Carousell Beauty Haul 2013

HELLO AGAIN fellow shopaholics as well as beauty addicts! Hopefully my increased blog posting frequency is able to make up for the lack of updates during my school term. It’s quite sad to know that I’ve only published 49 posts despite being on WordPress for more than 3 years already.

Anyway that’s beside the point! I’ve been really eager to share what I have bought on Carousell ever since penning my review on that awesome app. I have spent way too much that Boyfriend has to monitor my Carousell usage lol. I seldom buy from Sephora now because you can snatch up brand new (or barely used) products at more than half the retail price. So far I’ve been really lucky to see stuff I wanted to buy from Sephora appearing on Carousell. You’re also able to haggle the price down if the seller allows so can you imagine how much money I’ve saved by Carousell shopping instead?

As it is another form of online shopping, there are risks involved in buying cosmetics through Carousell such as receiving counterfeits (even though seller claims otherwise), expired products and the uncertainty of the actual product condition because you’re unable to touch nor see it before purchasing. Real-life pictures can also be deceiving at times. I once bought a MAC foundation and was planning to use it after I was done with my Benefit Hello Flawless!. I’ve heard good reviews about the MAC foundation and was thrilled to find someone selling a barely used/brand new one for $15. I met the seller, inspected the bottle and found nothing amiss about it. As it was bought as a backup, I didn’t try/swatch it until one day when I decided to use it. When I saw it again, I was shocked to see a layer of translucent liquid lying on top of the foundation. It seemed like water. I shook the bottle and pumped once on my hand. I could feel that the foundation was so runny/diluted that it could hardly stay on my hand. I deduce that the seller added water to it and passed it off as new to me but I couldn’t do anything about it since I had only realised this after several weeks.

Other than that, my Carousell experience has been nothing short of awesome and all the setbacks obviously didn’t deter me from buying more (I’m like a make-up collector now LOL). If you ask me, I think Carousell is much safer than eBay.

Here are some of my hauls that I felt were worth every penny I paid or otherwise, worth mentioning. These are all authentic ones (I have been to Sephora so many times that I think I’m already an expert in identifying fakes now) at very reasonable prices! All prices are in Singapore dollars unless otherwise stated.

Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Eyelash Curler

Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld Eyelash Curler (S$10) – RP US$24

I’ve heard great things about Shu Uemura’s eyelash curlers so for the longest time, I was hunting it down on Carousell. I was so elated to see someone selling a brand new piece with refillable pads for $15 which I then bargained the price down to $10 because the seller wasn’t sure if it was authentic (it was a gift from her friend). I doubt there would be fakes for this though but I still took a gamble and bought it. Thereafter I took this to Shu Uemura JEM outlet for an authenticity check and true enough, this is genuine. Teehee!! This is the Karl Lagerfeld special edition version which works just like the original one. It’s really gooooood. It doesn’t pinch my eyelids like my old one because it’s designed for Asian eyes! The next eyelash curler I’d love to lay my hands on is the Anna Sui one which was used one me during an Anna Sui makeover a few months back (will blog about it soon) and I was very satisfied with the result. Oh and I’ve also the (gold) Shiseido one which works great too!

Benefit World Famous Neutrals

Benefit World Famous Neutrals (S$15) – RP S$48 / MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel (S$5) – RP US$16

2 of the earlier eye make-up I got from the app which I absolutely adore. You cannot deny that the Benefit WFN was a steal! Its original price on Carousell was $18 and the seller even agreed to lower the price to $15 upon my request. Honestly even if she didn’t allow further discounts, I’d still get it anyway! Furthermore, it was brand new and authentic! *gasp*

Benefit World Famous Neutrals

Benefit World Famous Neutrals shades

Totally untouched as you can see. The seller was so nice to even allow reservation for close to a month as I was unable to take time off my busy schedule to meet her. Sellers like her also keep me going back to the app 🙂

MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel

MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Gel

The eyeliner gel was already used (about 90% left) when I got it but I didn’t mind for its low price. I had been using retractable eyeliner but I didn’t really like it as it lacks flexibility (if you get what I mean) so I bought this to try. I’m loving it so far because it has the moistness I’m looking for. I’ve also tried Bobbi Brown’s which in my opinion is slightly better than the MAC one (see below).

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Set

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Set (S$30) – RP S$80+/US$59

This set comes with an applicator and 2 eyeliner shades – Sepia and Black. I use black for cat eye make-up and sepia for a more neutral look for school and work. I’ve never used the applicator though since I own an angled eyeliner brush but I trust it’s equally awesome too LOL.

Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara

Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara (S$22) – RP S$35

Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara

Close up of the wand

The best mascara I’ve used so far (I also have MAC Archie’s Girls Mascara which I got from the physical store) because it holds my lashes really well. It also adds enough volume to my lashes and this is very important to someone who doesn’t wear falsies at all lol. However one thing I don’t like about it is the massive fibre fallout after application which I read somewhere is due to it being waterproof (don’t ask me why). I also apply this on my lower lashes. Now, imagine my va-va voom eyes lolol.

Urban Decay Primer Potion

Full-sized Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (S$8?!?!) – RP S$35+

ZOMG it’s only $8 and yes, I reiterate, it’s authentic AND brand new. It was also the fastest transaction ever: paid and received the product within 10 minutes after enquiring because seller lived in Dhoby Ghaut area and I was just nice at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station when I saw her listing HAHA. I haven’t tried it yet because I’m still using my Too Faced Eyeshadow Insurance. Just mentioning this product because of its unbelievable price!

Some eyeliners and a primer

Wet n Wild Color Icon Brow and Eyeliner pencil (S$3) – RP US$2 / Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner in Rockstar (S$10) – RP S$30 / Too Faced Shadow Insurance (S$9) – RP US$20

I find the Wet n Wild pencil too harsh as an eyeliner but alright for brows so I use it mainly to darken my brows (also because it feels scratchy when applied on my lids). Considering its price, it does its job fairly well.

The UD pencil is one of my favourites because of the nice colour (kinda like a mixture of purple and brown, perhaps deep purple?). It’s actually my very first UD 24/7 pencil and I am very satisfied with how buttery it is (makes application super easy but also smudges like crazy as a result) and how well it glides (thus its name) on my lids. However it doesn’t really work with my Too Faced shadow primer because it still smudges after awhile onto my lower lids so I will probably try using it with my UDPP next time. I use this occasionally as an eyeshadow by smudging it around my lids with an eyeshadow brush.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Rockstar

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Rockstar

I bought the Too Faced primer because I’ve read good reviews about it and my eye make-up tend to move around a lot on my oily lids. As its name suggests, it only works well with eyeshadow but not really with eyeliners. Still, I love it because it enhances the colours of my shadows and I’m still using the same tube after 10 months! The quantity is like never ending because all you need is a tiny amount every time.

Benefit Erase Paste

Benefit Erase Paste (S$18) – RP SG$42

Yup, it’s brand new 😛

Benefit Erase Paste

Benefit Erase Paste

I bought this concealer to “erase” my dark circles resulting from late nights. It also gives a brightening effect which helps to revive my dead eyes. I use this minimally though because I feel that without eye bags, my eyes appear smaller LOL. I only use this for the area around my eyes because it doesn’t get trapped in the fine lines below my lower lids.

It comes with a spatula but I don’t know how to use it so I apply with brush. On lazy days I use fingers. For your information, I’m using the medium shade (slightly lighter than my skin tone)

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV (S$45) – RP S$95

Placed the UDPP there to compare the size. It’s really big (bigger than a usual palette la) because of the barang barang inside:

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

It has 16 shades of eyeshadow, a mini UDPP, eyeliner in Perversion, mini speaker and some pop-up butterflies near the mirror.

$45 for everything in there? Shut up and take my money!

Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV

Close up of the shadows, brand new as you can see.

I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s like my best buy on Carousell. The colours are also very pretty and pigmented and not too loud for my liking. If only I have more than a pair of eyes to use them all everyday!

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Urban Decay Ammo Palette (S$40) – RP S$63

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Not very pocket-friendly for such a small palette but you can’t deny that the packaging is really gorgeous and the shadow colours are also very feasible! This is the older version which comes with a dual-side applicator (the latest version comes with a brush instead). My go-to shades are Last Call, Mildew and Grifter. Last Call is my favourite here!!

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box (S$12) – RP S$31

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box

ALL THE PRETTY COLOURS

Another very affordable preloved (very lightly) palette which I bought just to test out the colours. Surprisingly, despite the price, the colours are very pigmented and VERY GORGEOUS. The colours look very 夸埠 (exaggerated) here but trust me, they appear fine on the lids. In fact, you won’t go wrong with any Urban Decay shadows la. I’ve been using this palette almost everyday now and you’ll be surprised to see how versatile it is. As you can see, I’ve used most of Scratch and Underground already! *thumbs up* I use Honey (a very rich gold) on the inner corner of my eyes to perk them up a bit. Boyfriend commented they look like eye mucus though -_-

It came with 2 applicators but I threw them away because they kinda fell apart and I prefer using brush.

Stila Stirking in South Beach palette

Stila Striking in South Beach palette (S$10) – RP S$29

Stila Striking in South Beach palette

Comes with 4 eyeshadow colours, blusher and bronzer

Not my favourite buy from Carousell but the bronzer in this is worth a mention. I brought this palette with me to Batam in July for convenience sake and only used it once so far with my own brush (I got this brand new). The bronzer has a slight sheen to it and can also act as a highlighter. Its right amount of “darkness” (am I making any sense) helps to define my face effortlessly. The bronzer is so stunningly addictive that I almost overdid my face. HAHA

For newbies who are afraid of using bold colours, fret not. It comes with a mini tutorial below the mirror! Not very illustrative but it helps somehow. However I don’t really like this palette because it has too much blue :S So anyone who is interested to get this from me, please drop me comment!

Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2 palettes

Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2 palettes, both at S$65 each. They retail at S$80 in local Sephora stores

2 of Urban Decay most popular palettes, it needs no further introduction! The price isn’t something to wow about because brand new pieces range from $60-70 on Carousell. Anything lower than that are usually counterfeits.

I’ve used Naked 2 for a longer time because I got it earlier than Naked 1. I’m hitting pan soon! So proud of myself. Hahaha. However I have to say that Naked 1 has nicer shades 🙂

Psst, boyfriend got me Naked 3 too! I actually love it more than Naked 1 and 2 :O Will do a review if I have time.

Enough of eye make-up! Now let’s move on to the face!

(Yes I’m not done yet. My shopping must maintain)

The Body Shop travel brushes

The Body Shop travel brush set (S$12) – RP £13.50

The Body Shop travel brush set

Awww the brushes are so adorbs!

I applied my Stila make-up with these cute lil thang in Batam. I’ve used all of them except for the angled brush. The bristles are really soft and they don’t irritate my sensitive skin. Since they are travel-sized, they can be too small to use (if you get what I mean). Like you need twice the time needed to doll yourself up because the surface area of the brush is 2 times smaller than a regular-sized one lol.

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint (S$15) – RP US$15.99 online

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint

Sleek Blush by 3 in Pink Sprint

My first Sleek make-up! As it is very pigmented, I dare not apply too much on my cheeks in fear of looking like a Chinese opera singer but if you use it moderately, it should appear very nicely on your cheeks. I’d blend 2 shades on mine if I use this blush.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful (S$15) – RP S$42

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful

Close up of the blush

I use this blush on a daily basis because I absolutely love the shade on my cheeks. It gives me a natural flushed face with just one swipe! I got this before Tarte came to Singapore and I’m so shocked to find how expensive it is in Sephora now that it’s here! Even though I really love this product, I doubt I will get it from the store because I don’t think its small size is worth the hefty price.

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush (S$18) – RP US$28, close to S$40 in Sephora if I am not wrong

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush

Comes with a mini blush brush

Benefit has many kinds of boxed blush and Sugarbomb is one that gives a very natural and subtle flush on your face. It think it would work better on people with fair skin because it doesn’t really show up on my cheeks (it still does a little but not the look I’m trying to achieve) T_T Plus, I’m getting tanner from all the morning jogs so I guess that’s masking the blush even more.

Bronzers

Sneak peak of the bronzers which I will be showing you guys!

Sleek Face Contour Kit

Sleek Face Contour Kit (S$10) – RP US$8.50 online without shipping

I bought this for its highlighter because I was searching high and low for one. It comes with a bronzer as well which I hardly use. The bronzer is not bad though but I find it too dark on my skin tone (maybe I applied too much, can’t remember). However it’s very compact hence very convenient to be brought around. I use this to contour my nose.

Smashbox Contour Kit

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit (S$25) – RP US$44.95 on Amazon

My favourite contour kit because the step-by-step instructions really helped me a lot when I was still new in contouring my face LOL. Plus I can really see the difference on my face and my features enhanced. I only use this on special occasions because I don’t want to appear to have too heavy a make-up on normal days.

Bobbi Brown Bronzer

Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder (S$30) – RP US$38 on Bobbibrowncosmetics.com

Bobbi Brown has one of the best bronzers rated by beauty sites and I have to agree! The one I have doesn’t appear very harsh on my face and it blends (doesn’t appear too blotchy) onto my skin tone while still giving that slimming effect.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder (S$10) –  RP US$2.79

It wasn’t a good deal since I got it for more than its retail price. However since it’s only available in the US, I shall pretend that I paid for shipping and handling too LOL. The packaging is a little outdated I must say.. It’s made of not-very-classy-looking plastic and it comes with this cheap looking powder puff O_O Like who uses that nowadays?! Anyway, I’ve never heard of this brand so I did a search on Google. It turns out that this bronzing powder is also highly raved by beauty bloggers. It is also rated very highly on makeupalley.com. Ditto. I really love this bronzer and I’ve been using this everyday as well since I received it! It’s almost gone now though 😀 If only they could improve on the packaging. 😛

Topshop Desert Sun Blush/Bronzer Duo

Topshop Desert Sun Blush/Bronzer Duo (S$6) – RP ÂŁ12.50

I didn’t know Topshop carries cosmetics! But I feel that they should stick to selling apparels because their make-up don’t work.. for me at least. 😦 I appreciate shades which are less pigmented but this doesn’t show up on my face at all. I was so disappointed 😦 And I always felt that there was something missing on the packaging. There should be a mirror on the hollow space of the inside cover right?!

Concealers

Sneak peak of the concealers!

NARS Concealer

NARS Concealer in Honey (S$20) – RP S$40+

This is a liquid concealer which comes with a q-tip-like thing which makes it easier to apply on the face. I use this when I’m in a hurry. My first NARS product and I am very satisfied! But it’s a little too pricey 😦

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer in Shade 03 Medium (S$18) – RP S$34

BEST CONCEALER. Hands down. Benefit really isn’t joking whey they claim that it’s industrial strength. It does cover any hideous discolouration or blemishes! I love this so damn much also because it’s the closest to my skin tone and I think it’s better than the NARS one above in terms of coverage. The price is reasonable too for a high-end concealer! I will definitely get one from Sephora once I empty this tub (already hitting pan too).

Benefit POREfessional

Benefit POREfessional (S$38) – RP S$48

One of my staple make-up and I’d feel super weird if I don’t use this before putting on foundation. It covers the pores on my face (I apply on my T-zone) and gives my skin a very smooth finish as a result. My mom loves it too!

Benefit High Beam

Benefit High Beam (S$18) – RP S$42

Another best buy from Carousell! High Beam is a highlighter which works better than the Sleek one above. It’s pretty strong though so just one short swipe on the nose bridge, cheek and brow bones is enough to give that brightening/slimming effect without overdoing it.

Foundation and primer

Foundation and primer: Sample-sized HELLO FLAWLESS Oxygen WOW in Honey and Champagne (S$9 each) / sample-sized Some-kind-a-gorgeous foundation in Medium (S$9) / sample-sized dr. feel Good face primer (S$4). Since all are sample sizes, I don’t have the retail prices.

I’m obsessed with the HELLO FLAWLESS (I’m just gonna stop here because it’s really a mouthful oh gosh. Why, Benefit?) foundation because it really gives me a flawless complexion. I used to think Champagne suits my skin tone but since I’ve become slightly tanner, Honey seems to work best for me now. They come in pump bottles to reduce wastage (yay!), so I usually pump twice on the back of my hand and dap it using my foundation brush all over my face!

