Saturday, April 25, 2009

Marcel Proust

It is often hard to bear the tears that we ourselves have caused.
~ Marcel Proust

A few months back, I began to read 'À la recherche du temps perdu' (In Search of Lost Time, also Remembrance of Things Past) by Marcel Proust. I had always wanted to read it, but it was daunting because each volume consisted of 600 pages or more of packed writing.

I almost fell asleep reading the first page. The words rambled on and on. The full stop was definitely a long way off from the first word. I reminded myself this was not a modern 21st century work, but from the 1800's. People wrote with more flair and sophistication back then.

I took a deep breath and regarded finishing at least one chapter as my "mission impossible" challenge. As I flipped through the contents page, I found that the second chapter was smack in the middle of the thick book! I read on, and as I made my way through the first book, 'The Way by Swann's', I was hooked. This was romance. Proust described every tiny detail in a way that filled you with a nebula of romantic longing.

The whole work was semi-autobiographical, but it was no doubt a romance. The romance was not of a modern day love story. The romance was in the the finesse that Proust described everything he encountered. The appreciation of nature, the clouds, the sea, the flowers, the setting sun, dawn and twilight. People, their gestures, their appearances, their demeanors, the gossips and their loves and hates. The music and the painting. The expanse and array of the subjects covered were breathtaking.

I finished two volumes and I am reading 'The Guermantes Way'. I am completely addicted to Proust's writing. People rarely write like this now, but I guess back in the 1800's, people were more leisurely. Who has the time and patience now to read a sentence that goes on half a page, just describing a flower? But to me, this is romance.

The whole work consists of 7 volumes. The Way by Swann's, Within a Budding Grove, The Guermantes Way, Sodome et Gomorrhe, The Captive, The Sweet Cheat Gone and The Past Recaptured

(Posy by Bonnie Wong)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bridal Posy

Bridal Posy with Sweet Peas and White Roses

Full Posy View

I am so happy to have the opportunity to create flower arrangements for blushing brides. This posy was made yesterday for a bride's viewing. Since the bride is petite, we have chosen an 8" diameter posy arrangement for her. The size would complement, yet not overwhelm, her and her wedding gown.

The best part of making these posies is the process. From choosing the color scheme, checking the availability of the flowers (since flowers are seasonal), picking the complementing foliage and finally putting the posy together. I love working in proximity with one of nature's best gifts and I feel so blessed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Makeup Tip 3

Model look from Estee Lauder

Smoothing Creme Concealer from Estee Lauder

This is a simple yet magical makeup tip. Magical in the sense that it is instantaneous, et voila la difference. Notice the eyes of the model above are tilted upwards? Aside from the perfect eye line, mascara and eye shadow, the lifting effect could be achieved by dotting concealer on the outer corner of the eyes.

When we think of concealers, we usually use it for covering blemishes on our skin. Our focus is almost always covering the eye bags and the dark circles, which are the most obvious spots. One place we miss though, are the outer corner of our eyes. The part that is closest to the rim of our eyes bordering our eye lashes.

If you look closely in the mirror, the rims of the outer corner of our eyes have the same shade or in a more terrible scenario, a darker shade than the dark circle. This is the most often missed spot but the most important one for an instant brightening and lifting effect on our eyes.

The rationale behind it is, even if we have sucessfully covered the eye bags and dark circles, our eyes are only san bags and circles. If you look closely in the mirror again, the eyes still lack that luminous look. This is when the magic takes place. Take a tiny dot of concealer and dab it evenly on the rim of the outer corner of your eyes. Now compare the one eye you have dabbed on the concealer and the other eye you haven't.

See the difference? An instant lifting effect! If you are lazy and don't want to put eye line or any makeup, this is the best you could go san makeup, but still have luminous and not drooping eyes. Now get your wand and do some magic!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Makeup Tip 2

Ombre Eclat - 4 shades Eye Shadow from Guerlain

Eye Pencils, eye-liner and Kohl from Guerlain

Une empreinte de moi dans la memoire des autres....
A trace of myself, in the memories of others...

Makeup is a process and it comes in little steps, the last and most difficult being the eyes. I envy women who have no eye bags and no dark circles. So do women who have bright, large eyes that mesemerize and dazzle people. Unfortuately, I think these women only exist in air-brushed Vogue magazines.

If you use eye-liner and mascara, even water proofed ones, you might find yourself looking at a panda in the mirror after several hours. Even the best of water proofed eye makeup do smudge. We can only make it last as long as possible without smudging.

The trick to making eye-liner lasts longer, which contributes to smudging as well as mascara, is to put a similar colored powder on top of the eye-liner. The rationale behind it is that even if we use kohl pencils, they are still 'moist' on our skin. Since our skin is warm, it will slowly melt and smudge. Eye shadow, however, is dry powder. If we put a layer of eye shadow on top of the eye-liner, the staying power will be much longer.

Most ladies like to pick black eye-liners, but it's real difficult to find a real black eye shadow to dust on it. I have found a dark chocolate color eye-liner at Guerlain. The color is very dark for a brown eye-liner. The texture is dense enough for a fine eye-line and you can easily find a dark brown eye shadow to match the color.

I haven't used eye liner for a long time until this tip, mostly because of the panda effect. Now, I do put eye-liner and dot eye shadow on top of the line. Well, after 5 hours a panda is forming, but hey, at least I got 5 hours of bright eyes, which is not bad for a makeup tip. Try it, you'd be surprised.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A few weeks ago, I read "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer. It was entertaining, a teenage romance. The setting was high school, the main characters are all 17, well except the parents.....
As a novel in the vampire genre, it really differed from Anne Rice. There were no gory details, no preying and not a lot of blood. However, there was also not a whole lot of mystery and suspense that made your heart pulsate.
Despite that, I was still anticipating the adapted movie to be released in DVD coz there was a lot of hype over how good looking "Edward Cullen" was. He was good looking, but that was it. The movie was a disappointment. It took the last bit of suspense away from the book. The movie was also cut into different scenes taken from the book, but it was so piecemeal the movie was not fluid at all. I guess the biggest disappointment of all was the absence of chemistry between the main characters. It's a romance after all.
If you have time on your hands and reminiscent of your high school years, you might want to watch it, but the book is definitely better than the movie.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Makeup Tip 1

This is one of the makeup tips I got from my makeup class. The main thing is picture a perfect oval shaped face, with the eyes, nose, mouth in perfect dimension. Ok just "picture".

Makeup, therefore, is to enhance our best features and camouflage the not so good features that do not fit the above. One very good tip to instantly slim the face and "make" it look oval is shading. Not a surprise.

Well, the magic is to highlight and shade at the same time, so this little box by Benefit is perfect for the job. The flat brush picks up both colors and the darker shade goes on the jawline and under the chin, while the other side of the brush, the highlight, will glide above the shade on your face, which will enhance your features.

I bought it and the first time I used it, I got a surprised but welcomed comment, that I looked slimmer!! Wow, a makeup tip and some camouflage did it. Now I am complacent into not losing the extra weight. Well, just a bit, hehe.
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