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Friday, July 29, 2016

5 things to do for August

To be honest, this kind of monthly to do became redundant to me in the last couple of months. But looking back, when I first started this, this kind of post actually motivated me in a way. This August, I shave my to do list from 8 to 5, other than giving me more focus, there is nothing wrong with taking one step at a time, right? ;)

  1. Stay in schedule with my blog editorial calendar.
  2. Pick up writing again. I have a 'creative outlet' for my writing somewhere in the corner of internet and I've been leaving it for too long.
  3. Try that no-bake cheesecake recipe once again, this time with drier crust.
  4. stop making excuses when it comes to work, get my head back in the game. Try to make even more positive working environment even when everyone or everything else is walking negative bomb.
  5. Order Zoeva Rose Golden Eye set vol 2 and arrange so it arrives somewhere in between last week of August.
What do you have in your to do list this August?

acceptance over understanding
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

5 great things from July

This time of the month actually calls for 'monthly favorite post' but I decided to change it into '5 great things from (insert month here)'. This will encompasses wider than just beauty range, and I personally think will be a great place to mix in some of my life story in this blog of mine. Without further ado, here are 5 great things from July;

  1. Meeting friends; cliche, I know. But hanging out with my friends in weekdays is impossible (i'm that leave at 5 am and return home at 9 pm, for work - kind of gal), not to mention everyone's offices are far from mine. Usually, I'd be so grateful with just 1 meeting in a month, but this month, I was blessed with at least 3 times seeing my wonderful friends. Fingers crossed, I can still see them a lot in August.
  2. Wardrobe cleaning; I probably spent so much money for shopping in July. I did came home one day with another shopping bag, opened my wardrobe, and no, this won't do, because my wardrobe was practically bursting with so many clothes. Thankfully, it motivated me to do some wardrobe cleaning, and now I'm no longer stressed out whenever I look at them; much more organized and filled only with my essentials.
  3. Baking; up until early half of 2014, I never fail to bake at least once in a month. But then came graduation, came my first actual job, and I left my cake pans and baking utensils to collect dust somewhere I stashed them. After stumbling upon this recipe, I dipped my toes back into the world of spices and sugars. I might have forgotten about the whole cup to gram conversion, but I'm sure I'll be picking it up back soon!
  4. Editorial calendar; I can't believe I didn't do this sooner but I finally started using editorial calendar. It's nothing fancy, just simple excel file on google drive but I can already feel the difference in my blogging process. It feels a whole lot more organized because it doesn't have my non-blogging schedule in between.
  5. New blog layout; if you have visited my blogs before, you might have noticed there's something different with my blog. Yup, I changed my blog design! I used to wear free blog template before but for some reason, there's always something iffy with tjhe design. Thanks to Vefio themes, now I have a more polished and easy to read blog. The owner of the shop is also super helpful, overall nice experience!
What are great things that happened to you this July?
acceptance over understanding
Friday, July 22, 2016

New in | July's Beauty

I know I just hauled some pretty great things back in June, what's with Japan trip and all, but I could not resist to dump my money and get the economy rolling this month, because; a) it was sale, practically everywhere, b) I went to Singapore and their Sephora carries more than local Sephora can carry (at least at the moment, I'm still waiting until Sephora Indonesia carry as much). In conclusion; I did not resist.

Nars Contour Kit in Paloma; I justify this purchase because I still don't have any contouring product in my arsenal. Which, for someone who writes beauty blog, should be considered a crime (no?). My thought on this? Still can't say anything because I've only tried this a couple of times (maybe 2 or 3), but I've learned to use this with light hand and under natural light, not my room light (in case you're wondering, yes, there was a disaster).

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard; not pictured, great, so smart, me! Anyway, I bought the travel size instead of full one, which was funny since I regretted not getting it back in Japan. I guess it can be attributed to some mixed reviews about this concealer, some says this great, some says not really. Hence the mini size, it's perfect for travel and popped inside my makeup pouch for on the go, and this way, I won't be wasting too much money if I ended up not liking it.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Ruby; this is totally 'bloggers made me buy it' purchase. I keep on reading about Fresh everywhere, and as someone with desert-dry lips, it's only natural that I'm itching to get my hands on it (pretty packaging aside, oops, did I just reveal myself?). Like two products above, I haven't use this as much to give a proper judgement, mainly because I'm trying to use up my MAC Cosmo lipstick.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner; I ran out of my Laneige's toner one morning and freaked out, because how am I supposed to sleep tonight without toner? Luckily, mom decided to go shopping on the afternoon! I visited Kiehl's counter instead of Laneige (because it was closer to Starbucks and I got free beverage coupon with me), spent 5 minutes choosing between this and blue herbal ones, before decided to go with this one. This smells a little bit iffy for me, but other than that, there's no major issue.

What did you purchase this month?
acceptance over understanding
Tuesday, July 19, 2016

6 Fuss-free Products for Summer

Indonesia is practically summer throughout the year, so technically, term 'summer makeup' does not exist. BUT, it also means I'm well versed with summer and struggle of keeping your makeup on within sweltering heat. These are 6 fuss-dree products that will ensure your face staying pretty through the worse of heat.

The Face
Summer means sweats, which means oily skin, and makeup slipping from your skin. It's important to keep your face matte, but, understandably with the importance put on glowy skin trend lately, you want to stay away from full-flat matte face.

Enter Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint, despite its name, I think the finish of this one is closer to satin than complete matte. To keep my face feeling fresh from all the sweating that's bound to happen, I spritz my face with Jill Stuart Fruit & Aroma Mist Refresh Oil Control. Not only it cools my face and adds a little moisture, it also smells really summery! For the cheeks, I have had fun dusting this beautiful Jill Stuart Layer Blush in Old Rose on my cheeks for glowing, rosey cheeks.

The Eyes
My oily lids call for drastic measure, a long-lasting eyeshadow is a must, and when I feel to lazy to change my brushes in between application of eyeshadow, I find myself looking for Maybelline Color Tatto in Bad to The Bronze. This cream shadow might be super affordable, but its mightiness has been vouched for multiple times by almost all blogger all over the world.

The Lips
I always associate summer with glow and when it comes to lips, it means juicy lips. NYX Xtreme Shine Lip Cream in Candy Land leaves my lips looking very juicy and glossy without being too sticky, and when I want something more subtle, I pull my Dior Lip Glow in Pink for the perfect shade of pink, this also helps keeping my lips moisturized the whole day.

This has been my pick for fuss-free summer makeup. What are your picks?

acceptance over understanding
Friday, July 15, 2016

How I deal with my oily & acne-prone skin

Growing up, I don't remember I ever take proper care of my skin (or myself, really). I was one of this kid who hit her puberty late (around 18), and by then, my skin was already damaged; uneven skin tone, bumpy skin, acnes, large pores, white & black-heads, oily, lots of sebum (and grease), dull skin. I didn't have the healthiest of diet either (lots of fat, grease, nuts, lack of exercise). The problems are piling up and for nearly 5 years I was struggling to find the right products for me. In the beginning of the year, I vowed myself to up my skincare game, and 6 months later, switched my skincare routine to Laneige and Kiehl's products, and my skin has never been better. I still have some acne scars left, they're hormonal so I cannot stop them, but they're healing fast. My face is brighter and more even in texture!

After cleaning my face, I pour deliberate amount of Laneige White Plus Renew Skin Refiner to cotton pad, and swipe it around my face. This refiner is supposed to 'refine' my face, balancing the PH, so my skin is ready to drink the next product and makes it work better. This also helps getting rid of dirt residue, plus brightening my skin. In the morning, I use Laneige Light Balancing Emulsion in place of regular moisturizer for day-time. It's very light-weight and absorbs really fast. For night-time, I gently massage three drops of everyone and their mother's favorite; Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concetrate. Then apply Kiehl's Blemish Control Daily Skin Clearing Treatment to problematic areas, especially the ones where I get pimples and acne most often to finish the routine.

When I feel like pampering my skin, I use Laneige's Black Head Melting Gel, which helps me getting read of pesky white/black head easier, followed by Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque before continuing with regular routines. I do this at least once in a week.

After starting this routine, I immediately noticed the difference. I used to have bumps and uneven skin between cheeks and ears area, around my temple and the chin, but in about a month, they are gone. My skin feels very smooth, soft, and plump every morning, and it gets better by day. As for acne, it is hormonal thing, so it is impossible to get rid of it completely from outside. However, this routine manages to keep them at bay, plus making the acne scar fade faster. Every month I got at least 2 acne (5 when it's that worst). My acne scar usually fade after 4 months, but by then, another acne had popped, so it's like an endless battle. However, now the acne I got is reduce to 1-2, fades easily, and the scars they left only last for a month and a half.

It can be stressful at times to find that I still pops some acne or two, but take a deep breathe, release, and be thankful that I have find products that work to help me dealing with my skin. Do you also have oily & acne-prone skin? What products you use to deal with them?

acceptance over understanding
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Brand focus: Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown seems to be the brand that everyone know is good but rarely talk about. I read somewhere because the brand is associated with 'boring', and to some point, I agree. They're not going for the whole fun and exciting aesthetic, more to classic and simple makeup. Despite their simplicity, they always deliver most of the time, plus they have the whole iconic products that everyone love and acknowledge. As someone who's all into natural, simple, and practical, their vision when it comes to makeup happen to fall in line with me. 

Bobbi Brown was, in fact, the first brand that got me into trying more makeup. Sure I started getting interested back when Burberry first launched their makeup line, but it wasn't until I read Bobbi's Makeup Manual Book and gathered my courage to visit their counter, that I begin to take makeup seriously. I love them simply because their products always seem to work, at least on me, maybe I'm just lucky with them. Either way, so far they had not disappoint me with any of their products. Below are 5 of my favorite Bobbi Brown products.

Long Wear Even Finish Foundation with SPF 15 (4,5 natural tan)
I cannot stop raving about this foundation, I just can't, I'm that in love with them. I've reviewed my foundation back in January and my claim still stand. This light-weight foundation offers medium to full coverage with very natural finish. Geared for people with oily skin, this foundation doesn't make my face fall flat, the finish leans more toward satin than matte. I need to apply powder on top of this, and even if I have to regularly blot my face (more habit than anything), this foundation does last for about 8 hours on me.

Blush (Nectar)
My holy grail blush! This is also reviewed back in April. This pink coral blush gives me the most flattering shade of flush ever. The pigmentation is buildable, on daily basis, I wear enough to give color to my dull skin, and on special occasion like wedding, I simply layered it up for more vibrant color. Either way, this is the 'no-brainer', 'you can go no wrong' -kind of blush that is versatile, appropriate for every occasion, and insanely long-lasting.

Creamy Concealer (Natural)
'Secret of The Universe' , as Bobbi touted it to be. This iconic concealer is my favorite for under eyes. As the name suggests, this concealer is very creamy but without being heavy. A few dots with my ring fingers and I look more 'awake'. I reserve this for under-eye area but during the day when I cannot be more bothered to pick up different concealer, I use this to cover redness as well.

Sheer Powder Brush
The greatest brush I own in my collection (bold claim). This do-it-all brush is intended for any powder product, supposes to gives you more natural finish than regular face brush. The hair is natural, feels soft, and the brush is slightly tapered, shaped like rounded triangle (do I make sense?) to suits for different purpose. So far I've used it for all powder products I have from powder to bronzer/contour (back when I still had Benefit Hoola!). I mostly use this to apply my blush, it always picks the right amount without making it too much nor too little.

Lip pencil in True Pink
This lip pencil was bought on a whim but I was surprised with how amazing they are. I think I've mentioned my love for this lip pencil a couple of times. It's creamy, so I can easily apply this without tugging, also long lasting and non-drying. The color itself is bold enough to be worn on its own. I personally love to wear it alone!

Another Bobbi Brown products I own including; Corrective Spot Treatment SPF 25 PA++, Natural Brow Shaper in Brunette, Smokey Eye mascara (very great as well!), Compact Loose Powder, and Cream Eyeshadow in Bone (great as eyeshadow base to make the color pop).

I'm thinking of getting their Cream Eyeshadow in Rose Gold and their infamous Shimmer Brick somewhere next year. And if chance presents itself, I will probably pick their Touch Up Stick as well since it has been in my wishlist from 2014.

Have you tried any product from Bobbi Brown? What product do you want to try?

acceptance over understanding

The Best Cleansing Duo from Japan

Hello, beauty lovers and enthusiast! If you stumble upon this post, then congrats! Because I'm about to introduce you to one of Japanese Cult cleansing product, one you must not skip, or miss, or not bother trying at all if you happened to find yourself in the land of dream and cherry blossom, and fresh, luscious fish, and thousands of beautiful, adorably packaged everything. Ahem, back to the issue at hand! These two products are part of Shiseido Senka Cleansing Range, subsidiary brand of Shiseido, not expenssive at all, absolutely affordable (400 - 1000 JPY depending on product and size), can be found practically everywhere in Japan, and works really great. Great as in mind-blowing and skirt-flying, and tears-inducing great. If you have dry skin and worries cleansing products will dry your skin even more, then fear not, because the entire Senka line is very friendly for all skin type.

