Monthly Archives

January 2016

Beauty, Home

Winter Skincare Essentials

Winter skincare top priority = hydration. Short term dehydration will make your skin look dry and dull; long term dehydration can lead to faster formation of fine lines and freckles. Hydration is also the first step in anti-aging! I want to quickly share a few skincare products I am loving this winter!

Step 1 – Cleanse & Prep
1. Winter Skincare Essentials

The Shiso Foaming Facial Wash from The Body Shop and Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water from Lush are parts of my skincare regiment year round. The Shiso Foaming Facial Wash is a gentle foam cleanser that leaves your skin clean and supple after use. The cleanser has a pleasant floral scent and I honestly do notice my skin brightening slightly after use!

Breath of Fresh Air is a toner with a spray application for convenience. The main ingredients in this toner are seawater, aloe vera and rose absolute. I love the fresh and calming scent of this spray. Lush actually has another toner, Eau Roma water that is slightly more moisturizing; however, ever since I’ve started using Breath of Fresh Air over a year ago, it really has helped me keep my complexion clear!

Step 2 – Serum & Eye Cream
2. Winter Skincare Essentials

Sulwhasoo is a Korean skincare line known for its usage of medicinal herbal ingredients. I’ve always wanted to try Sulwhasoo products but the price tags have kept me away. However, I realized the $84 Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is actually a 2 oz (100ml) bottle compared to regular serum size of 1 oz (50ml) so the price is not too expensive on a per oz basis. Like other Sulwhasoo products, the serum has a herbal scent during application; however, the scent goes away once the product is absorbed.

I still haven’t found a holy grail eye cream but this winter I’ve been using the Shiseido White Lucent Eye Cream. Although I don’t notice any anti-dark circle or brightening effects, the eye cream is moisturizing and absorbs easily. TJ Maxx has this eye cream for $29 so check the stores if you want to try this eye cream!

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Fashion, Home

Poncho Type of Day

Top: Color Block Jersey Poncho
Bottom: JCrew Toothpick Jeans
Necklace: Layered + Long Lariat Necklace

I am loving this simple poncho from White House Black Market on the weekends. This blue and white poncho over a long sleeve, heat-tech shirt from Uniqlo keeps me very warm!

The poncho is supposed to be worn with the two long ends on the side; however, my preferred method is to wear the two long ends front and back with a belt. Wearing the poncho like a sweater dress is much warmer for some reason!

The material is lightweight but soft and warm, perfect for winter days!

1a. Happy Pursuits1b. Happy Pursuits1c. Happy Pursuits2a. Happy Pursuits2b. Happy Pursuits2c. Happy Pursuits

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Home, Travel

Caribbean Island Series: St. Thomas (Plus: Thoughts on Sea Trek)

I love to travel. However, due to work, I usually can only take one trip in the summer with my family. Before my adventure next summer, I would like to share a few places I’ve been!

The Caribbean is one of the more affordable vacation destinations especially if you live along the east coast! In the summer of 2014, my family and I took a cruise to the Caribbean and our first stop was St. Thomas.

Cruises usually dock at a port early in the morning so passengers can go and explore the island or town. Then you are required to return to the cruise in the evening to sail away to your next destination. For our day in St. Thomas, we decided to go underwater Sea Trek at the Coral World Ocean Park!

The ride from the port to the park was around 30 minutes in an old style bus. 1. En Route

This is my favorite candid picture during this whole trip, featuring my beautiful mom!
1a. En Route

Beautiful scenery along the drive! The picture was taken while I was inside the bus! 1b. St. Thomas Cove

The first thing you will notice at Coral World Ocean Park is the white dome structure connected by a boardwalk. This is where the underwater Sea Trek takes place! 3a. St. Thomas - Coral World Ocean Park

In the picture below, you will see a side staircase leading you down on the left, this is where the crew members prep you to go underwater with the helmets!

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Fashion, Home

Top 9 Designer Shoes on My Wish List

If my first vice is handbags then my second “developing” vice would be shoes. Here are the current top 9 designer shoes on my wish lists!

