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Where, or how to start again?


Hi!

I don't know how many posts I've started writing, and how many I've failed to post - and this over the course of many years. I feel like I've been on hiatus for such a long time I can't gather myself to publish a post. Pretty much every single day I think about starting this blog again and for some reason, I feel held back. I think it's because I still haven't decided on how I'd like to run this blog moving forward. My thoughts bounce between 'OMG, I don't want to disappoint my readers!' and 'the hell with it, I'm overthinking it. I should just be genuine and blog whatever I'd like to share with others.' a million times a day.

I saw that today is 07-17-2017, so thought it'd be a nice date to restart blogging. For now, I'll just post whatever comes to mind. I'm certain this blog is going to deviate from 'beauty-only' to a broader spectrum of topics that touch my everyday life and interest.


Just to give a short update in my life;

I got a new job. Well, kind of.

Last year around this time, I was actively interviewing with companies to seek better career opportunities. I was in a really good/comfortable position in my previous place but thought I needed to shake up my life. I wasn't seeking stability - yet.
I'll probably talk more in detail about this process in a separate post.


  • I still live and work in Los Angeles! It's already been 5 years since I moved here. 
  • My birds (Chewie & Dante) are still a very large part of my everyday life. 
  • I still have my penguins and other plushies 
  • I have Instagram (@cl2425) - I don't update it that often though, but most of my social media links are on the sidebar of this blog :)
  • I'm STILL trying to customize and fix the blog layout (this is also one of the excuses reasons I'm reluctant to update the blog) 
  • This blog still holds a very special place in my heart, and I am very eager to get it up and running again


Anyway, I keep writing these 'I'm back!' posts and disappear (shameful, I know, I'm sowie!), but hopefully, this post can be a good starter post to a good rhythm. 


x Catalina 



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Catalina Penguin
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10 years!


Wow,
I've been thinking about coming back to blogging for a very long time, and while I was looking at the much abandoned and outdated look of this blog, I noticed that it's already been 10 years since this blog has come to existence! That's pretty insane.

I remember opening up this blog as an assignment in one of my college courses in 2006 and uploading assignments at the last minute, literally like 5 minutes before it was due. It wasn't much of a 'thing' for me back then, as I didn't intend to continue keeping this blog alive after the course was over.
For some reason, my procrastination kicked in and I never really got rid of the blog. And soon after, I started making videos on YouTube (ahh.. the good old days :).

I was pretty pumped about this blog for a couple of years. But, as my life direction changed and I slowly started to fizzle out of the YouTube beauty world, this blog also got neglected (very unintentionally though - I've always wanted to keep this blog running even if I didn't make any more videos).

Anyway, long story short, I started to take my career seriously and shed my online life into the shadows. For some years, work had become 100% of my life. I don't regret pouring a lot of time into work, but sometimes I think I'm letting things go by too fast without giving myself a chance to reflect on and appreciate the moments. Wait, did I say that in some other post before? I think I did.. Dejavu..!

I've had a lot of sad attempts to make blogging a regular habit (and so here I am doing it again :p), but hopefully I'll stick with blogging more moving forward.

Since it's end of year (and seems like I always say I'm going to blog more towards the end of year), I thought I'd write out what I want to do with this blog.


- Obviously, I'd love to keep this blog going
- Makeup reviews? yes, of course those will be posted :)
- Change layout and design (it's been a couple years)
- Anything else I'd like to record will go on here. This blog won't be fully dedicated to makeup like it used to before.


I hope everyone has a great holiday and see you soon!

Much love,
Catalina

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Catalina Penguin
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Last post of 2014!!!

Last post of 2014!!!


Woah!
I can't believe I'm already counting down the last minutes of 2014-

It was a great year that passed by so fast! I feel terrible I didn't document a lot of it, but hopefully I will get better at that with the start of 2015.

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who decided to stop by my blog and read my ramblings.

It's typical, but might as well do a short recap of 2014 and share some of my goals for 2015.


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Catalina
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1 year of MIA!! Some life updates

1 year of MIA!! Some life updates



Knock knock -
I'm peeking in my own blog to see if anyone is left here after a full year of no updates.

 
 
If you're still here, Hi! long time no talk!
Not sure how to start an entry anymore - blog-writing now feels so foreign to me.. 

I don't like wasting my time listening to other people talk about themselves, but just wanted to update everyone on what's been going on in my life for the past 12 months. Hopefully, this can get me back on track with a lot of things I've neglected online.. And hopefully, you will forgive me for going on and on about myself :p I promise, I won't have a Catalina-centric post like this anymore.


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Catalina
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Acuvue 2 Define Vivid Style - Way Too Natural Color Lens

Acuvue 2 Define Vivid Style - Way Too Natural Color Lens



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I don't know if I should define these lenses as circle lenses as they have absolutely no enlarging effects on my eyes.

I feel like I'm growing out of color/circle lenses.  I still like them, but I feel extremely self-concious and weirded out if I wear them to work. I can pass with wearing them in videos, but when I'm talking to people I work with and see everyday, buggy looking eyes becomes an awkward thing that makes people raise their eyebrows.  I've worn brown colored lenses to work a handful of times, and everytime someone had to innocently (?) point out how weird my eyes looked.

I still like to add a bit of jazz to my eyes, so I was in the search of "THE most natural looking lens out there".  I was able to narrow my choices down to two. One was Acuvue define products or freshlook illuminate products.

