September 30, 2012

September INs and OUTs


Goodbye September, you're usually a "blah" month, but this year it's been great. I felt very inspired to blog more, baked a batch of successful red velvet cupcakes, made a trip to Disney for Halloween, and welcomed a good friend's brand new baby boy.

October marks the beginning of the annual chain of festivity - Mid Autumn Festival (I wrote about it here), then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then the New Year. I can't wait!

IN
- Deep cleansing. As I mentioned a few posts back, I am on the hunt for the perfect deep clean mask. I've been really proud of myself - my recent diligent face mask routine is not something I'm usually disciplined enough to stick with! I'm only allowing myself to purchase the next face mask after I finish my recently purchased Lush ones... so this search is going to take a while.

- Melvita. I've been reading more about organic skincare options, and France's number 1 organic skincare brand Melvita really caught my eye. Their skincare lines are based on various natural ingredients to serve for different functions. So far I'm enjoying their Argan Oil very much. Currently debating between their Moisturizing Rose Nectar or Perfecting Cream.

- How I Met Your Mother. It took me years to start cracking on this TV series and I love it so much. For the first time, I feel like my all time fav Friends has met its match. Perfect entertainment after a stressful day at work. Best served with spaghetti and diet coke.

- Black eyeshadow. No, not for smokey drunk vampy goth makeup face. I'm talkin' a teeny teeny veryyyy tiny bit of black blended in well on the outer corner of the eye, just below the crease. Adds such subtle drama and dimension for fall. (No black eyeshadow? Smudging out black pencil eyeliner on the outer corner of the lid gives the same effect.)

- Sweet Treats. After busy days, I've been treating myself to some sugary goodness (always a couple hours before bed which I know is so bad, so I try to only have a little each time!). Haagen Dazs ice cream crunch bars, Haribo peach gummies and Frango mint chocolates have been my top 3 favorites.


OUT
- Stressing out. I'm putting an end to this right now! In work and in my personal life. Turns out dealing with stress isn't as easy as I thought - and is a real "grown up" thing I must learn to handle.

- My disorganized desk. I would post a picture here of my ridiculously messy desk/vanity, but I'm honestly too embarrassed to. Must organize and clean my desk this weekend.

- Heels. I've been mega mega lazy about my choice of footwear. Even on work days I have been living in flats, mainly because I'm really enjoying walking around with the slight breeze, and don't want heels to get in the way of a nice autumn stroll.

What have you been into this month?

September 28, 2012

Little Letters


dear boss,
thanks so much for empathizing the stress i've been going through, and for letting me take friday off. it's been a much needed day of recharging with candles, reading and napping.

dear 2-month-shopping-ban,
your mission ends this coming weekend. we know i had a few moments of weakness along the way but i did alright wouldn't you say? (so... can i get that jacket from zara now?)

dear haribo peach gummies,
to me you're perfect. favorite candy ever.

dear moon,
you've been getting rounder and rounder by the day. i can't wait to see you tomorrow night on my aunt's rooftop. feel special - it's moon festival, it's all about you!

dear sophia grace and rosie,
you two are absolutely adorable. i watched all your videos from the Ellen show today and laughed to tears. i hope i have little girls like you two some day!

dear boyfriend,
2 more weeks till i get to see you, yayyers! remember our Ted movie date? yes? yes?



Linking up with Adventures of Newlyweds

Goodbye Summer 2012!


Goodbye Summer 2012, I'm so excited for fall but am sad to see you go nonetheless.
This week I've been thinking about all the memories we made together.
Here's what I will remember about this summer...

I'll remember the beach, the boat trips, the bikinis and shades. I'll remember the nice (rare) tan I got.

I'll remember the crazy typhoon. Rushing home from work early to avoid the storm, the chaos mixed with a teeny bit of excitement. Then cuddling under my blanket hearing the rain pour outside.

I'll remember turning a year older in June. The lovely dinners with my favorite people, and spending the day with my boyfriend in Singapore (and the surprise trip to Kuala Lumpur to see Jayesslee live!).

I'll remember our very first trip to Europe ever. Seeing the Vatican, walking under the Eiffel Tower, and falling head over heels in love with London. And realizing the trip was only this special because I went with my pizza-eating, instragramming, Google-map-reading boyfriend.


