Hannah & Cecilio: 3.18.17 Wedding Photos


Right now it's 1:13 am and Cecilio and I just received our wedding photos yesterday, and it was nice especially because yesterday marked our 2 month wedding anniversary. I am so so in awe with how much love was captured not only between us but from all of our loved ones. Our photographer did an amazing job, and it was just the best day ever! I wish I could relive it over and over again. We have around 800 photos from our photographer, and I wish I could share them all with you but I do have a select few of our favorites that I would like to share.

Why I, as a Californian, prefer Five Guys over In-N-Out


In California, In-N-Out Burger is kind of a cult. To be expressing any sort of indifference about the West Coast chain is considered blasphemy here.

NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighters

NYX Away We Glow Liquid Highlighters, NYX Away We Glow, NYX Highlighters, NYX Daytime Halo, NYX Gold Rush

I've been really on a roll with the liquid beauty products, huh? First, I'm digging the NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer (on my previous post) and now these babies.

NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer


Can you believe that it's going to be summer next month?! I can't. While some people are gearing up to get that glowing tan, I got mine early from going to Mexico in March for my honeymoon and being out in the sun every single day. While I loved my bronzed look, I did not love how my foundations became too light for me and didn't match the rest of my body.

Lupus Update


Well, this post is very fitting right now because May is Lupus Awareness Month and because I am under Cecilio's employee health insurance, I am now able to see my old doctors again from UC Davis Medical Center.

My First Glossier Haul

glossier, glossier soothing face mist, glossier cloud paint, glossier generation g lipstick, glossier mint balm dotcom,

For the past few months, there's been Facebook ads for Glossier popping up on my Newsfeed. Eventually, a lot of the bloggers I followed started reviewing some of their products. I would go on their website, intrigued with their approach to minimalist beauty: the "skincare first, makeup second" mantra and the fact that you can see texture and natural pores on the models. It's the antithesis of Anastasia and ColourPop (aka the "InstaGlams" of the beauty world with the caked and photoshopped faces). Finally, a beauty brand that embraces enhancing your features rather than hiding them. 

April Beauty Favorites + More Life Updates


If March was a crazy month, April for me was even moreso. Right now I'm getting used to married life and my new last name, and I love it. Cecilio and I moved on April 7, and we've been going back and forth getting our stuff together. Our apartment is on the 2nd floor, so he and his dad were struggling so much to get our couch and bed up the stairs because it is winding. His parents also bought us a new dining table, which I'm so thankful for so that we don't have to eat on the coffee table or floor. We've also bought some shelves and new decor.

Influenster: Origins #MyPerfectWorld VoxBox*

Influenster, Origins, Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash,  Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Moisturizer, Origins GinZing Eye Cream, Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins Renewal Cream, Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, #MyPerfectWorld, Influenster Voxbox, Influenster Origins VoxBox

Though makeup is my first love, I have been falling more for skincare. I love the fresh, clean feeling of washing and cleansing my face before I go to bed, and I like experimenting (but not too much because I'm afraid that my skin might react) with different products that will give me soft, glowing, and youthful skin. So when Influenster sent me an email notifying me that I was receiving the Origins #MyPerfectWorld VoxBox*, I was super excited and checked the mail everyday until my box of goodies have finally arrived!

Mexican Beauty Haul: Renova, Ultrafemme, & Zan Zusi

Mexican Beauty Brands, Renova Makeup, Ultrafemme Makeup, Zan Zusi, Ultrafemme Rubor Compacto Cabos, Ultrafemme Black Eyeliner Gel, Zan Zusi Lápiz Delineador de Ojos Negro, Zan Zusi Delineador de Cejas Retráctil Café, Renova Labial Máxima Andrea, Renova Esmalte para Uñas Dulce

While I was in Playa del Carmen for my honeymoon, Cecilio and I made some frequent trips to the supermarket for snacks, hair products, water and other essentials. I would stop by the beauty aisle, of course. The supermarkets had mostly American beauty brands such as Maybelline or Revlon. There was even a Sephora and a MAC off of 5th Ave. But come on, I can get those anywhere, anytime! I wanted to purchase unique Mexican makeup brands. They were a bit hard to find, but not impossible.

