Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

We celebrated this year's Thanksgiving east-meets-west style at a good friend's house -- we made dumplings and enjoyed a yummy turkey.

I was also pretty excited to find out that my friend is also a makeup/skincare lover like me. We chatted about all the makeup deals for Black Friday, and exchanged some of our favorite face masks. These sheet masks she gave me are made with silk woven sheets. They are incredibly soft and thin, probably the thinnest and most conforming sheet mask I have ever used. Instant love! I did a quick search online but couldn't find this anywhere, going to have to bug my friend to get me some next time she goes back to her hometown.

She also gave me an Origins Mega-Mushroom Eye Serum to try out. I hope this works well!

Hubby and I didn't really go to any in-store Black Friday sales this year, we figured we probably have a slim chance fighting through the crowd. Instead, we stayed at home and made a few online purchases. The item I am most excited about is the new camera hubby bought me, which means, better photos for my blog! :D

This is what we enjoyed that night while shopping online. Wong Fei-Hong spicy peanuts (found this in my local Asian market) is the bomb! It's got just the right amount of spice, hmm so yummy! The persimmons are fresh from father-in-law's garden. We also like to buy fresh coconut by the case, they are so yum and a healthy snack (you can scoop the flesh out with a spoon too, hmm I want some right now!)

I'll end this post with some random purchases from this weekend:

I bought this UGG Water and Stain Repellent for Sheepskin and Suedes to spray on my UGG boots so they don't get dirty from rain and dirt easily. I can't believe I have never used this until now. You just spray this all over the outside of your boots, let it air dry for a day, and then you are good to go.

This bow bracelet is from H&M, it's just too adorable I can't pass it up!

Got my Happy Meal for this cute watch! They have a collection of Sanrio characters to celebrate the 50th year anniversary. I originally wanted Hello Kitty but they were all out, but this Chococat watch is cute too :p Go get yours before they run out!

My new purse, I've always wanted a light colored purse since I have way too many black/brown ones. This one is so roomy and soft. I am loving it!

I'll end the post with our breakfast from today:
This is imitating a famous northern China street food called 天津煎饼果子(TianJing JianBing GuoZi). It is made with a crepe covered in egg mixture, and wrapped around a crispy Chinese Doughnut (You Tiao), slathered in savory sauces. This seriously brings back good childhood memories -- the first (and only) time I ever had this was a trip to Beijing when I was 6, and I remembered it till now!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving this year too, and that you scored some awesome deals from Black Friday. To my readers who are not in the US, hope you are having a relaxing and safe weekend :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

New Booties

These are my current favorite booties, and they are from Forever 21:

I have a thing for bows, can't you tell by now :p Being high heel challenged that I am, these ~3" heels are actually quite manageable and pretty comfy.

Speaking of shoes, I'm looking for the perfect pair of nude heels, where should I start looking? They need to be not extremely high and comfy for walking. Thanks in advance girls :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Haircare Products

I recently picked up a set of new hair care products from Fekkai and a hair styling product from HerCut. Now that I have used both for a couple of weeks, I thought it's time to briefly talk about them.
I have never tried Frederick Fekkai products prior to this, but I have always heard good things and have always wanted to try. I picked up the Frederick Fekkai More 4 Step System, which is designed to help increase hair density. I have extremely thin hair that lacks in volume, even more so during the fall as I lose more hair during brushing and washing than usual.  I was hoping this would help me to get healthier roots and more volumized hair.
The Scalp-Purifying Shampoo and Root-Nourishing Conditioner came in 8 Oz. bottles with a really cool cap design that twists open to reveal the opening on top to let products flow through. The shampoo's formula is very thick, and you only need a little bit to foam up and cleanse all my hair. After rinsing off, my hair was left with such a clean feeling. The smell is nice and pleasant to, it reminds me of men cologne. The conditioner makes my hair instantly feeling smoother. Normally I don't apply hair conditioners on my scalp because that tends to weigh my hair down. But since this is a root-nourishing conditioner and it was recommended to massage all over my scalp to condition the roots of my hair, I followed the instruction. Much to my pleasure this conditioner did not make my hair feel heavy and limp after my hair is dry.
The set also comes with a bottle of All-Day Density Styling Whip, which is basically a styling mousse that you can apply to just washed wet hair, and a Nighttime Follicle-Boosting Treatment. The treatment actually sounds really cool. You put it on dry hair before bed, and let it do its job over night while you sleep. In the morning, you rinse off the product and follow up with the styling whip. Obviously this hair care system is designed more for people who wash their hair in the morning.  I haven't used either products many times, because I usually wash my hair in the night before bed, and I don't like to put on styling products and go to sleep with it. When the weather gets warmer perhaps I will try to wash my hair in the morning so I can use these products more.

