The Perfect Gift: Jo Malone Fragrances

In about a week I will be jetting off to China for the first time in four years. I have lots of extended family members in China, so the past few weeks, I have been scouring London for “British” gifts – presents that have a distinctive English flair that can’t be purchased easily in China. I ended up buying Jo Malone fragrances (English Pear & Freesia and Peony & Blush Suede) for two of my aunts. These perfumes smell AMAZING. When I took off the cap to show my boyfriend at home, he said he could smell them from across the room. Although perfume taste is sometimes very personal, I think that both these scents are so universally flattering that they make appropriate gifts for any classy lady. Plus, the packaging is both simple and elegant, so you really can’t go wrong. I am so tempted to keep one for myself!

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A Day Trip to Brighton

A couple weekends ago, Jack and I took a day trip to Brighton. Although it wasn’t the warmest day ever, we still really enjoyed sitting on our very first pebble beach, browsing the jewelry shops in the Lanes, and grabbing a cider to drink.

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I wore my pink summer striped Toms. When I first got these shoes, I almost returned them, because I thought I had gotten a wonky pair, but it turns out that the patterns are intentionally mismatched. I have since grown to love how quirky and unique they are.

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The pebbles were surprisingly very comfortable to sit on, but not very comfortable to stand on.

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We found the perfect pebble and ended up taking it home as a souvenir!

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You can’t see it, but I put my bare feet in the water…brrrrrrrr…it was freezing!

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We ended our day by resting our feet and getting something to drink at a pub before heading back to London. It was the perfect day trip, and I’m super happy I was able to see more of England this time around. It’s always nice to get away from the never-ending hustle and bustle of city life.

TAG: Get to Know Me

Recently, one of my favorite bloggers, jessicaKAchan, tagged me in the Get to Know Me Beauty Blogger Tag, so here are my responses:

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight? Somewhere in between…wavey-ish.

2.  Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon? My hair color is au naturale.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it? I usually have a style or item of clothing that I keep reaching for each season. This summer I am determined to make midi skirts my “thing.”

4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon? Usually I do my own, but I love indulging in a mani/pedi at the salon for special occasions.

5. How often do you change your nail polish? I don’t wear nail polish on my fingers, because I bite them, and I only change the color on my toes when they have worn off to the point of no redemption.

6. Do you polish your toes in the Winter or just the Summer? All year round. I think toes should always be polished.

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup? 15 min. to one hour. When I have the time to I love taking my time to get ready. It’s actually really soothing and therapeutic for me. My best friend and boyfriend will tell you that I can take ages to get ready when I want to.

8. What do you do first? Face or Eyes? Face

9. Do you collect makeup? Or just buy it when you need it? I am probably more in the “buy it when you need it” camp, although I do often buy things I think I need but don’t actually need.

10. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday? Nope. To be quite honest, there are weeks where I go without ever wearing makeup. I love sleeping in more than I love doing my makeup, so sometimes, makeup kind of gets pushed out of my schedule by my snooze button.

11. Do you wear make up when your home alone or with family? Nope. Never ever.

12. How often do you wear false lashes? Maybe once a year when I’m feeling adventurous, but when I do, I always feel like people can tell I’m a fraud! I just can’t get over the fake feeling of false lashes, so I’m not super big on them, even if they do look spectacular.

13. Will you leave the house without makeup? Yes.

14. How many high-end products do you have? I would say about half of my makeup products are high-end, and that proportion is growing. I used to own more drugstore products, but after wittling down my collection (aka throwing out all the junk I don’t use), I have decided to invest in more high-end brands because since I am trying not to hoard makeup, when I do add something to my collection, I want it to be luxurious and high quality.

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you’re getting dressed? Usually no, but sometimes, I dream about them or visualize them in my head just as I’m waking up (wow that sounds weird). I like to prepare mentally without getting out of bed. Once when I was in high school, I was up late studying for a biology test and worried that I would be late to school, so I put on my outfit for the next day before I got into bed, so that when I woke up, I could just hop out of bed and run out the door.

16. How often do you change your handbag? Infrequently. Since I’m away from home right now, I’ve basically been alternating between my Longchamp tote, my Tory Burch cross-body, and my Coach backpack.

17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep? Since it’s the summer right now, I have been sleeping quite late (2am on average) and waking up quite late as well (11am on average), but once I start work in September, that sleep schedule will have to change!

18. How often or when do you work out? Anywhere from once a month to a few times a week depending on what’s happening in my life.

19. Left handed or Right handed? Right.

20. How tall are you? 5’2″

21. Do you speak any foreign languages? Fluent in Mandarin

22. How many pets do you have? If fish count as pets, then I have a boatload of fish at home.

23. How often do you blog? I don’t quite have a schedule yet. I am trying to do twice a week for now, but life often gets in the way!

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs? Most of the time, yes.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts? I actually started a new series on my blog (Wednesday Wishlist), to help me keep track! I find that when I go to the store, I often get distracted and come home with random things. I’m hoping that with a semi-tangible wish list, I will be better at keeping my goal(s) in mind!

