Friday, November 30, 2012

Fitness Friday - Holiday Pounds, Fatigue, and the Plan

Unsure if this post with be of help to anyone, but I thought with the holidays among us, and the extra indulgent foods that are put in front of us from Halloween through Valentines day, my daily diet diary showcased below will show how I maintain my weight, and don't add on the Jolly J pounds!

*Disclaimer- this is not meant to be a guide on nutritional eating but a reference on how I eat myself and maintain my weight which does not fluctuates greatly without extreme change. *

I used to keep a food log when I was *dieting* but grew tired of it quickly, mainly because it was annoying.

I have been feeling incredibly fatigued lately (holidays?) so I have not been able to keep up with my gym routine – I was a complete couch potato last week!
I started this food log because I know my appetite can be quite high due to my exercise, and without that little factor inputted any longer, my diet which can seem quite heavy to some and can add pounds quickly.

*Please note my normal exercise routine consists of working out 3-5 days a week. One to Two spin classes a week, along with a range of running spanning 25-35 miles a week* à This is something I have not been doing due to general fatigue.
I have been slowly trying to work back up to regular exercise

Please see below on my attempts to eat regularly and healthy but no pounds have been added on the last few days.
I’ve actually lost a bit of weight but I know that is all muscle which I will regain once I resume my normal physical activities.
-This is not a diet to lose weight- this is how I maintain


Breakfast: 8:00AM
Breakfast: 7:30AM

Coffee with hazelnut cream  (1/2 cup)
Coconut water

Bagel thin with egg, avocado, hot sauce, feta
Bagel thin with hummus, raw red pepper,  feta, egg, avocado

Lunch: 12:00PM
Snack: 10:00AM

3/4th a chicken salad sandwich –open faced
Quaker Rice Cakes

3/4th a medium squash soup – low sodium
water with lemon

1 liter of water

20 minute walk following
Lunch 12:00

Bagel thin with salmon, avocado, hummus, red pepper, feta

Snack: 3:00PM
3/4th a cup of small butternut squash soup
1/4th chicken salad sandwich –open faced
4 pieces of portabella mushroom -grilled

1 cup of vanilla tea with milk – no sugar
1 liter of water

Snack 4:45PM
Snack: 1:00PM

Bag of baked chips
Bagel thin with salmon, avocado, hummus, red pepper, feta

1 cup of vanilla tea – no sugar
Water with lemon

water with lemon
1 piece of dark chocolate

Dinner: 8:00PM

Bagel thin with avocado, feta, red pepper, hummus
1/4th a bag of air popped popcorn and 2 mini chicken wings

1/3rd a cup of fried rice
Water with lemon
1/3rd a sweet potato

water with cranberry juice
1/4th a bag of air popped popcorn

10:00 PM
Dinner: 8:30PM
30 minutes of very light, low resistance elliptical
1/2 bowl of rice with Kimchii
2 chicken drum sticks with BBQ sauce
10 pieces of pocky
water with cranberry juice
Snack 11:00PM
sliver of cheesecake
Tea of lemon and honey

Breakfast: 8:00AM
Lemon Tea with honey
Wheat toast with 1/2 an avocado, feta, and lemon
Lunch 12:00PM
Piece of baked salmon, piece of catfish, 2 pieces of acorn squash, cabbage
calamari salad, 2 pieces of parsnips, 1 spoonful of rice with peas, 1 slice of tomato
1 small mozzarella ball, Callard greens -(Buffet which explains the odd portions)
1/2 Liter of water
15 minutes of walking following
Snack 2:00PM
Sensible sweets 25 calorie hot chocolate 
2% Greek yogurt with pineapple, honey, sunflower seeds
1/2 small non fat de caf latte
Dinner 8:30PM
1 and 1/2 cup of pasta with yogurt vodka sauce and spinach (link!)
1 bite of cheesecake
30 minutes of very light, low resistance elliptical

