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?

Tartelette in Bloom Review

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Womp womp, I'm late to the party.

The Tartelette in Bloom (AKA Tartelette 2) released at the beginning of 2016, and I recently purchased it last month from the Tarte Friends and Family Sale. Originally $45, I got it for $31.50! However, I had to purchase a lip gloss so that I wouldn't have to deal with shipping. -__-;

The Tartelette in Bloom is a spin-off from last year's Tartelette Palette, which was 12 all-matte shades and leaned towards the cooler temperatures. TiB, however, provides mixtures of mattes and shimmers with more rose gold shades (think Urban Decay Naked 3).

The square shape of the palette, gold casing, and abstract design is what makes this palette feel luxurious. It helps to have a huge mirror so that I can get up close and get really detailed upon applying. I will admit that it is a bit hard to open though.

One thing I noticed (and loved), especially when Paula from Thirteen Thoughts mentioned it, was the smell. It is sweet, and to me, smells like marshmallows. That's a pretty strong scent considering I have a weak sense of smell!

Lets just talk about how I love to fondle the shades, and I don't mean to be disturbing about it. The mattes are so rich and buttery along with the shimmers. They are super pigmented that I have to be extremely careful to not pack too much color.

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Here are the shades from top to bottom (I swatched from top left of the palette zigzagging to the bottom right):

charmer: matte creamy ivory
jetsetter: matte cool medium beige
rocker: shimmer pale pink
smokeshow: cool deep brown
flowerchild: matte light nude
smartypants: matte warm medium beige
firecracker: shimmer rose gold
activist: warm deep brown
funny girl: shimmer champagne
sweetheart: matte muted rose
rebel: matte warm deep pink 
leader: matte  deep plum

This palette is super-versatile: you can wear it to work, interviews, strolling around, a night out, and even a prom or wedding! It is also versatile in for all skin tones.

beauty, Tarte, Tartelette in Bloom, eyeshadow, eyeshadow palette, makeup

I'm more of a Too Faced girl, but I think I'm sold with the Tarte palettes, especially if there's more pigment and less fallout. Here's to hoping that they will create a Tartelette 3 soon!

Do you have this palette or the original Tartelette?

Wishlist Wednesday: Sephora Edition

I am happy to say that I haven't stepped foot in Sephora for a while. When I was working at the fair, the mall was across the street, so it was easy for me to go after work and shop till I drop, especially as I was earning money. But during the 17 days at the fair, I was working 10 hours a day that I didn't even have time or energy to think about shopping. Plus, why wear makeup when I was baking and sweating outside?

I did order 2 things online though, expecting to come this Tuesday. Still, there are quite a bit of things I have been eyeing for a while but have thankfully been able to practice restraint. Maybe I will splurge for my birthday in October or during the VIB Sale. So what have I been eyeing?

Chanel COCO Eau de Parfum: I actually took a whiff of this in Ulta and I loved the strong, warm, sexy scent. If you are someone who likes to smell like cupcakes, then this isn't for you. When I think of this scent, I think of elegant and bold. It reminds me of apple cider and fall sunsets.

Benefit "Hello Flawless!" Powder Foundation (Honey): I actually had this 3 years ago and would wear this instead of liquid foundation whenever I was feeling lazy. Unfortunately, it crushed in my purse when I went to the Philippines. It has buildable coverage, and it was so easy to travel with. I wore this during a lot of our European excursions and it felt almost like nothing on my face. And even though powder foundation is more matte (hence, for oily skin), this worked well on my dry skin.

Kevyn Aucoin The Contour Book The Art of Sculpting + Defining: Kevyn Aucoin is a legend in the celebrity MUA world, so its no surprise that there would be a contour kit in his name. It comes with directions too so that I can perfect my contouring technique. A lot of the reviewers rave about how diverse it is, and how you can also use it for eyeshadows and brows.

Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer: I have a lot of cream lipsticks in shades that I love, but transfer really easily (like the Urban Decay Vice lipsticks in the cream formula). This mattifies your lips, making sure your lips last long. Sure, I can use the translucent powder trick, but it's really inconvenient and not portable. I could easily pop this in my purse.

