Thursday, April 5, 2018

How Social Media Has Changed Over the Years

Lately I've been feeling stuck and somewhat frustrated with the projection of my social media channels. I have been out of the game for awhile and things have really changed from what I remembered. I feel like there are so much advertisement, promotions and... frills. Every video/ post is another push for a product. I get that companies are trying to get their products to sell but seeing how this has become the predominant nature of social media content kind of... discourages me. As a young woman in my mid twenties I feel like there are various concerns that I'm growing to have as I age, but why aren't those things talked about on social media? Every account out there seems to only show the beautiful, happy, funny moments of their lives filled with sponsorships and free trips offered by partnering companies. But what about actual concerns like what do I do when I'm starting to see wrinkles and sagging? What do I do when I start to gain weight due to a slower metabolism? Yes it's nice to see bloggers post pretty pictures of themselves in fashionable clothes and go on exotic vacation trips. It's nice to see visually pleasing things. But at the same time they also make me feel like how come I'm not as pretty or why can't I afford to go on those trips and have that life style? :( Why don't people talk about their every day struggles on social media? What about mental health? What about things that worry us and things that we don't understand? On the rare occasions that I do see people talk about these things on the slightest, the response from the audience is usually some sort of backlash, showing disdain towards one's "vanity". But is it really vanity when every other person on social media also has these concerns and may even seek alterations but never talks about it?  Does the audiences even want to see or watch anything aside from the pretty and happy? I don't even know. I don't want to be another sheep in the crowd surrounded by an invisible bubble of convention. But what I notice is that on posts and videos that I "follow the trend and what's in" there is usually a higher and more positive reception from the audience. Then the question becomes do I want to conform to create content for the audience to "like" me and to grow my social media as a business or do I just want to create content that I like and feel truthful and honest to myself? Why do I even post on social media? Ideally I would like to post things I want to post and have the appropriate exposure with the right people who are interested to see that type of content but social media has evolved into something that if you don't "follow" the crowd then you'll inevitably "fail". So I guess the struggle continues...

I miss the days when social media was relatable.

Anyway, I just had this little thought dialogue in my head today.
Thought I'd share.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

All About Dark Circles: Prevention, Concealing, and Cosmetic Procedures (Bonus: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer Drugstore Dupes)

Having dark circles is probably one of the most frustrating issues I face on a daily basis. I was born with genetic dark circles so no matter how much rest I get I still have pesty hollowness accompanied by perpetual darkness under the eyes. Over the years I've accumulated makeup techniques to mask the appearance of them to look more brightened and awake; however, the underlying problems persist due to genetic factors.

In this blogpost I would like to show you guys how I conceal my dark circles using cosmetics and the holy grail products that I swear by. Later in the post I will include more in depth information provided by Dr. Ho Taghva from Lea Surgery in Newport Beach regarding dark circles and what are some ways we can look into to prevent and treat them both surgical and non-surgically.

No Concealer

Concealer + Banana Powder

Concealers are my best friend when it comes to hiding dark circles. Though I have perpetual circles under the eyes they are rather neutral, without any particular coloring to them. Most days they just look...well, dark. Some people have blue circles due to exposed capillaries while others have darker shades of brown/ black due to hyperpigmentation. For me I think I fall into the latter category with a combination of hyper pigmentation and genetic hollowness, creating more shadows that contribute to the darkness. My holy grail product when it comes to hiding dark circles and any blemishes in general is hands down Tarte Shape Tape. I use the shade light neutral which is a perfect fit for my skin tone. I then will set the under eye area with Ben Nye's banana powder, the two make a dream team to perfectly conceal my dark circles. 
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, Light Neutral, $27
Can be purchased from the Tate website or Ulta Beauty.
Ben Nye Bella Luxury Powder - Banana
Ben Nye Banana Powder, $13.50
Can be purchased at various online stores

Tarte Shape Tape is definitely full coverage and will hide just about anything ranging from discoloration to that overnight-grown cystic zit that you're dreading. I've even used this to conceal scabs from tattoo removal and the final finish was more than satisfactory. Given it's high coverage some people may find this product too cakey. But remember, a little goes a long way, and because of this one bottle of it will last a long time.

Although Shape Tape works wonderfully well for my annoying dark circles and other blemishes it definitely isn't the most affordable option out there. But it's your lucky day friends, I have four drugstore alternatives that fits the bill, albeit not exact dupes, but they are up there in performance along side the Shape Tape.

