December 19, 2014

personal post: being a fur-parent

This post is so out of my beauty blog but I recently read an article that pets are the most gifted ones during the Holidays, and I wanted to share with you something personal to maybe help you think twice before grabbing that cute puppy or kitty to take home. Yes, this brings joy to your home or to the person you are gifting them to. And it is the greatest feeling giving the pet a home. The big problem with this though is how most do not think of this in the long run. Pets are a lifelong commitment that will change your lifestyle. There are tons of articles out there to help you to decide if you are ready for one or which dog is perfect for you so I will not be talking about that. I'm here to share with you what happens in-between those pet selfies we take as it is not always play-cuddle-be cute-eat and play again. 

This will be about my personal experience with my three fur babies. Every pet owner goes through different situations and experiences with their pets that a self-help book or an article can't help you with. I hope by sharing this with you will help you do a double take and ask yourself again if you are really ready to live with a pet, now, in a month or two or in 10 years. 

We live in a one-bedroom floor of our two-family house. It's a crowded house having three pets living with us. I call it my own circus since there's never a dull day here. Everyday is a different thing with these li'l ones! Their puppy stages were the most stressful part, especially when we got Keiko. Her breed, Shiba Inu is a very stubborn breed, which we knew would be a challenge for us. We both were prepared for that and together we thought we can handle her, she's a small dog! We thought wrong, this girl owns us! Being first time dog owners we went to two Puppy classes because we had problems walking her and she loved to pick up cigarette butts on the sidewalk! Hubby and I were both working when we took her home so we would come home every night to a new surprise from Keiko. Even after crate training her, she would still have accidents around the house. There were a lot of late nights that hubby would take her out for a walk because she refuses to go on the pee pad. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, she doesn't care. If we don't, we would wake up to a puddle by the door. 

Two years after having her, she developed allergies to grass, trees, pollen, dust..and everything else in the air! She has been taking different medicine for it for four years now. We have seen two allergy specialists to get her tested and see what allergy vaccine is best for her. In-between that we have gone to her Vet a lot of times a year because she would have problems with her eye or an ear infection or skin rash or something else which just all of a sudden develops and have no clue what the cause is. 

It definitely breaks my heart that my baby girl is going through all of this but she has been a very strong one and still smiling. All these problems were so unexpected and I do not recall reading about Shiba Inus getting all these. I don't think this is a specific breed problem either, any pets can develop an ear infection or allergies! 

Even going through that with Keiko, hubby insisted to get a German Shepherd for security purposes. He always wanted one and after reading about this very smart breed, taking care of a german shepherd should be easier than Keiko. We decided I stay home full-time when we brought him home since he will need a lot of outside time for exercise. We go out in our backyard/ driveway 3-4 times a day to get his exercise. I do not really walk him outside the house because he is a barker and very protective of me. Once he turned one, he developed an aggressive behavior and we had a hard time controlling him because he is half my size by then. We had to take him to Bootcamp to get trained, and meet our trainer every weekend after that 1-week bootcamp. 

Young dogs are very energetic and curious about everything, but as they get older they eventually mellow down. A male german shepherd puppy though has that strong protective instinct developing in him. We have to do a proper introduction of our friends and family relatives who visits so he knows they're not intruders. We do want him to be protective of us but for our neighbors and other people's safety we'd rather do our exercises in the back of the house. 

Winston has been a very chill cat. Ever since we got him, he knew where his litter box is; his water and food bowls. He is the alpha of the three as he is the eldest. We made sure the two dogs know that, as they both got bigger than him. Now he cuddles and naps with Major in the bedroom. He recently developed a food allergy since he is now in his Senior age range. The food we get for him is prescribed only. We are also keeping an eye on his kidneys since kidney failure is a common illness with older cats. 

Our lifestyle has definitely changed after having the three of them home. We don't stay out late because of the dog's potty and feeding schedule. We haven't gone out of town for a vacation because we do not trust any dog sitters or friends to watch them (*no offense but they are a plenty to take care of!). Financially, we have sacrificed some other things so we can meet their needs. They have our hearts and so we do whatever we can to make them feel better and happy.

