Archive for March 2014

Smile Brilliant : A Review and A Giveaway

March 31, 2014
Smile Brilliant, Smile Brilliant Review,  Smile Brilliant Giveaway, Teeth Whitening system

I have a daily tea habit that's good for my health but not so good for my teeth as the tea can sometimes promote stains. My dental hygienist suggested I could drink through a straw but then I read that this could lead to wrinkles around the lips so I stopped doing that. Yes I'm vain like that. It hasn't been as much of an issue since I started rinsing my mouth after every cup but the idea of whiter teeth is always appealing so when Smile Brilliant contacted me about trying their LED Teeth Whitening System, I happily accepted.

Smile Brilliant, Smile Brilliant Review,  Smile Brilliant Giveaway, Teeth Whitening system

The kit comes with a high intensity LED accelerator light, a whitening gel pen and a lip & cheek protector. It was quite easy to use. You just apply the gel with the brush tip of the pen evenly to the front surface of your top and bottom teeth, insert the protective lip guard over them, place the LED up to your teeth, turn on the light and let it go to work for 20 - 40 minutes each time. I was a little concerned about holding the LED light in my mouth for an extended amount of time but I usually just worked at my computer and didn't even notice it after awhile.


I was pretty pleased with the results achieved after just 3 sessions. Granted my teeth weren't terribly stained when I started, they're definitely a brighter white now. I did experience a little sensitivity after the second time I used it so I waited a few days before trying again and it was fine. I can see the advantage of this type of whitening system over gel strips. The accelerator light and 22% carbamide peroxide gel is similar to what dentists use during their in office professional whitening procedures and the application method allows you to get into the crevices between teeth and up to the gum lines which yields more even whitening results. At $39.99, the price is also quite comparable with most commercial teeth whitening kits. Do you use teeth whitening products? What types have you tried?

The nice people at Smile Brilliant want to give away one LED Teeth Whitening System to one lucky rolala loves reader. This giveaway is open to residents of the US, UK, Australia and Canada and will run until midnight Tuesday, April 15th. Please follow the instructions and enter via Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Disclosure: A complimentary whitening system was provided for the purposes of this review. There was no other compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.

Eye Candy : Zhou Xun for Grazia

March 28, 2014

Zhou Xun shows off her exuberant side in this colorful editorial for Grazia China. The charismatic 39 year old actress is currently filming "My Menopausal Girl" a romantic comedy about a woman dealing with premature menopause. I'd be curious to see how they find the humor in this type of situation. The film costars Tong Dawei as her boyfriend and is being directed by South Korean director Kwak Jae Yong who is best known for the popular 2001 hit My Sassy Girl which propelled Jeon Ji Hyun to fame. That was such a fun movie which I'd totally recommend. There was even an American remake. Everything about this editorial is just so fresh and pretty from her grooming to the styling. It's such a transformation from how she looked in this moody Marie Claire pictorial which was beautiful in a totally different way. In any case I love her hair in both.

Newly Acquired : Silver Bunny & Slip On Sneakers

March 26, 2014

I just got this totally adorable Baublebar bunny ring holder. I had been previously been using the top of my L'Eau D'issey perfume bottle to hang my every day rings on so this is a nice upgrade and it makes me smile every time I look at it. It was only $12 and they have other cute styles as well. What do you use to hold your rings?


I talked about replacing my current pair of slip-on sneakers a few weeks ago. At that time I couldn't decide between a couple of styles. I ended up with these silver suede Sperry Top Siders. They're majorly comfortable and I have a feeling I'm going to get alot of wear out of them as it warms up. They're true to size and also come in gold and black. I first saw these on Zappos.com for $57.99 but bought them on 6pm.com for $49.99. In case you didn't know 6pm is Zappos sister discount outlet site that sometimes carries the same items at lower prices. It should be noted that they also offer free shipping but not free returns and they don't process exchanges. Just sharing.

