WHAT I’M WEARING: BACK TO SCHOOL

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DSC_0333School starts next week, and  of course that can only mean one thing. Well, that’s not true. It also means tests and essays and an entire assortment of other nasty, awful things. But mainly, back-to-school means shopping. Out with the old, in with the new. I’ve been rebooting my skincare and makeup recently as well, so I’ll be doing a post on it shortly. My closet, however, is a different story. The clothes stay. That is, I’ll be re-wearing all of last year’s clothing, at least until labor day sales show themselves on the horizon. To be honest, I don’t need the reboot in terms of garments, so I’d rather not waste money on unnecessary items.

The first day of school, among other things, stands out as being one of the most stressful days of the year. The others are every single day afterwards until summer. But amongst these strong contenders, day one of the year is budding with with nerve-wracking potential, both good and bad. A new year can mean a new, fresh start, or, after the first day, things can take a turn for the worse, and we can end up on a path straight into the land of no return. First impressions on this very important day, as you might expect, are essential. I’ve planned my first outfit of the year to show you all today, so I hope you like it!

The top is from one of my favorite stores in New York, the massive, four-story Uniqlo. If you’re looking for staple items for a great price, that’s the place to look. They have an amazing selection and are incredibly affordable. Check out their website here. The shoes (not pictured) are a pair of Prada loafers I picked up on my last trip to The City at Saks’ shoe sale. If you’ve been to the Saks on Fifth Ave. in NYC, you know that the eight floor is shoe paradise. A few years ago, I walked into Prada and spotted these, begging (and even crying about it in the store) my parents to buy them for me. But, being the young child that I was and the shoes being around $490, it was a no-go. Imagine my surprise when I spotted them for just $175 at Saks? It’s still a pretty high price, but the quality is fantastic and they’re incredible versatile, smart shoes. I prefer to invest in a pair than buy twelve that run down in a year. You can get them here. The bag is a Cambridge Satchel in the 15-inch, their largest offering. It’s wonderfully sturdy and fits slim books and a laptop perfectly, it’s a great option for college students, since it’s beyond stylish and incredibly functional. You can pick and personalize your own Cambridge Satchel here. Last but not least, I found the necklace at Ann Taylor one day for $10 on the sale rack, so unfortunately you can’t get it anymore, but any statement collar/necklace will do! I just went for something more subtle for school, but the shirt is merely a blank canvas; accessorize to your liking. The pants were a bargain buy for just $7.80 at Forever 21, and here I’ve just rolled them up slightly.  There you have it! Be sure to let me know what you’ll be sporting for back-to school this year :)

LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD

I’m beyond excited to report today that the lovely Ceecee of Cocktails and Cupcakes nominated me for the Liebster Award! I’ve wanted nothing more than to be nominated for a while now (well, that’s not true. I’ve also been wanting a new Nars blush, but that’s another story.), and imagine my surprise when I opened up twitter this morning and found out! Thank you so much Ceecee :)

So What Is the Liebster Award?

Essentially, the Liebster Award is given out to bloggers with under 200 followers as a way to gain recognition! It’s a great way for new bloggers to get their names out there and gain some readers. Each blogger who gets nominated nominates another 11 people, and so on and so forth.

Official Rules

1. Link back to and follow the person that nominated you.

2. Answer the 11 questions set by the blogger that nominated you

3. List 11 facts about yourself.

4. Choose 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate.

5. Pose your own 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

6. Notify your nominees.

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My Questions

1. Who is your favorite youtuber? 

Ever since I got into beauty and started watching videos, I’ve been obsessed with Essie-Button. I remember watching her MAC eyeshadow palette video whilst looking for new shades and thinking, this girl is amazing. She’s hilarious and I adore her videos; she always manages to make you feel like she’s just sitting having a conversation with you.

2. What is your favorite makeup brand?

Nars, nars, NARS. I adore their blushes and eyeshadows, and pulling the sleek packaging out of my bag always makes me feel ultra-chic. It is expensive, but I find that if you choose well, theirs are the products that you end up going back to again and again.

3. What do you love about blogging the most? 

I love that through my blog, I’m able to talk to other people about products and makeup-y things I love. Having a serious makeup addiction is tough; you want to talke nonstop about lipstick and eyeshadow with the whole world, and most people in my everyday life probably aren’t too interested. I love that I can share beauty bits with other people that feel the same way about makeup as I do.

4. What is your sense of style? 

I love that chic, preppy, parisian look; anyone ever seen Gossip Girl? Never was there an outfit of Blair Waldorf’s that I wouldn’t die  to wear. I love a bit of edginess in looks as well, but I’d say it’s Upper East Side-esque Manhattan street chic.

5. Biggest fashion mistake?

I once wore a pair of white pants with a white shirt and white shoes to school. Someone even called me out on it.

6. Where do you hope to be in five years?

It’s been my dream to study in New York City for as long as I can remember, so hopefully I’ll finish well in school and be able to make it in the big city.

7. Are you a summer or winter person?

Winter. Most definitely. I love everything about it; boots, scarves, snow, Santa. Trench coats. Everything. Winter’s magical.

8. Your favorite film?

I’m a bit of a movie buff (which is a major understatement, since I’m at the movies at least once every week, and when I’m not there, I’m watching as many as I can at home), so my list of favorite movies is pretty much endless. I can’t possibly pick one, but some of my favorites are: Jurassic Park (being the first movie I can remember watching), The Graduate, When Harry Met Sally, The Departed, An Education, Forrest Gump, 500 Days of Summer, and The Devil Wears Prada.

9. Sweets or chocolate?

Chocolate. It’s what I like to call a peach food; it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Love.

10. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why? 

I do a lot of traveling, but I have yet to go to South Korea, so I’d love to go there for a few days and shop the cosmetics counters :)

11. What is your worst habit?

Ordering online. I love the feeling of getting a new package in the mail, it’s like sending yourself a little gift. Kind of like early Christmas. My bank account doesn’t love it so much, though.

11 Facts About Me

1. I’m a huge fan of the Dark Knight trilogy by Chris Nolan, having gone to see The Dark Knight Rises 4 times in theatres.

2. I’m a big T.V. series person, my all-time favorite being Grey’s Anatomy, but I also adore Gossip Girl and the Vampire Diaries.

3. I first got into makeup when I was really little, like three or four years old, stealing the Avon catalogues from my parents’ office and marking them up with all the products I’d buy when I got older.

4. I’ve always dreamt of being an actress; I used to sit and look up open casting calls nearby all day and beg my mum to take me. I even wrote several Oscar Acceptance Speech drafts back in elementary school.

5. I love love love the smell of fish food, like the flakes they sell at PetCo. Weird.

6. I’ve been traveling to New York once or twice a year for the past seven or so years. Each year, I made a “planbook” for the trip; what stores we needed to go to, my shopping list, what attractions were on the docket, restaurants, etc. I even mapped out restroom locations nearby where we’d be each day and labeled restaurants according to distance from the nearest store.

7. I love to bake, especially cakes and yummy things like that.

8. I’ve had a running wishlist of stuff since before the first grade, going and re-doing online shopping carts for hours a day.

9. I have an adorable Shi-Tzu named Suki, who was the inspiration for the blog’s name (see my about page).

10. My favorite actor is Christian Bale, while my favorite movie “funnymen” are Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell.

11. My favorite color is peach.

And the Nominees Are . . . 

Tea and Post 

Peach Pips

Cup of Ash Tea

Zombies Wear Eyeliner

20/30 Glam

LauraThinksAbout

Polka Dots Opinions

The Littlest Buzz

Amzy in Wonderland

Adventures in Procrastination

Lizzy Trend

My Questions for the Nominees

1. What was the first beauty item you ever bought?

2. Who is your favorite youtuber?

3. How did you get into blogging?

4. What’s your favorite tear-jerking film?

5. What’s your favorite product in your beauty arsenal?

6. What can’t you leave the house without?

7. What’s your favorite blog?

8. Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years’ time?

9. Who’s your style icon?

10. If you had to choose a store to live in for the rest of your life, what would it be?

11. What’s your dream job?

Congratulations to all the nominees!

