Monday, October 31, 2011

October Favorites

Here are just a few things I reached for most mornings in October:

I know, it's a small amount compared to previous featured favorites. Truthfully, October was so hectic for me that I turned to shades and products I knew that didn't require too much thought. Yes, I bought my first LMdB products last month for my birthday but I really started to use these items in October - see here. I rediscovered my MAC Gingerly blush, a warm peach bronze. This adds a really nice warmth to my complexion in the last few days of our Indian Summer here in the Bay Area. I also love this OPI shade, Get in the Expresso Lane, a deep greenish brown in a cream finish - reviewed here

I think the real standout products: Chanel Perfection Lumiere in #44 (reviewed here for La Chanelphile) and Chanel Impertinence Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss. I love this plum brown gloss - this is definitely a MLBB (my lips but better) shade for me.

This gloss is lovely when I don't want to go with the usual pink nude shade with a smoky eye. 

Here's a swatch line up of some of the products featured:

I'm thinking of playing with reds, wines and ruby to get myself ready for the Holiday season.

What were some of you hits or even misses this October?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boo at the Zoo 2011

Just wanted to share a few pics of my little Princess at the SF Zoo during the annual Boo at the Zoo...

Yes, she picked this out all on her own at the Disney store!

Every year the SF Zoo (and I think all the zoos across the country participate) decorates for Halloween and pass out (healthy) treats to the kids. I wanted to take advantage of another lovely Sunday here in the Bay Area and also I really wanted to get my money's with this costume - it wasn't cheap. Plus, she also needed the accessories!

She couldn't go out with the right shoes and jewelry, right?

Through out the zoo there were pumpkins in the cages along with the animals. It was really festive!

This lemur looked really cozy with this pumpkin!

or this Great Hornbill:

Also the nature walk area in the Children's Zoo was decorated appropriately

Here's the Princess in a giant spiderweb

She did stop along the way to pet a few friendly animals

But all she wanted to do:

This was her second time around

We did get in some story time and some games:

She lined up for some type of spider toss into some buckets but she had her own idea of getting the spider into the bucket:

She walked up to the buckets and dumped them in herself!

It was the first time we attended this event and it won't be our last - it was a lot of fun. I just hope we look at more animals instead of spending time at the carousel!

I love giraffes - they bring me peace when I see look at them.

And so does this guy:

I LOVE Owls!

Have a Happy Halloween! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Mr. Lex has been up to lately...

As you know, I like to shamelessly promote those who mean dearly to me so here's the latest from my hubby that I love to refer to as Mr. Lex and yes, I know I'm very lucky he lets me call him that.

When he's not busy cranking away pretty wooden bracelets in the garage, he's doing large scale projects like this:

For more info please take a look at his latest blog entry only took him three months to post a new entry.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that he'll post again in the next two weeks but I'm not holding my breath on it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I am currently addicted to watching Bravo's Fashion Hunters, about the Second Time Around consignment boutique in NYC. I think this is the only way a working Mom like me can afford designer luxury items - buying gently used and from a consignment shop.

I was floored when I watched this woman casually bringing in some Chanel bags into the store to see if it would sell. She bought these at a garage sale in Texas - one bag was fake and the other was the REAL DEAL. The best part (for her) was she only paid $10 for it.

I haven't checked prices lately as I know they have gone up TREMENDOUSLY but $10? I cannot even imagine the rush I would get to find this and then have someone in the know tell me that 'yes, it is REAL!'

Honestly, I would have kept this purse especially if I am told that it could go for as high as $4K but maybe she wasn't into Chanel. She ended up selling it to the sales associate for $1200 and a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes. She did walk away with a wad of cash and some cute shoes but still!! I would have held out for more.

Maybe she was just CRAZY - hahahaha j/k!

Please watch this clip if you haven't already:
All I know is that when my husband says he wants to check out a garage sale on our block, I will no longer ignore him. I will grab my wallet before he can say, "let's check it out"
Is anyone else watching this show?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Beauty Baller on a Budget...guest post for Miss Omni Media and What I've been up to.

Happy Monday folks. I really feel like a condescending jerk saying that as I HATE Mondays with a passion. But I must remember the little things that makes the Mondays easier to face: Mini Cupcake yelling at me to get her out of the crib, making that second cup of coffee when I get to the office and yes, Monday Night Football - mainly because it makes my husband giddy and I can use all the help I can get!