Breakfast 9:00AM
Breakfast 8:00AM
1/3 cup of coffee with milk and 1 sugar
Orange tea
3/4 small oatmeal with brown sugar/ raisins/ cinnamon
Wheat toast with fried egg and 1 spam slice
1 bottle of water
 Snack 9:00AM
Lunch 12:00PM
1/2 cup of coffee with milk and 1 sugar
1 cup of pasta with yogurt vodka sauce  and spinach
small plate from Indian buffet with 3 pieces of spicy carrot,
Lunch: 12:00PM
mashed chickpeas, 1 slice of tandoori chicken, 3 pieces of
Cup and a half of pasta with marinara and spinach
curry cauliflower
1 bite of office party cake-no frosting
1/2 liter of water
1 bottle of water
20 minutes of walking following
20 minutes of walking following
Snack 1:30PM
Snack: 1:45PM
Small side salad of spinach, brussel sprouts, 2 pieces of chicken,
1/2 small green corn chili soup
raw red pepper pieces , and 1/2 egg white
2 bites of a multi grain roll
Bag of baked lays
1/2 small green corn chili soup (remainder)
1 bottle of water
Vanilla tea with milk - no sugar
Sensible sweets 25 calorie hot chocolate
Bag of popcorn
Light rowing machine for 20 minutes
Dinner 7:30PM
Intense spin class 45 minutes
Fried lobster, 1/2 bowl rice, sautee vegetables
1/2 small red bean soup and herbal tea
Cup and 1/2 of pasta with yogurt vodka sauce and spinach

Towards the end you may have noticed an increase in pasta intake. I actually ate this because I was trying to build energy for my work outs, and carbs is fuel you can burn.
In general I’m not a pasta fan, but I try to eat what is required to have a balanced diet, and what my body requires. I should eat wheat pasta, but I actually have tried it, and don’t love the taste…
In terms of cardio I will eat carbs (I’m not afraid, and it works!), weight lifting I will eat protein, recovery I will have dairy, protein, and carbs mixed.
I do not take vitamins ever, I don’t believe in them if your diet is varied enough.

I’ve noticed my complete lack of fruit this week…this is because most of the fruit in my market this week all looked terrible, but I will try to add more in next week.
I go grocery shopping 5 days a week, for random variation, and try to keep my vegetables fresh.
I drink water throughout the day but did not list it each time, bit repetitive.

My diet does take a slight nose dive on the weekends, but this is usually when I work out the most. I might have an occasional drink, or a basket of fries, but YOLO!

I took photos of everything I ate but none of it looked great on camera...if you like these sorts of posts I will attempt to present my food better.
Let me know!
Or bringing back Fitness Friday's which I like, but lack ideas on what to post without sounding like some preacher.

On that note, enjoy the weekend ladies! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bare Minerals Luminzer in the Love Affair

My current "highlight moment" of the week is brought  by to me by the new Limited Edition Luminizer from Bare Minerals – The Love Affair

Though I personally am one who loves a highlight that is quite ahem “In your face” and I do believe a highlight must always be in my everyday routine, but the daily highlighters I use are quite different.

I attend numerous meetings every day for my work and blinding clients with the top of my cheekbones is not exactly a feature I wish to be remembered for.
My daily highlighters are quite subtle (in my opinion very subtle) and in office lighting just helps myself look like I do have some blood pumping in me!

Subtle highlighters also seem to need re application, so it has to be portable (preferably with a mirror), light, and packaged well to be part of my everyday make up bag (semi study please).

Enter the Love Affair

First introduced to me by Tiffany as the “Perfect Rose gold highlighter”, well that certainly caught my attention indeed!

My first BM pressed product, the powder is quite smooth, and comes featuring an imprinted design.
( I have used this baby. Bad blogger points on me)
Encased in a white compact being both light and thin with a very much appreciated decent sized mirror.

When swatched it looked somewhat familiar…

Remember this photo?

A more silvery version of Jemma's Kidd, perfect for the winter months and my paler skin!

The Love Affair highlighter is quite subtle, not non existent, but very office friendly. It is a mixture of pink and gold creating a very light rose gold effect on the cheeks which looks especially flattering with pink blushes.
The lasting power is average (about 2.5 to 3 hours) and the overall effect is quite nice and natural.
This seems like a very nice add on to anyone’s collection who is looking for something to just give a bit of pretty light and dimension to the face, and very appropriate for day time.