After my first positive experience with Fekkai products, I think I would like to try the Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, and the Full Blown Volume Shampoo. Even though his shampoos are a bit more pricey than what I normally use (Sehiseido tsubaki, and a variety of drugstore shampoos such as Pantene, Garnier etc), but you only need little products each time, and the results have been so far amazing for me. Now I wake up with puffier hair that doesn't lay against my oily scalp by the end of the day, and I can't be happier.

The next product that I discovered recently that has also became my holy grail big-hair product is the HerCut The Shag Catalyst.  I find that it really helps to bring out the layers in my hair, making it appear more volumized and airy.  The best part about the product is that the formula does not attract dirt and other extraneous elements, which means it could help my hair feeling clean for longer. I usually have to wash my hair every day, but with this product, I finally could go for second day hair that still doesn't look so greasy. Once the product dries, it doesn't make my hair feel stiff or sticky at all. So thank you, HerCut for helping me to achieve my best hair days! I want to try the Long Layers Catalyst next, I think my hair falls for this category more so than a shag style anyway :p

Website Review: Hair

How many of us use flat irons on a daily basis? I knew my best friend Iris can't live without one, and she has came to me a few times before to ask me for advice on what's a good flat iron out there. Today I want to introduce you a website where they rank the top hair irons. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will find helpful articles on how to clean your hair irons, tips on how to style your hair with one. Did you know that you can actually curl your hair with a hair iron? That's actually what I use my hair iron for most of the time, since I have been blessed with stick straight hair -- and sometimes I want to go for that beautiful curls!

The Top 10 Flat Irons page listed Karmin Titanium as the best hair iron. To be honest, I actually haven't heard of Karmin brand until the kind PR contacted me, but reading from its description, I am really excited to try it out soon! So please watch out for a review of the Karmin straighter from me very soon :)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, I will receive the Karmin hair straightener to test and review for free. I did not get paid for this post, nor am I affiliated with the company. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Amused by the: Del Sol Color-Changing Nail Polish

While docked in Hawaii during our honeymoon, I had the chance to visit a cool little store not too far from the Nawiliwili port called Del Sol, "where everything changes color in the sun!" When I was a little kid my mom brought home a cute little t-shirt that changed color and I thought I was the coolest kid in class every time I wore it. So when I entered the store and found lots of cool color-changing products other than t-shirts, I felt like a little kid in a candy store. They had these UV lamp over their counter for you to test products out, and I was grabbing everything from the shelves to try out the colors. Of course, the product that amused me the most, were their color-changing nail polish.

Unlike the Claire's Mood-Changing nail polish that I reviewed earlier,  where the colors of the nail polish would change based on temperature. These Del Sol polishes change to a completely different shade under UV ray only. This means, even when you are behind glass and you see that it's sunny outside, the colors won't change. But as soon as you step outside on a sunny day (or even not so sunny days because UV rays are everywhere), the colors would immediately change magically!

