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Pastel Nail Polishes

Grace @ No.21 Friday, June 28, 2013 24 Comments
  Revlon - Buttercup 100 | Revelon - Lilac Pastelle 185 | Hard Candy - Sky

My love for pastel colors does not stop even in summer. Usually, I get tired of bold colors easily compare to pastel colors. Since I don't take care of my nails regularly, I needed something that I can wear for longer time without getting tired of its color.

I do use my hands a lot so my nails always peel so quickly like in three days or so. The worst part of it is that I am too lazy to take it off and for that reason ugly half-peeled nail polish remains on my nails forever until I feel like apply some new colors- that's when I find the polish on single nail is completely disappeared.

I must say, I've been quite impressed with the quality of these nail polishes. All three of these polishes glossy enough, and long lasting. Normally I can keep my nails perfect for three days, with these ones I can retain peel-free nails at least for a week. Of course, when I use a top-coat on top of it, It last longer.

I know Essie has some gorgeous pastel shades, however, I haven't purchased them yet. I need to get my hands on it soon! Anyway, you can find these atWalmart, Target as well as local drug stores. 
*Photo Credit (bottom photo): Butter London Facebook Official Page
(top photo): picture taken by me.

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ELF Lip Stain and Gloss

Grace @ No.21 Wednesday, June 26, 2013 15 Comments

 e.l.f Lip Stain : Mysterious - $3.00

I have purchased this Lip Stain a long ago with bunch other stuff when e.l.f had a huge sale. It seems like they are having sales quite often and it's just crazy. Since it's so low-priced, i thought it will be good to try most of their product and find the hidden gem.

Generally, I do like e.l.f products but recently I found some that are not really worth buying it even its affordable price. So, I was hoping something out of this product and now I am in love with it.

I do enjoy both matte and glossy lipsticks so when I saw this one, I had to try it. I have similar shade lipstick from MAC-Tea Ceremony, which I really like, however, I was looking for some alternative lip products so I can carry it around with me when i go to place like beach, park etc.. I don't like to carry around lipstick(s) during Summer, not just because they melt in my bag and un-usuable, it makes me so sad! Anyway, for that reason, this lip stain was perfect choice for me.  It's cheap, similar shade to one I have and doesn't have to worry about melting in the weather.  Things I like about this product is that it doesn't dry out my lips even though it is 'lip stain.' Also, this one is creamier in texture compare to the Benefit's Benetint lip & cheek stain.

Only thing i didn't enjoy was the scent.  It smelled little funky but how can i complain when it's only $3?

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Make up for ever : HD Invisible Cover foundation

Grace @ No.21 Monday, June 24, 2013 17 Comments
 I have never used Make Up For Ever's foundation and this is my first ever experience. First of all, in my opinion,  $42 is pretty expensive for a one foundation and always scared that I wouldn't like it after the purchase.  Moreover, I use up my foundations or tinted moisturizers pretty quickly so in this case, the price does matter and affect my decision.  Thankfully, I got this one as a gift, now I had a chance to use it and could compare this one with some affordable ones.
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation #118 Flesh
:for light skin with yellow undertones. - $42.00
 *This item was a gift
An oil-free medium-to-full-coverage liquid foundation that covers skin imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. This foundation creates a soft-focus effect, which is designed to meet the coverage concerns of those in the spotlight. It leaves your complexion with such a flawless finish, it can withstand bright or harsh lighting.

-Relipidium: Moisturizes the skin (+46% after 4h).
-Fucogel: Forms a microfilm that prevents dehydration and protects against external aggression.
-Sericite: Enables rays of light to spread more widely intensifying the radiance of the complexion.

Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Mica, talc, PEG-10 Dimenthicone, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Phenyl, Trimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Lauroyl Lysine, Dimenthicone Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Caprylate, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Cyclohexacyloxane, Methylisothiazolinone, Sorbitan Sesquileate, Silver Oxide, Propylene, Carbonate, Parfum (fragrance), Methylparaben, Fagus Sylvatica Extract (Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract), Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, [+/- CI 77891 )titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides).

The package of this foundation looks so simple and sleek. I really like its pump, it makes easy to use.
Since it was a gift, the shade was a bit lighter on my skin- It didn't match my skin perfectly but still okay.

This foundation is a very light weight and fresh feeling, however, I found it leaves a little cakey look in the beginning and blends into skin later on. When i used tiny bit, it still covered red spots completely. It usually takes double amount of other foundations so I would say this HD foundation does good job on covering blemishes and red spots with small amount.

  1.  Great coverage
  2.  Nice package
  3.  Usable pump on a bottle
  4.  Light weight
  5.  Looks great and flawless on-screen
  6.  Multiple shades you can choose from
  1. Pricey
  2. I could see it stays in lines and wrinkles.
  3. Looks a bit, tiny bit cakey in real life.
 I would probably stick with my No7 Tinted Moisturizer & Maybelline's dream liquid mousse for everyday use and might use this foundation on special occasion where I need photo-shoot or need complete coverage.

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What do you think about this Make Up For Ever's HD foundation?

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stationery items

Grace @ No.21 Sunday, June 23, 2013 14 Comments
I will admit that I haven't pay attention to my blog lately and couldn't reply 'all' comments- I'm so sorry guys! I was slightly busy with this and that plus some projects, however, I'm back now and promise I won't be missing any comments from now :)

I really get excited and go crazy when I shop for stationary items. As soon as I saw this Business Planner, I found myself putting it in my cart already- I love it, had to get it. To be honest, I don't see any unique items in America so I tend to order stuff from Korea but most of the time this gets on my nerve because shipping fee is double of what I order. This time too, of course, shipping fee was more than the item so I decided to make one by myself.

I am thinking of making it as a regular planner with some illustration in it and probably give it away with other stuffs to my readers- does this give you an idea of what I'm up to? Yes, I am planning giveaway for my readers since I haven't done any.

To speak about giveaway, I really wanted to host one when i reached 100 followers or 200, however, I didn't find perfect items for my dear readers so I am holding it till now. But, don't get me wrong. It doesn't mean bloggers should host thank you giveways when they reached certain amount of followers. I am planning one just because I really want to share stuff that you can't normally find as such as like this gorgeous planner etc.. 

All we need is a mind of appreciation to those who take their time to follow and read our little space on the web. Anyway, I have so-o-o-o-o much DIY ideas floating on my head, which I'll make posts as soon as I go back home in July. I don't know if my readers will enjoy my little artsy posts since my blog is somewhat beauty centered. But, I am going to do posts about DIY anyways since it's my blog! >:) Mwahahahaahhaha *evil laugh.

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Dior Addict Ultra Gloss

Grace @ No.21 Thursday, June 20, 2013 5 Comments

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect 347 Orange Raphia

 To start off, I don't like lip gloss in general and don't like those sticky feeling when I wear it on my lips. I am trying to love lip gloss so once in awhile my lips can look so moisturized if it makes sense and therefore I reached my hands to high priced product- thought $$$ will be better than $ which was kind of silly.   

This gloss is the newer version of the Dior Hologram Coral. I purchased this shade because I read a review of Hologram Coral and said it was a pretty, natural looking gloss. The package of this gloss is beautifully done with clear and rectangular outer casing, made from a heavy plastic, with 'Dior' in raised letters on one face. The top portion is also rectangular and is a clear deep blue, with a silver top and knob with 'CD' on it. The applicator is a brush.

However, this color didn't suite me well. Plus, it's more like metal sheen finished instead of pearl. I thought my grandma would love this color/finish more than me. It lasted quite long enough and of course it has sticky feeling but not too bad compare to other lip glosses. Less waxy or slippery, sticky feel.

Some of you might like this color and finish but obviously I didn't enjoy it as much as other did.
I am definitely on my journey of finding perfect lip gloss for summer and decided to try Make Up Forever's Aqua Rouge next.

  Have you tried any of this Dior's Ultra Gloss Reflect range? What's your opinion and any other lip glosses that you are in love? 

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How do you keep your brushes clean?

Grace @ No.21 Saturday, June 15, 2013 17 Comments
To be honest, I was not the type of person that use brushes to apply makeup. I liked to apply with my fingers, hands although,  I knew a lot of germs are on people's hands than a toilet (ewu I know..) I used to believe that fingers are the best tools for makeup until I got serious break outs. It just started to happen when I moved in to CA. Maybe I had so much stress and pressure. I was so depressed being in the state where I don't have any friends or people that I can talk to. Or just simply I kept my hands not clean enough and got break outs ! So that's when I started to using makeup brushes. It proves that I'm not a brush expert and I'm on my way to figure out 'how to keep my brushes clean' or 'what's the best way to clean the brushes.'