CosmoCube Original Makeup Organizer: If I had to get ONLY 1 thing in this wishlist, it would be this. Sure, all of the other products are fun, but I have more makeup than I don't know what to do with and I've been so messy with it. It's overwhelming! Sure, I got a makeup organizer from BH Cosmetics for $40, but I barely have space to put anything in there. The CosmoCube is super duper expensive but with the amount of money I spent on makeup, this would be really good to put to use.

Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette (Tan/Deep): Oh, I've been eyeing this for a while! I was debating on getting the Tan/Deep or the Medium/Tan shades, but I found that I liked the shades in the Tan/Deep Palette better. I could see myself using everything, especially the blushes.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick (Big Spender): I tried this in Sephora and loved the warm rosy shade! It flattered my skin tone so well. And it does describe me (Big Spender). 

Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush (214–Promiscuous): I actually almost bought this pretty pink shade during the April VIB sale and I regret that I didn't. This is the same price as a NARS blush too!

Sephora Collection Dry Revive: Dry Body Brush: I've always been curious about the benefits of dry brushing, how it exfoliates your skin and minimizes the appearance of cellulite (oh, I really hope so!) But I have not committed yet. This $14 is affordable and is probably good for beginners like me.

Moschino Fresh Couture: No, it's not 409 spray. This is actually a perfume. Okay, I'll be honest, I'm mostly buying it for the novelty. Either for myself or my mom, because she is all about cleaning and is obsessed with keeping the house neat. So this would be so her.

Wedding Cake/Dessert Bar Tasting

Hello to [less than] 7 months out before the wedding! Or should I say in technical terms...208 days. After taking a month of from planning, we are back in full swing in August. On August 6, Cecilio and I went to our cake tasting appointment.

After figuring out where to get our cake tasting among the many delicious bakeries in Sacramento, we ended up in Freeport Bakery. We both decided to go there because 1. It was listed under our reception venue's Preferred Vendor list (all of our vendors, except the DJ, have not been in the list but have worked in our venue) and 2. It has a bit of meaning to us, since it's close to the community college Cecilio and I attended and met. Freeport Bakery is a few blocks away from Sacramento City College, and he, I and other friends would hop on the light rail and have lunch at a few other eateries there, and would always walk by Freeport. I think we've only been there once, and I've had my 24th birthday cake from there.

Upon arriving in both appointments (the cake and dessert bar tasting were on separate days), we were greeted with complimentary coffee and waited for our consultant, Lily, to take us to a separate room where all of the wedding treats were made. We talked about colors, shapes, textures, how many cakes, cupcakes, etc. we would want. We initially wanted a smaller cake with a sheet cake in the back to save some money, but ultimately we decided to include cupcakes instead.

Lily gave us a plate of 2 cake flavors and 4 fillings based on what my flavor/filling preferences among the check list when I filled out the form online.

We picked golden buttermilk and rich fudge flavors. Among the filling were: strawberry buttercream, chocolate mousse, vanilla buttercream, and cream cheese.

My favorites were the strawberry and vanilla buttercream fillings. When I think of vanilla, I think "tastes good, but not bland or out of this world." Boy was I wrong here. I was all over the vanilla buttercream. I was thinking about it (paired with the golden buttermilk cake) hours after our tasting appointment. That's usually a pretty good sign, right?

Ultimately, we went with the golden buttermilk flavor on the bottom and middle tiers (with the bottom tier having vanilla buttercream and the middle having strawberry buttercream). Our top tier is the rich fudge with the cream cheese filling.

I gave Lily moodboards so that she can design the cake based on our colors and motif, and she would give me the sketch for our next tasting (the dessert bar tasting). Here was the final result:

I am completely in love. I requested for burgundy dahlia sugar flowers since that will be one of our main flowers. The final piece will be a darker shade of burgundy with some shading to add dimension. And one of the things Cecilio has been insistent on was having a Lego cake topper, which we will start looking for and constructing online :)

For our dessert bar tasting, Lily sent out a chocolate chip cookie, lemon bar, chocolate mousse tart, and some macarons. Again, this was based on what we wanted to try upon filling out the form.

Everything was to die for. How can something as simple as a cookie be so darn scrumptious? And I don't usually like tart desserts, but I loved the lemon bars too! Unfortunately, I could not finish everything because my teeth have been insanely sensitive to sweet things, and I have some cavities that I need filled.

