Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fekkai vs John Frieda Volume Products

I had a very bad day today that began with 2 tickets from the same police officer. That was a bad kickstart to my day so I wanted to end the day with some relaxation. I've been waiting to finish my previous shampoo and conditioner to finally get to these 2 beauties :)
These were a birthday present from one of my best friends, Eva. It is from the Fekkai Full Blown Volume line. The shampoo is very gentle yet cleans in depth. It takes away the oil and dirt buildup throughout the day, but moisturizes just enough to keep the hair soft and manageable. The conditioner  is pretty light. I have to use just about the same amount as the shampoo to balance out. Usually I run out of shampoo with half of the conditioner remaining, but in this case it seems to be equaling out. Using these 2 products together, I noticed after my hair dried, it really did add volume to my roots. My hair seemed fuller and even after I went to the gym, it was still pretty full. 

I don't particularly like the bottle material because its hard to squeeze and get the product out. I do like the cap because it doesn't get very messy like the flip caps. Its a push-open top. The scent is very light but pleasant, kind of like jasmine or lemongrass. The only thing is this doesn't have color-maintaing ingredients, but other than that, I LOVE IT! Definitely recommend it for someone who has limp hair or oily scalps. As for me, I'll probably be using this only on special days to preserve it longer :P
Fekkai products are a bit on the expensive side, the 8oz bottle is $25 and the 16oz is $39. So it is definitely a high end hair product.

On all the other days, I will be using John Frieda Full Repair Full Body shampoo and conditioner. This is another line that is suppose to add volume to fine hair. This is a lot cheaper and can be purchased in drugstores from $5 to $9. It has a very lightweight formula with omega-3 oils. I used them together and it definitely adds shine to my hair as well as volume. The conditioner is a bit heavier than the Fekkai but not to the point where I don't like it. This smells like Pantene to me and it doesn't bother me. I like these soft tubes a lot better because its easier to get the product out, but like I mentioned, the flip-cap tops plus the upside down tube does make it a bit messy after a few washes and it collects water if you put it on a shower rack. Other than that, I like how this product line protects the hair from coloring damage, but adds volume to flat hair at the same time.
Something else I picked up at Ulta the other day is Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in Neutralizer. I have been getting less than 5 hours of sleep each night and waking up at 6:30am for work so believe me, my dark circles look like raccoon eyes now-a-days. So I really wanted a concealer with specific detail for dark circle reduction. I found a lot of good reviews for this one so I decided to try it out. I will let ya'll know how it goes in a few weeks! I also picked up another Revlon Lip Butter in Cherry Tart. I wanted to experiment with something different and out of my comfort zone so for spring, I will be trying some red lips with smoky eyes. Stay tuned for new makeup looks and new style looks since I just signed up for Dailylook.com!!

Till next time :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

JewelMint Review and Red Carpet Look

My JewelMint package finally came!! The shipping was definitely on time! I was very impressed by the packaging. It came in a padded envelope with JewelMint on the outside. The piece came in a beautiful magnetic box. It's amazing storage, even if it is slightly bigger than it should be. The elastic ribbon adds to the elegance of the box! You can join JewelMint here!
The weight of the earrings is very light, but doesn't feel cheap, which I love. The latch hook top is a bit short so if your ear lobes are on the bigger side, it might not fit as comfortable as it should. Through my experience, these types of latches also loosen over time so I am gonna have to be super careful with these. There is a JewelMint name on the back of the earring. 
Here is how it looks on. It is pretty long, going 3/4 down my neck. I do love the Victorian-Age feel of this piece. And its my first gold pair of earrings. I will be trying this with a black dress soon :)
I attended Dwayne Wade's 5th Annual Charity Luncheon on Saturday and this was my look :) Its just something simple and natural. I used Bare Minerals duo eyeshadow in Top Shelf and Maybelline Gel Liner.
Here is me and my lovely date on the red carpet entrance!
Till next time :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

[ETUDEHOUSE] Aloha V-Line Slim Maker Sun Gold-Wood Brown

After a crazy long week and my GRE's on Tuesday, I was very happy to get a package in the mail! This was my order from Colorful Circle and you can find this product here. I wanted something that I could use to contour and highlight at the same time so I found this. I love Etude House products and this had such a cute design inside and out. It came in a bubble-wrap package and was shipped on time. It was also free shipping, which I always appreciate. It came with 2 Lioele samples, the Beyond the Solution BB cream and Shimmering Pearl Base.

The product itself came with a small brush and case. The brush is compact and easy to use. The bristles are relatively soft and it picks up the highlighter very well. The wood brown contouring color, however, is almost impossible to pick up. I tried it with my regular bronzing brush and its just as difficult. Even with my finger, it was difficult to get color. The sun gold color is super pigmented and glittery so use it with a light hand. On the other hand, the wood brown is sheer and barely goes on. I had to sweep 5 times to get any color or break some powder off but when it went on, there was barely a shadow. I will be experimenting more with it, but for now, its not working very well.
Here is what the 2 colors look like

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sneekpeeq, HIP Duo, and Dream Bouncy

I joined another shopping deals site! I am getting addicted to these websites that have like 70% off deals, but this one seems just alright so far. It can be linked to your Facebook so you don't have to make an account. If you join today, you can get a free silk scarf! I believe you can just cancel or delete the app right after you "buy" the scarf. Here's a link for ya'll to use! Why not?! It's free with free shipping!! They also have $10 off your first purchase. I saw some Yes To products like the Yes To Cucumbers, Carrots, Blueberries lines for less than $10. I've tried their Yes To Cucumbers soothing facial towelettes, bought from Ulta. They're great for the gym because the package is small and light. It doesn't take off makeup  well but it does feel refreshing and your face is clean afterwards.
I finally fell to temptation and opened my Maybelline Dream Bouncy blush in Hot Tamale. It's just so cute!! I'm tempted to buy more. It looked really dark in the packaging, but I've heard that it goes on sheer so I wanted to try a darker shade. I must say I was very nervous about the mousse texture because I've used their Dream Mousse Foundation before and I didn't like it too much, but I love this blush!! You have to blend it well or it does streak and look chunky. I use my finger because brushes don't seem to pick up the product very well. The consistency literally is bouncy...its very soft and airy. I have this blush on in the photo below to show you what it looks like blended in. I think its quite natural looking. If I do it a bit darker, it looks like I just ran a mile :P

This is the eyeshadow I have on in the photo. It's L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duo in 510 Electrified. I learned about this through Jen, FrmHeadtoToe and it looked lovely on her so I've been wanting to try it. Every time I went to Ulta, this specific set was always sold out. Then I finally got my hands on it, but I must say the colors look better on her. I do think it looks pretty in the case. Its a shimmery taupe color and a metallic-based purple plum color. It is not too flattering on me, but still a nice night-time color. The two colors are very pigmented. One or two sweeps are all I need. It comes with a small eyeshadow sponge applicator, which works pretty well, but I use my blending brush for the taupe color as a highlighter. Both colors stay on all day for me without primer and doesn't crease at all. I love the texture, very smooth and doesn't fall all over my face and countertop. Here are the swatches:

Here is my finished look with the eyeshadow duo and bouncy blush :)
On a side note, my boyfriend's mom brought these pineapple cakes (feng li su) back from Taiwan and they are absolutely delicious and adorable! I almost didn't have the heart to eat them, but I can't let them go to waste either. The packaging looks like fancy soap or makeup even!
Till next time :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hautelook and JewelMint!

I just joined Hautelook and JewelMint :) I've heard good things and seen awesome deals from these 2 sites so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. To test it out, I purchased one item from each site.

Hautelook, which you can join via my referral link, is similar to nomorerack or ShopStyle, etc. But I see some better deals on makeup and beauty products from Hautelook versus just expensive name brands with not that big a discount. From Hautelook, I bought the Hanna Clutch from Urban Expressions in Turquoise. I originally wanted the maroon color but sadly it was sold out so I thought this bright pretty Tiffany blue color would be perfect for spring time. It has a zipper pocket as well as a compartment under the flap. You can carry this as an envelope clutch or use the gold chain link for a shoulder bag. The size is just right for some light shopping, casual dinner, or going out for a night on the town. Can't to see how it is in person!!

 How JewelMint works is you sign up for the website, then you fill out a quick survey and they will take your style and personality choices and create a jewelry showroom for you based on your answers. It's kind of neat how the company will recommend different pieces for you but you are also able to browse the whole collection. Every beginning of the month, they will have new pieces added to your showroom. From JewelMint, I bought the Wonderland Earrings. They're like a Victorian-Age elegant set. I don't own a lot of gold or gold-tinted jewelry so I wanted to try something different. I also love the bows and intricate design details. My boyfriend actually helped pick this out for me so good taste runs in us both :P I will do another post after I get both products!

Till next time!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ulta Makeup Haul!

Hi ya'll! I've been crazy stressed about taking my GRE's next week and studying non-stop for weeks now. So to relax, I decided to use my $3.50 off $10 Ulta coupon and do a drugstore products haul. Here's what I got:
*Essie Polish in 636 Blushing Bride, Maybelline One by One Volum'Express Mascara in Very Black, EOS Lip Balm in Summer Fruit, L'Oreal HIP Eyeshadow Duo in 510 Electrified, Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie*

I still have a lot of products to use so I will do swatches of these when I get to opening them. I made a pact with myself not to use all my products half way and actually try to finish most of them if I like them  >.< so please be patient!! But I did do a nails-of-the-day :) 
This is Zoya Nail Polish in Penny. Its a slightly metallic orange, copper color. There's no glitter particles in it but it shines very well with a golden sheen. I love how this polish goes on! I only did 2 coats, but the first coat was very pigmented already. I did a 2nd coat just to cover up some sides. The consistency is not too liquid or too thick. It seems just right. The drying time is a bit longer than what I'm use to with Sally Hansen products but the result is worth it :) And I also did my makeup to match the bronze color of my nails.
For my eyes, I used Bare Minerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in Top Shelf. I absolutely love this eyeshadow pair. The highlight color is called Mixologist and it is a sheer shimmery color that is perfect for under the brow bone. The other golden color is Cognac. Its a copper glittery soft shadow. They both go on really smooth and very pigmented. The ingredients in this shadow is made from sea minerals and supposedly has anti-wrinkle benefits. I just love how easy the color goes on and stays on. I mixed the Cognac color with their loose eyeshadow in Sex Kitten, which is a shimmery brown shadow. This made the golden Cognac a bit darker and when blended in, it looks slightly more smokey. 

Other products used:
This is my first makeup review so sorry if it's not too in depth!! 

Till next time! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tip of the Day #1

Here's something that I found for expiration dates on skincare and beauty products :)

It is very important not to hoard products because the formula and ingredients do expire and could do more damage than good for your skin. A creative way to know how long your products have been open is to buy labels such as these and stick them to the bottles, containers, and makeup cases. That way you will always know when you opened them and when its time to throw them out. It will also be a good estimate on how long your products last you. This idea also works for contact lenses that are suppose to last one year such as colored circle lens. Just pop a sticker on the bottom of your case and you'll know when the contacts are harming your eyes!! And don't forget to enter my Valentine's Day giveaway below!

Till next time :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Giveaway!!

UPDATE: My giveaway winner is Alicia Murray:) Thank ya'll for entering!!! Keep checking for more giveaways soon!!

This is my first time doing this so I hope it turns out well :) I will be doing a small giveaway to celebrate my one month of blogging and Valentine's Day!! Woohooo~ So here's the prize:

I will be giving away a Milani baked blush, a BBW body mist, a Confetti nail polish, a Posh lipbalm and a sample of my Jan. favorite John Frieda shampoo and conditioner.

