Monday, February 23, 2015

Daiso Obsessions

Daiso has been gaining quite a bit of popularity amongst a large diversity of people recently. For those of you who don't know what Daiso is, it is a Japanese version of "99 cent store" but with majority of their products being $1.50 with a few exceptions. I have actually been in love with some of their stuff, it's kind of crazy. I didn't know about Daiso until they opened one at the Madang plaza, which is where my work is and it didn't come off as an addictive store to look around in until quite recently, when I started finding out about some of their gem items.

My top obsession at Daiso right now are these adorable notebooks. I've always loved cute notebooks and it was such great news to me that I can find decently cute ones for only a dollar fifty. I particularly like notebooks that are like "college ruled" because they just look nicer and less childlike. I also don't write very big to begin with so I end up having more of a heart for the thinner lines.

I actually bought two more notebooks that I wasn't able to photograph because I bought them after I was already writing out this blog. And the funny thing is that I have only used two notebooks out of these so far...which definitely tell me that I'm obsessed with buying these adorable notebooks for just a dollar fifty.

To the left in the top photo is a set of mechanical pencil along with some led to go with it that I bought as I was buying one for a student. I didn't expect much, but it turned out being pretty good. I can be quite particular about the way my mechanical pencils work and this pencil worked quite smoothly. It is currently my go-to pencil.

To the right of the photo above is a cute pen that has different colors. If you go to Korean-owned stores around Ktown that sell stationaries and different pens/pencils, these "all-in-one" kind of pens tend to be quite expensive. I can't remember who but after someone has suggested them, I tried them out. I actually think they're not bad for pens that are only a dollar fifty and it actually comes with a set of two. It is absolutely adorable with the polka dots but using it does remind me of why I always prefer pens that are .5mm or thinner.

Above is a set of pens. And believe it or not, that was also a dollar fifty for the entire set of 10 different colors. What a steal, right? Only if they were .5mm thin I would love them even more and probably carry them with me everywhere I go. However, it is not as thin as I'd like so I actually haven't used them as much as I wanted. I'm quite sure they will come into good use at some moment so I'm still happy about that purchase.

Okay, okay. Now... I really like this set. As you see it in the photo, it comes as a set of five different markers: three black ones, one red and one blue. I ended up getting these because of Sarah, who is a coworker of mine that is also a dongseng(younger sibling even if not blood related). She talked about how she really likes these and she uses them all the time and have been using them for like the longest time. It has a very thin side and then there is the other side which is thicker and actually marker-like. I will definitely repurchase this one in the future.

Here is another set that I ended up getting because of Sarah. She should just be a promoter or some sort of advertising manager for Daiso or something. These are highlighters, and they come in that set. I love the variety of colors and this too, like the markers in the previous photo, have two different ends. There's the side that is actually like a regular highlighter. On the other end, it is like a thinner tip which can be used for multiple purposes. I have actually yet to put them to good use because school just started last week for me but I am more than excited to work with them!

Next up is something that is quite necessary and useful for school along with other personal "projects" and organizing that I do on the side. Staplers are one of those things that come in super handy. Mini staplers that you can carry around when going to school can come in even more useful than ever --- and I ended up purchasing both the super mini one and a decently mini but not too mini one. 
I actually just wanted the red one on the right because that's the stapler that we use at work and I really liked how well it worked. However, I ended up getting both of them because the stapler fill is not the "standard" size that you would find at places like Staples and I needed extra staples for the future. At the time of purchase, however, they ran out of just the fill and the only way to get it was to get one that was paired up with another stapler. I realized that it wouldn't be bad to have a smaller one to just carry around in my pencil case along with a fill for the same price I would pay for just the fill itself. I am more than happy with this purchase. I hope that these staplers last me a long time!

Having worked at The Faceshop for over a year now, I have gotten quite used to using knives to open boxes during inventory. I really wanted a knife to keep at home so that I can use it to open boxes and whatnot, so I was browsing and found this one, which is actually bigger than the ones we use at work. I love the color, and I love how well it works. I also love that it came with an extra blade in case the blade that's already inserted breaks. I know for a fact this will last me years and years, as long as I don't lose it. Even if I do end up losing it or breaking it somehow, I am totally going to get myself another one from Daiso.

I recently purchased two different mirrors from Daiso, and I am really loving them so far. The one on the left is girly, which is totally my taste. I bought that one to leave on my desk at home for when I wear makeup or when I just need to look at my face for whatever the reason may be. I don't know why I didn't think sooner to get one because I don't have any mirrors in my room.

