Thursday, February 28, 2013

5.130 L'Oreal Arginine Resist X3 Line

I haven't done a beauty review for some time now. I figured a lot of you might be bored with all the haulage I've been doing, but it's literally all that I have been doing... aside from hanging out with this guy I like (I don't know where that's going, so I don't want to say much lol). Anyway, for the last few months I've really been into hair products.

L'Oreal Arginine Resist X3.

Taken from the site: "Nourishes the root. Hair is stronger. Restructures from root to tip 64% less hair fall after the 1st application. Hair becomes 2X more resistant to breakage. 95% of women saw a difference.

Arginine: A key ingredient essential for your hair.

L’OrĂ©al laboratories have harnessed the power of Arginine, an amino acid that occurs naturally in the fibre and around the hair follicle, to restructure fragile hair that has a tendency to fall out."

Finally, a hair care line that is geared towards fragile hair that tends to fall out. When it launched I was immediately intrigued because my hair at the time was falling out like crazy for some reason. I am no longer currently using this L'Oreal Arginine line because I have since done with it, but I did use it for several months after it launched in stores. I even ended up repurchasing the biggest size available for the shampoo and conditioner after I finished with the 385ml bottles and I also had repurchased both the treatment and the spray once more after I finished with the first bottles I bought.

The L'Oreal Arginine Resist X3 Shampoo and L'Oreal Arginine Resist X3 Conditioner lathered well and felt nourishing for my hair. I liked it because it didn't make my hair feel heavy overtime like the Re-Nutrition line or Shiseido Tsubaki lines did. After using these, I did notice less hair loss and eventually my hair did return back to a normal healthy hair loss cycle. You can't expect to not lose hair at all as it is healthy and normal to lose some hair daily, but if you start noticing that you're losing more hair than average (like I did) then you should definitely look into trying to prevent that.

I really loved the L'Oreal Arginine Resist Instantaneous Reinforcing Treatment as it made my hair feel silky and soft. I also really liked it because there's no waiting time required! It says to apply it to your roots to your ends which made me skeptical because normally treatments like this would weigh my hair down if applied to the roots, but it did the complete opposite! My hair is very fine and silky so I always end up having flat hair, but after using this treatment all over my hair it actually ended up giving my roots some lift! It immediately absorbs and gets to work so that you can rinse it out right after. I like instant products like this because it's a time-saver if you're rushed for time, plus who likes waiting in the shower? Out of all the products in this line, this one is my favourite.

The L'Oreal Arginine Resist X3 Mask With Reinforcing Serum was an okay product for me. So far I'm not really impressed with the hair masks I've tried from L'Oreal. This is the second hair mask I've tried from them, the first being from the Re-Nutrition line which did pretty much nothing for my hair. This one isn't terrible but it didn't feel nourishing enough for a mask. I prefer the treatment over this mask which is why I didn't end up repurchasing it.

I always use a haircare leave-in spray prior to blowdrying my hair. This L'Oreal Arginine Resist X3 Reinforcing Spray doesn't make my hair feel silky and soft like the Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Double Care Detangling spray (which is still, by the way, an amazing leave-in spray), but I think it does help to nourish my hair for less hair fall-out.

Overall, I give the L'Oreal Arginine Resist line two thumbs up. L'Oreal has really upped their game in the beauty industry. Currently, they are my favourite drugstore brand for makeup.

"No person is worth your sanity." -Unknown

5.129 Work Hard, Play Hard.

Sometimes I wonder if sharing an excessive amount of purchases here on blogger is as acceptable as it is on Youtube (to an extent anyway). Perhaps sharing a haul in a video is more subtle because you can share a lot more in a shorter period of time compared to what it takes to scroll through pictures in a blog post. Or maybe because haul videos are so frequent, excessive shopping is desensitized thus regarded as something normal. Whatever the case, I hope these haul posts aren't annoying because they're easy for me to do plus I love to do them. I admit a part of me knows that I'm buying things to make me happy and to fill some sort of void, but it's something that works for me. Some people might socialize more, others might take up a hobby, but for me (for now) it's shopping. It sounds bad, but hey, I work hard so I can play hard.

I hope that for my readers it might give you some ideas or insight into what's out there. Or maybe it could be as simple as being able to indulge vicariously through my purchases- that's what I do all the time with others haha. But enough of my rambling.

While I was browsing my local The Bay store a few months back, I came upon the newly opened BCBG boutique at the time. I was never into BCBG before because it differed to what I was into back then, but now a lot of their things are totally me. Now that I figured out my style, it's a lot easier for me to shop- which is why I've been going on a mad shopping spree these past few months LOL.

