Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: 2013

27 December, 2013

Indie Christmas: Notoriously Morbid's "A Dark Christmas Dream"

Bought It

Attention: We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you Indie Friday: The Christmas Edition! A bit late for the big day, but 'tis basically still the season, right?

For this extra-Christmassy edition of Indie Friday I thought I'd spotlight Notoriously Morbid's new "A Dark Christmas Dream" collection, which I got some sample baggies of during their Black Friday sale.

Notoriously Morbid A Dark Christmas Dream sample bags

25 December, 2013

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate, and a very merry Wednesday to those of you who don't!

Image source: photoraidz on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I won't be doing a poll question this week because I'm sure a lot of people will be busy doing holiday stuff offline today, but if you're bored (and/or avoiding certain family members) feel free to share what you'll be doing for the holiday in the comments. Personally I'll be cooking a massive meal with my boyfriend and watching stupid movies... oh, and in case anyone was wondering, the tinsel surprise was a success. :)

Enjoy your day!

17 December, 2013

Review & Swatches: e.l.f. Studio Moisturizing Lipstick

Affiliate Links Bought It

Hello holiday shoppers! Have you spent all of your money yet? Well, if you've got $3 left to spend on yourself perhaps you might be interested in a review of e.l.f.'s new Studio Moisturizing Lipsticks, which are - you guessed it - only three bucks each.

Today I'll be reviewing/swatching these lipsticks in three shades: Coral Cutie, Party in the Buff, and Flirty & Fabulous.

e.l.f. Studio Moisturizing Lipstick

16 December, 2013

Current Fave: Tony Moly Intense Care Dual Effect Sleeping Pack

Affiliate Links Bought It

Fun Fact: My apartment is ROASTING HOT right now. I'm sure I've complained about this before, but since the landlord controls the heat in our building it's often way too hot and dry in here. So here I sit in December, with the windows open and shorts on, pretending I'm at the beach and lamenting the dryness of my winter skin.

Unusually hot apartment aside, I'm sure I'm not the only one to experience dry skin in the winter, so I thought I'd talk about a moisturizing product I've really grown to love over the past year: Tony Moly's Intense Care Dual Effect Sleeping Pack.

Tony Moly Intense Care Dual Effect Sleeping Pack

15 December, 2013

Six Months of Hello Pretty Bird: My Blogging Mistakes

It's happened you guys: I've been updating this website regularly for six whole months. Well, more or less - I deleted my introductory post when I changed the name of the site because it no longer made sense (more on that later). But we're right around the six month mark in any case.

Six months is not enough time for me to claim expertise on all things beauty blogging, but it has been enough time for me to sort of get into my stride and figure out the basics. I haven't had any major problems during my relatively short time in this corner of cyberspace, but of course there have been a few small missteps here and there. Being the self-deprecating fool that I am I thought I'd share those things with you - perhaps if you're a new-ish blogger you can learn from some of my mistakes? Or at the very least you might be able to commiserate and/or laugh at me.

Accidental bad hair selfie: also a mistake.

13 December, 2013

Update to Comment System on HelloPrettyBird + Social Media Stuff

Hey folks!

This is just a quick update to let you know that I've switched from the standard commenting system on Blogger to Disqus in order to make my posts more discussion-friendly. I'm sure most of you already use Disqus on other sites, but in case you've never encountered it before here are a few pointers:

I <3 stock photography. Image source: twobee @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • You have to sign up for an account to use Disqus, but it takes like three seconds and you don't even have to leave the page. Just click on the commenting field, click the part where it says "Register with Disqus", enter your info, hit the little arrow and you're all set! You might want to verify your e-mail address at some point for security reasons, but you don't have to do that to leave your first comment.
  • If you're also a blogger or website owner, make sure to fill out your Disqus profile so people can easily find your site info when they click on your name. To do that quickly, click the arrow next to your name at the bottom right-hand side of the widget, select "Your Profile", and when it pops up hit the "edit" button and it will open your dashboard page. Once you're there you can add a website and bio under the "profile" tab and a picture under the "avatar" tab.

The biggest change to come from all this is that you won't be able to comment anonymously anymore - though if you sign up for Disqus with a bogus name it's not like I'm going to know. :P

I've tested Disqus on my mobile devices and it seems to work, but I'm not sure how well it will play with older phones and such - if you have any problems feel free to e-mail or tweet me. The widget is in the process of importing the old comments from Blogger now, so hopefully all your old nuggets of wisdom will be back in their rightful places shortly. Hopefully.

