April Favorites

Well, April has been the month I have posted the least in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been completely out of the loop with blogging! It's just that I've been so busy with school that I haven't been able to do as much reviews as I would've wanted. And of course, last day of the month always calls for a monthly favorites...

1. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream (#27): I have been using this lately because it actually provides more coverage than some foundations, and it gives me skin a satin, glowy finish. Korean BB creams (where they originally popularized before they took a hit in the US!) have multiple properties: they are a primer, foundation, concealer and sunscreen all in one. This saves me more time rather than using a primer and then a setting spray, and still makes me look natural. Also, it as a SPF 42! Perfect as the weather is heating up!

2. Seattle Chocolates: My mom and younger sister took a trip to Seattle last week along with one of my mom's former flight attendant friends. Wow, did they have fun! I've been to Seattle only 3 times but that was only to get from the airport to and from Vancouver, Canada where my relatives live. Well, last time we were there in 2012 (on our way back to Sacramento) my mom, sister and her friends ate at a restaurant while Cecilio and I explored downtown, the Pike Place Market and found the original Starbucks. Anyway, my mom and Sarah (younger sister) got to meet up with our relatives and they took a ferry, went to the Space Needle, ate at Canlis (a famous 5 star restaurant), went to concert and walked around a bunch. And they brought me back with these chocolates. I pretty much ate more than half of them because they were that delicious, and came in different flavors (my favorite mint, also espresso, peanut butter, coconut macaroon, strawberry/raspberry/blackberry cream, etc.). Also I am on my "cycle" right now if you know what I mean. Cecilio and I definitely want to explore Seattle because it reminds us of San Francisco (where we go on dates a lot) and Portland.

3. Grace Coffee Roasters: This is a local coffee shop that opened up in Elk Grove where I live. Our suburb has mostly Starbucks on every corner, so it's nice that they opened up a non-chain one that I can go to for a change. There's 2 locations here and 1 location in Downtown Sacramento. The logo and the interiors are very cute and kitschy, with a strong aroma of coffee (which I love). I've been digging the iced mochas, especially because it's in the 80s ad 90s right now!

4. Colourpop Blush (Fruit Stand): I've recently jumped on the Colourpop bandwagon and this is the blush I have been using lately. It's a reddish orange but you can sheer it out as you distribute it on your face. This is a perfect summer blush. I do love the texture because it's very soft and creamy...it's powder/gel formula. I totally want to get more Colourpop blushes such as Quarters, Pegacorn, Cheerio and Swift. Click here for my hauls.

5. Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette: I've only used this once but I fell in love with it when I got my first Boxycharm box. It is a dupe of the Urban Decay Naked 3 (which I have) but I can see myself using this more because there's a lot more colors to play with. I am digging the gold/violet combos. And it's half the price! I like how it's much sleeker and easier to open (I have a tough time with the Naked palettes and I fear that they will break if I'm careless). The only thing is that there is no mirror or brush, but you can't have everything right?

6. Too Faced Sugar Pop Palette: I admit, I did buy this for the packaging (I love macarons!), this has been a staple of mine. It's small and portable, just perfect for traveling. I have to stop myself from smelling it because unlike the Chocolate Bar Palettes, there are no scents. Read my review here

Also, I want to give a shoutout to my sister, Trixie because it's her birthday today! She is on the right. She is 39 years old (yeah, I know most of you probably don't believe that), so we have a 13 year age difference between us. It's amazing with how far she has came because like me, she has lupus. She was diagnosed when she was 24 and I was 10, after she had my niece. Hers is more severe and her doctors said she would only live until 28. She also has pulmonary hypertension and scleroderma, so she takes a lot more medications and has to be in the hospital more than I do. But thank God and the doctors she is still here. We are still pulling through.

Also, she and a family friend (who is 12 years old!) put together this video for Cecilio and I for our engagement party on April 12. It was so sweet. Honestly, I kinda struggled with getting all of the attention during that party because I am pretty shy, and there is going to be a lot of people at the wedding...and I am still self conscious about my weight because I'm still on prednisone (the above pic was taken during the engagement party). But ever since Cecilio has proposed I've had a better self image. I still want to lose weight and be able to rock the wedding dress of my dreams, and I also want to live a long, prosperous life with Cecilio. So I must remember that no one is looking at my chubbiness the way I am right now, they are all there to celebrate our love for each other. And that is why they will be in the wedding too. Thankfully the wedding will be in 2 years so I will have more time to mentally prepare for being the center of attention. Anyway, I tear up whenever I watch the video because of the pictures from our past, a few of which my dad are in. If only he was here to witness it. The song playing is "Wherever We Imagine" by James Ingram. I love the song because it's fitting to how I am feeling about the whole being engaged thing, and I just have a thing for 80s ballads. So here it is and enjoy!

