Monday, June 28, 2010

Blog Anniversary: 1 Year of Pandaphilia!

365 days and 122 supporters later, here I am! I can't thank you enough - from my first 5 followers (my boyfriend and college friends) reading the daily blab of my meandering life, to the awesome friends I've made in the beauty/fashion blogger community, to those brave boys who have made me happy to know that even guys can sit through what I'm rambling about (you know who you are!). There were so many times when I just wanted to delete my blog, because I had trouble becoming a girly girl. Sure, I've become hella more materialistic since I started blogging (I blame everyone's gorgeous photos and reviews), but I've also developed an interest in photography, braved new styles, stopped dressing like a hobo (for the most part). I have an exploding closet and too much makeup, but isn't that every American girl's dream? I think awareness of oneself in public is the first step to becoming a classy lady. In case my college friends are reading this, I still reserve the right to dress like a bum during exam week :3 fu fu fu

 (photo cred to Zhang Photography)
I am absolutely drained from taking my first real AAMC MCAT exam and it was 4 hours of pure torture (I finished a lot of sections early because I didn't know a lot of the material yet xD). However, I am motivated because now I know my baseline. There is so much more to improve. I think as a reward I'm going to open that Forever21 box that has been waiting for me for 2+ days. I KNOW, super long time to not open mail, but I'm trying to work on my self-control here!

Sometimes I feel inhibited from talking about my personal life and all my thoughts here, which is what I set out to do when I made this blog. I think that's because with this many followers and people stumbling across my blog, no one wants to read about what I think so much. I just include a tidbit about my day in whichever outfit or makeup post I'm doing and am satisfied. Ranting can be done some other place. (Though if you want me to write some of my old stuff more, please tell me!)

For fun, I will tell you a bit more about me:
1) I have a panda obsession. Okay, you guys ALL know that. Silly thing is I haven't ever posted a picture of me wearing my panda hats. Well there you go. This was my 19th birthday (the card my boyfriend made for me - he is so talented!) at St. Louis Bubble Tea. I should really blog about pandas more xD And I am not a person of subtlety. Note the size of that smile that could probably break my jaw. Hahaha :3
2) I used to swordfight. No, not with real swords, silly! That would hurt and I would have lost my head and a few limbs by now. I fought with a group called Dagorhir, and we duke it out with weapons made out of foam and PVC pipe. What's that, you say? Lame? I daresay not! That foam was pretty compact .. I think one person went blind for a few weeks when he got hit in the eye, another person got a concussion, another person a giant welt to the face - believe me, it hurts. I even ranked up to Knight. Fancy that. Here are some pics - I was so nerdy I even took my high school pictures with a sword (borrowed from my dear friend). These were from the preview book and I scanned them anyway, hence the grainy quality. Screw monopolizers! Senior pictures can be soooo over-the-top expensive T__T

Yup! I used to not have bangs, had super long dark brown hair (with natural highlights), and ran around beating my friends with foam weaponry all day.
3) I like to sketch. I think colour ruins any piece, so I'm a mechanical pencil and paper kind of gal. I think I started drawing/painting when I was 2. I might have gone to art class for a bit in China but I was never really trained properly. I just like to draw. Most of the time I have to look at something to draw it xD I'm not that pro. I need to learn how to shade properly without looking at a model. Another lifetime goal is to finally be able to draw hands nicely. They are so hard to portray accurately!
Whew I'm tired already. What would be fun is if you guys do the asking and I do the telling. Curious about something? What my favourite colour is, my height, worst fear, etc? Write it up in a comment and I'll answer it in a "Piece of Me" kind of post ^__^

Have a great week, lovelies!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Review: L'Oreal Go 360° Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub

I haven't written a proper review in a long while and it's high time for some format and structure in determining the quality and effectiveness of products. Since I own so many ELF products, I figure I'll do a comprehensive review of everything with swatches because their site has blasphemous not-true-to-colour images. I admit, I've been very lazy in about everything this past week, from MCAT studying to taking pictures for posts. It's pretty hard to stay motivated during the summer when your only options are picking your brain for formulas and random enzymes and sleep.

I picked up the L'Oreal Go 360° Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub (peachy colour one) a few months ago when it just became popular because I thought the scrublet idea was clever. I thought that it would diminish the size of my pores and clean out all the sebum. Wrong.

Price: $6.99 for 6 fl oz

What the product claims to do (from their site):
L'Oreal Go 360° Clean offers a complete range of four expertly formulated, high-foam cleansers that are perfectly calibrated to perform with the Scrublet. The deep exfoliating scrub is a gentle yet effective scrub, which exfoliates skin with natural apricot seed powder and salicylic acid to reveal perfectly clean, smoother skin. With a rich lather and fruity, apricot fragrance, this exfoliating scrub is gentle enough for daily use.

- Smaller pores: Go 360° Clean shrinks the appearance of pore size and refinishes the skin's surface to reveal skin with more clarity.
- Deeper cleansing: Unique formulas reach down deeper to every last pore for a deep, deep clean. Keeps pores clean day after day.
- Softer skin: Sweeps away dead skin cells for an extraordinary softening and smoothing effect.
- Easy-to-use: Scrublet cleanses pore-by-pore with a fuss-free cleaning process.

 I obviously took these pictures a long time ago, when I had my Strawberry and Watermelon nails xD
Notice the ingredients: it has salicylic acid to treat acne but it sure did not do its job

After about a month of using this cleanser every day in the shower (while my pores open up due to steam), my skin didn't clear up and I actually started breaking out more. After you apply this and wash it off, your skin will feel slimy-silky, a weird combination but after you towel off your face ends up pretty dry. The tiny micro-beads weren't that exfoliating and did absolutely nothing about my pores or sebum.

I tried something out with the scrublet. I tried to exfoliate the dead skin off my lips with it (I know, gross) and it didn't take anything off. No matter how soft this scrublet thing is, it's not effective enough at cleaning out the pores as we imagine it would (and as frequently shown on commercials) - it pretty much just flails around on the skin and removes oil, which ends up drying your skin. Don't worry, I definitely washed the scrublet thoroughly before using it on my face again. It is a very soft tool, so if you don't like exfoliating with your hands you can use this. I have no idea what the big bumps at the bottom are supposed to do.

The formula can remove quite a bit of makeup, so that is good. However, eyeliner and mascara don't come off easily with this. I haven't tried it, but perhaps you can use some of your makeup remover on the scrublet and try removing makeup that way. It's soft enough for your eyelids. A little goes a long way, so don't use more than a dime-size amount for your entire face. The only thing I like about this product is the smell. The peachy, apricot scent is really pleasing.

- Smells great
- Removes oil
- You can keep the scrublet
- Made me break out more
- Doesn't exfoliate or minimize pores
- Scrublet doesn't deep-clean
- Doesn't remove all makeup
- Can be drying
- Price

Save your 7 bucks. If you are acne-prone, go for something more effective like St. Ives. If you just want something to wash your face with and like peachy scents, this is a pretty pricey option. You're effectively paying $7 for a scrubber that works half-heartedly. 

- Cleansing: 4/5 ♥♥♥♥
- Exfoliating: 2/5 ♥♥♥♥♥
- Acne treatment: 1/5 ♥♥♥♥
- Minimize pores: 2/5 ♥♥♥♥♥
Packaging: 5/5 ♥♥♥♥♥
Scent: 5/5 ♥♥♥♥♥
Price: 2/5 ♥♥♥♥♥

Would I buy it again?
I haven't tried out the others (Gel, Lotion for sensitive skin, Cream), but they probably do about the same thing ... promise you a clean face.
If you have tried these, let me know what you think of them!

I was not paid in any way for this review; these are my opinions after use. This product was purchased with my own money. Results may vary from person to person.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heave, Haul: Kawaii Overload and Petite Sized Bras

I've been interested in The Little Bra Company since I saw a handful of helpful reviews by my fellow bloggers (ExtraPetite and PetiteXXS) showing comparison pictures between normal department store bras and the specially-made for petite chested girls. They offer sizes starting from band size 28 to 36 and A or B cup. Make sure when you order to round up a band size though, so if you're normally a 30, a 32 should fit nicely. I've been meaning to check out the store in La Jolla but I don't have my own car at home or the guts to brave those California highways xD I'm sad to admit I haven't drive since high school ... I'm not even sure if I still remember how.

On Twitter yesterday, I saw a few ladies hype-ing a sale on ideeli (a sale similar to HauteLook). To join, click on the link or type in "pandaphilia" in the bar for invitation code when you get to the site. Yeah, super exclusive. Normally Little Bra Company bras can be pretty pricey at $50-60 a pop, but ideeli had the Lucia Lace bra for $29 (normally $58) and Isis for $24 (normally $54). That's about half off! Too much of a steal for nice petite push up bras to pass up.

Lucia Lace on left, Isis Smooth Cup on right

I ordered a Lucia in Ivory and Isis in Nude (both in 36B) because I think light colours create the illusion of a fuller chest (that's why black pants are flattering and white pants are risky for most of us bootylicious gals). The lace creates more of a contrast with the ivory bra because I was contemplating getting Lucia in sexy black. Black just seemed to diminish fat in the area we want it ; ) Both bras have removable straps, so that should work great with a lot of the strapless dresses most of my normal bras won't hold up. The items will ship around mid-July but that didn't stop me. I have patience for money-saving opportunities :D Total came out to be $63 including $10 shipping. Not bad for two high-quality bras!

