Archive for April 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

April 29, 2015
Mother's Day Gifts, Mother's Day Gift Guide
Mother's Day is on Sunday May 10th in the US this year. I've already bought my mom a lamp she's had her eye on and I want to get her one more gift. My mom is the practical sort and she appreciates things that she can actually use. Guess I got that from her. I usually try to find items that she probably wouldn't buy herself.  Have you bought your mom something for Mother's Day yet? What types of presents does she tend to like?

1. Karuna Anti-Oxidant Face Masks  $28  2. Kate Spade NY Amilia Reading Glasses  $68  3. West 57th Cosmetic Bag Trio  $78  4. Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb  $38  5. Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath $41  6. Illume Scented Hand Creme  $20  7. Be. Happy. Always. Trinket Tray  $14  8. Acorn Easy Spa Slipper  $24  9. Longchamp Le Pliage Neo Large Tote  $180

Don't miss out on this derma e giveaway! You can win a set of natural and organic beauty products worth over $100.

Stylish Sun Protection with Classic Specs

April 27, 2015
Classic Specs Sedgwick, Sunglasses

If you saw my post where I shared what's in my bag, then you'd know that I usually carry a pair of sunglasses because sun protection is a must and sunglasses are such a cool accessory. I have five pairs that I rotate depending on what I'm wearing or my mood. I usually favor oversized frames until this Classic Specs pair came into my life. And they've been my favorites recently. This style called the Sedgwick is a classic cat eye shape and I can't believe this is just my first pair of cat eyes. The fit is fabulous first of all. The brulee tortoise color is both fashionable and neutral enough to go with almost anything.  The cat eye shape is flatteringly feminine and has a charming vintage feel to it as well.  And best of all the lenses are polarized and UVA/UVB protective. I tend to favor polarized sunglasses since they have a special filter that blocks reflected light and reduces glare. Yes I'm vain and I don't ever want to squint since it causes wrinkles around the eyes  ^_~

Classic Specs Sedgwick, Sunglasses

Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish

April 24, 2015

Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish Review

Microdermabrasion used to sound like a scary process to me. I think it may have had something to do with the word abrasion being in it. Then I learned that it's actually a physical exfoliation treatment that removes the top layer of skin to rejuvenate it and increase cell turnover. This helps to give skin a glow as well as improve the appearance of pores, fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and acne scars. It first started as a procedure that had to be done at a dermatologist's office or spa but there are now many in home products that offer the same benefits. I actually used to use one but gave it up when my skin became ultra sensitive. I decided to give it another try with Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish.

About the Brand: Exuviance is the creation of doctors Van Scott and Yu, widely recognized as leaders in the field of cosmetic dermatology. They discovered the anti-aging benefits of glycolic acid and created and patented the first glycolic peel. Since their ground-breaking discovery, the creators of Exuviance have continued to develop many new patented anti-aging ingredients backed by evidence from numerous scientific and clinical studies. Exuviance formulas are recognized around the world and expertly developed to visibly transform skin by combining their patented innovations with the best, state of the art technologies available in dermatology today.

Product Claims: Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish contains pure professional grade crystals used by dermatologists to smooth skin. It employs a unique blend of physical, chemical and enzyme rejuvenators for instant, dramatic skin resurfacing results. 

Key Ingredients: Glycolic Acid and Papaya Enzyme, Professional Grade Crystals, Lactobionic Acid. Does not contain plastic polyethylene beads which may be harmful to the environment.

Packaging: A somewhat clinical yet sleek looking metallic colored tube which makes for easy dispensing.

Price: Retail is $72 for a 2.6 oz. tube.

Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish Review

Derma E Green Beauty Giveaway

April 22, 2015
Beauty Giveaway, Green Beauty Giveaway

Happy Earth Day! Today marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and it's a good time to think about how we can live green and help our planet. Things we can easily do are to be mindful of energy use, reduce paper waste by going paperless, recycle, use our own shopping bags and support eco-friendly brands that use natural, organic ingredients and sustainable, ethical manufacturing practices. derma e is one such brand and I'm partnering with them for this green beauty giveaway. 

derma e is a family owned and operated company of 30 years that has pioneered the development of vitamin-rich, high performance antioxidant skincare solutions. Their award winning line features over 80 doctor developed, clinically tested products that are formulated without parabens, phthaltes, sulfates, lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum. derma e products are also 100% vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free and GMO-free. 

The prize includes a selection of five popular products from the brand's skincare line valued at $112.95:

derma e Evenly Radiant® Brightening Cleanser ($15.50) 
This skin-brightening, sulfate-free facial cleanser is formulated with an intensive skin brightening complex containing Madonna Lilly Pant Stem Cells, Bearberry, Niacinamide, Green Tea and C-Ester. It helps to promote skin clarity and glow and is ideal for skin with signs of uneven pigmentation, discoloration, sun damage, freckles, age spots and dark spots.

derma e Evenly Radiant® Brightening Day Crème SPF 15 ($29.95) 
This lightweight daytime moisturizer contains an intensive skin brightening complex with Madonna Lilly Pant Stem Cells, Bearberry, Niacinamide, Licorice, Green Tea and C-Ester to help brighten and even skin tone. Clear Zinc Oxide provides chemical-free and nanoparticle-free broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

derma e Hydrating Eye Crème with Hyaluronic Acid ($21.50) 
This best selling fragrance-free eye crème hydrates, firms and tones the delicate eye area while reducing the appearance of fine lines and crow's feet. Hyaluronic Acid (known as nature's moisture magnet) is blended with Pycnogenol , Green Tea, Jojoba Oil and Vitamins A, C and E to create a rich, replenishing formula.

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub ($32.50) 
This award-winning, salon treatment uses an exclusive crystal blend that includes Dead Sea Salt, Silica-rich Volcanic Sand, Lime and Lemon Peel, Grapeseed and Vitamin E to gently buffs away dull surface cells to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars.

derma e Hydrating Mist with Hyaluronic Acid ($13.50) 
This refreshing mist instantly rehydrates dry skin on the face or body with a blend of Hyaluronic Acid and antioxidant Green Tea and Vitamin C to combat environmental stress. It is packaged in a convenient portable spray pump to take on the go.

This is giveaway is open to US residents only. It starts April 22, 2015 and ends on May 3, 2015. Entries will be verified for eligibility. One winner will be randomly selected.

You can enter through this link or the Rafflecopter widget below. The widget acts up sometimes so if it doesn't load on this page, just click through here for it. Good luck!

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about feet and pigeons. Yes being able to switch off my sense of smell can come in handy. Some of you were curious about how I can do this. Well I stuck a nail up my nose and punctured it as a kid and after it healed, I found I was able to stop myself from smelling at will. Kinda weird I know.

20 Facts About Me

April 20, 2015

I was tagged for this by Jo on Instagram and I'm usually terrible about tags but I thought I'd try to do this one on here.

1. My name means "famous friend" and my Mom got it from a book of names. For the record, I hate being called "Ro"

2. I lived in Taiwan for a few years as a child and my first language was Mandarin.

3. I have the ability to turn off my sense of smell.

4. I cry fairly easily when watching tv and movies.

5. I'm a baseball fan and my favorite team is the NY Yankees.

6. I don't like when people I don't know touch me.

7. I'm not a fan of ironing and prefer to steam my clothes.

8. I'm a modest dresser and have been wearing midi lengths long before they were popular.

9. I think flip flops belong only on the beach.

10. Cleanliness and organization make me happy... like really.

11. I collect Kodak Brownie cameras.

13. I don't drink coffee or alcohol because I don't like the taste.

14. I can't have caffeine after 4pm or I won't be able to sleep.

15. I will pretty much always choose savory over sweet since I try not to eat sugar.

16. I have a fear of heights and being confined - that's acrophobia and claustrophobia.

17. If I could have any super power, I'd love the ability to teleport.

18. Bad/offkey singing gives me goosebumps.

19. I have the name my husband and I call each other inscribed on the inside of my wedding band.

20. I have an extreme aversion to other people's feet and pigeons. If you post pics of either, I might unfollow/not follow you. It's not personal, it's just we all have things we'd rather not look at.

I'm not going to tag anyone but if you'd like to do this, let me know and I'll come read it. In the spirit of disclosure, why don't you tell me something about yourself.

Eye Candy : Li BingBing for Harper's Bazaar

April 17, 2015
Li BingBing Harper's Bazaar Jewelry, Li BingBing by Chen Man

Li BingBing looks like an absolute enchantress in this stunning editorial for Harper's Bazaar Jewelry lensed by Chen Man. The simple styling and glamorous makeup really highlight the captivating beauty of both the 42 year old actress as well as the gorgeous baubles she is modeling. And this is how you do stylistic blurring in photography by the way. I can't even pick a favorite image or piece of jewelry. They're just all too mesmerizing.

