Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lipstick Haul: LAC + Lip Tattoo + Swatches

Happy Tuesday everyone!

While shopping for my birthday outfit at Love Culture, I stumbled by the makeup section right by the register. Strategically smart placement I must say.

I saw LA Colors lipsticks and the Lip Tattoo craze that has been spreading like wild fire on YouTube. For $2/piece, I thought I'd give it a go...isn't that how we always justify our purchases?? LOL


I am sorry I do not know the color of this. I tried looking for it all over the packaging but found nothing. From the tube, the color looks like it's going to be a nice nude mauve. I thought this was going to be my every day go to. 
The pictures of my lips do not capture the salmon/peach undertones of the color as it does on the arm swatch. It reminds me of Wet N Wild's Bare It All but a lot more peach.
This lipstick is matte and it definitely goes on matte. It was dry and dragged my lips during application. Not a fun time. 

I was initially thought I picked up all matte colors from LAC and when I saw that this was a cream finish, I was a little bummed. However, this turned out to be my favorite of the bunch. This color is what I would consider a light plum. Since it was a cream, I did have to layer the swatch multiple times to get an opaque finish.
Because it was a cream lipstick, it did apply on very smoothly and was moisturizing.
This is something I would be able to wear to work without feeling like I am drawing attention to myself - something to note when working in a formal workplace where bold lipstick is not typically the norm.

This color is definitely a darker berry. I tend to gravitate towards these colors which leads me to having multiple colors of the same thing just in different brands. 
The color is comparable to Wet N Wild's Sugar Plum Fairy, NYX's Aria, and MAC's rebel. 
The formula is matte and also went on really dry on the lips, drier than the first salmon peach one. This was my least favorite because it applied really patchy no matter how hard I tried to fix it. The more I fixed it, the more patchy and uneven it became. I ended up blotting onto a napkin which helped even it out a bit.

I was really excited when I came across the product at Love Culture. I choose the one of the darkest colors because I figured the color payoff would be greater than a lighter color. I've seen peach and pink colors demonstrated on YouTube that only added a slight tint. 
I was pretty surprised with how pigmented and bright this tint was. I was not expecting a bright lip and probably would have preferred a more muted plum. Unlike the YouTube videos I''ve seen, this product did not taste bad. It did get on my teeth but I tasted nothing. It smells really good too, like grape candy.
After I peeled off the product, my lips felt really dry and so I applied Vaseline. I worried that the Vaseline would wipe off some of the product, but it didn't. 
The stain lasted for a good while. It did get blotchy after dinner. I had a steak dinner that night celebrating my boyfriend's birthday which took off some of the product. It did look strange as the center of my lower lip was pretty much gone in patches. There would be no easy way to touch up this product in public. This seems more like a product for fun or maybe just a quick trip out where you don't eat. LOL. Other than that, it was pretty cool and I would use it again. I would just have another lipstick to use for when it starts to fade.

Far right: Wet swatch, just applied

Top: Product is dry

Far right: Stained

Even my fingers were stained

Top: Stain as is
Bottom: Vaseline over stain

With fierce makeup wipe removing

Then using a makeup remover with fierce rubbing action

Difficult to remove stain from finger

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I have not done a lip swatch post in a long time. I forgot how fun (and time consuming, LOL) it is. I enjoyed it nonetheless :)


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

30th Birthday Diaries: Balayage Hair

Hi everyone!

I am writing this post on 5/22 but by the time this post gets published, it will be one day after my birthday. 

Two weeks before my birthday, I got my hair done. I did something that was, for me, out of my comfort zone, but for most people who dye their hair, a normal thing.

For those of you who know (or don't know), my typical hair color style is peekaboo in which only the bottom layers (or middle layers - whatever is not on top) is colored as in this post as well. I love this coloring technique because it is low maintenance. If my hair grows out and the roots show, you can't really tell because it's all underneath. This allowed me to do my hair 2x/year. Depending how you style your hair, the peekaboo colors come out and beautifully peeks through your hair.

I have never dyed the top layers of my hair due to fear of roots and maintaining it. Let's be real. That's expensive and on my social worker budget, maintenance is the least of my worries.

I initially wanted to go blonde but was not quite brave enough. My hair is jet black, as black as black can be. Going from black to blonde was too dramatic. I couldn't. I decided to do a balayage and gradually work my way to lightness that I am comfortable with. This experience was a little nerve-wrecking because I never dyed the top of my hair. If you don't like the bottom peekaboo layers, it's okay. You can't really see it unless you do your hair a certain way.

Now enough of the chit chat, let's get on to pictures:



My hair has since lightened since then which the hairdresser did tell me about. 

My hair is so much lighter two weeks later 

I'm contemplating going lighter for my next appointment. We shall see :D

Here's to being 30 and to trying new things :)


Thursday, May 19, 2016

30th Birthday Diaries: Birthday Preview + Celebrity Sighting

Happy Thursday everyone!

Today is 5/19! The countdown has already begun for my 30th birthday on 5/23!! Dun dun dun!!

In the past few years, I've been slacking on the preparation department for birthdays - buying gifts, buying cards, buying outfits.This year was no different.

But it should have been! It's the big 3 - O ! The big dirty thirty, thirsty thirty, flirty thirty and thriving!

I started shopping for my birthday dress the week before my birthday party on 5/21. I know, it's awful.

Some people may be opposed to this but I was going for the Kim K inspired look.




Say what you want about Kim Kardashian but the woman is beautiful when she's all dolled up and she can dress well too! I love her style. It's elegant, sophisticated, conservative, classy, yet sexy. 

I wanted that to be my attire theme for my 30th birthday so I was on the hunt for it. Now, I know I don't have her body, but still. I wanted to fell elegant, sophisticated, classy, yet sexy all in one! If I'm feeling it, that's all that matters!

Here's a day in the life of my crazy shopping day...a little preview of the "big" day:

Nordstrom Rack
At first, I was having no success in finding a Kim K dress. Who knew it was so hard to find? I begun to settle on this dress, but changed my mind. Then I decided to give it one more shot and cruise the mall again just in case I missed something.

Forever 21
This was the first dress I found that was in at least the same vicinity as a Kim K dress...maybe, kinda sorta? After searching far and wide of what was around me, this was my best bet. With a statement piece necklace and pumps, this dress can go from drab to fab. I also planned on wearing a long boho cardigan with it towards the end of the night. I love my boho vibes.

Love Culture
This was a more elegant dress than the Forever 21 one. It was just a bit too long which is an easy fix.

Love Culture
Then I found this dress!!! I don't have the curves that Kim K does, but I love the elegance of it. It's classic. Again, with a statement piece necklace and pumps, this dress would be so beautiful!

LA Colors and Lip Tattoo
While waiting in line, I came across these bad boys, only about $2/piece. I've been wanting to try the lip tattoo so I'm excited to come across it. I'll do a swatch post later on. 

After my shopping extravaganza, I went back to work. Around 3pm, I asked a colleague if she wanted to go with me get Starbucks. And so we did. As we were walking, we walked by Taraji Henson! I LOOOOOOOVE her. We passed by her twice. The second time, we were on the sidewalk. We were standing next to each other. When it was time to cross, we were right next to each. She almost tripped stepping down and shrieked. I shrieked with her because I'm jumpy like that. LOL.

This isn't the best photo, but we didn't want to be totally creepy. And I must say, I LOVE her outfit.
And yes, my colleague and I did have to go that way. LOL.

It's almost my birthday! My 30th birthday!!! 



Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Sayings: Make It Happen

Happy Monday everyone!

I wanted to share the following with you all. I hope you find it empowering and a reminder that we are in charge of our lives. 

I believe in fate, but I also believe that we can control our destiny. Fate just gives us the option [and courage] to do so.

One of my most favorite quotes comes from the 1998 movie Can't Hardly Wait: 
"Fate. There is fate but it only takes you so far because once you're there, it's up to you to make it happen"

There are a lot of things in life that we cannot control, but there are several things we can control. 

Believe in yourself. Know your self-worth. Love yourself. Make it happen.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Maybelline Better Skin Concealer Review

Hi everyone!

I am late on the game with this one, but I like to finish products before trying new ones so I had to wait. Whomp.

I finally got my hands on the Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Concealer in the shade light/medium. I have heard such great things about the  concealer in terms of coverage and lasting power that I had to give it a go. This is a product I planned to use under my eyes to conceal the slight shade of dark circles and add brightness.

My typical go to under eye concealer is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in the shade Neutralizer. I like how it lightens up my under eye section while canceling out the darkness. So when I finished this product, I was excited to try the Better Skin Concealer.

My thoughts on the Better Skin Concealer?

+ Great consistency
+ Easy to blend
+ Long lasting
+ Adds an even color to my skin
+ Matches my skin tone perfectly

- Maybe the color matches my skin tone too perfectly because I do not get a highlighting effect that the Age Rewind gives me
- Does not cancel out the dark circles as much as I'd like

Better Skin in Light/Medium
No brightness under the eye, but does provide even skin tone

Age Rewind in Neutralizer
Adds brightness under my eyes

I do wonder how the Better Skin will work in covering blemishes since it blends so well with my skin. Recently, I've been breaking out right under my left nostril. Really random. LOL. I'll try the concealer over there next time.

I contemplate trying the shade Light in Better Skin, but part of my just wants to stick to what I know when I finish this tube. I really miss my Age Rewind!

Would I buy the Better Skin concealer again? Perhaps, I'm not sure. Maybe I'll get the shade Light if it's on sale. If the Light/Medium shade works well on blemishes, the Better Skin concealer may be a keeper. 

For now, it's fine. Not blown away, but it's good.  


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Save the Date: Put on Purple for Lupus

Hello everyone!

There is so much going on this month that I nearly forgot to mention that May is Lupus Awareness Month! Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself causing patients to get all kinds of sick - kidney problems, joint problems, hair loss, respiratory problems, etc. The disease does not discriminate and affects all patients differently from mild symptoms to severe. 

For those of you that don't know, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus in July 2010. If you'd like to read my story, please click here.

Six years later, I am doing well, though my labs aren't super super great, I do the best I can and hope for the best. All I can do, I suppose.

Every year in May, there is a "Put on Purple for Lupus" day. May 20th is the designated day and purple is the designated color for Lupus awareness. This works out great because I love purple! LOL. So how lucky am I?!

So, if you can, or know of anyone with Lupus, please participate in putting on purple in support of Lupus Awareness. 

And take a moment to read my past post on "Put on Purple for Lupus" where I explain more about why putting on purple can start a revolution in Lupus world.

One little step can cause a ripple effect of massive change.

I hope you can remember to Put on Purple for Lupus on May 20th. 

(credit: www.mdjunction.com)


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Nighttime Skin Care Routine : May 2016

Hello everyone,

My skin routine is pretty simple. I'm not too picky with the products that I use. As long as they are affordable, anti-aging, and anti-acne I am good! :)

The title says May 2016, but this has actually been my skin care routine for quite some time with a few added products.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Hydrating Facial Cleanser
This is my everyday face wash. I'm not too stuck on the different kinds of face wash by this brand. Sometimes I get the blue one, the orange, the yellow. It doesn't really matter to me. The one I happen to have in my bathroom right now is this hydrating facial cleanser.

Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Regenerating Cream Cleanser
I use this product about twice a week, typically on days when I hit the gym the hardest. I love it because I feel that it cleanses my face in a way my hands cannot. The bristles really get whatever dirt or residue is still on my face.

Neutrogena Triple-Action Toner
This is my last step to ensure all residue is off my face. I also use this for the salicylic acid to prevent pimples or dry out pimples I may have. Can't live without a toner!

Olay Age Defying Moisturizer
Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion (sample)
Olay Profession Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex (sample)
Vaseline Lip Therapy
My face gets really dry after a face wash and even more dry after applying toner. I always have to apply moisturizer. I got this Olay moisturizer on sale and decided to give it a try.
I put the Murad product on the lines by my mouth. As I get older, the lines become more prominent :(
I finish off the with the Olay eye cream on the corner of my eyes as well as under my eyes.
My lips also get really dry after washing my face (or in general) and I need a lip balm. I recently tried a different flavor of my favorite Soft Lips and my lips broke out into bumps. I went to urgent care who recommended I just use Vaseline.

I hope you found this interesting. I always enjoy seeing and learning what other people use. It's so interesting that we each have our own routines ;)

Until next time :)


Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Sayings: Key to Success

Happy Monday, everyone!!

Now, I know what you're thinking....is it really "happy"??? Hehe. We're alive, we're breathing, we have the ability to read this blog post. We are quite privileged ;) Let's be thankful it is a new day even if it is a Monday >_<

I just wanted to share a few sayings I've come across that I believe - besides hard work, of course - is key to success.

It's a tough world out there. Always be poised, kind, professional, and forever be classy.

Have a beautiful Monday!