Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A beautiful Saturday with Kalmo

Several weeks ago in March, Kalmo (Cambo Soup) came to visit me! As some of you may know, Kalmo and I used to live in the same town where we both went to school, and we had hung out a couple times last fall. But last winter, she moved to southern California, and we haven't seen each other since, until last month, when she told me that she was coming back to the Bay Area for a visit.


We were both really excited to see each other, and talked nonstop while fiance drove us to San Jose for some girls time and shopping. As soon as she saw me, she handed me a wedding book to help plan my wedding :) Thank you so much sweetie!

Before we got to the mall, we also stopped by David's Bridal for my first ever wedding gown try-out. It was an interesting experience, even though I didn't end up picking the two styles I had tried on that day, but I had a lot of fun.

I stopped by LUSH to pick up some of their Valentine's bath products.

From left to right:

Lush Love Soap -- It's shaped like a heart and covered full of red glitters, and is scented like Sex Bomb Bath Bomb.

The Ex Factor Bath Bomb -- It looks like a gingerbread man with a cute little pink heart on his chest, how adorable! It smells like Lush Butterball.

Magic Mushroom Bubble Bar -- This is my favorite out of the three. It looks like a really cute pink mushroom. The red cap is scented like Yummy Yummy, and the bottom white part is Vinallary scented. My bath with this bubble bar was truly a fun experience, it smells so yummy, and made my bath water pink :)

Lastly, a Sex Bomb. The little pink flower inside is so pretty!


I also picked up some LUSH fresh masks to try out. I was always really afraid to buy these masks as they only have about 3 weeks before they expire, since they are made with all fresh ingredients. I don't always remember to do mask every day, and sometimes I even go weeks without doing one. So I didn't want to buy these fresh masks and waste them. However, Kay and Catherine informed me that the unused portions of the masks could be frozen and thawed again when ready to use. As soon as I got home, I froze two of the masks, and two weeks later when I defrosted them again to use, they were fresh as new :) I am glad that I now know this trick, especially since I don't live near a LUSH store, so if I go, I'd have to stock up on my goodies.

The three masks I picked up are:

Catastrophie Cosmetic -- this is my favorite out of the three. It has a very smooth texture, very easy to apply, and smells like blueberry = so yum!

Cosmetic Warrior -- works wonderfully for blemishes and oily skin, BUT has such a strong garlic smell that made me hate it. There are also garlic pieces in this mask, make sure you don't smear one right next to your nose! If you have super sensitive nose, and dislike garlic, don't try this one at home. haha

Cupcake -- hmm chocolate cupcake batter in a tub, is exactly what it looks/smells like. This is also a yummy one to use!


A cool thing I found out about LUSH fresh masks -- if you bring back 5 clean black LUSH pots back to the store, you would receive a free fresh mask! What a great incentive to encourage people to not toss the plastic containers, but to bring back to the store so they can be properly recycled.

I've finished all 3 masks by now, and will do a more detailed review on them soon!

Have you tried any LUSH fresh masks? Which ones do you like or recommend for me to try next?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Accessorize Earrings

Today I will show you my little DIY project that I did over the weekend, to accessorize a plain ol' pair of hoop earrings. I have a few pairs of hoop earrings at home that have been sitting in my drawer for a long time. So I decided to take them out, accessorize them and show them more love.

(1) All you need is a pair of simple hoop earrings:

(2) Gather up whatever charms that you like, attach jewelry findings on them if needed, and decide on an order as to which charm will show up in the front.


For me, I chose some pink pearls, a bird charm, key charm, golden leaf, "love" charm, and a bow charm.

(3) Loop the charms through the earring, and ta-da!


From the front, the key charm is the first thing you see:


Now my new earrings are cuter and just the way I like it. Pretty simple project, no? Hope you liked it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Weekend

Wow time really flies, the last weekend of April is already coming to an end :T I am excited yet nervous about May. April has been a relatively relaxing month for our wedding planning, not much has happened this month. But we have a whole bunch of tasks planned for the month of May, such as start shopping for wedding rings, my accessories such as tiaras and jewelries, start choosing wedding favors, and order invitations...But at the same time this also makes me nervous because with May's arrival, it also means summer is coming right around the corner, and soon enough, September will arrive in no time!


