About Me

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California, United States
Hi! Thanks for visiting ^_^ My social media platforms: Instagram: meowmier Youtube: http://goo.gl/U5SnNM (formerly under the username francesvlogs but I don't have access to that anymore). I don't really do videos anymore simply because I think blog posts are more informative. Hope you enjoyed your time here! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

[Chit Chat] I Relocated! First Aid Beauty, The Balm, MD Solar Sciences, Anessa, Aveda, Sunday Riley, YouTubers

Hi guys!!

How's everyone doing? Hope everyone's enjoying the summer weather! So as the title implied... this is just gonna be one of those random posts where I just ramble on about things cuz there isn't really a common theme... =D

So first and foremost... as I alluded in my previous post-- I moved. To California!!!! LOL. You guys are probably like... what???? Where did that come from??!?!? So basically I moved from Colorado, to Maryland, and now I'm settled here in California.

I knew I didn't want to stay in Maryland after I graduate. Oh wait, did I mention that I graduated from pharmacy school?
A photo posted by Frances (@bbudgie) on

Haha, such old news. But I guess I never mentioned it here so just to keep everyone on the same page. Anyway, I knew I didn't want to stay in Maryland. For one thing, most of my friends aren't staying there (they're mostly out-of-state students like myself) or they're all moving to other states for residencies. For another... I just don't think I'm a very Maryland person. Or an East Coast person. Does that make any sense?

Now, I don't really think my personality fits in the whole California scene either LOL but from my last winter break back home, I knew one thing for sure-- I want to be closer to home. I know I want to live somewhere where direct flights to Taiwan are available. That'd make me visiting Taiwan and my family visiting me much much easier  =) 

So anyway! I'm temporarily settled here in NorCal... getting ready for my licensure exams. Once that's done I'm gonna start looking for jobs in SoCal. NorCal is so ridiculously expensive and I have no intention to throw my salary away for real estate, lol.

So that's my little life update. Things have been slow with me since all I do is study these days. Kind of going out of my mind so I want to pick up blogging again lol. This will be my study break project =P So you guys can expect more frequent posting from me over the next few weeks =)

There was a sale at Beauty.com a while ago so I took the opportunity to get some stuff that I've been wanting.
First Aid Ultra Repair cream is wonderful. Already reviewed it on my Instagram. Happy to have it back in my life ^_^ I got the 2 oz one. For me there's no point in getting the 6 oz once cuz 2 oz is plenty. 2 oz is only $12 as well... very affordable for such a nice product O_O

By the way, the smell does remind me of a first aid kit lol. Kind of smells like Band-Aid??? Haha
New skincare that I was testing out. It was LOVE πŸ‘ tbh, I was never interested in first aid beauty... Simply bcuz their packaging never attracted me πŸ˜“πŸ˜‚ this being the "ultra repair cream" and "intense therapy" led me to think that this moisturizer should be super thick and heavy duty. To my surprise, it was so light 😳 but so effective. This is one of these moisturizers that don't do anything special, but I just love the way it applies and how my skin feels after. This sample lasted me a good 2.5 weeks 😳 (I mostly only used it at night though). Sad it was finished. This gets a big πŸ‘ from me and is definitely something I would purchase in the future πŸ‘ŒPS. It contains colloidal oatmeal... No wonder it's so good 😝 I'm so oatmeal-biased hehe 😁#firstaidbeauty #sephora #beautyblogger #bblogger #review #instareview #skincare #moisturizer
A photo posted by Frances (@bbudgie) on

Also took the opportunity to get this Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter from The Balm.
Don't ask me why I wanted this highlighter... I've just always wanted to try it O_O even though I already have highlighters that I love.

By the way, my powder kind of came loosely packed. After a couple of uses it cracked. I feel like the whole thing is gonna shatter soon -_- but frankly I'm just too lazy to send it back/exchange it.

It's a champagne colored highlighter. Those who enjoy a yellow-toned highlighter will probably enjoy this!

To be honest, I'm kind of disappointed with this product. The powder isn't as finely milled as I anticipated. Don't know if you can tell from my finger swatches, but I do think the powder is a bit on the chunkier side.



After it's blended out. Don't get me wrong it's pretty... But I just find that when I apply it on my face, it tends to look a bit powdery. Meh. Tried spraying my face down with a mist after and it does take down the powdery-ness. I'm considering selling this @_@

Ever since I moved to California... sun protection has fast become my top priority omg. Where I live is pretty convenient so I try to walk whenever I can, which means... I spend quite a good amount of time under the sun. Needed a good sunscreen for my body!

