Friday, November 30, 2012

Korean Couple Culture

Oh the cute things Korean couples do....

One thing I've noticed in my travels as an American is that people believe what they see on TV.  I've had countless conversations overseas with people who base their cultural understanding of my country on episodes of "Friends" or think of Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie as "typical" American girls!  Foreign television does offer an interesting window into ideas, standards, practices, and life in another country, but it is also a fictional world that you can't accept at face value.

When I started watching Korean dramas, I was intrigued by the information they contained, and wondered what was fact and what was fantasy. I was HOPING that real-life Korea was indeed filled with beautiful millionaire men who have a thing for very average-looking poor girls.... While I didn't manage to get involved in any love triangles involving the F4 or rock band mates who competed for my attention, (Could it be that these things aren't realistic???? oh noooooo....) I did find that some of the sweet things couples do in dramas actually occur in everyday life.

1. The Handbag Carry


To the American eye, this is sweet and chivalrous.  Not to mention, we find it pretty funny to see a boy carrying a girl's handbag.  This is a really common sight in Korea, though.  I'm pretty attached to my purse, and my friends occasionally tease me for keeping it in my death grip at all times, even at house parties.  Maybe it's the Philly in me? My Korean boyfriend has definitely carried my bag, though, on more than one occasion.

2. The Umbrella Share

I have only ever been in Korea during the summer, which is when the rainy season occurs.   Two people under one umbrella is not something you see very often where I am from, unless someone got stuck in the rain and forgot theirs.  In Korea, however, it is perfectly normal to see couples sharing an umbrella. I spent many a rainy afternoon strolling the streets of Seoul under my boyfriend's umbrella.

3. Couple-look Clothing

Korean couples seem to love to wear matching outfits!  Any place you go in Korea you are sure to see a few couples in matching outfits, or "couple looks."  My boyfriend was born and raised in Korea, but his attitude and style is decidedly Western.  He is a little edgy, enjoys hard rock, and is not a big fan of Korean pop culture.  He's a lot more Japanese rocker than K-pop idol, that's why I was shocked (and delighted) when he expressed an interest in wearing a couple look.  I thought it was adorable when he planned it out with me, asking, "Should we wear black skinny jeans or jean shorts? Black shoes, sneakers, or maybe flip flops?" Maybe he IS Korean after all!  LOL. We shopped a bit for some matching shirts, but nothing wowed us, until we were buying some things in one of those discount malls in Dongdaemun and stumbled upon what is possibly the cheesiest couple look set of all time!  Here are the couple look tees we bought:

4. Couple Rings

I have seen couple rings in few dramas.  Almost like wedding bands, the rings are meant to show your commitment, love, and unity.  Most couples wear the rings on their left ring fingers.  While my boyfriend was shopping in his neighborhood, he happened to see some stands that custom engrave stainless steel bands, so we had a set made.  As we pondered what vomit-inducing ultra sweet phrase we could get printed on them, it came to me...
사랑해 하늘만큼땅만큼... It means "I love you from the sky to the Earth" which is a sort of cutesy thing to say in Korean, similar to saying "I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssss much!!!" in English. Ever since my boyfriend taught me that phrase, if he ever asked how much I love him, my reply was always "from the earth to the sky" (I edited it a little because in English "from the sky to the earth" sounds backwards to me.) So, his ring is printed in English and says "my name..from the Earth to the sky" and mine is in Korean and says " his name...하늘만큼땅만큼"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Review

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

When I got home from Korea this summer, it seemed that every American makeup brand had developed a BB cream.  I was really curious how the American products compared to those I had bought in Korea.  I received a sample of this BB Cream for free from the sample page.  So, I thought I'd do a quick review.

First, here is some information from



BB creams combine skincare + makeup in 1 simple step
8-in-1 Skin Perfector:
• Blurs imperfections
• Brightens
• Evens skin tone
• Smoothes
• Hydrates
• Enhances
• Protects with SPF 30
• 0% oils and heavy ingredients


Apply smoothly and evenly to your face and blend with your fingertips.

