Category Archives: Beauty

Your Under $29 Holiday Gift Guide for 2017

One of the holiday parties I will be going to this month requires each guest to bring a gift under $29 for the white elephant game. While I was looking for gift ideas, I came across some products that I think I could bring. See below for the suggestions.


Fun Wine Glasses

Looking for a gift for cat lovers? Consider giving them some wine glasses decorated with fun statements related to cats.

If Your Cat's Home Wine Glass
‘If Your Cat’s Home’ Stemless Wine Glass, $12 each, or $24 for Two.


Bath Salts

After a long holiday shopping trip, nothing serves you better than a long rejuvenating bath. Try the sea salt blended with chamomile flowers, rose petals, and lavender.
Bath Salts
Bath Salts, $26.


Beauty product

Lip balms are essential for the Winter season. Instead of the normal pink color of lip treatments, what can be more fun than trying the clear flower balms? The flower comes in three flower colors (yellow, green, and pink).
Flower Balm
Flower Balms, $14 each, or $28 for two.


Makeup Kit

When it comes to makeup kits, we can never have too many makeup brushes. For this holiday season, try the MAC’s Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit. Included in the kit are a power brush, foundation brush, shadow bush, smudge liner brush, and brow groomer brush.
Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit
MAC’s Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit, $29.


Skin Ointment

Last month I tried various body lotions to see what works best for me during Fall and Winter. I came across the Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. I massaged it into my hands, legs, and knees. And I was surprised how great the product works on my skin and protects it from drying out!
Lucas Papaw Onintment
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment$14.99


5 Things to Try This Month – November 2017

November is the beginning of the holiday season. It’s time to think about what to do for Thanksgiving and where to shop for the Black Friday sales. It’s also a perfect time to update your wardrobe and bundle up for the cold weather.

Below are some of the things I suggest for November.


Update Beauty Product Collections with Glitters

As we are getting closer to the holiday season, beauty product companies are rolling out items with glitters and shimmery. It’s time to get a head start on building your Year 2017 holiday beauty collections. My suggestion is to start with the MAC’s Snow Ball Gold Pigment and Glitter Kit.
MAC Snow Ball Gold Pigment and Glitter Kit


Kick Off the Holiday Season with Nutcracker

Last weekend, my friend invited me to watch Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker show at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. I watched the Nutcracker Ballet a long time ago, but it was in December. Although I wasn’t ready for the holiday season before I watched the show, with the holiday decorations I saw and the music I heard during the Nutcracker Ballet, it all definitely got me into the holiday mode.


Bake Dessert for Friends and Family

The only times I’ve baked desserts have been during the holiday season. In the past year, I’ve mastered my baking skills for a couple of desserts. For this year, I’d like to add a new dessert to my baking list, so I can get ready for the holiday feasts with friends and family. And I am planning to bake a lot of cheesecake from scratch.


Invest in a New Warm Jacket

Last year when I visited Spain in December, I knew I would be sightseeing in various cities on daily basis and I’d need a warm jacket to help me get through the trip. I bought a Canada Goose jacket for the trip and it really served its purpose. A warm jacket like the one I bought was a good investment. For this year, I am looking into getting another down jacket in a different style and color.

(Picture taken at Toledo, Spain.)


Upgrade to New iPhone

My first iPhone was the 3GS, which I purchased in Year 2009. I love using iPhone so much, so I’ve been getting a new iPhone every two years. This year, Apple released two iPhone devices: iPhone 8 or iPhone X. I know I want the iPhone X and can’t wait to get mine!
Apple iPhone X


Natural Vitamin E Cream by Blackmores

Natural Vitamin E Cream by Blackmores is one of the recent, very popular moisturizing creams in Asia. The Natural Vitamin E Cream is a rich moisturizing cream that helps to protect dry and cracked skin. Blackmores is an Australian company that specializes in making vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements.

I had never used the Blackmores’ Natural Vitamin E Cream before, and I was curious about how effective the cream is in moisturizing skin. So I searched it online and purchased one for experiments.
Blackmores Natural Vitamin E Cream 50g

Upon receiving the Blackmores’ Natural Vitamin Cream, I put a thin layer of the product on the back of my left hand and gently massaged it using a small circular motion. I was surprised how fast the cream was completely absorbed into my skin, and how smooth my skin became. By comparing the back of my left hand (with the cream) and right hand skin (without the cream), I could feel the left hand skin was very smooth and moisturized.

I also applied the Blackmores’ Natural Vitamin Cream to a small area on my face, and it smoothed my skin immediately. I have semi-sensitive skin, and so I was really glad that I didn’t have any negative reaction after applying the cream to my skin.

