Thursday, May 30, 2013

Larger Than Life 20s Makeup

I went to a Gatsby-inspired party some time ago! Makeup was the only thing I didn't have to scramble for to fit into the theme (the headband was generously lent to me by a co-worker, earrings are by Dannijo). Since I've been on a minimalistic binge, I actually wasn't used to the look – there was so much makeup on my face! My lazy self sometimes looks back at this picture and sighs, this is how you look when you try, Xiao.

The 20s was about being over the top: huge smokey eyes, red/wine heart-shaped lips, pale but flawless skin. As usual, a complete list of what I used to create the look is at the end of the post, but here are the highlights - I used LMdB Nouvelle Vague on my eyes, layering from top to bottom. With a flat eyeshadow brush, I dipped into the soot black shade and ran the tip along my bottom lash line, blending furiously.

For the lips, I used a combination of lip pencil and lip brush to achieve the pointed edges. Just carefully outline the shape you want – I over-lined mine on the cupid's bow just a tad to get it nice and sharp. The color is Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Noir.

Though truth be told, while I prepped and primed liberally, the makeup didn't last super long on the dance floor. I suppose that's what dark rooms (and drinks) are for though, right?

Products Used:
Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge #2
Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Base
Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur in Light/Medium
Le Métier de Beauté Eye Brightening and Setting Powder in Revive
Le Métier de Beauté Creme Fresh Tint in Mystique
Le Métier de Beauté Nouvelle Vague
Guerlain Meteorites Perles d'azur
Benefit Dandelion
NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
Guerlain Noir G Mascara
Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner #13C
Chanel Rouge Allure Rouge Noir

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms

One of my burgeoning interests is cooking beyond simple stirfry and (any manner of) egg. I genuinely enjoy being in the kitchen and being able to whip up Instagram-worthy food is a point of pride. Since new beauty products/looks are in scarce supply, perhaps you wouldn't mind reading about my culinary adventures?

I've been on a mushroom kick lately and made mashed potato stuffed mushrooms. They taste insanely good and are super easy to make. Bonus points for looking really cute on the plate!
I adapted my recipe from this one I found on Basically, I used actual ingredients instead of packaged ones, and took away the cheese because I'm lactose sensitive.

3 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes
5 strips of bacon
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
12 large mushrooms, or more depending on size
salt, butter, black pepper, italian herbs to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Skin potatoes and chop into 1" cubes. Place in medium saucepan, cover potatoes with water, set to boil for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
3. Chop bacon into bite-size pieces, fry till crispy.
4. When potatoes are ready, drain and mash. Add herbs, salt, butter, and pepper to taste.
5. Remove stems from clean mushrooms* and stuff with mashed potatoes.
6. Spread olive oil and minced garlic on a walled cookie sheet or baking dish. Place mushrooms on top.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

*To clean mushrooms, take a damp kitchen towel and gently wipe the grit and dirt off. To remove stems, gently wiggle the stem till you hear a popping sound. This part is really fun.

When buying mushrooms, try to get them more or less equal in size. This is to make sure some of your mushrooms won't be overcooked/undercooked. I also like to scoop up the baked garlic (baked garlic tastes so good) and place it on top of the stuffed mushrooms before serving.

My boyfriend (the resident wine picker) paired it with Rioja. All in all, a fantastic meal.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Beauty PSA: Le Métier de Beauté on Hautelook

By some technical web error, I saw a preview of all the items that will be available for sale tomorrow. While the majority of the listings seem to be nail polish, the Sydney lipstick, the powder and the mascara pictured above are on sale, as well as two eyeshadows. I was also excited to see the Champagne Dualistic Eye Pencil listed – I frequently use it as a base for eyeshadow application. If I didn't already have a backup, I would jump on this chance immediately.

The sale begins 8am Pacific on May 14.

If you're not already a Hautelook member, you can sign up through this link.

*Disclosure: If you do end up purchasing an item after signing up through that link, I will receive $10 referral credit.

