For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Audrey Hepburn, British actress, model, dancer, humanitarian; film and fashion icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age (1929-1993)

IMAGE CREDIT: Glamour

 

+mask off+

F*** it, mask off

Future, Mask Off (2017)

Using the right facial masks can really make a difference to your skin, so I wanted to share some of my favorite masks, explaining why I love these products.

Just as a reminder, I have normal, but very sensitive skin, so my recommendations are based off what worked well for my skin.  That being said, I don’t have skin issues like oiliness or dryness.  However, I am a victim of dry winters and such, so these are also products that worked for my skin.

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The Groups

For each mask type, I’ll be sharing recommendations at varying price points.  Skincare’s an investment, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to buy the crème de la crème.  Besides exfoliating and sheet masks, each section will have masks targeted towards specific conditions in different mask mediums.  Listed below are the mask types I’ll be focusing today

 

  • Exfoliating
  • Sheet
  • Oily skin (includes Clay)
  • Dry skin (includes Hydrating)
  • Firming & rejuvenating skin (aka “anti-aging”)
  • Detoxifying
  • EXTRA: Overnight

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Exfoliating Masks

Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off – $10.00 (100 g)
I just love this product.  It’s cheap and relatively effective, and the instructions are quite simple: its massaged onto a cleansed damp face and left in for 10-15 minutes, before it’s rinsed off.  This mask uses sugar as its microbeads to exfoliate, so your skin not only feels smooth, but smells great too.
Click here to purchase.

Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Illuminating & Purifying Exfoliating Mask – $55.00 (2.6 oz/75 mL)
I’ve heard that Lancôme’s products were on the harsher side, so I was initially reluctant to try this pretty green product.  However, I was wrong, as I quickly learned that this is a lazy person’s dream.  All you do is lather it onto your face, then let the magic happen, as you relax.  If this price tag is a practical option for you, this is definitely something worth investing in because you feel great afterwards, knowing that your pores are no longer clogged.
Click here to purchase.

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Sheet Masks

Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask – $1.00 (single use)
This mask is one of the many cheap Korean sheet masks that every regular mask user on a tight budget should use.  Using sheet masks frequently adds up, and just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean that it won’t get the job done.  My friends who visited Korea said that Innisfree sheet masks, among others, can sell for only 2 for $1, which sounds even better!  Also, who doesn’t like a mask that’s soaked in rosewater?
Click here to purchase.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Skin-Friendly Nanoskin Sheet Mask – $6.00 (single use)
According to many Korean beauty users, Dr. Jart+ makes exceptional products.  Friends with dry skin love using this all year round, while “normal” skinned friends (aka friends with little to no skin issues) also love to use this mask during the winter.  Dr. Jart+’s masks also have a great perk: the remaining serum in the pouch is more than enough to revitalize your décolleté area.
Click here to purchase.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask – $17.00 (single use), $135.00 (pack of 10)
SK-II’s a high-end comestic brand, known for its exceptional service.  Despite its high price point, SK-II really delivers whatever they advertise.  This mask is no exception, with a common conclusion: you feel like a beauty fashion model after using it.
Click here to purchase.

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Oily Skin Masks (includes Clay)                       

CLINIQUE Acne Solutions™ Oil-Control Cleansing Mask – $25.00 (3.4 fl oz/100 mL)
From my experience, CLINIQUE products generally works well with sensitive skin at an affordable price.  Though I don’t have oily skin, my friends who do all talk about this product because it’s great, given its price, in comparison to other brands.
Click here to purchase.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – $27.00 (3.4 fl oz/100 mL)
Regardless of skin type, this Origins mask is a popular choice.  My old roommate who had dry, not oily, skin loved this product, which serves to show that this is an extremely versatile product.  The only downside about this mask, like all charcoal products, is that it can be hard to completely wash off in one sitting.
Click here to purchase.

GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD® Clearing Treatment – $69.00 (1.7 oz/50 g)
If you’re willing to splurge, GLAMGLOW’s the brand to choose.  It’s said that celebs love using GLAMGLOW products because it truly gives a glow to the user.  I’ve also noticed that in general, beauty vloggers and such all love using this product.  And though dermatologists say that it’s impossible to shrink pores, this product really makes your pores seem smaller.
Click here to purchase.

♓️

Dry Skin Masks (includes Hydrating)

Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask – $45.00 (3.4 fl oz)
Kiehl’s is a brand that really lets its products do the talking instead of heavily advertising their stuff.  This product is no exception, as the combination of hydration and pleasant smelling calendula and aloe really wakes your face up.
Click here to purchase.

Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask – $69.00 (2 oz/59 mL)
If you ever wanted to smell like chocolate, or love anything chocolate, this is mask to use.  Perricone MD provides a spatula in the packaging, so you don’t have to contaminate the product with your hands germs, and decrease the longevity of your mask (i.e. especially if you’re a slow mask user, or want to frugally use this product).
Click here to purchase.

fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask® – $92.00 (3.3 oz/100 mL)
fresh products consistently smell great and get the job done.  I’ve only reacted poorly to one fresh product (a cleanser), but their rose, black tea, and brown sugar lines are very effective.  However, it’s a hefty price for a face mask, so proceed with caution, as the (relatively cheaper options shared above) are just as effective.
Click here to purchase.

♓️

Firming & Rejuvenating Skin Masks (aka “anti-aging”)

Dr. Hauschka Revitalising Mask – $51.00 (1 oz)
The beauty industry definitely takes advantage of the fact that women are scared of aging.  Obviously, creating new anti-aging products time time and money, and those labor costs eventually factor into the final price of any product.  Dr. Haushka’s mask is actually on cheaper side for a rejuvenating mask because anti-aging products usually contain chemicals not included in other masks.  Thankfully, a small amount of mask goes a long way, shrinking your pores and smoothing your skin.
Click here to purchase.

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask – $65.00 (12 packettes x 2 sheets)
One of the largest markers of aging is crows’ feet, regardless of your age and how much you smile.  Shiseido knows this, and that’s why they created this product that somehow relaxes the harsh, aging lines around your eyes, making you look younger.
Click here to purchase.

AMOREPACIFIC MOISTURE BOUND Intensive Serum Masque – $90.00 (6 treatments)
AMOREPACIFIC’s a high-end beauty conglomerate beloved by celebrities and beauty lovers all over the world.  Besides relaxing even the most noticeable wrinkles, this mask leaves you glowing.
Click here to purchase.

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Detoxifying Skin Masks

Caudalie Instant Detox Mask – $39.00 (2.5 oz/75 mL)
To me, Caudalie can be a hit or a miss.  However, this mask gets the job done for my sensitive skin.  It isn’t harsh, and it leaves behind a pleasant and smooth feeling.
Click here to purchase.

Estée Lauder NightWear Plus 3-Minute Detox Mask – $47.00 (2.5 oz/75 mL)
Estée Lauder’s detox mask’s a winning combination of great smell and its gentle, yet effective design.  This should be pretty obvious because for a mask that costs almost $50.00, you’ll want to see actual results, and this product doesn’t disappoint.
Click here to purchase.

♓️

EXTRA: Overnight Mask

Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask – $40.00 (2.8 oz)
I love Shiseido products, especially the Ibuki line, because they work well on my sensitive skin.  As a NYC girl with relatively normal skin and daily pollution exposure, this overnight mask’s efficient for a person of the city.  It’s like a vitamin pill and an energizer bunny in one that gets to work as you sleep – even a tired face will look well-rested in the morning.
Click here to purchase.

♓️

If these options are not practical for you, no worries!  I’ll be sharing some DIY masks that you can make from the things you have at home in the near future, so stay tuned!

Image Credit: Vogue

+mask on+

Mask on

Future, Mask Off (2017)

Wearing sunscreen is extremely important to me.  It provides a valuable service, keeping most of the sun’s harmful UV rays away from our precious skin cells.  And according to friends, tanning with sunscreen actually helps achieve a nice glow without the fear of skin peeling.  Though I wouldn’t know, because I dislike staying out under the sun for more than five minutes.

Despite all these great benefits, sunscreen tends to make your face feel clogged and greasy.  Even after thoroughly washing my face with an oil cleanser and a regular cleanser, I still feel like there’s some sunscreen residue left.  So, to combat that, I turned to masks, which makes skin feel great.

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Mask Mediums

Face masks come in many different forms, each catering to a different need.  While it’s hard to definitively categorize the types, I would say that there are seven types of ways masks are presented.  And to note, while these are the general standards for each type, it’s also very important that you read the instructions first!

Cream
Cream masks are designed to brighten, hydrate, and/or rejuvenate skin.  A thin layer is applied to a dry and cleansed face for a few minutes before you remove it, using a wash cloth, or something similar.

Exfoliating
Exfoliating masks are designed to give your face a good scrub.  Chemical or physical exfoliators, like glycolic acid or microbeads, do away with dead skin cells that lay on top of the fresh skin cells.  Exfoliating helps the skin be more accepting of other skincare products and makeup, by evening out the skin.  This should only be used about once per week because once you start to over-exfoliate, you lose the beautiful glow hidden underneath the dead skin cells.

Food Based
Food based masks are designed to use the natural properties found in fruits, vegetables, plants, etc. to revitalize the skin.  Common food based masks are cucumber, oatmeal, honey, rose.  However, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, it’s best if you skipped on trying out this method because it’s not worth breaking out in hives and having trouble breathing, just to get healthy skin.

Peel-Off
Peel-off masks are designed to fight blemishes, fight stress-induced blotchiness, tighten skin, amongst other things.  It usually comes in a gel, plastic, or paraffin wax form that hardens after application.  This type of mask is recommended more for people with mature skin, as opposed to younger skin, but if you’re in the latter group that’s interested in trying this, proceed with caution!

Sheet
Sheet masks are sort of the lazy way to juice up your skin with essential nutrients, a method that originates from South Korea.  These are serum soaked, face-shaped sheets (i.e. made of fiber, hydro-gel, pulp, or biocellulose), in individual packages, typically for one time use only.  They are extremely easy to use because all you need to do is slap on a sheet masks and let it do its job for about half and hour, before removing.  Pro tip: the serum remaining in the bag can be used on your neck, décolleté, and hands.  These areas also need to look young!

Thermal
Thermal masks are designed to open your pores and encourage your skin to breathe by warming the surface tissue through a chemical reaction.  The process begins by exposure to water, which causes it to heat up.  Think steaming your face, but much more penetrative.

Warm-Oil

Warm-oil masks are designed for softening the skin and increasing blood circulation.  They are typically used in spas, though it’s possible to make your own using an extracted oil, like olive oil.  Like peel-off masks, it’s most effective on mature skin, so buyer (or DIY creator) beware!

♓️

Mask Targets

As seen in the previous section, different mediums are more effective for certain skin treatments.  When you buy a mask, they generally come with four different taglines.

Oily Skin (e.g. Clay)
Clay masks are one of the most advertised mask for people with acne prone, oily skin.  They’re great for people with these skin concerns because it absorbs oil without stripping the skin completely.  Clay masks are designed to bring out impurities to the skin’s surface, as it dries with the clay, and tightens as well.

Dry and/or Mature (Aging) Skin (e.g. Hydrating)
Hydrating masks, though they are most effective for people with dry and aging skin, is actually something we should all use.  During cold and dry weather, like the winter, your skin takes a toll because it becomes easily dehydrated.  If you don’t take proper measures, then you can be a victim to white flakes, itchiness, and makeup that never looks right.  Hydrating masks pump your skin with much needed hydration and nutrients, to maintain that glow even when the weather sucks!

Firming & Rejuvenating Skin
Rejuvenating masks are designed to smooth fine lines, give a healthy glow, lift skin, and slow down any signs of aging.  This is a typical “anti-aging” product, though many beauty experts agree that it’s never too early to start using these things because we’re all bound to get wrinkles.  The question is, how many years will it take for that to happen?

Detoxing Skin
Especially for city gals like me, daily pollution exposure, compounded by the sun’s rays, sweat, etc. definitely slow my skin down.  Detoxing masks are like a chance to start a game again with a fresh slate, free of any irritating obstacles.  These masks are most effective when used bi-weekly, or every two weeks.

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Later, keep your eyes peels for my mask recommendations, ranging from a “luxury” option, to a cheaper method!

IMAGE CREDIT: Faviana NY

+sponge+

Growing up, I always wished that my hair was different.  I get a lot of compliments for my healthy, thick, and straight-ish dark brown hair, but to me, it was plain and boring.  I couldn’t style it because even after spending 12+ hours styling my hair, it reverts to its original state in just 30 minutes.

♓️

Storytime: My Boring Hair

One of the many instances of my stubborn hair was during my cousin’s wedding, the summer before eighth grade began.  The hairstylist had to use two bottles of hairspray, a whole pack of bobby pins, and rubber bands (the office supplies ones) to get my hair in place.  Thanks to my hair’s resistance, I attended the event looking like I had a shiny coat of grease on my hair ☹️.

♓️

It was during first grade, however, right before my dance showcase, that I started wishing that my hair was different.  We were all wearing the same outfits, but our teachers thought something was lacking, so it was decided that we would all have matching curls.  When it was my turn, to my embarrassment, my hair didn’t curl.  The assistant was taken aback and tried over and over to get it to look like the others, but to no avail.  She eventually gave up and said, “You just have to perform like that, I guess.”

It still remains as a hurtful memory because at the time, I was made aware of my differences and how I couldn’t be like the other girls in the team.  Despite being one of the better dancers, performing in the front, I remember feeling ashamed going up on stage because of how my hair looked.  My entire elementary school years were spent bugging my mom to get a perm because at least then, my hair wouldn’t be so different from everyone else.

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The High School Solution

In high school, there were more (East) Asian people, all with different hairstyles.  Some had a Japanese straightening perm or a wavy perm, while a good portion did have their natural hair.  Among them, there were also those who had stubborn hair like mine.

Some of my closest friends that had stubborn hair like me would also come to with curly/wavy hair.  When asked how they achieved that look, they would all have the same response, braids.  According to them, sleeping in semi-dry, braided hair was the simple solution to it all.  You didn’t need to invest in a hair curler or hairspray because braids achieved the desired curls.

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Taking their advice, I tried this technique, but to no one’s surprise, my hair was back to normal by the end of the bus ride to school.  I didn’t give up, determined to make this work for me, and tried different numbers of braids, in different styles.  Some days, I would French braid my hair in four pieces.  Other days, I would just braid my hair into as many pieces as I could.

Long story short, that still didn’t work for me and I resigned myself to having boring hair until the day I died.

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A New Hope

One good thing about my boring hair is that it’s long and healthy.  This kind of hair is perfect for donating, so that someone can experience having hair, even if it’s a wig.  So, while I grow it out, I gave the hair curling thing one last try.

This time, I decided to use these foam curlers that my mom has had for ages.  She bought them a few years ago at a Korean beauty supply store and says that they work like a charm.  Though she doesn’t use them often, when she does, it’s for creating a subtle wave at the ends of her hair.

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(MY) Inferences About Foam Curlers

While my mom never actually taught me how to use them, here are some conclusions that I’ve made about using this product

  • Like braids, use semi-dry hair because the water makes hair more pliant
  • Section off your hair into equal pieces to roll – my mom has 16 rollers, so I divide my hair accordingly.
  • When you roll your hair, start with the roller ~three inches from the end – essentially, you’re rolling your hair up towards the roots, but you also don’t way the ends to stick out and not get curled.
  • If possible, sleep in them – foam curlers usually have a clasp, you can easily sleep in them without ruining your hard work and let them dry in that shape completely.
  • Pro tip: to get “curlier” hair, twist your hair before rolling them in a curler.

When I roll my hair, I roll inwards instead of outwards because I like the rose bouquet effect it leaves when I remove the curlers.  In my opinion, rolling outwards gives more of a beach wave look, a bit of an overplayed look.

♓️

Why Foam Curlers

I can’t speak for all types of hair, or even represent every Asian because not every race has the same type of hair.  In my opinion, foam curlers are perfect for creating really natural looking curls because not every curl looks exactly the same.  However, if you want curly hair, this method probably isn’t going to help you achieve that look.

As mentioned earlier, my mom only has 16 curlers.  While I do have thick hair, it was sufficient in getting my hair up.  Obviously, the more hair you have, the more you should consider buying more curlers.  People with thin hair would probably have “better” waves with the same number of curlers, only because they’re using less hair per curler.

♓️

If these reasons didn’t convince you to give foam curlers a try, here are two more reasons: no heat and no wasting money.  Using a curling iron means that you also have to buy heat protectant to put on before curling and hairspray for after curling.  Without the former, you can damage your hair follicles on this hot styling rod, and without the latter, you’ll lose your curls within a few hours.

And while it takes a bit longer to use curlers, foam curlers perfect for getting ready to go out later in the evening or relaxing with a face mask and Netflix the night before.

♓️

Click here to check out some foam rollers.  Also, check out this hair roller from Etude House that a few of my friends love!

IMAGE CREDIT: Vanity Rex

Walk like you have three men walking behind you.

Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo, professionally known as Oscar de la Renta, Dominican-American fashion designer (1932-2014)

IMAGE CREDIT: The Apricity Forum

+façade+

You either know fashion or you don’t.

Anna Wintour, British-American journalist, editor; editor-in-chief of Vogue, artistic director of Condé Nast (1949-present)

Everyone wants to be rich.

Even if we say otherwise, money has become synonymous to simple bodily functions like breathing and sleeping.  Without it, we cannot eat, drink, etc.  Though, drinking’s trickier because we should all have access to clean water, yet cases like Flint, MI say otherwise.

Removing such functions to money, money itself is important in letting people know that you have money.  We always see articles with the “fake it ’til you make it” mentality, so clearly there’s a standard to what a rich person supposedly looks like.

But the question is – how does a rich person look like?

♓️

Appearance = Wealth ?

In Logan Sykes’ article for Town and Country Magazine, “How to Dress Like You’re a Millionaire,” Sykes compiles a list of things we should do to give the impression that we’re richer than we actually are.

Her article caricatures herself and the older generations for their outdated methods, saying that millionaire attire is synonymous to country club attire.  Many of her tips echo the 50s, a failed decade of conformity.  This makes me question whether the author is fixated on keeping the fantastical American dream alive more than she is trying to help readers identify key attributes that can give them a rich person’s vibe.

♓️

A Millennial’s Guide to Dressing Like a [Fashionable] Millionaire

Many fashion designers, which coincidentally (!) rich people love to wear, generally all agree that you should be classy, but to also test the boundaries of what is appropriate.  Said designers all agree that boring is never acceptable because apparel and accessories are so malleable.

