September Favorites

It should be no surprise if you’ve been following my blog that during the month of September I totally fell back in love with the NYC Ultra Last lipsticks. I rediscovered some favorite old shades in my stash and discovered some new shades at the drugstore to love.

There’s just something about the texture of the Ultra Lasts, and the fact that they’re completely scent-free, that rings my bell. Slightly smoother and creamier than the Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks and not slick or greasy in the least, they just feel lovely on my lips. And the price ($1.99 each) is definitely budget friendly.

I keep all my lipsticks in a little plastic container that I got from a dollar store ages ago when I was in college. It may not be the most beautiful storage unit for cosmetics but it’s convenient and doesn’t take up a lot of space in my room. Since it’s a clear plastic container, I try to make sure the lipsticks are all facing the same direction in the container so I can always see the labels and find what I’m looking for. All of my high-end and low-end lipsticks live happily together 😀

As you can see from the first photo, all of the NYC lipsticks — both the Ultra Lasts and Ultra Moists — have risen to the top. That’s how you can tell I’ve been using them often. The lipsticks that I don’t use always sink to the bottom 😛

NYC Ultra Last in Lilac Dream has become my go-to everyday lipstick. I recommend it to the light skinned ladies out there. It’s not particularly lilac-y at all, just a pretty, toned down pink that’s appropriate for work/school, running errands, whatever.

I plan on doing a whole run-down on all my NYC lipsticks, complete with swatches, soon but there are still a couple of colors I’ve got my eye on.

That’s actually all I’ve got for cosmetic favorites. The rest of my blog post is completely non-makeup related but also about much loved items during the month of September. 

During the early 2000s I was really into Japanese and Korean dramas, pop music, and anime but around 2006-2007 my interest in those areas started to wane. I’d occasionally stop to watch one series or listen to a J-pop song here or there but I wasn’t as into it as I’d once been. Instead I steadily got back into American shows and music but lately I’ve been falling back in love with all things Korean.

I felt like there was a whole lot I had to catch up on. OMG, there have been so many girl group bands that have seemed to pop out of nowhere and I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with all of them thanks to You Tube. The one girl group that really stands out for me is 2NE1; their music is catchy and their group and individual concepts are unique and cool compared to other K-pop groups.

As for shows that I’ve fallen in love with, I’ve become a huge fan of Khuntoria and Adam couple on the Korean celebrity-reality show, We Got Married. For the uninitiated Khuntoria is the couple name for Nichkhun (2AM) + Victoria (f(x)), and the Adam couple consists of Jo Kwon (2AM) + Ga-in (Brown Eyed Girls). They are just too adorable!

The show pairs K-pop idols together and cameras follow them around as the virtual “wedded” couples complete certain tasks/missions set up by the show’s producers, such as “make kimchee together,” “apply for your drivers permit/license,” “go on a date,” or “meet your in-laws (usually the other members of the “husband’s” or “wife’s” band) just to name a few. It always leads to all sorts of hilarity and cute moments that leave me feeling all squidgy inside 😀

I’m also really loving the Korean drama “King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo.” I started watching it because I heard that the show had amazingly high viewer ratings in Korea. It constantly kept coming it at 1st or 2nd in its time slot, kept gaining viewers each week, and about 50% of the country watched the series finale. I figured that if I was going to get back into Korean dramas, this was the show to start with.

Korean dramas, and Asian dramas in general, tend to be very short and usually around 16 episodes long and rarely are more than one season long. I actually really like that about Asian dramas. Shows are written with an end in sight; they aren’t dragged on for 6, 7, or 8 seasons and often end on a high before they “jump the shark” or the writers run out of ideas.

“King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo” can be considered a bit long, comparatively speaking, with 30 episodes. I’m only up to episode 12 so far and I’ve really been enjoying it.

I don’t want to give anything away in case anyone else wants to check it out so here’s a little blurb about the show:

Kim Tak Goo is the eldest son of Goo In Jong, the president of Samhwa Enterprise, a legend in the baking industry. Although he is an extremely talented baker and seemed destined to succeed his father as president, Goo In Jong’s family plotted to rob him of his inheritance because he was born to In Jong’s mistress. Tak Goo’s determination to become number one in the baking industry drives him to rebuild his career from scratch despite the many trials he faces.

From what I’ve watched so far “King of Baking, Kim Tak Goo” is a drama that’s interspersed with funny and heart wrenching moments. And this shouldn’t come as a shock: food has a definite presence in the show. I love that!

People should definitely check it out if they haven’t yet. Language shouldn’t even be an issue because their are English subtitles available. Just Google it. I don’t read or speak Korean and I haven’t had any difficulty understanding the show.

The last thing I’ve been loving — and it’s kind of embarrassing for me to admit — is Young Adult novels. I don’t know why it took me so long; it would’ve made more sense for me to like Young Adult novels when I was still a Young Adult but back then I was into the classics (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, etc). I just turned 30 this year and I feel like I’m going backwards. I think it’s the Harry Potter effect. I loved the Harry Potter series and it’s kind of exposed me to a whole unexplored sector of writing: young adult fiction, particularly supernatural young adult fiction.

The past month I started and finished Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy and I really enjoyed it and recommend it.

I got caught up (mostly) on P.C. and Kristen Cast’s A House of Night series which started off promising but became annoying and frustrating to read. I just gave up reading the most recent book halfway through it. I don’t think I’ll be continuing it. Too much teen angst and people acting stupid and immature (reminds me too much of the Twilight series in that respect. Sorry if that offends but I hated those books!). And the love triangles, quadrangles, polygons just bug the crap out of me.

I also tried getting into Claudia Gray’s Evernight series but couldn’t make it past the middle of the second book. It was a bit slow going and repetitive for me.

The final series I’ve been reading is Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy. I’m halfway through the latest book. Like the House of Night series this series is also about a school for vampires but I prefer the Vampire Academy series much more. More grown up, more interesting plot, a more compelling love story without idiotic, childish “drama”. Just my opinion. It’ll never make my list of favorite books but I’ve had fun reading it.

As you can tell, I’m not in love with all of these book series; what I’m really in love with is discovering a whole new world of books. There are some definite duds that I’ve had to wade through but there have been a few gems so it’s been worth it.