Memosne: August 2015

Zara Basic Top and Club Monaco Skirt OOTD

I don't know where other bloggers find beautiful urban areas that are completely devoid of people. I feel like every time I want to take an OOTD I always feel that flush of embarrassment when other people are watching. However, I wore this outfit to go on a date with Boyfriend to the Harvard Art Museums. So it was a good excuse to act like tourists and take photos all over the Harvard Yard. 

I love black skirts, I think they're a versatile and staple piece to anyone's wardrobe and I treat buying black skirts like my second job. I saw this one for sale at Club Monaco (Who's surprised at all that I shop there) and I knew I had to grab it. I felt the fit was very flattering and the texture of the skirt makes it able to break up monochrome outfits and also double as an interesting color-blocking piece.

I paired this guy with a Zara Basic top, the Talbots Peggy sandals that have been glued to my feet all summer, and my Chanel Purse. I never take it out, but I thought I would this time. 

Thanks for reading!

Tony Moly Angel Glow Ring Hair Mask - Review!

So when my sister and I walked into Tony Moly, the first thing we saw was their mask stand. I think because everyone is obsessed with Tony Moly facemasks that staff was hardpressed to constantly refill their mask stand. It seemed like they were out of a lot of the "regular" face masks and had placed some hairmasks as place holders in their mask stand. My sister and I gravitated towards this particular hair mask because of the cute wing design and the "Two-Step" Process of the hair treatment and hair cap.

It retails in store for: $6, but they currently don't have it stocked on their site. I've placed an alternative purchase link here to TonyMoly's Amazon Store. Full disclosure, this link is not a referral link.

Here are the ingredients for those of you that are curious, but the instructions are pretty similar to any other hair mask or over the counter deep conditioning hair treatment. Shower, shampoo and condition, towel off and apply the essence!

So this is my natural hair to begin with. I have a Korean "digital perm" on the ends, but other than that my hair is pretty much un-touched. I don't like to blow dry my hair and expose it to the excess heat, so I let it air dry every night. That being said, my hair is still a little crispy on the ends and could use some loving.

So I popped into the shower! After towel drying and taking all the excess water out of my hair, I ripped open the first little pouch on the tip of the "Angel Wing."

The essence was a thick cream and it didn't have too strong a smell. It just smelled "clean" and the consistency reminded me of Macadamia Professional brand hair masks. The amount in the pack was just enough to cover my hair, but I did put more on the ends and focused less on my scalp area.

As I was applying the cream to my hair, I noticed that it had little yellow micro-beads of essence further embedded in the cream. As I applied them to my hair, they melted right away. You don't have to worry about putting the cream on and leaving the beads and their nourishing essence un-popped in your hair.

You guys get to see my ugly "I'm doing stuff with my hair" shirt. 
Overall the application was very easy albeit a little messy as all hair things are.

I was actually a little disappointed when it came to "Step 2." My sister and I purchased this pack because we thought we would get "double" the amount of hair essence with the essence pouch and an essence soaked "hair mask." When I opened the main body of the angel wing, I pulled out a dry, thin, and flaccid looking shower cap with no essence to be seen.

You guys also get to see my icky makeup-less face! 
I can understand the benefit of covering up your hair to lock in all that moisture, but this "Angel Glow Ring Hair Mask" was slightly more expensive than the other essence soaked hair mask and I felt a little bit let down. I do have a lot of hair, but it wasn't difficult to fit it all into this shower cap. 

After you shove all your hair into your shower cap, the instructions say to massage your head for an undisclosed amount of time.

Having no patience and being a little lazy, I massaged my hair enough to make sure that the product was being evenly distributed, but I essentially let it sit for the 20 minutes after that. During the waiting period I noticed that my hands, which I hadn't rinsed off from Step 1, were burning uncontrollably. There was a stinging sensation all along my palms and fingers and that didn't go away even when I washed my hands with soap and water. Obviously the sensation faded by the end of the 20 minutes, but it made me wonder what was going on in my hair and on my hands.

After the twenty minutes, I popped back into the shower and rinsed the treatment out. Here's how my hair looks post treatment and rinse.