  1. The Basics: LBDs. You have no excuse not to own one.
  2. Priorities: You can buy a lookalike shirt at a lesser known place, but shoes and bags are not a commodity. Investing in a good pair of sneakers is always a plus in our athelesiure culture.
  3. Fakes: Fake anything is never acceptable. If you can’t afford it, get a vintage designer piece at a thrift shop instead.  No one think’s your Gucci belt’s real when it has two C’s instead of G’s.
  4. Logos: YES to obnoxious logos. If you’re going to wear them, make sure it screams at you, but if not, make sure to keep it completely understated.
  5. Sweaters: Be chic and wear your cardigans, blazers on your shoulders. Unless you live in a country club, don’t drape them on your shoulders.  Bonus points if you hang a blazer on top of the blazer you’re already wearing.
  6. Reform: Anything you wear must be in good condition, unless you bought it like that. Random scratches on your leather goods just make you look sad.
  7. Sunglasses: Wear Jackie O’s tortoiseshells, or John Lennon’s circular eyepieces. Regardless of what you decide, be aware of what works well with your face and/or outfit.
  8. Nails: Make them cohesive with your appearance. For a crazy look, your clothes should be just as crazy as your nails.  If you want to make your nails to make a statement, wear something unobtrusive.
  9. Denim: Own denim in different colors, but have a couple of dark washed ones too.  Obviously, a dark washed jean jacket isn’t appropriate for the summer like a lighter one is.
  10. Vintage: Take advantage of your family’s old wardrobe. You mom’s vintage Max Mara velvet shirt from the 80s?  It’s perfect for today.
  11. Perfume: Unless you’re Grace Kelly and received a custom fragrance, don’t limit yourself to one signature scent. Your scent should reflect your mood, and should be purchased from an accredited place, not like CVS, unless you like to douse yourself to smell a hint of perfume and to wear alcohol stained clothes.
  12. Jewelry: Go crazy as you want, showing off your diamonds and pearls. Extravagance is celebrated, but don’t do paste jewels – you aren’t five anymore.
  13. More Basics: Turtlenecks and long coat. Nothing screams chic like a black turtleneck and a long coat.  If you don’t own at least five, you’re doing something wrong.
  14. Tailors: Clothing should always be structured towards your body shape. That being said, don’t compromise the look of a designer piece either.
  15. Monochrome: Stick to one color or one outfit to let people know that you’re a serious businessperson. Nothing screams power like a go-to uniform.
  16. Time Pieces: A good watch oozes confidence. Let people know that you have good time management.
  17. Animals: Don’t look like a safari exhibit. If you wear animal patterns/fur, don’t try to go for a caveman look.
  18. Hair: Just make sure that it’s clean. Dry shampoo isn’t meant to be swapped out with your shampoo, so don’t abuse it, and wash accordingly.  Most of all, cut off those split ends.
  19. Be a Trendsetter: Don’t try to follow trends – create them.  By the time you follow them, it’ll either be going out of style or you’ll be swept in the bandwagon.  Explore your creativity and make something cool for yourself.

♓️

The biggest marker of a millennial is our desire to not be labeled.  Categorizing things are so 1950s.  It irks me when fashion-related job applications ask me for a label for my fashion sense because nowadays, who can actually name their style?  We all wear a variety of things, and if you don’t, then you’re clearly missing out on a whole market filled with many beautiful things.

xoxo,

the girl who is a wannabe fashion guru

IMAGE CREDIT: CNBC

+how to spend+

“They said I was a valued customer, now they send me hate mail.”

Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic (2003)

NOTE: I wrote this when I was first starting my blog – I wanted to post this again because I wanted to insert comments on what I wrote, so as to reflect how much has changed, three years later. X ENC

Among everyone that I know, I would consider myself a sensible shopper because quite frankly, I don’t shop often (as seen in my sparse and half-empty closet).  However, during the times that I do go shopping, I feel as though I go overboard on my purchases.

Three years later, I still agree with this opener.  I still don’t shop often, and when I do, I do stretch my boundaries.  My closet is smaller than it was three years ago, and I’m constantly re-wearing things.

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My Shopping Philosophy: Quality Over Quantity

I believe that if I physically do not have the money to buy the one expensive item that I really want, then I need to make a smart choice.  I can either save until I have the means to purchase it, or give up the dream completely.  With the former, when I do have the sufficient funds to purchase said item, if I still want that item, then I would positively consider buying it.  If not, that’s one more item that got away.

I would say that I still treat my potential purchases this way.  One change is that I now obsessively look at my Chase app, constantly checking my checking account and credit card balances.  The downside of being an adult is that if you want something, you have to buy it yourself (crying emoji).

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The Dangers of Credit Cards

When I turned 18, my dad helped me set up a credit card solely under my name, without his cosign.  This means that I have a typical credit card that 25+-year old adults have, where every credit earned is completely under my name.  I would say that I am one of the rare cases that get approved for this credit card, as many of my friends who have credit cards are just extensions of their parents’.

