The world’s favorite annual beauty sale

That would be the Sephora Friends & Family sale! For one week in November, everything is 20% off – I literally spend all year curating, adding/removing items from my online basket and then nitpicking which items I need to stock up on and which new goods I want to try. Sephora is a place that’s akin to my beauty heaven on earth but I avoid it like the plague during busy times like this and resort to the serenity of online shopping. I placed & received my order in under a week (they’re AWESOME at shipping items to you in 3 days or less, Amazon take note) and have had the time to try some items – below are some of my favorites, ones I don’t care about and one product I strongly dislike.

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Those who seek the best of the best

Anyone who shares an obsession and love for getting their life in order (or as least the semblance of it) understands how hard it is to find a trusted source on which to rely. Whether it’s a down-to-earth beauty blog (like Into the Gloss) that isn’t a shameless promotion or an inspirational editorial-like blog that compels one to straighten their beauty act (like Olivia Palermo’s blog), once you find such gems, it’s like life is made a little simpler.

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Restoring the old into new

Even the most beauty-obsessed amongst us fall into a rut or a hiatus wherein we lose some inspiration. Despite living in an casual environment that really doesn’t encourage the sharpest dressing, I decided it was time to maintain regular beauty regimens and to dig into my old stash of polishes to ensure that even if I’m not as meticulous as Olivia Palermo (who gets a fresh manicure every four days!) I can re-instate good habits.

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What is best about summer in Seattle?

Oh summer, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. With over 16 hours of daylight, limited precipitation (FINALLY!), little to no humidity and an abundance of daylight in which to explore the town, it truly feels as if the options are limitless during this season of the year. After the successful running routine I established for myself when I first got into fitness last summer, I’m back it again, but obviously making sure I indulge in delicious eats around town.

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Whirlwind in Austin

Fresh off my first trip to Texas, Austin is best described as an eclectic, youthful and vibrant pulse of the South. I leave this city with even more respect and appreciation for the wonderfully down-to-earth nature of Texans and eager anticipation to adventure and cavort in Dallas just 10 days from today. Open minds and open hearts really enable one to leave prejudices behind and have the appropriate mindset to welcome what is new and different. Here is a kaleidoscope of this past weekend’s Austin adventures:

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My timeline through perfume

Perfume. Through the sense of smell, they harken memories, associations, and personal life events. A whiff can transport you back to a time and place that will never again recur. Inspired by Into the Gloss’s latest post on your signature fragrance, I’d like to share a brief synopsis of my personal history via perfume these past 24 years.

Why wear perfume?

Some may say a perfume is a luxury, a decadent indulgence, a frivolity perhaps. I say that perfume is an art form and that the power of fragrance–which typical forms of art such as a painting, sculpture or tapestry lack–is that it relies on us to use entirely one sense (that of smell). And the sense of smell is so strongly correlated to our own human memories which is why perfume preference is so unique, so personal and each signature fragrance speaks volumes about who you are and at what point you are in your life.

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Focus

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Summer has finally arrived to the Pacific Northwest – view of Pioneer Square and the waterfront from the rooftop of my work

I somehow managed to lose the entire first edit of this post whilst using WordPress’s desktop app.. here’s a second try. I realized I unintentionally fell into a trap of documenting the mundane and lost focus of maintaining a gem-like quality to each post in this blog. I don’t aspire to document everything that’s new or the biggest & best new thing to come to this city in which I live – someone can do that better. Instead, I can promise more thoughtful moments to be captured instead of a weekly run-down of “what I’ve done.” I feel that a blog would read like a teenager’s diary if I didn’t re-focus on the purpose of why I have this online outlet of mine. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of what’s been going on with me:

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February, the harshest month

In spite of it being my birthday month, I’ve had a tough relationship with the month of February. Back when I lived in NY, it was by far the coldest, snowiest, and darkest month of the year. While good intentions are set in the new year, it’s also difficult to push through the second month of the year with the same sort of motivation and determination that you had when it was seamless to follow the wave of the “Resolutions” crowd.

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Forming new habits, finding moments of peace

Forming habits is both a mindless yet persistent effort. You can either remedy a bad habit by replacing it with something else (hopefully positive), yet there in the back of your mind you’re persistently aware of the slippery slope that can lead you back to where you started. Mindless TV has been one of those habits that I’ve been trying to break away from this year. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with coming home from a day of work and wanting to unwind, I now choose to spend that time differently. Instead of turning on Netflix or whatever reality show is blasting on Bravo, I’m finding moments of peace breaking up my old routine. Whether it’s listening to music in the background while taking the extra time to prepare a healthier dinner (been obsessed with quinoa salad these days), or choosing to unwind by practicing piano after work, I’m conscientious of the need to diversify my daily activities away from the computer and TV screen.

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