Wet ‘N Wild Kohl Brow Liner

April 29, 2009

One of my friends has a tendency of asking people for secrets–I personally don’t know how to keep secrets, so I have never had anything exciting to share. Once, I blurted out, “I only have half an eyebrow”. As unexciting a secret as that may be, inheriting the short, stubby eyebrows of my father has always been something I’ve been upset about. Pluck and shape as I might, they will never be the beautiful arches I dream of. As such, I’ve tried a bevy of eyebrow pencils and powders and have dealt with all the woes that they bring: too dark, too fake, smudging and fading.

Don’t you love when you finally find a solution to your problems and it’s not only cheap, but works? That rarely happens… but miraculously, such a solution apparently exists for my eyebrow troubles! This comes in the form of Wet ‘N Wild Kohl Brow Liner in Taupe… and for only $0.99!! I stumbled across this wonder product thanks to Aubrey. She mentioned that not only is the color natural, but the pencil has wax in it so that there is no need for setting after applying! I picked up two of these at Rite Aid and have been in love  ever since. The taupe color looks super light in person, so I was a little hesitant about whether or not it would work on me, but it adds the perfect amount of color! With just a few swipes, my brows are ready to go each morning and don’t budge. I love that I’m able to get such a soft, natural look with such little effort and that after being out 12 hours a day, my brows are still just as they were in the morning.

It is hard to believe that something so simple could be so great, but I am definitely going to stock up on these so that I will never run out.


When Your Eyes Say It

April 27, 2009

To be honest, my first year of working has been tough on me. It’s not that I wasn’t expecting all of this, but as superficial as it may sound, I just don’t feel pretty at work. Ever. The lack of Vitamin D (as too many of us working girls suffer from), sleep, and water definitely has not helped the situation any. I’m sure everyone has those days when you just don’t feel 100%, but what happens when your eyes constantly say it?

I have never been the concealer-wearing kind of girl, never really believing I needed it (why do I need more layers under there when I’m already wearing foundation?). Well, unfortunately my sunken eyes have become too much to ignore. I realized that I desperately need it and that it was finally time to find a good one.

After playing around with a few choices that included Laura Mercier, Stila, The Balm (which is apparently one of the best selling), and others, I finally settled on The Eraser from Tarte. It comes in 10 different colors and is priced at $19. This has turned out to be the perfect choice! First of all, it’s packed with natural ingredients (and free of sulfates and chemicals). One of the highlights of the ingredients list is actually arnica flower, which is supposed to lighten dark circles. Vitamin E also helps decrease inflammation (great for puffy eyes or zits)! It comes in a clicky-pen packaging which is convenient and easy to use. It bothered me the first few times that NOTHING would come out after a million clicks, but now that I’ve been regularly using it, it hasn’t been a problem anymore. I’ve found that most concealers are too heavy and dry for me to use, but the consistency of The Eraser is amazing and so easy to layer. I swipe it under my eyes, the sides of my nose, and problem spots every morning and can instantly see a difference. I can’t believe I ever lived without this!!!

I never wanted to use concealer–it’s definitely added in that extra step I’m sometimes too impatient to go through in the mornings. However, the pay-off is well worth the effort. My eyes look brighter, less depressed, and the effects play off to the rest of my face. This product has helped me take my first small step towards combatting those workday wounds.


Fresh Espace Review

April 26, 2009

Last Saturday, I took a trip down to the beautiful South Coast Plaza with my two best friends and had an AH-mazing time. Not only is the mall as gorgeous and wallet-emptying as I imagined (never have I wanted to buy, buy, buy as much as I did there), but we were pampered with refreshing facials at the Fresh store as part of Spa Week.

