Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cali Vlog: Kittens, Bikinis, and IMATS

Finally, I put together all of my random footage from my visit to California last month! It's a bit random and even looking back on the footage, I'm pretty amazed at how busy I was. I think it was a fabulously packed trip and I'm so glad I got to squeeze so much into a short amount of time, not to mention braving LA traffic by myself too. Not bad for a first time visit to the West Coast, right? ;)

I don't want to give away too much for those who will watch the video later, but some of the most amazing visits were:
  • Going to the NYX headquarters (which I will devote a full blog entry to soon)
  • Ann Taylor store opening event at South Coast Plaza (also will have a full blog entry) where I got to meet fellow petite blogger Kelly of Alterations Needed who is actually the same height as me! Hoorah!
  • A video collaboration put together by my dear friend Wendy of Wendy's Lookbook where we got to shoot in a green screen studio with a few other ladies you may recognize including Jean, April, Jackie, and Alexa
  • Visit to Leg Avenue which I forgot to record video at but of course have a full blog on here.
  • IMATS which was a whirlwind! I am waiting to get photos back from Kassia from that part of the trip but again, I will have a full blog entry with delicious photos of lots of eye candy.
  • ACTING! Puahahaha... You get to see me get my heart broken by Jason Chen aka Miniachilles in his new music video "Burns".
"Burns" was juuuuust released on Youtube so if you haven't seen it already, you can check it out below and see how Jason treats me like a jerk. Haha, just kidding! I love you Jason even though you are really horrible sometimes! Not really! Maybe!

Anyway, here are some random pics from my trip starting out with Jason.
Look how tall we are! Super tall! (hehe)

Bowling with Frank (ice1cube), Andy from Quest Crew, and my sister. :) Contrary to what my unfortunate video shows, these two guys are actually really good bowlers and only do badly when they are trying to bowl in "creative" ways like for instance, through the legs, or throwing a 6lbs ball so hard it hits pins in the next lane over. Pros.

My sister and me at Huntington Beach

A hummingbird chillin' on a branch. There were about 4 or 5 of these flying around one tree!

Statue people

Venturing toward the water. I didn't get very far. It was only in the low 70's and the water was COLD!! Curiously, 70's are warm enough to lay by the beach there while 70's here still feels quite chilly at times.

Korean restaurant with my sister. Sighhhhh... she is so spoiled with the best authentic Korean food there!

Brunch at the Grove with Wendy!

At the NYX headquarters. :D
Wearing an older AE seersucker dress and my H&M white blazer.

This was a super low-end restaurant but I'm serious, this "kimchi soba" was the most amazing naengmyun in disguise ever! Very down-home delicious.

With the collab video girls. Such sweeties to the max. <3

Me in the green screen room. This place was wicked. I can't wait to see how things turn out. :)

Like I said before, I still have much, much more to post about a few of the individual places I visited with a lot better photography than what my little snapshot did. Thank you SO much to everyone I met in California! You were all so incredibly gracious and kind and I felt very blessed to make some amazing new friends and get to finally meet in person people who I've watched and respected for a long time. ^__^

Can't wait to go back! Yeah!

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Visit to Leg Avenue

To kick off a little series of blog posts retelling my adventures in California, I wanted to start off by sharing an enchanted visit I had to the Leg Avenue headquarters. (Trust me, it was enchanted, like popping straight into a fairytale!) For those of you know don't know, Leg Avenue is a huge manufacturer of cute and sexy Halloween costumes as well as club wear, hosiery, shoes, and lingerie. It's basically the only costume manufacturer that makes costumes in my size while also being well-proportioned which is FABULOUS.

I was first contacted by Daniel from Leg Avenue last year after I shared my Lion Halloween tutorial with the Youtube world. In that video, I was wearing Leg Avenue's lion costume which I can say without a doubt is one of the most fun and well-fitting costumes I've ever worn in my life. I also wore Leg Avenue costumes for my Princess Jasmine tutorial and Toy Soldier looks as well. He told me that, should I ever find myself in LA, I should stop by and visit and it was just my luck that I found myself at the front steps!

tortoise friend greeted me at the door

First, Daniel showed my sister and I (and Kassia taking the breathtaking pics) around the custom-built warehouse storing every costume imaginable in all sizes and designs. We discussed how they take fit input from all categories like petites, plus sizing, mens, and kids and integrate the feedback into their designs.

Here they box up the orders which go around a crazy conveyor belt system. The headquarters only ships out to sellers, not to individuals, so it was a super interesting behind-the-scenes look at their process. I had the deep and sudden urge to sit atop a box to see where it would go but I held back because I was wearing a dress and I'm a lady.

 Next, he showed us around the office and ended up at the design studio for their in-house designers. Brace yourselves, baby, and take in one of the first things I spotted...

Alexander McQueens! Sitting nonchalantly on the windowsill! *jaw drop* I touched them and the leather was SO soft and the gold studs and skull zippers.... Did I mention they have an entire wall of high end designer shoes? Oh my. :D

 There was eye candy everywhere we looked! Fur, glitter, sequins, satin and lace, hats, racks and racks of costumes....

Catalogs of all of their past work year after year...

Hand-rendering markers in all the colors of the rainbow and everything in between! :D :D :D What I wouldn't have given to have resources like this while in design school!

Here are a few of the designers hard at work. Sooo much visual energy to take in.

One girl's amazing monitor. OMG right? I want one of those plushy monitor covers so bad! Where can you even get stuff like that?! I've never seen anything like it before.  =^__^=

I also got to pick out a few costumes for my upcoming Halloween tutorials this year and mentioned which ones I chose to the designers. When I brought up that a couple only came in size S/M, this kind designer knew it would be way huge on me and started taking a few measurements.

She then had me put on the actual costume and pinned it to fit. By this point I was so speechless! She was soooo generous and kind enough to offer to alter it to custom fit me. My face was like D: and very thankful.

This is me wearing the pinned fox costume. MUCH better than before. Hehe. (You can tell how giddy I am, right? This one was my favorite costume out of the bunch. Ridiculously cute and it's available this year.)

One last group shot with some of the team. These ladies are sooooo so so so talented. It's too bad I can't show you their concept designs (those are confidential ;) but oh my goodness there are oodles of creativity and skill seeping out of every pore of that room!

Thank you SO MUCH to Daniel and the whole Leg Avenue team for letting me experience this amazing space with you! I absolutely cannot wait for the holidays this year to share with everyone the fruits of your love and hard work. <3

One last pic. Oh this? It's just me between two sexy ladies and some legs coming out of the wall. Just a typical Monday.

I hope you guys enjoyed coming along with me on my behind-the-scenes look at a really fun company. ^_^ I know I had a blast and I will never forget it! To browse Leg Avenue costumes, you can visit their site here or visit their Facebook page. I know they plan on doing costume how-tos (like how to properly fluff your fox tail...hehe) so it may be a good idea to check in again before Halloween.

Readers, have any of you worn any Leg Avenue costumes before? Let me know what you've tried in the comments!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hyuna Bubble Pop Inspired Tutorial

Happy heat-infused week everyone! Today I have a super fun Kpop-inspired look for you. This is honestly one of the most requested looks I've ever had and after watching the video about oh, 5 or 20 times I decided I should go ahead and do the look for you. ^_~

Products used:
Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box (Underground, Honey)
Urban Decay Naked Palette (Darkhorse, Virgin, Half Baked, Smog)
NYX Lash curler (my other 2 faves here and here)
NYX Mosaic Powder in 01 Highlighter
Lioele Crystal Muse Lipstick in Juicy Orange 

Here is the original music video by Hyuna of the Kpop group 4 Minute. She's the sassy rapper and this is her sassy sassiness sassing it up in hurrrr. With bubbles. And pops. Lots of pops.

Here are some screen shots of Hyuna's looks in the video that I took. As you can see, there are a few variations to her makeup but they are all versions of the same brown on top/gold on bottom look with black-lined eyes and glowing skin.

This is the look that I was copying the most, her "smokey" version of the look. You can clicky for larger pics. :)

And here are my pics of this look. For those wondering, yes I have gotten quite a bit more tan while laying out on Huntington Beach, which is really quite appropriate for Hyuna's current bronze goddess look! I actually think it's really refreshing to see a Kpop idol rocking the tan since everyone in Asia seems to be so obsessed with having light skin 98% of the time. 

