Let not your heart be troubled. Don't give up.

It's easier said than done when you're told flowery advice such as "believe in yourself" and "have confidence". This can especially be a struggle if you're an artist of some sort. Oftentimes, we are our own worst critic. I have been struggling with this for a very long time, because I knew I always wanted to pursue graphic design but I felt like I didn't have the natural "artistic talent" (I say that in quotations because if there's anything I learned in design school, talent comes from work, work, work and getting your hands dirty, literally and figuratively), I was not the best at drawing (the portfolio review had requirements that you had to have 3 drawings, but they got rid of it last year when I got accepted) and the major is extremely competitive at my university. Now that I am in, I have been pushing myself. Last year it was mostly learning more in depth about the basics and applying it to projects. Now for senior year we still get refreshers, but the projects mimic more real life work. Oh, and did I mention more presentations?

We had a presentation today in class for our film festival campaign. We had to dress professionally, and were to talk about our concepts, our process leading to the final results. I have always been struggling with insecurity about my work because there are amazing designers. And I often feel like I could never be as good. So during the presentations, some of my classmates went all out. I almost wanted to cry! But I am glad towards the end I mustered up the courage to finally get out there and show my work. I told myself I would've had to one way or another considering that this project is 45% of the overall grade. Amazingly, many people liked my work. Even the ones I really revered and envied. They were telling me, "Awesome job, Hannah". They especially liked my handheld schedule (below, the closeup doll with the tongue that shows the schedule). Stuff like that just really motivates me to push the envelope. Of course I should look at my peers' work and have them motivate me, but I also need to take a step back and not crumble or despair. Because comparison is the thief of joy. It's a thing I've been struggling with it but I'm really working on it.

Everyone has their own journey. As long as you keep trying and pushing forward. You may not see your progress little by little but a year or two or now you will look back and be proud of how hard you fought back insecurity and self doubt. I know looking back at my old design work here on my flickr account (this is my work from 2008–2011) I cringe, but I know how how far along I've gone.

I am overall pretty happy with my work, although I will do some minor tweaks. Here it is below!

My front and back poster.

Website prototypes (no coding, all pure Illustrator!)

App prototypes

My handheld schedule.

What inspires you and motivates you to keep pursuing your passions? Please leave a comment below!

Why I returned the Urban Decay Electric Palette + birthday swag & reflections.

Do you ever see something you really wanted and kept thinking about it, then once you got it it turned out not as special or amazing as you thought it would be?

That's what I felt about the UD Electric Palette. I reviewed it here and I found myself only using it twice. Once at the Anberlin concert, and another time during school. During the time I wore it at school, that's when I really started to regret it. It seemed to me that either the colors faded (even with primer!) or there was never enough pigment to begin with. That's exactly how I felt with Revolt, the silver shade. Which was a huge disappointment because I don't have a silver eyeshadow and it looked perfect on the palette, but as soon as I applied it to my eyes I had to keep brushing at least 5 times. Plus, the other shades stained my lids after. I mentioned in the previous review that I wore bright color eyeshadow as a teenager, but now that I am in my 20s (I'm actually going to turn 25 in half an hour, PST) I stick to neutrals and I now have a better understanding of what makeup shades go well with my skin tone, outfits and the season. Don't get me wrong, I love purples! Jilted and Urban were my favorite shades, and I really loved Fringe. I just couldn't see myself wearing it everyday like I do with my Naked 3 and Chocolate Bar palettes. And when I spend that much $49 on makeup, I want to be sure I get my money's worth by using it everyday. Instead, I will pick and choose certain shades of the Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow. Not now though since I also burned some money with buying makeup along with printing and design projects.

Luckily I only had the UD Electric palette for 2 weeks and Sephora has an efficient return policy. I had the receipt so I exchanged it for the Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation, which i have been eyeing on for months but I know I will be using it a lot. I've heard such remarkable things about it; how it makes your face look flawless in pictures. I actually only started wearing foundation 2 years ago, with my first one being the MAC Face & Body. I liked it a lot I had it for a long time and I recently found out that the MAC foundations start to separate when you have it for a while. I've also been using Loreal True Match Lumi. But I still kept looking at the MUFE HD foundation!

