Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 - Top 10 Favorites!

The year is coming to an end and I figure it would be appropriate to compile a list of my all time favorites this year. It is difficult decisions because there are so many good products out there. I tried to pick an item from different categories. Please note that they are in no particular order and that these products do not necessarily launch in 2009.

Bare Escentual Buxom Lipgloss ($18): I am hook on BE Buxom diamond edition. The gold shimmer is just oh so pretty and the tingly sensation is kinda fun. Favorite shades are Starr (raspberry) and Claire (mauve with some brown undertone).

Avon Anew Alternative Intensive Age Treatment Spf 25 ($32): This is a personal favorite of mine. I have yet found a sunscreen that feels more luxurious and though a bit shiny alone, it gives that nice healthy glow under makeup. Loving the higher spf too. Click here for my
full review.

Bobbi Brown Corrector ($22): This is my go to everyday must have item. It hides dark circles better than any concealer I have tried. Tips: make sure you hydrate your under eye areas well.
Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder ($22): Very finely mill, set concealer without caking and also brighten the under eye area. Also a jar will last you a very long time.

Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara: As the name imply, full and soft, non-flakey and sold at a reasonable price.

MAC Star by Night Eyeshadow: Part of a LE, very nice and vibrant deep medium blue that is shimmery but not frosty. A beautiful color for smokey eyes if you want something more vibrant than gray eyeshadow.

DHC Acerola 100 Serum ($22): Every time I stray from this, it shows. Skin is not as even tone and bright. During summer, it really helps keep my freckles at bay.

Shiseido Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam ($29): It cleanses well, very gentle and non-drying, and the lather just feels so luxurious. Click here for my full review.

Masaki ($60-$80): This perfume was created by a Japanese designer. It smells light, soft, and elegant, a scent that goes with every seasons. Available at Sephora.

ELF Eyeshadow Brush (White Handle): OMGosh, for $1, I did not expect much. It is dense, super soft, picks up color, and sturdy. Definitely worth buying back up.

Phew! That is a lot of information. Now, what is your favorite?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 Holiday Stocking Stuffer for under $25

It has been awhile, hi there. Can you believe it, only 2 more weeks till Christmas? Whether it is the economy or whatever reasons, below are some budgets friendly stocking stuffer.

Benefit Lust Dusters Trio (Sephora, $10). I actually got the second Trio myself as they are such good value ($54). Colors are shimmery and versatile, for both cheeks and eyes. EDIT: Unless you are into shimmer, these might be a bit too shimmery for your liking.

Urban Decay Get Baked Eye Kit (Sephora, $18)This is currently on sale. The colors are so pretty too.

100% Pure Almond Body Kit (http://www.100percentpure.com/, $25)A little something for the organic fanatic. The set includes good size of the Organic Honey Almond Body Scrub (6oz), Organic Honey Almond Nourishing Body Cream (2oz), Organic Honey Almond Milk Shower Gel (2oz), and Organic Mint Lip Balm (.5oz). Also available in other scents.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Product Review: Avon Reversalist Night Cream

Avon’s Reversalist Night Cream and Reversalist Serum are the latest addition to Avon’s skincare line. The main ingredient in the night cream and serum is Activinol. According to Avon, this breakthrough anti-aging technology is proven in clinical studies to increase the production of Activin, which helps skin cells repair themselves at a faster rate. The faster dead cells turn over, the quicker fresh, healthy cells can replace them leading to beautiful, younger looking skin.

I was given samples of the Reversalist Cream and Reversalist Serum. My mom and I have been testing this night cream for the past few weeks. First, I’ll share my experience with the night cream. When I first read the box, it did caution that people with sensitive skin may feel a tingling sensation. I was worried after reading this because I have sensitive skin that is easily inflamed. However for the sake of this review, I bravely slathered on the cream anyway. The texture is creamy yet light and non greasy. It does contain fragrance, though very light and pleasant. I did feel very slight tingling sensation; however, it was very mild even for my sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, I would recommend you to first do a patch test.

I only used the cream on my face twice because I was in the middle of another skincare routine. I did however use the night cream on my hands which have some sun spots. I soon noticed a more even skin tone and the freckles on my hands are becoming lighter. Also, the next morning, my skin feels oh so soft and smooth.

