Kat Von D The Alchemist Holographic Palette

Monday, September 18, 2017


I bought the Kat Von D The Alchemist Holographic Palette months and months ago, during the spring Sephora sale after waffling over it for quite a while. I just couldn't decide if this was something that I really needed or not. It really has taken me half a year to familiarize myself with the colors, even now the palette feels really new and still presents a challenge every time I pull it out.


Review: The Brush Bar

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A few months ago I showed off this nifty gadget during an unboxing on IG stories as soon as I came back from Asia. It's one of the most inventive beauty products I've seen in a while! The Brush Bar is a slim, portable brush stand that has been helping me keep my brushes in peak condition.


Battle of the Brows: ABH Dipbrow vs Benefit Ka-Brow!

Monday, September 11, 2017



A few weeks ago,  I picked up a Benefit set of brow products for myself when I stopped at Sephora inside JC Penney to grab a gift. The SA informed me that each week, they'll have a spotlight product 50% off. For $17 (actually less, I used my 10% VIB coupon), I found the Bigger & Bolder Brows set to be irresistible. Today I want to compare one of the products inside, a cream-gel brow products called Ka-Brow! and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow.

Some Powder Highlighters - Comparisons

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Did you see the Fenty Beauty release? It's pretty hard to ignore at the moment, I realized that the brand had done an incredible job at saturating social media when I saw FB products on three different accounts' IG stories in a row. I'm very tempted by both Killawatt Highlighter in Trophy Wife and Metal Moon but pretty committed to a no-buy (ok, like 75% committed). I'm swatching some highlighters that I already have in the hopes of talking myself out of a purchase. For now.


LE Givenchy Rouge Interdit No. 25 Marble Rouge Révélateur

Saturday, September 9, 2017


I first laid eyes on this lipstick three months ago in Shanghai. I spotted it from across the floor at JiuGuang Department Store and made a beeline for the Givenchy counter where it was on display.  I found it pretty much irresistible. A red and black lipstick swirled together into one color? Couldn't walk away from Rouge Interdit No. 25 Marble Rouge Revelateur.


Review: Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Cleansing Stick

 
Good morning!

I'm smitten with sticks. Things in stick form, to be specific. A few weeks ago I wrote about switching from bringing liquid foundation to stick on travels and it made me kind of wonder - why couldn't more of my makeup/skincare products be in sticks? It'd certainly make for easier packing, less liquid products to shove in that tiny quart size bag when I fly. Suddenly I wanted everything in a stick, including cleanser. That led me to Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Cleansing Stick.


Mask Madness, Vol. VIII: Manyo Factory Overnight Miracle Sleeping Pack

Saturday, September 2, 2017

I've been using the same Manyo Factory Overnight Miracle Sleeping Pack for the last four months and that is more than adequate enough time to come up with a review. What was an initially "Meh" product has become a staple in my nightly routine. 

Travel The World (You Should Eat Here): Minnesota State Fair

Thursday, August 31, 2017
I don't visit my parents in the Midwest very often, but when I booked my flight to visit Minnesota this month, I made I would be around for the Great Minnesota Get-Together. There is no happier place for your inner snacker, I can assure you. There's always new and dare I say, innovative* foods each year. 

* by innovative I mean, wow, I've never seen that deep fried before. 

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner


Good morning!

Do you ever find yourself buying skincare cult favorites, hoping for the same result that others rave about? Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is possibly one of the most popular toners in kbeauty. It's always wining some sort of award or mention, product of the month or year. With such accolades, I found it impossible to resist. Having used it for the last few months, I figure that's long enough to write a review.


[Yungo by ReEn] The First Hair Cleansing Treatment & Ampule Drop Essence

Thursday, August 24, 2017
It's been a while since I reviewed any haircare on the blog, today I'd like to talk about a brand that was first introduced to me by my sister. She had originally picked [Yungo] The First Hair Cleansing Treatment when Memebox was having those ludicrous clearance sales earlier this year. When we met up in Shanghai, I had the chance to try this product for myself, and ultimately I ordered the Ampule as well.