Here is a side by side comparison. Left photo is my bare face, and right side is me with the MUFE HD foundation.

I'm really liking how lightweight it is yet it offers a flawless coverage. I certainly think this is buildable for even more coverage. It actually feels lighter than some of my BB creams! The employee who helped me matched my shade, which is 128 (Almond—for medium skin with beige undertones). I will certainly using this on a regular basis, over my BB cream or primer. What surprised me is that it came out really liquid-y when I pumped it, but that is because water is the first ingredient. Also, the glass bottle makes me want to be extra careful with it for fear that it'll break!

I also got the sample size of the Benefit Porefessional while waiting in line. It's $10 for .25 oz. It's often compared with the Maybelline Baby Skin (which is 22 ml. for $6) because of the packaging (seriously, they both come in tubes and are very similar in color!) and pore minimizing properties! I'll do a side by side comparison review soon. Also, I was able to avail of the Beauty Insider Birthday Gift, which is a MUFE box of the sample size Rouge Lipstick in N9 (Copper Pink) and the Smoky Extravagant Mascara.

Sephora Hauls

 I also went to MAC and got this Satin lipstick in Del Rio which is a plum nude. I am very picky with nudes but this was perfect, not too light or too dark. I also have been curious to try the blushes since that is one of the things MAC is known for. So I got Peachykeen, which is a sheertone finish (meaning you can build up to it to add more color as you wish) It's good for fair–medium tones.

So now as I write this I have been 25 for 5 minutes. I don't feel old at all. I know I have been lamenting about how I feel like I haven't accomplished a lot in my life. I even had a meltdown in front of Cecilio today because I have been so stressed out about school and feeling like I'm not a good enough designer compared to my other classmates, and it's just been killing me but I'm trying harder than ever. He told me I needed to stop hating myself and my work because even if I don't see it, I AM getting better. I know I need to give myself credit. I have improved vastly but I still have those moments where I feel so...not creative. But everyone who dabbles in creative work feels that way. I know I should see my classmates and let it motivate me to work harder, which I do. But I can't let it discourage me or make me feel like the crappiest designer in the world. I've also been a bit stressed because we have a big presentation on Wednesday and I have to get my work together. Anyway, I'm going to SF with Cecilio and my two best friends Nate and Rebecca for the Walk To End Lupus Now event, and we will be having lunch a bit afterwards. It might be crazy there considering the Giants are in the World Series and will be having their game there. It will be fun though, I promise!

Thanks for reading <3

Sac Specialty Coffee Week: Chocolate Fish Roasters home brewing class

For coffee lovers, Sacramento is the perfect place to be! Our local cafes are booming, and many of them are holding classes and workshops to inspire and educate the public about coffee from buying the beans overseas to how you too can roast your own brew at home. October 13–19 marks Specialty Coffee Week in Sacramento. We are actually the first city to host a week dedicated to coffee! Isn't that amazing?! I also feel extremely proud that we are listed as The 10 Best Cities for Coffee Snobs and 10 US Cities That Earn Their Coffee Bragging Rights. We don't just have classes; there are also competitions, such as SPLAT (Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament) and even a Coffee Cocktail Competition in Hook and Ladder!

