Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Current Skincare Routine

I've been in dermatological heaven for the last few months. As previously mentioned, I've been taking prescription antibiotics for my acne, and it has really cleared up my breakouts. I still tend to get the occasional pimple, but its such a rare occasion that it's okay. Here's my topical routine for maintaining clear skin. The principles are simple: remove all traces of makeup and dirt, and follow up with a cleanser and/or exfoliator that encourages cell turnover. Cell turnover not only helps fade acne scarring, but can also prevent and fight fine lines and wrinkles, so this routine should work for a wide variety of skin types.

1. If I am using liquid foundation, I first take every thing off with MAC Cleanse Off oil. I skip this step if I'm using powder foundation because by the end of the day, the poor thing has worn off by itself.

2. I remove all my eye makeup with the wonderful Boots Botanics Soothing Makeup Remover. It has icelandic moss (yay for exotic ingredients!). This is so effective that I simply have to hold a dampened cotton square over my eyes and it melts all my waterproof makeup.

3. To cleanse, I use Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Although this is technically an exfoliator, the rice particles are so fine that you can use it every day and not worry about over-exfoliation. It's pricey ($50) so I'm glad I won it in a giveaway, but I'm so in love with it that I may repurchase...may...**wrings hands**
4. After cleansing, I tone with Olay Refreshing Toner with witch hazel. This drugstore gem lives up to its name--its so refreshing! And it takes off every trace of remaining dirt and makeup. I also love that for a small price, you get a LOT of toner.

5. Finally, I spread a small amount of tretinoin gel on my cheeks. Tretinoin is a prescription gel for fading post-acne spots. I love this stuff--it has really diminished some of my most stubborn hyperpigmentation marks. 

And that's it. Although it looks like a lot of products, my skin has always been troublesome, and I find that a regular skincare routine combined with a bit of Western medicine has led to the best skin I've had since my pre-teens. 

What is your current skincare routine? Any product recommendations pour moi?  

PS. I purchased all of these products with my own moolah. The only thing I didn't buy was the Dermalogica exfoliator, which I won in a giveaway.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

August Favorites and 1 Regret

August was a month of makeup minimalism for me. I have decided to henceforth channel my inner Padma Lakshmi by focusing on flawless, glowing skin and favoring fresh blush and lip colors instead of over-done eyes. It's just what works for my skintone and sense of style. On to the current obsessions:

First up is YSL Rouge Volupte in #23:
After wringing my hands many times over the sticker price ($34!), I finally bought this lipstick thanks to my husband, who loved how it looked on me and talked me into it. And although I'm a proud frugalista, I have to admit that this lipstick covers so many bases that it's well worth the price and hype. It's full of moisture, yet it dries to a matte finish so it is smooch-friendly. The pigmentation is so great that a few dabs on my lips gives me a my-lips-but-better look. A few more dabs and we're in a peppy bright mode.  The packaging is of course heavenly and has finally taught me that packaging. does. matter.

In keeping with my minimal makeup look, I've been loving Benefit's Georgia beauty powder. I love using this as a blush substitute because instead of making my cheeks pink, it just lightens up that area by a few shades. That looks like a genuine radiant glow because I've noticed that after a solid workout, my cheeks are lighter, not necessarily pinker. I love this stuff. Tan ladies, seek this out.

This month I finally figured out how to conceal my undereye circles! I put a small amount of Smashbox photofinish foundation primer on my undereye area, and then blend thin layers of MAC select cover up on top. The primer prevents the concealer from settling into my fine lines. I set the whole thing with a loose translucent powder or MAC Studio Fix powder foundation. The look stays put without settling into fine lines.

As for my regret, I completely regret buying Rimmel's Gentle eye makeup remover. It's like having a Smart Car when you want a Rover. Ugh. This stuff did take off my eyeshadows with ease, but throw ANY waterproof formulations at it, and it quakes in its pants and runs home to its momma. I have been tugging and pulling at my eyelashes trying to get off my mascara, and it just does not budge it. "Gentle" would be the understatement of the year for this mascara. Stay away. My top recommendation for an eye makeup remover is, and will always be, Boots Eye-Makeup Remover with Icelandic Moss.

Sorry this was an uber long post, but I thought I'd come back with a bang. That, and I didn't want to have a backlog of 10 products I need to write about, so I thought I'd get them all out of the way so I can let new ideas take the stage soon. Thanks for reading chicas.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Aaand, I'm back

Hey guys, a thousand apologies for my absence from the blogosphere. I MISSED YOU GUYS SO MUCH! I have missed blogging, and I've missed the community. I've of course been a silent viewer of all your blogs, so the hype of MAC Face & Body  and UD Naked has not eluded me. No worries there, I want them very badly. But now onto an explanation.

At first, I had to slow down because my computer died on me. After that, I had my in-laws stay with me for the summer, which was lovely because they are so easy-going, but that meant that I chose to spend my evenings and weekends with them rather than blogging. But neither of those excuses really can stop me from blogging if I'm REALLY passionate about saying something. To be honest, at the core of my writer's block was a fundamental shift in my attitude towards make-up. I don't want to get too deep and serious about this, because its only makeup, but honestly, I am just not a makeup collector. I will never be like those YouTube gurus with walk-in closets filled with MAC pigments. I'm more like a makeup curator. I believe that a small but carefully edited collection of products is far more valuable and enjoyable than owning every NYX Jumbo Pencil under the sun. So this summer, I parted with a huge amount of makeup, most of which I shared with my sister and friends but some of which went into Mr. Garbage. I was so happy to give away these items because they were just not working on me or I didn't use them, so it was nice to spread the love. If I show you guys my makeup collection now, you'll probably all laugh (it all fits into regular traincase with room to spare). But I'm happy because having a small collection with no duplicates means that I finish up products while they are fresh, and I can guiltlessly buy new products to replace them if they are not HG material. Case in point: I've hit pan on my Studio Fix Powder Foundation  and my Colorstay is about to run out as well. I will probably repurchase the SF, but Colorstay may be replaced with something new, like Face & Body now that my skin has cleared up (separate post on that to come soon!).

Anyway, I have finally gotten around to taking pictures of some wonderful July/August favorites, so stay tuned for that post, which will be coming out very soon. Thanks for sticking with me guys. :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Would you rather?

Hello lovely people! I'm super busy this week, but I decided to indulge in a momentary lapse of work ethic to squeeze out this fun tag:

1.Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make-up or Nice hair and no make-up? Definitely nice hair and no makeup for me. I do love both, but lemme tell ya, a greasy ponytail looks like crap on me. If I have freshly washed hair framing my face, I am comfortable slapping on a bit of chapstick and rolling out.

2.Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out? 
I would much rather have my lashes fall out any day. False lashes can be made to look natural and beautiful, but rare is the person who can draw on eyebrows and have it look classy!

3.Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life? 
This is a really really tough one. For the last few months, I've been eyeing a lot of brands from Sephora such as MUFE, Bobbi Brown, YSL, and Dior. So as of this point in time, I would rather only shop at Sephora. However, deep down, I know that MAC is special; as Laura (Lollipop26) put it, the thrill of a MAC haul is truly irreplaceable.

4.Would you rather wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80's perm?  

Well, I actually had an 80s perm in the 4th grade. I love the idea of curly hair, and so I say why not! After all, an 80s perm is just a perm, and I can style it anyway I please!

5.Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush? 
Put me down for overdone blush, because it wears off over the course of the day (more like 1 hour for me!). But a foundation line? That's just bad makeup skillz.

6.Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public? 
Um...I'd rather stay home when faced with those two choices. But fine, if I had to choose one, I'll choose biker shorts because I can get on a bike and make it look like I'm normal!

7.Would you rather have a bad orange-y spray tan or really weird tan lines that can't be covered? Weird tan lines would be fine, because its circumstantial. Bad orange-y spray tan is just an obvious goof up. I think in general, I'd rather have beauty errors due to circumstances, not bad technical skills!

8.Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair color? 
Bad hair color, because it can be fixed straight away. A bad haircut spoils my mood for months!

9.Would you rather have youtube or twitter taken away forever? 

Twitter (I never use it as much as I should really).

10. Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?  

I'd be very sad if I had to face such a decision. But...I'll let the brushes go, because there are ways to use sponges and fingers to apply makeup. There's no alternative to mascara.

Alright people, its your turn now. What would you rather do?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An acquired taste

Three months ago, my friend gave me a certain cult product that she absolutely hated. According to her, this blush simply did not show up on her skin (which is about an NC15 I'd wager).

It was NARS Orgasm. Now even if someone gives me a product that they personally don't like, I love receiving it because A) it might work on me, and B) I may have a great time reviewing a dud for you guys.

As you can see, she had hit pan on the blush, not because of utter devotion to the product, but because it took a tremendous amounts of swipes to see any color on her cheeks:

After using this product for 1 month, I completely agreed with her. It sucked. I started visualizing blog posts titled "Are you faking Orgasm?". But over time, although it was nothing more than a subtle sheer shimmer, my hand kept reaching for the big O. Was it because of its reputation? Was I just giddy that I was wearing NARS Orgasm? (ok yes a little). Or, was I truly enjoying this peachy pink shimmery blush?

In the second month, I began to admire the versatility of this blush. It paired just as well with smokey eyes as it did with a boring all-over-the-lid-out-the-door eyes. 

But my respect turned into love in the last 3-4 days. This weekend, while visiting my sister in London, I regularly did my mom and sister's makeup. The two women's complexions range between NC30 - NC45. Orgasm looked amazing on both of them even though they have vast differences in skin tones and age.

I have to hand it to NARS. They have hit upon a blush whose shade and texture truly works across all ages, colors and makeup looks. Well done Orgasm. It took me a while to get it, but I finally got it. And it was goood. ;)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm off to London and Redecoration

In less than 12 hours I'll be aboard a flight to London to celebrate my sister's graduation. While looking through pictures of my last trip to London (2006), I cringed and realized I have learned many deep life lessons:

1. Don't dress like a dork.

2. Don't get excited about touristy things like red telephone booths. 

3. Buy a better hand bag.

4. A crappy ponytail is not to be worn anywhere outside of a shower stall.

5. If you have no sense of fashion or interior design, find a friend who does. Then go shopping with her.

That is exactly what I did last week. My fabulous sister-in-law visited us and redecorated our living room in...get this...1 day flat. She makes decisions lightning fast and can spot fabulosity on a budget. Check this out:

This is a wall right outside our kitchen and facing the dining table. We can use it as an extra buffet table or to showcase our keepsakes. Pieces are from from IKEA, Pier 1 and TJ Maxx. One awesome tip I picked up from her is to find accessories at furniture showrooms!

This is the wall facing opposite the first picture. She made use of a lot of accessories we already had, such as the console table and all the accessories on the table.  The wall piece is from Pier 1.

This dining table is between the walls shown on the first two pictures. The mirror is from TJ Maxx.

This is our main living area. We already had the furniture and most of the accessories in the built-in bookcases. Most of these items were simply rearranged. These accessories are from our travels, Pier 1, Ten Thousand Villages, and India.

We added a tall vase from Pier 1 in the corner, and placed some fillers in there. 

I feel like I'm all of a sudden in the lobby of the W Hotel. I also clearly understood what style of decoration I really truly love. I always thought I was a fan contemporary, but what I really love is modern ethnic. I love pieces that have modern shapes, but the color palette, texture or print is warm and ethnic. Thanks for making our place so chic Fal! You need to go pro! 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Body Shop Roseflower Blush in Fuscia

I never go into Body Shop. It's not that I don't like it; it's just that I am totally unfamiliar with their products. Furthermore, since they are a standalone store, the chances are low for me to just explore their counter like I would if I was in Sephora or a department store. Thanks to a giveaway I won a few months ago from Emily's blog, Body Shop now has an admirer in me.

Meet the Body Shop Roseflower Blush in Fuscia:

In the pan, it is a lovely true rose color, and who can resist that beautiful rose imprint? 

On the skin, it gives a flattering flush of color that lifts my whole complexion. I am confident that this color would work on everything from porcelain skin to tanned beauties.
My camera didn't capture this, but the blush has loose gold bits in it. At first I was sure that this would result in a glittery mess on my cheeks but instead, it creates a perfect sheen on top of the blush. Its like I'm using a blush and a highlighter in one step.

One negative of this blush is the amount of fall out you see when you swipe the brush across the pan. Seems like you are wasting a bunch of product, because its like swirl, swirl, get tons of product on the brush, tap tap, 50% of product ends up on sink/towel. But that aside, this blush is gorgeous, works in all 4 seasons, and is now my gateway drug into the wonderful world of Body Shop.

Do you guys have any Body Shop favorites?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Summer Foundation Routine

It is burning up in here folks! I don't know about your neck of the woods, but mine are positively steaming. So in hot weather like this, I am completely unmotivated to go through a whole foundation face routine unless someone is actually looking at me besides my poor little lab rats (I'm a nerdy neuroscientist FYI). So these days, I have a very simple face routine:

1) Apply MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation
2) Repeat as necessary throughout the day.

MAC Studio Fix Powder gives medium to heavy coverage, depending on how much you build on the product. On super hot days, you can even use a small amount as a blotting powder.

If MAC SF Powder was a man, he'd be steadily dating the Coastal Scents Large Synthetic Buffer Brush. Heck, he'd have proposed by now. I've been using this pair for a while now and I'm completely happy with how quickly this big soft teddy bear of a brush covers my face and lets me get out of my hot-as-heck bathroom that much faster!

 Awww look, they are cuddling!! (Why do I anthropomorphize my makeup?)

I love the big flat shape of this brush. Plus, because it is uber soft, I can stipple away to glory with no "ouch that pricks!"

So on weekdays, I heartily recommend MAC SF Powder Foundation paired with a soft stippling brush. Carry the compact with you because this makeup does not like to stay for more than 3-4 hours. 

On weekends, when I'm hanging out with homo sapiens as opposed to rodents, I go with Revlon Colorstay (applied with a sponge...sparingly!), topped off with Coastal Scents mineral veil. That puppy does not budge. 

What is your summer foundation routine? I heart product recommendations. :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Guest Blog on KvD's Ludwig Palette

Hey guys, this just a quick post to tell you about my guest post about one of my all-time favorite makeup posessions: the Kat von D True Romance palette in Ludwig. I love this eyeshadow palette for both professional  and sultry looks, so it was high time to compose an Ode to Maestro Ludwig. Please go check out the post at Karen's intimidatingly amazing blog, Makeup and Beauty Blog, and thanks. :-)

PS. Last week I finally hit 300 followers, and I am absolutely over the moon. A giveaway is coming up very soon on this blog, so keep your peepers peeled. :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Haul from SkincareRx Giveaway

I recently won a The SkincareRx giveaway from Sarah Bella's blog. I love Sarah's blog and YT videos, because she's down to earth, reviews products of all price ranges, and she's drop dead gorgeous!

Anyhoo, I was extremely stoked to redeem my $100 gift card from SkincareRx, and here are the things I picked up:
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. This is basically an exfoliating powder that you mix with a bit of water, and it contains rice-based enzymes and salicylic acid that buff away dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover (buh bye acne scars!). Lollipop26 raved about this a while ago, but the $50 tag kept preventing me from purchasing. Upon receiving this, I was happy to see that SkincareRx threw in a travel size cleanser and moisturizer with the exfoliator. It's wierd, but I have not yet used this because I am too happy to own it!

Next, I got the Murad acne complex kit ($36). Although my acne has diminished because of my antibiotic treatment (click here for the related post), my doc told me to continue with my normal topical skincare. That's good advice, because I still do get the occasional few pimples. Rest assured a full review will be coming up of this treatment!

Last but not least, I got a La Roche-Posay hand treatment ($14). Since most people often overlook hands, they can be dead giveaways of a person's age. Besides caring for your face and neck, I always think that hands need a little TLC too!

Overall, I really loved ordering from SkincareRx. The website is set up for novices and skincare addicts alike. There's also a great $29 sample kit that lets you try out a bunch of high-end skincare products without taking a big risk. Also, my package came like 2 days after ordering, which inevitably led to squeals of delight. Thanks Sarah, and thanks SkincareRx. This giveaway was da bomb.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Storing Your Bling While Traveling

Now that summer is here, I'm looking forward to a really exciting mini break in July. I'm visiting my sister in London (yaaaaaaaaaaaay) to attend her graduation ceremony for her MBA (congrats hun!). Since I'm obsessed with jewelry almost as much as makeup and skincare, I wanted to show you guys how I plan to pack my essential jewelry during my travels to London, Kent and the white cliffs of Dover.

Meet the Mele Makayla Faux Leather Croco Jewelry Case ($30, available here):

I just love how this case is compact, protects all the contents inside, and would look appropriate for all ages. I actually selected it because it reminded me of Meryl Streep's Hermes luggage set in the Devil Wears Prada, when she's stuck in Florida during a hurricane ("'s just--I don't know--drizzling!")

Upon opening the jewelry case, I was floored at how much can be fit into such a compact space. Perfect for those who take tons of pieces "just in case". The far left compartment houses 3 pairs of dangly earrings, and the insert can come off if you want to keep larger pieces in there. The middle section holds rings (several in fact. Oh if only I had enough to fill it up!). The far right compartment is perfect  for studs.
The lid of the case opens up to reveal a hidden section for delicate necklaces. The little pocket can also hold safety pins and extra earring backs.

This jewelry case can be chosen among hundreds of other pieces at Every Jewelry Box. The website also features some gorgeous jewelry armoire that I swear will one day grace my bedroom. This website is one of over 200 CSN stores. My favorite one is All Modern, and some of my favorite pieces from that website have been drooled over in a previous post.

Review/Giveaway Opportunity: If you are a blogger in USA or Canada, and would like to do a review or host a giveaway by CSN stores, please contact Ashley Chambers at! Just mention that you read my blog post, and would like to be considered for a review/giveaway opportunity!

FTC Disclosure: The jewelry case was provided by CSN Stores for review purposes. The jewelry in the case is my own. I am not being compensated for this review, and this is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I went naked! and other updates

Before I explain the meaning behind my sensationalist title, I wanted to update you guys about my blogging. The last few weeks have been hectic as heck! First, I have had my in-laws staying with me, which makes my nights go by in a stupor of good food. Second, my computer died on me, and I'm still in the process of finding a new one. Third, my blog template and my comments decided to crash on me, so I wanted to fix both before I put up a new post. I hope you guys like this new template. I love Blogger's new design feature! I can see myself changing this up once every season.

Now for the sensationalist title. Yes, I did go naked to work today! Naked on my face that is. For the first time in a very long time, I didn't put on a single makeup product on my face for work. That's because for the last 4 weeks, I have been acne-free. A month ago, I  began taking the prescription antibiotic, minocycline, for my acne. I take a 100 mg capsule 2x a day, on a fairly empty stomach with plenty of water.

Within a week or so, my pimples vanished before my eyes, and they have stayed away for 4 weeks now. I had like 2 pimples on the week of my period, but that's pretty much it. I have experienced the sheer pleasure of not having to have a massive skincare regimen. I just take off my makeup every evening, and wash my face with a drugstore face wash, and that's it. I will still put on some kind of treatment at night, but it's literally to use up my vast artillery of skincare products! I wish I had done this sooner. After years of frustration, failed treatments, and scarring--both emotional and physical--antibiotics finally did the trick.

I have a follow-up appointment next week with my doc. Only time will tell if this treatment will rid me of acne forever, but for now, I am supremely happy. As for the side effects, minocycline can cause dizziness, nausea, and in rare cases, a bluish pigmentation on the limbs or face, which goes away once you get off the pill. But so far, I haven't had a single side effect.

I am not about to give medical advice to you guys. But I have tried a vast array of drugstore acne treatments, health routines, and ayurvedic remedies. Some worked well for a short amount of time, others worked 50% of the time, and still others didn't work at all. But minocycline has worked thoroughly for the whole month, because it actually kills acne causing bacteria, p acnes. If you suffer from acne, definitely talk to a physician about it. There are some things that drugstores simply cannot solve.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Favorite Products Under $10

Today I wanted to share with you some products I've loved for a while, all of which are well under $10 and are readily available at drugstores or Target.

First up are lip products. I love my Maybelline Sensational lipstick in Warm Me Up (hand swatch is the top one). It's a cool toned rose color that looks good on its own, or even better, combined with brown lipstick like MAC Chintz on Chintz (full review here)
Next is the  NYX lipgloss in Ice Princess (full review here). This is a sheer pink color with tiny sparkles. A bit ho hum to be fair, but a staple nevertheless.

This summer, I am taking sun protection very seriously, which means I am going through a LOT of product. This is why I love Coppertone oil-free sunscreen lotion for Faces in SPF 30, because A) it is a bargain, B) it sinks into the skin quickly and C) its completely invisible under makeup. I even slather this on my neck and on the hubby's face. Seriously, in the summer, sunscreen is as important as water. So don't buy Evian when you could buy a Brita filter and chug with no guilt. ;-)
Next is Boots Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover with Iceland Moss. This is SUCH an effective eye makeup remover. I just take a small amount on a square cotton pad and hold it against my eyelids and lashes. My mascara melts off with nary a pull nor tug. Very very good for someone who is starting to notice fine lines (eeeeek!)