Based on my personal experience with using the Blackmore’s Nature Vitamin E Cream, I would recommend it for daily skin protection usage. I also like the fact that the cream is fragrance free and non-greasy.

5 Things to Try This Month – October 2017

When I think of October, I think about the changing color of the maple leaves and the chilly weather in Seattle.  These are the clear signs of the arrival of Fall. 

Below are five things I’d like to try this month to help me enjoy the Fall season.


Bake for Fall

I love to bake pumpkin loaf in the Fall. I’ve been having my eyes on the Williams Sonoma’s Nordic Ware Fall Loaf Pan, and I finally bought it last week. I plan to use my new Fall loaf pan to bake different kind of cakes this month.
Nordic Ware Fall Loaf Pan


Sea Urchin Feast

Sea urchin (uni) is one of my favorite seafoods. It tastes especially good when it is freshly opened up. On this past Friday, my friend hosted a uni feast party for our October gathering. We paired the uni with sake, and it was perfect. I plan on hosting a uni feast for my family this weekend.


Add Long Earrings to Wardrobe

Swarovski recently came up with new long crystal earrings. This is the exact earrings I’ve been looking for. This will come handy when I dine out with my friends during the upcoming Seattle restraurant week.
Swarovski Fit Long Pierced Earrings


Attending Private Fall Shopping Party

Nordstrom is hosting a private Fall shopping party this month in its local stores. I will be joining my friend for one of these private shopping events at the Nordstrom in Seattle area this Sunday. And we plan to get together for drinks before the event starts.  We are very excited to check out the shopping party!


Experiment with Skin Care Products

My skin tends to get dry in Fall and Winter. To help myself get through this season, I plan to experienment with different kinds of body lotion and ointments to keep my skin moisturized throughout the season.
Cerave Moisturizing Cream


5 Things to Try This Month – September 2017

September is the beginning of the Fall season. Luckily, there are still a few sunny days left before the chilly weather kicks in. Below are five things that I am trying for September.


New Liquid Lip Colors

Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain is one of the latest beauty products Dior has launched recently. For someone like me, who loves lip color products from Chanel, Dior,and YSL, it’s hard to resist the temptation of getting my hands on the new Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain. Out of the 27 new Rouge Dior Liquid Lip Stain shades, I bought Impulsive Matte, Spicy Metal, Impetuous Satin, and Rock’n’Metal. I guess these should be plenty for me to use in September.


Black Truffle

My friends and I plan a trip to Las Vegas in the beginning of September. One of our favorite restaurants in Las Vegas is “Sinatra” at the Encore Resort. It’s part of our tradition to try their pasta dish with black or white truffles at the Sinatra restaurant. And I expect our upcoming experience will be as great as always.


Making Paella

While I visited Spain in the past January, I really enjoyed eating paella at different local restaurants. I haven’t found many restaurants in Seattle that offer great paella. My goal for this month is to try to make paella. I just bought a paella pan and I am looking forward to trying it.


Embroidered Hat

Embroidered hats have been very popular in the summer. If you haven’t tried one, it’s not too late to do that for September. Usually, it’s hard for me to find a hat that fits me perfectly, but I found one for my September trip to Las Vegas. Embroidered Beach Hat


Bookstore for Fun

Amazon just opened another brick-and-mortar bookstore in Bellevue, Washington. I had the chance to visit it a few weeks ago. I found a new book that I’d like to read for September. The book is “Thinking Fast and Slow”. It’s a book about behavioral sciences and explains the systems that define how we think and respond at every moment of our daily life. I can’t wait to read the book and find out more about the topics.
Think Fast and Slow Book


Three Sisley Paris Beauty Products You Need

I change some of my core skin care products from time to time, based on the season and on my mood. But there are three beauty products from the Sisley Paris brand that are not part of my regular core skin care regimen, but yet, I like to keep them in stock and use them occasionally to boost my skin hydration level! (See below for more detail.)


Eye Contour Mask

This Eye Contour Mask is designed to reduce undereye puffiness and add hydrating around the eye. The instructions say to put a thick layer of the eye mask on the eye contour and eyelids, wait for 10 minutes, then wipe away excess without rinsing. But I occasionally use it as an eye cream for hydration purposes at night. When I use it, I put a thin layer (instead of a thick layer) of the eye contour mask around my eyes, as well as the area around my lips. This product is one of my must-haves when I travel to places with drier weather, such as Southern California and Las Vegas.


Botanical Eye & Lip Contour Balm

This Botanical Eye & Lip Contour Balm is designed to smooth and moisturize the eyes contour and lips. This eye and lip balm is a gel. I don’t use the product everyday, but if I use it, I usually put it on right after I apply my SK-II Essence on my eyes and lips.


