2.14.2015

An Open Letter To the Future Love of My Life

(Image credit: We Heart It)

Dear Love,

I have yet to meet you, but I'm already excited and looking forward to the day when our paths will finally cross. I've been wanting and waiting patiently to meet you for years now, and I must admit, I'm getting considerably more impatient as each day passes by, without  you by my side. I look around me and all I see is couples holding hands, whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears, their expressions revealing the deep love they feel for their significant other. The guy reaches for a strand of her hair, tucks it behind her ear, she gives a smile that reaches her eyes. I try to remain cool in those situations as I try to bury the jealousy that suddenly engulfs me.

Love is a wonderful feeling, but jealousy, however, is not. And I know that, which is why I always find myself walking away instead of letting my envy get the better of me, Because I know when it's  our turn to share our love for one another with the world, I'd hate the idea of someone else disliking me, solely for the reason that we are in love. As I walk away, some thoughts normally run through my head. 'When will it be my turn to have someone hold my hand?' 'Am I ugly?' 'Don't I deserve happiness too?' The first thought is reasonable, but the last two are not. It's silly when I think about it because I know, while I'm not the prettiest girl in the world, I'm not ugly. What do they call it? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Yes. That's the one. Yes, I'm not a proud owner of a face and body worthy of a magazine cover, I don't have a six inch waistline, I'm always going to be the type of girl who'll forever choose burgers over salads. I'm clumsy, I'm shy, I like to dance alone in my room late at night like a lunatic and I worry a lot, but I seriously hope that you don't mind.

If you're looking for perfection, I'm sorry, but I'm not her. Neither do I expect perfection from you. I'll take you as you are, flaws and all just as long as you will love me like I deserve to be loved. I may not be the girl every guy dreams about, nor am I the girl every girl wishes to be. But I am ME. And not to blow my own horn, but I'm special in my own way. I can't promise you perfection, but I can promise you this: I have a heart that's big enough to love and accept you unconditionally, from the moment I meet you until fate and destiny decides to tear us apart.

On the day of our first encounter, I wonder if it'll be love at first sight just like in the movies. I can't lie. I've always been quite the romantic and those Hollywood big bosses sucked me into believing in one true love and meeting Mr Right. Will our eyes meet across a crowded room? Will we instantly feel the connection, attraction and that 'spark' that the likes of Nicholas Sparks et al tries to sell to us, on a regular basis? Are we going to literally bump into each other on the street? Or maybe, just maybe I've already met you? Maybe I already saw you, but I never realised that you were the one for me. I hate the idea of this, but it's certainly a possibility, I cannot rule out. Maybe we were not acquainted with each other then, because the universe had other plans in stored for us. Maybe we were both so preoccupied with our own lives, we missed our 'moment'. Either way, if that were truly the case, I hope we'll get our rewind soon.

Once upon a time, I believed in happily ever after. I believed in Prince Charming and his white horse (well not exactly a horse, more like a Ferrari or a BMW.) I'd like to think that there's still a part of me that believes in The One, but we are living in the 21st century now. The entire arena of the dating game has changed. Gone are the days of guys wooing girls with love letters/song lyrics. At present, a simple 'hi' 'hey sexy' 'how are you? 'You're hot, let's hang out' from a latest Tinder match is where love begins (or ends...) I'm not expecting fireworks or other extravagant ways to win my heart. As I mentioned before, you don't need to look like a GQ model with Greek God Adonis-esque washboard abs and a face that's perfectly sculpted. If given the choice between a guy who can make me laugh so hard, I'm actually left crying or a guy who looks like Channing Tatum's long lost brother, I'm going to go for the former. Because looks fade, but a great sense of humor? That lasts for a lifetime. And man, that's hot.

While I wait for our paths to cross, I sometimes wonder if you stay up late at night, looking at the dark sky and wondering why our stars haven't aligned yet. Because there are nights, I find myself doing just that. There's a belief that wishes made on a shooting star come true, but as I have yet to spot that elusive shooting star, I haven't been able to prove it. 

I don't know if I'll meet this week, this month, this year, next year or even in this lifetime, but I do know that I want to wait for you and not settle for just any guy that comes along. I want to share my many first experiences with you. And only you. I want to create all those beautiful memories for us to cherish when we're both old and grey. Until then, I'm going to live my life and become a better version of me.