My verdict:

I Did NOT like this BB Cream!

I tend to buy high-end when it comes to makeup, but I am not against using drug store brands.  I was browsing some of the reviews, and I saw a lot of good feedback about this product, so maybe it works for some people.

Reasons why I did not like Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream:

  • The texture was thin, runny, and slightly greasy, rather than creamy.  
  • The shade was a little on the dark side, or perhaps the wrong tone for me. Although it did not visibly darken my skin, it gave my light, golden-under-toned skin a ruddy appearance.  
  • It was thin and didn't offer much coverage.  
  • What I disliked the most about this BB Cream was that it made my face look and feel greasy, not dewy.  
  • It felt like I had used a very cheap version of tinted moisturizer rather than a BB cream. 

I am glad I was able to sample this product for free rather than buy it, because I found its performance very disappointing.  

What are the best/worst BB creams that you've tried? Leave a comment and let us know!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bargain Brag- Forever 21

Check out A Great Black Friday Deal from Forever 21

I was shopping at Forever 21 yesterday, and they were running a sale taking an extra 50% off of all clearance merchandise... I found this sweet little apricot-colored full skirt.  It has a slightly satiny sheen (looks shinier in the pic than real life) and lace trim.

Full Price: $10.50
Clearance Price: $4.99
Price with Promotion: $2.49

That's more than 75% off a skirt that was inexpensive to start out!  

I think this will work really well in romantic spring looks.  Here are some styling ideas I have in mind....
Forever 21 Skirt Styling Ideas

I love to shop off-season to get really great prices... I will post some of my shopping strategies and tips in the future.

So what great Black Friday (or other) Sales did you take advantage of recently?

Look of the Evening

Sister's B-day

Sister's B-day by artaslife featuring hollister co.

This is the outfit I wore to celebrate my sister's birthday at a house party with friends. I wore the T-shirt tucked into the skater skirt.  I absolutely LOVE my Forever 21 studded oxfords, and I got lots of compliments on them. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fall Style: Colored Jeans

jade jeans

jade jeans by artaslife featuring forever 21

I'm loving this look... A pretty white blouse with jade green skinny jeans, studded oxfords, and a Chanel bag.

Free Sample Frenzy

My Free Sample Experience

About one month ago, I read a yahoo news article about getting free samples.  If its free, its for me! I decided that it sounded like fun to get free samples in the mail, so I went to a few of the sites that the article suggested and began making requests.  Its surprising just how many freebies are out there! Since I discovered how easy it is to get samples, I have gotten really into it. In only a month, I've taken advantage of tons of freebie offers. Check out this picture of some of the samples I received so far:

Pictured is 5 days worth of L'Oreal Revitalift Moisturizer, Nescafe mocha and caramel coffee, Living Proof Prime Style Extender, Garnier Fructis Fall Fight Shampoo and Conditioner, and the items from my P&G sample box: travel-sized Secret deodorant, travel-sized Crest toothpaste, and a really cool little sparkly bag that contains pads, pantyliners, and tampons. I didn't pay a dime for any of these things!

Since then I've gotten even more items: Eucerin lotion, Anti-itch cream, Airborne, Maybelline BB Cream.  And since most companies ask you to allow 4-8 weeks for the sample to arrive, I have many more on the way!

My Tips for Getting Started With Samples    

There is no one site I use to find samples.  I usually just Google "free samples" and use the search tools to check posts made in the last hour. Believe it or not, there are many people who are hardcore samplers. (Who knew?)  Once a sample is released, they instantly share the links with other sample enthusiasts and some popular samples are gone within minutes! So I always check for the most up-to-date postings.

Many companies require that you like them on Facebook to get a sample, I don't mind doing that, but I do not participate in any samples, giveaways, or contests that make me involve my friends by sharing or posting things.  That's just me, but if you have friends that would like to hear about those types of offers, then you probably won't mind.  Some companies offer incentives for sharing with your friends.  Once you like a company, you can sometimes catch their posts on Facebook when they release a sample.  I've caught few that way so far.

