Saturday, May 31, 2014

Trends: Bags

Way back in high school, I remembered the trendiest bag to have was one of those Country Road duffle bags made of canvas. I never succumbed to the trend mostly because I thought it was impractical to be carrying around a duffle filled with schoolbooks and pens. They came in different colours and patterns and it wasn't just us girls using these. Boys had them over their shoulders too. I am not sure if these are even trendy anymore since they peaked around 2008-2009 in school grounds.

As a uni student, I have seen many girls carry Michael Kors totes but many women carry around Michael Kors Selma satchels too (which I'll give props to that because they're in good taste). If not Michael Kors, Longchamp's Le Pliage is the second most prominent.

Michael Kors tote

Michael Kors Selma Satchel

Longchamp Le Pliage tote
There has been a surge in shoulder/cross-body bags, which has always been my preferred type of bag for going out casually.

Louis Vuitton Petite Malle 

Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac

Finally, there's the backpack. Perhaps not the best choice if you're already out of school but it's the best choice to carry out your lab coat, laptop and books.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Style: Fragrance Wardrobe

I have briefly discussed my love for fragrances here but for today, I'll share my collection so far. I think my perfume collection is quite modest but I do have more than the average girl. I have a mixture of niche and designer fragrances and one celebrity fragrance. The appeal of niche perfumery is mostly exclusivity - you're not going to smell like the next girl (well, there's less chance you will). If you are deep into the art of perfume, you'd appreciate the unique compositions and the quality that it offers but niche can be a hit-or-miss. They generally are more expensive but you get what you pay for.

The fragrances I own are lean towards autumnal. They don't work well for the hotter months, only because some of these scents can be overpowering in the summer.

My Fragrance Wardrobe
1. Dior J'adore: My very first fragrance. A heady sophisticated scent with jasmine and magnolia but there is a subtle sweetness from the melon. I wore this during high school. Sweet fruity florals were not my thing. These days, the heady aroma can induce headaches for me, so I rarely use it. Luckily it's a mini-size.

2. Jessica Simpson's Fancy Nights:  I generally don't care for celebrity scents but this one was unique. It's a love-hate perfume because some people find it too masculine and hate the patchouli but for patchouli and amber lovers, this is a love. This may be the only celebrity scent I'll ever own.

3. Annick Goutal Petite Cherie: I'm almost halfway through this bottle. It was my signature. This scent works every season except summer because I find the muskiness too overbearing in the summer. It's the scent of the ingenue. All feminine and clean...

4. Guerlain Shalimar: My newest addition. This is a classic and is like the "No. 5" of Guerlain in that this is their best selling perfume and is iconic. I say that because the people I know generally know what Chanel No 5 is but they've never heard of Shalimar. This is probably the perfume I'd wear for any sort of intimate setting.

5. Juliette Has a Gun - Lady Vengeance: It's got rose and patchouli. The composition isn't very original for something niche. It can be quite strong though and I think there's something appealing about it. It's not a dangerous assassin but a femme fatale seductress. I wear this when I feel the need to kick butt because I find this scent empowering for some reason.

6. Les Exclusifs de Chanel - Coromandel: The Chanel exclusives line are in selected counters and their boutiques. These offer quality on par with niche and differ from their normal range in exclusivity. This range is harder to access but it's also more expensive, not by much. Coromandel is probably the least like "Chanel" to me and I love it. The earthy patchouli is something I adore because many of the patchouli perfumes I have a refined patchouli. There's also the sweetness of frankincense and that hint of white chocolate.

I did make a video of my perfume collection before I got my hands on Shalimar. I was bored one weekend and decided it was a good idea to film it and I put way too much exposure on.

I adore the history and the legends behind some of Guerlain's classics. My mother hates Guerlain probably because of "Guerlinade" - that accord that is typical of all of their perfumes. I find it makes the perfume dressier and harder to wear, which is why I'd only reserve Guerlain for special occasions.
I took advantage of the sales a little while ago and decided to buy some perfume. Of course, the sale did not include Chanel or Dior (much to my disappointment, not that I expected a deal from them). Alas, when it came to picking out the perfume, I was caught between La Petite Robe Noire Couture and Shalimar.

