Surprise Freebies at Sephora!

Sephora Cares!

Over $300 worth of products all for FREE! This is going to be a long story of how this happened but short story is, everyone should shop at Sephora because they really do care about everyone. They’re not in the business just to make money. They don’t just see their customers as numbers. They see them as real people and actually care about them as people.

I had the worst and best shopping experience today. Since my birthday is coming up, I went to Sephora to get some products that I had already researched about beforehand. I went about an hour before closing which was enough time for me to quickly try the products before I actually bought it. While the eyeliners, lipsticks, and eyebrow gels were easy to get on my own, I needed help matching a foundation that wouldn’t make me look grey or melt off my face after a couple of hours.

The girls who matched me for the foundation were great but unfortunately a really sassy guy took over since the girl I was working with had her shift end. Not only was he impatient and dismissive with me, he was actually really rude. When I told him about my concerns, all he said was, “Well that shouldn’t be happening so I don’t know what to tell you.” in a tone like I was either stupid or lying about my color matching problem. He pushed me to go with a color that had either had red undertones or a foundation clearly too dark for me. When I tried to gently request a one with a yellow undertone since I’m Asian, he told me the colors he chose for me did have yellow undertones since it had the word “beige” in the name (on the Tarte website, it turns out that beige actually has red undertones).

While I was thinking about my options, he told me that I had to hurry up because all the tills were closing and I won’t be able to buy anything at all. There was 10 min until closing and still a lot of people in the store because of the sale. Eventually I went with my gut instinct and chose the Tarte Amazonian Clay in fair-light honey instead of the medium beige or fair beige, which he literally THREW at me and turn away so fast you would think he won the lottery.

Throughout our entire interaction, he was sighing and heaving like I was wasting his time with my questions and was generally very uninterested in helping me. I don’t know what I did wrong to upset him but I tried apologizing anyways hoping he would be less impatient to no avail. He ignored my apologies and just continued sighing. I know the store is closing but I was doing my best to make a decision as quickly as possible. I try to be as accommodating as possible whenever I go shopping since I understand working in retail is already hard enough without having to deal with over demanding and entitled clients expecting the impossible.

As if all of this wasn’t enough, while I was lining up to checkout, this guy was standing literally 3 meters away from me talking in the loudest voice with two other associates about how annoying I was. He was pointing to his hand with all the foundation we had tried on, generally complaining and making fun of how clueless and annoying I am. Luckily the girls he was complaining to were kind and he had to defend himself saying that he’s not making fun of me. I tried not to listen but it was really hard when he’s right next to me and making such a huge scene. I wanted to tell him I could hear him but I didn’t want to instigate any drama. But seriously, if you’re really gona make fun of a customer, at least do it NOT right in front of them.

Luckily as I was checking out, I got to tell my story to a manager named Reagan. This guy just so happened to pass by when she asked which specific associate that I broke down. I felt so ridiculous about being so sensitive to the whole situation and I could feel my eyes watering. I put my head down in embarrassment and quickly requested to just pay so I could leave. I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Reagan was so sweet and kind that she told me to not worrying about paying and that SHE was going to pay for my whole purchase and handle the whole situation! I purchased a lot of products and just wanted to leave so I declined her offer but she insisted even after seeing the bill at over $300. I was so shocked! She really cared and wanted to do anything that could make my experience better. Not only that but the other associates were so kind to fill my bag with a whole bunch of samples.

Reagan went to the back to get her card and when she came back, she gave me a brief update that she quickly talked to the associate and while he admits to talking about the situation with the other two girls, he denied making fun of me. It didn’t matter at that point. Reagan went above and beyond by paying for my purchases and even promised that she would follow up with me in a couple of days AND invited me for a facial and makeover. At the end of everything, Reagan even walked me to the door and gave me a hug which made me feel thousands of times better.

Thank you so much Reagan! And the best thing about everything is that Reagan didn’t even know that I was a VIB rouge member. She did it without caring about the amount of money I’ve spent, or that it was two days till my birthday, or anything. She only cared about my feelings as a person. It’s so good to know that Sephora really cares about their customers! Thank you so much for a great birthday present!

Receipt of purchase that was complimented!

❤️‍ Tria Age Defying Laser Review

Age Defying Laser
I wanted perfect skin that was bright, smooth, and radiant. I had been struggling with my skin for a long time. It had dullness, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring and was even showing some fine lines for my 20’s. I was desperate for something−anything to make my skin better. I started to do some research which led to me learning about non-ablative fractional lasers. It works by targeting waves of light of up to 1500 nm beneath the skin surface to create microscopic perforations. This effectively destroys the parts of with hyper-pigmentations, wrinkles and scars thereby stimulating the natural healing of the body. Collagen is quickly produced since these wounds are so small thereby revealing a brighter and smoother skin as it sheds its surface.

