Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dove Dry Shampoo - quick review

I have been meaning to write a review about this one for awhile but had decided against it time and time again. I want to weigh the pros to using this product as it being great at soaking up any oil in my hair and even got my day three of no washing or water rinsing hair in tip top non oily shape, and helped it stay that way all day long. If you asked me what the scent was exactly all I would have to say is "It smells like Dove." I guess they have their own signature scent that I cannot put my finger on. It covers up any odors that may come from 3 day old hair to the point where my coworker said she liked the shampoo scent I was using and when I informed her that I hadn't washed my hair in 3 days she was really surprised.

Now for the cons, and there are only 2 that come to mind when I use this product. One of them is that I feel it makes my hair feel to thick and a little powdery. I do brush the hair after spraying and even use a fine tooth comb to distribute and brush out excess. I still feel like my hair is too coated in product that it doesn't have any movement at all. Though I have just solved that problem with doing a quick and easy sock bun to hide the stiff hair. Another problem that I get from using this is that the product gets behind my ear and makes scaly flakes that are crusty and bothersome. I really hate that this happens because this is the only con that makes this a deal breaker product for me. I hope nobody else has this problem because I can see this would be useful product to add fullness to baby thin hair. I myself have thin hair but a lot of it so it can seem thicker than it is.

Overall, I can live with the 3 day hair sprayed and thrown in a sockbun but not when I get flaky skin that people will see when I do use the stuff. So I will not be repurchasing this and keeping it away from around my ear area while I use up the rest of the can. On to the next dry shampoo thank-you-very-much! Any recommendations from my reader will be greatly appreciated! Until next time my lovelies!

My Empties, Products I Have Used Up

BAM! My empties!!! (okay some have at most two uses left but essentially they are empty )
An areal view from the skies reveals my bare minerals and a single eye shadow from Almay. 
So this will be my very first empties post and I wanted to give it a go and see how I like it because I do like watching and reading other bloggers post about products they've used up and if they think they were worth buying them again.

 This is tore up from the floor up bad and is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Light. I would try to salvage the last few bits but I already have a new one I have been using. I think I originally got this on special for $3 and didn't think I would really like it but I ended up loving it. I love using this for under my eyes because I have horrible dark circles sometimes and this really does the trick to brighten it up without drying out the skin. This was well loved and repurchased and is used almost every time I put on makeup to go to work or just run errands. 

I admit, this is probably a low for me as I have been trying to hold out on using this particular eye shadow because they stopped making them. I think this is beyond hitting pan and beyond ridiculously old because i think I have had it since...2008? OMG does that make me a hoarder?!! I really can't bring myself to throw this away because I really love the peachy champagne color on my brow bones. 

This is a very loved color, I have never ever hit pan on any eye shadows in my life. Maybe because I have too many shadows but that's a whole other subject for another completely different post.

You may recognize this from my July favorites post and now this product is at it's final few stops before it's tiny little heart stops beating. I killed it and it was worth it because it offered the perfect amount of moisturization before applying my sunscreen on my face and neck. Yes, I do moisturize before I moisturize doesn't everybody? NO? Okay I admit I'm a weirdo but I admit ever since I started moisturizing with lighter moisturizers my T-zone doesn't get as oily. Also growing older probably helped a little too. 

I am very sad to see it go as I cannot find it in the store anymore. I think I can buy it online but as long as I don't have to pay shipping costs. 

This is the L'Oreal Studio Secrets professional base
I think this primer has been like this for ages. I used to think this was the best primer in the drugstore aisle for my skin but I was wrong and now have moved on. I do have a brand spanking new one waiting to be used so I will throw this out because it's probably unsanitary. I believe this was my third pot I have bought but at $10 dollars each it's a bit steep to be using everyday. I do like it but I would rather save my money for maybe the Smashbox ones. 

My holy grail primer. bask in its glory....

The Rimmel Fix & Protect Pro in 002  is my all time favorite everyday primer because it is not only cheap but also works to make my skin smoother and my makeup last throughout the day. I have already replaced this and the backup is in the wings waiting for the last bits to squeeze out because I am really trying not to waste a drop. I got this for about $5 and it lasts for a couple months of everyday use. I used to use the tinted one but found that the product separated after while and maybe the orangey color wasn't the best base for fresh makeup. 

