Blog by Aura Charisse

by Aura Charisse 


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Posted by Aura Charisse on October 31, 2018 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (1)
What started out as reprieve for an angsty teen several years back, became a signature medium. The visit to Chihuly proved to spark more than just inspiration and drove me to revisit memory lane. A shadow to my gifted sibling, I, myself, also found interest in the arts. I followed in my sibling’s footsteps, observing and learning on how to sketch, draw, paint, and what not. I’ve always had this passion for the arts. Truth be told, I loved the arts so much I even considered pursuing it as a career when I was younger. I used lug around with me my art materials wherever my short legs would take me. I practiced and practiced all that I learned from my sibling along with my own amateur discoveries of different techniques, until I gained a foothold of my own style. Drawing with ink is something I take pride in. It’s a different kind of fufilment to be able to express whilst creating a specific craft, unique to one’s self.

Being that every October is an opportunity to celebrate #Inktober, I took my pen in stride and drew in ink once more. Although atypical from the usual one-drawing-a-day entry, I created everything within the month by drawing daily. It's my pleasure to share my contributions with you, dear readers.

Let your passions stir and live, dear readers!

Ily Chihuly

Posted by Aura Charisse on July 26, 2018 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)
One thing about art is the wonder it brings to mundanity. From something so simple, a mere object can easily metamorph into something incredibly splendid ---like how threads are woven into mesmerizing patterns, how clay is purified into spotless porcelain, how a blazing furnace can bring about fine glass, and how light can be manipulated to daze onlookers. Such is the awe that struck and humbled me in Chihuly Garden and Glass.

More photos and videos on my Instagram  ♡

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Oversized chic.

Posted by Aura Charisse on July 4, 2018 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

While it’s nice to flaunt your curves every now and then when wearing fitted outfits, I prefer wearing loose clothes on most days. I especially love wearing extremely oversized shirts as loungewear. As soon as I get home, I literally just strip myself off of any outside clothing and immediately change into my loungewear. It’s such an underrated level of comfort! I’m sure I’m not the only one!

Upon spotting this dress, I knew I had to get my hands on it. It’s such an effortless way to look good without compromising comfort. You literally just throw this on, wrap the belt around your waist and boom, instant ootd ——I was sooo going for that laidback-yet-stylish oversized look! What’s also nice about this dress is the material. You all know your girl’s incredibly meticulous and picky about material. Gladly, this one’s crafted wonderfully out of fine material. It’s made out of a soft, satiny fabric* that’s perfectly fitting for that relaxed fit.

Dress from CLN | Loafers form Rubi

Additionally, I love how this piece is equally versatile. In this look, I chose the classic way of wearing it by accessorizing minimally with pearls, jet black sunnies and easy slip on loafers. If I were to wear it differently, here’s how I plan to redo this outfit:

Instead of the usual sunnies, I’ll wear a black Breton cap.
Instead of pearl earrings, I’ll wear a massive pair of silver hoop earrings.
Instead of black suede loafers, I’ll wear clean, white sneakers.
Just imagine.
There's your casual chill look. 
Same centerpiece, different vibe altogether. 

That’s my tea for today’s outfit post. Enjoy the rest of the week, dear readers!

*I do wish I had the education to talk more specifically about fabrics, but unfortunately I don’t have a degree in textile design! May this suffice for now until I gain more knowledge in the future!

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On mental health.

Posted by Aura Charisse on June 9, 2018 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

One thing people don’t often openly talk about is mental health, especially for those who are victims of a debilitating illness.

Behind the façade of style and creativity, I’m actually one of those who is ill.

I suffer from high-functioning depression and anxiety for well over 7 years. Through it all, I was frequently misunderstood for my inability to cope well with life pressures and what not--- thus the origin of initially naming this blog, ‘Miss Understood’ several years ago. It was so common for me to be publicly seen and judged for breaking down and crying nonstop. It was peculiar to others to see me marching through the hallways, eyes reddened by frustration and face soaked with tears. People were often overwhelmed when I exploded out of range or when I become disturbingly low and saddened. Even a simple task of taking a major exam, I’d be trembling for fear of failure or hyperventilating due to panic. Romantic relationships proved to be more difficult as previous partners failed to accept that inside of me, deep down, I’m actually broken.

