Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After-Christmas Haul: Lush, Bath & Body Works (and Georgetown Cupcakes)

Life is just better with cupcakes; especially limited edition holiday cupcakes!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas/ holiday weekend! I watched the Grinch, drank too much eggnog (which later led to a tumultuous tummy-ache), attended church mass (twice) and slept to my heart's content. I also took this week off work so I'm in super slacker mode right now.

However, I did manage to stop by the mall to do some sweet after-Christmas deal-snatching :)

First off, I ran over to the much-loved LUSH after-Christmas sale (which is now buy-one-get-one-free as opposed to buy-one-get-two like previous years). Instead this year a lot of their regular non-holiday soaps were included in the sale as well, so I picked up slices of Honey I Washed the Kids and Rock Star, along with three chunks (one chunk I got before the sale) of my holiday staple: Snowcake. If you haven't tried this ivory-white almond goodness already, I strongly urge that you do!
I also got two Snow Fairy gift sets, which has a Snow Fairy shower gel, Shimmy Shimmy glitter bar, and a star-shaped Angel's Delight soap inside. And picked up two Lil Lush Pud bath bombs as well.

At Bath & Body Works, I picked up 4 oz Slatkin & Co. candles in Twisted Peppermint, Snow Apple Mint, and Homemade Cookies. The three wick Winter and and Mint Chocolate I had actually gotten earlier in the month. I have been burning Winter all through Christmas and am loving it like cRazy! Makes the home feel so cozy~

So that's that!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and productive end of the year and an awesome New Year!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Now Available: Chanel Spring 2011 Collection

I'm still struggling with my Christmas shopping (I'm in trouble I know) and Chanel has already released their Spring 2011 Les Perles Collection! Not that I'm complaining of course. I am loving this collection's beautiful hues of peach, ivory pearl, and gunmetal teal-gray. 

I'm seeing some beautiful photos of this collection popping up here and there on beauty blogs and can't wait to stop by my Bloomingdales and check it out for myself :)

* Currently available on Chanel.com and select Nordstrom and Bloomingdales 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Little NYC Haul: Chanel Le Vernis in Particuliere & Riva

I was in Manhattan last week to accompany K on a business trip. And while he was lunching with men of his trade, I took a stroll down 5th Ave. I was happy to find that the Chanel boutique there had received a fresh batch of Riva and Particuliere.
So different, so equally beautiful!

A Drugstore Haul & NOTD

Last weekend I had a chance to stop by my favorite CVS location, the one in Harbor East, Baltimore! It may be silly to say I have memories about a drugstore but... I have memories about this drugstore. Harbor East was the first neighborhood K and I lived in as a married couple so we made many random (and often late night) runs to this 24-hour CVS for ice cream or advil or laundry detergent. Of course I would stop by after school and browse its abundant beauty aisle. This location always received THE quickest shipment of new limited item displays and helped me rediscover the potential of drugstore makeup.

Anyways, enough with the babble. Here's what I picked up!

1. Revlon Multi-Use Palette: Nine times out of ten I arrive at the office with a virtually naked face because apparently there are infinite ways of convincing your half-asleep self that a couple minutes extra snooze is worth looking like a zombie at work. This compact palette looked like a good thing to keep at the office as an emergency kit.

2. Revlon Nail Polish in Perplex: I didn't feel obligated to get Chanel's Paradoxal but that doesn't mean I'll skip on a dupe this good! (See Pink Sith's awesome comparison)

3. Milani Baked Eyeshadow in Intermix: I got this for its name; it reminded me of the Intermix in Georgetown, which I always find to be a stylish little thing.

4. Milani Nail Polish in Gold Glitz:
Glitter nail polish is often disappointing because what you see in the bottle is rarely what ends up on your nails. But this Milani One Coat Glitter polish is packed with gold glitter and looks incredible on the nails. I've never received so many compliments on my nails in my life- love it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Swatch: YSL Rouge Pur Couture SPF15

I had to rewrite this post because I was so sleepy yesterday night that when I woke up this morning and saw what I had initially written the night before, I thought "who the hell scribbled gibberish on my blog?!" and then of course, I remembered it was me. 
The enraged me and the sheepish me shared an awkward moment. 

Not unlike the awkward moment I shared with the girl working @ Sephora when she saw me taking pictures of my own arm swatched full of lipstick. 

For me, the colors were either too nude or too intense. But obviously that doesn't mean you won't find something right for you :) 
OCD moment: I want to wipe away all those fingerprints!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are You Winter-Ready? You'll be needing: Hand Cream, a Hydrating Creme for the Face, and Tea

Ella, the snow dog was found on Flickr. Photo by jpctalbot.