I was gonna get the Clinique one (I know Shiseido makes good ones but I wanted to try something different) but there isn't Clinique on Beauty.com. So I thought I'd give MD Solar Sciences a try since it gets pretty good reviews on Nordstrom.com.
It's pretty small and portable so I do like to carry it with me for reapplication =)





The formula is very velvety. In other words, feels very silicone-y. The consistency definitely reminds me of the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation. So if you love that formula, you're gonna like this for your face. As for me, I hate it for my face because I found that it makes my foundation apply less smooth. It's a matte finish but it doesn't have any oil control (which! It doesn't claim to).  While I don't like it for the face, I do like it for the body! Especially it's fragrance free and doesn't clash with my perfume =)

Looks liquidy but it's not lol.

Now, the reviews I read all say it doesn't leave a white cast. I don't agree. Well maybe not so much as a white cast... but it definitely brightens up my skin tone/make it look paler. Not sure if you can tell from the pic above that the right side of my arm is paler where I applied the sunscreen.

Since we're on the subject on sunscreen, I finally broke into my Anessa stash!

Now, I did read that this gold bottle Anessa sunscreen is excellent for oil control. Cannot agree more *big thumbs up* I haven't been wearing makeup for long hours, but the last time I checked my face after 5 hours, I saw absolutely NO oil. It's amazing. Highly recommend for oily girls looking for an oil-controlling base! Dry skin beware! I've read dry skin ppl complain a lot about this sunscreen being too drying, which is no surprise. Personally don't find it too drying for the "normal" areas of my face.

Dry skin ppl might want to consider the white bottle one (white bottle with blue sun) =) I've tried that one before and it was indeed more moisturizing. By the way Anessa is a Shiseido brand.

Consistency is very thin and runny.


Finish is also matte. Looks a bit glowy here but it really looks/feels matte in real life.

So now onto a bit of a hair chat. I mentioned that suffered major hair loss from using hair/skin/nail supplements -_-
So... Since I got bangs and I hate it, the genius inside me thought I'd take supplements to help my hair grow out faster. Got these from #wholefoods . It briefly crossed my mind that they weren't USP certified but I thought if Wholefoods carry them, they should be okay. Guess what happened?! My hair started falling out like crazy after I started taking them 😑 I didn't stop cuz I wasn't sure if I was just "noticing" that I was shedding more hair cuz my hair is shorter, or if it coincides with stress. I stoopid 😩 I took them for about 3 weeks and finally the hair loss was so ridiculous (it was close to the amount I was losing after my near 20lb weight loss) that I finally stopped taking them. And right away I'm already shedding less. What the hell?! Not sure if this has anything to do with this not being USP certified (meaning that the product was not tested for safe level of impurities) or if some ingredients in there simply are just not agreeable with my body, either way these are going to trash (not sure which one the culprit is since I was taking them both). So sad cuz I was just starting to recover from all that hair loss... Sob sob. Anyone with weird experienced with supplements? I've had bad experiences with fish oils before too 😨 #nutritionnow #multivites #gummyvitamins #vitamins #supplements #dietarysupplements #hairloss #ifeelbald
A photo posted by Frances (@bbudgie) on


By the way, just to make a point here, I wasn't terribly concerned about a supplement having a USP label or not because I have had good experiences with supplements that don't have it (eg. Centrum). Granted I would prefer a product to have USP approval, but that's not a deal breaker for me.

Moving on!

In utter desperation, I decided to try out the Aveda Invati Shampoo.
It's an exfoliating shampoo that's supposed to allow your hair to grow out more.

This is a new bottle. I got the small one to try out first to see if it actually works. It's funny because I learned about of this line because of my ex roommate... she has thin hair and for some reason her hair was also falling out more than usual, so she decided to give it a try. She told me she felt/saw no difference lol. So I wasn't really hopeful that it would do anything.

When I was at the store, I was told by the sales associate a few things:
1. Shake well before I use it.
2. Shampoo my hair twice with it (first time to get rid of the gunk on the scalp, second time so it can really penetrate and work on the scalp).
3. The shampoo won't really lather, especially during first shampoo. Second time it should lather better
4. It takes about 4-6 weeks to see results.

... and everything she said was true O_O

So in short, I did see/feel a difference after a month. It's like I feel no difference... but at about a month mark one day I just suddenly my hair is thicker. It works :D

So some of you might argue that maybe it's just my hair naturally growing back after discontinuing the supplements. That could be true, but I also learned from my past hair loss experience, it took me more than a year for my hair to even grow back some of its volume. In fact, it wasn't until the end of last year that I felt my hair volume was back to what it used to be, and my hair loss from weight loss occurred more than 2 years ago. So I do believe it speeds things up. To each and their own =) Like I said, my roommate felt no difference using it, but it works for me, that's why I invested in the big bottle. I will say though, the volume gain isn't continuous. That is to say, I noticed I got some volume back, but I don't get more and more volume after that one month mark. We'll see.