There were so many shades of polish to choose from. Considering that they were $10 a pop, and I wasn't able to test how well they applied on my finger nails in the store, I grabbed two for myself (but now I want more!!!). Peak-A-Boo is a sheer pink shade indoors, but turns into bright coral in the sun. Ruby Slipper is a glittery silver shade indoors, but turns into a nice shade of glittery holiday red in the sun. Both shades are sheer enough to be applied on top of another regular polish, so that indoors the regular polish shows, but once outdoors, the more vibrant new color appears. The polish consistency is not too thick (even the glittery one), and very easy to apply. They also dry amazingly fast.

Here you can see all the colors that Del Sol offers and the color that each polish turns into under UV ray.

I present to you a swatch of Ruby Slipper on top of Essie Pink is the Link that I did on my nails last week:

 Essie Pink is the Link as base color.

 Del Sol Ruby Slipper on top to give the manicure a festive glittery look.

 On top of each bottle, the outdoor color would be shown on the sticker. My thumbnail next to the bottle cap is in the indoor shade behind glass.

Once stepped outside, voila! The intensity of the shade could be a lot stronger with more coats applied, here I only applied 2 coats of Del Sol polish.

Del Sol color-changing nail polishes are now officially my new favorite polishes!


This will keep track of the links to all the product reviews on my blog, some are in much details, while some are just my brief thoughts and first impressions. I will update this page every time I review a new product. Like all products in the market, please keep an open mind when trying them out for your first time. Some might work better for me but not so much for you, and vice versa. Hope you find this page a useful reference!

Body Care:
♥Korres Body Butter
LUSH Comforter Bubble Bar
♥LUSH Sugar Scrub

SPAresource Melon Body Butter
SPAresource Melon Hand Cream 
Ulta Smoothies Body Whip Cream

Face Care:
EOS Lip Balm
DermaSilk 5-Minute Face Lift
Korres Olive Stones Scrub
♥Lancome GN Whiteness Spot Eraser
♥LUSH Coalface Cleaser

Mario Badescu
Softlips Lip Balm
The Face Shop Post Acne Nighttime Spot Eraser

Hair Care/Styling:
♥Fekkai More 4 Step System
ghd Fat Hair Lotion For All-Over Volume
♥HerCut The Shag Catalyst
Karmin G3 Salon Pro Straightener
LUSH New! Solid Shampoo

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick

♥Korres Jasmine Eye Make-up Remover
Kevin BeautyMaker BB Mineral Concealing Cream
L'Oreal The One Sweep Eye Shadow
MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre
Physician's Formula Plump Potion
♥Sephora Hello Kitty Sweet Gloss
Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss

Kose Softymo Men's Nose Clean Pack
♥Laneige Strawberry Yogurt Pack
♥Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Day & Night Lash Boosting Serum
Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum
Final Comparison: Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Serum
♥Silk Whitia sheet mask
♥The Face Shop White Mud Nose Pack
♥Yogurt mask

Nail Polish:
Claire's Mood Color Changing N.P.
Cover Girl Crackle Lacquer
Del Sol Color-Changing N.P.
♥Dermelect Nail Recovery System
Nail Polish Removers
♥Paul & Joe Nail Enamel
♥Revlon Scented Parfume Nail Enamel

Tips and Tricks:
Converting Eyeshadow to Nail Polish
Depotting Eyeshadows

Cystex Cranberry Urinary Health Complex/PLUS Urinary Health Tablets

♥Oil Absorbing Sheets
Personal Microderm
Personalized Laptop Bag
Rohto Eye Drops
♥Suzuran Attirer Puff

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finished Products in October

I spent the first half of October traveling. Hubby and I went on our honeymoon on a 15-day cruise across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. After the ship reached Hawaii, we spent 5 days, each day on a different island, and visited the different parts of Hawaii. It was a really wonderful trip. We were able to spend a lot of time on our big cruise ship relaxing, sunbathing, and reading. Hawaii was absolutely gorgeous and I was so sad to leave. We will definitely have to go back soon and spend longer there!