This weekend was rather a relaxing one. On Friday evening, fiance and I participated in a wedding registry event at our local Macy's. While we have decided not to add too many household items onto our registry, but focus on a honeymoon registry instead, it was fun to browse around the store with our scanner and talk about the things we would like to have. They also had some food and drinks available to all the couples, which was really nice. At the conclusion of the event, we received a goodie bag filled with useful registry information, a lipgloss from Clinique (Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 in Air Kiss), and beautiful flowers :)


Also, Macy's is having a FF sale starting this coming Wednesday, everything is 25% off. You can also use the code MACYSFF online, I believe it's free shipping for orders $99 and above.


Because April is my birthday month, this cute bear is mine thanks to Build-A-Bear :) haha I am such a big kid sometimes :p


 Now onto some makeup/skincare related hauls from this weekend:


I got this Beauty Bible to read. It seems like a very informative book, that addresses topics such as ingredients in our cosmetic products, sun protection, makeup application tips, product reviews, etc. While it is always useful to read product reviews from other users before purchasing a product, it is also important to stay informed and learn about the ingredients and their purposes. I can't wait to go through it. I will probably pick out relevant sections that I learned from reading the book and share with you guys sometimes too :)


I picked up this Zirh set to try out, mainly because of the eye cream. Even though Zirh is a skincare line designed for men, they have some really good products that women can use as well, for example, this Herbal Under Eye Cream. It contains caffeine that helps to stimulate circulation underneath the eyes to help remove dark circles and decrease puffiness. It has a light gel consistency, makes it ideal to use in my morning routine to help de-puff my eyes. I'll keep you updated whether if this product holds up to my expectations!


I also picked up the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Blemish clear skin cream, after reading Fuz's review. The salicylic acid in the cream helps to combat blemishes, while the retinol helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Even though it is a tiny tube of only 1 oz. of products (and costs about $12), you only need a little drop every time to cover the entire face. I've used it twice so far, and really like the consistency. It's not greasy and heavy, and absorbs into the skin quite nicely. It also has a nice scent. I hope I like this as much as Fuz and all these reviewers on MakeupAlley do.


I also was lucky enough to pick up three bottles of Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat at Ulta. Usually it's almost always sold out whenever I visit, but I guess I got lucky this time and they had just restocked :) It was on sale for buy 2 get 1 free. This is definitely my favorite top coat to use, nothing dries faster and leaves a shiny smooth finish as this topcoat does! I am glad to discover this product, because I am always the impatient one who end up doing stuff too soon after I paint my nails and smear the polish. With Seche Vite, it dries my nail polish super fast (within a few minutes) and then I can just move on with my day :)


Ulta also has OPI, Essie, Orly, and China Glaze nail polishes all for buy 2 get 1 free this week, if you are in need of picking out a few new nail polishes. Don't forget to use their $3.5 off coupon.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Go To Beauty Products

Today I will talk about my go to beauty products. These are basically products that I like to use on a daily basis, or just products I tend to grab most often to use at the moment. This tag is inspired by julieg713 after watching her Youtube video.

✔Primer:


Korres Vitamin E Face Primer: 
I am almost done with this tube. Yay! I like this primer because it does not cause me to break out or clogs my pores. I love that it's silicone free, because it doesn't feel heavy on my face. 

✔Foundation:

 Stila Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15:
perfect for when I am in a hurry, minimal blending required, and it makes my face glowy and my complexion more even.

Revlon ColorStay makeup for Combination/Oily Skin:
I've been trying this foundation out  recently to see if it would be a good candidate for the summer/wedding when my skin is more oily. 

Revlon PhotoReady Foundation: 
Also trying this out. Mine is not as sparkly as some people mentioned in reviews! I guess I got lucky? 

✔Concealer:

 NYX Concealer in a Jar: 
My everyday concealer, its creamy formula is perfect for covering up blemishes. See, I hit pan on it! :D

NARS Duo Concealer:
Sometimes I'd grab this concealer too for convenience, the lighter color for my dark circles, and the darker skin for my blemishes. 
 
✔Setting Powder:

La Mer the Powder:  
I love this powder, it's so finely milled, making it super light and never goes powdery on the skin.  


MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Duo:
I use the bottom matte part as a setting powder, or sometimes I even swirl the highlighter color and the matte powder together for a little bit of fine shimmer.

✔Blush:


MAC Blush Ombre in Ripe Peach: 
My most favorite blush ever! It just has the perfect peachy color for spring. 

Contour/bronzer:

 Stila Contouring Trio:
I use the dark color for contouring, and the light color for highlight. The dark is matte so it's very appropriate for creating that shadow along my cheekbones to help sculpt my face.

Cream Highlight:

 Benefit Highbeam:
This product is a great highlighter. I dab this along my brow bones and inner corners of my eyes for that extra awake look. I don't usually use it on my cheeks though, as the sparkles tend to make me look more oily. 

✔Highlight:

See above, I either use the light shade in Stila Contouring Trio, or the shimmery upper portion of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish. 

✔Mascara:


Kiss Me Heroine Long & Curl Mascara: 
My all time favorite mascara. It holds my curl, lengths my lashes, and stays put!

✔Eye Shadow:

 Stila Precious Pearl Palette:
Love this palette. It's small so it's travel friendly, yet it has 6 very pretty and pigmented shades.  My favorite to use are the light pink for overall wash of color, dark blue for liner, green and gold. You can't tell from the picture as the camera totally failed to capture the details, but I've actually used quite a lot of the pink, blue and gold colors. I hope I can hit pan on them soon!
 
✔Eye Liner:

 Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes:
It's perfect for doing tightlines and waterlines as this liner is super pigmented, doesn't fade or transfer easily.  
 
✔Lip Liner:

I don't normally use a lip liner.
 
✔Lipstick:


MAC Ever Hip:
My favorite lipstick at the moment, I've been grabbing this everyday!
 
✔Lip Gloss:

 MAC Lip Gloss in Mimmy:
This shade actually compliments my Ever Hip lipstick pretty well. Plus it's from the Hello Kitty collection, and just using it makes me happy haha.  
 
✔Eyebrow:

 Urban Decay Brow Beater:
Very easy and convenient to use, it has the color, the wax and the brush all in one! 
 
✔Makeup Brushes:


 Face Brushes (from left to right):

EcoTools Concealer brush: quite a handy brush for applying cream concealers.
 ELF Foundation Brush:  I use this to even out the concealer under my eyes.
Everyday Minerals Duo Fibre Brush: for stippling on foundations.
ELF Powder Brush: love it's soft flat top for putting on setting powder.
Everyday Minerals Angled Blush Brush: for contouring.
ELF Complexion Brush: for blending, putting on highlight powder.
No Name Blush Brush: forgot the brand of this one.

 
Eye Brushes (from left to right):

ELF Eyeshadow C Brush: big wide tip perfect for a wash of eyeshadow color across the lid.
Stila #9 Blending Brush:  love this for blending out harsh lines. 
Costal Scents Angled Liner Brush: for shadow liners.
 
✔Nail Polish:

 ELF Nail Polish in Champaign: 
Even though I own so many other nail polishes, my most used shade is this ELF one. I just really love this light peachy color, as it really compliments my skin tone when I wear them on my nails. It's perfect for everyday. Also, ELF polishes have a nice wide brush, which makes it a dream to apply! For a $1 polish, this totally exceeded my expectations. This might actually be the first bottle of colored polish that I'll ever finish as I am near the bottom of it already. But don't worry, I already picked up a back up :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Birthday Haul -- Forever 21

Annnnd the birthday haul continues :)

Recently I've been really loving F21's spring/summer clothes, because they are affordable, easy to maintain, and I won't have to worry if this wedding diet/exercise routine works so well (fingers crossed haha) that if I lose a ton of (much needed) weight by the end of the summer, I won't cringe if I can't wear those clothes anymore. I also really love Forever 21's shipping, since it ships out of LA, it only takes about 2 days or so for it to arrive.


