3.30.2012

All Time Favorite : Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Face Wash

I can honestly say that this is one of those products that I've constantly used for more than 10+ years. When I was a teenager the first skin care products I used were from Clinique. I believe I bought their 3 Step Skin Care System because of teenage acne and at first I used the bar but moved on to this cleanser because the bar was a bit too drying. I don't use the other Clinique products anymore, but this has remained constant in my skin care.

If there is one thing I have learned about my skin is that if I change one thing in my skin care  regimen I pay dearly for it. Especially THIS product. 

There were many times in the past years where I decided to experiment and try other skin cleansers because I thought maybe it will work better. Nope. This is the only cleanser that I know won't break me out and won't leave residue on my face. Every time I try a different face wash I never feel as squeaky clean as when I use this one. 

This product is the best in removing all traces of makeup, dirt and oil on my face. I also like to use it with the clarisonic mia and I get the freshest complexion afterwards. 

I would say that one bottle lasts me 2-3 months and it only takes a pea size amount to lather up my whole face. And true to its name, that pea size amount lathers to a nice foamy consistency. 

It is recommended for dry to oily skin types (so basically all skin types), but especially combination skin like mine. The only caveat is that it does tend to dry up the skin sometimes especially during the winter months. But I usually compensate with a heavy moisturizer during those times. 

I've also mentioned before that I've been trying to go towards more clean, natural, eco-friendly products that don't have toxic carcinogenic ingredients in them. But unfortunately this cleanser does contain phenoxyethenol in it which is used as its preservative(just like parabens, which are known to be carcinogenic). And even though it pains me to know that(since I've been using it on y face for over 10+ years) I know I probably wont stop using it.

Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it...right kanye? 

Anywho, this product retails for $19.50 and can found in most department stores.


3.29.2012

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

This tinted moisturizer has become one of my best finds. The thing about tinted moisturizer is that I've never really used it. I go through phases with foundations, from liquid to powder to compacts. And then back to liquid again. But I guess I never really tried tinted moisturizers because I always felt I needed more coverage. Now I have this great alternative for when I don't need all that coverage.

I got a sample of this product in a gwp. Once I used it all up I knew I had to purchase the full size bottle. 

Here's Nars description:
Your skin - almost bare, but better. This advanced, oil-free formula provides a translucent veil of color and sun protection while helping to reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation and dark spots in just four weeks. Infused with lush, naturally derived botanicals and ingredients to immediately help thirsty skin feel hydrated. Kopara from French Polynesia and mineral rich seawater revive and re-mineralize skin for a softer, smoother, and brighter natural glow. Skin is transported.
  • Advanced sun protection
  • Hydrates and helps reduce the appearance of hyper pigmentation and dark spots fora  brighter natural glow
  • Oil-free. Dermatologist tested. Non-comedogenic. Synthetic fragrance free. 
It is also formulated without:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan 

Thank goodness most cosmetic companies are formulating their products without all those toxic chemicals. I've been really wanting to go the all-natural-eco-friendly product route, but I guess the mostly non-toxic products will have to do for now. I'll try harder I swear.

I love that it has properties that help with hyper pigmentation and dark spots.

And ingredients from French Polynesia on my face, yes please!

I also love the fact that it has an spf of 30+++. The three +'s means it is the highest form of spf protection. It is usually recommended to use an spf of at least two ++. 

As far as wear, this product does manage to stay on for at least 8+ hours. I believe there was slight fading after that, but slight is the key word. The coverage is light but works wonders evening out my skin tone. Now if you are oily I would suggest having some blotters or powder in hand because the shine on my forehead did creep up after a while. And I have a combination skin where only my nose and forehead get oily. The rest of my skin is on the dry side.

And I'm glad to say the dry side did not show any signs of caking or powdering of any sort. I guess since it is a tinted moisturizer why would it. Caking is the one problem I have not found a solution to with any foundation. I don't know if I'm putting on too much foundation or using the wrong method to apply it but no matter how good it is, at the end of the day you can clearly see the foundation applied on my face. 

So my search for the perfect foundation still remains but for the mean time I'll be using this tinted moisturizer as a happy substitute


Here is some swatches:
Indoor
Daylight
This product comes in 9 shades and even though I usually lean towards the medium skin tone, for some reason I match Alaska which is the second lightest shade Nars offers. I'm sure I also fit the next shade up which is St. Moritz but I find that since the color oxidizes I tend to go for the lighter shade. And I've gotten a few compliments here and there how you can't even tell I'm wearing any sort of color on my face. =D

Wow. What a long winded post huh? This product retails for $42 and can found at Sephora and Nordstrom.


