June 28, 2015

Things I Love | June

June has been wonderful. I celebrated my birthday, discovered a really good book, and ended the month with a hilarious game of bowling which has now got me hooked. 

The weather this month has been extreme - it's either pouring rain and thunderstorms, or blazing sunshine and intense heat. For the sunny days I found these cat eye leopard print shades at Urban Outfitters - on sale for only about USD$13. They look way more expensive than they cost. I couldn't find the exact ones on the UO website, but these are similar.

On makeup, I've been reaching for my Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in "Laurier Rose" almost every day. Sticking with the pinky peachy theme, I'm smitten with the Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #373 Rieuse, the newest addition to my collection after my bestie Crystal highly recommended it. I've held off on Fluid Sticks all this time because the idea of a bright plus glossy formula slightly intimidated me, but #373 proved to be an exception. It is a wearable, muted coral / orangey-pink shade with a slight glossiness somewhere between a Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and a typical lip gloss. It brightens the face in an effortless, natural way. Very very pretty. Needless to say it's impressively hydrating - I never need a lip balm, and it even leaves my lips feeling nice and smooth after it wears off. I'm sure "Rieuse" must mean something pretty in French but to me it sounds like re-use which is spot on - I'd re-use this every day all day really (lol). Also on rotation in my purse are the 3CE Lip Lacquer in "Showtime" for weekends, and the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in "Rose" from days when I can't be bothered with anything much else.

On skincare, the Aesop Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque has been my go-to during a bad skin week. This trusty spot zapper / deep cleansing mask never fails.

Last but not least, I discovered "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson on a spontaneous bookstore stroll during lunch break one day. It was like the book called out to me since I literally grabbed it from the bookshelf at random and was instantly hooked. The characters, a pair of brother and sister twins, are so real and endearing. I'm only about a third into the book but I definitely plan to take my time to slowly savor every page of precious lines and quotes.

How was your June?

June 24, 2015

Birthday & Ice Cream

It's my birthday this week. It's been a fun-filled few days of celebration and love - my friends and family sure know how to make me feel special! I had my family over for brunch this Sunday, serving my favorite guacamole and salsa over eggs. And of course, there was bacon. For dessert, I was inspired by Emily to dress up some waffle cones for a funner, fancier way to serve ice cream. I dipped my waffle cones in dark chocolate, and coated them with either crushed almonds and pistachios or rainbow sprinkles. We went all out and served four ice cream flavors, including rum raisin, my all time favorite. We also had cake after. Basically lots of sugar. It was ridiculous and perfect.

 Turning a year older this time around feels both scary and exciting. I'm slightly freaking out about the fact that I'm whizzing way too fast past my 20s, but also very much enjoying the refreshing sense of really growing up and figuring "big life things" out one at a time. There's still so much to see, so much to learn, and so much to experience. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

June 18, 2015

Matte & Coral

At a good friend's wedding in Melbourne a few weeks ago, the makeup artist had this awesome 3CE Lip Lacquer in "Showtime" in her case. Since then Crystal and I had been smitten with the color and made a very conscious mental note to get our hands on it. I actually can't tell whether it's just the wonderful memories of Melbourne, or the fact that this is such a uniquely gorgeous color, but this lipstick to me is really something special.

3CE (3 Concept Eyes) is a Korean makeup brand that's slightly less availble in Hong Kong. But as my very first 3CE product, this has definitely left a good first impression - reasonable price, quality packaging, great shade range. 3CE Lip Lacquers are matte, opaque liquid lipsticks which can be worn full on for bright, bold lips, or applied center out for the "gradient" lip effect, de-emphasizing the edge of the lips. A bit of the opposite of lip liner if you will. "Showtime" is a bright, hot, coral pink that just looks cool. It leans orange, giving it a unique vibe that makes it just that bit different from the usual girly bright pinks. It even got the boyfriend stamp-of-approval which is always a huge plus. The formula is very, very pigmented, but thanks to its matte finish, it's surprisingly easy to wear. Staying power is decent, and it leaves a flattering stain. 

