Thursday, December 30, 2010

Petite Secret Santa Exchange 2010!

I was so happy to be part of a Secret Santa gift exchange this year! It's my first one I've ever been a part of among the blogger rings, and it was a lot of fun sharing this with some of my favorite petite fashion bloggers. The idea was brought up on the Alterations Needed forum which is a great community of petite ladies who love talking about how their new purchases fit. Anyone who is 5'4" or under knows how invaluable this can be!

Jessy of The Little Dust Princess herded the exchange and did a lovely job managing it. Definitely check out her blog, since I've heard people tell me she's like my fashion double. We seem to have the same body type and I can see myself wearing just about everything she owns! She just wears more brogues and I wear more boots. ^_^

My Secret Santa ended up being Megan from the AN forums, who doesn't have a blog but she does hail all the way from Australia. If you follow my twitter you will know that I was totally stumped about a random package from Oregon without a return name and lo and behold, Megan had gotten a friend to send me my gift from the US!

It's the LOFT Petite Metallic Cable Sweater! I had been eyeing this sweater lately since my closet is rather slim on the "cable knit sweater" category of winter-wear this year. It's lovely and so warm!

 LOFT Petite Metallic Cable Sweater size XXS P (non-petite version here)
Victoria's Secret PINK Flannel shirt size XS (similar here and here)
Abercrombie kids grey skinny jeans size 10 (similar size 00 here)

Here is the stock image. Isn't the model so pretty? I pretty much want every item she models. Haha.

Here's a close-up so you can see the little metallic threads woven into the sweater. It's quite shimmery in real life.

I <3 my layers! It's so preppy to put flannel under a cable-knit. I love it!

The sweater is currently on promotion for 50% off so I do recommend snagging it if you can. The sleeves are nice and slim but the torso is loose enough to layer comfortably underneath. The fabric breakdown of the one I received is 16% Cotton, 16% Nylon, 22% Wool, 5% Rabbit Hair, 41% Rayon so it's hand wash only but if you are averse to hand-washing, there is also the exact same version of this sweater in all cotton here at LOFT as well.

For those of you who are curious about what I got my Secret Santa, you can check out Elaine of Curls and Pearls post here. :)

Check out the rest of the participants of this exchange (btw, how cute are their blog names? ^o^):

1. Kelly of Alterations Needed
2. Elaine of Curls and Pearls
3. Kileen of Cute and Little
4. Jean of Extra Petite
5. Elle of Fast Food and Fast Fashion
6. Jess of The Little Dust Princess
7. Sydney of PetiteLG
8. Liane of PetiteXXS
9. Annie of Really Petite
10. Cynthia of Shorty Stories
11. Jess of Style Pint
12. Erin of The Life of Ann James

Thank you so much ladies! I had a fabulous time exchanging presents with ladies who are so tuned into what the others would love or want. It's actually really, really impressive. :D Hope we can do another one next year!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone. Stay safe and have fun at those New Years parties. ^_~

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Love! And Jewelry Payless Giveaway Winners

Just wanted to send out some Christmas love to everyone out in the blog world! I'm sitting here with my family, listening to Christmas songs, eating good lasagna (lol) and brisket, taking hours-long naps, and feeling very blessed. Presents have been given and received, including a very generous donation toward World Vision that my sister-in-law is doing on behalf of our family.

I'm still deciding on what I want to donate. Maybe a goat? Or a duck? Chickens? They are all so cute, not to mention very helpful! (Let me know what I should choose in the comments. ^_^)

I just think it's so cool that you can donate an actual animal to a family in need. ^_^ There are also so many other things that the donation can go toward like job training for sexually exploited women and medical care, one of the most desperately needed things in impoverished areas.

Looking through the catalogue, I was very moved and going into the new year I want to make it a goal to do some fundraising to donate to World Vision. I haven't planned anything yet, it's just been rolling around in my thoughts. This isn't some promotion for the organization or anything, it's just been something pressing upon my heart. I hope that when my idea comes to fruition, we will be able to show others the kind of love and generosity that many of us have been blessed with. Food on the table, warm clothes to wear, clean water to drink, and health. *teary*

Yes, I'm allowed to be emotional on Christmas, right? :)

Anyway, that is for shortly into the future. For now I wanted to announce the giveaway winners for the Jewelry Payless giveaway I've been sitting on for a while.