Hydra-Flash Formula Intensive

This Hydra-Flash Formula Intensive mask is rich in natural plant extracts and essential oils. It helps to hydrate the skin. You are supposed to put a thick layer of this mask on your face and neck as frequently as 2 to 3 times a week. However, I use it as facial moisturizer when I get too lazy to put serum on.


I’ve used the above three Sisley Paris skin care products for years and I am still loving them! Next time when you are looking for additional skin care products to bring on your trip, you may also consider giving them a try!

5 Things to Try This Month – May 2017

May is the perfect time to embrace the Spring season! Among many things I planned to do in May, are: a family trip to Universal Studios Hollywood with my nieces, improve  my makeup techniques, and indulge myself for endless crepe desserts.

Listed below are my five things to try list for May. Hope it will inspire you to enjoy the season of Spring.


Improve My Makeup Techniques

During the first weekend of May, Nordstrom in Bellevue, Washington is hosting an event to promote the beauty brand, Charlotte Tilbury. It is created by the famous celebrity makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury. Before the promoting event weekend, one of the celebrity makeup artist, Kate, from Charlotte Tilbury, was giving a master makeup class on May 4th. I attended the session and had a great time learning the makeup brand’s new products.


Indulge in Layers of Crepes

I love to eat desserts and my recent sweet obsession is the Mille Crêpes cake from Lady M Confections bakery. Each Mille Crêpes cake is made of more than twenty thin layers of crepes and filled with light pastry cream between each layer. My favorite flavor from Lady M is the Green Tea Mille Crêpes cake. To satisfy my sweet tooth, I ordered the Mille Crêpes in Green Tea and Strawberries (seasonal)  to share with my family!


Break In the Summer Sandals

After the record rain in the Seattle area this winter, we finally got some long-awaited sunshine, This is the perfect time to break in your summer shoes. Try something with 3-D flowers, like Charlotte Olympia – Tara Embellished Metallic Leather Sandals.

Charlotte Olympia Tara Embellished Metallic Leather Sandals


Family Trip to the Universal Studios Hollywood

I don’t usually go to theme parks, but when I do, it’s always with my nieces. In the beginning of May, we went to the Universal Studios in Hollywood, CA. Our first stop at the theme park was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. To avoid the long line, we arrived to the theme park right at 8:00 am when it was first open. We had the luxury of riding the rides (twice) before the crowds came in. I also took the photo right in front of the Hogwarts Express train with a cast member.


Expand My Reading Topics

I learned some basic Blackjack strategies in the past, but it was all based on the memorization of the Blackjack strategy cards. Every now and then I would play a few hands of Blackjack game in Vegas for fun (but I would only play it when I am with my experienced friends).  This month, I plan to go to Vegas with some family friends and I though it might be interesting to read up on the famous “Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One” book, by Edward O. Thorp. I am only half way through reading the book, but I am already fascinated with the explanations on the game strategies. I don’t plan to play a lot of Blackjack while I am in Vegas, but it would be great to understand what I am doing when I play!

Beat The Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One


5 Things to Try This Month – April 2017

When I think about April, an image of warm and sunny weather immediately comes to my mind. Although I live in Seattle area, where there’s not enough sun for the beginning of Spring, it won’t affect me from participating the things that are happening this month.

Below are my suggestions for what I’d like to try for April.


Made-To-Order Accessories for the New Season

One must-do for each season is to update wardrobe accessories. It’s always fun to have unique shoes and handbags, custom made for you. Try Jimmy Choo’s Make-to-Order shoes and clutches. You get to pick the shoe and clutch design in the color and material you want.


Designer Silhouette for an Affordable Price

One of the fashion news items that appeared repeatedly in the past few weeks is the collaboration of Victoria Beckham and Target on a new Spring collection – Victoria Beckham for Target. It will be available for purchase on April 9. I can’t wait to try out some of the dresses in the collection!


New Lip Balm for Everyday Happiness

In my February’s Valentine’s blog post I mentioned Yves Saint Laurent’s new Volupte Tint-in-balm lipstick. It’s a hybrid lipstick that’s made of lip moisturizing ingredients. It provides sheer glowing colors on the lips. The fun part about the lipstick is its lip-shaped heart in the center. I ordered some from Yvest Saint Laurent’s site with free complimentary engraving. I can’t wait to receive them next week!


Stylish Jacket for Early Spring

Although we are already in Spring, I still feel chilly in the early morning in Seattle. If you live in areas that has a similar climate  as me, you can stay warm with a nice wool-blend jacket. Try something like the Coach’s Wool-blend and Leather jacket.

Coach Wool-blend and Leather Jacket


A Book of Your Choice for Self Improvement

I love to read books, especially when they’re related to biography and business. Recently, while I was going through my bookshelf, I found a book I had since Year 2013. I read a couple of chapters back then, but never finished the entire book. The book is “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. It’s a book about women’s behavior in society and work. And how we can overcome the challenges we are facing in our careers and the work environments. My goal for this month is to finish reading this book!

Lean In Book


5 Things to Try This Month – March 2017

March is the transition month from Winter to Spring. If you haven’t thought about updating your wardrobe with some light hue silhouette and accessories, it’s time to start!

Below are some of my preliminary suggestions for the month of March. I hope they will give you some inspirations for your Spring wardrobe makeover project !


Green Color Nail Design for St. Patrick’s Day

If you like green, March is a great time to get green nails for the St. Patrick’s Day. For my March gel nail design, I have some green stones on my greenish blue sparkling nails. Not only is it a fun alternative to my usual red nail color, it also prevents me from getting pinched if I forgot to wear green on the St. Patrick’s Day!


 

Pamper Yourself with New Lip Beauty Product

I am a big fan of lip glosses. In March, Dior released its new lipstick beauty product, Dior Addict Lacquer Stick. This has a glossy formula; it’s almost like a lip gloss on a lipstick. I ordered it in a few shades and I can’t wait to try them on when I receive them!

Dior Addict Lacquer Stick


Fun Mini Shoulder Bag

As we are transitioning out of the Winter, it’s always a good idea to add a new handbag in a light color for the Spring season. Try something like the Valentino Garavani Lock Mini crystal-embellished shoulder bag! This is a perfect addition to your outfits on a sunny day as well as for a night out-and-about.

Valentino Garavani Lock Mini Crystal-embellished Shoulder Bag


Sweatshirt for March Madness

Who says March Madness is for basketball fans only? This time of year, some of my friends would be picking their brackets and anticipating the college basketball games. Although I am not a sport fan, I sometimes join my friends for drinks in the bar and watching some of the games. I won’t be wearing any school logo shirts, but I will be wearing my Kenzo cotton sweatshirts!

Kenzo Cotton Sweatshirt


Swap Out Your Wool Accessories with a Silk Scarf for Spring

The first day of Spring is in March. It’s time to switch out your wool scarf with a silk one. I recommend something with flowers in the design to spice up your attire. Try Gucci’s silk scarf below.

Gucci Silk Scarf


The Five Best Holiday Beauty Products for 2016

I love sparkling and shimmering beauty products, especially around the holiday seasons. Many brands offer special editions of makeup, and perfume during this special season, and they’re usually hard for me to resist!

If you are still looking for gift ideas or need some suggestions to expand your beauty collection, below are my top five favorite beauty products for this holiday season.


Burberry – Gold Shimmer Dust

Each year I look for some shimmering powder to add to my holiday collection. When I saw the Burberry’s Gold Shimmer Dust, I knew that’s exactly what I needed for this year. ($29 via Saks Fifth Avenue)

Burberry_Gold Shimmer Dust


Marc Jacobs Beauty – About Last Night Mascara and Eyeliner Collection

This Marc Jacobs’ About Last Night mascara and eyeliner collection is all you need for the evening parties. The O!Mega Lash mascara in this collection helps you to create the volume you desire for your eyelashes. The best part about this collection is the glitters in the Lamé Noir Ultra-Glittering Mascara Top Coat. Layer it on top of the O!Mega Lash will give you the instant holiday ready look.
($36 via Marc Jacobs Beauty)
Marc Jacobs Beauty About Last Night Mascara and Eyeliner


Yves Saint Laurent – Touche Éclat – Strobing Light Highlighter

Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat highlighter is one of my favorite makeup products. I am glad that Yves Saint Laurent is offering the highlighter in gold shimmer version. I like to use it on my cheekbone and Cupid’s bow. I also put it on my eyelids, as the base for applying eyeshadow.

Yves SaintLaurent Touche Eclat


Viktor & Rolf – Flowerbomb Pink Crystal Limited Edition Fragrance

If you are a big fan of Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb fragrance, you can’t miss the Flowerbomb Pink Crystal Limited Edition Fragrance. This holiday edition Flowerbomb comes in a sparkling jar with a pink crystallized rose. I think your mood will instantly be uplifted by the very first spray of this flower fragrance!

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Pink Crystal Limited Edition Fragrance


Chanel Blush Harmony Palette

If you are traveling for this holiday season and want a multi-functional beauty product, Chanel’s limited edition Blush Harmony Palette will be perfect for you. You can use this palette for highlighting and contouring your face. And use the red-pink shade on the palette as blush.

Chanel Blush Harmony Palette