Friday, May 30, 2014

002 thoughts of the week

1. For memorial weekend I went home to visit my parents. To help pass the time, my older sister played old performances on blast and it made me feel extremely nostalgic. I mean, listen to the harmonization in THIS and the greatness that is THIS. They just don't do entertainment right anymore *grandma grumble.

2. I had no idea who Iggy Azalea was last week but I came across Jimmy Kimmel's translation for old people video which made me laugh and also firmly cemented the rapper's name in my brain. Now I feel like she's everywhere I turn and I just wasn't paying attention before. I previously hated Fancy, now it is embarrassingly a guilty pleasure.

3. I almost gave up on The Originals because I really can not stand Hayley (the worst) but I heard the finale was good so I forced myself to catch up. And it was worth it because the finale was really great. I might have cried. That damn wooden toy scene, ugh.

 photo woodentoyoriginals_zpsd9f27ff3.gif
All the tears...

4. NastyGal was having a 50% off already marked down items so picked out a few things. I've never shopped at the site before so we shall see how it goes. The things I am most excited about are THIS sparkly thing and my very first maxi dress.

5. Did you guys see The Lonely Island's When Will the Bass Drop video?! If you are a fan of EDM you will 100% understand and laugh forever like I did. If not, you probably won't think it's funny. Andy Samberg's face could convince you otherwise though.

6. My recently watched Netflix movie is Dogtooth. I picked it because an internet list told me it was compelling. Holy hell this movie was fucked up. I didn't understand what was going on at all but it did make me think for a couple days after I watched it. I don't know if I necessarily recommend it because it is a strange, strange movie with no concrete resolution or explanation.

just to give you a preview of the strangeness

7. Emma Watson's face. Her makeup is always something to be mesmerized by.

8. Chrissy Teigen answered some questions on her twitter for Cosmo and she mentioned one of her favorite beauty tricks is using LORAC self tanner mixed with moisturizer. I was intrigued so I bought it during's 20% F&F sale and tried it out. In short, I love it. Mixing this product is such a genius idea since 1. you extend the product usage without significantly decreasing the integrity of the tanner 2. it kills off that God awful self tanner smell. Maybe I'll do a full review on this when I get more use out of it.

9. My parents are donating a king sized bed to me in a couple weeks and I am so excited. I'm also overwhelmed with the choices of bedding there are as I have no idea what kind of look I want. I need bedroom inspiration.

10. The weather has been so gorgeous lately that I am so antsy to get out and do some outdoor activities. Just a few things on my list: kayaking, canoeing, visiting a fish hatchery, picking strawberries. Bring it on summer 2014.

please don't let my summer become this haha.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

007 what I'm eating/fitness routine

As a fellow foodie, I am always fascinated by what other people choose to consume and what recipes others find worth sharing. I'm that person who does NOT find it annoying when when people post pictures of their meal, I truly enjoy creeping on their chow. If you feel the same way, these posts are for you. It's time for another installment of what I've been eating. I also wanted to briefly cover my fitness routine for some insight.


When I wake up I am rarely ever hungry and I hate forcing myself to eat any type of meal. I try to stick to something light to get some nutrition in my body since I do my workouts in the morning. Working out on an empty stomach is no bueno for me, I get light headed and feel nauseous when I do so. I usually opt for a protein shake, something I REALLY had to adjust to. I used to be very sensitive to the taste of the protein powder and despised it but now I can't even taste it.

If you feel the same way about protein, I suggest gradually adding protein powder to your shakes. For example, when I first started out I started with only half a scoop. I continued this for about two weeks and then moved on to 3/4 of a scoop and so on and so forth. Also, bananas are your best friends. They cover up the protein taste and thicken up the shake. For my shakes I add a mix of almond milk and water, a heaping scoop of mint chocolate protein powder, half of a very ripe frozen banana, ground flax seed, wheat germ, psyllium husk, and a little pro-biotic powder. Flax seed and wheat germ should be easy to find at health stores or places like Vitamin Shoppe or GNC if you want convenience but if you want more bang for your buck suggest looking for a bulk retailer online. Psyllium husk can be found anywhere, I get mine at Walmart for cheap. It looks like THIS.

As for actual food, to be honest I rarely eat in the mornings. Like I said, my body is still processing being up so the last thing I want to do is to eat. If I am up for a while and don't have places to be, I will eat steel cut oatmeal that has been soaked in almond milk overnight. I'll add honey, cinnamon, and some walnuts to make it tasty. This is the only way I will eat oatmeal! I hated oatmeal before I did this combination. There is also my favorite snack of greek yogurt with fruit, honey, and some kind of granola.


Lunch is when I first start feeling hungry. I bulk up on vegetables, incorporate a lean meat or seafood to feel fully satisfied, and I always like to finish off with some kind of fruit. Any salad with chicken is a common choice with me. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and feta with balsamic is my go to and fail safe choice. Sometimes I'll switch it up and bulk up on vegetables a different way, such as shrimp ceviche. Soups I'll do now and again, pictured here is Ina Garten's roasted tomato basil which I highly recommend trying out. I'll also meet up with friends for lunch and do pho. Sandwiches I'll do on occasion depending on my mood and how quick I want to throw something together. Pictured is a turkey bacon BLT I made up (wheat bread, red onion, tomato, turkey bacon, avocado to replace mayo) which I extremely enjoy. I thought I was going to hate turkey bacon but it has the same flavor as bacon! It does not have the satisfying crumbly fat texture though.


Dinner I stick to the same philosophy of bulking up on vegetables and having some kind of lean meat. I am also a firm advocate of carbs as I feel like they give me energy and keep me full longer. My favorites are sweet potato, quinoa, and brown rice. I tried out THIS recipe for a creamy avocado spaghetti squash dish which is pictured in the middle and I would not recommend it. It just made me want to eat guacamole and I don't think it complimented the squash well. I won't strictly stick to healthy choices, if I crave pasta I'll whip up the classic one pot pasta or if I feel like white rice I'll make it and eat it with a stir fry or boiled meat and vegetable dish.


My body is to the point where if I go overboard with anything unhealthy I feel sick which is surprising to me since I never thought I would get on that level. Even so, weekends I tend to indulge and not hold back on anything within reason. I drink beer, I try out restaurants in my area, etc.


This is about a 4.5 month time gap. I started out the first two months doing 1 hour gym sessions but I found that was too hard on my body and I was constantly sore/in pain so the last two months I switched to 30-45 minute workouts. I run and do weights about 4-5 times a week. My current workout starts off with a 15 minute run which usually ends up being 1.5-2 miles depending on my mood. After that warm up I do weights, I switch off between arms and legs every other day. I just use the weight machines provided at my gym.

I'm not a health expert and everyone is different but this is what has been working for me. I do have a pretty decent metabolism, which I am very thankful for, so keep that in mind. I think what helped me most was jump-starting my physical activity as I was never, EVER, EVER physically active before. Getting my ass up and around was a tremendous lifestyle change. Diet of course is a big factor but I don't like focusing on it and I don't like depriving myself since food brings me great joy. I still eat chips, pizza, burgers, pork belly etc just not as often as I used to. I would say I also eat less than I did before which was very hard for me in the beginning but my body adjusted with time. Had a few hangry moments in the beginning!

I also think shakes or some kind of supplement is a defining factor in my change as I don't believe the food we have access to has the proper and full nutritional value our bodies need. I don't see the protein shakes as meal replacements, I see them as a boost in covering all the nutrient holes I have in my diet.

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask. I'm pretty open about everything so don't be shy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

making things work part II

I've been on a "get through piles of the products you own" mission lately. I haven't bought any new makeup and skincare that hasn't been essential which is really a special feat for me. This action has brought out a bit of creativity in me because I have a few items that I don't particularly like but I wanted to still use up. So here I am, documenting my little tricks. This is a sequel post to THIS one.


I have talked about all these products before on my blog. Three of the four pictured are products that I have expressed my distaste for because they didn't meet my expectations or because they didn't work well with my needs. Determined to get some use out of these products, I thought of different ways to use them up.

I did a review on Maybelline Baby Face Pore Eraser and found it to be pretty worthless for my oily skin. It did smooth out the appearance of my pores but it also left me hideously oily when used alone. I figured since it did a good job smoothing, I could try out mixing it with the amazing product that is the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner. Worked like a charm. I get oil free, smooth results while using up two products at once.

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask as a hand treatment.

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask and my face just did not get along. It felt greasy and left my skin very congested and clogged. It was, however, particularly nice if I used it strictly on rough patches of my face which got me thinking...what if I applied this to dry areas beyond my face? I recently gave myself mild chemical burns on my hands at work which left my poor hands cracked, scaly, and overall uncomfortable. It doesn't help that I am required to wash my hands extremely frequently which further exacerbated the dryness. To experiment, I applied a thick layer of this mask onto the tops of my hands, let it soak in as much product as possible, and then massaged in the residue for good measure. Holy cow the results were stunning. My scaly, cracked skin disappeared and returned to normal. I can see why dry skinned people love this. I think if you have eczema you need to try this out, it could be your godsend.


Another product I have taken to apply elsewhere is Dior Amber Diamond highlighter. I am in the minority when it comes to this product as I have never been impressed with it on my cheekbones. I don't find it to be special or something that stands out. I have been using it as eye shadow instead, and this is a much better use for it. It isn't super frosty so it isn't too over the top but it does give my lids a pretty neutral sheen when blended all over the lid. All I have to do is add a little transition matte color to my eye socket to finish up. And tons of mascara and kohl liner, but that's a given.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

night time skincare routine 2014

My routine for the evening has changed product wise compared to last year, but the overall philosophy is the same. At night I like to focus on thoroughly removing my makeup of the day and treating my scarring concerns. I double cleanse in the evening, first with a cleansing oil and then with a lathering cleanser.


