Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Philippines Typhoon: Please Help

There's only one race: the human race.

It's a moral duty to care for those that are suffering and at a loss. The typhoon in the Philippines has claimed a death toll of 10,000 victims. There are hundreds and thousands injured, without food and water, without shelter, without clothes - the basic right to humanity. 

The Philippines is a beautiful land home to one of the world's kindest people. 

Please please pleeeeeaase consider donating. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Every dollar counts.

Here are some agencies helping the Philippines. You can do your own research as to where you want to donate. At the end of the day, I just hope you do.


Philippine Red Cross

Global Giving

Intl Rescue Comm IRC

 There are tons more places to give money, clothes, and food. Do whatever you are comfortable with, but just please DO something.


Nails of the Week: Pinspired Spots

I am sure I mentioned this in previous blog posts, but I will say it again and again. 

I LOVE doing my nails. Like LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE.

It's so relaxing, definitely a form of self-care. 

My nails of the week is "Pinspired." It comes from an image I saw on Pinterest (which is in the top left corner). I love it.

Products used:
Base coat: Revlon Multi care Base + Top Coat
Wet n Wild: 201C Wet Cement
Sinful Colors: 300 Easy going

I mixed the Wet Cement and Easy Going to obtain a grayish brown color.  I wanted a Fall color, but did not want to go as dark as the Wet Cement on its own. Wet Cement is a beautiful color independently, but I wanted something softer and daintier. 

I can't emphasize that I LOVE doing my nails. I'm always interested in designs to mimic and be inspired by.

Please share links of your own artwork! I would love to see them!


OOTN: Laidback

My SOTM (style of the moment) has been both a rotation and blend of laid back, cozy, grunge, boho and hipster. My latest fashion sense comes from me trying to be daring, edgy, and stepping out of my comfort zone of jeans/leggings/shorts and a shirt and rocking styles I admired but never had the guts to wear.

I've almost always played it safe with all aspects of my life. Clothing is no exception. The closer I get to 30, the more I yearn for being more and more comfortable in my skin [and wardrobe].

My OOTN is nothing spectacular, nothing fashion forward, nothing runway material. It's simply me trying to rock a hat that 1 year ago, would have made me feel awkward and self-conscious wearing it. I know, I know. You all must be thinking I'm crazy, but that just shows you how "safe" I was in how I dressed. 

Yes, it's not exciting. But hey, I am easily amused :]

[excuse the messy background -__- ]

Hat: Forever 21 $6.80
Cardigan: Papaya Clothing $10
White tee: Target
Leggings: Target 

Life's too short. Try something new and be YOU


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nails of the Week: Accented French Manicure

Doing my nails is one of my most favorite things. It's fun and gives me a chance to for my not-so-creative self to be creative. And lastly, doing my nails is therapeutic. There's something about doing my nails that relaxes me. Maybe it's all the fumes? HA. I really do enjoy it and I do look forward to doing my nails weekly, sometimes twice if I get bored of my design or if they chip.

I have never been a fan of French manicures, but recently, it has been growing on me increasingly! French manicures are unarguably a classic. And in modern times, this classic manicure has been dressed up and even bedazzled.

Below is my nails design of the week: A French manicure with a flower accent on my thumb and ring finger. Simple, yet feminine.

What's your favorite nail design?


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

OOTN: Boho Hipster Grunge

Aloha there!

As we grow older, we evolve. Fashion is no exception. Our styles transform, we experiment.
The past few summers have been boho-inspired, which is definitely a popular summer trend. It's already November and I don't think I'm quite ready to give up the boho look just yet. 

Instead, I'm incorporating the boho look with a hipster grunge vibe. Now, that can mean a myriad of things to different people. But this is how it appears to me and this how I've been feeling fashion-wise lately. 

I recently purchased three bold print leggings which I probably would have not bought one season ago. I used to be such a plain Jane with simple (usually dark or neutral) colors. Wearing leggings that were NOT black was even a bit too much for me. Yes, I know. I'm cray. As I get older and more confident in my own skin, I want to try new styles and make myself rock them.