These two are the fool-proof combination I've been using for three years. I'm personally not a fan of cleansing oil because they feel too rich and heavy on my skin (plus, I had experience of breaking out when using them), they make me feel stuffed while when I remove my makeup, I want my skin to feel fresh. Shiseido Senka Perfect Liquid is perfect for me, it's cooling on the skin and smells refreshing. A couple of drops then gentle massage to my face removes my makeup effectively. Then I continue the routine with Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip. In 2013, this product was all the rage, three years later, it still is. Coupled with foaming net, this cleansing foam creates the most. dense. thick. foam. ever. Try look them up on google image and I tell you, the image is not lying. at. all. It's so thick and cushion-y that it removes the dirt from my skin ever so gently without stripping it from moisture. I've been changing the way I used it by ditching the foaming net (it broke) and is awestruck at how creamy it is, it's like silky buttercream.

In conclusion, if you; a) find yourself in Japan, b) find yourself in drugstore in Japan, c) have dry skin, or any skin type, d) wants to get beauty/skincare product from Japan but don't know what, then think no more and get one of these, especially the Perfect Whip.

Have you tried any Shiseido Senka Cleansing products? What do you think about them?

acceptance over understanding
Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Eid Makeup Edit

Eid is here, again! It's that time of the year for big family gathering, to meet relatives I could not meet in regular basis, to eat lots of savory food rich with coconut milks, and cookies! It's probably one of the reason why I always looked forward for eid (shameless sweet-tooth here!). Even if there are people who dress themselves up nicely with really elaborate makeups, I personally love to keep everything simple during eid to translate what the day is supposed to symbolizes; rebirth, pure, and sincere.

The Base
First, I'm going to prime my face with Max Factor Facefinity All-day Primer to even out my skin tone and makes my foundation last longer. Next, I'm applying Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint with barehand before applying blush by Jill Stuart to get that natural,pinky glow. Last, I lock everything in place using MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder.

The Eyes
Since I'm going for 'natural look', what best option there is for me except for Burberry Eye Colour Wet & Dry Silk Shadow in Pale Barley, The legendary one-wash wonder eyeshadow that everyone and their mother seem to love. Before applying Majolica Majorca Lash Aesthetic Mascara that suddenly gives me lashes, I'm going to curl my lashes using Jill Stuart Eyelash Curler. To polish it up, I'm whipping out my first eyebrow product from Bobbi Brown which is their natural brow shaper. This brow mascara is very easy to use and, even for beginner like me.

The Lips
There will be lots of eating (rich! coconut! milk!) happening, and I resign myself to reapplication throughout the day. Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in True Pink is light-weight, creamy lip liner that excels as lipstick even when worn on its own! Pink is not an easy color to pull on my skin but this particular milky-strawberry pink flatters my skin tone nicely.

What kind of makeup you like to wear on Eid day?

acceptance over understanding
Friday, July 1, 2016

Tokyo Trip Recaps - Foods

Today marked the first of July but I decided to forego the usual 'monthly to do' and 'monthly favorite. Instead, I'm going to write another recap of my recent trip to Tokyo. Today's recap will be about food, specifically 3 places that  I enjoyed plenty of delicious food while I was there, and if my memory serves me correctly, I think I happened to savour more western food than Japanese ones. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing. Food is food, regardless. And as much as I love Japanese food, I'm not protesting when I was given equally delicious western food. It also happened that I did not snap any Japanese food due to the poor lighting. But I hope your eyes do enjoy the other pictures my lenses managed to capture.

Cafe Coconoha | Asakusa Solamachi | Official Site
This cafe deli offers variety of Japanese style pasta and desserts, focusing on pancakes. Located just beside Tokyo Sky Tree lobby, this place seems ideal for people who wants to enjoy their lunch (or brunch) before getting into the tower. I ordered confiture pancake; 5 slices of mini, fluffy pancake topped with equally fluffy whipped cream with apricot and strawberry jams to eat with. I personally fancy the apricot more thant the strawberry which was too sweet for my liking. Overall, the cafe has nice ambience and delicious, pretty food, I'd love to eat here to try their other offerings if I have chance to.

