Monthly Archives

October 2015

Fashion, Life, Lifestyle, Misc

One Year Wiser, Birthday Reflections

October 28, 2015

IMG_1824Dress: TIFF | Heels: Calvin Klein | Scarf: Burberry

My birthday was this past Sunday and I had a great time celebrating with my friends and husband! They asked me questions such as “What are 3 accomplishments from the previous year?” “What have been the high point and low point of the past year?” “What have you learned about yourself?” “What do you look forward to this year?” I realized in the past I have never spent time on my birthdays to reflect, so I have been thinking about these questions for the last couple of days. There have been so many changes and new opportunities this past year–I moved to Chicago to start business school, my husband and I started long distance, I traveled to a few international destinations, I spent time recruiting for jobs, etc. Overall, I could write pages on my answers to the questions above, but I wanted to highlight a couple of things:

Relationships matter. Treasure the people who are important. In business school, I have met so many amazing classmates. Many have shown incredible kindness and selflessness, many have inspired me and challenged me, many have lifted my spirit when I was down, and many will be my lifelong friend. Even though I am away at school, my family and friends are the most important people in my life. I talk to them regularly and love seeing them when I have a little bit of break from school. One year from now, my husband and I may be starting over in a new city, which will bring many exciting adventures, but I hope to never lose track of a friend/family because of time or distance.

Be proud of your own accomplishments. School has been a humbling experience. Never in my life have I met so many incredibly smart, talented and ambitious people. When I hear about the things classmates have accomplished or are working on, this often inspires and motivates me, but sometimes I question my own accomplishments. I have learned that this comparison is a waste of energy and time. Chasing someone else’s dream or following the norm won’t bring me happiness. It was a hard decision to spend 2 years away from my husband and to go into major debt in order to pay the outrageous tuition bills, so I’m going to make those sacrifices count by accomplishing my own goals!

Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone. This has not always been easy for me but it’s something I will always be working on. Launching this blog was going out of my comfort zone. When I first started, I told my friends that I will do some fashion posts but cut out my head because I don’t feel comfortable posting pictures of myself online. When I slowly started sharing this blog with close friends and family, one said “This is fantastic, why don’t you post the link on Facebook?” For me the blog has not been about gaining thousands of followers so I can become a full-time blogger (though I admit is is fun to think about sometimes!), but the blog was started as a creative outlet and as a way of learning more about social media/content creation/user engagement. It has been serving its purpose and I have been having fun at my photo shoots too!!

Those are just some of my birthday reflections! I want to thank my friends/family for thinking of me on my birthday, my lovely girlfriends for treating me to high tea, and my husband for making my birthday weekend extra special!

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Beauty, Skincare

Nighttime Skin Care Routine

October 23, 2015

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One of the first posts on this blog was about my Morning Skin Care Routine. I’ve been wanting to do a post on my nighttime skin care routine since they are pretty different. In the morning, I cleanse, tone, treat, and moisturize. At night, my products are a bit different and I also add in the additional step of exfoliating. Here are the products I have been using:

Cleanser: Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash
This is one of my favorite cleansers and I have been using it for years. I love how foamy it gets and my face always feels incredibly clean after. I use this at night because it is a great makeup remover and I need that deep cleanse after a long day.

Exfoliate: St. Ives Even & Bright Scrub
This scrub is super gentle, has a rich creamy lather, and leaves my face soft. I use this every other day. I used to use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, which provides a much deeper cleanse and contains salicylic acid, but my skin has been behaving lately so I switched to the Even & Bright Scrub since it’s more gentle.

Tone: Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner
To be honest, this bottle has lasted me for over a year now! I am ready to finish this so I can try something new. I do not have any complaints about this product. It is alcohol free and great for sensitive skin. Although it’s not a critical step, I like to apply this because it helps my skin absorb the moisturizer and serum better.

Treat: Origins Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum
I absolutely love this product! I’ve been using it for a couple of months and it has reduced dark spots on my face. It is a bit expensive but I only use one pump so this will last a while. The product goes into the skin quite fast but I still wait a minute before applying my moisturizer because I want to make sure my skin has a chance to absorb it.

Moisturize: Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist Intensive Eye Contour Cream
Amazing eye cream–super creamy, soft and moisturizing. I never skip this step because I want to prevent future wrinkles!

Moisturize: Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
Since the weather is getting cold and dry, I have been using this product at night. It is a must have if you live in a place with COLD winter. This is a lightweight moisturizer and even though the name has “oil” in it, it does not leave my face oily. It is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids to deeply hydrate and nourish skin. The description says it can treat skin, hair and nails. I have not used this in my hair, but I have used it on my cuticles.

The products above I use nightly and sometimes I use a clay mask instead of the exfoliating scrub. If you’re interested in a longer nighttime skincare routine, check out my recent post Sunday Pamper Routine.

Food, Lifestyle, Recipes

Persimmon Berry Smoothie

October 18, 2015

persimmon blueberry smoothie

One of my favorite fruits in the fall is persimmon! It is in season from September to December, so I purchased a bunch during my recent grocery run. Persimmons originated from Japan, and are orange fruits that look like a tomato. Persimmons are rich in vitamins A and C, and are a good source of fiber. It also contains high fructose, so it is a good ingredient for a smoothie.

