10 best beauty buys for summer 2012

In no particular order I wanted to share my top ten selections for achieving both healthy, dewy, skin and simple makeup for those hot summer nights! I own most of these products and some are highly raved about products that am thinking about purchasing.

ShiSeido ultimate sun protection lotion spf 60

1. Every gal has got to protect her youthful skin from aging against the harmful UV rays even if you’re not basking on the beach! Dermatologists and beauty experts say that even in a sky of complete cloudiness one should still apply sunscreen. Just because it looks like there’s no sun doesn’t mean there isn’t one in the sky! I chose this Shiseido spf not only for the cool looking tube (lol no really though..) but apparently it’s a nourishing lotion not only for the face but for the body! It’s packed with protective ingredients, giving it the 60++ power so you know it’s doing the job. Sadly I don’t own this yet because I’m mostly indoors for summer and since sunscreen expires by the end of the summer, I can’t force myself to buy it A) for the pricetag and B) because I won’t use it as much! Sephora values it at $39 online but I’m sure you can find it at other higher end department stores.

Pixi eye bright liner

2. Sometimes the smallest of things make the biggest difference and impact like this nude colored eyeliner by Pixi. I picked this up at Target (not on sale) for $17. That’s the average price I’ve seen it on shelves but I’m sure it can sell for a couple dollars less too. Why do you need a skin, salmon colored eyeliner? One of the biggest tips I’ve picked up from magazines is that by lining your lower waterline with a liner the same as your skin tone, it will make your eyes look more awake! Since I’m Asian I need all the ‘awakeness’ I can get..haha I PROMISE it makes a huge difference in pictures!

It’s not a Hershey chocolate bar, it’s the NAKED palette!

3. I call my Urban Decay palette Old Faithful. When in doubt that I have no clue what to slab on my eyelids I turn to my Naked girlfriend! Sooooo many possibilities and neutral color combinations, how can you go wrong? I’ve had Naked for years since its first release (and have yet to buy Naked2) and it’s hard to tell if I’ve made a dent in a single color! Seriously folks you get so much product for your money’s worth AND it comes with either a makeup brush OR a dual ended black&brown eyeliner. Mine came with the eyeliner because I purchased it at Ulta. For summer looks you never want to look TOO overdone and this is the perfect option for being casual, chic 😀

*lustre drops*

4. MAC makes many things wonderfully well and that includes their lustre drops! What are lustre drops you might add? Lustre drops are a highlighting, light reflecting liquid product that comes in a little tube used for defining the areas on your face (or body) that you want to bring light to. I love these little suckers moreso for highlighting the cheeks, closeby to the eyes. I’ve seen others put it on the bridge of their nose as a highlighting property as well. If you wanted to dab it onto your clavicle on a nice, sexy night your skin would GLOW. Hurry up and get it at MAC counters. $15.

Vincent Longo lipstain

5. Upon creating the perfect summer face I didn’t know whether to add a lipstick or gloss into the big picture. I settled on a lipstain because it adds just the right amount of color and dimension whatever the weather is in your summery area! I’ve never tried this one in particular from Vincent Longo but I’m sure reviewers on makeupalley love him to death. I have a lipstick from Vincent and love that his products are so pigmented and creamy! If you prefer a cheaper alternative Revlon makes some good drugstore lip products as well as Benefit’s Benetint. Now for Benetint you can use it on your cheeks to as well for that perfect, just bitten look!

Conceal those raccoon eyes!

6. Maybelline’s instant age rewind concealer is highly coveted by beauty junkies alike for its patented sponge-like, foam tip applicator upon applying concealer or foundation. My cousin owns this and she continues to use it for all her looks. If you’re in a rush at the very least you should get a concealer that will work for you. Now these aren’t flying off the shelves, not particularly *new* but I can’t wait to try this! This is a great beauty buy for the summer because it hides dark, undereye circles while warding off aging properties from daily activity! Me LOVES anything that will keep me in my twenties for a bit longer ;P

The balm’s matte bronzer

7. The Balm’s Bahama Mama is a matte bronzer that I bought at TJMaxx. If you didn’t know that Marshalls and TJMaxx had makeup then girl, best go look! (On a side note too the Balm’s Frat boy blush is amazing too). I wear bronzer year round but it depends on the mood I’m in for shimmery or matte bronzer. I chose this matte bronzer for my summer pick because if you read my rant on MAC lustre drops you’ll see it’s all about balance. If you opt for a liquid and shimmery, metallic highlighter then it only makes sense to add a matte bronzer to the mix. If you put two types of shimma shimma on that area of your face with such close proximity, the tendency is for the products to get lost and jumbled all together.

