Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Fizzbutter Bath Bombs

Fizzbutter Haul
In general, I prefer showers over baths because they're so much faster.  But it's been cold and I've been a little stressed out at work so I thought taking baths might be good for the soul.  I've mainly been using Lush bath products but wanted to find a cheaper alternative.  Enter Fizzbutter.  At $3.69 per bath bomb, they are half the price of Lush.  Shipping was $4 and everything arrived in a really big box stuffed with packing peanuts so none of the bombs were cracked or broken. 

I ordered the following scents:
  • Lullaby - a relaxing lavender scent
  • Mango Coconut
  • Theirry Mugler Angel type
  • Honey Ginger Champagne
  • Lush Jasmine
  • Calm Bomb - a refreshing floral
Size comparison L-R:  Lush Honey Lumps (6.3 oz), Fizzbutter Lullaby (8 oz) and Lush Cinders (3.1 oz)
Compared to Lush bombs, most of the Fizzbutter ones are larger at 8 oz.  Some people cut them in half but I'm too lazy to do that so I throw the whole thing in the tub.  They are denser than Lush bombs and sink straight to the bottom.  Not sure if this is good or bad.  The first one I used was the "Lush Jasmine" scent.  It fizzed well, smelled lovely and turned the water a very light purple.  The scent didn't really linger on my skin for very long but I am fine with that since I use scented lotions and body sprays. 

The Fizzbutter bombs are highly moisturizing.  You can see a layer of oil on top of the water.  People with oily skin may not like this but I have dry skin so I looove it.  I still use a moisturizer afterwards but if you have normal to oily skin, you may not need to.

The one thing that I like about Lush is that their bombs come in a wider variety of scents and shapes. Some even come with confetti and glitter although I don't really care for that since it's a pain to clean up.  Overall though, I recommend Fizzbutter and would purchase from them again.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with this company.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Bathing Garden (Etsy) Sugar Scrub Review

The Bathing Garden Creamy Sugar Scrubs
Lately I've been discovering some really great Etsy soap vendors.  One of my favorite vendors for sugar scrubs is The Bathing Garden.  Unfortunately the shop is temporarily closed for a few weeks but it should reopen some time in mid-December or later.

I love the consistency of these scrubs. They do not separate in the container where the oil sits on top of the sugar. This is more of a creamy sugar scrub with medium exfoliation. The sugar crystals are fine. If you are looking for a more abrasive scrub, this is not for you!  The scrub emulsifies in the shower and moisturizes the skin without leaving a sticky film.

Parisian Strawberry Fields layered scrub (pink and light green)
What I also like about The Bathing Garden scrubs is that they are beautifully scented.  The shop offers a wide variety of interesting scents depending on the season.  These are the scents I currently own:

  1. Parisian Strawberry Fields - scented like a fresh sugared strawberry, yum.
  2. Pirate Punch - scented similar to Pina Colada, tropical and fruity.  I love tropical scents.
  3. Merlia the Mermaid - this is a scent layered scrub.  The first layer is pineapple buttercream and the second layer is pink sugar cherry coconut cupcake.
  4. Guava Berry Gelato - scented like it's name, creamy and fruity.
  5. Faerie Bonfire - an amazing fall scent.  Smells like marshmallows and a campfire to me. Description also says there's sandlewood.  Divine.
I store these in the fridge until I am ready to use them.  The 4 oz scrubs are $5.25 USD and the 8 oz scrubs are $8.50 USD if I remember correctly.  These are very reasonably priced although shipping can get expensive on Etsy. But The Bathing Garden includes one free full-sized item with each purchase!  If you are looking to purchase a new sugar scrub, I highly recommend these.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with this company.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lush Christmas 2012 Haul No. 1

Lush Christmas 2012 Haul No. 1
I am excited about all of Lush's Christmas stuff!  My first shipment came in last week.  I ordered on-line because the stores weren't carrying any of the Christmas items yet.  Also, I wanted to purchase some on-line only Retro items.  Here's what I got:

  1. Twilight Bath Gel (8.4 oz) - love the smell of lavender so I have high hopes for this
  2. Snow Fairy (8.4 oz) - the best-selling cotton candy scented pink gel now has a new label
  3. Sexy Boy Massage Bar (2) - this is a retro item and I wanted to try it because it sounds so good, a chocolate-y lime scent!  This is bigger than I thought it would be, doesn't fit into any of the tins.
  4. Snow Globe Soap
  5. North Pole Soap - I'm excited about this one, it's supposed to be similar to Candy Cane Soap
  6. Snow Cake Soap - smells like almond icing, mmmmm.  I have the hand cream in Smitten which has the same scent.  It's subtle, not like Laura Mercier's almond scented bath products (of which I am also a fan)
  7. Snuggle Body Butter - I haven't tried this yet but I like body butters so we'll see. This one is for use at bed time. It's supposed to dry to a powdery finish which is intriguing.  
I have two more shipments of Christmas items coming.  The problem is that some items sell out quickly and are restocked at different times.  I have an order of only Bath Bombs and Bath Melts coming as well as an order of Buche de Noel facial cleanser which was sold out for a while.  I am finished with Herbalism and wanted to give Buche de Noel a try in the winter months.  I'll post those hauls as well as some reviews when I use these items.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with this company.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lush Halloween 2012 Haul - Pumpkin Soap and Calacas Shower Jelly

Lush Haul - Halloween 2012
I missed out on some of the Lush limited edition Halloween stuff since I checked on-line too late but I was able to find a few items at my local store.  I called around and it seems like most of the stores in Los Angeles are carrying the same 4 items:  Calacas Shower Jelly, Pumpkin Soap, Twilight Bath Gel and the Enchanter Bath Bomb.  I purchased the Pumpkin Soap and Calacas Shower Jelly.

