Let Me Introduce Myself

Helz-Nguyen (1)

…I’m Helen aka Helz, if you haven’t already catch it ;)

OK, where do we start…

You know what? I have to admit that it’s hard for me to express myself through writing.

I’ve been blogging for almost 2 years, yet I’m not satisfied how I’ve been presenting myself here.

It’s damn hard.

English is my third language– I hardly get to use it.

I’m also a private person in real life.

I want to be able to say what I really want to say and to connect with you. And I struggle with that, because I don’t know when it’s OK to talk more about myself.

I want to be comfortable with my words, and with myself. And I want you to be part of this too.

So I guess it’s now or never: 23 things I’ve never told you about me. Let’s get personal, shall we?

1. My Vietnamese name is Hoa (it means flower).

But I’ve been going by the name of Helen most of my life. The name wasn’t given to me by my parents. I got it from my very first English teacher and right away felt instant bonding with the name.

Till this day, I still believe that that name was meant for me. I don’t feel that way about my Viet name.

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2. After learning about Saturn Return and currently going through it, I guess that makes me a believer of astrology.

3. I’m kind of superstitious.

I hate admitting it and I don’t believe in everything out there.

But if there’s a chance that I might jinx something, then most likely I wouldn’t do it.

4. I can’t swim to save my own life. It’s one of my biggest fears.

But I love being in the water, I hope I learn to swim one day. Being underwater makes me feel calm and refreshed.

5. I don’t exercise or eat healthily. I know it’s bad.

6. I have a degree in hairdressing. But I didn’t find passion doing hair.

I’ve worked many different jobs, I also knew none of them were my true calling.

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7. At the moment I’m starting my own business.

All these years I’ve been working for other people and I’ve learned a lot in every job that I’ve been.
It’s a shame that it took me a long time to finally take the jump, and go after what I want to do and what I really believe in. But I also understand that I needed to go through that, before I can get to this stage.

I guess turning 30 got a lot to do with it. But for the record, I’m still freaking out.

8. I’m scared of ghosts and dark places. They are scary!

9. I rarely watch TV any more.

10. I’m an introvert, social situations make me feel awkward.

I’m a homebody. I don’t like crowded places and meeting new people make me nervous.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to meet new people. I like getting to know someone privately because it allows me to focus on them more.

11. I can laugh all day.

Great sense of humor is something that I find very attractive in people. I love connecting with someone on that level.

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12. Big love for stand-up comedy.

Some of my favorite stand-up comedians are: Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Louis C.K., Aries Spears and Bill Burr.

13. I don’t have any tattoos, but I always wanted to get one.

14. I’ve got my belly pierced on my 18th birthday and I still have it. I think of it is a part of me and I want to keep it forever.

15. I have a special needs brother.

He has autism and is non-verbal. I’ve been helping my parents taking care of him for as long as I can remember. He’s one of the reasons why I still live at home. Sometime it feels like taking care of your own child.

Loving and caring for someone who has special needs is unconditional. Because you have to love and care, and give beyond life, just to get so little back.

16. I started blogging mainly because I was getting into beauty stuff.

I thought it’d be cool to meet new people with common interest that way.

17. The 2nd reason why I wanted to start a blog was I wanted to use my English.

Like I’ve told you before, I don’t use English in my everyday life. So I had to find a way to use it.

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18. I’m always single. Yes, I’m that chick lol.

I rather let someone down or to be let down, than being in a relationship that’s not right for me. I hate and fear relationship chaos and drama.

Of course, now that I’m getting older, I yearn to have someone to call my own. The timing (now) might not perfect, but I like to trust it when it happens.

19. Not many people know this, but I’m terrified of cats.

They give me the creeps. Plus I’m badly allergic to cat’s hair, gives me more reason to steer far away from them.

20. A couple of my most embarrassing moments involve farting in public.

Now you know, and I must kill you.

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21. I’m an emotional eater. Does that sound as bad as I’m a serial killer?

I stress, I eat. I’m sad, I eat. I’m happy, I eat. Or maybe I just like to eat.

22. I appreciate movies that can make you really feel.

I think we can learn a lot by observing on-screen relationships and how they’re presented to us.

23. In my experience, the best dates are usually casual and spontaneous.

Creative men are hot. And fun.

Velvet Manicure Nails DIY

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As much as I love getting myself pampered and dolled up, I do stress out if I had to spend too much doing in so. Looking good shouldn’t be a hassle and it should be something that allow us girls to enjoy while doing it.

