Friday, February 17, 2017

My dermal punch experience

A month ago, I went in to check about my idea for a dermal punch: a 4mm low helix punch. My piercer discussed the placement, and let me know that he would punch at 5mm, then downsize to 4mm after 10 days to help the healing process. He told me to eat a good meal an hour beforehand to get my blood sugar up, which would help with swelling and bleeding.

I'm really curious about body modifications, especially piercings, so I probably encountered the idea of dermal punches about a decade ago. Prior to getting this done, I read every article, review, and experience I could find online. I found descriptions of people saying it was the most painful thing ever, to someone saying their conch punch didn't hurt that much; some people bled for hours, some people had a headache for ages, etc. I ended up preparing myself for lots of blood and pain.

Fast forward to today at 17:30: I went in, filled out my form, was quizzed about food (I'd eaten ice-cream and an egg sandwich an hour before, but they were concerned as it didn't seem to be enough food - but I don't eat much as I'm a small person so it was actually enough for me).

I had more questions this time, mainly about pain:
  • Does it hurt more than a rook piercing? (It depends on how that felt, as it's an awkward place.)
  • Compared to a blood test, how much does it hurt? (Not as much, as injections go deeper and through muscle, so it doesn't feel as uncomfortable.)
  • Is it quick? (Yes, as you don't have to pass a needle through.)
  • If my rim and rook piercings didn't bleed much, does that mean this won't bleed much either? (No.)
  • What if I fall over? (He'll catch me.)
I was told to sit up, which surprised me as all of the pictures and videos I've seen online of ear dermal punches had the person lying down. The reasoning behind sitting up was so that the blood doesn't pool in my head, ready to exit my ear - made lots of sense to me, and reinforced why I always go to this piercer - he's truly knowledgeable, experienced, and professional.

I was quite nervous, but he took the time to explain that I should just try to feel it rather than block it out, and think of it as a new feeling that I haven't felt before! I was instructed to take a huge breath in, then breathe out slowly through my mouth. After confirming that he would start, I felt slight sharpness against my ear, then the crunching sound...which ended up sounding more like something slightly solid was being squashed? Everyone else in the room heard it, apparently.

Right after! Yes, I managed to take selfies during it, so maybe that describes the pain level a bit 8D;

Jewelry in!
All cleaned up.

It really wasn't as sore as I thought it would be, considering I had just gotten a chunk of my ear cut out. I did wince a lot, but it felt fine apart from when the jewelry was being put in. It took less than half an hour overall, I sat there for a bit while my piercer mopped up the blood and cleaned my ear. It started tingling and stinging. There wasn't enough blood to drip onto the paper towel on my shoulder. When it was deemed to be ok, I thanked everyone, got an aftercare sheet and extra o-rings, and left. I was instructed to rinse it with cool water after 3 days, make sure I can move it back and forth (gently, of course), then clean it with sea salt solution. Then come back after 10 - 14 days to downsize. I asked about what to do when it bleeds, and was told to try to calm down and relax, and it would stop by itself - rather than putting gauze on it, which I'd read online.

I wasn't allowed to take the chunk of cartilage with me due to health and safety rules, which I completely agree with. I wasn't planning to eat it, which seems to be a tradition.

The piece of cartilage that was punched out.

HOWEVER, after I left and was walking down the street, it started to throb and swell...and my boyfriend told me it was bleeding and dripping onto his jacket which I'd taken to wear :( I started to panic a bit (what if I bleed to death???? etc.) but tried to calm down.


It stopped shortly after I got home (5 mins later). I'm looking forward (??) to a long healing period and putting a gemmed eyelet in!

I highly recommend Snakebite in Dublin! I only ever go to them for piercings. Thank you so much!!

Update at 19:40: No more pain or discomfort!

Update at 16:59, next day: Slept on my back and left side without irritating the punch. No pain or discomfort since yesterday, though I'm not looking forward to washing my hair/getting water on it. I've decided to heal it using the LIMA method, as I always have done for piercings. 

Update on 25/03 - a little over one month later: After about 2 weeks, my piercer downsized the tunnel to a 6g tunnel as per normal procedure. It's healed really well - I did an SSS once and it completely dried my ear out, so I've just left it alone as per LIMA. I can even sleep on that side lightly now. The current smaller tunnel is quite loose in the hole, so I might have scope to go back up to 4g once it's fully healed.