The Pumpkin Soap smells delicious and the scent is perfect for the fall.  Smells a little bit like pumpkin pie filling but not as sweet.  It suds well and the scent does not linger on the skin.  I prefer this because while I love the smell of pumpkin during the fall, I don't necessarily want to walk around smelling like one.  I bought three of these, 2 for me and 1 to give to a friend.

I was a little hesitant about purchasing the Calacas Shower Jelly because shower jellies in general look like a lot of work.  I've read that some reviewers chop them up and then put a little on the loofah.  Some pinch off a piece and then work it up into a lather.  Others say that a lot of it ends up wasted since it can be messy to work with.  However, this jelly comes in a smaller size and the Lush associate did a demo where she just used it like a bar of soap.  She plopped the whole thing into her hand and then rubbed it around her arm.  Suds up a little bit.  This smells like those generic lime lollipops with clear plastic wrappers.  I love that one side looks like a skull in celebration of Dia De Los Muertos:

Love Lush!  I already placed an order for some of the Christmas 2012 limited edition items.  They are stocking more and more stuff each day.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with this company.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Review: My Beauty Diary Aloe Sheet Mask

My Beauty Diary Aloe Sheet Mask
If you've read my blog before then you know I'm currently obsessed with Asian beauty products.  I am loving sheet masks.  I recently tried My Beauty Diary's Aloe Mask which I purchased from for about $14 (1 box with 10 pieces).  My Beauty Diary has dozens of masks from which to choose.  I picked this one because I didn't want anything whitening but I believe "Black Pearl" is the most popular formula.  For reference, I have normal/combination skin with occasional breakouts and I'm in my 30s.  The aloe mask is targeted towards people with "normal skin, especially recommended for dry and damaged skin."

Here's the directions from the package (also printed below picture):

In case you can't read that, it says:  1) Unfold mask, 2) Fit gently over face, 3) Let mask rest on your face for 20 -30 minutes, 4) Remove mask and massage any remaining serum with your fingertips to ensure that it is absorbed.  Do not rinse off.

The sheet itself is like a thin piece of cotton soaked in serum.  There are holes for your eyes, mouth, etc.  To me, it felt soothing and moisturizing although I didn't think it did anything miraculous like erase fine lines or make acne disappear overnight.  The serum is like a lightweight thin watery gel.  Some mask serums are stickier than others but I found this one to have a nice consistency.  It easily massages into my skin after I remove the sheet from my face but I do have to wipe off the excess with a towel.  I've used it a few times and it doesn't make me break out.  The reason I like sheet masks is because I like to pamper myself every once in a while and this is an inexpensive way to do that.  I pop one on after I wash my face and just sit back and relax with a celebrity gossip magazine.

Would I purchase this again?  Maybe, but there are so many other formulas that I would rather try a few more and decide which one I like best.  Other formulas include:  Red Vine Wine, Sake Yeast, Strawberry Yogurt, Mexico Cactus, Bulgarian White Rose, and the list goes on.  If you have a favorite My Beauty Diary Mask, let me know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Makeup Vanity and Storage - IKEA, Muji and Ott-Lite

I live in an apartment so space is somewhat limited.  I used to store all my makeup in the bathroom but I read that this can be bad for makeup because of the humidity and heat from showers.  Plus, my bathroom counter was starting to look really cluttered and I missed the extra space.  I was planning to buy a small vanity for my bedroom but my brother is moving and he gave me his small IKEA table (similar here) with matching chair.  I took a look at it and decided why not.  Hey, it's free!

So, my bathroom used to look like this (yes, my complex was built in the 60s, hence the "retro" cabinets):

Before - very cluttered.  Train case is from Sephora.
After setting this up in a corner of my bedroom, my makeup storage and space now looks like this:

After - much more organized and bathroom counter is not cluttered
In order to turn the table into a makeshift vanity, I ordered another Muji storage unit and an Ott-Lite mirror.  The storage units are great and much cheaper than the designer acrylic cases used by Kim Kardashian.  I think each of the Muji units were $27.  The Ott-Lite can retail for $100 but I found it on for $60.  The brush holder is also from and the lipstick display case was a gift from a friend.  I believe it's Bobbi Brown but it's about 10 years old.

