march resolution

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

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I've been a little out of blogging lately mainly due to life and family things but I'm slowly easing myself back into it. The end of my favourite month is upon us. Farewell February, you have been super awesome!

The end of February means it is time for another monthly resolution. If you're unfamiliar with this series then this post should really explain it all. This month I will be learning Mandarin. Thus is shall be named 'Mandarin March'. I've always wanted to learn mandarin and when fellow Chinese people approach me and yabber on in Mandarin, all I can do is shake my head and say 'no' (believe me, it's happened to me a few times!).

As a Cantonese speaker, I find myself picking up Asian languages a lot easier than European languages. Something about the way my tongue rolls, it just doesn't like it. My friend who studied for a little while in China will help me along the process by messaging and speaking to me in Mandarin. I'm not attempting to becoming fluent at all but I would like to learn the basics so I'm able to converse a little.

Bring on the challenge!

Vanessa

x

23rd birthday.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


So it was my 23rd birthday last week but I'm just getting down to blogging about it today. A bit unusual but I've been going through this week at like 100mph and barely had time to breathe but here it is!

I'm finally at a consecutive number age and I have a slight niggling feeling that this will be the best year yet! My birthday was on Monday 18th February and I spent the day mooching around the town centre and then I paid a visit to my mum's work where she got me a bunch of flowers. So lovely and the lillies have JUST opened up so the house smells all nice and florally now. I spent the rest of the afternoon at home chain watching Korean drama which might sound boring but it's sooooooo addictive  good.

In the evening, me my brother and my mum went out for dinner to Prezzo where I managed to nab a 25% off voucher for the meal. Food always tastes better when it's got a significant discount attached to it! My brother had made his first ever cake for me and it was massive! 3 layers and everything! So proud of him! We chowed down on that and there ended my day. Gone are the days of extravagant parties and nights out. Most of my friends are normal 9-5ers and others are half way around the world so spending a day like this is absolutely perfect for me!

You're wondering about the gifts aren't ya? Well, I didn't ask for much this year (mainly because Christmas and Chinese New Year just happened!) so my mum and my dad got me some money and my brother got me a bag full of DVDs. He did this last year as well, he never knows what to get me but DVDs are usually the safe option! I'm saving money like a maniac just now so I'm pretty content. Read: very content.

Life may not have gone how I planned but it's the small things in life that still make me smile.

Vanessa

x

recipe: doughy chocolate cookies

Tuesday, 19 February 2013



When I was in London, me and my friend were gasping for a cup of coffee and a possible bite to eat. We came across a little shop called Ben's Cookies. Little did I know, it was the beginning of a love affair for those thick doughy cookies. In search for the perfect recipe to re-create them at home, I hit up YouTube and found this video that had a Ben's Cookie recipe. Let me just say now, the outcome is uncanny to those cookies that can be found in the shop. What do you need to make these dough drops of heaven?

300g caster sugar
200g unsalted butter
1 egg
275g plain flour
75g cocoa powder (Green & Blacks is the best for this)
A splash of milk
A large bar of chocolate

1. Make sure the butter is very very soft and cream together with the sugar in a bowl.
2. Add the egg and mix.
3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and mix. Add a splash of milk at this point if it is too doughy but not too much so you can't roll it and it will keep its shape.
4. Add chocolate chips or chunks of the chocolate bar into the mix.
5. Roll small amounts of the mixture into balls, I find this recipe makes about 12 large-ish cookies.
6. Place onto a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper and press it very slightly.
7. For the extra touch, add another chunk of chocolate.
8. Put in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for about 15 minutes.
9. Remove from oven, let it cool and enjoy with a nice cup of tea. 

You'll hopefully get thick doughy cookies with scrumcious chocolate chunks throughout. If eaten after cooling slightly, you'll get runny chocolate inside but if left for the next day, you'll get bites of thick chocolate throughout. Either way, my mouth is salivating whilst typing this out.


Bon app├ętit 

Vanessa

x

review: maybelline the falsies mascara

Friday, 15 February 2013




I love drugstore mascaras. The one product that has a minute lifespan compared to other makeup products, I prefer going with drugstore brands as I think they do exactly what it says on the tin at a fraction of the price. 

With my old mascara coming to an end, I decided to try another Maybelline mascara. I loved their one by one mascara that they released a while ago so I didn't think they'd let me down. I've always been interested in the 'spoon style' brushes and when Superdrug had a deal on this mascara, I nabbed it up quickly!

The brush itself takes some getting used to as it says on the packaging to use the inner curve side against the lashes. Being a makeup noob, I'm not actually sure the science behind spoon style brushes but it did cover my lashes very well. The black shade was very much a true black and it created lots of lovely volume on my lashes. That's really where the good things end. I like my makeup to be long wearing as I find myself being out and about for long periods of time (usually 10 hours!) so around the 5 hour mark, I found it to flaking off and smudging everywhere.

