Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello, Oscar Morning 2011!

awards night 2011

awards night 2011 by meimei96 on

By the time you read this, I am either 1) watching the Oscars or 2) writing out lesson plans for the week. One is a grueling, time-sensitive task that must be done to get things in order... and the other involves writing out my lesson plans for the week. ZING! 

(...And such is the dichotomy of my life.) 

Oh, who am I kidding here? I'm a sucker for awards shows. Hell, I could be watching the 245th Annual Fungal Disease Awards and I'd still tear up while holding an imaginary trophy and whispering "thank you, thank you, thank you" in several different languages. The only time that I didn't enjoy an awards show was when I worked backstage at one during my past life as a PR minion... and even then, there were free cocktails and hors d'oeuvres all around, so it wasn't too bad. 

I don't have much at stake for this year's awards - well, except for my undying love for Colin Firth, which I inherited from Scribey and passed on to my mom (along with my squeeing over Phil Younghusband) - but I do know that I've been preparing that acceptance speech for a huge chunk of my life... along with my outfit, accessories, and possibly even my date. 

(Which reminds me: Hello, Jeremy Renner? My aunt lives in Modesto. You could pick me up at her house next year; I'm absolutely, positively sure that she won't mind. Kthxbai.) 

Anywho, for your consideration: this year's desperate plea heartfelt tribute to the Oscars, created with Polyvore.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Glosswatch 2011: Life Would Be a Party

This should teach me not to leave the house without makeup. (And/or take my picture in a moving vehicle.) 
The gloss: LORAC Multiplex 3-D Lip Gloss in Cliche

What Sephora says: The Multiplex 3D Lip Gloss features a viscosity that visually retextures the lips, and smoothes away imperfections allowing color to appear more vivid and luminous. The unique formula is infused with antioxidants to help nourish and protect, while the creamy, moist texture helps lips look silky-smooth and ultra-glossy. It combines a liquid lipstick and lip lacquer for high-impact color and the 3-D Holographic effect will make your pout stand out!

First impressions: Pink. Piiiiiiiiiink. PINK. And not just pink, but icy, blue-toned disco pink with blue glitter. And this is supposed to be popular how, Sephora?

Texture: Quite pleasant, actually - not too sticky, slippery, or creamy. As much as I wasn't crazy about the color, I actually loved touching this one up because I loved that texture.

Color saturation: A little sheer in person, but the blue does stand out. A LOT. (See picture above.) On the plus side, the blue frost does wear off eventually, leaving behind a nice pink base.

Minty-fresh factor: There's a bit of a tingle, but nothing too serious.

Hydration capacity: I wore this during a cold day in December and it did not dry my lips out one bit. That's another reason why I couldn't stop touching up my lips with this gloss.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trendwatch 2011: When Kawaii Girls Grow Up

kawaii wallpaper by ~cupcake-bakery on deviantART

Before I start, let me make it very clear that I, as an Asian woman of a certain age, have no problem with cuteness in general, and everything that's considered kawaii in particular. In fact, if it were up to me, all of my bed linens and office supplies would be decorated with tons of tiny, happy, smiling Japanese cartoon characters, and be generously shameless about it as well.

I do, however, have a bit of a problem with the image of the Asian woman as the perpetual kawaii girl: slim build, pale skin, tiny high-pitched voice with matching giggle... and, yes, in certain instances, the occasional short skirt or low-cut top.

On one hand - and from an academic standpoint - there are some situations where the kawaii-ness actually works, especially when it involves a discussion of Asian culture. (I once had to use this line of reasoning to defend a colleague of mine who used her high-pitched kawaii voice in teaching Japanese.) That doesn't mean it can't be a problem for a grown woman; it's one thing to speak in a cutesy, high-pitched voice for cuteness' sake... but when you're, say, a news anchor in Honolulu reporting on a raging fire that has left several casualties in its wake, THAT might be a problem.

(No, I'm not naming names. For that, you will need to go to Scribey; just make sure to offer a week's worth of free babysitting in exchange for the information.)

