Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let's Zumba!

Hello, Dance aerobics has been popular for a while now and I have taken some different classes on and off in the past.  I only discovered Zumba last year and I absolutely love IT!  Like many of you, I get bored of the same routine at the gym.  Zumba offers a fun way to exercise and it is a total body workout.  I mean I sweat a lot in class, so it is a good sign!  What I love most about Zumba are:
  • The music that ranges from hip hop to latin to dance, so much fun to dance to!
  • Learning real dance moves that get incorporated into a full body workout
  • The more I do it, the more energy I get!
  • Fun for men and women of all ages.  I see many older ladies dancing their heart out to hip hop or whatever else in class, good for them!
My class is often like a scene from Flash Mob, a huge dance party with so much energy!  Until next post......

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tsi~La Organics Mini Eau De Parfum Collection

Hello, I first read about Tsi~La Organics from the Spirit Beauty Lounge's website.  Tsi~La Organics was founded by two women, Natalie Szapowalo and model Annie Morton. The company offers a 100% natural and organic line of perfume oils.  According to the website, Tsi~La Organics products do not contain alcohol, preservatives, artificial fragrances, or colorings.  This collection uses a moisturizing base of select coconut oil infused with botanical extracts of pink orchid flowers.

The collection contains four beautiful 4 ml roller ball bottles.  They come packaged in a nice black cardboard box with a green sticker stripe wrapped around it.  The four scents are:  FLEUR SAUVAGE, KESU, ILANG ILANG, and KIZES.  According to the Tsi~La 's website, the benefits of the scents are:  PASSION, CALM, LOVE, and JOY. 

Product information card

You can read more about the notes of the four scents on both websites and in the product information card above.  I personally love all four scents.  The scents are not overpowering, so they are wearable in all seasons.  My favorites are FLEUR SAUVAGE and ILANG ILANG, I alternate wearing all the different scents depending on my moods.  I will also try layering the scents too, I think it is a fun way to create your own personalized scent.  These scents last longer on the skin  as compared to regular perfumes because they are made from oils.  I always carry one bottle in my makeup bag because the bottles are small and portable.  I highly recommend Tsi~La if you are looking for safe and natural alternatives to the traditional perfumes.  This set would make a great gift too, you can even break up the set and gift the individual bottles.  The set is $95 available on Spirit Beauty Lounge and Tsi~La's websites.

Back of packaging

Do you use natural perfumes?  What is your experience?  Until next post......

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Review - Smooth Eye Colour Duo and Classic Cream Lipstick

Hello, Today I want to share with you my thoughts on Dolce & Gabbana Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Cinnamon 80 and Classic Cream Lipstick in Cashmere 60.  I have already raved about the new Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation SPF 15 in Natural Glow 100 here.  All of the D&G makeup products come in the signature gold packaging, the look exudes sophistication and luxury!

Without further ado, let's get on with more information on the products and what I think about them.

Product Breakdown

Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Cinnamon 80 - New for Fall

Color - This is a new eye color duo with a pale pink and champagne shimmer eyeshadow . The shimmers are fine, not too much.  The colors are light, but they are pigmented.  Great for daytime.  The colors can be used alone or together all over, either way will create a very fresh and natural eye look.  The champagne color can be used as an eye base or a brow bone highlighter.  Also, I think both colors would make great highlighters for other parts of the face

Texture - Silky and very easy to blend 
Lasting Power - For me, it lasted from 8am to 5pm with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin.  I did not notice any creasing during this time frame, this is very good in my book considering my lids do get oily.  Though it did crease as the night went on
Price - $36
Repurchase?- Yes because this duo is quite versatile, they can be used as eye colors or highlighters.  If you like Chanel and Dior eye shadows, I think the D&G ones are comparable in quality

Classic Cream Lipstick in Cashmere 60

Color - This is not a new color.  It is a medium nude brown.  The color looks very natural on my lips, not too dark at all.  I originally wanted the Shine Lipstick in Almond, but it was sold out at Saks.  Almond is a lighter nude in the shine formula.  I liked how it looked when I tried it on, I will check back on it

Texture - Very creamy.  It feels almost like a lip balm and very comfortable on.  I tried wearing it on its own without a lip balm underneath, and it did not dry out my lips.  It is actually quite moisturizing
Lasting Power - It is not long lasting because of its creamy consistency.  This one is not for you if you are looking for a long lasting lipstick
Price - $30
Repurchase?- Maybe.  The formula is moisturizing and there is a nice color range to choose from.  The only thing I do not like is the heavy perfume taste in the lipstick

I picked up both products from Saks Fifth Avenue...

