Posts in Beauty
Visiting the Glossier Pop-up shop
Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco

The social media-made-famous beauty brand, Glossier, just made us millennial women all very, very happy by opening up two showrooms in San Francisco and New York City. Because the pop-up shop in San Francisco will only be around until April 15th or so, my friend and I rushed to the store a few days ago after work to try on all of the products in person, and to check out the cafe that Glossier converted into a pink makeup and skincare paradise.


Glossier took over Rhea's Cafe, a place famous for their Chicken Katsu sandwich and other Asian-inspired deli items like the Korean Barbecue sub. As you can see they converted the bar area into a full makeup try-on station, complete with a set of mirrors and a set of plates on the counter containing Glossier products for customers to try on. 

There were also some freebie Jolly Ranchers scattered around the tables, completing the nostalgic bar aesthetic.

Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco
Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco

I spent a lot of my time at the above counter, which contained all the different lip products (what a surprise) and all the different shades of their new product: Lidstar—a glowy liquid eyeshadow. I had already purchased the Generation G in "Crush" and did a review on it here. I realized after swatching several different shades of the Generation G that the color pay off for these varies throughout the line. Here's the face I ended up with after trying on a few products:


I'm not really an eyeshadow person, but I loved how easy the Lidstar was to apply, and how natural it looked on my lids. You can easily apply and blend out the 2 different shades with your fingertips. The range of shades are also super pretty and perfect if you're just starting out with eyeshadow like me. These light, pastel colors are great for spring and create a romantic, innocent look.

Glossier Makeup

I can't tell what exactly my friend is wearing in this photo, but I remembered that she was trying out the Generation G in "Jam", and the Boy Brow—from this photo alone, it looks like black was her shade.

Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco
Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco

The cafe actually served food during the pop-up event earlier on in the day—so it was a fried chicken and lipstick kind of situation. By the time we arrived in the evening, the cafe was only serving drinks at the bar. That was probably for the best, actually. Trying on makeup and eating a fried chicken sandwich are both lovely activities—but better done individually.

Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco
Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco

It's always refreshing when brands that solely sell online and do their product marketing through social media create pop-up shops. Especially makeup brands: the step of testing out products to see how they look on you is crucial. I also loved how they scattered the same items throughout the store, so that even if someone else was trying on a product you were eyeing, you could simply just go to another stand and find the same product.

Everlane also recently opened up a shop in the Mission recently!

Glossier Pop-up shop in San Francisco

So what did I end up purchasing? I got the Lidstar duo in "Moon", a translucent white, and "Cub", a peachy dusty pink. Because I'm quite picky when it comes to skincare, and because I haven't done a lot of research on Glossier skincare yet, I was a little hesitant to try any of the skincare that was displayed. However, I did end up purchasing their Invisible Shield Sunscreen, which upon trying, felt really lightweight—which is uncommon for most sunscreens.

Check out the Facebook Event, if you're interested in paying a visit yourself!

♥ Cindy

BeautyCindy ZhangComment
An overdue Glossier review
glossier phase 2

I bought the Glossier Phase 2 set in July this year with an intent to try it out and review it here but completely forgot to because—well, because of a lot of things, but mostly laziness. So this is going to be my first beauty-related post since July 8th. Ugh. How embarrassing!

I purchased the Glossier Phase 2 Set for $40 to mainly try out the "Generation G" lipstick and the "Boy Brow" brow mascara. I wasn't so enthusiastic about the "Stretch Concealer" because my under-eye dark circles are far worse than the average person's and it only takes the strongest and most full coverage concealers (Nars) to disguise them.

I received a slight discount (around $12) by buying this set instead of each individual item.


Above swatches: left - Generation G in crush, right - Boy Brow in brown


My first impression of Glossier products is that they are all very lightweight and sheer. So if you want something with more coverage and higher pigmentation, I wouldn't recommend these products. Since the Glossier brand focuses on a fresh-faced, glowy, natural look, their products are used to enhance the everyday face rather than to make a statement. If anything, these products create a great "no-makeup makeup" look.

