Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Week in Pictures #2

This is my weekly round-ups of pictures!


What's better than a slow cooked beef stew on a chilly September evening?

Kuro, Otie & Zorro after their baths.

"Mommy, I don't like being clean."

Red Roasted Mashed Potatoes, Arroz con Gandules & Pernil à la Cristhian y Jenny!~

Brenda's Little Helper~

Amanda's hair transformation!!! BIG difference

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Funny #3: Do You Trust Me?

I found today's Friday Funny on 9Gag once again!

I'm playing Soul Silver, so this Pokémon humor is waaaay up my alley!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Skincare Routine

I find that when I don't take good care of my skin (as was the case in middle and high school), my skin was oh-so-gross. I've finally come up with a system that just works- and I'm happy overall (minus a few blemishes here and there). From start to finish (minus the shower), my skin care regimen only takes about 15-20 minutes- and that's if I really take my time.

EL Total Makeup Remover & Sephora Cleansing Pad

It's extremely important to wash off all the makeup of your face! When my day is done, I apply Estée Lauder Take It Away Total Makeup Remover onto dry skin with my fingers. I make sure I really get into the areas where there are long-lasting and/or waterproof formulas. When washing off the remover, I buff a wet Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad onto my skin.

Clarisonic Plus & Steifel Pan-Oxyl

I exfoliate my skin using my Clarisonic Plus with a nickel's worth of Steifel Pan-Oxyl Acne Foaming Maximum Strength.

Clinique Moisturizing Gel- sorry the cap is gross... obviously I use it.

After patting my face dry, I apply two generous pumps of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel all over my face and neck.

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector & Philosophy Miracle Worker- both are samples

I treat my dark spots using a Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector. (I've bought the serum multiple times before.) But lately, I've been trying out Philosophy Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector. (Got both samples as GWPs.)

L'Oreal Serum Intense & EL Night Eye Cream

Using my fingers, I apply L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Regenerating Skincare Serum Intense all over my face. I also apply Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye, a very intensive eye cream.

Clinique Correcting Lotion- sample size

I apply my second moisturizer, Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Lotion, focusing in the areas where my dark spots are.

LRP Melt-In Sunscreen

In the morning, I finish off my routine by applying a generous amount of La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen to my face, neck and ears before applying my makeup.

Origins Charcoal Mask, Bioré Pore Strips (not pictured) & Face Shop Masks

I religiously follow this routine every day and every night. The only difference is on Wednesdays and Fridays when I use masks. On Wednesdays, I've been trying out Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. And on Fridays, I like to use Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, followed by Korean Face Masks that I bought from Vegas.

Also, although it's not listed, I use Proactiv's Refining Mask as a spot treatment for those pesky zits!

What's your skin care routine like?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Week in Pictures #1

I'm hoping that writing will become second nature. I'm trying really hard to keep my blog updated with new content as well. Keep things interesting, no?

Cristhian posing with King Candle

Over the weekend, Cristhian and I went to the Yankee Candle Flagship Store in the Berkshires. It was a trek from our home in Central Connecticut, but it was a nice experience. It's very country!

Honey BBQ Super Melt Combo + Kids' Mac & Cheese w/ Hot Dogs

I can't remember the last time I ate at a Friendly's. And while eating at this restaurant in Holyoke, MA, I remember why. The service was subpar, the table Cristhian and I sat at was dirty and the food was so-so. Step up your game, Friendly's!

Sleeping Zozo~

At home, Cristhian and I have beds for Otie and Kuro- since they're completely in love with any and every bed. On the other hand, Zorro (who we've had since he was three months) has never slept on a pet bed- ever. Fast forward five years and I caught him sleeping in Otie's bad. D'aaaaw!

"What'cha want mum?!?"

I was doing a massive autumn cleaning the other day (I spring clean in March and autumn clean in September) and moved sooo many things around. I was flipping the bed over and look who I found snuggled in his bed?!!

