The Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated by the lovely Glits & Glamz for the versatile blogger award in which I’m supposed to share a few random facts about myself and nominate a few bloggers to do the same. Thank you Glits & Glamz for the nomination and I enjoyed reading her posts. Go check her out!

Here are a few random facts about me in regards to my blog:

  • Product preferences: I like affordable make-up products and high-end skincare lines.
  • 2017 goal: buy less, spend less, keep my stash lean and full of products I truly love.
  • Favorite makeup organizer: MUJI organizers. Their quality is significantly better than those you can find on Amazon or Marshalls, etc.
  • Favorite skincare products of 2016:
  • Favorite makeup products of 2016:
    • Smashbox liquid lipstick
    • ELF brow pencil
    • BareMinerals complexion rescue gel cream (for a natural look)
    • Benefit dandelion blush (one of the classics for fair to light skin tones)
    • Physicans Formula butter bronzer (neutral tone, creamy, blendable)
    • Lorac refined romance face palette (amazing pigmentation, reviewed in a swatch post here)
  • Favorite types of post to write: empties, monthly beauty box, product comparison & swatches

Who I’m nominating for this award:

Everyone who stops by to read this post! Blogging is not only about sharing our love for things that we care about, but also for building a community to connect with each other, and seek a sense of belonging. You don’t need to spend more than 15 minutes to write a long post, just share with everyone a few random facts/thoughts about yourself or your blog, and give others a smile on their faces.




January 2017 beauty new opens & empties 

I’ve been decluttering my makeup to make space for new items on my wishlist so I haven’t had a chance to try too many new makeup items and my favorite makeup of the month is the IT cosmetics bye bye under eye concealer. It is amazing, period. It offers such full coverage to dark circles that I feel an instant difference to my look before and after applying it. It makes you look a lot more awakened and youthful, and it stays all day on my face without fading away in awkward patches like the Urban Decay naked concealer does although that one was probably hyped up even more.

Aside from that, below are my other new opens for the month.

I am one of the many loyal advocates for everything in the cleansing line of the high-end skincare brand Amore Pacific (Sephora carries some of its products). Its treatment cleansing oil is the best oil I’ve ever tried for my combination, acne-prone skin. It even made the annoying process of taking off makeup somewhat pleasant and enjoyable. I am also loving the treatment enzyme peel as a gentle everyday exfoliator to improve skin texture. It also has very neat and smart packaging, unlike most messy powder-like products. I don’t like facial and eye creams from Amore Pacific though as they are too rich and thick for my like.







Below are my empties from January and nothing is amazing so I won’t be repurchasing any of these.

Note: the SkinMedica serum gives out an awful plastic smell and I probably will stay away from this entire brand given the experience.

The BalanceMe serum flakes under my moisturizer and sunscreen.

Thanks for stopping by!

2017 Eyeshadow Palette Wishlist – Kat Von D shade + light contour quad in Rust

I own more shimmery eyeshadow shades than matte even though I have hooded eyes. Matte eyeshadows in my opinion are more high-maintenance. They require more advanced skills to apply, usually have to be worn with primers, and  need to be paired more thoughtfully in terms color combination.

However, I was very much drawn to this small Kat Von D shade + light all matte quad Rust. Maybe I just know that I can trust the quality of Kat Von D eyeshaodw. Maybe I just can’t have enough of those reddish brown/orange warm colors. Or maybe I really appreciate the increasingly rare simplicity makeup brings with a small black palette offering just 4 shades that I don’t need to overthink before applying. I think it’s a solid all-matte palette for $22. After all, the affordable brand Colourpop now charges $18 for their newly launched powder eyeshadow palette (and they are already sold out!). So will you pay $4 more for a Kat Von D palette? If it’s up to me, YEP!
What do you think? What’s your experience and thoughts with Kat Von D eyeshadows and the brand itself?

Indoor lighting:

Outdoor lighting:

2017 Eyeshadow Palette wishlist – Juvia’s Masquerade palette

The Juvia’s eyeshadow palettes swept through the beauty community last year. Although it started out as a brand made for women of color with deeper complexion, the 3 Juvia’s eyeshadow palettes quickly became popular among women of all skin tones, mostly due to its bold, fun color schemes, the unique, colorful packaging and the shadow’s impressive pigmentation.

However I also read mixed reviews related to the company’s customer service quality. With smaller brands, I tend to be more cautious with the customer service as I don’t know whether they will package their products carefully and I don’t want to be stuck with a shattered palette or frustrating experience. For those of you who’ve purchased from Juvia’s Place, please share your feedback!

