Sunday, December 23, 2012

Guest Post on Miss Omni Media - 'What I Want for Christmas, 2012'

Here's what on my (imaginary, crazy) wish list this year.


Last year my list was pretty crazy so this year's isn't too bad. Who am I kidding, like I should really expect to find those Ferragamo flats under my tree. It's always fun to think and write about my fantasy wishlist for It may be fantasy but it also give me hope and aspirations that this might just happen.

I would at least love to drive to Yountville just to see The French Laundry restaurant in person!

For the full story, click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Elizabeth Street Cosmetics

This week on Miss Omni Media, I review San Francisco based cosmetic company Elizabeth Street Cosmetics. 

I am pleasantly surprised by the quality and pigment of this lipstick and gloss. Influenced by the holiday season, I went with a gorgeous wine lipstick and cranberry lip gloss that look wonderful together.

Click here for more and color swatches.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Steve Madden Olympiaa

"Cute, they look like high heeled tennies..." my coworker said to me when she first saw my wedge sneakers. Seriously, am I that woman that just invested $99 on a pair of high heeled tennies?

Yes, guilty as charged.

The wedge sneaker has been getting lots of play recently. They are currently offered in luxury department stores such as Neiman Marcus to budget friendly like Target. I hated the platform sneaker of yesteryear, and by that I mean back in 1997. The sole would be a solid white at about 3-4" and they just weren't cute. These sneakers have a hidden heel and it's a pretty modest height of 3".

I originally wanted the ASH leather pair of wedge sneakers but I am not going to spend $260 on them, and I honestly did try to justify that purchase. I couldn't face my husband if I actually went through with that purchase!

I exchanged two short booties (one taupe and one black) because of sizing issues and then these just happen to come my way. I kept thinking about these shoes as I was justifying keeping the black pair of suede booties but honestly they were too big for me and my socks kept slipping off my heels as I walked. And I couldn't stop thinking about these shoes.

They are suede and fabric, lace up with a velcro strap that keeps the shoe snug. The one complaint I have is that it takes some time to get your foot in, this is were a side or back zip would be helpful. The hidden wedge  is perfect for me to wear with my long boot leg jeans to work. When winter hit, I thought I had to stop wearing my favorite jeans to work because the only shoes I could comfortably walk in from the train station to the office where my wedge sandals. I would have to travel in flats or regular sneakers with my jeans rolled up unattractively so I could change into my higher heeled shoes at the office. With these Steve Madden shoes, I can wear my long jeans or work slacks unrolled to the office and then I can change into work shoes if needed.

Another thing to think about if you do invest in these shoes, if you buy the taupe they get dirty really easily. When I took these shoes home for the first time, I noticed that there was a gummy residue on the top right near the area where the fabric meets the suede. I tried cleaning it but I failed miserably. I really wished this was on the suede - it would have been easier to clean off and hide. I also hate that I was so lazy - I usually would have marched back angrily and asked for a clean pair. This is my fault. Please inspect carefully before taking them home.

They are really cute with my jeans. I'm learning to live with the stain. I just hope I don't accumulate more, but with my clumsy ass I am not holding my breath.

They are just as cute with my rolled up boyfriend jeans! I get tons of compliments from coworkers, other preschool moms and complete strangers.They do run a bit long in length but they are true to size. They are comfy as I have been doing lots of walking and I even wore them playing with my daughter at the park. 

Steve Madden Olympiaa - $99/USD

I purchased mine at Nordstrom. I am assuming these can be found in department stores where Steve Maddens are sold. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Miss Omni Media Guest Post for the Week of Dec. 3rd

Hello there,
This week on MISS, I try Jane Iredale cosmetics for the first time and I am pleasantly surprised. Also, I was surprised by their gorgeous packaging to their customers.

Click here, to see the products that were sent to me for my consideration. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday

Standing in line for a 50 inch screen lap top at WalMartBestBuyTarget for $187.95 at 7:30 PM on Thanksgiving (Grey Thursday) not your thing? Do you like sleeping in on a Friday morning when stores observing Black Friday opens it's doors for business at 12am?

Are you anti-establishment and like to support small businesses? Prefer to give a gift that is handmade in America? Specifically, a garage in Daly City, CA?

My husband is a small business owner (265 Design) so this is my effort to bring him some Holiday business. And it also ties into the theme of my beauty blog.

How about purchasing this makeup/fragrance tray to organize your ever growing stash of beauty arsenal:

Or planning to do lots of entertaining? How about a cheese tray that celebrates your home state:

Not from California? That's okay, here's Oregon:

In fact, my husband, Joel, can take special request online - in fact he has done boards in the shape of Brazil and Switzerland. These make an awesome gift for that person that in missing or would like to pay tribute to their hometown!

In addition to being carried in small, special boutiques around the Bay Area, Joel has been asked by Old Navy to design and build a few wooden/steel benches for their flagship store here in SF and also Chicago.

See even Old Navy wants to support local artisans! A bit ironic, I know but even a corporation can appreciate a small business owner.

For more info about Small Business Saturday, click here.

For prices and other fine homemade wood items, please see my husbands website HERE.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How I Relax for the During the Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This is marks the start of what can become a very overwhelming Holiday season for some. I will find myself becoming very anxious and stressed, especially if I am hosting a family holiday meal. So I just wanted to share my secret of relaxing this time of year, well I turn to this activity the dates back to 3rd century BC two times a week to keep me grounded.

I am very thankful for my family, friends and you the reader for taking the time to read my ramblings about beauty and life in general. I am very blessed to be here with you all!

Eat and drink responsibly!

Monday, November 12, 2012

This Week on MISS: Turn Your Facebook Cover into a Work of Art

This week on NARS recently has launched a fun and exclusive Facebook App to help launch the NARS/Warhol collaboration for the winter season. I always wanted a silk screen print of myself like Bianca and Debbie.

Finally, I got my chance:

To read more and for a visual explanation - click here.

It's a lot of fun and the possibilities are endless!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

MISS Guest Post for the week of Nov. 5

I have been experimenting with different skincare lines periodically for the sake of beauty writing for MISS. Because of it, my skin is starting to show signs and not in a positive way. This week I share the skincare I turn to when my skin starts to freak out on me.

To read more, click here.

I am pretty sure I'll try the next miracle serum that gets thrown my way and I'll never stop using this lotion.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Feminine Palette by Urban Decay

Last week, I featured the Danger Palette from Urban Decay's Holiday 2012 collection. Lucky for you, well mostly for me, I scored the Feminine Palette - second palette from the collection. This one features softer shades that evoke romance and femininity, dreamed up by the folks at UD of course! I love the lace graphic on the exterior and the sexy faded purple and fishnet inside. And again, you can pop out the shadow holder to use this as a travel pouch.

On to the shadows:

Again, this comes with a travel sized Lip Junkie Lip Gloss, this one is nude pink brown in Wallflower. This is a great nude gloss for those with naturally dark pigmented lips like mine. I'm really starting to be a fan of their glosses. However, I really need to apply with a light hand - more than two layers and it feels gloppy on your lips. God forbid you are stuck in a wind storm and your hair isn't in a ponytail. I don't mind the slight tingle and mint scent but sometimes the scent is off to me. I don't know what it is but sometimes it smells that it's expired. But it doesn't last long - then again, scents are always subjective and debatable. 

Don't listen to me....

Obligatory arm swatch:

Bordello: pale mauve with gold micro-glitter
Skimp: pale, buttery yellow shimmer
AC/DC: smoky, grey purple shimmer
Gunmetal: cool metallic charcoal shimmer with silver micro-glitter
Hijack: dark metallic teal shimmer
Lost: metallic golden brown shimmer

Even though these shadows have been reformulated, there's no absolute guarantee that the shadow with glitter will not have any fallout. I do experience fallout when using Bordello and Gunmetal. I always make sure I have some makeup removing wipes/swab on hand when using these shadows. Wouldn't you know, I love them paired together!

I love how Bordello (lid) looks more pink on me and the cool tones of Gunmetal (outer-v) just softens the look. I finish with NARS Eyeliner Stylo, Carpates and lots of black mascara. On my brow bone, I used Foxy (from the NAKED 2 palette but also part of the permanent shadow collection). Since Bordello is pretty light in comparison to some of the other shadows I use, I need to pack at least two layers of color on my lid to get some show up on my skin. Again, don't forget to have those wipes within arms reach.

My other favorite combo is AC/DC and Lost, which is a deeper color combo. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of this look. I'll have to post one sometime soon. I also need to try Skimp and Hijack together. On top of a good lid primer, you will get over 8hrs of wear time. This will last me through work, gym workouts and just decompressing after a long day. 

I like this palette a lot, it's definitely a softer alternative to the Danger palette. Now I just need the Fun palette and my collection will be complete. Well until there's a new Urban Decay palette I just have to have. I probably should mention that I'm constantly stalking ebay to try to score the new Vice palette for a few dollars less like I did with the Feminine palette. 

Feminine Palette retails for $36/USD and can be found at Sephora boutiques, as well as online at or This can also be found at select Macy's department stores that feature an Urban Decay counter. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Danger Is My Middle Name....

This week at MISS, I take a look at one of the latest Holiday 2012 palettes for Urban Decay: Dangerous Palette. 

Like all Urban Decay palettes, this one is so much fun to play with. I, personally, have to work in other shades with these just because these jewel tones are vibrant and maybe a little too sultry for 8 am at the office.

Take a look how I create a day and evening look with this palette.

I give a well deserved shout out to my team:

So proud of my boys in BLACK and ORANGE!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Post for MISS - Wk of Oct. 22

Halloween is right around the corner, no really it is! So this week on MISS, I shared a tip I picked up from the last show I worked on as a makeup artist to add on any last minute zombie, roller derby or Occupy protester costumes...


I used this wheel from Kryolan, purveyor of awesome stage/film makeup, to create some body/facial bruising. But what if you didn't have any special affect cream makeup like this? I show you how to recreate with some of the makeup you already have in your stash.

To learn more, click here.

Anyone have Halloween plans this weekend? I'm still trying to figure out what I'm dressing up as - ideas?

Monday, October 8, 2012

MISS Guest Post for 10/8/12

Happy Monday!

Well my day wasn't short of any surprises today at work - how was your day? The post I recently submitted for got me thinking more and more about this brand.

So how did the lipstick work on my uber sensitive lips? Read more here.

I'm pretty happy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Walking on the Wild Side

October 1st, marks the debut of the NARS/Warhol collaboration at a Sephora nearest you. The "Pop" collection is exclusive to Sephora. The "Silver Factory" collection will be released November 1st and will be available exclusively through 

The following is a review on the core color collection:

Click here to see some looks I tried out using these products. 

I am really anxious for the debut of the Beautiful Darling Gift Set. I did get a chance to see the Debbie Harry inspired palette at Sephora today. I had HIGH hopes for this one since I've been a Blondie fan since I was tiny, little girl. All I can say is if you if you LOVE glitter...this palette is for you! Still on the fence over this one - if I were a single girl that still partied every weekend I'd be all over this. I may have to pick up another Larger than Life gloss to support my gloss hoarding habit. I just wish some new lipsticks would have been part of this collection. Oh blush, too because I can never have enough peach or deep rose blushes hahaha...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Want You to Want Me

I want you to want me....I need you to need me....I'd love you to love me - these are some of the lyrics to my favorite Cheap Trick song, I Want You to Want Me. And it's also the name of one of the Fall/Holiday 2012 palettes from Anastasia Beverly Hills.

(How cute is this pseudo album cover that's part of the press kit?)

This palette within a velvety clutch has a 70's rock theme, which is right up my alley. I'm a 70's baby (1974!) and I LOVE everything pertaining to the 70's - well, almost everything. Inside this clutch not only do you get a palette of 9 shades ranging from matte nudes, shimmery taupe, gold, bronze and plums; you also get a travel sized dual end shadow brush, black liquid liner and a clear brow gel.

I was impressed with the liquid liner. I LOVE my liners in general so I have high standards for all eye liners that I try, especially a liquid black liner. This stayed on a full eight hours but then again I was aware of wearing this on my eyes so I really tried not to rub my eyes when I experienced any irritation throughout the day. Also, the liner didn't irritate my eyes - I wear contact lenses and I have pretty sensitive skin. The brush is good for traveling and you forgot to pack any other shadow brushes. I prefer a stiff, densely packed brush and this one has too much give for my taste. I don't normally use a brow gel so I can't give a fair opinion on this product. It did feel nice and kept my brows groomed the whole day.

As for the shadows:

(NC 42 for reference)

Platform Wedge - creamy beige, matte
Front Row Center - light golden, shimmer
Ziggy - light amethyst, shimmer
Members Only - light chestnut brown, matte
Power Ballad - medium taupe, shimmer
Jellies - pink champagne, satin - very light shimmer
Graphic T's - golden, chocolate brown with gold glitter
Brass in Pocket - golden bronze, shimmer
Iron On - Blackened Plum with red glitter

All the shadows have a buttery soft feel with good pigment - the darker colors like Graphic T's and Iron On have intense pigment. Layered on top of lid primer and you have shadow that will last an entire work day - 8 hrs. I am quite pleased by this palette, more so than the previous offering, She Wears it Well. This may be a set of neutrals but it has more of an impact than the soft nudes of the aforementioned palette. 

This will make an excellent gift to the eye shadow obsessed gal in your life! 