The Ott-Lite mirror is going to take a little while to get used to.  I read several reviews that said it provided the most natural light.  I think it's bright!  I am also not used to doing my makeup in a mirror where I can see so much detail due to the light and the ability to move it so close to my face.  Since I'm in my 30s, I really could do without seeing everything.  Kidding (mostly), it's fantastic!  I realized I was not blending my foundation as well as I thought.  I can also pluck every stray little hair on my eyebrows since the other side of the mirror flips to 5x magnification.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the outcome and I am glad my makeup has a new home...away from bathroom steam.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Benefit One Hot Minute Powder on NC30

Benefit One Hot Minute
I'm a sucker for cute packaging and Benefit has some fun products.  A few months ago I decided to purchase One Hot Minute because I had read somewhere (a blog? a magazine article?) that it makes a good bronzer.  Plus, the packaging is so cute!  On a whim, I added it to my cart when I was buying some household stuff on

The loose powder comes in a vintage looking round tin with a mini fan brush.  The tin is messy because you can't precisely control how much powder comes out of those little holes, especially if it tips over in a makeup bag.  So I pretty much never bring this product with me when I travel.

Now for some swatches:

Can you see the swatch? If not see below.
See, very subtle!
As for the shade, it is definitely not a bronzer on me (NC30 in MAC Studiofix Powder Foundation).  Maybe on an NC15/NW15 or lighter this would work as a bronzer.  On my skin tone, this adds more of a nice glow.  Benefit markets this product as a "rose-gold" luminizer so it does its job.  It's a sheer rosy nude color with shimmer.  The shimmer is subtle, no big glitter particles here.  I use a Smashbox fan brush to apply this powder pretty much all over my face.  I don't know if this would work for deeper skin tones since it is so subtle on me.  Overall I like this product and I will continue to use it but I probably won't repurchase.  I really wasn't looking for a luminizing powder.  I should have read more reviews before I purchased this. Ha!

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review: Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in Warm Golden on NC30

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in 320 Warm Golden
I was never a fan of drugstore foundations...until now.  I read all the rave reviews about Revlon's Colorstay Whipped Foundation and decided I must try it.  I was running out of my usual Makeup Forever HD Foundation anyway.  So I headed to Target and came home with the color 320 Warm Golden.  I read a ton of reviews before I made my purchase.  It's impossible to see what color you are getting because the glass container is so thick that every color looks similar. 
320 Warm Golden
Swatch of 320 Warm Golden 
This full-coverage foundation has a nice semi-matte finish and leaves my skin looking flawless.  It hides imperfections like minor hyperpigmention pretty well.  The shade 320 Warm Golden is a good match for my NC30 skin tone although I wish it were a little bit more yellow.  The texture is like Cool Whip.  I have to be careful about the application because I layered too much once and my face looked and felt very cakey.  I find the easiest way to apply it is with my fingers and it blends nicely.  I have normal/combination skin and the formula lasts all day (that I am awake and wearing makeup).  The packaging says it's 24-hour coverage but I don't know about that.

When I wear this foundation I first apply a layer of Eucerin's Daily Protection Moisturizer in SPF 30.  After that, I dip a mini spatula or Qtip in the foundation pot and apply little dots over my face.  Then I use my fingers to blend.  Viola!  Flawless skin.  I don't use any powder to set it although I do blot during the afternoon to control slight shine on my t-zone.  I use Clean and Clear Blotting Sheets or Maybelline's Dream Matte Pressed Powder in Medium Sand.

Overall, this was a great purchase for $11.99!  Give it a try!

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of these companies.  Although all of my links are for Target, you can purchase these products at other retailers such as CVS, Rite Aid and

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Smoky Look and Pink Rose

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Pink Rose (top) and Smoky Look
A lot of the YouTube beauty gurus mention NYX Cosmetics and I believe it's supposed to be a drugstore brand.  However, I've never found it at any of the drugstores in my area (San Fernando Valley, CA).  I purchased these two Mega Shine Lip glosses on-line at for $5.50 each.  Ulta carries NYX too.

There's a wide variety of colors to choose from and I picked two:  Smoky Look and Pink Rose.  Smoky Look is a nude pinky-beige with subtle shimmer and Pink Rose is a vivid pink with a lot of shimmer.  While these glosses are not opaque, they give my lips a nice wash of color.  I was impressed by the quality. They are not sticky or tacky but they do provide a high shine.  This is in contrast to my Guerlain Kiss Kiss gloss which is also shiny but much more sticky.  The NYX gloss is not a long wearing formula so like many lip glosses, I have to reapply often if I want to have color on my lips all day.

L to R:  Pink Rose and Smokey Look

The cap of the lip gloss wand has cute little bows!
The one thing that I am not too sure about is the flavor.  The glosses have a strong fake cherry flavor that is very artificial.  On the one hand, I'd rather have a lip gloss taste like fake fruits instead of chemicals.  But on the other hand, the flavor reminds me of cherry flavored Nyquil.  Overall all though, I would repurchase this lip gloss and I want to try other colors.  I definitely think they are worth $5.50.

Disclaimer:  I'm not affiliated with any of these companies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Light and Milky Lotion

L to R:  Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion Light and Milky Lotion
I became intrigued by Hada Labo products after I read that in Japan, one bottle of the lotion sells every 4 seconds.  The first time I went looking for it at a local Asian beauty supply store, I bought the wrong one. The original "lotion" is actually a liquid, sort of like a toner.  I bought the milky lotion instead.  I went back a few days later to get the liquid lotion in the light formula.

