1. Be Better at…Friday.

    Because it’s Friday and I have the attention span of a gnat on Fridays…I have a few things I want to discuss that have been on my mind but perhaps don’t warrant a typical long-winded post where I write for way longer than people want to read. Here we go. 

    The Best Acorn Squash You’ll Ever Eat:

    A mini recipe for today…pretty low carb and the PERFECT winter dessert.

    Baked Acorn Squash:

    • 1 Acorn Squash
    • Granulated Splenda
    • Butter
    • Cinnamon
    Step 1: Cut (very little) off the tips of the squash off so when you slice it in half, it sits steadily in your pan. You are basically just giving it a flat surface. Don’t cut all the way through, you’ll want to keep your two little squash bowls intact.
    Step 2: Layer slices of butter, then a layer of Splenda, then a layer of cinnamon, and repeat until the squash bowl is almost full. 
    Step 3: Bake at 400 for 45-hour…you should be able to tell when it’s soft enough
    Step 4: Scrape the insides of each squash down into the buttery/sweet/spicy goodness and enjoy. 

    Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain Sucks:

    Mainly I have a bone to pick with L’Oreal for taking away Beyonce Red Infallible Lip Color…I went into the drugstore one day to get my Beyonce fix and it was just…GONE. Like…NOT EXISTING ANYMORE and was replaced by some orangey red that made me look like I just went cannibal on a bloody oompa loompa. It was not a good day and certainly a low point with me shrieking to the Rite Aid employee that “They can’t just take it away!” 

    I digress. 

    A few weeks later, after my meltdown…(let’s call it my Blue (Ivy) Period) I dragged my ass back to a different Rite Aid (because I think I am banned from the first one) and picked up a Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in the color “Flame” to help fill my Beyonce void. I took it for a Friday night test run and at first it was AWESOME. Rich color, ridiculous staying power, and it was cheap as hell. Then…shit hit the fan. Suddenly, the next time I went to use my new magic wand, it was as dry as the Sahara and the tiny bit of color I got to my lips suddenly made my lips feel like they’d been in a Ronco Food Dehydrator for two weeks.

    BULLSHIT I tell you! To add insult to injury, the “balm” end of the stick just fell off the second I tried to apply it. It’s like an over-extended chapstick…we all know what will happen. This just proves…you can’t just replace BEYONCE. EVER. 

    If anyone has any lip stain faves in a bright red, let me know…I’m still on the hunt.

    iMessage is Confusing as Shit:

    I am convinced that no one knows what iMessage vs text messaging is unless you’ve looked it up (which I did and now I kinda get it after 2 hours of research). It is mondo-confusing and only works about 60% of the time and now I’ve just turned it off completely. Figure your freakin’ shit out APPLE. Fix those fracking maps and make iMessage less confusing..ok? Also, I love you pleasenevergoaway.

    Foam Rolling to Heaven and Back: 

    I have tight IT bands apparently. They are making my knee feel like my patella (knee cap) is going to pop off at any moment when going up and down stairs. I live in NYC, so this feeling happens about 645 times a day. I am trying a lot of different things including not running anymore and looking like a complete douche trying to give myself a good, hard, workout on the elliptical before I lift at the gym. 

    Side Note: You cannot use the arm things on the elliptical and look like a normal human being. Just don’t do it.

    Anywaysssss…Jon’s brother Dave who is now offisshhhh a Dr. said I need foam roll the living crap out of my IT bands (located on the side of my thighs) to get some relief.

    Does anyone else foam roll and have noticed these things?

    1. It hurts like someone steam rolling your leg.
    2. You always look like you are having weird gym sex.
    3. It makes any small bit of leg-meat fat look super gross because of all the squishing. 
    I don’t have any advice or anything about it…just general whining here.

