December 22, 2011

Seasons Greetings!

Hola!! I am now officially on a real vacation, starting about an hour ago. It has been a whole year since I went on a 'real' holiday - which basically means not responding to work emails or calls for at least one week. I'm heading over to Bangkok to attend a good friend's wedding, and off to Samui to get baked under the sun. Contrary to what I've been preaching on 'sun damage' and 'sun protection', I'm going to toss all that goody-two-shoe-talk out the window. 

Me and my sweetie went out for a little evening stroll at Tivoli (at long last!) to admire the Russian decorations. Albeit a small amusement park, it is packed with happy kids and lots of lights. My poor toes were frozen from the slightly above temperatures, but baby, this is winter in Europe! 

It's been an amazing 2011 year for me - not only from relocating from Asia to Europe, but I also have the opportunity to see exotic places in the world. I pretty much live, breathe BRIC markets, a disciple of the Goldman Sachs 2003 white paper. I don't look particularly forward to 2012, especially when all my contract in Europe will draw to a close. All I can say is that I'm likely adjust my future, change my priorities and keep dreaming and living in Europe. 

New Years Resolutions are often shortlived. This time it's not about thinking what aspect of my life we want to change 2 hours before the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve. But rather, doing what I have always wanted to do and not think twice or thrice! 

Happy holidays!

December 19, 2011

Seeing Winter Rose

I never would have thought summer coral cheeks could go with muted rose plummy wintery eyes. It came to quite pleasantly while I was making a bravo attempt over the weekend to use bits and pieces of abandoned makeup. I came across MAC Stereo Rose. In fact, the name should rightly be 'Crimenelle rose' because of it's strange tendency to be coral but not really. It just creates a lovely healthy sheen, the very thing I need for this super grey winter. 

Combined with Guerlain Meteorites from last years' christmas collection just seems so right. I don't know why it does... but instinct was telling me that I should just give it a go, and I love the effect! 

I am in this mood of wearing anything that is plum - from eyes, lips and nails. No blues, no greys, no browns... all and everything is plum. In fact, I am guilty as charged for not using more of my Illamasqua Delirium pigment. Early this year, I was raving nonstop about these little pots, and realised how little I have used of it. Here, I used this as a base, with Anna Sui's 206 and 001 as eyeshadows on top. 

December 11, 2011

Stila Stunning in Sayulita

Stila miniture booklets are great travel companions, mixed and matched with versatile colours, and all for a great value of 10 pounds each (or US $14). Each palette consists of 4 eyeshadows, weighing 4.2g, equivalent to a MAC eyeshadow and 2 cheek colours with 3.1g each. A great bang for your buck, parred with the quality of most high-end brands - i.e Tarte, MAC, to say the least. When comparing these eyeshadows to Stila's regular single eyeshadows, it misses a notch in the buttery texture. However, this tiny detail shouldn't deter you from picking one of these little booklets.

I ordered the first few booklets from the the Stila beach palettes from Look Fantastic, when they were having their 20% sale. Stunning in Sayulita is reminescent of beachy days, and will look gorgeous on tanned skin.

If you haven't seen these palettes in person, the cardboard packaging has a magnetic enclosure, and feels somewhat sturdy in my hands. I'm not entirely sold with cardboard in general. Most of my cosmetics are either in plastic or metal, and having something in cardboard feels tacky. But, lets be fair here... Stila is afterall marketed towards teenagers and college kids, with an affordable price point.

There's a nice combination of warm-toned colours. Palm trees is a gorgeous mossy green, paired with Sandbar to create a crease-cut look.

The blush in Playa is very heavily pigmented and I made the mistake of applying too much! I was about to rub it off, then decided that it was a nice colour anyway. By the way, NC 30+ skin will look amazing with this colour! 

The lighter cheek colour, Banderas boy, reminds me of the Shu Uemura Glow on blushes that I own (Shu Uemura blushes are so amazing and imitates a beautiful inlit glow). Although Banderas Boy is claimed to be a bronzer, I wouldn't mind using this as a everyday blusher - only if it does not oxidise on me!

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday/Monday!

November 23, 2011

Lush goodies stuffers

Everytime I go walk into Lush Cosmetics in London around this time of year, I feel this lovely mushy feeling of festivity. The first thing I asked the lady was 'what's limited edition?' So she takes me for a little adventure, coupled with Lushy enthusiasm (are they all trained to be super-hyper-and-bubbly, or what?!). It certain works, because I felt I had taken the express train back to my youth, and feeling very much like I was in my favourite candy store in the US. Some things never change, do they?