Want You to Want Me retails for $34/USD and is currently carried at Sephora and

Here's an easy office look I did:

Lid - Power Ballad
Crease - Members Only
Outer V - Graphic T's
Browbone Highlight - Platform Wedge

For ideas and inspiration peep this video:

**Palette was sent to me for review from the Anastasia Beverly Hills PR representation group. The thoughts and opinions are completely my own**

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Forever XXI

No this is not a post about the evils or genius of Forever 21. Today is my birthday and this is my cake:

It was a delicious ice cream cake and I love that the white chocolate tablet for my greeting and my name chipped. It says a lot about me. My life wasn't perfect, it was rocky, dark at times (thankful to be alive considering some of the dumb shit I've done) but I don't have any regrets. I also cannot judge anyone because that would make me the biggest hypocrite! I look back at being 21, 23, 25 and laugh. It was fun, crazy and I was thin but honestly, I'm totally fine putting that past behind me. The thin part however, I still miss that aspect...a little.

I had plans today of just doing my own thing or as I like to call 'Day of Lex' - you know running around the lake, pedicures/massage, fragrance shopping with know small stuff. But as luck would have it, my daughter was stricken with a cold (that she caught from yours truly) and she had to stay home with me. My mother was at work and my husband couldn't work from home and I couldn't ask him to do that. This was the one day that my selfishness was truly acceptable - not even a question and I couldn't even partake in it. Eventually I got over it by thinking about how far I've come just this year and with Gabi laying in bed next to me, I could just lay there, go back to sleep or do something I haven't done in a long time - read a magazine!

I think the biggest accomplishment I've had this year was proving to myself and other of how strong I can be by doing this:

My new motto of "If you are always comfortable you will never grow" even carried on at work. I've become more daring by taking on projects. I am still taking baby steps because I'm terrified of failing but I need to do that to get to the next level.

I am currently training for a 3mile obstacle course, Dirty Girl Mud Run - benefits go to Breast Cancer research. I am hoping to drop a few pounds along the way, right before trying to add on to my family. It's been a discussion but we'll see if it happens this year. I'm not going to force the situation but I will say goodbye to my IUD sometime this winter and let fate decide what happens next. The truth is you'll never have everything mapped out when planning a family. We didn't when I got pregnant with Gabi and we're doing fine...broke and tired but we're good!

I guess what I'm hoping 38 brings me is just continued happiness with friends and family. I am hoping good things come my way on the job front. I've outgrown my admin role and I'm hoping that my ass busting work get recognized and gets me that promotion I've been blatantly hinting about to my bosses. I'm also going to to continuously challenge myself because being safe and practical can also get boring.

I am also not giving up on the possibility of doing freelance makeup work - here I am working my third stint this year as a makeup artist for my theater group:

Actually, I'm really excited to see what this year brings me. However, I am still learning to accept that I'm only two short years away from entering a new age bracket. 

Well at least I have this to keep me calm and smelling good this year:

That's right I treated myself at the Chanel boutique at a price that I could afford...barely. Oh and I did make it out shopping.

Me and my shopping buddy:

With this one by my side, I'm ready for any challenge!

It also doesn't hurt to have awesome siblings to have your back:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MISS - Week of Sept 4

Yes, I know I'm two weeks behind on forwarding my contributing pieces for I have a good reason. And I will let you know all about it next week. I'm tired and I have barely seen my family in the past two weeks. But when it's for your art and passion - it's almost worth it. Well family is pretty awesome.

So this is what I reviewed back on Sept 4:

My take on the new Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipstick, please click here.

I'll be back tomorrow with my contribution earlier this week.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Support Your Local Asian-American Designers!!

As any good little Fashionista knows, NY Fashion Week begins on September 6th and but those of us here in the Bay Area can still rejoice in some fashion show excitement. This Saturday, September 8th come out to Oakland to support local Asian American fashion and accessory designers!

From the KSW Runway press release:

Co-sponsored by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, KSW Runway highlights fashion collections from the best of emerging Asian Pacific American designers. The evening promises to be filled with style, culture, glamour, music, and carnival-esque fun. In addition to previewing the latest looks from local fashion visionaries, attendees will have the opportunity to bid on garments and accessories hot off the runway in a live auction. 

This year’s exciting lineup is headlined by Jeanette Au, fresh from her debut at New York Fashion Week that elicited rave reviews from critics, and also features body chains and accessories by Clare Adamos Morales (CLARA Designs), evening gowns by Debbie Nghiem (GG Connections), ready-to-wear feminine pieces by KT Reed (KTRcollection), and typography-inspired dresses by Kim Shao. San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim, a Kearny Street Workshop alumna, serves as honorary chair, while Jay Jasper Pugao of the hip-hop theater group Brother’s Keeper serves as master of ceremonies. DJ Slum B of the Chicago-based Earth Tone DJs will be on the turntables spinning an eclectic mix of hip hop, house, downtempo, and neo-soul.

