Saturday, June 10, 2017

Spring into Summer!

Summer 2017, I am so excited for you!  This season has such an award-winning tendency to put me in a cool and comfortable mood.  A time when less is more and nothing says that better than this season's fresh Summer prints that are bursting with color.  When else can you put on a maxi dress with a gorgeous giant florals, which can replace the need for heavy accessories, a bangle, cute bag, strappy wedges and casual beach hair and look and feel so fresh and chic?  

I love how easy it is to get ready in the Summer.  For me, it's minimal makeup, air-dried hair with a little serum and anti-frizz creme, sunscreen from head to toe, sandals, maxi dresses, bangle bracelets, simple chain necklaces, and a tote bag. 

Today we begin with some little accessories that make me feel a little festive. 


White framed sunnies from Charlotte Russe, love the orange/green/yellow reflective lenses. 

Orange, lemon and lime print handbag from Ross is so refreshing and pretty! I have been on the lookout for lemon print clothing and a handbag this whole Spring season, so happy I found this one so far.  Lemons, especially with a stem and leaves attached remind me of a Tuscan kitchen, farmhouse or farmer's market, all of which are so charming.

Love this whole look, but especially the gathered lemon branches on the island. 

It's like sunshine!

Loving Forever21's beauty accessories lately.  On the left, eye gels that are great for puffy or irritated eyes, great for long Summer road trips!  Store in cooler or fridge before applying, leave on for 10-15 mintues, et Voila!  

On the right, dead sea mud and mango mask, great for drawing out impurities.  Doesn't smell the best, albeit works great!

Intoxicating sweet Summer smelling candles are a must!  So delighted to find this Dragon Fruit and Guava one in a gorgeous hot pink/red jar (might have to buy them all, haha)!  It smells exactly like the amazing H2O Plus Raspberry Guava Body Lotion.  My favorite scent for years, pictured below.  It is now discontinued, but can still be found in Marshall's, Home Goods, TJ Maxx.  Side note, guava is the most prevalent note in both the lotion and candle!

Bath & Body Works Limoncello fragrance mist, smells sweet and delicious, I even spray it on my linens before bed. 

For a little bathroom or kitchen sink pretty, Bath & Body Works soaps make me really excited to wash my hands!

The three shells pictured are from a recent trip to The Shell Cellar at Pier 39 in San Francisco.  The blue bead bracelet is from Kohl's.  

This is just the start of a lovely 3 months, I am so excited to share more soon! 

Thank you for reading! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Floral Blouses

"Florals for Spring, ground-breaking." Sound familiar?  Just a little something I borrowed from The Devil Wears Prada, minus the sarcasm.  Who doesn't love florals, especially in the Spring?  Even though I live in California, the transition from Winter to Spring could sometimes be a little chilly.  These long sleeve blouses in floral prints will be the perfect segue into warmer weather.  I have removed the tags on most of them, as they were really scratchy.  The sizes are either S or M, this style top tends to run a little bigger.



Forever 21

Charlotte Russe

TJ MAXX (Front)




Quack, quack, quack, Springtime's back! :)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fresh Faced

When it comes to facial cleansers, will any product do?  In my opinion, no.  The appropriate cleanser for your skin type will set the stage for the products to follow post cleansing. While cleansers aren't designed to be traditional exfoliants, they will lightly exfoliate your skin and allow for better product absorption.   

My morning routine is cleanser, eye cream, hydrating mist, serum, moisturizer, SPF and makeup.  

My evening routine is cleanser, eye cream, hydrating mist, serum, moisturizer, spot treatment if necessary. 

What I look for in a cleanser is its ability to remove makeup, dirt, oil, impurities, basically the whole day.  I do a double cleanse morning and night, and I don't want to be prompted to remove excess makeup with a toner, facial wipes or any other makeup removing medium.  I prefer a gel cleanser as I feel it washes away impurities more effectively and leaves my skin lightly exfoliated, softer, smoother and refreshed after each cleanse. I like for it to smell good, and have active ingredients in it that normalize oil production, treat breakouts and help prevent further ones from occurring.   

I absolutely love and recommend the products below to anyone with a skin type like mine which is oily/acne prone. My skin varies in its degree to which it produces oil, breaks out, is normal, more sensitive, etc. according to the season, hormones, and as I age, just like anyone else.  So taking those factors into consideration, these products are on rotation in my washroom and I use them accordingly.  

 Alba Botanica Acne Dote Deep Pore Wash - I adore Alba Botanica products in general and was so happy when they produced this acne fighting line.  It does so in a non-irritating fashion, but just gentle enough to combat mild breakouts. The 2% Salicylic Acid (BHA) acne treatment, is an anti-inflammatory agent that breaks up dead skin, oil, dirt, and pollution that clogs pores and causes blackheads and other acne lesions. It removes makeup with just one thorough cleanse, I use about the size of a nickel, apply to wet skin and lather it up in a circular motion for 1 minute, rinse and repeat.  I repeat just because I like to, not necessarily need to. The scent is a clean, botanical almost medicinal one, which I just love!!! (Don't use Salicylic Acid if pregnant, nursing, wannabe or have an allergy to it or Aspirin.)

