Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

February 2016 Beauty Discoveries

March 10, 2017

february 2016 beauty favorites

Thank you for the comments on my previous post about our puppy. Minne is settling in nicely but she is a lot of work! We have to watch her closely to make sure she isn’t doing something naughty. I miss sleeping in and doing my long skincare routine, but being a pup-mom has been rewarding and she has brought a lot of joy into our lives!

I can’t believe it is already March. I’ve been trying out new products and here are my February product discoveries:

Foreo Day Cleanser

When I first tried this, I did not like it. It is creamy but does not foam. After a few tries, I realized it works much better if I follow the direction and don’t put any water on my face. I apply this on dry face and use my Foreo Luna, then rinse off with water. This cleanser has probiotics and antioxidants, is incredibly gentle, and leaves my face refreshed in the morning. It is best for morning use when there’s no makeup on the face yet.

Foreo Night Cleanser

This night cleanser has a strange consistency for a cleanser. It’s a gel but runs right off my face. It does a poor job of removing oil, sunscreen, and makeup. I went through this bottle in less than 2 weeks because I put a lot of product on my face hoping it would work, but sadly it just didn’t work for me.

First Aid Beauty Purifying Mask with Red Clay

I’ve had great experience with First Aid Beauty products so I picked up this mask to try. The red clay helps reduce the appearance of pigmentation and improve the skin’s texture. After each use, I noticed clearer pores and improved skin texture. The only thing I disliked is that it’s a peel off mask. I have very low pain tolerance and it hurts when I peel off the mask because it pulls out the peach fuzz on my face. Some people will love this added bonus, but I don’t like pain! Sometimes I wash off the mask with water but it frustrates me how long it takes to remove everything.

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil

This is an oil infused with rose petals, wild rose oil, and boosted with Super C to increase skin’s absorption of vitamin C by 1000%. The oil easily absorbs into the skin. I usually just add a few drops to my moisturizer. The fragrance on this is STRONG. It smells nice, but I dislike scented products. After a month of using, I also did not notice any reduction in hyper pigmentation. For the price of this product, I would not recommend because it did not improve my skin and there are other more effective serums on the market.

Marc Jacobs Blush

I purchased the Marc Jacobs Blush in shade Kink & Kisses during the Sephora VIB sale. This was my first Marc Jacobs purchase and I love the quality of the packaging and formula. The powder is finely milled and the color is gorgeous. The color is buildable and will look great on all skin color.

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

I received this product as part of a PR package from MAC. The shade soft frost is a pearly white with specs of violet. It is a beautiful highlighter. I apply it on my cheekbone and the powder stays on all day. I love that it is subtle, but I can still see the highlight and a little bit of violet pops out.

Have a great weekend! The weather is getting really nice so I’m looking forward to spending lot of time outside!

Life, Lifestyle

Puppy Announcement – First Two Weeks of Having a Puppy

February 20, 2017

I am now a pup mom! My husband and I brought home an Alaskan Klee Kai puppy and we are so in love! Her name is Minne, named after our home state of Minnesota. She is growing fast and it has been so fun observing and contributing to her development. I can’t believe it has only been two weeks because it feels so much longer. Here is what I learned the first two weeks of having a puppy:

Books cannot prepare you for the real thing.

Whenever I do something, I always put a lot of time, thought and effort into it. It was both exciting and scary knowing we will be responsible for another living being. If we are lucky, Minne will be with us for the next 15-20 years, but that is also a lot of responsibility and commitment. When we decided to get a puppy, I read a few books, talked to friends/family who have dogs, and talked to dog trainers. A lot of the information were consistent (crate training, potty training, socialization, food safety) but not all of them have matched with our experiences.

  • Potty training: we are very lucky that our breeder trained our puppy to go potty in a litter box. She told us to use Yesterday’s News, which is made from recycled newspaper and is non-toxic. Even though Minne is litter box trained, we always try to take her outside so she won’t think it’s okay to potty inside. We are supposed to take her out first thing in the morning, after every nap, after every intense play, after eating/drinking, and before bedtime. So that is like 6-10 times a day! In the beginning we took her out every 2 hours and would wait outside for 10-20 minutes but she wouldn’t go. Now we know she doesn’t have to go out that often, even though all the books told us she would have to.
  • Keeping an eye on her: the biggest surprise is how much we have to watch her because she could be chewing on furniture/shoes and eating random things. When she is awake and active, she is usually up to no good! I took a couple days off in the beginning to help her adjust and crate train, and it was mentally exhausting! I was not prepared for this but I am adjusting. No more 8-step skincare routine unless Minne is occupied in the crate or my husband is watching her!
The days of sleeping in are over.

