Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer reading blitz wrap-up

I know, I've been back to school for four weeks now, but hopefully that explains why I've taken so long to post another blog about reading, even though I have posted blogs about other stuff. Since my last reading post, I've read 8 books: Veronica Roth's Four: A Divergent Collection and the entire Harry Potter series, which I finally finished two days ago. I didn't want to do a final wrap-up post until I was all the way through the last book of the series, even though my summer break has long been over.

Spoiler warning, just in case.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Initial thoughts: Younique's Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara

I am somewhat of a mascara junkie, and when I first heard about Younique's Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes mascara from my friend Jeannie a few months ago, I knew I had to try it. But Younique's products are only available through a representative, and I didn't know any... until now. Muahahahaha.

So, as you can see from the photo, you get two tubes in a case that is approximately sunglasses-sized. One tube (the longer one) is the Transplanting Gel. It looks like run-of-the-mill black mascara and smells a little bit like paint, but only if you hold it up to your nose to smell it (which I totally did. What? Everyone should totally smell their mascara.) I can't smell it when it's on my lashes, which I can't say about other mascaras (ick).

The shorter tube consists of Natural Fibers. It looks like itty bitty pieces of black cotton. (It's not cotton, btw - they're green tea fibers. Not that I know what green tea fibers actually are.)

I'm no stranger to to fiber mascaras, though the only other ones I've seen used white fibers. Black fibers make a whole lot more sense to me.

The instructions are as follows:
1) Apply "one thin coat" of normal mascara. Whichever kind you like. Let it dry.
2) Apply an even coat of the Transplanting Gel.
3) Apply Natural Fibers immediately.
4) Seal with another coat of Transplanting Gel.
(Repeat 3 and 4 ad infinitum, until you achieve your desired amount of lashiness.)

Yesterday, when I received this in the mail, I was already wearing two coats of UD Perversion mascara. I decided to test it out anyway:

The top is the UD mascara alone, and as you can see, it's not too shabby. The bottom photo is with one complete application of the 3D Fiber Lash, and you can see how I've got more length and volume. On the whole, I would say that UD Perversion makes a pretty decent base layer, because my lashes don't clump much when I use it.

This morning I tried it with my beloved L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly in Midnight Black, and took lots of photos. I wanted to compare the 3D Fiber Lash to another mascara because anything next to naked lashes will look different.

This is my normal mascara look, by the way - this is one coat of Voluminous Butterfly. I'm also wearing a pencil eyeliner this time instead of my liquid liner.

3D Fiber Lash vs. L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly
In this series, I applied the 3D Fiber lash on my right eye (which is on the left side in the photo), while leaving the other eye for comparison. The top two photos are with one application, and the bottom photo has two applications.

In the middle photo, it's a subtle difference, but it's there. I'd be curious to see how two coats of Voluminous Butterfly would compare (but not curious enough to walk around the rest of the day with uneven eye makeup). There's a very obvious difference in lash volume in the bottom photo.

So here are both my eyes with two full applications of 3D Fiber Lash (on top of Voluminous Butterfly). It definitely did start to clump, and I had to drag a lash comb through it, but that kinda just happens when you're dealing with that many layers of fibers. I do tend to get more clumping with my L'Oreal than with my UD, so I'll investigate tomorrow.

But seriously though, you can see a marked difference. These are the L'Oreal-only (before) and the final two-coats (after) photos side by side.

I have to play around some more with my application technique (because I was applying and taking pictures really quickly with my daughter vying for my attention), but overall, I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the results. It didn't take me much longer than normal to apply the extra layers.

It's on the pricey side for $29 - I understand that it's two tubes and comes in a fancy case, but if you're not someone who adores mascara and prioritizes it in your makeup routine line I do, then I can totally understand some sticker shock. This is definitely the most expensive mascara I've ever purchased, but as someone who has searched far and wide for a dramatic lash look (that doesn't involve applying falsies), I'd definitely say the results and the ease of application make it worth the price.

Special thanks to Jeannie, PT, Tristin, and Gabriela for putting Younique on my radar.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Race recap: Santa Rosa Half Marathon

Kind of a crazy day!

As the rest of the internet can attest, there was a 6.0 earthquake at 3:20 in the morning, and its epicenter was in Napa, which wasn't too far from where my coworkers and I were in Santa Rosa, so we really felt it. My hotel bed was shaking like in The Exorcist.

I was already having trouble sleeping (I don't really sleep well in hotels, especially before races), and I was pretty much wide awake after the earthquake, managing to ALMOST doze off before my alarm finally went off at 4:50am.

A group of us former and current MHS teachers signed up to run this together, and for various reasons (including the earthquake!) there ended up being only four of us at the start line. It's my first race since the SJR Half in June and my first race since getting seriously back into fitness (running and Crossfit) and losing a little weight (which matters only in that it means I can run faster), so I had high hopes that I would do pretty well on this one. Technically, I was only supposed to run eight miles today (training for CIM), but I cut out a weekday run to balance out the mileage, and told myself that I just had to hang in there for eight miles and then I could ease up.

