Beauty

Beauty doesn’t have to be pain

I’ve always been into fashion, and beauty is something that just kind of came with it, especially with all the free samples I came across at fashion shows and events. While hair and skincare have been a top priority for me, teeth whitening has only caught my attention the past few years ever since I started drinking coffee on a daily basis. I must admit, it honestly wasn’t even part of my beauty routine until I got braces again later in life. And as I go through my older pictures of me smiling (which are rare), I’m realizing that my teeth were never really that yellow to begin with which is probably why it never bothered me.. BUT as I started zooming in and really looking at my teeth on a micro level, I realized I did have stains here and there though subtle, especially in between teeth. So when I was approached by Smile Brilliant, I was immediately intrigued. And something I learned AFTER I had tried their whitening line is that my teeth had potential- like, it had a future, a future to be whiter than they had ever been!

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The friendliest, the most patient person on earth could be found sitting in the offices of Smile Brilliant Headquarters. Seriously guys, I’ve learned a thing or two about patience from Erin, who has been my main contact at Smile Brilliant. She’s the most wonderful person I’ve come across! Despite the shipping mishap, my moving, and my extra, extra sensitive teeth and our zillion email exchanges that go back to some time in February, she’s been amazingly patient with me and still so friendly with every single word we’ve exchanged. And as you can see, they surely know how much packaging matters to consumers these days- I mean, just look how instal-worthy they are! Not only do they look good, they are super easy to use. You just have to be diligent and patient with results because it does take more than a few sessions to see results. Once you get the hang of the process however, it just becomes a part of the daily routine- and the best thing is that you can multitask while you whiten, during which I’ve done everything from cleaning the apartment to yoga to laundry.

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Before you start whitening your teeth, you will first have to get your custom trays made. Smile Brilliant will send you a kit complete with three sets of impression material consisting of catalyst paste and base paste. The process is similar to the first visit to the orthodontist’s office when they mix these clay-like material to be put in a tray to make an impression of your top and bottom teeth, except that it’s actually fun because you get to do it yourself this time. You know, there’s just something cathartic about playing with slime.. Anyhow, so when you are done making the impressions (just follow the instructions in the booklet included- it’s extremely descriptive and easy-to-follow), you just ship the dried impressions to the lab in the envelope provided with the trays stuck to the impressions. I just simply dropped off mine in a mailbox nearby- Oh yeah, I made a mistake with my first set and had to have a second set shipped to me which came lightening fast thanks to Erin!

So once you get your custom trays which look shockingly similar to the Invisalign retainers, you can start whitening. There’s an instruction guide for both whitening gel and desensitizing gel- now, I must mention how important it is to use the desensitizing gel properly because I’m sure some of you have sensitive teeth like mine. It’s not as bad now that I’m more mindful with the temperature of food and drinks I consume, along with the toothpaste that I’ve been using per dentist’s recommendation which has literally been a lifesaver (Sensodyne Repair and Protect forever!!), but there were a few instances throughout the whitening process when I did feel the sensitivity and it scared the heck out of me. It only lasted a second and went away- and if that ever happens to you, as recommended by Smile Brilliant, adjust the length of time spent on whitening (if you normally go for 2 hours, make it shorter, I’d say an hour or 45 min), and don’t forget to use the desensitizing gel as soon as you are done brushing your teeth post whitening session. Also, leave the gel on for a few hours preferably which means no eating and drinking so that it has enough time to settle on the teeth and gum.

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This is me doing some stretching while whitening- thanks to the clear trays, you can’t even tell! In addition to stretching and doing some yoga poses, I’ve spent the time cleaning the apartment, chatting with friends, showering, blogging (which is what I’m doing at the moment while I whiten), watching Youtube, organizing pictures on my phone to make room for new ones, and when I feel adventurous, doing laundry even. A couple hours may seem long but not when you are able to spend it productively. And if you can get professional results at home, it’s totally worth it.

Speaking of results, here are some before and after images I’d like to share:

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Above was before I began using Smile Brilliant. No flash, no editing. I’ve always flossed daily and as mentioned, used whitening products occasionally but never had my teeth whitened professionally. The major difference I see is that the teeth just look a lot whiter and “cleaner” overall.

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Above is after I began using Smile Brilliant. The difference is actually more obvious in person. I’d call them “pearly white” if I had to describe the color of my teeth these days.

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This is me today after a whitening session. I’ve put on the desensitizing gel now and I’m going to let it settle for a while.

Results are pretty immediate especially once you’ve finished using about two sets of syringes. You just have to be diligent with whitening and really include it in your daily routine to keep the teeth as white as you’d like. Your lifestyle matters as well obviously, so if you regularly drink coffee and/or tea, try to use a straw every time so that there’s less direct contact between the liquid and your teeth. And when you consume anything that stains teeth such as curry, I’d recommend using the kit as soon as you get home to lessen the staining.

Overall, this was an interesting experiment for me who is still a newbie when it comes to teeth whitening. I had used Crest strips occasionally before along with a whitening toothpaste which I used to mix with my Sensodyne every other day which I think brought some results but what I’ve seen with Smile Brilliant was definitely dramatic, and I love that you get to have your own trays along with syringes which are so easy and fun to use.

For my readers only, Smile Brilliant and I have partnered for a special offer so you can get your teeth whitened professionally at home like I did for an awesome price! Just enter coupon code: tomimito10 at check-out for 10% off the total amount. I also want to offer an opportunity for you to win the entire whitening system! Follow this link to enter.

* This post was created in collaboration with Smile Brilliant. Thank you, Smile Brilliant and Erin for the opportunity!


How Much Is Teeth Whitening

Tools of the Trade: Part II


A while ago, I received a request to do a makeup recommendation post. I’m no makeup professional by any means but I do have my own set of products that I absolutely cannot live without, which you will see listed below. I’ve never attended a makeup school but learned some great tips and tricks through makeup classes I took when I briefly attended acting school a while ago, not to mention the tips picked up from various professional makeup artists that I’ve become acquainted with through modeling and pageant events. It also helps that I have religiously been “studying” makeup tips in all types of international magazines and publications ever since I was in junior high school. I think the most useful tip I can give is to “know your face”. Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, makeup becomes that much easier. Because I know my eyes are on the smaller side (even for Asian standard), I tend to exert the most energy and effort in eye-lining.

Over the years, I’ve realized that any form of black eye liner is my ultimate best friend. I literally cannot go anywhere without it (except for work days hehe) along with a dark brown eyeshadow used on eyebrows. When I’m in a hurry, I use L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Eyeliner.


For a special occasion or whenever I need thick, dark lining, I go with either a MAC’s gel liner (though it does dry up quickly) or Stila Smudge Pot in Black (my #1 choice).

I’ve learned that lining my waterlines does wonders in making my tiny eyes look deeper and bigger, for which I use Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero which doesn’t smudge and lasts a long time.

To prevent shadows from creasing, I always use a primer, sometimes Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original or MAC’s Paint Pot in Ochre which works just as well.

Most of my eyeshadows are from Laura Mercier not only because I’m a fan but because my cousin who used to work there hooked me up big time (think a few bucks for a shadow). I use their Tuxedo quad almost everyday which comes with 2 shades of black and 2 shades of white, one matte and the other shimmery which I find very practical and concentrated.

As for mascara, if you follow me on Facebook, you know that I recently picked up Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal in Glam Black

It had been a while since I used a drug store mascara so I thought I’d give this one a try since I really liked their XXL series. It’s been good to me so far with no smudging and clean application. I don’t see dramatic improvement in volume and length but I think it’s good for an everyday use. I also picked up their Maybelline ExpertWear Blush Bronzer in 10 Sunlight which I’m having no issues with. Prior to that, I used Stila Contouring Trio which I picked up at Costco for $15 years ago. Looks like I will be picking up another one from Amazon this time since it’s actually cheaper there!

The product I have most issues with is a concealer. As I get older, I’m starting to notice more sunspots, suggesting a need for an excellent concealer. I’ve been using Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage for some time now that comes in two shades: yellow and salmon, which I’m far from being satisfied with. While coverage is okay, it’s extremely drying. I picked up Maybelline Superstay Concealer last week which is proven to be decent so far, especially for the price.

If anything, I do like it a lot better than the Laura Mercier, however my search for a perfect concealer is still on. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Oh, but do keep in mind that I prefer not to spend a fortune on it. ^^

Those of you who have been reading my blog for quite some time are well aware of my love for Korean skincare products. All my skincare products are Atomy brand, a Korean brand which can only be purchased from a member. Everything I use including hair products, sunscreen, eye cream, toothpaste, to body wash are all from this brand and I have absolutely no complaints but only good things to say about them. You can read more about the sunscreen on my previous post here (just look for posts on Atomy).

I hope you found the information helpful. Do keep it mind that depending on your skin type, color, and whatnot, the products I listed may or may not be completely satisfying to your needs. It took me lots of trials and errors to figure out which ones work and which ones don’t, hence experimentation is key, I say.

Images from various sources on Google Images
Earrings available for purchase at Foreus

and the way the sunlight plays upon her hair

We all know what a critical role hair plays in fashion. 80% of man’s look depends on hair, 70% for women (ok this is solely based on my opinion :P). I remember breaking up with a guy over his ugly haircut. Hair is everything (though there may be exceptions). That’s why I don’t complain that the hubby drives 60 miles just to get a haircut. I’ve dreamed all my life of having full, healthy, shiny hair. I would tear pages out of magazines that had pictures of models with the hair I dreamed of and stick them on my walls. I’ve tried everything from magic straight perm, coating, nutrient treatment (or whatever it’s called), various haircare sets, and all kinds of strange sounding Korean-style perms. While some were an absolute waste of money, some turned out effective, only to disappoint me with their transitory nature. My hair would look great for a week and go back to its thin, brittle self.

Well, have things changed since. I got a haircut a few weeks ago which was seriously long overdue (since I hadn’t gone for over three months due to my foot injury), and the moment my hair stylist touched my hair, she couldn’t help but be in a complete shock. Knowing how thin and unhealthy my hair used to be, she was the one to recommend all these alternate options to improve its health all this time. So when she said that it’s as if my hair went through a complete transformation, I couldn’t be happier. It was like getting an A+ in class… haha a feeling of relief and accomplishment. hew! So I told her that it’s the magic haircare set I’ve been using. There is no question about this, because it’s the only thing I’ve changed since I had last seen her.

Honestly, I didn’t know that I had a hair problem until last year when I started seeing more hair on the bathroom floor every time I would blow dry it or brush it. I started seeing more split ends and just less, thinner hair in general… ugh. :(

Then I met Atomy Herbal Haircare… and about three months have passed. (on second tubes for treatment and shampoo; the rest are still from the first set but do note that I share them with my husband so the set should last roughly about four months) One day I had a hard time tying my hair into a ponytail. It just felt like I had more hair than before. Strange, I thought, but immediately, I knew that it was the set I was using, which was confirmed by my hair stylist (this happened about two months into using them)!

So the set comes with 4 pieces: Shampoo, Treatment, Spray, & Body Wash, all of which are AMAZING. I always knew Korean products rocked but seriously, with nano technology and natural ingredients, it doesn’t get any better than this. First of all, I only use the treatment every other day unlike the regular conditioners that you have to use every single day to make your hair soft. Atomy shampoo is good enough to be used alone because it has these natural cleansing agents that have been traditionally known to be much more powerful than the regular kinds. Even on the days I use the shampoo alone, my hair is still soft and shiny- beat that! haha
btw, I had been on a search for hair products made with natural ingredients because the ones I had used were giving me major skin problems… When I used to use Kirkland (Costco brand), my hair stylist told me that the product was still on my hair even after washing it twice… so obviously it ended up in my trash can. The Sebastian I used for a while… I liked, but there really was nothing special to them except that they were super expensive. The Garnier ones… while they smelled good, my hair didn’t feel as clean nor soft, but more importantly, they did absolutely NOTHING in improving the health of my hair. Like many of you, I was a loyal fan of Pantene for a long time, but while it did its job, it was far from being stellar. most importantly however, ALL of these products gave me acne. I know this for a fact, which is why I am never going back, ever.

Atomy products are different. You will feel it the moment you start massaging your scalp with it. You feel it at contact. omg. I love it.


Even the appearance is much different, with its brown-ish color and thick texture. (sorry if you can’t see too well, I just don’t want to waste even a drop of this precious product! lol) It smells like oriental medicine, but in a good way. Instead of putting it on hair, you massage it onto your scalp. You won’t see as much foam as you are used to, but that’s actually a good thing. It just shows how concentrated the product is. You actually want to massage your scalp.. unlike the times when you just wanted to get it over with and get out asap. As for the treatment (aka Hair Pack), it comes in a tube so it looks like there isn’t a lot of product in it which isn’t true. You massage it into hair and leave it on for five minutes, then VOILA! your hair turns into this silky, shiny type that you see in Korean Dramas. haha

I use it every other day or so. It definitely makes a difference when I use it by making my hair super soft, but because it’s very concentrated, I figure it’s fine to use it every other day. This is not your everyday conditioner. It’s like the ones they use at hair salons. You will see what I mean when you actually use it. You are supposed to leave it on for 5 minutes after shampooing your hair. You will immediately see results. Simply amazing.


