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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Collection: MAC eyeshadows.

Oh yes, I've accumulated quite the collection of MAC eyeshadows over the years. It all started when I was about 14 years old, and there really wasn't much happening in the drugstore makeup department in Hong Kong. For Christmas, my Mum treated me to a few MAC products, but little did she know that those few eyeshadows and a pretty pink blush were the ones to start my makeup obsession. Flash forward nearly 8 years and I have gathered quite the collection of makeup, with my MAC eyeshadow collection being perhaps the most impressive jewel. Although makeup availability in HK continued to improve over the years, MAC shadows were still the first to attract my pocket money, and for a few years I bought an eyeshadow a month - hence the large number of eyeshadows that I now possess. Now I have over 50 eyeshadows (which even shocked me when I had to count them up for this post!) and I have tried and tested them all thoroughly. Below are all of the shades that I currently own, and a few recommendations for shades to try if you're still dipping you toe into the world of makeup...
1. Fig 1. // 2. Shale // 3. Satin Taupe // 4. Sketch // 5. Trax // 6. Haux // 7. Antiqued // 8. Mythical (LE) // 9. Quarry // 10. Mulled Cider (LE) // 11. Parfait Amour // 12. In The Gallery (LE) // 13. Cranberry // 14. Mythology // 15. Patina // 16. Tempting // 17. Sumptuous Olive // 18. Creole Beauty (LE) // 19. Twinks // 20. Carbonized (LE) // 21. Smoke and Diamonds (LE) // 22. Electra // 23. Club // 24. Handwritten // 25. Espresso // 26. Mulch // 27. Cross Cultural (LE) // 28. Amber Lights // 29. Woodwinked // 30. Aztec Brick (LE) // 31. Paradisco // 32. Sable // 33. Sweet Lust // 34. Sushi Flower // 35. Pink Freeze // 36. Digit // 37. Naked Lunch // 38. Phloof! // 39. All That Glitters // 40. Nano Gold (LE) // 41. Modelette (LE) // 42. Vellum // 43. Vanilla // 44. Shroom // 45. Flip (LE) // 46. Manilla Paper (LE) // 47. Grand Entrance (LE) // 48. Outré (LE)// 49. Brulé

Not featured in photo: 50. Omega // 51. Copperplate // 52. Carbon //

Recommendations: (based on permanent colours only)

Buy now!... Club, Patina, Phloof! Sumptuous Olive, Fig 1., Cranberry, Amber Lights, Antiqued, Tempting, Trax, Paradisco, Copperplate
A solid shadow... Woodwinked, Satin Taupe, Vellum, All That Glitters, Mythology, Twinks, Shale, Mulch, Naked Lunch,
Stay away from... Sushi Flower, Carbon
Sunday, February 22, 2015

WIBL #39: Old Friends

Hey guys! I'm sorry that this has gone up so late today, but my head has been a bit out of it this past week and I'm still trying to get back on track. Anyway, let's get back to the post at hand, and today I've got a special edition of #WIBL for you! My spending ban has really been allowing me to get back to my stash and discover old favourites, and these three products have really stood out again, making them perfect to appear in this week's post...

NARS Ashes to Ashes e/s (£18):
Way back when (2 years ago?) this eyeshadow was all I could talk about - in my opinion this is MAC's Satin Taupe but better, basically the ultimate taupe shadow. The texture, colour, and ability are all spot on, making for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. When I was wearing this bad boy non-stop, I featured it in a post or two, so you can find a swatch of it here (apologies for the swatch post formatting - the new layout threw some things off!)

MAC MSF in 'Light Flush' (LE) (£23):
If anyone know how to do gorgeous shimmering blushes, then it's MAC. Their range of not only regular blushes, but also their MSFs are absolutely gorgeous, with the shade 'Light Flush' being case and point. On most this might be a little on the light side, but it adds a gorgeous rosey glow to my skin that is really hard to beat. 

Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in 'Black Turquoise' (£17.50):
This LM pencil is truly something special and it's been a favourite that has been hiding in the shadows for a while. It's a blackened turquoise liner that adds something special to any eye look, and I've been using it a hell of a lot lately because it also makes my blue eyes pop!

Friday, February 20, 2015

A touch of shimmer.

The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors have always been popular in the beauty world, but one thing that have always put me off of buying them is the gargantuan 50ml bottle that they come in - that's just too much shimmer for one girl! Now why would I splash out £33 on a single colour when during the festive season, I was able to get 3 shades for only £20? Unfortunately, the Becca Spotlights Kit - Shimmering Skin Perfector was only limited edition so it is no longer available, but it does mean that I can review three of the shades for you today! In the kit you get diddy 5ml tubes of Pearl, Champagne Gold and Opal to try out.

