Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Favorites ♥




In the month of January, I really enjoyed using:

♥ Clinique 3-Step System -- My Clinique 3-step system includes the liquid facial soap for oily skin, clarifying toner in #3, and the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel that's suitable for oily and combination skin. After using this simple skincare system for about a month, my skin loves it! The face wash lightly foams, cleans my face well yet doesn't leave the skin feeling tight afterwards. It doesn't contain any strong fragrance, which I love. The toner has a strong witch hazel scent to it, so it might need some getting used to if you've never smelled witch hazel before. But it doesn't bother me much. Keep in mind this toner does contain alcohol, which might be too drying for some people. However they do have an alcohol free version (that the bf uses for his dry skin), so you can always choose that one over the one I have. I like how my toner comes with a pump, which makes it a lot easier and quicker to use. The moisturizing gel is super light and non-greasy. It absorbs very quickly into my skin. It completely changed my mind about the moisturizer. I've tried their lotion version before, and hated how greasy and heavy it felt. But this gel has a  very smooth and light consistency. After reading various reviews about the Clinique 3-step system, it seems like it has worked for many people, but also failed on many others. My opinion is, everyone's skin is different, you will never know if it works for you until you try it. Also, getting the correct ones for your skin type is very important. I am lucky that I found the system to work wonderfully with my skin!

Victoria's Secret Garden Ultra Softening Body Butter -- This body butter applies like a dream. It has a whipped consistency that just quickly melts into the skin, and is non-greasy and not sticky at all. It comes in many scents, my favorite is Sweet Daydream, which is such a sweet and nice scent. The scent might come strong for some people at first, but it goes away very quickly. I usually apply it after shower every night, while my skin is still moist. I slather it all over my body to help lock the moisture in. Since it is the winter right now, I find myself using a lot of it every night. So much that I finished one jar in just a month! This shows how much I love this body butter. I even apply it to my feet and hands. While Korres body butter is still my #1 and most favorite, the VS one is something that I would keep buying and having a few extras stocked up because it is a much more economical choice. Sometimes VS has the entire Secret Garden line on sale for 8/$35, so be sure to stock up then!

Kevin Beautymaker BeautyHair Thickness Supporter -- I bought this product last fall to help volumize my fine, limpy hair for those big hair days. It comes in a spray bottle, and you simply spray some products at the roots, massage in with your fingers to lift the hair up. When I first tried it, it would work only for a short while. I got disappointed with the product and it has been sitting on my countertop every since. But recently I decided to give it another try. I am loving the result this time! It gives my hair a very volumized look for hours (I set it with some hair spray after). Perhaps the first time I tried it, it was during the most hot ahd humid months (August to September). Now that the weather is cooler, my hair probably doesn't get as oily fast, which would weight down my hair. Who knows, I am just glad this product works now and didn't go to waste. This shows us that sometimes when a product doesn't seem so great, give it a rest and pick it up again after a while, and see if your opinion would change, instead of throwing it in the trash right away.


NARS Orgasm/Laguna Blush Bronzer Duo -- Laguna bronzer was my favorite bronzer to use in November, and it still is!  It's my perfect contouring shade. Nowadays I find myself using this compact a lot, I just apply the bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks, and then the Orgasm blush on the apples of my cheeks and extend it upwards towards my temple for that natural glow. Some of you asked me before whether if the Orgasm blush is too shimmery on my face, I find that a light hand does the trick. The shimmers are really fine to look obvious anyway. 


♥ NARS Concealer Duo in Custard/Ginger -- Love the creamy consistency, which makes it really easy to blend into my skin. But it doesn't crease much, which is awesome! The shades suit my skin tone very well. I use the lighter color for under eyes, and the darker shade for the rest of my face to cover up any blemishes. Thank you bf :)

♥ La Mer the Powder -- The perfect setting powder. I will never go back to another loose powder :) I am glad it comes in a big jar, so it will last me a very long time! I chose the shade Neutral, which is a matte shade. I know a popular one to have is the shimmery translucent shade, but I was afraid that it would be too sparkly on my already oily face. Neutral looks great on me, and gives me a clean, polished finish. Its texture is extremely light. I've experimented with applying 3 or 4 coats on my cheeks, and it still didn't cake up! Best of all, it doesn't feel heavy, so it doesn't make you feel like you have powder on! It also does a pretty good job at keeping my oilys at bay for at least a few hours.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BF's Adventures in Sephora and LUSH

I *heart* my bf, not only because he loves and cares so much about me. But also because he is the one who always tells me to go update my blog and encourages my beauty obsession, since he knows this is what I enjoy doing.

Over the holidays, my grandparents and parents were over in California to visit us. Since it was such a rare opportunity especially for my grandparents to travel, I wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. Over the New Year, I stayed at home to spend time with my family while the bf travelled to LA to visit his. Since he knew that I wouldn't be able to have time to go to any after-Christmas sales in the mall, he offered to grab some stuff for me :) Keep in mind, just like most guys out there, he hates shopping with a passion! Imagine how lost he must be in stores like Sephora and LUSH!



LUSH was having an awesome after Christmas sale, and this was my first time hearing about this great deal. When I posted about how much I love Snow Fairy shower gel in one of my previous posts, a helpful blogger (Thank you!) reminded me about the sale and that I should stock up then. Imagine my excitement when the bf came home with THREE bottles of my favorit-est scent in the whole world! He also knew that I love LUSH bubble bars, and got me these cute No Name (Gnome Name) bubble bars, the eyes were chocolate chips, how adorable is that :) All of the LUSH holiday items were buy 1 get 2 free.



Sephora also had a $10 and under sale.I asked him to get the NARS duo concealer and a Benefit to Go Beauty Bestsellers kit. Both were $10 each. December was his birthday month, so he got a free shower gel as the birthday present. I guess they don't give out lipglosses to the guys :p




The NARS concealer was in Ginger/Custard, and is suitable for medium skintones. The consistency of the concealer is creamy and easy to blend, yet it doesn't crease much, which is awesome! The shades also suit my skin tone very well. I use the lighter color for under eyes, and the darker shade for the rest of my face to cover up any blemishes.




The Benefit kit is super adorable. The OPI nail polish bottle on the side is for size comparison. As you can see, all the products were sample sized, but they are sufficient for many usages. So far I've tried the Highbeam as a highlight, and Posietint as a cute pink blush.



There is more! Hidden under all the Sephora goodies were a cute red box tied with pretty ribbons. What is it?



He got me a heart shaped white gold pendant with sparkly diamond accent. I love it so much! I've been wearing it every day since I got it.




He even got Mia something :) A blue and gold raincoat (our school color) that Mia was too fat to fit in, haha how sad! And a pink mousie cat toy. The towel is actually for me, it has an embroidered cat face on it, which looks just like our Mia.

Even though the bf was only in  LA for a few days, but he got me so much goodies! Thank you for being such a sweetheart, and for supporting my beauty obsession :p

How's everyone's weekend so far? Yesterday (Saturday) was a sunny day, which was very special since it's been pouring nonstop in California for a week now! So off to the mall we went!




A box of See's chocolate that we both love. I guess we are celebrating Valentine's day early :) Look whose stinky foot got into the picture!



The bf also bought me a YSL Parisienne  perfume set. Edna told me to go sniff the YSL ad in my Cosmo magazine, and I fell in love with the scent right away! It's such a lovely floral scent, very sweet, but not over powering. This set is a Valentine's Day set that includes a 1.6 oz bottle, a small travel sized bottle, and a body lotion in the same scent. I am so excited about this, and plan on wearing it everyday now because I love it so much!

Friday, January 15, 2010

[Catching Up] Presents & Prizes!

'Twas the season to be jolly, la-la-la-la-lalala...during the season of giving, I received a few awesome presents myself:

Audrey from audreydao.com hosted a handful of holiday giveaways, and I was the lucky winner to the L'Oreal one. If you guys haven't checked out Audrey's very organized and informative website, you guys are missing out! She does TONS of reviews/tutorials everyday, and follow her tweet too because she always finds the most awesome deals out there! I am so glad to have gotten to know her over the past few months, and she is really a sweet girl and a great friend to have :)


Even though I've tried a few L'Oreal HIP products before, the ones she sent me are ALL the ones I've never tried/seen before! Such as the metallic finish color chrome eyeliner! It really reminds me of MUFE Aqua Eyes or UD 24/7 liners. The shadow paints look really awesome and reminds me of the water colors I used to use in art classes when I was younger :p Audrey told me they work well as eyeshadow bases. The HIP duo shadow has a pretty green shadow that I love (I've been really into green shadows recently!). And the jelly balm is a nice deep wine color.

She also sent me a lovely card with sweet messages that totally made my day, plus a bunch of Shiseido samples she handpicked for me to try, because they are all her favorites! Thank you so much sweetie!



My Secret Santa this year was Jess from Ohh...pretty!. She was the best secret Santa ever! She sent me so much goodies to try out, a hand mask, silk whitia masks (my fav!), lip balm, a Lunasol powder sample, mascara, perfume samples, Essence shimmer powder, and a lock & key charm, plus a cute handwritten note from her! The hand mask is a new concept to me, it's made with similar material as face mask sheets but in the shape of gloves that you put on your hands for about 20 minutes, so the essence could be soaked into your hands, making your hands soft. I loved it! Where can I get more hand masks, Jess??