Histoires de Parfum Ambre 114 Eau de Parfum

Monday, August 21, 2017


Good morning! My favorite thing about weekends is waking up early, extra early. I'm usually up before dawn, I find it super relaxing to make myself a mug of lemon tea, read and blog while the rest of the west coast snoozes. This quiet period is to fragrances what I think the golden hour is to photography - there's something to be said about enjoying a scent to yourself in the early hours. The  weekend before last I rewore Histoires de Ambre 114 Eau de Parfum and hashed out some of my thoughts before hitting up the farmer's market.


Mask Madness, Vol. VII: Nature Republic Bamboo Charcoal Mud Pack

Friday, August 11, 2017



Good afternoon! Today's review is a mask that I picked up months ago. There's a Nature Republic store in my area and they frequently have tantalizing flash sales on the weekend, where products are marked down 50%. Those sales are so tempting, they always make me forget that I don't have a very good track record with Nature Republic products. The Bamboo Charcoal Mud Pack was a hesitant buy, but the ingredients checked out.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide Set: Review & Swatches

Thursday, August 10, 2017




Recently, a friend and I decided to split this set of NARS Velvet Lip Glides.  There were some cooler shades that she wanted and I was definitely drawn to the warm shades. That's a foundation for a great friendship, pro tip. I usually don't review things so quickly after purchase but 1) I feel like my mind is made up, I'm not going to budge also 2) it's exclusive to Ulta and there's a sale.


Travel the World: Salzburg, Austria

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


It takes me forever to edit pictures from our trips. I start browsing through them and I get caught up reminiscing, which I suppose is the whole point of taking those pictures in the first place. Before I know it, I'm buried in warm memories, I want to go show the Mr. and no photo edits take place. Repeat weekly. Last winter we took trains across several countries, including some stops in Austria. One of the cities we stopped in was in was Salzburg.

Lip Products. Many of Them.

Monday, August 7, 2017


Whoops, hit that publish button a little early there! All fixed. 

My lips are ridiculously dry all the time and I have no idea why. I drink a ton of water, I keep a humidifier by my bedside but the default setting for my smooch is flaky and rough. Gross, I know.

I try to keep a lip balm within six feet of me at all times, to encourage reapplication before they get to the cracked, bloody stage. One in my purse, one in my book bag, one at my nightstand. Another at my desk, one that just floats around, frequently in my pocket. You get the idea. This would be how I ended up with an insane number of lip products, as you now see before you.

Sephora Collection Make No Mistake Foundation & Concealer Stick

Sunday, August 6, 2017


 Recently Sephora Collection added a new foundation to their lineup - Make No Mistake Foundation & Concealer Stick. I thought I would pick up another stick foundation in a darker tone to ride out my "tan" for the rest of the summer.

Montale Greyland

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Good afternoon!

I reviewed the Scentbird service a few months ago, but procrastinated a while on reviewing the scents I received. Before I knew it, months and months worth of fragrances were piling up, so I paused my subscription as motivation to kick my butt into gear. Time for me to review each scent before allowing myself to acquire more! Today's scent is by Montale, called Greyland.

Review: Tom Ford Cheek Brush 06

Sunday, July 30, 2017


I have a little bit of a confession. I have major regret, and it's beauty buying related. Years ago, I had been lusting after Tom Ford Cognac Sable quad for many moons. So many in fact, that it was discontinued before I could purchase it. I regret this, immensely. When I heard that the Tom Ford brushes were due for an overhaul (source), I immediately resolved to not feel this same regret. So I recently splurged and bought the 06 Cheek brush that I had been making eyes at for the last few years.

Blemish Skincare Routine - Summer 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Good afternoon!

I tend to get a few scattered pimples that time of the month, a cyst somewhere on my jaw and a some inflamed whiteheads. The cyst usually dominates my chin (on those days, the cyst IS my chin, ouch) and the whiteheads occur primarily in my t-tzone (nostril is a popular respawn spot). I retaliate fast and hard by switching to some centella heavy products that reduce redness, inflammation, and soothe when acne is at its worst. 

Review: Olivarrier Fluid Oil Squalane

Tuesday, July 25, 2017
 Good afternoon!

I recently received a new skincare item that I was pretty excited about. Jolse kindly sent Olivarrier Fluid Oil Squalane my way, and it worked its way into my skin care routine very quickly.

