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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Yes, still alive. Thankfully.

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163 comments

Yes. I am still alive...

I have reasons for my long absence. Some of which I feel should not be disclosed in detail here simply for the privacy for my family, but to sum it up; both my grandparents have been very ill. And no not a cold, or a flu, but rather life-threatening complications. I have been so busy physically taking care of both my grandparents, taking them to their endless doctor appointments, surgeries, and therapy; waiting 2 months anxiously to see if all the medications and therapy is working, as well as trying to plan a wedding (which is another reason as to why I haven't bought any makeup!), save up and look for a place, and all the while working a full-time job managing 8 people. You can imagine that the last thing on my mind is to get on a computer period; let alone take pictures, edit them and do reviews, as well as responding to countless emails and comments. This also explains my absence across the web, or my sporadic updates on Facebook. And yes, even though "it only takes a few minutes" to post something, I have been so exhausted and emotionally drained; and each day has become so robotic for me, that there are just some things that went on the back burner, and thus includes me even remotely being on a computer.

The feeling of watching someone close to you go into surgery, and not knowing whether they will come out ok, is scary and it's hard for me to even describe it without bursting into tears.

I apologize to all of my loyal readers who have followed me post after post, day after day, from one life experience to another. I am SO incredibly grateful to those of you for your undying support, who understand and need no further explanations from me. It saddens me however that there are some people who were angered by my lack of writing about something so petty and trivial such as makeup which pales in comparison to the chaotic and most trialing time my family as well as myself is enduring. To even going as far as attacking my sister, and some of my family members who did ME a service by offering to respond to some of you. I am sorry if any of you felt like I abandoned you, but understand I could not and would not abandon my grandparents, or any one in my family who needed me there. Everything happened so fast and all at once; hitting me like a ton of bricks. That up to now it's still hard for me to swallow and wrap my head around everything, and therefore I was unable to even keep anyone in the loop, including my friends in real life.

I am honestly not obligated to blog for anyone. PERIOD. Unless you are putting money in my pocket or a smile on my face, I owe you nothing, as I don't expect anything from any of you. I blogged to help people with swatches, new products, or the makeup-challenged, and now that I have to turn my back for a bit to help my grandparents, I feel like I am being shunned. I could have been dead for all you know, and yet it's rude that I haven't blogged?!! There are MILLIONS of other beauty blogs, and anyone is more than welcome to start their own to entertain themselves, but to seriously talk crap because one hasn't blogged, and not even knowing the rhyme or reason as to why they haven't blogged is just RIDICULOUS. IT'S MAKEUP PEOPLE!!!! When it comes to my family, they are first no matter what. I am not going to even THINK about tweeting or blogging, or updating my Facebook wall just to say "Taking my grandpa for his surgery to get the fluid out of his lungs". And if you still feel like I should have blogged about all this sooner, again the last thing on my mind. It's personal and irrelevant to this blog.

This sad situation has made me realize that life begins and essentially ends, whether we like it or not. We MUST enjoy every minute we have with those we love, because nothing in life is guaranteed. Everything is in God's hands and all I can do is pray to have one more day and one more minute with the people I love. And as I grow older, I realize that my parents, as well as my grandparents are too, getting older, and their health is deteriorating. It's now my turn to take care of the people that helped take care of me.I have chosen FOR NOW to spend my time enjoying the company of my grandparents and to make sure that they are comfortable. I hope and pray that they are still here to watch me get married, and here long enough to see their great-grandkids.

It's hard to see the two people who practically helped raise me be in so much pain and I sit here feeling helpless because I cannot take the pain away.

Being the oldest, and the only one that lives near my grandparents; I must be strong for not only them, but for myself. I have to be there in every way shape or form. I DO miss blogging, and talking to the friends I have made here since I started this, and I hope that soon or oneday in the near future, even as an escape to everything that has been going on; that I can blog again. Maybe not as frequently, but I do hope that even if I am unable to blog about makeup, that I can at least blog about other things that are important to me, or to even just get some things off my chest. I am trying to not think about the inevitable so much, and to just take things day by day...but it's hard to imagine my life without them.

Again, I want to thank you all who have stood by this blog, or even me for that matter, and for just being true friends through and through. Many of you longtime readers know that this is the first time I have gone so long without blogging, and I would never intentionally just 'stop' without an explanation. I apologize for letting 3 months go by in silence, but it's been the hardest 3 months of my life. I do hope that once I have some peace of mind that everything will be ok in terms of my family's health, that I can pick up where I left off and continue to give you all something to read. Thank you again, and I love you all.

