Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Giang's Love Pack (OPI nail polishes)

As soon as my May Makeup No Buy was over, I went nail polish crazy. My excuse this time, was to find the perfect neutrals for work, and the perfect pink for my wedding. You can never have too many OPI's, they are the best nail polishes ever :)

The ever so sweet Giang helped me to order some OPI nail polishes. She even included some extra shades that she loves and thought I should try as well!

 Giang's nail polish love bomb + Hello Kitty! :)

The Pinks and Reds (from left to right):
 It's a Girl!, Got a Date To-Knight, Japanese Rose Garden,  Chapel of Love, Cozu-Melted in the Sun 

Essie's Tart Deco, Do You Lilac It, What's with the Cattitude?, You Don't Know Jacques

I love how OPI has really cute names for all their nail polishes!

Giang's extras:
Essie's Turquoise & Caico's, Dulce de Leche, Tickle My France-y, China Glaze's Ruby Pumps

I absolutely love all the new nail polishes, thank you so much Giang for helping me to expand my nail polish collection :) My collection is growing by quite a lot now, would you guys ever want to see a nail polish collection post? Please let me know :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nose Packs Showdown

Today I am going to show you the two blackhead/whitehead nose cleaning products that I've been using lately. Getting rid of all that gunk that are build up from the nose has always been on my top priority. While I've been lucky enough to not have been plagued by blackheads since my early teenage years, my pores around my nose does get clogged with whiteheads pretty easily, due to my extremely oily t-zone.

The first product that I have been faithfully using since last year is the Kose SOFTYMO Men’s Nose Clean Pack, which you can purchase from Sasa for $5.80 (10 pieces). These nose strips are similar to the well known Biore nose strips, where you apply on cleansed wet skin, let it dry into a hardened paper-mâché texture, carefully peel off and all the impurities and whiteheads from my pores will come out with the dried strip, leaving my nose feel oh so clean. Even though this product is designed for men, but it works perfectly for women too. Kose also has a women's version, but it is smaller in size. I prefer the men's version because it covers more area. The strip has slits cut along the sides at where the nose curves, so it fits the nose extremely well.  I also really love how the nose strip is black in color, because it really lets me see all the gunk that has been pulled off, in a gross but very satisfied kind of way. hahaha

The second product that I have also been trying is The Face Shop White Mud Nose Pack. These are a bit harder to find because you'd have to live close to a The Face Shop store to purchase these (where as Sasa ships world wide). I was lucky enough to have Tammy to help me to purchase this. (Thank you so much Tammy!). I think it sells for about $7 a tube. This nose pack comes in a tube, and the product squeezes out with a white gooey consistency. You apply the product on dry cleansed nose, let it dry for about 20 minutes, then peel off. Same with the nose strip, all the impurities and gunk from your pores are suppose to stick to the pack as it dries and be pulled off with it.

So how did these two products compare? I'll let the gross pictures speak for themselves --

 The Face Shop White Mud Nose Pack

The Kose one obviously pulled off more whiteheads from my nose than The Face Shop one. Plus it just shows all the details more easily because it's black in color. However The Face Shop one didn't do too shabby either.

In terms of convenience, I prefer the Kose one a bit more because there is no mess, and it is more travel friendly. It also takes slightly less time to dry up.

However, the Kose strip is more harsh on the skin than The Face Shop one, once it dries hard, it really adheres to the skin well, and you'd have to be really careful pulling it off. A few times that I did in a hurry, I found my skin to be very irritated and even broken from the pulling action. Because of this, I also don't recommend using this product very often. Maybe once every two weeks or even a month would do, because you don't want to irritate your delicate skin.  The Face Shop pack also hurts a bit when I pulled it off my nose, but not as bad as the paper strip. I found that packing on a thicker layer helps. However that would also mean longer drying time. I'd recommend using The Face Shop one every week or two weeks.

Personally I would probably continue to stick with my Kose strip and use it once a month to help clarify my pores because of its convenience and effectiveness. I would use the Face Shop one in between if I feel like having an extra boost. If I'd have to travel, I'd also prefer the Kose one more due to its convenience. However for at home usage, The Face Shop one is more economical, as I can see that this little tube would last me a while.

