Monday, September 28, 2015

Under the Azaleas

When the white azaleas start blooming,
I'll come back to you.
-- Bing Crosby "When the White Azaleas Start Blooming"

    I bought this purple Modcloth dress on a whim around a year ago, the tempation of its cut-down price overriding all considerations of practicality in my simple mind. When the dress arrived, I was perfectly satisfied with it -- the length and fit hardly needed any alterations and the quality was good, the only problem was getting an occasion to flaunt it. When the itinerary of my England trip was settled, I thought to myself, "Well, this dress hardly ever got out of the closet anyway, I'm going to find a garden and shoot to my heart's content with it!" I did not expect it then, but when I saw the Rhododendron Walk of the Hever Gardens on my first day at Hever Castle, I felt it was the most perfect scene for this dress. The rows upon rows of pink and purple azaleas in full bloom, the sculpted stairways buried in fallen flowers, the soft morning light peeking through the rustling pines in a distance -- it felt almost like a fairytale.

(p/S  I've received some mail enquiring about the photographer and the fees of this shoot, just to be clear, these photos were taken by yours truly with a tripod and the timer setting, there were no others involved  ; ) )

    大約一年前我在Modcloth網站上一時衝動入手了這件紫色長洋裝,當時五折折數誘惑太大導致理智自主忽略實穿性的問題  XD  收到洋裝的時候其實是很滿意的,長度腰身什麼幾乎不用修改,質感也好,就是穿不出去啊啊啊(抱頭)。這次英國行的行程確定後,我就在想"反正這件大概也沒什麼機會出櫃了(誤),不如在英國的時候找個花園幫它拍個過癮!"當時沒有料到,但是在赫弗城堡的第一天看到花園裡的杜鵑花道時,就覺得根本是拍這件洋裝的最佳風景啊。兩旁一排排盛開的粉紅粉紫杜鵑花樹,埋在落花下的雕花石階,遠處沙沙作響的松樹中透進來的溫柔晨光 -- 就像置身久遠的童話一樣美好。

(p/S 昨天收到了詢問攝影師及拍攝價格的信件 XD 再次說明一下,照片都是用腳架自拍的喔,沒有攝影師哈哈)
Dress :  Modcloth
Shoes :  here
Floral crown :  AmoreBride (via Etsy)
Bracelets :  Cor-date

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

La Romanesque

    Being a fan of vivid lip colours (despite refraining from them at work for the sake of my patients), I could not resist the temptation of Chanel's plum offering for their Spring 2015 makeup collection. Though perhaps not that wearable in everyday life, this dark magenta shade is the perfect showstopper for photoshoots and dressy occasions. After coming across Japanese actress Ishihara Satomi's editorial in an old Ray magazine last week (which you can see below), I've decided to do a copycat photoshoot with my sole dark lipstick -- Rouge Allure Velvet in 50 La Romanesque from Chanel's Rêverie Parisienne collection.

    一直都很喜歡色彩濃豔的唇妝(雖然上班為了不嚇到病人都走裸唇路線 XD),所以對於香奈兒 2015 春妝系列的梅子色唇膏我簡直無法抵擋誘惑。雖然這色平時可能不太實擦,但是拍照或是盛裝打扮的時候絕對是個搶眼的存在。上個禮拜在網路上看到一本 Ray 舊雜誌,裡面日本女星石原聰美頂著大桃紅唇的妝容(雜誌圖在下面)超美麗,於是決定用我唯一的暗色唇膏 -- 這支香奈兒 2015 祕密花園系列中的「50 羅馬假期」-- 來個仿妝 ... 應該說是仿拍 XD

(Pics via Ray Dec 2014)
    The key to vivid full lips is to keep the eye makeup simple. As you can see in the editorial shoot above, other than accentuating the corners of the eyes with dark eyeshadow and perking up the eyes with mascara and eyeliner, there's hardly any colour used on the eyelids. The relatively simple eye makeup averts attention to the lips, which is the whole point of this look.

    Being of the Rouge Allure Velvet collection, La Romanesque is a matte dark fuchsia and naturally, not of the glossy finish type. However, I find the finish much improved from the initial Rouge Velvet formulas. While it may not hide lip lines, it definitely is not as dry as the earlier Rouge Velvets that I have tried and even imparts sort of a satin-matte gloss which I love. As my lips are not naturally plump,  to emulate Satomi's look, I applied the lipstick slightly beyond the edges of my upper lips and also at the Cupid's bow with a lip brush. This creates the illusion of plumper lips but can also look messy if not meticulously done. This combination of vivid hue and matte finish requires a great deal of precision and patience during application, though, so this may not be your go-to lipstick if you're in a rush.
    因為是超炫耀絲絨系列的,所以「羅馬假期」是偏霧面質地的暗紫紅色,沒有一般唇膏的水亮感。不過我覺得這支的質地比起以前的絲絨唇膏好像有進步了。雖然不能遮唇紋,但至少不像我之前試過的較早期的絲絨唇膏那麼乾,反而有種半霧面半緞面的微妙亮澤感。由於我原本的唇比較薄,所以仿妝時用了唇刷描繪稍微超出上唇線的唇部輪廓,然後在唇峰間上色使唇峰變得較不明顯。這個方法可以達到豐唇效果,但是也容易失手變成石榴姊look  XD  不過說起來這種霧面質地加上鮮豔色彩,在上妝時不得不小心翼翼,追求精準還要有耐心慢慢畫 orz  所以平時化妝很趕時間的話千萬不要拿起這支唇膏  XDD

    As I do not have Satomi's delicate features, I can only hope to emulate the poses (bawls). At least you can see that this La Romanesque is a really saturated dark magenta, a strong colour but not that scary actually, it takes some courage to carry the colour but is totally worth the effort. Do have a try, you may find the inner Satomi in you  ; )

    抱歉,沒有石原聰美精緻的五官,只能東施效顰仿姿勢(哭跑)。雖然不像石原也請不要告訴我像石榴姊(...) 不過至少看得出來「羅馬假期」這色真的是很飽和的暗紫紅,是很有氣勢但其實並非如此可怕的顏色。大概需要點勇氣擦出去,不過氣場效果完全值得。大家也來嘗試一下這種暗色厚唇look吧,也許會發現你裡面也住著一個石原聰美  ; )


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Arabian Nights

    Instagram is a very dangerous thing. Some time ago, while browsing through some random posts, I noticed a new eyeshadow palette released recently by Sleek on one of the pages. That opened a whole new world of i-Divine palettes for me, and after relentlessly perusing reviews and swatches and musings and whatnots, I ended up with this Arabian Nights eyeshadow palette that is as enchanting as its namesake a fortnight later.

    Instagram真的是很可怕的東西。不久前在IG上隨意亂晃不小心瞄到Sleek這品牌新出的一款眼影盤,然後就一發不可收拾了 XDD  被這家的i-Divine系列眼影盤燒到不行,在努力不懈地看了不少心得啊試色啊跟一堆有的沒的後,終於在兩個禮拜後入手了這盤如一千零一夜的故事般迷人的Arabian Nights眼影盤。

    The eyeshadows are housed in the usual flat black palette of the i-Divine series and come with a double-tip sponge applicator and a large mirror. I've come across reviewers finding the box hard to open, but I'm glad to say I have not encountered this problem so far. The shades are a collection of rich jewel tones and golds and bronzes, with one matte and shimmer aplenty.


    The top photo is, I think, a pretty accurate representation of the colours under sunlight indoors. Most are very pigmented, apply like a breeze and last quite long, though the gold glitter shade Gold Souk has some fallout issues. I'm sorry the colour swatches do not translate well on paper and you can't perceive the shimmer or matte finishes from the picture. You can find a lot of lovely swatches and reviews of this palette on the web, though. 

    上面的第一張照片我覺得就是眼影盤在室內自然光下的樣子沒什麼色差喔!大部分都很顯色,易上色也蠻持久的,不過問題最大的金亮片那色 Gold Souk,色澤很美但掉粉有點嚴重。不好意思顏色上在紙上好像不太顯色也拍不太出來各色的質地(沒有微距模式加上手抖 XDD),不過網路上有超多這盤的超美試色跟心得文,有興趣可以搜尋看看喔!

Top row, from left to right :

    Scheherazade's Tale :  light peachy gold with metallic finish(有金屬亮澤的蜜桃金)
    Gold Souk :  pure yellow gold with glitter(帶亮片的黃金色)
    Aladdin's Lamp :  metallic bronze gold(有金屬亮澤的古銅金)
    Sultan's Garden :  khaki green with gold shimmer(帶金綠亮粉的卡其綠)
    Hocus Pocus :  Jewel green with metallic finish(有金屬亮澤的寶石綠)
    Simbad's Seas :  Bold rich deep blue with purple tones(色彩濃烈的帶紫深藍)

Bottom row, from left to right :

    Genie :  warm bronze with reddish undertones(帶紅感的暖銅色)
    Black Magic :  black with navy blue shimmer(帶深藍亮粉的霧面黑)
    Stallion :  matte burgundy brown(純霧面的暗紅棕)
    Sorcerer :  black with purple shimmer(帶紫金亮粉的霧面黑)
    Valley of Diamonds :  matte plum with a bit of gold shimmer(帶少許金色亮粉的梅子色)
    1001 Nights :  satin black with a pearly finish(有珠光亮澤的純黑)


    1. Apply Scheherazade's Tale over eyelids.
    2. Apply Simbad's Seas from the outer corner of the eyes and dab towards the center.
    3. Layer Hocus Pocus next and use an eyeshadow brush to blend between the colours.
    4. Apply Gold Souk from the inner corner of the eye to the center.
    5. Blend between Gold Souk and Hocus Pocus by layering Scheherazade's Tale in between.
    6. At the outer corner of the eye, apply 1001 Nights upwards to accentuate the crease.
    7. Apply black eyeliner fully on the upper lids and 2/3 lower lids.
    8. Dab a little Scheherazade's Tale over lower inner corner of the eyes.

    1. 用Scheherazade's Tale上在整個眼皮。
    2. 從眼尾開始上Simbad's Seas,並往中間疊擦暈開。
    3. 接著疊上Hocus Pocus的綠色,並用眼影刷暈開兩色交界處。
    4. 從眼頭開始疊擦Gold Souk,同樣往中間暈開。
    5. 在Gold Souk跟Hocus Pocus間疊擦一點Scheherazade's Tale並用眼影刷暈開交界處。
    6. 在眼尾處用1001 Nights往上勾勒來達到讓雙眼皮更明顯的效果。
    7. 在上眼皮畫上黑色眼線,下眼皮由外向內畫到眼睛2/3的位置。
    8. 在眼頭處擦上Scheherazade's Tale就完成啦!

    That's it, really! Overall I'm pretty pleased with my first Sleek palette, especially when you consider the colour selection that is rarely found in drugstore brands and the relatively low price versus the quality and quantity of eyeshadow you get. By the way, I'm in love with rich plum lips right now, so I think I'm going to try emulating the plump lips look of Japanese actress Satomi Ishihara next, haha!

    這次就醬啦!整體來說我對於這第一盤Sleek眼影蠻滿意的,尤其是考慮到它的色彩選擇一般開架上很難找到,以價格來說眼影的量跟質都很不錯。題外話,最近超愛這種帶紫桃紅的唇彩,下次好想來個石原里美風的厚唇look啊啊啊  >///<!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Loggia

A cottage small just built for two,
A garden wall with violets blue.
-- Willie Nelson "Who'll Buy My Memories?"
    One of my favourite part of the Hever Castle was its beautiful Italian Gardens and the adjoining loggia. From the loggia where a fountain peopled with intricate sculpture resides, you could see the tranquil Hever Lake and on sunny days take a trip on a rowing boat or on the pedalos parked across the banks. The day being young and the castle not yet open to the public, I had the chance to explore and shoot in these picturesque grounds almost in solitude. These photos were mostly taken in the Italian Gardens, where every turn might reveal a lovely spectacle, whether it was a marble Aphrodite gazing over the rose bushes, a pristine swan gracefully treading waters below a stone bridge,  or the sprinkling of cascading wisteria from above the arched walkways.
 p/S You can see more of the trip on my Instagram (@bonjourjasmineblog) !
Shoes :  via Taobao (here)
Necklace :  Cor-date
Headband :  Accessorize


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