Indie Friday: Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter & Perfume Oils Review

Bought It

Alrighty then, who wants to read about some delectable-smelling bath and body treats from an awesome indie company? Today I'll be writing about a few things I picked up from Haus of Gloi recently - more specifically, a couple of their body butters (aka "Pumpkin Butters") and perfume oils.

Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter

11 December, 2013

How I'll Be Stuffing My Boyfriend's Stocking This Christmas

Affiliate Links Bought It

Now that I've got your attention with that saucy post title, would you like to see what I bought for my boyfriend's Christmas stocking? All of the responses to my gifts for men poll and male gift guides floating around the blogosphere lead me to believe I'm not the only one who finds their significant other difficult to shop for, so perhaps this post will provide some inspiration.

Please note: I will be using stock images in this post because I already have some of this stuff wrapped/bundled up! Also, a lot of the things I bought came from ASOS because I happened to be shopping on there anyway, but many of them have equivalents on other websites or even at a store near you, GASP.

07 December, 2013

Review: e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 (Fair)

Affiliate Links Bought It

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for novelty. Whenever a company I buy makeup from regularly releases something in a new format I'm like OMGMUSTTRY. Which is great for blogging material, but not so great for my wallet. Anyway, between e.l.f.'s regular low prices and frequent 50% off sales I felt like I didn't have much to lose by trying their new BB cream, so I thought I'd share my results with you... for science!

e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 fair

06 December, 2013

Indie Friday: Portland Black Lipstick Company (review & swatches)

Bought It

So today I'm really excited to introduce a new series on HelloPrettyBird: Indie Fridays! I haven't decided yet if this will become a weekly or fortnightly feature, but going forward I'll being doing regular posts focusing on smaller, independent purveyors of goods and their wares (or just general information about indie cosmetics). You can expect to see a lot of makeup and fragrance in particular because that's what I tend to buy for myself, but perhaps I'll branch out a bit if another type of indie company strikes my fancy. :P

For my first-ever Indie Friday (yay!) I'll be talking about Portland Black Lipstick Company, which makes "All-Natural Makeup For That Un-Natural Look."

05 December, 2013

10 Holiday Gifts Under $50 I'd Actually Want to Receive

Affiliate Links

Hey guys - I don't know if you heard, but the holidays are coming up. Yeah, really. Have you bought all the stuff yet?

Image source: Grant Cochrane @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Personally I'm still second-guessing some of my gift ideas. I have no trouble thinking of stuff that I would want, but I'm not shopping for myself, now am I? Well, sometimes I am. But not right now. Today I thought I'd share a few things that I've been coveting, because if I'd enjoy receiving them as gifts that means somebody else probably would too, right?

04 December, 2013

Weekly Poll: Your Desert Island Makeup Brand

It's Wednesday... do you know where your children are? (Do they still use that tagline in PSAs? If not, I probably sound really creepy right now.)

Aaaaaanyway, Wednesday means it's time for another reader poll!

This week's question goes out to anybody who wears makeup - I'm guessing that's most of you?

If you were allowed to buy one and only one makeup brand for the rest of your life, which one would you choose and why?

Personally I would choose Revlon, which is interesting because they don't usually crack my list of HG or favorite products. But if we're talking about products for the ENTIRE FACE (and nails) they have reasonably good offerings throughout their line, including foundation that doesn't make me look ridiculously orange. And it doesn't hurt that they're affordable - if I'm stuck on this hypothetical deserted makeup island I'm still going to be watching my pennies, because that's just how I am.

Which brand would you guys choose? There can only be ONE!!!

03 December, 2013

Review: em Michelle Phan Lash Gallery Dramatic Volume Mascara

Bought It

Today's review may be of interest to those of you who have eyelashes you wish to accentuate! I received em Cosmetics' Lash Gallery Dramatic Volume Mascara in my last Ipsy bag, and since em is a relatively new brand I thought it might be helpful to do a review.

em Michelle Phan Lash Gallery Dramatic Volume Mascara

02 December, 2013

Cyber Monday Beauty Deals 2013 (sorry in advance to your wallets)

Affiliate Links

Just in case your wallet isn't totally exhausted from Black Friday, I've compiled a list of some of the Cyber Monday/online holiday beauty deals I found especially interesting. Most of these deals run through today only, but I'll make note of it if they have a later expiry date.

Image source: OpenClipArt

Personally I'm eyeing the deals from Ulta and Wantable pretty hard... how about you?

30 November, 2013

Holiday Gift Idea: STEAMCREAM Moisturizer

PR Sample

I completely forgot to say this yesterday, but happy Hanukkah to all of you who celebrate it! My sister's kids took great delight in wishing anyone and everyone a "Happy Thanksgivikkah" at Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, so it's quite silly of me to forget.