I'm very wary of links posted on free sample sites.  I don't think its a big deal to give out my name, address and email in exchange for a free product sample, however, this is valuable information to companies who would like to sell your data.  I don't want to give my info away to some company that may spam me with sales offers I don't want. So instead of using the sample web page's link to the site, I go directly to the company's site which is giving out the sample. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I worry that the links are not secure.  Also, I tend to stick to established companies that I know.  If the sample is from a company I've never heard of, I like to check out their website and make sure it looks like an actual company, since I have encountered some fake-looking offers. Just check it out and use common sense when entering information.  If it seems too good to be true, or feels funny, just forget it!

Form fillers like Google Chrome offers are awesome! It only takes seconds to fill in all your info on a request page, so use it if you can.  

Check in every day, or thorough out the day, to see what's available.  It only takes a few minutes and its so much fun to get free stuff in the mail almost every day! 

Suggested Websites for Samples:

Proctor & Gamble is the company that makes many of the personal products you find in drugstores. If you create an account with them, they allow you to choose from a list of samples once every three months.  A few of the items in my picture came from their sample box. A lot of the samples I've been getting are packets, but the P&G samples were deluxe size and really nice! It takes awhile for them to mail it out, but its a fun box of free goodies that you can surely use. I can't wait to order again in January.  They also include a booklet of coupons for the trial products.

Walmart and Target sometimes offer samples, but not very often.  Target has a really nice beauty bag filled with samples that they send out occasionally. I have seen it offered twice in the past month or so, but its gone in minutes and I have not been quick enough to get it yet.

Allure has full-size beauty product giveaways. It is always good stuff.  Most giveaways are on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. They send a full-sized product to the first 500 people to sign up. They also have some larger beauty giveaway drawings listed that are more like sweepstakes.  I am currently waiting for a Maybelline mascara that I won from an Allure giveaway, so it is possible to get these.

If you love trying out new products, but don't have the patience to search the web for new samples, there are also sample subscriptions where you pay a monthly fee to have a collection of deluxe (and sometimes high-end) samples sent to you every month.  Some of the more popular and established services are Birchbox and Glam Bag. 

Well hope you found this informative, if you know any good sample sites or have any good tips, please share! 

And check back soon, I plan on doing some product reviews on the beauty samples I receive as well as a story on online sweepstakes, another new hobby of mine which grew out of my sample craze.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bargain Brag- Mandee

Some Awesome Buys I recently got from Mandee

Who doesn't love a bargain??? I am obsessed with getting a good deal, and I get great joy from knowing that I got something good for way less than it cost most people! So I want to occasionally share the best bargains I find, both on the web and here in Philadelphia.  I purchased these items about two weeks ago, but in the future, I'll try to post sooner.

Mandee is a junior's store, mostly here in the Northeast US (PA, NJ, NY).  They have cute clothes, but I generally find them to be higher priced than other juniors stores like Forever 21, but not higher quality.  There is a Mandee near the Ross that I shop at often, so once in awhile, I'll check it out too.  One thing I always get deals on in Mandee is ACCESSORIES! I've found really pretty belly rings for a couple dollars, jewelry for $2 and less, and once I even got some full size nail polishes for 70 cents each.
On this particular occasion, all of the clearance was an additional 25% off of already low clearance prices, so I got some pretty amazing deals. 

Inspired by recent issues of Vivi magazine, I had been looking for one of these collar necklaces on Ebay. Most were around $10 and shipped from China. I found this one on sale for $5.00 meaning I paid only $3.75 after the additional 25% off!

Clearance priced at 99 cents, I got these sparkly little animal print studs for only 75 cents!!!! And since there are so many, I plan on giving a few pairs to my sister...not bad for less than a buck!

Finally, I got this braided black and silver bead cuff bracelet for only 75 cents!!! 

