Archive for July 2016

Eye Candy : Han Hyo Joo for InStyle

July 29, 2016
Han Hyo Joo, Han Hyo Joo Instyle, Han Hyo Joo Editorial, Han Hyo Joo W, 한효주

Han Hyo Joo is the picture of loveliness as she graces the cover and pages of the August 2016 issue of InStyle Korea. Her minimal makeup is so fresh and perfectly complements the all white looks she models. The pretty actress is back on television screens in the fantasy mystery Korean drama W Two Worlds which has her playing a surgeon who romances a character that crosses over into her world from a comic book. While the premise sounds like it could be mildly interesting, this is another pass for me because I'm not a fan of Lee Jong Suk. Hyo Joo has been concentrating on her film career and her last drama was Dong Yi which aired 6 years ago. I didn't watch it because it's a saeguk and like 60 episodes (my limit is 20 eps.) but my mom absolutely loved it. My favorite costar of her's has to be Lee Seung Gi. They were just great together in Brilliant Legacy and both have expressed a desire to work together again. I hope that might happen when Seung Gi completes his mandatory military service next year. In the meantime, it's not surprising at all to hear that he's been a model soldier. Good boys > bad boys!

The winner of the Good Earth Beauty Lip Scrub Set giveaway is Tony C! He actually entered to win the prize for his wife which is just so sweet! Congratulations!

InStyle Korea August 2016  //  Photographer: Kim Young Joon  //  Editors: Park Hae Mi & Han Ji Hui
Stylists: Baek Myeon Han & Mi Hyun Kim  //  Hair: Gang Hyeon Jin  //  Makeup: Jeon Mi Yeon

Current Mood

July 27, 2016

Listening... to FT Island's Where's The Truth? Take Me Now is such a good song!

Reading... Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. I really enjoyed Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and employed her KonMari method in decluttering and organizing. Spark Joy takes it a step further in encouraging you to only surround yourself with whatever "sparks joy". Since I've already done this with physical items, I've taken it digital by cleaning up my Facebook and Twitter. Unfollow and mute are genius since some people freak out if you unfriend them or unfollow them. I'm sorry but incessant selfies, self-created drama for attention and endless self promotion do not spark joy for me. If you post a photo of feet or pigeons, that's an instant unfollow because that just sparks disgust.

Watching... the Korean remake of The Good Wife. I didn't really follow the America series and just caught episodes here and there but friends who have seen both say it's a pretty faithful adaptation. Jeon Do Yeon is bringing it with a richly layered performance as the title character. They've apparently made the husband character way sketchier in the Korean version so I keep vacillating between whether she should trust him or not. Yoo Ji Tae is so good at being a charming villain. I hope they'll do more with the Diane character played by Kim Seo Hyung in future episodes. The actress has such gravitas and it's a shame she is totally being underused at this point. I've been asked by several people if I'm watching Uncontrollably Fond and the answer is no because I'm not a fan of melodramas and I have a low tolerance for subpar acting.

Wearing... dresses pretty much every day because it's too hot for anything else.

Shopping... the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. See what I bought already.

Looking forward to... Summer Restaurant Week. We skipped the Winter one because there weren't any restaurants we wanted to check out participating but that's not the case this time around and we have 3 reservations coming up. Especially excited about trying Hawaiian cuisine.

Getting together with... friends from college and having a blast catching up as if no time has passed.

Enjoying... my haircut. I seriously cannot stand hair on the back of my neck when it's hot and the way my stylist cut my A-line bob actually makes it look like a pixie cut when I tuck it behind my ears which my husband loves. I think he may have a thing for them.

Wishing... that peonies were still in season. I miss them

What's up with you?

Play! by Sephora July 2016

July 25, 2016
Play by Sephora, Play! by Sephora, Play by Sephora July 2016, Sephora Play, Sephora, Sephora Beauty Box, Play by Sephora Unboxing, Play by Sephora Review #SephoraPlay

Play! by Sephora
 is a beauty box curated by Sephora. It comes in a collectible bag and includes 5 deluxe samples plus a fragrance, a Play! Book with information, tips, and helpful advice and a Play! Pass that can be redeemed in-store for a free beauty tutorial and 50 bonus Beauty Insider points with any product purchase. The monthly cost is $10. This covers shipping but not tax and purchase of the box does qualify towards your Beauty Insider points. 

Each box is curated around a specific theme. The theme of the July 2016 Play! by Sephora Box is Effortless Summer. How timely! The products are a selection of warm weather essentials and sunny standouts to keep one chic all summer long. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first time there are two versions of the box based on skin type. I received the one for dry skin. The popsicle design on this month's pouch is so cute!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

July 22, 2016
Nordstrom Sale, Nordstrom Online, Nordstrom Promotion, Shop Nordsrom

One of the most highly anticipated sales of the year has to be the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale where a number of good deals can be scored hot fashion, beauty and home items. I browsed the sale through early access and even though I'm a beauty girl at heart, I was honestly more impressed with the fashion offerings this time around so I I'm using this sale to add a few pieces to the wardrobe of both myself and my husband. Yes I shop for him and he's quite the dapper dresser because of it. The sale is officially opens to the general public today and runs through August 8. I will say that if you see something you like, you better snap it up because sellouts are a real possibility when it comes to this sale. This is everything I have my eye on. I already ordered the tie neck lace shell and the burgundy floral Leith midi dress which is a total steal at less than $50. I ordered the dotted chambray shirt for my husband. He has a long sleeve one just like it which gets a lot of wear and I suspect it will be the same with this short sleeve one. And that smart looking shawl collar cardigan will be a great layering piece for work. Have you shopped the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? What did you get?

My awesome blogger buddy Kim of A Very Sweet Blog recently surprised me as part of her lovely Sweet Surprise series and she generously gifted me with gift cards to both Nordstrom and Sephora. Thank you again! I'm putting them to good use!

1. Lace Blouse | 2. Rebecca Minkoff Saddle Bag Purse | 3. Crescent Linear Hoop Earrings  | 4. Intarsia Bow Sweater | 5. Chiffon Pleated Midi Skirt | 6. Midi Dress | 7. YSL Rebel Nudes Set  | 8. Monica Vinader Fiji Friendship Bracelet | 9. Checkered Dress Shirt | 10. Shawl Collar Cardigan | 11. Leather Card Case | 12. Chambray Shirt  | 13. Wingtip Shoes |14. Wool Trousers

Dine Out : BondST

July 20, 2016

BondST is an upscale modern Japanese fusion restaurant situated in a stylish brownstone on a cobblestone lined Bond Street between Shinbone Alley and Lafayette Street. It is made up of three levels with a minimalist yet warm decor.  I first dined here at least 7 years ago and the experience must have been middling since I don't have much of a recollection of it but I do recall that this place was more of a scene back then.  This time we dined in the candlelit lounge which has a cozy feel with a laid back vibe. The menu features a range of creative cooked dishes as well as traditional and specialty types of sushi. We ordered a few appetizers including the Wagyu Mini Burgers, Red Snapper Tacos and Tuna Crispy Rice. I have a bit of an obsession with crispy rice tuna and it's something that I must get if it's on the menu. This one was totally delicious and did not disappoint. I also really liked the flavorful red snapper tacos. The sushi was very fresh and delicious. My only complaint would be that the fish in our toro scallion roll was on the cold side. Everything was very nicely presented. The service was also excellent. Our waiters were friendly and knowledgeable but not in an overbearing way. They definitely try to casually upsell you at every opportunity but there was no attitude if you don't go for it. Overall we had a good experience at BondST but for the prices they charge, I'd really expect nothing less.

6 Bond Street
New York City
$$$ - $$$$

Don't miss out on my latest giveaway! This prize is a set of all natural Ice Cream Flavor Lip Scrubs. Enter here!

Good Earth Beauty Lip Scrub Set Giveaway

July 18, 2016
Good Earth Beauty Ice Cream Lip Scrub Set, Good Earth Beauty Giveaway, Good Earth Beauty Lip Scrub, Good Earth Beauty Lip Scrub Review, Good Earth Beauty Review

I always have a lip scrub in my beauty arsenal whether it be prefab or DIY. Since lips don't have oil producing glands, the only way to get rid of dry, flaky, dead skin is through gentle exfoliation. Regular exfoliation helps to keep lips smooth and soft which creates a primed base for whatever balm or lip color you apply over them. Today I'm reviewing a set of lip scrubs from Good Earth Beauty and we also have a set to give away. And Rena and Ian who are big on ice cream these days wanted to help me introduce them!

About the Brand: Good Earth Beauty is a unique online beauty shop that carries a range of natural, organic and cruelty-free products chosen and personally tested by their staff. Product lines include skincare, bath and body, cosmetics, haircare, perfumes and pet care.

