Friday, July 30, 2010

Tagged by Carrie and Gaby! :)

I've been tagged by Carrie to do a "5 Product Face Challenge" and by Gaby to answer 7 questions. It's been quite a while since both tags, and I feel bad for not being able to do them right away. So, here we are now. :D

For Carrie's tag, I am supposed to do my makeup with only 5 products. I counted how many products I use when I am really into doing my makeup. I use about 10: concealer, foundation, compact powder, cream blush, powder blush, lip balm, lip gloss/lipstick, mascara, eyelid primer, and eyeshadow. But that's only when I have time, haha. ;)

If I had to choose only 5 out of that 10, these are the ones I would definitely use:

1. My MAC concealer (not actual picture) - I use NW25.


2. Revlon Custom Creations Foundation - I started out using just #4, but now I use one whole pump of #4 and a half pump of #3. Check out my post about it here. :)

3. N.Y.C. Blushable Creme Stick - I have it in Big Apple Blush. Check out my review here. :)


4. Essence Black Mania Carbon Black Volume Mascara - I am more comfortable with using a gel/clear mascara, but now I'm really trying to use this black mascara. Check out my thoughts on it here. :)


5. Essence XXXL Shine lip gloss - I have it in Super Girl 05.

*I usually put lip balm on before putting lip gloss/ lipstick on.*

You know how you use one lip gloss for a period of time, and then you kinda want to try a new color, then you use that other color again, and the cycle goes on? Yup, this is my lip gloss of the moment. :D

Thanks again to Carrie for tagging me and sorry it took me forever! My lovely friends, I hope you all get the chance to do this tag too. It's pretty fun, and I tag all of you! :D

Now, on to Gaby's tag. Here are her 7 questions that I will be answering:

1. What's your favorite beauty item(s)? - I have to say my concealer and lip balm.

2. How did you become interested in beauty? - My older sister is the one who has and continues to introduce me to beauty stuff - makeup, facial scrubs, clothes... everything! :D
3. What do you like to see the most in a blog? - I love seeing reviews on beauty products because those give me an idea which ones are good and which ones are not so good. Outfits and hauls are also very fun. And giveaways always excite me! ;)
4. What's your favorite hobby (besides blogging)? - I love to read and swim.
5. What's your favorite book? - I have a lot of favorites, but the number 1 book/ book series that comes to mind is Harry Potter, of course. :D

6. Do you study/work? - I am studying event planning and design. And, nope, I don't work, but I want to, soon. :)
7. Do you have a dream? - I have a lot! My main dreams are for my siblings and me to be successful in our chosen careers and to have a happy family life. :)

Thanks to Gaby for this tag! :D

I hope you get the chance to do either one of these two tags. Have a wonderful weekend! :D

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Polyvore: My basics + items I'd love to own.

On my last post, I shared with everyone the clothes I bought from Forever21 and H&M. I was able to buy items to make up an entire outfit. Yay! I've been trying to figure out which ones from my existing accessory and bag collection I should use with my new clothes, and then an idea struck me. I haven't done a Polyvore outfit in a while! So here we are, a Polyvore outfit! :D


Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

The basic items that I have are the skirt, tank top, cardigan, and shoes. I was able to find the exact skirt I have, but that's all. Good thing I found look-alikes for the other ones. Haha. :D

The basics:

Faux denim tiered skirt (Forever21) - $12.50
Striped Women's tank (Tilly's) - $9.99
Women's boyfriend cardigan (American Eagle) - $16
Champion Canvas sneakers (Keds) - $30

The "I wish I had these":

Balenciaga bag - $1,755
Invicta Women's 6301 Lupah Collection White Corian watch - $80 (pretty reachable, haha)
Chanel heart shaped clip-on earrings - $375
Vintage Christian Dior 1980s Gold Tone Central Diamante Logo necklace - $592
Vintage Chanel 1980s Gold Rope Textured Surround 'CC' Logo necklace - $1,048

Aaah, if only I had those accessories and a Balenciaga bag... but, that's okay, I'm sure I'll find something in my closet to make the outfit work. ;)

Any other ideas on what I should wear with my basics? :D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recent Purchase: Forever21 and H&M

Hi everyone! I was really planning to spend some time today visiting your blogs, but we suddenly decided to go out to lunch and then do a little bit of shopping. It was a tiring, but very fun day! I will definitely make a post about the clothes I bought today sometime this week or next week. Right now, I will share with you guys the stuff I bought from Forever21 and H&M this past Saturday.