What is your favorite nose clarifying product? Please share :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MAC Marine Life

During my No Buy in May, the most anticipated items on my wishlist were a whole bunch of OPI nails polishes (thanks dear Giang for help me to fulfill my wish, post coming soon!) and MAC's Marine Life Highlight Powder from To the Beach collection. It just looks too gorgeous and too interesting to ever pass up. I started to have a special affection towards beach related theme in the recent months, not only because summer is here and I am totally ready for the warmer weather and trips to the beach. But also because our September wedding will also be near the beach and in the ocean. The glistening seahorse embossed on the powder totally drew my attention and I knew I had to have it!

I actually didn't have the guts to wipe off the gold powder and try out the product yet! I'm still in my admiring stage, something silly that I do to some of my pretty newly acquired makeup items haha. One day when I am ready to use the product, I will show you swatches and how the colors look on my skin. I think I would totally love that corally color on top as a nice blush color.

Admire with me...


Monday, June 21, 2010

Hair Extensions

I've always been curious about hair extensions. Having super fine and limp hair, I always wished for voluminous long hair, and I had hoped that hair extensions could help me to achieve that.

I got my clip-in extensions on Ebay (sundanceimport). The hair extension is 100% human hair so it can be straightened and curled. This seller offers very reasonable prices for the extensions. You can also choose various lengths depends on your needs. I chose the 16" one.

It's been a while since I've bought this, if I remember correctly, the shade I got was an off black shade (1B), which matched my natural hair color pretty well.

This is my hair before the extensions were put in, very straight and not so much volume:

With the extensions:

Excuse the messy crown, I am such a noob at this, and also did my first try in a hurry. I should have hid the clips better and also brush out the hair afterwards so it doesn't look so messy. But here is how my hair looks like with the extensions all clipped in -- a bit longer, and even though you can't tell much from the pictures, but in real life, I was super happy with how much more hair I had. My ponytail was about twice the size as before and i was excited about that, and just the possibily of be able to do more hair styles with those extensions' help.

16" was slightly longer than my natural hair at the time of purchase, I think it might blend in with my hair a bit better now that my hair grew longer. It also might blend in better once I curl my real hair and the extensions together. I also need more practice so I can hide the clips in my hair better.

I finally satisfied my curiosity with extensions. I haven't really been using them much since I received them, and haven't wore them out yet. But I think these are good to have for the special occasions where I want to look like I have fuller, more voluminous, and longer hair.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tiny Weekend Haul

I went to Sephora because I wanted to test out the new Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams, but my store did not have them in stock yet! I also wanted to go pick up the free VIB gift (Smashbox eyeliner/brow powder palette + primer), but much to my disappointment the SA told me that they had ran out within the first hour after the store received the shipment!

As I was reluctantly leaving the store empty-handed, I spotted this Cover FX Translucent Mineral Powder near the cash register as this week's Sweet Deal and decided to give it a try. I've been on a setting powder hunt lately so I am excited to give this one a try soon. When I swatched it on my hand in the store, the powder felt silky smooth and did not leave a white cast. I hope it will be good at oil controlling too.

Also picked up some Hello Kitty stuff at Sanrio :)

A polo dress at America Apparel. This will be perfect for the summer.

And picked up a cute long hoodie at Victoria's Secret's Semi-Annual Sale. Have you checked out their sale yet?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Finished Products in May

A little belated, but let me share with you the products I finished in the month of May, and my thoughts on them.

✔Kose Seikisho Mask White -- My favorite peel-off type mask, it grabs onto whiteheads on the face really well, and even those fine hair on the cheeks, and cleans them all off in one try. The most amazing thing is, it really does make the face look more brightened/whitened afterwards. The only bad thing about this mask is, it really hurts when you pull it off. So I try not to use it too often, usually once a week or sometimes even once every couple weeks.

✔LUSH New! Solid Shampoo -- Cleans hair well, smells refreshing, and makes my hair feel soft and bouncy. I did a detailed review of the product here.