Right, let's start off with the packaging. The 5ml 'spotlights' are a great size not only for trying each shade out, but also if you're a girl that is constantly on the move. The applicator is also great because it have a flexible doe-foot applicator, which makes it really easy to use. They're also really sleek-looking, but you've had enough of the packaging (especially as it's LE), so let's move onto the actual product.

The shades themselves are gorgeous - they are truly a highlighter lover's dream. The texture is super creamy and blend-able, and if it was down to the texture alone I would full heartedly recommend these. The only problem for me (which to be fair is a problem that won't affect most of you) is that, other than Pearl, the others aren't really highlighters on me. Luckily, Opal is actually so dark (for a highlighter) on me that it can pass for a blush, but Champagne Gold just does not sit right in any situation. Like I said, this is only really a problem for the #PaleGirls out there, but it's just something to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying them. I actually think that these would be best on olive-y skin tones, but that's just me!

They are really gorgeous - but just swatch them before you buy! Apart from that through, they are definitely worth giving a go if you're a sucker for highlighters.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

恭喜发财! - Kung Hei Fat Choi

Kung hei fat choi, Gōng xǐ fā cái, and Happy Chinese New Year to you all! 

Having grown up in Hong Kong, CNY has always been a hugely celebrated and enjoyed holiday for me - from Lai See packets, grand feasts and oranges galore, this time of year is a huge event in my home town (2.0)! I'll keep this short because I know most of you probably don't celebrate CNY, but if you do, I hope the Year of the Goat brings you good luck, health and fortune.

Xin nian kuai le!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Travelling Solo

Some of you may know that I spend a few days in Valencia about a month ago, but instead of travelling with friends or family, I decided to go at it alone. Travelling alone is something that intrigues many, but also something that many people never get around to doing. For me, Valencia was the first time I had actually gone on holiday on my own, but after living abroad for the best part of a year, I already had a feel for what it involved and how to make it in a foreign country on my own. I think that many find the whole idea daunting, but today I plan to put your mind at ease and introduce the immense benefits of travelling solo...

Don't you get lonely?
I think for a lot of people, being lonely is a big factor that puts them off of travelling solo, but learning to identify the difference between being alone and being lonely is really important. As a classic introvert, I think travelling on my own or even just being on my own is generally easier for me, but that doesn't mean that an extrovert can't get a lot out of travelling alone. No, there won't be your best friend or your mum sitting next to you at the bar, but there are ways to combat boredom. Extroverted? Start a conversation with a random stranger (which will really help your language skills if that's a goal of yours) or take part in a local class or event. More introverted? Keep your Kindle or a good book at hand for those quieter meal times or concentrate on getting some really great snaps of your trip. I'm not going to lie to you, there is a high chance that you will feel a tad lonely at some point - but that's part of the challenge! Learning to overcome that obstacle (amongst others) is part of what makes travelling solo so important - you have the opportunity to grow.

How do you keep busy?
Planning your days out is key to a successful trip in my eyes, but even more so when you're going at it alone. I don't mean to say that you need to strictly timetable your day down to the minute, but researching a few activities to do each day before hand can really help you to get the most out of your time away. Solo trips need to be fairly busy to keep yourself from getting bored in my experience, but make sure to go with the flow as well so that you don't miss out on anything that your location has to offer. In my opinion, the worst thing you can do whilst away is waste time doing things that you usually do at home - it would have been a lot cheaper to stay there - so before you get there, list activities you want to do, sights you want to see, and places you want to visit so that you have some sort of structure without locking yourself down to a tight schedule. Keeping busy will keep you from feeling alone, so get researching!

Why is travelling alone so beneficial?
For me, travelling solo is just a small taster of what my year living abroad was, but if you haven't had the opportunity to do that, then this is a great way to push yourself outside your comfort zone. You can honestly learn so much about yourself and learn how to get by on your own in a foreign country in a matter of days, and for me, that is invaluable. I truly believe that anything that scares us will make us stronger, and I think that this is the case for many when it comes to travelling on their own. Can you imagine how terrified I was to move to Russia? Yet here I am, more than a year later and I honestly think that I came back from the experience a whole lot stronger and more knowledgeable as a person, so I wouldn't change that experience for anything, no matter how difficult it may have been at times. I was in Russia for a hell of a lot longer than a long weekend, but whether it's four months or four days, the first time you go abroad alone you learn an awful lot. In short, you'll gain an amazing sense of freedom because you get to make your own rules, and a lot of confidence from being able to navigate a foreign environment. So, although it may sound daunting - it'll be more than worth it.