Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Clarisonic Mia 2 and Kiehl's

I mentioned back in July that I got the Clarisonic Mia 2 skin cleansing system and that I was going to test it out for a while before posting a review.  Well, it's been exactly 2 months to the day!  I've been using it everyday since I got it.  So I think I've had enough time to thoroughly test it out.

The above picture is exactly what I got.  It's the gray one (box says it's for men but I think that's only because of the color) that comes with a little tube of cleanser, and a travel case.  Right now, Nordstrom has the Keith Haring Silver limited edition one, which I must say is pretty cute.  But the main reason I got the gray one is because of the travel case it comes with.  I think it's just really useful to have one since I try to travel as much as I can.  It does come with a lid for the brush head as well, which you can use solo, but I just really like the full case.

My first impression with the Mia 2 was 1. how cool is the charging system (the charger snaps onto the handle of the Mia 2 as if it's magnetic), and 2. why do I have to wait 24 hours for the first charge??  Hahaha.  I was impatient!  But I had to wait a whole day to use it for the first time.  When I was able to use it, I read instructions which tells you that the cleansing process divides your face into 4 parts:  you use the brush in a circular motion, and start at the forehead for 20 seconds, then nose and chin for 20 seconds, then 10 seconds on each cheek.  So that is 1 minute total, and the system beeps at you at each time interval.  Even to this day, I just can't wrap my head around 1 minute being enough time to clean my whole face!  Sometimes I restart it.  One cool tip that my facial girl shared with me about the Clarisonic is that you can only use the inner portion of the brush head.  So you just take the whole brush head off, and then screw back on only the smaller inner portion.  That way it is more direct and great for a closer cleanse of the T zone.

So the first week or so of using the Mia 2, I did get a couple break outs on my face.  I read that this happens to some people who have more sensitive skin.  I guess I'm one of those people.  But in my case, it wasn't nearly as bad as some reviews I've read.  I really only got a couple here and there.  So I went easier when that happened, by using it only every other day or every 3 days.  Once my skin calmed down, I started using it everyday.  I think this took about 2 weeks.

Do I think it does a good job cleaning?  Yes, I think it definitely cleans my skin better than my hands alone.  The reason I can tell is actually very simple.  I always use a cotton pad to apply toner to my face after cleansing.  If I wash my face using my hands, after I apply toner, I turn the cotton pad over and still see a bit of makeup residue left on the pad.  However, if I use Clarisonic to wash my face, then I don't see any makeup left over on my cotton pad at all.  So I know for sure that it does a better job.  But, is it worth $150 for a little bit of a difference?  That's definitely subjective.  To me, I think the more dirt or makeup I can get out of my skin, the better my skin will be when I get older.  So if you see it as an investment to stay looking youth a little bit longer, then $150 doesn't seem to be much at all haha.  But honestly other than what I see on my cotton pad, I don't think there is any other obvious change to my skin that I can see.

As a side note, Clarisonic tells you that you can use the brush directly onto your face even if you have makeup on.  But I do not do this.  I tried it once and didn't like it.  I didn't like my brush head getting makeup stains, and I just couldn't believe it was actually taking off all my makeup in 1 minute.  So my process for cleaning my face is as follows:
  1. Use my trust Shu Uemura cleansing oil all over my face to remove makeup.  Use as directed.  I really do believe Shu makes the best cleansing oil on the planet.  I've used others that have good reviews, but they just do not compare to Shu.  Shu is amazing and takes off even the toughest eye makeup.  It is a MUST HAVE!  More than the Clarisonic for sure.  
  2. After washing off the cleansing oil and while my face is still wet, I then wet the Clarisonic brush head and put facial cleanser onto it, and go over my face for the prescribed minute.  Note, I tried putting the cleanser onto my face first, then going over with the brush head.  But it created a mess with water and cleanser splashing everywhere.  So I can only do that in the shower.  Otherwise it is cleanser on brush head, then face.
  3. Then I proceed with the toner, serum, and lotion (still using Skin Food Peach & Sake line and loving it).
  4. Lastly, I put on my eye cream, and Latisse every other day. 