Boots No. 7 makeup wipes

8. Take the day off with an English imported skincare brand that you trust. You may not be familiar with Boots No. 7 but they are exclusively sold at Targets across America. (Not sure if they have a self standing store but you can for sure find it at the red bullseye!) I was impressed with these cleansing and refreshing makeup wipes in just one use! Not only does it not dry out your skin but gets off every trace of makeup. And if you’re coming home from a late night luau perhaps, then be lazy and grab this before you hit the sheets! The price is right too because for just $3.99 you get all the regular effects of a normal makeup wipe plus added exfoliation and repair properties.

Blinc lash primer & defining mascara

9. In my book Blinc is so underrated for what it is. I feel like people think it’s some unheard of makeup brand from a tv infomercial selling commercial turned attempting to reach mass market at Sephoras. I’ve always been aware of Blinc but just never thought twice about it. Makeupbyleinnababy on YouTube swears by Blinc masacara nowadays because it’s one of the few brands whose primer and masacara ACTUALLY work hand in hand. I can’t speak for Diorshow but on the occassion I tried their masacara alone I wasn’t impressed. Blinc on the other hand, makes your lashes longer and defined over several times of using their eye product. When my masacaras run out I can’t wait to go out and buy Blinc because it works on Asian eyes the best!! $26 each on their website.

Dior Hydralife BB cream

10. Rounding out the top ten is Dior’s Hydralife BB cream. I tried a sample size of this (even though I had another BB cream brand at the time) because I thought, why not…can’t hurt? Post opening the tiny, squeezable tube I canNOT get it outta my mind. It covers all the imperfections, light blemishes, and discoloration so evenly on my face without looking like I caked on foundation! I never knew a BB cream could be a magical worker but this renewed my faith in Dior! Granted it was a bit drying but nothing a little daily face moisturizer can’t fix! The tiniest grapesize amount is all you need to dot on your T-zone. I’m a BB girl for LIFE now yeahhh all day, everyday! $56 at Sephora..OUCH.

Olay facial hair removal duo review

balm&cream application

Hey girlies! I hope you take my reviews to heart as this is from one working girl to another lol. I’m sure you all have seen this new facial hair removal duo on the market because they have heavily mass advertised this on tv, Walmart, Target, and other drugstores.

I bought mine at Wal-mart I believe when it was newly pushed in promotions and such. I forget the exact amount but it was around $27ish on sale (which is still not that cheap). I was intrigued to try this because I’m always looking for innovative methods that make stripping off upper lip hair less painful. Sorry if that’s TMI but there is nothing short of TMI when it comes to Olay hair removal.

Just to give you a background on my hair density and preferred hair removal method, I’ve never waxed my upper lip. I am thinking about having it threaded for the first time sometime this summer though! Me IS scared. So anyways…I don’t have that “thick” of facial hair. Yeah it may be a tad more noticeable than most because I have black hair but’s it’s nothing outrageous.

Olay ‘tries’ to make this easy for you but providing just two simple steps. If the tiny print on the side of the box (mixed with French) is any indication, it’s a lot longer than it looks. Basically you’re supposed to prep your skin by applying the guarding balm to the areas you want to treat. Ummm…you want to treat the area with hair so apply it everywhere around your lip? LOL

After you do that it says to “massage” that balm with your fingertips for 20 seconds. Wow how precise. This part didn’t really do much for me so I wouldn’t worry about it. Now the fun and vital part of the hair removal process. Remove your hair with a grape size removal of the provided cream. Now I don’t eat grapes too frequently so it’s hard to imagine which size they’re referring to.

I just slathered on every millimeter section where the balm was! It said to do this immediately with a thick layer. (Not a problem for me because everything I do is overabundance!) Wash your hands for hygenic purposes then sit and wait for the magic to happen.

