Sunday, December 18, 2011

CVS Haul

Here are photos of my recent CVS Haul. Got lots of Physician's Formula stuff. My favorite item was the cotton balls for $0.49. I use at least two cotton balls a day for toner and eye-makeup remover. Awesome deals. Everything I got was 75%. I saved a total of $133.41. (click on photos to enlarge)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Q and A- Preventing Raccoon Eyes.

Q: I always get raccoon eyes and was wondering what would help?

A: Raccoon eyes is usually when eyeliner transfers to the top or bottom of eyes. It transfers because eyeliners are cream based and the oil slips off the eyes. Raccoon eyes also come about when eyeshadow falls off the lids and starts to flake all over the eye. I definitely think eye primers help with preventing raccoon eyes from eyeshadow. Primers like Urban Decay's primer potions or Too-Faced Shadow Insurance or Laura Geller Eye Spackles are great. Primers help create a smooth base on your eyelid and acts like a glue to help eyeshadows stick on eyelids.

To prevent eyeliner from transferring, line eyes, then pat a similarly colored eyeshadow on top of just the eyeliner to help the liner stay put. I have also found gel cream liners to stay put better than pencil liners- my favorite is Clinique gel liner in true black. Bobbie Brown cream liners and MAC's fluid line are also good. More affordable dupes are ELF's cream liners or Loreal hip cream liners.

Let me know what other methods you use for preventing raccoon eyes.

Monday, December 12, 2011

CVS Annual Makeup Clearance

It's that time of year again. CVS is having their major clearance on makeup. I bought tons of stuff last year for 75% off. Check out this awesome blog for a list of all makeup that is on sale at CVS:

I haven't gone to the Madison stores but if you go, let me know what you get. There's a CVS on Broom Street and one in Middleton. I highly recommend bronzers from Physicians Formula, Revlon foundations, Rimmel lipsticks, Sally Hansen cream blushes, and Wet n Wild eyeshadow 6-pan palettes. At 75% off, you can get awesome stuff for $3 or less. This would excellent stocking stuffers for any lucky girl too!

Happy shopping.

Exfoliating dry skin

About a year ago, I started noticing dryness on my skin. It was most obvious when I would use a primer and the primer would just flake off my face. I felt like the primer could not soak into my pores to create that flawless canvass that a primer is supposed to do because my pores were already clogged with dirty dirt stuff. I tried exfoliating with scrubs but they just aggravated my face more and made it more dry. Then I started using exfoliating pads saturated with glycolic acid. Glycolic acid "works as an exfoliating agent because of its high acidity but easy solubility. When placed on the skin as part of an exfoliating cream or gel, glycolic acid goes under the damaged upper layers of skin and destroys the 'glue' which holds dead skin to the surface. As this dead skin is chemically burned off, the other ingredients carry the individual flakes away and a water rinse neutralizes the remaining acid. The result is a much-smoother skin surface and a more youthful appearance. A secondary benefit is glycolic acid's ability to draw moisturizers into the newly-exfoliated skin surface."

I've been using Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads for a few months now and I have totally noticed a difference. When I apply foundation in the morning there is no flakiness on my skin. Primer does not slough off my face anymore. My face is also more glowing and less sallow. Glycolic acid is supposed to help "stimulate new growth of skin and collagen by decreasing the bond that holds dead skin cells on the surface. This allows dead cells to be removed gradually, leaving behind a layer of smoother and softer skin." I have noticed my brown spots being less prominent.

Anyhow, I really like exfoliating pads with glycolic acid. It is not meant for everyone- you definitely want to use very little at first to see if you are allergic to this kind of alpha hydroxy acids or AHA. The strength for glycolic acid can range from 10%-70%. 70% is usually reserved for professional chemical peels. It is also intended for aging skin so definitely don't use if you have youthful skin with few problems. Always consult your dermatologist.

I buy my unwrinkled pads from Skinstore for usually 20%. off $45 so it is $36. You can always try to buy it for less on as well. It is also sold at Sephora. Let me know if you try it. Or if you are already using something similar. I am always looking for new products to try.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stila Warehouse Sale

Stila is having their warehouse sale. Get lip glazes for $6 ($22 original price) and smudge stick eyeliners for $6 (original $20). There are lots of items to choose from that are up to 80% off the original price. No code needed:


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sephora Family and Friends Haul

Whew- the sale is over and I was able to stock up on all my makeup basics. This may appear like a lot of stuff but this is my usual once a year haul from Sephora so it's really not that much. I guess not too much for me as I am a makeup freak. I am so looking forward to trying some of these products on all my friends. The cheek palette and professional sized primer potion has already come in so handy already. The Clinique cream liners are quickly becoming my favorite cream liners- even compared to Bobbie Brown. I'll be doing a review on cream eyeliners soon so keep an eye out for that. I haven't done too many reviews on here but would love to start since I do try out lots of cosmetic items. Please let me know if there are any products you have questions about.

I've also been doing lots of makeup for friends recently for weddings, birthday parties, Halloween, etc. Photos are forthcoming on some fabulous feather eyelashes I purchased from

Sephora Goodies

Fusion Beauty IllumiCover Line Smoothing Luminous Concealer - Medium Dark

Urban Decay Naked Palette

NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette ($107 Value) - Danmari All About Cheeks Palette

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Professional Size - 0.85 oz Original

SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Foundation Airbrush #55

Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner - Black Honey, Deep Brownd True Black

Still Lip glaze set

Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My new Love- NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette

During Sephora Friends and Family, I snatched up the NARS Danmari All About Cheeks Palette and anxiously awaited its arrival. It is beautiful. I got it just in time for Halloween and was able to do all my friends costume makeup with it- pirates, gangsters, and rock stars. I was hesitant to purchase it because I already have four out of the six shades. I find that sometimes shades in palettes don't measure up to the actual normal product. In this case, I found that the palette shades were of equally good quality and pigmentation. This palette is amazing and if you don't yet have NARS blushes but want to try it, I highly recommend it. It is $65 for six shades at .12 oz each. A normal NARS blush is $27 for .16 oz. If my math is correct, you get 46% more value by purchasing the palette. It basically comes out to $10 a blush with the palette. I got mine for 20% off so it cost me $52. I just got my VIB pass in the mail as well so if you've been looking for something to purchase with your VIB holiday pass, this is an awesome value. The palette also comes packaged in a beautiful matte/red box so it is great for gifting as well.


This set contains:
- 6 x 0.12 oz Cheek Color in Hungry Heart (gold ivory), Super Orgasm (peachy pink with gold glitter), Desire (cotton candy pink), Casino (dark brown with golden shimmer), Orgasm (peachy pink with golden shimmer), Sin (berry with gold shimmer)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sephora Family and Friends 20% off online code

Sephora Family and Friend is here- this is 20% off anything online. To get the code, go to:

You can sign up for as many codes as emails you have. I think it is five codes per computer though. I tried signing up for 5 codes using five different emails and was able to attain five codes. If you like getting free samples, you can use each code per each $50 order and get more samples. It's free shipping with $50 or more purchase.

I put in three orders yesterday. Definitely had to buy the professional size Urban Decay Primer Potion for eyes. I also got another Urban Decay Naked Palette. And I got the NARS cheek palette- six amazing cheek products- a highlighter, bronzer and four blushes. I can't wait to try the NARS palette.

Happy shopping.

Monday, September 19, 2011

MAC Blushes at

My favorite makeup item are blushes. I probably have about 50 blushes and always looking to try new ones. Blushes really complete a look- even if you have nothing else on, blush truly can wake up a face and make you look fresh and ready to face the world. I have found that MAC sheertone blushes work best for me because the color is not too pigmented and very buildable. I tend to have a heavy hand with makeup so this is perfect for me. The sheertone blushes are also not so shimmery so I can wear to work without looking too glitzy. RIGHT NOW- has MAC blushes on sale for $16.99. That's not a huge discount- just 13% off the normal price of $19.50 but it's still cheaper than buying in store. And you get free shipping for purchases $75 or more by entering "FREESHIP75" or 10% off if you are a new customer by entering "NEW10" at checkout. I highly recommend Breath of Plum and Trace Gold. Enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Wedding

I recently did makeup for a wedding in Madison. The bride went through a trial run with me in February so I would be familiar with what colors and techniques worked for her. I had loads of fun doing her makeup as well as her mom and one of her bridesmaids. For Sara, I did a very classic look. We kept the colors in the brown/golden toned family. I used lots of primer and layering to keep her makeup long-lasting. I love how she turned out. Here is a before and after photo of her. The wedding photo is courtesy of: Chrystal from Image Studio Photography (

Before Photo

After Photo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Urban Decay- Amaaaazing Sale

$1.00 for loose pigments, $3 for cream shadows and other super-duper cheap makeup. Check out the sale at:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Travel Makeup

Wow, this summer has been awesome. I just got back from a super fun vacation in Toronto. Here's a pic of the travel makeup I brought and me on my first night out on the town. I was super impressed that Toronto's Walgreen's equivalent (Shopper's Drug Mart) all carried department store makeup brands like Lancome, Benefit, and Clinique in Beauty Boutiques. Such a convenience but makeup in Canada is expensive. I was so tempted to buy brands not found in the USA like GOSH and QUO. Their QUO makeup brushes (think Ecotools) were on sale for 40% off but I was very good- I bought no new makeup in Toronto. I love wearing fake eyelashes and colorful eye shadows. But all that seemed a little overboard in Toronto. Makeup trends there seemed very natural and minimalistic. Based on my recent travel, I decided to discuss a bit here what I think are the essentials for traveling light but with enough to look your best while on vacay.

I definitely recommend moisterizer with SPF and primer so if in hot spots, your makeup does not melt off. Remember to transfer these two products to airplane acceptable-sized containers that you can get at Walmart or Sallys. For makeup, I recommend products that help to keep your makeup stay long lasting so you don't have to carry with you and touch-up when traveling about. For foundation/coverage, I recommend a foundation stick (not liquid) or creme foundation. I brought my Loreal creme foundation. I also recommend compact powder to help set foundation. Then, apply cream blush and set with powder blush then top off with dab of cream blush again. This will help really keep the color on your face. You can also dab the cream blush on lips. Then, all you need is a bit of eye primer and some natural shades of taupe/browns on the lids. My Urban Decay Naked Palette was totally fitting and served me well. Top off with waterproof mascara and fill in eyebrows. For evening glamour while on vacay, bring some fancy fake lashes and you're good. The most important thing is to bring makeup that is non-liquid and makeup that serves multiple purposes so you don't have to carry around so much. We went for five nights and I brought only one carry on and one personal bag. I am a super girly-girl and if I can do it, anyone can. What are your essentials for summer traveling?

Tarte Friends and Family

It's 30% friends and family sale at Tarte- maker of cheek stains! Code is FFAUG and valid until August 15, 2011.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Urban Decay- my holy grail eyeshadow primer

Urban Decay is having a 25% off family and friend's sale. I am addicted to their Primer Potion for eyeshdadows- it is an amazing product. It keeps eyeshadows on much longer and makes the colors more intense. I have super sensitive eyes so anything I can do to keep eyeshadow from falling into my eyes, I'll do it. The primer potion works wonders. The professional size tube is great because you can just squeeze out the product. I don't mind the original plastic bottle one with the wand but it is harder to get all the product out so you feel like you're wasting product.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Updates

Has it really been over a month since I've been here? Gosh- life has been really hectic for me. I switched caseloads at work so I am much more busy now. My puppy Chomps has gotten a teeny bigger. He just got a haircut yesterday and is looking so handsome (pics forthcoming). I am doing makeup for a wedding in August. The wedding is here in Madison so I can actually just walk over to the hotel. We've also got new roommates- Kelly and Luke are great. is having a summer sale- an extra 15% off. Here's what I would buy:

MAC Eye Shadow in "Stormwatch": MSRP is $16.99, sale price: $11.99, with extra 15% discount: $10.19
MAC Matte Eye Shadow in "Rule": MSRP is $16.99, sale price: $11.99, with extra 15% discount: $10.19
Calvin Klein Makeup Set Bronzed Collection: sale price: $49.99, with extra 15% discount: $42.49

I am loving the golden, bronze and orange look in the photo above. Such perfect and sultry shades for summer. I hope everyone is having an awesome, melt-free makeup summer so far.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crown Brush Designer makeup brushes + colorful palettes

Check out the sale on these awesome brushes. I have heard great reviews on them- many people saying they are equivalent to MAC brushes. Ends Thursday 6/2 at 8:00 AM Pacific

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

50% off at

I love this website and often get great deals from them. They carry all sorts of brands including smashbox, pixi, and tarte. Sample items:
$4.99 for Smashbox lipstick (with discount)
$5.99 for Smashbox Creamy Cheek Color in "Untamed" (with discount)
$9.99 for Smashbox "Lip Service" Lip Palette + Brush #6 (with discount)
$8.49 for Pixi Fresh Face Case in "Rosebud" (with discount)
Go there now for 50% off items on with code BIRTHDAY50. end fri midnight. does not apply to 'steal of the week.'

