October 31, 2014

Recent Favorites ♡

Hey everyone! 2014 is just flying by! Today I want to share with you some of the things I've really been enjoying lately, starting off with some beauty bits.
1. The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub
Oh my god, this stuff is divineee and finding it was not easy! I remember seeing this on heaps of UK beauty blogs a few months back but it wasn't available in Australia. Then a month ago, Tine posted that she got her hands on one and I literally dropped everything at once but it was already sold out in most places. My boyfriend and I went to a number of Body Shops separately before he finally tracked one down for me while I was working ^^
The scrub looks exactly like raspberry jam and it smells incredible! It has a gel consistency with raspberry seeds and ground walnut shell as the exfoliants, however, it is not abrasive on the skin at all. Application can be messy if you're using it outside of the shower or bath tub (I can't imagine why...). I keep my tub in the shower because I have a shelf in there that's away from the showerhead so that's where it resides. I mostly use this on my legs and it works best on damp skin, away from any running water as it would just slide off otherwise. The mess can then just be rinsed away and leaves my skin feeling so smooth and silky. I really feel the difference when I moisturize my legs afterwards. If this isn't available in your local Body Shop but you are keen to try it out, there are a few eBay listings (for example here and here).
2. Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in No. 09 Rosewood  and 
3. Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Ore

I've rediscovered 2 of my favorite make up products of all time - Big statement, I know. I've been wearing them interchangeably on a daily basis (sometimes even both). They're both stunning all-over-the-lid shades, great for everyday but can also act as a one-product smokey eye. The lasting power on these are spot on and I have zero problems with fading or creasing.
I think Burberry sheer eyeshadows have the most perfect formula hands down. They're just the most refined/buttery smooth eyeshadows, they blend with an unparalleled ease and they're far from sheer. Rosewood is a shimmery straight taupe with the slightest dusty pink undertone, it's so feminine and prettyyyyyy!
For a loose pigment, Ore is really easy to use, the key is to make sure they you tap off any excess product before putting it on your eyelids and to gradually blend and build up the intensity. The color itself is a bronze with lots of super fine gold flecks running through it. When it's blended out, it leans to a truer bronze but when it's packed on, it's like a party on your eyelids! It has an incredibly rich and vibrant color pay-off and looks so different from every angle as it catches the light. It can be used dry or wet but I also like using them on top of other cream and powder eyeshadow bases to add a bit of oomph. I don't think I'll ever be finishing this product ever because I literally need the lightest dab with my brush each time I use it. My only issue is the packaging which can cause a bit of mess to open if you're not careful. One time I had just put on hand cream and my hand slipped and I got it everywhere on my top.
4. Essie Chinchilly 
I never use the same color twice in a row on my nails, nor do I ever match my feet to my hands but I did these last few weeks with Chinchilly. It's the perfect greige that somehow doesn't look boring either and one of my most used nail polishes. I've always loved this color, it's just so effortlessly chic (swatched here).
5. Dior Lip Glow 
This is already my second tube and such a great everyday lip product! It is a sheer and hydrating balm that reacts with your lips to give a natural but revitalised pink tint. I really like it because it makes my lips appear fuller and more luscious.
6. Bath & Body Works Island Margarita Pocket Bac
This is an anti-bacterial hand sanitising gel that my cousin picked up for me in the States and it smells SO GOOD, fresh and clean. The size is perfect to pop in your handbag. I'm nearly done with this one which I'm really upset about but I'll ask my cousin to get me some more. I also really love the scent portables for your car from B&BW so if there is the same scent for that, I might need that too :3
7. Clinelle Purifying Toner
I hate to sound like a broken record and I've already mentioned this product twice in the last month
(review here) but I seriously love this. This toner has a bunch of beneficial ingredients with soothing, anti-bacterial and healing properties for your skin and spots. This is the new spray bottle packaging which I really like. The mist it dispenses is very fine and I'm saving a lot of cotton pads!
8. Reads - #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
I've bought so many books these past few months but I'm struggling to find the time to get through them. All I want to do is sit down, relax and read. After my surgery, as I spent a lot of time in bed, I managed to read these two books.
#GIRLBOSS was an easy and inspirational read with lots of great tips, personal (and hilarious) anecdotes, photos and doodles from the woman who started Nasty Gal (the online shop). Since I'm graduating end of this semester and have zero idea about what I'll be doing next year, it's nice to be reminded that most of the time, you're not going to know where you end up in your career and that's okay. It's going to take a lot of trial and error and you might have a bunch of jobs you hate before finding the right thing for you. That being said, you shouldn't be lazy or expect instant success for little or no work. There are always lessons to be learnt, failure is not absolute or the end of the road unless you take nothing from it. Academics are not the only thing that matters!
I decided to finally buy and read OITNB (wishlisted this time last year). I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms after they released the entire season 2 on the same day and I watched all the episodes back-to-back and finished it within a day or two (it was a blur). Obviously the events and characters in the TV show were much more dramatized. It was really interesting to read the stripped down version of Piper's story and see what inspired all the characters and arcs in the show.
9. thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
This is something I go back to every time I'm going through a stressful time and/or my anxiety gets bad. During these periods, I have extreme difficulty sleeping or staying asleep through the night and most of the time when I get panic attacks, I tend to get them in bed. That's why I try and do everything I can to alleviate the tensions I'm experiencing. This spray can be used on your pillow or bed covers. It contains essential oils of lavender, vetivert and camomile, all of which have well-known calming qualities. While this isn't a preventive measure or anything, it does help sooth my mind.
10. Kinder Schoko-bons
I'm obsessed with these but you can't get them in Australia! My best friend picked me up this giant packet for me when he was in transit in Malaysia, bless him. They're pretty much little Kinder chocolate eggs with a creamy centre with tiny bits of crushed hazelnuts.

And these are all the things that have been on heavy rotation lately for me! Crazy to think this is my last semester at Uni and that it will all be done in just a couple of weeks! I'm excited to have a chance to read all my other books during the summer though and to finally have more time create content for the blog. Unfortunately my trip to Thailand has been postponed indefinitely for now due to personal reasons but I will be going to Hong Kong for a short 2 weeks in January!

If you are going through exams as well, best of luck to you all. If not, I hope that you are all well c:



October 29, 2014

Lorac Mega Pro Palette (Holidays 2014) - First Impressions and Swatches + Where to get it!

I've been wanting to try the Lorac palettes for the longest time but colors in the 1st and 2nd Pro Palettes just didn't jump out at me enough because I was content with my original Naked 1 palette. BUT WOW. When I saw the first photos of this holiday release of the Lorac Mega Pro Palette, I could not resist and knew that I simply had to get my hands on it! 
It sold out almost immediately on the Lorac website, as well as on Amazon but luckily Amazon had a second shipment on its way and I was all over that. I panicked alot though because there were heaps of reviews saying the first lot of palettes arrived unprotected and broken. So after my order, I got on a live chat with the Amazon people to ensure that they would not repeat their mistakes and that they would add a memo to my order and forward my request to their shipping department. The palette arrived at my door a week later - bubblewrapped with padding in perfect condition and I was over the moon. 
I actually opened the parcel without even looking or paying attention because I thought it was a book but when I realised what was really under the bubble wrap, I had to have a moment before opening the palette for the first time.

This isn't going to be a very in-depth review because I don't like reviewing products I haven't had a chance to try out properly. Being exam time right now, I haven't really had a chance to play with it or wear it as much as I'd like. I just wanted to get the swatches up as soon as I could for you guys as this is a very limited product and has already sold out in most places. 
First Row - Mattes

Second Row - Mattes
 Third Row - Shimmer
Fourth Row - Shimmer
What really drew me to this palette is its versatility. There is a perfect balance between matte and shimmer shades, neutrals and festive colors, hues suitable for all seasons, as well as day and night colors. Usually in palettes, there are shades you know you'll never use or rarely use but this just has a flawless mixture and I'm confident that I'll get a great use out of every single of of these shadows. There is an extensive spectrum of bronze and browns which excites me alot because those are the most worn and flattering shades on most skin tones! You will be able to make so many combinations with all the colors available and they will all be so beautiful! There are also lots of colors in here that I don't own already which makes this palette super unique and a great addition to my collection. 
 First impressions after initial swatches
The Lorac palette definitely lives up to its expectations. All the eyeshadows were unbelievably soft, buttery and pigmented - some more than others but overall the eyeshadows are very high quality and I'm very impressed. There were a few shades were were slightly chalkier but nothing impossible to work with, just relatively speaking compared to the other shades. 
The packaging is stunning and sleek but not the most durable. Although it's quite a large palette, it is very thin. While I love the look of the rubberized matte NARS-esque packaging - I'm not crazy about the practicality of it. I just know this palette is going to get so dirty over time, the photo above is what the palette looked like after the first swatching ^ 
It comes with a large mirror on the inside of the flap but you have to hold it up.

Seriously guys, this is TRUE LOVE. The palette is well worth every penny, I would have even paid more for it! I'm considering buying a back-up palette to keep in my boyfriend's house in case my house burns down because I don't think I can live without it LOL

I wasn't even going to review this initially because I didn't want to review it if you guys couldn't get ahold of it but this palette is actually stocked on myqty right now for a pretty reasonable price! This is an Australian website but it also ships internationally, so if you missed out elsewhere, the link is here.

What do you think of this palette? Will you be getting one?



October 9, 2014

Listen Out + Tesselaar Tulip Festival ^^

What better time to catch up on blog reads and general blogging than while I'm stuck in bed recovering from post-wisdom surgery! Before my surgery on Tuesday, I had a really good weekend so I thought I would share it with you guys ^^
On saturday, I went to Listen Out. This is only the second year of this festival and I have to say, it's one of my favorites! The line up included Flume, Chet Faker, Zhu (guys behind Faded) , Schoolboy Q, Ta-ku, Bondax and more. 
We got really lucky with the weather and enjoyed a 27 degree day. I only took a few photos during the course of the day and my favorite acts of the day were Snakehips, Ta-ku, Schoolboy Q and Flume. Schoolboy Q got the crowd so hyped up during the sunset, best moment of the day!

On Sunday, one of my girlfriends took me away for a surprise day trip. I've been feeling a bit under the weather and anxious lately so she had planned this day away. I had no idea where she was taking me even as she drove into the Dandenong Ranges. However about 1 minute from arrival, there was a huge flashing sign that said "TULIP FESTIVAL 4 & 5TH OCTOBER". Tulips are one of my favorite flowers, the first and only time I got to visit this festival would have been many years ago so it was nice to return now that I have a greater appreciation for these beautiful flowers! What a perfect way to welcome spring.
I got reallllly excited when we arrived because there were alpacas and as you guys know, I love alpacas!! I think I took at least 40 photos, they're so friggin cute.
Of course a trip to the tulip farms wouldn't be complete without some Poffertjes (Dutch Mini Pancakes).

Pretty funny but turns out Sue was there the same day and we completely missed each other!
It was a really relaxing day and a really nice wind down before my surgery this week. It also got me super pumped for the summer to come, I just bought my tickets last night to Laneway festival next year in Feb, So nuts to think that we're in October and that there's only 2 months left until end of the year!



October 8, 2014

Current Skincare Routine

In the last few months, I set myself the task of going back into my stash and trying to use up some of my forgotten skincare products. I wanted to shake up my skincare routine but didn't want to bring home any new products before finishing old ones. It's exciting because now I'm nearly at the end of some of them so I'll be asking you guys for recommendations!
My skin has been behaving so much in the last couple of months though and I think this is largely thanks to 2 products from my stash that I've started using again so I thought I would do a post on my overall skincare routine. Sometimes I swap products out in certain steps but the majority of the time, these are the products I use on a daily basis.
Starting with cleanser. I have been using the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for years. In my teens, I used to have very sensitive skin on my face and my body. I couldn't use body soap because it would cause my eczema to flare up so I stuck to goat milk soap. As for my face, I was recommended Cetaphil and I have gone through multiple bottles since. Today, my skin is nowhere as sensitive as it used to be and I can use other soaps and cleansers now. However, I find that I just keep going back to Cetaphil especially when my skin is acting up; it has deeply rooted itself as a staple in my bathroom.
It is honestly one of the gentlest non-soap and non-fragrant cleansers, it leaves my skin feeling soft but never stripped (I hate that tight-feeling skin that some cleansers leave me with). It effectively cleanses and calms my skin, and removes light make up. I usually use this every morning and at night if I didn't wear make up that day. I love that it doesn't sting my eyes either because I'm really clumsy and tend to get soap in my eyes all the time (cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, yep.)
On days I do wear make up, I usually use a stronger cleanser. I bought the Laneige Foaming Cleanser a while ago and I'm pretty sure the packaging has changed since then. I had about 1/3 of the tube left when I started using it again and I totally remembered how much I love this product!!
It's a make-up removing cleanser and it does an incredible job of removing all make-up, even waterproof products but out of habit, I just like removing all my make up before I cleanse anyway. Like i said, I always get soap in my eyes and let me tell you from experience, this stuff STINGS SO BAD! ^^'
It comes out as a thick cream and you literally need the smallest dollop and it lathers into a dense foam. It leaves my skin feeling super plump and clean!! Although they say it's suitable for all skin types, I'm not sure if it's suitable to those with sensitive skin because I find the smell quite strong. For me, it's not a problem because I actually love the smell of it but this could be an irritating factor for those with sensitive skin!
These 2 products here, I believe, has made all the difference in the last 2 months. I did a full review of both of these last week but they contain lots of beneficial ingredients that cleanses and calms the skin, as well as reduces any irritation. Great for people with problems with acne and scarring.
I usually use the Purifying Toner with some cotton pads and follow that up with the Serozinc spray. I love how fine the mist is when it comes out of the Serozinc can. These products are so refreshing and preps my skin perfectly for moisturizing.

