I Was Cyber Stalked!

When Someone Googled You


Yes, you read right. I was cyber stalked recently and it was still fresh in my mind like it happened yesterday. Well, truth be told, it happened on Monday, haha! So, yes, pretty much a couple of yesterdays ago. 

*Note: Cyber-stalking, according to Wikipedia, is the use of Internet and other electronic means to stalk or harass others, be it individual, group or organization. Cyber-stalking may also include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. Anything to do with monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex or gathering information is also considered cyber-stalking. 


Could this be the face of a cyber-stalker? (Source: Internet)



Okay, so excitement aside, it wasn’t really a scary case of cyber stalking. I’ve met the boy once during the Russian Armed Forces Day celebration at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre not too long ago. Let’s call him AZ, shall we? 

During the Russian Armed Forces Day celebration, I invited my friend, Edlyn to join me as well and I told her, we could have fun and find her a nice Russian boyfriend. So as we scanned through the whole banquet hall, we didn’t really find anyone suitable for Edlyn. Besides, there were many distractions along the way, haha, with military attachés from some countries trying to get my number and all. Yes, it sounds a little vain, isn’t it? Haha!


The Belles of the Ball at the Russian Armed Forces Day in February



Finally, after scanning every inch of the banquet hall, my eyes fell onto one young man in suit. I’ve noticed him before at the event. Although he didn’t strike me as someone familiar, despite my rather long involvement with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia. He was standing next to a familiar face though. 

So, I whispered to Edlyn if she thought the guy was cute. She glanced for a while and said, he was okay. Haha, well, I told her, let’s just talk to the guy and we could decide later. So, there I was, devising a plan to talk to the guy. You see, I’m actually quite at good at this after some time of practising to throw shyness away and start communicating with strangers. 


Sharing with Edlyn why I love working with the Russians


Of course, I spoke to the familiar face first, but please excuse me, although I’ve seen him one too many times, I never got his name. Ahaaa, it was Dmitry, a typical Russian name. Then, I turned to the other guy and introduced myself. Unsurprisingly, he shared a name with my Iskandar, which is also rather typical among Russians. That was how I met AZ.

AZ turned out to be very pleasant indeed. A real gentleman too. And then I met his mother. Ahaaaa, apparently, I knew his mother, met her on various Russian occasions, haha! And then only Edlyn and I found out that he was so young! Yes, it is a legal age but I I still felt he was a little too young for Edlyn. Still, again, I think AZ was a real gentleman at such a young age. 


“Manners maketh man” – Kingsman: The Secret Service
(Source: Internet)



Anyway, fast-forward to last Monday, I was chatting with my friend, Polina Matveycheva from the Russian Embassy when I saw a new Facebook friend request notification with a Russian name that I was not familiar with. I just clicked on the profile and saw a familiar face. So, I asked Polina and she confirmed that it was AZ. I also noticed that AZ and I didn’t have a mutual friend which means Polina was not on his friends list. Anyway, she told me that the boy was very sweet to give flowers to Polina and her friends. 

So, I accepted the friend request and clicked on his profile. Then, I posted something funny, “Damn! How did you find me?“. Instantly, he sent me a private message and told me he found me through Google. Anyway, the thing that I didn’t like about Facebook Messenger Apps was, it was really irritating because the phone number thing keeps popping up. So, I gave him my number and in less than 10 seconds, I got his Whatsapp text.


I can’t imagine the detective work involved to find me (Source: Internet)



AZ said, it wasn’t easy to find me. It got me wondering, why would he in the first place. He told me, he went back that night realizing that he didn’t have my contact number. He tried asking another Russian friend of mine, Anita but she didn’t have my number. He could’ve asked from Polina but he chose not too, believing that Google knew it all. 

Curious, I asked AZ to tell me. So, it turned out that AZ was bogged down with studies and all (yes, he’s attending college, so you can imagine how I feel) that he only started Googling for me on Monday at 6pm. He told me, he looked for Paris, Malaysia and Russia; trying to connect the dots. 


Here’s Paris and its landmark, the Eiffel Tower (Source: Internet)

And here’s Russia and the famous Kremlin in Moscow (Source: Internet)

And in all its glory, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the iconic Twin Towers (Source: Internet)



Of course, coming to think about it, it must be extremely hard, considering Paris/Malaysia/Russia might probably lead you to holiday packages or flight tickets, haha! Yet, he didn’t stop. He even asked his friends to help him look me up on Google using Chinese and Malay keywords; but to no avail. Honestly this part got me thinking really hard and I was like, ‘Huh?’. He even shared with me how he came across: MALAYSIA BLOGGER PARIS RUSSIA-HILTON-SOPHIE-L’OREAL-MIKI-NUXE-FRANCE-ENCHANTEUR. How cute was that? 



