I’m Back And It’s Time For A Change!

Wedding at Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

Hello hello my beautiful chickadees!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Over a month, to be precise. Gosh, I’ve never been that long away from BA before and to be honest, while it was a scary thought at first, I’m glad I took the time before I properly came back. And when it was time to come back, it was tough because blogging had become a sort of daily habit of mine over the past many years. When a habit is broken for more than 2 weeks, it’s hard to get back on the horse. It’s true; even the experts said so! 😛

Many of you emailed me to ask me how I was during the break and that I’ve been missed. I can’t tell you how much that really touches my heart that even when I was away, so many of you cared about me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

So, what have I been up to the past 6 weeks?

So here’s what I’ve been up to

In a nutshell,

  • I was in Malaysia for almost 3 weeks. It was lovely spending time with my family and close friends.
  • Saw my beautiful nephew E for the first time, fell utterly in love and made me even cluckier than I already am.
  • Suffered the terrible heat in Malaysia. It was unusually hot and dry in Malaysia during that time. It was exactly like Melbourne in summer with temperatures almost reaching 40C.
  • Went to Chiang Mai to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. It was the most lavish wedding I’ve ever been to at the incredibly stunning Dhara Dhevi (check out the link; the place is simply amazing!). Imagine getting married in a place similar to the Angkor Wat!
  • Chiang Mai turned out to be hotter than Malaysia. It was 40C on the day of the wedding. The entire wedding was held outdoors with no air-conditioning. Let’s just say many a guest were sweating buckets (Tim looked like he was drenched in sweat wearing his long-sleeved shirt and tie). Still, I’m glad it was done outdoors because everthing was so beautifully done.
  • Went to a traditional Chinese medicine hospital and got treated for “yin deficiency” (apparently, that’s one of the causes for my infertility issues). Before you roll your eyes – trust me, mine rolled so hard, you’d had to smack the back of my head for my eyes to pop back out – it wasn’t my idea. I even brought back 28 packets of traditional Chinese medicine (or as I’d like to call it, tar soup, because it looks like tar) to Melbourne. But I guess, when one’s desperate, one’s willing to try anything.

Looks like an eventful break, huh? It was certainly a well-needed one nonetheless.

Why such a long break?

Prior to the break, I fell out of love with blogging. When it became a full-time gig, I turned it into a business. While it was fun at first, it ended up becoming a chore and something I stopped enjoying. Even close friends could see the change in my blog posts and how I was just blogging for the sake of “filling ‘er up”. I knew something has got to change before I stop blogging altogether, which is something I ultimately don’t want to do.

I thought a lot about the direction of the blog during the past 6 weeks and how I wanted it to go. When I started BA, it was meant to cater towards Asian beauty because at that time, there weren’t many blogs that catered towards Asian women or wrote about Asian cosmetics. While there are significantly more Asian beauty blogs now, I must admit that I miss writing for that market. Somewhere along the line, what with working with Australian PRs, BA became a blog reviewing products that were sent for editorial consideration. While I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given all these years and have discovered many great products because of this, I miss writing about my own discoveries, especially the ones that can’t be found in Australia. For years, I’ve stuck to writing mostly about products that are easily available in Australia. I refrained from reviewing many products that aren’t available in Australia because my audience were mostly Australians and really, what’s the point of reviewing something that you can’t even get in Australia?

Thanks to online shopping, we now have global access to products that aren’t physically available in Australia. I’d love to go back to writing about Asian cosmetics and discovering new products and technologies that I’ve been so ignorant towards. Korean cosmetics have been around for years, yet I’ve only discovered them last year. I even had readers jokingly tell me “how can you not know about K-beauty? And you call yourself an Asian beauty blogger!

Ouch. But hey, it’s true.


Is BA going to be just about Asian beauty now? No, it’s not. I’d still like to try out new Western beauty brands and products but I’d love to try new cosmetics that I haven’t had the opportunity nor the desire to try out before. I’d also like to bring in more lifestyle elements to the blog.

