Upcoming Trip, a Wedding, My Summer So Far (& Of Course Kitties!)

It’s that time of the year when this birdie flies south. In two weeks I’ll be boarding the plane for my holiday in Taipei! I am pretty sure this adorable Caudalie set is coming with me. It comes with 30ml of Cleansing Water, 10ml of Moisturizing Sorbet, 30ml of Fleur de Vigne Shower Gel, 30ml of Gentle Conditioning Shampoo, and 30ml of Nourishing Body Lotion. Some of these are old friends (you can see my review of the Moisturizing Sorbet here. It is still my current go-to night cream), and others are new. They come in a travel-friendly bag that has canvas parts to make it extra special. The best part? It retails for 10 euros! Especially if you’re traveling by plane and can’t have your full-size bottles with you, this set is an amazing deal. Even if you’re not traveling, it would be a good start to get to know more Caudalie products!

Also, with the 2-week countdown, I am going on the Oenobiol Intensive Sun treatment today. I will for sure report the results after my holiday!

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Quick & Dirty Swatches of L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows in 15 Flashback Silver, 28 Enigmatic Purple, 29 Smoky Green, 30 Ultimate Black + A Random Spring Day

Hey everyone!

How was your day? Are you suffering from the gloomy Monday syndrome or are you coping just fine?

I had a great day today, mostly because I got up early and got a lot of things done. I took many pictures that I need for future posts (some won’t come up till much later since they need to be tested still). There was so much sunlight that I seemed to have drawn some inspiration, and I hope you’ll like the new photos!

I haven’t had time to swatch all the Dior Vernis yet, so today I’m doing a little filler post. I went to the drugstore and saw 4 new L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows, and I did some quick and dirty swatches for you!

These are 15 Flashback Silver (I don’t believe this is new. It’s just that we didn’t get it till now. It is renamed as 222 Infinity Sky in the US), 28 Enigmatic Purple, 29 Smoky Green, and 30 Ultimate Black. I believe the latter three are relatively new, since I can’t find an awful lot of information about them online. My first impression is that these matte ones aren’t AS pigmented or smooth compared to their shimmery counterparts. They’re still very good, but not exactly to the same extent. I had no problem building them up and smoothing the slight chalkiness out though, so maybe it won’t be a big problem when applied on the lids.

Also, since it’s a filler post, I decided to share some random pictures I took today with you.

Behold Muffin and Tango tangled up in a headlock. I think they might have been fighting for the patch of sun, but it could just be Muffin getting bored. I took the pink paper out of the Caudalie tote I got last week because they sometimes play with/sit on it.

This is Tango getting his tum tanned. He eventually flipped over so that he could tan his back lol

Since the weather was fantastic, Dr. D and I went on a walkie in the neighborhood. The cherry blossoms are blooming here! Spring really has come!

Voila, just a little something to keep you entertained until I get the time to swatch/review something properly (I’m aiming at tomorrow though, so it won’t be long). I hope your week is off to a great start!

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: What do you guys think about this kind of posts? Would you like to see it from time to time or not at all? Of course I won’t do a filler post twice every week or something, but sometimes when I’m having a good day and I have some random bits and pieces of my life in photos, I would also love to share with you! Let me know in the comment section below whether occasionally you’d be entertained by a post in the same vein or not 🙂

Introducing… Brownie the Whiskered Companion Number 2

Brownie came to me in the beginning of 2007, when she was 5 or 6 weeks old. She was found in Hsinchu, a city in Northern Taiwan, abandoned in a carton box (really, why would anyone do something like that?). The lady who rescued her found my friend Amber on the online cat forum, who has a lot of experience bottle-feeding motherless kitties. Since she wasn’t taking care of any at that moment, she agreed to take this one over. It was the beginning of December 2006. The vet said she might have been a week old. Amber decided to make November 25th her birthday, coinciding with the birthday of her oldest cat.

I was having a lot of problems with Tango back at the time. Besides the usual my-battery-is-completely-full-and-I-want-to-do-a-lot-of-crazy-stupid-things kind of kitty problems, Tango was also unfortunately not socialized. He had no idea that he was a cat, nor that he was in fact not one of us. I couldn’t blame him. He couldn’t have known better. Still, it was annoying to have him hunch his back and puff up when we were trying to discourage him from doing something undesirable. He also felt free to bite us when he was upset, and punishing him only made it worse.

