Monday, September 4, 2017

The Mask SoHo - Bleecker Street


You know there's only one place in the city I frequent to get my K-beauty fix and that is The Mask Bar. I've practically followed them since they first opened in K-town, the Broadway store at SoHo, moved to Howard Street, and finally now, in their new location at Bleecker Street.

The Mask Bar is the best place to go if you love Korean skin care. Of course there are other competing stores littered around New York that sells K-Beauty products as well but I feel like The Mask Bar has more brands and is more decently priced in comparison to those shops. Believe me, I've gone to those places too and I still go back to The Mask Bar over and over again.

Their newly opened store is located at 259 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014. If you have been to the one in Koreatown, this has a very similar feel to it, although the theme of the store is white and mint green (which I totally dig - me and mint green have a love affair), and the previous store was white and blue. 




The store is pretty easy to find and is a block away from the A-B-C-D-E-F-M on West 4th Street, a couple blocks away from the Christopher St,. and 9th St. PATH and is part of the Greenwich Village - which means, close to NYU and all the restaurants around the area.

The Mask Bar, as the name implies, carries different kinds of masks, from your typical sheet masks, to the modeling clay masks, jelly mask, gold masks, mesh masks, bubble masks and more! My favorite brands are in here too: Leaders, Mediheal and SNP! On that note, both Leaders and Mediheal boxes are BOGO for $35. That is a steal since a single mask retails for $3.99 and a box has 10 masks. You're already paying for one box if you buy 10 individual sheet masks. 



Raved about these cute animal masks two years ago: SNP Animal Sheet Mask Review


If you're into Pokemon, they got 'em too, coz you know, gotta catch 'em all! This entire line is by Tony Moly and if you're lucky, you'd find a Squirtly makeup bag in the store too!





Tony Moly has a cute Panda theme going on too on their makeup department. Panda mirrors, contour sticks, lip crayons and hand creams are available.




They carry Innisfree too from skin care to make up. You know the No-Sebum Mineral Powder that has been highly raved about? They have it and in cute Emoji packaging too!



You can find some Club Clio and PeriPera in the store too. Of course, they don't have the complete line in comparison to the ones that you'll find in Club Clio stores but hey, if you're at The Mask Bar and you want to try on the Peri's Ink and Ink Velvet, feel free to do so!


Amidst all the other brands they carry, I'm excited the most about the sheet masks which I've mentioned above and It's Skin. It's Skin is a brand that I have talked about previously (It's Skin Prestige BN Cream Ex) and looking back on old posts, I'm quite surprised I haven't talked about it more. It's one of my favorite brands when it comes to Korean skin care and their Prestige line is slightly pricy. But, don't be too sad, their Power 10 Formula line is affordable and will really help boost your skin. The Power 10 Formula is a serum that enhances skin condition based on skin type and skin problem. There's 13 serums in this line and I have yet to try them all out but I am trying to make my way through it. Photographed below are 10 of the 13 and if I'm not mistaken, the store has the complete set. 




The Mask Bar also carries the slightly pricier It's Skin line, the Prestige D'escargot (snail line). They also have some it's skin Babyface color correctors in this cute angel packaging.


Who can forget the viral bubble masks from Elizavecca and the highly feared about Hell-Pore Mask? If you want to try those, The Mask Bar have them in store too! My favorite is actually the Milky Piggy Gold Kansi Mask (not photographed) but they are available at The Mask Bar as well.



Etude House is probably one of the most well known Korean beauty brand and it comes to no surprise that they are in the store as well albeit fewer than I would like.


Let's not forget the men because they need skin care too! The Mask Bar has a small section on men's skin care products which, just by the packaging, looks cool and fresh and I personally want to try out. It wouldn't be the first time for me using a male marketed skin care product. The last one I tried I actually really loved!


Here's a slightly incomplete list of the brands that The Mask Bar carries: 

Mediheal
Leaders
Holika Holika
Too Cool for School
On The Body
Faceshop
Tony Moly
Innisfree
Dr. Jart+
Club Clio
Peri Pera
Etude House
Nature Republic
Issaknox
JMSolution
AHC
It's Skin
JayJun Cosmetics
Banila Co.
Missha
Skinfood
Elizavecca
Naisture
SNP 
Mimiang
Papa Recipe


Before I end this slightly lengthy and a bit picture heavy post, here are the ongoing promotions at The Mask Bar:

BOGO on Mediheal and Leaders Masks for $35
$10 for 10 (select) sheet masks
$10 for 6 sheet masks on Innisfree
$10 for 6 sheet masks on Tony Moly
BOGO on Tony Moly Aloe Gel for $10




Take a peek inside The Mask Bar on Bleecker Street and find some lovely skin care goodies. I'm sure your skin would love you! Follow The Mask Bar on Instagram @themaskbar.bleecker. If you ever drop by the store, look for Jen (@jaeyoonvoice) and tell her I sent you. Jen is very sweet and informative so if you have any questions about the products or skin care needs you can ask her. 

