Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leather Accents

Knit: local boutique 
Leather skirt: local boutique
Shoes: MissGuided

I bought these two items recently from the same store! :) With the monochrome trend sweeping over the fashion world recently I've been really loving black and white, and all the shades of grey in between!

Stripping an outfit of colour provides the perfect opportunity to draw focus on interesting textures and stark contrasts. The knit already was a statement piece, with contrasting black and white yarn, and patches of leather at the shoulders and cuffs. The leather skirt itself also has a subtle intersecting design on the front! :)

I also wanted to finish off the minimalistic vibe with my new MissGuided thin strappy heels! The silver metallic heel adds an extra modern touch.

I'm so geared up to wear more monochromatic clothing with leather accents. They can be added in unconventional spots on a garment, to make even more of an impact! I found these leather collars from ASOS, leather sleeves from Boutique to You, and even studded leather cuffs from ASOS

Monday, May 27, 2013

Urban Outfitters, Net a Porter YSL, Forever New ,Voodoo hauls

Net-a-Porter purchase: YSL Arty Ring

more under the link!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

digital love

 

Contrast blouse: Forever 21 (similar here)
'Digital Love' skirt: c/o Motel Rocks (link here)
Necklace: Sheinside (similar here)
Clutch: Choies (similar here)
Shoes: Novo (similar here)

I love the explosion of neon brights in this little bodycon skirt! The mirror print is just so mesmerising and actually reminds me of those kaleidoscopes we used to look through when we were younger. The great thing about this skirt is that the pops of blue, purple and green against a black background make it perfect for the upcoming winter as well, over a thick pair of black stockings :) For this look it's not quite that cold yet, and I paired it with matching purple pumps, and a less fitted black and white blouse for a touch of class :)

The sun is going down super fast nowadays, and it seems like we have such little time to take photos! The sun had pretty much disappeared already for this set of photos and it's a shame we didn't have natural sunlight on our sides, but a little street lighting did the trick! Plus the outfit is suited for a nighttime outing anyway, I don't usually wear bodycon during the day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

MAC lipsticks via Hop Shop Go, and circle lens


MAC haul
(from MAC.com, via Hop Shop Go. read about my last experience with Hop Shop Go here)

This post is a little overdue, but recently I had the urge to try out MAC lipsticks because of all the rave reviews over them. The only brands I've ever tried before are: Rimmel, Ulta and a Korean brand called Missha. These are all pretty inexpensive, ranging from $2 (Ulta lol) to about $12.

Keen to make my first foray into higher end makeup, I realised that actually elsewhere around the world, MAC isn't considered 'high end'. It only seemed the case because Australia grossly inflates the price of MAC products!

For these lipsticks, Australian beauty counters sell them for $36 a pop, whereas in the US you'll find them in Sephora for only $15. That's like x2.5 the price!

MAC USA doesn't ship to Australia obviously, so I decided to see if I could use Hop Shop Go to get the lipsticks for cheaper. I wanted to get the products at their usual $15 per piece shipped to the US (using my US address), and then get Hop Shop Go to ship it to my Australian address.

Would $15 (US price) + international shipping from the US to Australia, be less than $36 (Aus price)?
ie would buying MAC cosmetics in this roundabout way from overseas, be cheaper than directly purchasing it off the local counters?

Well it certainly was lol! I bought 4 MAC products from their US website:
1 x MAC Prep and Prime Lip primer ($16)
1 x MAC Rebel lipstick ($15)
1 x MAC Ruby Woo lipstick ($15)
1 x MAC Please Me lipstick ($15)

these 4 products were shipped with free US shipping to my address in Oregon, USA.

I also bought 11 things from Forever 21, of which most was my sister's stuff so I haven't shown it.
this Forever 21 package was also shipped with free US shipping to Oregon, USA.

So then to calculate the savings I made for a MAC lipstick using Hop Shop Go, it's not really accurate to take the total shipping I was charged and then divide it between the products because the Forever 21 package added extra weight and contributed to higher shipping fees in the end.

Nonetheless even if I included the Forever21 package, I still ended up making savings on the MAC products:

With the two packages, chargeable weight was 3kg, and the total amount paid to Hop Shop Go for shipping to Australia ($37.80), fuel ($5.04), and insurance costs ($1.91) = $44.75.
Taking into account the Forever 21 order as well, the MAC lipsticks incurred about 44.75/4 for shipping = $11.2. This makes each lipstick about $26.20 each!

And if I made a rough calculation of how much shipping would be on each lipstick if the lipsticks were the only things I purchased (using the HSG shipping calculator), then I would make even more savings:

The Forever21 order was about 2kg, and the MAC order was 1kg (yes it was only 4 cosmetic items...but it came in a box and they rounded the weight upwards). The Hop Shop Go shipping calculator estimates 1kg to be about $28 for shipping minus the fuel and insurance costs, which we'll say is about $4.50 =  $32.50.
so then taking into account only the MAC haul, the MAC lipsticks would incur about 32.50/4 for shipping = $8.10. That makes each lipstick about $23.10 each!

So with either calculation, I still made savings of $10-$13 on each lipstick which is being sold over the local counters for $36. Although it's not an amazingly high saving, I still think it's worth it if you're planning on buying 3 or more products. I bought 4 and altogether that saved me $40-$52.

The savings would be even greater if Hop Shop Go had cheaper shipping fees or lowered their insurance and fuel costs though. On my blog I've only ever talked about HSG but I've been meaning to try out another service I've heard of called FastShip2U. I'm planning to do another overseas haul with them soon so I can compare :)

(oh and don't go too crazy on using HSG to save yourself money on overpriced cosmetics, here is a list of prohibited items! Includes aerosols (eg hairsprays), flammable products (eg nail polish))

now on to reviewing the actual products!

