Archive for 2017

Less Is More With Shortlist Beauty

June 26, 2017
 Shortlist, Shortlist Serum, Shortlist Cream, Shortlist Review, Shortlist Beauty Review, Less Is More Beauty

This post is part of a #Shortlist sponsored series for Socialstars™

I've embraced minimalism in many aspects of my lifestyle and I've managed to scale back to a minimal makeup routine that is just 6 product but when it comes skincare, I can't quite give up my multi-step regimen which currently includes any number of masks, ampoules, essences, serums and creams. And while I generally enjoy the routine, to be honest, there are some times when I wouldn't mind just slapping on one or two products and being done. I mean less is more right with most things right? Why can't it also be that way with skincare?

Shortlist Beauty is a new premium skincare brand that takes a less is more approach and they want to provide a simple remedy to complex skincare with a range consisting of just two products. Yes two. Not only that, the products themselves are formulated with a minimum number of ingredients possible. The brand did extensive research and took only the most effective active ingredients, removing all fillers and unnecessary extras, to create two transformative products. These are zero filler formulas made without any parabens, sulfates, colorants, fragrances, or mineral oils that work to repair damaged skin and help prevent aging. And they are designed to work for ALL skin types and ethnicities.

BRTC Jasmine Waterful Sleeping Pack

June 23, 2017
BRTC Jasmine Waterful Sleeping Pack Review, Sleeping Pack, Sleeping Mask

I love a good sleeping mask! They're such a quick and effortless way to skincare. It's a one step process - just apply before bed and wake up to better skin. I'm a big fan of supplementing my skincare routine with sleeping masks to maximize the natural repair cycle that occurs during sleep. I have a regular rotation of sleeping masks that I've been using but I'm always eager to out new ones and I received this BRTC Jasmine Waterful Sleeping Pack for review from Cupidrop as part of their Beautiful Pioneers program.

Sleeping masks or sleeping packs as they're known in Asia are a popular K-Beauty product. A sleep mask is meant to be applied as a final treatment over your evening skincare as a way to lock in moisture and help your products to absorb better into the skin. You rinse it off the next morning and enjoy the benefits smooth and hydrated skin. Overnight treatment products are often formulated with a high water content so they're more lightweight than night creams and other types of facial mask since they're meant to sink into skin without feeling greasy or leaving residue on your pillow.

Dine Out : Momoya

June 21, 2017
Momoya Review, Momoya New York, Momoya Chelsea

Some restaurants just feel have the feel of a favorite neighborhood spot and Momoya is one of them. The window lined corner space has a clean, modern decor with blond wood accented walls and dark wood tables and floors. The menu features classic Japanese dishes and sushi. I had heard good things about this restaurant before dining here but mostly I wanted to try their Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna, the signature roll with spicy tuna, shiitake, jalapeno atop a bed of crispy sushi rice. This is a specialty roll that I have a mild obsession with. I'm happy to report that it's excellent. Their sushi is fresh and the cooked food options we tried including vegetable tempura and unagi don were well executed and satisfying. The service was warm and attentive enough without being overbearing. The prices are reasonable and offer good value especially during lunch. It's no surprise that the restaurant was packed by the time we finished out meal. If I still lived in Chelsea, I could see myself dining at Momoya quite frequently.

Tip: Momoya does not take reservations so go early. They also have a branch on the Upper West Side.

185 Seventh Avenue
New York City
$$ - $$$

How to Brighten Your Skin With Skincare Products

June 19, 2017
VI Derm Review, VI Derm Vitamin C Gel, VI Derm HQ Plus, VI Derm Clear HQ Free, VI Derm Intense Hydration Serum, Skin Brightening Skincare

Regardless of your skin type, uneven skin tone is one of the most common skin issues that people will experience. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by hormonal fluctuations and/or prolonged exposure to the sun during the summer months. Hyperpigmentation is an excess of brown pigment called melanin that can present on the skin as age spots, liver spots, freckles, melasma and dark spots from UV damage. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs when blemishes such as acne turn into dark spots after they have healed.

Exfoliation is one way to achieve a brighter complexion and combat dullness since it increases cell turnover on the topmost layers of the skin. Exfoliation can be done physically with topical exfoliants (scrubs or facial cleansing tools/devices) and microdermabrasion treatments or chemically with products containing glycolic acid, lactic acid or AHA's. Another way is to use brightening products with ingredients that target pigment production. Notable ingredients that are proven to work include vitamin C, arbutin, kojic acid and hydroquinone. It is ideal to combine these methods since exfoliating also helps make the products applied onto the skin penetrate better and thus more more effective.

