Current Favourites

Current Favourites

NIKE platform sneaker

NARS Cosmetics beauty product
$47 –

Lately I’ve been using some items frequently and I figured it’s time for a new Current Favourites post. So, here goes:

  • Tarte Cosmetics Airbrush Finish Foundation Brush – Sometime last year, I asked the fiancee to get me this brush from Sephora. It has now become my favourite foundation brush in the whole world. I don’t say this lightly. I have sensitive, acne prone skin and applying foundation is my secret to leaving the house looking presentable. This brush buffs foundation like nobody’s business – it works wonderfully well with liquid foundation  with medium coverage. I hadn’t been using this often enough but recently, I rediscovered it and have been loving it.
  • Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Noir – I read about this mascara recently and decided to get it when I was traveling, at duty free (like most of my makeup purchases). It has a flexible wand and application is a wee bit tricky. I usually remove the excess at the rim of the tube or dab it against a clean tissue first as I’m not a huge fan of clumpy lashes. But on application, it’s really pretty. This mascara does not smudge, flake, or run. I don’t think it is marketed as waterproof but it lasts all day on me.
  • Swatch Deep Shine Green – The fiancee got me this when we were in Paris last Fall. There’s a Swatch store on Champs Elysees and we went in for fun and came out with a watch each. The glitter in the strap is a nice detail. I’ve been wearing this a bit lately and I love the silicone strap. It’s so comfortable you barely notice it.
  • NARS Sheer Glow in Macao – I got my first bottle of NARS Sheer Glow about two years ago I believe. It was a balm June afternoon, the fiancee and I were in Liberty of London perusing NARS cosmetics. OK, I was looking at the NARS products and he was dutifully standing nearby being all patient and supportive 🙂 I asked the makeup artiste to apply it for me and the shade was perfect. You gotta love NARS and his beautiful colour range. So, I got a bottle of this and since then I have finished it and got a second bottle. While clearing up my apartment recently (more on that later) I rediscovered this bottle. I have a few bottles of foundation that I rotate with depending on the weather and the primer I’m using (and how naughty my skin is that day) so I don’t always use this NARS. That said, it is a beautiful foundation with a nice medium coverage. It blends very well and sets properly. I do use a setting power (either a NARS or Laura Mercier, sometimes MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish) and it lasts a full work day on me. My skin has changed lately, becoming more dry, and this foundation really gives it life.
  • Nike Dunk Sky Hi Wedge Sneakers – I know, I know, Wedge sneakers are a bit too hyped up and common ever since Isabel Marant designed hers. I won’t lie, I was thinking they looked a bit weird until Sheena on Twitter mentioned that she got the New York limited edition version. I was a bit curious but didn’t feel like splurging on the limited edition version, so I asked the fiancee to try to get it while he was in the US. I contemplated ordering it online but he was leaving soon and said it might not be a good idea. So on a whim, I sent him a link and he managed to find some spare minutes to dash into the store and pick it up. When he came back to Norway and I met him the next day to pick up my ‘stash’, I was shocked to see it in orange. I had asked for the black version. It seems the link I gave him showed the orange version (gah!) but once I put them on – I was in love. These shoes are quite comfortable for work. I wouldn’t wear them for a full day out as they do sometimes rub against my little toe, but just for going to work and coming home, they are perfect. I’m tempted to get the black pair, but we shall see.
  • Ray-Ban RB2132 New Wayfarers – I love Ray-Ban because they are really comfortable and timeless. But, in Norway, Ray-Bans are not cheap. I was lucky enough to spot this pair in a mall in KL (Bukit Tinggi I believe?) and it was on 40% discount. I hadn’t bought a pair of sunglasses since 2011 so I figured it was time. I tried on two versions of this sunglasses: a slightly smaller one and a bigger one. I think these are the 52mm ones. I *might* be wrong but I know I always buy what they call the “Medium” sized ones. My frame is black rubber and the lenses are green tinted. They are extremely comfortable and do not really colour your view. You just get less glare.

