Wednesday, 28 January 2015

YSL: Babydoll Mascara & Rouge Volupte Shine Fuchsia in Excess Review & Swatches

If someone were to ask me: "if you could only shop at one brand for make up, what brand would it be?" I would not hesitate to answer with Yves Saint Laurent (yes, they trump Chanel for me). I would also give the same answer if they were to ask the same question but for clothes instead, however that's a whole different story.

I'm not going to lie, one of the reasons why I love YSL so much is that the packaging for all the products is stunning. And another reason why I usually order directly from their online boutique is that they always throw in a couple free samples, they offer free standard delivery and the products are gift wrapped in tissue paper.

So starting with the mascara, I adore this product. I'd describe my lashes as problematic to say the least. They're very thin, short and straight. This means that the majority of mascaras just make my lashes flop back down, even after using a curler. This effect is usually inevitable, however YSL's Babydoll definitely puts up a great fight. My lashes still have lift and length and don't completely go back to their naturally straight state, which can be seen below:

Lashes with 2 coats of mascara

Now, moving on to the lipstick. Fuchsia in Excess is a wonderfully bright, medium-toned pink which I'm in love with. The finish is high-shine and glossy so therefore it's not completely opaque upon first swipe, however it is buildable. In terms of wear time, for a glossy lipstick, the lasting power is pretty good. I usually get about 4 - 5 hours and once the gloss fades, it leaves a nice stain behind.

Lips with 2 coats of lipstick
Bare lips & bare lashes (left), 2 coats of mascara & 2 coats of lipstick (right)

And so, my love affair with Yves Saint Laurent continues...

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Californian Summer, Part 2: Beverly Hills

It's no secret that Beverly Hills is one of the wealthiest areas in Los Angeles and I can tell you now, it most definitely lives up to its reputation.

Naturally, Rodeo Drive is lined one after another with upscale shops like Chanel, Cartier and Yves Saint Laurent (how could one ask for more). Although I didn't have much chance to have the full Rodeo shopping experience, I did have a little exploration through Ralph Lauren and also into Chanel looking for my favourite foundation.

I can't say there is all that much to talk about when it comes to Beverly Hills, it's exactly what you expect it to be - whether you love it or hate. The obvious reason to love it is, if you're a chronic shopper and lover of fashion like me, then there isn't another shopping destination like it. However, the obvious reason to hate it is, well, if you don't like shopping and the superficial nature of the whole area (but who wouldn't be aware of that when entering Beverly Hills). The sheer amount of wealth in the area is undeniable, especially since I saw an actual Bugatti Veyron. Legit.

 I know. It's beautiful. 

Beverly Hills is a completely different world to most of the population, but definitely a desirable one at that. The shops = amazing and aesthetically, it's one of the prettiest areas in Los Angeles. It's not for everyone, but a girl can dream.

Dress: H&M/Bag: Steve Madden/Shoes: Vagabond, similar here/Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

And one quick note before I go, my California playlist is just below in case you missed it last week and again, thanks for reading.

Monday, 12 January 2015

First Post: The Reboot. A California Summer, Part 1: Venice, Los Angeles.

Okay, so technically I started this blog over a year and a half ago. It's fair to say I didn't commit to it. So, I'm taking this new year as an opportunity to reboot my blog and start writing/posting regularly.
Since we're on the more boring side of January 1st and the excitement of Christmas and New Year has faded away, I will spend this post wishing it was warm again and looking back on summer 2014.
Consider this my first post, take 2.

Last summer I spent 3 weeks in America, the majority of the time was spent in various places in California (plus 5 days in Washington D.C. at the beginning). Due to the amount of places I visited and the masses of photos I collected along the way, I've decided to create a 5-part series documenting my time there.
So, here goes Part 1: Venice.

Venice is a neighbourhood in West Los Angeles known for its quirks and arty shops and cafes. It's an absolute gem for slightly upscale vintage shopping and independent boutiques, plus the beach front is filled with buskers, street artists and performers. If you have that stereotypical image of '80s LA with people in tiny runner shorts rollerskating along the boardwalk, then Venice is where you'll find it (yes, people still actually do that).

Venice Beach is the perfect picture of a Californian palm tree-lined beach and a great escape from the pollution of central Los Angeles. If you're looking to get away from the busy streets and tourists, however, then Venice Beach is definitely not the place to do so. If you're looking for a fun day out with a million and one things to see and do, then it's 100% worth a go.

Away from the beach, Venice is a really pretty neighbourhood with surfer shacks, colourful pastel houses and plenty of street art. It would be my number 1 choice if I were ever to move to Los Angeles.

Naturally, anywhere you go in California any time of the year is going to be boiling, never mind during summer. Clearly, I have a problem letting go of wearing all black outfits which probably wasn't the best decision. I've got daisies on so that's fairly summery?

I've also put together a little playlist of songs that were played a lot on the radio during my time in Cali or songs that remind me of being back there; aptly called "California".

There are 5 songs to go with each of the 5 posts.
You can take a little listen and follow me on Spotify at the end of the post.

Top: Pacsun/Shorts: Forever 21, similar here/Shoes: Vagabond, similar here/Bag: Steve Madden/Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs

So that concludes my first post on Exes and Owes 2.0, look out for Part 2 next week.