I know I have been even more infrequent with my post - I am hoping that I will posting regularly again (more than just 2-3x a wk). I also have my big one year anniversary coming up and yes, it'll involve some type of give away. I have also acted a co-makeup artist for a show that I posted about two weeks ago: Death of a Player. This is where I've been hiding Thursday nights for the past two weeks.

I had tremendous amount of fun: I recreated an Oprah inspired look, 60's B-Movie slasher babe and yes, DRAG makeup for one of the actors. I will say that I need to work on DRAG skills - RuPaul would make me lip sync for my life! I think my timing has gotten better and it has made me rediscover my stash. I will post pictures after I wrap up my makeup duties this weekend.

I did manage to submit my regular guest post at Miss: another Beauty Baller on a Budget segment: Revlon gloss. This is my favorite drugstore gloss.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's in my makeup bag and a new music find!

Since I failed to produce a September favorites post, I have done a piece that I enjoy seeing on my fellow blogging sites: a peek into my makeup bag for the week of Oct. 16.

It's looks pretty small, right?

Surprise! I actually pack quite a bit into my small Marc by Marc Jacobs makeup pouch.

1. My favorite nude/neutral lip pencils from MAC - Cream O'Spice and Whirl
2. Chanel Glossimer - Pagoda, brownish, golden pink sheen and  fine silver glitter
3. Dolce and Gabbana Passion Duo - Poetic (reviewed here)
4. Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss - Impertinence, a plum brown gloss.
5. A black elastic in case my hair stays a complete mess after a workout.
6. Edward Bess All Over Seduction Highlighting cream - Afterglow, a  warm champagne gold
7. Chanel Joues Contraste - Rose Tourbillon (reviewed here)
8. Seche Vite Top Coat - my FAVORITE top coat in purse size
9. NARS Gilda Blush, my all time favorite coral blush
10. Kiehl's lip balm #1 w/SPF 4 - Mango scented - this is my favorite lip balm and I usually buy different    scents when it's time to replace a tube.
11. Eye liner/pencils - UD 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil - Underground, metallic taupe/MAC Impeccable Brow pencil - Taupe/UD 24/7 Waterproof liquid liner - Smog, sexy bronze brown.
12. Cargo bronzing brush - I use this a lot for bronzer but also to diffuse any harsh lines from my blush - the bonus - I got this for free for participating in a Cargo Marketing Study group at Sephora headquarters years ago!
13. Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer - Daydream, a meduium golden brown without any red/orange tones. It does have a little bit of shimmer but it isn't overkill.
14. Fragrance - I always have to have a fragrance sample in most of my bags - Bond No. 9 signature and Tom Ford Black Orchid. Two very sensual fragrances that keep me feeling good even if I look really tired!

Not only was this a surprise that I can pack this much in what looks like a small pouch but it also helps me edit what I need to bring with me. It also lightens my purse!

A side note:
I work as an administrative assistant, a modern day secretary, so my mornings consist of mindless report preparation for my bosses. I usually pop my ear buds in and listen to some music to get me by.

Last week, I turn to one of my favorite music blogs and was turned to this Chilean rapper. I looked her up and I'm now watching and listening to her videos on you tube.

Ana Tijoux, you make me want to brush up on my Spanish skills. Your flow and beats are that dope. Yes, I did say dope because I am that old!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get in The Expresso Lane

My latest (DIY) manicure: OPI's "Get in the Expresso Lane", from OPI's Fall Collection - Touring America:

I know you really can't tell but this is a very lovely, dark brown, but in the sunlight it reads like a brown, green camo color. Surprisingly, I am in love with this shade. I normally go for traditional plums and wines this time of year.

A better close up shot of the shade and my poor, dry cuticles - sorry, I's like an assault to the eye:

However, I am happy to report that I have been using Curel's Hand and Cuticle therapy hand cream and my cuticles have been looking 10x better! I'll need to do a mani do-over!

I used this on top of Sephora for OPI Strengthening base coat. I applied 2-3 coats. It does streak a little the first coat and if I see a bit of visible nail bed after my second coat dries, I will apply another coat. I finish with Seche Vite Top Coat. I get about a good 3 days of wear time before I see intial chipping at the top corners.

This retails for $8.50 so I don't mind too much that it lasts for a short amount of time, especially if I did my own nails.

This was bought by yours truly at a nail salon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Guest Post for Monday, 10/17 and a booze review YAY!

Hello all,
I hope you had a lovely weekend. We are still stretching out our Indian Summer here in the Bay Area so it was sunshine all around.