Current Favourites

Current Favourites

Acne fringe scarve
975 NOK –

Giorgio armani
180 NOK –

Bobbi brown cosmetic
270 NOK –

165 NOK –

Here are some things I’ve been crazy about lately:

  • ACNE Quebec Royal Blue/Navy Scarf – I usually buy myself new winter accessories every winter if I’m not going to buy a new coat. (Technically, I have been scouting around for a new coat but I haven’t found one that fits well enough to justify the expense.) But seeing as I didn’t get a coat so far, I got a better scarf than what I would normally buy. This scarf is ultimate luxury. It’s 100% wool and feels so, very, comfortable. When I wear it, it feels as if the words “cold” and “neck” will never co-exist in a thought, in my mind. That is how comfortable it is! I wear it almost every day, to decrease it’s cost-per-wear. It helps that it goes with my camel jacket and my black down jacket.
  • Bioderma Crealine H2O – I’m sure you’ve heard about this makeup remover before. It’s the bee’s knees. I wear eye makeup about 3 to 4 times a week. Even if I don’t wear eyeshadow, I still use eyeshadow primer to keep my mascara from smudging. Normally, removing my eye makeup is a bit of a time consuming task but I persevere because it needs to be done and I’m a clean freak. That said, with the Bioderma makeup remover, I can sit on the couch with 2-3 saturated cotton pads and remove my eye makeup slowly, without any rubbing or tugging. I don’t even need a mirror as I know it will remove almost everything. I usually use a cotton bud soaked in it to clean my waterline and lashes, but even that is easy to do as the makeup remover does not irritate my eyes or my contact lenses at all. I always use a separate face makeup remover because I like a good oil cleanser, but in a pinch, I have used this before and it’s been pretty clean. I do rinse my entire face with facial cleanser later though – clean freak, remember? 🙂 I bought 3 bottles of these in Paris. I’m going to have to go hunting for it online when I’m finished. I hope that day never comes though 😦 Shipping to Norway is expensive.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-wear Even Finish Foundation – When I was in Seattle, a couple of months ago, I got a sample of this foundation. I thought 6.5 Warm Almond was a really good match but I didn’t have time to wear it there so I brought the sample back home and forgot about it. Before I went to Paris I was going through my sample stash and then stumbled upon this. I used the sample three times and loved it. So I bought a bottle in Paris and have been using it ever since. It blends very well and lasts throughout a work day. I use it with various oil-free, mattifying primers because I always use a primer. If you have combination/oily skin and want a long wearing foundation that won’t oxidize, with a semi-matte finish, this is a good buy.
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow Acqua collection – I’ve been using this eyeshadow in #24 recently. I love it so much I sometimes wear it for two consecutive days. That’s very out-of-character for me actually as I usually rotate my eyeshadows a lot. I love wearing a different product everyday. But, the look I get with this eyeshadow is just too beautiful to not use it. I usually wear a primer and a base, but because Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows are long-wearing, I can skip the base and just use a primer and it will last a good 10 hours without creasing. I’ve never worn eyeshadows without primer so I wouldn’t know how long this eyeshadow lasts without primer. Temptalia has good swatches and a nice review for this product. If you like eyeshadows and want a workhorse product that you can wear all the time, this is definitely a good splurge.
  • Smashbox Image Factory Airblush Whipped Cheek Color – I bought this in Berry Bliss, at Sephora in Paris. I wasn’t looking to buy a blush actually, but when I landed in Paris and was getting ready for dinner that night, I realized that I had completely forgotten to bring a blush with me. So, the next day I had to hunt for one at Sephora. I was looking for a blush that was guaranteed to work with my skin tone and I didn’t have much time to swatch and compare. The texture of this product is like a mousse but it’s very pigmented. You barely need a swipe on your brush to get a healthy, lively look.

