August 23, 2015

On Rotation | Summer Lips

Here's a shoutout to the three lip products that have been on rotation in my purse this summer.

For days in the sun, or whenever I don't feel like wearing anything else, I go for the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in "Rose." I'm like a broken record when it comes to this bad boy. It's creamy, nourishing, tinted, and has SPF 15. Best default lip product to have in your purse at all times.

For work days or minimal makeup days, my Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector is my go-to. I have the shade 02 Coral which comes off as a sheer peachy pink. The color is quite light and barely visible on the lips, especially if you have pigmented lips like me, but this really perfects the lips as its name suggests. 

Finally, for weekends or whenever I feel like a pop of color (read: a bit of life to the face), Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #373 Rieuse is the way to go. Major love going on with this one! The packaging, shade, formula, everything is spot on. "Rieuse" is such a happy, bright, orangey-pink shade that just seems to go with everything. It's bright yet very easy to wear - with its liquid formula I find it way more hydrating and buildable/"sheerable" than other brights that I own. Overall just the perfect not too in-your-face bright summery shade that I will probably be wearing way into the fall.

What are your favorite summer lip products?

August 16, 2015

The Three Sephora Staples

As promised, today is about my three Sephora must-buys. Every time I'm back in the US, these 3 are always on my Sephora shopping list, usually along with a bunch of new stuff I want to try. Looking at my every day makeup bag I was slightly shocked to realize that so many of my staple products that I reach for on a daily basis are not available where I live. Oh Hong Kong.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara is my longest favorite of the three. Yes, Hong Kong has Lancome, but no, oddly enough they do not have this specific mascara. Lancome mascaras are amazing overall, but none really compare to how well this one holds a curl. My lashes point straight and are quite stubby, but this mascara works magic and holds a curl even under the most humid climates. Nothing compares.

The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is also a game changer. It's the most long lasting, smudge-proof, versatile liquid liner I've used. I can build it up to a dramatic cat eye or lightly draw on a barely-there "naked" eyeliner - that fine pen tip is like no other. I've read that some find the formula a bit watery, which makes it not as black as other liquid liners out there. I would not disagree with that, but personally I find that the not-so-black works in my favor as I'm able to create the thinnest, "invisible" line that lifts the eyes without looking like I'm wearing eyeliner - cheeky cheeky. I like that versatility. The watery consistency also dries down super quickly. All in all, hands down my favorite liner of all time. No more panda eyes at the end of the day!

Last but not least, the Anastasia Brow Wiz in "Ebony" is my first, and only, eyebrow pencil. It's so easy to use and I highly recommend it to anyone who's an eyebrow noob like me. I also recently discovered that stocks and ships this internationally, so although I go through this really quickly, I didn't feel the need to stock up too much from Sephora this time around.

What items do you always repurchase?

August 9, 2015

Current Favorites | July

I'm definitely happy that August is here. It's that time of year where everyone savors the last bits of summer and count down to the awesome weather in the fall. My current favorites include a few items from my recent trip that quickly stood out to me. The Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in "Love Glow" is gorgeous and definitely an instant fave. It's a cool peachy pink with a golden sheen. You're advised to swirl the outer shade under your cheek bones and pop the center shade on the apples of your cheek. Instead I tend to simply swirl everything together which works perfectly - on the skin it comes off as a gorgeous natural from-within glow, as it's appropriately named. I think I've found my new favorite blush following my long time love affair with the Dior Rosy Glow!

My other instant love is Sunday Riley's Start Over Eye Cream, a Vitamin C packed eye treatment for puffiness and dark circles. It has a gel-cream consistency that's perfect for oily skin and sticky summers. I instantly noticed lighter dark circles and have enjoyed quite a few makeup-free days recently thanks to this gem. Also on daily rotation recently has been my Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch and Jo Malone Nectarine and Honey Blossom Cologne. Both are light, sweet, minimal - just how I like my summers to be.

