Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Thoughts: Sephora coming to Australia

This article has been released a while but it appears that Sephora is planning to open a store here in Sydney. This piece of news is something many girls are excited about, including myself. We all hope that it will bring some competition and drop the prices of makeup here but realistically speaking, I don't think that's going to happen.

On the bright side, my friends will finally know what Sephora is. I bought some of them makeup last time I was in the US and they had no idea what Sephora was. Urban Decay and Tarte will hopefully be available to Sydneysiders and perhaps the rest of Australia via post before you make your way around. I'm not sure if it'll sell NARS and Stila since Mecca's already a stockist here.

It was updated that it'll be in Sydney CBD Westfield (Pitt St Mall). Rent is very expensive in the Pitt St Mall, but if it's going to be as crazy as I think it'd be (along the lines of the Zara and Topshop openings), it's coming here to stay. Hopefully Uniqlo and H&M, which has already opened in Melbourne, will come here to Sydney.

I'm not a frequent customer to these hyped-up stores but I like having variety and more options when I shop around. I also like watching how the crowds just gather, fill the entire shop and clear out their stock. I've walked in and out of those stores so many times because nothing appealed to me. There'll always be something that isn't quite right for me and it's usually because the quality isn't that great for the price. There's only one place I joined the queues for and that's Ladurée.

Sorry Topshop, I'll probably never be wearing you ever. There's only that one time I bought something for a gift. Zara, I've been walking into your store staring at the same blazer. Everything looked great about it. I hesitated at the price but I kept coming back until the moment I approached that beast and unzipped the zipper. I thought there'd be a pocket but it was just mere decoration.

There was also that one parka with the faux leather sleeves and detachable fur lining but as soon as I tried it on, it felt as heavy as lead aprons. For Sydney weather? No. As for the knitwear, no thanks. I play the guessing game where I look at it and feel, then guess the fibre and if it's a blend and I check. I'm almost always right. It's a lot of fun but those pieces are not worth the prices you set here at RRP.

Maybe Sephora will be something I'll really get excited over. Although, I'm not a huge fan of Urban Decay...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Style: Signature Fragrance

This is a new segment. It serves as a log for my style and its evolution. This can be anything from clothes and accessories to makeup and perfume - things that contribute towards an outfit. 

Fragrances had made a mark on me since I was small. My mother has a small collection of perfumes which I wore occasionally as a child. My first perfume was Dior J'adore. I wore it only on special occasions but I wouldn't consider that my signature because I only wore it a couple of times a year.

A signature fragrance is one that you want people to associate with you and it hints something about your personality. It's not one that goes along with fashion but it reflects your style. If you wear it frequently enough, people will begin to associate that scent with you.

My signature fragrance was Annick Goutal's Petite Cherie EDT. I loved it for a while but I've felt a need for change. It's definitely a scent for a girl but not deep enough for woman. Another reason for the change is that my bottle of Petite Cherie had turned during the summer. It's notorious for turning but my bottle hasn't gone rancid. The pears are more synthetic and the grass and peaches are more prominent but it isn't the scent I fell for.

I currently don't have a signature but out of my collection, this is probably the forerunner:

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Coromandel
It's the only fragrance I told my friends that I wanted exclusively to myself. It's a scent that I want to be wearing if it's a cold day and I just want to snuggle up to something warm and enjoy a cup of tea. It's the scent of the mysterious girl on a night out in the city. It's not as refined and sophisticated as the typical Chanel fragrance but I think that's the beauty of it. Luckily for me, those close to me don't really care for this scent themselves. It's not their kind of fragrance.

Sometimes the quizzes available on the internet can give you some insight into what your signature fragrance might be or should be. They're fun if you want to kill some time. I got this result:

You can find the quiz I did here.

Although I question the description that comes along with it, I do enjoy Black Orchid. It's not far from Coromandel. Both Coromandel and Black Orchid have a chocolate-patchouli combination and also the incense notes that I adore. I prefer Coromandel because I find it more wearable.

To find your signature fragrance (or shopping for a fragrance), you must have an idea of the smells you enjoy. If you don't, that's an excuse to sniff around and figure out what you like. Don't immediately buy a perfume once you spray it and think it's the one. Leave and come back an hour later, or even after a day. Let the fragrance settle in your skin. Smell the base notes and examine how it lingers. Take the time to decide because it's not enough to love the top notes but hate how it settles into your skin.

It's not necessary for one to have a signature fragrance. You don't even need a collection of perfumes if that isn't your thing but if you want to complete an outfit with a fragrance, one is all you really need and that one's gotta be the one you love.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What I Bought: Statement Necklace

Statement necklaces were never really my thing but with an intent to change up my style, I thought I'd get one. I took advantage of the sales and bought mine from ASOS. I used a coupon code to obtain a further discount and paid about AUD$23 for this necklace. It's not cheap but I think it's moderately priced for a sale item.

You can find the necklace here.

Picture from ASOS
Photo from ASOS
My necklace
I chose the necklace because it fit most of the criteria for my first statement necklace:

  1. Design - not too big, chain not too long.
  2. Materials - no plastic. I wanted sturdier materials.
  3. Price - nothing more than AUD$30.