My mom whose skin is more mature, with fine lines, wrinkles and hyper pigmentation, also tried the night cream. She is an impatient consumer who will loose interest in a product unless she sees results quickly. Let’s just say she likes it so much that she asked me for a back up. It has helped firm, diminish fine lines, and even out her skin tone. I think the Reversalist line is worth a try.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Benefit Celebutante 2009 Holiday

This Celebutante kit from Benefit would make a perfect holiday gift for a special friend/sister or a great travel kit for yourself. For $34, you will get:

-high beam luminescent complexion enhancer
-benetint, rose-tinted lip & cheek stain
-dallas, the outdoor glow for the indoor gal face powder
-lipgloss in I'm with the band
-fullfinish lipstick in lady's choice
-full-finish lipstick in no competition
-velvet eyeshadow in leggy
-velvet eyeshadow in dandy brandy
-fluff shadow/talent brush

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Online Beauty Store

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto a cool online beauty supplies store called BeautyTicket . Here you can get brand name makeup and skincare for up to 70% off.

This month, they are supporting BreastCancer.org. I am not sure when this promotion end but for every purchase made using the code "AWARENESS" at checkout, BeautyTicket.com will donate 10% to BreastCancer.org. What is a better way to shop than to get some good discount and help out a great cause at the same time? =)

Disclosure: This is not a paid endorsement.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to Achieve Beautiful Eyebrows

A few weeks ago, I had a friend over for a makeover. She is low maintenance so I emphasized to her that if she is not going to wear makeup, she should at least draw her eyebrows as it will help frame her face. Sure enough, that night, many people compliment on her eyebrows and eye makeup. Filling in the eyebrows is often overlooked. It is one of those things where when you do it well, it is not a prominent feature. However, if you neglect it or color it too dark, it just stands not in a good way.

Since I feel like this is such an important step in an everyday routine, the following is a step-by-step tutorial on how to fill in your eyebrows.

Things you will need:

- brow powder or matte eyeshadow
- brow pencil
- an angle brush
- brow comb

The purpose of filling in your eyebrows is to define them while still keeping them looking natural. When choosing your brow powder and brow pencil, you should choose one that is one shade lighter than your brow hair color. Do not choose a darker than your natural hair color shade as this will make you look unnatural.

1. First, shape your eyebrows. For first timer, you may want to seek the help of a professional or purchase a kit from Sephora. If you are doing it yourself, refrain from over plucking. Brush your eyebrow hair in the direction that they grow in and pluck any excess, one tiny area at a time. Take a step back and check to see if it is the shape you like. Pluck more if needed. The key is to work on one small area at a time.

2. Groom you eyebrows with a comb in the direction you want the hair to lay.

3. Use the angle brush and lightly dip into the brow powder or matte eyeshadow. Tap off any excess. In feather strokes, fill in the outer half of the brow. Use the left over powder on the brush to fill in the inner half. Less product is needed in the inner half because you tend to have more hair in that section. Repeat if necessary.

4. Use a pencil in matching shade to extend the brow a little longer than where it naturally ended. Again, use short strokes.

5. Use the comb and brush your eyebrows again to blend out any harsh line.

Remember, your eyebrows are sister, not twin. The natural shape they grown in will be slightly different therefore they should look similar but not identical. Also, as I mentioned before, do not over pluck and make them too thin. A medium to thicker eyebrows lend a more youthful appearance.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Makeup on a Budget: Avon 12-in-1 Eyeshadow Palette

I saw this new palette on Avon.com the other day and I want one! This one is a real bargain, Avon is currently having this for sale for only $9.99 (regular price $20). 12 shades for 10 bucks, can't beat that. What I like about this palette is that it have a variety of colors to do many different looks. There are both neutral shades for a natural day time look and darker shades for a night, smokey look.

Friday, October 16, 2009

In What Order Should You Apply Your Sunscreen?

Prevention against skin cancer and aging takes diligent. I always thought that you are safe as long as you do not suntan and always apply your sunscreen before sun exposure. It was until recently when I heard on dermTV from dermatologist Neil Schultz that you need to apply sunscreen before moisturizer. According to Dr. Schultz, sunscreen has to be the first thing you apply to your skin for the active ingredients to bind to your skin and do their work. Simple enough? However, I think most of us have the habit of applying our moisturizer, then sunscreen on top. If you are one of those people, you have to remember to reverse your habit.

What if you also apply toner and serum in the morning? Dr. Schultz believes you can apply toner before sunscreen but serum is only to be use at night. I can live with that, as I don’t normally use serum in the morning anyway. However, I think there are women out there that would not want to give up on their morning serum regimen. I did more research about the topic. According to a pharmacy website from Canada, it is not necessary to apply sunscreen first. It is about applying products in the order of their consistency. This totally makes sense to me and it is a practice I have been doing for years anyway. Let’s say your serum is in a liquid or light milky texture. If you apply the serum on top of your cream sunscreen, I doubt your serum will get a chance to absorb properly.

In essence, my two cents is that it will simplify things if you find a moisturizer that also contains sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or higher. If you must use additional moisturizer, it would be on top of your sunscreen. Also, if you use toner and serum in the morning then you would follow your cleansing with toner, serum, then sunscreen, in the order of your product consistency, from lightest to heaviest.

Related Post:
Avon and Neutrogena Sunscreen Review

Saturday, October 10, 2009

TOTD: Bright eyes

Line your bottom lash water line with a white pencil liner will make the white part of your eyes appear whiter and brighter.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dior Fall 2009 Collection

I have always had a thing for lavender and purple. I am loving this season's trend, which is the sultry and sexy purplish smokey eye. Below is some of Dior Fall 2009 Collection.

This is my favorite pallette: Dior 5 Couleurs in Night Butterfly

If the one above is too dark, this is a lighter pallette: Dior 5 Couleurs in Sweet Illusion

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review on Wedding Reception Venues in the Washington DC Area. (Part I)

I knew that planning a wedding would be labor intensive but as I engross in the process, I am a little surprise at how time consuming it is. Not that I am complaining because it have been fun so far. There are lots of websites out there to help you find vendors. However, I have not really find one that pertain details information or review. I must have been to at least 20 places, seeking for a reception venue. There are places I don’t really care for and then there are places that are worth a trip to check out. Therefore, even though this site is mainly about beauty and skincare, I thought it would also be fun and helpful to other brides to blog about my wedding planning experience. Below are some of the places in Virginia and Washington DC that are worth checking out.

2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, VA

This is one of the first places that really struck a cord with me. The scenery is just gorgeous. It is the perfect place if you are looking for an outdoor ceremony. They have a little patio within a garden that also has a pond and a man built waterfall. The restaurant is built with floor to ceiling windows, capturing a lot of natural sun light. Because of the abundant in natural lighting and big glass windows, you still feel a sense of being outdoor even though you are inside. What also makes this a great venue is their impeccable menu. I have my share of fine dining experiences and their food and service is one of the best. The only draw back is that their private dinning room only holds up to 80 guests. For a larger party, you will have to buy out the entire restaurant, which is expensive!

Garden outside of 2941

Charlie Palmer

If you are looking to have your reception in a restaurant, Charlie Palmer is another place worth checking out. It is in the heart of downtown DC, near the capital. The ceremony and reception will be held on their rooftop, that can accommodate a large party, I believe up to 300 or more people.

Being in the heart of DC and on top of a roof, you and your guests will get gorgeous view of the capital, the city, and a small pond. Other than spectacular view and good food, there is just something “cool” about having a party on a rooftop. Only problem is your bill will be more on the high side.

Come back again for Part II of the review.

Related Post:
Bridal Makeup Tip

Friday, September 18, 2009

Revlon Custom Creations Foundation

Truth be told, I don’t like buying foundation from drug stores. I don’t like the fact that I don’t have the option to try on a product. The shade you see on a bottle may not be the shade that will show up on your skin. So, then one would have to play a guessing game to choose the closest match shade.

If you feel the same way I do about purchasing drug stores foundation, Revlon Custom Creations Foundation may very well be your solution. It comes in 6 categories or shade, from Fair/Light to Deep. Each bottle includes a dial that offer 5 shade settings. This should make selecting a perfect shade much easier. Better yet, you may be even able to use the same foundation for summer/winter.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Clinique Gift With Purchase at Bloomingdale's

This gift set is just so tempting for me and you only need to spend $25. It is available at Bloomingdale's, now through September 20th.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TOTD: Feeling Good

We spend money and time on skincare and makeup to make ourselves look good. However, feeling good is as important. Take some time from your busy schedule to enjoy the company of a loved one or something as simple as your morning coffee or tea.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Product Review: Jason Natural Vitamin K Cream Plus

I feel like I have not cover as much on skincare as I should. After all, it is my love for it that transpires me to start this blog and also love makeup as well.

If you have dark under eye circles, especially if they are hereditary, you will understand that they are as annoying as wrinkle. Those dark circles do really make you look tire even when you are not. I have them since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, I can sleep for 10 hours and still have them. Granted, they are a lot lighter than if I were up all night.
Mine are purplish in color. They are cause by a) thin, transparent skin in that area and b) pool of blood probably due to weak capillaries and/or poor circulation.

