July 26, 2011

Finding Freedom

This is a bit off topic from my usual blog posts but I'm really proud of this so I wanted to share.

SGI Quarterly is a magazine  published by Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist organization that practices Nichiren Buddhism in 192 countries and territories. The magazine is sent to people in nongovernmental organizations (NGO), academic and diplomatic fields. Experts around the world share their perspective that relates to the topic theme for each issue. Members of SGI also share their own personal experiences relating to the theme of the issue and to provide information about the activities that SGI is doing around the world to promote peace, education and culture.

Anyway, the July issue was about "Finding Freedom" and as a SGI member and because a friend of my mom's recommended me to the editor, I was asked to share my experience and views on the topic. The editor emailed me back in March asking me what freedom meant to me, especially having a physical disability. I wrote about the challenges I had to face and overcome growing up and how SGI played its part.

I've scanned the cover and article below but you can read it online at http://www.sgiquarterly.org

Again, I'm proud and honored to have written an article for this magazine. I shared quite a bit about myself and struggles I've had and am still going through, but I hope this encourages people to define freedom in their own way. So the question is....What does freedom mean to you?

Glamour Girl

July 25, 2011

Josie Maran My Favorite Argan Powders Look #1/Shimmery Copper Eyes, Peony Pink Cheeks & Lips

I've bought and reviewed some of Josie Maran's Cosmetics before and am finally going to do some makeup tutorials using them! 

For the first look, I'm using the My Favorite Argan Powders Palette. and products bought from QVC. You can purchase Josie Maran products at http://www.josiemarancosmetics.com.

To know more about argan oil, watch pinkiecharm's video here:

July 19, 2011

Chic Shopaholic: Bed Head, Forever 21, Jeans Warehouse, TheBalm, Banana Republic

This past week I did some random shopping sprees from some deals that were going on. 

First up, Kahala Mall was having a sidewalk sale over the weekend so I stopped by to see if I could get anything good.

After getting my hair done recently, I've been wanting to get more hair products and tools so I bought some from Marsha Nadalin Salon & Spa. My hair stylist recommended using a spray-in voluminizing product as it's lightweight and it'll help give some lift in my hair. I bought Bed Head Superstar Volumizing Hairspray, which you spray it under each layer of your hair when it's dry and it's supposed to add shine, build volume, and give medium-to strong hold. Just a few spritz in needed, too much and my hair starts to feel crunchy.

Even though I use and love my straightening iron to curl my hair, I've been wanting to get a regular curling iron. I bought one from Hot Tools, which many people on YouTube seem to be a fan of, in the 1-1/4 inch size.

Some key features:
  • Adjustable temperature up to 430˚ F
  • 24K Gold-plated barrel
  • Spring clamp
  • Foldaway safety stand
  • Extra-long cool tip
  • 8 foot swivel cord

I like the results I get from this curling iron and it's easy to use. It's a medium-large barrel so it creates looser, softer curls than using the straightening iron. Here's a photo of me when I styled my hair using the curling iron.

Marsha Nadalin was also selling Bed Head Make-Up and I bought a few products as I've never tried them before. I'm glad I gave them a shot because the quality is surprisingly good. Please excuse all the swipe marks on the products, I tested them out when I bought them.
  • Radiant Player Blush: pink with silver shimmer. The shimmer isn't frosty or glittery, it just adds a pretty subtle glow to the cheeks. The quality is smooth, easy to blend, and nicely pigmented.
  • Drama Queen 4-Play Eyeshadow: An eyeshadow quad that contains four frosty metallic shades. Again, the quality is smooth, easy to blend, and nicely pigmented. Colors include:
    • Shimmery deep midnight blue
    • Frosty-metallic silvery-white
    • Metallic green-teal
    • Frosty pale lilac-pink
  • Black Cyberoptics Eyeshadow: Matte black. A true black that's pigmented, has a smooth texture, and easy to blend.

The only clothes I got from the sidewalk sale was from a local store called Jeans Warehouse. I've been loving short knitted-cardigans so I got one in white.

I also bought a basic black bandeau to wear under shirts.

I went to Forever 21 that same day because my sister had to return something. We went to the one in Waikiki which is really big and has three floors. I've been looking for some blue-colored outfits and found two short-dress type that I can wear with leggings and a cardigan over it.