The prettiest, most comfortable (non-drying) lipsticks for Spring

spring lipstick, NARS Audacious Jane, Revlon Berry Rich, Clinique Rose Pop, Urban Decay Manic, Rimmel Berry Rich, Tarte Double Duty Renegade

Though I do miss my fall burgundy and burnt orange shades, I am so excited about bringing out the rosy shades for spring! Moving and packing all of my makeup made me realize (well, duh) how much makeup I had. I never really comprehended it until I had to pack multiple boxes for my makeup, organizers, nail polishes, skincare products, etc. So rather than buying more and more lipsticks (though I'm drooling over the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, just not Pillowtalk), I decided to rediscover some of the ones I already had for this post and to use everyday.

My Ulta Platinum Perk (20% off) Haul


April is a dangerous month for buying beauty products: not only is the Sephora VIB sale about to start (tomorrow!), but Ulta is currently having the 20% off sales for their Platinum members. To be a Platinum member, you have to spend $450/year, and I think it's worth it more than Sephora VIB because you can also drugstore makeup alongside high end, some essentials (I purchase cotton balls and micellar water there), and avail of the Benefit Brow bar and hair salon.

Anti-Wishlist: Beauty Products I won't buy


I have posted a lot of wishlists in this blog, but I've seen others post an Anti-Haul, Anti-Wishlist: where you list products you wouldn't be caught dead buying or wearing. Maybe it's a new product out on the market that everyone is going crazy for but makes you yawn, or maybe it just doesn't go well with your skin tone. Or maybe you don't support the collaboration with the beauty influencer. Whatever it is, there are some products you could probably do without.

YSL Vernis À Lèvres Pop Water Glossy Lip Stain (Onde Rose)

YSL Vernis À Lèvres Pop Water Glossy Lip Stain (Onde Rose)

I've always been drawn to the luxurious packaging of YSL, particularly the lipsticks, but I haven't been very wowed when I swatched them at Sephora. 

Mexico Honeymoon (contd): Day Trip to Cozumel

cozumel

cozumel

"I want to go to an all-inclusive beach club", said Cecilio on our 2nd night in Mexico.

Our honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Life is good with a drink in your hand right on the beach, canoodling with your new husband. And tacos. Lots and lots of tacos.

I Heart Spring Tag


Happy April!

It's been a while since I did one of these, but I was tagged by Kay from Shoes and Glitter for this awesome little survey! If you haven't already, please check Kay out, she is awesome. She is so sweet and has great in-depth beauty reviews with oh-so-cute photos. I am looking forward to spring and lighter clothes, although it's been windy where I live >_<;

March Beauty Favorites + Obvious Life Updates


Hello beauties!

March has been a whirlwind of a month for me. For those who have been following my blog, you know that I got married on the 18th to the love of my life, my best friend whom I have known for 10 years and dated for 8 years. 2 days after the wedding, we went to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for our honeymoon. It was a week's worth of swimming, relaxation, adventure, and eating amazing food. Expect a few upcoming posts in regards to the wedding and honeymoon soon, and definitely expect the professional photos when we get them in May. I also shopped for Mexican makeup brands, so I will be posting about a haul in a bit. Oh, can I mention that during our whole stay in Mexico, my lips were insanely soft and moisturized? I did not have a single flake or chapped lip. Now in Northern California, I'm suffering again. The humidity there was pretty good for my lips. I could go on and on about how soft, plump and healthy my lips felt.

Oh, and now our wedding coordinator found my blog because I posted our food tasting day onto the Facebook Page and tagged the restaurant, whom in turn shared my post. So she brought it up during our last meeting, and has been so excited to read the upcoming posts about the wedding. Also, my cousin Johanna found out about this blog when I tagged Cecilio on a few of my photos using our wedding hashtag #chsugarforever on Instagram, and she started following it. As much as I try to keep this blog a secret in person, I don't mind that they know. If it was an immediate family member or someone I knew from high school, then that would make me shudder.


Never forget your medications again with PillDrill*

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company."