I had a little experiment with E.L.F's daily brush cleanser, liquid foam hand soap, and a bar soap. Since I'm away from home, I have such a limited brush selection and please understand the dirtiness of my brushes ( haven't clean them in awhile.. )

For the first, I tried E.L.F's daily brush cleanser. I had such a hope on this one since I really like their brushes. I thought they probably made 'awesome brush cleanser' along with their real awesome brushes! But, i guess I was wrong on this one. It didn't do anything on 'cleaning' the brush at all. It smelled quite funny and seemed like contain strong alcohol as well.  The last picture above is after I sprayed several time and washed a bit with water. Do you see any change ? I obviously don't.. It looks dirty wet. 

Second try was with the liquid foam hand soap. I believe many of you might use liquid soap to clean your brushes? Because that's what I normally used to clean my brushes.  As you can see above, It cleaned my brush more than the first one but still doesn't look clean as I wanted it to be.  I use this brush to apply my tinted moisturizer so I know it's hard to clean than other brushes. However, I still need something to clean my foundation brush so I can keep my face clean and germ free! I would say I was little disappointed. 
For the final, this is what it looks like when i cleaned my brushes with the bar soap. Blush brush still has some makeup residue but oh my, much much better than the other two! The rest of my brushes got cleaned so good and look like NEW.  All i did was just rub the brush on the bar soap like i was trying to get some eyeshadow on the brush and washed it with water. Ta-Dah!

I know it's really important to keep my brushes clean just like my hands. But don't know and not sure if i'm doing it right with cleaning it with a bar soap? What do you use to clean your makeup brushes? Any good methods? Please do share! :)

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Makeup Disaster

Grace @ No.21 Thursday, June 13, 2013 16 Comments
Ugh, I hate when this thing happen.. I had to go out with my mom to pick something up this afternoon. For that reason, I woke up earlier than usual. I really didn't want to go out in this beautiful weather without any makeup so I started to apply some makeup on. As I applying my foundation, I was so satisfied how it glides on my face and looks flawless without concealer because I usually had to use it afterward to hide my blemishes.

Anyway, It must got on my hand when I applied eyeliner. I tried to move my hair back that was in the way.. and bam! The black stuff got on my cheek. It happened so quick! I was a bit pissed. If it was a normal day when I don't really care about foundation and stuff, I probably and immediately grab my makeup wipe and wipe it off and re-do. But since I really liked how my foundation look on me today, i had to think if i want to re-do or cover it up.. Well, long story short, I went out with this black line on my cheek. The end. No, I was just playing.. So, i rubbed it with my finger carefully to see if this line will come out and luckily it did without looking dirty and smudged!

 I know many of you have had this experiences at least once. Every time when this 'makeup disaster' happen, what do you usually do?

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Subscribe me via Bloglovin'

Grace @ No.21 Wednesday, June 12, 2013 6 Comments
image from weheartit. edited by me.
As many of you already know and heard of Google Friends Connect (GFC) is going away in July this year and eventually Google will remove GFC completely.  It seems like Google is pushing bloggers to move on its Google+ widget but I personally like GFC much better and I don't find myself using Google+ widget near future.. I've heard this news or rumor since March. I really didn't take it too seriously because I haven't heard anything officially from Google that they will remove GFC. I still don't know what's going on with this issue but I figured it's better to prepare for it- I'll be so upset to lose all my subscribers/followers and blogs I am following through GFC. So if you are my new reader or current follower, please make sure to follow me through Bloglovin' as an alternative.

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Benefit's Benetint

Grace @ No.21 Sunday, June 9, 2013 25 Comments

When I was in high shcool in Korea, all the girls were not allowed to wear any makeup but who listens to that? Everyone was wearing a light weight BB cream (Misha was so popular back then..), along with barely noticeable lip tint. No eyeliner, no mascara just to give a little bit of aliveness on the face. Why am i talking about this? Well, I'm trying to tell you lovelies that this Benefit's benetint was one of my holygrail makeup items since then!