1. Stuart Weitzman 5050s1. Stewart Weitzman 5050 Over-the-Knee (OTK) Boots
If I had to pick the best “value” designer shoe, it would have to be the Stuart Weitzman 5050 OTK boots (especially if you score them on sale)! Stuart Weitzman’s napa leather is unbelievably soft and smooth and the 5050s balance comfort and style. Over-the-knee boots can be “too much” but I think the 5050’s low heel and simple design make it easier to pull off and versatile.

Pros: Without a doubt the napa leather gets a shout out. There are many boots similar to the 5050 but the napa leather is not easily replicable and the 5050’s silhouette is the most clean and simple.
Cons: If you have bigger calves the boots might not be the best fit for you. Although 5050s are made with stretchy materials in the back for a better fit, bigger calves might result in the leather bunching around the ankle area. Also if you are on the petite side, the shaft might be too high.

2. Gianvito Rossi Plexi Pumps2. Gianvito Rossi Plexi Pumps
I have been stalking the Gianvito Rossi Plexi pumps on Farfetch.com for a while now, hoping to catch the black patent leather in size 6 on sale! I will not cave into paying the full retail price of $745 as long as I know there is a chance I can get them on sale! Patience, my dear, patience.

Pros: To me, this shoe is so beautiful and is the wearable version of Cinderella’s glass slippers. Moreover, the pointed toe and the plexi design will elongate legs, which is always a plus!
Cons: From a distance, you won’t see the toes bunching up but closer up the toes look so smushed in the toe box. My toes are likely just as jammed in other pumps but because I don’t see the smushed toes, the “problem” doesn’t exist. When I tried on the pumps, even though my toes were not in pain, they “looked” painful. Also the discoloring of the plexi material can be a concern.

3. Valentino Rockstud Pumps3. Valentino Rockstud Pumps
I love the Valentino Rockstud pumps. I like the higher heel (with 2 straps) in nude or the kitten heel (with 3 straps) in hot pink. The shoe’s ubiquity does not impact me; if I like a product then it doesn’t matter if everyone has it or no one has it. The Valentino Rockstud pumps are often seen on flash sale sites so don’t pay full price!

Pros: These shoes will definitely draw attention with the shiny rockstuds. The Rockstud pumps are also quite comfortable when I tried them on in stores.
Cons: The retail price for this shoe is quite outrageous even for a designer shoe. If the price was around $600-$700, I would have caved in and hand over my cash. But alas that’s not the case, so I have to stalk flash sale sites for my size in nude, black or hot pink.

4. Louboutin So Kate4. Christian Louboutin So Kate (120mm)
If I can only own one pair of Louboutin heels then I would pick the So Kate in nude patent leather. I really wish Louboutin make the So Kate in different heel heights, especially one in 100mm. I think the ultra skinny heel would still be just as sexy. I know the Pigalles are available in 100mm but my toes are more pinched in the Pigalles 100mm than the So Kate 120mm.

Pros: If the magic jean from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants has a shoe sibling it would be the Louboutin So Kate – this pair of shoes will look good on anyone (only this magic shoe costs a lot more pretty pennies).
Cons: Louboutin is infamous for making uncomfortable shoes and the So Kate is no exception. I have yet to purchase this shoe because I really doubt my ability to actually wear it out. However, I still want a pair even just to look at and put it on at times because it is just that pretty (I’m so hopeless)!

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Fashion, Home

Zigzags of Black and White

1b. Happy Pursuits

Top: Banana Republic Wrap Jacket (available in BR outlets)
Bottom: JCrew Toothpick Jeans
Shoes: Old pumps
Bag: Ferragamo Miss Vara Clutch Wallet

Happy New Year! Hope 2016 will bring you unforgettable adventures and boundless happiness!

My favorite Black Friday purchase last year was this wrap jacket from Banana Republic’s outlet store for $35! The jacket is fully lined and surprisingly warm. The jacket is very versatile; it is warm enough as a light jacket when the weather is warmer but thin enough that you can wear it indoors, which I do on casual Fridays at work. It is also machine washable which is always a plus!

The only downside is the slight unevenness at the bottom of the jacket caused by the stitching of the lining and the outer layer. Also I wish there was a button to hold the wrap together. Even if you use the belt to hold the jacket close, it loosens up as you walk around. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase especially for the price. This wrap jacket will definitely be a constant piece this winter season!

2a. Happy Pursuits2c. Happy Pursuits2d. Happy Pursuits

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