They See Me Haulin’ Part 1: Shopping in LA

In LA, I shopped my way across the city for Asian beauty products. All for you! I’m sorry, I meant me. All for me. By no means is this list meant to be extensive. I only listed places that I already knew of or came across. I hope, however, that this is useful to someone interested in shopping for Asian makeup and skincare. My faves: Image, Beauty Tips, and Takashima–all in the San Gabriel Valley.  Read on for info about stores there and in Koreatown and West LA. Some things to note:

  • Testers for makeup and skincare were common.
  • Prices across stores were basically the same (e.g., $18 for Clio Gelspresso eyeliner), so comparison shopping wasn’t as important as I thought it would be. Now whether those prices beat online prices, I don’t know.  Update: I’ve noticed some wildly disparate prices on some skincare items.  As in some items being 2x higher at one store versus another.  So comparison shopping is important.
  • Pretty much every store that sold Korean makeup sold Clio Gelspresso eyeliners and the full range of Peripera lip products and It’s Skin Babyface makeup.


1. Beauty Tips/Tips Beauty (Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese) 500 N. Atlantic Blvd., Suite 177, Monterey Park, CA 91754 The entrance is on Atlantic. Although small, it is crammed with products from Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese brands, including brands that I didn’t see anywhere else. Also carries a healthy selection of American/Western brands, some of which are not commonly found in stores (such as Avene, La Roche Posay, Klorane, Eve Lom). Great for: Continue reading “They See Me Haulin’ Part 1: Shopping in LA”

Worth It? Rodin Olio Lusso Review

Grumpy Cat No

Worth It? reviews crazy expensive items that you might have wondered about but couldn’t bring yourself to buy.  Look forward to more Worth It? reviews in the future.  I also just can’t keep thinking up pun-ny titles like Renee can.  

At $150 for 1 fl. oz., Rodin Olio Lusso is a “luxury face oil” described as a “perfect potion” that promises hydrated and luminous skin.  After seeing it repeatedly featured in models’ and actresses’ routines on Into the Gloss, I splurged (with a coupon code naturally) on a bottle of this promising elixir.  Directions say to apply a few drops to a clean, moist face morning and night.

01 Rodin Olio Lusso Closeup Continue reading “Worth It? Rodin Olio Lusso Review”

They built me up…butter cup – butter LONDON Patent-Gel Nail Top & Tails Set

To be on trend with summer, I have been into painting my nails some pretty random bright colors lately. It’s about the only beauty area that I can have wiggle room at work, considering the Japanese investment banking culture.

I have oily nail beds that fail to hold any color for more than a couple of days, even gel nails that have been cured with UV. And that’s another topic for a bitch fest, since gel nails always peel at the edges but impossible to get rid of once it’s a jagged little circle of color in the middle of your damn nail. I have been forced to pick at it til it strips off a micro-millimeter layer of keratin on my nail.

So I just repaint every couple of days. The other day I was at Ricky’s and found the butter LONDON base & top coat set (for goddamn $40!) I forked out the dough anyway. Economics have taught me that in conditions of uncertainty, price signals quality. So I am a sucker for stupid expensive base and top coat that implies it will make any nail polish last like it’s gel.

photo 1 photo 2 Continue reading “They built me up…butter cup – butter LONDON Patent-Gel Nail Top & Tails Set”

Misty-watered color memories – Hadanomy Aquaplacenta Mist and Shiseido Hadasui Skin Body Lotion

In the nasty aftermath of my various sunburns, I used to grab for the OTC aloe lotions and such. And while those aloe lotions and potions are ok, these facial/body mists from the Japanese cosmetic stores kick it up a notch.

(My) Uses include: after-sun care spray, toner for my body before moisturizer, moisturizer alone for super hot and humid days.

If you want stripper-soft skin, you must religiously apply lotion all over the body right after a shower. Every Day! These toners will give you major catch up.

I got this beauty tip from a girl at the Image beauty store in Alhambra, CA. I owe my soft body skin to her. And to my moisturizing rituals since 12 years old.

Below are the two that I have been switching up. One is for the face which I use for my body. One is specifically designed as a body toner (these Japanese cosmetic firms think of everything). And why not? The rest of your skin needs toner just as much as your face does. And you can experiment with various cheap toners without sacrificing the face first! WIN WIN!

20140628-120732-43652938.jpg Continue reading “Misty-watered color memories – Hadanomy Aquaplacenta Mist and Shiseido Hadasui Skin Body Lotion”

Phantastic Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum: Review

01 Physicians Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner Deep Brown Swatch Closeup
Wearing Physicians Formula eyeliner in Deep Brown

For years, I’ve been using the Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum.  Initially, it caught my eye because it boasted a Japanese formula, so I figured it had a better chance of being smudgeproof.  It also boasts of having serum properties to enhance eyelash health (implying that it will make lashes longer).  Overall, even though it’s not totally smudgeproof, it’s a product that I recommend and repurchase often.

02 Physicians Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner

Continue reading “Phantastic Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum: Review”

Ooh La La-neige Water Drop Tints: Review of Peach Coral, Neon Pink, and Scarlet Red

01 Laneige Water Drop Tints Peach Coral Neon Pink Scarlet Red

Laneige Water Drop Tints are glossy, creamy, moisturizing lip stains.

02 Laneige Water Drop Tints Peach Coral Neon Pink Scarlet Red

Without eating or drinking, they last 5 or 6 hours.  Scarlet Red probably lasts even longer than that.  The lighter colors fade in intensity after an hour or two and are buildable to medium but not full coverage; even after fading however, you can still feel them on your lips providing some moisture.  The colors leave a slight stain.  Even though I was disappointed with the sheerness and subtlety of the lighter colors, I still use them a lot because they’re very convenient, long-lasting lip colors. Continue reading “Ooh La La-neige Water Drop Tints: Review of Peach Coral, Neon Pink, and Scarlet Red”

Blinc and You’ll Miss It: Blinc Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Noir Black Review

I am quite picky about eyeliner and always looking for something that won’t smudge.  I have oily, hooded eyelids, so that’s no easy feat.

I actually had the same meh experience as Renee with Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (funnily enough, I also tried the Cobalt).

For ultimate staying power, liquid eyeliners work best.  Most recently, I’ve been impressed with two eyeliner pens by Blinc: the Liquid Eyeliner Pen and the Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen.  I think both use the same formula: deep jet black, dries slightly shiny, comes off in flakes with water and gentle pressure or regular eye makeup remover, and–yes!–smudgeproof.

Blinc Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Noir Black

086bd-02blincliquideyelinerpenpackaging Continue reading “Blinc and You’ll Miss It: Blinc Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Noir Black Review”

Recycle and Rieuse: Dior Addict Fluid Stick in 373 Rieuse

Everything I said about Dior Addict Fluid Sticks last time still holds true.  Hence, recycle and Rieuse.  Haha!  ::awkward side glance::  Moving on . . .

In sunlight
In sunlight
In indirect sunlight
In indirect sunlight

The shade Rieuse (373) is a medium pink coral.  I wish it looked brighter and more pastel on me, but it’s still a pretty color, especially for spring and summer. Continue reading “Recycle and Rieuse: Dior Addict Fluid Stick in 373 Rieuse”

Mi Amore: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ Review – 104 Tan Blush

For the second summer in a row, the AmorePacific Color Control Cushion SPF 50 is a staple in my routine.  (The product link goes to QVC, which has a video demonstration and shade guidance.  No longer available on QVC.)  In Asia, cushion foundations have been around for several years, but they are just now hitting the U.S.  (It Cosmetics just released one.  Actually my friend told me that Stila and Almay came out with cushion makeup years and years ago and lo and behold my Googling turned up Stila Pivotal Makeup.)

Continue reading “Mi Amore: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ Review – 104 Tan Blush”

Back to the Fuchsia

So it’s Friday night and instead of partying my ass into oblivion, I thought…”I MUST update my new fabulous blog that no one reads.” Because I have a commitment to this, see?

One of my favorite finds from last summer is fuchsia lips. Or maybe it was two summers ago. It’s now being reincarnated as “orchid” which is a little more purple, but it’s the same color family. It’s equivalent to the red lipstick of summer. Unlike coral, it cannot be mistaken for red lipstick. It’s sophisticated yet daring. Universally appealing yet more updated than red. It’s a flash of color on your lips. And you can get away with wearing no other makeup. It’s fking poetry!

My lazy ass is too…well, lazy, to do a bunch of crazy pics so you will be the basic three shots. Here are the steps:
1. Line with Revlon Colorstay lip liner in “Neutral”
2. One coat over lips of Mac lip primer

3. Two coats of Smashbox’s”Fuchsia Flash. I used the pointy tip of the lipstick to draw the edges of the mouth.(

Continue reading “Back to the Fuchsia”