Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maybelline Full 'N Soft Waterproof Mascara

Hello, When it comes to makeup, I go through a lot of mascara because I wear it religiously every single day.  I have tried a few mascaras from Maybelline such as the 'cult' Great Lash and Falsies.  I know a lot of people like Great Lash, but it did not work for me.  I recently gave Maybelline another go, this time with their Full 'N Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black.  I was blown away at how good this one is.

Here is what the brush looks like...

I got the waterproof formula; it also comes in a washable formula.  It lengthens and adds volume to the lashes.  There is no clumping and transfer.  And as the name implies, my lashes do look full and feel soft.  It is easy to find in most drugstores and it costs around $8.  It is amazing for a drugstore mascara and I highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

 Maybelline Beauty Looks of the Runway NYFW - BCBG Max Azria F/W 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Acure Facial Cleansing Creme and Radical Age Reversal Treatment

Hello,  I first heard about Acure from Hayley at The Flaxen Owl.  Acure is a family owned and operated company.  It offers an amazing wholesome line of personal products.  Some key points of Acure products:
  • 100% Natural
  • Fair trade certified organic ingredients
  • No petrochemicals
  • Sulfate free
  • Paraben free
  • Cruelty free
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • No mineral oil
Acure uses pure ingredients such as Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) and Curoxidant blend, you can read more about these fascinating ingredients here.

I have been using Acure Facial Cleansing Creme and Radical Age Reversal Treatment for several weeks and here are my thoughts:

Facial Cleansing Creme

Texture - Creamy
Scent - Fresh minty scent
Skin type - All.  Great for normal to dry and sensitive skin
Usage - Apply small amount in hand and massage onto wet face, then rinse off.  I would avoid the eye area because the product can sting the eyes.  I would use an eye makeup remover to cleanse the eye area before using this cleanser
Price - Retail for $14.99 for 4 oz.
Repurchase? - Yes.  I like cream cleansers in the winter.  This gentle cleanser does a good job cleansing makeup and dirt thoroughly.  It leaves my skin soft, hydrated, and smooth

Radical Age Reversal Treatment

It is an anti-aging cream for the nighttime, made with a cocktail of organic botanicals, essential amino acids, and vitamins.

Texture - Rich cream
Scent - Natural scent, very pleasant
Skin type - All.  Since the texture is very rich, it may not be suitable for those who have very oily skin 
Usage - Apply to clean skin at night
Price - Retail for around $30 for 1 oz.
Repurchase? - Yes.  Every time I use it, I feel good to know that the ingredients are good and safe for my skin.  My skin has never been better, it is more luminous and healthy looking
.  I do not have wrinkles yet, so I can't speak to how this works on wrinkles.  However, I do have fine lines forming on my forehead, laugh lines, and crow's feet.  I definitely think this treatment helps to soften the lines and prevent them from worsening to deeper lines.  It is my favorite night treatment as of late

The design on the packaging is pretty fabulous
Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Sunday, February 19, 2012

'Get Your Winter Glow On' Giveaway Winner

Hello, The lucky winner of the 'Get Your Winter Glow On' Giveaway is:

Congratulations!  You have been contacted via email, please check your email account.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway.  It was a lot of fun!  I plan on doing more giveaways when future milestones are reached.

Have a wonderful weekend!  Until next post......

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Guerlain Angelique Noire Eau de Parfum

Hello, Some of my all time favorite fragrances are from the House of Guerlain.  Guerlain has created many iconic fragrances in the past 170 years.  Angelique Noire is part of the collection of L'Art et la Matiere.  It is a high end collection of fragrances launched by Guerlain in 2005, Angelique Noire is the third fragrance in the series created by Daniela Roche-Andrier.

While shopping for a new fragrance at Neiman Marcus last year, I spent a good hour sniffing many of the scents on display.  I did not have any specific notes or scents in mind that day, so I was very open to trying everything.  With most scents, I did the smell test over and over again and passed.  But with Angelique Noire, it got me at first sniff!  At first spray on my skin, I detected green, floral, and vanilla.  The combination was unique and appealed to my senses and mood.  It starts out with a punch and rather strong at first, but it dries down nicely to a delicate creamy and powdery scent.  The glass bottle is sleek and has beautiful gold plating with engraving on one side.  It comes with a regular spray head, an atomizer head, and a cap for travelling.  It is available in one size, 75 ml or 2.5 fl oz..

