My Basic Theory of Skincare Routines

Life Essentials, Monday juice, Reflections, Skincare

Let’s not be silly.

I’ve been through it when it comes to my skin. (And emerged triumphant!)

Stick to a skincare routine that you can keep up with. If you can’t consistently use all twenty of those products that you felt obliged to buy at some point (and now feel obliged to use – we’ve all been there); condense it.

Make it work for you.

Ebay is your friend. You’ll be surprised what people will buy.




Whose race are you running?

A series of questions, Books, reading and lessons learned, Life Essentials, Reflections

Colouring in the within the lines. A letter to myself: questions.


Whose dream are you chasing?

Whose timeline have you come to adopt as your own?

Who defined your limits?

Who told you how far is too far?


When did you inherit this doubt?

When did your goals become dreams; dreams become wishes and wishes become unattainable.

When did you realise how far is too far?

When did you find silent contentment in something you never wanted.


If there were no lines, no prescribed boundaries, no end to one page; nor beginning to another; where would your brush strokes start and where would they end?

If there were no lines, what colours, shapes, and hopes would your heart desire.


Is this what you really wanted?



Don’t run someone else’s race. Don’t chase what they said would fulfil you.

Run, yes.

Run from regret.


Oh la mode.

Books, reading and lessons learned, Fashion, Quotes

Perhaps it is time for us to intellectualise; rather than trivialise; this particular form of self-expression?


There’s no real confusion about what Man Repeller is or what it means or what the virtues are that we espouse — women being proud of themselves, using fashion as a language to connect with other women, not trivializing fashion, not allowing the trivialization of a woman’s interests just because she’s a woman… 

It started as a sort of slapstick blog that I was writing out of my bedroom in my parents’ apartment when I was 20 years old… It was about women who literally dressed like “man repellers” — as in, wore stuff that men don’t like, but always with a message of empowerment because the tone was, “yeah, sure, he hates it, but I don’t care.”

On Peace, Rest and Productivity

Life Essentials, Non classé, Reflections

It’s okay to take a break. 

I learned that this week.

A great man once explained that our stresses are what truly drive us to grow. He used a fantastic analogy: the lobster needs the pressure and discomfort of outgrowing his shell to be able to seclude itself, shed its old “comfort zone” and grow into its new biological environment.

So is it with us.

If you are allowing the pressures of daily life to destroy you, you are losing. Your challenges, struggles and shortcomings are valid. But it is only you who can break free from them.

I went through the fear, the fight, the resignation. And I made absolutely no progress. I decided to get up again and fight. I may have been moving slowly, making marginal progress, but I was progressing.

I drove myself to a standstill of anxiety, fear and (often unfruitful) endless hours of non-stop working. I thought I was making progress, and I was, but I was hindering myself.

This week I learned the true importance of planned, structured rest and disengagement. It sounded counterintuitive at first. But you NEED to refuel. You need rest. I was sleeping an hour a night and I grew so ineffective that I couldn’t even keep track of the days.

If you were doubting yourself, let this blog post be the anthem to help you realise that it is okay to rest. It is okay to take a break. It will help you succeed, it will not hinder you. You can be your own best friend; or worst enemy. Don’t make my mistake. It took me years to learn this.

Rest. For in rest, you will find productivity. And in rest, you will find peace.

Dealing with guilt and self-depreciation: A series of questions

Life Essentials, Reflections

A seven-step guide to taking care of yourself.

Dealing with self-hate, cultivating a spirit of self-love and avoiding subconscious self-sabotage. I wrote this for myself, I needed this. And now I offer it to you.


Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you still alive?
  2. Is it that bad?
  3. Against whose criterion are you really evaluating yourself?
  4. What are the realistic worst possible consequences of the particular action/s
  5. Forgetting the past, what steps can you take to mitigate any realistic damages?
  6. Is there any possibility that your sentiments exist within a vacuum of self-doubt, pity and self-hatred; or that your evaluation of self is based on the arbitrary standards of others or warped social norms?
  7. It’s not easy, but work to forgive yourself. Your forgiven self is the most capable version of yourself to move forward, find solutions and mitigate damages.

Cheers, peace & love.


– Chonye

On Navigating Uncertainty

Non classé

Focus on the journey. Because ultimately, life is a journey: the destination is the end of life. Not only is the outcome unknown to you, arriving at the destination is of minimal importance in the grand scheme of this game we call life.

I’ve been hit in the face with the proverbial sack of bricks several times in the past years. I’ve gone hard on that quarter-life crisis. I’ve had my dreams seemingly shattered – summer after summer. I have lain in bed inert for days. I have cried myself to sleep; I have been weak. I rode the rollercoaster of anxiety, depression, reform, vices, self-medication and shame. Nightmares.

Each time fell prostrate on my face, stumbled and I managed to get back up, I thought I had come back stronger. Just to be paralyzed by the next assault. I found myself seeking things I did not want. Indulging in escapism and subconsciously trying to find fulfillment in The Temporary. I turned into a shell of myself. I abandoned my gratitude journal, the gym, food and all the routines that kept me mentally afloat.

I had to make a decision. And I had to realize that my happiness is not predicated by the outcomes of my endeavors, my expectations nor my dreams. The person I had become was not capable of pursuing these dreams, achieving the goals I had once set or dealing with the successes I so desired.

I had to fight. Rekindle my ambitions. But simultaneously, be comfortable in my own skin and my current circumstances. Distant as they were from where I, and others had seen myself at this stage in life. This number. I allowed it to define me: 22. I am 22. But until recently I could see nothing in this but utter failure.

Perhaps I will die tomorrow. Perhaps I will live to see 90 years. This frightened and infuriated me. Why should I live so long in this miserable torture we call life? But what I did not realize, and what nobody could have convinced me, is that I did not have to be miserable. I was choosing to be miserable.

I was sick.

My mind could not perceive any greater hope. I was stuck; I was a prisoner in my own mind. And it was taking me nowhere. I was burning with an internal fury that manifested itself as pain and sadness. I was simply waiting for a future that I did not believe existed.

The future is now. This is the future. And I can change. I can love. I don’t need to be defined by my past. I can forge this future from now. Despite the time seemingly lost. I can forge it now. I fought. And I’m winning. Not because I am now where I had hoped; far from it. But I have come to accept and enjoy uncertainty. I don’t know what country I will be in next month. I don’t know where I will live.

But that’s okay. I accept this. And I’m fighting. Enjoying this crazy rollercoaster we call life.


“Fortunate Happenstance”: Notes on my favourite word

Life Essentials, Reflections

A fortunate happenstance, a pleasant surprise. Sometimes beautiful things simply occur. Not necessarily when needed. Nor with any personal input, action, or longing.


Not quite fortuitous. Not merely coincidence. Serendipitous. I’ve loved this word for years. I’ve also always pushed back against my love for this word. I’ve always questioned why I am drawn to this sentiment: of receiving something I seemingly have not earned or created.


Easy come, easy go?

Time and thought have allowed me to realise that these beautiful, serendipitous moments almost exclusively occur when I have taken the time to set my mind and my thoughts towards the light. These are the times when my every expectation is hopeful, and when I have diverted my focus from the insecure, self absorption of the inward facing lens to look outwards, focussing on actions, intention and most importantly, on others.

It’s what is called being an optimist. I have my own views on optimism; something that has not always come easily or naturally to me. But I can certainly attest to the truth that consciously removing your mind from the day to day worries of this physical world (90% of which are really inconsequential), and bringing it to a place of gratitude, respect, love, peace, and positive expectation both attracts and produces serendipity.

(And does a world of good for both heart and mind.)

– Chonye