Saturday, 30 January 2010


So I am so so so so so very excited to be going to IMATS London 2010 at Alexandra Palace tomorrow. This will be my first IMATS event and since I joined YT I've always wondered about it and am very curious to see what goes on and what new things I can learn!

Moreover, I am very excited to meet some bloggers and YTers - hope to see some familiar faces in person!

I will of course update either on my blog or on YT- to share my thoughts on this event.

Hope you all having a lovely weekend......

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday shopping workout in Milton Keynes

Was visiting in Milton Keynes today and picked up a few things. The one thing I will say about shopping outside of a big city like London, is that you can really find some gems. Whilst there aren't the newest fashions, newest gadgets and toys, newest cuisines - and of course newest makeup collections - that London gets, likewise there aren't the same numbers of people that will snap up everything new. The demand I guess isn't that great perhaps in correlation to supply. Supply and demand.
: D

Milton Keynes has a great number of brands - and in the makeup department does quite well with a Debenhams, House of Fraser, Boots and John Lewis so you can get your Dior, Chanel, YSL, Guerlain, Laura Mercier, MAC etc - but no Bobbi Brown, Elemis or SpaceNK with NARS, Chantecaille etc. But I'm quite happy with the selection of brands on offer.

Anyhoo - on to my shopping workout today.

I have run out of my trusted SPF Sofina Lucent UV and need something to tide me over in the sunscreen dept til I next go to HK in a few months. So I have read alot about La Roche Posay sunscreen and I'm interested in trying other things from this brand, after having a good experience with their Respectissime eye makeup remover. I do have to say that I did look at other 'drugstore' brands on offer in Boots and I'm really surprised at how little independent sunscreens that are on offer. There are a lot of moisturisers that offer SPF (SPF 20 mainly)and LRP and Vichy were the only ones that offered a sole sunscreen product. A trick missing there.

So I settled on Anthelios SPF 30+ Fluide Extreme. The lotion seemed similar to the Sofina Lucent in that it has a liquidy consistency and feel. This is designed especially for oily skins so is lightweight and I am hoping that it doesn't exacerbate oils. It retails at £14.99 from Boots.

I then moseyed on into TK Maxx and was looking at the bag sections and came across a really nicely bean shaped tan coloured bag from RiiK2, a brand that I have seen in John Lewis. It was a really nice colour but just a bit small for me and I wasn't that bowled over by it and then another bag caught my eye:

I don't know if there is a brand to this bag - can't find a label. It's real leather and for me a fantastic colour and shape. It is new but has a vintage look and feel. Brilliant for work as well as for when I want to look a bit smarter going out - meeting with the Bank Manager maybe? : D I'll never be able to afford a Hermes Birkin (let alone have the patience or inclination for the insane waiting list) nor a Mulberry. But I think this looks much more classy and smart than a Mulberry. I love it and thought it was a totally great buy - £49.99.

The last thing was a piece of clothing - in black. What was I saying a few posts ago about needing to veer away from black?! : D This dress was a steal from Zara basic at £12.99 in the sale. I was wondering how I could incorporate the lace trend in my wardrobe - was thinking a lace undervest to wear with a blazer or tux jacket. This dress is better. It's got a bit of a 50s vibe and the higher waist band is flattering from my round pear shape. It's very comfy - not itchy at all - as it has an underlining.

Might wear it at this coming weekend's IMATS event in London. Maybe. : D

What have been your purchases or discoveries this weekend?

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

To prime or not to prime - a necessary part of your foundation workout?


Over the last few weeks I've been having this debate in my head about whether or not a face primer is necessary - for me. I think it's cos my skin has changed from oily to combination, and certainly in this colder and drier weather my makeup seems to be holding up well.

I used to be an avid face primer user - I've done a video of the ones that I have used over the years on YT. I used to really, really, and I mean really, believe that it was necessary. Recently as well, it seems that the majority of primers are so heavily silicone based (I know there are those out there that don't like Korres though I haven't tried it) - and I don't like the feeling of silicone. I've been using Sofina Lucent UV as my SPF for over a year now and it doubles up as a primer ie. when I use it I do find that my foundation does last longer. I like the double use. I've run out of it so might try out Shiseido's SPF which some reviewers have said double up as primer too.