Li BingBing Harper's Bazaar Jewelry, Li BingBing by Chen Man

Dine Out : Somtum Der

April 15, 2015
Somtum Der New York, Somtum Der Restaurant Review

Before setting up shop in New York City, the original Somtum Der brought authentic Isan (Northeastern Thai) cuisine with a contemporary twist to the heart of Bangkok's busy Sala Daeng district. Located in the East Village, the NY outpost features a well lit interior with long communal tables and a counter area with red stool seating that looks into the kitchen. The somtum (papaya salad) station with it's jars of ingredients used to dress their signature dish is also on full display. We started with the Tum Thai, their original style Thai Spicy Papaya Salad made with green papaya, limes, tomato and chilies. It was bursting with bright fresh flavor with a generous amount of heat coming through even though we opted for a mild level of spice. The Moo Ping Kati Sod, grilled coconut milk marinated beef skewers served with nests of coconut scented vermicelli provided a brief respite from the heat which returned with the Pad Ki Pork and Basil, a stir-fried rice noodle dish that featured a balance of bold flavors topped with pieces of yummy crispy basil. If you're a fan of spice, this place definitely delivers as regional Isan dishes are known for a good amount of heat and I had read that they toned it down here for Western palates. The guy at the table next to us was sweating and turning red as he polished off dish after dish so clearly there are people who like the spice. We enjoyed everything that we tried and I would return to explore more of their menu. The portions aren't huge but they're reasonable for the price and we had good friendly service. Are you a fan of Thai food? How about spicy food?

85 Avenue A (5th & 6th)
New York City

The lucky winner of the Spring Beauty Giveaway is Kim of A Very Sweet Blog. Congratulations Kim! I have a new natural beauty giveaway coming up next week on Earth Day. 

Better Than Before Book Review

April 13, 2015
Better Than Before Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives

One of my goals for this year was to try to read more. I haven't been doing that well with it so far but I did manage to finish one book - Better Than Before Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives. In Better Than Before, author of the bestselling Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin suggests that "habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life" and that by changing our habits, we can change our lives. It's pointed out in the book that we repeat about 40% of our behaviors every day so that actually makes sense. Through in-depth research and personal observations, she explores how habits are formed and maintained while sharing strategies for making positive changes which she has personally tested out.

She readily acknowledges that what may work for one person many not work for another, thusly her solutions are not one size fits all. Rubin establishes that based upon how they react to expectations, most people fall into one of Four Habit Tendencies - Upholders who readily respond both to outer and inner expectations, Questioners who resist outer expectations and respond to inner expectations, Obligers who respond to outer expectations but resist inner expectations and Rebels who resist both outer and inner expectations. Through understanding ourselves, we can then determine which strategies would work best to help us with habits we want to adopt or conversely break.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Oil & Wipes

April 10, 2015
Dermalogica PreCleanse Review

Whenever anyone asks for my top skincare tips, my answer is to always wear sunscreen, avoid sugar (it does really terrible things to your skin like break down collagen) and to always wash your face at the of the day. I adopted double-cleansing last year which has worked really well for my skin so I'm always on the lookout for new products to try in my routine. Enter Dermalogica PreCleanse Oil and PreCleanse Wipes.

These two products are integral to the the Dermalogica regimen which is based upon the foundation of the double-cleanse, beginning with PreCleanse which helps to dissolve excess sebum, sunscreen, waterproof makeup, environmental pollutants and residual products that build up on the skin throughout the day. Dermalogica PreCleanse Oil is a lightweight classic cleansing oil. Dermalogica PreCleanse Wipes are travel friendly biodegradable wipes. Both products are water soluble so they rinse off cleanly without leaving behind any residue.

About the Brand: Dermalogica is a US based professional skincare company that has been around since 1986. Their product line is focused on improving skin health without the use of common irritants and ingredients that could cause breakouts.

Key Ingredients: Formulated with skin softening Aloe, Olive, Kukui and Apricot Oils, conditioning Rice Bran and Vitamin E in a blend that is gentle enough to be used around the eye area. Does not contain any artificial ingredients, colors or parabens.

Packaging: If you're familiar with Dermalogica products then you'll know that they have a minimal clinical type look and that applies to these products as well. The oil is housed in a sturdy plastic bottle that dispenses the product easily without dripping. The wipes come in a pretty standard cleansing wipe pouch package. 