Ok, speaking of eye cream, it brings me to the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.  I just think this product is amazing.  I got a sample of it a while ago when I was still using the Shiseido eye cream.  I loved it so much that I bought the full size after the Shiseido was done.  The bigger of the 2 full sizes too!  It's a better deal.  =)

Even though I love Shiseido as a brand, and their eye cream has great reviews, I just never liked it that much.  I only bought it a couple times for lack of a better choice.  I felt that it was just too heavy and oily for me.  The eye cream seemed to always sit on top of my skin and never really get absorbed.  The Kieh's avocado eye cream is the total opposite.  If you use the Kiehl's Creme de Corps lotion, then you know how effective it is at treating dry skin issues.  It just gets absorbed immediately into your skin.  This eye cream is the same.  It never feels greasy or oily.  It has a slight cooling effect when you first put it onto your skin, then it just gets absorbed.  Can't say enough good things about it!

Another awesome product that I recently got is the Kiehl's Lip Balm #1.  I've heard for years about how great this product is but this was the first time trying it out!  

My lips are not usually dry, but ever since I started my Invisalign treatment last week, they have been parched.  So that's the reason I bought the Kiehl's lip balm.  So far I really love it!  It's unlike any other regular chapstick I've used.  The consistency is a lot more liquid, and it is very spreadable.  I would say it feels more similar to having vaseline on your lips than a regular chapstick.  It lasts for hours, and makes your lips moist.  It looks slightly shiny on the lips, which looks like you might have some lip gloss on.  It also doesn't give you the nasty white residue as normal chapsticks would after a few hours.  It is more expensive than a chapstick, but you only need to use a tiny bit of product each time, so the little tube will last forever.  Also, it comes in flavorless, mango and mint - I prefer flavorless, which is not an option that is always available in other chapsticks.

So these are my recent 3 beauty finds!  As usual, I am always trying out new things, so I'm sure I will post about more products later!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday Funday from Vegas!

I'm on a very impromptu trip to Vegas this weekend.  One of my friends and her bf decided to come pretty last minute, and asked if my bf and I wanted to join.  We thought, why not!  So here we are lol.  It's actually been 2 years since I was here last!  That's crazy, considering it's only like a 4 hour drive from LA.  I actually really love Vegas lol.  I mean... it's a fun atmosphere, there's lots of entertainment, fine dining, and shopping.  I also kind of feel like playing poker again.  Not that I ever really seriously played, but for a while I did play a lot more.  Many casinos offer poker room rates which are much lower than their regular rates.  Besides, if you come to Vegas regularly, they will hook you up anyway.  So I think my new goal in life is to come at least 4 times a year!  Let's see how that turns out.  ;)

In other news, I got Invisalign this week.  I had been considering it for a while and finally decided to do it.  I don't really have a lot to fix.  Just a slight bite correction.  So my plan is only 10 months.  But of course that all depends on how things go, and there will probably be a few more months of refinement period afterwards.  I'm just planning on having these things for a good year.  So far, I hate it!  Lol.  Everyone says it's the most uncomfortable in the first few days and then you get used to it.  I guess I'm still in the getting used to it stage.  I just feel so much pressure on my teeth, and the edges irritate my tongue.  When I take them off to eat, my teeth are all sore which makes it very hard to bite and chew.  Of course just the simple fact that I need to take them off before eating or drinking anything other than water is annoying already.  Then I have to immediately put them back on afterwards because I'm trying to be compliant and wear them for the prescribed 22 hours a day.  Oh, and I sound like I have a lisp when I talk with them on.  Sigh.  I feel like I paid a bunch of money to torture myself lol.  I'll report back next week.  Hopefully I'll have gotten used to it.

This week was the last week of Get Glutes Month 11 workouts.  I was only able to go to the gym 3 times though, since I found out about Vegas late and couldn't workout on the weekend like I had planned to.  But for the 3rd workout, I did pretty much combine the 3rd and 4th workouts from the program.  So I still got all the exercises in and I'm fine with that.  I wish I had done more cardio though, to offset the calories I've partaken in on the weekend lol.  But there is always next week.

Monday 9/21
What I did:  Strength #1.

What I wore:
Top:  Lorna Jane Team LJ tank
Bottom:  Lululemon Embody Crop
Shoes:  Nike Free 3.0

Tuesday 9/22 - Rest

Wednesday 9/23
What I did:  Strength #2.

What I wore:
Hat:  Lululemon What'SUP Hat in dottie dash
Bra: Lululemon Free To Be Wild bra in dottie dash
Bottom:  Lululemon Wunder Under Pant in giant houndstooth dip dye
Shoes:  Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 in ash 

To and From:  Alo Exhale LS

Thursday 9/24 - Rest

Friday 9/25
What I did:  Strength #3 and #4 combined

What I wore:
Top:  Lululemon Water Bound Singlet in bruised berry
Shoes:  Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 in ash 

Saturday 9/26 - So it is still over 100 degrees in Vegas, so this my day time outfit:

And for night time, we went to Michael Mina at the Bellagio for dinner.  It was great but I'd say you have to plan to spend around $200 per person.  We all got the tasting menu which was actually a lot of food.  I posted a picture of all the courses on my Instagram here lol.  My party was pretty happy with it.  They were very very slow though.  We sat down at around 7, and had to rush them to get out of there by 9:30 since we were late for our Cirque du Soleil Mystere show (which was also great).  So here's my night time outfit:

I think my clubbing days are over.  So this was as "hoochie" as I'd want to go in Vegas now lol.  