Some-kind-a-gorgeous is a foundation faker which job is to even out skin tone, especially if you have blemishes. Actually I don’t see any difference between this and the HELLO FLAWLESS one though.

dr. feel Good is a complexion balm which helps to mattify shine. Works wonders on oily skin like mine. According to Benefit, it can be worn alone, below or on top of make-up. Being ever sceptical and cautious, I only wear it below make-up because I’m afraid it’d ruin my face if I wear it above. LOL. And yes it does help to control shine for up to 8 hours for me!

Once I’m done with the sample sizes, I will probably get the full-sized ones from Sephora 🙂

Some lippies to share:

MAC lipstick

MAC Lipstick in Quiet, Please (S$9) – RP US$18.50

I echo the reviews on makeupalley. It does have a very nice colour (which was why I bought it) but it is too sheer and has too much shimmers! So much so that the colour doesn’t really appear at all. 😦

MAC lipstick

MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Happy Hibiscus (S$9) – RP US$14.99

This is in a very pale baby pink shade and is really hard to pull off. It looks very nice on Google images though. I think it’s very suitable for people with fair skin once again. I blend this with a deep red lippy to give a more pinkish lip colour.

Alright everyone, THESE are my Carousell purchases!! And that’s not all! I’m merely featuring those that are worth mentioning. HAHA I am so horrible! But these were purchased over a period of 5 months la so not too bad. 😛

I’m finally done writing this 3000-over-word entry!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!!

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Review on Carousell

This is NOT a sponsored post.

HEY FELLOW SHOPAHOLICS! I’m sorry if this took ages to be up (if anyone is even waiting for it) because it’s a hassle to take screen shots on my slow phone!

As promised many posts ago (actually not really since I didn’t really update very often), this is my review on my favourite shopping app as of now, Carousell! I exceeded the data usage bundle in my plan during the first few months of using Carousell because you really don’t want to miss any great deals (you have no idea how fast a great deal can be snapped up).

Let me start with a brief introduction of Carousell. As many of you would have known from my first Carousell blog post, it’s a mobile app for shopping available on Android and iOS. Sadly, it’s only applicable in Singapore and Malaysia since most of the sellers there reside in these 2 countries. However some (a minority though) do provide international shipping so, rejoice! If you’re lucky enough to encounter buyers who practise international shipping, you can pay through Paypal. I do have to warn you, though, that we’re very wary of buyers from countries further than Malaysia because of possible frauds. One blacklisted country would be Nigeria because, you know, the only word you’d associate Nigeria with is “scam”. True enough, quite a number of Carousell users were swindled out of expensive branded goods that were worth hundreds of dollars and duped by fake Paypal payment confirmation emails (what’s new?).

On Carousell, you can be a buyer, seller or both. I started out as more of a seller but I gradually got too lazy to measure my apparels so now I buy more instead. There is a camera function on Carousell where you can just snap pictures (4 maximum), add a short description and post! There are many lurkers on the app so don’t be surprised to receive offers at ungodly hours like 5am.

Adding on to the roles on Carousell are traders. Traders, as the name suggests, simply trade their items for other items listed by other users. They hardly purchase because they are self-proclaimed “poor”. I am perfectly alright with trading but sometimes you just gotta admit that it can get really annoying to keep getting trade requests especially when you have already stated “NO TRADES” on your listings. On top of that, their items are not very appealing either -_- No offence traders but, please learn to read okay before you get on my nerves. *shakes fists*

What are “trades“?

This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are new to this whole online shopping world. Basically, to trade means to swap, and in this case, you swap items with the other party. The one who initiates the trade would express interest in one (or more) of your items, either by commenting on your listing or (most annoyingly) offer you $0 to start a private conversation with you, though you don’t really need to offer anything to send a private message now. You start by looking through the initiator’s listings, and see if anything catches your attention. Typically, you’d want to pick the item which value (i.e. selling price) matches that of yours. Otherwise, the one who is receiving the item of a higher value would have to top up the balance in cash, or offer another item that is around the same price.

For example, if Carouseller expresses interest to trade in your $10 item, you look for something that costs around $10 in her listing. If you like something that costs, say, $15, you may negotiate with the other party and see if she is able to compromise the difference of $5. Otherwise, you’d have to offer $5 in cash or another item that’s valued at $5 on top of the original $10 item that sparked the discussion.

Some sellers tend set difference pricing for purchases and trades. For example, the listing may show $10 but somewhere on her profile or item description, you notice something like: “trades+5” or “U+I+”. For the former, the value that’s indicated beside the “+” is how much you have to factor in on top of the listing price if you’re planning to trade. So for example, if the item is selling for $10, and seller specifies “trades+5”, she reserves the rights to pick something that is worth $15 on your listing for trades without having to top up any difference. Or, if you offer something that is less than $15, she can request for a top up of the difference in value even though both items may cost the same.

Why is there such a practice, you may ask? Well, apart from greed, some sellers see trades as making a loss because she may be trading something of superb quality with a rag (yes, dishonest sellers everywhere!). Hence, this serves as a cushion to minimise the impact of feeling cheated. Some sellers just dislike trades, but they don’t want to be too inflexible and miss out on great deals. Others are just trying to deter fickle people from approaching them for trades.

“U+I+” simply means “You add, I add”. This is usually to combat sellers who charge unreasonable trade premiums. Thus, if you have this as one of your terms and conditions, you can say that your item is now $15 instead of $10 now because the other party started it first.

Carousell interface

Carousell interface on iOS.

