March Favorites

March has been a quite eventful month, and a month full of breakthroughs. So I definitely want to add it to my favorites along with new makeup I tried! Can you believe how much this year has flown by?! I can't!

1. Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar: This is been a staple of mine, and I received it at the beginning of March. I love this because of the warmer shades and they are easy to wear everyday. But I also adore the violet shades of the original Chocolate Bar.

2. MAC Taupe and Mocha: Lately I've been into nude lipsticks a lot. The problem is that it's hard to find a shade that matches my tanner skin tone. I know a lot of girls (even those who are as dark or darker than me) love Velvet Teddy but I actually hated it. Mocha is so popular, it would be out of stock online. I originally got the shad Craving but ended up not liking it so I tried to exchange it for Mocha, but it was sold out but the lady called Nordstrom for me and they ended up having one more left. Taupe is another beautiful shade for darker skin, and it is a matte finish. Here is my review.

3. Too Faced Melted Jelly Donut & Kat Von D Berlin: I've been into liquid lipsticks a lot lately. Hot pink is my thing especially for spring (oh, I didn't need to make that rhyme!) Too Faced Melted Jelly Donut is a part of the new shades in the Melted liquid lipsticks collection, and it is a fun bright pink to wear. Kat Von D Berlin is a warm bright coral-ish pink. I did a review of my favorite spring liquid lipsticks here.

4. Getting my license back: It's been a long journey of not being able to drive for over a year. I don't know how I endured it, but I was extremely depressed and felt humiliated. It was a reminder everyday of my disease. I couldn't get the jobs or internships I wanted because of it. Keppra is a part of me now. I guess it has made me a stronger person. But it wasn't the first time it has happened. And I hope this will be my last time dealing with it.

5. NYC Trip: This is my 2nd time going to NYC and Cecilio's first time. We had a blast. Our hotel (Dumont) was on Lower East Side, within walking distance to the Grand Central Terminal, Chrysler Building and Empire State Building. There was a subway down the street so we took that everywhere. We had the whole New York experience since we felt that a lot of tourists didn't take the subway. But of course we saw major attractions like the buildings I mentioned above, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Rockefeller Central, Museum of Modern Art...

6. Getting engaged: This was the absolute highlight of our trip. I can't believe I can now call Cecilio my fiancé. It is just amazing. I actually was hoping for it to happen since we booked the trip, but I tried telling myself to not expect it if he doesn't and to just focus on having fun. But he did, and now we are on the journey to spending our lives together. See my post below about it.

NYC Trip + Special announcement (pic heavy)

Well, I am back home from our crazy NYC trip. It was so much fun and full of pure bliss, although it was pretty hectic and of course, fast-paced. We took the subway throughout the trip (except the first day using the bus and shuttle to the hotel and Uber for the Mat Kearney concert, and the shuttle going back to the airport on the last day) and it was a quite a fun experience blending with the New Yorkers. I actually lost 4 pounds from all of the walking even though we ate lots of pizza, donuts, and halal food! As much as we loved it there, there's nowhere like home, even though I have to go back to school tomorrow (gross). Now we want to constantly travel, especially because this trip went smoothly. We had a few bumps but nothing major.

Here are the pics!

Grand Central Terminal

Chrysler Building

Mat Kearney concert (Just Kids Tour) at Best Buy Theater

Our chicken and lamb gyro wraps from one of the many halal street carts. It was so spicy and delicious!

Times Square

There was a Dunkin' Donuts right next to our hotel (Dumont Hotel in Murray Hill) so of course we took advantage of that!

We took the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It was amazing. Cecilio teared up a bit because she is a symbol of OUR country, MY country now that I am a U.S. citizen. We got to go inside the pedestal and there was a museum about it. It was so cool.

Ellis Island Building. I just found it so amazing going inside and learning about all the people from various countries stopping here, with hope for a better future. Not everyone was lucky though, a lot were forced into coming. We saw the list of names of those who crossed here. As a former immigrant (although those from the Philippines didn't cross through Ellis Island), I just found it so fascinating.

Overlooking the city

Frozen Lake on Central Park

More of Central Park. 

Chillin at Central Park.

Various exhibits from American Museum of Natural History

Cecilio walking down Central Park

MoMa Madness (because it's free on Fridays from 4–8 pm)

Photographer Karl Blossfeldt at MoMA

Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Various record covers

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Lamb on Rice Plate from the Halal Guys, one of the most popular food carts.

Chillin' at Rockefeller Center

At the Lego Store, here is a model of Rockefeller Center

As you can see, we had a blast and did lots of activities. But nothing beats the BEST PART (on Thursday)...

The spot where he asked!

I said yes to be Cecilio's wife. I am extremely over the moon and excited for our journey together for life. It just feels so surreal.

How did he ask? Well, after we left the American Museum of Natural History (it closed at 5:45) we decided to sit down for a bit because our feet were in pain from all of the walking. But he kept saying, "I still want to walk around to explore." So we did. Even though we would take breaks and sit on benches a lot, he kept saying he wanted to still walk around. And we walked down paths and bridges over the water and overlooking the city skyscrapers. The rain made the air feel so fresh and a lot warmer. He kept getting annoyed saying, "there's too many people here"  and kept looking for a spot to sit down. We eventually found a bench in a corner near Bow Bridge. We sat on the bench talking about the future and how much we loved each other. I thought it was just our usual talk. Honestly, ever since we booked the trip I was hoping he was going to propose but I would've been ok if I he didn't. At least I told myself so I wouldn't get my hopes up. I was going back and forth the whole time wondering if he was going to or not. So after we rested for a bit, he said, "lets get up now" so we did. As we stood, he then goes, "oh by the way..." then he got down on one knee with the ring in the box. He asked really fast and I freaked out and said, "OH MY GOSH!!!" really loud! Then yeah, that's our story :)

Even though we were near Bow Bridge (a really popular proposal spot), he didn't ask me there because he knew that I didn't want it in front of anyone. I'm not the type of person who likes the spotlight. So those viral video proposals are out of the question for me. So that was why he didn't want me to check his phone last week! He got an email from James Allen (where he got the ring) about a survey.

I can't wait for our journey together. I am so thankful for every moment and for someone who loves me so deeply and widely. I don't want anyone else. We are planning a 2 year engagement so that way I have time to find a job and save up for the wedding, honeymoon, car, house/apartment, etc. It's just amazing that I found someone I can love and cherish forever because I've always been one of those girls who wanted that when she was little, and I did watch a lot of Disney movies. But now that it's happened and as much as I am looking forward to the wedding day, the most important part is the journey afterwards!

Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoy!

What's in my bag?

My sweet baby Flora...I'm going to miss her. Happy National Puppy Day! She is 10 months old right now.

I've never done this type of post before so I figured hey why not, because I am going to NYC for spring break and my flight is tonight at 11:30 pm. I gotta make this quick since I have lots of stuff to do still.

1. Forever 21 makeup kit: My friend Sabrina got this for me for my birthday. Above are the following lipsticks: MAC Mocha, Too Faced Melted Berry and Touch of Spice. And I have a lot more in my bag. You don't want to know how much. That's why this bag suits me so well.

2. Francesca's Collections elephant wallet: I've had this wallet for more than a year now and it has served me well, I would say. I have to make sure I don't have a lot of cards and craps otherwise it'll get bulky.

3. Forever 21 pink comb: It's pretty detangling and small enough to fit in my small purse.

3. Pen: I have lots of these and I am probably gonna bring a notepad, I kinda have to for sketching homework. And I have to bring my laptop too -__-;

5. Gum: for fresh breath of course! Which reminds me, I need to put floss too.

6. Forever 21 macaron mirror: This is such a cute mirror! I am a huge fan of macarons by the way. And it's so slim too that it can fit in anywhere.

7. Medications: This is an obvious what and is absolutely needed. I am taking prednisone, plaquenil, cellcept, keppra and losartan. I am going to put some back up meds in Cecilio's suitcase too.

As far as my liquid items for the quart-sized bag...

1. Aquaphor: This is super moisturizing and it has helped so far with my breakout from getting my face waxed on Friday. I hate that feeling, where I have pimples all over and it hurts so bad. Thankfully I haven't had that problem since using this.

2. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: My holy grail drugstore BB cream. It is pretty sheer, more like a tinted moisturizer but I like how it gives me that fresh, dewey look and I don't want too much coverage. Especially for being super tired on the flight.

3. NARS Skin Restorative Night Treatment: I got this as a sample from Nordstrom. I'm excited to use it, because I've heard some great things about it (anti-aging, helps with pores and fine lines, helps make skin smoother and makeup easier to apply on)

4. Forever 21 Hand Sanitizer: This is a rose scent.

5. LUSH Skin Drink in the Mint Julips container: I didn't want to bring my whole LUSH Skin drink container so I put it in my empty Mint Julips lip scrub container (I have a confession: I ate most of it. I couldn't help it!). This is the perfect night moisturizer or for times when it's super cold and dry.