Everyone has heard of Snow Fairy, and raves about it. I had very high expectations, thinking that the scent must be mindblowing. I was disappointed. I thought it smelt like over-sugared cupcakes that did a massive overdose of pink coating. I thought... meh, not me. Until, the sales assistant lathered my dirty hands and wiped it clean and dry. Ok, I had to change my mind. The scent is overpowering from the bottle but on the skin, it does smell yummy. Sold.

On closer observation, I see little purple shimmers immersed throughout my snowy goodness that I'm convinced that 'sugared coating cupcakes' to be the best analogy!

There were a bunch of limited edition bath bombs, as you could probably expect. If I had a bathtub, I can imagine going broke in Lush. :-)

I moderately went away with 3 other limited edition soaps and a body cream - Sympathy for the Skin. This is my preparation for the most shocking winter I will ever experience in my life. Let me share with you a secret... body butters, moisturisers, lotions etc is going to do nothing for your skin when you're always confined in heated rooms and dry -10 degrees weather. How do you prevent the dry skin? Simple. Bikram yoga. Truly. Do it 3-4 times a week, and your skin will feel like you're still in summer-timer; supple and hydrated.  

Lady Catrina is a Halloween special - this is a must-have Lush soap. Must-have. Smells beyond this world.

Snow Globe has a slight minty scent. Also gorgeous. Must have, and backup worthy.

Angels Delight is nice too. Nothing spectacular like the other two above. Nice additions to my Lush stash.

I think I'm going to place another order online before they discontinue these soaps. :-)

Have a lovely Thursday!

November 22, 2011

Pink teasers: Chanel rouge coco cambon and pink teaser

Once in a while, I miss wearing red lips, but hate getting too much attention on passerbys. Only because the Danes don't wear much makeup. So rather than go with the matte blood red lipstick, I opt for a glossy red that is lighter and may even classify as a red-pink, almost like raspberry or watermelon. Although, its not a true red, the sheerer bright lip versions still do wonders to lift your mood in this gloomy and grey Copenhagen weather. 

I paired Chanel Rouge Coco in Cambon with Chanel Glossimer in Pink Teaser. Honestly I do not recall what collection this was released, but know that it was sometime last year. *hangs head in shame for the backlog in posts!*

As we all know, applying red lipstick requires a lipbrush. Precision... precision!

I know there's plenty of posts about the older Rouge Cocos, which feels like it was only yesterday. Cambon was a shade that I picked up later after all its overhype. On that subject, Rouge Cocos are drying. I don't know why I ended up with more than a few. Nevertheless, it's a pretty coral-red with lots of pink undertones. Not quite a warm red, but rather a blue-red. How can you tell? Well, if the red makes your teeth look more yellow - it's a warm-tone red. Blue-toned red lipsticks, on the other hand, make your teeth look whiter. 'Yes, go away coffee stains!'

Layered with Chanel Glossimer in Pink Teaser is totally fated. With the same red-pinky shade but with gold shimmer. A match made in heaven!

Hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday!

November 20, 2011

A Plum Addition: Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Antique Rose No. 10

I'm no stranger to Burberry Cosmetics. In fact, when it was released sometime last year, I made it a point to pick a few of their eyeshadows at their newly opened store at Lane Crawford Harbour Front, Hong Kong. Before that, I had read many blogs including Temptalia and TheBeautyLookBook. True to their word, Burberry offers some glamorous pieces with their classic wearable neutral shades, encased in the heavy weight and glamourous checked casing.

I took the opportunity to pick up a few more eyeshadows at the London Heathrow Airport last month when I was stopping over on the way to Sao Paulo. Each eyeshadow was priced at about 18 pounds, saving a few from the VAT. I regretted not buying more, especially the shades which were considered more 'daring'. Nevertheless, I love what I managed to pick up.

Online swatches does little justice to the quality and superiority of these eyeshadows. I was blown away with the butteriness and satiny finish I get. It's unlike other brands I've tried. MAC eyeshadows tend to be on the 'drier' side, and Urban Decay too pigmented.
I managed to pick up 3 wearable shades for the office; Burberry's limited edition shade in Midnight Brown, regular item in Antique Rose and finally Porcelain.

Today's look will feature Burberry's Antique Rose Sheer Eyeshadow. I would describe this colour to be a browny plum with a small hint of burnt muted red. The texture is very smooth and finely milled, and has really good staying power.

I wasn't sure if I had a colour that was similar to this, especially knowing that I do verge towards plummy shades very often. What I do appreciate about Burberry's Antique Rose is that it does not have too much of a red undertone that it looks too heavy on lighter skin tones. The most closest shade I have to Burberry's Antique Rose is probably MAC Shale eyeshadow. Even then, MAC Shale eyeshadow has alot more of purple undertone.

