A personal blog

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Sephora VIB Sale - What’s going back!

I took the opportunity to test out some new products from Sephora in the latest VIB Sale using my 20% off discount (rarity for beauty items) and unfortunately not all of them worked out for me.

I wanted to share a comprehensive round-up of all items that are going back, didn’t make the cut, and didn’t impress me enough. Disclaimer: just because these products did not work for me personally, that doesn’t mean that they are terrible or low quality. More on why below.

My Skin Profile:
  • Combination skin with occasional acne
  • Warm medium-dark skin tone (MAC NC 35)

Products that are going back:

1. Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender Brush - Reason for Return: No scratchiness here, however, my issue was that it didn’t provide enough control. I tried to make it work as an all over shadow brush, nothing to write about on this front. Then I tried to use it as a crease blending brush, it wasn’t doing this properly either. Will not miss this brush.

2. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo Fair/Medium and
3. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo COLOR: Medium/Dark - Reason for return: Fair/Medium was too light for me and the Medium/Dark was too muddy and dark. If they released an in between duo then I’ll give this one another go. Fantasic product otherwise, shame the colors didn’t work out :( I was so looking forward to this and really wanted it to work for me.

4. Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush - Reason for possible return: Same issue with the CT Eye Blender Brush. I don’t think it offers enough control, soft as feather though! I can't decide if I want to return it or not! If I do, then I might give the Zoeva 105 Luxe Highlight Brush a try since they have a very similar shape and Lisa Eldridge seems to like the Zoeva as well.

5. Kiehl's Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30 - Reason for return: I was looking for a one step moisturizer + SPF concoction for days when I’m just in a rush. I had very high expectations and let's just say this one did not convince me that I can live without the Belif Aqua Bomb moisturizer. I also didn’t particularly find this one to sit well under make up.

Curious to know what I did enjoy and decided to keep? Some I already consider mainstay, at least for this season—

For keeps:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Easy Spring/Summer Make Up Tutorial for Beginners

I just posted my first ever make up tutorial on Youtube... eeeek! Not sure why I find this so nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. Go check it out, and please be kind. I'm still learning how to properly do the whole set up haha. Had fun filming this so hope you enjoy too! =)

Products Mentioned:

Sunnies Face Fluffmate Lipstick in Vacay 


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Break up with Breakouts

I write this post just after doing a mini facial massage on myself and après face-masking as well. Feels so good!

Speaking of feeling good, I've seen an emergence of some zits on my face in the last few days. From the looks of it, they are still at the initial stages and have no signs of turning into those horrible (and painful might I add) cystic ones! Either way, I found myself vigilantly reaching for a few trusted products to discourage pesky acne from lingering and typically have a routine I go by:

Step 1: Prevent
I use the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (French/European Version) which is marketed as a skin corrector that unclogs the skin and frees it of impurities. It's gentle enough for daily use and I apply this liberally around the problematic spot and surrounding areas. I always try to get a backup or two when I'm visiting Europe, or ask someone who is traveling there :) Most days when my skin is behaving properly, I completely omit this product from my daily skincare routine.

Note that this product is quite difficult to get a hold of since they sell a different version in the US, which I tried and personally did not like. It's much stronger and less kind to the skin. To be fair, the US version is advertised for spot treating acne so just bear this in mind if you do intend to try it out.

Step 2: It's here, now what?
Masks - I mask the hell out of my skin whenever I get breakouts (or in general when it's dry or whatever). I have combination skin (leaning dry in winter, leaning oily in the hotter months). My favorite mask for breakouts is the Origins Out of Trouble Face Mask. I really enjoy this as I find that it doesn't dry out my skin and is never harsh. Best of all I actually notice a difference even after just one go with it. I do NOT use this mask two days in a row. I would, however, complement this with some sort of moisturizing mask the next day or so.

Cleansers - I swear by the Cetaphil Daily Cleanser or the Shu Uemura Ultimate Sublime Cleansing Oil (great for people with combo/dry skin). I use either of these daily no matter what my skin condition is. If I'm having a super problematic week then I'll reach for Glamglow SUPERCLEANSE Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser

Spot Treatment - Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, this product needs no introduction. What can I say, it's simply effective. I hear the Kate Sommerville Drying lotion is very similar if not better, I haven't had the chance to sample that version though! For cystic ones the only thing that works is Mario Badescu Anti-Acne Serum. Trust me on this, I've tried them all.

Step 3: Riding the storm
Sometimes, even though you've changed your sheets and have done all the above steps the pesky zits just won't budge. It might be worth reviewing your make up stash and see if there's something that may be clogging your pores. Sometimes your skin just needs to breathe also, so go easy on that base make up! Hey, if you can't help it then go ahead and reach for your most reliable concealer, I would personally recommend the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. Make sure you find the right color so it's undetectable :)

I know sometimes getting zits can be such a damper but take it easy and be kind to yourself. Give your skin time and let it heal itself. As a side note, apparently taking in less dairy helps some people.

And that my friends is how I break up with breakouts! Hope you enjoyed this post!

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Best Hair Stylist in NYC and Things I Learned from Her!

I went to see my trusted hair stylist / colorist, Yoshico, last week and I wanted to rave about her because, well, I've been coming to see her for over 7 years now. Can you believe it?! She gave me my first ever Ombre / balayage look, way back when Rumi Neely made it a thing. :)

Whether or not I bring a photo in for whatever hairspo I'm going for, she gets it right all the time! (hairspo is "hair inspiration" in case you didn't know.)

As part of our ritual, I tend to ask her a lot of hair related questions... some great products she's recommended to me (and have used on me at the salon) over the years are:

  1. Ibiza Round Brushes - My favorite size is EX4 or GX4 (Large). The bristles cling onto your hair without hurting your head and the cork handle/body is what makes it light, perfect for DIY blow outs which can sometimes feel like an arm workout. Amirite, ladies? (link)
  2. Scalp Massagers - these are basically like Tangle Teezers but at the fraction of the cost. I got the 4 pack and I love how portable these are. Admittedly, the bristles are not as soft as Tangle Teezer ones, but I must say these do the job just as well. (link)
  3. Beach sprays over hair sprays - this was a shocker for me because I'm a hair spray type of girl. She recommended the Oribe Apres Beach (link) or the IGK Beach Club Texture (link). I am partial to Oribe on this one because I love the scent! Fact: Tom Ford designed the scent for Oribe which explains a lot of things.
If you want to go check out my stylist, details are below. Please tell her I sent you!

WherePierre Michel Salon
Who: Stylist Yoshico (a.k.a Alexis)
Why: Yoshico has many clients of various backgrounds which is a big plus - and trust me not all stylists in NYC do. Did I mention she gets the color and cut right every time?

Final look below!

Square Neck Top | Madewell (old)
Necklaces | Missoma

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