I, for one, think that you can be beautiful at any skin color and I just go with whatever my skin color feels like being. Skin health far is more important than shade, so wear daily sunscreen (even if you are naturally tan) and be proud of who you are just as you are. ^_^

Pretending to be baller like I am in front of a Hummer instead of my apartment wall. Bam.

Closer shot of the eyeshadow shading. Face glow. Matte lips.

OAnd then I got inspired with all the hair flippity-flippage and whipped my hair back and forth a la Willow Smith. How did I get my camera to focus? Magic, luck, and unicorns probably.

And just because I'm having too much fun creating gifs here is a practically film-like snippet of sweet hair-flying action. I was dizzy after being "creative" but boy was it worth it.

Ok seriously, who tried flipping their hair around (or thought about it) after reading this blog post? Be honest. XD

Hope you enjoyed and for those of you waiting for the Nana monolid tutorial, NO WORRIES! That will be my next Kpop look for sure! ;)

Oh and before I forget, you asked and I upgraded: Pretty & Cute's coupon code is now valid for ALL Korean products, not just Lioele. Use code KLOVE10 for 10% off all Korean products! :D Until next time~

Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links included in this post. Lioele items provided by Pretty & Cute. Josie Maran palette provided by the company. Some of the NYX products were gifted and some I bought. Everything else I purchased myself. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag?

Hi everyone! So I am still coming back down to Earth from the wave of travel and excitement that ensued during my California trip, so hopefully you won't get sick of the upcoming loads of Cali stuff that I still have yet to blog.

Taking a step back into the travelling world, here's another post for you lovely creepsters who want to know what stuff I carry with me in my travel cosmetics bag. ;)

Products mentioned:
Harajuku Lovers Cosmetic Bag (similar here, here, and here)
Josie Maran My Favorite Powders Palette (Josie Maran Eye Love You Palette)
Stila Barbie Palette (similar here and here)
Animal Contact Lens Case
MAC Blot Powder in Medium Dark
Eyeko Graffiti Eyeliner
Urban Decay 24/7 pencils in Yeyo, Lucky, Zero, and Whiskey
Shu Uemura Lash Curler
FAIRYDROPS mascaras (Scandal Queen, waterproof)
Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler
Lioele Artist Auto Eyebrow Pencil
Lioele Princess Mirror
NYX Mosaic Powder in Highlighter 01
MAC blush in Spaced Out
Dior Addict High Shine Lipstick in Backstage Pink (Dior Dior Addict Lipsticks)
Lioele Blooming Gloss in Lovely Two-Way
Blistex Silk & Shine
Eve Pearl Travel Eyebrow Trimmer (similar here, here, and here)
Urban Decay Primer Potion (tube, mini set)
Dolly Wink Eyelash Case
Kiss Premium Eyelash Adhesive
Rohto Lubricant Eyedrops
MAC Select Coverup Concealer in NC30
Mini Josie Maran Argan Oil
Atomizer from Nordstrom (D&G 3 L'Imperatrice)
Purell Hand Sanitizer

So I do want to mention a few things that I forgot to include in my video. First of all, the brushes I brought with me are the Makeup Show brushes that I mentioned in my June Hits & Misses. Since they had their own travel case, they weren't inside my travel cosmetics pouch.

Second, I did have a few more liquidy things that I had in an in-suitcase bag like my sunscreen, lotion, shampoo & conditioner, etc. For these, I took travel sized items or I depotted them into travel containers. Although you can take larger amounts than 3oz of liquid in checked luggage, it seriously helps for staying under the 50lbs luggage weight limit that most airlines have.

image from the TSA website

Third, I did keep my plastic quart bag separate from my cosmetics pouch but they both went into my carry-on bag. When you go through security you will need to have your clear quart ziplock bag out and in the security bin whereas the cosmetics pouch with non-liquids can stay in your carry-on.

Example items to put in the clear quart baggie:
- lipgloss
- hand sanitizer
- serum/lotion
- contact lens solution
- toothpaste
- eyedrops
- liquid foundation/concealer
- contact lenses
- perfume
- liquid eyeliner
- liquid eyeshadow/foundation primers
- eyelash glue

For me, when there was a question of if something was liquid or not, I went ahead and put it in the clear bag. Better to be safe than stopped, right? Plus, I actually had plenty of space left over in my clear quart bag.

