Monday, 18 May 2015

SUMMER BEAUTY ESSENTIAL





In where I live,  summer has arrived for a long time it's so darn hot. One little move even indoor I'm all sweating.

Wearing makeup is still happening most days as I do love putting on products that I like to make myself look a little more presentable.

As it's so hot I do like to keep things simpler than I would normally in cooler days so I have switched things up a little bit. 

A good SPF base is a must. Clinique even better anti-pollution city block has a SPF 40, not only it's great for preventing those sun damage. It's great when people like myself who live in a big and polluted city, something that acts as a barrier to filter out those stubborn dirt had polluted air from your face sounds like an absolute good friend to keep over the next few months. As this sun protection base offers a little bit of skin tone evening out function, it's great to use on its own even on a san makeup day.  

On days when I want to look that little bit more put together, I reach for the L'Oreal True Match foundation. All the hype around it is worth all the while. This foundation has such a sophisticated finish. The formulation is thin and close to feel like a watery texture. It's so easy to blend using both a brush or fingers. It's buildable so you can completely forget about using concealer afterwards, yet it gives such a dewy finish it's not thick or cakey at all. I would totally recommend this foundation for the summer.  

Those eye shadows can crease and disappear with sweats and oil secreted from those eye lids. So, on hotter and warmer days I pay extra attention on applying an eye primer to keep those lovely eye shadows in place. by Terry hyaluronic eye primer is a beigey colour eye base that helps eye shadows adhere to the eyelids it's also great in correcting discolouration in that department. It's also brilliant that it contains hyaluronic acid which is great for hydrating those eyelids that could go very dry when staying in air conditioned area for too long, and this is especially great for places in Hong Kong!

These days I love using my NYX merci beaucoupe eye shadow palette, especially those golden shades that are so easy to use to create a golden goddess look and instantly gives your face a pick-me-up.

How can I not talk about a summer appropriate blusher? This new duo intensity blusher by Nars is amazing. It can be used dry or wet. I prefer to wet my brush slightly and swirl it across the two colours and buff it onto my cheeks. It gives such a fantastic sheer of colour and has this cheek highlighting effect it's unbelievable! Wearing it wet is so much better and makes your face look much more dimensional. 

Finally I cannot finish talking by adding a few of my favourite nail polishe colours for this summer. I'm normally a pink/ purple nail polish colour wearer but something about those pastel blue and green shades that really have got me happy and addictive in choosing them. And a neon pink is just perfect when you just want to brighten up your outfit. It works especially well if you love wearing a white tee with a pair of blue ripped jeans and a pair of sandals.

What's your summer essentials? Have you started preparing your beauty stash and wardrobe for it yet?

Monday, 11 May 2015

NAIL POLISH REMOVER: THE RUN DOWN




Are you a fussy person when it comes to choosing the right nail polish remover?  Oh yes I am!

I need my nail polish remover to be a) removing nail polish in no time, b) removing nail polish thoroughly in no time, c) doesn't leave my nails dry and chapped.  The first two criterion are the most important, otherwise; why one needs a nail polish remover?

Recently, I managed to change my nail polish up quite regularly and I have tried 3 nail polish removers in a short period of time and wanted to talk about them.

essie's good as gone - when Vivianna from Vivianna does makeup highly raved about this, I thought how good can this be?  Often I'm left quite disappointed with branded nail polish remover.  Not until I tried other bad ones did I know how great and effective this one is.  This essie's one is the best out of the three here, and possibly one of the best ones I have tried.  Although I haven't tried using this to remove any glitter shades, for darker or brighter colours, this one does the job so well.  A few swipes on the nails, there the polishes are gone - good as gone!  It doesn't leave my nails feel too dry either.  It's definitely an all-rounder.  I would definitely repurchase!

Watson's revival nail polish remover - when I have finished the essie's one, I thought I would try something different so there I was in Watson's looking for a new nail polish remover to try.  However there aren't that many to choose from, in fact; only two to choose from.  I opted for this one and I'm not at all satisfied by it.  This one is beyond disappointing.  If I may say so, if I was to use this remover to remove my nail polish; I might well just use water to do so....... enough said.

O.P.I. original polish remover - as a matter of urgency, I purchased this one by O.P.I.  I haven't really tried many nail products by O.P.I. but I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this is.  I mean, it's not the best one yet, not quite as good as 'good as gone', but it's good enough to do the job quickly enough for me to get on with another task efficiently, and it does leave my nails pretty clean (not as good as 'good as gone', again).

What's your favourite nail polish remover?  Have you tried any of the above?

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

8 THINGS I LEARNT ABOUT PREGNANCY


Pregnancy has become a distant memory for me already. One must ask, why? Isn't it the most unforgettable experience of anything that could be imagined possibly? I would tell you, yes; but they all seem to have become a bit of a blurb to me.  So I thought I would take this opportunity and platform to relive it once more, and to document 10 things I have learnt about the "P" word.

1. IT IS A LONG AND GRADUAL PROCESS

When I first found out I was pregnant, the only visual image of myself that floated on my mind was me with a massive belly and silly me I thought I was going to have that yesterday! 