Monday, June 6, 2016

My digital perm experience

It's been 2 weeks since I got a digital perm at Jeju Hair in London (thank you!).

My hair before and after

  • Before: My hair is very thick in both strand size and quantity. I have the standard super-straight black Asian hair. I haven't dyed it in years so it's very strong and healthy. It's able to withstand intense bleaching, colouring, and heat. I had been waving and curling it myself every day with my Babyliss Diamond Radiance 235 straightener. I do get breakage mostly at the ends, but not really any split ends. It tends to get oily easy, and I wash it every two days. 
  • After:  My hair is literally the same except somehow shinier! This is a caveat for people with strong and healthy hair - don't be put off by the numerous blogs etc. I encountered online while doing my research. All I read about was how damaging the perm was, regrets, annoyances, having to spend lots of money on hair products, and having to spend lots of time drying/styling the hair. The condition of my hair after the perm is the same, if not better because of the trim and treatment!  

Why I love my perm 

  • I save 10 - 15 minutes of time and wrist-pain every morning, since I don't have to manually create every wave and curl myself (remember that I have a lot of hair!).
  • Curls don't get greasy as quickly and the oils can't travel to the ends of the hair as easily as with straight hair. 
  • I'm just back from a 3-day holiday in warm weather (26'C, high humidity/thunderstorm weather). I sweated a lot, got rained on, and went to a rock concert - without washing my hair in those 3 days after these activities, it still looks great! All I had to do was wet my fringe a little bit at night to wash it mildly, then style it in the morning. Again, so much time saved, not only with curling but washing!
  • There are literally no downsides, other than if you want straight/wavy hair, you'll have to straighten/wave it manually again - but I don't have this problem. 

Products I'm using

  • Faith in Nature Rosemary Shampoo
    • I used this at the beginning because it was what I was using before, and it didn't seem to do any harm to the perm. 
  • TRESemm√© Color Revitalize Conditioner
    • I bought this in advance because I read that my hair would need extra care and protection from UV. It's ok, it's a little bit heavy for my tastes.
  • Redken Curvaceous High Foam Lightweight Cleanser and Redken Curvaceous Conditioner
    • I bought these both for about €14 each (with discounts applied) from Feelunique, as one of these would have set me back €23 from Peter Mark here in Ireland... The big sell for me is that it's a high end salon brand product with no parabens or sulfates! Both are very easy to use and distribute through wet, curly, and often tangled hair, and leave my hair feeling clean, soft, and great.
  • Redken Curvaceous Full Swirl Curly & Wavy Hair Cream Serum
    • This was used on me in the salon before blowdrying to a really nice effect, but I wasn't really able to replicate it at home. The ends got a tiny bit crunchy (probably my fault), but it does help to define the curls and keep the curl shape. 
  • Philips HP8233/ 03 2200w ThermoProtect Ionic Hairdryer with Massaging Diffuser
    • I never really use a hairdryer and I definitely didn't have one with a diffuser, so I invested in this one. The diffuser is designed really well and is deep enough to hold a mass of curls. If you don't use the highest heat setting, it's quite difficult to burn or damage your hair or scalp. The ionic, ThemoProtect, and cool air functions are superb. After I wash my hair, I spray some TRESemme Heat Defence Styling Spray on my hair, twirl some sections, put the diffuser over them, then vary between the ThermoProtect and lowest heat setting on high speed. I don't think it takes more than half an hour to dry fully. Highly recommend this hairdryer!

My experience at the salon

  • The salon is very central to Camden and easy to find - just get off at the Camden Town tube stop and it's a few minutes' walk away. 
  • The salon is very new - only 8 months old, very well-kept, clean, and bright. There is an art gallery and tranquil space at the back.
  • Eunju is a very experienced stylist who also works in hair and make-up in theatre, and has studied in London's top creative schools. I felt welcome and comfortable when I arrived. 
  • I really appreciated that Eunju explained every step to me before starting.
  • In total, it took 3 hours, which is acceptable to me as the effect is supposed to last 3 - 6 months. I was well-looked after - I had magazines to read, and was offered tea and water. Eunju was very friendly and chatty throughout. The second lady who was there and also worked on my perm was also very polite and nice. 
  • Jeju Hair has a really generous discount for first-time visitors!
  • About the perm itself, there are a few washes, applications of different serums (one to relax the hair, then one to neutralise it), some time to relax it under the hood, then more time to set the curls. Compared to getting hair bleached, dyed, and cut, it's really hassle-free. Digital perms come with a trim, so I just had the ends trimmed to keep my hair healthy. 
  • Overall, I highly recommend Jeju Hair! Please give them a visit!

Pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beauty Routine, 2016

As usual, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, natural where possible:

Morning ~

JUJU Aquamoist Bubble Washing Foam
Hada Labo Shirojyun lotion
LANEIGE White Plus Renew Original Essence_EX
It's skin Power 10 Formula SYN-AKE 30ml (forehead only)
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream SPF 15

Night ~

coconova Virgin Organic Coconut Oil as make-up remover
yes to cucumbers Daily Gel Cleanser
Hada Labo Shirojyun lotion
LANEIGE White Plus Renew Original Essence_EX
It's skin Power 10 Formula SYN-AKE 30ml (forehead only)
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
innisfree white tone-up cream
Tea Tree Oil by The Body Shop (when needed) 

Shower ~

AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser - Dry Skin
Faith in Nature Rosemary Shampoo
TRESemmé Remoisturise conditioner
KAO Essential Intensive Hair Mask - Nuance Airy (when needed)
AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Arm and Hammer Enamel Care Sensitive baking soda toothpaste 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hello, 2015!

I'm not sure who's still reading this, but hello and welcome anyway, dear followers!

I started this blog as a film review site, which became a beauty review and OOTD site, which then became Cantonese lyric translation peppered with technical posts.

Since then, I have become a lot more active as a photographer on DeviantArt and launched my site,

I am a full-time software engineer, shooting on film and making art in my spare time. I appreciate all of the feedback and support you can give!

According to the traffic reports, this blog is getting a few hundred hits per month, mostly to the lyric translations - so there's a good chance that's why you're here. I fully intend to continue translating LMF, 24HERBS, and my little airport lyrics when I get the time.

As usual, feel free to drop me a comment / provide feedback on translation quality / check out my site / check out my DeviantArt profile / buy my print / request translations or reviews / send me items for review (check the Contact section for contact details) / or just say hi!

Thanks for looking!

Friday, March 28, 2014

OS X 10: Create and host a simple HTML webpage on Apache and access from an iPad, non-Mac user friendly

You don't need Goodreader, Diet Coda, or anything fancy. Just follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal)
  2. Type whoami to see your username
  3. Then type sudo pico /etc/apache2/users/(your username).conf (unless it's already there)
  4. Paste this:
    <Directory "Users/(your username)/Sites/"> Options Indexes MultiViews AllowOverride All Order allow,deny Allow from all </Directory>
  5. Save and close by hitting Ctrl + O and Ctrl + X
  6. Create the folder /Users/(your username)/Sites/ and drop a test HTML file in there (Terminal: cd ~ then open .)
  7. In the Terminal enter sudo apachectl start (sudo apachectl stop to stop it)
  8. Open Safari and go to http://localhost/~ - it should display your test page
  9. Open Network and check the machine's IP address
  10. On the iPad, open Safari and go to http://(your IP address):80/~
See here or here if you encounter any problems when trying to run the server etc.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Beauty Routine, 2014

I realised in shock yesterday, that my Boots Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Foaming Face Wash and TRESemme Naturals lower sulfates shampoo contains PARABENS!! So I set out to replace them.

As of today, here is my beauty routine - paraben-free, hypoallergenic, natural where possible:

Morning ~

NIVEA Daily Essentials Cleansing Mousse
Hada Labo Shirojyun lotion
Sana NAMERAKA Isoflavone Wrinkle Eye Cream
Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Day Cream SPF 15

Night ~

Tea Tree Oil by The Body Shop (when needed)
Annmarie Gianni Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin + Neroli toner
Trilogy Age Proof Replenishing Night Cream 
-OR- (when I don't want any oil at all)
Hada Labo Shirojyun lotion
Sana NAMERAKA Isoflavone Wrinkle Eye Cream

Shower ~

Sanex Dermo Moisturising body wash
Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser
Naked Detox 2 in 1 Shampoo
Arm and Hammer Enamel Care Sensitive baking soda toothpaste

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dorcas Barry

The aforementioned interesting facts:
  • Water intake goes to every organ first other than the skin, so your skin is a good indicator of hydration level.
  • Lemon tastes acidic, but it is actually an alkaline food - the citrus acid converts to alkaline. 
  • The Philips juicers designed by Jason Vale are apparently good. 
  • Rub kale together with lemon and salt to soften and make it easier to digest.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


I got a new job recently, so why not!

Fast shipping, and the site is pleasant to use with adequate product descriptions - onto the haul!
Click for larger pictures! c:
  1. CUORE K-Pallet Cover Control Okuma Concealer in 02 Yellow Beige
  2. NARIS UP PARASOLA UV Cut Mineral Cool Powder SPF50+ PA+++
  3. MY BEAUTY DIARY Morning Whitening Pack 
REVIEW | CUORE K-Pallet Cover Control Okuma Concealer in 02 Yellow Beige     

I am running out of my Maybelline Pure Cover concealer, and I think it's not the exact right shade anyway so I went for this. Yellow tone is good for covering black/blue/purple dark circles. It works well enough for me (I have very dark shadows under my eyes), almost too well that it gives me a bit of reverse concealer, but I'm happy with the staying power and ease of application. Cute bear on the packaging too!

REVIEW | NARIS UP PARASOLA UV Cut Mineral Cool Powder SPF50+ PA+++     

I decided to try this because the MAC Blot Powder I picked up in Dublin Airport really wasn't doing the job - it seemed like it lasted about 3 minutes before my face got oily again (and I don't have oily skin). This NARIS UP powder has a cuter case with a mirror, and more useful puff (I dropped the MAC one twice in a week)!

This powder works very well and lasts the whole day for me, and I'm really happy with the SPF50+. One thing to note is that it gives a slight white cast and you need to reapply it around the mouth area (where it's easily wiped off throughout the day) or you might look weird, depending on how pale you are. It's a bonus for those who like the pale look, and I think the sun protection makes up for the white cast, which is definitely not as dramatic as the white cast of some BB creams. I'm happy with the purchase!

REVIEW | MY BEAUTY DIARY Morning Whitening Pack

This pack is great value - I got it for $25, and it contains:
  • My Beauty Diary Lemon-C Whitening Mask 5 pc  
  • My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask 5pc  
  • My Beauty Diary Arbutin Mask 5pc  
  • My Beauty Diary Peach Repairing Lip Treatment 1pc

I've only tried the Arbutin mask so far - definite brightening effect, though you need to use it a few times. I accidentally laid it on my top lip and there was a whitening effect o__o; I thought the lip treatment was simply a lipgloss - it's a really cute peach colour which should flatter all skintones. It didn't feel sticky or oily and lasted well enough.

Let me know if you have any questions about the products or service! ?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hobotic Hollister [1 outfit]

hat: Sammydress
necklace: gift
top: Hollister
pants: [Hong Kong]

Saturday, July 20, 2013

do not be afraid [3 outfits]

jacket: Topshop (customised)
jeans: Penneys
flats: Barratts
bag: Religion

Nothing's ever lost forever

cardigan: Tesco
scarf: handmedown
pants: [Hong Kong]
bag: Coach 

No one's ever lost forever / They are caught inside your heart

dress: H&M
skirt: Penneys
flats: Barratts 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

time to let go of all we know

t-shirt: TWLOHA
shirt: River Island
cardigan: Tesco
pants: [Hong Kong]

Saturday, November 24, 2012



The MMM  H&M bracelet was the beginning... now I'm beginning to discover the type of jewelry I like. 

If I could afford it and if it were available to me, I would have staples from Harugin. Simple silver, skull motif.

I looked in vintage stores today. I like big statement necklaces and bracelets, which are somewhat unusual. Not too "glamorous" (too much bling or gold) or "ladylike" (too delicate or sparkly). Not too plasticky (I wish Fred Butler's designs were more backed with metals!). I discovered a Clare Bickford-Smith collection recently, which looked cool.

I fell into like with Vivenne Westwood due to the popularity of the jewellery in Asia and Japanese street fashion and J-rock/NANA, but I'm beginning to question it. It seems too common, not edgy enough - nice orb, but it's just "nice". Too wearable.