Sunday, September 25, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set

I've been going crazy over Anastasia Beverly Hills' lip products. Their liquid lipsticks (though quite drying) and lip glosses are top notch quality in terms of pigmentation, longevity, and packaging. I have been obsessing over the lip gloss in the shade "Warm Bronze", which I have featured in my July Favorites and favorite lip glosses. Warm bronze is a dark dusty pink that works on all seasons, especially fall. When I saw that ABH released their Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, I was floored and needed to have it. I know they had a Summer lip gloss set, but I wasn't too hot about the colors.

The ABH Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set comes in 6 autumnal and limited-edition shades for $28. You can find them on the ABH website. The product (each tube), at 0.07 oz., is almost half the size of the regular ABH lip glosses at 0.16 oz.

There are a wide range of shades, and even though vampy and moody come to mind when you think of fall, there are is also a nude and a dusty pink shade! And like in the normal sized glosses, these still have the sweet vanilla scent.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set
Left to right: Maple, Carla, Rum, Berry, Amber, Raisin

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills Maple, ABH, ABH Maple

I surprised myself with liking Maple, this metallic burnt reddish brown shade.  When I first tried it, I thought it was intimidating, but I tried it on when it was a bit dark. When I applied it (for this pic), the natural light shined through my room and I knew that this was a shade I could see myself wearing this season. This is the only metallic gloss of the bunch, but once applied, you hardly notice the finely-milled bits of shimmer.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills Carla, ABH, ABH Carla

Carla reminds me of a more pigmented, non-sticky version of the MAC Russian Red lip glass. This candy red suits all skin tones and will make you look like you had a stain of cherry pie! It is comparable the NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Apple Crisp if you are looking for a cheaper version.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills Rum, ABH, ABH Rum

Rum, although beautiful, is the most intimidating of the bunch. This deep cool brown looks best on deeper skin tones. I don't know about you, but I prefer dark brown shades as a matte lipstick. It does photograph well though!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills Berry, ABH, ABH Berry

Berry is one of my favorites! It is not too plum or violet, and has the right amount of red. But then there's some cool tones, because it makes my teeth look whiter...does that make sense? I love it though and have worn this twice!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills Amber, ABH, ABH Amber

I have mixed feelings about Amber, this pale peachy nude. For me personally, I need to have a full face of makeup in order to pull of nude lipsticks or glosses, especially when they are this light. And obviously I'm caked up in this photo, but in person, I look ghostly and it blends with my skin. But it photographs well! What the heck?! Maybe I should try it with lip liner.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set, Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills Raisin, ABH, ABH Raisin

Last but not least comes Raisin, this mauve shade. I usually can't pull of mauves well, especially as matte lipsticks. But it's one of my favorites as well, as it's dark enough to actually show up on my skin. If you're NC 40 and have trouble with mauve shades, you NEED this! This is definitely an everyday shade too! This shade took my by surprise.

I would have to say that my favorites are Berry, Maple and Raisin. This mini lip gloss set did not disappoint, and ABH kills it! They are high-shiny pigmented enough to not need to put over lipstick, and they last through a meal (well not completely, but they don't come off as easily. They leave a nice stain). And they are super moisturizing, feel smooth on the lips without being sticky. This set also makes a great gift for your friends to give them a taste of the wonderful ABH lip glosses. In fact, I will probably order another one for my best friend when she visits for my birthday next month, since our birthdays are 9 days apart. I am really hoping for a Winter Mini Lip Gloss Set to be released! Hello Christmas stocking stuffer!

I would venture to say that ABH are my holy grail of lip glosses :)

Do you have this set, or any of the Anastasia Beverly Hills lip glosses?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How I am getting in shape for the wedding

Cheers to 6 MONTHS before our wedding! On March 18, 2017, Cecilio and I will be saying our vows and promising each other a life of love and faithfulness till the end!

