Monday, September 21, 2015

Back Home To Atlanta

Essentials for a fabulous flight: Bridget Jones and TONYMOLY Peach Anti Aging Hand Cream. This cream smells peach gummy rings.  You'll want to eat your hands. Which could be bad. Southwest has been pretty badass at letting you watch inflight free live TV on your devices.

I tried to be a good girl and work out during my vacation.  My ClassPass allows me to visit studios in any participating city. This was my first time doing it outside of NYC. I took Pure Barre in Decatur. It was neat to see a view like this outside the window rather windowless studios in New York.  You're cute, Decatur!

While waiting for my friends to eat dinner, I grabbed an iced coffee at the Java Monkey.  It's a fun creative joint that hosts poetry night, musicians, readings, and other performances.

We ate dinner at Makan, a Korean Chinese fusion restaurant that was oddly located inside of a Marriott Courtyard.

Pork belly bun!!! Slow roasted local pork and pickled red onions. The pecan sugar was a beautiful addition to this traditional appetizer.

Shrimp and pork dumplings: thumbs up!

The fried chicken was tasty. I wasn't blown away, but I wasn't complaining while I cleaned up my plate. The ramen was meh, and my friend's black bean noodles (Jajang myeon) was not impressive.  Stick to the dumplings and buns here!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Amazing Sunday Riley Line Up: Luna Sleeping Night Oil and Good Genes Treatment

Beauty bloggers have been going gaga over Sunday Riley's skincare products.  I was super curious about Good Genes (major Instagram/YouTube love for this one) and the Luna Oil.  Good ol' Sephora provided me with some samples, and in just one night, I was convinced that I needed a full-size version of the oil! 

I saw immediate results. My skin texture was softer, my pores looked smaller, blackheads disappeared, and my skin tone evened out (less splotchy and faded hyperpigmentation). It was unbelievable. Usually, I have to use products for weeks before I see any results. With both of these Sunday Riley products, there was instant gratification.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Affordable Dupe for MAC, NARS, and Smashbox? NYX!

According to the blogosphere, NYX is famous for replicating the results of more expensive brands.  For example,  some of the NYX eyeshadows are dupes for MAC shadows. 

The NYX Studio Perfect Primer and NYX Studio Perfect Primer are supposed to be very similar to Smashbox primers.  

image via

And NYX Cosmetics Powder Blush in Pinched is a copycat of the NARS blush in Orgasm.

I really love my NYX Matte Lipstick in Alabama.  The pigment is fantastic, and it has a nice matte texture.  I also found the color to stay put for a long time.  It is known to be a dupe for MAC's Viva Glam 1. The other night, my friend Susi was wearing the lipstick in Perfect Red, and I was amazed at how well it stayed on her lips throughout dinner!

Here's my stash of NYX products.

I really love the NYX HD Eye Shadow Base. I use it as an eyeshadow primer, and it hasn't failed me yet.  At $7, it's a fantastic alternative to the expensive guys.  I haven't used it as a concealer, so I can't comment on that.

The left eyeshadow palette is the Runway Collection.  The right is Beautiful Green Eyes. 

Here is the brush for NYX Doll Eye Mascara.

Close up of NYX lipstick (from L to R) in Perfect Red, Femme, and Alabama.

Here is my look with the Runway Collection palette and lipstick in Femme.

Before Doll Eye mascara

After Doll Eye mascara

I went for a summer glow. The Femme lipstick is a tad more orange in real life. It is super moisturizing!  The mascara has a more waxy feel that helps lift up my lashes after curling. It also contains natural oils and Vitamin E to moisturize and protect. I went a little crazy with multiple coats so I should have separated a bit more. But I was still surprised at how little it clumped.  It has great reviews on Amazon, and you can see how it REALLY pumps up lashes for people who have way more than I do.

And yay to NYX for being cruelty-free!  Thanks, Susi, for my Perfect Red and Femme lips!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Skinfood Store: Reviews of Egg White Pore Foam and Black Sugar Mask

One of my stops last month during my tour of Korean beauty stores was Skinfood.

Some info on Skinfood:

"Feed your skin, it deserves a treat" is SkinFood's basic philosophy. SkinFood creates delicious cosmetics from familiar ingredients such as sugar, rice, vegetables and fruits. From yummy strawberries to crunchy apples, refreshing aloe vera and invigorating coffee, SkinFood offers over 900 products that pamper, protect and please your skin."

Entering the store

 The back room is for manicures and nail art.

Everything was so darling!