I bought jean leggings (aka "jeggings") and a skirt from Forever21. :)

This one has an elastic waistband and really hugs your form. It is a bit tight. I am usually a medium, but with this I had to go with a large. It has a zipper at the bottom. It gives the look of skinny jeans with the flexibility of leggings. I bought it for $17.80.


I've been seeing a lot of this kind of skirt - in magazines and other blogs- and I am so excited to finally own one. I love how this is a stretch kind of skirt. You can adjust the length and pair it with almost anything, like a shirt or a tank top with a cardigan. It can be worn right now while it's summer, this fall (and even in the winter here in California) - I'm thinking with tights, ballet flats, a cute cardi, and a scarf. For $12.50, I think it is a very good buy. I actually want to go back sometime soon to buy other skirts like this.


I was trying to find something from Forever21 to pair with this, but somehow I couldn't find anything. Maybe it's because there are so many different clothes to choose from. Haha! So then we decided to check out H&M. Thank God we did, because I found three other items that completes one whole outfit. Another good thing about the items I bought is that I can also pair them with the clothes I already have to make up other outfits. :D


I think their new bag is really cute. ;)

I found this striped tank top priced at $5.95. I think it goes well with my skirt and I can definitely wear this with jeans or shorts.


For this Fall, once it gets a bit chilly at night, I'm going to have this cardigan ($12.95):


It's very loose, flowy, and comfy. I was originally hoping to find a blazer, but I didn't find any, and with this cardigan being priced reasonably, I was able to buy shoes too. :D

My sister found these for me. Isn't it amazing how well they go with the rest of the outfit? They seem to be very comfortable too. It's made out of cloth. It "blends" in and takes the shape of my feet. It feels like I'm not wearing shoes. Haha. I have yet to try and actually spend a day wearing them, but I love them so I'm really hoping they're as comfy as I think they are. These shoes are priced at $17.95.


What are your recent purchases?

I hope you all had a wonderful day! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Essence Black Mania Carbon Black Volume Mascara Review

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! There is another week ahead of us - I hope we all have a good one. Can you believe it's August 1st in a week? Wow. Next thing we know, it's Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. ;)

It's been a pretty fun weekend for me - lots of family bonding time. How was yours?

I have mentioned quite a few times that I am a makeup newbie. I am enjoying learning how to put makeup on, and I actually do like getting all dolled up. :D

I have yet to perfect putting mascara on, though. I have been using the clear/gel kind of mascara, but my sister gave me the real thing. Haha, let's just say I have to practice! I get it all over my eyeshadow and under my eyes too. It's a disaster. But I did okay this morning when I was putting it on. There were a couple of smudges here and there, but nothing a Q-tip won't fix.

Any mascara tips for me? ;)

My sister got me the Essence Black Mania Carbon Black Volume Mascara.


Stunning eyes. The fiber brush in Black Mania Carbon Black Volume Mascara by Essence covers every single hair with carbon black pigments for intense color and sensational volume. ($2.99,

As a first time user, I can't really compare this mascara with other brands. That being said, I haven't had any problems with it (besides the part about having to practice putting it on, haha). It doesn't clump. It makes my lashes look longer and fuller. And true to its description, it covers every single hair. I find that it brightens my eyes and makes them look more alive. :D

The main reason why I've put off using actual black mascara is because I wear contact lens - I get teary-eyed and I often have to use eye drops - thus, I worry that the black mascara might smear. This mascara isn't the waterproof kind, but I haven't had smearing problems. I yawned a couple of times today, and fortunately it didn't smear. I haven't really used eye drops with this, so that remains to be seen. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though.

I fell asleep for a bit this afternoon, and there are now faint black smudges under my eyes. But, I'm thinking that's normal and expected. ;)

It is also very reasonably priced at $2.99. Perfect for people like me who are just starting out with makeup. :D

What is your favorite mascara? Any tips and recommendations? :D

*Oh, and the code "mimi" is valid until July 31st to get 15% off items (excluding sale items) at!* :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tagged by Shelley Ann and Giveaway winner! :D

Isn't it crazy how it's Friday once again?! Even though it's really scary how time flies by super fast, on the bright side, we have the weekend to relax! :D

The lovely Shelley Ann tagged me to answer 8 questions. I've been meaning to do this, and now I finally got around to it. Yay! :)

At the end of this, I am supposed to make up 8 questions and tag other bloggers. However, I have done this about twice now, so I hope it's okay if I pass on making up my own questions. But I do tag everyone to answer these same questions. I hope you don't mind, Shelley Ann! Thanks! :)

Here we go:

1. What is your all time favorite tv show? -
I have a lot of favorite TV shows: Grey's Anatomy, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Mentalist, FlashForward, My Fair Wedding, etc. :D

2. What show reminds you of your childhood? -
Hmmm, Lizzie McGuire! Haha.

3. If you could be on a show, which one would it be? -
Grey's Anatomy... I would also want to be in one of those cooking shows where you get to eat the food the chef makes. Yum!

4. Which character from any show would you choose to be your best friend? -
I would have to say Blair Waldorf, but only because I'd love to borrow her clothes and stuff. Haha.

5. Which character from any show would you choose to be your significant other? -
I don't really know... hmmm, maybe Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy.

6. Which tv character do you feel like you relate to and why? -
This is harder than I thought... I can't really relate to any character from the TV shows I watch.

7. If you could pick one show to make a movie, which one would you choose? -
I hope they make a FlashForward movie so that fans like me can get the ending we want. But maybe just a TV movie, it might not make much if they make it into an actual movie.

8. What, in your opinion, is the worst tv show ever made? -
V, but I'm biased because ABC chose this over FlashForward. *peace to all V fans!*

Now, on to the Giveaway winner... *drum roll*

The winner is Marie from!!!

I didn't know how to get the actual thing on to this blog post, so I just took a picture of it. ;)

Congratulations, Marie!!! Megan from will be in touch with you soon.

To all my lovely blogger friends, a big thank you for entering my giveaway! And don't forget, you can still buy super cute items from! Use the code "mimi" to get 15% off any item (excluding sale items). This code is valid until July 31st!

I wish everyone a happy and relaxing weekend! :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

N.Y.C. Blushable Creme Stick in Big Apple Blush Review

Among the beauty items I got for my birthday, this one is the product that most of my blogger friends have been most interested in. And now that I've had two weeks to use it, I can see why. It's a really great product, and very affordable too! :D


Give a natural flush to your cheeks in one quick step!

This lightweight formula blends effortlessly to provide sheer, all-over color as well as subtle, shimmering accents, contours and dynamic highlights to your cheeks.

*description from*

First off, I regret that I am not able to show you guys a swatch, I didn't have time to take a picture, but this one might help a little:

Big Apple Blush (645)

I've heard so many good things about cream blushes, but I've never really thought of actually buying one for myself. So, a big thanks again to my sister and brother-in-law for their wonderful gifts. :D

Okay, now on to the actual review:

I love this cream stick because it really gives a natural looking blush. It blends in well to my skin. I've always had a tendency to put more blush than needed. With this, I feel that I don't do that anymore because once I apply the blush onto my cheeks, I can easily see if I put it on evenly.

How do I put it on?

I smile like how we're supposed to when we put blush on. I swipe/ dab the blush onto the bottom of/ near the apples of my cheek.