According to the Neiman Marcus website, the notes include angelica, bergamot, vanilla, benzoin, pink pepper, coriander, patchouli, and white musk.

I only wear this fragrance on special occasions.  This is definitely an evening scent and perfect for a romantic night out.

Choosing the right fragrance is very personal, I am glad I found Angelique Noire.  What is your favorite fragrance?  

Until next post......

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Day Dreaming About Spring and Giveaway

Hello, The Bay Area weather has been temperamental with sun, rain, sun, and rain again.  In the midst of mother nature's fickleness, I managed to find many signs of Spring around me.  Well, at least I can make believe to myself that it is Spring, only if it would come sooner...

Lovely blooms in my garden

Zoya Avril

Animals are out and about

Until next post......

Only two more days left, come join my first giveaway here!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, CA

Hello, For our pre-Valentine's celebration this past weekend, my husband and I headed to Yountville to have lunch at Bouchon Bistro.  Yountville is located in the heart of Napa Valley.  Bouchon Bistro is owned and operated by the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group.  In Yountville, Thomas Keller owns the famed French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, and Ad Hoc.  Bouchon Bistro serves up an amazing French bistro menu.  The casual bistro atmosphere is well lit with natural light.  It is very cozy indoors with table seating very close to each other.  There is also outdoor seating with a limited number of tables on the Washington Street side. Bouchon Bistro also has two other locations in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills.

Unfortunately, Bouchon Bakery in Yountville is temporarily closed due to fire damage from last year, it is located next door to the restaurant.  So we did not get to try their famous macarons.   Our waiter informed us that the bakery is due to re-open in mid-March 2012.  I guess we will be making another trip there next month.  Due to the timing, we did not visit any wineries during this outing.  However, before heading home, we did make a quickie stop at the Napa Premium Outlets.  It is a relatively small outdoor outlet mall.  My favorite stores there include TSE, Barneys New York Outlet, and Cole Haan.  It was a great day spent in Napa Valley, good eats and shopping!  What more can a girl ask for?

Bone marrow

Beet salad

Boeuf Bourguignon

Lamb shank

Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Don't forget to join my first giveaway here!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

'Get Your Winter Glow On' Giveaway - Now Closed

Hello, I am so excited to hold my first giveaway marking the six-month anniversary of this blog.  There will be three products featured as prizes in the giveaway and one winner selected at random will take all.  These are wonderful products that will no doubt help you get your winter glow on!  And these are brands that I have tried and love, so I am spreading the love.  

Estée Lauder 'Pure Color' Illuminating Powder Gelee in 01 Topaz Chameleon

Via Google images
Acure Seriously Firming Facial Serum

Via Google images

Chanel Nail Colour in 539 June

Via Google images

Giveaway Rules:

1) Must be a follower through Google Friend Connect and a follower on Facebook or Twitter

2) Leave a comment below with your GFC name and how you get your winter glow on

3) +1 entry if you mention my giveaway on Facebook or Twitter 
    +2 entries if you mention my giveaway in your sidebar
    +3 entries if you write a post on my giveaway

4) Giveaway closes at 5pm (US Pacific time zone) on Friday, February 17

5) Open to international readers

Good luck!  Until next post......

Monday, February 6, 2012

Clean Fingers, Bright Toes

Hello, From time to time, I like to switch it up from the dark nail colors that I love so much.  Clean and bright is my favorite combination of nail colors of the moment, clean fingers with bright toes or vice versa.  An easy way to shake off the winter blues...

OPI At First Sight - Light pink creme with micro gold shimmers

YSL Manicure Couture Duo Vernis Couleur in No.8 - Creamy tangerine orange with micro shimmers.  This is part of a limited edition duo set available at Nordstrom

Via Google images
Thanks for reading.  Until next post......

Sunday, February 5, 2012

NARS 'Pure Radiant' Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 PA+++

Hello, Nars launched its first tinted moisturizer recently and I spotted it at my local Nordstrom at the end of January.  It is called NARS 'Pure Radiant' Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 PA+++.  There are 9 colors in the range and I was matched to Alaska, I believe it is the second lightest color.  For reference,  I have worn Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Fiji.  The coverage is sheer to light which is typical for most tinted moisturizers.  It has a natural finish and it evens out the skin nicely.

Here is the claim on the box.  I haven't tried this product long enough to see the improvements.  This sounds a bit like the functionalities of a BB cream, doesn't it?