Today we spent a lot of time at the Bucchanal Buffet at Caesars!  I have to say I was a little disappointed.  Last time I went there, I thought it was phenomenal.  But this time they kind of fell below the mark.  Not to mention the line was extremely long (2 hour wait at 2 pm).  We paid $25 extra per person to skip the line, which used to be $15.  But still better than waiting in line for 2 hours since time = money lol.  I just thought it was not worth $80 at all.  So that was probably my last time going there.  Although I still ate a lot making it the only meal of the day today!  We are going home tomorrow, so it will be back to the grind on Tuesday!  There will be a lot of calories to work off lol.

Anyway, since the night never ends in Vegas, I will be heading down to the casino and test out my luck again.  =P  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Random Loves Lately

1.  Starbucks You Are Here Collection Water Bottles

So I thought I'd combine some random things in this post lol.  They are kind of silly to be their own, so might as well be together!  =)  First of all, you may know that I am a big fan of the Starbucks You Are Here mug collection.  Every city I go to, I buy one.  Actually, I buy 2, just in case I break one so I have a back up.  =P  They are really good and useful souvenirs, I think!  In my New York trip post, I posted a picture of everyone I have so far.  I have since gotten the San Francisco one too.  I actually grew up in San Francisco, but that was way before my mug collection started.  My only rule for collecting these mugs is that the city has to be a place I've been to before.  I'm hesitant to even take them as gifts when friends bring them back from somewhere I haven't been to.  It's just not the same lol.

Anyway, so I was randomly browsing the Starbucks website (I do this sometimes) a couple weeks ago, and saw that they now have a limited edition You Are Here water bottle collection!  Omg.   They are only for sale for a limited time too.  Some of the cities are already sold out now.  They are so cute!  I immediately bought 2:  Seattle and San Francisco.

After I received them and realized how awesome they are in person, I had to get more!  They are made of glass, but not the super heavy kind.  They are long and skinny, so they are perfect to put in the cup holders in your car, or to stick in your gym bag.  The lid has a very convenient handle too.  But you do have to screw it off to drink out of it.  

For the second round, I really wanted to get New York, but it was sold out already!  Sad face!!!  So I decided to get Las Vegas, and Washington DC.  Ok, I've never been to DC before.  But I have been admiring the DC design for years online.  I want to go to all the places with nice mug designs, so DC is on my list!  Lol!  Besides, my bf has been there before.  He said he'd use it.  So now we have 4 of these!  Taadaaaaa!  See how they are already being used too!  =D

I really don't care that I'm like a crazy person collecting water bottles.  I drink A LOT of water everyday, so I feel justified having many bottles to drink out of.  =)

2.  TOMS for Audi Shoes

The second item I got within the last week is the TOMS for Audi shoes.  I didn't buy them lol.  They were sent to me for free.  I guess they were a part of an Audi promotion, which stated that if you get an Audi car between certain dates then you get the shoes.  I didn't even know that when I got my car a couple months ago.

I have to say, I've always thought TOMS shoes were pretty ugly lol.  But I get that they have a good message and they give away a pair of shoes to a kid in need for every pair that they sell.  The Audi shoes are actually not bad at all though lol.  I do like the gray and red combo.

Look, they even have the Audi logo on the outside... lol!

I got these shoes in my regular size 6.  They are indeed very comfortable.  I've worn them around the neighborhood a couple times.  At first I thought I'd just keep them in my car as driving shoes, because who wants to walk around with Audi logo on their shoes lol.  I wear heels all the time, so it's probably a good idea to have some flat shoes in the car.  But these shoes are definitely growing on me as I wear them more.  I think comfortable things just have a way of growing on you.

3.  Lululemon What'SUP Hat

Yep, I got another Lululemon What'SUP Hat.  I haven't been buying anything from Lululemon lately.  This whole "Feeling" thing they've come out with is just creepy.  Definitely trying too hard.  Plus, what's up with the huge price hikes?  They've pretty much lost me unless I see a design I cannot live without, or find things on sale.  But I can't deny that I am a huge fan of this hat lol.  The latest one I got is in dottie dash, which I actually considered getting at full price.  But I put it off and then it went on sale for $19 last week!  