- Vanessa

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Monday, July 20, 2009

I am engaged!

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256 comments



Yes, yes as many of you already know via Facebook and Twitter, I finally got engaged! We- as well as our families are thrilled and excited and we are definitely looking forward to a new life together as husband and wife (still feels weird to say!)

I am beyond happy right now and I want to thank everyone for their well wishes. I know I hardly blog these days with all the stuff that's going on in my life but I have not forgotten about makeup! Just hasn't been my primary focus as of late, but I do hope I can squeeze in a few posts here and there. I just want to thank you all for being so incredibly supportive, understanding, and patient throughout everything I go through in life. I am always so blessed and amazed at how many people I have talked to online, some whom I have met, and some who take the time to email or leave a comment- that are just such good, kind, and down-to-earth people. I am blessed to have friends and people in my life that bring positive outlooks and energy into my life. I still have to review some new Purely Cosmetics products im lagging on! Of course I am in the midst of preparing the most important and special day of my life- my wedding day to my one and only and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.

We have not set an official date yet, but it's looking like it's gonna be on August 21st, 2010. We wanted it to be on our ACTUAL anniversary date July 17, 2010 but unfortunately my grandparents will be out of town until early August, and since I want them to be part of it, I am changing the original date so that they are able to share it with me. :)

So how did he propose???

Well we were celebrating our 4 year anniversary in Santa Barbara like we always do because we just love it there, and in a nutshell, he had a gift for me that he told me to open, and it was a medium box that was basically in other smaller boxes (like those Russian nesting dolls where you keep opening them and they get smaller and smaller) finally it was a ring box, I open it and it was empty, and I am looking at him like "Huh??? I don't know what is going on", then he gets down on one knee and tells me how he feels and asks me to be his wife and at first I am just in utter shock; as much as the BF is a jokester, it was hard to believe he was really being serious, so I was like "Shutup! Are you serious right now!??" LOL and he was laughing and was like "Yes!" and so of course I said yes, I didn't cry until he told me that he called my dad for his blessing so everyone knew including his family before me. So of course we were calling our families and everyone was so excited and congratulated us, my dad was crying but they were happy tears!

And of course here is the ring! Princess cut, 1 carat total, .5 center stone platinum band.







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Monday, July 13, 2009

Prod. Review: Smooth Away Hair Removal

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36 comments

Ugh. Cali weather sucks, even though I heard Arizona had it worse at 116 degrees, my sensitive skin isn't having it. Thanks to this insane heat, I had a severe case of prickly heat & heat rash on the back of my legs (as some of you know from my Facebook), in which I actually had to see a doctor and get medication for it (steroid cream and Hydroxyzine). The itchiness was annoying and learning how to sleep on my stomach wasn't fun either, LOL. Luckily the cream worked wonders and my legs are almost back to normal...whew! Just in time before my Hawaii trip! I hope I don't get any other crazy reactions while im on vacay because that would just not be fun!

I am so behind on my blog it's ridiculous...so I am trying to catch up! I will be doing a tutorial soon using the NYX smokey eye palette (the same look from the Vision Awards). Here are some pics I took on the 4th of July of the fireworks they had by my house:





Since the doctor said I can't wear any tight pants or anything that encloses the area to trap more heat, I have been wearing dresses and skirts the past week, and came across some cute dresses at Forever 21 and other random places:

I love the bubble skirt!


It's also very casual (in terms of material) so it's cute with flip flops too or you can dress it up:


Floral tube dress with a tulip cut bottom:


I love ruffles if you can't tell! LOL, but I thought it would be nice to add a black dress to the collection as surprisingly I don't really have an all black dress...


Okay, okay on to the review! So I tried the Smooth Away Hair Removal months ago (like when it was still winter haha yeah I am that behind! LOL sorry!) and the results were actually better than I thought, I had a light touch and did it in circular motions as instructed but it caused temporary redness on my legs (then again I have really sensitive skin)! Yeah my left leg is pretty damn hairy but hey how else am I going to test to make sure it really works right!?? Besides this was in the winter time and y'all know I could use some extra "insulation"! HAHA.

The area to be used MUST be dry, no lotion or oils. You can apply lotion after to help keep skin soft and moisturized.









Product: 3 out of 5
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Quality: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5
Price: $9.99 at Walgreens and other drugstores
Would I buy again? Maybe

PROS:
- Does remove hair as described
- Easy to use and great for quick hair removal when traveling or on the go as it does not need any water or shaving cream
- Comes with refillable 3M sandpaper-like pads you just peel and stick on the buffer
- Has a handle you can slip your hand or finger through to make it easy
- Comes in a its own travel pouch
- Has a facial buffer for the upper lip area

CONS:
- Didn't remove all hair, had to keep going over certain spots
- A bit time consuming, faster to use a shaver or to wax
- May cause redness or tender spots for those with sensitive skin

Overall: It may be a great product for some people and like I said I was pretty impressed that it did remove a good amount of hair, however it took me forever just to get one leg done, so I would stick to either shaving or waxing personally. But I think it's great for small jobs in a short amount of time and for those that have more tolerance than I do I am sure this would work great (as my BFF Erica tried it and she loved it and had no redness, etc), so it varies from person to person.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner Review

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25 comments

Hello my lovelies! How are you all doing? I know I am a slacker! Forgive me! :)

Did anyone see Michael Jackson's Memorial at the Staples Center? I thought it was such a sweet tribute to the King of Pop, and the montage of him and his daughter's words brought me to tears. I am an 80's baby, and I grew up loving his songs, watching "Thriller" over and over again- my favorite song is "Rock with you", and it's definitely one of those songs you turn up in the car! It's sad we lost a legend so soon...I didn't realize how close his parents' house was to my work, literally like 5 minutes away. Of course the streets are blocked due to the overwhelming crowds, but I hope he knows how much people loved him and his music. :)

So I had a reader question ask me what the difference was between the MAC Fix+ Spray and the Model in a Bottle, the MAC Fix+ spray in a nutshell is a simple concoction of water, glycerin, and witch hazel (among other things), but mainly is a refreshing water spray that I personally use to mix with facial masks or even the Ly-Na Pearl Cream, or even just as a refresher on a hot day. Sometimes I also use it on my beauty blender sponge to apply my mineral foundation wet or to thin out liquid foundation. The Model in a Bottle is an actual setting spray that doesn't budge your makeup, it mattifies it and sets it so there is no need for touch-ups throughout the day. You spray it on over your makeup a few inches away from your face (eyes closed), and let it dry. It may feel sticky at first but goes away and then feels like normal. Great for hot days! I will try and do a comparison soon (with and without it). You'll notice your makeup lasts a lot longer than without!

Anyway, at the Makeup Show LA months ago, I picked up the Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner, at the shows the Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner Kit is only $20 and includes the canister with the grate, 2 brush cleaning wipes for traveling or on the go, a travel size spray, and a large 16oz. bottle that will last you a long time!

The grate itself is removable, and you clean your brushes against this for thorough cleaning. You can then clean the jar and grate when you are done and let it dry for next time. The best part about this brush cleaner is that it dries you brushes IMMEDIATELY. No waiting needed (except larger brushes such as buffer or face brushes as these might take longer to dry). The scent itself is citrus, nothing atrocious.



Product: 4 out of 5
Packaging: 5 out of 5
Quality: 5 out of 5
Overall: 5 out of 5
Price: Varies, can buy individually
Would I buy again? Yes
Where to buy? Various stores online, such as makeupmania.com, alcone.com, etc.

PROS:

- Cleans brushes quickly and thoroughly, dries immediately.
- Canister comes with a grate to help clean your brushes, washable and re-usable.
- The show kit/price comes with a lot for $20, and the 16oz. bottle will last you awhile!
- Canister is easy to travel with, great for makeup artists.
- Has a travel size (2oz) spray.

CONS:

- I am not too fond of the citrus smell (that goes for everything even oranges! I hate citrus-y scents for some weird reason)
- Canister itself isn't too big, therefore cannot clean huge face brushes.

Overall: It's currently my favorite brush cleaner, and it's unique. Very easy to clean brushes on a whim and I LOVE that it dries my brushes as quickly as I take it out and pat it on a paper towel. It's not damp- it's completely dry. Definitely recommend!



















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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Best Night Ever! Vision Awards!