Beauty Products section

Beauty Products section

There are many different categories catered to different types of shoppers. “For Her” are mainly listings of female apparels, shoes, accessories and anything girls use in general while “Beauty Products” are cosmetics and stuff you apply on your body, just to name a few. For me, I frequent “Beauty Products” so much that I rarely shop at Sephora now because you can get brand new items there at a fraction of their retail prices. You can find brands ranging from Urban Decay, Benefit, MAC, 3CE, Anna Sui and even Dior there. I’m an addict and you’ll be astounded to see the results on my next post HAHA.

Carousell feedback

Feedback left by my sellers and buyers on my profile which I obviously blurred so that no one can stalk me.

One tip for new Carousell users to avoid getting scammed or stood up is to read sellers or buyers’ reviews left by other users whom they have transacted with. This review function was recently added and it really helps in deciding if you should go ahead with the transaction. There are 3 kinds of feedback: Positive (+) / Neutral / Negative (-). I personally take positive reviews which are too vague (e.g. “friendly buyer”, “item received”) with a pinch of salt because they look really forced and patronising, like they were pestered by the seller/buyer to write them a good review to add to their positive feedback count. Receiving positive feedback can stroke your ego so I guess that’s why.

Feedback cannot be deleted but it can be amended by the giver. For example, if you find that you have received an unsatisfactory product after giving the feedback, you can change your review from “Positive” to “Negative” and even amend the explanation.

Feedback page

You can easily add a feedback by going to the user’s profile. I have only added feedback to those who are worthy of it and if I’m kind enough (I usually am), I’ll reciprocate reviews left on my profile. 😛

However as you know, it can be a hassle to keep visiting profiles to spy on others’ reviews so another way to know who the problematic users are is by looking up the keywords “blacklisted”, “scammer”, “beware” or anything similar on the search engine. It will pick up listings which contain the keyword in their description. I used to search for “blacklisted” users but recently there have been an increase in users warning buyers of being blacklisted should they back out on the deal on their listings. Now you’ll need to get past tens of listing to finally get to the first actual blacklist notice. To save time, I only search for the other 2 keywords now.

How a typical blacklist notice looks like.

How a typical blacklist notice looks like: a screen shot of the blacklistee’s profile as the cover photo and screen shots of their SMS conversation coupled with written account when you click on them.

It can be really fun to read blacklist accounts but after awhile you’ll realise that it’s always the same ol’ story – buyer delays in payment and never does, buyer doesn’t turn up for meet-ups, seller receives money but never sends out item as promised, etc. Unrepentant blacklistees appear on so many blacklist notices that their usernames are naturally etched onto your memory.

So far I haven’t blacklisted anybody because I’ve only encountered buyers who back out on deals which is fine with me. I understand the consequences of impulse buys (lol) so I do not insist that they have to buy even after confirming the purchase. They can change their minds for all I care (unless I have travelled all the way to their convenience to meet them – that is just downright irresponsible). This pretty much makes me a very bad salesperson LOL.

You can also use the search function to look for things (duh) because sometimes the seller may have accidentally selected the wrong category for the item so you don’t see it in the correct “department”. For example, a lipstick listed under “For Her” (technically it’s not wrong la). The administrator of Carousell would reclassify it but he would miss at times.

Searched for Urban Decay

“Urban Decay”

Searched for Benefit

“Benefit” – for the unaware, BNIB means BRAND NEW IN BAG (and BNIP means BRAND NEW IN PACKAGING)

I hope the listed sellers don’t mind that I am indirectly promoting their items here. And I have to reiterate this: EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN BUYING COSMETICS. Don’t end up buying counterfeits please. It’s so-not-worth-it.

In my opinion, what sets Carousell apart from other online marketplaces is the convenience in negotiating prices. Being a true blue Singaporean, I really enjoy bargaining even though some prices are already a lot lower than retail. It’s terrible I know, but most of the time I’m just trying my luck. If it succeeds, great! Otherwise I am always understanding enough to adjust my prices closer to what the buyer/seller wants. Some people dislike bargaining as much as trading though. I respect that but I usually stay away from such inflexible sellers (unless the item is already ridiculously cheap). I mean, it’s an online marketplace for a reason right? Pfft.

Hone your negotiating skills on Carousell!

Hone your negotiating skills on Carousell! I usually go 2-5 bucks (the acceptable range) lower than the stated price unless it’s below $10, which I’ll probably only take 1-2 bucks off. But on really crazy days I’d go down by half. But that’s a very rare occurrence so please don’t judge me 😦

I have pretty much mentioned the unique features of Carousell.

I will get my haul post up soon (link here). Meanwhile download the app on Google Play or AppStore and shop away!

NOTE: Since publicising this post in 2013, the app has undergone massive makeovers. While this post remains relevant today, I still urge everyone to download the app and experiment with the newer features not mentioned here. I will do an updated review if time permits.

University Sophomore: Year 2 Semester 1

Hello guys! Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been really busy with both work and school and only managed to find time now that my finals are over.

I’ve noticed a sharp increase in unique visitors to my blog especially during NTU’s course registration period and the jump kinda scares me LOL. However I am both glad and heartened that my course reviews helped many of you one way or another. As the title suggests, this is going to be the third instalment and I’m sorry I couldn’t get this out before the registration period started. Hopefully it’ll come in handy for Add/Drop period instead!

Ever since I left my job at a tuition centre in March, I’ve been giving tuition to primary-level students while juggling freelance design assignments (P/S: I have updated my portfolio section). Hence last semester was a little bit of a struggle for me especially when one of my core modules had a test every 4-5 weeks. I am just so relieved that my first sophomore semester finally ended.