OIL CLEANSER: Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil
This is a repeat purchase, I think I have gone through about 3 bottles of these. I like it but I prefer Shu Uemura more. This is a bit thicker than Shu and takes a few rinses to get off. Still, it cleans off makeup well and helps keep my skin hydrated. I've noticed when I skip out using oil cleansers, my skin gets a few rough patches. Never again. The ingredients in the Boscia would appeal more to the natural junkies compared to the Shu since Shu is mostly mineral oil (which I have no aversion to).

SECOND CLEANSER: Ole Henricksen On the Go Cleanser
I have only been using this for 2 weeks or so I don't have a real opinion on it yet. So far it is decent but not the best cleanser I have tried. It has a vitaminy citrus scent and squeezes out as a thick gel. I actually hate the set up of dispensing the product, it is thick so squeezing it out of the nozzle is a pain. It cleans well and doesn't irritate my skin. I think this wouldn't be a good idea for dry skin though, it is ever so slightly stripping.

TONER: Kiehl's Clarity Activating Toner
I'm about done with this and I can say that this is nothing special. There is no noticeable difference in my scarring nor in the healing time of the redness after a blemish makes its way out. It doesn't sting and it doesn't make me break out but it is absolutely not worth the retail $42 USD. I'm glad I got this discounted or else I'd be quite irate with this. Skip it!

FACIAL OIL: Clarins Lotus Oil
I did a review on this HERE. I feel the same way as my review: I'm now a believer in facial oils and their benefits. It has dramatically helped with my sebum production and overall balance of my skin.

MOISTURIZER: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
It ain't HG for nothing.

For my night time routine, I am only unhappy with my toner choice. Luckily I'm almost finished with it so I can move on to better things. I already picked up its replacement: Peter Thomas Roth Max Correction Pads. I've actually tried these before in the past but I forgot how they fared.

Monday, May 19, 2014

morning skincare routine 2014

It has been about a year since I shared my skincare routine. I thought it would be a good idea to do a little update. Like last time, I will talk about my morning routine first and do an additional post about my night time routine. If you were curious, HERE is the post I did last year.

A brief summary on my skin type and skincare philosophy: oily, acne prone, scarred, and not all that sensitive. My main concerns are controlling oil without over drying as well as working at diminishing the appearance of my hyperpigmentation and scarring. I prefer to have a morning cleanser that is mild and usually non foaming just to wash away the night's oil production and residue from the lotions and potions I applied the night before. I also am a firm advocate of oil cleansers and second cleansing at night. I am not obsessively concerned with ingredients but I do read what is in what I purchase and tend to pick items that have a higher percentage of the beneficial ingredients rather than the fillers. I like having two types of toners on hand, one to hydrate and one to mildly exfoliate. Now on to specifics:


CLEANSER: Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip
This is quite expensive, $45 USD, but the price per use for this ends up making that price tag manageable. I am about 9 months in using it and I still have enough left for a good solid 2 months I would say. I like this cleanser. It doesn't feel stripping yet it cleans thoroughly. It claims to tighten pores and smooth out skin but I don't see much of that. It is very balancing which is what I'm looking for in the mornings. I would recommend it if you have the funds. I would think about repurchasing as I think this has been the best non foaming gentle cleanser I have tried so far (I have tried Cetaphil, CeraVe, and Dr. Hauschka).

TONER: Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner
This is actually a repurchase for me. I enjoy this and think it will be a staple in my routine. It is inexpensive, alcohol free, and soothing. I thought about trying another type of toner in Thayer's range but I ended up coming back to this.

TREATMENT: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
HG and can't live without it. When I don't use this my skin is very congested and my pores get very clogged up quickly. A thin layer over my problem areas fixes this in a snap and the effects don't diminish over time.

TREATMENT: LUSH Grease Lightening
I bought this having very low expectations for some reason. But I love this. My skin seems to really respond well to tea tree oil. My skin is noticeably less oily during the day when I use this. I would repurchase and recommend it if you have oily skin or any oily zones in general.

MOISTURIZER: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
You guys are probably sick of me singing praises of this by now. Another HG product. I have been using this close to 10 years now and haven't had the guts to switch out or explore any other options. Why fix what isn't broken? Moisturizes, sinks in quickly, not greasy, unscented, easy to find, list of pros goes on. If you have dry skin this isn't the best option as I think it will be too light for you, but if you have combo to oily skin you MUST try this out.

I use these products in the order I described them. I am very happy with the state my skin has been in with this current routine. The only complaint I have is trying to battle hormonal acne in which case certain products really won't have a huge effect as the problem lies within the body.