them. I then started following their social media account to get more updated about their products and promos.

On the last week of November 2018, around Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale time, they had a ‘free global shipping with no minimum purchase’ promotion (FYI, normally it is free global shipping with minimum purchase of 50 USD), so I decided to take a look on their website whether there are some stuffs I want to pick up.

At that time, I’m really interested in their collaboration with Disney, which is the ‘It’s A Princess Thing’ palette, so I immediately put it in my shopping cart. I wanted to pick up the Disney Princess creme lux lipsticks also, but they were all sold out at that time. So I picked up some of their best selling items because I want to try as many different products (that have good reviews) as possible. After some considerations, my total order was more than 50 USD, so I was actually eligible for free shipping even without the promo. Without much thinking, I immediately checkout my order. This was on November 20th.

The next day, November 21st, I got notification email that my order has been shipped. In my opinion, it was extremely fast considering there might be a lot of international orders during the promo.

However, the next day, November 22nd, they announced that they were restocking the Disney Princess lipsticks on 23rd, AND all other lip products are on sale up to 30% (if I’m not mistaken)! I was tempted to place another order and rather regretted my decision to check out my stuffs three days prior this promo. Long story short, I placed another order on 23rd that included the Disney lux lipsticks and some more lip products.

But, my regret didn’t stop here. On 26th, since it was Cyber Monday sale, they had an up-to 40% off site wide!! I should’ve picked up all my stuffs during this time!! What a good marketing strategy to give different promotion at different times so it makes people tempted to buy again and again in the name of ‘promotion’. At that time, I wasn’t aware what and when Cyber Monday was, so I fell for their sale promotion ‘trap’ severely >.<

Shipping Experience

Ok, so my first order, which I checked out on 20th, was shipped on 21st, and my second order, which I checked out on 23rd, was shipped on 26th because 24th and 25th were Saturday and Sunday.

They gave us our tracking number immediately after they shipped our order so we can trace our order easily. My second order tracking history was pretty normal (it changed status every 1 or 2 days), while strangely, the tracking status of my first order wasn’t updated at all from 21st until 27th. And on 28th, finally the status was updated but it was still in LA.

The tracking status of my 1st order. It stuck with the same status even until now when I write this post.
The tracking status of my second order (1/2)
The tracking status of my second order (2/2)

After the status of my second order showed that it has arrived in Jakarta, I was a bit panic about my first order that was still stuck in the US. I tried to read on FAQ section on Colourpop website about ‘stuck package’, and they told us to wait until 21 business days after it was sent before contacting their customer service. So for now, there was nothing I could do except waiting patiently. I even marked the 21st business day on my calendar so that I won’t forget.

Now, let’s talk about my second order that has arrived in Jakarta on Dec 2nd. FYI, I bought something from overseas quite often. Typically, 3 to 5 days after my package arrived in Jakarta, it arrived at my local post office (I don’t live in Jakarta btw), and the staff from there would contact me to pick up my package. Here we don’t receive our international package right in front of our door, instead, we have to pick it up at our local post office. However, 1 week after it arrived in Jakarta, I still haven’t heard anything from my local post office. So I decided to go there by myself to check, in case it has arrived but haven’t been examined by the staffs.

On Dec 9th, I went to my local post office and asked about my package. They checked all the arrived package, but they told me my package still hasn’t arrived there. So me and one of the staff decided to exchanged our whatsapp number, and he promised to contact me if my packaged arrived.

One week after that, still there was no news from them, so I decided to chat the staff first and asked about my package, and he said he will check it again. And the next day, finally, he told me that my package has arrived!! So on Dec 19th, I finally went to the post office to pick up the long-awaited package!!

Ok, back to my 1st order. Dec 21st was the 21st business day after it was sent, so I sent an email to their customer service. Not long after I sent it, I got a reply from them and they gave me option to resend my order or to refund it. I chose refund because I wanted to re-order some items when it was on sale next time (I learned from my mistake!), and actually I wanted to cancel some other items that I realized I don’t really need after I gave my second thought. Thank goodness, they refunded me right after I replied their email.