What do you think?!

From left to right:
1. Charlotte Russe. I got it for $5 in store. Sorry,  I couldn't find it online
2. Papaya Clothing. $9.99. I tried it on with a black peplum top. SO CUTE
3. Charlotte Russe. I got it for $5 in store though it says $12.99 online.

Here's how I styled the royal blue leggings:

 (Sorry for the messy room. My brother's room has the best natural lighting. I sneaked in when he was out. hehe)

My "elf" boots that I bought from Papaya Clothing 3+ years ago
 I bought this beautiful 3/4 sleeve top from Marshalls for $12.99. The lace detailing on the back and shoulders are absolutely gorgeous and feminine. I've seen similar tops like these worn by YouTube gurus such as Anna Saccone and ItsJudyTime.
This top from Papaya Clothing is similar, but the lace on mine blends in a bit better than this Papaya lace top.

This is the cardigan I am wearing from Papaya Clothing. Just like the online price shows, I bought this for $10 in stores. AND I LOVE this cardigan. I'm contemplating purchasing the white one.

My hat is from Forever 21, I think. I bought it a really long time ago. I believe I bought it in 2009.
This has been my style lately. I call it Boho Hipster Grunge. It's comfortable, it's edgy, and it's bolder than what I'm used to. As much as I hate letting go of my youth with each passing year, I am enjoying feeling more confident in my own skin and rocking whatever style that comes to mind. 

Life is too short. YOLO ;)


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Obsessed: Lipsticks

Aloha there!

I have been obsessed with anything lipstick related in recent months. At first, it became a hunt to find the perfect "your lips but better" color and then my hunt transformed into finding a bolder lip that I would force myself to rock. 

Like any other person, there are things about my appearance that I am uncomfortable with or wish I could change. My lips are one (or two?) of them. My lips are naturally so pale and washed out that going sans lipstick makes me look sick. It is definitely not a cute look on me. And I also think I have a crooked smile which makes me feel super self-conscious when I smile. Oh imperfections. Oh flaws. Why does it take a lifetime to embrace them?

I've always played it safe and opted for colors that seemed more natural. Now, as a woman in my late 20s, pushing 30, my confidence has solidified a bit more and my desire to be bolder and try new things have increased.

Now let's get to what my obsession got me in recent months (starting from most recent purchase):

Wet N Wild Mega Last Lipsticks
One of my more well-to-do friends buys both high end and drug store lipsticks, mostly high end because she has the money to front. HOWEVER, she was telling me how she would buy Wet N Wild lipsticks over high end on many occasions because of the pigmentation and longlasting power of them. I finally got myself to spend the $1.99 and try it.

 These are the two colors I bought: Wine Room 906D and Mauve Outta Here 907C

Wine Room 906D (pinkish red)

Mauve Outta Here 907C (brighter pink)
The verdict: I LOVE Wet N Wild!! Why did I wait so long to try them?!?! I always passed it up when I was at the drug store since I haven't seen too many reviews (or commercials) on Wet N Wild lipstick. There was a 40% off Wet N Wild products at CVS 2 - 3 weeks ago. This was my push to finally get my hands on these lipsticks. And with 40% off, why would I pass that up?!
The lipsticks didn't glide on as smoothly as most lipsticks. It seemed dry, but it wasn't drying at all.The colors are matte. The swatches are pretty true to the color on your lips though the actual lipsticks appear darker. As you can see, the colors are quite vibrant. Wine Room came out shiny in the photo due to lighting, but it is a beautiful color. Mauve Outta Here came out looking brighter than I thought it would. It's a color that I wear when I'm trying to be more adventurous and bold. It's definitely not a color I can pull off at work, but it is fun when I'm trying to spruce up a look with some brighter lipstick.
Would I repurchase? YES. I definitely would like to try other colors to find a muted pink / work appropriate color

Jordana Cosmetics Twist and Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain
I first found out about these products through Jerlyn Phan, also known as MakeUpFreeek on Youtube.  She is an amazing makeup artist and definitely one of my top favorite YouTube beauty gurus to watch.