I also got a certificate from Aveda so I get to redeem a free travel size item, so I decided to try out the Invati spray.

I don't spray it 16 times O_o I do 8. And I only use it once a day.  I will say though! I noticed yet another difference after a week of using it. Although like the shampoo, after the "boost", I feel like the volume just kind of stops there.


Comes with a cap which is quite nice.

So while I was at Aveda, I picked up their eye cream since I ran out of my daytime eye cream.
Botanical kinetics energizing eye creme. Claims to diminish dark circles and puffiness.

Now, I have no hopes for dark circles cuz I feel like sleep is really the only thing that will help. But this eye cream really does a poor job reducing puffiness. The Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream does a much better job for that purpose. I returned it. Planning to get the Origins one next time I can find a sale somewhere; somehow puffy eyes have been a struggle for me as of late /__\

A photo posted by Frances (@bbudgie) on
As a follow-up to the Instagram post about the Sunday Riley oils:

Luna Sleeping Night Oil:
The first time I ever tried it, I noticed incredible itching O_____O but when I looked into the mirror there was no reaction of any kind so I resisted the urge to wash my face. The next morning I woke up and found that my face was fine, so I decided to give it another go. And after that first time, my face didn't get itchy anymore so I guess it was just a matter of my skin not used to the product. Anyway, I don't really have scarring issues so I didn't notice much difference with this oil. I do notice my pores seem smaller and my face brighter, but that was about it. After using it every day straight for a week though, my face started breaking out so I stopped using it. No biggie cuz my face does that whenever I over-exfoliate. So I would say for sensitive skin, you probably only want to use this a few times a week.

Since it didn't do much for my face, I ummm... decided to try it on my underarms XD I got pretty ugly scarring on my underarms from ingrown hairs. The kind that makes you embarrassed that you don't ever want to lift your arms to flash your underarms because there are big red lumps. And let me tell you, that I did notice a HUGE difference.  In fact, I used the rest of the oil on my underarms every night for about 2 weeks and the stubborn scar/lump is pretty much gone. My underarms are significantly brighter and smoother. LOVED it for that! I might have to invest in some acid treatment for my underarms!! Probably not from Sunday Riley since it's too expensive although the results were pretty incredible.

By the way, Luna Oil does contain rentinol and CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFORMITIES. Please do not use it if you have any chance of pregnancy.

Flora & Juno Hydroactive Cellular Active Face Oil:
I decided to group these two together because I sort of mixed up my samples and could NOT remember which one was which LOL. But they both felt the same to me anyway. Other than hydration/making my face plumper/my pores smaller, didn't notice much. I do prefer the smell of one over the other. But not spending money on either of it lol.

Haven't shared YouTubers in a while! So these are the most recent discovery of YouTubers of mine =P

Sunny from Sunny's Channel

I really like her personality XD she seems pretty calm for an 18 year-old lol. Wish she does more videos in English. I tried out the Urban Decay Naked Foundation because it looks so good on her, and I have to say I really really liked that foundation. I remember watching something else from her and thinking to myself that I completely agree with her review, so that's another reason why I like her =P

Michelle from Michellenwin

I like her bubbly personality haha. That and she always has the most gorgeous smokey eyes and pretty lip colors hehehe. Sadly we're different complexion so her lip color suggestions don't really work for me sob sob. Hahaha.

Lastly, when I was browsing Sephora the other day, I noticed that the Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder now comes in 0.35oz size!!
 Pretty damn excited for that! I do think it's a great enzyme exfoliator and just don't want to dish out $65 for that. A little goes a long way and I'm sure this 0.35oz will last me a long time. Excited to get this in the future! May or may not wait for the sale in the fall but we'll see.

Okie dokes. Off to studying again. See you guys again in a few days! =)

<3 Frances


  1. Congrats on graduating & the big move!
    Those sunscreens sound interesting. Think I'll give them a try after I use up my stash :P

    1. Thanks Mandy!! :) congrats on graduating yourself! :D I feel like you can't go wrong with Anessa XD

  2. I would love to try theBalm items) they look so retro cool!

    1. The Balm does have ridiculously quirky packaging ^_^ I kind of still want to try out their eye shadows... O_O


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