Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini Drugstore Haul: Nails, Lips, & Face

So I broke the promise that I made to myself  to 1) Not buy nail polish as I have a good number already and 2) not to buy anything lippie related because I have become a lipstick hoarder! GAHHH

I just couldn't resist #Fail

And this is why...

Sally Hansen: Color Foil in Liquid Gold
Retails for $8-9
Purchase price: $4.79

I first heard of this nail polish from YouTube's saaammage's New Releases Collective Haul video. Ever since then, I knew I had to get them in my possession! I've been searching for them at drug stores since I saw her video in June. I recently found them 2 weeks ago.

To give me some credit, when I first found them at my Rite Aid, I did NOT buy them. I almost did. I grabbed a bottle and walked around with it for about half an hour then I put it back. They were $7.99 a pop. To me, that's quite expensive for nail polish. I'm pretty frugal with my nail polish just because nails chip! Thankfully, they were 40% off. I can't feel guilty if it's on sale ;)

The big question is...IS IT WORTH IT??

Excuse the multiple angles of my nails, but it's really hard to capture the beauty that is the foil!!! My pictures are not really that great to begin with (hey, I'm learning!) and trying to capture the beauty in a photo was quite the challenge.

I love them and I wish I could go crazy and buy more. If the sale is still going on, I will definitely pick up either the blue or purple shade...so pretty!!

I'm surprised that the nail polish did not have great reviews on Ulta. The biggest complaint was that nails chip after one day. I'm one day in and my nails are still looking great. I do put nail polish on the nail tips to prolong the wear. My only con is that it does not always apply an even coat. 

RETRACTION: Please read my updated thoughts on this nail polish here.

Jordana Easyliner in Tawny
Retail purchase price: $2.29

This is one of the most raved about drugstore lip liners on YouTube. The Walgreens stores near me never have them in stock...they are THAT popular. I finally found this in a Walgreens in an Orange County suburb. And no, I did not go there just for the lip liner. I happened to be in the area after visiting a friend. Since the liners were available right there in front of me, I just had to jump on that Tawny train.

Left: Liner in Tawny
Right: Balm stain in Honey Love

I was originally looking for the Jordana Twist and Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Honey Love. This is also a popular color that I can't find in my area - Los Angeles mid-city. See my lip swatch of Honey Love here. The balm stain was $3.29 (depending on where you go, it may be cheaper).

So far, I love both. After all, I was on the hunt for the balm stain. 

(picture credit: CVS.com)
L'Oreal Collagen Moisture Filler
Retails for $16.99
Purchase price: $13.59

Last, but not least, I bought a moisturizer from L'Oreal. It is the Collagen Moisture Filler. I usually get the Revitalift, but I wanted to try something different. One of the claims that sold me on this was that it is supposedly non-greasy. The Revitalift is great, but it does leave my skin feeling sticky and I hate that!

This moisturizer does feel a little sticky at first, but not bothersome at all. Once the product seeps into my skin, my skin is soft and smooth. This product also received half a rating higher than the Revitalift. I shall see how this works out for me. I am hoping that it does! This product is a few dollars cheaper than the Revitalift. I would not mind saving a few bucks every time I repurchase. 

That's my mini collection haul. I hope you enjoyed it....and if you're a Rite Aid shopaholic like me (I swear, Rite Aid is my new Target and it's so bad that it's two blocks from home!), you should definitely sign up for Rite Aid Wellness + Rewards Card. Your bank account will thank you for it!!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Half Boiled Eggs

I made a salad last week with half boiled eggs. It was heaven. It was simple, yet so very delicious!!

What made the salad was the eggs. I love eggs! I prefer when the yolk is not fully cooked. And I especially love them runny (eggs benedict is my FAVORITE egg dish)! I know that grosses some people out, but whyyyyyy?!?!?! It's soooooooooooo good. But to each their own.

When Benji of YouTube's BenjimanTV posted his tutorial on how to get the perfect half boiled egg, I knew that I had to try it.

His instructions are so easy to follow. Then again, how can you really mess up eggs? If there is a will, I guess there is a way to do so! However, the method is practically fool proof.

And if you're into runny eggs, you should definitely give this half boiled egg "recipe" a try.

It's 11pm at night and I'm totally digging a salad with egg now...MmmMmm


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Freedom Party: CSUN Edition

This past June, I sent in my final payment for my graduate school loan. I am officially DEBT FREE and it feels quite dandy. Since I love any excuse for a party, I decided to throw myself a party called "Freedom Party: CSUN Edition" as CSUN in the school I attended for my masters.

