Review & Swatch: BareMinerals Ready SPF20 Foundation in R270

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I bought the bareMinerals Ready SPF 20 Foundation mainly because it has high sun protection, I thought it’d be great for summer.

This product was challenging to work with because it took some time to blend and get it to look natural – well, somewhat natural looking.

I read that some people loved using the bareMinerals Ready foundation with a dense makeup brush. So I tried to apply it with the Real Techniques buffing brush a couple times, and my makeup never looked so thick and cakey. It looked awful.

Next, I switch to using it with my big powder brush which turned out to be the best option for the foundation. I think, if you have a stippling brush, that would work too with this type of foundation.

To be honest, this is my least favorite foundation I have ever tried. It seriously is far away from glowing and natural looking. It’s going against all my principles of how I like my makeup to look like.

Forget about dewy finish.
Forget about natural looking makeup.

Every time I applied this foundation on my face, I could see that it just sat on top of my skin. And blending was difficult and time consuming and the finish was still powdery – so yes, it has a matte finish.

After 10 hours of wearing the bareMinerals, it looked less cakey but I could still see the foundation hadn’t really blend with my skin natural oil, so it’d look natural and dewy. Nope, no such thing happened.

The shade that I got is R270 Golden Medium, which is lighter and yellower than I expected. I don’t mind the yellow undertone since I am warm-toned.

I usually wouldn’t mind if the foundation is a shade lighter, because I can always apply bronzer afterwards. But putting powder on top of another powder product is too much for me, it looked cakey and too powdery.

BareMinerals Ready SPF20 foundation is buildable, so you can go from medium to almost full coverage. The matte, black, slim compact is convenient to carry in your makeup bag but gets dirty really quickly.

Though, looking back at these photos – I have to admit that the foundation does photograph well.

Review: Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Toner

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Another drugstore favorite!

The Thayer Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera toner is the gentlest thing – there’s that word again :D – I totally get why people love it so much.

It doesn’t matter dry or oily skin, I think it will works for you.

The big 12 oz. (355ml) lasted almost 3 months for me, I think it might sounds like not long enough. But I use a lot of toner, I love to prep my skin first with toning before applying other skin care products.

The witch hazel in the toner, wasn’t doing anything for me because my skin did breakout a little in that time, so it wasn’t able to prevent or reduce pimples.

The formula is clear colored, doesn’t leave any residue on the skin and has a soft rose and aloe vera fragrance. It’s an alcohol free toner, therefore doesn’t aggravate the skin.

At the moment, I’m testing out other toners but if my skin feels sensitive or looks red, I’d go back to this for a day or two, it’ll help calm and sooth my skin and get it back to normal. It’s a simple, and reliable product and I know my skin likes it.

Review & Swatch: Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion in No. 25

 

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Sulwhasoo is a Korean high-end cosmetic brand that has dominated Asian beauty market for years. The idea of cushion foundation was unknown to me, yet fascinating.

Because I’m trying to be mindful with my spending right now, I only purchased the refill :P I already know that I don’t need to carry it around, so the compact isn’t a must anyway.

My experience with the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion has been very pleasant.

The foundation feels feather light, hydrating and leaves the skin a dewy finish. It never fails to make my skin look radiant and healthy.

It has a nice, cooling effect the moment that it touches your skin but fades away quickly. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, so it was mind boggling to me. I thought that was pretty cool and from what I heard, all cushion foundations should do this.

I always apply the foundation with the puff that came with it, which works great with the foundation. I used tapping motion and then blend it out with wiping motion. I’ve find that I don’t really need to work hard to achieve the seamless look, the foundation just melts on your skin. Ah, beautiful!

The Evenfair Perfecting Cushion evens out my skin tone, has almost a medium coverage and is also long-lasting. It lasted over 10 hours on my skin, but some oiliness did come through, mainly on the t-zone. Most importantly, it kept my skin moisturized all day – no flakiness, baby. Note: finishing powder and concealer are still needed.

I don’t know how to describe the fragrance to you, but it smells very nice, sophisticated and has a slight ginseng/herbal smell to it, very settle. I think that’s part of Sulwhasoo’s signature scent.

I probably will purchase the full package, since I really enjoy using the Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion. The package should include 2 refills, 2 puffs and the compact. The compact is really pretty.

