LOVED LINKS: skincare

I’ve spent my entire life struggling with bad skin, from an unfortunate combination of genetics and environment. As a teenager, I was a sucker for those adverts for the types of products that promised to nuke your skin. I also foolishly gallivanted in the sun without any protection because laziness. I’ve since atoned. It’s never too late to treat your skin health as lovingly as you can, because skin health is an indicator of overall health and fitness. Not to mention that melanoma is one of the rising killers of Americans.

Instead of half-assing my way towards a skincare routine (what, you have to have a routine!??), I’ve taken the evidence-based route. There is so much misinformation out there about the science of skincare. Don’t be a sucker for fancy packaging and futuristic promises that are too good to be true. Know your ingredients. Skincare doesn’t have to be expensive, but whatever you choose, make sure you are consistent.

Above all, rely on evidence-based medicine, not fads. I’ve learned a lot in my skincare journey. The following are a few of my favorite blogs that deconstruct and analyze claims about ingredients, formulations, and the latest research.

Hoojoo Skincare

Beauty Brains: cosmetic scientists who also have a great podcast!

Beautiful with Brains

Brightest Bulb in the Box: Beauty for Critical Minds…. she is the bestest, no bullshit betch

Chemist Corner


PocketDerm: yes, they are a service, but they’re also amazing doctors.

Skin and Tonics: great reviews, esp of Korean products

rediscoveries: NYX Love in Paris 09 Merci Beaucoup

hey cutie

hey cutie


This Project 10 Pan business is not easy. I had to take a break and look through some of the other goodies in my stash. As excited as I was for the Too Face Chocolate Bar palette, I wasn’t feeling too inspired. I forwent face makeup today and did a simple bronze smokey eye look with only two colors from the NYX Love in Paris – Merci Beaucoup palette. I used the medium bronze color (top middle) on my mobile lid and accented the V of my eyes with the shimmer dark brown (middle second row). Smudge the shit out of the two and DONE. I forgot how incredibly smooth and pigmented this palette was. The other Love in Paris I have (01-A la Mode) was a total dud. While I do have higher end palettes, this little guy will be perfect for my upcoming trip. It’s beautiful, blendable, and portable. Also, if I lose it at border crossing or in a hotel, it don’t matter. Cheap thrills.


makeup confessions: what is this pan business

Are you there, makeup gods? It’s me, your beauty addict. I have a confession to make. Despite years of poring over reviews, swatching endless products, and buying a a fair amount to build up the Holy Grail collection, I have only hit pan twice. Five years ago, I finally bore through my MAC eyeshadow in #brun, and my Revlon matte shade in #vanilla. Since then, I’ve yet to use anything up enough to see the base of the product and it’s driving me NUTS. I used to view panned products as old and needing to be replaced, but now I yearn for the moment when I’ve used up enough product to see the bottom. It is such a gratifying feeling. I’m not alone, there’s even a reddit for it (r/panporn).

At my core, I’m a minimalist. I believe in making as little impact as possible as a consumer. I also love stuff. And even sometimes, things. I’m constantly on the search for that perfect thing. Searching for quality products for my personal needs has been a rough and tumble process. There’s just so much out there. Since I’m at a comfortable level of product hoarding, I’m ready to use up what I have. I want to hit some deep, dark pans this year. My search has to slow down for a while so I can truly appreciate what I have. Otherwise, I can satisfy my product craving by living vicariously through other makeup addicts. My collection will never match theirs, and I’d never want to match theirs because having too much overwhelms me. It’s like a bad binge-purge cycle. A few collections that make me 50 shades of green are EmilyNoel83, TaraBabyz (hhhhngggg on her beautiful storage), Promise, DAMN, Temptalia, Goss… I could go on but you get the point.

July Favorites

July Favorites
July has whizzed by us with some record setting heat. Most of my health concerns this month has revolved around skin health, which as you all know, is a very good benchmark for evaluating your over-all health. With my improved skincare regimen, I no longer have the kind of skin that would make BP envious. It’s now a more manageable combination skin with an oily tzone. The Skinfood Peach Sake BB Creme is great at oil control, especially with the NYX HD loose powder lightly applied on top. The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is a game changer. It makes even the cakiest foundation looking more skin-like; I am so in love.
I still double cleanse with mineral oil at night to take off the makeup, sweat, and city pollution off every night. The My Beauty Diary face masks are such a nice, luxurious treat, especially on hot days. The heat and sun has made my lips so dreadfully parched; I’m practically molting. Lansinoh is meant to be a nipple cream for breastfeeding folks, but this 100% lanolin is the Holy Grail for my lips as an overnight lip treatment. I’ve been trying to use up my other sunscreens as a part of my Project 10 Pan, but my EltaMD UV Clear  is still my first love. I just wish it weren’t so expensive!
I also found a hat big enough for my giant head. Don’t laugh, it’s been such a challenge! Haha. The silly thing about this F21 floppy hat is that while it looks cute and casual, it’s made of friggin wool. WHO DOES THAT? Whatever, I’m happy to withstand the forehead sweat for the sake of my skin.

Project 10 Pan 2014: makeup + skincare megapost

Project 10 Pan 2014



Lately, I’ve found myself using the same products over and over again. Despite using the same items, I keep buying new products to try out since I’m always on the search for the Holy Grail whatever product that will change your life and make you ride shining unicorns off into the sunset.

