Archive for 2017

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.

Where To Find Korean Beauty Now

March 17, 2017
Korean beauty, KBeauty, KBeauty Popup, Glow Recipe, Glow Recipe Nordstrom

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of all things Korean beauty.  It's a segment that's been at the forefront of the international beauty industry for a number of years now. We have K-Beauty to thank for cutting edge innovations like BB cream, cushion foundation, sleeping packs and sheet masks, just to name a few.

As the K-Beauty industry which is worth $18 billion worldwide, continues to expand, it means that it will keep becoming more readily accessible. K-Beauty is currently have a moment stateside as shops like Glow Recipe and Peach & Lily are popping up on their own as well as collaborating with popular retailers like Nordstrom, Barneys New York and Target.

K-Beauty Popup for Nordstrom curated by Glow Recipe... online and at select stores through March 26
Shop the entire collection!
1. Huxley Secret of Sahara Light & More Oil  ($58)
2. 107 One 0Seven Core Flex Hydro Rich Moisturizing Cream  ($52)
3. ME Factory White Flower Cheollasoo Foil Sheet Mask ($15/set of 3)
4. Vant Instant Facial Nourishing Mask  ($28)
5. Touch In Sol All In One Beauty Aid Cream ($32)
6. Too Cool For School Check Cake Blusher  ($22)
7. IPKN Twinkle Lips Matte Lipstick  ($18)
8. Chosungah Dong Gong Minn Jello Color Eyeshadow Palette  ($39)

My Cherry Blossom Eye Cream

March 15, 2017
Mirai Clinical Revitalizing Eye Cream, Mirai Clinical Revitalizing Eye Cream Review. Mirai Clinical

My first introduction to the Mirai Clinical brand was when I received their Purifying & Deodorizing Body Spritzer in my 3B Beauty Box last year. This genius product is a natural deodorant that uses Japanese persimmon extract to eliminate body odors on the spot. It also has green tea and astaxanthin which extend the effectiveness of the persimmon extract for all day freshness. It quickly became a favorite of mine both because it works and is chemical-free. In fact the Japanese persimmon extract doesn't penetrate skin, but works to dissolve odors on the surface of the skin. I'm also a fan of their Purifying & Deodorizing Body Wash with Persimmon and I talked about why in this post.

I was reintroduced to Mirai Clinical again towards the end of last year when they were exhibiting at a press event I attended. I met the exuberant CEO and Founder Koko Hayashi and got to learn more about about the brand and the exciting new product launches they had coming up. Mirai means "future" in Japanese and this name is apt since the brand provides innovative solutions for both skin and hair health.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

March 13, 2017

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair collection is designed to work together to maximize the efficacy and benefits of a nighttime skincare regimen  This roster of products starts with cleansing followed by moisture and includes a selection of boosters to amp up hydration and combat the effects of stress and aging.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette

March 10, 2017
Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette Review, Tarte Rainforest of the Sea, Tarte Eyeshadow, Tarte Eyeshadow Review, Tarte Eyeshadow Swatches

I haven't really felt any particular inclination or need to purchase an eyeshadow palette in quite some time since I'm not a regular wearer of eyeshadow and even when I do, I tend to stick with a few tried and true shades. That may sound like blasphemy coming from someone who writes about beauty products but the truth is I'm the practical sort who doesn't like to waste money and one of my main issues with most palettes is that there is almost always a shade or two in there that you're never going to wear. I pretty much stopped even looking at any for awhile until I came upon the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette. It appealed to me because all the shades look wearable and I was able to get it for 30% off during a Tarte sale. So this is my first eyeshadow palette purchase in about four years and I'm actually excited about it.

