Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Wishes and Early Birthday Celebration Adventure

October 26 is a special day as several beautiful women were born on this day. I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to @Mona26 (Make Me Blushhh), @vanityfashionis (Vanity-Fashionista) and @Belle_Kels (I only know of her from Twitter). These women are wonderful and sweet women and I'm proud to be able to be a birthday partner with them. Happy Birthday to you all and I hope that this day is a very special one for you, filled with love, laughter and happiness--not just on this day but every day. I wish you many more Happy Birthdays to come.

This past Saturday, Mai and I spent the afternoon and evening out as she wanted to celebrate my birthday. It was a few days early but doing it on this actual day would have been difficult and she's tied up this upcoming weekend. As part of my present, she scheduled a manicure/pedicure session at Trina Beauty. I have had manicures done before as I used to use acrylic nails but I've never had a pedicure done. This place was so busy! I was amazed at how many people were there, not just customers but workers too. There must have been at least 10 chairs for pedicures. I didn't think that I would enjoy getting a pedicure but I really did. They clean up your foot and do a massage all the way up to your calves. My feet and toes have never been happier! My finger nails got done in the same color and I got a design put on my ring fingers.

Remember the post when we did our Thrift Store Shopping Challenge? I mentioned that Mai and I bought additional items that were not part of the challenge. Here is one of the t-tops that she purchased:

Here is the CK jeans and t-top that I purchased:

We then went to my house to get ready to go out for dinner. We wore the dresses that we purchased when we did the shopping challenge. It was for this purpose that we did the challenge.

Mai's dress:

My dress:

I added the cardigan shrug from my own closet.

We went to Champa Thai to eat thai food. It's our favorite place! We had mee krob, spring rolls, panang chicken curry and beef ginger thai.

It was the first time that we tried the beef ginger thai. It was delicious but too similar to panang curry. We normally order chicken satay but wanted to try something different.

For my EOTD, I went with colors similar to that in my dress.

Products used:

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden
Urban Decayeyeshadow Junkshow (from 15th Anniversary Palette)
MAC Violet pigment (that I pressed), Sorcery and Print
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner
Canmake Agebuto Mascara

It actually came out a little bolder than it shows up in the picture.

I had a great early birthday celebration with Mai. Thank you, my dear friend, for always being there for me and for all of the times that we share, both the good and the bad.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Las Vegas Trip Highlights and Hauls

I normally don't like to do just a haul post unless I can tie it in with a regular post. Although I really enjoy reading peoples blogs when they blog about their various hauls, somehow when I try to do just a haul blog post, I feel like I'm bragging, which is not my intent.

Las Vegas is a city where Hawaii people love to go. We have great charters which include airfare, transfers to and from the airport, hotel accomodations and meal tickets, all for a very reasonable price. You're even allowed to have 2 pieces of luggage!

We arrived on Tuesday evening so there wasn't much to do except go to dinner and spend time playing in the casino. The next day was when we went out shopping. We hit the Premium Outlet Mall, which is relatively close to the California Hotel and Casino, which is where we were staying. I normally go crazy there buying all kinds of things but didn't really have anything that I needed to buy. There was a new store there, Bare Escentuals Outlet Store so I went in there and bought several brushes. I really like their brushes although they are higher priced. I was able to get all three brushes (one is missing) for only $9.50 each! That's just about the regular price of one brush. I bought two of the Heavenly Face brush, which is the flat topped brush and one of the rose-colored handle brush. (Sorry, I don't remember the name of it now.) I would have bought more but felt a bit rushed. I also didn't think that I would end up giving one of the flat-topped brushes to my mom but it was worth it because she was so happy with it.

I also purchased a hydrating face mist from L'Occitane. I was disappointed that there was nothing that interested me in CCO. I also understand that H&M will be opening up in that outlet mall soon so I'm looking forward to the next time I travel to Vegas.

We also headed over to Trader Joes, thanks to my mom's friend who was driving. I love Trader Joes, which is basically a health-conscious grocery store. My favorite item from there is the Unsalted, Dry-Toasted, Slivered Almonds. I can't get something like that here that I know of. I bought 5 bags of them and will store some in the freezer. We use them on top of vegetable salads and I also eat it just out of the bag. Also purchased were bags of pistachio nuts, honey-roasted peanuts, mini peanut butter cups, chocolate lacey cookies, butter waffle cookies and Belgian butter almond thins. There were actually more items of each but they are not pictured because they were already eaten. Also not pictured is a bag of sweet 'n salty trail mix. That was also eaten. A couple of the the boxes of the butter almond thins will be given away but the rest is for my family to enjoy. If I could have, I would have brought back a whole lot more. I also think that these are reasonably priced as all of this was only around $55.00.

Sorry, Hime chan wouldn't move away from the goodies.

Wednesday was basically the only day that we went out. The rest of the days we spent eating in the various restaurants in the two hotels, California and Maine Street since they are connected and playing in the casino. Although I wished that I could have gone out more, it was great being able to spend time with my mom.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Packing for Travels

I'm back from my trip to Las Vegas! I had a lot of fun albeit a little bit poorer.

One thing about traveling is having to pack, which I really do not like to do. I'm always afraid that I'll forget something. I do have a list but still worry about missing something. Cosmeddicted just recently did a really awesome post on how to prepare for packing your skin care and cosmetics here. It is really quite concise. I wish that she had posted it before I had to pack for my trip.

I know that I've done a similar post before but thought that I'd do another one, with some added information that I learned by going on this recent trip. Hopefully it'll serve as a memory jogger for my next trip.

I normally start weeks and weeks ahead, just throwing things into my suitcase as I think of them. My suitcase ends up looking like this:

A few days before my trip, I then go through everything and check off items on my list, weed things out, add things in, etc. I like to use packing envelopes to make my suitcase all nice and neat, especially since TSA opens up suitcases now. It would be quite embarrassing to have a messily packed suitcase with your undies falling out. Here everything is packed into the packing envelopes:

I'm always afraid that the airlines will lose my suitcase so I pack and carry what I consider to be essentials in my carry on bag. This will usually include extra underwear, my Clarisonic brush, skin care items, cosmetics and cosmetic brushes. (I do have spare skin care items and non-essential items packed in my suitcase.)  In anticipation of this trip, I purchased a Freestyle Magnetic Palette, which I did write a post about, and put my point cosmetics into it. I had my eyeshadows, bronzer and blush in it and at the last minute, added Maquillage Face Creator pan into it, as I decided that I wanted to use the highlighting powders. Fortunately, the pan and and compact is sold separately so I was easily able to insert the pan into the magentic palette. I didn't stick a magnetic strip onto the pan but it fit nicely and it was stable enough inside the magnetic palette.

Since this was only a 5 day trip, I didn't insert a lot of different eyeshadow colors in the palette, just stayed with my basic colors. Perhaps next time, even if it is a short trip, I'll add a little bit more color. As you can see, there is space for a couple more eyeshadow pans.

I also purchased another brushroll from Teizaku, handmade by the lovely Yumeko. The last time that I traveled, I used the first brushroll that I purchased from her and really liked it. My only problem was that when I returned home, the residue makeup transferred onto the fabric of the inside of the brushroll. Naturally, it was easy to clean by just throwing it into the washing machine but I wanted to try to keep my brushrolls (yes, I took both of them) cleaner than last time. I also wanted to try to keep the brush bristles from getting messed up and had read from someone's blog (can't remember whose now) where they had bought these brush guards/sleeves. This was a last minute thought so I didn't have time to search for where I had read about these gadgets plus I didn't have time to order it and have it get here on time, so I improvised. I first got some netting and sewed a couple of sleeves and it worked out great. One thing is that I can make different widths to accomodate different brush sizes. It's not pretty, but it worked.

However, I didn't have enough time to be sewing all of the different sizes that I wanted. I liked how it compacted the bristles and yet it was able to breathe but I wasn't sure if it would still prevent the fabric from getting dirtied by the residual makeup. I then thought about another item to use. It would be quick and I could either reuse it or dispose of it plus pack more of it to take with me. In Hawaii, you can find either pre-packaged or buy it by-the-yard plastic tubing. This platic tubing is actually used here to make candy lei. It does come in several different widths and I don't think that it costs over $1.00 a yard. I only had one width available at home, which was actually wider than I wanted so it didn't really squish the brush head as I would have wanted.

You can either just slide it on or slide it on and tape the bottom for a more customized fit. The bristles will not be able to breathe as easily as when using the netting but it can still air out. With my narrower-handled brushes, I put several of them together inside one tubing. It really helped to keep the brushes from getting bent out of shape and also kept my brushroll from getting dirtied.

I did do some shopping but the only things that I bought that were beauty related were a couple of brushes from the Bare Escentuals Outlet and a hydrating mist from L'Occitane Outlet. I ended up giving one of the brushes to my mom, whom I was traveling with since she was quite intrigued by the fact that I used a brush to stipple on my foundation. She has a large birthmark on her face so she uses Dermablend Cover Cream and has always applied it with her fingers. Since it's a heavy cream, it was a bit difficult using the brush to apply the Dermablend easily so I told her to apply the Dermablend as usual but to finish it off by stippling with the brush. She was amazed by how nice the finish was and is so happy that I shared this technique with her.

I did do my major hauling at Trader Joe's. I brought back a ton of nuts, snacks and candy for the family and as gifts.

A note to myself is to remember to use bottled water to rinse off my face before I try to apply the Mezaik Double Eyelid Stretch Fiber. I was having such a difficult time getting it to apply properly and I believe that it is because the water has some emolient properties in it. I'm not sure if it's that way throughout Las Vegas or if it is within the hotel system. Even when washing my hands, I thought that it felt a bit oily.

I hope to get back to regular blogging soon.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Acne Problems?

I thought that I'd do this post for those who have constant acne problems and don't know what to do. Of course, it's ALWAYS best to consult a physician first.

When my sons hit puberty, they naturally started having problems with acne. The oldest and youngest have had it the worst. The middle son had beautiful skin throughout and perhaps part of the reason for that is because he insisted that he wanted to go to the dermatologist when his first pimple appeared because he didn't want to get like his older brother. They were each prescribed the same thing, Benzac AC Wash 5% and Clindamycin Phosphate Gel USP, 1%. Both are pretty strong products and they helped to clear my sons' skin without having to do any further treatment processes.

I'm going to concentrate on the Benzac AC Wash. This is the same thing but it is the generic version of it.

It has peroxide in it so one needs to be careful when using the product as it has some bleaching properties to it. It is advised to keep out of the sun as much as possible and to use sunscreen. When my sons were using this, I had to switch them to using white towels because any type of colored towel would get bleach stains (white spots) on it. White towels + boys who actively participate in outdoor sports = easily dirty towels! It has even acted as a whitening agent on their skin. Perhaps I should try using it!

My youngest son had been using these two products for 4 years and his skin had cleared up. The dermatologist determined that it wasn't necessary for him to be seen any more and to just finish up all of his prescription refills. When there were no more refills left, he went back to using a regular OTC facial cleanser but started to break out a bit again so we switched to an acne facial cleanser. His acne just started getting worse and worse so he ended up going back to the dermatologist whereby he was again prescribed the same two products.

The other day he went to refill his Benzoyl Peroxide face wash and was told that it is now sold over the counter! This is the news that I wanted to share with those who are plagued with acne problems. According to the pharmacist, it is the OTC replacement for the prescription version. It does contain 1% less Benzoyl Peroxide though. I do not know if this will make a difference so I may have to do a follow up to this post after my son starts using it.

Again, please remember that it's best to see a physician first. If you do not go to a physician first and decide to try this out, please remember that it is very important to use a sunscreen and to keep out of the sun as much as possible.

*Kat* (this is a scheduled post)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mai & Kat's Shopping Challenge

Last month when were we out at Mai's birthday dinner, I gave her an envelope with a challenge. Inside the envelope was $20.00 plus a $3.00 off coupon. The challenge: Buy an outfit for our next celebration dinner, which would probably be for my birthday. The rule was we could only spend a total of $20.00 ($23.00 and using the $3.00 off coupon would still be $20.00). It had to be something nice, no jeans and a complete outfit. So if you were buying a top, you needed to buy a skirt or pants. The other rule was it had to be thrift store shopping and the $3.00 off coupon was from Savers.

Admittedly, I haven't done thrift store shopping in ages! The last time that I went, it was to Goodwill and it just felt so skanky! I've heard some positive things about Savers and there are two that I know of on this island. Yesterday, Mai and I decided to take on the challenge. Surprisingly, this was quite a pleasant experience. Savers is quite large, clean, well lit and quite organized. Perhaps it wasn't the best time to go shopping there as it was quite crowded, many with people trying to figure out what to do for halloween costumes. The dressing rooms were also very crowded and it was at least a 15 minute wait to get into the dressing room. There is a sign saying "6 item limit" but that was quite laughable since there was no one monitoring it and people were going in with shopping carts full of clothing.

I was surprised by the amount of clothing that I found that I really liked and could possibly fit me. Mai actually found a lot more things than I did to try on. Happily I can announce that we both found an outfit to wear plus more! We both bought 2 dresses each that we could wear out to dinner but we both know which one we will wear. The challege ended up being a tie because the price of the dresses that we each bought, ended up being the same!

Before I show you what was purchased for the dinner, I'll show you what else I ended up buying. Mai did buy a couple of t-tops and I can't remember if there was something else too. She didn't send me the picture for the additional items she purchased. I ended up also buying a pair of CK jeans, a denim skirt, a white t-top and a Chadwick dress. 

The Chadwick ended up being the most expensive at $14.99. The CK jeans were $7.99, the denim skirt was $5.99 and the t-top was $7.99. The t-top and jeans are for me to wear for work.

Mai's two dresses purchased with the challenge money:

The two dresses were $9.99 and $7.99. She will be wearing the blue floral print dress for our dinner out. I also really loved that basic black dress because of the cutout design at the bottom. There's no way that we could sew that dress and do the cutout work. She will probably add a shrug or jacket to the outfits.

Kat's two dresses purchased with the challenge money:

These dresses were $9.99 and $7.99 too. I will be wearing the red dress to dinner. This dress is a Cinnamon Girl dress, a Hawaii company. Their dresses retail on the average $80.00 - $90.00 so it was really exciting to be able to get this for only $9.99! The black dress is a bit more form fitting on me that I normally prefer but for $7.99 I couldn't pass it up. The reason being that the black fabric is an overlay over a cream fabric and I loved that the cream fabric also had floral print on it.

It gives depth to the whole look of the design of the dress.

I do not like to wear sleeveless clothing so I will be layering over these outfits a shrug. I have many shrugs in different styles and colors. I really love them. Here's the red dress with a 3/4 sleeve shrug:

If I can find a shorter shrug with a short sleeve in my stash, I will probably use it that way but it looks nice with the shrug in the picture.

We had so much fun and success shopping at Savers that we plan on doing it again. Funnily, we both forgot our $3.00 off coupon so we'll be able to use it next time. We met our challenge of buying an outfit to go out with for $20.00 or less.  With tax, we each paid $18.83. When we go out for our dinner in a few weeks, I'll be sure to take a picture of us wearing our outfits.


MAI here...Just to add on to Kat's blog....It was super a FUN Day! I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of merchandise that we found at SAVERS.  I actually purchased another black dress, and two addtional t-shirts.  If I knew how to post my pictures I would be able to show you all the rest of my purchases.  I spent less than $40 total for the entire lot.
WE spent a good couple of hours browsing thru all the merchandise.  There was a lady in front of us in line at the dressing room, (just by herself now) her shopping cart was stuffed full of clothes, maybe 50 pieces!  Totally insane!
When we get together for Kat's birthday we will definitly model our new attire. I challenge all of you bloggers out there to something like this. Save money, benefits a good cause (big brothers and big sisters of hawaii)  and get some great "new" threads!
Ok....Mai....over and out.  (as she fades into the background once more...)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chanel Ombres Perlees Eyeshadow Palette

This eyeshadow palette by Chanel was a limited edition from the Spring 2011 collection. I missed on getting the palette initially but then Vicky from Vanity-Fashionista found it available again from Vicky and I happily worked out a trade (both for Chanel items) and I received the palette a few weeks ago.

I have a really sad tale to tell with horrifying pictures. I took the palette home and had it on the dresser along with a couple of other cosmetic items. I was getting ready to take pictures of the palette when the unthinkable happened. My cat was up on the window ledge above the dresser when she lost her footing. To try to regain her balance, she stepped on the lampshade of a big lamp thinking that it was sturdy enough. Unfortunately it wasn't and the whole thing came crashing down with her on top. The lamp fell on top of all of the cosmetic items that were on the dresser. Sadly, the Chanel palette got crushed along with my Canmake Blush container and another drugstore eyeshadow palette. The lamp also shattered.

Here is the end result of Ombres Perlees de Chanel and Canmake Blush:

As you can see, even the mirror of the palette cracked. The cover of the blush container is also cracked. Fortunately, it is a loose powder blush so it didn't make any difference to the contents. Surprisingly, the eyeshadows didn't crumble into a powdery mess. It's cracked but is staying intact so it's quite usable as it is, despite it's ugly appearance.

I've been using the palette and love all of the colors in it. I finally was able to take pictures for an EOTD.

Products Used:

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
Ombres Perlees de Chanel Palette, all 5 colors
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner

For my EOTD, I basically used the colors working my way from left to right. The cream color is applied over entire eyelid. The pink color is applied to outer brow bone area. The middle shade is applied from lash line to crease line and blended upward. The 4th color is applied to middle 1/3 of the eyelid from lashline to crease line and blended upward. The last color is applied to outer corner of eyelid as well as outer "V" and blended inward. I also used the pink color on the lower lashline and the 5th color on the outer 1/4 of lower lashlline. Lined my upper lashline and outer 1/4 of lower lashline with K-Palette.

I really love the colors of this palette. The shadows themselves are really smooth and glide on nicely. Although they look quite dark in the palette, they apply as a more muted shade, which is really nice for Spring, which is the season it was released for. I personally usually go for a darker eye look but a more muted look is nice for a change.

My friends who follow me on Twitter know that there was a bit of an emergency a week or so ago. As a result, I've had to give up my room where I normally take my blog pictures and do other things. This is the reason there hasn't been consistent blog posts from me. You may have also noticed that in my previous post, the picture style has gone back to before I started using my DIY light box. Hopefully I can get my room back from my son soon.

Also, next week I will not be online because I'll be off in Sin City! Yes, I'm going to Las Vegas and will only have my iPhone with me. I may have a scheduled post or two but not too sure.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Using My Stash

It's been a couple of months since my last Using My Stash post (done on July 25) and I've gathered enough empties to be able to do a post. While it may seem like I used up a lot of items, many of them were sample sizes and mini/travel sizes. I will notate when it was a full-sized item.

First up is hair care.

All of these were travel-sized tubes. There were all various lines from Alterna brand. I'm glad that I bought travel-sized items because they were just okay, not "wow" for me. The only one that I really liked enough to buy a full-sized bottle was the Bamboo line. Mainly I really liked the scent of it and it worked well on my hair. I've recently cut my hair off significantly to get rid of the damaged ends that were plaguing me so I don't think that I need the highly moisturizing shampoo and conditioners any more. I'll go back to using my Lux shampoo (Japanese line).

Next up is cleansers.

The two Philosophy bottles were minis. I don't really care for Philosophy shower gels so I definitely will not be purchasing any. The Lush bottle is regular-sized, I think (it was gifted to me by the lovely Brianna). It was called "It's Raining Men" which is the shower gel version of "Honey I Washed the Kids". I really liked it a lot. It's an LE item which comes and goes so hopefully I can catch it if they do bring it back in. Tony Moly Tokyo Cherry Blossom Foam Cleanser is full sized. I believe it's supposed to be a facial cleanser but I ended up using it as a shower gel. I didn't care for it much as a facial cleanser and it was so-so as a shower gel.

Next is skin care. There were quite a bit of little bitty bottles so I ended up having to take two pictures.

In this first picture I used up a sample bottle of The Face Shop "the smim" toner, sample bottle of Nature Republic "Omega Wrinkle Filler" softener and two sample bottles from Etude House Collagen Moistfull line, facial freshner and essence. All of these were brought back from Korea for me although the Moistfull ones that I used might have been gifted to me by someone. There were okay but don't think that I would purchase it on my own. From FANCL I used up travel-sized bottles of Lotion and Milky Lotion. I liked these and would purchase it if the opportunity comes up. Travel-sized bottle of Shiseido "The Skincare" hydro-balancing softener lotion. I've used full-sized bottles of this before.  Full-sized jar of Noevir Protecting Skin Cream is a standard in my morning skincare routine. Full-sized bottle of Cle de Peau Face Serum. It was okay but not something that wowed me. Full-sized tube of Noevir Raysela Sunscreen for face. This too is a standard of my morning skincare routine. I already have several backups of it but will be using a sunscreen from ZA, which was gifted to me. ZA hasn't been available in Hawaii for a long time now but I used to use it a long time ago and really liked it.

