December 19, 2016

Link Love: A Gingerbread Mansion, Beauty Year in Review, & A Whimsical Tudor Home

      Happy Monday! Christmas is just right around the corner and NYC has already had its first snow this past weekend. Due to the upcoming holidays, I'll be taking around a 2 week hiatus from the blog since my parents are coming into town and will be staying with me. Plus, the overcast is just way too depressing and it makes for terrible photo taking light. 

December 14, 2016

Product Review: Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil

      Today we're going to talk about a product from one of my favorite skincare brands - Tatcha. Everything I've tried in store, as well as the one product I've bought full size from the brand (their rice enzyme powder) has felt amazing on my skin, and all of the products feel really luxurious. I want to eventually try every single one of their products. Now that I have the cleansing oil, it looks super nice when place next to the Rice Enzyme Powder. At this price point, the packaging and aesthetics should also look high end too am I right?

December 12, 2016

Winter 2016: Product Empties

      It's empties time! Some of these products I was really sad to finish up! I've already repurchased some products that I've used up because they're staples in my beauty cabinet. Some products I used up, want to repurchase, but must move onto other things that I already have and use those up first. one particular product I don't see myself repurchasing in the future. Continue reading to find out which ones are which!

December 9, 2016

House to Home: First Christmas Tree

      Over the weekend my fiance and I were able to get our very first Christmas tree in the new apartment! Growing up, I actually never had a real Christmas tree. My parents opted for the artificial ones, but my fiance and I really wanted a real Christmas tree and the experience of choosing one. We opted for a 6 foot Fraser fir, and I already purchased all the ornaments which arrived the week of Thanksgiving. I wanted a nontraditional color scheme, but I also wanted it to blend in with our living room decor so I chose a powder blue, white, and gold color scheme. The miniature lights are also in "cool white" rather than the more common warm white string lights because I thought it would pop more against the dark green branches of the tree. It's the perfect festive touch to the living room and I can't wait to have guests over during the holiday season!

December 7, 2016

Product Review: Heimish All Clean Balm

      If you subscribe to Meejmuse on Youtube like I do, you've probably already heard of the All Clean Balm by Heimish because she raved about it on her channel some time ago. Heimish is actually a very new Korean brand that launched in 2016, so they only have a few products in their lineup. However, it seems that the All Clean Balm has been getting a lot of love in the beauty blogosphere. I don't currently have a cleansing balm in my beauty cabinet, and I purchased it not having any expectations about the brand.

December 5, 2016

Black Friday Haul

      I did quite a lot of shopping online during this year's Black Friday. I purchased a little bit of everything this time around - clothing, shoes, beauty, and home decor. Some things I purchased I knew I would most likely be keeping, and some I had to try on and see first before making the decision. Most things (much to my wallet's dismay) made the cut, so continue reading to see which items are keepers!

December 2, 2016

Gift Guide 2016: Gifts Under $30

      Happy Friday! Today is the last post in this year's gift guide series. Being on a budget doesn't mean that your gift will be any less thoughtful! Whether you're a student or someone who just started working, I've compiled a small list of gifts under $30 that I think give you a lot of bang for your buck and that anyone would appreciate!

November 30, 2016

Gift Guide 2016: For Men

      Next up are gifts for the men in your life. My fiance is super picky about gifts, but he's mostly picky not because he has something specific he has in mind, but because he emphasizes that he "doesn't need anything." But isn't gift giving and the holiday spirit about giving someone something you think they would enjoy but doesn't need or wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves? That's something I think about when I'm picking out gifts for anyone, but especially for men because if they're anything like my fiance, they are looking for something fun and different, but functional at the same time.

November 28, 2016

Gift Guide 2016: For Her

      Did any of you do a lot of damage during Black Friday weekend? Cause I sure did! I got a little bit of everything from clothing, beauty, and home decor. I might do a little haul post once I sift through everything and see what works and what doesn't. As per tradition, after Thanksgiving I post my three gift guides for the week's posts. Today will be the 2016 Gift Guide for Her, Wednesday will be the 2016 Gift Guide for Him, and lastly Friday will be the 2016 Gifts under $30.

