June 2015 Birchbox

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

After waiting almost 20 days, I finally received the June 2015 Birchbox.  This is my first time ordering any type of subscription box and probably the last time I will order a Birchbox.  Although I liked the products I received, I did not like how long I had to wait to receive the actual box.  June is already over and the excitement of receiving the box disappeared as the month came to an end. After being shipped out on the 10th, the box was sitting in California since the 15th.  Even though I live in Hawaii and shipping generally takes a bit longer, this was the first time I ordered something from the states and had to wait 20 days. On a positive note, the actual box is very pretty and sturdy and I am actually interested in trying the products.

Inside my box:
Beauty Protector: Protect and Detangle
Coola: Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face
Marcelle: BB Cream Golden Glow
Marcelle: Waterproof Eyeliner – Electric Blue
Skyn Iceland: Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
Emi Jay: Hair Tie (Lifestyle Extra)


Skinfood Choco Smoky Eye Palette

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Skinfood Choco Smoky Eye Palette is available in two shades and I have #2 Warm Brown Choco.

This palette comes with three shades (champagne, light taupe brown and dark warm brown) and a brown gel eyeliner.  While the colors swatch beautifully, the lasting power is terrible. Even with primer the color tends to fade within the first few hours.  The gel eyeliner immediately smudges no matter how long you wait or if you set it with powder. These eye shadow works best with a sponge tip applicator or your fingers. You can use a regular eye shadow brush, but there is a lot of fallout and the color application is more sheer. I also found that the when you use both brown eye shadow the final look is more muddy, versus using only one of the brown shade with the champagne. 

Although the colors are nice and the fact that the eyeliner comes with the palette, which would make it a great travel palette, the lack of staying power, fallout, and inability to create various looks makes the overall palette a miss. 
Final rating: 1 Star



The Face Shop Face It Primers

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Face Shop has three locations here in Hawaii - McCully, Ward and Waimalu.  I have been to all locations and for some reason I prefer the McCully and Waimalu location.
This is a quick mini review on three face primers, the Velvet Skin, Moisture Pore Balm, and Oil Cut Pore Balm.

Of the three primers, Velvet Skin is definitely my favorite and a cheap alternative to the Smashbox Photo Finish primer.  It is packaged in a white bottle with a pump and comes out as slightly white gel.  It blends out clear on the skin and does a great job of smoothing the face. It does not control shine as much as the Oil Cut Pore Balm, but I also never found myself getting excessively oily either.

I finished using the Oil Cut Pore Balm last month so I do not have any pictures but it came in the same package as the Moisture Pore Balm but in a blue package. Both of the primers come in a balm form and while the Moisture balm is pink the Oil Cut is slightly yellow/clear tint, but they both blend out clear.  The Oil Cut Balm is also a favorite because it really help keep the skin matte and smooth.  If I did not feel like wearing any foundation or BB/CC cream, I could just use the Oil Cut Balm to help control the shine on my face.  The only reason why I might not repurchase this product is due to the package. It didn't bother me at first, but unlike the Moisture Balm, the Oil Cut only came with a sponge and no spatula. So unless I had an extra spatula on hand, I had to use my fingers/or sponge to apply the product, which also meant I had to keep dipping into the product.  On the other hand, the Moisture balm came with a spatula and a sponge (half a round). The spatula made it easier to scoop out a desired amount of product.  However the Moisture Balm was my least favorite out of the three primers. While both the Velvet Skin and Oil Cut made the skin smooth and foundation application even, the Moisture Balm made the foundation application worse. The Moisture balm was not very moisturizing and although it did smooth the skin the foundation application was never even or long lasting.

My rating for the Velvet Skin and Oil Cut Pore Balm is 4 stars and 1 for the Moisture Pore Balm.  I will be getting rid of the Moisture Balm and finishing up the Velvet Skin.



Tony Moly Cats Wink Foundation and Powder

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

“Global beauty brand” Tony Moly is available at two locations here in Oahu, which makes it very easy to try various products.  Today I will give a quick review for two products, a foundation and powder, in the Cats Wink line.
I bought both products last November so I have used it enough to have a clear opinion.

I have the Cats Wink Shiny Skin Foundation in the shade Natural Beige.  The foundation has SPF20 PA++ and is suppose to provide a smooth and moisturizing coverage.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find the foundation to follow through.  Whether I used a primer (oil free, pore/smoothing, matte, moisturizing etc) or not, I always found the foundation to apply very patchy and hard to blend out.  I have tried various ways to apply the foundation (brush, sponge, hands) and I found that using an air puff (the puff that comes with cushion pacts) was the best.  Despite providing good coverage it emphasizes dry spots and I found at the end of the day, no matter what I used to set it, the foundation seemed to disappear.  I never find myself using this foundation and with more cons than pros I would not recommend it.
My final rating: 2 stars

Unlike the foundation I love the powder in this line.  The Cats Wink Clear Pact in Clear Beige is a great powder packaged in an adorable cat shaped compact. This powder does not provide a completely matte finish.  Instead it gives a soft but smooth matte (보송 보송) finish.  I have very oily skin with some dry patches and I find that this powder provides good oil/shine control (roughly 4 hours) and does not cling to the random dry spot. However, I find that with my skin type, it does not work well with moisturizing/glowy foundations. When used with a foundation that gives a glow, the powder does not seem to control shine (the finish is very nice but touch up is needed more frequently).  I personally found that it worked better with my foundation or BB creams that provided a normal to matte finish.  The powder gives good shine control without making my face appear very matte or dry.  I would recommend this powder if you want shine control without the overly matte finish.
My final rating: 4 stars

As part of my journey to declutter and keep only the things I use (or love using) I will be getting rid of the foundation and keeping the powder. 



