Sunday, June 18, 2017

Must Try Desserts in Los Angeles- Summer 2017

I recently went to Los Angeles for 4 days and had some delicious food and drinks! I did quite a bit of research on finding unique and top rated places, so hopefully this can be a handy guide for fellow bloggers and tourists! Today's post focuses just on the snacks/desserts/coffees we had! I'm hoping to do another one on the restaurants/bars we went to.

Milk Jar Cookies
Mid-Wilshire


Milk Jar Cookies specializes in cookies, ice cream, and milk! We went for the ice cream sandwich but was really glad we decided to just share one! You get a huge amount of ice cream packed in between two pretty heavy cookies. The flavors available are pretty generic but you can taste the pure ingredients such as butter and flour.


I would actually recommend getting the cookie + 1 scoop of ice cream ($5) instead as we actually had no idea how to eat our ice cream sandwich. We ended up just splitting it up and eating separately as it's way too big to bite into. The decor and ambiance is fantastic and you feel like you're in a cute tea shop. It was a fun experience but the food was average tasting. 3/5

Snow Monster
Koreatown


I love to have bubble tea, so when I saw the adorable glasses on Instagram, this was a spot we had to hit up! You can order drinks in normal plastic cups but I'd really recommend to spend the extra $2 and get the light bulb cup. You get to keep it too and it's a great souvenir. Their sunset strawberry lemonade was really pretty and tastes great too! There are options to get cotton candy around the top and also flower leis.


I also got sucked in and bought a macaron sandwich as well. The design was just so adorable and you can choose what flavor of ice cream to stick in the middle! The actual taste of the one I picked wasn't great (it was almond flavor which just seemed like no additional flavor). Even though it's a bit more expensive than your normal bubble tea, I thought the serving size was huge and I got to keep the bulb. The cutestness of the shop and their logo "eat dessert, be a monster" makes the overall experience so fun! 5/5

Homibing
Koreatown


There are so many delicious restaurants in Koreatown. Just about a 10 minute walk away from Snow Monster is Homibing. If you're a fan of shaved ice, you'll love this place. Shaved ice is pretty much fluffy sheets of ice in your choice of flavor.

Most of their choices are presented on a plate, but this melon & mango flavor comes in half of a honey dew. The ice was very fluffy and one order is definitely enough to share between 2 people. The interior is nicely decorated as well for snapping those selfies with food!


We went in the late afternoon so the shop was actually empty. I would imagine going here at night time that it would be more full. We had a nice quiet time to ourself though. The flavors were very fresh and the space was nicely decorated. I wish there were more unique flavors as most of them were mango, strawberry, and green tea. 4/5

Salt & Straw
Venice Beach/Arts District


I'm currently having a bit of an ice cream obsession and I'm pretty sure Salt & Straw is to blame. We actually went to Salt & Straw twice while we were in LA. They have a huge choice of flavors including their classics (salted caramel is the bomb!) and also seasonal flavors (june is about recycled foods)

You need to visit at least one of the locations when you are in LA! These are the best ice creams I've ever had! 5/5

Miansai Tea Bar
Venice Beach



This tea bar was a hidden gem that we actually just came across while shopping in the area. We were pretty tired and thirsty and at the back of Miansai store (they sell bracelets/watches/jewelry!) there was a cute patio area with a bar that sells tea and kombucha.

The tables all had marble tops with a succulent on top. There were also plants behind the couches which made the place very instaworthy! The drinks were actually pretty good and it's a great spot to relax while shopping in the area. I wouldn't say you should go out of your way to visit this, but you might be strolling around Abbot Kinney and this is a great quiet spot to have some yummy drinks. 5/5

Go Get em Tiger



There are a ton of cute coffee shops around Los Angeles, and we chose to visit Go Get Em Tiger as it was on the way to Griffith Observatory. It opens at 6am so it's perfect for getting a snack in before beating the crowds at Griffith. They have a really good breakfast menu as well including this Soft Scrambled Eggs on Biscuit + Avocado. The food and drinks were tasty but nothing out of this world.

What we did really enjoy was the outdoor seating area. It was super big with lots of tables, chairs, and trees to add to the atmosphere! We came here pretty early in the morning and there weren't many people around, so we shamelessly took a few photos haha! 4/5


Which of these dessert places would you most want to go to?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Skincare Review

If you walked by a THEFACESHOP store recently, you might have seen promo posters for Dr.Belmeur Lab. If you're wondering what it is, I have a review today for 3 of their products. The Dr.Belmeur brand is part of THEFACESHOP family and was created to provide key solutions to common skin problems!


Currently, there are two sets of skincare products. The first is a daily repair skincare system meant for dry and sensitive skin. The other is a clarifying skincare system meant for acne prone skin. I'll be focusing on the daily repair system as I have dry skin! The three products I tested are the Toner, Moisturizer and Ato Salt Cream.



Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Ato Salt Cream- 80mL $42

This product is formulated with 8% dead sea salt and provides deep moisturizing and itch relief! Since it's summer time, my skin is not as dry so I didn't feel like I needed this level of moisturizing on my face. My body though is another story! I have pretty bumpy skin on the outside of my upper arms and thighs, so I've been using this as a body lotion and have seen some great results!

The product is on the thicker side and although it doesn't feel greasy, it does take a bit of time to sink in. It's more of a covered in gel feel instead of covered in oil. Immediately though, I can feel that the skin is smoother! I didn't have itchy skin to start with so I can't comment on that aspect of the claim.

There is no scent to the product as there are no artificial fragrance included. It feels like a power horse product getting right to work!





Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Toner-  200mL $28

If you don't already have a toner in your routine, you should consider adding it! I especially like using it when I'm using a makeup wipe or micellar water and I feel like there's still traces of the product/makeup on my face. This toner has a bit of a thicker consistency which adds to the hydration aspect of the skincare system.

I usually squeeze out 3-4 drops on to a cotton pad and lightly wipe all over the face. There is a light floral scent which I enjoyed.


Dr.Belmeur Daily Repair Moisturizer- 120mL $32

Following the toner, I've been using the moisturizer on my face day and night. The product is a very light consistency almost gel like. There is a stronger floral scent than the toner but still very natural smelling.

I haven't noticed dramatic changes in my skin but the texture was very nice and it kept my skin feeling smooth and hydrated.


Overall I found the line up very calming and can see it being great for people with dry and sensitive skin! My favorite product was the Ato Salt Cream as I felt like I saw results right away! The toner and moisturizer were also nice to use but I didn't notice any dramatic differences to want to make the switch. The price point is great for those looking to take a leap into quality skincare.

What's your current skincare? Which of these products would you want to try the most?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Hot New Summer 2017 Beauty Products under $20!

One of the best part about blogging is being able to stay on top of the latest releases and innovations in the beauty world! Beauty brands have been working hard and I've rounded up the hottest new summer products that are available at the drugstore and under $20! 


Almay Healthy Glow Makeup + Gradual Tan - $17.99

As auditors, we are pretty much cooped up in the office from January-April. Being in Vancouver also doesn't help with the winter paleness! Although now I'm a bit tanned after being on vacation for a month, this product was a lifesaver to bring some color back into my face before I left for vacation.

The product actually has two separate compartments but when you press on the pump, it comes up together. The foundation itself is light-medium coverage and does a good job of evening skin tone. I definitely noticed that after a few days of wear, my skin got darker! I'm not sure if I kept on wearing it daily, my skin would have gotten even darker? I like that there is also SPF20 in the makeup, so it's perfect for the summer months.

 Available at Loblaws, London Drugs, Rexall, Superstore and Walmart in 3 shades.


NYX Vivid Brights Eyeliner- $9.90

One fun way to add color to your eye look is using a bright eyeliner! It may be intimidating to stray away from neutral eyeshadows, so a pop of color from an eyeliner is really easy to use. I reviewed a mint green eyeliner last year but the pigmentation was less than perfect. I didn't have high expectations for drugstore colored eyeliners so I was really amazed by how smooth and pigmented these ones glide on!

I find the most flattering way to wear this is to first use a black eyeliner as usual and then use the bright color slightly above it! This way, the black eyeliner can still accentuate and define the eyes while the color adds a fun pop! There are 8 fun shades to choose from!



Saje Tingle Lips & Kiss Mist- $4.95 & $6.95

Did you know that Saje made lip balm and other beauty products? These two products are the perfect combo for your summer kisses! The Tingle Lips lip balm is a very soft wax that has a slight peppermint taste and feel. It's cooling and refreshing, perfect for the summer time!

Kiss Mist is a breathe freshener spray using Spearmint, Fennel, and Peppermint essential oils. The taste isn't too strongly minty and has a hint of licorice as well (which might be the fennel). I didn't realize Saje had so many products other than their traditional essential oils, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for other fun things to try!


7th Heaven Soften Glove Masques- $5.99

I'm a big fan of sheet masks but I've never tried masks for the hand before! 7th Heaven makes a lot of affordable spa worthy products and this is one of their newest releases. I thought the product will be pretty messy to use but it was surprisingly not drippy at all. There is a floral rose scent which was very relaxing and my hands definitely came out feeling moisturized and pampered!

