Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger!! Happy Valentine's Day!! and shoes that make me happy!

It's Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day today! Today should be a happy day, but I'm swamped with too much work that needs to be completed. On days when I need a pick-me-up, I turn to wearing fun shoes that make me happy.

The rain boots are from Target and make me smile. The leather boots are Ralph Lauren. They are high enough to be fashionable, but comfortable enough to walk all day in.

These are Kate Spade wedges that are comfy and cute. I can't seem to resist patent leather. Perfect for work.

What things do you wear that have the ability to "pick you up" when you're feeling blah?

Battling Unwanted Hair: Choosing Laser Hair Removal

I loathe hair. Well, I loathe the hair on my body that isn't the hair on my head, my eyebrows and my eyelashes. I find it ridiculous that we have to spend so much time, energy and money to fight off hair growth! Unlike playing with makeup... shaving, tweezing, waxing, buffing, zapping and whatever else we do is just not fun.
Ever since I was a little girl in elementary school, I have battled against unwanted hair. I used to get teased by vicious little boys about the "mustache" I had. Looking back at pictures I had little more than some peach fuzz, nevertheless the teasing and taunting was enough to start my lifelong battle against unwanted hair. 

I first started lightening my the peach fuzz on my upper lip with Jolen Creme Bleach. It worked well enough, but I still hated the hair, even if it was lighter. Next, I tried tweezing out every single hair one-by-one. Not only was it time-consuming, it was also painful. I tried at-home microwavable waxing kits, which were messy and since I could never get the temperature just right, rarely did the hair come off in one or two rips.

My mom finally took some pity on me and allowed me to get electrolysis on my upper lip when I was no more than 13. I remember the experience to be excruciatingly painful. The woman would stick a needle into each hair follicle and zap it with a strong electric current and then tweeze out the hair. By the end of my session, my lip was red, inflamed and raw. It was MORE embarrassing to walk around after the session than it was to have a little fuzz there in the first place! I went for a few more sessions, but the experience was unpleasant enough and expensive enough that I stopped going. (I do wonder if I tried electrolysis again now, at the age of 25, if it would really be that bad).

Fast forward through my high school and college years of shaving (getting nicks,cuts and razor burn), tweezing (and over-tweezing), experimenting with Nair and Sally Hansen depilatory products, buying an at-home hair zapper (complete waste of money), paying through the nose for expensive waxing services, battling ingrown hairs under my arms and in my bikini area...
I finally found a regimen that  keeps me (semi)-sane:
  • I bought a professional wax pot (Jilbere de Paris European Wax Warmer that retails for $40), wax, waxing strips, and applicators. DEFINITELY worth it!
  • I wax once every week or two for my lip and to clean up my eyebrows. It takes me no more than 10 minutes to do.
  • I wax the bikini area once every month. This is a more challenging feat, which can get messy and be painful.
  • Shave my legs once every week or two (I am lucky in that my Asian genes have left the hair on my arms and legs sparse, thin and barely noticeable)
  • Shave my underarms and tweeze stray hairs from my eyebrows once a day
It still seems like a lot of grooming, however I have figured out a way to cut down on hassle. It's called LASER HAIR REMOVAL!!! I am going to undergo laser hair removal on my underarms and bikini area (which I find are the most aggravating areas). I have been researching the matter and will let you know more once I have begun treatment. I can't wait until the day when I don't have to think about waxing or shaving in those areas EVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!

Feel free to share your experiences and let me know what works for you. Feel free to ask questions about my experience with laser hair removal once I get started. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stila Smudge Pot in Kitten Review


What I love:

  • Easy to apply with just your fingers

  • Shimmery, but subtle enough to wear to work and still look professional

  • Great for showcasing eyelashes and making black eyeliner look crisp

  • I personally think it's the perfect nude/champagne-ish shimmer color that isn't too gold or orange... or too pale or frosty pink

  • No creasing or smudges, even without using a primer(just like the other smudge pot colors that are used mostly for lining)
What I don't love:

  • May be too drying for people with dry skin

  • Dries really fast, which makes it a challenge to layer the product on evenly (but you can easily layer on other dry shadows)
The Verdict:

If I had to choose one eye shadow product to put in a bag I would choose this one because I don't need a primer. I think it can bring you from looking plain and tired to polished and pretty with just mascara or mascara and a little black eyeliner (oh and concealer and blush and... hehe). I would definitely recommend this one if you like a simple, but shimmery look.

Lorac Secrets of Hollywood Starlet Review

Last month I purchased this set from Ulta for $42. I hadn't ever used any Lorac products but I was intrigued since Lorac sets all come with full-size products.

It comes with the following:

  • Starry-eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Starlet (purple) -- My favorite of the set.

  • Baked Matte Satin Blush (plum rose) --Second Favorite

  • Lotsa Lash Fiber mascara (black)

  • Couture Shine Liquid Lipstick (glam)

  • Dual-ended Eye Shadow/Liner Brush

  • Purple Croc Clutch

(I apologize for the weird photo layout, but Blogger is rotating the picture!!)

I love that:

  • Every color in the eyeshadow trio is gorgeous. All of the colors are shimmery and well-pigmented, but not glittery. The white is perfect for all over and highlight up to the brow. The brownish color is great for the lid and the deep purplish color is awesome for the crease. The darker colors look a lot more purple in the package and more brownish-purple when worn.

  • The lightest color is my absolute favorite, which I use over my Stila smudge pot in Kitten or my Bobbi Brown cream eye shadows in Galaxy, Sand Dollar and Beach Honey. (I am sure I will post pictures of these looks later). 

  • I also use the purple deep color for liner on my lower lash line or to set the gel eyeliner I use on my top lid. I have found that the little brush that comes with the set works quite well for lining purposes, but doesn't do a good job as a shadow brush. 

  • The blush is SUPER pigmented. You really need to be careful when applying this color to your cheeks so as to avoid looking like a clown. I find that it gives the perfect flush to my face, even when I have no bronzer on and have no tan whatsoever (which is impressive because I find that really pigmented blushes can be too harsh for fair-skinned people). It is a rosier color than my normal Nars Orgasm blush, and more matte.

  • The mascara really volumizes my lashes, which I feel is due to the super fat brush. However I find that the lengthening and curl power is somewhat average. I usually use this to layer over other mascaras when I want more volume. I haven't had any issues with flaking or smudges, which is good.
I don't love:

  • I could really go without the lip product. The color is flattering enough but the formula is too sticky and doesn't really last long.

  • I love the shadows, but I do find that my oily lids definitely need a shadow primer to prevent creasing.
The verdict:
I would definitely recommend puchasing this set. I think the colors would flatter most skin colors and it's a great value. Did I mention that the purple croc clutch is really cute?

Close-up of the Trio (shimmery and blendable)

Note: The color on my middle finger (second from the left) is Lorac's Serenity, which Lollipop26 recommended. I will post the color on a separate entry. It's more of a gold color. I tend to prefer the trio colors, since I believe the gold is not the best for my pale and freckle-covered face.