Sunday, January 29, 2012

the Girl + the Fig Restaurant

Hello, I ventured to Sonoma, CA for my birthday last year and had lunch at a new favorite restaurant of mine, the Girl and the Fig.  The menu is country food with a French passion.  I had the prix fixe menu with wine pairing while my husband ordered a hamburger with matchstick fries.  We also tried the chocolate dipped fig kisses for desserts.  I like figs on its own and they are even more wonderful when dipped with chocolate!  I especially liked the ice wine I had with the desserts, I found it delicious and refreshing.  Their menu changes weekly, so check their website before you go there.  The prices are reasonable and portions are generous.  We had outdoor seating in the back patio which was nice on the day we went there because it was a really warm day.  The restaurant is located in the quaint downtown of Sonoma.  Overall, it was a perfect day for us, we finished the day by walking about in the downtown area and did some wine tasting in Sonoma.

Thanks for reading.  Cheers and until next post......

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

11 Random Things About Me Tag

Hello, I was tagged by Hayley at The Flaxen Owl do this tag.  Through this post, I wanted to be more open and to share some facts about myself.  I often find this type of posts written by other bloggers quite interesting.  Let's get started:

1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about ‘you are tagged if you are reading this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 people!

11 Random Things About Me:

1)  I am a city person.  I love everything about living in a city, the conveniences, restaurants, and shopping.  I thrive on the energy surrounding me.
2)  Although I am not the tidiest person myself, I do not like to be see messes in my own home. I feel extremely uncomfortable when I am visiting someone's home that is messy.
3)  I am always on the go and find it hard to relax.  I have been told that I need to learn to relax.
4)  I can't function and be productive if I get less than eight hours of beauty sleep.   
5)  I enjoy and appreciate nature. I love watching the different kinds of birds that come to my backyard every day.  I can watch them for hours.
6)  My favorite food in the world is Chinese food.  I enjoy cooking it and eating it.
7)  My favorite color was red, but it is blue now. Go figure! 
8)  I can be stubborn.  Once my mind is made up, it is hard to sway me.
9)  I am obsessed with my new iPad that I got from my company for Christmas.  I love all Apple products in general.
10) I have a dog that dreams a lot.  He is entertaining to watch when he tries to run lying down in his sleep.
11)  I have the most wonderful husband in the world.  Kudos to him for being so supportive and putting up with me.

11 Questions I Had To Answer:

1. What is your dream job?  I enjoy writing and I am a beauty product junkie, so I would love to work as a beauty editor some day or own my own dog kennel/grooming/pet supplies business
2. One of your favourite things from your childhood? Growing up with my Grandparents in the household
3. Where would you love to travel?  Australia
4. Who is your favourite character from a TV show/Movie. Why? I really liked Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman when I was a child.  I guess I was intrigued by such strong women and their special powers
5. What prompted you to start a blog? I am a compulsive beauty product junkie since I was a teen.  I have tried an excessive amount of products in my lifetime so far.  As a real consumer, I wanted to share my experiences with other consumers.  I find it helpful when there is an exchange of information between consumers
6. What is one thing you always have to have with you?  My cell phone
7. Are  you more of an indoor or outdoor type? Definitely outdoor
8. What is one bad habit you have?  I like to make little piles of papers and magazines at home
9. One person you would love to meet and why? This can be anyone in the world, past or present.  I would love to meet Obama because I think he would be interesting to talk to
10. Do you have a guilty pleasure? If so, what? Reality TV.  I know they are scripted, but I still watch them
11. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?  Dolphin

11 Questions For The People I Tag:

1. What is your favorite cocktail drink?
2. What would you do if you win the jackpot for the lottery?
3. What is your favorite city to live in?  Why?
4. At what age did you start wearing makeup?
5. What are your favorite beauty or fashion blogs?
6. What is your favorite cuisine?
7. In your opinion, what is the best feature on your face or body?
8. What do you think about organic products?  What are your favorite brands?
9. What are your biggest pet peeves?  
10.What is your favorite movie of all time?
11. How much time do you spend on the internet each day?

11 People I Tag In Random Order Are:

1. Fleur de Cendre
2. Emily's Anthology
3. Daly Beauty
4. !!CosmoCalista!!
5. Fruity Lashes
6. Popblush Beauty
7. The Former Girl At Bar
8. Pose Posh Post
9. A Sidewalk Cafe
10.rolala loves
11.Shop N' Chomp

Thanks, Hayley, for tagging me!  It was fun and I hope it was interesting. 

Thanks for reading!  Happy New Year of the Dragon!  Until next post......

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dior Garden Party Scented Nail Polish in Waterlily and Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Glow in Pretty Rose

Hello, Let's look at two new items from the Dior Garden Party Spring 2012 Collection - Scented Nail Polish in Waterlily and Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Glow in 452 Pretty Rose.  First, the nail polish shown above is a vibrant creamy mint green with micro shimmers.  I normally do not go for nail colors that are too trendy, but I really like this unique shade of green.  It is a deeper green compared to most other mint green colors that I am used to seeing out there.   This color is very fresh and youthful . The other part that intrigues me about this polish is once the polish dries, the polish scent changes into a rose scent.  The rose scent lasts for a couple of days.

Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Glow in 452 Pretty Rose is a "your lips but better" lip gloss color.  It is a light salmon pink color.  It is super shiny and not sticky.  It is pretty and natural worn alone or it can be layered over lipstick for extra shine. For those who like the plump and pouty lip look, this lip gloss will help you achieve it.

These items are my picks from the collection. You can check out the collection in its entirety available at Nordstrom.  Until next post......

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

gud Natural Body Lotion in Vanilla Flame from Burt's Bees

Hello, This is a quickie post about a new drugstore find.  Have you seen the new gud hair and body products at your drugstores lately?  It turns out gud is a brand from Burt's Bees.  I have been trying the gud Natural Body Lotion in Vanilla Flame.  If you love vanilla scent, this is for you.  It is a sweet, fresh, and warm vanilla and rice milk scent.  The ingredients do not contain vanilla or rice milk, I assume the scent comes from fragrance which is listed as the third ingredient.  The scent lasts a long time on me and I think it is a wonderful hydrator for the cooler weather.  The consistency of the lotion is not too thick, it is easy to spread and absorbs quickly on the skin.  It comes in other scents such as Orange Petalooza and Floral Cherrynova as shown on the website. However, I have only spotted Vanilla Flame and Orange Petalooza at the Walgreens stores so far.  It is a great value too, I got it on sale for under $7.

I would love to know if anyone has tried the body wash, shampoo, or conditioner?  What do you think about this new line from Burt's Bees?

Until next post......

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tom Ford Beauty - Foundation Stick, Translucent Finishing Powder, Cheek Color, and Brow Sculptor

Hello, Tom Ford Beauty was probably the hottest release of any new brands in cosmetics in 2011. Tom Ford Beauty is a high end line of cosmetics and skincare that exudes the image of luxury and glamour.  I was very curious about the line after reading about it on different blogs and websites while anticipating its launch.  After the launch, it did not take long before I got reeled in to Neiman Marcus and it did not take much before I picked out the products I wanted when I saw the entire display at the counter.  I realized the prices of the products are certainly not cheap, but the quality did come through for me.  The products that I picked up and currently loving are:

Traceless Foundation Stick in Natural 05

Coverage - Medium to high and very buildable
Color - I wear 05 Natural which has yellow undertone.  I also tried 04 Bisque, it has pink undertone and actually darker than 05 Natural
Finish - Polished and dewy.  It gives the skin a nice glow without being greasy.  It is never masky looking even after I built up or touched up with more product
Scent - Light scent
Skin type - Normal to Dry
Price - $78 for 0.5oz.
Lasting Power - It is very long lasting even without finishing powder.  I prefer to wear this foundation by itself because I like glowy and dewier looks in the cooler months
Repurchase? Yes.  I compared it other foundation sticks that I currently own or have owned such as Bobbi Brown, Becca, and Shu Uemura and I really think this is the best one.  It works the best for me because it is very hydrating for dry skin and I love the coverage and finish.  It is easy to carry and great for touch up and concealing

Top:  Traceless Foundation Stick in 05 Natural may look darker on my arm, but it is the perfect match when it is  blended out on my face
Bottom:  Cheek Color in 01 Love Lust light swatch

Cheek Color in 01 Love Lust

Color - Pink coral, probably one of the more natural and more wearable colors in the selection of cheek colors.  It is very pigmented
Texture - The powder is creamy which is great for those with drier cheeks
Finish - Has shimmers, but not overdone.  In my opinion, it is suitable for daytime if you use a light hand with it
Skin type - All
Price - $55
Repurchase? - Maybe. Although I like the creamy texture and pigmentation, I find that there is a lack of color choices for me.  The other colors are too vibrant or too dark for my skin tone.  They would be great for those who have darker skin tones or those who are not afraid to experiment with strong colors

I compared Love Lust to Nars Deep Throat.  Both blushes are similar in color, but the texture of Love Lust is creamier.  It also has more shimmers than Deep Throat, I am not sure if you could pick that up in the photo here:

Top:  Tom Ford Beauty Love Lust
Bottom:  Nars Deep Throat

Translucent Finishing Powder in 02 Ivory Fawn

Color - Even though it is called a translucent finishing powder, it does have a hint of color.  It is a neutral color good for light to light-medium skin tone
Texture - Fine and smooth powder, not chalky
Finish - Natural finish that controls shine on the T Zone.  I can't use it all over because I have dry skin
Skin type - All.  It would be ok for oily skin too because it does help control shine, but without being too mattifying
Price - $75
Repurchase? No.  I like that it came with a mini brush and not a face puff.  But for finishing powder, I think I can find cheaper alternatives that can do the job just as well

Brow Sculptor in 02 Taupe

Color - Grayish brown.  Very natural looking for darker brows
Formula - Goes on easily and long lasting
Price - $42
Repurchase ? - Maybe.  I like the flat shaped tip that makes it easy to fill in the brow following the shape of the brow

Brown and gold signature packaging

Overall,  despite of the price point, I feel very positive about my purchases.  If you are looking for good quality makeup and do not mind spending more, then give Tom Ford Beauty a try.  You will not be disappointed.  

Have you tried any of these products or other products from Tom Ford Beauty?  Until next post......

1/24/12 Edit:  I got re-matched on the Foundation Stick in 03 Fawn.  05 Natural is too orange and 04 Bisque is too pink and both colors are too dark for my skin.  03 Fawn is more neutral in tone and lighter than both 04 Bisque and 05 Natural.  I am happy that the Tom Ford Product Specialist at Neiman Marcus was able to help me find the right color.  I also picked up their Traceless Foundation in 03 Fawn, it is very glowy and beautiful on the skin!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Random Sightings of Spring 2012 Makeup Displays

Hello, Here we are still in winter, but the Spring 2012 Makeup Collections have already made their way to the stores.  Whether it is soft pastel, neon, or earthy tones, the scene got me very excited about the arrival of Spring in the not too distant future.  I already picked up some goodies from Burberry, Dior, Estee Lauder, Loreal, and Rimmel London to name a few (the Rimmel collections are new in the US, but they were released in Europe in 2011).  I will review many of these products in due course.  In the meantime, here are some iPhone snap shots of a few of my favorite collections for Spring 2012.

Have you checked out any of the Spring 2012 Collections yet?  Until next post......

Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick Collection
Rimmel London Glam' Eyes HD Shadows
Estee Lauder Topaz New Pure Color Spring 2012
Burberry Spring/Summer 2012
Guerlain "The Pinks and the Blacks" Collection Spring 2012
MAC Naturally
Dior "Garden Party" Spring Collection

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Bar Method, Balletone, Ballet

Hello, Do you want a dancer's body?  I do!  For the new year, I am looking into new exercise classes such as The Bar Method or Balletone.  I got some information from my co-worker who started taking The Bar Method classes.  It is a blend of fat burning, strength training, and dance conditioning exercises.  They work a lot with the bar like the Ballet dancers would when they train.  She has only been to two classes and she felt the burn in the muscles all over.  I have some ballet background, so Balletone also appeals to me.  The training techniques are drawn from a mix of Ballet, Pilates, and fitness.  I think both The Bar Method and Balletone would be good moderate exercise classes that are fun and effective.  We could all use some moderate impact exercises once in a while, to tone it down a notch from all the high impact exercises that we do.  What type of exercises do you enjoy doing to keep fit?

