Tuesday, March 26, 2013

YSL glossy stain #9 rouge laque


Another bold lip color on my blog. You all must think I've gone crazy! Bold lip colors and I aren't a common pairing. But when I come across beautiful colors like this, can you blame me? When it comes to stains I figure the bolder the color the better as so I can make the most of the dual properties of the product.


I really like the formula of the YSL glossy stains. They have this cushiony feeling to them that gives them substance but at the same time doesn't feel heavy or uncomfortable. Almost squishy, but in the best possible way. This particular shade is quite rich in pigment but for evenness I still apply two coats. I find the color stays put IF you don't touch your lips (no eating, drinking, or wiping or else the glossiness disappears). The stain left behind can get quite uneven so unless you have some balm on you to smooth things over I wouldn't put any confidence in its ability as a stain on its own. This isn't drying on me but my lips aren't very sensitive to products.


The color is beautiful. When I first applied it I was wowed by the vibrancy. It is one of those red shades that makes you feel glamorous. I was afraid it was going to show up cool on me but lucky for me it leans slightly warm. I am infatuated with warm reds at the moment. Rouge Laque is an online exclusive color. At $34 a pop this definitely isn't a must have, more a luxury or a fun treat to yourself. L'Oreal's version is very comparable, just with tackier packaging and slightly less pigmentation.

What do you think of YSL's glossy stains? I definitely want to try out more shades so I would expect to see another one make its way into my basket during Sephora's April sale...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

getting ready with me featuring revlon nearly naked


So here is a little "getting ready with me" video I made for you guys using Revlon's Nearly Naked foundation. Get ready to see some wild curly hair, weird facial expressions, and MAC brushes shedding on my face. I will put up a full review of this foundation soon so be on the look out. This is my go-to look that I have been sticking to every day: matte lid and smokey under the bottom lash line with peachy cheeks. The blush combo I have been really enjoying has been MAC Lilicent topped with MAC Warm Soul. Unfortunately Lilicent has been discontinued which is a shame since it is a beautiful shade. Warm Soul will always be a favorite of mine. Happy Saturday!

Items used:

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation - Shell
Real Techniques Buffing Brush
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage - SC3
Maybelline Concealer - Brightener
Real Techniques Contour brush
Nars Ligh Reflecting Setting Powder
MAC 150 brush
Stila Bronzer
MAC 109 brush
MAC Lilcent Cream Blush
Real Techniques Foundation brush
MAC 187
MAC Warm Soul Mineralize blush
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
Smashbox Trio in Filter
Giorgio Armani Waterproof liner
MAC Tempting
L'Oreal Voluminous mascara
Estee Lauder Impulsive Coral Gloss

Monday, March 18, 2013

what's in my bathroom cabinet?


I admit, I am a nosy person when it comes to knowing people's beauty routines. I love seeing what is in your travel bags, your skincare routines, and what your nighttime and morning regimens are. Today's post is dedicated to my fellow nosy beauty bloggers that feel the same way. Here's a little peep into part of my beauty routine: my bathroom cabinet. Since my cabinet is quite small and I share the space with my sister, whatever I keep in here is what I use on a daily basis (or what I am trying to force myself to use up!)

Not nearly as interesting as my bottom shelf, but still chocked full of nice things.

First up we have my Moroccan Oil and my sister's Josie Maran Aragan Oil. I prefer the Moroccan while my sister prefers Josie. For me, Josie leaves my hair too greasy. I also tried using it once on my face during my parched skin phase and THAT WAS A MISTAKE. It broke me out so I advise you to be wary when trying it out on the face. My sister loves this oil though, she has a pretty oily scalp compared to me and she likes to use it for flyaways and shine. She does not like the Moroccan oil, it makes her feel greasy although she does like the scent. Moroccan oil is the winner for me. It smells good, controls frizz, and it makes my hair dry faster and look healthier.

My favorite balms. My sister also loves these. I use the Blistex Lip Medex at night before I go to bed or when I feel like giving my lips intensive treatment. I use the Nuxe Reve de Miel in the morning or whenever I feel like using a balm with no menthol in it. Both are HG to me and I don't want to be without them. They soothe, soften, and nourish my lips. I did a lip care post before featuring these products, you can read that HERE.

I keep my Clarasonic Mia here, out of the way. I like this product but don't think it is a MUST HAVE. It is more a luxury and if you can afford it and have been eying it I say go for it. I think it is excellent at cleaning the face of every spot of grime. I also keep cotton rounds here, the brand doesn't matter to me. I never used to use cotton rounds to remove eye makeup (I used to use toilet paper *cringe) but once I made the switch it was life changing. Nothing removes better than cotton. Also on this shelf is my Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant. Boring but a necessity.

I put a few samples here in order to force myself to use them up. Obviously my genius plan isn't working since the samples I have kept here are untouched still. I'm not giving up, I WILL try to use them. At the moment I have Giorgio Armani Regenessence Eye Serum, Lancome Genifique Creme Serum, Soap & Glory 3-In-1 Daily Detox Vitamin C Facial Wash, REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate, and Marula Omega Rich-Anti Aging Facial Oil, which is the item I am most curious about. If you have tried any of these products, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

This shelf houses the fun products, or so I think.

Since I have oily and acne prone skin, I need to have spot treatment products in my arsenal at all times. Two of my favorites are Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. I have talked about both products multiple times before on my blog so I won't ramble too much. I have sung my praises for La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo before so a basic run down: HG, can't live without it or else my skin goes berserk. As for Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion, I only use this on more cystic spots and I try to limit its usage or else my skin adapts to it and it isn't as effective. When used right, it is very effective at shrinking blemishes.

I use a remover to take off pesky eye makeup and then I use an oil cleanser to remove face makeup. My favorite drugstore remover is Neutrogena's Eye Makeup Remover. It does the best job at removing makeup and it is a joint favorite of my sister and I. I also recently picked up Bioderma in Toronto which I debuted in my last post. It removes decently and doesn't leave any oily residue behind but I think Neutrogena does a better job at removal. My current oil cleanser is Boscia's Makeup Break-up Cool Cleansing Oil which I really enjoy. I have talked about my love for cleansing oils before and I think every one should incorporate one into their routine, especially those with oily skin.

My cleanser of choice at the moment is Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed. It cleanses very thoroughly, lasts a long time and smells very pleasant. I use it with my Clarasonic and without and it performs well both ways. As for masks, I have been rotating between REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask and Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. Both are relatively new to me but so far have been great to my skin. I was afraid the Origins mask would be too drying but so far my skin has reacted positively towards it.

Two categories I am trying to delve into more. For toner I have been using LUSH Tea Tree Toner. It is great; it doesn't sting or irritate my skin and I feel like it helps purge my skin. For serum I am using Ole Henriksen Enlighten Me which I did a full review on HERE. It is a good serum for preventing scarring and lightening current blemishes but doesn't have much of an effect on past scarring.

Reflecting on back on this post I feel like I have so many products in my cabinet! I do use them all and have been for the most part enjoying each one. This doesn't even cover what products I have in my bathroom closet, which houses unopened skincare items that are waiting to take over once I use up what is in my cabinet. Tell me I am not the only one that hoards new items away like that?!

What do you keep in your bathroom cabinet? Do tell, satiate a fellow nosy beauty blogger's curiosity? :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

toronto pick me ups


I forgot to mention in my Toronto travel post that I picked up a few goods that are harder to get here in the United States (or just in my area). I actually had a goal to find some damn Bioderma before I came home. I came, I conquered! Here is my little Toronto pick me up. I bought all of this at Shoppers Drug Mart.

I mainly picked this up out of curiosity of the brand. But I am also trying to incorporate more toners into my life. I am still using my LUSH Tea Tree toner but when that is used up (which it will be soon) I plan to replace it with this.

Picked this up as a back up since I don't have any access to Nuxe near me. Love this, will keep repurchasing.

Currently I am using Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo. It is the best I have tried when it comes to dry shampoo but I still think there is room for improvement. I have heard about this Frederic version but haven't spotted it anywhere near me so it was a nice surprise finding this.

FINALLY. I have been wanting to try this out for ages but didn't want to pay the online prices. I was most excited about purchasing this. I contemplating buying more than one but I didn't want to be greedy and overestimate its performance just to be disappointed. I have used it a few times and it is nice. It feels just like water and takes off makeup decent enough. It doesn't perform better than any other remover I have tried though. If it was easily available to me I would repurchase but it isn't so amazing that I will go to lengths to purchase it from other inconvenient sources. Convenience is a powerful contender.

Have you tried any of these products? I am most curious about anyone's experience with Neostrata. Sound off in the comments!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

l'oreal caresse stain in coral tattoo & a drugstore chat


I haven't allowed myself to indulge in any drugstore purchases for quite some time. A few weeks ago I noticed a sale going on at my local store which led me to pick up a few items. Justified, right? ;) One of the items is a favorite and repurchase while the others are new and have been on my mind lately.

This is my favorite drugstore liquid liner; I have repurchased it countless times. It dries quickly, doesn't fade, applies easily, and is super black (A MUST). I have tried Revlon's liquid liner and am not a fan. It always faded away in my inner corners. I also swatched Lancome's famous art liner and was appalled at how the black was not intense at all, unless it was just that particular tester. I haven't tried out Maybelline's Stiletto liquid liner either. I feel like this L'OREAL liner is one of those products that I abide by the saying "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I think the only other liquid liner I would be willing to try is Illamasqua's precision ink. For now I'll happily stick with this cheap and functional guy.

I resisted in buying this many many times. Its description plus the fact that it was a shiny new product made it appealing to me. I will dedicate a full review post on this after testing it out to its full potential. I have worn it a few times and am torn on what I think of it. I will let you all know my final thoughts.

I originally wasn't interested in picking any of these up. These are the more affordable version of the YSL glossy stains. Usually I like to support the original idea rather than the the budget version but after seeing a few shades on Jenny I had to check them out.


This product is VERY impressive. I went into trying this with no expectations and was blown away by how nice it actually is. The formula is almost identical to the YSL counterpart. YSL is slightly more intense in pigmentation and the scent is different. This L'OREAL version is very comfortable to wear and doesn't settle into lip lines. It has this cushiony feeling and look to it that is very pleasant. It lasts long IF you don't eat, drink, touch it, etc. The stain left behind afterwards is a bit patchy. This doesn't bother me since the YSL versions I own does this as well. I prefer the glossy look anyway.


Unfortunately it seems like there are different shades available depending on which country you live in which is very annoying. I really like the shade I picked, it is brightening but isn't too loud to the point where I feel uncomfortable wearing it in public. I definitely want to pick up another shade or two. If you have been considering trying these out I fully recommend them.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. Only one more day until the weekend :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

my travels: toronto, canada

This past weekend I tagged along a spontaneous trip to Toronto Canada with some friends. It was a short and sweet vacation with good company. Here are a few photos from my travels.

My creation

1. rooftop view of Toronto at Sky Dragon Chinese Restaurant 2. night time view from the CN Tower 3. CN tower 4. sister and me inside the CN tower 5. looking downward and through the glass floor in the CN tower 6. no spiderman allowed in the CN tower

My creation

1. pretty Canadian money 2. Chinatown cuttlefish and duck 3. fresh greens in Chinatown's market 4. unknown and beautifully colored root in the market 5. pipe dragon inside Tea Shop 168 6. Chinatown wares

My creation

1. dumpling making ladies in Chinatown 2. duck, wonton, noodle soup from King's Noodle 3. roommate, sister, myself ready for a night out 4. crispy pork, greens and rice from King's Noodle 5. seafood, wonton, noodle soup from King's Noodle 6. hot and sour soup from King's Noodle

My creation

1. inside the Guvernment club 2. the lucky bridge inside Pacific Mall 3. my sister in the air puff security sensor in the CN tower 4. arcade fruit ninja inside Pacific Mall's arcade 5. wanda's Belgian waffles with ice cream and chocolate syrup 6. wanda's nutella strawberry crepe, we liked her waffles more!

My creation

1. Chako korean bbq 2. bland mango salad at Com Tam Pho 168 3. com suon at Com Tam Pho 168 4. surprisingly tasty pho at Com Tam Pho 168 5. fish ball and tripe stick snacks from Pacific Mall 6. my first time trying Tiger beer. decent!


+ I noticed a trend with Toronto beggars, they all have pets! And they use their dogs/cats to attract attention. I have never seen this tactic before and I was perplexed.

+ The people I traveled with only wanted to check out the Asian cuisine and scene. I wish I could have tried a variety of other foods and scenes! There's always next time :)

+ The CN Tower was very touristy but we just couldn't resist. It isn't very expensive for admission like other tall buildings (*cough Empire State Building) and the view at night is very pretty. Their security air puff machine was neat, it blew puffs of air along the length of your body.

+ Chinatown in Toronto was bigger than I expected. I wonder what they marinate their cuttlefish in to make it such a magnificent shade of fluorescent orange? I didn't think any of the food there was spectacular. But I was very jealous of their markets. Tons of variety of fresh produce, dried roots and seafood, and much more.

+ The Guvernment was a neat place if you are into going out. They mainly play house music but I believe there are other levels that open up with other music depending on the night.

Thanks for the good time Toronto. I'll be sure to be back, this time to hunt out your other foods beside Asian.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

a few thoughts on avene's soothing moisture mask


My obsession with masks is still at its peak and I don't know when it will wear off. I bought this Avene Soothing Moisture Mask late last year when I was having my dry skin episode, something that seems to happen annually when the weather starts to become colder. When I finally received it, my skin had already normalized out (thanks Boscia cleansing oil!) so I haven't tested this mask out during my parched skin phase. Since I was curious and couldn't wait for my skin to be dry to test it out, I used this a couple times while my skin was its normal oily self to see how my skin would feel. With that back story being said, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about this mask.

This is the strangest mask I have used yet since it has a no-rinse formula. You apply a thick layer to your skin, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and by then most of the product has sunk into the skin. If there is any product left on the face it is recommended to wipe off the excess.


I wanted to note that the second highest ingredient is mineral oil, for those who are concerned. I haven't done enough research on the matter so as of now I am neutral about that.

Speaking from an oily skinned lady's perspective, this is an unnecessary product to add to the routine. After using this I was expecting supple and soft skin but unfortunately my skin just felt greasy. BUT, I do think this is meant more as an intensive treatment product. It states on the box, "specific care for dehydrated and/or sensitive skin which has become reactive (redness, tightness, and stinging)." I plan to try using this again during my dry spell (beginning of next winter) to see if it has any effect at all since my skin is pretty stubborn and refuses to accept any moisture around that time. I will revisit this product again during that time and let you all know how it goes.

Bottom line: if you have dry skin or are experiencing bouts of tightness/redness/irritation this might be worth testing out. I know I will be giving it another go this winter when my skin is being troublesome. If you are oily or have normal skin all year round, skip out on this since all you will feel is a layer of residue. Also if you are not a fan of mineral oil, you will want to look elsewhere since this has a pretty high content of it.

Have you tried this mask before? If you have I'd love to hear your thoughts and what your skin type is.