Current Favourites

Current Favourites
I’ve been wearing my Levi’s Demi Curve Straight a lot lately. In fact I have like 5 pairs of them and I love them. They’re extremely comfortable for Spring/Summer and they go with almost anything.
I picked up the Crumpler Free Wheeler Messenger bag when I was in London a few months ago. It is perfect for work as I have to carry my laptop with me. It fits everything but the kitchen sink 🙂 I love that it’s not boring black but a cool petrol blue shade with really slim neon yellow stripes.
Last Fall, when I was in Seattle, I met a wonderful makeup artiste at Nordstrom’s Chanel counter. She gave me a quick makeover (while I bugged her with a lot of annoying questions) with Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere foundation. I was surprised to find a shade that matched my skin tone perfectly (Ambre 94) and I immediately bought a bottle. Almost 5 months later and I’m still using that same bottle of foundation. Talk about value for money. I use it with Laura Mercier’s Oil Free Primer and it lasts more than 7 hours on my oily skin. This foundation barely needs any blending. You can even apply it with your fingers and it will literally melt into your skin. I do powder with a mixture of NARS Loose Powder in Mountain and MAC’s Prep+Prime Transparent Finishing Powder.
A lot of people I know are not big fans of MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadow range. On the contrary, I love them as I always use a creamy base for my eyeshadow looks. The Mineralize eyeshadow clings on to the creamy base for dear life and usually lasts a good 6-8 hours with a primer. I can’t complain. My current favourite shade is Gilt By Association.
If you’ve ever tried on a Deborah Lippmann nail polish, you’ll definitely agree with me when I say she makes the best nail polishes. EVER. I’m constantly surprised by the formulation of her nail polish. I can spend up to a good 40 minutes painting my nails sometimes but with Ms. Lippmann’s colors, I can be done in less than 20 minutes sometimes. Ray of Light is a bluish purple shade with itty bitty copper flecks. It’s plain gorgeous. If you do see it at a store, please swatch it.

If you are looking for a good black eyeliner that you can smudge but will stay put after it has been smudged, Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner in Blackened Black is _the_ pencil. {It’s also got a really long name.} It is so soft and creamy, but not as creamy as YSL’s Dessin Du Regard so it’s a bit easier to work with. I use it for my upper and lower lashline and I really like. It’s quite similar to MAC’s Feline (which is limited edition – I have no idea why).

FOTD: Chanel Ebloui and MAC Legendary Black

So I’ve been playing around with Chanel’s Illusion d’Ombre in Ebloui lately. I swatched it months ago when it was released in Norway but I fell for the Mirifique shade instead. After really enjoying the texture and staying power of Mirifique I decided to pick up another one.

When I was at duty free in Heathrow a few weeks ago, I swatched Ebloui. I thought it wouldn’t really show up on my skin but in the airport lighting it was quite a nice subtle shade. At first glance it just looks like coppery glitter on my skin. But in the shade it looks even better. It’s got a nice plummy brown hue that looks so classy.

As much as I love in-your-face bold shadow looks, having Ebloui in my stash kind of gives me a chance to wear more subtle looks.

Excuse the mussed up hair, it was a windy day.

Here’s what I did (and I promised it did not take more than 15 minutes):

  • I started out with NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow base. I applied a really thin layer.
  • Then I used a MAC 217 brush and patted Ebloui from the upper lashline but stopped before my crease. I did this a few times though because it’s difficult to tell how much is on my eyelid. In other words, it’s actually quite difficult to overdo it.
  • Then I took the same 217 brush and blended Legendary Black into the crease and outer corner.
  • I lined my upper and lower lashline with MAC Feline which is a smudgy black eyeliner. In typical “I’m-too-scared-to-wear-shadow-on-my-lower-lashline” style, I just smudged more Feline on my lower lashline and set it with transparent powder.

At the risk of looking silly, here’s what it looks like with my eyes closed:

Now I’m off to ponder why I always look so yellow in photographs. Here are some additional links in case you’re curious:

  1. Temptalia’s Chanel Illusion D’ombre Swatches
  2. Karen’s Look with Chanel Mirifique
  3. What in the world is Legendary Black: Temptalia’s Swatches of MAC’s Legendary Black

P/s – I’ll never be able to swatch as well as Temptalia and I’m not even going to bother to try as I don’t live in a very well lit place. I do live in a country with a love-hate relationship with sunlight so I really don’t see myself ever finding the proper time and place to swatch eyeshadows. I’m always at work when the sun is shining anyway 🙂

MAC Nebula Pigment – Smoky Eye in a Jar

I’ve been playing around with MAC’s Nebula pigment (Karen wrote about it here) and here’s a look I keep gravitating towards at least once a week. The following is what I used:

