Friday, June 28, 2013

Baizaar Necklace Piece

One of my summer time Chicago activity is exploring all of the outdoor festivals.  Walking around the different neighborhoods in the city while enjoy art, music, and food is the best way to enjoy a great weekend in the city and get that full Chicago experience.  At the little festivals you see so many booths set up for local restaurants, businesses, and artists that it can be a bit overwhelming.  However, sometimes you come across that gem of a booth where you just find some of the coolest items.

I love looking for new jewelry pieces at these outdoor festivals because you find some of the most unique, and well crafted pieces while supporting local businesses.  This summer I've been into expanding my necklace and bracelet collection.  So while I was just walking around one of the festivals sometime in the beginning of June (I believe it was on Diversey Street), this beautiful necklace piece caught my eye.

It was on display at the Baizaar Shop booth and when I saw it I stopped immediately and purchased it on the spot (which is rare since I rarely make impulse buys).  The beautiful brass work and asian inspired details was just too beautiful to ignore.  And to my surprise this well crafted piece was priced at an affordable $25-30! Definitely one of my favorite statement necklaces that is now a part of my collection.  What's even better is that I feel like it's that one of a kind piece and a rare find.

I was sad that I did not have any other cash on hand because I also fell in love with so many of their other pieces, including their amazing metal/brass looking bracelets.  I was happy that they passed along their business card after my purchase because I definitely wanted more information on their shop.

Unfortunately, they do not sell their pieces online (which I was really bummed out about because there were a few more items I wanted to pick up).  However, they do have a Facebook fan page where they post about their updated booth locations around the city.  I have tried looking for their booths at a few other locations but have had no luck so far.  But I definitely want to keep on trying before summer comes to a close, so I will let you guys know if I get another chance to pick up a few more special jewelry items from the Baizaar Shop!

Baizaar Shop Fan Page:



Chanel Sunglasses

It's been awhile since I've done anything other than a beauty product post or review, so I thought I'd mix it up a bit and feature one of my favorite accessories for the summer.  You can't go through summer without having a good pair of sunglasses, and mine happen to be my very first pair of Chanel aviator sunglasses which I picked up some time in the Spring.

I am absolutely in love with these, and surprisingly get quite a few compliments on them while I am out and about enjoying the weather.  Aviators are my favorite style of sunglasses to wear because I find that they suite my face shape pretty well.  I love how simple these look on me, and the brown shade of the sunglasses just make them very easy to wear for any occasion.

The little Chanel detailing on the frames are just enough without shouting: "Hey I'm wearing designer sunglasses!" And the lightweight design just makes it comfortable to wear all day long.

Honestly, when I was out looking for my must have summer shades I did not imagine walking away with a pair of very expensive (slash over-priced) sunglasses.  However, after trying on numerous pairs and not being happy with the fit of all of the other sunglasses these just sat so nicely on my face that I couldn't resist.

And of course it also came with a beautiful protective case to keep in your handbag.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zoya Marley

Most of the month of June has been dedicated to one polish for me.  Mainly because I've been too lazy to really change it up, and because the color is one of my favorites for the season.  You really can't go wrong with Zoya polishes, especially the creamy finishes.  They are great for the summer because I find that they are long lasting and just wear so well.

This month, Marley has been my absolute favorite.  I found it tucked away in my collection and decided to give it a go.  Upon first application I knew it was going to be my go to polish for the month.  Marley is a true lilac color with the perfect creamy formula.  It's opaque in two thin coats and just settles on the nail bed so well.

For me, shades like Marley are perfect because they add that slight hint of color without being too bold.  It works perfectly for more professional occasions and really goes well with most outfits (almost working as a neutral color).

I really need to switch up the colors for next month but am finding it hard to part with this one for a while.



Chanel - Exfoliater & Mask

One of my skin care routines consists of really treating my skin to a more luxurious, spa-like treatment once every two weeks (sometimes twice if my skin is really feeling under the weather).  I'll find a free night to just pop in a good movie and relax while treating my skin to a nice scrub or mask (or both!).

Two new products that I've been testing out the past two months are the Chanel Maximum Radiance Exfoliating Gel and the Chanel Purifying Cream Mask.  Yes, both are very high end (and expensive) products; but as I mentioned these are more of a special treat for my skin every once in a while.