3.28.2012

Nars X Andy Warhol

WWD recently revealed in this article that Nars will be doing a collection this fall in tribute to this infamous artist. They mentioned that it will hopefully launch this October.

This is just another collection along with the Mac x Marilyn Monroe that I am super excited about. I'm hoping for beautiful packaging, because I'm such a sucker for that kind of stuff. Can't wait to see what this collaboration will look like.

How I Lost 20lbs with Nike Pt. 1

Ok not solely with Nike but Nike did have a big part in it.

I would say my weight gain started about 5 years ago and what do you know that's about the same time I met my now boyfriend. Hmm...I wonder if there's any coincidence there?

Of course I'm going to blame all of this on him! lol.

But seriously, I am. Ok ok, I might have a little part to blame. Ugh, why does the worst food have to taste the best.
Before I knew it, I stepped on the scale and I calculated that my BMI had skyrocketed to the overweight section of the chart. I was officially overweight for my height and could definitely feel the effects of my no workout filled lifestyle. Anyway, I decided that enough was enough. 

The first thing I started doing was exercise. My friends run the Rosebowl in Pasadena and I started to join them. For many weeks we would run the 3.1 miles around the Rosebowl at least 4 days a week. Then after I decided that I wanted to try and get a 6 pack (I know, high hopes), I searched for another workout routine we could add on after our runs. And what'ya know there's an app for that!

It's called Nike Training Club.
And it's free!

This app basically gives you 30-45 circuit training type of workouts like a personal trainer would. There are 3 forms of workouts that help with cardio, toning and strength. And there are focused workouts if you want to work on a specific part of your body. The great thing is that the app offers so many different combinations of workouts that you wouldn't ever get bored because you are doing something different each time.

These workouts can range from beginner, intermediate and advanced. And I remember the first session kicking our butts and it was just a beginner level. Now we can proudly do the advance ones, which are essentially the same except no break times. 

I really love this app, each move is supplemented with a video of how to do it and you can set your music on your iPhone along with your workout. Unfortunately, I think it is only available on the iPhone. All you need is a yoga mat, some weights and a good amount of space to run back and forth on. The workouts in this app along with the running helped me slim down a lot. 

One really cool thing was that I found out was that Nike has Nike Training Club workouts at the Montalban theater in Hollywood for free! It's an hour workout with a Nike certified trainer on the rooftop of the theater which also houses a basketball court. 
The view up there is pretty amazing. If you live around the area, the workouts are every Thursday at 7pm. 

Has anyone seen that commercial for Kaiser Permanente and the girl is trying to find a workout that fits her? She steps into a pole exercise class and then steps out. lol. Yah that was me. I think throughout those 5 years of packing on the pounds I tried so many different types of workouts. I even joined 24 hour fitness. I bought that 2 year pass from Costco and out of the 700+ days I could have gone to the gym, I managed to only go no more than 10 times. Well 24 hour gyms are gross! Anyway, I think it just takes the right kind of workout for your personality. And thank God I found something I can actually be consistent with. So I wouldn't be disheartened if say you tried like yoga, then pilates, then kickboxing etc and didn't like them (ie. me). Just keep persevering and trying other workouts, one of them is bound to like you. Just like dating, ok bad example. You get the gist.

Well along with all this exercising I of course had to overhaul my eating habits. Aka go on a diet. Here's what I usually ate:
  • Breakfast - oatmeal with dried cranberries (no sugar); later on changed it to a glass of hot water with lemon and rolled oats with dried cranberries
  • Lunch - Usually a small protein with rice/ or a salad with a protein
  • Dinner - same as lunch
  • Snacks - I usually snacked on fruits. 
Here's the thing, I became really really strict with my eating habits and I know that wont work for everybody. But the key to any diet is consistency and saying no. These were my rules:
-no soda
-no fast food
-no juice
-no caffeine
-no coffee
-no chips(my weakness)
-no fried foods
-not too much sugar (I tried cutting out sugar for a week and I only lasted a day because I think it is impossible for me to not eat chocolate every day)
-no eating past 9pm

I know that I might sound a little crazy now, but trust me after a while you wont even crave those foods anymore. But that is not to say that I haven't broken any of my rules. I still occasionally eat fast food, fried foods and drank coffee.

Yes, dieting is hard. But I've learned that when you stick to a correctly portioned meal everyday, your stomach adjusts and it becomes natural to eat less portions. Portion control was a huge factor in my weight loss. I remember before when I used to be able to eat a hamburger and a large french fries and still feel hungry. Whereas now if I eat that I only can finish half a burger and fries(on my cheat days of course). 