Anyway, now that Thanksgiving is over it's time to get serious about Christmas gift shopping. I recently got to try STEAMCREAM moisturizer and thought I'd share my thoughts, as STEAMCREAM tins would likely make an excellent gift or stocking stuffer for the skincare junkie in your life.

STEAMCREAM moisturizer moisturiser Shu tin

29 November, 2013

Some Black Friday online beauty deals worth checking out (2013)

Affiliate Links

Hey everybody! Hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good one. Personally I went to my sister's house and watched her three sons wrestle each other and eat turkey legs larger than their heads, though getting there wasn't as simple as it should have been:

Always a blast when that happens. Anyway, I thought I'd write up a list of some of the juicier Black Friday deals I've seen advertised lately, because I'm sure many of us will be hitting up the sales for our holiday shopping needs. I've done my best to provide accurate info and links - if you spot any mistakes let me know!

27 November, 2013

Weekly Poll: Do Beauty Bloggers Require Solid Makeup Skills?

Today's Wednesday so it's time to have your say! Come join in the weekly poll, Awesome Patrol!

I'm a POET.

OK, so I'm a bit nervous about posting today's question(s) because I worry that they will be a bit controversial for some. Maybe. Probably not. But YOLO or something, right? This week's topic is for anyone who reads beauty blogs (so all of you):

Do you think bloggers posting makeup looks, FOTDs and tutorials should have a high level of makeup skill? Why or why not? Does your opinion change if it's a professional blogger?

Personally I would say no, because there are people who excel in other areas of makeup blogging that are valuable to the community (like swatching or writing interesting reviews) so having perfect eyeshadow technique or whatever in their FOTDs isn't necessarily that important. And I'm including pro beauty bloggers in that assessment, because there are people who have built hugely successful niche blogs mainly off reviews and whatnot.

As for tutorials, if I saw one that didn't look good I probably would just pass over it without spending too much time thinking about it. Of course you may feel differently than I do - what say you? When do you see a blogger with no makeup skills do you run for the hills? (Okay, the rhyming needs to stop NOW, R.)

21 November, 2013

3 Things That Don't Suck: Roses, Roses, Roses

Affiliate Links Bought It

It seems like rose is one of those scents that people tend to love or hate. Personally I'm in the "love" category, but I've had many a friend tell me they thought rose perfume smelled old lady-ish. But they're wrong I tell you, SO WRONG!

Today I thought I'd show you three of my favorite rose-themed beauty products. I realize that this is not seasonally appropriate at all, but I've been using all three of these things on a daily basis lately so that must count for something, right?

20 November, 2013

Weekly Poll: Holiday Gifts for Men

Hey hey it's Wednesday! Guess what that means? It's time for another weekly poll!

This week's question is for those of you who are buying holiday gifts for men this year:

What sort of holiday gifts do you typically give the men in your life? Or if you are a man, what sorts of gifts do you like to receive?

I ask this because I'm sort of stumped for ideas and my boyfriend is a pain in the ass to shop for. And he probably wouldn't appreciate getting one of the million makeup holiday sets that I think are pretty, believe it or not. He likes surprises, but when I ask him what general categories of things he might be interested in he always gives me a sassy answer. For example, earlier today I asked him what his favorite gifts were last Christmas and he answered "Chocolate, chocolate and CHOCOLATE!" and then he laughed like a giddy little schoolgirl. NOT HELPFUL, DUDE.

This topic was actually inspired by a post about manly soaps over at A Beauty Product A Day, and I wrote about Dollar Shave Club yesterday, so those are a couple of ideas. But soaps and razors just don't seem that exciting on their own... and don't even think of suggesting socks, because my mom sends him enough to outfit ten people every year.

So what say you, holiday shoppers? Do you have some gifts in mind for the men in your life? Or if you just want to complain about people who are hard to shop for in the comments that's fine too. :P

10 November, 2013

Review: Kuan Yuan Lian Cucumber Water Spray

Bought It

It's official: The heating in my apartment is totally drying out my skin. Which is why I'm glad that I have an array of facial mists on hand, including Kuan Yuan Lian's Cucumber Water Spray. Today's review was requested by Yomi C in the post about my last Sasa haul... which I made almost a month ago, yikes. I'm a bad blogger for just getting around to it now! I will be writing up a review of the Bio-essence Lifting Cream in the near future as well for those who were interested.

Kuan Yuan Lian Cucumber Water Spray

08 November, 2013

Two blogger awards/tags: The Versatile Blogger & The Liebster Award

Hello everybody! So this week I was nominated for not one but TWO blogging awards/tags by two of my fellow bloggers: Chibilaria and Insane About Makeup. Thank you so much to both of you! I'm really flattered that you thought of me.

