Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ulta Haul: First-Time Products

Interesting fact about me: As much as I love makeup, beauty, and all that jazz, I am very wary of trying new face products in fear of a massive breakout...

HOWEVER, in my last trip to Ulta, I bought three never-tried-before face products. Look at me living on the edge...kinda...LOL

Rimmel London 
Fix & Perfect Pro Primer

I know, I know. I'm late to jump on this bandwagon, but I have always stayed away from primers because I did not want to add one more product to my face. When it comes to makeup, I want less on my face and more on my eyes and lips. Bold eyes are more my style. 

As I get older and as it gets hotter in our Los Angeles summer (we're going through a heatwave right now), my skin tends to get oilier faster. I know there's a Stay Matte primer, but I opted for the Fix & Perfect because I do want some fresh faced dewiness. 

I shall keep you posted on how it works out for me :)

L'Oreal Paris
Revitalift Eye Cream Moisturizer

Okay, so this isn't exactly living on the edge. I do have the regular Revitalift Moisturizer. I purchased this after reading an online article (I know, great source, lol) that said women in their mid 20s should start an anti-aging regimen. Whether this is legit or not, it prompted me to do the same. 

My mom is also a big fan of anti-aging products. Maybe I inherited it from her. When I was in high school, she bought me Estee Lauder's DayWear moisturizer which helped with anti-aging. Like mother, like daughter?

I've been using it for a week and have not noticed a difference yet. It feels like the regular moisturizer. I suppose knowing that it has a purpose is comforting enough to me at this point. 

The POREfessional Mini

To be honest, I didn't know what pores were until I noticed them on my ex-boyfriend's face two years ago. Haha. Then I saw them on my own face on a small patch of my cheeks by my nose. My pores, thankfully, are not big, but you can still see them when you look closely. 

I decided to try this out. I think it works? I always forget to use it and I'm not sure if it makes a big difference for me, perhaps my pores are not too big? Maybe I should try it on my ex. LOL. 

Eco Tools 
Skin Perfecting Brush

In my RIP Sigma post, I talked about my favorite face brush - Sigma F80 - being on its deathbed. Hairs were falling out in chunks. 

I decided to buy something much cheaper. I did my research and found that the Eco Tools brand was a good set and also good for the environment. So why not? The description read that it was good for BB/CC creams and tinted moisturizers, which I use on a daily basis when I step out of my home. 

My verdict: It's okay. It does get the job done. Cons: It is quite prickly which makes a smooth buffing motion difficult.

Sally Hansen
Miracle Gel in Street Flair

If you know me, I am a sucker for nail polish and even bigger sucker for muted purples. I heard great things about this nail polish and decided to give it a go. 

My verdict: LOVE! I only wore it for 3 days (instead of the usual 5 - 6) before taking it off. It was smooth and stuck on strong. I hear the Miracle Top coat does wonders to it. I'm thinking of trying that too because Ulta does sell them in a duo of a gel nail polish and top coat. I almost bought the set in store but I did not like the color in the duo. 

I just love Ulta and any makeup store really. What's going to kill my wallet is that Ulta is having a 21 Days of Beauty sales events. OH ULTA. WHYYYY +ULTA Beauty <3 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Food of the Moment: Loaded Oatmeal

Yes, yes. Oatmeal is a random food favorite, but lately, I've totally been digging it this way!!

After seeing +Anna Saccone 's "What I Ate Wednesday" posts and watching her daily vlogs, I decided to recreate her standard breakfast meal: oatmeal, banana, berries (I used raspberries), cinnamon and honey.

And oh gee golly! Amazingness!

Definitely makes eating oatmeal a lot more enticing with a healthy sweetness :) And it is a lot healthier than the regular maple brown sugar which is loaded with sugar. This is my favorite flavor, but as I get older, I am more conscious in reducing my sugar intake. 

Here's to a healthier alternative to plain or sugar-filled oatmeal!

Enjoy :)


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Song of the Moment: Hawaiian Reggae

                            Rebel Souljahz - "Nothing to Hide"

In college, I was able to take my very last class through a travel study program. I spent 5 unforgettable weeks studying in Hawaii (sounds like heaven, right? It was!) During my time there, I fell in love with a whole new genre of music I did not know existed: Hawaiian reggae.