Last year November, Sephora had an incredible sale where everything was 20% off. I hated it because it made me want to buy everything. I felt like I was getting such a good deal. So I went for products high price point products to maximize my dollars off. Aside from a whole bunch of makeup and skincare products, I invested in several systems such as the Tria Age Defying Laser, Iluminage Touch Permanent Hair Reduction and eventually the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4x (I plan on writing reviews so all of these since I think I’ve given each a fair chance and time to work like it’s been advertised). I justified these heavy purchases by rationalizing that it would be much more expensive and time consuming if I were to get these treatments at a clinic. Plus, I get the added bonus of doing all of this in the comfort and privacy of my own home.<

The Tria Age-Defying Laser + Skincare Starter Kit cost me around $515 after taxes and discounts. It came with the laser, a priming cleanser, finishing serum, super C brightening moisturizer, and an overnight brightening boost facial. The laser can be bought without the skincare starter kit but I thought I should get the whole kit since it’s been especially packaged together to work synergistically. In retrospect, I would skip on the starter kit and just get the laser because I found that the products I already had were more soothing and effective. To read a focused review on the Tria skincare starter kit, click here

How I used it
It’s really important to start the laser on clean skin. If there are any dirt or oils on the skin, the laser might not be able to penetrate to the deeper levels of the skin. It’s also important to laser on dry skin since it makes the laser glide more easily and the water molecules might refract the light waves. It was really counter intuitive for me since I normally race to moisturize my face after cleansing because I don’t want my skin drying out and cause wrinkles.

When I first applied the laser to my face, I was in shock. It hurt like a !@#$%. I have high pain tolerance considering I fractured my ankle and didn’t find out until two years later through an MRI scan. But this laser felt like I was pulling a razor blade across my face even though I used the lowest setting possible. I followed the instructions as meticulously as I could. At the end of the longest 3 minutes of my life, my face was burning and red. I applied the finishing serum but it wasn’t soothing enough so I pulled out a sheet mask which helped immensely.

After my sheet mask, my face was still red. I skipped the remaining Tria creams and I quickly continued with my regular Sulwhasoo serum, emulsion, and cream since it’s something I’m familiar that won’t irritate my skin further. I used Laneige water sleeping mask because I have always had great results from it calming my skin down. I then prayed and went to bed hoping I will look normal by the morning.

The next morning, my skin was completely normal. I was really worried about the redness but that all subsided. I  didn’t notice any immediate differences but I used the laser every other day instead of daily as it had suggested. After I was confident that the laser wouldn’t give me any lasting side effects, I tried using the entire skin care set with the serum, moisturizer and facial. It wasn’t hydrating enough and I don’t feel like it worked as well as my regular skincare routine so I stopped using it.

Results
Overall, here are the results after about a month of using this laser 3-4 times a week.

Before Tria Age Defying LaserAfter Tria Age Defying Laser

These are the before and after pictures completed unedited except the red circle and text. I used the three ice pick scars highlighted in red on my left cheek as a measurement of success which decreased in size so drastically that I had trouble finding them in the picture. It’s harder to tell in the pictures because the lighting isn’t consistent but aside from the enlarged pores and acne scars, I also have melasma on my cheekbones. The laser definitely faded these hyperpigmentations and brightened my overall complexion. I have noticed a significant decrease in my acne scars.

Final Thoughts
I was initially hesitant in using the Tria Age Defying laser since I’m in my early twenties and this seemed to be marketed more towards people in their 30’s or older age range. I was worried that the laser might damage my skin or cause it to thicken but I found it to be perfectly safe and effective. I think this is great for people in their 20’s as well who would like a fresh start on their skin. It’s great at removing the sun damage from years of not knowing any better and the acne scars from my teenage years. Overall, I love this Tria laser and I highly recommend it.

💔 Tria Skincare Starter Kit Review

Tria Age Defying Laser + Skincare Starter Kit

Priming Cleanser 0.85 oz
The priming cleanser was pretty refreshing. I had a cooling effect that reminded me of those mint soaps available at hot yoga studios. It tingled my face when I used it and quickly faded after a few minutes. But I didn’t feel like it really cleansed my face that well. I think this is more to be used after you’ve gone through your regular skin cleansing routine

Finishing Serum 0.3 oz
The finishing serum also had a cooling effect, maybe to offset the burning sensation from the laser. But honestly, I stopped using it because the laser hurt so much that I had to use a sheet mask to comfort the pain.

Super C Brightening Moisturizer 0.33 oz
This smelled nice and absorbed quickly into my skin. But I’m not sure how effective it is at brightening my skin independently of the laser.

Overnight Brightening Boost Facial 0.27 oz
I think the idea of this is very similar to the Laneige water sleeping mask. It’s applied as a final step in this regime. It’s quite light and I don’t feel like it was very helpful in boosting my skin.

Overall Thoughts
I used these products since they came with the Tria Age Defying Laser set. I’m not really impressed but I also didn’t use it long enough to really test out the product. There were too many new variables to my skincare routine during the time of testing to really measure how effect it was at brightening independently. I would have done a second test of just using these products without the laser but I didn’t find it to be hydrating or moisturizing enough for my skin so I threw out the remaining products. Maybe it’s just my skin type and it might work with other people but I personally wouldn’t repurchase.