    Alright, that’s enough blabbing. See you guys next week for more coherent posting.
    xo Chinae
     


  2. Be a Better…Beauty.

    I wrote a beauty post a few months back and the inevitable happened…a slew of folks then had a bunch of follow up questions that NEED to be answered, because EYEBROWS ARE IMPORTANT, DAMNIT! You can’t just leave life’s questions unanswered…so here we are. 

    A little Monday Q+A for ya’:

    Q: I have blonde hair and blonde eyebrows…should I still fill them in, and what color would I even use? 

    A: For God’s sake. YES. You of all people, should be the first to be banging on the doors of your local Sephora for an appropriate brow solution. The transition from bare brows to filled brows is often initially the most challenging for blondes/redheads because it makes a HUGE difference and WILL change the way your face looks, but take heed Aryan women…trust that it’s the right thing. Use a conservative hand and a brow powder made for blondes (should be an ash color). Try Laura Mercier Brow Powder in Deep Blonde or Soft Blonde. Follow up with a clear mascara or brow wax to keep your hairs in check. 

    Q: I love the idea of bright blush, vibrant lipstick, and a smokey eye…how can I do them without looking like a clown?

    A: The answer is…you can’t. That is, all at once. Pick one focal point on that mug of yours and keep the rest simple and clean. Here’s a trick…get your face to the point that it’s all prepped and ready for color (foundation/bb cream, contour bronzing, brows finished)…then choose your beauty weapon of the day and apply it first. Dark plum lipstick? Put it on and THEN apply your blush, eyeshadow, etc…you be sure to keep all the rest toned down and in sync with that one pop. 

    Q: I try and wear fake eyelashes, but they always fall off or are uncomfortable…am I doing something wrong? Do I use mascara at the same time? 

    A: First off, you probably aren’t trimming them to fit your eyelids. I’m not sure whose eyes are naturally as ginormously long as the average fake eyelash strip…the only person I can think of is Steve Buscemi. Trimming is the key to having lashes: 1) stay on 2) be comfortable 3) having you not look like a whorish American Girl doll. When you first buy your lashes, trim the strip (not across the hairs) and hold it up to your eyeball. Each end should stop a few millimeters from the tear duct and outer corner of your eye. To keep those suckers on, apply AFTER eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow and use eyelash glue, not just the sticky substance that comes on them in the package. Then, a light coat of mascara to blend them in with your natural lashes. 

    Q: I have a big forehead…anyway to make it look smaller with makeup?

    A: Oh, the classic five-head eh (I’m sorry about your genetics, I have large feet). Make a matte bronzer and a stiff contour brush your best friend, girl. After applying whatever you do to make your face look human and less like facesofmeth.com (my concoction is BB Cream and an oil control powder), take your bronzer and start applying at the temples. Brush upwards on each side of your forehead. Then dust a little on the very top of your forehead. This should instantly help your case, and might even fool people into thinking you spent the weekend in St. Tropez. Because, you can’t have those bangs forever, right?

    Q: Smokey eyes look so good on other people, but when I use kohl liner, I look trashy, HELP!?

    A: Oh yes, I see that. You look like you work at Hot Topic in a Iowan mall, please grab some eye makeup remover and come sit over by me. Smokey rarely should be black, ladies. Unless you are going for a goth vibe, never use black under the eyes, save it for the lids. To create the perfect smokey eye, choose shadow/liner colors that compliment your eye tones. If you have poop colored eyes like me, choose greens, golds, and coppers. If you are lucky enough to have green eyes, choose an eggplant tone to make those eyes look extra sessy. Got baby blues? Pick a brown or bronze shade. For you hazel gals, use golds, bronzes, greens, and eggplant. Last but not least, if you have completely blacked out eyes (see below), try red eyeliner, it’ll really set the whole “i kill people” look off, just right. 

    Be Better Forever,

    x Chinae

     


  3. Be a Better…Beauty.

    NEW SERIES: Be Better Reviews:

    BB Cream…reviewed.

    I’m so f*cking sick of hearing about the magic goo that might transform my semi doughy face into Charlize Theron and grow larger breasts as a potential side effect. I mean, unless it’s a jar full of scalpels, it’s not going to carve new cheekbones, right? 

    Well, fat face aside, I’ve found a beauty product that actually does what it says and doesn’t make me want to spray my face down with a firehouse from a short distance, within 5 minutes of application! YAY for shit that actually works. 

    Let’s talk BB Cream. 

    First of all, since I am a natural skeptic, the name BB cream just sucks. And it makes me think of this:

    or this:

    YUCK. But I got past my initial worries and just decided to let it go because some crazy Europeans made it up and that’s why it was so dumb. (AMERICA!) Good thing we made up names like the KFC Double Down, Four LOKO, and Sweet N’ Low.

    Anyway, I went to my local Sephora and got me a sample of their best BB cream…Smashbox was the premier choice, and because it was a free sample, I obviously asked for the best most expensive one. 

    Here’s what it’s supposed to do for your face: (straight from the Smashbox site)

    PRIMES: Wear alone, or under your favorite foundation to create a smooth canvas.
    PERFECTS: Tinted formula in 5 shades evens out skin for a flawless finish.
    HYDRATES: Improves skin moisture in 4 weeks. Guaranteed.
    PROTECTS: SPF 35 guards against UVA/UVB rays. BB is loaded with anti-aging peptides for a decrease in fine lines over time
    CONTROLS OIL: Minimizes shine with no chalky finish.

    Now, calm down Smashbox...I don’t know about all that, but here’s what I DO know after using your magic goo for a week:

    • -My face looks less like an oil slick and more glowy than it ever has.
    • -I don’t wear foundation, so this works great for covering the scales to the general population. Without it, I look like this:
    • -Foundation makes me feel like I’ve landed the starring role in the re-imagination of Memoirs of a Geisha…this feels more like starring on the real life version of Dora the Explorer…I can pretty much conquer the world and traverse the wilderness while still maintaining some dignity.

    Alright so here’s the point. I like this crap and you should try it for yourself. At least go get a free sample from Sephora and see what you think before you fork over your hard earned $39.99. Check it out HERE

    And no, the company did not pay me for this post…I would have to probably reduce my expletives by about 50% to do professional product reviews, and I’m just not cut out for that.

    On a related note, I feel like the Roger Ebert of beauty. I win!

    P.S. If you are wanting to spend less moolah, here’s a cheap option that I have no idea if it works or not, but I’d love to get a report back if you try it! Garnier BB Cream

     


  4. Be a Better…Beauty.

    Attention Eyebrows Edition:

    I am half-asian so this means I pretty much have half the eyebrows of anyone else in the damn world. Literally. They stop right smack in the middle of my brown bone and make me look constantly surprised. There’s nothing better than that, except everything else.

    I shouldn’t complain though, I know some of you are dealing with a Frieda Khalo situation…and for that, I’m really sorry. 

    When I used to do make-up sort of professionally, (as professional as a sometimes tipsy high school senior can be), I used to preach the gospel of brows to all my clients. As an avid advocate for  brow maintenance and management, I still get pretty pushy about the right and wrong way to wear your brows.

    I’m gonna make a bold statement…I think eyebrows are THE most important thing on your face. If you only have time to tend to one thing, it should be them. Why you say? They frame your eyes, make your makeup look finished, and the right or wrong shape can make you go from bridge troll to Evita.

    Some bad eyebrow decisions:

    • Chola brows: Heavy pencil or tattooed eyebrows are just so…90’s people. Unless you are actually a chola (I want to be your friend), leave your sharpie behind and get some real brow filler and normal lip liner, k?
    • Tweezerwoman: Put. the. tweezers. down. You’re the compulsive type and someone mistakenly gave you a diamond edge set of tweezers and a light-up magnifying mirror. I get it. But lady, you have actually removed facial features and you now look like Whoopi Goldberg. Give your brows a break and take a vacation from plucking.
    • Bushwoman: You like things natural huh? Well, you look like you are smuggling caterpillars via your face (I’m talking to you Lourdes). It’s not cute nor is it good for your vision…I know you can’t see much behind those things. If this is what you let your eyebrows do, I don’t even want to think about the amount of care you give your nether regions. SICK.
    • Over-Shaper: Your brows go in a natural shape and contour that was pretty well designed by the big guy upstairs. DO NOT FUCK WITH IT. If your eyebrows were supposed to be rectangles, they would have been made that way. Other than a minor shaping and clean up, you are just messing with fire at this point.