This being a limited edition product, I would advise a quick swatch in the store before it’s gone from the shelves.

Also quite relieved I had found this quite in the nick of time I would say.
A replacement to my very much loved and used Jemma Kidd Rose Gold Dewey Glow.

*Side note and minor pet peeve*
The one slight minute con I had about this which was not related to the product at all so I did not include it in the above review....but
The back.
My label is crooked. That just bothers me, but is something I will just have to get over.
It being straight, would have really helped my somewhat OCD ways!

Any good highlighter finds for the holidays?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The NARS Yachiyo Brush - A Review

The NARS Yachiyo brush, a brush of pigmented blush legend.

*For this post I purposely uploaded a larger than usual amount of photos because I know many people are curious about this brush and have yet to see it in person. I have also noticed not that many photos online of this product so I have not made any collages to save space, but kept all the pictures large to help people reference how this product actually looks.*
Hopefully this will be helpful.

First let's examine the shape

Am I alone in thinking this brush looks pretty s*xy?

The brush handle itself is incredibly light.
Since most of the weight is focused at the brush head, that portion of the brush is always dipped significantly forward when you hold this brush.
Wrapped in tight black wisteria.
The handle itself is very thin, thinner than a chopstick. 
The ferrule portion of the brush is slightly thicker than my thumb.
*Unsure if this is the correct term, ferrule. I believe it is mostly affiliated with metal material. If this is incorrect, I apologize as I am unsure of the proper word used to describe this portion of the brush with this specific material*

Below is the brush side by side with the Eco tools blush brush for reference

You can see the significant difference in handle thickness

The brush head

A classic blush brush head but where more of the length is exposed. Many blush brushes seem to cut the brush in the mid point where it is most thick, or just below. This brush's bristles are cut off towards the end where it creates an almost full oval shape.
It is also a bit thinner in width than most blush brushes I have seen. 
The shape is flat on both the top and bottom but from the side you can see the relative thickness.
The bristles on the flat side are incredibly soft, but when you apply blush with the flat side, then blend it out with the brush tips themselves, it was not as soft as I had thought.
It was actually a bit scratchy in comparison which surprised me.

A con for me with this brush is this wisteria material. I have washed this twice and have been quite paranoid of any water entering the wisteria. I have taken extra measures to ensure all my brushes dry downward, and as little water enters the brush's body.
No shedding experienced thus far.


I brought out my scariest NARS blush and a semi scary shade to show the effect this brush has on incredibly pigmented items

Example 1: Exhibit A

The photos above are with two taps of the brush. In hind sight I wish I had done one tap.
I have used this blush in the past with a stippling brush where I had to blow away the excess and pat a bit as a precautionary step on my hand prior application to my face.
With the NARS Yachiyo blush this created the Snow White effect that this blush has the capability of creating.
I still think 1 pat of this will be enough per cheek, but no excess blowing off the residual powder is needed. The perfect amount is added to the brush.
Please note it does look a bit bright on my hand but two taps in that one space will be used along two cheekbones!

The blendability of this blush color moved extremely well with this tool.

Example 2: Taj Mahal

Though Taj Mahal is very pigmented, it aint no Exhibit A.
For this blush I actually lightly tapped the brush in four times, applied it on my hand, and blended to find a very pleasant result.

No scary orange here!
Blended out to be completely natural, which this brush has the power to do.

Would I recommend this brush?
Quite honestly this depends on what blushes you use day to day.
I have found that with normal pigmentation blushes, it takes this brush quite a while to build up the color, while its not loosely made, the bristles are not dense enough to pick up colors with average pigmentation with the same ease.
If you are a person who loves bright blushes that only require the lightest hands, such as certain NARS and Illamasqua blushes, this may be the brush of your dreams.
I personally am on the fence. Most of the blushes I use day to day are quite average in pigmentation but this may be due to the extra work it always entailed to enjoy such rich shades.
I will be experimenting with this brush for a few more days to see if I will continue to keep this in my collection, but I am expecting with winter being here and with shades such as NARS Mounia calling, this may be a keeper!

