Top 5 Current Favourite Foundations

Hi Guys,

Back at you with another post, today I’m going to talk favourite foundations EVER! As a blogger I tend to try out lots of products including foundations and can say that some don’t live up to the hype and some do. Some I try because its a new release from a brand I love and I end up either falling in love or trying to give it away to a friend that can use my shade.

Foundations are tricky and often very personal as I have friends that say they hate ones I love. This has a lot to do with the fact that not everyone has the same skin tone, texture or colour. We all are different and the way foundations are marketed means that certain ones are targeted towards oily skin, dry etc….and for the finish itself such as dewy or matte. A foundation marked for oily skin that is matte may not work for my skin but for my friends it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

So here it goes my Top 5 as of NOW (these are in no particular order)! Also, worth noting this will probably change as new foundations get released this year…

Dior – Diorskin Forever Foundation

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This is pretty much my go to foundation on a daily basis. The great thing about this is that it sits on the skin so nicely and you don’t need a lot of product to get the coverage you need. It is lightweight and has a matte finish but if you add some of those Cover FX Enhancer drops, the highlighter ones you will get a dewy look. It is versatile and the first foundation I fell in love with. There is something about this that makes the skin look better each time you use it.

Side note: I’m a Dior girl in relation to makeup so I’ve had to be super critical of all the Dior foundations and only include ones that are truly great. 

IT Cosmetics – Your Skin But Better CC + Illumination Cream

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Technically this product is a CC cream but it certainly does not feel that way when you apply it. To me this a full fledged foundation. This is the illumination version and personally I prefer it to the original but they are both fantastic so you will not lose out either way. What I love about this is that it makes your skin look like skin without feeling like you have foundation packed on. I love that a little goes a long way and it offers radiance and a little glowiness to your face without looking like you are covered in glitter. I find this is a great travel foundation as I pack the mini version in my hand carry on. I just apply a little to the areas I need to and add a bit of a concealer and voila I’m ready to hop of the plane without looking like a dehydrated mess!

Dior Airflash Spray Foundation

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This product is insane!!!! It’s a spray can with foundation in it. I hear you are thinking how does this possibly work as aerosol sprays tend to not give you control of the product. I agreed with this argument initially until I got the lady at the Dior counter to actually try it on me. After that I was sold! Yes, you can spray the foundation directly onto the face and it gives a very fine mist of product that goes on lightly to the skin then you would go in with your brush to blend. However, my preferred method is spraying onto my brush from a reasonable distance and then use the brush to buff in the product. It goes on a dream and gives a flawless finish that evens out complexion and makes the skin smooth. It really does give you an airbrushed look. Every time I wear this people compliment me on my makeup and how good my skin looks.

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

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This is a holy grail foundation amongst many people including makeup artists. It’s just too good. It is what it says it is luminous and gives a glowy finish. It is buildable so if you need full coverage you can have it and doesn’t dry out the skin if wearing for a full 8 hour day. This was my go to foundation when I worked in an office as it just looked effortless and natural whilst not drying my skin out.

If you don’t like a dewy finish I would not suggest this and would recommend the Giorgio Armani Power Fabric foundation which is the luminous silk counterpart but has a matte finish and long wearing if need to go beyond 6 – 8 hours.

Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup 

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This foundation sits alongside the super popular Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup but this is much lighter and water based compared to the original. The Double Wear Stay-In-Place can be quite heavy and matte. This version is great for those that need a foundation that is light weight and living or going on holiday where the climate is warm or hot. This is perfect as it doesn’t melt off your face after being in the sun and by just walking about. For me I tend to use a little bit of this and work with my concealers to give me the perfect coverage without wearing too much makeup. It is hard for us girls who want to wear makeup but the climate doesn’t really suit it so you have to be inventive on how you use your products. The finish is beautiful and allows your skin to breathe whilst covering imperfections as well. This is a winner!!!

That’s it! My current 5 favourite foundations….that was harder than I thought to narrow it down. I have many that I do love so it was a tight call in many cases but I have to say I’m pretty happy with the ones I have here now.

Special mentions:

 

See you next time – the expat xxx

New videos up

Hi Guys

I have a few new videos up which are worth checking out if you want a sneak peek into my travel bag and want to know what my morning skincare routine is.

Also, if you want to be kept up to date with all my video content please subscribe to my channel.

the expat xx

The Return of Monogram and Logos Everywhere…

So it turns out the 90s and early 2000s has returned in full force. I have seen many of the major fashion houses return to their signature monogram on accessories, shoes and ready to wear. Obviously it never really left Louis Vuitton as their monogram bags are some of the most affordable in their line and classic to boot.

I am talking about the Dior monogram that adorned the classic Saddle bag. First I can’t believe they re-released the Saddle bag with their signature monogram, I’m all but drooling all over my keyboard for this pic.

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I’m not sure I can justify the Fall 2018 version but there are plenty of vintage bags on the market that you can pick up for a steal. I might be in fact doing that right now in my second tab trying to find the bargain of the century…😆

In other brands Gucci has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Alessandro Michele. They not only make me want to buy Gucci but want me to dive back into their archives waiting for the return of one of their classics. This can be seen in the Ophidia line and I’m particularly fond of this one. It has a vintage feel and a classic camera bag shape which lends itself to ease of wear and accessibility.

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The other brand that has brought the monogram back in a bag way is Fendi with their beloved Zucca print. As far as I’m aware this print has been a part of Fendi since the 60s and has had a huge resurgence in the last two seasons. Everyone I know who loves fashion is after the Zucca print in the Kan I and Peekaboo styles. Personally if I had to choose I would pick the Kan I in the leather and velvet combination…😱

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Fashion is cyclical and all the trends that existed in a particular period are in one way or another reinterpreted for a new era and generation. Fashion is fickle one minute the logo is too much and the next; bloggers and celebrities alike are adopting the monogram back into their wardrobes. This creates hype for these styles and then they sell out making us want it even more now that it’s not readily available. I’m not just saying this is applicable to only bags either because in clothing we are seeing a love of all things monogram. This is evident by Kim Kardashian West who wore head-to-toe Fendi with the double F logo. If you haven’t seen it get onto it ASAP!!!!

This is how the fashion industry sets the trends and ultimately creates the look of the season or year which will then filter down into the H&M, Topshop and Zara of the word who present the logo trend on a friendlier budget. I can only say this is a trend and who knows how long these classic monogram pieces will stick around for but at the moment the monogram logo is here to stay.

the expat

 

 

 

To Not Be A Typical Asian

So today’s post is slightly different as its about me and sort of a personal essay about growing up here in Melbourne. I did spend a lot of time as a child living overseas but I couldn’t really say I thought about much of this then only really in my teens and now.

I’m a 3rd generation Australian, my grandparents were the migrants that came to start a new life here. I don’t have any connection to the homeland or the places that inform my background other than what my family does now in terms of traditions. These traditions are tied to a sense of family and almost always surrounded by the food from my Chinese and Sri Lankan background.

Yes, you read that right, Chinese and Sri Lankan. I’m mixed and whilst being of a mixed race or ethnic background is very common in our globalised world I’ve been made aware by friends and strangers alike that this is not very common a mix. Mainly strangers express disbelief and ask me; are you sure? Of course, do you think I wouldn’t know my own ethnic background! My favourite of course are those that truly believe that I must be half white and some form of half Asian as explained by my semi-American, specifically Texan accent mixed with in with the Aussie one. I find this bizarre and funny…

In saying all this I’m very proud to have this background as it is what makes me ME. I am also extremely lucky to have never personally experienced anything racist or been judged on my background. I cannot say the same for my parents or my grandparents though. I very much consider myself to be Australian and growing up particularly as a teenager and as an adult now I did and do wonder if I was the “non-typical Asian” for both my Chinese and Sri Lankan sides. I didn’t attend Chinese school on the weekends or speak any language other than English at home.

I have grappled with this concept of being a “non-typical Asian” most of my adult life and to be honest I think I have pushed away from my “Asianness” not because I’m ashamed or don’t like my cultural background but because in someways I cannot connect to it. I’ve grown up in the US and Australia and remained in Australia through university and majority of my working career. As a teenager at school this was all I knew and often couldn’t understand why some of my friends who were also Asian were saying they couldn’t do certain things such as sleepovers or take public transport to Camberwell on a Friday after school. I obviously could if I asked my parents politely and they knew where I was going and who I was with. To ask your parents to go out was unthinkable for some of my Asian friends and sometimes involved elaborate lies of where they were and what they were doing.

To them I was the most Australian Asian they have ever met and I had the best life. My husband to this day thinks this and I guess thats what happens for 3rd generation and beyond. What I have come to realise is that my family assimilated over time and those cultural customs and attitudes slowly faded away. That is not to say everything has as there are some things that still stick and what I see now is that it must be hard to keep them alive over extended periods of times and I guess thats what my friends parents were trying to do….

I was raised with my family’s cultural upbringings but also with the sense to explore things like the arts and sport. I had the chance to be in bands and get the thrill of hearing an audience give a round of applause to me and my fellow bandmates; perform in plays at school; and play different sports each season that even included weekends where my parents ferried me to different matches all year. In saying all this they knew the importance of education and making sure I did well in school. I knew I personally wouldn’t be a lawyer or a doctor but there were other things that I was passionate about like reading, writing, politics, fashion and art for example. I was allowed to discover what I wanted to do on my own. This is considered not very Asian at all as I was not pushed into a career field, I was allowed to explore as long as I had a plan and was not aimlessly siting on my butt for days.

I now know I didn’t have a typically Asian upbringing which ended up informing the way I feel as a “non-typical Asian”. I didn’t know better and I just grew up the way I was meant to. I am proud of my background and the cultures that I come from and I think I will always feel not very Asian despite my appearance but that is ok. I have been carving out my own traditions now with my husband who is also from another background and we just keep moving forward with our heritage with us.

Handbag Wishlist 2018

Hi everyone…

So today I decided to delve into my 2018 handbag wishlist. Now I pride myself in trying to make smart decisions for where I spend my money as well as items that are classic and will stand the test of time. It is on my wishlist because I love the piece not because it holds its value on reselling. If I do ever sell a piece it is because it ended up not fitting into my lifestyle or to fund another purchase…one in one out kind of thing.

Also, fair warning this is wishlist and therefore price and budget were not considered in me wanting these items. A girl can dream right…

Hermes Kelly Sellier

  • 32 in Etain or Vert de gris
  • Palladium hardware.
  • Togo or Epsom leather.

This is the dream bag for me and if I ever manage to get my hands on it I will have made it hahaha….Hermes kelly vert de gris

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Prada Cahier bag 

The small green one or scrumptious velvet version; either or will do. This bag has been on my radar for ages but I am worried if it is something I won’t reach for in 2 years time. The velvet might seem too trendy so for now it stays on the wishlist and the small green one might come into my hands one day.

prada cahier bag

prada cahier velvet

Senreve Maestra bag in Cream

This bag seems incredibly practical for those on the go and who need their laptop with them everyday. I love bags that combine a beautiful aesthetic with organisation. This bag does that with heaps of internal pockets so you can access your daily essentials plus it even has its own padded laptop compartment. Oh, did I tell you it doubles as a crossbody and a backpack!!!

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Cafune Basket Bucket

I love a bucket bag but this super structured one just speaks to me. I’ve been on the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag train since Day 1 so it is no surprise I would fall for something like this. The mini one is also super cute if you want to downsize.

 

 

They also make this stunning velvet bag and for me this is a more affordable option to get on the velvet bandwagon then the Prada one.

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Saint Laurent College Bag Large

This bag has been sitting in the back of my mind for ages. At first I preferred the Loulou shoulder bag but then I realised I can’t do without a top handle. I would only want this bag in black with black hardware as the all black look of this bag is to die for. I’ve never wanted a Saint Laurent bag this much.

saint laurent black and black hardware college bag

Ok, that is it for me. My handbag wishlist does change often so keep reading as you never know I might mention something completely different next time. For now, I probably won’t be purchasing any of these as I will stick to my trusty Chanel Gabrielle and Lady Dior but if I had to pick one to purchase it would definitely be the…..Senreve Maestra. It has everything I could want these day in a bag and for an affordable price.

See you next time!!!

Beautiful Jewels

Hi guys

Apologies for being so long between posts…it has been a crazy dash to December.

I just wanted to share with you today the beautiful Ananda Soul they make the amazing beautiful jewellery that has a philanthropic aspect to their business. This ensures products are ethically made and  in ensuring that people are paid fairly for their services. The part I particularly love is the company supports women and children in the areas where their products are made. Currently this includes employing mothers of street children in Bali so that their children get to go to school and the cycle of poverty can be broken. What a great idea!!!

Apart from their great message their jewellery is amazing. I have picked up a few pieces myself and I continue to be on the lookout for other great pieces.

Here are some great pieces to go check out.

This one is next on my list…this is a gorgeous gold cuff

soul purpose bracelet

RL…christmas pressent?

wise wild and free ring

This stone is Citrine and is known for its power to give you success and wealth. I wear my one everyday…

live your dream ring

This crown like ring looks amazing on the thumb

trust your strenth ring

This stunning necklace holds a special place in my place as I am a true believer in the power of Ganesha to bring success and ward off any evil. It also comes with a small Peridot stone which is the my birth stone

hold my hand necklance

The Hamsa bracelet is GORGEOUS and symbolises protection against negativity and gives the wearer good fortune and peace.

hamsa bracelet

These are some of my favourite pieces that either I am eyeing off for myself or already have on my finger at the moment. Please check them out this brand has everything on point!!

the expat xoxo

My Bali…

Hi everyone welcome back..