So then after doing this diet for a while I came upon this book called The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder.

And this part I'm going to continue to a Part 2 section because this is getting pretty long. lol. 

Oh an btw my starting weight at the beginning of my weight loss goal was 140 (give or take a few lbs) and now I am at a happy 120. My weight when I first met my bf was 110 or maybe even less, but I was rail thin at that weight and I had a crazy metabolism. And let me tell you that this was not one of those instances where I lost the weight in like a month. It's been more like 6 months. I think the slow and steady method helps your mind assimilate to a new body.

I hope this story has helped anyone trying to lose weight. If you guys have any questions, please don't be afraid to ask. 

3.27.2012

YSL Glossy Stain 1 Violet Edition

Is this the be-all and end-all lip formula? A gloss/stain/lipstick hybrid. Hmm...it just might be!
I was really surprised to like this formula. And in my opinion it really does wear like a gloss, lipstick, and stain together. I initially wrote this product off because I didn't like the packaging. Yah, great excuse right? But it's kinda blah, and I'm all about the visual. The black casing sort of looks cheap imo. And I hate to say that because YSL usually has the most lux packaging. 

Anyway, when first applied the product I felt it to be a little watery and very light which feels like a stain, ie Benetint or Tarte cheek stains. But as you layer on more product it does become thicker and the texture starts to resemble a lipstick. Crazy right? It glides on opaque and still feels light on the lips.

What I did was apply one layer and let it set. Then lined my lips with the applicator with a second layer and let that set (the setting doesn't take too long) and then applied a third layer just for the gloss effect. The applicator btw is this larger than standard doe-footed sponge, and is angled just right for easy application.

You probably think thats a lot layers, but when you're not paying attention you've probably swiped on lip product more than 4 times. 

I've actually been looking for a nice vampy lip color and Violet Edition turns out to be THE perfect vampy lip color for my skin tone. I am so in love with this lip color I want to wear it everywhere. Working out even! Too much..ok

The color on my lips looks completely different from how it looks on the applicator. On the applicator it looks like its namesake, Violet.
On my lips it is more of a dark purple/red. 
It does settle into the lines but I don't really mind that. Here are some swatches:
Indoor
Daylight
Stain left when wiped off.
Stain left on my lips.
This color leaves a very noticeable stain on the lips. After eating a cherry lollipop looking stain.

The texture is very light and smooth. It feels like a combination of lipstick with a little gloss on top. But it is not tacky/sticky. And it does feel moisturizing. After a couple hours of wear it does fade but reapplying doesn't pose any problems. I would say if you didn't eat or drink it would last 4+ hours.

I'm hoping to get my hands on more of these. I swatched many of the colors in the collection at Nordies and I probably fell in love with most of them. Unfortunately, my wallet will only permit me to get one at a time right now.

That reminds me I need to go and buy a lotto ticket! It's like $300+ million now.

This product retails for $32 and can be found at Nordstroms and Sephora.

3.26.2012

Cle de Peau Concealer in Ochre

I've always said that if I was stranded in a island and I had to bring one beauty product it would probably be concealer. 

I think concealer works better to make you look awake than mascara. But I know many people would probably say the opposite. I however have been blessed with dark under eye circles and would high five the inventor of the concealer if I could. 

That being said I decided to invest (key word invest because this is probably THE most expensive single piece of beauty product I've ever purchased) in the Cle de Peau concealer. It is highly regarded in the beauty industry and I've seen this thing in countless magazines with many beautiful actresses singing its praises. 

First let me say I was so surprised how small this product is. I honestly thought that it would be the size of a foundation stick. It's the size of a lipstick tube, but much slimmer.
compared next to ysl lippy
The packaging is fairly simple. The sapphire looking jewel on the top of tube adds a little lux element. And I didn't know that Cle de Peau is in the Shiseido family, but I guess now I do.

As far as quality, I do have to agree that it is pretty awesome. With just one light layer (usually I have to pile on the concealer) my under eye circles are vanished and my eyes appear bright and awake. I also apply it on the corners of my nose and lips to conceal those red areas. And through many hours of wear the concealer melds right in with my skin and does not cake. I had that problem with my previous go to concealer (Prescriptives Camouflage Kit). 

This concealer is also great for my acne scars and blemishes. Great for those pimples I knew I shouldn't of scratched but did.

I got the color Ochre which leans to a more medium tone yellow base. I believe they have four colors Ivory, Beige, Ochre and Honey.