These prices were pretty extraordinary for this store, but Mandee is definitely worth checking out.  You can hit a good sale occasionally, especially on accessories. The location where is got these sales is:
 Mandee - Northeast Tower, PA
4640-60 E. Roosevelt Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19124

What's the best deal you've gotten lately?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Daily Skincare Routine

My Simple Skin Routine

Many people have told me I have nice skin.  My skin is pretty normal.  For most of my life, I've found that my skin was better when left alone. I've always used cleanser specifically designed for faces, and occasionally used lotion, but that's about it!  Using fancy masks, scrubs, or deep cleansers irritated my skin or made it oily, and indulging in moisturizer gave me pimples.  Now that I'm older, I've started to care for my skin more.  So while my routine might seem pretty basic compared to all the skincare enthusiasts out there, its actually much more involved that it used to be!

Up & Up Deep Cleanser Cream

This is actually the Target store brand version of Noxzema.  When I was a preteen, Noxzema used to give out a lot of free samples.  I liked the cool tingly feeling, so I used it on and off into my teens.  The last time I needed face wash, this was cheap and I was feeling nostalgic.

Missha Super Aqua Marine Forest Toner and Emulsion

I got this set while in Korea.  It came with the full size toner and moisturizer, and also a travel size of each one, which is very convenient since I travel as much as possible.  I use this set at night after showering.  The toner makes my face feel fresh without drying out my skin, and the lotion is a light water-based formula that keeps my skin from getting dry yet it isn't too heavy or greasy for my easily annoyed skin.  Its perfect for the cold winter months.  I absolutely love this duo!!! 

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair

At $95 for .5oz...this is the most indulgent skin care item I have ever owned.  I recently bought it because I was concerned about my under eye area and thought I definitely needed to begin caring for it better.  I had researched eye creams, but there are so many out there that it is hard to know what to get. I saw a report on Good Morning America about the skin products that were rated best by dermatologists.  This cream got rave reviews, so I decided to invest in it.  I have been using it for a few weeks now and I do see a big improvement.  The skin under my eyes feels firmer and less puffy.

CVS Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover

This is pretty basic liquid eye makeup remover.  My sister actually bought this on clearance for 66 cents for the 2 oz bottle!  It works just fine! I usually use the Clinique version of this type of remover.  Previously, I was using a gel eye makeup remover from Missha, but I left it behind in a motel while traveling this summer.

Pond's Morning Refresh Wet Cleansing Towelettes

I picked these up one day at Ross and found them to be really useful.  On those nights when I'm feeling too lazy to take off my makeup before bed, I just use one of these instead.  They are textured so they do a good job of cleaning away any dirt or makeup and they leave your face feeling refreshed and smooth.  I liked them so much I picked them up a second time at Conway.

Nivea A Kiss of Moisture

This is my number one most important beauty item.  If I forget my lip balm, it is gonna be a baaaaaad day!  My lips are incredibly dry and crack easily.  I realized that, sadly, lipglosses make it worse, so I stopped using them altogether about two years ago.  All my life, I have obsessively slathered on lip moisturizers like chapstick or lipsmackers, but they didn't help much.  My best friend introduced me to A Kiss of Moisture and whatever is in this product soothes my lips better than anything I have ever tried! I'm so addicted.  Strangely enough, just this particular variety (the dark blue package) is magic for me.  I have tried various other Nivea "kiss of" products and they just do not have the same results.  I highly recommend this!!!

So, that is my fairly low-maintenance skin regimen.  Are you high-maintenance or do you keep it simple? What's the #1 skin product you can't live without?   


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Big Bang Still Alive tour in NJ

Big Bang Still Alive Tour 2012

On Friday, I headed up to Newark, NJ with a few friends to see Big Bang perform.  Big bang is a really popular Korean pop, or "K-pop," group.  I discovered this band a long time ago. My sister's classmate from beauty school introduced us to their music around 2007, which was before I knew much about Korea.  It was love at first listen for me and I've been a serious fan ever since.  So, I thought I'd share one of their more recent songs that I really love.  It came out about a year or 2 ago, and sounds almost like late 1980's U2.  Hope you enjoy!