Today I wanted to share with you some of my key spots in Bali. I have been here enough times to be able to say I have found some gems even if they are well known about amongst locals and expats here.

I wanted to share these places with you but also have a little twist by partnering with      X Nihilo on showcasing there wonderful bags in paradise here on the island. The bags featured here are the X Nihilo Milford (Tan) and X Nihilo Eight bag (Gold).

This weekend I was lucky enough to stay at Katamama; a modern boutique hotel that sits next to Potato Head Beach Club. I definitely took advantage of that plus there is a MoVida there too (yes the one from Melbourne).

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Since I was staying at Katamama I was able to reserve the day bed for Potato Head. Normally you have to lineup to get the best spot at this popular beach club but no, not us! We reserved our spot and arrived at 11am the next day (best to book 24 hrs in advance). This was a completely chilled day.  I just took it all in by admiring my beach front view and sunbaking. The best bit is when it gets a little too hot I jumped into the pool and a had a few sneaky cocktails to match. I also did manage a nap as well…hahaha

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Another one of my fave places to check out is MoVida as you can experience a fine dining experience at a discounted price. A few good things about being in Bali is that food is generally cheaper even if you do go all out and splurge at a MoVida like restaurant. There is also a great bar attached to Katamama’s lobby – Akademi. Please check this out as you are allowed to make the cocktails you order. What a great experience!!

Another one of my favourite things to do is wander up an down Seminyak’s main strip and enjoy a coffee at the best coffee shop in Bali Revolver Espresso. These guys make the best iced latte in the whole of Bali and to top it off they are unbelievably nice. They also make a killer chilli margarita (Angel Eyes)…💥 bet you never had one of those before!!!

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Also, another great coffee stop is Coffee Cartel which has a wide variety of weird and wonderful lattes like the Beetroot latte and Charcoal latte. The colours are enough to excite the young and the old. I must say they do taste pretty good!

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I would also take the opportunity to wonder around the street and enjoy everything Bali has to offer. There is so much to do here and everyplace has its great things to do. There are many shops/boutiques in Seminyak worth checking out like Magali Pascal & Bamboo Blonde. Both worthy stores with Magali Pascal being the more higher end boutique. Also, check out the wide range of homeware stores as they will sure inspire you to redecorate your home. My go to place is near Sea Circus and is called Satunama. There is an eclectic array of homewares from woven bags to decorative statues and everything in between.

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On a side note, I just want to say how great and versatile both my X Nihilo bags are. The Milford in the tan is probably more practical and everyday…just as a bucket bag that can carry all your daily essentials. But the Eight…OMG. This has grabbed so much attention and did so in Bali. A few tourists did ask me where my bag was from and I’m eyeing off the silver mini version 😂

Be sure to check them out on Instagram and on their website…well worth it. Also, checkout my unboxing video on YT if you want to see my first impressions of the bag.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as its been a pleasure to shoot this and explore My Bali…

See you next time xxxo – the expat

 

NGV The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture

Hi Guys,

Welcome back. So many things happening at the moment. I want to share so badly what I have been working on but trying to keep things quiet for now. Something I can share is Bare Cactus, please check out Bare Cactus on Instagram. Obviously not fully operational yet but there is so much more to come in that space.

Aside from that since I have been back in Melbourne I was lucky enough to get myself the the NGV for the Dior exhibition. I have been waiting for this for months and unfortunately I had left when it stared but I have managed to get to this stunning exhibition! I of course accessorised with a stunning Dior piece which you may hear more about later.

I felt truly overwhelmed by the whole experience and being in the room with couture pieces. I’m just so in awe of Mr. Dior’s work particularly around those tailored pieces. I love the suiting and the “Bar Jacket”. There is something magical about those full skirts with the matching jacket. Also, looking at the transition from one creative director to another such as Galliano > Simons > Chiuri. Its fascinating to see the change in direction.

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Apologies you can see me in the mirror but you can catch a glimpse of my limited edition Lady Dior bag…😉

I think my favourite part was understanding a bit more about the Atelier. I am so fascinated about how these beautiful pieces are hand sewn and the craftsmanship involved. I have watched the Dior doco “Dior and I” and fell in love with their personality and ability to bring the design to life.

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Galliano, oh my!!! Galliano left the House of Dior under controversy but you cannot deny the talent involved for some of his work. It is outrageous in many ways but one has to appreciate the creativity and art involved. I just think of the effort to get a design like that on a runway.

