Friday, August 31, 2012

August Favorites 2012

It's been super quiet here on Pretty.Random.Things. this past month. I knew that it would be hard to blog while traveling, so basically, I just didn't even try. So, how was everyone's August? I can say, without a doubt, that this has been the busiest, most exhilarating month for me in a very very long time.

After traveling to almost a dozen amazing countries this summer, shopping everywhere and trying out new products, I had many favorites to choose from this month. Most of the clothes I bought on our trip, I haven't even worn yet, because it's mostly for fall and winter. But I'm sure they'll find their way into my future Favorites posts. Without further ado, here are my favorites for August.

Without this nifty Canon G12, I'm sure we would not have been able to take such beautiful photos on our travels. The Boyfriend and I decided to get a new camera right before we left, and we fell in love with this one. The Canon G12 is a great camera! I've always been a big fan on Canon, and it hasn't disappointed us. 

While on the cruise ship, I ran out of body wash and used it as an excuse to roam the shops on the ship. I picked up the Philosophy Vanilla Birthday Cake body wash, because it smelled the best. It can also be used as a shampoo or for bubble baths. I didn't try it on my hair though. This was my first product from Philosophy, but I'm sure it won't be my last.

I decided to try out a new foundation this month. I knew that my skin would get a lot darker on vacation, so I needed a darker shade. I opted for the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, as the price was reasonable and I didn't want to spend too much money on a foundation that I'd probably only be able to wear for a month or two. I can only say good things about it! It smells good, it gives my skin a nice, dewy finish and it stays on for at least 6 to 8 hours. I'm actually thinking of purchasing a shade lighter when my tan starts fading.

I can't tell you how many times I've read people raving about the candles at Bath & Body Works. Unfortunately, living in Asia, I've never been able to get my hands on these babies, until I went to Dubai. I absolutely adore these candles, and bought three which I brought back with me to Taiwan. I've been burning the Slatkin & Co Peach Bellini Scented Candle and I'm obsessed! The scent fills up my entire apartment, and it lingers for days even if I didn't burn it. I can't wait to try out the other two I got!

What is summer without the best bronzer in the world? Definitely worth all the hype, the NARS Laguna Bronzer has never failed me. This is one of those products that I'll probably repurchase for the rest of my life.

Out of all the shoes I bought on vacation, I think this pair of nude ballet flats from TOPSHOP has been my favorite. The leather is so soft, and they look so cute with shorts, skirts and skinny jeans. I also got them in black, which I'll probably wear more in fall and winter. Unfortunately, these shoes aren't available online anymore, but I linked to a similar pair from TOPSHOP.

So that's all, folks! What have you been loving this past month?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My favorite Fall/Winter 2012 nail polish collections

Here in Taiwan, summer is still in full swing and there's not even a little hint of fall in the air yet. That doesn't mean I'm not already checking out the fall fashions, makeup and nail polish collections, and lusting after comfy sweaters, cashmere scarves and stylish riding boots.

As I checked out the nail polish collections for Fall/Winter 2012, I started getting really excited for the cooler season. There are some beautiful color selections, and these are the collections I love the most:
Left to right: Suspicious, Frenzy,Vertigo

Left to right: Miss Fancy Pants, Recessionista, Stylenomics,  Head  Mistress,  Don't Sweater It,  Skirting the Issue

Top - Left to right: Berlin there done that, My very first knockwurst, Don't talk Bach to me,  Every month is Octoberfest, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK fine!
Bottom - Left to right: Danke-shiny red, Deutsch you want me baby?, Schnapps out of it!, Unfor-greta-bly blue, German-icure by OPI
Left to right:  Golden Jungle Duo Dior Vernis, Amazonia, Bengale 
Left to right:  Lovely Jubbly,  Trustafarian,  Gobsmacked, Shag,  Dodgy Barnett  

Top - Left to right: Desert Sun, Kalahari Kiss, I'm not Lion, I herd that, Elephant Walk, Exotic Encounters
Bottom - Left to right: Jungle Queen, Call of the Wild, Purr-Fect Plum, Prey Tell, Adventure Red-y, Man Hunt
Left to right: Evvie, Monica, Natty, Noot, Rekha, Toni
So far, I like the Chanel and Essie collections best. What do you think about these Fall/Winter 2012 nail polish collections? Do you have a favorite yet? 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The best vacation ever! Well, so far...

