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TJ Maxx Nail Polish Haul :: Getting ready for glittery holidays!!

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Lately, I've been really into painting my nails.  Maintaining nails has always been a category where I lacked any sort of motivation because my nails are so brittle and soft.  They bend and peal like wet paper and I rarely get to keep all ten fingernails at the same length.

Here's the funny thing though. After lipstick, nail polish is my next favorite category to collect, so I have had a truck load of polishes that have been patiently waiting to be abused by me for some time.  At this point of my life, I'm all about consuming my products.  I used to be very protective and stingy about using my products, since I valued them more as a whole package than anything but to be used, but now I'm on a mission to get a great use out of all the products I've committed myself to.

So, yesterday I strolled into TJMaxx thinking that I had to buy a mirror.

I'm sure when anyone who saw me at TJMaxx, whether when I was grabbing every mug from the home section or when I was picking out every single workout pants at mid-shin length, would no doubt notice that I like to hoard anything and everything I like and see.  I have a TJMaxx close by, so close I can occasionally stroll in and randomly pick up things without having to make it an occasion. While fumbling through the baby section (I wandered into that section because my parrots like to play with baby toys), I found a whole new section filled with nail polishes!! The brands carried there are OPI, Orly, China Glaze and some other brands.

After checking the conditions of the polishes and confirming that they weren't opened or weirdly dried out, I started picking up all the chunky glitter polishes I could get my hands on.

Well... let's rephrase it. I had my bf glaring at me with disgust asking why I needed more nail polishes than what I already had - so I was only able to pick up six, and the six are as shown above.

I've always been a cream/solid color girl, but I feel like I've overdone that - now I want wilder nails that are eye catching! So naturally, the products I picked up were heavy and chunky glitter polishes.


This shade was super famous and sought out in Korea for a while. The chunky glitter really pops and reflects light even from far away.  Out of all the colors I bought, this one is the brightest and glitteriest when paired with a dark background color.

I Pink I Can consists of large and medium hexagon glitters.
The application is solid. You can pick out the bigger chunks and strategically place them where you want them to be. The formula dries quickly and isn't messy at all. I mean, overall it is a transparent formula with pink glitter specks in it.  When dried, the surface does maintain some texture so a top coat to even out the surface would be a good idea.  I haven't tried the polish with other background colors, but I think it works great with what I already had on my nails.

Scattered & Tattered

This is my favorite out of all of the six.  Or maybe I like it so much because it went so well with my nail color I had used for the background color.

Scattered & Tattered is clear base and consists of large, medium and small hexagons. By the time you're at medium size, it's hard to tell that what shape the glitters are. It also has small round black glitters and glitter bars (which I thought were a defect when I first saw them), which nicely balances out the red.

This is the perfect holiday topping!

Pure Joy

This is the only one I didn't swatch on my nails since I already had nail polish on. It's a tomato red polish with gold medium sized glitters in it. I solely bought it because it was the red shade I like. I will update you guys on this shade in a separate post.

Bling It On

Another clear based polish with large, medium and small periwinkle glitters mixed with small black glitter bits and bars. The color looks a bit blue in certain angles. I don't think it matched well with my dark background nail color, but when seen in the bottle it is an absolute beauty.
This one in particular doesn't seem to reflect light as much as the others. It's great for those who want subtle, yet pronounced glitters on their nails.

I'm still thinking that it's more of the color combo that didn't do Bling it on any justice.

Application and finish is about the same as Scattered & Tattered. Rough finishing but the glitters don't scrape off.

Mosaic Madness

Gorgeous sapphire blue in large, medium and small hexagon sizes mixed with small black glitter bits and bars.  Mosaic madness reflects light much better than Bling it on and is a bit more noticeable on the nails.  I like how it makes your nails holographic when the light hits it.

Same as the above glitters. The application is solid with a bit rough finishing.

Get Carried Away

Get Carried Away has a bit of black in its base. Mixed with silver and muted red (same color glitters as Scattered & Tattered above) large hexagon glitters, it also has medium sized silver round glitter and small black glitter bits + bars.

I personally don't think the application is chunky or thick, but I can see how some people might not like the formula.  It dries really quickly and the fun part about the large glitters is you can position it however you want to.

So what do you guys think?
The bottles were $2.99 each, which isn't bad at all for me (considering that CG goes for 6-8 dollars/ea).
I'm so excited to play with these! The swatches were done on my pre-existing nail color so the combination on some were really off.

Which one would you guys go for? Any shades that tickle your interest? :)

PS. The nail color I had on was OPI Royal Rajah Ruby, which is an absolutely gorgeous deep blood-red color on its own.