Available at Rexall



Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend Set- $14.99

For affordable high quality makeup brushes, you can't go wrong with Real Techniques! I love their face brushes and was excited to see this new set. I have especially been into eye blending brushes. The base shadow brush is quite thick and dense and is pictured on the right in the photo below.
The crease brush is very soft and fluffy and is pictured on the left in the photo below.

Unfortunately since my eyes are smaller, I think the size of these brushes aren't the perfect. The crease brush is very soft so it's hard to focus the blending in a much smaller area which is what I need. But I can see this set being really perfect for those who have more eye lid space as the quality is fantastic.

Available at Walmart and London Drugs



Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus and Heavenly Volume- $8.99

Dry shampoo is a girl's best friend even if our boyfriends think it's gross. Batiste is a household name and their original dry shampoo has won a ton of awards. For 2017 they came out with new scents including Lotus which has notes of Apple, Grapes and Jasmine and Heavenly Volume smells like Bergamont, Mandarin, and Lemon. For me, I have to switch up my scents pretty often as I feel like using the same scent ends up smelling "dirty" to me.

My top tip is to use dry shampoo at night time when you know your hair might be oily the next day. This gives it plenty of time to absorb so you won't be left with any white cast or starchiness!

Did any of these products catch your eye? What's your favorite summer beauty product release so far?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Vancouver Spas: skoah Yaletown facialiscious Experience

After 3 weeks in Europe using makeup wipes and just a moisturizer, my skin was in need of a good clean up! I was really excited to be offered a chance to try out a skoah facial services. Skoah is  a local Vancouver brand that started in 2001 and I've always seen their products and services but this was my first time going inside a store.


My experiences with facials and my skin type.
I've been to a few facials (usually tagging along with my mom) so I wouldn't say I'm an expert. But I do have a baseline expectation of what I would hope to receive. My skin is dry and my concern is usually related to hydration and brown spots. I usually only go about 1-2 times a year so it's more of a treat than a regular maintenance. 


What it's like inside the Yaletown location
The Yaletown store is on Hamilton Street close by to quite a few shops and restaurants. It's actually quite tucked away so you'll need to be looking for it to find it. You'll be greeted with products along both walls with informational posters as well. The girls at the desk got me set up pretty quickly and there was a good couch area with magazines to wait for your appointment.

There are 8 locations around Greater Vancouver and 7 elsewhere in North America. They are still very much a local brand but I hope they are able to open more locations soon!





The facialiscious kore facial review- 75 minutes
I did not realize that this facial came with a massage which was such an amazing added bonus! The treatment started with my skincare trainer asking about my skin and what I was hoping to achieve. Then she went ahead with a head massage that felt so amazing. Then I was given a deep clean, toned, and moisturized. At this point, my skin care trainer personalized the next step by using the aha mask which was left on the skin for about 10-15 minutes. While that was working, I received a nice foot/leg massage!


After the aha mask was taken off,  the trainer performed extraction on my blackheads around the forehead and nose. The service was professional and I asked my trainer a lot of questions and she seemed very knowledgeable. The end of the treatment was completed with a mask, serum, eye cream face lotion, and lip balm!


The actual treatment room was not as nicely decorated as I thought it would be. It's a bit plain but clean and comfortable! I walked out with my skin feeling amazing. The areas around my nose felt super smooth after the extraction and my skin was glowing. See below for a scary photo with no makeup on with crazy hair too. But I wanted to show a candid photo of how my skin looked a few hours after the treatment.


Try a facial for only $35!
I really enjoyed my experience and have to say my skin actually saw an improvement so it was more than just a relaxation session. Although I'm not sure I would splash out $120 every time, I would definitely come back for the power/fitskin ($85) or one of the targeted treatments ($45). It's almost the same but just a bit shorter and without the massage. If you're not sure facials are for you, skoah has kindly given me a special offer for my readers to receive a personalized 45 minute facial for $35 ($85 value)

Let me know if you end up trying skoah or where you usually go for facials!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Collection Review

My luxury makeup experiences has mostly been limited at mid range brands such as Too Faced and Urban Decay. I haven't tried any Guerlain products before, so I was ecstatic to have recently won a giveaway from Samantha Sito for a Guerlain prize pack! The items I won are from the Spring 2017 La Petite Robe Noire collection which is inspired by their best selling fragrances of the same name.


Lashdress Mascara- $32
Shop it at Sephora
01 Noir

Volume, Curl, Length, Definition. That's what we want in a mascara and this one claims to do it all! I am not too picky with mascaras and a lot of them actually work well on me! The unique thing about this mascara is its wand. It features lightly tapered synthetic bristles but the tip is a round bulb meant to be used vertically. I actually really liked using the tip for my inner and outer corner lashes that are normally hard to reach. However, I still prefer natural bristles as I find synthetic bristles too pokey.


