You have to be odd
to be number one.
Dr. Seuss

Friday, May 17, 2013

Textiles Upon Textiles

Since we've officially left the blizzard days behind, I've been fully embracing and absolutely loving all the happy, warm sunshine. But sometimes, when the wind decides to come and play, it can be a little chilly. This outfit is everything I love about this weather and this season - it's not on either extreme of the scale and so necessitates layering, which in my opinion is an art. I'm no expert at it but I look to the likes of Jenn Im (clothesencounters on Youtube) who in my opinion layers every outfit to perfection. What I love the most about Jenn is that she dresses herself (and does it well!) without losing sight of her personality. And seriously, this girl can pull off anything. She could wear a garbage bag and look like a goddess.

I took a page out of her book on a particularly sunny but windy day and threw this outfit together. A simple graphic crop muscle tee and a versatile denim circle skirt has been one of my favourite combos lately for it's casual, cute feel.  Normally this time of year, we're used to seeing lots of flowy, sheer, soft skirts, but my closet staple is this denim piece. It has more heft and structure to it but it's still manages to be light. I also love the shape of it because it gives that really pretty, feminine and waist-slimming silhouette. For the wind, I threw on this bargain of a cardigan (heh I didn't mean that) - oversized, chunky, knit, and decked out in sequins - all for the amazing price of $15 (used to be $69.95). Gobsmacked. And it added that extra punch to the ensemble without being overpowering. What more can I ask for?

I went very minimal on accessories because I wanted the focus to be on all the different textures - denim, wool, cotton, studs, woven, tortoiseshell - what harmony they produced together. Just a touch of gold at heart centre, my Tiffany's necklace which is really just there because it's essentially second skin - I never take it off.

H&M cardigan | Brandy Melville tank | Topshop skirt | Tiffany & Co. necklace | Aldo studded loafers | Roots bag | Aerie sunglasses

Photos by S.S.

Twitter: @jemcheng
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring Edit: Eyes

Before I wrap up this spring edit.... let's not neglect your peepers. Sometimes a little colour, a little definition here and there can really make your face appear brighter and more polished. And it's springtime, so nothing too much or too heavy. :)

  1. MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection | I am so pleased that MAC has finally included this in its permanent range because it is such a fantastic product. Vintage Selection is a cream eyeshadow in the loveliest champagne pink colour, and it was first released in 2010 in MAC's Cham-Pale collection. This is one of my favourite products to use as a base for powder eyeshadows, or just on its own as an eyeshadow. If you're more inexperienced but would like to dip your toes into wearing something on your lids, I would recommend something like this because it's easy and fuss-free.
  2. MAC Shale eyeshadow | A very subtle purply gray that gives just a bit of colour without looking too unnatural or out of place. I love to use Shale when I want to go for something other than my neutral shadows because it's just that bit different without being crazy. A single layer is sheer but it can be built up if stronger payoff is desired.
  3. MAC Naked Lunch eyeshadow | This eyeshadow deserves all the raves and thumbs ups it gets from the beauty community. It truly is the most gorgeous peachy champagne and does wonders to brighten and lift the eyes. Naked Lunch is totally spring appropriate as it is light and bright!
  4. Maybelline quad in Chai Latte | Four gorgeous neutral shades that are so incredibly easy to work with - highly pigmented, super blendable, easy peasy lemon squeezy. Whenever I use this quad, my eyeshadow looks amazing - and that's including the times when I'm half asleep at 7:30am trying to put on my makeup as fast as I can before subsequently rushing (already late) to class. I love that about this product. No skill or talent necessary, haha! I use all but the coppery bronze shade on the top right, just because I feel that it's looks way too orangey on me. I should probably mention that they've redone this quad and I don't like it at all, so I'm rationing the rest of my oldone! The dark matte brown now has gold glitter in it. :(
  5. Maybelline EyeStudio gel liner in Eggplant/Aubergine | If you're a liner kind of gal, why not try something other than black or brown for a nice spring change? A deep eggplant colour like this one looks amazing on pretty much everyone! You still get that definition you need, but now you've also got a wee bit of colour to match all the blooms.

L-R. MAC Naked Lunch, MAC Shale, MAC Vintage Selection, Maybelline Eggplant/Aubergine.
Maybelline Chai Latte Quad

That is officially all for my spring edit! I really enjoyed putting this entire series together, so I hope you enjoyed watching/reading it too and perhaps have gotten some ideas on how to change things up this spring. After now having lived in Canada for nearly five years, I think I've decided that spring is my favourite season. Weather is perfect, wardrobe is perfect, nature is perfect, the spring colour palette is perfect. Everything perfect!