I felt really strong! My overall pace, which includes the walk breaks, was actually sub-13:00 for the first half, which is even faster than my weekday runs (although, I do those on the treadmill, and I just kind of pick the same run speed every time, for simplicity). I only just started doing 3/1 intervals this week just to see if I could (I could!), so the longest I've run at that interval has been three miles (since my last long run was done at 3/2). I felt powerful and happy, and I really enjoyed those first nine miles thanks to that and to the beautiful scenery of the race course. (The sky was overcast the entire time, pretty much, which was nice.)

Of course, that didn't last forever. I managed to maintain my interval for NINE miles, and I think I could've gone further if my head hadn't started to hurt and if my right leg (calf and butt) hadn't started cramping/seizing up. It wasn't that I was tired (which was nuts, considering how I woke up before 3:30), but that my body was acting up a bit, so I eked out some sort of 1/1 or 1:30/1 interval for most of the rest of the way. (And THEN I got tired, especially for the last two miles.)

I still managed to run the last quarter mile (spurred on by some Resurrection Roller Girls, who came out to cheer!) and finished in 3:05:41 (official), which is not fast and not my best time, but is my best time since June 2013, so I'm still really happy about it because I feel like I'm back on track with my running.

Next up: October, San Jose Rock 'n' Roll. I'm DOING it this time. (Last year I missed it due to my knee injury.)

Beautiful bibs this year. The full marathon bib had the winery on it.

They didn't have the jackets ready for the expo, so they gave everyone long-sleeved techy shirts, and then happened to be able to hand out jackets post-race. They were sweatshirt hoodies this time instead of windbreaker jackets like last year:

Saturday, August 2, 2014


I'm blonde now!

And here's my eye makeup look.

- NYX Eye Shadow Base in white
- ColourPop Dare all over the lid
- Sugarpill Hotsy Totsy in the crease
- UD Righteous on the browbone and blended into the crease
- Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner in black
- ELF Mascara Primer (dude, this is awesome and super cheap)
- L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Midnight Black mascara

Just as an FYI, everything except UD and Stila were under $15, and everything other than those and Sugarpill were under $10, so yes, you CAN do cool stuff with budget brands!

with NARS lipstick in Dolce Vita and Tarte 12-Hour Amazonian Clay blush in Blushing Bride. Cheers!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I've been pretty MIA lately because we recently moved house, and everything's just been CRAZY and I only just got real internet now. (Blogger, y u no work on iOS?)

So basically, we've just been trying to get settled in and get things back to normal...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ipsy - July 2014

It's Ipsy time, friends!

This month's theme was "Sensationally Sunkissed." It came in a bright pink faux-leather pouch with scalloped edges, which you can see in the photo above, and my Ipsy bag contained the following:

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil

I am someone who tans ridiculously easily even at the mere hint of sunshine, so I don't really have any use for this product, but... hey cool?

Marrakesh Hair Care - Endz Split End Mender & Preventer

Definitely something I want to try. I don't know how much of a split ends problem I actually have since I've had a pixie cut on and off for the last couple of years and get my hair cut pretty much every month. It says "argan & hemp oil therapy," so even if it doesn't do anything split-ends-y to my hair, maybe it will still do some good anyway.

wHet Nail Polish in Facetious

I always love a blue nail polish. I like this formula - it's not quite opaque in two coats, but it applies easily and dries quickly. We'll see how long it lasts (although, since I'm moving house, it's not necessarily a fair test of nail polish endurance to lift furniture and boxes). The translucence of the formula reminds me of jelly.

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink

I admit, when I first saw this, I was disappointed because it's a very pale pink balm, which for me usually means that it will practically apply clear. The Pixi website tells me that this shade self-adjusts according to your pH level, which is pretty nifty, but for me... yeah, I only got a faint pinkish hue. Not much of a pH reaction there. *shrug* Oh well. It feels nice on my lips though. I would be interested in trying this in other shades that would hopefully lend some color.

bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Shadow in Barely Nude

It's funny, when I first looked at this, I didn't read the entire name on the package, and just assumed it was a BB cream sample and was like, "Oooh, bareMinerals is doing BB creams now?... Oh, but this shade is waaaay too pale for me," and then got disappointed. Ha! Luckily it's a cream shadow. It's smooth, pigmented, and stays on pretty well. In my swatch over there, the left side is how it looks freshly applied, and the right is after it's dried a bit. This will make a great base/primer.

So yeah, that's all for my July bag. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the stuff I got. I haven't been wearing makeup much since summer break started, but I'm glad to have some of these - the balm and the cream shadow especially are good makeup stash staples.

If you are interested in signing up for Ipsy, you are welcome to use my referral link. Thanks!