Take a peek at The Mask Bar official website too for more info!

Lastly, I would like to thank fellow bloggers who came to the store on the soft opening and grand opening days of The Mask Bar Emily of @followthejung, Sharmaine of @xharpism, Crysta @colorsofcrysta and Zoe of @zoebernstein.



Thursday, August 31, 2017

LUSH-ious Love

What's vegan, cruelty-free, gives back to the community and is in love with the shape of you? LUSH! Roughly a month ago, my blogger friend, Sharmaine (@xharpism) and I went by LUSH in our local mall to return some of our old LUSH pots. If you don't know the scoop yet, bringing back 5 empty LUSH pots entitles you to get a free fresh face mask.

There I was minding my own business and getting my fresh face mask and low, and behold, Sharmaine has dragged me into a blogger and influencer adventure. LUSH of Newport Mall, Jersey was kind enough to let us freely browse into the shop and take photos. Sharmaine even went home with a lot of skin care samples to blog about. 

So let's talk a little about my LUSH favorites. There's three things I keep repurchasing at LUSH and that is the Roots Hair Treatment, Breath of Fresh Air Toner and Bubblegum Lip Scrub. Of course I have tried the other LUSH products as well but these are my absolute faves. You know, there are just some things you can't let go and replace.


LUSH believes that healthy hair starts at the Roots and it's true. If you have healthy and well nourished scalp, hair grows healthily, stronger and faster. Of course, if you have dead ends, there is no other way than to snip those off. I have blogged about Roots a couple of times the first one dated back 2014 when I had really long hair, and again in 2015 when I drastically cut my hair short (Summer 2014: Hair Care Routine, 2015 Hair Update). 

I have a been a big fan of this product hence the constant repurchasing. It has saved my scalp from sebaceous dermatitis (dandruff) whenever they get really dry and itchy. 


Since we are on the topic of hair care, let me just quickly give a shout out to another LUSH love of mine, the Rehab shampoo. Rehab is a clarifying shampoo that deeply removes dirt and oil on your scalp. When Roots and Rehab are used together they are a perfect combination! Put your hair into rehab and nurse it back into health as what the bottle says!




Here's a photo of Sharmaine and I with our Lush faves.


My other fave is the Breath of Fresh Air Toner. There's a few ways you can go about with this toner because it's multi use. After skin cleaning, you can spritz this directly on your face to balance the skin, or you can use it with a cotton pad to remove left over dirt and makeup. Another way I like to use this toner is spritzing it on my face during an extremely hot day. And yes, you can spray it even on top of your makeup! Just don't drench your entire face with too much. Breath of Fresh Air calms, cools, soothes and rehydrates skin and is formulated with sea water, aloe vera gel, rosemary oil, patchouli oil and other natural ingredients. 




And my last favorite is the Bubblegum Lip Scrub which I have mentioned in my Summer 2017: Night Time Beauty Routine. We obviously don't like dry and chapped lips so a lip scrub is the way to go to remove those dead skin. The LUSH Bubblegum lip scrub smells so good and since it's vegan and organic feel free to give it a lick while you're scrubbing and no harm will be done. 


Having featured our favorite products in the photos, LUSH Newport Mall also allowed us to try on the Knot Wrap. The Knot Wrap is made from either organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles. If you're buying LUSH products as gifts, I highly recommend purchasing and using Knot Wrap to wrap your gifts. It does not only make your gift pretty and unique, the Knot Wraps are also reusable. You can use it as a scarf, a headband, turban, a tote, a towel, to wrap another gift, and all sorts of stuff! It's not only eco-friendly, it also gives back to the community as I was informed, these wraps are made by women in Africa.

Being stylish with our Knot Wraps



Being a makeup enthusiast as well, I couldn't help but take a photo of their makeup display. Again, all LUSH products are vegan and cruelty free.


And I also couldn't resist a selfie at the store. ^^ The mirror lighting is awesome!

I had fun at the store and it's awesome going with blogger friends shopping because you do extremely atypical things that you wouldn't do with your slightly normal friends. ^

Drop by your local LUSH store and try on my faves. If you reside in Jersey City, head over to Newport Mall (30 Mall Dr W, Jersey City, NJ 07310).