Haul and Review

After so much trouble, finally, this is my 1st haul directly from Colourpop website!!

‘Belle’ collection set, consists of ‘Last Petal’ ultra glossy lip, ‘Be Our Guest’ super shock shadow, and ‘Belle’ creme lux lipstick.

‘Belle’ collection set and ‘Snow White’ creme lux lipstick

The ‘Belle’ lux lipstick is shockingly and unexpectedly stays through a greasy lunch! So, I went lunch on the first day I wore this. I ate a bowl of udon that day. I thought my lipstick would’ve been completely wiped off after eating. How surprise I was when I looked into a mirror after I ate, the lipstick was still there. Only a tiny bit on the center of my lips that were wiped off. It looked like it stained our lips, that’s why it wasn’t completely wiped off.

‘Belle’ creme lux lipstick

I don’t usually wear lip gloss, but I decided to purchase this set because the lip gloss (until now I’m writing this post) isn’t sold individually, so it’s only limited to this set. And I thought it’s good to try different type of liquid lipstick’s formula Colourpop has, that’s why I finally picked up the set. The gloss is just as expected from a lip gloss. There’s not much I can say about it since I’m also not a big fan of lip gloss. I’d still wear it, though. But it suits really well on top of the ‘Belle’ lux lipstick.

The super shock shadow (SSS), since it was the first time I tried the SSS formula, was a bit of learning curve for me. I must say it’s not as easy to apply as their usual pressed powder shadow for a beginner. According to Colourpop website, the best way to apply a SSS is by using our fingertip, and it’s true. When I picked it up using my finger, the color showed up really well on my eyelid. But when I tried to use a brush, there was almost nothing picked up. Also, since this particular shade (‘Be Our Guest’) is a satin finish, in my opinion, it is not as vibrant as glitter or metallic finish.

‘Be Our Guest’ super shock shadow

‘Snow White’ and ‘Liquid Courage’ creme lux lipstick. When they arrived, I just realized that these two lipstick have very similar color, so I decided to give one to my mom (actually, she bought it from me XD). If you want to buy this particular color, I think there’s no need to buy both of them.

‘Snow White’ creme lux lipstick
‘Liquid Courage’ creme lux lipstick

‘Lost’ and ‘Frick n Frack’ ultra satin lips. ‘Lost’ is a red brown color, and ‘Frick n frack’ is a rosy terracotta color. Both of them look really good on my medium skin.

‘Fly fi’ lippie stix. This is a rather new experience for me. I never tried a lip product quite like this before. The finish is called matte-x. It dries down to a matte finish but it’s not drying and doesn’t emphasize my lip lines. It looks so smooth like a velvet. I want to say it’s like a powder finish, but it’s not accurate either. I love LOVE love this and will definitely but other colors soon.

‘Fli fi’ lippie stix

‘No Filter Setting Powder’ in translucent. It smooths my skin and blurs my pores, just like the claim says. I wish it was in a thinner but wider container because I can barely dip my powder brush onto its small diameter cap.

No Filter Setting Powder in shade ‘Translucent’

And ‘Flexitarian’ super shock highlighter. It came broken, but since it’s in super shock formula, it can be easily repressed into its jar. This shade is so blinding, I can see why it is so popular. But it looks a bit silvery on my skin tone. I like it, but not LOVE LOVE it. I’d still wear it, though. I know there are people who don’t like silvery highlighter on their face so I think I have to mention this.

‘Flexitarian’ super shock highlighter before I repressed it
‘Flexitarian’ super shock highlighter after I repressed it

Summary

Overall, I am really satisfied with my haul. Even though it took almost 3 weeks to arrive, it worth the wait. I am also impressed by their customer service who refunded my un-arrived order right away.

