Sunday, September 30, 2012

Live While We're Young (Playlist #2)

Is it lame of me to add a One Direction song to this week's playlist? I don't usually listen to a lot of their songs but I've been really obsessed with this one - it's just so catchy and fun! Plus, how cute does Harry look in this video? ;)

Aaaaand my Imagine Dragons obsession continues. I've loved this song for a while and can't believe it's not on iTunes, I want to have it on my iPod so badly! I can't stop listening to it and this song just proves to me how amazing this band is. Is it even possible for them to come out with a bad song?

Corey Gray is an independent (I think?) YouTube artist and I'm in love with this song. It's beautiful and the music video is just too cute! I've been listening to this nonstop and I really think it was about time for me to officially declare my love for Corey.

I found this song through a Lookbook-esque video that I saw, and since I watched that video I'm obsessed with this song! It's not usually the type of song that I would deem as being my type, but it's very catchy and fun. Plus, they all look absolutely stunning! I'm crazy obsessed with their makeup, and Jade's hair.

This song reminds me a bit of Ed Sheeran's music, and I think Nina Nesbitt was actually featured in one of his songs so it's funny that I think that. I love her makeup in this video, she's absolutely gorgeous and this song is so addicting. The music video is adorable! I'll definitely be keeping up with Nina's music from now on.

That's it for this playlist! I'm getting the feeling that these will be a really common feature here on this blog, since I'm always finding/becoming obsessed with new music. I hope you guys are enjoying these!

What songs have you been listening to lately? Seriously, tell me! I'd love some recommendations. :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Japan Day 2: Food + Shopping!

So I suppose the recaps of my Japan trip continue with this second post! Hopefully you guys don't get tired of me posting about my trip and all the things I'm eating and buying, but I'll have some reviews up in a bit so my page won't be completely covered in all things Japan-related.

Today my mom and I spent most of our time shopping along Omotesando, which is a really big street in Tokyo that has a lot of adorable boutiques and small restaurants that are really yummy! Omotesando is also the area that boasts a lot of the American name brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and it has a massive MAC store that had so many things I had never even heard of before! The first place we stopped by was the Samantha Thavasa store, which I believe is their flagship store here in Tokyo.

My mom and I first discovered the brand about five years ago when we visited Tokyo and have loved their bags ever since! They're definitely not cheap but I think they're really worth it - they're very well made and they last for ages. I remember buying one back in 2007 and it's still in fantastic condition and I use it for nights out! I bought one bag this time and I can't wait to show you guys what it looks like - it's my new baby for sure!

For lunch we picked a random restaurant that turned out to have really yummy udon noodles! My brother ordered miso ramen with tempura while my mom and I decided to order the ramen with spicy miso and ground beef. Too delicious! I wish I could tell you guys the name of this place but unfortunately I can't read/type Japanese, so I can't :(

After eating my brother wanted to go look at shoes, since he's a huge Jordans fanatic. If you're looking for sneakers (limited edition or otherwise) and are willing to spend a little more money on them, I highly recommend Kicks Lab or Undefeated, which are the two shops we went into and they both had a great selection of sneakers, mainly for men. Undefeated also has a nice selection of t-shirts that my brother really liked, I think they'd make great gifts if you're in need of some! As for department stores, my mom and I had a really nice time looking around La Foret, which is a medium sized department store that hosts a bunch of cute little boutiques. The style is a little quirky so it might not suit everyone, but they do have a Kitson store there that has a lot of more typical clothing as well.

We also ended up stopping for crepes, which were so yummy and unique! They boasted a wide range of crepes, from chocolate banana crepes to cobb salad crepes. I opted for a matcha cheesecake crepe that was super filling but totally worth the binge.

We then dropped our stuff off at the hotel and headed over to Takashimaya, which is one of the largest chain department stores in Japan. We had a really nice time shopping around the cosmetics counters since a lot of the brands were either cheaper here or not available in Hong Kong, so I ended up buying a lot of things that aren't available back home.

