Archive for 08/2010 - 09/2010

las vegas: 08.2010

View from the hotel room. Sigh~ It's even prettier at night but the reflection from the glass prevents me from taking a decent picture haha.

Warning this is a massively long post with pictures (very little to do with makeup except the very end.. lol).

Most of the time when I go to Vegas, people ask me what do I do there. I don't gamble really (I'm a sore loser when it comes to $$$). The most I'd do is throw $20 into dollar slots and lose it in 3 minutes (I think that is some kind of record..). I'm not a heavy drinker. I left those days behind in college. Mainly because now I go straight to hangover if I pound just 3 drinks in a row. Not fun any more.. lol. I've never been into clubbing or dancing (swaying is most likely all you'll ever see me do). I'm rarely interested in shows because I'd rather spend my money shopping (unless there is a really good concert). So what do I do in Vegas?? Sleep/relax, shop 'til I drop, and stuff my face. Pretty boring, right? The relaxation part is very important to me. Sometimes when I get to Vegas, all I want to do (when I'm not shopping or eating) is sleep. Or lay in bed and watch Ocean's 11 for the billionth time.

Same view lol.

I usually don't take too many pictures in Vegas since I go so often, but this was the first time I stayed at hotel Aria in City Center so I took a few more this time. I loved it! Almost as much as I love the Palazzo although admittedly I've only stayed at a couple hotels.

Notables about Aria or City Center in general:
1. Rooms are probably standard size for the Strip. Nearly everything can be control by a console next to the bed or by TV remote control. And by nearly everything I mean, the drapes (sheer and dark), individual lights in room and bathroom, whether you want privacy or maid service.. The room is tastefully decorated. Most importantly, the bed is soft, comfortable, and clean! We upgraded to a room with a view, and it was actually pretty nice. Especially at night. The buffet at Aria was actually decent. Don't get me wrong. It's no Wynn or Rio. But we weren't expecting a lot since it was comp'd so we were pleasantly surpised. It was a million times better than MGM Grand Buffet and Paris Buffet.

Minibar ($$$)! And notice the menu on the TV screen. That's the same one on the little console by the bed.

Comfy, comfy. And see the little console?

Boring I know, but these are the closests you see as you come in the door. Nice dark woods.

2. The bathroom is a comfortable size. You get a separate enclosed space for the toilet (very much appreciated). There is no separate vanity so I was a little disappointed with that. But OMG the shower/bath.. The shower and bath are enclosed in its own space. Love! The robes they have in the rooms are super soft (like new!) unlike any and all other robes I've had at the Palazzo, Venetian, or MGM Grand Celebrity Spa Suite. Sorry not pictured. I found them in the closet later on hehe.

Nice and posh looking, no?

Loved the shower/bath combo.

3. While Aria doesn't have my beloved Thomas Keller restaurant (Bouchon Bistro and Bakery, which I have to go to each time I'm in town. I can't tell you how much I adore that restaurant for breakfast, brunch, dinner, snack, etc), it does have Todd English's restaurants. I've never eaten at his restaurants before so I was excited to see/taste. The Pub was very good. I loved the strawberry beer and duck confit. Besos was also very good. This was the first time I've ever had beef tartare, and it blew my mind. Next time, I'm getting my own tartare. Sorry, BF. No sharing! I also ate at the tapas restaurant Julian Serrano. Pretty good. I like tapas because you feel like you're getting a lot more variety in your meal vs being forced to eat one giant steak. Not there is anything wrong with a giant steak, but variety feels like better value for me. It was like dim sum! Only each plate cost at least $11 instead of $1.. but the portions were decent enough to share at least lol.

4. Crystals is the City Center shopping area (high-end only). The Todd English restaurants were all actually in Crystals, but it's so close it didn't feel like it was separate from Aria. Few names of interest: Tom Ford, Dior, Prada, Fendi, Tiffanys, and Louis Vuitton. BTW this Louis Vuitton spans two stories. It is huge! I dare not go in because I'm afraid I'll actually buy something lol. Next time maybe.. :3 I personally like shopping at the Fashion Show mall more, but Crystals is so pretty to look at. If high-end shopping is not your thing but modern art is, the architecture, decor, and art of City Center in its entirety is completely amazing. I can only imagine what it would be like to live here. Oh wait you CAN live here! If you had the moolah.. lots of moolah.. They have residential suites for purchase at the Mandarin Oriental and Vdara (I'm not sure about Veer Towers). I think right now since the economy is so bad, residency sales have not really moved so they are probably renting out suites or something. They are supposedly just like hotel rooms complete with concierge services and full sized kitchens. Sigh~ Someday.. when I win the lottery haha.

Cool art.. thing at City Center somewhere lol I forgot where. Cute little cacti.

Front entrance to Aria. That is a wall of cascading water.

Another cool art thingie. I'm so wonderfully descriptive I know.

Yes, I'm a nerd. I took a picture of the ceiling at Aria. Isn't that so detailed though? Love.

This is the lobby area. There are little benches for people to sit on. There are some lounge/bars nearby as well. I loved how it looked.

This is the actual lobby where you check in. Gorgeous.

Really cool stairs inside Crystals.

See? Two story Louis Vuitton. I don't know why I'm so impressed lol.

I had Chicken and Waffles @ Bouchon, LV. To. Die. For.

BF had Sourdough Waffles @ Bouchon, LV. Also nom.

So that was my trip. Well, there was more, but I forgot to take pictures of it lol. So I'll leave you with a single haul photo. After I took this picture, I took all of them out of their boxes to save space. Sheesh it's hella bulky.

The gift store, Elements, inside Aria had a small Rock & Republic counter. Everything was already marked down and then there was an additional 50% off. Needless to say, I cleaned house. It was too bad there weren't that many blushes left.

review: lunasol nail finish color - shiny sheer pink

Let me say first that I am as much a n00b with my nails as I am with eye makeup (ya that's as n00b as you can get haha). I've never really done a lot with my nails before. In high school, I was not allowed to paint my nails (or wear makeup.. story for another day). In college, I had chem labs that required rinsing glassware (flasks, test tubes, beakers, etc) with acetone, which ate up any polish I had on so I didn't bother any more. This is just an FYI.. so maybe you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for the terrible state of my nails you're going to see every time I post a picture. By the way, I've gotten a manicure only once in my life haha. Most of my girlfriends are ashamed of me ;-;. But I tell myself that I'd rather spend the money on makeup! Please ignore the cuticles.. :x

I purchased Lunasol Shining Sheer Pink a while ago. It is by far my most favorite nail polish. It's the most forgiving one I own since it's so packed with glitters (it's never going to be smooth). I think it was meant to go over other polishes since it's so sheer, like a jelly polish (??). I know a lot of people prefer completely opaque polish on their nails (to obscure the nail line), but I don't mind sheer polishes.

Even if I apply 2-3 coats of this polish, my nail line is still quite visible as you can see in the photos. The color in my pictures gets a little washed out so it looks like the polish doesn't even show up on my nails aside from the glitters. It dries pretty quickly, which is important to me because I'm impatient like that. Like most glitter polishes, the glitters are difficult to remove. I know this is a no-no, but I'm far too lazy to apply base coat and top coat when I wear nail polishes. It takes too much time! But that's what makes me love this polish even more! I can wear it for around a week before I start to see it chip. In the photos, the polish on my nails have some chipping at the tips from about a week's worth of wear, but it's not too noticeable. I love this polish, and will most likely purchase a backup as well as other colors with the "Shiny" modifier.

I purchased this particular polish from Wonderful store for Japanese cosmetics! :D

haul: dsk jewelry

I love Swarovski crystals: they have lots of beautiful sparkle without being overly expensive. I would rather spend my money on makeup than diamonds. :x I can't live without bling though haha so Swarovski jewelry is an awesome compromise. I've bought necklaces from DSK Jewelry (Steph) before. I especially love my PH (Purple Haze) heart + Golden Shadow (? I forget its name but it's such a pretty color) Pegasus.. I bought another PH heart and gave it to a coworker, which I TOTALLY regret now. :( I've always drooled after Steph's Everything Bracelets because they're so intricate and.. well shiny haha. However, I was never able to buy them. By the time I decide to buy one, it has already sold (FML). You snooze you lose I guess. Not this time mwahaha! I finally scored my first Everything Bracelet (August's Everything Bracelet)! ^^v! Not only that but it's one of the newer ones that has the little ID charm (pictured above.. isn't it adorable??).

Ya, not going to be a hand model any time soon haha.

Sorry, this wasn't a really good photo that shows just how cute the bracelet is. The crystals catch a lot of light and are so pretty! ♥!! The crystal shapes and pearls make me feel girlie and young LOL. I'm almost afraid to wear it actually because I keep thinking that I'll scratch it up. :x

I missed it the first time Steph posted some lemon quartz pieces so I couldn't resist and bought these adorable earrings too. I've been loving golds and yellows lately. ^^

I'm.. not sure why I wanted to show flash and no flash. But anyway, please excuse the crappy photography and ear lol.
After I got my package, Steph posted MORE things I wanted. Agh. I can't continue to splurge like this when my vacation is coming up.. I hope she'll have those pieces again when I can buy more. :D I don't know if she'll see this.. but Steph, thanks for your amazing work! Can't wait to see more! ♥

review: make up for ever aqua cream

Most days when I wake up in the morning for work, I'm bum-rushing to get out of the house. So I don't have a lot of time to do much makeup. If I bothered with eye makeup, I come back home from work looking like I was auditioning to be a vampire for Twilight (more hot mess than hot immortal). My eye shadows crease, and they transfer to my under-eye area. Then again, I'm out of the house for 12+ hours every day, so it's no wonder that even with UDPP, shadows crease on me (having the most oily eyelids in the world probably doesn't help.. FML). Most days I don't bother because of this until I discovered MUFE Aqua Creams.

