Out for dinner with my friends the night before, we got about to talking about people we know, and people who know people, who’d undergone cosmetic and/or plastic surgery to enhance the way they look.

I did a quick search on this topic, and I was not surprised to find out that the amount spent on cosmetic and plastic surgery amounts to $12.4 billion in 2005.

Top 5 cosmetic procedures are – botox, chemical peel, microdermabrasion, laser hair removal and spider vein treatment.

Top 5 surgical procedures are – liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery and the tummy tuck.

I do not aspire to look drop dead gorgeous. I will put surgical procedures on hold till later in life when I decide to turn back the clock.

However, I do want to look somewhat presentable – in case I bump into an old classmate or an old crush. And so I have to juggle my time attending to my daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance regime. Absolutely status quo.

On hair – I have a love hate relationship with my hair. I hate my incorrigible hair, and it’s my crowning glory. I spend the most time on my hair. I have tried various products and devices that is suppose to enable me to manage my own hair, tried various perms and haircuts, short of shaving my head, and I have not found this miracle. Going to the hairdresser to have my hair washed, and styled with the hair dryer is the closest I have come to achieving manageable hair. And life goes on, as I try to manage getting my hair done every other day, and a bond is formed with my hairdresser. Each hair session costs RM5.00

On unwanted hair – There’s the tweezing, and plucking, and various hair removal creams, and ouch! Waxing… I have not braved shaving yet, and I don’t think I will.

Nails – I am a nail biter. To prevent myself from chewing my fingers, I get a manicure, and paint my nails a nice colour. But that lasts only a week, and I’d be back to chewing my nails. For longer lasting coloured nails and bite-proof nails, I get gel nails. Perfect looking nails for 4 weeks!

Skin – My shelf is filled with jars and bottles. My bathroom counter is filled with more jars and bottles of all types of creams, serum, gels for anti-aging, whitening, firming, slimming, anti-cellulite, detoxing, cleansing, double-cleansing, toning, and the list goes on. Do I ever get round to using every single thing? Hardly. But I still spend 45 minutes getting ready for bed everyday as I slather on my claimed wondrous potions.

Exercise – Not a believer of competitive sport, the gym would be the best place for me to boost my fast depleting metabolism. And after 2 years of going to the gym, I gave up my gym membership in exchange for a glidex. I thought I’d get the best workout in my room, telly in front of me, and the glidex – my arms and legs all working out in perfect tandem. I was so wrong. I’ve used it all of 5 times. My sister bought the i-gallop, a mechanical seat that rocks back and forth and right and left, mimicking the motions and promises to give you the same workout as horse riding. Now another piece of furniture that sits in front of the telly, unused. My exercise regime now consists of feeble attempts at Budokon, a combination of yoga and martial arts. Despite the adrenaline rush, the glowing after feel of a good workout, and statuesque posture following each session, I get round to practising Budokon once a week.