Then onto the spray.. omg. Ok, I’m not a scientist so I can’t get into too much of the detail but every time I spray this on my scalp, it just feels so soothing! It not only smells like oriental medicine, your scalp literally tingles! This is what accelerates hair growth and minimizes hair loss. I personally have seen less hair loss and thicker hair as I said… but the effect is just so dramatic.. it’s as if it wakes up my hair from sleep. I get this instant volume in the hair.

Oh, and the body wash. The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe how moist my skin felt afterwards. Body wash was another product I struggled with. I could never find anything I liked because they all tend to be made with chemicals and end up being oily, making my skin break out all the time, so I just settled with whatever I could find… until Atomy came along, of course. It got rid of acne on my back, as well as these little bumps that had been on back of my arms ALL MY LIFE. I had given up on clearing them because I assumed nothing could cure it… oh boy, was I wrong. They are gone.. for life… or as long as I have Atomy in my life. :D Guys and Girls, you need them in your life as well. Atomy is the best thing that happened to me this year.. well, after the Tomimito Shop, that is! hehe

Last December… it doesn’t look THAt bad but you can tell that it was dry and thin.

December last year…

April this year. again, thin and FLAT! yeah, I said it, flat! ugh. this was actually taken on the way to the hair salon… My hair did get a makeover that day with a help of treatment and major styling, which of course was a temporary fix! :(

The day I got a hair cut about a month ago. Look how shiny and healthy it looks! No treatment, no essence, no nothing, just a hair cut. No photoshop, of course! All I got was a haircut and good ol’ blowdrying. See the clear difference?

Last weekend. I didn’t have enough time in the morning so I had to run out real quick after washing and blow drying it half way. Not bad considering how it used to take me hours to get it to look like this. (not that it’s perfect or anything :P)

just another view. The difference is actually quite dramatic now that I’m actually writing about it. What a pleasant surprise. I knew my hair looked and felt better but I just didn’t realize how dramatic the change was until now because you know, when it’s a longitudinal change, you really don’t notice it since small improvements are made on a daily basis.

This hair set is a life saver. and you know me, I don’t buy or sell things that I don’t believe in. For healthier, cleaner hair, go Atomy! Let me know if you are interested. I have a few sets sitting in my room. :)

BB Cream Showdown

As many of you know, I’ve been crippled for a month now. While I may seem like I have all the time in the world (and I do! lol), it’s really difficult for me to use a computer, which is why it often takes me all day to complete an entry. Even this very moment, I’m typing with my foot on the desk (yes it’s very very awkward) so I’ll have to take a break here and there to make sure the foot gets the rest it needs. I just successfully brewed a cup of my favorite tea in the world (Blue Moon from T Salon), but I have no clue how I’m going to bring it to the room. FAIL.

Anyhow, here is the long overdue BB Cream Review post. I’ve been meaning to do this since two months ago when I started using Atomy BB Cream. ROSEinthePARK had just gotten back from Korea so I asked for samples of popular BB Creams. Along with these, I had a few of mine so I thought it’d be helpful to do a review since many of you seem to be new to the idea of using BB Cream as a base. I personally have a love-hate relationship with BB Creams ever since I was introduced to it a few years ago. As I have written in the past, my very first one was a German one ($100) that a lady at a beauty supply store recommended, which I liked a lot, but as you can imagine, the price just didn’t work for me. For those unfamiliar, BB Cream is known as a secret magic makeup in Korea that is widely labeled as the “most popular cosmetic product used by Korean celebrities”. Many confuse it as a type of foundation which it isn’t. It’s more of a skincare item than a cosmetic product, if anything. Unlike foundation which only covers blemishes thus acting like a bandage (since it’s a temporary fix), BB Cream not only provides coverage but has healing properties to improve skin complexion after a continuous use. It also does not clog pores unlike a foundation. When you think about it, it really is a revolutionary product. No wonder Koreans wear it to Sauna (Jjim jil bang) and I wear it to the gym, LOL. So without further ado, let’s get to the reviews:

Please ignore the Perfect Skin Perfection Gel, I threw it in there because I thought it would be somewhat similar to BB Cream but it’s far from it. I hated it so I didn’t even bother to write about it. It’s basically a very light foundation. The Cellabel one turned out to be a primer with pearls, which I actually liked a lot, but was a primer, not BB Cream. So minus those, we have Missha, Let Me Bebe by Banila & Co, Dr. Jart Silver Label, Black Label, and Atomy.

