Sunday, January 30, 2011

Best Secret Santa Ever :)

In December, I participated in a Secret Santa event hosted by Sheila. My Secret Santa was the ever so sweet Rina! We weren't suppose to open our packages until Christmas day. But Rina's box arrived two weeks prior! Imagine my anxiety!

When I finally ripped open the box, I let out a gasp! I was amazed at how much goodies Rina sent me! It was truly the best Christmas present ever. She asked me about what I liked and wanted to try, and granted many of my wish list items. Even though Rina and I have never chatted before, but it's like she knew me so well already!

She knows of my love for cute blushers. I love how adorable that pink blush with the "magic wand" looking applicator is! The peachy blush comes with a cute little puff. The powder in the middle I think is a setting powder that's suppose to help improve your complexion. It is small and travel friendly :)

She also sent me falsies. The two pairs on the left also comes with a lash storage box, which is super useful and something I have been looking for! Rina also got me three Kate eyeshadow palettes. I have never tried this brand before, but I am impressed with their packaging and the range of shades in each -- it comes with highlight, contour, cream base all in one.

Lip glosses and lip balms:

Paul & Joe Nail Care Oil and a pa nail polish in a cute mauvy pink shade. Love the elegant design on the Paul & Joe bottle!

Rina is also a big fan of sheet masks. Ever since this Secret Santa package, we have exchanged our favorite sheet masks with each other a few times. I am glad to have met another friend who's interested in sheet masks as much as I do haha. Thanks for all the different kinds of My Beauty Diary masks to try! My favorites among them were the chocolate, strawberry yogurt and bird nests!
 

Hello Kitty galore!!! I was in heaven when I saw all the cute Hello Kitty pouches Rina sent me! I love the white coin purse with the cute checkered back. The black pouch is roomy and would be such a cute travel makeup bag. She even got me the sticker and magnet sheets from the Hello Kitty 50 year anniversary truck!

Rina also read my wish list and got me a Bath & Body Works ScentBug, along with two fragrance oils. She had asked me prior what kind of scents I liked and she was spot on! I especially loved the Island Nectar scent. 

Thank you so much Rina for being an awesome Secret Santa and making my Christmas a joyful day with all your gifts! I absolutely loved everything you picked out for me. Most importantly, I am glad to have gotten to know you better through this event. Can't wait to meet you when I visit SoCal, and have you take me to your favorite Asian beauty shops

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Christmas Love [Picture Heavy]

My package delivery guy deserves a big tips and a big bag of cookies for working so hard during the holiday season. Not only was I shopping like crazy, I also received a TON of love from friends. I felt so blessed to have gotten to know so many super sweet ladies since I started blogging, and I think our friendship are the best thing that happened out of my blogging experience <3
Today I want to share with you the Christmas love I've received, so you can share my happiness with me :)

Yumeko send me the most adorable Christmas card. I wasn't sure what the Japanese were saying, help please?
My friend Ying knows of my love for Hello Kitty and being the crafty girl that she is, she made me this Hello Kitty key holder -- it's too cute for words. I also don't want to use it after seeing how delicate and pretty it is, she even asked me what my favorite colors were (yellow and baby blue, for now haha) and incorporated into the key holder:
My friend Teresa gave me this big Burt's Bees set, it's got a little bit of everything, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, face scrub, towel, you name it. It'll be an awesome kit to bring on trips!
Stephanie baked YUMMY cookies! She packed them so nicely too. Are you hungry yet?
Nic send me her sweet Christmas love, the chocolate lover in me was really excited when I opened the package:
Dear May gave me this pair of warm and soft Hello Kitty slippers, and a TON of beauty goodies: masks, Sabon body butter bar, Cake Beauty lotion spray, scrub and shower gel, NARS shadows and a pink Scent Bug.
Iyah's Christmas card is so adorable, thanks for the super sweet message, your hand writing is so neat and pretty!
My birthday twin Diana surprised me with two LUSH items that was on my wish list. Sneaky girl! Thank you so much for being so thoughtful! Isn't her Christmas card super adorable too?
Catherine gifted me the cutest Hello Kitty plush ornament that I placed on top of my Christmas tree this year. She also gave me my very first L'Occitane hand cream. I can't wait to try it out!
The super super sweet Edna gave me SO much goodies! Look at her Christmas card too! We are both Hello Kitty (and kitty) lovers <3
 A cupcake shaped bath bomb she got me during her vacation, Almost could pass for a real one!
What was inside of the Hello Kitty box? MAKEUP!
Edna got me my first Guerlain eyeshadow palette. She is a Guerlain lover and she's trying to convert me into one :p Isn't this so pretty! Thanks love!
So there you have it, a collection of photos of Christmas love from my lovely friends. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart <3

