Saturday, December 3, 2016

Inspiration: Twin Peaks

Throughout the year, I've been watching Twin Peaks in my spare time. I've recently completed the series, hoping that I can catch the revival. I was introduced to this show when I was playing Life is Strange, where there were many references to Twin Peaks. I got so into it that I made cherry pie and had it with black coffee one morning -- actually a couple of mornings because I baked an entire pie for myself.

Nevertheless, the women of Twin Peaks has style and I thought I'd do a compilation here.

Audrey Horne

She's my favourite, she's everyone's favourite as far as I know. There's something about that 40s/50s influence in her style that I adore, mixed with the 90s. She's got that classic look, but the Old Hollywood kind of classic. It borders between demure and sexy. Her palette is generally white, black and red -- sounds like my teenaged wardrobe and I still love that combination.

I loved this costume on her too -- the one from One-eyed Jacks. 

Donna Hayward

Donna also has a classic look but the preppy variant. She's the Queen of Sweaters -- typically oversized. Sometimes it'll be a very feminine look overall but she can pull of more masculine styles well. I prefer her more feminine looks though because I'm not a big fan of grandpa sweaters/jumpers.

Shelly Johnson

I was named after a television character, and I like to think that Twin Peaks is where my mother got the name. In any case, Shelly's style is what I think the typical teenager of the early 90s would wear on TV. It's got the residual 80s flair. How can a girl not fall in love with the earrings she wears with her diner uniform?

On a tangent, Shelly reminds me a little of one of the characters from Last Window: The Secret of Cape West.

Josie Packard

The femme fatale. She's got that classic Old Hollywood look, but her masculine outfits has that Katherine Hepburn flair. Very dramatic, which is something I admire but I can never pull off personally. She shares a similar colour palette to Audrey but Josie's bold and dramatic.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Random: Black Friday

As an Australian, I never had a chance to partake in Black Friday until about two years ago when I learned that online retailers began offering Black Friday deals. This'll be a quick post, and as far as I know, these deals are still up.

Here's what I got, if you're curious. 

With their 'Catch of the Day', I thought I'd give it a go and purchased the bottoms for USD$10 and their pagoda umbrella at 25% off (with BEST25). It's a bit of a lucky dip but I'm hoping it's just some plain pants. I can do a flared skirt too. 

Paula's Choice Australia is offering 20% off with free shipping. I had some credit on my account, so I ended up getting the 2% BHA Body Treatment without any charges. If you're interested in purchasing from Paula's Choice (and you're in Australia), feel free to use my link ( for $15 off your first order if you spend over $30. Note: this is not just for Black Friday. It's their referral program. I also get $15 credit -- which is nice considering I regularly purchase from Paula's Choice for my BHA products. If you just want to check out Paula's Choice Australia, the link on the header is just the website -- no referral links.

Colourpop had a day where they offered free international shipping, so I went ahead and ordered the lippie stix and pencil in Lumiere (Kathleenlight's colour). I could not justify having to load a cart up to USD$50 just to get free shipping, nor could I justify the shipping fee if I buy two products, so this was the perfect opportunity to find out what the fuss is all about.

Unfortunately, that has finished but you can get 20% off their liquid lipsticks.

Random: Travels

I thought I'd do a bit of an update about what I had been up to.

In the first weekend of September, I made a trip to Melbourne for a weekend with my sister and my friend. Whilst my sister attended the Madman Fest, I went around the CBD with my friend and explored the laneways, arcades and the Queen Victoria market.

It takes more than a weekend to fully explore what Melbourne has to offer but I was quite content with what I was able to do during that weekend. This was more of a luxury trip, in which we indulged on food and stayed at a hotel.

My friend and I stopped by Hardware Societe for breakfast, which came highly recommended by one of my nursing school friends, and we had the fairy floss hot chocolate at the Hash Specialty. I window-shopped most of the time and caved into a purchase of a box of macarons from La Belle Miette to bring back home. My family dug into them before I had the chance to take photos.

