Sunday, December 30, 2012

YT: Dragon Storms Cat-Alot!

SO cute! When I saw this on YouTube, I knew I had to share it. It reminds me of Kuro (the dragon/chug) vs Zorro and Otie (the kitties)!

Also, if you could, please subscribe to The Pet Collective channel. This group donates money to each account who subscribes to their channel!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spotlight: Hair Color

I'm due for a haircut and I've gone for basically the same look since this past February. I love my hair. Really, I do. I love the cut and I love the subtle highlights I do have. I just might go for the same look yet again, but it doesn't hurt to look, right?

I love the placement of Jamie Chung's subtle, but bright highlights. It's exactly how I'd like my highlights to be placed as well.

Lucy's coif is always gorgeous and complements her so well! Her cut and color's absolutely stunning!!

Victoria's Secret model, Liu Wen, usually has her hair pitch black and pin straight. I'm glad there are some pictures of her strutting soft highlights. She looks amazing!

After May, I'm looking forward to having more fun with my hair! I'm really leaning towards going the "ombre" effect. 'Course, I don't want to go too crazy (I don't want blonde ends or anything). I'm thinking of leaving my natural color as my base and eventually fading towards a dark caramel color.

This is THE ombre effect that I'm looking for! I am absolutely in love with the woman's dark, almost black, base, her super dark brown shaft and medium brown ends. Plus, her sparse peek-a-boo lighter caramel ends are trendy! LOVE it!

I love Cheryl Cole's hair its has the subtlest change of color. And it's not too light at all! I love it! Dark haired girls don't NEED to go blonde!

Kekeke. Let's see what the future holds!

Images are not owned by me. I found them all over Google.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day in Norwich

Today was the first white Christmas in New England in say... two or three years. It was nice waking up to fluffy snow- even if it was only half an inch. I spent this Christmas with Cristhian's family, my future in-laws. Around noon, we took our three HUMUNGOUS bags of gifts and drove forty minutes down to Norwich.

The bestestest cousins enjoying Adiel's gift from Santa.

"Guess Who?"- the game of champions!

Adiel and I.

Excuse Ezequiel as he throws a diva fit.

The majority of the afternoon was spent wrangling up 12 month olds and calming down a five year old drama king. Oh, and playing Ezequiel's gifts from Santa. Keke.

Brenda's cooking up the Puerto Rican rice pudding

Vanessa's assembling the lasagnes!

We ended up making a semi-formal Christmas dinner (Puerto Rican ham, Puerto Rican sweet rice pudding, lasagne with broccoli & cheddar, corn on the cob and green beans sides)! I usually take pictures of the food, but it was a bit crazy with the kiddos. Whooo!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone's holiday was spent in warmth with family and friends, enjoying in laughter, love and lots of food!

Credit: Unorganized

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bright Nights 2012

Cristhian promised to take me to see lights this year! We actually had a couple of options within 30 minutes of us. One option was to go to the Hartford Holiday Light Fantasia in downtown and the other was to go to Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield.

Kuro's excited!

It was our first holiday trip of the season and we decided to make the drive up to Springfield. It usually takes under half an hour, but it took us a good 40 minute trek through downtown Hartford. But that's besides the point.

There was a line of traffic once we got on route 83, but we were forewarned. Besides, the 10 minute wait wasn't too bad. Once we took the right into the park, we were immediately greeted by a man who took our admission. Normally, the price per car is $18. But I was able to print out a $3 off a coupon to make our ending total $15. The next attendant we saw gave us a brochure with a map of the park and a $5 off coupon for our next trip (we may bring the kiddies)!

The first leg of the quarter was nice, I guess. It's something you'd expect at any lights festival- a nativity scene, Kwanza celebration note and a menorah. Immediately following was Seuss Land. It was SO cute!

Can you spot Cristhian and Kuro?

We saw an opportunity to walk around the park when we saw Santa's Pit Stop. Because it was only in the 30s, it was nice to take a break and breathe in the crisp winter air. Plus, we took advantage of the snack shop and ordered some fries!

WTF? Dinosaurs live in Massachusetts?

The Dino Land made me laugh most. Kekeke. Like what are dinosaurs doing in Mass.?! Are they lost and need directions outta there?!

Without a doubt, the houses were quintessentially New England. Surely. We especially liked that the lights reflected off the pond. And it was quite nice. One of the houses looked like it was almost 3D!

Bye, bye Springfield!

We didn't get to make a stop by at Santa's (it was almost 9, its closing time, when we left), but we'll make our way there next time. And It would've been nicer to see everything with snow stuck to the ground, but we haven't had much Christmas snow these past few years. My favorite stop was between Seuss Land and Toyland. Kuro's number one stop was definitely the Snack Stop! Cristhian liked the New England-esque area overlooking the Forest Park Pond.