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1 Week Into Dukan Diet (text heavy)

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Hi everyone,

I decided to start Dukan Diet last week. I wanted to start on Sunday, but had a department happy hour scheduled for Monday so ended up starting on Tuesday October 15th.
Dukan is somewhat of a modified Atkins diet, where you eliminate a lot of carbs and sugar in your diet.
It's basically split into 4 phases, where a lot of protein and carbs are incorporated in your diet.
You've probably heard about it because of Kate Middleton.

Kate, before and after Dukan Diet

If you want to read more about it you can either google 'dukan diet' or read about the phases here.

I just finished a week of Phase 1, where you're heavily loaded only on lean protein and water.

I wanted to share my journey with you guys because I really haven't seen much info on vegetarians/pescatarians doing this diet.

** Reason **

First, I think one has to establish a reason for entering this, or any, diet. Well, duh, losing weight - seems like a pretty simple answer, but other than that, why would you want to do this diet? My answer was simple.  I'm a pescatarian, and Dukan diet seemed like an extent of a strict veg diet, so it will hopefully be a bit easier on me.

I know a lot of people will roll eyes and say 'Fad Diets Don't Work girl!' but even the 'conventional' diet won't work if you're not in the right mind set.  To me, losing weight is more of fixing one's eating pattern, so the closest program I could relate to was the Dukan Diet.

** Figuring out your problems **

My biggest problem is (1) too much sweets - i have the biggest sweet tooth in the world, period, (2) too much eat outs - foods that are heavily loaded with butter and cheese, (3) no working out whatsoever - i somehow managed to eliminate working out from my life entirely and (4) soda.

Okay, so I analyzed my weaknesses and figured why I'm gaining so much weight. Aging ain't helping either since the rate of gaining weight seems to get faster by the year.

The answer is simple (in theory).
Wipe out all of the above bad habits and start working out regularly. If your intake is equal or less than what you burn off, weight should shed.

** Setting a goal **

It's pretty important to have practical and realistic goals.  I'm not going to set my goal as 'Victoria's Secret Model' or anything that's not even remotely possible.
I want to be slim. Not skinny or overly fit and muscles popping out. Just slim and lean..
My goal weight is going back to 115-118lbs, which looks best for my frame and height (5'6)

** Starting **

The starting point was quite hard for me.  Whenever I was about to start, something came up. A night out with friends, another friend's weekend visit, co-workers happy hour, department meeting, someone's birthday party.. omg! At one point, you have to put your foot down and say "This is it. Today is the day I start" - and for me, that was Tuesday October 15th.

** Going public **

I always used to attempt diets in a secretive way. I'd secretly do my diet hoping that one day I could be like "ta-da!!!! look how much weight i lost!!", which never helped. This time I went public and told everyone around me that I was going on a diet. Surprisingly, most people around me supports me and helps me stay away from temptation. And since I was such a big mouth about it, I feel like I HAVE to somewhat succeed to prove a point.

So - I'm just going to lay out some of my week 1.

Food I ate during Phase 1 (attack phase 10/15/2013 - 10/21/2013)

- Tuna protein dish when I had to eat out (tuna grilled. I only ate the tuna and some shrimp, the rest went to my bf)
- Shrimp (no seasoning or sauce)
- Fish cutlet (only the inside part.. this I also ate when I had to have lunch with my vendor. No salad, rice or sauce)
- Non-fat greek yogurt
- Soy Cheese
- A lot of unsweetened soy milk
- Egg whites every morning (seasoned with a little bit of salt, pepper and tabasco sauce)
- Soy and hemp protein powder

For a vegetarian, it's tough since a lot of protein heavy products are meat related. I managed to continue with business lunches and social activities by ordering fish and ditching all the sides that it came with. Surprisingly, phase 1 was somewhat of a breeze. The only sad part is, I feel like I'm paying so much for food since I'm only asking for the fish with no sauce or sides when I'm eating out.
Once I had a sad 2 piece fish dish (with salad, bread and rice taken out) that came out as 15 dollars for lunch. Ugh... 15 dollars could get me two scampi burritos!! But, I guess that is one of the many sacrifices I have to make in order to get back in shape.

- I always had 3 egg whites.
I tried 4 and it was too much to handle. 3 with light salt, pepper and tabasco sauce is enough.
- 1 glass of soymilk.

The above combo is surprisingly filling.

- Either take lunch or eat out with co-workers.
- Tofu half block in small slices (boiled well in water) + 1 pack of smoked salmon.
I would wrap the tofu with smoked salmon and eat it as lunch. Without the salmon, tofu is really bland... and it's hard to chug down.

This combo is also very filling. Smoked salmon is expensive.

