Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

Capsule high neck midi dress: c/o Dissh Boutique
'Glamour' red suede heels: c/o Direct Shoe Warehouse
Clutch: Zu

Photography credits: my boyfriend

So it's the last day of 2015 over here in Australia! I always like to gravitate towards red for party looks (it's such a bold colour that speaks volumes!) and this high-neck backless number from Dissh is hitting all the right notes for me. I matched it with these red heels from DSW as I've been lusting after a pair of lace-up heels for a while after seeing them everywhere, and the bright red colour makes such a bold statement.

So how did this year go for me? I continued to learn a lot and strived to learn more, which for me is what I consider the marker of success and personal growth. Not a lot of things went my way this year, and I sacrificed a few things. Work dominated my life to a greater extent than before and it came at the expense of my mental and physical health. I put my active wear business aside because I didn't have the time anymore with how busy my daytime job was getting, let alone have the time for family and friends. 

But I did learn to re-prioritise my values and goals, and my understanding of success and achievement morphed into an inclusion of family, supportive relationships, good health and tolerance. Rather than making money and growing social media, I developed a deeper appreciation for intangible wealth. As they say, if you want to feel rich, have a look at all the things you have that money can't buy :)

I'm really looking forward to 2016 as I've set myself on a new career path (interior design), which I just started studying and I'm really excited to see where that will take me. I'm a very curious person who loves to learn and I seem to have an innate desire to try my hand at every industry. I also locked in flights to Japan in March and I can't wait to explore this amazing country I last visited an entire decade ago. I also can't wait to spend more time with my boyfriend and continue to develop our beautiful relationship further. How did everyone else's 2015 go? :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Simple Natural Eyebrows with Anastasia from Sephora

Ok brow game is not something I've ever really had, as it's been really quite the struggle to shape and fill in my frustrating situation of dark, thick eyebrows with spots of sparseness that don't grow out to match the rest of my brow hairs. Plus having a scarcity in the market for black hair shades doesn't help either!

So when I received the Anastasia Dip brow pomade in "granite" and Anastasia Brow whiz pencil in "ebony", I thought this was a killer combo to finally get my brows up to speed. The pencil has a very fine tip and I use it to outline the brow shape, plus fill in any missing spots. The dip brow pomade from Anastasia is of course one of the beauty scene's most-raved about product, and is a creamy, smudge-proof formula which you can apply really thickly or faintly with the slightest variation of the strength of your application.

I also received the Anastasia brow gel which is a clear brow mascara used at the end to set your brows.

All the products are from Sephora.com.au, which previously used to be known as Luxola (luxola.com/au). They changed their name when they expanded beyond a bricks-and-mortar store into a fierce online presence!

 Anastasia brow whiz pencil in "ebony": c/o Sephora
Anastasia dip brow pomade in "granite": c/o Sephora
Anastasia Brow gel: c/o Sephora
Anastasia Angled cut brush #15


I've been using these products for a week everyday now and I'm really liking the improvements made to my brows! I put together a little tutorial of how I use these Anastasia products to achieve a quick and simple brow look you can use everyday before going to work, school or anything that doesn't require a super polished and precise set of brows sculpted to perfection.

Please go easy on me as I'm only just starting to find the right products to groom my brows! The end result is not completely perfect and defined, but is quick and easy and still looks natural.

Step 1:
Use the spoolie brush at the end of Anastasia's Brow whiz to brush your hairs into place. Very important if you naturally have curly hair to keep them in line.

Step 2:
Use the pencil end of the Brow whiz to fill in an outline of the shape you want, at the bottom and then the top. Normally it's best to make sure the bottom line is more defined than the top for a more natural appearance.

Step 3:
You can use a heavier hand to go over the ends of the brow where it tapers off, to define them further or elongate if you want longer brows.

Step 4:
Dip your angled brow brush into Anastasia's brow pomade, and carefully fill in your brows from around the part directly above your iris towards the outer ends. This is because when you first dip in the pomade it is the heaviest and most pigmented, so you don't want to start from the inner end of your brow which is where you would want a lighter look if you're going for something natural.

Step 5:
Now that you have less product on your brush you can start lightly brushing in the inner ends of your brows. You'll notice that it's a lot more faded. Keep working in the product to try and create a gradient effect, where it gradually transitions from light to dark. Whenever you re-dip into the pomade make sure your first fresh applications go onto the middle to the end of your brows (as in step 4) and you only go into the inner ends of your brows afterwards when there's only residual product.

Step 6:
Feel free to keep filling in your brows in sparse spots or to line them up more evenly as necessary, either with the pomade or the brow whiz pencil if you only need to make light, tiny touch ups.
When you're satisfied use Anastasia's brow gel to brush them into place and make sure they don't smudge or move by the end of the day.

Hope this tutorial was of some help! My brows aren't completely perfect but these are simply the steps I take for an everyday look that doesn't require too much maintenance. What products do you guys use for your brows? :)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Shoot at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour Hotel

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of collaborating with Raf from Travel & Lifestyle and Mary from Socialime to shoot in an amazing hotel called Ovolo 1888 in Darling Harbour, Sydney. It was such a fun way to spend the afternoon (I took half a day off work) filled with laughter (as you can probably tell from some of the pics!), working with passionate and talented people, and exploring all the beautiful and fascinating interiors the hotel had to offer.

"Kellie" gold foil cami: c/o Forever New Sleepwear
"Kellie" gold foil shorts: c/o Forever New Sleepwear

Forever New just came out with a range of sleepwear in time for Christmas, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on this gorgeous "Kellie" set! The fabric is so soft and silky and feels like a dream to wear to bed. You probably can't tell the finer details from these pictures but up close they have a beautiful gold metallic foil print, which gives the set an extra touch of luxe and makes for a perfect Christmas or a gift for any occasion. 

White cape blazer: Cue
"Airlie marble" Watch: c/o Christian Paul

This is actually the outfit I came to the shoot from work in (which was handy so I didn't have to carry another wardrobe change!) I wear this Cue blazer a lot because a white blazer goes with nearly all of my work outfits and also adds an instant professional appeal, plus the cape design is pretty funky! You can probably tell I laughed pretty hard during this segment of the shoot, which just shows how much fun we were having but at the same time makes for a lot of deleted photos! Especially when you get those unflattering shots of your mouth hanging wide open or your teeth taking up half of your face. Regardless I was very happy with how the photos ended up turning out! :)

I thought the concept behind the hotel room numbers was so cool! As you can see the "415" and "416" room numbers actually present themselves as shadows, as the metal numbers are affixed to the wall at a 90 degree angle and therefore cast a shadow on the wall.

Dress: c/o Paint it Red
Lace-up shoes: Freelance Shoes

Models: myself and Raf (www.travlifestyle.com, Instagram and Twitter @travelwithraf)
Photographer: Mary (Instagram @socialime)
Location: Ovolo 1888 Hotel at Darling Harbour

I am actually going through a career change right now and have just enrolled myself in interior design, so it was really fascinating to be exploring the Ovolo hotel at this particular point in time and being awed and inspired by the design concepts of the place. As you can see in the photos, the rooms contrast an old industrial brick background against modern touches, with bold vibrant colours and funky prints and patterns. It was honestly very fascinating to me because stepping inside the hotel provided me with live examples of how contrasting elements when cleverly arranged, can work so perfectly together. It simply made me more excited about my course, and really appreciate the creative thought process behind designing a living space.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Mix and Match

 Contrast jacket: c/o Izabel London
Chevron dress: c/o Daily Look
Fringe bag: c/o Lookbookstore
Boots: Nasty Gal

Photography credits: Thomas Su FacebookThomas Su blog

This is another one of those blog posts in my backlog of photos...where I still had my long hair! As you can probably tell it was so much easier to create better looking cascading curls than the curls I attempt with my current length haha. I kind of miss long hair when I look at these photos but at the same time I can already feel my arms aching holding the hair straightener when I used to have that much hair.

I received this jacket a while ago from Izabel London, and was instantly attracted to the contrast leather sleeves. I'm quite drawn to leather for winter outerwear pieces, probably because you can't really get away with wearing it during warmer days if you don't want to be a melting puddle in that particular area by noon time. The cooler seasons are also a great time to get away with mixing up textures and prints, because you get to play with layers, so I wore a chevron printed velvet dress underneath the contrast jacket. Plus my fringe bag from Lookbookstore added another extra layer with suede- but as long as you keep the colour scheme neutral in your outfit you can make all the contrasting elements work! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Felines do it better

'Captivating dress in leopard': Beginning Boutique
Buckle bangle: c/o The Peach Box 
Rose gold watch: c/o Marc Bale from The Peach Box
'Adele' Lace up heels: c/o Shop Calico

Photography: my boyfriend

Leopard print has always been a favourite of mine in either black or blue against white, rather than black against brown. I think it gives it a more polished and minimalistic look! When I saw this dress from Beginning Boutique I knew I had to have it. I have so many LBDs in my wardrobe (as every girl does!) but having one with a simple all-over animal print breaks up the monotony whilst still being versatile.

I also added yet another watch to my collection, this one by Marc Bale from The Peach Box. It's rose gold (of course) with a really unique and lovely mesh bracelet wristband. I don't normally go for diamantes, but in this case it really works on the face of the watch together with the elegant and sophisticated wristband. I also got a peach coloured leather wristband that came with it! I still can't get enough of the mesh one yet but I can't wait to change it up and see how it transforms into a totally new watch! :)

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