The two items in the picture above are probably the strangest out of all these purchases. I bought the squeezy bottle for my brush cleanser because I think it's easier to apply with a tube like that, and I'm familiar with it since it's what we use in AP Chemistry to hold distilled water when we're doing titrations (if that didn't make any sense to you, I'm sorry!), and I just think it'd be really convenient for cleaning my brushes. As for the spray bottle, I just felt like I could use one just in case. You never know when one might come in handy! As always, reviews will be posted soon. Most of these items are already out of their packaging because I'm really excited to try them out already!

Okay, that's all I have to say for now. Sorry if this post completely bored you out of your mind, I'll be posting something non-Japan related very soon! Hope you guys are having/have had a fabulous Saturday, see you soon :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Japan Day 1: Recap + Haul!

I'm very happy to say that I'm now officially on fall break and I'm so lucky to be spending it in Tokyo, Japan! Of course, I won't get to spend the whole week here since I have to go back to Hong Kong and prepare for my first time taking the SAT - wish me luck! Japan isn't very conducive to studying, but it IS extremely encouraging of eating and shopping :) I just wanted to share a few things with you guys from today.

My family and I arrived in Tokyo quite late, it was around five o'clock by the time we reached the hotel and about six when we had all freshened up and started to head out for dinner. We're staying at the Peninsula which is an absolutely gorgeous hotel - I'll try to get some photos to post tomorrow. It's also very conveniently located near Ginza, which is a district here in Tokyo known for its little boutiques and large shopping malls.

We had a really lovely sushi dinner and walked around for a little bit before heading into Lumine, one of the larger shopping malls in Ginza. Japan's streets are really unique, at least in my opinion. The back alleys don't seem like alleys at all, and everything here is so pristine and just has a very Japanese feel to it, I think. The culture is infused in so many different things and places, it's really such a calming experience to just walk around and look. At Lumine, I ducked into Skin Food and LUSH and bought some really nice things that I've been wanting to try!

LUSH came out with a makeup line just a short while ago and since I first heard about it I'd been dying to try the lip colors and the eyeliner! I've heard so much about their gold liquid liner so it was the first thing I picked up when we were there. I also had my eye on this bright pink lipstick so I got that too! I love the packaging, it's so quirky and reminds me a lot of a science lab which I think is really cute.
I also got the Argan Oil from Skin Food, which I haven't really heard much about but I absolutely love argan oil and it seems to be the only thing that works to hydrate my dry ends, so hopefully this works out as well as my beloved Moroccanoil.

I got really caught up in the skincare area of Skin Food so I also bought their Black Sugar Mask, which the lady at the counter recommended to even out my rough, problematic skin. It smells delicious and feels really nice on the skin, not too abrasive but not so gentle that I can't feel it doing anything, so that's really nice. I also bought the Black Raspberry Su Serum, which she also recommended to me, and it felt really nice and smooth on my hand and sunk in quite quickly, so I have high expectations for this. But in addition to skincare I also bought a cream eyeshadow palette from them, which has three colors inside that I picked myself, and their All Over Muffin Cake Finish in #4. It's a really pretty pink and white baked powder and when I swatched it in the store it turned out to be a really gorgeous highlight color! I'm very excited to try this out on my face.

That's all I wanted to say for now! I'll have reviews of all these products up soon hopefully, and I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on my next few days here. I have so much I want to share with all of you and I hope you enjoy reading these! Hope you're having a fabulous weekend so far :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Inglot Liquid Eyeliner #25

I first heard about Inglot about a year ago through xsparkage on YouTube and have wanted desperately to try the brand since! It was really difficult to find though, because they don't sell it here in Hong Kong and I wasn't visiting any of the nearer countries that Inglot is available in (ex. Singapore, Malaysia) anytime soon. For spring break, however, I went to New York and finally found Inglot in Times Square! I picked up a lot of things there, including an eyeshadow and blush palette which I'll feature soon, but today I wanted to talk about one of their liquid eyeliners that I picked up.