Here is a swatch
I know I mentioned that tube is surprisingly small but from using it countless of times now I have yet to make a dent. I apply this with a small concealer brush and I only have to use a small amount to get the coverage I need. This factor makes this concealer even more worth the purchase because I dont think I'll ever finish it. 

I just hope it wont dry up.

Overall, I'm so happy I dont regret this purchase. Well if I did thank goodness Barney's lets you return beauty products. I'm also happy I wont have to buy concealer for the next 10 years. lol. 

This product retails for *cringe* $70 and can be purchased at Nordstroms or Barneys.  


A Pink Dilemma

In approximately three weeks I will be entering my late twenties.
I cant even fathom becoming 30, I think I might have a nervous breakdown when I do lol. I'm sorry if you're older than me and rolling your eyes at those statements but I know you felt like that too.

In celebration, a couple of friends and I who have our birthdays a week apart have decided to throw a classy birthday bash together. It will be fabulous and hopefully look like Martha Stewart and Colin Cowie came and designed it for us. crosses fingers.

We decided that we should dress in pink and make all our guests dress in black and white, so now I have the task of finding a pink dress/outfit that will look cute on me. I dont know why but I always think I can pull off pink and then I buy a pink sweater and I never ever wear it. Dilemma dilemma.

So in my search for pink dresses I went on Asos and this is what I've found so far. 
love the back
maybe pink with flowers?
lovin' the lace right now
or should I go color block pink...

ugh. I wish Asos had a store.

Well I need to decide soon because that party is creepin' up soon. I'm hoping I find THE dress in the next week.

Anybody have any suggestions?

3.23.2012

My Hunger Games NOTD

Happy Hunger Games! lol, yes I along with millions of people have been obsessed with this trilogy. I am super excited to go watch it tonight, and all I've been hearing is awesome reviews so that makes me even more giddy. My friends watched the midnight screening yesterday and came over to my house before hand to finish their costumes. Yes! costumes for the movie premier...AINT NO SHAME. lol. They were fabulous. Anywho, I decided to pay tribute (pun intended) and do my nails in Capitol fashion.
I used orange cremsicle by Avon and I tried to do a glitter gradient with Wet n' Wild Sparked on top.

I can't wait to see what the capitol people look like in the movie. Our movie is at 9pm so we're going to head out to eat some korean right now. Korean food and movie, I wish everyday was a friday!

3.20.2012

Healthy Eats : Peach + Radish Salad

I got this salad off the Bitchin Camero website. Isn't that an awesome blog name?! Unfortunately my photography skills are no where near the quality of theirs so I hope my version still looks as good. I basically used the same exact ingredients but changed the dressing. When I saw this salad on their website I knew I had to make it. It looks super fresh and had beautiful coloring. Their dressing was very simple, just olive oil and white wine vinegar, but I decided to use Giada's white wine vinaigrette which has more flavor. 
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (you can also used whole and simply chop them)
  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 4 radishes
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 10 basil leaves chopped/torn
  • fresh peppper
To start you want to cut the peaches and radishes into thin slices. You can also place the radishes in cold water so that they don't dry out. Next, crumble the feta (unless you have purchased already crumbled feta whereas you can skip this step). Chop the basil, but being very careful because basil can bruise easily. See quite simple! Now onto the dressing.


Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
Using a blender/food processor place all the items in the machine. Then while the blender is turned on slowly add the olive oil. Finish by adjusting the salt and pepper for taste. 

Now time to eat! Arrange your salad and drizzle the dressing right on top. This salad is really easy to make, super healthy and so beautiful for spring/summer time. 
Yummy yumm. 

3.19.2012

Sunday Riley Eyeshadows : Fall Leaves + Solstice

Taken w/artificial lighting
I purchased these two Sunday Riley eyeshadows at the Barneys GWP event last month. The Sunday Riley cosmetic line has now been featured in many different beauty bloggers sites that I knew I had to go and try them for myself. They had a beautiful selection of colors but I had to restrain myself to two. So I picked up Fall Leaves and Solstice. 

Description:
Multi-functional wet and dry formula can be used as a traditional eyeshadow or as a precision eye liner. This ultra-fine, long-wear formulation is air-milled for exquisite texture and rich, stay-true color. Micronized spherical pigment particles impart effortless blendability and instantly satisfying color payoff. Offered in a range of finishes, from matte to satin to illuminating shimmers. Paraben Free.