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Finished Products in December

Holy cow! I'm behind, again :( Nevertheless, let's keep the Finished Products posts going in Year 2011...Do you guys like this monthly post where you get to look at empty containers and hear me talk about how I liked using them?
✔St. Ives Green Tea Cleanser -- I truly enjoyed using this gentle face cleanser. It is lightly green tea scented, which I love. It also claims to clear breakouts and reduce redness. Even though I don't get redness on my cheeks often so I can't attest to that, but I do believe it helps to control breakouts. During the duration of me using this bottle of cleanser, my breakouts have pretty much reduced to none. I am loving my clear skin nowadays. It also doesn't foam up too much, which made it easy to use my Clarisonic brush with.
✔Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator -- I've been using this on and off as a serum for well over a year. I don't think it helped me much to improve and firm my skin, it's also got a weird fishy smell that sometimes gets annoying (although disappears quickly). The texture is a light white gel that is easy to absorb but has no moisturizing effects, so you should follow up with a moisturizer.
✔Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 -- I think I started using Clinique 3-step products around the same time last year, and so far I've finished two big bottle of toner and 1 super sized bottle. Toner is the most easily used up item among the three. I kept the pump bottle all year long and poured more toner into it every time I finish because the pump makes using the product much easier. As far as the toner, I do really enjoy using it, although I'm not a big fan of how alcohol-y it is. For someone with sensitive skin, it might sting a little. For me, it was okay. I would buy this again when Clinique has another GWP event (it's all about the bonus we can score when we shop :p)
✔Zirh Herbal Under Eye Cream --Loved this eye cream. Its light weight formula is really easy to absorb. During night routine it could serve as a serum and during the day it goes perfectly well under makeup without sliding or smudging. It also contains caffeine that really helped to reduce my puffy eyes in the morning. Granted it doesn't smell girly and floral like most of my facial products because it is originally a men's product, but if it does the job well, that's all it matters :) It's also pretty big (for eye cream) and lasted a long time.
✔Neutrogena Ultra-Soft Eye Makeup Remover Pads -- Loved the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover, but hated these remover pads. I am not sure if I got a bad package or what, but the pads inside were rather dry and contained very little makeup remover fluids. As a result it was almost impossible to remove any eye makeup, let alone the waterproof ones like they claimed. I actually bought this to take with me on my honeymoon because I did not want spilled makeup remover fluids in my luggage, but ended up not using any on my eyes. What a waste of luggage space because it is a rather bulky jar. For a face makeup remover, it works though. The pad is large and thick, which felt pretty nice against my face. Will not buy again to remove eye makeup.
✔LUSH The Olive Branch Shower Gel -- This shower gel smells great, and the scent is not so sweet (like my favorite Snow Fairy) that even guys could use this. My only complaint is that the consistency of this is rather watery. When you pour it out of the bottle, some products drips right through the shower sponge and into the drain it goes. At first I thought mine expired, but after doing some research online I found out a lot of people had this problem. Make sure you shake it up before using. However it lathers really well on the body, and you will love the scent!
✔Sofymo Coenzyme Q10 Super Cleansing Sheet -- When I first opened this box of cleansing sheet, I was surprised at how thin and tiny the sheet was. However once I used it, I was impressed. It is only about half the size as my usual ELF or Pond's makeup remover sheets, which makes the shape rather odd (thin and long), but it takes off makeup amazingly well. Even though the sheet was thin, it still contained enough fluid and won't dry out before you even finish wiping your entire face.
✔Tree Hut Shea Body Butter in Coconut Lime -- First of all, this smelled SO yummy! It is a creamy and super spreadable body butter (sounds like I'm talking about food instead) that applies on the skin like a dream. It's also super moisturizing, perfect for the winter time when your skin is dryer from the weather.
✔LUSH Chai Spicy Shower Gel -- This shower gel has a strange strong herbal scent to it. It kind of reminds me of Dr. Pepper (both the scent and the smell). It's a good winter/holiday time shower gel, but keep in mind it smells nothing like Chai tea. It's got more of an allspice smell, so if you hate that, then this is not for you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Revisit: Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

