Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Adios, Adieu, Arrivederci!

The Tod and I are embarking on our latest airplane adventure tomorrow. I forecast no improvement on the blogging front, but we just want to wish you all the warmest, blessed Holiday Seasons.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Makeup-Addict Tag



I am continued to be humbled and flattered that my fellow bloggers considered my tiny blog to be worthy of a tag -- thanks to Monika from Rocaille Writes, whose blog has more substance and beauty than mine, now I am officially inducted in the Makeup-Addict tag.

First of all, even if it does not seem like it, let it be known that I am a makeup fan, an addict if you must, yes! I enjoy makeup, I love makeup, I love playing with makeup and makeup enhances my life. These collections really elevate my otherwise bland days into a daily reminder that life deserves the best of me. I cherish putting on makeup in the morning, playing with various looks, pouring over glossy editorials to look at makeup trends, techniques and geekeries. Makeup for me has been quite a metaphor/journey in life; maybe someday I will write a blog post entitled "Makeup as Spiritual Journey."

'Nuff said, let's get on with the goodies! Pardon dim lightings, these pictures were taken at night.

1. Which product do you still keep buying more of despite having plenty in your collection?

What is the gateway drug to any makeup brand? Lipstick/lipgloss, of course! 

Ironically, I don't wear lip products all that much: I eat on the run, I kiss the Tod lot, heck, I even drink from his water bottle sometimes. Lipstick ring on a toddler's flip top bottle? Yuck!

Most of the time, I stash my lip product in my purse to be worn maybe. The majority of the colors are nudes/browns/pinks/mlbb. Something vampy/magenta may be nice for a certain look, but it may also send the wrong message to the preschool teachers -- thus the futility of stashing more trendy lip products.

All my lipsticks fit in one Ikea Dragan box. The top tray consists of lipsticks I wear most regularly in rotation.

2. What's the one product you can't live without?

Brightening concealer makes me look awake and not half-dead. I like the Clinique Airbrush and Burberry Sheer Concealer (either or layered together).

3. Favorite makeup brand?

Having been around the makeup block, I consider myself equal-opportunistic makeup buyer: drugstore, dept-store and anything in between. You can see my collection is heavy on Chanel and Burberry, but as of late, I have not bought anything from these two lines -- in fact, no new Chanel/Burberry purchase for almost a year. I certainly would like to venture out to new brands, I like to explore new technologies, textures, color palettes, etc. My favorite makeup brand is yet to be discovered!

4. How big is your makeup collection?

For those of you who are a frequent, I've boasted many many many times that my collection is tightly curated. Truth be told, my collection is nowhere near austere. In fact, it is quite bountiful.

Now, to the boast, or what I've been poorly try to convey, the excitement. I am very happy to be where I am right now makeup-wise because my collection used to be ginormous. I was one of those who would contemplate hauls with no ends, easily spend four-figure amount annually in makeup, and then agonize about what to do with the 100th nude lipstick that I just purchased.

My relationship with makeup now is a healthy one: I don't feel the need to rush out in getting new stuffs, I thoroughly enjoy the stuff that I have, and when I'm finally done with an item, I don't feel the hesitation to let it go. With the makeup that I own, I can recreate/create any look that I want yet never feel deprived. All the items that I have are the best quality that I can find (barring Suqqu or other unicorns out there), and the colors suit my skin tone. Imagine you have all that in your collection -- wouldn't you feel excited, too?

Dresser from Ikea (old), about 26 by 14 inches, with 4 drawers.

5. And how do you store it?

All my collection fits in one of the drawer of the above-pictured old Ikea dresser. The few things that do not fit are the lipstick box, three cups that hold my pencil items and brushes, and a Paul & Joe loose powder box.

Makeup organization for me has been divided into two great eras, that are, my friend, before and after the Tod (see opening picture above). As you may know, toddler + makeup = DISASTER! Let us dissect this even further.


