Birthday Edit: Beauty Favourites

I don’t know about you but I love birthdays. Birthdays are an awesome time because it gives us all a reason to celebrate and also the best part about it, are the gifts!! I’m blessed to have family and friends that remember my special day (Oct 22) and shower me with presents but I always treat myself to something special . This year, is the first one in a long time I have not worked full-time, so gifts to myself comprised of a few special treats in the form of makeup. You’d be surprise how happy it makes my day though!

Over the last month, I have collectively added a few new things to my collection. Some of these were to replace items I have finished using as well (just another excuse really!) Basically I’ve been using and have enjoyed these products for the last month at least.

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Birthday beauty favourites

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser

This is one that I have used before, however I think the last time I purchased this I was colour matched a shade darker and had to mix it with a lighter colour to get the right colour for my skin tone. This is in the shade St. Moritz (Medium 1). I like to use a tinted moisturiser for my everyday face only because it is lighter than a foundation but yet still gives enough coverage and evens out my skin tone. This tinted moisturiser also has SPF 30 which is great for everyday activities outdoors. I find my skin has a dewy finish and the shade matches my colouring perfectly which means I don’t have to put too much concealer after.

The Nars range comes in a variety of colours from fair to darker skin tones which is why they are one of my favourite brands. They are a bit on the pricey side however a little goes a long way. Nars is available online in Australia from Mecca .

Dior Addict lipstick in Gotha 967

The packaging of any of the Dior lipsticks are beautiful. You just want to flaunt it most of the time but do not judge this lipstick by it’s cover. The Dior Addict lipsticks are just like the rest of them. This a new improved formula with a hydra-gel core, is a moisturising lipstick gives off great colour pay off yet has a top-coat shine finish. Gotha is one of the newly released colours and perfect for me. I have been looking for a deeper toned marsala hue for a while so happy to find this one. By wearing this you don’t have to put a gloss over the top and it lasts fairly long through the day, maybe not so much after meal!

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Fig

Another interesting lip product I purchased a few months ago was my first Too Faced purchase. This liquified lipstick is similar to a lip lacquer in terms of it’s texture and long-lasting quality. The colour lasts very long even with eating and drinking but due to the type of longevity it can provide, it is slightly drying. I would also recommend using a lip liner before application to prevent the  smudgy look around the lips. The only con I have with Melted is that the lipstick comes in a tube with a sponge applicator. Too Faced is available in Mecca stores in Australia and online.

 

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Dior Addict in Gotha, Elianto Nail Vernis in Tyrian Purple, MUFE Smoky Lash (brush)

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash mascara

I love mascara. For me it’s one of the most important things to make my face ‘light up’ so to speak. I’ve heard about the MUFE Smoky Lash but only just finally got my hands on it! I can’t believe it’s my first but honestly this is one of the best mascaras I have used. It’s just my personal preference and I like what it does for my lashes.

Elianto Nail Colour in Tyrian Purple A43

This was an impulse purchase really! My reasoning was that it cost $2.50 (RM7) I fell in love with the colour, another dark burgundy hue and bought it. I would like to get my hands on Chanel’s Rouge Noir which I think might be a luxury dupe. The colour payoff is pretty good for a nail polish and quite reasonable. Elianto are a Malaysian brand so unfortunately for my Australia readers you won’t be able to get a hold of this item. Apologies.

 

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Beauty Favourites

Si by Giorgio Armani 

This is probably not-so new anymore. I purchased at airport duty free more than a year ago. When I first bought it, I liked the scent but it wasn’t a great love. I have always thought of it as more of summer scent and with very few warm days (in the Victorian town I live in) I hardly wore it. Since coming back to Malaysia, it is all I ever use. The base notes of this perfume is musky wood with light top fruit accents. It is a sweet yet modern feminine scent. Girly!

 

I have not really spoken much about products on the blog, however I have a confession to make – I am a huge consumer whore! With this, I have decided to do more product reviews to share more about what I trial and test in my daily routine. It will mainly be about skincare and makeup products with the occasional hair and nail care maybe even perfume.  I am finally doing something I have procrastinated for a long time. Any suggestions, are most welcome!

Have a great weekend!

Sarah xo.

 

Birthday Denim // OOTD

Birthdays are always a reason to celebrate, I feel. I like to get dressed up and go out on the town. This is the second year in a row that I have spent my birthday in Malaysia- with my parents. It’s a little bit different compared to when I’m in Australia. My parents who are both a little older are pretty low-key with the birthdays. We generally just have a meal out together and I might get some birthday money to spend, that’s just how they roll.