A number of my posts lately seemed to be about me getting into winter hibernation mode; candles and mittens and other goodies that seem all the more wonderful because it's cold outside- so I thought I might as well make it into a "thing." I love winter immensely- yes it gets unbearably cold sometimes but I love the crisp air, the snow, the family get-togethers, the lights, the trees, the coziness that wraps around you when you cuddle under a wooly blanket, the fireplaces and of course the occasional snow day that lets you take unexpected time off any official obligations you may have.

A friend got me the snowman from Pier 1 Imports
Albeit all these great things about it, winter is not a season to go into unprepared. So, here are some of the things that I feel grateful for having in my loot to prepare me for the cold weather.

1. Hand Cream: My current hand cream of choice is the MAC Naked Honey Hand & Body Cream. I find myself reaching for this a lot because it's creamy and moisturizing without being gooey/sticky (and I absolutely hate sticky hand lotions). Sometimes, when you wash your hands and apply a heavy hand cream, your hands end up feeling worse than before you washed them. Well, there's none of that here.
Plus, it smells like honey! It's not a sweet honey scent but I still like it because there's something authentic about it. Scent-wise it's similar to the L'Occitane Honey & Lemon Hand Cream, although there's something more clean about L'Occitane's scent. Both are great hand creams.

Some tips with hand cream: One: Do not apply hand cream right before you cook. It will affect any ingredients you touch and anyone eating can taste the lotion. yuck. Two: If you handle a lot of paperwork (I do), it's a good idea to not apply hand cream on the palm side of your hands- since the cream could transfer to the paper and leave a oily mark.

2. A Hydrating Creme for the Face: Next up, one definitely needs a good hydrating creme for the winter. It's easy to brush off this step of your skincare as insignificant especially if you're already using a moisturizer, but your skin will drink up the extra hydration and reward you with glowing winter skin provided you find the right creme for you. For me, that's the Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Sorbet Creme. I'll be realistic, it's not a miracle worker, this alone will not give you porcelain skin overnight but it boosts the effects of my regular skincare routine and relieves my cheek area of its, what seems like perpetual thirst for hydration.

I bought it as a set with the eye cream and serum.
Blue boxes always have the best goodies inside don't they?

3. Tea: Finally, I love drinking hot tea in the winter. I like tea in general but in warmer weather it's just so much easier to order a cool frappuccino as opposed to a steaming cup of tea. At home, I enjoy teas from Tazo (Passion is my favorite), Republic of Tea and Two Leaves and a Bud. Every once in a while I may get fancy with my tea ritual but I've been preoccupied with work lately so I can appreciate the convenience of these sachets.

I like the fact that these are visible loose leaves (and not powder) and that they come in a non-paper sachet. I've heard that the chemicals that end up on those paper tea bags can kill a small animal.

It's so important to hydrate yourself during the wintertime, not only by applying moisturizers on your skin but also by drinking lots of water! But drinking cup after cup of water can get a bit tedious and boring, so tea really helps make it a bit more fun (and more healthy while you're at it.)

I get these at Whole Foods. I'm unsure of where else they're available.

So that was my little Are You Winter Ready post :) Hope you got some inspiration as to what you'll prepare for the season. Stay healthy and hydrated!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Love: Mint Chocolate Candle (Bath & Body Works)

Not all Mondays were created equal... no, that Monday after a nice long holiday weekend just stands out by a mile doesn't it? I think I spent most of my time at the office today in a hazy daze daydreaming about boots. (yes, boots: riding boots, ankle boots, tan, black, shiny, not so shiny, flat ones, high-heeled ones... ... but no uggs God, no uggs.)

Meanwhile, let me share with you a current favorite of mine: the mint chocolate candle from Bath & Body Works. The mint makes it refreshing; the chocolate makes it sweet. Think Andes in candle form. It's so wonderful that a part of me wants to force everyone to get it and a part of me wants to make it just mine. Is there a candle you couldn't live without?

* I recently stumbled upon another mint chocolate candle at Yankee Candle but this one definitely takes the cake.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review & Swatch: Sephora Color Diary

Normally, I'm a minimal-eyeshadow type of gal. But the Sephora Color Diary, a practical little sampler of thirty eyeshadows, five blushes and corresponding liglosses inspired me to try something new!

The palette comes divided into five sub-palettes; each can be popped out using the hole in the back and snapped into the to-go compact. The process is very simple, it really isn't a big deal. The mother palette can get a bit clunky even when it's just used on your vanity so this compact is super-nifty/ necessary.

It also comes with a plastic cover to prevent powder migration.

Now, what the name lacks in its entirety ("Color Diary" lacks luster, no?) it makes up for with the cute themes of its sub-parts- each an event that the eyeshadows are allegedly supposed to accompany, like...

"Hot Date at Eight"

"Relax and Unplug"
(This neutral palette is a little sheer.)

"Must Get New Shoes"

"Meditation Retreat"
(The combination of orange & green! Genius)

"Day at the Museum" 
(I love that bold red and sparkly yellow.)
Here's a swatch of Must Get New Shoes. I wouldn't say the pigmentation is the best ever (and there's a little fallout) but for its affordability ($25) I think the palette is beyond awesome. The shadows are pigmented enough, the fallout is minimal and I love the combinations and the colors. I've been complimented twice already for these shadows :) And I love all the blushes; they're packed with color. As for the lipgloss I've only tried the pink one in Must Get New Shoes and it was very sheer- which is fine as I like sheer lipgloss but if you don't, you may find the gloss lacking.

I guess the question boils down to this: Would I purchase again if I went back in time? To which I would answer, a resounding Yes!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bath & Body Works Liplicious Cupcakes in Lemon Glaze

I've never tried Bath & Body Works lipgloss before but I couldn't pass up on something cupcake-themed so I recently picked up this Liplicious Cupcakes lipgloss in Lemon Glaze. I love lemon-flavored baked goods and this smells like someone's baking lemon glaze cupcakes in the oven. Well- maybe not that good- but it still smells pretty yummy :) It's also flavored- just a sweet, kind of generic- taste but I find myself licking my lips more than I usually would.

Except for a slight golden sheen, the gloss translates to pretty much a clear gloss on the lips. The glitter varies in size so some pieces are bigger than others. That means that the glitter isn't exactly subtle but because the material? of the glitter is thin and semi-transparent it isn't exactly obnoxious either. Also, note: random glitter migration may occur.

The texture is somewhat watery and slick, allowing for a non-sticky application. This however, also means that the lasting power on these aren't that hot. Or maybe that's just because I keep licking it off?

It's a nice throw-in-your-bag-and-go type gloss, or just something to have around the house for when your lips feel bare. Maybe not a necessity but definitely something that can add a bit of sweetness to your everyday routine!

The adorable cupcake illustrations on the tubes were illustrated by Karen Greenberg. There are ten flavors here but I believe the collection comes in five flavors.

Apparently there will be a similar release in spring of 2011 by Bath & Body Works featuring cakes and pastries. I am loving the sound of that! (Illustrations also by Karen Greenberg)

Illustrations from: http://www.theispot.com/whatsnew/ispotters/kgreenberg

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Haul: Anthropologie

While I've never been particularly drawn to Anthropologie's selection of clothing, I find their accessories absolutely endearing. I picked up a pair of their gloves and gray ribbon earrings last weekend.

There are lots of ribbon earrings out there, but there was something especially well-made about these. I also liked the fact that they were double ribbons and in the sophisticated gray I so love.

New: Chanel Cote d'Azur/ St. Tropez Collection

I was a bit confused (in a good way) when I got this in my inbox today. Wasn't there a Cote d'Azur collection released last year sans the Rouge Cocos? And aren't those shades (Chintz, Tafettas Rose, Perle) already available? Then again, I'm pretty sure I haven't seen that beautiful pale blue vernis (Riva) before.

I'm thinking that these were the shades that were used on the Chanel runway and thus they're grouped together like this as a 'new' collection. Whatever the case may be, I am loving the coral Rouge Coco (Sari Dore) and the Riva vernis!

Review: Biore Triple Action Astringent

So I was strolling down the magical aisles of Target the other day with the purpose of picking up some Biore nose strips (and checking out the Sonia Kashuk holiday stuff- which by the way I couldn't find), when this little light green concoction caught my eye.

I took it home with me, washed my face, dabbed a little of it on a cotton pad, swirled it around my t-zone and voila,

my life took a turn for the better.

See, I was at a point where I felt like I just couldn't win the battle against my badass blackheads (and whiteheads argh!) anymore. Even though I was fully armed with a boatload of facial scrubs, peels, pore strips and of course my Clarisonic, I was seriously getting beat up and down the block. And while I wish I could say that I coaxed and persuaded my pores to behave with love and understanding, in the end a badass foe calls for a badass ally.

Also known as salicylic acid.

