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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New Love: Lanolin--HG lip treatment

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by!

I could barely contain my excitement as I bring you this review of my newfound love.

As many of you might know, I’m not a huge fan of wearing any type of lip product. Though there are several factors, having perpetually dry lips is a big one on the list.

I’ve tried MANY lip treatments and have found a few that I like. However, the search is always on and the journey is never over. The past winter has been BRUTAL on my skin/lips. While my skin is being taken care of by my updated skincare routine, my lips have been taking a beating. I needed something morehardcore.



Enters lanolin. I got a big tub of that off of Vitacost for super cheap. Lanolin is a yellow waxy substance derived from wool, typically from that of sheep (it sounds sexy doesn’t it). Since it’s derived from sheep, it has a rather strong weird scent. However, the scent does not last and the result is well worth it.

Pros:
  • Smooth: It starts off a bit thick, but as it warms up on your lips, it becomes one with your lips and creates a cushiony barrier against the elements.
  • Versatile: Lanolin could be used on any area of dryness. It’s used a lot for new moms with sore nipples.
  • Inexpensive: I got a HUUUUGE tub for around $10. It’ll last a long time since a little goes a long way.
  • Moisturizing: The moisture actually lasts a long time! I put this on at night before bed time and it’s still there in the morning. My lips are so plump and hydrated!

Cons:
  • The scent: Ugh. L It’s fades after a while, but still. It’s not the most pleasant.
  • Convenience: Since it’s a huge tub, it’s difficult to travel with it. I pretty much just use it at bed time and in the morning.


I don’t think I’ve seen the brand NOW solutions in your average drugstore, but another brand that’s more common is Lansinoh. You can find it in the baby section as it’s marketed as nipple cream.

Trust me on this, it’s worth a shot.

Have you tried it? What do you think of this?

Let me know down below! Thanks!

XOXO,

Tao

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Murmur: All's Well...

Hi all, thanks for stopping by!

I just got home from work and am completely wiped out. I’m sure a lot of you have experienced that draining feeling. It’s not that I’m physically tired, but the mental exhaustion is beyond belief.


As I stare at the raindrops bouncing off of the windowpane, my mind began to wander.

I can’t speak for others, but just from my personal experience, it’s getting more difficult to just “get on with life” as I get older. I tend to dwell on things longer. It’s easier to lose sight of the big picture of your life in the hustle and bustle of the day, and complain when not EVERYTHING goes according to my perfect plan.

My close friends and family know that, despite appearing nonchalant and often ditzy, I’m a very intense and high-strung person. With my new role at work this year, it’s like drinking water from the fire hose every day. The learning curve is steep, the work is never-ending, and the corporate politics is ever so convoluted.

There are many nights where I have problem falling asleep worrying about the road ahead of me. Thoughts about what to do to climb that corporate ladder, save money for our second home, plan for the future of our baby (when the time is right), etc.. The list just goes on and on, and I drive myself crazy trying to plan for all the unpredictable little curveballs life throws our way.


One of my personal goals for 2015 is to smile more and tell myself that “all’s well” every day.  I noticed that my mind was wandering in that negative direction again today, and trust me, it’s not a place you want to be. I looked at myself in the mirror, smiled, and said “all’s well”. You would not believe how big of a difference a little sentence made.

Many things in life happen by chance. We tend to focus on the chances of something happening. I know I’m lucky to have a loving family, supportive friends, and a great career. Those are chances too! I need to focus on all the good that’s in my life and take a chill pill.

When in doubt, I’ll always turn to my little space on the Internet and blab into this abyss. You all should try it! Thank you all for making it this far and reading my rambling. If you are dealing with a restless and negative mind, please feel free to send me a message at iamgrape1119@hotmail.com. I’m always here for you too. J

XOXO,

Tao

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Requested: Updated 2015 Skincare Routine

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Today I’d like to share my recent skincare routine. As many of you know, I’ve had all kinds of issues with my skin. When I was in Colorado and first moved to Seattle, my skin broke out horribly despite being horribly dry. It could be the hormones, stress, diet, and the list goes on.

However, since I’ve nailed down a more streamlined skincare routine, I could definitely notice a change in how my skin looked. It’s less finicky now. Previously, it’d break out if ANYTHING changed, be it weather, new products, etc.. Now it’s a lot calmer. I often go out confidently without wearing any makeup on my face.
Completely bare skin! 
Just woke up with my Inkers! 
Only some blush on my cheeks and some mascara/brows with NO face makeup. NADA! 
Since this has been highly requested (and highly procrastinated), today I decided to share what I’ve been using.

Makeup Removal:
  • Freeman Beauty eclos Facial Cleaning Oil—This is inexpensive, works well, and smells good. Even though I still miss my MAC cleanse off oil, Freeman’s cleaning oil works well at only1/3 of the price.
  • Equate makeup remover wipes—I use this to take off swatches or on days I don’t wear enough makeup to warrant an actual makeup remover. Since Equate is a Walmart house brand, the only place to get this is, you guessed it, Walmart. However, it’s super cheap and very gentle on the skin. I’ve used this for years and, regardless of how many times temptations strayed me away, I’ve always returned to this. 
Facial Cleansers:
  • La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel—Gentle, effective, and smells nice. It’s comforting and leaves my skin clean without being over-dried. It’s just a bit pricier than I liked.
  • Softymo by Kose Facial Cleansing Foam—I like foaming cleansers for a deeper clean. I got this particular one from my local Asian store, but I’ve also REALLY liked Biore steam activated cleanser.
Treatment:
  • Alpha Hydrox Intensive Serum—14% Alpha Hydroxy acid. Great chemical exfoliant. I use it every other day when my skin is behaving. I forgot to take this with me to CA over the holidays and could DEFINITELY see a difference. My skin looked so dull and my pores looked huge! I was so glad to be back home in the presence of this gem.
  • Boots No.7 Protect & Perfect Intense Serum—Great hydrating serum! I got a Boots No.7 set from Target for a great deal. The serum and the day cream are my favorites! This serum really smooths out my skin and preps it for moisturizer to sink in.
Moisturizer:
AM:
  • Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Day Cream SPF15—I got this in a set with the Intense serum. I really like this set!  This cream has a nice light floral scent. I tend to use this more when it’s colder out as it’s very moisturizing. I also like how it has SPF15 since I like to have some sun protection no matter now overcast it is outside.
  • Dr. Denese SPF 30 Defense Day Cream—My preferred daytime moisturizer for summer time. It’s got sufficient SPF, leaves a matte finish, and got a nice little peach tint to brighten up the complexion.
PM:

  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream—I use this when my skin is behaving. It’s a no-frill intense moisturizer. It contains oat proteins, white tea, ceramides, and squalene to help to sooth the skin and retain moisture. I’ve never really enjoyed thick creams since they’re usually sticky. Not this one! It’s super easy to spread and gets absorbed very quickly. A little goes a long way. I got the big-daddy 12 oz version from QVC.
  • Koh Gen Do All in One Moisture Gel—So damn expensive, but worth every penny. As you all know, I’m pretty cheap when it comes to skincare/beauty. I rarely buy high-end products unless they are 1. On sale; or 2. REALLY work. Fortunately, Koh Gen Do Moisture Gel is both of them. I usually get the moisture gel for around $36 when Hautelook is doing flash sales. This is my go-to product when I want something to REALLY calm my skin (usually during PMS). It’s a special treat as it’s more $$$. 

Multi-Purpose:

  • 100% almond oil—One of my favorite beauty finds of 2014 (quite possibly ever). I fell in love with it the second I put it on my skin. The texture was amazingly luxurious yet light, as opposed to most of the other oils I’ve used before (EVOO, Avocado, coconut, argon, etc). My skin felt like silk and it literally glowed the morning after. I’ve used it consistently for over 3 months, and my infatuation with it continues to grow. It is now a stable in my skincare routine. I use it for EVERYTHING. Hair mask, body oil, facial oil, cuticle oil, etc. It’s definitely the main product that helped to improve my skin. The last pro? It’s super inexpensive! I got mine as a 2-pack on Amazon for $17 shipped.
I hope this post was helpful! Please let me know down below what are YOUR favorite skincare products.

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO,

Tao

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Bite Beauty Lush Lip Trio

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you are all have a great day.

Today I have a review that is quite long overdue given how much I’ve worn these lipglosses in the past month. Ever since I got these little gems as a part of a killer Black Friday deal from Sephora, I haven’t been able to put them down.
Strawberry, Currant, Rambutan 
This set was sold for $10 during Black Friday. It contains three mini Lush Fruit Lip Glosses in Rambutan, Currant, and Strawberry. Each comes with a sponge-tip applicator and contains 0.06oz of product, which, if you add them together, is more than a full-sized lipgloss at 0.11oz that retails for $22 each.
Currant, Strawberry, Rambutan 
I love how Bite Beauty does little travel-sized products to allow us to try out a variety of different products/colors without the high price commitment. I don’t have any full-sized products from Bite Beauty since I have way too many lip products to for me to justify dropping around $25 on ONE lip product. iz cheap

Please keep in mind that these lipglosses do have more of a tackier texture, so you might want to stay away if you’re not a fan of stick lip products. Prior to purchasing this lipgloss set, I’ve also bought the Destructed Rose lipgloss set that came out in summer 2014. I knew I was ok with the texture of the lipglosses and loved how moisturizing the formula was. 

Unlike the glosses that came in the Destructed Rose set, the Lush Fruit Lip Glosses are a lot more sheer. Once they go on your lips, they create almost like a cushiony look, filling in any lines you might have on your lips. While each shade has their tint of color, I find my natural lip color still peeking through. Overall, regardless of what shade you put on from this set, you will end up with naturally plump looking lips.
L-R: Strawberry, Rambutan, Currant
L-R: Strawberry, Rambutan, Currant
To me, they don’t really have a scent, but I’ve heard some people say that the full sized ones smell fruity, as the color name suggests. Since Bite Beauty is made with all food grade ingredients, they are safe to consume (not that you’d want to, but if you were ever stranded on a deserted island).

Pros:
  • Hydrating formula
  • Wearable colors
  • Scent/Taste free
  • Great bang for your buck (when you purchase Bite sets)
Cons:
  • The texture of gloss is too thick for the sponge tip applicator provided
  • Price for the full size product is high 
Now let’s take a look at the colors:

Currant is my favorite from the set. It’s a sheer plum shade that breaths life into your face without overwhelming your entire look. However, if you are looking for something that packs a punch, this might not be the best one.



Strawberry is your classic dollish pink. It offers more pigmentation than the other two shades in the set, but it’s still sheerer than appears in the tube. I personally find it difficult to pull off cool tone pinks since they make my skin look more yellow, but Strawberry is a pink that I think would flatter most skintones.



Rambutan is a great beige-y peachy pinky-nude. It mutes out your natural lip color ever so slightly, but its moisturizing formula and versatility makes it one of the few nudes I could pull off on a daily basis.



In summation, I quite enjoyed the Lush Fruit Lip Glosses and would repurchase the set in a heartbeat. However, I don’t love the shades/formula enough to shell out $22 for a full-sized one any time soon.

Have you tried this product? What do you think of it? I’ve love to hear your thoughts. J

I hope you all enjoy this little review. I will see you guys shortly in a new post!

XOXO,

Tao