Today, I went to Chocolate Fish Coffee to check out their home brewing class, which is held every 3rd Saturday. I arrived 15 minutes late thinking it was in the Downtown location (turned out to be the East Sac location), and almost was unable to get in because of how packed it was (they usually only have 8 people but because it coincidentally fell on Specialty Coffee Week, there was a greater turnout) but I was allowed in once I said that this was for a group project for my class (they understood, because the people in my group for the magazine have contacted and visited them too.  My group and I are creating a magazine dedicated to local coffee in Sacramento). The coffee beans used in the demo and tasting was produced by Juan Luis Barrios of Finca La Merced, a coffee farm in Guatemala. Juan said that his family has been producing coffee since 1912. The class was hosted by Andy Baker, the owner of Chocolate Fish. He demonstrated different methods of brewing: French press, V60, AeroPress, etc. Throughout showing different methods, the crowd got a chance to taste the coffee based on those methods. The French press is one of the stronger ones. I would say the V60 is my favorite because of the hint of sweetness. I like my coffee with some sweetness, so I wasn't used to not having my sugar or stevia around. I have to say it did wake me up!

October 11 Anberlin concert!

Saturday is usually when Cecilio works but he took off the 11th (along with the 25th and 26th for my birthday) to take us to see my favorite band, Anberlin. Actually, he introduced me to them a while ago, and so did an old friend of mine. At first I wasn't very impressed, but I started downloading them more on Limewire (this was before my dad's laptop crashed...oops) and I was really intrigued! So on Black Friday 2009 I bought their New Surrender CD from FYE (sadly they ran out of business...)

Then Dark is the Way, Light is a Way came out in 2010. Cecilio and I saw them on 10/10/10 at the Regency Ballroom (where this year's concert was also located), and the following concerts afterward (as they opened for Switchfoot and Smashing Pumpkins along with the Vital Tour). And finally, they are on their final tour before they disband.

I actually thought they were going to play a lot of songs from their new album, Lowborn, but they actually didn't play them at all! I was pleasantly surprised, but since most fans want to hear the older songs, that's what they played. They played the usuals, such as "Feel Good Drag", "Unwinding Cable Car", "Godspeed", and "Paperthin Hymn". But they also played songs they usually don't play like "Inevitable" (I was so happy because this is mine and Cecilio's song), "Time and Confusion", and "Symphony of Blase". They also played "Take Me as You Found Me" and "We Owe This To Ourselves" which they have only played in the DITWLIAP concert.

What I love about Anberlin is that even though they are deep, devout Christians, their aim is to make excellent art rather than mere evangelizing. They appeal to the Christians and the secular (You can hear them on Air 1 AND an alternative rock station). They have songs about spirituality but the lyrics about love can be left to the interpretation of the viewer. For example, in "Unwinding Cable Car", the lyrics say This is the correlation of salvation and love
(Don't drop your arms) Don't drop your arms, I'll guard your heart, With quiet words I'll lead you in can talk about God's love for the individual. During the concert, however, Stephen Christian (the lead singer) says this song is dedicated to the starving artists (and other ambitious people), encouraging others to never ever ever give up on their dreams. It resonates with me a lot because I struggle with the anxiety and worry that I will never be successful or build the life I want because of my lupus or because I've never been a super talented designer, top student, or athletic. Even though I'm not the best designer I try, and I am definitely trying in my senior year more than any other year. But "Unwinding Cable Car", especially with the lyrics you're so brilliant, don't soon forget, remind me otherwise and that I will keep going no matter what.

Oh Anberlin, it's been such a bittersweet time. I would listen to you all while I would work out, drive, study and chill. I hate to see you dismantle, but I hope maybe one day you will repair! (only the fans will get this)

Our pit stop to Vallejo before San Francisco

We ate at a restaurant named Mifune Don in Japan Town before the concert, which was walking distance. The concert was in the Regency Ballroom. They gave us green tea right away. I ordered tamago soba noodle soup. So nourishing, especially because it was cold outside!

Cecilio captured and framed this moment perfectly. I would say the 2010, 2013, and 2014 concerts were the best I have ever experienced.

Us in 2010 (left) vs 2014 (right), both at Regency Ballroom. It's amazing how time flies by with the one you love and have so much fun with.

