Thursday, February 27, 2014

FASHION FOR LESS PART 2: Tiffany & Co. bow ring doppelgangers

I recently saw Kate Spade's bow ring at Nordstrom, and went on a hunt for bow rings.  I came across these cheaper alternatives that I'd like to share with you.  Here's the thing, Tiffany & Co. always take better pictures of their rings.  So, I think it's better to compare them with customer's review photos.  At first glance, these are quite similar so beware of buying fakes on Ebay if you like the Tiffany ring!  Without further ado,

The twist bow ring:

tiffany & Co. twist ring, twist bow ring

Above:Tiffany's Twist Bow Ring, (sterling silver) $225, picture taken from Tiffany & Co. website (left) and Leslie Love Makeup Site (middle, right).

la preciosa sterling silver twist bow ring

Above:La Preciosa Sterling Silver Twist bow Ring, $20.82, picture taken from (left), and me (middle, right)

Spotting fakes on Ebay:
Some sellers don't show the stamp on the back that looks like this.
(left) Tiffany & Co. twist ring, (right) Le Preciosa twist ring

But, I think the difference is clear.  The Tiffany and Co. ring is thinner, and more narrow.  This gives it a more elegant look.  As for the La Preciosa ring, it's a flatter bow, and the ends of the tie are also farther apart.  So if you buy the Tiffany & Co. ring on Ebay, look for those differences so you won't buy the La Preciosa ring for the price of a Tiffany's ring!  

For me, I think for a fun weekend, casual ring, the La Preciosa sterling silver twist bow ring is pretty cute!  The difference is not enough for me to pay $225 for the Tiffany & Co. ring.  Both are sterling silver.  I'm happy I found the La Preciosa ring.  I wore it 4x last month. :)

There is also the bow ring.
bow ring, infinity bow ring, rhodium finish, sterling silver

Above: Tiffany and Co Bow ring, $2,400.  Picture from Tiffany & Co website (left), Beauty Image Gallery (middle), and purse forum (right).  Made out of platinum and 0.10 Carat diamonds .

Above: Infinity bow ring, Sterling Silver with Rhodium finish, $26.00.  Made out of rhodium and sterling silver.  Picture from Amazon (left) and me (middle and right).

Again, there is always the Tiffany's stamp in the back of the ring.  The Tiffany & Co. ring is made with platinum and has real diamonds, hence, the price tag.  Difference in appearance comes down to a few factors.  Tiffany's bow tie ends have sharper corners, are longer and farther apart.  The infinity ring has a rhodium finish which makes it shiny.  Some people love platinum and diamonds, and some people prefer Rhodium because of the movie Blood Diamonds.  I personally like both and went with the infinity bow ring because I'd rather travel to Japan with $2,400 right now.  Both are really cute though. ^.^  

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Suffering from dry lips? You are not alone.  I used to use Carmex.  But, I would always have to reapply.  Next came Fresh's sugar advanced therapy lip treatment that came in my Sephora's mini birthday gift set.  It works well and I didn't need to reapply as often.  But, it breaks easily, and doesn't last very long.  Then I found BITE beauty's agave lip mask.  This was truly a money saver for me.  The dead skin peeled off on it's own, and I don't have dry lips anymore.

Here is the comparison of 2 top lip products.

  • Works pretty well but the product doesn't last very long.  No fragrance. Felt moisturized and soft after use.  Lips weren't dry but didn't help with the lip wrinkles for me.  The large size lip treatment lasted only about 3-4 months for me.  

  • Works pretty well too.  No fragrance.  Felt moisturized, soft, no wrinkles after 4 applications.  After 2 applications, my dead skin fell off on their own without any scrubs.  One application lasts all day.  A little goes a long way.  It is very thick and viscous.  When I had dry, cracked lips, I used this twice a day for a week.  Now I use it once a day.  Looks great under lipstick.  At the rate that I'm using this lip mask, I think one tube should last me at least half a year to a year. 
I used both of these lip products with this lipstick, Too Faced La Creme .  Also, very moisturizing.  But, runs out fast like Fresh's sugar advanced lip treatment :(  The Nude Beach color is so pretty though!  

