Fashion

June 2017 Stitch Fix

June 16, 2017

june 2017 stitch fix

It has be over a year since I posted my last Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service. You pay a $20 styling fee, which is credited back if you keep at least one item. You pay only what you decide to keep. I took a long break from Stitch Fix because I was really disappointed by the items I received in my previous boxes. I felt the quality was extremely low for the price and that I would be able to find much better value at a Nordstrom Rack. I recently decided to give it another chance. Here is my June 2017 Stitch Fix and my decision on the items. My puppy decided to get in most of my shots–she is my shadow and never leaves my side!

Pixley Yuli Lace Cap Sleeve Blouse – $58

This is a cream blouse with lace. It pairs nicely with jeans or skirt. I like the lace and fit, but the material felt heavy for summer. I wish the lace and fabric were more delicate.
Decision: Return

41Hawthorn Sally Scallop Detail Skirt – $68

This is a beautiful skirt and I love the scallop bottom. The material is soft but wrinkles easily.  I work at a small startup where the dress code is super casual, and I would never wear this to a non-work place, so I decided to return this dress.
Decision: Return

Pixley Bogota Dress – $64

I was pleased to find this dress in the box. I love the color and the details in the front. I can wear cute summer sandals or booties with it. It also looks nice with a jacket on top when it gets chilly at night in San Francisco. This is a prefect dress for summer!
Decision: Keep

Brixon Ivy Pinson Drape Cardigan – $54

This is a cute drape cardigan. The fit and fabric were great. However I have many cardigans in this color already.
Decision: Return

Bay to Baubles Mariah Stone Cuffs – $28

This is a 2-cuff set with light purple and light pink stones. I like wearing these together or separately. Since the colors are very light and neutral, it goes well with many outfits.
Decision: Keep

Pixley Yuli Lace Cap Sleeve Blouse

Pixley Bogota Dress

Bay to Baubles Mariah Stone Cuffs

Brixon Ivy Pinson Drape Cardigan

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

May 2017 Beauty Discoveries

June 2, 2017

may 2017 beauty

Happy June and Friday! I cannot believe it is almost summer. I’m so excited because I have some fun trips and activities planned this summer. It has been 3 months since I posted my last beauty discoveries. I took some time off from trying new products because I wanted to use up all of my current products. I love the feeling when I finish a product and can toss it into the trash! I was able to try out some great products in May. Some of these are perfect for summer!

SW Basics Toner

I always look for toners that are alcohol free and pH balancing. This toner caught my attention because it only has five ingredients. It is ideal for oily and blemish-prone skin, but also does not dry my face. My only negative is the strong apple cider vinegar smell.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

I purchased a bunch of skincare from the brand Missha when I was in Taiwan. This has snail slime extract, which has healing benefits. When used in skincare, it firms and restores skin by replenishing moisture and supporting cell regeneration. It is extremely hydrating yet does not feel heavy on the skin. I have been using this every night with the Missha Treatment Essence.

Derma E Skin, Hair, Nail Oil

I received some products from Derma E to review. This oil is the only one I’ve tried so far but I’m looking forward to trying the other products. This product contains organic argan, jojoba and kukui oil. It is lightweight and does not look greasy on the skin. During daytime, I apply this before sunscreen to help the sunscreen go on easier, and during nighttime I combine it with a moisturizer. It has a thin consistency that quickly absorbs onto the skin. I have also used this on my cuticles. The price is amazing–only about $15 for the organic oils. I would highly recommend trying this product out first before spending too much money on other oil.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30

This product was sent to me from Coola to review. I used to never wear sunscreen because I don’t burn easily. If I spend a lot of time outside, I only put sunscreen on my body and often neglected my face. A couple years ago, I read an article that sun damage could take 20-30 years to show up on the skin and I saw pictures of damaged skin (wrinkles, sun spots) which really freaked me out. Since then I have put sunscreen on my face every day, rain or shine. I’ve been using the Coola Sunscreen Spray for years, so I was excited to try this matte tint sunscreen. Even though there is a tint, it does not show up on my skin at all, so it will not replace a regular CC, BB or Tinted moisturizer. The formula goes on smoothly and leaves my face matte. It has SPF 30 and the ingredients include natural rose hip oil, flax seed oil and shea butter and did not break out my sensitive skin.

Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

The lips is another area that needs sun protection. The liplux is formulated with organic cupuacu butter and mongongo oil, which offer incredible creaminess that promotes softness and smoothness and improves the appearance of aging and thinning skin. I LOVE the Coola liplux in the shade firecracker, which is a vibrant red/pink. I gave one to a friend who has super sensitive lips and cannot wear most lip products, but this did not cause any irritation.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation

This is a great long-wearing foundation that is perfect for photography because it keeps the face matte and does not cause any flashbacks. It is lightweight, easy to blend and looks natural. It has medium coverage, so concealer is still needed to cover up imperfections.

MAC Lipstick James Kaliardos Collection

I received this product in a PR package from MAC. There are 4 shades in the James Kaliardos collection and the one I’ve been wearing for Spring is in the shade coral bliss. It is a light coral with soft sheen. The color is gorgeous but unfortunately emphasizes the lines on my lips. Since it is a light coral shade, I think this would work best on people with fair to medium skin tone.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

This does everything a mascara should do–volumizes and lengthens without clumping or flaking. Non-waterproof mascaras often give me panda eyes after a few hours of wear, but I did not experience it with this mascara.

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Fashion

Spring Gala Dress

May 22, 2017

Ted Baker spring gala dressDress: Ted Baker (sold out, similar 1, 2) // Shoes: Sam Edelman  // Purse: Louis Vuitton // Earrings: Swarovski

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. The weather in San Francisco was fantastic, so we spent a lot of time outside. Sorry I have not blogged in a while. All of my free time are now spent with our puppy! We go on long walks after work and weekends are mostly spent outside. I have not gotten dressed up in a while, so I was really excited to attend a gala with my husband last Friday. His company sponsored a table at the On Lok spring banquet. There was a live auction, live band, and great food. We had a lot of fun!

Even though it was a gala, I was told that most people will wear semi-formal. It was still a good excuse to go shopping and I fell in love with this fuchsia dress from Ted Baker. I love the fit and flare style and the color is perfect for Spring. The back clasp is a big crystal that looks similar to the Swarovski earrings I paired with it. I decided on nude pumps, Louis Vuitton clutch, and a natural makeup look to keep the focus on the dress.

ted baker spring gala dress

ted baker spring gala dress

ted baker spring gala dress

ted baker spring gala dressFoundation: MAC // Concealer: Make Up For Ever  // Blush: Tarte (Unstoppable) // Bronzer: Hourglass // Highlighter: MAC (Whisper of Gilt, limited edition) // Eyeshadow: Naked 2 // Mascara: Tarte // Lips: Glossier (cherry)

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Sephora Spring VIB Sale Haul & First Impressions

April 23, 2017

It is that time of the year again–Sephora Spring VIB sale! Sephora has two sales a year (April and November) so I always look forward to these sales. It’s a great time to stock up on old favorites or try new items. The sale ends on Monday, so you have today and tomorrow to take advantage of the 15% off. Most of my haul are new items and I’ve only had a couple of days to try them, so I will just post a quick first impression of these products and will report back later once I’ve had the chance to try them out longer.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser – This is a foaming cleanser with AHA. It is gentle without drying my skin. A little goes a long way and it’s great to use with my Foreo Luna.

belif Problem Solution Toner – This is perfect for oily and sensitive skin. It contains tea tree oil to disinfect and combat acne.