Sleeping My Way To Better Skin

March 6, 2017
Sleeping Packs, Overnight Treatment Masks, Aveda Tulasāra Wedding Masque, Aveda Tulasāra Wedding Masque Eye, Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm, Lady&Skin  Blooming White Oxybright Overnight Mask, Kicho Camellia Sleeping Pack

Sleep is a wonderful thing. A good night's sleep has many amazing benefits since it basically works to reset your body, helping to strengthen the immune system, improve cognitive function and boost your mood. Sleep affects just about every bodily function and it also plays a big part in the appearance of our skin. Beauty sleep is real! I average 7 - 8 hours of sleep/night and I like to maximize the natural repair cycle by supplementing my skincare routine with sleeping masks.

Sleeping masks or sleep packs as they're known in Asia are a popular K-Beauty product having a moment as a number of companies are now offering their own overnight treatments. 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 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. Sleeping mask are not a must but I personally like to use them to boost hydration and to address skin issues. My first sleeping pack was the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and that is like a total OG product. I think it's solid but there are so many other options that do more out there these days.

Dine Out : Sugarfish

March 3, 2017
SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa, Sugarfish Review, Sugarfish Sushi, Sugarfish NYC, Sugarfish New York

Before touching down in NYC this winter, SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa was already an LA sensation. Famed sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa's popular chain features a straightforward menu that puts the focus on sustainably sourced high quality fish. The Flatiron restaurant which has seen a never ending rush since it's debut is housed in a long wood adorned space with a slightly cavernous feel. Both à la carte and omakase options are offered but the omakase known as the "Trust Me" ($39) that comes with Organic Edamame, Tuna Sashimi, 8 pieces of Sushi, a Toro Hand Roll and Blue Crab Hand Roll is the way to go. With this in mind, we ordered one and the "Nozawa Trust Me" ($51) which includes additional two pieces of the Daily Special sushi.

The edamame and tuna sashimi which commenced the meal were palatable but nothing out of the ordinary. The sushi which followed in ritual servings of two was better. The fish was incredibly fresh and each precision sliced piece sat atop a loosely packed mound of warm vinegary rice. I actually want to take a moment to clear up a common misnomer about sushi because sushi is not raw seafood and is in fact the vinegared rice that is often paired with raw seafood. Raw seafood sliced into thin pieces without the rice is known as sashimi. Okay back to my review... Sugarfish takes their sushi seriously and Chef Nozawa's precise process has been painstakingly replicated at their restaurants to get the combination of rice and rice vinegar just right. Interestingly they use small capacity rice cookers like the ones people use at home which they had to get certified for restaurant use. The entire story is actually quite fascinating and you can read it here. The vinegar taste in the sushi is definitely more pronounced here than at most other sushi restaurants and that along with the warmth of the rice results in a really pleasant combination of texture and flavor with each bite.

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

March 1, 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... Happy March everyone!

  • Bryant Park still looking pretty in the midst of winter.
  • I have a slight obsession with avocado toast and Gotan makes one of the best in the city! Their coffee is also supposed to be great but I can't attest to it since I don't drink coffee.
  • I got to try Bite Beauty's new lip pencils courtesy of Influenster. Check out my mini review to see what I thought.
  • A mini feast at West New Malaysia that also included Hainese chicken. I always try order dishes that I don't make at home when we eat Asian food out.
  • La Esquina Taqueria has such a cool looking facade. They make some amazing Mexican corn there.
  • This seasonal Lady M Earl Grey Mille Crepe Cake has to be one of the refined and delicious cakes I've ever had. I actually ate five bites of it and I usually limit myself to no more two or three when it comes to sweets.
  • Pressed Juicery's limited edition Strawberry Almond flavor is really good.
  • Birthday dinner at Sushi of Gari in Tribeca. Their sushi never disappoints. It's also $$$
  • One of the things I love most about NYC is that each neighborhood can have such a different energy.

Currently Coveting

February 27, 2017
 Wish List

We've recently been getting some peeks of Spring weather in NYC.  I'm eagerly awaiting the actual arrival of the season and dreaming of things I want to wear then. A few of these pieces translated into workable outfits as well.  What are you coveting lately?

1. BaubleBar Guadeloupe Strands
A fun and whimsical necklace that would look fab styled with simpler looks. And the pom poms make me smile.

2. J. Crew Austrian Eyelet Dress
Everything about this dress from the fabric to the silhouette to the details just speaks to my aesthetic.

3. & Other Stories Frilled Merino Wool Sweater
The soft blush color and ruffles lend such a flirty and feminine feel to this sweater.

4. & Other Stories Belted Midi Chambray Skirt
Chambray and denim midi skirts are my summer staples. The embroidered belt gives this one a touch of charming character.

5. Puma Basket Classic Citi Metallic Court Trainer
Some super cool kicks for those of us who are still obsessed with rose gold.

6. Zara Sweater with Shoulder Frill
The shoulder frill detail totally elevates this striped top!

7. Frame Le High Cropped Slim Leg Jeans
I tried on few pairs of Frame jeans at Barney's last month and loved the construction and fit. I think the classic style of this pair would be worth the investment.

Eye Candy : Song Hye Kyo & Yoo Ah In for W

February 24, 2017
Song Hye Kyo, Song Hye Kyo Yoo Ah In W March 2017, Song Hye Kyo W, Song Hye Kyo 2017, Song Hye Kyo and Yoo Ah In,

Song Hye Kyo and Yoo Ah In are the dual cover stars of the special 12th Anniversary edition of W Korea. Dubbed by the magazine as the New Royals, the two real life friends appear in separate and joint pictorials within the issue. The artful and decadent editorials feature the duo in resplendent high fashion by Burberry, Christian Dior, Valentino and Gucci. Song Hye Kyo is just a vision of ethereal glamour throughout and all the white Burberry dresses are so dreamy and beautiful. I really wish we could get a better view of the cape and dress she is wearing in the first frame that she shares with Ah In. And her hair and makeup which are absolute perfection definitely make a compelling case that less is more! But when you look like her you don't need much. The slightly glossy honey nude lips are my favorite element of her makeup. Speaking of Burberry, the gorgeous actress was in London earlier this week for the Burberry AW 2017 show.

Though I'm not as crazy about his solo spread, the cool and quirky styling actually suits Ah In who is known for a bit of a cool and quirky personality. I'm less familiar with his work having only seen him in Punch but with all his accolades and box office success, he must deliver as a performer. Hye Kyo is still carefully considering her next project following the blockbuster that was Descendants of the Sun last year. If you still haven't watched it, here are 10 reasons you should with links to watch. It was just announced that Ah In will be headlining the upcoming tVN drama Chicago Typewriter. Though good friends who are like siblings that also belong to the same agency, Hye Kyo and Ah In have never really worked together. No I'm not counting his brief cameo in DOTS. Anyway their close relationship was more than evident during Hye Kyo's fan meeting celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut as Ah In showed up along with her other "close friend" and Descendants of the Sun co-star Song Joong Ki to show their support. Yes I still believe in the SongSong couple and that they're for reals!

Song Hye Kyo, Song Hye Kyo Yoo Ah In W March 2017, Song Hye Kyo W, Song Hye Kyo 2017, Song Hye Kyo and Yoo Ah In,

Jill Stuart Fall Winter 2017

February 20, 2017
Jill Stuart, Jill Stuart FW 2017, Jill Stuart Fall 2017, Jill Stuart Fashion Show

Alchemy and essential oils were central to Jill Stuart's inspiration for Fall 2017 which translated into a collection that fuses a combination of various textures, prints and lengths along with a play on layers. A sumptuously dark color palette of mostly black punctuated by metallics and occasional pops of red, blue and purple serves as the backdrop for the languid silhouettes. The collection melds retro 70's boho with Victorian details like high necklines, puffed sleeves, velvet bodices, tiered skirts, underlays and ruffles. Overall the outfits exuded a sense of diaphanous glamour and wearable edge. Standout looks for me included all the metallic Swiss dot embellished pieces as as well as the exquisitely tailored coats and jackets. The styling also provided ideas for creative ways of layering as velvet was juxtaposed with tulle,  printed pussy bow blouses and knit turtlenecks were shown under dresses and corset belts worn over outerwear.

