Sunday, 31 January 2016

YOUTUBE | KYLIE LIP KIT REVIEW + GIVEAWAY

I love a good matte lip product so naturally I was very intrigued by Kylie Jenner's new line of 'lip kits'. I managed to get my hands on all three of the shades and in this video I run you through what each of them look like on my lips as well as my opinions on the formulation and longevity of the product.

I'm also giving away a brand new Kylie Lip Kit so stay tuned till the end of the video to find out how to enter!


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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

OOTD | RUST

Zara trousers (similar here & here) / American Apparel top / Topshop boots / Proenza Schouler bag / Daniel Wellington watch*

Decided it was okay to take these shots while it was drizzling and voila — granny Hermione chic with hair bigger (and frizzier) than my life aspirations. This was quite a simple outfit but it's all about the trousers baybayyy... I'm still experimenting with different fits and silhouettes since I'm quite new to the whole pantaloon shebang (perhaps you still remember the Andini who wore nothing but dresses and skirts). I thought this oh-so-70s Zara pair were only a step out of my comfort zone though... highwaisted and wide-legged, it's close enough to wearing a long skirt.


GET THE LOOK


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Sunday, 24 January 2016

OOTD | WINTER FLORALS

H&M dress / ASOS hat / ASOS belt / Rachel Comey boots / Daniel Wellington watch*

Florals? For the winter? Groundbreaking. Devil Wears Prada references aside, I do love a good winter floral and think we shouldn't necessarily ditch the print just because there aren't any real ones blooming (in fact the lack of actual flowers around should really be an excuse to wear more floral print hehe)... this dress' icy periwinkle blue print and darker background makes for the perfect winter floral.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

THEATRE | THE DAZZLE STARRING ANDREW SCOTT & DAVID DAWSON

Okay so I actually first saw a poster advertisement for this play on the wall of a local sushi train I often frequent for lunch and my first thought was just a nonchalant "Oh, Andrew Scott's doing another play..." 
I'm probably one of the few people living in the UK who isn't a fan of  Sherlock (shock horror, I know... I just can't get into it), and wasn't initially interested in going to see The Dazzle despite actually being quite impressed by Andrew Scott's last performance in Birdland. Fast forward a few weeks and the show began its run, I was suddenly in the mood to watch a play (maybe suddenly isn't quite the right word as this happens pretty often) and there were far and few productions on at that moment that I hadn't already seen. After doing a little research online, I found out that it's being held at a brand new theatre venue that's part of Soho Theatre's management, called Found 111. I booked tickets and before I knew it I was walking down Charing Cross Road, trying to locate the venue before the show. 

Found 111 doesn't look like much from the outside (in fact it doesn't look like anything, it's just a single door in between other buildings) but you actually have to climb a couple flights of stairs upwards where it opens up to a cozy bar area that then leads into the studio room. There's no elevated stage of any kind so the play is executed using floor space in the middle of the room which on the whole isn't very big, I think it seats just over 100 people. Speaking of seating, nothing is allocated so it's first come first served and what was kind of quirky was that they seemed to have just bunged in all the random chairs they could find in varying shapes and sizes and lined them together in rows to form the audience. Upon choosing my seat I inconspicuously stole a cushion from a vacant chair to line the seemingly unforgiving wooden stool I ended up on. I shift my eyes to the middle of the room, where there's an old piano, an antique looking sofa and not much else. The first act is set in New York in 1905 and as the lights dim and all three of the actors enter the room in a flurry of waistcoats and pearls, what unfolds in the next two and a half hours was probably some of the best acting I have ever witnessed at the theatre.

We are first introduced to Langley Collyer (Andrew Scott) and initial impressions are that he's an extremely gifted and successful pianist. Even the bubbly and beautiful Milly Ashmore (Joanna Vanderham) seems quite taken with him. Langley lives with his brother Homer Collyer (David Dawson), who looks to be the more rational of the two and as the story progresses, it is revealed that the former lawyer and now manager of Lang's musical career is the one keeping their financial situation in check. The next scene opens with an exasperated Homer scolding Langley for cancelling yet another performance and here we begin to see that Langley's mental state is almost like that of a child's. He does what he fancies, whenever he wants and his attention span is even shorter than mine. Homer calculates that at this rate the brothers will fall into bankruptcy in the near future so he cooks up a plan to marry Langley off to the besotted Milly, who is conveniently a wealthy heiress. Unfortunately things don't go quite accordingly to plan due to a volatile Langley who doesn't return Milly's feelings and only hangs around her because to him she's 'so ordinary it's refreshing'. Alas as you can very much imagine, the downward spiral begins here. 