The box timer specifies to leave on the frothy, white, milky, mustache for 6-8 minutes..but no longer than 10! <

The end! Times up and just wipe it off with a tissue. As for the results I didn’t see any drastically different, spotless areas but I guess in pictures it’ll pick up then? It’s a little weird because my only reaction was a day or two after the process. My upper lip would start to feel like the pores where the hair was once was chemically reacting and “bubbling” on my skin? Don’t wanna take any chances but I think it’s safe to say that’s fine?

HAHA don’t get warded off guys it really wasn’t anything just a random thing! Let me know if anyone else has experienced this or I’m just imagining the “boiling/ bubbling” effect.


Kat Von D Triple Threat Tattoo Liner Review

Contains 3 felt tip pen sizes

I know I’ve been MIA for the past month but I feel confident that the new theme design and colors I selected for my blog will give me the confidence to push out more styling tips, reviews, and videos for YOU! 🙂 Anyways..the review. This was my first purchase from the Kat Von D brand label and going in, I heard that Kat’s eyeshadows and lipsticks were trustworthy but heard nothing about her eyeliners. I figured that since she is a skilled and talented tattoo artist I should just bite the bullet and try them out at least! Sephora is the exclusive retailer for most of her products (I think?) and that is where I bought it, as part of my birthday present to myself! HAH

For the longest time I was looking for a good, thick, DEEP black eye liner that wouldn’t smudge or bleed. LONG LASTING is the most vital factor for me when I consider buying different eyeliners. I feel like Kat Von D is a good standard combination for those characteristics! The trio pack comes in 3 tip sizes ranging from thin, to medium, to extra thick. I don’t have a favorite because I alternate each day as to what mood I’m feeling! It’s cute because each size has different labels:

Saint: Achieve the thinnest line possible.
Sinner: Achieve the thickest line possible.
Poetica: Intricately molded chiseled tip like a fountain pen back in the old days!

This product has gotten a lot of flack for the unnecessary inclusion of the 3 sizes saying, they’re not all that different and one can just change the thickness with the flick of the wrist! Well, my friend, there is a difference! Why compromise the easiness of an eyeliner when you can have the convenience of all three at your fingertips! Besides for the price of one tattoo eyeliner why not just get 3-in-1?! Sephora lists it as $39 whereas just one for the same thing costs $18! That’s almost half. If you want to save money in the long run it’s a no-brainer!

I’m so happy because it’s lasted me two months and not an ounce has dried upon application. I think it’s part of Kat’s eyeliner formula that she prides her felt tips in being so long lasting for any eye shape. Make sure to store the pen caps downward and tightly in a neutral environment to get the most usage!

Josie Maran Argan balm review

Found online or in-store at your local Sephora

So Sephora describes this moisture rich balm as multi-tasking and a neutral solution for dehydrated, dry skin. I’ve had the pleasure of testing it out for a couple weeks now so I’ve gathered my thoughts, tribulations, and experiences so I can share with you! If you do not know what “Argan” oil is (it’s okay because I did not at first haha), argan is kinda like Moroccan oil! Does that ring a bell now? Moroccan oil came on the market a several years ago and just exploded on the market for their silky hair results!

But getting back to the balm. The argan balm is said to seal in hydration and offer nourishment to really anywhere on your body! I bought this $40 jar (yeah kinda pricey) because you can lather it on your legs, arms, and even hair! It’s meant to remedy split hair ends and wherever you feel you need relief from dryness. I most recently used it on my lips tonight because I forgot my lip balm! So it’s great for that too.

The product is 4.6 oz which is a lot for a skin saver! So much waxlike substance in a circular container! A good comparison as to what it looks like to the naked eye is a candle. I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure upon purchasing if the wax formula wouldn’t be moist enough. In my past experiences with skin products usually in such an enclosed container with no air opening, the product tends to be too dry to the point where you can’t even use it.

I think it’s travel friendly as well because it’s not a liquid substance and easy to throw in any bag or luggage for your excursion! On a day-to-day basis I wouldn’t advice keeping it in your purse as it is too big or bulky. The argan balm is about the size of my palm just to give you an idea…

Overall I do appreciate supporting eco-friendly brands like Ms. Maran because a part of me feels like I’m giving back to mother nature herself! Josie Maran prints “luxury with a conscience” on everyone of her products as a constant reminder to consumers that she supports makeup made out of the purest and natural of ingredients. Good job Josie!!