Cecilio and I ordered 3 flavored mini macarons with mint, mocha, and hazelnut cream fillings. The color of the macarons will all be based on our wedding colors: the mocha/chocolate macaron will be burgundy with chocolate drizzle. The mint macaron will also have a mint flavored shell and is the blush pink with no design. And finally, our hazelnut macaron will have edible gold luster painted on it.

We also ordered the chocolate mousse tarts, lemon bars, cookies, and added flourless brownies because my best friend/bridesmaid Rebecca is gluten intolerant (she's not jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon, she really does have bad sensitivity to it).

Love is sweet, isn't it? These tastings are something we have been looking forward to for a while. Now we are waiting patiently for our last tasting in January: our dinner tasting where we pick out the hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, and entrees. I will for sure blog about that!

Summer Lovin' Tag

I have a love-hate relationship with summer. For one thing, it gets insanely hot in Sacramento–like up to 110°, and sometimes it gets so bad that Cecilio and I have to escape to the Bay Area. But there are other things I love about it: swimming, lots and lots of ice cream, fair season, and celebrating 4th of July. I stole this tag from Cynthia over at Dulce de Mango (love her!), and I won't be tagging anyone specific, so I would love to see you post this and read your answers!

Favorite perfume – I haven't gotten around to doing a review on this, but I LOVE Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy. It's the perfect blend of summer-fruity-sweet and vanilla sweet. It's packed with notes of berries, mandarins, honeysuckle, gardenia, jasmine, amber, vanilla, caramel, sandalwood and praline. Doesn't that sound delicious? Best of all, it's long lasting.

Favorite lip color – It has to be my current 2 favorite pinks: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in "Kathryn" and ColourPop Ultra Satin Liquid Lipstick in "Lyin' King". Hot pinks are my favorite for lipsticks, and summer is the perfect excuse to rock them! I will miss them when Fall rolls around...or I will still wear them. I can break the rules of makeup!

Favorite blush – Hard Candy Cheeky Tint in "Diva". I really love wearing cream or gel blushes during summer because they are so lightweight yet pigmented and natural looking. For powder blushes, I've been crushin' hard on the dark ELF Blush Palette. They are bright, fun and pigmented–I actually prefer them to some of my higher-end blushes! If only ELF could make more blush shades, especially more NARS dupes...

Favorite drink – Iced coffee! I don't drink it that often because Cecilio and I go get Starbucks as a treat but we get it in the afternoon after his work, and I don't want to be up all night. So I end up getting a decaf frappuccino. I still like frappuccinos, but I was super obsessed with them as a teenager. That's what contributed to my weight gain between my sophomore and junior years! I would get venti full-fat with whole milk with whip cream! When I started losing weight, I would only get tall or grande, light with no whip. These days though, I get tall with soy or coconut milk and whip cream depends on my mood. I try to limit my frappuccinos since they are super sugary, so that's why I find a grande iced coffee with hazelnut (or vanilla) with cream to be a better alternative.

Favorite food – Ice cream or gelato. Cecilio always says that they're both the same, but this comparison list begs to differ. I went to Italy 3 years ago and had gelato everyday, and I miss it! I also like fair food, like deep fried cookie dough, hot dogs, egg roll on a stick...yum!

Favorite clothing item – I'm all about minidresses, especially with floral patterns.

Favorite movie – I didn't watch any movies this year. Cecilio and I kept putting off Finding Dory. However, we did watch The Fault In Our Stars 2 years ago and it came out during summer. It really struck a chord with us because it was related to chronic illness, and the love story was a big part of it.

Favorite TV Show – I'm so lame when it comes to TV series. I have been watching either the Olympics or news. I haven't been following the election as much because my main man Bernie is out, but I just really, really do not want Donald Trump to be our next President!

This was a fun tag, and I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did, and I would love for you to try this tag! I would be so curious about your answers!

