Monday, January 27, 2014

I couldn't afford the real thing....

I'm back and with a new series! Manicure Mondays! 

I was browsing my box of nail polishes for my next manicure color when something shiny caught my eye. 

It was Revlon's Gold Coin.


This is not a typical Ari nail color. I received this polish from Jacq. 


Having said it is not an Ari color... I found two other bottles in a similar color.... 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Up to Date Empties

So... I went to look and I haven't done an empties post in almost half a year.... D=

How that is possible (Cough laziness Cough) I have no (yes I do) idea. 

So I thought I would get on my lazy butt and do a catch up post. 




Colgate Optic White Toothpaste - This is my new go to toothpaste. Not because it tastes good or anything. It does whiten your teeth. About one or two shades the different isn't dramatic but it is definitely noticeable. I've always wanted white teeth but due to bad dental hygiene in my younger years I have to work that much harder now. Kids remember to brush your teeth!!!
Repurchase: Yes
Rating: Okay 


Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Intense Moisturizing Treatment - This is my new Holy Grail deep conditioner. I love this stuff. It makes my truly soft and doesn't have any silicone in it like most conditioners do. Now this compared to my old favorite the Aussie 3 minute miracle, this doesn't have AS soft of a silky feel however the Aussie coats your hair with silicone and this one I feel really hydrates your hair. I only put this on my ears downward and I use a volumizing conditioner on my roots. 
Repurchase: Yes (Almost done with another one 2 more backups!)
Rating: Holy Grail


Lancome Bi-Facil - A staple in my empties post. These are the minis that come with GWP. I still have a few to go through. 
Repurchase: No (The full size is too expensive)
Rating: Yay!


The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Body Butter - If you like Rose scents you will love this. I however am not a huge fan. I bought it during the end of the year sale (Haul here) and I am slowly going through them. It is lighter than the typical Body Butters from The Body Shop. I liked it but I won't buy it again. The scent is strong and unless they are doing the $5 promotion I probably won't be picking up anymore.
 Repurchase: No
Rating: Nay

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant - This pops up in my empties every few months. My favorite deodorant in the world. If you have a problem with over productive sweat glands this is your solution! It is on the priceier side when compared to other deordorants but I love it. I am willing to venture out and try the Dove Clinical strength once I run out of back ups. 
Repurchase: Yes
Rating: Holy Grail


Nexcare Acne Dressing - I heard about this from MszJackieChu and I thought this would be such a miracle product! I requested a pack from Jacq and I loved it! She sent me a new box of goodies which I will post soon that has more of these <3 nbsp="" p="">

A little more about this product. If you have a pimple that already has the white puss part showing you slap this on overnight (or for a few hours) and it will suck out the white part. So instead of you popping the pimple and leaving a scar, this will get the dirt out and in a few days your skin will be completely healed! Love it!
Repurchase: Yes
Rating: Holy Grail


Boscia Peppermint Oil Absorbing sheets and a freebie pack of oil absorbing sheets from Nexcare product above - Some people love the Boscia Blotting sheets, I am not one of them. I bought them when they were going on for $5 a pack at Sephora a few Christmas'es ago and they are just okay. I don't think they are too oil absorbing nor do they do a great job at blotting away the shine. I much prefer the Clean and Clear ones. Heck even the freebie pack was better! 
Repurchase: No
Rating: Nay


Caudalie Lip Conditioner - My friend swears by this. However the bullet has broke in half for her dude to heat. I personally have never had this problem but I don't carry mine in my purse. This is strictly my nighttime lip balm. At first I didn't like the consistency. The bullet was very stiff and it didn't glide as easily as most moisturizing lip balms go. Almost like how some lip balms almost melt when they hit your lips this does not feel that way. There are positives to this, I find the product lasts longer because your not wasting extra product and packing on product on your lips. It does seem last all night and when I wake up in the morning, my lips still feel moisturized. Granted I still need to reapply some lip balm in the morning but it is a wonderful product nonetheless. I think this would definitely be in my top 3 lip balms of all time. However seeing as how this is $12 a stick, this is more of a spluge product for me. There are other lip balms that I like for 1/3 of the price.
Repurchase: Maybe
Rating: Yay!