I didn't realise how long and gradual the process was. Baby takes his own time, day and night to grow over the course of 10 months (for me Lear came 40 weeks + 1 day), or thereabouts. Whenever I see (or notice) a pregnant lady on the street I would already have noticed the bump. So naturally a pre-pregnancy self would associate pregnancy and big bump!

2. DON'T PANIC

As a first time pregnant lady, it's only natural you worry about various things if not everything. For me it was the size of my bump and how "late" I had started feeling those first kicks made by Lear. 

Just ignore (well, at least try to) what people say about how big or small your bump looks. They mean well though. But for ladies who are pregnant for the first time, they are left with worries but nothing else. Also those saying, "oh are you 2x weeks now? You should be feeling those amazing kicks. Well I didn't until quite further down my pregnancy, probably around 25/26 weeks at least. Lear might have done spins and kicks but I wouldn't have known because honestly my tummy always rumbles anyway so I got very confused.

Trust your instinct, but if you are worried; ask your doctor or go for a private scan if you can afford it; that's what I did.

3. THERE WAS NO MOOD SWING

They say pregnant ladies are full of hormones and they send your moods up and down. For me I have mood swings any time I want to be frank. Being pregnant didn't bother my mood (swing).

4. THE FOOD CRAVING WAS TRUE

Apart from the first 12 weeks I wasn't able to eat properly, the rest of my pregnancy evolved around food craving. Food cravings in pregnancy was true!

I had specific food items/ dishes I seriously craved and needed to consume: Hainanese Chicken Rice (never in my life have I wanted this this bad), frappucino, almond croissants (the number of these sampled was huge!), scones, cheesy sandwiches, peanut butter on toasts. 

On the reverse, there were things I couldn't handle: Oranges, cereal and milk. These were some of my pre pregnancy favourites but I couldn't put them near my mouth in those 10 months.

5. YOU ARE NOT EATING FOR TWO

Physically it's just impossible to eat for 2 people even though you really are carrying an extra human being inside you. My appetite was good most of the times but I had to take a little but often approach. That baby inside me took up a hella space that made eating a cow in one go impossible. The worst thing was to keep myself hydrated. It was simply unrealistic to be drinking too much fluid in one go despite how thirsty I felt most times. I could literally feel and touch my stomach every time after I have eaten perhaps just an apple, it was crazy. So, go easy on food, pregnant ladies!

6. THE PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION WAS INSANE

Apart from the 2nd trimester which is often known as the honeymoon period. The rest of the times I actually felt very tired. Whilst I was suffering from morning sickness, I was pretty much house/ bedbound for a good 2 months. Towards the end, even though I still felt like going out and be sociable, I had to be more restful than other times. A mid-afternoon nap was often what I needed. Without it, I couldn't go on to the evening. Those energy level was dropping it was simply beyond my control.

7. THOSE MORNING SICKNESSES WERE MISLEADING 

Morning sickness doesn't just happen in the morning. The name is totally misleading. I could be sick any time during the day and I would just be waiting for it to happen. It was horrible to say the least.  Came around 13 weeks, I was totally fine and food became my best friend once again.

8. HOT, HOT, HOT

It was hot. Man, I literally felt like the heater was on everywhere I went. Anywhere that was lack of good ventilation was my worst nightmare. I could faint! The solution for me was to be constantly drinking iced water and at one point I was eating ice everyday. It was that hot!

I just want to say, every pregnancy is different; and that every person's pregnancy story is also unique.  These are the things that I have experienced and have remembered the most when I tried to recall.

What's your pregnancy stories?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

NYX MERCI BEAUCOUP EYE SHADOW PALETTE




The other day, as usual I went for a buggy walk with Lear. Suddenly the NYX Cosmetics booth appeared in front of my very eyes.

Back in London, NYX isn't a brand that can get hold of easily. In Hong Kong, it's a different story. NYX and I always manage to bump into each other.

I couldn't resist this eye shadow palette. 9 colors for the price of HK $150, approx. £13; it's a bargain if you ask me.  

There are 12 palettes to choose from in this range but I chose Merci Beaucoupe.  I love the fact that this is a neutral earth tone shade palette (who doesn't love one of these), but I was particularly drawn to the coppery red shade (my recent favourite).

I must say though, when I swatched these, the colour pay off isn't that great compared to other eye shadows but there are some good colours in this palette, e.g. number 5.  On the pan it looks just like a boring kind of dark brown shade but when swatched, it has a slightly burgundy undertone.

I used it once soon after I bought it and I must say I'm impressed by the quality.  When applied on the eyelids using brushes, the colours transfer really well, it's pigmented and very easy to blend.  Shade no. 8 is always a great matte shade used as a highlighter!  Such a versatile, purse friendly and high quality eye shadow palette.

What eye shadow palette have you bought recently?






Thursday, 16 April 2015

5 PAMPERING IDEAS WHEN YOUR BABY IS ASLEEP






You might be one of those moms whose babies sleep all day long, good for you if you are one of them!  It means that you have tons and tons of time to get on with your own life whilst baby is asleep.  However, the reality is that generally when most become a mom they don't get much time of their own anymore.  Any precious free time/ me time become so valuable that you just need to prioritise about what you need to do - housework, answering emails/ phone calls, and most importantly, pampering yourself.