Kiko Haul!

beauty, Kiko Milano, Kiko Milano eyeshadow, makeup, eyeshadow, lipstick, Kiko Milano Velvet Matte Passion Lipstick

My first encounter with Kiko, the affordable Italian beauty brand with a luxurious feel, was last month when I reviewed the Unlimited Lip Glosses. Let's just say that I didn't have too high of an opinion about them. However, I wanted to give the brand another chance. I've been in awe of their affordable eyeshadows in so many shades, for a less than $5 a pop. Plus, I have been on the hunt for shades of green, which can be difficult to find in the midst of nudes. I also wanted to try their famous Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick. Plus, there was a sale going on in the website and I knew I couldn't pass it up. 

I ordered 6 eyeshadows, for $4.90 each. This particular eyeshadow collection has a range of 48 shades, from shimmers to mattes to pearls! Also, I googled the shades to see the swatches on different arms and eyes. Here is my own version of the eyeshadow (and lipstick) swatches...

beauty, Kiko Milano, Kiko Milano eyeshadow, makeup, eyeshadow, lipstick, Kiko Milano Velvet Matte Passion Lipstick
Left to right: Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick (320–Hazelnut), eyeshadows: 107, 110, 116, 131, 175, 178

107: Pearly Meadow Green
This does not seem pigmented on my arm, but it looks amazing when I applied it on the lid. I was looking for this particular shade of green, because for the longest time (when I was 19–23), I had this green baked Milani eyeshadow that I would not stop wearing. You an see it in this photo (taken 6 and a half years ago):

beauty, Kiko Milano, Kiko Milano eyeshadow, makeup, eyeshadow, lipstick, Kiko Milano Velvet Matte Passion Lipstick

110: Pearly Electric Green
Although the swatch on my arm looks more bluefish, this is actually a bright emerald green. This was the most disappointing shade because as punchy and fun as it looks in the container, it hardly showed up on my arm. Even after watching and swiping for what it seemed like 10 times. 

116: Pearly Forest Green
This green shade has specks of yellow and gold, while being in the more muted side. This is much more pigmented than 110, and is great to use for the lid or the crease.

131: Satin Coffee
This is the most pigmented of the bunch I have bought. It is a medium warm brown with very, very tiny shimmer, much less than the pearly formulas.

175: Dove Gray
This pearly formula leans more on the warmer side, but I know that it would look great on all skin tones. If you want to create a smoky eye but don't want to opt for intense black, this is your jam!

178: Macropearly black
If you thought you couldn't get any bigger specks of glitter, try going macro. This is a great shade for a more hardcore, intense look, especially for a night out!

Last but not least is the Velvet Matte Passion Lipstick. I ordered the shade 320–Hazelnut, which turned out to be a disappointment as it hardly showed up as but a tint on my lips. Although my blogging buddies love the Kiko lipsticks, lets just say that this is my last time buying a lip product from there (I'm also basing this opinion off of the lip glosses).

Here is a look I created using the eyeshadows:

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I primed my entire eye area (from the upper lash all the way to the brow bone) with the Urban Decay Primer Potion (Original). Then I filled my lid with NYX Jumbo Liner in Black Bean (I learned this from Dagmara over at Mummy's Beauty Corner: she packs on black liner or shadow to intensify the eyeshadow colors she applies over it, so I decided to try it myself). I then apply 110 (Pearly Electric Green) and 107 (Pearly Meadow Green) on the lid, blending it together.  I patted a smidge of Butter Pecan (from the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar) in the middle of the lid to give my lids a 3D look. For the crease, I blended 116 (Pearly Forest Green) and 131 (Satin Coffee) together. I then applied Mousse (from TFSSCB) as transition and blended that along with the crease shades.

Since I wasn't very happy with the lipstick, I am wearing the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss (Warm Bronze). That has been my most FAVORITE makeup product in the world! Recently. Haha.

Overall, I've been happy with the eyeshadows (except for 110). I will need to figure out a way to depot this without having to use a match or lighter to pry the case open so that I can put these babies in a Z-palette.

What are your favorite Kiko eyeshadows?

How to overcome wedding dress doubts

It's that moment you've been waiting for: you got the man of your dreams, you set the date to tie the knot, you found the perfect venue to celebrate your upcoming nuptials, and now you need your dress! For me personally, even before Cecilio proposed to me, I was still looking at dresses to get an idea of what I would like. During our engagement, I had a clearer idea of what I wanted. I did not want overly poofy or princess-y. It was absolutely important for me to not wear a strapless with pickups (those ruffles on the skirt). I was terrified when I would hear stories of brides getting a dress they thought they would hate. No way would I be caught in a strapless number! Especially with pickups! Please, for the love of God, I pray that satin looked terrible on me!

