Today, I drink lots of hot chocolate & enjoy my NewBeauty TestTube Sept/Aug 2013…

My NewBeauty TestTube came on my birthday! What a lovely “Experiment with Beauty” birthday surprise! 🙂 Since tests and applications are starting to slow down, I have much more time to just enjoy this 20-something life, which sadly but also lovingly means gorging on delicious food (pizza?), sipping on coffee/teas/hot chocolate, lying in bed, watching TV, etc. Speaking of which, Downton Abbey came out overseas. I shall watch tonight along with my cup of hot chocolate. Markie found this article about the health benefits of hot chocolate (let’s keep away Alzheimer’s & Dementia!). I guess I can’t complain. Of course, the addition time given to me also means finding new/discovering old hobbies (drawing/painting) and spending quality time with dear friends 🙂

NewBeauty TestTube
Cost: $29.95 + S&H (~$38.00)
See my previous reviews HERE.

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The box has gone through some changes along with that came new packing! The overall design is so pretty! And the tube is now recyclable and reusable! I love it. I always felt a bit guilty having to throw away the previous tubes. I am still thinking of ways to use this tube.

I was excited to receive an additional AmorePacific color control cushion compact and two hair products! 🙂 Much needed!

AmorePacific Color Control Cushion (0.14 oz / $8) 
I first discovered this product in a previous Glossybox… I love that it protects, hydrates and provides coverage… the perfect on-to-go product to keep in your bag. It’s interesting in the sense that the makeup is liquid-ish but in a sponge so that you can control how much of it gets applied onto the puff. The puff is what is used to apply make-up to face. Wonderful coverage! 🙂

BioSilk Silk Therapy (2.26 oz / $10.01)
This product contains silk, wheat and soy proteins and smells wonderful! It isn’t too heavy and leaves my hair feeling so smooth!

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin (2 oz / $10) 
I first experimented with It’s a 10 product .. actually from a previous testtube. I finished that bottle last week, so I’m excited to get this one. 🙂 Smells good and works!

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Powder Brush (Full size: $48) 
It’s a large plush powder brush. I don’t wear make-up that often… but it seems so awesome that I’m going to have to give it a try… maybe with my bareminerals powder that I’ve been meaning to use. Apparently delivers a flawless airbrush application every time! 🙂

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (0.25 oz/ $2.97)
I’ve actually received way too many of these deluxe samples that I’ve lost count. However, I keep managing to give them away, so this time, I will TRY it. I’ve heard good things about them. Have any of you tried them?

La Roche-Posay Mela-D Deep Cleansing Brightening Foaming Cream (0.5 oz / $9) 
Brightens with gentle exfoliation. Smells good… I wouldn’t say it’s too foaming, but I think it’ll be go wonderfully with my foaming net. Formulated with 0.1% micro-exfoliating Lipo-Hydroxy Acid (LHA).

Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner (Full size: $15) 
This is a really pretty eyeliner. Light blue-ish with almost a light green tiny. I don’t think I’ll use this much… so expect in a future giveaway 🙂

Extra samples 🙂 I am in somewhat of a rush, so I won’t calculate the value of these bonus products! I’m sad that my dr brandt collagen booster doesn’t work. I’m a bit lazy to try to contact customer service. Should I contact? Bleh. Lazy me. Hahaha.

The total value of this box came to OVER $102.98. Aside from the eyeliner, I’ll be able to use every single product (and I’m looking forward to it). This was a wonderful box for me. What did you think of it? I’m currently stuck in between deciding whether to keep Blush Beauty or NewBeauty mystery box :\ I need to cut back on spending to just one box. Any suggestions? Advice? Comments? 

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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 am loving Cool Britannia!! (Glossybox Best of Britain Limited Edition Review)

Downton Abbey is coming back to the UK on September 22! I vowed to never watch it again after how Season 3 ended, but I just can’t seem to keep away from it. Chelsea FC is an English football club. We love the royal family (and the royal baby is adorbs). Not to mention, I believe my current crush is English (hahahaha or I just have a really bad sense of such things and he just has a Southern accent… um, not the same thing? … uh… right). Do you see a trend? We/I kind of love cool Britannia! Glossybox does too… I was so excited to receive my Glossybox Best of Britain (Limited Edition) today! 🙂

If you’re unfamiliar with Glossybox, it’s a subscription box (it’s about $20 a month depending on your subscription plan). I recently opted out because I wanted to cut back on my spending… I did enjoy Glossybox when I had it (check out my previous boxes here). I’ve also purchased their Mother’s Day Limited Edition box which I enjoyed. I’m even happier with my Best of Britain box!

Glossybox has the cutest packaging!

Each box comes with a Glossybox Union Jack accessory bag, a small bag that is great for traveling. I have too many random bags, so expect this in a future giveaway 🙂

Steamcream All-in-One Natural Moisturizer for Face Body & Hands (2.65 oz / $19.50)
This is probably one of my favorite products in this box. The light scent is perfect, giving it a very “natural” and “handmade” feel. It’s got a very light, whipped texture (sour cream?) that I love! I’ll be using it for my dry elbows and knees as fall and winter coming in.

