Friday, July 29, 2011

Shoe of the Day

Technically it is what you call a "Shoetie" - still am not a fan of the word just like "jeggings" but I will admit they are both kind of fun saying.

So here's a shoe I picked up at the Vince Camuto factory store at the Citadel Outlet in Los Angeles.

I forgot what this style was called but it is technically a sandal/bootie hybrid, "Shoetie" and I lifted the bottom of my skinny jeans just to show the buckle detail. I've been really into buckles lately. Surprisingly, these shoes are easy to walk in - heel placement? I'm not going to walk to the train station in the office in them (6mn walk) but it's nice to know that the heel feels sturdy, unlike the heel of my BCBGirl pumps. I have been wearing them with my jeans (bootcut/skinny), ankle work pant and even pencil skirts (at the knee or right above).

The best part - $40! Maybe that's why I love these shoes the most out of my new shoe haul. Also, they make me feel girly and ultra sassy.

I figure that a sassy shoe deserves an equally sassy lipstick:

MAC Lickable creamsheen (bluish fuchsia) along w/MAC Beet lip pencil

Other colors used:
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre - Emerveille (all over eye)
MAC Fluidline gel liner - black
Chanel Inimitiable Mascara - Noir/NARS Larger than Life Lengthening mascara
Chanel Jouer Contraste - Rose Tourbillon

Happy Friday!

(image provided by
I'll have what Betty is having, I'm assuming it's a Gin Martini - the pink thing on the right looks like a smoothie!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why Saks Fifth Avenue is My Place to Buy Fragrances

I always like to treat myself to a visit to the Saks Fragrance counter, Union Square, SF right after my dentist appointment. Lucky for me, it was a routine cleaning and I had no troubles whatsoever chatting with one of the lovely Sales Associates.

Right as you walk in, you are greeted by the Tom Ford fragrance/beauty line, Bond No. 9, By Killian (my expensive, guilty pleasure) counters and all the other usual suspect fragrances. I went to take a whiff of the new and final fragrance to the L'Oevre Noire collection: Sweet Redemption. It's not what I expected - it's sharper than I thought it was. Once the initial whiff of the bitter orange leaf dries down then I can move on, okay now I'm smelling vanilla..hmm, the jury is still out on this one.

This is no where near a fragrance review - I'm not one to take fragrance tips from. I do know what I like and what I don't. I do get odd fragrance cravings. One minute, I want to swim in a deep woody fragrances like By Killian's Rose Oud or I want to smell like a tropical vacation so I'll wear a coconut body oil. I'm weird like that I know but at least I'm unpredictable and try to apply with a light hand so I don't give you a headache when I walk past you.

What I wanted to share was the mini goodies I received for just stopping by, being polite and just generally excited by something lavish, like quality fragrances.

I was in pure luck! I received a sample of my favorite Killian fragrance - Liason Dangereuse, a very deep plum scent (so seductive), Sweet Redemption (the last sample on hand) and 3 Bond #9 samples - Wall Street, Bond #9 (which I can't wait to try) and West Side. If I were to buy these samples on Luckyscent it would cost at least $4 per Killian sample and I know that Bond sells a box of theirs. So I'm really pleased with my mini sample haul! Please don't let stores like Saks intimidate you. It might surprise you what you can walk out with without paying for anything by just being pleasant and curious.

I was really hoping for a sample of Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino but come on, even I'm not that charming!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday's Shoe of the Day and My New Side Gig!

Happy Monday to you all!

I just wanted a share a pic of one of my new pairs of shoes that I am planning to transition into my Fall wardrobe.

Franco Sarto's buckled flat in Black Patent Leather, Jackson.
Originally, $89.50 but on sale for $59.50 at the (VERY EVIL) Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. This comes in other colors as well as a leopard print - yes, I'm tempted!

This gives me that classic Roger Vivier "buckle signature" feel without the Vivier price - one day though, they shall be mine:

(image from

I am suffering from the results of breaking in new shoes - the left side is digging into the side of my foot so it cause painful friction as I walk. Luckily I was able to find a bandage since it cut into my foot - the things we do for fashion, right?

Please check out my new side gig - guest beauty writing contributor to My introductory article is pretty much an essay dedicated to why I love NARS. Feel free to give me your honest opinion!