I do like the liquid lotion although to me it seems more like a toner.  Hyaluronic acid is supposed to deeply moisturize the skin.  I ended up purchasing the light version because while I have normal/combination skin, my tee-zone becomes pretty oily in the summer.  I pour a little of the clear lotion on my hands and then splash it on my face.  It feels light and soothing.  It does moisturize my skin and it feels just right during the hot summer months.  I generally use this at night or on days when I won't be wearing a lot of makeup.

As for the milky lotion, I am not a big fan.  It leaves my skin feeling oily and sticky.  That may be because I don't really need the extra moisture in the summer.  Maybe it will be better in the winter when my skin is much drier.  I have been applying a thin layer over the liquid lotion.

What I do like about both products is that they are unscented.  A lot of Asian beauty products are heavily scented compared to the products I regularly use.  I paid $14 for the original lotion and $18 for the milky lotion.  You can find these products at and

Monday, September 17, 2012

OOTD: 9/15/12 Comedy Club

OOTD:  Sat, 9/15/2012
Sorry for the wonky lighting and shadows.  I wore this outfit to a comedy club.

Top:  Rebecca Taylor - I love this blouse, especially the sleeves.

Layering tank:  C &  C California - I think they make the best layering tanks.  They're thin and long.

Jeans:  J Brand 901 Jeggings in Seal [color no longer available but similar here]

Shoes:  Stuart Weitzman Minx

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bath and Body Works Fall 2012 Slatkin Candle Haul and Storage

Candle Storage
When Bath and Body Works recently had their 2 for 20 candle deal, I went a little bit nuts.  I bought five 3-wick candles.  My justification for this was that they were only $7 each with a coupon - and they smell so delicious!  Now I regret not buying more.  Next time, I have my eye on Pumpkin Cupcake, Cranberry Woods, Cider Lane, and Salty Caramel.  During my most recent haul, I purchased:  Frosted Cupcake, Leaves, French Baguette, Cafe Au Lait and Cinnamon Sugared Donuts.

My favorite fall scent from BBW is their signature scent, Leaves (it doesn't really smell like leaves).  So amazing!  For me, it captures the scent of the season.  Leaves is described as, "a rich blend of golden nectar, red apples and berries."  It's a little bit spicy, which I love.  I smell apples and spices.

Right now I am burning Cafe Au Lait which smells yummy.  It doesn't smell like coffee, which is what I thought it would smell like.  It smells more like a cafe/bakery with some chocolaty notes...almost like tiramisu. Throw is great and wicks haven't had any problems. 

I'm also burning Coconut Water since it's still very warm in California and thus, season appropriate for me.  It's a mild creamy coconut scent with a light throw.  The wicks on this candle suck.  I do have to mess with it a bit to keep it burning evenly. 

I store my candles and fragrance oils in a buffet in the small dining area of my apartment.  They are kept in a cool dark place.  These new ones won't be kept in storage for long!  I can't wait to burn them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

OOTD: 9/9/2012 Lunch with Friends

Outfit of the Day:  Sat, Sept 9
I wore this outfit to grab lunch with friends at a local Indian restaurant down the street from my apartment.  I forgot I owned that skirt!  I'm trying not to buy any new clothes for a while so I have been rummaging through my overflowing closet to find items I've neglected.

Tank:  J Crew

Skirt:  Free People "Cantina" Wrap Skirt

Sandals:  Dolce Vita

Bracelets:  Kenneth Jay Lane and unknown brand

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top 5 Scents/Fragrances

L to R:  Iris Noble, Child, Creme Bouquet, Monyette Paris and La Chasse Aux Papillons
I love perfume but I often forget to wear it.  In high school I wore Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers or Estee Lauder Beautiful.  My taste has changed and over the years I have collected a few fragrances.  These are my top five picks in no particular order:
  1.  Acqua di Parma Iris Noble [packaging has been revamped] - claims that "Iris Nobile strikes the perfect balance between the elegance of a classic floral bouquet and modern, refined notes like Mandarin from Sicily, cedar flower, vanilla from Madagascar, and ambrette crystals."  A nice light citrus-y Spring/Summer scent.
  2. Child - I have been wearing this for about a decade and it's probably my signature scent. describes this scent as having the following top notes: vanilla, lilac, and faint magnolia.  Heart notes are jasmine, tuberose and violet with base notes of creme musk, rose, and mimosa.
  3. Stila Creme Bouquet [packaging has been revamped but this old bottle is cuter!] - claims this scent "sparkles in notes of sweet vanilla entwined with rare lily of the valley and sensual pink lilac essences."  This smells soft and powdery sweet.
  4. Monyette Paris [packaging has been revamped] - describes this perfume as "creamy and luscious, this bewitching scent combines voluptuous gardenia and island vanilla orchid, a sweet earthy vanilla." A creamy floral that smells divine. 
  5. L'Artisan Parfumeur - La Chasse Aux Papillons - I have also been wearing this scent for years.  A lovely feminine Spring/Summer floral scent.  According to, these are the top notes:  linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, and tuberose.   
  6. Honorable mention [not pictured]:  A good friend gave me a limited edition Jo Malone Gift Set with 6 fragrances to wear alone or layered.  My favorite from the set is Orange Blossom.  I also love Pomegranate Noir.
What are your top 5 scents?  