That aside, the palettes are vibrant and  inspiring! I came across these swatches and thought they are just too pretty to keep to myself, so here are the palette swatches (the photographer doesn’t have a blog to link to).

Too Faced Totally Cute eyeshadow palette 

As the name suggests, this eyeshadow palette from Too Faced is “totally cute” in terms of packaging, color scheme, and the looks you can create. I like how compact it is, how most of the shades are good for everyday use despite the 1-2 fun, pop shades, and the pigmentation. I found the actual shade swatch photo online and hope you might find it helpful if you are considering buying this palette. It’s currently on sale on the Too Faced site for $32.

2017 first beauty empties – skincare, hair, makeup

In my monthly empties, I usually share with you my thoughts on products that range from skincare to hair, body & makeup, and let you know whether I will repurchase the products.

  • My skin type: combo oily in summer, combo dry in winter, acne-prone
  • My hair type: oily scalp and dry hair ends
  • Product usage pattern & preference: affordable makeup & hair products (indulge in certain categories), high-end skincare

Eyes: Revive moisturizing renewal eye cream 

This eye cream is amazing if you have dry, fine line concerns under the eyes! It’s on my top 3 eye cream list for the results it delivers. It’s an expensive eye cream but a small jar goes a long way. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind investing a bit more in skincare.

Repurchase? Yes! I already bought a second jar.

Makeup remover: Lashfood instant eye makeup remover 

I don’t remember why & where I got this as I’ve never heard anyone talk about this product but I’m so glad I bumped into this! It’s extremely gentle, will never sting your eyes, gives you a spa-like treatment with a pleasant smell and texture, and is very effective at taking off makeup (I don’t use it for waterproof mascara though).

Repurchase? Yes after I use up my other makeup removers.

Face: Sunday Riley Luna Oil & Good Genes

Good genes is indeed a good facial treatment but it smells awful. For that reason I’m a still at fence about it. The Luna oil on the other hand is magical! I use it when I have breakouts and the Luna oil helps clear up my skin a lot faster. The trick is that you have to pad and massage the oil into your skin until the blue color disappears. This step alone made a huge difference for me on how Luna oil performs. It is also an anti-aging product.

Repurchase? Yes for Luna oil, maybe for good genes (only because I heard Luna oil works even better when used with Good Genes, not sure about that).

Face: Moisturizers, serum & cleanser

The only two items below that I might repurchase are:

Avene Hydrance cream: it’s very rich but not greasy and is great to use under makeup in the winter time

Caudalie creme sorbet: it’s very lightweight, smells and feels delightful on the skin and can be a good moisturizer in the summer time

Makeup declutter:

The Estée Lauder sumptuous mascara is great at volumizing and holding the curls. Repurchase? Yes, if I remember it after I go through my other mascaras

The Colourpop eyebrow pencil is too pigmented and waxy for my taste and I prefer a more natural brow pencil. Repurchase? No.

The wet N wild eyeliner pencil and the Kardashian bronzer both have unnatural shimmering effect and I’m just throwing these out. Failure.

Kate Somerville exfoliator

It’s good if you let it stay on your face for 2-3 minutes before rinsing it away. A gentle exfoliator. Repurchase? Maybe 

Perricond MD cream: I am not a big fan of this entire skincare line after trying out multiple products. They are just okay and definitely not worth the price tag in terms of results. Repurchase? NO

Alterna caviar hair conditioner: it’s just okay. Did not provide deep hydration on my hair ends and is not worth the price. Repurchase? NO

More hair:

I have already repurchased the John Frieda subtle lightening shampoo. I dye my hair and this is the first hair lightening product I’ve tried and it actually worked. It helped keep my roots at a lighter and brighter color. The OGX flat iron spray is nothing unique.

Bath & Body Works Candle: This scent is too subtle for me. Repurchase? No

The Trader Joe’s facial cleansing pads are horrible. They are extremely harsh and I ended up using them on my feet… Stay away from them.

Sorry this turned out to be such a long post. Hope you might find it helpful and thanks for stopping by!

$5 beauty box – winter edition 

$5 won’t even get you a sandwich in New York so what can you ask for more in a beauty box. The winter Walmart beauty box is pretty good. 

I like the Dove body wash in the winter as it’s very hydrating on the skin. Curel is a drugstore skincare brand that’s supposed to be very gentle and suitable for sensitive skin. Drugstore skincare products might not work well for anti-aging concerns, but might work if you simply need an extra layer to lock in hydration. 

What do you think of the box?