Which is why I love watching the kawaii archetype getting turned on its own head by Asian women in mass media.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Little Dispatch From New York Fashion Week

No pictures for now, but thought I'd share these anyway: The Best Beauty Looks From New York Fashion Week, now on The red lipstick from the Wes Gordon show is just. plain. gorgeous.

(I haven't followed fashion much since moving back to the Hacienda, but I do know that I'm in the market for a new coat for my trip. And, apropos of nothing, I still lurve Chris Benz.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Evening Purse

This, dear friends, is a genuine SM Parisian brand evening bag that I purchased for PhP599.

Sure, it holds nothing more than a camera, my iPod, some cash, and a teeny-tiny tube of Smashbox lip gloss, but that's beside the point. I love this bag. It's cute. Carrying it around makes me happy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Video Style Moments, Part 4: Red and Blue and Retro All Over

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Why not celebrate the 14th of February with a funky jam about... righteous payback?

I am, no doubt, obsessed with this song.

And check out the video, too! The sharp suits and cocktail dresses! The monochrome filters! And a lead singer who looks like Bryan Ferry (circa 1985), if he had gone to whoever was styling David Bowie (circa 1985) and ran into Christian Siriano on the way to the barber shop! Totally awesome.

(Also: Is that drummer cute or what? *wink*)

Get to know Fitz and The Tantrums on their website, where you can go straight to the music. Good stuff.  

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Year's Semi-Obligatory V-Day Entry

So: Valentine's Day.

Five years ago, I wrote this entry to my Unnamed Prospective Valentine - which did not get anyone's attention, and perhaps for good reason. (Bear in mind that this happened in the early days of Teh Internets, when Facebook was just a "killer app" and beauty bloggers were not always obligated to post pictures of themselves.) A few great romantic moments have come and gone since then, but this sentiment remains:
I guess you might have gotten the memo by now that I've stopped waiting for you to come around, have you? It's not that I don't believe that you exist - come on, you're talking to a girl that still believes in Santa Claus[...] it's just that - well, let's face it, neither one of us is getting any younger, and a single girl's gotta start managing her expectations. 
Granted, that hasn't stopped me from doing a lot of stupid things in the name of love (and/or lust), and neither has it stopped me from wondering if I'm doomed to be judged as a neurotic old maid for the rest of my life. Still, the sentiment still stands, and - despite all my doubts, as much as it hurts - I must soldier on.

Which brings me back to the concept of Big, Scary Things.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Meanwhile, on The Other Side of the Internet...

First, here's the person responsible for the Hacienda's recent conversion to soccer: Filipino-British footie star Phil Younghusband, who scored the last winning goal for our Azkals (and even showed off some sweet Pele-esque moves) against Mongolia at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.

(Unpopular opinion: I honestly do not see the resemblance between Phil and Taylor Lautner. Still and all, though, cuteness!)

Also: Phil's equally adept (and cute) younger brother, James.

Moving right along... I've been meaning to post this one for the longest time, but since the weather has been quite crazy lately, I thought I'd share this one from Michelle Phan and her in-house fashion guru, Chriselle. (A few of these scarf tricks can also work for your Hermes-esque silk squares, too!)

Monday, February 07, 2011

I Did Say I Was Going to Write About Those Shoes...

Can we talk about platform shoes for a minute here? Up until recently I've been indifferent towards platform shoes, mostly due to all the crappy wedges and stacked heels that I've worn throughout the '90s. That has changed, thanks to the new crop of platform shoes (and hidden-platform designs) that are currently getting kudos from fashionistas for style and comfort.

Clockwise, from front:

1. Suede platform pumps from Miu Miu. I didn't try on this exact pair of heels, to be specific - and, frankly, my feet do not agree with Miu Miu in general - but they're the closest pictures I could ever find to the purple pumps that I spotted at my local Payless. Unlike your usual platform shoes, these have the toes turned up at a slight incline, which redistributes the body weight that falls upon the shoe and relieves pressure on the rest of the foot by pushing the ankle backward, as opposed to the forward motion that you usually get with regular heels. (Like Earth Shoes, but in high-fashion form.) Comfort-wise, I like how the platform actually relieves a bit of pressure on the arch, so I don't get the pinched-ankle feeling that I usually get when I try on regular heels. I also find that the turned-up toes also give the shoe a bit of a "friendly" look to them, too, which makes the shoes even more sigh-worthy.