✔CVS brand 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel -- I have a love/hate relationship with 10% benzoyl peroxide acne medications, sometimes they work wonders for me, sometimes they don't do anything. I think it also depends on what type of pimples they are. The red cystic ones are harder to get rid of with this, but the ones that have a white tip and ready to burst (sorry for the graphic description) work better. (I am trying out Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion for my cystic acne right now, and I am loving it -- combined with B.liv Spot Got Shot -- reviews coming up soon! I am so glad my pimples are healing now, I never used to get ugly cystic acne like this time before. I was so depressed over it. Still not quite sure how it started in the first place :T)

✔ Kuan Yuan Liang Green Bean Cleanser -- This is a refill pack that I purchased from sasa.com. This cleanser is a multi-use product that could be a face wash, a mask when packed on thickly, or a gentle facial scrub. I always use this product in the shower to avoid the mess because it is a powdery product. I dump a good amount of powder in the palm of my hand and slowly add drops of water to create a paste-like mixture and apply it on my face as a mask for a few minutes while I am washing my body, shaving, or exfoliating my body. Then I'd gently scrub my face with the products before rinse off. It made my face feel really clean and refreshed afterwards.

L.A.M.B. All Over Me Body Scrub -- I won this big jar of body scrub from Nic's giveaway last fall. I told her that this is such a perfect gift for me, because the L on top is for "Lulu", hehehe. It took me a long time to finish this because this jar is literally really huge! I scoop out a good amount and rub it all over my body for exfoliation, and then rinse off. It makes my body feeling very soft afterwards, and also leaves a nice fragrant scent (I suppose it would match Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. perfume scent).

✔John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze Clear Glosser -- There is lip gloss, but this is my first time hearing a gloss for the hair. At first I thought this is a conditioner that would make the hair look shiny and smooth. Except, not quite. It doesn't have as much moisturizing effect as a hair conditioner does, it's more like shine booster that's to be used after shampoo and conditioner. I'd apply it all over my hair and leave it on for a few minutes, then I'd rinse off to even smoother and shiny hair.  It is a nice pick me up for dull looking hair.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps 18-in-1 Hemp Unscented Baby-Mild Pure-Castile Soap -- The most versatile bottle of liquid soap I've ever purchased. This huge bottle (1 quart sized) lasted me since 2008! Especially since you only need a little bit of product each time for it to lather up nicely. Another reason why it lasted me a long time is, I mainly use it to wash my ears -- weird right?

Believe it or not, I was first introduced to this product when I pierced my ear lobes 3 years ago. I have super sensitive skin and the first time I pierced my ears when I was younger ended up with a super bad infection and my piercings closed up. So when I decided that I wanted to do it again in 2007, I wanted to make sure I do everything right. I went to a well reviewed tattoo/piercing parlor and the very knowledgeable employee there told me to soak my piercings with warm sea salt water everyday, and use Dr. Bronner's soap to wash my piercings to prevent build up and infection, since it is such a mild formula. I took really good care of my new piercings and religiously did those things for a long time. My piercings healed up very slowly...it wasn't until last year that I can almost freely change my earrings on my own without hurting or having any problems. I think I might just be a very extreme case, because my body refused to accept the fact that I am sticking foreign objects in my earlobes -- for two years I'd always use the most genuine earring post material, and never take my earrings off, even when I sleep. Every time I wanted to change earrings, it became painful and sometimes almost impossible to insert the earring posts through. As you can tell, it took a lot of effort and TLC to keep my piercings, all for the sake of vanity, so I can wear pretty earrings :p But I am glad I stuck with it!

Whoa anyway, I digress!! The soap!! I love this soap because it is very versatile. I also use it to give my cat baths, and sometimes to wash my brushes. It could also be used as a face wash, a shampoo, a body wash, and get this, as a toothpaste! I've never tried that before, has anyone else?

✔L'Oreal Sublim Slim Tightening +Toning Treatment Gel -- I purchased this out of curiosity, but I didn't have high hopes that it would actually work! Well the first few times, I really did feel a difference, the skin on my abs would feel tighter after I woke up. Over time, that tight feeling is no longer there despite using it everyday -- so I am not really sure if it really does work or not, but I enjoyed using it because it gave me a chance to massage my tummy. When you apply this gel on your stomach, there is a nice cooling sensation. Then I'd message around my tummy gently until all the gel is absorbed -- it takes a bit of time to do so, so in the process, I feel like I gave my arms a nice workout as I was moving around doing the massage motions, and it made my tummy feel good. Would I repurchase? Probably not. I got lazy with using the product in the end, because my night routine is already long enough, and I just couldn't wait to hop into bed every night and fall asleep, so the less steps the better :p

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Review: LUSH New! solid shampoo

Photo courtesy of lush.com

LUSH New! Solid Shampoo -- I bought this shampoo after reading good reviews about it on makeupalley.com. While I am not new to the concept of LUSH solid shampoo bar (and I think they are the coolest thing ever, especially for travel!), this is my first time purchasing New! solid shampoo. 