I've been using this fabulous lips/cheeks tint for several years and still in love with it. Honestly I didn't use it often as i did before after bleached my hair to lighter color just because I was in the zone of blonzers (blush+bronzer in one.) However, after colored my hair back to dark, I am opt for this benetint again. I look so dead when i'm bare face. So when I don't want to wear full makeup or too lazy, I just pick this up, and put several dots on my cheeks, lips and blend with my finger.

I really like its soft rosy flowery smell. I felt like this tint stay less longer on my lips for somehow but I really don't mind re-applying it. I feel like every lip products are same. You have to re-apply anyways after when you go out and eat, drink and stuff or is it just me?

Anyway, really I would recommend this for any who like to wear something everyday that's not too heavy/bold and for natural makeup look.

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Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate 14 & 101

Grace @ No.21 Wednesday, June 5, 2013 38 Comments

Swatch : 101 on the top , 14 on the bottom.
 Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate shade 14 & 101

I love pink and natural/beige pink lipsticks so so much. Since I colored my hair black, I've been wanted some lip colors that are more natural and muted soft. I had my eyes on MAC snob, please me and modesty but then I wasn't sure if those are exact colors I was looking for. I haven't really seen those in person but just on the web. The weather was so hot to step out of the house, grab the over-heated handle, sitting in the crazy traffic to go check them at the MAC store - also I felt lazy today; hence I went to the near by drug store where I can walk with my brother. 

I have just one Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate lippy ( shade 12 ) at home that is more like rosey red. The color is definitely pretty and really like the formula. But the shade 12 was just a bit strong for me to wear it regularly on everyday look. However, since I really like Rimmel's lipstick formula and I've seen some pretty nude and muted colors from Rimmel on another blogs, I went it for more. 

 To be honest, I only did swatch of these lipsticks and haven't wear these yet on my lips. So, I can't tell you about it's staying power or anything but from the hand swatch I did, these were quite creamy when i applied on back of my hand. Although shade 101 dries faster than shade 14 and remained looking like matte lip stain. Some of you might not like the fact that shade 101 leaves no shine after an hour but I really like the color so really don't mind. ( shade 14 is a bit more creamy and lasted longer than shade 101)

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17 Debates on Blog-o-sphere

Grace @ No.21 Monday, June 3, 2013 10 Comments
Original topic/image from Google.  Edited by me.
Last night I found a list of bunch areas that bloggers take different approaches in – yet there would be many many more. So I sorted and narrowed it down to 17 topics. Some of them are debates that might come down to a bloggers ethics, although most are simply different approaches that might be based more upon each bloggers goals, the niche that they are in. I thought it will be thought-provoking to bring up the topic to discuss  and see others' opinion.

  • Post FrequencyPost More vs Post Less
: I don't try to post MORE or LESS, but at least I'm trying or would love to post something regularly.  I love my blog and write posts on my little space so much. However few weeks ago I had so much pressure on the post frequency and even I thought of closing my blog down. I always think those bloggers who writes their posts every day or two is just amazing - all their contents and review are very detailed and fun to read as well. On the other hand, I saw some fabulous bloggers who blog occasionally/sporadically but still, their contents are informative. So I think it's not the matter of how MANY posts you write every week to be an successful blogger. It's matter of how you write a post(detailed, informative, fun to read...)

  • How Many Blogs? – Focus upon One Single Blog vs Having Many Smaller Blogs
: I've seen some bloggers have more than one blog. In my opinion, I think it's better to focus on one single blog that is manageable. It's a great idea to have blogs for separate topics but eventually one blog will be out of your attention unless you are a full-time blogger :)

  • Domain Names – long vs short, hyphens vs non hypens, .com vs other extensions (like .net, .org), local vs global domain extensions
I like and tried to keep the domain name as short as possible. Just because it's easy to remember and can be typed quick. Yes, I'm lazy and I know it :p 

  • Hosting – hosted vs self hosted
I find this topic as quite interesting. I really don't care much about hosted blog or self-hosted. I think the only difference between these two is ownership. It's like you are having your own space to decorate how you want compare to renting a room from somebody that you can't do much. I think that is the whole idea of self-hosting website. But as we can see and prove that hosted site like Blogspot/Wordpress is very editable on design-wise that we can change layout and stuff. So i'm good with hosted blog. 

  • Post Titles – descriptive vs keywords
I'm more like a person who writes keywords for the post titles. I don't like my post titles to be lengthy and i can write descriptions in the contents, not on the titles.

