January 31, 2012

A Lot of Bows

Do you ever put together outfits and then realize afterwards that perhaps you sub-consciously had a certain theme in mind?

I'm usually quite deliberate in what I choose to wear but in this instance, it was only after I had put this outfit together that I noticed just how many bows I was wearing. It's a good thing I adore them... after all, how else would you explain the fact that I was able to so easily pick out all these bow-adorned items from my otherwise overflowing closet?

Cardigan worn as dress: Delphine (Aritzia) / Tights: Primark / Bag: Miu Miu (here)
Hat: Joe Fresh Style / Belt: H&M / Socks: Garage / Booties: Topshop

January 28, 2012

Bobbi Brown Shadow Options Palette

For my last birthday, one of my best friends (who obviously knows me very well) gave me this gorgeous Bobbi Brown Shadow Options Eyeshadow Palette.

Top Row: Pebble (Metallic), Moonlight (Sparkle), Storm Cloud (Sparkle), Pink Chandelier (Metallic)
Bottom Row: Navajo, Flint, Iron, Caviar

The palette comes housed in Bobbi Brown's signature sleek packaging with 4 shimmery shadows on top and a pull-out drawer below featuring 4 matte shadows. The idea is that you can use the shimmery shadows to quickly bring your daytime look into an evening look. This process is made even easier thanks to the double-ended shadow/liner brush that's included, and which I find to be much of better quality than your typical palette applicators.

I am a huge fan of neutral matte shadows (one of the reasons my Urban Decay Naked Palette doesn't get much love) and I absolutely adore the ones in this Shadow Options Palette because they are well-pigmented and apply buttery smooth. Lately, my go-to eye look has been Navajo (creamy pinkish white) as a highlight, Flint (light grey brown) as a base, Iron (neutral grey) in the outer corner, and Caviar (black brown) as a liner.

Apologies for not swatching Pebble (golden ivory), Moonlight (silver pink), Storm Cloud (dusty heather), and Pink Chandelier (pink copper), but the reality is that they are a little difficult to work with - not to mention photograph! All 4 of the shimmers are on the sheer side as they are meant to be layering shadows as opposed to standalone shades. Application with a brush also results in major fallout so using fingers is probably the best way to make them work. I'm not the biggest fan of using fingers to apply makeup but at least the product is pretty to look at!

January 24, 2012

Marc By Marc Jacobs Babylon Stripe Cardigan

I first saw this Marc By Marc Jacobs Babylon Stripe Cardigan in Holt Renfrew a few months ago but couldn't decide if spending so much on a sweater would be worth it. However, after seeing a girl wearing this cardigan (in Holt's again, of all places) and how cute it looked on her, I realized I kind of needed it to be in my closet... you know, right now. As luck would have it, Holt's didn't have it anymore, so I took to the Internet and found it on major sale at Neiman Marcus. Not only that, there was only one left and it was in my size!

Clearly this sweater + me were meant to be, right?

Sweater: Marc by Marc Jacobs (here) / Jeans: Paige Premium Denim
Boots: Primark / Gloves: Club Monaco / Bag: Primark

January 20, 2012

Majolica Majorca: Pressed Pore Cover, Skin Lingerie Pore Cover, and Dress Glove Cream

While I was in Singapore, I was able to pick up a few products from Majolica Majorca, a brand that I've been wanting to try for the longest time.

Majolica Majorca is a Japanese drugstore line owned by Shiseido, and is marketed towards a "younger" crowd with its reasonable price points and adorable packaging. Despite the fact that I am probably too old for their target demographic, I am forever a sucker for cute packaging so I could really care less!

Here's what I picked up:

Pressed Pore Cover

Although my tried and true HG blotting powder is MAC Blot Powder, this little compact was too cute to pass up. I love the 3D design on the top! The compact also has a full mirror for easy touch-ups and comes with a soft sponge for application on the go.

According to its package, Pressed Pore Cover is "a soft, micro-particle face powder that covers skin's unevenness like pores to create uniformly smooth skin." It is also supposed to control "shine and oiliness so that the beautiful just-applied look lasts for a long time."

The powder only comes in one shade but blends into my skin well. I'm not sure how it would look on darker skin tones, however. Somehow I feel it might leave a bit of a white cast.

The powder is also very finely milled and the texture is silky smooth. It leaves the face nice and matte after a fresh application but it does not do a very good job at oil control. Since that's my main skincare woe, this will not be replacing my MAC. However, I'll continue to use it from time to time for touch-ups... just means more applications than normal. Thankfully it's not super cakey!

Skin Lingerie Pore Cover

To go along with the Pressed Pore Cover, the Skin Lingerie Pore Cover is a "makeup base that instantaneously creates smooth skin by concealing those pesky open pores and red cheeks."

Unlike the other makeup primers that I use (e.g. Smashbox, Reviva Labs), all of which are clear, Skin Lingerie is tinted. Like the Pressed Pore Powder, it only comes in one shade, but when smoothed onto the skin, it blends right in. The formula is similar to Urban Decay Primer Potion and like UDPP (the non-genie bottles), it comes packaged in a squeeze tube. That's great because it's more hygienic and less prone to waste.

As for the product itself, I didn't notice much difference in the look of my pores after using this. Is it just me or do these so-called miracle pore refiners never work? Nonetheless, I was impressed at how well Skin Lingerie mattified my skin. It definitely works well as a base for foundation but if your skin is good I think it you could get away with just powder on top for a "barefaced" day look.

