Monday, September 30, 2013

Short Tip #9

I am currently sounded by a disaster zone. I am on the verge of moving into a new apartment and for a pack rat who has saved 25+ years of crap, this task is becoming quite a mission-my back and legs are killing me from all the lifting and throwing out the endless bags of trash six flights down with a broken elevator.

While packing, I discovered a method to help ease my future pain as I make mental notes to throw out all magazines in the future the minute I finish reading them! 

The Zip and Ship Method

Gather around all your products of one category, I chose jewelry.

Now grab yourself the cheapest smallest plastic baggies you can get. You don't need any of the fancier variations for this purpose.

Pack all your jewelry in the individual sandwich baggies.
Now yes, this does take time, but think to yourself in your future new home if you had just tossed all your necklaces, bracelets, rings, and accessories into one normal box or bag.
The first time you watch a movie in your new place, your hands will probably be very occupied attempting to untangle your new self made version of a rub ix cube.
I know I go crazzzzy when my accessories all fall and tangle.
It seems to take eons to separate them all out one by one again.

Things that won't tangle such as bangles, watches, and rings can all go into one baggie, but long thin chains, I suggest individual containment.

Now that you have assembled all your items, pack them all in one strong big plastic bag. This is where you actually want a decent plastic bag so the thing does not explode in transit, but ta da! all your jewelry can now be all in one place and easily unpacked and put away.

You can use this same method for your make up such as all your favorite eye shadows in one bag, all your favorite lipsticks in another, and then stick them in a large bag with the note on it stating : DO NOT LOSE. Just kidding! but you get the idea! 

Happy Packing Ladies! 
Mini break is over for me-wish me luck! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Top 10 Tips for Clear Radiant Skin

In my family, from my culture, told by my mom; skincare is serious business.
The earlier you start in life the better you preserve yourself.
At the age of 14, I began investing and started my very own skin care routine.

I tried all sorts of acne products from the drugstore, I went through a high end phase, I attempted the natural and organic products only aisle, and after years of acne, spot lightening gels, early winkle creams, and numerous face devices aimed to preserve aka pickle myself to retain youth, I have come up with ten tips/lessons, I had learned over the years.

1. Don't Deviate
 Those who are not new to my blog will most likely be able to tell skin care routine. The repetitive empty bottles of the same products comes up in every empties post to the point where I no longer need to describe how I feel about them anymore. They are the only skin care products I use and re use, because they work for me and keep my skin happy.

Clarins - Gentle Foaming CleanserThayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Toner 12oz Liquid

For years I experimented with washes, toners, treatments, and moisturizers always thinking of the next best thing. Some things worked, some made my skin worse, and you know what happened after years of experimentation? 
My skin became sensitive. Uber sensitive and it was my own self doing. Gahh! *Waving fit*

All the random products I kept spreading on my face changing every few months did my skin no favors.

No more!
I now stick to what I know and though sometimes it gets boring buying them again and again, having clear skin NEVER gets boring. 
Why keep trying new products when you already know what works for you and always works.
I really don't care if my products are cheap or expensive, whatever works I buy.
Luckily for me, my face seems to not mind somewhat cheap.

2. Keep it simple
I used to have one of those "Asian" skin care routines with the 10+ products all layered on top of each other. It works for some people ( my mom ) but not for me.
Wash, tone, and moisturize. In the daytime add a spf, a little bit of an eye cream, and a spot treatment when nasties poke their heads.

That's it.
No essence, no water bank emulsions, no promises of an oasis for your skin.
Keep it simple and your skin will be happy.

3. Wear sunscreen

I've worn sunscreen everyday since I was 16. If I go out and whether it rains or shines I wear sunscreen. Even if I'm home and the sun is very strong in my house i'll slap some on.
Everyone differs on when the sunscreen regret occurs, but I know doing this early and enforcing this habit will save me $1000's in the future on correction creams.

Sunscreen can be found in the drugstore for $10 dollars and last 6 months to 1 year. 
Please clip the coupon if necessary and make the investment.
My favorite budget version is the Nuetrogena Sport Face Sunscreen
Favorite everyday sunscreen is the La Roche Posay
Favorite high end sunscreen is the Dior Snow 

4. Wear a mask

With masks I have always been lazy. Be it sheet, clay, or cream but I have been trying very hard to remember to treat myself to this once a week and it does seem to help. I always do it on Sunday after my bath. Seems like a proper pamper day to start the week off right.

Favorite mask of the moment: Origins Clear Improvement 
Second favorite: Lush's Mask of Magniminty
Budget Option: Queen Helen's Mint Julep

5. Invest in exfoliating
The Clarasonic is one of the best things I ever purchased towards my skin care. 
No, it did not cure my acne which was the original reason for purchase, but after so many years of use, I cannot see myself without.
The overall tone and condition of my skin has improved so much from the device that I use it every night without hesitation.
I have found the method described here works best for me.
With the concentrated brush I see my pores diminishing, it's fabulous and worth the hard earned moolah for the device.

6. Ditch the wipes

If you use make up wipes regularly, I urge you to please cease the mass consumption.
I used to hate wipes but used them after work if I attended the gym a few times a week. No harm, outside the few brands that made my face sting ( Neutrogena, Yes to Cucumbers, and Simple ironically) and thought it's ok. It's only a few times a week.
Ever since buying an overpriced mini Bioderma just for the bottle to tote around to the gym, I have seen a decrease in my spots dramatically.
Seems the wipes were doing a lousy job -though my skin did look clean, I started using Bioderma in the gym and saw visible improvement.
The wipes left make up in my pores clogging them and not leading them to be the skin I wanted.
Now I all the wipes I've accumulated mostly to wipe counter tops.

Wipes if you do need them for SOS situations I like are: Olay and Garnier

7. Go make up free

Letting your skin breathe is giving your skin a much deserved break. If you are a minimal gal and go make up free often KUDOS to you! I only go make up free once a week ( if that- I know that's so bad) but when I do, I drink more water and let my skin relish in all the rest it requires.

8. Drink Water, Sleep More, Eat better

You are what you eat ladies. We all know the recipe for clear skin, WATER, fish, veggies, sleep- quite a simple routine which many of us lack ( I too, am raising my hand) A good tip I have for consuming more H20 is drinking it from a straw. Studies have shown people who drink water out of a straw drink far more than in a cup or bottle. As silly as it sounds, invest some time in your perfect water container. I bought several straw BPA bottles to settle on the one from Starbucks! I'm just the most familiar with that type of cup but once you find your perfect vessel, you will be guzzling away!
Stick if on your desk at eye level and watch the bottom appear!

9. Purge those Pores out

If you feel like your skin is congested, purge it and don't be afraid.
Bring on some steam, and make those pores open up. You may have a pimple or so in the next few days - maybe more, but better it just come out than stay under neath your skin for weeks causing pain and dullness no? Not to mention incredible frustration...

10. Don't Fret

Lastly, if something does pop it's ugly head, don't worry about it. I know that's harder to do than say but believe me when I say, no one sees it as obvious as yourself.
(It appears massively larger in our heads when we are in high school)

Whatever you do, do not, please do NOT pop your pimples.
Pimples last a few days, those scars lasts months to years. 
The world is selfish we are all so self conscious of our spots, hair, clothes, weight, that someone else having a problem doesn't seem to register to every one's so just leave it be, spot treat it at night, water consume all day to flush it out, and add some highlighter to fake a glow!

That's it!
Years of skin care experimentation to find out clear radiant skin is actually quite simple.
I'm just a bit lengthy with the verb age myself :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Last Night

Sky scene from last night walking on the beach boardwalk. Surreal.

Exploring Downtown

For most days I am a midtown girl. 
During the last few days I've had the opportunity to explore the southern part of the borough so here we go!
Be prepared for snap overload...

Brooklyn Bride, City Hall Area, Staten Island Ferry

Eventually I made my way back to the old familiar.
Guess who has been walking like a beast!
Grand Central Station to Central Park, ending in Columbus Circle 


Superb weather means walking galore!
Hope you enjoyed this little tour. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So Apparently, it's Called Balayage

When it comes to hair I claim to be quite simple, in reality I'm:
1. Lazy 2. Scared of a disaster at the hair dressers so I avoid it.

I've dyed my own hair, I've cut my own hair, I've given my bangs many a late night trim but I have been wanting more. Something I  considered doing solo but it seems a professional touch is in order.
At least for the first time...

I've loved the idea of ombre hair for years but I personally have never seen too many people pull it off properly. When done right, it looks so right. When done wrong, it's just so wrong...

A little bit of investigation has led me to find a technique which I think should be the perfect solution.
Balayage  (Ba-Lay-Aj). 
A new word to me. It's French. It means "to sweep". Developed in France during the 70's  but picking up immense speed world wide. 

The hair dresser instead of coating all your bottom bits of hair into bleach and foil to heat up and unfortunately damaging your ends, sweeps with a paint brush light layers of the bleach free hand. The top layers get a thin coat, and the bottoms get the full effect.  It's covered in plastic wrap and should take about 15 minutes for the color to develop. This leads to a more natural effect, less damage on the hair, and the best part, less upkeep. Ding ding ding I think we have a winner folks.

Popularized by Giselle but trend growing; is the more natural half highlights, half ombre effect.

The beauty:

brown hair with  highlights
What is the balayage effect?
balayage highlights

I think I'm going to do it. The lat picture to me is perfection. I was recommended to get my hair cut prior the highlights so the hair dresser can paint the color on your new hair instead of snipping away all the beauty.

So, has anyone else heard of this technique?
Am I really that out of date- again I know nada about hair.

Though it seems a bit summery I think the added shades will look amazing under all the fall hats I plan on donning! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Prep

With the wind chill arising, the Pumpkin Spice Lattes being poured, and the summer sandals being put away, it' high time to go shopping for the upcoming season. My favorite wardrobe season, hands down. A few goodies I have picked up in anticipation of seeing the changing leaves.

A lovely green and gold chained bag to hold the necessities while looking chic with a hint of modern vintage. A gorgeous yellow ochre colored scarf to break the contrast from all the black and navy wool coats. Suede low heel boots for long walks in the leaves and keeping those tootsies warm. New polishes in darker shades along with a smokey shadow to match the wardrobe, and a new watch to go with everything.

Who is with me? Fall prep anyone?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Currently Loving ♥

Forget the whole monthly favorites idea, I'm so crappy at keeping up with it consistently. So instead I wanted to talk about what I love right now, thus Currently Loving ♥ (yes, it's back!)

You might see some repeat favorites here, but I don't just move on from products I love easily.

L'Occitane Almond Milk Hand Cream: My favorite hand cream brand bar none. I just recently discovered their Almond Milk rendition. Mmmm comforting and rich smelling with lovely light green packaging reminding me of delicious Laduree signature boxes.

Origins Clear Improvement Mask: I KEEP trying Origins and I kept getting a row of duds but every time I'm just about to turn my back on the brand I get slammed with a home run. This brand is clutch all right. I've been loving this charcoal mask. I apply it twice a week and really see a minimization of my pores not only instantly but over the next coming days I see them looking smaller - I like minimization effect!
A winner!

Youngblood cream blush in Rose Quartz: A niche brand I believe. I don't hear much about them and believe Bendels is the only physical store I can think of that sells this brand, but it was worth the trek uptown!
I was convinced I was going to buy the shade "Tropical Glow" the peachy pink with gold shimmer, but the SA and I both agreed this petal pink with silver shimmer was better suited for myself. Who knew?
I don't wear pink or silver but the shimmer on the face is not as obvious unless you are in the light. Then you are glowing!
The real reason why this is a current star product for me is because of the longevity. Most cream blushes don't last as long as powder but this stays on me for well over 9 hours. I even saw it clearly at the 12 hour mark. In the make up bag it stays!

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze: Repeat favorite. I have been addicted to applying this over every single blush I wear each day. It's adds a great sheen, warmth, and lasts long when layered over a blush. 
It's a bit fragile, mine already broke out of it's pan but I just try to handle with care :)

RMS Living Luminizer: OK it seems many people are curious to know how I feel about the RMS products I purchased recently. I like the blush and luminzer I purchased but noticed their lack of longevity. While they made my skin look fresh and effortless when applied the staying power was just not there - believe the brand owner is aware of this and mentions make up should not be on the face for very long so the products are not meant for 12 hour shifts.
Fair enough, I have been quite happy with my little lumizer. It doesn't last all day but a little portable pot of glow with a few taps of the fingers makes me happy. It is quite subtle but still very pretty. Very daytime friendly.

Chanel Les Beiges No. 30: Another repeat favorite. This bronzer powder hybrid really has been getting to work this summer. Adding a touch of color and blending into the skin with such a fine powder texture it's seamless on the skin and effortless (again). 
Worth the hype.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy: My current go to MLBB shade. 
Comfortable on the lips, a little shiny, and a bit of pretty color.

