Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[Tip Tuesday] How to Pick the Perfect Pearls

Have you guys ever gone to Hawaii and spot the handfuls of shops at tourist destinations where you get to pick your own oyster and try your luck at what kind of pearl(s) you would find inside? I tried my hand at one before and found a round little black pearl inside and made it into a pretty necklace.

If you are looking into owning a pair of pearl earrings or a string of pearl necklace, here are some tips to consider when picking (page 232, May 2013 In Style magazine):

1) Luster: The most important attribute of a pearl is its luster, or shine. Inexpensive pearls should glow, while more expensive pieces should positively radiate.

2) Shape: Pearls are never perfectly round, but classic spherical shapes are considered more desirable and cost more. Baroque, or oddly shaped pieces are a nontraditional alternative.

3) Size: Pearl size is measured in half millimeters; classic round ones can increase in price as much as 100 perfect per mm. The size most commonly sold is 7 to 7.5 mm.

4) Surface: High-quality pearls should not only shine but also be smooth and free of cracks, holes, bumps, or blemishes.

Here are some pretty pieces that I am lusting over:

Mikimoto Love Pendant
Mikimoto Pearl and Sapphire Earrings
Tiffany Aria Bracelet
One day, one day... :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

[Tip Tuesday] Pretty Nail Arts Without the Extra Tools

Today's Tip Tuesday is another manicure related one. I am going to introduce you to some cool nail arts that I found, and how to do them free-hand without the extra tape, brushes, and other nail art tools.

The following 3 methods are found on page 312 of the April 2013 "In Style" magazine:

Graphic Triangles:
1) Slick on a base coat.
2) Polish Nails with the coral lacquer. Wait a minute for it to dry.
3) Grab the lighter blue and position the brush at one side of the nail, about a quarter inch above the base. Sweep the bristles diagonally across the surface.
4) Take the darker blue and repeat step 3 in the opposite side of the nail.
5) Finish all fingers, then apply a topcoat.

My note: Don't worry if you get any excess polish outside of your nails on your skin in the process, you can always clean up later with a nail polish remover. To make an even cleaner edge, dip a brush in nail polish remover and clean up.

If you switch directions of the triangle and sweep it diagonally from the center at the base of the nail toward the edge at the top of the nail, you will get a reverse effect. This one however might be easiest to achieve with the help of tape to avoid the mess:
Page 87, Sally Hansen ad, May 2013 In Style

Pop Art Puddles:
1) Start with a base coat.
2) Cover nails with the coral hue. Allow to dry about one minute.
3) Start with one shade; dip brush in polish, then lightly dab color onto different areas of your nail.
4) With the remaining two lacquers, repeat Step 3.
5) After decorating fingers, put on a layer of topcoat.

My note: I think this fun nail art would add a really nice pop to your plain manicure if you do it as an accent on one or two of your nails per hand. 

Here is a variation of the "Puddles", but instead of irregular shapes, this one requires a dotting tool (or tips of a bobbi pin, or slightly blunted No. 2 pencil tips, or toothpicks...the list goes on and on):

Page 87, Sally Hansen ad, May 2013 In Style

New Moon:
1) Apply a base coat.
2) Paint nails with the light pink. Let dry about one minute.
3) Take the deeper coral tone and place the brush at the lower left corner at the base of the nail. Glide it diagonally across the surface.
4) Place the brush at the lower right corner and drag it diagonally across to the upper left.
5) When you've completed all fingers, add a topcoat.

My note: The V-shape at the base of the nails look so subtle yet elegant. I would also love to try this with two neutral tones for a twist of the French Manicure. 

Here are two variations of the "New Moon" that I spotted in the March 2013 of "In Style" (page 190):

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 103 Brun Creatéur

I spotted the Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick being featured in the April 2013 "In Style" magazine (page 102), and remembered I still haven't blogged about my new favorite lipstick -- Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 103 Brun Createur.

According to the description, each full sized lipstick is encased in real leather, textured lambskin to be exact. It is a semi-matte formula that comes in 12 different shades.

I was lucky enough to score a deluxe sample of the lipstick in shade 103 Brun Createur for 100 Sephora Beauty Insider points back in April, but I heard the sample ran out very quickly -- I can totally imagine, this was definitely one of the good 100-point rewards.

Of course my sample did not come encased in leather, but it still came neatly packaged in a nice sturdy black box, and the lipstick sample itself is wrapped in plastic and then in tissue paper. I regretted not picking up more when I had the chance, as this would make such a cute little stocking stuffer.