Manyo Factory Lactobacillus Bifida Mist

Friday, July 21, 2017


This is without a doubt, a product that I never thought I would ever care very much about. This plain brown spray bottle doesn't score many points for looks, but after a few months of use the Manyo Factory Lactobacillus Bifida Mist inside is one of my favorite substances ever. 

Travel the World: Chengdu, Sichuan Province China

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

 We recently had a day long layerover in Chengdu, China. It was my first time in central China, the Sichuan Province region. We didn't have very long to explore the capitol city Chengdu, but we made it a priority to see some giant pandas!


Mask Madness, Vol. VI: Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask EX

Monday, July 17, 2017
Good evening!

I've been hitting this Sulwhasoo mask pretty regularly lately, enough so that I've managed to finish the tube in less than two months. The Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask EX is a peel off mask from this Korean high end skincare brand. While I've used a few deluxe sized items from Sulwhasoo, I think this is the first product that I used long enough to write a full review.


[The SAEM] Cover Perfection Tip Concealer

Thursday, July 13, 2017


During the "winter" (CA winter, go ahead and laugh), I have been loving the moisturizing A'Pieu Creamy Moist Concealer, I wanted something more light weight feeling for summer. It's been hitting 110F in my area, and whatever I picked had to survive high temps. I recently bought a few shades of  The Saem's Cover Perfection Tip Concealer and have been riding out the heat waves with this product.

A Few Chikuhodo GSN Brushes

Friday, July 7, 2017



At the beginning of this year I ordered my first Chikuhodo fude and ended up buying a few more from the GSN series last month. I thought I would group my reviews of the four GSN brushes into one post.

Tom Ford Solar Exposure Palette

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Good evening! 

I'm having trouble falling asleep tonight, so I thought it was about time that I wrote up my review of the face palette that I've been using all summer. I purchased Tom Ford Solar Exposure a few months ago and it was hard saving it for my vacation, I wanted to use it constantly. 

Mask Madness, Vol V: [I'm from] Honey Mask

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Good afternoon. Today is another mask post, a review that I've been struggling to write for the last few weeks. Today I want to talk about the I'm From Honey mask, perhaps my most eagerly anticipated mask so far this year. I was so excited to get this honey mask into my hands and was really shocked by the results it gave me.

Review: VDL Perfecting Last Stick Foundation

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Have you heard of the brand VDL? I've been seriously crushing on their Pantone books of eyeshadow recently, however my first product from this brand happened to be a foundation. They have a really nice range of base products; all sorts of primers, foundations, color correctors. I bought the VDL Perfecting Last Stick Foundation SPF 35++ for my trip to Asia, in attempt to switch from liquid foundation to stick.

There was only one review that I could find on TesterKorea and though it was favorable, I was still pretty nervous ordering this foundation. At $20, it wasn't going to break the bank if it turned out to be a dud but rarely do I order a full bottle/tube of foundation completely untested.


Urban Decay x Basquiat Gold Griot Palette

Monday, June 26, 2017
 When I swatched this palette instore earlier this year at Ulta, I liked it. I didn't full-price-love it, but promised myself that if I ever saw this marked down at HauteLook, Nordstrom Rack or the like, I'd immediately snatch it up. I guessed that it would take about a year to reach discount status, but was happy that it happened a lot sooner.

PureHeal's by Nature Village Centella 90 Ampoule

Thursday, June 22, 2017
I've been trying to find alternatives to some of my favorite products, and one item that I finished recently but hadn't yet repurchased was my bottle of Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster. Though marketed as some sort of exfoliating youth serum, I found it to be marvelous at reducing breakouts, both in terms of redness and blemish size, when applied overnight. Now the PureHeals Centella 90 Ampoule is not super close ingredients wise, but I have found its effects on the skin to be similar.

NARS Loaded Palette

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I've managed to hit pan on a lot of products this year and among the most notable was my main traveling palette, the 2014 Laura Mercier Artiste For Eyes Palette. I didn't want to bring it on trips any more, (now I'm just always  low key stressing about shattering its shades) so I was very happy to get the warm NARS Loaded Eyeshadow Palette

Travel Bag - Tropical Summer Edition

Thursday, May 25, 2017



Good afternoon! I thought I'd show you what I packed for an extended vacation. We'll be seeing so many family and friends, I'm so excited to be spending this time with loved ones and my most loved one while exploring new places and revisiting some of my favorite restaurants and bars. We've both been intensely busy the last couple of months (the Mr. especially, poor guy has been burning the candle at both ends) that we both need some serious unwinding. We're heading to hotter and more humid regions of China and Thailand, so my packing needs are completely different from when we traveled in the winter.