The Squeeler and the West Coast

Cristhian and I decided to try out a local, very popular burger joint. Plan B specializes in local, natural (organic, if possible) foods. I got the Squeeler, a half turkey, half beef burger with bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, mustard and mayo with a side of Disco Fries (like a poutin, but minus the curds). Cristhian got the West Coast, a beef burger with fried egg, avocado, olive spread and he added cheddar and bacon. Mmmm!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Funny #2: Mafia Mario

I found today's Friday Funny from 9Gag (which was introduced to me by my lovely siblings, including Shi^2! Check her out!).

Hehe. When I showed Cristhian, he laughed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Haul: Shu Uemura, Sephora & MAC

I've been on a serious Holy Grail hunt (as stated on previous posts). I've been advised by friends and makeup artists and have also read reviews upon reviews. And therefore have bit the bullet and bought a few things.

Shu Uemura Gold Eyelash Curler and in Mini

Since I have stick-straight lashes that point down, it's really hard for 'em to hold a curl- even with waterproof mascara. Using the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler makes my lashes stay curled longer. This curler is an absolute must-have. I have it in silver for travel, and I'm using the gold for home use. I've never used the Mini... so we'll what happens in the future.

Shu Uemura Wrex+ Cleansing Oil

I got this for cleanser for free with the purchase of my eyelash curler. Honestly, I'll probably end up giving it away.

Estée Lauder Take It Away Total Makeup Remover

I got a travel size version of Estée Lauder Take It Away Total Makeup Remover from a GWP my aunt bought a few months ago. When I came back from my vacation away, I started using it… and I fell absolutely in love with it. It works way better than any makeup remover I've tried. Ever.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

I've been really itching to try more masks. I've seen many rave reviews on Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask- so bam! I caved and bought it.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

I decided to bite the bullet and try out TFSI in its original formula. I've used it for a few weeks and so far, I like it. I don't think it works any better or any worse than UDPP, but just as well. Plus, it doesn't sting my eyes like PP.

Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad

There's nothing extravagant about the Sephora Precision Pore Cleansing Pad, but it does its job- and that's all I ask of any product! I find this pad to be similar to the one that came with L'oreal's body wash (I didn't buy it, but I remember walking by it at the drugstore aisles). I like to use this pad to buff acne washes and makeup remover.

Make Up Forever Duo Mat #207

Both swatches are of MUFE Duo Mat #207. The one on the left is packed on, while the one on the right is blended in- it basically disappears!

MUFE's Duo Mat is my new go-to powder foundation that's replaced MAC's SFP (C35). It matches my skin extremely well and looks natural. I have normal/combination skin, and I do find that I get shiny (not really oily) around 5-6 hours of use, so I would recommend blotting sheets!

Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens (sorry for the poor lighting!)

My forehead gets shiny here and there. I've tried many brands of blotting sheets over the years, and Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens is by far the best I've used to date. I like to use this particular kind because it does not break me out!

MAC Eye Shadow in Typographic

Typographic swatch- packed on!

I've been on a brow fix. I've been using brown shadows for as long as I can remember (Espresso matches my natural high lights). I decided to take the plunge and try out Typographic, a dark grey shadow- and boy do I love it!

That's it for this haul. It's the biggest I've done in months!

Have you done any shopping lately? Do you have any great finds?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hair Care Routine

My hair is my favorite physical attribute and I've always been picky about how I wanted it done. My God-gifted hair is wavy, really thick, mildly coarse and frizzy. I have typical Cambodian hair (thanks, dad!)- it's "kinky" as my relatives like to call it. But when I get my hair 'did, whether it's done at the salon or when I do it myself, I absolutely love the outcome.

My hair in all its glory- not!

Girls' Generation's Sunny rockin' pretty hair.

When I asked for my cut, I showed the stylist a picture of Girls' Generation's Sunny. I absolutely love the light-lookingness of her hair (something I envy…) and how her hair looks so textured. In terms of coloring… I was really debating between going for traditional highlights vs the ever-so-popular ombre effect. Traditional highlights won out. And I'm absolutely in love with the outcome. It's currently being grown out (it was colored in June) and my color still looks amazing!

Head & Shoulders and L'oreal EverPure Moisture

My routine is quick and easy. I use one of two shampoos- sometimes alone, sometimes together. I swear by the Head & Shoulders Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (any which one, really) and L'oreal's EverPure Sulfate-free Moisture Shampoo. I squeeze out a half dollar size of product (total) and massage it into my scalp.