Okay it's almost 9AM here in the Bay Area, I can do this...I only have seven more hours to go!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rose Tourbillon...a closer look

I wanted to share my initial thoughts on my first Chanel blush. At this point, I'm really wondering why it took me so long to purchase one. I guess, I am just really loyal to what I already like - NARS blushes and the few MAC blushes that are currently in my stash. I guess Chanel still intimidates me a bit. I don't feel like I'm really a Chanel type of gal - I'm a bit rough around the edges while the Chanel lady is pristine, elegant, drinks tea and doesn't stomp around like a Clydesdale horse when she walks. Plus, sometimes I feel that the colors don't always suit me - I really have to dig around and try a lot of colors to find something that will work.

That's okay because I have developed a patience and willingness to try and find a treasure that will work for me.

Like this:

Looking at my stash, I noticed that I don't have a whole lot of bright, hot pink, fuchsia blushes. From my understanding this was originally released as an Asia exclusive item. Since, I'm not the biggest Chanel fan it slipped my beauty radar. But once my favorite Chanel S.A. - the delightful, Ms. M - showed it to me, I was smitten.

I also want to give a special shout-out to Pink Sith for piquing my curiosity even more!

It pulls warm on my NC42 skin. I don't even mind the rose scent. It has a very fine, subtle shimmer. It's lovely. I don't have to dab this lightly on my cheeks like I do with my favorite blushes from NARS, that has the tendency to go on quite dramatic if you are not careful.

Here's the 3 hot pink blushes I currently own - clockwise from upper left:

MAC - Mineralize blush duo - Two Virtues
Chanel - Rose Tourbillon
NARS - Desire

Here's a little lineup on my forearm:

L to R:
Two Virtues
Rose Tourbillon

An almost Chanel exclusive face:

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre - Emerveille (lid to browbone)
NARS - Cyprus - crease
NARS - Biarritz - browbone
MAC - Fluidline gel liner - blacktrack - top lash line only
Chanel Inimitable - Noir/NARS Larger than Life Lengthening Mascara

Laura Mercier Oil-Free primer/SPF 20 tinted moisturizer - Caramel
Chanel Jouer Constraste - Rose Tourbillon

Chanel Rouge Allure - #10/Attitude

I think Ms. M would be proud that I have this many Chanel products on my face today!

Final assessment - I now want this blush!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I loved hearing that during my early days of using AOL. Wow, that seems so long ago. However, I still love receiving mail here at work. Especially when it's this:

It's also my very first Chanel blush.

It's from the Nordstrom Anniversary exclusive collection and it couldn't be any prettier.

I purchased this from Nordstrom while in SoCal - Los Cerritos Center but should be available at online as well as your local Nordstrom.

$43/USD - .14oz

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre

Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon but that's only because I have an extremely soft spot for cream shadows. I have this romantic notion that with the sweep of a finger, I can have that almost natural eye look in just 2 minutes. But no matter how hard I try, I will need at least three other products to get my eyes look semi-awake!

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Emerveille does a great job of getting me look awake with just mascara (well almost, I still need to have a perfectly done brow!)

I tried to hold out and snap a picture of this lovely peach shadow before dipping the brush into the mousse-like texture but I am an extremely weak individual!

(I love the little brush it comes with)

And here it is compared to my beloved soft peach gold MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque.

Here's a swatch on my NC42 forearm:

L to R:
Emerveille, Rubenesque

Emerveille pulls on the cool side compared to the warm golden sheen of Rubenesque. It almost looks like a peach champagne shade with a lovely finely milled shimmer. Normally, this would make me walk away but there's something about this that I just love on my lids. Yes, it gives me that "my eyes but better" look.

Which is a good thing when you barely had six hours of sleep because you have to retrain yourself to sleep regular hours during the week coming off a vacation week.

Here it is on my lids and Chanel Inimitable Mascara - Noir on my lashes/NARS Larger than Life Lengthening Mascara - Black layered with it. MAC Espresso e/s on my brows.
I used the brush included with the shadow pot. Then I blended the color with my ring finger to my brow bone to diffuse any harsh lines or deposits of color settling in one spot.

For just a hint of definition/color - I added NARS Outremer (bright true blue) on 3/4 of my lower lash line and the outer corner of my top lashline with a dry slanted brush (MAC #266). I will wet the brush next time to see if I get more of an intense color. I didn't add any other shadow. I think this is as basic as it gets for me.

