Hi everyone! It's been quite a while since my last post, but I'm back with another make-up post! I'm back in Taipei right now, so I thought it would be prudent to share what cosmetics I usually bring with me when I'm going to be out of the country for a certain period of time. Of course, it's a given that I'll be bringing my everyday make-up bag which I made a post about here. But if I'm going to be away from home for more than a couple of days, I like having the items that are almost always part of my usual make-up routine.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream in Natural Fair

This is my go-to base for everyday. I'm not a fan of foundation much because I find it to be too heavy on the skin. Before I discovered the wonders of CC Cream, I would use BB Cream from Etude house, but even then it would be too heavy on my skin and caused me to break out a couple of times. Admittedly, my skin is quite clear and doesn't need much coverage so I decided to give CC Cream a try. And from then on, it was love! <3 I love this one from Clinique. It provides light to medium coverage and gives my skin that dewy appearance. It's really easy to apply, the formula being neither too thick or too runny and doesn't streak no matter what I use to apply it with.

Guerlain Meteorites Blanc De Perle

My finishing powder of choice! A lot of people consider this a holy grail item, and honestly, I can see why. It leaves a really nice, smooth yet natural finish on the skin with really fine shimmer that makes your skin glow. Some people are bothered by the shimmer, but personally, I love it. I would bring it around with me everyday if I could, but movement tends to make the pearls break up and crumble and the container is a bit bulky, leaving me no choice but apply it at home before I leave and leave it at home. I'm thinking of finding a nice compact where I can place a couple of pearls in to make it a bit more portable.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

This one holds a special place in my heart as it is the first eyeshadow palette that I ever picked out for myself! (Most of my cosmetics are gifts, you see.) You can even somewhat see how beaten up this particular palette is. The wide range of neutrals in both shimmer and matte make it perfect for everyday use or even special occasions.  I really love the matte shadows as they are really buttery and apply perfectly. The shimmer shadows aren't really easy to pack on the lid and tend to fall out, but this is easily remedied by using an eyeshadow primer.

Lancôme Colour Focus Eye Colour Quad in 4Romance

This is a very new addition to my collection – a gift I received from my mother recently. I've only used it twice before, and the pigmentation isn't at all that great and it takes quite a while to build up the color but the shadows are really smooth and feel very light on the skin. Despite the troubles I have with applying it, I brought it along anyway because I love how I can make a subtle smokey eye with it.

Maybelline Colorshow Crayon Kohl in Blue

I am a big fan of colored eyeliner and blue just happens to be my favorite! I don't use it everyday, but there are times when I'm too lazy to put on eyeshadow and I just apply a line of blue liner for a pop of color. Minimal effort, but still gives off the impression that I actually tried to make myself look presentable.

Real Techniques Starter Set and Silicone Eyeliner Brush

It comes with a carrying case! Isn't that reason enough to bring it around? Kidding aside, I put the most effort into applying eyeshadow when I'm doing my make-up, so having this set is a must for me.

From L-R
1. Silicone Eyeliner Brush
2. Accent Brush
3.  Fine Liner Brush
4. Base Shadow Brush
5. Deluxe Crease Brush
The set also came with an Eyebrow brush but I have long since given it to my mom because I don't do my eyebrows. 

The Silicone Eyeliner Brush is sold separately. Though the set comes with an eyeliner brush, I prefer the silicone one when applying gel or liquid liner because it allows for more accuracy and cleaner lines. Also, I find the Fine Liner brush to be a bit too tough and scratchy and is prone to irritating my lids. The other brushes are fantastic though. They apply eyeshadow really well and are really soft.

Bare Minerals Full Flawless Face and Flawless Face Brushes

These two brushes are extremely soft, pick up products really well, and buffs them on the skin wonderfully! I use the Full Flawless Face Brush to apply my Guerlain Meteorites. I've read that not all brushes can pick up the powders from the Meteorites well, but I've never had such a problem with this brush! I also use it sometimes to sweep away eyeshadow fall-out. I use the Flawless Face Brush with my Estee Blush (which I wrote about here). It does wonders at buffing the blush onto my skin! I've mentioned before that the Estee Blush took a while for the pigment to build up, but I've had more success with using this brush than any other brush I tried applying it with before.

Too Cool for School Milky Tint in Red

I always bring around the Milky Tint in Pink and use it more often but there are those times when I feel a bit more daring than usual. During these times, I feel like using this lip tint for a more in-your-face color on my lips. Here's a comparison photo:
Pink on the left. Red on the right.

 I rarely use it by itself– I usually use it with the Pink Tint for gradient lips. (Which I haven't learned to apply properly yet. Boo hoo.)

I would have added my Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner, but it has dried up and become unwieldy so I opted to leave it back home.

And there you have it! A run-down of my travel must-haves! Until next time! :)

I recently started watching this K-Drama, My Lovely Girl, because I heard that Krystal from f(x) and L from Infinite are going to be in the main cast! I loved Krystal during her stint as Lee Bona from The Heirs, and eventually ended up gritting my teeth through the cringe-worthy moments of Kim Tan and Cha Eunsang just to catch the few scenes with Lee Bona  (with Yoon Chanyoung, played by CNBlue's Kang Minhyuk, if I'm lucky.) I was pretty much ecstatic after hearing that she was going to have the leading role– and after learning that L was to be one of her love interests, I was pretty much sold.

