Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Rants, Shopping
I finally manage to find a way-below-retail Hermes rodeo bag charm in MM size. I got it from a consignment store (Luxlexicon). I previously got a horse shoe bag charm that is below retail too. Both were listed as New condition and it didn’t look used as well. Pretty good deals cause I doubt I will be paying retail price from Hermes. Anyway, both bag charms are almost impossible to get it from Hermes store anyway. I’m fine with getting them from consignment stores and at a discount.
I feel like I spent more during this pandemic. I thought I will spent less since I save on commute and eating out when I am working from home but I discovered luxury shopping and that didn’t helped my wallet.
Luxury shopping is really expensive and definitely need to be managed. I also cannot keep buying stuff and end up not using all of them.
Time to slow down in shopping and start saving more money. Gambatte, Sakura!
Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Rants, Shopping
What is The Starry Co? It is a jewellery shop using existing and classic designs inspired by fine jewellery brands such as Tiffany and Co, etc. Because it is a classic design that many big brands use, there aren’t any copyright issue from what I can see. It’s made using silver and diamond simulants (basically crystals that looks like diamonds from a distance but completely not like diamond on closer look).
In their introduction about the brand: The Starry Co. wants to put some sparkle into your everyday life! We genuinely believe that beauty and glamour should be accessible to everyone – and that’s exactly what you get when you purchase a beautiful diamond simulant piece from The Starry Co. Our affordable diamond simulant jewelry gives you the chance to shine with the same level of brilliance and luxury of real, natural diamonds – without the price tag.
The brand is started by Debbie Soon, the wife of Jianhao Tan – one of the top influencers and YouTuber in Singapore. I love his videos and videos from Trevmonki (also under his company – Titan Digital Media). So yes, there are many social media advertisements for each launch and they are very good at taking photos of their products. Sadly, the bracelet does not look like the photos in real life. They operate solely online so you cannot see the product until you buy it and received it.
Given the limited number of pieces launched for each collection, there is a huge FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) created among their audience. I am glad that I got the bracelet when I managed to place the order within 2nd minute of the launch. However, thinking back, I guess I would have saved S$118 if I missed out on the bracelet given how poor quality the bracelet turns out to be. Sigh.
I bought my new The Starry Co piece – Quinn bracelet on 27 March 2021. Like I said earlier, it costs S$118 and due to the social media marketing, I thought it was a good deal. It arrived on 1 April and it was damaged. 1 of the diamond simulants is badly damaged. It looks like something poked it and it got chipped off. It is very visible and I spotted it the moment unpacked it.
I have reported it to their support email, left them a message on their Instagram and now a comment on their latest post.
Luckily they saw my Instagram comment on their post and have since then sent me a replacement piece.
However, I will never buy anything from The Starry Co. The pieces are overpriced for the quality and it is only sparkly when you have a light shining on it. It doesn’t shine under normal room light or sunlight.
There is a reason why they don’t have a storefront. Probably because their pieces won’t look as nice as how the photos are taken. If it is 50% discount, I might reconsider it and buy it as a fashion jewellery. But at S$118 for a crystal tennis bracelet? No thanks. I rather save the money for better crystal ones or buy a cheaper one from Shopee where I can get faster support when I report on damaged goods, instead of posting on their Instagram posts to get their attention.
This is just my personal opinion. I value quality over quantity and I do not like to pay so much for costume jewellery which I know I can get it at a cheaper price.
Categories: Fashion, Friendship, Insights, Korean related, Makeup, Personal life, Rants, Shopping, Wants, Work
I was watching YouTube and saw 1 video from a YouTuber about minimalism spending. I thought it will be a good topic to talk about in ViolinStar.NET too. I haven’t been blogging as much as I hope to this year. I also haven’t post any photos on my Instagram accounts in 2020 and 2021 so far.
One of the first few things I realised after turning 30 in last December is that my health/body is not as strong as before. I can’t stay up late without impacting my mornings. I really need at least 7 hours of sleep everyday. I can no longer work so hard because I will get burn out. I need to pace myself in both personal life and work life.
I also need to save up for the future and rainy days. After seeing 1 of my friends who got cancer when she is the same age as me back in 2019, I cannot underestimate the amount of money and insurance coverage I need to protect myself. Having a deep pocket provide more options for treatment too. Insurance is important if you don’t have really deep pockets. Hence, I really should not spend wastefully like what I did in my 20s.
These are the categories that I want to spend less in my 30s as I learn from my mistakes in my 20s after reviewing my expenditure in my 20s. Yes, I do track all my expenses ever since I started work in an Excel file. I should have done it over MySQL on hindsight but oh well. Data analytics will be much easier if I am not tracking in Excel.
(1) Buy less lower quality bags
I spent quite a bit of money buying fashion bags that are either in trend or of poor quality (such as Charles and Keith) when I was in my 20s. I even bought a Steve Madden bag from San Francisco. I thought it was leather but it turned out to be PU. It only lasted for a few months? It really cannot carry heavy stuff and it was the most expensive backpack I ever own at that time? It was US$54.44 (S$79.16) and only lasted a few months. I have now discovered Fjallraven Kanken and got the second original kanken bag in Beijing after my first bag lasted for more than 2 years. We are talking about more than 2 years of daily use. It could have lasted even longer if I didn’t see a sale at Beijing store and decided to replace my old, dirty and worn out bag.