Late October to mid-November, I had a placement in Tweed Heads after I finished up my semester. I stayed in Queensland and spent my weekends exploring the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. In my free time, I'd head out to the beach at Coolangatta or just go up the RT Peak Memorial Park to just watch the waters from above, which has a view of Kirra Beach too. I met a few backpackers during my stay.

I didn't do much shopping around in the Gold Coast but I did buy a shirt from H&M and some travel-sized items from Bath & Body Works at Pacific Fair. I stopped by Social Eating House because it was listed on Google maps. It was nice -- but I'm not much of a foodie and I ate alone, which only made me feel sad. I recommended this place to a friend who appreciates the dining experience but I can't see myself going back unless I were with friends. 

As for the walk to the hospital on the weekdays, I walked passed the Tweed River. 

During my first day there, I came across this bush turkey. I followed that turkey for this photo:

I particularly enjoyed Byron Bay's bohemian vibe. I took a trek to the lighthouse on a hot day but I had gorgeous views along the way.

I was lucky that during that weekend, they held the monthly market. I didn't know about it until I arrived. I wanted to buy all the crystals I saw there. I picked one, and bought a candle and a tin of tea.

This trip was very important to me in so many ways. It served as a reminder not to lose the bigger picture. It showed me how screwed up the world is but that's okay. I shouldn't lose sight of my passion and I should go for it because not everyone is lucky enough to know what they want to do. Most of all, I got a break from Sydney because it was wearing me down. The first Monday back, I forgot how busy the commute was and it was a little bit of a shock, but I missed having frequent public transport. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Accessory: Mejuri Evil Eye Ring

I've never mentioned once in my blog thus far that I'm a stress shopper, and I can be a little disinhibited at times. I never thought I'd buy a gold ring on impulse.

The Mejuri Evil Eye ring wasn't something that appealed to me upon first glance. I've seen it on the likes of Amelia Liana and Estee Lalonde on YouTube but it was never a "must have" item. I've always preferred one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. Yet, during these crazy few months, I saw the appeal. It was chic and the design is simplistic enough to go with many outfits.

I justified it as an early birthday gift to myself and a reward for completing the academic year. It was still a lot of money to spend on myself -- for just a ring. I guess it's mostly because I don't believe I deserve it. However, I chose to keep it because I don't like backing out of my decisions. I was certain I made the right choice of design for myself when I saw a fellow student wear a dainty silver evil eye necklace with blue enamel and I was enamoured with it. I couldn't stop looking.

Shipping was speedy and prompt but I was out of town, and it would be another 2 weeks until I was able to check if the order was indeed correct. When I first tried it on, I was disappointed. I wasn't quite used to sliding a chain through my finger, and that made me question whether I had purchased the correct size. It takes a little bit more time to pull it through but it fits perfectly.

The box came beautifully packaged and it made my night, having returned to Sydney on the last flight of the evening. The only thing of concern is whether the chain would break or not. I hope it's been soldered strong enough to prevent that. I would consider Mejuri again but I'm not sure I'd be buying fine jewellery any time soon.

Note: I purchased this ring with the introductory discount when you first sign up for their mailing list (10% -- if I remember correctly).  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Beauty: Calia Naturals

I first came across Calia through Holistichabits/Sarah Nagel on YouTube. It's been on my wishlist for a while until I finally got around to making a purchase. I may no longer be on the whole 'natural' kick but I still enjoy using haircare that is derived from natural ingredients.

I've had this regimen for about two months. I think they are very similar to the Al'chemy shampoos I used before. Calia uses unrefined ingredients and Al'chemy uses coconut-derived chemicals but I don't notice much difference. If Calia finds a way to ship items cheaper internationally (other than US and Canada), I might pick their products up again. For now, Australia offers many natural brands and Al'chemy is pretty close. Nevertheless, I recommend Calia to anyone who lives in North America and can take advantage of free shipping when you reach CAD$69.

For anyone wanting to try Calia, I recommend the hydrating line. It smells divine with the geranium oil and is gentle on the hair.

