Louis Vuitton Haul

FW14 Classic Monogram Keepall 45 Mon Monogram Custom Order in Red and Black

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So I travel a lot and find myself struggling with all these bags: shopping bags, food/take-out bag, personal bag…etc, plus I always have my Starbucks coffee to juggle. I really needed something to consolidate everything and I’ve always had my eye on the LV Keepall which is a staple of the luxury house. However, I never really felt the urge to buy it because it’s part of the permanent collection. Only until recently when I got into my exercise frenzy did I realize that I would also be able to use the Keepall as a gym bag! Of course, I had to get it personalized with LV’s “Mon Monogram” which typically takes 6-8 weeks to deliver for the hand-painted item to be made in France. Otherwise, most classics from the permanent collection are made in the USA factories. I was pleased to find out that my rush order took only a month to arrive! Woohoo! Thanks for letting me share my super late reveal 😀

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Now I chose red and black stripes/initials, with a red interior (typically brown canvas), for the Louboutin addict in me haha! I just love the pop of colour against the pale new vachetta leather!

Along with this major purchase, I couldn’t resist buying more LV sunnies… To this day, I swear LV still makes the best sunglasses after trying various designer brands. And they’re one of the few luxury houses that still does everything from beginning to finish in-house and all made by hand, rather than outsourcing to 3rd parties. Clearly they’re significantly more expensive, about twice as much as most other brands, but totally worth it in terms of their excellent quality. I’ve dropped mine on the floor numerous times and I’ve never had a chip or breakage. So I purchased not just one, but 2 pairs!! lol

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Left: SS14 Mimosa in Brown Glitter
– Gold metal frame aviator style
– Hand-polished acetate tips with flower logo
– Rhinestone set Monogram flower hinge
– “Western” fit nose-bridge

Usually aviator styles don’t suit me, but I was pleasantly surprised at how classy and chic these looked. A real gorgeous pair with subtle logo details. It’s also my lightest-weight sunnies!

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Right: FW14 Petit Soupçon Cat Eye in Brown Glitter Acetate
– Gold metal frame and hand-polished acetate
– Classic S-lock metal hinge
– Monogram flower details
– “Western” fit

So I got something more subtle above, and obviously we need to balance this with an all out glam oversized pair LOL! Sorry for some some metals parts looking smudgey. I forgot to wipe down the metal and rid of my greasy finger prints before taking the pix…
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Lastly, a pic of my LV sunnies collection (yes I LOVE their brown glitter acetate lol) and taking my new Keepall to the gym! Stay tuned for more reveals!

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Mackage Sample Sale 2014

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It is without a doubt that the Montreal-based brand, Mackage, is leading the pack of premiere/contemporary Canadian designers these days (other than of course DSquared2). Annual sample sales occur first on home ground in Montreal where the brand was established, then Toronto, sometimes Vancouver I believe, and followed by New York City a month later. This is probably the only perk Canadian shoppers will ever have with discounts of everything at 50% off retail price (and no tax!), compared to 40% in NYC. Usually all locations host for a variety of local designers that come to showcase their specialty clothing, furs, and jewelry. This year Rudsak, Hurricana, and Mondor were my favourites!

I’ve missed all the sales in the past years, but I was fortunate to get off work early and attend the first day VIP sale at Marché Bonsecours in the hub of the Old Port, Montreal. I found parking easily and didn’t encounter a lot of frantic buyers either, but by the time I came out in the late afternoon, there was a major line up of about 100 feet in front of the Mackage section! These girls were just glaring at my 2 large bags lol!

Anyhow here are some of my steals:

1. Mondor Tights X 3:
Absolutely the BEST quality from this original Montreal dance company that had designed durable, professional tights for figure-skaters, gymnasts, and ballet dancers. I’ve worn their clothing since I was very young and only trust this brand. Think falls, hard ice, daily practice, sharp figure skating blade cuts…etc. That’s how good their quality is, so yeah, if you think Lululemon, Wolford, HUE, are good, think again.

2. Micalla “Pearl Branch” hand-made necklace with Swarovski crystals and 18K RGP :
Really gorgeous and original. I haven’t seen something like this, although Tiffany has their cute olive branch collection, I think this is much more impressive. So I’m gifting it to my mother 😀

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3. Mackage “Marjory” Down Puffer Jacket in Black with Removable Asiatic Racoon Fur Hoodie – Retail $620

Great alternative to my Moncler jacket which kinda looks similar, but Mackage would win hands down when it comes to warmth as it’s double-layered with a “vest-like” insert and an outer zipper.
Picture credit Mackage.com

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^I’ve been working out… Look at those thigh muscles!!! 😛
And yes, that’s also my new iPhone 6 in gold!