This red colored shampoo with two cinnamon sticks that are oddly embedded into the bar smells, you guessed it right, just like cinnamon gum. What I like about this shampoo is that it leaves my hair very soft and bouncy, after my hair air dries, it feels more volumized and very clean. Also, LUSH claims that the essential oil in this shampoo bar will stimulate the scalp and encourage hair growth. Not sure if my hair grew out faster or more while using this shampoo, but I'd like to believe that it did, hence the very volumized feel :p I did notice that when I brush my hair, there are less fall outs. 

A lot of you have been curious about how I use a solid shampoo bar. I have to admit, the first time I picked up one of those from the store was to satisfy my curiosity, since I've never heard of SOLID shampoo before either. This little bar fits nicely in the middle of my palm. For $9.95 a piece, I thought it was a bit too pricey for the size, but this little bar actually lasted me a very long time (I want to say more than 2 months, almost 3 months with daily usage, and I have long hair). You only really need a very little bit every time. I'd wet my hair and then wet the shampoo bar, then rub it between my hands a few times to lather up, or sometimes I just rub the bar on my hair directly, and you'd instantly get a lot of nice lathers enough for washing your whole hair. It also rinses very easily and makes my hair feel squeaky clean. After shampoo I'd follow up with whatever conditioner I'm using.

When you purchase 2 shampoo bars, LUSH would give you a free aluminum tin to store your bar in. I like to use the tin to carry my shampoo bar when I travel. But at home, I store my shampoo bar on a wired soap dish in the shower, away from direct water contact, so it dries out quicker and therefore help to preserve the lifetime of the shampoo bar longer.

What I like about those shampoo bars is that, they are very travel friendly, yet does the job perfectly -- they lather up super well, just like the traditional bottled shampoos. New! shampoo in particular has a very invigorating cinnamon scent that  totally helps me to wake up and clear my mind to help me to get ready for the day. Also, without the bulky packaging of liquid shampoos, these solid bars also eliminate waste. 

LUSH also offers a ton of other solid shampoo choices. I'd suggest you to go to the store, sniff a few and find the scent and formula that you like. Actually, find 2 so you can get a nifty little shampoo bar tin for free so you can travel with them too!  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My weekend

Friday night we went to watch Karate Kids in the theater. Being a huge Jackie Chan fan, I just couldn't miss out on his new movies. We really enjoyed the movie. I thought Jaden Smith did a great job, he looked adorable :)

This weekend was also a productive weekend in terms of wedding planning. I got the hair pieces I wanted to wear, fiancé bought his suit, and I also worked on centerpiece ideas.

I acquired a few new pieces of necklaces this weekend, both made by me, and purchased from various stores.

First, my two newest creations --

I usually make really simple pendant necklaces, so this time w/ the pearl one, I decided to try something different. I really like the layered necklace look, hence this design (top).

While shopping at the malls for wedding stuff, I also grabbed some small stuff for myself:

At H & M, I found these sunglasses that fit on the bridge of my nose nicely. I have a pretty flat nose, so a lot of sunglasses end up sitting on my cheeks and leave two ugly marks after a while. So when I find something that fits, I always have to buy them. I bought two, a black and a white one. I like the design on the side on these sunglasses too.

Also found this cotton T-shirt. I don't own any California shirt, so I just wanted it! hahaha

At Forever 21, I found the necklace I've been lemming for online. There were only two of them left in the store too (one for me and one for May). I felt super lucky. hahaha it's the little things in life that make me so happy sometimes :p

Also found this cute Alice themed long necklace:

And this one:


And this:

At Wet Seal:

Hope you had a good weekend too. Can't wait for the weekend to come around again! :)