I burn fewer candles during the summer, but this Jonathan Adler Grapefruit Candle is an exception. It's so fresh and sweet, almost a peach-like scent. To me this definitely should be named something else - the name "Grapefruit" is an understatement! Citrus candles can sometimes come off smelling like detergent or soap, but this one definitely nailed the whole summer-lemonade-peach-sunshine thing, if that's a thing. And I can't complain about the bright and happy yellow packaging either, which I'll definitely be up-cycling once the candle runs out. Loveeeee.

Finally my book of the month was "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson. I was pretty sad to finish this book as I had become quite attached to the characters in the story. In a nutshell it is about how the lives of a pair of brother and sister twins are intertwined with the few very special people around them. It's about sibling love, romance, misfortunes, art and expression. The characters are described so intricately and have such attractive personalities that you quickly get addicted to them. And now I think I need to get my hands on all of Nelson's other books, ASAP.
What have been your favorites this month?

August 4, 2015

New In | London & US

It's time for me to go through the wonderful things I bought on my trip in London and US. I tried not to go overboard with quantity and focused on the few quality items I've been wanting to try for a long time (I use the word "few" very loosely here). While I'm sure many of these will be featured in future posts, I still wanted to write about everything altogether - a way of reminiscing about my trip I guess. As much as I try not to ramble, we both know this one will be a long one. So grab yourself a cup of jo (or tea or wine, depending on when and where you are), and here we go.

The one brand I knew I had to check out in London was Charlotte Tilbury. I've never seen or swatched her products till now, so you can imagine how excited I was! There was a lot to choose from but I narrowed it down to the Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush in "Love Glow" and the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher in 02 Fair. I like how the Retoucher is more of a concealer than highlighter - unlike the YSL Touche Eclat, and the blush is an instant favorite - it's like a glowier, lighter version of NARS Orgasm.

Two cult favorites I decided to try are the Pixi Glow Tonic and the Sunday Riley Start Over Active Eye Cream - both perfectly timed purchases as I've been running low on my current toner and eye cream. It's too soon to comment on the Glow Tonic, but I have immediately noticed lighter dark circles overnight and have become quite addicted to the Sunday Riley eye cream. A full review is definitely to come as I test out this cream for a few more weeks.

Last but not least, I stopped by the Jo Malone store to replenish my Orange Blossom Cologne, a scent which takes me back to my first ever trip to Europe/London. Instead I got drawn towards to the Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne, which had been on my mind since the time I got my first Jo Malone 3 years ago. I decided to go with Nectarine Blossom & Honey this time - it's a fruitier scent in comparison, and the sweet scent of nectarines reminds me of my favorite fuzzy peaches. Definitely a happy scent which will forever remind me of this memorable trip we had.

To avoid making this post super super long, I'll keep my US shopping rambles short. I finally got my first Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in 02 Coral (LOVE! Wish I got more of these). I also bought two tinted Maybelline Baby Lips in "Pink Punch" and "Peach Kiss" - good color payoff, especially for the price. Finally as I ran out of my makeup remover, I picked up a travel size Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil, which unfortunately was a let down. It's just another average bi-phase remover that can't at all compare to its amazing cleansing balm twin.

I also did replenish some of my staples at Sephora, which I'll dedicate a separate post to. Again, really trying to keep this at a reasonable length. If you're still reading, kudos to you!

And now back to wallowing in post holiday blues and jetlag...

July 31, 2015

Back to Reality

photos from my Instagram (@rachlm_)

I'm back from two weeks in Europe plus a short stay in the US to visit family. To sum it up, these 15 days have been inspiring, uplifting, exciting, and stressful all at the same time. We pinched ourselves as we soaked in the most picturesque scenery, gained a freckle or two (or five), and packed in as many brunches as we could. Because, as this blog is appropriately named, brunches are my favorite favorite favorite. Especially when avocado is involved. Sadly we don't get many quality brunch choices here in Hong Kong.

Pardon me as I ease back into regular blogging. And trust me - boy do I have a lot to write about! (Read: I may have bought some stuff.) And of course, I also Instagrammed quite a bit on the trip - because isn't traveling the best time to spam your gram with colorful, droolworthy shots? As I struggle with work and jetlag, expect to find me daydreaming of brunches and beaches, while occasionally latergramming a few more travel photos in the coming week. If you want to join me, you can find me on Instagram @rachlm_

Enough about me. How have you been?


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