My Glam Bag for February 2012

After months of disappointing samples from Birchbox, I decided to unsubscribe and joined My Glam Bag instead. It's another one of those $10/month for 4-5 deluxe sized samples services. I decided to give this a try because their last month seemed promising with a full size bottle of a mask and full sized makeup products from the Balm. I anxiously awaited for this month's arrival, but it seemed like everyone was disappointed with their Glam bag. I finally got mine in the mail today and wasn't too impressed either. 

Festive Valentine's bag. I could definitely use this. 

The contents: 
1) Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares - GONE before I even uploaded these photos! 
2) Premier Dead Sea Cinderella Mask and Treatment Cream - What am I going to do with these one-time use samples? There was a coupon included for 50% off, but I don't think I'll be keeping it. If anyone is interested, just type in MYGLAM on your purchase at www.premierdeadsea.com. 
3) Freeman Facial Hydration Mask in Goji Berry 
4) NuMe $100 Gift Certificate - Probably won't use. 
5) X Out Shine Control (full size) - An oil-free moisturizer that works to keep the skin free from shine. It's a really watery consistency that I can't imagine to be too moisturizing. (See photos below)
6) NYX Roll On Shimmer in RES11 Almond (full size) - A roll on product that takes me back to elementary school. It's a shimmering powder for the eyes, face, and body, but I don't know why I would put brown glitter on my face or body. It's pretty much like a pigment put into a tube and rolls out dry. Kinda messy. I would imagine a ton of fall out on under the eyes, so be careful! Maybe it could work with a stickier base like Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue. (See photos below)

Roll on ball. 

3 swatches of the Roll On in Almond on the left and X Out Shine Control on right. The shine control rubs out like water and is very wet. Probably will try this before and after moisturizer and see which way works best. 

Roll On blended out. You can see there are a lot of gold glitter particles. The particles are kind of dry and scratchy. There's a nice glow in the sun, but it definitely needs a base underneath. 

Overall, this bag is pretty weak. My chocolates are already gone, and the 3 one-time-use masks won't be around for much longer either. So... I'm just left with a shine control product and an eyeshadow I know I won't be using... 
What do you guys think? Pretty disappointing, no? Any other Glam Bag subscribers out there?
I think I'll give it 2 more months... 


Greasy much?

One major thorn in my side is how oily my hair gets!! 

My hair: 
I have very fine strands of hair that have a slight wave to them, which makes my hair look deceivingly thicker than it really is. So unfortunately, I have to wash my hair pretty frequently. My hair is naturally dark brown and is currently ombred. I don't have a "true" ombre because I asked to have it done more as highlights instead of done throughout my entire hair.  It's grown pretty long in the past couple of months.

Anyways, the point is... it's really annoying to have to wash everyday!! My hair can get dried out really easily and can turn coppery (as most bleached Asian hair turns). It's also a pain to blow dry and curl when I know I have to wash it by the end of the day. I definitely want to avoid daily washes as my hair has been growing longer. 

I've recently been able to "train" my hair to withstand a wash every 2-2.5 days with the help of some products, but the main trick is DRY SHAMPOO! Here are the 3 I'm reviewing today:

1) TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo for Oily/Straight to Normal Hair
This product... sucks. One of the main reasons I could never "train" my hair was because of this dang product! This was the first dry shampoo I purchased last year. I wasn't about to spend the big bucks on Klorane (the only I knew of at the time) and was excited a drugstore brand ventured into this realm. I had put so much hope into this bottle and was greatly disappointed. This dry shampoo sprays wet onto the hair and needs to be rubbed and brushed out. It leaves a stark white cast that turns flaky!!! The smell is nice, but kind of turns into a headache after a while. The major problem with this dry shampoo is that it is HEAVY and STICKY. It weighs down my roots, only making them oilier and you can actually "feel" the weight of your hair. I tried numerous times to make this product work, but it only accentuated my problems. I was turned off by the concept of dry shampoo for several months. This is an EPIC FAIL product for me and do not recommend it.
2) Frederic Fekkai Au Naturel Powder Clean Dry Shampoo 
This is a powder that claims to give a "fresh" start and lift to second-day hair. I think I got this from Sephora with my beauty points and never really used it. It wasn't until Sandra from 15 Steps and a Beauty Blog started talking about it and I remembered I had it. I heard baby powder is similar, but this is made of starch and cotton to absorb oil. The pointed funnel tip does help with getting the product right where you need it instead of giving you the sprinkled dandruff effect. I do think this product does a good job of sucking up excess oil from the hair and scalp, but does not give any body. I use this on days when conditions are "less severe" and just want to prevent oil buildup. I've used this pretty consistently for the past 6 months and haven't made a dent in this sample size. If you're curious, I recommend picking up the $10 sample size instead of the huge bottle!
3) Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo
After reading several blogs comparing this "new" formula and their original, I decided to go with this. It claims to refresh just as well as Bumble and Bumble. I haven't tried, so wouldn't be able to tell you. What I can tell you is that it is my favorite out of the 3. This spray dries to a powder finish and has a powdery-flowery-grapefruit scent. Because I have dark roots, it is important that I don't have a "gray cast" from my dry shampoo. I make sure to brush this out, and the great thing is, it doesn't leave flakes like Tresemme does! This product not only refreshens my hair, but gives it volume without weighing it down. My roots feel powdery till the end of the day, which feels a little weird, but that just means I know its working. Definitely recommend it.

