November Beauty Favorites (+ a few life updates)

Holy crap, did 2016 happen in a blink of an eye?! It just seemed like yesterday when we were ending 2015: I was in my last days of my internship at Make-A-Wish®, and my mom and nephew went to the Philippines for Christmas and stayed there for 3 weeks. Now, 2016 is coming to a close and there are 107 days left until the wedding. Last year, we were doing rough drafts of the guest list, booked our ceremony and reception sites. Now, I am just starting to design our invitations, buy gifts for the wedding party, and buy our rings. We have a lot more to do: Cecilio renting his tux (as well as his men), getting my dress altered, finalizing details with our vendors, more DIY projects, honeymoon planning and doing our private dinner tasting!

I didn't get a chance to post a lot last week due to being on vacation (I went to Wisconsin Dells, Milwaukee, and Chicago), but my next few posts will consist of photos of those trips.

Here are a few of my favorite makeup products this month:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario: This takes the reign again. My gosh I love this palette so much. I might be able to hit pan with this baby soon! However, I have also been using my Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and have made some pretty deep dents in some of the shades there, as well.

Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick: Cecilio spoiled me on my birthday by getting me a bunch of makeup I wanted, including this portable little stick. It's so easy to use and perfect for on the go for a more "no makeup"-makeup type of look. I actually find that this is best to use with my fingers. Do be aware though that this is not full coverage.

Essie Nail Polish in "Angora Cardi": This most-pinned nail polish shade has been featured on my top fall polishes. My goodness does this deep muted mauve look amazing on every skin tone! If you don't have this shade yet, run, don't walk, to the nearest Target to get it. You won't regret it.

NYX Dark Circle Concealer: I have been reaching this over some of my more expensive concealers for my dark circles. It gives me just as much coverage and hides the dark circles under my eyes with minimal creases. For only $6, it sure does work a lot of wonders!

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in "Out Loud": I have been searching high and low for this particular shade after I tested it at my local Ulta and fell in love, and it was never in stock. This is seriously one of the most popular shades in the line, and it's been out of stock on the Sephora, Ulta, and Smashbox websites. I finally found it at the Sephora in store last week. It's a deep, burnt orange that's supposedly a dupe of Kylie's Pumpkin lip kit. But I really did not want to spend a lot of money on Kylie's products only to find out that I wouldn't like the shade, especially if it seemed like the Pumpkin lip kit was lighter ( can this shade be a dupe then?)

NYX Liquid Suede Lip Cream in "Crushed": I know in one of my 2015 beauty product regrets, I mentioned the NYX Liquid Suedes. I was not happy with the formula or the shades at all. But "Crushed" is a new shade and it came in a set of 3, along with "Tea and Cookies" (baby pink) and "Liberal" (brown). Of course, I immediately needed to get the set because of "Crushed", this muted brownish red shade that's so so gorgeous for the fall! Now, I only wish that this shade came individually. But I bought the set because I returned a birthday gift that my friend gave me which I already had, so this liquid lipstick set was a part of the exchange.

What beauty products have you been loving this past month?

A tragic life update
Now a lot has happened in 2016, especially this past month. Like the Election, and Donald Trump's reign scaring me. Honestly, he doesn't scare me as much as his Cabinet (ex: Vice President Mike Pence who believes that homosexuals should be electrocuted) and his followers who are now coming out of the closest with their racism. 

Around the time of the Election, my sister's best friend, Noelle, had a severe headache and aneurysm while hiking with her parents, husband, and kids. You see, we met Noelle and her family at the church I grew up in (in the Bay Area). My uncle was the head pastor and her dad was the associate pastor. Then the church broke off and her family moved to Sacramento for a little bit, before moving permanently to Canada. We all reconnected on Facebook 7-ish years ago when Noelle's sister Nicole added me. I didn't remember them at all since I was a toddler when I grew up in that church and met them, but they surely remembered me. So Nicole and I would talk time to time, and then a couple of years later, Noelle added me. Then in 2012, Noelle and her daughter Drina moved back to Sacramento. She was living with my sister for a while and got married to Josh (whom she met in middle school).

So yeah, since 2012 Noelle and my sister Trixie were inseparable. Her daughter Drina (who is 11 right now) even became best friends with my 13-year old niece. She, Josh, and the kids (she also has a 1-year old and a 3-year old) would come to our parties and get togethers.