*The package said put it on the apples of your cheek, but I find that once I dab/ spread it, the blush goes to the side of my nose = not good. Haha.*

Putting the blush near or at the bottom of the apples of my cheek gives me a much better result. I dab the blush around first, and then spread it a little using my hands to cover the cheek area I want to cover. You can also use a brush if you want. I do that after using my hands to make sure I spread it evenly. Yesterday, I also tried to put a little bit of my light powder blush on top. It came out well. Just the cream blush itself lasts for a long time, but I find that it lasts so much longer when I put a tad of powder blush on top. I guess that's like "setting" it. :D

Last night at about 11pm when I was about to wash my face, I noticed that my blush still looks fresh. I kinda didn't want to wash it off. Haha! ;)

Another good thing is that it is super affordable. I think it's about $3.99, definitely somewhere in that area. It is also available in a lot of stores like Ulta, Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, Target, etc.

At first, it was a little bit hard to swipe it on my cheeks. I guess it's because it's new, and I kinda had to "break it in". But now it glides on easily. :)

Here are other shades available:

Plaza Pink (644)

South Street Seashell (647)

Urban Spice (646)

Mauvin' Uptown (648)

Berry New Yorker (649)

*all from*

Have you tried this blushable creme stick? What do you think? Which shade/s is/are your favorite/s?

*Another reminder: Please don't forget to enter my giveaway! It ends tomorrow, July 22nd, at 11:59pm PST. And don't forget to go ahead and check out, look around, shop, and use the code "mimi" to get 15% off (excluding sale items)! :D*

Monday, July 19, 2010

Food: Stonefire Grill

It's another week, my dear friends! Happy Monday!

For the past few days, I have been raving about the beauty products I got for my birthday. I have quite a lot more to use and review, so I am very excited about that. But to change things up a bit, I thought I'd share with you this restaurant my family and I love to go to.

It's called Stonefire Grill.

"...a unique, casual dining restaurant with a distinct, innovative menu created using the finest, freshest ingredients."

"Our menu is highlighted with our mesquite grilled tri tip, chicken and ribs and our lemon garlic chicken and pepper garlic tri tip topped with gorgonzola butter. All of our meats are slowly cooked over night and finished on our mesquite grill or our intense heat broiler."

We love this restaurant because it's very laid back and casual - true Southern California style. The food is delicious. Very affordable. Family style dining.

It's perfect for when Mom doesn't want to cook or when we just want to eat out but not spend too much. This is also a perfect place for when my friends and I just want to hang out and eat. :D

We always order "Stonefire's Favorite". For $59.99 you get one whole chicken (either barbecue or lemon garlic or half/half), one whole tri tip or a full slab of ribs, one 16" 2-topping pizza or two large sides, one large salad (Caesar, Garden, Greek, or Cartwheel), and 18 breadsticks.

We chose Caesar Salad.

The breadsticks are delicious. One of the best! :)

We chose a full slab of ribs and lemon garlic chicken. This is a picture of my plate. :)

Lemon garlic chicken = super yummy!

We chose to get the pizza over the two large sides for my vegetarian sister. She ordered, what else, the vegetarian pizza. Hahaha. ;)

This pizza has more than two toppings so we had to pay a couple more. All in all - all that food and soda - we paid about $70+. Not bad. Actually it's really great because there were 6 of us, and we still had some food left over to eat for lunch the next day. :D

What is your "go-to" restaurant?

*If you haven't already entered my giveaway, I invite you to enter here for a chance to win a cute top! And check it out to get 15% off online shopping at! A big thank you again to those who have entered and best of luck!*

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Revlon Custom Creations Foundation Review

Innovative bottle offers five shade settings, making it easy to fine-tune your foundation shade for the perfect match. Simply turn the dial to adjust shade from lighter to darker. Lightweight formula blends seamlessly into skin for a naturally flawless look. Available in a range of skin tones from light to deep. SPF 15. Oil free & fragrance free.

• Apply to cleansed skin after your daily moisturizer. • Turn the dial to your desired shade and pump foundation. • Using your fingertips or applicator, blend foundation onto skin, starting in the center of your face, forehead, nose and chin blending outward.