I'll remember how I got hooked to wearing my hair in a sock bun.

I'll remember finally putting my new oven to use with New York Cheesecake and Red Velvet cupcake attempts. Now I'm ready for some Christmas baking.

I'll remember how we lost Lucky, our family dog of 14 years. I'll never forget your bummed out look when I had to run out the door, and your excited bark when I came back. I hope you knew how special you were to me, love you always.


I'll remember how I finally started blogging. After the many failed attempts, I finally started a blog which, as random as it is, is exactly what I had set out to create. I'll remember discovering all these wonderful blogs, making new friends, and being inspired like never before.

I'll remember finally taking the first step to pursuing my dreams - applying for school, this time for a major that I am truly passionate about (and getting accepted for 2013!!)

I'll remember growing up. And realizing that I still have a long way to go on that. But that it's okay to learn as you go, and have fun and laughs along the way. :)


September 27, 2012

Don't Quote Me On That

all from Pinterest

Note to self: must find a fun way to document & display all my favorite random quotes.

September 25, 2012

Five Things

Sometimes it's hard to find joy in things on the most blah day of the week - Tuesday. 
Work is building up for the week, but yet we're still pretty far from the weekend. Boo!

But this week I got lucky and had a good few happy Tuesday moments - and Instagram always makes them look even cuter. 
Here are the five things that brightened up my day today.


manicure & tv time before bed
and by tv i mean my "how i met your mother" dvd series

random cutie i found on my desk at work
he's all ready for halloween!

the dynamic duo - silly chicken and silly duck
these two have been around at my aunt's house since i was a kid. my aunt was sweet enough to invite me over for dinner during the rough week. some warm soup, coconut pastry desserts, and a lot of girl talk later, i left feeling cheery and refreshed for the rest of the week.

revlon just bitten kissable lip stains
finally, they've arrived in Hong Kong! monthsss late but still - better late than never. i was at the drugstore picking up shampoo when i saw these on shelves. yay the excitement! got the shade 001 Honey... new lip products make me giddy.
(caught on camera - mr koala bear wants to give it a try too)

last but not least, the unphotographed...
this article on thought catalog
titled "32 ways to make me fall in love with you"
(boyfriend if you're reading this, take note. wink wink!)

I guess Tuesdays aren't always thaaaat bad. :)

September 24, 2012

Food For Your Face

Monday night... and it's pouring here in Hong Kong. The thunder is roaring outside real loud. I know grown ups aren't supposed to be scared of thunder but the little girl in me actually feels kind of freaked out. No I'm not a scardey cat, the thunder really is that loud. Uh-oh more lightning flashes... cover your ears!!!

***************
I got this random epiphany last week that apart from exfoliating with my Clarisonic, I need to cleanse deeper in order to calm my sensitive, temperamental skin. Since then I've been on the hunt for the perfect deep cleansing mask. Yes I get random skincare-related epiphanies.

After extensive research, first up for the test was Lush. I knew I wanted something natural and mild since my skin easily overreacts to strong products, and an all-natural mask sounded like a safe bet. Torn between the highly-reviewed Catastrophe Cosmetic and the sales-recommended Cupcake mask, I ended up getting both.

(Side Note: since these fresh masks need to be refrigerated, Lush does not sell these online. In stores only. Also ingredients are fresh, so these can only be used roughly within a month of purchase)


Cupcake
"Chocolate Heaven for Oily and Teenage Skin"

Okaaay so I'm not a teenager, but the sales associate recommend this as the best deep cleansing fresh face mask out of their whole range. This mask claims to balance, calm, soothe and deep clean. First impression - it smells so yummy! Like chocolate cake batter but with a slight scent of mint/floral. It also has the nitty gritty bits of a usual cake batter that lightly exfoliate.

After the 10 minutes with the mask on, I did notice my pores shrunk a little, and redness around my face calms a bit too. But the next morning everything was back to normal. I feel like it really didn't do anything.

In hindsight, my pores may have shrunk simply because the mask is cold from being refrigerated.
... Redness also fades out because of the coolness.

Final verdict? As much as I wanted to like this, I really don't see it doing anything to my skin. I've been using it every 3-4 days but so far am not impressed.



