Today, I tried doing something girly!

And I succeeded! Well, I did it but it could look better. Here’s the link.

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What do you think? Any future color suggestions?

Hope y’all are having a great Monday!

p.s. It’s easier to do than it seems…the tutorial claimed it was easy but I didn’t believe it but it’s true! Once you get the hang of it (and if you like it) you’ll wanna try a whole bunch of colors. This probably goes without saying but it’s hard to do with your non-dominant hand so be careful! It took me about 20 minutes to do, I think. Not too long! Hope it lasts!

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Today, I tell my story … (Birchbox September 2013 Review)

Heritage. That is the theme for the September 2013 Birchbox. I usually don’t pay much attention to their themes, since I feel like the products don’t really match the theme. However, it’s their three year anniversary, so I decided to read the card a little more this month.

The best part about beauty? … It’s the stories…. every[one has their] own fascinating history…
                                                           –Birchbox, September 2013

Having to write a lot about myself lately (anyone else working on applications of any kind? school? work? etc?), I’ve touched upon the subject of my past experiences, my stories, and my heritage. I’ve never really stopped to think about myself so much. My name was inspired by a Chinese proverb that literally means “when you drink water, remember its source” (yin shui si yuan). One can think of this as the quality of the water depends on the source. The character is also part of the name of a village in China my family is from. The other part of my name was inspired by a proverb that literally means “brocade-like future” (jin xiu qian cheng). As the theme of silk has been interwoven into this saying, it means glorious or bright future. If you put the two together, it means I will [hopefully haha] have a bright future, but no matter what, I will stop and remember my beginnings and where I come from (my source). How neat is that? 🙂 So with my applications and my birchbox, I’m taking some time to think about my past, my family, my culture and my heritage.  Texas, Stockholm, China (all of it), Kentucky, India (specifically Udaipur…), …. DC… and now what’s next? [I’ll be able to tell you in about EIGHT months.] What about you? What exciting stories do you carry with you? 

The pretty box! I haven’t been too impressed with Birchbox lately, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this box.

Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray (3.38 oz / $10.80)
I have really enjoyed all the Davines products that Birchbox has let me try. I’ve also learned to become fond of sea salt sprays. They give me such a nice added shape/volume/texture that allows me to forgo blowdrying my hair. I just spray this onto my damp hair, put into a messy bun and let it dry on my drive to work. In addition, it has a really nice dessert like (is it cinnamon?) scent!

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara (0.39 oz / $20.00) – FULL SIZE!!!
I don’t wear mascara. And it’s such a great value for a birchbox! I’m sorry I can’t really say much about this other than.. it seems to get good reviews. Expect this in a future giveaway 🙂

[Beauty Extra] VOESH New York Green Tea Pedicure Masque (0.7 fl oz / $1.65)
This is part of a 3-step treatment. I have never heard of a mask for the feet but I love masks & I’m quite intrigued as the feet is probably the part of my body that I forget to take care of (in terms of moisturizing and such)… It’s suppose to soften the feet with grape seed extract and green tea!

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF for Face (0.10 oz / $2.11)
This seems like a 1 (maybe 2)-time use sample… Mineral-based tinted moisturizer with a matte finish. 

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund (0.17 oz / $10.00) – FULL SIZE!!!! – PHOTO BELOW
At first, I felt this shade was a not-so-flattering shade of green (if you get where I’m going). But now that I’m wearing it, I kind of love it; it’s got such a nice shine. I’m assuming the hedge fund refers to the “money green” metallic feel? One coat is all that’s needed. Goes on smoothly and evenly and is quick to dry. I love the shape of the bottle cap; it allows me to have a nice and steady grip while painting the nails. Yay!

Final Thoughts? Wow, Birchbox! Thanks for making me happy this month! I use Birchbox more as a way to introduce me to products rather than to get a good deal of full-size products for a good value. But all the samples in this box were decently sized, so I’m a happy gal (even if I can’t use the mascara). The total value of the box came to $44.56 (I might have calculated the sea salt spray incorrectly… the photo for full size bottle and the description on the website didn’t match so I had trouble there… if that’s the case, the value for this box is even higher). I thought this was a nice box as it contained products for my hair, eyes (make-up), skin (feet/lower legs & face), and nails! Great variety and good value this month! What did you get in your box this month? We’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂 


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Today, I prepare for the change in season with the ULTA Collection…

I was so so so excited to have found out that I won the Birthday Beauty Giveaway hosted by Michelle over at Beautiful Goodies. September is my birthday month, so I’m considering this as my early birthday present. Haha 🙂 Michelle’s birthday was towards the end of August (Happy belated birthday!), I believe, and it was such a sweet thing for her to host a giveaway! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should check it out! Prior to stumbling upon the world of beauty subscription boxes, she considered herself a “Plain Jane.” Things are different now, of course 🙂 The package came in a timely manner and I was so happy to receive make-up from ULTA to play with. I’m not much of a makeup gal, but this opportunity will give me a chance to change things up a bit… just in time for a change in season! My favorite season is FALL/AUTUMN! 🙂 I love being able to wear layers, scarves, stockings, tights, leg warmers (okay that’s closer to winter), boots … etc. The change in color of the leaves , apple cider, pumpkin-flavored things… sigh… so amazing. Anyways, let me show ya what I received.