Currently Coveting

July 15, 2016
Wish List, Clothes Shopping, Madewell Chambray Cutout Jumpsuit, A.P.C. Robe Cherry Dress, A.P.C. Embellished Wedge Sandals, Clare V. Tank Top, Madewell Silk Island Button Front Skirt
Haha yes I'm following up my recent additions with a few wardrobe wants currently on my wish list. These are the types of classic pieces that I could see myself wearing now and for a number of years to come. What are you coveting lately?

1. Madewell Chambray Cutout Jumpsuit
{This jumpsuit is so chic and sleek and the cutouts look flirty yet modest.}

2. A.P.C. Robe Cherry Dress
{One of my favorite dress silhouettes in a print that can easily dressed up or down.}

3. A.P.C. Embellished Wedge Sandals
{The metal studs give these otherwise classic sandals a cool edgy feel.}

4. Clare V. Tank Top
{Striped tanks are a wardrobe must and such a great layering piece. This one has a fun graphic touch.}

5. Madewell Silk Island Button Front Skirt
{Loving the button front and pocket details of this skirt as well as the pretty blush pink color.}

Recent Additions To My Closet

July 13, 2016
Closet Additions, Shopping Haul, New Clothes,

So it's been about two months since the last time I added some items to my wardrobe. I've really cut back on my clothing shopping since a major closet cleanout last year. Now I make a conscious effort to only buy quality pieces and styles that I can still wear years from now. With the change in season, I purchased a few items that would seem to reflect my love of dots. This Kensie ruffled tankini top was too cute to pass up especially on sale. The Staten Island Yankees cap was the giveaway of the baseball game we attended during Star Wars night last Saturday. It's pretty cute for a freebie (the team name is in the Star Wars font and "Return of the Evil Empire" is written on the back) and I actually wore mine right away to cover my hair from the light rain that fell intermittently for an inning. The SI Yankees beat the Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2-0. Their single A affiliate is playing much better than my NY Yankees this season. I usually switch to a large tote bag during the summer since sunscreen, an umbrella and my water bottle are must haves for the season. This LeSportsac Le Chic Tote replaced my old $7 Gap tote which was on it's last legs. I bought these Clarks slip-on sneakers as a backup to the Sperry Top Siders which I've pretty much worn to death. I like them so much I'm also thinking about getting a pair in blush pink.

Innarah Line Smoothing Treatment Serum

July 11, 2016
Innarah Line Smoothing Treatment Serum, Innarah Line Smoothing Treatment Serum Oxygenated Moisture Serum Review, Innarah Review, Innarah Serum

I've lost track of how steps I have in my current skincare routine (it varies based on AM/PM and the condition of my skin) but at any time, it always includes a serum or two. I actually consider serums as important as moisturizer and maybe even more in some ways since they often contain the highest concentration of active ingredients and are designed specifically to target specific skin concerns. I was quite excited to try the Innarah Line Smoothing Treatment Serum Oxygenated Moisture Serum since I had such a good experience with the Innarah Veno Defense Hydrating Treatment Créme which I'm still using.

About the Brand: Backed by decades of research, by one of the beauty industry’s leading chemists, Innarah has created the first ever skin care line that works in cooperation with your skin’s biology. Their range is made using a revolutionary fermentation process that combines blends of unique natural botanical oils and minerals. This process creates highly effective products that maintain the potency of the ingredients so they can be easily absorbed while encouraging the skin’s own reparative abilities and optimizing vital defense from the inside out. Each Innarah product is purposely formulated to address specific skin issues due to natural aging and environmental factors, offering benefits to nourish, purify and re-energize skin. They do not contain any parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sulfates, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.

Eye Candy : Park Shin Hye for Elle

July 8, 2016
Park Shin Hye, Park Shin Hye Elle, Park Shin Hye Elle 2016, Park Shin Hye 2016,  박신혜

Park Shin Hye looks so grown up and elegant in this editorial for Elle Korea. The pretty actress is a youthful 26 and she is celebrating her 13th anniversary in the industry this year. Shin Hye debuted at 13 playing the younger version of Choi Ji Woo's character in the drama Stairway to Heaven. She recently posted a cute reunion photo with Baek Sung Hyun who portrayed her love interest/the teenage version of Kwon Sang Woo's character. The two are both appearing in the current drama Doctors which I have zero interest in watching. Too bad they don't share a love line. I've always liked Shin Hye. She hasn't necessarily challenged herself much as an actress up until now but it sounds like she is finally doing so with Doctors. And I admire that she never gave up on her education even while working. She started college in 2008 and graduated from Chung An University last year with a degree in Theatre and Film. She looks truly enchanting here. The hair and makeup for the cover are perfection. The shots with the extra long hair extensions are OTT and a little too fake feeling for my taste but the one where she's laying on the ground with the petals is super pretty. This InStyle editorial set in NYC is still my favorite one with her!