She knows that I love Hello Kitty, and look what she got me!!! I literally screamed when I opened the package and saw this:


A super kawaii Hello Kitty makeup pouch. The zipper pull is even made in the shape of a pink bow! How cute!!!


Even though it doesn't look so big from the outside (size of a Nitendo DS), but the inside is very roomy with several compartments to make organization easy. It's even got slots for brushes/lipsticks. Thank you so much Jess! I loved all my presents to pieces!!!

If you followed me on Twitter, you would know that my wish was granted by Sephora Claus last month! I felt extremely lucky to have won because Sephora was granting one wish a day, and I was notified of my winning on my first try. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that I had won, because I've been wanting a Juicy Coutour perfume in Viva la Juicy for a long time now.


It was a happy happy day when I saw a big Sephora box sitting on my front porch, and inside was this beautiful Viva la Juicy gift set with the 3.4 Oz perfume plus a jar of body butter in the same scent. It was love at first sight!

Then just when my mom (who was visiting me over the holidays) asked me, how come you get so many packages, I got a surprise package from Diana! She was such a sweetheart for sending me presents. I applaud myself for taking a picture of all the chocolates before they were devoured (dad and bf took each took one too), the candy cane Kisses are the best! The nail polish from Sinful Colors is a pretty sparkly color, and the coffee milk tea was so yummy!


She knew that I was suffering from eczema, and sent me her favorite calming soap that helped with her flare-ups. It is called the Healing Bar, and contains a bunch of really yummy and natural ingredients such as olive, coconut, avocado. I've been using this soap every night ever since I got it. Not only does it fill my shower with a wonderful scent, Diana was right, this soap was really soothing and didn't cause any irritation on my sensitive skin. I've already used up half of the bar (bf got addicted to it too), so the question now is, where do I get MORE once I run out!!!


Right before Xmas, my best friend, Christina came to visit me in California. We've known each other since we were babies, and have not seen each other in over 12+ years, so this reunion was extra special for us. When we were out shopping, she bought me these earrings because she knows I have a weak spot for crowns and bows!


 

She also got me a pretty box of Godiva. Look at how pretty the packing is!

 

On the subject of earrings, boyfriend got me these at Forever 21 the other day. I went to F21 to shop for earrings after reading Lisa's hilarious post here. So I was hoping that my ears would get "cheap" too and accept those earrings, but so far, no luck yet :( I'll keep training them, Lisa! 


Another very pleasant surprise package came from my dear friend Nic from Spoiled Rotten! I sent her some small presents back in November for her birthday, and she spoiled me back with this awesome package! You totally didn't have to do that girlie! She knew I was looking for MAC HK blushes, and look what she got me!!! She totally spoiled me with all the HK goodies -- jelly beans, HK ornaments because she knew I had put up my first ever Xmas tree in my house. Thanks so much Nic, those ornaments looked really cute on my tree, and it was totally funny to see the bf shaking his head as I was decorating my tree with them :p

 
 

My college friend got me these for Christmas, including some MBD masks that she got from Taiwan. I gave her some of my masks to try, so she wanted to let me try these Q10 ones too. She also got me an L'Occitane rose facial mist, smells so yummy, and perfect for bringing on travel. Plus a cake decorating kit, I am super excited about this one. Besides my interest in makeup and skincare, my other passion is baking and cooking! I can't wait to use my decorating kit!


My work involves me going to SF often, which means I get to see the lovely May! She had bought these Kiehl's lip balms around the holidays and told me that she loved it, so she wanted me to try it as well! She also gave me a sample of the Vitacreme B12, I'm so excited because I've been dying to try this product after reading so many blogger girls raving about it! She totally knows I love coconut, not only was the lip balm in coconut flavor, she got me a coconut scented foot cream as well :)


The bf's birthday was right around Xmas time. This year was especially special because my parents and grandparents were all visiting us in our new house, and we invited the bf's parents and grandparents over as well to show them our place for the first time on his birthday! We made dumplings together, it was so much fun just sitting around the table, making food and chatting. Mia was extremely excited too because she's never seen so many people at our home before! She was running around like crazy :)

Bf's grandparents got me these Ghiradelli chocolates. Isn't the packaging adorable?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

[Catching Up] Hauls!

I know, I know, Christmas is long over, time always passes by so fast! But I still need to snap out of my holiday mood! Better late than never, here are some of my hauls over the past few weeks :)

I took advantage of Sasa.com's free shipping deal once, no, twice more before it ended to stock up on some goodies.