Food52 Mighty Salads Book Review

June 16, 2017
Food52 Mighty Salads Book, Food52 Mighty Salads Book Review, Food52 Mighty Salads Review

"Does anybody need a recipe to make a salad? Of course not. But if you want your salad to hold strong in your lunch bag or carry the day as a one-bowl dinner, dressing on lettuce isn't going to cut it."

If you follow me on Instagram, you might know about my fondness for Sweetgreen and their salad/grain bowls. After the chain discontinued their Avocobbo which was my husband's favorite, I got the idea that I could make it at home. And from there, I just started making more salad and grain bowls for dinner. This plays well since we embrace being part-time vegetarians. They're ideal both from a healthy eating perspective, easy to make and customize and terrific when it's hot out and I don't necessarily want to cook as much but still want to eat well. I've been doing takes inspired from Sweetgreen as well as favorites like Niçoise Salad, to just throwing things together with whatever's in the fridge. It's worked out pretty well but of course I'm always looking to keep things fresh so I was really excited about this book from the editors of Food52 which is one of my go-to sites for recipes and inspiration.

Currently Coveting

June 14, 2017

I love wearing dresses because they're like a a one and done when it comes to putting together an outfit. They're also such an easy way to look put together when I'm going to an event or out for a date night. These are a few dresses that I currently have my eye on. They're all midi length natch. What are you coveting lately?

1. Apiece Apart Daphne Stripe Midi Dress
This is the type of summer dress I could live in and it's from one of my favorite brands.

2. Ulla Johnson Ariane Striped Cotton Gauze Maxi Dress
The pinafore inspired bodice and ruffled crossover straps really add a special touch.

3. Sea Mixed Print Silk Flutter Dress
The silhouette and pattern mixing really speak to me.

4. Mango Ruffled Midi Dress
The vibrant color and ruffles are a winning combination.

5. J. Crew Ruffle Eyelet Dress
I tried on this dress the last time I was in J. Crew and I ended up buying the skirt of the same fabric. I'm still thinking about the dress though.

6. Embroidered Fable Dress
I'm in love with everything about this floral embroidered maxi dress especially the colors.

7. Self Portrait Cutout Guipure Lace and Broderie Anglaise Dress
So very pretty, pretty pretty!

8. Club Monaco Portuna Dress
This is one of those dresses that would look just as amazing dressed up or down.

10 Habits That Will Help You Sleep Better

June 12, 2017
Habits That Will Help You Sleep Better, Habits for Better Sleep, How To Fall Asleep Faster, Ji Chang Wook in bed, Ji Chang Wook Femina

A good night’s sleep has a multitude of positive benefits for our longtime health, overall mood and general wellbeing. Lack of sleep has been shown to lead to weight gain and mental instability not mention premature aging. Actually getting enough sleep can sometimes be a challenge as there may be any number of factors at any time that can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. While certain factors might be out of our control, there are habits which we can adopt habits that encourage better sleep.

Current Mood

June 9, 2017
ZIIP, ZIIP device, ZIIP Beauty

Super excited about my new ZIIP beauty device! Yes I do buy things off my wish lists! This was a splurge which my enabler husband convinced me to go for. I've only used it once so far with good results and hope to post a full review after I've spent some more time with it.

An Easy Trick To Keep Your Home Clean

June 7, 2017
Stylish Entryway, Shoes Off At Home, Keeping Your Home Clean, Take Off Your Shoes at the door


One thing that never fails to make my husband and I cringe is when we see people on television or in movies walking around their homes in their shoes or worse yet sitting on their bed fully clothed with their shoes on. We both grew up in Asian households where it's customary to remove your shoes at the door. I don't know of any other way and even if I didn't grow up with it I'd probably still do it since it makes all the sense in the world. The streets are a dirty place and since the bottoms of shoes walk over all manner of dirt, germs, excrement particles and goodness knows what else, you're just tracking it all over the place by walking around in your house in them.

And it's probably even worse if you have rugs or carpet. I don't care how clean your house is, it's not really clean if you walk around in your outside shoes. We have a bench/shoe storage unit right by our doorway to facilitate the process. I'm admittedly a little OCD and clean our floors once a week. We like to sit on our floors and visitors won't have to worry about dirty floors. We also keep slippers handy for guests who want to wear them. The only time this doesn't happen is when it's some type of service or delivery person and in that case and we line the floors with newspaper or plastic. By that same token, we also never sit on the bed in our outside clothes or put our bags on our counters, tables or chairs.

Do you take your shoes at home off? Why/why not?

The lucky winner of the Fresh Sugar Lip Set giveaway is Regine K! Congratulations!

Stylish Entryway, Shoes Off At Home, Keeping Your Home Clean, Take Off Your Shoes at the door

Getting Organized With The Erin Condren LifePlanner

June 5, 2017
Erin Condren LifePlanner Review, Erin Condren Life Planner, Erin Condren, Erin Condren Review, Erin Condren 2018 LifePlanner

I think I'm a pretty organized in general but I could always use a little help. As a freelance photographer/consultant/writer, I always have projects, appointments and deadlines to track and stay on top off. I've been using a digital organizing app which I supplement with a notebook because there are certain things that I just need to write down. It may sound archaic in this day and age but it just works better for me to have a written to-do list because it reinforces the tasks I have to get done and writing things down also works as a memory device for me.

Enter the Erin Condren LifePlanner™...  I've seen these around and now that I have my very own, I get why this is such a must have organizational tool for so many people. And what's really cool is that there are so many different options available to suit any number of needs.

New Additions To My Closet

June 2, 2017
Closet additions

I've been mostly shopping my own closet for the past year but following a seasonal closet cleanout, I did a little shopping IRL.  I'm still all about building a timeless wardrobe and adhering to only buying strategic pieces that are classic, versatile and work with existing pieces already in my closet. I actually didn't own much black so I've been slowly working in more. And when the weather warms up, I pretty much live in dresses and skirts. Midi has been my preferred hemline for a number of years and it's nice that the length is so popular now because it was impossible to find when it wasn't. I managed to take advantage of some great sales and made the most of gift cards and coupons. I spent less than $30 on five of the pieces and two were just over $40. The only item that topped the $100 mark are the sneakers and they're 40% off. I think I'm set for awhile. My husband's wardrobe has also gotten an upgrade at the same time since I also do his clothes shopping.

1. Who What Wear Bardot Midi Dress
I went to Target to buy some bread and ended up with this chic polka dot dress. It's so flattering and comfortable. Also slightly longer than shown on the model.
Fits TTS / Purchased size S

2. Gap Embroidered Denim Tank
This tank has such lovely details and looks so much more expensive than it was.
Fits slightly large / Purchased size XS

3. Who What Wear Colorblocked Pleated Midi Skirt
A high end look at a bargain price. I've worn this skirt a few times and always get compliments on it.
Fits slightly large / Purchased size XS

4. COS A-Line Wool Skirt
This classically styled tailored skirt is a wardrobe staple that I can see myself wearing for many years to come.
Fits TTS / Purchased size 6

5. J. Crew Clip Dot Tiered Skirt
The swingy tiered silhouette is feminine and versatile and I love the pockets. Looks great paired with the Gap embroidered tank.
Fits slightly large / Purchased size 4

6. H&M Culottes with Ruffles
The ruffles are a really nice detail and my husband says these culottes make my legs look super long which is always a plus.
Fits TTS / Purchased size 6

7. Nike Air Max Thea Ultra Leather-Trimmed Flyknit Sneakers
I was coveting a pair of Nike Air Thea's as well as a pair of Nike Flyknit's so this pair gets me both. They're incredibly lightweight and the gold adds a touch of luxe.
Fits TTS / Purchased size 8

8. Victoria Beckham for Target Asymmetric Scallop Trim Top
This was the one piece I wanted from this collab and it does not disappoint. The scallops are so cute and it's really well made.
Fits TTS / Purchased size S

Have you purchased any new clothing lately?

Recent Loves

May 31, 2017

This is where I talk about some of the beauty products I've been loving lately...  it's mostly masks this month. I really like my masks and probably own more facial treatments than eyeshadow LOL

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

May 29, 2017

A few highlights of the past month as seen on Instagram which serves as my unofficial food diary and love letter to NYC. I also post quick reviews here and there and try to keep my content unique so it's not a bunch of photos from here. You can see more on Instagram and do follow if you like what you see...

  • Came upon this lovely public art installation at Rockefeller Center when I was up in the area for an event. And it raises awareness for a terrific cause as well. 
  • Arcade Bakery makes some of the best pizza downtown and their special mushroom, ricotta and asparagus pizza is so good!
  • Shorty Tang Noodles offers up a taste of Taiwan in Chelsea. We need to try their famous cold sesame noodles next time we visit. I'm curious to see how they compare to mine
  • Picked up some terrific tips from the pros at Thumbtack's fun Summer Soirée!
  • I couldn't pass up a view of the magnificent nine-story Victorian atrium and skylight at The Beekman when I attended the launch of the Beekman Art Collection. It's so impressive in person!
  • I'm already big fan of Pressed Juicery so of course I had to check out their collabs with Vogue and Sugarfina. Yes those are green juice gummy bears!
  • There is new poke place opening every week in NYC but Chikarashi is still a favorite and I'm always up for trying what's new on their ever evolving seasonal menu.
  • Sushi of Gari takeout style! Their sushi is $$$ in more ways than one.
  • What I'm wearing lately... midi dresses/skirts and ankle boots

Hope everyone in the US is having a good long weekend. For most people, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer but let's not forget it's greater meaning and be thankful as we honor and remember those who bravely made the ultimate sacrifice for our country as well as for those who still continue to serve. And can we stop saying Happy Memorial Day because the loss of those who protect our freedom is really nothing to be happy about.