The era of Raf Simons is my favourite personally and thats only because I am fairly minimalist and love tailoring. So to be able to see pieces off the runway of past seasons was just 😱 for me. The red coat below is something I could see in my wardrobe now so thats why I think Simons make clothes for women now and in this time.

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Looking forward I’m in awe of the way in which Maria Grazia Chiuri has made Dior her own. Having a female at the head has encouraged a different perspective on what I see as classic Dior. There are not so many tailored jackets and full skirts but soft pieces with the use of intricate beading. I am in love with the new design of the Lady Dior that I had to get one myself. The use of sheer materials and berets, plus the reinvention of the classic t-shirt has just brought more people to Dior. I didn’t think I would fall hard after Raf left but I have. She will bring a whole new generation to the House of Dior.

Look at this stunning custom Dior wedding dress for Miranda Kerr. The detail up close is unbelievable and a photo doesn’t do it justice.

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Here are some other pics I managed to grab…I was so gobsmacked that some of the photography might be a little dodgy…hahaha!!!

Its been a week since I’ve been and I am still thinking about it. I managed to purchase the coffee table book. It is $59 AUD which is not bad and was able to get a print which I am going to frame for my house. I knew I would be sucked in.

Also, I went to see this alone which was so much easier for me to take everything in at my pace. It is great to have friends/family going with you but I found it to be a nice stroll around the gallery. I didn’t get distracted and I actually spent the time in parts of the exhibition where I wanted to be.

I can’t recommend this exhibition enough so if you can get yourself along to it. It ends early November .

See you next time xoxox

 

 

What I’ve been up to

Hi Guys,

I am now back in Melbourne as we are waiting out this volcano situation. As much as I would love to be in Bali my husband was travelling in Oz for work and he was uncomfortable about me being in Bali on my own.

In any case I’m enjoying Melbourne now as its officially SPRING!!!. I’m going to head to the NGV for the Dior exhibition and I cannot wait. Look out for a blog post for that.

Aside from that I managed to get a new video up for a carefree makeup look in Bali. As I said in the video, the lighting is not that great. I hope you enjoy this video and look out for a reveal video shortly.

See you next time. The expat xxx

Tegenungan Waterfall

Hi All

I am back at it today with a more travel related post. I know I have bombarded you with fashion related posts 🙂 I do like to mix things up a bit so that you guys can see beautiful Bali. Also, a Bali beyond Kuta and a typical night out.

On Sunday R and I managed to finally get out and about in Bali. There is lots to see and we booked a driver for the whole day. Tegenungan is about an hour away from Sanur but depending on traffic it could be longer. The rule here, make time for traffic as it can sneak up on you.

We had a beautiful time. Once we got there we had to pay a fee to get in and there was a little walk to get to see the waterfall. The walk itself was a little bit rocky at times and there is a little climbing so I suggest wearing closed shoes, the best is a trainer of some sort. I saw girls and guys in flip flops and sandals and I wondered how they were comfortable trekking down then up.

It was nice to get out and about in nature and I did take a dip under the waterfall. You are not allowed to get too close but you can experience that feeling of the mist covering you. Also, worth noting is that when you do go into the water the ground is very rocky so if you have some proper water shoes thats great too. I didn’t and went barefoot so I experienced some pain walking around an not in a good foot massage way. We enjoyed the beauty and we got to walk to the top which was nice to see the waterfall from the top down. There is some beautiful artwork done there through rocks. It is a stunning waterfall but I hear there are some even better ones around Bali so those are on my list too. I’m hoping to get to them.

We also managed to make a quick stop to the Kopi Luwak plantation. We got to see the Luwak animal and see how it goes from 💩 to how it gets roasted and then gets to your coffee. Very interesting indeed. I believe Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee so worth visiting if you like your coffee. We got to do some tasting of some teas and other coffees made at the plantation. There was a beautiful Mangosteen tea and a lovely coconut coffee. These are free to try when you visit and you only have to pay to try the Kopi Luwak or if you want to purchase any of the ones you tasted. Of course we did try the Kopi Luwak and I must say it is smooth but I am not sure I would drink that on a day-to-day basis. I ended up only purchasing a herbal tea. No Kopi Luwak for me.

What an amazing day we had. We also managed to get a quick trip to Hakata ikkousha ramen which is lovely. Ramen is not readily available in Sanur so this was a treat.

I managed to capture some beautiful shots that I thought I would share with you all. A video is to come as well…

See you next time. The expat in Bali