Alba Botanica Pineapple Enzyme cleanser - This is the first product I ever tried from Alba and instantly fell in love!  It contains bromelain, which is a digestive enzyme primarily found in pineapples that, you guessed it, dissolves lifeless skin cells.  One pump removes makeup effectively, fights breakouts, normalizes oil production, and it has a light tropical scent. You will feel a slight tingle as the bromelain does what it does best.   This is actually great for all skin types.  
Image Skin Care Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser - I absolutely love this cleanser!!!  I first used this back in 2004 after buying it from the Image counter at IECSC in Las Vegas.  I bought this cleanser and the Clear Cell Medicated Acne Lotion, and couldn't wait to go back to my hotel room and jump in the shower to use them.  I applied about a nickel-sized amount to my hand, lathered it up and applied it to my face, I thought my face was on fire, but I stuck it out.  I was so impressed with the way it removed every last trace of makeup and left my skin so smooth.  Never did I think a cleanser could do that, and because of this cleanser, I hold every cleanser that I try to that standard.  I loved the clinical/spearmint/clean scent.  Outside the shower, I then used the Medicated Acne Lotion, OOOMMMGGG, HOT, HOT, HOT, but I stuck it out and fanned my skin, stood in front of the AC for a minute.  I figured it was so intense due to my skin never having experienced the products before.  And I am was so ecstatic that I did, the following morning I woke up to find my acne about 60% better!!!  I have been hooked on this duo since then and now only use them as maintenance, (1-2 X per week and only at night since that is when skin goes into repair mode).  The cleanser has 2% Salicylic Acid and the lotion has 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, BPO, in it, tough stuff!  I also use the entire Image line on my clients in the treatment room and they love the results!!  (Don't use if pregnant, nursing, wannabe, or allergic) pH balanced, no toner needed.

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash - I believe the year was 2002 when I first used this cleanser.  What drew me in initially was the soft scent of spearmint and the frothy texture as I sampled it at the sink under the bright lights in the Origins store.  Btw, don't you just love sampling bath products right there in the store?  Between all the scrubs, soaps, cleansers, butters and souffles, it's like a mini spa experience!  I just love entering the earthy Origins shops, the birchwood cabinets and ginger and peppermint/spearmint that fills the air!  With all that said, this is what I would only classify as a fluff cleanser as I personally don't care for the way it cleans or leaves my skin feeling, best I can describe the texture is grippy, ick.  However, it's almost like an aromatherapy experience because of the lavender and spearmint in it, and I love the frothy and fluffy consistency.  I apply a dime-sized amount and only use this when my skin is normal with no breakout in sight.  I just can't part ways with it and I am happy with what it does, however minimal.  

Image Skin Care Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser - A luxurious and gentle gel cleanser for all skin types.  I love this cleanser for its soft mango scent, ability to remove makeup, and organic ingredients.  Very soothing and calming, I can't say enough great things about it! I do a double cleanse using a nickel-sized amount several times a week or on days when my skin is on track and I want to keep it balanced.  pH balanced so no need for a toner.  

For people with aging, sensitive, or dry skin, your goal of clean and prepped skin should be the same, but products and potency will vary greatly.  There are other formulas that will better suit your skin whether it's lotion, cream or gel cleanser.  

Thanks for reading, next installment will be serums!  For now, stay sudsy! ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

J'Adore Chanel Coco Noir!

During one of my periodic twirls around the fragrance counter of my local petite Macys, I remembered a while back sniffing Coco Noir and raising an eyebrow thinking, am I loving this?  I sprayed one of the perfume cards and it instantly confirmed my previous impression.  That this gorgeous bottle needs to occupy prime real estate on my already crowded vanity!

It's gently heavy, sexy and seductive, my favorite characteristics of a more mature fragrance.  I haven't explored nearly enough of perfume's darkly aromatic side, though I am eager to.  I am always careful of picking a new fragrance, not so much to make sure it's "season appropriate", because I don't think that way, but because I will associate it with the period of time in my life in which I wore it. 

I have a feeling I will love reminiscing about this one in the future, and I think it will be repurchased for my collection repeatedly.

So, how did Chanel make a customer out of me again?  With a winning combination of...

Top notes - grapefruit, bergamot

Heart notes - rose, jasmine, Indonesian patchouli, narcissus

Base notes - sandalwood, Brazilian tonka bean, white musk, bourbon vanilla, frankincense, purple fruit

When I wear a strong fragrance, I want to feel enveloped by it all day, so I wish this scent had a stronger sillage.  It is so transparent, it seems to wear off completely after about 30 minutes.  If it only had the potency and impact of Chanel 5....

I still love it, and the classic glass bottle that will no doubt travel from my handbag to my vanity and back again.  It will need replacing in no time!