Don't miss out my latest giveaways! Win a Fresh Sugar Lip Set and/or a $100 gift card towards the JORD watch of your choice. Enter here and here!

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

May 25, 2017
Lee El , Lee El Lancome, Lee El 2017

So these are some of the recent editorial selections that have caught my eye. Lots of pretty here... Starting off with this gorgeous image of Lee El modeling for Lancome in Allets. The styling as well as her hair and makeup are so on point and that is how you rock a red lip.

Daniel Henney looks dapper as always in Arena Hommes Plus. He had been a regular cast member of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders which was just cancelled. I watched an episode of this show recently and I could see why. There are just too many procedural crime dramas on TV and they all seem to come across as so soulless. Daniel's never been the best actor but he is damn fine!

Daneil Henney, Daneil Henney Arena Homme+, Daneil Henney 2017

Fresh Sugar Lip Set Giveaway

May 22, 2017
Fresh Sugar Lip Spree, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, Fresh Sugar, Fresh Sugar Giveaway

To celebrate Spring and just because I think my readers are awesome, I'm hosting a new giveaway. fresh Sugar Lip Treatments are a personal favorite of mine and the prize is a fresh Sugar Lip Spree Kit. This limited edition set ($37 retail / $55 value) includes five popular travel size fresh Sugar Lip treatments housed in a keepsake tin. The array of tints range from neutral to bold and a nourishing lip balm is also included for everything you need to hydrate and protect your lips.

Fresh Sugar Lip Set, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, Fresh Sugar, Fresh Sugar Giveaway

JORD Wood Watch Review & Giveaway

May 17, 2017
Wooden Wrist Watch
JORD Frankie 35 Watch, JORD Wood Watch Giveaway, JORD Wood Watch Review, JORD Frankie 35, JORD Frankie, Unique Watch

We're living in an age where we rely on our phones for practically everything. And I do use my phone for a number of things but not for the time because I still prefer to wear a watch. I actually feel like something's missing whenever I leave the house without one. Honestly it's just easier to look at my wrist for the time than to take out my phone. And I don't want to be one of those people who is constantly looking at their phone.

JORD Wood Watch Giveaway, JORD Wood Watch Review, JORD Frankie 35, JORD Frankie, Unique Watch

I consider watches to be fashion accessories. My Cartier Roadster is my absolute favorite but I have a rotation going so they all get some regular wear. JORD recently sent me this Frankie 35 watch. The minimal meets classic styling immediately caught my eye. Crafted of natural dark sandalwood with a slate colored face, rose gold dial and bezel, the Frankie 35 speaks to modern design meets practical function and sustainability.

JORD Frankie 35 Watch, JORD Wood Watch Giveaway, JORD Wood Watch Review, JORD Frankie 35, JORD Frankie, Unique Watch

The streamlined look of this watch is in line with my aesthetic and I like how it works well with my wardrobe whether dressed up or down. Aside from the unique look, this watch is cool because of how it feels substantial and lightweight at the same time. Light enough that I don't even feel like I have it on sometimes. It also looks and well made. This model features a sapphire crystal glass case, Swiss Ronda Normtech Caliber 763 movement and a deployment buckle with a push button mechanism for a secure fit. All JORD watches are also designed to be splash and scratch-proof. The watch can be easily maintained and cleaned with a a natural oil as needed. The brand sent along their JORD Preserve pen with a custom-formulated cleaning oil created specifically for the care of wood watches along with a cloth.

JORD Wood Watch, JORD Wood Watch Giveaway, JORD Wood Watch Review, JORD Frankie 35, JORD Frankie, Unique Watch

JORD (pronounced "yod") is a Swedish word meaning “earth, soil, or land”.  The company was founded in 2013 by two brothers in St. Louis, Missouri with a mission to bring the highest quality wood timepieces to the world. They offer a range of fashionable and unique watch styles in a variety of all natural and sustainable woods for men and women. All of their environmentally conscious products are handcrafted in the USA and backed with a one year warranty. Prices start at $139 and go up to $395 and the company ships worldwide. They will size your watch to your specifications so that it's ready to wear as soon as you receive it. I have to get all my link style watches resized because my wrists are small so it's a real timesaver when it's pre-done. And JORD also offers custom engraving for their watches as well as the box that they come in which adds a lovely personalized touch whether you're buying a watch for yourself or as a gift.

