ViolinStar.NET

  • Posted On: March 15th 2021 at 10:17 pm | 2 Comments
    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. :smile: 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. :sigh:

    (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. :sigh: 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. :happy:

    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. :sad:

    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. :smile: 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. :shocked: 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.


    Posted On: December 27th 2020 at 11:12 pm | 2 Comments
    Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Shopping

    This Christmas is an unique one. There were no any gatherings because of COVID-19. I also haven’t met some of my friends for some time since we have a limit of 5 people for gatherings. However, this limit will be increased to 8 after 28 December 2020 as Singapore enters the Phase 3 reopening due to COVID-19.

    Because of travel restrictions, I couldn’t travel out of the country this year. Because of the bad economic situation (due to COVID-19 border closures, etc), the retail industry has taken a hit. Even the Christmas gift wrapping papers aren’t as pretty as before. The Christmas decorations are very limited as well. No more ironic big Christmas tree at Takashimaya.

    I got myself a Dior Nude Air loose powder for Christmas. I also got a new camera lens (SEL20F28) from Harvey Norman when they are selling it at a huge discount this month ($200 instead of the usual $349). I got it because it is a pancake lens and it is much lighter than most of the lenses in Sony E-Mount APS-C collection. Hopefully I will use my A6500 camera more.

    Hopefully Christmas 2021 will be better. This year, 2020, is really one of the most unique year for me so far.


    Posted On: October 2nd 2020 at 10:38 pm | Add a Comment?
    Categories: New stuff, Personal life, Shopping, Wants

    I got myself a new bag from Hermes. It is my first luxury bag (if you exclude Long Champ and Marc Jacobs) that I own. After working more than 7 years, I finally got myself a luxury bag and it is from Hermes. :smile:

    I got myself the Evelyne 29 in Noir and gold hardware. I originally wanted to get Evelyne 16 but after more than a month of camping at the online website and visiting all the boutiques in Singapore, I decided to just get the bigger version.

    I actually went to Liat Tower boutique twice and Takashimaya boutique (the worst customer service I ever had in my life) once and the MBS boutique twice. The second time I went to MBS boutique is when I got myself the Evelyne 29.

    I went in to ask about Evelyne 16, Mini Lindy, Evelyne 29 and Lindy 26. My SA, Ricky, came out with Evelyne 29 in Noir and gold hardware (clemence leather) and Lindy 26 in dark blue and orange inside (I forgot the name of it) with palladium hardware (swift leather). I didn’t dare to risk owning a bag with swift leather because it is not scratch resistant and I know I won’t be able to baby my bags. So I gave it a miss even though it is a very rare bag to get at the boutique. In the end, I went for the Evelyne 29 bag since it is in clemence leather which is scratch resistant and in gold hardware. Gold hardware bags are very hard to get in Hermes boutiques and often cost more if you buy it preloved.

    I’m loving my bag so far and have been using it a few times. I’m still waiting for my bag insert which I ordered from JennyKrafts as recommended by one of my favourite YouTubers, I am GPS. Even though it is not the first leather bag I own, I still find it rather heavy because of the thick leather. The craftsmanship is indeed superb, just like what Hermes is famous for. I see myself using the bag more often once I get my bag insert and I want to get more colours of bag inserts so that I can match it with my clothing colours. That’s the beauty of Evelyne bags as there are holes on it to reveal a bit of the bag insert colours.

    The leather of the bag is the thickest I have ever seen. That probably why it is so heavy too. It doesn’t have the leather smell which I sometimes use as an indicator to check if it is real leather.

    Will I buy another luxury bag? Not for this year. I have to watch my budget very closely for the rest of the year since I burst my targeted monthly average for this year. Even though I am not going overseas this year and I hardly eat out as I have been working from home since March, I still have to watch my budget because the Hermes bag does not come cheap. It costs me S$4900 which is definitely not cheap. For the quality and craftsmanship of the bag, I think it is worth it. Will I buy the Lindy series bag? Nope, given how heavy the leather for my Evelyne 29 bag. Lindy uses more leather and hardware than Evelyne 29 so I think it will be even heavier. I might buy another one in future but I doubt it is anytime soon. The Evelyne 29 bag is something that I can use for wedding lunch/dinner or any formal occasion. I can also use it for casual days which is what I have been using it for.

    Will I buy another Hermes bag? Maybe or maybe not. It is stressful to carry the Hermes shopping bag on public transport as there are so many people looking at your orange bag. I have not seen many people carrying a Hermes bag on public transport too. I think people thinks that I am carrying a fake bag given how casual I dressed when I carried the bag. Having said that, I will still buy it if I ever visit the Hermes Paris boutiques. No Birkin or Kelly for me because I will be too stressed to carry it around. I am still hoping to get the Evelyne 16 bag though. Hopefully my SA will contact me when he gets the bag for me.

    How long did I take to save for the bag? I didn’t actually save for the bag. I save for my holidays and since I don’t think I will be flying anytime soon or for the next 2 years, I used the budget for vacation on the bag. It is a very versatile bag in a colour that is easy to maintain. I think I can use it for many years to come. Hermes is well known for their bag quality where people used their bags for over 20 years without much issues. :happy: I think I can use it for that long too. I will just send it for Hermes spa every few years to maintain the quality of the bag to keep it looking fresh. I know the style will not change since it has been here since 1978. If it can last for 42 years so far, I think it should last for at least 20 years more.

    Will I get more stuff from Hermes? Definitely yes! I am looking at getting their scarfs or twilly to decorate my Evelyne 29. Their towels are nice too but I just cannot bring myself to pay S$78 for a face towel. :shocked:

    What are my thoughts of owning a luxury bag? I think it is okay to buy if you can afford it. Like not taking loan to fund the purchase. It is okay to buy if you actually always use it. I am trying to commit to using the bag at least once a week but I think I might end up using it more because it can fit all my daily essentials and many more. I really love the classic design as well.

    What are your thoughts of owning a luxury item? What do you own so far?