It is very dressy and I plan to use this whenever I want to glam up an outfit.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Trends: Checks

We're now in autumn in Australia. Check patterns are almost ubiquitous now. Thank tartan for being a recurring trend for quite some time. However, patterns like houndstooth, gingham and Prince of Wales check popped up on the runways as well as various types of tweed (houndstooth is the most popular). Now I love my checks but there's only so far I would go for them.

Autumn/Winter 2013/14

The classic tweed was featured on various runways. In Christian Dior, it was mostly kept classic and minimal. Comme des Garcons featured the classic houndstooth on some unusually shaped garments. Rag & Bone opted for a grey and black houndstooth and used various textured fabric to create an asymmetrical garment. 

Left to Right: Dior, Comme des Garcons, Rag & Bone

Tips: Wear houndstooth in moderation for a casual look but if you're daring enough, you could do a houndstooth suit.

Pattern-on-pattern / Pattern-mixing
Pattern-in-pattern is exactly what it is. Tommy Hilfiger introduced a series of garments in which a houndstooth pattern is contained within alternating diamonds in a harlequin print or an argyle with a houndstooth overlay. I think it was more of a hit-or-miss think with the pattern-in-pattern but I do adore the argyle sweater with houndstooth overlay. 

Pattern mixing isn't a foreign concept as of lately as it is no longer a fashion faux pas to wear more than one pattern at a time. There is an art behind picking patterns that don't clash and that's by sticking to a colour palette. 

Left to Right: Mulberry, Tommy Hilfiger (last two)

It isn't a Chanel F/W without tweed. However, other brands are picking them up and I like the look of the jumbo tweed. However, I do find tweed is a bit 'old-lady' and very difficult to pull off. I think the jumbo tweed is the way to go if you're younger and want to wear tweed.
Left to Right: Chanel, Junya Watanabe, Mulberry

'Laundry Bag' Plaid
Not really digging this. It does offer the illusion that it looks like it's actually a laundry bag made into a garment. I think it's cool to look at but not really sure if it'd work for casual wear.
Both from Celine

Top-to-toe Check
Emilia Wickstead had some large neutral plaids. For the top-to-toe looks, one used just one pattern whilst the other paired it with another neutral plaid.
Moschino went for a some plaid for the equestrian look and had a subtle D&G Baroque influence. Their top-to-toe plaid suits are over-the-top but it'd work for anyone who's game enough for it.

Tommy Hilfiger utilised different checks of varying colours and size (pattern-mixing) to keep the top-to-toe check interesting. By using neutral colours, you can avoid making it look like a crazy mess. The key is to keep to a colour palette.

Left to Right: Emilia Wickstead, Moschino, Tommy Hilfiger

  • Smaller print if mixing 3+ different checks/patterns together (keep to a colour palette and have same background colour to avoid clashing)
  • If going for bold, stick to 1-2 patterns 
  • Larger patterns is easier to pair with if they're neutral-coloured
  • Be careful not to overdo it

Autumn/Winter 2014-15

Sheer Tartan
I like the idea of this, especially for those warmer autumn days.
Left to Right: Polo Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang

Sequined Tartan
I don't normally like sequinned items (too shiny/sparkly). I think YSL has made me rethink sequins because this sequinned tartan skirt looks great for nightwear. The reason why I probably like it is because it's not completely sequinned - the lines of the tartan are made from sequins. Gotta love her hot-pink bag too.
Yves Saint Laurent
In all honesty, I haven't spotted many check items lately in stores. There'd be a couple in a store but it's definitely not a huge trend here but they still linger around. I reckon monochrome is going to be bigger. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Event: Essie Pop-up @ Pitt St Mall, Sydney

Essie has been around for a few months if I could recall the first time I stumbled upon them being sold in Priceline. I loved Essie for their neutral range.

Just before Fashion Week, Essie has opened a pop-up in the Pitt St Mall, offering complimentary mini-mani (just girls putting the nail polish of your choice onto your nails), a take-home nail polish (that too is complimentary) and a $10 off voucher when you buy 2 Essie nail polishes at Priceline.

For the mini-mani, you get to choose anything from their collection sold in Priceline. I initially had my eye on Midnight Cami (what I wanted to buy). I eventually went with pastels - something I don't normally wear and picked Tart Deco for all my fingers except for my ring finger, which was reserved for Mint Candy Apple. It's a nice way to try some Essie nail polishes for free before buying them. I can tell you that I won't be buying Tart Deco. The first coat was way too streaky and any streaky nail polish frustrates me to no end. However, I can see myself happily buying Mint Candy Apple.

The girls there are friendly and offer you free mint lollies while you wait in queue. It wasn't a long wait because the queue wasn't long. It was still a while if you're just there to shop around because I probably had to wait about half an hour for my turn and there were less than 10 people in front of me. 

There are 6 choices for the take-home nail polish. I ended up going for Turquoise and Caicos. Among the others were Really Red and DJ Play That Song.

For any Sydneysiders who stumble onto this post on time, tomorrow's the last day (that is... 6 April 2014) if you're interested. The stall's opened from 9am to 5pm and is between Zara and Nespresso. I'd definitely recommend it if you have the time and you're curious about any Essie nail polish.