Verdict: going to stick with BITE beauty's agave lip mask :)  

Let me know if you know of other products that works really well on dry lips!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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I still get acne once a month.  A pimple here, a pimple there can be annoying.  I've tried many different products and the Mario Badescu skincare acne kit gets rid of my acne overnight.  Ever since I started using this, I've had clear skin, and acne never lasted more than a day on me.

acne treatment, mario badescu acne kit, drying lotion , buffer lotion, drying cream

You want to fight your enemy, you have to know your weapons and enemies right?  Let's take a look at our weapon options.

Drying Lotion, $17 for 1.0 oz, use on white and black heads.  Don't shake, dip your Q tip till you get pink powder on the tip.  Then spot treat.  Night treatment only, leave on overnight.

Drying Cream,$14 for 0.5oz, use on papules and pustules.  Can use under makeup for day and night treatment.

Buffering Lotion, $17 for 1.0oz, use on nodules and cysts.  Also night treatment, leave on overnight. 

Next, let's take a look at our enemy, acne.  There are different types of acne.  White head, black head, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.  

1. Blackheads: clogged pores that are opened to the environment.  looks like a tiny, little black dot.

2. White heads: clogged pores that are closed. You can't see them very well, but you can feel little, tiny bumps.  Does not give you the smooth complexion look unless if you cover them with foundation.

3. Papules and pustules:  ( 0.5cm ) These are clogged pores that got inflamed from irritation. Papules are tiny bumps that are red, inflammed, HARD to the touch.  These are the immature ones you can't pop!  Pustules are filled with white pus because it's infected.  These are the bumps that are white in the center and red in the surrounding.  They are also HARD to touch.  These are ones you really want to pop because no matter how much you cover, it's obviously there.  This is different from nodules and cysts in both texture and size.

4. Last but not least, cyst and nodules.  ( > 0.5cm AKA abscess) Cysts consists of both pus and yellow fluid that are deep into the skin so you don't see the pus on top but it's a giant red bump.  They are SOFT to touch and they hurt.  Nodules are also much bigger than papules and they are white on the outside like a pustule.  Main difference here is size.

Identify your enemy and kill with the right weapon.  I always say, why hammer a fly and cause collateral damage when you can use a fly swatter.  It's the same with pimples.  If you use the drying lotion on papules or nodules, they will just shrink a little and the redness may go away, but, they will never disappear.  Or if you use the buffering lotion on a white head, you will only get dry patches that looks flaky with makeup on top.  So know your enemy and know your weapons!

Good luck!  Hope this will help you if you don't have a solution for acne yet.  I personally don't want to use topical or oral antibiotic and build resistance.  Nor do I want to use retinoid on my nodules because I hate taking oral contraceptives and dislike being sensitive to the sun.  So for me, the Mario Badescu Acne Kit was the best discovery ever!  Who doesn't want clear, smooth skin right? 

Please share your acne treatments with me too.  I'm always open to learning more!

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I fell in love with the T by Alexander Wang skirt on Wendy’s Lookbook post when it first came out.  But, I didn’t want to pay over $100 for a weekend casual skirt.  Then I went shopping at Zara recently and found the draped mini.  This is definitely a keeper for me.  It’s comfortable, stylish, and at a decent price for a fun weekend skirt.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 6.27.34 PMzara trafaluc draped mini vs. t by alexander wang zara trafaluc draped mini vs. t by alexander wang
Top: same styled skirt worn by Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits
Middle: Zara Trafaluc Draped Mini  for $16.90
Size reference: I’m 5’2, I wear 00p to 000p, xxs, inseam is 28.  Size small in Zara’s trafaluc draped mini is the smallest size and it fits me like a glove.  Since it’s cotton, it’s very comfortable.  The length hits above knee and the skirt moves up to mid thigh when I sit down.  With the V shaped opening in the front and the length on me, I still feel comfortable sitting down.  For taller girls, this dress may flash people when you sit down.  Alternative would be BCBG’s silvie power skirt. ($198)  This is a body con dress so it’s not cotton.  It does stretch a lot and does not move up as move as cotton dresses.  It’s a relatively old style so you may find it on ebay.  Sizes run small.  I tried on an xs and had to pull really hard to get the waist of dress up my hip.  Size small in the BCBG body con power skirts are way more comfortable and still has a slim fit effect on me.
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.14.41 AM
My overall verdict: Zara skirt is a keeper for me.  The BCBG silvie power skirt was a return for me because I like the BCBG Azria skirt more.

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