Manyo Factory: An Overview of my Favorite Skincare Brand

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Today I want to overload your eyes and brain with this brand that's really done marvelous things for my skin.

It's taken me months to write this post, many revisions. I didn't want to sound like an absolute nutter who was obsessed with a toner (spoiler: I totally am) and this brand. I kept on buying full sized bottles of the Manyo Factory products that I sampled and had to retake pictures. In the end I decided to write an overview of some core products, and separate posts for items like sleeping packs, eye gel, etc.

Travel the World: Budapest At Night

Saturday, May 13, 2017


I loved Budapest so much that it can't be captured in a single post. I decided to split up my experiences into the day and nighttime. We had such a fantastic time in this city, it was an endless feast for the senses. The cold air nipped at our faces, but our bellies were warmed by the heartiest of meals and the most pleasant of wines.


Cream Contouring With Cover FX Cover Click Stick

Monday, May 8, 2017


Forgot to take a picture of it new. Whoops.

Hey it's been a few weeks! I've been pretty busy for a few weeks, then was feeling pretty roughed up by fibro for a while. Now that I'm feeling up to it, I've been spending every free moment outdoors enjoying the start of a really promising summer. Today I'd like to review a product that I've been using since I bought it last fall. I had been looking for a new contouring product for a while.

Mask Madness, Vol IV: [I'm from] Vitamin Tree Mask

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Good evening (morning? I'm doing some after hours blogging)!

I mentioned this mask on my Instagram a few weeks ago, and it's been heavily featured in the IG My Stories because it's one of my favorite masks to use. This [I'm from] Vitamin Tree Mask absolutely deserves a full post, it deserves every little bit of praise that I can muster.


Review: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I recently found myself completely out of cleanser. I had finished a deluxe tube of Manyo Factory Cleansing Soda Foam and was looking for something different. Don't get me wrong, the MF Soda Foam is an effective cleanser that does a great job of removing excess sebum and most makeup, but it's also a bit stripping and not quite what I want first thing in the morning when I only have some sleeping masks or emollient cream layer to wash off.

I saw that @jodieglows who is a Glossier rep on Instagram was (in a manner unaffiliated with Glossier) donating her commission to Planned Parenthood, an organization that I'm proud to give my ongoing support.  There was also 20% off my first order (if you want, I have a referral link for the same deal) and a code for a deal on the Cloud Paints, making my purchase all the more satisfying.

Travel the World: Prague

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


We recently went to Europe for the first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Though photo editing is far from my favorite activity, I had such a lovely time in the four countries we visited that it gives me quite a bit of joy to revisit the sights we saw and the meals we ate. 

I've wanted to visit Prague for the longest time. Around middle school, I read a book in which Prague's stunning architecture was the backdrop for some terribly conceived plot with some equally rubbish characters. The memory of the book didn't stay with me, but the idea of seeing these structures in person really left its mark. 

The Balm Appétit Eyeshadow Palette

Sunday, April 2, 2017
I recently popped into Nordstrom Rack (love that they have tons of  size 5/5.5 shoes!) and while I was checking out, this palette caught my eye. In particular, one shade from The Balm Appétit really stood out to me - the orange shade beneath the heart cutout (how remarkably apropos). Normally $39.95, it was priced at $14.95.  I would have happily forked over that amount for that reddish metallic orange by itself. 

So The Balm Appétit Palette came home with me.

Search Resultsppétit


Mask Madness, Vol 3: Kouji Hime Face Pack

Thursday, March 30, 2017
I had an unfortunate time with the last face mask that I blogged about, but today I'll be showing you a mask that I found much more agreeable!

I knew next to nothing about this Kouji Hime Face Pack when I ordered it. I have sensitive skin that is highly reactive, so looking back, that was a pretty wild move. All I knew was that there was sake in this mask somewhere. Sake sounded good to me, my face really seems to love fermented ingredients.