My holy grail powders that I have used time and time again for a flawless look. I used to be self concious about my skin until I started using Bare Minerals. I feel that for my skin it doesn't make me oily looking or dry out my skin. I can use the colored powder and the mineral veil both, or just use the mineral veil as a setting powder for my BB creams. or sometimes when I have REALLY bad skin which for me now is getting to be less and less often, I will do a light layer of my foundation, use the concealer brush the kit came with and spot cover my dark acne scars and then buff a light dusting of the powder over the makeup to set it. I swear I get the best coverage that way. Plus it seems to dry out my pimples. 

I really don't know if it is normal to include home hair dye kits in an empties post but I might as well be honest with you and say, yes I dye my hair and I do it at home. I used to use a different one but I think they changed the formula or something because it doesn't work how it used to. It made my hair seem dry and the color selection isn't as good anymore. But I do remember using this a couple times and liking it but not enough to replace my old favorite but now this is my new favorite dye. The color is a nice dark chocolaty brown and I bought this recently because I had a really bad dye job where I accidentally picked a permanent dye and made my hair too light. I had an event that weekend and I really needed something gentle to use in my hair so I prayed to the at home dye job gods and applied  and honestly, I thought my hair would fall out but thankfully it didn't. There was minimal damage but I do have to say I have a lot more split ends and may need to schedule a hair trim sooner than I wanted to and I promise not to dye again for another few months. 

I really like this dry shampoo and for 
$3 a pop you really can't go wrong. It smells very tropical and doesn't leave any gross residue or leave a white cast on my dark colored hair. I am still looking for a suitable high end dry shampoo and was looking into the Sexy hair one and a Blow dry bar I went had their own but they didn't have a travel size so I could just try it without a full bottle commitment. 

So there you go, those are all my empty products which to me is amazing because I have so much crap I don't even know how I am going to use anything up especially since I have hoarder tendencies. It might be awhile until my next one so don't hold your breath lol. 

So hopefully you had a good read and maybe saw some old favorites of yours that may be sitting there and you will say to yourself  "Hey, maybe I should try that again and see if I like it." maybe? or maybe it's something you used up and go "Hey! That's what I forgot to get at the store today!" (that's me all day everyday).  Thanks for dropping in!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tresemme Platinum Strength Deep Conditioner Treatment

I love this stuff so much I always keep a backup on hand. 

I had been looking for a great deep conditioner for the longest time ever and in my quest heard about the Tresemme Platinum Strength line and decided to give it a try. If you have ever dyed your hair you know about that tiny "what the hell am I going to do with this tiny" conditioner that comes with it and works like no other to make your hair super soft and silky. I hoard them and honestly its the only reason I still dye my hair other than to refresh the discolored ends. It seems to make my hair so soft and luxurious and no other conditioners seem to be able to stand up to it until this came a long into my life.

Before this, I was in the darkness and now I see the light, it is really that amazing. I believe it may have a cult following someday because I know other bloggers have raved about this magic liquid. I really feel it is the best I have found and works instantly to make my damaged hair super soft and manageable. I also feel when I Co-Wash my hair with it it doesn't leave an icky residue but I do not apply anywhere near my roots when I do because my scalp can get oily and gross any one with drier hair can probably get away with it but I will not make that attempt ever.

I usually don't even repurchase most conditioners because I like to switch things up a bit by the time I'm done but with this I am already on my second bottle. Yes, it is good enough for a repurchase from me. So if you are ever in that hair care aisle of the drugstore go ahead and pick this up for a try. I think it does deliver the deep conditioning treatment it promises and we all know it's hard to find products that actually deliver as promised

So I hope you enjoyed my review of this particular deep conditioner because I really enjoy using it for myself. I really am obsessed because it delivers more than I ever thought it would at a fair price of about $4 to $5. I am not using the whole line and I can see results so it isnt really necessary to purchase all items to see results. Thanks for dropping in!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My first time at Honeyboba!

