This month was an eventful one. Vadim and I did a low-key Valentine’s Day with pizza, and a mini cake to share from one of our favorite bakeries, Luckybird Bakery (where we got our wedding cake). Not only are their cakes delicious but so are their chocolate chip cookies (our wedding favors). Then, we celebrated the Lunar New Year and my mom’s 60th birthday. Both on the same day because she follows the Lunar calendar. So it was double the celebration 😊. We took my mom out to dinner and just spent some quality time together. Momma Chen was very happy.
I also got semi into watching the Winter Olympics this month. And by watching, I mean cheering on team USA during the figure skating events. In the end, the US only made it onto the podium for their team event and got the bronze. Then I found myself rooting for Evgenia Medvedeva to win gold over her rival and friend, Alina Zagitova. That didn’t happen and many people were upset, including me. This led me to watching Michelle Kwan’s 1998 performance for the first time, which had me in tears. I’m not even kidding. And, that about sums up my month.
Now, let’s get into my fashion, beauty, and lifestyle favorites.
This month I relied a lot on my headband. The one I’m wearing is from Anthropologie, three years ago (similar version here).
If you’ve read my very first blog post then you will know I can go on about my oily grievances. Anyway, three years later, I continue to rely on this bad boy to keep my hair out of my face and tide me over until I get to wash my hair. It also comes in handy when I want to look a little festive in a matter of seconds. I’m all about making my hair situation as easy and breezy as possible.
I’m currently looking for a padded headband because it reminds me of the 90s. I saw this beige one on Leandra Medine and I am very tempted to get it. I think the beige will be such a chic contrast to an otherwise very unchic greasy hair situation 🤓.
I’m not sure why I haven’t worn these Sam Edelman Penny Riding Boots more often this Winter. I love how they look with a pair of classic blue jeans (mine are from Re/Done). I also like pairing it with a boxier and shorter length top to make my legs look longer. You can’t go wrong with such a classic pair of boots. It also lets me imagine myself as someone who goes to the stable every week to see my horse, Mabel 😜.
Glossier Wowder: A setting powder that doesn’t feel like your typical powder. As someone who doesn’t like to feel like I have makeup on my face, this one is the best I’ve tried so far. It’s easy to use and keeps my oiliness and mascara panda eyes at bay for up to seven hours. I wrote about it in my previous blog post here. I also reviewed it here (there’s a super short video where I show you how it gets rid of shine in just a few swipes).
Glossier Solution: It’s a chemical exfoliator* that claims to clear up and transform the texture of skin in just four weeks. I’m on week three and I really enjoy using this solution. It has cleared up the bumps I mysteriously had last month on my forehead and it makes my skin feel so soft. And, the best part? It somehow exfoliates and keeps my skin moisturized (thanks to the addition of PHA in their formula). No tight skin feeling at all.
*A chemical exfoliator usually uses acids like AHA and BHA to go deep into the skin to clear pores and get rid of dead skin cells. It is gentler and more effective than physical exfoliants, with the most controversial and famous one being the St. Ives apricot scrub. I cringe at how I used to scrub and scrub at my face with that, thinking it was going to help my skin.
My skin today right after applying Glossier Solution
I think my skin looks pretty healthy here and that makes me very happy. If only teenage me could see me now.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner: I finally returned to my holy grail toner. I took a brief hiatus after trying to save money and not spending $40 on a toner. Now that I have ventured away for a while, I can honestly say that this is the best hydrating toner I have ever used. It just makes my skin so soft and healthy-looking. This also kept me from drying up like a raisin in the desert when I went to Palm Springs last year. It lasts forever and does everything it claims to do.
My skin right after applying the Whamisa toner
My skin looks hydrated and a bit dewy, like I had a full night’s sleep (disregard my eye bags).
Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is powerful, honest, and important. Fun fact: Ta-Nehisi Coates came to my freshman year seminar class to discuss his book with us (at the time he had just published, The Beautiful Struggle). In this book, Coates essentially writes a long letter to his son. He shares his journey to discovering what it means to be a Black man in America. He encourages his son to come to his own understanding. To question things and to find the answers for himself. This book will make you think. You might even come up with a few questions of your own.
Born a crime by Trevor Noah (host of The Daily Show) will amaze you at how far he has come in his life and his career. It is funny, heartbreaking, and makes you appreciate the art of storytelling. You will also be convinced that his mother is Wonder Woman in real life. It was just announced last week that Lupita N’yongo will play Trevor Noah’s mother in the movie adaptation of the book. I would definitely recommend reading this before the movie comes out. Fair warning though, you may shed a few tears.
The Florida Project: You will be blown away by Brooklynn Prince’s performance as six-year old, Moonee. Moonee is raised by her single mother, Halley, who makes questionable life choices. She tries to make ends meet while Moonee tries to find adventure with her friends. This is all contrasted by the fact that they live within walking distance to Disney World, a vacation destination that they cannot afford. The ending might take you for a spin. I definitely recommend watching this.
Queer Eye on Netflix: Let me preface by saying that I never watched the original. I was curious about this remake after seeing Luxe talk about it. And because I trust her taste, I gave it a go and loved it. Essentially, five gay guys give a nominated individual in each episode a “make better”. They work with each person’s strengths and give them the tools (grooming tips, clothes, recipes, a pep talk, home/workspace makeover) to take ownership of their own self-care and well-being. I cried from episode 1-6 and must have dried up by episode 7 because I expected tears and nothing came. If you need a new feel good show to watch, I highly recommend this one. P.S. Jonathon is my favorite because he is unapologetically himself and also the most uplifting person.
Trader Joe’s product of the month
You know I can’t end this post without talking about my favorite Trader Joe’s product. This month it’s their Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. I first heard about it through Aimee Song‘s Instagram stories, where she used it to make her sweet potatoes. And after it finally being restocked at the Trader Joe’s I go to, I picked it up to see what all the fuss was about. After trying it with sweet potatoes, avocado toast, and even on cooked spinach (I just ate this for lunch), I now get it. Fuss is well deserved. It’s the perfect amount of seasoning and it just makes everything taste so good. At $1.99, it doesn’t hurt your wallet either.
What are some things you enjoyed this month? Any books/movies/shows I should be reading/watching?
Thanks for stopping by. See you in my next post!
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