24 Hours With… ELLE Malaysia’s Florence Song

24 Hours With... spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Asia’s marketing and media landscape. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Florence Song, a senior fashion writer at ELLE Malaysia

7.55am: Rise and shine. 

8.00am: Not really. I wake up, but don’t get out of bed. I reach for my phone, read all the group chat messages that took place while I was asleep (why were all my friends awake anyway?), open Instagram, but immediately feel a sense of disgust for doing so first thing in the morning (+1 for self-awareness) so I peel myself out of bed. I wash up and deliberate about what to wear, mentally going through my schedule for the day.

8.30am: I do my makeup in the car while my boyfriend drives. It takes me 10 minutes tops to put on my face any other day – eyebrows (a must), a dab of concealer and some lip tint, but today I give myself an extra 10 minutes to look like a functioning human being since I have a full day of events and client meetings ahead. We discuss our schedules for the day and agree to meet up for dinner tonight.

9.15am: I arrive at the office and congratulate myself for getting in relatively early (I usually get in around 10am, thank you Mongoose for flexi hours). That smugness soon dissipates as I realise that I’ve left my packed lunch in my partner’s car. I send him a text telling him that he should have it instead. Lucky him – it’s my signature pasta marinara.

9.20am: I make myself a cup of coffee (iced and black with a sprinkling of Moon Juice’s Spirit Dust) before sitting down to catch up with my intern. It’s only her second day here so I make sure she’s doing alright and go through her list of tasks for the day. I tackle my emails, replying some and trashing the rest. You guessed it; I’m one of those who are obsessed with maintaining a clean inbox.

9.45am: I have about an hour and a half before I have to leave for my first event. I meet with my Art Director and Sales Director to discuss mood boards and concepts for an advertorial that we’ll be shooting next week – shoots are one of my favourite parts of the job. I contact the personalities, photographer, hair and makeup artists involved in the shoot to brief them on what was discussed at the meeting. I follow up with some sample loan requests before filing a story for the ELLE website.

11.15am: My first event is at the Milk PR showroom where I’ll be previewing Monki’s Spring Summer 18 collection ahead of their March 2018 drop. I’m one of the first to arrive so I take the opportunity to take as many photos of the collection as I can before the rest of the media start trickling in. I try my best to arrive early at events so that I can get clean shots of the set up and clothes (sans people awkwardly standing around) for the ‘gram.  Not my ‘gram mind you, the work ‘gram. 

11.30am: There is a pink frilled mesh top that I need and a striped asymmetrical dress that I want very badly. I try it on then spent the rest of the time at the showroom fighting the urge to run away with it. I distract myself by sourcing out pieces that I’d potentially use in my future shoots – seeing the clothes up close and personal is so important and really helps when it comes to planning what to shoot.  

12.45pm: Somehow already wildly behind schedule. I rush back to the office to answer some emails and collect my things. On a normal work day, I would be having lunch with the rest of the team now but there’s no time for that yet today. I have a second catch up with my intern then I check if the book I’ve ordered (Ryan Holiday’s The Daily Stoic) from The Book Depository has arrived yet. Spoiler alert: it hasn’t. It’s been more than 3 weeks so I shoot them an angry email a nicely worded, civilised complaint.  

1.15pm: I book an Uber to get to the BFM 89.9 radio studio on the other side of town where I’ll be recording my monthly Style File section. It airs every Saturday at 11am, with repeats on Wednesday evenings.

1.45pm: The traffic gods are on my side. My Uber driver arrives on time, there’s virtually zero traffic and I get to the studio with a bit of time to kill. I have a final read through my pointers and the topics that I will be discussing on air later as I wait for the radio crew and the studio to be ready.

2pm: In the studio. I choose not to wear headphones because I cringe listening to my own voice. I’m having such a fun time chatting with Adeline, the segment host about the latest Fall Winter 17 and festive trends: the resurgence of the going out top, sparkly disco dresses, fancy party pouches, silk heels and lush velvet pieces.

Radio time: “I cringe listening to my own voice.”

3pm: A little bit of a break here. I use this time to grab a quick bite at the café below the radio station as I catch up on some news and the latest updates on our website, elle.my. I also have my second espresso of the day. First half of the day down, another half to go! That’s what I justify to myself anyways.

4pm: Onwards to my next appointment in Mont Kiara. I spend the journey in my Uber answering some work-related questions from my intern and replying some emails. Also, taking #selfies because Uber lighting is the best. I’m sure you didn’t hear it here first.

4.45pm: I arrive at Angel Lash boutique where I’m doing a lash extension review. It’s my first time getting lash extensions so I’m thrilled but also kind of nervous. Can’t say I’ve not heard any horror stories before. I meet the directors of the beauty boutique who explains to me the process in detail and puts me at ease. They then introduce me to my aesthetician for the day, a lovely lady from Penang, who assists me at selecting my lashes – glossy in finish, sexy in style with hot pink highlights (for Christmas, they persuaded).

5.30pm: We’re halfway through the process. I feel myself falling asleep because the treatment bed is just. so. damn. comfy.

6pm: I wake up feeling refreshed with longer, fuller lashes then before I had gone to sleep. They’re also PINK. Well, just the edges, at least. I have another chat with the studio directors – they tell me how to care for the lashes, I take notes and we schedule a follow up session. They also serve me a post-treatment birds nest treat. I am feeling a bit peckish at this point, so I’m happy.

6.30pm: Workout time. Aka the best part of the day. I arrive at Firestation Fit 15 minutes early for my ‘Strike’ class. Guavapass is the best thing ever. I get to try out different studios depending on where I’ll be for the day – so convenient especially when you have an erratic schedule like mine. I feel really pumped. Boxing is therapeutic in a really aggressive way. Let’s go.

Workout time: ‘The best part of the day’

8pm: I decide to walk to dinner because it’s a breezy night and also because dinner is practically just a street away. My boyfriend is already waiting for me. We’re having budae jjigae (Army base stew) with makgeolli (rice wine) at a Korean joint tonight, which takes my good mood and amplifies it even more.

9.30pm: Finally home. I have an invitation to a bar anniversary party that I know will be lots of boozey fun but I decide to let responsible adult Florence win tonight. I also decide I need to let her win more. I bathe and put a sheet mask – such a treat after a long, long day.

10pm: I turn on my Young Living diffuser, put on my ‘Chill’ Spotify playlist and settle in bed. I read a few chapters from Roxane Gay’s The Bad Feminist, a book I’m currently hooked on and find myself laughing out loud way too many times. So good.

11.30pm: My eyes start to feel heavy so I wind down with my nightly ritual of stalking Frenchies on Instagram (I am beyond obsessed). @theobonaparte, @adorablemulp and @piggyandpolly are my top three favourites.

12.30pm: Time to sleep. Just kidding. I have insomnia so I toss and turn in bed until I finally black out half an hour later.


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