Fresh is a fun and “refreshing” beauty line and I was super excited to try out their (pricey) products! I loved the clean, simple feel of the store. It reminds me a lot of Kiehl’s actually, but with a fun touch of girliness.  Unfortunately, since this was a retail location, there wasn’t too much of a “spa” feel to the process. For our facials, we were set-up in a small room partitioned in the back. Although a little cramped, it was clean and relaxing. It was a little odd to be able to hear the hustle and bustle of the store outside the door, but the soothing products and facial immediately put me at ease. I was given the Purify and Control facial for my problematic skin. Unlike other facials I’ve had, this didn’t mean extractions! Instead, my facialist, Maria cleansed my skin with the Soy Cleanser mixed with a bit of Umbrian Clay Mask. After I was set with the Umbrian Clay Mask for 5 minutes before she topped it off with the Rose Face Mask for additional hydration and calming. It was fun to see how all the products could work well alone and even better together! The best part was that everything smelled amazing. I wanted to take all the products home with me, but I resisted and stuck to just the clay mask. My girl friends both agreed that the Sugar Lip Treatment is the top must have, but I had to skip on it for now as my lip balm & gloss collection is getting embarrassingly too large! It is next on my list though!

Overall, the Fresh girls were sweet and fun to spend the day with and were great about not pushing us to buy products. Aside from these great products, however, the overall facial experience was pretty basic compared to others I’ve had. My favorite part was the luxurious feather brush with which Maria used to apply the treatments, but I’m convinced that the $125 price tag is more for the products than the experience (no hydrating gloves for my dry hands?). Since Fresh offers store credit equal to the amount of their facial services, it’s hard to resist the deal. However, I’m sad to say that a week later, I don’t feel like I have that “glow” that I usually get after my facials. For my lovely friends with better skin than me, this was a great choice for them! We walked out of the store happy and content and wanting to buy the entire store. If Fresh opens up a real spa one day, I will be sure to be one of their most devoted patrons!

For now I will religiously use the Umbrian Clay Mask and hope for the best.


In the Nude

April 21, 2009

When I find a pair of shoes I like, my sequence of thinking goes like this: 1) do they have it in my size? 2) should I get black/silver or brown/gold? It always kills me to have to choose between the two – black goes with everything, but I love goldish tones for my skin and for an extra dash of warm sparkle.

Recently, I’ve decided nOt to choose, and instead go for nude-colored shoes, which presents a perfect compromise in the black vs. brown dilemma. Nude in itself can range quite a gamut of shades.. from beige, to yellowish cream, to pinky peach.  I have a pair of nude pumps for work, and it just works with everything.  Plus, it makes me feel taller because the color extends the leg and gives the illusion of length =)

Yesterday, I got a package from Nordstrom with a pair of nude shoes and a cardigan.  Sidenote: I love packages.  I love the anticipation of getting the notification email, ripping off the tape of the boxes, and shrieking in high-pitched glee when everything arrives intact and actually fits perfectly. Such was my package yesterday.  After clicking on the Nordstrom site for weeks and biting my fingernails over whether to buy it or not (I’m just a little indecisive), I pulled the trigger and got these pretties:

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please don't hurt me, 4 inch heels

Mmm, cant wait for summer! Love the heel, the patent leather, the interesting cut. Looking at that skinny stick stiletto though is going to make me paranoid of potholes, gutters, and any sort of vents on the ground.  Best of all, these match everything for those summer dresses! Black? Yes. Brown? Yes. Red/purple? Yes, yes, yes!  Do-it-all-ness is a quality I appreciate in people, as well as shoes.

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frontal view, on my hardwood floors


How Skype is Saving My Long-Distance Relationship

April 17, 2009

I’ll begin with this conversation from mymomisafob.com:

“mom (on the phone w/ my dad): how come i cant find u on SKY-PEE?
me: Skype.
mom: how come i cant find u on SKY-PEE?
me: he wont understand u. its Skype.
dad: SKY-PEE. u mean Skip.”

(if you haven’t checked out mymomisafob.com, go.  Readers submit stories of ridiculous-but-true anecdotes of fobby things their asian parents say,  it’s hi-larious and endearing.  The mydadisafob.com counterpart is equally adorable, maybe more so b/c asian dads say the darndest things)

I’ve been relying on Skype heavily to chat with my mom and bf, both of whom are overseas.  I log on, fill up my account using CC, and then dial straight to their cell phones for 2 cents a minute. 2 cents – that’s less than the cost of a text message! An hour of chatting only ate up a little over $1 of my account.  That means I didn’t  have to squeeze everything into the Twitter equivalent of 140 characters (Good, becuase I like talking).

skype

Skype's sign-on screen.. looks like AIM

 What’s also really helpful is that in Skype, you just choose the country you’re trying to call from a drop down menu, and input the local number. No need to figure out what the country code and region code is, and if calling a cell phone means you can eliminate the region code.  I had to figure that out before when using a calling card, which was pretty confusing.

Skype started off as a voice-over IP service providing users with free telephone calls via the Internet.  Later, it expanded to allow users to dial computer-to-mobile at cheap rates (like 2 cents a minute!), and now, the newly set up iPhone Skype application essentially lets users call mobile-to-mobile.  The webcam features also enable video conferencing, and I know of many organizations and businesses who use Skype to communicate across geographies at group meetings and brainstorming sessions. Technology evolution rocks!

To date, this is the biggest foe of telephone networks.  Well, first it was the cellphone that made landlines archaic. (Sidenote: does anyone even use landlines anymore? Maybe when my friends get their own apartments…) Now, it’s Skype that’s got the networks sweating. And for good reason… No longer are customers confined to making calls during their free minutes, they can use the webcam to see the other person on the line, and it’s cheap!

Skype, Skip, Sky-Pee, no matter how it’s pronounced, this is one application that I know will continue to challenge past ideas of how people communicate.


Shopping Indecision: Frye’s

April 15, 2009

Frye’s – to boys, the name brings to mind the electronic store and newest tech gadgets to play with.  To me, this brand implies beautiful leather BOOTS, and just today, I discovered that Frye also offers cute sandals and wedges!!

Aah, I am so ready for summer to hit.  Too bad NY is still tiptoeing reluctantly into spring.  Uggs are still appropriate for the cold drizzley mornings, and peacoats are still necessary to brave the wind. Come out Mr. Sun, so I can get bright pedicures and wear flip flops and open-toed shoes!

This week only, 6pm.com is having a 55% sale on all Frye shoes, and I am having a heck of a time deciding what I want (i.e. everything shown below) and what’s available in my size (or rather, what’s in my wallet).

These Cameron Skimmers ($67) are adorable in their weaved 1-inch wedgey summery-ness.  These come in lots of colors, and I want so many! Love bright accessories, because I can’t wear it close to my face.  I’m imagining the cheerful lemon yellow ones adding color to a black/gray/white skirt outfit, or complementing my blue bookbag. A fuschia (which is actually a deep plum) would be cute tooo.  But to kick off the summer sandal collection, I’m picking up the easy off-white pair, and hoping that I’ll fit the size 6!

cameron2

(these would go so well with picnic baskets and sunglasses mmmm)

Dialing back from summer anticipation, I need to remember it’s still chilly and I want to get my first pair of Frye boots.  I’ve never been a huge boots fan, since California’s cold season was too short to warrant multiple pairs.  I’ve heard great things about the Campus boots and Veronica slouches, but the bumpy toes and flatness of them don’t appeal to me.  These do though:

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Frye Vicki Campus ($180 sale). The contrast stitching is holding me back…

I’m liking that rounded point toe and thick heel for comfortable running around the city… my main gripe is that the calf height/length is a bit short; I don’t like anything hitting near my calves, emphasizing their disproportion.

ava
Frye Ava Tall boots in Cognac ($224). Hello gorgy color

These would be perfect if they came in black. I already have a pair of brown colored boots, albeit not high heeled and patterened… Got to stick (loosely) to the list though, still waiting for the perfect Frye boots…