Elizabeth Arden Good Morning Eye Treatment - I bought this on a whim, this is the full size eye treatment by Elizabeth Arden. I don't think it did anything. It was very light and absorbed fairly quickly. Nothing special in my opinion. 
Repurchase: No
Rating: Nay

Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser - I always wanted to try this cleanser and I received this in a BirchBox back in January 2012. (Post here) I finally got around to it. I remember Lisasz09 mention the full size lasted her over a year so I was looking forward to see how long this little sample would last me. This 1oz sample gave me a good 2 months of use which I think is about average for a sample cleanser. As for the product itself, I thought it was just okay. I don't see any difference in my skin. It does foam up a bit in my Clarisonic which is good but not overly so. I can't really say it balanced out my skin because my skin has been super temperamental the last year. I might end up buying a full size at some point just to retry this product in the future. 
Repurchase: Maybe
Rating: Okay

Naruko AmPm super triple HA skin hydrator - This was an okay product. I liked the consistency but didn't think it did much for my skin. It is more of a "filler" step. I might try more from the AmPM line in the future.
Repurchase: No
Rating: Okay

Befine Exfoliating Cleanser with Brown Sugar, Sweet Almond and Oats - (Product names are getting too long...) Another item I got from a BirchBox. I think I got this back in late 2011... I don't use this often but I do love this exfoliating cleanser. It basically is a brown sugar cleanser and melts and you rub it in. I love that it isn't to harsh for a physical exfoliater. If your a regular user of scrubs this will be too gentle for you. For me this is perfect. I hope to pick up a full size soon.
Repurchase: Yes
Rating: Yay!  

Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector - I didn't like this. I know a lot of people rave about this but I might prefer Genifique over Visionaire. This is a creamy lotion consistency serum and is a little too heavy for my skin. 
Repurchase: No
Rating: Nay

Lancome Genifique - I love the consistency and results from this serum. It has a gel texture that I am very fond of in my serums and absorbs quickly and yet not to the point where you felt like you didn't put anything on. I am considering buying a full size of this when I spot a good sale or GWP. 
Repurchase: Maybe
Rating: Yay

Avon Lavender Cuticle Oil - I don't even want to think about how old this product is. I purchased it back in my early college days. I do love the pen dispenser because it keeps my fingers clean. Usually with cuticle oils you have to stick your finger in it and rub it on your fingers. I just apply it directly to my cuticles. The product was okay, it did its job but wasn't anything amazing. I am pretty sure it is discontinued. I would look for another cuticle oil that has a similar dispenser in the future. 
Repurchase: Discountined
Rating: Okay

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm - Another Birchbox sample (I am really going through my minis!) I was happy to receive this little pot of joy. The jar was made of glass which impressed me considering it was a sample. It has a balm texture hence the name. The product was lovely however like most eye creams I am not sure if it did anything for me. I did like using it and the small pot lasted me a few months. 
Repurchase: Maybe
Rating: Okay


Netrogena Oil-free Cleansing Wipes in Grapefruit - I bought these to use at the gym. They were okay. They stung slightly but that didn't really bother me. The scent however is really strong! It permeated through my bag. It wasn't necessarily a bad smell just very strong. 
Repurchase: No
Rating: Nay

Too Face Shadow Insurance - It takes me a year to get through a tube and this one took me longer than usual since I wasn't wearing eye shadow as often. This is my favorite eye base because of the squeeze tube packaging. Very hygienic and you can use all the product. I am going through all my mini eye bases and I will probably go back and repurchase this. 
Repurchase: Yes but not yet
Rating: Yay

Eyebrow Shaver - These things are a life changer. I absolutely love them! I am not particular to a brand but I think these are my favorite. I picked this up in a three pack at a Pathmark supermarket and I have no idea what the brand is. (I know I owe you a Pic tutorial Carol! I promise I will do it!!... eventually.... ^^)

Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Futti - Finally I finished a lipstick! I have a review of this here! In short, it was nice but not as great as everyone raves and I would not buy again. 
Repurchase: No
Rating: Okay

Went through a few face masks. I try to remember to use them, most of the time I just forget.... 