The one on the right is like a hand mirror that I can easily just slip in my purse, backpack, clutch and sometimes even just my pocket to check up on my makeup. I tend to get pretty annoyed at any sort of smudging that may come upon my under eyes from eyeliner or mascara and my phone screen doesn't really do that great of a job showing me that in detail. I had a round hand mirror from Forever 21 in the past but I dropped it and it broke so I threw that one away. It's been quite a while since I owned a hand mirror but I'm pleased with its usefulness.

You can see how obsessed I have become with Daiso. They may continue to suck up money out of me but I hope all that I buy come in handy and not as a waste of my money. If there are any other things you've tried from Daiso and really liked, let me know and maybe I'll try them out in the future!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

It's Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day for the year of 2015 is finally here. As people are out there going on dates or preparing to go on dates tonight, I decided to dedicate this post in light of Valentine's Day whether you are taken and busy going on dates or just meeting up with friends throughout the day and enjoying good food and company like myself. 

I hung out with a dear dongseng(younger sibling even if not blood related) of mine named Caroline Kim last week. Yes, she's been featured in my blog before in a post called "Simply Fall" (<-- you can click on the link to check it out). Instead of going out to eat like the usual, we decided to stay home this time and cook for ourselves. Caroline was in charge of the appetizer and the main course, while I was in charge of preparing a salad and getting stuff for our dessert.

I actually have no idea what this is called, but Caroline brought the toppings all prepared from home along with some flat dough. After putting the oven at the heat of 400 to preheat, she cracked an egg open, whipped it to mix the yolk and the white, and spread a layer of it on the pieces of the dough. She then took the toppings that she prepared and put just the right amount on top of it. The topping consisted of onions, cheese, mushroom, apple, and a few other things that I don't remember. She popped it into the oven at the same heat and took it out when it looked like it was cooked.

This smelled delicious and it tasted as delicious as it smelled. I was quite in awe.

She then made the main course -- cream pasta with mushroom, shrimp and spinach. For those of you who know me and my preference of pasta... I absolutely love cream pasta. And I love shrimp. And mushroom. *DROOL* She used some spinach from what I had left over from making the salad and also used cream of mushroom for the sauce, which was heavenly.

As she was making the pasta, I started making our salad. I mixed spinach and chopped romain lettuce, along with croutons, cheese and some mandarins. We topped it with just a little bit of dressing which I actually can't remember what kind of dressing it was...but it was good.

All of that food stuff was delicious and all...but we were definitely more than excited to make our dessert and eat it. And because Valentine's Day was coming up, we decided to make something that is one of the more popular during this season---chocolate covered strawberries! *YUM*

Driscoll strawberries from Ralphs are usually amazing, especially if they're in season.

I found these for buy 1 get 1 free at Ralphs and got both milk chocolate and white chocolate. I'm not the greatest at "baking" or anything of that sort and I actually failed miserably, trying to melt chocolate before in the hot water/pot thing so I always look for these if I need melted chocolate.

WALA~ Here is the finished product. Caroline did most of the work if not all...because I wasn't sure that I can make the strawberries come out this pretty. She brought food coloring which we added to the white chocolate for the pink decoration. I know the visuals of these strawberries are amazing, but they tasted as good and sweet as it looks.

Just a heads up for those of you who will be using those chocolate or any chocolate in general for these delicious strawberries...white chocolate is harder to melt. I have no idea why, but the consistency of the chocolate is different from the milk chocolate so not only does it take longer to melt it, it doesn't look as smooth and pretty when you dip the strawberry in it.

I didn't get to take a picture with Caroline on this day, but here's a picture of me and Caroline's back. I wore my red flannel from Hollister and Caroline wore red lipstick to represent the Valentine's Day theme. I hope you guys have a great day with your loved ones, whether that's family, friends or lovers because it's Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wonji's Makeup Review

I decided to do a review and comparisons for some make up products that I've used this past couple months because I knew it was long overdue. The biggest thing that kept me from doing one of these or even any other make up posts is because I'm not the greatest at taking photos and especially photos of products. Please bear with me and my photos even though they may not be the best looking photos. (;

Just like the collage above, I will start with some compact looking products.

[SPF 50+/PA+++]

This is the Hera UV Mist Cushion, which has been a huge fad along with the IOPE UV Mist Cushion in the Korean beauty community. Especially during this past Summer, it was really big with different companies coming out with their own form of cushion and being widely sold.

I really wanted to try one of these and I was able to try them out after receiving it from my friend, Eunbi. She received it as a gift but she doesn't really wear face make up and felt that there wasn't really a use for her. So... she gave it to me. *YAY*

This was definitely my go-to product this past summer because of its easy and fast application and because it was one of those things I can carry around and fix my make up on spot.