How many times have I been jested and linked to Paris Hilton?
(Source: Internet)


Still he didn’t find me. And probably around 10pm, he was led to my friend, Dik Bee’s blog post on ‘Russian Dance‘ which featured AZ’s friend, Lisa Zhevnovataya whose father, Captain (Navy) Sergey Valeriyevich Zhevnovatiyy is an acquaintance of mine. That was when he found my full name and yes, finally he found my Facebook profile. 

I was so touched by such gesture. Yes, people may say, “Oh, come on, he’s only a child!“. To me, what truly matters is the effort that AZ showed to Google me up. If he was old enough, I’d give him a big hug for making me feel so beautiful and sexy. I mean, would anyone really go through lengths to Google someone up like this? Ladies, how many men you met at events or parties would actually do this for you?


Any woman in her right mind would be flattered by such gesture
(Source: Internet)



So, in my defence, I’m entitled to feel gorgeous with such attention given to me. Yes, some people may say, “The boy is developing a crush“, but I think he just found me interesting, considering that we are both Mass Communications people and we also learned German. How’s that for common ground? 

Haha, oh, no! I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m just still very much delighting in such thought that someone just did something absolutely sweet. So, allow me some more time to revel in this cute adoration! It’ll give a major boost to my ego as a woman!

And no! We’re not going to end up like Harold and Maude! Hahaha! Not that much of a cougar!


A famous story of an old lady and a young boy, Harold and Maude
(Source: Internet)



See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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Sending Out A Message – Part 2

Write Right, Please!


So, before this I was writing about the type of emails and letters that I received from other people, BOTH fresh graduates and experienced personnel. Although I’m not an expert, but I’d love to share some of the things that I’ve learned. 

I should remind you, this confession is NOT the complete guide to writing a formal email/letter. It’s just the rule of thumb that I’ve been practising for quite some time.


Put some thoughts into it! A last minute writing can lead to a lot of oversights
(Source: Internet)



Before You Pen It Down

Let’s be frank here, why do you write your email/letter? Are you selling something or asking for something? 

Even when you think you’re only writing to inform the recipient something, it is still considered selling because you’re selling an idea, concept or a belief. For example, when you’re writing to inform people about an event. Don’t you mean to sell your event so that people will attend? BINGO!

Selling an idea might be a little easier than asking for something, mind you. Asking for something, for example, a job or sponsorship requires a much stronger power of persuasion. Always remember, what makes you think you’re the only person writing to the same recipient? 

So, give it some time before penning it down.


Writing letters or emails, well, both require a carefully planned structure
(Source: Internet)



Dear Sir/Madam


Yes, yes, yes! We were all taught to write this for the salutation. When it’s understandable for the recipients that we are not familiar with, just try as much as possible NOT to make it a habit. 

Seriously, in this modern day where everyone is becoming more and more tech-savvy, what’s your excuse not to find out who your recipient is? What’s wrong with calling the recipient to find out? This usually happens when you’re sending a generic email or letter. 

Or, simply ask Mr. Google! Oh, come on! You’re telling me that you can find the driver of CDM25 and you can’ find the name of your recipient? What about your ex who dumped you big and was suddenly rumoured to be getting married soon? If you can find these people and every one else who is related to them, you can work miracles to find out the identity of your recipient. 


Admit it! At least at one point in life, you cyber stalked someone!
(Source: Internet)



Finding out names and titles is extremely important. Might I remind you fellow Malaysians that our country is known for people with the longest names? Hahaha, never mind those names derived from the romantic novels, think of all the Datuk’s, Datuk Seri’s, Tan Sri’s, Tengku’s, Professors, Dr.’s, etc that you might offend by calling them Encik or Puan. 

One of the best examples which happened to an old friend…

Excuse me, I did not graduate with a Ph.D. to be called a Mister!

Yup, some people are actually that vain! 


Seriously??? Unless you’re a doctor with a long queue of patients,
 let’s acknowledge who we are writing to.
 If not, they might not be concerned of your message too.
(Source: Internet)




Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

When I was attending this amaaaazing business writing class conducted by Mr. John Hagedorn (feel free to Google him up!), he taught my colleague and I many, many great things about formal writing. You’d be surprised with the eye-opening revelations of formal writing.

One of the things that he pointed out was the exaggerated usage of ‘Dear‘. Coming to think about it, it’s true isn’t it? Why are you calling strangers ‘Dear‘? Hahahah! Are they so ‘Dear‘ to you? Or are you secretly wanting to be a ‘Dear‘ and beloved of that person? Haha! Besides, is it like a ‘Dear Diary‘ kind of thing? Or a ‘Dear Abby‘ column?