To enter this giveaway, you will have to post ONE comment on this post about a creative Valentine's Day present idea!

*You  MUST be a follower via +Google, email, blogger, or FB*
*For extra entries, use the widget*

*The Giveaway will close on Feb. 24, 2012 at 11:59pm **

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

January Hit and Misses!

I wanted to share some things that I loved and didn't love in January! Let's start in my kitchen!

Hit #1: I bought this Seventh Generation Dish Liquid when I earned a coupon from Recyclebank.com and I must say, I am definitely glad I did. You can buy this at Target or Walmart, ranging from $2.97 to $4.99. I had a $2 off coupon so mine was only a dollar. Good buy for great quality! The scent I got was Lavender Floral and Mint. Its very light, but is enough to soothe my senses. It also comes in a Fresh and Clean scent. The consistency is a bit more liquid-like than Dawn dish soaps, but it cleans very well. I used it on my pans after frying eggs and making tomato sauce and it removed all the crusted residue and oily film with one wash. I am definitely satisfied with this product. It comes in 25oz and a big value size as well. The 25oz has lasted me 3 months now so its definitely worth the price!

Hit #2: The next thing I love is this Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer. I got this as a Christmas present from my friend Jessica. I've seen these on sale at different kitchen supply stores and Target. Its very convenient to use. You simply run warm water, drop a ball in, turn on the garbage disposal for 5 seconds, then turn the water off, wait a few more seconds and turn the disposal off. You will smell this lovely lavender scent coming from your sink. Though it only lasts 1 or 2 days. it does clean the inside of your disposal. If you don't want to buy something just for that purpose, you can also squeeze lemon juice and cut up left over lemon slices, drop those in and turn on the disposal for an awesome lemon zest scent and clean.

Hit #3: In my room, I recently started using this Slatkin & Co. Mashmellow Fireside candle that I bought at Bath and Body Works. This was on sale when I bought it, but normally its $9.50. I adore sweet smells so if you are a floral person, this might not be the best choice for you. However, it is a delicate scent and doesn't overwhelm your senses as you enter the room. One small candle usually lasts me 10 hours of burning time. I like that the lid is tin too, so when I put out the flame, I simply put the lid back on and it traps the smoke inside.
Miss #1: This was another lip balm I decided to try was the MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner with SPF 15 in Petting Pink. This has almond oil, shea butter, avocado extract, wheat germ oil and vitamins A and E. It works very well to moisturize. The consistency of this balm is buttery and smooth. It goes on lightly pigmented and isn't too sticky. However, I didn't like that it was a bit thick on my lips and also I didn't like that I constantly had to use my finger to apply the balm. It isn't very hygienic. I started carrying around one of those lip gloss testers, but those were an inconvenience as well. The color is very pretty and good for any skin tone. There's a candy sort of scent to it but its very faint. Overall, if this came in a tube I would love it but since it's in a glass jar, it was a miss for me.
Miss #2: I got this as a freebie when Bath and Body Works first announced this scent. It is the Be Enchanted Body Lotion. It contains jojoba oil and shea butter. It smells like a floral berry mix. It is a heavy scent. I love the theme though, very whimsical and dreamy. However, the lotion didn't do much for me. I didn't notice a whole lot of moisture locked in and it goes on a bit thick for me. I will not be purchasing the full size product of this.
Miss #3: I got this Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo sample in a Walmart freebie giveaway. I must say, this new hype about dry shampoos is a blessing. Sometimes I am so exhausted from work, I just don't have the energy to wash my hair. In the morning, I just spray some dry shampoo and it lasts me another day! This particular brand of dry shampoo didn't impress me though. It leaves a thick white powder on your hair after you spray it on and you're suppose to rub your hands on it to blend it in. I feel like even after I rub till my hair's falling out, the white powder is still there. I have to sprinkle water on my roots to get the white out. That defeats the purpose of it being dry....It also has a really, really strong sweet smell. Its nice that there's perfume coming from my hair, but this scent is overbearing and runs into my perfume/deodorant. This was definitely a miss for me.