And here are some pictures of the show from our nose bleed seats

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nature Republic Botanical Fresh BB Cream Review

My Missha BB cream is officially gone! Oh no! Luckily, I have some new ones that I picked up in Korea last summer.  I will review them as I try them...  

One fine summer day, I set out with my boyfriend on a BB Cream mission in the small city of Cheongju.  I examined various bottles as over-attentive sales girls hovered nearby, bemused at the sight of a clueless foreigner in their shop.  My boyfriend's bad translations of the packaging all sounded like some variation of "made with flowers and essences to enhance charming beauty."  Not at all helpful! OMG, how was I going to choose one?  And why hadn't I done my research before going shopping?  With only a few days left until I returned to the US, I wouldn't have time to shop again before leaving.  I pondered a plan of action.  Most of the BB's I priced were somewhere in the $20 range, but I didn't want take my chances on products I knew nothing about.  Finally, I went with quantity over quality and searched for smaller or less expensive BB's. In the end I bought four bottles from three different stores. 

The first I am trying is the Nature Republic Botanical Fresh BB Cream
This BB was a great deal!  At about 7,000 won full price (roughly $7US), it was already less expensive than most of the other BB creams in Nature Republic, which ran in the $15-$20 range.  On top of that, there was a very good sale going on and many items were marked down.  I got it for only 3,500 won! (about $3.50)  What a steal!

I like this BB cream.  I did not see more than one color option, and this is slightly darker than my previous BB cream but still blends well with my skin.  It has very good coverage, possibly better than my last.  It applies nice and creamy, but it has a more matte finish, which I like.  It gives a fresh look.  Like my other, BB cream, it has a scent.  At first, the scent in BB cream bothered me, but now I like it.  Not that the scents are unpleasant, it was just unusual to me to use a skin makeup that was scented.  However, once I got used to the idea, I actually began to enjoy the scent of BB cream.  Overall, I like this product.  I think it is good for anyone who wants a fair amount of coverage and is not looking for an overly dewy finish.  I scored this BB cream for an amazing price, but it can be found online for about $10, which is still inexpensive for online BB cream.       
Feel free to comment and tell us about your favorite BB cream. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Philly Bargains- 89 Cents Direct

Today I got one compliment after another on my earrings, which made me smile. Little did my friends know, I got them for only 89 cents! That's right, 89 CENTS! So, it inspired me to spread the word about one of my favorite places to hunt bargains, 89 Cents Direct, right here in Philadelphia.

89 Cents Direct is a store that sells inexpensive products imported from China.  They carry just about any type of item you can imagine, and everything is 89 Cents. Unlike DollarTree, you are not going to find much in the way of brand name merchandise at 89 Cents Direct.  However, what I like about the store is that they have a unique selection of products.  Some of the types of products they sell:

  • Seasonal Merchandise- Decorations, holiday themed paper plates, Halloween bags, Costumes, Thanksgiving table decorations, Christmas Wrap
  • Greeting Cards
  • Party Goods
  • Helium Balloons  
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Housewares- Dishes, glasses, chopsticks, plastic containers
  • Household Items- Cleaning supplies, gloves, aprons, home improvement
  • Gift Items-picture frames, vases, knick knacks
  • Clothing Items- Caps, bras, flip flops, scarves, hosiery
  • Stationary- Stickers, books, coloring books, notebooks, pens, pencils, art supplies
  • Hair Products- Shampoo, Styling Products, hair accessories for women and girls
  • Personal Care- Soap, deodorant, makeup
  • Jewelry- Earrings, rings, bracelets, necklaces, occasionally anklets, toe rings or body jewelry 
89 Cents Direct is located on Roosevelt Boulevard in North East Philadelphia.  It is in the shopping center nearby Target, so I usually check it out whenever I make a trip to Target.  There is also a DollarTree store, ShopRite, and Sally Beauty Supply in the same strip mall.  Because I only search for certain types of items, the 89 Cents store is hit or miss, so I like to stop in when I have another reason to visit the shopping center. 

