1. 6. Grayburn: March 2009 7.


Blah Monday

Something to lift our spirits on blah Mondays. A group of people in San Francisco dances live ensemble, performing to Bjork's "Oh So Quiet!'. Makes me want to dance along!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com


Celebration Sale @ Joline Jolink

One of my favorite Dutch designer Joline Jolink is having a celebration to mark the 1-year anniversary of their webshop (one that is open to international customers by the way). The sale is good for this weekend only and there is 20% off of their current and their "Hall of Fame" collection. Orders over 200 euros will receive a 6-month free subscription to Elle or Red magazine (for customers living in the Netherlands).

Hurry before her Sun Max dress is sold out!

Website: jolinejolink.com
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)

Chanel Shopping Bag

The black and white paper shopping bag from Chanel is such a symbol of class and luxury. Most often when I see someone walking down the street with one of them in her clutch I immediately have the urge to rush over and see what lovely things she got!

The shopping bags pictured above come from Chanel's Spring Summer 2009 RTW collection and are crafted out of calfskin with hand painted lettering. They come in 3 sizes: large (looks like the one you get when say you have purchased a large purse), medium (the one you get when you have perhaps purchased 2 pairs of sunglasses), and small (the one you get when you buy a lipstick or a rose broche). Colors are in black, white, or pink.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), chanel.com, style.com


Cozy Nights

The good thing about having rotten cold weather (even if Spring is already upon us) is that it feels incredibly cozy indoors. Rather than complaining about the weather like I have been doing, I thought I should just make the best of it and take advantage while we've still got it!

Trying to find a scent that both me and BFOG find likable is an incredibly difficult task. His taste for scents waver from day to day and even depend on the way it is presented to him. As for me, I can love either sweet, spicy, fruity or citrus but the one group of scents that make me absolutely nauseous are 'oceanic' or 'breezy' ones.

So we set off to Lush for something that can agree with both of our noses and that embraces the cozy spirit of the cold weather that we are still having in March.

We had a light lunch and were good to visit the loo beforehand. We were all set to embark on the "Massage Bars" section of the store. To give you an idea, massage bars are these little wonderful massage oil-in-a-bar solid slices that double as body moisturizers. Since all of them are rich in different nourishing butters, they are particularly good for chapped/dry skins. There are over 15 different massage bars to choose from on Lush's website but at the store where we were, there were about 10. We sniffed through the flowery, the chocolatey, and the fruity and used every inch of our arms to swatch. And we repeated the process. After about the third round and twenty buttered-up fingers later, we finally picked our winner! Behold, the Lush Mange Too Massage Bar!

Now this huge bar of white chocolate scented cocoa butter bar laced with honey, mango butter and peppermint isn't for the timid. I mean you can smell it from far away and believe me that once you have used it, you will smell like it the next day as well. A quick sniff and observation of it you'll immediately notice the lingering sweet scent of honey and the adorable honey comb design on top of the bar. Upon further inspection, you might pick up some chocolate or the mint that kind of suggest After Eight mints (I find the dash of mint works well to keep the chocolate and honey 'fresh'). Take that a slight bit further and a few more deep breaths in and you might realize that there is still that extra something you are picking up with your nose. That is indeed the mango butter, that tiny 'kick' in the melange.

Instructions on using a Lush Massage Bar:

Having played with the bar on a cold night I can say that this one is less ready to melt upon contact than the other bars I have tried. Because of what must be a higher content of butters and its thick consistency, it also creates less of a greasy mess than the other bars. Rather than having that yucky greased out feeling, you get instead a well nourished and protected feeling on your skin.

Tip: Keeping your bar safe - the Lush Mange Too will not fit into the Lush tins. If you have any empty The Body Shop body butter containers lying around, the Mange Too fits perfectly in there!

I am curious to find out how you create a cozy feeling on a cold wintry evening?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), lush.com


Junya Watanabe, Katsuya Kamo

I spoke too early. Today, the perky Spring weather I bragged about seems to have disappeared. Wind speed is at 30mph and it is just pouring outside. So looking at the all black Junya Watanabe Fall 2009 photos today seems appropriate.