A little background on KSW, Kearny Street Workshop, the Bay Area's oldest Asian-American multidisciplinary arts nonprofit organization. KSW celebrates 40 years of nurturing creative spirit, providing a platform for new emerging artists and connecting artists with the community by offering workshops and programs that celebrates Asian-Pacific-American Experience.

If you are in the Bay Area and you want to get your own Fashion Week experience. Come support local and independent talent! You'll see some great fashion and accessories that you could possibly go home with!

KSW Runway takes place Saturday, September 8 from 7-10:00 PM at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in Downtown Oakland. Tickets are available online via For more information, contact Program Director, TJ Basa (415) 503-0520 or

Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 Ninth Street, Second Fl
Oakland, CA 94607

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good things...

Every now and then MAC wins my heart, well I have learned to not get so worked up over the over abundant collection launches. They tend to be a bit overrated in my book. But every now and then I find a piece that is pure love and I contemplate buying backups.

Here's one I recently discovered and I have worn it every time I am lazy or I oversleep - pretty much every day the last half of August:

Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Superwatt:

It's MAC version of the cream/powder shadow hybrid in a pot. Sales associates have recommended to use a nylon brush to apply but I find that I get the best application when I just use swipe quickly with my finger from lash line right to my orbital crease and then I blend out softly. Also, the screw top pot is reminiscent to the original solo MAC shadows from yonder.

Here's a swatch:

It's a lovely light shimmering taupe with a bit of a bronzey feel. I love it best with just a simple flick of my NARS Eyeliner Stylo in Carpates. But I have also experimented with other liners and it works just as well.

I paired it with Chanel's Intense Eye Pencil in Black Jade, blackened emerald:

I am almost ready to replace all my powder shadows with these creamy, springy cream/powder hybrids (not just MAC but other brands that also offer this formula).These are the easiest shadows to apply in just five minutes, probably another reason why I'm leaving the house later and later during the week.

The MAC associate said that these can be worn without a primer and I can attest to that. However, if I am going to add on with a crease and brow bone colors, I apply my usual TFSI primer. This shadow last eight hours regardless what route you take.

I'm so pleased with this shadow that I'm tempted to pick up a back up, as well as other shades. I probably should since these are limited edition - surprise, surprise. That's when MAC takes the fun out of makeup shopping and just turns us into raving lunatics.

Well at least I'll have pretty eyes in the middle of a nervous breakdown at the MAC store.

Superwatt, is one of twelve shades in the Electric Cool Eye Shadow Collection. They retail at $18.50/USD and may still be available at your local department stores that carry MAC. Also at freestanding MAC boutiques and online

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Post for Miss - Week of 8/27

Hey guys,
I am back from vacation and it was a much need one. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take a little more time off from the blogging world. When I got back to the real world I got serious and did some thinking and scrubbing.

This week, I spend some time with the new NARS Skincare collection.

As you know, I have pretty sensitive, reactive skin (eczema prone) so find out how this did on my temperamental skin.

Click here.

Available now at department stores that carry the NARS collection and online at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall 2012: She Wears it Well Palette

Brow expert, Anastasia is at it again. This time leaning on the glamour of Hollywood, circa 1930's for her fall palette, She Wears it Well:

I love that this palette comes with '30s inspired looks - the illustration is just lovely. The packaging is just as adorable. It's a crocodile embossed cardboard case with foil metallic accents - it's like a cute little clutch purse. The mirror is substantial - great if you take this as your only palette while taking a trip. It also comes with a dual head mini brush, which will work in a pinch but I do prefer my full sized brushes instead.

This palette is a mix of five shimmers and four matte shadows - it's a great balance of textures. I, personally don't like an all shimmer or all matte eye. The eye is multi-dimensional and interesting if you can blend both in one look.

Here's another look at the "How-to" cards:

Great for the makeup novice or for the advanced cosmetic user that needs a bit of inspiration.

I am somewhere in the middle and I found these cards fun.

Let's take a look at the sensual nude shades:

Trophy - taupe shimmer
Glow - golden bronze
Latte - light mocha shimmer
Foxy - golden reddish-chocolate shimmer
Sunset - golden/champagne like shimmer
Frosting - light pearl pink shimmer
Onyx - matte black
Almond - matte light beige
Toffee - matte neutral brown

The shimmers, with the exception of Sunset, weren't buttery soft to the touch. It reminded me of a MAC satin finish. I have to really pack this on a dense shadow brush. Sunset was softer in comparison, almost like a Urban Decay finish, you didn't have to work to hard to get this on your brush. The mattes were also reminiscent to a MAC matte finish.

