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Unnaturally Natural

27 Jul

Some days, I want a little drama without being too noticeable.

I like understated looks because when people do notice, the compliments feel more sincere. Red lipstick and/or colorful eyeshadows are considered over the top for me. But colored contacts are ok since you can’t tell unless you’re really looking at my eyes.

Adding half-length false lashes balance out the look of the circle lenses.

It’s funny how I end up with some of my beauty products. For example, the NYX false lashes came in a volunteer goodie bag for a summer film festival! I can’t argue with free!

Products Used:

  • Geo Angel Circle Lenses – Violet
  • Maybelline mineral foundation – Natural Ivory (Light 3)
  • Bare Minerals Hydrating Mineral Veil
  • Ulta Automatic Eyeliner – Black/Brown
  • NYX Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencil – Yogurt
  • NYX Fabulous  – EL122 Mod Squad/ Lash Grip Eyelash Glue
  • NARS blush – Orgasm
  • Sephora lip gloss – Precious Pink

To me, it takes a lot of chutzpah to have a photo without any makeup on. I’m not that brave yet.

I used to think that using Photoshop to remove zits, moles, freckles, and other “unsightly” blemishes on your face was perfectly ok since that’s the common practice for actors’ head shots and studio photography.

When it comes to blogging, I’m impressed when people are honest and don’t Photoshop their blemishes. I want to be that way too so all these photos are completely untouched…no Photoshop, nothing…except for the watermark. You can tell that I don’t have an SLR too because they’re not as crystal clear and sharp, but I think I did pretty well despite that.

And you can never negate the benefits of having good lighting, it makes up for the lack of fancy equipment.

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You Smell Pretty

30 Jun

I find that most people don’t wear perfume because they think the scent may be overwhelming. If it’s lightly applied and subtly noticed, it’s kind of nice.

Recently, I find myself adding a spritz of perfume every now and then.

My older pair of perfumes that I wore on occasion were Dior Addict and Lacôme Miracle. They tend to have a floral weight that makes it perfect for special occasions and cooler weather.

But lately, I’m enjoying the lighter, fresher scents of Marc Jacobs Daisy and Carolina Herrera CH.

They still have that floral aroma, but they remind me more of summer.

Since I don’t wear perfume that often, I get smaller sizes. Usually, a sample will do, but if I really like it, I’ll get a rollerball version.

One day, I’ll find my signature scent, but for now, I love trying on new smells.

My Bare Essentials

26 Jun

I wear makeup but I’m not obsessed with it.

Usually, I wear the minimum amount to look presentable.

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Healthier Skincare Products

30 Apr

My cousin is a doctor on her way to becoming an endocrinologist. She visited me a few weeks ago and gave me some advice on skincare. If you want to maintain your youth, the best way is to take care of your skin. Wrinkles and a dull complexion adds age to your overall look. Plus, it doesn’t help that a lot of commercial makeup and skincare products contain chemicals that can be toxic or bad for your health.

She suggested some products that’s all-natural and toxin-free for me to try since she loves using all-natural things. For a while, she made her own cosmetics like lip balms and things, but since she’s so busy now, she doesn’t have the time. Still, there are so many things I’ve learned from her during her quick stay over here…I thought I’d share some of her top items.

Sweet Almond Oil

This oil makes a great moisturizer or a hydrating boost to creams and lotions. I use this as a night-time moisturizer since I don’t want to smell like almonds during the day. A few drops is just enough to cover my face and even a few drops added to regular lotions and creams makes it more hydrating. It absorbs fairly quickly into the skin so you don’t feel greasy.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has plenty of uses, but my cousin prefers to use this as a astringent or toner. It can also be used on acne, bruises, sores, swelling, dry skin, and other skin irritants. I did my best scouting for 100% witch hazel without any alcohol content and it was such a challenge. I was looking for a bottle without any additives either, but the Rose Petal one is the closest I could find in a brick and mortar store. I may have to resort online for the exact bottle I want.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been touted to help with acne, but it also has other uses as an anti-septic and anti-fungal. It can help reduce the effects of dry skin and reduce dandruff when added to shampoo. It has quite an aromatic kick to it, but once you get over the smell, it’s not so bad.

I’ve tried all three products since my cousin left the States. Since then, I have discovered that I love the sweet almond oil. It makes my skin feel smooth and more hydrated than it usually looks. The rose water witch hazel works well as a toner. However, I think I might be slightly allergic to an ingredient in it because my face was a little red the next morning. Perhaps when I find that plain 100% witch hazel, I’ll have a better idea of how it works. And though I have seen the effectiveness of Tea Tree Oil on acne, especially since I’m allergic to benzoyl peroxide, I dislike the smell. It’s so medicinal and pungent. It definitely takes some getting used to, but it surely wakes you up.

It’s quite amazing that you don’t need much for these items to be effective. In fact, a little goes a long way.

What are your natural make-up or skincare products and does it work?

Journey in Circle Lenses

5 Feb

I’ve been wearing contacts and glasses for most of my life, so when colored contacts first arrived on the scene, I wasn’t interested. But after seeing them on my friends, it looked pretty natural.