Twitter: @jemcheng
Tumblr: withscienceandfaith
Instagram: jemcheng

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Edit: Nails

Today on the spring edit: All the prettiest, milkiest pastels for your nails. I didn't intend to choose all Essie polishes for this category, but you have to admit, they have perfected the pastel polish. I really do believe that they come out with the best of the best when it comes to lovely, light shades like these and they have such a huge range of colours. 
  1. Essie Lilacism | A lovely lilac shade that makes me think of all sorts of blooming flowers. I love a really nice purple/lilac shade because they tend to go with a lot of colours and therefore a lot of outfits. This shade applied particularly well - great consistency, little to no streakiness, opaque in two coats.
  2. Essie Absolutely Shore | The queen of mint nail polishes, in my opinion. I won't ramble on about this one. Full post to come very soon. Spoiler alert: pure excellence across the boards.
  3. Essie Bikini So Teeny | Although this was released in their summer collection last year, I find this polish more spring appropriate. It's a pretty baby blue/sometimes periwinkle with very subtle but noticeable silver shimmer. There was a time I wore this for about a month straight because I thought it looked so gorgeous and flattering on the nails. I think it also looks lovely against denim wardrobe pieces. It's a bit on the thicker side in terms of consistency but it is opaque in two coats with zero streakiness.
  4. Essie Van D'Go | I believe I have blogged about this on here and I still love it. Such a pretty and flattering peachy-coral, a colour that's become so popular and 'on trend' over the last few spring seasons! This is the most troublesome of the bunch, but if you're willing to work with it, you can see from the swatch below that it looks lovely. It is thicker than the average Essie polish and can be a bit streaky, but the shade is just too pretty not to wear.
  5. Essie Vanity Fairest | The prettiest baby baby pink with subtle shimmer. This one takes a little more patience (4 coats necessary) but the results are worth it if you're looking for that polished, clean look for the spring.

All of these polishes have pretty good quality and last a while on my nails especially if I use a good topcoat like Seche Vite or Sally Hansen InstaDri.

L-R. Vanity Fairest, Lilacism, Bikini So Teeny, Absolutely Shore, Van D'Go
So there you have it - the third of four extended posts on my spring edit. Keep a look out for my spring picks for the eyes tomorrow.

Twitter: @jemcheng
Tumblr: withscienceandfaith
Instagram: jemcheng

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spring Edit: Cheeks

Show your apples some loving this spring with my top five blush picks!
  1. MAC Dame | Dame was my first ever MAC blush and one of the beauty community's favourites. It is a beautiful medium pink with blue shimmer running through it. I adore this blush in the springtime as it gives such a lovely subtle but noticeable pop of colour on the cheeks. It instantly brightens and freshens up your complexion and gives you that glow everyone covets. I mentioned in my spring edit video that I wore this in my Light As Air outfit post, and loved the way it looked and photographed!
  2. Natural Collection Peach Melba | A fan favourite in the UK is this pretty peachy blush called Peach Melba, which I received in a swap with another blogger. As you can see it's a pretty light, very natural peach colour which makes it ideal for everyday wear. It's sure to go with everything! 
  3. NARS Deep Throat | This blush was such a happy accident. I purchased it on a whim last summer and fell. in. love. Deep Throat is a gorgeous peachy pink with gold shimmer that is just effortlessly pretty. I did a full post on it some months ago, so I'll link you to it here. It leaves such a beautiful natural but not too natural flush on the cheeks and shimmer gives a bit of highlighting action which is always welcome.
  4. Benefit Hervana | The packaging alone sucks me in like a vortex, but aside from that, Hervana is also a lovely blush for the spring. It's very subtle and sheer, but buildable. A pale pink, a medium peach, a coral pink, and a deep berry - four shades when swirled together create a beautiful touch of peach-pink-coral colour. It's pretty loveable. ;)
  5. MAC Fleur Power | This ultra pigmented coral blush is what I go for if I really want to showcase my apples. It's looks quite bright in the pan and swatch, but can be blended in to look very nice and non-frightening or clown-like on the cheeks. Sometimes you just want something a little brighter, not so pink, and not so pastel, and this is where this blush comes in.

L-R. MAC Dame, Natural Collection Peach Melba, NARS Deep Throat, Benefit Hervana, MAC Fleur Power.

More spring picks coming your way - another post for the nails and one for the eyes before the spring edit is all wrapped up. Hope you've been enjoying this series because I've certainly been enjoying putting the posts together.

Twitter: @jemcheng
Tumblr: withscienceandfaith
Instagram: jemcheng

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring Edit: Lips

Oh hello there! If you haven't watched my full Spring Edit, do check it out - it is the post just before this one. This post is the first of four extended versions of my spring edit, each featuring my top five favourites for the particular category. In this one I'll be talking about those luscious lips! There's something for everyone here - lipstick, lipgloss, sheer colour...  
  1. MAC lipstick in Creme Cup | The heaviest of the bunch in terms of wear because it is a lipstick, but still quite comfortable on the lips because it is a Cremesheen finish. Creme Cup from MAC is a pretty baby pink. It's the perfect shade of pink for me - it's slightly blue-toned, just enough that it stands out but not so much so that it's completely unnatural. This was my first MAC lipstick, gifted to me by my friend Tiff, and it's certainly my favourite. This is a great everyday shade for the spring.
  2. L'oreal Colour Riche Colour Caresse lipstick in 174 Rose Taffeta | If you want a lighter option, this beautiful berry-toned lipstick is a lot more sheer but still packs quite the punch in terms of colour. Rose Taffeta is a beautiful light berry for the spring that would be a great one to wear for, say, a dinner date or evening party because it's deeper and less pastel (than my other picks) but still very springy.
  3. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 05 Candy Shimmer | This beauty of a lip product from Clarins is a recent addition to my collection, and good golly, I don't know why it's taken me so long to get my hands on it. I'll be doing a full review of it soon in a separate post, but for now all you need to know is that it's a great all rounder. As the name says, it does really just make your lips look perfected. The shade Candy Shimmer is a lovely corally pink shade and I think it's perfect for this season. Wear it whatever your mood!
  4. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in 025 Peach Parfait | The lip butters have such an enormous shade range, one of them was bound to make the cut. Peach Parfait is a nice light coral/peach with gold shimmer through it. I normally stick to creamy, plain lip colours (ie. no glitter or shimmer) but over the past couple of months I've found myself reaching for this on days when I don't know or want to think about what to put on. It goes with everything and it just makes you look a bit more put together especially if you've gone rather neutral everywhere else.
  5. Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Pink Ice | I'm not a huge fan of lipgloss, let's just get that out there. I'm not sure when I came to that realization because when I was younger and in my teenybopper days I would slap that stuff on like there was no tomorrow. But as I've matured my preferences have changed and I definitely prefer a more natural lip to an unnaturally glossy one for everyday. This offering from Revlon is one of Tanya Burr's favourites so I picked it up just cause, and I have to say I quite like it. Pink Ice is a sheer pink with silver (and maybe blue?) shimmer through it and it just looks good on top of a variety of lipsticks instead of really cheap and child-like. Not sure if I'm making any sense now... 

L-R. MAC Creme Cup, L'oreal Rose Taffeta, Clarins Candy Shimmer, Revlon Peach Parfait, Revlon Pink Ice.

Well there you have it, my top five lip products for the spring. If you enjoyed reading this post, I'm happy to say there is more to come for you so keep checking back in the next couple of days, or just make sure you're following me on Bloglovin', Twitter, or Facebook because that's where I let you all know when I've posted something brand spankin' new.

Twitter: @jemcheng
Tumblr: withscienceandfaith
Instagram: jemcheng

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I've recently taken a special interest into caring for my skin and so naturally I've been revamping my skincare routine to better fit me (very slowly though, because good skincare comes with a hefty price tag!). I guess I should take a few moments to talk about my skin type to give you a better idea of what I struggle with. On the whole, I would say I have combination and dehydrated skin. My T zone can get pretty oily throughout the day while the rest of my face is normal. I'll have phases (like right now) where I have these flakey patches around my nose, between my eyebrows, and the bottom of my chin -  all areas which are easy to neglect when moisturizing. I don't break out a lot, just usually one to two spots during the time of the month, but when I do they are big and bad.

The product I'm talking about today wasn't one that intrigued or interested me, at first, even with all the hype that surrounded it. I just didn't think it was something that my skin needed imperatively. But then I started to see it come up in more and more videos from my fave Youtubers (if you can't tell, ALL my knowledge about makeup and skincare comes from them) and it was consistently being praised as a product that was crucial for keeping spots away - and that's what really drew me in. Pimples stress me out. I know no one likes them but I go into some sort of depressive rut when I get pimples. I mean, yeah they're hard to cover up but they're also really painful! So when Sephora was having their Beauty Insider 25% off deal, I decided to spend the money on the mini 30 mL bottle ($18) of it.

The long and short of it all: Caudalie Beauty Elixir works wonders. I certainly think it's worth the hype. I've been using this product for just over two weeks now and I had an active spot when I started using it, and since then, first of all the spot has gone, but also my skin has become noticeably clearer and smoother. I've also found that it helped lighten acne scars tremendously. The beauty elixir comes in a spray bottle which I love! I just go over my entire face with 3-4 spritzes of this stuff then gently pat it into my skin before moving onto serum and/or moisturizer. It can be used generally as a face spray, for example, on top of makeup or throughout the day to freshen up, but I personally use it as a toner. It's such a refreshing change because I'm so used to toners that are heavy in alcohol content - bad bad bad. This product, a lovely combination of herbal essences, is so soothing and calming on the skin that it even takes down some redness if you suffer with that. The only potential downside I can see with this is the heavy herbal scent. A lot of people can't take the smell and don't use it for that reason, so I would highly recommend going in to sniff it before purchasing. Personally, I don't have a problem with it - in a way it reminds me a lot of Chinese herbal concoctions, some of which I had to drink when I was younger (it didn't taste good but I don't mind just smelling it).

Some of the ingredients include: Water, alcohol (plant origin), bitter orange flower water, fragrance (plant origin), rosemary leaf oil, peppermint oil, balm mint leaf oil, rosa damascena flower oil, grape fruit extract

I would absolutely highly recommend this product to anyone. This, to me, is what magic would be like if it existed in real life. I know that's a big statement for a beauty water but this is serious business. Fantastic skincare product! I am 100% sure I will be repurchasing this in the bigger bottle ($48 for 100 mL) when I run out!

Twitter: @jemcheng
Tumblr: withscienceandfaith
Instagram: jemcheng
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