I hope that was helpful for those of you who plan on travelling soon! I know that for me, packing took a lot longer than I thought it would so I'll definitely be better prepared for my next trip.

To wrap up, I want to share a little fun fact: I have yet to be scanned/patted at any airport thus far. All of my flight companions are never so lucky. It may be because I travel in leggings and a t-shirt so I don't have much to hide, but I like to think it's because of my undeniable charm when I wink at the security man/woman.

Just kidding, it's totally because I'm so intimidating they wouldn't dare ask.

Yeah, that's it.

Disclaimer: There are some affiliate links included in this post. Josie Maran items provided by the company's PR. Lioele provided by Pretty & Cute. FAIRYDROPS Scandal Queen mascara and Kiss Lash Adhesive provided by the company's PR. All reviews are 100% my honest opinion. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette Review & Swatches

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share with you an incredible palette that I recently received from the AMAZING people at Urban Decay. Stop the presses guys, this one is serious.

I'm talking about the brand new 15th Anniversary Palette from Urban Decay!

See my video review below:

Why is it so jaw-dropping? First of all, the 15 shades are all brand new colors. You collectors know that UD has a pesky habit of recycling at least a couple of colors in their "Book of Shadows" palettes but this one is all new. To my eyes, each shadow is the same size as the shadows in the Naked palette (my swatches here) as well, with the same creamy, highly pigmented shadow formula which is similar to their Deluxe shadows (my swatches here).

Here is the gorgeous packaging. The sides of the cover have laser-cut filligree detailing and the reflective, jeweled case definitely gets fingerprints but the smudges go holographic, I'm not even kidding. Even the smudges are pretty. O_o Underneath the cover is also a full-sized mirror.

In the bottom right corner of the photo below you can see a little hole which you can use a pencil to pop the tray of shadows up from, revealing a velvet-covered storage compartment for secret goodies. When you've used up the shadows you still have a cute UD jewelry box. ^_^

Inside are 15 shadows: 

Midnight Rodeo - metallic medium brown w/ silver & gold glitter 
Tainted - pinky-lavender with golden shimmer
Deeper - deep shimmery golden brown aka "perfect crease color"
Midnight 15 - oyster pearl with very fine silver glitter
Junkshow - bright pink with fuchsia duochrome
M.I.A. - satiny dark brown, cooler than Deeper
Vanilla - shimmery white gold
Omen - glowy medium purple with blue duochrome
Ace - dark gunmetal shimmer
Flow - soft peach shimmer
Evidence - deep glowy blue
Blackout - saturated matte black
Chase - metallic tan
Deep End - bright satiny teal
Half Truth - greyish purple satin

And swatches on my swatching canvas:

Midnight Rodeo / Tainted / Deeper / Midnight 15 / Junkshow / M.I.A. / Vanilla / Omen

Omen / Ace / Flow / Evidence / Blackout / Chase / Deep End / Half Truth

Flow / Evidence / Blackout / Chase / Deep End / Half Truth

Swatching arm is a happy arm!

So these swatches were done on bare skin with NO PRIMER! Other than Evidence (dark blue) which needed 2 swipes to get "pan color" bright, these were all buttery, creamy, pigmented glories and had wonderful color payoff. I would star my favorites but I'd literally be starring 80% of the colors. Stupid good.

As I said in my video, the best thing about this palette isn't that the colors can't be duped, it's that it has every shade I'd want to wear on a daily basis from basic neutrals to a few select brights that I can still easily integrate into my daily looks. It has the versatility of making me completely neglect my other shadows for at least a good long while because the only colors I'd maybe grab for outside of the ones in this palette are a good mossy green a la MAC Humid or a deeper duochrome purple like NYX Purple.

Don't you know I called it in the video? This palette has already sold out on the Urban Decay website after being released today. I don't think the insanity will be as bad as the Naked palette since they won't have manufacturing problems with the liners/brushes but seriously, I have a feeling things are still gonna get ridiculous... ;)

If you missed out this morning, don't worry. The palette will still be sold at Sephora, Ulta, and select Macy's locations as well as,,,, and

Eyeshadow lovers, are you still breathing?



Disclaimer: Urban Decay sent me this palette for consideration. Still in disbelief about that. ;D All my reviews, as always, are 100% my honest opinion!

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