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7 Fresh Reads To Take On Your Vacay And How To Chill Your Skin While At It

You might end up so hooked that you might ditch your day's plans for an afternoon at a cafe, cuppa and paperback in hand. Don't say it was us!

Suns out, bums out. Summer is here, work martyrs rejoice. It’s no secret that vacation time does wonders for your skin. The mere absence of stress and a soothing environment with beautiful landscapes sounds like a dream. Or perhaps a little delight by way of retail therapy? Whatever your poison, all of that will naturally contribute to a radiant, lit from the inside complexion – a double score for vacay. With your skin in such a good place because of how you feel, it the perfect time to push your skincare to the front seat, not the back.

Skin woes and wins aside, the goal of a vacation is not only for a getaway. It’s all about experiencing a new place, a new culture, and gaining a new perspective on things. With all that extra personal time on vacation, you can finally afford to get lost in time guilt-free and actually think about things. Vacation comes with a lot of travelling and that isn’t just limited to physicality. In fact, why limit it at all?

Travel stimulates the mind when you seeing new things, interact with places and people and experience new cultures, but when you’re alone, whether in your room, up in the air on a plane, by the beach or having a latte, what better way to engage mentally than through books? (If podcasts are more your thing, we have you covered as well.)

Be it fantasy, #realtalk on pertinent issues, or intriguing stories that take you on a journey, we’re all about recommending the best stories to occupy your pockets of time in between travel destinations. These exciting stories will complement your vacay journeys so well, you might even choose to swap a busy day out for a laid-back day with just you and your book. Pair it with its beauty counterpart? Truly the way to pamper yourself. Just don’t hold us accountable for your cancelled plans!



#1: Kafka On The Shore

A fan favourite of many (mine inclusive) and for good reason too. Known for his Kafkaesque stories, Kafka On The Shore remains one of Murakami’s top selling books. While one of his harder works to digest, it keeps you on the edge with its mystique and unpredictability, and frankly speaking, its borderline creepiness. One of the OGs, Murakami drops quotes that are fire, all while packaging taboo and controversial topics within them. This book speaks of a crossroad between a growing adolescent, a forgotten war-time hero, and is so enchanting you’ll probably end up all night reading this. Which is why Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil is the perfect as its beauty pairing– an antidote to all that late night reading. With ingredients such as extra virgin, cold pressed avocado oil, it’ll keep your face well hydrated all night for your adventure ahead the next day. 

#2: Empire of Glass

An investigation of the human memory and the veracity of oral history, Empire of Glass is a seamless combination of both fictional and non-fictional elements. If China intrigues you, this is definitely the book for you. Nevermind that it was written by an American author, Kaitlin Solimine definitely understands the Chinese culture well, given her days spent in China. A bold reinvention of the usual stylistic form, this book is full of interesting footnotes that make it more like a treasure hunt of little snippets of information that do not bore. Trust me on this. Pair this with this oriental, exotic scent from Joya’s travel-sized Composition N6 to feel a certain type of way, and be on your way to a journey that’ll alter your sense of time.


#3: This Is What Inequality Looks Like

This Is What Inequality Looks Like is great if you’re looking for an inquisitive read. Covering issues from understanding how inequality is experienced, how it manifests, to how it is rationalised in Singapore, this book tackles head on the problems that the island-city faces in a sociological perspective. It shifts our perspective on things we take for granted, and is a timely reminder about how interconnected everyone is to one another. Eve Lom’s Radiance Face Mist combats the heavier content with a refreshing mist that’ll leave you radiant and enlightened with the new perspective.

#4: Bad Feminist

In this day and age, the term feminism has evolved to encompass so many things. I can’t even keep track myself. In her book, Roxane Gay talks about the current state of feminism in a laid-back funny way, with confessions on how she navigated the ideas of being a “bad feminist” in her years. An invigorating read on how we become the culture we consume, it is light-hearted, eloquent and real all at once. To match the tone of this book, we’ve picked out the Omorovicza Magic Moisture Mist that is equally lightweight, with a light floral, citrusy scent to it. Perfect for adding just a bit of a girly touch without being overwhelmingly so.


#5: Crazy Rich Asians

An extravagant display of contemporary wealth, Kevin Kwan delicately covers the underlying issues and problems that elitism can breed, with good humour and tantalising detail – and set in Singapore of all places! With all the local colloquialisms and geographical references made, this one hits close to home in a good way. No wonder crowds are drawn in on this, so much so that its film counterpart is coming out soon with Fresh Off The Boat‘s Constance Wu in the lead. About time to get a head start, huh? With all the glamour that goes on in the book, it’s only natural that you would want to similar indulge in something expensive and refined. Why not try Natura Bissé’s Diamond Extreme, a luxuriously rich cream that delays the signs of ageing? Not quite like a real diamond, but a diamond all the same.



#6: To Kill A Kingdom

Everything mermaid and romance, this is one read that’ll take you on a ride of emotions. (Also, perfect if you’re reading this by the sea.) A reimagining of the tragic The Little Mermaid, but with less of the sobs and much more of the sinister, a disgraced siren seeks to kill a murderous prince to regain her people’s trust. It is a fairly light page-turner that helps you forget as you take a deep dive into Alexandra Christo’s imagined fantasy realm. KYPRIS Beauty Cerulean Soothing Hydration Recovery Mask, with ingredients from the sea like algae will have you feeling like the protagonist in the story, all while staying hydrated.

#7: Shadow And Bone

A fan of dystopian novels with a historical element? The opener of the wildly-popular Grishaverse that has fans among the younger and young at heart – and rumoured to be translated for the silver screen – should be right up your alley. A plot that is centred around how an orphan struggles to understand her love towards her supposed mortal enemy, and how darkness isn’t what it seems, all whilst without being childish or over-exaggerated, a herculean feat done right. Pair this up with Tracie Martyn’s Absolute Purity toner which multitasks by cleansing, calming and brightening your skin. Very much like how the book fulfilled its multi-categories well, too. 


What To Read Next: 5 Podcast And Beauty Pairings That Will Brighten Your Next Pampering Sesh, Treat Yo’ Self: 7 Beauty Splurges to Make This Week  and 5 Beauty Products That Will Make The Desk Life A Little Less Miserable | Cover Collage: Jaelyn Tan, with image from National Geographic Archives, Text: Jaelyn Tan

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