Here in the SGV, Asian tea houses are pretty big and that influence is an awesome one to have. I love being able to go to these styles of cafes to get my munchies on and being able to just relax and hang out with friends in a sober environment. Plus I think the food movement here in SoCal has pushed everyone to have some kind of twist on an already loved classic from Mac and cheese filled grilled cheese sandwiches with buffalo chicken to Korean tacos filled with bulogi and kim chi.

The inside of this place is pretty swanky with the chandeliers hanging. Definitely fancier than most boba shops!

The line practically goes out the door and doesn't relent. 

We ended up sitting outside because it was noisy with all the blenders going at the same time.
Here is my drink, Plum tea with honey boba.

Then to drink you pop a hole in it with a straw like you did as a kid with juice boxes. 

My fondest memories are hanging out after school with my friends, learning to use chopsticks and getting a boba milk tea. I really grew out of the creamy sweet milk teas and converted over to just an infused tea like a black tea with passion fruit or green tea with kumquat or maybe a cafe sua da. I also took out the tapioca balls out of my drinks and replaced it with Asian style egg custard if I've been good.. But this marks the first time in forever I have had any tapioca balls in  my drinks and man oh man was it delicious! I have had honey boba before but these are really the best I have tasted ever. I decided against getting the lychee lovers tea and got one I had never seen on a tea house menu before, the Plum tea. You can customize the drinks sweetness and because I do not like sweet drinks I got mine with half sweetness and it was totally perfect. It was a little sour, lighlty sweet and the boba were not chewy and sticky. Overall it is one of the better drinks I have tasted and is a must try if you are ever in the SoCal area.

Hopefully you all have been having a deliciously beautiful week so far!
What are some of your favorite places to hang out at? 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Expert Sensitive Hydrating Eye Cream Review

Yes, this is a half used tube of eye cream. 
I have been on a mission to find an affordable drugstore eye cream and on this mission I found one from the Boots brand which is a nice transplant from the UK to here in The States. I have so far have tried a foundation, microdermabrasion scrub and this particular eye cream. This particular eye cream is only $7.29 at Target which is a bargain buy for any eye cream because if I'm not mistaken they usually start at $15 and up. So I just had to give this a try at such a low price because worst case scenario it could just serve as a basic face moisturizer.

The formula is for sensitive eyes which I do not have but is not something I will dismiss when I'm shopping for any moisturizing creams. The formula is indeed very moisturizing and isn't greasy which I greatly appreciate. At the time of purchase I somehow had gotten a dry patch on my eyelid which is a huge surprise because I had never experienced a dry patch in my life. Within a week and a half the dry patch disappeared.

I think if you are looking for a an eye cream that just moisturizes that this is a great product but do not expect much more than that. I have a few lines underneath my eyes and none were diminished at all but I feel it would benefit someone younger looking to keep that area keeping it moisturized to prevent wrinkles.

Overall, I like this eye cream but I do not think I will repurchase it and will look for something that will erase the little bit of lines I do have but still is a great product for someone just looking for something to moisturize and to be gentle on the eye area as well.

This is a super creamy and moisturizing formula and is great for anyone younger and looking to prevent wrinkles. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Jewel of an Eye pallet

 I really can't wait for fall right now, it really hasn't been a hot end of summer to me. Or maybe I'm just crazy and don't realize how hot it is because I am cooped up in an office for most of the day. Or maybe I just cannot wait to wear all the blazers I got from the second hand store. Either way, I crave something with a little more oomph and just something that reminds me of my favorite season. I can't wait to play around with these colors. 

The front. This is my first Sonia Kashuk pallet by the way. 

The back

 These browns are really pretty and are more of a satin sheen than a glitter to me. Not quite a shimmer and I believe these three by themselves would make a lovely daytime date smokey eye.

The middle Burgandy color is something I have been craving to use for awhile now. I can't wait to use this in a new look. I really wouldn't know exactly what to do with it or where I could wear it but just the fact that I get to try something new and out of my comfort zone is exciting for me. 

I have been reeeeeeaaaalllllllyyyyyy wanting to do a kind of green smokey eye and I believe this is the color I have been looking for all summer long. Now all I need to do is find a chubby green eyeshadow stick or regular emerald green eyeliner to achieve the look I want. 