I did not want this to be a depressing post but this is the truth of having pets at home. They do make us smile and feel very loved every single day. They are the most loyal companions and cuddlier than a stuffed teddy bear, but we also have our hardships and very stressful moments. 

We have learned it is not just them that gets trained in the process but us too as their handlers and the alphas of this family. You learn to be un-selfish because they depend on you. You learn to be patient because getting mad at them doesn't do anything because they love you no matter what. You learn to share because they love to cuddle with you in bed. And lastly, you learn to embrace pet hair every where! No matter how much vaccumming you do a shedder does not stop shedding, and no clothes nor socks nor towel will be 100% pet hair free. 

So before you look into those puppy and kitty eyes, have you asked yourself again - are you really ready for this? Are you prepared to take care of another life besides your own? 

December 10, 2014

Starting Over Tag

Tagged by my beautiful blog bestie, Lily of Beauty With Lily, here I share to you my top 10 makeup products if ever I need to start over my collection.

Startin Over Must-Haves

December 8, 2014

"Everyday Daytime" $20 Makeup Look

We all have seen, and some of my beauty bloggers have done the famous "$20 Makeup Challenge" were all makeup products used for a look totals up to $20. For that challenge, there was no rule at where you can buy your products and the makeup tools used are also included in the $20 total! 
My beauty besties, Faith ( and Angela (, and I brainstormed and made this more challenging and twisted the rules a bit for our own $20 Makeup Look! We tag all the beauty lovers out there who wants a good challenge and hey, it's an excuse to buy some great drugstore makeup!

December 6, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things Gift Guide Part2

So I have a few more that I want to share with you especially if you just need some last minute ones for your Secret Santa party or to stuff that stocking with! These are more random things compared to the first Gift Guide (here) with a GIVEAWAY! 

December 3, 2014

CitizenM Hotel: Live In Your Living Room NYC Festival

CitizenM Times Square Hotel's Cloud Bar was the chosen venue for this years Live In Your Living Room NYC Festival and I'm so thrilled to share this experience with you.
photo provided by PhotoGeekPro by Jorge Reinozo

The International House Concert Network - Live In Your Living Room organizes tons of artists to play in different venues, sort of like a living room to play live music! For this years Live In Your Living Room NYC Festival, they are featuring one of Holland's emerging artist alongside a local NYC artist to play.

The CitizenM Times Sqaure Cloud Bar does have that living room vibe which is very cozy and very intimate to see a live music. It has a long couch on both sides and at the end is the bar and around you is the floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the midtown skyline view. Unfortunately, that night it was super cold in the city and so we just enjoyed the view from the comfort of their couch. 
*Cloud Bar is only for hotel guests only. You can enjoy foods and drinks at their lobby which is another beautiful area. Great to unwind after work or grab food and drinks before a show.

Rachel Sage, singer/songwriter here in NY started the night with a few of her own songs.

For this years event one of Holland's own Ruud Houwelling, from the band Cloudmachine - who have won the Popular Vote of The American Independent Music Awards in Indie/Rock sang for the second half of the night.

 Ruud Huwelling, Rachel Sage and Live In Your Living Room director, Kees Jonkheer

And for my date for the night, my partner-in-beauty-crime Faith Roxas of !!! We needed some girl-talk time and just to relax after a long day, so what's a great way to spend the night by listening to live music! 

To know more about the Live In Your Living Room Festival and their future schedule, click here for their website:

Thank you to Jorge Reinozo of PhoteGeekPro for letting me use all his photos for this post. And to see more pictures from the night, check out CitizenM Times Square website (HERE)

December 1, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things Gift Guide + GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

I have tried out a lot of different products that I can't even keep up on blogging each one of them so I thought since the Holidays are here I thought why not make A Few of My Favorite Beauty Products into a Gift Guide series at which may or may not be helpful as you start making that list (*and checking it twice!). There's no harm in checking it out so why not relax with your cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate and check out these products!

