some typical fall picks

20 October 2014

bespectacled, typical fall picks, H&M knit sweater, NARS Sin Blush, flower beauty Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby Raisin the Roof, NARS Eyeshadow Duo Brousse, Nails Inc Nail Kale Victoria, Oxblood, Diorskin Nude Concealer, Dior Addict Lipstick 797 Stiletto, Maybelline Color Whisper Berry Ready, Bobbi Brown Art Stick Cassis, Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream, Liquid

Things are finally starting to feel some what fall-like here in San Diego, at least a little bit. Yup, we're at the weird stage where it still gets pretty warm throughout the day, but cools down a lot when the sun goes down. But I think this is the closest sign we're going to get that it's fall so you can bet that I've been bringing out some fall-typical colors and comfy sweaters. A recent purchase has been this Knit Sweater from H&M, which is absolutely perfect. On me this fits more like a sweater dress, but it's super comfy and nice. I imagine I'll be getting a lot of use out of it.

As for makeup I have a lot of picks - can't you tell that I'm so excited for this season? My blush of choice has been either the NARS Blush in Sin, a light berry shade with some very fine shimmer in it, or the Flower Beauty Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby in Raisin the Roof, which is deep wine shade. For eyeshadows, I'm still very much in love with the NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Brousse. While I don't think this tone of purple screams fall, I find it to be very flattering and something that I find myself reach for the most out of the eyeshadows I own. And of course nothing screams fall like a deep wine shade on your nails like the Nails Inc Nail Kale in Victoria. But let's bring back the word "oxblood" - do you remember when that was the trend to call dark reds like this oxblood. I never really got on that trend the first time so I want to bring it back! #Oxblood2k14

For concealer, because I've been having drier skin lately (especially around my under eyes), I find myself reaching for the Diorskin Nude Concealer. The consistency is more liquid than creamy but the coverage is good and it doesn't cling to my dry spots. But I guess I've been on a Dior kick because I've also been loving the Dior Addict Lipstick in 797 Stiletto, which is a slightly sheer deep red. The formula is really easy to wear and isn't fussy either, making it definitely one of my go-to lipsticks lately. But I also quite like the Maybelline Color Whisper in Berry Ready, which is the most pigmented of the Color Whisper range. Berry Ready, as it's name suggests is a dark berry shade. The formula is a bleed a little so I do suggest a good lip liner. And if I want an easy two-in-one product, the Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Cassis satisfies that need in a good fall shade. Cassis is a dark red that works for both lips and cheeks.

Skincare wise, my skin has been a lot drier and more sensitive lately, mostly because I've been sick lately and my skin is twice as dry and sensitive when I'm sick for some reason. But I finally bust open the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream to go with my Ceramidin Liquid and I have to say I'm hooked. I didn't want to like the Ceramidin Cream because it's so expensive but it really does work. I can put this on my most sensitive areas (around my eyes) and there's no reaction whatsoever. I think that once I run out of this I would only get the Ceramidin Cream - no matter how much I like the Ceramidin Liquid I don't like having this extra step in my skincare routine. But we'll see how I feel later on!

Are you excited for this season? I'm really looking forward to Halloween (mostly my company's Halloween party) and then it'll be November soon too! What are some of your beauty, skincare, or style picks for this season?

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17 October 2014

beauty, bespectacled, favorite two in one products, flower beauty kiss me twice lip & cheek chubby raisin the roof, Josie Maran Argan Color Stick Rosey, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge 10 Rose, Bobbi Brown Art Stick Cassis, Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Kiss & Blush,

I'm a sucker for a good two-in-one blush/lip product - they're the things that just appeal to me the most and the products that I covet the most. They're something just so handy about having a product that can work in multiple ways and you don't have to worry about matching your blush and lipstick! I've picked five of my favorites from my collection.

However, not all two-in-one products end up working equally in both areas. The Flower Beauty Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby and the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge work far better as blushes than as lipsticks. The flower beauty Kiss Me Twice Lip & Cheek Chubby (Raisin the Roof, which is the cringiest name ever) is very much a cream to powder product which is excellent in a blush - it's nicely pigmented, blends well, and has excellent lasting power. But that isn't something that feels nice on the lips. Sure, it's still wearable there, but it feels strange because it's so powdery. But if you're looking for an excellent cream to powder blush from the drugstore this is definitely your pick! The Bobbi Brown Pot Rogue (10 Rose) kind of has the opposite texture, it's very creamy at first and looks really nice on the lips. But over time it kind of wears really badly and becomes kind of drying and uncomfortable, which is weird because the initial texture is pretty nice. As a cream blush this is excellent and one of the longer lasting cream blushes in my collection, but it's definitely one that's easier to apply with a stippling brush!

In the same vein, the Bobbi Brown Art Stick and the Josie Maran Argan Color Stick work better as lipstick. I don't think people actually use the Bobbi Brown Art Sticks (Cassis) as blush but the Bobbi Brown website says it can so I tried it. As a blush the color fades a bit too quickly for my tastes but it's easy to apply and blend out. As a lipstick though, this really excels. It has a matte finish to it, but it's comfortable and non-drying and wears really well. I have to admit that the color is a bit much for me in the day so I like to wear it sheered out with lip balm. The Josie Maran Argan Color Stick (Rosey) is definitely the creamiest and most hydrating of the bunch - it's very much like a tinted lip balm kind of consistency to it. But that consistency doesn't work on the cheeks: this looks quite natural blended out and does have some sheen to it, for like an hour or two. But on the lips is definitely where it shines. I'm still getting used to the gingery smell/taste of this though and the only other complaint I have is that the packaging is kind of a bit chunky if you want to apply it on the lips.

And lastly, my absolute favorite of the bunch - the YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush (5 Rouge Effrontee) and now that I've swatched and tested it out again for this post I remember how much I love it! Why don't I use this more often?! This is my favorite out of the bunch - it works really well as both a blush and a lipstick. The packaging really works for it as well. The doe foot applicator makes it super easy to apply on both lips and cheeks. The texture is kind of difficult to describe - it's cream to powder I think, but the powder feels very finely milled almost to where it doesn't feel like powder. Does that make any sense? The finish is matte but it's not an drying or uncomfortable matte and the red is surprisingly natural looking as a blush on me. It's an all around great product, but the only thing that's stopping me from getting more is the price tag. But of course, willpower is finite and I'd be all over the shade 10 Nude Insolent when my will does give out!

Because I always like to try new things I definitely have some on the good ol' wishlist that I'd want to test out one day. The Ilia Multi-Stick in Cheek to Cheek is interesting, plus Ilia is a brand that I'd like to try out, not just the Multi Sticks but also those tinted lip conditioners! And the NARS Multiple is something that is also definitely on my wishlist. But have you guys tried any of these products or any other lip/cheek two in one product? I'd love to hear your opinion on them!

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on the wishlist

15 October 2014


This year I'm especially excited about my birthday (which is next month!). I feel like all of my coworkers are tired of me talking about it, but I can't help it! This is the first time I actually have money to spare and I think birthdays are a time to indulge and treat yourself. My birthday always lands at a bit of awkward time because it is really close to holiday season, but I figured I will indulge for this one month and then save up the rest of my money for Christmas shopping for my family. I feel like I have a wishlist a foot long with everything I want, but I wanted to share a few that I've seriously been coveting.

Madewell Uphill Pullover
I adore the look of this sweater, it's definitely seems like it would fit really well in my closet but considering that parts of it aren't washable it isn't the most practical of items for me to get. Who even has a professional leather cleaner in their neighborhood? But if I were to receive this as a gift I wouldn't say no.

Issey Miyake L'Eau D'Issey Lotus
I'm not much of a perfume person but I smelled this in stores and it was love! The smell is very fresh and clean which are scents I gravitate towards a perfume for myself. I might pick up a sample next time I'm in Sephora to see how it wears, but I do really enjoy the scent. But I'm always hesitant to buy perfumes because they're so damn expensive, but the Rose de Chloe perfume that I bought was nearly the same price as this and only a third of the size!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
I'm not one to spend a lot on base products other than concealer. I like my skin to show through foundations or BB creams or tinted moisturizers but at the same time I'd like some extra coverage to even things out and to hide redness. I just haven't found a base product that made me really excited to put it on everyday. But for some reason I was drawn to the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. Laura Mercier is definitely a brand I'd like to try, mostly because of the sleek packaging but also because of the generally good reviews on those products.

Zara Printed Leather Ballet Flats
I'm strangely into these. My shoe collection is pretty plain in terms of color - there are browns, blacks, and nude/skin tone shades, but other than that I kind of shy away from color and print. I don't even like animal prints, but these have really changed my mind. Again, I don't know why I'm so drawn to this, but I really hope that my size available by the time I have the money to get these!

A French Press
This one is the Bodum Chambord 3 Cup French Press. I'm an avid coffee drinker but honestly my Starbucks addiction is a bit expensive. I really do like the taste of french press coffee plus it is so easy to make. Add a milk frother to the list and hopefully I'll be able to minimize my coffee budget!

When is your birthday? Did you get yourself something nice, or is it yet to come? Or, what is currently on your wishlist?

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skincare, an update

13 October 2014

bespectacled, skincare, Origins

Sorry this a bit late guys, it's kind of hard to figuring out when I'm going to take photos when I have like no natural light by the time I get out of work. I know what you guys are saying, excuses, excuses, but at least I got a post up right?

When it comes to skincare I think it's more important to figure out what works for you than it is to follow the hype around products. I don't think skincare products will work for 100% of people and unfortunately it's also part trial and error. For the most part my skin is dry. And it can also get sensitive especially around my cheeks and eyes. I'm lucky enough not to suffer from acne or oiliness or what not, and my skin is pretty consistent throughout the whole year too. I get a little drier when it gets cooler but it never really goes away unless I'm being diligent. I'm no skincare expert, I won't be able to give you any good advice or anything outside of what's worked for me. But I wanted to share the stuff that I've been using and I'd also love to hear what you're trying out and currently loving as well!

My current cleanser, after I remove my makeup with Lush Ultrabland, is the Origins Pure Cream Rinseable Cleanser and I hate it. This is the part where trial and error just did not work out for me; I picked up this cleanser thinking it'd be really great but I really don't like it. I don't know why I thought that another cream cleanser would work out for me. I don't really think this did much for my skin than to make it tingle (which I don't think is a good thing), my skin did feel more dry but it was irritating sometimes. I'm stubborn though and rather than throw it out I just want to use it all to feel the satisfaction of throwing it out. I have awful luck with cleansers for dry skin, but I might go back to the Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser - I loved that stuff, why did I ever give it up?

Toner and serum are things I don't necessarily think are super important to have in one's skincare routine, but hey it's nice to have them. I don't actually know if the Herbivore Botanicals Ylang Ylang + Rose Face Toning Elixir is actually doing anything for me other than making me feel a little more awake in the mornings. But like I said, it's nice to have. Plus it isn't drying or irritating, which I found the FAB Facial Radiance Pads to be. I finally finished that little deluxe sample that I bought and I'm so happy to be done with it. I don't think that did much for me either and I started to get irritation around my face after using it too. I hate that feeling of your skin stinging and you can't really do much for it. The Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid was a bit of a game changer for me though. This takes my normally light moisturizers and kicks them up a notch while still being gentle on the skin. I swear my skin is so much more hydrated a lot softer because of this. I've been using this practically everyday (and sometimes twice a day) and I still have quite a lot left. I'm really happy with this one.

It kind of seems like I've fallen out of love with FAB because I've also stopped using the FAB Ultra Repair Cream and have passed it on to my mom. It just wasn't enough for me. I switched back to the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet which is refreshing and light but still hydrating and non-irritating. But I also have a back up moisturizer that came in the Ceramidin Starter Kit - the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream. But in terms of my main moisturizer, this great for now. And lastly, the newest product in my routine, the Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment. I finally picked up one for myself after finishing the Clarins Eye Contour Balm (which wasn't moisturizing enough for my skin). I haven't quite formed an opinion about this but I am glad to have it. I'm hoping it's as good as bloggers say it is.

In terms of AM/PM skincare, I use all of the same products. Because I only have about twenty minutes to get ready in the mornings, I can't be fussy with my skincare: it needs to be quick and efficient. So I stick to toner, moisturizer, and eye cream. And at night, when I do have more time to pay a bit more attention, I go all out.

Like I said, I'm no skincare expert, it's all about finding out what works for your skin and your life. I like having a relatively simple routine - it makes getting ready a snap. But I'm interested in reading what you guys use. What does your skincare routine look like?

