Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Sephora VIB Sale Haul and Recommendations 2017

November 10, 2017

Sephora vib sale 2017

It’s my favorite time of the year–Sephora VIB sale! This sale happens once a year in November and it is 15-20% off all items sold at Sephora. I keep an ongoing wishlist so that once the sale approaches, I know exactly what I want and won’t purchase too many items I don’t need. Here are the sale details:

  • VIB Rouge 20% off – Nov 3-6, Nov 10-15 – Coupon code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB 20% off – Nov 10-15 – Coupon code 20forVIB
  • Beauty Insider 15% off – Nov 10-15 – Coupon code INSIDER15

Every year, I stock up on my favorite Drunk Elephant products. I have been using the DE C-Firma Day Serum and DE T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum for years. I always wait for the holiday limited edition because the kit includes a few sample sized items for about the same price as purchasing the full size items separately. I also stocked up on Beauty Blenders and PMD Replacement Discs. I have been searching for a new foundation and decided to get the Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation after receiving a sample to try out a couple weeks ago. I love the coverage and it keeps my face matte the entire day. This foundation is also silicone-free, which is something I’ve been trying to eliminate from the beauty products I use. There are two items other bloggers have raved about, so I decided to pick them up as well: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and Tata Harper Purifying Mask. My first impression have been positive, but I will post a review on these two products in the future.

Though I did not splurge on too many products this year, I do have some product recommendations for those who are shopping the sale this week. In addition to the products I mentioned above, these are my top 5 makeup and skincare recommendations:

Makeup:
Skincare:

Let me know what products you’re picking up from the sale!

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Life, Lifestyle

30 Things I’d Tell My Younger Self

October 25, 2017

 

I turned 30 today! For a while, it seemed like this day would never come. My first thoughts this morning were: “I’m old! Time for some anti-aging creams.” and “I need to get my life in order!” I spent the day reflecting on my 20’s and realized there are so many great lessons, accomplishments, and memories from my 20’s. Even though I’ve been 30 years old for less than a day, I already feel wiser and ready to tackle the challenges ahead! Here are 30 things I’d tell my younger self, and also want to continue reminding myself going forward:

  1. Be curious, try new things.
  2. Make time for the important relationships in your life.
  3. Take time daily to unplug from technology.
  4. Do NOT over-tweeze or wax those eyebrows!
  5. School is important, but you don’t need to get straight A’s. Go have some fun!
  6. Be a good role model to those around you.
  7. Listen more.
  8. Get rid of toxic / negative people in your life.
  9. Tell the people you love “I love you” often.
  10. Forgive those who hurt you.
  11. TRY waking up earlier.
  12. Stand up for others, even when it’s hard.
  13. Eat healthier, spend the time to meal prep.
  14. Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  15. The guy who makes you cry is not right for you. And don’t worry, your heart will heal.
  16. Travel as much as you can. Go see the world.
  17. Reflect on your mistakes and learn from it.
  18. Be proud of your body.
  19. Don’t let anyone else’s perception influence your choices.
  20. There is never the “right” time to do anything. Just go do it!
  21. Ask for help when you need it.
  22. Be selfish with your time–don’t overcommit.
  23. Celebrate the small victories in life.
  24. Always put money into savings, no matter how small.
  25. You are your own worst critic–no one can see your imperfections the way you can.
  26. Don’t do things just to please others.
  27. Be patient and persistent.
  28. It’s not only OKAY to say no, but it’s a must sometimes, so get comfortable with it.
  29. Dream are not out of reach, so dream big.
  30. Life is great. Not always, but things always get better.
Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

September 2017 Beauty Discoveries

October 10, 2017

september 2017 beauty discoveries

Hello! I took a month off from blogging because I needed time to focus on other priorities but I have been planning my content calendar and I am excited to start working on them. Even though I have not been blogging, I have been trying out lots of beauty products every month. I’m excited to share these new product discoveries that I have been using the entire month of September:

CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

CosRX is a Korean skincare brand that focuses on fewer ingredients and customized products based on specific skin type. The products are very affordable yet effective. I’ve had a chance to try out several products from CosRX and I am pleased with the result. A new favorite is the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. I was intrigued by this cleanser because of the low pH. Cleansers often strip our face of natural oil because of the higher pH. This gel cleanser is gentle on my sensitive skin and leaves my face refreshed and clean in the morning.

Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner

I have always used toners after cleansing because it removes any left over residues. This toner is alcohol free and leaves the face well balanced. Besides this, there are no other added benefits so I am going to try something new after I’m done with this bottle.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

I received a sample size of this in one of the Sephora Play boxes so I was excited to give it a try. The first time I used it, it was a bit painful because I had to wait for the mask to dry before peeling it off the face and a bunch of facial hair got pulled in the process. I thought this charcoal mask did a much better job of clearing my pores than my mud masks. It leaves my skin dry afterward, so I have to apply serum and moisturizer immediately.

GLAMGLOW Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

This is typically what I apply after the Boscia black mask. I also love applying this pre-flight because the hyaluronic acid locks in moisture. This would be a great mask in the dry winter months or for anyone with dry skin.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush – Unstoppable

This is an exclusive shade that I purchased during the holiday sale last year. It is a great fall color that goes well with my medium skin tone. I am a fan of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes and have them in several shades. The colors are long lasting and blends well with liquid and powder foundation.

MAC Cosmetics Crystal Glaze Gloss – Love Your Body

This gloss was part of the “Work it Out” limited edition. I typically don’t like glosses, but I like how this formula is not sticky or shiny. It isn’t long lasting but does hydrate the lips. While the packaging is nice, I don’t like jar packaging because it is unsanitary to keep dipping my finger inside.

I would love to hear what products you have been trying out. I have been testing out a lot of new products so I will be posting an updated morning and evening skincare routine soon!

Lifestyle, Travel

Grand Alaska

August 31, 2017

Matanuska GlacierMatanuska Glacier

This post is long overdue. I meant to post about my Alaska trip a lot sooner, but I lost access to all of my edited photos and I had to motivate myself to re-edit. I spent a week in Alaska with my husband’s family and we had an amazing time! It was my first time visiting Alaska and my sister-in-law did most of the planning, so I was pleasantly surprised. Even though I knew Alaska is the largest state, I was still shocked by the size of it! Not only does it require a lot of time to explore Alaska, but it can also be difficult getting to parts of the state. We started in Anchorage, made our way up to Denali/Healy, then back down to Palmer and Seward. I imagined Alaska to be beautiful and scenic (from watching the movie The Proposal), but seeing it in person was astounding. It reminded me of driving through South New Zealand–everywhere we went was breathtaking. One of the highlights of the trip was salmon fishing in Seward. It was my first time fishing and I caught two salmons. We were able to freeze and bring the salmons home to San Francisco and have been trying out various recipes.

I would highly recommend visiting Alaska. We look forward to going back someday. Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip!

mount healyHike to Mount Healy. Yes, we hiked all the way to the top!

mount healy

mount healy

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

July 2017 Beauty Discoveries

August 3, 2017

july 2017 beauty discoveries

I know I say this every month, but I cannot believe another month has gone by. Yesterday I overheard someone say their kids are going back to school next week! It feels like summer just started. Those poor kids. July was an extremely busy and eventful month for me. I still have not gone through my Alaska pictures, but I promise to post about my trip on the blog soon. Here are the products I tried the entire month of July:

FARSÁLI’s Rose Gold Elixir

This serum, along with the unicorn essence, went viral on Instagram months ago. This is a 24-karat oil infused with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids to reduce the appearance of fine lines and discoloration and to improve skin radiance. It leaves my skin soft and plump after application, but I did not see any results after one month. The packaging and smell are luxurious, but I personally think this item is overhyped.

Juice Beauty Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30

I only wear mineral sunscreen because it does not clog up my pores. This is an organic non-nano bb cream for all skin type. It does not cause issues with liquid foundation on top. I love everything about this product except the extra time need to evenly spread out the product. I purchased this in sheer, but it does apply white so I have to spread it out well to not leave any white cast. I dislike pulling on my skin to get rid of the white cast so I plan to try a different SPF moisturizer after I finish with this bottle.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum

This contains 0.75% salicylic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, and aloe. It is gentle and does not dry my skin like many other acne treatments out on the market. I only use this to spot treat and I apply it before my night time serum and moisturizer. Juice Beauty has a great summer deal right now. Use this link to receive a summer box worth $125 with any $100 purchase. This deal ends August 7.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I’ve read many reviews of this product tightening and smoothing skin. People have seen results when applied to their arm, thigh, stomach, bum–anywhere. I purchased this primarily for the smell though. It smells like coconut and tropical vacation, and the smell lasts all day! I recommend purchasing the smaller size to try out first to see if you like the smell and result.