She had talked about these $2.99 lip balm sticks in a YouTube video. At $2.99, I had to get my hands on them (though they did vary from store to store. I paid ($2.99, $3.29 and $3.69 at different Walgreens)! My friend and I went to three different Walgreens in one day to find the colors we wanted. I then went to a Walgreens closer to my home the next day because the third Walgreens we tried didn't have what we wanted. And ding ding ding! I found the last color that I wanted - Cranberry Crush!

Now for my swatches (excuse my washed out face. I am not wearing my usual tinted moisturizer):

08 Terra Crave (orangey brown tint)

05 Honey Love (mauve pink, my fave)

06 Cranberry Crush (magenta)
This color came out darker on other swatches I've seen. I wish it was darker on my lips too.
I still really like it though :]

My three balm sticks

This is a screen shot of the other Jordana colors

The verdict: Overall, I did like the Jordana balm sticks. They did stain, especially the Cranberry Crush which makes sense since it's really pigmented. Though they all tint into a bright pink or Kool-Aid red (at least for me). The tint, however, was very strong on the inner portions of my lips. My friend who has naturally dark pigmented lips claimed a light tint for all the colors she has (Cranberry Crush, Terra Crave, and Rock N Rouge).

Each of the lip stains do have a glossy finish. The "Shine" in "Twist and Shine" stands very true! It has a glossy finish, especially on the center of lower lip, but does not feel like a gloss, which I very much appreciate since I am not a big lip gloss fan. 

Would I repurchase? YES and no! I definitely will be repurchasing 05 Honey Love. Honey Love is closest to "my lips but better" which is what I've been trying to find for ages! I am on the fence about repurchasing 08 Terra Crave though I really do like it. I wouldn't repurchase 06 Cranberry. It comes out really magenta bright on me, which is weird because on others' it came out as a beautiful Fall dark cranberry color. BOO. I also didn't like the stain of the 06 Cranberry. It was too Kool-Aid for me. I don't think I'll be trying any of the other colors. I've tried Sweet Pink and Rock N Rouge - not a big fan.

L'Oreal Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick 
I am the type of person who HAS to finish a product. Unless it's totally grotesque, I will somehow make it work and finish it. The next two products are two lipsticks that I had bought a long while ago. After I bought them, I told myself I wouldn't buy anything more until I used them all up...and as you can see from the pictures above, I broke my own promise. OH WELL. I rationalize it with the fact that Jordana and Wet n Wild were so affordable, it's okay :D

L'oreal Infallible Le Rouge Lipcolor in Intensely Mauve (512)
I apply this brick red color every morning for work. Very little goes a long way. It's quite pigmented.

L'oreal Infallible Le Rouge Lipcolor in Eternal Rose (227)
This color is showing up as a darker "natural" pink in the pictures. With this lipstick, a little goes a long way as well. The color is very interesting. Sometimes, it looks like a darker pink color with a brownish tinge to it, sometimes it looks like a brighter pink with a light purple tinge. Nonetheless, I do really love this color. I keep it in my purse for touch-ups throughout the day
The verdict: I have had these two for a long time and I'm nearing its end, specifically for Eternal Rose. I do love these lipsticks because they are longlasting. I do have to reapply (as with any lipstick), but it does stay on for a good while. Thank you to Judy from ItsJudyTime on YouTube for introducing me to this lipstick. She mentioned it on her daily vlog so I had to try it. 
Would I repurchase?  YES! I want to try Forever Frappe, ItsJudyTime's favorite. And I also want to look for a "my lips but better" color in this line.