I make a smoothie almost every morning, so I was excited to start experimenting with persimmons. I’ve tried a couple of recipes and my favorite so far is the persimmon/blueberry combination. Here is the recipe for this delicious smoothie:

  • 2 persommions chopped
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more as needed)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon protein powder or chia seeds

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persimmon blueberry smoothie

Beauty, Makeup

Memebox Review

October 14, 2015

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I heard about Memebox a couple months ago and have been wanting to try it out. Memebox are curated boxes with Korean beauty products. I’m a big fan of Korean products because of the high quality. I ordered the XO Naked Makeup Box Romantic Rosegold (sold out) because rose-hue neutral is flattering on my skin tone. The box was $35, but at a $73 value if purchased separately. Here is my review of the products in my box:

Eyeshadow Quad – This eyeshadow palette comes with 2 matte, 1 shimmer, and 1 sparkle. The two matte (sutra and valencia) are pretty colors, but are not very pigmented. I had to apply quite a bit to see the colors. Perhaps it’s because these brown/neutrals are too similar to my skin tone. The shimmer (candy rain) is a BEAUTIFUL color and very pigmented. I love the shimmer and the shade. It’s perfect! I couldn’t get much color out of the sparkle eyeshadow (bae area), but it does have chunky glitter. I am not a fan of this colorless glittery eyeshadow. Overall, I think I’ll only be using the candy rain eyeshadow.

Liquid Eyeliner (brown) – I do not have a brown eyeliner yet, so I was excited to get this. My first impression was positive. The application was easy and the formula is long-lasting.

Hot Pink Lipgloss – This lipgloss is SUPER pigmented. When applied to my lips, it came out in the exact color as the tube, therefore I had to be a little more careful applying it. I don’t own many lip glosses because I don’t like the sticky texture and glossiness of most lipgloss, but this was neither sticky nor overly glossy! It has argan oil, manuka honey extract and rosehip oil as its key ingredients and smells amazing. While I love this fun color, it is not one that I’d wear on a regular basis. A tip I received with the box is to mix this with foundation to use as blush, but I have not tried it yet! I am too scared to put this hot pink on my cheeks.

Cream Blush – This is my favorite item in this box and I’ve been wearing it every day! I don’t own any cream blushes because I prefer the powder formula, but this product is amazing!! The coral color is perfect on my skin tone, it is so easy to apply, and the formula is flawless. I just rub some product on my finger and gentle pat/blend it on my cheekbone. It dries to a lightweight powdery finish and stays on all day!

Cream Matte Lipstick – This is a warm nude with a brown undertone and matches my natural lip color. I like the cream matte formula and this is a good color to have if I want a natural makeup look. It is a good every day lipstick.

Cream Eyeshadow Pencil – This is a beautiful sepia cream shadow with subtle coral gold shimmer and is long-lasting. It’s lovely on its own, or with a couple other complementary colors. It contains argan oil, jojoba seed oil, and rose hip oil.

Overall, I loved trying out these products because they are so different and most of them I’ll be using on a regular basis. I loved my first Memebox and they do come out with new boxes regularly. What I love about these boxes compared to beauty subscription boxes is that you know exactly what product you’ll be receiving so it’s not a big surprise or disappointment if you receive something you don’t like. If you decide to try it out, use code “welcome” to receive 15% off your first order!

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Fashion

Fall Plaid and Trends

October 9, 2015

DSC_0966Shirt: JCrew | Scarf: Nordstrom | Leggings: Madewell | Boots: UGG

It is getting cold in Chicago! I’m sure we will be taking out our winter coats soon. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my fall outfits. I love plaid in the fall and recently purchased this plaid shirt from JCrew. The material is super soft and it’s nice to wear on it’s own, or with a jacket/sweater on top.

I’ve also seen a lot of fringe, ponchos, over-the-knee boots, booties and floral this fall. I’m excited to buy some ponchos, it’ll keep me warm this winter! What fall fashion trends are you excited about?

Short post today–arrived in San Francisco last night to help my brother decorate his new apartment. Lots of shopping to do today!

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Beauty, Hair, Makeup, Skincare

September Discoveries

October 5, 2015

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A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about my July Discoveries. Instead of doing monthly favorites, I will do monthly discoveries instead. That’s because I know my favorites won’t change very often, but I am constantly trying new products so this will give me an opportunity to talk about new items. I try to use monthly discoveries for the entire month in order to write a fair review. Here are my discoveries from September:

Buxom Sculpted Lash Mascara – I had high hopes for this mascara. It is a great volumizer and I love the brush, but it gave me terrible smudges after just a couple of hours. I won’t be repurchasing this.

unwash bio-cleansing conditioner – Even though this says “conditioner,” it actually isn’t just a conditioner. It replaces shampoo as well. I don’t shampoo my hair everyday, so I love using this product in between shampoo days. It doesn’t create a foam or lather, so sometimes it seems like my hair isn’t getting cleaned, but every time I use it my hair feels clean and silky. I also love that it’s free of harsh sulfates & parabens.

Lush Face Mask Brazen Honey – This is a refrigerated product that needs to be used up within 1-2 weeks of purchase, so it forces you to incorporate it into the skincare routine. It’s a deep exfoliating mask ideal for oily skin. I leave the mask on my face for 10 minutes, splash some water on my face and then gently rub my face in circular motion. It can be a bit abrasive for sensitive skin, but I love the deep cleanse because it unclogs my pores and leaves my face so soft and smooth!

tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Power – I always have to set my face with a setting powder, and this does a wonderful job at keeping my face matte throughout the day! My only complaint is the packaging–it doesn’t completely close and some powder came out when I traveled with it.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster – This is my favorite new discovery!! It is an antioxidant-rich brightening and nourishing serum. The vitamin C in this serum support natural collagen production, brighten, and minimize fine lines. I use this a couple times a week with my nighttime skincare routine.

I loved trying these products last month, and I can’t wait to share with you my October discoveries next month!