Thursday, December 31, 2009

From Head To Toe Beauty Favorites of 2009 and Thanks

Hey everyone! I hope you have all had a charming and memorable 2009. I have a lot of memories that I'll be keeping with me from this year.

I had my first wedding anniversary, my first Christmas tree (it's a baby tree I got the day after Christmas from Target), the first year I've become a Sephora VIB (omg my bank account!), my first DSLR camera (Canon XSI, yay for pretty pictures), and I exceeded 1 million hits as well as 1,000+ blog followers! Never thought that was possible. ^O^ I also received so much support from my readers and won the Holiday Vlogger competition sponsored by The Body Shop.

There are so many incredible things that happened that I never thought could be possible when I started this blog and I have everything to thank to my loyal readers. Shoutout to those Soompiers who supported me from day 1!! Honestly, I am overwhelmed and humbled thinking in retrospect of the past year and through all of the hardships that my family and I endured, that I would still have such an outpouring of love and support coming from my friends here on this crazy online world. You don't even realize how much this has brought me through some of the tough spots in my life.

-gonna get a little emo here so if you'd like to skip this, feel free- ;)

I felt so scared to open up the first time on blog. People have been so judgmental in the past and I had every intention to keep this blog to a less-personal level that was informative and a tool where others could learn what little I knew and where I could learn boundless more from everyone else. When I got to a point where I felt like my voice needed to be heard, I was seriously bowled over at the compassion that met me at the other end.

I fully expected to be ripped to shreds. Who cares what this chick thinks? She wears eyelid tape so she must be fake! BURN HER AT THE STAKE! Little did I realize how much my silly little makeup tricks may have actually helped someone to actually feel good, pretty, NORMAL. I feel like I grew up in a society that never taught me how to apply makeup and to figure out for yourself why you aren't tall, blonde, and with clear skin and double eyelids. I just want to let everyone know that it's okay. You aren't a teenager forever. The bad skin can be cleared, and you know what? Single lids are beautiful. Double lids are beautiful. You can have a choice to be who you want to be! I may not be 5'8", but I can walk with my head held high being me, and feeling good about making the best of what I've got for ME.

I've always said, my mantra is to use beauty to project the good inside, not as a mask to hide insecurities. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful and genuine at the same time. I just hope that for 2010 I can make more people feel that way. That's my New Years resolution. ^^

-now, back to your regularly scheduled programming-

So I've had a lot of requests to share my top beauty products of 2009, so for a final huzzah of the year, here we go from head to toe:

Favorite Shampoo and Conditioner: Essential Rich Premier Shampoo and Conditioner
Super inexpensive from and smells SO GOOD! Like fruity-floral. Plus, it makes hair silky and soft.

Favorite Leave-in Treatment: Biosilk Silk Therapy
I apply to wet hair from the ears down and hair becomes much softer and easier to manage.

Favorite Facewash: Re-10 Wash
I know this one is prescription so it's not easy to get a hold of, but it's gentle and doesn't dry my skin out. It's generic so only $10 and one large bottle lasts me all year.

Favorite Face Lotion: Dove Deep Moisture Facial Lotion
Contains spf 15, doesn't break out my sensitive skin, and prevents winter skin flakies. Love!

Favorite Eyeshadow: NYX Single Eyeshadows
Inexpensive and super pigmented. I own like 1564654 of them. A few of my favorite colors include White, Black, Almond, Flamingo, Morocco, Purple, Kiwi, Mermaid Green, and Cream Cheese

Favorite Eyeliner: MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Cream liner. Basic matte black. Can give a liquid or pencil look and it lasts all day. Totally an HG forever.

Favorite Mascara: Covergirl Lash Exact Waterproof
Holds curl, doesn't clump, defines, and lengthens lashes. Great for a clean, fluttery lash look.

Favorite Eyeshadow Primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion
Just the best for normal to oily lids. Eyeshadow stays PERFECT even through a nap!

Favorite Double-Eyelid product: Wonder Eyelid Tape (Extra type, new packaging)
I've been wearing it nearly everyday! The most natural option of any tape or glue I've tried and it still works even with makeup. ^^ LOVE it so much!
Loved it so much I contacted the company in Japan to try to make it available to others too! Newly in stock, so e-mail me at if you are interested in purchasing. I'll post about it officially soon. :D

Favorite Blush: Rock & Republic Contrived Pressed Blush in Call Me
In the same vein as Nars Orgasm but more pigmented. Gorgeous peachy-pink with a golden glow.

Favorite Foundation: Everyday Minerals foundation in Intensive - mix of (buff) Fairly Light Neutral and (olive) Golden Medium depending on the season.
Doesn't break out my skin and feels like I'm not wearing any foundation. Great everyday makeup.

Favorite Concealer: Lancome Photôgenic Concealer in Camée
I know this is getting phased out but it's still my favorite! Oil-free, spf 15, and lasts all day on hyperpigmentation spots left from acne.

Favorite Lip Balm: Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm
Goes on lips easily like petroleum jelly but smells awesome and makes super soft lips!

Favorite Lipstick: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte
It's just the best, creamiest, most opaque, prettiest-packaged, yummy-smelling lipstick in the world.

Favorite Lipgloss: A tie between Dior Creme De Gloss (opaque gloss in Creamy Gold) and MAC Dazzleglass (sparkly gloss in Funtabulous)
Creme De Gloss is moisturizing and creamy with lipstick opaqueness, and Dazzleglasses are just show stoppers for ultra glittery lips.

Favorite Body Wash: Dove Cream Oil Body Wash in Cherry Blossom & Almond scent
Love the scent, very moisturizing, and inexpensive!

Favorite Perfume: D&G 3 L'Imperatrice
Absolutely, bar-none, my favorite perfume and first perfume that I consider to be my signature scent. LOVE. It smells pretty, fruity, floral, fresh, sexy, almost like strawberry rhubarb pie mixed with awesome but not TOO sweet, sugary, or floral. XD

Favorite Nailpolish: China Glaze
I have lots of colors but my favorite brand is China Glaze

Favorite Topcoat: Seche Vite
I learned it's pronounced sesh-veet! Amazing stuff. Apply thickly, promptly after your polish is applied before the polish is completely dried. In about a minute, the polish should be dry, shiny, and good to go!

Favorite Beauty Tools:
Eyelash Curler - Shiseido

Heated Eyelash Curler - Panasonic

Brush set - Sonia Kashuk Hidden Treasures

Eyeshadow Brush - Coastal Scents Italian Badger Round Crease Brush

Face Brush - Clarisonic Mia

Shower Brush - Bath & Body Works Back Brush

WHEW! That was so much stuff. If I left something out, it might be because I don't really have an HG (holy grail) item for that category but feel free to ask away about my other beauty favorites that you'd like to know about in the comments. Also, if you are super passionate about something then give me your suggestion for your HG product since, of course, I love to try new things. ^o^

Much love, health, and happiness for 2010!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Nail Art Tutorial and Nail Swatches

Hi everyone! I was going to post my Christmas nail art but then I looked at my log of pics and I guess I have lots of nails to post. >.< Oops. I guess that happens when you change your nail polish every week and don't post it for a while so I'm just going to post a whole lot of nail stuff.

I'll start out with the nails I wore for Christmas week. I was inspired by pretty wrapping paper. I love the fancy kind with metallic printed on solid colors so I wanted to emulate that on my nails.

Here is the final product:

And here's the process:

Base color is China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise. Apply top coat to protect the base from Konad flubs.

Next, I used plate m65 to stamp China Glaze Passion onto each nail except the ring finger.

Then I stamped a present box and lollipop on each ring finger from plate m14, and a bow on each thumb from m71 (unpictured) using Sally Hansen Chrome polish in Pink Pearl.

Next I used a red Migi Nail Art pen to color the bows. (The red is too translucent to show on its own over the turquoise polish but it pops when layered.) I also added nail art crystals to the bows using Seche Vite, and a coat over each nail to seal the design.

After the final top coat has dried, go back with a q-tip soaked in polish remover to clean up the excess polish that stamped onto the skin. It's best to wait until you are completely finished so that you don't mess up the design by accident. And you are done! ^^

Just because I'm already posting nail stuff, here are a few more swatches of polishes I've worn lately.