2. Palais 80 peep-toe pumps from Yves St. Laurent. My first choice would have been the original Palais pumps - i.e. the ones without that freaky mohawk - but I think I like the lower-heeled Palais 80 peep-toes much better; I find that these ones are practically fun in every color, for as long as they keep that specific angled-platform shape on the sole. I'd wear these babies with practically everything.

3. The YSL Tribute sandal. A set like this would not be complete without the original YSL Tributes, which started the whole platform-shoe craze among fashionistas in the first place. The Tribute, to me, is the Jillian Michaels of stiletto heels: scary-looking at first sight, and definitely not recommended for beginners, but devotees will tell you that you will get into it eventually and you will get results. (Wink wink, if you know what I mean.) Personally, I prefer the strappy-sandal version of the Tributes to the regular pumps, which look pretty clunky compared to the refined yet insta-sexy lines of the sandal.

4. Lace-up booties by Proenza Schouler. This is a bit of an aberration compared to all the hotsy-totsy high heels in this entry, but let's face it - these babies are adorable! Look at those lines, and the way the shaft looks like an extension of the "pump" underneath. And these are just the beginning: there's also this similarly platformed (and pump-inspired) number, and even a knee-high iteration that would look great on me if my calves weren't so muscular to begin with. Just. So. Sweet.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Randomesticity: Things on My Mind Right Now

Above: I wholeheartedly agree with Coco Martin. Brown sugar in your coffee = yummy! 

- The Manila-based Female Network wants to know: Which celebrity would be your perfect Valentine? This explains why I have that Nescafe ad in this entry... but it's not limited to Filipino celebrities, either! (Hee.)

- Some good news: The stye that I wrote about in this entry turned out to be an eyelid zit that finally - FINALLY - went away this week. Good thing it did, too, because it looks like I should start playing around with eye makeup again to go with the Glosswatch entries.

- More quick updates. Work: not driving me nuts any more. Diet: doing great. Exercise: still getting there, but at least I've started with my walks around the neighborhood again. Hair: finally growing out; got a trim to get the split ends out of the way; had to use dandruff shampoo the other day to tamp down the scalp itch.

- Right now, I'm in the middle of planning a major trip for my upcoming school break... and as much as I don't want to jinx it by giving away too many details, I will go ahead and say that, if all plans push through, I will be spending autumn in the Southern Hemisphere! That's a lot of excitement to deal with here. Wondering what the rest of this madness will bring? Hmmm...

- I am also haunted by these shoes. I can't explain it; all I know is that I spotted their doppelgangers at the Payless Shoe Store (yes, we now have Payless) in Festival Supermall, and the only thing that stood between me and them was my lack of cash. Oh, sweet perfection! Maybe I'll write about them, too!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Glosswatch 2011: The Happy-Making Gloss

I... honestly don't remember wearing any other makeup when I took this picture. 

The gloss: Tarte Vitamin-Infused Lip Gloss ($21) in 40 Winks

What Sephora says: Tarte Vitamin-Infused Lipgloss nourishes and conditions lips with nutraceutical properties that rejuvenate lips, helping to protect against environmental attack. The gloss includes natural ingredients from BORBA's Age Defying, Replenishing, and Clarifying lines […]This gloss contains Skinvigorating™ ingredients such as grape seed extract, which helps accelerate production of natural elastin to restore the skin's clarity, and vitamins A and C, antioxidants that help prevent premature signs of aging and free radical damage. It's also formulated with acai extract, an antioxidant-rich super fruit that promotes cell regeneration and has known anti-inflammatory and skin softening properties, and chamomile extract to treat and heal dry skin. Dermatologist-tested.

First impressions: Ooooooo, SHINY! The Sephora site calls the shade a "sheer golden peachy-pink," and - true to form - it looks like shiny, glittery bubblegum in the tube.