Catastrophe Cosmetic
"When disaster looms, Catastrophe Cosmetic calms and cleanses the skin"

Blueberries are the main ingredient in this mask, it looks like a tub of fresh blueberry yogurt. According to the Lush sales girl, this mask is milder than Cupcake and can be used every day. It mainly aims to calm and clean, reducing inflammation if any. Blueberries also have anti-oxidants and vitamins - all that good stuff we love to hear about in our skincare. However I'm not sure how well our skin can take in these nutrients externally... hmm.

Still, among the two I like this mask more. I've been using this almost every day for the past 2 weeks (unless  I used Cupcake), and noticed my skin looks slightly brighter. Usually during seasonal changes my skin tends to get dry, but this time around I noticed less dry patches and flakiness. 

Final verdict - I wouldn't mind repurchasing this mask as a healthy-smoothie-for-my-skin kind of treat. But this is far from what I'm looking for in a deep cleansing mask... so my hunt continues.





For about USD$22 per mask, I get almost 7-8 uses per tub. Compared to other natural/organic brands that's a reasonable price. And if you have other used up Lush products, remember for 6 empty Lush containers, Lush gives you a free fresh face mask, so don't miss out!

Also...  lesson learned here is that user reviews online (that raved about Catastrophe Cosmetic) are more reliable than sales associates in stores (who recommended Cupcake).
So always, always, always do your research.

Next up in my search for the best deep clean mask, I plan on trying out a clay mask after I finish with these 2. Stay tuned.
(Would love to hear about your favorite deep cleansing masks/products too!)

September 23, 2012

Light Up With Lanterns

Mid Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival) is a Chinese traditional holiday celebrating the middle of Autumn (it has a story behind it which I won't attempt to elaborate here... wikipedia to the rescue) , and is considered one of the most important festivals of the year. I always found it somewhat like Thanksgiving - because both happen in the fall, and both are a time of year where family gather for a meal and enjoy quality time together. After dinner, families usually go to a nearby park or rooftop to gaze at the big round moon, share fruits and mooncakes, and play with lanterns. With the quiet evening and beautiful lanterns, Mid Autumn is always a relaxing and serene night.

The Mid Autumn Festival is coming up next week, so I went lantern hunting around traditional Chinese paper stores this weekend. Think Chinese version of Papyrus (or Paperchase, if you're from the UK). Modern day manufacturers sell plastic blow up lanterns, but I always find the traditional ones prettiest and most festive.

All the choices....!


[This bunny design has been an all-time favorite for generations. Looks kind of creepy but always makes me think of how back in the day kids used to find joy in such simple toys. No iPad, no iPhone, just pure imagination and creativity.]

[Making a tough choice. Goldfish, butterfly or bunny?]


I finally went with the good old miniature bunny lantern, made with the most delicate cellophane sheets. It's going to look so pretty in the dark all lit up!

The weekend is never long enough, but I'm going to be staring at this cute lantern for the coming week, looking forward to Mid Autumn fun next weekend. :)


Linking up with Five30ThreeSami's Shenanigans

September 22, 2012

Mascara Snob No More



Before this product, I've always been a mascara snob - I swore by Lancome's L'Extreme Mascara and Makeup Forever's Smokey Lash. But a random stroll at the drugstore last month drew my attention to the infamous Maybelline Falsies that I've heard about so much from blogs and reviews.

This mascara definitely made me rethink my snob-ness before - the quality of this mascara compares to any of my fancier mascaras. It's long lasting, dark, and yet nicely defines and lengthens. But ironically, it does quite the opposite for me than its name suggests. It looks nothing like false lashes on me, and instead I like it as my work/office mascara because it looks so natural.

The Good
- Separates lashes beautifully. No spider legs effect, no smudgy glued-together lashes. This mascara separates and coats each lash, adding length and color.
- Natural and subtle. It's ironic that I find the "falsies" looking really natural. Depending on what you're looking for in a mascara, this might be a pro or a con. I did find this natural mascara perfect for the subtle work makeup look, so for me it was a pro. For weekends or night outs, I'd use my Makeup Forever Smokey Lash instead.
- the Wand. Best wand I've tried! The wand has a slight dent that gives it flexibility, and the bristles are much smaller than my MUFE Smokey Lash, which makes it perfect for coating the corner and lower lashes. Very easy to work with.