    So what DO you need to do?

    Here are a couple tips:

    1. Use a brow filler. Yes, you. EVERYONE. And no, you won’t look like a chola if you use a light touch and some restraint. I like a good brow powder, like Lorac’s Take a brow. Pick a filler that also has a wax to tame those renegade hairs. I suggest using a filler that is a little lighter than your natural hair color to ensure a natural look.
    2. Find a waxer you trust: Start with just a clean up and see how she does, then move into a full shaping if that goes well the next time you go in. Also, feel free to take a photo of the shape you want so you don’t end up with Geisha brows.
    3. Slow and steady: It takes a while to get your brows to the perfect shape. Don’t rush it and god forbid don’t have one too many mojitos and spend hours at that magnified mirror, you’ll only be sorry in the morning.
    4. Check out this eyebrow shaping guide that you’ve seen 108738 times in chick magazines:

    Happy Plucking!

    xo Chinae

     


  5. Be a Better…Bartender, Beauty, Shopper, and Lover.

    It’s a mish-mosh sorta day around here…so I thought I’d compliment my scatterbrainedness with a mix-ey little post. 

    To start it off right…a new cocktail. Since it IS a Friday and all.

    Asian Sensation: (makes 4 cocktails)

    • -1 Asian Pear
    • -Handful of Fresh Blueberries
    • -4 servings of vodka
    • -Club Soda
    • -Dash of Grated Fresh Ginger

    In a blender, combine your diced up pear, blueberries and ginger…blend well until it makes a liquid. Mix together the vodka and your fruit smoothie concoction. Pour over ice and top with soda. Garnish with a sword of fresh blueberries! 

    BE PRETTY:

    I’m always looking for the perfect red lipstick and finally found my beauty soulmate in Loreal’s Infallible “Beyonce Red”. After being happy with this lil’ find, I started on the hunt for the perfect bright pink lipstick…matte, deeply pigmented, and not TOO expensive. Also, not looking like hooker Barbie is helpful.

    Well ladies, I found it. NARS Super Matte in Carthage…run, don’t walk to your nearest beauty retailer for this gem. 

    GO SHOP:

    In my shopping finds this week, I hesitantly ordered a new notebook from Minted. On their site, you can customize super cute designs with colors, photos, and text. I was worried that the quality would suck big time since the journals are only $16 but I was more than happy with mine! Take a look.

    A BETTER LOVER:

    I got a few messages from readers asking what I did for V-day since I did what seemed like a ranty post.

    I actually spent the night drinking virtual cocktails (about 6 of the one listed in this post) with the boyfriend…on Skype. Oh, the joys of long distance…BUT it was a great Valentine’s. I hope you all had a great day, whatever you did! Below, a sneak peek into our little date.

    Hears to hoping this weekend doesn’t suck and is as totally rad as a three-day weekend should be!

    xo Chinae

     


  6. Be Better at…Summertime.

    First Beach Day Woes Edition:

    It’s the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I was wearing a leather jacket a week ago, and suddenly, we are living in a solar flare. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED NYC? I thought you said you were going to take things nice and slow this year, easing me into seasonal change like the Smooth Operator I thought you were. Well you’re doing it wrong. We are in a fight. 

    As I arrived home late last night, my best friend iPhone let me know that I had an email coming in…”Subject Line: BIIIIZZZEACH!” ….Translation: Beach trip. Momentary panic ensues. 