What do I buy there? 

I stick to the accessories, because they have a fun assortment and it is sooo cheap! 
I especially love the jewelry.  For 89 cents, it is not high quality, of course, but I enjoy wearing fashion costume jewelry.  I just want something cute, trendy, and now, it doesn't need to last. I have seen some of the very same pieces that 89 Cents Direct carries for sale in juniors stores for much higher prices.  So the quality is not necessarily poorer than other retailers. They sell cards of stud earrings containing 9 pairs for 89 cents! That's only ten cents a pair!  Often, they carry large zirconia studs, so I always grab them when I see them.  Last summer, when arms full of bracelets were so hot, I got some really cute ones at 89 Cents Direct. I also got a few really nice long necklaces. I don't use hair accessories too much, but they sometimes have some pretty ones.  Also, I occasionally buy their stationary supplies such as envelopes, stickers, etc.

This is the store.

It is located at 11000 Roosevelt Blvd back in the corner under the World Gym sign.

Here are a few of the items I purchased there.

These are the earrings that many of my friends liked today. They are little silver tone pearl encrusted bows, about as wide as a dime, with a few rhinestones in the center.


My long silver owl necklace. I got him quite awhile ago, but I still love him!

A book of Hello Kitty stickers.

 This is a fleece Burberry-esque scarf.  Can't beat that for 89 cents!

A cute little plastic comb and mirror set.

The comb pulls out and it opens to a mirror....and these random Chinese ladies!!! Hahaha...I think its showing that you can add a picture in there but I left the Chinese ladies because they make me laugh.

This is another mirror compact. It opens to two mirrors inside. It has a cute little doll on the front.

She is one of those moving pictures, her eyes open and close. I saw this very same compact at Joyce Leslie for $3.99.

I hope you enjoyed my introduction to 89 Cents Direct. It is a place I visit regularly hoping to score some good and inexpensive things.  Check it out and see if you find anything!

Click here to visit 89 Cents Direct's Website. 

Do you have any fun shopping stops like this? Share the love, leave a comment below.

Sunday, November 4, 2012 Fashion is an amazing style resource!

How it works:

I stumbled upon while searching fashion online.  It is a site where users can post their looks of the day. Anyone can browse the looks posted to the site.  You can choose whether you want to view guys, girls, or both.  If you belong to the community you can also comment on looks or give them "hype," which is a rating system uses to rank looks by popularity.  There are a few ways to browse the site:

  • Hot looks are ordered by a combination of newness and "hype." 
  • New looks are posted newest first, but there is also something called a "Karma filter" which you can use to show only members who regularly contribute to the community, or you can turn off the filter to see looks posted by any member, including newbies.  
  • Top styles have the most "hype" so they are the best rated looks on the site.
  • Leaders is a tab that you can use to view the top contributors from the past day,week, month, or of all time.

Why is so awesome: features "real" fashion.  Ok, granted, most of the top contributors are somehow related to the fashion industry...Many times they are fashion retailers, merchandisers, students, bloggers, artists, wannabe models or photographers.  However, that is what makes so amazing.  The photographs are usually stunning and professional quality, the people are generally very attractive, and the fashion is up-to-the-second.  No fashion magazine delivers such a variety of fashion perspectives at once.  And since someone is always contributing, the looks are endless and the styles are fresher than just about anywhere else.  Browsing the page, you can easily pick up on the hottest trends of the moment.  I usually take some time to flip through each day and bask in all the fashion goodness!   