The biggest and immediate change to BA would be the reduction of blog posts from 5 days a week to 3 days. The past few reader surveys I’ve done have told me that a majority of readers prefer 2-3 posts a week, and that 5-7 posts were just too much. I’ve even had people unsubscribing BA because there were too many updates! Let’s give 3 posts a week a go, shall we? I want BA to be about quality, not simply quantity. With that, it also means that my favourite series, Bloggie Wednesday, will be now be once every 2 weeks instead of a weekly series. It makes sense if there’s just going to be 3 posts a week.

BA will be celebrating its 9th year of blogging soon. It has grown and changed many times over those past years and rightly so, because I’ve grown and changed as a person. Even with these changes, I hope you’ll stick with me and join me in this journey. Without you, there’s no BA. Or at least, it’ll just be me talking to myself and that’s not very fun, is it? 😛

Upwards and onwards!

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45 comments… add one
  1. Sydney Shop Girl

    Yay! So glad you’re back and recharged from your busy break.

    The weather in Malaysia drains me too.. somehow not so bad in Singapore. Air con, lah…

    Can’t wait to read more soon.

    SSG xxx

    1. Tine

      Thanks! I’m so glad to be back! I’ve missed all of you! 😀

      It was unseasonably hot in Malaysia and even Singapore in April. The AC was switched on most of the time. Either that, or I spend hours in the shopping centre soaking up the free AC! 😛

  2. Allison

    Sounds great, Tine! Welcome back!
    Allison recently posted..My Storage Solutions for CosmeticsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Allison! It’s good to be back. 😀

  3. Paris B

    First off, welcome back! I was just thinking about you a couple of days back and wondering “When is this Tine coming back online?!” And there you are! 😀 Second, I LOVE your picture above. Very well shot!

    I’m glad the time away gave you time to figure out what you needed to do. I guess what you needed was some perspective, and the break gave you one. I’ve seen the rise in K-beauty so it’ll be interesting to see what you unearth. I personally can’t get into it, because there’s a lot in there I don’t feel very comfortable about so I’m sticking to what I and my skin are comfortable with. That said, never say never! 😀

    And finally, the ongoing conundrum about how involved we want to be with PR and accepting samples. I don’t think it’s a debate that will ever end, and I’m actually quite pissed off about how derogatory some people have made it seem to me (unrelated to what you wrote about today) as if I should be lucky, as everyone else is a “mere mortal” who have to buy product <- their words I think PR sample shaming has to stop – if no one likes reading a blog featuring samples, they can move on. Sorry for climbing on your soapbox, but what I'd like to say is welcome back, do what makes you happy and I'm looking forward to the evolution of BA 🙂
    Paris B recently posted..If you want to look flawless in super high definition you will need the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD FoundationMy Profile

    1. Robert C

      Hmm, though I agree about the PR sample bashing, I can see where they’re coming from. I guess from the point of view of the consumer not receiving or being paid to mention anything, we have to find a balanced source and I’d argue because that in itself is arguably challenging these days. Balanced source as in a website or person etc who receives these samples but also give honest thorough opinions instead of just blantly singing praises to the high heavens about X and then do the same with Y next month, and there’re many who do this. (A lot of people especially youtubers, I find, are guilty of this)

      Even so, I think most times there will be an unconscious biasness on the part of the reviewer to review a product and I often take PR-sampled or sponsored reviews with a grain of salt because there is always that notion of (not in my words) “They received X product for free/sponsored and didn’t have to spend money on it thus there will always be that hidden biasness/… Don’t have to fork out their own money like the general consumer so wouldn’t know how they feel when it doesn’t work for them… Yada yada”.

      In conclusion: I don’t know. I’m not that fussed about PR stuff and whatnot because I read and watch beauty blogs and such because I like their style or writing (etc) and the person so said stuff won’t bother me. However I can see where the other side is arguing from and these are just my thoughts.

