#2108 | Graphic Graphic

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Creative work: Martin Hong
Client: Kenzo Parfums
Hair: Mervyn from Hairloom

So right after my Laneige film concluded I had a job come my way to shoot a freeform ad for Kenzo, and of course I engaged Martin to conceptualise and create the piece since he’s the strangest person I know. It’s actually a GIF, but I quite like it as stills too so I’m putting it here just for the memories. The actual ad went live on instagram awhile back, and I absolutely love how old school cinema the visuals are styled by. From Kdrama romance to avant garde it seems there is nothing my friend cant do. (And yes, I am generally very proud of my friends!)

x
Jem

#2107| pachinko: airport stories

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Over the past few years I have taken so many flights alone that the airport has started to take on a strange significance to me as a breeding ground for the inexplicable. A limbo of reason, if you will. Logically I know the probability of this being true is low, but still it seems to be my truth that stories happen to me in airports, places of transit.

Leaving Okinawa I nearly lost my temper at a tiny man who smiled at me while telling me he could not help me. It is a story I don’t want to elaborate on, it is boring and dull as stories of petty authority often are. I knocked out on the hour long flight to Taipei, so consumed by my annoyance that it had exhausted me completely. It occurred to me that I had a vast amount of work to be done once I touched down in singapore, the reality of which I had unwittingly escaped for the past seven days of shoot in OKA thanks to my shitty internet connection. It gave me a bit of a migraine. Also, my iPhone was acting up – it had been ever since the announcement of the iX earlier in the week, and this ever strengthened my resolve to jump ship to android. Shaking my metaphorical fist at the international money men, as it were. Whatever. I know one is the same as the other but it felt necessary. Anyway. This meant that I was struggling throughout my two hour transit in Taipei, trying to fix my phone, trying to set up and liaise meetings for homeground. I settled early at my gate, trying to fix my phone despite being totally unqualified to do so.

A girl’s voice chimed: Jemma. I looked up to a totally unfamiliar face and prepared myself to attempt to recognize this girl I had never seen before in my life, cursing my hopeless facial recognition skills. But it was unnecessary. The girl continued: I follow your Instagram. I can see your – she gestured vaguely at my skirt – underwear. Then she looked away and stopped talking to me.

My skirt had ridden up without me noticing it. I rearranged myself and nodded my thanks to her but she’d looked away already. Later on, I boarded the flight and spent three hours devouring 531 pages of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, which I had bought in another airport’s bookstore because it had a gorgeous cover and also because on that gorgeous cover Junot Diaz had testified that the book was ‘luminous and powerful’. It was both these things. I thought to myself, one day perhaps I will be friends with Junot Diaz and tell him I bought a book because his recommendation was on the cover. I truly believed this for a moment.

It was doubly annoying to me, then, that through these few hours of what seemed to me as great personal growth (all reading blocks seem to me that way, the entrance and exit into another world), the handsome German boy sitting next to me had taken off his shoes to reveal hideous pepsi cola socks, and was intermittently scratching his balls. I had seen the trio of German boys earlier in the Taipei airport while transiting, and had noticed them because they were ridiculously good looking. I identified them as German because I heard them speaking in the familiar inflection reminiscent of my seven months of student life there, and has felt a strange compulsion to walk up to them and make conversation and prove that I could speak mediocre German. Kommst du aus Deutschland? I used to do this, after my student exchange there – randomly strike up conversation with Germans I ran into despite my incredibly bad grasp of the language. I must have been so insufferable. I feel like I had possibly been the reverse figure of that white person who goes Ni Hao to every vaguely Asian looking person. Anyway, I no longer do this because I don’t know why, but I’m thankful that I don’t, because in retrospect it seems like a stupid thing to have done. Back to the point – I had noticed the trio earlier and thought they were handsome, and thought the same thing again when they sat down next to me in the airplane, and then I felt so annoyed when they took off their shoes and started scratching themselves in strange places that it took me a moment to process my irritation. Perhaps it was the fact that Pachinko was a book about the quiet grace of Koreans living in Japan, a literary cubby that I had been so immersed in, that to see these Germans behave like the airplane was their home assumed a certain entitled confidence that chaffed at the conservativeness I had momentarily adopted from the book. Perhaps it was also that no German I had encountered in my seven months living in Stuttgart would have behaved like this, leading me to question the authenticity of my life there, my life here, these people beside me in the plane. Perhaps it was as simple as the fact that I could not reconcile their good looks with their behavior. Why would you scratch your balls while sitting in an aisle seat? Anyone can see you. There was no attempt to at least hide under a blanket or something. I had to blink my irritation away, and I felt old, and stuffy.

I didn’t see the girl from the Taipei airport again although I knew she must have boarded the same flight. As I disembarked, I wondered why I hadnt told the boy to please stop scratching himself next to me. I wondered how I lacked the courage to make that simple statement when a total stranger could tell someone she followed on Instagram that her underwear was showing. I thought to myself, wow, that girl, with something like admiration. I lacked the information to feel anything past that. And then I collected my bags and was back in my home ground and life stopped being a story and started being real again, and I thought I had better write this all down before I forget, and so I did.