In this order I got a bright coral colored romper that says Waikiki in the front. This is my first time buying a romper, which is basically a one piece overall with a combination of shorts and a tank. This would be something cool to wear while relaxing at home in the summer days. I got two leggings -- a must have for spring/summer outfits because they are so versatile to wear either under a skirt, a dress, or with a tunic shirt or long tank. I also purchased a 3/4 sleeve jacket and a cardigan. I am really loving the idea of a shorter sleeved spring jacket, but too bad the weather is getting warmer faster than I had expected, and I won't be needing to wear jacket for much longer. I've also been really into cardigans after I started working. They are the perfect piece of clothing for layering, and to throw in my bag for when the office gets a bit chilly, and are not as bulky as hoodies that I normally wore during my student days.


I also purchased this skinny belt with a bow tie at the closure. As you all know, I love bows in my outfit :)


Not too much jewelry this time. I got this earrings/necklace set that totally reminds me of spring, and surprise! a pearl bracelet with a huge jeweled bow in the front.


I got this cardigan to add to my growing cardigan collection. The color is very appropriate for everyday office wear, yet the black bow tie near the collar adds a bit of uniqueness into this piece.


More leggings, and a super long tank that will be good for layering.


I saw this shirt in the store before but didn't get it. Good thing I waited because now it's on sale! The black kitty is just so adorable, and her whiskers are covered in rhinestones :)


A peachy colored tunic shirt, and a simple tshirt that's too adorable to pass up. It has a cute kitty and says, "I'm cute and I know it" :p


Lastly, another simple tee with an adorable design. I am so going to wear this during our honeymoon, hehehe :)

That's all, pretty simple everyday pieces, I hope you enjoyed reading through it!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Birthday Haul -- Urban Decay and Cosme-de

Let's jump right into what I bought from Urban Decay :)


When I heard that Urban Decay was having a FF (friends and family) 30% sale, I jumped right into it because I've been wanting to try out the facial sprays they came out with their summer collection. I am really loving the concept of facial sprays recently (see my March Favorites), I love how they help to set my makeup, replenishe the moisture in my skin throughout the day, and are easy to carry around and use.

I picked up De Slick, which is a setting spray for oily prone skin; and Guardian Angel, a spray moisturizer with  SPF 8 in it. My plan is to use De Slick on the days when I need to wear makeup and use the mist to set my face, and bring Guardian Angel on the go so I can keep my face moisturized, plus with the added benefit of the tiny bit of SPF.

I've only tried De Slick so far. To be honest, I am not quite sure if it helped to mattify my skin much, at least not for too long. But then my face does tend to get pretty oily, especially on a hot and humid day. Most mattifying products did not offer long lasting power for me, and the only product I have found so far that works really well at keeping my oily face matte for quite some long time is the Pore Refiner by Dr. Brandt, which I will talk about in another post soon.

I'll let you guys know how Guardian Angel works out for me once I use it, probably after I finish my current spray (L'Occitane Rose Hydrating Face Mist). The name Guardian Angel just sounds like it's going to be a nice product doesn't it? haha we'll see if it holds up to my expectations.

I also picked up a "Hall of Fame" kit that contains an XL sized Primer Potion. I've always used Two Faced Shadow Insurance. So I wanted to compare and see how I like the primer potion. The kit also came with the most adorable, tiniest lipstick in Midnight Cow Boy, a mini 24/7 eyeliner pencil, a mini mascara, and a mini Pocket Rocket lip gloss in Timothy. I am so excited because this is such a great way to try out some Urban Decay products. I've only tried the 24/7 eyeliners and Pocket Rocket eyeliners in David before, but I heard Timothy is one of the most popular choices :)


Cosme-de is a great online store that ships out of Hong Kong. It sometimes has a few really great deals. Plus it offers free shipping with no minimum purchase. The shipping time for Cosme-de is actually super fast, considering that it came all the way overseas. It took about a week for me to get my package, this is much faster than Sasa, and mind you, my Sephora packages usually take a week to arrive to me as well since it ships from the East Coast. Sometimes they have great deals that pop up, so this would be a website where you might need to check back once in a while and see if they added any cool new items!

