Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Little Bit of Paris... :)

Hey loves! I am currently typing from my laptop in my hotel room since I am training for a new job in New Jersey (eeks!). I anticipate that updating will be rather difficult during my two weeks out here because the workdays are long, and I'm so exhausted from the travel while still getting over jet lag from Paris! I know I don't mention it much, but sometimes I think I seriously overwork myself. XD

Anyway, I don't want to keep you guys waiting in too much anticipation for my next video (Paris vlog maybe? ;) so I thought I would post a few pics from my photoshoot at my Paris "monument". Twitter followers may have already heard a bit about it, but the Paris trip was for a project with Sigma Beauty who made the brushes I talked about here which I am REALLY excited about, but am not allowed to share quite yet.

I just wanted to say that I am thrilled, honored, humbled, and feel incredibly blessed and unworthy to have gotten the opportunity to go on this trip. I've thought about it so many times in my head and still it seems unreal for my name to have possibly come up amongst such AMAZING people who I really admire not just in makeup skill but as people. (I know, I know, I am so cheesy but I seriously can't help it. I'm still in shock.)

Thank you SO much to Simone & Sigma Beauty and Rasun, as well as xteeener, MakeupByTiffanyD, macNC40, petrilude, xsparkage, and my Paris roomie DulceCandy87, for all the love, laughs, late night talks, and I'm-not-even-kidding-unforgettable memories. <3 (I KNOW! SO CHEESE BUT I SWEAR MY FINGERS, THEY KEEP TYPING!!)

But most of all, I have always thought about you, my supporters, readers, friends, who have always carried me through so many of life's ups and downs... So much more than you will ever know. On days when I just want to give up, I have had so many times where I was moved to tears to read the kindness and camaraderie that you've been so generous to give so that we can all feel like strong, beautiful people at the end of the day. With open arms and a truly grateful heart I want to say thank you.

Ack, I've talked myself emotional. I better hurry and share the pics. ;)

Arc de Triomphe at Champs-Élysées
Paris, France
Credit: Rasun Mehringer



 




Thank you so much for reading/watching and I hope you enjoyed this tiny peek at Paris. I promise, more photos and vlogs to come!

Much love, hugs, kisses, thoughts, and prayers. <3

xoxo


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Twisted Rope Braid Updo

It's been some time since I've done my last hair tutorial, hasn't it? Well ever since I posted my "Would You Rather?" tag video and MAC Turquatic Inspired tutorial I've had a large number of requests for the rope-braided updo that I wore in both posts. It's a look that I've sported a lot this past summer, and I think it would still be really chic to wear this fall with a warm scarf around the neck. :)



Products Used:
Snag-Free Hair Elastics (similar)
Goody Spin Pins (for blondes or mini pins)
LOFT Sequin Flower Pin (similar, similar, similar)

One tip that I find useful with this hairstyle, and most other updos in general, is to work with dirty hair. I know! Some of you might think it's gross, but if you skip a day of washing hair and instead use a dry shampoo (I'm currently using Suave Dry Shampoo which I talked about here) to soak up the oils and give volume, you actually get a ton of texture and the hair really holds the style nicely.

Great for those too-lazy-to-wash-hair days! I know I'm not the only one who gets those, right? ;D


And a view from the back. I can't tell you how much of a lifesaver this hairstyle was during the hot summer days when I didn't want anything touching my neck!


The best part about this hairstyle is that it's easier to do than a traditional 3-strand french braid or dutch braid so it goes much quicker. At the same time, not many people do this type of twisted rope braid so you'll get people asking you how you did it because it looks more complicated than it is! I'm all about the high impact-low effort when it comes to hair. ;)

I hope you guys enjoyed this hair tutorial and let me know in the comments if there are any other hair requests that you have!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mall of America Haul!