The first runner up is Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer, I use the shade Light Ivory. The shade range is rather limited and they all run a bit dark that's why I use the lightest shade in the range rather than Light/ Medium. But aside from those shortcomings it is honestly a great concealer. It is less thick in consistency compared to Tarte Shape Tape, which makes this product a lot more wearable for some and the finish of it is satin matte. There is no noticeable scent, and best of all, it is so affordable at $3.99 a pop. Can't beat that now, not for that price.
Wet n Wild Photo Focus Concealer, Light Ivory, $3.99
Can be purchased from Wet n Wild's website, Ulta or any drugstore
Next item is the HD Concealer Wand from NYX. This one also has great coverage, though a tad bit drier than the Wet n Wild one mentioned above. This product has a much better shade range, even including color correcting ones such as purple and green. If you have redness under the eyes, green would do well to counter that. And purple brightens darkness in general. One thing to note about the NYX Concealer Wand is that it could crease a bit if your under eye area isn't properly moisturized, so make sure to double up on the moisturization while using this product.
NYX HD Concealer Wand, Light, $4.99
Can be purchased from the NYX website, Ulta, or Target
The colorwheel is a great tool for deciding which shade of makeup to go in to conceal based on what the undertone of your circles are:
Image result for colorwheel
Use Complementary Colors to decide how to color correct
 For instance, if I have really purple dark circles today I would go in with a yellower shade of concealer to conceal them.

Next item comes from Makeup Revolution and this one has been all the hype lately due to its resemblance to Tarte Shape Tape. However, from personal experience I can tell you the actual products are not the same. Makeup Revolution Conceal and Define is a bit more liquidy and the coverage is not as opaque as Tarte Shape Tape, but for almost a fourth of the price, it is definitely a great alternative. It also gives more of a satin finish with a medium high coverage. I like this one when my skin is doing well and it does not crease under the eyes.
Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define - C1
Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define, C6, $7.00
Can be purchased at Ulta or online on their website

Last but not least on the list would be the Catrice Liquid Camouflage Concealer. This one performs similarly to that of NYX's HD Concealer Wand but I have some gripes with it. It has a strong floral fragrance, not the kind that's pleasant either, and the shade range is...sad. There are three shades only on the Ulta website and same on Amazon. All three shades are extremely light, even for a pale person like me. I use the shade 010 and it's a bit too light for me. Despite these issues it still is a good concealer in that it gives nice converage and has good lasting power. If you are pale, this could be a good one for you.

Catrice Liquid Camouflage Concealer
Catrice Camouflage Concealer, 010, $5.99
Can be purchased from Ulta or Amazon

Tarte Shape Tape, Wet n Wild, NYX, Makeup Revolution, Catrice

Here's a video of my demonstration on how exactly I apply my concealer along with the banana powder:

Now onto the fun science stuff of today's topic!
I partnered up with Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva from LEA Surgery, located in Newport Beach, to provide you guys with this segment. She is the doctor who performed my double eyelid surgery and I just adore her. Thank you Dr. Ho for taking the time out to bless us with your knowledge.

Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva

Basically there are five main categories of dark circles, and here are each of the five types, including prevention and surgical/ non-surgical methods to treat them:

1) Thin Skin: eyelid skin is the thinnest in the entire body, so it’s easy to see through the underlying capillaries. This can cast a dark shadow on the lower eyelid skin (especially when it’s contrasted to thicker skin around the lower eyelid area e.g. cheeks where it’s usually of a lighter hue because it’s thicker). That’s why sleep deprivation and dehydration may worsen the dark circles because they slow down circulation. There are cosmetic products that contain Vitamin K for this reason to increase circulation, minimize homeostasis etc. The jury is still out on its efficacy but I think lifestyle and diet changes e.g. eating Vitamin K leafy vegetables, staying hydrated and exercising may help. 

2) Hyperpigmentation: sometimes dark circles can be caused by hyperpigmentation in the lower eyelid area (so when you press on the skin or move the skin slightly it doesn't blanche/ lighten) if this was the case then it may be lightened with certain topical ingredients such as hydroquinone (LBT: I've heard this can cause cancer though? so maybe use with caution. I could also have heard, licorice and kojic acid. To treat deeper discoloration, certain lasers may help.

3) Skin Trauma: (genetics, chronic wear and tear with make up application/ rubbing eyelids because of allergies etc). For this type of dark circles, minimizing trauma to the area and skin care regimen is important. Retinoid creams can be used underneath the eyes to build collagen and plump your skin. Use a rich eye cream that will keep the eyelid area moisturized to prevent further irritation and strengthen the skin. 
Also, allergies can cause the blood vessels underneath the eyes to dilate, worsening dark circles, so anti-allergic medications (antihistamines) like Claritin, will help. 