November 25, 2016

Three Things 11.25.2016

      For all my readers in the States, I hope you had an amazing and filling Thanksgiving! As you can see from the snapshot above, after months of waiting, my couch finally came! It is the last necessity in the living room, and it was last thing that prevented me and my fiance from having a lot of guests over. Of course when the room is ready to be revealed, I'll write more about the couch and the other pieces in the living room. But in keeping with the home decor theme, the three things I've been enjoying lately around my apartment are home related.

November 23, 2016

Product Review: Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Premium A/I

      I've finally gotten around to reviewing the last of the beauty products I purchased in Paris. Upon exploring the city streets in Saint-Germain, I passed by a Shu Uemura store and being from the States where there are no more Shu Uemura stands or stores, I couldn't resist the urge to pop in. I was at first curious about their cushion foundation, but I actually didn't see it in the store and instead gravitated towards their cleansing oils. Shu Uemura has six different kinds of cleansing oils, and I picked up the premium A/I version which is geared towards dry and sensitive skin.

November 21, 2016

Sephora Fall VIB 2016 Haul

      I exercised a lot of self-control during the VIB sale this time around. There were a ton of more stuff on my wishlist, but upon testing out the products in the store and swatching some of the stuff I was thinking of getting, I didn't like any of them! In my disappointment however, I ventured onto other products and brands and ended up getting something not originally on my wishlist, and something that a friend recommended.

November 16, 2016

Product Review: Farmacy Honey Potion

      Ever since Farmacy was first available in Sephora stores, I was curious about trying out things from the brand because I was interested in their philosophy; cultivating natural ingredients but using science to ensure that its used to its highest potential. I bought the Honey Potion on a whim because I've never actually tried a warming mask before, and the description that it changes from a clear jelly to a rich cream had me super curious.

November 11, 2016

House to Home: Progress Update

      Happy Friday! My coffee table from West Elm came Tuesday, and my living room is now only missing the couch! I have been trying to focus on one one room at a time to avoid being overwhelmed, and I think I've made substantial progress on the living, dining, and my office area. It's stressing me out to think that I haven't even really tackled the bedroom yet, but my goal is to have the common areas done by the holidays so that friends and family can spend time in the space without feeling like there isn't a place to sit!

November 9, 2016

Playing Favorites - Some of my Favorite Beauty Brands

      When my friends ask me for recommendations if they're looking to buy a specific product, I tend to recommend brands that I think do a great job in a specific product range. While part of having a beauty blog means testing out new products, I do tend to rely and repurchase certain products from certain brands because I've found them to be the best out of the products that I've tested and tried. Some of my recommendations will be based around brands, and others will be oriented towards a category. Curious to see which brands made the cut?

November 7, 2016

Product Review: Caudalie Detox Night Facial Oil

      I got this oil for an incredible price in Paris. It was recommended to me by the pharmacist there after she asked a few precursory questions about my skin condition and looking at my skin in the store. She was so observant and even asked some pointed questions that were true about my skin even though I didn't say anything other than I was acne prone. I'm usually very skeptical of sales associates, but I was impressed in that she was able to pinpoint some of my skin issues without me actually telling her about them.  Due to my oily acne prone skin, she stated that it was imperative for me to detoxify my skin at night to prevent more breakouts. Suffice to say, I totally went ahead and purchased a bottle.

November 4, 2016

Sephora VIB Event Fall 2016 Wishlist

      It's that time of the year again! I look forward to Sephora's VIB fall event every year because you get a whopping 20% off of your entire purchase. I always have my wishlist on the ready so I can quickly put everything in my cart as the more popular items usually sell out as early as the first or second day. The event starts today for VIB Rouge members until November 7th while for VIB members it starts November 11th and will run until November 14th. Check out my recommendations as well as my personal wishlist for this year's VIB event!

November 2, 2016

Product Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Serum Foundation

      When I was in Paris last month one of the must have makeup items I knew I had to pick up was the Healthy Mix Gel Foundation by Bourjois. At one point years ago, Bourjois was sold in Sephora but then for some reason it wasn't, and of course I heard about how amazing this foundation was after it was already phased out of Sephora. Not only does Lisa Eldridge rave about it, but I've read countless other beauty blogs that say it's one of the best drugstore or "high street" foundations available. Spoiler alert - it is. I'm utterly obsessed with  it!