For our homework assignment this week, our teacher wants us to look at the Spring 2009 Watanabe collection. Instead of doing what I'm supposed to do, I have been side-tracked and have been drawn to the mysterious fall collection (pictured above) seen in Paris.

The element of surprise and drama is kept high even when such a somber palette is used. I find my eyes traveling from one feature to the next, be it the sculptural black wig pieces or the gold chain detailing, without feeling overloaded. Every angle of every model were meticulously thought out which means that one can spend hours on end appreciating the beauty in the littlest of details or the collection in its entirety.

As an aspiring makeup artist, I am completely mesmerized by Katsuya Kamo's work here for the show. The drama of it is in how the model's features were altered, enhanced or minimized by the black-and-white oil portrait effect.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.com


Hello Hydration

I couldn't not share this with you. Herbal Essence is offering a free sample of their haircare products from their Hello Hydration line to anyone who live in the Netherlands. Just follow this link there to fill in your details.....I've already signed up and waiting for my own samples!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Interesting Shapes Spring 2009

Not particularly soft shapes for Spring of 2009. But how these fabric glisten and it all feels refreshing somehow. And I am in love with the strong brows that plays power struggle with the girly pinked lips.

What does everyone think of this image from
Dolce & Gabbana's new ad campaign?

Website: dolcegabbana.com
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)

Paper Fashion

Paper fashion.
Scissor cut and finger folded along the dotted line.
A breath of fresh air.
Its clean lines please.

Website: calvinklein.com
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Growing Pains - One Story On Lashes

All the craze happening at the moment with lash growth serums has me going too. But being quite wary of risks and an unwillingness to part with a big sum had me scavenging around for alternatives. As you might know, I have issues with the lashes I was born with. The numerous times I have talked about different mascaras and my SSS (short, straight, sparse) lashes hopefully did not drive you insane.

A less intimidating option that I have found is from Japan and it is called Avancé Lash Serum EX (pictured above). This little blue glass bottle containing 7ml of clear liquid - a concoction that promises to help repair weak lashes and to encourage lashes to grow stronger and longer. This medicated version is supposedly more potent than the original, which is already a well-received lash serum in both Japan and Taiwan.

Unscrewing the cap on the bottle you will find inside a mascara wand in the clear liquid that is neither thick or thin in consistency. Noticing a slight bit of fragrance, applying the product is easy and never gave me blurred vision. The method I use to apply the product is such: 1. hold wand horizontally to lashes and wiggle the product into lashes, staying close to the roots but never in the eye. 2. hold wand vertically and apply product directly to the root using the tip of the wand. 3. ensure that all lashes (upper and lower) are well saturated but don't get any in the eye.

Result: my last 2 months using this serum is finally paying off. An accident with my metal lash curler which had ripped off a few of my lashes (an incident too traumatic to be told) made a noticeable gap on my upper lashline. However, I noticed stronger and thicker lashes (than before) grow back at 3 weeks after the incident. Now at exactly 2 months after my first application, my lashes are thicker and ever so slightly longer. My lashes feel well conditioned and I am even leaving my volumising mascara behind for the first time in my life!

Websites: Avance-cosme.co.jp
Adambeauty.com (Apprx. 18 USD/13 EUR)

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)

A Fruit Obsession

I am addicted to anything that smells, tastes or remotely looks like pineapples. Why, don't we all have a fruit that we just can't get enough of?

The pineapple has long been used as an aid for intestinal problems. It contains the enzyme bromelain which is good at breaking down proteins. In skincare, pineapples are valued also for bromelain because it gently yet effectively sloughs off dead skin cells and smooths what I refer to as 'beginner' lines. Pineapple's high levels of Vitamins A & C furthers this action and boosts skin's radiance and also feeds the skin with nutrients. The addition of allantoin in the facial mask helps to smooth the skin by increasing extracellular water content while providing wound-healing and anti-irritation properties.