On a random note, I hate last-minute Christmas shopping and Christmas shopping in general, I guess. I also hate not having money to buy Christmas gifts. Ehh, but I digress. That's a story for another time. Hopefully I'll be able to snag a part-time job! (Darius, auntie remembers that she owes you a birthday present!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H

WARNING: PICTURE HEAVY. Also, I was battling stress and hormonal acne for half of the pictures taken. Please do not be disgusted. :(

You can buy the new Lancôme Teint Idôle Ultra 24H formula at most, if not all, department stores and also at specialty makeup stores like Sephora. Lancôme claims that one's complexion will stay "perfectly flawless and unified. Never cakey." It should also last for 24 hours and wear "irresistibly comfortable… blendable and fresh texture leaves the complexion perfectly smooth, velvety matte with no powdery effect."

Really, the only thing I really don't like about the product is its packaging. It's made of glass, so it's incredibly fragile. I will say that it's attractive with its frosty look. But it's not functional. Boo!

I find that the liquid is not runny, but not at all thick and has a very good consistency. Also, I had time to buff it without worrying about it quickly drying. Its semi-matte, almost dewy finish is absolutely beautiful. (So beautiful that it pains me to set it with any sort of powder.) But its formula is great enough that even without setting the foundation, it looks and lasts the longest time.

Top: Freshly swatched. Bottom: Swatches after 15-20 minutes.

I found the color selection to be extremely good. It ranges from very fair to very deep and offers a generous amount of Ws, Cs and Ns to choose from. Also, I think it's a good idea to be matched at the makeup counter. That way, you can get a sample of your suggested color and test out whether or not your skin agrees!

When I was matched in July, I was getting over my Californian tan. I was matched to 410 Bisque (W). It actually melted onto my skin. Although I was darker than I normal, I was happy with how tan it made me! Later, in late August/September, I swatched 320 Bisque (W). Although much peachier than #410, I could tell that it would be suitable as my winter shade. Both looked great on my skin and had the right amount of yellow! I was completely amazed as this has never happened before (by that, I mean a foundation that just blends effortlessly onto my skin).

Freshly applied. Left: No flash. Right: With Flash.

8 hours, without blotting. Left: No flash. Right: With Flash.

16 hours, blotted twice. Left: No flash. Right: With Flash. (Sorry for the derp face. This was Halloween night...)

When tested under normal weather (no rain), I found that within the first 6 hours of wear, my face looked exactly the same as when I first applied it, and my forehead wasn't shiny. But after 8-9 hours, I started to notice shine so I'd have to blot. After 12 hours of wear, my whole face ended up becoming shiny and I would need to blot again. But again, my face still looked just as when I first applied it (only shiny). Even when I've napped, I found that the foundation still looks great. In my tests, I find that it looks decent even after 19 total hours of wear.

(Sorry about the pictures below! I finalized them before I knew how to lighten photos!) When I tested the foundation during inclement weather (when we had random spurts of rain and it was extremely foggy and humid), I decided to forgo the use of concealer and setting powder to fully test its capability. With one layer, TIU24 covered my redness, unevenness and blemishes with ease. I'm sure that even with a second layer, coverage would be emphasized, but would not look cakey. I find that it just looks like skin, such is the case with Teint Idôle.

5 hours in rain, without blotting. Left: No flash. Right: With Flash.

10 hours in rain/fog/humidity, without blotting. Left: No flash. Right: With Flash.

19 hours in rain/fog/humidity, blotted 5x total. Left: No flash. Right: With Flash.

For these pictures, I was able to go 16+ hours as I applied my makeup around 5am and washed it all off at 2:30am. (Close enough to the 24 hour claim, right?) At the end of the night, although I was an oil slick the coverage was still palpable. The redness from my the majority of my blemishes were still covered as only the two large cysts decided to peek through. It held up through rain, fog and long hours humidity. My pores were still covered and looked as fresh as when it was applied. The unevenness of my skin was still masked by the single layer of foundation.

Although I don't have oily skin, it's best to have a few blotting sheets handy. I found that after 6-7 hours of (normal) wear, I started to get shiny and needed to blot. Also, I'd like to note that the foundation is transfer-resistant. When I lightly blew my nose or rubbed against someone by mistake, foundation didn't appear anywhere! But when I blew my nose roughly (haha, I blow my nose like an elephant. Yes, yes!), I saw traces of foundation on the tissue. I think it lives up to its claims. I was testing out a long-lasting lipstick (which did NOT last, by the way) and even though I was constantly rubbing off lip product, the foundation stayed put.

8 hours. Concert conditions. Taken with flash. Both #320 and #410 worn.

Oh- and photographing in flash? Awesome. It didn't photograph with a white cast and kept me looking nice and even. When wearing this, I have no qualms over what to wear during a special event because I know I'll look human (aka not a ghost).

• medium to full coverage
• perfect amount of yellow
• long-wearing (lasted over 16 hours)
• concert-proof
• demi-matte finish
• photographs well
• transfer resistant
• not cakey
• perfect for cooler weather since oiliness is at bay

• packaging (gotta treat the bottle like porcelain…)
• ok for warmer weather, but prepare to blot a lot!

Would I repurchase this? Yes, most definitely!

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