And of course, the swatch lineup:

I tried out the Eyes and Dolls Anytime look:

Sunset applied all over lid and lightly over brow bone. Then Foxy is applied to crease and outer-v. I use a damp pencil brush and apply Foxy on the upper lash lines. I did apply this on top of Stila's Smudge Crayon in Smoke, a shimmering grey taupe.

I used a black gel liner to tightline my upper lash line only. I do get a good eight hours of wear time when I wear these shadows over a lid primer. The colors are a bit sheer on me but I suspect the fairer wearer will get more of a color impact. I prefer to wear these shadows on top of a cream shadow for more pigment. Layering two colors together also work well - I do like Trophy and Latte layered together. Also, you do get more color payoff when using a damp brush vs. dry.

The illumn8 formula features Youthful Synergy Complex - clinically proven to illuminate, firm, and hydrates the skin.
From the Anastasia website:
"Key Ingredients 
Youthful SynergyTM Complex in Shimmer Shades Brown Algae - A key ingredient that smoothes, firms, hydrates, and revitalizes the appearance of skin. Diamond Core Powder - Diffuses light for a soft focus effect. Sea Whip Extract - Soothes the skin Macadamia derivative - A natural hydrator capable of holding up to 300% more water in the skin. Powerful antioxidants of Vitamins A, B, C, E, and F. 
Balkan Botanical Infusion®"

I will say that if you truly love collecting nudes or looking for a palette to take on vacation this may be for you. I just recommend that you bring other brushes along with you, the brush included isn't really the best. Also, if you already have plenty of nude palettes in current rotation, you can pass.

But for $34/USD it's worth a look!

For a video demonstration:

Available at Sephora (store and online) as well as the Anastasia site

This was sent to me for consideration from the PR team at Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest Post for M.I.S.S. - 8/13/12 - New NARS Liners

I was NOT a fan of the original NARS Eyeliner Stylo, the felt tip liners. I might have gotten a bad batch because it never had enough pigment when I would use it. Also, longevity was another issue - there was none.

Well, I'm so glad Monsieur Nars went back to the drawing board to create a newer, stronger, better, faster version of this liner:

Click here for the rest of the review and swatch photos.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Simple Pleasures 8/7/12

You ever have one of those weeks that you are just slammed from the moment you wake up to the bitter second  after your heavy head hits the pillow?

Yeah, I am experiencing that right now and it's only Tuesday.

So after my daughter is sleeping and my husband and I are busy working on our laptops side by side, we make time for this little ritual:

The beer is interchangeable but the shot usually remains the same - whiskey - Jack Daniels, Jim Beam or Bulleit (if we are feeling particularly fancy).

Yes, it's like a mild burn down the esophagus but it makes the tummy warm and it takes the edge off a stressful evening. What's causing my stress? I've signed on as makeup artist for the next production, which is really exciting, a Shakespeare adaptation with Tagalog blended into an Elizabethan dialogue. It's pretty cool, if you ask me!

More to come, I promise. I will say that I'm currently researching tribal makeup. It's out of my element but I love a good challenge!

Another recent simple pleasure I am currently obsessed with - playing Solitare on my phone.

I currently got burnt out on Angry Birds, I don't do Words with Friends or Song Pop. I actually love playing this classic card game on the train to work or on the way home. Sometimes, I'll stay up longer than I should at night playing this game.

I know this wasn't a makeup or even a legit booze post but hey, I'm stressed out right now. 

Cut me some slack!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Guest Post for MISS - 8/6/12

Hello there,
How was your weekend? I felt like I didn't even have one, I was so busy. However, I still found time to review shadow/blush/bronzing palettes from Skinn Cosmetics:

I am new to this cosmetic line by Dimitri James, learn more here.

I was pleasantly surprised even though the palette design was all to familiar to me. Read and see what I mean.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


It all started with a simple statement from my theater group buddies, "We're going to run a half marathon to raise money for Bindlestiff (my theater group)." I thought, "cool...where do I donate" and then the thought drifted into, "I wonder if I could run that" and that soon turned to "Lex, you've only run 3.5 miles in your life! You may collapse at 4!" My good friend, Aivy, began running not too long ago, talked me into it and she didn't really have to do much pushing. She has run the Women's Nike Marathon in SF last year and she has other runs under her belt. She likes to call herself an "enthusiastic jogger" but I call her my running whisperer.