I received an email yesterday about the beauty event coming up at Saks, here is the copy and paste about the event from the email I received from the Saks D&G SA:

If you haven't experience Beauty Week before, here is a little preview:

For the first 2 days, with every $250-3,000 purchase, you will receive a Saks gift card ranging from $25-450! This applies to the entire store, not just the cosmetics department! This is the ideal day to replenish, try a new item, or purchase that handbag you have been eyeing for months as you get some spending $ right back!

Beauty Week will last from Friday, September 30, through Saturday, October 8th and EVERY cosmetics vendor will have a fantastic gift with purchase! The Saks gift will be a metallic tote filled with beauty samples and irresistible offers with you initial $100 purchase. To break it down further, if you spend $150 at Dolce & Gabbana The Make Up and your purchase includes a foundation, you will receive our DG gift (makeup bag, full size foundation brush, Rose lotion), plus the Saks gift bag and if you need items from another vendor, say Chanel, you will receive the DG gift, Saks gift AND the Chanel gift. This week is the week to replenish your most loved items, try new ones and think about all the people you want to give the gift of beauty for during the holiday season!

Happy Shopping!  Until next post......

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Hello, This is the last weekend of summer and the weather here could not be better.  Here is a recap of some of the things ( and animals too) that I enjoyed this summer:

The resident pooch, a Sheltie.  He is the sweetest dog.  He loves lying around to catch the summer rays whenever he could.

My indoor and outdoor plants

Full Moon on the day of Mid Autumn Festival on the lunar calendar

Homemade Barbecue Duck

U2 360 Tour Concert


Until next post......

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Sightings of Fall 2011 Makeup Displays

Hello, These are some recent iPhone pictures of new makeup displays around town:

Aveda  - Jewels of the Earth is a limited edition collection.  The lipsticks look dark, but they are actually sheer and very nice.  The purple, burgundy, and teal (top three from left) eye shadows are lovely.

Bare Escentuals - Buxom Party Central Lip glosses in champagne, red, nude, and pink

Body Shop - Love the eye shadows used on the model's brown eyes.  Nice dramatic look.

Loreal -  Project Runway Colors Take Flight.  I am a big fan of the Project Runaway show!
Have you tried any of these new makeup?  Until next post......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Review - Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation SPF 15

Hello, I had the chance to try the D&G makeup this week, so far so good!  My initial thoughts are the products are amazing and luxurious!  From the packaging to the actual product, I am impressed that this company offers such good quality cosmetic products. 

Due to my busy schedule this week, I will do a separate post for the Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Cinnamon 80 and the Classic Cream Lipstick in Cashmere 60.  Up first is the Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation SPF 15, I have been wearing it everyday since Tuesday:

Product Breakdown

Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation SPF 15 - New for Fall

Color - the MUA matched me in  in Natural Glow 100.  It is a light yellow based shade which is perfect for my skin tone.  The color is very close to MAC Studio Sculpt foundation in NC25 with MAC having a tad more yellow under tone, see comparison below.  This foundation did not oxidize on me, the color stayed the same on my face throughout the entire day.  This is amazing considering most foundations oxidize on me quite badly.  There are 15 colors in the D&G cream foundation range.  The color swatches on the Saks Fifth Avenue's website are not accurate, they need to do a better job with those swatches.  Since the product is so new, I have not found any good photos of swatches on this foundation on the web yet.  It is best to get matched in person if possible before purchasing

Left - MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC25
Right - D&G Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation in Natural Glow 100

Texture - Even though it is a cream foundation, it is super light on the skin.  My skin looked so smooth when I first applied it to my face in the morning. It will even out bumpiness, discoloration, and blur fine lines on the skin.  I also love that it did not accentuate the dry patches I have, unlike other cream foundations I have tried before.  I looked like I had a good night sleep.  There was no stickiness feel to the skin and my skin felt soft to the touch

Coverage - Medium to Full. A little product goes a long way.  You can look overly made up if you apply too much product
Finish - Semi matte at first, but it gets dewy after a few hours
Scent - Fragrance free
Skin type - Normal to Dry.  I did not get any skin irritation from this foundation
Price - High.  $66 for 1 fl. oz.
Lasting Power - I got shiny by noon, but this is almost expected with any foundation on me.  I even walked outside for an hour in the warm weather during lunch time one day, the product held up and did not completely slip off my face.  It lasted 6-7 hours with primer and powder for me.  I put it on before 8 am and I can still detect traces of makeup on my face at 3pm with no touch ups
Repurchase? - Yes.  I currently own another cream foundation, Cle de Peau Beaute Silky Cream Foundation in BF10.  I bought it about one year ago.  To my surprise, I like the D&G cream foundation better because the color match is better, the lasting power is more superior, and it costs less than CDP.  The only negative comment I have on D&G is the heavy glass jar.  It is not portable and there is obviously no pump.  I use the spatula that came with the product or a Q-tip to scoop out the product

Thanks for reading.  Do you have a favorite cream foundation?  If you haven't found a good one, give D&G a try.

Until next post......

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick - My Natural Blemish Buster!

Hello, Whenever I feel a pimple coming on, I reach for Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick to keep it at bay.  This product is cheap and natural.  Also, this brand is widely available at many health food stores and markets.  I found it at a local Whole Foods Market.

Product breakdown

Ingredients listing from the website - (Natural Grain) Alcohol Denat., Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Cedrus Deodara Wood Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil (Palmarosa), Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Oil, Laurus Nobilis Oil, Lavandula Spica (Lavender) Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Melaleuca Viridiflora Leaf Oil (Tea Tree), Myrtus Communis Oil (Myrtle)

It is completely natural for those who are concerned.  There are no parabens, dyes, petroleum compounds, and animal testing.  See the complete list on the website.

Texture - Non-oily liquid in a roller ball tube
Scent - Natural tea tree and herbal scent.  Can bother some noses because it is quite a strong scent.
Skin type - All
Usage - It should be applied to clean skin.  I do not like to apply the product with the roller ball directly onto the skin.  After I wash my hands, I roll some product onto the back of my hand.  Then I use my clean finger and dab some to the affected areas.  It can be used on pimples, insect bites, and other skin irritations up to six times a day.  If you use the product at the first sign of a pimple and apply it multiple times a day, it will help dry up the spot within 24 hours.  I have used it underneath makeup and it is not a problem.  It dries quickly and does not leave any residue, so it can be used during the day and night.  I have also used it on my SO (significant other) and he enjoys using it as much as I do. 
Price - $8.99 for .31 fl oz..  It is on sale now for $7.19 on the website, the price can't be beat!
Repurchase? - Yes

Until next post......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Sneak Peek

Hello, I went to Saks Fifth Avenue over the weekend to check out the latest Dolce & Gabbana Fall Makeup Collection.  My main goal was to try their new foundation because I was looking for a cream foundation for the cooler weather.  Since I had not been to the D&G counter in a while, the MUA walked me through and gave me a high level look at what the D&G line currently has to offer.  I was in love with the array of beautiful shades especially in the eye shadows and lipsticks.  The new Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipsticks are sleek and nice.  He matched me for the foundation and proceeded to apply a full face of makeup on me.  He applied and introduced me to the Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Contrasts (2 neutrals and 2 browns), Crayon Intense Eyeliner in Blue, the Luminous Cheek Colour (I did not get the name, it was a rosy shade), Perfect Finish Powder Foundation, Secret Eyes Lengthening Mascara, and I chose the new Shine Lipstick in Almond to try.

I really like the foundation match and how comfortable it feels on the skin, so I was sold on it.  I ended up walking away with more than I need as always.  I will do a proper review on these items once I get the chance to try everything at home:
  • Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation in Natural Glow 100 - light neutral tone
  • Smooth Eye Colour Duo in Cinnamon 80 - pale pink and champagne
  • Classic Cream Lipstick in Cashmere 60 - medium nude.  They were out of Almond, so I chose Cashmere which is similar, but slightly deeper in tone

Via Google images
The Saks Fifth Avenue website and the D&G website have not been updated with the new Fall products yet, but you can search the web and you will find images and description of the mentioned products.  The Beauty Look Book has great photos of some of the products I mentioned, check it out...Until next post......

9/14/11 Edit:  The new products mentioned are now available on the Saks Fifth Avenue website!

