Monday, February 28, 2011

I Am Back! Las Vegas Trip Highlights (Picture Heavy)

I returned from my 5 night trip to Las Vegas early yesterday afternoon quite exhausted. As always, the last night there is the most difficult as we tend to get only a couple of hours of sleep after trying to pack everything up and make sure that we get up early enough to get ready and pack away the last minute essentials before our baggage pull comes at 5:00 a.m. (It used to be 4:00 a.m.). Between trying to finish up the packing and worrying about making sure that we get up in time and not be embarrassed by over sleeping, it doesn't make for getting a good sleep.

I showed in an earlier post my travel makeup bags so here's what my packed suitcase looked like. (Note: All of my pictures can be clicked on to enlarge it a bit.)

All of my clothing is packed into packing envelopes so I think that it makes my suitcase look so much neater. All of the rest of my items were also packed into various bags.

My mom and I arrived in Las Vegas early Tuesday evening and on Wednesday we went down to the strip to check out some new places. We went to the Bellagio Hotel to check out their Botanical Gardens, which changes seasonally. The hotel reception area and the garden area was themed for Chinese New Year.

Sorry, blogger rotated this. It's supposed to be laterns hanging from the ceiling.

Grrr! Blogger rotated this one too.

Because it is the Year of the Rabbit:

We walked through The Cosmopolitan Hotel to see City Center, which is mostly a shopping area. We decided to get something to drink while in The Cosmopolitan Hotel and I had to get this Diet Coke drink because it was so unique and cute. It is a metal can, which is shaped like a Coke bottle. It only has 8.5 fl oz (251 ml) which was just enough to quench my thirst but way less than I usually drink in one sitting.

While we were sitting there drinking our drinks, I noticed a fascinating vending machine. I had read on The Sungirl Says blog about how there are vending machines in Japan for just about everything. I thought that it was a very interesting post so Brianna, this part is particularly for you. This was a vending machine that had all kinds of things in it. It was mostly higher end things but it had a variety of items--cosmetics, electronics, accessories, etc.

Sorry, it was difficult to get clear pictures. It was dark and the machine itself was dark but brightly lit.

At the City Center, there was a huge golden bunny, which I assume was in honor of it being the year of the rabbit.

I did get to do a quick bit of shopping (approximately 1 1/2 hours) in Planet Hollywood's MIracle Mile Shops. I felt rushed as my mom didn't want to walk around more and so she sat and waited and I really dislike it when I know someone is waiting. One highlight is that I FINALLY got to see a H & M store! I've read about it on many blogs and how they find such cute things. I spent most of my time in that one store trying on a few things and I bought a couple of tops.

The one thing that I did find out quickly enough was that the sizing there is sooo tiny! I grabbed my usual size (which is usually a 2 - 4 but they were waaay too tight. I wish that I could have spent more time in the store checking things out better but I'm just glad for the chance that I had.

My uncle and his friend arrived in Las Vegas late at night the same day that we did so from Wednesday, we met with them to eat dinner. My other uncle and aunt arrived on Thursday night so all of us started to eat dinner together every night for the remainder of the trip. This resulted in us eating away from our usual eating places and with me eating more food and richer food than I usually eat. It wasn't too good for my tummy. This is the prime rib dinner, small portion, that I had on Wednesday night. I figured that if I'm going to eat an unhealthy portion of meat, I might as well go all out and order fries instead of baked potato or rice. I'm not much of a meat eater but my uncle insisted that I needed to eat this as it was really delicious. It was delicious but still not my kind of meal.

I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the meals but on Thursday night I had a portabello mushroom burger, Friday night we had Japanese food and I ate a bento plate which had a huge plateful of white rice, spam, teriyaki chicken and teri beef. Saturday night was a really huge plate of shrimp scampi, which was served on a bed of angel hair pasta. I also had creme brulee for dessert on this night.

The weather was quite cool during this trip to Las Vegas so I wasn't sure if my mom and aunt would be up to going shopping in the open air Las Vegas Premium Outlet Mall, especially since a storm was expected to hit. However, that morning it looked quite pleasant and it didn't feel as cold as it was--probablly around 45 - 47 F or 7 - 8 C, so we went out for about 3 1/2 hours. I did mostly shopping for omiyage (gifts) and even had to buy a suitcase for my return trip home so that I wouldn't go over the weight restriction with my one suitcase.  I did find The Cosmetic Company and bought a MAC palette that I had to have. This is from the Holiday 2009 collection and it is called 6 Mystic Cool Eyeshadows and was originally priced at $36.00. I got it for $25.25.

