May 27, 2011

Kat Von D's Beethovan Purples

Two weeks ago, I broke into my Kat Von D's True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethovan, using mostly the dark blue shades. Today, the purples come out to play. 

The shades that I used today are Sinner, Rad Purple, Leather and Galeano. All of the eyeshadows in this palette is so incredibly pigmented that I had to use a blending blush and blend till my arm hurts. So it's advisable to use a little bit of eyeshadow each time, and build it up slowly. Galeano is a beautiful shade, it's iridescent lilac shimmer is perfect as a inner eyelid colour. 

And the result? I prefer this look alot more than the other blue shades. I think purples are harder to get wrong and looks fantastic on asian skin. 

Natural Sunlight

Flash photography

On my lips, I have a soft muted baby pink lipstick by Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited in PK 316. It glides on beautifully on the lips like a gloss. 

Other news; I have a been a little behind in my posts (as usual). I have my exams in 2 weeks, on top of crazy work deadlines (just survived one yesterday), travelling across 3 different timezones and managing my yoga schedule. So yeah, it's been quite intense and it's going to get much worse in June. Please be patient with me :-)

Ps: Have you experienced blogger playing up lately? I can't seem to post properly and it loses content every time I publish. So frustrating!

May 26, 2011

Why yoga strengthens the mind

A friend of mine has recently asked me to teach him some basic yoga poses, because of my constant rave of the unique practice. So his question has got me thinking, how did I get started with yoga? And what made me want continue with yoga for life?

My tipping point was when I was faced with alot of pressures at work, expectations of others on me, and my innate competitive spirit to constantly be better than I already am. And when the times get tough, you push your body's limit and challenge your mind to be stronger. Days, weeks and months got very taxing for me. I then used yoga to relax physically and I loved the 37 degree heat to warm up the tension on my shoulders and back.

I slowly begun appreciating different meanings of spirituality and philosophy that yoga brings to your daily life. It a completely humbling experience when it comes to being on my mat. For 60-90 minutes in my daily life, I can breathe into my body and mind, leave all my troubles and stress behind, and focus on what really matters, which is YOU! It takes a little bit of courage and determination, and completely no judgement on yourself to be a yogi. Yoga is about letting go of the ego, because you're no better or worse than the person next to you.

I have explored different types of yoga; asthanga, vinyasa, hatha and bikram (last week). Bikram was quite interesting. You're basically confined to a room (often packed), bright lights, mirrors in front of you, heat going beyond 40 degree celsius, stench that can be so bad that it was so unbearable when lying on my mat, and 26 poses for 90 minutes. It's a torture chamber, quite literally. But I learnt that breathing and being calm despite the 'distractions'. The whole time you're fighting against the anger, and breathing into having a more peaceful mind. Afterwards you feel like a million bucks, because your body has completely rid of all the toxins and your mind is completely switched on.

And you may think that yoga is a fad... But, when was the last time you really focused on yourself for a full 90 minutes?

Try yoga, and learn to love yourself.

May 11, 2011

Copenhagen is a city of cyclists

When you arrive in Copenhagen, the first things you will notice are the beautiful women on bicycles, with flowing Swedish blond hair and laid-back chic fashion. And the next thing you will notice will be the cyclists, especially the cute guys with funky retro headphones zipping through the bicycle lanes. ;-) 

Enough of the good-looking chatter about the Danes. I will have an opportunity to talk about the 'dating scene' here in the city of ø æ å (the additional letters to the Danish alphabet). Btw, it's not the best sounding language in the world, and sounds very much like someone manipulating the speech centre of your brain and making you sound like a spastic who had a little too much alcohol. 

Copenhagen is a picturesque city with lots of lots of bicycles. It's the easiest way to commute around the city. Public transport here is not cheap. And what better way to travel and exercise at the same time during the Danish summer, which is the perfect weather until we get the cold miserable winters. 

There are ALOT of bicycle ads.

So what am I to do but buy myself a bike? And I'm now a proud owner of a Danish bicycle... except I don't really know how to cycle one. So instead of blogging after work, I'm learning how to bike in the park. 