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I managed to get mum to take a few photos of me. I was a makeup model for beauty school that day so I had my hair and makeup done. The makeup was a little over the top so I did take some off before these photos. The hair was an up-do hairstyle that had curls through it but it was all up that it made it feel like a beehive. Take note, I generally do not have my hair up, ever.  

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This is one of my staple looks while in Malaysia. The denim shirt from Uniqlo was a gifted to me and I love it. The material isn’t too thick which makes it comfortable in 27-30 degree weather. It can be worn smart casual or for a relaxed lazy Sunday out. The skirt is from H&M. I know it’s boring black but this one is in a stretchy fabric and the asymmetrical shape gives it a modern edge. The espadrilles are also from H&M. They are very comfortable and I like that they are a natural nude colour for me. I have worn them in another post here.

To be completely honest, dressing in the hot, humid Malaysian weather is not very exciting. (This is MY own opinion!) I mostly wear flats or sandals. I hate wearing long bottoms (In Malaysia sometimes, this is not an option.) My wardrobe is made up of short skirts and dresses. I work with a capsule, limited wardrobe because I don’t want to have to cart everything back to Australia and I have already accumulated quite a bit of stuff.

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Whilst shopping in Malaysia, I tend to stick to a few brands that go with my style and occasionally I find some bargains! Zara and H&M are my favourite regular shopping haunts. Although these are both currently available in Australia, items are more expensive due to the higher tax on the items sold in Australia. I prefer to shop at these places while on holiday in Malaysia and Europe. Other favourites are Topshop, Forever 21 and Mango.

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One might think that shopping in an Asian country is cheap but there is a disclaimer to this. Malaysia is not like Thailand or Indonesia where the exchange rate and tax is low. The cost of living in Malaysia is relatively higher than the countries mentioned before with Singapore being the only exception. *Off topic: Alcohol in Malaysia is pricey! Also, with all the Chinese imports, you may find really cheap clothes in KL but the quality of these are poor. Not to mention, the sizing caters mostly to smaller figures!

A bit peachy- sneak peek of the makeup look they did for me.

A bit peachy- sneak peek of the makeup look they did for me.

 

I hope you all have a great week and thank you so much to all who have wished me. You have truly made my day! One more year to the big 3-0 and I am already looking forward to the big year I have ahead!!

Sarah xo.

Embroidery & Other Stories

Leopard print. Botanical florals. Polka dots. What do they all have in common? Well, I like them all ! Yes, for as long as I can remember, I have loved embroidery. I especially like floral embroidery but nonetheless still the same thing. I saw this top on ASOS and knew it just had to be mine.

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When I first tried it on, I had little issue with the off-the-shoulder thing because I have broad shoulders but I guess it can be worn several ways. In this look, I wore a simple black ponte skirt however due to the bohemian style of the top, it can be worn with denim shorts or skinny military khaki jeans. The embroidery quality looks really good and it’s a stunner one-of-a-kind top.  The fabric is light and flows with the body which makes it suitable for Malaysian humid weather.  Enough said, I love it!

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A few weeks ago, I had some down time with my fiance, Brian aka Mr SbS. Brian came to visit from Australia and we had a week off together. I’m temporarily in Malaysia for a while, so it was nice to have him with me and just do couple stuff like go to the movies, have dinner dates and just relax. It was a special time for us with his birthday celebration and I’m glad we could spend that time together.

 

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Top: ASOS (Sold Out) Skirt: H&M (Instore) Location: Mandarin Oriental KL

Selfie that had to be done- Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Selfie that had to be done- Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I also thought it would be a great opportunity if I could get him to shoot an outfit for me for Style by Sasha. We talk about it all the time but obviously with the distance it’s impossible! This is just the beginning but keep an out for more of his creative side with more outfits in the future. Thanks babe!

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This was completely candid! I tend to stick my tongue out at times!!

 

Enjoy and have a great week! xo Sarah

The Shelf Life of Makeup

Has it ever occurred to you that your mascara or eyeshadows may have an expiry date on it? Personally, I never realised that all beauty products have a lifespan. At one point, I had a Chanel blusher for 6 years! If you go through a lot of makeup regularly, you may not have this problem. However for those that put on a little bit of blush for a night out or a swipe of lipstick every now and then, one may find themselves with a lot of ‘old makeup’.

 

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Cosmetics just like everything else has an expiration date. Essentially, creams, gels and liquids are prone to spoilage and bacteria can cultivate in these products with time due to factors such as the weather, hygiene and ingredients. As a product ages, it may stop working correctly or instead have negative effects on our skin.

Here are some of the most commonly used products and also ones that’s you’ll have to keep your eye on due to the shorter frequency of turnover. I have compiled these general guidelines from knowledge and bit of research over time.

 

Mascara & Liquid Eyeliner : 3 months

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Eye products have the shortest life spans due to the constant bacterial transfer from makeup applicator to eye. Mascara and liquid eye liner are most common due to their liquid nature which becomes breeding ground for bacteria. Mascara also has a tendency to dry out or clump up with constant use.

 

Lipstick & Lipgloss/Balms : 18 – 24 months

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Thankfully, my most used product has a long lifespan. Lip products have a pretty good long life of up to 2 years due to the ingredients in it and also because contaminated parts can be removed or cut off. For hygiene purposes, try using stick or tubes instead of pot or tub form but if this can’t be helped try using a lip brush for application.

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Liquid Foundations & Liquid or Cream Makeup : 6 months

Liquid foundations have a very-water or oil based nature tend to grow bacteria and mould easily compared to solid, cake formulas. Also, with constant use of fingers and makeup brushes, there is a lot of external bacteria transfer into the product. As these, liquid formulas have a high water or oil content, evaporation over time may cause the product to thicken hence not applying evenly onto the skin.

There are many other products not mentioned such as powder blushers and nail polishes. These products have a longer lifespan ranging between 18-24 months. One has to use their personal judgement and if something looks or smells bad it should be tossed. The only exception is perfume but even this needs to be carefully maintained. Perfume can last up to around 10 years and needs to be keep in a dark, cool place.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Try to use makeup applicator or brushes to apply makeup products to help lower the contamination and contact between cosmetic to skin. Remember, to wash applicators and brushes often (at least once a month, not once a year!).
  • Makeup is a personal product so try and keep it to yourself. In other words, avoid sharing.
  • Check signs of degradation on the products you have. If a product no longer works or smells odd- it is probably a good time to dispose it.
  • Store products in a cool, dry and dark location such as a drawer or cupboard. Avoid places that attract heat and humidity.

 

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All in all, I would say that it is probably best to keep cosmetics to a minimal or manageable amount. As I always say, quality over quantity. Invest in some good quality brands that have better ingredients and buy items that you will take pleasure and enjoy using.

Do you have any ‘old makeup’ and is it time to cull your makeup collection? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

xo Sarah

Travel Guide to Penang

Penang, the Pearl of the Orient as it is known is one of Malaysia’s largest islands.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit, it will truly be a feast to the eyes and also one’s stomach. This post has been well overdue as I visited this beautiful island in May 2015 but it is still fresh in my memory. I came to the island a lot as a kid so there are many good memories for me here. Part of my family tree originates from Penang so I was glad to rediscover Georgetown.  This was my first trip to the island in 10 years and the island has developed and grown a lot in the last decade.

Little Children on a Bicycle by Ernest Zacharevic

Little Children on a Bicycle by Ernest Zacharevic

Get there

To get to the island, there are a few options depending on your time and budget. The most convenient mode of getting to the island is via plane. The plane journey on Air Asia is about 45 minutes and tickets cost approximately RM50-100 (AUD$20-40) one way from Kuala Lumpur. Otherwise, there are buses and trains that can take you there. Road journeys would require a bit of time as it 3-4 hours from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city.

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Lanescapes

Stay

We stayed at a boutique hotel, Noordin Street House which is located in the historical area of Georgetown in Penang. If you’re looking to splurge the Eastern & Oriental Hotel is highly recommended. There are also many budget options closer to the heritage site areas. If the beach life is what you prefer, the Shangri-La located in the Batu Ferringhi area exudes romance paired with resort facilities.

Carpet in our Sutera room at Noordin

Carpet in our Sutera room at Noordin

See & Do

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

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Exterior facade – Terrible photo op!

This mansion is a recreation of the historical Peranakan culture in Penang. Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya originates from the Chinese immigrants who came to settle in Malaya (as it was known then). It was also the beginning of inter-marriages between with the local Malays creating some background of cultural influences in Penang today. Along with the beautiful and ornate architecture the mansion is also rich in history. One of better cultural museums in Penang -for those history buffs.

