May 16, 2015

The Thing with Instagram...

recent instagram shots

I rarely mention Instagram here but the truth is I am very hooked. I love the pretty pictures, and the ability to craft a picture to a fit your mood and taste. It's a very well refined, curated slice of everyone's lives all in one place - and what a nice place it is to go to for inspiration!

The thing is, unlike many others who blog, my Instagram is not an extension of blush&brunch. It's more of a personal account of the people and moments (and food). You'll probably never see a closeup of a lipstick on my Instagram, but you'll see a lot more of my face and what I'm up to. I wasn't even sure if I should link my Instagram here as I felt like the two are so different to me. Do any of you have the same dilemma?

With all that said, I DO love Instagram. It's inspired me to play around with photos a lot more than I used to. But in case you're here just for the blog, I thought I'd give you a heads up, and in case you're curious, you can find me @rachlm_ .

For those of you who also write, how do you balance your blog and Instagram?

May 11, 2015

May Goals

Inspired by Ellie, I thought it would be fun to actually write out my little goals on paper this month. I did think twice if I really wanted to post this, since I never really liked my handwriting - excuse the random shapes and slants.

I have quite a lot on my plate for May but I'm determined not to let things slide with healthy eating and good skincare - hence the goals on (healthy) tacos and face masks. It's crunch time for me this month, with studies and a trip scheduled, so I wish everyone who's about to embark on a tough month, be it deadlines, work, finals, a big big good luck!

*pulls hair up into a ponytail* - read: things are about to get serious here.

May 10, 2015

May Edit

In efforts to get out of my makeup rut, I'm making a conscious effort to change things up a bit in my makeup bag this month. You'll notice there is a theme - I'm all about the blush pinks at the moment. And since Mothers' Day weekend, I had the perfect little bouquet to sneak into this shot too - it just feels so satisfying to see things together looking unexpectedly color coordinated, doesn't it?

I have not reached for my powder eyeshadows in months now, if not a year I think. Mainly because cream eyeshadows are just so easy (a roundup on my fave cream eyeshadows is long overdue!), I really can't be bothered to take an eyeshadow brush and do the whole blending thing. That said the Chanel Quad in Tisse Vendome offers the most perfect combination of spring peaches and browns, and I find the formula soft and "creamy" enough to dab on with fingers - the colors even layer and blend perfectly together.

Also for eyes, I'm testing out the Lancome Grandiose, Lancome mascara family's new joiner. Mine is still in that too-wet-to-tell phase, but as of now I am very much enjoying the flexibility of the curved wand - I'm able to easily coat all my lashes without having to bend my arm/tilt my head in desperate attempt to reach those last few lashes.

For blush, theBalm's Frat Boy has been on frequent rotation - it's one of the most long lasting powder blushes I own. It's pretty pigmented though, so I do use it only when I have less going on with my eyes and lips.

Finally on lips, I am alternating between Lancome Gloss-in-Love in Mocha Queen and NARS Rikugien Satin Lip Pencil (mine is a mini gift-with-purchase). The former gives a milky pink veil of glossiness while the latter is a my-lips-but-darker rose pink. The NARS pencil isn't really that spring-like, but is a nice one to have for days I'm wearing nothing much else, which has been quite often recently.

It's been a long while since I've "stayed up" to write - and by "stayed up" I mean it's close to 1 am now. The granny in me is yearning for bedtime so I'm signing off - goodnight and have a good mother's day weekend!

May 1, 2015

Things I Love | April

I'm writing to you from another long weekend here in Hong Kong - hooray for 3-days off and hello there May! I'm studying for yet another upcoming exam (booooo), but am also planning to go for a last-minute family picnic and try out a new found neighborhood breakfast spot in between the books and highlighters this weekend.

April has been a good month, with its abundance of public holidays and first signs of spring. Makeup wise I've been all about the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. Yes, still. It saves me precious time in the morning, blending my moisturizer, sunscreen and base all into one quick step. The finish is perfect - natural and dewy. On the lips I've been alternating between the Ettusais Lip Essence for subtle glossiness and hydration, and the Rouge Dior Baume in Spring for an everyday pop of orange.

Mid-month I stumbled upon a theBalm Cosmetics pop-up counter at Log-on, a lifestyle store in Hong Kong. The infamous Mary-Lou Manizer was already sold out, but I managed to pick up theBalm Frat Boy Blush - for half off. This is one quality blush - it's so pigmented and does not budge. Being a dusty pink, I actually was not expecting it to be very spring/summery, but to my surprise the color actually adds a sort of tanned, sun-kissed look on fair skin. It sure was my lucky day coming across the pop-up store, especially because it was gone just days after. Mysterious!

On to other random life things, a good friend of mine moved back to New York this month and left me his stock of Fruit d'Or Dried Whole Cranberries. They're plump, soft, and naturally sweetened with apple juice - I'm obsessed with these and will probably never buy Craisins again! On a separate note, I'm a third into "Things a Little Bird Told Me," a book on creativity, career and general life advice from Twitter's founder Biz Stone. It's an inspiring read which at times does make me wish I was doing something more creative... but that's a whole other story for another day.

What have been your April obsessions?

April 26, 2015

The Peachy Orange Lip

Hello there. Where have I been you ask? In a nutshell - terrible food poisoning, followed by a whirlwind wedding. Alan and I fell really sick two weeks ago after a Friday sushi date. After hospital runs and a week of porridge-only diet, we recovered just in time for one of my best friend's wedding last Sunday. She's the first in my closest group of girlfriends to marry, so it felt very exciting for all of us. A long, exhausting day of happy tears and love.

After my well-excused hiatus, I now have a handful of posts backlogged and thought I'd start with one of the most exciting finds in a long time. I mentioned my search for the perfect orange-toned lipstick in my April Goals - nothing too bold (office friendly is key), yet bright enough to show through on my pigmented lips. The search was not easy - orange lip products are everywhere but I find it really tough to nail down the perfect shade! After swatches after swatches (which I think is essential for oranges since they can look drastically different under various lights) - Lancome, Chanel, Dior, Lipstick Queen, Loreal, Maybelline to name a few - I've finally found my perfect orange lip!

Rouge Dior Baume #468 Spring, on top of its perfectly fitting name, is exactly what I've been looking for. I wasn't expecting it to be "the one" because in the tube it definitely leans more peachy pink than orange. But together with my natural lip color, it blends to create the perfectly wearable peachy orange I was looking for. Orange under some lights, peachy pink under others, but always the perfect orange-toned, summery lip. Needless to say the formula is balm-like and really nourishing.

This is my second Dior Baume - I also have Lili, a rosy shade that brightens up the face. Spring feels a little less slippery but equally hydrating. I also like that these are less glossy than other balm/color hybrids like Chanel Rouge Coco Shines.

What's your favorite spring/summer lip shade?


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