I met Amber on the cat forum. She had 4 cats at that point and a lot of experience bottle-feeding motherless ones. She was kind enough to set up “play dates” for Tango so that he could be with other cats. Even after the first play date he was behaving better, knowing that there were lines he shouldn’t cross (that or he got too tired trying to defend himself in an unknown environment). Amber kept encouraging me to get a second one, but the only thing I could think of was: if things go south, I’d be pretty dead. My mother really adored Tango by then, but still. Bringing a second cat home would be a provocation, and if this one turns out to be just like Tango, then it’s double the trouble.

The first time I saw Brownie however, my heart melted. She was motherless just like Tango, but with an experienced human caretaker, she was doing a lot better. She was fluffy, round, well-fed, and happy. She would purr nonstop the second someone picks her up to cuddle her, and she is extremely smart. Even from such an early age you could tell she knew a lot about the world, who not to cross, how to make herself comfortable, but above all, how to love and be loved. That first time I saw her, I had Tango on my lap and I put her next to him. He got so angry that he tried to attack her, but I managed to put my hand over her in time. Well, I would be jealous too, it’s a bit like having a new baby sister in the house, and I knew it would be something I had to work on.

I saw Brownie several times, and every time a voice in my head says: take her home! I made a deal with Amber: I’d take her home for two weeks to see how things went. If it worked out, I’d keep her. If not, I’d take her back and Amber would find her a new owner. I told my mother Amber needed some help with the little one, because one of her cats was sick (which was true). Brownie was so adorable however, my mother never really opposed to me bringing her home.

Tango was almighty angry for 2 days. He didn’t attack his baby sister like what he tried to do the first time he saw her, but he would observe her whatever she was doing, and that stressed her out. Brownie was smart though. She never messed with him, and she spent her time playing and being nice to everyone in the house. She quickly won us over. By the third day, her magic worked on Tango, too. They started sitting next to each other, and Tango started grooming her. So that was that, she stayed. Brownie is about as clingy as a dog, which is most of the time very flattering (though sometimes I also want her to leave me alone for a bit). She follows me around the house very often, getting accidentally stepped on from time to time. She wants to be cuddled all the time, and she likes attention. She is as nice as a companion animal can be, though she is very shy and guests almost never get to see her. The only exception was my boyfriend (I’ll dub him D). The first time he came through the door of where I was living back at the time, Brownie went to greet him. I really wonder if she was smart enough to know who he was and that he would be the boss from now on. Needless to say, she is D’s favorite. Before we moved in together he made this “no cat in the bedroom” rule. Guess who was the first to break that rule with Brownie? He also gives her a copious amount of treat on a daily basis, despite that fact that I keep trying to tell him it’s not necessarily good for her health. Oh well. I guess we still have to work on that.

Brownie came as Tango’s companion, but is now everybody’s favorite sweetheart. She has her quirks, and when she sets her mind on something there is almost nothing you can do to stop her (fortunately that doesn’t happen too often). However, when I look into her big green eyes, I see as much love as it is possible to be contained by her small body, and I feel truly blessed that I decided to take her home, and all the way across the world with me. For all the love you have given, little girl, you deserve a very happy life, and I hope I can at least give you that.

Introducing… Tango the Whiskered Companion Number 1

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This is Tango, my whiskered companion. He turned 5 this August, and I found him when he was a day or two old.

A bit more than 5 years ago, I was at my then-boyfriend’s (OK, I’m being honest here. Usually I tell people it’s just a friend) place one Friday afternoon when we heard a kitty cry. The cry came from the roof, or rather the space between the roof and the ceiling outside of his studio which was an apartment divided into 5 studios. We thought it was briefly separated from its mother and decided not to do anything about it, so that the mother wouldn’t come back, smell human on the kitty, and abandon it. By that night my source of information confirmed the kitty had not been taken away. I was supposed to work all day the next day (tutoring English back at the time) so I didn’t think there was anything I could do, but magically everybody canceled for one reason or another. I called to ask if he could still hear the kitty cry. “Yeah, I heard it again earlier.”

I went there, found a ladder lying around (or borrowed it from his landlord who ran an eatery around the block. Can’t remember exactly), poked my head through the foam board ceiling tile, and saw nothing. In the meantime the kitty was still crying on and off. I bought a can and put some water there with it, hoping the kitty would be lured out by the smell, thinking it was maybe a month or so old and could at least walk around and eat. It was HOT, and I got pretty dirty, but still the kitty was playing hide and seek a couple of hours later.