Remember last week when I mentioned the new Physician's Formula Eye Booster eyeliner and how it might be an easier to find alternative to the well-loved Dolly Wink eyeliner? I promised I'd report back to you if I get a black one so I could do a better comparison. Unfortunatly when I went to CVS last weekend, there were only 2 left on the shelf, one in Clear and another one in Deep Brown. In a week's time the entire display case was almost cleared out, I guess it wasn't just me who got excited about this new discovery!
I picked up the last Deep Brown liner. Instead of named the Day & Night Lash Boosting Serum like the clear one, this one is named as the Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum. The clear one could be worn at all times, while the colored ones are to be used as an eyeliner when you go out. But the colored ones also contain lash growing serum to boost lash length, volume and thickness.
Physician's Formula Eye Booster in Deep Brown.
Top: Physician's Formula
Bottom: Dolly Wink
I love the thin brush tip that is really easy to control and draws on the line so precisely. Compared to Dolly Wink, I find both of them to be easy to control how thin or thick of a line I wanted. Both draw on very smoothly and dries quickly. I worn the Deep Brown liner for the whole day on Monday and it didn't smudge on me, so it does live up to its long wear claim. I also love how the brown shade is not super dark and sharp like a black liner and is perfect for a toned down every day look.
 
The only downside of these liners are the fact that you couldn't use them on the inside of your lash line. I know Dolly Wink is perfect for tight-lining and filling in those gaps between lashes. I am guessing because of the lash growing ingredients in these liners, it is deemed unsafe when the product gets into the eye?
Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Deep Brown on my eye.
I have been using the clear serum day and night continuously for almost 2 weeks now. Below are the pictures I took after about 6 days of using the clear serum, I do notice that my lashes are a tiny bit longer, lower lashes too. (Click on images to enlarge)

I will report back in 4 weeks time and see if we can see a major difference on my lashes!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Did I just spot...Dolly Wink Liquid Liner at CVS?

Nope! It was the new Eye Booster 2-in-1 Day & Night Lash Boosting Serum from Physician's Formula. Why mention Dolly Wink though, you ask? Please keep on reading!
For those of you who haven't heard of the Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner, it is from a Japanese line of makeup launched by a former model, Tsubasa Masuwaka. Her line is known for the super adorable packaging, such as this eyelash case, this eyelash glue, and of course, the well-loved liquid eyeliner.  Beauty bloggers love this super thin, precise, long lasting liner. I am no exception. Its thin tip really helps to get in between the lashes and the liner stays on all day long.
When I was browsing CVS yesterday, I spotted this Physician's Formula lash boosting serum display case, and the shiny packaging immediately drew my attention. Yes, I admit I often get persuaded because of a pretty packaging. But hey, in the case of Dolly Wink, it was a win-win situation! Pretty packaging AND great product = love!
I picked up the Clear Serum one to try. They also offer brown, black, and ultra black ones that are called Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum. So basically, mine is simply a clear serum that you apply to clean lash line to help grow longer, thicker and more volumized lashes. But the ones with color also double as an eyeliner during the day! The back of the packaging claims that "After 4 weeks over 93% of women saw extended, defined and more enhanced lashes" along with pretty convincing before and after photos. 93% is pretty high! Hopefully I won't fall into that remaining 7%. I plan on using this morning and night, and will report back in a few weeks whether if this serum has helped my lashes!
After I got home and opened the packaging, I immediately thought that it looked familiar. Comparing this Physician's Formula one to the Dolly Wink eyeliner, do you spot a close resemblance? Except for the obviously different outer packaging, the thin brush tips look almost identical. They glide on my skin with the same feel too -- smooth, soft yet precise. The back of the packaging did mention that it uses a "High-tech Japanese formula"...Could it be that these two products use the same formula that stays on all day and all night long? Now I had wished I picked up another liner in black so I could compare -- a post for another day!
For those of you who already own Dolly Wink and love it, pick up a Physician's Formula one when you get a chance and let me know if my instinct is right?  :)