Monday, December 31, 2012

Return To The Motherland

I'm back from China! It was a very relaxing two weeks- snow fights, buying sacks of groceries for dirt-cheap prices, buffets and banquets and Chinese immersion. The latter wasn't so relaxing but it was fun nonetheless. For this post I'll just include some photos and caption them. I've got a Best of 2012 in the works but I woke up at 6:30 yesterday and through all the plane trips and transit periods I haven't slept since so I'm in no mood to type up a beauty post.

We found some basketball courts covered in fresh ankle-deep snow and had a ramble. We certainly left our mark.
Frost on the classroom window.
The deer park next to the ski lodge.

The cathedral in the city centre.
Snow sculptures
An award-winning snow sculpture titled 'By The Roadside'
How they make the snow sculptures.
Christmas Day shopping in the city. We found H&M and Zara!
The tiger park.
The Ice Sculpture World.
It was so surreal, and there were giant ice slides.

On the plane home- from Harbin to Beijing. I miss the cold already!

It was so strange going from -25 degrees to 25 degrees. I miss the snow! This year we had groups from Indonesia, the Phillipines, Myanmar/Burma, Perth, New Zealand, Malaysia and Brisbane. I think we made more friends with the Mauritian and Sydney groups on last year's trip but this year's trip is just as good, even though we mostly stuck to our Brisbane group. The classes and sightseeing were such memorable highlights and we made some pretty awesome friends that we can actually meet up with because they don't live a couple of thousand kilometres away. Oh, and I enjoyed flying Cathay-Pacific! There was a mix-up on the last HK-BNE leg of the return trip and Economy class was full so they bumped us up to Premium Economy and it was a nice way to end the holiday. But even going from BNE-HK-Beijing on the way there in Economy, the entertainment system was great.
If you can go on China camp- if you've know people who have gone or who are going- I would really encourage you to go- it's such a good experience and they give you the best they have to offer. We stayed in the Hanlin Hyatt and ate at top restaurants amid all the sightseeing and the whole experience was completed with an amazing concert and party on the last night. :) I'm off to sleep off the jet lag now- Happy New Year and have a great time saying goodbye to 2012 and kicking off 2013!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Blush, Naturally

HG alert. I have found a new favourite blush. It's odd because I've been so focused on getting into luxe blushes but Laura Mercier's Second Skin Cheek Colour in Lush Nectarine and this one were added to the collection at the same time and I found myself liking this one even better!

I was looking into more natural, 'nude', not-pink blushes and among MAC Blushbaby (overpriced), Tarte Exposed (inaccessible) and NARS Douceur (too brown), I found Rimmel Santa Rose. It looks like a peachy beige in the pan, with slight silver shimmer that isn't pronounced enough to be anything more than a glow and though sheer, can be built up to a distinct warmth on the cheeks. It swatched surprisingly pink though.

The powder is smooth, not too pigmented, and produces surprisingly little fall out. I've used powder-style brushes and duo-fibre stippling brushes with it and it works well with both. It wears well too, fading after about 6 hours, but I don't pack it on and I have oily-combination skin so it would probably last longer on other people.

L-R: Santa Rose built up to full intensity, Santa Rose swatched twice

It looks so natural on the cheeks, as it's not a true pink or peach. The unassuming beige in the pan just works. It warms the face and looks healthy without looking like you're wearing blush. Now one of my go-to blushes, I can actually see myself hitting pan on this one. 

Rimmel plays it safe with their blush shades, as all of them are wearable, natural colours. The Rimmel Mono Blush packaging is so minimalistic that it's on the cusp of looking cheap, but its compact size is a nice change to the usual wasteful, 'brush included' packaging from other brands. My singular gripe is that it's difficult to open. It retails for $10 and is an excellent product in its own right, not to mention the fact that in my routine, it's beating blushes than cost up to three times as much, so it's definitely making its way into my Best of 2012 list. I haven't really tried Rimmel products, so this is a great introduction to their line. I'm eyeing their three-colour blushes and more Scandal Eyes Kohl Kajal pencils next!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why Do You Wear Makeup?

Thank you to Lena for tagging me to do this tag! This is an interesting one, because it's more personal than some of the other tags that are floating around, and it's really nice to sit down and chat/type a little ramble and have a think about why we do what we do.

I'm in the midst of packing.

1. When did you start using makeup?
2. What was the first makeup product that you bought that you loved? 
3. What is your most used eyeshadow?
4. When did you begin loving makeup?
5. How do you feel without makeup?
6. What do you like about makeup?
7. Three Holy Grail items.
8. Why do you wear makeup?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just A Dream

As everyone seems to obsessing over the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch highlighting concealer, I thought I'd buy one to see what the fuss was about. I don't have bad under eye circles or bags, but I do have some darkness and thought this might fix that up. I bought the shade 02 Nude, as 01 Ivory was much too light, and 03 Sand was the same shade as my skin tone, which wouldn't brighten or highlight on me. 02 Nude is a light yellow, which makes it ideal for under eye concealing. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fruitful Purchase

After having such good experiences with Laura Mercier's mineral powder and concealers, I thought it was high time I tried one of their blush offerings. ViviannaDoesMakeup cannot stop gushing about the Second Skin Cheek Colours, and when Barbara from ThePersianbabe and MissGlamorazzi started harping on about them too, after a couple of months, I caved, and Lush Nectarine was finally mine. 

I was mostly into pink blushes until recently, when I suddenly went off pink blush completely. I thought it looked too doll-like and unnatural. I embraced the corals, but now I want to dabble in peachy blushes, I can only ever find orange-peaches, when I want something slightly pink, but predominantly peach. NARS Deep Throat comes to mind, as does MAC Melba/Style, but I was thinking about Laura Mercier's Second Skin Cheek Colours for a while and decided to treat myself (not that I deserved it :S).

Monday, December 3, 2012

Starter Makeup Kit

I wish I'd researched more before starting out with makeup because I've wasted so much money on useless, poor-quality things that I didn't need. Regardless, this post is on advice about what to look for when starting out in makeup, and I've suggested some of my favourite products. If you're not new to my blog, you'll probably be sick of seeing these products but hey, if you're not new to my blog, you probably don't need advice on starting out in makeup. :p