6. MUFE HD Blush (310 Rosewood): This is my most used cream blush, and I have finally hit the pan! I want to keep using it until I can empty it out.

The Versatile Blog Award

Woo hoo! I've just been nominated by Glitter Glamgirl from for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thank you so much :)

Here's the rules for the award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you with maybe a link to their blog :)
2. Tell 7 facts about yourself
3. Nominate 15 other blogs you recently discovered

Here are 7 facts about me:
1. I've always been addicted to Hot Cheetos since I was 7. I burned my tongue when I was 19 so I couldn't eat spicy food for a few years, but I was able to eat them again since last year.
2. That said, like Glitter Glamgirl I have also struggled with weight too. Of course I've been thin before because of exercise and healthy eating (either that or getting super sick and being TOO thin), but taking prednisone will make you gain weight just in a snap. And it is practically impossible to lose weight while on the drug. That is why I turned into makeup, I needed an outlet to make me feel somewhat beautiful and confident, and that is also why I have this blog (and to inspire anyone who reads this).
3. I miss my dad everyday. He passed away 2 years ago from lung cancer. He and I were really close.
4. I have been to Paris, Zurich, Florence (just for 1 night) and Rome. I absolutely loved it and wouldn't mind going back there. I love Europe and I'd also want to go to London, Spain, Sweden, and Greece.
5. I am 3/4 Filipino and 1/4 Indian
6. My boyfriend Cecilio and I met actually...on the Myspace forums for the community college we were going to (Sacramento City College). Because he was joining the newspaper and I was too, and we also had a journalism class together. We were both a part of each other's respective newspapers senior year of high school (we both graduated in 2007, but in different schools 30 minutes away from each other) So he added me as a friend and we talked for a little bit but not too much, then we finally met in person in our classes then our friendship started growing...I was with someone else at the time, and that ex and Cecilio did not like each other. Well a few months later, the ex broke up with me for someone else less than a week later...and then, Cecilio and I started dating 5 months later :) You can read our story here
7. I have 2 dogs, Aris (an almost 3 year old Rat Terrier/Maltese Mix) and Flora (a 10 month old Yorkie/Maltese blog is named after her) and I love them to death. I love how clingy they are to me. They are my first pets that aren't fish, birds, or hamsters (other pets I've had in the past)

Here's who I nominate:
Mandy: A Girl, Obsessed
Krystal: Little Beauty Bug
Reina: Makeup, Fashion & Royalty
Sara: Despite Lupus
Roxie: The Beautiful Bluebird
Ashlynn: A Beauty Moment
Paula: Thirteen Thoughts
Sinead: fabeuluse, toujours
Pheobe: Ginger Pheobe
Bash: Bash Says Hey
Maria: Alemint
Teresa: Money Can Buy Lipstick
Claryss: Claryss Christolin
Alyssa: Ang Savvy
Natalie: Yours Truly, NY

Step into Spring: My favorite bright pink lipsticks

So today is the 1st official day of Spring! We are really blessed in Northern California to be having 70–80 degree weather. But I can't enjoy it for too long due to our New York trip! But what better way to celebrate than breaking out your bright colored makeup? I know that fall colors have been super trendy, especially vampy shades and Kylie Jenner lips...along with the pumpkin spice latte. I do have some nudes and fall lipsticks I adore (like Maybelline Touch of Spice, and I also just got Gerard Cosmetic's 1995 Lipstick...which I'm not too crazy about but I'll talk about that in another blog) but bright pink lipsticks are what makes my heart flutter. I like medium–dark shades because baby pink hardly shows up or makes me look washed out. I also thought I liked MAC Candy Yum Yum...until I found out about the other 2 MAC shades below.

Here are the swatches (on arm and on my lips) and my reviews on each of them:

Top to bottom: MAC Viva Glam Miley, MAC (Girl About Town), NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, (Sao Paulo), NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Prague), Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Berlin), Too Faced Melted Lipstick (Jelly Donut)

MAC Viva Glam Miley: This is my first Viva Glam lipstick. I wrote a full review here. This is an Amplified finish, which means it's also not as drying as a matte or a satin shade. This is a shade Miley would definitely pull off. 