Monday, September 10, 2012

CVS Drugstore/Pharmacy Haul

CVS Drugstore Cosmetics Haul
I went to CVS Pharmacy last week and they were having a sale so I picked up a few things.  I will provide the links below.  Looks like they are having another sale on-line too:
  1. Essence of Beauty Swabs - bought these for fixing eye makeup messes, so much more precise than regular Qtips
  2. Milani Nail Polish in Pink Flare - dupe of OPI's Teenage Dream which has been discontinued
  3. EOS Strawberry Sorbet Lip Balm [similar here] - been wanting this for a while
  4. Maybelline Volume Express One-On-One Mascara in Very Black - recommended by a beauty guru so I thought I'd give it a try.  I love a good mascara!
  5. Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze - wanted to see how this compares to MAC's Paint Pots
  6. Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer - I flat iron my fluffy hair almost everyday.  Right now I'm using Redken's Iron Silk Heat Spray and I like it but there's a lot of alcohol in it.
On a side note, I never used to pay much attention to drugstore cosmetics (although I do buy a lot of skincare from the drugstore).  However, lately I've been finding some real gems!  Like Revlon's Colorstay Whipped Foundation, but more on that later.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of these companies.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lipgloss Collection in Muji Storage

I used to be obsessed with lipgloss.  I had more lipgloss tubes than I could count and I carried no less than 5 of them in my purse at a time.  I have since mellowed out a little bit because I noticed all of my lipglosses were the same shimmery nude shade.  Right now, this is what my lipgloss collection looks like:

My lipgloss collection in Muji acrylic storage
 Products left to right:
  1. MAC Pro Longwear Luscious/Mirror
  2. MAC Pro Longwear Boss Brown/Mirror
  3. Candy Doll in Peach Orange
  4. Candy Doll in Strawberry Milk
  5. Nars Turkish Delight
  6. Guerlain Beige Caprice 845 [color discontinued]
  7. Korres Nude 33 [shade may have been renamed]
  8. Korres Beige 30 [shade may have been renamed]
  9. Boots Botanics in Mallow
  10. Laura Mercier Mini in Sparkling [link is for full-sized versions, mini came in a set]
  11. MAC Liplustre Love Nectar
  12. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balms in Crush, Smitten and Honey
  13. Small glosses at top:  extra MAC Pro Longwear gloss in Mirror and 2 Laura Mercier mini-glosses in Baby Doll and Rose
Makeup Storage Unit:  Muji

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of these brands.

Review: Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub

Available for $12 at Bath and Body Works (BBW)
This was a gift from my mom.  She likes beauty products almost as much as I do so when she goes shopping, she sometimes buys me thoughtful little gifts.  I was excited to see this scrub because I had my eye on something similar called One Minute Manicure.

Bath and Body Works Hand Scrub

The sugar and oil scrub is a bit messy.  It was leaking when I received it so the oils had gotten all over other things.  I was a little afraid it would leave a greasy residue on my hands as well.  But it didn't!  To use it, I basically scooped up a generous amount with my hand and scrubbed both hands for 60 seconds.  The sugar grains are exfoliating and the oils feel moisturizing.  The scent is fruity and sweet.  I was surprised that the product rinses off really well!  While my hands do feel exfoliated, they weren't particularly moisturized.  I felt the need to use lotion afterwards.  

Overall, I do like the product.  It's an easy way to exfoliate my dry hands.  You can purchase this for $12 at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lush Mini-Haul: Smitten, Gumback Express and The Strokes

Retro Lush!  Please excuse the messy lids.  Looks like some of the products leaked during shipment.
I recently placed an on-line order for three Retro Lush items: 
  1. Smitten - a handcream scented like their famous Snowcake soap.  The handcream itself is great - rich and moisturizing.  But the scent was not what I expected.  I don't know what Snowcake smells like so I had to go based on the description on the website (almond icing).  I was expecting something rich and decadent, sort of like Laura Mercier's Almond Coconut.  This scent is very light and almost artifical smelling.  It smells nice enough but it's not my fave.
  2. Gumback Express - a banana-nut shower smoothie.  I know some people hate bananas but I like the scent!  If this smells like banana cream pie, then I'll be happy.  I haven't used it yet so I am storing it in my fridge.  I am finishing up a tub of Creamed Almond Coconut.
  3. The Strokes - a rich hair treatment for frizzy hair.  I have poofy hair and I will try anything that claims to make it look sleek and tamed.  This conditioner has really high ratings so I wanted to try it.  The only thing is that the description of the scent scares me.  It's supposed to smell like beer...which I don't really want to smell like.  So we'll see.  This is also being stored in my fridge for a later date.
You can buy all the products I mentioned on the Lush website:

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with Lush.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Favorites: Trader Joe's Strawberry Ice Cream Made With Coconut Milk

Trader Joe's Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream
So I'm a little bit obsessed with coconut stuff.  I love coconut water, coconut oil, coconut lotion, etc.  The other day I picked up this Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream from Trader Joe's.  Yummy!  Very creamy and sort of tropical.  The coconut isn't overpowering to me - strawberry is definitely the main flavor.  Dairy and gluten free.  Also less calories per serving than regular milk ice cream!