Hauls Galore: Part 2 (Urban Decay Electric Palette and LUSH products)

This is part 2 of my recent hauls. Like I said, I got a lot of loot on Thursday but I wanted to break my posts down into 2 so it wouldn't drag out in one long post. I was having a pretty bad day on Thursday after I saw my doctor and there was still no progress in my kidneys. But I was in a better mood when I saw Cecilio and we went to the Roseville Galleria. And I got the Urban Decay Electric Palette, the Rosebud Salve Lip Balm and a few LUSH items.

I've been eyeing the Urban Decay Electric Palette for a while now. Yes, the $49 price tag scared me off for a while, but I figured since it was 10 shades, that would mean it's $4.90 per shade which is cheaper than their individual eyeshadows which costs $18. Plus, I bought the Coastal Scents 88 eyeshadow palette last month and I was SO disappointed with the staying power. It faded within 12 hours of wear, A LOT. Even with primer. And the greens didn't provide a lot of pigmentation.

Also, ever since I got more serious about makeup I started becoming more into neutrals. Usually, I wear the violet shades the most in terms of the colorful ones because they complement my dark brown eyes. I wore mostly bright colors in high school...and I had this bright green shimmery Milani eyeshadow for years that I loved but I retired it (I had it between the ages of 19–23...probably a bit longer than I should've had it). But now I am a bit intimidated by them.

Cecilio and I on my 20th birthday party in 2009...yup, it was that Milani green eyeshadow I was wearing. I don't even know the name but all I remember was that it was my favorite and it was hard letting it go. This was the best picture I had that showcased it.

Though I wear mostly neutrals now, I still had my eye on the palette. And then on Thursday I finally mustered up the courage to buy it. My excuse was that Cecilio and I are going to see Anberlin tonight. This will be our 5th and last time seeing them since they are breaking up after the tour. Oh, so bittersweet! I've been a fan of them since 2009 (though they've been around since 2003). And I wanted something colorful and fun to wear. I guess I could wear this on school days too as long as I tone it down with a neutral color.

Top to bottom: Revolt, Gonzo, Slowburn, Savage, Fringe, Chaos, Jilted, Urban, Freak and Thrash.

Revolt doesn't have a lot of pigmentation which sucks because it's a beautiful color. I don't have a silver eyeshadow. But I will still definitely use it! And like I said, since I tend to wear more violets, of course I'm going to favor Jilted and Urban! Out of all the shades, however, I was thinking about Chaos the most. I don't know why...I have worn blue eyeshadow in the past but I guess they never looked as good on me as violets and greens. I hope this one changes my mind though. And I just realized how beautiful Fringe was. It's a bluish green that reminds me of a mermaid...haha...

It does say inside that Slowburn, Savage, Jilted, and Urban are not intended for the immediate eye area. What does that mean? It means that the neon colors are not FDA approved and that this is more of an "artistry" palette...though while the USA has this warning, other countries don't. Patrice Grell Yursik of Afrobella explains it a little better in this article. Other than that, I'm happy with this purchase, I love the sleek palette, the cover design, the purple brush, and I don't regret it one bit.

I also can't forget the rosebud salve! I asked the ladies from makeupsocialapp (download it, it's like instagram/twitter for beauty addicts! My username is hannahbananacreampuff) what to do with my horribly chapped lips. Many of them recommended Aquaphor (which I might consider), Fresh (which I wanted but is too expensive), Tony Moly, etc. but someone said they used EOS in the morning and then rosebud salve. So I got the tube and it was only $7. And I'll try it since I have EOS. Other ladies recommended the LUSH scrubs...which brings me to my next point...