I decided to consolidate both of these into one post... hope you don't mind! Of course I will answer both of your questions separately. :)

06 November, 2013

Review: Shills Luminous City Block SPF43/PA+++

Bought It

Put your hand up if you like BB cream! Now put your other hand up if you're entertained by confusing packaging! Now wave your hands in the air and scream if you'd like to read a review of something that fits into both of those categories!

Shills Luminous City Block may appeal to fans of light coverage BB creams and/or tinted moisturizers... assuming you're not stupid like me and know what you're actually buying.

Shills Luminous City Block SPF43/PA+++

I bought this a couple of months ago from Sasa.com thinking it was simply a suncream, but it's actually more like a tinted moisturizer. Which wouldn't be a bad thing if it weren't so terribly wrong for my skin tone. At first I wasn't going to review Shills City Block because I goofed and it isn't really what I intended to buy, but lately I've had a bunch of search hits from people looking for reviews on this, so I thought I'd at least share some basic info about the product.

04 November, 2013

Tips & Tricks: How To Get Yankee Candle Tarts For Half the Price

Affiliate Links Bought It

I've been on a scented candle-burning kick lately. I don't know if it's because there's a chill in the air or because the days are growing darker, but the visual "warmth" of candles is a really lovely thing to have around your home, and of course pleasant fragrances go well with any season. :)

Personally I'm a fan of small votive candles and tarts because I like changing up which scent I'm using frequently, and those massive candles in jars can last a loooong time. If you don't know what a "tart" is, I mean those wickless scented wax melts that you burn in a "tart burner" like this or this. Here's a picture of some Yankee Candle tarts to illustrate:

Yankee Candle tarts normally retail for $1.99 apiece, which isn't terribly expensive but we all like to save money whenever possible, right? So today I'll be sharing a quick tip on how to how to slice your tart budget in half.

28 October, 2013

Review: Baviphat Peach All-In-One Peeling Gel

Affiliate Links Bought It

So here's a question for all you skincare addicts out there: How often does interesting packaging entice you to buying a product that you otherwise might not have? I find that it happens with me occasionally, and the product I'll be reviewing today is one example of such behavior. I added a mini-sized jar of Baviphat's All-In-One Peeling Gel to my cart while I was placing my last TesterKorea order without really thinking that I don't using peeling gels very often... but look at it!

Baviphat Peach All-In-One Peeling Gel

Hard to resist something shaped like a tiny peach, eh? This is the mini size (about 7g), so my stupid impulses only set me back ₩1500 (about US $1.40). I won't feel too guilty about that. The full size is 100g and also comes in a peach-shaped container.

24 October, 2013

Ramblings on hobbies, neuroticism and soup

Warning: This post will be somewhat personal in nature and rather rambly. If that sort of thing doesn't interest you, feel free to not click "read more" and instead look at this picture of a swan I took:

Hello pretty bird, indeed.

22 October, 2013

Review & Swatches: Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color

Affiliate Links Bought It

So I don't know about you, but I'm loving the fact that bold, deep lip colors are so trendy right now. I used to be one of those people who never wore lipstick because I was scared of it smearing and getting all over my teeth, but lately I've been finding myself wanting to wear darker and bolder shades on my lips.

Today I'll be doing a little review and some swatches of Wet n Wild's MegaLast lipstick. These have been out for a while, but at around $2 apiece they are a very inexpensive way to expand your collection of lip colors. Perfect if you want to test out some of those fall-friendly shades without busting the budget, eh?

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color inPurty Persimmon 970 Vamp It Up 919B Sugar Plum Fairy 908C Stoplight Red 911D Cherry Bomb 918D Pink Suga' 900B

Wet n Wild currently has a whopping 26 shades of MegaLast Lip Color listed on their website. Today I'll be showing you six of them as pictured above:

  • Top L-R: Purty Persimmon (970), Vamp It Up (919B), Sugar Plum Fairy (908C)
  • Bottom L-R: Stoplight Red (911D), Cherry Bomb (918D), Pink Suga' (900B)

17 October, 2013

Halloween Stupidity: Fright Night Eyeliner "Tattoos" w/ Rhinestones

Bought It

Do you ever have one of those moments where you buy something on an impulse, look at it later and then think "What in hell did I think I was going to do with this? I'm an idiot!" That pretty much sums up my feelings after purchasing Fright Night's Eyeliner Tattoos with rhinestones, which I threw in my cart along with some concealers and other boring stuff I got at Ulta recently. But rather than let it be a total waste, I decided I'd use them and blog the results so you all can laugh at me.