In the beginning, we took Minne out every 2 hours during the day and once at night since her metabolism slows down when sleeping. The first few nights we took her out once in the middle of the night (2-4am) and then again early in the morning. She would make a noise if she needs to go out. Now we don’t have to wake up in the middle of the night anymore, but still have to get up between 6-7am to let her out.

Minne’s energy level is highest in the morning, so that means after we take her out in the morning, she wants to play so we cannot go back to sleep. I usually play with her for a little bit and then get ready for work while she is eating breakfast. I miss sleeping in and getting my 8-9 hours of sleep!

Minne has a more social life than most people.

Puppies need to get 3 sets of the DHPP vaccination and they usually don’t get the last shot until 14-16 weeks of age. They are not supposed to be taken outside because of the risk of parvovirus. The challenge is that the prime time to socialize puppies is before they turn 12 weeks old. Since we cannot take Minne to the dog park or even walk her around the neighborhood in a big city like SF where the risks are higher, we have to take her to puppy socials and puppy day school, which are safe environments for her. This has taken up a lot of our time but it’s the best way for her to socialize. Last week when I went to pick her up from puppy day school, I noticed a guy carrying three crates and asked him if all of them are his puppies. He told me he runs a taxi service for pets! It’s crazy all the services that are available to people living in a big city.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Minne. You can see more on her Instagram account @minne.akk

alaskan klee kai puppy

alaskan klee kai puppy

alaskan klee kai puppy

alaskan klee kai puppy sleeping

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

January 2017 Beauty Discoveries

February 10, 2017

january 2017 beauty discoveries favorites

I am very behind on my beauty discoveries this month! I have been extremely busy, but I am excited to share my January 2017 beauty discoveries. Before the new year started, I went through my entire beauty stash. I threw away products that were past the shelf life and donated product I knew I won’t use. I’m very happy with all the products I have left and cannot wait to go through them this year. Here are the products I have been using the entire month of January:

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

I first tried micellar cleansing water two years ago and loved the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. In general, I think it’s important to use micellar cleansing water or cleansing oil as the first step in makeup removal and then use a cleanser. My friend recommended the cleansing water from Caudalie because it is not drying (unlike a lot of the other cleansing water out on the market) and is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. I apply this to two cotton pads to remove all of my makeup. It is extremely gentle and removes makeup without the need to rub. I typically don’t like products with fragrance because of my skin sensitively, but I don’t have any negative reactions to this and the scent is light and refreshing.

Belif Eucalyptus Herbal Extract Toner

I’ve become a fan of belif, a Korean skincare line. I love the aqua bomb and sheet mask, so I decided to try the toner. I love that belif have products for specific skin type. The eucalyptus and apple mint help minimize surface shine and soothe breakouts, so it is great for oily skin.

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

The Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque has been part of my skincare routine for years. I love how effective Amazonian white clay is at unclogging my pores, but I only use the mask once a week, so I decided to get this cleanser, which also has the Amazonian white clay. This cleanser exfoliates so I don’t use it everyday. When I do, I gently clean in circular motion with my hands (do not use this with a Clarisonic or Foreo). This has done a great job of removing black heads and minimizing my pores.

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm

I was thrilled to receive this product in my Sephora Play bag because this is an expensive eye cream so I probably would not have tried it unless it came as a sample. Beneficial ingredients include alguronic acid, vitamin C, caffeine, cucumber, aloe, and green tea extracts to minimize fine lines and wrinkles while decreasing puffiness and dark circles. I don’t have fine lines or dark circles, but this eye cream does reduce my puffy eyes and does not interfere with my makeup application. I enjoyed the sample but definitely don’t think it’s worth the price. I have used other eye creams that are cheaper and just as effective in reducing my puffiness. However, if you have issues such as fine lines and wrinkles, then I suggest getting a sample at Sephora or Nordstrom first to see if this gives the result you want.

