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March 2013

Hello Steveston!

Sunday, March 31, 2013 Category : 1


 PRADA SUNGLASSES, LOVE CULTURE HEART KNIT SWEATER, HOLLISTER DENIM SHORTS, GRAY TOMS (though you can't see them in this picture)

We were supposed to go biking on both Friday and Saturday, but since we were biking for a total of four hours on Friday, we were too sore to even fathom going again the next day.

Instead, we headed out to Steveston for the day! Unfortunately, the sun fool us all into thinking that it was a warm day and we would freeze every time the wind blew past (which was often, since we were by the water)!

We went to Pajo's for some fish and chips and the lineup was crazy long! It took what felt like forever and a day to get our food! I'm not crazy about fish and chips as it leaves me feeling all greasy inside, but I suppose it tasted pretty good for fish and chips?


One thing I love about Steveston is that there are all sorts of people running about. I love street photography, so Steveston is awesome for capturing both fun and peaceful moments :)


Steveston is also where they film the show, Once Upon a Time, which I love. Here's one of the shops--if anyone recognizes it ;)


Amicably Yours,
Emi 

I'm a Rough and Tough

Sunday, March 24, 2013 Category : , , , , 3

MODCLOTH "SPIKE AN INTEREST" NECKLACE, H&M ARMY GREEN STUDDED SWEATER, AMERICAN EAGLE BEIGE JEGGINGS, STEVE MADDEN TROOPA BOOTS IN STONE LEATHER

"I'm a rough and tough, I'm a rough and tough
And nothing's gonna knock this girl down"
-Settle Down, No Doubt

Had that song stuck in my head when I was piecing this outfit together. It probably has to do with the studs on the army green sweater--not to mention that I decided to pair the outfit with my Steve Madden military boots!

Anyways, this is just a casual OOTD post of what I wore to work the other day. I love working in a casual environment; it has me considering getting my CPA designation here instead of a public practice firm. 

Speaking of which, I'm reminded of a text conversation I had while working:

James: "You are just a bundle of joy"
Me: "A regular little miss sunshine"
James: "The light at the end of the tunnel"
Me: "Until you realize it's an oncoming train, and then you're like, 'Shit'"

I think we'd make a great comedic duo. 

Amicably Yours,
Emi  

Review: Benefit “Fake Up” Concealer in Medium

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Category : , , 7

Having started a full time job two months ago, I don’t get to sleep in anymore. As such, the dark circles under my eyes have become a little more noticeable to me.


Prior to this, I’ve used Yves Saint Laurent’s ANTI-CERNES - Multi-Action Concealer, which was disappointing, in my opinion. The YSL concealer provided only light to medium coverage; it would fade away after short period of time, and it would settle into fine lines under my eyes that I didn’t even know I had!

So when I heard about Benefit’s Fake Up concealer, my interest was piqued.


The Fake Up concealer comes in three shades: Light, Medium, and Dark.

The Claims:

This product is marketed as an ultra-hydrating crease control concealer that will keep your skin hydrated for six hours and won’t cake, crease, or settle into fine lines.

How it does this is the concealer itself is encased by a colourless blend of vitamin E and apple seed extract which is supposed to diffuse lines and keep the skin hydrated.

  
Research results:
Results observed in a consumer panel survey:
- 100% said it hydrates skin
- 100% said it feels comfortable on skin
- 100% said the texture feels silky
- 94% said the effect is long-lasting
- 94% said it doesn’t run
- 97% said the formula is lightweight
- 91% said it conceals dark circles
- 91% saw a natural appearance
- 97% said the packaging makes it easy to use

Directions:

Benefit says: “Stroke Fake Up underneath each eye; using your ring finger, pat gently outward to blend. To instantly refresh your look, smooth over any concealer to diffuse lines and hydrate the undereye area.”

When dealing with the delicate undereye area, you always want to use your ring finger, as this is the weakest finger and therefore the finger with the gentlest touch.

I use this concealer under my eyes and on red areas after moisturizing and before applying BB cream.

My Thoughts:

Product: The hydrating aspect of this product is certainly ingenious and it definitely works, but unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the concealer itself. Immediately after application, I would say the coverage is light and only somewhat diminishes my dark circles.


As you can see in the comparison, there's a barely perceivable difference with my eye bags. 

Good news? Even though the concealer faded after about an hour or two on my face, it didn’t deposit itself into the fine lines and make me look cakey.