Throughout the course of our engagement, I've written blog posts about being self-conscious about my body while having lupus and taking prednisone, which has affected how I felt about myself during our engagement party and dress shopping. As my health has been getting better, my prednisone is tapering and I am currently taking 3 mg. I surprisingly started losing weight when I tapered down to 8 mg last year, from 158 to now 140 lbs. and hopefully reaching my goal of 120–125 lbs. I am all for self-love and positivity, but it's not mutually exclusive with wanting to reach a goal or better yourself. 

There's an unspoken ritual that once he puts a ring on it, you as the bride-to-be start running or going to the gym to look fabulous in your dress and you know that all eyes will be on you, taking endless photos (and sometimes not in the most flattering angles). In addition, you wanna rock your bod during your honeymoon, especially if it's at a beach destination (we will be going to Mexico). I personally believe that any body is a bikini body, but I want to exude confidence from the hard work I put into for mine, and look and feel sexy. And I am definitely not ignoring the inner health benefits because I want to protect myself against lupus flares, strengthen my bones (prednisone weakens them, so strength training is a must), and lubricate my joints. I want to increase my lifespan and beat the odds despite lupus, and live a wonderful quality of life with Cecilio.

But I want to talk about how I have been #SWEATINGFORTHEWEDDING. What are some of my favorite workouts?

Barre/ballet/Pilates-inspired workouts

I have only been doing any dance/pilates style workouts for my strength training. Personally for me, heavy weight lifting has bulked me up. I'm tired of the people who claim that it won't for women, and that light weights/yoga/pilates are useless. Most women know they aren't going to look like a bodybuilder, but they do feel thicker than they would like. Some women do look amazing from weight lifting (a family friend of mine shrunk into a size 0 while pumping the iron), but I am not one of them. Each body is different, so we should not be fitness-shaming others for their preferred activity. 

Personally, the ballet and barre workouts tone me up, strengthens my muscles and makes me feel more graceful and flexible. I feel like a dancer, and while I will never look like a ballerina, I am seeing "long" lean muscles developing. Also, heavy lifting is not good for my joints and my rheumatologist has advised me to not do so. Traditional barre, which stems from Lotte Berk (not to be confused with classical ballet), incorporates ballet, yoga, pilates, light weights and body weight training. Try pulsing your arms with 3 lb. weights 30 times without feeling like your arms are going to fall off. Or doing endless plies (squats with feet turned out) in 1-inch movements without feeling like your legs and butt are on fire. Oh yeah, and pushups on the toes are really encouraged. Most barre studios are insanely expensive (the stereotype of the barre-ista is that she is a 20-30 something year old tiny affluent woman who wears nothing but lululemon), so I have been only doing the DVDs. Among my favorites are:

The Bar Method: The founder, Burr Leonard, has trained with Lotte Berk (grandmother of the barre workouts you see today) but collaborated with doctors and physical therapist to create The Bar Method, a safe yet intense and effective workout. This is actually my main workout and I have been doing it for a month, and I love the results I am getting: sculpted arms, strong back and shoulders, tighter abs, whittled in waist, muscular calves and a smaller, firmer, rounder butt. However, I noticed that my thighs have gotten bigger and my pants have been getting tighter, but my thighs have changed shape: the outer thighs and hamstrings are rock hard and they are shapely instead of blobby. It's just that I carry a lot of weight in my thighs and the muscle is developing under the fat (whereas my upper body and abs have been shrinking), but I know I need to do some cardio. But, I credit The Bar Method for helping me go down further into pushups on my toes (something I could never do before, and I can't completely go down all the way for all reps yet, but it's something to work towards) and increasing my flexibility (doing the splits doesn't sound like a farfetched dream anymore). I have the Super Sculpting II and Advanced Dancer's Body DVD, and I subscribe to their streaming videos for $15 per month.

Physique 57: The moves are really similar to The Bar Method, only faster-paced and with heavier weights. It's like barre on steroids. There is an element of cardio into it, and while it's advanced, it's really fun. A lot of people get annoyed with Tanya Becker, the instructor, because she's always goofing around screaming with her bikini talk, but I personally find her fun and motivating. It's like working out with a friend. The music is has latin/techno beats and sometimes reminds me of when I go into Abercrombie & Fitch. I miss doing it because of the fun factor and the crazy endorphins, but I'll eventually go back to them whenever I get tired of The Bar Method.

Barre3: This is different from other traditional barre classes in which the movements are larger range and the neutral spine is emphasized rather than the tuck (tailbone tilting behind the pelvis). There is a lot more yoga-incorporated moves, less bikini talk and more emphasis on being balanced for the mind, body and soul. There are no pushups, and they have amazing core work. I subscribed to them twice for $15 a month, and they have 10 and 20 minute workouts if you don't have enough time. They target moms a lot, and there are a wide range of pre- and post-natal workouts. 

Ballet Beautiful: I really credit Ballet Beautiful for giving me a lean figure the last time I did not have to take prednisone. I started using her workouts before I found my wedding dress and was feeling really good. The instructor, Mary Helen Bowers, is known for training Natalie Portman for Black Swan and the Victoria's Secret Angels. The Ballet Beautiful approach is more about floorwork, stretching and traditional ballet, since Mary Helen Bowers danced for New York City Ballet. She deeply targets the abs, arms (her swan arms is a killer!), butt and legs. There are standing and cardio workouts, but most of the Ballet Beautiful moves are on the floor.

Blogilates: I found Blogilates in 2012 and I was hooked, but cursing at Cassey Ho. I love her perky demeanor, even while she slays you and kicks your ass. She is so many videos on YouTube here, so that normal women (and not just the lululemon crowd) can have their own success stories too. She also offers healthy recipes and discusses body image issues among women. She shows that you can work for the body you want while loving and accepting yourself even if you aren't society's ideal image of beauty. 


Me before my 45 minute treadmill session.

I am the type that needs to do cardio in order to see the number on the scale drop and to see my pants getting looser. While I have been loving my toned body from The Bar Method, I know that incorporating cardio will give me more dramatic results and shrink my thighs. I have a treadmill at home, and I found that doing walking/jogging intervals for 30–60 minutes at least 3 times a week shrinks me. I was doing that 6 times a week during my senior year in high school and shrunk down to 117 lbs. when Senior Ball rolled around. And not having music is NOT an option. It's a must in order to keep me going. I also love doing Zumba or any sort of dance aerobics, but I prefer doing them in a live class because it is easier to follow the instructor and not get lost.

Fun/recreational, moderate workouts (that don't feel like work)

Cecilio and I hiking in Lands End in San Francisco

What's the point of staying active if it's always going to be miserable? I want to have fun and take in nature while doing so. Cecilio and I love walking our dogs, and my mom and her boyfriend have been on that too. When we walk our dogs, we end up power walking because they pull and want to go fast. We have also been strolling around catching Pokemon, and it's a long trek since I am addicted to the game. When it's insanely hot, we swim laps at Cecilio's community pool. I've been trying to get us to go hiking more, and we were finally able to in San Francisco.


This is a tricky one for me because I do like to eat, and it sucks when what you eat contributes to 80% of your weight loss success. I would rather exercise more. I don't believe in strict dieting or starvation. I am more into moderation, and incorporating more fruits, veggies, protein and whole grain carbs. When I eat what I really want (like a creamy pasta at a restaurant), I save it for later as leftovers. My weakness is definitely junk food, so I am trying to cut that down. I love the classic avocado on toast (with pesto and cheese), and blending a smoothie with frozen fruit, almond milk and protein powder. My favorite salad concoction consists of baby spinach (spinach > kale for me), canned oysters from Trader Joe's with olive oil, cheese, baby beets, nuts, chopped bell peppers, broccoli sprouts and chia seeds. I could lay off the cheese, but I'd rather not.

With these habits, I want to not think of them as a short-term fix where I can go back to old habits after the wedding, but incorporate them for life. Not only to look rockin' in my dress or 2 piece swimsuit but to live feel amazing from the inside out and to minimize my lupus flares as much as possible in the future.