As I previously mentioned, 2014's Birdland already proved to me that Andrew Scott is a brilliant stage actor. The role of Langley is another far cry to anything I've seen him play, though perhaps there are elements of Moriarty's cheek and playfulness that can be seen in him. Eyes wide, an innocence radiates from him that is impossible to condemn though I often feel sorry for Homer whom it falls upon to deal with his carelessness and erratic behaviour. However angry with his brother Homer may be in an instant, his nature to protect and look after him always overcomes everything else and I feel this is ultimately a story about fraternal love. Now can we please talk about David Dawson? I'm gonna talk about David Dawson because that man is an absolute revelation and I didn't expect him to command my undivided attention throughout the entirety of the play, I was thoroughly fixated. Personally I thought it was his heartbreaking performance that made The Dazzle so beautiful. As I sat in the theatre watching him, I recalled that I had seen him before in another play called The Duchess of Malfi  (shamefully I had no idea who he was back then) and as soon as I returned home I re-read my review on it and sure enough I wrote that 'his was the standout performance' and now I'm pretty much just reiterating the very same thing. I felt like I was with Homer every moment of the story, being torn between two opposing things that he so desires. Homer's intense drive towards his own dreams knocked the breath out of me yet there were times when such a palpable sense of resignation on his behalf hung so strongly in the air and both of our eyes would well up but the only difference was that Homer would smile through his tears for the benefit of his brother. So yes dear reader, my heart has been thoroughly crushed by David Dawson's performance. I don't hesitate to go as far as saying that this is the best acting I've ever witnessed in my years of going to the theatre. Combined with Andrew Scott and Joanna Vanderham, who is a breath of fresh air as Milly and gave me some serious Carey Mulligan vibes, this powerhouse of a trio serve up a chilling and poignant masterpiece.

I thought I'd also add that I was doing some background research whilst I was typing this and I didn't realise that The Dazzle was based on real life events and that the reclusive Collyer brothers actually existed... how fascinating but also very sad. I feel ridiculously blessed to have had the chance to experience this play and now my future theatre escapades will have to face up to this production... how will anything ever top The Dazzle?

The Dazzle is at Found 111 theatre, London, until the 30th of January 2016. Book tickets here.

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

LIFESTYLE | MY FIRST TATTOO (EXPERIENCE & HEALING PROCESS)

I never thought I'd get a tattoo. That's not to say I was against them, I'd always wanted one but being the most indecisive person ever I'd never thought I'd see the day where I could actually settle on a single design and commitment is the key when you're getting something that will be on you forever and ever and ever. So imagine my own absolute surprise when the day after I woke up from the IAMX show last year, I suddenly knew that it was the right time to get my X tattoo. I'd been contemplating one for a few years now but just kept on dissuading myself and it didn't help that my parents were both such anti-tattoo people (alas that's Asian parents for you). I thought about it for a few more weeks before I made my appointment and then I knew my mind was set. The way I looked at it was that, if I wanted something that I was capable of getting, why not just go for it? I had such a huge fear of regretting it but in the end, you only live once and I knew I'd regret it more if I never plucked up the courage .

