Tuesday 30 January 2018

Parcel Detained By Customs


For the first time ever, customs detained my parcel. I've bought many many times from overseas stores without a hitch before. 

Yet, I was oblivious to the golden rule. Try not to exceed RM500 for every parcel / order

This time, I bought nearly RM700 worth of makeup [pooling my friends' orders as well] from Tarte. 
The discount was amazing [boxing day sale] - don't judge me.

A month after I ordered online, I got a letter from Pos Malaysia saying my parcel was detained. 
[No wonder it took so long this time around. Usually, I'll get my parcel in two weeks).

So in the the letter, you'll need to choose ONE of the following;
  • Appoint Pos Malaysia as your customs agent (they'll settled your tax issue with a fee). You'll need to pay RM48 (for Pos Malaysia), 6% GST and customs tax (both depending on your parcel's value) or
  • Get another person to represent you at the customs office (husband, family, friend, etc) to settle the GST + customs tax or
  • You yourself go to the customs office. 
Most of the time, you'll have to pay something to customs [GST / postage fee / custom fee etc] but it all depends on your luck.
In all of the options listed above, make sure you provide the receipt / invoice of your parcel to ensure smooth clearance. 

So I went to Pos Malaysia International Hub, KLIA on a Saturday afternoon (around 2pm).
  • Park at the temporary parking and register at the guard post, leave your IC + get a green slip and visitor pass.
  • Park properly; near the building
  • As you get in the building, turn left to Counter 1 (Poslaju). Bring your Poslaju letter and the green slip you got earlier to retrieve your parcel.
  • Next to Counter 2 (Customs), bring your parcel + green slip + invoice. Open the parcel in front of the officer. Wait for him / her to generate a letter.
  • With the letter + green slip, go to Counter 3 (payment). Wait for them to calculate your total tax payable and pay. [Cash only!]
  • For me, I was lucky because the Pharmaceutical department closed at 12 (for makeup you need to go through this department for assessment) so the customs officer just let me go. 
  • I just need to pay 6% of my total invoice amount (RM40)
  • When you exit, return the green slip + visitor pass at the guard poss. They'll also check the item that you receive to make sure it matches the Poslaju letter.
So that's my experinece with customs. It doesn't take too long for the whole procedure

Next time, split your orders into several invoices! 
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Wednesday 24 January 2018

How To Pass P5 (APM) Exam

Yup, still haven't moved on 😻

With the latest passing rate of 29% [crazy!],  I'm compelled to share some tips on passing P5.
At least these are the things I did ...

Find a Good Lecturer
You can read the textbook inside out, but it still won't guarantee your success. Exam technique is super critical for this paper which you can only learn from your experienced lecturers. And of course! Try to attend every single one of the class to reap maximum benefit.

Don't Spot Questions
You know how we tend to spot questions for exam? It will never work for this paper. Some topic came out two sittings in a row. So the best bet is to cover all of the syllabus. 

Utilized the Exam Kit
Here in KDU, we use BPP textbook and exam kit. To be honest, I found the textbook to be such a bore and long winding (sorry to say). The summary notes by my lecturer are more than enough. Actually, his summary is very compact but his explanation during class is very very valuable. The most important thing though is the Exam Kit! Practice all the questions in the exam kit for a higher chance of passing!

Time Yourself
You can be as prepared as you can, have all the knowledge at your fingertips but if you failed to complete all questions, your probability to pass the exam just went downhill. To prevent this, make it a habit to time yourself during question practices. This helps to familiarize you with the time pressure during the exam.
What I did was I allocate 1.6 minutes for every mark. So if it's a Part A question, I'll have 80 minutes or 1 hour 20 minutes to answer the question and I take another 15-20 minutes to fully understand the requirements and do the planning of my answers.
By the end of the 3 hours 15 minutes, all questions should have been answered [even in parts].

Past Year Exam Questions
Another integral part of passing the paper, doing the past year questions (from December 2010 onwards) because the current examiner, Alex Watt joined since then. If you really understand the structure of the previous questions, you'll realize SOME of the questions are recycled. Familiarize yourself with the exam questions and again, timed yourself while doing 'em. Also, remember that the answers scheme shows only one of the possible answers. You can come up with your own answer as long as it makes sense and you can back it up with facts, but make sure that you get your answers marked by your lecturer. And make the latest exam paper a priority, working yourself backwards.

Understand the Requirement
P5 papers can be like English Comprehension paper. You will need to really focus and understand the requirement of the question. It may sound trivial, but this is one of the most commonly made mistake by students. Question asked for 2 requirements, students answered 1. Question wanted the impact of A on B, students answered the impact of B on A. You get the gist. So really really understand the requirements. The tips I got by my lecturer is to circle every verb in the question to ensure you did not miss out anything.
Example; Evaluate the use of Porter 5 Forces analysis at company A. It does not mean evaluate the company using Porter 5 Forces but whether the tool is useful or not for company A.

Read The Articles
I have to be honest. This is the first paper ever which I read through most of the articles (95%) [you can get them from ACCA website] and make notes. Trust me when I say you'll need to read the old articles too, ones from the 90s as well. Don't assume that the latest articles bear more importance.

Make sure you have a proper heading, subheading and format. Heading, heading, heading! It's important. The 4 professional marks could make or break you in the final exam.

Question Sequence
Other than timing myself to ensure I complete all the questions, the sequence is also of particular importance. Different people have a different approach but mine is to do Part B, Part A, Part B. Logic being when you are fresh, that's when you are the most productive. Tackling one of the optional questions is helpful because the requirement and case study are shorter, usually it is not as complicated as Question 1 and in turn, it will be easier for you to score marks here. And you'll be confident to do other questions afterwards.

