Grace Finds Style

February 26, 2011

Product Review: MAC Studio Finish Concealer & Bobbi Brown Corrector

Filed under: Beauty,Reviews — Grace @ 9:08 pm
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I’ve gone without a very good concealer for years, having had a few that just did not satisfy me. I was sorely unimpressed with MAC’s select concealer, which was too liquidy, and it came out fairly thin. It’s a tube, so it was difficult to control  the amount. About a month ago, I had a Nordstrom gift card, for $50, so I decided to be adventurous and try out a few new products. I did some research on a few web sites, and decided to purchase the MAC Studio Finish Concealer SPF30 in NC30 (My face is actually a C3 in MAC Studio Fix Foundation) and Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach. Both of these have fantastic reviews (Concealer reviews, Corrector reviews).


The concealers closed.


Left: Bobbi Brown Corrector, Peach (better for yellow toned skins), $20. The color looks a bit frightening in the container, but it matches my skin perfectly.
Right: MAC Studio Finish Concealer, SPF35 in NC30, $16.50.

The consistency of both are creamy, and despite the fact that I have oily skin, both of them last approximately 3/4 of the day before it starts falling off requiring a touch up. I use the MAC Studio Finish Concealer on all my blemishes and my scars and it hides it perfectly. It doesn’t feel heavy when I wear it.

As for the Bobbi Brown corrector, Peach is an orang-ish color that looks like it has no way of correcting anything, but it effectively covers up my dark eye circles. I have really dark eye circles that often makes me look a panda, but it automatically “reawakens” me and makes me look more alive.

I had only used liquid concealers in the past that ended up making me look pasty and unnatural. Hence, it was refreshing to look in the mirror and see that though I had I not applied anything else but the concealer and the corrector, my skin looked so natural and dare I say it — clear? Needless to say, these two products have quickly become my holy grails. I don’t wear makeup everyday, but on the days I do, I sometimes forget to put on foundation (which never happens) because my face looks fairly even already! Add a bit of blush, and I look infinitely better. I would consider my skin to be combination/T-zone, and these products were absolutely terrific. No breaking out, no yucky oily feeling. It will be interesting to see how well they stay on during the summer, but it has effectively made me a huge fan, and I would say that they are well worth the price.


Hopefully these pictures aren’t too frightening (as I kind of scared myself looking at such closeups of my eye – my eyes are constantly red lately due to them being dry from my LASIK surgery), but here is a before and after photo of my eye area. You can see that it wakens up my eyes immediately with the use of concealer, and it covers very well – this is a closeup of the Bobbi Brown Corrector.

What concealers do you use? Which ones are your HGs?

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February 22, 2011

Project Uncluttering: Getting Rid of “Stuff”

Filed under: Project Unclutter — Grace @ 7:06 pm
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Note: I’m cross posting this with my personal blog, since I think it applies there as well, and it keeps me in check.

Anyone who really knows me, knows that I’m a bit of a schizophrenic when it comes to spending and consumerism. I even have a blog with a friend (that has been slightly molding) about living simpler, greener, and basically simplifying ones’ life. In the past year, I’ve tossed a great deal many things out in light of all the things I accumulated in finding a more stylish me (hence, the schizophrenic part), but I find that I still own many items that I just don’t use or haven’t worn in a long time. I came across this one blog that documented each item they threw out a day, and while I won’t be documenting everyday, I may do an accumulation of the things I plan to donate/toss/sell that week (minus dirty old things or who knows, a second stapler I find haha). I don’t know if people will find this boring as this doesn’t directly relate to clothing or beauty, but I see it as minimizing my wardrobe and items that are investments instead of toss-a-ways. PetiteAsianGirl’s latest post on her investment in a few quality Chanel purses makes me feel as though this post might not be too out of topic 😉 Plus… I need to place myself on a strict discipline shopping budget (current ban), and this will help keep me in check!


Item #1: White T-shirt Tank, aka listed as ‘Sexy women’s T-shirt dress #JG162white’
Reason to Toss/Donate/Sell: I decided to brave buying from these Hong Kong sellers from ebay selling the cutest Asian clothes online April last year. I thought the items would be more petite friendly (they are) but the sizing varied so much from item to item I would definitely not recommend it as it’s just a hassle to have to make returns back to Hong Kong. This one was a definite miss for me. (The other items I returned – could barely fit and it was just odd!) Too big (as you can see, not very fitted). Too see through, and all in all, not very practical. I never wore it once, and I don’t see myself ever finding a reason to wear it. (I’m almost embarrassed to show these pictures!)


Item #2: Victoria Secret’s Drop-Waist Belted Wool Coat, XS
Reason to Toss/Donate/Sell: Currently just $68, I love the look of this jacket. I bought it several years ago, but despite it being XS (which I can usually fit, especially if it’s a jacket), it’s too big on me. I think that’s true of almost all of Victoria Secret’s clothing – way too big. If it weren’t for the belt, it would look as though I was wearing a big poncho. Because of how much extra “belt pullage” I have to do, there is a lot more extra fabric that comes up. Also, even though white is a beautiful color (it’s more like ivory), it’s easy to get all sorts of stains and lint and fur on it. The coat is very heavy, and I love all the details (I like the button in the center on the back, and the button cuff on the sleeves – hence why I kept it even though it’s clearly too large), but it’s just not very practical in Southern California. I haven’t decided whether or not to sell or donate this one yet, as it needs to be dry cleaned if I end up selling it.


Other Items:
#4. I bought this Guess hand purse when I was in college and loved it back then. I’m still on the fence on keeping it, but I haven’t really used it much in years. I carry so much with me now a days it doesn’t make any sense for me to have such a rigid small purse. Not very versatile either, even though it is really well made. It’ll probably find itself on ebay.
#5. Charlotte Purse wallet. I love the idea of a small flat wallet, but I carry a lot of coins with me, as well as cards, and of course, it being Charlotte Russe, isn’t of the best quality, so the wallet will start bulging with too many items in it, and the pockets too rigid. I did use it pretty good for most of the year, but I’ve put this on the donate block.
#6. Naturalizer Prissy Sandals. As a bridesmaid for my brother’s wedding, I had to wear these sandals. I was hopeful they would be comfortable after all the positive reviews, but after testing them out at work, and then wearing them at the wedding, the straps began to dig into my foot. The same was said by the other bridesmaids. So, after wearing these a couple of times, I think I will try to find another home for these shoes.

I read a great tip once of how to figure out (with not much thinking or emotional thinking) which clothes to toss and clean out of the closet (of which I have yet to do.) Every time you have washed and worn an item, you put the hanger facing the opposite direction (for example, inwards) than those items sitting in the closet unworn/unused for a long time. After six months to a year (or whatever time period you think is long enough), go through those hangers that are facing outwards, and simply donate those items. Of course that would exclude special occasion dresses. I thought that was an excellent idea. People have even used separate closets as an idea, but I don’t have that many closets… 🙂

Any items you will be ridding of? What metric do you use to sift through to clear your closet?

February 15, 2011

Target Shoes Review, Part One

Filed under: Reviews — Grace @ 9:41 am
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My two Target orders were split into many shipments – a few won’t even be available until March. Today, I received two shipments, one item from each order. I’m having a bit of trouble deciding whether or not to keep them.

Target is still having its 20% off $75 sale (immediately applied in cart). Excuse the horrible quality of my pictures and the backgrounds. I’ve been in deep purging/cleaning mode, that you shall see in a future post.


In my first order, I got these Merona Ettie Leather Wedge Sandals, sz 6 in black. They are now listed at $22. When I first spotted it, I wanted it in champagne but they didn’t have my size available online. I was curious about the comfort though, and went and ordered it in black anyway.

What I like about it:
– It is so incredibly soft and comfortable. The insole is padded the way I like it, in such a way that my feet don’t start sliding when it gets sweaty.
– Genuine leather upper.

What I don’t like about it:
– The flowers are rather huge. I don’t know if it’s because I wore jeggings with them that it makes me look like I’ve got huge humongous feet. Maybe they’d look better with my boot cut jeans.
– It’s black. I own far too many black shoes. I may have to hunt down the champagne color in store. I think the black probably contributes to the clown feet effect.