The SA who served me insisted I get Shalimar and eventually decided for me. She was generous to give me a miniature with my purchase. Although it was not Couture  (she could not find it but she found the original EDP), I will treasure this little thing and never ever use it. It's just too adorable to open and use. She did give me a sample of Couture to test.

I think partly why I'm so drawn towards Couture is that it reminds me of the aspects of Miss Dior Le Parfum I adore. It's fresher so it is more appropriate for spring and it has an effervescent quality to it. Miss Dior Le Parfum has a lot of warmth from the amber, hence better reserved for cooler weather. Couture has a smoother composition than its original, in my opinion.

I realised I haven't really strayed much from the beginning of this blog. My fascination with perfume has only grown. I have yet to smell the perfume the inspired the name of this blog but my perfume-loving friend and I share a fantasy of owning a perfume line together.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Style: Dark Lip

It's all about nudes this autumn and winter but darker lips are appropriate for the colder seasons regardless of trends. I opted for a balm-type lipsticks because I'm not ready for the full opaque lip.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in 2 Pourpre Intouchable

This had a mango scent. I love mango but I'm not loving the scent. I'm partial to the subtle rose scented lipsticks.

Out of the two, this is the sheer option in terms of pigmentation. The name roughly translates to 'untouchable purple' and is more of a plum on my lips. It doesn't leave my lips as shrivelled up as Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, so I like this. I just wish I could have the faint rose scent instead of the mango.

Dior Addict Lipstick in 991 Perfecto

There's a slightly sweet scent with this but I think it's mostly the typical lip balm scent without fragrance added. This offered more pigmentation and is a wine-red, burgundy colour. It is still less intense than an opaque lipstick would offer.

The packaging is gorgeous but I found it confusing to open. I thought I had to twist it open but it turns out you pull the knob gently. My sister yanked it out and dented the lipstick bullet. She did not expect lipstick to be so soft but that's because she doesn't wear lipstick and is used to seeing solid lipsticks. Of course, she brushes it off by saying "Use this lipstick more... " and she moves onto the YSL, admiring the tube in all of its golden glory.

Surprisingly after tackling the red lip, I'm not so self-conscious in a dark wine/plum lip.

The only thing I'm not so happy about is how the slippery formula of Dior Addict doesn't suit a dark colour like Perfecto because it's able to move around more. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Style: Search for Red Lip

Pulling off a red lip requires confidence. It'll make everything look elegant and refined - whatever you wear. It's a classic that intimidates those who prefer a more subdued lip, like me. I'm quite fond of MLBB (my lips but better) shades and the thought of having a full red lip scares me. If I were to opt for a red lip, I'd go for the sheer formulas like Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Monte Carlo (62)
Monte Carlo is a pink-red but it's more of a pink in my books. Pinks are fun and flirty. I can wear pinks just fine but reds intimidate me. There's only one way to wear red lipstick: perfectly. You need precision when you apply a red lip and that means no slathering on straight from the bullet.

I searched a few brands for red and settled for Illamasqua's Maneater even though MAC's Russian Red caught my eye first. I adore the matte finishes and Illamasqua is a little less expensive than MAC here, so that's what I settled for. It's a "classic cherry red" with a satin-matte finish. I found it a little bit drying but nothing that a lip balm can't fix.

Illamasqua - Maneater
I tried applying it straight from the bullet but I prefer the use of a lip brush. I wore it out to class first and I was actually quite comfortable with it. I'm not sure why I was fussing so much over a red lip.

I wore it out to dinner with some friends. I paired up the statement necklace I got from ASOS with a plain white shirt and a skirt. I put on a beige trench as I was heading out (my usual outfit when I'm heading to uni). As for the makeup, I paired the red lip with a sheer wash of peach eyeshadow and some mascara (very subtle makeup but the camera can't pick up the eyeshadow).

Makeup worn
Nails - Essence Fame Fatal with Essie Turquoise & Caicos on accent nail
A friend took this picture of me.
We walked past this giant chess set and I would've loved to play, despite the fact that I'm not good at it. None of my friends know how to play chess.
Praline Hot Chocolate at Guylian cafe after dinner. I had way too much hot chocolate.
Red lips are probably not the best idea if you're going out to eat because you'd need to reapply afterwards. We ate at Home Thai, strolled through Darling Harbour and ended up at Guylian for dessert. It was just nice to catch up with old friends.

