Wedding Makeup

29 July 2013

Although I have a lot of interest in skincare, make up and general beauty chatter, I am not one to wear particularly dramatic or adventurous looks on my face. I have a basic routine I stick to, and while I like to switch up the products I use, the look I achieve is fairly... average.

Which is one of the reasons why I have opted to do my own make up for the wedding day. Not that I want to look "average", per se, and I have no doubt that a professional would do a great job for me. But as much as I would like to look my best on the day, I am so looking forward to the time I will have with my bridesmaids while we all make up our faces and help each other with our hair (yes, I am also doing that myself). I think that so many things will feel foreign and exciting and scary on the day, I will appreciate taking time over my usual routine of doing up my face and getting ready.

Having said that, over the past few months I have been on the lookout for and experimenting with some popular products. The following are ones that I plan to include on the day:


I love this palette. I don't own the Naked palette so I can't compare, but the quality, pigmentation and colour of these eye shadows are perfect for someone who sticks to neutrals. Especially worn over...

Maybelline EyeStudio Colour Tattoo (in Permanent Taupe)
This is a steal for the price. For me, it acts as an eyeshadow primer as well as a wash of base colour. It lasts forever and is a great colour for asian eyes.

I was recommended this by the lady at the counter, as it gives nearly just as much coverage as the Double Wear, but it is much less heavy and suitable for a summertime wedding. I have fairly decent skin, but it gives me a much more even complexion and lasts all day.

RMK Control Color (in Silver)
This is gorgeous used as a highlighter. It is probably a less intense version of something like High Beam from Benefit, it gives a lovely shine to the cheek bones without being too sparkly or heavy. The "Silver" colour is more of a very pale pink.

Do I even need to say anything about this product? It does what it says on the tin.

This is a cult product, and it's easy to see why. I splurged on the mini bottle, which costs a whopping 20 pounds, but as I don't intend to use this every day, it will last me a while. It makes the make up on your skin look fresh in the heat, and creates a great canvas for your foundation. I'm a fan.

MAC Powder Blush (in Harmony)
This is the best contour shade that I have found (the colour is a bit off in that picture!). I used Benefit Hoola for a while, but it was too orange for my liking, and this reddish-brown shade suits my skin colour much more. It may be an unlikely candidate for a contouring product, but give it a shot.

I am still undecided about the eyeliner and mascara...I am tempted to try the Smashbox Waterproof Liquid Liner Pen, and the overwhelmingly popular They're Real (although it worries me that it's not waterproof.) 

Any suggestions? 

Regent Street & Carnaby Street

27 July 2013

Yesterday late afternoon, E and I were around these parts of London to a) rent part of his wedding attire, b) to get my hair cut (for the first time in a year and a half. no joke.), and c) to go to a friend's birthday dinner.

Regent street can be both nightmarish and strangely delightful, depending on your mood. Yesterday, the weather was lovely, our errands weren't too stressful, and everybody had that TGIF feeling. So I snapped a few shots of the Regent Street and Carnaby Street area, partly because it was beautiful, and partly to keep my hands occupied lest they reach into my wallet amongst the army of shops I was surrounded by.


24 July 2013

10 days have passed after our celebration, and this is what is on my mind today. To some, our obstacles may have seemed unsurmountable. But not to us.

Hold on to your miracles.

A Summer Pasta Salad

23 July 2013

Saturday night was poker night. With 4 guys and 2 girls, the natural solution for dinner was a pizza delivery. Although that wasn't without its appeal, our upcoming wedding in France means E and I are trying to eat healthily (I especially did not choose a very forgiving dress to wear...). This was good news to the other girl in attendance, as she is one of my bridesmaids, so it was a good enough reason for me to whip something up that would still be delicious, but not too naughty.

The base of this recipe was one that my mum was given from an Italian cookery teacher. It's easy, adaptable, and a very portable addition to barbecues in the sunshine. What's not to love?

I would usually make this as a vegetarian dish, but when boys are involved, you get nagged for meat. So I added chicken, but you can add or not add anything you want. I also made a very big batch, about 7 servings worth, so you can change it up however it suits you.

First, I sliced up a red onion. Since the onion is raw in this pasta, I let the slices rest in some water to take the edge off and make them less bitter.

Next up, I took 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped, seasoned, and cooked them until slightly browned with a little olive oil. I left them on a couple of paper towels to get rid of any excess oil.

Meanwhile, I put a big pot of water on the boil. While that was starting to heat up, I chopped up a head of broccoli into bite size pieces, halved a large handful of black olives, finely chopped some chives (you can use whatever herb(s) you like), and halved 2-3 handfuls of baby plum tomatoes.

I salted the boiling water, added a little olive oil, and dumped the entire bag (500g) of whole wheat pasta in the pot.

2 minutes before the suggested cooking time was up, I threw in the broccoli so that they could be nice and al dente after a couple of minutes in the boiling water.

Ricotta cheese is underrated, in my opinion. It's one of the healthiest, lightest cheeses, very versatile, and has a very fresh taste. I put in the entire pot (about a cup), and everything else apart from the tomatoes into the drained pasta pot. Mix mix mixed and seasoned to taste.

Added the tomatoes at the end, and that was it!

Pasta is one of my all time favourite foods, and I'm not going to lie - a healthified version is not quite the same as a big bowl of fresh, sauce covered, white flour pasta. But I promise you that this healthy dish will fill you up and not taste at all diet-y. It also looks colourful and keeps in the fridge for a a good couple of days, depending on your ingredients.

And as a bonus, I won at poker that night. I'm just saying! Being the chef of this pasta salad brought me luck, so why not give it a go?

Countryside Walk

22 July 2013

The two main cities that I have ever lived in are Tokyo and London. Possibly because of that, and my preference to be spoilt for choice with shops and restaurants, I would consider myself a city girl. I enjoy the fact that the underground station is a few minutes' walk away, I like hopping on the tube and whizzing across town, and I am not exactly the outdoorsy type.

Having said that, I appreciate all the greenery that we are so lucky to have in the UK. Even bang in the middle of the city, we have beautiful parks and gorgeous views.

Step slightly outside of the city, and if you land in the right place, you can feel like a character from the Little House on the Prairie books. Is that getting a little carried away? Maybe. But our visit to the outskirts of London over the weekend reminded us that we can always use a break from the hustle and bustle.

Are you in the city or country camp?

"Anything goes" Quiche

19 July 2013

A couple of days ago, E and I were temporarily struck with insanity. For some bizarre reason, after complaining about the oppressive heat all day, we decided to fire up the oven and make our first homemade quiche.

It made us want to throw ourselves into a cold bath, but the result was pretty delicious so we forgave ourselves.

This was our first attempt so there are still tweaks to be made, but I think that the idea of quiche is a great one - you can chuck whatever you want in it, and it can easily give you leftovers for the next day or two.

We started by preheating the oven to 200 degrees, slicing up a couple of red onions, and cooking them until slightly brown with a little bit of olive oil.

In a large bowl, we whisked together a cup of milk, 6 small eggs, salt & pepper. We then added a few slices of ham, diced up.

Since this was a quick weekday dinner, we didn't even consider making the crust from scratch. We bought shortcrust pastry, and made a vague quiche base using a springform cake pan. It's all about improvisation! It doesn't need to look perfect to taste good.

 We layered everything up - the onions, a few handfuls of spinach, 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, and the egg/milk/ham mixture.

After about 40 minutes in the oven, it came out looking quite pretty!

Served with a little spinach & baby tomato salad on the side, it was not bad at all for our first try. Next time, we might bake the pastry for just a few minutes before filling it up, so that the bottom would crisp up a little more.

The leftovers were even better. 

Even though it takes a while in the oven, the actual assembling part is so easy, I think this will be a go-to recipe for us in the future. Next time I would love to try it with blue cheese, spinach and fig... and this is making me hungry.

If you can bear to switch on your oven in this heatwave, I recommend giving quiches a go. It would be great for packed lunches too!


18 July 2013

Monday 15th July was an incredibly special day for us. After the nerves, excitement and joy that we shared with our friends during the morning and afternoon, we got changed into our casual gear, took out a bottle of chilled rosé champagne and celebrated with each other in Hyde Park.

It was the best day.

Jamie's Italian, Covent Garden

17 July 2013

After our nice walk in Covent Garden, we wandered around to see what we felt like for dinner. E was in the mood for italian, so we'd found our winner when Jamie's Italian popped up. I had only ever been once to Jamie's years ago, the one in Kingston, so I was more than happy to try it again.

Having been a Saturday night, naturally the place was packed and we were given a 45 minute wait (although it was more like 30). We happily parked ourselves at the bar and occupied ourselves with a couple of Jamie's Special Mojitos, and fried three cheese gnocchi bites. Decadent enough?

Our fancy pager let us know that our table was ready, and we snagged a good one on the terrace. There are not too many things in life I love more than al fresco dining - no matter where you are, you feel like you are on holiday!

I immediately knew what I wanted.

I went for the Black Angel Spaghetti, while E chose the Turkey Milanese with Posh Chips on the side.

The pasta at Jamie's proves the huge difference that fresh pasta makes to a dish. You could tell that the spaghetti was freshly made, the scallops were delicious and the sauce was spot on.

E's Milanese was fantastic too, as were the chips with truffle and parmesan. We are both big foodies, so we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, outside in the warm courtyard.

We had enough room for dessert (who doesn't?), so we went for the brownie. 

It was very hard work trying to finish off this monster.

I think Jamie's Italian is a great option for a date, as it's not too stuffy or too outrageously priced, but the food is really great. It's also the perfect place for lunch or dinner with friends (we actually went back a couple of days later with some friends for a special celebratory lunch), especially sitting outside in the sun. Check out their site to see which one of their restaurants is closest to you, and hop on over there and enjoy the deliciousness!