Continuing on with this second picture is full-sized Lancaster 365 Cellular Elixir, which is basically a serum. I liked it but there are other serums that cost less that I like too. Full-sized Yuuka Face Soap from Japan. This is a facial soap that is made from chemical-free green tea. It comes with a foaming net which creates a fine foam, which is supposed to be effective in cleansing your skin and ridding it of the fine dirt hidden in lines and pores. From what I understand, it is not an inexpensive soap and has been highly rated in the past. This was given to me by my daughter-in-law a year or so ago and it's taken me this long to use it. It's okay but I'm not overly impressed by it. From the picture, you can see that I have another unused soap, which was given to me this summer by her mother.

Lastly is makeup.

This is a MAC pan that had Motif in it. I can't take full credit for having used it up completely. I actually was carrying my 4-pan MAC palette (like the one pictured) in my purse. Motif looked somewhat like the pan with Print, which is next to the empty Motif pan. There was actually less product of Motif in the pan than Print. When I pulled it out of my purse the next day, Motif was all broken up and unusable. I will be saving the empty pan so that I can use it to press a pigment color.

That's it for these last two months. I still have a decent amount of samples of skincare items as well as some full-sized bottles that will need to be used. I think that I will need to purchase a toner soon, which will most likely be from Noevir.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review Follow Up: MAC Matchmaster Foundation

About a week and a half ago, I went to MAC to test out their new Matchmaster Foundation, which I did a quick test review here.  I'd like to do a follow up to that quick test review.

I ended up really liking the foundation so I went ahead and purchased it in shade 3. While when I first apply it the shade seems like a great match, it does oxidize a bit over time and gets to be darker than I'd like. I did go back and try shade 2 but it was definitely too light. Depending on the popularity of this new foundation, MAC may make a 2.5 shade, which might work out better for me.

The way that I counter the darkness is to use a powder slightly lighter and/or with a luminous finish. I also make sure to highlight the area around my eyes (high cheekbones, nose bridge, above eyebrows and around the sides, between end of eyebrows and hairline).

The nice thing about this foundation is that it has a pump dispenser, unlike most of the other MAC Foundations where you have to actually purchase a pump dispenser separately. It is also a twist-lock type of cap, which is also very nice.

I mentioned in my quick test review that I thought that the coverage was a bit light although it's stated by MAC that it's a buildable medium coverage. I've since changed my original opinion of it. It definitely does give a good medium coverage. The MUA used the MAC 187 brush to apply the foundation in store. That brush is a very soft bristled brush so it would give a light coverage. I use my flat top Sonia Kashuk multi-purpose brush and since the brush is much denser than MAC 187, I do get a nice coverage, which I like.

MAC also says that the finish of this foundation is demi-matte and I generally do not like matte finishes because it usually means that the formulation isn't moisturizing, although matte finishes do tend to have longer wear time. In order to add more hydration to my skin while using this foundation, I added Sana  Uruoi Taishi Facial Mist to my skin before I apply the foundation and then again after I've put on all of my makeup.

Sorry, Blogger automatically rotated the picture.

I will also usually mist again mid afternoon. This has helped to keep me hydrated and no settling into and bringing out fine lines. This foundation is also very long wearing on me. Here's a picture in which I did absolutely no touching up except to mist with Sana:

The picture was taken at 11:45 p.m., approximately 17 hours after I initially applied the foundation. (You can see what the foundation looked like when it was first applied in the Quick Test Review post.) There is some fading, especially around my nostril area. That's because I kept sneezing during the day and had to blow my nose a few times.

I think that this foundation is excellent for humid weather conditions and will be a great summer foundation for me. It's been really hot and humid here recently so it was perfect to test drive the wearability of it.