According to Wikipedia, symptoms of deficiency [in Vitamin K] include heavy menstrual bleeding in women, anemia, bruising, and bleeding of the gums or nose. The article goes on to say that “Vitamin K may be applied topically - typically as a 5% cream, to diminish…broken capillaries (spider veins), and to aid in the fading of hyper pigmentation and dark under eye circles.”

Jason’s Vitamin K Cream Plus fit the bill. It has high concentration of Vitamin K. I could not find the exact percentage, but it is listed at the top (fourth) of the ingredients list. It also contains bioflavonoid and horse chestnut. All of these ingredients help tone down redness, minimize the appearance of distended blood vessels and lighten under-eye circles.

It took awhile for me to see result but I am impressed. I have some broken capillaries on my cheeks as well so I applied the cream to both my cheeks and under eye areas after cleansing about once or twice a day/ 5 days a week. I can’t remember to do it everyday. After 4 weeks, you can see a different in my cheeks. My broken capillaries shrink or fade about 50%. I am very happy about this because before I did not know that there is a way to treat this. However, I did not really see a noticeable improvement in my dark circle yet. I continue to use it for about two months now. I have to say it is the only cream that has ever helps my dark circles. It used to be this deep purplish color that has faded into a lighter discoloration. My broken capillaries also lighten considerably. A layer of tinted moisturizer is enough to cover it. The best part is I can get this at Wegmans for only $15 for a 2oz bottle, which is a lot cheaper than most eye cream out there. I also want to note that if you have dry skin, you may need another eye cream in the winter for moisturizing. Also, since there is a high concentration of Vitamin K, it will stain your nails. I suggest, apply it with a Q-tip instead.

Overall, it is a very promising product and for such a good price, it is worth the test.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TOTD: Bronzer and Blush

Wearing bronzer alone can look dull or flat. Adding a hint of blush can make you look more fresh and natural.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Complete Guide to Different Types of Foundation Brush

Using a good foundation brush can help you achieve a sheerer yet even and flawless finish. I prefer to use a brush over sponge because a brush do not soak up as much product and therefore helps save money because you will use less foundation. Normally, a dime size drop is enough for the entire face.

The first brush on the list is the traditional flat foundation brush. It is probably one of my favorite because it is fun to use. You can read my review on Beauty of Essence, Ecotools and Japonesque here.

The second type is the stippling brush. This is a multi-purpose brush as you can use it for liquid foundation, blush, and highlight. The MAC 187 and 188 (smaller version of the 187) is very famous for this. However, you can find cheaper dupe like the Ulta Profression Highlighter and Studio Tool. They are $26 and $7 respectively versus over $40 for the MAC. I’ll do a review for these on a separate post.

The third type is a Kabuki brush. This is mainly use for applying mineral makeup foundation, but you can also use it to apply your setting powder. Though, I must warn that you will need to use a light hand. Kabuki brush is very dense so they can pick up a lot of powder.

The fourth type is the flat top brush (another name is the chisel brush). It is very similar to the Kabubi in that it is also very dense and normally use for mineral makeup foundation. As you can see from the picture, the difference is that the Kabuki has a round or dome shape head and the flat top have a flat head. Personally I think you can also use this to apply liquid foundation, in a similar manner as the stippling brush.

There you have it, the different types of foundation brush and their functionality. I hope this was helpful.

Friday, August 7, 2009

TOTD: Brushes and Tools

It is worthwhile to invest in some good brushes and tools. It will make your makeup application more fun and much easier.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Benefits Fall 2009 Collection

August just begins and companies are already launching their Fall collection and it is industry standard.

I am digging the silver pewter eyeshadow and berry eyeshadow and lipstick. Both are retail at $18 each. Currently you can get free shipping for these by entering code: FALL2009. Happy shopping.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Product Review: Foundation Brush Comparison

A good foundation brush is as important as the foundation itself. My first foundation brush was the Essence of Beauty brush. I want to inform you that EoB make two different foundation brush; a dual tone and an orange bristle (come in a package with a concealer brush). I purchased the dual tone brush based on the good reviews it had with liquid foundation. When I got home and opened it, the handle fell apart from the rest of the brush. That should have been a sign. On my second attempt, I exchanged the broken brush for the orange bristle brush instead. This orange bristle brush is big and has good surface area. But that's about it. What I don’t like is that it tends to soak up a lot of product, clump up together, and leaves streaks. It is very frustrating to use and you have to wash it often.