Eat outs will always be a place that served fish.
- I always asked for fish, with no sauce on it, tried to avoid fried and no sides whatsoever.
This is somewhat filling.. but you have to sit and watch your co-workers eat.

- Mostly nonfat, plain greek yogurt with oat bran.
- Almonds
- Soymilk

This is filling too, but doesn't really feel like a meal.

Another part of Phase 1 is to always have 1.5 teaspoon of oat bran per day.
I stuck with that for the latter half part.

One last element is to do 20 mins worth of light exercise daily during phase 1.

I didn't go to the gym, but deliberately moved around to fulfill the 20 mins of light exercising.

So far, I don't know how much weight I lost because I haven't weighed myself. But will update this post tomorrow with how much I lost in a week. Starting 10/22/2013 (Tuesday) I get to eat veggies (thank god!!!).

What I've learned in the past few days is that I've been eating without thinking. When we had a birthday party at the office, I picked up a piece of cake without thinking and had to put it back down. Someone gave me a chocolate bar and I had to spit it out after realizing that I was on a diet. When you're thinking of everything that's going in your body, you'll be surprised at how many unnecessary stuff you put in without even thinking!

This turned out to be long post, but I'll keep you guys updated with the progress.
Maybe I'll be able to post my utterly embarrassing before pictures if I have some success ;)

Oh, here's the daily stretching I'm going to start tomorrow (sorry it's in Korean - I love workout videos :p).

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Out with the old and in with the - well, in with the old again!

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...And the sephora box comes in!

I had to do some Sephora shopping because I was running low on moisturizer.  I've already raved about the NARSskin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer in my past video (here).  It's an incredibly light weight moisturizer that fulfills its purpose : moisturizing.  The texture is gel-like and it isn't sticky at all - which makes it a dream-like moisturizer.  It applies smoothly and absorbs quickly, leaving no residue behind.

I've used every bit of it for the past couple months and recently ran out of the bottle.  I've taken a liking of the Aqua Gel so much, I bought the Luminous Moisture cream for my boyfriend since he has dry skin.  I've had a chance to use the Luminous Moisture cream a couple of times at his place, and I liked how it was thicker yet not greasy or oily. The non-stick feature of these products just suck me in so much!

This time, I decided to get the Luminous Moisture cream, which is thicker in consistency and heavier than its Aqua Gel cousin. It's more like a paste than gel and I think it's definitely better for the dry winter days ahead.

I've very excited about this bottle, since I've been feeling my skin go dry easily under the dusty Santa Ana winds here in SoCal. :p My only hope is that it doesn't build up and break me out.  *crosses fingers*

The next purchase was my third Make Up For Ever HD foundation bottle.

Until now, I've always used #117, which is for fairly pale skin tones.  I go out of my way to avoid as much sun as possible, but living in Los Angeles has changed the circumstances.. I still try my best to duck the sun, but even just driving back and forth to work everyday makes me darker than I was in New York. I hate how my face, neck, hands and feet are pretty dark. Compared to my thighs or belly area (where there's no sun exposure whatsoever haha), I'm probably 4-5 tones darker on the exposed sites..

So this time, I had to up the tone to #120. When compared bottle to bottle, 120 barely looks different compared to 117, but when swatched, you can definitely tell that it has a more skin-like tone to it.

#117 has a bit of a white cast to it, while the #120 is more yellow-y. #120 is the next shade up from #117 that has a yellow undertone to it.  I don't usually use just one foundation and mix at least two together.  I like how #120 mixes well with my Chanel Vitalumierr Aqua 12 Beige Rose to create just the right shade that matches my current skin tone.

The rest are just goodies I got using my Beauty Insider points (I never collect them! I love using them up ASAP) and promotion code of the week.

I got a BareMinerals set using the promotion code for the samples set (I believe it's sold out now..)

 It has sample sized brush, original mineral powder foundation and Stroke of Light illuminator.  I'm really excited about this sample set, as to be honest, I've never used mineral foundation before.

There were two options - Matte or Original Light. I am in no interest of going super theatrical, so my choice was original light in a heartbeat. I like looking natural and fresh at work, so we'll see how this works! I might go cray cray over mineral foundation after the craze has calmed down 3 years ago. :p (jk)

Some other notable products are (1) REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal mask (2) Living proof Hair Primer (3) Clarins Beauty Flash Balm.
 I'm equally excited about these three products (all from beauty insider points) and can't wait to review them!!

Anyway, I feel like I've somewhat settled with brands/products I like. I'm not as adventurous as I was a couple years ago.  I'm more of a repeat purchaser of couple of brands I really trust.

What about you guys? Do you guys keep purchasing the same products, or do you experiment with new brands/products within the category when needed?

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