January 31, 2008

Lancome: L.U.C.I

The other day I walked passed the Lancome counter and caught a glimpse of their new SS08 collection. Intrigued by the pretty shell packaging and vibrant colors, I booked an appointment to try out the new collection the very next day!
The theme of this SS08 collection by Gucci Westman is L.U.C.I, Luminescent Colorless Color Intelligence (And yes, I am aware that Colorless starts with a C and not a U. *shrugs* Maybe its a french thing?). The idea is to have a collection of colorless shimmery make-up that changes color all the time adjusting to different skin tones and the reflections of light. Doesn't that concept sound so awesome???
To begin with, the make-up artist did the whole usual cleaning, moisturizer, toner, pore minimizer (it is such a Lancome thing!) routine with me. Then she introduced me to their new make-up primer, La Base, which she applied to my face/nose (to fill in the pores) and under my EYES! Apparently, this is a special oil free formula that is even suitable as a eye primer! I'm not sure I follow the logic of oil free --> suitable for eye thing, but I LOVE the idea of undereye primer. It is SO annoying when the skin there is dry/flaky (even my eye cream has been applied!) and thus looks AWFUL when you apply concealer there. This product is genius. And it might be my imagination or the foundation, but I felt that my pores did look smaller. After all that base, foundation and concealer, she finished off the face with the Photonic Illuminating Powder, which is just loose powder with the sparkly light reflection stuff that is suppose to help highlight and sculpt your features. I really didn't feel the difference.
Moving on we had the eye make-up, where I daresay is where the whole luminescent thing should be at it's best. One of my favourite products out of the whole collection is the Illuminator, which is basically cream eye shadows. that goes on clear but reflects color when light hits it. How totally awesome is that??? I LOVE it. I got the "ray of pink light" shade. You can also use it as a base before you apply powder, but personally I think the powder would just mask the effect. If you get the more neutral apricot shade, you can also use it to highlight your features. After all, it DOES say it is an illuminator for the eyes and face.

The other eye make-up product is the eye shadow palette in the pretty white shell shaped box, the L.U.C.I EYES light color in motion duo eye shadows. I was really excited about it. I love eye shadow palettes and the colors looked so vibrant! The white shade that comes with the color is not simply a typical highlighting color, but it is a photonic eye shadow that changes color when light hits it. You can use it for highlighting or blend it with the color to create a third shade! The lady did a combination of ray of green and ray of purple (which is really quite blue) for me and let me say, the colors go on VERY sharply. Unfortunately for me what looked soo pretty in the palette did not go so well with me.... it was so overdramatic that it bordered on tacky on me. Maybe I am just unused to it? I mean, vibrant colors looked SO well on the models! Or could it be that Asian complexion doesn't go well with greens/blues? Well, in the end, as much as I LOVE eye shadow palettes, I had to pass on these ones. And a good thing too. I met up with 3 of my friends after and they were all totally horrified to see me as such!
To complete my eyes, she applied the Courbe Virtuose mascara on me (after the mascara booster of course). This one is suppose to make the lash curve and give divine length, but to me it just felt like any old Lancome mascara for me.... like Hypnose. Another thing I LOVE about this collection is the lip stuff. Even though the packaging is a bit bulky, I really like the Color Fever Shine (left). Especially since they came out with THE perfect ice pale pink color (Pink Flora) that I've been dreaming about. I love it. It applies quite smoothly too. They also have a collection of photonic Color Fever Gloss (right). They have this nice sheer shade that gives the perfect shine by itself and over lipstick. But one must be careful with these lip colors though. They have these two shades that are completely white that are loaded with photonic stuff that when you put it on your lips, it becomes a scary glowing alien color- not good.

Over all, I like the concept of the luminescent thing and subtly it works. But I reserve judgment on the super vibrant colors and the photonic overloaded lip stuff- thats just a little too much for me!

Phew~ well that was a lengthy review of a make-up collection. Kudos for finish reading it!

Image Source: Lancome

January 29, 2008

Stylish Puffers

Lets face it. As warm as layering and cashmere coats are, the comfy cushiony warmth a puffer provides is hard to beat. Lucky for us, this season designers finally came out with stylish looking puffers! I just LOVE the new designs for the collar. They are so refreshing (if not very practical. I can just HEAR my mom telling me how my neck is exposed to the cold and I will catch a cold....). I especially LOVE this one from Add Down (left), with the wide neck and the belt that gives it shape, it was the puffer that inspired this post! To "protect" the neck, there is also this one from Marc by Marc Jacobs (right), where you can adjust the neckline as needed. I LOVE this puffer as well. Also from Add Down, you can convert the wide collar into a hoodie!!! How CUTE! I also love the neat simple cutting that gives a more flattering body shape. Some other cute designs, there is this high necked puffer from Vince (left). Judging from the puff, it may also be warmer. And for a more biker-ish look, there is this one from Theory (right). For something more classic, we have these ones from Burberry. I've tried on the beige one on the left, and the cutting is actually not that bad and quite flattering! And I think the black one over here is perfect if you want something simple but still with a little bit of a twist (double breasted and high neckline)- your neck will definitely be warm!

Stay stylishly warm everyone!

Image Source: Burberry and Shopbop

SAG 2008 Fashion

Fashion at the SAG Awards this year was a bit of a yawn. There were very few (or argueably no) super impressive dresses. With the fewer number of award red carpets this year, one would imagine the actresses would put more effort into this ceremony, or that more actresses would have turned up. Nevertheless, here are some that I liked:
My favourite was surprisingly Kate Hudson's dress. OK, so her hair is admittedly a bit werid (-it's so shiny and sleek but it looks like something's off about it,) but I love her dress! It's so pretty and flowy-looking. Plus it's got that graceful, bohemian feel to it.
Marcia Cross was gorgeous as usual. Her hair is so perfectly curled. And even though she's wearing green again, that dress has got such gorgeous draping.
Not sure about that hairstyle on Eva Longoria, but this white, backless dress fits her amazingly, as usual. Not a particularly interesting dress though.
Normally I'm not a fan of Debra Messing's red carpet outfits, but I thought she carried off this Oscar de la Renta dress well. I think it's because the gold colour and those embellishment compliment her skin and hair colours well. But the point is, she's looking great and sparkly!
Both Kate Beckingsale and Vanessa Williams wore yellow, but the effect turned out to be very different. Kate looked really elegant and lady-like; kind of Valentino-esque. Vanessa looked feirce -the power of Versace!
I'm not sure how to feel about Amanda Bynes' outfit here. The dress is pretty and fits her well. And her hairstyle is very fun and elegant. But for some odd reasons, the dress kind of reminds me of American prom dresses, (a riduclously well-made prom dress of course.)
Michelle Pfeiffer's outfit looks plain, but everything fits so well and match perfectly. Maybe it's not the most interesting outfit around, but she looks fantastic. I can't get over how she's almost 50 years old!
Becki Newton's white dress is my other favourite dress. I love how it's got such a classy silhouette, but the tiered skirt bit gives it a much more youthful and stylish touch. Loves it!! Plus, I love her perfectly curled and styled hair! (And her Amanda smirk!) As for America Ferrera, I really think she could have done better. Grey and lacy dresses like that should be left for the more mature ladies.
To end this post, I chose this fun photo of Olivia Wilde. I actually really like that dress, and the cool tone matches her cool brunette hair so perfectly!
That's all for now. Hopefully Oscars will still happen and there will be more gorgeous dresses! Whose dress was your favourite?

January 26, 2008

27 Dresses

Ever since I heard about this movie a few months ago, I've been waiting in great anticipation to see it. After all, this is probably one of the few chick flicks coming out... since Knocked Up!
Just the name 27 Dresses is a selling point for me. And this cute poster with mention of "Devil Wears Prada" helps too! The actual plot is about how Jane (Katherine Heigl) is a professional bridesmaid, who has willingly donned on some pretty horrible dresses in order to "be there" for her friends on their special day.
In fact, she has 27 of them. Usually I'm quite envious of people's overflowing wardrobes in movies (think Clueless), but I think I'll make an exception in this case....
The story revolves around how Jane's sister, Tess (Malin Akerman) comes into town and falls in love with Jane's boss George- who Jane happens to be in love with for a loooong time! I thought it was quite amazing how they managed to make Katherine Heigl (whom I always thought looked quite pretty in Grey's Anatomy) look like the "plain Jane" in this movie compared to Tess.
During that time, Jane also meets Kevin (James Marsden!) the wedding journalist for the New York Journal- and the chick flick romance begins.
I've loved James Marsden since his appearance in Ally McBeal many years ago (where he sang Frank Sinatra...sigh!) and his recent Prince charming role in Enchanted was not bad either (if a bit dumbed down). But I LOVE LOVE LOVE his look here. While in his other roles, he'd always had that clean, preppy pretty boy look, his role in this movie as a journalist is ruggedly handsome and charming...sigh............ :)

Over all I liked the movie. I love weddings. I love chick flick happy endings. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE James Marsden. It was just the light hearted fun movie I was looking for. I know that many reviews have found this movie to be sexist because it portrays getting married as the life goal of women, but personally I think that is just the opinion of the female lead here and everyone is entitled to their own opinions and so its not reflective of a whole gender. What did everyone else think?

Image Source: Yahoo Movies

Haute Couture S/S08 III

Starting with Armani's tribute to Valentino:
This post, like all of the other recent haute couture posts, is all about Valentino's final show. The old-school king of romance is retiring after more than 40 years of designing flowery and lacey dresses. Personally, I've always been neutral about Valentino. To me, Valentino is a well-respected designer who has been around for a very long time. I don't exactly love or hate his designs because I wasn't even born yet during some of his more memorable designer years and because such fancy clothes isn't exactly studentwear. But this is the very final Valentino show, so let's take some time to admire the final work of a master:
Take note of the Phillip Tracey hats -they're so pretty! Isn't the bow on Natalia V.'s head SO adorable? I could totally imagine a red one on Blair (Gossip Girl)!
OK, so I admit I can't tell the difference between this collection and Valentino's RTW line. They just all look very lady-like to me.
The gold, 20's dress on the left is one of my favourite from this collection. It's modern but still very classic-looking.
Flowers in many different forms -a signature of Valentino's.
Chic and elegant.
Gorgeous! Don't the purple/ pink flowers just look like they're growing on a vine on these dresses?
These dresses look so big and puffy, yet still so light and floaty. Just what certain romantic dresses are supposed to look like.
The silver (or is it white?) dress on Vlada (right) is another one of my favourite dresses in this collection. It's SO gorgeous!
Farewell Valentino!
Image credit: www.vogue.co.uk

January 23, 2008

Haute Couture S/S08 II

Chanel
To be honest, the last few seasons of Chanel have not been too impressive for me. It was either uninspiring or so artistic that it was beyond my comprehension. But in this season's haute couture show, the Chanel I know is finally back. The collection was simply AMAZING and I loved everything on the runway. Inspired by spiraling forms and delicate colors of shells, the models resembled youthful nymphs flowing down the runway. According to the reviews, there was also a giant Chanel jacket made of concrete in the room, that reminds one of the Tristan throne in the Little Mermaid, further alluding to the sea theme.
By pairing the classic Chanel suit jackets with these short draping and pleated skirts, Karl cleverly adds a flirty fun touch to the whole outfit.
The collar of the long coat (left) adds a modern touch to a classic piece. And the exaggerated style of the white blouse (right) is elegantly distinctive and not clownish at all (as over exaggerated pieces tend to be).
The evening/cocktail dresses were the best. Karl had beautiful romantic pieces (like above), exquisitely made with frills and details, that were pretty, girly and very very feminine.
He also had more modern youthful fun pieces that were totally adorable and cute.
He then had modern yet more sophisticatedly designed pieces that were elegant and simply stunning. The workmanship of that silver long dress is simply genius. The frills, the different materials and those two pockets- genius!
And of course there were black dresses (wouldn't be a Chanel runway without black dresses!). These are definitely more creative and different from the black Chanel dresses we're all used to. In fact, the black dress on the left reminds me a teensy bit of Armani......
And I love love love the last silver dress (right). She looks exactly what I imagine a fairy/nymph would look like. I especially like the fact that it is more loosely cut and not like all those super fitted evening wears out there we're so used to seeing.
Another thing I love about this show are the mary jane the flats throughout. All the models wore flats with outfit, which gave an extra youthful touch to all the outfits- even the evening wear. It totally made me rethink the role of flats. That sit, after I write this I am going to go dig out my mary jane flats!
Oooh and the hair. I LOVE the hairstyle, they made them look like fairies even more. I wonder how I can make this look more wearable..... perhaps a neat bun with gorgeous sparkly hair accessories?

Christian Lacroix
The theme of the Christian Lacriox show was, An Angel Passing By. I don't really see how that is from the outfits, but maybe it is something one feels when one is there? Anyway, despite that, I thought the collection was quite marvelous. It was everything I expected from a Christian Lacroix haute couture show. As the reviewer on style.com said, "...Lacroix is doing nothing new. The ideas that went into this incredible collection are the ones he's always worked at: influences from the eighteeth century, fin de si├Ęcle Paris, and gypsy costume." And I totally agree. What is really marvelous about his collection is the genius way he throws the most unlikely fabrics and colors together and makes it work in the most stunning way visually. His intricate and exquisite workmanship is also unparalleled.
An excellent example of his mastery with mixing. Who would've thought that red plaid, blue brocade and leopard print and blue/black strips, red plaid and leopard print would go so well together?
Admittedly a lot of times, his outfits are more costume like than ever, but that IS the point of haute couture. Just LOOK at the workmanship! How does the sleeves (and the dress for that matter) hold up (left)??? How does the drapes and shape of the skirts stay that way?
My personal favourite outfits were his blue ones. I'm not sure if it is simply a personal obsessions with blue for me or not, but the blue outfits just looks STUNNING. He had these two that were distinctively Victorian with a bit of an equestrian feel.
And these two blue creations are also brilliant in a more "modern" style that is both vibrant and youthful.
I am still trying to decide whether these two would make vividly gorgeous wedding dresses in reality (minus all that heavy headgear etc) or would just make a bad memory.

Regardless of its practicality in real life, the Lacroix collection was a visual feast for those of us who love beautiful things.

Givenchy
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Givenchy collection that is the antithesis to Lacroix's style. While Lacroix had vibrant hues and an array of different patterns and flowing textures, Riccardo Tisci had subdued colors and a structured style that is distinctively minimalist. Yet they both equally make us salivate with lust just looking at them. Inspired by the gothic ballerina, the shape of the skirts were both flowing and structured all at once. How does he DO it??? With a lot of starch? And the tailoring of the jacket (left) and the ruffles (right) on the top is just genius.
The outfit on the left is the definition of minimalism. And the white dress is a beeeeeautiful work of art.
Besides black and white, Tisci also experimented with metallic fabrics and other bold colors (he also had a really really all red dress!). I love the shape and tailoring of the metallic dress (left) and how he mixed the fabrics in the green/white dress (right).
I absolutely LOVE these two dresses. You know how in Project Runway they talk about how a collection needs to be coherent yet not repetitive? Well I think these two are the definition of that. They are obviously from the same collection, yet one is feminine and girly (left) and one is styled and sophisticated.

Image Source: Elle.com