4) Hollowness under the eyes: if this is the reason why the dark circles look worse then one should consider injection of a hyaluronic-acid filler into the tear trough area to plump it up. I personally prefer Juvaderm-Volbella or Restylane-Refyne in this delicate area because there’s less chance of bumpiness and Tyndall effect. For longer lasting results, fat transfer is also an option.My philosophy is that the lower eyelid and the cheeks are inseparable, so most of the time the filler is injected to the tear trough/ cheek area to plump up the entire lid cheek junction for more optimal outcome.  

5) Last but not least, eyebags/ puffiness:
Lack of sleep, salt/ spicy food intake, and alcohol etc can lead to water retention and exacerbate swelling. Some at home remedies to treat this type of under eye issue include cold compress (LBT: I've heard cooled green tea bags work well for this?) and sleeping with mild head elevation. If the puffiness is present all the time in spite of this then one should consult a plastic surgeon (Dr. HO: me lol!) for a procedure called a lower blepharoplasty to remove/ reposition the lower eyelid fat and maybe remove extra skin to tighten the lower lid area. 

Thanks Dr. Ho for the in depth explanation!

Dark circles and under eye problems can really dampen one's appearance and mood, but with the proper lifestyle changes, makeup, and cosmetic procedures, we can kick them to the curb and look fabulous! Hope this blogpost was informative and helpful. 

Until next time. 


Sunday, March 25, 2018

2018 Lookbook (Streetwear)

My very first lookbook of 2018! My style has changed drastically over the years, I'm constantly trying different looks and finding new elements that intrigue me. Here I put together five looks that reflect my current style. I would say it's a combination of streetchic and casual baddie. Of course I wouldn't recommend these looks for a corporate environment (cough, sometimes I show up to work like this... -_-") but they are definitely fire for casual everyday wear. The inspiration for this video came from the 80's/ 90's VHS style, I really liked the vintage and distorted feel. This is the first of many lookbooks I'm going to put out this year, I've got a few ideas running in my head already for the next one. It's so nice to be back at blogging again, this time around I'm putting out content that I want to and I feel stoked about them. There are people out there who won't want to fk with my current state but that's quite okay, I think being able to enjoy what I do and being excited about creating content is what's most important to me. And of course, thank you to everyone who's always been supportive and to the newcomers as well who are showing me some love.

Watch the Lookbook on Youtube here

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Double Eyelid Surgery (Full Incisional Upper Blepharoplasty and Epicanthoplasty) - 3 Year Comprehensive Update (Why I got Surgery, my non-invisional surgery prior, what they look like now, etc.)

Time flies, it's been a little over three years now since I've gotten incisional upper blepharoplasty and epicanthoplasty with Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva from Lea Plastic Surgery (She used to work for Wave Surgery in Korea Town but she's opening up her own practice soon in Newport!) And I honestly still have to say that it was the best decision I've made for myself.

Growing up my eyelids have always been mischievous, having a personality entirely of their own, utterly unpredictable. I'd wake up some mornings with one double eyelid, sometimes neither even. Only on those rare good days would they both appear, but that wasn't even a guarantee, one of them may choose to disappear at a random point in the day. Because of this dilemma I've learned to explore different options to manually create double eyelids at a very young age (I think around 11). I've tried tape, glue, mesh, you name it, I've probably tried it. Although with the aid of these tools I was able to even out my eyelids when needed, the results were rather short lived and over time the stretching and pulling from these methods made my eyelids very droopy. Slowly buy surely my constant worrying over double eyelids became an obsession and this insecurity made me feel ugly. I knew that one day I would opt for surgery to fix this issue once and for all.

After some intensive research I knew my options included two major groups: suture method vs incisional method. The first method was much less invasive in that a suture is placed inside the eyelid (kind of like sewing) to force a crease in the eyelid. There is no cutting thus down time would be significantly shorter as well. The second option includes actual cutting of the eyelid, where an incision is made in the upper eyelid and some skin and or fat may be removed. The eyelid is then sewn back together to create a permanent fold. There are up and down sides to both procedures. Though one has a shorter downtime and less chance of significant scarring, the retention is much inferior compared to the latter method. And while the full incisional method yields a more permanent result, the outcome may involve longer down time and tougher recovery with higher chances of scarring.

At the time the word surgery just gave me an eerie feeling, it was rather scary to even consider "going under the knife". But I knew I had to do something about my uneven eyelids before it drove me completely insane. At the age of 21 I opted for the less invasion, non-incisional suture method and got this procedure done in a clinic in Beijing, China. The process was short, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes and there was no blood or intense bruising. I was able to wear makeup within that week and the results were rather...natural after healing. However, the results were also short lived. Within six months after the experience my eyelids reverted back to how they looked before. It was as if I had never gotten them done. You can read about my non-incisional method experience in this blog post:

Two years later I've really had it with my eyelids and decided I would get the full incisional method and just have them cut open once and for all. This time around I didn't do a lot of research on which Doctor to seek help from. It was by random chance that I walked into a consultation office in the plaza where I had worked at the time. After some brief consultation I decided I would get the surgery with Dr Goretti Ho Taghva. (Now looking back maybe it was fate because I really hadn't done thorough research and I had no idea how Dr Ho's skills were.) Call it fate or whatever it was, I'm so happy that I had gotten the surgery with her because not only was she BEAUTIFUL but she was also patient, kind, and honest. My interaction with her felt natural and I didn't feel like I had to get more procedures done other than what I had initially wanted. She was very thorough with explaining what needed to be done for me the achieve the results I wanted and because of that I had very realistic expectations. Here I am three years later, still really happy with my results.

Plastic surgery can be intimidating and can often times be considered taboo to many. Not to mention its addictive nature too that makes it potentially detrimental. It used to be something looked down upon frequently but has become more and more widely acceptable in recent years. With any procedure comes with risks, the key to a successful operation involves great communication with a good surgeon and realistic expectations. Having a reasonable incentive for opting for surgery allows you to upgrade yourself without becoming overly obsessive about it. It is not wrong to get plastic surgery if in the end it helps you look more beautiful inside and out. And with that being said, I hope this post was helpful and good luck to you if you are looking to get the procedure done as well.

Watch the story in video

Read about my initial experience here:

Aftercare tips:

Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Zero to Ready in Less than 20 Mins

I've finally decided it was time to come back and start making videos again. It look me a lot of time to think, re-think, and think again, whether or not I wanted to come back and continue with LazybumToT. Over the years I've become insecure, and insincere with the content I was putting out. All I cared about was whether or not I can visually please people and sell the products I was sponsored. I had forgotten the real purpose to which I created this channel, to share my happiness with you guys, from creating.

So here I am, with that strengthened purpose, I come back with the utter most sincerity, to shamelessly be me.

This look takes it back to where we started, a simple, time saving look that makes me feel beautiful without too much effort to create.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Memories and the Little Pieces of Me I Have Given Away

In a super nostalgic mood today. I wouldn't necessarily call it a sadness that I'm feeling, but there's a hint of ... longing.
Memories tend to play little tricks and affect our hearts in a way that almost hurts, but hurts in a way that makes you want to feel it over and over again.

Memories sometimes make me feel like I want to go back in time and relive them. Or make an effort to create more of the same memories with people who are no longer in my life. The brain likes to play little tricks and only remember the warm, fuzzy moments that made us feel whole and complete. The times when they made you smile with the tiniest gesture, the moments when you locked eyes and everything just felt...right. Despite how things didn't work those memories will always find a way to creep back up and remind you of how "perfect" everything once used to be. The few seconds in which I sometimes relive those feelings with slightly altered conditions by the brain (to make things appear even more perfect, did they really take place? Sometimes I don't even remember), leads me to feel a brief sense of warmth and intimacy with what once WAS. As those brief moments pass I get reminded again of reality, and how those memories are merely shadows from the past. Pleasure, followed by disappointment, hollowness, and pain? Yet the mind tricks me to replay those snippets over and over again on days like today. A bit masochistic, aren't I.

I am fully aware of the fact that I have a highly addictive personality, whether it be with people or things. I become attached quickly and invest emotionally to an extent that gives up a part of myself. As people and things come and go in my life, so do those little parts that I give away. These little "gifts" that I pack up and present to others sometimes get tossed in the trash and become spoiled, and that's the last I'll ever see them. Overtime I become more and more hollow because I haven't learned the lesson of not giving away any part of yourself no matter what the game of life might deal you with.

These are lessons with which I should finally realize, that only by loving yourself and filling your heart with unconditional love can you then, become wholesome, ready to face anything that comes knocking.

Today was one of those days. A reminder that these snippets in time that no longer are, the pieces that I have given away, all serve to teach me a valuable lesson in love, and life.

But I miss you.
And the US that once was.

-Words From a Dramatic Hopeless Romantic =P

Friday, March 31, 2017

Invisible Contentment

Today's post will be slightly different from all the other ones lately. I've been struggling internally to find a place where I can be content and stay there. It has been a conscious effort to keep positivity and motivation. However, amidst all this effort, I suddenly realized today that I was HAPPY. I didn't need to think about being happy, or make an effort to be happy, or force myself to acknowledge some sort of gratefulness from a conscious mental reminder.

As I stood in the middle of the parking lot with the sun shining over my head, at some random moment during the day, I felt myself smiling, for absolutely no reason.


I just wanted to share this with the world. It was AMAZING.

Smiling just because, for no absolute reason, because we can.


End of post.