After writing this post, I realize that I buy mauve-y pinks and reds. I buy pinks  thinking they would be more natural, but they end up being a little more bold, which is quite exciting for me. I don't think I'm quite ready to rock a full on cherry red lip, but maybe one day. For now, I'm getting used to my bolder pinks and muted reds.
So my obsession with lippies ensues and my hunt for the perfect "your lips but better" lipstick continues! I do love the Jordana lip stain in Honey Love and will definitely be repurchasing that as I had mentioned. I would like to find a lipstick version of "your lips but better." 
I am going to do my utmost best to control myself and NOT purchase new products at this time. I need to take a chill pill on my lipstick spending. And I'm trying to finish my older products first.

Please let me know some of your favorite lipsticks. If you've found the perfect "your lips but better" lipstick, please oh please share!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween 2013: Minnie Mouse


I have never really liked Halloween. Even when  I was a kid, I never cared about dressing up. I only dressed up when school "made" us wear costumes for parades or whatnot. I'm quite the chicken and don't like scary things so I was never interested in the spookiness of Halloween. Year after year I was either Thumbelina or some type of princess wearing a dainty dress with a load of tool. There was one year, however, when  I was a pirate, but that was a hand me down from my older sister.

For some reason, after a breakup with a longtime boyfriend in 2011, I started to grow a liking towards Halloween. Part of it was a reinvention thing but more so my just ever increasing fascination for anything beauty related. In 2011, I was Miss Philippines and in 2012, I was a poor imitation of Peter Pan. That year, I wore black leggings, wide-brimmed booties, and an off the shoulder green shirt. See, poor imitation.

This year, I decided to up my game a bit. Halloween is still one of my least favorite holidays and I am still not big on costumes, but it is an opportunity to play with makeup. I strive to look as normal as possible while playing with and enhancing makeup.

This year, I decided to be Minnie Mouse! The idea came to me when my cousin bought me Minnie Mouse clip-on ears from Disneyland. She and her boyfriend were visiting the US from Canada and Disneyland was one of their must-sees. The moment she gave the clip-on Minnie ears to me, I immediately became inspired for Halloween. And this was in July! My old self would look at my new Halloween-liking self and ask, "Who are you?!"

For my Minnie Mouse ensemble, NOTHING was bought! You can most definitely do Halloween for cheap or for absolutely nothing. I wore a causal red dress that I bought at JC Penny about 5 years ago, tights that I had from who knows when, a belt from a gray dress purchased in 2010, and wide-brimmed booties that I bought at Papaya in 2010. And of course, the ears were a gift from my cousin. 
 My "costume." Excuse the funky face I was making

Now for the fun part - the MAKEUP!
 I love dramatic eyes. Any opportunity to wear lashes and a smokey eye, I will take it!
(Excuse the cray cray brows. I was growing them out to have them reshaped...which I did today!)

 My eye make up. I am so proud of it! Not to toot my own horn, but I'm getting better at this eyeshadow thing. It takes a LOT of practicing (and blending), but it DOES get easier.

I received these sample eyeshadows from Sigma when I purchased $30+ worth of products. I really like them! They were a bit powdery but I'm not sure if that's because of the sample packaging. 
Foundation: Makeup Forever HD Foundation in N127
Undereye Concealer: L'oreal True Match Super Blendable Crayon W 1-2-3
Power: Revlon Colorstay in Light Medium
Brows: ELF brow kit in medium
Blush: Milani Pink Craze
Inner corner:  Sigma - Elope
Lid: Sigma - Gimp
Crease/Lower lashline: Sigma- Elysees
Outer corner/V: MAC Typographic
Eyeliner: Sephora Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Mascara: Maybelline Volume Express Falsies in Blackest Black
Lashes: from Daiso, a Japanese $1.50 store
Nose: Wet n Wild brow pencil in Black Black, MAC Typographic, Sephora Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Lips: Wet n Wild Wine Room
My other favorite: NAILS!
 My Minnie inspired nails. Just dots and bows

Base coat: Revlon
Red: NYC Big Apple Read
White: Sinful Colors Snow Me White
Tools: Toothpick for the bow and bobby pin head for the dots


So I may not have the same Halloween spirit as other more festive Halloweeners, but I am sure warming up to it. Whether or not you're a fan of Halloween, I wish you a wonderful and safe night. If you're walking the streets, always have a buddy and watch out for cars. If you're driving on Halloween night, please be wary of trick or treaters. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

OOTN: Coffee Date

Good evening!

