A much needed update

6:25:00 PM mandy 9 Comments

Bye Droid!
You've served your purpose and was very fun to play with you, my first encounter with a smartphone.
I hated how you broke and could only work on speakerphone; which was very embarrassing when I was on the train or at the library, you know!

You were great while you lasted.
But now I have something better.

Hello iPhone 4s!
I'll take very good care of you, especially since you're so expensive!
Hopefully, you'll live up to all the praises everyone made of you.

After 2 years of the Droid and almost a year of only being able to make/take calls through the speaker function, I could not be more happy to finally upgrade my phone.

The only bad thing is the high prices I (technically my parents) have to pay for such a luxury...family plan, iPhone warranty/insurance (which apparently is much higher than normal smartphones), and 3G services. My head hurts already =.=

But the good news is, I can finally experience all the hype of the iPhone. I'm slowly trying to get the hang of a new phone system but once I'm accustomed, I'll try and start using Instagram too. If anyone has one share your username with me!


There are still a few more days left in my giveaway! If you would like to enter, click HERE


Current Skincare Routine: Day & Night

8:00:00 PM mandy 13 Comments

After blogging for a few years now and posting some reviews here and there, I realized that I haven't shared my skincare routine yet. Keep in mind, I do not usually use the same products again because I have a curious nature and like to try as many products as I can get my hands on. However, if I were to find something that is HG...I will probably hold myself back and repurchase the HG item (but that is a hurdle I'll overcome when I reach it!).

Ever since my beauty nerve was struck, I cannot stop my itch to find my own HG's. So far I've come across many that I like/love or has a possibility of becoming an HG (still thinking!), but no dice...

I have to say, my biggest motivation for "perfect skin" are Korean celebrities. My gosh does their skin look great! I know a lot of it is photoshop and makeup...but when you can see their untampered skin, most will blow you away and look in shame at your own skin. I know I'm always very jealous! I don't have the same money and resources as they do to devote to the same brands nor do I have the same motivation to not be lazy about my skincare routine, but I'm trying in my own ways =]

When I use the products individually, I didn't even realize how many steps I actually had. This current routine is probably the most items I have ever used at one time.

I've been using this routine for about close to a month and it is working pretty well! Other than an occasional pimple, my skin looks rather clear. I still have occasional & random pimples that popped up (it doesn't seem to always correspond with that time of the month though). My cheeks also suffer from redness and overall I still have a problem with clogged and open pores. Far from perfect but much better than it had once been.

My skin type/issues are all over the place. Once the weather starts warming up, I become more and more oily. Sometimes when I'm oily, I'll also get flakey patches. However, as the weather gets colder, my skin is either combination (oily in the T-zone, mostly the nose area) or normal...sometimes leaning on the drier side.

This makes it a difficult because I feel like I want to purchase different products to target different things when the season changes...but most of the time I would still have products remaining and do not want to just let it sit there and be neglected. Unlike with makeup, I tend to stick to the same skincare products until I finish using them.

I've had acne since I hit puberty...in the 4th or 5th grade? Which seemed normal at the time since many of my friends then also went through it around the same time. I had very bad acne, pretty much everywhere. The worst was my forehead. Over the years, as I started to take care of my skin more they seemed have gravitated to the lower parts of my face (was cheeks, now mainly chin and the area between nose and lips).

After experimenting with many products, I can't say really that a specific one really did the trick. But just routinely cleansing and taking care of it helped keep the pimples at bay.

The current cleansers that are in rotation.

After finishing the Hada Labo Cleansers that I recently reviewed, these were up next. Particularly the Etude House cleanser first. Since both target acne troubles, I do not have to really designate any 1 in particular for morning/evening use.

Etude House AC Clinic Acne Foam Cleanser
This is only a travel size of the cleanser that I received when I bought the AC Clinic Pink Powder Spot (which I assume is similar to the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion many people raved about). The cleanser has a really strong tea tree smell that I eventually got used to. It lathers really well and a little goes a long way. In terms of controlling my acne, I think it is alright. I still experience breakouts and the acne that does surface doesn't go away any faster than it normally would (without using a topical treatment). However, I do like that it doesn't dry my face out after using it. My face feels clean without feeling like it's being stripped of moisture. I probably wouldn't repurchase because of all the trouble I have to go through with ordering it online. If I were to ever take a trip to Korea (where it is the cheapest) or find it in a store for a reasonable price...I might buy the full size.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
I bought this at the very end of December and used it on and off throughout January. Surprisingly, this cleanser also did not strip my skin out after using it! Usually salicylic acid would dry my skin out immediately but this felt surprisingly gentle for a 2% salicylic acid product. It also seems to help with my acne a little bit but is not a miracle "end-all-be-all" acne-fighting cleanser. For the price and easy accessibility, I am thinking about repurchasing it...