Would I wear a red lip another time?

Hell yes.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Inspiration: You Who Came from the Stars/ My Love from Another Star

The world has witnessed the power of product placement, after many of the lipsticks worn by Cheon Song Yi (played by Jun Ji-hyun, also known as Gianna Jun) were sold out and has a wait list. This includes YSL Rouge pur Couture in #52 Rosy Coral, which had been sold out worldwide. It was later released that the lipstick shade in question was made from various products and none were from YSL. AmorePacific was one of their sponsors and provided most of the products used while YSL just got a free ride. Nevertheless, Rosy Coral was a popular shade prior to the drama release but it probably wouldn't have sold out if it weren't for the rumour circulating.

I've put some time aside for a drama marathon and watched all the episodes. I joined the masses of people, swept in the craze to purchase what she wore and even to eat her favourite food & drink: chicken and beer. I think it's mostly Jun Ji-hyun's charisma that sells these products. While I don't feel compelled to hunt down the exact products she used or to even consume chicken with beer, I'm noticing that I'm buying more lipsticks. Now that I'm more informed about its influence, I finally realised why there were an increasing number of places beginning to sell KFC - Korean Fried Chicken. Even the local frozen yoghurt place has started selling Dak Kung Jung (닭강정). It was a popular food before this drama but this definitely pushed sales to new limits.


It's not a surprise to me that no one raves on about the various fragrances scattered throughout the drama. No one's commercialised smell-o-vision yet. When other people see tubes of lipsticks, I spy on the boxes behind. They're all Annick Goutal fragrances and that's because AmorePacific owns Annick Goutal.

See that golden cap on her vanity in the gif? That's definitely Annick Goutal's packaging. I speculate that she had Petite Cherie but I'm not certain. Generally the Asian market prefers light fruity florals. Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet is targeted to the East Asian market, for example. Petite Cherie fits into this category.

My Limited Edition bottle of Petite Cherie (2012), which was my very first signature scent.
Her romantic interest, Do Min Joon (played by Kim Soo-Hyun), had a scene with fragrance too. Here's some eye candy but my eyes are drawn to the bottle of fragrance (also thinking that it's a bad place to put any sort of fragrance).

Packaging marketed to men. I don't know which fragrance is featured there. I like to think Eau d'Hadrien but it could be Eau de Monsieur. Something citrus.

It was perhaps the thing that sold the best. Cheon Song Yi had an extensive collection of lipsticks. They are more accessible than the various designer handbags and clothing in her wardrobe and I've got to say that I loved her bold bright lips. 

Those golden tubes behind really do look like YSL but it's most likely IOPE products since that's owned by AmorePacific too.
I think the highlights of Cheon Song Yi's wardrobe are the sunglasses and the coats. Those were the items that made her wardrobe edgier and look like a star. Her choice in accessories helped too. 

Along with coats that drape (along the lines of capes), she wears a lot of trenches. Most of her wardrobe is quite subdued and understated but the details in some of the garments and accessories help to glam it up, so she doesn't look so plain. Sometimes you can see that she's wearing a crisp collared shirt, or a plain white knit shirt, or a white turtleneck underneath her more elaborate coats.

She has a wide range of accessories. I love the statement earrings and the hats. The headbands she wears make her seem feminine and a little naive (that's intentional because you begin to see her innocence as the plot develops).

My favourite outfit of hers has to be this one.

Yoo Se Mi (played by Yoo In Na; the frenemy) is quite stylish in her own right but I find she wears more patterns and lace. She also has a lot of fur items and her overall style is feminine and 'sweeter' than Cheon Song Yi.


This is my favourite outfit of hers:

Overall, I enjoyed this drama very much, despite it being cheesy and cliche at times. I probably loved the fashion more than the plot itself. Some of the scenery shots were gorgeous and I loved the garden/island they were in when they had the red Japanese Camellias (my favourite flower).

Image sourced from here