Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finally an update & Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm alive! I'm back! Sorry for the long absence since my last post.  Some of you might know, I have been working on my thesis, and the past two weeks have been extremely hectic! The good news is, several late nights later, I am finally DONE! I can't wait to print it out on nice paper and turn it in once I get all my professors to read and approve it! It's such a relief to finally not have to worry about it anymore! Thanks to those of you who encouraged me and motivated me through emails, blog messages, and tweets! My blogger girls are so loving and supportive! *hearts*

Last week I went to San Francisco and had the chance to finally meet up with May! May and I have been emailing each other for a while now, and she has been such a great friend! But it wasn't until last week that we were finally able to meet up in person! Of course, being the nicest girl that she was, she had to prepare me a goodie bag, filled with her favorites! She got me my first Dior Addict High Shine lippie in Cranberry Coquette! I am super excited about that! I am loving the Bath and Body Works mentha lip tint lipgloss as well, a breath re freshener, color, and shine all in one, how cool! Thank you so much May! I can't wait for us to hang out again later this week! May and I are planning on going shopping together in SF this weekend :)

When Hard Candy line first came out in Walmart, May was telling me how excited she was about it. She told me what she purchased back then, but little did I know, she got me something too! This nail polish in Hypnotic is super gorgeous, it's a sparkly rosy color that looks great under sunlight! My picture did not capture how pretty it was since I took it at night with the flash on :( This will do the polish more justice.

Here is what NARS Orgasm nail polish looks on my nails:

It's pretty sheer, here I was with 2 coats and you can still see the white tips of my nails peaking through. I love the color, it's not as orange as my picture is showing in real life, more like a pinkish peach color against my skin tone.

♥  Mihoko was having a Morse code contest the other night, and I was one of the lucky winners! Mihoko is super sweet and always has interesting contest ideas, please make sure to check her blog out!

A Koji Active Eye Talk double eyelid glue, which has been really fun to play with. I don't have mono-lid, however, I have been using it the way Mihoko showed us here, for a restless night when my eyes were more swollen than usual and my crease wasn't showing up evenly. She also sent me a cute little hair spray, Kao Style Lock hair spray, which she told me is a fragrance free hair spray. Thank you so much Mihoko! :)

My small Sasa haul finally made its way through! Sasa packages are a true test to your patience, especially now during holiday season, it has been slower than ever. But it's okay, the wait is always worth it :) The star of this package was the BeautyMate Anti-Blemish Repairing Nano Mask. After purchasing so many masks that are targeted specifically for anti-aging, and whitening. I figured it's time to stock up on masks with other functions as well. BeautyMate is another Taiwanese company, and just like Beauty Story and My Beauty Diary, they make a range of masks for all needs. It is slightly more expensive than Beauty Story masks at $6.40 for 7 pieces (instead of 10), but it is still an awesome awesome deal! I will be writing a review comparing all three of the masks sometimes soon!

I also got another pack of the Dariya hair Velcro in baby blue, to keep in my bathroom when I wash my face in the morning.  Another pack of the Kose Softymo nose strip that I love, and two packs of Kuan Yuan Lian's green bean face powder to try out. It can be used as both a face wash, or a mask.

Korres was having their F&F sale a few weeks ago, and I used the opportunity to grab a few X-mas stocking stuffer items -- their highly rated cherry oil full color lip gloss, mango butter lipstick in SPF 10, a guava body butter and lip butter set (lip butter is for me to try), an organic lemon lip scrub for my dry chapped lips during the cold weather.

Last weekend, I went to my local Ulta to pick up some Essie nail polishes for a special friend :) Which was a big mistake, because I came home with so much more than just the couple bottles for her! I'll admit it here: My name is Lulu and I am a nail polish addict! 

I picked up a few of the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear nail polishes. So far I've tried the deep purple one on the left (Flirt), and the bright green one that the bf picked up for me (Ivy League). I am pleasantly surprised with these polishes, I love how wide their brushes are, like the OPIs. Wider brushes offer an even coverage and I prefer them so much more.

Look what I found! Days of the week Hello Kitty socks :) When I was younger, I've always wanted a set of days of the week underwear, somehow I never got my hands on any. But the desire to look for days of the week items have since been in my head and I was always on a lookout for them. So I was super excited when I found a set with Hello Kitty on them, hahaha :)

Bad me, bad me. I not only convinced myself to get my hands on these oh-so-pretty Jill Stuart blush compact, I convinced two of my fellow blogger friends to get them too! This was my first time purchasing from, and I am sure it won't be the last. Their service was excellent, and shipping was extremely fast. The blush arrived at my house safe and sound all the way from Hong Kong in a week!