When May told me that dejavu Fiberwig mascaras were on sale for $8, I was super excited because this was one mascara that has been on my wishlist forever, but I never got a chance to buy. Considering how this product sales for $24 on Sephora, this is such a great deal! I got both of us a mascara, but of course I had to wander around the site a bit more, and guess what I found!


A YSL Collector Powder Palette For Eyes and Complexion. I picked up the color 01, which has a pink blush, and light beige, golden, and gray/black colored eye shadows. The most adorable thing about this palette?


The colors are shaped in such a way that it resembles a dress with a big bow! I fell in love with it right away, isn't it too cute to use? hahaha.

Go get yours before it runs out! :p

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birthday Haul -- Sephora

It seems like Sephora always has a sale around my birthday every year. Last year I got antsy to buy goodies for my birthday and placed my order the night before the 15% off sale started, since I had no idea about it. Well this year, I made sure that I was able to take advantage of the sale (or like Iyah says, it took advantage of me too, hehehe)

My first Sephora order came with my Sephora birthday present, a Benefit kit, a Korres blush, and a Tokidoki lip stain.


I spotted the Benefit kit during a Sephora store trip a few weeks ago. At first I didn't think it was something that I'd ever get and use. But just a few days later, I was researching for a matte bronzer for contouring, and Benefit Hoola came to my attention. Many described it as a non-shimmery, natural bronzer that doesn't give off an orangy or reddish tone if used for contouring. I have tried many bronzer that made my face look more orange than the natural shadowy look that contouring is suppose to achieve, so I was really excited to give Hoola a try. This kit is a great value for someone like me who wants to try out other Benefit products as well, plus all items are full sized products. I am currently using a mini-sized High Beam luminescent complexion enhancer, and I love it as a highlighter, mainly on my brow bone and the inner corners of my eyes. The kit also comes with Gilded highlighter pencil and a Bad gal brown mascara. I have never tried mascaras shades other than black, so I am very interested to give this one a try soon!


You guys know how much I love Korres products. So when this Korres orange blush was on sale, I knew I had to get it, just because :p I've been really into peachy/coral makeups recently, so this blush is a nice addition to my growing collection. Under the light, you can see some golden shimmers in the blush. Reviews say Korres blush is buttery smooth and a dream to apply. I can't wait to try it out! It kind of reminds me of MAC's Ripe Peach Blush Ombre, which I love dearly and have been using every day!


Tokidoki collection at Sephora offers a ton of overly adorable products. I was especially interested in the lip inks for its claim of long lasting power. I wanted to test them out and see whether if they'd be wedding day appropriate. I want to find a long lasting lip color so I don't have to keep reapplying throughout the day, and also so I won't transfer any lip colors on anyone else's face, hahaha. I also purchased a MAC lip stain recently, which I will talk about in another blogpost soon!

 Cactus Friends (coral) -- another makeup for my latest coral addiction.

I thought the packaging is adorable. The product basically looks like a marker. I didn't enjoy the pointy tip too much as it was a bit hard to color in the upper lip with the sharp tip. However I can see that this tip would become convenient if one were to use this lip ink as a lip liner, for its precise application. 

This is what the lip ink looks like on me, under florescent light, taken without flash.

This is the same lip ink under flash.

Also from Sephora, I purchased a set of Fresh Sugar Lychee perfume/shower gel/body lotion set, and two Juicy Couture lip gloss tins.


I fell in love with the sweet scent of Fresh Sugar Lychee perfume when I took a sniff in store last month. So when I saw this Sugar Affair set that is created by Fresh exclusively for Sephora's 10-year anniversary celebration, I was overly excited. Sure I don't need another perfume, and this was an impulse buy, but it sure makes me happy having this :)  I have been wearing my new perfume for the past 3 days and I am loving it!


I also purchased these super adorable Juicy Couture lip glosses. They would totally make cute stocking stuffers. I regretted not getting more of them as it was on sale for 1/2 off.