    Now, let’s get some things straight. I F*ing love the beach. I will be the first one on the LIRR heading out, I will bring my own myriad of oils, I will power through an 8-hour stint on the sand (no breaks), I will make those weird drippy castles on your stomach if you fall asleep, and I will be in the water 95% of the time (with the majority of the time spent evading the lifeguards who are yelling at me for breaking beach rules). A good beach trip is my favorite summertime activity and I honestly couldn’t make it through NYC summer without the proximity of the sun, sand, and agua. But I’ll tell you, that first beach day is a rough one for all of us. 

    You’ve powered through the winter and spring (which was non-existant really)…and you’ve emerged as this translucent creature, similar to a jellyfish, soft, pale, and boneless (OK, maybe not boneless). So how can we make the most of our Jellyfish state and look halfway decent on this perilous first beach trip? Here we go:

    -Swimsuit choice: Now I know we’ve discussed swimsuit choices on this god-forsaken blog before, but this is crucial to the first beach day experience. This is NOT the time to be busting out your light colors, and skimpiest options. WE AREN’T READY FOR IT. Just stick to something more low key. You are way too pale to be wearing your yellow polka dot bikini, so just save it ok? The time will come, after 2-3 beach trips, that you’ll be tan enough to be wearing that…for right now you just look like a jaundiced baby with a couple extra sets of dimples. 

    -Self Tanning Lotion: Guys, Gals, this is more for the general public rather than for you. You’ve been warned a couple days in advance that you will be bearing your goodies, let’s put in a little prep work and substitute a lotion with a mild self tanner for the usual body lotion…It’s cheap, it works, and seriously it will assist in your Memorial Beach day game with the opposite sex. Things to remember: wash your hands after application, make sure you rub it in well, and don’t overdo it (you aren’t fooling anyone Snooki). Here’s one of my favorite products that always does the trick! 

    -Manscaping/Ladyscaping: Take care of your business(this includes chest, pits, back, ass, and wonder zones). We don’t need to see your lack of personal hygiene when you took the winter off from dating and lived in your apartment like it was some weird man/lady cave.  (please note…the best photo that ever was and will be on the internet)

    -Beach Makeup: Alright I’ll admit, I rarely leave the house without some sort of makeup on. Yes, I’m the girl lifting heavier weights and getting more reps in than you at the gym, while wearing red lipstick. DEAL WITH IT. So the beach is an interesting ordeal, especially if you spend most of your time in the water like this Lil’ Mermaid. Here are some ways I stay looking glam at the beach all up in the face:

    1) Choose a BRIGHT waterproof lipstick that is going to stay with you all day, without having to re-apply every hour…this will instantly make your features pop and you will still feel mega-hot when you are throwing up all the seawater you accidentally swallowed during the under-water handstand contest you just participated in. Here is my personal favorite, Beyonce Red from L’Oreal Infallible Stars Collection

    2) Get your hands on a great waterproof mascara. This is my personal favorite L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara. You don’t want to end up looking like this….

    or This…

    3) Tinted Moisturizer: This is a great option for a little bit of coverage mixed with the added benefit of some SPF action (if you are into that sort of thing) I like Korres’s Watermelon Tinted Moisturizer the best. 

    -Exfoliation: You are going to feel a million times hotter when you scrub off all that nasty wintery dry skin and BONUS…your tan will stay a lot longer if you do this before you hit the beach! (Tip: Exfoliate, Self tanner lotion, beach…in that order) Save your moolah for a new swimsuit and make your own salt scrub at home!

    Homemade Salt Scrub:

    -Lavender or Peppermint Oil

    -Olive Oil

    -Course Sea Salt 

    Combine equal parts Sea Salt and Olive Oil, add peppermint/lavender oil to scent the mixture. Insta-smooth skin!

    Good luck out there. Hope this makes you feel infinitely hotter on your first day out my little mermaid/mermen. See you all on Recovery Tuesday. 

    xoxo Chinae