30 January 2015

It's All In The Tools






I think it is important to talk about the tools we use rather than just the products as some times we forget that without the tools the products don't work as well. Here are my most reached for brushes and tools I use when it comes to makeup and beauty. I like to store my brushes separately according to face and eye brushes. As most bloggers with Diptyque candles I store my face brushes in the empty glass jar and my eye brushes in this beaker I was gifted from work (neat huh)?. I guess you could say the positives to owning and spending a lot on a Diptyque candle is being able to use the glass jar afterwards for all different types of storage. I think it just looks so chic and pretty.

Now onto the brushes, I use to buy a few of my brushes from the drugstore when I was a teenager (obviously with what money I had saved) but have since swapped them up for high end brushes as I grew older and could afford them. There really is an obvious difference in quality and in the long run you are definitely getting your monies worth and your skin will also thank you — as with high end comes quality which means ultra soft and gentle precise bristles on your skin (particularly the eye area where you don't want anything too hard and rough). When it comes to using brushes there are no rules on what certain brush does what, basically you can use each brush for whatever task works well for you.

This is my own personal collection I use on myself (I have spare brushes in my drawers when these become dirty however the brushes mentioned in this post are my favourite) - I also have a separate brush roll of brushes I use for my freelance that I keep separately in my kit.


Eyes:

Chantecaille Perfect Sweep - I only recently bought this brush but since using it these last few days I find so far it does exactly what the name says — it perfectly sweeps eyeshadow on so smoothly but I mainly use it as a blending brush to blend out my transition shade. It is ultra soft and the size of the bristles are neatly packed together but still have movement when using it to blend.

MAC 217 - This has been a cult to everyone, I surely get good use from this brush. It just does the job well from packing eyeshadow on to blending the crease — let's just say it is definitely an all in one tool. There's not much else to say about this brush only that I wish it were a tad softer and the bristles tend to fan out a bit other than that it is definitely a staple.

Sigma Pencil E30 - I like to use this brush for smudging below my lash line, smudging out eyeliner or cutting out my crease line. The small bristles make the application so precise and clean.

Hakuhodo J5522 - This is by far my favourite eye brush out of the lot. It is the softest and best quality of all brushes I've own and tried. I wish Hakuhodo was regularly available and not so expensive but you are definitely getting your monies worth regardless. I find with the tapered end of this brush it blends out and also can define the crease all in one. It is a bit large to pack on eyeshadow but if you take your time and swipe eyeshadow on it can apply it quite nicely despite it being a blending brush. Although I would just pair it with either my MAC 217 or Sigma E25 brush and the two can do an entire look alone.

Sigma Blending E25 - As previously mentioned this brush packs on shadow like a dream. It is similar to the MAC 217 but I find it is more softer and a tad longer in length. The bristles hold together and keep its shape better too.

MAC 266 - Since using this brush I've found it applies the best out of all my eyebrow brushes - It is a small angled brush that just gives you the best application especially when you want to build up your brows slowly because it is so small you can work with it and not go overboard. I find it also applies gel eyeliner really well — the angle is so sharp it makes creating a flick for the wing liner a breeze.

Anastasia Beverly Hills 20 Brow - I use to use this for my brows all the time however found it quite hard to get the perfect shape as the bristles are all flat. I like to use it now to tight line my waterline with gel liner and find it works well when you press it on gently on the waterline building up the intensity. The spooly on the end brushes out your brow hairs and lashes nicely too.

BECCA 60 - I use this for various things also, from brows to eyeliner and even eyeshadow. It is quite a versatile brush on one end it has a large white synthetic angled brush which I like to use for patting on wet eye shadows (the angle helps make a sharp edge also) and the other end is a thinner small but long angled brush I like to use for brows , etc.


Face:

INGLOT 4SS - This works well for highlight, under eye powder and contour. The brush fits perfectly on the crevices of your face from your cheek bones to your under eyes. I love the size of it and how soft it is on the skin.

Sigma 3DHD Kabuki - I was quite hesitant on Sigma face brushes as I heard it malts and sheds a lot. I decided to try this out despite this, so when it first launched I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did as I find it blends foundation and concealer so well. The brush hairs are so soft and don't shed at all and the shape of the brush is so unique as it is designed to fit in every curve and the crevices of your face.

Hakuhodo J505 - Again, Hakuhodo can honestly do no wrong. If I could I would honestly change up my entire collection for just Hakuhodo (if only it weren't so pricey). This is the perfect size for an all over powder brush. You can definitely feel the quality of these brushes when you're using them — they're just ultra soft.