Yes, yes, most, if not all, of us have heard of reggae. The first thing we think of when we hear "reggae" is Bob Marley. This isn't a bad thing at all. He's a legend, no doubt. There is definitely different styles of reggae which is influenced from the region it stems from and of course by the inspiration of other artists. 

Hawaiian reggae incorporates the Hawaiian instrument the ukelele. Just like the Hawaiian dance the hula, Hawaiian reggae tells a story. It is soft. It is sweet. It is romantic. It is laid back and easygoing. It celebrates a real love for the people, for the land and the culture. Their love songs celebrate love of the soul, the person, the natural beauty and not just the physical - sex, boobs, and booty which are go-to topics for mainstream hits in America.

Hawaiian reggae is the true definition of "feel good music." You cannot help but sway to the rhythm, singing and humming along. It's beautiful music. And it's actually about the music. The artists do not have the typical appearance of mainstream stars. But in this genre, it doesn't matter what you look like. It's about the music, the words, the story, the talent.

Rebel Souljahz's song is my current song of the moment. The piano in the beginning is just beautiful. The lyrics even more sweet. Give it a chance and tell me if you found yourself grooving to the beat.

If you want to hear a song that incorporates ukelele, listen to the song below. It's a bit more fast-paced and upbeat. Definitely a beautiful song and one of my favorites.

Three Plus - "Honey Baby"

I definitely hope you enjoyed the songs above. Please let me know what songs you are loving at the moment. 

Mahalo <3


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Obsessed: Lip Liners

I never thought I would say this, but I am currently OBSESSED with lip liners. I have tried them in the past, but was never impressed with them until now!

Lately, I've been unhappy with how quickly my lipstick wore off. I hear all the time that liners help lipstick stay on longer. I decided to give it another go and dang! What a difference it makes!! I'm guessing when I tried them in the past, I had no real idea what I was doing. I would only put the liner on the rim of my lips, and sometimes even right outside my lips to make them appear fuller. My lips just looked swollen...yeah, FAIL. This time around, I apply liner all over my lips and wow! My life has changed! **Cue Aladdin's "A Whole New World"

Current liners: 

From top to bottom:
Essence 08 Red Blush
Essence 07 Cute Pink
Stila Charming
Jordana Tawny

The swatches:

From left to right:
Essence 08 Red Blush
Essence 07 Cute Pink
Stila Charming
Jordana Tawny

My favorites are Essence in Cute Pink and Jordana in Tawny. I finally know what all the hype is about with Jordana's Tawny. It's a beautiful color and even looks great independently - pretty natural. This color was sold out in all Walgreens near me. I found Tawny in a suburb about 30 miles away from home where I was visiting a friend. 

My least favorite is Stila's Charming. It is just way too light for my lips. However, it does act as a base for my lipstick to hold on to.

I have never been one to mix lipsticks or colors. Before I didn't really know how or why I would do that. Using liners has allowed me to play with lipsticks and colors. I love it! Look for a future post for my current go-to lip combos. Stay tuned :D


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Product Empties #2

This is another installment of my Product Empties (read my first one here!) I probably won't be doing Product Empties posts too often as I tend to not venture out too much when it comes to products. 

I'm one of those people who stick to what works. I'll try new things here and there if I am not 100% satisfied or if I'm feeling adventurous. This post will include a blend of mostly staples and new tries. 

H A I R :
It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin (sample) 
<3 I received this 4 fl oz sample during one of the big Ulta sales in April.
<3 The verdict? I LOVE it. Like LOOOOOOOOVE. I have repurchased my second bottle. My hair is very dry and unmanageable when it dries. My hair is pretty lioness in its natural state. This product has made my hair manageable. I never knew that was possible to achieve outside of a salon.

Organix Hydrating Macademia Oil Intensive Moisture Mask
</3 I bought this product after seeing it in YouTube's ThatsHeart favorites a while ago. It worked for her, but definitely did not work for me. 
</3 It did not add any moisture to my hair. It actually made my hair feel drier after using it. And to top it off, it had a funky smell. Double whammy. 

F A C E :
Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
<3 I have been using this for 3 - 4 years. I love it, but I am itching to try something new. Any recommendations? I would like to stick to a tinted moisturizer for every day use. I'm not looking for heavy coverage, just sun protection and an even tone. I've heard Neutrogena and Sonia Kashuk are good options. I'm even considering a BB cream. HELP?