I decided to give it one last go but the last time I wore it, I came home from a quick visit to Edinburgh to find that it had smudged ALL OVER MY EYES! You know when you see girls in movies crying and their mascara is running down their face? It was like that. Except I hadn't been crying (maybe afterwards I was when I realised that was the reason a guy on the train was looking at me weirdly). Devastated.

I still have faith in Maybelline and their amazing products but I don't think I will be re-purchasing this. Waterproof mascara may be a pain in the backside to remove but it'll save me a lot of embarrassment in the long run!

Have you tried this mascara before? What are your thoughts on it?

Vanessa

x

a big thank you & giveaway *CLOSED*

Sunday, 10 February 2013

You are a lovely lot aren't you? I know every blogger says it but I never imagined that more than 100 of you would click that follow button and ride along my blogging journey with me. At first, Parisian Orchid started off mainly as a beauty blog but it's now turned out to be a bit of a scrapbook of my life and I'm so happy to share it with you. Yes, you. Whether you've recently joined the Orchid family or from the very beginning.

I decided to host a little giveaway to say a big thank you for sticking with me and sharing your blogging life with me as well. Now, I know that there is a mixture of bloggers out so there are 2 prizes to reflect the lifestyle and beauty blogger. So what can you win?


1. Moleskine Soft Cover Notebook and Pen - For the lifestyle/creative blogger with lots of ideas and imagination. This little notebook will be perfect for jotting down notes and ideas and fits perfectly in your handbag. I'm throwing in a cute pen too!

2. Real Techniques Stippling Brush - For the beauty blogger that oozes style and elegance. This is my all time favourite brush. Ever. The quality is amazing and it is so versatile so I'm sharing my must have product with one lucky winner.


The Rules
This giveaway is international so anyone can enter
You must be a follower of my blog via GFC (I will check). 
For an additional entry, follow me on Twitter (@ParisianOrchid)
Leave me a comment below stating which prize you would like to win or you can enter for both prizes! Please also leave me a method of contacting you e.g. email address

Giveaway will close on Midnight on Monday 18th February 2013 and the winners will be announced shortly after.


Vanessa

x

*All prizes were bought with my own hard earned cash*


The winner of the RT Stippling brush is the mary fairy
The winner of the Moleskine notebook is Porcelain Eleanor

The winners will be contacted via email and Twitter! Thanks to all of those who entered!

a valentines wishlist

Friday, 8 February 2013


Oh Valentines Day. When this day comes around, I'm reminded of my social awkwardness and impending spinsterhood. This year I swore that I would start to think positively so I am! Imagine the money I'll be saving in gifts for the special someone but then again, what could I use the money to buy for myself instead. 


  1. ASOS Scallop Front Tab Across Body Bag: Despite having just purchased a Cambridge Satchel, I couldn't help looking on ASOS and I spotted this cute little bag. It has that Mulberry look about it and very practical for day to day wear. 
  2. Temporary Secretary Ninja Mystery Bag: One of my favourite bloggers, Sarah from Temporary Secretary, has one of the cutest online shops. Whilst surfing it the other day, I came across this Ninja goodie bag. It's a running joke with my friends that I'm known as the Ninja (a little to do with my cultural origin too!). But it's filled full of lovely jewellery and stationery. Me wants!
  3. Lavish Alice Deep Wine Velvet Skater Dress: I've been so attracted to the colour burgundy and anything deep wine coloured, plus...it's the colour of the season! The heart cut out on the back is really cute! 
  4. Stila Convertible Colour for Lips and Cheeks: My blush obsession continues. It was ok when my city didn't have a Stila stand but now it's in my local Boots and I ALWAYS go over to it just to look at these blushes. I love how you can use them for lips and cheeks and their colour range is pretty good as well.
  5. Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette: *sigh* I promised myself that I wouldn't get pulled into the hype that was this palette but I've been finding myself wearing more matte neutral shades and this looks so practical. I like the compact nature of the palette and it's so much more travel friendly than both of its predecessors. I may or may not have added this onto my birthday wishlist (hint, I have).
So, single ladies...what's on your wishlist for the Valentines season? Or if you're coupled up, what are you doing on the special day?

Vanessa

x

current makeup

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

I'm always moving and changing up my makeup storage. I'm never fully satisfied unless I find a mess free way of doing it. Over the past few weeks, I've done a lot of clearing out and organising my room so I hit up TK Maxx and I found this storage tin. I loved the vintage-y effect of it so I thought it would be a great way of storing the makeup that I currently use. Lets delve inside...