I got the Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact in 09 Little Bouquet. This is from their Fall 09 collection, I believe. It's so pretty! The peach square is my favorite part of the blush, because I've been wanting a peach blush for a while now! The detachable retractable brush is dense and soft, plus it's super adorable with the shiny handle and the pink gem on the side. This is sooo pretty! I have it placed on my vanity table and I couldn't stop admiring it! hahahaha

And finally, the bf and I bought our first Christmas tree and put it up together. Mia is happy about the addition in the livingroom too, because she gets to sleep on the fluffy "snow" and dream about her Christmas presents all day long!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I will be making my first ever turkey on Thursday, oh boy, wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The benefits of being a night owl!

...and other random tidbits of my week...

Now I got your attention! ^^ We often read articles or hear our parents say how important it is to get your 8 hours of sleep a day, and sleep early for a healthy lifestyle. I cannot emphasize how important it is to head to bed early instead of being a night owl, because on the days that I actually do get to bed early enough, I can SEE my glowy skin the next day -- they call it "beauty sleep" for a reason! However, I'm embarrassed to admit that I have been sleeping way past midnight more often that I would like to be, because of my heavy workload this semester. Plus being addicted to beauty blogs doesn't help the situation, I'm always refreshing and checking out who has just updated :p

Now that I talked about the importance of sleeping and going to bed early, so none of my readers will be misled, I'll explain why I benefited from being a night owl (once) :p

As usual, I was taking a "study break" and browsing around blogger to check out updates, when Mihoko's blog popped up. Turned out she was also still awake, and had a giveaway for the first person who responded and told her why they were still awake! The prize? A Lunasol Eyeshadow Geminate eyes 01 CE, the best selling shades from the Lunasol Geminate collection, and also my VERY FIRST Lunasol palette! I was beyond ecstatic when I found out that I had won. Mihoko's package arrived really fast, and she even included a lovely note! Thank you so much sweetie! If you guys haven't checked out her online store, you definitely should. She sells a lot of Japanese makeups that have been on my wishlist forever (Jill Stuart blushes and eye jellies, one day you will be mine)!

Look at how pretty the Lunasol palette is! I love love love it! :D

My second Sephora package arrived today! I decided to make a last minute haul before the F&F sale ended last weekend. Here are what I got:

An Orgasm/Laguna Blush Bronzer Duo and Orgasm Nail Polish Set. These are the two colors from NARS that I've wanted to try forever! The set is a great value ($35) because just purchasing the duo alone costs $37 on Sephora, plus the set comes with an Orgasm nail polish. It's a pretty sheer peach color that would look great as an everyday polish. I have yet to test out the stay power of NARS nail polishes as this is my first bottle.

Yay now I can finally say that I own a NARS Orgasm blush! I can't wait to try it out and see what everyone's raving about in this blush :)

Fresh Sugar Wish Gift Set -- which comes with a full sized Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment (with SPF 15), and a 1/2 sized Fresh Brown Sugar Body Cream (3.4 oz), which I heard applies smooth and feels non-greasy (a big plus for me!) The combo set I bought came in a gold makeup pouch, and was $28 dollars. It was a good value considering that these were two products I've wanted to try, and together they cost a lot less than if I had to buy them separately.

I tried the lip treatment as soon as I got the package. I am impressed! It's very very hydrating, and made my lips feel smooth. It'll be a great overnight lip treatment, especially since my lips have been chapped often after the cold weather came around. I love the packaging of the lip treatment as well, it has a metal casing, with a screw on top, which makes it feel so sturdy and nice, compared to a regular plastic tube of chapstick. With that said, I am not sure if I would repurchase anytime soon (plus I am hoping it won't run out that quickly!), because it is a very pricey lip balm at $22.5 each.

The Sephora catalog that came with the package and my three samples.

A little update about my "Project No Buy" (I'm keeping progress on the left sidebar of my blog): since I couldn't resist myself and made another Sephora haul with makeup items, I am making the start date of my makeup no buy Nov. 1 instead (the last day I made a purchase on Sephora). I actually didn't hit pan on any makeup in the month of October anyway, so I'll start over! It's going to be hard to resist with all the F&F sales that are going on, and with the holidays coming, but I will try again! Wish me luck :)

The Face Shop booth stopped by my local Asian plaza again! I tested out their nail polish remover and was pleasantly surprised by how well it removed my glittery nail polish! I especially love the pink one because it is strawberry scented, so it doesn't have such a pungent acetone smell when you open the bottle. So why so many bottles you ask? haha it was because the boyfriend didn't carry any cash and the minimum for cc was $10! lol but he said it was okay, cuz I'll use them up quickly anyway. I change nail polishes so often nowadays since the start of my nail polish addiction :p To push it up to $10, the sales lady also suggested me to try out the base coat (in pink -- it shows up clear on my nails though), and I grabbed a yellow nail polish since I've always wanted one.

I highly recommend these TFS nail polish removers, even though they come in a small bottle, but they take off polishes pretty easily and I found myself to actually use less of it every time compared to my Sally Hansen one that I normally use (probably because the Sally Hansen one doesn't contain acetone). Another benefit of these TFS ones is that the top is not completely open but the solution drips out through one tiny hole on the cap. This is great for Miss Clumpsy like me, since I've tipped over and dumped a whole bunch of nail polish remover on the floor before :p They retail for $2 each at my local TFS.

I also bought a cuticle cutter to practice some basic manicure at home. I wonder how come I've never owned one of these before! They are so easy to use and can pick out the tiniest hang nails in the toughest to reach corners!

I have a confession to make: I might be addicted to NARS cosmetics @_@

Last week, the bf was nice enough to buy me these:

NARS Duo Lipgloss Trio (buy here)

NARS Deep Throat blush + Lip gloss in Striptease

I am loving these NARS lip glosses! They have great staying power, and are not too sticky (I don't like sticky glosses -- they are especially bad on a windy day since I usually wear my hair down).

I gotta say though, even though the bf was happy to pay, he did not approve those interesting names NARS named their cosmetics, HAHAHAHA, he gave me this weird stare when I told him the shade names :p hehehehe it was part of the fun!

Lulu can make bread! We decided to try make our own bread at home -- who doesn't love fresh, warm bread! We tried out several recipes and these two turned out the best: Hokkaido milky loaf, and cinnamon raisin bread. the milky loaf is my favorite (and I guess so was the bf's because I only got two slices of the whole thing before he finished it off -- I think he woke up before me and snuck to the kitchen to munch on those before I even went upstairs!!!), it has the perfect soft cotton-y texture and just the right amount of milky sweetness. *drool*

So when I finished checking out blog updates twice, went through all the youtube videos I possibly want to watch, ate, watched news, and played with Mia twice, what else do I do to procrastinate? I made jewelries!

When I saw those black bows in the charms section at Michael's, I knew I had to get them! I simply attached a faux pearl on the bottom, and a pair of earring hooks on top, and viola! It's love love love!

This layered bracelet is attached with a bunch of random charms, locks and key set is definitely my favorite to add onto any jewelry, plus a ton of faux pearls, and love, joy, hope charms.

Another angle of the bracelet.

Hope you liked everything! I better go get my beauty sleep soon! Until next time...

xoxo, Lulu

ps - I think I watched too much Gossip Girl recently... :p

Friday, November 6, 2009

October Favorites!

I'm terribly sorry for being late on talking about my last month's favorite product. The first week of November passed by SO fast, I can't believe it's already the weekend!

This month, I loved using:

Click on picture to enlarge!

♥ Clarisonic Mia -- This was love at first sight (use). Not only is it super easy to use, super cute, easy to take to travel with, and it's PINK! Best of all, it really did wonders for my skin! I use this twice a day, in the morning with my Cetaphil face wash, and in the night guessed it, Cetaphil, except the oily/combo skin version that has more cleansing power and would help me to take off any residual traces of makeup that my cleansing oil might not have. I like using Cetaphil with the Clarisonic brush because it's foam free, and therefore less messy to use over the sink. I also heard Philosophy's Purity Made Simple works well with the Clarisonic, I shall be trying that next after I am done with my current bottle of Cetaphil.

Ever since I started using Clarisonic, I've noticed that my skin has been a lot smoother, which is awesome because it makes any skin products I use right afterward absorb into my skin like a dream. Also, I've noticed the one pimple on my forehead when I started using Clarisonic had dried up and flattened the day after I started my new routine, the gentle yet effective brush head drove the nasty gunk out of my pimple! Awesome!

Oh and of course, the most important reason I am love my Clarisonic Mia is because it shares the same name with my Mia Catcat! hehehe just kidding :p

♥ LUSH Smitten Hand Cream
-- It's an yummy almond milk scented, nourishing hand cream. It smells like my favorite LUSH soap Snowcake.

♥ Essie Matte About You -- This topcoat transforms any colors of nail polish into a matte finish. Instead of buying individual bottles of matte polishes, this one bottle does it all. So when the trend dies down after the season, I won't end up with bottles and bottles of matte polishes.

♥ Sephora by OPI 212 -- This is the perfect color for winter! It's a smokey black color with tons of various sized sparkles that looks gorgeous under the sun.

♥ LUSH the Big Tease -- A little bit of this hair cream goes a long way, and really does a good job controlling any flyaways. It's the best smelling hair products I've used -- smells like LUSH Olive Branch solid perfume!

