My most important routine…

… is my skincare regime. Waking up on the first alarm should be pretty close up there ;)

Throughout my life, I’ve always been complimented on my flawless complexion. I’ve been blessed with a beautifully pale, yet super clear skin – and have thanked my mother a million times for passing on the most wanted gene in the world. But with great power gift comes with a price: my skin is super sensitive to most facial products out there.

I’m allergic to Neutrogena, Clinique, and some Urban Decay – to say the least. It’s an odd motley of brands, but it still sucks – they’re the most commonly used brands for all girls interested in skincare/makeup!

Morning Regimen

morningskin

(1) L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Foaming Cleanser – $28

(2) Lancome “Tonique Confort” Comforting Rehydrating Toner – $25

(3) Kate Somerville “Nourish” Daily Moisturizer – $65

(4) Lancome “High Resolution Refill-3X” Eye Cream – $64

(5) Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream, SPF 50+ in Fair – $48

nightregimen

Evening Regimen

(1) Kirkland Daily Facial Cleansing Towelettes – $12

(2) Lancome “Bi-Facial” Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover – $38

(3) Philosophy “Purity Made Simple” Facial Cleansing Gel & Eye Makeup Remover – $21

(4) Shiseido “White Lucent” Brightening Cleansing Foam – $35

(5) Lancome “Tonique Confort” Comforting Rehydrating Toner – $25

(6) Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil – $50

(7) Shiseido “Ibuki” Refining Moisturizer – $45

(8) Lancome “High Resolution Refill-3X” Eye Cream – $64

I’ve always been terribly scared of face oils. I’m prone to a very oily T-zone and I really had a tough time trying to stay calm for the first few days of using the face oil (read: scared shitless about waking up to a Lake Rachel on my face). When I’m about a week from my period, I stop using face oil all together and use a very light moisturizer. I can’t help it if my hormones go crazy and try to wreak havoc on my face!

My newest hobby is trying out different BB/CC creams on the market. Back in college, BB cream trend didn’t quite take off and there wasn’t much “experimentation” needed. It was always Dr Jart Black Label, and that was that.  But now that this trend is FINALLY taking off in the US, I’m so excited! I’ve already tried:

Lancome BB – terrible smell and feels like a light foundation
Bobbi Brown BB – good medium coverage, but too high of coverage for me.
HERA BB Cushion – LOVE texture and build-ability but dries out fast
Lancome Renergie Eclat CC Cream – LOVE the moisturizing texture but expensive

Next on my list are: AMOREPACIFIC CC Cushion and Bobbi Brown CC Cream!

Working with bad habits.

15/52 - Confession of a Shopaholic

We all have bad habits. Some (read: me) are shopaholics, some (read: me) are obsessed with making lists and constantly updating agendas, some (read: me) can’t live without their iPhones, and some (read: me) can’t pass up a good sale. When we have habits that we decide are “bad” for us, we try hard to get rid of it – and really struggle to get rid of the habit completely. But why try to abolish something from our lives that we can work with? Something we can turn into “good”?

Here’s the solution to my bargain-hunting, shopaholic, list-making, phone-obsessed ways: Create an outlet for them.

I love shopping because I love everything new and pretty. I can’t pass up a good deal – because, well, it’s a pretty good deal. Who doesn’t love good deals? As for my list-making obsession, it makes me organized and up-to-snuff with my daily life. My phone is my gateway to a community bigger than my very own Bay Area. To combine all of my “bad” habits and turn it into good, I’ve decided to create a webpage outlet to share my bargain finds. I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t a shopaholic because I felt like I needed to have it; I was a shopaholic because I couldn’t pass up a good deal and SOMEONE had to have it. If I make fashion finds easier for others, I will be just as satisfied. As for my list-making obsession, I can use it to create an organized page to share these listings. My iPhone obsession? Well, let’s just say that it’ll keep the page refreshed with new items.

I will post a link to this page once I’ve finalized it! :)

TL;DR Don’t get rid of your bad habits – find a way to work them positively into your life. It’s much easier this way and there’ll be less chance of a relapse!

Hello again, 13.1!

NWM 2013

My thighs are burning…. Every. Single. Day.

With just 50 days left, I can feel my second half marathon go from creeping on me to full-on “let’s rip her thighs out and crush her kneecaps”. I will be running San Francisco Half Marathon this year, and this will be my second 13.1.

Am I nervous? Not quite.

