Archive for September 2016

How Photo Walks Can Improve Your Photography

September 30, 2016
Girl on a Corner, Woman on Street, Street Photography, How To Take Better Photos, How to take a Photowalk, NYC Photography, Olympus Takes You There, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus Camera
“It is amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.”  ~ Louisa May Alcott

This post is sponsored by Olympus®. All thoughts are my own.

If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I enjoy taking photos of New York City. I'm really fortunate to live in such a vibrant city with an energy like no other and I want to share that with everyone. What you might not know is that the majority of those photos are totally spontaneous. I treat my excursions through the city like photo walks. I find it helps to actively engage my sense of observation and as well as fuel my inspiration. I believe that there is always something interesting to capture if you keep your eyes open. With that in mind, I'm going to share a few things that I do when I take my photo walks along with some of my favorite unplanned photos.

Caring For Your Skin Is Something You Should Do Everyday!

September 28, 2016

My daily skincare routine is something that I strive never to neglect. Sometimes I'll be running late or life will intervene with some obstacles, but it's something I always get round to. I love to try out new skin care treatments, so if they're a bargain buy thanks to Kohl's coupons I'll buy them for future use. Sometime I might just open a drawer and see all the skincare products I still haven't managed to use yet!

Sticking to a regular skincare routine is one of the best ways to avoid common skin issues and also delay the natural aging process which is something that all of us care about, even if we claim that we don't. We may not all have time for intensive skincare rituals, so here are a few things you can do everyday day to keep your skin looking healthy and avoid those wrinkles for as long as possible.

Currently Coveting

September 26, 2016
I've got transitional fashion and beauty on the brain with this month's wish list.

What are you coveting lately?

1. H&M Lace Dress
{Totally looks like it could be a Self Portrait dress but at a fraction of the price!}

2. Beautycounter Nourishing Facial Oil
{This popular natural beauty brand's limited edition collab with Target is here and this facial oil is one of the items I want along with this Purifying Charcoal Mask.}

3. House of Intuition Violet Water
{I'm all for expelling negative energy which this water is supposed to do. I think this'll be a nice addition to my weekly detox baths.}

4. Glossier Super Bounce
{This concentrated serum is a skin booster with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 that is supposed to plump and restore elasticity to the skin. Sounds good to me.}

5. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
{I just tried a sample of this cream and loved it. I want to purchase the full size when I finish up my current moisturizer.}

6. J. Crew Silk Pajama Top
{I think pajama style tops are so chic if they're styled right. This one comes in sumptuous burgundy with sky blue piping which is one of my favorite color combinations.}

Summer to Fall Transitional Fashion Trends

September 23, 2016

Buying clothes during this time of the year can be tricky. Designers have started phasing out their summer clothes for autumn and winter styles. And while you can usually find good closeout deals, it can be hard to know which warm weather styles are still worth the investment.

Clothing companies might be ready for the cold, but most of us are still stuck in the sweltering heat for the next month or so. If you're at a loss for what clothes to purchase during this transitional point in the year, take a look at a few of these styles that you can create using some new pieces in addition to those in your existing wardrobe.

3B Beauty Box September 2016

September 21, 2016

I've decided to stick with my 3B Beauty Box subscription until the end of the year before reevaluating whether to keep it or not. Their recent boxes have featured better curations and they've also improved on service in terms of my box lands in my mailbox now. Previously i wasn't getting it until the latter half of each month and lately it's been arriving in the first or second week which is nice. This is my September 2016 box. The information card highlights honey which is the star ingredient in two of the products. While they've upgraded the design of the information cards, I have to say the product descriptions are still pretty poorly written. More often than not, I have to ask Google for more information on the products.

3B which stands for Beauty Beyond Borders is a beauty subscription box that makes Asian beauty products more accessible overseas. This is a monthly service that costs $12. Each box contains 4 - 5 deluxe samples from a range of brands and the products are supposed to be "new or popular in Asia but hard to get your hands on". I would say that 3B is like an Asian beauty version of Birchbox or Ipsy. 3B is currently just a US based subscription service. This box is ideal for anyone interested in trying out Asian beauty products or can't access them easily. It looks like there ins't a waiting list anymore and you can just sign up for a 3B Box subscription now.

Kuho Spring 2017 Collection

September 19, 2016

Kuho made it's NYFW debut with a presentation of their Spring 2017 collection at the Supermarket in Tribeca. This contemporary womenswear label under the umbrella of the Samsung C&T Fashion Group is already well established in it's home of South Korea with over 60 retail stores and an impressive $90 million business. 

The tightly edited spring showing was encapsulated into 10 looks with a clean, modern aesthetic. Head designer Hyun Jung Kim drew inspiration from the circus with the theme subtly conveyed through the striped separates, a flouncy cropped cape and fluid silhouettes throughout. This collection is balanced and wearable with an effortlessly cool vibe.

The Kuho product range includes clothing, shoes and accessories. Manufactured in Korea, the brand makes full use of it's own fabric mills to develop unique custom fabrics. Samsung though now largely known as a consumer electronics giant, actually started out as a textile company in 1954. That's a pretty interesting fact. I enjoyed the presentation and my favorite looks were the black and white optical dot printed slouchy coat and midi skirt and black jumpsuit and trench coat outfits which are totally my style. What's catching your eye?

Innarah Defense Masque

September 16, 2016
Innarah Defense Masque, Innarah Defense Masque Review, Innarah Review, Facial Mask Review, Natural Face Mask

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of facial masks. I'm partial to sheet masks which is why I just got this fab new assortment of ten new sheet masks this week. I also try to use a few wash off masks each week including a deep cleansing mask, an oxygenating mask and a hydrating mask. Because my skin tends to be dry, I'm careful with deep cleansing masks, specifically clay based ones because they can leave my face feeling dry and stripped Innarah Defense Masque Oxygenating Masque uses an unusual roster of all natural ingredients like oxygenated herbs, algae, phytoplankton, oils, and volcanic minerals to detoxify and revitalize the skin.

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.

Introducing KARYNG by Dr. Grossman

September 14, 2016
 KARYNG Review, KARYNG by Dr. Grossman, KARYNG, Green Beauty

I don't know about you but there's something about dermatologist backed skincare lines that have always been very appealing to me. Renowned dermatologist Karyn Grossman whose patients include some of the most famous faces in the world and has also worked with some of the biggest names in the skincare industry has created the KARYNG line of products to address a wide variety of skin concerns. The line works on a unique concept of “90% natural and 10% science" to harness the best of nature with the latest innovations in skincare.

All products in the KARYNG range are formulated with Pro-Verte Technology, a proprietary complex of powerful natural anti-aging and anti-inflammatory ingredients designed to combat the visible and harmful effects of inflammation while working to repair and restructure skin. They are GMO and gluten free, vegan, cruelty-free and do not contain any controversial ingredients, like known endocrine disruptors such as parabens, propylene or butylene glycols and phthalates. They do not include dimethicone, petroleum, pesticides, BHAs, PEGs, TEA, DEA, or synthetic fragrances. All KARYNG packaging is BPA free and the paper used for the cartons is harvested from sustainable forests in order to help preserve the environment.

How To Take Better Travel Photos

September 12, 2016
How To Take Better Travel Photos, How To Take Better Photos, Take Better Travel Photos, Gansevoort Turks & Caicos, Olympus Takes You There

This post is sponsored by Olympus®. All thoughts are my own.

My husband and I recently booked a vacation to Seattle in October.  We've been out to Las Vegas (got married there!) and to several cities in California but this will be our first trip to the Pacific Northwest. The Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Olympic Sculpture Park, the Seattle Art Museum and Bainbridge Island are some of the spots we're looking forward to seeing and as we've been planning out our itinerary, I've also been planning out the photos I'd like to take. I know it may sound odd to pre-plan my photos but when you're a photographer and someone who used to produce photoshoots, it's just second nature. In the spirit of my upcoming getaway, I'm going to share some of my best travel photography tips.


Farmacy Honey Potion Is A Sweet Treat For Your Skin

September 9, 2016
Farmacy Honey Potion, Farmacy Honey Potion Review, Farmacy Review, Farmacy Beauty, Green Beauty

You may or may not have heard of the Farmacy Beauty brand by now but it's definitely one to watch for it's innovative farm to table approach to skincare and good, clean ingredients. I've become a big fan since trying a number of their products. The latest is this Honey Potion Mask. Honey happens to have many wonderful benefits both for the body and the skin. Since I've concocted many DIY facial masks with honey, I was really curious to see how this mask would perform.

About the Brand: Made with farm grown botanicals, Farmacy Beauty blends age-old wisdom with cutting-edge technologies. The brand has teamed up with local farmers in Upstate New York to create a unique line of irritant-free, bioactive skincare. The scientists and lab behind Farmacy are innovative experts in cosmetic formulation and research, and seek out nature’s most novel yet effective ingredients. Their products are free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde and artificial coloring and never tested on animals.