Hakuhodo J5521 - This brush has a tapered end and creates the perfect size for a contour or highlight application. I love how the end of the brush can chisel out your cheek bones.

Hakuhodo B5554 - I find this brush has multiple uses from liquid foundation to concealer to cream blush! Basically any cream or liquid form this will blend it out seamlessly. It has a duo fibre like design only a lot more dense on the base of the bristles.

NARS 6 Blush Brush - I received this as a gift from work and it was part of the Andy Warhol collection set. I don't think you can buy this on its own but I am sure you can find a similar size and style. It applies blush so lovely! I love how soft it is and the shape picks up and applies the perfect amount of blush.

Hakuhodo J5543 - A very similar shape to the J505 brush only shorter and a little tapered towards the end. It picks up the right amount of pigments to apply blush on your cheeks. I sometimes use it for powder/bronzer etc but its main purpose for me is a blush brush. Can I mention again how SOFT these brushes are?! They feel like silk!

NARS Yachiyo - This brush is so lovely and when I mention multipurpose I think this brush cuts above all — the only thing I would criticise is that it isn't the softest brush. In some ways I'm actually fine with this as I find it makes it a lot more durable for all tasks. I use this for contour/bronze/blush/powder/highlight , etc. If I had one brush to take with me for powdered face products this would be the brush! It has the perfect shape for all of the tasks I mentioned as the tapered and shape of the brush just fits all categories. I think the key to keeping it soft is to use a good cleanser when washing your brushes (I use castile soap and that keeps my brushes in top quality and very soft too) I know many people do say this brush does shed a bit of hair from time to time but it is just the way the bristles of the hairs are combined in that it can have a bit of fall out.

NARS Ita - If you are looking for that perfect contour brush to chisel and create that contour this is the brush to go to! (I did want to try the MAC contour brush but it seems like it's always sold out) Again with the Ita it does shed a little so the tip about washing your brushes with castile soap or something conditioning is important. It has a nice thin flat shape that fits perfectly into the contours of your cheeks.


Miscellaneous:

Hourglass Retractable Kabuki Travel Brush - I like to put this brush in my bag as the name says it is a travel brush! It is a really dense and soft retractable brush which I like to use to blend out my concealer and use it lightly to touch up with powder throughout the day. The size is just adorable!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tweezers - Out of all tweezers I've tried this has got to be one of the best (I also do enjoy Tweezerman also!) It has a precise and SHARP slanted edge that picks up even the tiniest of brow hairs. It has a heavier weight to it I find compared to your regular tweezers which I actually find makes it sit and feel better in your hands — basically you can feel the quality compared to the cheaper ones that just break your hairs off or don't grip onto any hairs at all.

Beauty Blender Sponge - I was for the longest time reluctant to try this! I am not one to fall for hypes (most of the time) and I just didn't think I needed this as I have so many brushes to use for my foundation. But of course I caved in and decided to purchase it when I received a discount voucher while it was on sale. Since using it mid of last year I found it just blends and packs on your foundation so flawlessly. You definitely have to use it damped or it will just soak up all your product. Using it damped helps hydrate the product and makes your foundation melt into your skin. I don't think there is a more seamless and natural looking way to apply your foundation! I highly recommend it! Especially when you feel like your foundation clings to dry patches on your skin — obviously using a moisturiser first prior to help that dry spot but also having this damp sponge just hydrates everything.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler - This is a no brainer — everyone needs an eyelash curler even those with tiny stubby lashes! It makes a whole difference to the application of your mascara and just opens up your eye area. I've used quite a few different brands and you will notice a difference in each. Some may pinch the skin of your eyelids and some may not even fit at all around your eye area so it is important to understand what works well for you. A few of my other favourites are the Utowa eyelash curler and the Shishedo eyelash curler. As you can tell the Japanese know their products! I find these fit majority of eye shapes and curl nicely without pinching or cutting your lashes. (Ouch! I've seen it happen to someone who used a cheap drugstore one — goodbye lashes!). I've had this curler for about 3 years or so now and it is still going strong! The price of the Shu Uemura has been lowered now so at $29 AUD it is a steal in my opinion!

14 January 2015

Lu - What?





You know when you have those days where the item you purchased previously wasn't the correct one because the sales assistant gave you the wrong one? Well, that happens to me all the time. I initially wanted to get the Chanel Le Volume mascara (original - RRP $52) however the day I went in and showed the Chanel lady the mascara sample I wanted she of course gave me the "waterproof" version. For a while I kept wondering why the sample had worked so much more better than the full size that was until I realised the sample wasn't at all waterproof so I did what any girl would do and went to exchange it. The new lady I spoke to was lovely she told me that the other lady that served me didn't bother to look properly as the samples were all the original formula and should have not given me the waterproof version as it doesn't work as well unless you like waterproof formula. The waterproof dries out a lot quicker and is more drying on the lashes, which is exactly what I found to happen. Anyway of course while exchanging my mascara for a new one I had to get more items with it too right? Lets just say I am extremely happy I finally have the right mascara and it is seriously so amazing on my lashes — literally does wonders from lengthening to volume! It's really hard for me to find a good mascara that works well for me!

I've been wanting to purchase a full size of the Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation (RRP $77) since trying out a sample. It is such a unique consistency comparing it to its sister the Vitalumiere foundation which I absolutely also adore however I find that one to have less coverage compared to the Velvet - I don't know if that is what it's supposed to be or the other way around but on me the Velvet provides more coverage. It applies liquidity and once blended into the skin leaves such a "velvet" smooth to powder feel along with amazing coverage while being so light weight. Vitalumiere will always remain a favourite but I do think Chanel hit the nail with the Velvet as well! Mixing the two together creates an even more unique texture giving you dewy, velvet and coverage all in one — which is what I like to do occasionally. I wear the shade B20 for the Velvet and B30 for the Vitalumiere (for my NC25-30 skin — incase you would like a shade reference in MAC terms) — you will find the shades are not the same in both, the Velvet appears to be more darker so if you are usually a certain shade in Vitalumiere then go down one shade if you're planning on getting the Velvet or better yet just get colour matched at a Chanel counter to be sure.

Along with the two other items I was in need of (or actually just wanted) another Rouge Coco Shine lipstick (RRP $50) since I already own two and they're my favourite lipsticks to wear. I opted for the shade #89 Satisfaction (I find the shade name very fitting for the current situation) — it is a perfect nude/everyday shade for my lips, my natural lip colour is slightly soft pink tone so with a nude like this (pinkish, rose with hints of brown undertones — almost similar to MAC's Matte Velvet Teddy but in shine/cream form) it works perfectly for me. If you haven't tried the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks yet I highly recommend them!

When I was finished at the Chanel counter we started heading back to the carpark to go home and along the way we walked by Lululemon and yep you know it - I went inside to look! I was good and only purchased the Flow Y Bra IV Granite Black marble pattern crop top to wear at home or while doing light exercise (yoga). It was on sale for $34 down from $49. The pattern is so lovely, marble is literally everywhere on Instagram and I can't help but also fall in love with it. 

07 January 2015

What Keeps Me Going





I do feel like since the start of this year I've been so motivated to do many things (especially blog). Today I went to run some errands and tick off many things on my to do list! One of the things I did was post packages to my Aunty Michelle in England as well as my mail friend Daisy from Pretty Green Tea! I tell you if postage wasn't so expensive I think many people would send mail more often! Nonetheless I felt so satisfied after sending them off. There's something really rewarding when you send presents to people. I guess I really enjoy giving gifts to people I care for — knowing that it'll brighten their day makes me feel really good.

After all errands I spent lunch with my Dad and Niece having some Banh Mi Thit which is Vietnamese/French pork rolls and sipping on sugar cane drinks! Perfect on this hot sunny day. It has been extremely hot here in Perth - yesterday reached up to 46 degrees in some places in Perth (crazy right)! I'm more of a winter person! I do love summer however when it gets hot like this is gets so gross and uncomfortable! My favourite seasons are autumn and spring although not so much spring now that I've randomly started getting hay fever this last year. (ew)!

With so many things happening last year — some really bad events, I've just learnt that something are just not meant to be and I guess I am ok with that now and I've come to terms with accepting that with the good comes the bad and vice versa. I am so happy with my life right now! I feel like I am so use to change now and trying to be a better version of myself each day.

Anyway! Onto another topic! I've been really into crafting, like stationery and all. I use to love it so much when I was younger and I've forgotten how much it made me happy! Since watching Lily Pebbles scrapbooking it's really motivated me to do more of it. I don't do the same as her but more so just organising my planners, diary (An Organised Life) & notebooks (Muji) and adding a bit of craft to it. I've especially been loving washi tape — just yesterday I went to Office Works with my Niece and bought a bunch of washi tape! From polka dots, chevron to Eiffel Tower patterns they're so adorable. I've been really into doing calligraphy writing as well — writing out quotes in my notebook and practising my writing with the calligraphy Muji pen I recently got.

My iPad has been in good use as well, mainly for blogging and just general use. I like to turn it into a mini laptop with the keyboard I have to connect it to through bluetooth. It's so easy to travel with however eventually I do want to invest in a new MacBook Pro laptop especially as I get into my photo taking and blogging this year. Another thing I've always done each day is light a candle while I'm working on things or even watching a movie/youtube, I love having it lit in the background with the beautiful scent lingering around my room. Diptyque is one that has always been a favourite! Especially this scent Figuier - It is so pretty and smell so strong that I don't even need to light it!

Lastly I thought it would be nice to show you what I've been wearing on my days off work and with this crazy heat wave happening in Perth there is no way I will put on my usual makeup! So I had to find a quick easy go-to and this is what I've been using! It's so lightweight and doesn't feel like you have a heap of makeup thats going to melt off your face but still looking presentable to the public haha. This is what works for me.

- Chanel Correcteur Perfection concealer in #20
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light
- Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow face sculpt and highlight
- Stila Stay All Day Waterproof liquid eye liner
- Chanel Le Volume Waterproof mascara
- Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep
- Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk
- NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

05 January 2015

I'm Back!








It's been a long one hasn't it? I guess you could say I tend to have my breaks every so often and it's mainly because of the obvious - A lot has been happening since September (my last post) and although I've been away it was mainly because I wanted to give my blog a little face lift, it still looks very similar however I did change a few bits and pieces. 

My header has always been created by my talented friend Lisa and my icons have also always been created by my dear friend Tenneil. I decided to go for a similar look just more monochrome and absolutely love the way it turned out — so many thanks to my girls! I hope this helps motivate me to blog more for this new year. It tends to be a common thing that people set goals and although a lot of it is cliche I do find if you start writing down your goals or documenting them eventually you will be reminded about them and get it done. I know 2014 I have achieved so much of my set goals. With many things pushing me back I always found a way around it so for this year 2015 I aim to do the same if not better. 

I wasn't sure as usual what my return post should be base upon so I just went with a few of my favourite photographs I took through out September 2014 to the end of December. As you can imagine I've accumulated a lot of makeup goodies these last few months! As pictured above are many new and old favourites I've been rotating in my daily makeup routine. Initially I wanted to film a makeup collection video for this post however since moving houses (again!!) I needed to sort everything out properly before I do film it. I will eventually get it done and post it very soon — yes that shall be a goal of mine! I'm quite nervous as I have not filmed any videos before. I am not intending on creating a YouTube channel it's just a once in a while thing I will post on my blog, I guess I'm aiming to keep it like a 'vlog' style. I can't wait to get working on it! If you want to keep updated please do follow me on my Twitter and Instagram accounts.

I  should mention that I won a lovely giveaway on Instagram, I was certainly surprised as I hardly ever win anything! The gorgeous Ash from Ozproductjunkie was hosting an amazing giveaway of a Tom Ford lipstick. I of course could not pass on entering this giveaway as I've been dying to try Tom Ford lipsticks given I never can grasp the concept of how expensive it is! Almost $70 AUD for one lipstick it's more expensive than foundation yet alone skincare! Nonetheless I will have to invest in more of Tom Ford's products after owning my first lipstick. I was able to choose a shade which I found extremely difficult as they were all so beautiful. I was thinking of either a nice everyday shade or a bold statement shade however decided I wanted a nice everyday shade and Ash gave me a few shades she really enjoyed and after hours of googling shades I settled for the shade Pink Dusk. It is such a gorgeous soft pink with hints of peach, rose and a warmness to it also (I am terrible at explaining shades). 

Another moment that captured my heart was my 10th year anniversary with my beautiful boyfriend on the 17th of November 2014. I cannot believe it has been a decade that we've been together. He surprised me with a lovely picnic at Kings Park. I was so surprised and I cannot figure out how this guy can still manage to surprise me even after 10 years (he is and always has been a romantic). We shared a sunny afternoon together talking about our lives together from the beginning to the present to the future. There was the kookaburra that kept sitting next to us and eating our camembert cheese (see photo above) and just the whole day felt so perfect, sipping my favourite Yellowglen Bella and having snacks together - I honestly couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our 10 years. 

