September Beauty Favorites

September has been a bit of a slow month for me...I'm quite a bit at a standstill with wedding planning and job hunting. I'm in one of those moments where I am wondering if I'll ever get anywhere. Hmph. That's what happens when you have a lot of time on your hands. I actually didn't get picked for a position I applied for, not even an interview. What sucks about it was that I applied for the same exact position and got picked for an interview in January. However, my mom has assured me that this is the season I am in right now, and in God's will I will find a job. But right now, it's not meant to be because I am here to help my family out. I'm like a small housekeeper+babysitter. They couldn't do this without me. I just have to trust God's plan for my life even if it means waiting.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set

Anastasia Beverly Hills Fall Mini Lip Gloss Set

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

How I am getting in shape for the wedding

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

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

There's an unspoken ritual that once he puts a ring on it, you as the bride-to-be start running or going to the gym to look fabulous in your dress and you know that all eyes will be on you, taking endless photos (and sometimes not in the most flattering angles). 

Makeup Remover Menu

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

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

What are some of my makeup remover essentials?

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

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

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

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

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

What are the makeup removers you use on the daily?

Pink Lipsticks for Fall

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

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

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

Mini-Travel Diary: San Francisco, CA

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