      1. Tine

        Yeah I understand where you’re coming from. I take reviews of products received for editorial consideration with a grain of salt too and I fully expect my readers to do the same with mine. Even if I wasn’t sponsored to write about a particular product, the fact that I did receive it for free (especially if it’s an expensive item) will inadvertently affect the way I write about it. And I believe this happens to every blogger who receives product for review too.
        At the end of the day, it’s how we enjoy the blog and the blogger behind it. Like you, if I enjoy the writing, it doesn’t matter if the blogger sings praises about the product she received. If I don’t enjoy the writing or don’t feel a connection with the blogger, it doesn’t matter if he/she only blogs about the items he/she buys, I’ll still move on. 🙂

      2. Paris B

        Like you, I get where the detractors are coming from, and that’s not really the thrust of my complaint, as it were. It’s primarily that with PR sampling being the norm these days, it is rather grouchy to keep harping on it and making those who do receive samples feel guilty for doing so. It comes with obligations, and no one really wants or needs to justify it. But I’ve noticed that there are many people now who are afraid to receive samples, because they’re afraid that they’d be lumped into the category of “one of those bloggers”. It’s just not right, either way. Those who do receive samples and disclose are who are honest, will keep their readers. Those who don’t, won’t, or they might, if they’re big and interesting enough. End of the day, my complaint was with the act of PR sample shaming, not so much about the right or wrong, or the fact of its existence 🙂
        Paris B recently posted..Some Tips to calm irritated skin : When Skin is acting up, K.I.S.S it better!My Profile

        1. Robert C

          Ahh I see I see, yeah I totally agree, as long as they disclose it I’m fine with it. I feel like a slap in the face whenever some blogger or youtuber try to pass off sponsored reviews as just “normal reviews” w/o disclosing anything or when they just don’t disclose at all. Anyways, thanks for the thought provoking discussion though! It’s very interesting reading other’s thoughts and opinions on the topic! 😀

    2. Tine

      Hahaha it’s good to be back! And I’ll pass your compliments to Tim; he took that photo. What you didn’t see in that photo were armpit sweat stains, sweat on the neck, congealed foundation on my sunnies where it rests on my skin and much more. That was how hot it was that day. 😛

      The packaging factor of K-cosmetics attracted me big time. I’m at least starting out with their makeup and then slowly on to their skincare. I’ve tried a number of their facial sheet masks and they’re good. At least if I had to talk about a meh product, I can still show off how incredibly good it looks on the outside. KAKAKAKAKA!

      I definitely agree that PR shaming has to stop. A lot of people don’t understand the amount of obligation that comes with free product. Nothing is free. At the end of the day, I feel better buying the item myself because I can truly say what I want about the product and not worry about repercussions. Personally, I’m not a fan of blogs that only mention products that are sent to them and very rarely about the products they buy. But that’s just me and I move on. There’s no shame in either side.

      1. Robert C

        I wholeheartedly feel the same way about the “not a fan of blogs that only mention…” part but most times I just watch the blog for updates the industry/what’s new hahaha and yeah Tim is an awesome photographer!
        Robert C recently posted..2016 and further onMy Profile

        1. Robert C

          Oops correction: I wholeheartedly agree with the last paragraph of your reply

    3. Tracy

      Welcome back! I’m glad to see that you’ve taken the time to recharge and move forward with renewed enthusiasm. I was going to leave a separate comment but then I ran across this one about PR samples and had to weigh in. I’ve only been blogging for just over a year and did an entire revamp in January. I decided to move away from just writing about makeup and more about my life in general. Turns out it worked and my audience has grown so much so that I’ve been asked to speak at an upcoming event in July. I’ve also gained the attention of brands and have been contacted by companies to review products. Although it’s tempting to accept everything I decided to let it be known that I don’t accept free product in exchange for a guaranteed review. And that my reviews are always honest. This hasn’t always gotten me a great response but I feel better about not accepting product over accepting product with their guidelines.
      Everyone handles it differently but I agree that it’s never ok to let the green eyed monster rear it’s ugly head.
      Tracy recently posted..LadyKin Gumiho Glamfit Cream Eyeshadow Review | BEAUTYMy Profile

  4. Eunice

    Hi Tine, so glad you had a good time back in Malaysia and also visited Thailand.. You deserve a good break. I’ve heard the weather is unbelievably hot these days back in Singapore too and that’s why I always avoid the cool days over here to travel back, double hit!