This product comes in either N21, N23, C21 or C23. N stands for natural and C stands for cover, which should tell you right off the bat that the N products will be less coverage than the C products. The one I had was the N21, which was on the lower coverage side. It worked perfectly for me because I don't like wearing heavy face make up to begin with. I would like to know how much coverage the C products have just to compare but I don't know if that will ever happen.

[SPF 50+/PA+++]

This is a product from where I work --- The Faceshop. It is the same concept but this product comes in only one color. That is what sucks the most because it actually smells really good for a make up product and the coverage is pretty light coverage, which works for me. It may not be that great for those of you who look for medium to full coverage in products, unless you wear this on top of a foundation, bb cream or a cc cream. And because it comes in only one color and it is very light, it wouldn't work unless you were whiter than me or you were about my skin tone but like to put on lighter make up.

I got this a while back but I actually didn't use it much until recently because of its super light color. I started using this again when I realized I was running low on my Hera cushion. I wanted to save the little that I have left for the days when I would actually "need" it so I just wore this when going to work and for not very important days.

I would say that the coverage for this product is slightly less than the Hera cushion, but barely.

This is a powder pact from Enature, which is also a Korean brand. It is not as well known as some of the other make up brands but I actually really like this. It is a pretty light coverage powder pact that works great as the finishing touch of your make up. I usually only use this powder when I wear CC cream, although there is no rule that you should only use it then. The powder not only makes my face matt-looking but it also helps absorb the extra oils that form on my face, especially around my nose.

I'm not sure how many different colors they carry but mine is in the color N23. It does have kind of a yellow undertone, which I like because my face tends to get rosy easily.

This is a pore powder pact from Aritaum. This is one of the newest additions to my make up collection and my make up routine. It's not necessarily needed as much when I wear CC cream + powder pact but it works nicely for me when I wear just a simple cushion like the ones shown above. I've never heard of these pore powders/pore powder pacts until my coworker/dongseng (little sibling) Sarah told me about her wanting a pore powder from Innisfree. I happened to be in San Gabriel recently and saw an Aritaum store there and ended up picking this up with a few other stuff, along with the pore powder for Sarah.

I was quite amazed at the price to begin with because I feel like if this was a product at my work, The Faceshop, it would've been more expensive. The pore (loose) powder that I got for Sarah was only $6 and this pore powder pact that I got for myself was $9. I'm still in the process of trying it out to see if I really like it or not but so far, it's been quite nice. 

This is my first ever Bare Minerals product that I got to try thanks to my beloved Eunice Sun. For those of you who follow me on instagram, you would've seen this a while back. I've been wanting to try out one of their products and Eunice totally surprised me with this. It is the Mineral Veil translucent powder and it feels really nice on your skin as it holds your make up in place. The only thing that I found to be a little uncomfortable is the way I have to apply it --- put some on the cap and use a powder brush to make circles on your face for an even application. There are times when I'll shoot out the door and apply make up in the car and it definitely wouldn't work for me in those cases. It's a light powder that applies lightly and is good for people like me who like to wear light coverage anything.

These are the CC creams that I currently own and all three of them are new with very little usages so far. However, I've gone through an entire bottle of the Nature Republic CC cream and this is my second tube.

[SPF 30/PA++]

I'll start with my favorite --- the Nature Republic CC Cream in the shade "tinted." After trying out Jane's a while back, I got one for myself. I really liked the feel of it on my face and the light coverage that makes it hard for people to tell whether I have make up on or not but I definitely can see that my skin tone has been evened out with it covering up little blemishes like my freckles. Because I used up my entire first bottle, I got myself another one through the help of an ex-coworker who visited Korea. I was more than delighted to have another one of these again. Thanks Diane!

[SPF 30/PA++]

This is the CC cream from Etude House. This was unexpectedly given to me with the rest of the stuff I got from my mom's friend a while back. I made a post about this and a bunch of other products that I will be reviewing on here on my old beauty blog, Timeless Beauty, in a post called "Korean Cosmetics Haul." There's the link for it if you want to check that out. Going back to this product, I have mixed feelings about it. It was definitely nice to be able to try out an Etude House product since it's not one of those that I can find here in the US.

This product comes out as white, then turns to skin color when you start rubbing it in. The feel of the product is kind of matte-ish compared to the other two CC creams and I feel like it has kind of a pinkish undertone rather than the nude/yellow undertone that I like. On top of that, this color seems a little too bright for me in general and having a pinkish undertone definitely doesn't help. Since I have it I will probably end up using it up but it would probably be one of my last choices and I don't think I would get this again.

[SPF 30/PA++]

This CC cream, which is from The Faceshop, has the kind of undertone that I like. This particular tube one comes in 2 colors and this is the darker of the two. The Faceshop products tend to run in the shades 1,2,3/17,21,23, etc depending on what it is. 2 or 21 is the "natural beige" color, which is the one that would fit closest to my skin tone. Rather than this one, the compact looking CC creams are more popular at The Faceshop but I found that one to be a little too thick for me. This one was a better choice for me in my opinion because it is a little bit less heavy but enough coverage for it to look more like make up compared to the Nature Republic one. My friend Eunbi really likes this one and I think this one works nicely for days when things are just a little more special than usual and I want to wear just a little more make up than usual. Once I run out, I may want to get one of these again unless I find something better for a better price.

Aren't these so cute? They are blushers from Etude House. The casing for this is absolutely adorable, and the colors are very nice as well. The one on the left is the coral color that has a bit of pink color to it and the one on the right is a light pink. These aren't super high pigmented, which I really like because when blush is overdone, it doesn't look good. These are both without any pearl, which was a nice addition to my coral blusher from The Faceshop that has pearls in it.

The one on the bottom is the coral blusher from The Faceshop. It has just enough pearl in it to not look like you just have sparkles all over your face but still keep a glow. I love the coral color because it presents such a natural looking cheek glow. My hand always reaches for either of the coral ones rather than the pink... which definitely shows my color preference for my cheeks.

After my senior prom in high school, eyebrows became a very important factor in my make up. That was the first time anybody has ever tweezed my eyebrows (thanks Kristie lol) and for the longest time ever after that, I couldn't help but stare at everyone's eyebrows. Filling in my eyebrows are an important part of my make up and I would most definitely advise you to check your eyebrows and see whether they're in good shape or not.

So after I started working at The Faceshop, we got in these "color my eyebrow" eyebrow mascaras which I decided to give it a try. I actually bought one in a brown color but I ended up dying my hair even lighter after I purchased it, so I had to get myself a blonde-brown one. I've actually been loving it. I would use an eyebrow pencil to first fill in and get the shape before using the mascara to temporarily "dye" my eyebrow hairs. It works nicely with my lightly dyed hair.

When I was at the Aritaum store, I saw their eyebrow mascara and I just had to grab it. The formula looks a little bit darker than the one from The Faceshop but it was the lightest color they carried. What made me get it was the price. The Faceshop eyebrow mascara is $11, while the Aritaum one is $6. Wow. It was such a good deal because it was an entire $5 difference for a product that is barely less in its content. I'm still on the testing out stage of the Aritaum one, and I noticed that I don't even have to try hard to get my eyebrow hairs to turn colors with the Aritaum one. I'm not sure if that's good or bad -- personal preference, I would think. For me, I like it more subtle than not, so I've noticed that if I don't apply it carefully enough, my eyebrows turn out a lot more lighter than wanted, which makes it more obvious that I tried turning my eyebrows to match my hair color.

I absolutely love my Naked Palette and everything but sometimes, these singles ones come to rescue. I picked this up at the Amore store inside Vermont Galleria, and it's from Aritaum. It is sparkly as you can see, and if you don't wear primer, it does create a bit of fall out. When I'm wearing my full on make up though, I don't find the bit of fall out to be that bothersome for me because it ends up getting covered up for the most part by my powder pact.

This is another one from Aritaum that is actually the newest addition to my eyeshadow collection. Mono Eyes and Shine Fix Eyes have been more of a fad lately in the Aritaum line in Korea, and I don't think the stores here in America carry the Shine Fix Eyes collection. This eyeshadow caught my attention and I ended up purchasing it even though I have so many other eyeshadows to use. These were only $5.25 or $5.50 +tax, which was such a good price considering that The Faceshop single eyeshadows are $8+tax a piece.

The texture of this eyeshadow isn't really creamy or anything but when you lightly rub your eyeshadow brush on it, the shiny particles are transferred to the brush. I've figured out after using this product for a while that rather than rubbing it into your eyelids like you would with some other eyeshadows, it looks better and there are less fall out if you just mix up the patting and the rubbing. I also noticed the difference of wearing eyeshadow primer and not wearing it before application of this eyeshadow. There is a noticeable difference in the pigmentation that shows up on the skin.

I've purchased this Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion... I don't even remember when and I feel like it's been in my collection for a long time. Maybe it's because I don't always use an eyeshadow primer but wow, this has been lasting me for a long time.

