Thursday, July 30, 2009

Getting Ready...

It's so warm here, that I can barely bring myself to write a proper post...thus, I leave you with a photo glimpse from our wedding...

I love these girls...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Gettin' Hot in Here...

The heat here is gaining by the day. Yesterday we had highs of 95 degrees, and today is expected to move upwards. Although I won't directly complain about the weather (I really do enjoy warm weather), I will say that because we have such extreme highs and lows, we never really prepare properly for the temperature change. I ran around the house desperate for something that would cool me down, and then I spotted it--an aerosol can of Awapuhi Moisture Mist by Paul Mitchell. I had picked this baby up a few months back, when the Mr. was having a haircut. Bored and anxious for the 20 minutes to fly by (yes, that's how long it takes--can you imagine getting out of the salon that quickly?), I began to peruse the product offerings. This spray can be used on the hair, or body as a light moisturizer--and I love a moisturizer that can be sprayed! After bringing it home, I noticed that it also contained spirulina (I drink the stuff religiously) and plankton. Even better.

Moisture-wise, it's only alright--but in terms of a cool spray on a hot and humid day, I have yet to find better! It reminds me a bit of my mom, in the sense that she used to have us tote around Evian mist in a bottle--"spray your face!" she'd say, every time the weather got warmer than fifty degrees. I've been popping up behind the hubby left and right spraying him when he least expects it, and apart from the initial comments which shall remain unrepeated, I think he's enjoying it too!

What are your secrets for beating the heat?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Still Going Lolo For Oil...

As I've been re-organizing my stash of body products, I realized that I have quite the collection of coconut oil. This is probably no surprise to anyone who knows me well--as I feel that coconut oil is nothing short of a cure for cancer--but I thought I'd snap a few photos of some of my favorites.

Left to Right: Alofa's, Spectrum (jar in back), Elemis,
Monoi Tahiti, Pur
e Fiji Reniu

Alofa's is a brand that I pick up ridiculous amounts of, each time that I'm visiting New Zealand. A friend of my cousin actually makes them, and they come in various scents like vanilla, strawberry and mokosoi (mohokoi--the flower used to create Chanel #5). I always bring home handfuls to share with friends, as a lot of my girlfriends like to use it in their hair. In the back we have Spectrum, which is just a jar of coconut oil that I use to drench my hair in for a deep condition. Next is Elemis. This has become a favorite of my mama--and as the Elemis skincare line is generally very good, their oil is as well. Moving on, is the Monoi Tahiti brand, which is found all throughout the Pacific and is a bit of an old standby, and then Pure Fiji's Reniu. I really enjoy the Pure Fiji line, as they are truly based in Fiji (unlike many brands that love to market the word), and they create smaller sized bottles that are good for the handbag.

Left to Right: NARS Monoi Body Glow, Adara Pure
Virgin Coconut Oil

If you are looking for a special treat--perhaps something to dab on your wrists in addition to perfume, a good one worth trying out would be NARS' Monoi Body Glow, or one of Adara's oils. Both offer a lighter scented version of the above oils, and in my case are used a bit more sparingly.

As if I haven't raved about it before, coconut oil can cure a world of hurt--from eczema to a flaky scalp, premature wrinkling and various other skin problems. Do you use it regularly? Is there a line that I'm missing out on?

I was tagged by the sweet Tina_mbc at All The Vanity. Have you checked out her blog before? This lady has got it going on! The objective is to complete the following 20 questions honestly, and 'tell your readers something'.

1. What is your favourite item of clothing?

I like clothing...a lot! I would say that something I have always found interesting and has stuck around, has been this Plenty by Tracy Reese dress. I absolutely love her style, as she creates things that are a bit ethnic and soulful.

2. What are your biggest obsessions?
Beauty products, food, being around family and friends. I don't need much more in life.

3. Who inspires you?
Those who are confident, have a keen sense of who they are, have done something that was questionable, yet it really worked out for them. Strong women. Kind men.

4. Who is your favourite designer and why?
A couple. I love Elie Saab, and also Tracy Reese--for the same reasons listed above: their work translates to many different things in my eyes. In terms of bridal, I was (and am still) really intrigued by Ines de Santo.

5. What is your favourite song ever?
I really and truly love music--but in terms of "ever"? There is something about the Ave Maria that is so comforting and is always welcomed. Since there are so many versions, it's difficult to become tired of--my favorite arrangement is Franz Biebl's.

6. What is your favourite song right now?
Couldn't tell ya--I'll move to whatever's on! Lately I've been enjoying listening to some new island artists over at Urban Pasifik Musik.

7. If you were a sweetie, what would you be?
Dweebs (they were cousins of Nerds)

8. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet--what words would you use to describe
your rainbow?
The colors of a peacock feather.

9. What's your favourite film?
Muriel's Wedding (hehehe)

10. Who's your favourite actor?
Ben Stiller & Will Ferrell

11. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Tonga. I need a trip. There. Soon.

12. What are your 3 favourite smells?
Gardenia, honey, and sugar milk

13. What are your 3 favourite tastes?
Spicy anything, Coffee, and thin refreshing drinks (like lemon water, or most clear liquids)

14. What is your most treasured possession?
Wedding bands, crucifix and rosary passed down from my nan, letters from my other gramma, gramma's cookbook--I have quite a few...

15. What did you always want to do/be when you grew up?
A sister--as in a nun (would dress up as one for halloween for a couple years in a row), then a pilot, then an attorney...*sigh*. There's only one of those things that I don't still want to do. Take a guess as to what it is?

16. If you were an ice-cream, what flavour would you be?
Mint chocolate chip

17. If someone made a short film of your life, who would play you?
Ermm..these are some weird questions. I don't know--I suppose anyone could do the job, with enough makeup and a wig ;)

18. What would your perfect afternoon consist of?
Lots of food, drinks, and laughter shared with those of whom I am close to

19. If you were a flower, what would you be?
Maybe a gardenia--I would smell nice, but turn brown when left in the sun ;)

20. Tell me a random thing--a quote, line from a song, book, movie..
I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty only being skin deep. That's deep enough. What do you want--an adorable pancreas? -Jean Kerr

All done! Now I tag Kajal Couture, Rocaille, and Dila--and anyone else that would like to participate!

Lastly, an update on Project 5-Pan: The Body Edition. I have officially completed the challenge, and am earnestly trying to complete the original Makeup Edition.

The project came to an end with this guy (an Arbonne RE9 Toner Mist), and a now non-existent bar of Lush's Honey I Washed The Kids Soap. In all, it was a good reminder to finish off the products that I let lie around when I decide to jump on a new skincare routine--and the feeling of completion was yet again a good one. I celebrated by picking up two more tins of MAC's Honey Salve, as pan has nearly been hit on the original tin. If you haven't yet checked that out--now is the time to do so, before it disappears from the counters.

For those participating, how are you ladies coming along with 5-Pan?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Just Steamy

It wasn't until about five months ago, that my near-obsession with steam rooms began. I was in Vegas with the girls, and we were getting pampered in the amazing spa at Mandalay Bay. A eucalyptus steam room was part of the relaxation area, and we all egged each other on to enter. Apparently the majority of us have a bit of claustrophobia about small and damp places, so we practically linked arms and entered (which is really impressive, as we are grown adults). You could hear the heavy breathing, as we all made desperate efforts to calm ourselves down and take in what we were told was good for us. Go figure, twenty minutes later and I'm still laying there totally relaxed and in love with the heat (until of course the naked woman decides to enter and sprawl around, at which point we all up and moved camp).

My skin, after said 20 minutes, was so similar and familiar to something I used to love and now miss--it wasn't until an hour later that my sister and I realized what it was. It was that feeling that we get when we arrive in Tonga, and take our first step out of the plane. Absolute downpour of sweat, immediate drenching of the body, but yet--totally open, refreshed, and glowing skin. The kind of weather that makes you feel like--yes, this is what my skin was created for!

Upon returning home, it was decided that I needed to find a new gym with the focus being the steam room. I saw some ugly things in the process--co-ed spots that were just creepy, others that looked as though they hadn't been scrubbed down in years--but finally, fell upon a lovely womens only room at an establishment other than Curves. Daily, I try to find myself in this place--and when I don't, I can feel a huge difference in the health of my skin. It opens every last pore and expunges whatever toxins have decided to make their home under the surface. Relaxing it is, as the heat makes it the ultimate wind down from a workout, or just a long day. There are so many benefits to steaming, you only have to research to find out!

Do you like to steam?

I also have an update on Project 5 Pan: The Body Edition. I have officially finished three items, and am actively working on the final two.

I have now seen the death of a bar of Lush Porridge Soap, an H2O+ guava body lotion, and an Arbonne RE9 facial scrub. It's gratifying to me, to finish products (regardless of this pact)--I'm not sure why?! In terms of makeup, I believe I have just about three items finished, but I promise to post photos soon, for real hardcore evidence.

How are you ladies holding up with Project 5-Pan?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's In My Bag?

I was tagged by Miss Tali, over at The Gloss Goss to participate in a What's In Your Bag post. The idea is to empty out the contents of your handbag (shocking, I tell you), and to post pictures of what's in your bag at this very moment. I've always thought that if I were ever to go the YouTube route, that I would begin with a video like this--although I know that isn't in the stars for me. YouTube + Me = Hours of nonsense laughing and sarcasm.

Anyhow, moving on--I present to you what I lug around each and every day, sparing you the receipts, cards, and vitamins, but editing nothing else. I enjoy reading other's posts like this, so enjoy if you can!The bag I've been carrying on a nearly-daily basis (only because I am the very worst at switching my things from handbag to handbag each day--unless we're talking about a clutch), is Junior Drake--and it's the softest leather bag I have ever had. It just collapses around like a big lazy brownie. Love.

And this is the mess. Actually since emptying it out last night, I have condensed a bit more, and my shoulder is thanking me for it. Working clockwise in a spiral, we begin with my phone. This uses the Google Android platform, which I love--I didn't know prior, that one could get anymore connected to their gmail. Then we have sunglasses, day planner, anti-bacterial gel and E-Boost (which I've talked about before). Gum and lotion, keys for the car, the house, and for my parent's house (I don't like to have them all together--this way if I lose my car keys, I can still cab it home and go to sleep). Rosary, Saint medals (Infant of Prague, JPII, St Sebastian and the Miraculous Medal in case you were curious--hey, I would be!), Luxe Link (most amazing purse holder ever), business cards, mini wallet and checkbook. Lastly we have the Sisley bag full of makeup that is completely unecessary for a handbag (I really don't need 15 glosses a day), and has since been filtered down.

So ladies, was that interesting?! Now I want to see what's in your purse! Spill it! Literally. I am now tagging Lady B, Bubblegarm, and Su-Pah. You girls are up!

Update-wise, I am nearly finished with my first makeup product for Project 5 pan. If I can't complete this any faster, I'll be wearing a full face of makeup to bed! How are those of you who are participating, doing with the pact?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bridal Nails & Lips

It's now a memory from the past (although now that I think about it, I still need to pick up our photos and video), but our wedding truly was one of the best days of our lives. We had the most amazing team of stylists--from nails, to hair to makeup--that worked with my girls and I. I kid you not, we were up at the crack of dawn, utilizing two suites in the hotel, having ourselves pampered and readied for the long couple of days ahead of us. The poor guy and his groomsmen were on another floor and hoping to use one of our rooms (since they're a bunch of over-sized super tall giants--really needing their space), but the ladies met them at the door screaming no way! I mean, come on--blow driers and curling irons can really heat up a place--we definitely needed the two.

Although there are several photos that I was set on the photographers capturing (will share a few later), I wanted to snap my nails and lip-look before I forgot. Capturing things like my nails or lips on camera, is something that I get a lot of slack for from the family. When we returned from our honeymoon, there were whole huge portions of our film that were devoted to several hand postures. Everyone just rolled their eyes and poked fun, while I tried to defend myself "ermm..I was testing the light..." nervously at the side.

So, without further ado, my bridal nails and lip color, 7000 miles away from home:

Please don't mind the growout that is clearly occurring--this was four days after the manicure--my nails grow like weeds. I took this picture mainly to highlight the color, and also the fact that the technician somehow made my nails appear a bit acrylic, although nothing other than polish was used! The color of choice was from OPI's Bridal Collection, and namely OPI's Toss the Bouquet, which I thought very fitting given the event.

This is a tired looking photo (I had stepped off of our day-long flight about an hour prior), which was taken with the aim of highlighting the lip products that were used on the big day--and later all throughout the honeymoon. It's Bobbi Brown's Lip Liner in Naked, paired with her Lipgloss in Pink Beige. Seriously my favorite thing from all that was used on me--it's non-sticky, has a nice applicator brush (as opposed to sponge), and small enough to toss in a small clutch (or in the Mr's pant pocket, which became the case throughout our trip). It's kind of like my own lips, but better--and that went a long way in working to my benefit as it came time for speeches, eating and drinking.

How's that side-braid?! My "warm weather and I can't be bothered" standby look :) I do have a tag that I am getting to work on, as well as a contest entry *cough cough*, so there may be a day or two in here with double-posts. Ah well, more for the reading, right?

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 17, 2009

MAC's Color Craft: Yet Another Review

This Project 5-Pan is really getting the best of me. I actually drove to Ulta yesterday and started browsing around--it wasn't until 10 minutes into the trip that I remembered I was not to purchase anything makeup-related. This is more confirmation that this experiment is much needed. With that in mind, I've decided to also embark on a bit of a 5-Pan for body products as well. I typically have an easier time with this, so it will probably be completed far quicker than the makeup one.

Anyhoot, so as not to be the very last person in the blogosphere to report back on MAC's Color Craft collection (purchased prior to the start of my plan), I present to you the following items which took my fancy:

MAC's Mineralized Powders are not my favorite, if for only that they tend to be a bit too shimmery. Sunny By Nature was the lone star of the collection, in that it has a relatively matte finish. I like this, because of course it then sort of fits into the bronzer category...and we all know how I feel about bronzers. The glow is very subtle, and if you do choose to purchase this, I would say that you ask to have a look at the marbeling first, to ensure that you get some good vaining. Clearly, I didn't.

Good brushes should be a staple in any collection. It is one thing that I'm willing to splurge on, given that they are worth their weight. With MAC, I go back and forth, as I believe that there are better brushes out there (*ahem* aDesign, for one), but I admittedly succumb to a new "limited" design when MAC presents me with one. Furthermore, I would guess that I succumb to most things that are limited, but that's neither here nor there. This one is fantastic for picking up the above mentioned Mineralized Skinfinish, as the end fibers go some distance in keeping the effect light.

The last item that I snagged, was the Nice Mix Up Lipglass. First things first--I do not like the packaging. The fact that finger prints are easily visible on the square handle, does not appeal to me, and there is something sharp and awkward about the whole thing. Apart from that, I was a tad let down because this shade specifically did not show up a bit more orange on the lip. I was looking for something similar to Naked Honey's Queen Bee, but with more pigment...this one was just, ehhhh. I actually took a photo of it on, and then tossed it, because it really only looked as though I had taken a photo of a moisturized lip. I'll try to pair this with another lipstick, and see what I can make of it. Any suggestions?

All in all, I was much more impressed with MAC's Naked Honey collection (though I can't think of anyone that this was the case for), and all due to the honey salve--not even the colored cosmetics. What is this saying about MAC's new releases?

So, we are off to yet another weekend! I absolutely love weekends--they go by too quickly, yet they go a long way in the re-charging department (assuming work isn't part of the equation).

What are your plans for t
he weekend? Did you pick up anything from the Color Craft collection?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's the Balm: Bobbi Brown

There is a brand that I have put off for far too long--I dabbled in and out of its offerings for years on end, but not until this year have I come to really appreciate it for what it is. That brand is Bobbi Brown.

Come wedding, Bobbi Brown items were predominantly used for my final look, as the artist was trained in the way of Bobbi's school of natural beauty. It caused me to make several trips back to the counter, and although I love the makeup, what I really fell for was the skincare. I think it's mostly due in part to the fact that Bobbi is renowned for maintaining youthful skin as one ages, that so many of her products target dry and sensitive skin like mine. Many of her products are built to suit and soothe those with finicky skin, as they include many herbs and essential oils.

I placed an order for three of her products, which I have been testing for some time now, and am highly impressed by. I basically wanted anything that included the world "balm", as my sister had raved about how moisturizing they were. They all fall under the "extra" category of her skincare site, and I feel that word is pretty descriptive in terms of what I need to keep my face really and truly hydrated.

The Extra Eye Balm is touted only for nighttime, although my skin has no problem absorbing it in the morning. It's a nice base for makeup, and really helps to assist things like concealer to glide on smoothly. The consistency is a bit harder than I expected, but if you warm it up in your hand a bit, it will soften down and become more spreadable.

Instead of opting for the Extra Moisturizing Balm with SPF in it, I chose the one without, as it is a thicker formula. It's extremely thick, and another product that you will want to warm up a bit. This one includes ylang ylang and rosemary, which combined gives a very nice and subtle scent. For both of these skincare items, I think they can be a tad heavy during the summer months--which brings about the opposite problem you risk (along with others that have dry skin), in over-moisturizing and clogging pores.

Last but not least, I also picked out the Tinted Moisturizing Balm with SPF 25. My shade is a perfect Medium, and by far my favorite of the bunch. Although it is a bit heavy (in terms of moisture only, not at all in coverage), I find it perfect for spot-application in the areas that need a bit of assistance. It can be a bit over the top (in terms of dewiness), if you have a heavy hand with your foundation, but since I prefer to use little to none, this works out perfectly. I've always depended on tinted moisturizers, but I think this one beats them all.

What are your favorite Bobbi Brown products? Any that I must try?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hair Removal: Sugaring

For as long as my mind will allow me to remember, I've never been big on hair. On my head, yes. Everywhere else, absolutely not. I was caught at the age of 8, in front of the bathroom mirror, plucking several hairs from my eyebrows--only to be quickly disciplined and banned from tweezers. After watching my mom take a razor to her underarms, I followed suit, hoping to encourage hair growth, only so that I could do away with it. What a surprise it was then, when year 7 rolled around, and my mom began to make appointments for me to have my arm hair waxed? Oh okay, so now the disciplinarian wanted to rid me of my hair as well...I tell you, the confusion...

sugarflick (source)

So for years it has been just that--threading to the brows (which is still the case), and waxing to everything else. Until a few months ago when sugaring entered my life. A mixture of sugar, lemon juice and water is apparently all that's needed to de-hair me. Now, it wasn't the first time that we had met--my second year of college in the back row of a Summer Intensive Spanish course, is when my Persian pal (who payed attention to our professor as little as I did), took sugar to my right arm. It worked well, but I knew that if I were to try the same thing at home, I'd chicken out at the removal steps.

Sugaring studios are popping up left and right, and I'm quite thankful, as my reaction to it is milder than waxing. No hives, no redness--and that's because the top layer of skin isn't being ripped off along with the hair. It's less painful (big plus), the hair grows back slower, and in general it's cheaper. Each time I see my lady, I am able to choose a complimentary pair of panties, and she always has some new beauty product line to sell me on. I'm unsure if there are any reasons to dislike it?

Do you sugar? Are you brave enough to do an in-home treatment?

PS. I am also starting a Project 5-pan experiment. Not much different than the one I tried to begin prior to the wedding, but I think getting to the bottom of 5 makeup products is much more manageable. Not until I have effectively finished all five, will I be able to make another makeup purchase. The only rules are as follows:

-Body products do not count (same goes for fragrances, polishes, etc)
-All proof will be documented via photography
-Glosses, and lip products count. I seriously can't get to the bottom of 5 powders--I don't think..

Who is with me on this? If you are, leave a comment so that we can all keep each other accountable!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

From July 4th to Duty Free

The 4th of July is a not-so-distant memory, but thanks to my trusty camera, I can still recall the look I did on my eyes for the occasion. To avoid traveling down the typical red white and blue road (I don't know who actually does this, but I can imagine it'd be bad), I instead decided to put my Cargo Tahiti palette to some use. The tropical shades suit me much better than all that patriotic stuff anyhow. Disregard the redness of my skin--it's a long story involving a ridiculous athletic training machine from the Mr.'s gym. Seriously ruined my face for a week.


*Cargo's Tahiti Palette (if for nothing else, get it for the cute girl on the front of the compact)
*MAC Pastorale loose pigment
*Smashbox shadow in Bliss
*Rimmel liner in Black Gold
*Lancome's Hypnose mascara on top lashes
*Imju Fiberwig mascara on lower lashes

In other news, my mama came home from Australia and New Zealand (for a mere 10 hours, before leaving again), with gifts in tow! Bless her heart, she is not the woman who wears a lot of makeup. She collects her favorites (Sisley, Chanel, Shiseido) like a mad woman, but swears that she is "too old" to actually wear it. Thus, you can assume who becomes the main benefactor! Instead, she is the ultimate fragrance and skin care Queen! Her room is a bit like a mini Costco, in that she stores ridiculous amounts of skincare and fragrances, complete with several backups! Us girls usually only need to make a stop at "her store" in order to replenish our own personal items.