1. Missha M Signature Real Complete BB Cream (SPF 25, PA ++)

Sorry about the pathetic photo quality- my iPhone4 had to be returned so I’m using iPhone3 which boasts 1megapixel photo quality. It also doesn’t help that I only have one functional leg. :P

I was actually surprised at how “watery” the texture/consistency was since I’m used to a thicker type of BB Cream, however I thought the color was pretty close to my skin tone (which is one of the major complaints people seem to have when it comes to BB Cream). Though watery, coverage is great. It almost feels like a foundation, which actually I’m not much of a fan of, because it ends up feeling heavy. I tried wearing it alone, but as with other BBs, it didn’t do much for coverage. I don’t hate it nor love it. But it does have a fatal flaw: the scent. It’s the first thing I noticed and I absolutely loathe it. ugh. Why, why, why?! It has this strong hwa jang poom (cosmetics) smell that I just cannot stand. Sorry, but I’m not ready to smell like an Ah Jum Mah, yet.

Missha BB Cream only- very subtle difference but better than nothing! ha

Missha BB Cream+Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation (When I go out, I like using this combo although I know that my pores will suffer as a result. This gives me the optimal coverage while not making my makeup excessively cakey)

2. Let Me Bebe by Banila Co (SPF37, PA++)

I’m actually not sure how popular this brand is. I’ve heard of it, but that’s about it. Since it was provided by my make up artist dongseng (ROSEinthePARK) who is a Youtube beauty guru, I’m assuming it’s a good brand. :P

Well, I definitely like the pink packaging, so +1 point!

The first thing I noticed is how matte it feels. Supposedly it has oil controlling properties to minimize excessive oils throughout the day.

See the “matteness” compared to Missha?

I liked it A LOT on my hand- note that I said, “On my hand”. The minute it was dabbed on, it dried completely matte as if it had become a part of my skin as the description read on the packaging. HOWEVER, when it was on my face, it turned out to be a whole different story. Because of its oil-free or oil-managing properties, it dried up my skin, bringing back all the dryness that had been away for months. This sounds gross but all of a sudden my skin started to peel on my nose which I hadn’t seen for months (my skin improved dramatically after I switched to Atomy skincare products). Ah, the things I must endure for my readers! :P

I don’t know if you can see but it dried up my skin like no other. I think it will be a good choice for those with overall oily skin but not for those with combination skin like me.

It turned out ok on other parts of the face, though as with other skincare/cosmetics products you would have to see its long term effects to be completely fair.

3. Dr. Jart Silver Label (SPF 35, PA++, Whitening), Apparently Korea’s Top 3 BB Cream Brand

(again, pls excuse the photo quality. I will be getting my iPhone4 back soon. Also, I misplaced my camera during the move and I have no clue where it is. Will look for it once I become mobile.)

So apparently this is a different version of the Black Label that I own, specifically designed for oily/combination skin. What’s interesting is that this one’s manufactured by a different company than where the Black Label is produced. Often the marketing companies that sell skincare/cosmetics products will include the name of the manufacturer on the product and the Black Label happened to have “Kolmar Korea” on it, which is the company that manufacturers all the Atomy products. Very interesting, isn’t it? As explained in my previous post on Atomy Sunscreen, Kolmar is a global company that manufactures beauty products for many well known companies. Korean Atomic Research Center provides its patented nano technology to them so they can manufacture beauty products for Atomy to distribute. In Dr. Jart’s case, they provide their own technology to Kolmar for manufacturing so it can be marketed under the name of Dr. Jart. Anyways, so Dr. Jart’s Black Label’s being one of my favorite BB Creams, I had a high expectation for the Silver one.

First of all, the color is different. Black has a red undertone while the silver has a yellow undertone. Silver feels lighter (so I’m guessing it’s for oily skin) while Black feels a bit heavier (ideal for dry/combination skin). Having been a BB Cream user for years, I actually don’t see the importance of color. Since it’s not a foundation, it absorbes into your skin to become your skin color. I don’t know what others have to say about this, or perhaps it depends on the product but that’s been my experience, which is why I don’t worry too much about whether it matches my skin tone.

Dr. Jart Silver Label. Coverage is good (obviously not “foundation-good”, but good for a BB Cream). Dries matte, not heavy nor too watery. It’s like a mix of Missha & Banila Co.

I wore it yesterday with my Laura Mercier foundation. I actually liked it a lot, until it started feeling pasty towards the end of the day. Excuse my fat face- haven’t worked out in a month! grrr

4. Dr. Jart Black Label (SPF 25, PA++, Whitening, Anti-Wrinkling)

This was my favorite BB Cream before Atomy came along, which is why I went on and on about it on my blog when I first got it months ago. I stopped using it when I discovered Atomy so I had to take the time to retest it. It definitely has a red undertone to it which may bother some people. It also has the hwa jang poom smell which I magically hadn’t noticed before. It’s not as matte as the Silver, therefore it’s ideal for those with dry or combination skin like me. I really can’t complain too much about this one except for the smell but with higher SPF and a matte finish, if I had to choose, I’d go with Silver.