L-Fall Leaves R-Solstice
  • Fall Leaves is matte with bits of gold glitters. It is a light nude/khaki color with hints of gold. It looks quite bronzy in the pan but it isn't. It is a very buttery smooth and light-medium opacity. I use it as all over base color because it is quite neutral. It is also great for blending out colors. 
  • Solstice (satin-shimmer) is a beautiful light purplish pink with hints of red(very muted of course). It is simply a gorgeous color that I am in love with lol. The color can actually be quite metallic when applied wet. It is also very soft and smooth as well.  

L-Indoor C-Indoor R-Daylight
L-Indoor C-Indoor R-Daylight
The packaging is so handy when storing because of the clear lid. You can spot the shade you want to use, instead of say the individual Burberry or Chanel shadows where you have to open them up or read the back label to see which shade it is. Major plus. And even though it is a clear plastic lid, the engrave lettering on top gives it a very lux feel.

Overall, I'm very happy with the quality of this product. From the texture, wear, colors, and packaging. I would definitely recommend them to my friends(you guys) and hope to collect more colors in the future.

Each package comes with 4.8 g of product which is a lot and these shadows retail for $26 and can be purchased at Barneys.

3.18.2012

Laura Mercier Sizzle Nail Lacquer

True to its namesake, this polish really sizzles! Sizzle is a gorgeous blend of red/orange/pink, and is quite bright. Though not to the point of neon, which many of the collections are trending this season. I love the way this polish applies. It was easier to apply than Cabana for some weird reason. I applied two coats and to be honest the color came out on the first coat. I just applied two for good measure.
This is such a fun color to look at. I cant stop looking at my fingernails!

This retails for $18.

3.17.2012

Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

I've been pretty much loyal to Urban Decay's Primer Potion for quite a while now. But I figured maybe I should just try a different one for beauty experiment sake. So I searched the internet looking at comparisons and I initially decided to try out Too Faced's shadow insurance, but when I went to go buy it I wound up at the Nars counter and just bought this one instead. This always happens to me! I go to the store being pretty sure about what to buy, but wind up buying something else. Well at least I have a plan right?

Anyways, I've been using this primer for a couple of weeks now and I've pretty much determined that to me it's the same as UD. And the UD primer is a fantastic primer. I know that UD has very sensibly changed their packaging to the squeeze out tube form like Too Faced, but I still have the sponge applicator form because I had bought a bunch through their clearance(hey still same product). The Nars packaging still uses a sponge applicator. Which I really don't mind, but I suppose for hygiene sake I would prefer a squeeze tube.

These are the active ingredients according to Sephora's website:
-Blend of Polymer and Mineral Powders (Mica, Titanium Dioxide, and a clay derivative): Deliver a firm grip on color.
-Deep Sea Extract: A naturally occurring marine extract. It's an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is harvested from deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
-Rice Bran Extract: A multi-functional natural ingredient derived from rice bran oil.

From reading the ingredient list, i'm pretty sure there are no parabens in this product. Which is a plus.

The color of the primer is white vs UD which is slightly beige tinted.

Here it is swatched:
L-swatched R-blended

Once you blend it in the skin it's pretty much invisible.

L-w/o primer R-w/primer
I'm not sure if you can tell the difference between the swatches, but the right has more vibrancy vs the left where it is more muted.

As far as texture goes, the UD is a little bit more lighter and glides on like a liquid. Whereas the Nars is much more creamier which actually does help moisturize the lids. This I found to be a major plus because my eyelids tend to get a little dry, especially the lower lids. Both of these primers are outstanding with helping the longevity of my eyeshadows, lasting me 12+ hours with no creasing.

So in conclusion, I do favor the Nars primer just because its more moisturizing to my lids. But as far performance goes, it is equally effective as the Urban Decay Primer. I'll probably eventually get my hands on the Too Faced Primer and then hopefully post a comparison between all of these.

3.16.2012

What's On My Face

I had gone to do a catering job this day and it was my first time using the cult favorite Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Black Ink. And let me just say how great and long wearing it truly is. I have never tried using gel liners before and finally have a replacement for my Maybelline Ultra Liner. It acts like a waterproof liner and it did not smudge! It was also really easy to apply with a Mac 210, I have probably over 10+ years of applying a cat eye so I'm pretty fast at it now lol. I also only used the Burberry Rosewood for my lids. I hope to do a full post on that soon. Just another very simple look. 
Here is what I used:
Nars Sheer Glow in Punjab
Sunday Riley Primer (still waiting to review this)
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer
Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Rosewood
Bobbi Brown Nude Peach Blush
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
Chanel Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in 30
Nars Blonde Venus Lipstick
Maybelline Falsies
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