Unsure:
– I’m weary about thongs and can only wear flip flops that have a thicker cloth or made of really soft material, but it varies from shoe to shoe. My skin gets easily chaffed and is pretty sensitive to the thong while it rubs in between my big toe and second toe. Even though the thong feels comfortable now, it may not handle up to longer periods of walking. I had a similar experience with a shoe I bought at DSW; it was super comfortable in store, but I quickly discovered discomfort when walking for longer periods of time after I had bought it.

I’m really unsure of whether or not to keep these sandals. They are so incredibly comfortable and cute, though not really sleek or classy. Not that I’m sleek or classy most of the time, especially given the summer where I’m always in flip flops anyway. They’d be good for a summer day. Decisions, decisions!


The second item I received were the Xhilaration Wedges, sz 6 in Tawny (a replica of the Dolce Vitas), priced at $24.99. (Also in black). It seems as though many people bought these shoes.

What I like about them:
– They are surprisingly light and comfy!
– The 3.75″ is a good height.
– They look really great on the feet, especially from the front.

What I don’t like about them:
– The zipper of the right sandal took a while to zip up. I found that it was easier to zip up part way before I put my foot in, as the zipper just wouldn’t want to go.
– They look good directly on the feet, but the whole brown tall wedge made me feel as though I was a midget on stilts (exaggerated, of course). I would definitely say skinny jeans are NOT to be worn with these – otherwise they just look too clunky – I should have taken pictures wearing something that fit both of these pairs of shoes better.
– The material isn’t of the best quality, but that’s what I expect out of a $24.99 shoe.

I don’t own many dresses or skirts, so the one thing I could wear with these wedges would be bootcut jeans. (I’m still slightly lost about what to wear!)

So, what do you think I should do? Keep or return?

~Grace

February 5, 2011

Huge Amazon sale; 40% off clearance, FORTYOFF

Filed under: Sales — Grace @ 4:59 am
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Here are some designer stores that Amazon sells that may prove to be useful for people who love designer labels. Of course, the rest of their brands are also on sale. Amazon has free return shipping for clothing, which means it is easy to purchase a few items that may or may not fit. It’s hard however, to find small sizes. Here are a few brands:

I would have loved to get the True Religion in Becky Petite, but none of my size were left. There are just too many items, but didn’t find anything that really popped out at me. Plus, the small sizes are not really left. But maybe it will help someone else find an item!

Note, it seems people may have trouble applying the code, so it works on some items and not on others.

~Grace

At the Fitting Room: H&M Redux

Filed under: At the Store — Grace @ 4:18 am
Tags: , , , ,

I visited H&M earlier this week during a quick break from work, but after being inspired by PAG’s post, I was determined to visit again, confident I would find something I liked (plus, I loved those coral shoes!). I ended up snagging the SZ6 (I have wide shoulders) knit blazer in pinkish-beige because of how comfy it is; see on PetiteLG here. I already had a navy blue jacket, so I opted to go with the pink.

I’m still struggling on figuring out how to take photos in a very small confined space – everyone is so talented out there! I forgot my camera at home, so I made do with my camera phone. And I didn’t have time to retake photos since I was on a lunch break.
H&M Ruffle Shirt
H&M Ruffle Shirt, size 4.
I agree with PetiteLG’s assessment that it was just too rufflish. It looks better in the photo than in person. I wasn’t wearing a tank top and it requires one, otherwise it would reveal to much. My bra was already peeking out. The sustainable material that H&M calls it is also not very comfortable – with a slight paperish feel (though fairly good quality in terms of make). Also, it’s slightly too short on me, ending up making it look kind of strange.

I tried on a few more ruffly-type tops (yes, I love those kind of tops – as it adds a little something to “that area”!)
0203111414
H&M beige pink ruffle V neck top, size 2

0203111425
H&M striped pink ruffly baby top, sz 2
I think the tops look nice with skinny jeans, and I was going to go with the pink striped ruffly top, since it was comfy and I liked how the collar wasn’t too open and not too low. Also, I loved the bright pink color.

The only thing I don’t like about these kind of shirts is the elastic above the waist sometimes digs in, causing it to be fairly uncomfortable, and I definitely found that to be the case with the ruffly royal blue top. I also really liked the light pink V-ruffly shirt, and thought it was comfortable, but not worthy of the $34.95 price tag. (I think I need to find a new pose :))

0203111417
H&M T-shirt bow, SZ 4
If I gain any weight, it goes directly to my belly, which makes it difficult to wear anything too tight. Here, you can see that the shirt fits fine, but you can see the formation of my belly. (Need to exercise more) The shirt was fairly plain, and though it could be dressed up, I didn’t like it very much. Plus, my neck felt naked.

0203111421
H&M sparkly beaded T-shirt, XS

I don’t have too many long and flowy tops to match my skinny jeans, and I really liked how the bottom has an elastic you can adjust how “flowy” it is, that I grabbed this in both the white and the peachy color. My neck is still a bit naked, but for some reason, it feels less so.

0203111429
H&M sandals, sz 6
And, since I’m a bit of a converted shoe addict in the past year, I couldn’t resist the sandals that PetiteAsianGirl posted, that I had to grab a pair. I wanted to test out the coral colors too, but I thought I was lucky enough to even find any pair in any color at all in size 6! The nude one that I’m wearing here was the only one that had a size 6, let alone a size smaller. Then again, they might have had them in the back, but I was in a rush to get back to work that I didn’t have any time to ask. I’ll probably try another H&M this weekend to see if I can hunt down a size 6 in coral. They actually have a bit of space, especially where my foot is and the zipper. I sort of have wide feet so they’re acceptable, but I might see if I can find a size 5 to compare.

Excuse my ramblings – one of my weaknesses is my writing, so I’m hoping to improve!
~Grace

February 1, 2011

LASIK, two weeks later

Filed under: Life — Grace @ 5:12 am
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I haven’t written much in any of my blogs, mainly due to the fact that two weeks ago, I went in for LASIK. My prescription was pretty high, with a -7.5 in my right eye, and a -5.5 in my left eye. I tend to freak out when anything comes close to my eye, including contacts, so I have been wearing glasses since I was 7 years old.

Lately, I’ve just been wanting a change, and I was getting annoyed how greasy my face seemed to get with my glasses, the constant needing to clean my glasses, and the fact that my nose ridge barely existed causing my glasses to slide down that I decided to go for the change.

Feeling pretty confident about going with Global Laser Vision, with my ex and many of his coworkers going to the same place and having a successful surgery, I decided to go with Global Laser Vision as well. In addition, the surgeon had a very impressive resume, and all the reviews online for Global Laser Vision were extremely positive.

I opted for the Custom Wavefront Lasik procedure, which is essentially performed all with laser. There are two steps, the cutting of the flap, and then the cornea being modified to the shape it needs to see clearly. The cutting of the flap can be done manually with a blade, or a laser (which is more precise). Since my eyes are so sensitive I had a difficult time not tearing up during the surgery. Before going into the surgery they put five or six different kinds of eye drops into your eye – many to prevent from getting an infection or inflammation which could cause complications, in addition the one drop to numb your eye.

The whole procedure was done within five minutes for each eye. But as I said, I kept on tearing up throughout, so when the flap was actually cut, I wasn’t aware of what many described as going blind for about 15 seconds since I was already all teared up. After they’re done, they send you home with a pair of eye shields to help the healing of the cornea and to prevent you from rubbing your eyes.

How are my eyes? My left eye is 20/20. My right eye however, even after two weeks is blurry.
(For some reason, it’s taking me forever to write up this post!) I’m contemplating wearing an eye patch over my left eye to possibly improve my right eye. I’m not sure if that would work or just strain my eye even more so. Night time, due to my blurriness and the fact that my astigmatism still remains (seeing double), my depth perception is thrown off quite a bit. The first week, I had completely lost my confidence driving because I couldn’t judge how far I was from vehicles when making lane changes or merging.

I’ll check in later with more updates on my eye progress. I haven’t gone to the mall or bought anything new as of late, so nothing to report there so far =)

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