 

4. Mackage “Peaches” Down Puffer Jacket in Ink and Leather Trim – Retail $690

This is a bigger jacket than the “Marjory” and also warmer. You guys may recall that I also own a similar style but longer knee-length jacket called “Liz” in white, which I find is too big and overwhelming for my liking. This hip-length version is perfect for my petite frame and the flared bottom/sleeves are really cute.

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^Picture credit Mackage.com

Work Clothes Update!

So I have quite a few designer dresses and more lavish ones for special occasions. Recently I’ve been asked what do I wear to work everyday? Well I love H&M, Banana Republic, Mexx, RW&Co, and of course J Crew. I should say that a J Crew outlet store just opened near my home which I was ecstatic about! Love all their stuff, really good quality, and now even more affordable! Here are a few things that I purchased recently, sorry no mod pix.

N.B.: The black pants and skirt below are from Banana Republic‘s exclusive collaboration with Roland Mouret, whose dresses I adore. However, I was quite disappointed with the dresses in that collection. They were very ill-fitting compared to my authentic/original RM dresses. The “Sloan” fabric used was thought to be similar to RM’s material but it was bulgy in the hips and just wrong. I had to return all the dresses. The only 2 items that fit well out of the dozen or so items that I tried were the cigarette pants and coated lace/shimmer skirt below, which are very suitable for work.

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Clé de Peau and Hourglass Haul

Clé de Peau Beauté la Crème Contour des Yeux Set

I had finished my la Prairie Luxe Skin Caviar Eye Cream recently and was looking for something slightly more affordable. I compared numerous brands and finally CDP’s eye cream seemed to satisfy my needs. I mean, CDP is clearly still very expensive, but Barneys had just received this great skincare set which makes it all that more convincing to decide for me. The set includes a full size of the eye cream, 7 mL of the same collection’s serum, 5 mL of the face cream, and a nice bag – all for the same price as just the eye cream alone which is $280.

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I love the packaging, the luxurious stand just for the eye cream, but I don’t use the applicator. The cream itself is light green with a non-overwhelming floral scent. The texture is thick which is what I need to hydrate the dry skin around my eyes. In the morning, I only apply a very light layer so that I can put on my eye makeup. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s thick but not gunky!

Overall rating – 5 stars!!! It’s a winner and I will certainly repurchase!

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The sales lady was also really nice and gave me a bunch of samples including an additional total of 10 mL of the Serum and 2 sets of the Intensive Brightening Mask, which is worth at least another $50! I’ve tried the mask and wow – I’m impressed! You basically apply the lower mask II first, then the upper half mask I on top (they contain different ingredients) for 10-15 mins, and massage in the left over serum all over after. It’s quite hydrating and there’s so much of the serum left that I actually save the mask again for a second application. Now I know some of the ingredients, e.g. Vitamin C, is highly unstable when exposed to oxygen and light that its “illuminating” properties are probably gone, but hey I scrimp too! lol At least the moisturizing ingredients are still there!

Apparently the main ingredients are tranexamic acid (TEA), vitamin C, E and various botanical extracts. I’ve always known that the latter few ingredients help to inhibit melanin production as they’re essentially strong antioxidants, but I just learned that TEA has evidence to do so as well! Typically TEA, aka Cyklokapron is used in medicine to prevent bleeding for its antifibrinolytic properties that work at the very end of the coagulation pathway. See shopping is educational! 😛

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Hourglass Cosmetics Haul

This is a fairly new brand that I’ve jumped on the wagon and fell in love! Pretty much every single product is as amazing as they are described to be! When performance meets function, practicality, and the latest technology in the beauty industry, you’ve got Hourglass!

Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation: I first received a sample and was completely blown away by its oil-controlling ability. My skin is difficult in that the epidermis is very dry, but within a 3-4 hours it gets oily and I’ve tried so many mattifying foundations that I’ve learned to just live with it. However, this foundation pretty much can last me at least 6-7 hours before I need to touch up! And if I use their serum, I can go for 10 hours!!! WOW! My only gripe is that applying the foundation can be tricky because it dries very fast! So use only a small amount and work in small areas at a time. Also if my skin is kinda dry, it will show patches of flakey skin… Nonetheless, with proper prepping and some effort, the end result is totally worth it!

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Best of Hourglass Limited Edition Set – Sephora Exclusive:
Extreme Sheen High Shine Gloss in Ignite – Love the non-sticky gloss, which has a bit of shimmer, and is very universal.
Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara in Onyx – This is actually very similar to Lancôme’s Hypnôse mascara which I’ve been using for the last decade. Provides full body and volumizing benefits.
Mineral Veil Primer (white glass bottle) – This is one of the original products that made the brand famous. Enough said. Makes your foundation last and last forever! Even though, I typically don’t like products full of silicone, this is exceptional cuz it actually works!
Serum Primer (clear glass bottle) – This one is not that often talked about, but it’s completely different compared to the original primer, but in a good way! It’s definitely more like a serum treatment and is kinda goopy, but absorbs very fast. Let it sit there on your face for a minute before applying makeup or use alone. I find that it doesn’t make your makeup last as long as the other primer, but it’s a lot more hydrating, which I find useful in the Winter time cuz whenever I use primers, I usually don’t like to apply another layer of moisturizer cuz I don’t like the feeling of having thick layers of products on my face. I’m always looking at products that are multi-purpose to avoid that “mask” feeling. Anyhow, I really like this primer too and it does NOT have that slimy silicone feeling!

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Ambient Lighting Palette: I was highly recommended to buy this product and it did look interesting in that it brings a “glow” to your face but not in a shiny way like many highlighters do, which I avoid like the plague on my oily-combo skin. The best way for me to describe it is that it’s got this “silkening” effect, which mattifies, but at certain angles like a silk scarf brings out a beautiful sheen. At first I was also kinda confused about the application process, and various users will have their own methods but this is my approach:
Dim Light (left) – An “all over” shade, that I prefer to use on my forehead and chin. No shimmer.
Incandescent Light (middle) – Limited edition shade that’s got the brightest sheen effect. I use this to brighten the area right under my eyes, sweep across my upper cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow.
Radiant Light (right) – In my opinion, this is the “bronzer” shade which I apply right in the hollow of my cheeks, temples, and below my jaw bone.

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Femme Nude Lip Stylo in No.6: Ok, so this is the only product that I was like blah about… The application is nice and smooth, but after an hour, I find it kinda drying. Good colour intensity though. I’m also quite pale, so I was kinda surprised that the lighter nudes totally washed me out. I was like bleached out and looked deathly sick… lol. The makeup artist at Sephora actually recommended that for everyday wear, I should go for a shade with more colour. Thus I opted for the deepest mauve nude, which definitely looked a lot nicer on me. I will give it 3.5 Stars, and will not repurchase.

Double-Ended Complexion Brush: Love the high quality synthetic brush (shown behind the lipstick). It’s perfect for traveling and getting ready at the gym. The firmer side is great for liquid foundation, and the fluffier side for powders. I use it with the Ambient Lighting Palette. Thanks for letting me share! 😀

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Affordable Winter Boots for the Canadian Weather

Michael by Michael Kors FW14 Boots

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I’ve moved back further north to the harsh Canadian Winter where I’m once again faced with the dilemma of finding the perfect winter boots to keep my feet warm, but also stay stylish. I used to go for the designer high heeled boots, but I must be getting old or something cuz they’re not practical enough and I really don’t want to destroy another pair of Prada’s. I really need flat boots, preferably a “motorcycle” style or lug boots. The problem is that I’m short and many boots just don’t seem to fit properly. So after trying on dozens of boots, to my surprise, MMK seems to make somewhat affordable boots that I would not mind wearing for just a season or two and they fit best on me. Here are two that caught my eye and that I can alternate wearing:

1. “Arley” Tall Stretch Leather Moto Boots

There are a couple of varieties of this same boot every season and they’re perfect for right now right before the snow hits. I like the stretchy material and the metal hardware that’s not totally bling’ed out like most MMK’s products. Clearly the logo is still visible, but if anyone is checking out my feet that close, they’d better not mind getting stepped on! 😛

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2. “Fulton” Waterproof Nylon, Leather Trimmed, Faux-Fur Boots

These are actually harder to find and I purchased them the day the boutique received them in stock. They’re definitely going to be my hardcore winter boots when the snow is up to my thighs. I’m pretty picky in that real boots should have tracking and a lot of fashion boots don’t seem to understand this practical fact. They’re really comfy and warm too! I like how I can fold the fur shaft which makes it super cute. I’m not too fond of the big logo, but I guess nothing is perfect…

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