What’s in my bag? Backpack Edition

150304_WhatinMyBag_01It being spring, I needed to clean out my bag. Especially since I couldn’t find my inhaler and I swore it was in there (turns out, in was in my gym bag). So I thought we’d have a quick look at my bag, or rather my backpack. Funny, I wasn’t too aware of what I had in my bag to begin with. Some, I was aware of, like my notebook. I carry this or my other notebook around all the time. To  take down notes, write out shopping lists (or any kind of list. I like making lists), or post ideas. It’s one of the first things I pull out of my bag.

Another thing I tend to keep handy are some tea bags and eating spoon. You don’t know when you are ever going to be in need of them! I don’t know how many times that spoon has saved me on road trips to Seattle.

Then I found my Forever 21 Lion Ring and Gorjana Parker Wrap Bracelet I received years ago. It’s one of my favorite bracelets.

150304_WhatinMyBag_02

Digging around the main compartment of my backpack I pulled out the essentials: my banged up wallet, facial tissues & first-aid mini kit. When ever I switch bags these guys have to come with. Look how awful my wallet looks. I really need to get a new one, but I’m so picky. I’ll just have to keep searching.

Then there are my office keys on a keychain I made. It’s really looking dirty, so I thing I have to make a new one. If I remember how. I try to keep a spare grocery bag just in case I forget to grab one on my way out of the house, but I always forget that it’s in there.

Then there are some gum and lunch-time vitamins. I have an alarm on my phone to remind me to take then while eating. It’s the only way I’ll remember. You should have seen how happy I was to find my USB stick. I thought I lost that weeks ago. It’s loaded with lots of post images and documents. Note the post-it with yet another book suggestion.

150304_WhatinMyBag_03

The last bits are the small thing in pockets in the front and side. My lip products and pens are usually stuff in the side pockets to be reachable for quick use. My charges are stuff in one of the front pockets along with the key rings full of membership card. I have way too many, but they do help with getting the best deal!

That’s pretty much it. Sort of pile of boring stuff but essential for everyday life.

Feburary Favorites

150301_FebFavs

To be honest I don’t really have a lot of favorites this month as I spent a lot of the month working overtime and then trying to recuperate from all that. One of the things that I’ve been doing during this stressful month was giving myself a home spa treatment. I love lying back on my bed after a nice hot shower and wearing the karuna Anti-Oxidant+ Face Mask. The smell is quite nice, not too overpowering, and it leaves my skin feeling moist and soft. I was using a creamy clay mask before, but this one doesn’t require washing it off. Just slip it on and wait 10-15 minutes and your done. This one is my last one, so I need to order more from Sephora.

Before slipping on the face mask on, I would light this candle from Alchemy Candles. I got it at Christmas from my sister’s in-laws when we went over there for dinner. I’m really picky about my candle’s scents so I was quite happy to find that I love this one: Satsuma Mandarin. It’s going to be sad when it’s gone, but I’ve got another candle I need to try from a co-worker.

My next favorite is a hair product. I’m really loving L’Oreal Sleek It Frizz Vanisher Cream. It’s really helping with keeping my hair frizz under control. The weather up here has been bipolar lately and my hair couldn’t seem to handle it well.

If you follow me on instagram, you might have notice my current obsession with acai bowls. So I am loving Sambazon Acai Smoothie Pack. For the longest time I could only find it at Haggen’s, but on Sunday I found it hidden in the vegetarian frozen aisle at Freddies. Super happy about that since its a bit cheaper there. I’ve been trying out different toppings to go with also. It’s so good!

And my last favorite is YouTubers: Anna Lee & Jesse, specifically their vlogs. I don’t know, I just love watching their daily/weekly vlogs.

That was basically it. I’m hoping for a much more relax month this time especially since it’s my birth month! I was planning on traveling for my birthday but if I want to go overseas in the winter then I have to set aside traveling stateside for a bit. I’m also working on a surprise.

My morning skincare routine featuring InstaNatural

150226_MorningSkinRoutine_01

I’ve suffered from acne since I was a teen and I think I’ve finally got a routine, morning & night, that works. One of the most important thing I do first in the morning is drink a glass of water. I currently using an app called “Drink Water” that notifies me to drink water. Right now I have it set to pop up a notification every hour. It’s quite handy when you are super busy and don’t drink enough water during the day.

Right after my glass of water and prepping my breakfast (current fave is oatmeal with a quarter of an apple and coffee), I wash my face to wake myself up. Then it’s off to the gym for an early morning run. Right after I’ve finish sweating on the treadmill, I immediately wash my face using foam facial cleanser. I then follow up with InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Toner. If you remember I review their eye gel and retinol moisturizer earlier this month, and loved it. So I decided to try out their toner and face serum. I’m completely loving this skin care line! So I spritz on the Vitamin C toner and let it dry. Usually I put it on right before I leave the gym so while I’m driving home, it’s drying. The toner is really good. It’s really refreshing on the skin and hydrates the skin. It’s also helping to minimize my pores. It also suppose to help combat oil skin by “remove excess oil, while restoring your natural pH levels so your skin is balanced. This formula is gentle and suitable for all skin types.”

150226_MorningSkinRoutine_02

By the time I’m home, I can put on their Eye Serum For Dark Circles and Age-Defying Skin Clearing Serum. I really like this stuff. The face serum has a different formula to the eye serum. The face serum is great for treating acne and hyperpigmentation. It’s really good on my skin since I had a lot of acne scarring along my hairline and my chin. It’s starting to clear up and now I only break out nearing that time of the month. I have an acne scar on my forehead that I had right when I started using the tone and serum. It’s slowly starting to fade and might be gone by the end of March or April.

150226_MorningSkinRoutine_03

Once the serums have dried, I put on my favorite morning acne-fighting mattifying moisturizer. I find that all these skin care products work best in the morning in helping combat and treat acne while prepping my face for makeup. It’s seems like a lot of product to putting on your face, but they all are quite light. And they work all great together to keep my skin healthy and moist while fighting a on going battle with acne.

The opinions I shared about using this supplement are my own, and none of the products featured did not tell me what to say or how to say it. Sponsored post powered by BrandBacker.

Current Lip Color Collection

150223_LipColorCollection

If you haven’t notice, I have rather large lips. And as a child I was teased about them, so I typically don’t wear a lot of lipsticks because I feel like it emphases how large my lips are. But I’m trying to break out of that. Like trying to wear more color than black, white and grey. So these are the few lip products that I picked up in the last three months or so.

Lets start with EOS. Not a lip color, but currently my go-to lip balm when I feel like my lips are starting to dry. I love EOS Summer Fruit and their limited edition Passion Fruit (which I just saw on instagram that they are bringing back for the Chinese New Year!!). I just brought their Spring Edition Coconut Milk for my sister’s Easter goody package. 5 of 5 stars

I think out of all the lip stuff I’ve brought (and I’ve already posted my disappointment in it) was the Old Navy Lip Balm in Coral. Never again buying makeup there. Sticking with just clothes and accessories. This stuff is just crap. Honestly. -1 of 5

I have to give Fran Wilson Mood Matcher Luxe in Dark Pink, NYC Expert Last Rouge á Lévres in Sugar Plum and E.L.F Dumbo Lip Gloss Stick in In The Nude a 3 out of 5. The Mood Matcher has a long-lasting color and it really stays. It’s says it dark pink, but on me, it looked really bright. And it was really hard to take off. I’m giving them a 3 because I’m not much of a fan of the colors. I was hoping the Mood Matcher was a bit darker and that E.L.F.’s was more nude, not so shimmery. Also, In The Nude took me a while to blend with my natural lip color.

Now my favorites are the NYX buttergloss in Peach Cobbler (4 out of 5), Wet’N’Wile Megastlick Balm Stain in Pinky Promise 5 out of 5) and a recent purchase, Jordana Twist & Shine Moistures Balm in Nude Chic (so far… 5 out of 5). Now all of them have really nice color and the formulas are really good. I was carrying around the Megastick, but I think I’m going to switch it up for the Jordana since I really like the nude color. I haven’t worn it out for long since I just got it yesterday, but so far, so good.

Now I haven’t brought any high-end lip sticks or gloss yet since I’m a little wary of spending too much on some lip product I won’t like or even use. So if you guys have any lip color suggestions that you think would look good on me and is a good product, I would love to hear it. Trying to break out one step at a time, or rather one lipstick at a time!

Youth Express – Sponsored Review

120207_EyeGelReview_01

For the last two week or so I’ve been trying out a new morning and evening skincare routine using the InstaNatural Youth Express Eye Gel, Youth Express Eye Serum and Retinol Moisturizer that I receive as part of BrandBacker.

120207_EyeGelReview_04

It’s taken most of the two weeks for me to notice the changes around my eye. Thanks to the Youth Express Eye gel and the eye serum, the fine lines that were starting to really show (due to me getting older) have diminish. Putting on under eye concealer is no longer a battle with creasing. You can use this morning and night and the directions say to dab gently to your eye area, forehead and cheek area. The eye gel is suppose to helps with dark circles, wrinkles, puffiness and sagging skin. A blend of powerful ingredients increases elasticity and enhances the tone of your skin to provide a firm, plump appearance.

120207_EyeGelReview_03

The InstaNatural Youth Express Eye Serum is very orange but smells of citrus, which is lovely! While it is really bright orange color, it blends well into my skin and is barely noticeable. Containing a mixture of vitamin C, plant stem cells, astaxanthin (a carotenoid), kojic acid, passionflower, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid, the eye serum helps to restore a youthful appearance to the eye area. (Excuse the rough eyebrows and no makeup, trying to get the best picture of the progress. This was just after three days.)

