Friday, November 26, 2010

Gift Guide: Fragrance

Christmas is fast-approaching and it tends to be this time of the year that gift ideas run thin. For the lovely ladies in your life, spoil them this Christmas with tasteful beauty presents, with a few suggestions for the men in your life to.

Lady Love

Canturi EDP, 100ml, $195
This ultra-chic fragrance is the much-anticipated perfume debut of Stefano Canturi and does not fail to satisfy.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Christmas Edt EDP, 50ml, $159
The bursting floral notes in this fragrance make it truly as pretty as it is beautiful.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Solid Perfume Ring, $65
A trinket to treasure, this perfume ring is darling, youthful and elegant.

Love, Chloe by Chloe Gift Set, $140
Perfect for those who love a scent that is elegant, sophisticated and tres feminine. This set includes Love, Chloe EDP, 50ml, and body lotion 100ml.

Jo Malone Red Roses Cologne, 100ml, $170
Jo Malone has built a reputation on classicly beautiful scents. This clean, fresh and feminine floral fragrance embodies the beauty of the brand.

Tom Ford Private Blend Azure Lime EDP, 50ml, $290
This fragrance is both intense and sensual while housed in the most exquisite and opulent decanter.

Fendi Dan di Fendi EDP, 50ml, $130
Fan di Fendi is all glamour, you'll find its floral notes radiate instantly and most intensely.

Lancome Tresor in Love EDP, 50ml, $112
This romantic fragrance is a revamp of the orignal Lancome Tresor scent with a heart of rose and a light addition of wood and nectarine.

Couture Couture by Juicy Couture Ltd Edt EDP, 100ml, $160
Perfect for Chistmas, this limited edition perfume incorporates a fresh take on fragrance with a fruity twist housed in a limited edition bottle.

Prada d'Infusion d'Iris Perfumed Linen Water, 1L, $115
For something a little different, fill up your iron with this lightly scented water or pour a cup into your washing-machine to give clothes a refreshingly zesty scent.

Magic for Men

Bang by Marc Jacobs EDT, from $95
For a spicy fragrance with an edge, Bang is this season's must-have male scent.

Halston Man EDT, 125ml, $129
Halston Z-14 for Men has had a makeover, becoming Halston Man. The aroma is both bold and woody.

Bleu de Chanel EDT, 100ml, $132
Combining citrus top notes and woody undertones, Chanel offers this edgy and masculine cologne.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Musings: The Impeccable Style of Emma Watson

Courtesy of

This young woman embodies class and characterises British style. She certainly hasn't gone unnoticed in the fashion world, scooping up ambassador and designer collaboration deals since coming of age. Armed with charisma, confidence and a wardrobe of sheer brilliance, Emma Watson manages to inspire through her timeless yet innovative ensembles.

Watson’s new pixie cut, famously shot as the cover of UK Vogue and US Marie Claire, has received a positive reception. By shedding her locks, Watson has divulged herself of the Hermione persona and is consistently delivering style that is above-par, tasteful and most charming.

Emma on the cover of the December UK Vogue

Emma on the cover of the December US Marie Claire

Last season’s pastel-pretty knots, drapes and gathers from Christopher Bailey’s Burberry Prorsum collection were graced by the presence of Watson. The campaign, sophisticated with an ultra fresh edge, breathed excitement into the house’s traditional style. The beauty of Burberry’s trench and tartan were taken to a whole new level of youthful energy and femininity. The previous season marked Watson’s induction as the face of the brand as the flawless Burberry trench was put in the spotlight.

Emma Watson for Burberry Prorsum last season

Emma Watson for Burberry Prorsum A/W 09

Effortlessly, Watson sends the media into a frenzy by stepping out in her designer wares. Remember that front-row shot of Emma with the stunning Gwyneth at Burberry Prorsum S/S ’10 show? Or that sheer caged Christopher Kane dress she wore to The Late Show with David Letterman. More recently, at the London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, her Rafael Lopez frock teamed with a Remembrance Day poppy and pixie cut proved Watson isn't afraid to showcase a little sass. She delivered the heart of Calvin Klein most recently at the NYC premiere and even wore our very own Dion Lee, sending his name spiralling into cyber search-engines, all the while creating proof that Emma Watson epitomises classic glamour today.

Emma Watson at The Late Show with David Letterman

Having secured a partnership with ethical and fair-trade clothing label People Tree, Watson wears her moral heart on her shoulder through her designs for the charity line. "I wanted to help People Tree produce a younger range because I was excited by the idea of using fashion as a tool to alleviate poverty and knew it was something I could help make a difference with." Emma commented via her official website. Find the collection here.

Emma Watson for eco-friendly label People Tree

As she conquers the industry, and even poverty, the movements, success and style of Emma Watson will be closely followed by the media and, of course, her avid style-hunting fans.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Musings: Adoption

Adoption is a topic I feel strongly about as you may have gathered and its presence in my life has found itself resurfaced. Some find the concept of adopting confronting or uncomfortable, but once eyes are opened: perceptions can be changed. I speak highly of parents who open their heart to the process of adopting for it is time-grueling, extremely stressful and exhausting. I know for a fact that my own parents have found it fulfiling in a way most may not understand. In a majority of cases, it is not a lack of love or bond between a parent and child that leads to the decision of adopting one’s child to another. Instead, it is almost always a result of a situation whether it be being too young, a lack of access to resources or being placed in a situation beyond one’s control.