I also bought a cute Summery green and pink floral strapless top, which I'm wearing in the hair photo above. It makes me feel like I should go to a tea party. ;)

Some other last minute purchases I got this week was TheBalm Frat Boy, a matte medium peach-apricot shade. I've been waiting and wanting for this to arrive in my local Sephora to test it out as I have and love other TheBalm blushes. What I like about them is that it doubles as an eyeshadow, it's very pigmented, and has a smooth texture that's easy to apply and blend.

Banana Republic was having a 40% sale and I didn't buy any clothes but bought these stacked rings.

Whew! That seems quite a lot of stuff in one week... Have you gotten any good deals recently?

Glamour Girl

July 15, 2011

Chic Shopaholic: M.A.C Semi-Precious Collection

M.A.C came out with another huge collection called Semi-Precious but this time I didn't buy so much.

There were a few limited edition brushes that aren't like any other brushes that M.A.C has made before. Each brush was split into two different fibers, one natural goat hair and the other synthetic hair. Natural goat hair is best used to pick up and apply powders while synthetic is best to apply and blend emollient products. Although they are unique brushes, the only one I bought was the 234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush. I thought this would get the most use as I could use it for cream and powder eyeshadows, as well as applying and setting under eye concealer. 

Even though this is a Summer collection, the colors seem to have more Fall colors. The Lipsticks I bought were One of a Kind, a lustre finish, which means it has a semi-sheer pigment, in a medium rosey-brown shade and Musky Amethyst, a frost finish, which has a slight frosty sheen, that's in a deep wine-plum shade.

I also bought two Cremesheen Glasses in Looks Like Sin, a semi-sheer  medium brown-plum, and Richly Revered, a semi-sheer deep purple-plum. I think these shades would pair perfectly over the Lipsticks I bought. I like Cremesheen Glasses because it has a smooth non-sticky texture, medium pigmentation and has a cream-no shimmer finish.

What are your favorite products from this collection?

Glamour Girl

July 12, 2011

Chic Shopaholic: July 4th Week

Over the week of 4th of July, I didn't see any fireworks but I did do a little shopping with my family. Here's a compilation of what I bought.

On the 4th of July, we went to Ala Moana Shopping Center. We first stopped at Neiman Marcus as I wanted to see some of the Fall collections that are already coming out.  CHANEL had theirs out already and I bought the 33 Prelude Quadra Eye Shadow Palette. It'll be a permanent product in their line and consists of 4 neutral taupe-grey eyeshadows. The quality is pigmented, easy to blend, and great to go from a day to night look. The shades include:
  • Shimmery medium grey
  • Shimmery pale cream
  • Shimmery light grey-taupe
  • Satin dark charcoal
I also tested the new Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadows from Chanel, which have a gel-cream texture. They were so pretty, especially Illusiore, a medium shimmery purple-taupe. I think I might pick that up next time!

At Sephora, I just bought one item (shocker! I know) and that was Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Whisper. It's a light neutral pinky-beige with a hint of shimmer and glossy sheen. They're moisturizing, feels comfortable on the lips and are actually water-resistant. A bonus with these lipsticks is that they're refillable and you can buy the cartridges separately.

We stopped at Forever 21 and I didn't buy any clothes but was able to find 2 rings.

Lately I've been going through a bracelet phase (thanks to my sister) and bought two bracelets at Nordstrom Rack.

I also bought a simple white cardigan which I've been looking for to go with my strapless dresses that I've bought recently.

New hair!
Later that week, I got my hair cut at Salon Blanc. It's my first time trying it out but I've read good reviews on yelp.com. My stylist was Alex and I showed her a few pictures, style of bangs and curls that I liked. I haven't  had bangs in quite some time so it was a nice subtle change in style, which is what I was looking for.

I also bought a shampoo at the salon, Kerastase Bain Volumactive. I have normal to slightly dry hair that gets a little flat so she recommended this to me. I've never bought shampoos at a salon before as they're quite expensive but thought it would be a treat to try. It feels moisturizing on the hair but not heavy or weighed down.

I also bought some products from the new M.A.C Semi Precious Collection that came out the same day I got my hair cut, but I'll review it in another post. What did you do for the 4th of July?

Glamour Girl

July 08, 2011

M.A.C Surf, Baby! Look #2/Corals & Golds

My second look products from the M.A.C Surf, Baby! Collection.

July 02, 2011

Chic Shopaholic: Sephora, Benefit, Make Up For Ever, M.A.C, Nordstrom, P.Y.T

A couple weeks ago I had a sudden trip with my mom and sister at Ala Moana Shopping Center and unexpectantly spent a lot of money...

