Monday, May 26, 2014

Hong Kong Essentials

Now, I know many of you may not be traveling to Hong Kong in the near future, but I wanted to show you the staples of my makeup bag while I was there. Hong Kong's weather is very much like the southern United States in the summer---hot and very humid (think 85 degrees F and up, and up to 90% humidity daily). In fact, the weather is like any tropical region as well-- including Hawaii, so if you are hitting up a humid spot this summer, this just might come in handy!

Above are the very bare bones of what I brought ( I brought more, but these were the workhorses) mixed in with some of my kitschy finds!

1. It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin ($18): I received this free with an Ulta order (you can pretty much get this free at Ulta all the time) and a few spritzes made my hair look awesome, even with the crappy hotel blow dryer and the crazy humidity.

2. Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Apricot ($4.99): This perfect peachy color and thin tube meant I could stick this in a pocket and I never looked overdone during the daytime of crazy touristy things!

3. Benefit Gimme Brown in Light/Medium ($22): A no fuss tinted brow gel that kept me polished for nice dinners out but never smudged or ran, even when I was 'glistening'.

4. bareMinerals Ready blush in The French Kiss ($22): Great staying power and a universally flattering color!

5. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream ($35): A larger review of this will be up soon, but this kept me looking gorgeous (and people complimented my skin) even when it started pouring with monsoon-status rains.

6. NYX Collection Noir Liquid Black Liner ($5.99): Has officially made holy grail status as a black liner for me, especially since it withstood extreme humidity for up to 15 hours straight.

7. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Grapefruit ($7.50): With SPF 25 and a cheery scent, it wasn't so hard to perk up from the jet lag with this.

8. NYX Matte Blotting Paper ($3.99): Blotting papers are a must in weather like Hong Kong's, and these are my favorite!

What are your favorite hot and humid weather products?

Oh, and more photos!

Above is my favorite pastel-colored building, the Stanley beach, and the entire city at night from the tallest point!

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask: Review

Anytime I come back from a big trip, I feel the need to pamper myself, or at least get all of the 'city gunk' off of my face. I decided to try my last packed of the Biore Self Heating One Minute Face Mask to de-clog from Hong Kong. 

I have been using one of these about every two weeks, in different conditions, to see how they work. Now that I am done with the box, I can now give you my honest opinion.

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask review

Unless you have already tried these and they work for you, I would advise against wasting your money. This little box comes with 4 single use packets for $6.99. And yes, they are single use---one packet barely covers your face. I was hoping (as with other sample sized things) that I could split them and get 8 masks, which would make it a better value, but I couldn't.

These have charcoal in them, which is part of Biore's (and the rest of the drugstore skincare industries') new trend and gimmick to draw out gunk. It might work in some products, but not here. These are also supposed to be self-heating. More on that later.

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask Review

These packets are convienient for travel, but that is about it. The heating sensation is only apparent for about 5 seconds and this mask does nothing to 'open up the pores' as it says it will. Other than my face feeling nice after, I have noticed no marked improvement in anything.

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask Review

This is the entire amount in the packet, and although it looks like a lot, it is so thick that it is hard to spread. Also, the one-minute is completely arbitrary. I left it on for one minute and another time tried ten. No difference in results.

It also contains menthol, which might be irritating to some. 

Overall, there are plenty of $1.99 masks out there that leave your face feeling nice---which is about all this does. For 7 bucks and only four uses, I can definitely take my mask hunt elsewhere. Sorry Biore!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Hong Kong Adventures and Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips

Miss me?

If you have been following my personal Instagram, you may have noticed I have been having some adventures in Hong Kong! I'll give you some more pictures at the end of this post, but it was really fun! Of course, I had to get in a little beauty shopping while there though, right?

When I walked out of my hotel, I was delighted to see a giant Etude House glowing pink and frilly across the street. I dragged my roommate in and managed to only walk out with a lipstick.

Etude House Dear My Jelly Lipstick review

But oh, it is a glorious lipstick. Hong Kong is a pricey city and on day one, I was a little shaky with the currency conversion so just bought one thing. Turns out, this lippie was only $11 USD, but you can find it cheaper here if you so wish!

etude house sweet recipe dear my jelly lips-talk review

The full name of this is Sweet Recipe Dear My Jelly Lips-talk in JPK002, which is a raspberry color.

I am a sucker for the aesthetic of Etude House, and I have to admit, it was so fun shopping in the store. Everything was so pink! I love the white bejeweled packaging. It almost looks like doll/play makeup.

Etude House Sweet Recipe Dear My Jelly Lips-Talk in JPK002

I also fell in love with the jelly-look of the lipstick itself. My friend and I had a ball swatching them, and I decided this one looked the 'juiciest'. It also has a sweet Hawaiian Punch smell to it, which is fun!

dear my jelly lips sweet recipe etude house

The color is sheerer, but buildable, and honestly more pigmented than I thought. I did not have high hopes for the quality of this, but it feels good on my lips, lasts about 2 hours, and has a lovely color.

Overall, I am glad I picked up this little gem from Etude House. Have you tried any of their cosmetics or skincare? I wanted to pick up a BB Cream, but I was constantly out of time to go shopping!

Now, as promised, a peek into my Hong Kong adventures!

The skyline is amazing!! I really fell in love with this city!

It was monsoon-rainy and windy there, but here is me in front of the harbor. Also...85 degree heat and 90% humidity made my skin feel great! But the rest of me...not so much!

Also, this little dumpling guy was kind of the cutest thing ever. 

Missed you all! 

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Birthday Palette: Lorac Pro

Hey pandas!

What? I'm back? You all thought I had fallen off the face of the planet now didn't you? Well...I sort of did. The last month has really been crazy. I am gearing up to take my first international trip next week, finishing grad school finals, working a ton to save for said trip, and enjoying festivities such as Easter and my birthday. I hope you all have been having a good last few weeks. I have missed you guys!

Speaking of my birthday, remember when I asked you guys for an opinion on a palette to get? Well, I finally made up my mind and it is Lorac Pro!

lorac pro palette

It was a tough decision and you guys gave me so many choices and good ones, at that! It came down to a few things--a mix of matte and shimmer and easy to travel with. 

I have had some time since my birthday to play with it and I am loving it so far! 

lorac pro palette

I love the thin, sleek look of the Lorac Pro Palette ($42), the fact that it comes with a small Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, and the range of neutral colors. The buttery soft feel of them, lack of fallout, and ease of blending make this my new favorite palette!

lorac pro palette

The left side of the palette has a range of sheerer creams, whites, beiges, taupes, and the names suggest.

lorac pro palette

Above is the matte top row from left to right. These are very light swatches (just one quick dip of my finger into the pan and then onto skin and no primer) so yes they are light, but I am fine with the opacity here.

lorac pro palette

Some shades really stand out, like the gold, and others make for great subtle highlighting and blending shades. The above photo is the shimmer (bottom) row on the left side of the palette.

lorac pro palette

To contrast the lighter half of the palette is a row of mattes and shimmers in darker colors, including a great brown and black that can be used in so many ways (liners, brows..)

lorac pro palette

The mattes are a bit patchy in swatching but blend just fine on my eye. I really, really love the espresso!

lorac pro palette

The shimmers in this section of the palette are so gorgeous! The garnet is definitely a favorite of mine to use in the crease!

I know this palette has been reviewed and loved by so many, but I wanted to show you guys my thoughts and swatches. I created a simple eye look from it below...

lorac pro palette

For this easy, literally one minute look, I patted Light Bronze all over my eyelid and blended Taupe into the crease. I highlighted with Cream.

Glad to be back you guys! If you have the Pro Palette, tell me your favorite combinations!

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