Essence of Beauty and Ecotools foundatioon brush side by side

I like the Ecotools performance much better when compare to the EoB. I also like that the company is environmentally conscious. They use synthetic hair (taklon) and bamboo as handle. Their brushes are also very reasonably price; I got mine for $8. The brush is soft but dense, giving better control during application. It does streak a little, but that can be easily fixed if you go over the area again. It does not split on me the way the EoB brush does. It also does not soak up and is better at transfering product. Which mean I don’t have to clean it after every single use and it is also easy to wash. I actually don’t wear foundation much therefore, I mainly use this to blend out my under eye circle concealer and apply eyeshadow primer, which this brush make it super quick to do. Also very important, I have it for a few months, washed many times, and not even a single hair shed.

Japonesque travel size foundation brush

I also tried the Japonesque in travel size (shorter handle). I like the performance a little better than the Ecotools. I think it’s softer but just as dense. The cons are that it has a smaller head so it can be time consuming to apply foundation and it cost twice as much as the Ecotools. In regard to price, Japonesque foundation brush is still cheaper but comparable to Bobbi Brown or MAC.

I hope this review help with your search for good quality brushes without a big dent on your wallet.

Monday, July 27, 2009

TOTD: Curl Lashes

Waterproof mascara will hold your curled lashes better than regular formula because it tends to be drier and waxier.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Product Review: Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara

Jane Iredale is a reputable, respected mineral cosmetics line since 1994. Of course, I was excited when I got to try out her Longest Lash Mascara. However, I had a disappointing first impression. It was so dry. I swiped, swiped and did not see a thing on my lash.

I visited their website to see if I could find any additional information. It turned out that you are supposed to use this mascara with an eyelash conditioner. The reason for its dryness is because instead of being a water base, it is algae base. Good thing, I have some DHC Eyelash Tonic around so I applied this before the mascara. I have to say, I really like the result when combine with a conditioner. It does not give you much volume. However, it definitely lengthens. It also separate and define without clumping. It is the most "naturally" enhance look I got from a mascara to date and I have tried quite a few. The downfall of this mascara is the price. It is $34 and if you have to use it with a conditioner, which is at least another $15, too expensive. Nevertheless, it is a good mascara.

Other natural mascara:

Tarte Lash Hugger

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My furry friend!

Just shot some really cute pictures last week, thought I should post it.

Isn't he adorable? He's very friendly, he just stood still as I inch closer and closer. By the way, the Canon lense is amazing. If you open up the picture, you can see the veins in his ears.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How is your skincare packaged?

It seems like every where you turn, in every skincare brand, there is a line for anti-aging. Obviously, most of these anti-aging products contain either antioxidants or peptides, or both. There are two crucial factors that affect how effective a product is. First factor is the ingredients themselves and their concentration. Second is, believe it or not, the packaging.

Many antioxidants, especially Vitamin C will degrade as it is expose to air and light. Therefore, glass jar is the worse form of packaging. The glass will let light through and the jar opening is way too large to be airtight. Imagine you spent $100 on a jar of cream and only half way through, the product already lost its effectiveness. It boggles my mind as to why so many companies are still packaging their product in a jar. If your beloved product only comes in a jar, the only thing I can think of is to transfer it to a safer container. You can purchase empty airtight pump online. Or an easier but not as effective way is to put half of the stuff in another jar and tightly seal it.

In this instance, a tube is preferred as it is more airtight and hygienic. However, the best option would be an “opaque” or dark airtight pump container. Aside from this, keeping your products in a dry and cool place is also important.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Avon Pro 3-in-1 Lip Wand and SpectraColor Lipstick

There is pro and con about Avon new Pro 3-in-1 Lip Wand. Let me start with the negative first and get that out of the way. Packaging is bulky. It is approximately a good 7 inches long. Which will not going to fit in a small makeup bag.

However, the pro is that you get 3 otherwise separate products, perfectly match, in one convenience tube. I also like the lip liner. I thought it was pigmented and glide on very smoothly, no tugging. I think the pro outweight the con so just toss it in your bigger bag.

Swatch is for the "bronze" lipcolor

Avon second new product is the SpectraColor Lipstick. It is a wand that contain two tone lipgloss with seven setting so you can customize your perfect shade. It is more like 3 to 4 shades to me. Still, it is a neat little thing. The lipgloss is self is nice and glossy without funny smell, taste, or glitter. Avon generally makes nice lipgloss, one of my favorite is their Glazewear line.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Favorites from DHC

For those of you who aren’t familiar with DHC, they are a mail order Japanese company. I have use and sample many of their products with good result. Here are some of my top favorites.

DHC Cleansing Oil. Remove everything effortlessly, including heavy eye makeup.

Love the whole Acerola line, especially the Acerola 100 (serum). No parabens or harsh chemicals.

Q10 cleanser – good cleanser and so convenience for travel.

If you like DHC or another Japanese brand, I’d like to know.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Product Review: Red Earth Eyeshadow

This is a brand I have heard of but not tried until now. I have to say, their eyeshadow stay true to color. Their formula is available in four finishes: Soft Frost, Satin Shine, Brilliant Pearl and Sparkle Velvet.

I had the Mystic Garden and Indian Night in Satin Shine. I really like the formula. It is very smooth, velvety and shine but without all the glitter or looking too frosty. Mystic Garden is a nice deep pigmented, but sort of bright green. It also has a hint of golden shimmer. Indian Night is a rose gold color, go well with the bronze look. Both are pair nicely with brown, hazel, or green eyes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Maybelline: Pulse Perfection by Define-A-Lash Vibrating Mascara

I am really curious to try this mascara out as it is the first drugstore vibrating mascara. It is retail for $13 which is expensive for a drugstore brand but it is still half the price of department store.

Maybelline claims it to be:
• Patent-pending elastomer brush vibrates 7,000 times per stroke
• Provides clump-free definition, intense color, and shine
• Waterproof; also available in washable formula
• Builds lash volume, length, and adds curl
• Buildable formula
• Ideal for All Skin Types
• Contact lens safe

Monday, June 29, 2009

Homemade Toner

This is a good and easy recipe to make.

-Green Tea
-Aloe (optional)

Boil about ½ a cup of water. Then steep about 2-3 packs of green tea for 30 minutes. If you have fresh aloe plant, add some aloe gel (about a teaspoon). Just refrigerate and it should stay fresh for about a week or so. See, simple huh?

Green tea is a good antioxidant as it contains polyphenols. Polyphenols have protective effects against free radicals that age our skin. Aloe is good for healing and anti-inflammatory.

Related Post:

Double Cleansing

Asian 5-steps Skincare Routine

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

TOTD: Is your skincare product working for you?

To really know if something is making an improvement on your skin, use it continuously for about 4 weeks. (Unless of course, it is causing you an allergic reaction) Don’t expect miracle overnight.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tarte MultiplEYE

Tarte MultiplEYE is a natural lash enhancer that claim to increase in the appearance of lash length by 152%. Here is the before and after picture from their site.

From Tarte’s website: Our proprietary HydroPlant Peptide is clinically proven to give the appearance of longer, thicker lashes naturally: soy and amino acid proteins combine to form an essential super-protein base that fortifies and nourishes lashes. This protein emulsion is infused with cellulose, a plant-derived thickening agent, and vitamin C, an antioxidant booster.

Users are instructed to apply once a day to the lash line as you would with an eyeliner. You can also apply this directly on your lashes, but avoid getting into eyes. It takes 4-6 weeks to see result.

In my opinion, I am not sure if this will actually lengthen and thicken your lashes or not. But with all the good natural ingredients, I think it will at least act as a good conditioner for your lashes like a conditioner would for your hair.

If you have tried it, I would like to hear your result.

Ingredients: Aqua, hydrolyzed soy protein, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, adenosine, sodium chloride, disodium EDTA, myristoyl pentapeptide-17, calcium chloride, polyaminopropyl biguanide, hydroxyethylcellulose, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, polyhexamethylene biguanide HCI.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Going Green? Tarte: Lash Hugger

Mascara is not something I wear everyday. But I have to say it is my most favorite cosmetic product. It makes me feel different, like wearing high heels. It is also fun to experiment.

I really like Tarte Lash Hugger as the ingredients are natural which suppose to do no harm to your lashes. It shows because it’s the easiest to remove mascara ever. It contains olive ester to condition and protect your lashes. There are no preservatives, paraben, or dye. Also comes in a recycled aluminum tube.

I also LOVE the brush. I think its best that I do a pro and con list as we all look for different things in our mascara, depending on the nature of your lashes.