  • MAC Nebula pigment
  • MAC Greasepaint Stick in Slick Black
  • MAC Folie eyeshadow
  • MAC Patina eyeshadow
  • YSL Dessin Du Regard Waterproof eyeliner in Black
  • DiorShow Waterproof Mascara
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

I applied the eyeshadow primer and then the greasepaint stick to create a sticky base for the pigment to stick on. Using a MAC 239 brush, I patted Nebula pigment on my eyelid, focusing on the area closest to the upper lashline. Then I placed Folie in my crease with a MAC 275 brush; Patina in my inner corner with a MAC 219 brush. Lastly I used a MAC 217 brush to blend both shades together to create a nice gradient. It’s not very visible here, of course. *Cough* The eyeliner is a soft, smudgy black pencil by YSL. I do set it with transparent powder to prevent smudging.

Key Products - YSL Dessin Du Regard Waterproof liner in Black, MAC Nebula Pigment, MAC Syrup Lipstick

I’m wearing Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere Foundation and Tarte’s Cheek Stain in Tipsy (as I wanted a barely there blush look with a slight sheen). Strangely my lipstick was not so nude in real life. It was MAC’s Syrup layered on top heaps of lip balm (Thank you, Winter).

Excuse the slightly harsh expression in the photograph. My eyes become very sensitive to light in Winter and then in Spring, they re-adjust a bit better.

Review: A-England Dragon Nail Polish

A few months ago I picked up two nail polishes from A-England as I had read wonderful reviews. It helped that the company offers free shipping worldwide. I had bought Camelot and King Arthur and was very impressed with the formula as well as how easy it was to work with them.

Recently I stumbled across FashionPolish’s swatches of some of the new colors that A-England has launched and ordered four bottles. The one I’m featuring is Dragon. I don’t know how to describe this shade. It’s a grass green hologram nail polish that gold-ish glitter in it, perhaps?

Here are some photos for you to decide:

A-England ~ Dragon

A-England ~ Dragon

Technically, you can get away with just one coat of nail polish but out of habit I applied two coats followed by Deborah Lippmann’s Addicted to Speed topcoat.

It’s been really cold lately (-21 C on Friday morning, -16 C yesterday and -8 C today *phew*) and bright nail polishes like this are definitely cheering me up!

Weekend Adventures

Yesterday was amazing.

It started with a tough strength training session at the gym. I was very ambitious as I didn’t feel very sore from my last strength training session on Wednesday so I pushed a bit harder this time. All I can say now is Ouch 🙂

Post gym we stopped for coffee (out Saturday post gym treats) then went home and started on lunch. I wanted to make something wholesome yet light so I settled for a quick Mushroom and Garlic pasta.

Mushroom and Garlic Pasta

This dish was really easy and took all of 20 minutes (who says cooking is time consuming? :)). The bf cooked the tagliatelle (because he’s better at getting it to ‘al-dente’ than I am) while I fried the sliced mushroom in butter, a dash of olive oil, a bit of chopped garlic and some Italian spices. When the pasta was done, we just tossed it together with the cooked mushrooms. We also added fresh lemon juice and black pepper. The dish turned out to be really, really tasty.

Mushroom and Garlic Pasta

After lunch, we got ready to head out to the Cafe area near my apartment. We wandered down the streets and ended up in a cafe..just literally doing nothing but flipping through our reading materials and sipping a latte. Sigh, that’s my kind of weekend 🙂

The new Hindi movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, is playing in Oslo so we picked up tickets for that movie and watched it in the evening. It was a really good movie. It’s been filmed in a very modern way so much so that if it weren’t for the language, you could easily classify it as an English film. It’s all about the life of three friends and how they deal with their challenges. The movie shows Spain in such beautiful detail. Makes me want to book a flight to Barcelona and run out the door right now. Alas, vacations need to be planned 🙂

Ooh, another thing I forgot to mention. The MAC Semi-Precious collection released here on Thursday so I stopped by and picked up a few items. Here’s me wearing Blue Sheen Mineralized Eyeshadow with Stovepipe Black Eyeshadow (also by MAC, from the Jeanius collection) in an attempt to create a blueish look. I used Clinique’s Cream Shaper for Eyes in Black Diamond as the liner.