I was curious so I bought a pair of “natural-looking” unnaturally grey contacts from mycandyeyes.com because they were having a sale for $20/pair and free shipping. I carefully read the company policy, looked for reviews online, checked Youtube videos, etc…but there weren’t many reviews. But I reviewed the status of my order daily and I sent them a couple emails about my order. It wasn’t difficult to contact them, but I realize that they were a bit slow in the processing department. The total time from initial purchase to receiving the package on my doorstep took 16 days.

They sent the contacts in a paperback book-size cardboard box where I found the bubble wrapped lenses, a contact case, and a small pamphlet about the contacts. The packaging was very simple and plain, nothing fancy. They do provide a tracking number upon request and as long as you email them with all your questions, you’ll have your answers. The customer service may not be as streamlined as other sites, but it is a legitimate company.

Anyways, about the contacts. I ordered GEO Magic Color Fresh Color contacts (FC-725) in grey and the company provides a site to check products for authenticity. So, I took out the lens bottles, found the authentic sticker, scratched off the seal, and entered the code online for verification. The code was valid which confirmed that my contacts were authentically made in Korea by the GEO company. Btw, these lenses are good for one year, so they should be pretty sturdy when compared to other disposable contacts.

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Review: DuWop Private Red Lipstick

12 Oct

The seasons have officially changed at the beginning of October. In LA, everyone is breaking out sweaters, jackets, scarves, mittens, hats, and boots. There are a few stragglers who still cling onto their gladiator sandals, neon nail polish, shorts, and tanks…but those are either die hard beach lovers or people whose bodies haven’t acclimated to the LA lifestyle. For some reason, a five degree weather from 72°F change up is causes people to wear short shorts or five degrees down brings out winter snow jackets.

Anyways, with fall comes the classic makeup staple of the red lipstick. Perfect for evening, but a bold statement during the day, the red lipstick, though classic, can be tricky.

Often, people are never sure what color works well for them, sometimes, it’s too orange or too blue. Usually, I had to try on several colors to find one that seemed right, but even then, I wasn’t sure. If it was too orange, I’d look like a clown but too blue would plummet me into the pool of Gothic wannabes.

Thus enters DuWop Private Red Lipstick.

PrivateRed

According to Sephora:

Private Red
What it is:
A unique, color-changing lipstick that morphs to each woman’s personal, private red.

What it does:
Private Red’s formula adapts to each person’s unique chemistry and will adjust accordingly, providing the perfect red shade that complements each person’s coloring. The silky lipstick goes on smooth and the rich pigment leaves behind a slight stain so lips stay red.

What else you need to know:
Private Red is more than just the perfect red lipstick, it moisturizes lips with castor seed oil.

How To Wear It

When wearing red lipstick, it’s best to keep the rest of the face pretty clean. That means, go easy on the blush and the eyeshadow. The way I prefer to wear red lipstick is pairing it with a dark brown or black eyeliner, mascara, and maybe a contoured cheek. But definitely, have stronger brows to balance out the face. If you want to add a bit more drama, add false lashes and darken the contoured cheek. The look is very reminiscent of the 1920s-1950s.

My opinion

This lipstick does work wonders! At first, I was cautious, so I only put a light application. It was pretty light, creamy, and smooth on my lips. The color was bright red at first, but slowly darkened to a bright cherry red. As the day wore on, the stain kept most of the color on my lips and not on my cup. The next time I tried it, I put a normal application, two coats I guess would be the best explanation. The color this time was darker, it was more maroon red color, but it was appropriate for a nice evening out.

I’d recommend using a lip liner or a lip brush to help apply the lipstick to the edges and corners of the lips. It does leave a stain, so it’s better to apply less and add more, than the other way around. One of my attempts was to exaggerate my lips which made me look like the Joker, even after I tried wiping it away. Not a good look for work.

Overall

I give this lipstick 4/5 stars.

Great changes of color that compliment skin tone, but does leave a stain if overzealous with the application.


Review: Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer

28 Aug

I’ve been trying a new facial moisturizer since the Biore Dual Fusion Moisturizer hasn’t been working for me. I went to my local drugstore and picked up the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer 4 oz. bottle for $9. A pretty good deal if you ask me.

cetaphil

What does it claim?

Moderate sun protection plus elegant facial moisturizer all in one.

Cetaphil is the #1 Dermatologist and Pediatrician recommended brand of cleansers and moisturizers. I’m not 100% sure if it really is number one and who exactly recommends the brand, but it has to have some truth in its advertising.

The Result

After using the moisturizer for a month, my skin feels less dry and more hydrated. In fact, there is no flakiness on my skin at all. Also, the lotion was light enough to wear under my makeup without feeling heavy or oily.

The only side effect I encountered was that after washing my face and applying the moisturizer, there was a slight tingling sensation. It wasn’t very noticeable until after the 2nd week of usage. However, it isn’t too bothersome and the sensation vanishes after a couple of seconds. I heard that the tingling is due to the alcohol that makes the cells in the skin more absorbent of the lotion. But I’m not sure about that part…as long as it’s not going to hurt me in the long-run, I’m ok with it.

Pros

  • Smooth, light lotion that provides SPF 15 protection
  • Keeps skin moisturized and well-hydrated throughout the  day

Cons

  • Slightly tingle right after cleansing the face
  • Amount of lotion dispensed by the hand-pump is too much (use half a pump)

Overall

I give this product 4/5 stars.

Great moisturizer, though I can do without the tingling sensation.