When someone wrote ‘Dear Paris’ nowadays, I just giggle
 (Source: Internet)


During the class, when John Hagedorn asked us, what might be suitable to substitute ‘Dear’, everybody including yours truly Dear Miss Paris Diaries came up with clichés such as ‘Good morning‘, ‘Good day‘ and everything good, except a good answer. Such salutations with specific time may not be suitable by the time the recipient reads your email and letter. It’s like, okay I’ve just had a long day and by chance I read your email which says ‘Good morning‘. Yes, I know you wrote that this morning, but I read it when it was already a good (or not so) evening. 

There we were, trying to figure out which ‘Good…’ should we use and John simply asked us if ‘Hello‘ would suffice. You see, being trained in an old school education system, I actually thought ‘Hello‘ may not sound formal enough and I was shameless enough to ask him back. Why should I be ashamed to ask? My HR Department did not spend thousands on a business writing class so that I come back with zero knowledge and improvement!

So, John made it very clear, it was just like making a telephone call. You use ‘Hello‘ whether you know the person or not, so why shouldn’t ‘Hello‘ be considered formal as well? 

That was the time when my simply was simply “Aaaaaah…“. It does make sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s say it with me, “Aaaaaahhhh….


Feel free to use this…. only with me! Haha! (Souce: Internet)


Another thing that you might want to consider. Don’t simply assume whether the recipient is male or female by just looking at the name. This is when ‘Hello, Miss Sandy Smith‘ might actually be ‘Hello, Mr. Sandy Smith‘. Or ‘Hello, Mr. Lee James‘ is actually, ‘Hello, Miss Lee James‘. This usually happens when dealing with foreign or unfamiliar recipients

*Note: Heck, I had a male Chinese colleague whose name is Bee Leng and a female colleague whose name is Hayatulnizam! So, ‘Hello, Sandy Smith’ or ‘Hello, Lee James’ would suffice!


Don’t Be A Tone Deaf!


And no, we’re not going to turn you into a musician or anything. However in every letter and email, you must determine the tone of your contents. So, how can we do this?

Well, one of the ways is to watch your format of writing. Remember when to use capital letters and small letters. Of course, this one is easy for all, yet some people still think it is a fun thing to practice. Mind you, all-caps do emphasize your subject or idea depending on your usage. When words such as FREE and AMAZING can give positive connotation, others such as WHAT and the name of your recipient (for example, PARIS!) may give a negative tone to your message. 



Yup, strike the right tone in your writing before you strike out!
(Source: Internet)



Other than that, don’t be narcissistic! Your message shouldn’t just be about you, you, you. It should be about your recipient as well. Try to have more second person point of view than first person point of view. Your contents should be about your recipient, not you. Even when you’re promoting your event or yourself to apply for a job; always remember, it must benefit your recipient

Here are some examples:

We want to introduce our newly improved website…”

And compare it to:

You’ll be excited to know of the newly improved website...”


How about when applying for a job?

I am a resilient, hard working and resources person. On top of that, I have years of experience…

Try this:

“For your kind information, I have worked with several years of experience in marketing which will be beneficial for your company’s activities”.


This is what you must avoid (Source: Internet)



Truth is, the more ‘I’s’ you have, the more ‘you’s’ you might bore. Don’t forget, the world does not revolve around you. It also revolves around your recipient. Besides, you write it, he or she receives it. Put yourself in their shoes too! Again, you are not the only person trying to make contact with your recipient. 

A good tone makes a good impression. A good impression makes a good contact. And with contact, the world is an oyster! If you’re lucky, this oyster comes with a big, white pearl in it too!


See? Yes, it makes me want to go to a sushi bar, but you get my meaning
(Source: Internet)



KISS – Keep It Short and Simple!

I know you have a lot to tell, much to share, but why don’t we spare the agony and keep our messages short but straight to the point; write them in a simple manner but with an impact

More often that not, most of us just want to impress our recipient with bombastic jargons and extensive thesaurus, thinking that such would make us appear smarter. I’m not saying your recipient is stupid or they don’t read a book, but is there a need to be a little boastful? 

KISS! And not ‘Keep it (mouth) shut, stupid!’, haha! (Source: Internet)



Being humble yet impressive in a message can be as easy as writing with common courtesy. Nobody is going to judge you for using simple and understandable terms. It makes their lives easier too. Particularly when you’re writing to someone high up there whose emails usually go through their assistants who might not be at all impressed with your attempt to be the next Professor Henry Higgins

And finally, remember to say ‘Thank you’! Nothing seals common courtesy better than a sign of gratitude

Although I’m not really an expert on writing letters and emails, I do however learn more and more from people around me. And finally, have fun when writing. Why should you lose hair over an email? Just take a deep breath and be sincere about what you’re going to write. People are very smart these days, if you mean well, they know it too.