*description and tips from*

I was ecstatic when I saw that my sister gave me a new foundation for my birthday. My MAC foundation (NC27) is now a bit too light toned for my skin. I am a bit darker/tanner because, after all, it's summer! :D

She got it in light/medium (030), which my younger sister told me they especially matched with my MAC foundation. I think it is absolutely perfect! Among the 5 shade settings, my skin tone is closest to 4 and 5. In the fall and winter, I will be able to use the lighter shades. I just love how you can customize your foundation shade to match your skin tone exactly. There is a perfect shade for everyone!

As the description said, it blends perfectly into your skin. I always worry that it would be uncomfortable to wear foundation because of the heat, but with this, it is not much of a problem. It really is lightweight - doesn't feel too heavy on my face. I think it is perfect for makeup pros and newbies alike. :)

I have an e.l.f. foundation brush, but I like using sponge wedges to put my foundation on.

I use one side to blend in the foundation, then I dampen the other side and dab it all over my face and neck to remove excess foundation. I have heard that it is really important to do that to avoid foundation setting into creases in our face.

It says on the package that you can wash and reuse the sponge, but I prefer not to.

What is your favorite foundation? Any foundation/ makeup tips for newbies like me? :D

*A big thank you to everyone who entered my GIVEAWAY! If you haven't already, please enter my GIVEAWAY here. Get a chance to win a cute top! And a coupon code to get 15% off online shopping! Enter now! :D*

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Happy Thursday, everyone! :D

I am so excited to be hosting a giveaway sponsored by the new online store alainnbella. It came at a perfect time as I am now on my 99th post and nearing 400 followers! Yay! :)

Now, on to this lovely giveaway:

alainnbella is offering one of my lovely blogger friends a chance to win this Mama Cass Burnout Oversized Top.

Women's oversized-fit burnout short-sleeve raglan tee with scoop neck. Banded bottom hem and large left pocket.
Look at how cute that is! I like the model's outfit in this picture. It is very easy to recreate this style with pieces you already have in your wardrobe. With that said, it is also easy to incorporate it with your favorite pieces to give it your own twist.
Perfect for a day out with friends this summer. I can also imagine this worn this coming fall with jeans and a cute scarf. :)
Another great thing about this shirt? One size fits all.

I hope you are all as excited as I am. :D
Here's how to enter:
1. Be a follower of my blog, please. (1 entry)
2. Visit and tell me what your favorite item is. (1 entry)
3. Sign up for alainnbella's newsletter. Please tell me that you have done so. (1 entry)
4. Like (or what used to be "become a fan of") alainnbella on Facebook. To do that, click here. After doing so, please let me know on a comment. (1 entry)
5. You can also blog about this giveaway, and leave the link to the blog post on a comment. (1 entry)
*Please leave one comment for each entry. And don't forget to give me your name and email address on each one. :D*
This giveaway ends one week from today, on July 22nd.
Good luck, everyone!
Oh, but we're not done yet... I'm sure you've seen many cute items from alainnbella. Guess what? You are all given a chance to get 15% off any item (excluding sale items) by entering this coupon code: mimi. This code is good until July 31st, so head on over and shop! :D
Happy shopping! :D

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Facial scrub and mask review. :)

These are two of the beauty items I received from my sister and brother-in-law for my 20th birthday. They are both new products, and I absolutely love them! :D

Queen Helene Refining Pomegranate & Raspberry Natural Facial Scrub

Description from the back:
This delicately-fragrant scrub combines Raspberry Seeds with other natural exfoliants to ease away lifeless surface cells and impurities that dull your skin. Pomegranate Oil adds antioxidant protection against the skin-aging effects of the environment.

Exposes fresher, more vibrant skin with renewed radiance. Refines skin's texture, leaving it feeling wonderfully soft and smooth. Conditions skin and helps maintain its vital moisture balance. Paraben free.

Gently massage onto clean, moistened face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Rinse off with warm water. Use once a week, or more often if your skin is oily.

