my “everyday” makeup and product reviews

posted by on 2015.09.08, under beauty


even though i’m a self-proclaimed makeup junkie, in reality, i actually spend almost every day in sweats and good ol’ moisturizer. when i say “everyday” makeup, i mean the rare occasions that i actually left the house and made an effort. my goal is usually “easy” and “natural” looking makeup. of course, scrolling down the list, one would hardly call 15 products “natural.” eh, tomayto, tomahto.

for the face:

amorepacific color control cushion compact in 204 – i love how light and moisturizing this cc cream/foundation feels. i would say the coverage is about light to medium. it makes my skin look glowy and natural, where my freckles still peak through. for medium to full coverage foundation, i love koh gen do maifanshi moisture foundation. however, i don’t like full coverage for “everyday” makeup, so the amorepacfic cushion works well for me. the 204 shade initially applies light on my NC35/NC40 skin, but eventually oxidizes to a closer match. i find the fragrance to be mostly tolerable.

nars radiant creamy concealer in custard – now that i don’t get as much sleep as i used to, the under eye circles are definitely coming out to play. i like how the nars concealer are indeed very creamy. they don’t dry out my skin and leave behind nasty looking cracked lines. it’s also heavy enough to cover some stubborn pigmentation. the custard shade is a little light for me, but the next shade up is ginger, which i find to be too orangey and slightly too dark.

chanel joues contraste powder blush in emotion – this is one of my favorite blushes. at first, i was worried that this pink would be too cool on my warm skin tone, but it’s actually very neutral. this blush is very pigmented, so a little goes a long way.

kevyn aucoin the sculpting powder in medium – i love that this contouring powder is a bit gray, and not at all orangey. the texture is very soft and fine, which gives me a lot of control. i usually apply this powder to trim down my jawline and mildly emphasize my cheek bones.

koh gen do maifanshi face powder – since i have dry skin, i rarely use loose powder. however, for the days when it’s really humid outside and i need my makeup to be more durable, i will dust on a very light application. this koh gen do loose powder contains hyaluronic acid, which is perfect for my dry skin. i never get any fine lines from this powder.

for the eyes:

tom ford eyeshadow quad in nude dip – i fought tooth and nail for this eyeshadow quad when it was first released as a limited edition product. now it has been promoted to their permanent collection. along with golden minks, nude dip is the eyeshadow quad i reach for the most. the texture is super smooth and buttery. the shades are rosey netutral on me.

k-palette 1 day tattoo real lasting eyeliner in super black – i use this eyeliner for my top lash line. i think they’ve recently changed their formula, and not for the better. it used to stay on my lids quite well, but now, i always end up with some transfer on my under eye area. time to find a new eyeliner.

chanel stylo yeux waterproof long-lasting eyeliner in black shimmer – sometimes i use this eyeliner along the outer, lower lash line because it’s more of a dark gray color, which has a softer effect than true black. however, i must admit that i’m not crazy about this eyeliner. even though it’s supposed to be “long-lasting,” it seems to fade within a couple of hours on my eyes. i think the giorgio armani eyes to kill waterproof eye pencil is better.

nyx jumbo eye pencil in cashmere – inspired  by the asian “youthful” bright eye makeup style, i apply this nyx jumbo eye pencil along my eyes’ inner corners and lower lash line. this golden shade is softer than the typical silver or white, which i find to be less harsh and subtler on my warm skin tone.

shiseido the makesup nourishing mascara base – my lashes are super coarse and stubborn. they usually stick straight down half an hour after i curl them. i need this mascara base to hold my curls. i’m not sure if it’s actually “nourishing,” but it sure is hard to remove. if i can get a way with not using it, i would.

giorgio armani eyes to kill excess mascara in black – it’s a pretty nice and super dark mascara, but i’m not attached to it. it gives me a some volume, but nothing to write home about.

shu uemura hard formula brow pencil in stone gray 05 – this is the perfect shade to match my jet black hair. it’s a really hard pencil, which gives me great control.

for the lips:

nars satin lip pencil in rikugien – i love nars’ chubby lip pencils! they’re a little less precise, but so fast and easy to use.

tom ford sheer lipstick in pink dune – since my last tom ford lipstick post, i have acquired even more lippies from mr. ford! one of them is this sheer lipstick from the summer collection. i absolutely love this shade. it gives my lips the most beautiful and natural pout. the sheer lipsticks are like its name – sheer. the lasting power is definitely not as long as the regular lipsticks, but they feel just as rich and moisturizing. pink dune seems to be sold out, but skinnydip (looks almost identical on me) is still available.

giorgio armani flash lip lacquer in 501 – half the time, i skip lip gloss though because they don’t usually last very long on my lips. however, when i do wear one, giorgio armani lip gloss has always been one of my favorite lip glosses. it’s not too sticky like most ones on the market. i really hate sticky lip gloss. there’s nothing sexy about constantly pulling hair or stringy goo off of my lips.

my nordstrom anniversary sale picks

posted by on 2015.07.15, under beauty, fashion

’tis the season to be shopping… the nordstrom anniversary sale! back in the days, my friends and i would camp out early morning in front of the store. and as soon as the store doors open, we would charge into the store screaming in glee. now a days, there’s less screaming and more clicking. as a new mom, there’s nothing better than online shopping. it’s both convenient and also a little dangerous. luckily, with my postpartum belly fat weighing me down, i didn’t go too crazy this year. instead, i concentrated on pieces that will either hide or restrain my mid section.

here are some of the items i’ve picked up from the sale:


for me:

1. rag & bone ‘margot’ bootie – the perfect fall staple

2. hunter tall rain boot – seattle necessary

3. topshop ‘elton’ washed black denim shirt – easy everyday top

4. zella ‘live in’ capris – official mom’s uniform

5. ‘trailin by’ macrame dress  – fulfills my obsession with white dresses

6. spanx high waist shaping shorts – not sexy, but these work! stocked up!

7. rebecca minkoff clutch – very chanel-esque at a fraction of the price

8. gorjana ‘elea’ cuff – love how simple, yet edgy this shape is

9. nars lip pencil set – best lip liners at a great deal

can’t forget about my little guy:

10. comotomo bottle set – these bottles are super cute

11. little giraffe ‘luxe’ baby blanket – my favorite baby blanket. stocked up!

12. tucker + tate sweater – a little teddy bear sweater for my little teddy


what did you buy from the sale this year?

and we’re back

posted by on 2015.06.22, under interior design

it’s pretty much a given that when there’s a major life change (or anything over a 10 lb weight gain), you can count on me to disappear from the blogosphere for a while. not only did we welcome a brand new baby love (follow by a 20 lb of lingering baby weight), we also bought a new house, and moved to the country. well, it’s not technically the country, but it is about 30 minutes away from the city. i swore i would never move to the suburbs, but having a baby really is a game changer. we went from a 1,600 sq ft modern townhouse in the middle of the city to a 3,600 sq ft cape cod with an acre of land and a red barn in the yard. the good news is we have all this space for new furniture. the bad news is we have all this space for new furniture. it’s a little overwhelming to think about all the rooms that are just waiting to be filled, so i’ve decided to take baby steps and start with the nursery.

here are some of my favorite nursery inspirations. can you tell i love a neutral palette?





image sources: project nursery, smallable, bonbon rose girl, style me pretty living

i am hoping i will have the nursery done within a month. in the meantime, here’s a little hint of what’s to come:

moderngirlblog1 stokke crib
west elm moroccan rug
eames rocker
be good bear print by the black apple
miffy lamp

i’m so furry. you already know.

posted by on 2014.12.01, under outfits


over the thanksigiving weekend, seattle actually snowed and got freezing c-c-cold! this was a welcome change for me, as i’ve been a “hot” mess ever since i started baking this bun in my oven. with the first sign that winter’s officially here, i can finally wear my favorite sasquatch faux fur coat!

P.S. did you take advantage of all the wonderful sales? i’ve picked up these leopard pumps (they should go with everything), and this wallet on chain (my taste in bags is getting smaller and smaller).

P.P.S forgot to mention that today is the launch date for two highly anticipated limited edition makeup treasures: chanel rêve d’orient quadra eyeshadow and tom ford lips & boys lipsticks (um… tom ford lipstick for $32 with unlimited color options?! hell yes!) today is also 10 points day on, so stock up on these goodies and rack up those points!



t by alexander wang pocket tee
asos maternity ripped jeans (use promo code “ILOVEMONDAYS” for 30% off)
oasis faux fur coat (similar and on sale)
forever 21 hat (similar but even cuter)
loeffler randall fenton rain boots
ysl arty ring
chanel boy bag (super similar)

my skincare routine and product reviews (for dry skin)

posted by on 2014.11.17, under beauty

recently, i received a comment from a lovely reader that wanted info on my skincare routine. since i am always obsessively looking for the next best product, i thought i’d share in details my current skincare regimen, and what products have worked and not worked for my skin.

to get started, let’s list out my skin concerns: i have dry (general) to almost very dry (winter) skin. i would like to lighten my sunspots and freckles, which are increasing with age. i am not acne prone. i have minor fine lines and hardly any deep wrinkles, but i would like to prevent/delay their appearances. i don’t have an oily or greasy t-zone. i would like to brighten my complexion, since it can occasionally appear dull and dirty if i get too much or too little sun.

here are the products i am currently using:



1.  shiseido extra creamy cleanser foam – i like that this cleanser feels refreshing, but not squeaky clean to the point where it strips off my natural oil. my skin never feels tight or dry.

2.  jurlique rosewater balancing mist – originally, i fell in love with the chantecaille rosewater, but i couldn’t justify spending so much on just “water.” i found this jurlique one instead, which is half the price. although it doesn’t smell as pretty and clean as the chantecaille ones, it is good enough to relax the senses and create a nice base for the rest of my skincare products.

3.  clé de peau brightening serum supreme – this serum does make a minor difference in its brightening effect, but nothing amazing for the high price tag. my ideal serum would provide more sunspots lightening, skin tone evening, and fine lines prevention. my never ending quest for the perfect serum continues.

4.  shiseido the skincare eye moisture recharge – this eye cream is light enough where it doesn’t give me milia (little white bumps), but still feels hydrating. i haven’t noticed much in its fine lines or dark circle preventions. it’s been quite difficult to find an eye cream that is light (doesn’t cause milia), but still rich enough to prevent fine lines.

5.  shiseido bio-performance advanced super revitalizing cream – up until i found my current night cream, i was using this shiseido cream as my day and night cream with great results. then one day, i discovered little fine lines on my forehead, and i realized that i needed to kick my moisturizer game up a notch. now i use it as my day cream. this is a light weight cream that is rich enough for dry or mature skin.

6.  givenchy radically no surgetics age-defying & unifying night care – ok, i’ll admit it. i totally bought this cream because of its gimmicky name. what can i say? i had just found some fine lines on my forehead. i was vulnerable. the verdict: this might be my holy grail of night creams! i noticed almost immediate results (a couple of days). not only did my face feel super moisturized, my skin was noticeably brighter, softer, and more supple. i’ve been using it for a year now, and i haven’t noticed any increase in new fine lines. i just stocked up on a couple of jars during the sephora vib sale, which should last me a year. this is a heavy and rich cream that will be beneficial to anyone with very dry skin.

7.  shiseido ultimate sun protection cream spf 50+ – not my favorite spf, but i do like that it’s 50+, waterproof, and doesn’t make me break out. i don’t like that it’s a bit thick and requires some elbow grease to rub it into the skin (unless you like the white ghost look). this spf also brings a little too much shine to the skin. even for this dry skin gal.


8.  clarisonic mia sonic system – while most people use this in their daily regiment, i do find it to be too harsh for my dry skin. i leave this for my weekly deep cleansing routine, which i always follow with a moisturizing face mask.

9.  kanebo kracie hadabisei whitening facial mask – since face masks are so popular in asia, i just had to try it. these particular ones are easy to find online and in my local japanese drug store. i can’t attest for the whitening effect, since i still have lots of visible sunspots, but i will say that it is very hydrating on the skin. i also noticed a significantly brighter complexion, that lasted for a couple of days after usage.


classically neutral

posted by on 2014.10.07, under outfits


even though it’s well into october, seattle is still surprisingly warm and sunny. not that i’m complaining, but there’s nothing better than fall fashion. to get into the autumn spirit, i’ve decided to put on an oversized blazer in my favorite fall color, camel, and a pair of coated jeans.

it’s so easy to get stuck in a frumpy slump when it comes to maternity fashion. yoga pants, baggy t-shirts, flip flops… anything that resembles pajamas. i find the easiest way of getting myself out of the rut is to put on a pair of heels, a nice bag, and a statement lipstick. although i must admit one thing: i love that i no longer have to consciously suck in my stomach anymore. on the contrary, this is the only time in my adult life that i can relax and let out the gut free and proud. even (especially) in a fitted shirt.



forever 21 oversized blazer
halogen t-shirt
j brand coated jeans
givenchy zipper heels (similar)
celine mini classic box bag (lusting over this one)
albeit chevron necklace
hermes clic clac h bracelet
albeit twisted bracelet
tom ford lipstick in black orchid (similar)
nars velvet matte lip pencil in train bleu

off the shoulder is off the chain

posted by on 2014.09.03, under outfits


from my previous post and instagram, it’s safe to say that off the shoulder style has been my favorite trend this summer. this style has been a god send, since in the last couple of weeks: my belly’s finally popped! i have graduated from maybe to definitely! unfortunately, this meant that some of my usual problem areas have also grown with the baby (i.e. arms, thighs, and butt). the off the shoulder trend came just in time to cover my “fatty” parts and only shows the less meaty parts. i especially love this vava by joy han dress. with its romantic details, it really distracts from my troubled spots.

for our one last hurrah, the hubby and i took the pups to napa for a little babymoon. we also took advantage of the warm california light and shot a few of these maternity memorabilia. ok, i might have “accidentally” exhaled and arched my back a little too much in the last photo, which resulted in the more exaggerated belly… but i was just really excited to finally show off my badge of honor!



vava by joy han off the shoulder dress
raga lace dress from my instagram
report booties (similar)
topshop flower crown (similar)
albeit chevron necklace
snake cuff (similar)
albeit twisted bracelet

a new chapter

posted by on 2014.08.11, under life, outfits


sorry for the lack of updates! since it’s been a while since the last time we’ve talked, i guess you can say life is a little different. the biggest change is… we’re expecting our first baby!

YAY!!! pop the confetti’s, release the doves, light the fireworks, cue the choir! congratulations to us!

ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to the real stuff.

while i’m excited for the new addition to our little family, i have to admit that being pregnant is EVEN LESS glamorous than i have previously imagined. without going into the obvious discomfort and inconvenience, maternity fashion alone is giving me a run for my money.

true to all the text books, i’ve spent the first trimester in hell, aka morning (all day) sickness. the last thing i wanted to think about was what outfit would be cute for my next trip to the toilet. unfortunately, the 8 lbs i’ve lost was wasted on sweat pants and old t-shirts. by the time i was feeling like myself again, i’ve entered the “is-she-fat-or-is-she-pregnant” phase. i’ve been stuck in this phase for a couple of months now, and i still haven’t figured out how to dress this awkward body. i can’t seem to bring myself to embrace the bulge on my belly, since it just doesn’t look like a baby to me yet. this means, i’ve been living in my baggiest boyfriend jeans (the only pants that fit me) and loosest shirts. if people weren’t sure i was chubby or pregger before, they are probably sure about one thing… i look like a big old heifer. i finally caved and bought a pair of maternity jeans a couple days ago. being in a pair of skinny jeans again has given me a sudden surge to make more of an effort in this mystery called, maternity fashion. i’m still not brave enough to venture out to the form fitting dresses yet, but for now, a pair of skinny jeans with a flowy top will have to do.

baby steps. baby steps.



zara off shoulder blouse (similar)
j brand maternity jeans (similar, regular version)
celine mini luggage (similar)
topshop sandals
j crew hat
albeit chevron necklace
snake cuff (similar)
tiffany love knot bracelet
albeit twisted bracelet