I love purple, it is my favorite color and honestly I am clueless on how to not make it look like I got punched in the face when I wear it. Maybe they are just the wrong purples? Maybe it is because I never had the right tools? Or maybe I just suck at anything other than a traditional smokey eye??? I will see if I can acheive something pretty and not something that screams "domestic abuse". -__-

So hopefully you enjoyed my swatches and comments from the peanut gallery on the new Sonia Kashuk eyeshadow. I really wasn't expecting much because it is still a drugstore brand but a pretty pricey one at that. I got this for $20  bucks but I was reading that other got it for $16. So they might be in a different part of the country or got a  coupon or sale I didn't know about. But I guess prices can be regional and things are more expensive over here compared to other parts of the US but at $20 divided by 12 shadows is about 1.67 per shadow so its not that bad. So now its time to sit and deiced if I should get those limited edition brushes as well....hmmmm.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Weekend Post

It's been awhile since my last post and if you're a new reader I'd like to say welcome and thank you and if you're subscribed I'd like to say I'm very humbled and thankful that anyone would want to stay updated on what I have to say.

I kind of took a break from makeup and thinking about makeup this weekend and ended up having a very delicious weekend indeed. Saturday I ended up going to Villains over in downtown LA located in the arts district where they had all you can eat spit roasted lamb which was delicious.

I sent my mom this picture and she asked who's dog it was and she was calling PETA. I couldn't stop laughing.

After that we headed to little Tokyo for the Nisei week festivities and to watch the World Gyoza Eating Competition. I've only seen one other food completion and that was last year at the Rib Fest in Reno, Nevada. After seeing that I wasn't up for eating any ribs because it was disgusting. I reluctantly watched because my boyfriend and his friend wanted to see it. Oh the things I do in the name of love!

Afterwards we headed to one of my favorite coffee shops called Cafe Demitasse. I hadn't been to in awhile and I'm always excited to go because the menu is always changing and they're always trying new flavors and ways of serving coffee.
ahhh..mysignature "I spilled my coffee on the way to the table" picture of my tasty coffee here. 

I got the orange thyme and cardamom latte because I'm honestly addicted to thyme. Thyme is my absolute favorite and really shined and showed the flavor profile well. The orange was not detectable but really brought out the flavor of thyme even more while the cardamom gave it a nice savory profile. It really reminded me of fall and made me want to make a whole roasted chicken for dinner. It was definitely a far cry from the cookie cutter Starbucks concoctions I've grown to dislike.

Sunday morning we hit the Alhambra farmers market just so I could see what was fresh so I could plan dinner this week. I found the most flavorful little tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillos, celery, a bunch of rainbow colored carrots and some beautiful looking peaches for snacking on during the week. I've made it tradition to pick up some flowers and decided on the dyed sunflowers that reminded me of a beautiful sunset.

Afterwards we headed to Buster's coffee shop in South Pasadena in hopes of them having slices of strawberry rhubarb pie available but sadly they didn't. It's a shame because I really don't crave sweets so I guess I'll have to hold out and see if any other bakeries have it. So instead of having coffee over at Buster's we went across the street to try a brand new bakery that opened up called La Monarcha which translates to 'The Monarch' from Spanish. They had a lot of traditional Mexican pan ducle and cakes along with a couple twists to these classic bakery treats.

look how beautiful

And a closer look at the cake. the dulce de leche was very homemade tasting. 

I ended up getting the cafe con leche which is just steamed milk with regular brewed coffee and shared a slice of dulce de leche cake. I normally hate cake because of the heavy frosting dumped on top but the frosting was light, airy and not too sweet.

These were so cute and I have never seen this variety so I just had to have them. I decided it would be a good idea to marinade them and serve them on top of my fried polenta. 

This was the first time I put something inside the polenta mix. I had gone to the hatch chile roasting at the local grocery store and decided it would taste great like this. 
 I have made fried polenta many times before and decided the hatch chiles I got last weekend the polenta would be a great vehicle for them. Its common to find a jalapeno cornbread in restaurants but since I always seem to make my cornbread too dry I decided this would be easier for me to accomplish. Somehow the polenta didn't set overnight and it was way too mushy. I think what went wrong was I dint account for the extra moisture in the chiles. So I just heated the polenta mix in my frying pan and served it with the tomatoes I marinated.

