Beauty

Spring Cleaning

How I dry my makeup brushes:

LOL

Mad ghetto, I know. I think this is genius though. Since I don’t have one of those fancy brush cases that Michelle Phan uses in her video, the hubs suggested an alternate, which actually turned out awesome! In her makeup brush cleaning tutorial, Phan notes that after washing the bristles with Olive Oil and Antibacterial Dish Washer (I actually used liquid hand soap), the brushes need to be dried in an upright position as drying them sideways can expose the bristles to bacterial contamination and such. Since I’m too cheap to spend $5 on those casings that she uses, nor was I lucky enough to win her contest, I opted for this option. Trust me, it works! Ha :D

Mini-product-review-collective-haul-kinda-thing

…like many of you, I received some nice gifts over the Christmas break and wanted to do a mini-product-review-collective-haul-kinda-thing. <A bit of uneasiness there because I ain’t no Michelle Phan. :P>

First we have Fresh Soy Face Cleanser $38

fresh soy cleanser

As you may be aware from reading my previous post, I’ve never spent more than $10 on a facial cleanser but after being acquainted with this precious little thing in New York, I just could not get it out of my head (*~Can’t get you out of my head~* Obviously, I’m a fan of Kylie.. lol). It just feels and smells so organic, natural, whatever the appropriate word is, yet removes make up, residue, oil and all the dirty stuff perfectly while not drying out the skin. It’s nice. I mean, NOICE. Get it NOW!!

Secondly, we have Stila’s Smudge Pot, Pots?! I don’t know. Whatevr…

I debated between Makeup Forever’s Aqua Black Cream Liner and the Stila for a while, but decided to go with this guy after my makeup artist friend insisted so.

stila smudgepots$20 @ Sephora

makeupforever aquablk$22 @ Sephora

It doesn’t come out as dark or rich as MAC Fluidline

macfluidline$15 @ Nordstrom

or Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner,

bobbibrowneyeliner$21 @ Nordstrom

yet it does the job and I love the fact that it’s totally smudgeable just as its name suggests! I did the Midnight Sparkle (tutorial by xteeener on Youtube) eye makeup for New Years replacing the NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil with this baby. Watching the video, I figured as long as it provided a thick sticky texture, it shouldn’t matter what kind of eyeliner I used, and fortunately, it turned out nicely:

purple eyeshadow

For some reason, my eye looks like it’s undergone eyelid surgery in this photo… it must be the Smudgepots!!! I like that the shadow is accentuating the fold. LOL. I wanted to focus more on the center rather than the outer corner this time.

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Thirdly, my instant favorite- MAC 231 brush!

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Awesome for tight-lining. I likes.

and… these furry little things that have become my best friends lately because of the freezing cold weather that I must struggle with every morning:

steve madden furry slippersSteve Madden “Wuzzy” Slippers @ Nordstrom

Loved the fact that they were perfectly matching my outfit the day I received them as a gift. They are so warm, comfy, and most important, cute!!! :D

“Naive” Complexion

This post is long overdue. I’ve been going, “Doh!” every time I’d jump in the shower because I’ve been meaning to write about this amazing face wash for the longest time yet would always forget and be reminded every time I’d stumble upon it in the shower. I’ve been a loyal fan for years now and it just never disappoints! Upon discovering it on a random blog couple years back, I’ve probably cheated once only to be punished with massive breakouts.

It’s called “Naive” by Kanebo. Not too fond of the name as it may denote a somewhat negative meaning as well but they probably meant “Innocent”. :P In any case, I love that it comes in various scents including Aloe, Peach, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, and other yummies b/c it makes face washing that much more fun! My scent of the moment is Peach, which is also my favorite. You can easily snap one up at your neighborhood Asian market such as Mitsuwa or Zion market (if you are in Socal). It not only does its job of washing off make up, oil, dirt, and all kinds of nasty stuff wonderfully, it leaves your face feeling fresh and truly clean. I’ve used more expensive kinds only to be left with greasy skin, sometimes leaving makeup residue behind- gross! The best part is that it only costs a fraction of your high-end face wash at $5.99 a tube! You need to go snatch one now, girls & boys!! My husband uses one too and he’s always complimented on how clear and flawless his skin is!

I’m sounding like a salesperson because I really do think this is a worthy purchase. I have a pretty sensitive skin so I’m quite selective when it comes to things I use on my face but I’ve never had any issues with Naive. This product has been so good to me that it’s had a Halo effect, leading me to purchase their shampoo and conditioner as well, which have been equally wonderful- and they smell so yummy!

You are totally missing out if you haven’t given it a try yet-

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New packaging (I think it got smaller?)

naive facewash

Old packaging

Scent of a Woman

As my previous post indicated, I ran out of the Bvlgari perfume I had been using for months so was in a serious need for a new one. Unlike some of you who own an extensive perfume collection, I tend to buy one I like and stick to it until it’s completely out. I’m actually not a big fan of purchasing perfume because I’m accustomed to receiving them as a gift, and consider it rather a waste of money to dish out so much money for a tiny bottle of liquid that eventually disappears. I’d much prefer something tangible, if you know what I mean. But in any case, I can’t get out of the house smelling like the food I just had, so I went over to my favorite discount store to check out their current collection- and to my surprise, they had just stocked up on the kind that I had in mind for the longest time- The Beat by Burberry! It’s even more awesome when you get your favorite stuff at a discounted price- and I received an additional 10% off using my membership card! It totally made my day.