One of the colors I picked up was #25, which is a very matte, very dark black color. Right off the bat I really liked the packaging - it was simple and even though it's not the prettiest packaging ever, it's very practical and the handle of the eyeliner allowed me to apply the liquid liner effortlessly and steadily. The eyeliner comes with a felt tip that is a little hard on first application but after a while it softens (but only slightly!) so it doesn't feel so sharp when you apply it.

The formula goes on very smoothly and is extremely pigmented, which unfortunately also means that if you make a mistake it's very noticeable. It's quite wet, which some people like and others hate but I personally don't mind. As long as it dries quickly, which this does, it doesn't matter to me how wet the formula is.

I'm not totally sure whether this is supposed to be waterproof but if it is, it doesn't live up to that claim. It's very long-wearing, certainly, but it's not water proof or even water resistant. It will wash off if you get caught in the rain or if you cry, but because I use this on an everyday basis and not for occasions where I know there's a risk of my makeup getting washed off, that's ignorable for me. It does come off a bit easier than I'd want if you rub at your eye, but I don't touch my eyes a lot anyway so that's okay. I do wish it did have better staying power, though, because on longer days it can start to imprint on my lid. Overall I do like it though and would definitely repurchase it!

Have you tried any of Inglot's liquid eyeliners? What do you think about them?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How Much is My Face Worth?

Hi everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful week so far. I know I'm definitely happy that it's Wednesday already and I'll be on fall break soon! :)

Today I wanted to do a quick post on a tag I've been seeing circulating around the blogs might have heard of this one. It's called the "How Much is My Face Worth?" tag, and basically the point of it is to add up the cost of all the products you put on your face on a daily basis in order to see exactly how much the products you use are worth! This sounded like such a fun tag, but I was already really curious just to see how expensive my face was. Everyone's seems to be way more than they expected, so hopefully mine won't be as high as I'm expecting!

The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost - $26
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! Foundation - $34
MAC Well-Dressed Blush - $20

Urban Decay Primer Potion - $20
Smashbox In Bloom Eyeshadow Palette - $48
Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner - $13.50
Agnes b. Mascara Crescendo - $25
Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo - $24
MAC Brow Set - $16

EOS Lemon Drop Lip Balm - $3.29

TOTAL: $229.79

Ouch. I definitely wasn't expecting my total to be that high! And to think, I didn't even include skincare in this tally...I guess it just goes to show how much we take the things we have for granted. I think that's the really great thing about this tag, as well - it reminds us all how lucky we are to be able to afford expensive items like makeup and beauty products. 

Have you done this tag? What do you think about it? 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

#instagram (1)

Hi everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts the last couple of days, I've been super busy with school since it's the last week before we all go off on break. I can't believe it's already almost October; it seems like just yesterday I was nervous about starting my junior year. This year is going to go by so quickly, I can already tell!

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you some of the things I've been doing/loving recently via my instagram. I'm absolutely obsessed with instagram, if you didn't already know, and it's actually getting a bit ridiculous, how many times a day I refresh my feed! So below are a few of my photos from the last couple weeks. Hope you guys enjoy :)

Clearly my life revolves mainly around food and makeup ;) If you want to follow me on instagram, my username is stephxtang. 

Have a lovely day guys! ♥

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bed Head Ego Boost Leave-in Conditioner

I was shopping around a few weeks before school started and I was looking for a new leave-in conditioner that could be used in place of my Moroccanoil, since it's not available here in Hong Kong (or is it? If you know, drop me a comment and let me know!) and I found the Bed Head Ego Boost Split-End Mender Leave-in Conditioner. It's a mouthful of a name for sure, and the bottle it comes in is just as attention-catching.

As you can see it comes in a hot pink plastic bottle with a bright green pump (pictured below). The bottle itself is rather large and clunky because of the shape, so it's not the best for traveling because it wouldn't fit very well into your suitcase or toiletries bag. I'm not really planning to travel with it, though, so that fact is one is that I can neglect.

As for the actual product itself, it's a white liquid with a thin, almost gel-like consistency. It's supposed to be applied to damp hair and I think it coats the hair quite well and soaks in easily, leaving behind no residue. It makes your hair smell a bit like you just got back from the salon, which is a scent that I personally love but I know that some others dislike. It's not very strong, though, and does go away quite quickly so your hair won't smell like that for the whole day.

I definitely notice a difference in my hair when I use this. When my hair dries it feels softer and smoother than it would otherwise, and it's much easier to comb out. Throughout the day it retains that initial shine and softness, and though it doesn't prevent your hair from getting tangled I feel like it makes your hair easier to brush out if it's gotten knotty throughout the day. I also have noticed that I haven't been getting split ends since I started using this, so that's something I'm very grateful for!

That being said, I don't think this can take the place of my Moroccanoil. I don't think it penetrates as well as an oil and it seems to extend the amount of time it would normally take for my hair to dry, since I apply it when my hair is still damp. I suspect that this wouldn't prove to be as useful for those with severely dry and damaged hair, though people with that hair type might be interested in trying this out anyway since it worked quite well for me! I have dry hair that is relatively undamaged since I rarely use heat on it.

Have you tried this or any other Bed Head products? Which leave-in conditioners would you recommend?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Agnes b. Mascara Crescendo

I posted a few days ago about the Agnes b. blush in Rose d'or and I mentioned that it was one of a few products I decided to pick up from the line when I found it in the States. Today I have a review for another one of the products I bought: the Agnes b. Mascara Crescendo.

This claims to be a lengthening and fortifying mascara, which promises to double up as a treatment for your lashes in order to make them grow longer and stronger. When I first tried this out, I couldn't really decide whether I liked it or not. I noticed there were small fibers that clung to the thin bristled wand and got transferred to my lashes when I applied the mascara, and while I think they definitely made my lashes look longer, I've tried other mascaras with fibers and those seem to work better. The formula is more on the wet side, which I normally don't like but the wand really allows me to separate my lashes so they don't clump up. It's not as black as I would like, though the pigmentation is decent and isn't a huge dealbreaker for me since I have naturally dark lashes already.

No mascara // two coats of mascara
I'm not sure how to respond to claims that it works as a treatment because I don't reach for it every day, but even when I use it for long periods of time I don't noticed much of a difference in the strength of my lashes so I'd say that claim is a bit of a hoax. Overall, I do like this mascara but more for clean, every day looks where I just want my lashes to stand out but still look natural. For more dramatic looks, I wouldn't really recommend this simply because it doesn't build up to anything really drastic in terms of length and volume. That being said, I wouldn't repurchase this simply because it was such an expensive product and I don't feel that it was really worth the money. This mascara will probably work best for those with already long, voluminous lashes that don't need much help.

Have you tried any Agnes b. mascaras?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Don't You Worry, Child

Recently I've discovered and been listening to a lot of new music, and I thought I'd share some of the songs I've been loving lately with you guys. I'm thinking of making these kinds of features a regular thing; let me know what you think! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Favorite Fall 2012 Makeup Trends

Geometric eyeliner

Vampy, red lips

Color-blocked eyeshadow

Bold cheeks
There are always weird makeup/hair trends when new seasons roll around, but these are four of my favorite ones for fall 2012! Red lips are always big during the colder seasons but this fall the top picks seem to be brown-based reds, which is a nice earthy take on the classic look. Color-blocked eyes and geometric eyeliner are things I have yet to try out on myself, but I feel like they bring so much brightness to the face and are a really unique way to spice up your look! Bold cheeks, meanwhile, are something I've always loved, though this can be a tad tricky - there's a fine line between bold cheeks and clown cheeks!

What makeup trends have you been loving this fall?

**These photos are not mine! They were found on Google images, and all credit goes to the original owners. I do not claim to have taken any of them.**

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Agnes b. Rose d'or Monoblush

Before this year I had never tried any Agnes b. makeup products. To be honest, I didn't even know such products were included in their line! I found a counter that sold their makeup when I was in New York this summer, however, and one of the products I decided to try out was their powder blush. The color I bought was Rose d'or.

In the pan, the color is a beautiful rose with gold shimmer layered throughout the product. Unfortunately, this doesn't translate to the cheeks. In the store, this swatched as a really pretty natural color with a hint of shimmer, but they must have done something to the lighting because when I tried it on my cheeks after I had bought it, it seemed like there was almost no color at all, just a ton of gold shimmer. It wasn't even fine shimmer; it looked chunky and glittery and I really didn't appreciate it. It was so unflattering, especially because it draws attention to the problem areas of my face (i.e. acne scarring, spots, dry patches). It has a light floral scent to it as well, which didn't bother me but I know there are some people out there who really hate scented makeup products.

I just can't honestly say that I recommend this product. I really wanted to love it because it looks so gorgeous in the pan, but this just doesn't look as nice when actually applied to the face. I've tried it so many different ways - as a highlighter, tapping off as much of the shimmer as I could...nothing helped. I wish it was as lovely as I'd thought it would be, it might've been almost like a lighter version of NARS Orgasm!

From the top!

The bottom - number and name of product

Have you tried any Agnes b. makeup products? What did you like/dislike about them?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall Nail Polish Picks

I'm so glad to say that it's finally starting to feel a little bit like fall here in Hong Kong! Even though it's mid-September, it's been hot and humid up until this point. Judging from the weather forecasts, however, it's about to start cooling down, which means I'll finally be able to get into the fall spirit! As much as I love light and bright summer makeup, I'm ready for some darker, more vampy colors, especially when it comes to my nails. Here are a few of the nail polishes I've been loving for fall.

Orly Smolder
Butter London HRH
OPI You Don't Know Jacques!
Essie Going Incognito
OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue!

Of the five I've shared in this point, I think the Orly and Butter London picks are my favorite, and are the ones I've been wearing the most on my nails over the last couple weeks. The formulation of all these nail polishes are incredible, though I will say the Essie one is a bit on the thicker side.

What are your favorite nail polish colors for fall? 

Ten Products I Would Repurchase!

This is a tag I've seen going around a lot of beauty blogs and YouTube channels recently, and as far as I know this was started by missglamorazzi. I think this is a really fun tag and it's really interesting to see which ten things other people would repurchase! Basically the idea of this tag is, if you lost all your makeup (in some kind of freak accident, I assume), which ten items would you repurchase first?

The first five items were kind of a no brainer for me, but the last five were definitely more difficult to decide. Ultimately, though, I settled!

  1. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: I was deciding between this and the original Naked palette, but ultimately I picked the Naked 2 because the colors in it are much cooler and suit my skin tone more. Plus, it includes a creamy yellow color that matches my skin so for days when I don't feel like wearing a lot of eyeshadow, I can just sweep that over my lids for a nude base. 
  2. Urban Decay Primer Potion: The first thing I chose for this tag. My skin is extremely oily so I need a good eyeshadow primer or anything I put on my eyes creases like crazy! While the consistency isn't my favorite, it is the primer that lasts the longest on me. 
  3. Tarte emphasEYES for Brows: I'm not sure what color I wear as it's not printed on the packaging, so I'm sorry for not including it! Anyway, this is my favorite brow pencil because it's creamy and lasts for ages. The color matches my hair perfectly now that it's darker and I love the way it applies. Plus, it has a little spoolie at the end so it's really convenient!
  4. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation: I don't always wear foundation, but for days when I do, I find myself reaching for this a lot. It looks amazing in photos and I usually only wear foundation for occasions when I know pictures will be taken, so this is obviously a product I love. The coverage and staying power is amazing as well, and it matches my skin perfectly! I use the color #118.
  5. Laura Mercier Matte Translucent Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder Shine Control: That may just be the longest name I will ever type. This powder is a light green color in the pan, but once it's on the skin it's translucent for sure and absolutely beautiful as both a setting powder and a blotting powder. It absorbs the oil on my face and keeps it at bay for long periods of time, and even though I carry this around with me everywhere, I don't usually have to touch up more than once or twice a day.
  6. MAC Brow Set: There's not much to say about this. It's just a clear brow gel, but it's the one that keeps my hairs in place for the longest, which is why I like it so much.
  7. Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner (Perversion): I love these liquid liners. I never use pencil liner and gel liner is a bit of a hassle with the brush and all, so liquid liners are really the easiest option for me. I love these because they're extremely pigmented and last all day. They're not really waterproof, not for me, but they're water resistant enough that I don't mind. 
  8. Eyeko Fat Brush Mascara: This is exactly what it sounds like. The brush is absolutely massive but the formulation is amazing and makes this a dream to apply. It's the only mascara that holds my curl really well AND it gives me both length and a ton of volume. I didn't expect to love this, but I absolutely do and would repurchase it again in a heartbeat.
  9. Dior Addict Lipstick in 414 Crystal Gold: This is the perfect every day color for me because it's a beautiful gold with a hint of shimmer. It's a bit of a unique twist to a nude color and suits me perfectly, as well as any look I do on the eyes. Though it doesn't last for ages on the lips, I don't mind reapplying. It's expensive, yes, but well worth the price, if you ask me.
  10. Dior Rosy Glow blush: Blush is easily one of my favorite things and I have a rather extensive collection (cough) so this was a hard item to choose, but ultimately I decided on my Rosy Glow! I think the claim that it adjusts to suit your skin tone is not a gimmick but actually works. On me, this is a lovely natural light pink color that pairs well with almost every look I do. Its color also changes depending on how much you build it up, so it's very versatile.  
So that's everything I would repurchase if I lost all my makeup! Have you guys done a blog post/video like this? What ten items would you run out and repurchase first?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Neutrogena Deep Hydrating Mask

A few weeks ago I was looking for some sheet masks to try out, having heard many good things about them from both friends and the online beauty community. Since my skin has been suffering some dryness and flaking lately, I decided to pick up a box of Neutrogena Deep Hydrating Masks at the recommendation of my friend. 

Each box comes with 5 sheets of individually packaged sheet masks. Neutrogena claims that the masks are an intensive facial treatment that replenishes and restores moisture in order to achieve deeply hydrated and bouncy skin. It also boldly claims that "each mask instantly boosts skin's moisture level 12 times with a penetrating Vitamin C formula". 

While I can't speak to the claim that it boosts your moisture level 12 times (I'm not even sure I know how to measure that!) these definitely do leave your skin feeling hydrated and fresh. The sheet mask fit my face almost perfectly and I had no trouble keeping it on for 15 minutes. I actually left it on a little longer and when I removed it and massaged the excess fluid into my skin, it left my face feeling very smooth and totally got rid of my dry patches! This is also a very gentle mask, and I know that my friend's younger sister (who is thirteen years old) also uses them with good results. 

I got these for a relatively cheap price. One box was about $90HKD (equivalent to about $12USD), so each mask alone is only $18HKD (a little over $2USD). In my opinion, that's an amazing deal for such a great product! I highly recommend these for those with dry, parched skin, or even just for those who feel like they could use a bit of moisture back. 

Have you tried these masks? What other hydrating masks are you a fan of?

Hi There!

Hello everyone! I'm Stephanie, a sixteen year old girl with an unhealthy obsession with makeup. I started this blog as a way to share that love with other people (aside from my friends, some of whom are almost as obsessed as I am) and learn about new things. I originally started out as a YouTuber but recently decided that blogging was more my style.

Hope you guys like my blog! Let me know what you think :) I'd love to hear from you all.

While I work on the next few posts, please enjoy this image.