Yes, I do think it looks out of place to have crumbled bacon on top but it tastes really good. 
The citrus flavor from the marinated tomatoes cut the spiciness of the chiles and the cilantro added a fresh bright taste. I added a sprinkle of queso fresco as well because it thought it needed a creamy aspect to the flavors. Even though I failed I feel as though the flavors were all there and complimented each other.

My farmers market haul in the pot. 
 I decided to cut down on my work in the kitchen during the week by making my tomatillo sauce in advance. I wanted to grill the veggies but instead I sauteed them all together before putting them in the blender. I really love making this sauce because it adds flavor without the fat. My favorite way to use it isd to sear some chicken in a pan, slice it up and then add a little of this and some low sodium chicken broth and simmer it until tender. I then make tacos or burritos out of the stewed meat. I think it's heaven on earth.

The finished sauce. 
After I cook the veggies until tender I throw them in a blender and add some fresh lime zest, fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro and blend until smooth. The flavors are great and the fresh lime juice and cilantro really add that extra somethin' somethin' if you know what I mean. I might want to do a separate recipe post on this because this holds a special place in my heart and kitchen because my grandma really loved this stuff when she couldn't eat a lot of things. Over the years I have perfected it and have decided that it might be worth sharing my knowledge with you.

Sunday afternoon cocktails. 
 I finished off my food filled weekend with my favorite, gin cocktails. I used Bombay Sapphire, St Germain, fresh lime juice, muddled cucumbers and mint finished off with a splash of soda on top and garnished it really cute. It was perfectly sweet and sour with a nice freshness coming from the flavor of the cucumber and mint. 

Hopefully you all had a wonderful weekend as well filled with wonderful edible things. I tried a couple new things and overall can't wait to have another weekend like this.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quick pickles - Carrots and onions

I have been wanting to make my own pickles for ages now but have always been intimidated by the whole science and process behind it. so as a nice little compromise I decided to do quick pickles or as I really like to call them "quickles".

I really did some homework because the risks of botulism are pretty scary and I really don't want to die over a cucumber. Pineapple yes, cucumber no. The more I looked into the risks The more reassured I became and decided to do it. Apparently the risks are higher when you intend to leave the finished product out in your cupboards and is safer to do because it will be stored in the refrigerator. Though they should be eaten within a couple weeks.

So I found a recipe and decided to wing some of it except for the proper proportions of water to vinegar. I added my own seasonings but didn't have the recommended kosher or pickling salt and used iodized salt. Keep in mind it will make the liquid look cloudy but since it was my first time I really didn't care too much.

 You can see the fresh garlic, peppercorns and bay leaf and I also added crushed red pepper flake, cumin and smoked paprika along with some dried thyme. 

 Please excuse the mess, I didn't bother cleaning up after myself because of the excitement I had for making these bad boys.

I used a glass measuring cup to pour the hot liquid in. Glass ones are best because they don't crack like the cheap plastic ones do. 

 I spooned the rest of the yummy goodnes on top that didn't pour in with the liquid. You ca buy these jars on the internet or in the grocery store. I think they usually are in the spice aisles or the baking aisle. We got these jatrs from the wine bar inside Whole Foods. They featured a new sangria and they presented them in these awesome mason jars.

After I put the lid on top I tipped it over to distribute the spices. 
I got the random idea of chopping up a little fresh dill and reopened it and re-shook it. I have really gotten into dill lately thanks to a new Italian restaurant that has opened up in the neighborhood. They had a risotto with speck and dill and I fell in love with it. The menu changes with what is fresh and maybe with what they feel like making so I gt to see a new risotto there every time I go but that one in particular is my all time favorite. 

The process really only took maybe half an hour and was so easy a child could do it, as long as said child knew proper safety around an open flame though. The taste was amazingly fresh and a nice change to the usual store bought items you can find. and honestly it's a good way to get some veggie variety in your diet with the lowest amount of calories. Plus you get the satisfaction of doing something yourself.