November 21, 2014

ColourPop Cosmetics Review

*Products provided by ColourPop. For full blog disclosure go to "disclosure policy" tab

This is going to be a very picture heavy post and less writing as these products can sell for themselves! If you haven't tried these products out, they have great gift sets for the Holidays so start loading up that shopping cart with these budget-friendly, super pigmented, great finishes from
ColourPop Cosmetics

November 19, 2014

Fashion Feature: Autumn Wear with Alice's Pig

Products provided by Alice's Pig. See full blog disclosure under "Disclosure Policy" tab

Founded by two sisters siblings, Amanda & Nicolai, from Brixton in South London and huge fans of the vintage styles from Alice in Wonderland, Amanda and Nicolai have created this wonderful line called,
Alice's Pig

It is a line full of playful designs with a vintage look and a pop of modern style.

November 15, 2014

An Autumn Evening Look with ColourPop Cosmetics

Products provided by ColourPop Cosmetics. See "disclosure policy" tab for full blog disclosure info.

Fall is the season to wear bold, deep red and rich berry lip shades, and pair that with a neutral eye look. I wanted to branch out from that and so I tried out this colorful smokey look using some 
ColourPop Cosmetics!

This post will just focus on the look I have created and a review will be up next time. To not make a review post super long since I do have more shades to show you from ColourPop than the products I have used for this look, I decided to just do a separate one for that.

November 6, 2014

Everyday Brows with Paula Dorf 2+1 Brows

Powered by Brandbacker

There are certain occasions when I do like to make my look dramatic (such as date nights and girls night outs), when I like to keep it simple (running errands or weekend activities) and when I need to look put together since I am meeting new people to network and I am representing my blog. For these different occasions I use different makeup products to achieve a look that I wanted, and my brows are part of that. For this post I will share with you what I have been using on an everyday basis, my simple and easy brows with

October 31, 2014

INGLOT Cosmetic's Savannah Sunset Collection

*Products were given by the company. Go to "Disclosure Policy" tab for full blog disclosure info.

A few weeks ago, I attended an INGLOT + The Lion King Musical Celebratory Event. Inspired by the Lion King Broadway Show, the Creative Director of INGLOT Cosmetics, Kaye Tuckerman and Disney have teamed up to create this beautiful collection called
Savannah Sunset

Image taken from Google

October 27, 2014

Fashion feature: HoopsBaby! Jewelry

*Products provided by the company. Go to "Disclosure Policy" tab for full blog disclosure info.

Adding to my FiveTwo Fashion series, I will be doing more informative Fashion Feature style post so you can get a more up close look on the featured item!
If you are an accessory fiend like me and cannot have enough necklaces, bracelets, earrings, fashion statement jewelry pieces, then let me tell you more about 
Rope Twist Flower Necklace Set

October 22, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Quad Palette + Blush Review

A few weeks ago, Charlotte Tilbury finally released her makeup line in the United States.
I had a chance to see a preview, swatch most of her makeup at The Makeup Show NYC last May, and I knew I need to get my hands on some of them! This was something I surely wanted to splurge on and add to my makeup collection.

October 20, 2014

POFA Nail Polish Summer2014 Collection

*Samples were provided by the company. To see full blog disclosure, go to "Disclosure Policy" tab

Though we are already in the Fall Season, is there a rule written in stone that says we cannot wear bright colors when all the leaves have fallen and the air feels cooler? Exactly! Let's not get stuck on fashion rules made by the biggest Fashionistas out there. I am sure they broke some rules of their own to be where they are. Before I get further away from the topic here, let's look at these gorgeous 
POFA Nail Color Summer 2014 Collection!

October 13, 2014

Cocktail 101 with CitizenM New York Times Square Cloud Bar

This may be non-beauty related but let's have a break from all the makeup and skincare talk for a moment here and learn some alcohol basics! Why not?!? Even if you do not drink alcohol, I do hope you still keep reading as I have learned some great cocktail101 information that I want to share with you.

October 6, 2014

4 Seasons of Fashion: Gunmetal Glitz Necklace by Cassy Saba Jewelry

*product was provided by the company. To see full blog disclosure, go to "Disclosure Policy" tab.