But I'm wondering now, especially as I've been trying out Chantecaille's Future Skin foundation (which I will do a review of it shortly)as the SpaceNK MA said it has a 'built in primer' in it, whether the improved formulas and properties of foundations negate the need for a separate primer. I think companies are improving, on the whole, their makeup lines and especially foundations - from drugstore to luxury brands. I do feel that on the whole they are getting much better, more long lasting, oil free, moisturising, less cakey etc. There's definitely more competition out there so brands need to be on the ball. (though sometimes I still wonder when a crap product comes out and you think - haven't they learned? ;D )

Primers for me also don't stop oil at all, and don't stop your makeup fading in totality - but maybe that's too much to expect. But if I am going to have to touch up anyway throughout the day - I'm now looking at other ways to improve the staying power of my makeup:

#1. Try products that help keep oilies at bay - Milk of Magnesia and OC Eight gel at the mo. I'm also interested in trying Murad's Mattifier.
#2. Exfoliate and moisturise. In this freezing weather, I'm paying extra attention to my skin. I've kept on top of my skin regime and had to buy richer moisturisers for this weather - Eucerin's Hyaluronic lines (which I will also do a review on shortly). It could be a moisturiser or hilighting lotion like MAC's Strobe Cream. The regular exfoliation and richer creams I believe are actually helping to prepare my skin for the foundation to adhere to much better. My skin just seems to be 'bouncier' and more supple.
#3. Set makeup with a facial mist. I use Boots Botanics Brightening Toner. Works a treat.
#4. Now this last one is easier said than done. Use a foundation which is, in your eyes, a good quality foundation - something that you feel has been made well and you like the look of it on your skin.

I said it wasn't easy ; D Anyhoo, I just thought I'd put my thoughts out there - and wondered what you all think?

Monday, 18 January 2010

Golden Globes 2010!! My faves

With all the GG buzz, I thought I'd do a short post on whose makeup I liked the most. I've spent the last 2 hours checking out pix (haven't got through to all of them!) with E! online on the telly in the background. My fave is Lea Michele - I love the flawlessness of her skin, the fabulous voluminous falsies, and the pale pink lips with some contouring. These images don't do it justice but it's what I could find.....

Temptalia has better close up images and very helpfully gives a breakdown of what the makeupartist useds, mainly Dior. Hmmmm.....I've only tried mascaras from Dior, but might need to arrange a visit to the counter : D Hmmmm....

I also liked Ginnifer Goodwin, but that might be because I think she looked very different from everyone else, playing on her pixie like hairstyle - but the electric blue short dress (rather than full glam) - made her stand out IMO. Her skin was like cream IMO.

What were your faves?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

My new workout of Project 5 pan!!!

This is my first stab at Project 10 pan - though I am starting off slow with Project 5 pan! I believe people find it of interest so I thought I would post what I'm trying to finish off. That's it really what this project means to me - in terms of items I want to finish off - rather than any other criteria. I'm not adhering to the PT5 rules strictly (I actually don't really know what they are specificially!), as in I'm not on a low buy or waiting to finish off these items before purchasing more, the main aim for me is to finish these items so that I can clear some space!

I looked at my collection and wondered how I was ever going to select things to use solidly over the course of the next month (months - I don't know how long!) as I like the variety my collection gives me and allows me to 'play'. I'm already trying to 'Shop my Stash' so that keeps me busy with rotating things from my collection. So I selected things that I like to use - and rather conveniently - things that I am nearing finishing anyway. This is also a bonus because I am then trying this project off slowly - so that I don't get frustrated with an item that I hardly use and 'have' to finish it.

It's kinda like starting that diet but instead of doing it all or nothing - I'm trying the moderation approach.

So I keep my key makeup storage in Muji boxes on top of a clothes cabinet of drawers (to the left in the pic below) and am keeping the 5 items in clear view to remind me to use them!

