Friday, December 31, 2010

New year, New skin

Long time no post. I am deeply sorry! Had a very busy few months. I must admit this has been one of the best holiday seasons I have experienced in awhile. :)
Now it's New Year's Eve and once again we are asked to reevaluate
our past year: the changes we went through, the mistakes we've made and will never make again, the makeup and food we've enjoyed consuming, hehe.

Usually I don't ever make New Year's Resolutions, simply because I've always thought they were unrealistic and set up for failure. But 2011 is the start of a new decade, which is major, so I will conform to such unrealistic traditions.

My resolution this year is to take care of my skin, whether it'd be reducing the blemishes and dark spots on my face, exfoliating my feet, or keeping my hands from cracking.
2011 is about less is more and in order to wear less makeup, we must start at the foundation, our skin. I am determined to not spend a fortune on skincare and actually have it work.

For the past month I have narrowed down my skincare routine and will continue to try new products to add to my routine. Here's what I've been using lately:

1. Olay Pro-X Advance Cleansing System: about 8 times cheaper than the Clarisonic, it massages your face pretty well, which will open up pores and circulation. It also came with a cleanser but I don't really like it or use it with my brush.

2. Purity Made Simple One Step Facial Cleanser by Philosophy: my blogger-in-crime introduced me to this. I received a tiny sample of this stuff with my last sephora purchase and basically fell in love. I think it's mainly the gentleness and the sage/ginger smell. yummy.
Oh yeah, it works pretty well too ;)
3. Ocean Salt Cleanser from Lush: I only got a sample of this last week when I was purchasing some bath bombs. This is the best scrub I've tried! I am in love. At first it might be a little harsh on your skin, but you get used to it. Plus it smells like a margarita.
4. Alba Sea Plus Renewal Cream: I bought this on a whim at Target. I liked it because it is pH balanced, which is extremely important to prevent breakouts. So far, so good. It is a pretty thick cream which makes it perfect for winter time, I use it along with my Proactiv Repair Treatment at night.
5. L'Occitane Vanilla Flower Hand Cream: This stuff is expensive! But it works so well and smells delicious. My hands have not cracked/bled since getting this. I got it in a travel size and will definitely repurchase when I have enough money saved for a $26 hand cream.

Just because I am focusing on skincare doesn't mean I won't buy any cosmetics, just less. I went to the CCO hoping to buy some Origins skincare but didn't find anything I was looking for. Good thing there's always past MAC collections there. I bought Prim and Proper blush from the Liberty of London collection, Below Ground Greasepaint Stick and Blood Red lipstick from the DSquared collection.
My favorite purchase today was this Kate Spade wristlet that I got for $17!!! Isn't it cute? I love to carry wristlets when I go shopping. Speaking of shopping...who's coming with me to the Dillard's 50% off Permanently Reduced Items on New Year's (tomorrow?). I'm looking for some new boots.

I also painted my nails sparkly pink glitter in order to festive. I'm looking it but it'll be a pain to take off. Oh well, totally worth it.

Currently, I have just finished a relaxing bath and is getting ready for the New Year's countdown.
Happy New Year Everyone! Thanks for reading. Hopefully next year will be filled with new and interesting posts about food and makeup.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

birthday goodies :)

This is a very delayed post, considering my birthday was in November. Nevertheless! I finally have time to make it. Just wanted to share some birthday goodies with you all, in time for the holidays haha. Just shows that people who know me well know that food and makeup are the way to my heart.

Humongous pear from Harry and David.

I will be anxiously waiting for this box of beauties to ripen and get juicy in the next couple of days. I really enjoy a good pear and these look amazing! :)

Nail Polish!!! First a set of nail art polishes - these are great because they have long skinny brushes that make it really easy to do french tips or other designs. I have been wanting a white and black for a while so this was perfect. These also come with some stencils that you can use on your nails. The Sephora by OPI polishes are of great quality and this mini set of 4 is super cute! It comes with (from L to R) Run With It!, Metro Chic, And Then He Said, and Brunette on the Internet. I am really excited to use Metro Chic, which is a purple based gray.

Lush! I don't have a Lush store in my town, unfortunately, so I don't own many of their products. This is the Ray of Sunshine set, which includes: Olive Branch Shower gel, a wedge of Sexy Peel soap, Each Peach Massage Bar, and a mini Sugar Scrub. I just started using the shower gel and massage bar, which I just use as body lotion. Both smell wonderful and leave my skin feeling soft and moisturized. This set is nice because it allows you to try a bunch of their products. I definitely am a fan of their massage bars.

My first Nars lipstick! This is in the shade Niagara, which is a matte pinky coral. Definitely up my alley :) It has a really smooth texture as well, so it feels great on the lips. I have just been wearing it alone on the lips.

More nail polish! haha, so here we have 2 Essie polishes: Turquoise & Caicos and Chinchilly, as well as a mini Orly polish that has no name but it is a dark magenta glitter color. I have been wanting these Essie polishes for a while, so I was very excited to receive these. I don't have any Ulta stores near me so I don't own many Essie polishes.

Chincilly! A lovely gray that is perfect for the season.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes - was definitely one of the best birthdays I've had this year. So grateful to have such caring friends, wish you all lived closer to me!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Soup for the soul

For some reason, my body decided to get sick right after Thanksgiving break ended, 2 weeks before finals week. I haven't gotten sick in 2 years, so why now?!?? Today is.. day 6 of the illness, so I'm hoping that it is on its way to end VERY soon. I've just been congested, coughing like crazy and aching all over my body (I won't go into the more gory details) -- so I feel like I should done with being sick. I'm sick of being sick!!! It's been hard to concentrate so not that much studying has been able to happen. What I was able to gather enough energy for, though, is to make myself some feel-good soup. I took inspiration from this recipe. Instead of using leftover roasted chicken, since I didn't have any, I made some chicken broth with 4 drumsticks, a knob of ginger, 4 cloves of garlic and some white pepper & sea salt, which was simmered for about an hour. I took the meat off of these drumstick bones to put back into the soup later. Also, I used fresh corn - so I cut the kernels off of 4 ears of corn for this soup, so I simmered it for longer than the 10 minutes that this recipe had originally called for. I also didn't "blitz" the corn and chicken broth mixture in the beginning because I don't have an immersion blender and am lazy; I prefer having whole kernels of corn anyways.

When serving, I placed a bed of spinach and a spoonful of rice on the bottom of my bowl and then spooned the hot soup mixture over it. The heat from the soup wilts the spinach nicely and heats up the rice. This is definitely a very comforting soup that I can see would be nice to make in the winter time as well as for people feeling under the weather.

Look at it bubbling away.. just hope that my sickness would evaporate as quickly as this steam..