So Happy Valentine's Day, my future love. I hope wherever you are right now, you're thinking about me too.

With all my love,
Diane.



1.01.2015

The 2015 Manifesto: This year, I vow to......


Whoa. Where did 2014 go? I know people say it all the time, but seriously whatever happened to the past 365 days? Personally, I think the entire year went too quickly. But, that said, although I'm quite sad to wave 2014 goodbye, I'm ready to welcome and embrace 2015 with open arms. The past year taught me a lot of things and while I didn't accomplish every goal I set for myself, it was a pretty damn good year. As I leave the past year behind, I'm taking away several significant lessons. One being the importance of enjoying life. It's all too easy to get worked up about things and in pursuit of success, we tend to forget the importance of enjoying life while we are at it. I made this mistake too many times in the past.

I've always been an introvert. Always have been, always will be. I like my own company. I'm always going to prefer a quiet night in over a  night out on the tiles, But, one of my resolutions last year was to say yes more often to going out and I'm happy to report that I managed to stick to it. When I say going out, I'm not just referring to nightclubs, but impromptu lunch/dinner/other activities with friends. I'm no social butterfly (just yet) , but I'm slowly coming out of my shell and you know what? It feels so liberating. I'm no longer a slave to my shyness and awkwardness. Instead of solely being part of the quiet audience, observing the lives of those people around me, I started to participate and create my own memories. I can only hope that in 2015, my new found carefree attitude towards life stays with me. Along with creating more beautiful memories, living my life to the fullest and finally having the strength to part ways with self-doubt , here are my other goals for 2015.

This year, I vow to:

Make it simple and free my mind: Life is already one big roller coaster ride. I don't need to further complicate it with my ongoing battle with self-doubt. I already learned how to silence it this year, so here's to a year of only entertaining positive thoughts. Always.

Create my own sunshine: Happiness is around us, but of course there are days when it's a lot more difficult to find. On those days when I'm surrounded by darkness, I promise to be that ray of sunlight that brightens up the day. We all have bad days. You know those days when nothing ever seems to go right and everything is going wrong? One negative thing is blown out of proportion (as per usual) and then you find yourself facing a bad day. Typical. But this year, instead of letting a bad day get the better of me, I vow to smile. And smile often. Smiling at a complete stranger seems such an alien concept to me. I mean, what if they think I'm a lunatic? But, in pursuit of making the world a happier place to live in, I'm going to try radiate some positivity. A smile, a tiny gesture of happiness costs nothing. So why aren't we all doing it on a regular basis? It serves as an important reminder that our lives are more than an accumulation of bad days. If I have the opportunity to spread happiness then I will grab it. In fact, I shall start now :)

Be the best version of myself: During the latter part of 2014, I had my fitness groove on. I turned into a fitness addict almost overnight. I went to the gym at least 3-4 times a week, in the morning before attending my lectures. I actually woke up at at 6 am just to hit the gym (if that's not dedication, I don't know what is). I joined the UCD karate club (yes really. Even I surprised myself) and ate healthily. But that only lasted for a few weeks. *hangs my head in shame* Let's just say that when you find yourself juggling a billion and one things, my dream of becoming the next Victoria's Secret Angel became the least of my priorities. But, in 2015, I vow to resume what I have started. I bought a yoga mat and my gym clothes misses me. I have no more excuses not to get my body in shape. I loved the feeling that follows a tough workout and I miss it terribly so I think it's about time I rediscover it. Candice Swanepoel and co, you gals better watch out. You've got some serious competition. Lol.  #asif My fitness motto? Train like a beast, look like a beauty. Thanks, Cassey Ho.

Whilst getting fitter is placed at the top of my priority list, my desire to improve myself extends beyond addressing the  physical aspect. I want to improve all areas of my life. And that involves becoming a lot more kinder, appreciative, generous, patient. A better daughter, sister, friend and colleague. Ditching old terrible habits such as proscrastination for better habits such as being more organised. Seriously, leaving things to the last minute is never good for the soul.

Not worry: I worry. And I worry a lot. I've spent the majority of my 22 years on earth, worrying about everything that could go wrong. I don't exactly know why  because 95% of the time, those things I worried about? Never happened. It was all in my head. Instead of wasting all that time and energy imagining the worst case scenario, I intend to channel my energy into meeting my goal above.