Texture: Surprisingly lightweight and smooth. Like Mint Glaze FX, this sample comes with a doe-foot applicator, so the gloss just glides on nicely.

Color saturation: Don't let the sparkly bubblegum shade fool you; as you can see in this picture, it's pretty sheer - not thick like a lipstick would be - and it does fade out into a gorgeous shade that will remind you of pink grapefruit. I'm also surprised by how well this photographs compared to the other glosses I've tried.

Minty-fresh factor: Not a lot of it, surprisingly. The gloss does smell like actual tropical fruit, though, as opposed to the plastic-y "fruit" smell you'd find in other glosses.

Hydration capacity: No joke - this is a highly moisturizing product. Some reviewers on the Sephora site have reported that it's more moisturizing than other lip balms, and I have to agree on that... though, again, I probably won't recommend wearing this when you've got actual chapped lips.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Glosswatch 2011: Like Whoa

Before I begin: The MAC Foundation Finder says that I might be an NC42, but I can't be sure of that until I haul myself out to the nearest MAC counter. Not that you can tell from the judiciously-cropped picture shown below, though.

Taken right before going to work, while the lighting's still good.
In other news, my hair really needs to get its act together soon.
So, on to Glosswatch 2011!

The gloss: Buxom Lips Full Color ($18) in Roxanne. [Note: The Buxom brand is brought to you by the folks at Bare Escentuals, who are also responsible for BareMinerals.]

Sephora says: "Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Buxom Big & Healthy Full-Color Lip Polish naturally creates a fuller, more voluptuous lip-look. This mineral-infused polish imparts intense sheen and color opacity with no sticky or tacky feeling [...] A deep infusion of antioxidant vitamins A and E helps keep lips soft, smooth, and protected, while the tingly, cooling sensation reminds you that your lips are getting an immediate boost."

Chloe Buxom Big & Healthy Full-Color Lip PolishFirst impressions: Something about the way it looks in the tube registers as "copper bronze," which makes it out of place among the reds and pinks in the box set. The Bare Escentuals site calls this one "a pink raspberry shade," while Sephora calls it a "berry rose." (Users on both sites, however, agree that the shade descriptions given by both BE and Sephora are wildly inaccurate, since most of the colors are warmer and more orange-y in person than they are as advertised.) But how could I resist it otherwise?

Color saturation: Smooth, creamy, and opaque. Personally, I think that the shade itself is a bit of a chameleon: depending on the lighting conditions and wear time, it can be anywhere from a pinkish-berry, to straight-up bronze, to even a pleasant peachy nude. That chameleonic quality to Roxanne also reminds me of MAC's "O" lipstick, which has a darker base than Roxanne but shares the same aspects of opacity and golden sheen.

That said, a frosting-like product like this deserves a more efficient applicator than the mop-like brush that came with this tube, which did not exactly do a good job of spreading the gloss efficiently. Thankfully for the rest of us, newer tubes of Buxom Full Color are now made with felt doe-foot applicators (like the ones featured here, and here, as pictured on Karen's Makeup and Beauty Blog) so it should be much easier to get a smooth, even application every time.

Minty-fresh factor:  I totally get that this is supposed to be a lip-plumping product, and thus designed to blow up my lips with a little, shall we say, minor irritation. The mintiness in the Buxom formula, on the other hand... good Lord, we're talking toothpaste-level mintiness right here. I once tried to touch this one up, and ended up with a minty, plumped-out mouth for the rest of the day... which is pretty nice if you're into that sort of thing, except that it didn't wear off even after dinner. (I should also note that the weather had been quite cold in our side of the boonies while I was testing this, which makes the cold mintiness even more annoying.) I did get over the tingling sensation, though, so I was still able to make the rest of the product work for me.

Lip inflation/ Hydration capacity: I don't ask for much when it comes to lip plumpers, so I already know that this product is not going to turn me into Angelina Jolie. Still, I'm pleasantly surprised by how this product has made my lips quite plump in a natural-looking way, and I also love the way left my lips smooth and moisturized.