Rimmel Stay Matter Powder
?? I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. Women rave about it on YouTube. I have another one that I'm finishing off since I did buy it BOGO 50% at Ulta..
?? Maybe it is just summer and I tend to get oilier, but this did not make my face "Stay Matte." 

L'Oreal Revitalift Moisturizer
<3 I love this moisturizer. It's a bit greasy, but it does make my skin feel soft. With added anti-aging elements, it's a plus! 

E Y E S :
Maybelline Falsies Volume Mascara
<3 This is my staple and I love it. I will most definitely continue to repurchase.

Maybelline Line Stilleto
<3 I first tried this liner a few years ago and I didn't like it. I assume I got a bad batch because it dried up really fast. 
<3 I rediscovered this product on New Year's Eve 2013 when I forgot my liner at home. I was going to a friend's home to get ready. I stopped by a CVS. This liner was on sale and I thought, WHY NOT?
<3 It was amazing!! New found love for this product. I am on my third one since New Year's Eve!

NYC Eye Pencil
<3 I used to buy these so often for my brows. I haven't really been using pencil lately. I bought a new one after I finished this one, but haven't used it since. There's nothing wrong with it. I just found a new routine (e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit)

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser, Brightener
</3 Oh this is awful. It had a pink undertone which does not work well with me at all. This product did nothing for me. I love the neutralizer from this line and will stick to that. 

And that's a wrap! I know my pictures aren't the greatest. I'm trying to figure out what camera will work best. I shall see :)

L I P S :

Maybelline Baby Lips
</3 This didn't leave a long lasting moisturizing feel. It always felt like I had product on my lips even after one swipe across my lips. I would apply before I went to bed and still feel it in the morning. It was just sitting on my lips. Gross!
</3 I bought this at Ulta BOGO 50% off so I have another one I am looking forward to using up so I can return to my holy grail of chapsticks: Soft Lips. Oh Soft Lips, I'm sorry I left you a minute or two. My bad, my bad.
</3 The only things I do like about this balm are the scent and light tint it adds to your lips


Friday, August 1, 2014

RIP Sigma F80

Essential Kit - Mr. Bunny

Case that comes with kit

Kabuki F80
(photo credit for all pictures above:

Nearly two years ago, I purchased my first real set of high end brushes from...dun dun dun...SIGMA - one of the most (if not THE most) talked about makeup brushes on YouTube. 

And I understand why! I love my Sigma brushes. They're sturdy. They're dense. They're soft. They're whatever they're meant to be. They're amazing and I love them.

My most used brush, the Sigma F80 Flatop Kabuki, was an additional purchase as it did not come with the set. I used the F80 to buff in my tinted moisturizer and foundation (when I actually wear foundation). I also use it to blend my concealer underneath my eyes.

This brush is nearing its deathbed. 

This big ol' chunk plopped right out. Days before this came out, I noticed a few random brush hairs on my face whenever I used it. Then eventually, a good chunk just stood up high and marched on out...well, not literally, but it was donezo! 

Is this normal?? Have any of my Sigma users experienced the same thing?

I am definitely saddened by the near death of my brush, but the show must go on! I'm not ready to let go of my brush. The remaining hairs are looser of course as a chunk of it is gone. However, I continue to use it until its final day...or until I get myself to an Ulta or Sephora. LOL.

I've been hearing good things about Real Techniques and Japonesque.

Decisions decisions...


Product Fail: Sally Hansen Color Foil

In my previous haul blog, I raved about the Sally Hansen Color Foil nail polish. I wrote about how I didn't understand why it received such poor reviews online...then the next day, it all became too clear. My nails were chipped!

Some of you may not think that's too bad. This picture was taken Wednesday morning. I did my nails late Monday night. My nails do NOT chip this fast...ever! Even when I use cheaper 99cents nail polish. 

Reviews online said that nails chipped the next day. I have to agree. I had the nails on for one full day only. This is sad. If you've seen a few of my previous blog posts, you would know that I am a nails fiend and love doing my nails.

This polish retails for $8 - $9. I can't believe a nail polish as expensive as this did not last me more than a day. Rite Aid offered 40% this nail polish when I purchased it. Had I paid the full price, I probably would have returned it.

It even cleans off funky too. Haha. Gross. It looks like brassy funk.

The foil finish is beautiful, but I really don't think it's worth buying at that price. I suppose it's great if you do it the day of a special event. It does dry fast, but still...the total wear time. No way, Jose!

Have you tried the polish? Please tell me your story!