Category Archives: Random musings

Favorite Concealers

I’m too lazy for primer, foundation and a full face of makeup most of the time, so concealers are perhaps the most often used items in my stash. Traditionally, concealers are used to cover blemishes and give you a flawless look along with foundation. Nowadays, there’s also the highlighting concealer that you dot on the nose and under the eye area to brighten up the face. I want something that can do both. It needs to be smooth and blendable enough that I can use it to brighten my face without needing fancy brushes. It should also be able to build to full coverage to cover those pesky red pimples but give a natural finish even without foundation. 20160730_131203

Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer was my favorite for a long time, but my mind start wavering after getting a sample of Kat von D Lock It concealer. And to make sure I’m not missing out, I tried the cult favorite Cle de Peau concealer as well. They each have their pros and cons depending on your preferences. Continue reading Favorite Concealers

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Speed Review: Masks

Masks are a great way to relax and treat your skin, if you are using the right ones that is. For hydration, look for a rich creamy one if you have dry skin or a lightweight gel type if you have dehydrated oily/combination skin. While most mud/charcoal masks for purifying/clarifying the skin tend to be drying, there are some with honey and other moisturizing ingredients that are wonderful for dry skin type as well. Trying to find the right mask is always an adventure. When it doesn’t work, at best it does nothing, and at worst it leaves your skin red and irritated with two gigantic pimples that hurts but won’t surface and makes me feel like roaring to the sky “WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY FAAAACE!!!”

The gist of it is, don’t go rush out to buy a new mask just because everybody raves about it or the description sounds amazing. Always make sure it’s appropriate for your skin type first, check the ingredients list or go to a Sephora/Nordstrom and ask for a sample if you are not sure. All complaints aside, most of the ones I tried this time are actually pretty nice. Continue reading Speed Review: Masks

Skincare Journal: Coconut Oil Helped my teeth?

Here’s the thing, I don’t know anything about teeth. I know you should brush twice a day, floss occasionally and something about importance of remineralizing teeth and mouthwash that I don’t remember. At beginning of the month, I discovered a light brown colored hole about size of a millet grain on the surface of my teeth that feels painful/sensitive when I scratch it with my finger or brush it with toothbrush. Due to stupid reasons I can’t get health insurance until mid-April, so I browsed online for “how to cure cavity” without much expectation. Well, turns out “reversing cavity” is possible as long as the decay only affects the surface enamel, which is dead tissue and can be repaired in some cases. If the cavity/decay reaches dentine, the living tissue underneath, the decay is said to be irreparable and the only fix is to get it filled at the doctor’s office.

So what did people do to reverse cavity? There were a few scientific studies and it seems to be a combination of diet and upkeep:

  • Eat a grain-free diet of vegetable and fruit with no added sugar.
  • Eat grass-fed dairy such as cheese and butter, or unprocessed cod-liver oil.
  • Brush twice daily and floss regularly, use remineralizing toothpaste.
  • Get enough minerals (calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, zinc, iron, phosphorous, vitamin D). Especially vitamin D3, which has been shown to prevent tooth decay.
  • Oil pulling, especially with coconut oil which is anti-bacterial, helps against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath by pulling bacteria out of the teeth. It also helps with overall health.

I don’t want to change my diet and already brush/floss appropriately. Since I already have Here Comes The Sun from HUM Nutrition and coconut oil on hand, I decided to take vitamin D and do oil pulling everyday to see how it works.

Vitamin D – Since I had good experience previously with HUM supplements (for cleansing and hair growth), I decided to try Here Comes The Sun. It’s recommended to take vitamin D along with the biggest meal of the day. It actually gave me more energy/keeps me awake so when I took it during dinner it was more difficult for me to go to sleep. Now I take it with breakfast or lunch and it’s fine. However, it didn’t do anything for my skin. I’m sure other brands work as well, but I like HUM. You get $20 off with promo FBBFE and HUM10, and they have 25% off if you buy three.

Oil Pulling – It’s recommended to take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on empty stomach and pull for 20 minutes. The first time I tried it I gagged since the volume increases as it mix with your saliva and my jaw hurts. Now I use a little less than 1 tablespoon, chomp at it until it melts, then gently swish for 7-10 minutes before spitting it out in the trash (the solid oil will clog the sink). I then followed up with a salt water rinse and brush my teeth per usual. I haven’t seen any whitening yet, but it does make my teeth feel cleaner and I’m only pulling for half of the recommended time.