What's your favorite way to work out? What do you do to incorporate healthy eating in your lifestyle? If you are married, what did you do to to get fit?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Makeup Remover Menu

One of the most annoying things about makeup is having to take it off at the end of the night. I admit to sometimes being up until 3 a.m. because I am procrastinating and feel too lazy to remove it, and we all know that wipes alone won't suffice. And is it just me, but it seems like no matter how much remover (in water, oil, or cream form), it never seems to come off? And just when you think you've gotten a bunch off, you spray your face with toner and pat cotton balls on your face and STILL find patches of foundation?

I've fell asleep with makeup on if I just have some blush or a very light BB cream, I admit. But going to bed in a full-face is a no-no (though I've heard stories of women sleeping in their makeup so that it lasts for the next few days). As much as I hate going through the act of tediously wiping it off, I LOVE how my face feels afterwards. And if you don't remove it overnight, you'll start to break out, get more pores, and age your face. Who wants that? Thankfully there are also removers for specific types of makeup (eyes and lips).

What are some of my makeup remover essentials?

Micellar water is all in the rage, and for good reason: it's water made up of micelles, which are tiny molecules that attract dirt and oil and get rid of the skin's impurities. You can find them from the drugstore to luxurious department stores. I love the Simple Micellar Water because it's super affordable, and my face feels so clean and refreshed afterwards. Simple even has micellar-based wipes!

Whatever the micellar water (or makeup remover oil or cream I am using at the moment) doesn't get rid of, I use the ELF Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths to wipe off the excess makeup. Of all of the wipes, I prefer using ELF because it is one of the cheapest at $3 a pop. Other brands start from $5. I also use these even after cleanser or toner to get rid of even more gunk.

I've never been able to get deep into removing mascara until I received a sample of the Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil on one of my Glossybox subscriptions (I subscribed for 3 months and then left it). It is oil-based and infused with green tea extract, and has microscopic bristles to brush and melt off (no pun intended) regular and waterproof mascara. I also like using this to get rid of my brows and eyeliner.

If I use only water or wipes to get rid of my lipsticks, my lips become a bloody patchy mess. I was using a Sephora lip remover oil before it got discontinued, but thankfully I found the NYX Be Gone! Lip Color Remover. It gets rid of even the most stubborn liquid lipsticks (for me, those are the ABH or ColourPop ones). It is infused with vitamin E for extra conditioning.

Skincare also plays an essential role in removing traces of makeup. I have been using the Murad Time Release Acne Cleanser for over a year, and it does a great job in removing whatever the wipes or micellar water can't. I bought a new toner, Andalou Naturals Blossom and Leaf Toning Refresher for even more help. It is also wonderful for my dry skin, and it is very gentle (unlike a lot of other toners, this does not sting at all).

What are the makeup removers you use on the daily?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pink Lipsticks for Fall

I'm happy to report that it's actually getting cooler here in Sacramento, and it is starting to feel like fall. Though I don't like the wind (It's windy outside right now), I'm welcoming the lower temperatures and happy to escape the heat.

Fall is the time to break out the mauves, browns, nudes, and deep reds. But what if you can't seem to let go of your pink lipsticks? Usually, pink is associated with spring or summer. But I believe that you can still wear them. During the fall season, I reach for deep berry wines or muted pinky nudes. I try to steer clear from hot pinks (though 2 years ago, I did do a review of MAC Candy Yum Yum—so break the rules if you so wish!)

What pink lip colors will you see me sporting this season?

Left to right: L'Oreal Color Riche (705–Jennifer's Pink), Rimmel Moisture Renew (450–Berry Rich), MAC D for Danger, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Prague), Too Faced La Creme (Pink Chocolate), Bare Minerals Gen Nude (Friendship), Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip (Kisses), Milani Amore Matte (Loved).

L'Oreal Color Riche (705–Jennifer's Pink): Of the celebrity pinks/nudes/reds in the L'Oreal  Colour Riche collections, I tend to lean towards Jennifers' shades, since my skin tone is closest to Jennifer Lopez'. The other celebrity pinks (including Eva Longoria's shades) tend to be on the paler side, whereas this is rich and not too loud.