    Change is good and that may also give you more time to explore other parts of your life, maybe someday, this will turn into a mother/baby/baby wearing/whatever blog? Hope the Chinese meds work for you and you get to post some belly pics soon, I’m so looking forward!

    1. Tine

      Thanks Eunice! Oh it was so hot in April! Ridiculously so. It was constantly almost 40C in Penang. Very like summer in Melbourne, which I’m really not a fan of. Oh I know, I’m such a sooky princess when it comes to the heat. 😛

      Hahaha thanks. I don’t see this becoming a mother-baby blog anytime soon or even when “it” happens. Fingers crossed. Those Chinese meds are foul! 😛

  5. Mel

    Tine! So glad you’re back. I was a little worried you wouldn’t ever come back. Hope you fall back in love with blogging. I just recently ordered some Korean cosmetics online, can’t wait to try them. So I do look forward to the Asian Beauty focus of BA! As an idea, would love a post on the best websites for online Asian beauty shopping that ships to AUS!

    Glad to hear you spent lots of time with friends and family. Are most of your fam overseas?

    Btw, my blog also got rebranded while you were gone and last week I went to my first blogger event! I’m also in the process of using your book to write a media kit!!

    Thanks for the support + advice + blogging.
    Look forward to reading your blog more often!
    Mel recently posted..Beauty Heaven Beautorium Haul!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Mel! To be honest, at one point, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to come back yet. But I’m glad I did because once I started writing again, I realised how much I’ve missed it.

      At the moment, I’ve only discovered one website for shopping Korean beauty products but as I experiment more, I’ll definitely write a post about it. Look out for this Friday’s BA Insider newsletter where I’ll be sharing the shopping haul I ordered from Korea. 😛

      Ooooh thanks heaps for buying my book! I saw the email notification. I hope it’s useful for you. And I’m so excited for you that you’ve gone to your first blogger event! It must have been heaps of fun. I remember going to my first one. I was a bundle of nerves! 😛

  6. sesame

    Hi Tine, good to see you back. Wow, your cousin’s wedding sounds so interesting…Chang Mai is a great place to take a break.

    IMO, blogging three times a week is a good balance…but something I can’t get to at all. I’d be happy if I can do it twice a week. I don’t see it damaging the traffic that much…granted, it’ll not grow that quickly (really depends) but it won’t drop that much. When I stop blogging for three months, the traffic remained relatively stable.

    I think blogging for profits need to be handled with care…best is to sell something thru the blog or use affiliate. Advertorials or are great but we always need to be selective.

    Have fun and looking forward to reading your posts again. 4
    sesame recently posted..NutriBrownRice: healthy instant brown rice for a nutritious breakfast that’s fuss-freeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks lovely. It was a great wedding despite the heat. I would love to go back to Chiang Mai at the end of the year if possible. The weather is much more forgiving. 🙂

      The time that I took the blog full-time was certainly a very educational one. It opened up my eyes to what it was really like and to tell you the truth, I don’t really like what I saw. It’s incredibly easy to be dropped by brands like a hot potato. I would be lying if I said my ego didn’t take a hit but oh well, life goes on. Now I’m just going to focus on what I like to write about. It’s more enjoyable that way. I hope to not need to take such a long break away from the blog in future. It scared me when there was a time during the break that I wanted to stop blogging altogether. I’m glad I came back. 🙂

  7. Kathryn Mathew

    Welcome Back Tine!!
    I have missed your blog so much. Was most excited today when I did my weekly check on your blog to see this new post and to hear you are back.
    3 Times a week sounds wonderful and I cant wait to see what you have in store for us to read.
    You have been missed.
    Kathryn 🙂

    1. Tine

      Thanks Kathryn! I’m so glad to be back! And thanks heaps for your support; it means a lot to me 🙂 x

  8. Lara GG

    Welcome back!