First stop, M.A.C:
  • Love Nectar Lustreglass: Light pinky-peach with a subtle shimmery pearl finish. Lustreglasses have a sheer-to-medium pigmentation so they're great to lay over other lip products and still be able to see the color underneath it. It has a small brush applicator which makes it easy to get the corners of the mouth. The texture is comfortable to wear, isn't sticky, and has a nice wear time.

  • Lust Lipglass: Medium beige-pink, cream finish. Lipglasses have much more of a sticky texture which some people find uncomfortable to wear but that's what keeps the gloss lasting long on the lips. It also come with a doe-foot applicator instead of a brush which applies more color than the Lustreglasses.

  • Fix +: M.A.C recently came out with a Sized To Go Collection which consists of travel size versions of some of their skincare products. It's permanent in their line but I believe you can only purchase them online, at freestanding and Pro stores. I couldn't help but buy the mini Fix +, it's super cute! I like using this product after finishing my makeup to help "gel" the products together so it doesn't just sit on top of the skin. It's especially great to spray over powder foundation or finishing powders to take away the matte finish and leave your skin looking naturally dewy.

  • Lashes: I picked up another pair of #3 Lashes, which are one of my favorites, and also bought a pair of #4s. I bought it to layer with #3 and to add a little volume and thickness to them.

    Next stop was Sephora and Benefit had 2 reps by their display, offering makeup and skincare GWPs (gift with purchase). For the makeup I bought 2 Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liners which I've heard great things about. Easy to blend with a brush or your fingers, you can apply a sheer layer or build up the intensity. They're not waterproof but lasts really well on the eyes over a primer. The shades I bought were:
    • Birthday Suit: shimmery light sandy-beige
    • Skinny Jeans: shimmery medium pewter-grey
    The makeup GWP I got was a pink and purple travel bag. The mirror opens up as a stand and the 2 bags are attached by velcros. 

    My mom actually bought the skincare items but she let me keep the GWP that came with it. It's a b.right! Tried & True Skincare Teaser set that you can actually purchase on the Benefit site for a limited time. Products include:
    • Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Oil-Free SPF 15 PA++: Lightweight day-time moisturizer
    • Foamingly Clean Facial Wash: One-step, gentle cleanser for all skin types
    • It's Potent! Eye Cream: Brightens and fades dark circles

    The last product I bought from Sephora was Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil in Matte Dark Plum 12C. I bought this because I was looking for a purple lip pencil to go with some of the purple lipsticks I have.

    We then stopped at Nordstrom to check out the clothes. I didn't find anything but I did get a Silver Leather & Gold Chain Wrap Bracelet by Cara Accessories. My sister has been going on and on about wrap bracelets but alot of them tend to be too chunky for me. I like this one though because  it's a little more delicate and feminine. In the photo, my sister is wearing it -- isn't she a great hand model? ;)

    Lastly and my most expensive purchase of the day was a straightening iron that I bought on a whim from a kiosk by P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing & Co.).  I always do my research in buying products but my GHD iron that I had just for over a year  had already broke so I was kind of desperate for a new one. I also don't normally buy anything from a kiosk  as the sales people are very pushy in making a sale.

    Anyway, I bought the Ceramic Styling Tool in the Pink Black Polka Dots print. Even though I'm not really a pink girl, it was one of the most tame designs they had. Some key features are:
    • 100% ceramic plates
    • 1.25 inch wide "floating plates", which is supposed to prevent crease marks on your hair and eliminate tugging when styling
    • 200˚ F-400˚ F adjustable temperature dial
    • 9 foot 360˚ swivel cord
    • Heat resistant handle that has a rigid-texture so there's no slip
    • 10 seconds to heat up
    Overall, I think it's a good styling tool and am hoping this will last me a lot longer than the GHD. You can only purchase P.Y.T products only through a P.Y.T authorized retailer, not even though their website which is http://pythair.com. I actually was able to talk to the sales guy (named Sean Kingston, no not the singer) into lowering the price and he was able to sell it to me for $125 when originally it's $250, so I got it for a pretty good deal. I told him I had a blog and would post about this styling tool, I even gave him business card!

    Those were my purchases! I'm glad I was able to find some products that I've never tried before and am really happy with everything. Do you have any new favorite products that you've bought recently?

    Glamour Girl
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