 

THE NEW THING VOL. 2: ORIGINS GINZING MOISTURIZER

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I’ve been ogling the Origins GinZing Eye Cream for a good year now, but haven’t really had any urgent need for it; I don’t suffer from terrible dark circles and although my main issue, puffiness, is targeted by the product, I just have never seemed to be able to justify purchasing it. It’s not an outrageous price at all; I was ready to hand over my credit card for Bobbi Brown’s nearly $50 offering at once, it’s just that I always seem to get squeamish when I actually pick it up to get rung up at the till. It’s just that for me, I feel like it’s not an essential. But. Moisturizer? That’s a whole other ballpark.

I have extremely dry skin; I suffered from eczema when I was little and have been battling dry spots ever since. Even with the uber-hot and humid climate where I live, my skin generally stays dry unless properly moisturized. With school starting, early mornings are a comin’. So a moisturizer that wakes up my tired, dull skin after a late night of studying? That’s my kind of thing. This, I can justify, being an essential and all. So for anyone out there too scared to take the plunge with the GinZing eye cream, I’d start with the moisturizer and see how you like the idea.

After having sampled it for about a week and using it for a few more days, the verdict is clear: holy. grail.

This stuff is super lightweight, and, because it’s water-based, sinks into the skin and leaves it feeling plump and happy. I was worried that it wouldn’t be hydrating enough for me and might leave my skin feeling tight because of its claim to “wake up” the skin, but let me tell you, it’s hydrating at its finest. Lightweight AND soothing? Count me in. Never again will I repurchase my Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Cream for $55. Well, maybe. It does smell nice. But this smells better. And it lives up to its claims; it de-puffs and makes skin feel energized, refreshed, and ready for the day, glowy and all.

Need a morning wake up call for your skin? Give the GinZing moisturizer a try. I’d say it’s love. Who knows? I might even pick that eye cream up after all. You can get the moisturizer here.

IT’S A PERFECT WORLD

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So the other day, I’m going about my business, snooping through my mother’s cosmetic cabinet like every good girl does at least once a month, and something catches my eye. Not just anything, either. An ORIGINS thing. And tell me, what does one do when faced with a $30 body lotion stowed away, untouched and far from prying eyes, within the cosmetics cabinet of one’s own mother who, let me point out, neglected to mention its existence? One grabs the tub and runs all the way home, that’s what. Actually, it was more like I grabbed the tub and went to her office, demanding why I wasn’t told sooner. But still. It’s kind of a big deal.

The world is not that kind. Wait, scratch that. The universe is just too mean. It does not give away things for free, and it certainly does not give away origins things for free. But you know what it does do? Sometimes, if you look close enough, it opens a little door through which you have but seconds to run and grab one of your heart’s many (I assume, if you’re reading a beauty blog) cosmetic desires. And yet, that, in itself, is too rare of an occurrence to rely on for help when the old body butter runs low. But I digress.

In short, when the universe opens a door, run straight through and don’t ever look back.

And so it was that I ran, ran as fast as my short, stubby little legs would go, asked politely if, since she had deliberately withheld this magic from me, I could please steal it, since it obviously wasn’t as deeply loved as it should have been, to which she explained simply that it was a gift from last year that she didn’t even know she still had. Thanks, mum.

But the stuff. The Origins A Perfect World Body Cream? It’s the stuff of dreams, I say. Lightly whipped, it’s light enough to not sit on the skin and hydrating enough to lock in moisture all day and all night. And it smells yummy, but that’s just a bonus. Does origins make my skin happy and joyful? Yes. Could it possibly lead to my eventual bankruptcy? Oh yes.

 

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WOMT #1: ESSIE LAPIS OF LUXURY

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Oh, I do love a good pastel blue. This one is no exception, but it’s a bit of a twist on your classic sky-blue, with more periwinkle and purple-ish undertones. While the shade IS gorgeous, the formula is kind of funny compared to your usual creamy, milky pastel polish, since this one’s really sheer. Here, I had to layer on three coats to get full opacity, but a white base might help.  All in all, a gorgeous spring and summer shade if you’re willing to put in extra work. While this was from a resort collection a few years’ back, you can get it here.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS VOL. 1: SEPHORA COLLECTION

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Clockwise from the left: #11, #08, #09, and #03.

