PSA: The One-Woman Fashion Show is Back on the Road!!

Kate India Bhutan tourI do not use the double exclamation marks lightly – this is probably only the second time in my adult life. Or thereabouts. But! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a royal tour of India and Bhutan! Only two places I’ve always wanted to go to.

So far, the fashion does not disappoint. I love the very interesting Alexander McQueen red dress (above picture, left) – peplum and a split skirt, two of my favorite dress elements. Practical, to boot!

The Anita Dongre dress (middle) is both ethnic and contemporary. I love the color. I do wish she had opted for a shalwar kameez – that would have been practical for the cricket bout she’d have in that dress. But pehaps that would be too costume-y, too early, and too Diana-ish. Check out the story on how the dress had been altered and in turn, the altered version being offered by the original designer. What economic power house! *swoon*

The striking blue Jenny Packham evening dress is a lovely if too-safe option, especially considering she’s mingling with Bollywood elites.

For an engaging discussion of Kate Middleton fashion, check out the What Kate Wore Blog – the best blog ever on personal style.

Aaah, it’s going to be an enjoyable week. Bring on more of the one-woman fashion show!

kate middleton india bhutan tour
Source: The Telegraph

 

Cuteness Overload [NOT beauty-related]

Most times, I think social media is the dumps, all kinds of obviously uneducated imbeciles proffering all kinds of imbecile comments filled with curses and filth. What a waste of oxygen. But thank you to Charleston Girl for referring me to these cuteness overload! Live camera action of a nesting family of bald eagles in Washington, DC. They’ve been my online highlights these past couple days. This is technology I can get behind. Their feeding time is my favorite.

Watch them here.

2bald eagles in dc
© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG
bald eagles in dc
© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG

 

MAC Ellie Goulding Halcyon Palette: Review and Swatches

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My Halcyon Days palette from the MAC and Ellie Goulding Collection has landed! I’m a big fan of Ellie and there’s a few posts here on her music, but it was a pleasure to support Ellie’s makeup collection too. And one that I am liking a lot!

I chose the Halcyon Days palette ($44 from MAC but about $60 through purchase order) mainly because I love MAC cream color bases (CCB). I have a few in red and pinks which I use as blush and lip color – they are very pigmented, true to pan in term of colors, long lasting, and just an overall pleasure to use. I also wanted to try MAC’s blot powder, included in this palette.

Let’s go over the CCBs first.  MAC was relatively accurate describing the colors as they translate on my skin. Color #1 Wish I Stayed is a light cream pearl and #2 Tint is a peachy brown, and both are good for eyes and lips in my case. Note that I don’t use highlighters – I have my own internal glowing mechanism i.e. my oily skin – otherwise #1 and #2 would also be good as highlighters. Color #3 Root is a taupe brown with shimmer, good for the eyes. Color #4 Everytime You Go, is a peachy pink, suitable for eyes and cheeks, but washes out on my lips if on its own. I double it up with #2 for a more wearable look.

All the CCBs are nicely emollient, sparkling in color, and blends easily. Using fingers are best for these, I find. The one downside of these is that they are not as long-lasting as my other CCBs. Without primer, on eyes, these fade noticeably after a couple of hours, and after 4 hours, only about 50% remains on my eyes. As blush, #4 lasted a bit longer but again, not as stellar as my other, full-size CCBS. I have not used them with primer yet.

The blot powder is describe as ‘medium dark’, and it’s really not that dark. I think even darker gals (NC 45) can use this – it is very, very sheer. A really good match for my NC25 face. This is definitely great for blotting, and for dusting over the CCBs to tone down the shimmer without sacrificing color. However, it’s not very good in controlling oil.

Overall, no regrets in this purchase. I really enjoy using the CCBs and the blot powder together, and if I may say so myself, it gives a very ‘Ellie’ look. My eye area has gotten drier as I age, and using these CCBs as eye color is a real pleasure. This palette would also be great for travel and I can’t wait to take it places.

Bottom line: no regrets even at the inflated price I obtained it for, and recommended for those who want to try MAC’s CCBs, and those with dryer skin.

MAC Halcyon Days palette
MAC Halcyon Days palette

MAC Halcyon Days Ellie Goulding (4)

Kelly Moore: Bags and Blog

kelly moore bags

I first heard of the Kelly Moore Bags from Rhee. I have yet to own a Bag, but one day, one day, the Libby (in orange or green) will be mine.

In addition to designing functional, pretty bags, Kelly also blogs. I love her posts. This post, about her adopted daughter, is especially poignant. You will be left inspired and optimistic about the World.

[And damn fanatics for censoring Vimeo!!]

 

Two Cleansing Oils: The Body Shop Camomile and The Face Shop Rice Water Bright

The Body Shop Camomile The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing OilsI recently finished two cleansing oils,  The Body Shop (TBS) Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and The Face Shop (TFS) Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil. Both are widely available in Jakarta and do not contain mineral oil (for those who care – I don’t).

TBS Camomile (Rp199,000 or about US$ 15 for 200ml) has a relatively thick texture with a mild and (to my nose) pleasant floral scent. The main oil ingredient is soy oil.  The pros are that the texture is thick and spreads easily; cleans very well including all waterproof makeup and sunscreen; does not sting eyes; and rinses off relatively squeaky clean with water so I don’t feel a need to rinse off with a foaming cleanser.  The cons: not as squeaky clean as Muji Sensitive Skin Cleansing oil

TFS Rice Water Bright is 150ml and was bought under Rp200,000 during a sale (I’ve forgotten the exact price).  It’s main ingredient being rice bran oil, this indeed has a light texture, and a stronger scent though not unpleasant to my nose. Tried as I might, I could not find a positive thing to say about this. The texture is too runny: you need to quickly message onto skin or it will drip down to your neck. I need to use a lot more to take the makeup off, than other cleansing oils I’ve used and even then, it does not take waterproof eyeliners completely off. It stings the eyes, and leaves a filmy residue after being rinsed off with water, so a second cleanser is needed (not a good sign in my book, as the whole point of cleansing oils is the convenience of cleanse-and-rinse in one go).

Bottom line: Compared to these two, I still prefer Muji Sensitive Skin cleansing oil, but the TBS Camomile  is a good alternative. I was contemplating a permanent switch from Muji to the TBS Camomile when the later was priced at Rp139,000, but now that it is Rp199,000 (about the same price as Muji), I will not be switching. The TFS Rice Water Bright was a pain to use, and I will not be purchasing this again.

Ingredients list - The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing oil and The Face Show Rice Water Bright
Ingredients list – The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil and The Face Show Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil

 

[Music] Mona Lisa Smile Soundtrack

Karen mentioned watching the Mona Lisa Smile movie, which promptly made me want to listen again to its soundtrack. It’s an old-time favorite – I love re-interpretations of old classics. Tori Amos’ piece is a very fun one among a bevy of singers like Chris Isaak, Seal, Celine Dion…. etc.

[Local] La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette: Review and Swatches

While tooling around in the traditional market for the Purbasari lipstick, this little gem of a travel palette by local brand La Tulipe caught my eyes: Asian Beauty Travel Palette (normally Rp165,000 ~ US$12 but was on 15% discount). It was one of two La Tulipe travel palettes that I was shown, but I bought this one since I prefer its  color combination and cover illustration.

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Inside the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette

The first row in the palette has four eyeshadows which are unnamed: #1 shimmery orange-y copper; #2 shimmery light pink; #3 a satiny matte dark brown (more on this below); and #4 golden cream. The second row is occupied by a face powder (suitable for someone NC 25-30, and described as a two-way cake though I haven’t tried it wet yet), a shimmery and slightly bronze-y peach blush , and two lip colors (a shimmery almost translucent orange, and a matte peachy pink).

Now, the dark brown is relatively matte, but with a very slight sheen. That’s why I mentioned it as a satin-y matte. In a jam, this will also work as brow color, if you use sparingly and just to fill in the gaps. It is not too red, so that’s a plus, but if you try to shape with it – where some color show on skin rather than amongst brow hair – the shine will show through more.

The palette is made of cardboard,  10.5 cm width x 14.5 cm length x 1.5cm deep (comparable to a conventional postcard). It comes with a plastic separator and a good-sized mirror. Two mini brushes are included, which were useless and I’ve thrown away.

The pros: cheap; the colors relatively pigmented and neutral for Asian skin coloring; shimmery but still office-appropriate; the powders soft, buttery and blend easily; the lip colors not drying; the individual pans not too small; and the packaging classy.

The cons: the eyeshadows will need a primer to be longer-lasting; all the powder products heavily fragranced; and some people may find the color combination old-fashioned.

Edit: I’ve had a chance to use the face powder wet, and results are not good. There is some coverage, but the buffing takes time, oil control is poor, and the finish is very coarse. This is best as a setting powder in a thin layer.

Bottom line: I think this is probably the best travel palette I’ve ever seen from a local brand. It’s a classy palette that you won’t be embarrassed whipping out in front of co-workers or in the airport lounge. Recommended!

Backside of the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette (click to enlarge)
Backside of the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette (click to enlarge)
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Swatches of all contents, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
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Wearing #1 (left) and #2 lip colors, the face powder and blush (over MAC BB Cream), La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
Face powder and eyeshadows, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
Face powder and eyeshadows, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette