Hot Buy: The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan (Kindle)


I love love Amy Tan – simply love her and I have read most of her novels. I had my eyes on The Valley of Amazement for a while and have it on my list from the local library. I was number 12. Yep.

As I was looking at the hold, I clicked on the BUY button and clicked through to Amazon. Low and behold it was listed for $1.99 for the Kindle version. That is an awesome price when it’s listed normally at $16.99. I went ahead and bought it.

Screenshot 2015-02-26 at 7


Here’s the weird thing – my receipt is showing a zero total. I have no idea what the PROMOTION is since I know I have no credit in my account. $1.99 is a great deal but free is always better. :)

Let me know if you’re able to duplicate the deal.


Happy Valentine’s Day! Plus stocking up on a few favorites

This week just flew by at blazing speed! I hope your week was fabulous. Now I want to wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day, whether with your love one or just to yourself. :wave May your day be extra special!

I want to share this with you:

 wpid-2015-02-14-15-26-36_deco.jpgA card from my sweet daughter. So touching and beautiful!  :heart

And I want to show two of my favorite skin care products that I stocked up on in the last week – the La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution and The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil. These are both in my current skincare regimen. The LRP retails for $19.99 each but I bought them from Ebay for $28 for four. The Face Shop retails for $13 each but I bought them from a 3rd party seller on Amazon for $19.33 for two. My wallet is always happy when I find great deals to be had on the things I need to buy. :D


La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution, 6.76 fl oz


La Roche Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution, 6.76 fl oz


The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil, 150ml


The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil, 150ml

And on that note, I bid you an awesome weekend! :D



NYX Concealers & Simply Lip creams + quick review

I bought a few NYX things! :D I like to splurge on some things and there are some things that I don’t need to splurge on but will do the job just fine.


Mini NYX haul from Ulta

Yesterday I walked in to Ulta and picked up the NYX Dark Circle Concealer in Light and the Concealer Stick in Fair (I would have choose Light too but the only Light there has been swatched. >:< ), the Simply Nude Lip cream in Disrobed,  and the Simply Pink Lip cream in First Base.

Read on for swatches and quick first impressions. :heart


NYX Dark Circle Concealer in Light

I have major dark eye circles but I’m so intimidated by concealers because I can’t seem to apply them correctly. So I almost always never use them. I know, bad me! This concealer is for dark eye circles and at only $5.99 I said why not? This concealer is a thick but creamy texture paste housed in a super cute see through jar. I love the solid black lid too. The shade Light is very peachy looking in the jar but it is supposed to cancel out the dark circles so I’m all for it. I tested it by applying with my ring finger and I have to say it blends pretty well! When I first dabbed it on, it look kind of orange against my skin but blended smoothly out so I can’t even tell. Yeah! I then use a concealer brush to blend it away more. Not sure if I’m suppose to do that but this one will do.


NYX Incredible Waterproof Concealer Stick in Fair

NYX calls this the Incredible Waterproof Concealer and I got it in the shade Fair. I won’t be testing out the waterproof theory but I thought to myself a stick would be a piece of cake to apply. This concealer retails for $4.99 so again, you’re not paying an arm and a leg for it. As long as it conceals, I’m good. Again, I don’t usually do any concealing, under eyes or anywhere use on my face. When I apply foundation, whatever (dark spots, acne, scars, etc) peek through, peek through. I tried this under eyes too and it’s a big drying, not as creamy or easy to blend as the dark circle concealer. If you wait longer to blend after applying, I think it will settle so you do need to work fast. I find a concealer brush works best for this. The shade isn’t too far so I think I can still make this work.


NYX Simply Nude Lip Cream in Disrobed

Next up is the Simply Nude lip cream in Disrobed. They look so pretty, are shrinkwrapped and it helped that Ulta have testers! Yeah for all those! I picked this one hoping it won’t wash me out like crazy. I see a touch of Coral in the swatch and that keeps me from looking like I’m sick. One swipe is pretty sheer but the formula is very creamy and applies evenly. You can layer it on multiple times if so desired. I love how easy it is to apply and this one doesn’t wash me out. Score!