Live a creative life: A couple of years ago, I used to write poems on a regular basis, but as I grew older, I lost that creative side of me. I can't draw to save my life, but I've always had a passion for writing and reading. In 2015, I vow to reignite that passion. I know 2015 is going to a busy year for me, but I want to start writing posts regularly. I have so many plans for Slave to Vanity. So many post ideas, new features I want to start and I'm even planning a makeover. Expect to see a variety of posts popping up here. Slave to Vanity started as a beauty blog and while I will continue to write about my love for lipsticks, blushes and the likes, lifestyle posts will be incorporated. As they say, variety is the spice of life.

2015 is going to be a tough year. I just know it. What with my upcoming continuous 36 week internship of clinical placement and literature review. But as the saying goes ''nobody said it would be easy. They only said it would be worth it.'' So 2015, let's do this.

12.27.2014

Rocking THAT red lip: Mac Ruby Woo

As soon as the festive season rolls around, red lipsticks go straight up to the top of my must have list. Don't get me wrong. I'm one of those girls who refuses to let the season dictate what shade to go for. If I feel like sporting pastels in the middle of winter, then so be it. And the same goes for rocking bold, deep hues in the middle of scorching weather. But, come Christmas time, I like to abide by the rules and stick to the old tradition of rocking a red lip. Red lipstick. Such a classic. I'm not one for shying away from a fiery hue. The bolder it is, the better. And when you want a statement pout that packs a high impact punch, Mac's Ruby Woo is the one to turn to. I have other red lipsticks in my beauty arsenal, but this bad boy is the ONE.

I'm not the first person to openly gush about this offering from Mac and I certainly won't be the last. It has received countless raves and rightly so. Ruby Woo, a cool toned pillar box red with strong blue understones imparts a true matte velvety finish on the lips. I ADORE it. One swipe and you have an opaque coverage. It's a universal flattering red on any skin tones. I have yet to spot a girl who Ruby Woo didn't agree with. However, the intense colour payoff and impressive staying power (it lasts and lasts provided you don't eat/drink) come at a price.

As Ruby Woo is part of the Retro Matte clan, it is drying on the lips. Unsurprisingly, it becomes progressively drying as the hours go by. To minimise such dryness, good prep before application is compulsory. Exfoliation with a trusted lip scrub and a slick of lip balm are your essential best friends. Provided your lips are not already dry or chapped, prior to applying it, working with Ruby Woo should be fine. Quick heads up though: it's no easy feat. Due to the extremely matte finish, Ruby Woo has a dry texture, hence why I find that it tugs and drags on the lips when applied directly from the bullet. Thus, I personally prefer enlisting the help of a lip brush to apply it. This not only leads to easier application, but it also allows me to gain greater control and precision.

In a perfect world, Ruby Woo would be a breeze to apply, but seeing as it's the perfect true red and long-lasting, I think we can all look past the dryness that accompanies it. Just look at that thing of beauty. No wonder why it's been gracing my lips for the entire of December. Ain't she just beautiful? In fact, it's so beautiful, I've been known to be that girl who likes to slick this on whilst wearing my pyjamas with nowhere to go. Just because. To borrow the words of Iggy Azalea, 'I'm so fancy, you already know' or should I say 'I'm so glamorous, you already know'. Let's just leave it at that.

12.26.2014

Braving the storm (self-doubt).... And surviving it


Over the past four months, I have learned an important life lesson. It's not exactly new per se. It's one that I quickly learned earlier on in life, but it's only within the last couple of months when it finally resonated with me. And that is to never ever give up. When that tiny inner demon starts filling your mind with nothing, but negative thoughts, it's important to brush it off and never lose sight of your goals.