MAC Girl About Town: This shade also reminded me of Viva Glam Miley, but it's a lot more cooler toned (but no tinge of purple) so it helps brighten your teeth too. When I first tested this at MAC, I fell in love with it. This is one of my holy grails. I did a review on Candy Yum Yum here...but after that review, I found myself not using it that much. Then I found this. It is much more flattering on my skin tone. This is an Amplified Creme finish as well.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Sao Paulo): I am a huge fan of NYX Soft Matte lip creams. The shades are so diverse that no matter what your skin tone or style is, you are guaranteed to find a shade suited for you. I've been loving the pinks (I also recently got Milan and Ibiza). Sao Paulo is one of my favorites, I would say it's on the warmer side, even though the NYX website describes it as plummy pink. It's a medium pink to me and shows up enough color to make me satisfied but it's also subtle enough to wear everyday (although if you're a lipstick don't wear the same shade everyday.)

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (Prague): Now this is a more of a plum toned lippy! I am not a huge fan of plum shades of lips but this shows up as more on the more pinkish side on mine, and it is also another shade I consider as a casual, everyday wear one.

Too Faced Melted (Jelly Donut): This shade is a part of Too Faced line of Melted lipsticks that came out this year. I bought this in Ulta as a celebration of getting my license back. It is pretty drying like the other Melted lipsticks, but this is my favorite color (I also have Violet, Coral and Berry). I know if you wear it for a long time it leaves a nice stain.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (Berlin): I've heard a lot of great things about Kat Von D lipsticks, especially the shade Lolita. I actually ordered it 2 weeks ago at Sephora because it was back in stock (Lolita is the most popular shade) but I wasn't too hot about it when I tried it on. It's also a controversial shade because there are 3 different versions of it! The original shade is more dusty pink, like Stila Patina. Then a bad batch came in December and became a dark brown shade which a lot of people complained about! Then they tried to fix it which is still a bit brown. But I wasn't happy and I exchanged it for Berlin, which I'm glad I did. It's a warm rosy tone too. I can see this as universally flattering on all skin types. And it dries super matte too but surprisingly it's not that drying. It's also "everlasting".

What are your favorite spring makeup essentials?

BH Cosmetics 80s on the 80s Palette + St. Patricks Day MOTD

Maybe it's because it's spring time, but I have been craving a colored lid on my eyes lately. Like I've mentioned many times, I used to wear bright colored eyeshadow in high school. Transitioning into my 20s, I wanted something more subdued so that the eyes complement my outfit rather than clash with it. Time to time I do want to break out of my comfort zone and experiment with neons again. Besides, I'm going to be applying for graphic design jobs and the creative industry is a lot more flexible with your individual style.

I've been looking for an affordable palette because I had the Urban Decay Electric Palette for 2 weeks before I returned it because I felt like it wasn't worth the $49 if I wasn't going to be wearing it regularly. So when I went to bh cosmetics and I found this thing...also they are having a March Madness sale right now here if you are interested (sales are up to 76%) so I had to get it for only $8.95. I actually paid $7.95 for shipping so it totaled to $17.71 but it is cheaper than getting it for regular price at $19.95 plus shipping. I didn't want anything else enough to make me pay $50+ for free shipping.

The packaging is really cute and yeah, has elements of the 80s, such as checkers and bright pinks. I was born in 1989, so I obviously didn't grow up in 80s culture but I was influenced by my sister who was born in 1976. I love the movies The Goonies, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Pretty in Pink because of her. And yes, I love listening to Cyndi Lauper, Aerosmith, Journey, and a few catchy one hit wonders. I also have a few stuffed Care Bears.

Anyway, this palette has 30 shades! There are a few pigmented shades (mostly the mattes and darker shades, and the neutrals on the bottom row) and a few...less so (the ones on the top row). But a primer and Fix+ spray or water will definitely help the colors pop out. As with any eyeshadow, you will need a primer. I didn't know what I was thinking or doing before I got one!

Here are the swatches:

Rows 1 and 2 (Rainbow Brite colors)

Rows 3 and 4 (mostly cool colors and light shimmers)

Row 5 (the neutrals...I was shocked with how pigmented these are! The 2nd to last reminds me of Too Faced Semi Sweet's Peanut Butter shade!)

And because it was St. Patricks Day...I couldn't go without having a green eyeshadow look, especially because green is one of my favorite colors. For the lid, I used the green shade on the 2nd row and I got really lucky (no pun intended) with how it is one of the most pigmented shades in the palette. I also blended it with the darker green shade on the 1st row.

Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer
Loreal Truematch Lumi Foundation (N5)
NYX Matte Bronzer (Medium)
Milani Rose Powder Blush (Coral Cove)

Eyes (other than the palette):
Urban Decay Primer Potion (Original)
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil (Zero)
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder (Dark Brown)
Maybelline Sensational Lash

MAC Lipstick (Mocha)

So if you're looking for a super fun, bright colored palette but are not willing to shell out $49 for only  10 shades (I'm talking to you, Electric Palette), I highly recommend you check out the Eyes on the 80's palette or other palettes from BH Cosmetics! They are super affordable (especially with the big sale going out) and have fun packaging.

MAC Lipstick (Taupe)

I've been on the hunt for the perfect nude. For me personally, it is extremely difficult because most nudes are too light for me and make me look washed out.

Because I've been still super ecstatic about being able to drive again...I went to Arden Fair Mall to go to Sephora and return Kat Von D Lolita and NARS Orgasm...I feel like those were too overhyped for the price, so I ended up exchanging them for Kat Von D Berlin...and of course I couldn't leave without hitting up MAC especially if it was 2 stores away from Sephora!

I sent this to Cecilio...he said,"You must be in Heaven huh?!" knowing how much fun I am having driving and going to wherever I want, whenever I want. Can I have [almost] all of it please?!

It took me a lot of lipsticks to find the right one. The ever praised Velvet Teddy? Forget about it, it's too light for me. Mehr and Twig were also too light. I also originally wanted Creme in Your Coffee, but that hardly shows up as well. Double Shot was too dark. A makeup artist recommended Viva Glam II to me, and it was an absolute no for me. Somewhere in between I tried Taupe. Then I tried it again and then I thought,"hey  this doesn't look too bad". So I went ahead and got it along with Craving (a pinkish mauve shade).

I'm glad I got it. It is not too light that it washes me out and makes me look like a ghost, but it's not too dark that it leans towards more brown, like Del Rio. It shows up on my lips. And of course, it is darker as a swatch on my arm. MAC's website describe's it as a "muted reddish-taupe brown".

It's a matte finish, so keep that in mind. It'll stay on for a long time, but it is quite drying. I noticed that at the end of the day when I took it off, my lips chapped and there were teeny spots of blood. Same thing happened when I wore MAC Russian Red one time (also a matte finish). I can't imagine how painful the retro mattes are (if a matte can't get any drier, well retro matte finishes from MAC are it).

I love how it looks on me, don't get me wrong! And it is something I can see myself totally wearing regularly. I also do want to find a shade like this for myself:

It's more on the pinkish side. I got the link here.

I am really happy I bought it. If you have any more suggestions for more nudes (brand doesn't matter) for my NC 37–NC 40 (or 4Y08 at Sephora) please comment below! Thanks!

ELF Elsa (Frozen) Eyeshadow Palette

People still won't let Frozen go, huh?!

ELF just released a limited edition collection of Elsa beauty and hair products, such as a beauty book, a makeup back, hair products, eyeshadow glitters, blush palettes and nail polish. They even have Frozen containers of cotton swabs! It's currently at Walgreens, the drugstore I go to the most since that is where my pharmacy is, so I'm not sure if they are selling it at other stores. This little eyeshadow palette appealed to me the most because of the jewel toned colors. It is $6. I am trying to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to eyeshadows. Yes in high school I loved bright colors and neons, but these days neutral eye colors seem to be the name of the game. I'm not sure if it's because people are embracing a more natural look or if it's because I'm getting older and want something more subdued. Or both.

This palette offers 8 shades that are a pearl finish. As you can see from my swatches above, they are quite sheer but very buildable if you want more color. And yes I know and understand that Caucasian women relate more to Frozen but that doesn't mean us women of color can't enjoy the craze either. See for yourself!

I used the sea green and the blue shades for the lid. I've always felt like blue eyeshadows wouldn't match my skin tone so I tend to steer clear from it. But here? Not too shabby. I can't wait to start playing around with this palette more.

I do like this palette because the colors are subtle and not in your face. You can swipe more to get more color. It's not too bright, not too pastel. Like I said above, it has jewel tones fit for a queen and princess like Elsa and Anna.

For more information about other products in the ELF Frozen collection, click here. By the way, I'm not the same Hannah who took those pictures in that link.