Herbalism Face & Body Cleanser, Tea Tree Water Toner, Imperialis Facial Moisturizer, Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub, Mask of Magnaminty

I heard some wonderful things about LUSH. What attracts me is their scents, all natural ingredients (with packaging geared towards the modern woman. I find a lot of "green/vegan" products have boring marketing, drab green/neutral design), the prices, the fact that there's a product for every skin and hair type, the reasonable prices, and the great customer service. Yes. The employee Rachel helped me out, and she was super sweet. I wasn't sure if I had dry or combo skin because I always had dry skin but I also have ugly whiteheads at the sides of my nose and I have small pores on my nose and cheeks. She and the other employees said it was definitely combo. So she had me sit on a chair and tested the Herbalism Cleanser on my hands. She told me to use a nickel size everyday and scrub on my face with water. It's made with ground almonds, kaolin clay and rice bran to clean up the oils and rosemary, nettle and chamomile to leave the skin clean. After that she sprayed the Tea Tree toner to get rid of the oils and blemishes. Afterwards I moisturize with the Imperialis (which is actually on my Skincare Wednesday Wishlist), which is geared towards every skin type. So along with those 3, she recommended to use the Ocean Salt Scrub and Mask of Magnaminty twice a week. I LOVE the smell of Mask of Magnaminty, but then again I also love peppermint patties, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and Nioxin hair products.

Last night I tried the Herbalism, Tea Tree Toner and Imperialis moisturizer. I don't know if it was just me, but I woke up with blemishes. Rachel reminded me that sometimes when you try a new product you break out for a while before you see the results. I did my research on this and this process was called purging, because it gets rid of the impurities of your skin and it takes a few weeks. Some people truly believe that and that you shouldn't give up on the product too easily (unless there's no improvement after 3 months), and others don't believe in it and that you should discard it right away. I did feel my skin get softer though. I don't blame my skin for acting out, because I have been testing all these different products lately (such as Neutrogena, Yes to Carrots, Yes to Tomatoes, Avalon Organics Moisturizer, Acure Organics Day Cream). So I need to let my skin adjust as I make this sudden switch to all LUSH products. Also, I have been under a lot of stress from school and health related issues, and my diet hasn't been the best either (I'm a salty snack fiend and I don't drink a lot of water, but I'm making an effort!) so that could be a factor as well.

Oh! I also asked about the lip scrubs! She recommended the Mint Julips and to layer it 3 times. It was so tingly and felt amazing. It tasted good too. I just love mint treats! It made my lips super soft.Then she also suggested to set it with the Lip Service Balm. I really regret not buying those. But next time, I will!

Ok. So I started blogging at 1:30 and now it's 3:15. I never realized how much of a time commitment blogging was. But I love it. I am just not doing it as often as I like because school is my #1 priority right now. I better sleep. Later I need to rest and walk the dogs, do some chores, catch up on homework and prepare for the Anberlin concert with Cecilio. It will be fun, and I will definitely blog about our day. Goodnight everyone :)


Hauls Galore: Part 1 (NYX from Ulta)

Hello everyone again! It's 1:30 am right now. I'm supposed to be sleeping but I wanted to review and blog again. I've just been again, crazy busy with school. I've been working on my kinetic type for my motion graphics class and it's been a struggle using After Effects...but I'll just keep plugging along!

Anyway, Thursday lets just say I scored lots of loot! Last week Ulta had a 40% off sale for most NYX products (which I mentioned on the 10 reasons NYX is my new favorite makeup brand post) so let's just say I was SO happy I waited for the sale rather than buying what I wanted at full price. And I mentioned that I had a wish list of items I wanted. I didn't get everything though. But here's what I purchased:

Butter gloss: Ginger Snap and Cherry Pie
Butter Lipstick: Sweet Tart
Soft Matte Lip Cream: Monte Carlo and Prague
Powder Blush: Desert Rose and Cinnamon
Automatic eyebrow pencil
Matte Finish Setting Spray

All of this turned out to be $30.47 (including free shipping and the $3.50 off coupon when you spend $10 or more). The items I am most excited about are the blushes and the soft matte lip creams. I've been on the lookout for blushes because I've been mostly using bronzer contouring and it's nice to switch it up for a bit, especially on days where I don't have time to put on a full face. These blushes are really pigmented. I don't think I'll be disappointed. Desert Rose and Cinnamon are both matte finishes (dark pink and orange, which look best on my medium skin tone). I'm very excited to use these because I've been using the Milani Baked Powder blushes over the years and I find that it's too sheer and glittery. I like color, but obviously not too much to where I look like a clown. And I use the Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick in Coral Sheen, but I'd like some powder ones that provide good color and lasting power.