Dine Out : Bassanova Ramen

March 24, 2014

A nice hot bowl of soup noodles is total comfort food to me and ramen noodles (no not the instant kind though I eat those too) almost always hit the spot. Bassanova Ramen, a popular shop in Tokyo opened their first NYC location in Chinatown last summer. Located down a small flight of stairs just south of Canal Street, the airy modern space has an open kitchen and semi-communal seating with marble slab tabletops. Oversized chopsticks and ladles are provided for you to eat with. They have some unique offerings on the menu like a Lemon Black Pepper Tondaku Ramen which had a pleasant brightness thanks to the citrus. The broth of their Tondaku (Tonkotsu) ramen was satisfyingly flavorful and full bodied without being greasy and the thin noodles had a nice toothsome texture. The chasu was tender and tasty. I was a little less impressed with their version of the soupless mazemen. I tried the Vegetarian one with Truffle Oil and it was rather bland and boring though the thicker wavy noodles were nice. If you're into that style, Yuji Ramen at Whole Foods Bowery is a much better bet. The service we experienced on several occasion was friendly yet flighty but not bad enough to keep me from coming back. For the prices ($10 - $16/bowl), it would be nice if they accepted credit cards.

Bassanova Ramen was named by the New York Times as one of the top 10 ramen destinations in New York. Hide-Chan which they have in the 4 spot is my personal favorite but it's nice knowing that Bassanova is closeby if I don't feel like a trip uptown for a ramen fix. While we're on the subject, I'm just dying to try the ramen at Takashi which is only served after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. And in case you didn't know, here's a lesson on how to eat ramen.

Are you a fan of ramen? Where's your favorite place for it?

Bassanova Ramen
76 Mott Street (off Canal)
New York City
212.334.2100

Hello Spring!

March 21, 2014
cherry blossoms

Yesterday marked the first day of Spring. Yay! This has been one of the worst winters I can recall in New York City but we managed to get through it. And even if the warmer weather isn't quite settling in yet, I feel better just knowing it's officially Spring. Here's to brighter days and balmier temperatures ahead! I can't wait for the cherry blossoms to bloom again. 

I'm having a Spring sale in my Etsy print shop! Take 25% off all orders with the code "HAPPYSPRING" through the end of March.

I snapped this selca of myself after I trimmed my bangs the other day. They had gotten so long that they started blending into my bob. They're still on the long side but I didn't want to cut too much at first since I can always make them shorter which I might do. And I'm wearing and loving the Firmoo glasses I won recently in Alway With Yoo's giveaway. In other news, I'm back in physical therapy for my ankle. It's feeling alot better now and I'm trying to wean off wearing my ankle brace. As clunky and "fashionable" as it is, I actually got used to it and feel more secure walking around with it than without. So does anyone else cut their own bangs?

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for Harper's Bazaar

March 19, 2014

Ji Chang Wook continues to ride the wave of popularity with his strong performance in the currently airing K-drama Empress Ki. This just means more exposure in the media. I realize that I just featured him not too long ago but this cheeky photo above totally sold me on this editorial lensed by Shin Chae Young and the rest of it is pretty adorable too. And again it's nice he's styled in such wearable clothing. That fuzzy cardigan is a little suspect for a dude but the outfit in the last photo is totally cute. He once mentioned in an interview that last week's eye candy Song Hye Kyo was his ideal woman. Well he's good looking and also has good taste.

Review : Sulwhasoo Snowise Ex Brightening Serum

March 17, 2014
Sulwhasoo Snowise Ex Brightening Serum Review, Sulwhasoo Snowise Ex

I'm pretty fortunate to not really have many issues with my skin but one thing which does vex me are the tiny clusters of freckles on each of my cheeks. Hubster actually finds them cute and doesn't understand why I don't but I just don't care for them. I do think they look cute on other people but not on myself. I've tried various whitening products and while I'm aware that they won't actually get rid of my freckles completely, I like that idea that they can at least diminish how they look while giving my complexion more luminosity. I mean who doesn't want more radiant skin. 

Sulwhasoo is a Korean luxury beauty brand with a holistic approach to skincare that is based on traditional herbal medicine. The Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Brightening collection aims to clarify and even the complexion with an exclusive Snowise Tri-White Complex which includes white ginseng saponin, white cloud grass and white polysaccharides that was developed after 10 years of research.