Have fun and keep your head up! Writing should come from the heart
(Source: Internet)



Even if you’ve made some mistakes in your past, don’t fret! Look back, learn and move forward. There is always room for improvement. Besides, once you get the hang of writing, you will be the first person your colleagues turn to for reference. Remember, sharing your knowledge with others also earns you some pahala to last you even when you’re no longer around, Insya-Allah.

If you have more tips on writing or anything, feel free to share with me! I’m always keen to learn new things from others as well. 

And yes, THANK YOU for supporting The Miss Paris Diaries!


Thank you! You really love me! (Source: Internet)



See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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Sending Out A Message – Part 1

The Tiny Little Things You Might Oversee


Yes, yes, I know, I haven’t updated The Miss Paris Diaries in a while. I’ve just been bogged down with work that I couldn’t even sneak time to finish up some drafts. Haha!

Let’s not procrastinate any longer and start sharing something that might be useful for you. For the past couple of years, I believe I’ve gone through some phases of writing for work. The more I write, the more I learn how I can make my official writing better.


Some need to start writing from scratch… literally! (Source: Internet)



Of course, I’m not an expert at writing in English. It’s not even my first language. On top of that, I was never formally trained to write in English nor did I graduate from a TESL Programme. I have always loved learning the language since I was young and slowly I start to write more and more in English. I guess it began when I was in high school when I was selected by the teachers to join the editorial board for the school magazine. I wrote a couple of short stories and poems, just to fill up the English section. 

You see, our school Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Taman Melati in Setapak was not a very popular school back then. Honestly, I don’t even know if it’s popular now. There were whispers of local celebrities attending that school, but I don’t like to kiss and tell. *wink*

So you can imagine why I had to help the teachers with the English Section of the magazine. There weren’t that many of us who could write in English well. Besides, I was always one of those over-achievers who just had to score 100% during English tests and exams. I was so obsessed, the bullies at my school called me Shikin London which was pretty dumb because if they had listened to me carefully, I spoke American English having spent years of watching and learning from American TV. I only spoke  British English during oral tests so that I could pass with flying colours. 


When my teachers told me to watch more of this… (Source: Internet)



I watched more of this… (Source: Internet)
Yes, there’s Yiddish and all, but I enjoyed it anyway! (Source: Internet)
And this… aaaaaaahhhh! (Source: Internet)


Anyway, remember back in the days when our English syllabus taught us a certain way of writing a formal letter, with the specific format and language. There was the address at the top, followed by the date and yes, the famous salutation of ‘Dear Sir/Madam‘, sounds familiar? 

Well, yes, we were all trained with the same format of writing for many, many, many years. Plus many more years. Although the syllabus that we learned had somewhat laid the foundation of writing for most of us, then there is college, but I still didn’t think it was enough nor was it quite relevant once we join the real world. 



Surprisingly, even now I still need to crack my head when
writing letters and emails (Source: Internet)



In fact, I’m actually quite surprised that we do not really give proper training to students on how best to write formal letters or emails particularly to the Human Resources or Public Relations Department of a company. I mean, back during my UiTM time, I was actually quite lucky to have attended several graduate courses on writing. Still, I didn’t think it was enough because I learn more and more along the way. 

To tell the truth, I don’t mean to diss anyone, I just think the Malaysian syllabus might be a little outdated because I keep seeing the same format from fresh graduates who actually made an effort to write a proper letter or email. Yes, I understand they didn’t have exposure, but would it kill to FOR ONCE use Google for a good cause? I mean, back then we didn’t have Internet or WiFi as extensive as we have now, and I still made an effort to go to the Internet Cafe to look for some samples of formal letters. Trust me, back then, you could barely find a decent one.

Never mind the numerous replicas I’ve received, at least again, may I stress here that at least they made an effort. Since I’ve started working in Public Relations two years ago, I’ve been bombed with many, many letters and emails that make me want to meet the senders in real life and just punch them in the faces! Yes, as brutal as that sound, you have nooooo idea what I have to face on a daily basis.

It will take some time but making an effort to write a good letter/email
 comes with great rewards (Source: Internet)



Let me share some of the worst emails I’ve encountered and tell me if any of these sounds familiar. 


No Subject

Okay, you’re sending an official email to the PR of the company and you didn’t put a subject. Surprisingly, even people who have years of experience do this too by mistake. 

As tiny as the mistake might appear, it doesn’t look good on the recipient. It appears just like any other spam that we receive everyday. Most people will simply ignore emails like that. 

The nicer ones including yours truly when she’s in a good mood; will at least glance at it. However, pass mal auf when I decide to reply with some notes in it too. It doesn’t mean that I care about your email, it simply means that I’m actually pissed off. Haha! 

So, what should you do when you realized that you’ve sent an email without a subject? Just resend and don’t forget to apologize. We PRs are used to receiving crappy emails, an apology with resend will turn our days around. 