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The Beat

Image Source: www.myburberryperfume.com

My other favorites:

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A beautiful girl always smells good- don’t forget to spritz before you go!

Hey, Pretty!

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Believe it or not, my visit to Sephora is rather occasional. Last weekend was one of those for a friend’s birthday and I ended up walking out with this in my hands: “Hall of Fame” by Urban Decay. I think it’s one of their holiday special items. It’s basically a collection of their most popular items: Eyeshadow Primer Potion in XL size (60% more than regular), 24-7 Eye Pencil in Black, Midnight Cowboy Lipstick in tiny travel size, Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss in Timothy, and Skyscraper Mascara in Black. All for $29! Can you believe it? The Eyeshadow Primer Potion in their regular size alone costs $17! I wouldn’t have given it a look in an usual circumstance but because I had been eyeing the primer and their eye liner (theirs is supposed to be one of the best eyeliners according my “makeup guru” friend) for quite some time now, the set immediately went from “Nice!” to “I Likes” to “I Want!” status. Grand opening on Monday revealed that it was indeed a successful purchase. The primer does its job of keeping eyeshadows in place all day while helping them reveal their true color, the eyeliner wonderfully defines eyes and stays put, the mascara lengthens lashes and coats nicely, the lipgloss makes my lips look fuller and amazingly shiny without being excessively sticky, and the lipstick… well, the packaging is cute, at least.

Here’s comprehensive product information for my lovely ladies:

Eyeshadow Primer Potion

311Never go without your beloved Eyeshadow Primer Potion again! At over 60% larger than Urban Decay’s original Primer, this magnum bottle will keep you looking gorgeous for months.

The genie in this bottle fulfills three wishes: eyeshadow that lasts, more vibrant color, and absolutely NO creasing. Apply Primer Potion to lids before shadow application. It dries down almost instantly (and invisibly), creating smooth lids that are super powered eyeshadow magnets. Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion is unmatched in the industry – a cult favorite loved by beauty editors and makeup junkies alike.

The formula is full of silicone, which makes for a smooth and silky application. Packaged in a pretty genie bottle, the Potion applies with a magic wand and flocked applicator.

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

251The best Eye Pencil ever, ever, ever! Never before has a pencil this creamy and brilliant been waterproof, too. Velvety-soft, this never-before-seen formula stays soft and creamy for blending (about 30 seconds), then dries down to a long-lasting finish that WILL NOT budge.Line eyes with a hint of color or go for the full artistic, multi-hued effect with the wide selection of lush tropical hues, deep metallics and unusually vibrant neutrals. Incredible with Urban Decay Eyeshadows!

Created with 50% moisturizing ingredients suspended in a sophisticated waterproof formula, 24/7 Eye Pencils offer long-lasting color and a dreamy, creamy feel when applied. With Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E and Cottonseed Oil.

Skyscraper Mascara


5Our lash-lengthening Skyscraper Mascara instantly turns puny lashes to pillars of strength. We worked with a famous European lab to develop the perfect combination of brush and formula. Read on for some fun beauty science!

The custom brush is world-class, built with three surfaces (instead of two) to give you flawless definition and lo-o-ong lashes. First, the flat side of the brush lays down lots of color. (This is the surface most brushes don’t have. Just one extra sweep makes all the difference!) Then the bristle-y side pulls the color all the way to the tips to smooth and define. Last, the spiral tip catches any of those hard-to-reach lashes in the corners. Perfection!

And, Skyscraper Mascara contains an ancient Chinese secret: we’ve infused the formula with Shu Extract, an ancient Chinese herb known to promote health of hair, deepen its pigmentation and prevent hair loss. The formula feels great – your lashes stay feather-soft and the mascara stays put. No flaking, and it’s damn near waterproof.

Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss in Timothy

312_62610-3Undress our men with the flick of your wrist! Inside the cap of our custom tube is a photo of a yummy man. Tilt the tube back-and-forth to strip them to their undies! (We’ve even included front and rear photos.) Whether you swoon for a future senator or a tree-hugger, one of our men is sure to please you. Our guys make awesome gifts for bachelorette parties, baby showers, or b-days.

And the gloss? This formula is so slick and cushiony, you would love it even in a plain ol’ tube. Each shade varies in opacity and finish, but all have a sweet crème brûlée flavor. The formula contains Hyaluronic Spheres, known to improve cellular function, prevent dehydration, and fill in lines and wrinkles. The brush applicator is ideal for blending.

Need to lure a real man? Give the tube a rub to release pheromones into the air! Undetectable to the smell, pheromones enhance mood and sexual attraction. The flat tube slides right into your pocket!