Dean & DeLuca | Shinjuku Lumine | Official Site
This New York origin cafe & deli was probably the cafe that I visited the most while I was there, especially the one in Shinjuku (I think it's purely because I visited Shinjuku a lot). I remember visiting here a couple of times when I was still a student and fell in love for their pretzel. Honestly, I didn't buy much food there, only their pretzel, but I never skip to buy their ice coffee. Simple ice coffe because I'm falling to that cliched no morning without coffee. Dean & DeLuca in Shinjuku station was small, but I love there because it's located in the station and people just came and go. Like I've mentioned, I'm truly fascinated with the organized chaos of Tokyo.

Dominique Ansel Bakery | Omotesando, Harajuku | Official Site
*above is not the picture of Dominique Ansel. I did not snap any photo there for lack of time and lack of lighting.
Another New York origin eatery. This infamous bakery is apparently sooooo famous in Tokyo, I probably queued there for 20 minutes and waited another 5 before getting my seat, before having to leave again since there're still long lines waiting for empty seat. We're lucky enough that Dominique himself was there (he bumped into me, and I had literal fangirl moment back then). I got myself cronut (passion fruit summer edition) while Amez tried the infamous DKA (DOMINIQUE'S KOUIGN AMANN) and Frozen S'more™. We both had Matcha Latte for drink. Honestly, they're delicious, but I personally am a fan of more subdued yet still there, lingering sweetness, so they fell too sweet for my liking (maybe this is what people called American's sweetness? ) The matcha latte was too rich as well, but after I let it sit for a while and let the ice melts, I came to appreciate the depth of its bitterness. Overall, a splendid place but maybe if I visit next time, I'd like to visit during less crowded hour to thoroughly enjoy their sweet offerings.

Sarabeth's | Shinjuku Lumine | Official Site
Why, oh, why, I ended up at another New York origin restaurant, dear me? Right, because my sweet, precious Japanese friend told me she had been wanting to eat here and who am I to resist, really? Despite the slightly mind-blowing price (I shelled quiet a lot while I ate there), I was very pleased with this restaurant, by far the second most delicious food I ate in my trip! I ordered their signature classic Fat and Fluffy French Toast. Now, this is the kind of sweetness I love; subtle, yet lingering, faint trace of sweet indulgence that's both decadent yet gentle. It came with fresh blue and rasp berries, two slices of banana, and dusted with icing sugar. Since the restaurant is also very popular, they limited our time there (approximately 70 minutes). Despite the short time, I really enjoyed eating there. Might consider second visit if chance permits, but this time, I'll try to come as early as possible (because I queued again, for 40 minutes!)

Kaiten Sushi | Shinjuku
*above is not the picture of sushi, obviously. I did not snap any photo there for lack of time and lack of lighting.
The most delicious food I ate there was, of course, kaitenzushi! We found this small kaitenzushi restaurant at Shinjuku but I forgot the name. I ate about 6 plates with 4 of them being salmon (I really love salmon). The sushi chefs (two grandpas who kept smiling at us because he obviously knew we're foreigners but I was speaking in Japanese, long live, grandpa!) were making sushi in the center, and despite my stay there, I think this was my first authentic kaitenzushi experience. They're superb, fluffy rice, and fresh fishes! If only I could live surrouned by fresh sushi forever (had a I truly love raw fish and sushi moment)! My biggest regret was not capturing its beauty with my lens, but I guess I was too preoccupied with how delicious they are, truly savoring them to even remember my camera.

The other food I had was courtesy of convenience store, mostly consist of onigiri, snacks, and cartooned milk coffee. My lovely vietnam friend also got me two cute donuts with giraffe and 'thank you' icing decoration. The donuts were moist, not too sweet, but the icing added the right amount of flavor.

That wrapped up my Tokyo Trip Recaps! Overall, I had a pleasant experience there. As mentioned in previous post, Tokyo is no longer tourist destination for me, more a home, another home that I lived in for short period of time but left me with many sweet and meaningful moments, blessed me with many great, inspiring people. Yet, it doesn't mean I have known Tokyo completely, so there's always some new place for me to venture, some new things for me to discover. If I could (and budget allow), I'd like to make this trip to Tokyo annual thing, but, well, only God knows, isn't it?

What kind of food you'd like to try in Japan? Have you tried any restaurants I mentioned above?

acceptance over understanding