First place for a $50 toward jewelry is Rinny:

Second place for $30 toward Jewelry Payless is Paige:

I've already sent the winners e-mails so please respond asap! Congratulations and Merry Christmas!

New youtube giveaway will be announced in a couple days for all your <3!

I got my dad-in-law this guy from Target because it reminds me of the dogs. LOL.

Much love, and thank you so much to the One who we remember on this day who has blessed our lives in immeasurable ways. You breathe life, you authored love, and you keep me humble. Thank you. ^_^

Monday, December 20, 2010

Taylor Swift Inspired Holiday Pinup Tutorial

Probably one of the most requested looks that I've gotten in the last couple of months is to do a pinup-style red lipped look, particularly the one that I have as my youtube profile image here. What better time than the holidays to do this type of tutorial? :)

I'm not one who usually wears really bright lipstick on a daily basis but hubby's company holiday party gave me a good excuse to don this really classic makeup look. For this iteration, I pulled inspiration from the always effervescent Taylor Swift. She has done this type of look a few times on the red carpet, including fairly recently at the Academy Country of Music Awards, and seems to really embrace it! I love a good excuse to get all dressed up, so here is my take!

Products mentioned:

Skin79 Super + Hot Pink bb cream
Lioele Help Me Dark Circle Concealer
MAC Blot Powder in Medium Dark
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Palette (Sin for lid, Buck for crease, Gunmetal for lower lash line)
Lioele Real Stick Eyeshadow in White
MAC Shroom eyeshadow
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara
Model 21 lashes in #21
Revlon Matte Luxurious Color Pencil in white
NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil
Rock & Republic blush in Bedroom
NYX lip pencil in Plush Red
NYX Round Lipstick in Eros

Here are some of the images that I used for reference. I really love Taylor's natural cat-eye shape! I think she wears bold makeup so easily and her face can handle a lot of makeup without looking over-the-top.

And here is my finished look. :) The red lips look so orange here but it's the indoor lighting making everything yellow. It's a very bright, true red in real life.

Looking down so you can see the contouring on the eyeshadow.

My best attempt at a Taylor-esque smoldering gaze. LOL.

And some festive holiday silliness. :D I love this cute reindeer ornament! 
He wants to kiss me. :3

This Santa hat is from Victoria's Secret. I bought it last year on super duper sale off-season. I'm sure hubby thought I was ridiculous at the time but come on. I am so justified now! LOL.

Look who's there!

Here are some of my favorite ornaments on our tree this year. Squirrel! =^.^= He also has matching hedgehog and mouse friends.

This is one of hubby's. He really loved legos as a kid (*cough* as a big kid now too) so I thought this one was so sweet.

Cute glittery snowman. Our tree has mostly silver, gold, and blue ornaments on it. :)

And here are a couple just to show a bit more of my outfit at the party. LOVE this dress! It's what you'd call "duochrome" in the makeup or nail polish world, but in fabric. Burgundy undertone that reflects silver which is so much cooler in real life! Not to mention, the size 1 from Asos fits me perfectly. ^_^ The black lace cardigan also fits really, really slim in the arms.

Asos Petite Twisted Velvet Dress size 1 (red here similar here and pretty 3/4 sleeve here)
Lace Cardigan from Target in XS (similar here and love the taupe here)
Chanel purse (similar MJ here and Hello Kitty version here)
Sterling Open Heart Floating Necklace (simlar here and woah gorgeous here)

You can't tell in the pic but I also wore these House of Holland suspender tights underneath. Loooooves! One of my new favorite acquirements. I can't wait to wear them with shorts when the weather isn't so frigid. (And no worries, they looked mostly like regular black tights with this dress. ;)

Whew! That was one heck of a blog entry. I hope this helps out for anyone who still has holiday parties to go to this year! I'm a huge sucker for the glitz and glam, and every girl deserves to have at least 1 red lipstick she feels like a million bucks in. ^_~

Maybe that should be a blog post for another day? Finding the perfect red lipstick? Let me know what you think in the comments!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

26 Facts for my 26th Birthday ^_^

Hey everyone! First of all I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of my bloggy and youtube readers and viewers for being so sweet and supportive through the last year. My 25th year was full of blessings and although there were a few ups and downs, I can truly feel the warmth of love from the blogging community. I also feel like I don't deserve so much support since I'm just a short, nobody Asian girl from the midwest but it's so humbling at the same time to believe that I really do have the love of a whole community behind me who can relate to the silly things I love like "OMG a really cool holographic nailpolish!" and "OMG sparkly eyeliner!" If entusiasm were a sport, then I'm pretty sure we would win Gold medals in the Blogolymics. ^_~

So THANK YOU! I love you!!!

Me right now. So glad I don't look as sick as I am!

I know I don't usually talk about myself and my personal life *too* often but for my birthday, I wanted to share a few facts that you may not know about me. I was tagged for the 7 confessions post similar to this by Jean but instead of just 7, I figured I'd do 26 for my age. If you get bored after reading 3 I totally understand and you can just skip this entry. LOL!

1. I'm highly allergic to pepperoni. I break out in giant welts-like hives all over! It's very intense and bad, not to mention awkward to explain to people ordering pizza. :(


2. My favorite food is ice cream. Current favorite flavor is dulce de leche.

3. On mornings where I'm short on time, I'd rather do makeup over hair although I used to be the opposite.

4. I have one sister who is 2.5 years older than me. If you are reading this, hello seeeeester!

I'm the one in pink with the big mouth. As per usual.

5. I made my senior high school prom dress. It was an ivory strapless with a black lace overlay. Loved it!

6. I was voted artist of the year for my high school graduating class.

7. I didn't wear makeup regularly until I was a junior in college. I knew how, I just didn't want people to judge me for how I looked over who I was as a person. I still don't regret doing this.

8. I have very good visual memory and therefore did very well in Art History classes. Unfortunately, I'm not as great at listening to lectures without any visual aids. Booooring...

Currently reading The Chronicles of Narnia. Like a good nerd.

9. I played violin and piano in the past. I know, so Asian right? XD

10. I'm a total theater junkie! I did drama in junior high and high school and although I never wanted to be a serious actress, it is still very dear to my heart.

11. I also took choir for 9 years. I love singing and I'll never forget my musical theater experiences.

12. My favorite tv shows are Glee, America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, True Blood, and a new favorite is Mad Men. The costumes kill me. I wish everyone still went out looking so put-together!

OMG the shoes!!

13. I have a Bachelor's of Fine arts in Industrial Design. In layman's terms, I'm a trained product designer.

14. I've always had long hair and never cut my longest layers shorter than my armpits. I love having long hair. ^_^

15. My ears were pierced at age 5, and I obtained the two side piercings on my right ear on a trip to Korea at age 21.

16. I would rather be too hot than too cold. I'm always cold!

17. My current beauty obsession is wearing false eyelashes. I wear them every time I wear makeup, even if it's just eyeliner and falsies. :)

18. I won my 6th grade spelling bee and got straight A's until college. What a nerd. ;B

Not me but I'm probably the guy in back checking out her butt.

19. I don't cuss. I don't think twice when others do but it's just not in my vocabulary.

20. I really enjoy salsa clubbing and used to go dancing about once a week in college when I could. You'd be shocked at how great merengue is for toning your abs. XD

21. I've never dyed my hair all over or very light. It's currently about the lightest I've ever gone. Too much maintenance!

22. I know lots of random animal facts (Did you know that cheetahs are the only cats without retractable claws? Or that ringworm can help calm symptoms of really bad allergies? Or that colossal squids have the largest eyeballs of any animal on earth?)

Nom, nom, nom

23. I have a cousin who was born on my birthday. He was supposed to be born on Friday the 13th but waited just a bit longer to be born on my 7th birthday. Cute, right? ^_^

24. My favorite color is white but I also love lavender, pink, and mint green.

25. My special days are multiples of 7: hubby's bday is the 7th, mine is the 14th, and our anniversary is the 21st.

26. Hubby is 14.5" taller than me. We get a lot of stares when we go out but I don't care, I'll still wear flats. lol.

Ok, that's it! I'm going to work on editing that holiday look before the holidays are over. Hehe. Wish me luck. ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Naughty & Nice List 2010

Hello everyone and happy holidays!

Today's post is a bit more holiday-themed, and instead of doing the yearly wrap-up of favorite products that everyone always does, I thought up a little tag that I hope a few more of you blogger ladies participate in! I call this my Naughty & Nice List for 2010.
I found this Santa image on Google. Pretty funny, right?