The first package comes with:


  • A heel scraper. My curiosity got the best of me, and it did have a pretty good review on the site. But it's been sleeping in my drawer ever since I received it. Hah! 
  • Two packs of Blackhead Off and Moisture Face Mask. I wanted to give this a try also because of the rave reviews I've been reading. The consistency of the mask is similar to that of Naris Up nose pack. It comes out as black gooey substance that dries a few minutes later, and the whole thing could be peeled off of your nose like a Biore pore strip, ripping off the unsightly gunks on your nose. Its price is a little hard to believe, it was only a buck something, but works pretty well for its value! 
  • Two packs of Lehcaresor Papier Poudre (blotting sheets). These blotting paper comes in a cute little booklet and is pink on the side that's filled with powder. If I remember correctly, each booklet is only around 80 cents. It soaks up oil and mattifies my face very well, and the powder from the sheets serve as a touch-up and blotting in one.


What else from Sasa, you ask? Sheet masks, of course! In an attempt to become the Queen of Sheet Masks, I figured I needed to amp up my collection of masks even further:


  • My Beauty Diary Whitening Mask Set comes with 13 pieces of:
    【Japanese Cherry Blossom Mask】x 4 sheets
    【Black Pearl Mask】x 4 sheets
    【Red Vine Mask】x 4 sheets
    【White Peony Tea Mask】x 1 sheet (from their premium line)
  • My Beauty Diary Brightening Mask Set comes with 13 pieces of:
    【Aloe Mask】x 4 sheets
    【Bulgarian White Rose Mask】x 4 sheets
    【Natto Mask】x 4 sheets
    【Platinum Nanocolloid Mask】x 1 sheet (from their premium line)  
I also received a huge box from Sephora around Christmas, but I only ordered one thing from them: the Clinique Great Skin Home and Away (for combination oily skin). This set comes with 3 big sizes of their 3-step system (cleanser, toner, and moisturizer), and 3 travel sizes of the same 3-step system, so you can make sure that you are covered at home and on the go! Everything comes in this shiny silver travel bag that's big enough to stash away all the goodies for my next trip. Also, the toner that comes with the set is a huge 16.5 oz bottle with a flip-cap pump to save you the hassle and avoid accidental spillage.

During the holidays, my forehead started to act up and got 4 unsightly break-outs there (I blame it on my bangs that needed to be trimmed!) I decided to give the Clinique 3-step system a try. So instead of layering a handful of different products on every day, I stuck to the easy and simple cleanser, toner, and moisturizing gel twice a day, and my skin really liked me back for it! This is my first time using the 3-step system, and I really like the result, and will continue using it. The gel that comes with the kit is a great moisturizer that's light and non-greasy, with a very smooth finishing texture that keeps my face super soft! I like it a lot better for my oily/combination skin than the lotion (which I found out comes with the dry skin kit).


Mia was really attracted to the shiny new bag! What can I say, she's such a girly girl!

I was also able to score the silver clutch deal Sephora had for spending $25 and above. I love the clutch, it's so cute, and the flower detailing is adorable! Inside also comes with a bunch of samples, which will always come handy when I travel. 


 

Korres had a one day only sale right before Christmas. Of course I couldn't let go of the super sweet deal, and got myself more body and lip butters :) You all know how much I *heart* Korres products! I also bought a pack of rose gum out of curiosity...it's interesting, but I would probably not re-purchase. Gum should be minty and sweet, not as if I just ground up a bunch of rose petals between my teeth :p The texture is somewhat hard for chewing gum as well. I think I'd better stick to body care products from Korres in the future :)



Lastly, to feed into my nail polish addiction -- Essie Cuddle with Color mini set.
  • Mink Muffs: smoky plush taupe color, which I later found out is very similar to Orly Prince Charming that I bought before.
  • Midnight Cami: deep blue with shimmers. My favorite out of the 4!
  • Angora Cardi: plummy color.
  • Pink Parka: can never have too many hot pink shades :)


  

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Physician's Formula Plump Potion & an awesome giveaway!

I've purchased this Physician's Formula Plump Potion in pink potion because I was really attracted to its interesting packaging that's shaped like a little test tube. I am not too interested in its plumping effect, but love the baby pink color and the moisturizing effect of it. The tingling sensation it gives is interesting, but doesn't bother me much. The consistency is rather thick, but not too sticky, which is good.








The lovely Lianne from Sassy J'Adore opened an online store selling cute hair accessories and hair extensions, and she's having a grand opening giveaway! I've always been really interested in trying out hair extensions myself, mostly because I would like to give my thin, flat hair a more volumized look!



RULES:

- Must Copy & Paste the flyer above onto your blog post along with these rules.
- Once re-posted this onto your blog, post a direct link on her comment box.
- International people is welcome to join
- Follower: optional
- In addition to re-posting this ad onto your blog, to increase your chances of winning; if you purchase something from her store she will enter your name twice. =)

Help her spread the word. =)

Winners will be randomly picked.

Deadline: The first week of February or the end of February (TBA)