Monday, September 3, 2012

OOTD: Labor Day Lunch 9/3/2012

I wore this to grab lunch and beers with some new friends I made around the neighborhood.  Happy Labor Day Weekend to those who live in the U.S.!

Close up of the belt made of vintage leather.  I've had this belt for years and I still love it:

Hollywood Trading Co. Belt

Top:  Joie

Layering tank: C & C California

Shorts:  Current Elliott Roll Up

Belt:  Hollywood Trading Co.

Shoes:  Havianas Slim Light Sand/Gold

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Review: Revlon Whimsical Nailpolish with Sally Hansen Air

Revlon Whimsical layered over Sally Hansen Air (please excuse my dry hands!)

I searched all over the place for Revlon "Whimsical" and I finally found on-line at  After reading previous reviews, I realized it was sheer so I layered it with Sally Hansen's Smooth and Perfect in "Air."  I love the final result!

For this look, I used:

Seche Vite Clear Base Coat
1 coat of Air
1 Coat of Whimsical

You can also buy Whimsical at

Disclaimer:  I'm not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

My Nighttime Skincare Routine - Summer 2012

I mentioned before that I change my skincare routine fairly often.  For reference, I'm in my 30s and I have normal/combination skin with occasional breakouts .  I like to try new things and I have a skincare obsessed BFF and cousin who occasionally suggest products they love.  But for right now, these are the nighttime skincare products I am currently using:

  1. Kose Softymo Super Point Makeup Remover - I use this to remove my makeup, even stubborn waterproof Japanese mascara which I have on rotation.  I put a little of this gel-like lotion on a cotton ball and swipe it over my face.
  2. Lush Herbalism - I take a pea size portion of this cleanser and then mix it with water to turn it into a paste.  After rubbing it on my face in a circular motion, I wash it off.
  3. Sana Hadonomy Collagen Facial Mist - This is a pretty substantial facial mist, thicker than most.  It is refreshing and moisturizing.  I use it at night because I don't think it would be good under makeup. At least not for someone with oily zones.  I spray this directly on my face.  I use about 3 squirts.
  4. Lancome Primordiale Night [Discontinued] - This was a gift from my mom who loves Lancome.  It's a lightweight night cream.  During the winter, I prefer something richer like La Mer. 
  5. Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream - A more heavy duty eye cream.  I like the texture.  Its creamy and rich without being super greasy, although I would not wear this during the day under makeup.
  6. Weleda Everon Lip Balm - A good lip balm, not greasy or glossy.  Has a slight vanilla rose scent.
What are your favorite nighttime skincare products?  I always like to try new things so suggestions welcome!

Friday, August 31, 2012

OOTD: Gastropub 8/31/2012

I wore this to grab a drink at the local gastropub.  I've had that top for months but haven't had the chance to wear it.  I found it at Nordstrom for 40% off!  I probably have about 5 other white eyelet lace tops but I can't resist them.

Close up of blouse and my current favorite necklace - mini sideways cross
TOP:  Rebecca Taylor

LAYERING TANK:  C & C California

JEANS:  Current Elliott "The Bell" in Fuel Fray

SHOES:  Stuart Weitzman "Minx"

NECKLACE:  Dogeared

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review of My Asian BB Creams (NC30): Holika Holika, Canmake, Lioele and Skin79

L to R: Holika Holika Aqua Petit #2, Canmake Perfect Serum #2, Lioele Water Drop, Skin 79 Hot Pink Super+
Having recently become obsessed with Asian BB Creams, I've acquired a small collection.  I have four of them, which seems a bit excessive to me only because I don't think I will use them all before they expire.  I believe liquid makeup stays fresh for only one year after opening the container.

I did a lot of on-line research before I purchased these creams so I am happy to say I really like them all.  Every shade works with my NC30 skin tone and normal/combination skin.  None of them make me break out.  


L to R: Holika Holika #2, Canmake #2, Lioele and Skin79
My ratings:

Highest coverage:  Skin 79 and then Canmake

Longest lasting coverage:  Skin79

Highest SPF:  Canmake with SPF 50! And no greyish cast!

Sheerest:  Holika Holika and then Lioele

Favorite for the weekends:  Lioele because it's easy to apply and it has a natural dewy finish, but if I know I'll be in the sun I use the Canmake because of the high SPF

Favorite for work:  Holika Holika because of the semi-matte photo finish and then the Skin 79 for the coverage

Good for dry skin:  Lioele because of the dewy finish

Good for oily skin:  Probably the Skin 79 although I don't think any of these would be my first choice for very oily skin because even though I have normal/combination skin, I still have to set them all with powder to reduce mid-day shine.