I just love parties. I love organizing and hosting! I definitely enjoy putting together party favors. They are probably the thing I look most forward to in hosting a party! My party isn't meant to show off by any means. It's more of a celebration of finishing off my loans and being released from the ball and chain of the Department of Education. It's about honoring my friends, family and colleagues who have cheered me on and supported me along the way. It's about celebrating with the people that are rooting for me. I would do the same for them in whatever their triumph would be. 

CSUN's colors are red, white and black. For me, it is a must to incorporate the school colors in the color scheme of my party. When I had my Freedom Party: UCLA Edition in February, my color scheme was blue and yellow. 

Here are just snapshots of some of the party favors:

It's a must for my guest to wear party hats! I attached red, white and black string to the tops

Chocolate covered strawberries drizzled with white chocolate: again, red, white and black

I braided red, white and black string

I used to braided string to attach a little thank you card to the little white and black polka dot bag I put the strawberry in

I was very pressed for time in organizing my favors due to my crazy work schedule. I even finished assembling my party favor bags right before my party so I was unable to take final pictures of the complete package. 

In red gift bags, I included silver tissue paper, a small black and white polka dot bag with a chocolate covered strawberry inside that was tied by the braided string and thank you card, a chocolate chip walnut cookie, and black mardi gras beads. Each bag had a white ribbon on the outside. 

I'm very excited for the next party to host :) I just need another excuse for a party :)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nails of the Week: Pink Paradise

I don't know what it is, but sometimes I feel as if I'm losing my nail art mojo. I never know what to do anymore or what design to attempt to replicate. I used to have so many ideas that I used to have think hard of what I wanted to do that week and plan the weeks ahead...yes, I was obsessed with nails! I still am! I love doing my nails and I get excited to do my nails, but it feels as though my creative juices have left the building. I have a new nail art set. I'm supposed to be inspired, but my ideas cap is broken :(

Anyways, enough of my little rant. Here is my inspiration for this week:

And this is how it turned out :(
The top is the closest thing I can get to the design and even then, I think it's just alright. Since I'm left-handed, it was a bit of a challenge to do my left hand (top). I ended up doing my own thing for the left hand. It kind of looks like a regal strawberry. LOL. It is what it is... 

Even though it's not quite like the inspiration, it's not too bad I suppose


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hair: 3 Chainz

Summer is THE season for hair accessories - headbands, flowers, crowns...you name it! 
When I found this piece on Amazon, I just knew I had to have it! I mean, just look at it!! The leaves scream Grecian goddess to me and I must admit, I love the Grecian style for summer and pretty much all year round if I could pull it off.

( photo credit: Amazon )

I bought this hair pin in early spring. It took forever (17 - 28 days) to come as it shipped from Hong Kong for free. It was definitely worth the wait! And you know what, you kind of forget that it's coming and when it finally does, it feels like a surprise in the mail :)

It's definitely as beautiful as it looks. I did need help putting it on. I struggled doing it independently and just couldn't get it right. That's definitely a major con, but it is a con I can live with. The other con would probably be that the 3 chains can get tangled, but not too bad as layered necklaces. Remember when layered necklaces were totally in fashion? Mine would get so badly tangled!!

This was my hairdo one week ago before I cut my hair and retouched up the color. See my new do here. Excuse my cray cray bun and flying hair pieces. 

I love the 3 chains and the leaf-combs. It's edgy, eye catching, feminine, and bedazzling all at once. I wore it to work and got many compliments. It stands out enough to be a fashion statement, but it's subtle enough to be work appropriate. 

I can't wait to get more use out of this! I LOVE it!! I also want to find more hair accessories to rock for the rest of summer.

Happy summer everyone! And don't be afraid to bedazzle your hair :)


Peekaboo: Summer Cut and Touch-Up

It was that time of year again...hair cut and touch up time! I only cut and retouch up my color twice a year. It gets expensive and with my hair color style, getting it retouched twice a year is no biggy.

For the past 5 years, I've had my hair colored in the "Peekaboo" style. This means that I dye hidden pieces of my hair. I have the very bottom of my section of hair dyed as well as the bottom piece of my bangs. I do this because I don't want to deal with roots. It gets expensive and damaging. My hair naturally is dry (and quite coarse). Dying it makes it more dry. Imagine me having to touch up my hair so often should I dye it all over!! 

That is why I go with peekabo. It's less damaging for me since I only dye my hair twice a year. And should my hair start to grow out, no one can see my roots as the colored pieces are all underneath. And eventually as it grows out, it looks like a blended ombre. 

And now onto my hair!