JORD Wood Watch, JORD Wood Watch Giveaway, JORD Wood Watch Review, JORD Frankie 35, JORD Frankie, Unique Watch

The JORD Frankie 35 retails for $179. There is also a larger unisex version of this style called the Frankie. Visit JORD's website to see their entire line of men's watches and women's watches.

JORD wants to give one lucky reader $100 off the watch of their choice. Even if you're not the lucky winner, you still get a $25 code just for entering. Anyone can enter the giveaway through this link! Contest ends June 4, 2017.

Would you wear a wood watch? Which JORD style would you choose?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by JORD and I was gifted a complimentary watch. No other compensation was provided and all words and opinions expressed are my own.  For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to the Policies page of this blog. 

Dine Out : Kelley & Ping

May 15, 2017
Kelley & Ping Review, Kelley & Ping New York, Kelley & Ping Soho

Kelley & Ping which led the way in Pan Asian cuisine in the early 90's has been a Lower Manhattan mainstay for 23 years with a menu inspired by the market stalls of Asia. The restaurant is located within a a historic cast iron building in the heart of Soho on Greene Street. The cavernous space features lofty ceilings and wood details throughout. The eatery which also operates as a grocery and tea shop features decor that is fun and a touch kitschy with Chinese New Year masks, bagua mirrors and fans lining one side wall and replica statues of the Forbidden City terra cotta warriors watching over the space from the back windows.  The vibe during lunch service is definitely casual in a manner similar to Asian hawker centers where you order and pay at the counter, find a table as your food is prepared in the open kitchen and then go pick it up when they call your name. At dinner, the space is transformed into a full service dining room with a more intimate atmosphere as the lights are dimmed and the candles come out. The menu is more advanced and there is a full bar serving specialty cocktails, Asian beers and premium sakes.

Eye Candy : Chen Kun for Harper's Bazaar Men

May 12, 2017
Chen Kun,, Chen Kun Harpers Bazaar Men, Chen Kun Harpers Bazaar, Chen Kun 2017, 陈坤

Chen Kun is smoldering in the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar Men China. I may not talk or post about him as much as say Ji Chang Wook but Chen Kun has been an OG crush of mine since forever, ok maybe since Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress which came out 15 years ago. I haven't kept up with his current projects but it still gets my attention whenever I see him mentioned somewhere or when he pops up in an ad in my email sidebar for Mandarin Oriental. Chen Kun is one of my favorite actors because of his charismatic performances and commanding screen presence. His voice and diction actually make Mandarin sound sexy and he also happens to one of the most handsome ever in my eyes.  At 41 he is looking mighty fine and that majestic head of hair is still on point. I really wish he would put out another album as well because his singing voice is incredible. 

The Beekman Art Collection

May 10, 2017
The Beekman, The Beekman Art Collection, Hotel Art

For as long as I've lived in downtown Manhattan, I've been fascinated by the building known as Temple Court located at 5 Beekman Street. The iconic building which was constructed in 1881 during the height of New York’s early Gilded Age was one of the city's first skyscrapers. Beyond the impressive exterior is a magnificent nine-story Victorian atrium topped by a stunning pyramidal skylight. It was exciting news when it was announced that the landmark structure would be converted into a luxury hotel after being vacant for a number of years. The Beekman made it's illustrious debut last fall. I paid a visit last week with my friend Lena for the launch of the Beekman Art Collection.

Currently Coveting

May 8, 2017

So I'm technically on a beauty no buy at the moment because I really need to use up my accumulated stash but there are still always products that catch my eye. What are you coveting lately?

1. RMS Beauty Signature Set
This specially curated palette is such a great way to take your favorite RMS beauty essentials on the go. The Living Luminizer and Lip2Cheek in Smile included in this set are two products I use almost daily.

2. Pretty Vulgar The Feathers Mascara
I feel like I've been hearing about this newly launched beauty brand for awhile now and the one product that caught my eye was this mascara that features a luxe birdcage design. The mascara which is formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and sodium hyaluronate promises the deepest, darkest thickest lashes without clumps or flakes in just one coat which would be pretty amazing if it lives up to it's claims.

3. Saturday Skin All Aglow Sunscreen Perfection Cushion Compact SPF 50
I'm a big fan of makeup that also doubles as skincare and this new K-beauty cushion compact contains an exclusive peptide formula derived from natural ingredients that promotes skin's natural regeneration process. It also has honey which hydrates, cools and brightens skin. And it's available at Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters.

4. Tan-Luxe Hydra Mousse Self Tanner
Fake tanning is the only way to go when it comes to tanning. This is an innovative clear self-tanner mist means no more bronze smudges  on furniture or sheets. And it's supposed to impart a golden radiant glow in just four to six hours.

5. Nannette de Gaspé Restorative Techstile Face Masque
I use sheet masks on the regular and I'm so intrigued by this waterless version made with an innovative 'Techstile™' fabric that's pressed with a unique blend of concentrated anti-aging ingredients that are activated through gentle massage so the powerful formula penetrates the skin resulting in a smoother, tighter, more radiant complexion.

6. Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil
Whamisa is a brand I want to get to know better since trying their Sea Kelp Mask and Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner. This facial oil formulated with argan oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil, jojoba oil, camellia oil. is next on my list.

7. Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer, Broad Spectrum SPF 30
This product is described as a rich, non-greasy, mineral based facial sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA& UVB rays which sounds pretty good already. What's more, it's also vegan, cruelty-free, chemical free and the Top Rated Face Sunscreen by the EWG/Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.

8. CLE Radiant Skin Melting Cleanser
This cleanser which has a unique melting texture that melts makeup even waterproof mascara and impurities without stripping essential hydration sounds like it would be quite pleasant to use.

9. Anese Pretty Sure I'm Gorgeous Hydrating Mask
The cheeky name was the first thing I noticed but this natural, deep cleansing, hydrating charcoal creme mask which deep cleanses and quenches skin with moisture is actually quite appealing.

10. YUNI Flash Bath No-Rinse Body Cleanser
This no rinse waterless body cleansing foam that instantly lifts away sweat, dirt, and odor for just-showered freshness when there's no time or place for a shower sounds like somethings I should have in my home emergency kit.

Current Mood

May 5, 2017
Drunk Elephant Babyfacial, Drunk Elephant

Obsessed... with Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. This was my lone purchase during the recent Sephora VIB sale. It's a clean beauty product that gives you baby soft skin just as the name suggests. This mask is so fabulous that I always look forward to using it (1x/week).

Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner Review and Swatches

May 1, 2017
Maybelline Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner Review,  Maybelline Color Sensational,  Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner Swatches, Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color

Lip liner was a step that I used to skip until I realized that it can really make a difference in the wear and appearance of my lip products and now it's an integral step in my makeup routine. I even enjoy wearing them on their own over lip balm for a quick and easy defined lip look which often lasts longer than any lipstick since most lip liners combine a light formulation with high pigmentation these days. Lip pencils are also probably the one makeup product I experiment with the most. I sometimes use lip liner on the inside my lip line to give the appearance of smaller my lips and I also like to play around with pairing up contrasting shades to change up my lip colors.

Recent Loves

April 28, 2017
This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray, Smith & Cult Lash Dance Mascara,  PUR Bare It All 4-in-1 Skin-Perfecting Foundation,  Neogen Dermalogy Advanced Routine Treatment White Clear Serum, Tatcha Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream,  Actually Organic Argan O

This is where I talk about some of the beauty products I've been loving lately...

Spring Renewal with Jan Marini Hyla3D HA Activating Complex

April 24, 2017
Jan Marini Hyla3D HA Activating Complex Review, Hyaluronic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid Skincare, Jan Marini Review

Hyaluronic acid is a beloved skin care ingredient because it is an extremely effective and lightweight moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid which also known as hyaluronan is a natural structural component of skin that is present in connective tissue throughout the human body. Hyaluronic acid can help your skin retain moisture while simultaneously strengthening it's barrier. Just one gram of hyaluronic acid can hold up to six liters of water.

Over time, sun exposure, environmental pollution and aging weaken the surface of skin and decrease the body’s natural levels of hyaluronic acid. The good news is that topically applied hyaluronic acid can enhance and boost those HA levels.The skin replenishing properties of hyaluronic acid go a long way to address a number of issues when used as part of an anti-aging routine that also includes other proven ingredients. Enter Jan Marini Hyla3D HA Activating Complex an innovative treatment which delivers the benefits of HA in a whole new way.


April 21, 2017

“ A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms. ”
Zen Shin

People shouldn't worry so much about others and instead focus on being the best versions of themselves. We're all originals. And don't go so overboard with "being real" that it just ends up appearing fake.

On a personal note, things have been a little quiet on my end because we buried my grandfather earlier this week and I'm taking care of my mom who is recovering from shoulder surgery.

Photo via Paper & Stitch

Metallic Lips Made Easy With Touch In Sol Metallist Liquid Foil Lipstick Duos

April 17, 2017
 Touch In Sol Metallist Liquid Foil Lipstick Duo Review, Metallic Lips, Easy Way to Achieve Metallic Lips. K Beauty Metallic Lips, Touch In Sol Review

Metallic lips are having their beauty moment right now on the runways and the streets. The metallic or foil lip look is unique and different from a frost since the finish is matte and opaque with a mirror-like depth and shine. There are several methods to achieve this look but the easiest is using a metallic lipstick. BB Cosmetic recently sent me a set of the Touch In Sol Metallist Liquid Foil Lipstick Duos, an innovative, dual-ended lip kit that pairs a rich metallic matte shade with a matching glitter gloss.

Getting To Know...You

April 14, 2017

So I found this list of questions and answers when I was cleaning up my social media profiles and I thought it might be cool to share here since I don't get personal very often. It would be fun if you could pick one or two questions to answer in the comments so I can get to know you better.

NEOGEN CODE 9 Gold Black Caviar Essence & Gold Tox Tightening Pack

April 12, 2017
NEOGEN CODE 9, NEOGEN CODE 9 Gold Black Caviar Essence, Neogen Review

I got this NEOGEN CODE 9 Gold Black Caviar Essence & Gold Tox Tightening Pack in a special Memebox box deal last year. This was the product that prompted my purchase but it was also an extremely good deal since the box was like $50 and included other products and this alone is $48. It is essentially a two-in-one essence-exfoliator combo meant to simplify your skincare routine. It works by removing impurities and dead skin to prep the your face for some serious pampering. It is called Neogen 9 because of it's  9 in 1 functions acting as a peel, pack, toner, emulsion, essence, cream, massage, brightener and detox.

Best Practices For A Clean And Organized Home

April 10, 2017
Cleaning and Organization Tips, Eliminating Clutter In The Home

I'm not particularly fond of cleaning and I'm definitely not fond of clutter so keeping our home as clean and organized as possible is a matter of regular practice. This is most effective with have routines in place to streamline processes as well as being consistent with them. Since we're in the season of spring cleaning, here my best practices for maintaining a clean and organized home. It really makes me happy and feel like I have it together when our home is tidy and everything is in order.

A simple household is one that is easiest to manage.

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

April 7, 2017

A few highlights of the past month as seen on Instagram which serves as my unofficial food diary and love letter to NYC. I also post quick reviews here and there and try to keep my content unique so it's not a bunch of photos from here. You can see more on Instagram and do follow if you like what you see...

  • NYC really takes on a whole different mood when it rains
  • I'm still obsessed with poke bowls and Maple makes it too easy to get one since they deliver their deliciousness right to our door.
  • Somehow I ended up buying a bunch of masks at the Glow Recipe popup opening day sale cause masks are my jam. Snagged a Blithe Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey Splash Mask for $13! This is the only one I haven't tried yet. Check out my review!
  • Xi'an Famous Foods moved to a new larger space but we still prefer takeout. What's up with them not accepting $100 bills?
  • Rena got decked out in her Yankee gear for opening day baseball. Our team lost but it's a long season and there are still 159 games to go.
  • When making dumplings, it's always a good decision to make some to boil and some to pan fry for a little contrast.
  • Recently incorporated this ReSkin One Step Oil Cleanser into my routine and really liking it. Find out why in my mini review.
  • What is about when you don't have something for the longest time that makes it taste so good when you finally do. That was the case with this zhaliang 炸兩.  It's fried dough wrapped in rice noodles which is not the healthiest which is why it's a very occasional treat for us.
  • I don't really enjoy walking on cobblestone streets but they do look seriously cool. Rain looks pretty cool in Soho...

Dine Out : Neta

April 5, 2017
Neta Review, Neta New York, Neta Restaurant, Neta Sushi

Walk too quickly down west Eighth Street and you might just hit Sixth avenue before realizing that you walked right past Neta. The unassuming sushi bar from Masa alums Nik Kim and Jimmy Lau is known for their quality sushi and modern Japanese small plates sits behind the block of light grey curtains and nondescript black facade. The narrow minimalist space is sparsely decorated with wood and granite. Tables are set up in the front and on the side wall but the centerpiece of the dining room is this the long maple topped bar which also happens to where the best seats are since one can observe the entire space as well as artful food preparations in the bustling open kitchen.

Currently Coveting

April 3, 2017
Home Decor

We've been busy spring cleaning lately and there's no better time to refresh our space as well. We're looking to make some upgrades and replacements with regard to home decor. What are you coveting lately?

1. Printed Porcelain Mugs
These would fit right in with the other cheeky drinkware in our collection.

2. Kate Spade New York: All In Good Taste
Flipped through this book recently and love how it's a modern guide to entertaining with practical advice and fun ideas.

3. Threshold Geometric Throw Pillow
Really liking the elegant & graphic feel of this pillow which makes it look more expensive than it is.

4. Thirstystone Stainless Steel Serving Bowl
This bears a strong resemblance to our current salad bowl which is ready to be retired. I'm all for repeating good design.

5. Prisma Geometric Storage Catchall
Always a fan of storage solutions that are attractive as they are functional.

6. Wemo Insight Switch
We've been considering converting to a smart home for awhile especially since we have an Echo Dot.

7.  Mid-Century Turned Wood Leg Planter
Our money tree is about to outgrow it's current pot soon and this one would make a stylish upgrade.

8. Nate Berkus Screen Door Nightstand
Contemplating this as a replacement for our our current tv stand in our bedroom since we recently got a new, more compact television.

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

March 31, 2017
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook Ten Star, Ji Chang Wook 2017

I usually save interesting editorial images as they catch my eye and I just realized that it's been awhile since I've shared any so here we go...  Kicking it off with rolala loves favorite Ji Chang Wook who is giving off tropical vibes in Ten Star. It looks like Chang Wook will be squeezing in one more drama before enlisting for his military service. And I'm excited because it's a romcom for a change from all the action he usually does and his leading lady Nam Ji hyun is a real actress as opposed to a pop idol. Suspicious Partner will begin airing in May. Most of the editorial images I've been drawn to lately are portraits. As a former portrait photographer, I think the best ones tend to capture a little bit of the subject's personality as well as a particular moment.

Yoo In Young for InStyle
Yoo In Young, Yoo In Young InStyle, Yoo In Young 2017

How To Pack

March 29, 2017
How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip, How to Pack Book  Review, How to Pack by Hitha Palepu

One of the things that I don't enjoy much about travel aside from the actual process of traveling is having to pack. I just find it tedious and such a chore. Packing effectively is one of the keys to having a good trip. How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip is a useful guide for how to pack for any type of trip. The author, Hitha Palepu is a seasoned traveler who has been dispensing travel and lifestyle tips and hacks on her blog Hitha On the Go for a number of years.

Long Life Noodles 伊面

March 27, 2017
Long Life Noodles. Longevity Noodles, Yi Mein, 伊面, Vegetarian Long Life Noodles

In the Chinese culture, noodles are traditionally eaten on festive occasions like birthdays and Chinese New Year because noodles symbolize good fortune, prosperity, and longevity. The ideal type of noodles for these occasions are long life noodles or longevity noodles (伊面) also known as yi mein or e-fu noodles. These are one of our favorite types of noodles. I cook them for special occasions but I also make them when we just feel like having them cause that's how we roll.

Current Mood

March 24, 2017
Shopping Haul

Listening... to CN Blue's Between Us.

Reading... How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip by Hitha Palepu. Review to come.

Sticking with... the classics when it comes to clothing. I recently added a few pieces to my wardrobe and somehow they work quite well as an outfit. Yeah I meant for that to happen.  Levis Jeans // Loft Sweater // Keds Sneakers

Probiotics In Skincare

March 22, 2017

You probably know probiotics as the "good bacteria" which is essential to the health of your digestive system, immune system and overall well being. These live microorganisms aid in digestion, improve colon health and can even reduce the severity of illnesses like the cold and flu.A plentiful amount of probiotics in your body will help to suppress the growth of harmful bacteria. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, probiotics might be the next big beauty breakthrough in helping to promote clearer skin and decrease skin sensitivity, redness and inflammation. 

Columbia Skincare est. 1871 has the distinction of being the oldest skincare company in the US and they have developed their Probiotic Concentrate and Probiotic Complex as the first skincare solutions to harness the wellness benefits of probiotics with topical specific bacteria that have been specifically formulated to enhance the skin's natural ability to renew itself.  The science behind this range actually came about six years ago when the company was testing combinations of natural ingredients that could give burned skin the ability to rejuvenate itself. This led to a discovery that did just that with an added benefit of also reducing the signs of aging on healthy skin. Probiotic Concentrate and Complex both contain a proprietary formula comprised of probiotics, plant stem cells and peptides (amino acids) which all uniquely combine to work with body’s natural ability to regenerate healthy skin cells and accelerate skin barrier recovery.

Recent Loves

March 20, 2017
Lagom Cellup Gel to Water Cleanser, Glossier Boy Brow, Glossier Cloud Paint, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Jill by Jill Stuart Fragrance, MDSUN Repair Moisturizer

This is where I talk about some of the beauty products I've been loving lately...  it's a little bit of a mixed bag this month.

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