Lipstick in Midnight Cowboy

294Leaving no shade unturned, our huge assortment of colors and textures tempt you to stray from an otherwise predicable palette. The luxuriously creamy formula nourishes and protects lips with Vitamins A, C, and E. Hyaluronic Spheres (found naturally in the body) are added to stimulate cellular function, prevent dehydration, and fill-in lines and wrinkles—now, how many Lipsticks can do that?! The teardrop-shape bullet (etched with an Urban Decay logo) is infused with a decadent crème caramel scent and flavor. Yum.

Not your standard Lipstick case, we added more glamour and an Urban twist: Urban Decay Lipstick tubes, made from weighty, purple metal, are pierced with a mini gunmetal dagger. The clear cap is decorated inside and out with two-toned purple flourishes. The effect is multidimensional, and incredibly luxe. Ooh la la.

Well, these are all in regular size, but what I like even more about the set is that all these goodies come in such cute little travel size! I especially love the lipstick and lipgloss packaging- so cute and handy. They fit perfectly into my metallic Laura Mercier makeup pouch!

Image & Product Info Source: Urban Decay

I’m becoming a rabbit.

So I finally made a decision to go on a short-term diet. Many tell me that I don’t need it, but it’s actually long overdue. I’ve been meaning to start working out again and watch what I eat but I had just been a lazy bum until… I ran into this girl at the mall the other day:

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Han, Go Eun: Korean actress/movie star who’s been in numerous movies & dramas

I knew she was slim, but not THAT tiny!!! OMG- she’s a total stick figure. Perhaps it was the skinny jeans and a tank top that accentuated her tiny silhouette, but seriously, I was surprised that she was able to even walk in those crazy heels. The shoes probably weighed more than her. Anyways, the point is, that I was challenged and have decided to shed couple pounds, or more like get rid of the fat that’s hiding in inappropriate places. And to achieve my goal, I’ve come up with action plans; one of which is to add more veggies & fruits to my diet.

Here’s my most favorite dish of the moment:

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Pear Gorgonzola Salad

I think it’s one of those things that is just too good to be true: it tastes mighty good while being healthy and low fat!!!

Oh, and it’s also super easy to make!! Here’s what you will need:

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You can find all these at Whole Foods. Contrary to popular belief, Whole Foods is not just for filthy rich people but for everyone who loves and appreciates good quality food and groceries. I also was intimidated at first, but after reading about it in Consumer Reports last year, I learned that their store brands are priced about the same as their counterparts at Trader Joe’s and other large grocery chains. Even better is that their products are always trustworthy (fresh, good quality) and 80% of the time organic.

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So let’s get down to business.

First, run to the veggies section and grab some Mixed Baby Greens:

After comparing prices and quantity, it was determined that getting the 16oz would be most cost efficient  @ $5.

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Then, stop by the fruits section for a couple of Bosc pears (Half for 1 serving):

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It’s time to head over to dairy section and grab these babies:

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Oh, before you run over to dairy section, you need to grab a handful of these lovelies:

Maple Pecans by bulk (it’s cheaper this way according to my calculations- I bought a handful for about $3, compared to prepackaged ones priced @ $7.)

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And don’t forget the dressing! Also a store brand- you can always choose to make Balsamic Vinaigrette at home using Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar but I prefer the thick kind with flavoring so I picked one up:

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That’s all you need! Just toss the baby greens on a clean salad bowl (no need to wash; greens are pre-washed), cut up some pears and put about half on top of the greens, sprinkle some cheese and pecan pieces, add dressing, and bam! you have a tasty salad made in 5 min! I paid about $20 for everything and I expect to make about 7 meals out of these so I think it was a great deal, especially considering how I paid $11 for the same salad in San Diego over the weekend. :P

Try it out and let me know what you think! Remember, veggies not only help you maintain a healthy body and assist in weight loss, but are also good for your skin! :)

Dr. Yoga

If I had known that an hour of yoga was all it would take to get that annoying back pain alleviated, I would have avoided getting needles inserted in my skin at all costs (acupuncture, anyone?).

I love yoga- I’ve always liked it; it’s just the meditation part  that I cannot agree with. Perhaps the avid yogis would detest me for saying that, as many consider meditation a critical and fundamental element of yoga. In any case, instead of creating a box to trap my thoughts so they can’t run around like crazy monkeys, I initiated a conversation with my body. So during Bhujangasana 0cobra, I told my low back that I really didn’t mean to abuse it. A good posture is key, indeed.

During Adho Mukha Svanasana0dog(btw, this pose is exceptional; it works various parts of the body at the same time- if you can remain in it for a long time, the better it is), my low back said, “Yo, take it easy.” So I did by bending the knees (Numerous variations can be applied to each pose- as my instructor says, “You gotta listen to your body & do what’s right!”). Virabhadrasana II,1warrior2being one of my favorites, helped me really communicate with every vertebrae… You sort of become aware of their existence. Not much feedback from the low back, except that it’s glad I’ve decided to do something besides going for an easy way out- the needles.

Image Source: www.yogasite.com