My oddity was always perceived as weakness when conflict arises among peers. My mental health always proved to be a barrier in many of the goals I planned to achieve for myself. You see, the thing about depression that most people can’t comprehend is that it so easily pins you down whenever some unfortunate circumstance happens. When you do get bogged down by it, the effort to rise above is tremendous and that in itself, is an understatement. Suppose you compare it to the story of Sisyphus in Greek mythology; when he was punished by Hades to carry the full weight of a heavy boulder, to painstakingly roll it up the hill, and only to have it roll down again once Sisyphus reaches the top. That’s how depression is most of the time, it beats you down and you fight your illness to overcome it--- because honestly who wouldn’t want to be bigger than their demons --- yet at that moment you thought you were fine and stable, you come rolling down the hill again just like Sisyphus, with the burden of the boulder, or even heavier.

I’m sharing this, not to draw attention to myself--- God knows that’s the LAST THING I’d ask for ---but to use my voice to reach out to those suffering the same fate, because I know how it feels not be listened to, how it is to be dismissed for hurting, how it hurts to cry out for help, how emotions cause you to shut down and how darkness can consume you for fighting a battle too long. I’m writing this to let you, dear readers, know that in the midst of the grim pain, I understand wholely.

When you are surrounded by negativity from those who aren’t able to understand, I hope it gives you comfort to know that you’re not alone and that we face this battle together. You’re not being overlying dramatic nor are your struggles invalid.

When all proves to be too much, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to stop. It’s okay not to understand everything all at once. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to prioritize yourself and your health. It’s okay to seek help, both from loved ones and professionals. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay. I pray you won’t punish yourself for being unable to cope.

When you come across a defeat in life, slowly and gradually learn to accept, take a step back, reset yourself and find the courage to start again. Be humble enough to trust in the process and know that you’re allowed to take as much time as you possibly need in doing so.

When everything seems too impossible to bear on your own, let me tell you that support and comfort will be given. There will be someone who will listen to you and empathize with you. There will be people who will open up about their battles and understand your journey just the same. There will be people who will express their care and concern for you. There will be those who will simply accompany you during your dark and difficult days just to let you know that they’re there for you. There will be those who will get through a seemingly unbearable day with you and literally help you function if need be. There will be those who will remind you of what it means to live again. There will be those who will be more than willing to help carry the burden with you. There will be people who will stay. There will be people who will go through the ends of this dire world, just to make you feel safe and sound. Most importantly, there will be brighter days ahead of us.

At present, there is no single, end-all-be-all solution to healing. Medicine is key, although other steps should be taken to heal, as depression is a highly complex disease with multiple factors. I pray you uncover those other steps in helping you recover--- something that will revive your spirits, sanity maintenance, as my Papa would say. Personally, my sanity maintenance is through catharsis, where I exhaust all the emotional burdens into creating art, whatever form it may be. I dance to let movement lift my spirits. I sing for the melody to soothe the sorrows. I draw to release whatever deep-setted sadness that has been inculcated in me. I capture mundanity through photography. In doing so, I learned that I’m accountable for my sanity. It means it’s a responsibiity to myself and my well being, to allow myself time to recuperate. Sometimes, when I fail to be grounded and experience an episode, it’s because I failed to allow myself time for sanity maintenance, and thus pushed myself too far, beyond the capacity of my mental health. Learn from my mistake. Seek and pursue your own healing, too.

To end this entry, I pray we find hope in believing that we’re not less worthy as persons just because we’re ill.

Hang on, dear reader.

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Style and comfort.

Posted by Aura Charisse on June 4, 2018 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)
Who else has always been a lover of dresses as a little girl?