I let my hair air dry overnight and I slept on it, so we'll time warp to this after photo. Yes, I did wear essentially the same outfit two days in a row, but I did change the top!

The overall results were tangible. I felt a difference in my hair, it was definitely smoother, softer and shinier. When I asked the boyfriend if he noticed anything different, he said that my hair was shinier. So the "Angel Glow Ring Hair Mask" definitely stands up to its name in that respect.

My permed curls did fall out a little bit, but I think that's because my hair got a little softer and wasn't able to hold the curl as well.

Two days later, my hair still feels softer, but it has lost some of that shine. My curls have bounced back, but I wouldn't say this made a life changing difference to my hair. I think I'd purchase it again for fun, but I wouldn't put this product into my normal routine of hair care. Next time, I'll try to blow dry and see if my curls hold up better.

Overall, I'm neutral about this product, but I can see myself buying it again. And I can also see myself washing my hands off immediately after applying "Step 1."

I hope this helps!

Minty Lace OOTD

Outfit: Top: Club Monaco (Old), Skirt: &Other Stories, Bag: Coach Penny Purse
Oh hey there! This is the other skirt that I purchased from the &Other Stories summer sale. If you missed the other things I bought from them, you can check out my previous posts. With this skirt I really fell in love with the pleating and the length. Not all midi skirts are old lady. I think the mint tones and the fabric give an ethereal feel to this look. 
Casually sitting on a rock
I paired this with my favorite Club Monaco lace top! Unfortunately it's from a couple of seasons ago, but I found a similar shirt on their website that's currently on sale! I've linked it here if you're interested.

Boyfriend and I did an impromptu walk around our local park, so I wore my low-heeled Talbots Peggy Sandals to match the overall light tones of this outfit. Still a little nurse-looking, but I like the way they pulled the outfit together. 

Here's a close up detail of my lace top and the pleating on the skirt. I think they go well together, no? 

As always, thank you so very much for reading! 

Tony Moly Snail Essence Hydro-gel Mask Review

I was feeling a little iffy about posting this review because I didn't take as many before and after pictures as I should have. However, I still think my experience with the mask is relevant and I hope it will help anyone thinking about purchasing this mask.

TLDR: I enjoyed the new hydro-gel mask experience, but it didn't "stick" to my skin at all. I found myself having to readjust the mask every couple of minutes while standing. Eventually the continual readjustment became too tedious, so I gave up and lay down to wait out the 30 minutes. My skin had a slight reaction to this mask; I was having a hormonal cystic acne breakout already, but the morning after my skin texture was much rougher and mottled with small milia and white heads across my forehead and chin. 

Before we get into what I think, I transcribed the little summary that Tony Moly provided on the back of the mask for you to read here:

"Contains astonishing filtered liquid of snail mucin that is a source of boosting vitality. Fully replenishes skin with its ample moisture to solidify skin's hydration barrier. In addition, a plant extract called Ceramium kondol protects the exasperated skin against the external damage by supply the necessary nutrition to skin. This unique mask helps to brighten and moisturize skin with its hydrating gel formula."

Also, unfortunately, this is the best "before" picture I have for this mask.

I know, it doesn't really show anything, but it was also the only photo we took that day prior to heading over to Tony Moly!

As I mentioned previously in my Tony Moly Haul post, this mask retails for $9.00. I was told it was more expensive because of the higher percentage of snail essence and the fact that it was a hydro-gel mask.

This is my first experience with both a snail essence product and a hydro-gel mask. I was super excited about trying both! I've heard that snail essence works wonders for active acne, fading acne scars, and general anti-aging concerns, while hyrdo-gel masks are far superior to their cotton predecessors in getting the skin to soak up their nutrients. Hydro-gel also supposedly forms to your face better, allowing more skin-to-mask contact, which is generally what you want when wearing a sheet mask.

Let's crack this baby open! 
So first off, the general experience isn't too different from using a regular sheet mask. You crack it open, pull out the mask and spread it on your face.

The Tony Moly Snail Essence Hyro-Gel Mask comes in three parts. There is a clear film that the mask rests on, an opaque film that helps with the application and the mask itself.

The major differences between this mask and a traditional sheet mask are that 1.) it comes in two separate pieces and 2.) it has a two-part application.