My makeup collection feels a bit cluttered, so I want to use up some products that need a little love and attention. Enter Project 10 Pan. The goal is to finish or make a significant dent in each of these items by the end of 2014.

Set aside an assortment of makeup products that you want to make progress on or use up entirely. You might have enough things for several full face looks, or maybe just a few products here and there to incorporate into your makeup routine. It might be a good idea to create a “makeup basket” to store all of these items in the same place. If they’re out of your drawers, you can’t avoid them!

I put a blue dot of nail polish on all of my Project 10 Pan items and make sure to add at least one or two in my routine each day. I’ll update on any progress I’ve made as well as do reviews of the items.


Additionally, I also have some skincare products to finish up:


Project 10 Pan 2014


Missha BB Deep Cleansing Oil [$27]: Dear god, the fragrance in this. Bought this in 2013, but then discovered mineral oil (aka Baby Oil) works even better for me at dissolving makeup and sunscreen. It also breaks my out, so I will try this for my body.
HydroPeptide Cleansing Gel [$40]: Why the fuck is a cleanser that expensive? It was a gift so I didn’t pay for it myself, nor would I ever. It’s an effective cleanser with which to follow up the Missha, but it’s not $40 amazing. It’s a nice unfragranced gel cleanser that cleanses without stripping all the oils off your skin. It’s as good as my Simple Gel Cleanser, which is only $7.
Stridex Sensitive BHA pads [$6]: Use after cleansing to treat any closed comedomes. I used Stridex in the red box but picked up this one because the store didn’t have the red boxes in stock and hey, curiosity. Turns out, the green box does not have the right Ph balance for skin, which means the product is not effective for exfoliation. Boo-urns. I only have a few pads left so I will use it up as a toner.
AlphaHydrox Enhanced Lotion 10% Glycolic AHA [$16]: I’ve started using this for my body because it was a touch too harsh on my face. I got too excited about starting AHAs and irritated my skin by over-exfoliating. I’ve since ordered the Paula’s Choice 8% AHA gel. Based on the reviews and raves, I expect that to be more gentle and suitable for my skin.
Biore UV Perfect Milk PA+++ SPF50+ [$17]: I LOVE this. It dries quickly, matte, and makes a great base for my makeup. I’ve had this bottle on rotation for a while and I also want to finish it up because I want to try other sunscreens.
Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil [$8]: Tried this for OCM, broke me out. I’ll be using it on my body and scalp. Merp derp.

5 minute face

5 minute face


There are some mornings where time seems to escape me. What do you do when you’ve only got 5 minutes? No matter how short on time I am, sunscreen is always a priority. The Biore UV Milk is really quick drying. It spreads easily on my face and creates a nice base for makeup. My dark circles can be pretty terrible, especially when I don’t get enough sleep. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealor is emollient enough to use in the undereye area and it covers the darkness well because it’s so highly pigmented. I pat that in either with my fingers or with the Real Techniques Shadow Dome Brush (included in the starter eye kit).
I never leave the house without brows if I can help it. My holy grail eyebrow product is Etude House Drawing Eyebrow pencil in #2 gray brown. It is a soft and smooth pencil that gives the most natural look because it’s the perfect shade for people with black hair and pale skin. Lastly, I top off my cheeks and lips with NYX Rouge Cream Blush in hot pink. You need so little of this product because it’s highly pigmented. Pat it on gently and with a light hand, you’ll get a natural looking flush.

how to human in 7 steps

There are days in Seattle that mock you.

In fact, that’s every day, but it gets worse in the spring. Being bed-bound when the first few proper spring days roll out in fluffy clouds and bright blue skies sucks major culos. Suffering through such a dreadful winter to be robbed of the first signs of springs is the moment you try to convince yourself that it’s all coming up Milhouse. Those losers outside are probably getting cancer frolicking in the sun. So you roll yourself over and flip your snuggie to the clean side. The spots forming in your vision just means you are one step closer to being a real potato.

It’s probably high time you get your bitter ass outside. #REALTALK. But how do you turn your smeagol face and human when you’ve shied from civilization for the past week? You only need 7 items to get ready.


how to human in 7 steps

1. Cleanse your face with a gentle gel cleanser. I love Simple because it’s an inoffensive cleanser that makes your face feel clean without being over-stripped or taut. If you’ve been scrubbing your face raw to get it clean, you’re doing it wrong.

2. Hydrate with your favorite moisturizer that reacts well with your skin.

3. Protect your face, neck, and decolletage with a great sunblock. DO YOU WANT CANCER, SON? My current love is EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46. It is a cosmetically elegant combination chemical and physical sunblock. It dries matte and clear (aint nobody got time for that whitecast).

4. Cover up with a buildable concealer. Something like Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (what a mouthful) can be enough coverage without having to use a foundation. It’s spring. The sun is out, the birds are chirping, do you really want to spend your time worrying about your face? Keep it quick and easy.

5. Multi-functional palettes make shit simple. Blend that dark brown on your lids and the light brown on your crease. Roll your brush into the bright pink and tap that on your cheeks. This shit is pigmented, so use a light hand unless you want the world to know that Bozo is your cousin.

6. Mascara. You know how we do.

7. Anyone who can rock this shade is a badass betch (and you definitely are a bad ass betch). Even if you disregarded steps 1-6, slap this ish on and you’ll gain attention. Maybe not for the best reasons, but who gives a damn. You finally got yourself to your front porch and ready to conquer spring. Or something like that.