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Courtyard at the Pinang Peranakan Museum

 

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Just a bit grand dining room

 

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If only they still made houses like this…

 

I have a thing about looking down- Beautiful tiles from the 15th -17th century

Looking down- Beautiful tiles from the 15th -17th century

Wedding outfit for the women

Wedding outfit for the women

 

Khoo Kongsi

There are many clan houses and temples in Penang however Mr SbS and I did not want to be ‘templed-out’ so we decided to choose one place for the experience and we were glad Khoo Kongsi hit the spot perfectly in this respect. This is one of the wealthiest Hokkien clans, Khoo and the temple has stood in this area since 1851. It was burnt down in 1894  due to lightning and a scaled down version was built and completed in 1906. Due to its location in the UNESCO World Heritage area of Georgetown, it is a very popular tourist interest. It was definitely interesting for me personally, to see a different side to Penang’s history.

Khoo Kongsi clanhouse

Khoo Kongsi clanhouse

 

Dragon gargoyle. It had balls in it’s mouth. Interesting..

 

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So much detail embedded into the architecture

 

Temple in clan house

Temple in clan house

 

Penang Street Art

One of the highlights of Georgetown is the street art. Most of these beautiful murals were painted by Lithuanian street artist, Ernest Zacharevic and can be found all over the Heritage Zone in alleyways and streets making it an interesting art trail for tourists and local alike. We had fun walking through the streets spotting them!

Little Girl in Blue on Muntri Street

Little Girl in Blue on Muntri Street

 

 

Fortune Cat on Armenian Street

Fortune Cat on Armenian Street

 

Dog behind Edelweiss Cafe

Dog behind Edelweiss Cafe

 

Chew Jetty – This is one of the more popular jetties of Chinese settlements in Penang. These water villages are over a century old and are named after a Chinese clan. One can see a bit of village life however the area is slightly touristic probably not as authentic as we imagined it would be.

Fishing village

Fishing village

 

Jetty observation

Jetty observation

 

At the end of Chew Jetty

At the end of Chew Jetty

 

Camera Museum – Great for photographers and camera buffs alike. Visit if you have some time to spare.

Not to be confused with the Asia Camera Museum

Not to be confused with the Asia Camera Museum

 

Photog-haven!

Photog-haven!

 

Having a bit of fun!

Having a bit of fun! Photo by Brian

Penang Hill -Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side for a couple of days and due to time we couldn’t visit but if you get the chance, do this. There is a cable car that takes you up the top of Penang’s highest point. Maybe next time!

 

Eat & Drink

Coconut ice cream! YUM!!

Coconut ice cream! YUM!!

Penang is a food haven having a plethora of influences through history and cultures. This place is known for it’s food like most of Malaysia. Mr SbS and I sampled many types of local cuisine but here are some of our favourites:

Feringghi Garden- Recommended by Deanna, a friend of ours, we travelled to Batu Feringghi to check the night life out and sample the seafood. Fine dining Fusion cuisine and very good. Definitely worth a try!

Noor & Dean’s Cafe- We stayed at the boutique hotel upstairs so we conveniently ate here for breakfast and dinner. They serve a combination of Penang and Western cuisine. Meals are reputable and top notch, very well priced too.

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol on Penang Road – Here one will find Assam Laksa and Chendol which are (in my opinion) two local dishes you cannot miss while on the island.

Assam Laksa- one of my favourites

Assam Laksa- one of my favourites

Mish Mash – Located in the heart of the heritage area on Love Lane, Mish Mash is a little gem. For those who love a tipple, the fun begins at happy hour and carries on through the night. This cigar bar is perfect with selection of craft beers and cocktails for a bit of Penang night life.

If you need decent cups of coffee like me, look for McCallum Connoisseurs, situated in a kinda-off-the-grid area but makes really awesone visit. This place also serves as a roastery and cafe academy which drew Mr Sbs immediately. I cannot recommend the place enough. Although we only had coffee and cake, the food looked amazing and staff are also brilliant. The Mugshot Cafe, is another great place to chill after walking the UNESCO heritage Chulia Street and surrounding area.

 

Intricate exterior

Intricate exterior

 

Pretty walls of colour

Pretty walls of colour

 

Detail in doors

Detail in doors

 

Frangipani tree

Frangipani tree

 

Khoo Kongsi

Khoo Kongsi

 

I hope you enjoyed this travel guide. I love travelling and I’m glad I can share my adventures with you here.

I have just returned from a week long holiday and another week long recovery period from a terrible bout of food poisoning. Mishaps! Oh well, I have many posts lined up already and am excited for the month of October, my birthday month!!!

Hope you have an awesome week ahead!

Sarah xo.

 

All photos by me unless otherwise stated.