Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lifetrons Switzerland Pro Travel Photo Lens System

If you know me at all, you know that I love to take photos of everything on my phone. It's easier than carrying a full on camera around, after all. I instagram quite a lot as well, so I'm always looking for ways to jazz up my photos and make them more interesting and unique. Knowing this, when my mom went to Korea a couple weeks ago, she picked up the Lifetrons Switzerland Pro Travel Photo Lens System for me on duty free (thanks Mama!) and I've been loving it ever since.

This is essentially an extremely portable lens system - the case comes with macro, wide angle, and fisheye lenses that twist on to this little gadget that you can just slide onto your phone and set over your camera (see picture #1 for a better idea). It's actually really easy to use, more so than other portable lens systems that I've tried in the past, and I really like the fact that the shape of the gadget means you can use it on pretty much any type of phone - I had one in the past that only worked with iPhones, so when I switched over to the Samsung Galaxy S4 soon after buying it, it felt like a waste.

The lenses themselves are very small but incredibly effective. I was actually really impressed with the quality of the photos I was able to take with these lenses. They're really clear, so attaching the lens to the phone doesn't affect the quality of your pictures at all, which I have also historically found to be a problem with other portable lens systems. The lenses all work incredibly well - I was really surprised by how unbelievably zoomed in the macro lens allows you to go, and the wide angle I've found to be really effective when I want to take group shots. The fisheye is my favorite, just because I love the effect of fisheye lenses, though it is the bulkiest of the three options.

That being said, the entire case is still really tiny and easy to carry around. The whole case is probably the size of my palm, which makes it so easy to just stick in my purse and bring around with me. I'm headed to London tomorrow afternoon, and I'm so excited to bring this with me and use it when I snap some photos around me!

Have you ever tried this type of portable lens system? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

L'Herboflore Sheet Masks

I know a lot of people think sheet masks are sort of strange, but as someone who grew up in Asia, I was always very accustomed to the idea. That being said, I never really used them until last year because my face took a long time to grow to the point where these would actually fit me. I went through quite a few Asian brand sheet masks that I found at the drugstore, but none of them amazed me as much as these L'Herboflore ones that I found in Taiwan.

The thing that makes these different from other sheet masks I've tried is that they're really thin and lightweight. I love the material that these are made out of because they're a lot lighter, so I don't feel as though my skin is smothered for the duration of the masking period. These are also incredibly saturated, but the serums sink in super quickly, so it doesn't feel heavy with liquid on my skin either, which has been a problem with other sheet masks in the past, as too much serum can weigh down the material and cause the sheet to slip around on the skin. These, however, strike the perfect balance.

I also really love how cooling they feel on the skin - they have a very light scent as well, so I really just feel relaxed and refreshed when I use one of these. They come in a lot of different varieties to help different skin problems - the two I have in the picture are for oil control and hydration, but I also have some for anti-aging, brightening and whitening, among others.

Overall, these are just really easy and wonderful to use, and my only gripe is that they are on the pricier side of the sheet mask spectrum. That being said, I really do think they're worth the money - my skin just loves these masks, and I always notice a huge difference in my skin after using them.

What do you think?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Maybelline Color Elixirs

Ever since I saw Estee blog about the Maybelline Color Elixirs ($9) a few months ago, I've been dying to get my hands on them.  I could never find them in Hong Kong though, so it wasn't until I went to Thailand last month that I finally was able to get hold of them! I only meant to pick up one or two colors, but I was so tempted by the color selection that I couldn't help myself and ended up choosing three.

These immediately reminded me of the Rouge Pur Couture liquid lipsticks from YSL, so I was pretty sure I would love them, and I was completely right. These have a similar applicator to the YSL ones, the kind that's sort of shaped like a leaf and hugs your lips really nicely, and I really love the way it applies the product to your lips. These are incredibly smooth and glossy, and just look beautiful on the lips. They're not sticky or tacky either, so they wear very comfortably though the lasting power isn't the best, but these are meant to be more like glosses than lipsticks anyway so I don't really have a problem with that. The color is also a lot more pigmented than I expected - I really thought they'd be more on the sheer side, and while you can apply it that way if you like, if you use it normally the color comes out with what I would call medium opacity, which pleasantly surprised me.