The Bad
- Misleading name. As I mentioned, this mascara is so natural and great for the subtle look. If you got this in hopes of a true false lash effect you'd be disappointed.
- Fibers. I love lengthening fibers in my mascara because my lashes are naturally quite short. But the fibers in this one is hard to work with - some days I get too much of it, some days I don't get any.

Final Verdict
All in all I think this is a good mascara. My favorite part is definitely its wand - best mascara brush head. But I probably wouldn't repurchase this just because I prefer my mascara to be more lengthening. If you have long lashes to begin with and are looking for a mascara to define and accentuate, this would work perfectly for you.

Four Favorites and One Happy News

dainty necklace / iced starbucks / bouquet / celebratory balloon / recent mascara fav / all time favorite snack 

T G I F.
Longest hardest week ever... and it's over! I cannot be happier.
Despite the whirlwind of work, there were small bits (and one huge news) that made me very happy. 

This dainty necklace. (Love mixing metals)
Drinking more iced starbucks while it's still warm. (Passionfruit tea lemonade!)
Maybelline Falsies Volume Mascara. (Accentuates individual lashes. Writing a full review on this next week.)
My favorite TV junk food fix. (American snacks are considered fancy imports and are extremely overpriced in Hong Kong. I was excited to find my favorite Rold Gold Pretzels on sale - tastes extra good because it's rare and special here)

And finally... the good news. A good friend of mine had her baby this Wednesday. It's a boy! It feels so grown up to have a friend give birth... for the very first time. I headed straight to the hospital after work that day to see her and the new little one. Of course I couldn't go empty handed - a friend and I ordered a last minute bouquet and grabbed a cheesy "NEW BABY!" balloon on the way.

He is the most beautiful bundle of joy I've seen. And I'm so glad the new mommy is doing so well too. 

Before I left the hospital, I asked the new mommy: "how did it feel? did the birth make you and hubby feel more in love?"
She paused, then smiled: "I feel like... we're really a family now."

Warmth beyond words. :)

Linking up with Life Rearranged.

September 20, 2012

I believe in...

[lacma lights, los angeles]

I survived the toughest day of the year at work today. So so happy. I came home to my favorite blog reading time and saw yet another very cute tag going around. Here are some things I believe in! Some things sillier, some things more serious. I had a lot of fun reflecting and thinking about these. 
What do you believe in?

I believe a dream is a wish your heart makes.
I believe afternoon tea and scones can make everything feel better.
I believe in counting down to Christmas from September.
I believe in the USC FOOTBALL TEAM ! WOOOP GO TROJANS
I believe sleeping in on a Saturday morning is not wasting the weekend. Not at all.
I believe in brunch with my girls.
I believe in brunch in general. ;)
I believe in smiling.
I believe in singing to yourself.
I believe in waterproof eyeliner. And concealer.
I believe in organic skincare.
I believe in de-stressing with odd/random TLC shows. (Extreme couponing!! Hoarders!!)
I believe everything in life happens for a reason.
I believe in God.
I believe in volunteering.
I believe that frosting is the best part of a cupcake.
I believe in blogging for inspiration and self reflection.
I believe in eating healthy 90% of the time. Maybe 80%.
I believe in my family.
I believe in my boyfriend.
I believe in love and kindness
And all things warm and fuzzy!


Linking up, thanks Living In Yellow for this wonderful idea :)

Wishlist: the Unattainables

One thing I miss about living in the US is access to quality products for good bargains. Drugstore makeup in Hong Kong is limited and often their new makeup collections come months later than the US, and with a much more limited selection.

Recently I've been hearing about all the fall collections making their way onto shelves, and I'm so bummed I'm not there to check these out. Girls in the US, you're lucky!!


1. Wet N' Wild "Comfort Zone" Eyeshadow Palette (reviewed here, sold here).
All the fall trend colors you'll need for this fall/winter, all for $4.
2. Bath and Body Works fall scented candles (sold here).
These always get me into the festive cozy mood. Really wish I had access to a B&BW store right now.
3. Neutrogena Visibly Clear 2-in-1 Mask.
I've been on a hunt to find the best deep clean mask lately, and this one is a good budget alternative.

