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January 2017

Beauty, Home

Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks – Current 34 Shades & My Thoughts

I am going through another wave of lipstick obsession and this time it’s with Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks. Instead of looking at the colors for the 50th time on its website, I decided to copy down the images so I can better compare the colors side by side. Charlotte Tilbury has three ranges of lipsticks but only two formulas.

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipsticks – 10 Shades

Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipsticks have a creamy formula with a light vanilla scent. Although this range has 10 shades, I am not a big fan of any of the colors. I ended up picking the popular peachy-nude shade called Bitch Perfect. Personally, I’m not a fan of nude lipsticks so that might be why the lipstick didn’t impress me.

I do like the formula and the finish and the lipstick doesn’t run outside the lip lines. However, I don’t see the light-diffusing pigments that are supposed to give a brilliant, luminous, and multi-dimensional finish. Overall, I was not impressed and in my opinion the combination of color, formula, finish and even packaging doesn’t warrant the $32 price tag.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks – 12 Shades
Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution lipsticks have a smooth formula with a soft-matte finish. This range has 12 shades and I love every single one of them! I love matte lipsticks but can’t stand the dry and tight feeling that comes along with many matte lipsticks on the market (MAC and Kat Von D). I can still feel these matte lipsticks but they are not uncomfortable. I received Bond Girl as a Christmas present because I was obsessed with Monica’s brownish-red lips in Friends!

The matte revolution lipsticks also have a light vanilla scent and in my opinion the combination of colors and non-drying matte formula alone are worth the $32 price tag. The other colors I love are Lost Cherry, Sexy Sienna, Amazing Grace and Glastonberry.

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips – 12 Shades
Charlotte Tilbury’s Hot Lips are 12 shades inspired by celebrities – so brilliant! If you love hot coral lipsticks and you idolize Miranda Kerr then it would be really hard to not pick up the Miranda May lipstick! In this ranged, I received Carina’s Love also as a Christmas present because I wanted to try a bold, red lipstick (plus Carina Lau has been my dad’s celebrity crush for decades now).

I also love most of the shades in this collection including Secret Salma, Kidman’s Kiss, Miranda May, Electric Poppy and Hel’s Bells.

Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks – K.I.S.S.I.N.G. vs. Matte Revolution
After trying both formulas, I have to say they aren’t that different. Both are lightly scented and offer a smooth application. They are neither hydrating nor drying. The only difference is the finish – the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. has a more satin finish while the matte revolution has a semi-matte finish.

You can identify the K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipsticks as the ones with the pointed tips and the matte revolution lipsticks as the ones with the square tips. I would have to say I am biased and love the matte revolution range more purely because I like the shades with the matte revolution formula much more. So knowing what I know now, I would go for the colors that I like without any consideration on the formula.

I usually limit myself to three lipsticks from a single lipstick line because there are so many lipsticks on the market to try. However, there are so many pretty colors from the matte revolution collection that I don’t know if I will be able to resist picking up some more!

Lipstick Tree – What Is It?

Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are infused with lipstick tree and orchid extracts to soften, protect and hydrate lips for a younger looking and healthy lips. Naturally I’m curious and want to know what on earth is the lipstick tree. Apparently lipstick trees are small tree or bushes that are native to Central and South America – to me they look like a cross between rambutans and pomegranates!

The seeds from the lipstick tree give a red dye that is used by indigenous people for body paint and treat a variety of maladies. According to various blogs and articles, the pulps / seeds can help repel insects, reduce inflammation, heal wounds, aid digestion, etc. It’s pretty neat but I’m sure the small amount of extract in the lipsticks won’t actually deliver visible changes.


Thank you for reading, if you found this post that means you are considering buying these lipsticks. I highly recommend the matte revolution lipsticks and think you should purchase one directly from Charlotte Tilbury’s website (free returns & shipping on all orders) so you can select a few sample colors!

Home, Travel

Ice Castles – New Hampshire

This weekend I finally made it to the ice castles in New Hampshire and was blown away by the various ice structures. It was as if I visited Arendelle and Elsa decided to throw a party! There were numerous castles, passage ways, tunnels and slides – all adorned with beautiful icicles. The whole outdoor facility was about the size of half of a football field. Although it doesn’t take long to walk through the park, you will likely wonder around some more and enjoy the enchanting structures.

There are ice castles in Midway, UT; Lincoln, NH; Stillman, MN; Wisconsin Dells, WI; and Edmonton, AB. Weekend tickets are $15.95 for adults and $12.95 for children. If you live around any of these five facilities, I would highly highly recommend you go check it out! Also dress warmly, especially warm boots so you can line up for the big slide – it looks so much fun but my toes were practically frozen so I didn’t wait in the long line.

When you purchase the tickets, you have to select a 30 minute window to enter the park, then you can stay in there for an unlimited amount of time. I would recommend picking 30 minutes before sunset so you get to see the park when it is still daylight and you can catch it when they turn on the light show!

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Home, Others

3 (Un)Conventional Tips for the Gym

Happy New Year! I’m sure many of us had “go to the gym” or “lose weight” or “be more active” on our New Year’s resolution list. We all know working out is good for us, but actually going to the gym (routinely) is undeniably difficult. No good things come easily I guess.

I am neither athletic nor do I enjoy working out. For seven years after high school, I barely ever ran a mile. However, after moving to Boston and having more time outside of work, I decided to make working out a focus. After 18 months and going to the gym 1-3 times a week, I want to share three tips on how I motivate prevented myself from giving up.

1.  Never Push Yourself
Never ever push yourself at the gym. I know this goes against all conventional wisdom and what we have been taught but seriously never push yourself. The goal is to go to the gym frequently and do something, the goal is not to push yourself one day, hate the gym and then never go back for a few months.

If you want to run 1.0 mile, great, if you want to run 0.50 miles that okay too! It is okay to not achieve the fitness goal you had in mind – in fact don’t even set fitness goals. Without a goal, you won’t be pressured by how much you “should” workout but rather be guided by how you feel that day.

Once you let go of expectations, you will realize that some days you do have the extra energy and 1 mile is no longer satisfactory and you will naturally want to run the next 0.5 extra miles. Without expectations you won’t be dreading about going to the gym and you won’t be daunted by your random goal of how much you have to exercise. More often than not, once you are at the gym, you will do a fair amount of workout just because you are already there. Again some exercise is better than no exercise J

2.  Forget About Losing Weight
Please don’t expect to lose weight because initially it will likely not happen and you will give up if you expect to lose weight and then don’t see the results. In the beginning, when you trade in fat for muscle you might even gain weight but don’t let the number on the scale fool you! You are making process and becoming more fit so keep going to the gym!

When I first started to work out, I also wanted to shed a few pounds. In the beginning even though I didn’t see any results on the scale, I could tell my arms and legs were becoming leaner. Then later I stopped focusing on losing weight and instead just focused on going to the gym and working out when I can for however long I want. Very slowly, I did start to lose weight. Overall, I think losing weight should be a side benefit of working out and not the main focus.

3.  Indulge in Podcasts / Videos
When you are at the gym do something that you enjoy! It can be listening to a podcast, jamming to some tunes, listening to audio books or watching YouTube videos. For me if I don’t keep my mind busy, I will watch the distance calculator on the treadmill like a hawk and think about how unpleasant my legs and lungs every second. This only makes the workout feel so much longer. My favorite thing is to listen to podcasts (Planet Money, 99% Invisible) or watch / listen to handbag or beauty videos on YouTube. Working out isn’t so bad when you are happily doing something else that you really enjoy!


Thanks for reading, hopefully these tips are somewhat helpful. I hope we will all stay happy and healthy in the New Year!