Most of the time, I am really good about taking my medications on time. Sometimes I am an hour or so late or early, but I never miss a bit. Scratch that, I have not been taking my medications except for keppra (my seizure medication). I have been having so many issues with the doctors I have been seeing before I got kicked out of UC Davis Medical Center due to insurance issues with Medi-Cal. Now that I am in the process of going under Cecilio's insurance as his wife, I will be able to see my UC Davis doctors again. I've just been having a horrible experience with the PCP I've been seeing (along with her front desk receptionist) because of how they have refused to give me my medications (and how abhorrent their systems are), but I will save that for another post.

But even after I take keppra, I have a freakout hours later, worrying as to whether I took it that night. It happens after midnight, so I rush downstairs to make extra sure that I took it earlier. And I do, it's just that paranoia ingrained in me, and the fear of getting a seizure (but praise God I haven't had one in almost 3 years, and pray that I will get my meds refilled on time so I won't get one again). I set reminders on my phone at 8 am, 8:30 am, 8 pm, and 8:30 pm to take my meds (I take keppra at 9 am and 9 pm, everyday), but even then it's easy to overlook those reminders.

But PillDrill* will help me remember to take my medications on time and even record it for me, so I don't have another freakout about taking them.

JUST MARRIED


It's 1:15 am right now and I'm pretty bleary eyed, and I'm blogging through the Blogger app on my phone (which keeps kicking me out) instead of my laptop. So my pictures aren't at the 550 px you're used to seeing. I'm in my husband's (I'm still adjusting to saying that) house...or will I say, his parents' house...we are just finishing up the last bits of packing to go to Mexico in a few hours.

Spring 2017 Beautycon Box


I first subscribed to BeautyCon for last box featuring Dulce Candy. I "forgot" to cancel it, but based on the products I received this quarter, I'm so glad I didn't! I'm loving this much more than the Winter Box. 

Battle of the Metallic Green Nails: Julep vs. Sinful Colors


Since green is one of my favorite colors, it's only natural that I love St. Patrick's Day and using it as an excuse to wear green outfits, eyeshadows, and of course, nail polishes! I am celebrating it early by rocking these 2 jewel-toned polishes.

Influenster Resolution VoxBox 2017*


I am a fairly new member of Influenster*. I signed up since I was interested in the beauty items other bloggers were getting, and I have yet to unlock my beauty badge (no matter how many reviews I wrote). I did, however, receive my first box ever, the Resolution VoxBox.

What's in my honeymoon makeup bag?


It's already the 6th of March and this is only my 2nd blog post. I have been meaning to churn some posts for the next few days before the wedding (for those who are first-timers on this blog, my wedding is on the 18th). However, there's so much going on: planning, finalizing, paying A LOT of money, finding an apartment, and then me already packing for the move. It's a lot to take in. And I have a lot of anxiety as to whether Cecilio and I will get accepted into an apartment, especially this amazing (and affordable) 2-bedroom apartment within our price range that we toured this past Saturday. I am also struggling with finding time to exercise, and now we are already having guests coming. My uncle is coming in later from Manila. 

Best Bronzers for Medium/Tan Skin

Best Bronzers for Medium/Tan Skin

There are perks to being on the tan side. I don't sunburn easily...except for the one time I was in Maui 3 years ago, and laying by the pool. I was on the phone with Cecilio and I moved from our rented cabana to another chair under the sun so that my mom and sister wouldn't hear our conversation. It was hours since I applied sunblock and my back was exposed. The next day, my back was itching and peeling SO bad, I was crying during our tour to Hana road. I had to slap on aloe vera every few minutes, or so it seemed.

I have never set foot in a tanning bed. All of the self-tanning lotions I bought, I forgot about because I thought it was pointless. 

February Beauty Favorites



To be honest I wasn't wearing all that much makeup this month...save for a few days. I've just been tired, and lazy. But there are some beauty products that I have that are just waiting to be tested and reviewed. But yeah, here are my tried and true favorites this month!

My Bridal Shower


This past Saturday, I was showered with love by my mom, sister, future mother and sisters in laws, and friends.

Planning a wedding as a shy/anxious bride.


Can I be transparent with you guys?