Since a lot of people might be worried about how cosmetics are packaged and handled from overseas, I took a picture of the packaging of the lipsticks. It came in a box, which was about tissue box-sized. Underneath a bunch of black tissue paper, there were the 4 cosmetic items. There was no bubble wrap but it's alright since the lipsticks were individually boxed and weren't like glass nail polish bottles or anything, and honestly the cardboard box itself is enough to protect the whole package during transit. I'd be more worried about nail polish bottles and eyeshadow palettes if it didn't have this minimum level of packaging!


(L to R) MAC Rebel lipstick, MAC Please Me lipstick, MAC Ruby Woo lipstick, MAC Prep and Prime Lip primer

MAC- Prep and Prime (the product on the far right)
Price: $16USD (without HSG fees + shipping costs)

I applied MAC's Prep and Prime beforehand in all the pictures below, for each lipstick.

This product filled in lip wrinkles quite nicely, and when I put the lipsticks over it the application was really smooth. It prevents lip feathering (when the lipstick runs into the creases around your lips over time) so that nice and sharp outline around your lips remains intact.

It also claims to be moisturising, which I discovered was the case! I wore this (underneath Rebel) for about 3 hours the other night and when I pressed my lips together it didn't feel dry. 


MAC- Rebel
Price: $15USD (without HSG fees + shipping costs)

MAC's Rebel is on the right.(Rimmel's 04 lipstick is on the left, which I review in this post as well!)

I really didn't expect the colour to come out like this. As you can see in the tube (the lipstick on the right), it appears to be quite a cool-toned, purple/red colour, but on the lips it's much lighter, more pink and bright! I guess it's still a nice colour though, and I'm glad I got it even though it wasn't expected. It ended up being quite flattering on my pale skin tone! :) It's quite a glamorous, bold berry-red lip colour that speaks for itself and requires minimal makeup. Rebel also has a lovely satin finish.

As I mentioned, I applied MAC's Prep and Prime before each lipstick application. Rebel glided on quite smoothly on my lips after that. However in my experience the ones that go on really smoothly can also get quite messy...too easy to end up with clown lips with this one!

Looking at other pictures on the internet of people wearing MAC's Rebel, I suspect applying MAC's Prep and Prime beforehand has made the lipstick a little brighter and lighter on myself. As eye shadow primers make eyeshadow colours 'pop' a little more, my guess is that a lip primer would do the same for lipsticks! I would have to try it without the Prep and Prime to see if the colour remains the same!

read more under the link!

Monday, May 13, 2013

rose from the ashes

 Floral crown: Urban Outfitters
Lavender knit: local boutique
Crochet shorts: c/o Chicwish
Clutch: Dorothy Perkins
Starfish cuff: Ebay
Band rings: ASOS
Shoes: lovelyshoes.net
why 'rose from the ashes'? well when my boyfriend was doing his post-process editing he added this lovely, smoky dulled-out effect onto all the photos that was reminiscent of some fantasy film setting. I didn't expect it to complement my outfit which was full of springtime pastels and florals, but the wintry feel of the background provided a surprisingly pretty contrast! So the 'ash' is for the background and the 'rose' is for my punny little way of mentioning the floral crown lol.

I love my new Dorothy Perkins glitter clutch with the scalloped flap edges! The shape and structure  are just so perfect, and adds so much understated elegance to any outfit. And yes there is actually stuff inside the clutch, although it looks empty! I've fit in an iPhone and a coin purse stuffed with keys, coins and notes in there- I guess another perk of the clutch is that it retains its smooth, flat envelope shape even when it's got your going out essentials inside.

I was honestly in the biggest rush to put this outfit together- I've been so pooped from work that I didn't even have the energy to pull it together properly. I made the dire mistake of mixing silvers with gold (glitters on the clutch with the jewellery) and I didn't even have any bling around my unfashionably bare neck. Oh well, I felt like such a woodland princess with this gorgeous cream and pink floral crown on my head, that it didn't even really matter what I wore underneath :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Crochet and pastels


crochet top c/o Chicwish (link here)
pants: Miss Selfridge
horse bag: ASOS
shoes: Sportsgirl
cross necklace: Low Luv 

I think I'm re-discovering my boho phase which I used to have years ago! I'm starting to think it was never just another one of those fleeting, temperamental trends that grabbed my attention only because it was the hot thing at the time. I remember people could look at the clothes I picked out and say that it was so 'me'; my style being defined by long, wide sleeves and baggy dolman or batwing tops. I was all over anything with crochet or lace as well! Now I'm happy to be reliving a style I used to be so smitten with :)

This crochet top from Chicwish is really unique and gorgeous- mostly because the crochet detail is a bit more complex and interesting than others! It's also over a sheer layer to show off the contrast of the crochet pattern against the skin. I wore a cropped, nude top inside but you can also wear a basic singlet, or even just a (nude-coloured) bra underneath. On the day I was wearing this, a mum and her daughter actually approached me in a store and said they really liked my top! Apparently they saw me from afar and they noticed it, and then they spotted me later in the same shop and got to ask where I got the top from :) Haha it's such a silly thing, but it makes me so happy when random strangers on the street pay me a tiny compliment like that!

I've also been super busy at work lately so sorry that my blog posting has been a bit slow! I'm kind of really enjoying how busy it is though :) I'm having to stay back late as well because of all the work, which is pretty cool lol as weird as that sounds. I think I thrive on stress, pressure, and deadlines- still can't get the uni student out of me lol!

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