I've been wanting to try out this Too Faced eyeshadow primer because I noticed that most makeup artists(?) that are popular on youtube always talks about using either this or the urban decay one. I got this small sample size one this past Christmas as a part of a present that my friend Eunbi gave me and now I can tell you what I think I like better between the two.

In terms of color pigmentation, it's hard to say. I don't see much of a difference. The biggest thing I did notice between the two was that the Urban Decay primer potion is more oily than this Too Faced one. Once I'm completely done using both tubes, I think I may buy the Too Faced one in its full size rather than repurchase the Urban Decay one.

MASCARAS. They are so important, as many of you ladies know. As an Asian girl with not very many lash counts to begin with and the length of my lashes being short, I wanted to find a mascara that works for me in multiple ways: smudge-proof, volumizing, and lengthening. I was able to get that Maxx'eye one from The Faceshop through my mom's friend that brought me a bunch of stuff from Korea and I love it. I felt like of all the mascaras that I've tried so far, it helped volumize a little, lengthen my lashes, they were smudge-proof, and they didn't have a strong scent to the formula and it didn't clump my lashes. The only problem was that it costs $28 at the store here and I wasn't going to pay $28 for a then I tried the Full 'N Soft (waterproof) one from Maybelline as Jeanie recommended and I actually really like it! I've always been kind of afraid to use waterproof mascara because I felt like it wouldn't come off very well even with eye make up remover. This was actually easy to remove just like my other mascaras that aren't waterproof and did a really good job of lengthening my lashes. I found it to be not as smudge-proof as it was supposed to be but it's not as bad as some of the other ones I've tried. This one costed me less than $10 and I think I will repurchase this one in the future!

On the other hand, I was quite disappointed with this mascara that came with the Too Faced eyeshadow primer. It definitely did an amazing job of lengthening my lashes, no doubt. However, it was not smudge-proof/waterproof, and it kept smudging on the lower part of my eyes, making it difficult for me to feel safe without looking at a mirror every now and then and having a q-tip always ready to fix it. I will definitely not be buying this mascara...ever.

The kind of eyeliner one uses for their makeup is important and it also depends on what kind of look you like going for. My daily makeup consists of a slight cat-eye look that starts from the middle of my eyes rather than from the inner corner. I wasn't able to take a picture of the brush pen liner that I use for that purpose, but it's a $16 liquid brush liner from The Faceshop. The Noevir brush liner on the very right is one that I use when I go for a thicker eyeliner look for when I wear falsies or for those days when I'm going somewhere special and want to just wear more make up than usual. The one in the middle is a gel type eyeliner in pencil form from The Faceshop, which I actually really enjoy using because of its smooth feeling when applying it to your eyelids. The hardest thing with that is the tail that i like to draw, and I just resolve that problem by using brush liner to run over it and draw my tail. I was able to try a Too Faced eyeliner that came with the rest of the stuff that I reviewed on up there, to find that its consistency was very similar to the Urban Decay 24/7 pencil eyeliner except it seemed to slide a lot more meaning a smoother application but it's too smooth, meaning that I cannot control the thickness of my eyeliner very well. I don't think I would ever buy this one either.

Just a bonus is this mask from Lush. It was gifted to me for Christmas from my friend Jane, and it was my first Lush product. I actually really like it and it has become a routine for me to do this at least once a week, if not twice. It has a peppermint scent which was very interesting, but my face feels super fresh after using it and I would definitely consider purchasing one for myself after I am done using it. Thanks, Jane!

I know this was quite a long post, but it is the most legitimate makeup post I've ever done, especially after I merged my beauty blog onto Grace Yourself. I hope this was a good enough review for you to know what to try versus what not to try.

Thanks, and good night!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Oversized Sweater and Prada : Jane Kim

It was quite a beautiful Sunday for Jane, who came to church with beautiful hair.
As nice and curled up her hair was, it was a little surprising to find her wearing quite some casual and comfortable looking clothes.

She rocked her casual/comfortable outfit in a pair of black jeans from J. Crew paired up with a neutral oversized knit sweater on top from H&M.

It was more than enjoyable going over these photos after the photoshoot because most of the photos came out really funny-looking in a cute way.

And as you can see, she layered a little with a dark gray tank top underneath the sweater to avoid showing skin.

She wore Prada sneakers in the color navy and white that she received from her aunt. Because it's a dark color, it looks black in some of the photos but they are actually navy blue.

I hope you had a good "hump day" and finish up the rest of the week strong and with lots of laughter like Jane here :)