The parents of these children are often not thought of. Once their baby is born, biological parents endure the struggle of having a close bond with their child severed rather abruptly. Adoptive parents experience the invasive and prolonged process of adopting which can eat away years. My own parents, both from families with six children, dreamed of having lots of kids. Because of the many years that it takes to adopt a child, having six children of their own was not a possibility.

For the children, experiences vary. It can’t be denied that some feel distant from their adoptive families, but so many children feel loved, adequate and completely at ease. In my own opinion, as an adopted child from South Korea, I have always felt that my family is my “real” family. I have felt no urge to find my biological family and no sense that something is missing from my life. It is very obvious that I am adopted; however I feel no fear in discussing my situation. I am proud of my roots, my Scottish parents and Australian brothers.

My brothers, myself and our little nephew and nieces

One of my brothers and my cousin have both had the mind-blowing opportunity to meet their biological parents. Seeing pictures makes these people a reality, makes them real, living and personable people. My brother is over the other side of the country meeting his original family at this very moment while just recently, my cousin had his father seek him out from the rest of the Australian population. I can’t tell you how it feels for them but I hope it is everything they could have hoped for. Perhaps it was the missing part in their life and now it may be satisfied. And, perhaps if I were to have the chance to meet those distant and almost unreal biological parents, I may also feel a connection. But, for now, I feel content.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: O Bal Tan

I never knew Koreantown existed until last night. Comic corners, gadget stores and Asian grocers line this end of Pitt Street, Sydney.

After hopping off at Town Hall station, we walked straight into another district, another country, without even noticing. On our hungry hunt to find the infamous Korean BBQ restaurant O Bal Tan, my partner and I became lost and very frustrated even with the aid of our mobile GPS. Sure, Pitt Street is as easy to navigate as a straight line but not when looking for this tiny treasure. After almost giving up, we stumbled upon number 363. But, where was 363A? In this apartment block?

Half the dining experience of O Bal Tan is finding it. After entering the building, we happened upon a dingey alleyway with a young crowd of city-goers mingling. We make our way in to the restaurant with hesitance. Don't be put off by the lack of decor and warehouse style, once you're led upstairs by a friendly waiter, you'll change your mind. Alas, the upstairs of this restaurant is lined with lacquered timber floorboards and brick-clad walls creating a warming interior.

You'll first be intrigued by the hanging smoke ducts drawn from the ceiling which are worth a buck or a million. They help extract the smoke as you cook your own meat over charcoal ignited from the centre of each table. This system doesn't take away from the atmosphere of the venue, but in fact adds to it. It makes the traditional Korean BBQ sophisticated and as usual, exciting.

A bunch of young waiters gather around the top of the stairs, taking note of when diners are ready to order, finish, pay etc. We make our order of marinated pork ribs and beef. The waiters instantly arrive at our table with our raw choices and an extensive variety of condiments. It can be a little daunting if you're not used to eating Asian cuisine like me, but it's all part of the experience.

The meat was particularly tender and the marinade was as rich as it should be while the pan-fried dumplings we ordered managed to balance the traditional softer texture with crunch, as well as having tang and edge.

For a total of $52.50 for two meats, dumplings and a beverage, you won't be disappointed. Don't bother so much if you're going for something on the intimate side, it can get a little loud with the hissing of coals and echoing chatter. But if you're up for something fast, a little fun and a very satisfying meal, O Bal Tang may be for you (we were in and out within 40 minutes).

Find O Bal Tan at 363A Pitt Street, Sydney.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How To: Prime Time

Ze primer.

I was having a conversation with my girlfriends recently about primers. Do they work, where do you get them, what are they?

I know there are a ton of you non-believers out there and I know that you ton of non-believers want to have faith that there’s a miracle product out there or maybe you’ve got one but just can’t see the big deal. So let me give you the low-down.

What are they?
Primers are simply water-based moisurisers with a hero ingredient: silicone. The silicone will help bond your make-up to the surface of your skin. Investing in a good primer will ensure the perfect canvas for your make-up but also means you can use less foundation to get a flawless effect. More importantly, it smooths out fine lines on the surface of your skin to perfect the finish. You’ll find your make-up won’t melt or rub and stays put for the duration of the day.

How to use a primer
Be sure to use about half a pea size of primer and with your two index fingers, smooth the product over your skin evenly. The biggest blunder usually made with a primer is that people use too much. The next step is to apply your foundation within 15 seconds of putting on your primer.

Once you’ve figured out how to apply primer correctly, you’ll realise how amazing it really is.

My favourite:

M.A.C Prep + Prime Skin Base Visage

My friend Courtney adores Napoleon Perdis and after a splurge has found her perfect primer:

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation

Do you love or hate your primer?
How do you apply your primer?