When I used Black, I always used it as a base, covered blemishes with a concealer, and set it with a translucent powder.

5. Atomy BB Cream (SPF 30, PA++, Whitening)

Well, if this helps, this is the product I’m wearing in all my recent photos except for the ones taken for this specific review. I wear this everyday in one form or another, mainly because I’m afraid my skin will start breaking out if I used anything else. Since being introduced to this line months ago, I’ve switched everything on my vanity to Atomy. There isn’t one product that I use that is not from this company, from toothpaste to daily skincare products. If I didn’t like any of it, I would have stopped using it a long, long time ago, which is the reason why my Isa Knox skincare products have been sitting in my room for almost a year now without even being touched.

With ingredients like Green Tea, Vitamin E, and Herbs, this BB Cream is one of the best I’ve used. More than anything, I feel safe knowing that it’s made with natural ingredients. It came with a 6-piece Atomy daily skincare set, which I’m absolutely crazy about. I had never used an entire set before (Koreans have this multiple skincare routine starting with a toner, usually ending with a nutrient cream) because they would never fail to break me out. It was different this time however, though it did take about a month for my skin to fully adjust to the products. All my dry spots have disappeared and my skin just looks healthy and clearer in general. I have a sensitive skin which used to turn red on the cheeks with dry spots in random places that would never go away. My endless search of skincare products has come to an end, and with huge savings (it’s much cheaper than what’s sold in stores, BB cream is only $20 compared to others that cost at least $30)! What makes it unique is that they are not sold in stores. As I noted in previous post, while the initial products were sent to me by a relative in Korea to try out, I purchased extra ones to be shared with those in a similar situation as I was, looking for affordable skincare products made with natural ingredients that actually work without damaging skin. The company is run by a membership only system so you can either choose to purchase from a member or become a member yourself and enjoy even deeper discounts on the products. So yes, I became a member soon after realizing the quality of the products since there is no associated fee or strings attached. It’s just awesome to have an easy access to top quality Korean products which I had desired for a long time. Anyhow, back to BB Cream:

Atomy BB Cream and Pressed Powder

Atomy BB Cream only

and more recently:

For this look, I mixed Atomy BB Cream and Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation along with a secret ingredient for a bronzing effect:

Oh, dang, the photo quality is beyond pathetic. I apologize. ㅡ.ㅡ;;

It’s Artificial Light Glow by Smash Box. This small tube came with a bronzer box that I purchased from Sephora about a month ago. I actually didn’t even know that it was included in the box until I opened it. While I adore every single product that came with it, I am in love with this. It seriously makes your skin glow while giving it an instant tan. I wouldn’t use an excessive amount but when mixed with foundation and BB Cream, it’s a perfect combo for the summer.

Atomy BB Cream+Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation+Smash Box= Optimal Coverage, Whitening, SPF, Shimmer, Bronze (AKA a perfect combo for Summer) I call this perfect not only because of the result I get but the complementary effect that these create together. As you can see, the one in the middle is the Atomy BB Cream which has a slight red undertone (which btw doesn’t bother me as it has adjusted to my skin tone) and my foundation is a bit dark & yellow for my skin tone. When mixed together, they complement each other, creating a nice base for my skin. When a touch of orangey shimmer is added, it makes my skin glow just the way I like it. They also complement each other texture-wise, as the BB Cream dries “dewy” instead of matte while the foundation is oil-free, drying out my skin when used alone. With a hint of shimmer, it becomes this perfect “summer glow” base that is dewy & glittery- not dry nor oily. I finish it off with a bit of Makeup Forever Duo Mat Pressed Powder to set it.