Please note this post has gone up right before the NARS FF Sale!
Two days to choose if you would like to add this brush to your life, with a discount! (Always good)

Exclusive - NARS Friends and Family
Two Days Only
- Begins Tonight at Midnight.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bobbi Brown's Fresh Melon

Current favorite product of the week
Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon.

When Bobbi discontinued her past pot rouge items, I had been so disappointed I never picked up Cabo Coral, that  I just neglected her whole re vamped cream blush line.
I recently went on a cream blush kick because
1. I have lacked blush for a few months
2. It’s getting dry here!
Cream blush adds a bit of freshness to the face.

I originally bought the color Pale Pink which is not as blue toned as its powder counterpart and loved the fresh pop on the cheek it gave, it was also a gorgeous lip color!
I eventually returned Pale Pink in exchange for Fresh Melon because these are so incredibly natural on the skin, it truly looks like your cheeks flushing, and it looked a bit off for my warmed skinned. To be blushing blue toned? So I decided to get something even more natural.

When the lady tried this on me she said “No, it’s blending right in the skin, no”
My brain: “Isn’t that a good thing??”

She was trying to be honest and thought I wanted a pop of color.
In actuality I just wanted to look like ME! But fresher.

The Pot rouge products in the new formula are not as sticky as their predecessors. They come in a convenient small compact with a built in mirror which is a nice change from the former model. What is unfortunate is that you get about half the amount of product as opposed to the old packaging L

Moving on…
These cream blushes are the best I have tried thus far. They don’t seem to dry as powdery as NARS, but not as sticky as MAC or Stila. They dry matte and after a period they seem more powder like but just blend and immerse itself into the skin.
The skin (well my skin ) does not eat this product up.
12 hours later I still saw that pop of pale pink!

Fresh Melon is more subtle, best on fair to light medium skin tones. I don’t think this would show up on a medium skin unless layered.
This just adds the tiniest warmth and hint of color to the cheeks and looks almost like I'm not wearing anything but I know this is a shade of complete enhancement.
Nearly no makeup make up that compliments the face.

Application wise I have used my fingers but all the reviews I have seen of this blushes, show the masses enjoy using these blushes with Real Technique brushes, and I fully agree!
I have read of people enjoying this with the contour brush or the expert face brush, but I have been loving mine with the multi task brush or the expert face brush

The multi task brush applies it more sheerly as the brush is less dense, while the expert face brush is similar to the buffing brush but in a different shape, so it's better for packing it on.

On the left is the expert face brush with two dabs in product and applied
The right is with the multi task brush which is more sheer

In short, if you are a cream blush fan this range has quite a nice selection of colors, not too sticky, and very long lasting! Thumbs up from me!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Winter Favorites, and Make Up Lessons from 2012

A post featuring all my cold weather favorites, and a lesson on my make up style

Part of growing up and wearing make up is developing your make up style, or signature look.
Lauren Conrads winged liner, The Olsen's red brown smokey eyes, Dita's red lips, Rachel Bilson's and Kate Middleton's eyeliner.

2012 was the year I stopped buying as much "fun" make up and tried in invest more in quality items that may seem dull to many but staples for myself.

Looking for perfection in each natural item. 
Most of the time, my make up style is attempted to look quite soft, almost romantic, and very well blended with emphasis on my skin and complexion, with less focus on eyes or lips.

Here are my gathered go to's.

Winter Skin must haves:

Bobbi Brown's Extra Repair Eye Cream: Review can be found here.
Naruko's Brightening and Firming Repair Night Cream: My main goal all year round, is to have very well hydrated and healthy skin. Because I am *gulp* aging ...ugh
I am trying this firming night cream. This hydrates well, in my morning I see my face does look brightener, and in terms of lines...I see a slight difference.
This can be just be me and my weight. I think most people gain weight in the winter, and whenever I gain weight all the lines on my face seem to fill in! when I lose weight they seem to come out ( no win! WTH)
But for now, this seems to help hydrate very well, and fill in my lines ( I'm hoping it's the cream!)