Zoya Trixie
Didn't think this would look stellar on my skin but I ended up looooooooooving it! It reminds me of foil. Very reflective silver. I can't wait to try Konading with this.

Zoya Anaka
Really pretty glowy magenta. Fairly typical but pretty nonetheless. Sorry about the tip wear, this was after a couple days of wearing.

Zoya Savita
I was going to redo this and swatch it when it was fresh, but I was so disappointed that I had to show you the chipping. This was only after one day of wear. ONE DAY. It starts to peel off in chunks almost immediately. This was totally different than my Zoya Posh experience which lasted 3-4 days fine! Pretty color, but really disappointing wear.

Rimmel 615 Night Before
Oh man, this one is gorgeous. It's a deep purple base with pink pearlescence. Here is both without flash and with, to show you the range of colors this polish gets. Really pretty in any light.

And I did some nail art with it. Konaded a hearts tip pattern in China Glaze Passion and used gold glitter at the tips with Cover Girl Pink Twinkle as a top coat to add some sparkle.

Speaking of sparkle, I also wanted to mention that Hautelook has Kevin Aucoin Beauty on sale now at 60% off. >.< I've been looking for a really nice golden illuminator and I had been eying the Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder but I've heard mixed reviews. When I saw the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder Candlelight on sale for only $16.80 (orig $42) I looked up makeup alley reviews and WOW people are just raving about this stuff!

I can't wait to try it out! If people think it's worth it for $42 and still raving, then it must be fantastic at $21.75 shipped!

If you aren't already signed up for Hautelook, here is my invite link:
note: invite links do give credit after the invitee's first purchse, but I only post when I see items I actually want to purchase too. ^^

Ok, Hannah just got into town so I'm off to be productive. Haha!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Meeeeeeeeeeerrrryyy Christmas!!! :D :D :D

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and holiday season! I know the East coast got a ton of snow a week or two ago but MAN we really got hit hard on Christmas day. It really was a white Christmas. I had so much fun spending time with my family and actually got snowed in overnight with hubs' family. The roads were just ridiculous for a while because the snow got so thick. I literally saw 7 abandoned cars on various streets while going to hubs's parents' to my aunt's and back. Like just covered in snow, abandoned because they got stuck somewhere. I wanted to take pics but the roads were too dangerous for us to slow enough for pics. :P

Hehe, I guess safety comes first. WHATEVER.

So anyway, I wanted to share some pics that I've taken over the last few days. Just a warning, there are tons. I'm still getting used to my cam so please be kind as I'm no skilled photographer. ^^

I'll start off with an obligatory sel-ca (self cam) shot. Gotta wear that sparkly for the holidays! The sequin tank is part of my recent Forever 21 haul. :D Just went super laid back and natural for makeup this year.

Here is my car's mascot, a chilly-looking bumble bee Mashimaro.

Some yummy hot cocoa made from scratch

Some of my favorite decorations:

This was a surprise Christmas pressy I got for hubs. We call him Jingle Bear and he is the best ebay-bought bear puppet ever. He is constantly squinting and grimacing and is a joyful addition to the family. Jingle Bear is wearing my earmuffs to keep his ears warm (in case you were wondering why).

Cute light-up moose at the in-laws'

All of the cute puppies at the in-laws' house!




And sister-in-law's beautiful girl, Davey, with her nose in the snow

God's own beautiful Christmas decorations

How ridiculously cool are snowflakes? For those of you who don't often get snow, snow doesn't always fall in these pretty flakes. Most of the time they are just small pellets or chunks. These were perfect conditions for pretty, crystallized snowflakes. ^^

It was snowing SOOO hard!

Decorating snowy cars

Yay, finally home. :D

I hope you all had a lovely holiday this year surrounded by those you love. Please tell me what you did because I'd love to hear about it!

Merry Christmas everyone!

PS- My gift to you this year is some eye candy: my good friend and wedding photographer, Kassia, started a beauty/photography blog so visit, bookmark, and follow her because her work is simply charming and you won't regret it! ;)

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