It's been 15 years since I've last biked. The Danish bikes have breaks with the pedals which is quite puzzling. I always have difficulty starting the bike because my bimbo brains doesn't register the forward wheel motion (i.e. sometimes I go backwards and the breaks on the bike doesn't let me do it). Anyway, it's not difficult to bicycle, it's just that I don't want to look like a fool at the traffic lights. 

Bike theft is incredibly common here in Copenhagen. It's usually people who have drunk too much on Friday afternoons and need to 'borrow' a bike to get home. 

My objective is to look fashionably chic on my bike, and commute about 30kms to work daily. 

Hehe... Good luck to me. :-) 

My Current Loves

It has been quite some time since I've done a monthly favourite post, so here are my current loves. 

♥ 1. Make Up Forever HD Definition Primer #2 ♥ 

A perfect primer in my opinion, to correct sallow undertones, and lift your entire complexion subtly. Unlike other primers, the MUFE HD Definition Primer is like a skincare product and absorbs incredibly well into the skin. Smells lovely and keeps my makeup intact for most of the day. 

♥ 2. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Parfum ♥ 

A spring eau de parfum, that is easily layered to suit your taste. Add a touch of musky Narciso Rodriguez or a clean fresh scent on top of Marc Jacob's Daisy EDP to create your unique scent. I've been wearing it everyday and it always makes me feel pretty when I head out the door. 

♥ 3. Paul & Joe Lipstick N 04 ♥ 

Paul & Joe lipsticks rate highly in moisturising your lips. This colour in 04 is a beautiful sheer barbie pink, that enhances your natural lip colour. I have featured this lipstick numerous times on my blog. 

♥ 4. Shu Uemura UV Under Base Mousse in Pink ♥ 

Photos don't lie. Stats also don't lie. This primer has been the most outstanding illuminating base makeup I've had so far. It gives you the perfect amount of glow underneath a light coverage foundation, shrinks your pores and keeps the oilies at bay. 

♥ 5. Burberry Luminous Compact Foundation ♥ 

I like to use the Burberry Luminous Compact Foundation as a setting powder after liquid foundation. The Burberry Foundation Powder is incredibly fine and silky, and transfers beautifully on the skin without making you look cakey. 

♥ 6. Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation ♥ 

Giorgio Armani makes clean-cut foundations that suit different skin types. Great as a light coverage foundation, feels like second skin and makes you look fabulous in photos. I have received numerous compliments on my blog and in person while using this foundation. 

♥ 7. MAC Creamblend Blush in Joie-de-vivre ♥ 

Released in 2010, the creamblend blushers from MAC Lilyland Collection, are very creamy to the touch and infuses into your cheeks, imparting a natural flush. Joie-de-vivre is a colour that looks striking on pan, but the tiniest bit of colour makes fair skinned girls look doll-like and demure. A nice blush to pair with a neutral eye and lipbalm for the office. 

♥ 8. Paul & Joe Eyebrow Pencil Duo 03  

Black eyebrows tend to make you look fierce, and I would use this eyebrow pencil to tone down the colour just slightly. The Paul & Joe Eyebrow Pencil comes with 2 different shades, where you will use the lighter shade for the inner half of your eyebrows and the darker shade for the outer part. A nifty concept that works quite well. 

What are your current loves?  

May 8, 2011

An enigmatic look with Kat Von D Beethovan Palette

Mystery with a touch of feminine charm can be easy achieved with Kat Von D's True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethovan. Toussle your hair, add vintage accessories and wear those killer heels to drive those boys nuts. ;-)

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethovan was really hard to find in the major flagship Sephora stores in New York City. For $34, you get 8 intensely pigmented eyeshadows. Kat Von D eyeshadows are creamy, silky and easy to blend. When layered over a primer, there is hardly any creasing. 

The palette has a nicely arranged mix of darker blue and purple eyeshadows to create either a dangerous or mysterious-sweet smokey eye.

All these colours remind me of tattoo colours, all coordinated to work well with each other. In the end of the day, you don't need that many different eyeshadows to create a smokey eye. A perfect palette to carry with you on your party weekend, or to do an evening date night evening look. 

And if I was a student, I would rock this look everyday. 

