Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Get An Extra Day to Love My February Finds!

Leap year - it happens every four years and basically it helps keep our calendar align with the Earth's revolutions around the sun. Without adding an extra day to the Gregorian calendar (which only has 365 days), we would lose six hours off our calendar every year and after 100 years, the calendar would be off about 24 days.

But it also gives us beauty obsessed folks another day in the short month of February to show appreciation to products that we have happily discovered!

Behold: my February Faves!

I won't go into deep details of each and every item but I will let you know that I was pleasantly surprised by each product featured! NARS Eyeshadow Single, Lhasa shown here has been an everyday favorite since I purchased it about two weeks ago. I absolutely loved the range of colors featured in the latest OPI Spring collection taking Holland as their inspiration this time around. This bright pink cheers me up on the coldest, dampest day here in SF. Revlon's Lip Butter Balms is a pleasant surprise on my lips and my wallet. The biggest challenge will be to retrain myself from buy more - I currently own three and I'd like to keep it that way (for now). Also shown is another drugstore beauty find - L'Oreal's Infalliable Eye Shadow in Bronzed Taupe. Yes, I do think about this shadow when I look at the color of my car every morning!

Also, I received some awesome skincare samples this month. I received the Algenist Lifting and Firming Cream from my Birchbox sample offerings last month and I actually began to use it this month. I can't really tell if it's firming or lifting, per se, but it is fragrance free, doesn't contain SPF (sadly) and it does not irritate my sensitive eczema prone skin! The small jar that says 'Juno' is a sample of a serum from skincare newcomer Sunday Riley. I was lucky enough to receive this from my last visit to Barneys along with an exfoliating leave on mask, Good Genes, Start Over eye cream which was created by the folks behind Visine eye drops - it makes your eyes burn and water like a mofo because of the instant lifting and eye brightening effects. I don't know if I loved this as much as I thought because of the burning. Plus, I didn't notice an immediate brightening. The last sample received was the Bionic Anti-Aging Cream. There's a light scent and it absorbs quickly. It's a powerhouse cream consisting of purified retinol, resveratrol, EGCG, peptides, copper peptides and more!

But back to the Juno serum - it surprised me. It's a dry oil and I've had BAD experiences with oils on my face, especially cleansers. Cleansers you rinse off and those broke me out. A serum you leave on and this didn't break me out. I do suspect, however, that I'm not getting enough moisture as I'm beginning to get dry patches on my chin again. I guess, I'll have to start using prescribed ointments with this serum. Because it's a dry oil, you get an instant glow. It contains natural retinol, omega-3,6,&9, amino acids, Vitamin C, UV shields and natural anti-inflammatory agents. I was told by the super friendly assistant at the counter that this contains broccoli oil and yes, when I slather this on my face it vaguely smells and feels like salad oil. This doesn't gross me out, if anything it makes me giggle. But I'm weird like that.

The NARS tinted moisturizer is new and I really need to review that. I will say for now that I am just elated to find a tinted moisturizer that contains an SPF that doesn't make my forehead look ashy! It's like a BB (beauty balm) cream - primer, spf, treatment all in one. The shade I went with is Annapurna, medium w/a peachy undertone. Again, I will give a review and swatch comparison soon.

As for the scent samples, I am transitioning from my oriental/amber/ouds and making way for lighter scents to get into the Spring/Summer seasons. The Guerlain scent is Iris Ganache, from the L'Art et la Matiere line. It's exclusive, pricey and now discontinued! This combines the powdery scent of Iris with White Chocolate and other notes in between - bergamot, cinnamon, cedar, patchouli, amber, vanilla and musk. I get powdery iris at first and then a drydown of white chocolate and musk. It's lovely and a pair that's just as lovely as bacon and chocolate! It's perfect year round - if you love gourmand scents and you want one that pushes the envelop a bit, stop by Neiman Marcus and check this out at the Guerlain counter! I get good wear time out of this, about 3 1/2, 4 hours? I just love that even after 4 hours I can still smell remnants of chocolate on my skin...this may be bad for my diet, as it just makes me crave a chocolate bar!

Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower is a tuberose powerhouse! This is gorgeous and when I put this on a cold, dreary morning I instantly feel sunshine, brightness and I have a swagger in my step. It's not just tuberose but also hints of coconut, jasmine, musk when I pull my nose away from my wrist. Other notes included: eucalyptus, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, bergamot and melon. I use to not be a fan of tuberose because I found it too heady but I guess it must me be craving warmer weather because I am obsessed with this scent. I get at least four hours of wear time - I have to reapply after my lunch time gym shower.

Sorry, I know this is a lot of text but I hope you enjoyed my Feb Faves. What are some of yours?

Monday, February 27, 2012

LHASA...Nope, Not Another Review...

I think I may be the last beauty blogger on earth to pick up this eye shadow single from NARS:

Lhasa, from the Spring 2012 collection (vs. Ashes to Ashes).

I think my good friend, Dovey said it best when she mentioned it's "Ashes to Ashes cool sister" - couldn't agree with her more. Judging from my swatch shot - a bit more plum, mushroom brown and Lhasa is definitely on the lavender grey side.I often find myself agreeing with her as we share the same taste in colors! She wrote an awesome review on this shade, as many other bloggers, so I am not going to sound like a broken record. I just wanted to share my 'Lhasa LOTD (look of the day), in case you were curious to see this on a darker, NC 42 user.

This is a cool, dove gray shade. It takes at least four generous layers to get this to show on my lids. It looks even more awesome on top of a charcoal or taupe cream shadow for an easy smoky eye. But to wear this solo and you are either the same skin tone as me, a little lighter or a little darker - be prepared to do some work to get this shade to work for you!

But I love this shade and I'm glad I followed my heart by purchasing it.

I went with a nude, pink lip but I can also see this paired with a deeper plum or wine lip.

Solo or combined with a cream shadow, it's an easy shade to pull off if you are willing to put in the time and experiment with it. After all, isn't that what makeup is all about?

This was bought by yours truly at Nordstrom, SF - $24/USD.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

OPI Holland Collection - Spring/Summer 2012 and a Guest Model...

When I first heard about OPI's upcoming Spring/Summer collection was going to be inspired by Holland - I got a little excited. It's a little personal because my father spent a good part of his childhood in the Netherlands - by way of Indonesia. He's Dutch-Indonesian and he speaks fondly of his Dutch boyhood. I remember picking up a Dutch phrase book so I could learn some words and perhaps impress him and my Oma (Dutch for Grandmother). He asked, "Why would you do that? You're better off learning Spanish..."

So much for trying to impress my old man. He migrated to San Francisco at the age of eight and became and American citizen not very long ago! I still dream of visiting his native country and meeting relatives that still live there. I'm sure he's gotten over his heartbreak to the Netherlands soccer team losing to Spain - World Cup 2010.

Okay on to the featured polish collection. It's a well rounded collection featuring twelve different shades - from a neutral putty to deep metallic aubergine. I couldn't afford to buy all twelve so I bought four that I really liked, plus my husband would have some words if I walked out with the entire collection. However, I am thinking about picking up another color from this collection.

Here's a quick nail swatch picture - I'm a NC42 for reference:

Colors I chose:

1. Gouda Gouda Two Shoes - it looks like a rose gold in the bottle because of the gold shimmer but on my nails it's a bit like a mauve.

2. I Don't Give a Rotterdam - a cool, grayish slate blue with silver and gold glitter. This went on pretty sheer, I'd probably layer up to four coats of this.

3. Kiss Me on my Tulips - a cool, hot, HOT pink creme. At first I thought this was like Berries in the Canaries from the Spain collection but that is more fuchsia.

4. A Roll in the Hague - Bright Orange - that's all it really is. You love a bright, sunny pedicure for the summer? This is your color. I can't wait to paint my toes with this. I don't know if I can rock this on my nails at the office but maybe with short nails?

I'm really happy with this collection - I love that there is truly a color for everyone. It's screams warm weather - maybe not the darker colors in the collection like Vampsterdam or Wooden Shoe Like to Know but I appreciate the variety it adds to the collection. I actually think constantly of returning back to Ulta to pick that one up.

The colors applied smoothly. I applied three thin layers or you can do two thick, with the exception of I Don't Give a Rotterdam. I get about a good 3-4 days of wear time if I apply my Seche Vite top coat every other day.

Curious to see Kiss Me on my Tulips? Here's my guest model:

My mini cupcake picked out this shade in the store and I couldn't resist!

Now I'm craving Hagelslag Melk toast - something my father taught me how to make as a young girl as an after school treat.

Curious about these colors mentioned or the collection in general? Click here. These were bought by your truly at my local Ulta store. They each retail $8.50/USD.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What Happens When Left in Nordstrom for an Hour...

The eye lash curler I've been dying to try. This is the third LMdB item I now own, the collection is slowly growing! Really excited to try this thing.

Le Metier de Beaute eye lash curler (comes w/one replacement pad) - $18/USD
Purchased by yours truly at Nordstrom.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If That Color Were an Eye Shadow, I Would Wear It!

My 2000 Volkswagen Passat finally kicked the bucket, I should have known being the third owner and not doing all the research I should have. I only had the car for a total of six years, barely! So after some careful research, option weighing and serious budget cutting (on my part), we got this car:

A 2012 Toyota RAV4

At first, I was going to go with black until I saw this one side by side and then there I was, like at the Nordstrom shoe department - which color do I go with? I went with Pyrite Mic (Mica?) which I suppose it to be a mineral-like shade but I think I know taupe when I see it! Thanks Pink Sith for properly teaching me about TAUPE!

Yes, another thought I had when I saw this car on the lot, "If that was an eye shadow, I would so wear it!"

Now I can!

I knew there was a hidden meaning when I picked out this L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Bronzed Taupe #890 When I swatched it I felt like I've seen this color before. In my stash? Very likely but no, I have seen this somewhere else and more recently - my car. It's a great metallic cool taupe with bronze, gray and some purple and it doesn't have any chunky glitter.The best part - no noticeable fallout!

At first inspection, I didn't see the grayish taupe until I swatched and compared it to the exterior of my car. If anything, it looks like it would be a warm taupe. It made me love my new eye shadow even more. The texture is a mixture of spongey and mousse-like. Also, this has been compared to Armani's Eyes To Kill Intense Shadows but at much, much more affordable price point. I don't own the aforementioned shadows, so I cannot fairly judge the similarities or differences but it's what I've read on other blogs.

I tried using my MAC #239 shadow brush but it didn't pick up much product. I tried a thin shadow brush that I've used for cream shadows in the past. It worked. Another morning, I tried it with just my ring finger - I think I found my tool of choice when using this shadow. When applied on top of my trustee shadow primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance - this doesn't crease or come off until I wipe it off with makeup remover at bed time.

Eye liner: Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, Smog/L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Eye Shadow Single, Smooth Latte/Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara

And face of the day:

Other notable shades:
NARS Blush, Gilda
Revlon Lip Butter, Fig Jam #30

Okay aside from the superficial, "ooh, my car is so cute" I do love my new car. I went with Toyota because one of my old cars was a 1987 Corolla that refused to break down. When it did, it was just to replace a battery. Maintaining that thing just required regular oil changes.This is the very first time I have ever owned a brand spanking new car so this is a huge milestone for me. I would have been happy with a second owned used car that's five or even six years old but my husband wanted to really make sure that not just I but our daughter would be safe. Plus, being stuck in a car with a dead engine and battery at night barely on a shoulder of an on-ramp on busy freeway with huge semi-trucks barreling past us was a real eye opener. I have never been so scared in my life and the sacrifices I am making now (mainly halting major cosmetic purchases) to afford a reliable vehicle to transport my family are well worth it! 

L'Oreal Infalliable Eye Shadow was purchased by yours truly at my local Ulta store, $7.99/USD
This comes in a total of twelve shades and I got well over eight hours of wear time (with the use of an eye primer). I could see myself possibly purchasing one more color but that would be it.

The Toyota was purchased at my local City Toyota dealership. The dealer that helped was AWESOME, he never pressured me into anything and I referred him to my daughter's preschool as he and his fiance were struggling to find a school for their young son. I hope to see them around at the school just to thank him again for being so patient, answering every single question I had and not taking advantage of a girl that is highly excitable by pretty colors!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Paula Deen loves her some butter and why not? The name alone just exudes decadence and an association with pure comfort. So when Revlon rolled out their latest pigmented lip balm, Lip Butter - the image of a swivel butter stick did come to my mind. Yes, I'm a little sick; I watch too much Cooking Channel and I refuse to cook with margarine!

Here are the real Lip Butters:

So why a dessert plate? Because the names are inspired by delectable sweets and the plate happens to be a gift from my husband from our first Valentine's Day together, almost four years ago.

The colors I went with are typical of my color choices: Lollipop (bright fuchsia pink) and Fig Jam (deep reddish brown).

For a product that's a balm, it packs a great amount of pigment! Judging by the great amount of slip at first application, you know this is going to be moisturizing and feel great on your lips. These lip butters contain mango, shea butter and cocoa butter. This is when I got a bit skeptical - this is just too good to be true.

You see, my lips are SUPER sensitive. It doesn't matter if a lipstick is scented or not - some formulas just do not play well with my lips. As you can tell, I'm super picky with my lipsticks. I was suspicious of this was going to set once the moisture and color settles. Would it leave a patchy stain? Would it settle in the cracks of any of the dry areas of my lips.

No, it doesn't leave a funky, patchy stain and yes, it will settle in areas where your lips may be chapped but isn't that true of any lipstick, gloss or tinted balm? It actually dries comfortably. When I did feel slight dryness, I just applied a touch of my lip balm on top of the stain. I feel that if I over apply a lipstick, I am just going to make my lips even drier. I like to test out new lipsticks for a stretch of three or more days - that gives me a good amount of time to see if a lipstick is truly a good match for my lips and it's not just pure luck. I've had many lipsticks work fine for me for a day, maybe even two days but by the third day my lips are dry, raw and burning like hell! Not this time, my lips are comfortable and happy.

If only these lip butters had a coordinating scent with their names. But because they don't make my lips scream in pain, I'm not really complaining!

These were bought from two different locations: Walgreens (around $8.00/USD) and Ulta ($7.49/USD).

I recently checked the Walgreens site and Revlon has a buy one/get one 50% off sale right now. How mad am I right now? Oh well, that just means I can go back for two more!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day and if you believe it's an evil corporate Hallmark capitalist ploy, then I hope you had a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hitting the Pan...

Like a light at the end of a dark tunnel, that finish line approaching ahead after your first 5K run, the bottom of the plate during a pie eating contest - hitting the pan on any of your beauty products can deliver that same kind of high.

Okay, only if you are part of the beauty obsessed tribe like me, then you'd be excited...

So what exactly is hitting the pan? When you can literally see the bottom of the metal pan holding your shadow, blush, bronzer, etc...

This is my NARS blush/bronzing duo: Sin/Casino. As you can see, I rely heavily on my Casino bronzer. It makes me feel really proud of this accomplishment - it means that I've been pretty efficient by actually using what I have. I think I purchased this early Fall, so I have had this for six months more or less. 

It'll probably take me longer to hit the pan of any of the blushes I own and that's just because I only use it on a small area of my cheeks versus the larger surface areas that needs bronzing coverage. Also, I own more blushes than I do bronzers. 

Oh well, I guess that just means I need to be even more efficient with my blushes but you know what this really means for me?

I get to shop for NEW BRONZER! Oh alright, I'll make it my project to finish my Edward Bess bronzing powder before getting a new one....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I decided that it was TIME for my monthly pedicure, plus I needed an extra pick me up since I've been nursing a bad cold. I need to take it easy and relax so no gym this week but once my lungs feel right again, I'm back in that yoga studio, treadmill, spin studio,'s very easy for me to slip back into lazy mode! This was the perfect opportunity to treat myself during a lunch break.

Also, Valentine's Day is just right around the corner so why not get fun, festive toes? However, they were recently painted red for the previous holiday and I didn't want to repeat that color.

So WHY NOT bright pink? And not just bright pink but pink with nail art!

I decided to go with La-Pazitively Hot by OPI, it was part of their South American collection a few years back. It's a cute hot pink with a purple shimmer. In certain lighting, it looks fuchsia because of the purple. I love it because it's a fun alternative to traditional Valentine's red and the white flowers puts me in a Spring time mood. 

Also, it's just plain fun. When you're sneezing and coughing as much as me, you need a mood booster!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MUD Squeezable Mascara Review

Hey there,
I know I have been M.I.A. lately and seriously, I do have some things I cannot wait to start writing about: polishes that I seem to keep returning to and my first serious fragrance post - well essay really. I have had lots of thoughts on that one since I'm no expert but the sense of smell always seemed to fascinate me since it really triggers memories, good and bad.

So for now I would like to share my latest post/review for

For my thoughts please click HERE.

I have also been fighting a nasty flu. I just got over a sinus infection and then my husband got sick and proceeded to get our daughter and myself sick. I even missed two days of work -something that rarely happens. This time around a second day of rest was needed. Honestly, if I didn't have meetings from Wed-Fri, I would take tomorrow off as well!

UGH....I probably will also refrain from full face shots till I'm well again!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What I loved in January 2012

Well we can officially tear the January sheet off the calendar - we are moving full speed ahead. I've finally gotten over the heartbreak over the 49ers loss to the NY Giants but thankful for an awesome season. The team didn't get a whole lot of love from the critics but they are winners in our (Bay Area 49er faithful) hearts and they surpassed everyone's expectations this year.

Top of my love list for January and 2011 Football season:

Coach Jim Harbaugh, you did a tremendous job and I hope you are voted coach of the year. The team wouldn't have made this far without you - here's to an awesome future ahead!

Dear NY Giants, please take care of the New England Patriots so Tom Brady won't tie Joe Montana's winning Super Bowl record!

Okay enough football talk. On to my January beauty loves.

I didn't do a whole lot of beauty shopping this month, a huge SHOCKER seriously, so my lineup is pretty small.

1. Moroccan Oil Hairspray - $21/USD
2. Oribe Impermeable Anti Humidity Spray - $38/USD
3. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray  $39/USD
4. Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray - $48/USD
5. Laura Mercier Lip Glace - Blush - $24/USD
6. L'Oreal Studio Secrets Eye Shadow Solo Smooth Latte - $4.99/USD

Moroccan Oil hairspray gives great flexible hold. The first time I tried this was at my very first visit to The Dry Bar and it held my curls really well. My hair DOES NOT hold curl very well at all. As the name implies, Argan Oil is listed in the ingredients and adds light shine without weighing your hair down and it smells great, too! I have finally perfected the messy, poufy ponytail and this holds in place very nicely!

I have recently reviewed Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray here and Royal Blowout here. I'll give you a few thoughts about Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray. This spray adds texture and some volume to your roots and hair. It is also a great alternative to dry shampoo - it soaks up the oil and sweat in my hair without any powdery residue after strenous lunchtime sessions. This spray does not contain any parabens or sodium chloride. It is safe for color treated or keratin treated hair. Ingredients also include aloe barbadenis leaf juice to smooth and treat hair. Kiwi and passion fruit extracts act as anti-oxidants to protect color and maintain moisture. Ginger root and Sunflower seed extract to promote shine, circulation and soften hair. Mango extract also rich in antioxidants and vitamins adds hydration, and smoothness. A unique copolymer blend allows hairstyles to hold longer - I'm assuming that means it gives your strands memory. Hydrolized wheat protein conditions and renews damaged hair, adding body and shine. Pro Vitamin B adds strengthens, thickens and moisturizes.

Phew, that was quite the list!

I don't have time to do my hair over again during my lunch break so this has saved my hair many times. It also has a great fragrance - I've also used this freshen up any food odors that may have been lingering in my hair (food- love to eat it just hate having my hair smell like it!).

Plus, I trust the fans of this spray:

Zooey Deschanel

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Blush, medium brownish pink. This isn't the most pigmented gloss in my collection but one of the easiest to wear. My lips are uneven and naturally dark, this gloss evens out the natural tone of my lips. Sometimes, I run out of the house forgetting to put on lipstick and I can easily just slick this on and I'll feel polished.

L'Oreal Studio Secrets Eye Shadow Solo reviewed here. I can't tell you anymore just how much I love this shadow. It has been such a lifesaver on weekday and weekend mornings when I really don't want to spend more than five minutes doing my eye makeup. The fact that this was around $5 just makes it that much more awesome!

Sorry, if January's faves were uneventful. If anything, I rediscovered playing with my hair and I loved it - pricey but I am having fun experimenting with products and looks!