The other 3 I have are all darker colors, so it's nice to have a light one.  I am actually very tempted to get the current dramatic static one.  But here are my 4 all together!

These hats are not super consistent in sizing though.  They are all one size, but the dottie dash by far fits the loosest.  The black one fits the tightest.  The star crushed ones fit pretty similar, somewhere in the middle.  

What difference is visible on the outside is that the star crushed ones have a metal logo sewn onto the left side, and all mesh on the back:

Whereas the dottie dash and black ones have this little flap thing with the logo on it.  And the bottom band is not mesh:

All in all, not huge differences.  I don't really care how the logo is shown at all.  This hat just fits my head well.  I have a big head with a lot of hair.  This is the only Lululemon hat I've tried that actually fits my head.  They are great to wear while working out.  I've done cardio/conditioning, and weights in these hats.  They never slip off and they catch all my sweat lol.  So I'll keep buying them!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Banana Republic Trench Dress

Last week I went to Banana Republic to look around while waiting for my car windows tint job to get done.  I found the cutest dress!  It is the Trench Dress.  I've always been a fan of military inspired styles, so this dress just caught my eye immediately.  In addition, they were having 40% off of dresses, so it was discounted to $78 from $130.  Not bad at all!

Frankly I'm pretty surprised at such low ratings it has on the Banana Republic website.  But there are only 8 reviews so far, and this dress seems to be selling out super fast so I'm guessing most people who have bought it are happy with it.

At the store, they only had size 4 or above left when I was there.  I usually wear size 2 or 0 at Banana, so at first I was bummed.  But then I realize the size 4 was a petite size, which is really equivalent to a shorter size 2 regular.  So I tried it on, and I immediately knew I had to buy it!  Many of the online reviews complained of this dress running too big.  Maybe getting it in petite is the way to go and I got lucky accidentally.  But I can't confirm this theory since I wasn't able to try on the regular size.

Whatev, I'm pretty happy with the petite fit!  Here it is on me.  As you can see, it is quite short in petite lol.  

Here are some close up shots - love that it has pockets!

So this dress actually has a double breasted closure.  That makes it more like a trench jacket I guess!  A lot of buttons on 2 rows:

As you can also see here, without the waist tie, it fits pretty loosely on the side:

There's a button that holds up the sleeve, I love this feature although I wish the stripe was longer:

I think the dress looks a lot better with sleeves rolled up:

You can also wear this dress as a jacket over other things:

You can wear it open too, but it reminds me too much of a lab coat this way:

I even tied it in the back to make the waist cinch in more, but it still looks pretty loose.  I probably won't wear it this way.  But it's good to have the option.

I did wear this dress out to dinner on Saturday night already!  Instead of the waist tie it came with, I used my new Burberry belt instead.  Also paired it with the Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag.  I think the bag style and color go very well with the dress.

I think I like this dress better with the Burberry belt.  It makes it look sleeker, and I like the slight color contrast.  The size of the belt is perfect for the belt loops of the dress:

This dress does wrinkle though.  I steamed it before I wore it out.  But it got more wrinkles after wear.  In a way it's kind of ok since the style is pretty casual.  

In addition to the dress, I actually bought 2 more items from Banana Republic.  A blouse and a green leather skirt.  They were both on sale.  However, after going to the Vince Sample Sale and getting much better quality items for same-ish price, I'm not sure that I want to keep the Banana stuff anymore.  This is what they look like:

The shirt is quite long:

Close up:

So the shirt is not bad, but it is polyester and the fit is so not the same as Vince lol.  But it is cheap, only like $27.  I might still return it though.

The skirt is a nice color and it is genuine leather.  But I really dislike how the sides don't lie smooth against your hips.  There are all these lumps and bumps.  I think it's a sign that the item is just not made very well, like they couldn't even sew properly.  

This skirt is size 2, which fits well in the waist.  But it is a little loose in the hips, which is probably also contributing to the sides being lumpy.

When I bought it, I thought for a leather skirt, it is not a bad sales price.  It was $82 on sale.  But the day after, I got the Vince leather skirt for $110 and it is soooooo much better, both in fit and material.  So I now think $82 is way too much for this skirt lol.  I now have one genuine leather skirt and 3 faux leather skirts (here, here and here).  Probably don't need another leather skirt, so I'll most likely return this one as well.

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