Archive for January 2016

Bright Planet, A Beauty Brand With A Mission

January 29, 2016
 Bright Planet Review

I've been on a massive cleaning and uncluttering spree since the holidays in preparation for Chinese New Year. One area that got a huge downsize was my beauty products as I got rid of a bunch of products that have probably lived well past their shelf life or that I simply don't want to use any more. I've been in a mindset of quality over quantity for awhile now and I really want to be more intentional with the purchases I make in every area of my life. At the same time, I've been testing a few products from Bright Planet which would fall in line with this philosophy.

I first learned about the brand when I received a really nice email from Diana, the owner and CEO of Bright Planet. My interest was totally piqued when she said that her business was about helping people live healthier, happier lives. The Bright Beauty line is made up of 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free products that are packed in the most eco-friendly packaging possible. Not only does she want to create products that people can feel good about using but she also also wants to create a community for people who care about living healthy and enriching lives. In addition to being a one woman show running Bright Planet, Diana is a mom, works full-time as the president of an ad agency and she's even written a Sherlock Holmes novel. This lady does it all!

Bright Planet Beauty, Bright Planet Review

Recent Loves

January 27, 2016
Innisfree Mineral Glow Fixer, Mira Skin Hyaluronic Skin Serum, Veil Cosmetics Sunset Light

In this edition of recent loves, I wanted to share a few products that have kept my winter skin at bay lately. My skin usually doesn't react well to the cold which has a way of exacerbating dryness and sensitivity. So I made a few changes to my routine and added these skin treats to actively counter the effects of the weather. It's worked out pretty well. Here are some more tips on how to winter proof your skincare routine.

Innisfree Mineral Glow Fixer Review

RevivLash Lash and Brow Stimulating Serum Review & Giveaway

January 25, 2016
RevivLash Lash and Brow Stimulating Serum, RevivLash

I'm not sure if I every talked about this before on here but when I was very ill a few years ago, I lost a small section of lashes on my right eye. I didn't even notice when or how this happened but it was jarring when I made the discovery. It wasn't even on one end. I was missing a small chunk right in the center. Considering I was losing a battle to vertigo and couldn't even lift my left arm over my head at that time, this wasn't really such a big deal in the scheme of things but still it bothered me. I mean my eye looked off and I felt like I couldn't ever go out with mascara. That was really the first time I considered using a lash growth product and once I started, I've been using them on and off. That length of eyelash did grow back eventually and in my experience these types of products can work to enhance my lashes which are probably naturally medium both in length and fullness. Talika Lipocils Expert is probably my favorite. I've also tried RevitaLash and RapidLash with some degree of success especially with the latter. I had just run out of my last tube of Lipocils when I had the chance to try out this RevivLash Lash and Brow Stimulating Serum. 

About the Brand: RevivSerums is a company based in San Francisco, California that specializes in innovative professional grade treatment serums for skin and hair rejuvenation. They aim to create products that are equivalent to famous physician office brands using innovative cosmetic chemistry and provide them to consumers at competitive prices.

RevivLash Lash and Brow Stimulating Serum, RevivLash

Eye Candy : Editorial Roundup

January 22, 2016
Han Chae Young

Hey it's eye candy time again! Kicking it off with the gorgeous Han Chae Young in Elle Korea. The actress who currently hosts Dressing Table, a beauty show that focuses on industry trends shared that she believes beauty routines have to be consistent to be effective and that she regularly freshens her skin with green tea masks before applying makeup. Onto some male smolder with Lee Dong Wook in Men's Uno Hong Kong. I don't think he's one of those actors who started out as a model but he always looks like one in every editorial he appears in. Who catches your eye here?

Lee Dong Wook

3B Beauty Box January Unboxing

January 20, 2016
3B Box, 3B Unboxing, 3B Review

3B Beauty is currently the only beauty subscription, I'm enrolled in. I started it last August when I came off their waiting list and this will be my 6th shipment.

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. 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. They have a waiting list for new subscribers which you can sign up for here.