Hope this helps ya'll out with some product choices! Till next time :)

On a side note, thank you to Jessica from http://bubblesandbeauty.blogspot.com/ for having this giveaway! She was very sweet and mailed out my prize very quickly! Here's what I got! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Damaged Hair Emergency!

Hi Lovelies! I recently got highlights and I didn't want my hair to dry out so I changed up my hair-care routine. A while ago, I got samples of John Frieda's Root Awakening shampoo and conditioner. I tried them out and fell in love! So I ended up buying full sizes of both. I bought these a while ago so I think the newer ones have different packaging.

I bought different versions of shampoo and conditioner because my hair is oily and breaks easily. So for shampoo I got Root Awakening Strength Restoring Shampoo for Breakage-Prone Hair and for conditioner I got Root Awakening Health Infusing Conditioner for Normal Hair. They both have a eucalyptus scent, which I love because its soothing and relaxes my mind. The consistency of the shampoo is clear and gel-like. The conditioner is very lightweight. I don't like using conditioners that are too moisturizing and leaves a greasy feeling. When I condition, I only do the bottom half of my hair. I never go all the way up to my roots. This helps add more volume to my hair. The breakage-prone shampoo seems to be working because when I brush my hair, it doesn't break in half as easily now. It just falls out in whole pieces -.- Ahh stress....its turning me bald!! Such a sad reality of growing up. 

I wash my hair every other day to keep some essential oils in my hair. This helps hair grow faster and my hair grows very, very slow. It also doesn't dry out my scalp as much. Then once a week, I do a deep conditioning treatment on my hair. I have been using Neutrogena Triple Moisture Pure Strength Conditioning Treatment. I will shampoo like usual, then apply this treatment to the lower half of my hair and leave in for 15 minutes. I will sometimes do a clay mask before the shower and as I'm waiting in steam for my treatment to soak in, my mask will be done too! On top of that, I will do a body scrub so 3 birds with one stone!! For conditioners and treatments to work more effectively, gently squeeze out the excess water after shampooing, then massage it in. A tip to lose less hair is do not brush your hair in the shower or immediately after. The pores on your scalp is still open from the warm/hot shower and this will cause more hair to fall out than after you get out and the pores close up from the colder air. 

I hope this helps some of you with hair problems! Till next time :)


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Friday, February 3, 2012

Beauty Secret #2: Seaweed!

Most people like sushi rolls, whether its cooked or raw, but did you know that a lot of the nutrition actually comes from the seaweed its wrapped in?? It is commonly seen in soups, salads, side dishes as well as sushi wrapper sheets. For some, its delicious in any form, but for some its definitely an acquired taste. Its very healthy and good for weight-loss because there is virtually no fat content and only 5-10 calories per serving. Let's take a closer look at this hidden staple Asians have discovered.

Seaweed is one of the original super foods that was discovered thousands of years ago. Before, when seaweed was still not very common, seaweed gardens were only kept and served to the rich. Now, it is harvested in many Asian countries for various purposes. Seaweed draws its nutrients from the sea.

Raw or sun-dried seaweed contains:

  • High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina
  • High mineral content: especially iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium
  • More vitamin C than oranges
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties
  • Large proportion of natural, organic iodine aiding in maintaining a healthy thyroid function 
  • One of the richest plant sources of calcium
  • Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2, increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.
  • High dietary fiber content: good for digestion
Seaweed contains more vitamins and minerals than most fruits and vegetables. Breaking seaweed into your diet will help improve memory, hearing, eyesight, and make your teeth stronger. It also helps keep up your immune system, prevent infections, lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy heart, and stabilize cholesterol levels. The beauty aspect of seaweed is it clears up your skin from the inside and helps hair growth and shine. It will bring out a natural inner beauty! Now if that doesn't catch your interest, it also tastes good! 