The Chanel Maximum Radiance Exfoliating Gel, what I was first drawn to while I was looking through their skin care line at the Chanel counter, is a gel-cream like facial scrub that works to exfoliate and 'revitalize' the skin.  The exfoliating beads are of more of a gel like consistency, making it appropriate for all skin types.  It's a gentle scrub that really works into the skin to bring out a more radiant complexion.  After a few uses I have noticed a change in the texture and look to my skin.  My face looks more healthy and feels incredibly soft and smooth the the touch.  The Maximum Radiance Exfoliating Gel has to be one of the most gentle exfoliating products I have ever tried while still being transforming to my skin.

TIP: I prefer (and was recommended by experts) to apply the Maximum Radiance Exfoliating Gel with a dry face.  This really helps the exfoliating beads to cling on to and work into the skin.  Lightly run your fingers under water and then massage the product onto your dry face for about 1 minute.  After massaging into the skin, I like to let the product set on my skin for another 2-5 minutes before rinsing.  Finish off with patting your skin dry with a towel.

The Chanel Purifying Cream Mask was a product that I was talked into picking up after talking to a few experts at the counter.  I am an ultimate mask lover, but didn't think I needed such a luxurious mask when I have a few that I enjoy for about half the price.  However, after a quick demonstration on my hand, I found myself adding it to my check out list.  I have combination skin, so balancing out the right skin care products for the different times of the year can be difficult.  So when I had mentioned that to the Chanel experts, they recommended the Purifying Cream Mask.
"Oil-absorbing formula with a deliciously rich texture refines and smooths skin, as it brings it the clarity and freshness it craves for the perfect matte complexion." -
Honestly, after testing out the mask for a few months I find it to be the best mask for anyone worried about their sensitive skin.  Most clay like masks dry to a harder finish which really tightens up the skin, making it a bit irritating to anyone with a more sensitive skin type.  The Chanel Purifying Cream Mask, on the other hand, is incredibly moisturizing and leaves the skin feeling refreshed, smooth, and soft at the end of every use.  The mask rinses off easily without having to scrub at the skin.  The product does mention that it's oil-absorbing, meaning it's perfect for combination and oily skin types.  However, because of how moisturizing it is I believe it will also work well for anyone with a drier complexion.

TIP:  Apply the mask on with a dry face and let set for about 10 minutes before rinsing.  You will find that the mask will not dry to a hard, clay like finish like other masks.  This keeps the mask more moisturizing and makes it easier to rinse off while not being too harsh on the skin.

What you're left with is a more radiant, and clarifying complexion.

These have been two of the best investments I have made on my skin this year!



Sunday, June 16, 2013

Announcement: Nails Inc. Giveaway Winner!!!!

So without further ado, the winner is....I would like to thank everyone who entered the Nails Inc. Giveaway, and also thank all of my readers for their continued support! I am definitely excited to share these goodies with one of my followers.  And the winner is....

Lin Cantu!!!

You can check out her awesome blog here:

The winner has been contacted and she has 72 hours to claim her prize (or else I will randomly choose another winner).

Thank you so much to everyone that entered and I hope to continue receiving your support.  Look forward to more awesome giveaways in the next coming months!



Friday, June 14, 2013

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne

I took the time to visit my local Jo Malone counter at Nordstroms a little over two months ago, and boy am I glad that I decided to stop by.  I've always passed their little section in Nordstroms and thought their set up is absolutely beautiful with how they display all of their products.  However, I was always intimidated with the amount of scents that they have and never thought to stop by and give them all a quick whiff.

While I was there I got to know one of their associates, who was a huge help it picking out the perfect scent for me.  I was looking for a new summer scent, so I told her I wanted something that was more refreshing and clean (not too floral or sweet).  Instantly she showed me their newer cologne that was released for the season, Wild Bluebell, and I fell in love!  I couldn't get enough of how much I like how the scent settled in with my skin and just how summery it made me feel.  So I decided to grab the cologne and the body creme.

I picked up the smaller (30mL) bottle of the Wild Bluebell scent because I thought the cute packaging was the perfect size to carry around in my bag if I wanted to have it on hand or while I travel.  It's described as "deliciously dewy," leaving the skin with a nice refreshing scent of bluebells.  "Luminous with lush persimmon, lilly of the valley and eglantine."  I cannot tell you how much I love this fragrance.  It's pretty rare for me to find a new scent to love because I am quite particular and sensitive to fragrances, so this one will definitely be a keeper for me.