Recent Loves

September 7, 2016

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

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
This is a gentle, creamy gel cleanser that always leaves my skin feeling clean, refreshed and conditioned. It supposedly works well as a makeup remover/cleanser but for me it's the perfect morning cleanser and this is the one I've been reaching for the most lately.

Glossier Balm Dotcom
This is a nourishing skin salve that can be used all over. I've been carrying it my bag and I like it best as a lip balm and to banish errant dry patches. It makes a wonderful lip balm because a little goes a long way and it covers with a smooth, matte finish. I plan on purchasing the Mint and Coconut versions next.

Marlowe No. 023 Hand Cream
This hand cream is formulated with a lovely blend of natural ingredients like passionflower fruit extract, green tea extract, willow bark extract and deep sea algae extract. I love how it's super emollient and quickly absorbs without feeling greasy. Plus the minimal packaging is cool and it's only $5.99!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This lip sleeping mask has been my secret to soft, flake free lips all summer long. Before I started using it, I would have to apply a thick coating of lip balm before bed if I didn't want to wake up to dry lips in the morning. This mask has a smooth creamy consistency and just the thinnest layer is needed for it to work it's magic overnight. I use it 3 nights a week and it's always a treat. It comes with the cutest little spatula too.

Zak Original Unscented Deodorant*
I prefer my deodorants to be natural and unscented so this one fits the bill. What's more, it's made with a blend of coconut oil and plant based ingredients with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that repair and replenish your cells. I haven't had any skin issues while using this and it works to keep me dry and smell-free for entire days.

What have you been loving lately?

Disclosure: This post features products both purchased by me and those received for editorial consideration (denoted with a *) and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to the Policies page of this blog.

Through My Lens : Recently On Instagram

September 5, 2016

A few highlights of this past month as seen on Instagram which serves as my unofficial food diary and love letter to NYC. Whew did August fly by quickly or what? It was a good month and I'm excited for what September will bring. Even though a heat wave came through last month, I don't want summer to end and plan to savor every last minute that's left of it.For more, click on over to Instagram and do follow if you like what you see.

Happy Labor Day to all my friends and readers in the US!

  • The spicy beef noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods always hit the spot. Spicy food is especially appealing to me when it's hot.
  • I only have ice cream a few times each summer so it's got to be the good stuff! Cha Cha Matcha's vanilla matcha soft serve is the good stuff. We also tried the rolled ice cream at 10 Below when we happened to walk by and there wasn't a crazy long line.
  • Sushi makes me happy especially spicy scallop rolls with tobiko.
  • My haul from the Peach & Lily sample sale. Already loving the 24/7 items!
  • A beautiful hibiscus flower spotted on Park Avenue
  • My husband received this Sugarfina Candy Bento set as a gift from one of his vendors. It included those Brut & Rose champagne gummy bears that everyone is talking about and they're good!
  • Walking around midtown in between appointments. One of the things I love about NYC is how every part of this city has it's own unique energy.
  • At the opening of the spectacular new Westfield World Trade Center Mall. It's great how far downtown Manhattan has come since 9/11 but it also makes me sad that it needed to be rebuilt in the first place.
  • Moody skies over the Flatiron Building.

Eye Candy : Kim Hyun Joo & Joo Sang Wook

September 2, 2016
Fantastic K-drama, Kim Hyun Joo, Joo Sang Wook

This will be an eye candy double feature in honor of the Korean drama Fantastic (판타스틱) starring Kim Hyun Joo and Joo Sang Wook which begins airing on jTBC today. The two stars happen to both be currently featured in editorials for InStyle and Cosmopolitan respectively. Hyun Joo's InStyle shoot is all about fall fashion and she looks delightful in plaid. Sang Wook's Cosmopolitan playful pictorial which imagines the actor having fun at home has more of a transitional vibe with the styling.

While the teasers for Fantastic look lighthearted and fun, the story will no doubt take some heavy turns as the plot centers around a highly successful drama writer with a terminal illness played by Hyun Joo who rekindles a romance with Sang Wook as a well loved but not particularly skilled actor. The K-drama trope of terminal illness is one that I feel is overused and usually avoid but I'm going to give this one a go since two of my favorites are the headliners. Just based on the character descriptions alone, I know they will both kill it. I just wish the secondary cast was less meh. Kim Hyun Joo is always superb in turning out emotionally resonating performances that tug at the heartstrings. Joo Sang Wook despite his chaebol appearance, is comedy gold but he also excels in melodramatic turns. I just hope that the drama will be taking an uplifting approach to the subject matter as the teasers would suggest. Fantastic will be available for online streaming through Viki and Dramafever.

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