I can really get use to this Fall sunshine!

I just wanted to share my lastest guest post for on PRIMERS!

A step that is either forgotten or neglected. This is what keeps my face from melting during sweaty spin or yoga classes during my lunch breaks!

Also, I wanted to share a very yummy, Indian inspired cocktail I had on Saturday at one of my favorite SF restaurants - Dosa, across the street from Sundance Kabuki theaters in Japantown:

The Bengali Gimlet.

A traditional Gimlet is a gin cocktail with just fresh squeezed lemon and lime juices. It's a very refreshing cocktail. This however, is it the exotic, sexy cousin from India.

This still features Gin - Tanqueray Rangpur Gin. This gin is pretty tasty and I'd like to add this to my liquor cabinet. It is a flavored gin with notes of Rangpur limes (from India), juniper berries and bay leaves. It does sound like a herbal pouch for a soup base but if you like savory cocktails - this is really tasty.

I need to try this with just tonic and a fresh squeezed lime next time. I do not recommend this for a dirty martini (traditional martini w/olive juice) or any other dry cocktails (traditional gin martini) - it just sounds unsavory to me.

The kicker? There is a curried nectar component to this drink that gives it a light cumin, curry scent. As I got to the bottom of my martini glass the scent grew stronger and the curry flavor got stronger. This is definitely not a bad thing since I do love a savory, spicy cocktail as much (sometimes more) than the fruity and sweet "vacation" type drinks. A gimlet is not the same without the citrus flavor so fresh squeezed lime is added. This is served straight up (no ice), strained and served into a martini glass.

We had cocktails only since we had to make it to our movie, Moneyball (LOVED!) But after sipping on this, I had a mad craving for Dosa's famous Paper Masala Dosa.

I'll have to come back for more and this time I will be eating their delicious Indian food!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stuff To Do This Weekend: For My SF/Bay Area Peeps!

Like this awesome tray Mr. Lex made for me?

You can score stuff like this at the Vagabound Indie Craft Fair, Inner Sunset 10/15 (Saturday) through 10/16 (Sunday). Mr. Lex will have a booth please stop by and say hello and Happy Birthday - yes, he's working on his birthday. All the more reason to support 265 Design!

Please visit his site, as he's added more items into his inventory!

Hey, are you into dramatic shows that are a bit outside the box and forces you to think?

Come and support my Pinay Sisters (and some Pinoy bros) in Death of a Player, the latest offering from Pinays Maintaining Sisterhood Through Art, or PMSTA. This fierce Womens' production was born out of the Bindlestiff Theater doors back in 2007 - taking a little hiatus, the ladies are back with a new cast and theme.

More info on this cast, show, conception please click here.

The Fierce Lady Crew:

A little teaser video:

ABOUT BINDLESTIFF STUDIO (my second home) Established in 1989, Bindlestiff Studio is the only permanent, community-based performing arts venue in the nation dedicated to showcasing emerging Filipino American and Pilipino artists. Bindlestiff Studio provides the often under-served Filipino American community access to diverse offerings in theatrical productions, music and film festivals, workshops in directing, production, acting, stand-up comedy, and writing, as well as a children and youth theater program.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Latest Guest Post....

I just wanted to share my latest guest post, which is also featured on La Chanelphile and

It features my latest favorite daily product:

Please see link for the color I selected and thoughts.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Heart Says No....BUT My Brows Say YES...

Not too long ago, I expressed the importance of having defined brows on my face no matter where I went: work, gym, pick up bagels at 7am on a Sunday morning..didn't matter. The only thing I trusted to do this job was the winning duo of MAC eye shadow in Espresso applied with a trusty slanted #266 brush.

Well the good folks from Anastasia Beverly Hills are challenging my dedication to my beloved MAC duo. 

Introducing the Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes for Brunettes.

You get brow wax, brow powder, slanted brush and an eye shadow duo. It even comes with stencils to help guide novices to achieve brow perfection

The first step is applying the brow wax with the slanted brush then I mix the taupe shade (left) with the neutral dark brown (right) and apply is small strokes. This is still a learning process and it's taking a bit longer than my original routine - two brows, 5minutes; one brow is now 6 minutes. The brush is a bit stiff and really thin. I had my #266 for years and because it's an older brush I am wondering if this brush was thicker than the current, newer brushes - they are much thinner. I am still trying to get the right color combination between the two brow shadows, whereas I just had one shade, Espresso to work with.

I did  try using a stencil, high arch, out of curiosity and I found that it made the application process more difficult. I like the champagne shimmer and matte sand shadows. This is meant to be used below the arch of the brows, the inner corner of the eyes or even the lids. I apply this on top of my TFSI Lemon Drop and it highlights the brow bone and eyes beautifully. 

Also, I'm wondering if it's too dark

The wax does hold the shadow better and this lasts longer it lasted through an 85 degree yoga studio as well as a sweaty spin class session. The brow shadow has a very soft texture and it very pigmented. You don't need to pick up a whole lot of it. I start from the highest point of my arch and work my way down the end of my brow. I pick up a bit more color and apply to the beginning of my brows in short upward brush strokes. I use a brow brush to blend any harsh shadow lines.

It took me a while to perfect my MAC brow routine so I'm sure with continued use and practice, I will get the hang of this kit. I think I can handle this without the stencils just fine!

I have come across Anastasia brow kits at Sephora and I was very curious since I am very familiar with the woman that has shaped some of the most famous brows in the business. Honestly, I don't think that I would have purchased this since I am so loyal to my current routine. After trying this kit, I must admit that I am now a little more curious about the complete Anastasia line.

Here's a video tutorial from Anastasia herself

This was sent to me for review from the Anastasia Beverly Hills PR group.You can find this at Nordstrom or Sephora and it retails for $39.50

Anastasia Soare has been shaping celebrity brows since 1997 in Beverly Hills and Brentwood, California. You can find this kit and other Anastasia products at Nordstrom, Sephora or online. The Beauty Express kit for Brows and Eyes retails for $39.50

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eyes to Kill...

I know I said last month that I was going to make it my mission to find the mascara to squash all others, well the ones I've tried in the past anyway. In the past, I have asked a few of my fellow bloggers recommendations for the best mascara they have come across. The answer is usually, you should try Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill, it's the best! 

I make my way to the GA counter at Saks Fifth Ave, SF and use my birthday money, like I just turned 13 all over again, to purchase a tube. I was so excited to get home and try this. Well it wasn't quite love at first swipe. 

I think it was a matter of getting use to a big brush again, however the weight of mascara tube is letting me know I am getting my $30 worth. It's like a paper weight - it's that hefty!

Here it is compared to the brush I have grown accustomed to and love

Chanel Inimitable has a thinner, tapered brush and with soft, flexible short bristles. I like this brush because it makes it easier to reach the shortest lashes at the corner of my eyes. Yet, I still felt that it didn't elongate my lashes enough. The volume aspect is decent though, so I don't entirely hate this mascara.

The Eyes to Kill brush is bigger and I had to really investigate why this mascara has a lot of fans so I dig into my fellow blogger's archives and I found a review from the fabulous Glitter Geek from Toronto. She mentions that the size of the bristles are different - one side is shorter with wide set bristles to build volume at the base of your lashes and the other side has bristles that are longer and closer together to lengthen and separate. Still I am weary about the thicker brush because I think it holds on to more product and it'll make my lashes clump. After two weeks of use, I am finally getting the hang of this brush and my love is growing. 

I am happy to report that this mascara last through my sweat fest spin class with minimal smearing. It curls decently without the use of a curler but then again I am pretty lucky that my lashes are not stick straight. My lashes remain curled until I take it off with eye makeup remover - yes, it does come off easily.

Here's another look:

Chanel Inimitable, Noir

The volume is decent and the length is okay.

Eyes To Kill

As you can see the it gives me some major length, I am curious what this would look like after I used an eye lash curler. I didn't notice that much more volume. I guess I just need to play around with the brush but I don't also have the time to layer upon layer my mascara. Also, it looks like it has the tendency to clump and this is after I wiped off the initial excess off the wand. I need to compare this to my other beloved volumizing mascara, MAC Plush Lash.

If you are concerned with smearing - this does come in a waterproof formula. For ultimate lengthening there is Eyes to Kill Stretch Lengthening and Eyes to Kill Excess for ultimate volume. I think I'll finish my tube of the original formula before going hog wild in Eyes to Kill land.

Final assessment, I am growing to love this mascara but because of it's hefty price tag ($30/USD) it's not for everyone. But if you are curious and tried just about everything - give this a go. You can purchase this at fine department stores that carries the Giorgio Armani cosmetic line, or go online. This was bought by yours truly at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alexandrite and La Belle FOTD

As promised, here is my FOTD utilizing my latest aquisition - Le Metier de Beaute eye shadow and lip gloss.