October 31, 2016

Beauty Discourse: A Small Survey of Makeup Removers

      Happy Halloween! If you are dressing up for Halloween, there is a good chance that if you're going all out then you might be wearing face makeup. I really admire people who go all out and makeup their faces in intricate and complicated makeup, but the skincare freak in me cringes at the thought of putting on costume makeup because let's be honest, costume makeup is probably not that great for your skin. Making sure all your makeup is off is crucial to prevent breakouts! Therefore, it's imperative that you especially take care to take off all your makeup if you're wearing costume makeup for Halloween!

October 28, 2016

Beauty Discourse: Facial Oils

      Let's talk facial oils. The first facial I had ever tried was the Josie Maran Argan Oil a couple years ago. It was around the time when facial oils became trendy in the skincare scene, and more and more beauty companies started creating their own facial oils. I read many blogs, articles, and posts saying that facial oils were "even good for oily skin" which is probably correct in some sense, but of course not all facial oils are good for all types of skin. I've become rather picky about facial oils, so continue reading if you want to hear my experience and types in choosing an oil that's right for you.

October 26, 2016

Product Review: La Roche Posay Serozinc

      I first heard of Serozinc years ago when my acne first started to flare up badly. At that time I was dying to get my hands on it because I was dying to get my hands on anything that could possibly reduce my flareups. Unfortunately for some reason, it wasn't available in the US! I was devastated. My acne is (somewhat) under control for the most part now, but I was still excited to be able to pick up a bottle of Serozinc during my trip to Paris for under 7 euros (which is a little under $8).

October 24, 2016

Current Skincare Routine Fall 2016

      Fall has arrived in NYC and I'm so happy because it's my favorite time of the year! This means I've moved on from gel moisturizers and am now using more hydrating moisturizers and facial oils to combat the crisp autumn winds. I would say that taking care of your skin is much easier in the fall than in the summer because it won't matter that you hydrated a bit too much. In the summer, overhydration of the skin leads to breakouts and super shiny skin for me so I personally struggle a lot in the summer!

October 21, 2016

Travel Guide: Where to Eat in Paris

      Seems just like yesterday I was in Paris exploring the city and indulging in cafe au laits while snacking on macarons. Unfortunately that was over a month ago (I can't believe it!) and all I have are pictures to remind me of all the delicious things I ate in Paris. (see my beauty haul here and my Paris diary here) Like NYC, there are tons of places to dine and try in Paris. It's seriously overwhelming to choose a place and to know what's good. Here are some places I recommend (and have been recommended by others as well) if you ever make it out to Paris.

October 19, 2016

Three Things 10.21.2016

      My living room is slowly but surely coming together! Although I'm still waiting on my couch to come (scheduled to arrive in November hopefully!), my media stand came last weekend and it's really transformed the space. Patience, patience, patience - is what I keep telling myself when it comes to furnishing and styling my space. Read on to see what else I'm enjoying lately, with a surprise announcement at the very end!

October 17, 2016

Product Review: Biafine Emulsion

      Sorry for the lack of posts last week! What a crazy week it's been. My parents were in town from California and I was so busy being a good hostess to them here in NYC that there just wasn't enough time for the blog. Today I have a famous French pharmacy product to review - Biafine emulsion. It was one of the things I picked up from Paris during my trip there (see my entire beauty haul and experience on shopping at City Pharma here). Biafine is advertised in France to be an ointment that is used for burns, scrapes, and blistered skin. I've even read from other bloggers that they use it for their skin when it's extra sensitive. Me? I put it to the test to heal my acne blemishes - see how it fared for my full review below!

October 5, 2016

Product Review: A313 Vitamin A Pommade

      One of the beauty products I knew I had to get my hands on in Paris was Avibon. Little did I know until I already was in Paris that Avibon is currently being reformulated and isn't available anywhere! I was really bummed. However, as someone who used Retin-A to clear up adult acne, I wanted to see if there was something that was slightly less strong than Retin-A, but still contained more retinol than the average retinol products available here in the States. It is my understanding, that the A313 is the closest equivalent to Avibon currently. Unlike here in the United States where a product that is equivalent to A313 must be obtained via a derm, it's available over the counter in France and for less than 12 euros a tube - it's truly a huge bargain!

