Friday, July 29

saengil chukha hamnida

Recently twenty-four years old. (Friendly bunny ears fail!)
Saengil chukha hamnida is "happy birthday" in Korean, I believe!

When some people have their birthdays, they do some fun, social things -- maybe they have parties, or go out clubbing, or have huge dinners. As someone who can be described as "low-tension" I do none of that. On my birthday, three of my closest friends and I went to a Borders bookstore near our area and took complete advantage of their going-out-of-business sale. (Though it could be better; I'm assuming prices will steadily drop as stock dwindles.) Since it was my birthday, I spent money with reckless abandon! I also got some great presents, but here's my haul unrelated to beauty. ♥

Borders collective haul over a two-day stretch.

I'd actually gone to that same Borders a week prior and came out with two books -- the Tsubasa album and Mitch Albom's book, For One More Day (not pictured). I'm a huge fan of CLAMP, the manga creators who created not only Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, but also some other amazing works like Kobato, xxxholic, and the very well-known Cardcaptor Sakura series. When I saw the Tsubasa art book, it was the last copy around so I had to have it; it was only 10% off but I didn't really care. I love the art of Tsubasa and CLAMP just creates gorgeous characters in general. I could flip through this and marvel for hours. I'm not even lying.

I bought the Mitch Albom book for my younger brother, who shares his birthday with me. We're precisely three years apart, isn't it cool? He's a fan of Albom and has his other famous books, Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet In Heaven, so when I saw For One More Day I had to get it for him. :)

My birthday Borders haul included a collection of Pablo Neruda's poems; three Haruki Murakami novels -- Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore and Dance Dance Dance; Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil because I am madly in love with his book Life of Pi; and Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Murakami's Norwegian Wood has been turned into a movie starring Matsuyama Ken'ichi, while See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is currently being filmed, starring Jeon Ji-hyun and Li Bing Bing. I'm excited to have all of these books in my shelves, and I have to see those two movies when I can. ♥

Hot Topic was selling "Sailormoon" shirts! I had to get one as a fan!

All I can say for the shirt is, "Don't judge me." Hot Topic had TWO Sailormoon shirts in stock, and this was the only one involving my favorite girl ever, Sailor Mars. I had to get it. I grabbed an XL because the shirt is cotton and will most likely shrink, and I like my shirts loose. I'm a little offended that they went ahead and got Mercury's hair green instead of its usual blue, but I'll overlook it since the five of them look crazy awesome anyway. And of course Luna is beautiful as always, hehe. Sailormoon manga is soon being re-released in the US with totally faithful translations, so I'm excited to see those appear in Barnes & Noble stores...since Borders is closing. (I preferred Borders to B&N, honestly. It had such a cozier atmosphere.)

Handmade for my birthday. Oh yeah. Don't be jelly. ;)

This last thing is technically beauty-related as it's accessories, but I just had to write about them. The bracelet and earrings are handmade by my best and oldest friend, Tracy. She found the beads/stones at the craft store and made them into wearables for me. Therefore, this set is the most kickass set of accessories in the universe. Not only are they handmade just for me, but they are yellow -- my ultimate color. I love yellow. It's my power color, my happy color, my mellow color, my fun color...it just brightens my life. Love it. I'll be wearing these constantly for a good while.

Birthday hauls/presents post coming up along with a bunch of other stuff I haven't written yet. I wore foundation today and I looked like I was crazy perfect in the face. Revlon Colorstay is brilliance in a bottle, I say. Brilliance.

It's three am and I have stuff to finish in the morning before I head out to San Diego. Knocking on wood, this was an incredible birthday. I love my friends, I love my brothers, I love my mum, I love my dad, I love the fact that I got to eat mango cake. Best day? Best day.

(My baby brother got me a birthday present too, by the way. That deserves a post all on its own.)

Thursday, July 28

I want to be pretty

Tuesday, 26th of July 2011

...

Wednesday, 27th of July 2011

Hair by ARES of Salon ARES, who has recently updated her blog!

Full story after my birthday. Happy birthday to me, I'm a redhead! (I've now achieved the three major hair colors: brunette, blonde, and now redhead.)

Thursday, July 21

products used: skincare

My skincare products for day and night. Looks scary at first, but isn't.

I tend to focus much more on skincare than makeup nowadays since I'm not a fan of base makeup -- foundations seem like too much trouble for me, and I rarely wear anything heavier than a tinted moisturizer anyway. Therefore, healthy skin is a must for me!

I have combination-dry skin which shows some sensitivity to skincare that has too much in it, so I try to keep things simple. My main problems are an uneven skintone and dark circles under my eyes. I suppose I should start thinking seriously about anti-aging, since I'm to turn twenty-four in a week...additionally, I also double-cleanse.