After this experience, will I ever buy again from their website? Of course! By the time I wrote this post, actually I have placed 3 more orders on their website >.< Now I can relate to those who say ‘Colourpop addiction is real’. Oh and by the way, I placed these 3 orders (technically) before I started my ‘low buy year 2019’ so I didn’t brake my own promise. These 3 orders from Colourpop was my very last haul before I started the ‘low buy year’, and actually they were the main reason I started this project. I’ll update more detail about it when all of my hauls arrive.

Thank you for reading and until next time!

Living in Japan: Dealing with Stereotype Part 2.1

Halo, temen-temen! Sekarang saya mau melanjutkan lagi cerita tentang stereotip yang saya alami ketika tinggal di Jepang. Nah kenapa judulnya Part 2.1, akan saya ceritakan di akhir ya. Bagi yang belum membaca part 1-nya, bisa dibaca di sini ya. Kali ini juga masih sama dengan post sebelumnya, saya ingin bercerita tentang anggapan salah yang saya miliki terhadap bangsa atau ras tertentu.

Berkuliah di kampus yang cukup banyak menerima mahasiswa asing membuat saya dapat bertemu teman-teman dari berbagai belahan dunia. Lagi-lagi termakan oleh apa yang selama ini diberitakan media, saya memiliki anggapan tertentu terhadap beberapa etnis budaya. Sebagai contoh, mereka yang berasal India atau Singapura pasti cenderung lebih pandai dari yang lainnya, dan sebaliknya, mereka yang berasal dari negara-negara Afrika dan berkulit hitam pasti cenderung lebih terbelakang pendidikannya. Tak pernah terbayangkan oleh saya bahwa anggapan ini akan dipatahkan mentah-mentah oleh pengalaman yang akan saya ceritakan di post kali ini.

Sebut saja S. Dia adalah penerima beasiswa Monbusho G2G angkatan 2013, sama seperti saya dan teman saya J yang saya ceritakan di post sebelumnya. Dia juga seorang Muslim, berasal dari negara S di Afrika, dan berkulit hitam.Β S ini satu jurusan dengan saya di kampus, tapi berbeda lab.

Semua penerima beasiswa Monbusho G2G harus mengikuti kelas Bahasa Jepang selama 1 tahun sebelum memulai pendidikan S2. Ada sekitar 20-an penerima beasiswa Monbusho G2G di kampus saya pada tahun 2013 itu, dan kami dibagi jadi 2 kelas Bahasa Jepang. Satu kelas berisi 7 orang (termasuk saya) adalah kelas bagi kami yang sudah pernah mempelajari Bahasa Jepang sebelum datang ke Jepang. Kelas ini disebut kelas B. Dan satu kelas lagi adalah kelas bagi mereka yang belum pernah belajar Bahasa Jepang sama sekali.Β Kelas ini disebut kelas A, dan S ada di kelas tersebut. Oya FYI juga, semua teman saya yang berkulit hitam ada di kelas itu termasuk J dan S ini.

Di tahun pertama ini, kami juga akan mengikuti tes masuk ke jurusan masing-masing, sama seperti mahasiswa lulusan S1 Jepang pada tahun itu. Tes ini diadakan pada bulan Agustus, sementara tahun ajaran baru dimulai bulan April tahun depannya. Jadi jika kami lolos tes masuk ini, kami punya satu semester kosong sebelum memulai perkuliahan.

Mendekati ujian masuk, saya pun sibuk belajar mempersiapkannya dengan mengerjakan soal-soal yang pernah dikeluarkan tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Sama ya dengan calon mahasiswa di Indonesia πŸ™‚ Jujur aja, soal tes masuk kampus saya ini susah banget. Hampir sama tingkat kesulitannya kayak lomba. Saya jadi harus baca-baca lagi teori dari buku pelajaran (atau dalam hal ini search di google sih sebenernya πŸ˜€ ).