My little one, Lear is 6 months old.  I feel very fortunate that he is a fairly good sleeper at night.  We do get those occasional odd nights when he would be awake then we struggle, but that's normal I suppose.  However, during the day he doesn't nap for too long so for me to fit in beauty pampering routine is always a matter of competition with times.

Here are 5 things I would do whilst Lear is asleep or whilst we are on the go during the day:

A thorough facial cleanse - This would be the first step you can opt for - have your face a quick deep cleanse.  I would strongly recommend using Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. I love this because not only it's so gentle on the skin, it's very hydrating and moisturising after cleansing.  The use of a flannel to wash off the product from your face is a great way to exfoliate your skin if you don't have the time to include this step in your skincare routine.

A face mask treatment - This is definitely on the top of my list what I would do after cleansing my face.  I would completely  run to the bath room and smear on a layer of detox mud mask to get those pores a deep cleanse.  It doesn't take that long anyway, 5 minutes is actually all you need.  Unless your little one suddenly wakes up in 5 minutes, he might be frightened by the look of yours and faded back to his dream!  If you have a further 5 minutes or so, do put on some kind of a paper mask to inject some hydration back to your skin.  The combination of detox and hydration makes a world of difference to brighten up your face.  Trust me!

On-the-go nail polish Sure if you know (as if you could predict babies' sleeps!) that you have a good half an hour or so whilst having face masks treatment, you could totally slap on some nail polishes.  However, if this is impossible, I suggest whilst you are buggy walking your babies, slap some nail polish on and let them dry!  I would strongly encourage you to use Seche Vite Top Coat - not only it gives you a gel nail finish, it dries your nail polish ever so quickly it really is amazing!

Nail moisturise When you are busy taking care of a baby, your hands must be constantly soaked in water because of all the washing you must be doing all the time.  I find that ever since Lear was born, my cuticles are dead dry and they are quite a scene to my eyes.  Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Cream is fab product to give those much needed attention cuticles a bit of a reborn.

A quick facial spray If a challenging day is all you are having, your little one just isn't sleeping at all for no apparent reason.  Go and have a quick spray of La Roche Posay Thermal Spray Water would give you a quick pick-me-up!

All these have been trialled and tested between Lear and I.  There's just no reason you should neglect about what you need even you have a small baby!







Saturday, 4 April 2015

HOLIDAY NAILS





Happy Easter holiday, wherever you are!

I often like to make an extra effort to wear a nice nail polish in the holiday seasons.  I mean, why not?  Any excuse to dress up or add those extra finishing touches to my outfits, I say welcome!

The weather is getting very warm here in Hong Kong, these days temperature gets up to 28c!  So, for me this is summer already (but lots of people say this isn't quite summer yet, the worst is yet to come!).

Anyway, I'm more drawn to some bright and statement colours recently.  As I don't (and I can't) wear any statement necklaces anymore, with a little one to take care of it is dangerous.  So I turn my thoughts to some bright nail colours to go with my normally plain outfits these days.

This bright neon pink is PERFECT for this occasion then.  I discovered this brand called Bisous (A Korean brand) from Sasa (equivalent to Sephora), and this neon pink colour totally stood out for me from the crowd amongst other nail colours.

I love that this is just the right shade of neon pink that it is bright enough to look flattering on my hands.  Although the applicator isn't the best one, the brush is slightly too thick for me liking so if you have little nails like me, it can be a bit messy when applying.  2 coats is pretty adequate to get an opaque finish, and it dries rather quickly, together with my beloved Seche Vite top coat.  If you want to try out this type of neon colour but is a little afraid of how bright it is on the nails, perhaps applying it on your toenails is a way to show your love to colours and the warm weather?

I'm definitely going back to check out to see what other colours they have got on offer, also I want to see if I can find other neon colours, too.

Happy holiday season and happy applying nail polishes!


Monday, 30 March 2015

Munchkin DIAPER CHANGE ORGANISER







Living in Hong Kong, plus living with a little one; means that I have to compromise with spacious living style.  I have to be clever about storage spaces and ideas.  Thanks to Munchkin Diaper Change Organiser, it has made things tidier and more convenient for me.

This hanging organiser has 8 compartments which you can put all things baby related in.  The idea is for you to hang it by the side or the end of your nappy changing unit.  In my case, I don't quite have the luxury to have a separate nappy changing table so I hang this on my little one's cot, underneath his changing board.

I love the compartment where I can put almost 50 pieces of nappies in, so that I don't need to worry about it at least for a whole week before starting to refill them (again).  Other compartments I put stuff that I need to reach for daily for my little one, such as body cream, baby wipes, cotton pads, nasal spray, sudocream, etc.  

The only downside is that even though the material is quite sturdy, if you put too much or too heavy stuff in each compartment, they tend to weigh the whole unit up and hence it looks like it's about to collapse.  So I am cautious with how much stuff I 'stuff' in this organiser.

How do you organise your nappy changing station?  Are you using a better system?  Please share!