For moisturizer, I've been Kiehl's moisturisers for years. Before I switched to the Ultra Face Cream, I used to use their Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream (wow, what a mouthful) when I had oilier skin.
I really like this moisturizer and I've repurchased it a couple of times already. Long story short, it's lightweight, it hydrates my skin and it doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy. It leaves my skin soft, plump and smooth; also providing a good base for foundation application afterwards.
The eye-cream I use is also from Kiehl's. I do like this eye-cream but honestly, I think at my age, there is no need to use eye creams that are too rich or complicated. I think that if you start off using eye creams that are too rich, in the future, they become less effective.
As much as I enjoy using both of these products, I'm nearly at the end of them and I think that I want to try some new products from new brands.
I have quite a few masks that I use on rotation, I did a post on them a while ago. The only new mask I've discovered since is this Skinfood Black Sugar Scrub which I bought from Seoul when I was there. I was told that this is a very raved about product and one of their best sellers but apparently I've been living under a rock because I have never heard of it. This is also the first and only product I've tried from them but I love this mask!! The mask is quite solid, thick and grainy, being a sugar scrub, which can be abrasive if you are rub it into your skin too hard. I think people with sensitive skin can use this but they should melt it down a little with warm water so it's not as harsh.
I usually just wet my face and use my 3 middle fingers and gently massage it in circular motions onto my skin. You're supposed to leave this on your skin for 15-20 minutes after exfoliating but I hate the feeling of leaving a sugar scrub on my face. I just really cant stand it. So i usually keep my tub in the shower and I would exfoliate first thing when I enter the shower, using a tiny bit of hot water to help dissolve and rub in the grains. Then I leave it on while I take the rest of my shower and wash it off before coming out.
After using it, I feel the difference straight away. My skin actually feels so incredibly baby soft and it leaves my skin glowing. I've been using this since the beginning of the year and I'm only a little over halfway through the tub.
I reviewed the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack on my mask post as well but this is a great overnight hydration mask for replenishing moisture in your skin. I have a few other overnight masks but this is by far the lightest one, which I really like. I try to use both of these masks at least once a week.

And voilà, this has been my skincare routine for the last few months! I hope that was informative ^^
Do you guys have any recommendations for moizturizers and eye creams? I would love to hear them!



October 5, 2014

OOTD: Sucker for Houndstooth

top: mums, pants: Uniqlo, boots: Shubar, bag: Givenchy, necklace: Dallas and Carlos, sunglasses: Sportsgirl
Just a short post from me today, pretty casual outfit from the other day. I bought these boots from work. I'm rarely seen without sneakers these days, but i liked these boots because they didn't look too feminine and they were pretty affordable for leather boots.
These pants are the second pair of printed legging pants that I own from Uniqlo. I love Uniqlo and I'm pretty happy that they've opened a couple of stores in Melbourne now. It's not as cheap as Asia but still very reasonable for what it is. I really like these pants because they're quite thick so they don't hug your butt too tight or show your underwear outline which is a huge pet peeve of mine haha! I picked up this houndstooth-print pair here, I think it was $50AUD? The other pair I own is check-print (as pictured below, in the backgroun) and I bought it from HK. I actually noticed that the pair I bought in Asia fits a lot smaller than the pair I picked up here.

Sidenote, I really like how my hair is fading out. I've been getting heaps of questions regarding how I got it this color (both on my blog and in real life) so I'll just explain it quickly. I had a very light ash grey color before my current hair:
I loved the color but it was very hard to maintain at a particular tone that I liked and my regrowth was just getting too expensive for upkeep and hard to handle so I dyed my roots a blue-black and just got my hair dresser to rub it out gradually to the ends. As I've been washing my hair, it's slowly getting lighter and lighter! This was the photo I uploaded to my instagram last week of how it currently looks:

I'm getting my wisdoms out this coming Tuesday eeeek!



October 2, 2014

2 toners I'm loving: La Roche-Posay Serozinc and Clinelle Puritying Toner

I was actually in the process of writing up a skincare routine post and I realised these 2 products have made such a dramatic difference to my skin in the last 2 months that they deserved their own blog post.