Own Notes
This has always been my go-to study tips. Do your own notes even though you got the summarized compact notes. It helps you to remember better and easier for you to comb through when you need information.

That's it!

Good luck!!

Every time I saw the top scorer names at KDU's bulletin board I was so envious. At last, I'm one of them! #AchievementUnlocked
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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Final ACCA Paper, Passed!

I HAVE PASSED MY FINAL ACCA PAPER!! [celebratory dance]


Such a joyous, joyous occasion. 

I honestly did not know what to expect as [for the first time ever] I did not manage to answer everything during the exam!

But I gave it my all and really really tawakal afterwards. 😅

ps : the passing rate for P5 paper December 2017 sitting was 29% !!!! Whattttt..

My goal was to pass all papers on 1st attempt so that I will not need to repay 20% of the tuition + exam cost to my sponsor. 

So I got to take ACCA papers totally FOC 😌
[it all adds up to approximately RM20,000+, not too bad actually]

The best thing about it? Getting all the congratulatory wishes. Especially from my P5 lecturer, Mr Chan Tze Kang. Remember I wrote about him before : here

This just warms my heart  💗

It's a pity that KDU decided to stop offering P5 classes due to low takeup and even lower passing rate 😰 He still teaches other papers, though. Would highly recommend him!

One chapter closes. On to the next!!!!

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Tuesday 2 January 2018

Disappointing Beauty Products of 2017

Just as much as I found great products over the year, there are obviously some products that I regretted buying.

I often caved in to the stellar reviews online, only to find out they did not work for me.

Egyptian Magic Cream 
To be honest, this product has been in the market for quite some time. Many celebrities endorses it, Kate Hudson, Eva Mendez, Brooke Shields etc The product is 100% natural which is great. It looks like Vaseline, only thicker. But it is too oily for my liking. Can you imagine slathering Vaseline all over your face? It doesn't absorb, just an oily mess. It comes in a tub [not hygienic by the way] and claimed to be a multi purpose cream, but really.... Why pay RM160 for essentially a tub of Vaselline?

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap 
A friend of mine swore by this product so I guess, why not try. Worst decision of my life! I rarely had acne but using these, bam! 3-4 pustule acne at the same time. Since I wear a lot of products, I tried staying off everything and just focus solely on this cleanser. Lo and behold, I found the culprit. So many reasons not to love this facial soap. It causes breakout, smells terrible and I don't feel 'clean' after using it. So what's the point?

Tartelette Tease Clay Eyeshadow Palette  
This particular product is a miss for me. The pigmentation is very bad and it wears off easily (even with primers). It flakes terribly and messy. To be honest, the colors are nothing to shout about; it look better on screen but upon application it turned greyish. Pure disappointment. 

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation 
I found the perfect shade but it DOES.. NOT.. blend well. I've tried using different type of brushes, and makeup sponges but still it is streaky and patchy. It clings to dry patches and my skin looks extremely oily after merely 1 hour of application. Never had I ever hate foundation so much. Well, this is the first. 

Breena Beauty Blending Pearl [pink] 
I only bought this because of reviews saying it's comparable to the Beauty Blender. It does not people! Although I love the shape of Breena's Blending Pearl, that is the only good thing about it. I might be the only person who is not in love with this product. I found that my foundation applied streaky no matter how I used it (wet/dry). So nope. Beauty Blender is still the best for me. Breena has come up with a different blending pearl, in black. Might try that one later this year. 

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Monday 1 January 2018

Favorite Beauty Products of 2017

Newsflash : I bought a lot of makeup and skincare products in 2017.

I followed a couple of beauty gurus on Youtube and I tend to follow their recommendations in regards of skincare and makeup.

These are my five best beauty purchases in 2017 💗
[Some are older products that I just discovered / bought in 2017]

Of course these might work for me and my skin, may not work as well on others. 

Tartelette Toasted Palette
Got my hand on this even before they hit local Sephora and I love it ever since! I'm a sucker for warm colored eye shadow and these do not disappoint. It looks great on me, minimal fall out and blended easily. The perfect pop of color for everyday use. 

The Ordinary High Spreadability Fluid Primer 
I very seldom wore makeup without primer and this particular primer is amazing. Of course, the dropper applicator can be a bit of a mess with the 'liquidy' primer, but the results just blew my mind. It is a silicone based serum, non oily, makes your skin SMOOTH and blurred out the fine lines / pores. A little goes a long way with this one; I just need 2 drops!

Tarte Blush Bazaar Palette
8 blushes and 2 highlighters. They blend like a dream despite being sooo pigmented. Some of the colors might put you off at first, but believe me they're super wearable and long lasting too. Basically my favorite blusher.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara 
I got this baby as a free gift from Sephora recently and they are incredible! I always had a problem with mascara due to my honest-to-God stubborn eyelash. Doesn't matter how long I curl 'em, it's just a waste of effort. But this gem right here, is a game changer. This volumize and lengthen my eyelashes. But most importantly, it does not clump. Will definitely buy the full size product!

Palladio High Intensity Herbal Lip Balm in Ramblin' Rose 
I have a lot of lipsticks and if I had to choose one, this will be my number 1 pick. I'll choose this over MAC, Tarte, Colorpop, Kat Von D and others. It applies like a balm, but look like a proper lipstick. It's incredibly pigmented, creamy and not drying at all. Plus, it's a drugstore product!

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