October 3, 2016

31 Rue Cambon, Paris, France

      Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I bought something very special from the original Chanel store located at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris. I've always always wanted a Chanel handbag for as long as I can remember (like, at least middle school long), but being someone that is realistic about my budget and obligatory bills (adulting is hard), I didn't think it was going to be in my near future. But, after thorough research, numerous calculations (gotta incorporate that VAT refund!), and months of saving away my monthly paychecks - I finally did it when I went to Paris. If you're curious to see what I bought, and my experience with the VAT refund, read on ahead!

September 30, 2016

Lunch at Arpège - The 19th Best Restaurant in the World

      Although I'm based in New York, I'm not a purveyor of fine dining. However, since I was in Paris, I wanted to experience something different and luxurious (it's during our vacation after all), so my boyfriend and I booked a lunch for Arpège, a three star Michelin restaurant that is currently the 19th best restaurant in the world. It was an incredible dining experience, and we knew it was going to be something very different from our usual meals since my boyfriend and I love fish and meat, and Arpège was a fine dining restaurant that focused on vegetables.

September 28, 2016

Paris Beauty Haul & Experience at City Pharma

      I don't regret much during my trip to Paris, but I do regret not buying more beauty products. I only had a couple "must buys" on my list, but some of the French skincare and beauty brands were literally half off in the French Pharmacies. My primary purpose in going to Paris wasn't to buy beauty products, but it was a really great place to buy amazing skincare products that were geared towards sensitive skin. The French seem to really focus on skincare products that are gentle and geared towards hydration without harsh chemical ingredients. I was also able to shop at the infamous City Pharma located at 26 Rue du Four in the Saint Germain area. If you're curious about the shopping experience there, read ahead! Warning - long post below!

September 26, 2016

Paris Diary September 2016

      I just got back from an incredible trip from Paris, and although I'm happy to be back in my apartment in my own bed, I'm also missing Paris terribly. The city was honestly as it is in pictures, but of course more breathtaking in person. Six days in Paris was just enough to experience all the top attractions, but not quite enough to immerse yourself further in the city. I definitely want to go back soon! The shopping, food, and city was just so beautiful. It definitely had a more historical and cultural feeling to the entire city than NYC which is more fast, urban, and modern. Click through to see some snapshots I took on my trip, as well as some tips (for Americans mostly as that is the culture I'll be comparing the French culture to) for those of you that are traveling soon or plan to travel to Paris. 

September 12, 2016

(Most Of) What's in My Travel Skincare Bag

     It's almost time for me to take to the skies and fly away to Paris! It'll be my first time there and I have tons of activities planned (and a long list of goodies to purchase). I know I've been neglecting the blog and my usual posting schedule - I've honestly been a bit overwhelmed with the move (but extremely happy!) and I've been in a kind of creative blackhole lately. Everyone gets in a rut once in a while, and I've really been needing a mental break from work and basically the everyday hustle and bustle of commuting to work, the subway, emergencies at work - I really need to recharge my batteries and relax. So, please stick with me as I take this trip and some time afterwards, to reboot! Until then, let's (finally) move onto the post for today, which is what's (mostly) in my travel skincare bag for Paris!

September 9, 2016

Beauty and Skincare Products I Double Stock

      Okay, I have something to admit. I'm kind of a hoarder when it comes to beauty and skincare products. But only for a few special items that I really cannot live without and would probably have a minor anxiety attack if I ran out. I can't be the only one right? I'm pretty sure all us ladies have those special must-have products that we have to have in our beauty cabinet at all times 24/7...right? Well,  if you're curious, here are mine!

September 7, 2016

A Rosy Double Cleanse

      Double cleansing is super important. Until I started doing it, I never realized how much makeup residue is left on my skin even if I took extra time to cleanse. Even the best makeup removers leave a slight residue and my followup with Bioderma or another cleansing water proves this. I always double cleanse when I'm removing my makeup and lately this has been the double cleansing duo that I enjoy the most. Bonus - both products smell like rose!

