The month of July has been relaxing after my 10 weeks trip in Europe and Asia. It was also the month for slowly unboxing stuff purchased in Asia! Let’s now take a look at my favorites this month.
I purchased this bottle of crocodile oil in Singapore. The moment I put it on my face, I feel a sudden wave of coldness and calmness on my skin. It really helps with tightening the pores and balancing oil and water. My face wakes up feeling so clean and fresh after a night’s sleep with it. It’s effective in treating acnes and lightening dark spots, and it also has the functionality to treat burns, wounds, bleeding, and bruises. This is absolutely one of the most effective yet not so expensive skin care product that I ever own!
I have been using these K-beauty products non-stop lately. The eyeshadows are from Etude House. I especially love Look at My Eyes BR414. It’s not nearly as dark as it seems in the picture. In fact, it’s a brick red that instantly makes your crease look so much deeper without looking swollen. I’ve tried many eyeshadow palettes before, including UD, Too Faced, Lancome, and MAC, but this color matches my skin tone perfectly, and I’m absolutely in love! The other two are in the Look at My Eyes Jewel series. I use a smudge brush to put a hint of glitter in the inner corner of my eyes, and I just feel like these 3 colors are all I need for life, maybe plus a dark brown for increasing shadows. They are very pigmented and long-lasting — also very cheap, about $6-$8 each.
The next thing is the Jewel-light Under Eye Maker from Holika Holika. I got it in the pink color. At first I was a bit worried that pink glitters would look weird like someone acting drama, but I was totally wrong, and I only regret for not stacking more! It really makes the eyes glow while still looking natural.
The last thing is the setting powder from Innisfree. The packaging is very simple and light, and it has a cute little puff inside for application. It does a superb job absorbing and controlling the oil on the face. Also, it’s only $5 each (at duty-free shop)! I’ve been a loyal consumer of Makeup Forever for setting powders for a long time, but not any more. I got 2 at first, and after a few days’ tryout, I went back and got 4 more. So I got 6 in total, and it’s not even enough for one powder from Makeup Forever. The effects? I would say the Innisfree one is even better, because I’m more into natural makeup versus heavy makeup. Personally I think the powder from Makeup Forever is a bit too heavy and photo-ready, and it makes my face look like a wall. Hands down, I probably have enough of these Innisfree setting powders for the next 3 years 😂
I am in love with this denim jacket purchased in Korea! I saw it in a boutique on Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil in Seoul, and I tried it on, and I just could not take it off. This is an oversized, distressed denim jacket that is super stylish, comfortable, and versatile. It has so many ways of pairings and goes well with anything. If I feel cold, I’ll just add a middle layer (e.g., a white hoodie), and it totally would shield me from the coldness while still looking stylish. I’m also liking the grey tank top inside which I got in Gangnam underground shopping mall for $5. The quality is pretty good. It feels soft and solid, and the texture is very comfortable. This kind of tank tops probably could easily cost $15+ in North America.
I got this elegant white lace top in Osaka, Japan. The sleeve length and neck cut are just right before it looks a bit conservative. I especially like the pattern of the lace that is very feminine and its thick and soft texture. I’m also loving my new sunglasses from Gentle Monster that I purchased in Korea. I got this pair in a duty-free shop, and it turned to be about 50% cheaper than purchasing in North America! These sunglasses fit especially well with Asian faces. I also replaced the lenses with prescription lenses so I finally don’t have to walk blindly under the sun or wearing contacts! It’s very efficient to replace lenses in Asia. When I told my friends in Asia that it takes about a week to replace lenses in North America, they found it just unbelievable 😂
I feel especially guilty after travelling back from Europe, realizing that I have returned pretty much all my knowledge to my history teacher. So I got an electronic copy of this book. As the title suggests, it’s really short. It only has about 140 pages. It gives a concise overview of European history, and it focuses more on themes and why stuff would happen the way it was. In my opinion, it’s a nice book for those who have history backgrounds, but not so helpful for beginners. You’ll probably find it explaining one significant event in one sentence which could’ve easily been expanded to pages in other books. If you don’t have any context, you’ll probably find yourself lost quickly. If you’re one of those who do not care about details and just would like to have a general overview or refresh of who what when why, or you already know a bunch of the material, then I would definitely recommend it; otherwise, you might find it dry and shallow.
I’m not finished with this book yet, but I’m enjoying it very much so far! In contrast with the previous book, it gives a detailed explanation of everything that has happened on earth (and hence is fairly long). It explains things in a timeline style versus the previous book explains things in themes. It is a story-telling, fun-to-read history book that linearly talks about how things started, why things happened, the consequences, and so on. The best thing about this book is that it explains how everything is related to everything. It slowly takes us from prehistory, watching how the human society was formed and how it evolved, to the 21st century. There are some parts I found that are not accurate though, especially the part with Chinese history (maybe because I know about it more), but it may be because it was written back in 1998 which is quite a while ago. But still, it’s a great book for beginners.
This is the most interesting history book that I ever read 😂. The book is about the Ming Dynasty in China. Unlike any other history books which are dry and boring, the tone of this book is hilarious, and it’s perfect for bedtime stories or for subway readings. It sites many authentic historical records as well as personal analysis and opinions (the author explicitly says that it’s just his opinions, so you can choose to follow him or ignore him. I find some criticisms online regarding personal opinions unfriendly). If you ever need some good stories that happened hundreds of years ago, definitely give it a shot.
I watched this movie during the flight from Shanghai back to Toronto. The 2012 movie is a musical. The original novel by Victor Hugo was considered one of the greatest novels in the 19th century. The background was French revolution. The story is about Jean Valjean, who was put in jail for 19 years for stealing a piece of bread for his starving nephew, breaks parole and has a good wish to start a new life, but life is never fair, and his inspector Javert keeps chasing after him. Valjean is a very kind-hearted man, and he adopted a factory worker’s daughter. He swears to the God that he wants to be a good man and do all the good things to the world, but at that time life just treated him cruelly. The most touching scene to me was (warning: spoilers) when Valjean was paroled, he wanted to start his life over and be a good person. However, Javert put a “dangerous” stamp on his identity, and he could not even find a place to sleep because when people see his ID they told him to get out. A Bishop saved him and kindly provided him with food and shelter. Early in the morning, however, Valjean broke out of the window, stole some silverware, and tried to escape. Unfortunately, he was caught by the guards and was sent to the Bishop. The guards suggested to send this man to the prison, but the Bishop kindly looked into Valjean’s eyes, and said, “I gave them to him”.
Sorry I just cannot help. This is too touching. He then continued, “You left a bit early today, and I did not have a chance to say goodbye. I was about to give these goldware to you, too”. He kindly gave Valjean the valuables, and said “I give you back to God”. Watch the snippet here:
So that’s it for my July’s favorites! This month has been mostly quiet after my crazy grad trip, and I’m also excited for the Vancouver trip upcoming in August and officially starting full time work in San Francisco!!