Email is a very convenient way to communicate on professional basis
(Source: Internet)

No Contents


This is another email that gives me a heart attack. Many a time, senders only attach a presentation or information but not the contents. And surprisingly, these people are the ones who want something from our company; sponsorship, media coverage and so on. 

So, with only attachment and nothing else, what am I supposed to do? Read your mind telepathically? If people ask, why can’t I just download the attachment and go through the details? 

My answer is simple, why should I? You’re the one who sent me the email, so it means that you want something from me. The least you could do is, make an effort and get your message across. 

Once, I’ve received a Whatsapp text from an acquaintance asking whether or not the company I’m working for can sponsor one of their events. I told him to send me an email with details. Yes, he did. With only a subject and an attachment, no contents. Considering he was an acquaintance and because his wife also texted me to remind me of their proposal, I replied and asked for a more formal email with details. Later, the guy just Whatsapped me with this message, “Everything is in the attachment“. 

And that was when I clicked on the BIG BLACK X that says ‘Delete’. Honestly, I didn’t need it. It was disrespectful and the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility fund was better spent elsewhere. 


I don’t mind if you whatsapp me on professional matters
if you’re one of my close friends,
but I still need an official email (Source: Internet)

Informal Contents


Since I started working in Public Relations, I’m actually surprised that many, many people see me as their personal piggy bank; thinking that they can just email me to squeeze funds out to finance their activities. 

Yes, true, most companies have set aside a certain amount of money for Corporate Social Responsibility activities. This fund is more for branding purposes, a way to show the public that a company cares about the community around their business. Most of the time, CSR projects don’t bring much monetary returns to the company. Still, as a company that runs a business, a CSR project is expected to bring in some tangible and intangible returns. 

So considering the possibility of receiving a little portion of this fund, surely people ought to write to impress. Put yourself in our shoes, who would you give it to? 

Would you give it to a stranger who wrote something like this…?

Hi, Paris, I’m XXX’s friend. Hope you’re in a good mood, huhu. TQ!

So, you tell me!


May I remind you, a Public Relations is not your piggy bank.
He or she is responsible for the company’s CSR fund as well.
(Source: Internet)



And Your Point Is…?


Most of the time, when I receive emails from people, I actually have to go through the emails over and over again just to find the main point of contact. Some emails are just toooo lengthy, particularly, ahem, excuse me, those written in Malay. Is it me or am I being judgemental, I just find formal emails/letters written in Malay are just exhaustingly long. 

It got me wondering, how should I react to it?

And then, there’s the nonsensical ones that don’t appeal to me at all. Most of them are written in a narcissistic manner. When I say narcissistic, I do mean, it’s all about you, you, you. What about me and my company? Where do we come in? 


Trust me, you don’t want to bore your recipient before
 he or she finishes reading your email/letter (Source: Internet)


I’ve got so much to share! Why don’t we meet and discuss this again soon?

See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris


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As Intimate As A Kiss…

Beauty Secrets Revealed?



As I was looking for ideas to write for our beauty column and came across this article on www.dailymail.co.uk which was written by Sarah Griffiths and published on 19th August 2014 about a chemistry teacher, Andy Brunning who did his own experiment to check up on the contents of *gasp* LIPSTICK!

 
Reds, corals, berries, nudes, browns… they just take my breath away!
(Source: Internet)
 
 
Of course, as a woman who loves anything related to beauty, I love lipstick! I just love, love, love lipstick! What woman in her sound mind does NOT love lipstick? My first memory of having my own lipstick was probably just before attending kindergarten with one of those lipsticks in swan casing (gincu angsa) that my late Grandma from Pontian brought back after performing her Hajj in Mecca. 
 
Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you don’t know this! 
 
 
Don’t they bring back memories? (Source: antikpraveda.blogspot.com)

 

Of course back then, I didn’t know what colour to pick for such a tender, delicate age. I believe, I went for a purple-plum colour that was more suitable for a theatre performance. That is, if you’re playing the Great Witch!
 
As I grow older, I learned more and more about lipstick and other beauty products. In high school, I signed up as an Avon dealer to enjoy buying stuff at discounted price, haha! Yes, funny isn’t it? But, I did that. Besides, at that time, they always gave out those tiny, lippie samples that were just so adorable! Yes, they were supposed to be samples for other, but I ended up using them all. Haha!
 
You have to admit, Avon has the best colour collection in lipstick!
(Source: Avon UK)
 
 
At the same time, I would go to my usual stop for Maybelline brand. I believe, back then, Maybelline was considered quite a high-end brand for high schoolers. So, you can imagine how I’d save up just to buy lipstick. Back then, I remember buying this long-lasting lipstick in red and plum. Not too long later, the Kawaii tsunami hit Malaysia and suddenly the lipstick shades were toned down so much, with added shine. Hence, the new collection was called Maybelline Water Shine with Josie Maran as one of the models. Somehow I ended up buying in at least three shades! Besides, my Mum took my lipstick whenever she ran out of hers. 
 