  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation: I'm currently rationing this foundation so I can save up enough Boots points to purchase another one. One of my favourite foundation and is so light to wear.
  • Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation: You can read my full review of this foundation here. I love this foundation for daytime use. Great coverage and it's so inexpensive as well.
  • MAC Lustre Drops - Pink Rebel: Amazing liquid highlighter. I like using it in the Spring/Summer time especially for that extra bit of glow. You can read my full review of this product here.
  • Garnier Roll On: For those mornings where I've only had 5 hours sleep. Wakes up the under eye really well but if you're looking for a full coverage under eye concealer, this probably won't manage to do the job.
  • Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain - Honey: You never hear much about these nowadays do you? It's like they came and went as quickly as people were churning out their reviews. I still love mine, mainly for the fact it smells minty.
  • Topshop Cream Blush - Flush: One of my favourite cream blushes of all time. Love this in the Summer months.
  • Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil: For eyebrows. 
  • HD Brows Palette: I got this in a Glossybox AGES ago. I didn't like using it at first because it was in the completely wrong colour for me but I use the darkest colour with a light hand and it's fills in my brows quite nicely.
  • NARS Cream Blush - Penny Lane: Current blush love! It was on my wishlist for a very long time and with my very first paycheck, I popped this into my basket and skipped happily away :)
  • MAC Quad - Quarry, Naked Lunch, Satin Taupe, Vanilla: My most used MAC eyeshadows. I hit pan on three shades so I pretty much use them whenever I wear eyeshadow. Don't quote me on the last shade though, I can't quite remember what the name of it is.
  • Majolica Majorca Cream Eye Pencil: One of my best finds in HK. I probably won't buy another brand of pencil eyeliner after using this!
  • Maybelline 24 hour Colour Tattoo - On and On Bronze: My lazy day must have. One swipe of this on my eyelids and I'm ready to go!
  • MAC Painterly Paint Pot: I use this mainly as an eye base before apply any eyeshadow. Acts as a great eye primer if you're not into the more liquid eye bases.
  • Maybelline The Falsies Mascara: Been testing the waters of this mascara and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. The jury is still out on this one!
  • Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: My eyelashes are typical Asian eyelashes so this is an amazing eyelash curler that actually does what it is meant to do. 
I rarely switch up my makeup. I have the 'use up what you already have before buying any more' mentality so this little makeup kit does me quite nicely!

What are your current makeup products? 

Vanessa

x

photo a day january: week five

Sunday, 3 February 2013



January 27th 2013: A last minute cinema trip with an actual person! Yes, I am slowly getting over my fear of going to the cinema with other people! I went to go and see The Impossible with my friend and it was really good. A really big cry-fest!

January 28th 2013: I went down to Edinburgh for the day to visit my friend. Amazing day with more food than my belly can handle! I've already booked my ticket back down for a small visit with possible exciting adventures!

January 29th 2013: If you've ever had a Ben's Cookie in London, they are quite possibly the best thickest, doughiest cookies ever! I decided to try and recreate them and they are so yummy! Made with Green and Black's finest cocoa powder, they are the ultimate delicious cookie!

January 30th 2013: It was my last rest day before I go back to work so I kicked back, relaxed and watched back to back episodes of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off! It's actually sooooooo funny! But does anyone else find Jo Brand utterly irritating?

January 31st 2013: BYE BYE JANUARY! It's been the absolute longest month ever but I'm so glad to have completed my first month's resolution. With a tired look on my face and a thumping headache whilst I type this, I'm really looking forward to February because now it's only 16 days until my birthday! 

Vanessa

x

day out: edinburgh edition

Friday, 1 February 2013

I never used to spend a lot of my time in Edinburgh but now because one of my oldest uni friend lives in Fife, we end up spending a lot of our time either in Aberdeen or Edinburgh. This time, it was my turn to make my way to Edinburgh. I booked a train ticket and on Monday, I rode the rail South!


The morning started off with a cheeky Starbucks and making myself comfortable on the train. A book and my iPod are my travel essentials!


I'm under the impression that most shops and tourist attractions like to close on a Monday! I came across Cuckoo's Bakery whilst surfing Instagram one day and lo and behold, it's in Edinburgh! Me and my friend walked all the way there and saw that it was closed. Fail. Then it started raining. Double fail!

My friend wanted to take me to the National Museum of Scotland because she knows I love museums. How beautiful is the interior? Can't believe it was free to go in as well! It was interactive and had lots of fun things to do inside. I was most in love with the astronomy and earth section. And I found out I weighed the same as a platypus. Time to go on that diet!




Jamie's Italian for lunch. This was the first half of our Jamie's Italian Feast. It was really good!





More eats came in the form of the Hard Rock Cafe. Best place for nachos but I'm pretty sure they changed the cheese because I had the most terrible nightmares when I was sleeping! I was one of those customers that bought the (non alcoholic) cocktail and took the glass home with me. No regrets. 

Don't take life too seriously. Make a face out of the salad. 

We shall meet again soon Edinburgh for I shall be back on the 12th February for a fleeting visit!

Vanessa

x