Packaging: The packaging is super pretty and my inner-crow is delighted at the shiny silver tube. The product is delivered like a lip balm whereon you twist the bottom to extend more of the product.

Price: Fake Up is available at Sephora for $24 USD/$29 CAD. As far as “high end” concealers go, this is a fairly standard price, but in my opinion, this product isn’t worth that much.

Overall: I really wanted to love this product, but unfortunately, it doesn’t do much for me. I adore the concept of this product, but if the hydrating aspect works but the concealer doesn’t, I may as well just skip the concealer entirely, right?

Repurchase? I’ll keep the product, but I will not be repurchasing when/if I reach the end of the tube.

Amicably Yours,
Emi 

Review: Benefit "High Beam" Highlighter

Thursday, March 14, 2013 Category : , , 3

After skulking around on beauty blogs in my spare time, I realized I wanted to try my luck with a highlighter again.

Previously, I used Yves Saint Laurent's TOUCHE ÉCLAT - Radiant Touch highlighter pen. Despite rave reviews and its immense popularity, I feel that it wasn't for me since it didn't wow me (though in retrospect, I may have to revisit it since I paid a mint for it).


I recently picked up Benefit’s "High Beam" highlighter—apparently another cult favourite—and let me just say, I’m definitely enjoying this one. While YSL’s highlighter pen did in fact highlight areas of my face, I just wasn’t that impressed. I think it was because I was looking for something that was a bit more luminizing when hit with a certain light… kind of like how models have that nice sheen on their cheekbones when photographed. 



I originally agonized between Benefit’s Watt’s Up! (which has a more champagne colour) and High Beam, but I opted for the latter because Watt’s Up! is the birthday gift from Sephora this year. So even though my birthday isn’t for another 7 months, I figured I’d try the more popular product that I wouldn’t be getting for free :P

Just FYI, Benefit also has other Beam products, including Sun Beam (a golden bronze complexion highlighter) and Moon Beam (an iridescent complexion highlighter), but I figured High Beam was most suitable for me.

The Claims: 

So as I was saying, I was looking for a luminizing highlighter and lo and behold! I stumble across this product!
Benefit High Beam is an ethereal pink liquid highlighter that creates a radiantly dewy complexion. For an angelic sheen, this pink shimmering lotion adds a soft, natural afterglow.
and furthermore, 
It's a "supermodel in a bottle" and perfectly alluring on all skin tones. 
I needed it.

Directions: 

Benefit says: “For spot highlighting, dab on cheekbones and brow bones for a beautiful angelic sheen. Or mix with your moisturizer or foundation for an allover glow.

After applying my BB cream, I dot my cheekbones and brow bones with a generous amount of product (generous, meaning I don’t wipe off excess product on the bottle like you’d instinctively do with nail polish) and pat at the product with my ring finger until it is completely blended. I do this one area at a time, since the product dries fairly quickly and will be impossible to blend once dry.

 
After the product has been blended in, I use bronzer to contour my face. The picture below will act as a general guideline if you’re not sure where to highlight and where to contour (though I also dab some highlighter on my brow bones as well). However, I would just like to say that application areas vary between individuals since people have different face shapes—hence, different areas to highlight and contour.


A few dots in each section are all you need, really. You may not notice a huge difference in the mirror, but trust me, it’s there. This stuff is potent, and you definitely don’t want to over-highlight.

My Thoughts: 

Product: Although it’s pink in the bottle, the product itself is more of a silvery-pink. I was worried how the product would look on my yellower Asian skin, but the pink isn’t noticeable after application.


The product definitely lasts for the whole work day, and even longer on my brow bones. When I get home from work and if I’m going out for the evening, I’m tempted to apply more on my cheekbones, though I’m sure it’s still mostly there.

Packaging: The packaging leaves much to be desired. The bottle itself is a bit chunky, like a bottle of nail polish. I like having slim items to carry around in my makeup bag for touch-ups, but unfortunately, this one stays at home :(

Furthermore, it would be a huge improvement to have a doe foot applicator, but instead, it’s a nail polish-type brush. In my opinion, this can get pretty messy if you’re not careful.


Price: It’s $30.00 CAD ($26.00 USD) for 0.45 oz of product at Sephora. While that might not seem like a lot, it will probably take me a while to get through the whole bottle since I’m only using a few dabs of product each day. 

Overall: This is one of those products where I’m amazed I haven’t tried it sooner. Previously, I only contoured my face with a bit of bronzer, and left it at that, but highlighting makes a world of difference. Benefit’s High Beam adds a lot more depth to my face than I can accomplish with just bronzer alone. 

 
Although its effects are subtle, when the highlighter is caught in a certain light and I happen to see my reflection, I’m like, whoa! 

Repurchase? Yes, for sure! It’s definitely become a staple in my makeup routine. 

Amicably Yours,
Emi

Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Power in Diffused Light

Saturday, March 9, 2013 Category : , , , 6

Whoa! Apparently everyone on the blogosphere has been talking about this highly-anticipated product. Evidently, I need to start reading more blogs!

As for me, I found out about this product when surfing Sephora’s website last month. I was in the market for a new compact since I was still using Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder and a wet/dry powder foundation from a drugstore brand called Prestige.

The former left a white cast that I found to be particularly visible in photos. The latter compact made me way too matte for my liking (plus I really didn’t need to be adding powder foundation on top of my BB cream, but it was all I had and it was better than having an oily T-zone). Furthermore, both products would settle around dry patches of skin later on in the day, which I definitely didn’t need!

So behold, the Ambient Lighting Powder from Hourglass: 


The Ambient Lighting Powder is: “a universal finishing powder that features state-of-the-art technology to recreate the most exquisitely flattering types of light.”

Note: “finishing powder”. This product is not meant to be a highlighter, or a blusher, or a bronzer—though I have read some reviews of women using it as such. This product is meant to be dusted all over one’s face to create the intended lighting effect. I suppose you can use it whichever way you want though. 

The Claims: 
Create your perfect light. Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin. Ambient’s illuminating particles are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities. The transparent micron-sized spheres with an entrapped diamond core—called photoluminescent technology—do not simply cloak imperfections like traditional powder, but rather, alter and refine the perceived appearance of the complexion by manipulating and filtering out harsh light. Delivering a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, skin appears softer, younger, and lit-from-within. With six universal shades available, you can choose to create your desired lighting effect—not unlike having a personal lighting technician. 

Lit from within? Like having a personal lighting technician? Whoa nelly, I’m sold!
 
Ethereal Light - opalescent sheer, cool white powder
Eliminate shine and mimic a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight
Mood Light - soft, sheer lavender pink powder
Mimic the softest most-forgiving light and reveal your brightest complexion

Diffused Light - soft, warm pale yellow powder
Reduce redness, eliminate shine, and give skin clarity

Luminous Light - champagne pearl powder
Create a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night

Radiant Light - golden beige powder
Extend a summer glow, or enhance your overall complexion with a believable, subtle warmth

Dim Light - neutral peach beige powder
The perfect balance of warm and cool tones, to blur imperfections and bring to light your most radiant complexion 

Although Hourglass markets each of the shades as “universal,” I would recommend going out to Sephora to swatch the shades first, just in case. I bought Diffused Light online with no problems, but seeing the other shades, it’s difficult to see some of the darker or lighter shades being a good match for me.

Directions: 

Hourglass says: “Dust Ambient Lighting Powder all over the face with Ambient Powder Brush.”

Of course they have to create the Ambient Powder Brush to go along with it, and of course it has to be priced exorbitantly at $35 USD/$41 CAD.  

I just use a regular, densely-packed mineral powder brush with this product, which seems to work well enough for me—though I can’t say if the Ambient Powder Brush creates a better look or not.

Since the compact is rather large, I like to gather up some product on a retractable kabuki brush and take the brush with me for touchups rather than the whole compact.


My Thoughts: 

Product: I bought the Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light since I have a bit of a problem with redness on and around my nose area. Diffused Light promises to (1) reduce redness, (2) eliminate shine, and (3) give skin clarity.
1. Redness? Gone! The redness on and around my nose is covered up when I apply BB cream, but as the day progresses, the redness starts to show as the BB cream wears off. The redness is kept at bay with the Ambient Lighting Powder, though I’m not sure if it’s due to the powder itself, how well the powder sets my BB cream, or a combination of both. Either way, I’m glad

2. Shine? I don’t become tremendously oily, but my nose does get noticeably shiny due to my BB cream. This product isn’t meant for oil control, so I didn’t expect too much on that part. However, I actually love the dewy finish the Ambient Lighting Powder provides. My nose does get a little oily, but it’s a lot less shiny and takes a lot more time to get to that point; meanwhile the minimal shine buildup doesn’t look too far off from the dewy finish from when I first applied the powder. I’m good for about 5 hours before I feel the need to touch-up the powder on my nose. 