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bootay Bag - Your Monthly Bae

Put your hands up if you love monthly subscription boxes! Me over here is quite excited to share this brand new monthly subscription that I have discovered during the East Coast Blogger meet up.

Bootay Bag delivers 2 panties monthly for only $12. That's $6 a piece which is cheaper in comparison to buying them in stores where you have to pay x amount of dollars for taxes. Bootay bag undies are of high quality as well so you know that every buck you pay is definitely worth it. Add $13 and you get a bralette or you can purchase that on its own too!


It's pretty easy, head over to Bootay Bag, choose if you want a mix of cheeky panties or thongs or just cheeky or thong, add a bralette if you want and subscribe!

In my bag here I have a mix of both the cheeky panties and thong. I love both but I personally prefer thongs but this black lacy cheeky undies is giving me life right now. They are seriously so soft and silky. I'm sure your lady parts would thank you. 




And you know what's the best thing about Bootay Bag aside from getting cute and sexy undies monthly, is that every Instagram post of Bootay Bag with the #UnderMatters, the company donates $1 to the Melanoma Foundation.

Melanoma is more often, but not always, a cancer of the skin. If left undetected, it can spread to different sites and organs and when left untreated or diagnosed late has poor prognosis and very difficult to treat.

Isn't it nice to have support a company that also gives back to the community? Check out Bootay Bag and follow them on Instagram too @bootaybag_. Do yourself a favor and don't settle for just one bae, get two each month! ;)



*This product  is sponsored and was sent to me for review but as always, my reviews are honest and based on my own opinions and experience.



Monday, August 28, 2017

East Coast Blogger Date


Rowena, Suki, Alice, Kim, Crysta, Sharmaine
Emily, Me


Being on the internet, I follow both big and small social media influencers - YouTubers, bloggers, Instagrammers. It made me think, how fun it would be to live their lives. I envy them. Well who doesn't when they have thousands of following and they are globe-trotting and here I am, past my mid 20s and still struggling career-wise. 

I have been blogging for quite awhile now - 6 years to be exact. I have been on other social media platforms and the main one that I update fairly regularly now is Instagram. It has been me, doing everything for all these years. Hence, the lack of upload and content for a good 3-4 weeks at a time because sometimes, life gets in the way.  It has been fun the last six years writing about beauty (I have also began to expand my content on Instagram to sneakers - refer to FTLOS post) and working with brands here and there but there is a bigger picture and after being a lonesome wolf, it is time for me to find a pack and mingle more and interact with people who shares the same interests and passions. When I was approached and was given the opportunity to join an East Coast blogger meet up, I jumped on the chance.

It was July 30th when I met up with these incredible ladies who are really go-getters. All in different industries but are the people to follow on the gram and on their own blogs for beauty, fashion, food and lifestyle. 






Emily @followthejung is the person we should thank for for this meet up. She hosted and organized mostly everything. She has her own blog Follow the Jung. She's very versatile and she writes about practically everything along the lines of food, beauty and lifestyle. She's such a beauty too and you'd see her cute and bubbly personality on her IG. 


Suki @sukinyc is such a fun babe. NYC Yelp Elite, she loves food and I'm envious on how she manages to keep her slim figure. She's the person to look for when you want a food recommendation.

Rowena @rowenatsai has over 10k followers on her YouTube channel (Rowena Tsai) she's simple and down to earth. Her videos on YouTube are absolute quality and she's the go-to girl if you want to earn some cash on the side via thrifting!

Alice @imalicekim has a wonderful Instagram. It's seriously goals with her on point flatlays and amazing food adventures! She's mellow, nice and very sweet and has so many stories to tell.

Kimberly @kimberrryyy is a jet-setter. She's a consultant who travels all over the place and has amazing fashion style. She blogs over at Love Kimber and honestly, I don't know how she manages and finds time do so in between her hectic work schedule, traveling and taking amazing photos.

Crysta @colorsofcrysta is another lady who's Instagram feed is goals and makes me wish I can take photos like that all the time. And she has the cutest corgi ever on top of that!

Sharmaine @xharpism is a blogger and photographer based in Jersey City. We instantly clicked when we met and it's probably because we're both Filipinos with hometowns quite near each other and we currently live like half a mile away from each other. She has an amazing eye for photography and fashion.



We all met up at Bacaro, a nice spot to wine and dine. We hit up Sweet Moment for dessert after seeing the long line at Soft Swerve and Morgenstern's.