Rimmel Moisture Renew (450–Berry Rich): This is a universally seasonal shade, so it's feminine enough to be perfect for spring, but almost-vampy-not-quite for fall. Though when we think of fall makeup, matte makeup comes to mind, this is very comfortable and balmy on the lips, perfect for the windier and drier days.

MAC D for Danger: If I had only 1 fall pink lipstick to wear, it would be this one. This is deeper than magenta, and almost close to red. I feel like this adds a punch to a neutral-colored (flesh, browns, grays) fall outfits such coats, scarves, and boots. '

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Prague): This is one of my favorite shades on the NYX Soft Matte line. This is universally flattering, but don't be fooled on my arm: it's actually darker on my lips. For someone with fair skin, this would be even darker and deeper.

Too Faced La Creme (Pink Chocolate): This is a great brownish pink nude for those with medium–tan skin. A shade like this is very hard to find. Though I'm not a fan of how easily it fades, but I will be testing it with the Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer.

Bare Minerals Gen Nude Liquid Lipstick (Friendship): For something more subdued without screaming babyish, this is gorgeous! Especially on all skin tones. It is matte and stays put, but is more comfortable to wear than other liquid lipsticks.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip (Kisses): To me, this would be the Stila Patina liquid lipstick for those with medium skin or darker (and it is creamier and less drying). It is dark and rosy and goes well with various outfits. 

Milani Amore Matte (Loved): This mauve could pass as a dupe for Kat von D's famous Lolita I. Beware though, while it has staying power like glue, it is very drying and uncomfortable.

Do you still wear pink lipstick for fall? What are your favorite shades?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mini-Travel Diary: San Francisco, CA

San Francisco always holds a special place in our heart for Cecilio and I. Our first time going there together was 4 months before we started dating to an In Flames concert with 2 of our friends at The Warfield. Then, 1 month before we started dating, we drove again to reunite with my best friend, Rebecca, whom I haven't seen in elementary school. Since then, we would drive up as frequently as possible to get away. One day in 2009, it was so unbearably hot in a Sacramento afternoon that we impulsively drove to the City to escape the heat and feel the fresh, cool air. We arrive for concerts, anniversary dates, visits to see Rebecca, or just plain because. For us, this is like Disneyland.

One of my first blog posts was when we went to SF 2 years ago, but instead of driving there, we parked in Vallejo to ride the ferry there.

I grew up in Daly City (aka Little Manila, the neighboring suburb), and I have been blessed to go on field trips to museums and other cool places (like the Exploratorium, except that I was accusing of stealing a slinky toy at the gift shop when I was 8 when I actually did buy it but threw away the receipt). I have fond memories of my dad taking my younger sister and I to Ocean Beach. I will also never forget when I went to the zoo with my older sister and her family (my nephew and niece were 5 and 1 at the time, and I was 11) and we stumbled upon the hippos, and my sister teased me saying that they were waiting for a date with me. I wouldn't call myself a San Franciscan, but Cecilio says I was a lot closer to SF than most people were (think East Bay peeps, Giants and 49ers bandwagoners from Sacramento).

Even though we find our way to the City by the Bay (and even though I grew up in this area for 9 years), this was the first time we stayed overnight in the heart of the city. What a fun, rich experience and a getaway from it all. I will say that it was pretty hectic, considering that we went on Labor Day. It was amazingly gorgeous and sunny, which we all know that SF is full of clouds and fog 95% of the year.

Here's a little photo diary of our excursion!

Relaxing at Off the Grid in Park Presidio, with food trucks galore. It was great to see people of all ages, races, groups (families, couples, etc.)

A lamb hummus dish I ordered from one of the food trucks. One of the most disappointing things ever. I have been craving or a lamb on rice plate (particularly lamb shawarma on rice), and was a bit let down to find that there was no rice in this dish but I decided to give it a try. The lamb was skimpy and there was something about it and the sauce that made me go yuck!