  • Paid Reviews – To Write Paid Reviews vs Not Doing Paid Reviews
It depends. My opinion on this topic is that bloggers can write paid reviews but should not promise to the company or who ever offer them for a positive review just because of $$. Like, companies can pay you for to try their products or give you PR/samples but shouldn't force you to write a positive review. That's just not right. 

  • Design Professional Design vs Templates
I personally like well-organized or easy to read websites or blogs. However, it's more on what you are comfortable with. If you like simple, keep it simple and if you like well designed layout, go ahead or hire someone to do it for you if that's what you want. To be honest, I well understand the blog-envy and many people like to have their blog feels special and different because I feel like I want to blog more often when my blog designs are satisfied.- But, there's nothing wrong with free templates either. 

  • Links to External SourcesShould Open in a New Page vs Should Open in the Same Page
I like the external sources to be open in a new page. I don't know why but that's just how i am. 

  • Post Length – Long in Depth Posts vs Short, Sharp Posts
Mmm, I think this one is one of hard questions. I personally like long in depth posts but It's always hard to write one as myself. My only problem on writing a long in depth posts is that the English is just too tricky for me since Asian languages and Enlglish's form and stuffs are totally opposite and my lack of vocabulary and poor word choices. I'm really working on it and you will see a looooooooooooooong post in the future! 

  • Topic – Niche vs Broad Topics
It's always good to start with your niche where you are really comfortable talking about and enjoy.However,  If you have a variety of topics that you are really interested in and passionate, I don't see why not? 

  • Personal Blogging – Sticking to Topic vs Injecting Personality and Personal details
I definitely looove personal blogging. I have more fun and enjoy reading on blogs where the bloggers posts their personal issues or what's going on their life. I think It could be bored if you keep throwing same topic over and over. It's like you are only eating the bread. Sometimes you need a cup of milk,tea or coffee along with it and that's how the blog works :)

  • Comment Moderation – Highly Regulated and Moderated vs Anything Goes
  • Social Media vs Search – focus upon social media rather than search engines as traffic sources
  • Bloggers Participation in Comments – Respond to Every Single Comment vs Let Readers Talk to Each Other and Don’t Interact
  • Blog Platforms – WordPress vs Blogspot
  • Affiliate Disclosure – Disclose every affiliate link vs Site Wide Disclosure vs No Disclosure
  • Outsourcing – Outsourcing content (or other aspects of blogging) vs producing your own.

So, what do you think about these debates? What's your opinion? Please do share! 

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Back to natural

Grace @ No.21 Sunday, June 2, 2013 16 Comments

Naturally, I have a dark hair. I won't say mine is just 'black' since it is not really the blackest black. I don't think it's brunette either. I don't know, it's hard to describe it. Anyway, I've been dying and bleaching my hair with lighter shades because I think hair is one of the best accessory that people can have- Curl it, straighten it, dye it, color it, cut it...  

Honestly, I loved the lighter hair color better than dark. I could see the details of it when I curl my hair and looked/felt much cooler on a very hot day. Also the weather in San Diego is perfect every time and even on a winter, it's not that cold as you think.- I just kept thinking like lighter color will suit better with the weather where i live. So that was the biggest reason why I hesitate to color my hair back to dark. However, I flew over 9 hours to see my parents in East Cost several weeks ago. As soon as my mom saw my hair, she had nonstop criticism on my hair color. First I really didn't care much on what she was saying but after over few weeks, I was exhaust from her repeating same stuff over and over.. like you look chubby because of your hair color, your hair is so damaged, you ruined your hair..etc.[Not trying to say I hate my mother or nothing. I hardly see my mom gets criticized on something :) ] 

I agreed with her that my hair damaged a lot since I dyed my hair. She had several good points and actually I was a bit getting tired of seeing dark roots growing every few weeks. So finally decided to keep it natural until my hair recovers from its damage.  I used John Frieda's Precision Foam Colour in Natural Black.  I looooove John Frieda's products! It's so easy to use and foam is great when i try to color it by myself. Usually gave me spotless and all even hair color. But this time I got only one pack instead of two. By that reason, I ran out of mixture and got little orange streak left on the back of my head. But still, I love this hair product and will use this again when i have to. 

Anyway, I'm back to my natural hair color and I quite like the look. It makes my skin looks much lighter and clear. SATISFIED!  :-)

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Tiny Hand With Heart