If you were to describe my style-personality, this would be the necklace that describes me. It has a street style vibe with a bit of glam! I like to think that I dress up my mixed-patterns, black and gray casuals (not-so-dressy) outfits by adding some sparkle, and this necklace is just the right piece to add to that look. I can definitely see me wearing this a lot throughout the Fall Season, but don't you worry folks, I have a few outfit ideas for Winter, Spring and Summer below on how you can style this beautiful,
"Gunmetal Glitz" by Cassy Saba Jewelry

October 2, 2014

Introducing Dr. Brandt Laser Series + Review

*Samples were provided by the company. Please read the full blog disclosure under the "Disclosure Policy" tab

Last month, Dr. Brandt had an exclusive meet and greet with a few beauty editors and beauty bloggers at Birchbox Soho in NYC to introduce his new line of skincare,
Laser Series 

"a laser focused line of custom skincare solutions inspired by Dr. Brandt's patients, invented in his lab, and backed by clinically proven results."

September 29, 2014

Mascaras for Different Occasions

*Some samples here were sent by the company for review. Read my full blog disclosure located at the "Disclosure Policy" tab.

I usually do not open three-five different mascaras at a time but for beauty research purposes and ok, I can't hold my excitement to try out the shiny new package sitting on my desk so I end up having a few too many ones opened right now. 

We all know not all mascaras give us the same outcome. Different formulas and different wand bristles gives our lashes different results, from lengthening to volumizing to thickening; from natural looking lashes to a very dramatic one, these mascaras aren't all the same! 

September 23, 2014

Influenster Vitality Voxbox 2014

*These products were sent to me for free by Influenster for review purposes. For full details of blog disclosure please see "Disclosure Policy" on the tab above.

Influenster is a website by-invitation only (leave your email below and I'll send you the link to join!) that sends out different themed boxes to members who qualifies the pre-survey they send out for free. Once you receive what they call a VoxBox- that has full size products, you have a few days to test out the products and give your feedback through your social media channels and on their website. To learn more about Influenster, you can read more here:

Now let's take a look at their Vitality Voxbox

September 22, 2014

POPSUGAR Must Have September 2014

Fall is my favorite season of all! It's pumpkin and apple pie season which we specially buy at this farm stand in Princeton, NJ. Yes, we drive for an hour for the most delicious pumpkin and apple pie! It's "Sweater Weather", and this is when the chilly air is just right for a nice light scarf, which is the only accessory you'll need in the Fall. So when my September POPSUGAR Must Have Box came with one, I was super excited and could not wait for chilly weather to be here already!

"What Inspired Us for September? Autumn leaves; long walks; new tunes; back to school; fashion week; football."  -Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR Founder & Editor In Chief

New Fall Nail Polish shades from Hearts & Glass

*Products provided by Chrislie Formulations

As we transition to the Fall "Sweater Weather" Season, our makeup products, skincare routine and wardrobe change as well. Let's not forget our nail polishes too gets a makeover! 
Now here are NEW 5 nail polishes from Hearts & Glass that you may want to add to your Fall beauty essentials!

September 15, 2014

BYOB at Birchbox SoHo

update 10/13/14:If you are planning to sign up for the Birchbox Subscription Box, I have a referral link here for you! Please use:

Ever since Birchbox Shop in SoHo, NY opened up over the Summer, I have been wanting to go but just couldn't find a time and I know I will need more than an hour to take all the gorgeousness of this store. I have been stalking Instagram to see how the inside looks and what kind of products and services they offer there and I wish I took more pictures of the store when I was there because it is as beautiful as all those pictures that is posted! You can find all pictures under the hashtag #BirchboxSoho.
But for this post I just want to focus on their BYOB- Build Your Own Birchbox section since I get to pick my 5 deluxe samples for $15 (+tax)!!! 

September 11, 2014

Review: Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery spf50

*Sample provided by iFabbo 

Whether it is cloudy or rainy or sunny out OR even on a late afternoon, I surely do not leave my house without putting some sunscreen on! Sunscreen has been part of my skin care routine ever since! Especially now I am on my 30's and using a retinol cream as part of my skin care, it is very important that I protect my face with a great sunscreen! I have used so many different brands of sunscreen and not all gives the same results to my skin. Some have given me breakouts and there are ones that just doesn't sink in to the skin and leaves me with a shiny face, but this one is different.

