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Ornament Storage Boxes Are Awesome!



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Hi everyone,

I found quite a danny piece of treasure at Target's clearance section the other day. I wish I was smarter and picked up more if I had known that it will come in THIS handy. For those of you who are pondering about too much makeup and what to do with them, I would suggest using an ornament storage box to organize your makeup products.

The one I picked up is from snapware and it was on clearance for $8.38.
It has two layers and comes with precut cardboard dividers, which are really flimsy btw, to utilize your space the way you want to. (You can watch my video about it here)

Here's how I used one layer of my box.

I think it's specifically great for people like me who like to keep the original boxes.
You can easily spot the product name on the boxes and pick items out.

So much lip, nail and face products fit into one layer. If I wanted to squeeze in more it wouldn't be a problem either. This specific box is deep enough to hold taller items like foundation bottles and lip glosses.


And if you don't want to use the dividers, the box would pretty much look like my top layer.

You can stack as many boxes as you want and just top it off with a lid. I think this comes in so handy because it saves massive amount of space AND helps keep things in place.
The only problematic part about it is the plastic aspect of it. Since makeup is quite heavy, lifting the box up with the lid only is really a bad idea (it will snap for sure!).


So, do you guys have any other creative storage suggestions?
I feel like I have to be super compact and organized with my stuff when I move in to my new LA apartment because it's so tiny! :p




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Catalina
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NOTD: Orly - Sweet Peacock



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Electric Blue!!!!

Usually electric blue (or any blue) in the beauty world (nails, hair color, eye makeup..) could easily be labeled as 'trashy' or 'cheap-looking'. I think blue is one of the harder colors to pull off.
Today's nails is Orly's blue foil polish called sweet peacock. It's from the birds of feather collection, which I believe was released in Fall 2011.





Here's a swatch of the polish from Orly's site.
In real life, the formula appears and applies lighter than the dark midnight blue swatch on the site.



What I love


  • The application is amazingly smooth. Despite having a rough texture the formula spreads out evenly on the nail surface to form a nice flat layer of polish. Keep in mind though, if you apply top coat a whee-bit too early, it'll thin out areas where the top coat brush first touches and drags the polish down.
  • Amazing reflection power! :: The amount of light the nails reflect is amazing. It adds no shame to the term "foil", because it literally feels like foil on nails.
  • I've come to appreciate Orly's ergonimcally superior bottle cap. The spongy grip makes it very easy to have control over how much polish you apply on which section.
  • A little goes a long way with this particular shade. :: I have to admit that I wasn't so keen about some cream finishes Orly put out previously, but this shade does great with the minimal amount!




  • What I don't like

  • Dries a bit too slow.
  • Could be a bit too flashy to wear to work (if you work at even a semi-conservative place)

  • So what do you guys think? :) Like it, or nah??



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    Happy Lunar New Year :)



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    Hi Everyone!

    Sorry I miserably failed to blog everyday.
    Happy Lunar New Year tho :) It's a New Year in a way, so I'm going to try to be persistent and keep my word! I actually have a lot to blog about, I'm just a very lazy person who is struggling to get into good habits.

    Anyway,
    I received my very first red envelope today from my BF's aunt and was told to put it under my pillow and sleep for the New Year (how kind of her!).



    I hope you guys have a great LNY too, and for those that don't celebrate it, it's still a good time to look back at your New Year's resolutions and see how far you have come!

    Much Love,
    Catalina



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    Knowing when to throw things out



    We all know things expire, hence the "expiration date" stamped somewhere on a product, but do we really abide by those guidelines? Expiration dates are set at a very standard point not considering every individual's margin of error. So how do you guys decide when a product should get dumped?

    I'm going to list my indicators of a couple of beauty products.


    Contact lenses


    I usually use the year-long lenses when it comes to circle and color lenses. My eyes are usually dry and barely produces tears so I feel like lenses damage more easily on me.
    The moment I feel an uncomfortable scratchy feeling in my eyes (usually happens more on the left eye than the right, sometime around 7-8 months into using lenses), I dispose them.


    Foundation


    Liquid: When the pump starts to squirt out clumps, when the foundation shows any signs of separation. Other than that, I usually run the full 24 months after opening.
    Pressed Powder: When the surface starts smelling weird with darkened wet(?) spots showing.
    Cream: When the consistency changes and too much dust particles get caught in the foundation (usually when I hit the middle of the pan).

    Eye Shadows

    Cream type: When the application starts getting uneven and weirdly cakey.
    Pressed Powder: ???? I don't have an indicator :'(

    Blushes

    Pressed Powder type: When it starts crumbling (almost towards the end of a life cycle)

    Concealer
    I am usually very bad with throwing out concealer, but ladies, I think concealers should be used excessively and often replaced with new ones.

    Mascara
    I don't wait the three months. As soon as the mascara turns crumby or flaky, I toss it.
    Mascara bases fixers are kept a bit longer, but when the white formula on the wand starts turning dark from mascara, I ruthlessly throw it out.


    Do you guys have your own indicators?


    * Sorry - this post was finished on the 18th, but I accidentally didn't publish it until the 19th :'( I have no excuse for skipping the previous 2 days, but I will make up for it T^T)


    Catalina
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    NOTD: Butter London - Queen Vic



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    Hi Everyone,

    I've heard about butter london a lot, but never tried it. I'm trying to be a bit more money conscious so buying polishes that go over 10 dollars is a bit of a stretch on my budget. But thanks to nbmarketplace (an online marketplace that specifically trades/sells/buys nail polishes at a reasonable price among MUA members) I had a chance to get my hands on a color called Queen Vic.

    It's a beautiful creamy cranberry color with no glitters in it. My choice of finishing is, and most probably always will be, cream. I love cream over any other finishes and this polish DELIVERS!
    Compared to other popular brands (OPI, china glaze, essie, zoya, etc), I think Butter London polish applies a little above average. I wasn't wowed about the application and how the polish spread out. However, I think the drying time was extremely fast with minimal hassle. When I apply polishes like OPI, I would usually have to wait quite a while to build up and get my nails completely dry, but butter london worked like magic.
    Packaging wise, I like it. The flat rectangle shape is held easily in the hand and the cap isn't a twist cap like typical polishes. The top comes off and another twist top is revealed (much like Chanel polishes).

    Also, I was wondering what 3 free nail meant and here's what it means.



    Most major nail companies use toxic chemicals in their products. Why? Because they are cheap and unmonitored by the Food and Drug Administration. They are also extremely hazardous to humans, causing cancer, birth defects, neurological damage, and a host of other serious illnesses.
    butter LONDON products contain NO Formaldehyde, NO Toluene, and NO DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate).
    We believe in Colour, not Carcinogens.

    I guess 'three free' system is like a little justification of their prices being so high.
    All in all, I love the nail polish and I would buy all in the collection IF I had the money to do so. 14 dollars price tag isn't easy on the wallet. So, application, pigmentation, bottle shape and fast drying is a double thumbs up, but the expensive price tag is a huge stopper.


    Catalina


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    I'm finally in LA!! :D



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    Hi Guys :)

    I finally moved to LA!! XD
    To be honest, I feel a bit unsure and weirded out. Maybe it's because I feel bad having to leave my parents behind (it's always heartbreaking to say good bye to your parents :'/ ), or maybe because I feel like a visitor, or maybe because my place isn't fully ready.. or maybe some other reason. But, aside of all that, I am here in LA and I just wanted to let you guys know that I safely arrived :)

    Good news is - I'm reunited with my penguins, so you guys will get to see more of them in the background. I feel like I lost my youtube identity after my penguins disappeared from the background, but I hope they will help me out as they did in the beginning :p

    Sorry about the short posts lately. The initial and biggest step in moving process is finished, so hopefully future posts can be of a better quality.

    Love you guys :)

    Catalina



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    Thinning Hair



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    Hi guys!

    I'm leaving for LA in about 6 hours and I'm still not done! (^0^!!!!!)

    Anyway, someone from facebook asked if I could do a tutorial on thinning hair. If I had know the secret to prevent it, I wouldn't be here writing this post but lecturing and going on tours for unlocking one of the oldest mysteries.

    I do not know how to prevent thinning hair. My mom and my dad's side both have very bad hair genes (rough texture, receding hairlines, balding problems..), so I'm more of the unfortunate ones out there.

    Here's something that a pastor at my dad's church told my dad to try. There is no medical backing of his method, but I've seen him since he barely had any hair left on his head. Last time I was him (when he was discussing how he gained a lot more hair than before), he actually had a noticeable amount of new hair growing out, so there may be 'some' credibility to his method.

    The logic is very simple.

    In his case, he thought his thinning was related more to his scalp than anything else. He would take a shower once a day or every other day like any other people.
    Step in, run the water, shampoo, rinse, wash body, do whatever he needs to do in the shower, step out and be done with it.

    He figured that if dead skin cells are thickly built up on the scalp then it would prevent hair growth from follicles.

    So, instead of shampooing and washing off the shampoo, he got into a habit of run water on hair, lather shampoo carefully on the hair so the shampoo foam could completely soak the scalp and leave it there for 10-15 minutes.
    While he's waiting on his shampoo to soak in, he would soap up his body or shave.
    Apparently, this method soaked his scalp's dead skin cells, which made it easier to fall off and clear out the way for more hair to push through.

    I don't know if his logic is scientifically proven, but given that there's a lot of equipments that help soak the scalp and lessen dry/dead skin cells his method seems to make a lot of logical sense.

    The key to this is persistence.
    You can't expect full body hair in 1 or 2 weeks. You have to be persistent and patient with your hair, there may be some results!!


    Catalina



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    Giveaway Winner :D



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    Hi guys,

    Sorry, I'm going to cheat a whee bit today. I'm frantically packing since Friday is my last day in Texas. Currently, I have my mom working full force with me and we've only licked on the tip of the iceberg.

    I promise I'll have a nice post for tomorrow :)


    Giveaway winner is : Unknown says:







    Please contact me via cl2425@gmail.com so I can send out the mask.

    Thank you everyone for participating. If I find anything else new/interesting/worth sharing I'll try to bring it to the blog for you guys :)

    Much love,

    Catalina



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    Odor Absorbers



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    You know that smell when you walk into someone's room or house? Every that is occupied by a living being has a smell. Do you notice that smell? I do. I call it 'the human smell.'
    I think I've talked about how sensitive I am to scents, but the first thing I do when I walk in a place is sniff.
    As I started my business, I've been struggling with box smells. Boxes come and go everyday and since my business is e-commerce, I have a ton of shipping to do. Items come and go in boxes, a lot of my inventory is organized in boxes, I have used boxes hanging around so they could be used.. Boxes emit a weird raggy smell after a few days sitting in the same place. On top of that, they let out a lot of dust. So ever since last fall, I've been obsessing on odor absorbers.
    I wanted to give you guys some recommendations.
    I know this seems like it has very little to do with beauty, but if you can smell your own smell in your room or house, it's time to do something with your odor!! I always find it baffling when people with pretty makeup and clean clothes live like a pig at their house. If you care about your appearance, you should most definitely try to do something with your environment too.
    Anyway, here's some that I recommend.



    This one is amazing!! I think I wrote about this before, but I'm going to write about it again. I bought one in New York, and my kitchen had the worse smell ever (a lot of cooking was going on everyday), and this zapped out the smell in no time. There's a blue freckled sponge in the container and it shrinks (dries up) as time passes. The sponge itself has a scent to it, but it's hard to notice unless you're close by and sniffing. You can either have the lid on (lasts longer), or you can be like me and have the lid off for a full blast effect.
    I bought mine at Bad Bath and Beyond, but you only have a 50/50 chance of finding it in stores. I had many unlucky attempts at various stores.

    Here are the four that I am using right now.


    First one (way left), is from Target: up&up Odor neutralizing gel beads.

    I bought the fresh linen scent, but basically, it just smells like laundry detergent.
    You're suppose to peel the sticky part on the lid to let the scent slowly go out. The price is nice and the gels are pretty, but honestly, it's hard to say that it has any effect unless you have the lid open.
    I don't think it's a waste of money if you like nice fresh scents. However, unlike its name, I don't think it neutralizes odor.
    The other thing about this is, it reminds me of bubble tea and makes me want to grab a few and swallow it!! I always have this strong urge to pick up a gel bead and squeeze it around because it looks so yummy.
    Anyway, good for nice scents, head tilt with an uncertain smile for odor elimination.

    Second one is a Korean brand called "pigeon".


    This product's main goal isn't focused on odors, it's more for eliminating moist, humidity and fungus. I do want to point out that it works really great (see all the water it absorbed stored in the bottom portion?) doing what it's suppose to do.
    I wanted to add that because as it controls fungus and stuff, he also takes away the kinky smell they emit. I think you can get these easily at any Korean supermarket. 3.99 is a great price for such effect absorber.


    Third one is Smells Begone and mine is in calming rain.

    It's earth friendly (yay) and made in USA.
    The smell is fresh, but in a soapy way. I'm okay with the scent, and I think this works better than the target gel beads. If you can't get your hands on bad air (which is really good, I promise), I think the next choice should be this one. Here's how BB&B describes it
    Simply remove the seal and you'll be treated to an aromatic odor absorbing scent that will improve the air quality of and up to 450 square foot room. Effective for up to 90 days. Non-toxic.
    I like how it's earth friendly and non-toxic. It's the same sponge-like material as bad air, but smells begone is a bit more creamier than bad air.

    Fourth one is plain ol' soap, or in my case a bath bomb from Lush I got a couple years ago.


    Soap works great!! Especially fresh scented ones like Irish Spring, anything that has a cucumber scent or meadow scent to it. I've used that bath bomb as a odor eliminator since I was in New York, and it works pretty well. I do have to say that with soaps, you have to shed off a bit if you feel like the smell has gone dull. If you want some fresh scent in your house and you're not keen on buying odor sponges or candle, try a bar of soap!!
    just simple cut up the soap into cubes (or you can use the entire bar), slip it in a cleanly washed pantyhose, and keep it in the area you want to keep fresh! :)


    Last but not least is one of the most effective ones - Baking Soda!!!


    This is so useful, especially if you have pets!
    Sprinkling a bit on odor spots or nasty areas just does the work. If you have though oil stains on your oven door (sticky.. and ovens let out A LOT of smell, aka 'the kitchen smell'), just sprinkle baking soda on the stains and pour a whee bit of vinegar on the baking soda. BS will start boiling up, and after the initial bubbling period, just grab your oven cleaning sponge and easily scrape away stains that cause nasty smell in the kitchen! :)
    Once you have your kitchen and the room you use the most (in my case, my bedroom) under control - your house is definitely going to smell and feel so much better! Good bye to human smell!!! Or nasty socks smell, or bathroom stink, or kitchen smell... or any other smell that defines your surroundings!! :D

    I got an idea to write about smelly surrounding and eliminators while I was packing. I know it has little to do with beauty, but ladies!! it's not just the face and body that should look and smell nice ;)



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    Extension Pains



    I've never really talked about why I took out my extensions, but I think this picture will tell a long story.


    hahaha, gross right?
    It's actually nothing coming out from me. It's not puss nor dandruff, it is the glue that holds the strands together that had gradually melted (and a bunch of bulbs from my hair). I wanted to share some 'cons' of semi-permanent hair extensions.



    First is, obviously, the excessively long time invested in the installation.

    Even a trained professional could take up to 5-6 hours doing a full head. I went into it as a experimenting-trooper and had to deal with installing for almost 24 hours.

    Second is the headache.

    Yes, it's true that your scalp is going to scream with pain. You are literally tugging on almost every strand and adding heavy weight on your hair. Of course it's going to be a lot of pressure on your scalp. How should I put it, it feels like your ponytail getting caught in the elevator door and the elevator going up to the next floor.. ish kind of feeling?
    It's not pleasant and it's no fun especially when you are trying to sleep.
    Your head will feel so bruised, you won't know how to put your head down to sleep.


    Third is the difficulty showering and brushing.

    Every time a chunk of strand came out, I groaned "nnnooo....".
    Every extension is money and my blood!!!! you can't lose it!!! and yet every time I took a shower or brushed my hair, I had a handful of extension lost!


    Fourth is the main reason I decided to take out my extensions.

    THE MELTING GLUE.....dun dun dunnn!!!
    I don't know if it was my extensions, but the glue part started getting sticky and yuck by the end of 2 or so weeks. It would be a bit of an unpleasant moist stickiness, which freaked me out more. I would blow dry my hair with cool air for the longest time and I would even try to let my hair dry in the sun. Nothing helped!!! They just wanted to melt!!
    I even changed shampoos and it didn't work out.



    If you look closely, the glue separating and getting all over the place was a hot mess.
    Uninstalling these extensions was pretty easy, but then what followed was the last and biggest 'con' of extensions.


    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    Hair Loss!!!!

    The amount of hair you lose when you take out the extensions is quite frightening. I thought I was going to go bald, seriously! I was so scared because every time I gently ran my fingers through my natural hair, I would have a handful of hair shedding.
    I am still recovering from that stage, but the initial hair lost was quite shocking.
    It's like cheesy drama scenes, when the dying girl brushes out a handful of hair and gets shocked at how her body is crumbling.. yeah, it's literally like that!
    okay, not this... but you get the point, right? :p


    I've listed all the dark secrets of extensions, but all in all - I kind of liked the experience. It's nice to have a lot of hair to play around with. I honestly thought the extensions were going to help me get busy with myself and have pretty curls all the time, but no, that never happened :p

    Anyway,
    I had promised to write about why I took my extensions out and that was the reason: melting glue.

    I hope this helps as a reference for all those that are considering extensions. I can't say that ALL extensions are like mine, but I hope those that have extensions will have fun!!


    Catalina





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    Small Giveaway for you guys :)



    Oh, hello!

    I don't know if I've mentioned it enough, but I am moving this Saturday! yay!
    I am finally going to go to LA, and I am panicking a bit because my boxes didn't come today.

    BUT, aside of that, I wanted to do a small giveaway.

    It's a sulfur acne mask that's really effective. It's from a med spa called Hanna Isul (those of you that follow my videos will probably know this name since I semi-raved about it). Hanna Isul has a mania following, especially in Texas, Japan and some SE Asian countries.
    I like their products so much I asked them to help me out with the promotion when my online store first opened.

    Anyway, I have a couple of products I like from them (like the recovery ointment and ph balance spray) but it's difficult to recommend their products because it's so expensive.
    I have a couple of stuff from them (mostly in travel sizes since they are so expensive!), but one thing I couldn't pass on was the acne mask. I originally got two (one as a back up as I thought I was going to be really great with keeping up with the mask schedule... but failed, as usual :p) and since I'm sorting things out, I thought it would be great to let one of you guys try it out.


    It's 75 dollars when you buy it at the spa. I am giving away a new, unused full sized mask bottle.

    I am really sorry to international people, but I'm only going to send the mask out to someone who has a domestic (US) address. I'm running out of time to pack and I don't want things hanging and getting messy when I'm not here to sort things out.

    Here are the rules.

    1. you have to be a follower of this blog.

    2. enter once. I read through comments so no need to spam the comment box. Please comment on this post. you can say anything you want, JUST ADD A SMALL *** AT THE END OF YOUR COMMENT SO I WILL KNOW YOUR COMMENT IS FOR THE GIVEAWAY >.< first three people, I've got you girls so no need to worry!

    3. I am going to end this contest on this Wednesday (January 11, 2012 - hey, that's my mom's b-day :p) 11:59PM central time. I will post a ----((end of giveaway))---- ish comment in the comment box, and any other comment that is entered AFTER my ending comment will not be considered.

    Basic rules will not change, but anything that needs to be added will be added if necessary.


    You can read more about sulfur and its effects on acne here.
    And you can watch how I apply the mask here

    (Please start at around 1:30)

    Catalina

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    After school Nana look + 한아름송이



    Hi guys,

    Sorry I totally forgot to post this entry.
    Tsuki Kyto from my Facebook page asked me if I could do this look .

    It's Han Aruemsongi, which I had a hard time figuring out :p
    It sounded interesting, so I decided to combine the look with After School Nana's look in their Japan debut music video "Bang!" (talk about atrocious pronunciation T_T).

