Sephora Therapy

October 27, 2009

Aah Sephora F&F, an occasion to get beautiful. Of COURSE I have to post about what I got (and would get if I had a money tree). Beauty has always been my first love; it’s how I first became introduced to higher end brands – first starting with MAC and then spilling over to other companies – and from there, growing into an awareness (or got suckered into, depends how you look at it) for quality products and pretty packaging.

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I tried to hold myself to a higher standard of consumerism and buy what I really needed – as of now, this is skincare, since my epidermis has been freaking out on me for the past couple months, leaving me scarred, literally and figuratively. I’ve had to deal with breakouts at the age of 23! I thought teen acne sucked, well that was expected and pretty normal. Adult acne is so much worse, because everyone else seems to have grown out of that phase and into clear, supple skin. Sigh. When will it be my turn?? For now, I’ve been putting everything that promises clear skin into my shopping cart, so we’ll see how they go.

(Oh, and of course I didn’t just buy skincare. Try as I might, I couldn’t not have fun with this F&F discount, since it only comes once a year! I rationalized things with 1. my skin needs it and 2. I wouldn’t have bought it without 20% off. Most of the thigns I ended up with falls into this second basket)

Here we go!

Philosophy Purity Made Simple – gentle cleanser for my sensitive, easily irritated skin. Bought the 8oz to try. This got lots of rave reviews, and my Mario Badescu creamy cleanser is too filmy and doesn’t leave me with a bare-skin feeling,

DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew – forever in search of a new moisturizer. Currently using Olay Complete, which is fine, but hey, I like trying new things. This one is a gel and only has 3 ingredients, which I appreciate, since most lotions are packed with bad irritants ending in some variation of -ol (read: alcohol). It’s good so far, nothing bad about it.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment – love love love lip products. Lip and cheek stuff are my favorite makeup items (Michelle, I’m with you on that one!), and this is a much raved about cult favorite that I had to try. At $22.50, it wasn’t a lip balm I was willing to pay full price for, but I’m loving it! Super smooth and moisturizing, smells lemony also. I keep one next to my bed and one in my purse. yup, that means I got two – ordered the Rose version after I got the regular one!

Living Proof Straight Making No Frizz Styling Cream for Medium to Thick Hair – this is probably my favorite product of the bunch. Created by MIT researchers as an alternative to silicone, this cream was designed to tame frizz and smooth hair to be ultra touchable.  LOVE how it makes my hair feel! Seriously, it makes it so soft to the touch, I just love running my hair through it. With other anti-frizz products, I’m afraid to touch my hair throughout the day since it adds to the oilyness and drags it down, but Living Proof doesn’t make my hair greasy at all. Usually, I airdry so I haven’t tested this out against heat, but I’ve read that performance only improves with irons and curlers.

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Clarisonic Replacement Brush Head in Delicate – havn’t been using my Clarisonic since I’ve been on this new oral antibiotic and Epiduo gel combo (told you I’m trying everything! Including this concoction my dermatologist prescribed… I’m not liking it though, it makes my skin burn and sting sometimes), but after I finish this month and am able to get back with my Clarisonic brush, hopefully this Delicate head will be gentle enough to still clean my skin.

Marc Jacobs Daisy – in my fantasy world, I have a zillion cute bottles of perfume sitting primly on a dresser, but in reality, I just don’t use enough scent to warrant buying all the pretty bottles out there.  That’s why perfume roller balls are the perfect solution for me, trial size versions that are portable so I can put it on whenever I remember! I chose Marc Jacobs Daisy. It’s light (i.e. appropriate for the office), with a dry flowery scent that has me sniffing my wrists even after 10 hours at work.

Shiseido The Skincare Hydro Nourishing Softener – I use so much drying products in an attempt to zap out all the oil in my skin that sometimes, a little moisture is necessary. This toner is supposed to refresh dried out skin and give back moisture. Shiseido is an outstanding skincare company, so I’m looking forward to good results!

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 Sephora F&F ends November 2, 2009 so you still have some time to browse and decide on what to buy, but some items are already out of stock, so don’t wait too long!

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Blushing Winter Cheeks

October 21, 2009

It’s not hard to tell that shu uemura is a definite Coastalpolitan favorite! I can’t help but fall in love each time I walk by the counter at the mall and although my collection is small and humble, my shu uemura goodies are fun and irreplaceable!

Like Janice, I’m absolutely obsessed with blushes. “Um, why do you have so many?” is a reaction I get most often whenever a friend rummages through my makeup bag. So that I can have one color to fit each mood and setting, of course! Plus, what girl doesn’t love pink (okay, maybe that’s just me)?

The current look I’ve been aiming for is the perfect pink hue–the kind that’s usually triggered by walking outside on a cold day. As most of my days are spent indoors (boo.), I had to find something to help me fake this illusion. I actually bought two blushes to add to my collection recently, Glow On in M Pink 30 and P Peach 45, but M Pink 30 is the one I’m in LOVE with. Gorgeous color that it is, the color seemed a bit overwhelming to me in the beginning. However, I’ve finally mastered layering this on with the perfect light swipes and haven’t worn any other blush since!

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As luck would have it, you can pick up Pink 30 (1 of the 3 shu blushes offered) for 20% off via Sephora’s F&F Sale!

EDIT: Unfortunately, these beauties are all sold out on Sephora.com, but trust me when I say that this is worth the $21 regular price!


Wolford = Warm Fuzzies

October 14, 2009

Just wanted to comment on this amazing pair of tights that is keeping me warm today while walking to work and running some errands during the afternoon. Wolford’s Opaque Polar Tights have a super warm, fuzzy lining alongside its interior that creates a much more substantial barrier against wind and cold, so much more effective than the hole-y fabric of tights. Like fleece for your legs!! Soft soft soft like the first time you wear it before washing.  The fibers are created using a moden knitting technique technology for extra durability. One of the commonly touted benefits of Wolford is that it lasts forever, which is three times longer than I can say for my other pairs (I’m looking at you Hue and DKNY!)

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These do look like any ordinary pair but Google images assures me these are Wolford Polar tights

The outer surface of the tights is totally opaque and matte, unlike the soft satiny sheen that normal tights give, so it’s a tradeoff.  But what’s cool is the vertical ribbing on the outside (the fuzzy internal lining is stitched in vertical panes), adding a pattern to otherwise plain legwear.

Wolford tights are pretty expensive – retail is $68 for this pair – but I snatched these up in 2 minutes at the Ruelala sale awhile back for 50% off!  Literally, I set an alarm for the sale to begin since I knew my size and the opaque black pairs were sure to go quickly.  Years of piano and facebooking (now twittering) have trained my fingers to be super speedy and accurate in clicking.  I checked out with the Polar pair, and another dark brown (“Mocca”) pair which is more breathable.  The dark brown is the go to during a cool summer/brisk fall day, whereas the ones I’m wearing today I consider my industrial strength tights.

Creators at Wolford, you guys are geniusesss.


Adding a Perfect Touch with Pearls

October 11, 2009

Lately, I’ve become absolutely obsessed with accessorizing with pearls. As a little girl, I was gifted with a pink strand and was adamant about wearing them everywhere. Now at the age of 23, I remember why I always loved them. They’re a perfect way to dress up any outfit! Check out one of my favorite looks spotted recently on One Tree Hill (I know, no one watches this show but me):

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Just found Tiffany’s style blog recently and am loving it (I think it’s my new favorite blog of the moment)! Her post here shows a beautiful pearl necklace from Marika King that I am dying to get my hands on! It’s sold out for now, but will hopefully be available again soon.

I picked up a simple long strand of pearls from Nordie’s recently and am going to keep my eye out for more to add to my collection. They will be the perfect touch to my darker fall/winter wardrobe. Here are a few other pieces that have caught my eye:

betsey johnson tulle trim necklaceBetsey Johnson Tulle Trim Pearl Necklace ($48). It’s simple and elegant, and the black tulle adds a fun touch! The black and white effect offers some similarity to the Marika King one.

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Nordstrom Long Strand Illusion Glass Pearl Necklace ($48). I’m loving the layering possibilities and the fact that the pearls are spaced farther apart.

forever21 satin chain necklaceForever21 is always an easy stop for fun and cheap accessories. Here’s a pretty strand of faux pearls with a blush pink satin ribbon interwoven throughout. Priced at only $6.80, I love!

And just for fun, I saw this while shopping in SF last weekend. With a price tag of $598, it’s probably a bit out of my price range, but looked so gorgeous wrapped up in a row of 4. I will probably have to stick with more affordable pieces for now, but am going to love all the fun possibilities they offer! Wear more than one piece at a time, tie on a satin ribbon, take them out to play or off to work. Why not have some fun with a classic staple?


Once You Start, You Just Can’t Stop…

October 6, 2009

I hate that shopping can basically cure all. After feeling a little down lately, I’ve forgotten how easily a girl can get lost in the excitement of new purchases! I desperately wish I was more immune to this weakness… but alas, once you start swiping that card, it’s pretty much never going to stop. My current obsession: SHOES.

While doing a little roaming around in SF this past weekend, I stumbled upon these Michael Kors ‘Berkley‘ sandals… on sale for $98 from $128!!

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I’ve been looking for some “trendier” shoes to add my embarrassingly nonexistent collection of shoes and these were perfect! I love that they’re simple, but offer a little more with the zipper detail. The SF Nordie’s didn’t have my size, but I was able to pick up a pair today in LA on the way home from work. They are amazingly comfortable and will be a quick and easy way to dress up a pair of skinny jeans. I’m also looking forward to throwing these on with a mini skirt and tank top for those nights out. These will have to do before I can afford anything like the hot Manolo’s that my friend picked up this weekend. 🙂

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I did some more browsing around while killing time before my Bar Method class (more on this in a later post) and quickly fell in love with the kate spade ‘felice’ flats!

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I haven’t found a pair of flats that I’ve really liked in forever and these are not only the perfect combo of cute and girly, but are SO comfortable. The price tag of $195 was a little too steep for me at the moment, but Fate works in mysterious ways. Although I had doubts, I scoured the internet in search of these cuties on sale and somehow, THEY WERE ON SALE. At 40% off on Nordstrom.com, my fingers did some clicking and by this time next week, I will have some adorable new flats to wear for the fall. I’m certain that these beautiful flats will quickly replace my black patent Revas as my go-to pair since the nude color will serve as a great pairing for any outfit.

Two great shopping excitements in one day made for a great Monday. As the fall season is finally starting to set upon LA, I’m looking forward to adding to my cold season wardrobe as well! Let’s hope for some exciting new looks in the weeks to come.


If the Shoe Fits

July 15, 2009

Have you ever heard of the phrase “to wear many hats”? It means to play different roles and to assume a new set of rules/functions based on that identity.  The analogy is true for me and shoes (I don’t wear hats because my hair is already flat and I don’t need any more help in that department, no thank you!)

Lately I’ve been on a shoe buying binge, and have justified each purchase by telling myself that each has a separate purpose – one is fancy going out, one is summer casual, and another is sporty practical (do you appreciate all my double adjectives? It’s like I’m giving them a proper name. That or I’m further convincing myself of all their different utilities, ha!)

First, I recently moved into a new apartment and one of the best features is the top floor gym! Seriously, it has been a year since I’ve regularly worked out, and even longer when I last bought a new pair of running shoes.  I’m a little embarassed to admit that my current pair are K-Swisses that I got my freshman year of college (um, definitely thinking about deleting this last line), so with all these incentives, I decided it was high time to get a new pair. I knew I either wanted a pair of Nike Shox or Asics; the former because I like the look and cushion from the Shox, and the latter because I’ve heard great things about the comfort of the Asics running shoe. Well the cuteness of this pair won me over:

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Nike Shox Turbo Mesh Si (what a mouthful). The Nike website showcases the shoes better...

Looove the color combo. Ladyfootlocker and all those similar companies were having sales on the exact style I was looking at, buuut they did not have the black/white/pink! Had to get this pair, but the baby blue pair would’ve been a second choice. There’s a guy version of this shoe also, and I’m digging the black/white/yellow.

A note: when I ordered, the sales rep said Nike’s tend to run small, so I got my normal size (6.5) + a half size up (7) just to see. After putting on socks and lacing them up, there’s a bit of toe room in the 7’s.  Not a lot, but I’m thinking that my feet will swell up and won’t want to be restricted by a tight toebox when I’m working out. (You can tell I havn’t actually worn my shoes yet, just admired its pretty color combo in its box.) I believe the rule of thumb is to order half size or full size up, depending on the company’s usual sizing standards, and Nike is one to size down. If you get a pair that’s tight, you end up with painful toenails, blisters, and decreased incentive to run. The key is to get a snug pair so that your feet don’t move around too much, but not tight that it suffocates them.  The 7’s give me about a half inch of room in front, which are good.

The second pair of shoes came after I realized I can’t walk around all summer in NYC with just flip flops. I’ve always thought the gladiator trend was cute, but wanted to find ones that wasn’t too out there. These fit the bill:

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Seychelles Get Outta Town sandals

I’ve had a pair of Seychelles before, and the padded soles are the best part, super comfy! I’ll be able to walk around all of Union Square, up to Central Park, and down to Midtown with these. I got the dark brown for practical reasons, but I love love the yellow! They’re so cheerful and brighten any summer outfit. When I put these on, the side strap make my feet look slightly wide but they are cute nonetheless.

The last pair was purchased on a whimsy, after a random trip to J.Crew’s final sale. Additional 20% on top of already lowered prices, making the decision to buy these babies easier. I was doing okay in the fancy heels department, let’s face it, they all get dirty and stepped on at clubs anyway, and was only allowing myself to get a black strappy pair. Sadly, these are neither black nor strappy but they are beautiful!

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J.Crew Greer pleated sandals in Golden Cypress

The pleats and satin material sold me. I really wanted to get the natural/shell color but satin + light color in a shoe just clashes with my sense of responsibility about shoes. They would be dirty and messed up in no time. This richer color will be great for fall, and the heel height is perfect for more conservative outings, like brunch with parents, or a wedding.

Eye Awakening Discovery

June 1, 2009

Trips back to Berkeley and the SF Bay Area always make for some great weekends: I love the people, places, food, and weather (most of the time). I’ve only been back twice since moving to LA and it never fails to surprise me that after having lived there for 4 years, there’s still so much I’ve never seen/done before!

On my most recent trip, I didn’t just discover some fantastic new food places, but also a girl’s most needed accessory: pink eyeliner! Like many, I’ve heard countless tips about lining the bottom waterline with white eyeliner as an eye-popping trick (a la Tyra Banks). However, being darker toned, my little Asian eyes have never really been able to pull off the look the way it’s meant to be done. While getting ready for a night out with the girls, I noticed this cute little pencil in my friend’s make-up pile. It was perfect! The shu uemura brand has always caught my attention for its vibrant coloring, so I’m not surprised that the Spring Mode Drawing Pencil in Me Pink is another one of their fabulous concoctions.

After scouring multiple Nordstroms for the pencil, I finally picked up this much need addition to my make-up collection! The pencil is creamy and smooth, perfect for a quick and easy application without the worry of eye irritation. The pink hue also has the perfect hint of glimmer in it. No, not glitter, but glimmer and shine. This is a great feature that sets it apart from Benefit’s best-selling Eye Bright, which is matte and thus doesn’t show up as much when I wear it. I love that I can stick to lightly lining my waterline for daytime wear and then upping the oomph factor by drawing the inner corners of my eyes for a night out!