Forever 21 online sales always get me. The worst thing is that the day after I order something, they always release new things that I keep eyeing. By the time I actually make an income, I'll be too old to wear this kind of affordable trendy clothing xD I don't think too many people want to be treated by a doctor who dons military jackets and peeptoe oxford pumps.

You guys know I'm a sucker for kawaii things. Pandas and bows are my ultimate weakness. I just wanted to buy enough items I really loved for free shipping and soothe my clothing cravings.

Striped Hoodie $15.80 $7.99 in Grey/Black (small): perfect for sitting in the cold bookstore while studying. I also really like the emo colours xD
Cutout Fingerless Satin Gloves $6.80 $2.99: These are so cool! When you put them on it just looks like a big row of black bows, which didn't please me when I tried them on at the store but it's too cool for just $3. I plan on making a cool outfit with these somehow.
Woven Sailor Dress $22.80: This dress is so adorable and sweet, Santa's going to have to revise his list this year to Nautical or Nice. I plan on styling this with some nice sandals, curled hair, and my BIG white H&M floppy sunhat.
Quilted Bow Shoulder Bag $17.80: I normally wouldn't spend so much on a bag because I'm more of a huge throw-in bag or backpack person, but this is too precious. I think the quilted pattern and light pink with bow just screams Dollywink xD I can't wait to finish off my kawaii outfits with this adorable bag. For dress wearing days, I will put the chain away and use it as a clutch.
Chainmail ring $3.80 (size 6), as a tribute to my swordfighting days in Dagorhir. I wanted to sport chainmail for some armour, but 40 lbs of metal weight me down significantly when I'm trying to charge the other group. So finally, I have my own piece of chainmail I can utilize! +1 defense for the ring addict! xD
Panda Hug Tee $12.90: My new goal is to collect panda t-shirts. You can never have too many tee's and I can never have too many pandas. The best type of bear hugs are panda bear hugs : )
Lace Up Ballerina Flat $18.80 $8.99 (size 6) in Navy: This will complete my ballerina inspired outfit that I'm trying to put together .. unless I want some white tights too but that may turn out more tacky than fashionable. I'm really excited for the lace-ups because it will create a cool visual effect on the legs. Size 6 is way too big but I'm going to try the gel-insole method to get them to fit.
Free shipping: $77 + tax = total of $83. Not bad for this ultra cute haul! I find shopping online a lot less stressful than hitting the mall. Forever21 stores are just overflowing and usually very poorly organized and give me a headache. The only plus is you can try things on and see what the items really look like, but if you're not purchasing final sale items, you can exchange any item you purchased online for credit when you visit a store : )

Today, this top caught my eye. It's from Forever 21 Twist's new collection: a military-inspired set. I absolutely love the bold shoulders and would wear this unbuttoned over something else.
Woven Cadet Shirt $22.80
I'm still looking for items for my Lady Gaga look I'm slowly planning for. I'm thinking those terrible circle Ozzy Osbourne sunglasses, a blonde wig, lots of glitz and glam in the makeup, and this dress decorated with disco-ball like material I'm going to have to add on. Which colour is more Gaga?
Lustrous Origami Dress $29.80
May is having her first Mini Giveaway. In addition to Marc Jacobs goodies, she is giving away a Lancome set and Dolly Wink lashes!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FOTD: We Don't Fight With No Brass Knuckles

Hi guys! This was my makeup and hairstyle for the military jacket outfit a couple of days ago. I think 5 people caught me taking pictures of my eye outside my apartment. One guy even offered to help .. so embarrassing! xD I used gold because I like how natural it looks and it complements all the gold military stripes on my jacket and the gold earrings I wore. I realize that I've been doing a lot of the same look recently. I should do something olive green next or a smokey eye. If you guys see Wet n Wild eyeshadow palettes (6 extremely pigmented colours for $5), GRAB ONE!

I did my hair in a high top bun that seems to be pretty popular nowadays. I flipped my hair over completely, basically bending my head down towards the floor and grabbed all of it and raised my head up. I smoothed out the loose strands with one hand and pulled out some side bangs and left my forehead bangs out and adjusted the ponytail so that it centered near the top of my head. While tying the ponytail with a hair tie, I looped it twice and on the last loop to make it tight (depends on how long your hair is), I twisted the ponytail into a bun and tucked in the loose end. This sounds really complicated but it's not. Basically just tie a ponytail-bun on the top of your head by flipping your hair over first. I could never be a teacher xD 

Trying out some products I don't usually use or haven't seen in a while.