In early afternoon, I decided to go to the landlord for help. He was not happy about feral cats climbing through the transom to have their babies there, but just for his own peace and quiet he agreed to help. He climbed up the ladder from outside the studio with a pair of barbecue tongs and a huge flashlight. After poking around for a minute or so, he retrieved something tiny with the tongs, put it on top of the flashlight, and passed it down to me.

It was a kitty all right, one that was screaming at the top of his lungs. Whether because he was annoyed to be woken from his snooze or happy that he was no longer alone, I really couldn’t say. But seriously, it looked like a mouse. Its eyes were closed, ears flopped down, and the umbilical cord still attached — that’s right, it was probably born the day before when we heard him meow, and the only thing that kept it alive for a day without its mother was the heat on the roof.

I took it in my palms to a vet nearby. The vet told me how to feed it (all the while being a bit skeptical about us making it), gave me a syringe box layered with some kitchen towels, and sent me to a pet shop for formula milk and bottle. I had ALWAYS wanted a cat, but my mother had never let me, so the first thing I said when I opened the door was:”look, I have a kitty here that needs to be bottle-fed, and if I don’t it will die. I’m going to bring him up and then give it away, but you have to let me do this!” A bit reluctantly maybe my mother didn’t put up too much of a fight. I thought it was the most beautiful little thing in the world, though looking back I can understand why my mother didn’t even want to lay her eyes on it at all during the first days — it had almost no hair, and without a mother who instinctively knew what to do, it wasn’t looking its best.

After that, it was a gruesome month of sleep deprivation. I found an online forum with people who are experienced in bringing up motherless kitties, and they made it look so easy because they knew what to do. Kitties need regular feeding, like every 3-4 hours. Some of them told me to fill him to the brim during daytime, so that I could get my 8 hours at night. No, oh no, Mister Superstar (by then he had been identified to be a male, though I had an icking suspicion just because he was really demanding lol) refused to eat every two hours when I was awake, and since that plan didn’t work out I had to wake up twice every night to give him milk. My vet told me to make more formula milk in one go so that I only had to reheat it throughout the day, just to save some time. But again, no, I tried this couple of times but he just wouldn’t eat when the milk was reheated. To be fair it might have been because the temperature wasn’t what he was used to, but still. I also had to make him pee after every meal and poo every day. When the pooing didn’t happen for more than one day my whole world started to crumble, because I thought I would lose him (this is apparently fairly normal for kitties on formula milk, but I just am the panicky type). I couldn’t sleep, and as a result couldn’t eat. I was waking with a start every 15 minutes, reaching out to his little cage next to my bed, just to make sure he was still breathing. I lost 4 kilos at the end of that month, and despite the fact that I’ve always had a bit of extra weight, some people started commenting on my “protruding cheekbones.” Believe me, it’s not a compliment where I come from.

But we made it. The vet told me mamma cats can’t count. They would produce 4 kitties and think they only have 3, and as a result leaving one behind when they moved. Or they would produce 4 and think they have 5, and searching forever for the non-existent 5th. That or they knew a certain kitty was born with a defect. Instead of wasting resources, they would only take the healthy ones with them. There was some construction work going on across the street at that time, and the workers told the landlord that a mamma cat came back meowing miserably for quite a while the following Monday. We assumed she remembered the one left behind and came back for it. Too late, lady. If he was still there he would have been dead.

In the beginning I didn’t want to give it a name, just to avoid too much attachment (remember my promise to my mum?). But while I was waiting to cross the street to go home and feed him one night, the word Tango popped into my head. I went home, said it to him, and he meowed. Probably because he was hungry, but I liked the way it sounds and pretended he meowed because he liked the name. So that was that. When he was about a month old I was using the computer one night with him on my lap. My mum walked past my room and asked:”how are you ever going to give him away if you are so attached?” I started to cry, and to my amazement she said:”fine, keep him, but you are responsible for all the problems.” Actually she turned out to be his diehard fan, even though she was pretending otherwise.

Tango was 2 when I came to Europe. Since I thought I was only going to be here for a year, I left him behind for my mother and brothers to look after. When I started having plans to stay for much longer, I decided to take him. It’s another long story for another post, but fast forward to 2 years after he arrived at Charles de Gaule, he is now happily napping on my lap as I write this post, enjoying the blanket and autumn sunshine. For at least another 10 years to come, Tango. For at least another 10 years to come.