As you can see, there is method in this madness. Behind Dr. Sear's Baby Book, The Wonder Weeks, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (don't laugh, this book saved my life!), and the stack of ladies magazine is my makeup, camouflaged where the Tod cannot see. This fortress of makeup is further reinforced with a perimeter moat filled with toys and other toddler supplies which hopefully enough to keep him busy while I put on the actual makeup. The result: minimal makeup casualties with maximal peace for everyone.  

Below is a recreation of the before picture, when everything was still nicely accessible to me. This is not real, in real life, the dresser is turned into the makeup fortress seen above.


The bamboo organizers are from Ikea (old-discontinued, sadly). Clockwise from upper left: my vintage Stila collection, odd-sized eye products (Tom Ford quad, Dior quint, various Japanese-brand eye palettes, BB gel liner pots, Chanel IdOs, various decanted items). The old Jo Malone box that house all the Chanel quads and JCs are in the middle of the drawer, followed by Burberry eye singles (also housed in the said Jo Malone's box lid), base products, lip glosses (my least organized pile), odd-sized lip/lip-cheek products (Becca Beach Tint, Maquillage Crystalizing Lip compacts, etc), and finally the blushes



From Left to Right: A votive holder from a Scandinavian designer housed skinny brushes for eyes and face, a Delft Blue Tulip Vase holds pencil items, and a Bonne Maman jar contains face brushes and eye lash curlers.

6. How many items of makeup have you got in your handbag at the moment?

For those of you who have been following my MOTW, that is pretty much what I've got in my makeup grab bag. I put on my makeup on the run, which is outlined below.

7. If you could raid another blogger's stash, who would it be?

While I'm with Monika (I'd love to raid Kate's unicorn stable), I may just save some plane ticket money and fly over to the East Coast to visit Bellyhead instead. With the most admirable Suqqu collection this side of the pond, she also has her own herd of unicorns of Surratt and sizable brush-goodies, not to mention that the Tod will be thoroughly entertained by her two lovely little Bellies and the plentiful of wildlife around her home. Then, maybe, just maybe, after all that makeup playing and raiding, we could all head out for some good ol' fried chicken somewhere in the neck of the wood... 

8. How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?

Gone are the days when an uninterrupted chunk of time is available to me to put on a good, decent makeup. Those of you with small children will know that the minute you say, "Mama needs to use the bathroom" they will cling to you like bricks, more like monkey-bricks that move and try to prevent you to do whatever it is you are trying to do.

So, I prioritize. I leave the house with at least base makeup on: skin care + sunscreen + maybe foundation. If I can entertain the Tod a bit longer, then I put these on, in the following order:
  • undereye concealer, maybe a bit highlighter to make me look more alive
  • eye shadow base/wash
  • mascara
  • eye liner 
  • cheek color
  • complete the eye makeup look
  • lip color

Whatever step I cannot put on at home, I put them on in the car after I reach my destination but before I get out. Usually, I finish putting on my makeup after I drop off the Tod at his preschool -- many days I do school run/errands with only sunscreen on. Hey, at least I'm 100% presentable at pick-up time, right?

9. Have you ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn't use it?

I used to, but not anymore. I have some makeup that I keep without any intention of using it frequently and those are my vintage Stila collection. Maybe if I come across some old Stila item, I may consider purchasing just for collecting. 

On rare occasions, I purchase back-ups. These are items that is an absolute staple and often discontinued. In fact, I only have 3 back-ups and I do count on using these.

Revlon ColorStay In The Buff (discontinued, a nice, pink-toned neutrals), Paul & Joe Poudre Libre (because I don't live near any place that stocks P&J), Maquillage Crystalizing Lip Compact (also discontinued).

10. Tag a few other makeup addicts to do this tag! 


I'm tagging GummyVision and Bronzer Bunny! Look forward to the posts from these lovely ladies.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Everybody Eats When They Come to My House


Before the mad dash of Black Friday, before they play the Christmas muzak at the malls and other public places, let's take time to cherish the fact that giving thanks knows no season.

Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving day.