Along with the cologne, I decided to really dive in with my purchase and also pick up my first luxurious body creme also in the Wild Bluebell scent (yes I loved it that much).  The body creme is nothing like I've ever tried before.  It's thick enough to be extremely moisturizing, but light weight enough to not feel uncomfortable after application.  It's one of those products that just pampers the skin, leaving it incredibly soft and smooth.

I've definitely fallen in love.



Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum

For the most part, I feel like I have been able to keep my skin under control when it comes to break outs and skin tone.  However, I have very little control of how my skin is going to react to the constant changing weather in the city.  Because of that, my combination skin just goes from dry to oily to dry within days.  So trying to keep my in care routine constant without having to change between 20 different products from day to day was really difficult.  Until now.

About two months ago I was invited to a Chanel get together at my local Nordstroms counter where they had their amazing specialists come in for makeup and skin care consultations.  While I was there, I had mentioned to them the issue I was having with the random dry patches around my nose and cheeks, but also made sure that they knew I needed something that would also balance my oily spots.

For that, they tried the Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum all over my face before they applied any makeup on me.  And let me tell you, it felt amazing! I have already been using the Chanel Hydra Creme as my day time moisturizer, so when I pair the two together it just creates this flawless base for my skin.

"At the heart of the Hydra Beauty range: Carnellia Alba PFA, an active ingredient that promotes optimal moisture retention within skin cells.  When combined with an improved, more powerful version of Blue Ginger PFA, a vital antioxidant, the perfect synergy of ultimate hydration and protecting is created.  With added Hyaluronic Acid, the Serum immediately hydrates and protects the skin.  Fresh and soothing, it comforts and boosts overall radiance." -

Upon instant application, you get this refreshing, cooling feeling that just adds that perfect soothing moisture to your skin.  My skin immediately absorbed all of the product.  And because of it's lightweight formula, it felt incredibly comfortable and natural.

After using the product daily for almost two months, I honestly did notice a difference in the texture of my skin after just a week of use.  It's never felt so smooth and looked so radiant where I actually get random compliments from people.  There are so many lazy mornings where I can just apply the Hydra Serum (along with the Hydra Creme) and walk out of the house without any foundation or concealer (which is definitely a new found confidence).

Along with being incredible on it's own, I've noticed that it's a fantastic base/primer for my foundation when I do want to where makeup.  I have honestly stopped all of my other face primers because this is the perfect balance of moisture and works just as well, if not better, than any other primer in my collection.

The Chanel Hydra skin care collection has definitely been a staple for me and I will continue to use their products for as long as possible.



Monday, June 10, 2013

Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect

I finally dipped my toes into the Chanel blush world when I picked this baby up a few weeks ago.  I had gone to the Chanel counter with my Mom to pick up a few products and get our make up done by one of their well known make up artists.  After just getting a natural look done, I looked in the mirror and fell in love with the choice of blush he had used on my cheeks.  I had mentioned to him that I needed a new blush choice for the summer season and he definitely found one of my new favorites.

The Blush Duo Tweed Effect blushes are incredibly beautiful.  The design of the blush is definitely inspired by iconic Chanel tweed fabric.  The sheer blush gives that beautiful touch of color on the cheeks that just blend beautifully.  The touches of shimmer can be a bit scary when you look at it in the pan, however when you swatch it and apply it to your cheeks it just gives a satin glow (not a glittery disco ball).  The texture is incredibly soft and lightweight, making application easy.

This specific shade, Tweed Sienna is my favorite out of my collection so far for the season.  It's a blend of a beautiful coral pink with a natural beige that just looks absolutely beautiful on all skin tones.  Tap this blush on the tops of your cheeks with a bit fluffy angle brush and you'll just have the best summer glow.



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick

I have been reviewing a few of these "chubby stick" type of products and I am sad to say that I have finally come across one that I cannot recommend to anyone.  So many brands have developed their own type of lip balm chubby stick (taking after the original Clinique Chubby Stick), and some of my favorites are actually from Revlon and Cover Girl (both drugstore brands).

I decided I wanted to pick up a few from the drugstore brands to really compare to the original Clinique Chubby Sticks, and it's sad to say that the Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick really fell below my expectations.