I might as well just hand over my credit card, bank account to the good folks of this brand. I am really keeping myself on a tight leash. I didn't want to buy into the hype but I just can't help it.

It is as lovely as others have reported!

Other products used - TFSI, Lemon Drop - lid primer
LMdB Alexandrite - on lid
MAC Soba - crease
MAC Arena - Brow Bone
UD 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, Smog
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara

And here is the gloss swatched on my arm (NC 42 and gladly reporting Chanel Perfection Lumiere - #44 Beige Ambre - more to come on this new foundation!)

The gloss is a deep plum loaded with fine golden shimmer. It looks like a raisin gloss on my lips. It is perfect for the Fall/Winter. For lack of a better description, I'd say it goes on med-thick - not quite as thick as a MAC lipglass and not quite as slick/thin as a Laura Mercier Lip Glace.

Since it's only a gloss, I get about 2 1/2 hours of wear time, barely stretching 3 hours if I don't drink anything. It is unscented and does not irritate my lips - HUGE PLUS for me!

And here it is all together:

On my cheeks: 
Chanel Joues Contraste #67 Rose Tourbillon

Yes, I will be returning for more LMdB shadows and glosses. Hopefully, I will be able to buy the Corinthian shadow and I will try out their beloved lip creams.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Birthday Drinks and Paying Respect...

Lex-tember is officially over and so I'd thought I'd reflect and share with you what I drank on my birthday (9/20).

Mine is on the left - Rye'n Stone - The Plant Organic Cafe, Embarcadero

You guys know how much I LOVE Whiskey, Bourbon and /or this one had Bulleit Rye and I just couldn't resist. I just wished they toned down the licorice flavor - killed it for me. I'm sure it was the bitters...sorry, I didn't note the other components in this cocktail.

I was just happy this cocktail was better than my birthday lunch. Sorry, Mr. Lex!

A Bombay Sapphire Martini from the legendary Tadich Grill, FiDi. I love this place and I need to go back for their famous Cioppino. This spot is a fancy diner for old-time "power lunch" set.

My husband and I walked straight up to the bar and just ordered cocktails. I knew immediately that I wanted a gin martini to feel like I was back in 1965 and this was part of the lunch hour. There is nothing fancy about this drink - Bombay Sapphire gin and dry vermouth poured into a shaker sitting in ice. It wasn't even shaken nor stirred. It was poured through the strainer into my martini glass with two olives. This is not for the weak of hearts.

Did I also mention that this was in the middle of a Tuesday and I had great pleasure knowing that I was enjoying a martini knowing I could go home after I finished while the rest of these suit types had to go back to the office?

And lastly,

The Cherry Bounce from the Comstock Saloon in North Beach.
Bourbon, Cherry Brandy, lemon, Angostura bitters and could I go wrong? Bourbon and Champagne in one glass? Sign me up!!

This was as sweet as described. The bourbon does a great job of cutting through the sweet and giving this cocktail some body. The citrus and herbal bitter also lighten things up. The champagne is added last for some fizz.

This is definitely a party in a glass for much that I had to have a second!

I did round the night with (2) Maker's Mark bourbon and ginger ale just to slow things down at the dive bar next door. I didn't take a picture of that drink but I did capture this in the ladies room:

It looks like it was an old Aqua Net dispenser. How cool is this? I actually wished that it still had bottles for purchase. Sure, it probably depleted most of the ozone layer...I took part in that in the late 80's but it would have made a cool collector's, birthday gift for myself.

I will be posting my September favorites this week.


Just a brief note of respect, please bare with me.

I had a real heartbreaking end to this month. Mr. Lex and I had to put in a sh*tload of money into car repair, my hopes for a job change got stomped on and worse part of all, I lost a friend.

No seriously, this gentle giant of a man that I was lucky enough to know passed away in his sleep. I will be attending his wake this coming weekend to pay my respects. He could never be replaced and he was a big presence in the community. He gave me awesome bear hugs and big laughs when I needed it.

Even though I am sitting at my desk feeling empty and unappreciated, I am forcing a smile on my face for him. Because he always managed to convey a positive and humorous vibe when I was around him. In stressful times at the theater space, where I met him, I would hear him cracking jokes partly in Tagalog and English and this would always make me laugh. I'm not fluent in Tagalog but I always knew enough to get the joke.

If I keep that feeling in my heart maybe it will make me feel lighter and to remember who I am and what my worth is. I know this is what he would want me to do.