Category Archives: beauty

beauty: brow game

August 30, 2015

Eyebrows on fleek. Forever on that brow game.

Or whatever stupid pop-culture phrases there are referring to your brows. You got to admit, brows have become so important and incorporate into our beauty regime in the last recent years. In the 90s, it was all about waxing and keeping them thin. Now, everyone is aiming to have fuller brows. Threading is totally the new waxing (for brows at least).

Hate on eyebrows all you want, but they do help accentuate your facial features. It gives you an expression! Game changer, for sure. I joined the eyebrow game circa 2012, when people began raving about new products. I am surprised that I have not written about brows, yet, but today I am going to share some helpful products and my personal favorites.

Hope you all know that by now that I am part of that minimal clique. Lazy on most days, and why some people hate to use the term “lazy” and try to fancy it up with, “I only wear a little bit of make up,” I am going to be frank – I am lazy when it comes to make up. It takes me 20 minutes to get ready and half of the time, I am worrying about 1. how to wear my hair and 2. how do my brows look? I really rather sleep in than put on a full face (primer, foundation, lipstick, blah, blah, blah, you get it).

When I join the brow gang, I was using a standard eyebrow pencil and then converted to powder. It lasted awhile until I’ve mastered the technique and found a product that enhance my brows. If you have not heard of Anatasia Beverly Hills (ABH), then you better get on it. I was resistant to the brand at first because everyone was on board and so many beauty gurus were giving it so many great reviews. It’s worth the hype and ravings, babes!

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These two products are my current brow routine. ABH Brow Wiz in Medium Brown – I know some women like to have their brows lighter than their hair or vice versa (see photo below). For me, I went with Medium Brown because I go for more of a natural fill and look overall. For a fuller and cleaner look, there are brow gels that has color tint to keep your brow hairs down. I wouldn’t say this is essential, but if you are like me, I maintain my own brows from trimming to tweezing and etc., so when I go for weeks without a slight trim, this duo (eyebrows + mascara) clear gel from Eyes. Lips. Face (E.L.F. Cosmetics) does magic and keeps it clean, and polished.

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The photo above is me trying a Korean brow brand and went a little lighter – it is quite obvious to me. I can’t tell if you can see the different between my hair and my brows. I’m a detailed-oriented person, so when I saw the different shades, it was an automatic “NO.” Never again.

What I love about ABH is that it’s very simple to use. I am not a beauty expert when it comes to brows, I just go with my current shape and don’t try to alter the look much. Simply filling in any patches and extending the ends a little. Some days are better than others, trust. ABH’s formula goes on smoothly too; compared to an eyebrow pencil, it is not as harsh as a “pencil” if that makes sense. It reminds me a crayon texture than a pencil.

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If a $21 pencil is not feasible and you find the price absurd, Fashionista shared a great article about what drugstore brands work best. I usually explore the drugstore brands before I hit a designer brand in general. I will say that the best on this list is my personal favorite as well, Revlon’s Brow Fantasy, which I have used before until I conformed to ABH.

Here are some clickable links to explore: Anatasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz on Ulta, E.L.F. Clear Brow & Mascara, and founder of ABH speaks of the brand’s history.

This post inspired me to do a drug-store makeup routine for you all, which I hope to share sometime in the next couple of weeks. Not sure if I will get another post out this week due to an overwhelmingly workload and will be out of town for Labor Day Weekend! Very much needed – as much as I love New York, I need a break from the hustle. Staying in my apartment only results me snacking nonstop plus Netflix – read: sloth mode.

Okay family, friends and beauty lovers, until next time. Thanks for tuning in this fine Sunday! Enjoy what’s left of August and your weekend. I’m off to a dinner date in Queens.

– C

 

korean beauty: skin food // skin care

August 5, 2015

I have been patiently waiting for the right time and the right products for me to indulge in. I am sure you have heard the buzz around Korean beauty brands – from skincare to make up products. This is not new that Korean beauty products are making its way into the American market.

You all know how I love skincare products – what can I say, I love flawless skin, so I had to give it a try.

After extensive research and reviews, I decide to dive head first into a product that I have been wanting to try and need in my regime. I am all about multifunctional products, but my current face mask does not exfoliate my face like former products I’ve used.

What does it mean to exfoliate? Basically take off all the dead skin off – think of a snake shedding, but not as gross. It’s not recommend to exfoliate everyday; I believe the rule is once per week. Don’t believe me? Read it here on Marie Claire – I back it upppp! Back, back, back it up! 

Skin Food. Food for your skin in short.

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So what do I think? First off, this product is strictly for exfoliation – hence “scrub” and it is different for me to have a single function product.

Packaging didn’t WOW me – it’s simple. However, the smell is amazing. I got the Black Sugar and it smells so divine! This is also their most popular face scrub selection.

Side story: I was very excited to find a store in Chinatown that carried Korean products and first thing I said is, “I need to go now!” Of course, I bookmarked it right away on Yelp. For all my New York beauty lovers, you should check out the store off Canal and Mott named oo35mm. Cheaper than Amazon!

I slowly want to switch out my current skincare routine for Korean brands, as a trial and see which brands I favor more.

Here are some archive links for you: my current face mask I’m using, or an older face mask from Lush Cosmetics. Or if you want to explore Korean Brands, here is a popular beauty blog shares what you need to know. For a short version, Into The Gloss published a piece, too.

Are you using any Korean beauty brands? If so, which ones? Do tell!!! I am always interested in expanding my beauty shelf.

Thanks for turning, beauts! Until the next beauty post (:

– C

beauty: no-make up make up

July 26, 2015

With summer in full effect and the humidity waves hitting New York every so often, I’ve become so lazy to wear any make-up.

As much as I love the sky rocketing boost beauty products make me feel sometimes, I am not down to waste product. I mean that!  It is wasteful because it is melting off my face! I decided to let my face breathe-ish when the weather doesn’t permit me to be cute.

Here is what I have discovered! Typically, I don’t wear full coverage aside from my Laura Mercier‘s tinted moisturizer. I swapped the tint for plain ol’ moisturizer with SPF. Throw on some NARS concealer on my minor breakouts, dark spots and circles. Splash on some mascara, a little bronzer and the nude lip cream I swear by, NYX Cosmetics in London.

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Accidentally, I am one of those girls that don’t look different with or without make-up. I love this routine because I can slip out of my apartment in a matter of 15-20 minutes. You know what that means? More time to snooze or fiddle with my outfit of the day, which is probably the most time consuming part of my getting-ready routine.

DSC03938 copyDSC03943 copyThe products above are listed below (left to right):

  1. Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer
  2. L’Oreal’s Miss Manga Voluminous Mascara
  3. NARS’ Creamy Concealer
  4. Benefit Cosmetic’s Bronzer – HOOLA
  5. NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream – London

If you missed my recent reviews for some of the products I’ve shared, you can read about my tinted moisturizer here, or about my concealer here. Or if you are unsure about skin care, I did a 101 not too long ago.

Feel free to leave me love notes if you are interested in other products that you want me to write about!

Happy Sunday, dolls! Summer got me feeling all kinds of lazy and work is exceptionally busy at the moment, hence my absence. But I promise I will check in here, plus I have so much news to share with you all. Thanks for tuning in (:

Bye!

 

beauty: you like them nails

July 12, 2015

I like dark tones all-year-around, no surprise there. Daily attire, make-up (specifically lipsticks and nails), so yeah…

I enjoy dipping my toes in dark tones, literally, while my fingers get some (light) color loving. Now, if you did not know, I am quite the nail polish hoarder. When I moved to New York, I threw over thirty bottles away that was accumulated over a couple of years. From large drug store brands to cheap, one dollar collectibles. Now? I am very selective in shades, brush applicator and brand.