That being said, I was surprised when I ended up choosing me dress. It was not strapless (thank goodness!), and it still had elements of the type of dresses I like. It totally felt like me.

Still though, I can't help but wonder how it would've been like if I did end up getting my dream dress, if my mom hadn't encouraged me to try on the others, including the one I would end up with. Some brides end up hating their dress or feeling so indifferent that they end up buying a completely different one. For me, I did not want to do that. I wanted to learn to love the dress I have. I have days where I am completely enamored with it, and days where I'm like...why?

For brides-to-be that have already found their dress and scratching their heads wondering if they made the right decision, you're not alone. I have some tips and ideas that will help you not only learn to love the dress in your closet but also confirm that you made the right decision (this post is not dedicated to those who want to return their dress, but for those to make due with what they have):

1. Forget the crying moment. And do not watch Say Yes to the Dress.
I am a hopeless romantic, and I did not shed a tear during my dress shopping experiences (which included twice at David's Bridal and once at a boutique salon in between). Not every bride is going to cry. Some get really giddy and smiley. Other brides are more matter-of-fact, and know that they liked how the dress looks and fits, and that was that. It was a big mistake for me to start watching episodes of SYTTD days after I purchased my dress. Unlike brides at the show, I did not have this emotional roller coaster of getting my dress. I posted a photo of myself on Snapchat and Facebook (in my regular clothes of course), saying how I did say YES to my dress! And please consider that the show is scripted, because the audience wants to see the brides' emotional reactions! Who is going to watch brides that will say "Oh, I really like it a lot..." without the overly-enthusiastic tone?

Which leads me to...

2. Remember the feeling you had when you found your dress.
How did I know that I found my dress? I wasn't sure at first when I tried it on and showed it to my mom. She said it was the most beautiful dress she has ever seen, and everywhere I went, people started gasping. When she took photos of me, I loved how flattering and amazing I looked from all angles. When we went to the boutique in March, I liked how the dresses looked on me in the mirror (including a strapless one), but the photos made me cringe and hate them. As soon as I see how bad I looked in the photos, I immediately say no. Even with the photos my sister took of me with my dream dress (the lace 3/4 sleeves trumpet), I wasn't sure at first.

Also, I knew it was mine when my mom went to the restroom, before paying. Her boyfriend (my soon-to-be-stepdad) surprised us by paying for my veil and slip. And guess what? He is going to walk me down the aisle!

I was such in a blur and a state of euphoria after I got my dress. I think part of it was because I had a cocktail to celebrate when we went to Cheesecake Factory for lunch afterwards, haha.

3. It's the inside that counts!
Literally. The undergarments make or break the shape and look of the dress. My consultant gave me a corset bra under, and I wore spanx underwear. She also gave me the slip to give my dress extra volume. When I asked her if I can try the dress without the slip, she said that it would fall flat. At first, I thought that she was just prodding me to try the slip so that she could earn more money from her commission. But when I went to pick up my dress, I tried it on again. It looked disappointing, and I felt like something was off about it. Then I realized that it was because I wasn't wearing the slip. And I was wearing a sports bra and my regular underwear. Not all dresses need a slip, but mine is the type that definitely does. So take that into consideration and find the right underwear, bras, slips/petticoats/hoops based on your dress neckline, back, skirt, etc.

4. Stop looking at other dresses:
I admit, this is a bad habit I have too, especially when I am a member of the WeddingWire forums and see all of the other brides' dresses. It suites them well, but on the app, it shows these gorgeous gowns (some of which are couture). That is one of the reasons I stopped buying wedding magazines: little bits of wedding advice and articles are hidden by pages and pages of dresses. It can't be helped seeing other dresses as long as you're in the planning process, but try to avoid looking. It will only send you in the spiral of doubting your decision even more. Instead, I look at the photos of myself in my dress everyday, analyzing what I love about it and why I love myself in it.