Aaaah, this Maybelline shade is simply divine.. And I have two!
(Source: Maybelline Malaysia)
 
And now that I am, ahem, a lot older and I can afford to buy lipsticks (within my budget of course!) that suit various occasion. Back then, I was too scared to experiment with colours, but I guess now, I’m as fearless as an eagle; an eagle wearing lipstick, haha! Still there are some colours that I wouldn’t really wear for work unless I do it on purpose to piss some ‘kepoh aunties’ off! We have plenty of them at work, so, sometimes, we give them the chance to gossip about us and allow us to enjoy all their pahala, haha!
 
So, what’s this whole thing about lipstick? 
 
Let’s pucker up for a smooch… (Source: Internet)
 
 
Well, this chemistry teacher, Andy Brunning apparently found strange compounds in the ingredients used to make lipstick. Generally, a lipstick contains 65% castor oil, 15% beeswax, 10% other waxes, 5% lanolin, 5% dyes, pigments and perfume. Although, different brands may use different amount of each ingredients for their lipsticks. It’s like making nasi lemak. Some makcik will use more coconut milk in the rice, while some may put more chillies in the sambal
 
Waxes such as beeswax, Carnauba wax from Brazil and Candelilla wax are commonly used to make lipstick. Other than giving shape to the lipstick and keep it in that solid state to a certain extent of heat (Malaysia is warm, as we all know), these waxes are also the key ingredients that allow you to apply lipstick smoothly to create that sexy pout you’ve always dreamed of. 
 
Beeswax has been found in Egyptian tombs, Vikings ship wrecks and Roman ruins
(Source: Internet)

Same goes with oils. In the beauty industry, castor oil is the most commonly used. Castor oil is also said to have many, many beauty benefits from head to toe.

Errrm, no, those are not rambutans.. those are the flowers
from castor oil plant (Source: Internet)

When we look at lipsticks, the first thing that strikes our heads is the burst of colours that beauty brands offer to women (ahemmm, and in some cases, men), convincing our faint hearts that ONE LIPSTICK IS NOT ENOUGH. Well, I couldn’t agree more! Coming to think about it, we women are so smart when it comes to finding excuses to buy more lipsticks. There is a colour for work, another for play. Party lipstick has to be bold and bright, while the casual wear for weekends is usually nude or pinkish. Suddenly there is a rule when to wear matte and when to wear glossy. And we keep telling our partner, a woman must have a lipstick in all 20 of our handbags, for safety reason, in case we forgot to bring one for reapplication. There is always, always an excuse to grab at least one new shade from the recently introduced collection, haha! 

I will marry the man who buys me all these shades of lipstick! I’ll be in heaven!
(Source: www.koopoi.com)


Pigments and dyes are the ingredients that give colours to all the sinful pleasures neatly packaged in these cute tubes. Be it reds, corals, pinks, nudes, berries, or even browns; we must have at least one from each colour scheme. I personally think it’s a cardinal sin NOT to have at least one red lipstick in our make-up bag. There is a red lipstick and there is THE RED LIPSTICK. Usually THE red lipstick is the one we wear for special occasions. 

Carmine red (carminic acid) which is a common pigment used to make red lipstick is actually derived from scale insects; cochineal bugs. Eawww, huh? These insects are boiled in ammonia or sodium carbonate solution. Later, hydrated potassium aluminium sulphate is added. 

Do you see red? Well, this is your shade of red, Madam!
(Source: Internet)



So, what is the red lipstick of your choice? The deeper reds or the lighter reds? To achieve that deeper red shades, a fluorescent acidic compound called eosin is added. The dye will change to an unnoticeable slight blue tinge when applied to skin as the amine groups in the proteins of the skin, causing a chemical reaction that will intensify the colour to appear darker. Eosin is also the same compound that gives your lipstick more long-lasting effects. The name Eosin originated from Greek God Eos which means ‘dawn‘. Perhaps it’s a sign, if you put on the wrong shade of red on a wrong occasion, you don’t want to be seen as a supporting cast in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘. Just like the Malay joke that says something about too red of a lipstick, “Lipstick merah menyala macam buntut beruk!” which literally translates ‘The red lipstick is so bright, it looks like an ape’s behind‘. 

This is NOT the kind of love I’m looking for! (Source: Internet)


I know why you love pink lipstick so much! Every girl has Barbie as the ultimate definition of beautiful for as long as she can remember. Barbie always wears the iconic pink lipstick, so all girls must have a pink lipstick in their collection too. Before you get too excited, let me share what Mr. Brunning found. So, if eosin is used to create darker shades of red, guess what is used to lighten them? Titanium dioxide is a white compound that dilute the reds of your lipstick and voila, they become your Barbie pink lipstick!

MAC Cosmestics came up with their special edition Barbie Loves MAC
a few years ago! (Source: Internet)

 

All the Barbie pinks you can enjoy, ladies (Source: Internet)

 

Barbie in Nutcracker is still the best of all Barbie movies! (Source: Internet)

 

Aaaah, yes, I had a Barbie make-over myself when Barbie loves MAC was first launched


And if you think that your lipstick ingredients are not funny enough, wait until you read this. A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley revealed that 32 brands of lipstick contained lead, aluminium, chromium and manganese, albeit in tiny, tiny doses. Besides, it was done based on humans ingesting lipstick which got me wondering, why would anyone want to eat lipstick? Then, it dawned on me, how many times have we been kissed with full lipstick on, ladies? Aaaaaahhhh, now I know why Berkeley conducted that study. Well, still, don’t worry, babes. It’s NOT the time for you to get your man to sign a will saying you’d inherit EVERYTHING should something happen to him, like… a lipstick poisoning or something, haha! The contents of heavy metals in lipstick are NOT heavy enough apparently to kill anyone, haha!

Have you kissed your man today? (Source: Internet)


 Every woman in the world is envious of Angelina Jolie‘s sexy lips. It’s so obvious why. Remember in all the movies she acted, she can just go around in nude lipstick and still look so God-damn kissable! And whenever she looks at a man and starts laughing, how could not love/hate Angelina Jolie? She did marry the sexiest man on Earth anyway. Well, we don’t act in million-dollar movies, nor do we marry the sexiest man on Earth, but cosmetic brands do promise that we can achieve her bee-stung sexy lips with only lipstick! So, how do they do it? 

Angelina Jolie can pull off that nude lipstick look anytime! (Source: Internet)
Okay, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley came close! (Source: Internet)


Okay, before you start panicking thinking they might put bee sting or bee dung in your lipstick, fret not. It’s actually capsaicin, a compound found in chillies. Yes, chillies, ladies, chillies! Just as some of us who cannot eat anything spicy food as they can get swollen lips, the same idea was put into lipstick. The capsaicin acts like a minor skin irritant to give you a fuller, plumper look. So, remember back in the days when mothers said, “Nak kena cili mulut tu?” which was a common threat made by mothers to stuff chillies into a child’s mouth for saying something foul, I guess, old Malay mothers inspired cosmetic companies to add capsaicin into their lipsticks! Yes, Malaysia Boleh!

Red, hot chillies for that red, hot look! (Source: Internet)


It gets better, some of these ingredients can also be found in your *gasp* FOOD!

Ahaaa, did I manage to spook you with these beauty revelations?

Yup, I don’t think so! How could we women possibly live without lipstick? It’s the most basic thing to have in our handbags. Of course, if you dig deeper into my handbag, you might find at least three, haha! 

Ooooh, this look screams, ‘I’m as hard as diamond, you can’t break me!’
(Source: Internet)



A lipstick is like a miracle invention that can change a woman’s whole face. With lipstick perfectly applied, it enhances our feminine aura and gives a boost of confidence when we really need it. Whatever colour that we apply, a good lipstick with moisturising properties that lasts for hours without re-application is indeed a girl’s best friend. It completes a woman’s make-over and tells her, “You are beautiful as you are, a lipstick only seals your beauty“. Even when you don’t have the time to apply full make-up, just dab a little powder to reduce shine and apply a good lipstick, voila, you’re good to go. 

Besides, who’d want to kiss a woman with chappy lips? So, put on your best lipstick, ladies, pucker up and start kissing!

Nothing says CONFIDENCE better than the perfect red lipstick!
(Source: Internet)



See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris

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The Russian Armed Forces Day Celebration

Belle of the Ball


After so long, finally, I manage to steal some time to update The Miss Paris Diaries. Sorry! It has been a hectic period for most of us, with two deadlines blooming soon!

So, surely some of you are wondering what happened during the recent celebration of the Russian Armed Forces Day at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Well, here’s the story.


The Armed Forces Day of Russia celebration



I asked an ex-colleague from the old broadcasting station to help me with my make-up. Apparently, Edlyn Ellyna has taken classes and she does wonderful make-up, I swear, I love her works that she posted on her Instagram. Since she has also helped the Russian journalists interview her family members on the MH17 Tragedy, one of the co-pilots was her cousin, Innalillah, so I guess it was only fair to extend the invitation to her as well. Besides, she’s probably wondering why I love working with the Russians for the past couple of years. 