I tried to stick to the instructions as much as possible, but the mask itself was so slimy (I'm sure due both to the snail slime and to it being made of hydrogel) it slid right off the opaque application layer.

I eventually slid the mask back onto it's application layer and applied the top half to my face. As you'll see in a moment, I should've taken a photo before applying the mask. At the time time I was undergoing a pretty severe hormonal breakout on my cheeks. I wanted to see how the mask would help that.

Please excuse the horrible look! You can see on my left cheek, I had a combination of cystic pimples that were in various stages of maturity. Some had already come to a head and popped and others were just lingering under the surface of my skin.

I applied the bottom half and looked a little bit like Jason. I also heard that Hydro-gel masks were supposed to "stick to your face" a bit better. I personally found this to be untrue. I'm not sure if it's just the gel with Tony Moly's products, but I found myself constantly having to readjust both halves of the mask because they were slipping off my face. Eventually, I just gave up and lay down and let gravity do the work for me.

There was no additional "sensation" to the mask, I didn't feel any tingling or burning. I just felt the cold hydro-gel resting on my face.

Close up! 
The instructions suggest you should wear this mask for 20-30 minutes, but my sister and I wanted to get the full effects of the mask so we waited the full thirty. Unlike traditional cotton sheet masks, I felt like the gel, even after a whole thirty minutes, had just been freshly applied. I could have probably waited longer, but I didn't want to overdo it.

After we peeled the masks off, we noticed our skin was more hydrated and plump, but I think that's almost negligible. When you use a sheet mask your face is getting soaked in essence for 30 straight minutes...I would hope there'd be a slight buildup of moisture! My angry red marks had faded a little, but I think that was because the mask was cool and soothed my inflamed skin. Other than that we didn't really notice much of a difference. My sister and I then applied both of our night creams and headed off to bed.

The next morning my sister and I both noticed we had broken out a little. My cystic acne very much stayed the same, but I did notice I had smaller almost milia-like bumps along my forehead, cheeks and chin. My sister, who has much less reactive skin than I, also had some milia and whiteheads appear on her forehead.

Oh god my eyebrows.
Unfortunately, this is also the only after picture I have. Much like the before picture, you can't really see the texture of our skin, but we had an in-depth conversation about our breakouts after trying on the Snail Hydro-Gel Mask.

Given the way my skin reacted to the mask, I'm not sure I would purchase it or try it again. However, this doesn't mean that snail essence products or hydro-gel masks are completely off the table for me. I think I would be open to trying a different one in the future.

Purchase Link:
Amazon (Non-Referral)

What do you think of snail gel in beauty products? Let me know!

Pink Tulip Skirt OOTD

Outfit Details: Top: Aritzia (Old), Skirt: &Other Stories (Similar), Sandals: Talbot's Peggy Sandals, Purse: Coach Penny Purse, Necklace: Givenchy 
I think in the late summer, all I want to do is flounce about and relax while looking put together. This is the wrap skirt that I recently hauled from &Other Stories and I've been living in it. I think it's flirty, girly, and easy to match.

I wanted to keep the lines simple and clean for this outfit, so I paired this sweet, double-layered Silk Aritzia top with the tulip skirt. It seemed a little too light up top, so I added a blingy statement necklace to balance it out. 

As with all my outfits of late, I've paired this with my Talbot's Peggy Sandals and my trusty Coach Penny Bag. They're my go-to staples for if I'm going to be walking around and don't want to carry anything too heavy out of the house. 

Thanks for reading! 

Makeup Review: Laneige BB Cushion

TLDR: I would highly recommend this product to anyone that wants a medium to full coverage, easy to apply, high SPF foundation. My only qualm is that it does get a little too "dewy" for individuals with oily skin. If you're on the oilier side like myself, remember to bring your blotting papers or powder to touch up! It can get really, really greasy. 

Even though I've been posting off and on for five years, I've been a pretty consistent fan of Laneige throughout my blogging journey. I was pretty disappointed when they revamped their pore care line and after I moved back to Vancouver/Seattle it became increasingly hard to find Laneige. My usual go-to strategy was actually to smuggle an insane amount of vials and boxes of Laneige in my suitcase after visiting Taiwan. I distinctly remember one time being pulled aside by the Canadian border agent, them x-raying my suitcase and demanding to know what all the bottles in my suitcase were. I just cried and they let me go.