I have always been somewhat active - Women's Freestyle wrestling as a young adult, boxing, tried out Krav Maga and gym rat at least five times a week. But I had a love/hate relationship with running. Knee injury that ended my wrestling career, a bunion on my right foot that required a $300 customized insole from a podiatrist and just general break down that one might feel at the ripe old age of 37.

But something just stirred inside and I question myself - "what is really stopping me?"

I put a plan in motion - I gave myself three months to train, got new shoes, stopped wearing my insoles (they made my feet hurt when I ran) and made a date at my old community college track where I use to run. I struggled the first two miles but then I ran the third easily. The next week I ran 3.5 miles pretty effortlessly. I soon discovered that running on a track is pretty boring - I might as well just hop on a treadmill. So I ditched the gym on Mondays and ran from the famous Ferry Building along the Embarcadero to AT&T Ballpark and back to my office. This run is a little over 3 miles round trip but depending on how sassy you are feeling you and how much time you have during your lunch break you can easily stretch it to 4 or even 5 miles.

Plus, you have an awesome view of the bay and Bay Bridge:

Okay this became easy enough for me to run. I then decide to take on another nagging challenge - Lake Merced, SF. Click here for map. It's roughly 4.5 miles, I think. I was always intimidate by this lake. My alma mater, SF State University is nearby and I never thought to run or even walk around it. What was I really intimidated by? As expected the first two miles were tough but by mile three, I began to get control of my lungs and my breathing wasn't as heavy...I began to enjoy it. Also, Beastie Boys on an iPod or Pandora station helps the situation. The first month of training closed and I found comfort running 4.5 miles. Word travels to my serious running co-workers, they encourage me, give tips and the make sure I follow through with my running goals. Now that they knew I was running a half-marathon, I am now held accountable for my actions. I don't want to punk out and look like a cowardly jerk if I pulled out.

Month 2 of training...goal - try increasing the next time I run around Lake Merced. Ugh, first obstacle - nagging pain in my right hip knocks me off the course. I felt it as I ran but I wanted to push through it - I thought it would just go away but as I completed the course and thinking I could run a little further. A pain so sharp stopped me from taking another step. DAMN...not again...a year ago my right foot stopped me from wanting to train just to run the 7 mile Bay 2 Breakers annual run. I'm out the next week and a half trying to rest my hip. I don't stop working out - I begin cross training on the elliptical machine and stationary bike. I over come my fear or re-injuring myself by doing running/walking intervals on the treadmill. I find myself back at the lake the following week steadily running a solid 4.5 miles again. I even begin to add on for the first time by running an extra half mile. I discover running with someone else that runs better than you is very helpful - it adds a bit of challenge to keep up. My 10:30 mile goes down to a 9:57 when I run with my buddy, Aaron, who is also part of my theater running group. I also forget to mention another running teammate, Nina, who also ran for the first time. She's a new mother and another inspiration to me. I end this month by running six miles successfully. I am also addicted to tracking every run on the Run Keeper app. It keeps me accountable for my progress and it gives me an estimate of how many calories I burned.

Month 3 begins with me getting nervous and anxious. I begin doubting myself again and really wondering if I can really run 13.1 miles without stopping. Also, everyone around me keep assuring me that it's really okay to stop and walk if I need to. I really am my worst enemy and I tell myself that I can keep running and to stop only when I feel like I'm going to collapse or bust hip - well which ever happens first. I've also increased my running frequency by now - instead of running twice a week, I am now running three times. I keep doing yoga two times a week for flexibility, also to help with my breathing and focus. I try to sneak in a weight session as well. I'm feeling awesome, however my diet is still the same. Needless to say, I don't lose a whole lot of weight but maintain where I am and I finally accept it. Sorry, but I like to eat and drink! My co-worker, Natalie is another great support. She's perky every time I talk to her and she's also running - the FULL 26 MILES! She tells me that if I am going to do another long run before the big day to do it two weeks before. So I run eight miles for the first time with my running buddy, Aaron. We run around the lake twice, well actually I was only going to run 6 miles but I'm feeling great after the first go around and what do you know - I'm feeling pretty awesome after 5 miles so I keep going. Until I reach the 7th mile - I slow down and I stop for the very first time. I talk myself out of it and 5 minutes later I am running again. Albeit, slower but at least I'm running again. The following weekend I attempt running around the lake twice again and I do it. I don't stop running till I reach 9 miles. I feel stronger and it's wonderful! The feeling of completing a full 9 miles non stop is elating, I can only imagine what it feels like to run the full 13.1 without stopping.