I also tried two high-end dry shampoos from the Sephora on two different occasions. I don't own these, so these are only my first impressions.
Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray
One thing I loved about this product is that it really is invisible! There was absolutely no white cast and I was able to spray this all over my head without any fear. I usually have to double check that I don't have a white streak on the back of my head, but not with this! This finished result was very similar to Suave. I really liked this spray!!! I'm contemplating whether I should purchase such an expensive dry shampoo when the Suave already works for me... 

Ojon Full Detox Rub-Out Dry Cleansing Spray
Ew!!! This was even worse than Tresemme's dry shampoo on my hair! It left such an obvious white cast and took quite some time to rub out. The smell was kind of strange and it left my hair feeling really heavy and sticky. I was pretty disappointed because I love Ojon products. 

I want to check out Klorane and Batiste next. If you don't need dry shampoos, consider yourself lucky!! 
What dry shampoos work for you? Any tips on how to extend the time between washes?? 



It's been a gray week here in Cali. Thought it'd be nice to add some glitter! 

Essie Chinchilly + Urban Outfitters Silver Glitter Polish (no name)



Speak of the devil, Rue La La is having another sale for Naimie's Beauty Center in LA!
And it's even better this time. You can get up to TWO vouchers for $40 each worth $80. That means you can get up to $160 worth of products - half price! I just got back from a haul this weekend, but I'm already daydreaming for the next! It's been so long since I've gotten anything at full price and that makes me a happy camper. ^__^

You can check out their website at http://www.naimies.com/, but they don't have everything listed on it. Let me give you the run down off the top of my head:
Too Faced
MAC (limited editions too)
Make Up Forever
Laura Mercier
Lise Watier
Bobbi Brown
Eve Pearl
Moroccan Oil
Bumble & Bumble
Macademia Oil
Clarisonic (You can totally purchase one with this!)
And lots lots lots more!!

If you live in the So Cal area, you should definitely try to get it! They email you the voucher so no shipping fees either. :) It's being offered until next Monday, February 20. You can start using it as early as tomorrow up until June 15.

Not a member?
Click here for RueLaLa invite <

It's free to make an account and even funner to lurk to see all the sales. 
Make sure you look under "Rue La La Local - Los Angeles" to find this event.

Let me know if you do it!


Weekend Haul

Thanks to a special offer on Rue La La local picks, I was able to get a hold of $120 worth of products for only $60 from Naimie's Beauty Center in LA! This is seriously like a gift sent from heaven whenever this deal is offered. This was my second chance to take advantage of this opportunity, and boy did it feel good getting almost 50% off (I couldn't stop at $120). It's pretty sad how quickly everything adds up!!! I feel like I have little to show, but hope you like some of the things!

from left to right:
Embryolisse Nourishing Moisturiser - Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo always uses this natural and paraben-free lotion underneath her foundation, and I have always wanted to try it! I have combination skin, but have been experiencing dry patches on my right bottom cheek. I thought it was a good excuse to try it out and did run out of night cream.

Lorac Translucent Touchup Powder - This powder was marked 50% off and with the added voucher, I'd only pay $8. I have hit pan on my Maybelline Dream Matte Powder and can't really say no to something that may help with afternoon oiliness. It contains oat flour that is not supposed to be drying. I'll be working on an upcoming post on powders!