Dine Out : Oiji

January 18, 2016
Oiji New York, Oiji Review

When Oiji opened early last summer, the restaurant quickly gained popularity and buzz for it's impressively executed contemporary Korean cuisine. The restaurant is located in the same East Village space that once housed Dok Suni, an old favorite for a number of years for their steadfastly good homestyle Korean food. The dining room has been updated in a style that evokes both a warmth and coolness with the use of brick, reclaimed wood and slate. A modern and grand chandelier hangs over a communal table while vintage style Edison lightbulbs illuminate the bar area. The individual tables are very well lit and that gets a big seal of approval from me because I like to see exactly what I'm eating and it also makes life easier when it comes to taking photos. As for the food itself, all the dishes are served tapas style for sharing. Most of the menu is based on home cooked classics, refined and prepared in unexpected ways. The fried chicken was a delightful way to kick off our meal. The dish which features thigh meat pieces battered and fried in tapioca flour was incredibly crispy and light and full of delicious flavor when dunked in the sauce that tasted like a spicy ponzu. The other revelatory dish was the jang jo rim with tender beef, daikon radish cubes, mushroom strips and a soft boiled egg on a bed of buttered rice which you mix together before eating. Each bite of this was both comforting and satisfying. The home made tofu was ok but nothing special and we didn't really care for the slow cooked oxtail with root vegetables. It was a little overseasoned and felt heavy. I actually make a version of this dish at home and both my husband and I agreed that we like mine better. The only "dessert" option offered is the Oiji's version of honey butter chips, the highly popular snack that was all the rage in Korea last year. Of course we had to try them and they were like sweet and sticky potato chips. They were okay but I found them too sweet and not crunchy enough. That said, savory and sweet taste combinations are not my thing. Our service was pleasant and the overall experience was good. I would return and try some other menu options like the chil jeol pan and pine leaves smoked mackerel but the honey butter chips would get a pass.

Are you a fan of Korean cuisine? And how do you feel about dark restaurants?

119 First Avenue
New York City
Fried Chicken with Spicy Soy Vinaigrette
Fried Chicken with Spicy Soy Vinaigrette

VII Code Oxygen Eye Mask for Dark Circles

January 15, 2016
VII Code Oxygen Eye Mask, VII Code Review

I'm generally pretty good about taking care of the skin around my eyes which is important since this area is both delicate and prone to showing signs of aging. I'm convinced this is why I really don't have many fine lines/ wrinkles there but I am vexed by dark circles and these aren't really cute unless you're a panda. Dark circles can be caused by a number of factors including but not limited to genetics, lack of sleep, heredity, allergies, stress, fluid retention, aging and sun exposure. I had previously tried the VIIcode O2M Oxygen Eye Masks and they worked well to refresh and smooth my under eye area but didn't do much for my dark circles. When the brand asked if I wanted to try this product that specifically targets my number one eye issue, I had to say yes.

Product Claims: The VIIcode O2M Oxygen Eye Mask for Dark Circles is a natural and vegan product that works to help to activate cell memory and promote cell metabolism around the eyes to re-activate the oxygen intake of blood which helps to rid puffiness, wrinkles and eliminate dark circles.

VII Code Oxygen Eye Mask, VII Code Review

My Current Purse Essentials

January 13, 2016

I find the contents of my purse to be ever evolving according the time of year as well as my current needs. These are five products in rotation at the moment that make me feel better prepared for when I'm out and about. And yes I have been toting these items in my recently acquired Truffle Clarity Clutch which I adore.

Squelch It

Squelch is a natural, scentless odor remover. This wasn't a product I thought I needed until I tried it out. It comes in this convenient and portable spray and is great for any multitude of uses like freshening up my clothes, bag or even hair when I'm on the go. Korean BBQ happens to be one of my favorite meals but the scent it leaves behind on everything can sometimes be a little overwhelming and pervasive. With Squelch, I can indulge and easily spritz away the odor instead of feeling self conscious that everyone on the train will know what I just ate. It's safe and effective and I like how it actually removes odors instead of just masking them. It doesn't stain and is really affordable so you can also easily stash a spray at home, work and in your bag.

Exuviance Pigment Lifting Masque

January 11, 2016
Exuviance Pigment Lifting Masque Review, Exuviance Review

Based on all the products I've tried, I've had a really positive experience with the Exuviance skincare brand in general.Their Firm-NG6 Non-Acid Peel was the last product I used and I thought it was both innovative and effective. Read my full review. I was really excited when I heard about the Exuviance Pigment Lifting Masque since I'm a big fan of sheet masks and brightening skin care and this product combines both. I had to try it of course!