Benefit's They're Real Mascara: Quite hyped about as well, but I get it. Initially I was not a fan. The wand is quite pokey but after a bit of training myself to slow down and apply this slowly, the length and volume achieved is nothing short of just damn nice. 
Two layers for special nights and "ka pow!" the lashes are!
Single coat for daytime revealing feminine super enhancing lashes. 
Though this does smudge on me, I can see the reason for the hype.
Also, I think this does get better with age.

And that's it! My current make up bag of favorites and must haves!
Till next time!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Current Dissapointments II

I don't regret buying alot of things. I'm one of those crazy people that doesn't mind reading countless reviews on MakeUpAlley to decipher if something I'm lemming is worth it or not. I have also lost my fear of being embarrassed returning something.
Lose this fear ladies, people do it, you're not alone, and it's your chance to get 100% of your money back to use on something you actually will enjoy.
Staring at something you hate on your vanity for years and keeping it because it was expensive is not worth a 2 minute counter transaction.

Never the less, I do make mistakes. 
Please keep in mind, that my opinions and thoughts are my own. 

Behold, my current selection of disappointments.

I don't believe I am a person very sensitive to smell. If something doesn't smell that great and doesn't really linger, I tend to just deal with it. 
Four of these products are on the list because they freaking reek.

Aussie's Sprunch Hair Spray: My 2nd bottle of hair spray in my life and it's already a regret. I love Aussie products but this one was a thumbs down. It smells like Grape Dimetapp.

I don't know if this just gave me bad memories, because for anyone who never had this as a kid growing up, not only does it smell nor taste far from grape, but the smell is of pure medicine.

Victoria's Secret The Body Mist: I purchased this to freshen up after the gym. I honestly think almost everything from VS smells AMAZING. Why I picked this, I am at a loss for words. I may have been surrounded by so many intoxicating fragrances in the store that this ended up smelling good to me, but ehhhhh no. Waaay too sweet, and something to donate to a friend.

Nivea Pearl Beauty Deodorant: I had wanted to try this for YEARS, yes YEARS! I think it is an Asia exclusive ( I could be wrong ) but it always sounded so fancy ( yes, deodorant!) Anyway, when I purchased this it was all wrapped in clear plastic so I was unaware of the scent. 
Well, the short answer is baby powder. Not just a little baby powder, no intense granny amounts purchased from Costco with numerous coupons, baby powder. I used this once in the gym and I was so distracted by the scent that just grew stronger ( if possible ) that I was getting a headache and actually leave the gym and ended my workout within 10 minutes?  Ruined workout and a headache left this product out to dry.
Sorry Nivea.

Olay Fresh Effects Moisturizer: Ok, you all know I love Olay. I used bottles and bottles of their moisturizer so when I saw this I was actually excited! Before purchase I spend the whole time in Target reading reviews on this and decided OK let's try this!
I love my Olay lotion, most likely because it's geared towards sensitive skin and UN scented. 
This not only felt very siliconey ( which I hate ), but had a very artificial "attempt at fresh" smell that I could live without. My skin did not seem as hydrated as my normal moisturizer and used this a total of twice unfortunately.

Kevin Beauty Maker under eye Concealer: I believe this is in shade 2? The color nor number are no where on the packaging. I purchased this with such high hopes as a former YouTuber called this her HG, but it most definitely is not mine.
Now, this product is actually good.
Creamy as heck, emollient, easy to blend, great little packaging, so why the thumbs down:?
The shade. The person I followed on YT was an NC 20 and said this shade was perfect for her. I am mostly an NC 25 and this seems to match my skin tone exactly. It leaves no brightening effect which I prefer, and I think for my personal make up preference, this just aint right. 
Close but no cigar.

Lastly, is a product I have been trying to convince myself to believe works for years, but honestly doesn't.
Isn't this shade GORGEOUS in the packaging? My first Chanel polish, I knew it was over priced but the shade just seemed to call me. 
Well, turns out tan or pale this color looks terrible on my nails. I don't know if it clashes with my yellow under tones or what but no matter what the season this looks just dreadful against my skin.
Noooo. Say it ain't so.

So there you have it, my current disappointments.
I usually like to finish my products, like them or not, but these, I just don't see it happening...

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