No modules were pre-allocated to me since I’m longer a freshman so I had to go into (STARS) war like everyone else and add modules (including CORE) myself. I eventually got all the modules I wanted because shopping at Love, Bonito probably trained my fingers fast enough in mouse-clicking -lol so I didn’t have to go through the painful process of the Add/Drop period. Like the previous semesters, I had a four-day week so that I can sleep in to save on transport costs. Being one who absolutely loathes written exams, I chose modules that are more project-based. Hence out of the 5 modules registered, only 2 were examinable. Of course, there were pros and cons la. One of the cons being lesser free time for myself because I’d be loaded with projects throughout the whole semester but I’d rather spend more time applying what I’ve learned to reports than memorising them for the finals which I’d definitely forget after the paper is done.

Talking about finals, I had my worst this semester not because my papers were tough but because, oh my god I NEED TO RANT, I freakin’ fell down the stairs of bus 179 which braked so suddenly (and I wasn’t in time to grab the pole), gotten the biggest bruise in my life on my thigh and was subsequently late for my first paper despite reaching school early. Thankfully I alighted after Lee Wee Nam stop so the bus wasn’t very crowded (actually if it was, I probably wouldn’t have fallen so badly) and not many witnessed the fall. It was so awful that both my shoes flung out of my feet and a good Samaritan had to retrieve my shoes for me. I arrived with a slight limp at the examination venue 15 minutes late (also partly because I couldn’t find the venue) and one of the invigilators had to niam (nag) at me for not being punctual which I pretended not to hear and walked away…….. So irritating please. People late very anxious already, you still want to nag and affect their mood even further omg. Luckily for me, despite the loss of time, I still managed to finish the paper on time.

* * *

As always, my review on the courses I took as follows. I realised most of the reviews are only applicable to WKWSCI students but if I remember correctly, some are also UEs/GER-PEs for non-WKWSCI students.

1. AAI383 Choir I (UE)

I have been dubbed the NIE girl because I register for NIE electives every semester without fail since discovering their goodness (non-examinable and no bell curve if I am not wrong) in my second semester. The upcoming semester is no exception LOL.

Like Voice, Choir requires an audition before you can be registered to the module. But unlike Voice, it would be an actual audition i.e. you have to sing (in front of other students) and you must be above-average-to-good at it. You have to be in tune with the piano and the rest of the members. So yup, if you’re intending to go for the audition, pick a song that you know you can sing well. I didn’t know I had to sing so I only decided on my song just before my turn (and I was unfortunately the first. Lol I was so amazed how brave I was). After you’re done with your song – it does not have to be the full song (I only sang the first stanza, not even the chorus) – the judge will play a note on the piano and you’re expected to sing it. My advice: don’t rush into humming the note. Take a second or two to think and decide first. If you go too sharp or too flat, then you’re out. If do well, you’re in, and then you’d be assigned a voice part – either soprano, alto (for ladies), tenor or bass (for guys) – according to how you sang. I sang pretty low-pitched so I went into Alto. Many times I wished I was in soprano because alto’s pitch could get pretty low and boring at times. But yeah, soprano’s could get really high too and the possibility of going off-tune is higher.

The downside (or upside to some) of Choir is that you need to know how to read musical notes or better yet, sight-see (bonus if you know how to play the piano) because your lecture notes will all be in musical notes. OK maybe you don’t NEED to know, but knowing it would be helpful unless you can sing by ear. Even so, there are so many different voices singing at the same time so it can be difficult to identify your voice part unless you listen really closely to the person standing beside you (and she may be wrong too lolol). Of course, the conductor would go through the song several times so alternatively, you could record the lesson on your phone and listen to it again at home.

This module is not as simple as you think it is. It prepares you for a mini concert held on the last week of the class where you’d be watched by real audiences. You would be taught about 8 songs in total and that’s not it. You are also required to form quartets (4-6 people) and sing some of these songs chosen by the assessors. So don’t have the silly thinking that you can get away lip-syncing in Choir and get a good grade. You have to sing and be heard in the quartet especially when you’re the only soprano/alto/tenor/bass there and it’d be very obvious if one voice part is missing. Those songs are not those popular and modern ones you hear on the radio so most of the time you won’t know the tune before that. Also, because you won’t have the conductor directing you in your evaluation/assessment, you have to decide on the pace/harmonise and this is very challenging in a group.

On top of singing, you’d also be taught how to warm up your voices and yes, this will be evaluated. It’s not as easy as Do-Re-Mi okay.

I enjoyed my Choir session though, even more if not for the quartet 😦

Oh, and the conductor is not the professor teaching Voice in case anybody is wondering.

2. CS0900 Communication Strategies for Sustainability and Social Change (GER-CORE)

One of the more tedious modules this semester in terms of the number of readings you have to do (the other being CS2007). Many people will be shocked to know that even though I’m a Communication Studies student, I actually dislike reading. A lot. But I will still read if required, like for this module *sigh*

As you can already tell from the module name, this class is all about saving Gaia and saving the world. It discusses case studies about the problems faced by third-world countries, some major environmental issues faced generally around the world and the strategies used to address them. No doubt it’s an interesting class but what kept us going for lectures is actually the professor – he’s so humorous and engaging in his lectures. It was also his first time taking this class full-time and trust me, he’s extremely enthusiastic. It’s so hard to fall asleep in his class unless you didn’t sleep the night before.