I'm gonna go burn the last of my Leaves candle from my last US visit now. *sniff*

Hope that you're all having a smooth and happy hump day. Tomorrow is the busiest day of the year at my job (yup Sep 20. It's a boring work reason that I won't go into here...), so wish me luck!

September 18, 2012

Little Letters


dear twitter,
why can't i seem to get a hang of you? facebook, instagram and blogger is all i really need. i know you're amazing. it's not you, maybe it's me.

dear "unconditional love",
i read this article on Thought Catalog today and started thinking about you, "unconditional love." aren't you kind of a redundant phrase? kind of like there's no point saying "hot fire" or "sweet cupcake."

dear gym,
1 more month and our contract will come to an end. considering we've only hung out like 5 times over the past 2 years (joking but not really), it's safe to say this is where we'll part ways.

dear canker sore,
please go away so i stop looking like a swollen puffer fish.

dear blogsophere,
i've never been this excited about blog reading in a long time. finally taking the plunge and starting a blog has led me to so many inspiring reads. and has given me so much satisfaction writing about things i love.

dear boyfriend,
i wish i could give you a big hug after your long tough day at work. this long distance thing is stupid. on a happier note, can we start planning christmas?


New Love: Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat


Don't you love it when you take a chance with a random product, and it turns out to be really good? A couple months ago, I was eager to try out some nail polishes, but had no top coat at home. In the end I grabbed this top coat at the drugstore right next to my office on a whim. 

I'd call this a review, but then I realized I have nothing negative to say about this top coat at all. This is nothing but a product rave.

Let's be honest. It's a top coat. Nothing that exciting. But all you need in a top coat, it has.

1. It's thin. Unlike the Seche Vite top coat, this one is thinner and easily spreads on the nail. Also I've had this for months and it has remained the same consistency - not goopy/thick at all.
2. Quick Dry. Hence the name quick dry top coat. Many call themselves that but can't do the job well. This one is right up there with the infamous Seche Vite top coat.
3. High Gloss. A thin layer is all you need to make your nail varnish look bright and vibrant.
4. Big Three Free. "Big three" refers to 3 potentially harmful chemicals commonly seen in nail polishes. In recent years many brands have reformulated their polishes to be "big 3 free," and Revlon is one of them. Always a plus to know your nail polish doesn't have these risky ingredients. (For more on Big 3, All Laquered Up blog has a really helpful and informative post here.)

Gotta love a no frills, good quality top coat!

September 17, 2012

The Prettiest Beauty Products Ever!

[Warning: major beauty product cuteness ahead]

Korea is a beauty junkie's heaven. For those who have been you'll know what I mean - they're HUGE on all things beauty-related. From high end quality beauty brands, to popular plastic surgery culture (not my thing but really interesting how common it is there), to a-dollar-a-face-masks on the streets, Korean girls know their stuff when it comes to looking pretty.

A friend of mine recently went to Korea and brought back a load of goodies for us (thanks Janice!!!), which she distributed to us girls one by one over dinner last week. It felt like Christmas.

Look how pretty!

Masks for every body part possible, creative little beauty tools, tons of generous samples, and cutely packaged nail polishes. I love love love the heavily pastel colored packaging of everything.

1. First off, the masks - collagen, white pearl, ginseng, pomegrante, aloe, honey - any type of lovely ingredient you can think of. Then to top that, there's also masks for every body part that needs pampering - hand masks, feet mask, nose mask, lip mask... I think it's safe to say I am set with masks for the rest of 2012.


2. Next up the nail polishes. Left two shades are from Skin Food and the far right one is from Etude house - both Korean brands that I've heard of but never tried. The remaining 2 are from an unknown brand. Again, love the cute packaging.


3. Samples! Lots and lots and lots of samples! Korean beauty stores are very generous in giving out samples, perfect for beauty junkies who want to try out different products. I'm particularly excited about the Skin Food Gold Caviar Serum (bottom right) - apparently it's a luxurious super-skin treat.

4. Sulwhasoo is a high end Korean brand that focuses on luxury, quality skincare (available here). I've never tried their stuff before but am so far enjoying this highly moisturizing lip treatment. 
And check out the peach-holding panda and pink queen bee. Can you guess what they are?


5. More random goodies: Missha blotting sheets, a popsicle design nail filer, and 2 dainty rings

I can't wait to try everything out... ahhhh the excitement :)

And for all those foodies out there, check out the Korean seaweed snacks and brownies. 
I guess I'll be snacking on roasted seaweed while pampering my face, hands and feet tonight!


September 16, 2012

Happiest Place on Earth

circus haunted house / castle by day / mickey balloons / castle by night

Saturday
One of my favorite things about Hong Kong is that despite being a teeny tiny city, with have our very own Disneyland. I am a hopeless Disney fan - I love the dreaminess, the princesses, the happiness, and most importantly the idea that dreams come true :)

As part of their corporate partnership events, a couple friends and I had the chance to try out Disney's Halloween attractions. I managed to walk through one of the haunted houses which left me waaay too terrified to go into another other one. Forget ghosts and goblins, there's no better way to enjoy Disney than riding kiddy roller coasters, snacking on caramel popcorn, and enjoying the dreamy Disney fireworks. Which is exactly what I did for the rest of the evening.

evening skies / mom's usual reading set up / home spa time / stocking up on Chinese snacks

Sunday
Sunday was spent meeting a friend from Tokyo for a brief Dim Sum lunch, picking dried fruits and preserved plums from my favorite old school snack store, and enjoying yummy Lush face masks with mom.

... and by enjoying I mean taking silly snaps of our chocolate/yogurt paste covered faces. We look scary enough to work at Disney's haunted house don't you think?

[Side Note: I've been trying out a couple of Lush's fresh face masks lately, they all taste so yummy I wish I could try them all! Full reviews to come soon.]

Hope you're having a relaxing weekend!

Linking up:

September 15, 2012

Guest Post: One Heel Forward

*** This is my very first guest post by Naomi from One Heel Forward... exciting stuff! We found each other on the interwebs and I always end up drooling over her fashion and accessory finds that she writes about. We decided to do a collab where we each wrote a post on the other's blog. I hope you enjoy her ideas as much as I do! ***

Hello Blush and Bruch readers, I am Naomi and my blog One Heel Forward, centers around fashion, style and beauty trends. I was thrilled when Rachel agreed to let me do a guest post so I hope you all enjoy. 

Everybody always says that we should enjoy the small things in life and I believe that the same should be said for clothes. When buying a garment I am always looking at the smaller details as well as ‘the big picture’. I am a huge fan of pieces that have detailing which draws your attention to certain parts or even might go unnoticed but is still there. I am going to share with you a few of my favourite details on clothes I have recently bought. 



To begin with the straps on this top from Primark are both completely different, whilst one is relatively thick the other is a thing spaghetti strap. As a person, who is not a fan of one shoulder pieces, I was surprised when I was drawn to this detail but instantly fell in love with it. The pleated waistband is probably my favourite thing about this top, if there is one thing that you should draw attention to it is your waist, as the smallest part of your body, it is the most flattering thing you could point out to someone. The gathering on this top, makes it a bit different and definitely adds something to it. Although it does have all these details, it still somehow retains its simplicity, perfect with jeans and heels on a night out. 



As I have said before, and I will probably say it again, lace is definitely one of my favourite trends and as soon as I saw this Limited Collection top half price in M&S I rushed to the cash desk. The contrasting colours of the coral and white, make it really special. I recently wrote a post about transitioning your summer wardrobe into winter, and this top could easily do that when paired with jeans, boots and a jacket. 



Exposed zips have quickly multiplied on garments in many high-street shops. I don’t think you can walk into any shop and not see an exposed zip. Whilst I have seen zips which draw a lot more attention, this one still draws attention but does not detract from the main detailing of the waistband cut-out. The cut-out detail on this dress is beautiful and not too much that you couldn’t wear it out in the day. There are many cut-out dresses around which have so many holes that they just look too ‘clubby’ for everyday wear. I love this and once again I can see myself wearing it in Winter, with a nude coloured vest top, a jacket, scarf and tights. 



And finally, I recently saw this jacket on a rail and had to have it. I have been looking for a velvet jacket for a while and immediately I knew this was the one. I love the ruched sleeved detailing as it adds further femininity to the fabric. I already plan on wearing this jacket at Christmas with a white lace dress. 