Desert Rose (top) and Cinnamon (bottom)

This was also my first time ordering the soft matte lip creams. Oh yes, they feel so light on the lips! I like darker reds, so it only made sense I got Monte Carlo which is also perfect for the fall. Prague is more mauve. Again, I like color. Which is why I get disappointed whenever I get the butter glosses. I see on Instagram how there's a lot of color on the ladies who use them, but I also hear they show up better on people with lighter skin. That said, I wore Cherry Pie on Thursday and it provided better pigmentation since it was darker, but it also wore off easily to where I had to reapply. Gingersnap also has pigmentation, maybe it's just the lighter shades that aren't doing me justice (I also have Apple Strudel and Strawberry Parfait) I do love the smells and the packaging though. And I also heard a lot of the butter glosses are meant to be applied on the butter lipsticks. Speaking of butter lipstick, I saw Sweet Tart online and I wanted it because it seemed like this dark fuchsia shade. I was disappointed when it turned out to be lighter than that, pretty much the same shade as Little Susie (the only difference is that according to the NYX website LS is warmer toned and ST is cool toned. But I actually find LS pretty cool toned on my skin. The website also describes both of them as deep pink but I actually think they are more bright or medium to me).

Top to bottom: Cherry Pie, Ginger Snap, Prague, Monte Carlo, Sweet Tart, Little Susie (which I didn't order, I previously bought it at Target)

So I guess I'll get more NYX whenever the website or Ulta has a sale! That way the wait is rewarding. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my purchases. I don't really do my eyebrows but I figure now is the time to start, though my mom and my sister always told me I don't need to because I have nice thick eyebrows. I do want mine to look like Cara Delevinge's though! Her brows are thick but also defined really well.

It's okay not to be okay. As long as you push forward

I had my monthly appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday. Since April, she and my nephrologist have been working together to try to taper down my prednisone, but they haven't been able to because I've been showing high protein in my kidney. So they've tried different methods without increasing my prednisone—increasing my cellcept, putting me on different blood pressure meds (I was on lisinopril for a while but I was experiencing horrible coughs so I switched to losartan). Last month I was having feelings of confidence and I was telling myself no matter what the doctors do or don't do, I'm going to be happy.

I wish I could've said the same thing yesterday.

I went to school after the appointment wanting to cry while I was studying. It's the same thing over and over: my labs look beautiful, my health is in great shape, it's just the protein in my kidney is still high.

As vain as it is, I hate prednisone because of what it does to my weight. I've always suffered with self esteem issues with my body. There have been times that even when I was slim it wasn't slim enough. I've never had an eating disorder but I've always struggled with a very distorted body image, and having lupus along with being bullied when I was younger doesn't help.

 I know it will destroy me if I keep comparing myself to others, which is what my doctor told me. She was experiencing the same thing while she was studying in med school and now being a doctor while all her friend's kids are full grown and are involved in these activities.

I've been going through these issues all of 2014 as I watch my peers get internships and jobs while I'm left behind. And I see so many beautiful women with perfect bodies and faces and I wonder why can't I have that too. But I guess it teaches me to be more compassionate towards others who are different and not make fun of them the way I was made fun of. I wrestle with God because I want a logical explanation. But many things in life can't be explained. Everyday, I miss my dad and I ask why. Why did he have to go? Oh gosh, my eyes are watering up as I'm typing this. Now they just turned into tears. Why does my family have to be afflicted with lupus and autism?

I can't let these things destroy me. I can't let having lupus and not being able to drive (because of seizures) stop me from reaching my goals. I can't let my classmates (who are amazing designers, better than I could ever dream of being) discourage me into being better. And just because I'm a bit bigger than what I'd like to be, I can't let that stop me from feeling beautiful either. I'm so thankful to have loving, caring boyfriend who has been so patient and gracious even when I throw a tantrum about my health. Actually my day went better when we saw each other yesterday and sent to the mall, I picked up that Urban Decay Electric Palette and a few LUSH products (which I will review tonight). And he's been telling me to cheer up because we are going to see Anberlin tomorrow! (Anberlin is my favorite band, he and an old friend actually introduced me to them and I fell in love...and this is gonna be the last concert because they are breaking up)

I'm glad I got this off of my chest. I feel better. Don't worry. I know deep down I can get through this and thrive. You can get through whatever you're struggling with too. This will make us stronger.

"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

10 reasons NYX is my new favorite makeup brand.

I've heard about NYX before when I was looking around some charts a while back about how their eyeshadows are dupes for MAC's eyeshadows. It was only this year I became more curious when I would see girls on Instagram wearing NYX's beautiful lippies (butter lipsticks, butter lip glosses, etc.) My first purchase from them was the butter lipstick in Big Cherry. I brought it to Hawaii with me and used it frequently. My sister actually borrowed it from me because she left her red lipsticks and loved the shade! She ended up buying her own. Then during 4th of July, Ulta had a 50% off sale so I purchased all NYX products, I would've only had half of them at normal price! Then one day (2 weeks ago), I was up looking at their website listing out the stuff I wanted. Then it dawned on me that I should write an entry of list of reasons I love NYX.

1. Highly pigmented lipsticks and lip glosses. The butter lips are more moisturizing than others! My sister also said that it faded less than her other lipsticks.

2. Cute packaging, typography (in their logo) and website. As a designer, I am very critical of these things.

3. High end quality with drugstore prices. Can't beat that!

4. All products are not tested on animals. I have some makeup that is animal tested (like MAC) but it's important to know which products are and aren't so we can be aware and support them more.

5. It's named after Nyx, the Greek goddess of light.  Their Facebook page states: "just like many of our fans who rule the night life in this modern techno-savvy world".

6. They have many cute and creative names for their lipsticks ( Extra Creamy Round Lipsticks are named after Greek legends: Aphrodite, Narcissus, Apollo, etc. Soft matte lip creams: cities such as Amsterdam, Tokyo, Zurich, Copenhagen. Butter lip glosses are named after desserts) and eyeshadows (Love in Paris: Be Our Guest Maurice, Let Them Eat Cake, You are in Seine. Love in Florence: Meet my Romeo, La Dolce Vita, Gelato for 2)

7. NYX was created by Toni Ko in 1999, around the same time Maureen Kelly created Tarte Cosmetics. I admire these women who come from humble beginnings and develop their passion for beauty into something grand.

8. They offer products and discounts for makeup artists! Now you can't tell me that makeup artists only use high end products.

9. I have the Dewy Setting Spray and it keeps my makeup on the whole day.

10. Social media is very important to them as it allows them to connect with their fans: they are constantly posting on Instagram.

Here's some of the NYX products I own:

Butter Lipstick: Hot Tamale, Big Cherry, Little Susie, Snow Cap
Butter Gloss: Strawberry Parfait, Apple Strudel
Jumbo Eye Pencil: Dark Brown
Extra Creamy Round Lipstick: Tea Rose
Retractable Eyeliner: White
HD Studio Photogenic Finishing Powder
Hot Singles Eyeshadow: Burlesque
Dewy Finish Setting Spray

And I scored that jackpot because Ulta is currently having a 40% sale for NYX products! I am so thankful I waited for this to come. So I ordered and I am awaiting the following items:

Butter gloss: Ginger Snap and Cherry Pie
Butter Lipstick: Sweet Tart
Soft Matte Lip Cream: Monte Carlo and Prague
Powder Blush: Desert Rose and Cinnamon
Automatic eyebrow pencil
Matte Finish Setting Spray

Wishlist Wednesday: Skincare edition.