There is no tutorial for this class but there would be two 1.5-hour lectures in a week. In previous years CS0900 was an examinable module but thanks to Dr Rosenthal (the prof of this module), it now has no finals! Whoopeee!! In exchange for that though, there would be 3 (MCQ) tests across the semester each weighing 20%. I didn’t do well at all for all of them so I’m depending on my group project which weighs 40% to give me a decent grade. For group project, you can either do a video or an interactive website featuring one of the strategies discussed in lecture. For mine, I did the latter 🙂 If I can find a web host, I’d upload and post it up here.

3. CS2007 Communication History and Theories (CORE)

Just by looking at the module name is enough to make you sleepy and indeed, there wasn’t a lesson which I would not doze off to. The lesson was pretty dry with many terminologies to remember and it’s not uncommon to have the lecture hall only 1/4 occupied – I’m serious! And there isn’t any lecture recordings for this course (actually almost every CS modules I know of do not have recordings) The only time, I swear, when the the class received almost-full attendance was when we had our mid-term test. It also didn’t help when both lectures were held at 9am. The prof was kinda boring too but that’s just my opinion because I know people who found him interesting.

The only thing I regret doing for CS2007 was buying the textbook. It’s so ridiculously expensive and bulky. There is actually a soft copy version floating around the net so please don’t waste money on a book which you’d only use for 12 weeks or less.

Like CS0900, reading the required text is essential, not only because it will be tested in the final paper but also because you wouldn’t understand a single thing on the lecture notes.

I’d have to admit, though, that after reading the textbook, some communication theories appear to be interesting. I especially love the one on Genderlect by Deborah Tannen. But on the whole, the textbook is just a platform for communication theorists to argue against one another and hopefully make a name for themselves for something (i.e. theories) we don’t need to know. (Ok I’m just being biased here because I’m not a fan of theories to begin with)

This module comes with, as mentioned, a mid term test of 30% weightage, a term paper of 20% (which the entire cohort did VERY badly in general. Some even failed like whaddahell how can you fail a midterm paper? The effort and all.. down the drain) and a final exam of 50%. You do not have the luxury of choosing your own group mates for the term paper because according to one of the theories we learned, “you work better with people you’re not familiar with” -_- So yeah, I didn’t know who my group members were at all until one of them added me on Facebook. It was a rather hilarious sight to see members in other groups describing to one another what they were wearing and where they were sitting prior to their first meeting hahaha.

Also, don’t bother getting notes from your seniors in the cohort before mine (12/13) because it’s a totally different syllabus now. We had nothing to practise on for our finals because past year papers were all tested on the now-defunct syllabus -_-

4. CS2025 Image and Sound Production (Major-PE)

The MOST physically tedious module because all its assignments involves filming. This is one of the modules I had to take if I were to go on Advertising track and probably the last production module I’d ever take in NTU. The good thing about this module is that it has no exams at all (but there are 2 tests and they are NOT easy). YAY I’d do ANYTHING to have the final exams scrapped. Lol.

It’s pretty ironic that the prerequisite of this module is CS2006 (another CORE production module taken in year 1) which I presume is supposed to give you a head start on filming and teach you all the technicalities of film-making and editing but I actually learnt nothing much from there. Almost every lecture towards the end of the semester for 2006 was just additional time to edit your footages but in 2025, every tutorial is an extension of the lecture and you’d definitely be doing hands-on activities like sound recording and lighting. I feel that 2025 is a better option if you’re really interested in film-making. 2006 is really a waste of time as compared to this.

The course is assessed by 2-minute dramatic narrative silent film (15%), a 30-second TVC (20%), a 5-min short film with written report (30%), class participation (10%) and test and quizzes (25%). It seems like a rather heavy module but strangely I didn’t really feel any pressure. Luckily for me, I was still able to find time to shoot amidst my hectic work schedule and my group members were also very accommodating. Probably I didn’t feel stressed out because everyone was very cooperative and all of us know our roles and responsibilities well. No one in the group was a freeloader *phew* and I’m extremely thankful for that. We forged close bonds after being through so much and surprisingly we never had any disagreement on set. From getting cast, approval to shoot at public areas and props all at the very last minute, I’m so glad we managed to pull through!

I was mainly the editor and director for the videos. I enjoyed being the editor more though because I like to work on software. Here are our work:

Assignment 1: Silent narrative film

Basically a film that has no dialogues because we’re not allowed to have any. I racked my brains for a concept and we only decided on this on the week before submission (prior to that we had 2 other ideas which I though were quite difficult to execute). We are the last minute champions man. This video stars Andrew and Amanda, our resident actor and actress (you’ll know why later) and other supporting actor and actress. They may not see this but I am very grateful for their help. They were more than willing to make a trip down again for a reshoot when asked to. Plus, they acted really well so do engage them if you have any acting gigs okay.

Assignment 2: TVC for Health Promotion Board

This assignment is a collaboration with Health Promotion Board to promote early (proper) sex education. The board will pick the best 3 and reward them prizes so it’s kind of like a competition as well. We didn’t really bother about the prize and only picked the concept (by students from another module. Our job was just to execute it) that we thought was the easiest to work on. Surprisingly this idea wasn’t very popular and only 2 groups (including mine) chose it.

The main actress was my group member, Sheena’s friend. She looks like a secondary school girl right? But she’s actually in JC now. Sheena is like the lobang queen for actors in the group. Andrew and Amanda were also sourced by her. And best, all of them is can act one la!

We had a hard time getting that drop of tear at 00:18-19. We tried putting eye drops but too much of it can be bad for the eyes so we made her sit in front on a moving fan with her eyes wide open LOL. But nothing happened to her except her eyes turned extremely dry so we resorted to wetting her eyelids. I can’t remember how many attempts it took to create that tear but it sure took us a long time! I felt so bad making her go through all these. She was very nice about it though.