16 October, 2013

My Scheming Bamboo Charcoal & Cryste Marine Whitening Double Lifting Mask (3D) review & photos

Affiliate Links Bought It

Hey hey hey! Special news bulletin: I've got a review for you guys today. But not just any review... it's a review of a sheet mask. I know, I know, exotic stuff. But it's not just any sheet mask, it's a 3D sheet mask. Be still, my beating heart!

The 3D mask in question is My Scheming's Bamboo Charcoal & Cryste Marine Whitening Double Lifting Mask. And the name of this product isn't nearly long enough, amirite? I picked these up in my latest Sasa.com haul.

12 October, 2013

Review: Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

Affiliate Links Bought It

So if you've been following my blog regularly lately, you may have noticed that I've had sort of a love-hate relationship with Freeman Beauty's mask offerings. I liked their pineapple mask (except for the inclusion of microbeads), but their starfruit mask was a total disaster for me. Since I'm a crazy person, I feel compelled to press on and try every single one of their masks. For uh... research purposes.

Today I'll be reviewing Freeman Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask, which I purchased in the 0.5 fl.oz / 15mL "travel size". Will it be better for me than its predecessors were? Only one way to find out!

Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

10 October, 2013

Review: Reviva Labs Lindenflower & Rosewater Facial Sprays

Affiliate Links Bought It

What's up, good citizens of the internet? Today I thought I'd do a review on a type of product I'm perhaps a bit too obsessed with... facial mists. Some people are addicted to lip balm, I'm addicted facial mists. Well, and lip balm. Well, and maybe coffee too. There's definitely such a thing as coffee-flavored lip balm, but is there a coffee-scented facial mist? My mind is racing.

The mists (or "facial sprays") of the day come to you from Reviva Labs. There are two varieties: Rosewater and Lindenflower. Reviva is a "natural" brand, and perhaps you remember seeing these when I posted my iHerb natural skincare haul last month. If not, here's what they look like:

Reviva Labs Lindenflower Rosewater Facial Sprays mists ingredients

The packaging isn't especially pretty, but perhaps there's more to these humble-looking mists than meets the eye...

09 October, 2013

Review: Etude House Mascara Remover (plus comparison test against Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover)

Affiliate Links Bought It

Greetings y'all... do you like using a dedicated eye makeup remover? Because I certainly do, even on top of my cleansing oil. For me, liquid eye makeup remover + cleansing oil = 100% less panda eyes in the morning. True story.

Today I'll be reviewing "Mascara Remover", an eye makeup remover from the popular Korean brand Etude House. Want to see how it stacks up against my current makeup remover of choice? Keep on readin'!

Black lipstick: How to wear it, where to buy it

Affiliate Links

Hello everybody... how has your autumn been going so far? I can't believe we're already almost a third of the way through October. Time flies when you're doing... stuff. October is one of my favorite months of the year because it's usually when a little bit of chill starts to creep into the air, and of course because of Halloween!

I've always been a fan of bold and costumey makeup regardless of the season, but Halloween is special because you can wear pretty much anything in public without people thinking you're insane. And October is also special because in my mind it's sort of the unofficial "Black Lipstick Month", AKA the time when these bad boys show up in the drugstores and supermarkets:

I'm going to be honest: Fantasy Makers black lipstick is certainly alright for occasional costume or photo-taking purposes, but it doesn't have the best longevity. So what's a gal (or guy) to do when they want to sport a bold black lip all day (or night) long and this is the only thing they can find in their local drugstore? Why, turn to the internet of course!

Today I'll be sharing some general tips for applying black lipstick, as well as a list of a few black lipstick shades from popular brands and where to buy them online. Whether it's for a Halloween costume or just a spooky day in July, it helps to know where to buy the stuff!

05 October, 2013

Review: Freeman Feeling Beautiful Star Fruit Purifying Facial Paper Mask

Affiliate Links Bought It

Greetings friends!

Today I'll be reviewing another mask from Freeman. I'm a little mask-crazy, I know. But this mask is actually a bit unique... wanna know why? It's an American sheet mask. Say what?

Yeah, you heard me right. Freeman Beauty recently came out with three different "Paper Facial Masks", which are indeed just sheet masks by another name. I've noticed that a few American and European brands have come out with sheet mask-like products in the past couple years, but at under $2 apiece they're the only ones I've seen so far that compete price-wise with their inexpensive Asian counterparts (such as My Beauty Diary). And Freeman is a drugstore brand, so if you're in the USA these should be relatively easy to find (I got mine at Walmart). Here are the three varieties:

One for purifying, one for hydrating and one for brightening. Seems promising, right? Today I'll be reviewing the Purifying Star Fruit variety.

04 October, 2013

Poll: What beauty products do you wish you'd known about earlier?

So the post I did earlier about cleansing oil got me wondering... what are some beauty or skincare products you wish you'd known about long before you actually discovered them?

For me one of the answers would definitely be cleansing oils and balms. I only discovered the concept of double cleansing a few years ago (I'm nearly 30 now, so derp), and before that I cursed the skies daily because I could never figure out how to get all my foundation off. Makeup wipes helped, but they dried out my skin and didn't always get everything off.

In retrospect I feel kind of dumb for not realizing that this was a good idea, because back when I was a member of my high school's drama club (aww yeah) we used Pond's Cold Cream to take our stage makeup off after performances. Cold cream is basically like a more solid form of cleansing oil, guys. Double-derp.

Anyway, what are some beauty products you wish you'd known about much earlier? Let us know in the comments - you may even be helping out me or a fellow reader! :)

Current Fave: Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil

Affiliate Links Bought It

Hey everybody!

I did a mini review of Innisfree's Apple Juicy Cleansing oil when I first bought it in July, but since I'm still totally loving it a couple months on, I thought I'd do a more detailed review with all the "Apple Juicy" details. HA HA HA! Oh my.

Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil

29 September, 2013

Reminder: Sheet mask giveaway ends in 24 hours!

Hello folks! Have you entered my sheet mask giveaway yet? It ends in about 24 hours, so if you haven't yet now's your last chance! UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified.

And now for a bonus cute cat picture:

28 September, 2013

Review: The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner & Emulsion

Affiliate Links Bought It


Today I'll be doing a review of a couple of basic skincare items I purchased: The Face Shop's Calendula Eden Essential Toner & Emulsion. I've been using these items as part of my daytime skincare routine for the past three weeks, and I think that's enough time to get a good feel for them. This review was requested by Tessia when I posted a pic of my last Sasa haul, so I hope you find some of the info useful!

The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture Toner and Emulsion

27 September, 2013

Get to Know Me: Beauty Blogger Tag!

Hello again everybody!

I saw this tag on Beauty Junkie on a Budget and decided to have a go. I don't think I've done any tags on this blog before, and besides, what blogger doesn't like to talk about themselves a little bit? C'mon. Plus we all know that I work hard to put the "beauty" in beauty blogging:

Mudbeard? Nay, SPOT TREATMENT!!!

And without further ado, here are the questions and my answers. You can breathe now.

26 September, 2013

The train brain-drain

Greetings friendly people!

Apologies for not posting as per my normal schedule for the past couple days (I'm sure you were deeply disturbed). I had a "Graaaahhh!" day yesterday followed by a "HEHBF!FAAAQBBQ" kind of day today. Yeah, it was that good.

I won't get into all the mundane details, but when all was said and done I managed to go visit my mother, who lives about three hours away by train. And that's where I am now. Speaking of which, I got the best seat on the train ride down here today: Wedged between a drunk finance exec who wanted to talk about the various things in my purse/sailboat racing (WTF?) and this:

Yep, that's a plain grey wall with no window. Can you tell that I was cowering a bit? Because I was cowering a bit.

Anyway, I hope to be back with your regularly scheduled nonsense tomorrow, but for now I'll just leave you with a picture of this delicious snack I found in the supermarket here:

21 September, 2013

Saturday Foolishness: Procrastination & When Good Makeup Goes Bad

Hello everybody! Hope you're having a good Saturday (or Sunday, for those of you in far-off lands). I've been spending the day "cleaning" my home office. By "cleaning" I mean going in there and putting on makeup, because my home office also doubles as my closet/dressing room/cosmetics storage facility and I hate doing chores.

I was experimenting with some more "dramatic" eyeshadow looks when I totally screwed up and smeared mascara all over my eyelid. Rather than fix it and move on, I thought it would be funny to try and make myself look as scary as possible to "surprise" Stan. Did I succeed? You decide!

19 September, 2013

Ramblings on autumn, personal goals and hummus

Ramble alert: I'm putting most of this post after the jump in case you don't want to hear me blather on about personal crap. You have been warned.

So, the seasons are changing again - as of Sunday, it will officially be autumn. Well, for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Autumn is a special time of year for me because it reminds me of new beginnings. It makes me nostalgic for the excitement of all those first days of school (before the realization that I would have to get up at the asscrack of dawn EVERY SINGLE DAY sunk in) - the possibility of new things to learn and of making new friends. Coincidentally, a couple of the times I've relocated across a great distance as an adult (cross-country and inter-continental) have been around August/September. So the change of seasons also reminds me of my life changing.

17 September, 2013

Review: Tony Moly Appletox Honey Cream (plus bonus eBay info!)

Affiliate Links Bought It

So earlier today when I was rambling about jewelry shaped like apples and pickles I had no idea that there would be an apple-shaped surprise in my mailbox this afternoon... a jar of Tony Moly Appletox Honey Cream!

I've purchased this product before, but I've never done a review so I figured better late than never. I bought this particular jar from eBay seller cosmeticmarket2012, so I'll be doing a mini review of them as well.

Ready to unpack the box with me?

My Weird Wishlist: Pickle Jewelry

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Once upon a time I had this really cute necklace with a plastic pendant shaped like an apple core. Then one fateful day it accidentally got squished in a closing door and broke. Better than my fingers, I guess. Like any diligent internet shopper/lover of adorable apple-shaped things, I immediately went on eBay to see if I could find a replacement. Thankfully I was able to, but during my search I also discovered a much more "unusual" theme for foodie jewelry... pickles!

Pickle earrings sold by eBay user pickleaddicts, who sells a wide
variety of pickle-themed objects. Because apparently pickle-mania
runs rampant on eBay.

Yes, really. While there aren't as many pickle-themed accessories on eBay as there are apple-themed ones, it's enough of a "thing" that I'm able to make a wishlist post about it. Curious? Appalled? Keep reading!

15 September, 2013

What I do with my reject sheet masks

Do you ever buy skincare products, use them a couple of times, then realize you totally hate them but feel bad about throwing them away?

I think that happens to most of us, because it's hard to know 100% for sure whether something will break us out, smell weird, make our skin feel oily etc. Since sheet masks are sort of hard to find locally, I'll buy a bunch off the internet at one time so I can get the most out of the shipping costs, but once in a while I run into one I totally end up hating (like the Vanedo lemon mask I wrote about here). But thankfully I've found a great use for those reject masks...

08 September, 2013

Review: Etude House "I'm Blooming" Deep Moisture Mist

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Summer is winding down, and the season for facial mists is ending... or is it? A lot of people tend to favor facial mist sprays in the summer because of their cooling properties, but personally I like to use them year-round because basically any sort of extreme hot or cold weather (or heating or AC) dries the crap out of my skin.

Today I'll be reviewing Etude House's "I'm Blooming" Deep Moisture mist. I bought a sample-size bottle of this to try from RoseRoseShop, and I like it so much that I've been bringing it with me everywhere... even on my trip to Chicago!

Etude House I'm Blooming pocket mist mini sample

07 September, 2013

Air Travel Tips: What's in your liquids bag?

Affiliate Links Bought It Freebies

So my recent trip to Chicago got me thinking: What are the most efficient ways to pack liquids for air travel with the current restrictions for carry-on baggage? Just in case you aren't familiar, they are:

3-1-1 for carry-on luggage = bottle of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) or less (per volume); 1 quart transparent plastic bag hermetically sealed; 1 bag per passenger placed in the inspection container. One quart size bag per person limits the total volume of liquid that each passenger can carry.  The 3.4 ounce (100 ml) container size is a security measure. Medically required liquids, such as baby formula and food, breast milk and medications are allowed in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities for the flight. It is not necessary to place medically required liquids in a zip-top bag. However, you must tell the Transportation Security Officer that you have medically necessary liquids at the beginning of the screening checkpoint process. (From the TSA website)

With most domestic airlines in the USA charging extra fees for hold luggage and the liquids restrictions being so strict it can be hard to fit everything into your tiny allotment, especially if you're the type of person to wear liquid makeup (me!) and go on trips for a week or longer (also me!)

I did manage to fit pretty much everything I needed into my quart bag for the week-long trip, so I figured I'd share what I brought and some general tips on packing makeup and toiletries for travel.

My liquids bag. Yes, I really like to push things to limit.
But as long as the bag closes easily you're OK!

05 September, 2013

Review: SexyLook Intensive Whitening Black Cotton Mask

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So today I'll be taking about something rather interesting... a black sheet mask that's supposed to have whitening properties. Somehow putting a moist black piece of cotton on the face feels like it would be counterproductive to skin lightening, but perhaps there's more to it than meets the eye.


01 September, 2013

Nexcare acne patches available in America?!

Hi y'all!

I'm back from my trip and still in one piece, which is probably (maybe) good news. I plan on posting about my trip in a little bit, but first I just had to share something I just discovered whilst poking around Amazon - it seems like there's now a western version of Nexcare Acne Dressings available?! They're being sold as "3M Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers". In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, I mean these:

Overseas version of Nexcare acne patches.

22 August, 2013

Review: Innisfree's Green Tea Pure skincare line

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Time for more reviews of items from the haul vaults!