Ellis Faas Blush: S301, S302, S304

Many reviews I've read of Ellis Faas laud the superior texture and formula of their products, but always with a caveat: the applicator and its refilling mechanism is unwieldy. One of my Ellis Faas eye pens actually exploded once – I was twisting it to get pigment out, and probably because the leftover pigment was too caked onto the brush, the liquid couldn't get through. Instead, the entire top part of the pen blew out from the holder and paint splattered across the room. I was wary of trying Ellis Faas again, but here I am with their blush pens.

I'm happy to report that the formula and texture remain as what I remember them to be. As for avoiding a repeat of the last mishap, I now wipe off excess liquid after use (as I should have done in the first place).

L-R: Ellis Faas Blush S304, S302, S301

Very simply, S301 is what I think of as a natural blush, an amalgamation of pink, peach and brown tones. S302 is more vibrant and leans pink, but still looks very natural when applied on skin. S304 is the color of mulled wine.

Ellis Faas pens are designed for fingers, so place a few dots along your cheeks then happily blend!



Suqqu EX-11 Sumiredama on eyes, Le Métier de Beauté Coral Rose on lips.

Ellis Faas Blushes retail for $32 and are available at

Full disclosure: This blog post contains sample products sent by PR or the manufacturer for editorial consideration, as well as affiliate links.

Check out my blog sale here!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blog Sale Is Up!

 ... and more, here!

I will be updating the Blog Sale tab with more items in the next few days (I'll announce each addition on Twitter). Please enjoy :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Sprang Sprung

Spring weather is finally in full swing in New York City! The sun is shining, people's calves are showing, and I'm beginning to realize how dire a pair of open-toed sandals is to the wardrobe, though five tries to and still nothing. Shopping, which is supposed to be super duper fun, can be such a frustrating exercise.

A long overdue update on little ol' me: something happened to my skin and I think it's called "turning 24." I've been told skin changes as we grow older – what was once taut can be loose, smooth can be coarse, oily can be dry. Mine is the latter two and some other new skin concerns, like hyperpigmentation and redness. Funny thing is, even though my skin is now so dry as to be cracking and peeling, my nose remains porous, like a permanent dotting of sesame seeds. Grr.

Most of my current products are geared toward combo/oily skin, so they no longer fit my concerns. I've been looking to purchase new skincare and for now, these are in the cart:

  • Guerlain Super Aqua Serum - I tried the old formulation a few years ago and remember loving it, so I'm excited to see how the new version fares. A few reviews on Makeup Alley suggest that it was too oily on combination skin, which is perfect for me. Bonus: Nordstrom has a limited edition set that includes a deluxe-sized toner, eye cream, and mask for no extra charge.
  • Tatcha Enriching Renewal Cream - As I've repeatedly said, Tatcha's skincare works wonders for me. I have finished my second mist, am working through my second oil cleanser, and desperately scraping the bottom of my silk cream. I'm excited to try this new version of the cream, touted for dry skin.
  • Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil - When I announced my skin woes on Twitter, a couple people suggested adding an oil over my serum and moisturizer and it seems to be working! Rodin's oil is the most luxurious one I've ever tried. 

As for makeup, I haven't been playing at all. I can barely wake up on time for work, much less apply makeup beforehand. Maybe it's that age thing again (yes everyone, I do realize I'm "too young" to start with that, but it is how it is) but I've been gravitating toward simple looks, almost entirely eschewing eyeshadow and liner most days. Cream blush has become one of the most important items in my makeup bag, with Le Métier de Beauté Creme Fresh Tint in Poppy leading the pack.

The other good thing about spring/summer is that I will be wearing huge sunglasses that cover up half my face, so I really won't need much.

In this photo I am wearing Ellis Faas Blush S302, a peachy pink liquid blended out with fingers. I applied it lightly here, but as usual you can layer it for more impact. Lips are lined with a pink MAC lip pencil, topped with Dior Addict Extreme in Plaza. The sunglasses are a new acquisition from Oliver Peoples, while the trench coat is a great purchase from Club Monaco two years ago.

PS: In an effort to spring clean and clear up some clutter (again), I'm holding another blog sale. Items will be uploaded beginning tomorrow. Here's a sneak peek:

Tell your friends!

Full disclosure: This blog post contains sample products sent by PR or the manufacturer for editorial consideration, as well as affiliate links.