I got the basics from this recipe right here and you can check it out yourself. I honestly didn't ave most of those spices so I used herbs I know I love and winged it. but don't wing the wet part of the brine unless you're going to use regular white vinegar as opposed to cider vinegar. Use the same proportions just dont think "oh hey, Ill put hardly any vinegar in here." and think you'll be safe. Just don't. and Just enjoy yourself. 

Also, related but unrelated, I was looking up recipe books for pickling but somehow came across this book called Roots which features a variety of different roots and recipes for them . I'm really debating on whether or not to get it. I do love experimenting and finding new ingredients so maybe this will be a new catapult into a new venture and will help me put a new thing under my culinary belt. 

I think it's time to head to the farmer's market! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

July Glossybox

It's that time of the month where I get my monthly Glossybox and it came late because I was lazy and didn't update my billing info in time. It just so happened that they also double charged me for it as well which was sad but Customer service responded to my email in under 2 hours and gladly refunded me the money which made me a very happy camper.  This just gives me another reason to love them and I must say I already love them a lot.

Then this lovely surprise happened. I got two boxes. whoo hoo! I guess they had made a mistake and I got the box I never wanted. Good deal for me, that's the way I see it. I just hoped I didn't get the exact same box but if I did, worst case scenario was to give away what I didn't need. 

 Here is box number 1

 This is box number 2. Good deal, I didn't get everything the same and I actually got the extra freebie with a coupon code in both boxes. 

 I really love the pamphlet it comes with, it's always a nice sturdy card stock type paper. 

What the heck is a Brazillian blowout? I just want a blowout that includes a glass of bubbly while they curl my hair and make me look gorgeous. 

I was happy I got this lip balm, a little bit on the sticky side and didn't have that problem some cherry scented balms have of smelling like cough syrup. 

A few months back we got a bath tea bag with the same exact scent and I really loved it. I don't know why people complain about this smell but then again I'm a die hard fan of anything white tea related. I used to only drink a certain white tea with pear and omg it was heavenly. I really can't wait to try this but knowing myself I'll probably wait and wait for months before doing it because its a small sample and I like hoarding things I love. 

A tiny sample of pimple cream? I'll take it! I don't break out like I used to when i was in my teens and it seems its more hormonal or I forgot to wash my face after a wild night out. 

I have so many nail polishes from subscription boxes it's not even funny. I am grateful its a small bottle though and it's a pretty cute bright blue. Might be more my style as an accent nail color though. 

Oh, now I have no excuse for not wiping my face clean after a wild night. but then I wont get to use my new pimple cream...decisions! I'm kidding guys, I wont risk the state of my face. I really do love the makeup wipes though. I wish I got into them in high school instead of slathering on makeup to hide the awful pimples and just prevent them in the first place. 

This was a freebie with coupon code and is a textured OPI nail polish that I believe was featured in the January limited edition Man Repeller box. Excited to try it since it's in my favorite color purple!

Then I got this BB cream to try out. I always put off trying these samples because what if I try it and I really like it and I find I can't live without it but the sample won't hold me over until the next chance I can buy it for myself? Is that something a makeup addict would say? 

I used to have really shiny looking skin growing up and since then my skin has matured and gotten better over time but I still have those same fears of being "too shiny. The dewey look I can do and pull off fine but complete shine is a nightmare. I still do appreciate matte formulas and really do hope this shows up matte on me. I have found that trying out some "oil free" products I do still end up looking like a Christmas tree somehow. Cross your fingers guys!

So that's what I got in my Glossybox and sorry this is late as my goal was to post this yesterday. I swear I'll get the hang of deadlines. Plus I was super tired because I couldn't fall asleep at all Sunday night until 1am and all day Monday I was a zombie at my desk at work. My boss asked me to set up the new coffee pot and I swear I heard to set up the conference room. Hopefully you guys had a better day than that. but for now, hope you enjoyed this post. 

I did promise I would have the new Sonia Kashuk limited edition Jewel of an Eye shadows swatched and up here last Friday but didn't get around to it until this morning after hopping out of the shower. So now I am working on that today and hopefully it will be up and running at a decent hour. So until then, have a great day! (omg that's awkward but I feel I need an exit theme of some sort instead of just ending things like a bad relationship over text)