I have some awesome posts planned that I've been working on with some that I haven't done before so I am really excited to show you! I couldn't leave without giving a few mentions to a few bloggers who have motivated me to post again (it tends to be a regular thing now each time I come back to blogging hehe). Tenneil from Like Neon Love and Rhondine from Born To Blossom - you girls have been asking me to update my blog and I think knowing that you are so interested in my blog really makes me feel like my blog has potential to keep going. Thank you for always being a regular reader and I must admit they are both of my favourite blogs to read so if you haven't visited their blog yet please do! Both blogs are filled with so much personality and beauty Tenneil is from Australia and Rhondine is from the USA. 

02 January 2015

Givenchy, Oui!



I would like to introduce you to my new beloved Givenchy Lucrezia Mini bag (in the shade taupe/beige with gold hardware, calf leather and suede lining) RRP for the mini is approximately $2,700 and for the medium size approximately $3,300 — prices may vary especially depending on the shade/leather/material/pattern , etc. This was a beautiful surprise gift from my boyfriend as a recovery gift for my surgery. I was not at all expecting this and was so surprised and thankful for such a wonderful present. I've been wanting a Givenchy for quite some time now along with many other designers. The reason behind why I chose to get the Lucrezia is because while seeing it in store along with the Antigona (which was what I was originally going to get) I took a while deciding which one stood out to me more. Although the Antigona is beautiful it isn't as practical as the lucrezia not to mention that everyone and their mother has the Antigona and me being me I don't like to be a sheep and get what everyone has as it's a put off and since I've hardly seen anyone own the Lucrezia (besides Kendall Jenner and Miranda Kerr to name a few celebs) I knew that I had to have it in my life which I guess makes it so much better.

When going retail therapy with my friend Wendy a while ago and seeing the Givenchy bags in person we we're looking thoroughly at each bag and to point out what we liked and didn't like about each bag. I'll explain exactly what I think and my point of view towards the two bags. First of all the bag I initially was eying the Antigona was too stiff when opening the bag it doesn't open out much making it difficult to get your items out of the bag. The style of the bag is nice to just hold on your wrist/inner elbow but I think it would be annoying to hold there all the time and seeing as the straps that come with the small/medium size is just way to short that if you were to use the shoulder strap the handles of the bag sits really awkwardly under your armpit due to it not being foldable and that's a no no for me. It does come in a mini size with a relatively long strap as well but I didn't like it due to the stiffness of the bag and that it was actually really tiny. Not to mention the inside of Antigona is made from just fabric lining as opposed to Lucrezia having suede/velvet lining which I'd much prefer.

Although it is so beautiful there were too many negatives. Now to the Lucrezia although it's a tad bit more pricey the pros to it is the leather is softer yet still very sturdy keeping its shape but still giving enough to be able to open up the bag well to get items out. I went with the Mini size as it fits me perfectly and with the strap being long it sits nicely as a cross body or on the side of my shoulder hitting just below my waist. The size is surprisingly really roomy I can fit so many of my belongings in there just as much as there was in my Longchamp bag! I was going to op for the medium size however the strap for that is really short as well and it too also sits weirdly with it being too bulky looking if you were to wear it on the shoulder just like the Anitgona however with the Lucrezia the handles can be folded down which really stood out to me where as the Antigona's handles stay standing up under your armpits I can imagine would eventually annoy me or be uncomfortable. I also decided I liked the taupe/beige shade rather than the black because I noticed in person that the taupe shows more of the bags characteristic and makes it look more chiselled whereas the black didn't stand out as much. 

So as you can see I am very particular and have acquired taste when it comes to picking out things. I guess I just like to think things through very thoroughly since it's an investment. I've had this thought with both bags for a while now so of course I always talk to the boyfriend about it a while ago and he already knew which bag I was keen on so when it came to surprising me he did a great job not that I was expecting it at all. I thought it would be a while that I would ever get my own designer bag. I know I could easily just save up and get it whenever, however I'd much prefer to wait until I have the money to freely get it which won't be anytime soon as I have savings for other things. So as you can tell I am so shocked even now when I look at it I can't believe I have it! I am forever grateful and so in love! 

I thought since I have a new bag now I should do an updated "what's in my bag".

- Ted Baker makeup bag
- Prada saffiano wallet (bluette)
- Prada saffiano key and card holder (ametista)
- Rayban Clubmaster folding sunglasses
- iPhone earphones
- Portable black phone charger 
- Aēsop hand sanitiser and hand cream
- An Organised Life Travel Journal/stationery 
- Car keys
- USB (for documents and photos)
- Lipstick I'm wearing/NARS lipstick in damage
- iPhone (of course)!