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. 

Puerto Rico

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Good evening! I have been sharing tidbits of some of my trips over the last few years, but I'd like to make travel posts a permanent feature here on the blog. 

My husband and I love to travel. New sights, new smells, new tastes (I sound like Anthony Bourdain).  We haven't been lucky in the baby department so instead we've focused our attention on each other and traveling the globe. I'm exceedingly thankful to have had these new experiences, this ongoing adventure with my life partner. For the past few weeks I've edited a lot of the pictures from our most recent trip to Central Europe, but I'm not quite done yet. Instead since it's cold and rainy out, I'd like to reminisce about the warmth of the Caribbean. My second visit to what I think is a really under appreciated part of the US; Puerto Rico. 

Last Weekend's Eye Look: Anodized Titanium Look

Monday, February 6, 2017
I've recently been doing a lot of eye looks with warm transitional colors paired with a metallic/glittery/shimmery cool color close to the lash line. 

[PONY EFFECT] StayFit Matte Lip Colours #OnFleek & #Magnificent

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A few weeks ago, Memebox had a set of two Pony Effect StayFit Matte Lip Colours plus a brush for $25 total, which I thought was a total steal. Each of the colors regularly retail for $18.50 and the two shades happened to be the two that I wanted. Would you look at that. Into my cart this set went.

Sleek Dark Mattes Vol. 2

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Quick review today, as this is an item that I've mentioned a bit on my Instagram already. It used to be that IG was the supplement to my blog but some days I've feel like the platforms have reversed!

I passed through Heathrow a few weeks ago and I made a beeline towards Watsons to check out some UK drugstore brands. As it turns out, I didn't get the opportunity to shop in Germany like I thought I would have (so Douglas Perfumeries are closed on Sundays and open mid morning on weekdays, didn't get to haul Zoeva like I intended, woe) so a couple Sleek products and a Catrice blush are my only makeup momentos for this particular trip.  The Dark Mattes Vol. 2 Palette was on display as being free if you spent £12, so I grabbed something for a friend and also the Face Form Palette in Medium. My love for matte shadows has a long, well documented history and I liked the look of some of the unusual shades found in this palette. 

Weighing In On NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Recently, I found myself quite nearly out of foundation. First, I had tossed all my old, really quite expired foundation (like MUFE HD. THEY DON'T EVEN MAKE THAT ANYMORE). Then, I started to run out of Dolce & Gabbana The Perfect Luminous Foundation (review here, one of my all time favorites). Next I ordered a bottle of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, a tried and true favorite, but encountered strange new oxidation with it, the likes of which I had never seen before. At the end of my rope, a sales associate at Sephora recommended NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. That's right. Me, purchasing a foundation without having read any reviews regarding it beforehand - I hope this conveys how desperate  I was feeling.

Viseart Warm Matte Palette

Monday, January 16, 2017



A buddy of mine sent me a screenshot of the new Viseart Warm Matte (10) palette at the beginning of my vacation and it took me about five very tense seconds to decide that I was going to order this palette. I loved it on first sight.

Concealer Standoff: NARS Radiant Creamy vs [A'Pieu] Creamy Moist




Recently I made an order from the Korean website SweetCorea and my order included not one, but two shades of a concealer that I had been interested in for a while. Word on the street (ok, the internet) is that the [A'Pieu] Creamy Moist Concealer was a comparable offering to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer but at a much lower price point.

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule: Long Name, Amazing Results

Thursday, January 5, 2017
           
Last month I had the opportunity to try something new from Missha, one of my favorite Korean skincare brands, courtesy of 0.8Liter. Usually I like to wait until I have at least six weeks use under my belt, so my eagerness to report back sooner indicates either a thrillingly bad product or an exceptionally great one. It's the latter in this case. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule is certainly a mouthful, but it's quickly become one of my favorite skincare products.