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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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

June 2017 Beauty Discoveries

July 5, 2017

June 2017 Beauty Discoveries

I am currently in Alaska on vacation! I’m having a great time and will do a post on my trip, but right now I want to share with you some beauty discoveries from June. Every month, I select a couple new products to try out and use it for the entire month to provide a fair review. Here are my June 2017 beauty discoveries:

Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack – I purchased this product when I was in Taiwan. It is a popular item on Sephora but much cheaper in Asia. This mask is made from egg white and egg yolk, which should instantly transform rough, dull skin into a smooth, radiant complexion. I did not notice any of this, but this does moisturizes my face and keeps it plump and soft. I would recommend this on dry, problem-free skin because it won’t do much except add hydration.

MAC Strobe Cream Goldite – This product is lightweight with antioxidants and the claims are skin clarity, radiance, hydration, and skin smoothing. While I liked this product, I do not have space for it in my skincare routine. This product is best used in the morning, but I require my morning moisturizer to have SPF protection. Since this does not have SPF protection, I had to apply a second moisturizer with SPF protection on top of this one. This is too many products prior to makeup application. I would only recommend this on people with dry skin because it provides hydration and improves complexion.

MAC Mascara Extreme Dimension 3D Black – Great lengthening, smudge-free, long lasting mascara. However, it does not provide extra volume.

Two Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer – I received this in a Sephora Play box and I absolutely LOVE this bronzer. The chocolate shade is perfect for people with medium to tan skin but there are two other shades available. The bronzer is easy to apply and stays on all day. Like all Two Faced products, it also smells amazing (like chocolate).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer – I have been a long time user of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz, so I decided to try out this brow definer. It is not as easy to apply as the brow whiz, but after a few tries, I prefer this over the brow whiz now. Since this has a triangle tip and the tip is larger than the brow whiz, it takes half the time to do my brows. It is easy to outline and fill, and the spooley makes everything look natural and blended. The price is very similar to the brow whiz but has double the product, so it is a much better value. I would recommend the brow whiz to beginners, but I’d highly recommend switching to the brow definer once you’re more comfortable doing the brows.

Ole Henriksen Complexion Sponges – This was a favorite discovery and is the best product to remove masks. Unfortunately, this product has been discontinued and I cannot find it anywhere online. Please let me know if you know of a similar product!

I hope you had a wonderful July 4th holiday. Follow @ditchtheheels on Instagram if you’d like to see some Alaska photos. I look forward to posting about my Alaska trip.

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare, Travel

Summer Travel Makeup and Skincare Essentials

June 30, 2017

Summer Travel Makeup and Skincare Essentials

We are leaving on vacation today and I wanted to do a quick post on summer travel makeup and skincare essentials. I like to pack light when I travel, but there are definitely essentials especially during the hot summer months. Here are some of my must-haves.

SPF Protection

SPF protection is needed on face, lips, and body, and should be reapplied every couple of hours. It’s easy to reapply on the body and lips, but people find it inconvenient to reapply on the face especially if they are wearing makeup. The easiest way is to apply a SPF spray such as the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray, which won’t move around previously applied makeup, or Colorscience Loose Mineral Sunscreen, which can be applied on top of makeup and will keep the face matte and protected.

My favorite routine is wearing a tinted moisturizer with SPF such as the Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30 and applying Colorscience Loose Mineral Sunscreen throughout the day. I always protect my lips since lips burn very easily. I love the Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30 and Fresh Sugar Lip Sunscreen SPF 15.

Exfoliating Treatment

I often break out when I travel and one of the reasons is because I stop my regular skincare routine. I can’t pack all of my skincare products, but one important step to never skip is exfoliating. The skin is constantly growing new skin while the old skin pile on the surface, leaving the skin dull and clogged. You can either pack an exfoliating cleanser such as the Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Cleanser that you can use daily, or pack an exfoliator such as the Exfolikate to use twice a week.

Mattifying Primer

My face is often a greasy mess in the summer, so a mattifying primer is crucial. This minimizes the oil buildup throughout the day and I often don’t need to use oil absorbing sheets during the day when I have a great primer on.

Face Palette

I am all about palettes when I travel. The perfect travel palette includes blush, bronzer and highlighter. My two favorites are the Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette and the Tom Ford Soleil Palette. I can also use these as eyeshadow colors for simple eye looks.

Dry Shampoo

Shampooing too frequently dry out hair and cause breakage. Unless you’re traveling to a humid place or/and exercising daily, there is no need to shampoo daily. I usually just wet my hair and clean it with conditioner, or will apply dry shampoo. Dry shampoo absorbs the oil and grease in your hair to give it a cleaner appearance and will also add volume. A long time favorite is the Living Proof Dry Shampoo–it removes odor, absorbs oil, and gives my hair the most amazing volume.

What’s in my travel bag

I try not to pack full size products when I travel because the total liquid volume has to be under 3.4oz and I also hoard travel size products. These are the products I packed for my week long trip to Alaska.

Skincare

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm // Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser // Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum // Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30 //  Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation // Pixi Glow Tonic To Go Exfoliating Toner Pads // Coola Luxlips Firecracker SPF 30 // L’Occitane Hand Cream Delightful Rose // Drybar Dry Shampoo

Makeup

Innisfree No Sebum Primer // Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation // Maybelline Instant Age Remind // Tarte Smooth Operator Powder // BECCA Chrissy Teigen Palette // Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color Rosegold // Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer // MAC Mascara Extreme Dimension 3D Black // Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon Peche // Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray

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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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