26. How did you come up with your blog name? Ever since the days of MySpace, I have been using the name sillyfacealice, so it’s basically my go-to for everything…

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs? Nikon D5200

28. How often do you clean your house? When the mess starts tampering with my mood.

29. What’s your favorite color? Purple

30. Do you swear? Yes

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day? Working at Cambridge (UK), going to an outdoor cinema, and catching up on sleep…Zzzzzzzzzz

THE END.

And for extra kicks, here’s a collage of the people, places, and things that matter the most to me!

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Thank you to Jessica again for tagging me! Click here to read her post. I tag everyone who reads this post and wants to give it a whirl. I hope you enjoyed getting to know me better!

OOTD (His and Hers): Florals & Batman at the Flower Market

Jack and I spent a really lovely Sunday afternoon browsing the Columbia Road Flower Market near Hoxton. I felt like I was in flower heaven. We didn’t make any purchases, because he’s moving out of his flat soon (and he doesn’t have a vase), but it was still so nice to just take in all the beautiful colors and smells.

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My Outfit

The weather was a bit unpredictable as per usual so I brought a plain gray cardigan with me in case it got cold. I opted for a super light-weight floral dress that screams summer and my black flatform sandals. For accessories, I wore my brand new Swatch watch that Jack got me. I love how colorful, fun and toy-like it is! Plus, it actually audibly ticks. :)

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Dress: Zara (found on the Sales rack) / Cardigan: Banana Republic / Watch: Swatch / Shoes: Urban Outfitters (sold out)

Jack’s Outfit

I convinced Jack to model his outfit as well, so here it is! He wore a pop-art-esque printed button-down, some dark wash jeans, which he cuffed himself, and his black cameo Nike Air Maxes.

jack flower-0024 jack flower-0023jack flower-0029jack flower-0030Shirt: Lazy Oaf / Jeans: Zara / Shoes: Nike Air Max (not available anymore on the Nike site)

Wednesday Wish List #1

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1. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint / 2. Lorac Pro Palette / 3. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

I have decided to start a new weekly/bi-weekly series called “Wednesday Wish List” to share and save the beauty, fashion and lifestyle products that I want to try. Today’s list features 3 beauty products that have generated a cult following. I am super eager to try these products, but I also want to use up some current favorites first before I splurge. When I was younger, I used to accumulate so much makeup that ended up sitting at the bottom of my makeup bag. Since cleaning that bag out, I have been trying to waste less money on makeup. Have you tried these products? What’s on your wish list?

OOTD: Dim Sum on Top of the Shard

Jack and I had a really lovely date at a dim sum restaurant called Hutong on the 33rd floor of the Shard, the tallest building in London. I thought I would share some pictures below. Unfortunately, I only have one picture of the food (Jack eating a xiao long bao), because I was too busy nomming…wups! But I did make sure to take pictures of the view and what I wore. Hope you enjoy!

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My hair was dirty and wasn’t cooperating so I whipped it up into a bun. Makeup was also kept very simple: mainly just mascara and bronzer. I wore a Cos dress and Porronet cut-out sandals.My cross-body bag is by Tory Burch. I had a short amount of time to get ready because we were running late, so I tried to do the best with what I had!

My All-Time Favorite Cream Eyeshadow

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Last summer, my roommate, Ashley, introduced me to the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. As a woman of color, Ashley specifically recommended Laura Mercier because of the brand’s focus on high-impact pigments that show up vividly even on darker skin tones. I picked up Khaki last summer and used it non-stop as my one-stop-shop for a night-time smokey olive eye. This summer, Khaki has been sitting unused at the bottom of my makeup bag, simply because I haven’t been going out much at night in London, and the shade is a bit too dark for my day-time makeup tastes.

A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing around the space.NK.apothecary store and started swatching the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eye Shadow sticks. I was expecting big things since loads of bloggers, youtube makeup gurus and reviewers have gushed about the Ombre Blackstar cream eyeshadows, but I have to say, I was not super impressed. I just felt like they really sheered out when I blended them on the back of my hand. I probably should have given them a proper chance, but to be honest, I just wasn’t willing to shell out £28 to try a product that didn’t win me over upon first impression.

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After my disappointment at the By Terry counter, I wandered over to the Laura Mercier counter and fell head-over-heels back in love with the intense, creamy formula of the Caviar sticks. They are not only a whole £7.50 cheaper than the By Terry Ombre Blackstar sticks, they are also comparable or better in every way possible (more details below). I ended up picking up another shade, Sandglow, which has been so beautiful for a summer golden, bronze look.

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In my books, there is nothing not to love about these cream eye shadow sticks. They are creamy, super pigmented, buildable, blendable, and extremely long-lasting. As someone who loves low-maintenance makeup, these cream eyeshadows really do a hassle-free job for me with no brushes needed or involved. I just swipe the stick across my eyelids and then use my fingers to smudge and blend out. The two colors I own are swatched below.

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Final verdict: Overall, the Laura Mercier Caviar sticks are a staple in my makeup bag. They easily beat any other cream eyeshadows I have ever tried, especially the MAC paint pots. I find that the MAC paint pots dry out so easily, while the eye shadow sticks stay creamier for longer. Plus, in my opinion, cream shadow in stick form is just so much easier to apply than cream shadow in pot form. I will definitely be repurchasing for a long time. 

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Caviar sticks? Do you have a favorite cream eyeshadow? I’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.