X
Jem

#2096 | Tales from Tokyo: Snack city

Heya guys,

Just a log of the different things I snacked on in Tokyo. Seriously that place is just full of wonder! You can also read my post on weird things I consumed in Tokyo’s vending machine/conveneince stores here.
Remember – the trick to trying a lot of different things is to SHARE EVERYTHING! Otherwise you’ll be full by 1pm and that’s it for the day.

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These mozzarella cheese sticks from Lotteria are the real MVP. They’re only like a dollar each or something, I cant remember, and come in a pair. Super yummy if you’re a cheese fan. Just look at that cheese pull! Mmmmmm.

You have to specifically ask for the cheese sticks. Because if you randomly point at anything that LOOKS like a cheese stick, you might end up with a chicken nugget instead, which to be fair, is pretty damned good too…

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Chicken nugget? Chicken finger? I dunno what this is. But it’s really amazing. Japanese nuggets are really better – though I’d always though Lotteria was a korean chain, thanks to Lotte world in Seoul. It was only when I googled it that I realised it’s actually originated from Shinjuku?? And even funnier – the wikipedia page throws a heckload of shade on McDonalds because it says that Lotteria invented the shrimp burger which MCD COPIED. HAHAHAH. Hilarious.

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Pablo’s cheese tarts! The original cheese tarts I think. Its my fourth time in Japan but first time trying the tarts because the queues are always so damned long. But for some reason it was super empty this time – maybe it was the hour that i went? The Pablo cafe in the tiny streets of Harajuku is a really pretty one too, all wood and natural light. But we’re not here to talk about interior design.

The three tarts I tried were matcha, original, and chocolate. Matcha was the best of the lot, really impressive although I’m not the hugest matcha fan! Original wasn’t too bad too. Chocolate was just.. chocolatey.

And don’t bother with the shakes. This is banana chocolate which I would NEVER order on my own cos it sounds way sweet, but my sister bought it and immediately regretted it. So super sweet.

I tried the Hokkaido BAKE cheese tarts in Tokyo too, out of this stand at the Shinjuku train station, but didn’t take a picture of it. Not bad! But wouldnt queue an hour for it, thats a bit nuts i think.

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I don’t think this is really considered a snack but Sushizanmai is open 24 hours and there is one smack in the middle of Shibuya! So if you have a midnight sushi craving…

When in Sushizanmai, order the Chutoro. Don’t ask, just do it. That shit it amazing. It melts in your mouth like butter. I got the tuna set (five types of tuna) and although everything was good, I actually whimpered when I tried the Chutoro. Then I went back and ordered another four more because I couldn’t get over it. SO AMAZING. SO AMAZING!!!!

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This is the 100YEN egg stick that I love to get form Tsukiji market! You can get it near the entrance of the market, and you’ll know which it is cos its at the corner of a line of shops and theres a whole set up where they’re flipping eggs in front of you.

This is the sushi egg that you get, tamago, but on a stick. You can get it plain or with toppings, but I always get it plain because it’s fantastic just the way it is!

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Quite like this coffee. It’s from this little stand in Shinjuku, part of the BEAMS TOKYO department store. Their specialised coffee sells out pretty quick though, but after that sells out you can still get regular coffee.

Doesn’t hurt that the packaging is so pretty!

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I also always try the seasonal starbucks flavours whenever I’m in Japan because somehow they always get all the cool flavours that we don’t get anywhere else. Here’s the cherry pie frap – it was pretty yum, especially if you like cherry. It comes with this crusty top as well. But the cream tea frap (which isn’t a japan exclusive) was better – just more caffeine, I guess. I’m still a coffee girl at the end of the day so my favourite thing to get at Starbucks is the cold brew. It follows that all flavoured drinks gain favour with me if I can taste the coffee in it. x

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And obviously, onigiri. I love all Japanese onigiris cos the rice they use is so damned fresh and yum! Love. Tuna is still my favourite because I’m super basic but other than that I quite like the fried rice variant and the ones with eggs in the middle heh.

Ok thats it for now. More to come!

x
Jem

#2086 | blast from the past

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today i felt a bit old because i suddenly remembered the time Apple first launched its iPhone and i was walking home from school with my girlfriend Jenna and we were laughing like crazy because we were like, stupid apple is going to fail haha no one is going to buy their phone cos the iPhone has no bluetooth how dumb is that.

(when i was in secondary school bluetooth or infrared was how you transferred files between phones. but bluetooth was better because your phones could be further away: with infrared you had to stick the phones together literally to get any file sent across)

and look where we are today.

i guess we really never know.

x
Jem

#2056 | Jemma for Laneige: Christmas Gift Boxes

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Hey guys,

After over a year of representing Laneige in Singapore, I’m super thrilled to announce the launch of my limited edition gift box for Christmas!! This is actually a pretty exciting thing for me – because originally the idea was to just curate a list of products I personally use and recommend. But then we thought – why not pick the best two, and throw in a whole bunch of other stuff? And so.. The Jemma x Laneige’s Christmas Gift Box was born 🙂

So essentially the idea is that for the retail price of both products, we package a selection of other things to pad your gift box with in addition to my two star items. The two pieces I picked (which I feel are both absolutely essential and totally workable for anyone who enjoys makeup) are the Laneige Brush Pact for All Skin Types, and the Laneige Intense Lip Gel in Rosy Nude.