Even though I was away from home for half of the month, I did not forget to pack all my skincare essentials with me. On top of which, lots of sunscreen too! While I really wanted to come back from the trip with a healthy glow, I did not want to get burned either. I feel like nowadays when I travel, I can't seem to pack light anymore! Even with transferring some products into travel sized bottles, all my "essentials" took over a big chunk of my suitcase. However I guess I had an excuse this time, since we were to be in the middle of the ocean for 5 whole days before we reach land in Hawaii, I had to make sure I pack everything that we needed. In an attempt to come back home lighter, I tried very hard to use up as much products as possible on the trip.  Before I digress any further, let's get started with the products I finished in this past month:

✔Kao Style Lock Hair Spray -- Don't let the picture fool you, this hair spray can is actually only about the size of my hand, but it makes it a nice size to bring on travel with. I also liked that it didn't leave my hair with sticky residue, or leave my hair strands super stiff. It's also fragrance free, which is nice. I don't like to use anything that would mask or mix with the perfume I am wearing that day.

✔Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock in SPF 70 -- This is a very good sunscreen for the body. It does not apply greasy or heavy, unlike some of the other sunscreens I have used in the past. Yet it is not too expensive either so feel free to reapply as much as you want throughout the day. The tube itself is decently sized and not too bulky, which makes carrying it not too bad. I always remembered to toss one in my beach bag and carry it around the deck, so throughout the day while we were out relaxing on the deckchairs, I'd pull it out often and remind the both of us to reapply. Sun protection is a must!

✔Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion --  I didn't want to bring a big bottle/jar of body lotion with me, and since I was going to a place a lot warmer, I also didn't need a super moisturizing lotion. So I thought the shielding lotion was perfect. It's light in texture, easy to absorb and apply, yet kept my skin nicely moisturized.

✔Borghese Salt Scrub -- This salt scrub is a very nice body exfoliator that sloughs off dead skin cells and leaves skin smoother to reveal a more glowy skin underneath. It's got a really refreshing scent too, which makes using it enjoyable. The only bad thing with a salt scrub is, do not let it touch any broken skin, it hurts so bad!

✔~H2O+ Anti-Acne Overnight Complex -- I really liked this light weight gel like serum that helps to prevent acne. This is definitely a product I would repurchase when I get a chance, but unfortunately I do not live near an ~H2O+ retail store. I am now looking for a new anti-acne serum to try, and I am eyeing on the Ole Henriksen one. Anyone have any suggestions?

✔Rosette Hello Kitty Collagen Wash -- So sad that I used this face wash up! But considering that I used it day and night everyday, this tube actually lasted me quite a while, since you only need a tiny bit of product to make a nice dollop of foam. Definitely a lovely product that I wouldn't mind stocking up for. I loved the way it foamed up, the way it left my face feeling squeaky clean and how easy it was to rinse off the product with no slippery residue. Plus the package alone is good enough of a reason to keep me interested.

✔Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage -- The metal roller ball applicator was a nice treat to use in the mornings to help cool and depuff my eye. I didn't feel like the serum itself did much, but I liked that it was light weight, and easy to absorb. I always use an eye cream after the serum just to make sure my eye area are moisturized.

✔Garnier Nutritioniste Nutri-Pure Detoxifying Wet Cleansing Towelettes -- After a few packs of Pond's cleansing towelettes, I wanted to switch up and try something new so I picked these Garnier ones up. These are not too bad either. The smell was pleasant, the clothes was soft and big enough to remove makeup for my whole face, and sometimes I even use it to remove my non-waterproof mascara if I get lazy that day (instead of using separate eye makeup removers). Most importantly, it didn't leave annoying oily residue on my face afterward. When there is a sale on this product, I would consider repurchase.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

♥ October Favorites ♥

Throughout the month of October, I really enjoyed using:

♥ Urban Decay Naked Palette --This wonderful palette of neutral shadows made my list again because I have been using this palette to create different office friendly looks every single day. I love to mix and match different shadow shades everyday for something different, yet still office appropriate. My favorite way of using these shadows is to pick a lighter/sparkly color for the inner corners and then a darker shade as liner and a little bit of outer V, then blend blend blend. It's super duper simple and saves me a lot of time in the morning too! The shadows are soft and pigmented, they last the whole day on my eyelids with the help of eye primer.