I also found some discontinued Lancome items, which I didn't purchase but thought about. I can't remember whose blog it was but on someone's wishlist there was the Blue Dahlia eyeshadow palette listed. Who was it who wanted it?  I was hoping to find a couple of the MAC VV collection items that I had missed out on here but there wasn't any. By the way, the storm did hit late at night bringing cold temperatures, some heavy rain and even some light snow to the strip and outlying areas but I didn't get to see it. When we left on Sunday morning, it was 38 F, 4 C and lightly raining. It was quite cold outside where we had to gather our luggage before getting onto the bus. It was quite interesting for us Hawaii people to see heavy condensation coming out of our mouths when we breath. It made us look like a bunch of heavy smokers!

Other than that, I basically walked around the casinos (California Hotel and Main Street Station) and played the machines a bit. Lost some money but hey, that's part of the fun of being in Las Vegas. The only really bad part of the trip is that I had really bad cellular service at my hotel so I couldn't spend as much time as I would have liked on Twitter and checking some blogs. I will now have to spend some time doing catch up.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

February's Brush Purchase

I already did my brush purchase for this month. I liked the Sonia Kashuk synthetic multi-purpose flat top brush so much that I went back to Target earlier this month and decided to get Sonia Kashuk blusher brush.

I like this brush very much. It's soft and applies my blush evenly and smoothly. I use this to apply NARS Laguna. For usual blush application, I really like a full, fluffy, soft brush and while this brush is soft, it's not quite fluffy enough for a blush application. It's perfect for my bronzer though. (I use Bare Escentuals Flawless Face Brush for applying my blush.)

I also went ahead and purchased a Sonia Kashuk Fluffy Eye Shadow Brush because I have been waiting and waiting for a NYX brush to come in and it hasn't yet. I understand from the stores that they've been on backorder for such a very long time. Unfortunately, this brush isn't soft and fluffy as I was hoping it would be. I think that the feel and shape of the bristles are more on par with a MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, which I also happen to like.

I think that the black handled brushes are of a higher quality than the white handled brushes. It costs less for the white handled brushes and the packaging isn't as nice. Still a very good buy for either line. I think that the black handled brushes are very good and reasonably priced.

Speaking of packaging, any ideas what I can do with the hard plastic cases that the brushes come in? I won't use it to store my brushes since it'll take up so much storage space but it seems like such a waste to just dump it.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Writings on the Wall..of My Blog...(Meme)

K of cosmeddicted tagged me to do this meme so here goes.

This meme is all about what your handwriting looks like. I have to admit that I used to have decent handwriting. The key words here are "used to". I think that since I do mostly typing now, my handwriting has gone downhill. There's also the fact that I can type way faster than I can write.

Onto the meme...On a piece of paper write the answers to the following things down:

1. What's your name/your blogger name?

2. What's your blog's name/URL?

3. Write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
    (Do you know that you use every single letter of the alphabet by writing this sentence?)

4. Favorite quote?

5. Your Favorite song?

6. Your favorite band/singers?

7. Anything else you want to say?

8. Tag three to five other people.
You can click this to a larger picture
The people that I tag are: Brianna, Steph, Jennifer and Kei Kei. It's a great way to get to know one another just a little bit better.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What's In My Travel Makeup Bags?

As I prepare to go on a trip to Las Vegas where I'll be there for 5 1/2 days, I decided to show what I'm taking with me in my makeup bags. I had to go to Sephora and the drugstore to pick up some things for my trip. This is partially what I came away with from Sephora that I thought would be of interest to some of my readers:

A new makeup bag with pretty flowers by Sephora, matching floral kabuki brush set by Sephora and Fairy Drops Scandal Queen Mascara. Reviews on these products will be done some time after my trip.

I had decided that I wanted to try to travel more lightly than I've travelled in the past as far as my makeup goes. Please note that the key word here is "try". This is what I will take in my suitcase:

Cotton pads, some hairclips and a scrunchie, Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes, Q-tips (cotton swabs) and paper towels. These paper towels are not your ordinary paper towels, these are considered shop towels. They are blue and they do not break apart when you use it. It's the one non-beauty item that I use regularly on a daily basis for my makeup routine. I mainly use them to clean my brushes off on, Packed into the makeup bag will be a trial set of Noevir 105 skincare line, shampoo and conditioner, mini toothpaste, dental floss, eyelash glue, mini metal nail file (these two items are in case my double eyelids fall and I can't get them to double properly with mezaik, eyebrow pencil, lipstick, Fairydrops mascara, Sephora neutral eyeshadow palette and manicure set (in the slipper case). Inside the manicure set case I have a sharp nail scissors, tweezers and my container of mezaik double eyelid stretch fiber.

In my handcarry I will have several items. First up is the quart-sized ziploc bag filled with my liquid and gel items:

Mini Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes, trial set of Noevir 105 skincare line, a container each of Cle de Peau serum and Olay Regenerist Resurfacing Elixer, 2 bottles of Maybelline Fit Me foundation (in 2 different shades), Maybelline Fit Me concealer, Raysela Sunscreen, Lip Balm, Lipstick, Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer, Mini UDPP in Greed and Sin, mini tube of Vitacream B12, mini tube of Cle de Peau eye cream, container of Dermablend Cover Cream and K-Palette Eyeliner.

Brushroll to hold all of my necessary brushes:

This was purchased from Yumeko who created this brushroll. I have at least 15 brushes in it!

Makeup bag for the rest of my non-liquid, non-gel items. Bag is from Eco-tools.

Kat Von D eyeshadow palette, Stila Trendsetting in Tokyo Travel Palette, NARS Orgasm/Laguna mini set, bag of q-tips (cotton swabs), cotton pads, 2 different powder compacts, eyebrow pencil, eyebrow powder, container of Mezaik Double Eyelid Stretch fiber and MAC single eyeshadow. On the other side of the bag it contains some Eco-tools brushes.

Last but not least, my Clarisonic Plus.

I couldn't leave home without it.

Am I taking less things? I don't think so. In fact, I think that I'm taking more things with me but a lot of them are mini sized. I was originally going to take only the Stila eyeshadow palette but then added the Kat Von D palette and then really wanted to take my UD Naked Palette but settled for the much smaller Sephora palette. I'm sorry, I just realized that I should have taken pictures of what the palettes look like. I'm just so exhausted right now that I can't really think well. Perhaps I'll do a post trip blog entry and can show it to you then.

So, what do you think? Am I taking way too many things? Any other recommendations or reminders of items that I might have forgotten? (Yes, I did remember to pack my toothbrush, I just didn't photograph it.)


EDIT: I'm sorry that I really didn't do a good job on this post. I was so exhausted when I wrote it. First of all, one of the mini UDPP isn't Sin but it's Eden. I decided to take it out. Haha! Wow, it really opened up a huge space.

I should also explain why I have some duplicates. I try to carry all of my essential items in my handcarry but also pack items in my suitcase, of which I also have some duplicates. I'm always afraid that the airlines will lose my luggage so if that happens, I have all of my essentials with me. I'm just vain enough that I could go without clean clothes but not a naked face. To go shopping for replacement items, I still want to go with my makeup done. Silly but true.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review: Missha BB Boomer

I was planning on waiting until after my trip to do this review but changed my mind.

I've been using the Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream and like it a lot. I also used a sample of the BB Boomer and liked the results so I decided to finally order a tube of the BB Boomer.

Sorry, I do not know why my pictures get rotated in blogger now. It's quite irritating!

I like the results that I get by using the BB Boomer as my primer. It helps to add a bit of a glow, is moisturizing and smooths out my skin. It also is very long wearing and helps to keep my foundation fresh-looking for well over 8 hours--whether using the Missha BB Cream or any other foundation. Although I don't often react to products, I can say that this hasn't broken me out or caused any adverse reactions. I think that I've finally found a replacement for my Dior primer that I've been using.

While I originally wanted to purchase from the Missha US website, I have some major issues with their shipping policy to Hawaii so I've boycotted them. I found a really great seller on ebay: ideaseller_kr. His prices are reasonable and he ships out super fast. I've purchased twice from him and am extremely satisfied.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Noevir 2011 Spring Makeup Collection

I've mentioned it before but Mai and I mainly use Noevir skincare items. We both are consultants but honestly, we are signed up not to sell or to "recruit" more consultant but so that we can get our products at the consultant's price. I have always liked the skincare more than the makeup.

I will be going on a trip next week so I wanted to pick up 2 trial sets of the skincare line that I use. It is perfect for travelling in that you get all of the necessary products in the skincare line in that one set. Most of the products will last me at least a week with some lasting up to 3 weeks. I bought 2 sets because Iike to have one in my handcarry and one in my suitcase. It's good to have a spare when travelling because you never know what can happen although hopefully nothing will. While there I got to take a look at the 2011 Spring Makeup Collection.

I've never been particularly impressed by the makeup collections, even with the seasonal ones but this one caught my eye. For one thing, the packaging is so colorful and pretty! Dare I say, almost princessy. I think that perhaps they are trying to keep up with the other Japanese brands. I had a catalogue but can't find it now so I had to take this picture from the website.

Although I'm not supposed to be buying new makeup, I couldn't help but buy a few items. I rationalized it by thinking that since I'm a consultant, I should know my product line........