Where to Purchase:

You can buy Canmake, Lioele and Skin79 here:

You can buy Holika Holika, Lioele and Skin79 here:

Other places to buy Asian BB Creams: and
Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of these brands or companies

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

OOTD: Work 8/29/2012

I wore this to work today.  I love the coral flower pattern on the blouse.

Blouse:  Kinder Aggugini (Macy's brand)

Layering tank:  Mossimo (Target)

Black jeans:  AG Jeans "Willow"

Shoes:  Enzo Angiolini "Maylie"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top 5 Skincare Products

My skincare routine is always changing but these 5 items are staples in my bathroom:

  1. Cetaphil - I started using this in my 20s because I read in a magazine that dermatologists recommend it for sensitive/normal skin.  I tried the combination/oily skin version (because I have combination skin) and for some reason, it made me break out.  The original version cleans my face without stripping it of oils.  I've used other drugstore soaps such as Purpose, Neutrogena Deep Cleansing Gel, Biore, etc. and they always left my skin feeling a little bit tight afterwards.  
  2. ROC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream (Retinol) - I wanted to incorporate a retinol skincare product into my routine when I was in my 20s and I started with the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream.  That made me break out.  I tried this ROC version and it works much better for me.  I also like Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Treatment but it's a little harder to find.
  3. Eucerin Everyday Protection SPF 30 - One of my best friends turned me on to this moisturizer.  I use it everyday, even if my foundation or BB Cream has SPF in it.  It doesn't leave a pasty white finish even though it offers good sun protection. 
  4. Origins Spot Remover - Sometimes I get milia around my eyes and the internet told me this helps prevent it.  I need to be more diligent about using this regularly though.
  5. Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream - A richer eye cream for the night.  I don't like crepey looking skin under the eyes so I do what I can to prevent that from happening.  Since this formula is creamy, I don't use it during the day under makeup.  I prefer something more sheer under makeup.
What are your top 5 skincare products?

Monday, August 27, 2012

OOTD: Work 8/20/2012

OOTD:  8/20/2012
I work this to work on August 20th.  I had to give a presentation so I dressed up a little.  I received a lot of compliments on this dress - but that might also be because I rarely wear dresses to work.

Dress:  Club Monaco "Ella"- this dress runs large and without the belt, it looks like a tent

Belt:  Anthropologie

Shoes:  Stuart Weitzman "Minx" - I looooove these shoes!  I checked prices every week until they went on sale.  They are popular because Kate Middleton has them but I always love a good cork wedge. 

Bracelets:  Gorjana

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB vs. Asian BB Cream (Skin79 Hot Pink Super + Triple Function)

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (travel size) and Skin79 Super + BB

If you don't know what BB cream is, click here.

I've been loving all my Asian BB creams, especially my Skin 79 Super +, so my interest was piqued when Maybelline came out with its own version - the Dream Fresh BB.  It has been said that American BB creams are more like glorified tinted moisturizers and in this case, it's true.  I've also included a swatch of my beloved Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for comparison.

For reference, I'm an NC30 and in the Maybelline I purchased shade medium (which may or may not be the perfect color for me, more on that later) while in the Laura Mercier my color is Sand.  The Skin79 BB Cream only comes in one color.


L to R:  Maybelline BB in Medium, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Sand, and Skin79 Super + BB
Swatches Swiped:

L to R:  Maybelline, Laura Mercier, and Skin79
Swatches Blended:

L to R:  Maybelline, Laura Mercier, and Skin79 - see below for more info

Maybelline - this is the lightest and sheerest of the bunch, runnier than the rest but definitely not watery

Laura Mercier - light and sheer but thicker than Maybelline

Skin79 - creamy, heavier than the rest

Color Match

Maybelline - this is a good match because I am tanned right now but I have a feeling it will be too dark for me in the winter.  It is also more neutral than my yellow-based skin tone.  I didn't have a chance to swatch the light/medium so I wonder if it would be a better match.

Laura Mercier - matches perfectly, a Sephora saleslady helped me find the right shade years ago

Skin79 - close enough but not spot on, ever so slightly lighter than my current shade. Will probably be perfect in the winter.  In the photo above, there is a whitish patch on my skin where this BB cream was blended but that's because it had not fully oxidized yet.  When it oxidizes, it matches my skin pretty well.  If you've never tried an Asian BB cream, many of them look greyish when first applied.


Maybelline - very light, definitely need concealer for imperfections and blemishes, but evens out my skin tone, adds a glow

Laura Mercier - light, need concealer for blemishes but evens out my skin tone and covers some minor imperfections, adds a glow

Skin79 - medium, covers minor imperfections well, need concealer for larger blemishes, brightens face, more matte finish


I set all three with powder, either Maybelline Dream Matte or Lioele Loose Powder. The Skin79 lasts the longest throughout the day and offers the most coverage. In fact, all of my Asian BB creams offer more coverage than the Maybelline or Laura Mercier. The Skin79 also appears to be the only one with skin care benefits such as "wrinkle improvement."  But that's not to say that the Maybelline BB is bad, it's not.  In fact, I rather like it for a tinted moisturizer.  It's light, it evens out my complexion and it is affordable.  It's a nice alternative to the Laura Mercier (although I have been using the Laura Mercier for over 8 years now - I don't think I'll be giving it up any time soon).