♥ MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Breezy -- This is my very first MAC blush! Back when I first purchased it, I have used it every single day. But as my blush collection grew overtime, it has been sadly neglected. This month, I dug it out of my storage again and decided to use it more often. It is super pigmented, so I always use a stippling brush to dab the blush on. It creates a rosy cheek that is perfect for the fall.

♥ Vital Radiance Moisture Covering Compact Makeup SPF 15 -- Never heard of Vital Radiance brand before but apparently it is a division of Revlon. Mom gave me this foundation and I never opened it up to use because it looked too dark for me. Well after I came back from Hawaii, I realized my skin was getting a little too dark for the product I was using prior to the trip, so I dug this one out and tried it on, and it was a perfect match for my new (and temporary) skin tone. I actually really like this cream foundation -- I have never tried cream foundation before, and always thought they are heavy and cakey. Well not the case for this one. It provides me with very good and even coverage. I used a stippling brush to apply the product on my face. Now after my first taste of cream foundations, I am very interested to try out the MAC Mineralize Foundation SPF 15.

♥ Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder --This powder is suppose to contain acne fighting ingredients that help to disinfect and heal blemishes. I use a fluffy brush to dust this powder on my bare t-zone area before any foundation, as a way to shield my face and prevent acne, and also to help control the oil throughout the day. The key is to lightly dust it on. It does a pretty good job at oil controlling for me.

♥ Korres Mandarin Lip Butter SPF 15 -- I like that this lip balm is in a tube form that makes application much easier and sanitary, especially when you are on the go. It is so richly moisturizing, but doesn't make my lips feel heavy. The SPF 15 is an added plus as well.

♥ Urbay Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil -- I am starting to really like concealer pencils, ever since my first success with the ELF concealer pencils. They are so convenient to use because of their precise application, and also sanitary because they will get sharpened regularly, and no finger dipping into pots required. The texture of this Urban Decay one is so creamy and the coverage is awesome. Once dry it dries matte and doesn't budge throughout the day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sephora FF Sale Haul

The annual Sephora Friends and Family Sale came rather early this year and totally caught me off guard -- especially since I did not get an email from them announcing the event this year. As soon as I came back from my honeymoon I had found out that it was starting that very week. So I made a list of things in a hurry and shopped away. Some of the purchases were items that I need to replenish and have been holding off just for the sale, some were just items that I wanted but probably could do without, haha. But what better chance to try them than with a 20% off sale right!

Clarisonic Replacement Brush Head (Delicate) -- So far I have used the sensitive brush head, and the regular one (too harsh for face!). But the Delicate one is by far my favorite. I have used it for two days now, and my face loves it.

Tweezerman Pink Pedro Callus Stone -- This is an awesome tool to get amazingly smooth heels! Especially during the summer months when we wear flip flops a lot, and our heels tend to get dry and scratchy. The handle is such a nice plus too, beats the bare callus stone I have been purchasing for years that sometimes scratches my hand when I am not careful.

Shiseido Fun in the Sun Kit -- I bought this kit mainly because I need to replenish both my sunscreen and eye cream (one with SPF in it for day time use). This kit not only contains both products I need in full size, but also some other products that I also wanted to try, especially the Ultimate Cleansing Oil. 
The tote is really light weight and would work nicely as a makeup bag.  It can also be converted into a big tote bag when needed, how neat!

Temptu Adorn Temporary Tattoo Kit (Sexy & Sinister Chic) -- Saw this cute lil' kit on sale for $10 on the way to check out, and decided to grab it. Reminds me of the temporary tattoos we used to play with as kids. The designs on the left side (3 sheets of each designs) are just in time for Halloween too. I used the little skull with a bow on top on my wrist for Halloween weekend, it looked nice and could almost pass for a real tat, however it didn't last the 2-5 days as claimed, it lasted me more like just one night -- I probably should have taken care of it better though, they say not to wet it or rub it too much.