This semester has been such an arduous journey. Seeing as it was my final semester, I knew I was in for an intense ride of emotions and never ending deadlines. But I never expected it to be that hard. With every essay I had to research and write, I lost a bit of my sanity along the way. The pressure to excel academically and maintain my GPA amounted to my increasing stress. The problem? I was the only one putting the enormous pressure on myself to succeed. To surpass all my previous achievements. My parents long instilled in me the importance of working hard, but also to never lose sight of myself in the process. You see, from as long as I can remember, I've always been my own worse enemy. While others had complete faith in me, I was always my worst critic. Instead of being my personal cheerleader, I would always find excuses and reasons why I wouldn't be able to succeed at something. I constantly doubted and undermine myself.  But time and time again, I was proven wrong. And each time that it happened, instead of congratulating myself and attributing it to my hard work, I was more inclined to attribute my success to luck.  It's been a long problem of mine and one I have yet to find the perfect solution to.  Trust me. I've been trying very hard. But sometimes you encounter those days when listening to your inner demon becomes second nature. Then all you're left with is self-doubt. And this thing called self-doubt? Not only is it emotionally draining, but it's detrimental to one's progression. It serves as a major catalyst for self-sabotage. For far too long, I allowed myself to become a victim of my own negativity. My life has always been a never ending roller coaster ride of feeling inadequate, constantly worrying about never being good enough and never believing in myself despite my past accomplishments that tells me I should.  And that is where the problem lies.



I've always been aware of this flaw of mine. But it was only in the last few months when I suddenly realised just how self-destructive I was being. The daily constant attack directed towards my self-confidence, brought on by my own insecurities did little to contribute to my personal development. I guess we all have those days when believing in ourselves prove to be a challenge. Be it due to self inflicted criticisms or a group of doubters, undermining your abilities, intelligence and talent. It's normal to doubt our own strengths, but when it's the only thing that occupies your mind, 24 hours, 7 days a week, you know you need to intervene.

Because truth of the matter is, as much as I tend to attribute my success to luck, that isn't the case at all. As the first photo rightly points out: there is no elevator to success. There are no clear short cuts one could take to achieve it. We need to earn it. We need to be proactive by putting in the hard work for luck can only get you so far in life. At a certain point, we need to plant the seeds, in order to reap the benefits. And from my personal experience, it starts with believing in yourself. Cliche I know, but it's true. You reach a point when you need to stand up to that inner critic and put a stop to all the negative thoughts it keeps spitting out.


I would like to draw an analogy between a storm and my never ending battle with self-doubt. I'm used to hard work. I'm not one for taking the easy route. I'm the type of person who always took the road less traveled. I'm no stranger to facing challenges head on. But amidst all the mounting workload this past semester, the emotional disturbance caused by my inability to believe in myself just made it that much difficult to handle. Overwhelmed with self-doubt and that inner crtic who continued to run its negative commentary, much to my dismay, I found myself wanting to give up, throw the towel and run to the nearest corner and cry. Gripped by the irrational fear of failing and insecurity, I found myself paralyzed, stripped off any confidence, logic and reason.

Just like being caught in the middle of the storm, I felt like there was no way out. I felt hopeless. Trapped. Reaching the end seemed impossible. But here we are now. I managed to get to the other side and come out a better person because of it. I braved the storm and I survived. How exactly did I manage to do it?

I have always thought that it is during difficult times, when you are presented with the perfect opportunity to undergo personal development. When called upon to face numerous obstacles, we can either wallow in self-pity and accept defeat or we can choose to put on our toughest armor and face it head on. Personally, I'd choose the latter. The road to success and overcoming self-doubt isn't easy. But there is a way to go about it. I find the key to addressing self-doubt is to refrain from fighting against it. I learned the hard way that the more you fight against it, the more it continues to fight back. Don't fight it by refusing to acknowledge its existence. Listen to it and from the moment you hear its negative taunts and insults, address it. Don't let your negative thoughts consume you. Whenever you find yourself saying you can't do something and the what ifs starts to float around, change your way of thinking. Instead of saying 'I can't' learn to say 'I can't, but I have the power to work on it' 


I have acknowledged the fact that a certain degree of self-doubt will always be present in my life. One of my favourite quotes reads ''You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is to calm yourself. The storm will pass.'' - Timber Hawkeye. I don't have any control over the challenges life throws at me, but I can control how I respond to my self-doubt aka the barrier to overcoming those obstacles.  It's important to keep some things into perspective. No matter what obstacle you're facing right now, big or small, do remember that it will eventually pass.

Just like after any storm, we are presented with the opportunity to rebuild ourselves. A new beginning is bestowed upon us. Ultimately, our spirit and resilience is always going to be stronger that any storm that comes our way. It's just the matter of recognising that we are more than capable of rising above it. So next time self-doubt rear its ugly head in my life, I know I can silence it.

*Images all taken from google images.