Generation G: I found the Generation G lipstick to be very sheer on my lips and not very long lasting. Because it's intended to be "tinted lip balm"—and very moisturizing because of that—this product is not meant to be smudge-proof or kiss-proof. It was a little hard for me to get used to this because I'm very used to high-pigment Korean lip tints that last a day on my lips. Because my skin is also very washed out, I tend to go for darker, redder shades. However, I found the color, "Crush," to be absolutely beautiful and refreshing and think that it would be a great shade for spring (or even Valentine's day!). In fact, I think every Glossier product and their shades are better fit for spring/summer rather than autumn/winter.

Boy Brow: Although I had mixed feelings about the Generation G, I was impressed by the Boy Brow. I previously used the brow mascara by Benefit (which was all right, but didn't have a very pleasant smell to it) and one by Innisfree (which was the wrong shade for me). This shade of brown, however, really fit my brows and gave them more definition without making them look too overdone or fleek-y. On lazy days when I don't feel like doing my full brow routine with the Anastasia Brow Wiz, this is the perfect option.

Stretch concealer

The Stretch Concealer in Light was, as expected, disappointing. It provided very minimal coverage for my under-eyes and didn't do much to conceal the dark circles. Its consistency is quite creamy and blend-able, with a slight brightening effect. I would recommend this to those who don't have a very bad under eye problem, but want to enhance that area with brightening/highlighting. For those like me who have blue-toned, super obvious dark eye circles, I want to recommend a high coverage concealer such as the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, or a less-pricey K-beauty dupe for the Nars: The SAEM Cover Perfection Tip Concealer.


One thing about Glossier I was impressed with was the cheerful, millennial-pink packaging they provided which was so up my alley. I was also overjoyed that they included some super fun stickers in the package. Their branding is definitely on.point as you can see with their social media marketing. Even though their products aren't super effective and convincing enough to buy again, I can definitely see the hype about purchasing their products to achieve that glowy, effortless, no-makeup look they've made so popular in their ad campaigns.

I also really identify with the quote on the box: "Skin first, makeup second." I haven't tried any of their skincare, but if you have, please let me know how their products worked out for you :)

Beauty, 2Cindy ZhangComment
My Everyday Brow Routine
Natural Gradient Brows ft. Anastasia Brow Wiz
Natural Gradient Brows ft. Anastasia Brow Wiz

I don't know how many of these I've repurchased over the years, but I find that it's the most precise, natural-looking brow product out there. Its thin form makes it really easy to control and draw precise lines that imitate the look of real hairs. The spoolie at the other end also gives you the ability to blend out any parts of your brow that you don't want to be too pigmented (for me, I like to blend out the inner corners for a "gradient" look)

As for the price, it bothers me a little that I have to drop $20 whenever I am in need of a new one. I run out very quickly because I use it extremely often (I don't have life when I don't have brows). So let me know if there are any dupes out there that are a bit more budget friendly!

Natural Gradient Brows

The shade I use is "Dark Brown," formerly known as "Brunette." This color is recommended for those with medium brown to black hair. For the color of your brow product, you usually want to match your hair color or go a shade lighter.

3 MAC lipsticks worn 3 different ways
3 MAC shades worn 3 different ways

I picked up three lipsticks at MAC over the weekend. There was a deal where they threw in a third lipstick after you bought two other lip products. Being a lip product junkie, this was a godsend for me. I ended up getting three gorgeous lip shades for around $33, which is crazy considering I usually pay around $20 for a single lip product at Sephora. In this post, I'll show you three different ways I wear these three different shades.

3 MAC shades worn 3 different ways

From left to right: Chili, Mangrove, Lustering.


Lipstick 1: Chili - Blurred Effect

Chili is a classic brick red with warm undertones. This shade really reminds of me of the Jeanne Damas look, with really full red lips and little to no makeup on the rest of the face. So I looked up how she does her makeup, and found this video where she reveals how she applies her lipstick.

3 MAC Lipsticks worn 3 different ways

The trick is to apply lipstick to your fingertips (I use my ring finger since it is the most gentle), and then use your fingers to dab the lipstick onto your lips. I realized that this gives the color a very smooth finish, almost like the lipstick is melted onto your lips. It might get a little bit messy around the edges of your lips—in which case, Jeanne recommends a q-tip soaked in makeup remover to clean out the excess lipstick on the edges.

3 MAC shades worn 3 different ways

Lipstick 2: Mangrove - Lip Gradient

Mangrove is super vibrant, bright coral red. This was available as a free third item from MAC. It can seem a little intimidating to wear because it's so pigmented and bright. So instead of wearing it entirely on my lips, I decided to go with a lip gradient, which creates a more youthful, less intimidating look.

3 MAC shades worn 3 different ways
3 MAC shades worn 3 different ways
Step 2: Use a q-tip (or if you're out and about, use your pinky finger) to blend out the harsh edges to the outer corners or your lips
Step 1: Apply the color only on the insides of your lips. Try to put more color towards the center and less as you make your way to the edges
3 MAC shades worn 3 different ways
Step 3: Press your lips together to blend the color and viola, you're done!

I've started using this methods on a lot of lipsticks in my collection and I found it to be a very effective way to make darker, more intimadating colors work for everyday settings.

Lipstick 3: Lustering - Concealer + Lipstick

Lustering is a shimmery barbie pink with cool undertones. To cool down the color even more for a super "icy" look, I first applied lip balm and concealer to my lips. It's important to apply the lip balm before the concealer since the concealer can dry out your lips and settle into the lines of your lips. Above that, I applied this color, which has a nice, creamy, shiny finish. I find this perfect for a "no makeup makeup" look, leaving your friends wondering if you actually put on makeup or not (which is always a compliment).

Bad Girl Burgundy
Vampy Lips

Left to right: 3CE LIP COLOR-#604 (VAMP), TONYMOLY Lip Tone Get It Tint, 06 Dark Night, Labiotte Wine Lip Tint RD03 Merlot Burgundy, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick - Heathers


Along with several other 90's trends, burgundy lip shades have become increasingly popular on the runway and on Instagram. A dark, vampy lip adds instant drama to any look, giving you the "bad girl" vibe even if you didn't plan for it. In this post I'll review a few of my favorites, including shades that are on the safer, more work-appropriate side, to more adventurous, statement-making shades.

Vampy Lip Shades
Vampy Lip Shades

Left to right: 3CE LIP COLOR-#604 (VAMP), TONYMOLY Lip Tone Get It Tint, 06 Dark Night, Labiotte Wine Lip Tint RD03 Merlot Burgundy, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick - Heathers


This  lipstick is from a Korean clothing brand called STYLENANDA, which has a sub cosmetics line called 3CE. I would say that it's the Korean equivalent of TOPSHOP. Vamp is in a shade of dark purple and is semi-matte. Because this shade is on the cooler side, I find that it often washes my skin out and doesn't look the most flattering with my skin tone. I find this very easy to work with and very versatile. You can cover your entire lips with several coats for a dramatic, vampy look, or apply it to the insides of your lips and blend it out to the outer corners for a more everyday look.

This one is probably one of my favorite burgundy shades to use on a daily basis. When I first purchased it, I was skeptical of how it would look based on how dark it looked in the bottle. But because of the thin, sheer consistency, the color turns into a rosy, warm, dark pink on my lips. Like the last product, this is also build-able and works fantastically for a gradient lip. To do that, I will usually go over my entire lips with one swipe of this color, and then go back and add more to the center of my lips (blending the color out with my fingers or just by pressing my lips together). Definitely work-appropriate and super versatile. And what's best about this is that it stays on forever. Perfect for the busy girl who has no time to touch up her makeup.

This is very similar to the last product, both in color, consistency, and how long it lasts. I actually find that this is more moisturizing than the TONYMOLY, even though it stains my lips longer. Also, can we just talk about how cute the packaging is? The lip product is literally a mini wine bottle. This product is made with wine extract, which is supposed to keep your lips hydrated. I personally wear the TONYMOLY more often than this because this has a cooler undertone. But I can say this is just as fantastic as (if not better in consistency than) the TONYMOLY as an everyday shade that can be built up to a more dramatic shade.