My mom went with Coco Mademoiselle, again.  A perfect warm October afternoon of shopping indeed!

P.S. I always keep the cards I spray perfume on at the counters and place them in my wallet, makeup bag, car, drawers.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Color Focus: Blush

If my closet could talk it would exclaim that blush has become the new black!  One of the best colors ever created, reflecting an innocent, pure, calming and soothing characteristic all at once.  While it does tend to vary in shades, best I can describe blush is a combination of pale pink, lavender, and mauve or pale pink with a hint of peach. They are all blush tones and instantly eye-catching to me!

I like to balance the ultra feminine hue with solid blacks and bold red lips.  Or I lighten things up with solid whites and blush-toned lips.  Pearls, silver, gold and rose gold jewelry are my go-to accessories.  Below are some of my favorites! (I remove the scratchy labels from my tops!)

Of course I can't have just one blush top.  I must have to have blush tops in every style, with ruffles, flowers, bows, lace, also dresses, skirts too! (Skirts are not pictured.)  

Obsessed with this dress!!!!

MAC Russian Red is my absolute favorite red lipstick.  A matte finish, long-lasting, amazing blue-red that matches perfectly against a powdery and romantic blush.    

Thank you for reading, blushing beauties!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

For the Love of Vanity

With so many girls, ladies, and women taking pride in beautifying their dressing tables or vanities currently, thought this was the perfect time to compile a collection of a few of the most elaborately styled beauty corners!

But first, an anecdote! I created my first vanity when I was about 8 years old out of my retired baby doll's bed!  It was about two feet long, one foot wide, and I stood it up on its side length-wise.  I only had about a square foot of room to play with but I artfully arranged a tiny mirror, lip gloss, and other cute little trinkets on it.  The bottom held neatly folded mini towels.  Oh, I just loved coming into my room and admiring it!  I only wish I had a photo. 

The vanity or dressing table is such a magical and personal space!  It holds the power to make one feel confident, ready to face the world.  It's a place where we can luxuriate for hours creating the perfect look or rummage frantically for the basics while running late.  

The foundation is a desk, or actual vanity, preferably with ample storage and an over-sized mirror. From there, the possibilities are endless.  Decorate with a vase of flowers, scented candle(s), framed photos, love letters, jewelry box or jewelry dishes, beautifully packaged face creams, luxurious body lotions, perfume, makeup brushes standing at attention in decorative cups filled with pearls or beads, acrylic cosmetic towers, etc.  I love starting my day with a clean space and seeing the messy aftermath only a few minutes later! ;)  My favorite part is that my vanity is ever changing and evolving just like me and my current mood,  I design and redesign to my heart's content!

Loving this color palette and floral design on the vanity.  So feminine and pretty!

The beautiful Ava Gardner appears to be enjoying a milkshake (?) among her pretty crystal dishes and pots of beautifying potions!

If people think that photo staging isn't an old past time, look no further than the elegantly posed Carole Lombard who's positioned for the perfect shot at her glowing vanity! 5k likes on Insta, no? ;)

This photo of Jean Harlow embodies the epitome of Old Hollywood Glamour!  Simply decadent!

Ava Gardner once again.  Loving all the bottles displayed.

I am not entirely sure who this belongs to, but it's gorgeous!

Breakfast at Tiffany's!!  The table itself is nothing much to look at, in fact it's almost as if they quickly assembled some plywood prior to filming.  However, the assortment of perfume bottles, jewelry and cosmetics makes me wish I could zoom in 500x from different angles!

How pretty and romantic!

The amazing and beautiful cast of Will & Grace!  I love and miss this show!!

Beautiful Bridget Bardot looks like she is posing for a Valentine's Day ad!  

Quintessential beauty room! Not sure who this is....Lana Turner?

Jayne Mansfield's pink wall to wall fuzzy bathroom! The sink is very streamlined and elegant.  

Nicole Kidman, such a beauty and I love the mirrored vanity!

Audrey Hepburn's vanity displays a very organized and bright monochromatic appeal.

Marilyn Monroe raising a glass amidst a messy, yet pretty, vanity.

Marlene Dietrich in a satin robe standing next to a beautiful mirrored vanity with an assortment of bottles, perfumes, and powders to satisfy any glamour girl. 

Who can forget the makeover scene from Working Girl?  Love the soft pink flowers, Lancome perfume and beauty products, Clarins face oil, and Van Cleef & Arpels fragrance, the soft glow from the lamp and pale gray finish of the vanity!

Sophia Loren accessorizing with a sparkly necklace.

Rita Hayworth admiring her beauty.

And the winner is!!??  The stunning Georgina Chapman of Marchesa!  My very favorite of them all!  The mirrors, glass accessories, color palette and flowers.  So elegant, chic and classy, complete with a big, beautiful window framed by luxurious curtains!

Thank you for reading to the end beauties, I know this was an extended post!

Au revoir!