Shade 103 Brun Createur is described as a dusty rose. Upon first swatch, I fell in love with both the lipstick formula and the shade.

It is a nice rosy MLBB (my lips but better) shade that is suitable for everyday, it shows up really nice and pretty in pictures. Besides its nice pigmentation, I also love its semi-matte finish, there are no sparkles or glitters in this shade, and it is not too matte either that it dries out the lips. It feels light-weight on the lips and has long lasting power that doesn't bleed or feature over time.

Below are my lip swatches, with a picture of my bare lips without any products on as comparison:
Bare Lips
Givenchy Le Rouge (103 Brun Createur)
Givenchy Le Rouge (103 Brun Createur)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

[Tip Tuesday] Flattering Color Combos for Your Manicure and Pedicure

Today's Tip Tuesday is something I found from the May issue of "In Style" magazine (Pg. 294):

Q: I don't want my mani-pedi to match. Can you suggest fresh yet flattering color combos?

A: When faced with an eye-crossing wall of nail polish bottles, think about color prism wheel, says L.A. manicurist Kimmie Kyees, who designs tips for Katy Perry and Rihanna. "Pick shades that sit on opposite sides of the wheel; they enhance one another's true tones," says Pantone's Lee Eiseman.

I love the big contrast between the colors on the opposite ends of the color prism wheel, my favorite combo has got to be the mint green and coral-red combination, I think that will be a really refreshing mani/pedi combo for the summer!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

[Tip Tuesday] How to Avoid Streaky Nail Polish Application

Have you ever bought a nail polish shade that you absolutely love seeing from the bottle, but once  you tried it on your nails, the formula applied streaky and left you with an uneven manicure-look? So then you apply another coat, then another, hoping to achieve an uniform opacity, until the whole thing became a gloppy mess...That's definitely happened to me on many occasions before. Needless to say those polishes are the ones that get thrown in the unwanted pile, no longer loved.

While reading the June 2013 "In Style" magazine, I noticed this piece (click on the picture to enlarge):

You apply a base coat then a layer of nail polish as usual, this first layer will act as your primer. Then instead of continuing on with a second layer of nail polish, pause, add a layer of mattifying coat instead. This is suppose to help minimize any residual streaking in the following coat of nail polish.

Essie Matte About You is a matte finisher that is originally intended to be used on top of nail polishes to give it a no-shine look. It's great knowing that now I can find other uses for it.

Want another nail polish trick? Orly Bonder is a rubberized basecoat that could also be used in between layers of nail polish applications to help your manicure stay longer. It provides that extra grip to help adhere nail polish better.

[Giveaway Winner] Neutrogena Sun Products

Thanks to all of you who have joined the Neutrogena sun products giveaway. Now that summer is quickly approaching, make sure to stock up on your favorite sunscreens and get well protected before you head outside!

Congratulations to Amy Lynn for winning the following Neutrogena products:

1.            NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense™ Sunscreen
2.            NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® Body Mist Sunscreen
3.            NEUTROGENA® Wet Skin Kids Lotion Sunscreen
4.            NEUTROGNA® Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen
5.            NEUTROGENA® Age Shield™ Face Lotion Sunscreen
6.            NEUTROGENA® MicroMist® Airbrush Sunless Tan

Please email me at luluchinadoll[at]gmail[dot]com, along with your address so my PR could get your prizes send out to you! Thank you and hope you enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Flipping Through a Magazine...

I was flipping through the June edition of "In Style" magazine today, and here are some of the stuff that really caught my attention:

These metallic shimmery aquamarine nail polish colors look so pretty! They totally remind me of summer, and vacation...the ocean. Chanel Azure and Dior Samba, you are on my wish list! (p.54)

 I love these cute Ferragamo Vara flats, they are perfect for both in and out of the office. The grosgrain ribbon bow screams me me me! It is so cool that to commemorate the 35th anniversary, you get a chance to customize your own pair of Vara with your choice of colors, ribbons, plates, and heel heights. Oh the possibilities! (p. 60)

Anyone remember these?! Herbal Essences is back and with its classic bottle design that I miss so dearly! I remember how much I loved the smell, especially how nicely the scent linger in my bathroom after a shower. Now they are back and also are sulfate-free, what a nice plus so they are more gentle to the hair. I can't wait to pick these up next time I shop at a drugstore. (p. 220)

Monday, May 13, 2013

[Review] Philosophy The Great Mystery One-Minute Daily Facial

Product Description: 

Our one minute facial was created to provide deep skin cleansing, exfoliation and purification in record speed, without irritation.
  • fast-acting results
  • mineral-packed purifying paste
  • leaves a beautifully clean feel
How to apply: apply to clean skin from hairline to bustline for immediate smoothing and silkening effects. massage for 1 minute, then rinse. use as often as you like.
Click here to visit the product page.