Got some gelato from Luciano's Scoop, a Sacramento-based sweet shop. After my disappointment with that lamb thing, I was super satisfied with my salted caramel gelato! Cecilio ordered the mint chocolate chip one.

View of Golden Gate Bridge and Crissy Field from the Presidio

Our hotel, InterContinental Mark Hopkins, located in Nob Hill.

The inside of our hotel.

The bathroom in our hotel!

Our room had the view of the whole city. I feel so blessed and spoiled. I love you Cecilio, thank you so much for this!

Grace Cathedral, the iconic Episcopal Church in the City. It was near our hotel too!

On the way to dinner at Union Square. This street was super-steep and I wouldn't have minded walking back, but Cecilio was not too keen on it. Plus after dinner we went to Walgreens and bought some snacks and other items. I'm glad we took Uber, especially because I have been nursing an injury from my right shoulder!

Dinner at Bluestem Brasserie, an upscale New American eatery in Union Square with hipster elements and local ingredients.

I was craving for some wine (which I don't really drink a lot of), so the waiter gave me a few samples. I prefer sweet wine, so he brought me (from left to right) Riseling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé. I liked them all, but ended up getting Riseling.

Our appetizer, the Butcher's Board with cold cut meats, pâtés, and croutons.

My entree, caramelized scallops. It was delicious, but the scallops were on the salty side. Thankfully the creamed corn and beans balanced it with its sweetness, and the greens gave it a fresh vibe.

Our hotel has an indoor rooftop restaurant/bar called Top of the Mark. It is fabulous and swanky, and it is a wonderful view of the glittering lights of SF at night. Let me tell you, Cecilio does not drink at all. He has had 2 full beers once when we broke up for a few days (don't worry, we're stronger than ever), a glass of wine on one of our dates, and some champagne in NYC after he proposed to me. But he hated the taste of all of them. But he figured, what the hell, he was not going to drive for the rest of the night and decided to order a drink for the experience. So I saw a chocolate martini and had to have it, and he ordered a Manhattan martini. We got some dessert too: chocolate cake, chocolate truffles and macarons. Let's just say that the martini made him almost want to throw up and that he was chasing it down with all of the sweets. I loved my martini, and I was already getting more tipsy, especially from the wine from earlier. Alcohol is not Cecilio's thing, but we had an awesome time and a wonderful experience. We have fun with or without the presence of drinking, but when I do drink, I always have a designated driver to rely on.

We checked out of our hotel 2 hours early to get some brunch by Ocean Beach since we were going to hike on Lands End afterwards. We ended up eating at an American diner, Seal Rock Inn. I ordered an omelette with jalapeños, sausage, and jack cheese. I didn't eat the jalapeños, I just wanted some heat to my omelette.

Our hike up in Lands End. Do not be fooled, it was crowded with people. That's what happens when you visit on a holiday. Cecilio was complaining a little (ok, a lot) at first, but I was pushing him and pushing myself to go a little further. The exercise and the spectacular views of Ocean Beach made it worth it. He was so happy that we went as far as we did! We hiked up 1 mile each way, and let me tell you, it gets super hilly.

Afterwards, we wanted to go to Pier 39 and catch Pokemon. We have been to Pier 39 a bunch of times, and I know, I know, it's the biggest tourist trap. But if you are as serious about the game as we are and hear from others about how much of a hotbed Pier 39 is for Pokemon, you're going to want to scope it out. We could not find ANY parking. We eventually gave up and decided to go to the Ferry Building. We still had trouble finding parking, and it took us an hour to find a parking spot that wasn't tow-away. Ugh, that's what we get for staying on Labor Day! We were still able to find some great water Pokemon that we would never be able to catch in Sacramento. Did I mention that our hotel was a Pokestop? (For those who don't know the game, a Pokestop is a place where you can refill on Pokeballs and potions).