Base Make up:
This year I learned my perfect combination.
I am not a liquid foundation, powder foundation, or even tinted moisturizer fan. 
( I learned this after buying so many!)
Since my favorite thing to highlight is my complexion, I work hard to keep it clear and bright, but that means with excellent skin, less base make up is needed.

My ideal face combination is a moisturizer or sunscreen with the slightest tint release such as LRP or Origins Vitazing, with the sheerest layer of mineral powder on the T zone.
That's it! Slight coverage with minor spot concealing, but a natural, breathable base, that looks and feels light. 
My ideal!!

After moisturizing in the morning I mix the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Oil Free (love) with my La Roche Posay sunscreen with tint release and wear this as a base. I conceal around my nose with any concealer and set with the sheerest layer of mineral powder ( Lancome) with the MAC 182 Kabuki  (another winner)
For under eyes, I conceal but have learned this year how much I LOVE a brightened under eye area. Not just concealed, but brightened. Enter the Maybelline Age Rewind in Brighter. The drugstore has many of these brightening under eye concealers, I do enjoy this Maybelline one, but want to try the L'Oreal one next. 

2012 was the year I went eye shadow CRAZY. I purchased so many towards the latter half of the year, why?
Because I finally had some eye lashes!
I was the kind of person who never wore shadow, just tight line, and no mascara for YEARS.
This was the year I tried a few eyelash growth serums but Rapid Lash truly worked for me! I even bought another tube. With the growth of my lashes, mascara no longer looked idiotic on my eyes and I started thinking about my eyes more often, buying shadows like crazy.

I soon learned to emphasize my lashes, I liked very natural shadows. Skin colored shadows. Matte and semi sheer. Wash it all over the lid with the MAC 224 and tight line to make the most of my limited lid space, and emphasize my new lengthier lashes.

A shadow used and abused this year was MAC's Brule, but I have recently added Bobbi's Bone, and have several others to rely on. Some people may think it's a waste to buy these, because it's mostly used on the brow bone, but they're what I use almost solely most days so for me, having several is useful and utilized.

If I splurge on mascara it's always Lancome, preferably Hypnose. I also wear Shiseido's mascara base most days to double lash length (or at least attempt to)
NYX Eye brow cake in 03 is the best powder shadow I have tried to date for the brows.
Since it's so cheap I have many back up's in case they ever discontinue!

For my tight line I have found pencils to be semi harsh for my preference, I mainly use them just to use them up since I have so many, but prefer dark shadows with a brush for a softer and more natural look.

I used to be a bronzer and blush girl. Not this year. I found that to be a bit too much unless I was going out. I now either wear blush or bronzer but always with a highlighter to further perfect my complexion.

I prefer cheek stains over cream blush, and cream blush over powder but since most of my days are long, powder blushes are usually what I wear for longevity.
I prefer pink blushes in winter because I think it is better suited with my pale skin, my more tanned self prefers peaches and bronze.

My number one cheek pick would be cheek stains, I am currently trying Benetint for that natural rosiness. I prefer cheek tints with a more red than pink base for that flush effect. For powder blush I have fallen for Bobbi Brown's Pink Rose 42.
Dusty, mauvey matte pink. Bit more pink that NARS Doucer but still has a sculpting quality, less brown toned than MAC's Blush Baby but still so natural.
This has been the pink cheek I have been looking for! 
I don't hear many people speaking about this maybe because it looks dull in the pan, but please do try it on in store!

2012 was the year I learned to love matte blushes. I think this preference came with age...
Highlighter I don't think I will tire of any time soon. I am currently trying Bare Minerals The Love Affair which is subtle but perfect for day time. A review will be coming up! 

Lips, Nails and Brows:
This year I had placed a lip products ban on myself, and you know what, it's almost over, and it was not even hard!
I realized, ok, FULLY realized how little I like lipsticks. 
Pretty tubes, but for everyday they're a bit much for me.
I seem to be more of a chap stick, tinted lip balm person.

Smith's Rosebud Salve as been a long time favorite of mine. The lasting powder is short, but the rosy tint and smell is what I enjoy. I also love the antique looking tins! The Clarins Lip Perfector is not my favorite, but I do enjoy the effect, but it's a bit too sweet smelling for me. I just like the natural lip look with this.