Anyway, so she had an aneurysm and had to be rushed to the ER. Afterwards, I've been getting updates and it seemed like she was making progress. My sister even visited her and she was conscious, but had to write in order to communicate. She would write "breast donor, pump" because she wanted to feed her boys. Then she would write "sinigang" (a Filipino soup) that she was strongly craving for. It seemed like she was getting better and on her way to healing. Until she had to get brain surgery to close the aneurysm. She had 3 strokes.

You see, I've heard that there is always a risk of getting a stroke with those brain surgeries, which was why when my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and had tumors all over his brain, he did not want to take a chance of having the stroke. The year he was diagnosed with cancer was also the year I had my first stroke and seizure, at 22 years old (everyone thought I had an aneurysm at first). You can read my story here. I thank God for a 2nd chance at life everyday and that my dad found me ASAP when it happened.

So yeah, after those multiple strokes, Noelle had to be put on life support. She and her family were getting outpourings of prayers and support from family and friends everywhere, from her friends in middle and high school in the US, mommy/breastfeeding/babywrap groups she was a part of, family and friends in Canada and the Philippines. 

As days went on, the doctors were not optimistic about her prognosis. I remember that feeling, when I watched my dad fade away in the ER almost 4 years ago. There wasn't anything that we could've done and no matter what option, the outcome would've been the same. That's what the doctors were telling Josh. He, my sister and her husband, and Noelle's parents never left her side. Since she was a donor, they had to unplug her machine in order to give her organs to a recipient. She passed away on November 15, 2016. She was 35 years old. Everyone is in shock. I still am. She and her family were supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. She was so healthy and full of life and love, especially for her kids. Honestly I got annoyed a few times when she would post pictures of her kids everyday, every few hours...but I needed to check myself. I'm not a parent yet but I understand (yet can't comprehend) the love for your own child. It just showed how much she loved them and doted on them, and it hurts all of us to know that the boys will grow up without her by their sides. But like my sister said, they will grow up knowing how much she loved them through the pictures and videos. She will be having a funeral in the US this Saturday, and then another one in Canada in a few weeks, with her ashes halved in both places. She was so so loved by many.

She seemed fine throughout the moments before the aneurysm. It was like, one minute she was here, and the next moment she left in a flash. My last conversation with her was messaging her on Facebook in September, asking for her address to send my wedding save-the-dates and asking what kind of seating accommodations her boys needed. And that's the thing that scares me about death: you can never be prepared for when it happens. Just like how I expected my dad to be the one to live the longest since he didn't have lupus, and he had no signs of cancer. And it terrifies me. I am not ready to die yet but I accept that we all don't last forever. Like the song "Dust In the Wind" by Kansas (one of my dad's favorite classic rock bands) says...nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky. Still, it's hard to comprehend and this is one of those moments where I question why God allows something this tragic to happen. 

But even though death terrifies me (and I'm sure it terrifies some of you), we should not let it stop us from living our lives to the fullest, achieving our dreams, and spending time with our loved ones. Don't take others for granted, no matter how irritated you may feel at the time with them. You don't know or appreciate what you have until they are gone. In the end, people are the ones that matter the most.

Here is a photo of me and Noelle in 2012, the year she first moved back to the US:

Rest in Peace, Noelle Neill Chacon.
January 26, 1981–November 15, 2016


  1. I love the suede lip creams from NYX! So good
    And omg I am so sorry about your sister's friend's aneurysm. That is so scary :/

    Enclothed Cognition

    1. I don't like a lot of the shades except for Crushed :)
      It is terrifying. I don't know what to make of it right now

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about Noelle. My thoughts are with you, her family and friends. You are so right that her boys will grow up knowing how much she loved them. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement <3

  3. I'm so, so sorry to hear about Noelle. She sounds like an amazing person. It's always a shock when someone close to you dies, especially at a young age. I remember crying in my car every day after a boy I'd grown up with was hit by a drunk driver. I hope Noelle rests easy knowing that so many people love her, and my DMs are open if you ever want to talk about it x

    1. Thank you so much. I remember befriending a blind girl in 6th grade that was new, and then a year later I found out that she passed away from eye cancer and I cried :( thank you so much for the uplifting encouragement <3

  4. I am so sorry it's very sad when someone is young and has all life just ahead

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  5. The eye shadow palette looks just beautiful! I really need to try Anastasia shadows x

    Pink Frenzy

  6. So sorry to hear the bad news about your friend. She was too young, my age exactly.I cannot even imagine how difficult this is for you, your sister and her family. But we must have hope and love each other. Sending you love! x


  7. The Mario palette has been on my wish list for ages.. it's just gorgeous. I am so sorry to hear about Noelle though.. My prayers for you and her family. xX