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Whilst wandering the glimmering aisles of the wonderland they call Sephora the other day, I passed by the store’s collection sprawled across shelf upon shelf of pure cosmetic bliss. For a moment, that short-lived nightmare almost came true; I nearly passed by it, without a second glance. Amen, I say: thank God for the Counterwomen. Because just as I started to stroll over to the aisles of Benefit, a perfectly manicured woman with saintly skin stopped me. “Did you hear about today’s sale?”

No, ma’am.

No I did not.

Thankfully, she did.

So the nightmare turned into this incredible reality in which I plucked out seven of the collection’s dreamy Volume Booster Gloss Serums, previously priced at $14.99, for $2.80 apiece. Talk about a sale.

Now, they’re not the most incredible glosses you’ll ever try, but for that price, they’re pretty much amazing. They do feel like they’re plumping your lips, but without the sting-y feeling you get from most lip plumpers. They’re not at all sticky, and, while wear time is pretty standard at around 2 hours, they don’t disappear in patches or leave funny marks and things behind, but instead leave you with a pretty stain. What really surprised me about these was the pigmentation; while the coral I picked up is on the sheer side, the brighter shades (here’s lookin’ at you, #09) had great color payoff. I swatched a few other items from the line whilst perusing in wonderland, but I thought I’d take it easy and try out a few of these before going at it with the rest of the collection. After seeing these things in action, I might just run out and buy me some face paint at dawn.DSC_0208

Clockwise from the left: #11, #09, #08, #03

Pictured on this post are only four of the six shades I picked up; the other two (a cherry red and blue-toned fuschia) were gifts for my cousin and mum, but performed just as well. Unfortunately, you can’t order these online, but have a look at your local Sephora to pick these up.

THE NEW THING VOL. 1: MAC SYRUP

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Ooh yes. She’s a beaut. For the past three months, I’ve been hoarding a little collection of empty MAC containers to exchange for a free lipstick, but I just hadn’t had the time until Monday. If you haven’t heard of it, MAC do a nifty little program called “Back-to-MAC”, wherein you can exchange six empty containers (depotted eyeshadow containers, used up powders, etc.) for a free lipstick. I was told at the counter I visited in Dillard’s that the policy has changed a bit; you can exchange them for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner at freestanding stores or a lipstick (excluding the Viva Glam and Sheen Supreme lines) at counters in department stores. After a bit of searching for the perfect rosy shade and a lot of blotting paper, I finally happened upon Syrup.

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It’s a gorgeous, plummy rose shade that’s not heavy on the lips but stays put for three to four hours. There’s no noticeable shimmer in it once it’s on the lips, but it has a nice sheen to it because of the lustre finish. MAC lipstick finishes can be quite confusing, but lustres are generally more hydrating than your average lippy and are sheerer in application, lighter on the lips, and glide smoothly on. This one’s a great everyday shade for all skintones; it pulls a pinky-plum rose on my skin tone but could easily lean more rose or purple-y depending on the undertones in your skin. Definitely at the top of my year-round lip wardrobe.

FRIDAY FIXER: DIY LIP SCRUB

Today’s Friday Fixer is based on a recipe I read on Essie-Button’s blog a while back for a do-it-yourself summer scrub. Lip scrubs tend to be pricey for what they are; no one really wants to pay upwards of twenty dollars for a little jar of flavored sugar. After trialling this one a few times, I’ve finally figured out the measurements for the perfect five-minute lip exfoliator.

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I’m using some virgin coconut oil I found at home by Nature’s Miracle, but you can get a jar at just about any supermarket or specialty health store like Whole Foods. The honey is standard Tupelo honey; whatever you have at home works fine. Lastly, I’ve added brown sugar as an exfoliator to ensure maximum scrubbiness.

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

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1. Add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar to a mixing bowl. DSC_00972.  Melt your coconut oil in a small bowl and add it to the brown sugar.DSC_01503. Add two about two tablespoons of honey. Don’t stress too much; just eyeball this part.
 5. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well.

6. Your scrub should now look something like this!DSC_02307. Transfer to a storage container to keep in your bathroom. DSC_02638. Give it a label and you’re good to go! Simples.

So there you have it! Friday Fixer #1. Enjoy :)

Check out the original scrub on Estée’s blog here.

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP- JULY 2013 EDITION

It’s the end of another month, which means it’s time for my first monthly roundup! Summer has flown by, and I can’t believe in a few weeks I’ll have to start worrying about school supplies again. Ugh. BUT. Here’s to a wonderful month, and a lot of great products.

Lately, it’s been ninety-four degrees outside, so makeup’s been kept to a minimal for the past few months. My love affair with Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua foundation in B40 is still going strong (review to come), since it’s uber-light and looks totally natural. It’s a no faff base product that I don’t need a brush for, since it gives a wonderful finish just by buffing it in with your fingers. Simples. But on those good skin days (of which there are few), I’ve just been pulling out my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in the shade “Honey” to cover any blemishes or under eye issues and setting with powder. This stuff is seriously creamy (surprise surprise) and a little goes a long way. For bronzer Nars “Laguna” has been my go-to since I got it and it’s gotten its share of love this month, while a sample of theBalm’s inStain Blusher in “Swiss Dot” (thanks, Birchbox!) has been keeping my cheeks a coral flush that lasts all day. Though I have a serious penchant for eyeshadow, I don’t own the Naked Palettes the whole world goes on about, and instead have a MAC palette I’m slowly building up. Now, that’s not to say I don’t seriously eyeball the little tin of shimmer every time I go into Sephora, I just always find a reason not to pick it up. I’ll save you the time of me explaining every eyeshadow in the palette since it isn’t even full, but keep your eyes peeled for a separate post on it. Anyway, my MAC palette has gotten a lot of use on the days I do wear eyeshadow; my main squeezes this month have been Woodwinked and Mulch. Back in June, I picked up the MAC 217 blending brush from my local CCO and I have to say, it’s love. This thing is worth every bit of the hype, blending out powders, creams, and pigments seamlessly. Lastly, my beloved YSL volupté Sheer Candy in #04 “Succulent Pomegranate” has been amazing this summer, giving the perfect juicy pout to go with a golden tan.

WHAT’S ON MY FACE #1

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In Lily Pebbles fashion, my first face of the day! Since it’s summer, I’ve been trying to give my skin a breather and not use too much makeup, or at least make it look like it. Lately, I’ve been loving the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation in B40, applied with my fingers just on the spots I need it. This is my favorite year-round base product; because it’s water based, it melts in beautifully and isn’t drying at all, leaving a gorgeous skin-like finish that’s not too dewy, but looks like skin. Next comes powder, so on went my trusty Rimmel Stay Matte powder in “Translucent”. Nars “Laguna” has been my go-to bronzer since I picked it up in March, and it looks like I’ve finally hit pan! The perfect amount of warmth on the skin, leaving it sunkissed and golden. To keep up the golden sheen, I whipped out my all-time favorite blusher, Nars “Luster”, and patted it on the outer third of my apples and upwards on the cheekbone. Because I don’t have the thinnest face, I don’t tend to pop blusher right on the apples of my cheeks, concentrating it higher up or contouring with it slightly. To top off the cheeks, I popped Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Opal” along the top of the cheekbones and under the browbone (not shown). I’ve been testing the sample I got from Sephora and I must say, it’s love! I kept it simple on the eyes, blending out my all-time favorite shadow, MAC’s Woodwinked, out into the crease, with my Dior Crayon Waterproof pencil liner in “Trinidad” on the upper and lower lashlines. No lipstick lately, just a slather of Nivea’s “Kiss of Moisture” lip balm. A quick crimp with my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers and a coat of Maybelline’s “The Colossal” mascara and I’m good to go! Simples. Have a look at the original “What’s On My Face” series on Lily Pebbles’ blog, What I Heart Today.