Though winter calls for darker nail colors, I am just one of those neutral nail girls!!
I have my red moments but I will never tire of Essie polishes, specifically in Topless and Barefoot or Sugar Daddy.

This was also the year I discovered  brow gel!
I actually do not have unruly brows but always prefer the polished brows look, so everyday I do a quick sweep. Brows frame the face, grooming your brows really puts structure to your overall appearance.
Aka: Brows help you look finished.

Hair and Scent:

I am not a hair person.
I don't brush it, I don't really style it, I don't use heat on it or product.
This, I think is my first hair product venture life??? No.. I think i bought a mousse once...
BB Texture (Un)dressing Cream: I noticed many YouTubers seem to rock the messy bed head look. My hair is naturally straight, flat, and lifeless. I use this sometimes to add some beachy wave to my hair, and it works!
It feels kinda weird for me to have products in my hair which I don't enjoy, but for special occasions I now have a product at least! 
I think I will invest in hair spray in 2013!

Lastly fragrance. Jo Malone Cologne. I have my personal collection, and I don't see it ceasing to grow in the future. I am not a huge perfume fan, but this line of colognes always has something that grabs me.
Forever a fan of the English line.

Current fragrance being used is Dark Amber and Ginger Lilly.

And that's it!!!!

Congratulations if you made it to the end!
I hope this post gave a general feel on how I wear my make up and the style I go towards. Along with a lesson on all the things I learned this year on my make up style.
Naturally enhancing the skin, blushed cheeks, minimal focus on the eyes and lip, along with healthy hair but with some waves from time to time finished with brow gel and  English cologne!

I speak about aging, but in reality,  me wearing too much make up I learned does nothing for me outside looking ridiculous. A soft focus and natural effect will always look best to anyone who has doubts!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cool Pink Show down Bobbi Brown's Pale Pink vs. NARS Desire

Cool toned bright pinks have entered my brain, and have yet to leave. Convinced they will be my blush of choice this winter season, I set out to find right one to add to my collection.
The Sephora VIB sale was the perfect opportunity to seek out and determine the winner.

Entering, fluorescent blue pinks

Don’t be scared!

 I’ve tried blue toned pinks in the past, and they were all an epic fail on my warm toned skin, I gave up. 
I realized though, they may have looked dull on me because they were just not bright enough, so I went out to purchase the brightest scariest looking ones (makes sense)

NARS Desire and Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink

In the pan they both look shocking but swatched you can see the difference.
Desire is more pigmented, brighter, and darker.
Pale pink is pigmented but not as much as NARS, less bright, and more slightly lighter.

I applied these blushes on my cheeks for about 3 days. I used 3 difference blush brushes 
round top blush , flat blush brush, and the NARS yachiyo brush)
One brand on each cheek every day.

Results were the same in each test.
For me
Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink won.

NARS Desire on me, does not look good.
With the round top and flat blush brush the application was patchy, and the color changed on my face almost instantaneously to an almost red pink. It looked quite ruddy on me, really. Desire also seem to sit on top of my skin most of the day and never seem to meld into my makeup.
Pale Pink blended far better, created more seamless edges, and believe it or not, looked more natural.
Desire made my skin looked a bit sloppy with the coloring, Pale pink seems to just bring out a more natural blush effect.

Enter the NARS Yachiyo brush!
The brush that supposedly makes all NARS blushes that look crazy, look incredible.
First, this brush picked up Desire FAR better than the other two I had tried previously. It also blended the product into my skin to be more evenly distributed, and helped meld into my skin more
 (this brush really knows what to do with NARS pigment!)
I still chose Pale Pink.
 Though the results ended well for Desire with the right tool, it still seemed to sit on top of my skin, where I want a more seamless effect.

I own numerous NARS blushes and love them, but for me, this time, Bobbi came up on top.

*Small preference note* This had nothing to do with the actual product but I am a bit relieved Bobbi won this. I hate flipping through my NARS products to find the right one I am looking for, I do enjoy the see through top once in a while!

Who can miss a beauty color like this? J

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