I had no idea that ULTA has their own collection!  All the products were full-sized and products that I will use.

Salon Nail Polish in Grin and Berry It – I love this shade. In the light in looks like a pretty magenta… but it can look pink or purple depending on the lighting and whatnot. Love it for fall!

Smokey Eyes Eyeliner in Smoke – always need eyeliner 🙂 Excited! 🙂

Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea – I’ve been looking for a blush! It’s small enough to stick in a clutch or small wallet for on-the-go touch-ups!

Eye Shadow in Plum Smoke

Eye Shadow in Lustre

Nourishing Mineral Lip Gloss in Rose Garnet –

Loving the new nail polish and lip gloss! Already using both today!

I cannot wait to try out the eyeliner, eye shadows, and blush! Have you heard of or tried the ULTA Collection? They seem to be well priced… and you can get a BUY 2 GET 1 free deal right now. 🙂 I might have to check out some of their other products!!

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Today, we play “would you rather?” tag…

We were so excited to see that mydogblog09 had tagged us in her “Would You Rather…?” post! It’s seems like such a fun and neat concept and we loved answering all the interesting questions. We sat down together virtually and answered questions that were posted. Enjoy~

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Today, I am a busy bee but I review the July Blush Beauty Mystery Box…

I’m a bit busy today so please excuse me for the rushed post! I’ve always had great things to say about the blush mystery boxes, but I was a bit disappointed in this one. However, I think it’s the fact that I don’t really have any use for quite of the few products. If I were to be a little more objective, I’d say that the box provided a great variety of products and definitely has a GREAT value. Six out of the seven items were full-sized items! So what did I receive? See below 🙂

Blush Mystery Box 
The Box: mostly full- and (some) travel-size products worth at least $100 + a free gift with every box
Cost: $24.95 (monthly subscription)/ $34.95 (one time subscription) … free shipping!
Coupon: If you’d like to try blush out but are not willing to subscription, send me an email at and I’ll send you a link for a $10.00 gift card off your one-time subscription 🙂
See my previous review HERE

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Philip B Self-Adjusting Hair Spray (5.07 fl oz/ $22.00)
Full size! Hair spray… but I don’t use hairspray. Expect this in a giveaway soon 🙂 From reviews I’ve read online, seems like you have to be careful with this one… the spray doesn’t function very neatly, so if you’re planning on using it, I’d suggesting using it over a bathroom sink! And wear something you don’t mind getting hairspray all over!

Lumene Vitamin C+ Pure Radiance 24 h Lotion (50 ml/ $19.99)
I feel like I’ve received too many Lumene products lately… This one’s for the face for a brighter complexion.

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Emani Organic Lip Shine ($16.00)
Vegan lip gloss

Bioelements Quick Refiner (~$3.83)
It would happen that the one sample product in the box is the one that I’m most excited to try out. It’s suppose to

  • Eliminates dead surface cells
  • Uncovers smoother, softer skin
  • Targets the appearance of pores

FREE SAMPLE Airbrush Eye Refining Treatment  (click on photo above to view what it says… )

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Deborah Lippman Nail Polish in electric indigo (full size/$19.00)
NINETEEN DOLLARS for a nail polish?! I guess I’ve started using nail polish and it’s pretty fun. I’ve also been looking for a dark purple so I’m excited to try this out 🙂

dr dennis gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad (10 wipes/ $18.00)
I’ve used one before… and they’re pretty awesome… however, I don’t really used tanners of any sort… so I think this will go in a giveaway too!

Hydroxatone AM/PM Wrinkle Complex (0.5 oz/ $34.97)
I’ve also have a stash of Hydroxatone products in my apartment… I will actually be reviewing this particular product in an upcoming blog post (I received it from iFabbo shop) … so stay tuned for that! General note? It’s a bit greasy, seems like it’s moisturizing… #1) I haven’t used it long enough & 2) I’m not at the stage yet to noticed visible differences in wrinkles and such 😛

Final thoughts? From an objective standpoint, this was a GREAT box in variety of products and value. The value of the box came to $133.79!!!!! Personally, I thought it was an okay box… the value of the ~3 products that I liked is greater than the $24.95 that I paid for the box… so not bad. Looking towards the future, it’d be great if Blush could have a survey or profile for us to fill out stating our product preferences and skin/hair/etc type. But blush still remains as one of my favorite subscription boxes as of right now, so I’ll stay with them 🙂


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