My first Boxycharm: April 2015 Review

Once upon a time (Between September–December of last year), I subscribed to Birchbox and ipsy, but I eventually cancelled because I was not happy with the stuff I was getting and I hardly used them. Most of it was sample sized anyway. My best friend came over for my engagement party and she gave me a few gifts with a glossybox box in them, although they weren't from glossybox. She said she liked them a lot because they gave you full sizes of products. She subscribed to it for a year and a half. I was intrigued, but I decided to go with Boxycharm instead.

How does Boxycharm work? You subscribe for a monthly fee of $21 (same price as glossy box). Yes, it's twice as expensive as Birchbox but they give you full samples of higher end makeup. You earn "charms" by referring through a friend (500 charms) or reviewing a product on their website (50 charms). They have some pretty luxurious brands in their shop too, such as Tarte and NARS.

This months theme is "April Bloom".

Here's my first ever box. Isn't the logo cute?

The items in the April 2015 box.

Let's start off with the Jing Ai Velvet Lip Shine Jewel. The shade I got was "Red Rascal". It is a lip crayon that is glossy and moisturizing, but also packs a punch of bright red. It's kind of a stain.

I'm not wearing any other makeup besides this.

I also got the Hello by Harvey Prince Roller Ball eau de parfume. It is in a rollerball format, and at first I thought it was too light! So I swiped it on my wrist 3 times in order to get the scent. It's still light, but fruity. After all, it's made with notes of meyer lemon, white grapefruit and satsuma mandarin.

I also got the Coolway Smoothing Lotion for hair which I think would be really good for me because right now I have damaged hair. I've been struggling with tangles and split ends, so that also means I'm going to take a trip to the salon to get a trim tomorrow. Also, Coolway gave me a coupon for 35% off items + a free brush with the code "boxyforyou". I can't wait to try this.

Then here is the Ofra Blush Stripes in "Illuminating". These are different shades of highlighter, although you can use the pink one for blush too and the gold for bronzer. I'm not sure if it's meant to be a highlighting item to go with contouring, but if you used it as that let me know.

And last but not least, my favorite item is the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette. People say that they are dupes of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, and this one does remind me of the Naked 3. But it's a lot sleeker and easier to open (the magnetic way), AND there are 20 shades! I am particularly excited about the violet shade on the bottom 4th to right, and I can't wait to use it as a crease. Did I mention that these are pigmented too? I swiped a shade once with my fingers and there's a lot of product! Not bad for its value of $20!

So far, I am pretty impressed and I can see myself using these items on a regular basis and taking advantage of the charms to get more items. If you're on the fence of getting Boxycharm, DO IT! They give you a variety of beauty products (with an emphasis on makeup but also some hair and perfume), and there's brushes as well! You get more value with the $21 compared to the $10 worth of mediocre samples (sorry to those who like Birchbox...)

WIshlist Wednesday: What I wanted for the Sephora VIB sale but didn't get

The Sephora VIB sale lasted until yesterday, which meant 15% of all of your purchases. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to buy anything that I wanted because I don't have much money right now since I am buying a lot of materials for school. For anyone who is in an "artsy" type major (fine art, design, photography, etc.) you know how expensive it is to get materials, portfolio books and other equipment. But yeah, here's what I am drooling for!

1. Too Faced Melted Lipstick (Peony): I love Too Faced Melted Lipsticks. I have 6 (Coral, Melon, Berry, Chihuahua, Jelly Donut and Violet) because I am such a sucker for their packaging (but hey...I'm a graphic designer, right?) and they are very pigmented. The only thing I don't like is how extremely drying they are. But I end up getting them anyway. I'm not a huge fan of light pinks, but I have been curious to get this for a while. If anyone knows another shade that would flatter my NC 37–40 skin, please let me know!