Indoor lighting
Flash Photography

Today I tried on the first 4 eyeshadows in the Beethovan Palette, namely Lucifier, Speed Blue, Razor Grey and Tequila. 

~ I used Tequila, a cream white shade to even out my eyelids and extending to the brow bone. 
~ Razor Grey is a soft gunmetal grey with slight seawater green undertones, and this became my main lid colour
~ Speed Blue is a intense sapphire blue which I applied to the upper and bottom lash line, blending out
~ Lucifier, a matte black was applied to the outer lash line, merged with Speed Blue. 

Finished off with MAC Blitz & Glitz Gel Liner and Anna Sui Super Black Long Lash Mascara.

Because Sapphire Blue is such an intense shade with incredibly pigmentation, it's easy to overshadow the gorgeousness of Razor Grey. Adding a little bit more of Razor Grey to the crease area gives back the gradation lost over the darker eyeshadows. 

There is no glitter or shimmer to the eyshadows, and appears between a matte and metallic eyeshadow. The shadows give a beautiful dimension to the lids, but not too metallic that you often see with traditional buttery eyeshadows. 

All the products used for today's FOTD. 

Essie Lapiz of Luxury - a unique work friendly blue varnish

This is my first time trying Essie nailpolishes and I picked up this gorgeous shade called Lapiz of Luxury from the Essie Resort Collection. The formula is a little runny at first, and seems quite gloopy as well. But it dries into a gorgeous cream opaque periwinkle blue. It's difficult to describe the colour exactly, because it almost looks like a Tiffany/periwinkle blue in daylight and a little bit of a greyish undertone in nightlight. 

A beautiful shade to complement colourful spring skirts. 


Low light

May 7, 2011

Rosy Warm Complexion with Chanel Bronze Rose

One of my highlight purchases from NYC was the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel - 4 Facettes Bronzing Powder in the shade Bronze Rose from the Chanel Summer Collection 2011. Four multicoloured shades in the pan, each measuring 1.5cm each, provides a lovely contrast of darker and lighter hues of brown with one accentuating strip of medium pink. 

Compared to the 2008 Chanel Summer Bronzer, this summer's bronzer features more contrasting colours and translates into a surprisingly beautiful soft rosey glow. 

There is 14 grams of product, which contains more product than other brands - i.e. Nars Laguna (8g), Guerlain Terracotta (12g), Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (10g). Something to consider if you want to calculate the value of the product. Retails for US $50. 

It comes with a fairly large bronzer brush and surprisingly doesn't feel cheap. This becomes a practical aspect when you're travelling. For today's post, I am using Bobbi Brown's Bronzing Brush to apply the product all over my face. For a more precise bronzer application, the brush supplied will do a decent job. 

In terms of pigmentation, my brush is able to pick up the product fairly easily. I find that the texture of the powder is not as 'soft' as Guerlain bronzers. However, having a bronzer with lesser pigmentation will actually become an advantage for you, and prevents you from applying too much on initial application. It's often disastrous and time-consuming when you realise that you have applied too much bronzer or blush. 

Layering is the trick here and I can see that it will be quite difficult to make mistakes with Chanel Bronze Rose. 

The different hues of brown looks like you can select specific shades using the brush supplied. Then again, you might not need to resort to that method since all the four colours seem to complement each other and gives you a rosey brown colour as a result. 

I decided to compare the Chanel Bronze Rose to my other bronzers in my stash, and it's quite interesting to see them side by side, showing you how 'pink-based' this bronzer is. 

As you can see, Chanel Bronze Rose could almost get away by being a blusher. This will work with ladies who are fair, or don't want to look too orange or muddy. 

You should also consider that oxidation will be expected on any coloured face products, so orange-based bronzers tend to look quite obvious after a few hours of oxidation. Guerlain and Chanel Bronze Universal errs on the side of orange, whilst Nars Laguna and Too Faced Chocolate Soleil tend to be more of a true brown. And well, Chanel Bronze Rose is like the odd cousin. Is it a blusher instead?

If you explode the swatch, you will notice very subtle shimmer in Chanel Bronze Rose. However, the shimmer is very finely milled, and less noticeable to Nars Laguna. 