Sunday, April 10, 2011

20% off at Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown's eye gel liners and shimmer bricks are some of the best around. Their pale pink blush is also one of the prettiest blushes I have. Sales on this website are rare so here's your chance to stock up. The 20% is deducted automatically at checkout and you get free shipping with any $65 purchase. Sale goes until April 13th.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Peter Thomas Roth UnWrinkle Peel Pads

I tend to have uber dry skin so I've been searching for an exfoliation product that removes my flakey skin but keeps me moisterized as well. I used to use exfoliating scrubs like St. Ive's Peach exfoliating scrub but it was too harsh on my already dry and sensitive skin. I heard about glycolic peels which are supposed to help stimulate collagen and loosen up dead skin (top layer of skin). Here's some scientific sounding information I found on glycolic peels:

"Glycolic acid has the ability to penetrate deep beneath the surface of the skin. It stimulates cell regeneration in the skin by increasing the production of collagen. Glycolic acid’s fast acting results can be witnessed through the rapid shedding of the skin’s exterior to reveal fresh new glowy skin underneath. Abrasive exfoliating methods can be effectively replaced by glycolic acid peels as it removes dead skin cells with ease.

While the benefits of glycolic acid peels are numerous, it is important to let your skin get accustomed to using glycolic peels regularly. There are different levels of strengths to glycolic acid peels: and all glycolic peel solutions range from 20% to 70% concentrations. If you are new to glycolic peels, start with a lower concentration and work up."

I was using a glycolic peel from Patricia Wexler and I loved it. Then I discovered Bath and Body Works stopped selling it so I had to try another brand. I recently purchased Peter Thomas Roth's Unwrinke Peel Pads. The PTR pads "are designed to exfoliate the skin for the superior glow of a professional facial peel, while also preparing the skin to allow Un-Wrinkle and/or any treatment products to better absorb into the skin...These unique peel pads contain a blend of Alpha, Beta, Gamma Hydroxy Acids and Amino Acids (the building blocks of peptides). These, combined with powerful botanical extracts and antioxidants, reveal beautiful, clear, radiant, glowing skin."

I love it so far and it really does make my skin seem smoother, cleaner and brighter. My skin is also no longer dry and flakey.

Do you use glycolic peels? Any suggestions for other products I should try? If you want to try the PTR pads, you can purchase them at right now for 20% off using this coupon code: "ssfans" Sale ends Monday, April 11, 2011. also sells cosmetics, haircare and fragrance. I just discovered this site and think 20% is a great deal since much of this stuff usually never go on sale elsewhere.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Urban Decay sale at

Example items for sale:

$5.00 originally $17.00
Matte Eye Shadow - Narcotic

$6.50 originally $19.00
Pocket Rocket - Jesse

$10.00 originally $26.00
Apocalyptic Nail Set

Extra 20% off Smashbox at

Amazing deal right now- lasting until 3/31 at midnight! Get your shop on. Apply "smash20" at checkout for 20% discount. I just tried it and it's still working.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friends and family in CA

Had a blast in CA.

Here's me with Lea. Hong and I stopped to visit her at work- she works at the MAC makeup store in Brentwood. Lea went to all 12 years of schooling with Hong. She is super talented- besides makeup she's a photgrapher, makes handbags and crafts amazing jewelry and clothing. She totally hooked me up with two MAC brushes and showed me how to highlight very red blush with light purple eyeshadow. She also gave me a tip to highlight purple blush with light green eyeshadow.

Nancy and Jasmine- best friend since high school!

Hanging out with my cousins and their families.

With my little sister Cindy- I think we look so similar.

Cute nails by Hanh

Hong's sister-in-law Hanh works in a nail salon in Oakland and she is amazing. I'm the kind of person that rarely get manicures because I have no nails. I always cut them short because I feel they get in the way, especially when I craft and do makeup. She was able to do this uber cute design on my very short nails. She painted my nails a dark brown then added red flowers with heart shaped petals. She then added gold leaves and on top of it all, she put some gold sparkles. Super pretty! I was so excited and was showing them to all of Hong's brothers and his dad. Here are pics of the nails and me with Hanh and her daughter Hannah. BTW- do you see that room in the back there- with the futon? Well, that's where we sleep when we visit Hong's parents. This is also known as the alter room because his parents have a alter set up in there to honor his grandparents. There is also a treadmill in there in front of the futon that you can't see. I love it! Wouldn't have it any other way:)