Have you tried the Maybelline BB?  If so, what do you think?  If you are also an NC30, please let me know if you purchased the light/medium or the medium.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with any of these brands.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Z Palette & Depotting Eyeshadows

My Z Palette
 I decided to depot my MAC eyeshadows because I never use them anymore.  Sorting through all the containers was no fun in the morning.  I like to sleep in so I don't give myself much time to get ready when I get up.  In general, I reach for Urban Decay's Naked Palette because it is so easy and I love all the colors.  However, I have a good sized collection of MAC neutral eyeshadows as well.  I originally intended to buy the MAC palette but it wasn't in stock because they are getting new ones with clear lids.  In the mean time, I decided to google other palettes.  The Z Palette is pretty popular and I like that it is made of sturdy recycled paper so it is more environmentally friendly than the plastic versions.  I also considered the Unii palette but it looked too small.  I did love the design though!  Reminds me of  iPhones.  I ended up with the Z Palette which I purchased through

Let me tell ya, depotting MAC eyeshadows is a pain in the ass.  After the first few, I got the hang of it but I did ruin two eyeshadows when I first started.  There are many YouTube videos that show you how to depot eyeshadows like this one and this one.  I tried the candle method first and did not like it.  It burned the plastic unevenly.  I used my flat iron the next time but I didn't want to wait until the heat burned a hole through the plastic because I thought the heat might ruin the powder.  I waited until the glue melted and tried to pry the pan out with a screwdriver.  Big fail - I ruined two eyeshadows because either the screwdriver slipped or wedging it in between the plastic and the pan caused the pan to become deformed.  So, the lessons I learned are:
  • Using your flat iron is a better way to distribute the heat
  • Let the flat iron melt the plastic until you see a little hole form
  • Use a paperclip or needle to pop out the pan from the plastic
  • Don't touch it right after - the pan is frickin' hot
I haven't had the Z Palette long enough determine whether it will last but I do like the design and the fact that it comes with metal strips since those MAC pans are made out of aluminum (which is a non-magnetic metal).

Neutral Palette - mostly MAC eyeshdaows

Eyeshadows in palette:
  • Square eyeshadows are Shu Uemura.  Taupey brown shimmer = ME Brown 850.  The other two, not sure.  But can I just say that Shu Uemura makes it super duper easy to depot eyeshadows?  There's a hole in the back of their containers and you just stick a paper clips through and they pop right out.  Kudos to you, Shu Uemura. 
  • Big round eyeshadow pans are Stila:  shimmery brown = Golightly, matte dark brown = Java, and pinky peach shimmer, not sure.
  • Smaller round eyeshadows are MAC.  Top row L to R:  Carbon, Club, Smut, Sketch, Woodwinked, Wedge and Brule.  2nd row L to R:  Patina, Camel and Vanilla.  3rd row L to R:  Naked Lunch, Soba and Shroom.  Last row L to R:  All That Glitters, Cork and Retrospeck.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Benefit Erase Paste vs. Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer

A few years ago I was walking by the Benefit makeup counter at Macy's when the makeup artist convinced me to try their Erase Paste.  I don't normally have dark circles although I do get them from time to time if I don't get enough sleep.  She applied the Erase Paste on one side and then handed me a mirror.  Honestly, I couldn't believe it.  I bought it right on the spot ($26 USD).  It really does brighten up the eye area!  I'm on my second pot.

Recently I discovered Skinfood's Salmon Dark Circle Concealer after reading about it on Musing of A Muse's blog.  I wasn't really sure I needed two peachy/salmon concealers but when iMomoko had a Skinfood coupon code, I couldn't resist.  I paid about $9.  If you happen to live in California, there are Skinfood stores popping up around the state.


L to R:  Benefit Erase Paste #2 and Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer #2


L to R:  Skinfood Salmon Concealer #2 and Benefit Erase Paste #2


Benefit - the name "Erase Paste" is fitting.  It is thick like a paste. You don't need a lot and sometimes I forget that and it ends up getting cakey because I put on too much.  It comes with a little spatula to scoop out the product since the pot is small.  So handy!

Skinfood - lighter in texture, thinner and creamier, less "sticky" than the Erase Paste.  Feels moisturizing and doesn't settle into fine lines.

Shade Match (for reference I'm an NC30)

Benefit - I have this in Medium #2.  It is a brightening concealer so it doesn't match my skin per se.  It's peachy to cancel out dark circles.  It does work with my skin tone though and really brightens up my eye area.

Skinfood - I own this in #2.  This is also a salmon colored concealer although it is closer to my actual skin tone (less peach) than the Benefit.  Blends well to match my complexion.


Benefit - this offers full coverage.  Again, you don't need a lot of product since it has a fairly thick consistency.  If you apply too much, it can look cakey. 

Skinfood - medium to full coverage, more buildable than the Erase Paste in my experience.


I love the Skinfood for everyday.  I use it with the Skinfood Eye Brightening Cream.  When I want to really brighten up my eye area for special events (or if I have particularly dark under eye circles), I use the Benefit.  It's not as easy to apply but I like the brightening results.