I must admit I’m not so into nails, but whenever I see a cool nail design that is easy enough for me to re-create myself- I get eager to try it out right away. At the moment I am loving the look of Velvet manicures. So fluffy and fun! The best about them is, the look can be quickly achieved. In this post I will show you how ;)

For this tutorial you’ll need:

– Nail polish of your choice (any color)

– Flocking powder (must matches the nail color)

– Old makeup brush (optional)

Lets begin:

1. Paint the color of your choice, but only do one finger first. One coat is only needed, but make sure it’s thick enough to cover the entire nail. Clean the edges after this, if you have to.

2. While the nail is still wet, pour some flocking powder on to the nail. Make sure that the flocking powder is covering evenly the entire nail. Remember, rather too much of flocking powder than too little.

3. You can brush off the extra flocking powder using an old makeup brush, or do it like I do – just gently blow the powder off :D Be careful not to get flocking powder every where.

4. Now repeat the same steps to the other nails – and after that, you’re done baby!

I hope you have fun with your Velvet Manicure – don’t be shy about trying colors! I love my Velvet manicure – I think they so fuzzy and adorable. Although there is a down side to these cute nails – they are not waterproof. So be careful when dipping your nails in the water, when they aren’t fully dry yet! Some of the flocking powder may come off if you keep washing your hands or doing so aggressively. So make sure to steer away from water. Hey, at least you have a good reason not to do the dishes tonight lol! I’m sure your husband will understand, your Velvet nails are too precious for that!

Beauty Haul + Swatches: Revlon, Etude House, Maybelline, theBalm

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In today’s post, I’m going to show you all the beauty goodies that I’ve got from my trip. There are a few duty free purchases (high-end makeups), but most are mainly from Vietnam. I also have to confess, I already start using some products. I mean, who are we kidding? I was away for 5 weeks, you think I’m going to be able to keep my greedy fingers away from these stuff?! Dude, it’s impossible.

Oh, since there are so many pictures, I’m going to do 2 Haul posts and this is the first part. That way you guys don’t need to keep scrolling down the page and it helps with page loading too. Soooo, shall we start?

Left to right: Revlon Photoready BB Cream in Medium, Revlon New Complexion Oil Control Makeup in Nude, Revlon Photoready Two Way Powder Foundation in Natural Ochre, Revlon Photoready Cream Blushed in Flushed, Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara in Blackest Black, Revlon Photoready 3D Volume Mascara in Blackened Brown

L-R: Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Peony, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Matte in Smoked Peach

L-T: Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick 03 Pink Supernova, Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick 09 Golden Tail Star, Etude House Bling Bling Eye Stick 01 Shooting Star, Etude House Tear Drop Liner 2 Silver Tear, Etude House Tear Drop Line 3 Pearl Tear

theBalm Nude Tude Eyeshadow palette

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

L-R: theBalm Nude Tude palette (swatches are in the same order as in the palette!), theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

L-R: Maybelline Color Sensational Moisture Extreme in Angel Rose, Maybelline Color Sensational in Make Me Pink, Maybelline Color Sensational in Peachy Scene

L-R: Maybelline Hyper Cosmos Duo in PC-1, Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine Free Cake Powder 04 Honey, Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Silk Cake Powder Poreless White 03 Natural

–Alright, that’s a wrap for Part 1 of this Haul ;) See you on Part 2!

Haul + Swatches: L’Oreal, Chanel, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Guerlain, Kosé, Kanebo Kate

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Welcome back to Part 2 of the Beauty Haul!

L’Oreal Color Riche L’Or Sunset Cannes Collection in Crimson Carpet

Left to right: L’Oreal Rouge Caresse in Rose Mademoiselle, L’Oreal Caresse Coeur de Perle in Coral Floral, L’Oreal Color Riche Nutri Shine Vivid Rose, L’Oreal Color Riche Nutri Shine in Pink Nude

L-R: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup 30 Beige, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup 40 Beige Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick 01 Crystal Baby, Estee Lauder Pure Color Crystal Lipstick 28 Alluring Pink

L-R: Kose Sekkisei Supreme Powder Foundation in PO-215 (different case), Beaute De Kose Esprique Precious Eye Color Selection N in SP 012, Miracle Apo Milky Tint in Angel Pink, Miracle Apo Lip & Cheek Tint in Pink Strawberry

L-R: Kanebo Kate Mineral Powder Foundation, Kanebo Kate BB Gel Cream OC-C, Kanebo Kate Jewelry Mode Eyes BR-1, Kanebo Kate My Color Pencil in PK-3 Pink and PU-2 Purple

L-R: Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder 02 Blondes, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Rose Gold

Review & Swatch: MAC Saint Germain Lipstick

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I had my doubts before I purchased the Saint Germain lipstick. The color was honestly a bit plastic looking and too cool for my complexion. But then I thought I might get away with it, if I top it off with the Saint Germain lipglass. Hoping that it might softens the color on me. Well, I let you be the judge of this.

I had so much fun and trouble taking pictures of this lipstick! The lipstick kept changing color just from the tiniest change of lightings. From the different lighting and to how close I was holding the camera, made the world of difference. If the camera was too close, Saint Germain turned into this funky purple pink color. If the camera was too far, the color changed into this warm rosy pink, which looked more flattering on me for sure. Took a while for me to capture this beauty in it’s own true color.

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Texture wise, it’s very creamy. Saint Germain went on my lips smoothly, it felt very soft. But the softness of this is why I dislike this kind of texture, because it kept settling into the creases and lines on my lips. My lips looked chapped and dry in a weird way.

For me, the Saint Germain lipstick is way too cool against my warmer skin tone. I do like it more when pairing it with the same lipglass. Overall, this isn’t my top favorite shade neither it’s lasting power impresses me.

Grow Hair Faster, Thicker and Stronger with Carrot Juice

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Yes!! It’s true, carrot juice works wonder for hair and skin, especially for growing hair. I first heard about this on Instagram (yes, I’m serious). Who would of thought, just drinking carrot juice would boost up your hair growth. At first, I thought I needed to rub carrot juice directly on my scalp but luckily, that wasn’t the case. Though, I was down for that too!

How is this beneficial to our hair? Carrot is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for our overall health. Beta carotene in the carrots is one of the ingredients that are very good for our body. It’s what gives the orange color to the carrot and when consuming it, our body converted it to vitamin A. Carrots not only provides us nutritional benefits, it also has healing and cleansing properties.

Along with vitamin A, there is also vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B6 and E. Carrot is good for improving night vision, teeth, bones, liver, prenatal health, skin, hair, nails and preventing different types of cancer and heart disease.

I discovered a website that provides really good information about carrots (and many other veggies and fruits too). You can visit the site, for more in depth information.

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Juice vs Carrot

I’ve been adding this to my diet recently, by eating carrots and drinking carrot juices. Okay, so here how you know I’m cheap – I was in the grocery store, picking up my package of carrots and carrot juice. When I was looking at the prices, I realized the juice was more expensive than the carrots. With a quick calculation in my head, I came to conclusion if I want to apply this into my diet – I need to consume it every day, therefore the spending will adds up. So erhh, I put back the juice and went home with my great investments – the carrots.

But after reading more about how to get the full benefits from carrots, I found out that drinking it is the best way. Just one glass a day will do the job. Juicing is a great way to get 100% freshly made carrot juice. If you don’t own a juicer like me, just purchase an organic carrot juice would be just as good. Make sure that the juice only contains carrots, nothing extra that you don’t want to put in your body (like preservatives).

Drinking carrot juice is better, because it enters to our blood stream right after drinking it. As liquid form is already pre-digest, so our body can absorbs it right away, getting all the nutrition from the juice. The beta carotene will help the scalp to produce sebum, the natural oil on the scalp. Keeping the hair and scalp moisturize, which will prevent breakage and dryness. With beta carotene and other vitamins will promotes blood flow, which help stimulating hair growth. Because the nutrition from the juice absorbs to our body quicker, the result can be seen faster too. Not by the next day – maybe by next month though no?! If it’s great for hair growth, it means it’s great for hair loss too.

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Another thing is good to know, carrot contains more sugar than many other vegetables. To a healthy person it wouldn’t be any problem, but a diabetic might want to be careful with it, if planning to have it every day. So it’s best to do your own research, if needed.

How much is too much? There’s actually different information, when it comes to how much carrots you should consume. A lot of people think, when having too many carrots your skin will only turn into yellow or orange. On the website that I mentioned earlier, the author said that it’s a side effect when the body is detoxifying. The color will eventually fade away, once your body is done cleansing.

But from other sources I’ve read, that the biggest concern about having too many carrots is getting too much of vitamin A. Vitamin A is fat soluble and it could stays in our body up to two years. This is why we need to be careful and monitor the vitamin A doses, so it doesn’t reach to toxic levels.

So which one to believe? I’m leaning more towards not having too many carrots, better be safe than sorry right?! I’ve read and heard about how toxic vitamin A can become, because it does store in our body. I’m going to keep my carrots in moderation, only having one glass of carrot juice a day and have 2-3 carrots on days when I’m not drinking juice.

I’m going to keep doing this and report back to you guys on the results. For now, let’s all enjoy our carrot juices!

Review: It’s Skin 잇츠스킨 Prestige D’Escargot

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What happened was after receiving the long waited package from Gmarket, I started to use the products right away. The Prestige Creme Ginseng looked so pretty, I didn’t want to open it yet. So I started with the gift set and It’s Skin Power 10 Formula Effector Essence VC. I used the serum along with the Prestige Tonique D’Escargot, Lotion D’Escargot and the Prestige Creme D’Escargot.

