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: