Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mrs. Claus Is Comin' To Town

Red. Glitter. Slatkin & Co. Leaves candle.

Those three things just ooze with festiveness.

I recently discovered a fun way to wear the first two together - and no, I'm not talking about those ruby red slippers Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz. Though on second thought, it would be pretty cool to have shoes that could transport me anywhere at the click of my heels. Hmmm...

Unfortunately, I've heard sparkly red teleporation shoes are currently on backorder until - well, the end of time. So what's the next best thing? Sparkly red nails of course!

Last week while I was waiting for my car to be serviced, I tweeted a picture of me wearing my favorite holiday nail polish combination - Sephora by OPI Personal Shopper with China Glaze Mrs. Claus on top.

Personal Shopper is a pretty standard red color that I got in a little trio from Sephora a while back. It was a 500 point prize. Not too shabby for a prize from Sephora right?

Any rich, creamy red color will work just fine as a base, so there's no need to feel like you have to run out and get this exact color. Just don't skip the base altogether though, because Mrs. Claus on her own just doesn't look the same. Bonus points for everyone who noticed that I used "her" instead of "its." (:

Now on to the main attraction - Mrs. Claus. I was debating between this and Ruby Pumps, but ended up going with the missus because she had big chunky glitter - and that's exactly what I wanted. None of that dinky "shimmer" glitter stuff for me. Nuh uh!

The only downside to this combo is that it's a nightmare to get off. Prepare to scrub your life away ladies! There is an upside to this downside though - since it's so hard to get off, the color is less likely to chip. Yay! Also, be sure to use a good thick top coat like Seche Vite or Sally Hansen's Mega Shine. If you don't, the glitter will snag on everything and that's not something to be "yay-ing" about.

Now if only nail polish smelled like the Leaves candle - then life would be perfect. I guess we can't have it all though! *Sigh*

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yes To Carrots, Maybe To Tomatoes

I've really been loving the Yes To Carrots brand lately. There are so many different little "food groups" within the brand - Yes To Tomatoes, Yes To Cucumbers, and Yes To Blueberries. I feel like they should just call themselves, Yes To [insert name of fruit or vegetable here]. Haha

The lip butters are definitely a keeper (berry is my favorite!) and the eye and face makeup remover is a possible contender for first place in my heart. What?! Something better than the MAC Cleanse Off Oil? We'll see, but for now I will just say that I like it a lot. (:

Oh, oh! The Yes To Cucumbers facial towelettes are also quite lovely as well. The best I've tried so far, and I've tried every kind of wipe out there. They leave a cool, tingly feeling on your skin and are very soothing. Two thumbs up for sure!

Now for the climax of this post - the Yes To Tomatoes Trouble-Free Facial Wash. I decided to pick this up at Target for $9.99 because it's affordable and promises to leave oily skin perfectly balanced while keeping blemishes away at the same time. Yeah yeah, we've all heard that one before!

Plus, it's paraben free, mostly natural, and contains tomatoes (obviously!), watermelon, rosemary, and dead sea minerals. That's all fine and dandy, but does it work?

Yes. I've been using this facial wash for a good six weeks now and I can confidently say it works. It does a fantastic job at controlling the oils on my face without completely stripping every last drop of moisture from my skin.

My skin loves this stuff...but my nose doesn't.

The issue I have with this product is the scent. For something that is 99.6% natural, where on earth is the awful perfume-y fragrance coming from? Maybe it's packed into that remaining 0.4% - who knows. I'm sure it's listed somewhere in the ingredients, but at this point I really don't care because knowing what it is won't make it smell any better. I'm someone who is very sensitive to scents, especially with skincare and makeup products. I don't like things with heavy fragrances because they give me a headache and irritate my skin. This face wash is probably the stinkiest I've ever used by far. Yes, stinkier than Proactiv and the Clinique Acne Solutions system - combined! It's just bad, bad, BAD.

This is where I'm torn though, because the results are so good, good, GOOD. Surprisingly, the fragrance hasn't irritated anything aside from my nose. No redness, bumps, etc. Also, the scent fades after a few hours - especially if I'm wearing makeup. I swear it stays imbedded in my hands all day though. Yuck!

I'm really not sure where I stand on this product and whether I should continue to use it or just drop it completely. What do all of you think? What would you do?

P.S. All products within the Yes To Carrots brand can be found at numerous drugstores and Target. You can click HERE for a complete list.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Eats: Brickhouse Cafe

I don't eat to live - I live to eat.

This is probably quite obvious since the majority of my tweets usually revolve around food in one way or another. American, Japanese, French, Indian, Thai, Korean, Chinese - you name it, I love it.

I get a surprising amount of questions about my favorite places to eat even though my main focus is beauty, makeup, etc. That's understandable though, because who doesn't love food? Since I spend a lot of time between southern and northern California, I thought it would be fun to share gems I've found along the way.

For my first foodie entry, I present you - Brickhouse Cafe & Saloon.

It's only fitting that I start off with "The Brickhouse" as I call it. I find it has a better ring when you add "the" don't you think?

Anyways, this is probably one of my favorite places in the whole of San Francisco. It's located in SOMA on Brannan Street between 3rd and 4th. It may not look like much, but this is my kind of food joint -laid back, casual, and eclectic. I also really love and enjoy the staff. Everyone is kind, friendly, and helpful - even when the place is packed full of people. Most importantly though, the food is outstanding. Whether you pop in for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, I can promise that you will walk out very pleased.

My personal favorite is the chicken brie sandwich (shown above) - which I've tweeted about numerous times. Between two pieces of focaccia, you'll find grilled chicken, gooey brie cheese, onions, fresh apple slices, and a pesto aioli to top it all off. Fresh apples?! Yes, that's right - fresh apples. It may sound a bit strange, but I think this small element is what sets this sandwich apart from others. You get savory, sweet, juicy, and crunchy in every bite. It's pure heaven. If you order the chicken brie, try to get garlic fries with it. They technically don't start serving garlic fries until dinner, but if you ask nicely you can sometimes get them during lunch hours. If you can't get them, just order regular fries but ask for the chipotle aioli dipping sauce that comes with the garlic fries. Again - HEAVEN.

In addition to the chicken brie, the Brickhouse serves burgers, salads, and full dinner entrees like salmon - as well as a variety of breakfast dishes. They also have a wide assortment of drinks ranging from beer, wine, and cocktails, to cranberry lemonade (my drink of choice!) and chocolate shakes.

*stomach grumbles* Oh dear, I think I've discovered the downside to food posts - cravings! Haha

My hunger aside, definitely stop by Brickhouse if you're ever in the area. Everyone I've taken becomes instantly hooked - and I'm sure you won't be any exception! (:

P.S. I almost forgot! One of my favorite things about the Brickhouse is the question of the day. If you answer it correctly, you get 25 cents off your coffee. I don't drink coffee, but I'm a sucker for trivia and random facts!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Normally I like to wait until I try something out before I go off telling everyone about it, but this is an exception. I just couldn't contain myself! *jumps up and down with cheesy grin*

This "something" that I'm so excited about is Birchbox. I discovered this last week with my friend Mary and decided that I HAD to give it a go.

Birchbox is a subscription service that sends deluxe samples from high-end beauty brands right to your doorstep. For $10/month or $110/year, you can receive 4-5 luxe samples from brands like Kiehl's, NARS, and Benefit to try out every month while accumulating points along the way. These points can be earned by registering for a yearlong subscription, referring friends, answering surveys, and making purchases through the Birchbox shop. After you earn enough points, you can redeem them for full size products of your choice. Yay!

Usually I'm skeptical about things like this, but I have a good feeling about Birchbox. I did my research and they're definitely not out to scam people. You pay your $10 every month, and they send you your samples - a more than fair trade in my book. Plus, if you fill out your beauty profile after signing up, you'll be guaranteed at least 1-2 customized samples specifically targeted at your individual needs/concerns.

This is a convenient (and fun!) service for beauty junkies like myself. You get to experiment and try new things without the commitment and guilt from splurging. Think of it as a mini Christmas present every month.

So I guess that means December will be an especially jolly month for us Birchbox gals! Hehe

My first Birchbox is scheduled to arrive by October 10th. Excited! I'm sure I'll be running to my laptop as soon as I receive that bright pink box. Oh and in case you're wondering, I purchased one month just to test out the service. I must say though, I have an inkling that this is the first of many Birchboxes to come. Ah, yes - I believe this could be the start of a beautiful relationship...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Caress me!

Sometimes I feel like I'm not a "proper" female because I hate fussing about in the shower. This is the reason why I rarely take baths. I like to get in and out as fast as possible, so I've never been a girl with an overflowing shower caddy.

My minimalistic approach to hygiene is definitely time efficient, but it's frustrating because I would still like to pamper my skin without the small army of soaps, scrubs, lotions, etc.

Well, it looks like the heavens have finally opened up and answered my prayers! Imagine a body wash that leaves your skin so darn soft you don't even need to use lotion. Then, add in the luxurious lather factor, the lovely scent, and the price - under $5!

What is this all-in-one miracle you ask? Why Caress's new Whipped Souffle Body Wash of course!

I decided to pick up this little gem because of Jenn Falik - who is probably my idol. Notice how I cleverly snuck in "probably" to make myself sound less obsessive. Hehe

Anyways, I adore her and she was raving about this bodywash, so I figured I might as well give it a go. Now I trust Jenn's opinions wholeheartedly, but I must admit I was a tad skeptical with this venture. When a product promises silky smooth skin and ultra hydration I can't help but raise an eyebrow.

Well guess what? She was dead on...as usual! This puppy lathers up beautifully and I immediately noticed how thick and rich it was in comparison to other "moisturizing" washes I've used. I instantly felt pampered. Plus, it can double as a shaving cream - which is music to my ears! This means I can cleanse, moisturize, AND shave all in one step. Lazy girls rejoice!

Believe me when I say lotion becomes optional after you start using this body wash. This may be a strange thing to mention, but I usually have extremely dry shins for some reason. After using the Whipped Souffle though, I noticed an almost immediate difference in my skin. It was softer, smoother, and remained hydrated all day. I've probably used every cream, lotion, and wash on the market and nothing is like this baby. I am in love!

The Whipped Souffles are currently available in two scents - Blackberry Cream and White Peach Cream. I personally prefer the white peach though. It's light, fresh, and well, perfect! Throw in the fact that it's under $5 and how could I not be obsessed? This is going to be a lifesaver for me, especially during the impending winter months.

So go on, get yourself a bottle! You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's official! I caved.

Starting to blog is something that has been tucked away in the back of my mind ever since I first started posting videos on YouTube. It's been buzzing over my head like a pesky little fly, and I've successfully swatted it away…until now.

The reasoning behind my hesitation with blogging was simple - I thought I wouldn't have time. In all honesty though, I still probably don't have enough time. In fact, I probably have less time on my hands now than I did before! In one sense, this is a ridiculously irrational decision and I should probably invest in a shovel so I can begin to dig my own grave. However, the "I don't have time" excuse isn't enough to stop me. I've decided that the rewards from blogging will heavily outweigh the two negatives (which in case you were wondering are additional sleep deprivation and stress).

First and foremost, I will be able to share my beauty finds and obsessions with all of you. YouTube has been a wonderful outlet for me, but it's definitely time consuming. With blogging, I will be able to fill in the gaps between videos simply by typing out my current thoughts. This leads me to my second positive - writing. Writing has always been my second love, surpassed only by drawing. I find that as I have grown older, writing has become more of a chore than anything. I blame essays in college for heavily influencing this distaste I have acquired. Twenty-something page analyses on incredibly dry subjects aren't exactly appealing.

Now, for the first time in a long time, I will be able to write purely out of love and not out of necessity. Combining this love of writing with my love of all things beauty makes me as happy as a clam! Plus, it will allow further interaction with all of you and you'll be able to see different facets of my personality that aren't normally conveyed through the camera.

This all sounds fine and dandy, but there is one thing I can't promise. I can't promise that this blog will be solely about makeup, beauty, and fashion 24/7. I have a strong feeling that I will be urged to sneak in little random tidbits about anything and everything - from foods and restaurants I'm currently loving, to my latest nerdy obsessions (at the moment it's Mameshiba plushies! *squeals in joy*).

What I CAN promise is wholehearted effort, and I will do my absolute best to keep this updated. If I fall behind though, do forgive me! Entries will fluctuate, but my intentions will remain steady. Afterall, it's about quality not quantity right? Unless of course it's in reference to food. If something tastes amazing, give me all of it and lots of it! But that's a topic we'll save for another day as this entry is already a novel within itself.

So now that I've noted all disclaimers, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief for a brief moment. I did it. I've written my first blog entry.

Okay, moment of relief over. Now back to reality. Sleepless nights and added stress here I come!

P.S. Please excuse the blasé layout. I am not tech savvy by any means, so this whole "beautifying" process may take a while. Yes, I know. I have been living under a rock! Haha