3. Clarity? With the powder, my pores (though they’re pretty small to begin with) are blurred away and acne scars are significantly less noticeable.

And here’s the best part! The product is super-finely milled—I think the particles are even smaller than Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder—so it doesn’t cake or settle around my dry patches! Love it!

Packaging: The compact is encased in sleek and shiny hard plastic. It’s easy to open and close, and there is a large mirror inside the compact.
 
The compact is a little chunky (the whole thing is a bit bigger than my palm), but a larger compact means for more product, right!? The only thing I really dislike about the packaging is the fact that the shiny plastic is like a magnet for fingerprints. I apply my BB cream with my fingers, so I still have some BB cream residue on my fingers by the time I’m ready for the finishing powder. The compact will look pretty awful in due time :(

Price: This finishing powder is sold at Sephora for $45 USD/$52 CAD. Definitely up there, but certainly worth the investment. Besides, if you find it’s not for you, there’s always Sephora’s generous return policy! 

Overall: Oh boy, I’m definitely in love with this finishing powder and the natural finish it provides. It's definitely an HG item and it's definitely going to remain a staple in my makeup routine for quite some time! It's hard to see the subtle change this product provides via camera, but there is definitely a difference.


 
Repurchase? I’m biting my lip a bit at the price, but seeing the product in action (and considering it will take me a while to hit pan), I’m going to answer with a definitive “yes”—in fact, I’m thinking about buying this in Dim as well!

Good luck!

Amicably Yours,
Emi

Printed Shift Dress

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 Category : , 1

BLACK BOWLER HAT (EBAY), BLUENOTES GREEN CARDIGAN, COPE SHIFT DRESS, BLACK BELT, BLACK TIGHTS, BLACK BOOTIES, URBAN OUTFITTERS OPENING ARMOR RING 

My friend James wanted to go find a desk for IKEA and invited me along for 75 cent hot dogs. I bargained for ice cream as well, and in the end, I swindled a meatmall combo out of him instead of hot dogs (though I treated for ice cream instead).

+1 for me :D

I love IKEA. It makes me itch to move out 'cause I can't wait to furnish my own place.

This dress and ring were part of my most recent haul from Urban Outfitters. I've recently become obsessed with dresses that I can throw over a pair of tights and boots and wear to work. It makes the "what to wear?" debate so much simpler in those ungodly early morning hours. Aside from the snazzy print, this dress is awesome since it has pockets; pockets on a dress are the absolute best. The back hem is about an inch longer than the front--took some getting used to since the front hem curves upwards towards the sides, but I'm over it.

The armor ring is super cool, since it can open up for you to wear it across three fingers. Not that this is a real option for me since it's already loose on my fattest finger, but it's cool 'cause you can do it :)

I've run out of hangers and it's time to make room by donating old clothes. Note how refraining from shopping is not an option...

I think I have a problem. 

Amicably Yours, 
Emi

Cream and Sugar, Anyone?

Sunday, March 3, 2013 Category : , , , 1

H&M BEIGE POLKA DOT JERSEY KNIT BLAZER, MODCLOTH WRITTEN IN THE STARS DRESS, BLACK BOOTIES 

I went for some high tea at Soirette the other day and I was told to "dress pretty". Since it was raining buckets (the sun that you see in these pictures came out waaaay later but it was still freezing cold and windy), I definitely wasn't going to wear springtime pastels. Instead, I opted for this black dress from Modcloth that has been sitting in my closet and waiting for an occasion to come out.

I've been online shopping too much. It's such a bad habit--and it doesn't help that Point Roberts is so close either.



Everything was super tasty! I think this place may rank up there with Adonia and Secret Garden for me. The place is pretty small though; there's only four two-seater tables, so you definitely have to make reservations in advanced.


They had such cute macaron decorations in the shop!

We went shopping at Metrotown later and I spotted these at the Estée Lauder counter at The Bay. Each compact also has the birthstone on the button/clasp. Too awesome! I don't use their makeup, but these zodiac powder compacts were so precious that I had to snap a picture.


I'm a Virgo, but I really have no idea what is depicted on the compact! Oh well, not like I'm going to buy it anyways~

Amicably Yours, 
Emi

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