I am happy with my color choice and I cannot wait to pick up another one (or two) of the new Chanel Illusion D'Ombre. I am even more thankful that these are permanent and I don't have to rush back to the counter.

As if that's the only reason I need to run back to the Chanel counter!

Purchased by yours truly at Nordstrom, $36 USD/14oz.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm back!

So I had a lovely time off in Disneyland and visiting with my relatives in Orange County. I did make time to do some quality outlet shopping as well as picking up a few things at the local Nordstrom on the first official day of their annual Anniversary Sale.

I just wanted to share a few pictures of some of my loot - yes, I realize I said SOME...

(NARS velvet matte lip pencil - Bahama, shadow - Outremer, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre - Emerveille)

And yes, the Nordstrom Exclusive NARS palette for the anniversary sale:

(NARS - Bright Lights, Big City)

I love this palette because it consists of NARS single shadows and surprisingly, I don't own any of them until now.

I also picked up a Chanel glossimer from the Fall collection, #158/Braise, copper rose with gold shimmer and I am waiting for the Chanel  Rose Tourbillon Joues Contraste (blush) that's a Nordstrom Anniversary Sale exclusive. It'll be the one thing I'm waiting for in the mail. I'm super anxious about this because it's my first Chanel blush. Now I just have to decide what my first Chanel eye palette will be - any suggestions?

I even bought three new pairs of shoes - 1 pair from the Citadel outlet and 2 pairs from the Nordstrom sale. I promise pictures will be coming soon. I'm really excited to bust these out - like 'first day of school excited' but I still have to remind myself that technically it's still Summer and I need to enjoy the long days even though the sunny days are far and few between here up North.

The weather was perfect while in Anaheim - mid to upper 70's for the most part. I got lucky on Sunday, the fog actually burned off and we had lovely clear skies and got to enjoy a lovely sunset from our front window.

Unfortunately, the mini princess was sick the entire vacation but she did manage to enjoy herself while seeing the Disney Princesses and riding the carousel (a total of 6 times over the course of a 2-day visit).

Here she is seeing the BIG 3 - Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora

I think she's mad at me for not buying her a tiara to go with her Princess dress.

And for her 4th birthday (next year) maybe I'll splurge on a makeover at this place:

I better start saving up now - they mean serious business in that shop!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Out to Lunch

Okay not really...but I will be driving south to Southern California to this place:

We're celebrating my mini me's birthday on Tuesday.

I'll back next week. I packed my clothes easily but I'm still working on editing my makeup bags - yes, two makeup bags!

A Brief Look at Chanel Fall 2011 nail polishes - Graphite, Peridot, Quartz nail polish

I admit I went nuts over Chanel Vamp polish back in 1994. Then I proclaimed the beautiful brown beige Brown Sugar as my all time favorite neutral polish. But along the way, I discovered other polish brands for much, much less. I stopped keeping up with Chanel polishes. For me, this is a good thing. I wouldn't be able to eat, much less pay rent if I tried to hoard as many Chanel polishes on the market (lip glosses, different story). However, I have caved a few times, with last Fall's Paradoxal (grey/violet) and Spring 2011 Black Pearl (blackened teal with blue, green, teal micro shimmer). I recently peeped the latest offering that I'm sure will make the seasoned Chanel fan foam at the mouth.

 Illusions d'Ombres de Chanel
(NC 42 skin tone)
L to R:
Quartz, Peridot and Graphite

Since these polishes are named after minerals the color mimics that. 

Quartz resembles more of a smoky quartz. I applied two coats and you can still see some of my nail bed - I would probably lay 3 layers if I bought this polish.

Next up Peridot - a mineral that ranges between yellow and olive green.

This looks more like a dark yellow gold and this is only one coat. Maybe I should have done two to see if the green comes out. I kind of like the way it looks with just one coat.

And lastly the anticipated, Graphite:

After two coats I see some gold particles in this. I have seen this polish previewed in some magazines last month and I thought this was going to be the polish to lift my Chanel polish ban. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic color but because of my past experience I can honestly walk away from this. The shadows and palette however, that's a different story altogether.

If I did have to choose my favorite it would be Graphite and Quartz reminds me of the dark neutrals currently in my stash so I immediately gravitated to that shade. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling Peridot as much as I wanted to.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

June Favorites

I never post my favorites for a particular month and since it's the first week of July, no time like the present to reflect on what I was crushing in the month of June!

Special thanks to the very cute and not so mundane, Dovey for influencing me to look at what I loved in the month of June.

Plus, I need to save up for my upcoming family, Disney adventure (YAY) and I previewed some serious products at Nordstrom for their anniversary sale - LOOKING AT YOU NARS LIMITED EDITION PALETTE and what could possibly be my very first Chanel blush!

I know it's a hefty list but these are the items I have been reaching for most days last month - especially on weekends and lazy weekday mornings!

I broke it down just to make things easier on everyone:

Top Row:
UD Rollergirl palette (Crush, hot pink gloss, Lip Junkie deluxe sample size not shown)
NARS Dogon Duo
NARS Irresistiblement Bronzer

Bottom Row (L to R)
Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer in Caramel
LM oil free primer
NARS Copacabana Illuminator (I use a drop with my tinted moisturizer for a touch of iridescence)

Clockwise from upper left:

NARS Multiple in South Beach
MAC Fluidline liner in Blacktrack
Chanel Bronzer - Bronze Corail
MAC #266 - to apply gel liner - I use a different #266 brush for my brows
NARS Stylo Nuits Blanches
NARS lipstick - Hot Voodoo
MAC lip pencil - Chestnut
NARS gloss - Sweet Revenge
MAC Lipglass - Evolution Revolution
Laura Mercier - Ambre Rose

And two items that deserves a special shout out:

Left to Right:
NARS Taj Mahal
NARS Gilda

I think the break out star has been my NARS Multiple in South Beach, a lovely shimmering apricot, just because I never really understood the proper way to use it. Now, I can't leave the house without it on my face. I love patting it on tops of my cheekbones to my temples or I use it blended on my apples layering another blush on top of it - this is how I get NARS Orgasm to show up on my warm skin. Another stand out is a product that I haven't used in ages but use to wear daily more than ten years ago - MAC Chestnut liner. This intense brown liner warms up the pink copper NARS Hot Voodoo lipstick.

It should no surprise to anyone that my summer choices consist of peach, orange, coral blushes, or golden shadows. I am still trying to get the hang of the NARS Dogon duo because I still feel that the duo chrome (left) shadow side is light on me and I have to apply up to 3 layers of this color to get the intensity that I want. I do love the blackened blue (right) for summer smoky night eyes.

With Fall collections launching right now in July, I am curious to see what I'll be using the most. Even though, the weather in Daly City, CA is a constant sad, gray fog and I come to work in sunny 70 degree weather in SF, it'll be a struggle between moody, fall colors and happy, bronzey golds.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Booze Review for Tuesday, July 5

I didn't really didn't feel like wearing makeup this morning - I'm also full on VACATION MODE. It's like the countdown to the last day of school and you really don't want to do a damn thing!

Yeah, I really need to snap out of that!

So in attempt to keep my writing skills a flowin here's what I drank on Saturday date night with Mr. Lex:

Yes, mine is on the right.

We went to the swanky Japanese whisky lounge, Nihon Whisky Lounge in the Mission District of SF. We finally cashed in on our Yelp coupon, I purchased for him as a Xmas Stocking Stuffer. I ate my weight in bacon wrapped prawns, hamachi served ceviche style, uni in a spoon and a maki roll called "1974" - I had to eat it since it's my birth year! Sadly, I did not snap any food pics to tempt you with so please admire my cocktail pictures!

So the first drink I had was the Peaty Old Fashion - Islay Single Malt, brandied cherries, sugar, fresh orange, orange/aromatic bitters. Islay is a small island off the west coast of Scotland and is home to eight different whisky distilleries. This produces a peaty, earthy almost medicinal flavor. I'm not sure what type of whisky was used in my old fashion so it's safe to assume a top shelf was used. The cherries, orange and sugar adds a bit of sweetness without it going into "fruity, girly drink" territory. Yes, this is my kind of cocktail for a lazy Saturday evening - also, my daughter was going to sleepover her grandmother's house so I was very relaxed as I sipped this.

My second cocktail:
The Devil's Manhattan

Sure, it sounds cool but I really wished I stuck to my first cocktail. This is your traditional Manhattan - bourbon, bitters, vermouth but a black pepper and vanilla infused Bourbon was used instead.

Trust me, it sounded like a good idea at the time.

Wow, I never had such a spicy drink. This was spicier than most brunch bloody marys I have drank in the past. I got through it but I no better than to order this the next time we come back to this place.

Because this is a whisky lounge - they offer whisky by the country, region, year...the list is extensive and very impressive! It's also pretty swanky - I suggest this for date night with your significant other or if you are trying to really impress someone. They also offer traditional cocktails if you are not seasoned like me and prefer bourbon or whisky cocktails.

We ended with a scotch whisky tasting - a taste is about 3/4 of an ounce. I went with a 12 yr old Highland Park and my husband went with the Japanese Hibiki. I really wish I went with the Hibiki. This is my first time tasting a Japanese whisky.

Smooth as F*CKING butter - it was that good! Okay I will say that the 12 yr. old Highland Park is nothing to scoff at - it finishes very mossy and deep but it did leave me with a feeling of being punched in the throat. The Hibiki on the other hand, more of a woody finish (part of the charcoal filtering process through bamboo wood) and went down quietly.

Right along with the Chanel Illusion D'Ombre shadows, this is my latest obsession. Even the bottle is seductive!  
For more information about the Nihon Whisky Lounge, click here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

MAC Evolution Revolution....saying thanks to the girl I blame for my oversized makeup stash!

Back in the year 2008, my little sister recommended I check out a few beauty blogs when I complained to her that I was getting sick of Facebook or I'd bombard her with the question: should I close my Myspace account? There are quite a few that I still read regularly to this day but it's Karen's Makeup and Beauty Blog that always keeps me company at work or at home.

Karen was there through my pregnancy and she got me through my maternity leave. I learned to perfect my smoky eye through her, she help me accept the less than perfect parts of me by admitting to all her readers that she occasionally has to shave her toes. She's a year younger than me so she shares my love of everything 80's and 90's! Her Dolce & Gabbana posts got me to set aside my judgement on certain designers that all of the sudden come out with cosmetic lines and give it a fair shot, same goes for the Burberry line. But because she's Filipino (I'm half) and we're the same skin tone (NC42), I really felt she was speaking directly to me. If it worked on her skin tone, then I was golden!

Karen is like your sister, your BFF, your therapist. Her blog continues to put a smile on my face and a deep desire to acquire all the MAC, Chanel, D&G, NARS in the world!

Because of her (and other supportive friends), I am writing here on my very own blog to share my experiences with you.

So in honor of Ms. Karen - please take a look:

(If you look closely, you can see the tiny sparkle amidst the soft peachy-pink gloss)

(I feared that this may be too light to give me any definition)

You can see the fine gold, blue-green, purple shimmer and on my NC42 skin this gloss definitely shows up as a peach color. 

And here it is bare on my lips:

Not the most flattering image of my lips, I know but I do love the subtle shimmer on  my lips. Maybe I'll try layering some primer or concealer over my lips to get a more even look.

I was curious to see just how versatile this so I tested it out:

(nude peach look with Cream O'Spice Cremestick Liner)

(Pink Coral - gloss layered on top of MAC Fresh Salmon lipstick)

And my favorite:

(MAC Chestnut Lip Pencil, NARS Hot Vodoo and Evolution Revolution dabbed in the center)

I have expressed in the past my dislike for the MAC Lipglass because it always seems to irritate my lips by the end of the evening and I wake up with itchiness around my natural lip lines but I think if I wear this sparingly, I should be okay. I did test it for a full day and yes, I felt a little discomfort but if I wear this along with some lip balm and lipstick that plays well on my lips I should be okay. We'll see how my lips look in the morning.

**Happy to report, my lips held up well in the morning. I think I can only wear lipglass sparingly, that said I hope I don't jinx myself!!**
But because Karen has been there for me for the past 3 yrs. I wanted to pay my respects to her for getting me through a dull and mundane work day and I'm sure my husband would want to tell her to get me to STOP buying (almost) everything she reviews.

For the background her Lipglass concept, click here.

Evolution Revolution Lipglass and the entire Bloggers' Obsession collection available online only.


Christine's Jealousy Wakes is currently sold out - BOO! I feel really bad for missing this one because her blog was another one that sucked me into the whole Beauty Blog Vortex!

If only NARS would pay tribute to bloggers that obsess over his collection. I would write a 500 word essay on 'Why I should design an eye shadow duo or blush"