Products Used:

ELF All Over Cover Stick in Fair (way too light for me right now; it's also really drying)
Covergirl Clean Foundation Oil Control in Soft Honey,
applied with ELF Concealer Brush and smoothed out with fingers
ELF Studio Complexion Perfection
(ELF Studio Concealer Pencil for minor spot touchups)
ELF Mineral Primer
Wet N Wild E/S Palette in Vanity: gold all over lid, matte milk brown on outer half of lid, matte peach for browbone highlight
ELF Studio Creme Liner in Black (melts if you blink a lot like I did - boo panda eyes!)
ELF Studio Brow Kit in Dark
ELF Studio Blush from Blushing and Bronzing Powder
 I really like how the sun makes you lashes' shadows look super long. This one's interesting because it bounced off my straight lashes D: and made this cool shadow curtain across my iris. I realize my eyelids look really weird. I didn't know they were capable of doing that weird semi-monolid thing lol
Really contemplating a dye back to black to get rid of this streaky nonsense or maybe I'll try Palty if I can find it at 99 Ranch. Do you guys have any suggestions for my hair? Dye it black, dark brown, same colour? Dye just the roots? I'm up for anything : )
Serious rootage. Who knew my hair could grow that much in 2 months?
 Should I attempt a celebrity-inspired look? I'm up for K-pop, Lady Gaga, anything you can throw at me. Photo links welcome for inspiration!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Met You in the Heat of Battle

Hi guys :D! Yes, finally back with an outfit. This past week I've been lazying around like a fat cow fu fu fu, wearing boring things like running shorts and racerback tanks. Yeah ... no-no for fashion. Today, I promised myself and you guys that I would dress up and take pictures. I whipped out my new military jacket and pulled my hair up into a super high bun. Now I look more Korean than ever xD (I'm 100% Chinese though). Also, note the terrifying root-age growing. I've given up trying to get my hair to stay one uniform colour.

The problem with this jacket is that even though it's size 6 (European) from H&M, it fits like a size 0 ... a little too snug. That means when I have all the buttons done and I'm looking down, my neck is cut by the sharp straight-across collars. That was uncomfortable while trying to study at the bookstore cafe. There are some really odd people at Borders. A couple of days ago, a middle-age guy sat down next to me on a long desk and he smelled like soap. But it wasn't pleasant .. maybe he mixed laundry detergent with bad cologne *shudder* ... Then this Asian guy who was studying for some standardized test on the couches several feet away started looking at me funny after I relocated. Turns out every time I look up from my notebook to check my computer for notes (I'm studying, you know), he thought I was looking at him. In the end he got so uncomfortable he took his papers and held them up to his face to block me from his view. Sheesh! I don't want to look at you either, weirdo! So I moved to the "Religion" section where I overheard some interesting conversations and sat there pleasantly working some Inorganic problems next to an elderly gentleman.

Today ... there was some weird girl who kept singing to herself horribly while reading a newspaper. Directly across from me. Thank goodness I just picked up a pink set of Skull Candy noise cancelers at Best Buy, along with a mini tripod. I found a nice Dell desktop for my research lab and lunched at Wendy's. Their sandwiches are delicious, albeit uber expensive. Anyway, I found that the "Art" section is much busier and full of stranger people than "Religion." I will be returning there for some peace and quiet.

Sad day - my dotted opaque tights I bought as part of my French outfit RIPPED in the back! That blasted sofa ate a big hole in it and today was the first day wearing them!  : ( I took so much time trying to put these dadgum things on trying not to snag anything with my nails and they're ruined. I really hate tights. They're so artistic but so one-use D: If anyone knows where to find a good replacement pair, please share!

Navy military jacket with brass buttons and stripes, H&M (got it on sale for $20, with coupon it was $16)
Plum v-neck tee, Forever21
Grey shorts, Forever21
Navy dotted opaque tights, Forever21 (they have fuzzy dots hehe)
Black cutout peep toe pumps, Payless (was going to wear my combat boots but it didn't look right)
Filigree ring, Forever21
Bird connector ring, Forever21
Gold hoop/chandelier earrings, Claire's

Again, these are all self-timer pics. Dem skillz are getting better ; )

I had to brighten all of these because my camera doesn't really like super bright sunlight. Maybe it's a vampire. The super sunshine turns all my photos super dark, like this unedited one:
I really like this odd pose for some reason. Artists breathe eccentricity.
I really like this wall because the shadows come out to play
Sometimes I go a little crazy : ) If you thought I was normal, it's time for you to get to know me better.
Comparison photo: uncropped

Details, details. I did gold eyeshadow again to match all the gold glory of this outfit. Will feature tomorrow in a FOTD : )
Believe me, these buttons are pain in the asymptote to button and unbutton!

I like this filigree ring. It covers my entire knuckle. More jewelry self defense? Please and thank you.
In case you were wondering who the photographer was ... anyone want to help me name the little guy? Note how dangerous this wall is for my camera if this weren't there.
Hope you enjoyed the outfit! I need some feedback on these self-timer photos. I notice there's a lot of blank space. Would you prefer that they be cut out or do you find the white walls artistic and good for contrast? I will go back and crop them if you like.

Not a bad Monday : )

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