I do oil pulling the first thing in the morning for 5-6 days of the week, then take vitamin D with my breakfast. After 2 weeks, my cavity teeth feels less sensitive/painful when I’m brushing it. It is now the 4th week and there is only a very faint brown outline of where the cavity hole was! It still feel a little sensitive when I scrape the area with my finger but not when I brush my teeth. I’m not sure if my teeth being remineralized is due to the vitamin D or oil pulling or both of them together, but I will continue both until this cavity completely disappears. If you have bad oral health, is cavity-prone, or have those difficult to brush areas in the back but hate mouthwash like me, I would recommend giving oil pulling a try! Continue reading Skincare Journal: Coconut Oil Helped my teeth?

Body butter for the driest skin: L’occitane or Clinique?

I usually use Bliss body butter or Bath and Body Works body butter. They are moisturizing but absorbs well and comes in a variety of scent. However, my skin is a bit more picky in the winter. When it starts to get ridiculously dry, itchy or flaky, I switch my soap to shower oil or milk and start looking for products with shea butter. Shea butter is naturally rich in vitamin A and E. It is anti-inflammatory, attracts moisture to the skin and nourishing to the skin. The two body butters that I’ve been using this winter are Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter and L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream. The key ingredient in both are shea butter. deep-comfot

L’Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream contains 25% shea butter. While I don’t know the percentage for Clinique, shea butter is the second ingredient and it’s rich but absorbs well so it works for me. Continue reading Body butter for the driest skin: L’occitane or Clinique?

The winner of the giveaway is…

Symone Niesz-Ent! Congratulations for winning the giveaway. The goodies are all packed up and will soon be sent your way!

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Thank you to everyone who entered, gave feedback and checked in on my blog throughout the year! The giveaway may have ended but feel free to comment anytime with feedback for the blog or what you want to see more of. I’m almost done with my hundred Korean sheet masks so the Ingredient/Sheet masks highlight series will wrap up this year. If there is anything you are interested in, more drugstore products or brand highlight etc, then feel free to let me know!

Cheers!

Giveaway! And blog feedback?

Hope everybody had an excellent Thanksgiving! Real life took more of a priority lately and I didn’t blog as much in the last few months. However! That doesn’t mean I’m going to skip my yearly holiday giveaway! It’s been almost 3 years since I started this blog. I was excited but timid the first year, ambitious the second year, and more reflective the third year. Instead of trying to blog about everything or trying to get all the free samples, I decided to focus on blogging about what I enjoy and truly want to share. So this is a giveaway of some of my favorites! It consists of my favorite sheet masks (TonyMoly eye mask review here, When reviews here and here), winter cleanser (Su:m37 Rose Cleansing stick), as well as minis and samples.

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You only need to do two things to enter the giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post on what skincare products/trends are you obsessed with right now and any suggestion on how to make this blog better (aside from posting more frequently, haha).
  2. Enter on rafflecopter here (login and click): https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c7aad5b85/

The giveaway is US only and runs until midnight December 13th. The winner will be announced December 14th and must reply within 3 days so I can ship it out before Christmas. That’s it, happy holidays and cheers to more good posts to come!

Tria Hair Removal 4X, Worth It?

The most expensive item I bought from Sephora is Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X. I’ve used it for almost 2 months before writing this post so I can do an accurate review, and you can decide if you want to splurge before the Sephora 20% off starts early November. I’m probably the most hairy Asian I know, if you told me I’m half hobbit I’d believe you. While ladystache, hairy armpits and legs are tolerable, having .5in long hair on top of my finger, stomach, feet and toes are quite embarrassing. The only place where hair don’t grow well is on my head, which I think is due to stress/lack of sleep, although HUM Nutrition helps a little. So this year, I finally decided to try Tria 4X.