I just wanted to share a quick angled view of the outfit I wore last week when I met a friend for coffee.

Shoes: Naughty Monkey - Somebody Shake Me in. This is definitely one of my most favorite shoes! They are absolutely gorgeous and comfortable. 
Pants: Forever 21 Skinny denim in petite. Love these! They're only $10.80

Shirt: Papaya Clothing

It's definitely not anything fancy, but heels totally dress up a casual outfit.

I hope everything is well with you! Please share your dressed up casual outfit with me! I always love new ideas :D


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Old New Post: One Year Purple Anniversary

Here's a past entry on what I call Purple Anniversaries.This is from 2011. Enjoy :D


Today marks the last day of what I like to call my purple anniversary.

Two years ago, I was hospitalized on July 12 – July 17, 2010. Maybe two years is still too soon for me to completely forget, but I remember that experience as if it were yesterday. It still brings me to tears, but it also makes me so much more grateful knowing that I am surrounded by supportive family and friends. I am also so thankful and blessed that I am as healthy as I can be, despite having a chronic illness. I definitely thank the Lord for never turning away in providing me faith, strength, and good health.

Since my diagnosis in July 2010, I have made it a point to celebrate the week of my hospitalization of July 12 – 17 every year. I designate this week as my Lupus purple anniversary. It is important for me to celebrate life because life could have been so easily taken away, but it wasn’t and so for that, I will celebrate. It's my way of saying, "F*ck you, Lupus! I'm still here!" It’s like my new birthday, an excuse to throw a little party.

So let's reminisce on my one year anniversary in 2011:

My one year anniversary was so special to me because it was my first. We always remember our firsts, don't we? ;] I have always wanted to try the famous Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. Despite not liking chicken, I just wanted to try to it. To my expectation, the chicken tasted like chicken (but I guess that’s not a bad thing) and it was okay. After my chicken dinner, my friends and I went to a gelato store in Santa Monica. As I enjoyed my pink grapefruit gelato ice cream, my friends and I enjoyed the music of a street performer. In the evening, we walked the boardwalk of the beach. I looked far across into the distant waters and briefly reflected on how my life has changed. Despite the change, life was still good. It was nice to be at the beach, as day time hours limits my beach trips because of the sun. Going in the evening was like telling Lupus, “I can still be here.” It was definitely a great adventure with them. We looked pretty spiffy, all dressed in purple (which I made them do) holding their purple party favors. 

Because it was my first anniversary, I went celebration crazy and held another one with school friends. We went to a sushi restaurant in Panorama City. It was supposed to be a celebration of life, but it felt like my birthday! My amazing friends showered me with gifts. It was very much unexpected, but very much appreciated. Celebrating with my friends was supposed to be a “thank you for your support” throughout the year. They always made sure we sat at a shaded area during lunch. Whenever I was absent from school or not feeling well, I was hit with texts and calls checking in to make sure I was okay. It was very sweet of them and I very much felt cared for. The night ended with countless pictures of all of us in our purple garb. This is definitely one of my fondest memories, because it had some of the most essential ingredients to happiness: food, laughter, love, and good friends. 

I am celebrating my second year anniversary a little late this year due to scheduling conflicts, but it is happening! Like I had mentioned above, my anniversary is now like a birthday, it must be celebrated! 

So take time to celebrate life. It's too precious to take for granted. As the saying goes these days, "YOLO." You Only Live Once so celebrate. Happy anniversary to all you living with lupus <3

With that, my celebration of life continue this year. My second year purple anniversary plans include a wine and cheese party. 

Look forward to a new post with pictures of my second year anniversary sometime soon so please STAY TUNED