I will still buy bags but I think I only want to buy the better quality ones. For backpacks, I am sticking to Fjallraven Kanken or Thule. For other bags, I think I want to either get real leather bags which I can send for servicing/repairs or nylon/cloth bags which can be dried which I can bring out on rainy days.
(2) Buy less makeup
I spent my 20s exploring different types of makeup and also going for makeup classes. I bought mascara that I end up throwing away after using 2 to 3 times? Yeah, it’s the cheap ones from Innisfree/Watsons but to use them for less than 5 times before throwing it away because they have a expiry date of 6 months is just too wasteful. I still like lip and eye brow makeup though. Sadly, this pandemic has force us to wear masks all the time when we are out so there’s really no need for lip makeup anymore. Maybe when we don’t need to wear masks, I can go back to using lip makeup again.
I definitely want to buy less mascara or eye shadow palettes or eyeliners since I am just too lazy to put on full makeup and these items expires too fast for me to use them up.
(3) Buy less costume jewellery
When I am in my 20s, I really love to buy earrings and sometimes necklaces. I used to buy at least 20 pairs of earrings when I go to South Korea for vacation. I buy earrings and necklaces in whichever country I go to. I have some that I really love and some are just brand new which I haven’t wore. I have some that is very dressy which I can only wear when I go for wedding lunch/dinner. I really like accessorising my outfits and spend quite a bit on them. It makes me very sad and I can’t bear to throw away the ones that has either tarnished or rusted. As a result, I am always running of space to store them.
I have learned to buy fine jewellery in recent years. These don’t rust and I can send them for professional cleaning at the jewellery stores. My first fine jewellery necklace is a silver necklace from Tiffany and Co. It’s from their Return to Tiffany collection and I bought it when I went to San Francisco in 2018. I remembered walking in to want to buy the music note necklace but they don’t have it so I fall back to my backup plan of the Return to Tiffany necklace. I have sent it for professional cleaning in Singapore boutiques numerous times. Silver is not really a fine jewellery piece but since I paid a premium (because it is Tiffany and Co), I decided to consider it as a fine jewellery piece. I was quite sad when my pendant was badly scratched after using for some time. I even brought it to ask if they can polish it and the sales associate told me it costs S$40 for polishing. Ever since then, I decided not to get another silver piece for a few hundred of dollars. It’s either yellow gold or white gold for me.
Categories: Fashion, New stuff, Personal life, Wants
I wanted to send my Hermes Evelyne 29 bag for Hermes spa since I discovered a patch where it looks like I scratched it. I got a cheaper bag insert from Etsy (JennyCrafts) and I think it was not suitable so end up damaging my bag.
I called Hermes customer service hotline to make appointment with my SA since I don’t have his mobile number. Then he whatsapp me back and I scheduled my appointment on the same day (22 February 2021).
I went in and he advised against sending it for spa. Well, I went back in December 2020 and asked about the Hermes spa pricing and it was S$385. He seems ok for me to send it in. Now the prices have increased to S$405 and he said it looks brand new to him and perfectly fine. I listened to his advice and decided not to send it in. It will take 6 months for it to be cleaned/checked anyway. In the end, I opt for buying a twilly to try to cover the patch up. I should have bought a twilly last year before the price increase. It was S$260 previously and now due to price increase, it is S$280. Oh well. There aren’t many choices for twilly too. I opt for the Jungle Love rainbow collection (red twilly) instead.
I also asked to look at some calvi and bastia. There aren’t many calvi card holders to choose from but there were many bastia coin pouches to pick. I have always love their bastia designs. In fact, I wanted to ask Eunice to help me buy during her staff sale when she was still working at Hermes. She has never seen bastia available in staff sale so I didn’t manage to get any bastia before she left Hermes. I was thinking that since I always like the design and I foresee myself buying one in future anyway, I decided to just pick one I like in the store on the day. I picked the Chevre Chamkila leather one in a brown shade. Because of the leather type, it costs S$440 for the bastia.
Yes, very expensive purchases made at Hermes when I only went there with the intention to send my bag for Hermes spa.
It’s the second month of 2021 but somehow it feels like this year is not going to be different from 2020.
I am still working at home. Even though I have changed my job, I have not stepped into the new office. I have a colleague who went back a couple of times and he took some photos for us (the newbies) to see. It looks like a nice office but I wish I can see it in person.
I am still spending a lot. In fact, I burst my monthly budget in January. I shall make it a point to spend less this month and save up for something that I really thinking of getting.
Several stocks are reaching their all time high even though unemployment rates are high. I wonder what the new monetary policy the new US administration will take and how it will impact the stock market. There have been talks about stock market for years but it seems like it keeps growing instead of bursting. Will it be another dotcom burst? Will the financial institutions fail? How much money will we actually lose? Cryptocurrencies are also at all time high for BTC and ETH. The amount of greed and FOMO in the market is scaring me.