If you've read this blog long enough, you know I can't stop singing the praises of Maybelline Colossal Volum' mascara. It's FIERCE. One coat is great for work, and 3 coats would be accepted by...well...Prince Poppycock (look it up, its worth it).

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Revlon Colorstay in this list. Although its $12.99, and not technically under $10, a BOGO deal from Revlon can make this a bargain. This has been my go-to foundation for the summer because it does. not. budge. I apply it sparingly with a damp sponge, then set it with a mineral veil by Coastal Scents. And bam. I am matte and polished ad infinitum.

Last but not least is my little unsung hero: a Target brand eyelash curler. I have used this constantly for 1 year, and it still works, hasn't broken on me, and curls my lashes very well. With a bit of waterproof mascara, my lashes stay curled all day long. Lovely.

That's it for my favorite products under $10. A big thanks to Sarah from YouTube's Sardun1 and Bella Makeup for inspiring me to do this post.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

MAC Cleanse Off and Update

Finding the perfect makeup remover is like finding the perfect man. All of a sudden, there is no more gossip. When you finally meet the right one (makeup remover or man), you don't have much to bitch about with your friends. MAC Cleanse Off oil--just as I had predicted--melts away all my face makeup with no residue, no irritation, and no rubbing. I have not broken out because of this product either. 
Although its an oil, once you splash water on your face, the oil becomes milky and washes right off. My face is left feeling soft, but not at all greasy. It also has a pleasing smell that I can only describe as swiss orange-flavored chocolates. Sorry for the horrid yellow picture, but I can only find time to take pictures at night lately.

So in sum, MAC Cleanse Off, at least, is the makeup remover of my dreams. On lazy days, I just use this one product and call it a night. But on most days, I follow this up with an eye makeup remover, and then a salicylic acid, oil-free cleanser. At $22, I'm still wondering if its worth repurchasing. I may experiment with the Boots Cleansing Milk first. But I will never go back to makeup wipes, that is fo sho.

As for my little update, you may or may not have noticed that I'm blogging a little less often lately. You see, my computer has decided  to leave this world, may it rest in peace. So until I buy a new computer, I'm borrowing one from the hubby for short periods of time and bringing you posts once a week. 

Hope you guys are having a wonderful Tuesday!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Out-the-Door Hair

On most days, I spend way too much time playing with makeup and fretting over which earrings would complement my outfit. By the time I am done and already late for wherever I have to be, my hair is still in a sad state, AKA frizzy bun held in place with a hideous red cloth scrunchie. On these days, I need a quick hair fix. So with just a few tools, I achieve the pulled-together look below: 

Once the hideous scrunchie is off, I reach for a flat iron, and my thermal round hair brush (avilable at ULTA, and on the Brushlab website).

I roughly divide my hair into 2 sections: upper and lower. The upper section is tied off with a scrunchie while I work on the lower section, and then I reverse. I use the round brush to detangle sections of hair (about 1" each). I really love how this brush, which has natural boar bristles, pulls each section of hair very taut and straight, so that each strand of hair is ready to receive some flat iron love. I also love holding the textured rubber grip, which prevents slippage (I've had the traumatic experience of detangling my hair, only to have the handle separate from the brush head, and the handle went flinging across the room projectile-style. Fortunately, nobody was decapitated).

In about 5 minutes, I have pin straight, frizz-free hair (plus, I dont have to put any product into my hair to get this look). I tie back a 3" section with a couple of pins, and voila, I'm out the door!

FTC Disclaimer: The round hair brush was provided by Brushlab. I am not affiliated with this company, I'm not being paid to do this review, and this is my honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Poll

Dear Friend, I like to start my letters to you as if we are already in the middle of a conversation. I pretend as if we are the oldest and dearest of friends, as opposed to what we really are--strangers brought together by a fierce love for makeup and all things pretty. Let's start off this post-Memorial Day Tuesday with a poll by Makeup and Beauty Blog, one of my favorite reads.

1. Mood:
Strangely enough, I feel alert and motivated to have a productive day. Very wierd for a Tuesday, lemme tell ya.

2. What do you do for a living?

Hah, I wouldn't call my income a "living" but I am currently a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience. Very exciting stuff, but it's been the the biggest challenge of my life.

3. Who’s in your posse?
I have always been the kind of person who only has a handful of friends, but they are all very very close to me. I wouldn't have it any other way.

4. What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on having more greenery at home. I just bought 2 birdfeeders, one for my balcony and one for my front entrance. Also bought a few plants, and plan to buy some more!

5. If one were to open your bedroom closet, what would they find?
Mostly casual outdoorsy clothing from REI and Eddie Bauer. I love the blend of form and function. I also have some nice hand me downs from my fashionable sister, and some Indian tops.

6. Where do you find inspiration?
From visually striking movies like Kill Bill, the Devil Wears Prada or Pride and Prejudice. I am also inspired by bloggers like you, and magazines like Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple. 

7. When you aren’t working, how do you like to unwind?
On any given Friday, I love to go to Borders after a nice dinner and close the store. I read everything from interior decoration magazines, to Carmindy's latest book on makeup. 

8. Where are you right now?
In my office. 

9. Outfit:
Dark 7 jeans, shirt from Eastern Mountain Sports, and ballet flats from Ann Taylor.

10. Your weekly goals: 
Get some blogging done, and learn some new Indian recipes.
Here are the questions if you'd like to do this poll on your own blog, or leave them in the comments below:

1. Mood:
2. What do you do for a living?
3. Who’s in your posse?
4. What projects are you currently working on?
5. If one were to open your bedroom closet, what would they find?
6. Where do you find inspiration?
7. When you aren’t working, how do you like to unwind?
8. Where are you right now?
9. Outfit:
10. Your weekly goals: 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I'm calling it! (project 10 pan, that is)

Whew. After just about 1 month, I've completely used up 10 products. I am reluctant to pat myself on the back though, since they were mostly bathroom products, which are easy to use up.

e.l.f. professional shine eraser: for $1, these are a great value for blotting sheets, and a total essential for the summer. I'm kicking myself for having purchased only one, so I suggest next time you place an e.l.f order, stock up!

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint: I love this lip gloss because it is tasty, smells fresh and minty, and imparts a high gloss tint on the lips. However, it can be very sticky!

Mario Badescu hyalauronic eye cream: I enjoyed using this scent-free eye cream and would suggest it to anyone with wrinkles around their eyes. However, I need something that targets dark under eye circles.

Coastal Scents Lip Smacks: I have this in Marilyn a Go Go. Terribly sticky, and overly shiny, I would not recommend this to anyone.

Target's Up and Up Eye makeup remover: Although it swiped away every trace of waterproof mascara, it always left a circle of dryness around my eyes unless I moisturized immediately. I've since moved on to Boots Botanical Soothing Eye Makeup Remover, which works just as well but doesn't yield raccoon eyes. (review here)

Cellnique Skin Purifying Cleanser: This is a cleanser and exfoliator in one, and was initially part of a regimen that really worked for my acne-prone skin. However, over time, the effectiveness diminished, which always happens to me with topical treatments. (full review here)

Olay Regenerist daily wipes: I am glad to see the back of this product (full review here). Although it felt refreshing and left no residue, the wipes were way too scratchy. I've since moved on to MAC Cleanse Off.

Lush Dark Angels: This is a wonderful charcoal-based scrub. I really really loved using it because it had an earthy smell and left me feeling squeaky clean. However, it is messy, so I always used it in the shower. The other downside is that it tends to expire quickly. (review here)

Biore blemish fighting ice cleanser: I have bought this salicylic acid cleanser time and time again. I literally did not repurchase because I was sick of seeing it in my cabinet for so long! But I wholeheartedly recommend it for combo-oily and acne-prone skin types. (see previous review here)

Shu Uemura Face Architect and Base Control: Although I do love these products, they are far too pricey to repurchase. I haven't fully used up either of these, but now I can't since my skin has become tanner.Great products though (full review here).

Armani Diamonds perfume: This scent was sophistication in a bottle. I imagine Charlotte York would smell something like this.

Merle Norman Super Lube: I have finally hit pan on this tub of lip salve after about 10 years. It's gonna take several more months to truly finish it up, but I think 10 years lands it as an honorable mention!

In total, I finished 13 products. Since most of them were bathroom products, I have to say this was not a very successful P10P. Oddly enough, I'm not itching to haul again. This project made me realize that although I have a nice makeup collection, I am sorely lacking in the clothing department, so I think for now, I will continue to build up my wardrobe rather than makeup. :-)