They have 4 shades and I picked up the darkest shade which is no. 25 Deep Beige, and it’s a perfect match for me at the moment. If I’m going to repurchase it again (fall/winter time), I think I need to go a shade lighter.

I think the Sulwhasoo cushion foundation is great for normal, dry and combination skin. The dewiness can be a problem for oily skin.

Beauty Haul: bareMinerals, Ren, Missha, UNT, iHerb

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First off: I’M VERY SORRY for lack of posting. I’ve been super busy and TIRED, that I couldn’t bring myself up to put together a decent blog post. It seems like all I do on my free time now is sleep and rest. My brain refuses to do anything other than sleep :(Any-who, I managed to order some goodies that I want to share with you today. There are more stuff that haven’t arrived yet, so I guess we just have to do this without them.

Most of the things here are from iHerb, then a few things from LookFantastic, UNT and Ebay. I’m sure, you’ll noticed at the end of this post, that I’m on a quest for brighter skin – so wish me luck with these products!

At Last Naturals, MSM Herbal Moisturizing Bar

The Seaweed Bath CO, Detox Cellulite Soap

NOW Essential Oils, 100% Rosemary

NOW Solutions, Organic Jojoba Oil

Nature’s Alchemy, Fennel essential oil 100%

UNT EX White De-Mela Mask, Ultimate Luminance Anti-Pigment Facial

UNT Color, Ex White Miracle Glow Anti-Pigment Water Resistant Compact Powder SPF30

UNT Ex White Intensive Facial

Life Flo Retinol A 1%, Advanced Revitalization Cream

Reviva 5% Glycolic Acid Cream

At Last Naturals, MSM Creams Moisturizer

MRM MSM Cream

bareMinerals READY SPF20 Foundation

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence

NOW Vitamin C Crystals

NOW Vitamin C & Acai Berry Purifying toner

Andalou Naturals, Get Started Brightening Kit

Acure Organics, Brightening Facial Scrub

Yes, I feel weird sharing about these two too :D but I’ve already taken the picture, might as well include them.

Sex and Bacon by Sarah Katherine Lewis

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Sex and Bacon is based on Sarah Katherine Lewis’ collection of short essays. In the book, she shared her favorite recipes which most were “cook to impress” that guarantee you’d get laid.

We are talking about a woman who loves sex and a whole table of finger licking good food.

Sarah is very open in her writing; straight to the point, loveable, witty in her words, laugh out loud funny, honest and most of all, encouraging.

The level of her honesty that she brings out in the book was refreshing and mind-boggling at the same time. Sarah talked about her past working in a sex industry, where she spilled out all the dirty deeds that either make you choke on laughing or totally gross out.

I love her stories about the people that she once called her lover, her experiments with food and her view of life. You wouldn’t think a former sex worker could have something morally right to say about life, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Turned out that she has her heart and mind in the right place, and her opinion about the world and our society is on point.

You don’t have to agree with her, she’s just telling you the truth, about her life.

What I got out from the author of Sex and Bacon is that she’s very driven by passion, and honesty. She’s not ashamed of her past, but she also admitted that she’s done things that she wasn’t proud of. I think she has a very good understanding of people.

She makes you feel like you two are BFF, and you could just sit down with her and have a heart-to-heart conversation. Over a big plate of fried chicken and a bottle of cheap, red wine! Nonetheless, she’s hella funny to hang out with.

If you’re able to keep up with the book, you’ll notice how it changed its tune towards the end. While she was in the middle of writing her book, Sarah struggled with a lot of issues. For months, she didn’t have money to pay her rent, couldn’t afford to buy food nor get medical care. She got into deep depression and it was the time when her partner left her too. So she wrote about it – all of it.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I also love how she writes and I truly admire Sarah Katherine Lewis as a person. I think she’s a brave woman and deserves some sort of recognition. There were many things that she shared in the book that were insightful and admirable. There was this story, where a sex client paid Sarah to say “I love you” to him but she refused, because she didn’t want to lie about love. I mean you gotta respect her for that, at least.

Sarah’s language is very colorful and bold. She uses words like fuck and shit like there’s no sunshine tomorrow. Obviously, she’s not being offensive. Just her way to express herself, but if that’s too much for you to handle, then you should stay away from all her books.