Elle Korea July 2016  // P hotographer: Shin Sun Hye // Features Editor: Kim Ah Reum
Beauty Editor: Kim Mi Gu // Hair: Kim Jung Han // Makeup: Ryu Hyun Jung  // Stylist: Cha Joo Yeon
Beauty Assistant: Oh Shin Young // Digital Designer: Lee Joo Hee

MAKEREMAKE, the Cleansing Curator

July 6, 2016
MakeReMake, MakeReMake Cleanser, BB Cosmetic, BB Cosmetic review,  Makeramake Cloud All In One Cleanser, Makeremake Strong Anti-Pollution Cleansing Foam, Makeremake Washable Treatment Cleansing Milk, Asian Beauty, Cleanser Review

Those of you who've been reading here for awhile would know that I'm a little skincare obsessed. l actually spend more time on my daily skincare routine than my makeup and consider cleansing one of the most important steps. That wasn't always the case until I discovered how much of a difference just double cleansing my face has made to my complexion. Proper cleansing is an absolute must for good skin and that includes using cleansers appropriate to the current condition of my complexion as well as what I happen to have on it at the time. I actually reorganized out bathroom cabinet recently (a peek will be up here soon) and realized I own more facial cleansers than I do nail polish. Like double digits vs. single digits. And since I believe that each one has a specific purpose, I actually do rotate and use them all. I like to treat my cleansing process like a luxurious experience. Being a cleansing geek, I was excited when I first heard about the Makeremake brand since their entire range is dedicated to cleansers. And I was doubly excited when I realized that they're doing a collaboration with Miffy who happens to be on of my favorite characters ever. I will be reviewing three Makeremake cleansing products sent to me from BB Cosmetic today.

BB Cosmetic is an online beauty shop based in South Korea that sells a wide range of competitively priced popular Korean cosmetics and Korean skin care products. BB Cosmetic offers free shipping worldwide along with free samples with each order and a 30 day money back guaranteed return policy. They sent along a very generous amount of samples to me with these products!

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

July 4, 2016

A few highlights of this past month as seen on Instagram which serves as my unofficial food diary and love letter to NYC. For more, click on over to Instagram and do follow along if you like what you see.

  • The streets of NYC are just so picturesque this time of year
  • Poké is my new obsession and it's even better when there's toro involved! Chikarashi does it right and they just happen to be a short walk from our apt.
  • A taste of Christmas in June while checking out the QVC holiday preview and a little OOTD peek.
  • This YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture in I'm the Excited, a brilliant emerald green is making me appreciate colored mascara all over again.
  • An absolute beauty of a bloom in the garden downstairs.
  • Donuts are not something I have often since I don't eat sugar. When I heard that Doughnut Plant was making savory ones, my interest was piqued. This avocado toast doughpod was so good. I'm trying the samosa next time.
  • My favorite skirt and sneakers of the moment.
  • We dined at Takashi with friends some years ago and I even posted this Dine Out review on the experience. We kept meaning to go back and finally did last week. This tasty Gyutoro Temaki Sushi was one of the things we ordered. That's raw chuck flap hand rolled sushi.
  • Hanging out on the High Line at sunset.

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the US and a happy new week to everyone else!

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

July 1, 2016
Song Joong Ki, Song Joong Ki Vogue, Song Joong Ki Dior

It's nice to still see the stars of Descendants of the Sun around in editorials a few months after the drama ended because it didn't seem like they did all that much promotion during the show's blockbuster run. And they didn't need to. I'm especially excited to see leading lady Song Hye Kyo following up her stunning Elle pictorial with a striking appearance in W magazine.  Vogue tagged along with Song Joong Ki as he made his way to Hong Kong for the Dior Homme FW 2017 fashion show. Of course he was dressed in Dior. Sometimes he looks so mature and at other time s he still appears ever so youthful. The GooWon couple otherwise know as Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won have been no strangers to the magazines lately either. There have been rumors that if there is a second season of Descendants of the Sun, the secondary couple will be promoted to the leads. Now this roundup isn't all about DOTS and there are also a number of takes from other recent celebrity editorials. I've gotten questions, about why I feature certain celebs and not others. The answer is simple. I only feature people that I happen to like or admire in some way. 

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