Mitchell and Peach Luxury Hand Cream (2.1 fl oz / $26.00)
EXCITED. I’ve been using my MOR luxury hand cream from my previous Blush box a little too quickly… so this will be a perfect replacement. This one’s got Vitamin E, shea butter, and English honey to soothe your hands. I just used some and it’s oh so light, delightful, smells wonderful… and the best part is that it absorbs very easily.

Batiste Dry Shampoo blush (1.6 fl oz / $2.30)
I recently purchased the full-size version of this on my TJ Maxx haul. Love it! I use it daily to give my hair a nice texture/body/shape/shine. It smells nice & has a nice cooling effect when you spray it on… this is a perfect travel-size version!

HD Brows Grow Baby Grow ($45.60)
Eh… I think this is the last of my concerns. If anything, my eyebrows are too bushy and need to STOP growing. Thus, I can’t comment on this product. But if this is something you want to try, do keep an “eye” out… as it’ll probably appear in a future giveaway 🙂

MeMeMe Cosmetics Beat the Blues Skin Illuminator in Pearl Pink (0.41 fl oz / $8.30) 
I’m EXCITED, again. Now when I stay up too late watching shows/dramas or getting stressed out by work/studies/apps, I can fight the dullness of my skin with this illuminator. Iridescent is the key word here!

Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Top Coat (0.33 fl oz / $18.20) 
That is some expensive Top Coat. They say it’s got 45-second dry-time formula, which is true. Dried really quickly! Gives your nail polish a little (tiny bit) of added shine! I can’t comment on chipping since I just applied it tonight.

NailGirls London WHITE#1 (0.33 fl oz / $12.90)
Um… I’ve never tried white nail polish. According to Glossybox’s description, it’s this season’s trend. I guess it can look alright… but I don’t think it’s work-place appropriate. It would good for my coworkers to NOT think that I just applied a ton of white-out from the supplies closet onto my nails. LOL. But it’ll be good for a french look 🙂

Helen É Lasting Lip Colour in Raspberry (0.12 oz / $12.20)
I love the creaminess to this lipstick. It goes on so smoothly and nicely… and the color is very vibrant. However, raspberry is a bit too dark for me. But I’ll hold onto it… and maybe if I need to have a more mature or brooding look, I can make use of this shade.

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Final Thoughts? The value of the box came to $145, which definitely covers what I paid for it ($40). However, personally, this box is worth $100 (since I won’t be using the HD brows)… but that’s still a great value! I really loved that the box covered skincare, makeup, nail care, and hair care. A really great Limited Edition box. I’m really glad I was able to grab one of these 🙂 Did you get this box? Have you gotten previous Glossybox Limited Edition Boxes? What are you thoughts? Would love to hear them 🙂

Until next time~ (my birchbox also came tonight… so next time probably means another review tomorrow hehe). Good night~!

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Today, I continue my Journey to the East with Natural Aqua Gel…

First, just a quick reminder about our Beauty Box Giveaway. You’ve still got lots of time to enter 🙂 Hope y’alls are having a lovely Sunday evening. Sunday evenings are a time I reserve for myself… and pampering! Tonight will be a facial/spa night with Raanjhanaa (a Bollywood movie I have been dying to watch… I found the full movie !!!). If you haven’t been following, I’m starting a Journey to the East beauty series. Last time, I mentioned how through a Youtube video, I found out about the use of a foaming net to cleanse your face. As it goes with YouTube videos, I went on a video spiral and stumbled upon this interesting product from Japan: Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

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In the video, I saw someone use one pump of this clear gel. She left it on her face for a few seconds and started massaging and little clumps of dead skin and dirt came off! What sort of sorcery and magic is this?!?!?! I had to get my hands on this product to try.. it’s a bit pricey but it seems that the bottle can last a while. If you’re interested, I purchased mine (250 ml) here on Amazon.

Cure Directions

image via japalang.sg

According to Cure, the product –

  • Is free from preservatives, fragrance, artificial coloring or alcohol
  • Contains 90% revitalized hydrogen water
  • Contains natural plant extracts from aloe vera, gingko, and rosemary
  • Prevents enlarged pores, blackheads, pimples, blemishes and dull skin tone.

I’ve been using this product every other day for about two weeks now. I have yet to detect any noticeable differences. It’s a clear, water-based gel (really nice for sensitive skin). It works best when you’ve dried your skin. The first time I used it, my forgot to dry my face after cleansing, and everything just rolled right off my face. 😛 After about 10-15 seconds, I started massaging and it’s not a lie! Little dead skin thingies start rolling off! I’m still confused as to what this “reaction” is and what these “white clumps” are. But I’ll let you know if I find out. Have you used this product before? Do you think it’s something you’d be willing to try? 

Last Thoughts?
Pros: Easy/quick to use, Immediate result, Gentle to the Skin, Water-based, Fragrance-free

Cons: I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT IS HAPPENING (:P), Expensive, Difficult to find

Would I purchase again? I’m undecided at the moment. But I think I might!

Look at that! My dead skin!!

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Today, I am recounting tales of my BluePrint Cleanse…

Okay. I admit. I cheated. Woops.
(**If you’re looking for a review of the taste of each juice, scroll towards the end of this post)

I didn’t mean to cheat… but I attended my very first YELP Elite Event last week. Tasty finger foods from Busboys and Poets and savory, spicy rice bowls from Spice 6How could I not cheat? 

Busboys and Poets mini-sandwiches. How could I stay away from THIS?!

 
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