Morning Routine

1. Naruko Narcissus Total Defense Moisturizing Dew
As a moisturizing toner, it works well. I would say after using this for a little while in the winter and now with slight allergies, I'd say this would be better for use in the Spring. Possibly even throughout the summer for someone who doesn't have much of an oily skin problem. The dew left my skin soft and feeling supple but just wasn't enough on dry patches. It does help remove any excess dirt that wasn't cleaned off during cleansing which is always a plus.

2. Naruko Narcissus Total Defense Moisturizing Day Protector
Similar to the dew I feel this would be better for the Spring. With that being said, this was an interesting product. It has a cooling effect after I swipe it onto my face. There is also titanium dioxide in there, hence the protector (but it doesn't say any SPF so I'm guessing there isn't too much of it in there). I was a little weary on using a second toner, but this could be a lotion (if used enough).

I haven't really used enough of both these Naruko items to have a full opinion but so far my first impressions of both are pretty good!

3. Origins GinZing
I don't look much for from eye creams other than moisturizing. I originally came across this product because of its brightening properties. It does have a pearly/shimmery effect but I don't really see it help my dark circles much after I put it under my eyes. Also, I didn't see much depuffing like it says it would help with...The only good thing is the little jar lasted a very long time. But now I just can't wait for it to be done with.

4. Genie in a Bottle Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Serum
This is the 3rd bottle of the product that I'm using. I really love it! It keeps my skin nice and plump & gives it the bouncy effect. Very similar to the Hada Labo products but sans the sticky feeling that a lot of people weren't too fond of (I didn't mind it). Genie in a Bottle costs much less. I may upgrade this to HG soon...but I have to consider it a little more :X HG has to be superb and I haven't really tried enough serums to say this is the best of the best.

5. BeautyMate Hydro Power Collagen Cream
The cream sinks into my skin very well and quickly. It moisturizes and keeps my skin supple. Throughout the day my skin doesn't feel or look dry. Sasa says it also brightens but I didn't really see much of that. Overall, it worked well for most of what it is meant to do for a very low price (from Sasa).

6. Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused SPF40+
Liquidy in texture. Very different than the sunscreens that I've tried before. But I like this just as much. Since it's runny, I find it easy to apply and spread so I don't have to tug at my face too much. The argan oil gives a dewy finish so if I don't feel like wearing makeup I can just walk out with just skincare and sunscreen. However, it might be too much for oily skin in the summer. I find that when I just put powder on top to set the sunscreen, the powder doesn't hold very well...definitely need to wear a primer to give a barrier/hold for the powder.

Mid-Day (usually around 5-6PM)...Makeup Removing

1. H20+ Dual Action Eye Makeup Remover OR Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup remover
I don't wear eye makeup that often. When I do, it is light enough that it'll come off using a face makeup remover/cleansing oil. I really only got specific eye-makeup removers for prom when I was playing around with mascara.

Between the two, I like the H20+'s over Neutrogena's. Both remover eye-makeup well. However, for some reason after using the Neutrogena remover, it would sort of dry out the eye area and leave this strange whiteness around my eye area. This wouldn't be a problem if I did my whole skincare routine right after I removed my makeup...but I usually take my makeup off right after I get home and do my night routine after I brush my teeth (10PM-1AM). It seems weird but it makes sense to me?

2. Biore Makeup Remover Gel
I've always used cleansing oils to remove makeup because my makeup frenzy started with BB Creams and many people recommended cleansing oils. I loved how well they took off makeup but hated how they would start drying out my face after I used it. Sure I felt clean but I had to always apply moisturizing afterward or spray my face to give some moisture back. This hasn't steered me away from using cleansing oils any longer but I just wanted to experiment with other options.

I am sort of on the fence about whether I like this product or not. It isn't as drying as a cleansing oil, but sometimes my face doesn't feel clean enough. Maybe I'm just too used to the squeaky clean feeling I get from cleansing oils? Although this product was very inexpensive, I'm not going to repurchase it because I used this up pretty fast (only 1.5-2 pumps each time). Only been a month or so and I'm very close to finishing it...

3. BeautyMate Hydro Power Collagen Cream

Night Routine

1. BeautyMate Anti-Blemish Repairing Nano Toner
I really do not care for a toner in a pump bottle. It was so hard to control and I need to pump so much out to even have enough to use. Aside from that, I cannot say I like or hate this toner. Nothing about its performance stands out to me. It works well, can remove the excess dirt that I couldn't pick up when cleaning with my hands...but it didn't do well against blemish. I guess I was expecting a little too much from the toner?