Jill Stuart, Jill Stuart FW 2017, Jill Stuart Fall 2017, Jill Stuart Fashion Show

Eye Candy : Lee Young Ae for Elle

February 17, 2017

Lee Young Ae absolutely dazzles in an array of gorgeous looks from Valentino in this Elle Korea editorial. The 46 year old actress has kept a relatively low profile since getting married and giving birth to twins in 2011 though she has continued her philanthropy efforts as a Goodwill Ambassador for both UNICEF and NGO.  She will probably always be best known for the classic Hallyu sageuk hit Dae Jang Geum (Jewel In The Palace). Following a 13 year hiatus, Young Ae recently made her drama comeback in Saimdang: Light’s Diary a fictional account of the life of Shin Saimdang, a famed poet, artist, scholar of the Joseon era who defied limitations to become a legend in her time. Kind of sounds a little like her character in Dae Jang Geum. While her acting has been praised, even Young Ae's immense star power isn't helping to keep the time travel historical drama from struggling ratings. To be honest, I had my doubts when I heard that Song Seung Heon would be her leading man. While quite handsome, he is definitely no heavyweight in the acting department and a wooden leading man can be a huge detriment. Anyway I'm sure her fans must be happy to see her making a return to the small screen. I'd love to learn her age defying beauty secrets because while she may be in her 40's, her beauty is timeless and Young Ae looks way more fresh faced than some Hollywood actresses who are supposedly in their 20's. Just sayin'

Elle Korea February 2017 // Photographer: Choi Moon Hyeok // Editors: Baek Ho Kwang & Lee Kyung Eun
Stylist: Amy // Makeup: Lee Ji Yung // Hair: Lee Sun Young

Beauty Products I've Used Up

February 15, 2017
L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara, Illume Coconut Milk Mango Hand Creme, Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream, RE:CIPE Rose Petal Cleansing Oil, Blithe Patting Splash Mask, Lady & Skin Royal Gold Concentrated Serum

I really need to be better about talking about my empties on a more regular basis since it's a good way to record some quick thoughts on products I've used both for myself and for your reference. These products were all purchased by me and I will only be including products that I personally bought in these posts. You might notice that four out of the six are Korean beauty products. AB does make up a good percentage of my beauty routine. This will probably not be changing especially since there is more of a convergence of K-beauty with natural beauty these days.

Recent Loves

February 13, 2017
LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, Oolu Ginseng & Gold Mist Lotion,  GlamGlow ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment, 24/7 Honey Dual Lip Treatment Oil & Color Balm, Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Lip Stain,  Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

This is where I talk about some of the beauty products I've been loving lately...  I'm obsessed with moisture and radiance!

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook For 1st Look

February 10, 2017
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook 1st Look, Ji Chang Wook First Look,, Ji Chang Wook 2017, 지창욱, Ji Chang Wook Fabricated City

The recent release of his film Fabricated City means more Ji Chang Wook editorials which is really more than fine by me. I like how the monochrome treatment lends to the mood of this pictorial for 1st Look where he seems to channeling his inner bad boy. In the accompanying interview Chang Wook talks about how he doesn't think that he has an image as a pretty boy and why that doesn't appeal to him. Well it's understandable since he's mentioned in the past that he wants to be taken seriously as an actor and continue challenging himself. While I have to disagree with him when it comes to his looks, Chang Wook has more than proven his dedication to improving his skills and range as an actor with how far he has come since Smile Dong Hae. And he is only one of a handful of actors who is equally as talented as a singer with his steady work in musicals. I never tire of watching this particular performance of I'll Protect You from his HK fanmeet. I hope he'll be able to fit in one more project before his military enlistment later this year. It's not a look I'm particularly into but boy does he rock that leopard coat!