An ultra-pigmented, long-lasting waterproof cream. Aqua Cream combines the highest-quality pigments with mother of pearl particles to give immediate rich color payoff with a luminous finish in just one application. It's long-lasting formulation will not crease or smudge under the most extreme conditions and its creamy and elastic texture allows for easy blending.

My stupid oily eyelids have met their match. They're quick and easy to use even for a n00b like me! When I use Aqua Creams, I get home from work with my lids looking exactly the same as when I put the stuff on in the morning. The texture is like a light creamy mousse that spreads evenly with little effort. Unless I'm out from 5AM until 10PM, once set Aqua Creams don't smudge or budge. They don't set too quickly though, so there's some time to blend out however you want. The creams have some shimmer, but are not nearly as shimmery as say, Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Colors (Those are so pretty, but I have issues with shimmer fallout and creasing). The pigmentation is very good, but to be work appropriate, I use very little for a sheer wash of color on my lids. The pots will probably last me a long time since I use so little at a time. #2 Steel is my favorite color so far.

MUFE Aqua Cream #2 Steel
MUFE Aqua Cream #13 Warm Beige
I have a few issues with this product (some of these may just be nitpicking).

  • Since the product comes in a pot, it's probably best to use with a brush meant for cream shadows. I don't own one yet so I have to use my fingers in to get product (dislike).
  • I bought #13 Warm Beige with the intention of using it as a cream base for powder shadow. The cream was fine and did not crease, but the powder I applied over it did later in the day. I have not yet tried to blend different Aqua Creams yet, but I'm guessing that would have worked out better.
  • MUFE claims that some of their Aqua Creams were formulated for lips. Unfortunately, not for my lips. I tested #5 Peach (which is a pretty color that reminds me of Nars Orgasm) in-store, and my lips started to peel. I have not tried them on my cheeks yet, but that would probably work fine.

At $22 each and my rate of use, Aqua Creams are decently priced. The color range is pretty, although I can't see myself pulling off some of them even if applied sheer (I'm much too conservative LOL). I will most likely end up purchasing #15 Taupe and #12 Golden Copper on my next Sephora run. :)

I forgot to take pictures of swatches. I'll try to remember when I take pictures of new ones! :3

review: philosophy the big skinny skin smoothing exfoliating scrub

I found the big skinny by chance at a Nordstrom. The philosophy SA was trying very hard to sell me something (anything) after I learned that they were sold out of a body lotion I was hurting for. I was trying to thank the SA and then move quietly on to the next counter of interest. Lady was persistent, but was getting nothing from me.. until she uncapped the jar of The Big Skinny scrub and held it up to my face. "Smell THIS!!" /swoon. Bravo, SA lady. Bravo. It smelled like a nutty cocoa. Even after I bought this I kept coming back to smell it LOL (I know I'm batshit crazy). I love how it smells, and because I'm such a terrible writer I can't begin to describe the scent. So go to your local philosophy counter and get a whiff. If you love chocolate, you will ♥ this. Ya rly. The scrub got me just by scent alone. I didn't test it at all before I bought it. After I brought it home though, I didn't open it for months. I just never got around to it I guess, but when I finally decided to open it.. BAM the smell hit me and I fell in love all over again.

One thing I noticed about this scrub (aside from the fantastic smell) is that it isn't overly oily. Most other scrubs I've tried have a lot of oil. The salt/sugar settles in the bottom of the jar, leaving a big layer of oil on top, and you have to mix up the jar before using. This scrub has so little oil that you really don't have to mix at all. I just scoop out a bit from the top and apply (I use sparingly to make it last longer, but I don't think you really need a lot of product per area to get results). I would not advise using it on dry skin; it will be hard to spread around due to the lower amount of oil and will feel overly rough on your skin. Use it on wet skin (like the instructions say) and you will have a much easier time.. unlike me. >> (FAIL) It made my skin feel soft and smooth, and smell delicious (scent will fade after a short time though).

the big skinny is $20 for 8.5oz of product, which is a bit expensive since philosophy has other scrubs (amazing grace or pure grace hot salt scrub, coconut frosting salt scrub, I think there is a gingerbread one that's available during winter, perhaps others as well) that are $25 for a whopping 23oz! I have not tried those other scrubs at all so based on price alone, I'd say the big skinny is not worth it. But I personally love chocolate, so unless those other scrubs knock my socks off, I'll probably re-purchase this one.

I purchased mine in-store at a Nordstrom philosophy counter, so I'm guessing most of those carry it. You can also buy it online direct from or

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