10 Things that Always Make Me Feel Good

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Internships and hectic travel schedules might take up the majority of our summers, but there’s still time to sit down and reflect on the things that make you happy. Especially because there are some days where the worst possible things that could happen end up happening. (Not gonna lie, I spilled water on my Macbook and got my bathroom lock jammed from the outside today.) Sooo, to make myself feel better, I wanted to share with you a few things that make me happy.

1. Anything GHIBLI. I could watch and rewatch all the films produced by Ghibli studios, with my top favorites being Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Castle in the Sky. The best thing about these beautiful animation films is that they have amazing soundtracks. Music box? jazz? those melodies always get to me.

2. Showering in the middle of the day. To me, morning and night showers always seem very routine and often rushed and sleepy. But when I have the time to relax and take a nice, long mid-day shower, I can blast whatever music I want and enjoy the warm water and the floral scent of soap (fully conscious HAHA), and I love the fact that when i come out of the shower, the sun is still bright and shining outside.

3. Taking a walk through the city with my earphones in. Throwback to those elementary school days when my sister and I sang along to the soundtrack of Barbie as Princess and the Pauper, pretending to me inside a music video. I might not openly admit to still doing this, but I do love feeding my ears music while walking through the streets of Manhattan. Bonus points if the song on shuffle perfectly matches your surroundings/mood.

4. Dessert. For those of you who have a sweet tooth like me, you know how good it feels to have a delicious treat waiting for you to top off a good meal. Especially with the plethora of dessert venues all over NYC, I get so excited thinking about dessert even before I start eating my main course.

5. Shopping. There is nothing a little retail therapy cannot solve. It doesn’t even have to be anything extravagant – it can be a small treat to yourself. For me, it’s a little something at the cosmetics section, or if I’m feeling it, a pair of nice shoes.

6. Taking off my bra. This may be a little TMI, but taking off my bra after a long day is such a liberating sensation. Body, be free!

7. Waiting to tell someone good news. Hearing good news is a fantastic feeling to begin with, and when you can share it with someone the joy is multiplied a thousandfold.

8. Eggs. Are not just for breakfast. They can go with anything and everything and completes any meal with a boost of protein. Aside from the brunch scene (#yolkporn #eggsbenedict), I like to eat my eggs scrambled with lots of cheese, in a framble kind of way. In fact, they are kind of a comfort food for me, competing in the top 5 along with chips and dip, anything deep-fried, and sushi.

9. Good weather. My definition of perfect weather is a nice, breezy weather in the 70’s with some sunlight bright enough to warm my soul but gentle enough not to burn off my skin. Sadly this applies only to about three or four days out of 365 in New York, but when it does I just love to walk outside and bask in that sunshine.

10. Compiling this list. Just sitting down and thinking about all the things that make you happy can make your life so much better. It reminds me that I have so many things to be grateful for, and it gives me an opportunity to perhaps take action and express that gratitude.

 

Summer Trip to Boston!

Summer break is drawing to a close… and before I waste any more time on TV and lounging around in my air conditioned room, I took a trip to Boston with two friends from church. The video is missing parts of the first day when we went kayaking and visited a cafe near MIT to taste some Boston cream pie… but that’s only a fraction of the whole trip because we ended up doing so much more throughout the rest of the trip!

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Here’s me kayaking on the Charles River.

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Here’s the night view from Skywalk Observatory.

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Here’s me posing in Post Office Square before we headed back to South Station.

Grace Street – Dessert in Ktown

Living close to Ktown is a perk most of the time – easy access to all the Korean food I want. But the crowds and the noise can be almost hazardous sometimes, and the added summer heat doesn’t really help. Grace Street is where I find a little peace of mind, and lots of sweets, of course.

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Eyelash Extensions!

Quick update! Gone are the days of making spidery eyelashes with multiple coats of mascara – I finally decided to try out eyelash extensions this month! I got a pretty good deal on Groupon, so I made an appointment at Forever Eyelash in Koreatown.

The salon is located on the 16th floor of a building on 31st street and 5th. The whole studio is covered in everything pink – I walked in (after a quick visit to the ATM after realizing that tip was in cash only, haha) and was welcomed with smiles. They asked to take a look at my eyes to see what kind and length of lashes would work the best for me. They suggested the 11 mm J-curl, which would give me natural looking lashes with just the right amount of curl to replicate an effortless mascara job.

The whole process took about 40 minutes (I would set aside an hour or so for a single appointment just in case), and I basically lay on one of the pink beds for the whole time, with my eyes closed. I was super paranoid that the glue might sting like crazy, but turns out I just felt a slight cool sensation on my eyelids for a few minutes and that was it. The fake lashes are glued to the real ones one by one, so they basically stay with you until your lashes naturally fall off. You can get a refill after a few weeks, or just wait until all of them fall off and hop back on the mascara train (maybe.)

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Here’s the pic! What I really like about these eyelash extensions are less about volume (my natural lashes are quite full), and more about the length and of course, the beautiful curl! I have super straight ‘Asian’ lashes; they’re not short, but since they tend to disappear under my monolids, I have to elongate and fix them with mascara if I want to actually see some aesthetically appealing lashes – not to mention multiple pinches with the eyelash curler beforehand!

It’s only been a few days since I got the extensions, but I can already tell you that it’s cut back on a lot of time and energy that I have to spend on my makeup routine. Because the longer lashes frame my eyes nicely, I haven’t even been wearing eyeliner these days! Without the worry of mascara and eyeliner melting down in the summer heat, I have more time to work on bronzing and highlighting, which I have been wanting to experiment with this summer.

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I can’t say that the cost isn’t hefty – especially for my college student budget – but it wasn’t bad with the Groupon deal. Plus, refills cost less, so once you get them done the first time, the prices are tolerable. I don’t know if I want to keep going back – I’ve heard some stories from friends that these eyelashes can get heavy, so they kind of stress out your real lashes and make them fall off faster and more easily. Anyway, I wanted to go a little easy on the eye makeup this summer, so these extensions are the perfect solution for this lazy girl.

UNBOXING: Ole Henriksen VoxBox

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I recently received this gift box from Ole Henriksen – and I was super excited to try it out! I wanted to wait for a bit until I could fully test out all the products before I posted a review, and here it is!

 

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Image from Sephora.com.
  1. The Truth Serum

The Truth Serum Collagen Booster has a vitamin C complex, and the product has a very subtle sweet and citrus scent. I squeeze two pumps and apply it evenly all over my face; it sets into my skin and makes it super smooth and supple. Just this serum alone feels enough to replace a lot of the products I use for my night skin care routine. For the past week, I’ve just been using this serum in the morning and at night, right before my moisturizer.

 

 

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Image from Sephora.com.

2.Sheer Transformation Moisturizer

This unscented moisturizer has been my next step after applying the Truth Serum. I tend to stay away from oily products as much as possible, and this moisturizer does a really nice job of hydrating my skin without being greasy. I only have to use a pea-sized amount to moisturize my entire face and neck.

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3. POWER Bright 3-step System

This stuff was seriously magic to me. Sure, three steps is a lot and might seem like a hassle at first, but once I went through all the steps, I went to bed with my skin glowing! All the products are charged with potent vitamin C concentrates, so not only is the mask good for fine lines and wrinkles, it’s also super effective for dull or uneven skin tone.

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The first step is a sugar polishing mask, and second is a vitamin C concentrate.With the concentrate still on your skin, you’re supposed to apply the third step – the melting cleanser – which causes a tingling, warm sensation. That means it’s working! To wipe off all the product off my face, I used the disposable sponges that came with the product, which swells up to a bigger size once wet.

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This Ole Henriksen VoxBox was the perfect solution for a clean, radiant skin for the summer! I think the serum and the moisturizer have definitely been helping me lighten the load on my skin by powerfully brightening and
moisturizing my face with minimal amounts of product. And the POWER Bright masks take long but what the hell? Treat yo’self because it’s effective.

 

Jenn Im X COLOURPOP: Jenn Ne Sais Quoi Review

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Jenn Im from Clothesencounters is one of my favorite Youtubers, and she recently did a collaboration with ColourPop and launched her JENN NE SAIS QUOI collection. I love how it really reflects her personality and her style, and what’s better is that I can play around with these rather new colors and manage to pull them off!

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Kbeauty Haul Summer 2016

Happy first day of July and the long Fourth of July weekend! How are your summers going so far? I’ve been pretty busy since the start of my internship, but I finally had some time to put together a Korea haul (oh man, my trip to Seoul feels like ages ago!). Each time I visit, I bring back a bag full of beauty products to try. Since I’m probably going back this winter, I didn’t splurge as much as I would normally, but was really on the lookout for things that I absolutely needed or those that looked pretty unique. Well, let’s get right to it!

Banila Co. Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm

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Banila Co has become one of my favorite Korean cosmetics brands and I had heard so many good things about this cleaning balm. On my last trip I purchased a cleansing cream from Nature Republic that had a softer, lotion-y consistency, but this one feels like a sherbert, almost like coconut oil (you know how it semi-crumbles up into a greasy dollop as you grab onto it?!). I was actually pleasantly surprised by how effective it was at melting down all the makeup, and actually prefer this texture over the creamier one. After using up a sample size that I got as a gift, I knew I had to get the full-sized tub. I found it kind of similar to Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, but  I love how this one leaves a fruity, herbal fragrance as I wipe it across my face, and also the fact that it turns soapy as I wash it off with water (kind of like double cleansing, haha). On days I don’t feel like taking a gazillion cotton pads to remove all of my makeup, this cleansing balm is the way to go.

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