NYX Simply Pink Lip Cream in First Base

 The next color is First Base from the Simply Pink group of colors. I saw online that they have a Simply Red and Simply Vamp groups too but I didn’t see them. I’m looking forward to picking a great Simply Red lip cream. Back to First Base, this is in the Pinks category but it is actually more purplish than pink to me and that is why I picked it. A little something different right? I wore this today and it actually lasts about 4 hours until I ate. You can still see traces of it on my lips though. It can also settle into lip lines like mine but I still like them. These are $6.49 each and it was buy one get one half off so it’s a great price to try these cute lip creams.


NYX Simply Nude Lip Cream in Disrobed and Simply Pink Lip Cream in First Base



Review: Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 PA+++

Today I want to review my all time favorite sunscreen – the Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++ (pink bottle). There are some sunscreens that I like okay and will use but none has really made it to the “Love” category. I’m happy to say this one has and is now my preferred everyday sunscreen.


Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++


Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++

I didn’t have a great first time ordering from Missha years ago so I have pretty much stayed away from ordering from their site. Months ago, I received an email that they were offering free shipping with no minimums so I went “window shopping”. Coincidentally, this sunscreen was on sale for $8.40, down from $14 for 50ml. That was just the push to get me to try this sunscreen and I ordered 2 bottles. The shipping this time was super fast so I have attributed the first fiasco as a fluke.

First, I have tried many sunscreens, from La Roche Posay and Vichy to Biore and Shiseido. The sunscreens were either too shiny (Biore Watery Essence and Kose), leave a slightly white cast (Clarins and LRP mineral), or balled up in my neck lines (LRP & Loreal) later in the day. It is so embarrassing when this happens and I only see it after a long day. What must those people think?! shutters ]


Sunscreen cream texture straight out of the bottom top and partially spread out on bottom

Second, this white “essence” sunscreen is not an essence in my opinion. It is not runny but rather more like a whipped cream texture so it feels super nice and light spreading on. This leaves no white cast and is not greasy. It leaves a beautiful dewy glow that reminds me of the Korean actresses’ dewy look in posters. It also feels more like a nourishing facial cream than a sunscreen. I always add an extra layer to my upper cheeks where I have a lot of dark spots and melasma. The scent is very very light, almost non discernible unless you have a sensitive nose. I actually find it very pleasant. It doesn’t smell at all like a sunscreen and it is oil free. For combination to dry, I think this is a beautiful sunscreen but for oily skin, it might just be too shiny. I have combination skin and I wholeheartedly adore this!


Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++

The tip applicator is perfect because it allows for dispensing the exact amount you want and there is no waste. It is also easier trying to squeeze out all the products when it gets low.


Claims and ingredients label on the package. Click to enlarge.

Here is how Missha describes it:

Multi-Functional Sun Care.
UV protection + skin care benefits!

Use the gentle, water resistant All Around Safe Block Essence Sun all year round to hydrate and protect skin from stress, UV rays, and harmful environmental factors.

The oil-free, mild formula contains Oriental Tea Newplex to protect the skin. Antozone-Rose and Thanaka ingredients hydrate and help maintain healthy skin. Aloe, Luffa Cylindrica, Morus Alba, Licorice, Portulaca Oleracea, and Witch Hazel Extracts soothe and relive skin, while also providing brightening, moisturizing, and nourishing effects.


Before and after sunscreen. See how my skin is dewy and bright after but not greasy? ^^

Third, per Missha’s description, this sunscreen contain other skin care benefits such as moisturizing and brightening. It does hydrate and brighten my skin but the brightening is most likely just short term. Regardless of the other claims, I love this as a sunscreen and any of the said benefits are icings on the cake. Total love!

Lastly, according to RatzillaCosme, from 2013 on, PA+++ has a PPD of 8-16 for UVA protection. I find this adequate for everyday protection unless I’m going to be out in the sun for hours. In that case, I would layer on a physical sunscreen for extra protection. I keep one in the bathroom and one in my purse so I’m never without it. I already have it on the list to re-order as soon as they have free shipping again because I don’t think I have more than $40 to buy from Missha at the moment.

Have you try any of Missha’s sunscreens? Which one is your favorite?