Review & Swatches: Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer

Benefit recently released a new lash primer - They're Real! Tinted Lash Primer in Mink Brown! Before the official launch, Benefit gave away mini versions as a gift with purchase in stores like Ulta and Sephora. I was honestly wondering when they would do this since They're Real! is such a popular mascara. Personally, the only reason why I didn't like They're Real! is because it would uncurl my lashes. Besides that, I thought it was great for volume, definition, and length and so I knew I had to get this primer to try out. The full sized version contains 0.3 ounces of product and retails for $24.

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Hao Are You #13 // Preparing For Winter

Or aka - more food shots because all I do is eat. I have actually been trying to cook and eat healthier, but I do treat myself whenever I'm out of town. When it gets cold, I also get really lazy to cook and just like to get hot pot / shabu shabu instead. I've also been busy and so it's great just to be able to get some food with friends and loved ones during the holidays to catch up!

Here are some places I've been visting!

Piatti // (pictured above!) My boyfriend looooves Italian food and we recently discovered Piatti while scrolling through Yelp. The food itself isn't unique, but it is still quite delicious and the location is really nice! The atmosphere can also be romantic for a quick date.

Yakitori Yakyudori & Ramen // Ramen is one of my top choices for winter and Yakitori Yakyudori & Ramen is amazing. They also have small dishes that you can order (the middle picture is Takoyaki) and I can't wait to go back to try even more of them. The line was super long, but the food was worth it.

iDessert by Jean-Philippe // I also found this ice cream place while scrolling through Yelp and was surprised to find out that it was in Little Italy! Even though I've been to San Diego many times, I never realized there was a Little Italy there. This ice cream had a meringue shell and the ball on top contained syrup that you could squeeze to either fill the ice cream or to be a topping. I personally don't like the texture of meringue, but everything else was great! You could order with a cashier, or with any of the iPads through out the store. I thought the second option was great because I was able to take my time choosing without the fear of annoying the cashier. 

Sprinkles // I really don't need to do any introduction on this company! I just wanted to show their adorable Gingerbread and Peppermint cupcakes they had for December. I'm a huge fan of both flavors in general and so I could not skip out on these.

Fig Tree Cafe // My sister is really into brunch (as am I) and so we had a double date at Fig Tree Cafe. I had their Stuffed French Toast (amazing) but I also stole some slices of my boyfriend's pizza. They had huge portions for really reasonable prices and the store / workers were really welcoming. I'm cranky in the mornings and so this was a great place to start the day. I can't wait to go back to try their eggs benedict as well.

Mokkoji Shabu Shabu Bar // One of my good friends introduced me to this place. It's a bit more expensive than my go - to choice, Boiling Point, but I preferred eating this way so that I could cook the food the way I wanted to. Boiling Point usually serves hot pot all in one pot ready to eat, but you cook your own food at Mokkoji. Even looking at this simple picture is making me crave hot pot again. 

What are your favorite foods to eat during winter?

Also -

I was going to do a Christmas based post, but not everything celebrates Christmas and that includes me. My family has always been low key about Christmas and I even get anxious when people give me gifts during this time. I do really enjoy this time of the year though. Everything is happier and more lively. 

I hope you all have a great holiday! 
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Haul: My First Kiko Purchase!

I've never gotten anything from Kiko Cosmetics before (besides a lip / cheek product my friend gave me) and so I decided to take advantage of its sale during Black Friday / Cyber Monday! I saw some pictures of the Cosmic Starlets collection and I looooved the packaging of their blushes. I've also heard great things about their lip and eye products and wanted to try those as well. 

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Review & Swatches: Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in Androgyny

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in Androgyny is a purpley plum mauve lipstick and was released for the Holiday 2015 season. It was supposed to be limited edition but since it was so popular, Jeffree Star Cosmetics has decided to bring it back next year! The white cap was only for this release though and future editions of this color will be in the regular hot pink packaging. I've been really into mauves lately and so this shade was the only I really wanted from the holiday collection. There is 0.19 ounces of product and retails for $18.
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Review: Etude House Honey Cera Toner, Emulsion, Cream, and Priming Eye Serum

Along with the products from the Snowy Dessert Collection (review here), I was also sent some products from the Etude House Honey Cera line! I don't believe this particular 4 piece kit is available to purchase, but you can get it with a full sized purchase of anything from this line. The products in this kit include a toner, emulsion, cream, and priming eye serum. 

This whole line is targeted to plump, firm, and moisturize the skin. My skin is dehydrated and so this line was totally up my alley and I couldn't wait to start using everything. For some background, I used to have very acne prone skin until about a year ago that left me with so many acne marks that are still there now. I still have some pimples popping up here and there, but that's more stress related. My skin also used to be normal to oily and now it's overall dehydrated, dry on my cheeks, and a slightly oily t-zone. It's kind of hard to deal with, but I generally buy/use products for brightening and moisturizing.

This 4 piece set actually includes a lot of product for me to really try out and I'm very very happy to say that none of them broke me out!

The Honey Cera Toner* is thin and milky that easily spreads over my face. The claims include being able to "moisten rough and dry skin without any stickiness." I would apply this product with a cotton round, but it's not like water like regular toners and so you could even use your hands.

I do prefer to use it with an exfoliating cotton round though to remove any leftover cleanser or dirt. Unlike their claim, I did feel some slight tackiness but it wasn't that bad. It's just different from the toners I'm used to because they leave my skin matte. The way I see it with this toner is that this adds moisture to my skin as well as taking away dead skin while most toners just take away dead skin.

Emulsions are not normally part of western skin care products, but to my knowledge, they're also another thin product that helps with moisture. The Honey Cera Emulsion* claims to "provide rich nutrition and strengthen the skin's oil-moisture balance." As I've mentioned, I do have some oily parts to my skin and so the description made me very happy!

I apply this product with my hands and just spread it over my face. This product is also thin and sinks into the skin really quickly, but also leaves a slight tackiness. The texture was surprising because I thought it would be liquidy, but it kind of sticks or holds to itself pretty well like honey. It was hard to pour the product out of the bottle and so I had to use a cotton bud to get some out. Using a cotton bud was more hygienic anyway and so I wasn't too bothered. Once you blend it, the texture thins out.

Both the toner and emulsion are very similar and if I had to choose, I would pick the emulsion. I already have a toner that I really love that is a chemical exfoliant. It's also my only exfoliant and so it's the only product I can't switch out. The emulsion on the other hand, is more unique in my collection. I have an essence that's supposed to also balance my "oil-moisture" as well, but it did not work as well as the Honey Cera Emulsion. 

The Honey Cera Cream* claims to "provide dry skin with abundant nutrition and radiance." I don't know about radiance, but it does provide my skin with a lot of moisture. If I've never tried the Fresh Seaberry Oil before, I would've thought this was more than enough for my dehydrated skin. It's still really good as a day and night cream, but I do add a drop of my Fresh Oil at night. During the summer, this will be perfect though! My skin is just more dry during winter. 

It also works really well under makeup just by itself. A lot of creams leave my skin with a slight oily residue that I need to put primer or powder over it before foundation. Even though skincare takes awhile to see the effects, this cream did leave my skin a bit more plump and smooth that you can see right away.

The Honey Cera Priming Eye Serum* claims to "enhance dark circles under the eyes with its whitening function for a smooth and brightened eye area." I've never heard of an eye serum before, nonetheless a priming one. I'm also not sure if the priming aspect is for makeup or an actual eye cream. 

The texture is thin and so it works well by itself and under makeup. I'm still in my early 20's and so there's not too many wrinkles to test on. My undereye area is dry though and so it's very easy for my concealer to crease and make the lines appear worse / more visible.

Because of the thin texture, it does sink into the skin pretty well. At night, I do use an eye cream though because this serum doesn't feel hydrating enough just by itself. In the morning, I just use this to help with the dryness. My undereye area looked smoother and also helped prep that area for concealer. This eye serum would probably work best for those who are just starting with eye care products or want to really oomph up their exiting eye cream.

I also couldn't test out the whitening claims for the undereye area. I do find that when my eyes are more dry, they look darker and so that bit of moisture did help? Eye creams / eye care products are hard to test out for my age range though - sorry! All I can say is that I do like it because it plays well with my makeup and that's usually the thing that defers me from using eye care products in the morning. 

Final thoughts: Overall, I'm very happy with this collection as well. My dehydrated skin is in love! Realistically, I probably won't buy the full size of the toner since I do love my current one but it's a really good choice for those who have dry skin and don't have acne marks. I really want to get the other three products though once I run out of the things I'm using now. The Lush Celestial Moisturizer I use is about the same price as this Honey Cera Cream, but it's just not moisturizing my face as well as it used to. The Honey Cera Emulsion was a surprise love, but it's just the thing that was missing from my routine. The full sized Honey Cera Priming Eye Serum also has a metal applicator and so I bet that would feel great on my puffy eyes in the morning. If you're looking to get into the Korean skin care routine, this would be a great collection to look into if you have dry skin. Nothing broke me out as well and that's always a huge plus for me!

*These products were sent to me as a PR sample. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

For more information on any of these products mentioned, please visit Etude House's Official Website
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Review & Swatches: Etude House Snowy Dessert Collection

I'm extremely excited to announce that I am now part of the Etude House Pink Bird Program! In short - they'll be providing me products from their recent collections once a month until next year. I was already a huge fan of Etude House and so I was waiting forever for them to post up that they were looking for new Pink Birds. 

This month, I was sent some items from the Etude House Snowy Dessert Collection. This collection includes a blush, contour powder, gel pencils, lip tints, hand creams, eye shadow palettes, and scented wax tablets. All of the items have a dessert theme and they're all adorably packaged like usual!

The items that I received and will be talking about include -
Ginger Cookie Blusher
Play 101 Pencils in #71 and #73
Pudding Tint in PK001 Grapefruit Pudding (#3)
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Review: My Scheming Sheet Masks

Along with the Geo Eyevelyn Choco Contact Lenses (review here!), LoveShoppingholics also sent me three masks to try out. 

They're all from the brand My Scheming! The specific masks I received include the Raw Job's Tears Brightening Black Mask, Snail Essence Hydrating Black Mask, and Cactus Essence Hydrating Black Mask. All three masks are $2.20 on the LoveShoppingholics website and so they're very affordable!

I've never tried this brand before and so I was very excited to see how they would work on my skin. All three masks help improve skin hydration plus a little more based on the mask.

& now let's start!

Raw Job's Tears Brightening Black Mask*

This mask was the first one out of three that I tried. Right when I pulled it out of the bag, it was dripping with essence. A lot of the other sheet masks I've tried had a clear essence but this one was slightly milky. 

I liked that the mask had multiple slits around the edges and so it was able to really contour around my face. I would say my face is pretty normal? and there was a little bit around my temples that felt too wide. I just folded it over so that it wouldn't touch my hair and it was good to go!

This is definitely a laying down and relaxing kind of mask because of how much essence there was. I just watched some YouTube videos for about 20 minutes and took off the mask. I took some pictures after taking off the mask (so 2-3 minutes) and the center of my face already absorbed whatever was left. I also think the essence from the center of the also moved towards the outer edges of my face though. I ended up massaging the essence that wasn't full absorbed yet from the outer edges into my face.

I use sheet masks mostly at night, but this one could be used in the morning due to how fast it absorbed (compared to Vita LightBeam Essential Mask & WHP Charcoal-Mineral Mask). It didn't leave a tacky texture either and instead left me with a smooth and slightly mattified look/feel to my skin. 

Snail Essence Hydrating & Repairing Black Mask*

This one has the same fit and sheet texture and so I won't repeat myself.

The essence is different though! Instead of being milky, it is clear and a bit thicker. There was an overabundance of essence again and so I just squeezed a bit out so that it wouldn't drip everywhere. I feel like I shouldn't have done that though since the essence stuck into my face a lot better than the Raw Job's mask.

After wearing it for about 20-25 minutes, the sheet mask did feel a bit dry and so I took it off and used whatever essence was left on the mask + on my face and massaged it it into my face and neck.

Again, this mask initially dried to a more tacky feel and then fully dried to a more soft matte (but still moisturized) appearance. I was taking my chance by wearing this mask before a date with my boyfriend and I was super glad that it left my face slightly matte instead of overly dewey like some other masks so that my makeup will still apply on well.

Cactus Essence Hydrating Black Mask*

The texture and fit is the same as the other two masks and the essence is similar to the Snail one. There was an overabundance of essence again and it did drip down my neck. It's nothing having tissues around my neck wouldn't fix though! The sheet did stay fully saturated during the 30 minutes I wore it as well!

Like the name of the masks says, this sheet mask is hydrating and left my skin with a glow. The essence also stayed on my skin well enough that I could give myself a nice facial massage. Like the other two masks, this one also sunk onto my skin well enough that I could use it in the morning before applying makeup.

Out of the three masks, this one really helped with hydration. Even though this winter hasn't been that cold, my skin has been extra dehydrated and this essence sunk into my skin without leaving any film "sitting" on my skin.

Final thoughts: I think all three masks would be great for any skin type. Even though I loved the Cactus Essence one for hydration, I would repurchase the other two since I prefer my masks to include some kind of brightening or repairing properties for my acne marks. All three sheet masks sink in quickly into the skin and so they're also great before going out / in the morning if your skin needs a pick me up. It's also important to note that none of these masks broke me out! My skin felt smooth, but not fully hydrated though and so I did need to use another moisturizer underneath.

*These masks were sent to me to try out and all thoughts are 100% honest and my own.

Have you tried My Scheming Sheet Masks before? What's your favorite sheet mask?
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November 2015 Favorites!

Another month! Another favorites!

November has been a busy, but fun month! I got A LOT of stuff due to Thanksgiving and holiday sales, but these are the items I've been reaching for non-stop this month!

I've been doing winged liner for about 10 years and liquid liner has got to be my favorite formula, but it wasn't until now that I figured out my favorite applicator! I featured Eyescream's Liquid Eyeliner in Black Coffee and K-Palette's Real Lasting Eyeliner 1 Day Tattoo, but it's the brush tip I'm a huge fan of! These two are very very similar, but the Eyescream liner's brush is a tiny bit fatter and longer. I have also tried Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner, but it would always flake in my inner corner by the middle of the day.

A year ago, I would've called you crazy if you said I would like to wear a lot of non-red lipsticks! Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bond Girl is a perfect pinky mauve color / MLBB color on me. The texture is light, creamy, and moisturizing and I can't get enough of it! It also makes me feel pretty fancy due to its price tag.

I've also been wearing the Etude House's Bling Me Prism Eyeshadow in #5 Bling Bold. It's a metallic taupe / cool toned dark brown liquid eyeshadow. I think I might even prefer this formula over Josie Maran's Coconut Water Eyeshadow. It could be classified as a cream eyeshadow, but the formula is more thin. 

Sugarpill's Pressed Eyeshadow in Pumpkin Spice (review here) is another eyeshadow I've been wear a lot. It's the so sparkly and fun to wear! Matte shadows tone down the color and finish a bit so that I can ever wear this bright orange shade to work. 

What were your favorites during November? What are you looking forward to in December?

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Review & Swatches: Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow in Pumpkin Spice

Sugarpill recently released a limited edition pressed eyeshadow called Pumpkin Spice! Unfortunately, it is now sold out but I still wanted to put up my review of it in case people wanted swatches for comparisons, they somehow find it to buy, or you know... if someone is planning a secret giveaway for it in a few weeks...

Moving on...

Pumpkin Spice is a super metallic "rustic copper color with warm golden flecks." Sugarpill claims that the texture is soft and smooth. If you go to their Instagram, they do compare it to their loose pigment in Penelope but say that it's more red. This eyeshadow contains 3.5 grams / 0.12 ounces of product and retailed for $12.

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Review: Geo Eyevelyn Choco (Silicone Hydrogel) Contact Lenses

This review has been a long time coming! LoveShoppingholics provided me with another opportunity to review a pair of contacts and I immediately jumped on the offer. I chose the Geo Evevelyn Choco (Silicone Hydrogel) Circle Lenses* with a prescription this time due to Kim's raves about hydrogel contacts (visit her blog here!). These contacts retail for $23.90 on the LoveShoppingholics website and last for a year. They also come with a free and super adorable contact lens case!

Silicone Hydrogel contacts are different from normal contacts in that they let more oxygen in. My eyes are very very dry and I usually buy daily contacts because they're not as "suffocating" as longer term wear contacts. These Eyevelyn contacts also have H20 Natural Wettability to "keep moisture on the lens surface and protect your eyes from dryness." The description alone had me jumping for joy. These lenses also have some UV protection, which is important for your eyes in the long run as well.

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