After using the products about a week, suddenly one day my skin had a strong allergy reaction. At the time I was using too many new products, I couldn’t tell what causes the reaction. I stop using everything immediately and had to treat my skin with cortisone for a couple days. To clarify, I’m not allergic to any ingredient in skin care – well, not that I know of and never had an allergy reaction from any cosmetic or skin care products. This is my very first time and I had tried many products before.

The allergy reaction caused my skin to have tiny little red bumps all over my face, the worst were around my eye areas. My skin was also stinging and had flaky skin, especially under my eyes. My lids seemed to be puffier, heavier than usual. That morning I believed I used the Power 10 Formula Essence VC, Prestige Tonique, Prestige Lotion and a tiny bit of Prestige Creme. During the day I didn’t notice anything special on my face. After coming home from work, I cleansed my face like usual and noticed immediately that my skin wasn’t as smooth. It felt really tight and there were some tiny bumps developing around my eyes.

A couple hours later I saw the horror on my face from the mirror. From the eye areas down, my face was filled with tiny little red bumps, it was stinging to the point it was sensitive to the touch. I knew right away it was the new products that I been using.

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With the help of cortisone, my skin healed quickly after a few days just using it. A week later, I went back to test the Prestige products again. This time only one by one. For my sad conclusion, all 3 products from Prestige D’Escargot were the cause of the allergy.

One thing I like to mention, that me and my mom were using Prestige products. We both agreed that Prestige did an amazing job of tightening the skin. I felt my skin tightens up every time I used the Prestige Creme D’Escargot. I didn’t got that effect with the Tonique and Lotion alone. My mom tried some samples of Prestige Creme Ginseng and totally loves it. Her skin didn’t react to it at all. After that I also gave her the Prestige Creme D’Escargot to try out. From my mom’s words, she didn’t like it as much as the Ginseng version.

The Prestige D’Escargot set did came with a BB cream which I am planning to try out. But I want to wait for my skin to fully recover and will be testing a small area on my face or some area close my face first. I’m going to be doing the same thing with the Prestige Creme Ginseng D’Escargot too. Will update you guys later!

Yellow Makes Me Happy: DIY Recipe for Unhappy Skin

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The yellow powder that you can pick up from any supermarket with an affordable price has now become my all-time favorite skin care ingredient.

Turmeric has many skincare benefits. It’s excellent for fading scars, reducing hyperpigmentation and skin lightening. It’s antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and has powerful antioxidant properties.

Turmeric protects the skin from free radicals and can speed up the healing of the skin. Whether you are suffering from acne, scarring, uneven skin tone, wounds, burns, eczema, freckles, wrinkles or stretch marks, turmeric can heal it. It also can be used to fade out a sun tan from the skin quicker.

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DIY recipe for fading blemish scars and uneven skin tone:

  • Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. natural yogurt

Mix the ingredients together and apply evenly on the face. Avoid the eye areas and brows.
If your skin is inflamed or sensitive, it’s best not to use lemon on the skin. You can replace it with cucumber juice or just only use turmeric and yogurt.

DIY recipe for acne skin:

  • Turmeric powder
  • Sandalwood powder
  • Water

Mix them together and apply on the face/body.

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DIY body scrub:

  • Turmeric
  • Gram flour
  • Water

Mix well together and scrub on the body before showering.

DIY recipe to heal wounds and burns:

  • Turmeric
  • Water or aloe vera gel

Mix together and rub on skin.

DIY recipe for stretch marks:

  • Turmeric
  • Water, natural oil or body lotion

Mix well together and apply to skin.

DIY facial wash for acne skin, scars, uneven skin tone and reducing facial hair:

  • Turmeric
  • Regular face cleanser/water

Mix well and apply on skin.

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You don’t have to be specific with the amount of each ingredient. They’re all adjustable.

At nighttime, you can use turmeric powder with any cream or any natural oil (i.e., coconut oil or jojoba oil) and apply it on to the skin.

Remember that turmeric has strong staining power. You have to wash your face a few times to get the yellow stain off. Removing the residue with cleansing water seems to work best for me.

When leaving turmeric on the skin overnight, make sure that you cover your sheets with towels.
Turmeric is also known for its ability to reduce facial hair. That’s why it’s best to avoid the brows, when applying turmeric on the skin.

If you suffer from darker elbows, armpits or knees. The first turmeric mask is effective for treating those problems as well as acne scarring.

For the best result, combine these treatments with adding turmeric into your diet. The easiest way is to add a little turmeric in to your tea or milk and drink it.

When buying turmeric powder, make sure that it’s 100% turmeric. Fresh turmeric is still always the best.