The week before the marathon, I am getting more confident in myself. I run twice and they're easy 4 miles. It wasn't that long ago that I feared running around that lake. I begin to get a scratchy throat and I am pissed. There's no way that I'm getting sick now - I buy a box of Cold-eeze and take them religiously. I still have to pick up my running bib and and info at a marathon expo. I have something I secretly always wanted - a bib number - #56451. I am never throwing this away! The Cold-eeze have also worked - my scratchy throat is no more.

Saturday before the race, I don't have any time to freak out - I am hosting my daughter's 4th birthday party at the park and my husband's Stepmother is in town. I am running around this party making sure it goes off without a hitch. Her friends, their parents, my friends and family all enjoy themselves. Most importantly, my daughter has a blast! The party is over and am now consumed by nervous energy but the highlight of that evening - CARB LOADING! I make my favorite fatty Fettuccine Carbonara and I eat 2 1/2 bowls shamelessly. I sleep well but I keep waking up early in fear that the alarm on my phone doesn't come on. I get up before the alarm and I make myself a small cup of coffee, a small egg white soft taco and a glass of water. Yes, all this liquid becomes my downfall later in the marathon.

Here I am so eager to start running:

My husband drops me off and it is quite a scene but I am pumped and happy to know that he and our daughter will be there to see me cross the finish line. I see my friend Nina and we are both nervous and excited. We are in the very last wave and we wait for our turn through the gate. And we're off. At first I turn on my trusty Run Keeper app to help me track my run time to keep me on pace but the problem with this app is that it's like a GPS tracking device and it sucks up a lot of battery. I also have my pandora station on so I have music to listen to. I am tortured the first five miles of this run - it's easy but I'm still running around Golden Gate park. I feel like I'm never going to get out. Finally by mile 6 I'm on the sidewalk and I'm running through the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood. I check my phone and I watch the batter slowly die and as I get to 20% left I have to make a decision what to cut off - I turn off my Run Keeper. At this point, I throw away my desire to push myself to the limit by running faster and I slow down and just enjoy the moment. When I get down to 15% battery power, I turn off my music and really take in the sight and sounds of side walk spectators. They cheer us on and I found them to be an integral part of running this marathon - my inner Olympic athlete comes out. I make it past mile 7 and I have to pee badly. I find the next porta potty, bite my pride, stop and pee. I ignore the fact that I am killing time, do what I have to do and just go right back to it. You know how you appreciate your city when you are hosting a visitor and you take them sight seeing? Well it's the same when you're running in a neighborhood you normally drive through. You notice subtleties of each passing neighborhood and the hill you drive up is really not that hard to also run.

I begin to snap some photos of the sidewalk cheerleaders:

You can't tell but her sign read, "don't chicken out - you're almost there!!" and also I loved these young girls across the street:

They saw me snap photos of them and they cheered me on - their signs just read "Run...RUN...RUN.." and "YOU CAN DO IT" - just thinking of these and the "Run Random Stranger RUN" make me happy. The one moment that almost made me cry were the young girls holding up signs that read, "YOU INSPIRE ME" and it was that point that running faster, stopping or not stopping didn't matter anymore. By me just completing this run can inspire a complete stranger to step outside their comfort zone to do something crazy for the first time.

I came to the last mile and a very familiar territory - AT&T Ballpark, the scene of my weekly run. I breathe easy and my smile gets bigger and bigger. Because I keep hearing "You're almost there" being yelled at me at every direction and I see this up ahead almost out of nowhere:

And then I find my husband and daughter in the crowd. I am over joyed I have no words, my husband has never been so proud of me. And my daughter is happy to see me. 

I hope we look back at this picture and it would serve as some inspiration to her to do commit to a goal and do something courageous. 

And if I need another bit of inspiration, I can always turn to this picture:

I will promise to remind myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Not only did I complete this run but I found a new way of life - allowing myself to get uncomfortable. I learn that if I remain comfortable I will never grow in general - especially at work. I tell my boss this mantra at my last review and he's proud to hear that I am now not afraid to fail by getting out of my comfort zone. I have a new confidence. 

I also have these items to thank for getting me through this obstacle:

I forgot to include my old Droid phone that has my Run Keeper and Pandora apps - Roots, Notorious B.I.G., No Doubt and Blondie stations have keep my spirits up as I run!

And yes, I'm currently taking a break from running. But not for long - I'll be running again next week to get ready for my next scheduled half marathon - The SF Giants Half Marathon on Sept 16. 

Stay tuned.....