Eyebrow Tattoo Nightmare

I encourage everyone who is thinking of getting an eyebrow tattoo to highly reconsider.

I’ve always had brow envy. My sister had beautifully thick, full and dark eyebrows whereas mine were always thin, sparse and light. I have no idea what possessed me. Maybe it was the Etude house brow gel that’s been trending on instagram lately. Or maybe it’s the rage for 3D Korean Eyebrow microblading. Or maybe it was the massive box of Rogaine for my eyebrows that I ordered from the States about two months ago that never came in. Whatever it was, I spontaneously decided to get a “semi-permanent” eyebrow tattoo locally yesterday. I didn’t do enough research ahead of time.

This is the uneven Sharpie marker eyebrows I have been cursed with now:

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This is NOT what microblading should look like. One eyebrow is significantly higher than the other not to mention one side is closer to the centre than the other. 

microblading-gallery-4
THIS is what microblading should look like.

I thought the dye used in cosmetic makeup would be vegetable based like in Korea so it will break down naturally over the course of two years, fading into nothing. Unfortunately, “semi-permanent makeup” is actually just tattooing only not as deep as body art tattoo. Cosmetic tattoos should only extend up to 1 mm deep whereas good body art tattoo should go a minimum depth of 2 mm. Your body expels the top 1 mm layer of skin containing the ink rather quickly causing the ink to fade. In other words, “semi-permanent” is actually just permanent tattooing but fades faster. Fades. Not disappear.

Okay. No problem. People have tattoo regrets all the time. No biggie. I can just get it lasered off. Wrong.

After doing some research (because I’ve definitely learned my lesson), it turns out laser tattoo removals are light waves specified to the wave frequency that certain pigments tend to absorb. This breaks apart the ink into microscopic fragments allowing the body to metabolize it. The pigments in our eyebrow tattoos tend to match the pigments that our hair follicles naturally produce which means that they will be targeted as well. While the hair follicles should be deeper in the skin than that of the cosmetic tattoo, it isn’t always the case so there is a high chance of losing pigmentation in your brow hairs or even losing your brow hairs permanently. Also, white tattoos cannot be lasered off because they tend to oxidize to turn black.

As if losing eyebrow hairs wasn’t bad enough, the lady mixed black and white pigments together to create the grey shade that I wanted since she didn’t have one before. Meaning I’m not eligible for laser tattoo removal.

I had a panic attack last night knowing that I will look like a monster for the next couple of years. I could not sleep at all. FML.

Other tattoo removal methods that Wikipedia lists include “dermabrasion, TCA (Trichloroacetic acid, an acid that removes the top layers of skin, reaching as deep as the layer in which the tattoo ink resides), salabrasion (scrubbing the skin with salt), cryosurgery and excision which is sometimes still used along with skin grafts for larger tattoos”. Upon further research, it turns out that some people will tattoo creams or saline water into the tattoo to bind to the ink and help the body expel the foreign substance. Which led me into reading about microneedling for tattoo removals.

Microneedling causes microscopic abrasions in the skin small enough that the body is able to heal quickly from it by disposing of the broken cells and regenerating new cells. This means that potentially the cells containing the pigments will be disposed of over times as well. Non-ablative fractional lasers also do the same thing but does not puncture the protective top surface of the skin. Likely, I have a Tria aging defying laser (which I promise to write a review for because it is absolutely amazing). Tria’s instructional manual advises not to laser over cosmetic tattoos as it can damage it and cause it to fade. A research published February 2013 supports the idea of treating cosmetic tattoos with nonablative fractional laser. Bingo!

So I’ll be trying this at home tattoo removal method and will update on how it goes. For now, I need to let this ridiculous tattoo heal before I destroy it. The war is on.

 

Asian vs American Makeup

I wanted to experiment a little with applying makeup to Eastern and Western beauty standards.

I posted the result to my Wechat asking which is better? Almost everyone said Asian was better but I guess that’s what happens when you ask on an Asian platform. I don’t know what I was expecting. :p

image1 (1)

Analysis of Harmful Ingredients in Cosmetics

One of the primary reasons why I don’t try a lot of new products is because I’m worried an ingredient might irritate or damage my skin permanently. I was thinking of doing a thorough analysis and research on each ingredient before trying a product but Cosdna has a ton of product information already broken down. Just search up the product you’re thinking of buying and you’ll be provided with a chart of all the ingredients and any potential irritants.

 

 

iMovie HD on OS X

After finally updating my Macbook operating system, I found that I couldn’t open certain applications, namely iMovie HD. I received an error saying: You can’t use this version of the application “iMovie HD” with this version of OS X. You have “iMovie HD” 6.0.3. Don’t tell me what I can’t do. You’re not the boss of me.

A quick google search taught me to run this line of code in Macbook command terminal:

/Applications/iMovie\ HD.app/Contents/MacOS/iMovie\ HD

Search 'terminal' in launchpad to access

And voila! It’s running just like before.

There were some warnings that I didn’t really understand and the command prompt will need to stay open while the application is running but I ignored all that and went on to happily edit some videos.

Good luck!