Feel free to check out my blog One Heel Forward and thanks again to Rachel for letting me write this post! 

What is your favourite trend when it comes to detailing?



**Thanks Naomi for sharing some lovely detailed pieces with us. I also wrote a post on her blog, which you can check out here**

Five Things: Fall Loves

[all images from weheartit, except the top right image from ASOS and bottom right image from here]


I felt and smelled the first slight fall breeze this morning... it's finally here! To celebrate the excitement, here are 5 fall-related things I'm currently loving.

Mint Tea
I find mint teas the most comforting beverage. I've been really enjoying mint tea with my breakfast, they're refreshing yet soothing at the same time. Also great for the occasional stress-related stomach pains.

Candles
I can never pinpoint whether I love candles for the scent or the mood. Either way, my apple crumble, creamy pumpkin and homemade cookies candles from Slatkin & Co have been on rotation every night this week.

Rose gold heart necklace (sold here)
Love a dainty necklace over a chunky knit. Currently on the hunt for that perfect white sweater to pair with this.

The breeze
Although there aren't many red & orange fallen leaves in Hong Kong (it's a concrete jungle here), the first autumn breeze today is enough to get me excited for the new season! It feels especially nice after the sticky summer that seemed to never end.

Sugar Lip Treatment
Rediscovering my all-time favorite lip moisturizer. Thick and moisturizing and never fails me in the drier, colder months. I love both the clear and tinted Rose shade.

Do you feel the fall breeze where you live? :)

September 14, 2012

The Perfect Fall Manicure

A while back I wrote about the Chanel Makeup Fall 2012 collection, and in particular there was a nail polish that I passed up at first, but ended up going back to pick it up after a night of research.

It's Chanel's Frenzy.

And boy I'm sure glad I did. It's. so. beautiful.!


[note to self: learn how to take better nail polish shots. these do not do them justice]

I originally passed this up since the shade seemed quite dupe-able. It looked like any other taupey grey shade, very similar to Essie's Sand Tropez. But turns out, this shade is way more interesting than any taupe/grey shade that I've seen.

Frenzy is a lilac-grey that looks blue/lavender/taupe/nude in different lightings. It is opaque with 2 coats, but for a more solid color you'll need 3 (I only have 2 coats on in the pictures above). I absolutely love this color and think it's the perfect fall transition shade. I also like that it has so many dimensions and looks so different with various lightings - yet always so pretty regardless.

If you were on the fence about this one like me, I definitely recommend you go for it :)

On a side note, I find the name "Frenzy" somewhat an odd choice for this calm, muted shade. Or am I missing something here?

Happy Friday!


September 12, 2012

If I Were....

[Coco and I]

Happy hump day! I'm being a lazy bum in bed with "How I Met Your Mother" Season 3 playing on DVD, Chinese black tea, and a bowl of cherries. I read about the cutest tag on "Seems Pretty Obvious" and "Charlotte's Web", and thought it'd be fun and easy to do after a long day.

If I were a gemstone, I'd be an Amethyst
If I were a scent, I'd be white jasmine.
If I were a pair of shoes, I'd be a pair of white woven flip flops.
If I were the weather, I'd be a warm, sunny Cali winter morning.
If I were a facial expression, I'd be a goofy smile.
If I were a car, I'd be a white Mini Cooper.
If I were a time of day, I'd be 5pm.
If I were a month, I'd be November.
If I were a place, I'd be the Santa Monica beach.
If I were a liquid, I'd be apple juice.
If I were a taste, I'd be pistachio or strawberry.
If I were a sea animal, I'd be a clown fish like Nemo!
If I were a food, I'd be a blueberry muffin.
If I were a color, I'd be lilac blue.
If I were a musical instrument, I'd be a flute.
If I were a flower, I'd be a daisy.
If I were a planet, I'd be the moon. 
If I were an object, I'd be a fleece blanket. 
If I were a fruit, I'd be a cherry.
If I were a sound, I'd be the animated sound of a bubble popping.
If I were a day of the week, I'd be a Thursday.

