Thursday, March 31, 2016


Were any of you Sailor Moon fans? I was obsessed with all the Sailor Senshi back in elementary school. I watched the anime all the time and collected many trading cards. I wore Sailor Moon clothing. It was pretty serious. Like most childhood memories, however, my obsession faded as I grew up.

Sailor Moon Original 90s Anime © Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation

BUT recently Sailor Moon had their 20th anniversary. WOW does time fly or what?! Now all the Moonies my age are grown up and we get a nice treat of beautiful, age-appropriate, Sailor Moon merchandise. I indulged a little but didn't go crazy buying everything in sight while in Tokyo and Hong Kong. I did buy some figurines that I'm saving to put in a display case later on when I get a bigger place. Toei Animation released Sailor Moon Crystal last year and it pulled me right back in. Season 3 of Crystal will be available to watch in April. Granted, I'm not as obsessed as before, but it's nice to revisit those childhood memories. 

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 © Naoko Takeuchi, Toei Animation
My favorite was Sailor Venus. I thought she was so pretty. Now, I like them all! You get really picky when you're younger and we were so shallow. I didn't think Sailor Mercury was all that appealing but now I see her as a very kind-hearted character and that girl is SMART! What I love the most rewatching the old anime especially is how the senshi supported each other through thick and thin. We need more girl power nowadays! *I know, I know, the outer senshi didn't warm up to the inner senshi until much later but you know what I mean :)

I was feeling a little inspired by the colors of the Sailor Senshi's uniforms and I'm going to try to put more of my colorful eyeshadows to good use! There are so many beautiful color combinations there and any excuse to play with colors is fine with me!

Any other Moonies out there? Have you ever had a makeup look inspired by a cartoon/anime character? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I can't believe we are nearing the end of March already! The flowers in my neighborhood are in full bloom and I'm definitely in the mood for delicate pink tones reminiscent of rose petals. I'm excited to be posting my first favorites entry. I always love checking out other people's lists. You never know when you're going to find something amazing that you wouldn't otherwise know about! Here are my March favorites that I would like to share with you all:

My March Favorites

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Eyeshadow Palette:
I think I ended up liking this more than I thought I would. I was definitely on the Urban Decay Naked train. I got the Chocolate Bon Bons palette through when I found a $20 off coupon (code 151253) for new customers via Nouveau Cheap's blog. It's one of my favorite blogs out there, definitely check it out for amazing beauty deals. G works hard to get beauty deals to the rest of us wanting to stretch our dollar! The eyeshadow was so buttery and more blendable than I had anticipated. I'm not a gourmand when it comes to scented beauty products. It's a cute gimmick and I know many people love it. I think I would've liked it just as much if it was unscented since the packaging alone is just adorable. I do love the box of chocolates theme.

The Adorable Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Palette
Super Buttery Eyeshadows

All in all, it's a pretty solid palette for me. I think there are a hair more warm shades than cool ones. I work better with warmer shades so I'm still looking for ways to incorporate the cooler shades. That bright magenta, Totally Fetch, is probably the most intimidating one to work with (but isn't the name awesome?). I just received the Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar that came with the limited edition Sweeter Side of Sexy bundle but haven't tried it out yet. Maybe it'll be part of my April favorites :)

Essence Silky Touch Blush in Babydoll:
I don't have too many blushes and picked this one up on a whim at Ulta. I'm so glad I did because I've been using it everyday now. It's rather pigmented so a light touch goes a long way. I just noticed it looks way browner on the Ulta website than it does in person.
Essence Silky Touch Blush in Babydoll
Essence Silky Touch Blush
It works perfectly with my NC20 skin tone and gives me that perfect flush of color and blends beautifully. I think it would work well with warmer leaning skin tones, too. The packaging is a little flimsy so you need to be careful with it if you're taking it on-the-go. You really can't beat the price for $2.99, definitely check it out!

CoverGirl Lipstick in Heavenly 260:
The last time Big Lots had a 20% coupon, I went a little lippie crazy since these CoverGirl lipsticks were only $2! I really liked a spicy brown shade I had picked up last year so I decided to give a few others a try. Heavenly is such a gorgeous Springtime dusty rose. The swatch on Amazon looks more like a nude shade than in person.

CoverGirl Lipstick in Heavenly 260
I'm still trying to find that perfect nude lipstick that doesn't make me look like the undead. This still leans more pink than a nude should, but I've been reaching for Heavenly whenever I can't figure out what lip color to coordinate with my eye look. Pigmentation is great and even better when paired with lip liner.

CoverGirl Lipstick in Heavenly 260
On me, it lasts about 3 hours without eating and minimal drinking. CoverGirl didn't claim that this was a long lasting lipstick so do expect to reapply every couple hours especially after eating. Since I found this at Big Lots, it may not be in the permanent line anymore. There may still be some lingering in your local store and is worth checking out.

Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Hue 05:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up this Stila concealer from Nordstrom Rack. I love how creamy and smooth it applied. It didn't accentuate my dry spots too much which is always a plus!
Stila Stay All Day Concealer Hue 05
Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Hue 05
It blended nicely with my Clinique CC Cream I've been using. It's encased in a little compact with a mirror so it's perfect for on-the-go touch ups. I used to take my makeup bag with me so I could do my makeup on the way to work. I no longer have that type of commute, but this would've been great to have.

Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Shampoo & Conditioner in Stress Relief Eucalyptus Spearmint:
This stuff smells so good! I had a bottle of the shampoo a few years back and really liked it and picked up the set last week while there was a sale for 50% off aromatherapy. I love the way the eucalyptus and spearmint oils' scent lingered in my hair.
Eucalyptus Spearmint Smells So Good!

Description of Stress Relief Shampoo & Conditioner on Back

I'm not sure how much actual stress relief they provide but I like it a lot! I don't have dyed hair anymore but they claim that they're safe for color-treated hair. These two are not sulfate free but I am currently not caring about that right now.

Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Therapy Cream with Healing Aloe:
Now I know Gold Bond doesn't exactly conjure up the most glamorous of things in the beauty world, but hear me out! This stuff saved my super dry skin patch on my shin. I'm assuming it was a rash after some bad razor burn. I got it back in October and it's just now starting to heal completely, yikes. It was so incredibly dry and itchy. I applied everything I could think of that I had in my house: scented and unscented lotions, petroleum jelly, and aloe vera. I think this has become my new HG moisturizer.
Gold Bond Knows What's Up
I stumbled upon this Gold Bond lotion in a mini tube right before I left for my honeymoon in Hong Kong last November. I couldn't believe my eyes when the spot had healed so much overnight. I was using it so much, I was about to finish the tube it while I was still overseas. I started staggering the until I got back but the rash was was resurfacing each time I stopped using the lotion. I went back to get me the bigger tube and since applying it again every night, it's almost gone, yay! 

Gold Bond Healing Aloe Cream Description on Back
It's very lightly scented and not overwhelming if you have a sensitive nose. To me, it's just a very light and fresh aloe and daisy scent. I highly recommend this if you are trying to get rid of very dry skin. I started using it as a hand cream each night and my dry cuticles are looking better.

What are your favorites for March? Have you tried any products from my favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, March 28, 2016


I was taking a walk in my neighborhood this morning and noticed tons of beautiful roses in all colors lining the rows of houses. Spring really has sprung! Some gorgeous light pink roses really caught my eye and inspired this Mani Monday look. And, yes, I did take the time to smell the roses!

This is my first time drawing roses for nail art and I was limited to my dotting tool. Here's what I came up with:

If Sailor Jupiter was into nail art, she'd probably try something like this!

It inspired to dig out a few older favorites by OPI. It's their 35th anniversary this year, isn't that amazing? I couldn't believe they had been around for that long. I used a beautifully rich green called Jade is the New Black for the base. I followed that up with a gorgeous pink called Japanese Rose Garden and My Very First Knockwurst for the roses.

L to R: OPI My Very First Knockwurst, Jade is the New Black, Japanese Rose Garden

Have you created floral nail art before? Any fellow Moonies out there? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The ULTIMATE Urban Decay Naked Palette to End All Naked Palettes

Neutral eyeshadow palettes are all the rage over the past few years thanks to Urban Decay. I bought the original Naked palette after agonizing for ages between that, Naked 2, and Naked 3. I looked at so many swatches, blog reviews, and watched a bunch of YouTube video reviews. They all looked so gorgeous! I was happy with my decision but I also kept thinking about Naked 3 since I was really going through a rose gold craze. I waited until I had a 20% off Prestige coupon for Ulta and it was mine! Of course, I felt a void left by Naked 2. I ended up buying that one when Sephora gave me $15 off last holiday season. My Naked collection was complete! That's the thing about series, I have an urge to collect them all. Especially since they're supposed to look great on everyone. I just couldn't bring myself to buy the Naked Smoky palette. I thought the colors would look too muddy on me since I have limited lid space.
Naked 1, 2, 3
Top to Bottom: Naked 1, 2, 3

So I got to thinking, if you could build the ULTIMATE Naked palette--the one to end all Naked palettes, which 12 shades would you choose? Here are my selections:

Artist's Rendering :-p
Looks like I favor the original Naked palette more. Perhaps because I'm NC20 but leaning ever so slightly more in the warmer direction. Overall, the colors I chose are light to medium. I usually do a pretty simple eye with a slight pop of color then line my lids in black. My favorite shade in the original is Toasted. That is one of the most gorgeous colors I've ever used and I'm surprised there isn't something exactly like that in Naked 3, which is supposed to be the rose gold palette. I've been using the original in conjunction with Naked 3 most of the time now. I still have to play with Naked 2 on its on a little more. My only real big gripe with the original Naked is the packaging. The flocked packaging is a dust magnet and the lack of a secure clasp like Naked 2 and 3 make it inconvenient to carry around. I usually put it in a zippered makeup bag when I travel so the cover doesn't fly open and surrounding objects don't jam into the eyeshadow pans. That would be tragic!

I would've saved some money if I could buy a palette just like the one I "created". It would be so cool if you could pop out the empty pans and purchase magnetic refills.

The pigmentation of UD's eyeshadows are (usually) amazing. If you are just getting into makeup and can swing it, I would highly suggest picking up 1 of the 3 Naked palettes. There are so many combinations you can create with just 1 palette AND you don't have to go through countless so-so pigmented drugstore eyeshadows in order to find a good one. Before you know it, you would have spent $54 already. Try them out at Ulta or Sephora (make sure you sign up for their free rewards programs to receive discounts in your inbox). I know Revlon, Maybelline, and L'Oreal have released some budget friendly nude/neutral palette options but I haven't tried any of those since I'm all Naked-ed out! Although, I just started getting into Too Faced makeup...uh oh!

Do you own any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes? Which 12 shades would you put together for your Ultimate Naked Palette? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY - What Was Your Very First Makeup Item?

When did you first dive into using makeup? Many of us were young when we first started using makeup and may or may not have made the best decisions just due to lack of knowledge.
Do you remember what shiny new item you bought with your own money? For me, it was a tube of pink frosted lipstick from Claire's. I thought it looked so beautiful in the tube. I can't find a picture of it on the Internet but I think most of you fellow 90s kids will know what I'm talking about. When you're a kid, you're pretty fearless and the teenage self-consciousness hasn't kicked in yet. I was 12 years-old when I bought this and I thought I was so cool. I had no idea how to work with my skin tone and it would be years before I really got that down. I wore that damn lipstick everywhere I went. My mom didn't really have much to say about it but my aunt told me that I looked quite ill as if all the blood had left my lips. My math teacher thought I ate something with powdered sugar. Yep, it was time to put that lipstick away.

Before I completely abandoned my frosted pink lippie, I would often pair it with an equally frosty baby blue eyeshadow. My goodness, it was an awkward time. I believe the shade is called Sterling Blue by CoverGirl and it looks like it's still being sold on! I thought pairing my favorite two colors at the time would make for a gorgeous combination. Fortunately, I wasn't tormented for my questionable makeup choices. However, I soon moved on to a glitter phase so it was all in the past!

(Ebates links in post)

Frosty much?
CoverGirl© Eye Enhancers 1 Kit Eye Shadow, Sterling Blue 600
Through trial and error, you learn what works with you and what doesn't. But the most important thing is that if you can find a way to pull it off, then more power to you! Especially as a minority, you will need to do a little digging to find those hidden gems. I didn't think lipstick looked good on me until I looked beyond the offerings of a Clinique gift with purchase that always included their Different Lipstick in Bamboo Pink. The silverish frost really made me look sallow. I only really used their famous yellow lotion so I didn't explore their actual makeup selection. Only up until recently, these gifts with purchase started to become more inclusive of different skin tones but they've still got a long way to go.

I bought a few CoverGirl lipsticks at Walgreens several years ago and was so pleasantly surprised at how a creme burgundy or a brick shade would compliment my skin tone. Things were getting real (and a little pricy) after that moment. It's always exciting to find something that works like magic on you.

Do you remember your very first makeup product? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, March 21, 2016

MANI MONDAY - Spring into Coral

This Mani Monday is inspired by the warm weather creeping in on Los Angeles. It's not officially Spring yet but it sure feels like it! I decided to use OPI's My Very First Knockwurst, a tan nude with a hint of pink, and Essie's Cute as a Button, a nice bright coral.

(Ebates affiliate links below)

L to R: OPI My Very First Knockwurst and Essie Cute as a Button
I love the contrast between the daintiness of the nude against the pop of bold coral. This is one of those classic combinations that I don't see ever going out of style. 

L to R: OPI My Very First Knockwurst and Essie Cute as a Button
OPI's My Very First Knockwurst doesn't have the best application in the world nor is it the worst (or shall I say, "wurst" hehe). I have a tendency of globbing on coats because I want an even application of color. If the first coat isn't dry enough, the second coat will drag a bit near the cuticles leaving a little bald spot where your brush was. I'm a habitual two-coater girl. I think most manicures should ideally take two coats of color. Sometimes we need that extra third coat and this is where applying them thinly is best. Even when the first two are looking uneven. Good brands like these should level themselves out.

I adore the name of this Essie polish. Cute as a Button really is as cute as a button! It's got a good consistency--not too thick and not too watery. I settled for two coats which still had a VNL (visible nail line) but I don't really mind this as long as it's not too obvious. The only person looking at my nails the most is me!

Do you like this color combination? What mani ideas do you have for Spring? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The One Beauty Product That Changed Everything for You

Happy Saturday, everybody! I hope you all are having a fun-filled weekend!

I was wondering, what was a beauty product or tool that became a total game changer for your makeup routine?

For me, it was Max Factor's 2000 Calorie Waterproof Mascara. I bought this when I was in junior high and is no longer available in the US. I have rather long and dark eyelashes, but they are stick straight. After I curled my eyelashes, the waterproof mascara magically held the curl and gave me a more awake look. I was in love! I would spent a good while achieving the perfect curled lashes and applying regular mascara would almost immediately erase all that hard work. I would have to go back and recurl them and they'd get weird and clumpy. Waterproof mascara is a pain to remove but the results are worth it if you can get the look you want with a couple coats. Make sure to get a good waterproof makeup remover.

I will forever be on the hunt for a non-waterproof mascara that can dry quickly. It's not good for your eyelashes if you use waterproof mascara on them everyday.

Do you have a fast-drying regular mascara to recommend? Do you remember an item that really wowed you? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

MAKEUP HAUL - Smashbox & Stila

I misbehaved a little this week and broke my no-buy rule. I'm giving myself credit for trying since I haven't bought anything fun in over a month? That's still pretty good, right? Right?! :)

As many of you may know, it's hard to resist a good beauty sale especially when Ulta is doing its 21 Days of Beauty event. Their featured products are up to 50% off and sometimes they'll even throw in a little gift if you meet the purchase minimum within a certain brand. I almost forgot that the daily beauty steal for yesterday was Smashbox's Baked Fusion Softlights (reg. $32, sale $16) so I hurried out before the lunch crowd got there. I managed to get the last box for the golden shades called Baked Starburst. It looked a little dark and intimidating in the pan but it seemed to go on pretty sheer when I sampled it. I wasn't sure if Starburst was going to be too dark and if the pink one called Baked Starblush would be too pink on me. That's what happens when you're NC20 like me. The makeup world can get pretty confusing out there if you're not paying attention. I have been keeping an eye out for a highlighter that wasn't too gritty and I was pretty set on splurging on Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powder at Sephora, but I have been holding back. I'm glad I did because I think Smashbox did a great job with their Baked Fusion Softlights and for a fraction of Hourglass' price! I applied it with a brush at home and it did add a lovely glow to my face. I only did a couple swipes on my cheeks, nose, and forehead. I didn't buy this with the intention of contouring, I just wanted a subtle glow and it delivered!

I wasn't expecting on picking up anything else at Ulta until I saw Smashbox's Camera Ready BB Water with SPF 30 on sale (reg. 42, sale $25 until April 2). I usually don't buy a BB cream, CC cream, or foundation without extensive research. I am not prone to impulse buys! However, it seemed like a really good deal and my quick research on my phone made me say yes to this. I picked up a bottle in the shade Light/Neutral. I didn't know what to expect from the "water" aspect of this even when I tried it out in store. It's hard to really gauge the performance of a product unless I'm at home with my makeup tools. Turns out, it's a nice sheer coverage foundation. It comes with a dropper to dispense the BB water. You can apply with your fingers or a foundation brush. I opted for my brush and it seemed to do a good job of covering my lighter blemishes. This would be good for anyone who wants to cover a few spots here and there and wants a LIGHT feel on their face. This is not cakey at all!

To top it off, Smashbox just happened to be giving a free gift trio with a minimum purchase of $35. It includes travel size versions of their Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio, Photo Finish Lid Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer. I spent $41 on my little haul so I was good to go. The sales associates at my store were not aware of this gift and one of them had to spread the news to the rest of her colleagues. Just a pointer to pay attention to these little things when you're out there shopping. It can get pretty overwhelming with the beauty sensory overload!

Where I live, Nordstrom Rack is only a couple doors down from Ulta so I can't help but check out their ever-changing makeup section. I saw a bunch of little Stila Stay All Day Concealers (reg. $23, sale $7.97) and unexpectedly left with the shade called Hue 05 (matched well with my NC20 skin tone) that comes with its own mirror. Perfect for on-the-go touch ups. I say unexpectedly because my skin is usually pretty well-behaved when it comes to breakouts. I get the occasional one or two breakouts at most every month. I guess my skin is really sensitive cuz I went to get my eyebrows threaded and my forehead was covered in breakouts as if I had gotten them waxed instead. I wanted something with a fuller coverage than my liquid concealer I picked up in Muji when I was in Osaka a couple years ago.

Photos and product details are below. Please let me know if you'd like me to do a full on review with photos of me actually wearing these goodies.

(Ebates links are in this post)

Yesterday's beauty haul still in its packaging

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water and Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Starburst
Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights in Starburst
Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights Claims & Ingredients

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water's Ingredients Continued
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water's Claims & Ingredients

Shade in Light/Neutral

Stila's Stay All Day Concealer

Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Hue 05 (I already dug into this. Hello, breakouts!)

Stila Stay All Day Concealer Ingredients

Stila Stay All Day Concealer Claims

Stila Stay All Day Concealer Instructions

Mini Smashbox Trio Gift with Purchase (haven't tried any of these yet)
Have you tried any of these products? Are you eyeing anything at Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty event? Let me know in the comments below! I'm a little tempted by Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara. It's going to be on sale on March 26 for $10. Maybe this will be the non-waterproof mascara that can hold my straight lashes' curls.