    Here's my retake on both girls' makeup





    Here's some screen caps of Nana.








    and here's the actual video.

    Peace!


    Catalina
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    Researching on affordable peels.


    Hi Everyone,

    I hope you are all enjoying the weekend. I've been lazy today and was tumbling around the bed all day. You guys probably know how I feel about my skin. I feel like I've semi-broadcasted how my skin condition went down the drain to my viewers for the past 2ish-3ish years.
    I've never had perfect skin so I've come to accept it, but, I would jump at almost anything if it could help me improve my conditions.

    To begin with, I have large pores. That's like a given to my family since I've always been amused at my gigantic pores around my cheeks and nose area since I can remember. I remember my teacher commenting about my huge pores when I was only in the third grade. That says a lot, haha.

    On top of that, I have sensitive skin, which gets red and irritates easily.
    And throw in the dreadful acne and premature sagging, with a bunch of scars and there, you have my skin.

    I've always envied people with porcelain-like skin and no visible pores. I could get quite pale, but my skin would look thin and textured (which I hate :'( waaahh).

    But, anyway, I love reading progressive posts about products, and I was reading this article from My big bowl of oats!!. I like how she legitimately reviewing a lot of things by trying products out herself. She wrote about another peel (that was expensive), but I liked her Salicylic peel article better.

    There seems to be a great rating of this product on amazon (Read the reviews here), which says a lot because it's quite hard to see so many reviewers and such a high level of stars.

    I ordered mine online (I'm going to start with 20% and see how it goes since my skin is a bit more on the sensitive side), and I will try to blog/vlog about the daily procedures.


    Anyway, (based on reading posts and reviews) here are some key points that are important.

    - May not work on colored skins. It seems like 50/50 for African American descents.
    - Burning seems common.
    - Skin gets bad/red, and after that period seems to drastically improve.
    - Not recommended for people who could be pregnant.
    - You can't get yourself exposed in the sun during the peeling processes, so best not done if you have to work or stay in the sun for a long period of time.
    - Seems like it doesn't completely eliminate scarring or acne for some people.
    - shouldn't be inhaled.

    Here's some before/after pictures I scrapped from the internet.


    omg.. if this is truly the result of the peel, I'm mind blown!



    Seems like she's in the process
    man, even this much reduction seems swell!!


    Beauty industry myths are that these types of chemical peels will eventually thin your skin. I'm not sure about that since we shed so much skin and skin itself regenerates rapidly throughout the course of one's entire life.

    So what do you guys think?
    Has anyone ever tried this at home?
    hmmm.. do you think these products were tested on animals? :'(

    Catalina
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    SUPER SUNGLASSES!!!



    Yay!
    I got my super sunglasses!!!

    For those of you that are not familiar with Super Sunglasses, well.. here it is!


    I think K-pop fans will be a bit more familiar with the name. It was a huge trend in Korea a while ago, and a lot of Korean celebrities wore this brand. Super sunglasses are actually from retrosuperfuture, where they make amazingly high quality products.
    Super sunglasses, as the company name suggests, all have uber retro vibes to them. They are similar to Ray Ban's famous wayfarers, but have a tad different signature look to them. Famous models are the flat top, the basics and other widely worn models like America.



    Here's some celebrities with the glasses on.


    Justin Bieber

    chris brown

    G Dragon

    Sohee (wonder girls)

    Kanye


    Sandara Park (2ne1)

    Sandara again

    JB again.
    My boyfriend has the clear glass one on the right. He wanted to emphasize the fact that he got his glasses first, but doesn't budge on the "I (me, Catalina) knew it first" counter argument :/
    I couldn't find his picture with the glasses on, but here's one that might help ^^
    we like to call it the "barista glasses"



    and here's SNSD Taeyeon with America sunglasses.


    I got America in Black. yay!!!!
    Just wanted to show you guys some details that weren't captured in the video.


    Retrosuperfuture!!


    omg so beautiful~~







    and here's me :p
    I have a flat nose bridge, so the glasses kind of sit high on my face :'(







    Catalina Penguin
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