Benefit Some Beauty to Love Kit --  This adorable little kit contains full sized Benefit Eye Bright and CORALista blush, both of which I had wanted to try. For $29, it's such a good value since one full sized blush would cost $28 already.
 The blush color is gorgeous! I haven't tried it on my cheeks yet. But I wonder how it compares to NARS Orgasm or Deep Throat.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Gift Set -- While on our honeymoon, I spotted the Marc Jacobs perfume in the duty free shop, and regretted so much that I didn't grab it. This is one perfume that when I go to Sephora stores, that I'd always sniff and look at. Daisy is one of my favorite flowers and I think the bottle cap is just so adorable! The scent is right up in my alley too, very sweet and feminine. 
This gift set came in a super cute "treasure chest" that I will definitely put to good use. It'll look so pretty on my vanity!

Harajuku Lovers Snow Angels Bag Collection -- You have no idea how psyched I was to spot the collection back in stock in the sales section last week! I've been staring at these super adorable Snow Angels bags for a long time, but never made up my mind about purchasing them. A couple months ago they went on sale, but when I finally decided that I wanted them, they disappeared from Sephora's website and I regretted so much for not jumping in the deal sooner. 
These bags are made with super soft cushiony materials, and all are well designed with lots of zippered pouches and compartments for neat freak like me. Now I really look forward to our next trip! Need to tell hubby to plan one ASAP so I can put those bags to good use :)

I love the envelope design of the wallet. It has a lot of card slots, a zippered compartment for coins, and two more slid-in pockets for papers and receipts.
The brush case has 6 slots and I think it could probably hold 2 or 3 eye brushes in each slot if needed. The material is plastic so it's easy to clean as well.
The hanging travel bag is probably my favorite among the 4. I plan on using this to hold my skincare items when I travel. It has a metal hook once opened up so it could be hung onto the back of the bathroom door or something for easy access. It's got plenty of zippered compartment, two decently sized plastic pouches, and a cute heart shaped mirror.

The soft train case will be the home for my makeup when I travel. I love how it has a zippered pocket, a size pocket, and slits for lipsticks and such on the sides as well. The mirror will also come handy.

Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube & Snow Bunny Lip Bronzer -- Not really interested in the lip bronzer, but I wanted to try this bronzer/gradual instant tanner because I want to preserve my Hawaii tan (that I am loving) a bit longer :p I obviously misread the description though, because I meant to get the Tanning Bed in a Tube for body, not for face (which comes in a much smaller tube), oops! But oh well. I'll try it and let you know how well it works!
Also, since I am not really an expert on self tanners, do you have any recommendation on what works good for you? I saw a whole bunch of them at CVS the other day.

Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner -- This is my first Kate Somerville products, and I can't wait to try it out. Love the flipper lid dispenser, really makes getting the toner out much easier and spill proof. I am glad it's alcohol-free yet still an acne-fighting formula, unlike a lot of other toners I have used in the past. It also claims to help lighten discoloration from acne scarring with phytic acid -- let's hope that works!

DDF Sulfur Therapeutic Mask -- This mask contains 10% sulfur as acne treatment ingredient. I have read some rave reviews about this product and finally decided to give it a try. I have this mask on right now as I am finishing up this post -- will report back on how I like it!  This product comes in a big 4 oz. jar, with recommend weekly usage, I am sure it will last me a long time.

✿Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPf 15 -- Last but not least, I got my free skincare reward product. Has any one ever tried this? I am always drawn toward mattifying products. Hope this one is a keeper!

What did you buy from Sephora's FF sale this year? Please share! I think the sale ends in 2 days, so if you are eyeing something from Sephora, now is a good chance to get them. I also used ebates for an extra 4% off :) Every little bits counts right :p