  • Natural Ingredients

  • Easy to remove, it just comes of when you wash your face and no leftover residue

  • Separating (no spidery legs)

  • Somewhat volumizing

  • No clump, smudge or flake

  • Excellent brush


  • Does not lengthen much

  • Does not hold curls

  • A little wet at first but thicken up nicely after a few uses

It will give your lashes a naturally defining look, which can be a pro/con depending on your preference.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Introducing Avon new SpectraColor Lipstick

Customized lip color is just a few clicks away with the new SpectraColor Lipstick from Avon. Get seven shades of lip color packed into one sleek, innovative package. Basically, there is two tone of color in every tube. By clicking on the dial, you go from the palest hue to the deepest, most saturated color, allowing customization.

It’s formulated with Vitamins A, C and E, lightweight, and high-shine formula. Available in 10 shades, starting June 2009, for $9.50. Check back later for my review on this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

TOTD: Hard to curl eyelashes

Warm your eyelash curler with a blow dryer for just a few seconds. Touch to make sure it's not hot to avoid burning your eyelids. Gently curl your lashes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Asian 5 Steps Skincare Routine

The best things you can do for your skin is to develop a skincare routine and be diligent about it. Often time when I see a Korean movie stars, I always admire over how smooth and porcelain their skin are. It’s probably a combination of good gene, healthy food intake, makeup, and diligent skincare.

Below is a step by step routine for night time:

1. Cleanse/Double Cleansing: A while back I wrote about double cleansing which provide more information on this process. When necessary, use cleansing oil to remove make up and dirt. Make sure not to pull on the eye area. Then cleanse your face with a gentle facial cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.

2. Tone: Use a toner to remove any last trace of residue. It also help balances out your skin PH level after washing and help prep your skin for better absorption of serum. Find one that is suitable for your skin type or for your specific treatment need (example: such as brightener).

3. Use a mask and facial massage once or twice a week: Masks comes in a variety, such as brightening, purifying, hydrating, exfoliating, etc. For summer, a gentle clay mask is ideal as it help eliminate oil. Then there is also the weekly facial massage to encourage good blood circulation. Some Asian brands carry facial massage cream for this purpose. However, I imagine you can just use your regular face lotion or cream.

4. Serum: It is basically a “more concentrated” amount of active ingredients than what you would get in a cream. Also, since its texture is normally in a liquid or light gel form, it is easier for your skin to absorb. On days that you don’t wear a mask, you would apply serum right after your toner. Personally, I think if you are still young, it is okay to skip the serum step to save yourself some time and money.

5. Moisturize: Depending on the season, you will want to find a suitable moisturizer. It also helps seal in the serum. If you have very dry skin in the winter, use a cream instead of lotion. For oily skin, try a gel type like Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer.

There you have it. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? =) I have to admit, I myself don't always follow all the steps. But when I do, I always enjoy the relaxation and benefit a good mask provide.

Related Post:
Double Cleansing

Friday, May 29, 2009

Clinique Bonus at Nordstrom!!!

Now till June 6, you can get this 8 pieces gift set with any $25 or more purchase at Nordstrom. Enjoy the saving!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Experience with a Professional Makeup Artist

Few weeks ago was my engagement ceremony. I thought I’d pamper myself and hire a professional makeup artist. I figure if I like her, I will hire her again for my wedding. I was excited and looked forward to it, as believe it or not, this is my first time having my makeup done by a pro.

I was prepared. I had pictures of the look I wanted to show her. So, how did my makeup turn out? I think my foundation was very matte. Personally, I am dewy kinda girl so I asked her to put some golden shimmer on my cheek to add radiance. The effect is not the same. My fiancé said the makeup make my skin look too yellow. Hmm maybe. It was not the best matching shade. Also, I think some people make the mistake of thinking Asian skin is always best with yellow undertone but that is not always true.

But I think my true disappointment lies when I had a friend told me that my makeup is not even. I checked and yes, it was blotchy. There was a big chunk of crust on the side of my nose. My biggest pet peeve when it comes to makeup! I tried to blend it out but it was hard because the foundation already dried. Fortunately, the camera was pretty forgiving, could not really tell. There were a few hours of break between the luncheon and our photo session. I washed my face and redo my makeup myself. =\

On a flip side, I have to give her credit for doing a decent job with the eyes makeup (hard to see from the picture).

Having said all that, brides to be, it is worth the extra money for those trials.

TOTD: Seasonal Products

If you live in an area that have 4 seasons, spring is the time of the year where we need to change our hair, skincare and makeup products to better suit our need. For example, my skin is normal/dry in the winter but normal/oily in the summer. Same with my hair, it gets all frizzy in the summer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!