Shiseido Facial Cotton – This product has been recommended to me several times over the years, but I thought paying $10 for facial cotton was ridiculous. However, after trying this out I will never go back to the drugstore facial cottons. This is super thick and soft, products sit on top and don’t get absorbed so you don’t overuse products, and they won’t come apart like other facial cottons. My only regret is not purchasing these sooner!! These are pretty big, so I cut them in half which is perfect size for my toner and makes these more affordable. This was my favorite product from this haul.

Sunday Riley UFO Face Oil – This product is supposed to do everything: clear congested pores, treat and prevent acne, and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also works for all skin type. I’ve had good experience with Sunday Riley products and I got this product because of the tea tree oil. This oil absorbs fast and does not look greasy on the skin. I’ve only used this for a couple of days, but I think this is what has calmed my skin.

Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++ – I wear sunscreen year round because it helps prevent wrinkles and lighten skin discoloration. I have loved every Tatcha product I have ever tried, but the products are expensive so it took me a while to purchase this sunscreen. The product title “silken pore perfecting” is exactly right. I’ve never tried any sunscreen that glides onto the skin so smoothly and does not leave any white cast. In the US, we go by SPF which is the level of protection from UVB rays, but PA was originated in Japan that indicates the level of protection from UVA rays. When looking for sunscreen, make sure it has both the SPF and PA levels. This sunscreen is a new favorite and has not irritated my skin.

Glamglow Hydrating Treatment – This is an old favorite that I love to put on before flight and during dry winter months. The hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and the raw honey/ginger root detoxify.

Marc Jacob Re(marc)able Foundation – This was the only makeup product I purchased during the sale. It was my first full coverage foundation. After wearing this two times, I like the coverage and the soft-matte finish.

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Lifestyle, Travel

Short Trip to Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur

April 15, 2017

carmel beach

Six years ago, my husband and I went on our first date and a few months later, we traveled to San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, and Los Angeles. We have special memories from those places, and since we live in San Francisco now, we recently traveled to Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur for a short getaway to celebrate. We also brought our puppy, Minne, with us! Here are some highlights and photos from the trip.

Monterey

We stayed at the Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay because it’s right by the bay and it’s very dog friendly. When we arrived, they had food and water bowls, a dog bed, and treats ready for us. The Jazz Festival was that weekend, so there was music playing at the hotel and everywhere we walked to.

Our first night we had dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf since that was close to the hotel. The restaurant even has a dog menu so we ordered some grilled chicken served on a frisbee for Minne. She was over the moon!

The wharf area is very touristy, but we had a chance to walk around Monterey and the town is very beautiful and clean!

Monterey Fisherman's Wharf

Carmel

What a lovely city! The first time we visited Carmel, we went to Pebble Beach and drove part of the 17-mile drive. This time, we went to Carmel Beach and Garland Ranch Regional Park. Carmel Beach is an off-leash beach, so it was really fun going there with Minne. There are also a bunch of cute shops near the beach. We had dinner at Basil Carmel and had some of the best food we’ve ever tasted!! My husband had the 5 hour braised beef cheeks and I had the goat with lobster. The olallieberries cobbler was also delicious!

Garland Ranch Regional Park is a great park for leisure hiking. The first day we went there, we went on an easy 1.5 mile hike. Our puppy loved it (you can see how happy she was in this video). We were able to work on long distance recall and not worry about her running off into traffic or getting into trouble. We loved the hike so much that we went back the next day and went on a harder hike, and had just as much fun.

Garland Ranch Regional Park

Big Sur

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge has been badly damaged due to winter storms and it will take up to a year to complete construction on a replacement. There are closures on Highway 1 but we wanted to drive down to see as much of it as we could. During the drive, we stopped at Garrapata State Park for a hike and enjoyed the beautiful view of the beach.

Garrapata State Park

Garrapata State Park

Now that we have a dog, we have been going to dog-friendly places because we prefer her with us than leaving her at home. This was our first time traveling with her and it was very easy because she doesn’t get car sick and so many places allow dogs. Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur are so beautiful, and not too far from San Francisco, so we will definitely be making this trip more often in the future.

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!