I would say that this is the most dramatic shade out of the four and the hardest to work with. I haven't actually worn this lipstick out yet, and am trying to find a night where this would be appropriate. It's appropriately-named "Heathers," which is a musical that embodies the 90s. This product has brown undertones and the consistency is pretty similar to that of the Kat Von Dee liquid lipsticks. I would say that it's not my favorite mainly because it's so pigmented and if you mess up slightly, then you mess up the entire lip. Also not a big fan of liquid lipsticks in general because I don't like to cover up my lips completely. Although, kudos to your life-saving brow wiz, Anastasia (on my brows in this photo). Maybe you should stick to brow products for now ;)


I just wanted to share that you can still see remnants of the TONYMOLY (left) and Labiotte (right) lip tints on my arm, even when I cleaned my arm off with makeup remover. Those are two tough puppies.


A bit of inspiration:

Vampy Lip Shades
Battle of the Black Eyeliners
Battle of the Black Eyeliners

Before I got eyelash extensions, black eyeliner was a staple for me every morning to add definition to my eyes. I became obsessed with dark, long-lasting eyeliners that were smudge free. Easy application and precision were also important for me. I've narrowed my holy grail eyeliners to these four that embody those needs. All in pen form, these four eyeliners are super easy use with their thin tips that allow you draw the finest lines and rich dark color that you can build thicker lines from.

From left to right: Son & Park True Black Eye Pen Liner, Clio Kill Black Waterproof Pen Liner, KissMe Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner Black, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (I've attached urls on the images if you're tempted to purchase any of them)


A long lasting felt-tip pen liner by Korean makeup artists Son Dae Shik and Park Tae Yun. Pros: Really damn dark. Super smudge proof. Good for drawing thicker lines. Cons: The tip is rather big so you lose a bit of precision. Pricey. Smudge-proof, but becomes patchy when exposed to water. Difficult to get in store in the US.

A super affordable felt tip pen liner from Korean brand Clio. Pros: Under $10. Very dark. Thin tip of pen allows for high precision. Cons: Consistency can be runny when first applied to skin. Difficult to get in store in the US.

A Japanese eyeliner that is super popular amongst the Asian beautify community Pros: Tiny tip allows for the highest precision for drawing the thinnest lines. Super waterproof—can withstand the pool and tears alike. Very dark. Cons: The brush tip can splay easily if you're not careful with the cap. Difficult to get in store in the US. The packaging is not the most aesthetic.

A cult favorite from American brand Stila that comes with a precise marker-like tip that's easy to use. Pros: Readily available at Sephora, ULTA, and various department stores. Easy to apply. Comes in many different colors. Cons: Not as dark as the other three above. Not entirely smudge proof (after a full day's wear, it tends to smudge onto my lower lash line). Pricey—the most pricey out of the 4.

Upon Application. Left to right: Clio, Stila, KissMe Heroine, Son & Park

Upon Application. Left to right: Clio, Stila, KissMe Heroine, Son & Park

After smudge + water. Left to right: Clio, Stila, KissMe Heroine, Son & Park

After smudge + water. Left to right: Clio, Stila, KissMe Heroine, Son & Park


So who wins this battle? Here is my verdict:

1. KissMe Heroine: In first place, this eyeliner embodies everything I want. It's super precise and dark, plus it's virtually indestructible upon smudge and water. You just need to get your hands on a good makeup remover to remove it at the end of the day. The price is also quite friendly, usually between $10 and $20. I would also like to give a shoutout to this brand's waterproof mascara, which completely transformed my short, Asian lashes before I got my eyelash extensions.

2.  Son & Park: This one came in second by a hair. I am mostly impressed with how dark this one is, and how I get tremendous pigment with just one brush of this liner. I'm also in love with how smudge-proof and long-lasting this liner is (although it may become quite patchy when exposed to water).

3. Clio: Very close to being in second place. It's just not as smudge-proof as the other two, but it still has everything I want in a good eyeliner.

4. Stila: Okay, so I was using this one for a while before I discovered these liners from Asian brands. And first of all, it was a pain having to pay $20+ for one every time I ran out. It would smudge throughout the day—not dramatically, but enough for people to notice–and end up pretty messy if I stayed out late. The tip is also not super fine and I would have to put in more effort if I wanted to draw a super thin line. I have to say that I don't understand the hype about this eyeliner anymore after discovering the other three above. The other three are definitely more affordable, easier to use, and longer lasting.