2. Tarte Cheek Stain (True Love): Lately I have been really into gel blushes because they are easy and quick to put on (no need for brush!), work well with my dry skin, and give you that natural glow. I like the shade True Love because it's a sheer red which gives you that post-workout glow (something I need to start doing again)...I already have the shade Blushing Bride, which is fitting for me ;) as future Mrs. Padilla!

3. Benefit Gimme Brow: Okay, I just added this because 2 of my classmates and I were girl taking about nails, my fiancé, and makeup. Then the subject of brows came up and one of them said they used the Benefit Gimme Brow and really liked it so far, and she even showed me a picture of herself using it! But she already has naturally thick beautiful brows (and unlike mine, hers don't grow at fast: lucky!) so I really want to give this a try, since this is a gel form. Right now I use NYX Cake Powder.

4. Tarte Slenderizer Bamboo Brush: I have contour and highlight brushes, but they work better for powder formulas. I would like to get this one so that I can use cream contours, such as my NARS Matte Multiple (Vientiane). So yeah, this brush is more for cream/gel/liquid forms because it's supposed to work with the Tarte Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer (a thick contour pencil). But I am also drooling over the Anastasia Beverly Hills cream contour palette.

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Artist Palette: I've never owned anything from ABH so this would be a real treat. I would have loved the Amrezy palette, but all of the eyeshadows are unfortunately limited edition. There are some gorgeous shades that I love, such as the dark green (Anaconda), the violets (Aubergine, Unicorn and Punch Fuchsia) and the silver (Biegely).

6. Philosophy Pure Grace fragrance: I believe this is the 3rd time I have put this in my wishlist. That's how much I have been wanting this for months. And that's why I sized it the biggest in this list. It's light, but not too faint and reminds me of fresh laundry or ocean breeze. If I had to get only ONE thing from  the list, this would be it.

So tell me, have you gotten anything from the VIB sale? I guess I'll have to pass and wait until the November Family & Friends sale!

My first Colourpop Haul

I said I was going to take a break from my blogging on my previous post and that I would make a few exceptions...but yeah I do miss it and being out of the loop. And that I would make a few exceptions. I also just need to manage my time better too if I want to have time for both...but I definitely wanted to make an exception for my first Colourpop haul.

When I entered the beauty world, I kept seeing a lot of people with the lippie stix, blushes, and eyeshadows so I was curious and ordered some lippie stix and a blush, which also came with a free mini highlighter. Colourpop is a really popular brand for beauty junkies because of the cute packaging, pigmented product, affordable price and because of the fact that a few Youtube gurus have  collaborated with them to create more lippie stix. I've never seen that many variety of one specific type of lipstick before. So you are bound to find something, no matter what skin shade you have.

Top to bottom: Lippie Sticks (Lumiere, Julep, Bichette, Rocket, LBB, Fancy), Super Shock Cheeks (Fruit Stand, Wisp).

Lets talk about the lippie stix first.

Can I just tell you how much I fell in love with Lumiere?! That and Fancy (which I also love) are the ones I have worn so far. Lumiere was created by beauty guru Kathleen Lights (love her, first found out about her when I watched her NYX Intense Butter Glosses video on youtube, then I was touched by her anxiety story). It is that Kylie Jenner type shade. It reminds me of a darker, creamier version of Stila Patina, which is super–matte and drying. I was blown away by Lumiere, unlike Patina which when I first tried it...I liked it a lot but didn't love it. But these babies are a quarter of the price! I imagine that this is what the original Kat Von D Lolita shade used to look like. When I first saw Lumiere, I was worried that it would be too light or hardly show up on my lips. But nope. This really suits all skin colors.

Me wearing Lumiere

The other matte finishes I got were Bichette and LBB, but these are nowhere near drying at all. In fact, I think you have to be careful because they do feather and bleed. I may need to get the matching lip pencils for those. Which I will because so far I am impressed!

I also really adore Fancy, which is a pinkish-coral shade with the satin finish that is more on the subtle side. So it's feminine, not loud and perfect for the spring and summer. The other shades I have are:

Julep: bright orange with a cream finish
Bichette: matte dark red, perfect for the fall
Rocket: pink-coral, but more bubblegum pink with a satin finish. I'm not crazy about baby bubblegum shades but I am pretty impressed with this one.
LBB: Described as a rich plum wine, another fall/90s shade.