♥ Smith's Rosebud Salve -- I've been using this ever since I finished my manuka honey lip balm (I can't believe I finished a lip balm completely!). I use it as my night lip treatment. It smells really pleasant, and does a pretty good job keeping my lips moisturized for the night.

♥ Yes to Carrots C Through the Dry Spell Delicious Rich Body Butter -- I put this one every night after I get out of the shower to keep my skin moisturized. It is important to moisturize, especially since the weather has gotten cooler. This body butter comes in a huge jar. It smells pretty nice. I love its texture, it's really easy to absorb and feels non-greasy, which is a big plus for me, I hate the feeling of greasiness in my hands after I apply moisturizers. It's a really good drug store body butter!

♥ Cover Girl Lash Blast -- I've been using this mascara only for the past month instead of switching a different one everyday because I am trying to work on my Project 10 Pan, hahaha. I like Lash Blast for the volume it gives to my lashes, the huge wand does take a little getting used to though!

♥ Stila Lip Glaze (Raspberry) -- is a secret -- I don't like raspberry scent! So why do I like this product? Well the raspberry scent in this lipgloss is really faint so it doesn't bother me much. The color is pretty, and Stila lip glazes are really easy to use and take along. I've been actively using this lip gloss daily for Project 10 Pan, hahaha :)

So here are my favorite products to use for the month of October. What are your favorites? Please share :)

Hope you are having an awesome weekend!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween NOTD & Love package from May!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! Bf and I didn't do anything for Halloween this year, we went to the mall and watched little kiddies all dressed up and getting candies from stores :p In the spirit of Halloween though, I did my nails yesterday:

I put two layers of OPI Glow in the Dark nail polish in Ghostess with the Mostess (white), then on top I used CoverGirl's Crackle Lacquer in Blue Moon. This Crackle polish is really cool, it cracks by itself upon drying. I thought it's very appropriate for Halloween yea? For base I used Essie Sensitivity Base Coat, and for topcoat I used OPI RapiDry.

What made my Halloween so special was not the trick-o-treats or the costumes, but a surprise love package from my dear May!

May is the Queen of Masks! She also got me addicted to collecting sheet masks recently :) Look at all the masks she sent me!

She mentioned to me about how she loves the 6-pack/box My Beauty Diary masks in Camellia and wanted me to try it as well. But little did I know, she gave me so much more! She also got me MBD in Platinum Nanocolloid, White Truffle Fantastic Whitening, and Japanese Cherry Blossom. Look at how pretty the packagings for these masks are! She also got me some VOV masks to try! There are the wash off types in green tea collagen and mud, as well as a sheet mask in sake nori. Sounds so yum! hehehe I can't wait to try out my new masks. Thank you so much Love!

May is also a Hello Kitty lover! She got me this adorable HK shower cap and Winnie the Pooh towel, these are two of my favorite colors: pink, and baby blue :) yay for our matching shower caps now!

Then I pulled out this big Shiseido makeup bag, what could possibly be in it!

More goodies! She got me some yummy white milk tea powders and Meltyblend candy, packed in these super kawaii Hello Kitty ziplogs, where did you get these May! She also got me makeup stuff to try out -- Marie Claire green makeup primer, China Glaze nail polish, Kevin Beautymaker Mineral Concealing Cream, a Skin Food mushroom BB cream, bareMinerals iQuad eyeshadow palette, and a pack of oil blotting tissue :) Thank you so much for all the lovely goodies, I love them all! Thank you for being such an awesome and loving friend, May! *hugs*

In one of our email conversations, I told May that I was interested in trying out the BM concealer. She told me that she has one that she no longer uses and wanted to send it to me to try! I've heard a few great reviews on this product. Here is the concealer in the middle, it comes in a tiny white squeeze tube. It is really small in size, I put the China Glaze nail polish bottle (full sized) on the side for size comparison. But it's also great for carrying around in makeup bags because of its size. I like the squeeze tube much better than concealers in a tub since it is more sanitary. It didn't crease on me and covered up my under eye circles pretty well, however, it looked a bit drying under my eyes, so it accentuated the laugh line under my eyes even more! -- that's not good! I think for spot treatment it works pretty well, however for under eye concealer I still prefer to use my CoverBlend concealer.

I also tried the Marie Claire Designing Makeup Base SPF 15 PA+ in green. It comes in this adorable frosted pump bottle. I've never heard of this brand before, the writing on the package is in Korean, and the only thing recognizable is "Made in Korea", hahaha. I like it so far! I love green primers because it helps to neutralize the redness on my cheeks :)

Little haul from yesterday: Hello Kitty hats! I couldn't decide which color I wanted, black or the bf decided for me -- BOTH! hahaha I love him :) If I had to choose, I think I like the white one better though :)