I found a YouTube documentary trailer on one of my Classical Ballet teachers, Kathy Mata.  She is a wonderful experienced teacher.  I learned so much from her classes.  I may even go back to take her classes if my schedule works out.  We are never too old to learn Ballet!  Check out this clip and until next post......

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Best of 2011 Roundup - Lips

Hello,  This is the last Best of 2011 Roundup post.  These are four of my favorite lipsticks in 2011:

From left to right:

1)  Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 63 Rebelle - orange red
2)  Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipstick in No. 5 Heather Rose - medium rosy brown
3)  Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in 30 Delight - vibrant pink coral
4)  Aveda Nourish-Mint Sheer Mineral Lip Color in 900 Sheer Petalite - sheer shimmery copper 

Another picture in the sunlight
Until next post......

Friday, January 6, 2012

Best of 2011 Roundup - Makeup for Face and Eyes

Hello, This will be a fast and furious run down on my favorite makeup for face and eyes in 2011.  I tried to shorten the lists as much as possible, but there were too many products that I have enjoyed in the past year.  This is the condensed version, here we go:


From left to right:

1)  Chantecaille Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 PA+++ - I like the high SPF protection and it feels comfortable on the skin.  The only gripe I have with this product is the high price and the scent could use some improvement.  It has a chemical or plastic scent to me

2)  Skin79 VIP Gold Collection Super + Beblesh Balm - I already raved about this product in a previous post here.  This was purchased at Sune in San Francisco

3)  Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminator SPF 25+ in Pearl - It is a white pearl color illuminator that will give a beautiful sheen to fair skin tones.  I mix it with tinted moisturizer or foundation and it also works great as a highlighter alone

4)  Maybelline Dream Mousse Bronzer in 20 Sun Glow - This shade is not on the website, I do not know if it has been discontinued.  I love the mousse texture and the bronze color.  It is the perfect bronze color that looks natural, no orange tan here.  It is easy to blend and the color is buildable

5)  Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in 05 Natural - Oh, how I love thee!  This is my favorite stick foundation to date because of the formula and the color match.  This one is actually good for my dry skin and gives me a dewy look.  It does not look masky like some other stick foundations out there.  I am a big fan of stick foundations because of the coverage, portability, and it can double as a concealer too

6)  Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Natural Lighting Powder - This is a beautiful loose powder that will give the skin a soft focus look with micro pearly shimmers.  See more information in my previous post here


From left to right:

1)  Korres Eyeliner Pencil - I bought a set of these a while back.  They are eyeliner pencils made of cedar wood and the colors are very pigmented.  They are creamy and long lasting

2)  YSL Dessin Du Regard Eye Pencil in 001 Velvet Black  - The name for this product is currently different on the Sephora website, the picture looks like the pencil I own though.  The color is very intense and  it is super long lasting even on my oily lids

3)  Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in 02 Black/Brown - I like the small bristle brush, it is the perfect  applicator for my eyes that are smaller

4)  Benefit Stay Don't Stray - I am on my second bottle.  This is a really good primer for eyeshadow and concealer.  The eyeshadow will not budge or crease if you use this underneath.  It works well as an under eye concealer for me because it does not accentuate the fine lines I have and the nude shade works for my skin tone to conceal dark circles.  It comes in one universal shade

5)  Hourglass Film Noir Lash Lacquer - This is a genius product!  It is a top coat that boosts the color and volume of your lashes

6)  Ombres Perlees De Chanel Eyeshadow Palette - This is one of my most favorite eyeshadow palettes in 2011.  All the colors are wearable.  The texture is user friendly, you can apply the colors with the applicators or with your fingers.  This is not available at the stores anymore, but you could probably find it online

7)  MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow in Snow Season - I enjoy most MAC Mineralize products and this is no exception.  See more information in my previous post here

And a honorable mention to my last favorite eye product and it is...

8)  Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in 82 Emerveille - Again, the cream/powder texture is amazing and the light golden nude color is foolproof.  You can't go wrong wearing this gorgeous color alone or mix it up with other colors

Hope you enjoyed this post.  I get so excited sharing all of these wonderful products with you here.  One more Best of 2011 Roundup post coming up...Until next post......