Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Introspection

I know I'm super behind on this, but I just simply can't get on with the usual until I "look back" at 2012. My 2011 Introspective was one of the best things I've done for myself, because throughout the year I kept going back to that post to remind myself what I learned from the year before. I told myself I had to do one every year, so here goes:

I experienced so much change in 2012. For the first five months, I was a beauty intern at Vogue and was lucky enough to even have two published pieces on (here and here, if you wanted to take a peek). I also met my girl crush/idol Eva Chen, who gave me wonderful advice about everything from working at Vogue to career to life, really.

I graduated in May and moved to New York City in September. And if my exultations through my posts and social media accounts aren't apparent enough, I am absolutely head over heels in love with this city. I don't think I'll live here forever, but for now and (hopefully) for a few more years to come, this is where my heart will be.

Funny story! My roommate and I met each other on Craigslist. We were both in desperate situations and had to find whatever we could, but we ended up in a great neighborhood and a nice apartment and are now having the time of our lives. Everyone who knows us tell us they would never ever have paired us up to live together, but it works so well that she's now one of my best friends and confidantes. I was never really a big believer in soul mates, but now I am pretty sure she and I are meant for each other. The picture above is a good representation of how it's like living in our apartment. I love that girl.

I ended a 5-year relationship in November, and since then what I've been trying to do is make more friends and expose myself to new food, new adventures, new things, new people. I've been posting less recently because a huge part of me wants to take the time to relax and enjoy life outside the screen. For the past year, my daily schedule had Messy Wands stamped on it, and while I love it like it's my child, I have to say it's pretty liberating to actually feel like a girl in her early 20s.

That said, Messy Wands has grown too. I love the new lighting and new design, and I'm hoping to diversify content in 2013. I am still very thankful and grateful to each and every one of you who took the time to comment and give me ideas when I was in my rut. It seems that some of you would like to read lifestyle/fashion posts (feel free to share your thoughts below!). I can't promise that I wear very interesting things, but I do like other pretty things besides makeup, and I would love to share them with you moving forward.

People say some of biggest changes you'll go through in life is after high school and college graduation, and I guess they're right. For 2013, I would like to be proactive and reach for what I want, because if there's one thing I learned by now, it's that you won't get what you want if you don't ask/fight for it. Nicely, of course.

Have a good year ahead, lovelies!


  1. I discovered your blog this year. I have to say, your blog has become one of my favourites. I have learned a lot from your tutorials. I look forward to seeing more of your posts this year!

  2. Belated happy new year, Xiao! I've always LOVED Messy Wands, and I hope you'll have fun living your dream in New York (heck, I'd love to do that too)! I went through a similar period after I finished college, and another one when I decided to come to Belgium a couple of years later. It'll all work out, you'll see. When you're nearing 30 (like me! *gasps*) you'll think back on these days with a lot of fondness :)

  3. I discovered your blog this year and I've been reading it ever since. Every time you update I'm all yay new post!! As a fellow southeast asian obsessed with beauty can i just say i think what you do here at messywands is really, really amazing.. new york is (and has been) the dream for me for the longest time, i can't even begin to describe it but there is really no where else in the world i'd rather be. like you said, the end of high school means the biggest changes and for me oh yes they have been. glad to know you're doing well with your life beyond the blog and all the best for 2013! :)

    I've been an avid reader/follower and like most of your followers, I love seeing lifestyle posts. I think it's because I/we have followed you for so long that seeing life updates such as this that you post make us feel connected to you in a way. Like old friends need catching up once in a while. Don't get me wrong, I love all your beauty posts but a lifestyle post is refreshing and makes us feel more connected to you. I can't explain it well but I hope you get what I mean!

    So cheers to 2013 and to more of Messy Wands in the years ahead!

    The Misty Mom

  5. Aw happy new year! I too, discovered your blog this year and have been loving it since! I also recently graduated and moved to the city (for more school) but I'm loving new york at the moment. Hope 2013 is a great year for you!

  6. Happy New Year! I hope 2013's gonna be a great year ahead for you. Life does have its own way of sorting things out... been through some rough patches in 2012..

    Enjoyed reading your blog and looking forward to more to come :)


  7. Darling, this look back is so well-written. I had no idea 2012 had been quite so tumultuous for you :(

    I hope this year cuts you a few more breaks, and I can't wait to see what you have coming up for all of us on Messy Wands. Despite all the changes, I feel like you're in a really good place moving forward, and I can only hope that will continue!

    Much love <3

  8. Great post, Xiao :) I do appreciate it when bloggers share a bit of their lives and insight into personal growth, I find it gives the blog more depth when you can know the person behind it a bit better. Sounds like you are enjoying life which is definitely something you should do! Thank you for sharing and I wish you a year of more growth and wonderful discoveries (in beauty and in life!)

  9. Yes, I personally would LOVE to read about other things (food, books, fashion, little things that make our life beautiful...). Actually, it is funny, but makeup products are not so my thing. I love more skin care products. Happy 2013! Sandra

  10. P.S. You two girls are adorable!

  11. Happy New Year! Love the idea of looking back over the past year. I think it's important to take a moment to see how much you've accomplished (and also what you might have done differently), which in turn provides a clear focus on what remains to be done in the new year! Best wishes and may 2013 bring many fun adventures for you in the big city! :)

  12. I love these pics of you two--you look SO happy and so cute, Xiao! :D

  13. Talking to you and reading your posts always has a huge motivating effect on me. Getting to know you was one of the best parts of 2012! We'll take a goofy picture together some day, too. :D

  14. I really enjoy reading your blog -- the beauty product reviews, the tips, but also the writing is fresh and authentic, and very enjoyable to read. Enjoy your time in NY -- I went to Columbia back in the 80s and loved every minute in NY. I look forward to your posts in 2013!

  15. Hi Xiao,

    I have been a follower of your blog since your very first post !! And I am in my early 20's too, actually, I just turned 24 4 days back ! And exactly an year back, I ended a 4 plus year relationship. While it'd be a stretch to say I totally understand you, I would definitely say, I do know how confusing/jarring/bad/good that change can be.

    Right now though, there are good days and bad days, mostly I just try to have fun. Which you obviously are doing ! :D I love your blog, your writing style, basically your style in general. Period. (Btw I would kill to have interned at Vogue, I keep wishing I was in a creative field instead of this boring 9 software hour desk job I have, admittedly it does pay my bills)

    And now, I just wanted to let you know, I have mass ordered LMdB about 5 lip cremes, 2 lipsticks and 2 kaleidoscopes, just coz I was browsing your blog along with Best Things in Beauty about a week back and I just Had.To.Order LMdB. I am sad that I missed the Bauhaus eye kit by a day and that too on my bday ! :( But I did manage to get the Chauvet kit and the Flawless Face kit(your tutorial for this kit is uh-mazing)

    Have a memorable and great 2013. Cheers !

  16. Happy New Year, xiao-nyan! It's good to know you were able to write this reflection from a good place, in a city you adore and with friends you love. :) It'll only continue to get better! Keep doing what you're doing! <3

  17. I love reading your Introspection posts; the one from last year was just as inspiring to me as this one. I so admire your attitude toward life and the way you articulate that. I hope 2013 is overflowing with good things for you, and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us this year, Wandz :)

  18. Happy New Year! Love your blog, and I'm glad things are going well. Best of luck in 2013! NYC is an exciting place to be in your early 20s! :)


Hi, lovelies. Due to excessive spam, I would appreciate it if you refrain from including self-promoting links in your comments! This ensures that your comment will be visible and keeps the section clean. I look forward to hearing from you!