I buy the small packets of roasted seaweed from the local Korean market. It comes in small plastic containers with square sheets. Its light enough to carry in your purse or lunchbox. I use it as a mid-afternoon snack instead of munching on chips or cookies. Hopefully you can try some too! Till next time :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elle's Makeup Blog Giveaway!

We all love giveaways!! And Elle is celebrating her one year anniversary :) Congrats to her! She is also gracious enough to give away a Naked Palette 2! So go check out her blog and enter to win!!


Beauty Secret #1: Breakfast FTW!

So I've recently stopped going to the gym because I have been way too busy or exhausted from work/school to go. This is very sad for me because I was doing so well for months and training for 5ks! As an alternative, I have been really careful with what I eat. Working in an office for 8 hours a day and then coming home two nights a week to watch lectures means I sit a lot! The results? My thighs, butt and lower stomach area keep getting puffier and puffier. The solution? Eat healthier and try to do more exercises that do not require a gym! I wanted to share with you what I've learned and tested :) This will be a first in a series!

I will start with breakfast, which is very important and should NEVER be skipped! At one point in my busy life, I had Hot Pockets every morning. This is the worst choice I have ever made for my stomach. I switched very quickly after stepping on the scale. Now, I have one hard-boiled egg and a 8 oz smoothie every morning. To save time, I will boil 1-2 days worth of eggs so I can just wake up in the morning, grab and go. Smoothies I will make the night before or if it has diary products, I will blend it the morning of. I've noticed that with dairy smoothies, it tastes much better fresh and cannot be left out for more than 2 or 3 hours. I will wash and cut all my fruit on the weekend then stick them in the freezer. 

The best way to freeze fruit is to wash them then put them on a small baking sheet or lay out on a flat surface in the freezer. Then after they have frozen, dump them into a freezer zip-lock or container. This way, they will not be wet and stick together. For fruits that tend to turn yellow, like pears, apples or peaches, you can soak them in lemon juice or something acidic to keep them fresh. I usually just do strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries or apples and mix them with orange juice and flax seed powder for protein. 

Here are some other recipes I have tried that are really good:
If you are really adventurous, you can try some green smoothies! I will be trying these soon :)

On days that I am just not feeling a smoothie, I will switch to 2% milk and cereal. The cereal I've been hooked on is Kashi Heart to Heart Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal. They look and taste like Cheerios but with a cinnamon kick. I bought these when I found a $2 off Kashi coupon, which you can keep an eye out for on coupons.com! They are healthy and made of whole grains.

From the label:
  • Support Healthy Cholesterol—1g soluble fiber from oats*
  • Promote Healthy Blood Pressure—low sodium**
  • More For You—each serving is high in antioxidant vitamins C and E. Plus, you’ll get 100% Daily Value of heart healthy vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.

This usually fills me up until noon and I will have some almonds or a yogurt and granola to hold me over until lunch. Another one I have tried before is the Kashi GoLean Crunch Honey Almond Flax. This is a very good source of fiber and protein. However, if you do not like super crunchy cereal, this is not for you. Even after it is soaked in milk for a while, it is still relatively crunchy, which to me is awesome!

As for easy exercises, I have tried doing leg lifts in my desk chair. You simply slide to the edge of your chair, sit up straight in your chair and lift both your legs, toes pointed up, to make a 90 degree angle. You can hold for 1 min, while your thighs and buttocks are tightened, then put them back down and repeat 10 reps. Or for added effect, point your toes toward and back up and repeat with reps. For abs, you can suck in your stomach, tighten, hold and release. Repeat 10 times for 5 reps. This looks and feels a bit silly but your ab muscles do get sore after a while. If you are in your own cubicle at work, you don't have to worry!

Also, remember to get up and walk around every 30 mins. Do some light stretches and rotate your head in a circle to release tension in your neck and back. Stretch side to side by reaching over your chair on the left, then right. For those who type a lot, stretch your hands by gently bending your fingers back towards your forearms. Hopefully this will help you with some built-up tension from work! Till next time :)