Suatu hari saya sedang belajar di jam istirahat kelas Bahasa Jepang bareng temen sekelas yang juga satu jurusan dengan saya, sebut saja F, dan dia ini juga cowo (maklumlah kalau teman saya kebanyakan cowo, jurusan saya memang jurusan yang didominasi oleh para pria). Di salah satu soal, saya dan F mengalami kesulitan dan stuck. Kemudian salah satu teman kami dari kelas A main ke kelas kami dan melihat kami sedang stuck. Dia pun menyarankan, “Go ask S, he’s very genius!” Kami (saya dan F) yang tidak tahu menahu bahwa S adalah seorang jenius karena kami tidak sekelas bahasa dengannya sehingga jarang mengobrol dengan dia, mencoba menanyakan soal tsb ke S. Dan benar saja, he solved it in no time!

Sejak saat itu, kami selalu belajar bareng S. Usut punya usut, ternyata S ini memang benar-benar pinteeerrr banget dalam bidang keilmuan kami. Kayaknya isi buku kalkulus, matematika teknik, dan pemrograman udah ditelen mentah-mentah sama dia, karena dia ini nggak hanya pandai dalam hal yang bisa dinalar dengan logika, namun juga dia hapal semua teorema, prinsip, dan rumus dalam matematika. Kebayang kan pinternya kayak gimana?

Hingga akhirnya tibalah musim panas pertama saya di Jepang. Ternyata, rasanya berat sekali belajar untuk persiapan ujian masuk di musim panas ini, yang suhu dan kelembapan rata-rata per harinya lebih tinggi daripada di Indonesia. Selain karena udaranya yang panas dan pengap, hawanya memang sangat hawa liburan, karena anak-anak sekolah libur selama 3 bulan. Sedangkan mahasiswa, meskipun tidak ada kuliah selama 3 bulan, lab dan kampus tetap buka 24 jam seperti biasa.

Walaupun berat, saya sendiri memang tipenya tidak tenang kalau tidak belajar setiap hari untuk ujian yang penting seperti ini. Namun lama kelamaan semangat F agak menurun untuk belajar karena musim panas ini memang susah banget buat bikin otak konsentrasi. Bawaannya pengen tidur-tiduran di depan kipas angin terus sambil makan es loli. Alhasil tinggal saya dan S yang lebih sering belajar bareng, atau lebih tepatnya, saya yang meminta S menemani saya belajar hampir setiap hari.

Kenapa saya bilang “lebih tepatnya S yang menemani saya belajar”, karena sebenernya S ini sudah tidak perlu belajar lagi menurut saya. Semua soal tahun-tahun sebelumnya bisa dia kerjakan dalam waktu singkat. Kalau ada yang sedikit susah, dia akan bilang, “Let me finish it and then I’ll tell you how to solve it,” dan biasanya soal-soal kayak gini pun dia selesaikan dalam waktu paling lama 1 jam, lalu dia akan mengajari saya.

Buat temen-temen yang jurusan kuliahnya IPA pasti sering kan mengerjakan soal yang harus ditulis cara mendapatkan jawabannya. Nah S ini pun sangat rapi dan runut dalam menuliskan jawaban dari soal-soal ujian ini, sehingga membuat saya mudah dalam memahami cara mengerjakannya. Kalau melihat S ini kayaknya dia bener-bener cocok jadi penulis buku teorema matematika, karena nggak cuma pinter, dia juga bisa mengajarkan orang lain sampai orang tersebut paham.

Singkat cerita waktu ujian pun tiba. Alhamdulillah saya lumayan bisa mengerjakan soal yang diberikan karena memang mirip sekali polanya dengan soal tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Setelah ujian, maka kami tinggal menunggu tahun ajaran baru pada bulan April tahun berikutnya.

Wah saya tidak menyangka ternyata sudah sepanjang ini tulisannya, cerita tentang S belum selesai. Insya Allah saya lanjutkan lagi di Part 2.2 ya ^^

Untuk post ini segini dulu. Semoga ada yang bisa temen-temen ambil dari cerita kali ini πŸ™‚ Sampai ketemu di post selanjutnya! Semoga belum bosan ya!