The Laneige Brush Pact is my absolute favourite product from Laneige because it’s so handy. It’s essentially a two in one – a compact powder and a fluffy kabuki brush hidden in the pact that you can twist out (see gif above). Because it’s so compact, you can carry it everywhere with you to touch up your powder on the go, which i find especially useful for shoots, or on hot days where I’m running to and fro and I want to mattify my face in the middle of the day.

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I also wipe off the brush and use it to contour in the mornings – I like that it’s such a fluffy brush cos then your contour line becomes very subtle and the entire look is just more natural. Easy for beginners who’d like a failsafe way to contour or shade because it works in such broad strokes! The brush hairs are super soft and fine, and feel amazing against the skin. Which is awesome, because after years of trying out different brushes, I can tell you that cheap brushes can feel really scratchy and gross, but good ones are mad expensive!! So this is (to me) a really good way of getting both a good brush and a compact powder at the same time without having to spend twice the price.

The retail price of this brush is SGD42 instore and online. I love it so much that I’ve already bought three because I’m so afraid that they’ll discontinue it or have it run out of stock when I need it the most!!

I picked my second item – the Laneige Intense Lip Gel in Rosy Nude – because Laneige is so known for their lip products (the lip sleeping mask and two tone lip bar, anyone?) but make up beginners may find it intimidating to try the two tone bars if they’re not familiar with lipstick application. The Intense Lip Gel is great because it’s super versatile while retaining the high quality that all Laniege lip products are known for.

On it’s own, it’s a gorgeous glossy nude that’s got a pink undertone – totally wearable on its own for an everyday look. I personally wear lipstick or gloss everyday because my job is very client facing (or camera facing) and I find that some lip color makes you look generally more put together. This is a very non-intimidating start because it’s sooooo subtle and gorgeous.

It’s not exactly like gloss or lipstick either. Lip Gel’s texture is slightly thicker than gloss, and less sticky – it is essentially like a super pumped gloss that resembles gellish nail colors when applied, and it’s very moisturising. Plus it smells amazing!

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But the absolute best thing? The lip gel also doubles up as a great top coat. I picked the nude because it’s great both on it’s own and as a top coat – if you feel adventurous enough to wear a bolder lip color, a dash of the lip gel on top of that finishes the look off with a nice glossy sheen. I do this a lot with my other lipsticks, especially matte ones, so I can wear the same color as either a matte or glossy look depending on how I feel that day 🙂

The retail price of the lip gel is SGD36.

And so if you’d gone into the store normally to just purchase them on their own or together, the total price of both items would have been SGD78…

But for that price in my gift box, you get a whole bunch of other stuff as well as a gift from us to you!

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*I must clarify that I am not getting commission from this ok this is a fun thing for me. So please go show Starbucks and Laneige some love for their generosity since they have zero obligation to give me extra things to put in the box lololol!

The Jemma x Laneige Christmas Box contains:
– Laneige Brush Pact
– Laneige Intense Lip Gel in Rosy Nude
– Goodnight With Laneige Sleeping Care Kit (travel sized water sleeping mask and lip sleeping kit)
– Travel Sized Laneige Water Bank Mineral Skin Mist (although tbh this is damn decently sized la can use forever and can keep in handbag also so useful!!)
– Laneige Trial Kit (Travel Sized White Plus Renew Essence, Fresh Brightening Cleansing Oil, Clear C Advanced Effector)
– One box of Starbucks Teavana Tea Set (you’ll either get the Emperor Cloud Mist, the Earl Grey Black Tea, or the Youth Berry Blend)

NOT BAD RIGHT.

I actually really really love the travel sized items because skincare is such an annoying thing to pack when you travel! Over 100ml cannot carry on plane, then if you pack your full sized items in your checkin bag they might spill out… And you’d definitely want to moisturise on the plane too because plane air is awful and insanely dehydrating, but decanting your product into tiny bottles is just SO TROUBLESOME and always ends up wasting the product!!!!

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But the thing is, these travel sized items are not for sale. So the best way of including them was to just beg Laneige to throw them in for free, to which they were like, sure! HAHA. And then I asked Starbucks if they’d like to give out some tea boxes, and they were also like, sure!

So effectively what this means is that my box is AWESOME.

I put in a lot of thought into this box so please if you like it go purchase a box/ tells someone who you think will like it. Because we only have a very limited number of boxes available, so once they’re gone they’re gone! You can now shop the box on Laneige’s Zalora page, and they’re having a 12% discount storewide with any Laneige purchase. Link here.

Ok, so that’s about it! Really happy that this is finally live :3 Now go check it out, and tell all your friends! ◡̈

Till next time

x
Jem