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

Continue Reading…

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.

Shop This Post:

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!

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

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.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

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

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave