Friday, April 26, 2013

/People/ Emma Stone


There are few talented actors and models I actually like as people. Emma Stone is quite easily one of my favorite actresses. She's so real. Real when she gives interviews and acts in movies and has her picture taken. From what I've seen of her work, she's funny, nonchalant, and adorable. I want to be her friend so we can joke about people with apprehensive grammar. I love her as a redhead. I love her as a blonde (but probably a little less so). She has an unconventionally soothing raspy voice. When the February issue of W Magazine came out I was set on buying it, but I procrastinated too long, finding the only copies left had ripped and bent pages. I can't believe I missed out on this:

© W magazine

If you're an avid fan of Emma like me and you're interested in her beauty habits (she is one of many celebrity faces for Revlon), here's a linkfest to interviews where she discusses them:

.Fave Revlon Produts

.Beauty Essentials

.R29 Craziness

.Vogue Talks Beauty & Fashion

.Cosmo does Emma (NEW!)

I reference her beauty profile often when I'm looking for a new product. Or I may simply trying to become Emma, but I wouldn't want to be that pale.
Hopefully this is a useful post regarding Emma Stone's beauty routine.

/Style/ Ann Taylor Surprises

As I'm still a young person, I don't often venture into stores targeted for those ten years younger or older than me (with some exceptions). I'm very picky about the clothes, shoes, and accessories I wear. At this point in my life I know exactly what I want, but hold reservations if I need it or not (which, when done correctly, often results in me saving money and coming home without something unnecessary). It's a different scenario with quality, high-end pieces, but this post is not about that. This is all about how fab Ann Taylor is.

When I think of a store like Ann Taylor the immediate image is of a middle-aged lady who may or may not be a business woman shopping there. Someone like my mom if she were taller and liked to buy more expensive, Hamptons-esque clothes. I happened to go in an Ann Taylor store two days ago, slightly allured by the additional 50% off sale prices. I was immediately drawn to the sunglasses. The store was having a promo for them, offering two for $34 or one for $24.95. I found a great pair (see picture above) I really liked and the quality of it seemed higher than that of something from F21 or H&M or UO. The accessories in Ann Taylor look super nice (see the clutch above???), high-end and on-trend. Even though I didn't get the sunglasses (yet), I was able to find this adorable bracelet for around $13.

If you haven't checked out an Ann Taylor near you, I encourage you to do so. There might be a surprise waiting for you.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

/Make-up/ Sephora Chic Week Swag

Having patiently waited since last Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised with a package from the internets on my doorstep. The grand bounty that was my Sephora purchase from their Chic Week promo was finally here! My immeidate reaction was to rip open the box, but I carried my business along like a civilized individual--using scissors to cut open the tape and then carefully lift the flaps of the box to peer inside. Here's what was there:

I refer to all this as "swag" as opposed to the usual "haul" because "swag" just sounds so much better. They essentially have the same meaning...I don't know why "haul" became the word people used when they talked about stuff they bought (usually in large quantities). Ok, back to my swag. I bought only three things as I'm not made of cash nor is much of it flying my way these days.

First up is a DiorSkin Forever Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup foundation. I was debating if I should get the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation or something else because it's so expensive. After checking my shopping list, I saw some other foundation options for me to choose and compare from. I picked the DiorSkin because the price seemed ok and the reviews for it were pretty decent and it's DIOR. This foundation is supposed to improve skin with continued wear which sounds good. I also figured if I didn't like it a trip to Sephora could be made to return or exchange it. Next is Jurlique's Love Balm. I thought it would be bigger, like the Rosebud Salve. The Love Balm has .5oz of product whereas Rosebud Salve has .85oz..I'm just disappointed in the size. It smells nice, though, and I'm excited to try it out later for when my skin "needs some extra loving care." Lastly, there's some nail art stickers I found whilst perusing the sale section. I just needed something to get me to the $50 mark for free shipping (my total ended up at $49, actually, and I didn't have to pay for shipping!). A lot of what I wanted to buy from Sephora's sale part were out of stock when I tried to add them to my basket. I like the lacy, french-fish-netty design and 16 stickers for $5 was an ok price for me.

Is it odd for me to type that I was truly a little bit more excited for the samples more? Whenever I go to Sephora stores they never seem to give free samples anymore with the exception of the freebies that need to be earned with beauty points (to me, that's the equivalent of cash used to buy "samples" and I just save up for something better). Hoarding samples is another habit I have (and they're great for travel). I chose a Jean-Paul Gaultier cologne, but they sent me an Hermès one. ...I guess I don't mind. Sometimes I like to use men's fragrances (YSL L'homme is delicious). There's a Shiseido tinted moisturizer, a Chloé fragrance card (I'm curious to sniff the See by Chloé because I already have a bottle of the original Chloé). The sample I anticipated the most was the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment. It retails for $105 (!) and I get to see if it will "plump fine lines to reveal brighter, newer skin, and improve circulation to offer a smooth, vibrant complexion".
All in all, I'm happy with all this new stuff. I'll be busy the rest of this week testing how everything works out. Fun times.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

/Skin/ La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream

This product was purchased by me.

I actually got this almost five months ago because my skin was really acting all crazy. In case you missed my intro where I explained quite a bit about my conditions, I have combination/oily skin that is prone to break-outs and is very sensitive. At the time of purchase, the skin around my jawline was dry and irritated with small blemishes forming there as well. The rest of my face was relatively normal, but everything I tried did nothing to alleviate the pain or heal my skin. I was using the cetaphil cleanser then, mostly because I wanted to finish the product as it was part of a double pack from Costco, and it seemed to just keep my skin clean rather than help my problem. I did a little research and settled on getting this La Roche-Posay cleanser ($23.95). It was expensive, yes, probably among one of the most expensive cleansers I've ever bought, but I needed the help, trusting this would finally do something about my uncomfortable skin.

no parabens or fragrances

When I first tried it, I was so happy that my skin didn't sting or have any horrible reaction. I would even say this foaming cleanser was rather soothing considering all that I'd done to my face thus far. It rinsed off easily, leaving my skin feeling soft and supple, not at all dry or uncomfortable. In about two weeks my skin had been on the mend for better (when used in conjunction with a FAB cream and daily yogurt face masks). Once my skin had been balanced, dry, itchy patches basically gone, I stopped using the cleanser everyday. It was ok for while, but my skin has been a little crazy lately so I've switched back to this and yogurt masks. All in all, La Roche-Posay's Toleriane purifying foaming cream is great. It doesn't irritate and does what it promises to do on the tube for those with sensitive combination to oily skin. Definitely one of the miracle workers in my skincare regime

bright young person loves it

this much

/Style/ brevity. Signature Necklace

©brevity via notcot

This is pretty much as awesome as it gets with customized necklaces. You actually get to wear your signature, not a generic font bearing your name, around your neck. Granted, my signature looks kind of terrible, but it might improve when it's silver plated and shiny. The price is a bit deterring...though for the uniqueness of the necklace it's worth it. This is going on my wishlist.

Monday, April 22, 2013

/Style/ Summer Clothes

L.A. has started to warm up. With the sun shining and temperatures rising, I can't stop thinking about the changes to be made for my wardrobe. I've made a pinterest board about things I would wear on end this summer (I really like the Kate Mouse/David Bowie mash-up tank). ...A girl can dream about these things..right?
One thing I'd really like to get this summer is a pair of cut-off, utterly distressed denim shorts. Surprisingly enough, I don't have a pair in my arsenal as I generally prefer clean, stream-lined (usually) chino shorts. I thought of them as uncouth--the way they're all tattered and too short, the kinds of girls I saw wearing them didn't seem like people I could ever associate myself with. I took a second look at cutoffs, they're too irresistible, and decided that with the right styling they could look laid-back cool rather than frat house party-ready. Having scoured the internet and some stores in real life, these pairs from Zara have caught my attention:

ripped faded denim shorts in light grey ©zara

ripped denim shorts in navy ©zara

ripped and faded denim bermudas in black ©zara

These standout because they have the right amount of authentic destruction in my eyes and are probably better quality than something from, say, somewhere like this? The price for the Zara shorts are a tad too high, though, they're better made and not as expensive or tacky as this from Urban Outfitters. Although these, for their price aren't too bad for UO. Of course I much like Zara's selection and quality of clothes over other mid-range priced stores. I'll plan an outing to check out all these shorts in person and try them on. I'll be damned if I go another summer without decent cut-offs!
Other things I hope to put on during the summer:

my bright & shiny jewelry

shopped-from-my-closet sandals

tie-dye cap

and these dresses.

marni for h&m

bunny print maeve from anthropoligie i got sunday

Yep. I'm so almost ready for summer.

Friday, April 19, 2013

/Lips/ Love & Beauty Pigmented Lip Lacquer

This product was purchased by me.

I've decided to dedicate a whole category only for lips (and also for nails when I start posting about that). There's something about lip products that just stand out from general make-up and skincare for me. I'm going to admit that lip products are what I hoard more than anything else. I hate having dry lips and as a child my lips were always cracked and bloody from being so dry. I didn't much care for lip balm then, but as I got older I discovered how magical it was.
I picked this up recently in Forever 21. I was actually looking for this product. It was nowhere to be found at the F21 location I was at so I settled for this because it says "pigmented" and there were four colors (.176 oz each) for $4.80. I like the small tubes because I'm not much of a lip gloss person. I don't really like to have shiny lips all the time so these mini glosses would be great for me to try and test out.

cruelty free!

There's a baby pink, a peachy pink, a light fuchsia, and pinky-beige. All the glosses come with a doe-foot applicator. The packaging looks quite cute with the gold labeling on the tubes matching the shiny gold-colored cap. The scent of the gloss is very sweet, very vanilla, with a tiny floral element. It's not too bothersome, but I found that it does linger for almost 10 minutes (then again, I have a very sensitive nose).

As these swatches will allude to, there doesn't seem to be much pigmentation going on. A little, not a lot. All of them appear to have glitter, except the beige, and all of them look quite sheer...And look what happens when I apply them to my lips:

bare lips

baby pink gloss

peachy-pink gloss

fuchsia gloss

pinky-beige gloss

My lips are naturally very pigmented. I have a difficult time finding lip products that have enough opacity to change the color of them. These glosses were supposed to be "pigmented", but as you can see, none of that is happening on my lips (they all look the same after the first photo, right?). They're certainly shiny as that's the kind of thing lip gloss does. I'm disappointed in the performance of this gloss. I was hoping they would really be pigmented...I let them set for a few minutes too, anticipating a change/final settling into their true colors. Also! The packaging for these things is flimsy. I accidentally dropped the pinky-beige one and the plastic part of the tube near the cap cracked.Gloss oozes out when I try to close it now...:(
Maybe if you have seriously pale lips this might work for you. If you have lips like mine, then these might work as natural glosses to add some shine. A few good things about these: they're really moisturizing while worn, last about three hours, and aren't too sticky.

bright young person loves it

this much.

/Fashion/ Prada Journal

©Prada via

I stumbled upon this written project from Prada yesterday. Prada is accepting submissions for how reality is perceived as a metaphor for eyewear that helps us see. It's an interesting concept to have written word as a medium for fashion, which is strictly visual for the most part.
I'd really like to do this as I can't go a day without writing something and I have always had an obsession with glasses.

/Make-up/ Covergirl Professional Super Thick Lash Mascara

This product was purchased by me.

When I first tried mascara, many years ago, I really hated it. It did nothing miraculous to my lashes and I hated getting it off at night. It was a waste of time for me. Oh, naïve high school girl. Mascara makes a major difference.
These days I can't get enough mascara and I've tried so many from high-end to cheapie drugstore brands. It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I often have two to three mascaras in rotational use. Anyway, this is a low-key mascara from Covergirl. It's not features on the top of the display with all the Lash Blasts, Clump Crushers, and Nature Luxes. One must stoop down to the dredges of the product display to find this red tube.

As per the Covergirl website, "For big, bold, thick lashes, Super Thick Lash is the one. Its Lash Builder brush separates, defines, and reaches for those little lashes." Let's see if it does any of that.

Here are my lashes sans any mascara or curling.

In the picture above, my lashes seem to be non-existent. They exist. So, here's the result after applying mascara on my right lashes:

So here I've applied a few copious coats of mascara (though I didn't dip the brush in for more product nor curl my eyelashes). There's already quite a big difference between the two lashes as the right side shows them lifted and somewhat curled, but it doesn't seem to have much volume. This is what both lashes look like with mascara applied:

Look at that. Definitely some lash visibility and curl happening. As I've been using this mascara for about two months, it's something I reach for often to lift my lashes to make them appear lusher. I like that this formula doesn't clump up and it sort of lengthens, even though it doesn't really claim to do that. I just wish it really made my lashes super thick. This is a decent product for those who already have fairly thick lash line and would like to add a little length. This mascara holds a curl from an eyelash curler well, too. Super Thick Lash is a great as an everyday mascara for naturally visible lashes. It's a got a good price as it's about $5.

bright young person loves it

this much.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

/Skin/ Bioderma Sensibo H20 Solution Micellaire

This product was purchased by me.

There has been so much buzz around this cleansing fluid.

It's supposed to be the absolute bee's knees when it comes to non-irritating, extra-strength make-up removing. Lisa Eldride gushes about it all the time and it has various mentions of praise on Into the Gloss. I had to have it. There was a little snafu for me as this product isn't that finder friendly in the U.S. yet...and since I wasn't going to France, let alone Europe, anytime soon, I ventured to the the world wide web to seek this miracle product. I found it on amazon for around $30 (with free shipping!). Busting out my $15 gift card in tow, I snagged a bottle and paid around $17 for it. So I waited for it to arrive on my doorstep. It was a surprisingly short agonizing wait as the package appeared much earlier than I had anticipated. Having ordered the 500ml bottle, I decided to decant a some of the solution into a mini bottle (I got mine at Target in a TSA-approved container set, kind of like this one), but with one additional container). This saves space in my bathroom and makes the Sensibo totally ready for travel.

On to the actual product. It says this is supposed to "garantit un nettoyage et un démaquillage en doucer du visage et des yeux" and "les actifs apaisants préviennent les sensations d'irritation."...Oui, je parle le français bien, bien sûr. Ben, je peux. In a nut shell, the micelles in this formula emulsify impurities and maintain the skin's balance to gently remove make-up/debris without irritation and the way you go about it is with a cotton pad.

les ingrédients

After trying this as an eye make-up remover for over two weeks, I must admit I'm impressed. I like that it's fragrance-free and doesn't have an oily texture or after-feeling when applied to the skin. It does a decent job of removing make-up, but I do need to go in a second or third time to make sure it's all gone (maybe I need to keep the soaked cotton pad on a little longer). I think the best aspect of this magical fluid is that it doesn't irritate my eyes at all. Most times when make-up removers come into contact with my eyes they begin to sting and when I open them everything's all blurry. I really don't like that. Really.
Do you need this? Hm, if you're a francophile with sensitive skin then yes. The 500ml is a good value that will last for a long stretch of time. If you're thinking this is a bit too expensive and bulky, don't worry. I've got something that's local and cheap just for you that works just as well (to be introduced later).

bright young person loves it

this much.

/Hair/ 365 Herbal Mint Conditioner

This product was purchased by me.

I absolutely adore this conditioner. I've been using it about four years now and every time I try a new conditioner my hair feels sticky and dull as opposed to silky and shiny. I started using this because I had just learned about the harm parabens and sulfates cause our bodies. This wasn't the first conditioner from Whole Foods I tried. The citrus one did not impress me and I wasn't sure if I'd like this either. I don't typically like minty, herby scents on my hair; I normally gravitate towards fruity, floral (I was easily influenced by Herbal Essessences as a young one in the 90s), and sometimes gourmand-ish aromas (is it a bit odd that I like my hair to smell good enough to eat?). The scent of this product has some herb notes and the crispness of peppermint. When I sniff it, it's sort of reminiscent of gum, but in a fresh way. It isn't overpowering at all as it doesn't clash with the scent of my shampoo nor does it linger for too long after washing my hair.

Apparently there are three different types of mint oils in this. I had no idea until now.
It says this on the bottle: "Your daily shower never felt thus good. Our herbal mint conditioner, with aloe vera and vitamin B, restores moisture and shine, while peppermint essential oil leaves a clean, refreshing scent." Well, this does a wonderful job of keeping my hair soft, shiny, and clean. I definitely recommend trying this or any of the 365 Everyday Value Products if you're looking for a paraben, sulfate, artificial fragrance, and cruelty free products.

This is a hair care product I always come back to whenever my hair acts up. I get the 32 oz. size because it's got a good price ($5.99) and it last me a loooooong time (6-7 months when I wash my hair 3 times a week). A good value with good ingredients gets lots of hearts from me.

bright young person loves it

this much.


I actually have a name.

It's Laura and that's as much as I'm going to divulge at this time at this place. I'm Asian (two different kinds of Asian, but I don't want to say which now..or ever...or publicly now) and I was born in the U.S. I spent time overseas studying in Japan and the U.K. and I worked for a while in South Korea. Right now I'm based in L.A., a place that I have come to adore over the past fifteen years. There's just something that makes it so unique and exciting, a sensation I've never gotten from any other city on the east or west coasts in the U.S. (Chicago will always be my favorite midwest place).
How in the world would I get sucked into the realm of beauty and style? I never wore make-up willingly in high school (it was enforced in my dance class for performances). I despised mascara with a vengeance. I gave up nail polish for for almost 10 years. Those were dark times, but the truth would probably be that I didn't need make-up then, I didn't have time to do it, and it wasn't something truly essential to me. Except lip balm. I cannot do without that. I have always taken skincare quite seriously. Style? I was a closet observer of trends because I never thought I could be the one who actually looked good. Thank goodness I gained a bit of confidence to know I'm some level of beautiful no matter what.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the beginning

Hello and welcome to this blog. What makes this one so special? What are its unique qualities that will keep you coming back to read new posts? Well, I suppose, nothing yet. This is not my only foray into blogging. I have a personal blog I've maintained (to quite a sorry extent these days which I blame on the absence of fun or interesting things happening) for almost seven years. I decided to make this separate blog solely for beauty & style. Why? I just didn't think those topics fared well with my other posts...which were usually regarding vague things that were a bit sad or weird. They didn't fit the persona of the blog and made a bigger impact in my life much later on, but they're such an important aspect of my who I am now and I want to share with who'll ever end up here (on accident or not) all the bits and pieces I've learned and loved.
This is very late in the game of the style/beauty/pretty/reviewing/omg-I'm-an-empowered-lady kinda thing, je sais. What makes this any different? At the moment, I don't know. I'm really no expert in anything, not a professional whatever-have-you either. I hope it's worth something, if not merely a personal reference for me. So, I hope others will enjoy and learn from this...experiment of sorts.