50 Words or Less, Vol. IX: Recently Repurchased

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sometimes I'll say "oh yeah, I'd totally repurchase...." about a product but that doesn't ever happen. Between how fast paced the beauty world is (doesn't social media make it feel like something new is constantly being churned out?) and how easy it is to order a product online, it's easy to succumb to cosmetic FOMO. Here's a bunch of products that I keep returning to because I just really, really like them.

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream

Friday, March 17, 2017

I grew up somewhere quite cold - snowy Minnesota - and just thinking about the cold sends shivers down my spine. I'm not a fan of the cold at all, especially not what it does to my skin. Living in northern California means the worst I see now is a few weeks of rain, but we took a trip to a cooler climate a few months ago and I was anticipating the absolute worst. Dry, wind, chapped skin and achy nostrils. That was one of the reasons I bought a tube of Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream prior to leaving.

Mask Madness, Vol. 3: Botanic Farm Black Soybean Milk Pudding Sleeping Pack

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Good evening! Tonight I bring to you a review of a mask that I tried fairly recently. This sleeping pack is by Botanic Farm, my first product from this Korean brand. 

Etude House Wonder Fun Park Candy Cheek

Friday, March 3, 2017


So 3AM Me buys some weird stuff. Like the small hours of the night leave me devoid of self control and I order anything that catches my sleep deprived eye.

This Etude House blusher would be one of these questionable orders. It's from the summer Wonder Fun Park Collection, a pastel carnival themed set of products.

[illi] Anti Aging Cleansing Oil

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


This wasn't going to be a long review because I can sum up how I feel about this oil in three words:


Mask Madness Vol 2: Bonvivant Illuminator Whitening Water Gel Mask

Monday, February 27, 2017

I love my sheet masks, I really do. However in recent months I've decided to make an effort to incorporate more masks that are housed in jars or bottles that can be recycled in order to cut down on my packaging waste. One of the first ones that I ordered while weaning off sheet masks was this Bonvivant Illuminator Whitening Water Gel Mask.


Scentbird - A Fragrance Subscription

Thursday, February 23, 2017


I first heard of Scentbird over a year ago, when I was in the middle of my blogging hiatus and my mind could not be further away from beauty and fragrance.  A representative from Scentbird contacted me to see if I was interested in trying the service, but at that time I was elbows deep in dirt (caught the gardening bug!) and let that offer pass me by. But the idea of a decant perfume shipped monthly to my door stayed with me and now, many moons later, I subscribed to their service out of pocket. 

Marc Jacobs Beauty #Highliner Matte Gel Liners

Monday, February 20, 2017
 I was recently received a complimentary VoxBox from Influenster with two shades of the new Marc Jacobs Highliner Matte Gel Liners. This is only my second product from Marc Jacobs, the first being a gloss I tried some time ago.

Fyrinnae Whipped Metallics: Vintage

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Late last year, Fyrinnae was having a little sale (15% off) and one of the things that I snagged was this Whipped Metallic lipstick in Vintage. I didn't have any metallic mattes; thus far I lived entirely on cremes. At the moment, some of the protruding little knobby attachments on my teeth for my Invisalign seem to be responsible for lip product ending up on the orthodontia, and so liquid lipstick (also stains) are my best bet right now. 
 
 I didn't find this lipstick to be very whipped or mousse like. It dried within a few minutes down to a pretty matte finish. I also don't seem to get anywhere close to as much copper gleam as in stock photos. It's possible to trace a really nice outline with just the doefooted applicator. I had to go back and fill it in three times to get full opacity.
 
 
 Wish I saw some more of that pretty copper. I could dust some Mehron Metallic Powder in Copper in the center of the lip if I wanted, to amp it up. Instead I think the color looks like the color of black ball point pen, the ink is the deepest of violet with that slight metallic gleam.
It transferred a little, here's what a gentle rub left on my finger tip. In addition, it did break down very easily even while sipping water, crumbling into gritty little bits. Upon removal, some of the dark blue colorants stained my lips, but mostly just the dead skin.
 
I could have looked passed many of these (many) shortcomings, but this lipstick was also quite drying and I found it uncomfortable to wear. Each time I would take it off within a couple of hours. Fyrinnae Whipped Metallic and Mattes are $8 each. Do you have a favorite maker of matte metallic lipsticks at the moment? Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.