Hey guys! A few weeks ago I took a little roadtrip break to Minneapolis, MN which is home to the infamous Mall of America. I'm talking about the largest mall in the US! Literally, there is a Nickelodeon theme park in the middle of this mall, it's so huge. I had lots of fun shopping so I hope you enjoy seeing what I got while I was there too. ^__^


Products mentioned:
Abercrombie Kids pants (Current style is "Audrey")
Forever 21 orange skirt
Forever 21 blush pleated skirt
Forever 21 orange shawl neckline cardigan (similar here and here)
Forever 21 navy chiffon blouse (similar here and here)
Ann Taylor animal pint belt (calfhair here)
Ann Taylor green scarf (similar green here and here)
H&M orange belt (similar here and studded here)
Banana Republic chartreuse lace blouse
Ikea scarf organizer (could also use a tie hanger)
Ikea Alex cabinet

I also forgot to add in my video that I stopped by Nordstrom Rack and picked up a pair of these cute Kate Spade rainboots for about $75 (orig $150)!


I LOVE the bow on the side as well as the small heel and the toe isn't too boxy so it has a nice overall sleek shape in comparison to most rainboots. The rubber is also thinner and more pliable than other rainboots I've tried on which makes them slightly lighter and easier to walk in. If you can find them on sale I'd definitely pick them up!


So what do you think? Should I keep the orange blazer and alter the shoulder pads or return it?

Let me know in the comments if you ever went to the Mall of America and what you thought!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Cameo in Michelle Phan's "Catch My Heart" Video!

Hey everyone! I'm currently enjoying the wonders of France, but I realized that I forgot to post on my blog a really fun experience that I had recently.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a couple days hanging out with Michelle Phan and Joseph Vincent while they shot Michelle's "Catch My Heart" video. If you watch below, there are a few scenes where you can see Michelle, Hannah and me having fun and being friendsies. ^_~

Can you spot us?



Here are a few pics that I snagged from Michelle's site. LOVE these! We look ridiculously happy, right?







Thank you so much Michelle for letting me tag along with you to the festival! I had tons of fun and it's something that I will definitely never forget. Joe, you are hilarious and you are both great balls of awesome to be around. Please also tell Richard thank you SO MUCH x100 for going out of his way for us. :] Love you guys!!! I hope I can see you again soon!!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Updated Skincare Routine!

Hello hello and happy 추석 to all my Korean readers. I hope you are having a lovely Korean Thanksgiving holiday!

Today I would like to share with you a very highly requested video, my updated skincare routine. I checked and it looks like the last time I posted my skincare routine was about 1 year ago so it's about time I refreshed you all with what I've been doing to keep my skin in order.



Products Mentioned:
Re-10 Wash (generic prescription for Ovace wash)
Elisha Coy BB All In-One Cleanser
Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion SPF 30
Josie Maran Protect 40+ Sunscreen
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
Juju Aquamoist 100% Hyaluronic Acid
Differin .1% (I'm now back to using the .3% which I like better)
Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream (large tub I have is here)
Clarisonic Mia in Pink with Sensitive brush head
Vitamin E oil capsules (Bio-Oil can be used similarly, or liquid form here)

As you can see my update isn't drastically different than what it was last year. (If you'd like more info on my skin history please read up on my past skincare and acne posts.) I'm still using pretty gentle products although I have somewhat "weaned" myself off of my prescriptions containing antibiotics. That being said, my skin is still really breakout-prone! Especially in the last 2 months my skin has been very unpredictable.


Since recording this video, I have actually gone back to the dermatologist so I am now again using Differin .3% which, as the name implies, is three times stronger and it seems to keep my acne at bay better than .1%. I am also trying out a new daytime prescription called Finacea (azelaic acid gel, 15%) which is apparently very natural and gentle enough for even pregnant women. So far since starting it I've had zero skin purging! I'll keep you guys updated on how my skin progresses but I will say that I'm very happy to be on a prescription skincare regimen that contains no antibiotics. As of now, my skin has improved from 2 weeks ago. :)

Now I need to go and finish packing for my trip to Paris tomorrow! Eeeeeek, I'm so excited! Has anyone been to Paris before? Any packing tips or experience on what to bring would be excellent. Blog posts and video uploads will be put on hold until I get back but I promise I will take tons of photos and video footage to share with you when I return! Wish me luck!


Friday, September 9, 2011

August Hits & Misses: Drugstore Edition!

Remember that drugstore haul I did not too long ago? Well I have a follow-up on how well I liked the products in my August Hits & Misses video!



Products mentioned:
Covergirl Natureluxe Foundation in 325 Sandstone
Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer in Cream
Wet & Wild 8-Pan Palette in Comfort Zone
L'Oreal HIP Shadow Duo in 510 Electrified
Wet & Wild blush in Pearlescent Pink
Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara
CVS triple sharpener (similar here and here)
Milani Liquif'eye pencil in Black
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Zero
Wet & Wild Mega Eyes Cream Eyeliner in Black
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Face Powder in Beige
Unii Palette in Black
Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Blush in Blushing Glow

On me:
My nailpolish is Maybelline Express Finish in 155 Speedy Hot Tamale
Foundation is Fairydrops BB Cream in Ochre
Eyeshadow is L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duo in 510 Electrified
Necklace is Amrita Singh Shelter Island necklace via Hautelook & currently on sale (my invite)


As I said in the video, I feel a bit justified for being biased toward high-end makeup for the face and low-end makeup for the eyes. It is probably because of the area I live in not being very diverse (midwest) but seriously, I was shocked when I tested out the Maybelline concealer because it was SO light! It's true that I'm currently in my "tan stage" after this heat wave of a summer, but I know for a fact that there are plenty of white girls who are my skin color or tanner and they would not match this concealer either!

Also, I felt pretty sad about the Covergirl Natureluxe foundation not working for me because G over at Nouveau Cheap loves it. A little bird mentioned to me that the formula may have been inspired by Armani foundation but I have not tried it and cannot speak for that myself.

It almost worked out and it doesn't look that bad on my face in person especially after initial application, but it definitely gave my face a ruddier look since it has pinker undertones than what I should be using. It starts with a nice satin finish but my face gets oily within a couple hours. Definitely a return.

Check out this screencap I took of Covergirl's page for this foundation. Pink, pink, pink, pink, and dark.


Did Covergirl not get the memo that most people are warm-toned? I guess it makes sense why they chose Taylor Swift as their spokesmodel. It certainly wouldn't have been Jessica Alba, which to that I will say, "Thank you Revlon, for making yellow-based foundations!"

I'm sure in the future they will get the hint and improve but for now, I will stick with Makeup Forever and bb creams for my base makeup. ^_~

Anyway, to do a quicker recap about the rest, I loved all of the eye products I tried save for some packaging flaws that could be improved, and kudos to Wet & Wild for really stepping up the drugstore game in general. I appreciate their pigmentation and quality, especially in the face of bigger companies (*cough*Covergirl*cough*) who are great at some things like mascara, but really suck when it comes to blushes and foundations!

I hope that my reviews helped those of you who were interested in picking up some of the items I tested out!
If you want to see swatches you can see my haul blog post here as well.

Now I have to go pack for... shall we say... a search for that je ne sais quoi! ;)


Monday, September 5, 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners

Ever since featuring the new Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners ($18) in my last Hits & Misses video, I've gotten a lot of requests to fully review the line and show swatches of the collection. As followers of my blog know, I am a forever fan of UD's 24/7 pencil liners so I had a lot of anticipation for these eyeliners.


from left to right:
Woodstock,  ElDorado, Smog, Siren, Radium, Sabbath, Retrograde, Demolition, Perversion, Bobby Dazzle, Revolver



Structurally, they are very slim and study. The cap twists off and the handle is the longer end while the product is in the shorter, slightly thicker end. I'm mentioning this because I usually find myself thinking the opposite and open it upside-down with fear of the product running out.


The brush is in a thin wand is very fine and a length that is good for drawing long, even lines but may take a bit of practice to give perfect control since the brush does have give to it.


The most important thing I can say about swatching and using these liners is that you MUST SHAKE them up before use. When I first swatched, they came out weak and watery and not at all the quality that I expect from Urban Decay products. When I shook, I realized it has a metal ball in it to help mix the product like nailpolishes do. After shaking, the product was nicely opaque and excellently pigmented.

The eyeliner dries totally waterproof with a glossy finish.


From left to right:

Bobby Dazzle - Metallic shimmery pale silver
Demolition - Cream finish dark mushroom brown
ElDorado - Shimmery liquid gold
Perversion - Flat black
Radium - Shimmery electric blue
Retrograde - Shimmery dark purple with purple shimmer
Revolver - Shimmery metallic gunmetal
Sabbath - Very dark, flat navy blue 
Siren - Gorgeous mermaid green-blue teal (used in my Turquatic look)
Smog - Shimmery metallic olive 
Woodstock - Shimmery hot pink 


Here is one with flash just so you can see how nice Woodstock (hot pink) is as well as how reflective and shiny my two favorites, Bobby Dazzle (silver) and ElDorado (gold), are. I love adding the silver or gold to my inner eye corners because they stay on ALL DAY even if I accidentally rub my eyes. :D


Overall, I love the variety of colors available and how smooth and pigmented they are. They are also killer long-lasting and waterproof and I'm guessing 98% of the population will be completely in love and satisfied with these. You can wash with the strongest soap and these will not rub off unless you grab an oil-based makeup remover.

When testing these with false lashes or monolidded, I did find that they did disintegrate slightly on my inner eye corners by the end of the day (as does just about every eyeliner out there) but for the most part performed very well. Those with higher creases will likely not run into this problem. On my upper lash line I particularly adored Sabbath (deep navy blue) because it looks nearly black but not as harsh and has an eye-brightening effect as well.

The one thing that I wish was different is the finish. I love the metallics being very reflective but I wish the cream-finish shades dried down to a matte finish. This is of course down to personal preference but I think truly matte eyeliners are less distracting to an overall look. If the star of the look is the eyeliner (hello hot pink eyeliner anyone?) then it's not an issue. ;)

I give these eyeliners a very hearty A-. Definite recommend.

Disclaimer: Thank you to Urban Decay for generously gifting these eyeliners! This post is not sponsored.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Makeup For Uneven Eyelids

Today I have a tutorial for what I lovingly call "wonk eye" aka when your eyes go like this: O_o

I'm sure I'm not the only one who deals with this but lately I have had uneven eyelids on a pretty regular basis. For those of you who haven't experienced this before, uneven eyelids can happen to people of any ethnicity although I won't lie, it is SUPER common among those of us with Asian eyelid types. (I say types because people can have many types of eyelids for example, I have several Caucasian friends who happen to have a flatter eyelid shape with small creases which is common among Asians.)

I personally can get them from crying, allergies, being sick, not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep, rubbing my eyes, or sometimes I just wake up with them in the morning with no explanation. Every morning is an exciting opportunity for a different eye shape! Haha.

Tired of going makeupless or being frustrated when you suffer from Wonk Eye®? Here's my technique for eye makeup on uneven eyes!


Products mentioned: 
IPKN It lipgloss in Lilac (thank you Pretty & Cute for this lipgloss!)

Just in general, the most important, irreplaceable items needed for successfully doing this look is:

1. Use an eyeshadow primer. This is imperative for uneven lids because creased lids can transfer shadow color unless you have a really good base. My favorite is Urban Decay Primer Potion.

2. Use a cream or gel-type eyeliner like MAC Fluidline, Wet & Wild Mega Eyes Cream Eyeliner, or Lioele All-in-One Gel Eyeliner. Cream liners are more waterproof than pencil liners, won't peel or flake like some liquid liners, and can give a soft or hard line depending on application so the versatility is perfect for those with monolids or uneven eyelids.

3. Lash curler and waterproof mascara. This will also keep your makeup from smudging and will hold a curl for eyelashes that naturally may point in different directions. Large creased eyes tend to have lashes that point out or up while hooded eyelids and monolids often have lashes that point downward. Not all waterproof mascaras are equal so go for drier formulas like Covergirl LashBlast Waterproof, Shiseido Lasting Lift, or Fairydrops Platinum Waterproof mascaras.

Here is the look on me. If you look closely you can see the more defined line of my crease on the right and softer line on the left mimicking the creased arch shadow shape.



With my eyes down they look almost the same except the creased side is a bit more softer. This is to look less harsh when that eye is open. They are still pretty close so it's not very noticeable in real life.


Here's a close-up of my eyes for a better look.



Instead of a dark brown, you could also use a metallic gunmetal, the duochrome gold/brown from the Comfort Zone palette, copper, or really any other medium-to-dark eyeshadow that you prefer but I do find that light colors tend to be less effective. Multi-dimensional shadows are perfect since it's a 1-shadow look and shimmery or duochromey colors really add a look of extra effort without the extra time.

I hope you guys found this tutorial practical, helpful, or even just plain informative. If you have had any experience with uneven eyelids, please share your experience or tips as well in the comments!

Happy Labor Day weekend!


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