After looking around, there was one bracelet that caught my eye.
BCBG Maxazria Leather Toggle Bracelet.
I immediately fell in love the moment I laid my eyes on it. Despite liking it and there being only one available, I couldn't get it that day because they didn't have a price for it- they were still setting up as they officially opened the next day. Unfortunately I wasn't able to come back until the next weekend. I nearly panicked the whole entire week fearing that it was gone already. Thankfully it was still available when I was able to go back. If I recall correctly the bracelet was $78- a hefty price especially for me because I've never spent that much jewelry before (now is a different story if I could ever catch you all up with the recent purchases I've made =S). This style of this bracelet reminds me of those extremely expensive Hermes leather bracelets. Of course they are not one and the same, but there is no way I'm paying hundreds of dollars for a Hermes one. This BCBG Maxazria will do just fine at a fraction of the price.

Of course after purchasing that bracelet, I became obsessed with BCBG. Every time I went to the mall I couldn't resist checking out their stores to see if they had anything new. Then one time I saw a sales associate wearing this really awesome belt that was similar in style to the toggle bracelet above. I wanted the same exact one in black but for the longest time I could only find it in white. The heavens must have heard my cries because after some time, I did manage to find it!

The sales associate was thin enough to wear it as a hip belt but it's actually designed to be a waist belt. I've still yet to wear this because I haven't entirely figured out fashion yet, but hopefully I will grasp it soon.

Of course this isn't all that I've purchased these past few months. I'll be sharing the rest in other posts. Hoped you enjoyed!

By the way, did anyone watch the Oscars? Did you guys see how gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence's dress was?! O-m-g. And she looked so stunning too. I really liker her makeup, hair, and how well the earrings go with everything. I love her. She seems so genuine and down to earth, very funny too!

"One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us." -Michael Cibenko

Sunday, February 24, 2013

5.128 Signature Look

This winter I have really been enjoying two things I bought myself back in November/December in preparation for the colder weather. I was due for a new winter coat as I've been wearing the same one for 4-5 years. While searching, however, I realized that there weren't many choice available. The most popular coats that came to mind were by Canada Goose and Aritzia. I've never been interested in the Canada Goose jackets and the Aritzia coats look hideous on me. In the end I didn't manage to find a winter coat replacement, but I did end up finding a beautiful Fall/Winter coat at Zara!

Zara Velveton Military Coat.
When the weather is chilly and not minus a million degrees out, I put on this beautiful military-inspired coat. Sorry the coat is a bit wrinkled, but it's because I've worn it several times already.

I love military-inspired pieces and I love how luxurious this coat is. This coat was actually my first purchase from Zara. I've since purchased a couple more garments that I've yet to show-and-tell. I really like this coat because it's elegant yet has a little masculinity.

The other item I've been enjoying a lot were the new boots I got myself. If the conditions are right, I allow myself to get a new pair of boots every Fall season. This year I definitely made that point by splurging.
Aldo Kasbatadla Riding Boot.
When I saw these bad boys I knew I had to have them. I really LOVE the look of riding boots, especially these pair because of the combination of suede and leather. It just looks so lux! They were $190 and they were worth every penny. You can probably tell what kind of style I gravitate towards. Paired with my military coat above and it's instant love. I officially have my signature look pat-down.

Of course with the amount of money and usage I've put into these boots, I want to make sure I take care of them.
In comes Aldo's shoe care products to the rescue! All three of these products work really well to care for my leather boots, but there's one product that I absolutely have to rave about- the winter boot wipes.

You can easily find leather sprays and conditioners in other stores, but what makes these wipes unique is that it removes salt stains on leather and suede. The sales associate helping me was extremely helpful, she informed me that I can use it on suede and that it wouldn't damage it. It works amazingly. It not only removes all the salt and dirt, it also conditions and protects too. I really recommend this, especially to those who experience Canadian winter. This was only $6.99 and there's 15 wipes in each package.

I've touched up on a lot of things that have been in dire need of an upgrade. That includes my phone, my wallet, my bag, new boots, and a coat for Fall/Winter. The next big thing to update is my laptop. I'm going to go for the Macpro in a few months time- not because I'm an Apple fanatic, but because I know they're good machines (plus I hate the new Windows 8).

"Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time." -Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, February 16, 2013

5.127 Coach Madison Gathered Leather Lindsey Satchel

So here it is, I'm finally going to share the birthday present I gifted myself with. Even though I've been eyeing this Coach bag for a long time now, I wasn't planning to buy it this soon. But when I was kindly invited by my sister's friend to get 25% off my entire Coach purchase, I couldn't pass on the great opportunity.

When I walked into the Coach store I was greeted by a couple sales people and was first helped a little bit by this one sales associate after I was confused about the sizing of the bag I wanted. The one I was looking at was the gathered leather version of the Lindsey Satchel. When I looked at it, it looked smaller (shorter) than the non-gathered version and thought that maybe they were mistaken and didn't realize it was the Sophia (a similar but smaller version than the Lindsey). I wasn't trying to overstep what the sales associates should know, but I couldn't help but question why the bag looked smaller than what I thought it should be. She then held up the gathered leather Lindsey and non-gathered leather Lindsey side by side and it was then I realized that my eyes were just deceiving me. I'm sure at that point she probably just thought I was just another young girl window shopping who you wouldn't expect to be serious about making an actual purchase. I experience this often when I see sales associates greeting older ladies but deliberately ignore me. Talk about ageism...

But this time I didn't mind however because I was still trying to wrap my mind around the size of the bag. It was then another sales associate, who was Korean, came up to help me. She was so kind and helpful. I'm a bit undecisive sometimes, like if I should go with the black or silver/black, how I like the silver hardware better than the gold hardware, or whether or not I would like how structured the gathered leather is compared to the non-gathered leather bag (I liked how the non-gathered leather bag drooped on the sides). I basically wanted something classy, elegant, and sophisticated, but yet something I could easily pair with anything since it'd be my everyday bag. After some chit-chat (she asked me if I was Korean because of how light my skin was haha) she gave me the advice I needed to confidently make the purchase. She even asked me if I was there for the discount because if I wasn't she'd give it to me! How thoughtful and kind!

Before I go on, I must mention that I've been on the hunt for an everyday replacement bag. I have used my Esprit bag that I got 3-4 years ago on Boxing Day to death (as you can see). It originally had faux suede all over but that faded away a long time ago. I love it because it's comfy, light, roomy, and perfect size. I tried looking for bags in mainstream stores but a lot were much too big for me. So, high-end brand it was.

I had to order mine in-store because they didn't have it in stock. After a week, they gave me a call to come in to pick it up. It came in this very pretty colourful Coach bag that I'm quite fond. If I had a walk-in closet this would totally be on display. It also came with a dust bag.

Coach Madison Gathered Leather Lindsey Satchel
And here it is in all of it's beautiful glory. The original price of this bag was $598 but with 25% off it came to $448.5. With tax I got it for a grand total of $506.81.

I prefer the silver hardware on the silver/black version but since I wanted a matte black leather finish I had to settle for the gold hardware. It's not that I don't like gold, it's just that the colour gold on this particular bag isn't quite the gold colour I prefer.

When Coach came out with the gathered leather, I immediately fell in love. It's just so different and luxurious- totally my style. The leather is firm and a bit stiff at first but with wear it becomes soft. It's a semi-structured bag in that it keeps it's shape but has a little give overtime.

The only downside with this bag is that it's really heavy because of the hardware. And so, when you finally add your junk in it, it almost becomes like a workout haha. I got used to it though, so it isn't a problem for me. However, if I shop for a long time carrying this bag, it can be very tiring.

I typically carry the bag on my arm because the handles aren't big enough to sit comfortably on my shoulder. If I do want to carry it on my shoulder, I use the shoulder strap that it comes with. I love this bag because it's roomy inside and the design of the bag is very unique.

And if the sales associate wasn't kind and helpful enough, she also wrote me this sweet card and mailed it to me, complete with a $50 thank you gift card! Hm, what should I buy next... ;D

"Don't wait. The time will never be just right." -Napoleon Hill

5.126 Where You Can Find Me

"Will you be my Valentine?" That was the first time anyone has every said that to me. And although I was aware that it was Valentine's day, it kind of took me by surprise. I guess it shows that you're never too old for "firsts". But other than being Valentine's day, Feb 14th marked another mile stone for me- 4 years of blogging! I can't believe it's been that long! I really hope I can continue blogging for a long time because it's fun for me to do.

I also wanted to take this moment to update you girls on where else you can find me on the web.

Most of you are probably aware that I have a Twitter account.
I used to share coupon/freebie updates but I've kind of left that scene. I don't use Twitter that much actually. It's mostly sporadic updates right now as I'm not into daily or moment-to-moment updates like some people are. I basically use Twitter to share my thoughts or do mini life updates that can easily be done with just words. I do occasionally share some of my instagram photos on here too though.

Which of course leads me to letting you know that I signed up for Instagram.
Some of you already have found out but I didn't want to formally announce it on my blog until I had at least a few pictures up and was sure that I was going to stick with it. I mainly share photos that I otherwise have trouble incorporating into my blog posts because they're so random. You'll see pictures of things I find interesting, places I go to, or just random stuff I use to share on my blog but don't anymore because it's too chaotic if I do. There's a chance you'd get a first sneak-peek at things before I post about it on my blog.

I also have a Tumblr account.
I'm happy to report that I have been keeping up with my Tumblr. I mainly share photos of things off the internet of what I want or find interesting. Most of the time you'll see items on here that I'll buy in the near future, so it's like a step into the future kind of sneak-peek. Although I still have to get into it, I also want to share photos of outfits that I find inspirational too. I did a couple of these in the beginning but then stopped because I didn't have time to go look around for outfits I liked. Hopefully I can get back into it.

Lastly, I have a Youtube account.
I don't do videos but you can see what videos I add to my playlists and what videos I like and favourite.

All of these links can be found on the side bar. I made a little social media follow toolbar that I'm happy with. I also made a few tweaks to my blog's appearance that you might have not noticed because they were such small changes. Nonetheless, I couldn't be happier with how it is right now.

"It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop." -Confucius

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

4.125 A Little Pep Talk

It feels like it has been a while since I've sat down to gather my thoughts on what's been going on in my life. Right now, my life feels very boring and uninspiring. This could be a result of getting fixed into a routine schedule coupled with the winter blues. It also probably explains why I keep wanting to go to the mall every weekend to buy nice things for myself. My poor wallet.

On the home front, I've been desperately trying to overcome my overthinking. I've fallen back to the bad old days when I couldn't help but care about what others around me are thinking and saying. Logically I acknowledge that everyone has their own opinions and that nothing I ever do will please everyone. There will be misunderstandings, different experiences brought to the table, and you can count that there's at least one person who will believe that their way is the only way. Yet, I'm having a hard time stopping all these voices from affecting me. It is seriously detrimental to my core self to the point of not knowing what to think anymore. Maybe I need to build stronger beliefs and values. Maybe that way, it'd be much harder for someone to come along and knock me down.

Stop caring so much Nat. Stop thinking so hard and getting caught up in the small things. Let your inner voice be your guide, not your enemy. Everyone will have something to say about who you are, what you do, and the choices you make in life. In essence, people will tell you exactly what they think is best for you and completely disregard how YOU feel about the choices you've made. Just brush it off, take a deep breath, and remember the 10 Lessons Everyone Learns in Their 20s (especially #5 and #9). And if that doesn't help, remember the false-consensus effect. Some people just have this odd tendency to assume that what they want is what others want.

As for worrying about whether people like you or not... who the hell cares. This isn't middle school or high school. And since you've been through this before, you already know that eventually those people won't even matter. They have no significant value in your life, never did, and never will.

p.s. I broke my promise of sharing what I got myself for my birthday. Sorry! I'll share soon!

"You can be the nicest person in the world, and still have enemies." -Unknown

Sunday, February 10, 2013

4.124 Poor Lighting

My room has one of the most saddest, most unattractive lighting ever seen through a camera lens. It's one of the reasons why I just can't be bothered to blog that much anymore- let alone do reviews. I just can't stand the quality of my photos. The back drop in my room doesn't help either. There's no place I can take pictures without it detracting away from whatever I'm trying to take a picture of. I dream of my own house one day, heck make that even my own room! But this is what I'm dealt with, so I have to work with what I have.

One of the things I've been wanting to do for over a year now was to make the ugly table beside my bed prettier. If I had my own room this would not be my setup, but because I share a room, this table is something I need.

So I finally took these wall decal stickers that have been sitting in my drawer forever and stuck them on the surface of the table. You might have noticed them in my last couple of posts. I think it makes the table look better, no?

And when lighting is poor, just hide it by doing filters and other photoshop effects to make it less obvious haha. Remember how I cleaned and reorganized my closet when I got myself those nifty thin hangers? Turns out I hung up clothes that needn't be. They ended up getting lost in my tiny little closet and I totally forgot all about them! Not good. I guess I still have to figure out a better way to organize my clothes =\

Next post is what I got myself for my birthday, I promise! xx

"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose." -Tom Krause

Saturday, February 9, 2013

4.123 Another Year Young

So I noticed that "My January Birthday" post had popped up under "Popular Posts" on the sidebar. That post was from last year so I'm not really sure why it was up there. In any case, I thought I should make a post about my birthday this year so that no one ends up confused.