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream - I have been wanting to try this darned thing for aaaages. I first heard about it from Ginabinawina99 on Youtube and was so intrigued by it. It's supposed to be like Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream, an all purpose product that can serve as a moisturizer for desert lands on your body, chapstick, hair tamer, burns, bites, scar prevention, and even primer! All sorts of crazy. I was actually going to head to Whole Foods to purchase it after my trip to Naimies, but thank goodness I was able to get it with a discounted price. I don't necessarily have dry skin, but like I said, I've been intrigued for years and will do anything to get rid of the dry patch on my cheek.
Moroccan Oil Treatment Light - I got a small 0.85fl oz of the original Moroccan Oil Treatment from my last haul at Naimie's and decided I would purchase a full size on my next trip. My hair really loves this stuff. I decided to get the "light" forumla because my hair does get weighed down really easily. 

Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Foundation - I love this gel foundation so much. I tested it in 2011 and really enjoyed what it did for my skin, especially during the hot summer days. By the time I realized that it worked for me, summer was coming to an end and I didn't need another product collecting dust. It's not quite yet spring, but LA is already feeling hot and thought it was a wise investment for future use. 

Without boxes:

I also got a Sigma F25 sent to me as a replacement from my previous order. I got a faulty brush that shed TONS of bristles on a daily basis and knew something wasn't right. They had great service and kindly sent me a new brush. I'm happy to report the brush does not excessively shed and is even more tapered than the last!

PS- I realized I was naughty and never posted my last haul from Naimie's, even though I took photos. I'll just do a quick recap of what I purchased.

from left to right:
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer - Sand
Terax Latte Clarifying Shampoo
Voluspa Goji Taracco Orange Candle
MAC Lustre Lipstick - Jubilee
Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Refining Toner
Moroccan Oil Treatment

Have you guys tried any of these products? What worked and didn't work for you? 


Testing: Gel Liners

On a recent day at the mall, I decided to test out a few gel liners I've been interested in trying out. I've used ELF and Wet n Wild in the past and have been satisfied with the price, pigmentation, and staying power, but decided it's time to invest in a higher end liner. My major complaint with the cheaper liners is that they dry out way too quickly, resulting in a slight tug when applying. It's most likely due to the plastic packaging it comes in versus the glass the higher end brands come in. You can always scrape the top dried out layer, but sometimes I just don't want to deal with it. It becomes harder to scrape out of the jar and harder to clean.
I threw out the gel liners in the beginning of 2011 and have only been using liquid liners for the past year (Maybelline Stiletto Felt Liner & DollyWink). However, I miss building a strong line that I just can't achieve with liquid liners. I've been intrigued by these liners when I watch Youtube gurus apply them with such ease and without any tug!! So here were the "contestants":

From left to right:
 1) Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner - Black Ink $22
This is popular in the beauty world and it definitely looked so black when it was swatched. The lady at the counter swore she had never used a liner as black. It was the first product I swatched, and it WAS so black! It dried pretty quickly and I had to smudge off the top layer because the lady just gooped it all over my hand. 
2) Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner - True Black $15
The Pixiwoo sisters made this liner look really appealing in all their videos. This does feel truly creamy when applied. However, this liner looked deeper than the Bobbi Brown. 
3) Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay/Shadow - Black $22
This product is BLACK! It was soft and dried pretty quickly. I wasn't that interested in this product at first, but I decided to try it because Sephora offers this product with a free brush. 
 4) Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Effect Faux Cils (Longwear Cream Liner) - Deep Black $25
Swatched on my hand, this liner was definitely the most black. It was so opaque and I fell in love when it touched my skin. HOWEVER- I realized this product took forever to dry. I literally waited 10 minutes before I felt like it was okay to touch it. This is a major no-no considering my double eyelids are really small. That means major smudging onto my upper lid and I will not stand for that! In the picture, it looks as though it has a glossy finish (it probably looked the least matte), but most of it was because it was still wet. 

4:00pm (2 hours)
None of these liners budged one bit! 

5:00pm (after first hand wash with soap and paper towel)
Sadly, most of these liners began to disappear after one hand wash. I was relatively gentle to give the products the benefit of the doubt, but they still disappeared under running water. The Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and YSL all budged with similar results, but Tarte surprisingly kept on! I guess it does hold true to it's "waterproof" claim.

8pm (6 hours)
By this time, I had finished a lot of activities throughout the day and washed my hands several times. Clinique and Bobbi Brown went out of the running, YSL was trying to hold on for dear life, and Tarte was still running strong. 

10pm (8 hours total) 
The swatches remained pretty much the same from 8-10pm. I decided to use my Smashbox cleansing oil on a cotton pad and slowly swiped it across my hand to try to get as much product off as I could. Here's the end result after 8 hours of wear and one swipe of makeup remover. 

The Winner: Tarte! 

Wow, the underdog ended up beating everyone! I was thoroughly impressed with this liner and think it just might make it into my collection. Plus you get a double-ended brush! The only drawback about this product is that it may be TOO waterproof. I had to spend extra time getting all of it off of my hand, and wonder if it may be too intense for my eyes? I do think I should do a final trial between MAC Fluid Line Blacktrack and Tarte, but I just may end up with both. :P 

Hope this was helpful! What are your holy grail eyeliners? 


What's in my travel makeup bag?

My Wet n Wild Red Velvet lipstick wasn't the only thing I took to New York! Thought it'd be fun to share the things I took with me on my trip. I could have done with just a quarter of the things I took, but 10 days is a long time to be away from the comforts of your makeup! :P I took a minimal range of colors, which are basically what I wear on a daily basis. I guess these would also fall under my "daily essentials"!

Let's take a look.

Benefit The Porefessional Primer
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation - #52
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation - #60 Natural Beige 
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer + Loose Setting Powder - Sand
Maybelline Mousse Concealer Cream - Light 4-5
NYX Eyebrow Shaper Wax Pencil
The Face Shop Eyebrow Shadow

Nars Danmari Blush Palette
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder - Sunny
NYX Rouge Cream Blush - Natural

(left to right, top to bottom)
L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Waterproof
Cover Girl Lash Blast Waterproof
Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow - Copper Spice 
Wet n Wild Single Shadow - Brulee 
MAC Mineralized Eyeshadow - Daylight (Naturally Collection)
Maybelline 24 Hr Color Tattoo - Bad to the Bronze
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow - Birthday Suit 
L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows - Iced Latte, Amber Rush, Bronzed Taupe
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
Maybelline Line Stiletto Waterproof Felt Liquid Liner
Dolly Wink Liquid Liner

Real Techniques Stippling Brush, Sigma F84, MAC 109, Sigma F25, Sigma F40, MAC 187, miscellaneous eyeshadow brushes 

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment - Honey
Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint - Enchanted
Boots No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick - Ginger Mousse
Wet N Wild Mega Last Lipstick - Red Velvet 
Revlon Lip Butter - Fig Jam 030 
Mac Lustre Lipstick - Jubilee A81
Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss SPF 15 - 24/7

And here's the small touch-up makeup bag that went in my purse:

Revlon Spa Age Defying Concealer - 002
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder - 
Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy - Rosewater
C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve (this goes with me EVERYWHERE)
Juicy Couture - Viva La Juicy 
Tarte Smooth Operator SPF 20 (in sample tub) - Agent 08
Rubber scrunci and bobby pin

Stila Lip & Cheek Stain - Pomegranate Crush
Same Tarte, Fresh, Revlon, and MAC as before 
Nivea Natural Glossy Lip Care - A Kiss of Shine
Jouer Lip Enhancer Conditioning Lip Treatment 

Whew!!! It didn't seem like so much until I had to type it all out. Took wayyy longer than I expected!

What are your MUST HAVES when you travel? 


Wet N Wild Mega Last Lip Color - Red Velvet

I know the holidays are long gone, but wearing red lips is still on trend! And with Valentine's just around the corner, I'm sure people will find an excuse to bust out their favorite red look. So here is one of my most recent and favorite (and only haha) "red lipstick" find:

Wet N Wild Mega Last - 910D Red Velvet 

Don't be fooled by the cheap $2.99 price tag. WnW has been upping their game for the past two years and has been coming out with makeup that puts high end brands to shame. This lipstick comes from their matte long-wearing line with a pretty decent range of colors. I picked this color up right before I headed to New York because I was looking for a fun color for nights out. I've never rocked a bold lip before so I was hesitant to splurge on anything more than $5 in case the color was wrong. I wasn't able to swatch the lipstick in the store, but I trusted in WnW! 

I couldn't tell which swatch was better, so I just posted both. Although a matte lipstick, Red Velvet has a slight cream finish that has some slip. It isn't so matte that it instantly dries on your lip. There's also a hint of gloss that helps the color look more wearable. The blue tone underneath isn't so strong- in fact, I think it's just the right amount that anyone could wear it. The staying power is at least for 6 hours too! Red Velvet is a TRUE bright red lipstick and I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a fun new look!

What reds are in your collection? 

Missing New York and my besties <3 <3 <3