Price: Dermalogica PreCleanse Oil retails for $38 for a 5.1 oz. bottle and a pack of 20 Dermalogica PreCleanse Wipes costs $18.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Review
Dermalogica PreCleanse

Currently Coveting

April 8, 2015
A few items currently on my wish list.
What are you coveting lately?

1. Lulu Frost Tray
{The lovely vintage inspired tray would look lovely on my side table.}

2. Stella McCartney Stella Eau de Toilette
{My favorite fragrance is the original Stella and I just adored this lighter version when I tested it at Sephora recently. The bottle is also seriously gorgeous!}

3. Troi Olliviere Lipstick
{This is the lipstick worn by J. Crew models and this pretty coral pink shade is a nice punch of vivid color.}

4. Jade Facial Roller
{Use of this roller is supposed to be a great way to improve circulation as well as smooth and calm the skin which sounds good to me.}

5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Quilted Sally Bag 
{The strap on my Louis Vuitton bag is starting to wear a little so I'm thinking of getting another small crossbody to alternate it with. I really like the classic styling of this one and I may order it soon since it's currently 25% off at the Shopbop Friends & Family Sale.}

6. Gap 1969 A-line Denim Skirt
{My vintage denim midi skirt is one of my most worn pieces during the warmer months and I wouldn't mind adding another denim skirt to the mix.}

Don't miss out on the Spring Beauty giveaway! One reader will win a selection of pretty beauty products chosen by me. Enter now!

Through My Lens : On Instagram

April 6, 2015
Flower Blossom, Sakura

These are still photos of life recently but I changed the title since they're now a selection that first appeared on my Instagram stream. Actually my Instagram feed is pretty much just an extended version of these posts as pointed out to me by a friend. I'm @rolalaloves and you can find me here. We're finally seeing some signs of spring in NYC as one of the trees in the garden downstairs started blooming this week and it's so pretty!

Snow in NYC
This was the tree next to the one that just bloomed, covered in snow a month ago. 

Eye Candy : Song Ji Hyo for Harper's Bazaar

April 3, 2015
Song Ji Hyo, Song Ji Hyo Harper's Bazaar

Song Ji Hyo is the picture of glamorous refinement as she models a selection of clothing and eyewear from Vivienne Westwood's Gold Label SS 2015 collection for Harper's Bazaar Korea. Her vivid lips and porcelain skin totally complement these bold and chic looks. The ace of Running Man will soon get back into acting in the tvN drama Ex-Girlfriend's Club which stars Byun Yo Han who was the delightful scene stealing Suk Yool in Misaeng. The premise is about a writer who creates a webtoon centered around his ex-girlfriends and what happens when they show back up in his life.  This sounds like it has some comedic promise. I find it amusing how Ji Hyo's Running Man cast mates seem to forget what a pretty woman she is except maybe for her Monday boyfriend Gary. I guess they really are like siblings. She's actually way more attractive than most of the female guests that appear on the show in my opinion.

Song Ji Hyo, Song Ji Hyo Harper's Bazaar


April 1, 2015

Waiting... for the Spring weather to arrive in NYC. I'm kind of over my down outerwear.

Reading... Better Than Before, Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. It's quite interesting and I'll be sharing a review of the book here when I'm finished.

Watching... House of Cards. I'm totally late to the party but I get why everyone loves this show now.

Listening... to FT Island's new album I Will. Love the energy of To The Light!

Eating... lots of vegetables and quinoa and sometimes indulging in a little of this.

Drinking... London Fog Tea Lattes aka Earl Grey Tea Lattes.

Obsessed... with Things Organized Neatly. This Tumblr just fascinates me endlessly.

Wearing... a tee and joggers.

Coveting... this lovely salmon pink trench coat.

Planning... to watch the Yankees play baseball even though the team's prospects don't look too good this year.

Enjoying... the extra daylight. It's really nice to not have to flip on the lights until close to 7pm now.

Looking forward to... the Korean drama Producers with Gong Hyo Jin, Cha Tae Hyun, IU and Kim Soo Hyun. We haven't watched any K-dramas since The Healer.

Remembering... Leslie Cheung

Hoping... for a long Spring followed by a mild summer.

Have you entered the Spring Beauty giveaway? The Rafflecopter has been a little temperamental and I've included a direct link to it in case it doesn't load for you.

What's up with you?

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