As I was sorting through the things she brought back with her, I thought I'd snap a picture. Chanel's Glossimer in Delight was one item, which is a lavender shade with bits of glitter. Being someone that does not like glitter (or purple lips), I must confess that this is a very pretty and sheer shade on. It tones down a bit of the natural pigmentation of my lips, and is very nice all on its own, but I'm sure even better atop something else. I don't own MAC's Lavender Whip, but this would be a more do-able version for me. The darker lip products in the corner (lovely on) are by an Australian brand called Mode. The classic Bvlgari pour Femme made its way, as well as one special collection that I have been dying to try for myself.

This one is compliments of my dear cousin in Auckland, and is called Thin Lizzy 6 in 1 (left hand corner tin). At the time of the wedding, I had some tan lines near my shoulders that I had picked up during my bachelorette weekend in Vegas. Somehow it slipped my mind (until the day prior) that this was the case, and I became extremely concerned for the sake of our wedding photos! No need to fear, my cousin trots in with this Thin Lizzy business, which is meant to do everything short of washing my dishes. "Everybody uses it back home--I promise it'll work darl", she told me. She was right. It was a life saver. Now I have a barrel (with backups!) of my own, and am ready to discover its 5 other uses. Updates to come, I promise.

Big plans for the weekend? Have you tried any of these things?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Island Inspired Fragrances

In recognizing that many of my readers are of the Island persuasion, I want to make an effort to always hit home with the products that really speak to us. I love hearing from each of you in the comment section and via email, and realize that makeup specifically is not everybody's top beauty priority. Make no mistake, there will be no shortage of makeup related posts, but there have been a few products on my mind that I've been dying to chat about--so this one's especially for you ta'ahine/teine/wahine/vahine ;)

Island-inspired perfumes. I covered some of my favorites in a past post, but wanted to update you lovely readers on the freshest of scents, that as of late, I just can't get enough of. Typically, I am very secretive about what I wear--but you wouldn't know anyway, as I have a habit of mixing perfumes every day prior to leaving the front door. Constantly on the hunt for anything that claims to leave me smelling like I'm covered in sei on a beach, I had quite a few bottles to sort through. Here's what was settled on:

The Sweeter Side

Left to Right: Victoria's Secret Moorea Passion fruit, Sud Pacifique Couer
de Vahine, Sud Pacifique Aloha Tiare, Lucy B. Pink Frangipani

You're leaving the gym and you've *gasp* actually decided to get ready for work in the locker room. Victoria's Secret's Moorea Passion Fruit is a perfect body spritz, that isn't overpowering or intense. I admit, I picked it up originally for the cutesy travel bag it came with, but ended up enjoying the scent more than the bag. Moving on, I've written quite a bit about Sud Pacifique's fragrances--I'm a tad obsessed. They don't seem to create anything wrong in my eyes. They're all warm and inviting, with a nice overlay of spicy coconut. It doesn't hurt that the packaging is nice and simple--something I love. Lucy B.'s Pink Frangipani is a sweet and sugary scent, that holds the distinct linger of the plumeria (frangipani) flower. It's not overpowering at all, but instead mild and inviting.

Practically a Lei

Left to Right: Pacifica Waikiki Pikake, Saffron James 'Ume, Chanel Gardenia,
Estee Lauder Special Collection Tuberose Gardenia

Now these are the bottles that are responsible for making others believe that either:

a) someone is having a graduation party (also read: hundreds of flower leis),
b) that they aren't actually just sitting in a city restaurant, but instead are wandering tropical gardens on a rock in the middle of the sea.

They are fragrant! Pacifica's Waikiki Pikake smells like none other than jasmine (pikake), while Chanel's Gardenia and Estee Lauder's Tuberose Gardenia lend their fragrance completely to that of which they are named. The Tuberose Gardenia is exactly what I wore on my wedding day (of course mixed with other scents), as I knew that I didn't want to wear a lei, yet wanted all the lovely traces of the fragrance. Saffron James on the other hand is quite warm and floral, yet is comprised of a mix of ginger, gardenia, yuzu, and waterlily.

I will remain on the lookout for new memorable fragrances of this nature (okay, I admit--they're in the mail on their way), but while I'm waiting, I'd love to know what you are all wearing!

What is your favorite Pacific-inspired fragrance--or is there one that you prefer which trumps them all?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Honest Scraps Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Su-pah, SweetestSinSheroon, and Tali for yet another fun-filled questionnaire! I love reading everyone's answers, but mine are just so random! The key is to list ten things that are honest and true about you, that others may not know:


1. I've played the piano since the age of 4, and could not quit my lessons until I moved out of the house for college. I tried so many times, but my parents were intent on my keeping up with it. Hence, I rarely get on the keys these days.

2. Aggressive is probably the best word to describe my driving style. I can't stand being stuck behind the person that constantly thinks they're on their Sunday drive, and I don't understand the point of waving when merging. It's a road, not a peace treaty. My dad's a born-and-bred New Yorker--I blame this completely on him.

3. I was married by the same lovely Priest (he is a classmate of my Uncle's from seminary) that married my parents, and also baptized me. I'm hoping he can baptize our babies one day too. I do everything I can to ensure that things come "full circle".

4. We only eat organic foods at home, and have done so for the past 5-ish years. The exception is when we eat out or at others' homes. I hope this really means we'll live to 150 :)

5. I won the school spelling bee every year since the 1st grade. They got rid of it after year six, saying that it was "unfair" to judge students on their spelling. Whatever. I love spelling, and it's a huge pet peeve to read something in a published book/article that is misspelled.

6. Next to beauty products and makeup, I enjoy collecting swimwear and clutches. I don't live in the warmest state in the US, so this makes my little collection seem a bit absurd. It really comes in handy for travel though.

7. I have a weakness for gummy candies, and anything pickled. I love pickled garlic, especially. This too, I blame on my papa.

8. I enjoy running, but only indoors on a treadmill. When I run outdoors, the air pressure hurts my head and I end up wanting to kick myself for having run so far from my starting point (and having to make it back).

9. I have a really huge family. I mean extremely large. If you haven't grown up in it, you might as well give up and not even try to remember names or faces.

10. Oh yes, I run a book club. How's that for nerdy? ;)

I'm now tagging Lady B, Dila, and Binya. What's it gonna be girls?

On that note, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Lumene's Blueberry Curl Mascara

Are you that poor soul that never seems to win anything? I am. The times have changed though, and within the last couple of months, I've pulled a record of three things. All of them have been makeup-related, and one of them a mascara I've been dying to get my hands on.

Kiss and Make-Up hosted a giveaway, and yours truly was the lucky recipient of a shiny blue tube of Lumene's Blueberry Curl Mascara. Something about that shiny blue tube is so appealing to me, although the fact that it is infused with arctic blueberry oil really gives it a couple of extra gold stars. I'm usually a bit hesitant to travel down the road of a new mascara--as I like to stick to the old favorites--but this one isn't half bad. The plastic brush is similar to that of Cover Girl's Lash Blast (the popular orange tube), yet with a thinner head. Application wise, it glides on smoothly, and keeps the lashes separated. The company boasts promises of volume, which is a tad bit untrue, and while we're on the subject of negatives, it seems to smudge a bit more than other mascaras during the day.

*Nice easy applicator
*Easy on the wallet
*Great key conditioning ingredient--blueberry oil
*Lengthens nicely

*Doesn't offer much in the area of volume
*Smudges on eyelid and lower lash line (I have medium to dry lids)

Are you a fan of Lumene? Are there other products that I should be giving a try?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Holiday Weekend!

The weekends are coming 'round faster with each week--I'm not complaining, but last weekend was a killer. I spent Friday evening celebrating a friend's birthday, only to jump right into a 7am call time to whip up some bridal makeup for a good friend. Thankfully I wasn't meant to do the bride herself (I don't know what I would have done with myself, as packing my kit was hard enough--the nerves!), but "a couple bridesmaids" quickly turned into all but two, and the addition of grandmas, moms and aunts. They are a sweet family, and they were full of love and anxiety that morning.

The happy couple jumping the broom--a cultural
tradition in the groom's family

I had a lovely time, but you can believe I was ready to turn in at the end of the night! It wasn't funny when I was still knocked out asleep at 8 o'clock the next night. Backtracking a bit, I did win a raffle basket (I can't be held accountable for the awful Easter grass and cheapo candles--how are you gonna mix that with some MAC?) at the restaurant we dined at on Friday, for a mere five dollars! I jumped for joy as I realized that I now had doubles of the Naked Honey lipglasses. Literally, I jumped. Too bad that wasn't caught on camera :)

note the tanning gift wow, just
what I had been hoping for...

So here we are at the weekend once again--you may be celebrating the 4th of July, or then again you may just be celebrating the ever anticipated end-of-week. What will you be doing?
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