My makeup/sunscreen removal products:
The Body Shop Chamomile Gentle Eye Make-up Remover
DARPHIN Paris Cleansing Aromatic Emulsion

If I'm wearing any eye makeup, I douse a cotton ball with the eye make-up remover and hold over my eye for a few seconds before I wipe things off. This works super well even against waterproof mascaras and I love how gentle it is -- I've gotten it on my waterline before and it doesn't even sting! Feels like water, if water were extremely effective against L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Carbon Black, haha. For the rest of the face I use the Cleansing Aromatic Emulsion which takes off some of the makeup. If I'm wearing foundation, I don't feel this works very well...

My facial cleansing products:
Pond's White Beauty Lightening Facial Foam
Olay Total Effects Revitalizing Foaming Cleanser
Olay Pro-X Cleansing Tool

Depending on how I feel, I reach for either cleanser, apply it on damp skin, and turn the Pro-X on its gentler setting -- it has two. The rotations work the cleansers into my skin and I use it for only a minute before I rinse everything off. Usually that gives me nice and glowy and thoroughly-cleansed skin, but if I have particularly dry skin, I use a cleanser with exfoliants in it instead -- please not this is not an every day thing, I can't handle it...

My exfoliation products:
DARPHIN Paris Exfoliating Foam Gel
St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub

And then, after a good rinse and a pat dry --

My toner: Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel

Non-drying, removes any residue (if any is even left), and feels refreshing!

My specialty products:
DARPHIN Paris Soothing Mask Eye Contour
DARPHIN Paris Dark Circles Relief and De-puffing Eye Serum

Because of bad habits and genetics, I have dark circles under my eyes. I use the Soothing Mask first and leave it on for 5-10 minutes as directed, then wipe off any excess product and follow up with the serum. It feels really good and helps with puffiness, and has helped the darkness some. It's not making miracles, but I like it enough. Not enough for a repurchase, though; I definitely want to try out another eye cream after I finish these two.

My night cream:
OLAY night of olay firming cream

Scoop out small amount with cotton swab onto fingertips, rub between fingertips to warm up the cream, apply to face and neck. This cream is inexpensive, has a delicate scent, and doesn't break me out. Does it actually firm? Well, I haven't noticed anything sagging so I can't really make a comment on that. But I like this cream!

When I wake up, I use a small amount of any cleanser to wash my face and then apply my daytime skincare.

My daytime skincare products:
Banana Boat sunblock
Olay Complete For Sensitive Skin

That's it for the day, really. I don't fuss much in the mornings. I only really take my time at night.

My extra skincare products:
The Body Shop facial massage tool
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

If I'm feeling extra nice to myself, I'll put on a mud mask or massage my face. If. I'm a little on the lazy side for that...if it weren't for the Pro-X, I would rarely exfoliate, either.

Is all of this worth it?

Worst. Lighting. Ever. Cameraflash = eternal enemy.

But I'm not unhappy. ♥

Wednesday, July 20

recent acquisitions

"You'll stay with me?"
"Until the very end."

So this past Saturday, just the day after it came out in theaters, three of my friends and I met up and saw the final Potter movie. I had my friend pen a Death Eater tattoo on my left arm and everything, because I wasn't able to pull out a closet Bellatrix costume in the nick of time -- my closet carries entirely too much color to get anything Bellatrix-y out of it, so I gave up in the end. The movie was, as Ron Weasley would say, "Brilliant." I freely admit it: I sobbed in the theater. I didn't cry, didn't sniffle -- no, I straight-up sobbed. Of course I won't be posting spoilers for anyone who may be reading but hasn't seen the movie yet, but everything about Snape was sob-inducing. Everything. I can't even begin to describe my feelings about that part of the movie. There is no point holding back tears when the Snape thing happened. I would just...I commend Alan Rickman. That is all.

I clung to my seat. My friend Tracy had to bodily lift me away, and even then I was whining like a prepubescent teen who wasn't getting the newest iPhone. I couldn't leave, not even after the credits rolled, not even as the lights came back on. I know, I'm shameless. Look at all the fucks I give if anyone shot me looks of judgment that day. Harry Potter's era has just been concluded, your arguments are invalid!

I wouldn't call it the greatest movie ever, but it was a solid one. And Neville was amazing. I for one cannot wait until Pottermore goes live because I will be all over that like Dobby was all over freedom. (Rest in peace, free elf. Rest in peace.)

Sterling Silver ring from Kohl's, on clearance.

I also acquired this ring the weekend before past. Actually, it wasn't me. My friend bought this for me, and I'm forever grateful. We were in Kohl's and Tracy and I were helping him shop for new shirts when this ring caught my eye. Even though it was on clearance -- it was originally $50USD and was marked down to about $12USD -- I decided against it because I didn't plan on buying anything that day; I was mainly putting my money on food and...well, food. He got it for me anyway without my knowing, haha. I was spazzing when he surprised me with it, and I've been wearing it ever since. I only take it off when I'm sleeping or getting my hands wet, such as in washing dishes or taking a shower. Otherwise it doesn't leave me. It's just a really pretty ring, intricate without being flashy, pretty without being costume...I don't know, it's almost Elvish to me in terms of design! I love it. It reminds me of something Arwen would wear.

New bookcase -- originally a DVD case!

I had a bad Wednesday through Friday last week. We won't go much into it, but basically, ants infiltrated my room. Their point of entry is the sliding glass doors in my room that lead straight out to the backyard...and are right next to patches of earth where I'm sure the ants are happily inhabiting. Thanks to the summer heat, they relocated -- and I woke up to Antville. It was horrifying, so I cleared everything out, sprayed Raid all around the glass doors and along the adjacent walls, and hated myself for being a lazy slob. When I put everything back I did some rearrangements, threw a trash bag's worth of useless stuff out, and grabbed this old DVD rack from the back room to turn into a makeshift bookcase. It's pretty good, even if it's a little on the flimsy side. That bright pink tome you see on the highest shelf is an early birthday present from the same friend who bought me my new ring. Hehe, he spoils me too much. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories is a hardcover collection of Lewis Carroll works from my favorite universe. I love, love, LOVE Alice stories, I really do. I could go off on a tangent about this, but I won't. That's another blog post entirely.

Today's acquisitions. Bear not included.

I was a fan of St. Ives' Apricot Scrub back in the day, but as time went on and my routine became a little more regular, I discovered that I had pretty sensitive skin and that the grains in the apricot scrub were just a touch too much for my face. I passed on the love of the scrub to my younger brother -- he has oily, acne-prone skin and benefits from once-/twice-a-week scrub sessions and spent some time away from St. Ives for a while. When they came out with their Green Tea line, I wasn't really interested, having discovered the Olay Pro-X Cleansing Tool (and loving it to bits!) and thinking it was enough for me. Well, I bought a small, sample-sized (travel-sized?) tube of the Green Tea Scrub for 75 cents once, and I fell in love. The grains in the Green Tea Scrub are silica, which are much finer than apricot grains and as a result are much nicer to my skin. Not to mention the scent is just heavenly -- very soothing and light. When I found out that Rite-Aid had St. Ives skincare for 25% off, of course I snagged myself a tube. As for the nail polish...well, I just saw yellow and reached for it. It's a bargain -- the top coat came free, so I saved $1.99USD just on that!


I really love that St. Ives continues to be greener and greener -- haha, I see what I did there -- with their products. Key ingredients for the Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub are: green tea, olive oil and olive leaf extract, and silica (sand). I got that from the St. Ives website, by the way.

I don't plan on using the scrub every day, considering it'd be death to my skin since I already use the Olay Pro-X once daily. I do like to rotate my cleansers sometimes -- I have three now including the scrub -- and my skin doesn't seem to have much problem with this new addition. I should post about my skincare routine sometime in the near future...

I've also started increasing my water intake and lemon water before my first meal of the day. It's helping flush out my system and I feel really good. I don't look half bad, either!

I think I still need more toning. Argh, self! Get with it!

Monday, July 18

picture update in mid-July

Me and the good ol' boy, Spencer.
(Doberman Pinscher and German Shepherd mix)

Spencer was adopted by my family in the year 2000, the same year we moved into our current house. He was a hyperactive, overly loving pup back then -- nowadays he's mellowed out to a sweetheart who does things at his own pace. He loves my kid brother and mum, but he's pretty nice around me too. (Don't think it's because he and I don't get along! I love animals, I just happen to be so socially awkward that even my dogs kind of get embarrassed to be around me, haha.) He doesn't often get in the house, but we got him in on the fourth of July and he was watching the telly with my mum. I snapped this photo as quickly as I could but he turned away at the first flicker of flash. ♥ He's actually incredibly handsome; I'll post another picture of him showing his face in the next blog.

My new ring; I absolutely love it! ♥ It's from Kohl's, haha.

Since the summer here is pretty hot, I really haven't been wearing much makeup at all. I only sometimes wear foundation for the rest of the time, but with this season I've really just been sticking to tinted moisturizers. Wet 'n Wild's Ultimate Sheer Tinted Moisturizer is basically my base makeup best friend nowadays...I feel pretty good when I've got it on. :)

Man, talk about spotty blogging. Self, let's try and come up with something useful for next time, yeah?