May 27, 2015

Beauty essentials

I'm fairly minimal when it comes to my makeup routine. If I were only allowed two products in my life, they'd definitely be some sort of eyebrow pencil and an eyelash curler. In fact, I won't ever leave my apartment without at least applying those two things. But since I'm not actually limited to that, I allow myself a few more products. These eight are a mix of current and long-time favorites.

Tom Ford Brow Sculptor – I've tried my fair share of brow pencils, but I always return to this one as my holy grail. Maybe for the shape and hardness of the applicator. It's not cheap (especially at the rate I go through these things) but I feel like good brows help frame the rest of my face and makeup.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler – I've been using this curler since I was, like, 18. It lets me get super close to my eyelash base and never jams my lashes or yanks them out, like other ones I've experimented with. My natural lashes stick straight down, so this product is a godsend.

RMS "Un" Cover-Up (Shade 22) – I was on a total makeup ban when I bought this, but when the founder, Rose-Marie Swift, herself is manning her counter at ABC Home, you get the hell off your ban and listen to what she says. This is probably the first concealer I've ever bought. I just was always too lazy to deal with concealing, or I felt like it didn't actually do the job. What I love about this is that it's lightweight and can practically be used as a foundation. It also blends super easily.

Tom Ford Lipstick in 'Flame' – When I want to feel just a little extra fancy, I reach for this fail-proof fiery orange-ish red. It has a nice matte finish too, without feeling dry. And I'm always shocked after a whole meal with drinking and all that the product is still on my lips!

Benefit 'They're Real' Mascara – Again, I have experimented for years with other brands and much fancier, pricier mascaras. There was a point in my life where I didn't have to actually buy mascara for as long as I can remember because I got so many samples from just being a loyal Sephora shopper and redeeming points. When I do finally have to buy it, it's always this guy. It doesn't run even when I bawl my eyes out and it gives my lashes great volume without weighing me down.

Anastasia Clear Brow Gel – Of course, I now have to set my brows after treating them to the brow sculptor. I've found that this gel makes the brow pencil last much longer, especially on sweaty days. In a wonderful coincidence recently, I was just about to have to replace my last one and it happened to be in an amazing package the kind folks at Tieks sent over.

Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino – I'm not one of those ladies who has a signature scent quite yet. I like having fun with many scents depending on my mood and the season. This is the scent I'll be wearing all summer long, for sure. Now if only it could actually transport me to the Italian Riviera...

RMS Living Luminizer – Naturally I picked this up on the same trip as the concealer. I instantly just feel a little bit prettier when I put this on. I mostly dab it on the high part of my cheekbones, but you can use it in so many places to highlight. It gives my skin a glow without making me feel glittery. Another huge perk of RMS products are that their compact sizes make them particularly travel-friendly. Highly recommend! Also sold here and here.

Whenever I travel and have to edit down all my products to fit in a small dopp kit, you can bet all of these are coming with me (though I'll probably opt for a travel-size of the perfume to save space). I'll likely do another post in this series of my long-time skincare favorites, though that's a bit trickier since I'm always trying new things.

May 19, 2015

Unlock your wish

In the final chapter of my collaboration with Cartier, I hoped to explore the idea of unlocking a dream or wish with this personal talisman. It's a little hard to explain the meta-nature of this post, because it was the act of conceptualizing this post and making these photos happen that really WAS my wish. Having my wish come true is being able to express myself in my photography and to have the ideas in my head be translated into something I can share with others. I am the happiest when doing so. Sometimes my friends hear me joke that when I'm not shooting or shopping, I'm rather depressed, and the part about shooting really is true. If I'm not producing work, I feel lost and don't know who I am.

Here I tried to convey the simple act of falling asleep on the sofa, lost in the dream world that the Amulette unlocks.

Shot on a grey rainy day, the darkness of my living room was the perfect backdrop for this series.

So long as I can continue to make this dream my reality, I don't really need to wish for anything else.

Outfit details: Theory Top | Self-Portrait Skirt (find similar here and here)

May 13, 2015

A good Paris haul

How can one return from Paris empty-handed? I never can resist the shopping in Paris (see December's pick ups here). Last week, I found myself in this magical place again to shoot an editorial on Paris food (hello, dream job). I took the opportunity to extend my trip through the weekend and came home with quite a few goodies this time.

Where do I even begin? And how have I not stocked up on more photography books in the past? I wanted just about everything from Artazart but was worried my luggage would be overweight. It turned out I was still 2kg underweight, so I totally could have bought more books. As luck would have it, I'm going back to Paris in three weeks, so a luggage full of books might be coming back with me... I picked up these two immensely inspiring books for now and an issue of Red Visitor Magazine.

I also underpacked clothing-wise, so naturally bought a striped shirt (this one's from Saint James) to tide me over my trip.

This tank was a quick and easy purchase from Printemps on the last day. It'll be perfect for the impending humid summer and is surprisingly 100% cotton (it felt like a synthetic to the touch, but in a good way). And I'd been wanting to try this Flower Mask Gel Mask for years but always talked myself out of it as it'd be a total indulgence for my face. Let's see if it's as magical as people say it is.

Peeking from the edges are a green Goyard tote (needs no introduction) and a pouch/wristlet from a new-to-me (though it's been around since 1717) brand, Fauré Le Page. Kat from Feather Factor introduced me to the brand recently and I am super happy with this purchase. I think it will be either a great organizer in a larger bag or a great casual clutch.

Hello, beautiful ceramics. I may have to do a separate post on this ceramicist, especially if I can visit again on the next trip, but wow. Really really beautiful things coming out of Emmanuelle Wittmann's studio. I almost don't want to share this info because the pieces are so one-of-a-kind and I selfishly want to have my pick the next time I visit! The marbled egg and coral-looking rock are from a fantastic junk store in the 11th. I can't remember the name, but it's right on the Rue de Charonne near Clamato.

The perfect sling-black black flats are from none other than Hermes. The problem with their shoes is they feel too beautiful to actually wear. I seriously want to put all of the protection on them before introducing them to NYC concrete.

Another favorite shop from this trip was Ofr. Librairie . I was completely smitten with the Portraits de Villes collection they carried, which are basically little photo essays of cities around the world but seen from an inspiring and unique point of view. I think I had nearly a dozen in my hand before controlling myself to just start off with a few (at 19 Euros a piece, it adds up quickly!).

From Merci, I picked up napkin linens and a great hand towel. And from Buly 1803 (an old favorite), I got a lotion that's almost too pretty to use.

I think that about covers it. Scattered around are some food souvenirs. I may need to bring a small cooler next time to bring back all the things I really want to bring back (read: Bordier butter). Now if only my French were as good as my ability to shop in France.