Today I'll be writing about some items from Innisfree's Green Tea skincare line. I purchased a sample kit from TesterKorea last month, so I've had a few weeks to size up several of their products and see how well they work in conjunction with each other. Curious? Keep reading!

Innisfree Pure The Green Tea Seed Serum Pure Skin Pure Lotio Pure Cream Pure Sleeping pack

20 August, 2013

Review: Lioele Dollish Veil Vita BB Cream (Gorgeous Purple)

Ah, Lioele. If you spend any amount of time reading up on Korean makeup brands, chances are you've heard of Lioele and their BB creams. I've tried a few of their popular products (namely Triple the Solution and Beyond the Solution BB creams), and while they are excellent products in terms of feel and coverage, they are way too dark for my ultra-pale self. Thankfully, there's Lioele's Dollish Veil Vita BB - it's got the same standard of quality as Lioele's other BB creams, with a lighter, more CC cream-like coverage.

Lioele Dollish Veil Vita BB Cream Gorgeous Purple

17 July, 2013

KoComall: Experiences With My First Purchase (+ Bonus Product Reviews!)

Calling all you Korean skincare product fans out there:

Have you tried KoComall.com yet? Because I just placed my first order with them and I'm very pleased with the results.

In case you've never heard of KoComall: It's an online beauty shop selling mostly (or maybe entirely?) Korean beauty products. They carry popular brands (i.e. Etude House, SkinFood, TonyMoly) of skincare, makeup, men's products etc. They ship from Korea, so the prices on most of their items are much lower than what you'd find in a local beauty supply shop in the US. I had read some good reviews of them online, but since I hadn't tried them before I placed a small order. Here's what I got:

Kocomaul haul seoulglamour

12 July, 2013

Guide to Buying Asian Cosmetics Online Part 1: eBay

So, you want to buy some Asian cosmetics. You've read a million blogs and made a massive wishlist of products you want to try, but aren't sure which online vendors are reputable (or the most affordable). If only there was a list of in-depth tips and reviews for some of the most popular sources...

Today's blog post will be the first in an ongoing series about different websites selling Asian cosmetics. I do live in an area with a rather large Chinatown and Koreatown, but I often prefer to buy my stuff online because (a) shopping online is convenient and (b) certain things are cheaper online (yes, even with international shipping!) Rather than just sit on all my knowledge about this stuff, I thought I'd share a few shopping tips and tricks on various merchants. I will only be reviewing websites I've bought from recently, but luckily I'm constantly purchasing stuff like this so I will definitely have some ground to cover in the days to come!

Now, onto the site du jour: eBay. I'll be doing a brief overview of eBay in general, but if you're just looking for a list of reliable sellers, skip to the bottom! For now, let's start with a quick overview:

Various Korean cosmetics samples I've obtained off eBay.

What is unique about eBay and why should I buy Asian cosmetics there?

05 July, 2013

"What the heck are sheet masks?" plus Vanedo Beauty Friends Sheet Mask review

So today I'm going to kick off what will undoubtedly be a series on some of my favorite things to buy... Asian and Asian-inspired beauty products! A large percentage of my purchases are from Korean brands, and today I'll be reviewing a Korean brand of sheet masks - Vanedo. But before I get into the review nitty-gritty I want to talk about what exactly sheet masks are.

Now, since this blog is not exclusively about Asian or Korean products, some of you may be wondering: "What the heck is a sheet mask?" I shall elaborate. If you already know, feel free to skip ahead.


Sheet Masks 101

In the simplest terms, a sheet mask is a piece of thin cotton cloth with eye and mouth holes cut in it that comes pre-soaked in facial serum.  They make you look a bit like a ghost or Jason while you're wearing them, but afterwards, your skin will glow.

How it works: You put the mask on your face (usually for a minimum of 20 minutes) to let the serum soak in and do its magic. There are many brands and many, MANY different types of sheet masks targeting different skincare issues... anti-wrinkle, whitening/brightening, anti-acne, moisturizing, and so on. They are typically aromatic and often contain plant extracts... flowers, fruit and herbs (such as ginseng or green tea) are among the most common ingredients and scents. Sometimes you'll see masks that tout chemical actives over botanics (such as arbutin for whitening). Other times you will see masks that tout natural benefits that are animal-derived, such as pearl powder or snail mucin as anti-acne or anti-aging ingredients. Sometimes you'll see a combination of the aforementioned ingredients. In any case, there's a lot of variety!

What are sheet masks?
A non-moistened, unfolded sheet mask. Looks a little bit like
something out of a horror film, right?  Image from this wholesaler.