Eye Candy : Song Hye Kyo for J. Estina

March 14, 2014
Song Hye Gyo  J. Estina

Song Hye Kyo's unequivocal beauty really shines in J. Estina's Spring/Summer 2014 campaign. The stunning actress is the current face of the jewelry brand which was previously represented by Dakota & Elle Fanning. Her elegant minimal makeup and classic bob hairstyle complement the chic jewelry designs very well. I love all the pieces she's wearing in the first image. Hye Kyo seems to be aging backwards and looks as fresh faced as ever at 32. She is currently filming a big screen adaptation of the novel "My Palpitating Life" with Kang Dong Wan, another epically gorgeous star who is also getting better looking with age. The two have previously worked together on the Love For Sale segment of the movie Camellia. J. Estina's collection is available online and they also have a shop in NYC at the Plaza Hotel which I would really like to visit.

Song Hye Gyo  J. Estina

Recent Loves

March 10, 2014

RMS Living Luminizer : This is my first experience with using a highlighter of any sort and I just love the effect. I usually dab just the tiniest touch on my brow and cheekbones and it imparts a luminous and natural looking glow. It could last longer but I feel good about using a certified organic product and I do really like how lightweight yet moisturizing it feels.

RMS Lip2Cheek in Illusive : Blush is a must for me year round especially during the winter months when my complexion is typically paler. I tend to prefer cream formulations and this one is quite hydrating and long-wearing. The highly pigmented rosy plum color is fresh and vibrant as a blush and more subdued and sophisticated as a lip color. I'm sold on this and want to get it in Demure which looks like a gorgeous mauvey pink for the summer.

Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentré : Since using it as my day cream for the past month and a half, I totally understand why this French pharmacy staple is considered such a cult favorite product in the fashion industry. It literally melts in and envelops my skin in supple moisture that lasts through the harshest and coldest days. I can't speak to how it would work on oily skin types but my sensitive and dry winter skin loves it.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your recent loves?


Floral Friday : Made Me Smile

March 7, 2014
pink orchid macro

The orchid in our home makes me smile. Our orchid plant lives on our dining table and Hubster takes care of it along with the rest of our plants. I've been told to stay away from them since I seem to have a black thumb. He totally fusses over the orchid which is really cute and he's already coaxed it to re-bloom several times. He tries so hard because he knows it makes me happy to see the flowers. Do you have a flower that makes you smile?

Floral Fridays is a monthly photography project with different themes each month. The theme for this month is "made me smile". This series is about fun and taking time out to smell the flowers. To play along, please email Trishie for next month's theme. And please visit my fellow participants below for more floral inspirations.


Eye Candy : Steven Yeun & Lauren Cohan for LA Magazine

March 5, 2014
Glenn and Maggie, Glenn and Maggie The Walking Dead,  Steven Yeun and  Lauren Cohan, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Glenn and Maggie photoshoot

Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan who are also known as Glenn and Maggie from The Walking Dead star in this idyllic Spring fashion editorial for Los Angeles magazine which re-imagines the onscreen couple in a much happier place before the zombie apocalypse. The retro styling and dreamy light create such a romantically nostalgic mood to the photos. The last one is especially lovely. These two sure clean up well. We're big fans of The Walking Dead in our house and while the situation is looking rather dire at the moment, I'm hoping that their characters will somehow make their way back to one another on the show. Do you watch The Walking Dead? What do you think of this editorial?

Spring Fashion 2014: Affair to Remember // LA Magazine // Photographers: Williams + Hirakawa  // Stylist: Linda Immediato

Shoe Crush : Slip On Sneakers

March 3, 2014
Stylish Sneakers, Fashion Sneakers


So the hot shoe of the season is the slip-on sneaker. I am all for this one since they're cute and comfy. I also feel like I was actually ahead of this trend since I've had a pair for 2 years now. They're from DKNY and I bought them for $30 at Century 21. I've also worn them to death so I'm really glad that I can now pick up a new pair or two. 10 resembles my current pair but I'm actually trying to decide between 2, 5 and 7. What do you think think of this shoe trend? Would you wear slip-on sneakers?

1. Aerin Murex ($148) 2. TopShop Tika ($35) 3. Sam Edelman Becker Nude Leopard ($109.95) 4. Steve Madden Eccentric ($89.99) 5. Sperry Top Sider CVO Twin Gore ($57.99) 6. Via Spiga Galant ($155) 7. Vans Classic Blue Chambray Dots ($54.95) 8. Vans Metallic ($59.95) 9. Sam Edelman Braxton Studded ($100) 10. Dolce Vita Zaren ($139)

Stylish Sneakers, Fashion Sneakers

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