I bought Jelly Gloss in Peach Fizz, Shake Eye Color in Caramel Gold and Panda Clear (I keep on calling it Panda Eyes.)

The one that I'm the most worried about is the Shake Eye Color because it may adversely react with the Mezaik Double Eyelid Stretch Fiber.  It is a liquid eye color which glides on and dries to an almost powder feel. To use, shake well before use. Apply to the eyelid using the tip of the applicator, then blend with your fingertips. Wipe off the tip of the applicator with clean tissue after each use. It comes in Soda Blue, Strawberry Pink and Caramel Gold. All of the colors are pearly and didn't seem to be highly pigmented.

Retail cost is $28.00. I will do a better review of this after I play with it on my eyes.

The Jelly Gloss is a clear, gel gloss that has a wash of color and shimmers in it. The applicator is like a spatula, something that I haven't come across before. This gloss isn't sticky at all but keeps your lips feeling very slick. It comes in Blueberry Mousse, Peach Fizz and Vanilla Cream and I believe that the glosses are flavored accordingly. I have Peach Fizz and it does taste like peach. It's not heavily flavored and is quite pleasant. Peach Fizz actually looks more pink than it shows up in my picture.

The first picture is my lips with Viva Glam V lipstick. The 2nd picture is with Peach Fizz over Viva Glam V lipstick. You can see the iridescent shimmers! It's really pretty! I'm actually quite happy with this! Retail cost is $26.00.

Panda Clear is something that I had seen in the Winter campaign but it was combined in a set and I didn't want to buy the set. I was so pleased to see that it's being sold individually now. It is quite an intriguing product. It is supposed to easily erase smudges and mistakes from eyeliners, mascara or worn makeup. To use gently glide over makeup mistakes, and then gently remove with cotton-tip or tissue. Keep it clean between uses by wiping tip with tissue after each use. It has a waxy tip and it is actually quite soft. I made the mistake of not using it gently so I broke the tip--twice!!! Both of those times I was testing it out on my wrist so I guess that's why I used more pressure than I should have. I finally decided to do it on my under eye and just naturally didn't press so hard. It actually works really well!

I applied Revlon Grow Luscious mascara on my lower lashline, smudging it on purpose. I used this mascara because it is the mascara that I have in my collection that is the most difficult to take off. It actually "erased" quite easily. I decided to try it on my lower lashline eyeliner that I had applied at least 8 hours ago. It's the K-Palette 24h Eyeliner and it removed very easily. The only downfall to this is that you will need to touch up your foundation/concealer again because that will be removed too. Retail cost of this is $16.00.

If you are interested in finding out more about this line, you can go here. If you are interested in buying anything, please let me know. I will offer it to you at what I pay for it, which is my consultant price plus 1/2% tax. I will round up the tax so if something comes out to $16.08, it'll be $16.10. I will accept PayPal but prefer it you put it under "gift" so that I don't get charged any fees, otherwise, I will have to ask you to pay extra for the fees. I think that it's fair since I will honestly not be making any money off of these sales and if I get charged PayPal fees, then I am losing money. For your info, my cost of the Shake Eye Color is $19.60, Jelly Gloss is $18.20 and the Panda Clear is $11.20. All of these are plus 1/2% tax. Noevir is a Japanese company.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's EOTD/FOTD

I wanted to get this done before I forget what I used to do the EOTD.

Although I had to get up and be at work very early on the 14th, I still wanted to have a festive look. I used a lot of pink in this look.

Products used:

Missha BB Primer
Maybelline Fit Me Foundation 120 & 125
Maybelline Fit Me Powder 120
UDPP Greed
UD Naked Palette--Naked and Smog
MAC Swish, Sushi Flower, Sorcery
K-Palette 24 h Eyeliner
Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara (not pictured)
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (not pictured)
Physician's Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush in Rose
Canmake Maxi Volume Rouge 02 Pink Berry

Primed eyelids with UDPP's Greed. This is a beautiful, glimmery gold. Naked was used in contour area of eyelids. Sushi Flower applied over entire eyelid from lashline to just above crease. Swish dotted in middle of eyelid. Smog was used in outer corners of eyelid and Sorcery was blended over it. Swish was applied to the tear duct area of eyelids and along lower lashline.  Lined upper lashline and outer 1/3 of lower lashline with K-Palette. Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara applied to upper lashes and Clinique  Bottom Lash Mascara to lower lashes.

For the face, I used Missha BB Boomer to prime, the two Maybelline Fit Me foundations and powder. Cheeks was Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush in Rose and lips were Canmake Maxi Volume Rouge in 02 Pink Berry. I wanted to use sweet pink colors for cheeks and lips.

It was a very pink look, perfect for Valentine's Day even if the only place that I went to was to work.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day.