Now it's also very often that cosmetic brands would release a plum shade in their Autumn or Fall collections, so again, I had a look through my drawer and found some similar shades that I could do some comparisons with. Interestingly, I did find that Lunasol Start of Night Palette which was part of the 2010 Fall Collection has a similar undertone of red with alot more glitter. And the next best colour replica would be YSL Ombres Duolumieres in No. 15, which I've owned for the longest time! However, you will not get the same level of pigmentation and satin finish as Burberry Antique Rose.

I wore Burberry's Antique Rose as a general wash of colour to the lids, accentuated with Midnight Brown on the outer lash line, and Porcelain on the middle lid just to give a little more gradation.

It's a colour that can be easily worn to work, after-work drinks, dinner parties, and especially around the autumn and winter season. I love it when I paired this eyeshadow with more brown toned blushes like Nars Dolce Vita (heavy version) or Dolce & Gabanna Caramel blush.

In summary, Burberry Antique Rose a shade worth investing for the Winter season. It's subtle and adds a lovely dimension to an otherwise simple makeup look. It will be a colour I know I will be wearing for the next few weeks.

Have a lovely Sunday!

November 7, 2011

Brand spotlight: Chanel

There's something really nice and girly about gathering your Chanel products into one sitting, imagining that your entire collection could look like if you reduced everything to one and only brand. Chanel. The packaging looks classy and elegant. The product is always made of high quality. The colours make you look understatedly glamorous. And, it always makes it to my top favourites of the month. It's hard to pick one Chanel favourite, just because everything has its place in my makeup kingdom.

I have noticed that Chanel has dramatically improved the quality of their products release after release. Their original eyeshadows were chalky and had poor payoff. But nowadays, there's always something to swoon for. Cafemakeup and Beauty Look Book are the biggest inducers in terms of Chanel.

If you also recall, I got into a Chanel nailpolish kick. It's an indulgence, if you were to ask me a few years ago, where I would never consider buying expensive nailpolish. I have now accumulated 3, and will continue to grow my collection with new releases.

Chanel base products are lovely too... with some misses. But all in all, the lightly rose scented products brings you to a whole new level of 'luxury'. I love the big, bold and beautiful packaging of the Bronze Universal and Loose Powder. So what if it takes more room on my vanity. It just makes the whole experience so much more decadent!

So what is it in Chanel do you love? Share with me your most coveted Chanel item!

October 22, 2011

An unexpected pop of color by Urban Decay Kush

Hello everyone! I'm back again. Back with a major blogging-mojo kick! I am in one of those moods where I need to resort to girly & prety things to relieve my stress. The past week my stress levels have been shooting off the roof, and further aggravated by two major deadlines next week.

Today I'm using Urban Decay's Volume III NYC palette, an oldie of mine. Honestly, I bought this palette to force myself to use more daring colours. Instead, it has been quietly stashed for some time and well, I figured this is THE palette for today.

When I was using this palette, I thought of sweet Kas from Shine, Shimmer & Sparkle. I went on her blog this morning, reading through her funny entries on random makeup ramblings. I suddenly felt inspired to use the most shocking colour in this palette, one that I would never ever reach for. Kush, is probably one of the most weirdest colour in this palette - being the odd colour out, it's not something that I would typically use everyday (if at all!). Described as a dark yellowish lime green, I thought it would be impossible to pull off.  

Hmm... quite the contrary. 

I used Rockstar, Money and Loaded to give the eyes a little bit more depth.

I made a mess a few times and had to start all over again, because it has been so long since I've even worn elaborate makeup. And, I am pleasantly surprised that it turned out pretty good after my 3rd attempt. What do you think?

I need to get myself some new lashes... My current ones; Ardell 109s, are so old that there's no longer any shape to them. I popped them on nevertheless and suddenly loved how much bigger my eyes look with fakies.  

MAC's Razzle & Dazzler lipstick is creamy salmony tangerine colour, which I used my fingers to dab some colour on my lips. I love this shade, but it's not an easy colour to wear if you apply it directly from the tube. It comes out way too strong. But dabbing it is a different story!

Simple pieces to complete the look.

I love this look. While in theory, I loathe anything that is yellowish greens and bright blues, it's all about using a dash of bright all across the eyelid and then toning it down with safer shades; darker shades to smoke it out, or lighter shades to blend the harsh lines. I also reached for a very muted light rose blush, by Givency Prismissime Maharani Pinks, and dabbing a smidgen of tangerine orange by MAC Razzle-Dazzler to give my look a more fun-flirty feel.

It's worthwhile to mention that I applied my eyeshadow first. There was so much fallout and colour on my cheeks at the end of my experiment. I'm afraid Urban Decay eyeshadows tend to be quite messy. Hello, glitter cheeks!

So what's your plan this weekend? Mine will involve a nice lovely nap in the afternoon.

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