Seriously though, I thought I take the longest time to take food photos but these girls take even more time but I have no problems with that! It's always a struggle eating or going with friends and family always nagging about how long and how many photos I have to take before they can eat their food so it was a breath of fresh air to find people who doesn't really care how long it took to take one awesome food porn pic.






Sharmaine, Suki, Me, Alice, Crysta


Photo Credits to Jayvee of @jayvee.photography.filmmaking for the photos

Would also love to thank our sponsors for the meet up: 


You'll definitely see these items on upcoming blog posts!


Hooray for meeting new friends and for having a great time with people who shares the same interests and passion. After this meet up I felt more confident about myself. My blog and I needed to grow and I think that this opportunity has enabled me to set forth on another chapter of both my personal life and blogging life.


Please stay tuned for more updates because I have more news to share in the upcoming posts.




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

KBeauty Workshop with Sydneytoyou [KCCNY]

Korean Beauty, or KBeauty as it is popularly known is taking over the world by storm, with SoKoGlam and TheKLog at the forefront of KBeauty news, tips and secrets. KPop and Korean beauty YouTubers and beauty bloggers have also been widely popular in bringing KBeauty over to the Western area.

For the first time, The Korean Cultural Center of New York hosted a KBeauty workshop and they have invited one of the rising Korean beauty YouTubers, SydneyToYou to give a two-day workshop entitled, "K-Beauty, Prep Like A KPop Star." Her first day of the workshop which was held July 29, covers the popular K-Beauty multi step skin care routine and a BlackPink Rose's cover makeup tutorial. The second day of her workshop was held August 2nd, and was focused on the the Korean multi-step skincare routine for men! It also featured Big Bang's G-Dragon cover makeup tutorial.

I was lucky enough to be sent an invitation for this workshop. It is a free event but RSVP only according to the invitation. I was definitely surprised when I received the invite because I can't remember signing up to any KCCNY newsletter. Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to join in the fun. I went ahead and RSVP'd to the first day of the workshop since I already had other things scheduled for the 2nd.

I am not going to delve into the step by step demo by Sydney in this post but more on the experience of the workshop.




The event was very well executed for something that was done for the first time. When you first approach the venue you are welcomed by the registration desk which confirms your reservation for the event, although I was informed that they would welcome walk ins although they would not be guaranteed seats. A cocktail/snack bar is set up. The studio and beauty room was wonderfully set up with tables with various products. There were also brands sponsoring the event present and they were wonderfully accommodating in answering various skincare and product questions.

Brands that sponsored the event were The Face Shop, Nature Republic, Frudia, SKin79, Scinic, and Kurious - an online KBeauty store. 





I had front row seat for the workshop for being an early bird and for being a beauty blogger. Those who works or are related in the beauty industry were prioritized to sit in front although you are free to choose where to sit during the event. 

The table is full of beauty items and 90% of them were used by Sydney in her skincare demo and makeup tutorial. Some of them weren't used and some of the items that she used were not available on the tables as she had disclosed.

Sydney was very nice and informative. She was a little bit pressed for time during the workshop but she was able to answer questions without being flustered. I can definitely tell she knows what she's talking about although she is very mellow and soft-spoken. 




video





I honestly would've taken an entire video of the event, however, I unfortunately left my tripod so I only managed to take a short clip of her demo. She was very thorough when it comes to skincare and I really appreciate that because I always believe that great skin is the first step to great makeup.

Sydney was able to demo the Korean multi-step skincare routine and Rose's makeup tutorial in a little over an hour. we took a short break which allowed the participants to grab a snack, mingle and check out the sponsored brands and their newest products.


Sydney even asked a couple of girls to try on some V-line masks!


My biggest takeaway from this event is meeting wonderful people. I like being able to talk to people who shares the same passion and interests as I do and they might not be beauty bloggers like me but ordinary girls who just loves KBeauty or at least would love to learn more about it.



Desiree Lim
@dichi_lim




Chloe
@chloe.hyuni

(And a shoutout to Jen who's a wonderful lady that I didn't get to take a photo with)



Honestly, the workshop isn't any different from what we can read on different beauty blogs or watch on YoutTube videos which focuses on KBeauty. The only difference is that, as a participant of the event, you can get a try-on on all the skincare products. 


If you're from New York and you're interested in more events hosted by the Korean Cultural Center of New York, please visit their website at www.koreanculture.org


Oh, and before I forget, the event also promotes the Korean Winter Olympics and the mascots Soohorang and Bandabi which I was able to take a photo with.