Imagine my surprise when I walked into my local Target to find a huge display of Laneige with their BB Cushion Compact front and center on display! Now I don't have to pay exorbitantly high fees for shipping or risk being detained by Border Agents.

So what exactly is a cushion compact?

It's a sponge housed in a sturdy plastic container that has been soaked in BB or CC cream. Iope, a child of the enormous Amore Pacific cosmetics corporation, was the first brand to release a cushion compact. Amore Pacific did an insane amount of research on what sponges to use to house the product. The sponge in the container makes sure that the components of the BB cream don't separate, allowing for even and consistent application each time. The powder puff applicator that comes with the compact is also different from any powder puff you've seen before. It's dense, thin, and has a unique texture that doesn't absorb too much product. Supposedly, the sponge is also anti-microbial!

I've been dying to try out a cushion compact, mainly because of my obsession with the Korean beauty phenom Pony, but I wasn't willing to shell out $60 on the Amore Pacific CC compact. The price point of the Laneige BB Cushion is much more palatable at $34.

I was super pleased when I opened the box and saw that the compact came with an extra refill. I'm pretty lazy about sunscreen so the 50++ already built into the the BB Cream makes me feel slightly more secure that I'm not letting the sun blast UV damage all over my face.

The compact is hefty and well made. There's two levels to the compact, an upper level to house the sponge applicator and a lower level that houses the BB Cream soaked cushion. The divider that separates the two actually seals the lower chamber so that the BB cushion doesn't dry out.

You can also see that Laneige seals the cushion with a sticker to prevent any premature drying of the product.

Right now "cushion compacts" are huge in Korea and and almost all Korean Brands, including innisfree, Tony Moly, 3 Concept Eyes, etude house, etc., have their own versions of the cushion compact for sale with different finishes! Only Amore Pacific, Laneige, and Lancome offer easily accessible cushion compacts in the states. However, you can also buy Korean branded cushion compacts from independent sellers on Amazon, eBay, and G-Market.

The biggest advantages of the cushion compact are the ease of application, the benefits of increased SPF, and because of it's creamy new compact form companies can jam more nutrients for your skin into it. 

Now for the application...

I woke up like this. 
 So this is me right out of bed. Pretty messy and as you can see I'm having a little breakout focused mainly on my cheeks. Having watched Pony's videos, I knew that any Cushion Compact can be layered to achieve the coverage you want. Obviously this also depends on the formula of the BB Cream, but I'm rather happy with the medium to full coverage of Laneige's compact.

I did one layer of the BB Cream on my chin and forehead and I did around three passes on each cheek. It left me with a slightly dewy look, which looks quite nice on camera! However, since my face is a small OPEC nation the "dewy" look can quickly evolve into full on grease-face. To combat this, I dusted a light layer of my finishing powder over the BB Cream to set my makeup and take the dewiness away.

This is my completed makeup with all the other steps finished. I went to an amusement park after putting this makeup on and it did a pretty good job holding up throughout all the sweating, screaming, and water rides my friends and I went on. 

My Cousin Jom 
Even though this is a pretty horrible photo of me, you can see that the BB Cream held up well.The one thing I probably could've done was touch up with some blotting papers or some powder foundation. After a while, the BB Cream does get pretty greasy. 

Edit: Aug 26, 2015 Here's what my makeup looked like when I got home. I found this photo hiding in my computer. It looks like it help up alright. =D

My only other qualm with the BB Cream is hygiene. The sponge applicator and cushion compact seem like germ farms to me, but they do advertise the sponges as being antibacterial. Nonetheless, I still like to wash my makeup applicators at least once a week and I tried to wash the sponge applicator that came with the compact. It was a bit tough to wash and I felt like there was a lot of product buildup held within the sponge. Also post-wash my once pristine sponge looked like this: 

I've been using this compact for a month now and I've found that the product tends to gather in the edges of the compact. If you think you're out, try the corners before you switch to your refill! 

In general I highly recommend this product! 

Purchase Link:
Target (non-referral)