I’m Mall In: Review of Riley Rose, Sephora for Kbeauty

Rile you were sleeping, a new player arrived on the Kbeauty scene.

Enter from outside or inside the mall

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.

So it’s more like Sephora for Kbeauty. LOVE. Continue reading “I’m Mall In: Review of Riley Rose, Sephora for Kbeauty”

Orange Is the New White: Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++ Review

Oh hai, PA++++ sunscreen made by a Western brand!  *heart-eyes emoji*  Murad City Skin Age Defense SPF 50 PA++++ sunscreen was released last spring and I was immediately drawn by the PA rating.

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.

Continue reading “Orange Is the New White: Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++ Review”

Purrrrple Mane Purrple Mane – Dyeing (and Keeping) Asian Hair Platinum Blonde

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!).

And goddamn she did a great job: Continue reading “Purrrrple Mane Purrple Mane – Dyeing (and Keeping) Asian Hair Platinum Blonde”

Who Nose: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm Review

Why do I love Farmacy Green Clean AND why will I not repurchase?

The scent.

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.


I actually loved this on first smell when Bella Noir Beauty (her review here) let me try hers after raving about the scent: key lime pie mixed with heaven. Throw in the creamy lime color, and there was SO MUCH JOY that I resolved to buy this the next time I needed to restock cleansing balm. I also recommended this to a few of you during the fall Sephora sale based on pure yumminess. Continue reading “Who Nose: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm Review”

Got the Blues: NIOD CAIS Review & CAIS2 First Look

I got the blues…and I’m happy about it.

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).

My latest obsession, NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum (aka CAIS), falls into the latter category. Can you blame me for loving it? It’s like gazing upon a sea of hopes and dreams.

Apr. 12, 2018 Update: Does all the tea about Brandon Truaxe have you looking for alternatives? CAIS is wonderful but expensive and hardly irreplaceable. There are cheaper and sometimes even better alternatives.

Personally, I’m switching to Skin Biology 7% GHK-Cu Accelerant to make my own BLUE stuphs (incidentally one of their few copper peptide products that doesn’t smell funky). Bioderma Matricium is faster at repairing a damaged moisture barrier. Leegeehaam Tea Tree 90 Essence is as effective at reducing redness and inflammation with consistent use. BONAIR Blue Smoother Face Oil is BLUE, features fermented blue tansy oil, and nourishes and reduces inflammation in one step (read mah review). I haven’t tried it myself, but Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop is also BLUE and gets great reviews (including in the comments on this post) for healing skin.

And lists of alternatives are popping up on Reddit /r/skincareaddiction and elsewhere (hi, Nourish the Skin!). Mmmkay, back to the review…

Continue reading “Got the Blues: NIOD CAIS Review & CAIS2 First Look”

Catte Fancy: Paul and Joe Sister Anatole Cape Review

The pawpularity of feline fashun is undeniable. At the furfront of this trend is Paul & Joe Sister, which needs no introduction to us CATTE LADIES. We’ve been fans of the Purrisian label’s catte-themed threads longer than this blog has existed.

Pssst…Through Nov. 30, 2017, use coupon code PVTS25 for 25% off the whole Paul & Joe Sister site!

It’s the “more affurdable” sister brand of Paul & Joe (luxury staple brand of Paris fashun week) and cousin of catsmetics line Paul & Joe Beauté (check out Renee’s collection here and here).

Continue reading “Catte Fancy: Paul and Joe Sister Anatole Cape Review”

Pawlidays Come Early: Review of Custom Pet Shirts by Animal Hearted

What better way to wear your heart on your sleeve than to literally wear your beloved cat—or dog if you’re into that—on your shirt?

Animal Hearted—which donates 25% of proceeds to animal rescues and sanctuaries—does custom pet shirts (and its own designs created in-house). Given my our obsession with a certain feline, we pounced on the chance to try the custom shirts (courtesy of Animal Hearted).

Tl;dr: The purrrfect purrresent!

Continue reading “Pawlidays Come Early: Review of Custom Pet Shirts by Animal Hearted”

The MOARdinary: Deciem in London’s Covent Garden – Store Photos & Review

Sandwiched unassumingly between Chanel and Dior at London’s Covent Garden (aka beauty heaven–just see the list of beauty shops) is a bright, airy Deciem store featuring practically all the brands under the Deciem umbrella.

Deciem
5B The Market Building
Covent Garden
London WC2E 8RF

Continue reading “The MOARdinary: Deciem in London’s Covent Garden – Store Photos & Review”

You’re Ball I Need: Thank You for a Winning Campaign for My Balls

I started my campaign for sunscreen balls needing 3,500 votes. Just yesterday, the final vote was cast, meaning that my balls can move to the next stage in Volition Beauty’s process: testing and refining prototypes to make the balls of my (and I hope your) dreams. Awww yeah!

I’m so excited, but above all I feel #blessed (saying that un-ironically mostly un-ironically). Thank you to everyone who voted and everyone who encouraged others to vote. ❤ Whether you were there on Day 1 or Day Whatever Yesterday Was (it’s been a loooong campaign) and whether you posted on social media or voted under your cat’s name, you’ve been essential to a successful campaign–way more so than my ball jokes (which will continue thankyouverymuch).

Stay tuned as I shape and tweak my balls into a final product.