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46 comments



As you ladies know from a few posts back, there was a charity dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to help find a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa (blindness), and receiving a Vision Award for the Film of Vision were the Twilight producers among many others, so quite a few celebs came out to help raise money; and I was so glad to be part of this amazing night. They were all so nice and just as gorgeous as they are on TV and in the movies.

They also had a silent auction and some of the items were a MAC gift box filled with goodies, and an OPI basket!

My friend Irina and I got there at 4, before the red carpet (the carpet wasn't red, LOL), Gil Birmingham (aka Billy Black in Twilight) arrived first, he was SO AMAZINGLY sweet and his hair was awesome! He was later joined by Billy Burke (Bella's dad Charlie) and his gf.

They had 5 or 6 Twilight posters on a table in the front- all to be signed by the cast and producers that showed up that night.

Christian Serratos
(who plays Angela) arrived in a gorgeous fuchsia dress, she is SUPER cute! And incredibly kind and sweet. Miss Teen California Chelsea Gilligan is gorgeous in person but she was so nervous presenting an award, she kept stuttering and was obviously reading off the teleprompt, but nonetheless she looked great. Ashley Greene (my favorite cullen other than Edward who plays Alice) was by far my favorite of the night, not only did she LOOK amazing, she was the most sweetest celeb I have ever met. She was so friendly, she chatted with people, always smiling, and never hesitated to take a pic with a fan. Her skin is flawless ladies! Like the girl is just perfect! I was so happy to have met her because she is indeed a pleasure to meet, total sweetheart!



We also ran into fitness guru Jillian Michaels who has bigger arms than some of the guys I know and damn they are killer! She has such an amazing body and she too is so gorgeous in person! She was also very sweet and complimented me on my dress, and asked me if I was enjoying the show, she received an award as well and she deserved it! I gotta get on her fitness plan! LOL!

The crazy Bai Ling was there with one of her many outrageous outfits, her boobs were out there and the host was saying how her dress should be illegal in this country, LOL. She was nicely tanned though I must say!

Peter Facinelli was a no-show, he was supposed to be in attendance but apparently there was some miscommunication with the organizer and his publicist. So sad. :(
Taylor Lautner arrived really late, like right when everyone was having dinner, due to the press and paparazzi that were still around, they took him around to the back. He was with his parents and security and they did not allow any pics of him or with him unfortunately. But I did manage to take a pic when he presented the Twilight producers with their award- and yes all the females in the place were screaming, lol. Poor Taylor, but he is SOOOOOO cute, and pretty tall in person (for some reason I thought he was short because I always see him standing next to Rob and Rob is really tall!) All the gals were sad they couldn't take a pic with him (myself included) since my sister LOVES him, I would have loved a pic with him for her, but ah well. At least I can say I was in the same room as him HAHA.

Alison Sweeney from Days of Our Lives & Biggest Loser was there, her dress was super cute and she has an amazing post baby bod! I would have never guessed she had kids! She was also so sweet with her husband, and called him over to take pics with her on the red carpet. Her makeup and hair were so amazingly put together and I told her I loved her as "Sami Brady" and she laughed and said "Thank you", chatting with me for a bit she was really nice as well.

I took a pic with the infamous Larry King, he was nice when I took this pic with him, but according to my friend managing the show, he was a bit crabby shortly after and wanted to go home because he was bored, so he wanted his wife Shawn King to perform her snippet rendition of a few MoTown classics so they could leave. *Shrugs*

Taryn Manning from "Hustle & Flow" was also there (she performed her own song) with DJ Qualls (the guy from "The New Guy). And Bruce Davison was also there who played "Senator Kelly" from X-Men, he has been in a lot of other movies and TV Shows.

Anyway, here are a few pics, I will never forget this night, it was just surreal and amazing!

On the "red carpet":




















Angela!


Twilight auction items:






Signed by RPattz himself:








Me and Jacob's Dad! LOL. I have a surprised look in the 2nd pic, don't know why haha















With Bella's Dad! Doesn't he look so happy? He hasn't hit the bar yet that's why, LOL.




With one of the producers from Twilight, Wyck Godfrey:


Taylor Lautner presenting the award for Film of Vision to the Twilight producers:








Ashley and Billy autographing the Twilight posters for auction:








She really looks like Alice here, lol:














Larry King:


View from our table:


(click to enlarge)


Dessert!


Alison Sweeney














Other items to be auctioned:






R.I.P.








Diane Ladd:




















And lastly, my smokey look of the evening using NYX's Smokey Eye Palette:

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