2. Naruko Marjoram and Lavender Brightening Eye Cream
I like how light this eye cream was and it was moisturizing. But I didn't see any brightening. The product itself doesn't have the pearly look so it doesn't brighten/highlight physically. Overall...it may look to this again because it doesn't have parabens/preservatives/added color etc. and can be used morning and night versus GinZing which I'd feel comfortable only using it in the morning because of the pearly effect.

3. Genie in a Bottle Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Serum

4. Skinfood Omija Whitening Serum
I haven't used this enough to see its whitening effects but I like how light this serum. I'm currently only using this on my neck because my face is much lighter in color than my neck is. Will report back soon!

5. BeautyMate Hydro Power Collagen Cream

6. Naruko Narcissus Total Defense Night Eye Gelly
Of the Naruko products I've opened and used...this left the biggest mark in my books. LOVE LOVE LOVE how well it moisturizes without being too heavy. After using this, I found that concealer applied to my under eye very smoothly. I will definitely be repurchasing this one and trying out the other eye and face gellies. The only thing I didn't really see was the firming and brightening aspects that the site says the product will also help with. But then again I don't need much firming yet...

7. La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
At first, I wasn't too sure I liked this product but I've got to say of the acne treatments I've tried so far this was the most effective. Salicylic acid just doesn't seem to work with my pimples...I also like how this one doesn't dry and leave a strange film on my face like salicylic acid treatments do. I noticed that helped with the bumps on my chin and the clogged pores on my nose. This is also a very close HG product, on the consideration list!

Skinfood Facial Water Vita-C (Mist) & Genie in a Bottle Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Spray
I don't see much difference when using mists because it evaporates pretty quickly. But over makeup, it gives a similar effect to Fix+, not as dewy but still softens the base makeup so it looks a bit more natural. Nonetheless, I'd still purchase a mist to use after applying makeup over skincare properties. Packaging-wise I like the Skinfood one over Genie in a Bottle. The former gives a much finer mist. However, be careful not to suck in any of the mist...it tastes really bad =.=

This step is the one that I usually get lazy with, ironically exfoliating is an important step.
I haven't found one that I liked yet so it makes it even harder to [remember to] use it.

My aunt bought these two for me when The Face Shop in Koreatown opened a couple of years ago(?)...See how bad I am at exfoliating? haha

The Face Shop Peeling Day - Honey Black Sugar
I thought that this would work similar to the Skinfood version that so many people RAVED about. I'm not sure how that one is but I did not like this one at all...The sugar particles are humongous and pretty sharp. It hurt to really rub them around my face, I could only gently move them around...which I don't think really exfoliates anything. The honey factor makes this product really thick, gooey, and sticky to use. I also didn't see a big difference in blackhead reduction like it says it would help with, but then again I do not think I used it correctly because I tried to be as gently as I could.

The Face Shop Peeling Day - White Jewel
I was looking forward to wearing this because I thought it would be similar to the highly talked about Cure Aqua Gel. I don't really know how that one is but this version isn't too good. When I rub this around, there are clumps that show up...but it seems like it's more of the product itself is clumping together rather than my dead skin. I still like this exfoliating concept. Just this version wasn't the one, in my opinion.

How many products are in your skincare routines? Does anyone inspire you to achieve perfect skin?

If anyone is interested, enter my giveaway! Press HERE


Bits and Pieces of My Life...Quarters Collection

5:00:00 PM mandy 18 Comments

My poor piggie was emptied a little while ago.
I've had this piggie for as long as I can remember, and then some.
Luckily it isn't the kind that I have to smash open to get the coins out...or else I'd never want to save any coins in there!

I haven't counted my coins for maybe...10+ years?
The most coins that I have are quarters.
In the US, many quarters have special faces imprinted on the tails side for each State.

I have the habit of never using any "new" quarters because I never sorted which States' quarters I actually owned. Now that I know which ones I have, I don't have to stand in a store for a good 2-3 minutes searching for an "old" quarter (ones with just the eagle).

After this, I discovered that they released 5 special faced quarters every year for 10 years. Which makes sense since there are 50 states in total. I wish I discovered this earlier so I would have more quarters to use. But I guess this is a good thing, now I have more money saved up.

Although I have all 50 states, I'm still missing a lot of the 2009-2011 quarters...

2009: District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana

2010: Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Mount Hood

2011: Gettysburg, Glacier, Olympic, Vicksburg, Chickasaw

When I get to travel, I'm going to start a foreign coin collection!
Does anyone else collect quarters or am I just strange? :X
Do other countries also have these special coins?

***If you're interested, join my 1st giveaway! ^__^



11:10:00 PM mandy 15 Comments


Well...it was yesterday. But I didn't have enough time after the family gathering to share how my day went. Sorry!

The 'surprise' is...my lunar & gregorian birthdays were the SAME this year!!
How often does that happen? Or does no one else pay attention to that but me? hehe >__>

I don't think I've ever posted a photo of my face before. Mostly because I feel very self-conscious about myself and I'm not very photogenic...Partially because I'm still slightly uncomfortable exposing myself to the blogging world (only 2 people in real life know I have a blog)

Primer: Ultima II Under-It-All Makeup Perfector SPF25; Highlighter: Beauty Credit Lovely Q10 Pearl Shine Make Up Base; Foundation: mark natural skin foundation - powder buff; Blush: MAC MSF Stereo Rose

I've been wearing this look for a few weeks now. I tend to go for quick, light, and natural makeup on most days. Very boring...I know! =X

What bestie and I ate on our lunch date.
Omurice + Tonkatsu Combo & Ddeokbokki

Paris Baguette's Blueberry Chiffon Cake

For the past 4 or 5 years, my brother and I ALWAYS got Baskin Robbins Oreo Ice Cream Cake. To the point where even though oreo ice cream is one of my favorite flavors, I am sick of it...After discovering Paris Baguette on 32nd Street in K-Town, I couldn't help but want to try their cakes! They have many flavors and I had the hardest time choosing which one. The first time I went into the store, they didn't have this cake available. After maybe half an hour I went to the shop again and this beauty appeared.

I had two cakes...

I'm not greedy--just picky xD The other one was bought by my mom because she prefers Chinese bakery fruit cakes (which I dislike) & she said there was going to be a lot of people.
Both ended up being devoured so there was no problem :]

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of blueberries. Definitely not whole blueberries at that.

I could NOT resist the PURPLE goodness!

It actually didn't taste bad at all. The blueberries that were in the cake layers were soft enough that I didn't mind them being in there. It also wasn't too sweet (for me at least. My mom complained about though, but she is uber sugar sensitive...).
I'd definitely want to try their other cakes in the future!

A lovely purple card bestie gave me. I love how she never fails to give me a birthday card with her personal message. People don't do that often/if at all nowadays...a nice thought that is being lost along with snail mail =\

I laughed a little when I opened her card to find this note. She mentioned writing down the names of my present, but I was not expecting this xD

I knew what it was before I even opened my present! Lush products have a scent that is hard to forget. I can't wait to use these!
Could anyone share how to use bath melts and the foot scrub?

The other birthday present I received from a childhood 'friend'/classmate's mom. (Sounds strange but yes...lol)
It is SOO cute! My brother loves it more than I do :P
Does anyone know if it has a name? The tag says it's from HK (I think).

Instax photos! Thank you bestie for taking these & for using your expensive film on me!
I hope she doesn't mind me posting these!


1st Giveaway!!

12:01:00 AM mandy 12 Comments

Lavenderlilac Dream's First Giveaway!!

**NOTE @ 1:08AM EST** If anyone entered through Rafflecopter...please RE-ENTER using the new Google Form. I was a little skeptical about using something that I'm not used to and it made me uneasy so I'm abandoning it =X

The long awaited giveaway!!

I've been on blogger for a few years now and have not hosted a single giveaway. Terrible and surprising...I know. But for the past few months, I've tried to accumulate some goodies for a lucky winner! These aren't expensive and high-end items, but hopefully everyone will still like it.

Thank you for everyone you followed me for this long! & Welcome any new followers! :]

I never expected to have many followers, let alone 81. It isn't much compared to others but to me, this is a big number! I will try my best to keep posting regularly and with more interesting content so everyone doesn't get bored of me and my blog :P

1. Must be a public follower!
2. If you're younger than 18 yrs old, please get permission for me to send the package.
3. Answer the two questions in the form (will help me make my blog more interesting! ^__^)

For additional points:
1. Share via blog post or sidebar.

This is an international giveaway!! It starts today, March 6th, and will end in one month, April 6th @ 12:01 AM USA Eastern Time. I will be picking the winner within a week after the giveaway ends. The winner has to reply within 3 days or else a new winner will be chosen.

To enter, fill in the Google Form!!


Swatch: OPI Last Friday Night

9:10:00 PM mandy 3 Comments

In an effort to clear my Drafted Posts list...here is another nail polish swatch for everyone!

Remember this swatch?

Since I already shared how OPI's Last Friday Night is over a blue polish, here it is over white.

Please excuse the mishap on my pointer finger!

I used Essie Marshmallow as the white base. I think I used about 2-3 layers to build the white up. I don't really recommend it unless you have a lot of time to wait for the layers to dry. Marshmallow applies rather sheer and streaky. (Works better for a French tip mani though!) I think I used about 2-3 layers to build the white up.

The effect of Last Friday Night and a white polish is much softer and not as bold. I actually prefer this combo over the former one, just personal preference.

I would love to wear Last Friday Night with another white though...the hunt continues!

Any suggestions?