Friday, September 9, 2011

FNO Goodies

Hello, Fashion Night Out had some great events last night.  I managed to make my rounds after work and take in the local scene.  I stopped at Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Sephora, and a couple of drugstores.  After making my rounds, I wanted to catch the underground train to head home for dinner.  I knew there was a planned protest by the infamous "Anonymous" group at the station where I wanted to catch the train, so I was somewhat prepared.  The station was shut down until 8:30pm, later than I had expected.  I was tired and frustrated!  All the recent protests by this group have been very disruptive to the commuters.  Although the protests have been peaceful, I wish they would stop and let people get on with their normal transportation routines.

Anyway, I got the NM tote and samples galore.  Here are five main items I picked up from the different stores:
  • Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF50 PA +++
  • Chantecaille Just Skin Anti-Smog Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 in Glow
  • Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer in Kohl
  • Lancome HYPNÔSE Doll Lashes Mascara in Black
  • Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller in Sheer Tone

 I can't wait to try everything!  Have a great weekend!  Until next post......

9/13/11 Edit - I was disappointed with the color match of Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer after trying both Glow and Bliss, neither worked as I was in between the two colors.  However, I did like the formula because it gave me a dewy look.  I exchanged it for Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe in Shade 02.  I have tried this product before and I am happy to have re-purchased it. It comes in three shades now instead of two shades in the past.  Shade 02 is a good match for me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cheap Beauty Treatment - Sleep

Hello, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise", this is the proverb my lovely Mom has drilled into my head since I was a small child.  As I grew older, I threw this practice out the door, completely ignored it, and developed some horrible sleeping patterns.  The worse part was at times it turned into INSOMNIA.  I despise this word with a passion!  I confess I need at least 8 hours of beauty sleep in order to function and look human the next day, and it is not always easy to do as I got older.  Here are some culprits that disrupt my night:
  • Caffeine late in the day - it does not impact me every time, but it is best for me to avoid drinking my favorite cup of joe or milk tea late in the day.
  • Light and noise - my significant other is a late owl and likes to catch the late night news or a movie after 11pm.  Unfortunately, the bedroom is right next to the living room and I am very sensitive to the light and noise.  I have to keep the bedroom's door completely closed off to block the light and the TV noise level. 
  • Too much stimulation - I like to watch TV, surf the internet, and blog before bed.  I find that  it is best for me to take a long break after I do all of the above before bed.  Otherwise, my brain stays overly stimulated and active and I can't fall asleep.
  • Eating too late and too much - this stimulates the digestive system and causes the body to stay awake because it stays hard at work.
  • Sleep pattern - we all have an internal clock.  If  I go past my normal bed time one night, my body clock will be off and follow the next night.  So establishing a normal sleep pattern is very important to me.
  • Stress- Last, but not least.  I accumulate stress from work during the day and it used to cause me to think and analyze too much while I was trying to sleep.  I have learned to detach myself from work by not checking work emails and not discuss work at home if possible.
Via Google images
As you know, lack of quality sleep can cause a host of mental and physical problems.  It can also affect our appearance.  In this CNN Health article, a team of Swedish researchers studied the correlation between sleep and beauty.  As quoted by the lead author of the study, "Sleep is a cheap and effective 'beauty treatment'".  It is interesting and so true, now go get a good night sleep! 

Until next post......

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Volumizing Mascara - a Hit and a Miss

Hello,  I picked up the FAIRYDROPS Scandal Queen Mascara after its launch at Sephora about one month ago and I have been wearing it since then.  According to the Sephora's website, it is a volumizing, water and sweat resistant mascara.  It came with a brush so unique,  it is patented in Japan. 

I am always in search for a good volumizing mascara because I have long but skimpy lashes.  I need a gentle formula because I have a lash fall out problem.  I have been really enjoying this mascara, I love how it makes me look like I have faux lashes when I wear it!