I'm not a big fan of harsh chemicals (I can't use benzoyl peroxide at all- another infamous acne treatment ingredient) and I've never been very acne-prone so I never had to use any but what I love about the Biore Triple Action Astringent is that even though it has salicylic acid in it, it's not as drying or harsh as some other products I've tried. It also has a cooling sensation without any stinging usually a signature of most products with anti-acne ingredients. Most importantly, I've noticed a major difference in my nose area as to the amount of blackheads and the size of my pores. It's still a work in progress but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I would not however, recommend this to someone without blackheads or acne as I don't see the point, nor would I recommend to anyone with dry skin as it will probably dry out your skin even more. I have combination skin (t-zone is oily/ cheeks are dry) so I avoid applying this on the dry areas of face (but I kinda end up applying it anyway because I like the squeaky clean feeling..)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

kate spade Lincoln Road Neda

Let me start with this. I haven't bought a wallet in four years. Four years!! Can you believe it? I can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. But I have to say my small black leather Prada served me well over the years, and I just never felt like I needed another wallet.

But lately I got to thinking- it was about time for me to pick up one of kate spade's cute continental wallets. And so after some eye-shopping and changing my mind for the millionth time as to what grabbed my fancy I finally finally decided on the mouse-colored patent calfskin Lincoln Road Neda.

Perfect for the winter ahead of us, and classy too (sometimes kate spade can get a little bit too cutesy).

It's uber-spacious inside and has so many little compartments and pockets, I can't help but fall in love. I'm not super excited about the polka dots but I'll get over it. I love the light-colored leather and how I can fit in my DiorKiss lipgloss in there (it was the "flattest" lipgloss I could find in my lipgloss drawer) and how I can also fit in my Clean&Clear oil blotting sheets- that's basically everything I need!

I am loving it. One downside is that I'm kinda scared that the pretty glossy finish may have a chance meeting in ma bag with ma keys and get scratched or something (it's kind of happened already) but hopefully I can keep them apart and all will be well with the world again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New: Sonia Kashuk 2010 Holiday Collection

Have you stopped by Target lately? I've been meaning to check out the Sonia Kashuk 2010 Holiday Collection (especially the brush sets) but haven't gotten to it quite yet- hope they're not all sold out already!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lush Gingerbread House Bubble Bar

I couldn't wait to plunk this in my bath and now that I have, I have to say I lurve the new Gingerbread House Bubble Bar! Lush should bring this back every holiday season from now on! Obvious cuteness aside, the scent is just so perfect for the Christmas season; it reminds me of warm fireplaces and presents. Does that even make sense? It also reminds me of last year's Christmas Kisses (remember that red bubble bar in the shape of a Hershey Kisses and also had the cinnamon stick?). It has the same spicy-ness and a bit of a pop to the scent. Kind of like coke. As in Coca Cola. Not the other stuff..

I sliced my Gingerbread House into four pieces but I think I was pushing it a little bit because it's honestly not that big of a bubble bar. You'd probably be able to get a more luscious (and long lasting) bubble bath crumbling at least one half of the bar into your bathwater.

Although.. the bubble bath resulting from one fourth piece isn't too shabby either.

Ahhh... look at those floofy bubbles...so inviting, so comforting...
makes me wanna take another bath

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Haul-oween: L'Occitane, Lush Treats

I hope everyone's having a wonderful weekend! I'm laying low and getting as much rest as I can as I'm anticipating a busy work week this week.

Although... that didn't stop me from doing a little bit of shopping :) First, I picked up the Ultra Rich Eye Balm ($32) from L'Occitane. I think I've used this before but I can't remember whether I liked it or not...
I'm kind of hoping that this will protect my eye area well through the upcoming winter!

I also had a pretty little postcard that got me a 4 pc gift set including L'Occitane's shampoo, milk soap (I love their Almond Apple soap but I haven't tried this one), Almond shower oil, and Whitening Cleanser.

Next up, I picked up three holiday Lush goodies and one non-holiday Lush soap. Now we all know no holiday is complete without holiday Lush stuff to plunk in our bath but this year, some of the stuff are even more cuter than ever. Take the Gingerbread House Bubble Bar for example! It looks good enough to eat, has sprinkles on its roof and a cinnamon stick for a chimney!! Need I say more?

Then the Lush girl that helped me told me that she likes mixing the Twilight Bath Bomb and a bit of the Christmas Eve Bubble Bar for bubbles and an unbelievable mix of soothing scents. I thought why not- let me in on that too.

Last, I picked up a slice of the ever-reliable (in that it can always get you in a good mood!) Honey I Washed the Kids Soap. Looks like my November morning showers will be sweet and caramel-y :)