Dress Glove Cream

Dress Glove Cream is part of Majolica Majorca's new Glass Trick Collection and "translucent like sparkling glass, this cream slips on like a velvety-smooth glove for beautiful hands." It's formulated with raspberry and rose extracts for extra-moisturizing qualities. Plus it seriously smells delicious!

The texture is really nice - not too sticky, thick, or waxy like some other hand creams. The formula also contains some shimmer particles which I usually don't like but I find these to be quite subtle. I do regret not picking up another tube, as unfortunately it's limited edition.

For those of you in Asia, Majolica Majorca should be fairly easy to get your hands on (in Singapore and Malaysia it's sold at Watson's). For those outside of Asia, Ichibankao carries the line and ships internationally.

January 15, 2012

Train Tracks & My New KeepCup

For the first time this Winter, Vancouver finally got some snow. Of course, it was basically all gone by the time I left the house but it was still nice to see a few smatterings on the ground. Apparently there will be more on the way in the coming weeks!

I know a number of you were wondering what my Miu Miu Mini Bow looks like when worn, so I hope these pictures help (for reference, I'm 5'5"). As you can see, it is fairly small but I tend to prefer this size for my weekend day bags.

Top: Wilfred Free / Leggings: H&M / Leather Jacket: Mackage
Ballet Flats: Bloch (here) / Purse: Miu Miu (here) / Beanie: TNA
Necklace: House of Harlow 1960 (here) / Ring: Michael Kors (here)

And how cute is my new KeepCup? As a hot beverage lover, I'm always adding reusable cups to my collection and I love how the KeepCup is different from your typical travel mug. It's "barista standard" because it replicates standard takeaway sizes and fits under the heads of most espresso machines. That means baristas don't have to make your drink in a paper cup first before pouring it into your travel mug. Plus they are completely customizable, with a variety of sizes  (mine's a large) and colour combinations (I love this one).

KeepCups have been available in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK for a couple of years, and they've only recently been introduced in North America. If you're interested in getting one for yourself, you can buy them online (at www.keepcup.com and Amazon.com) or find them in certain coffee retailers and select Whole Foods stores.

January 12, 2012

LUSH No Drought Dry Shampoo

I've always envied girls who can get away with not having to wash their hair everyday. Since my hair is super fine, it tends to get greasy fast and on sweltering summer days it often ends up looking like a hot mess by noon. Dry shampoos are often touted as saviours for people like me but until now I haven't had much luck. The last one I tried (Klorane) wouldn't blend into my hair no matter how much I brushed, leaving giant dandruff-like flakes all over my head. Trust me, not a good look.

So I gave up on dry shampoo for a while and resorted to pinning my bangs back when they started to separate. But I think I've finally found something that works! The kind people at LUSH sent over their new No Drought Dry Shampoo (it's about time they came out with one!), and though I was initially skeptical given my previous track record with dry shampoos, I'm so glad I decided to give this a try.

I can't really go without washing my hair everyday, but I've been using this as an afternoon pick-me-up when my hair starts to fall flat. For this purpose, it's done a good job at mattifying greasy strands. The texture is great; not chunky or too fine. And even though the powder is white, I am able to brush it out easily without an awful white cast left behind on my dark hair (the key is to apply sparingly).

No Drought also has a nice lemony scent which is quite refreshing. It's not a scent I would normally choose for regular shampoo/conditioner but it's certainly not offensive to the nose.

However, you'll notice the product comes packaged in one of LUSH's regular bottles, which makes it much more difficult to dispense than the dry shampoos that come in aerosol cans. When I first tried it, I accidentally dumped too much on my head, causing powder to fall all over my clothes and the counter. I think the best mode of application is to pour a little bit in your hands and apply manually. There is still some fallout but much less.

Despite the packaging problems the actual product works really well so if you're looking for a dry shampoo, I recommend giving No Dought a try. It's available for only $12.95 CAD in stores and online.

January 8, 2012

Bag Reveal: Miu Miu Mini Bow

I thought I'd share the AMAZING Christmas present I received from my parents this year (or should I be referring to it as "last year" since it's now 2012?)  through an exciting bag reveal post. Kind of a fun idea, right?

As a long time reader of The Purse Forum, I have always loved bag reveals but hate when they're super drawn out. I'll try and make this one short and sweet :)

Miu Miu, one of my absolute fave designer brands. Hmm... now what could possibly be inside this pretty pink dust bag?


Of course, it's the Mini Bow Satchel in Mughetto!

The regular bow has always been a bit too big for my liking but the mini is the perfect size for me. Plus the colour is a lot more versatile that you would think.

This bag was on my lust list for the longest time... it's almost hard to believe that I finally own one! I am so lucky to have the best parents ever... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU 

January 5, 2012

Singapore Slinging

Apologies for the brief blogging hiatus... things were absolutely crazy both at work and in life in the days leading up to Christmas. Before I knew it, it was time to hop on a plane to Singapore, which has always been one of my favourite places to visit in Southeast Asia. My parents recently moved there so I had an "excuse" to go again!

Although most of my time was spent doing family things, I managed to take in a few sights, including the Marina Bay area, Chinatown, and Sentosa Island.

I also enjoyed eating some favourite local foods. Desserts in this region are especially yummy. Pictured below: mango sago, iced kachang, and cendol.

Kuala Lumpur is only a 40 minute plane ride away from Singapore, so I was able to spend a few days there as well. I finally got to see the Petronas Towers in real life since the last time I was in KL I wasn't able to.

Anyway, that was a very short but much-needed break. Now to get over my jetlag and back into the routine of things here in Vancouver. I hope you all had a great holiday season and a happy new year!

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