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favorite balms for chapped lips

10 October 2014

favorite lip balms, bespectacled, beauty, skincare, Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm Honey, eos Visible Soft Lip Balm Vanilla Mint, Dior Lip Glow, Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint 02 Coming Up Rosy

I've been sick with a really cold lately and while I wish I could just go to bed and sleep it off, I've had to force myself to get up and go to work and face the world. But whenever I get sick I also tend to get chapped lips a lot easier no matter how much water I actually drink. While I'm happy to report I'm on the recovery end of things, I've found myself not actually bothering with real lipstick and mostly sticking to lip balms.

My two clear balms of choice lately have been the Tony Moly Bbo Bbo Lip Balm in Honey & the eos Lip Balm in Vanilla Mint. Tony Moly is actually a Korean brand so I was surprised to actually find this in my local Sephora! One thing about Tony Moly is that there packaging is always that next step up - everything is so super adorable and so I had to pick this little balm up. The one I have is in honey and I always associate honey with things that are nourishing and soothing and this lip balm does just that. But because it's the kind of packaging where you have to dip your fingers in, I prefer to use it at nighttime. And if you're wondering, in Korean, "bbo bbo" (뽀뽀) means kiss!

The formula for this line of eos balms - the ones with the swirls around it - are a lot more hydrating and feel a bit more emollient on the lips than the original. It feels a lot more like a balm so I feel like it's heavier duty whereas the original ones are ones I use for everyday. Emily Noel did a review on these on her express channel and I think she does an excellent job reviewing this and explaining the differences between this line and the original.

But for me, performance wise, both of the eos & Tony Moly lip balms are pretty similar in the end. I wake up with softer and my lips are less chapped and I don't look like some dried out corpse. I kind of alternate between the two and knowing how easy it is for my to lose balms, I'll always have a back up. Both options are fairly affordable as well so I do highly recommend them!

When I'm sick my lips get really pale as well, which isn't the most flattering look for me. If I want color I have two options as well. The Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint in 02 Coming Up Rosy is something that I've changed my mind about. At first I thought that this was a mediocre product - sure it was moisturizing, but that was it. I didn't really see the big difference in terms of color on my lips so in the back of my stash it went. But I tried it again and have ended up really liking it so far. The color change is subtle and changes from day to day, but some days I just want a hint of color to the lips without very much effort.

And of course in an attempt to make myself feel better I picked up something from Sephora that had been on my wishlist for ages - the Dior Lip Glow. I'm a sucker for lovely packaging and Dior does not disappoint with this little number. The Dior Lip Glow is another one of those color-changing balms (I also do love a gimmick!) but it feels luxurious and nice as well. Maybe it's me just being biased because it's Dior but I really really like it.I think this is more successful at giving more of a color change to my lips than the Clinique one, but the tones are different. The Clinique one is more red and this one is definitely more pink. But it's great for just popping on without having to worry. I can't say it's an absolute must-have because c'mon, at the end of the day it's just a really expensive balm. But hey, it's Dior.

I do hope you guys are fairing a bit better with the seasonal changes and you're not sick like I am! This time of year in San Diego it gets very hot and dry and windy, but the mornings and nights still get a bit chilly and I'm never quite sure how my body will react. Anyway, let me know, what are some of your favorite lip balms?

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the "just-in-case" bag

08 October 2014

everything-bag, beauty, life, skincare,

Also known as the: "I carry way too many things around with me on a daily basis" post.

In my massive tote bag I carry this small bag (which I picked up from Ikea) to hold the things that I wanted to carry with me "just in case". I'm the type of person who likes to be prepared for a lot of things. This bag didn't use to be as full though; I had decided to ditch the extra little makeup bag that I carried around and for some reason decided that I needed all of my "just in case" makeup as well. This is definitely a reminder that I need to clean this out, but I wanted to kind of document everything first.

2/5 Antonym & Nudestix

06 October 2014

oct-1-2, October beauty planning, monthly five, bespectacled, beauty, Antonym Quattro in Noisette, Nudestix Lip and Cheek Pencil in Ripe oct-1-2-detail, October beauty planning, monthly five, bespectacled, beauty, Antonym Quattro in Noisette, Nudestix Lip and Cheek Pencil in Ripe

For some reason when it comes to higher-end makeup, I'm a brand hopper. There is only one high-end brand that I've bought more than one or two items from, NARS, otherwise my collection is a mish-mash of different brands. What can I say, I like novelty. So of course when I saw these items on the Urban Outfitters beauty section of their store I decided to try them out.

I had actually ordered these last month with the intention that they'd be part of September's five, but I had so many issues with shipping - they had to send out a new box to me because mine was stuck in shipping limbo. But I got everything eventually and I'm pretty happy with both of these things so far. One, look at that packaging. That's one thing that drugstore makeup can't compare to and it's packaging. I'm a sucker for packaging and this bamboo case and little tin with mirrored lid were enough to make me swoon.

And hey, the products themselves aren't half bad either. Antonym Cosmetics is an natural makeup line, and I picked up the Antonym Quattro in Noisette which is a lovely little quad in neutral shades - a shimmery pale gold, a shimmery bronze shade, a matte warm brown, and a matte cool brown. The quality of these shadows feels lovely and smooth. They aren't powdery and apply fairly well. The pigmentation isn't 100% there - I'd say it was about 65-85% depending on the shadow - but for someone newer with eyeshadows extreme pigmentation isn't always a plus. But honestly, I'd use these for the packaging alone - it looks so fancy. But I'm a huge fan of those two bottom matte browns at the bottom. If I was redesigning the Urban Decay Naked Basics I'd include these two shades, which I definitely picture myself getting more use out of than the matte black in the first Naked Basics.

Nudestix is also a new launch whose tagline is: go nude, but better & I bought the Nudestix Lip & Cheek Pencil in Ripe. While I don't necessarily strive for natural-looking makeup, that's usually what ends up happening on my face. Again, the packaging is A+ on these - their pencils come in a little tin that includes a sharpener and has a mirror on the underside of the lid. I can fit a concealer and an eyeliner in here with the pencil, perfect for light days. The shade I picked up is a peachy shade that looks really lovely on the cheeks, but I don't think it quite suits me on the lips. But as the first introduction to this line I am pretty eager to try out more from them in the future.


Sorry about the awful swatches! From left to right: Nudestix Lip & Cheek Color in Ripe, Blended; Eyeshadow swatches correspond to layout in palette

So what about you guys? Have you tried anything from these brands before? Do you like to brand hop?

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3 things to consider when clothes shopping

05 October 2014

other-things, bespectacled, personal style, fashion, other things to consider when shopping for clothes

Since I've began my search for better quality pieces in my wardrobe I've also started to consider other things besides just the style and fit and price of clothes. While those three things are important to factor in, there are other factors to consider when shopping for new clothes that can be the deciding factor in how well your wardrobe works for you and your life.

Your wardrobe right now
I think it's important to know the state of your wardrobe right now before you add anything new. How many shirts do you have? Do you need another one? If you bought a new piece would it be able to mesh well with your existing items?
I always trick myself into thinking that I need new gray t-shirts by giving it the justification that it's a "different gray t-shirt", but at the end of the day it's a gray tee and I have like 50 of those now and I won't be buying any more any time soon. But as I was going through all of my gray tees, I did notice a distinct lack of blouses. But now I know what I need, and what I don't.

Your lifestyle now
Not all of us can be like those popular fashion bloggers and wear whatever they want all the time. I work in an office five days a week and can't pull off mesh skirts or blue fur jackets. And while the dress code at my work is a bit more lax, at the end of the day, my things still have to be appropriate. That doesn't mean that I've given up my short skirts and shorts, it just means that I don't wear them as often. And because I don't wear them as often I don't buy those pieces as regularly as I would things that I do wear at work like shirts and trousers. What your life is like now or how it will be in the near future is what you should factor in when curating your wardrobe, not how it might it be in a year or two.

Fabric & fabric care
While I don't think it's absolutely necessary to know everything there is to know about every single kind of fabric in the world, how something feels can also play a part in how often you wear something. If you're ever in San Diego and you see someone weirdly caressing different garments in stores, that's probably me. I know that there are certain kinds fabrics and textures that work for me and some don't. And how a fabric feels against the skin is huge thing for me and something that I cannot comprise on no matter how it looks.
And fabric care is another thing that can be a deciding factor when it comes to new clothes. Things that are dry-clean only are just not appealing to me for several reasons, and I can only have so many hand-washed garments before it becomes too tedious for my life. But you can't throw everything into the wash and expect it to end up the same at the end of it. Knowing how to take care of your clothes plays a huge part in how well it will last you. And buying pieces that you know that you can properly care for can make your wardrobe all the more wearable for you.

Besides the look & price of an item what are some of the things that you look for in a garment? Are you like me and like to caress clothes (and fabrics) before buying them or is that just a weird little habit I've picked up?

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