I decided to try out the Acuvue Define Vivid styles first.  I already wear regular Acuvue contacts, so I had some confidence in ordering Vivid style lenses.

Here's some illustrative pieces I grabbed from the web. Acuvue Define Lenses are Asia exclusive and designed for Asian eyes (I believe).

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Catalina
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Sephora VIB sale unboxing + San Francisco

Sephora VIB sale unboxing + San Francisco



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I finally opened my box! yay!!
I've been traveling and busy with work, and had my VIB sales box sitting for the longest time.

When I got my VIB offer in the mail, I was thinking of hoarding my skincare products, but they were all blocked out from the sale (MAP violation policies, perhaps), and only a handful of brands were actually available. I didn't see much that were eye-grabbing, but managed to add a couple of things into my basket.

Most of the stuff are skincare products.


I wasn't really thinking of any particular brand when I was putting items into my cart, but Origin has dominated this time.



Let's start with the Plantscription SPF25 Oil-Free Anti-aging Cream



Seems like it's made with all the goodies one could ask for. No Parabens, animal ingredients (very nice!), synthethic ingredients, etc., while offering SPF, Anti-aging NAD oil-free all in one cream! Sounds like a miracle cream! :D



I based my purchase mostly on reviews at Sephora's website and overall it seemed like a well loved product.  I have yet to used it, but I was very surprised at the thickness of the cream when I opened the lid (see above picture). More in-dept review will follow once I finish my Nars moisturizer and start using this one.


Next is also a skin care product : FAB First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream


I've tried First Aid Beauty's shaving cream that was in one of my glossy boxes (you can read a brief review here), but it never led me to investigate other products from the brand. I recognized the brand while browsing and saw this product pop up. After reading glowing reviews of the product, I decided to give it a try. It was really cheap for the amount offered too ($28.00 for 6.0 oz).

Most of the reviews testified that this cream helped with their flaky, dry patches. One person even said that it helped even out her combination, weird skin type.  I'm usually very easily persuaded by reviews, so I went ahead and decided to give it a try. This too has an extremely thick, whipped texture.


I've tried it on my dry areas on my cheeks a couple times, and so far, I'm not seeing the miraculous results others are seeing. I do like the fact that this isn't greasy and absorbs quickly, but I don't think it's a reparative cream (at least for me). I'm a huge skeptic and tend to be on the criticizing side when it comes to reviewing products, so we will have to see. Maybe I'll be blown away as I keep using this cream! :D


Next is the Sephora Exclusive Origins Value Set.



I bought it mostly because there's a full sized eye cream in it.
I haven't used any of the products except the eye cream - and I must say I really like it! It's smooth and soft, rather light-feeling when scooped out of the jar. However, the cream settles in really quickly and has a secure, thick build around the eye area that locks in the moisture. I love how my under eye area is soft and moist when I wake up, compared to dry and puffy when I don't put eye cream on at night.

So far, my first impressions on Origin products is positive.

Also, I always try to use my Beauty Insider points whenever I make a purchase, so this time I opted to get Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Deluxe, along with my three free samples. 


Also, a sephora lip bag was thrown in :) along with a colorful birdie! LOL


To conclude, I feel like I've figured out a new great brand.
I'm super excited about Origins - I know, I'm always late on the good stuff, but I like the feeling of figuring things out by trial and error instead of blindly hoping on a bandwagon. Not that the bandwagon is always bad or anything.. ;)

Anyway,
Happy belated Thanksgivings to you all and I will see you guys in my next post!

Cheers!


PS,
Here are some pictures from my latest business trip to San Francisco..

I was there for two nights and the day I arrived was the day the weather decided to go ape sh*t and start pouring like never before.  I conducted business through the second day and had a couple of spare hours to walk around the city and go to Boudin Bistro to have dinner. It would've been nice to meet up with my college roommate, but she too was traveling and the trip was a short notice anyway, so I had some quality Catalina-time. :p
I haven't been to the bay area for almost ten years, so good and bad memories came back as I walked through the chilly city.







 A lot of sourdough bread pics, but haha, that's what Boudin is famous for ;)






The day I was leaving, I decided to take a long route to SFO and stop by the Golden Gate Bridge to snap some photos. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the pictures came out so beautifully.  Should I have known my flight was going to be delayed 4 times (Delta? cough cough), I would've stayed longer and enjoyed the view more.

Below pictures were taken from Battery Spencer (north side of the GGB), which I think is the BEST spot to enjoy the bridge.  You see the city, Alcatraz AND the bridge all at once. All you have to do is come down from Richmond - take 101 south and as soon as you come out of the tunnel, make a sharp right, and then left (towards Hawk Hill), and bamb! you're at the Battery Spencer.

 First site when you come out of the tunnel down the 101 from Richmond - OMG, I screamed out of excitement when I saw the tip of the bridge. It feels like it's right in front of you in real life. I've never taken this route to see the bridge before, so it was so exciting for some reason. :p


Took my birdies (cut out) for their instagram account. It was so hard getting them, the bridge and everything into a tight square.

The traveling penguin also went! :)



..And, I present the Golden Gate Bridge :)
It was such a beautiful day. So perfect, I loved every moment of my time at the Battery Spencer. 

Hope you guys enjoyed this post - see ya'll in the next one :)

Catalina



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Catalina
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