I don’t think I was nervous about my first marathon, which took place just 8 months ago. I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon in October 2013 and absolutely fell in love with running. It was refreshing to have the opportunity to see my hometown in a whole new way; my legs were definitely the best vessel to appreciate and take in the saltiness of Embarcadero, endless hills of Mission, squawking birds of Chrissy Field, and the breathtaking cliffs of Lands End. I had been to these destinations multiple times throughout the years, but this was the first time I saw all of them in the span of 2 hours and 17 minutes. And only the gorgeous parts. I rediscovered my city, and fell in love with my city once again, through Nike Women’s Marathon.

Not to mention, my boyfriend and I started dating on the afternoon of the marathon – on October 20, 2013. Overwhelmed with what I had accomplished earlier that day – and the beginning of this courtship – I decided then and there that this guy was SO doomed next year. We were going to share the incredible experience (and the painstaking 2 months of training) of running the hills of San Francisco.

So here we are! We are officially signed up for the San Francisco Half Marathon on July 27, 2014.

I’m excited – STOKED, actually – to rediscover my love for SF again.

Thighs, you may feel like you’re trapped in a torture chamber for now… (especially during Power Yoga on the days after long runs) – but brighter days will be here soon!!

This is kind of hard.

Blogging is kind of hard. I wanted to commit so badly in January when I started this project, but I just couldn’t keep up. Throughout the past five months, I’ve been stuck in a limbo of what I wanted vs what I could really achieve. But I was finally able to get out of this stillness when I saw an inspirational TEDx video on YouTube – about how to get what you truly want.

This TED talk features Mel Robbins, an Ivy-educated criminal lawyer turned career/relationship counselor. She tells everyone that the reason why we cannot get what we want is because of complacency. It’s because we tell ourselves that “It’s FINE”.

Well, it’s not fine. If you find yourself dreaming about something more than what you have now, you’ve got to get out of this state of complacency and start grinding. To achieve this, you must have the drive and motivation to do what seems to be the “impossible” – and the only way to practice doing the impossible is to conquer it.

And it all starts with the most difficult task in the world. If you can do this, you can do anything.

You must get up at the first obscenely loud alarm. Every. Single. Morning.

You must get up at least 15 minutes before your first alarm, because this golden 15-minutes will work wonders for you. You will be able to find the time you never thought existed – and you can use this time to (1) map out your day, (2) start refreshing with a cup of tea, (3) cycle through a few sun salutations to a happier you.

I’ve been working on this for two weeks now. I started with snoozing only once last week, and have moved onto getting up at the end of my alarm (I absolutely love “Waiting For You – Valentin Remix”!). Getting closer and closer to my goal of waking up early and loving it is making me anxious to start conquering my other goals:

(1) Stick to a running schedule – Half Marathon is on 7/28!
(2) Score big numbers on TEAS
(3) Sweat every day

I’m gonna do them all!

What I love about what I love -

This video is the epitome of commercialism-meets-fancy-advertisement-and-gorgeous-media. Great money-making strategy to transform a simple clothing line into a gorgeous, happy-and-healthy lifestyle everybody covets… But not so good for the burning wallets of many. Regardless, this video makes me happy and inspires me to live everyday like a rave:

Live on a high, smile sin reason, and sweat my worries away.

I’m still working on hitting these three points every day, but I can do it. Speaking of which – 2014 has finally rolled in and it’s time to make some commitments. I’m ready.

(1) Join a run club

Ever since completing my first half marathon last year (Nike Women’s 2013!), I’ve been obsessed with running – and it’s become a close first place for my ultimate favorite way to sweat.

(2) Keep a blog on things I love

I love finding new ways to sweat, discovering sweet vegetables at the farmer’s market, sharing my obsession with J Crew/Nordstrom/VS PINK/KSNY, and harboring a secret interest in dermatology.

(3) Run another half marathon

I absolutely loved NWM last year. Yes, it was well organized and yes, I loved the tiffany blue color-theme… But most importantly, I absolutely loved running by the pier. The sea breeze, salty air, and the feeling of taking off in the middle of the road without any cars… It was a breathtaking experience. That’s why shortly after I ran my first 13.1 miles, I signed up for another one in San Francisco. Except this time, I coaxed and successfully recruited my then 10-days-old boyfriend. I wanted to share this experience with someone – Good thing we’re still dating!

(4) Read one book a month

Who doesn’t have this on their list?

(5) Take hobby classes.

Ceramics, jewelry making, salsa, community projects, tennis…

Since Day 1 of this year, I’ve decided that my 2014 will be amazing – full of sparkles. My vie will be out of this world. And I will make it that way.