I haven't posted in over a week because I have been insanely busy with my classes. It's a bit stressful but I'm doing what I can to manage. It's a big challenge to juggle school, especially in a high intense major along with chronic illness on top of all of that. In addition, I am going to be doing the graphic design for SFA. I'm pretty excited because I have designed flyers for them in the past, and I am going to continue on with it. I have some other ideas and collateral for design. I haven't forgotten about this blog though. In fact, Birchbox review is overdue!

Anyway, Happy October everyone! I love fall for the pumpkin flavored things, layering cardigans, boots, earth and jewel toned colors, beautiful sky lighting...and I love this month because...my birthday is on the 26th! So it's only natural I'd want to do a "wishlist". These will be items I will be eyeing at. Maybe I'll buy them eventually, we'll have to see. Last week, I had been breaking out pretty badly and I wasn't sure if I needed to take a break from wearing makeup. I did on some days while wearing my Tarte BB 12 hour primer on other days. I would say the culprit was exfoliating my face everyday with the Yes to Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub. I loved the grainy texture, and it did seem gentle enough to use daily. I exfoliated after cleaning my face with the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser and before I moisturized. But I noticed my face getting red with pimples all over. So I stopped using it completely as I was complaining to my mom about my breakouts. She told me that I should not be exfoliating everyday according to her esthetician, even if it said Daily Cleansing (she recently got a facial at Massage Envy). Since then, my skin has cleared up but I know I could still use improvement. I'd still like to wear makeup on a regular basis without worrying about clogged pores, though my busiest days for school are on Mondays and Wednesdays and lately I've been rushing out the door because I figure a few more minutes of my deprived sleep are more important.

Here's the items I've been eyeing:

LUSH Coalface bar: This is a soap bar made of powdered charcoal, rosewood and sandalwood. Charcoal has made its way into the skincare world has it helps with combination skin and minimizes the pores. I also have high hopes that this will get rid of the annoying whiteheads on the side of my nose that I get so tempted to pull out (TMI, I know...)

LUSH Imperialis Moisturizer: This moisturizer is recommended on the LUSH website for those who are new their products and are not sure which one to start out with. It's for all skin types. The lavender balances the amount of oils for your skin (if you have dry skin, it will produce oil but if you have oily skin, it will prevent too much oil). There is also orange blossom to brighten up the face. I love the scent of lavender so this would be a plus in my book.

Clarisonic Mia 1: I keep hearing that brush is the answer to all skincare woes, as the bristles penetrate deep into the skin, cleaning out the dirt and pores. The $99 price tag scares me away though. Olay ProX is also the same concept but only $20, so I may look into that as well.

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream: I am a huge fan of BB cream. I've used Revlon, Maybelline, Smashbox and currently I'm using Tarte. It's became popular in the US in recent years after the rising popularity in Korea, because it acts as a time-saver: it's a moisturizer, primer, sunscreen and a blemish cover all in one. You can wear it under foundation for extra coverage or alone on a casual day for sheer natural coverage. I've been curious about the Korean BB creams vs the Western ones because my research and talking to others has shown that the Korean ones offer better skincare benefits and coverage. Also, they are "face lightening" which I am on the fence about because I have tanner skin in the summer but lighter skin in the winter. I like my skin either shade, but you'd be amazed about the obsession with light skin in Asia. Seriously. In the Philippines, there are so many products and billboards for white skin, portraying tan skin as a sign of "ugliness" or "plainness". It's sad but true.

TEMPTU Airbrush makeup system: I always thought airbrush makeup was just reserved for professional makeup artists until Birchbox posted a video demonstrating that us common folk can use airbrush makeup. I love the concept: it's fast, offers full but natural coverage, makes your face look flawless, and no more worrying about cleaning brushes! However, the price also scares me. But this would be fun to try.

I'll make it a point to update at least once or twice a week. I'm just right now making school a top priority so that I can be the best student and designer I can be. But I definitely want to share my passion for beauty and fashion with this blog, along with sharing my stories as a student with lupus! Thanks for reading!