The day before the accident with my “summer glow”. :(

I had used a self-tanning product for the first time and was so happy that I committed myself to using it regularly. Then the very next day, I break my foot. Gah…

Verdict: I say that Dr. Jart Silver Label & Atomy could possibly be a tie. I do like Atomy a little more (note that I’ve been using this for months now) but you may accuse me of being biased so.. haha, yeah. Then it all comes down to price. Dr. Jart is sold for $30-35, while Atomy is $20. It’s now up to you to decide. Btw, the herb scent of Atomy BB Cream is personally preferred over the hwa jang poom smell of Dr. Jart! but in all seriousness, I do like the matte finish of the Silver Label, but it’s not that much of a big deal for me anyway. If it is to you, and don’t mind paying extra $15, then I say go with Dr. Jart but I’m completely satisfied with my Atomy and will never be going back! :)

March 2011 UPDATE: I stopped using foundation a while ago because I started breaking out. I only use Atomy Sun Cream (or sunscreen but it says “Sun Cream” on the tube; in any case, I’m on my fourth or fifth tube and I’m sticking with it forever!) and Atomy BB Cream on weekdays. On weekends and at photo shoots, I wear those two plus Pacomeri pressed powder (Korean brand), Eve Pearl Salmon Under Eye concealer and Makeup Forever concealers in various colors.

November 2011 UPDATE: I’ve recently relocated to Korea but will be able to continue to answer any questions you may have regarding the Atomy products including the 6-set Skincare set and Hair care set. Since I’m much closer to their headquarters now, I should also be able to provide any information on new products (or upcoming products) not yet available anywhere else outside of Korea such as their absolutely wonderful body lotion (OMG, the BEST. So light yet extremely moisturizing, made with herbs manufactured by Kolmar). 

Fully Armored

I’m sure many of you agree that one of the top beauty products for summer is sunscreen. I wish someone had told me about this when I was younger, because it was only a few years ago that I learned about its importance. Even when I was in college, I’d walk around the city (Manhattan) with a bare naked face, hence the freckl-ish dark spots on my cheeks- bummer. Well, I’m glad I picked up the habit before it was too late… better late than never, right? :)

Anyhow, so ever since I started wearing sunscreen under makeup, I had been on a search of a perfect sunscreen for face.. because there aren’t that many good ones, to be honest. One of the reasons why I had a hard time was probably because I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something that I use up so quickly, yet I didn’t want to sacrifice quality since it’s one of the most important beauty products that I use daily. It’s something that you wear EVERYDAY, including those gloomy days and rainy days- you need protection 365/year unless you are staying home all day. and with all that pollution, the ozone layer is only getting thinner, which is another reason why the use of sunscreen has become more widespread than ever. Being the naive girl that I was, I thought sunscreen was only for those who lived in sunny states, not the cool ones who lived on the East Coast where the sun rarely shows its face. :P It turns out you need to wear it wherever you are regardless of the weather. Btw, this post was inspired by one of my favorite beauty gurus on Youtube, Bebexo. Her tutorials are always to the point and easy to follow while being extremely wearable. This may sound creepy but I find her voice exceptionally soothing- sometimes I watch it for its calming effect. haha. Anyways, her recent video is on top summer beauty products in which sunscreen is a main element. In the video, she mentions that there are two types of sunscreens- one made with physical ingredient (Shiseido Extra Smooth) and one with chemical ingredients (Neutrogena Ultra Sheer series). Chemical sunscreen penetrates your skin to protect from within while the Physical type just sits on it to protect it from harmful rays. What freaked me out was that the chemical type sometimes has ingredients that can cause cancer later on… eek! According to many sources, the Physical Type which is made with either Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (natural minerals), is gentler on skin, making it ideal for sensitive skin, such as mine which is combination skin & turns red easily. Apparently one of its drawbacks is the white residue that it leaves behind but with Nano Technology which breaks up the product into tiny particles, you no longer need to worry about this. “Natural pigments such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are good UVB and UVA blockers. In the past, sunscreens containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide were not popular because they were opaque and thus quite unsightly when applied to this skin. However, modern sunscreen formulations containing micronized versions of these pigments are now much more pleasing to individuals.”- from Univ. of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics website

So with that said, I would like to introduce a revolutionary sunscreen cream that I’ve been loving.

(sorry about the yellowness- it’s the bathroom lighting)

This is Atomy Sun Cream with SPF 50+ PA+++ that I have been using for the past two months. Its main ingredient is Titanium Dioxide (physical blocker) along with Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Grapefruit, and other natural ingredients. I also own the Shiseido one but it doesn’t even compare to this one (see comparison photos below). This one instantly absorbs into your skin leaving it matte and fully protected while evening out/brightening skin tone. It also moisturizes and ameliorates acne problems. oh and it smells amazing! smells like fruit/herb which I absolutely love. I just placed an order for a bunch which are scheduled to arrive next week. Taking orders now! It makes it even more awesome that they are only $20! Now compare that to Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream which is sold for $30+ with less SPF (it also takes forever to absorb into skin and even when it does, my skin’s far from being matte)!

Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF36 PA+++: $30+

Consistency: watery, a bit heavy

after 20 seconds of rubbing it on skin (it’s actually quicker to pat instead- absorption speed isn’t so bad)- feels a bit heavy. It’s not oily, but feels oily even after it’s fully absorbed, which I didn’t mind when I first used it (because it was better than the other ones I had used), but it all changed when I met Atomy. haha

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 70: $10

You can see two separate products- oil and the rest… not good. :P

After 20 seconds of rubbing… tried patting, yet took much longer to be absorbed than Shiseido. Still there, still a long way to go. Whiter than Shiseido- you can definitely tell the difference in quality.

and here’s Atomy Sun Cream SPF 50+ PA+++

so clean! very creamy consistency, with no separation nor oiliness. :D

after 20 seconds… btw, please pat it instead of rubbing! So soft & evened out!

This is me these days… Atomy Sun Cream, BB Cream, and a little bit of face powder are all I wear. not bad considering that I have no foundation on… and that I’m not 20, or 25 for that matter! hahah

My skin feels so soft and ready for makeup, it’s just amazing how versatile and handy this little sun cream is. Come on, what kind of sun screen preps your skin and treats acne?! and all that for $20? crazy. If you’ve been looking for that perfect sun screen that you can use everyday, look no further. I got what you need. Taking orders now! Feel free to email me, tweet me, or however you want to reach me.

Note: I purchased all the products with my own money and these are my honest opinions. The Atomy Sun Cream was initially sent to me as a gift from my mother in law in Korea and I liked it so much I ordered a bunch to share it with the beautiful people in the states. They are not available in stores- this company does not advertise which helps to keep the price low. All their products use nano-technology developed by Korean Atomic Research Institute and are manufactured by Kolmar Korea and other selected major companies.


pampered

Got my hair done last week. I wish I could curl my hair like that. boo~

Before:

After:

I love my hair stylist! I just wish that she was located closer, but that’s ok- if it weren’t for her, we would be stuck in the OC forever.

Hair by Esther @ Sound of Scissors Hair Salon (가위소리)
3600 Wilshire Blvd. #100F
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 480-7710 (appt is a must!)

Bright Face. Pink Pout.

Ok this is my third post of the day but I just had to share this great information. I’ve been a fan of BB Cream for a while now and after running out of my last one which cost me an arm and a leg ($100), I decided to give Dr. Jart a try after using a sample which I thought was wonderful.

First of all, I only paid a fraction of what I had paid for the other one yet this one is far better! omg. It has SPF 24/PA++ (not sure what PA is for?), Whitening, and Anti-wrinkle functions along with a decent coverage- all in one! I wore foundation for a while because I wanted coverage but since I started going to the gym again recently, I put it aside as it can get really gross when you sweat a lot. Compared to the one I had used before, this one doesn’t have that grayish- tone to it, which is great. It’s definitely not as thick thus coverage isn’t as good but so what… use a concealer if you want extra coverage- hey, you just saved almost $70! lol

So for those of you in the market for a BB Cream, look no further! fyi, i picked up mine at a local Korean beauty store called Palace Beauty. Sorry, not sure where else you can get it if there isn’t one nearby… :T

Another of my favorites… I can go on and on about these.  #1 in Nude Beige is currently on my shopping list- ok, a wish list. :P

I’ll be honest. I initially was attracted because of the packaging. omg. are you kidding me? it’s got a mirror on the cap! When I picked one up at the counter to try, I just knew we were meant to be together- it just felt so right. As if the packaging weren’t awesome enough, it caught me by surprise when glided on my lips. It felt like silk! so moisturizing and ridiculously pigmented yet dries matt, which is just wonderful. And it’s got SPF. What else can you ask for? I mean I’m no lipstick  fanatic by any means (come on, the only lipstick I had purchased with my own money before this was the Mac Myth, well, two of them), yet this is just amazing! I’d definitely buy another or more despite the price. Ok- maybe just one more. :P it’s just so wonderful I think every girl deserves to have one in their purse. I think it’s a perfect gift. The next birthday girl on the list will surely be getting one from me- aww so excited already! haha yet I don’t even know who the birthday girl is.

my baby (in Lingerie Pink)

me and my baby… lol

Image Source: Google Images (except for the photo of me, of course)

Let’s Make-Up.

My makeup artist friend tells me that Shu Uemura makes the best eyebrow pencil and concealer.

reminds me of the 4B pencil used in drawing

like the simple packaging and the rich/thick texture- Coverage is quite amazing.

It’s all about packaging. lol. I love their toner bottles.

Hope everyone’s having a fantabulous weekend!