The items are from top clockwise:

Boots No 7 Higlighting Lotion (in their permanent line)
Boots No 7 LE Gold Hilighting Lotion (I've used this sparingly over the last 2 years cos it's LE and I love it so but I need to use it up to clear space!)
MAC StudioTech foundation
Stila Convertible Colour in Rose
Tarte Rest Assured pencil (I only like the flesh pencil and not the highlighter on the other end)

So, I'm curious to see how I will do, and how long this will take, I'm guessing maybe 1-2months? I'm actually doing rather well on finishing alot of skincare prodcuts (eye makeup remover, creams, toner etc) but makeup is much harder as most of you who have done it will know!

Anyhow, let me know if you found this post interesting or not, cos I'm not sure whether it is of interest to people?

Hope those of you in the UK - or in artic climates - are wrapping up warm!!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Fashion bag workout - the London sales cont'd....

This last weekend I hit the shops with my mum as it's her last weekend before she goes back home to Hong Kong : (

I wasn't really looking (isn't that always the case?) for anything cos I have only got a few things in the sales - but haven't gone mad on it because I've reached a point in my wardrobe where I don't need another little black dress or crisp white shirt. So I'd been wanting a pair of strappy gold heels to dress up an evening outfit for a while and when the Jan sales first opened I scored these ones from Monsoon - they are not too high, but high enough to feel feminine and are so comfy! £25 too! Anyways, this last weekend I found this leather gold clutch bag in Dorothy Perkins for a mere £10! I thought they go well together.

Next up, when it came out last year I remember, I lusted after the Longchamp dome satchel legende but it was way too pricey at retail and even on sale still out of my range. Lo and behold Debenham's Blue cross sale!

This bag is from Modalu - a high street brand which is still pricey I think - but it really is the closest I will ever come to being able to afford a great high quality bag with beautiful soft skin leather and a great bowling bag shape. I love how it crumples in the bottom left corner in the second pic. Ever since I started noticing Modalu in the shops a few seasons ago I've wanted to try one of their bags - cos I just love the soft leather. This IMO was a good staple buy cos it was 50% off, £85 sale price, but a good investment and a good copy of the Longchamp one!

Have any of you tried a Modalu bag - or indeed any fab bargains you got during the sales?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Just loving ELLE UK magazine - got my 2010 fashion monthly fix sorted!

I am a magazine freak. Love 'em. But I haven't subscribed to a mag since back in the day as a teenager when nothing other than Allure would do (you know when the supers and Kevyn Aucoin were "it", when the matte look was everywhere and MAC Spice lip pencil everyone's favourite). Belledejour's recent post spurred me on to write my own. Check her post out too at

So I have subscribed and officially become an ELLE UK fan! Just makes so much more sense if I am buying them from the newsagent monthly. #Note to self# Shop Smarter in 2010. I've been getting back into ELLE over the last 6 months, I just love their edgy, refreshing, London based outlook. I might not be able to afford a lot of the stuff in there - but it gives me inspiration and makes me feel in touch with the city I live in. I guess they cover my taste of fashion but what I also really like about ELLE UK is that they cover London culture and lifestyle - which makes it a good read to me. Sometimes I feel like I get ELLE and then London Time Out all in one : D Plus I've been loving their cover girls lately - and this week's newest Feb edition stars noneother than the oh-so-gorgeous Natalie Portman:

I also subscribed of course this month because of the freebies ; D #Smart Shopping Act 2#. Three Essie nail polishes come with subscription this month - Secret Affair, No Boundaries and Great Expectations. After my manicure last weekend (which has lasted til today so I am impressed) with Essie's Pepperoni (pic above and below), I didn't need any more reason to subscribe.

(Love this red!)

ELLE UK also has a great website - with a fun and friendly beauty section with their beauty editors posting about everything and anything new in beauty in this city. I love checking them out on a daily basis! Dream job ; D

So, you can tell that I have begun a love affair with ELLE UK.

What magazines, publications, websites do you just absolutely love?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

BLACK - BLACK - BLACK - BLACK - I need a fashion workout!

Black is probably the one single colour I have most of in my wardrobe. I'm guessing many people do. I love black - I'd say it was my signature and safe go to colour. But I was disappointed when I stood back from hanging up my recent washload of clothes on my airdryer and saw this:

EVERY piece of clothing on the airdryer is black (ok there is a hint of bright pink in there but you know what I mean). I have LOADS of colour in my wardrobe but I just seem to be grabbing all black. I like to dress in black for my office look with statement jewellery or a bright nail colour or lip. But it's getting boring and too safe. I need some colour!