I completely agree with the description they gave. Everytime I use it, it feels like my skin is renewed. It leaves it soft and smooth - with a radiant glow. Another thing I've noticed is that it doesn't dry my skin like other facial scrubs I've used. Usually, after washing my face, I put on my toner, and then a face cream/moisturizer. But with this, all I have to put on after is my toner. It is a relief that my skin doesn't dry out even if I don't put on moisturizer, especially in this heat.

At first, there was a different kind of smell to it, but it grew on me. Now I think that it smells great! You can really tell that it is all natural - you can really feel it. It actually reminds me of a smoothie. Haha.

It blends into your skin and covers the whole area you scrub. You know how some facial scrubs clump in one place and get stuck in between your nails and fingers? This one doesn't do that. I love it. :)

I really recommend this product. Have you used this? What do you think?

Freeman Revealing Peel-off Facial Mask

Provides antioxidant rich skincare to help combat the effects of stress, the environment and your fun, not-so-healthy lifestyle. Combines eight of the most powerful superfruits: Goji, Acai, Pomegranate, Mango, Mangosteen, Cranberry, Noni and Blueberry to help purify, detoxify and soothe stressed skin. Gently purges dirt and oil from skin while delivering superior nutrients. Fortifies and guards against free radicals and environmental stress.

I love how they name all the fruits used in this mask. ;)

The description pretty much says it all. :) It works like other peel-off masks. But, as we can tell from the description, it is all-natural, which is really really good. It smells great. Leaves my skin soft and smooth. I think it works really well together with the facial scrub.

Have you tried this mask? Do you have other facial masks you want to recommend?

*Special thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for their gifts!*

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Homemade Bread!

I hope everyone had a good day today!

In one of my posts from last week, I mentioned that I baked bread "kind of from scratch". My Mom and I bought this pre-packaged bread mix from our local 99cents store. The flour mixture has already been measured and all ready to go. There is also a packet of yeast included in the box. You just need to add egg, butter, and water.

I call it "kind of from scratch" because even if it came from a box, the method used to make the bread is definitely like making it from scratch. You have to knead the dough (it gets really really sticky). Then you have to cover it with a wet towel and leave it to rise for an hour. After an hour, you have to knead it again and cut the dough into balls. And then, you have to wait for it to rise a bit more before you can actually bake it.

Takes so much work, huh? Yup, that's what I thought. But nevertheless, it was fun. And oh my, did it smell great! Our house smelled like freshly made bread. I loved it!

My Mom said that they came out close to scones. We ate them with butter and strawberry jam. Yum! My brother (a peanut butter lover) ate it with, what else, peanut butter. Haha. :D

The box also has instructions on how to use the flour mixture to make cinnamon rolls. I'm definitely trying that next time. :)

Have you ever tried baking your own bread?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Designer Spotlight: Monique Lhuillier

It's been quite a while since my last wedding fashion-related post. I remember fellow blogger Carrie at requesting a post on gowns by Monique Lhuillier. So, Carrie, here it is! :D

I love her designs. They are very pretty and delicate. When I get married in the distant future, I would love to wear one of her gowns. :D

Monique Lhuillier (look at how pretty that dress behind her is!)

Her designs are often described as "mostly sophisticated and fluid". Her collections have "ruffles, bows, and pleats in soft fabric".

I've also noticed that a lot of her gowns have crystals. Here is my personal favorite:

I love this one too:

She adds character to her dresses by adding colored bows/bands like these:

Another thing I love are her Grace Kelly-esque wedding gowns.

Here are two more of her lovely designs:

Numerous celebrities have also chosen to wear Monique Lhuillier for their big day.


Britney Spears
(We always knew it would end in divorce...)

Kevin Costner and wife, Christine Baumgartner

Heidi Montag (Okay, this one really isn't a celebrity, but her dress was pretty. Haha.)

*Carrie Underwood, who got married this past Saturday, also wore a Monique Lhuillier gown. I wonder how it looks like. :)*
Lhuillier also designs evening gowns. Many of her dresses were worn by celebrities on the red carpet.

Teri Hatcher

Debra Messing

Kelly Clarkson and Kate Walsh
*all images are from Google*

Thoughts? Opinions? Which one/s is/are your favorite/s?