Choosing a tattoo place is apparently very important but seeing as I had no previous experience and that tattoo design I wanted was pretty simple, I just located one that was accessible by public transport and that had good reviews, which ended up being Extreme Needle in West London. I'd emailed back and forth with them about my design and on the day all four of my flat mates tagged along to give me moral support which I thought was really nice of them. I wasn't nervous about the prospect of getting tattooed at all, I knew I had a really high pain threshold and needles never bothered me in the slightest. I was more worried about whether I was making the right decision to get a tattoo but I thought if I did end up regretting it, it's not the end of the world, I could always cover it up or opt for laser removal. Stepping through the door of Extreme Needle, first impression was that the place is quite tiny and the atmosphere not as intimidating as I thought it would be, perhaps because the staff seemed pretty friendly and there were a few other customers there already waiting. I was introduced to my tattooist Ronnie who was super lovely but told me that none of my friends could actually come into the tattooing room with me, which I thought was a bit strange but I didn't really mind, in fact the only qualm I had about this was that there would be no one to take photos to document the process on my blog haha. Sorry about that guys! I did manage to take a phone photo myself during the tattoo process though as seen above. Ronnie took me to the tattooing room and proceeded to scale my X to the correct size and positioning it on my arm to determine the correct placement. This took longer than we both anticipated because I was extremely picky and adamant on getting the size and position exactly right to my liking, which to be honest, was probably starting to annoy Ronnie a bit, haha sorry. When I finally agreed, he pressed the transfer sheet with the tattoo outline down on my skin before peeling it off to leave the purple outline, much like a temporary tattoo. He then pulled out the needle and asked me if I was ready. He knew it was my first tattoo experience and he tried to explain about the sensation and pain but in the end it's different for everyone. It's difficult for me to put into words what the needle feels like against your skin. Many people say it's like a hot cat scratch but since I'd never been scratched by a cat, I couldn't possibly tell you if that's accurate. For me it was a constant stinging, and unfortunately it hurt a whole lot more than I had anticipated but I could bear it. After a minute, my skin started to go numb or maybe I was just used to the sensation so I felt it didn't hurt as bad. Ronnie was quite chatty and attentive during the whole session which definitely put me at ease and my mind off the fact that I was getting repeatedly scratched with a large needle. Before I knew it, the tattoo was finished (thinking back it most likely took about ten minutes) and Ronnie was wiping away all the excess ink and blood and showing me to a mirror. He then wrapped it with some cling wrap and taped it up before leaving me with aftercare instructions and the promise that I could just email him with any questions if they should arise. He'd also been curious about what the X stood for and said he would look up IAMX's music which if you're reading this Ronnie, I hope you did!

On the bus ride home, my arm stung like crazy. Almost my entire lower arm felt sore and tender and I just didn't want to move it around too much. A couple of hours later and before I went to bed, I unwrapped the plastic and washed the tattoo with Dettol anti-bacterial soap, careful not to scrub or put too much pressure on it, in a gentle rubbing motion with my fingers to get rid of any excess ink. I then let it dry before smoothing a thin layer of Lush's Dream Cream over it. My skin didn't bleed at all after the tattoo session, there were only a couple of faint red marks around the edges of the tattoo where the skin was slightly more aggravated. I repeated the process of cleaning and moisturising my tattoo twice a day for the next 14 days until it was fully healed. On the second day, the stinging had decreased to a dull ache and I went out and about without anything covering my tattoo but I kept an eye so that nothing would get in contact with it, including any clothing sleeves. During the next couple of days, the pain gradually disappeared and the tattoo started to dry out and raise, kind of like a scab. I made sure it was moisturised at all times so I carried a small tub of Dream Cream around with me in my bag. By the seventh day, the scabbed area which had cracked in a few places, started to flake off. It's important not to physically pick and peel at it, however tempting it may be, and just let it do so in its own time. When you wash it, more bits will gradually flake off. Around the ten day mark my tattoo started itching. It's important not to scratch it directly though so I just tapped lightly around the area to alleviate the urge to. It was exactly two weeks until my tattoo fully healed and the entire surface of dead skin peeled off.

Until now, almost two months since I got it, I've not experienced any complications. The one thing I've noticed though, is a tiny area in the middle that isn't as dark as the rest. This might just mean that too much off the ink lifted in the healing process and I might get it retouched one day but it's probably not noticeable unless you're me. So that was my first tattoo experience in a nutshell, I'm super pleased with it. I'd heard that tattoos are addictive and now I have to whole-heartedly agree, I'm already itching to get more. The question is, what next?

Have you got any tattoos?

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Thursday, 14 January 2016

OOTD | COATIGAN


Zara coatigan (similar) / Topshop dress (similar) / Orange belt (borrowed from mum) / Alexander Wang boots / Givenchy bag

Investing in some sleek knitwear pieces for the winter was definitely one of my favourite fashion decisions this season. They truly give you that 'super chic and put together' vibe when actually you've taken the same amount of minimal effort as you would've throwing on a baggy jumper and leggings (which there's nothing wrong with of course but sometimes life just calls you to look a little more presentable, even when you're not in the mood). The two pieces I'm wearing today are a bodycon Topshop striped dress and a drapey Zara coatigan which is basically like a cardigan with added collar lapels that immediately transform it into something smarter. Together I think their silhouettes balance each other out nicely and the neutral colours are perfect to induce into anyone's capsule wardrobe.

On a completely unrelated note, I've just joined Snapchat! About ten years late to the party I know, my username is andiniriaa and I've only had it for a day but I'm already hooked. I'd love to follow more bloggers so please leave your snapchat usernames below :)

BLOGLOVIN' | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR

SHOP THE LOOK


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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

OOTD | THE PINK ROOM

Vintage dress / ASOS brogues

Fun fact: I wore this dress on my birthday last year when we went to Sketch for afternoon tea. The Pink Room over there has a (yup, you guessed it) completely pink interior so I would've disappeared into my surroundings if it weren't for my yellow hair... in all seriousness though, this dress is one of my favourite vintage finds, I love the colour combination as well as the mix of dainty prints.

Have you ever found a vintage dress that you felt was just the one?

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Sunday, 10 January 2016

LIFESTYLE | HYPER JAPAN FESTIVAL

I've no idea how it's taken me this long to attend a Hyper Japan festival but boy am I glad I finally went last (still feels so strange saying that) year. I adore Japanese culture, food, and fashion, in fact I studied the language all throughout my high school life and even travelled to Japan on an exchange program in my final year. My friends literally wouldn't stop going on about how good 2014's festival was and at first I was unsure about whether I wanted to go. I'm not the the biggest anime buff (the only one I watch is Attack on Titan) and although I was familiar with pop culture conventions, I'd never been to anything like Hyper Japan before. I'm all for new experiences though so I joined a group of girl friends on the Saturday of the weekend long affair. 

The festival was held at Tobacco Dock which is a huge warehouse in East London and though it took about an hour in the freezing cold and gusty winds for the queue outside to make its way inside, it was well worth it as the set up was warm and welcoming. None of us cosplayed but my friend and I did decide to wear our Attack on Titan jackets just over regular dresses. The dress I wore is by Bonne Chance Collections and I thought the cutesy print and oversized collar would go nicely with the whole Japanese theme. Instead of a huge open space with rows of stalls like at usual conventions, the warehouse is split into little rooms with glass walls, so visiting each vendor is kind of like going into a shop. Although some voiced their discomfort at this layout, I actually quite liked it, it made areas seem quieter and more secluded. One of the first shops we wandered into was full of plushies and candy. I don't know why llamas are so popular in plushie form but I can't object, they certainly look adorable. The candy section worked like a buffet bar, you pay a certain amount to get a tray which you can then fill up with the sweets of your choosing. We tried everything from bubblegum sherbets to pumpkin Kit Kats, yuuuuum. On the way out I spotted a whole rack of Gudetama merch but I only ended up purchasing a pack of tissues (which in my defence are probably the handiest thing to have and these ones have Gudetama print on them, so there).

After taking a look at all the different stores we started feeling a little peckish. It just so happened that we walked past a Maid Cafe and my friend explained that it's a fun, Japanese style cafe that is run by women in maid outfits. Food is served as well as activities such as games, music, decorating etc. each for a certain price. I was definitely intrigued so we took a table. The maid designated to our table was named Lisa and she was the bubbliest and loveliest girl ever. She took our orders of ramen and doriyaki (Japanese pancakes with custard filling) before showing us the 'activities menu'. My friends and I settled on Jenga and a game between Lisa and I turned out so intense (like 'only single blocks left' intense) that it seemed the entire room had their eyes trained on us. Unfortunately I was the one who caused the tower to tumble at the end and consequently lost but it was such an amazing game and I think everyone was glad that they could release their breath haha. Before we left we got a little polaroid taken with Lisa to commemorate out visit, on which she also wrote each of our names in Japanese. I actually used to be quite a fluent writer in Japanese (my speaking skills not quite on par though) and looking at this really makes me want to pick up a calligraphy pen and refresh my memory.

Closing time approached much to soon but not before we managed to squeeze in some more Japanese delicacies including takoyaki (octopus balls), chicken karage (fried chicken), bubble tea, and matcha soft serve. With full bellies it was time to make our way out and home, which was easy peasy since Tobacco Docklands is right next to a tube station. The last thing I wanna do after a long day is have to navigate a complicated travel journey, complete with itinerary, home, so I always appreciate this. I had a totally amazing and memorable first experience at Hyper Japan festival and the event has definitely rekindled my love for all things Japanese. Don't be surprised if my blog name changes soon hehe.

PS. Just kidding, forever an anglophile first and foremost.

Have you been to Hyper Japan or a similar Japanese & anime convention?

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