5. All about alterations:
Throughout my dress shopping process, I was beaten over the head with how important alterations will be. Yes they will be costly, and my dress is the type that WILL be difficult to alter, but refining those details will manifest in a GLORIOUS masterpiece. If you are planning on losing a lot of weight like I am, alterations is a must. Taking it in and hemming it is a must, especially if you're petite. You will need to bustle it too (tying up the train) during the reception when you will be dancing a lot so that no one will trip on the train.

6. Consider the final look:
A bride with the dress on doesn't feel like a bride, but just a woman in a white dress. During the wedding day is when everything ties in together to complete the final look: you not only have the dress (and it's altered to your shape), but your hair and makeup is done, you have the veil, the jewelry, and the shoes. Also, do not rely on the store lighting: it is very crappy (especially on a phone pic) compared to outdoor lighting, low-light from the church, and how your photographer will manipulate the light! I've heard stories of brides hating and doubting their dress and during the wedding day, they end up falling in love with their dress (if not on the wedding day, at least on the day of the final alterations). In addition to the complete bridal look, emotions are at an all time high, and you know why?

7. Remember, above all:
That you are marrying the love of your life. If he is really your soulmate, you could be wearing a potato sack and he couldn't be any more thrilled. I know that Cecilio will cry once he sees me, but he will be so so happy no matter what or how everything else is played out. That is why we are doing this wedding. Everything is just icing on the cake.

To my married (or even currently engaged!) followers, did you ever once doubt your dress? How did you overcome it?
For those who aren't married or engaged, what does your dream wedding dress look like?

Lip Glosses I'm currently loving

If you have a beauty blog, then chances are that you're not going to confuse lip gloss with liquid lipstick, which has been all the range. Yes, both have have a doe-footed application and are of the liquid formula rather than the traditional solid lipstick, but the finishes are completely different. In fact, a matte liquid lipstick can last much longer than a traditional lipstick.

I love the look of liquid lipsticks, their opacity and longevity. But, I hate how drying they can be. 

Lately I have been reaching for lip glosses again. I know lipstick is more "mature", and lip glosses is associated with the t(w)in years, and I might admit to having a slight quarter-life crisis. Lip glosses make me feel youthful. There are other annoyances that come with lip gloss: how much they don't last through a meal or a cup of coffee, and the stickiness, especially when there is wind and your hair sticks to the gloss! However, when you're tired of drying out your lips but want to look cute and pulled together (all the while being low-maintenanced), lip gloss is the perfect solution. I don't know about you, but I also love how comfortable and soft it feels. It also makes your lips fuller. During the summer, if you don't want to wear a full face of makeup, some cream blush, mascara and lip gloss completes your look.

I'm really picky when it comes to lip gloss though. I still want just as much color and pigment as I would expect with lipstick. None of that sheer shit. I would at least be happy with a tint! And not too much stickiness, please.

Here are my top 4 lip glosses I've been reaching for over and over again:

NYX Butter Gloss (Cranberry Biscotti), NARS (Dolce Vita), Anastasia Beverly Hills (Warm Bronze), Tarte LipSurgence (True Love).

NYX Cranberry Biscotti: This warm pinkish plum is great for all seasons. It has the femininity of spring, the brightness of summer, the vampiness of fall, and the festivity of winter. Plus, out of all of the glosses listed here, this is so affordable at $5 a pop.

NARS Dolce Vita: I have tested a lot of the NARS lip glosses and I fell in love with the shade Dolce Vita the most. To me, it was the most pigmented (For NARS being a brand known for bold colors, a lot of their lip glosses are quite sheer!) and it looks amazing on all skin tones. It's a great MLBB (my lips but better) for my lips and shows up as a rosy pink. This is definitely workplace appropriate!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Warm Bronze: Despite the name warm bronze, this is actually a deeper dusty rose. And despite how dark it looks on my arm, it shows up as a tinted rosy pink on my lips. I am in love. I have featured this on my July favorites. ABH lip glosses, while not at all cheap, has a wide range of shades and they are so smooth and not sticky. Whether you want something sheer or a punch of pigment, you're bound to find a side you love!

Tarte True Love: I'll admit, I added this to my shopping cart when I took advantage of the Tarte Family and Friends Sale and needed something to go along with the Tartelette in Bloom palette (expect a review soon!) But I love a nice red cherry stain, especially for the summer :) It's also very very soft and moisturizing.

What lip glosses have you been loving? Or are you more of a matte liquid lipstick type of gal?

Floraful is 2 YEARS OLD!

A few highlight photos from my 2014 posts

Blogging about beauty/fashion/life with lupus has always been something I wanted to do. I didn't celebrate my 1-year "blogiversary" last year, so now I feel like it's due time, especially as I have been getting more readership in the past year :) I know that there has been bloggers that have started a lot later than I am and have gone really far, and it amazes me and I am so happy for them too. I try to blog as much as I can and sometimes I put it in the back burner when I have other stuff going on. I don't prioritize my social media stats/engagement/etc. as much as I could but I try. But the one thing I love about blogging is the community, I feel like I'm at home. Even though we interact thousands of miles away, I feel like I can be vulnerable with you guys in ways that I would think twice before I let my heart out to family and friends I know in person.

I started Floraful as an avenue to blog about makeup and beauty. I started really, really getting into makeup in 2013, especially when I started going back on a high dose of prednisone and seeing my face get puffier and puffier, all while my self-esteem was getting shot because of the side effects and lupus itself. In addition to that, I had a couple of seizures. I wanted to start Floraful (I went through some other names before I realized that they were taken) to review makeup, skincare products, etc. but also to spread awareness about lupus. I wanted to write to let you know that you weren't alone in this journey, because I know that life can be tough and can knock you down. At the time, I felt alone in the situations I was in. So I also wanted to know and figure out myself if there were other "spoonies" (people with chronic illness) going through the same thing. I am just so thankful and blessed to have found a community whom I can share life with, not only talking about makeup and girly things but to encourage and inspire, and I am thankful for those who encourage and inspire me as well (everyone who I interact with in the blogging community here!)

My first post to Floraful can be found here.

Here are a few of my other favorite posts from 2014:

Review: Too Faced Chocolate Bar eyeshadow palette. Bon appetit!

Our SF ferry date on August 29

Staying positive throughout the challenges of chronic illness.

Insight Coffee's Third Thursday Throwdown!

October 11 Anberlin concert!

Post-birthday haul from Francesca's Collections

Review: MAC Lipstick in Captive + Dupe (Milani Lipstick in Plumrose)

L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

Never disregard drugstore items, especially foundations. I've talked about a few times about how much I love the L'Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation. It looks lovely on my dry skin and makes me look radiant. After hearing how amazing the Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation was, I decided to give it a try and buy. It didn't look like much in the mirror, but when I took the selfie mirror on my phone, I was horrified with how accentuated my pores looked, and how patchy and caked up I felt. Never again, I decided. Besides, matte bases don't go with my skin type (with the exception of It Cosmetics CC Cream).

You can imagine my joy when L'Oreal announced that the Infallible Pro-Matte released a new sister, the Infallible Pro-Glow, last month. This for those who crave dewier skin.

For $12.99 (or less at Walmart), you get 1 oz. per tube. It sounds pricey for a drugstore, but some of L'Oreal's other foundations go up to $16.99 (such as the True Match Lumi Foundation).

It contains SPF 15, which is better than no coverage but not enough to protect your face. On the front of the tube, you can see that it contains octinoxate, which is a very common ingredient in sunscreen but said to be dangerous because it can cause alterations in the reproductive and thyroid systems. However, Beautifulwithbrains has stated that there have been no studies shown that octinoxate can cause reproductive disruptions because the scientists from University of Zurich tested (by feeding it) to rats. So trust your judgment before you consider it.

Now back to the fun part! Here is the description for the Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation:

Discover the new pro finish of longwear: up to 24 hour wear with a hydrating glow. Lightweight and creamy, this long lasting foundation goes on smooth with a glow finish that lasts. With medium coverage, it instantly hides imperfections for a clear complexion. The hydrating foundation with SPF is ideal for normal to dry skin.

Does it live up to the description? I would say a big fat YES. It gives me that summery glow look, and hides my pores and scars well. Dare I say that this is better than a few of my higher end foundations? I do agree that it's medium coverage, but feels like there's nothing on your face: My Skin But better! That is, unless you have to use 2 shades...