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The size of the Tria X4 is about the size of a shoebox. The Tria inside has the size and weight of a small hairdryer. It’s not too heavy to maneuver and the treatment window is about the size of the nail on my index finger. If you want hair removal for large areas such as legs, Iluminage might be a better choice since it’s got a larger treatment window. Since I’m using it for hair on my fingers/toes (and armpits/upper lips if I can work up the courage), a smaller treatment window works for me. It is a tool for permanent hair reduction and you should do treatment every 2 weeks. You should see results after 3 months. This laser hair removal is best for those who’s skin and hair have a large contrast (it probably won’t for pale skin + blond hair or dark skin+black hair). They also recommend not using it on eyebrows, around genitals or on a man’s face since the hair is too thick and it may damage the skin. Continue reading Tria Hair Removal 4X, Worth It?

Tidying up your beauty products! My 3 favorite tips

Somehow or another, I ended up taking a month long break from blogging. Fall is the time when REALLY good deals comes in. 40% off! Holiday set for cheap! I want anything and everything! With that said, I’ve accumulate so much beauty products that it becomes overwhelming and it’s making me stressed instead of happy. I spent hundreds on beauty products every year. If it doesn’t make me happy, that’s a problem. To detox and jump into the holiday sale without overspending on unnecessary stuff, I decided to clean, declutter and organize first. Perhaps Amazon read my mind, since it recommended this book to me.20160914_130955

If you know exactly how you want your space to look, how you want to put/organize things and have no problem throwing things out, you may not need this book. If you are like me, where you keep getting stuck over whether to throw things out, where to keep things, and feels overwhelmed to the point where you either want to throw everything out or give up on the growing pile….. this book will be great for you. I didn’t throw out half of my house and it took me a few weeks, but it addressed all the excuses I keep telling myself and offered advice on how to tidying up efficiently. In this post, I’ll focus on my favorite tips that are the most helpful when I was decluttering my beauty stash.  Continue reading Tidying up your beauty products! My 3 favorite tips

Regimens & Routines, What Makes Skin Care Go ‘Round – Part 3

Welcome back, readers! I know it’s been a hot second since Part 2 of my guest blog series for Chic Dabbler, and I really appreciate your patience as I’m able to now present Part 3. I want to give a big thank you for your continued interest as I get to chime in this time around on treatments! So far I’ve gone over cleansing products and tools and toners and essences. In this piece I’ll go over what I find to be perhaps one of the most crucial and interesting parts of a skin care regimen, so join me!

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Treatments are essentially where the bulk of your skin improvements and results can be derived from. These items can come in many forms such as serums, creams, oils, or fluids that address specific issues. Treatments, by nature, contain a higher percentage and dosage of active ingredients which in turn allows skin to receive a more concentrated application to areas of concern which can range from blemishes and acne, fine lines, wrinkles, the loss of elasticity and volume, hyper-pigmentation, uneven texture and more. While skin care products aren’t required by the FDA to detail out the exact percentages of ingredients, a quick rule of thumb in breaking down a formula is looking at the order of the ingredients. The most potent components will be listed first, but don’t be surprised if you first run into water and then a few binders, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. This doesn’t render the product moot entirely. In fact, many skin care products may require that stable base to properly house those active ingredients to ensure their exposure to skin isn’t too overwhelming right out the gate. Continue reading Regimens & Routines, What Makes Skin Care Go ‘Round – Part 3

Speed Review, David’s Tea!

Work kicked my butt in May and I got sick, which means I barely tried any skincare but plowed through my tea stash like there’s no tomorrow. I usually drink loose leaf green tea or floral tea since the cheap ones in teabag usually contains too many chemicals, and the fruit flavors taste artificial. However, I happened by Teavanna one day and fell in love with their fruit teas. Last year I happen to came upon David’s Tea and decided to try them. It’s similar to Teavanna, but I like the fact that their tea containers have a compartment on top with samples of the tea to let you see/sniff. Teavanna opens the whole jar to let you sniff, so when you buy in store, your tea may have been sniffed by who knows how many people. Maybe that is why Teavanna teas are not as flavorful as David’s Tea.20160318_110727

I left with just a little packet of matcha, which comes in a zip lock bag and keeps the flavor much better than Teavanna’s paper bag. I had the matcha for about 3-4 months before it starts to lose its color/flavor. So I went back and ordered a variety of fruity low-caffeine tea. Now that I’ve tried (and finished) most of them, thanks to being sick, it looks like a good time for a speed review. I ordered the cute starry teapot above from David’s Tea website, and you get to choose 3 tea samples with every online purchase, so I’ll review these first:

20160406_153046 Continue reading Speed Review, David’s Tea!