My Thoughts:

This is a great quick pick-me-up product that only takes a few minutes to complete, especially great for those nights when you wanted to do a facial mask but is running short on time. Most facial masks requires you to leave it on the skin for at least 10-15 minutes, but this one only have to be left on for 1 minute before rinsing it off. 

I like to apply this on clean face before shower while I brush my teeth, then rinse off in the shower and follow with a gentle face wash just to make sure I removed all traces of the product. It rinses away quickly. The sea salt in there gently exfoliates and cleanses pores, afterwards your skin would feel really fresh and hydrated. The scent is really lovely, it smells like lavender and reminds me of a spa.

When it's freshly squeezed out of the tube, it is a clear thick gel. However once gently massaged onto the skin, it turns white, and that's when you know you are finished with the massage and can leave it on your face to let it continue do its job. Overall a really lovely product to help improve skin texture, and gentle enough to use daily! Only a small amount is needed each time, I've used it for numerous times and still have half a tube left.

Left: clear gel freshly squeezed out of the tube
Right: after massage in, the gel turns white.
Simple direction: massage until the clear gel (left) turns white (right). 


Friday, May 10, 2013

[Reviews] Products Introduced on Lulu&Baby that You Might Not Want to Miss

Here is a summary of some of the beauty products that I reviewed on my other blog, Lulu&Baby, that you might also enjoy reading:

Clarins Huile "Tonic" Body Treatment Oil:
Clarins’ #1 selling body oil — with 100% pure plant extracts including Rosemary, Geranium and Mint — helps firm, tone and improve elasticity, reducing the appearance of stretch marks resulting from pregnancy. Hazelnut Oil softens, smooths and hydrates by locking in moisture. Aromatic natural botanicals promote an overall feeling of well-being. Preservative-free. Click here to visit the product page.

REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate:
A concentrate formulated to resurface the skin and renew the complexion giving a radiant, youthful glow. A complex of Glycolic, Lactic, Tartaric and Citric acids promotes skin-cell turnover leaving skin looking revitalised, brighter, smoother and more healthy. Click here to visit the product page.

  • Gently exfoliates so skin appears radiant, even toned and smoothed
  • Reduces the appearance of pore size and fine lines
  • Improves moisture retention and the efficacy of your skincare routine

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Revlon, NYX, OPI, Essie

All polishes are applied with 2 coats unless otherwise indicated. Left image is taken with either natural light or room light, right is taken with flash. 

Essie "Pink is the Link" (3 coats)

NYX Girls "Candy Glitter" (3 coats)

OPI "Tickle My France-y" 

Revlon "Sheer Pink"

Sunday, May 5, 2013

[Giveaway] Melanoma Monday: Go Orange!

Tomorrow marks Melanoma Monday. Want to learn more about sun protection and join my giveaway to win 6 sunscreens to survive the summer?

Did you know... the sun is actually brighter now than it was four centuries ago? The sun is getting brighter, there is less protective ozone and people are spending more time outdoors. And, due to global climate changes, the spring season starts earlier and fall arrives later. This means we are exposed to more dangerous UV rays now than in earlier decades.

Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is the most preventable type of cancer but is still on the rise.  I have personally known people who have been affected by melanoma, and I am a firm believer of always wearing sun protection when I head outside.  Let's help raise awareness by wearing ORANGE on “Melanoma Monday,” Monday, May 6 (tomorrow), and encouraging your your friends to do the same. Click here to learn more. 

I am a big fan of Neutrogena sunscreens, they offer a variety of different products to suit my different needs, and are inexpensive choices of sun protection that are readily available from the drugstores. My favorite from them has been the Ultra Sheer range, I liked their non-greasy finish and high levels of SPF offered, it is our family's vacation must have!

Check out these six sunscreens our dermatologists recommend for surviving the summer season and beyond.
1.       NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense™ Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30: Provides beach strength broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection in a lightweight, fast absorbing formula, ideal for outdoor skin protection of the active family.

2.       NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® Body Mist Sunscreen: Stabilized with Helioplex® Technology, providing superior balanced broad-spectrum protection against UVA-aging and UVB-burning rays in an ultra-light, non-greasy finish.

3.       NEUTROGENA® Wet Skin Kids Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45+: Developed with a technology that is designed to cut through water to apply directly to wet skin with minimal whitening or dripping off.

4.       NEUTROGNA® Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55: Specially designed to provide superior sun protection without causing breakouts on acne-prone skin.

5.       NEUTROGENA® Age Shield™ Face Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 110: Skin conditioners hydrate and replenish skin as the lightweight lotion absorbs quickly for a fresh, non-greasy feel, protecting your face and helping to maintain a youthful appearance every time you wear it.

6.       NEUTROGENA® MicroMist® Airbrush Sunless Tan: For those looking to avoid the rays, this one-touch continuous spray works at any angle to tan hard-to-reach places--even your back. It dries fast and won't clog pores.

Giveaway Information:

Would you like to try these Neutrogena sun products? One winner (U.S. only, please) will be lucky enough to receive:
1.            NEUTROGENA® Beach Defense™ Sunscreen
2.            NEUTROGENA® Ultra Sheer® Body Mist Sunscreen
3.            NEUTROGENA® Wet Skin Kids Lotion Sunscreen
4.            NEUTROGNA® Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen
5.            NEUTROGENA® Age Shield™ Face Lotion Sunscreen
6.            NEUTROGENA® MicroMist® Airbrush Sunless Tan

To join, please be a follower of my blogtwitter, and leave a comment below by simply saying "enter me please!" Giveaway will end in 2 weeks on May 20th, 2013. Please also feel free to let me know what your favorite sunscreen(s) are, I'd love to try out new products that are available out there! Thanks and good luck!

EDIT (5/21/13): Winner posted! Congratulations :)

Disclaimer: I did not get paid for this announcement. Giveaway items will be supplied by PR. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Dior, American Apparel, Sinful Colors, Jesse's Girl, Julep

All polishes are applied with 2 coats unless otherwise indicated. Left image is taken with either natural light or room light, right is taken with flash. 

American Apparel -- Army Jacket (one coat)

Dior -- Aloha

Jesse's Girl -- Girls Night Out

Julep -- Carrie

Sinful Colors -- Beautiful Girl

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nail Polish Swatches: Zoya, Jesse's Girl, Lancome, NARS, Canmake

Let's continue with more nail polish swatches...getting tired of them yet? I certainly am not :) It's also been fun reorganizing these pictures stored in my computer, and looking at what shades of nail polishes I already wore and how they looked on my nails.

So let's begin...same old rules, all polishes are applied with 2 coats unless otherwise indicated. Left image is taken with either natural light or room light, right is taken with flash. 

Jesse's Girl -- Stiletto

Canmake -- 06

Lancome -- Sarong

NARS -- Orgasm

Zoya -- Cassi

Friday, April 26, 2013

New Blog Announcement: Lulu's Journey to Motherhood

Lulu's Journey to Motherhood
-- All the little things for mommy and baby.

Hello world! 2013 is an exciting year for Lulu and Mr. Lulu. We were ecstatic to find out that a mini-Lulu is on the way! When we met mini-Lulu on the ultrasound for the first time, mini-Lulu wiggled and waved to us on screen — not even born yet and already excited about entering the world!

As a first time mom, there are so much to learn and so much stuff to prepare for. A quick research about baby product shopping earlier this week turned into hours of meticulous notes-taking and browsing that left me with a stiff neck and a headache. Overwhelmed was exactly how I felt at that moment. There are just so many brands out there for everything. For someone who is as selection-challenged as me, options are BAD! As I begin this new journey to motherhood, and start trying out the new range of mommy and baby products that I am dealing with for the first time in my life, I thought it would be a good idea to document all the little things for baby and mommy, products big or small, and my thoughts on them on luluandbaby.wordpress.com. Hopefully as we go further along on this journey together, it will both help myself to become more knowledgable, and my reviews will help clueless new moms like myself to get started on their own journeys to motherhood.

Of course, being the beauty-addict that I still am, I will also be reviewing a fair share of mommy beauty products (stretch mark oils, bust creams, you name it!) on my new blog. All my other non-pregnancy related beauty product reviews will still remain here on Luluchinadoll.blogspot.com. I will be sure to periodically post a summary of mommy beauty products that I reviewed on luluandbaby.wordpress.com so you can refer to them if you are interested. 
Thanks for your support!