Reading this, I’m cringing at how embarrassing I was.  Though it is pretty remarkable for a high school graduate’s first credit card to be a “normal” one sans cosign, the way I wrote this comes off as pretty condescending.  I apologize for my younger self 😅.

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I haven’t been a Rebecca Bloomwood, scraping my credit card at every possible reader that I see.  However, there’s a power that you have with a credit card and “virtual money.”  It’s frightening to think if I went crazy and spent all of my credit limit.  Or if someone somehow stole my identity and spent thousands under my name.  Worst of all, I’m scared about accidentally spending so much that I can’t chase down my debt.

Despite the age of technology and advancements in security, I’m still scared of identity theft, and I probably will be until the day I die.  Oh well.

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When a Budding Shopaholic Meets Fashion

The best and worst thing about being a girl is our eye for fashion.

DISCLAIMER: I know there are girls who don’t agree with this bold statement, but for the most part, I believe that we girls all have a soft spot for anything fashion related.  It can be a small or huge hole in the corner of your heart.

Loving fashion isn’t necessarily a bad thing because who doesn’t enjoy a herringbone patterned jacket?  The issue that arises for a girl like me is that NYC can act like a “pusher” for bad spending decisions.

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Normally, I wear black clothes, as black is easy to style, pull off, and repeat.  In a city like the one I was born in raised in, wearing black is an obvious and safe choice.  NYC loves anyone who wears a severe black turtleneck, skintight leather pants, and thigh-high boots, as well as the bold fashionistas who drape themselves in seemingly mismatching patterns.  The latter can be unique and harmonious, but also loud and crazy – NYC will love you no less.

There will always be critics who judge you, but I think we’re afforded a lot of creative freedom in NYC.

♓️

What I’m Saving For

Back when I originally wrote this post, I made a list of things I needed/ truthfully wanted.  These things included shoes, clothes, makeup, though I highlighted the need for eyeshadow primer and new shoes.  I really needed shoes because most of my shoes were worn down and/ or had significant holes in them.  It didn’t help that I was short strapped on funds at the time.  This blog was a wonderful outlet to moan about my lack of funds, as well as my jealousy at people who don’t have to worry about money.

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For a while now, I have been broke, though probably more so than before.  I’ve also begun to abstain from buying things, unless they’re for a quick lunch and a monthly MetroCard.  I’m currently saving up for a few big things in my life:

Short term: a domestic trip, somewhere in the U.S., by the end of the year and a trip to Korea within the next year.

Long term: launching my fashion house, saving up for my future wedding, and paying off my college loans.

Prioritizing my goals and organizing how I should be spending my money made me realize how much I’ve changed.  Though appearances are extremely important, experiencing things and working to make your dream a reality are things I value more.  This may seem to compromise my love for fashion, but I’ve changed the way I think about things.

♓️

Instead of getting things too early and not really appreciating it’s worth, I’ve decided to wait for my time to drape myself in designer brands.  In focusing on making my future, I know that it’s the only surefire way to be able to afford all the things I wanted to buy without being worried about my balance.  It’s like that psychology experiment – you just have to wait those 10 minutes before you can enjoy five more cookies.

xoxo,

the girl who likes to think that she’ll be successful in the future

IMAGE CREDIT: Sky Cinema

+blot+

I use products from my dermatologist but the best things you can do for your skin are not smoke, always use sunscreen, and drink a lot of water.

Sela Ward, American actress, author, producer (1956-present)

I hate the summer.

There I said it.  Honestly, I dislike it when it’s over 70 degrees, Fahrenheit obviously.  Though, imagine if it was 70˚C – well, can you even imagine that?

♓️

The reason why I dislike it so much is because for most of the year, we easily live a lie.  We say that we don’t need sunscreen when it’s snowing out.  We also tell the same lie when it’s partly cloudy out.  Deep down, we all know that we shouldn’t live like this, but we still do anyways.

♓️

The Unwanted Truths

Dermatologists and untrained beauty lovers all agree that there is never an excuse to not put on sunscreen daily.  And this shouldn’t be a surprise, considering all that we learned about the sun back in elementary and middle school.  The weather never actually deters UV rays from penetrating our skin, even if it may seem like the clouds cushion us from its dangerous effects.

Regardless of the weather, UV rays will find a way to damage your skin.  We trick ourselves into thinking that the pristine white snow protects us from the sun during the winter, but that’s not true.  Case in point: people getting sunburns and momentary blindness from the sun reflecting from the snow.

♓️

Summer Solstice

Unlike winter, summer is much more obvious about sunscreen application because of its ties to the beach.  We all had the same antsy 10-minute routine of lathering ourselves n a thick coat of protectant because our parents refused to let us go into the water otherwise.  In hindsight, I feel like parents mostly did that to hear less complaints about getting sunburnt, but maybe that’s just me 🙃.

As we end June and approach July, living wrinkle-free is a concern for many, including myself.  Crow’s feet, age spots, etc. are all things I want to stave off for as long as I can.  Studies have shown that increased sun exposure triggers early onset wrinkles, as well as increase your chance for skin cancer.  I’m all for a healthy tan, but I don’t find looking old to outweigh looking constantly beach ready.

♓️

Summer Skincare

The downsides of my trusty cleansing method is that it’s always humid in NYC during the summer.  Wiping off makeup, dirt, and sunscreen after a long day never feels satisfying because there’s a lingering greasy and sticky feeling, even if my face is completely clean.

♓️

Steps to Having a Protected Face

Note: many of the products mentioned and explained will be the same as my cleansing method – sorry for the redundancy!
  1. Working up a generous lather using your cleanser, wash your face in lukewarm water, then cold water, before patting it dry with your hands. I use the Shiseido® Ibuki Gentle Cleanser, which works well with my sensitive skin.
  2. Next, use a swipe and pat method to effectively get your toner into your face; swipe a bit of toner onto your face, then pat it in.  I use the Shiseido® Softening Concentrate.
  3. Massage in the serum into your face, then put on your eye cream with your ring fingers. I’m currently trying the Caudalie® Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, though I’m experimenting to see which serum works the best for me.  I also use the Shiseido® Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream.
  4. **Put on the sunscreen before putting on the moisturizer.** Think of moisturizer as the top coat of your face, which locks in the polish you just put on your face.  I use the Shiseido® Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 For Face/Body, which is watery, rather than the Shiseido® Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42. For Face, though both work well because I don’t like creamier makeup products.  I also use the Shiseido® Ibuki Refining Moisturizer.
  5. After every two hours, blot your face, then apply a new coat of sunscreen. I just use the cheapest blotting tissue available.  TIP: If you’re in a bind, you can also use toilet seat covers; they work just like blotting tissues in collecting excess oil.

♓️

 

Despite the sunscreen’s watery consistency, I still dislike its vaguely oily feeling.  I wish someone had a product that didn’t leave that lingering feeling, without causing me to break out.  Hint hint, Shiseido®, you’re breaking my wallet, but no one else seems to do the job so please create a better sunscreen product 🙏🏻!

xoxo,

the girl who’s scared of getting wrinkles (and getting old)

p.s. I forgot to mention this in the steps, but you must apply proper care to your neck as well!!  Everyone says that the easiest markers of aging are found in your hands and neck, so take good care of them!

p.p.s.  Here are the links to the products mentioned in this post!  Hopefully these products work well for you too 😁!

  • Shiseido® Ibuki Gentle Cleanser – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Softening Concentrate – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Caudalie® Vinoperfect Radiance Serum – Caudalie, Sephora (Not much to say about this as of right now, but we’ll see after I’m done with my sample.)
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
  • Shiseido® Urban Environment UV Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 For Face/Body – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (Has a watery consistency.  The Urban Environment line is targeted for the similar age group as the Ibuki line.)
  • Shiseido® Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42. For Face – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (Has a creamier consistency.  The Urban Environment line is targeted for the similar age group as the Ibuki line.)
  • Shiseido® Ibuki Refining Moisturizer – Shiseido, Macy’s, Sephora (The Ibuki line is targeted for millennials with relatively steady complexions, who need normal protection from the harsh environment)
IMAGE CREDIT: Nordstrom

+sesh+

“You dress to impress,” I said approvingly.

“No, Angel.”  He leaned in, his teeth softly grazing my ear.  “I undress to impress.”

Becca Fitzpatrick, Finale (2012)

My college’s party scene is very limited.  If you don’t have a good fake, or a fake at all, then you’re probably at a frat party, dorm drinking, or staying in.  For those of age or with good fakes, we’re probably at one of the college dorms by campus.  Though, my weekend fun may disappear for my senior year, as two of them have closed this summer.

♓️

Something that I find funny if that even though we do the same thing every weekend, generally seeing the same crowd, we still make an effort for dress up.  Of course, there are those who just wear whatever when going out.  For the most part, despite seeing the same people, we still dress to impress.  Mostly.

I feel like the desire to dress up comes from your personality or desire to appeal to the opposite gender.  Truthfully, there are times when I dress up just to hear compliments about my look 😅.  As a stereotypical New Yorker, however, I love dressing up whenever I can.

♓️

The Pregame

My friends and I typically stick to a routine when going out.  We first pregame while getting ready at our place.  We then Uber to another friend’s place, convening with other people, and hang out, before we think it’s a good time to head out.

While socializing is always fun, going through the same motions every weekend can get monotonous at times.  Thankfully, Instagram exists, so each pregame will always be slightly different from the week before.