Everyone knows that Santa Claus has his list of naughty and nice children each year and this year I am playing Santa with my beauty products. You better believe I have a naughty list for sure! Not just a list of things I got bored of and didn't use, but these are explicitly things that I regret ever buying or using. On the flip side, I also want to share with you a few of my Holy Grail products of this year as well. ^_^

I go more in-depth in my video, but here is just a quick recap of my Naughty & Nice list:

Naughty List

1. Korres Hair Mask
Scent was way too strong and manly! Also didn't really hydrate hair much.

 2. Zoya Savita Matte Polish 
Looks so pretty but chipped almost as soon as it was applied.

3. Maybelline Expert Eyes Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover
Thick, greasy formula that gets in eyes and doesn't remove waterproof makeup.

4. Shiseido Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50
Broke me out badly, every time I tried it. :(

5. L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner
Chips off my eyelids quickly, and always makes my false lashes lift.

Nice List

1. Vanicream
Thick enough to heal eczema and dry patches in Winter, with no parabens and doesn't break me out.

2. Rock & Republic Contrived Pressed Blush
Huge size, highly pigmented, finely milled, gorgeous packaging! My favorite, favorite blush!

3. Urban Decay Naked Palette
Lovely neutral, full-sized shadows that are smooth and highly pigmented. I use every color! 

4. Millenia Mud Intensive Hair Reconstructor
This 1/week hair mask really makes my hair healthy & shiny even through the next 2 or 3 shampoos.

5. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Airy Fairy
Light golden-pink that doesn't wash me out.
Every time I wear this (like bra fitting here and Naked Palette tutorial here)
people ask what lipstick I have on. :)

I guess that about wraps it up! I would love, love, love it if you also shared your tag of Naughty & Nice products for 2010 as well, so if you decide to participate then please leave a comment with a link to your blog or video as well! 

I came down with a pretty bad cold a couple days ago (I KNOW sick all the time! And just when I was almost completely well too. T_T) but I have Vitamin D supplements now so hopefully I'll stay well after this. I'll be resting for the next few days so that I can be ok for my birthday dinner with the fams this weekend. Please pray for my throat and nose to not be so naughty. LOL!

Have a great warm and healthy week!

P.S. I did record a Taylor Swift-inspired tutorial for this look so this Holiday look will be up soon, after I edit. ^_^

Sunday, December 5, 2010

HUGE BB Cream Overview, Reviews & Swatches

Hi everyone! So today's blog post is going to cover a topic that is probably one of the most-requested subjects that I get: BB Cream.

To explain quickly, BB Cream or "blemish balm" is sheer foundation-like, multi-functional cosmetic that is purported to be good for your skin. It was initially developed in Germany as a healing cream with coverage properties to help patients who have undergone plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures. The Korean cosmetics industry took that idea and ran with it, creating various different "bb creams" that usually have skin benefits such as SPF, whitening, anti-wrinkle, and nutrients to help improve the health of your skin.

I've entrusted my friend Hannah to help me review 9 different BB Creams to show their effectiveness and shades on varying skintones and skin types. :)

For reference, Jen is MAC foundation shades NC25-30 and combo-oily to normal skin, and Hannah is NW15-NC15 (NC15 is slightly darker than NW15) with eczema and dry skin.

Part 1

Part 2 (this one has some bloopers... ;)

(For those asking, Jen's headband is from Urban Outfitters, necklace is from See Jewelry, and cardigan is from Banana Republic. Hannah's hair was curled using the Remington Air Wave which I did a tutorial on in this blog post. ^_^)

BB Creams reviewed:
Skin79 DermaRX BB Cream
Skin79 Super Plus Triple Functions BB Cream (hot pink)
Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream
BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream No. 23
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream No. 21
BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream
Skinfood Ginko Green BB Cream
Hanskin Super Magic BB Cream

Skin79 DermaRX BB Cream
Consistency: light like tinted moisturizer
Shade: oxidizes to NC30, greyer
Benefits: fades acne scars (contains arbutin), SPF 15, softens skin texture
Oil-control: Medium. I had to powder in summer, in winter I can just wear this alone.
Bottom line: Best I've tried for acne-prone skin. Fades acne scars, but coverage is light so it doesn't fully cover hyperpigmentation.

Skin79 Super Plus Triple Functions BB Cream (hot pink)
Consistency: medium to full
Shade: oxidizes to NC25-30, greyer but oxidizes to match my skin
Benefits: SPF 25 pa++, whitening (contains arbutin), anti-wrinkle
Oil-control: Medium. I had to powder in summer, in winter I can just wear this alone.
Bottom line: One of my favorites. Better coverage than other bb creams and improves skin texture.

Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream
Consistency: full
Shade: NC20-25, yellower
Benefits: moisturizing, good coverage
Oil-control: Low. I had to powder + blot, but good if you like the dewy look.
Bottom line: It was too light for me, but coverage is great. Looks matte in photos after powdering.

BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream (SPF 50 version)
Consistency: medium
Shade: NC20-25 and leans pink
Benefits: SPF 50 pa+++ (SPF 20 also exists), anti-aging, whitening (contains arbutin), gold caviar extract for skin nourishment
Oil-control: Medium
Bottom line: Too light for me in summer when I recorded the video, but will try again soon! Love the texture and it seems to improve skin condition & has crazy high SPF. Good for sensitive skin.

Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream No. 23
Consistency: light to medium
Shade: NC30 and leans grey
Benefits: SPF 42 pa+++, moisturizing, softens skin texture
Oil-control: Low. Fine for dry skin, oily girls will need to blot.
Bottom line: Nice overall skin texture and moisture improvement. Less pore coverage but the color is nice after oxidizing.

Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream No. 21
Consistency: light to medium
Shade: NW15 and leans grey
Benefits: SPF 42 pa+++, moisturizing, softens skin texture
Oil-control: Low. Fine for dry skin, oily girls will need to blot.
Bottom line: Nice overall skin texture and moisture improvement.

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream
Consistency: medium
Shade: NC15 and leans pink
Benefits: SPF 30, wrinkle repair, moisturizing, oil-control, quickly brightens skin
Oil-control: Medium. Formulated for dry, sensitive skin.
Bottom line: Saw drastic skin lightening. Nice overall skin texture improvement and moisture.

Skinfood Ginko Green BB Cream (Shade #1 Bright Skin)
Consistency: medium, feels like light-to-medium foundation
Shade: NC15-20 and leans yellow
Benefits: nourishing with green tea extracts, lecithin and Vitamin B.
Oil-control: Low. Best for normal skin. 
Bottom line: Basically just has sheer coverage. No SPF and no noticeable moisturizing or skin improvement.

Hanskin Super Magic BB Cream
Consistency: medium
Shade: NC20-25 and leans grey
Benefits: SPF 30 pa++, whitening, anti-wrinkle, moisturizing
Oil-control: Medium
Bottom line: Color is very grey! Seems nice but didn't use long enough to see benefits.

And here are the very-important comparison swatches:

On NC30 skin and NC15 skin



As you can see from the swatches, most of these bb's look very grey. Thankfully they tend to blend in better after oxidizing but it's definitely something to keep in mind if you apply it heavily and it looks off at first.

In the Summer, I tend to match Missha M #23 and Skin79 DermaRX best but they do tend to both lean grey/pink at first and are lightweight. For winter at my lightest I will probably go for BRTC Gold Caviar or Hanskin Super Magic. Currently, I've been using Skin79 Hot Pink and it's been working out great. :)

Hannah likes the Missha M #21 a lot and will probably also use the BRTC Jasmine Water more through Winter. She is also going to look for the new Missha color #18 which is supposed to be super fair! We learned about that one from reading the Youtube comments. Speaking of that, there is also a darker tan Missha color #32 that I'm quite curious about since it apparently matches NC35-40 and leans very yellow. Maybe I could mix that with my Missha 23 to make it less grey? Hmmmm...

One last note, I do want to emphasize that BB Creams ARE makeup and you must remove it at the end of the night just like regular foundation. There is a possibility that some BBs can break you out like any other makeup and everyone's body chemistry can react a little bit differently to each one so it's helpful to try samples if you can. I believe they do contain parabens so if you are hesitant about that sort of thing then be sure to watch out for it.

Alright, I hope that was helpful for those of you who are wanting to try out BB Creams but don't know where to start. It sure took a long time to put together! Also, HUGE thank you to Hannah for helping me with these videos and swatches. You reviewed for the first time like a pro! <3

Let me know if you guys have any more questions in the comments and I'll try to answer to the best of my knowledge. I haven't tried any other BB Creams yet but maybe some of you can add your own knowledge there as well, so go ahead and comment about your favorites too. :)

Disclaimer: BRTC BB Creams were provided by a representative of the company. Lioele Beyond the Solution was provided by Skin79 hot pink was provided by Pinky Paradise. All other items mentioned were purchased by ourselves because we are crazy maniacs obsessed with bb creams.

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