As for the pregnancy test kit, no one dared to purchase it over the counter lor -_- So the fearless me had to get it alone… at Changi Airport HAHAHA. I got it while waiting for boyfriend’s plane to touch down. And after we used the kit, nobody wanted to keep it in case of reshoots because there were already 2 red lines drawn on the test strip (for the unaware, it signifies PREGNANT). Everyone had the same concern of being questioned if anyone at home sees it. So guess who brought it home? -_- I’m not very good in hiding stuff so I really hope no one chanced upon it while I was out. LOL!

Our video was first runner-up in the competition! We were pleasantly surprised. Like, finally some recognition in our work. We’re like a *cough* diamond *cough* in the rough waiting to be discovered. 😛

Assignment 3: Short film

Our best production out of the 3 but sadly the one with the lowest mark 😦 We love this because of the morbid storyline. For this assignment we are allowed to come up with our own plot.. but there’s a catch. We’d have to incorporate items provided by another group in our video (and we’d provide items to another group too. My pregnancy kit was still lying around in my room and I thought it would be a waste if I threw it away 😛 So yeah, you know what happened to it). Items we got were a wet wipe (which was already dry by the time we received it), a polaroid picture, a colourful hair tie, an envelope with a “Lorem Ipsum” letter in it and a packet of water. Can you spot any of these in our video?

This was shot at numerous locations with approval at the very last minute as well and we didn’t expect to be given green light to shoot at an actual funeral parlour (Singapore Funeral Services), cemetery (Ying Fo Fui Kun Memorial) and a doctor’s clinic (NTU Medical Centre). SFS was really kind to assist us if we needed any help. We asked for their company shirt and they loaned us without hesitation. THEY WERE REALLY NICE AND SUPPORTIVE BEYOND BELIEF 🙂

All in all, it has been a good experience working with new people. We must really thank our lucky stars for the smooth-sailing filming process despite being super late minute. It was very risky and this video wouldn’t be possible if the locations weren’t secured. So everyone, please do not follow in our footsteps.

Back to the module, one thing I dislike about it is that we had to critique every group’s video and then grade them. Although the grades students gave would not affect the actual marks given by the instructor, I feel that by doing so only sows discord among groups. Sometimes I feel that the grade we received from another group wasn’t justified as we had previously given negative criticisms for their video. I’m probably being overly sensitive here but I really wondered at times if they were just out to get back at us. It might not be the case but I believe things like that is inevitable? I also did feel that some feedback were a little biased to begin with.. No doubt, there are students who are really good in film making but I think it’s really unfair to assume that their videos are perfect before even looking at them. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and I just feel that this critique session is flawed. I am perfectly fine with giving comments but grading is really unnecessary. It lowers morale sometimes especially when you receive marks as average as 70 while others receive crazily-high scores like 95. And these videos are really, in my opinion, not exceptionally good. -_- Like seriously man, 会不会有一点太夸张?

But anyway, the above is just my thoughts so please don’t take offense to that. I’ve got to admit though, that through this module, I realised that there’s a huge disparity in preference between me, the class and the instructor. What I like may not be what they like and vice-versa. Take the HPB TVC for example. I really didn’t like the concept and it’s actually my least favourite video. But guess what? My instructor loved it and it even bagged an award LOL. #okaycan

5. LM9001 Malay Language I (UE)

My timetable is never complete without a foreign language. I stopped taking up Spanish because the timeslot was really unsuitable for me and I think it will go on like this for a long time (because Spanish level 3 is not that high in demand so they put it at the least popular timeslots).

I chose Malay because it’s easier to learn and it is also applicable to Singapore and Malaysia (supper paradise). However what I learnt was formal Malay and not the colloquial Malay we use among friends. Jadi saya tak bercakap dengan kawan-kawan saya 😦

If you’re looking to take up a foreign language which does not consume much of your time, I’d recommend Malay because from week 1 to week 11, there wouldn’t be much to do except for self-revision. The tests only start coming in from week 12 (yes, the final teaching week). There’d be homework given occasionally but they aren’t very difficult to do (plus it’s not graded).

Since you’re in Singapore, you can practise by conversing with your muslim friends in Malay. I started eavesdropping on makciks‘ conversations ever since I took the language LOL. After all, being Singaporeans, we never form proper sentences when speaking so you should be able to understand a little even at level 1. 😛

Like Spanish, I enjoyed my Bahasa Melayu classes a lot. My classmates were a funny lot, always cracking jokes in class and making everyone else laugh with their silly comments. My cikgu would also play along and laugh together with us.

The exam structure for Malay is somewhat similar to our primary/secondary school English exam – reading aloud, conversation, listening comprehension, written exam and short composition. There would be a written test (with oral) before the finals which carries 50%. The remaining weightage would then come from the final paper. Don’t be alarmed by the composition. It only requires a minimum of 50 words for goodness sake! And I believe Malay is the only language to have English translation for the composition topic.

If you have time to study every week, an A+ shouldn’t be difficult to obtain. Even if you don’t, a B+ is not unachievable too.

Okay that’s about it from me for this semester. Hope I’m not too long-winded. Did it help? As always, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! Alternatively, you can ask me through my formspring. It’s getting a little too quiet there so make some noise for me please. 😛

‘Til next time!

Read also:
University Senior: Year 4 Semester 1 & 2
University Junior: Year 3 Semester 1
University Sophomore: Year 2 Semester 2
University Freshman: Year 1 Semester 2
University Freshman: Year 1 Semester 1