Take a peek at some of my current favorites:

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Absolutely in love with D&G’s packaging – a total sucker for all that stuff. I know presentation is not everything, but nowadays it is! Working in media/pr makes you think a little different about details, and  those details such as package says a lot about a brand. Essentially, it is all branding. That is a whole other subject that I am not going to dive into, but if you ever want to talk about that, holler!

My current shade:

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Speed of Light by COVERGIRL picked up my local Target. You can find the product here.  I fell in love with this color. The formula is smooth and rich; the color is nude with a slight hint of gray. Due to the squarish shape, it makes the application process easy.

Some of the other products shown:

  • Sally Hansen: Pacific Blue and Lacy Lilac – inexpensive purchases at $2.99 per bottle. PB is a very bright blue – Claire from HeyClaire mentioned this as one of her favorites years ago. LL is a nice, light shade of purple – lavender if you will.
  • Essie: Absolutely Shore – $8.50 per bottle, more on a semi-splurge side. What I love about Essie (typically my brand preference) is the play on words when naming the color shade, but even how months of no usage, the formula can still be used with a few shakes and rolls.
  • Dolce & Gabbana: Nail Lacquer – $24.99 unfortunately I could not find the link to the actual product I was gifted, but the undertone is red with darker overtone. So from afar, it may be seen as black, but really it’s a deep, deep, dark red. Oxblood?
  • Butter London: La Moss – $15 per bottle at Ulta. I love this color and this brand. That is all.

Keeping it short for you all. I know I have been absent – it comes in waves.

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Happy Sunday!

 

beauty: finishing matte spray

June 17, 2015

My last beauty post mentioned Spring and Summer season beauty products being incorporated into my seasonal regime. I linked it if you missed it!

Now, I find that even with minimal coverage, how am I going to keep my make up intact and not sweat through this humidity and heat? Luckily, I got help from my Twitter Followers: setting spray.

Thing is, I have a sample bottle from, who else other than Urban Decay, but this time, while I was making a baby haul from Ulta, I decided to opt out for one of my favorite brands – NYX Cosmetics. When it comes to “setting” anything, there is a “setting powder,” too, or you can opt for a “pressed powder.” Did I lose you yet? I know, this stuff is all confusing, but stay with me. I don’t know the technical and science-y stuff, but all I know is that it works! I know. I know! I purchased NYX’s Matte Finish Setting Spray for less than ten dollars – talk bout cost efficient.

DSC03844 DSC03845I put it on trial for the first time – at the Governor’s Ball last weekend. There were thousands of bodies, heat and humidity. My face felt like it was getting burnt. By end of the festival, I scoped out my face, and the only thing that was slightly faded was my concealer, but my brows and eyeliner looked “put together” still. Oh hi!

What a way to break in a new product, right?

The only con I found with the product is the applicator – you know how some sprays, the mist gently hits your face? I am not saying the mist is rough, but it’s not a soft mist spray from your typical perfume bottle or body spray. I was not the only one who felt this way – gal pal S, tried it when she visited and she felt the mist hit her face not as gently as she thought it would be.

Other than that, I really enjoy the product and it is definitely my summer staple! I know some women prefer a primer – a base than a  setting spray. Again, it is all preference. If you want to secure a flawless all-day look, you can double up with primer and a setting spray. Why not? But I have never tried this method…yet!

A couple days late than our usual Sunday Beauty posts, but you understand that life happens. Thank you all for being patient with me.Until next time! Thanks for swingin’ by, beauts!

– C

beauty: tinted moisturizer

May 25, 2015

It feels like it is already summer in New York. What does that feel like? Humidity. Sweaty bodies all over the City, and that means multiple showers per day. I learned from experience that when weather conditions are like this, my make up usually melts off my face, so I avoid powders and heavy make up at all cost.

Not cute, fyi.