We had an amazing time, aside from a few mishaps (getting stuck in traffic for an hour on the way to the Bay Bridge, that disappointing lamb dish, my painful shoulder injury that had me taking ibuprofen every few hours, and the lack of parking), we had an awesome and different experience. When you're planning a wedding, you know how planners always say that you should have a date and not do or talk about anything wedding-related? That's what we did, which was important especially because we are now 6 months out and almost everything has a sense of urgency (I still haven't booked a hairstylist, and I have yet to send out the save the dates, I barely started our DIY projects, and everything is getting overwhelming). Now is the time to get seriously cracking with this planning. We will plan more trips before the wedding to keep us grounded and to help us remember why we love being with each other and spending time together.

No matter how many times you go to San Francisco, you will always find something new to do. And that's what we did. Usually, we go to Serramonte Mall in Daly City, stop by Ocean Beach, drive to Japantown, each dinner at a new restaurant, and then go back to Krispy Kreme in Daly City. We did none of that (except for Ocean Beach).

I love you Cecilio. Thank you for going on all of these wonderful adventures with me. I can't wait for more memories!

And to my followers, thank you for reading my posts and journeys! Have you been to San Francisco? What are your favorite points of interest? Would you like to come, if you haven't been?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Beauty Favorites

We are now 2/3 into 2016! Can you believe how time just flew by?! Honestly, I could say that I was busy from May–July, but this month I've just been so "blah" and unmotivated to blog. I did my best though. I have a lot of worries and anxieties in my mind that sometimes prevent me from doing the things I want and need to do.

During my short summer job at the Fair, I was loving earning money and I subscribed to a few beauty boxes. I even resubscribed to ipsy, and hey, 3rd time is a charm because I have been liking their products this time around! Let's see, I subscribed and unsubscribed to Allure Beauty Box and Glossybox. I have had Play! by Sephora since May and have not reviewed any of their boxes.

Right now, I am currently subscribed to ipsy and Play!, and on the fence regarding whether to keep or get rid of Play! I worry that if I unsubscribe, I will have to go back on the waiting list, and it is really long, since so many people want the box.

Anyway, with my lack of motivation to blog comes with lack of motivation to put on makeup, but I do have a few staples that I have been reaching for:

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: This has been my go-to foundation since April, especially for photos. I've mentioned this a lot, and almost thought of using this for my wedding makeup. However, I did use it for my engagement photo session, and it turned out wonderful.

 It is light enough for everyday but gives enough coverage for photos! It's no surprise that this is the 2nd time I have featured this in my "monthly favorites"!

Tartelette in Bloom Palette: This is my latest and greatest toy that I've been playing around with. I love the versatility, creaminess, pigmentation, and the smell! Like I have mentioned in my review, it smells like marshmallows!

Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara: As I am looking this up on Google, I am shocked to see the low overall ratings at Ulta and Amazon (However, it is rated as 4.5+ on the Walmart, Walgreens, and Rimmel websites). This is supposedly a dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, which I love but do not want to spend $23 every 3 months for it. The Rimmel mascara is just as good, and gives me the thickening and curling that I want.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector "Opal": My first BECCA highlighter was the Champagne Pop which was collaborated with Jaclyn Hill. Before Champagne Pop came out on the market, Opal was a cult favorite among Jaclyn and many other beauty enthusiasts. Opal has finer particles, and therefore, makes a more subtle glow. It is flattering on all skin tones, especially on tan skin like mine. I was sold immediately when I was purchasing stuff at Sephora and this beautiful cashier had a gorgeous glow on her cheekbones, and I had to know what it was. It was Opal. And she was tanner than me!

Givenchy Dahlia Noir Eau de Parfum: I needed to have this as I was searching for a signature scent for the wedding, and read the description. The scent is so so fitting with the location and environment of my wedding, and dahlias are one of my main flowers. Specifically, burgundy dahlias. Though, there are no dahlias, because dahlias have no scent. Oh the irony! But more on that in another review.

IT Cosmetics No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner: I got this in the August ipsy glam bag, and it does not disappoint. I have been let down with a lot of pencil eyeliners...they have been fading really fast, or maybe because I am getting oilier eyes. It has staying power, and great pigmentation!

What has been your favorites in August? And what fall beauty and/or fashion staple are you looking forward to?