    1. Tine

      Thanks Lara! 🙂

  9. Karyn

    Good on you. That’s exactly why I stopped blogging beauty and making YT videos. I had become part of the PR chain.
    It’s great that you saw that you had lost passion. How wonderful for us that you are coming back with more focus!!
    I haven’t seen any of the MBBE crew for years, so I love reading your posts.
    Karyn recently posted..[001] Find the Time to Start a BusinessMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Karyn. Let’s just say, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel! 😛

  10. emmabovary

    Welcome back Tine, you were missed! So glad you took the time to recharge, and I think the 3 post a week idea is a wonderful one. Looking forward to seeing posts from you once more and sending you nothing but love and luck for 2016 🙂
    emmabovary recently posted..She’s a Bad Muffuletta – OPI New Orleans CollectionMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Emma! 😀 xx

  11. MonicaP

    Welcome back! I think cutting back on blog posts is a good idea .. I’m not sure how people put out 5-7 blog posts per week .. but you gotta do what works for ya.

    MonicaP recently posted..April 2016 Vitacost HaulMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Monica. I had no idea how I did it before either! 😛

  12. Grace-melody Moo

    Glad you are back!:) And glad that you had such a wonderful break. Here’s to an even more enjoyable, intriguing blogging season ahead.
    Grace-melody Moo recently posted..A date with my little girlMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Grace. It was a good break. Wish I had more days in Penang though. Four days was too little! 🙁

  13. Robert C

    Welcome back! I hope you had a great holiday hahahaha. I missed my daily dose of BA though it’ll be 3x a week now which still sounds great and am excited to see what you’ve got up your sleeves ha

    1. Tine

      Thanks Robert! It’s good to be back! 😀

  14. Kate

    Glad to hear from you Tine! Hope the break managed to do away with the stress that has been building up. Since you’re properly recharged and revitalized, get changed into your jogging gear and go around the estate for some “fats-away” time 😁 Love you!

    1. Tine

      Thanks Kate! The break was a really needed one and I’m glad I took it. Hahaha I love how you said “fats away” time! I shall adopt it! 😀 😀 😀

  15. Mitzi

    Welcome back! 🙂 So glad to hear that your time away was both fun and enlightening. Dhara Dhevi looks like a gorgeous spot for a wedding, though the heat doesn’t sound too good (ouch, 40C??? Yeeeee!)

    Looking forward to reading about your new adventures. 🙂

    1. Tine

      The heat was awful but the wedding was absolutely lovely. I’m very glad the latter trumped the heat big time. 😀

  16. Gio

    Welcome back, Tine! Glad your break recharged you and gave you some perspective on what direction to take with your blog. I look forward to all your future updates. 🙂
    Gio recently posted..I Finally Tried A Blur Cream And I’m In LoveMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks for your support Gio. Means a lot to me! xx

  17. Issy

    Welcome back Tine! So glad you’re refreshed and ready to go again. I missed seeing your blog in my reader!

    Looking forward to reading all the new content! I love your writing so I can’t wait to learn about all the new things you’ll be showing us!

    1. Tine

      Aww thanks Issy, it’s great to be back! 😀

  18. Anna

    Just want to wish u all the best to baby success!
    I just turned 36 and I’m first time pregnant! Expecting due date 1 October 2016. Baby girl. Gonna teach her all about skincare n cosmetic from your blog.
    So don’t lose hope and don’t be too stress also. A break is the best time to make baby. That’s what happened to me and hub. We went away from our work in December. Had a long break about a mont 😍 So all the best to u dear!

    1. Tine

      Thanks Anna! Congratulations! What an exciting time for you! 😀 😀 😀

  19. Jyoan

    Bless you, dear.

    I will be most glad if you write more about Asian makeup because there is a treasure trove in there. Also, I find Western beauty blogs and videos a dime a dozen these days. There are so few good ones but too many popping out and dying away quickly.
    Jyoan recently posted..Review of Makeup Brushes: The Signature Kit by 13rushesMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I’d love to write more about Asian makeup but it wouldn’t be all about it mainly because there are so few Asian cosmetics brands that are easily available here. I won’t buy from Asian beauty stores in Chinatown because of how ridiculously marked up their prices are (don’t like their business ethics too. They don’t put price tags on their products here and even after I complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the ACCC still says it’s legal for them to do that). So what I write about would be what I get online. But I really do hope to write more about Asian cosmetics when I can. Like you said, it’s a treasure trove!

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