L'oreal EverStrong Hydrate

After, I apply a quarter's worth of L'oreal's EverStrong Sulfate-free Hydrate Conditioner. I focus the product on my ends and the mid-shaft of my hair. I make a conscious effort not to let the product come in contact with my scalp- I get serious issues with dandruff if I do.

Tresemme Heat Tamer

I pat my hair down with a microfiber towel, then mist on Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray all over and beneath the layers and let it set for about five minutes before coming it through.

Alterna Kendi Oil

I always blowdry my hair straight after I've washed it. I then apply a dime's worth of Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil Pure Treatment Oil focusing on my ends and mid-shaft. I LOVE this oil treatment and it's my absolute must-have hair product.

This is how my normally styled hair puts up against 95*+ weather!

During the spring/summer, I follow this routine 3x a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and during the fall/winter, I can get away with washing my hair 2x a week (Monday and Thursday). Pretty simple, right?

What's your hair routine like? Is it long and painful or short and simple?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Story with Acne

Kids can be so mean- that's a fact. It's hard growing up in a large city. On the playground, boys and girls would push one another off swings and laugh. They'd tell classmates that they're not pretty, or good at sports, or drawing, etc. All the other kids in class would end up laughing as well. Since grammar school, the biggest bully on my block was Acne. My struggle started when I was only 9 years old. I had breakouts all over my forehead, neck and back. Gross. What made matters worse was that the other kids didn't even make fun of me; they would just stare. My face and body was so full of acne, milia, etc it was like a deformity per se- and it's not nice to make fun of a "sick" person.

Hi~ I have skin issues. Nice to meet you! (makeup)

My mom saw an infomercial and ordered the Proactiv three-step system. I used it consistently until I was 11 and it cleared up my face drastically. It was to the point where I didn't have any more pus-filled zits, pinky redness or super-hyper-pigmentation, BUT for the first time in my life (of eleven years…), I got cystic acne. When I saw my pediatrician, he put me on minocycline. It kind of worked- my cysts were smaller, but still very obvious. When I was old enough, I was put on Accutane. Over time, I just felt like it wasn't worth my crazy hormonal changes and was slowly weened off the prescription. Around this time, I tried everything over-the-counter- Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, etc. My face was better, but I think it was because my body was still going through 'changes.' At 18, I tried the (IMHO) Holy Grail of acne medication: birth control, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo (it was a happy side effect for the main reason I went on the medication). It was amazing. My face was just CLEAR. And over the years, my super-hyper-pigmentation slowly sloughed away.

Christmas 2007- I started my birth control a couple months prior. (sans makeup)

At 21, when my problem (initial reason I went on birth control) was resolved, I was taken off the medication and my face went crazy. Again, I tried OTC products and none seemed to work. I figured I'd have acne ALL my life so I might as well get used to it. I was perusing around my local mall when I found myself at the Clinique counter. The SA was kind and seemed to really know what she was talking about (to some degree, her knowledge of acne was similar to my dermatologist). I went home with the acne system not thinking much of the product. Lo and behold, it's magic in a cleanser. I used it for two years religiously and it kept zits, blackheads, whiteheads and most importantly cystic acne at bay. The couple of times I forgot my acne treatment, my face broke out in crazy angry cystic acne that'd hang around and scar my face for months. I loved the outcome. It was beautiful. But over the years, I didn't want to be stuck lugging around products that couldn't pass through TSA (I travel often). So my search began again. In California, my sister introduced me to Pan-Oxyl. She swore that it helped with back acne, something I've never been able to get rid of. When home, I went to my local CVS and bought a tube. I haven't been able to use it til about a month ago, but I think it only works so-so for back acne. But on my face and neck, I saw no changes (aka, it works as well as the Clinique Acne System).

With my current skin care regimen, my face only breaks out 25% of the time (when TOM comes to visit). I'm happy with the Pan-Oxyl facial wash and I'm currently on the hunt for a Holy Grail targeted breakout corrector. I've used the spot treatment gel from Clinique, but find that it doesn't do much at all.

If you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment!
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