The formulation wasn't too thick nor runny and was able to give a dark black pigmentation! It doesn't dry very fluffy though so it's hard to go back in with a second coat. It ends up giving me more of a bold, striking look than a fluffed out look which I'm not sure yet if I like. However, I can't deny the luxe and whimsical packaging and the innovative brush!



Deliciously Shiny Lipstick- $38
023- Ruby Ring

I could never get into the matte lips trend. Either because my skin is too dry or I just have crazy lip lines. When I saw the word shiny on this lipstick, I knew I was going to like it. The lid is a clear plastic while the tube is black plastic with a cute heart at the bottom. The bullet is circular which makes it a bit difficult to be precise around the edges but I think because this is meant to be a semi-sheer lipstick, precision wasn't that important.


The shade I have is a classic red with a hint of orange. It is surprisingly easy to wear and makes my whole look put together even when I'm not wearing much other makeup. There is a light scent but it's not that noticeable when wearing. What I love the most is the glossy finish!! It is so shiny, probably the shiniest lipstick I own! But unlike a lipgloss, there's no tacky or stickiness to it at all. I'm a really big fan of this and can see myself wearing it to all my summer parties.


Deliciously Shiny Nail Lacquer- $28
002 Pink Tie

Hot pink nails are perfect timing for summer time especially on my toes! I've found some of my best nail polishes are the cheap drugstore ones so I was curious to give this a try. The clear lid comes off first and you unscrew the black cap underneath it. The first thing I noticed is that it's opaque in one coat! And the second thing is, the brush seems to not want to touch the skin and it perfectly glides over my nails without getting on the edges! Once I was done, I was in awe of how shiny the color is! 


Pictured here is my right hand, so I was able to paint with my left hand barely getting anything on the edges of my nails! The wear time unfortunately wasn't very good as it started lightly chipping on the second day. However, I'm blown away by how easy it is to use and the shiny result so I would definitely explore other color options!

Overall I liked the nail polish the best followed by the lipstick! I'm still trying to decide how I like the mascara as there are so many great drugstore mascaras these days! I'm definitely excited to try out more high end products though especially the Meteorites Pearls and the Terra Cotta Bronzers.

Monday, May 29, 2017

THEFACESHOP Ink Gel Stick in PP02 Review + Ombre Lips Demo

Hello! It's been a while since I did a beauty review but now that my busy season and Europe travels are done, I'll be back blogging full force. For today's review, I'll be sharing THEFACESHOP Ink Gel Stick in Talk about Magenta. I've actually had this in my collection for about a year but never really used it as it looks very intimidating in the tube! However recently, I've been using it to achieve the trendy ombre lips look!


Basics
Name: THEFACESHOP Ink Gel stick
Price: $15
Size: 1.5g
Shades: Available in 12 different shades.
Find it at THEFACESHOP online or in stores.


Packaging: The packaging of this lipstick is very simple and compact. I like that it's a much thinner tube than most lipsticks and therefore easier to toss into a small bag. I also like that the top of the lid shows the shade number and it's also colored so you can easily identify what you're looking for. The tube is more like the slippery MAC packaging instead of the rubbery NARS packaging. The twist up mechanism doesn't seem very reliable but so far it hasn't gotten stuck so fingers crossed.


Formula: The lipstick is really creamy and smooth and you only need to use the lightest pressure to get bold pigmentation! The finish is very glossy so this is not for you if you want a matte lip look. I love lipsticks with shine though so this is fantastic for me. The formula stays very smooth on the lips but also light weight! It has almost a water based consistency feel but with intense pigmentation!

It has a slightly sweet fruity scent which you will be able to smell if you apply all over your lips. But if I'm using it for ombre (see below for demo) then I can't really pick it up.


Shades: I have PP02 Talk About Magenta which is a bright vivid pink with purple under tones. It is surprisingly flattering on my skin tone. The other 11 shades are mainly in the pink and red family and most of them feature bright colors as well!


Ombre Lips Demo


I apply the Ink Gel Stick about half way up the top and bottom lip and staying within the inner 2/3 of the lips width. It's usually easier to do this by dabbing the product vertically to make sure the color stays within the center of the lips.

Then I take my fingers and light push the product up to the edge of my lips without dragging. Make sure you use a dabbing motion or the color will be too intense on the edges! I also found the pigmentation of this to be quite strong and I would switch fingers if I got too much color on my finger tips. And voila, you have a naturally faded ombre lips look using only one product!


I'm a big fan of this affordable, high quality lipstick. The color is a bit too bold for me to wear all over the lips. However, it's the perfect color to use for the new ombre lips trend! The formula feels comfortable on the lips and you'll definitely be impressed by how smooth the color glides on!