Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NYC Beauty Haul

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Because I missed out on buying liquid beauty products last time around in NYC, I really stocked up this time.

At the airport in Seattle, killing time before our flight ultimately got cancelled, I rediscovered an old favourite, The Body Shop's hemp hand cream. My hands were seriously suffering and I forgot to pack hand cream. The airport store had a whole bunch of holiday sets left over at 50% off, so I picked up three small sized hand creams (Hemp, Rose and Almond) for $12. On the way to our gate, I noticed that Sea-tac has a Butter London boutique. I was really surprised, and wish I wandered a little further instead of sitting in the food court for an hour! I was looking for Black Knight, which was sold out, so I picked up the colour-shifting Knackered instead.

I heard about Intelligent Nutrients through Into The Gloss, and wanted to try out some of their products. I bought mine at Barney's, but I also saw them at ABC Carpet and Home. My face mist by Caudalie and shampoo and conditioner from Kérastase is almost empty, so I bought the Anti-Aging Mist and the Harmonic shampoo and conditioner from Intelligent Nutrients.

Two other things I got at Barney's were from the Japanese makeup and skincare line Koh Gen Do. Another Into The Gloss recommendation! I got the Moisture Concealer palette and the Maifanshi Makeup Color Base in Yellow.

A few weeks ago Koh Gen Do's website was having a 20% off sale, so I decided to order a foundation sight unseen, which as you could imagine is quite dangerous. I just took a wild guess that I would be the lightest shade, and I was right! I got the Aqua Foundation in PK-0 and also the Maifanshi Face Powder, which is basically a loose translucent setting powder. To say I was impressed with the formula of this foundation is an understatement. I wanted to test the colour, so I spread a little bit over my dried-up scaly hand skin and it immediately smoothed out and became incredibly soft. It's my new favourite foundation and I highly recommend you try it out if you can!

I'm loving Koh Gen Do so much that I picked up the Maifanshi Moisture Foundation at Sephora in the Meat Packing District, and plan to order their Fresh Face cheek colour and Maifanshi lip gloss soon.

At Aesop in Nolita, I picked up the Geranium Leaf Body Scrub and the Tuberose Lip Heal. I previously used Origin's Incredible Spreadable Ginger Scrub (it smells amazing!) but that ran out and I wanted to try something new. Also, my lips have been seriously dry and I've therefore been obsessed with curing them with all sorts of products. The Rosehip Seed Lip Treatment is a blend of oils that you apply morning and night with a little roller-ball applicator to condition and heal dry lips.

Two other things I bought were the Leonor Greyl Lait Luminescence Bi-Phase detangling milk. I really love this product and mine had about two sprays left. It's expensive, but mine lasted me an entire year. Last but not least, as I blogged previously, I picked up Chanel's new June varnish, perfect for spring.

I must say, New York is ideal for stocking up on hard-to-find beauty products. I don't think there are many brands you can't find in that city!

June

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I'm trying to cut back on my nail polish purchases, so I just picked up one of the new varnishes from Chanel's Spring 2012 collection: June. It reminded me of the peach from Ann Demeulemeester's Spring 2009, and I don't have anything else like it in my stash, so win-win.

1/21/12

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What I wore on a snowy day in NYC.

Ann Demeulemeester coat
Faliero Sarti scarf
Number Nine waistcoat
Ann Demeulemeester white tunic shirt
Ann Demeulemeester feather necklace
Rick Owens ribbed l/s tee
Rick Owens ribbed tank
Comme des Garcons for H&M drop crotch trousers
Damir Doma leggings
Guidi boots
Fur and leather ear muffs
Leather gloves with long hair trim
Zam Barrett bag

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NYC - 2

There was a great deal on a flight to NYC flying out of Seattle, so J and I headed there over this past weekend.

Of course, a rare pacific northwest snow storm had to hit the exact same day that we needed to drive down for our early next morning flight.

We drove down slowly and safely. Then the freezing rain came. Our car and the roads were coated with at least a 1/4" of solid ice. Things aren't looking so good for the Sea-tac airport. The next morning we headed to the airport anyway, where our flight was delayed, delayed again, bumped up a half hour earlier, and then cancelled.

Instead of getting re-booked and waiting until the following day when we may or may not fly out (and would also have to foot the bill for another night at the over-booked airport hotel), thus losing an entire day in NYC, we negotiated a flight out of Vancouver that left in 4 hours. With the roads in the condition that they were, we weren't sure if we were going to make it.

Miraculously, we make it to Vancouver without dying once, passing about 10 cars in the ditch or crashed into things along the I-5. We dump the car in the long-term lot, rushed onto the shuttle to the airport and checked-in for our flight.