One downside I'd highlight is that it is, like most matte lipsticks, slightly drying - which isn't too much of a problem as long as I apply a lip balm underneath. I'm coining this my weekend lip because it's such a happy color that I think just does not fit the dull and lifeless office. I still secretly carry it around with me all week long though, catching glimpses of it every now and then, counting down to the weekend so I wear it again...

Note: Again leveraging the interwebs for better photography... this page has professional stock photos that better capture the shade, and this blog swatches it together with the other shades, which highlights the pretty orange/peachy tint that "Showtime" has

June 14, 2015

New Favorite: Chanel Stylo Eyeshadows

I've been waiting all week for Saturday so that I can photograph and share about these bad boys!

These Chanel Stylo Eyeshadows are part of Chanel's summer collection - pencil form cream eyeshadows that are "water-infused," giving a cooling effect upon application. They're creamy and blendable for a few seconds, then set to a nicely pigmented sheen after that. I had #147 Caroube, the classic bronzy shade, on my list to check out, but was instantly drawn to #127 Laurier Rose when I was in the store. After (minimal) struggle, I walked out with both. I then brought my bestie Crystal to try them the day after, and she too walked out with both. Bad influence. We were giddy with excitement but our wallets sure were not!

Jokes aside, these pencils to me are worth the slightly heftier price tag. They are what I hoped ByTerry Ombre Blackstars would be - creamy, long-lasting, versatile shades, but are cheaper than the ByTerry offering. In comparison I find the ByTerry shades to be slightly too metallic/frosty, whereas the Chanel shades give more glimmer and a teeny amount of sparkle. Caroube is a universally flattering warm-toned bronzey brown that can be built up or nicely sheered out for day time wear. It also makes for a gorgeous liner or contouring shade. I had thought Laurier Rose would be too pink and unflattering on me, but the shade turned out to be my favorite among the two. It's a complex rose-gold slash peachy copper, giving eyes a warm wash of peachy, yet not too pink, glimmer. Very brightening yet unique-looking, compared to your usual bronze and browns. It's such a "happy" color. I've been wearing Laurier Rose every day this past week, occasionally with some Caroube on the lash line or outer corner. They both work great alone or together. I'm obsessed!

I also love that they're so easy to use. Nothing can beat the speed and forgiveness of a one-swipe shade all over the lid, patted out with fingers. I don't even need brushes! The pencil form also makes them perfect for lining the eyes or outer corners. Both shades last on me all day - 12-14 hour work days - with minimal creasing, especially with the help of my trusty NARS eyeshadow primer.

I tried my best to swatch and capture the gorgeousness here. Here's Laurier Rose swatched heavily and blended; then Caroube swatched heavily and blended.

I do not have enough good things to say about these. Kudos Chanel, you've done well.

What has caught your eye among the summer releases?

June 8, 2015

June Goals

This month is going to be a good one. I've wrapped up a few things that I'd been working on since January (finally!), and it's also my birthday month which is always exciting. Here are a few things I plan to get done in between all the gatherings and birthday cake...

Do nacho night
Taco night last month was a success. We've discovered the perfect little vegetable stand with the best avocados, which is a rarity in Hong Kong. Now that we have good produce we're ready to do a serious nacho night with Chipotle's guacamole recipe, or if we're feeling more adventurous, nacho and wine night.

Chop off my locks
I've been considering a slightly more drastic haircut for some time now. I've always been quite attached to my long hair but lately it seems that tables have turned and I'm itching for a change. I'm pretty sure I'll chicken out when I'm at the hair dressers, but a few inches off is definitely manageable. Shoulder-length hair would be a refreshing change for summer I think!

Revamp blush&brunch
Another long overdue change that has been on my mind for months now is my blog layout. I'm still debating between simply HTML edits or a full platform move (I've heard good things about Squarespace). You may have noticed that I've already switched up the header - but everything is looking a bit like work-in-progress right now. Hopefully I'll figure everything out bit by bit this month. Any suggestions/comments would be much appreciated, especially around Squarespace and other host platforms (I'm currently on Blogger).

What do you have planned for June?


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