It has been brought to my attention that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. I will be writing about sun protection products I tried and like.

One of my all time favorite for my face would be Avon Anew Alternative Intensive Age Treatment SPF 25. First off, I like that it is higher than SPF 15 and come in a great pump packaging. I love the texture; it’s very creamy and velvety without being too heavy or hard to blend. In the winter, most of the time, it is moisturizing enough that I don’t need an extra moisturizer (skin is dry/combo). It is not tinted but somehow it gives me a sheer coverage that even out my skin tone. It also contains plant extracts for antioxidant. This product may not be suitable for people with very oily skin. It is available at http://www.avon.com/ for $32/1.7oz.

Those with oilier skin may like Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch SPF 55 with Helioplex. I like that it is non-sticky and give me a matte finish. This is good for hot humid summer days. However, you have to blend well as this can give you a white cast. Neutrogena also comes out with a new Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock SPF 90+ with Helioplex. Wow, that is high. I’ll probably try it out and see how it compares to the Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch.

Sephora is also teaming up with The Skin Cancer Foundation with a Sun Safety Kit. It’s retail for $22.50 ($110 value). 100% of the net proceeds will benefit The Skin Cancer Foundation. Now that is a great reason for shopping =).

This set contains:

  • 0.14 oz Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15

  • 0.23 oz DDF Protect and Correct UV Moisturizer SPF 15

  • 0.5 oz Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20

  • 0.25 oz Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Defense Lotion SPF 30

  • 1.0 oz Anthony Logistics Facial Moisturizer SPF 15

  • 0.1 oz Clarins UV Plus Day Screen High Protection SPF 40

  • 0.34 oz Korres Watermelon Sunscreen Face Cream SPF 30

  • 0.33 oz Cosmedicine Medi-matte Oil Control Lotion SPF 20

  • 0.08 oz Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55 PA+++

  • 0.25 oz Ole Henriksen Herbal Day Cream SPF 15

  • 0.4 oz Philosophy Hope in a Jar SPF 20

  • 0.25 oz Smashbox Photo Finish UVA/UVB SPF 15

  • 0.01 oz Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Well-Rested for Eyes SPF 30

This all-in-one summertime companion comes packaged in an expandable, brightly yellow beach bag made from recycled plastic.

Related post:

Bare Escentuals Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

Friday, May 1, 2009

TOTD: Bridal Makeup

Unless you are up for taking a risk on your wedding day, it is best that you have a trial makeup session. This will help ensure that the artist understand your expectation and a chance for you to decide if you like his/her work.

Another tip is to bring a picture. Your idea of natural or smokey eyes may be different from someone else.

Btw, if anyone knows an outstanding makeup and hair pro from the VA/DC area, let me know. Thanks =)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bare Escentuals Natural Sunscreen SPF 30

About a month ago, I saw an Ad for the new Bare Escentual Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 but did not pay much attention to it. Last weekend, it was really hot in D.C., about 90 degrees. We were out and about under the sun. After awhile, my skin was getting oily and started to feel sensitive from the sun. My friend whipped out this powder sunscreen and we all started reapplying our sunscreen. This product comes in 3 shades, light, medium, and tan. Retail at $28.

Personally, I think this is a neat and convenience product. When applied, it is quite transparent. Meaning, it won’t alter the color of your makeup if you have any on. Actually, I could not feel that I was wearing anything. I would not use this as the only source of sunscreen as I can not tell if it will give adequate sun protection. However, it is a great touch up powder with the added benefit on sunscreen. I know I am supposed to reapply my sunscreen every few hours but when I am already oily and/or sweaty, why would I want to rub sunscreen lotion on top of that? Yuck! So, I guess I’ll pick this up for the summer.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Last Sunday, when I went to Home Depot, they were giving out free energy efficient light bulbs in honor of Earth Day. I have to give Home Depot kudos for doing that. Ok, so I know this have nothing to do with beauty but hey, it is important! Beside, pollution can do damage to our skin, if you want to look at it that way.

Anyway, I just want to remind everyone that the small steps we take each day can add up. And if every one of us does our small part, the world will be a better place. We can all do things such as (and they are pretty painless):

  • Recycle, recycle, recycle!

  • Use reusable bag when you do your grocery shopping

  • Change your regular light bulbs to one more energy efficient

  • Turn off the light when you leave a room

  • Don’t take too long of a shower

  • Carpool

  • Avoid chemical household cleaner

  • This is just a quick list; feel free to add more if you like.


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