Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beauty Regimen

I wrote about my Clarisonic purchase not that long ago and I'm happy to report that it's working very well. The brush that comes with your purchase is for normal skin types and I initially used it twice a day- bad idea. I have very sensitive skin but since they say it's OK to use it twice a day, I did and I broke out. So I started using it every night before bed and I didn't see much improvement but seeing the brownish residue of my make-up on the brush reminded me of how all that dirt was on my face. It's definitely a deep cleaner and I think once you find the right brush it'll work wonders. After a few months I ordered the the deep pore cleansing brush and, may I just say, it was made for my skin!

Jessica's pick is the pricier option...

I can see the improvement and it's  definitely gentle while still effective. I normally use Neutrogena's Acne cleansing set but I recently purchased Beauty Mint and while I notice slight change in my skin, the set is not really made for acne-prone skin in my opinion. There is nothing with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide so it doesn't really combat my acne and the only product (of the five piece set) that was helpful was the retinol night cream. Another disadvantage is the cost- I paid $30 because I got the first time buyer deal but it's just for a one-month supply. As a poor grad student, paying $50 or $60 is too much especially for something that is not very effective. Needless to say, I went back to my Neutrogena Acne kit which is $20 with my coupon and it last two months.

I've had problem skin since I was 13 and here I am 26 with better but not perfect skin. Sometimes I am a little resentful that I have to spend so much money on skin care (good stuff comes at a price!) while others seem to be fine with a soap bar and make-up remover. Alas, I am also grateful that such products exist and that they work so well!

What's your beauty regimen? What products do you use?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscar Night

Despite all the work I have to do, I made it a point to watch the Oscars. It's a tradition I have with my mom to watch it together and this year was going to be no different (though I did read during commercial breaks!). First off, I love Billy Crystal and I definitely preferred him over James Franco and Anne Hathaway mainly because you can sense that ease and comfort coming from someone who's hosted before. I missed the opening scenes so I can't comment on that but overall he did a good job. My second favorite was Cirque du Soleil. How AMAZING was that? They are made of rubber I tell you.

The speeches I enjoyed the most were Octavia's, Meryl's and the guy who thanked everyone born and yet to be born ;)

Low points: Angelina's posing (what was that about?), Harry Potter winning NOTHING and the use of stills instead of movie clips during the In Memoriam.

lol via Mashable

Now for the fun stuff: Best and Worst Dressed.

Beautiful and Elegant. Photo via Popsugar
Poorly fitted with gaudy embroidery . Photo via Popsugar
What did you think of the show? Any surprises? I honestly thought Viola was going to win but Meryl deserved it (and so did Glenn Close) though I'm speaking solely from watching the trailers. Btw, anyone else surprised there were only two best song nominees?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Vein Excursion on V-day

I can't remember exactly what my first thought was this morning (perhaps, "crap, I have 20 mins before I have to leave!) but I can assure you it had nothing to do with valentine's day. For all the single people out there it's not exactly an occasion to celebrate (Single Awareness Day, anyone?) but I did want to celebrate in my own way by---- donating blood!

 I didn't plan on it but the truck was at school today and pulled up right as I was coming into work which, to me, was a sign. I don't have the best track record when it comes to donating however; I've donated three times before and fainted each time. So naturally, being the masochist that I am, I donated and I'm OK! I made sure to eat a good lunch and drink a lot of water and I made it a point not to look at the needle.

I learned that it's best to take iron supplements or food that contains iron such as broccoli and raisins to decrease the chances of fainting. If you're ever near a Red Cross center or the mobile comes to you, donate if you can. It doesn't cost anything and you're helping not one but three people with a pint of blood!

So I've decided to make Valentine's day mean more than a Hallmark card and make it a tradition to donate every year. I figure if my heart doesn't skip a beat (but I sure hope by this time next year it'll have reason to) at least my beating heart could be of use :)

Have you ever donated? Do you know your blood type? I'm O+

Friday, February 3, 2012

Spinning and Sickness

Everyone around  me was getting sick and here I was thinking I had been able to avoid it. I was wrong. On Tuesday I had my modern dance class, Wednesday I worked out on the elliptical, did some rowing, lifted weights (basically I used a lot of equipment) and Thursday I tried Spinning for the first time!

Check out their site
You see that? I was riding that baby for an hour and by the end I was drenched. At one point, the instructor had us stand up and continue cycling. It was intense but an awesome workout.

How does my cold play into this?

I was rushing since I had  half an hour before class started so I took a quick shower and ended up walking out into the cold with wet hair.

I'm hoping to feel better by Monday. I had a friend tell me shots of ginger worked wonders for her... hm.... I'll have to think about that one.

Have you tried any new work outs? I really want to try Zumba next.
Also, please share any home remedies :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Literary Imagination

Have you seen The Pagemaster? With MacCaulay Culkin (I had to google his name to spell check haha!)... well when I was little I loved the idea of getting so lost in a story that you're completely immersed in the action as you're reading it. This is why I will always prefer books over movies but I digress.


The reason I bring this up is because I recently finished The Time Traveler's Wife and yes, it was good and definitely better than the movie. Don't get me wrong, I love Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana (especially Eric Bana) but, as always, so much was glossed over. I loved how the story is told by Henry and Claire so that you can really appreciate how they each deal with the situation. The novel is much more sexually explicitly, which I didn't expect but enjoyed nonetheless and the ending it much more endearing and not at all like the movie.

I found myself happily anticipating the time right before going to bed when I could continue reading and at about 540 pages, it took me awhile. I loved how Niffenegger thought out the concept and the science behind it (Dr. Kendrick and his genetics talk was way over my head but it's effective). But it's really about the loss of control and the question of fate that will linger after you finish reading. I'm sure we'd all like the chance to travel in time but the lack of control over that power will undoubtedly make it less appealing.When Henry travels to his childhood and sees the younger version of himself so happy and carefree with his parents and then you juxtapose it with the harsh reality he deals with as an adult, you feel his pain as much as he does.

I also appreciate how all the characters are so far from perfect and this love story reads as both endearing and sweet while also raw and tinged with the flaws all real relationships encompass. One particular sentiment that stood out to me was when Claire states that she secretly enjoyed her time alone when he was time traveling but that she always loved when he returned. I think that is a sentiment many women share despite not having a time-traveling partner!

Overall it's a novel story (no pun intended) and an enjoyable and also tearful read. I highly recommend it. Kudos to Niffenegger for writing such an amazing story although I'm a little envious that it's her FIRST novel.

also, a cute blog post I came across about dating a book worm. Enjoy! ;)

Have  you read the book? seen the movie? as you know, I'm always open to book recommendations.