I don't have the specific names of the two I have purchased and pictured above because I have already returned them due to my disappointment towards them.  The colors of the Neutrogena Color Sticks are pretty pigmented (as you can see from my swatches), but that's not where I was disappointed.  The formulation and texture where things got uncomfortable.

When it comes to lip products I can be quite particular with comfort and wear, and these color sticks definitely did not go well on the lips.  Instead of being moisture smooth, they apply quite griddy and leaves a uncomfortable texture on the lips (almost drying).  I found that even with re-application I just couldn't stand the product on my lips anymore and had to wipe it off to apply a regular balm afterwards.

I really do enjoy the Neutrogena skin care line. Their sun screens are the only ones that I will use.  However, I have to say that they might need a bit more improvement if they want to catch up with other makeup brands.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Marc by Marc Jacobs Rectangle Sunglasses

It's June, and you know what that means? Weekends filled with music, food, and lots of people.  The great thing about Chicago is that once June hits, there's always something to do on the weekends.  The city hosts handfuls of summer festivals in surrounding neighborhoods that it's hard to keep track of them all.  But you know that there's one near when the roads shuts down and there's just a sea of white tents, people, and the the lingering smell of burning charcoal.

Summer festivals has to be one of my favorite parts of the season.  And because of that, it inspires me to really get into the festival mood when it comes to my accessories.  Yeah I really love my oversized aviators and fancy sunglasses, but sometimes you really want to beach up the look and go with a more casual, retro style.

One of my favorite picks for this summer is a part of the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring and Summer 2013 eyewear collection.  He designed these rectangular style sunglasses especially for the beach and I just fell in love with the shape and style when I first came across them.

The simple rectangular shape fits comfortably on my face and it's lightweight construction makes it perfect for trips to the beach and summer grill outs with friends.  I am in love with this beige/natural shading with the coral stripes on the sides.  It gives it that simplicity with a fun pop of color, which is well suited for the season.  The sunglasses have 100% UV protection, making it a staple for those hot summer days where the sun is just beaming on you.

I definitely am going to make great us of these during all of my summer music and food festivities.



Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil

One of my must have skin care items (that I always make sure I have on hand) is cleansing oil.  Having the perfect makeup products to create a flawless look is one thing, but it's also important to protect and care for your skin.  I don't wear a full face of makeup everyday, however I do always have some sort of product on my face (eyeliner or a light powder).  So to make sure I am removing all presence of makeup and environmental residue, I reach for my cleansing oil every night as a part of my night time skin care routine.

I find that cleansing oil is the best method for removing all traces of makeup and dirt while still being gentle for the skin.  For the past two weeks I have been using the highly raved Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil.

The Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil is described to be a luxurious cleanser, formulated with jasmine flower extract, kukui nut oil, and a blend of Italian olive, sunflower and jojoba oils.  All of these ingredients work together to wipe the skin clear of dirt and makeup while still leaving the skin incredibly smooth and hydrated.

I was a little hesitant to be spending that amount of money ($42 USD) for a cleansing oil, especially when there are other brands in the asian market for a bit cheaper.  However, after using it daily for a little over two weeks I can definitely see why it's been so raved about.  Compared to other cleansing oils I have tried, the Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil is the most hydrating one that I have ever come across.  Other cleansing oil can still be a bit drying because of the ingredients they use to wipe away residue from the skin.  The Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil, however contains all of those natural extract and oils that keep the surface of the skin silky smooth.  And best of all, it removes ALL traces of makeup and dirt.

After a long day, I can come home and with two full pumps of the Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil have my fave clear of everything.  It's incredibly gentle, making the removal of all waterproof eye makeup much easier.  If I take a cotton pad with toner to my face after using the Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil, I cannot see any presence of leftover makeup or dirt on my face (which is incredibly impressive).

Another great thing about the Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil is the packaging.  I know it's weird, but I am a sucker for great packing (especially when you are paying so much for a product).  The lock proof pump and lightweight bottle makes the product incredibly convenient for travel, and it also looks nice just sitting on your vanity.

So for months like these warm summer days where we are wearing waterproof, long wear makeup and are spending entire days outside, definitely consider investing in a great cleansing oil to sooth and clear your skin (your face will definitely appreciate it).