Eat Beautiful: Nourish Your Skin From The Inside Out

February 8, 2017
Eat Beautiful, Eat Beautiful Wendy Rowe, Eat Beautiful Book, Eat Beautiful Review, Eat Beautiful: Nourish Your Skin From The Inside Out

"I'm a big believer in nurturing not only the outer skin, but also what lies beneath - our organs and intestines. What's happening in our outer skin - the skin we can see - is often a reflection of the health of our insides; our organs are hugely hardworking and important in their own right. If you don't service the car, it's not going to work well. Skincare is important, of course, but eating a range of good quality, skin friendly foods - seasonal and organically produced when possible - will provide the best foundation. This will ensure your skin has a healthy glow."
Wendy Rowe

The saying "you are what you eat" is one of those that I really believe and that's why this book appealed to me. Despite my undeniable love for pizza, I generally try to follow a balanced diet because what you put into your body contributes as much to your overall appearance and wellbeing as well as what you put onto it.

Reviewing A Few Popular K-Beauty Products

February 6, 2017

Anyone who's been reading this blog for awhile knows that I'm a big fan of Korean beauty products for their innovation. Both my skincare and makeup routines happen to consist of more than a few K-beauty finds and I'm always looking to discovering more brands and products. When BB Cosmetic asked me to pick out some products to try out recently, I took the opportunity to select a few popular K-beauty bestsellers to see for myself if they were worth the hype. So I chose the VDL Lumilayer Primer a cult favorite which has been compared to MAC Strobe cream, April Skin Magic Snow Cushion White a reformulated version of a best selling cushion and a Labiotte Chateau Wine Lip Tint which seem to be popping up in editorials everywhere!  If BB Cosmetic sounds familiar, they were the ones who turned me onto skincare from MakeRemake and Yadah

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

February 3, 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. There were more than a few Chinese New Year related posts because it's big deal in my culture and life. You can see more on Instagram and do follow if you like what you see...

  • Fire escapes are a familiar detail on the facades of a number of residential buildings and if you pay attention, some of them are quite striking looking.
  • I made long life noodles with three types of mushrooms and choy sum vegetables for our Chinese New Year's eve dinner.  I don't use a recipe anymore but I could probably write it out if anyone is interested so let me know.
  • Festive red lanterns in Chinatown for the new year. I'm always tempted to buy one and then it's like what would I do with it once I bring it home.
  • My January Play! by Sephora box. This is now my sole beauty subscription since I just canceled my 3B Box. 
  • Raindrops can be quite beautiful depending on your perspective and better yet when you're under cover.
  • Garlic Crust Spicy Crispy Chicken at Korean gastropub Take31. The only thing that could make crispy chicken better is rolling it in crunchy bits of garlic before eating it. I really love garlic! Good thing it's a health food!
  • Pretty packaging is something I always take notice of and this Bellocq tea packaging is just lovely.
  • This Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask is my favorite facial treatment of the moment and my quick review details why. 
  • I've said it before but I have a real love/hate relationship with snow in the city but there's no denying that there's something magical about it when it's falling. This winter hasn't been that cold. I'm pretty sure climate change has something to do with that and anyone who doesn't see it is either blind, ignorant or just plain corrupt and greedy AF!

Dine Out : Bagatelle

February 1, 2017
Bagatelle NYC, Bagatelle Review, Bagatelle Food

Before I ever set foot inside Bagatelle, I had only previously known the Meatpacking eatery for it's lively brunch scene and reputation as a celebrity hotspot that has notably hosted everyone from Helen Mirren to Mariah Carey. The airy white walled space is punctuated by decorative moldings, crystal chandeliers and colorful pop art. A long marble and white paneled fully stocked bar runs along the back wall of the restaurant. Bagatelle's menu consists of a variety of French bistro favorites like Croque Monsieur/Madame, Chicken Paillard, Burgers as well as sharable plates like Ahi Tuna Tartare, Avocado Toast, Crab Salad and Black Truffle Pizza. I was invited to an influencer luncheon last month to try some of their popular menu items. Scene aside, overall the food was flavorful and well executed. I especially liked the tuna tartare, crab salad, goat cheese tartine with balsamic and pizza. Since this was a hosted event, that probably affected the service but I will say that we were well taken care of throughout our meal.

1 Little W 12th Street

Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup

January 30, 2017
Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup Review, Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup Review, Estee Lauder Cushion Stick Review, Estee Lauder Double Wear Cushion Stick Foundation

Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup

Estée Lauder takes it's popular Double Wear Makeup To Go Liquid Compact to the next level with their Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, an innovative stick that combines liquid makeup with a pro tool applicator. This all in one product which is like a cushion compact in stick form comes filled with a version of the brand's high performance, long wearing Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup which has been reformulated to provide instant hydration and a luminous finish.

Eye Candy : Ready To Fall In Love

January 27, 2017
Liu Wen Elle China, Liu Wen Elle

This themed Elle China editorial seemed like the perfect segue into the lunar new year which is tomorrow. Model Liu Wen is clad in an array standout looks in lucky red while playing with paper lanterns and practicing calligraphy. 

This will be the year of the Fire Rooster which is marked by high energy and productivity for those who are willing to work diligently and practice some measure of patience. I would like to wish everyone who is celebrating a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year! Gong Hei Fat Choy! Xin Nian Kuai Le! 新年快樂! 恭禧发财! 

Xin Nian Kuai Le

Elle China March 2016 // Photographer: Mei Yuangui // Model: Liu Wen
Stylist: Jin Jing // Makeup: He Lei // Hair: Zhang Fan

Current Mood

January 25, 2017
Makeup Flatlay

Listening... to old school Cantonese music because it takes me to a comforting place. This catchy Candy Lo & Wang Lee Hom duet always gets a singalong. There was a rumor that Candy wrote this song about Shawn Yue after they broke up.

Reading... Eat Beautiful. Beauty expert/makeup artist Wendy Rowe dishes on how to achieve beauty from the inside out with the foods/recipes you should be eating to nourish your skin and body.

Watching... not much at the moment.

Embracing... hygge aka the Danish art of creating a warm atmosphere and making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful and special. It really aligns with the practice of quality over quantity.

Enjoying... our new refrigerator which has way more space than our old one. We will be filling up that freezer with homemade dumplings soon.

Giving up... cold beverages for good. I don't really ever drink anything ice cold but I'm cutting them out entirely.  This is why.  It has also been advised by my TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctor and I really think there's something to it.

Loving... the Echo Dot we received for Christmas! We use it to play music, catch up on the news and weather and for quick facts and definitions. You can also apparently do a lot more with it which we really need to explore.

Looking forward to... Chinese New Year. which is this Saturday. My favorite holiday of the year. Of course we will be partaking in some of these lucky foods. And check out this primer on Chinese New Year customs.

Not looking forward to... 4 years of president fart (apparently trump is slang for fart in Britain).  Now more than ever we need to continually stay informed and stand up for what we believe in. #alternativefacts have no basis in reality. If they did, Obama would still be our president. Remember that midterms are just 2 years away.

Obsessed with this video of a cat riding around in a box wearing a hat made from his own fur... yep! It never ceases to give me a chuckle.

What's up with you?

Currently Coveting

January 23, 2017
Wish List

Somehow my wish list always seems to include a number of beauty products...  K-beauty continues to be my jam and green beauty is also up there.. How cool is it that Nordstrom now has a dedicated natural beauty shop? What are you coveting lately?

1. Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask
I'm currently in love with the Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask (check out my mini review!) so this mask which is supposed to be like a facial in a jar is next up.

2. CLE Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder
K-beauty never fails to blow me away with their innovations. This product transforms from a powder to a long-wearing lip tint when you put it on! Now that's pretty flipping cool.

3. ZIIP Beauty Nano Current Device
I became interested in beauty devices when I started using a long forgotten home microdermabrasion device regularly with positive results at the end of last year. The ZIIP Beauty Nano Current Device uses gentle electrical wavelengths to firm, brighten and banish fine lines, dark spots and acne. Some lofty claims and I'm definitely intrigued. My husband actually offered to buy this for me for my birthday but I can't justify the cost right now.

4. AMOREPACIFIC Moisture Bound Intensive Serum Masque
This unique two step ampoule mask works to instantly boost hydration, firmness, and radiance while an exclusive blend of 5 Asian botanicals work to restore and improve skin's ability to retain moisture. It sounds like a perfect solution for keeping dry winter skin at bay.

5. Rodin Facial Cleansing Powder
This cleansing powder that combines granular rice bran with moisturizing jojoba, sea algae along with olio lusso's signature Jasmine and Neroli scent allows you to customize your cleansing routine based on your skin's needs and your personal preference. Cleansing powders are such a lovely way to gently cleanse and clarify in the mornings. My husband and I currently share a bottle of Farmacy New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains (review) which works equally well on our very different skin types and I think this would too.

6. Youth to the People Kale + TriPeptide 37 Vitamin C Age Prevention Firm and Brighten Serum
A high performance, firming and brightening serum loaded with kale and spinach for a healthy looking complexion. There's something really appealing about skincare which combines superfoods and science. I mean if it's good enough to eat, it's certainly good enough to put on your face.

7. KORRES  Greek Yoghurt Smoothie Priming Moisturiser
This double duty moisturizer and primer is packed with with 26 percent Greek yogurt proteins to deeply nourish and smooth skin, while prepping it for flawless makeup application and all-day wear. I'm already a big fan of their Suncare Yoghurt  Nourishing Fluid Veil so I'm thinking I might like this as well.

8. GLOSS Moderne High Gloss Serum
This unisex, luxury serum offers up brilliant shine, heat protection and control in a formula that is clean and cruelty-free.  I'm partial to multifunction hair care products and this sounds like one that my husband and I could share.

Eye Candy : Ji Chang Wook for Marie Claire

January 20, 2017
Ji Chang Wook, Ji Chang Wook Marie Claire, Ji Chang Wook Lotte Duty Free,, Ji Chang Wook 2017, 지창욱, Ji Chang Wook Fabricated City

I don't think it needs to be said anymore that Ji Chang Wook is a favorite around here. Ahead of the release of his film Fabricated City next month in which he plays an online gamer who goes on the run to clear his name after being framed for a crime, the handsome actor is making an appearance in Marie Claire Korea. The crime thriller marks Chang Wook's big screen debut and may be his last action project at least according to him. All the stunt work has been taking a toll and he wants to challenge himself beyond action. I passed on watching Chang Wook's last two projects but the trailer of Fabricated City looks pretty compelling. The first 3 photos of this editorial are absolutely beautiful especially the one above with that mesmerizing stare but the styling for the rest is a bit dodgy. What's with the long coat and weird boots and what does that teddy bear have to do with anything. Okay I'm just gonna go back to staring at the first photo...

Marie Claire Korea February 2017 // Photographer: Kim Tae Won // Editor: Park Min
Hair: Chung Mi Young // Makeup: Shin Soo Ji  // Styling: Lee Han Wook

MB45 = Manicure + Blowout in 45 Minutes

January 18, 2017
MB45, MB45 NYC, MB45 Tribeca

It's a fast paced world we live in these days and MB45 understands that with their new salon that lets you double down on your beauty treatments by offering a simultaneous manicure and blowout service in just 45 minutes. Founders Fernanda Lacerda and Manuela Giannini who were already accommodating client requests for manicures along with blowouts at their Maria Bonita Salon & Spa in Nolita wanted to create a solely dedicated space to streamline the process.

Meet The Byrdie Beauty Box

January 16, 2017
yrdie Beauty Box. The Review by Byrdie, Byrdie Holiday Beauty Box,  Beauty Box

When The Review by Byrdie Beauty Box first got onto my radar, my interest was piqued. The box is described as a limited-edition, curated collection of beauty editor favorites that features a mix of highly covetable full- and travel-size skin, makeup and hair products. These are high end products that have been tried, tested and selected for their effectiveness.

Byrdie Beauty Box. The Review by Byrdie, Byrdie Holiday Beauty Box,  Beauty Box

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