MAC Shadescent Candy Yum Yum

MAC released 6 scents inspired by their most iconic lipstick shades. This candy yum yum is fruity with the scent of guava. This is a great scent for summer.

innisfree no sebum primer

This primer reduces the appearance of pores, controls oil, and keeps my face matte throughout the day. It is very similar to the Benefit Porefessional. It doesn’t require time to dry or settle on the skin–I can apply makeup immediately. I’ve become a big fan of innisfree, which is a top beauty brand in Korea.

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Fashion

2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

July 18, 2017

It’s that time of the year again–the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! What is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale? During this sale, popular designer items are heavily discounted and prices go back up after the sale. Most of these items are new trends that will be extremely popular during the fall season, so it’s best to pick them up during the sale. It’s a great way to stock up on gifts for the holiday season as well. Early access started on July 13 for Nordstrom card holders, and it is open to the general public (non card holders) from July 21-August 6. I placed three orders on the first day of the sale and half of the items are already sold out now! There are plenty of other items left, so here is my 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks by category.

Beauty

Beauty is the category I get most excited about. What really stood out this year are the tools and devices. One of my favorite purchases from 2016 was the Simple Human Mirror. It is pricey, but I use it every single day and cannot imagine applying makeup without it anymore. The magnification and light help create flawless makeup looks. There are cheaper makeup mirrors out there (cheaper alternative), but I love that this is wireless and rechargeable, and it has a great design. Foreo and Clarisonic make great cleansing devices. You can stock up on brushes if you currently use Clarisonic. I love the Foreo Luna–and ALL Foreo devices are 33% off, including the Foreo Issa Toothbrush. A couple weeks ago, I purchased the PMD Microderm. I’ve only used it twice so I have not seen any results, but I have heard great things about it. I also purchased some more beauty blenders because the bundles are a much better deal and there is currently a gift with purchase offer of free blotterazzi sponge and liquid cleanser with a $35 purchase.

My top makeup/skincare pick is the NARS Palette. NARS formula is incredible and this palette includes blush, bronzer, and highlight. I also picked up the Jouer Liquid Lipstick Duo. I already have this in shade guava and I love this long lasting, transfer free formula. I have a huge nail polish collection at home already, but I have been looking for formulas and brands that are non-toxic. I picked up a set from butter LONDON because all of their nail polish are free from formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and zylene. I don’t have any need for new skincare right now, but I think these are great bundles or would make great gifts: Kieh’s Favorites Collection, Fresh LipsLa Mer Revitalizing Collecting, and Glamglow Set.

Shoes

I normally stock up on shoes during the sale, but this year I did not buy any. After moving to San Francisco, I purchased many flats and comfort shoes because I cannot think of when I’d ever want to walk in heels in hilly San Francisco and my work attire policy is so casual. There are a couple staple items I’d highly recommend from the sale though. The Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots are already sold out but the bootie is just as high quality and comfortable. It can be paired with jeans and dresses. I own several Tory Burch flats already. They are super comfortable and are appropriate for work/night out/casual day wear. The Tory Burch Adeline Boot is also on sale. I love the one in brown and these boots fit people with large calves. This is the lowest price these Tory Burch shoes will ever be, so the best time to purchase is during this sale. The Nike Free Focus Flyknit will quickly sell out soon. I have this in hot pink and love that it feels like I am just wearing socks.

Clothing

Every year, I pick up a pair of the Zella Leggings. These are high quality work out pants and I love the one in pink dusk. I was hoping to get the Barefoot Dreams Cardigan in Stone but that color in my size quickly sold out, so I ordered the BP Cardigan instead. This is long enough to wear over a dress. I am all about large sweaters, and love these sweaters from Free People and Topshop. I read amazing things about the Nordstrom Brand pajama so I ordered the set in blue spacedye.

Misc

Last year I was disappointed that all the cute scarves sold out quickly during the sale, so this year the Madewell Scarf was one the first items I added to my cart. I love how comfortable this is and it can be paired easily with many outfits. I ordered the Antica Farmacista Diffuser for my brother last year and loved it so much that I regretted not getting one for myself, so this was the second item I added! These diffusers last forever and the scent lingers throughout the whole house. I also ordered the Voluspa candle set–I like to put these in the bathroom. I stayed away from handbags, wallets, and jewelry this year, but I highly recommend any jewelry from Nadri. They have a lifetime warranty policy and I’ve had one of my earrings replaced twice now after the crystal fell off. I love the Crystal Bangle and Y Necklace.

Let me know if you plan to shop the sale this year and what you’re picking up!

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