This year, my birthday was not on-the-down-low as it was last year. That's probably because I'm working, plus it doesn't help that I have a few... suitors (this is as awkward for me to mention this, as it probably is for you to know it). I honestly didn't think they would remember my birthday because they asked me months ago. Maybe it's just me who's bad with remembering these kinds of things.

Because I had a morning/day shift that day, the first gift I received was from one of my admirers. Although I say "admirer", he is also a friend and now former coworker (today was his last day, so sad).

He got me this cute Godiva bear (yeah I couldn't believe it was from Godiva either...) and he also wrote a very touching card.

And because I want to group my family's gifts together, and at the same time make this blog post more cohesive, I will share the other gifts I got from a couple of other admirers and also one from a good friend. If you're wondering why I would accept these kinds of gifts, it's because it would simply be insulting and hurtful to reject a birthday gift. As my sister has said to me, as long as I'm not soliciting anyone for gifts, I'm okay.

This gift was a little over the top. I even told him several times, actually make that many times, to take back the gift. It got to a point where it felt like I was making him feel bad about it, so I stopped and just accepted it. I was shocked when I found out he had given me a watch. I'm unfamiliar with the brand Bering so I thought it was just a generic fashion watch- until I checked out their website. It turns out that they have a pretty impressive story and vision for their watches. Their watches are made of premium quality materials (high tech-ceramic, sapphire glass), and it's highly scratch-resistant and waterproof (a must for me). After learning about all this, I felt even more awkward for accepting such a gift... but he wouldn't have any of it, so here we find ourselves.

Taken from the site: "Timelessly beautiful and long-lasting, like the eternal ice, BERING blends minimalistic Danish design and optimal material strength in a unique way. Inspired by the beauty of the arctic, the style of the BERING collection is characterised by clear, streamlined forms and pure elegance.

High quality materials such as HighTech- Ceramic and Sapphire Glass, with their extreme scratch resistance and strength, ensure that time leaves no trace. A brand that redefines time with its love for detail. It’s Bering-Time."

Here is the gift from the guy I am a little interested in- I don't know yet though, so nothing is for sure! I'm just not looking to be in a relationship right now... the time just doesn't feel right. So for now, I'm just trying to enjoy the single life. It's funny he got me jewelry from Guess because I hate Guess haha. I admit, they're different to what I would normally get myself, but sometimes different is good because it gets you out of your comfort zone.

And the last non-family member gift, was from a friend and coworker of mine. He knows I've been watching Big Bang Theory; I have Seasons 1-4 already. Bath and Body Works candle because I was obsessing over these at one point, but now I'm not really into BBW candles anymore. I'm actually trying to burn up a few to make way for other better candles.

After I got home from work, showered, and settled in, my family surprised me with an ice cream birthday cake! This time they really did surprise me. In previous years, I would hear my family whispering about upstairs which ruined the surprise haha.

My younger sister got me a candle and a Bath and Body Works body butter.

Before you start to think how odd it is that she gave me a candle, you must remember that I have a thing for candles. But this one is unlike all others. This candle is certainly unique because it has a wooden wick! So when you burn it, it crackles like a fireplace would (but obviously on a smaller scale). The sound is so soothing. I really recommend checking these candles out. You can find them at Winners or buy them online.

Taken from the site: "Highly fragranced WoodWick Candles by Virginia Candle Company feature a natural wooden wick to create the soothing sound of a crackling fire. Fragrance never sounded so good!"

My other sister and her boyfriend got me a Sephora gift card.

I used it to pay for one of these Bumble and Bumble products. I've been wanting to get into hair products that would give my flat hair some volume and oomph. I need to buy a round brush though to really bring these products justice. I want the ultimate blowout. I also plan to buy the Bumble and Bumble styling spray. No promises (because I'm still trying to get back into blogging about beauty) but I'll try to review them once I've used them more.

Last but not least, my brother gave my present late and decided to hide it among my things. I noticed it on my bookshelf while getting ready for bed.

My sister came up with the clever book title, "Sir Stan Lee. The Adventures of Hemsworth and Downey Jr I".

And this was what was in it. More dvds to add to my growing collection!

I also got myself a fancy birthday gift too. But because it's so special, I'll share it in my next post. Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

"Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own." -Harold Coffin