You guys!!! I’m writing this just hours before Meghan Meowrkle and Purrrince Harry’s historic wedding. As an American fangirl–minor overstatement because I basically just follow whatever the Daily Mail posts–I am irrationally psyched.
Enter BECCA Royal Glow (gifted by the brand): a limited edition highlighter inspired by the Crown Jewels. These are family jewels I’m actually eager to show people. A gorgeous golden peach befitting Meghan’s beauty.
When Gothamista asks you to purrrsonally take her shopping, you don’t say no. In fact, you say yes while trying hard to play it cool and fake-flipping through your planner.
So on one cold day in New York, Renée met up Renee (no relation) and me for a day in Chinatown exploring some of the best places in the city to swatch ‘n’ sniff Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese beauty stuphs (plus some select Western ones).
Lucky for my obsessed self, brands are releasing lavender highlighter faster than you can say “unicorn.” Unlucky for me, the hunt for the right one almost feels like searching for a unicorn.
My purrroblem: I have light but very yellow skin (NC15 right now, NC20 in summer). Oftentimes the lavender ends up simply neutralizing my undertones (like a color corrector or one of those Korean tone-up products), making the highlighter look white or baby pink.
Rile you were sleeping, a new player arrived on the Kbeauty scene.
When I first heard about Riley Rose, it sounded like a Sephora for millennials. What I didn’t realize until I visited the store at Glendale Galleria (a Los Angeles mall): Riley Rose has a TON of Kbeauty brands that can’t be found in a brick-and-mortar elsewhere.
PA ratings are almost unheard of for American sunscreens. In the U.S., PA labeling isn’t required, widely understood, or regulated, so naturally companies have no incentive to advertise PA ratings, much less formulate for the highest rating. But for us Asian beauty fans and serious skincare addicts, we know that PA++++ is preferable for preventing tanning and sunspots from UVA exposure.
I had high hopes for this all-physical sunscreen (2.7% titanium dioxide, 10% zinc oxide) because it claimed to leave no white cast, but the title of this post–Orange Is the New White–should serve as ominous foreshadowing.
To start the new-ish 2018 year, I decided to lighten up. REALLY lighten up. So I went from ombre brownish gold to just…blonde. As in Khaleesi blonde. As Asian hair sucks ass to color, and doesn’t retain the color, I sat in a salon chair from 2:30PM-8:30PM. Below is a “BEFORE” of my brassy balayage/ombre ‘do.
As my parents have owned beauty salons for over 10 years, I came in with realistic expectations. To turn brown into light blonde, especially closer to the roots, you have to color for hours and hours. First hair is bleached, slowly, then the blonde shade is applied. It is NOT single processing. Often during processing, the hair color comes out in patches and super uneven. If the developer is too strong, your hair will be super brittle. If it’s too weak, it won’t lift the shades light enough.
I went to an Asian hair salon (Hair Philosophy @hairphilosophynyc) and relied on my fabulous & talented Effie Lei (@hair_by_effie) (please don’t poach her and book up all my appointments m*f*ckers!).
After sniffing 4 tubs of this cleansing balm, I concluded that the scent (the true joy factor) is extremely inconsistent from batch to batch. With an unreliable joy factor, this is just not worth the risk to buy.
Blue skincare is one of my obsessions. Most often, blue is associated with anti-inflammatory azulene (from blue chamomile) or with skin-regenerating copper peptides (not to be confused with copper metal).
Apr. 12, 2018 Update: Does allthetea about Brandon Truaxe have you looking for alternatives? CAIS is wonderful but expensive and hardly irreplaceable. There are cheaper and sometimes even better alternatives.