I'm not going to lie. When my cousin initially bought me the La Roche-Posay Serozinc from her trip to France mid last year, I had never even heard of the product. I didn't look much into it, I used it for a couple of weeks, didn't think much of it and forgot about it. Suddenly, I started seeing posts pop up everywhere about it but I never read any of the reviews because I just wasn't that intrigued.
However, in my recent efforts to try and use up my skincare products, I started using it again and WOW I noticed a dramatic difference in my skin and now I've fallen completely head over heels for it!
I don't really care much for facial mists and I've never really been that much of an advocate for them because I think they are just glorified cans of water but this one has done wonders. The spray is made up of 3 simple ingredients: water, sodium chloride and zinc sulfate. The first 2 ingredients is basically salt water, which has antiseptic and cleansing properties and is known to be super beneficial for sebum control. The last ingredient is known to calm and sooth your skin especially when it is suffering from blemishes or irritations. I am nearly at the end of this can and I am feeling very panicky about it.

Another product that I've rediscovered my love for, is my Clinelle Purifying Toner. I've actually tried quite a few products from Clinelle but I've never really heard about it in the blogging world. I was originally introduced to the brand at Sasa in Hong Kong about 3 years ago when my skin was going through a very rough time. At the time I purchased and tried one of their sets which included their Deep Cleansing Gel, Purifying Toner and Moisture Glow Moisturizer. I actually really enjoyed most, if not all of these products and I'm pretty sure I repurchased the set a couple of times after but eventually moved on to try other brands.
One of the thing that really attracted me to the line of Clinelle products, is that they contain no artificial or harmful ingredients. Instead, they use a range of botanical and natural extracts and essential oils, as well as anti-oxidants to repair, refine and shield the skin from any aggregations. On top of that, it's a very affordable brand.
This toner does exactly what the name suggests. Some of its ingredients include tea tree oil and Lavender essential oil. Tea tree oil has antibacterial and healing properties so it's great for spot treatment. Lavender oil has an array of amazing skin benefits, they have anti-infammatory and antiseptic properties which means they reduce and soothe areas affected by acne and scarring. I've also heard that Lavender does great things for firming your skin. I never used to be a fan of the smell of Lavender but in the last few years, it has really grown on me. The scent is super calming which is really helpful when my anxiety gets bad or when I'm having sleeping problems. I love applying this before I go to bed because it's so relaxing. This is just such a gentle and effective toner and I couldn't recommend it more. I'm not sure where you can buy Clinelle products from, but they are listed on the Sasa website.

I'm really happy to have rediscovered these products, using both of them together has really helped clear my skin and it's the best it's been in a long time. I'll definitely be repurchasing both items when I reach the end of them.

Have you tried either of these products?



September 27, 2014

OOTD: Feeling Nautical

jumper: Zara Kids, jacket: H&M, jeans: ASOS, bag: Givenchy, sunglasses: Karen Walker, oxfords: Jeffrey Campbell
I usually wear sneakers day in, day out - I forgot how much I loved these oxfords, the cut out is such a nice detail (especially when I wear cute socks with it) and the wooden sole looks so nice against the white.
One perk of being so tiny? Fitting into kids sizes in clothes and shoes. One of my favourite places to shop is actually Zara kids, especially in Hong Kong when there are always so many bargains. I should have photographed the actual sweater because it is the cutest knit! There's a slight split on the sides and star studs along the shoulder on both sides ^^ I often fit into Grade School sizing for sneakers too, this means cheaper kicks :D
This being said though, I can't seem to stop buying mens streetwear. A lot of my clothes are actually mens pieces. I just picked up a mens jacket from the Helmut Lang x Uniqlo collab and I am in love.
It seems that when I'm not buying ladies clothes, I'm desperately trying to fit into kids and mens sizes. The most outrageous sized item I own is probably one of my adidas t-shirts which is a mens XL, insane because I'm usually the absolute smallest size for ladies clothes. You can usually get away with wearing items that fit a bit looser when it comes to streetwear though, I do like it when it's oversized :3
You may have seen me post this photo on instagram a while ago:
I had to go to Box Hill, one of the most asian suburbs in Melbourne, to go to the dentist and I was having a massive sulk because I already hate being there but there were people everywhere for the mid autumn festival. Plus I realllllllly detest the dentist. I'm super nervous because I have to get my wisdoms out soon eeek! I'll be getting all 4 out and going under. 

Have you guys had your wisdoms out? What was your experience like? Any tips for post-surgery?
No scary stories please haha!