Sara Happ Luxe Lip Gloss in Fuchsia

This product was sent to me in a PR package. I have been a Sara Happ user for over 5 years. I have talked about the lip scrub exfoliators on this blog several times, which is one of my favorite beauty products because it gently removes dead skin while keeping the lips hydrated. I have used the original lip slip so I was excited to try this in the shade fuchsia, which is vibrant and flattering. The formula is hydrating and I plan on purchasing a neutral/pink shade for every day wear.

Shop This Post:

Life, Lifestyle, Travel

2017 Bay Area Bucket List – Top 10 List

January 28, 2017

2017 bay area bucket list

Minnesota is awful in the winter, so I had to leave. Instead of creating New Year’s resolutions this year, I created a bucket list specifically for the Bay Area to encourage me to go out and explore during our first year of living in the Bay Area. Here is my top 10 list!

Places
  • Half Moon Bay – Great hiking spots and seafood restaurants
  • Yosemite National Park – May and June are great months to visit to see the waterfalls
  • Lake Tahoe – Combines mountain and beach activities in the summer
  • Big Sur Coast – Absolutely stunning; my husband once said the cattle in Big Sur must be the happiest in the world
  • Napa and Sonoma
Activities
  • S’mores and bonfires year round on my brother’s rooftop
  • Hop on the swing on Billy Goat Hill – Instagram worthy picture
  • Paddle boarding in Marin
  • Listen to music in Golden Gate Park
  • Outdoor brunch

If you have any suggestions for places to visit within driving distance of San Francisco, please leave a note below!

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Best of Beauty 2016

January 13, 2017

Happy Friday! I hope the new year is off to a great start for you. I tried many makeup and skincare products in 2016, so I want to quickly list my favorites! I am not posting a review on here since this would get way too long, but all of these products I’ve blogged about in the past, so if you want more details just type the name in the search bar. I picked 1-2 products from each category and they are organized by the order of application.

Skincare
Makeup
Tools

Shop these Items:

Life, Lifestyle, Misc

2016 Highlights

January 6, 2017

2016 was an eventful year! I am sure it will be one of the most memorable years of my life because of all the life changes. I record and color code everything on my calendar–meetings, classes, errands, date nights, travels, errands/chores, etc. It took a couple hours but I enjoyed going through all of my calendar entries and photos from 2016. Here are some of my top highlights!

2016 Highlights:
  • Ditch the Heels hit a couple of milestones: one year anniversary, 100+ blog posts, and collaborations with brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Rocksbox, Kaplan MD, dermae, and sara happ. My brand is slowly evolving as I grow and transition into a different phase of my life, and I hope to redefine the brand in 2017.
  • I traveled to several places: Puna Cana, Taiwan, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and California several times. One of my favorite trips was traveling to Taiwan with two of my best friends. We went there for a class project but had some free time to explore Taiwan, such as the hot springs and Taroko National Park. Another favorite trip was to the Grand Canyon over Thanksgiving break. The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places on earth and left me speechless.
  • I graduated from the Kellogg School of Management with my MBA! I cannot believe how fast the 2 year journey came to an end. It started in Peru with 24 strangers who quickly became my close friends. I learned from amazing professors and classmates. I cried and laughed and argued. I found new hobbies and interests. I made lifelong friendships.
  • I found a job in San Francisco. My previous work experiences had been in traditional CPG marketing, but I took the leap and transitioned to tech marketing. It has turned out to be the best decision and I love the work, people, and company.
  • I moved from Evanston to San Francisco and my husband moved from Minneapolis to San Francisco, ending our two-year long distance marriage. It was one of the happiest days of my life and I hope we will never have to live apart again. We are currently living in Nob Hill and have a great view of the city from our apartment (middle photo above). We are spoiled by our 10-15 minute walk to work.
  • We are loving the Bay Area and have had the opportunity to explore. Even though we are new here, San Francisco is starting to feel like home because of the friends and family who live here. I am thrilled to be living so close to my brother Jason and his dog @baltosf.

I already know 2017 will be a big year for us as well! I hope you’ve all had a great start to the new year!