And then there's the blush...I got Fruit Stand, a bright orange shade suited for summer. It's a matte finish, and it is pigmented but not too pigmented to where you end up looking like a clown. Oh, and did I mention how oh-so-rich and buttery it feels on the fingers?! When I first felt it, I was wondering whether it was gel or powder. Turns out, it is a cream powder blush. Same goes for the highlighter, Wisp. It feels so velvety too. I do wish I got the lighter highlighter though, because Wisp looks more like a bronzer for me.

My only thing with the lippie stix are that they get messy easily. Yes, the twisting crayon design is cute and more portable for traveling, but be careful because it can get on your hands and clothes.

Will I be getting more though?! Oh hell yeah! I'm going to buy the matching Lumiere lip pencil. As far as other lippie stix? I the following on my mind: Brink, Bossy, I Heart This, and Frida. I also want the blushes Swift and Birthday Suit.

Blogging break?

I love blogging and writing as much as anyone else. I get giddy when I get a new product and take pictures, test it out, and review it. But as of now, I feel that I need to take a short break now until May when I graduate, school is my #1 priority right now. I need to put together my digital + print graphic design portfolio for our student spring show and when I apply for jobs. I'll make some exceptions though: I'm waiting for my Colourpop order (I bought stuff online last week) and I'll review that ASAP, and maybe my engagement party and SFA Fashion Show stuff. But as far as detailed makeup reviews...I'm gonna pause on that. I have some new makeup I want to write about too: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, Tarte Cheek Stain, Hard Candy Tiki Highlighter, etc. But don't worry, after Spring Show and graduation I'll be back in the swing of things! I know I don't have a lot of people who read this blog, but I am so thankful for the ones who do!

Too Faced Goodies: Melted Chihuahua and Sugar Pop Palette

I can never resist Too Faced products huh? They always have delicious, adorable, sickenly-sweet packaging that always tempts makeup addicts. I'm also a huge fan of macarons, so when I saw the packaging of this, I couldn't resist. I ordered it (along with the Melted Chihuahua liquid lipstick) at Ulta online.

Isn't this packaging adorable?! It's also small enough to fit in the palm of my hand...sorta. It came out as a part of the Spring 2015 collection on March 1, along with the Natural Matte Palette. Both are $36. I have to stop sniffing it the way I sniff the Chocolate Bar Palettes because yes, this is sweet-inspired based product but unfortunately, there is no scent. It comes with a guide that corresponds with each row of the palette. Yet of course, you can easily mix and match the shades.

Swatches (top to bottom): Rock Candy, Macaron, Malted Milk Ball, Strawberry Ice, Sugared Violet, Blackberry, Peach Fuzz, Bubblegum, Blue Raspberry.

So this palette has a mix of shimmery and matte textures. The lighter shades (used as a highlight and/or base) Rock Candy, Strawberry Ice, and Peach Fuzz come in bigger pans. They are actually all pretty pigmented except for Blue Raspberry (I know this because I wore it yesterday and I put a lot on the brush to my eyes, and even used MAC Fix+ spray and it still wasn't as pigmented). The Bubblegum shade though is super bright and pigmented!

This is definitely a fun, cute palette for spring and summer, and the size makes it easy for traveling. Now I am tempted to get the Natural Matte Palette.

Now, about the Melted Chihuahua liquid lipstick. It is also a part of the 8 new Melted liquid lipstick shades that came out for Spring 2015. I've been eyeing it ever since I got my license back at my local Ulta and Sephora stores. They would always sell out even during Ulta's shipment days on Friday. I remember how disappointed I got during my last Ulta trip before I went to NYC. I really, really wanted it but it wasn't there. I even tried the Melted Nude and while I thought it looked ok, I wasn't crazy about it. I didn't want to settle! Melted Nude, Peony and Marshmallow make me look too washed out. 

So I ordered it along with the Sugar Pop Palette. I'm so happy I did. It is a darker nude shade that looks gorgeous on almost any skin tones. I can see why it's so popular. As an ethnic woman, it is hard to find a nude lipstick that flatters my skin tone. I can definitely see it as an everyday lipstick or something you wear during a night out when you want to emphasize your smoky eyes.

Now I wore both products on my face here:

Lid: Bubblegum and Macaron
Highlight: Rock Candy
Crease: Blackberry

If you like cute packaging and want a fun palette for spring and summer, I definitely recommend the Sugar Pop Palette! Don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with it too. The Melted Chihuahua is also a good choice if you feel like Melted Nude would be too light for you.