Light 2 Alaska - light color with yellow undertone
Overall, my first impression of this product is good.  I love that it has at least SPF 30 PA+++ and it claims to have skin care benefits.  I did the ultimate test several times wearing it while I jogged and worked out at the gym.  It held its own through the sun and the sweat, not bad.  This will be great for the warmer weather and casual days.

Have you tried this?  Until next post......

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Best of January Roundup - Arcona, Smashbox, Desert Essence, and Juliette Has A Gun

Hello, I began experimenting with many new products in the first month of the new year.  Like many of you, I enjoy trying new products.  As much as I enjoy trying something new, there is always the inherent risk that certain new products will not meet my expectations.  I often research the products first by reading reviews on the web and sample my picks before committing to purchasing the full size product.  This process saves me a lot of headache, time, and money.

When I do find a winning product, I am ecstatic and feel like hitting the *Jackpot*! Ding, ding, ding...Here are some of those products:

Skin Care - Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel

I was getting really dry and chapped skin because it has been cold and bone dry in the area where I live.  I moisturize my skin religiously, but for some odd reasons the dry and flaky skin on my face still persists.  Then someone reminded me that in addition to using a moisturizer, maybe I should exfoliate my skin more often.  The dryness and flakiness could be the result of dead skin sitting on the outer layer of my skin.  I remember I stocked up on some exfoliators from the last time I had a professional facial, so I went to my bathroom cabinet to shop my stash.  And there it is in a clean white packaging, Arcona Raspberry Resurfacing Peel.  It looks like from the website that it comes in a tube now and I have the tub version of it because I had purchased it a while ago.

This product was recommended to me by the esthetician who gave me a facial at International Orange.  The Arcona products are sold in the retail store at the spa and on its website and also on Arcona's website.  The esthetician had used a similar enzyme peel on my skin during my facial and I remember loving my glowy skin after the facial.  When you use this product, it is like giving yourself a mini spa treatment at home.  It is supposed to exfoliate, hydrate, and oxygenate the skin.  I slather and leave the product on for 15 minutes (5 to 8 minutes recommended for very sensitive skin) and voila, I see clear pores and radiant skin in the mirror. And no more dry flakes!  There is a tingling sensation when the product is on the skin, but it is normal with most enzyme peel treatments.  The description of the product also claims that it will help reverse sun damage.  Though I haven't seen improvement in this area, but I am hopeful while continuing with the treatment up to twice a week.  It is suitable for sensitive skin.

Makeup - Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit

I have been interested in learning facial contouring and highlighting.  The Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit makes it easy for beginners like me.  This should be called Facial Contour Kit for Dummies because it is foolproof, you really can't mess it up following the picture guide that has been glued to the mirror in the compact.  The contour and bronze colors are matte and the highlight color has a soft sheen.  The overall effect is super natural on my skin tone.  The kit came with a free contour brush.  It is available at Nordstrom and other stores that carry Smashbox products.

Top: Highlight
Middle: Bronze
Bottom: Contour

Body Care - Desert Essence Organics Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream

Desert Essence Organics is one of my favorite natural/clean brands, so I had high expectations for the Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream.  It is packed with organic oils and extracts that are loaded with vitamins.  For those who are concerned with ingredients, the ingredients in this hand cream should be safe and good for your skin.  It softens the skin while it hydrates without being greasy.  It also brightens the dull look of my skin in the winter.  The scent is sweet, warm, and spicy.  To me, it smells more like cream soda rather than pumpkin spice.  Overall, this hand cream does not disappoint because it is effective, natural, and affordable.  It is available at most health food stores.

Fragrance - Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance

Lady Vengeance by Juliette Has A Gun is not a complicated perfume with a gazillion notes.  It is an eau du parfum comprised of three notes, Bulgarian rose, vanilla, and patchouli.  This is a perfect blend of some of my favorite notes in perfume.  I prefer perfumes that have substance and sophistication.  I am not one who is into overly sweet and fruity perfumes that are still very popular and common in the market.  

At first spray, this perfume packs a punch of all three notes especially the rose and patchouli.  The sweetness of the vanilla is subtle, but it lingers in the background.  It dries down to a soft rose that is very pleasing to my nose.  This is best for the cooler months.  The packaging and the bottle are lovely.  The bottle is so different from other perfume bottes I currently have.  I have the 1.7 oz bottle and it is available online at Lucky Scent.

Check out Katie Puckrik's review on this perfume in this video and in her blog.  She has the most colorful and dead on perfume reviews.

Have you tried any of these products?  Thanks for reading.  Until next post......