I have been all over my tube of Natura Bisse Ananas Finishing Mask (Mascarilla Revitalizante) for the past few months. If you can imagine a kind of calming pineapple smell, rather than the sensory stimulating kind, this one has it! The mask dries rather quickly, and with a matte finish, but applies creamy. I always feel happier after having pampered myself with it. My mood is brightened and my skin feels refined and softened. I think the mask is well worthwhile for those looking for a weekly treat which helps to gently brighten the complexion and mood.

What is your fruit obsession?

Website: naturabisse.es
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), wikipedia.org


The makeup artist who most accentuates a woman's natural beauty through the use of an earthy palette is Bobbi Brown. She has turned 50 and celebrates that by sharing her secrets in her book "Bobbi Brown Living Beauty".

The following is a short interview Brown did on Barnes & Noble Tagged! (a show hosted by Molly) on her new book "Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual". She explains that the book is just as useful for those who are learning to use makeup as it is for makeup schoolers. I guess I am going to have to go and check this one out....

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), barnesandnoble.com


Daite by Tessa - Knight In Shining Armor

Tessa Koops of Daite brought us colorful, eye-popping coats with her Winter 2009/2010 collection at the AIFW.

Here are only a few looks from the show. The collection surrounds itself around the idea "Knight in shining armor" and dreams of King Arthur and the round table. Perhaps what Guinevere would herself wear in modern times.

With so many colorful choices in coats and sports wear, we are left to dream of our knight in shining armor.....

Website: Daite
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Spring Inspirations - Ready For You H&M

A fresh new campaign from H&M featuring international models Eva Herzigova, Shalom Harlow and Vincent Gallo

prices shown above in euros
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), hm.com



If a product is marked with "Packaged with Biodegradable Materials" or "Green", next to a product that doesn't have similar claims, are we more likely to buy it?

Stéphane Guilbert, a professor of Bio-polymer Science and Engineering warns us of "unwelcome ethical consequences" related to certain 'green' materials used in packaging consumer products today.

Polylactic acid (PLA) - "biodegradable thermoplastic, aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources"; from either corn starch or sugarcane.

--> Issue: the corn used to produce PLA is often genetically modified.

--> Issue: corn and sugarcane are important food sources which means the price of food in developing countries are affected.

Other Issues:
- Some biodegradable packaging cannot be broken down alone without the help of added treatment (something which we cannot easily obtain).

- Bio-plastics are generally not as durable as normal plastics (i.e. sensitivity to moisture, heat) which makes them less reliable when used as packaging material for cosmetics or personal care products.

Bottom line: Rethink 'Green' and question 'natural' + There is a chance that you will find the biodegradable container of your favorite tube of lipstick have melted along with the lipstick itself if you happened to have left it in a hot car.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), cosmeticsdesign-europe.com, foneximhcm.vn, wikipedia.org


Her Name Is Black Onyx

So let me report that my first class in makeup training was nerve-wracking but unquestionably exhilarating at the same time.

We have been given a part of our kit and I have since had a chance to play with some of the items from it. Pictured above is one of the items in the kit that I have come to enjoy working with. Her name is Color Shadow Powder in Black Onyx (M) and Il Makiage is her maker.

As you can see, the shadow has a complete black exterior. The rubbery feel of the top lid gives the container a professional feel in one's hand and finger prints don't seem to get imprinted on its surface as easily as on Nars' packaging.

Black Onyx is a matte true black color. While many matte black shadows can be tricky to work with, this particular one manages to be blendable and with just enough sheerness to enable working in layers. I was surprised that I was able to achieve a smooth winged-eye with a quick flick of a hand. While maintaining its blendability, the powder seem to also have grip on the skin that takes a few moments of rubbing before it will fade.

The maker of the eyeshadow (who has been around since the 70's by the way) has a large range of colors that come in either the matte (M) or iridescent (R) formulation. If all of their products are as outstanding as this little pot of eyeshadow pictured above, I think I have just discovered a new love!

Website: Il Makiage
Color Shadow Powder (5.1 grams)

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)