Hang in there friends-in-the-workforce, the week always goes by muuuuch faster once Thursday comes around (and yes that's why if I were a day of the week, I'd be Thursday)

Finally... I tag:
Hannah from "A Little Beauty Spot"
Ellie from "Ellalogy"
Naomi from "One Heel Forward"
and you!

September 11, 2012

Five Things





I have been obsessed with Pinterest and Tumblr lately, especially the beautiful random life shots that bring a smile to my face. Here are five things that make me extremely giddy, even on a really "blah" Tuesday like today.

Leisure cycling. In cute outfits.
I am the least athletic persion ever, but a nice bike ride is right up my alley. 
Whenever I visit my boyfriend in Singapore we love cycling down the waterfront at East Coast Park.

Iced coffees at Starbucks.
Iced soy caramel latte, light ice please.

Soaking up the sun in an air conditioned room.
For days when the heat gets too unbearable, but the sunshine looks too inviting to pass up.
My version of this would also include a magazine, and that iced latte of course.

Cheesy yet lighthearted love quotes.
Also loving this one - "Love is how excited your dog gets when you get home."

Affectionate kisses.
The major downer of a long distance relationship. Deprivation of hugs and kisses. Boo!

September 10, 2012

New Love: Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer


The best way to kill time when waiting for a friend who's stuck at work is.... *drumroll* browsing the drugstore makeup aisle! Which is exactly what happened last week... and I ended up picking up a new concealer to try out.

There's been a lot of rave about the Bourjoir Healthy Mix line lately, but the spotlight has always been the foundation. I'm not in the market for a foundation, but I'm always up for hunting down the next perfect concealer - especially one that claims to have skincare properties. 

Presenting my new favorite *another drumroll*... the Bourjois Health Mix Correcting Concealer (that is a loooong name!!)

This concealer claims to improve skin with its 3 "fruit-therapy" ingredients:
Apricot: Radiance
Raspberry: Micro-Circulation
Melon: Hydration

First Impressions:
Smells slightly fruity
Medium to full coverage without looking cakey
Lasts all day, even without setting powder
Sanitary squeezy tube packaging
Easy to apply with just fingers

This reminds me of the Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer which I also love, but the Boujois one has slightly sheerer, natural looking coverage (and has a MUCH more reasonable price tag!). Although Bourjois claims this to be a multi-functional concealer, I've only used this on blemishes/redness, because I think this would be too thick for undereye.  

Since I've only been using this for a couple days, I've yet to see any skincare benefits. However the oil-free formula is working well for me, my skin has not broken out or looked greasy. Yay!




If you're intrigued, check out more user reviews here at Makeupalley.
I find the reviews very helpful in making all my beauty purchase decisions.
(Except for the occasional impulse buy of course!)

Lazy Cupcakes


A bit of cupcake life story... Back when I was studying in LA, the Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery in LA was my very first red velvet experience. It was also what sparked my love and obsession for eating/decorating/staring at/reading about/photographing/baking cupcakes. I've been inspired to learn to bake my own cupcakes ever since my first Sprinkles bite.

A while back my college bestie brought back a can of Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake mix from LA for me. For those who aren't lucky enough to have access to a Sprinkles Cupcakes store, these cupcake mixes are a close runner up to the perfect cupcake. Also for those who lazy bakers out there, this is an easy alternative to the typical baking-from-scratch - yet fancier than the usual Betty Crocker cake mix. With simple instructions and minimal ingredients (I only needed butter, milk, 2 eggs and a tea spoon of vinegar), these cupcakes came out perfect!

Chocolatey, buttery, and crumbles beautifully.

[The real product isn't this red. This was taken under sunlight hence the hue. Looks a bit scary doesn't it?]

[Much better color representation here. The perfect maroon red.]

The cake mix also comes with a frosting recipe, but I took the lazy route and decided to use up a can of pre-made cream cheese frosting I had leftover from my last baking project instead. I also chose not to use the signature Sprinkles "dots" for garnish (see below photo for the "dots" I'm talking about), because the dots really only look cute with the flat top frosted Sprinkles cupcakes. Instead I sprinkled cake crumbs and some ruby red edible glitter on the frosting for a simple finishing touch.

If you're interested in baking your own batch of Sprinkles cupcakes, their cake mixes are available for sale here and here.

[image source here]

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