About the Brand: Exuviance was created by 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. Exuviance has continued to develop many new patented anti-aging ingredients backed by evidence from numerous scientific and clinical studies. Recognized around the world, Exuviance formulas are expertly developed to visibly transform skin by combining their patented innovations with the best, state of the art technologies available in dermatology today.

Exuviance Pigment Lifting Masque Review, Exuviance Review

Product Claims: Exuviance Pigment Lifting Masque is a paper masque formulated with concentrated brighteners to diminish the look of existing dark spots and help prevent the formation of new spots. Specifically designed to adjust to fit any face, the masque adheres to skin to lock in the active-rich formula.  

Currently Coveting

January 8, 2016
A few items currently on my wish list... Truth be told, after a major closet clean out last year, I very seldom shop for clothing. Instead I've been shopping my own closet and I've only added a few strategic pieces that are classic, versatile, well made and fill a need. Sure they may cost more but in culling my wardrobe I've found that's exactly what I've kept and keep reaching for. I actually don't have much black in my closet at all so it's color I do look at specifically now. My taste in clothing is generally classic with standout details and this extends to accessories as well.

What are you coveting lately?

1. Monica Vinader Skinny Double Band Ring
{Rose gold is my favorite lately and I love the sleek and elegant look of this ring.}
2. Self Portrait Lace and Crepe Midi Dress
{I'm a big fan of this label's modern and feminine dresses and this one is like a next level LBD.}
3. Burberry Brit Balmoral Trenchcoat
{I've been coveting a Burberry trench for awhile and I've had my eye on this style which is both waterproof and packable.}
4. Lo & Sons Pearl Crossbody
{I have this bag in black napa leather and it's so roomy and versatile. I think I could get alot of mileage out of this red saffiano version as well.}
5. Diane Von Furstenberg Ruffle Silk Chiffon Blouse
{The ruffles are sweet and this is the type of top that would look equally chic with jeans or a formal skirt.}
6. J. Crew Perfect Party Skirt
{The lace detail gives this otherwise classic skirt such a flirty and fun vibe.}

Through My Lens : Recently on Instagram

January 6, 2016
Downtown New York

I think this may have been one of my favorite December's ever and the gorgeously warm weather probably had something to do with it. I also feel like I posted more pics than usual last month on Instagram. Here are some of the highlights. There were alot more I wanted to share but I'm not big on image overload so to see the rest, check out my Instagram feed and of course you can also follow if you'd like. I've been doing mini reviews for food and beauty on there and it's something that I will be continuing and expanding on this year. Oh the winter weather arrived in NYC earlier this week.

New York Skyline
A view of the NYC skyline from Brooklyn.

Style Crush : Alexa Chung

January 4, 2016

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Alexa Chung's tomboy chic signature style. She has a knack for always looking fabulous even when she's just out running errands like she was caught here. What's great about this comfortably relaxed outfit is that most of us likely have most of the components in our closets already. It starts with a slouchy marled grey sweater that gets paired with skinny jeans strategically ripped at the knees. The look is topped with a classic long black wool coat and high top Van's sneakers. Her simple yet elegant accessories include a pendant necklace and streamlined black bag. Would you wear this outfit? What do you of Alexa Chung's style?

A New Year & A Little Eye Candy

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year everyone! May your 2016 be filled with infinite happiness, good health and good fortune, lots of laughter, adventures and delicious treats! 2015 had some high and lows but was overall a pretty good year as I became further removed from some health issues and was able to move forward in some other areas as I started saying yes to many more invites and opportunities. I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. We had one of the warmest Christmases on record in NYC and it was definitely nice. We've been making the most of it and getting out and enjoying it before winter really arrives. Yes we did go and watch Star Wars. We also took care of some projects around the house and got a jump on our cleaning for Chinese New Year which is on February 8 this year. Last year we ended up binge watching the Korean drama Misaeng and this year we caught up on Oh My Venus which is a pretty formulaic rom com but it does have Shin Min Ah and So Ji Sub as it's stars. These two had some incredible chemistry (see below) when they were paired up in ads for the Giordano clothing brand and they do look really good together but it was recently revealed that Min Ah is dating her current ad partner Kim Woo Bin.

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