Phew! I finally finished writing this post! I been really slacking with this empties. I think it took me... 3 weeks (=O) to finish this post in which I now have a new set of empties to write about. I do love reading empties and writing empties posts. I just need to not let my bag of empties get too out of hand... 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Never Buy at Full Price

A Quick Haul.

I needed something to take off my makeup before I went to the gym and I was looking for some wipes. Simple and easy right? 

So I went onto Nouveau Cheap's weekly drugstore beauty sales roundup. Rite Aid was doing BOGOs on some brands so I decided to head down and pick up some things. 

I had to go to two Rite Aids to find these items in stock but it was well worth it. 

Simple Wipes - No idea if they are any good but I heard good things about the brand, most memorable was from Liz from Beauty Reductionista

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner - If I ever finish writing my empties post.. (Its coming along) you would know this is my favorite conditioner. 

Best of all both of these items were BOGO. Buy one get one free. 

I love sales. ^^




Thursday, October 3, 2013

Megu

Another Foodie Post!

62 Thomas St
(between Church St & W Broadway) 
New YorkNY 10013

Megu is on my restaurant list for a while now. It isn't high up on the list because of it's price and hype. Megu serves Japanese fusion cuisine and is known for their prefixe dinners and ambiance. 

As you descend down the stairs of the restaurant, you are greeted with an "Ice Buddha" sculpture in the middle of room and beautiful cream color booths.

I don't know if the sculpture is really made of ice because I saw someone scoop water from the fountain and pour onto the Buddha's lap but it is breathtaking nonetheless.


Not the best picture of me but I wanted to show the booths.



The decor was very intricate. The lamp hanging above our booths had characters on the inside. I thought it was a nice touch.



The place setting was inviting. However I did not appreciate the wooden chopsticks. I much prefer if they used more environmentally friendly utensils. The chopstick holder (is there a name for this?) is the rock you see on your left. It was a nice touch.



Okay Ari, we get it, the place is pretty move to the food!

Megu is famous for their courses, however since we planned on an early dinner, neither of us were too hungry.

I opted just to pick items on the menu whilst my friend picked their smaller 3 course prefixe.

My friend had the Crispy "kanzuri" Shrimp. It was okay. The coating was sweet and sour. The coating had a crunchiness to it. It was yummy but nothing memorable.



My appetizer was Spicy Toro Tuna Taretare with a bonito sauce
It was densely packed tart shaped tartare. Very smooth and flavorful. The bonito sauce added a saltiness the tartare lacked making it the perfect combination.



We switched Entrees because I wanted the kobe on her prefixe.... hehe

She has the Sushi "Ume"

As expected everything was super fresh. I haven't had good sushi in a while and she was nice enough to share a few pieces with me. ^^



Now my Kobe Beef "Ishiyaki" required more setup.

I was given a stone tablet to cook my beef as well as some sauces to dip.








They gave me a piece of meat with mostly fat on it to smear onto the slab. It was quite fun!

I am surprised the slab stayed hot enough to cook since I spent a lot of time chitchatting away~




On to my favorite part of any meal... DESSERT!

I ordered their dessert sampler and boy was it a generous sampler!


My friend did not believe me when I told her the Green Tea Mille crepe was most likely from Lady M Cake Boutique. When we drilled our wonderful waiter he confessed to it! Point to Ari!!

The dessert plate was absolutely amazing! I had considered picking up a Green Tea Mille Crepe cake for my birthday however this hit the spot perfectly! 

I wonderful experience at Megu. 

Would I go again? Probably not. I might take someone on a business meal but not for sole purpose of enjoying the food. It was good but not amazing enough to warrant a return.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Studio Store?



A while back I was having dinner near NYU and on my way home I noticed a small store but the simplicity of it stood out to me. Then I looked closer....