The desk agent in Seattle booked us on the flight leaving the next day. Of course.

We manage to get on the flight leaving that day (in less than an hour) and finally get into NYC around midnight.

But there was 1 more problem.

Our return flight flies into Seattle and our car in in Vancouver.

Re-routing or tacking on an extra flight to Vancouver (or even to Bellingham) will cost $250-500 each.

Our flight back into Seattle was supposed to arrive at 9pm, but we were 45 minutes late. We rented a car from Seattle (stoped at McDonalds for chicken nuggets and a Filet-O-Fish) and drove to Vancouver, picked up our car from the airport, and finally drive home. It's about 4:30am GMT by this point, and I could barely keep my eyes open. Hats off to J for driving 95% of the time and not killing us once.

Conclusion:

Trip to NYC: always worth it.

Flying out of Seattle? Never again.

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Snow!

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Kiehl's products c/o The Smyth Hotel in Tribeca

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Rick Owen(s)

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Some products I brought

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to MAC quicker

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I'm a big fan of lipstick though I am not always motivated enough to wear it. I prefer to apply lipstick with a brush, and many of my lesser-worn lipsticks from MAC just sit around so I wondered if there was a way I could de-pot them (or de-stick them as it were) to save space, keep them organized, and also recycle them at MAC for free products.

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The little acrylic pots from Muji (or similar) are the perfect solution! You can get a stacking set of 5 for about $5 in the US (I picked mine up in New York), or £2.50 ordered online, if you don't live near a Muji store. FYI, you can order internationally from the UK Muji website! I've done it before without problems. If you don't have a Muji nearby (like me) and don't want to order online, check at beauty supply stores, craft stores and dollar stores for something similar. If you have a Daiso store near you I'm pretty sure they have something like this.

It's pretty straight forward if you want to de-pot your lipsticks, and also weirdly satisfying to cut through a lipstick like they do in the magazines.

- decide which lipsticks to de-pot. I only did the ones that I don't normally wear very often and wouldn't take out with me to reapply, though theoretically you could take apart the stack and use the lid from the top pot if you need to take one with you.

- clean an exacto knife with alcohol

- slice through the stick horizontally right at the bottom and pop it into the container

- there will be a little bit more left in the plastic holder that you can scrape out if you like

- remove the sticker from the bottom of the tube and place it on the bottom of your clear pot. If it doesn't come off easily with the edge of your blade, you can place it on a hot flat iron for a few seconds to melt the glue a little bit

- fill all your containers and trundle off to MAC to recycle them.

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At MAC you can recycle any 6 plastic MAC containers (empty or not) for a free eyeshadow, lipgloss or new lipstick. I've heard this recycling policy varies per store (freestanding vs pro store vs store-in-store) but at my local free-standing MAC pro store you can recycle for any one of those three options. You can even mail them back if you don't live near a MAC store: click here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best and Worst of 2011

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[Elle Interior Sweden]

Now that it's officially 2012, it's a great time to reflect on my wardrobe purchases of 2011 and assess the best and worst.

Despite spring being a time I don't really make a lot of purchases, the fact that I was in Paris for part of the season inevitably gave me more opportunities to buy some great things at great prices. At the two sample sales I hit in Paris and Antwerp, I made some purchases of useful things, and also things I have wanted for a while but couldn't afford at full retail.

At the Damir Doma sample sale I bought two items which have since been indispensable to me: a pair of spiral stitched leggings and spiral stitched long sleeve jersey top.

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At the Ann Demeulemeester sample sale, two notable finds included a bird-printed chiffon cardigan and a pinwheel patterned drawstring skirt which have been great layering pieces.

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Top purchases of fall probably include my new Ann Demeulemeester coat and Zam Barrett Siamese bag. The coat was one of my first purchases of fall (back in August I think?) and the bag was one of my last of the year. I was in a bit of a handbag predicament, until one somewhat fell from the sky... well, a sample sale deal came along.

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[via Style Zeitgeist]

Three other top purchases are my easy throw-on items: Alexander Wang Ashley boots, perfect for making a quick trip to the grocery store or shopping all day with my mother, my (second hand) Balenciaga leather jacket (finally!), and a second-hand Barbour coat. While not really my style at all, it is the perfect dog park coat and I like to pretend to be the Queen Mum in it. I don't really care what I look like at the dog park- I wear duck boots and Sorel's and have dogs jump on me with their muddy paws. Enough said.

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Regrets include things that showed up not fitting as expected, or not fitting at all. They were pretty few and far between, and I only had one or two inexpensive "WTF was I thinking" purchase, so I think I did pretty well on that front.

So, what were your best purchases of 2011? Any regrets or "WTF was I thinking" purchases?