New Favorite Lashes

I just got back from vacation in California. While in CA, I really wanted to visit this bookbindery in Berkeley that I kept seeing. It's basically a shop that restores old books and also puts together dissertations from local PhD students. It's a teeny shop but I managed to buy a really cool looking awl- it's a tool that punches holes in paper so you can sew the pages together. Anyways, I realized I could not bring the awl on the airplane anyways so it's sitting in Hong's parents house. Hong and I also took a stroll on Telegraph Avenue where I discovered Daiso- a japanese store that sells everything for $1.50. Oh, this place is heaven- so many cute kitchen gadgets, storage containers, and best of all- origami paper and false eyelashes. I bought so much origami paper- 60 sheets for $1.50. I also stocked up on false eyelashes. After trying out the lashes, I loved them so much, I returned to the store to get some more for all my friends. Here are photos of the lashes and me with them on.

These lashes come two in a pack for $1.50! They are synthetic and really sturdy.

Here's me with lashes on the right eye and no lashes on the left eye.

Close up of lashes.

Final look!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Makeover for Wedding

I am doing makeup on this lovely bride in August so we had a run-through a few weekends ago. It's always a good idea to do a run-through before the big day because you get to see what colors and application works best on the client. For her big day, I am going to keep the blush more light pink and eye makeup less smoky since the false eyelashes she is using are super glamourous already. I am also going to contour a little more around the jawline and temples and give her more neutral lipcolor. Since it's a fall wedding, I am definitely going to go for a pink-golden look.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthday Dream

I recently celebrated my birthday and of course, I got some awesome makeup gifts. Best gift was my Laura Mercier duo fiber fan brush- I ended up with two thanks to a good friend and my sig other. I use one for blush and one for cleaning up my face with loose powder.

I also got a MAC lipstick in Marquise d’ (Lustre) from the Wonderwoman collection. it is my to go lipstick right now because it so glamorous but natural. I use it for work then dress it up with gloss for night. Thanks Cua for that one!

Another fav gift was Korres Milk Proteins 3 in 1 Cleansing Emulsion. I have been on the hunt for more gentle cleansers- preferably those with lactose. Apparently, lactose helps to gently exfoliate dirt off your face without stripping your face of the natural oils- thus leaving you with a clean but non-drying face. I've been on this new search because I also discovered that the more you strip off the oils on your face, the more quickly your face tries to replenish the oil- thus leading to a more oily face and more breakouts. Anywho, the Korres cleanser is amazing. It takes off my makeup so good and all I have to do is pat it off with a nice clean towel.

Finally, I ordered myself the Urban Decay Naked Palette. It is super duper awesome and everything the reviews say it is. I have used it nearly everyday- it is amazing how many looks I can do with this neutral palette. Even the brush that comes with it is pretty good.

It was a great birthday. I had lots of friends come over for a nice dinner. I loved all the flowers I got too. Made me so happy to wake up and see them in my window for the past few weeks. People were such good sports and did whiskey shots for me. I love celebrating my birthday and can't wait for another year.

KISS False Lashes

I went to Walgreens tonight and discovered they were having a sale on this new brand of false eyelashes called "Kiss." I bought two sets and the adhesive glue. Each item was $1.99 (normally $3.99). Here's the results:

I really like the glue- it comes in a little glass jar with an applicator. The applicator is basically a slanted plastic end that you use to apply glue onto lash band. The glue does not feel goopy and goes on really smooth. The lashes come with these red strings- each end of the lash has a pair of string that you use to hold the lash into place. Pretty ingenious idea although I found it pretty useless so I just pulled off red string before applying the lashes.

I love this brand of lashes so far. It looks pretty natural and feels soft. It did not scratch my eye which is a problem I have with other lash brands.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Two New Favorite Brushes

My new lovelies. That is all! I use the 222 for blending eyeshadow- works great for softly blending e/s outwards. I use my 130 for applying/blending foundation and concealer. It is so soft and I like it much more than the bigger version because I can control what it does more.

MAC Wonderwoman Collection

MAC finally opened a stand-alone store here in Madison. It's a small space but they have so much stuff crammed in there. They were only supposed to be a seasonal store but when I asked if they were going to stay, the SA told me they were looking for a larger space. I am so excited and hope they do not go away. I went there a couple days ago to view their new Wonder Woman Collection. The collection is super cute because most everything is super-sized. I ended up buying the Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish compact. The top shade is a soft gold with fine shimmer, center shade is a soft suntanned bronze, and the bottom shade is true coral with fine gold shimmer. I especially love the packaging and just how huge the compact is. I will definitely point out how it looks/works when I post future makeup photos.