Behold, the pontianak before! (Photo: Edlyn Ellyna)
Hello, hello! (Photo: Edlyn Ellyna)



I was glad the dress that I bought online fitted perfectly, in fact it was a bit loose because I asked for a size too big. Oh, it didn’t matter. At least nobody turned up wearing the same dress that night! Honestly, there’s no telling if people buy dresses from the same online boutique, right? Hahaha! Now that would be extremely awkward, especially considering that I’m one of those who’s NOT blessed with the perfect size zero, limiting my options to buying plus sizes. And only certain online boutiques offer stuff for voluptuous women like yours truly here.

True to my promise, I wore this red dress with lace finishing on top. Even looking for the perfect dress was a struggle for me because I was so fickle-minded that I didn’t know which red outfit would be perfect and finally I settled for this one! Tadaaaa!


The first photo is usually taken in the bathroom with a full mirror, hahaha!

We’re a little early, but we’ve got extra time to powder our noses!

So, Edlyn and I arrived quite early which was quite a record for me, haha! Honestly, I have a thing with attendance, either I was simply early or fashionably late! So, we waited for my friend, Polina Matveycheva who was still nowhere to be seen. At the entrance of the banquet hall, we were greeted by Captain (Navy) Sergey Valeriyevich Zhevnovatiyy and his wife, Madam Natalya Zhevnovataya. The Captain seemed like he was busy running around, so Edlyn and I entertained ourselves.


Captain (Navy) Sergey V. Zhevnovatiyy welcomes the guests



The thing about attending an Armed Forces Day celebration is, being a former Navy Officer’s daughter I have the tendency to bump into a few familiar faces. Not only that, I was also working with the Ministry of Defence Malaysia on so many occasions, so, I do know some of the senior officers too. Since the Defence Attaché of Russia is a navy, of course, there were many Navy men around. In fact, that night, I bumped into two of his juniors; Vice Admiral Dato’ Sri Panglima Ahmad Kamarulzaman Haji Ahmad Badaruddin, the Deputy Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy and Vice Admiral Dato’ Nasaruddin Othman whose daughter’s wedding a couple of years ago I MC-ed. And yes, of course, the big guns were there too, Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, the Deputy Minister of Defence and General Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, the Chief of Armed Forces Malaysia


The VIPs on stage



The night got more interesting when my friend, Polina appeared with her colleague, Anita Iriyanova *gasp* and she didn’t wear red like we’ve planned. Apparently, she was caught up with so many things to do that she didn’t even get to go back home to change. With her not wearing red, I sort of felt I was a little overdressed, haha! Polina and I were supposed to be, ahem, the Belles of the Ball! Hahaha! With Barbie Moscow by my side, even Plain Jane like me would look a little bit more than decent, haha! Here’s to wishful thinking!

Ladies must have their favourite LBD!


Anyway, it got a little funny too, when suddenly, a certain Deputy Defence Attaché from a country that shall remain unnamed came up to us and introduced himself. He started chatting and obviously trying his luck to flirt. Even Anita started squeezing my arm, trying so hard not to laugh. When Edlyn sometimes turned to me, I just played along and listened to how the guy was single and all, haha.

Then, as Edlyn and I walked around, another Defence Attaché came up to us and introduced himself. Exchanging numbers was easy to me because it simply opened up doors for me at work. Besides, working in Public Relations means that I need to build strong network professionally and personally. Like I always tell my friends, you never know when you might meet these people again and work together. 

Enjoying quiche that night after days of dieting!



And later, I met another Defence Attaché and then there was a Political Attaché. Edlyn kept asking me how did I do it, gliding from one corner to another and making small talks with ease. Well, it comes naturally after years of practice. Working in different areas of profession and meeting many, many people along the way. And of course, sometimes you just need to pretend that you’re not shy and step up to sell yourself better. 

Read my previous confession titled ‘Be Nice, Play Nice, Speak Nice‘ here:

http://themissparisdiaries.com/index.php/2015/01/14/be-nice-play-nice-speak-nice/

Of course, I always keep in mind, I’m not talking to my friend of 20 years. I’m talking to someone from another embassy, a diplomat. I need to constantly remind myself never to overdo it and send the wrong signal. Although, as much as I try to keep things professional, some of these men just don’t understand the boundary! Most of the time, I just play along yet still keep a safe distance. 

More stories of gossips coming out soon!

In the meantime, here are some photos we took that night.


With Lt Col Saif Saeed from the Embassy of UAE

With Alena from the Russian Cultural Centre and
Captain (Navy) Maurizio Subiaco from the Embassy of Italy

With Madam Natalya Zhevnovataya (green) and daughter, Lisa (pink)
and the other Russian girls

This is somewhat our hot official photo

A close-up of the Russian and Malaysian babes

And finally, the gila-gila pose!



See you in the next confession!

All my love, XOXO,
Miss Paris


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