Book: Paris Letters

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book: Paris Letters
Author: Janice MacLeod
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 5+ Stars
Favorite Quote: “We must know how to design our lives.  We are all artists, and each day is a canvas (240).”

Written by Janice MacLeod, Paris Letters is the book that inspired me to go out and create my own life. As I read her book I often found myself forgetting that it’s a memoir not fiction, especially since it focuses only on one portion of her life (roughly three years).

Paris Letters is Janice MacLeod’s story of trying to save enough money to give her a work free year, quit her copywriting job, and travel through Europe. During her stay in Paris she finds love and a new career doing what she loves, painting.

Words cannot explain how much I love this book. To give you some sort of idea of how much I love the book, I first borrowed the book from the library and after I finished reading it I decided that I had to own a copy.  Since I bought my own copy of the book, I have reread the book twice. 

Although her book does not focus on minimalism or living light, in trying to downsize to one suitcase for her travel, she got rid of many things and instead of emptiness she felt content.  This part of her story inspired me to look into minimalism and begin my own personal journey to living light.

Her discontent with her advertising job also made me realize that I don’t know what I truly want to do.  Although we all need to work in order to support ourselves do we really need to sacrifice our happiness?  Janice Macleod’s story proves that it is possible to do what we enjoy and live the life we want.

Janice Macleod’s story, unlike any other memoir, surprisingly impacted my life in so many ways.  Paris Letters inspired me to want to find and go after something I am interested in (working on it), live light/embrace minimalism (working on that too), travel (still dreaming), and most importantly it has reminded me that we can live the life we want.



Korean Drama: The Girl Who Sees Smells (냄새를 보는 소녀)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Image is from SBS's official drama page

The Girl Who Sees Smells (냄새를 보는 소녀) stars JYJ’s Park Yoochun as Officer Choi, actress Shin Sekyung as Oh Chorim/Choi Eunsol, actress Yoon Jinseo as Lieutenant Yeom and actor Namgung Min as Chef Kwon.

The drama follows Oh Chorim/Choi Eunsol, a girl who can see smell, and Officer Choi as they try to solve the barcode chain murder mystery and fall in love. Wikipedia has a great summary of the plot if you want to know more in detail.   

I would rate the drama 4 out of 5 stars and definitely recommend others to watch if they want something with romance, comedy, and suspense.  Despite the fact that the murderer is revealed early in the drama, the interest in the drama remains.  Although murder is involved the drama successfully, in my opinion, manages to keep the overall mood lighthearted and fun until the end.  To be honest the ending was a bit dragged out and the producer/director/writer (whoever is in charge) could have wrapped up the story quite nicely by the end of episode 15.  Although I did enjoy the final episode (16) I couldn’t help but think how ridiculous it was to drag it out but at the same time it truly did put an end to the chain murder. 

Here in Hawaii, the drama just aired its last episode on June 18, but you can find the drama on Drama Fever under the name Sensory Couple (the original/working title) if you have not seen it yet.

If you are interested in seeing other dramas with Park Yoochun I have watched, enjoyed and recommend Sungkyukwan Scandal, Miss Ripley and Rooftop Prince. 
If you are interested in seeing other dramas with Shin Sekyung I would recommend High Kick Through the Roof and Deep Rooted Tree (my personal favorite).  She also acted in Fashion King but it was a ridiculous drama that I would not recommend.
Unfortunately I have not seen any other drama or movie that Yoon Jinseo and Namgung Min have participated in, but I did enjoy their performance in The Girl Who Sees Smell so I will consider watching their future dramas.


ps. The OST is amazing! My favorite song is "Confusing" by Jubi and Jang Yi Jeong.

Memebox and Tony Moly Haul

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I have been interested in learning how to contour/shade my round face.  So I picked up a few contour/shading products from Memebox and Tony Moly.  Of course I also bought a few items I was interested in trying for quite some time.

From Memebox (online) I bought the following:

- XO Memebox Cushion Puff Set - $5
- Yeondukong x Memebox Easy Shading Stick #01 Contouring Brown - $12
- Too Cool For School Art Class By Rodin - $17
- Pony x Memebox Pony Easy Mix Block Blush - $9.50

From Tony Moly (inside the Dillingham Palama Market) I bought:

- Crystal Blusher #05 Sugar Brown – $3.64 (it was 50% off but the original price was $7.28)
- Egg Pore Yolk Primer - $15.98
I feel like Tony Moly prices the products oddly…


And So the Adventure Begins...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Journal from TJ Maxx

Two years and some months later I have returned to what I attempt to call a blog.
In the time between, some things have changed (I am officially a college graduate) and some have stayed the same (my terrible writing skills lol).

Since late last year, specifically after I read Paris Letters, I have been thinking about what I truly want to do in life.  Unfortunately I have no answer… 
I am still interested in K-Pop, Dramas, books and makeup but I also know that my job will not be anything related to my interests.  None of the things I am interested in can get me a job.  I can’t be a makeup artist because as much as I like makeup I am terrible at it (feel free to take a look at my tutorial attempts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8). I can’t be a writer because this blog itself just proves how terrible I am at writing (and I also lack creative story telling).  I also can’t speak, write, or read Korean so there is no way I can get a job in the K-Pop and drama industry.  I just have to accept the fact that I may not enjoy my job but need it for the salary, health insurance, retirement plan and etcetera... or not. I now realize that I am willing to try and work hard to get where I want in life. The first full time job I take on won't have to be my career. I have the power to change and work towards whatever goal I set. 

While I continue to put off the job search and think about what I want in life, I decided to restart this blog. My attempt to blog again comes from a sudden desire to share my thoughts/opinions and to record my journey as I live the life I create (or as Shannon Ables from the The Simply Luxurious Life said, be the CEO of my own life).

And so the adventure begins…