This is the before. My hair is long and wavy (and frizzy!). You can see my lighter pieces peeking through the bottom

This is the after. It might not look like much, but I cut off 5 - 6 inches of hair. You can see the lighter pieces peeking through. The layers in my hair really let the lighter colors peek through. In winter, I opt for a darker brown. In summer, I opt for a lighter brown. My stylist said that this color was "caramel." 
As you an see on the right, when I do a half up-do, all my lighter pieces peek through. I didn't fix my hair properly as I didn't have a mirror, but when it's fixed up, it looks really pretty. Even in braids, peekaboo hair is gorgeous!

A side view of my hair when I lift up the black

Peekaboo in my bangs

Again, a before(top left) and after (everything else)

And this has been my hair for the last five years...mostly. My first peekaboo was a "vampire red" (that was literally the name of the dye), but I'll leave that for a later throwback post :)

What's your summer 'do? Or if you're more like me, what's been your longtime hairstyle?


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nails of the Week: Fourth of July

Self-explanatory ;)

Happy Fourth of July! Have fun. Be safe. Eat plenty and make memories.

And of course, thank you to all the men and women - past, present and future - who have put their lives on the line for our continued freedom.

I salute you


Shoes Haul!

Shoes are definitely at the bottom of my priority shop list. Despite the fact that I needed new shoes (oooh, I wear shoes til there's holes in them!) for almost a year now, I just don't buy them! I'd love to go wild and buy an immense supply, but I get more excited to purchase (in this order): FOOD, accessories, makeup, hair products, clothes...and then finally shoes. 

I recently finished paying off all of my school loans, and initially, I was just going to treat myself to an ice cream cone (I live on the edge, don't I?!) with my first paycheck post-loans. My family and my friends encouraged me to celebrate a little...and so I did. 

I called my first paycheck after paying off my loans my PLAYcheck. For the first time in a loooong time, the majority of the money was for me to keep and save. I gave myself a budget and went on a shopping spree!!

I just want to make a disclaimer! The shoes I buy are mostly for work. The older I get, the more versatile I try to make my wardrobe. Spend less by buying things I can wear to work and in my personal life. LOL. I'm such an "old" lady. Since I do a lot of walking for work, I opt for comfortable shoes.

Here are the shoes I purchased:

Mad Love Lynnae Crochet Loafers, $19.99 from Target.
I love how these look! I love that they're off-white because I am certain that if they were straight-up white, they'd be off-white in a day! I love the femininity and texture contrast that the crochet brings to the shoes.  I love that the shoes are dainty and fit so well with summer. I love the overlapping of fabric to add intricacy to the simplicity of the design.....and they are so work appropriate!
**CON: I've only worn them once to work, but they hurt my feet by mid-day. They hurt on both outer edges of my feet, on that bone right by the pinky toe. I'm going to put a band-aid in that spot as I break it in. Hopefully, breaking-in is all these shoes need because they are just too cute to not be able to wear!

Report, $16.99 from Ross
I've been debating on a pair of shoes like this for a while. I love how the style, but I just can't stand putting them on! I love the easiness of flats in which you just slip it on, slip it off. Shoes like this take effort! And since I'm Asian, it's pretty custom to take your shoes off when entering Asian homes. This is really annoying to bend down or lift my foot to take them off. Then when I come with a group or leave with a group, they're just standing there waiting for me as I try to rush, but rushing only makes me take longer.  LOL #FirstWorldProblems Silly rant over. 

As I get older, I have been digging the pointed toe. I love the ladylike-ness that the snakeskin print gives to the shoes. AND THE GOLD!! I have been into gold lately, and more specifically, gold detailing against black or white backgrounds. LOVE! I love everything about the gold in this pair from the zipper to the studs. The gold detailing give the shoes a bit of an edge and a pop of pizzazz and you can never really go wrong with pizzazz. 

It was a little awkward wearing them just because I wore them with bare feet. For the past 3 years, I've worn ballet flats with ballet socks. Check out my current favorite socks here. It was weird and it will need some getting used to!

Bamboo, $13.99 from Ross
Stepping into these shoes are like stepping onto pillows!! Everything about this pair is soft!! This is probably one of the few shoes that do NOT need breaking in. That is always a plus. 

This is the most vibrant pair of shoes I have worn in a while. Today was the first day I wore them and I received compliments left and right. They are definitely a hit. In the sun, they glistened and shimmered. I was a walking disco ball. It was pretty awesome :)

These are shoes that I cannot wear with socks either. It was a lot less awkward for me to wear these shoes bare footed. I'm guessing the immense comfort of the shoes overrode the fact that I did not have socks.

These are the shoes I bought. You probably won't be seeing another shoe haul for a long while. But I must admit, it was a lot of fun :) My next shoe haul may come sooner than expected ;)