There's no skill needed in applying bronzer - just use a little bit of bronzer and layer until you achieve the right amount of product that you're comfortable with. When it comes to me and Chanel Bronze Rose, I applied it like a complexion enhancer, with nothing specific in the application. Basically, brushing on the product to wherever I want to look like I needed some colour. 

I love the result. I think this is the perfect bronzer if you need a little all-over colour for your everyday errands or work. It seems to add the touch of 'au naturale' beauty in your makeup. A beautiful product again by Chanel. My word of advice... Get it now. 

New York City Beauty Haulage

We all love hauls. I do. I always want to see what's out and new in the market, but I get even more excited when I see the words 'epic', 'major', 'massive' and it's click-click-click makeup porn! BUT, when it comes to me posting anything about hauls, I feel slightly embarrassed. Only because I am a big victim of impulse shopping and I exercise very little self control when it comes to anything makeup related. I decided that in order to complete my series of New York City posts, I should ultimately conclude it with a haul post, whether or not I might get judged for the amount of money I have spent on this trip. ;-)

Lets start with Laura Mercier. Bloomingdales was doing a beauty promotion where if you spent $125, you get a lovely GWP that includes flawless skin repair serum, mini fan powder brush, universal loose setting powder, charcoal grey tightline cake eye liner and a classic taupe brown makeup bag. I repurchased the LM original tinted moisturiser, a translucent loose setting powder and gel lipstick in rosette

I didn't buy as much as I would have expected in Sephora. I did get a few bibs and bobs because I have been eyeing them for the longest time. Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Beethovan has the craziest intense pigmentation. As you have seen on the first day, I purchased the MUFE Rouge Artist Intense in 42, a gorgeous orange based red.

I also chanced upon Bobbi Brown when exiting Bloomingdales and thought of trying out the Vitamin Enriched Face Base and Hydrating Eye Cream. Together with that purchase, the GWP includes the Bobbi Brown 3-pan palette, dual ended brush, mini pot rouge in Blushed Rose and some deluxe sized mascara which I can't find. 

Lancome does awesome GWPs as well, and this one is fairly generous for any purchase of $30-40 (I can't remember exactly). I bought a backup of my favourite Bifacils Eye Makeup Remover and Hypnose Drama mascara which is not available in Asia. GWP includes Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow, Tinted Self Tanning Leg Gel, Genifique Eye Cream, Genifique Serum and Lancome Juicy Tubes in Coral Rush. 

No trip to the US is complete with a few MAC bibs and bobs. A lovely SA at Macys on 34th Street helped me pick a few staples including the MAC Glaze Lipstick in Hot Tahiti, Lustre lipstick in Lustering, Amplified Cream in Chatterbox, matte eyeshadow in Bamboo, frost eyeshadow in Phloof!, Veluxe Pearl in Twinks, and a Penultimate Eyeliner in Rapidblack

I couldn't believe how much more expensive Chanel is compared to other brands. But the prices are equivalent to what I pay in Singapore. In other words, I can't believe how cheap drugstore, MUFE and MAC products are in the US. The newest limited edition 4 Facettes Bronzing Powder in Bronze Rose has been on my mind for months now so it's great to finally have my hands on it. 

Eyebrow services in Denmark are really expensive, so my mission when I arrived in NYC was to get something to control my one-brow. I didn't quite understand the need for THAT many brow products but after using all of these items over this weekend, my eyebrows look so much better. You get about 7 products and 5 eyebrow stencils for the price of $75, and supposedly valued at $185. Although quite expensive to fork out initially, collectively these products are really really nice. 

In the set you get 5 stencils, calibrated tweezers, Brunette/Dark Brown Brow Powder Duo, Eye Lights Matte, Lash Lifting Mascara, Cooling Eye Brightener, Clear Brow Gel and dual ended brush.

Miserable 2 nailpolishes from Essie, Chinchilly and Lapiz of Luxury

And a bunch of drugstore goodies from Bath & Body Works, Target and Walmart. I didn't go as crazy as I thought I would. Also because I was running out of money. haha!

And lots and lots of haircare. I'm obsessed with anything hair related. Not surprisingly, my luggage weighed 30kg after a week. Inevitable. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! It'll be a busy product reviews month I think but I'm definitely looking forward to trying out all my new goodies!
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