Overlooking Monte Carlo, Monaco from the ship as we leave the port.
To say our vacation was very busy, would be the understatement of the year; 24 days, 10 countries and 17 cities. I'm exhausted, I think I need another vacation...

I arrived back in Taipei last night, after what has been the most amazing vacation I've ever had in my life. I still can't really process all the awesome places I've seen, the famous sites I visited and all the good times had with The Boyfriend and my family. 

Our adventure started immediately after we set foot on the Ruby Princess in Venice for our 12-day Mediterranean cruise. We met up with my brother and his fiance, and they showed us around the ship and then we had lunch at the buffet. Don't even get me started about all the food on the ship! The fact that I only gained 2 kilograms on this vacation still baffles me...
Formal night on the ship. The Boyfriend, me and my brother.   

We got an amazing stateroom on the ship, with a huge balcony. From there we could stare at the ocean, check out the port where we docked for the day, and also watch the spectacular sail aways when leaving the ports.

We woke up before 8am every single morning, ate breakfast, went on excursions to famous sights, where we took hundreds of photos of every place we visited, had lunch, took a nap, laid out by the pool, watched the theater productions on the ship, ate dinner, had drinks in the crew bar with my brother and his friends and then we'll pass out until our alarm goes off again early in the morning and we did it all again.
Walking around Mykonos in Greece with The Boyfriend.
This was my first cruise ever and I was very impressed! I'm definitely going on one again and The Boyfriend and I are already talking about the next places we'd like to go. It's way more affordable to travel this way, because you don't have to pay for transportation or food, and you also get to see many great places in a short amount of time. We literally woke up in a different country every morning!

After the cruise we spent three fantastic days in Barcelona. We bought 2-day passes for the Hop on/Hop off buses, which takes you all over the city to all the famous sites. We went everywhere in Barcelona, and it's also a great city for walking around and exploring. Although many people warned us about pickpocketing and things like that, we didn't see or experience anything like that and we never felt unsafe. The shopping there was awesome! Stores like Zara, Mango and Blanco are so affordable there, and we went a little overboard... Needless to say, I think I'm set with clothes for a while.
In Barcelona, Spain visiting the famous Sagrada Familia
For the last leg of our trip, we flew from Barcelona to Dubai to go and visit my sister and my other brother who lives there. When we arrived at the airport I was so happy to see my sister and her boyfriend. And then came the biggest surprise I've ever had in my life; I turned around and there was my mom! She flew from South Africa to come and surprise The Boyfriend and I in Dubai. It has been 18 months since the last time I saw her, and it was a dream come true to have her with us there in Dubai for a week.

Of course we went to all the fabulous malls while we were there, and went shopping way too much... again. Because it was Ramadan though, we couldn't eat in public before sunset, so that meant that all the restaurants were closed during the day. We weren't even allowed to have water! We did buy some and secretly drank it in the restrooms in the mall...
Shopping at The Dubai Mall with my mom and sister.
I really enjoyed my time in Dubai, just hanging out with my family, laying out by the pool, visiting the spa, and driving around the city. I was going to stay there until this weekend, but I changed my flights to get to Taiwan before the typhoons hit, which would mean that flights get canceled or delayed, and I just didn't want to get stuck somewhere.

I'm still sorting through all the photos, and it's taking a while because there are so many. As soon as I'm finished with that, I'll post some more here on Pretty.Random.Things.

Thanks for reading my short story! More vacation anecdotes to follow soon!


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