120207_EyeGelReview_02

The best product, for me at least, was the Retinol Moisturizer. I have really noticeable and deep pores on my nose and cheeks. After using the moisturizer for two day, I notice that my pores where smaller and my skin was so much smoother! InstaNatural Advanced Action Retinol Moisturizer contains retinol, vitamin C, vegan hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and jojoba oil for the ultimate hydrating and moisturizing formula. Retinol is the ingredient recommended by Dermatologists for acne, sun damage, aging skin, and many other skin issues.

Since I’ve only used these guys for only two weeks, expect an update in a month or two for a progress report. I hope that the dark circles under my eyes continues to improve. I’m just starting to take my morning and evening beauty routine seriously and these product really help a lot.

More About The Brand: InstaNatural is a leading online and global distributor of more than a dozen nature inspired beauty and cosmetics products. Our products are one of the top sellers on Amazon and can also be found in leading spas, salons and aesthetic centers in the US, as well as internationally in UAE, UK and Canada (coming soon). We are constantly in search of wonderful natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe, so we can bring you the absolute best products, no matter the cost. In addition, we strongly believe in treating our customers the way we would want to be treated. This is why our lifetime satisfaction guarantee and our customer service is unlike any other company in the industry.

I totally recommend them if you looking for natural & organic beauty care products. They have tons of other skin care products I hope to try and see if they work as well as the eye gel and moisturizer. I specially want to try the facial toner. It’s supposedly pore tightening.

The opinions I shared about using this supplement are my own, and InstaNatural did not tell me what to say or how to say it. Sponsored post powered by BrandBacker.

Nailed It // Studded Out

150204_NailedIt-Studded_01

I finally gave myself some time this weekend to do my nails. The last couple of time I painted them, it was just a quick color. But Sunday, during my lazy afternoon after coming back from the island, I decorated my nails using my new nail Ciaté studs that I got from the BFF in my late Christmas gift. I’ll post what I got soon, I promise!

150204_NailedIt-Studded_02

However I found out that my black nail polish completely dried out. So I ended up using my Nail Inc in Chelsea since it such a dark color, it almost looks black. You can barely tell!

150204_NailedIt-Studded_03

Another shot! This time with my rings! Whoo, getting back into nail polish!

Nail Polish & Gear I used: RGB in #0906 Doll, Nails Inc. London #381 Chelsea, Salon Perfect Nail Art #801 Black Ink, & Ciaté Studs

January Favorites

150129-JanuaryFaves_04The weather has been unusual lately. The last couple of days up here in the PNW have been spring-like. So much so, I’ve been tempted to breakout my spring clothes, but I know when I do, it’s just going to get cold again… I really want to start wearing some spring clothes and opened-toed shoes. January: What’s going on, huh?

Speaking of January, I thought I might start doing a monthly favorites, or rather things that I’m completely obsessed with this month. So here’s just what I’ve been lovin':

150129-JanuaryFaves_01

//Hair & Skin Care//

I don’t know if I should put this in as a January favorite since I brought it back in November, but I finally used the last of it just last week. Alaffia African Black Soap was my go-to body / face / shaving / shampooing wash for the last two months. I brought it at Haggen’s when I made a quick lunch run to pick-up some medications before Thanksgiving. For the first few uses, I thought the Peppermint smell with the shea was a little weird, but grew used to it. It’s all gone now, but I’m kind of thinking of going to get another bottle (maybe a different scent) since it was a great all-around soap. Definitely give this a try if you haven’t.

As a mix-chick, I use conditioner like there is no tomorrow and I usually have at least two or three bottles on hand. Why? Don’t know. Makes me happy… Anyhow, I was wondering the beauty section at TJ Maxx and found this bottle of By Nature From New Zealand Dry and Damage Hair Conditioner. I love this stuff. I use it when I wash my hair with soap and when I just do a co-wash. Leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes and my hair is like uber soft!

150129-JanuaryFaves_03

//Beauty//

You probably already saw these in some previous posts, but yeah loving the L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation and Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. I made the switch at the beginning of this month from Maybelline’s Fit Foundation to L’Oreal. Mainly since I was reading a lot of posts of other blogger raving about it. And they are right. The True Match is a great formula. Glides effortlessly on my skin and blends so well. And the Pore Eraser, why did I go so long before purchasing this! Such a good product in comparison to the higher priced one I was using.

150129-JanuaryFaves_02

//Food Faves//

QuestBars. They are a bit on the expensive side of protein bars: a box of 12 goes for about $25. But they are some of the best protein bars out there. Whenever I hit the mall I stop into GNC and grab some, but this month, I’ve been having them pretty much after every strength workout in the evenings. They are great tasting and most are loaded with about 20g of protein. They are also low in sugar and carbs. My favorites are the White Chocolate Raspberry and Chocolate Brownie!

I’ve made the switch from whole wheat brown bread to rye bread. I thought it was going to be odd tasting at first, but it’s not. It’s really great with vegan cream cheese and cucumbers. I got recommended Mestemacher Whole Grain Rye from a fellow gym member. Right now I can only find it at Haggen’s and online. So Haggen’s better not stop selling them. I would be so unhappy!

What’s everyone else obsessing about?