I find the purifying shampoo too drying for my hair but it is effective as a deep cleansing shampoo. Even my sister, who is often complaining that no shampoo out there is good enough for her oily roots, did not like how drying this shampoo was.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Trend: New Florals

With the upcoming spring season, many stores have brought out a variation of the classic floral prints. It's more realistic -- like botanical illustrations. When I shop, I typically gravitate towards patterns and I have an affinity for these kinds of florals.

Left - H&M; Middle - Sheike; Right - H&M
Hopefully, I'll be able to snag myself one of these when the weather is warmer.

Beauty: Cushion Compacts

Cushion compacts have long been a staple in the typical woman's makeup bag in Asia. I've had a dabble with some of the affordable cushion compacts myself and thought I'd report on it. Personally, I don't think the cushion will be a long affair. It's more economical to get a bottle of foundation or a tube of BB cream, and less waste.

Skin condition: Oily-combo, acne-prone, dehydrated

L'oreal Nude Magique Cushion

RRP: AUD$29.95 (I picked it up at 50% off in my local Coles supermarket's cosmetic section)
Colour: 01 Porcelain
Finish and coverage: Dewy and buildable light-medium coverage
Lasting power: About 2-3 hours on face

Notes: Porcelain was too light and slightly pink for me, though it oxidised to fit okay. Perhaps 03 Vanilla would be a better fit. The compact lasted me about 2 months but it should last roughly 4 months for someone who does not require more coverage. Packaging feels cheap but I like the choice of pink with a metallic lid. Others beg to differ and argue that it leaves visible fingerprints, making it look grubby easier.

Cushion started drying up after a few weeks of use, so you'll need to flip the cushion once in a while and start pressing up against the sides -- not the most effective way of dispensing a product but I like how travel-friendly the cushion is. The applicator is not very good quality though -- I wish they sold puff replacements. I attempted to wash it but the sponge tore.

Overall, it's a solid product and I thoroughly enjoyed using it.

Innisfree My Cushion

Price: AUD$25.37 (with conversion from USD and 20% off at Jolse + USD$3 credit because it was my first purchase)
Refill: Water Fit - 21 Natural Beige
Finish and coverage: Satin (with brown fitting puff and blue air magic puff); buildable light-medium coverage
Lasting power: ~8 hours

Notes: There are pros and cons with a customisable system -- you can pick and choose, or switch it up if you'd like your compact to match your outfit but the components are sold separately and the cost will add up. Innisfree's downsized their cushions for this new system and as far as I know, you can only fit their brand's refills. I like that with the Korean compacts, you only have to buy the refill again instead of having to purchase a whole new compact with the L'oreal Magique cushion but regardless, the cushion foundations produce more waste than having a bottle of foundation.

First impressions: The cushion is firmer than the L'oreal. The case itself feels cheap. Nevertheless, it stayed intact when I dropped it (the day I received it). The refill slips in easily but it takes a little bit of effort to push it out. There is a noticeable herbal pine-tree fragrance in the foundation but it fades quickly.

With the fitting puff, there is a sticky sensation when applying -- that may put you off. This does not occur with the blue magic air puff. I don't see the difference in application between the two puffs, other than the sensation as you apply it. Both puffs don't tear as easily as you wash them. I found the L'oreal puff tore up the first time I tried to wash it.

The colour is a good match. Coverage is buildable to medium. The selling point of the Water Fit formulation is the adherence -- it sticks onto skin much better than a dewy formula would but it clings onto my dry patches too. Overall, I think it's a solid cushion to work with and I'd like to try the Long Wear formula during the summer.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Beauty: Nude Lipsticks

These days, I find myself reaching for nude lipsticks over my brights. I feel like you can never have enough of them, and I find myself wanting more. You can find ones that lean more brown, more pink or more peach/apricot but a good pinky nude, leaning warm, is what suits me best.

Clockwise from top: Essence In the Nude lip liner, NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu, Lipstick Queen in Pinky Nude Sinner, ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Nobody's Baby, Rimmel Kate Moss (nudes line) in 42, Maybelline Color Drama Pencil in Nude Perfection
Essence lip liner in In the Nude: This is my only nude lipliner. I use this mostly with the Rimmel lipstick to give it more depth and dimension. It can be used on its own for a flat colour.

NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu -- Great for those lazy days. I'm not much of a gloss girl so this is my only gloss.

Lipstick Queen in Pinky Nude Sinner -- It goes on a warm pink on me. Great opacity -- formula similar to the NARS Audacious range in that it glides on easily with lots of pigment. A little drying though.

ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Nobody's Baby -- Sheer MLBB lip on me. A no-brainer. Great to layer on top if you find your lipstick has worn off during the day and you need a moisturising balm that adds colour too.

Rimmel Kate Moss in 42 -- A dud because it's too light on me -- great for a 60s look but not everyday. It's too flat on its own, so I use the Essence lip liner for more dimension. Formula's too slippery for my liking but I enjoy it as an under-eye neutraliser.

Maybelline Color Drama Pencil in Nude Perfection -- This stub of a pencil gives me the 'Kylie Jenner' lip -- that coveted 90s lip look that people sought after these days. It gives me the statement I desire, but it's less maintenance than a bright colour.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Beauty: Skincare and Makeup

Priceline's 40% off skincare sale came around a few days ago. It was a chance to stock up on my skincare.

I had finished my night cream a month ago (I didn't anticipate finishing it sooner), my Hydraluron serum was finished earlier this month, the last drop of my Garnier micellar water last week and I was on my last dollop of sunscreen. My current cleanser (Moreish Liberation cleanser) has about 1/5 of product left to go though.

I could say it was all in good timing but no, I plan ahead and I know roughly how long it takes for me to finish a product.

I picked up:
  • Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+
  • Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Night Moisturiser
  • People for Plants Pomegranate, Burdock and Shea Night Cream
  • Deciem Hylamide C25 
  • Simple Micellar Cleansing Water
The only items I've repurchased are the People for Plants night cream -- the same kind that I bought last time around, and the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Lotion -- I've used Neutrogena sunscreen for my body for a while but I decided to go back to this formulation. My last bottle from the Ultra Sheer line was SPF30+ (before they allowed for SPF50+ labelling).

As for my choice of cleanser, I wanted to keep it as gentle as possible. I'm currently using a BHA, and intend to add a vitamin C serum and retinol treatment as an adjunct to my regiment. I'd much rather keep the rest of my products as gentle as possible to avoid further irritation.

As for why I didn't repurchase Hydraluron, the hype from it being a cult item got to me and it was not for me. It served me better as a one-off treatment once in a while as opposed to a nightly treatment, but even then, I could keep my skin hydrated with other products. 

Oh, and I recently received my birthday gift from my friend M. My birthday had long passed but that's okay. I'm thankful to get anything at all. She bought me the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl -- a beautiful liquid illuminator, perfect for winter. It looks good in summer too, but I prefer a gold sheen in warmer weather.

I had been enjoying the 'strobing' trend very much. I have oily skin, so I always err on the side of caution -- I rarely ever go for the intense look. Now I've got a liquid highlighter to play with! 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Random: Happy New Year!

We're almost two weeks into this new year so I thought I'd do a quick post on my resolutions.

First of all, I'm not dead. 2015 was a haze for me and my passion for style took a backseat. I feel incredibly shallow making weekly posts about material things and I burned out. This blog is supposed to be fun for me and to allow me to develop my 'voice' in writing. I do not derive any income from keeping this blog up, so nothing but my passion for writing about style kept me moving. 

In any case, my 2016 resolutions all surround one theme: Balance.

In terms of my blog, I hope to find a balance in my posts and try to strive for consistent quality, as opposed to frequent posts. I am aware that frequent posts are necessary for a successful blog but I am also aware that there's a limit to what I can say before it sounds like I'm repeating myself, or repeating what others have to say. 

As for the other aspects of my life, I'll be starting postgraduate study soon. I'm very excited about it, despite the fact that I'm not following through with my original plan. I'll be very busy with my studies and I hope it'll bring a new perspective.