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF50 
image from

August 27, 2014

Birchbloggers Breakfast with Marcelle Cosmetics + GIVEAWAY ! ! !

Super excited to have been part of another Birchbloggers Breakfast that was held at their newly opened store, Birchbox SoHo, NYC !!! 
This time it was with, Marcelle Cosmetics. You may have tried one of their products from your Birchbox Subscription Boxes, let me know in the comments below what you think of their products!

*fun fact: Marcelle Cosmetics is a Canada-based company but it was originally started in Chicago!

August 25, 2014

POPSUGAR Must Have Box August 2014

This month is POPSUGAR Must Have Box's 2-Year Anniversary! One of the items in the box is specially customized just for their anniversary, can you guess which one?

What inspired us for August? Celebration; sweet smells; sexy skin; happy treats; beach days; Summer Nights Out and shiny accents   -Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR Founder and Editor in Chief

August 20, 2014

Gel Manis + Nail Arts at Primp & Polish

What girl does not like to get their nails done and spend some great quality time at the nail salon with their girl friends?!?! And so one afternoon, Faith of Love, Roxie, Angela from and I headed out to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to get our nails done and have some relaxing girl time!

 Right in the middle of one of the trendiest and "Hipster Central" neighborhood is the elegant and spacious,
  Primp & Polish 

August 18, 2014

Drugstore Haul + Mini-Reviews

I seriously did not need anymore makeup after IMATS and The Makeup Show BUT the drugstore beauty brands were coming out with such great products and I couldn't help but try out some. Over time, I have accumulated all these products and found them at different drugstores.

August 13, 2014

Let's Get Personal: My Writing Process Tour

This is way out of topic of what this beauty blog site is about, but I thought a break from all the beauty reviews and all beauty posts would be good, don't you think? Plus I have been invited to share with you all: 
"My Writing Process Tour" 
This is basically sharing with you how my blog-writing process is. 
By the way, I am no professional journalist or an award-winning writer (*I would like to think that way every time I am typing away on my laptop though!). This is just another tag post that my fellow beauty blogger have tagged me to do, for us to share each others writing ways and hopefully get some tips as well on how we all write for our blog.
Let's start with how my desk looks. Once I sit down to get on my laptop, Wins loves to get in between my laptop and I, and lay down on my notes that I needed to blog for that day. There's not enough space for him to stretch out to sleep, so after a few minutes of some rub, he will go find a better spot in the room and totally pass out there for the rest of the day.

August 8, 2014

4 Seasons of Fashion: Maxi Dresses

I used to avoid buying maxi dresses because I thought it would just make me look shorter than I am now. I don't have a petite frame either (big hips, love it!) and I thought it would just make me look bigger. I tried it on one day, and fell in-love with how comfy it is, and how cute I actually look in it! I seriously would wear this all year so here's a few ways how I'd style it for the different seasons!

August 6, 2014

My Summer Skin Saviors!

Sunburn, bug bites, breakouts, dry skin and chappy lips are just some of the skin problems I go through every Summer. Now, I have finally found the products that is helping me combat these nasty bites and breakouts! So here are some of My Summer Skin Saviors (can you say that 5x faster) which I am excited to share with you all!

August 4, 2014

POPSUGAR Must Have Box July 2014

Though it's already August, let's just quickly go through what was in the
 POPSUGAR Must Have Box for July 2014
 "What inspired us for July? Hot Summer Nights; eating al fresco; longer days; lemonade; sunshine; vacation and outdoor workouts"  -Lisa Sugar POPSUGAR Founder & Editor in Chief

July 29, 2014

Battle of the Lip Crayons!!!

I love my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains and Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms, that I did not want to try the other drugstore brand ones anymore,
BUT my curiosity got to me and spent too much time at the drugstore one day and decided to purchase two lip crayons to do a comparison review. Yes, I used my blog as an excuse to buy these but isn't it our duty as beauty bloggers to do some makeup research and help you with your beauty shopping decisions?!?
The lip crayons which I was very curious to try are the:
Wet n'Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain Moisturizing Lip Colour
Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain

As you can see, I purchased the same color lip shade for each brand. I chose this one as this is my go-to everyday-wear lip color, which is wearable with any makeup look and outfits!