Here is a sampling of some of the styles posted today:

(all photos are from taken from

This is a video compilation of various lookbook looks, it is a little old, but still gives a nice view of what lookbook is all about:

So, fellow fashionistas, do you have a go-to fashion source? Please comment and share the love!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Universal Love

Today I would like to share my favorite meditation.  I ordered a CD of guided Zen Buddist Meditations back around 2006, and that is where I first discovered Metta Meditation, which focuses on universal loving kindness.  I have used it ever since, although I won't lie and say I am consistent in my meditation practice.  Still, I can see the impact it has on my thoughts and my mood when I do it.

The first step is to relax, and wish yourself well.  Next, you wish well to someone you love and care about, then you wish well to someone you don't know very well.  The next step is the most difficult, where you wish well to someone you don't like.  Finally, you expand your well wishes until they include the whole world.  It is very calming and makes you feel great!

I love that it is short and simple and something that can easily fit into my busy day.  If you google Metta Meditation or loving kindness meditation, you can find a number of versions and also information regarding the practice.  The video I am including is the one I use.  Since I am on the computer often, I like it being on YouTube rather than the audio track I used to use.  I hope you enjoy and find this beneficial.  I'm interested to know about the meditation, mantras, prayer, or other spiritual practices that are a mainstay in your life. Please comment!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Makeup Essentials

What's in my makeup bag?

These are my makeup must-haves that I use everyday or almost every day.

Missha Signature Wrinkle Filler BB Cream

This was my first ever BB cream. I bought it a year ago in Korea.  It is just about gone now, but it lasted really well considering that  I use it everyday.  I like the medium coverage and smooth application.  It also has a super pretty bottle, and a slight scent. I didn't like the idea of scented face makeup at first but it has grown on me.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer

This is a creamy concealer with good coverage.


Clinique Perfecly Real Compact Makeup

I love the clean and basic feel of this compact.  It is like a thick and smooth pressed powder.  I use it during the summer because I find that BB cream makes my skin too shiny during the hot summer months.

Missha Under Eye Brightener

I grabbed this at the Missha store in Seoul because it was really inexpensive.  I didn't like it at first but I gave it another try, and I have been using it a lot lately.  It covers dark circles pretty well (although not as well as my MAC concealer) and it gives a brightening effect.

L'oreal True Match Blush in Innocent Flush

This is the only blush I own, but it is a very sweet, light, and natural color that doesn't overwhelm my pale skin.

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in Family Silver

I've had this shadow for quite a long time. It is worn down to one little strip where the two colors meet in the middle. 
I've worn shimmery whitish beige colors like this since I was a teenager because its a perfect everyday shade that adds a little polish to my look without a lot of color or smokiness.  It really opens up your eyes. 

Mac Travel Compact Kit-Warm

I like this palette because it has some of the fun colors I wear often.  The coral, mauve, olive green, and gold colors really flatter my light golden brown eyes.  The lightest color is another one of those shimmery light colors that I so that one is all gone!  I use the dark brown to shadow the corners of my eyes almost every day, unless I want a smokier look and opt for black.

Clinique High Impact Mascara

This mascara doesn't wow me, but it is what I'm currently using. I always have some random black mascara in my bag...I like some more than others, but I'm not picky.  You can't go wrong with Clinique.

Estee Lauder Eyepencil in Soft Smudge Black

Black eyeliner is my most essential and dramatic makeup tool.  All the rest of my makeup is light and subtle, but I wear lined eyes, and it really makes a difference.  When I'm spotted not wearing makeup people always say, "Wow your eyes look tired!" due to my lack of liner. I like this liner because it works well to create either a heavier line or a smudgy smokier effect.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

I was looking to invest in a good palette so I read a lot of reviews and watched a lot of makeup gurus on YouTube and there was one name that stood out: The Naked Palette.  I fell in love as soon as I saw it. Every single color is one that I would wear regularly.  There is also a Naked II-and it is amazing too- but I went with the original. I love this palette and use it every day! I bought mine on for about $50. It also comes with a shadow primer.

Here is a video comparison of the Naked and Naked II palettes:

So these are my must haves. What is your favorite makeup product and why?