My entire MAC lipstick collection


My entire MAC lipstick collection

I have too many lipsticks, more than the average woman could possibly ever have. And yet, I still have some more that I'm lusting over from brands such as YSL or Besamé. 

There's something special about MAC though. When I was a teen, I was so attracted to MAC's bright colored lipsticks and eyeshadows, yet obviously I couldn't afford them. They were the first high end brand that I liked. My mom was more into Clinique and Estee Lauder, yet I thought that they were older lady, more "boring" brands (though that's certainly not the case). I do want to share with you the  lipstick shades I own.

Now over the years, I was accumulated a lot of MAC products. I have been meaning to use them, especially to empty them for a free lipstick. 

Let's Talk: The feud between InstaGurus vs. Professional Makeup Artists

editorial spread tartelette in bloom flower necklace origins gingzing eye cream chanel lipstick

There's a bit of tension in the beauty world as we know it. 

Valentine's Day Makeup Look

Valentine's Day Makeup Look

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I know you either love or hate this holiday. Cecilio and I celebrate it, but usually February 15 is our holiday. Because it is our dating anniversary! Long story short, 8 years ago I was out with friends on V-Day and he got off work at 10 pm. I came back way past midnight, and there he was, with a guitar in his hand, strumming to "True Love Waits" by Radiohead. That's when we knew we wanted to be more than friends. As for tonight? We are going to go to our private dance lessons for our first dance. We have been having so much fun with it.

Here's a romantic, sultry look I created for today. Whether you have a bae in hand or not, pamper and love yourself! Practice self-compassion in this world that constantly reminds you of your flaws.

What is The Bar Method? And why do I love it?

the bar method, the bar method dancers body, the bar method super sculpting 2

I did the classic New Years Resolution to get in shape, get fit, and maybe lose a few pounds without going too drastic. If I couldn't lose weight for the wedding, then I would've liked to at least tone and tighten my body. And I did start working out with my Ballet Beautiful DVDs. Because I haven't used them in a while, I was surprised with how much I was able to endure the never-ending bridge workouts (about 40 reps). I should've taken it slow because that resulted in a foot injury for the next couple of weeks. The inner part of my left foot, under my ankle, was swollen and I could barely walk without pain and limping. My mom pulled out her Trigger Point workbook, and found that the trigger point of my pain was located at the back my calf. So she massaged my calf really really hard. The next day, the pain went down from 8 to 3. I started to massage my calf on my own. Time healed it, but I know it's a tender part of my body now.

Prior to that incident, I started working out since August using some of my ballet/barre DVDs. I resubscribed to The Bar Method streaming workouts, which are only $15/month (the same price as an Allure Beauty Box subscription). I have a few of their DVDs, and I even got to take live class when I was in LA. (Note: when your workout videos start to get stale, try and take a live class. It was no joke for me, and there were much more reps. The instructor was also correcting me, to make the moves more challenging and effective. And when you see 20 other women busting their asses, you don't want to stop as well. When I work out at home, it's so easy to pause and lay down on the floor when I feel like it. And it's something I do a lot, and am trying to break the habit)

Physicians Formula #InstaReady Full Coverage Concealer

Physicians Formula #InstaReady Full Coverage Concealer, Physicians Formula #InstaReady, Physicians Formula

I was scrolling on my Facebook page a few months ago, and saw an article from Allure Magazine about the new Physicians Formula #InstaReady Full Coverage Concealer. I was reading about how affordable it was and how it banished dark circles. Had an inadequate night's of sleep? This has you covered (no pun intended). I screenshotted the article for reference since I was interested. As I was walking around Rite-Aid (my new pharmacy for now), I found them! The price was pretty steep for the drugstore at $10.99 and 0.35 oz, but I figured that it wasn't too bad considering that it came with a pink sponge, like a mini beautyblender.

Beauty Wishlist Wednesday


I'm patting myself on the back right now for not buying any beauty product in February. Except, I am going to need some makeup remover wipes. February is the month of final payments for my wedding, and Cecilio and I searching for an apartment or house. We are going to keep our Valentines Day/8 year anniversary very simple. Except, my idea of a fun date at the moment is going to SF and playing Pokemon at Pier 39, and going to Toppings (Filipino restaurant in the Bay Area) and order sizzling sisig, one of my favorite dishes. The sisig at the Filipino restaurant in Sacramento sucks.

But I'd rather we take it really easy and have a nice, home-cooked meal. I know that on Valentine's Day, Cecilio and I have another private dance lesson for our first dance. We've had so much fun with that. Dancing helps us keep our mind off of the stresses going on in our lives (wedding planning, my mom wanting to add more people to the guest list when I'm constantly reminding her that the space is limited, exercising and panicking about my wedding/honeymoon body, searching for an apartment, job hunting, paying bills, the possibility of me being the caregiver for my autistic younger sister, etc.)

With the exception of makeup removers, biodegradable sunscreen, and facial mist (all of which are my honeymoon beauty essentials), the Tarte teeth whitener (I purchased it on my last Sephora haul of 2016, but my dogs chewed on it), I will be doing a makeup ban until after I come back from the honeymoon. Before you know it, the Sephora VIB Rouge sale will roll around. So any beauty reviews I post will be from products I purchased in the last few months.

There are a few things I have been jonesing for the past few months though:

Wedding food tasting at Grange Restaurant

Grange restaurant, grange restaurant sacramento, sacramento farm to fork, sacramento restaurant
Grange Restaurant in Sacramento, CA

I know, I know, another wedding post. Last week was quite the busy week for me, especially for planning. As I am typing this right now, we have 39 days left. My schedule last week went like this:

Sunday (1/29): Celebrating Cecilio's birthday with my future-in-laws
Monday (1/30): Cecilio's actual birthday
Tuesday (1/31): Taking 1-hour private dance lessons for our first dance
Wednesday (2/1): Meeting with our church wedding coordinators for the ceremony
Thursday (2/2): Our food tasting!

And that's not including DIY projects, receiving our RSVPs, finalizing our guest list, gathering addresses and information for our B-list guests, and searching for an apartment.

Last Thursday, we had our food tasting at Grange Restaurant, which is The Citizen Hotel's (our reception venue) very own restaurant. Grange is known for its fine dining and farm-to-fork menu, with ingredients no further than 150 miles from the region. Sacramento is the farm-to-fork capital of the US, so we take local fare very seriously. Grange's menu is seasonal, so our wedding coordinator Tina, emailed us the menu just last month to let us pick which foods we wanted to try. Our hotel only allows catering from Grange for weddings, which makes it convenient so we don't have to search for other caterers. However, it is not cheap. Even if you do a buffet style vs. plated style.

We brought my mom's boyfriend, Bart, my sister (matron of honor) Trixie, and Cecilio's parents. Unfortunately, my mom couldn't make it because she had a business trip. We sat with Tina, sampling delicious food for the reception while talking about our decor, logistics, and corkage (my mom and Bart are bringing a few cases of wine in addition to having our open bar).

Grange restaurant, grange restaurant sacramento, sacramento farm to fork, sacramento restaurant, sacramento wedding

We first sampled the hor d'oeuvres: olive/cheese skewers, deviled eggs, mini grilled cheese sandwiches (with jam on top), and fried risotto balls.

Grange restaurant, grange restaurant sacramento, sacramento farm to fork, sacramento restaurant, olive cheese skewers, deviled eggs, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, risotto balls

Laura Geller Piece of Cake Collection

Laura Geller Baked Balance-N-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation, Laura Geller Baked Blush-N-Brighten Roseberry, Laura Geller Baked Marble Shadow Duo Amethyst/Unearthed, Laura Geller Glamlash Dramatic Volumizing Mascara, Laura Geller Luscious Lips Liquid Lipstick Peach Buttercream, Laura Geller, Laura Geller Piece of Cake Collection

I sometimes walk by the Laura Geller section at Ulta, mostly interested in their Baked Gelato Swirl blushes. But I personally have never purchased anything from them. I was pretty excited when my best friend Rebecca gifted me with the Laura Geller Piece of Cake Collection for Christmas, whereas I gave her the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette.

Laura Geller Baked Balance-N-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation, Laura Geller Baked Blush-N-Brighten Roseberry, Laura Geller Baked Marble Shadow Duo Amethyst/Unearthed, Laura Geller Glamlash Dramatic Volumizing Mascara, Laura Geller Luscious Lips Liquid Lipstick Peach Buttercream, Laura Geller, Laura Geller Piece of Cake Collection

The Laura Geller Piece of Cake Collection retails at $59 (valued at $155) and comes with 5 full-sized beauty products and 2 brushes. Rebecca picked the set for medium skin tones for me. From what I'm researching, it's no longer available anywhere.

January Beauty Favorites


Oh man, I can't believe January is over already! I've bought a lot less makeup than usual for obvious reasons (wedding in 45 days), but there have been moments where I splurged. I am a lot more cognizant though. And I've been hitting up the drugstores rather than searching for the latest high end beaut.

I remember when I started Floraful, my monthly favorites included some lifestyle stuff (workout DVDs, food, travel, etc.) and I would like to incorporate that again. The only difference was that when I started moving to only beauty favorites, I started taking my own photos, whereas in the past, I just found the photos on the internet and made it into a collage. Even though this is primarily a beauty blog, I have other topics here too. I even changed my instagram username from hannaheunice.hearts.makeup to floraful_blog (someone already took the name floraful) since this blog is not exclusively about beauty (though it does make up 95% of my posts).

Without further ado, here were some of my favorite beauty products this past January:

Book Review: The Whole Health Life by Shannon Harvey

"I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company."

The Whole Health Life by Shannon Harvey, The Whole Health Life, Shannon Harvey

I've honestly never understood before the link between mind and body health, until my lupus started flaring up in late 2010. I transferred to a university from community college, was working at the DMV headquarters as a student assistant analyst, and I was just starting to take prednisone from a bad flare up and severe joint pain. I was prescribed to take prednisone for 40 days, 40 mg for the first 10 days, 30 for the next 10 days, etc. I stopped at 20 mg. I thought to myself, I don't need this, I'm better now! That was when my lupus started taking its toll and overcame my body. Mind you, I was 21 and also very ignorant. I was ignorant about the fact that stopping prednisone abruptly can harm you.

I was diagnosed with SLE in 2007, but my early twenties (2010–2014) were a time of turmoil for me. My first stroke/seizure was in December 2011, after going through extreme stress of being in university: though my grades were decent, I had academic probation the semester before. I had failed 2 classes due to my health issues, low energy, low self-esteem, and my dad's lung cancer diagnosis. I felt like my world was crashing down. And because of my academic probation, mediocre grades, and a low possibility to get into the graphic design program at my university, I faced an existential crisis. What if I don't get into the graphic design program? What would I major in, and why is it taking forever? I should have graduated right now, all my peers have graduate or will graduate next year, what's wrong with me? Why am I falling behind? Am I disappointing my parents? 

After a final, I hit an all time low (physically, mentally and emotionally) and my dad found me on the floor convulsing. It was after that seizure that I needed to focus on my health and take a semester off.

This wouldn't be my last incident though: I've had subsequent seizures and a kidney biopsy in Fall 2013, that detected my nephritis (lupus that affects the kidney) worsening, so I was forced to go back on prednisone. I was extremely frustrated and stressed out about it. In addition, I wasn't driving at the time because of a seizure months before. I was also starting my first semester in the incredibly challenging graphic design program, and I was not sleeping well. I loved 2013 for the good memories (getting accepted in the graphic design program, and going to Europe for summer vacation), but I also had a dark time with my dad passing away and the health issues I was going through. After the biopsy, I was getting more and more sick. As my fevers were getting higher everyday for a month, my prednisone dosage upped to 80 mg. 

When Chronic Illness Bloggers notified me of the opportunity to read and review The Whole Health Life, I was intrigued. I was also skeptical of any sort of hippy-speak or claim that there is one magic pill that will heal your body from chronic or terminal illnesses. While my lab tests last year say that my lupus was inactive and that I've been having negative protein in my kidney, I still have lupus. It's still a part of me, and I still have to take medications to maintain my good health and not risk getting another seizure. Thankfully, this book is not the be-all end-all to cure you, but it takes a holistic approach to improving your health.

January 2017 ipsy Glambag: Metropolis

January 2017 ipsy Glambag: Metropolis, ipsy, january 2017 ipsy glambag

It's now the end of January and I still have yet to review the January 2017 ipsy Glambag. Well, now here I am!

This month's Glambag's theme is Metropolis. The bag is a light silver-tinted blue with mesh holes. Definitely not my favorite bag, especially compared to last month's fuzzy pink bag

But it's what's inside that counts, right? I love getting a balance of indie products and products I can find in the store. Let's dive right in!

Finding the perfect dog breed with PuppySpot

Flora, my Morkie (Maltese/Yorkie mix). Well, she's more of my mom's baby.

I am not shy about my love for my dogs on this blog. In fact, I named it after Flora, our 3-year old Morkie photographed above. I had a few other blog names in mind until I found out that they were already taken.

3 years ago, my mom decided she wanted a puppy. It was pretty shocking considering that she was a neat freak and that my dad REFUSED to have cats or dogs. He grew up in the northeast countryside of the Philippines where his parents owned a lot of farmland, and he had a lot of pets (cats, dogs, horses, cattle...you name it). But they weren't the homebody companion type of pets as we know of. They were all outdoors. So his idea of having pets inside the home (with the exception of fish, parakeets, and hamsters, which were the other pets I used to have) made him feel squeamish.

However, my mom and I were searching on the internet for Shi Tzus and other small dogs that she was interesting in. My sister suggested that we go to the local shelter. Thank God we went out the same day, because I found and fell in love with Aristotle "Aris". He was a really shy pup and did not want to leave the bed in his kennel. I almost got his next-door neighbor, Cowboy, a long-haired chihuahua. But another couple wanted him, so minutes before the shelter was about to close, I decided that I wanted to meet Aris first. And my mom, nephew and I were placed in a small room to meet him and see if we were a match. Aris was jumping all over me and licking me. It was love at first meet.


It's getting real—Our wedding invitations!

wedding invitations, sacramento wedding

wedding invitations, sacramento wedding, reception card

Hey ladies! How has everything been?! I've been trying to make room for blogging but now that Cecilio and I are less than 2 months out before our wedding, we've been crazy busy.

February will be packed with paying our final dues for our vendors, more DIY projects, private tasting for the food we will serve, buying gifts for our entourage, getting our marriage license, private dance lessons for our first dance, meetings with vendors, waiting for RSVPs to roll in (our deadline is on February 15, our 8-year anniversary!), picking up my dress from alterations, and my bridal shower. Oh yeah, and finding a place to live. 

But first, I want to show you guys the invitations that I've slaved over since last month, and we just mailed them today (YAY!)


Top 10 Beauty Brands for Women of Color


As an NC 40 Filipino/Indian gal, I find it a bit of a challenge when I fall in love with a blush (or lipstick shade) that simply just doesn't flatter my skin tone. Even if it looks gorgeous on a woman on the internet with my skin tone, it somehow looks better on her. Oh, I also know the frustration of trying to look for a foundation that would best match me. When I reviewed the L'Oreal Pro Glow Foundation, I had to mix 2 shades in order to match me perfectly, and the majority of their shades were mainly for those with fairer skin. Lets also not forget about the models of color who have to bring in their own foundation because the makeup artist doesn't provide such a shade.

What constitutes as a beauty brand that caters to ethnic women? (Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, African, etc.)?

Do their foundations carry a wide variety of skin tones, from porcelain to ebony? Do they have cool, neutral and warm undertones?

Do they have a wide variety of blushes, eyeshadows and lipsticks that would show up on a woman's skin and not make her look muddy?

Do they use ethnic models in their marketing and promotional materials?

Do their mission and vision statements embrace diversity?

Now, when I refer to beauty brands catered towards women of color, I am not trying to exclude fair-skinned women. In fact, all of the brands mentioned below have shades for lighter skin. It is just that while the beauty industry has been embracing diversity in recent years, there is always room for improvement. 

That is why I have researched, tested and picked the best 10 beauty brands for WOC below.

LUSH Luxury Pud Bath Bomb


I don't pamper myself in the bathtub that much, but when I do, I am in a state of euphoria.