Besides the formula, these also come in a pretty wide range of colors, so there's something here for everyone, I think. I wish I could tell you exactly what shades I have, but since I bought these in Asia, the names aren't the same as they are in the US or the UK. However, I checked the website and I think the colors I bought are Mandarin Rapture (the orange one), Petal Plush (the nude one I'm wearing in the photo above), and Captivating Carnation (the pink one).

Have you tried Maybelline's Color Elixirs? What do you think?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Listen Up

It's been a long time since I've been properly listened to music on a regular basis. I think it has something to do with the fact that for the last month I haven't been able to find my earbuds. However, I finally got my hands on them, and with them has returned my obsession with listening to music to keep calm and chill out.

Lately, there have been a select few songs that just keep capturing my attention, so I thought that for today, it'd be nice to share a few of them with you.

I've always loved The Lumineers, but somehow I missed this song until now. I'm completely obsessed with it - I have it on constant replay at the moment.

One of my friends absolutely adores Iron & Wine, but for some reason I never really rated them, until I discovered this song.

I had the amazing opportunity to catch Nina Nesbitt live at Clockenflap late last year, and I'm still in love with her songs. It helps that she's also incredibly sweet and lovely, which just makes me love her even more. These are two of my favorite songs by her.

Another one of my friends introduced me to this song by Mat Kearney, who I've known of for a while but haven't been super devoted to. This song makes me want to dance and just be happy in general, and it reminded me why I really liked his songs to begin with. I'll definitely have to update myself.

I really love Ellie Goulding's songs, though I feel as though I can't exactly articulate why - something about them just puts me in a good mood and makes me feel like singing along, especially because they're all just so catchy. It's no surprise her latest has managed to wriggle its way onto my playlist.

This next one just makes me want summer to come faster. It's by American Authors and it just puts me in such a summery mood, like I should be lounging poolside somewhere with a fruity drink in one hand and a book in another.

I don't want to weigh this post down with too many videos, so that's all I'm going to share today! Let me know if you enjoyed this music post - is this something you want to see more of in the future?

What songs are on repeat on your playlist, right now?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my brow obsession several times. The truth is that I'm always looking for new products to use for my brows, not because what I have isn't good but just because I love testing new products. When I went to Thailand a couple weeks ago, I knew I needed something more waterproof because it was so hot and I was going to be sweating all day. That's where the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow ($20) came in.

Make Up For Ever claims that this product is a "long-lasting, smudge-proof eyebrow corrector that fills, defines, and lengthens brows". Essentially, it's a very waterproof, very pigmented eyebrow cream, hence the reason it comes in a tube. I will say that I don't really know what the "lengthening" claim is supposed speak to, so I can't and won't comment on that, but everything else MUFE claims this to be is most definitely true.

Even though this takes a little getting used to, when you get the hang of it the results are amazing. You really only need a tiny bit because this is so pigmented - I literally squeeze out just the tiniest drop and it's more than enough for me to do both my brows. I like to use this with my MAC 263 Angled Brush, and it gives my brows a really clean and defined look that I'm really starting to fall in love with. The thing to be careful with is that this can very easily look overdone - you have to work really quickly with the product, because it dries down really fast and once it sets, it doesn't budge at all. I like to do this one side at a time, running it through my brows and then really quickly brushing through it with a spoolie so that it blends out a little more and looks just a tad more natural.

Trust me when I say that if you're going to be in a hot climate, you need this. Even if you don't, you probably need it too, just in case. This stuff really doesn't move even if you're sweating the rest of your face off or get caught in the rain. I'm going on a trip with my friends in June to Koh Samui, and I'm most definitely going to be taking this with me.