Top: 210 (Classic Tan)
Bottom: 208 (Sun Beige)
Right photo shows both of them blended together

The problem I have with this foundation is that even though it offers 12 shades, there is a limited range of shades for medium skin or darker (shades 207–212). Someone who has very, very dark skin will not be able to wear 212. I hope they release new shades for WOC in different undertones, because they all seem to be yellow-based. I ordered 210 at first thinking that would be my shade, especially for the summer. Well, it actually is darker and a lot more warm than I expected, as if I was trying to copy the cast from Jersey Shore. So I ordered 208. I actually could get away with using 208 when my skin lightens up during the winter. I just don't like the inconvenience of combining foundations (it feels heavier). But I do love the results!

While I don't like the lack of shade ranges, I love the coverage, texture, longevity, finish, all for a reasonable price. It is a great price too. You know it's a good product when even people with oily skin are raving about it.

Do you have this foundation or are planning to purchase it?

August Goals+To Do List

That planner may look quite empty, but believe me when I say that I want to accomplish a lot more in August.

I have never been one to talk too much about my goals lately because I fear that if I fail while I constantly talk about them, and I fail, I end up looking like a loser to others. But looking back on my "On This Day" app on Facebook, I thought I was so annoying between 2010–2012 for constantly talking about exercising (with the occasional complaining about my weight, which legitimately gets tiring), wanting to get into the graphic design program at school, posting pics of my artwork, etc. But talking about them made me more motivated into achieving my goals. I don't know why I shrunk back. There's a saying: "Don't talk about your problems. 20% don't care, and 80% are happy you have them." No wonder people put up a front on Facebook. When I was fired last year and really, really down in the dumps about it, I sure as hell didn't announce it.

I don't know, I'm babbling right now. But my point is, I want to tell you guys what I want to achieve this August so that I can be accountable and more motivated. I will also write this down on paper.

I just sometimes feel like I have bad follow-through. You can list all you won't but the magic doesn't happen until you actually DO it. And I can think of the times where I was able to accomplish my dreams: incidents of losing weight, and getting in the graphic design program at school and finishing to get my Bachelor's degree. Even when it was difficult. Especially when it was difficult and I wanted to cry, pray, and go to bed.

So, what do I want to tackle in August?


  • I have already rebranded my website. I know what you're thinking: This blog has a horrible design. But I will be rebranding it soon, and I want to accomplish that this month! In the meantime, I have updated my portfolio website here
  • Sign up for again to refresh my skills about web design, print production, business, marketing, etc. 
  • Job hunt/apply everyday.
  • Start sketching/designing our wedding invitations.


  • Exercise at least 3 times a week. I tend to be an all or nothing type of person, missing weeks of exercise just because I am not able to do it 5 times a week.
  • Drink a lot more water.
  • Handle my insurance issues. (Let's just say, the healthcare system in the US is terrible compared to what Canada and Europe have)
  • Limit my eating Cheetos to twice a week using the small bags rather than gorging on the family-sized bag within a 2 day span.
  • Floss everyday, mouthwash after each brushing.
  • Incorporate more veggies in my meals.


  • Cecilio and I will be going cake tasting this Friday and dessert bar tasting on the 20th! This is something we have been totally looking forward to!
  • Start my DIY projects: a card box, guestbook, designing our save-the-dates and invitations, table numbers, welcome signs, Instagram signs, etc. Of course, I won't be able to do all of this all at once!
  • Start looking for a pre-marriage counselor.
  • Start looking for transportation and a hairstylist.


  • Rebrand/redesign Floraful. It's time.
  • Add my social media links again, and get more involved on twitter and Instagram (it's hard to keep up with the chats when they are mostly UK-based!)
  • Hit 15 posts this month.
  • Comment on other people's blogs consistently.


  • Manage my money wisely, and not spend every time there's a sale! The Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette was only $27, and as soon as I was going to order it, it was out of stock. Oh well! If I really wanted it that bad, I would have bought it a long time ago.
  • Start reading again. I have a horrible, horrible attention span when it comes to books...but it feels amazing when I finish them.
  • Read my Christian devotions/Book of Common prayers through this app, Forward Day by Day, daily.
  • Spread kindness to others even when they can be hurtful to me but don't mean it ( the end of the day, we have each other's back)

And I found this on Instagram for some motivation and encouragement, I thought this would be of help to you too...

What are some goals or things you would like to accomplish in August?