The author’s recipes are like Holy Bible of Getting Laid :D which I’ve already made a mental note that I must try them at some point.

helen nguyen

Book of the Month: #GIRLBOSS

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I’m excited to announce this month’s book is #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amuroso, founder and CEO of Nasty Gal. I can’t wait to read this book, yay!

#GIRLBOSS includes Sophia’s story, yet is infinitely bigger than Sophia. It’s deeply personal yet universal. Filled with brazen wake-up calls (“You are not a special snowflake”), cunning and frank observations (“Failure is your invention”), and behind-the-scenes stories from Nasty Gal’s meteoric rise, #GIRLBOSS covers a lot of ground. It proves that being successful isn’t about how popular you were in high school or where you went to college (if you went to college). Rather, success is about trusting your instincts and following your gut, knowing which rules to follow and which to break.

Ice Ice Facey: DIY Minty Ice Cube Facial for Summer

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Need to cool down? Try the Minty Ice Cube Facial.

The ice cube delivers a cooling sensation along with peppermint oil to soothe irritated skin. Combine with mint leaves, it balances excess oiliness and shrink down your pores. Lastly, aloe vera gel helps restore hydration back to the skin. So if you suffer from oily skin, big pores, dull or irritated skin – you need this facial ASAP!

We’re going to use peppermint essential oil in this DIY recipe, but it must be diluted in another carrier oil before use. I’m using sweet almond oil for this purpose, but you can use whatever vegetable oil that is available at home.

DIY recipe:

dilution: 1 drop of peppermint essential oil, 1 tsp. sweet almond oil

  • 0,5 tsp. diluted peppermint oil
  • mint leaves
  • 3 tsp. cold water
  • 3 tsp. aloe vera gel

Remember, you want the facial mixture to be thick, not too runny.

How to:

Take the ice cubes out and leave it in the room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Take one out for each use and put the rest back in the freezer.
Rub the Minty Ice Cube all over your face and leave on until the cooling sensation is gone.
Rinse with cool water.
You can store the Minty Ice Cubes in the freezer for a month.

Stick With It

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No matter what, stick with it.

It’s like hearing cowbell ringing from every direction. I never like hearing people telling me what to do – I’m a grown woman, let me decide what I want to do.

I’ve heard people tell each other to stick around and shouldn’t disturb their lives by quitting, but when the best thing to do, from my point of view, is to throw in the towel.

I just started working full-time and the work is physically demanding. It’s only a summer job, but I’m hesitant about am I able to keep up with it. I’ve been thinking about quitting ever since I started there and one of the major turnoffs is most of the employees are very unhappy about the work.

On my first day, someone told me not to accept the job because it’s not worth it, “it’s terrible. You don’t want to stay here. Leave while you can.”

From the 4:30am wakeup calls to the muscle soreness from heavy lifting and standing 8 hours a day, and not much time for bathroom breaks – believe me, it’s very tempting to quit.

It’s only a summer job, right? Who cares if I leave now, when they already expect I’ll be gone after summer. They can always replace me with another loser.

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The first week went by quickly like insomnia combined with body aches – it was achingly slow. The first couple days of work, I couldn’t lift a thing. Everything was too heavy for me.

The second week started with shaky hands, muscles still sore and I felt like my body was getting weaker. Plus by then, I’ve heard enough of complaints about the job and that I shouldn’t stay there.

Then something really interesting happened right after I admitted, it’s very possible that I’m not able to continue
“Oh, don’t leave. You have a good job here, why do you want to leave a good job?”
“But this isn’t a good job, and I’m not the right person for it either. I’m slowing everyone down, because I can’t do half the work here. And I’m only working temporary, might as well look for another job.”
“You have a good job here. The job that pays you, it’s a good job. Stick with it.”

This was the conversation I had with almost every single person who told me how much they hated the job. Even my mom told me to stick with it, when less than a week ago, she told me to quit because it’s too rough.

When I finally made my decision to leave, they all wanted to stop me
“Stick with it. Just suffer through it, this is working life. It supposed to be hard.”
“You got a job and you supposed to stick with it. It’s not right to leave a paying job.”

I have muscle soreness from the heavy lifting, so I’ve asked them about it and how they recovered. The answers I got were all the women suffered from muscle pains and it’s continuous because they don’t have time to fully recover.