♓️

On April Fool’s, my friend and I went as accidental twinsies.  We both wore high waisted jeans, a crop tank top, and sneakers, though I wore a choker, and she had braids.  The weather didn’t warrant tank tops, but given how hot it gets in the bars, it was better to be safe than sorry.

So, for anyone who follows my Instagram, they’ll notice that there’s a distinct pattern or feel.  I purposely tried to craft my brand more artsy and light related because as a décor lover, I’m obsessed with light fixtures.  With my friend as my photographer, armed with her iPhone 7’s great camera, we took many pictures, posed and candid to see which came out the best.

♓️

 The Photoshoot Sesh

My go to candid pose.
I wish this was clearer so I could’ve posted it on Instagram.Thinking about how to pose without looking like I’m posing 🙃.
Sassy, but my head’s cut off.
Do I look presentable?And presenting – the light.
My hair looks like a mop.
Shh – I’m posing.

♓️

While none of these pictures made the Instagram cut, I still think that they’re wonderfully taken photos.  And though the lighting in some of them can be harsh at times, oh well – you can’t always look perfect 🤷🏼‍♀️.

Also for anyone who’s wondering, my makeup is basically a variation of +pink+.

xoxo,

the girl who loves lights way too much

p.s. Here’s a list of all the places that I bought my outfit from!  There aren’t any links because brands no longer sell the stuff I own, #ripNastyGal

  • Nasty Gal – Maroon Knit Crop Tank Top
  • Abercrombie & Fitch – Black Natural Waist High Jeans
  • Grey Vans
  • Urban Outfitters – White Lace Multi-Choker

 

 

+forever+

I love natural beauty, and I think it’s your best look, but I think makeup as an artist is so transformative.

Marina and the Diamonds, Welsh singer-songwriter (1985-present)

Something that any makeup user knows is that it doesn’t last forever.

I’m not talking about the time it takes to start smudging on your face – I’m talking about its longevity.  As much as we’d like to deny it, the truth is that makeup, like most things, has an expiration date.

♓️

Despite spending a pretty penny on the products that you love, it’s frustrating to know that if you don’t use it within a given time frame, it’ll go bad.  However, even though we know that we should use it by a certain date, the fact that we spent so much on it deters us from tossing it – we want to use it for as long as we can.

♓️

Most of us, myself included, have two reasons for not throwing away makeup, besides its cost.  One reason is because even if a product is expired, if it doesn’t show any adverse side effects, we convince ourselves that it’s still viable.  Another reason is that we generally don’t know when makeup expires because we don’t understand how to read the makeup expiration dates.

To this day, I still don’t know how to read the confusing combination of letters and numbers on makeup products.  Strangely, many articles, beauty shows, and YouTube clips are confusing and unclear about it because in each country, their expiration codes are different.  France won’t have the same code as South Korea does, and this discrepancy makes users reluctant to find out.

♓️

From what I’ve experienced, as well as what is agreed by various professionals, I have compiled a longevity list for different types of makeup products.

NOTE:  Keep in mind that once you open a product, its shelf life decreases because putting your germs or letting the makeup come into contact with the air will inevitably contaminate it.  That being said, unopened makeup products do last longer, but that doesn’t mean that they last forever.
  • Basic Cleansing Products: cleansing foam, cleaning tissue, cleansing oil, etc.
    • Before opening: 30 months
    • After opening: 12 months
  • Basic Skincare Products: toner, lotion/moisturizer, eye cream, essence, sunblock, etc.
    • Before opening: 30 months
    • After opening: 12 months
  • Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Lip Tint
    • Before opening: 30 months
    • After opening: 6-18 months
  • Mascara, Eyeliner
    • Before opening: 24 months
    • After opening: 6 months
  • Powder, Compact Products
    • Before opening: 60 months
    • After opening: 36 months
  • Basic Coverage Products: Blush, Concealer, Base, Foundation, etc.
    • Before opening: 36 months
    • After opening: 12 months

♓️

Why can’t makeup products not have expiration dates?

Every makeup brand will have a slightly different combination of chemicals and materials that go into their products, and each material will have a different longevity.  Combining these materials will create a certain use by date.  Think of prescription medication: we need to use them or toss them by its expiration date because the chemicals in the medication will start to deteriorate and turn funky past that date.  Makeup, like medication, has chemicals in it, so it will have a period when it is most effective.

♓️

If you are still confused about how long your makeup lasts, you should consider going on a brave journey to decipher the expiration code.  Or, you can simply pop into your nearest Sephora, or beauty specialty store, to ask how long a certain product lasts.  When in doubt, ask someone, whether it’s Google, or a real person!  You don’t want to get some sort of weird skin condition because you couldn’t be bothered.

xoxo,

the girl who’s trying to use her makeup by the expiration dates

IMAGE CREDIT: Condé Nast Traveler