September 5, 2016

House to Home: Office Area Inspiration

Image Source
      Slowly but surely, I'm creating my office area in the apartment. I want it just to exude my style and taste when you immediately see it - something that screams me but also blends in well with the rest of my decor as my desk is near the living room. If you saw this post (and this one) on my Instagram, you'll already know that I DIYed my Ikea Alex Desk so that it has gold legs (coincidentally it looks a lot like the photo above, though I found this image after the fact!). I'm imagining a bold, clean, and edited desk space that has an appreciation for "empty space." I don't plan on putting too many knick-knacks on it, but rather something among the lines of just a little more than the bare necessities. I've already bought my desk chair, so now it's just a matter of finding a rug, and maybe a statement art piece (or two). Click through the jump to see some photos that demonstrate the look and feel I'm going for.

August 31, 2016

Paris is Always a Good Idea

      I mentioned some time ago that I have an amazing vacation planned for this year and that one of my 2016 New Year Resolutions was to travel abroad. Last year due to starting a new job, I didn't have the chance to travel, but this year I'm so excited that I'll be traveling to Paris! It'll be my first time in Paris, and I have a whole itinerary mapped out.

August 29, 2016

Product Review: Primera Scholar Tree Antioxidant Toner

      We're (finally) nearing the end of August and I'm absolutely fed up with the hot humid summer temperatures and extremely looking forward to brisk autumn weather! But first, announcements - I had yet again another busy weekend with regards the apartment, so this week there will only be two posts; today's post and another on Wednesday. I finally popped open the Scholar Tree toner by Primera after having it in my stash for the past couple months. Fortunately it's as lovely a toner as it sounds, but unfortunately, it's definitely too heavy for summer.

August 26, 2016

Summer 2016 Empties II

      I have another round of empties for you all this Friday! I'm surprised that I've been able to use up enough products this summer to do a second empties post - it usually takes me quite a while to finish up any product! This time it's all skincare products, and I already repurchased some of these products as they are year-round favorites of mine, and others I think I will pass on repurchasing.

August 22, 2016

Product Review: Hera Cell Essence

      As many of you regular readers may know, I'm on a mission to try every essence I can get my hands on! The Hera Cell Essence was on top of my essence list for a long time, and luckily my friend was able to grab me a bottle while she was in Korea and I've been (spoiler alert), loving it ever since! I've only heard good reviews from beauty bloggers, especially those in Korea, that rave about it after using it. Although, it's one of the more unique essences out there in that it doesn't contain any fermented ingredients! Still, since I've been using it it's been doing great things for my skin.

August 19, 2016

Three Things 8.19.2016

      Happy Friday! Here's to the end of the week in hopes of a fun and relaxing weekend. Besides loving my new apartment and brainstorming all the ideas and possibilities of furnishing the spaces, here are three things I've been enjoying lately. Two of them include new furnishings in the new place! On a side note that I guess could also be the fourth thing I'm enjoying lately, I also just have to mention that one of the biggest things I wanted in my new apartment was to have amazing lighting for photo taking. So lucky and so happy to say that the new apartment has amazing lighting as you will be able to see from the photos! Cheers to the weekend and to not having to chase the dying light like before in the old apartment!

August 17, 2016

House to Home: Choosing Paint

      Today is super exciting as it's my first real post in my House to Home series! Before moving in two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I decided to tackle on painting the bedroom ourselves. Let me just say, it's not as easy as it looks if you've never painted before (which we hadn't) and all those hours  I wasted watching HGTV only paid off marginally. But, now that I've painted an entire room, I can confidently say it's like riding a bike - learn it once and you'll never forget again (complete with the sore muscles that come with it).

August 15, 2016

Product Review: Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick

      I'm back to a normal posting schedule this week after moving into my new apartment! I unpacked quite a lot the first weekend and last weekend and although there is still tons of stuff to do and organize, I feel like I've settled in enough to at least give the blog my weekend attention again. Today I'll be reviewing a product that I've had my eye on for forever! The first time I stumbled upon the su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick, it was sold out everywhere. When it did eventually come back in stock it was marked up way too much by third party sellers. Finally after going through enough of the cleansers that I already have, I finally bought the cleanser stick to try out for myself.