I wanted to share a recent purchase when I was at Bloomy’s Hello Gorgeous event a few weeks ago that has been a great staple to add into my summer beauty routine.

Remember how I said SPF and moisturizer are two essential elements when it comes to your skincare regime? Guess what? There is a product that has a combination of tint, moisturizer and SPF. Dude, I know – too good to be true!

Laura Mercier, you are incredible.

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My favorite beauty vloggers use this, too! The product was already out before I knew it in circa 2011 (or something). You can find those videos here and here. My only issue with the product is how the formula is dispensed; there is no narrow tube tunnel for it, rather similar to a toothpaste tube, but a tad smaller.

I typically dab four dots (cheeks, forehead and chin), go in with my foundation brush and apply it all over my face. Light weight coverage, moisturizes plus SPF – it’s all a win-win really! I heard many great things about this product before I committed myself to purchasing this. I had to conduct thorough research through various beauty bloggers, and ask myself which was a better purchase: tinted moisturizer versus BB Cream. I will break it down for you later for those who still don’t understand the whole BB Cream thang – trust me, took me forever to get it too…You’re not alone.

For those who are looking for a lightweight product and does fantastic coverage for the summer season, or just in general, I would highly recommend Laura Mercier. There are other great brands as well that carry tinted moisturizes – so if you’re hesitant to try a new brand it is totally understandable. Nars have a great one, too. It is a little splurge compared to your average drugstore brand, but I say it is worth it! Plus, I got it at a discounted price, so I could not have resisted myself! Treat yoself, always! Bahaha!

Keeping it short and sweet for you all. Thank you for reading and tuning for this week’s beauty post! Again, let me know if you have any questions regarding past products that I have featured or any products you would want me to share!

Hope you all had a great Memorial’s Day Weekend!

– C

 

beauty: bloomingdale’s hello gorgeous

May 10, 2015

On Thursday, May 7th, S & I went to a beauty speaker event hosted at Bloomingdales in SoHo. The only reason how I heard about the private event was through a gal I befriended who works at Bobbi Brown, Carol. She’s like the homie now and she really hooks it up.

What drew me in was the fact that Allure’s Beauty Editor, Jenny Bailly, was going to be present and talk about about skincare amongst great other beauty regimes. Of course, of course. Anyway, I will save the fluff and share photos instead:

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Look at ’em samples, though! I am so excited to incorporate them into my routine and share my feedback/reviews. What I hate about samples is that it is a sample size that does not give you enough to validate if the product is good or not…So far, I have played with YSL’s mascara, flawless by the way, and Dolce & Gabanna’s Intense nail polish. It is similar to the Butter London’s polish I bought a few months back. Or for an easy reference, Essie’s Wicked. Dark and a purple undertone, but D&G is a deep red.

Quickly wanted to mention Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mama’s!!! I hope I am not too late, in New York, it’s a few minutes left of Sunday. While I am unable to celebrate this wonderful holiday with my Mom, she knows how much she means to me, and I sent her a text, haha. Plus, I will get to celebrate with her tomorrow.

Did you catch that? I will try to update you all while I am on vacation, but I cannot promise anything. Plus, I owe you all a full on update about recent happenings – I know, most of you all commented and I got messages about what the heck did you do, Chary?!

I wanted to share this cover by Arctic Monkeys because it is one of my favorite tracks covered by one of my favorite bands:

Brb, New York – I am going home! Thanks for tuning in! See you CA lovers in a few hours!

– C

beauty: skincare 101

May 3, 2015

Our skin is the largest organ of our human body. Whoa, right?

With that said, skincare is tremendously important. At some point, I never cared too much about it, but as we age, we begin to see slight changes in our skin.

There are so many factors to why your skin is the way it is, too. It could be genetics or our environment. Diet and exercise are a couple of factors. Are you guilty for wearing makeup to the gym? Don’t do that – you’re clogging up your pores and causing you to break out. We all know you want to look cute while running, but come on, that is impossible. I have the ugliest running face by the way. 

Although I am not a dermatologist or a beauty expert, friends have asked me about skincare products. So why not? Today’s topic is about the basic foundations of building your skincare regime. Similar to building your wardrobe, you want to have the staples such as a blazer is to a moisturizer. Similar to that.

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Here is a quick list of what you need:

  • Face wash/ cleanser – a really good product can be used as your makeup remover as well, such as Kiehl’s Ultra Cleanser. The great thing about this product is that it is for all skin types and the texture is amazing; I would say it is similar to a gel texture than a cream?
  • Moisturizer – it does not matter if your skin type is dry, sensitive, or normal you need a moisturizer to hydrate your beautiful face. This is super crucial especially in the colder months. I am currently using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and the Midnight Recovery Serum – that was mentioned in last week’s beauty post.
  • Toner – it all varies and some people forget this step, and it’s okay. We all may or may not need it, but it is good to add into your regime. For me, I use this as my second step to really get all the dirt off my face. Why do you need a toner? When you are washing your face with products, you are tearing off some pH levels from your face, and the toner is for you balance it out again. I know this sounds really scientific, so I am going to share a piece with you from R29 to prove I am not lying to you, haha.
  • Exfoliator – it is important to do this just so you can shed off dead skin. Some facial cleansers and masks have a dual performance as an exfoliator and cleanser. Aveeno is an example of a cleanser and gentle exfoliator product. If there are beads within the product, such as Lush’s Magnanimity that I shared with you all before, then no need to purchase an exfoliator on its own. You can view that post here.
  • Sunscreen – believe it or not, there are sunscreens that help with anti-aging and do not have that beachy, sunscreen scent – you know what I am talking about right?  When I went in for a facial, the aesthetician asked me if I used SPF on my face and when I said no, she highly suggested that I do because my skin is already in great shape and using sunscreen will help prevent any early signs of wrinkles and sun damages (not that we have plenty here in New York…). You can go fancy or not – whatever floats your boat. As long as you have some SPF on your face. I am currently using Neutrogena’s Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. Sometimes you can get a sunscreen + moisturizer in one bottle! I love multi-functional products, YAS. If you want to explore, Kiehl’s also has a product that acts as moisturizer and a sunscreen -you can find that here.

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Just an FYI: I am not sponsored by the products I am sharing with you – although that would be really, really cool! Anyway, I am one of those individuals who would not spend a lot of money on eyeshadow or mascara, but I would pay a pricey penny for a great face wash or moisturizer. My belief is that when it comes to skincare, that is something we should invest in. Again, it is the largest organ of our bodies. However, if you don’t have the resources to do so, there are plenty of drugstore and low-end brands. One of my personal favorites are Neutrogena and L’Oreal for many reasons. Also, there are so many great beauty gurus on Youtube and beauty blogs that share what brands are great to explore! And if you want me to try something, or curious about a product or procedure, feel free to ask me! I would not say I am guru per se, but I know a thing or two. Maybe three, hehe!

Side note: You know how I want to work in editorial, right? I finally figured out what my speciality would be – surprisingly enough, I would love to be become a beauty editor. I know, it sounds bazaar. I wear minimal make-up, but I realized that I enjoy beauty writing rather than fashion. Sometimes the industry blends in and it all looks the same, but if I were really specialize in one thing and focus on a specific matter, it would be skincare. I love it!

Hope you all are having a fabulous, Sunday. It’s a quiet morning for me, so I might get some reading or writing in. Today I am meeting up with one of my favorite local beauty bloggers, Cynthia. Have you seen her beauty blog? It’s insane and beautifully curated. You can view her blog, here.

 

– C

beauty: i scream for eye cream

April 26, 2015

Ask me if I knew what eye serums, eye cream, or eye gels are two years ago, I would not have the slightest clue.

Moving to New York has made my eye bags and dark circles more noticeable. When we age and become more exhausted, some stuff become transparent – it happens. They say that our eyes are the windows to our soul, right? I thank the product gods for eye cream and concealer – thank you, Nars.

I recently purchased some goodies from Kiehl’s, within my purchase there is a serum that helps “recover” your face – Midnight Recovery. I am going to say the product hydrates and gives you the good stuff that your skin naturally needs. I have been using it for over a week, and I can definitely see the difference around my eyes.

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Prior to this purchase, I have been using an eye gel for quite some time to really hydrate the areas around my eyes. You may not realize this, but on our face, the skin beneath our bottom eyelashes is very thin – and the reason why we do get dark circles is because it is a lack of blood circulation, or damaged blood vessels due to a series of things – one would be tanning. Don’t believe me? Read this article here by Real Simple.

In the recent year, I have incorporate applying eye gel, serums, or cream into my beauty regime. I would say my skincare routine is immensely rigorous. What eye product did I start off with?

Mario Badescu’s Ceramid Gel, obviously a “gel” base. Now I am using Kiehl’s Midnight Extreme Eye, a cream base, and this is when I want to go beyond the serum I have already applied. Both (Badescu’s & Kiehl’s) are great, frankly. Product texture is preference and something to consider. One side note though, Badescu’s product must be refrigerated after use.

Into The Gloss wrote a quick piece about the do’s and don’t for eye creams – for reference, especially if you’re a first timer, take a read here. Remember to gently tap, not pull, from inward to outward of your eye.

Depending what formula you buy – some say you can apply it twice per day – day time and nighttime before bed. I usually do before bed, so I have all these things working its magic while I get some Zzz’s in.

Side note: some of you maybe afraid to try new products or developing some sort of beauty regime because we are afraid of chemicals and how active it may react on our skin, but it is a matter of knowing yourself wholly – your skin type, allergies, and etc. This is all a learning process, trust me. Took me quite some time to find products that really work for my skin. You’re not alone on this!

Let me know if you are going to try any of these products I’ve shared with you – or if you have another eye product you enjoy and how it has worked for you!

Happy Sunday, family and friends! It is beautiful out today! The sun is out and a little breezy. Thanks for tuning in (:

– C

PS: I am going to draft up a basic skincare routine, but do you ladies (and gents) have any beauty request? Feel free to let me know and I will post a review (:

beauty: dry shampoo

April 13, 2015

I have a confession: I only wash my hair two to three times per week.

Is that gross? Maybe to some, but actually I’ve heard that you should wash your hair every other day to let your hair have your natural oils. However, according to WedMD, it really is different for everyone – click here if you want to read. You will learn find that everything is situational, too. If I had an intense workout and I washed my hair the previous night, I can get away without washing it, but I will need to wash it the follow day…

Here is my secret weapon to maintain my hair when I choose to skip on a wash:

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I have tried a couple of dry shampoos; my first one was Tresemme, and I was not a fan at all. Mainly because of the scent it produced. I also tried Garner Fructis, and it worked well; the scent was more appealing and appreciated. However, my current favorite is Not Your Mother’s.

It genuinely makes my scalp feel clean! You know when you just feel dirty – ladies know what I am talking about. When I spray different sections of my roots, I instantly get volume and feel cleaner. I also like that it doesn’t make my hair shiny or anything – I am a matte girl. All the way. If you have wavy, thick hair like myself, then I highly suggest giving this product a try. What is the scent like? Personally, I like it. It smells… clean! Fresh! Oh, the best part is that it doesn’t leave any residue after your apply the product to your hair. I lied – this is the best part of this brand: it’s affordable. A large bottle less then nine dollars. Yes!

I know it sounds absurd to not wash your after three to four days, but I really can get away with it, especially this past winter. And I save money on shampoo and conditioner, haha! Alright, it’s late here, but I hope you enjoyed this quick beauty post! Goodnight and until next time (:

– C