I remember being teased for always being in a dress when I was younger. You’d rarely see me in shorts or pants and my god, did I hate being in overall jumpers! They told me a dress was definitely my iconic childhood attire. Fast forward to my twenties, nothing much has changed really! I still love to be wearing dresses and when it comes to shopping for pieces, I’m very particular about style and character. I wear dresses because I love embracing my femininity with an elaborate skirt and a flattering bodice. So when I choose a dress for purchase, I make sure it delivers exactly that, whilst giving me comfort. 

In light of the current bipolar weather changes, I find this dress has provided me that much coveted comfort against heat and humidity. I specifically chose an off-shoulder type-dress to allow my skin to breathe a little bit more, without beeing too revealing. Though not your typical fitted-torso bodice, I actually love the loose fit as it emphasizes that peek of the skin within the collarbone area. And can we talk about the sleeves?! It was definitely the flare of these oversized sleeves that gave this dress character. The material is also very forgiving in this weather. It’s made out of thinly made denim material designed with minimal stripes.

Off-shoulder, flare-sleeve dress from Something Borrowed | Sneakers from Skechers | Sunnies from Artwork

So that’s a little tidbit on how I choose a casual dress that is both style- and comfort-appropriate. Dear readers, you all know my motto when it comes to dressing well --- it’s not impossible to be stylish and comfortable at the same time! It’s really not necessary to compromise comfort, don’t you think?

How do you choose your dresses, dear readers? 

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To new beginnings.

Posted by Aura Charisse on March 18, 2018 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

At the onset of 2018, a friend came up to me and said, “I’m looking forward to your new year post!” to which I shyly replied, “If I have something substantial and creative to write about!” It’s mid-March now, but let me try to address the grand, new year that is 2018.

Looking back at 2017, it was a most difficult year as countless obstacles and dreadful trials were thrown at me. To give you a glimpse, I entered 2017 lost and confused, fresh from a horrific trauma —details of which would certainly (100%) stress even you out. It was a new semester as well, to which I quickly plummeted down in terms of academic performance, greatly attributable to my anxiety, depression and ultimately, my weakness of having poor coping mechanisms. On top of all that, I had to delineate which friendships were true and genuine and which battles were worth fighting. Negativity and toxicity were ever so abundant. Being a highly reactive individual, it was all too much. Too much. Looking back at each battle I went through, I should’ve applied for leave of absence, to recuperate for my sanity, but your girl was no quitter.

I somehow managed to survive the semester in one piece, but not without grueling carnage. I told myself, if I were to continue my journey, in attaining a most coveted degree and continuing to live an optimal life, I needed a time out —a time to recover from all that was overwhelming. At the latter part of the year, I found myself spending more time alone, investing in my solitude as I searched myself all over again. I went out very rarely and avoided large crowds as my means of resolving peace. I left anything and anyone that is toxic and emotionally draining. I only spoke to a minimal of people, only those of which I considered dear to me. I limited my presence at the bare minimum, only when attendance is absolutely necessary. I kept the deepest of thoughts to myself. There are far too many lessons I needed to learn and several notions I needed to unlearn, all of which I had to realize myself.

This 2018, it is time to heal. A time to recover from pains, a time to leave the past, and a time to walk towards what lies ahead. Isn’t it beautiful to be able to turn over a new leaf every year? Isn’t it refreshing to know that there is a beginning to new things just as there is an end to grief? May we all maximize the value of a fresh year. Oh how I sincerely, wish you all a wonderful year ahead this 2018!

If 2017 bogged you down as much as it did myself; I pray that hope sparks, even the tiniest bit, so you may find light in the dark. Better, greater days are yet to come for you, my dear. This too shall pass.

If 2017 treated you wonderfully; I’m ecstatic and joyous for you! I empathize with the celebrations of life, whether them may be of little victories or grand accomplishments.

Photos by Kir Ubungen

Let’s all face the rest of 2018 together, dear readers! 

P.S. I got a haircut!!

Thank you for reading! If you like this entry, please do give it a thumbs up and hit the Like button. :) It would mean a lot!

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