Over the holidays I did my annual wardrobe clearout which felt good but I feel like I need a fashion overhaul. My BFF and I agreed to treat each other to a personal stylist makeover at a department store in February (as our birthday prezzies to each other) and I'm really looking forward to it. We just need to decide on whether it'll be John Lewis, House of Fraser, Debenhams? Within our price range.

Have you ever just got stuck in a fashion or even makeup rut? Or stuck with one colour, pattern or style? What did you do about it?

Sunday, 3 January 2010

An accessories workout - courtesy of Accessorize!

In celebration of the last day before heading back to work tomorrow to begin 2010 projects - I packed a fun filled day today with my mum. Bit of cultural visiting, strolling about, pampering and shopping....all in one day.

My mum wanted to see the current V&A exhibition Maharaja - The Splendour of India's Royal Courts so we zipped on over there in the morning. In honour of much anticipated dazzling jewellery pieces in the exhibition, I wore these 2 necklaces from Accessorize.

..they don't quite compare to the exhibition objects, but I felt I had dressed for the part. ; D Check this hefty exhibition object out!:

The ones I got were ones from the Accessorize sale because I thought they looked Olivia Palermo-ish (aka from The City) though I don't for one second resemble her at all - in the looks, style or money stakes! But I think they work together, which I was quite surprised at as I don't tend to layer necklaces. I kept everything else free - so no earrings, bracelets or rings. Especially as after the exhibition, my mum and I went to the nail salon and I went for red manicure polish (which by the way, I am loving, I chose Essie Pepperoni np). I also got this pearl/diamante choker at Accessorize:

I do love that shop, especially so at sale time. You can update your wardrobe simply with a piece of jewellery. After the manicure, I popped into MAC to get Hue l/s as part of B2M, but also a back up of 2N l/g, Relaxed shadestick AND I also picked up Nurture shadestick from the Warm & Cozy collection. Yes, I did. Oops.

The V&A exhibition ends on 17 January so there isn't much time left, it was a fine exhibition, but I was a bit disappointed because I think there was much more that could have been made of the exhibition theme - especially the 'splendour' - as there were only a few choice pieces. And I would have liked a bit more of a story or background to the royal families that were featured. It kind of left me feeling a bit shortchanged. Come to think of it, whether it's a new exhibition, film or the latest makeup product - snazzy titles and marketing does wonders eh? : p

But the best thing about today was spending time with my mum, cause I haven't been that great at it in the past but it's something I am working on ; D

Back to work tomorrow.................

Friday, 1 January 2010

MAC Warm & Cozy - a workout of sorts

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2010 brings you all happiness, health and love.

So you know I love bronze shadows. Love them. Heart them.
I could not, therefore, resist MAC's Shadestick in Relaxed from their Warm & Cozy collection. I've only had one shadestick before, Sharkskin, but I much preferred Graphite paint as a dark shadow base and much easier to apply. So I was wary of the shadestick but once I swatched it I knew I had to have it. Namely because of it's colour. It is the perfect quick bronze eye look for me, as a shadow (sheer or layered more intensely) and eyeliner. I've always been looking for a bronze (non-creasy) cream eyeshadow - NYX jumbo pencils crease too much (I have French Fries) as do the MAC Cream Coloured Bases (I have Bronze).

I also picked up 2N lipglass as I missed out on it the first time round, and it really is the perfect slightly pink gloss with a sheer shimmer! I love it! So - I am probably going to go back and get back ups.......#shrugs#

So for some swatches - this is the best at focusing my camera can do!

By the time I took these pics of my FOTD, the daylight had faded and my bathroom lighting sucks. Anyhow, I'm using MAC Relaxed shadestick all over my lid, and then blended out sheerly, and then I applied MAC Sable e/s on the lid and concentrated it on the inner corner. I then applied MAC Relaxed on my top and bottom eyeline roughly (ie. not precisely) and went over that (waterlining) with Gosh Metallic Brass eyeliner. I then used a smudge brush to blend the two liners together. I am also just wearing 2N lipglass.

Did you haul from Warm & Cozy? What did you think?