I grabbed this picture off another blogger)

Now it was already after business hours and the store was closed but I always had it in the back of my mind to go there. Since I passed by a few times but always late at night. The store was taunting me... like it is saying I will never get a chance to go inside!!!

Well, I was having a dinner with some old coworkers and I made it a point to swing by here BEFORE I met up with them. (The hours for the store wasn't bad at all I am just a night owl.)



Although the shop says ELF Studio, it carried their mineral line as well as their regular $1 line. 

I knew exactly what I wanted. The ELF short stipple brush. Emilynoel83 had recommended it a while back for cream blushes and I knew I had to try it!

I browsed around but nothing really caught my eye. I think I've grown out of buying ELF makeup. The lasting power just isn't there but I do love their brushes. 

I saw this one shopper with a HUGE shopping bag worth of products and was still adding to it and I felt kind of proud of myself. I walked out with two brushes. Pat on the back for me. ^^ I didn't gorge on the inexpensive and compelling products.


Here is a closer look at the brushes. I also picked up the small Tapered brush. I touched it and it was soft as expected and it look like it would make a good bronzer brush. (I never wear bronzer...)


So that is it for my minuscule haul. It was mostly curiosity that drew me in, and experience that kept me from buying anything more.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Snackin at Trader Joe's

I usually get hungry around 11am whilst I am at the office. So my coworker E. and I always have snacks around. This week we swung by Trader Joe's and this is some of the things that we picked up. 

So this didn't actually make it to work because I ate most of it when I got home... xD
But it did give me inspiration to make my own artisan popcorn. My coworkers loved it!



These little cheese sandwiches remind me of the Ritz ones I use to eat as a kid only they taste better! Both E. and I thought they were super addicting!


These are "healthy crackers" but they don't taste like it. Another favorite of E. and I!


And our final purchase was one big dud!! These taste no better than Chips Ahoy cookies which I think also taste HORRIBLE! They just taste like cardboard! Chocolate chip cookies should smell good, taste the sweetness of the brown sugar and the slight googy chocolate chip. These are a totally fail! I really do not recommend them at all!! Trader Joe's please remove them from your shelves. They taste like nothing!


E. and I are always looking for snack options. Our jobs are dull so we need pick me ups to get through the day. Not to mention we both just like to eat! haha

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Origins Clarifying Detox Mask


I am back with a beauty review! I haven't done one of these in almost a year! Scary..... 


A detoxifying clay mask that helps clarify skin. Kaolin Clay and Phellodendron Bark absorb impurities and excess oil. Lavender and Peppermint purify and refine the appearance of pores. Willowherb, a unique anti-irritant, soothes skin. 

I purchased mine at Sephora after going to a skincare seminar. I was in need of a new mask. Something to pull out impurities and clear the built up oil in my pores. She recommended one of two. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores and the Boscia Clarifying Mask. We settled on the Boscia. 



To use: Apply thin layer to cleansed face, avoiding the eye area, Leave on for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Use twice a week. 


The mask itself is light green in color and texture is smooth and easy to apply. I was applying this with a foundation brush for more even coverage. It dries almost completely and my skin feels clean and refresh afterwards. I did notice my skin felt less oily and my skin tone more even. It was more supple and soft.

Now I was using this for about two weeks and started to notice I was getting a lot of breakouts. I told myself, maybe it is just the mask doing it's job pulling out the impurities.... Untill this happened.... 

(WARNING PLEASE VIEW WITH CAUTION! THE PICTURE IS NOT PRETTY!)


As you can see, I have serious breakouts in the chin and forehead region. Also around the top of my cheekbones (which is rare for me) I was consistently breaking out for about a week and a half and I promptly marched myself to my facialist who then gave me a "what did you do to yourself!?" look of disapproval. 

I think it could be a good mask but it wasn't for me. Would I recommend it? The answer is maybe. I would suggest you get a sample of this and see how your skin reacts. Everyone skin is different. In my case my skin hated this and went on a rampage. For you it could be salvation. 

For me this is a No Way! product. However I could see great things come out of this mask if it worked for you. 



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