Top Sugar:  Black Sugar Mask Wash Off

Gotta give it to Koreans for their presentational skills.

I went with some of the top products showcased in the store.
$10 for 5.7 oz. Not bad.
This was wrapped in cellophane when I bought it.

I was a little surprised by the ingredients.  I guess I had assumed from Skinfood's motto that it would contain a lot less things that I couldn't pronounce.  

The highlight of this cleanser is the egg white extract, which contains amino acids.  Amino acids has deep cleansing properties (bye bye blackheads!) and help with anti-aging by supplying nutrients that keep skin smooth and elastic.  Sounds amazing, right? 
I started looking up products on, and it's really neat!  You can see if there are acne-triggering ingredients or irritants.  When I looked up Egg White Pore Foam, there were unfortunately some red flags.  You can see them here.  For example, Stearic acid, sesame oil, and olive oil can cause breakouts for some people. For me, the natural oils sounded great to put on my face and then wash off (and my skin doesn't get bothered by them) so wasn't a deal breaker just yet.

 The cleanser was easy to squeeze out.  The cream is really thick and has a pretty pearly sheen to it.  There is a fragrance that is kind of floral.  It may be overpowering to some folks.  I could do without it.  But I'm very particular about scents.

I know it has nothing to do with how good a cleanser is, but I loved how easily it foamed up.  You need very little product to get this going.  Heeeeeey.

From what I've been reading, foamy cleansers can strip the skin.  I didn't feel any noticeable tightness in my skin afterward.  But I imagine this product drying out your skin during the cooler weather.  

My skin felt really bouncy and clean after washing.  My makeup came off, but getting the eye makeup off took a little more work.  AND this stuff stings your eyes like a mother!! I would do a two-step cleansing and maybe start with an oil cleanser that gets your eye makeup off before using a foam cleanser.

Soooo...I was going to write that I would use this during just the sweatier times of year. It feels like it really gets all the residue off of your face. And I DID feel like my pores were less noticeable. 

Then I read some bad news from other bloggers. A lot of them agreed that the pH level of the Egg White Pore Foam is super high, which compromises your skin health.  The high alkaline level allows your skin to be an environment susceptible to dryness and bacteria causing infections and acne.  Apparently, we should use avoid using skincare products with a pH of 6 or higher. According to this blogger, Egg White Pore Foam has a pH of 10.5!  This freaked me out so I think this cleanser will be for my makeup brushes...and feet.  If you don't have skin problems, you probably don't have to worry. But I read that it could lead to issues after long term use. Boo.

Although the Egg White Pore Foam cleanser was a disappointment, I really loved LOVED the Black Sugar Mask!
Around $14 for 100g/3.38 oz

This product also came wrapped.

The main ingredient is sugar.  Black sugar is rich in potassium, iron, calcium, and other minerals.  It's also what exfoliates the dead skin cells.  It also contains several seed oils, shea butter, and fats.  According to, sorbitan laurate and the candelilla wax could be possible irritants.  

Under the cellophane wrap was a sticker with a description, instructions, and the ingredients (again).

 Once you take off the top, there is another lid covering the scrub.  It's just loosely sitting on top of the rim.

 When you take off the lid, you notice (a) it kind of looks like poop (b) the lovely LOVELY lemon scent!

It doesn't come with a spatula, so I used a spoon to scoop out (too much).  You probably need less than half of that.  The consistency is what you'd imagine for a sugar scrub.  It reminded me of tamarind candy paste.

After cleaning your face, don't towel off.  Massage the scrub gently onto your damp face.  Massage lightly to avoid over exfoliating and hurting your precious face skin.  Adding water while you massage helps to melt the sugar (keeping it less granular) and decrease the chance of irritation. The syrupy/jam part of the scrub thins out or gets absorbed into the skin (or both?) you can see here.

You don't need to massage it until it disappears. I just massaged for about 40 seconds. You should avoid eyes (obvi) and mouth area.  I don't think I avoided the mouth area enough.  After leaving it on for 10-15 minutes,  I washed it off with lukewarm water.

I was left with soft, supple, and brighter skin. No stickiness. And although there is no greasy residue, I did feel like my skin was slightly moisturized- probably from some of the fatty/oily ingredients.  But it was a healthy feeling.  The scrub also got rid of my whiteheads.  It is recommended to use this scrub once a week.  I would definitely recommend this! It is supposed to be cheaper alternative to Fresh's Sugar Face Polish.  You can purchase it online here.  The Egg White Pore Foam is also available on the same site if you are interested - just beware of the pH level!