The cast was primarily what drew me into watching this drama, as most of the Korean Dramas I've watched end up with similar themes and plot devices. Story-wise, I wasn't expecting much from the drama. There will always be the rich tycoon/heir/CEO leading man, the poor girl who needs money badly, and the never-ending love triangles. I'll say it early as now: this drama has all of them. The last one in liberal amounts.

But what kept me watching after the cheesy, fanfiction-esque first two episodes were the characters. They're all endearing and very different from the characters in the other dramas I watched. Hearing Krystal sing every now and then is an added bonus too.

(Forgive me for the crappy screencaps.)

Krystal plays Yoon Sena, an aspiring composer who struggles to make ends meet and at some points ends up getting chased around by loan sharks. I love how her personality is a mix between sassy, sweet, bubbly, and independent. She's motivated– she knows what she wants and what she should do to get there. But what makes her so different is that she knows when to accept help, and be grateful for it. (How many instances in dramas have there been in which the lead female staunchly refuses help and ends up throwing everything into chaos?)

Same, Haeyoon. Same.

Rain's role as Lee Hyunwook surprised me the most. I thought he was just going to end up as the brooding, debonair, broken-hearted lead who declares that he will never love again – which he is, but watching through the first few episodes, I ended up realizing that he was just one giant dork who has a bit of a complex when it comes to his dog, Dalbong, and tries so very hard to befriend Sena when he manages to get her fired from her job. His character gives a very child-like feel at times. It's a refreshing change from the typical, overly-aggressive, leading man who suddenly decides that hey, I want this girl and I'm going to be obnoxious about it. His relationship with Sena develops gradually, actually going through the friendship phase first.

This is supposed to be sweet, but I don't see it. 

Honestly though, I can't quite see the romantic relationship between the two blooming. It may just be me being a bit creeped out by the fact that Rain is, at least, 12 years older than Krystal– but their dynamic leans toward that older brother-younger sister side. Their banter, conversations– even Hyunwook supposedly being "jealous" just seems like him being an overprotective older brother to Sena. It also doesn't help that Sena refers to Hyunwook as "ahjussi" half the time. Or this is just me hoping that there will be a huge plot twist and Sena ends up with Shiwoo, a member of an idol group played by Infinite's L.

Cue me screaming at my laptop screen. 

I know I'm setting myself up for heartbreak, because the second guy never gets the girl but their chemistry is just amazing! Shiwoo is genuine, earnest character, comes off as a bit spoiled and shameless, and Sena won't take any of his crap, but they end up as friends. I'll stop here before I go on a rant about why is it that the second guy never gets the girl they go together so much better ugh.

Why yes, this is me screaming again. Just a little more. Can I push one of them, please?

Shipping aside, the drama also provides a peek into what Korean entertainment companies are like behind the scenes: what being a trainee is like, what happens during a scandal, and so on. For people who enjoy K-Pop like me, it's worth looking into. 

My only regret about watching this drama is that I started watching before it was complete. Waiting for the next episode to come out next week is going to be such a long while.

Bonus screencap of one of the most important things I learned in my Theology 131: Marriage, Family Life And Human Sexuality class:

Hello everyone! I'm back with another nail lacquer review of sorts. Nail lacquer is my first love when it comes to cosmetics, so I was really pleased at finding this gem among my collection. It's Rosa Rosa from Estée Lauder.

I've been ignoring this bottle for at least two years, and it's just been sitting untouched in my nail lacquer drawer. Since I wanted to wear a pink dress for my friend's 18th birthday party, I wanted to find a good pink shade for my nails and this was the only I hadn't tried yet. And I am really happy that I did!
No topcoat.

It was really easy to apply – the consistency was neither too thick nor too runny. Almost buttery, really. The brush was flat, so I thought it would be problematic to apply the lacquer with it but I worried for nothing as it applied the lacquer so smoothly. All it took was two swipes per nail, and one coat was done. 

Two coats. No topcoat. 

One coat of the lacquer provided a pretty solid color, but it was still a bit translucent and I could still see the white tips of my nails so I settled for two coats. The lacquer alone wasn't glossy at all, so I recommend that you use a top coat with it.

With Seche Vite Top Coat.

The color is a cheerful, berry pink – not really what I expected from a shade named 'Rosa Rosa'. Still, I ended up loving how it looks despite the fact that when it comes to nail lacquer, I usually lean more towards the blues. It seems like a perfect color to wear during the summer months, but I don't think I can wait that long if I'm to use it again– and it's definitely a shade I would use over and over again. (Which is saying something because I get tired of my nail color quickly. I only keep a color on for a week-and-a-half tops.)  It's a shame that I only have a 5ml bottle of it. :( 

With Seche Vite Top Coat.

This has definitely been one of the best lacquers I've ever applied on myself. The color, the consistency, the ease of application... I'd definitely 10/10 recommend this.