And every time they thought of leaving, something or someone always held them back. Either they were promised the conditions were going to get better soon and if they quit now, they’re giving up a good job for someone else. Most of them have worked there since the beginning, yet nothing has improved.

Or everyone was against their leaving, because you supposed to stick with it. Nobody leaves a paying job. You just don’t quit, it’s not an option.

People always complain. Negativity attracts one another and it just grows.

But I want to focus on how many people rather stay in pain and misery, than get called a quitter and jump to another possible pain – the pain of unknown what the future may hold for them after they’ve quit.

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I’m very familiar with this situation. A few months ago I quit a very comfortable, great paying 9-5 job to chase after my dream. The idea sounded effing crazy, I know.

Because I knew I was going take the jump, I panicked and to had everyone in my life questioning and trying to stop me from doing it – the decision came with great resistant to say at least. I am happy that I did it, though, my dream hasn’t come true yet and I’m running out of gummy bears to count my days with.

The whole lousy job scene reminds me of how many situations we should have given in, when we already been around long enough to know that it’s not worth it and it’s not working. Still, we stick with it.

There were many things in my life, I wished I’ve quit sooner but I didn’t have the guts to do it. But there were also times that I wish I didn’t give up.

Do you know anyone who’s in a marriage that she hates being in?
Do you know a friend who works in a dreadful job and that the thought of waking up in the morning to go to work feels like torture?
Have you talked to anyone who admitted that the next thing everyone expects him to do in his life, didn’t feel right to him?
Have you ever been in a relationship, where you knew it wasn’t right for you, whether it was bad timing or you’re with the wrong person – but you couldn’t get out of it?

The sad part is I may have just described you in one of the above situations.

I get what it feels like not knowing how you’re going to survive next month, if you leave your sucky job now. But if there’s a slightest chance that you believe you have the power to change your own world, do it. You don’t have to do it all now, but you have to start at some point.

The people that I now work with, I don’t think they understand that they’re creating their own personal hell. I don’t think anybody should suffer through life. That’s not a way to live.

If you find yourself using negative words or feeling negative emotions when talking about your relationship, work, school or life…Ask yourself, why stick with it?

It’s true, we grow through pain. But it’s never going to happen when you are comfortable with your pain.

Brighten Up: Turmeric + Vitamin C Mask DIY

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I wasn’t able to blog much this week due to busy schedule. But here’s a DIY recipe that I’ve been wanting to share with you :)it’s a new version of my turmeric facial with a little more kick to it, because of the vitamin C crystals and manuka honey. It brightens my complexion and I found that it’s also more moisturizing. Give it a try and let me know what you think…yeah?

DIY recipe:

½ tsp. vitamin C crystals
1 tsp. organic turmeric powder
1 tsp. natural yogur
t½ tsp. water
½ tsp. manuka honey

The Body Book by Cameron Diaz

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First off: I didn’t finish the book. It was impossible. That’s why it took me this long to review it.
This book was nothing like I expected.

I didn’t expect Ms. Diaz would talk to me like a 6th grade teacher.

Then after we’ve graduated from 6th grade, she jumped straight to hardcore scientific stuff. It was like reading a biology book. There were diagrams in the book but I couldn’t view any of them because I was reading it on my phone.

I kept falling asleep while trying to read the book, it was way too hard to focus. Too much information, Cam!

As intelligence adults, I think we all know the importance of breakfast, yet, Diaz felt the need to keep going on and on about it.

The Body Book is far from an easy read: it’s boring, poorly written and repetitive. I struggled since the first chapter, after that I jumped from chapter to chapter to see if it gets better. Nope, it didn’t.

Basically The Body Book is about eating healthily (breakfast, vegetables, avoid sugar and processed foods etc.), drink lots of water, check your pee and poo, take some time out of your day to walk and dance, and don’t laser your pubes.

It might be a good book for teens, but not for grown women. Well, unless you’re interested to know how your body works at the cellular level, then go ahead. But the book isn’t a diet book either, it’s a lifestyle changer. Unless you are ready to change your habits for good, The Body Book would be too much for you too.

I’m a fan of Cameron Diaz and I adore her personality and sense of humor. Since this book is written by her, I thought I’d get some of that reading through her words, but got none of that either.

I don’t get why her book is even a bestseller?! Because thinking of it still makes me…

helen nguyen