Cute design on the tube

It is a twisted brush with tight bristles

Product Breakdown

Color - It only comes in black, an intense black
Formula - It is not only volumizing, but it also lengthens with the help of the tiny fibers.  It is water resistant, so you will need an eye makeup remover that can remove waterproof makeup.  The mascara stays put through my 8 hour work day.  The only negative is its staying power is so good, I have to be careful not to rub too hard to keep my lashes intact when removing the mascara at night.  The formula is made without sulfate, synthetic fragrances and dyes, phthalates, GMOs, and triclosan.  I like that it contains panthenol which can help strengthen my lashes, I need it!
Price - High $24
Repurchase ? - Yes.  I alternate between drug store and high end mascaras, this one will be on my re-purchase list

Now to the miss, I went to Target during the long weekend and purchased the Lavera Intense Volumizing Mascara in black on sale for $15.29.  Lavera is an organic brand from Germany.  I first heard about Lavera from a Youtube video with Lisa Eldridge.  I really wanted to like this mascara because it contains natural ingredients, but it was not volumizing enough for me.  I did not bother taking any photos of it since it was a miss for me.  For reference, I tend to like the heavy spidery lash look because my lashes are so thin and sparse.  For those who like natural looking lashes, this one might be for you. It will give you a light coat of tint on the lashes, good for casual looks.  Even though this mascara did not work for me, I do not mind to try out their other products because I really like the company's principles and ingredient commitment.

What is your favorite volumizing mascara?  Until next post......

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Best of August Roundup - Makeup, Body Care, and Fragrance

Hello, Continuing with August Roundup, here are my favorite products for makeup, body care, and fragrance:


Burberry Light Glow Blush in Tangerine No. 06 was my go to blush in August, see previous review .  In fact, it was in my purse everyday for most of this summer.  The color is perfect for the office and it was great for me to have it for touch up after work if I was going out.  There is nothing bad I can say about this blush except the price is on the high end.  But you pay for what you get.  The entire Burberry makeup line is classy, no fuss, and good quality products.  It stays true to the branding of the company.

Body Care

McEvoy Ranch 80 Acres Verde Olive Oil Body Balm was one of my favorites last month, see previous review.  This body balm leaves a nice sheen on the skin and provides adequate hydration.  You can wear it in the summer as well as into the fall and winter. 


I picked up the MAC Turquatic fragrance after the re-launch on August 11.  As I mentioned in a previous post, it was the only MAC fragrance I have owned and enjoyed in the past.  The ad campaign displayed beautiful images inspired by the sea and the new decorative bottle is more interesting looking than the old.  It is a crisp, casual, and warm fragrance.  Great for the daytime and not offensive to most noses.  The lasting power is not the best.  It lasted two to maybe three hours on my skin, by then the scent turned faint.

According to the MAC website, Turquatic is a sensual sea spray with notes of Anemone, Lotus, Orris, and Corsican Blue Cedar.  I purchased the 0.68 fl oz. or 20 ml size for $27.50 at Macy's.  It also comes in a 6 ml  rollerball and a 50 ml size bottle.

Until next post......

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Best of August Roundup - Skin Care

Hello, I finally got around to start a monthly favorites post.  I hope it is not too late, so here I am starting with the Best of August Roundup.  I will mention one item from each of the categories of skin care, makeup, body care, and fragrance.  These are products that I reach to the most everyday in the past month and there are good reasons why I think highly of each one of them.

Skin care

I have been using Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial throughout the past four months or so.  I admit that I was intrigued by the product's name that it claims to be an "Overnight Facial".  It sounds like every busy woman's dream, right?  My curiosity led me to Space NK in Bloomingdale's, I wanted to feel and smell  the product before buying it.  When I first pumped the product out from the tester, I was completely taken by surprise that this product was an oil  because I was expecting it to be a cream mask for some reason.  l have an obsession for facial oils anyway, so I was sold!  Overall, I like the product, my skin does look clear and hydrated in the morning after using it at night.  It does not clog the pores in my skin.  It is a night treatment, however, I do not see why you can't use it during the day if you have very dry skin and when you need that extra quench of moisture.

Product breakdown

Ingredients - Some of the ingredients include Vitamin A, C, E, peptides, and blend of Abyssinian Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Melon Oil, and other essential oils.  See back label of all the ingredients in the picture above.  It is mostly natural and paraben free
Texture - Oil.  It has a consistency of a cross between an oil and serum, not too thick or too runny.  I did not get a chance to take pictures of the actual product before I used it to the last drop this past week
Scent - Floral from Jasmine and Rose.  It may be strong to those who are sensitive or allergic to fragrances
Skin type - Normal to Dry
Price - $89 for 0.5 fl oz. 
Repurchase? - Maybe.  Although I like the product, the price is stopping me from buying this too frequently.  I would like to find a cheaper version and good quality facial oil.  Can anyone give me some recommendations?

August Roundup on makeup, body care, and fragrance will be posted shortly, please stay tune.  Until next post......